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Quite a debate has been raging within the TH community. The debate has been so complicated, powerful and emotional that a second thread was opened. It seems in some cases otherwise allies became adversaries, language deteriorated, context was lost. At the risk of muddying the waters further, I offer a sumation and an alternative to both threads. Here's hoping third time's a charm.

To get to the heart of all written, it seems that most agree that rape is a horror, and above all else it is a human tradgedy. Reguardless of race, gender, cast, age, anyone can become a victim, though realistically an individual's chances are greater or lesser depending on any number of variables. A rape culture may emerge within a variety of specific constucts or contexts, anytime, anywhere, and the motivation for the emergence of a rape culture and how it plays out may vary.

Rape is an act of domination, a form of violence, it is a subset of ALL violence. Violence is a symptom of an IMBALANCE of POWER. An imbalance of power can manifest in any number of ways- within an interpersonal relationship, within institutions, within cultures, within entire societies. Reguardless of any number of variables, children of either gender, or of indeterminate gender are universally recognized as the most vulnerable group. Broadly, and arguably, adult woman are the second most vulnerable group universally.

Rape, like war, has been around since the beginning of time. Like war, rape is unlikely to vanish anytime soon, which is not to say that we approve of, ignore, diminish or excuse either as fact, the fact that both are real and exist.

Rape is a global issue, it is a human issue, and at the macro and the micro we should all support and defend the rights and dignity of all human beings anywhere and everywhere, especially the most vulnerable among us all. The powerful must be held accountable for their moral obligation to the less powerful, and the less powerful should alway be supported in seeking empowerment.

At the risk of criticism, I believe the concept of a rape culture extends beyond the human experience, and includes nature, the planet itself. We are all, ALL suffering with the effects of global climate change, a direct result of the unrestrained actions by the powerful. The planet is vulnerable and we must expand our understanding of what is violation, what is violence, what is rape, to include all living things, not only our human brothers and sisters. Further still, we must defend the inanimate and the irreplaceable, our mointaintops, our water, our air, our survival.

We, ourselves, our planet it out of balance. Violence is everywhere and like a mythical shapeshifter it takes many forms. Rape of women by men is just one form. To stop that particular form of violence, we must be mindful of all forms of violence, aknowledge all forms of violence and denounce all forms of violence.

Feminist activists, civil-rights activists, gay rights activists, anti-war activists, environmental activists, animal rights activists, all of us, when become adversaries instead of allies, we lose the plot. We become like the five men and the elephant, one describing the tail, one descibing the ear, and so on but fail to recognize that they are all experiencing and describing the same creature, the elephant.

The ELEPHANT in our global room is IMBALANCE of POWER. Restore balance, restore peace, peace for ALL.

Comments

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#1

Hi Palin

I love the definition of NASCAR dads and football mums. I see the dad with a 'six pack' in his den and the mum with a car load of screaming kids!

Pooja is the central pivot of Hindu worship. Diwali approaches and we can look forward to that.

Life just has to be grabbed as and when! Sochi was absolutely wonderful last time round. We were spoilt completely! I landed up speaking English, Hindi, French and Arabic and that did me the world of good. The Brits were convinced I was an Indian Brit which pleased me no end.

I do follow F1 racing but my personal contribition at Sochi will be to waggle my bottom and look good apart from the languages aspect!

It was not always very easy being dark skinned in Moscow. It was unusual but some of the questions by children were at least rather funny. 'What does it feel like being that colour' and 'were you born in the dark?'

Then in 2012, VVP made his big speech about valuing and cherishing all the ethnicities of the Russian Federation. Suddenly, anybody built to the 'right specifications' who was 'ethnic was sought after for adverts, photoshoots etc etc. One found oneself on top of the pyramid and one can command almost any price. Big events are the best as Russia is now very keen to show its acceptance of us 'ethnics'! The 'token' ethnic', maybe but Roubles are all the same colour! I could have a wonderful career in this but would hate it but I do quite a lot in my spare time and this buys me nice cars, etc. The white girls all try to be brown too these days. What a turnaround!

