The Crucible

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What will happen if Egypt's current ruler falls?

[Ed. Note: This is the first post in an ongoing discussion of the recent events in Egypt.]

Following the riots and governmental changeover in Tunisia, the unrest has spread to Egypt with riots in the street, communications and internet cut and the government cracking down on protesters. If the same course is taken, then it is likely that President Mubarak will leave the country soon.

This could cause a few problems given that Egypt was one of the more stable of the Middle East Countries, which actually had some kind of democracy in place. It is currently autocratic, but the main opposition see this as a chance to remove him.

If it does, the question to be asked is will Egypt fall into flames or will it survive relatively intact?

How has the internet changed the world?

I was thinking about what I wrote here, and how message boards have become a major source of entertainment and companionship for people.

And then I read a statistic that in 1 out of 8 marriages, the couple met online.

It got me to thinking about how amazingly different life is in 2010, compared to pre-internet days. Could anyone have every imagined all this? Certainly, I doubt anyone could have imagined all the effects it would have.

Just for me, the internet pretty much made it possible for me to hold down my last job for quite a long time. I literally had no coworkers, so boards like the Straight Dope and Mellophant gave me someone to talk to around the watercooler, in a manner of speaking.

Facebook has kept me in touch with friends who otherwise I probably wouldn't hear from much. On the other hand, I think it killed my 25th high school reunion. There was a very bad turnout, and it makes sense when you think about it...anyone who cares about seeing people from HS is already in touch with them on FB.

Celebrities selling out?

At what point is it considered that a celebrity sells out when it comes to endorsements and advertising? Do we expect more of a celebrity that they shouldn't advertise things or do we expect them to use thier fame to do so anyway and try and sell things for more cash?

Are there any celebrities you wish hadn't done any advertising because it changes what their supposed image might be and have any celebrities managed to enhance their reputation through advertising.

I'm curious because of two pieces of advertising that have come up. One is Iggy Pop selling car insurance and the second is Lemmy from Motorhead about to sell Kronenbourg using the Ace of Spades song. More on that here.

So what do you think?

Linda Norgrove - Should they have tried to rescue her?

Linda Norgrove was an aid worker in Afghanistan who was killed when a rescue attempt was made by US Sepcial Forces. It looks as though she was killed by a friendly fire grenade instead of, as initially reported, a suicide vest worn by one of the captors.

Putting aside the fact the risks and such of being an aid worker in the area, the question is, should the rescue attempt go ahead? Some sources are saying that a negotiated release was possible, but that the decision was made to go ahead anyway.

More on the story here.

At what point, does negotiation run out and force become the answer? Should it be when all other avenues have been exhausted or should it become an option that is weighed up and taken if it is considered the best option.

Teresa Lewis executed - Right or Wrong?

41-year-old Teresa Lewis pleaded guilty and was convicted of getting two men to kill her husband and stepson to cash in on their life insurance policy. The two hitman have both been jailed for life, but were not sentenced to death.

The main question lies over whether she was mentally fit to stand trial?

Campaigners have said that as she had an IQ of 72, she had diminished mental capability, but she was passed capable enough to stand trial.

The details of the trial are messy. She hired two men to carry out the killings and started an affair with one of them, with defendants are saying that she was manipulated by one of them into carrying out these actions.

More details here

So, what do you think, should she have been put to death or reprieved?

What about the two killers, should they also have received death sentences, or just the life imprisonment?

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