Peter: ‘This past year I gave my 3-year-old nieces I-bonds as birthday gifts, with the idea that they could use them for College. However now that I have re-read the rules, it almost seems that only their parents can purchase them, and then apply them towards their child’s education. Can you clear this up for me, before I purchase more?’

☞ For I-bonds to be used to pay for college free of tax, the I-bond buyer MUST be one of the parents (and be at least 24), must hold the bonds personally (not gift them to the children) and must spend the money on their college educations while the children are still their dependents. On top of that, the tax benefit phases out if the parents’ income is too high. Instead of I-bonds, you might consider setting up 529 plans for your nieces. See

Michael Joy: ‘I LOVE that idea [capturing bin Ladin, giving him a sex change operation, and returning him to live under Taliban rule as a woman]. If he thinks that’s the right way to treat women, let HIM live that way for a while! Would his new name be Osama bin Lady?’

Kevin Clark: ‘I don’t see the harm of admitting that America makes mistakes, as long as we’re not paralyzed by agonizing over things we can no longer change. One thing we all need to keep in mind, though, is that just because some action had bad consequences doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a ‘right answer’ that we missed. Take the Shah of Iran, for example. Maybe supporting him wasn’t a great option, but we’ll never know how the alternatives would have turned out. Maybe if we hadn’t supported him the Soviets would have conquered a path to the Gulf and the Cold War would have turned out differently. I’m not claiming that would have happened; my point is simply that we don’t and can’t know. Life is not a textbook exercise with the answer in the back. Currently it’s very unclear to me what the best option is with regard to the ‘moderate’ Arab states, e.g. Saudi Arabia. If we don’t support the existing governments then we’re an undependable ally (with all that implies for forming future relationships) and there’s no guarantee that replacement regimes will be any better. If we do support them then we’re to some degree accomplices in the repression of their own populations thereby fueling anti-American sentiment. Either choice will inspire decades of second guessing. Whatever we end up doing, I hope everyone keeps in mind all the things we could have done worse as well as those we could (with benefit of hindsight) have done better.’

Doug Simpkinson: ‘Tom Bolger writes: <<It’s the SAME God. They branch off at ‘the Second Coming of God.’ The Christians believe that the second coming was Jesus Christ (who was a Jew). The Muslims believe it was Mohammed. The Jews are still waiting.>> Muslims do not believe Mohammed was God, or the second coming of God. Mohammed was the last, greatest prophet. Muslims do, however, accept Jesus as a prophet.’

Brian: ‘But if we all share the same God and I pray to be protected from terrorists and the terrorists pray for success in their terrorism and they succeed in their terrorism, what rationalization shall I use to avoid concluding that God is on the side of the terrorists?’


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