I have an Alfa Romeo 4C at present which is awesome but not the best on Russian roads, to say the least. It is also not the most reliable. My dream is an Aston Martin or Marussia. I did a photoshoot for Marussia once. It was hard not to drool over the car but it was a bit much to be told to look like I was making love to it!

One day maybe I shall have one!

best

Alyona

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#2

Alyona: I have a little bit of experience in feeling a bit out of place due to the color of my skin (white..but tanned) and other western characteristics. In China, I've walked through communities where westerners usually were not frequently seen. Same with Korea. People stare...especially the children. It's an odd feeling.

Wow! I'm envious...you speak English, Hindi, French and Arabic. That's really great! Do you speak any Russian? I'm still struggling with English and Arabic..although I've picked up a few tidbits of other languages from other countries..Korean, Thai, Spanish.

VVP is quite a personality. I rather like him. I think he is very level headed and very patient. But I think that the west should not see him as a pushover. That kind of thinking is very dangerous for the whole world. I do hope the US comes to their senses and stops being such an irrational bully.

An Alpha Romeo is a very small sporty car and probably doesn't absorb the shocks of any kind of rough road. I don't know about the roads where you live but the roads and streets in the US are often very rough. I've traveled, recently, on major highways, that look like they were just paved, that feel like it is going to shake my car apart. Since new cars are now being built to get the best gas miles they have to keep the weight down. And some of those models that sit higher off the road have a stiffer suspension, I believe..so that they reduce the possibility of rolling over on a sharp curve (I made a mistake in spelling "curve"..I spelled "curse"...which I thought was also appropriate). Some cars, like the RAV4, when they first came out had this problem. And being lighter with a stiffer suspension results in not being a very smooth ride, especially on the rough roads. I think that the infrastructure, the roads, bridges, etc. in the US is being left to decay while they waste all that money blowing up things in other countries.

I read up on Diwali. Very interesting how so many people have different deities but some very important commonalities that binds them all together which minimizes war between them. I guess they all have the same deities but have differences in the importance of those deities. I think that the Catholics also have many "saints" that they all worship depending upon their desire. As far as I know, which isn't much, about the Hindu religion or of India, I am under the impression that there is very little, if any at all, disagreements among them to the extent that it results in violence or war. My impression is that they all have no desire to proselytize others to their beliefs. It seems to me to be a live and let live way of life. Whereas some other religions have a very strong desire to proselytize others into their religions. I think that makes for a great deal of trouble and has resulted in a great deal of suffering in the world. But then, I'm an atheist...what do I know?

I'm sure that you will, one day, own an Aston Martin or Marussia. I hope you do. And I wish you all the best of luck in, one day, finding the love of your life and have the babies you desire. You are still very young and have a good head on your shoulders. Well now, I guess I'm starting to sound like a father which I might be old enough to be a grandfather...had I ever had children.

I wish you, and your family, best wishes and speedy recovery of your father.

And since I love Indian food...I think I will go out during Dawali and have some. :-)

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#3

One can indeed feel out of place at times. My mother is white, blond, blue eyed and stands 5ft 11'' while my father and I are 5ft 6''. As I posted on another thread, in India she looks like a tall white flagpole! We all laugh at our differences and tease each other a lot. My mother cannot understand what on earth happened to any of her genes in her children! LOL

My job in these affairs is to help these visitors to our country with needs they may have. Russian is my first languge alongside Hindi and somewhat French. I also speak poor Gujarati, Spanish, Catalan and German but I no longer progress with those. I specialise in English and French. I have to speak both languages to pass absolutely as a native.

VVP is a real hero in my book. He has made Russians proud to be Russian again. He has always been the diplomat and has been very restrained but patience is nearing an end, I would say as his speeches are becoming a lot more firm and more angry.

You are right about the Alpha. It is usually OK in Moscow but after winter the roads can be terrible. I do love it though and it lives in an underground garage.

I saw a South Park episode where all these SUVs in America fell on their sides at the first corner!

Yes, there are so many deities but they are just different manifistations of the one god. It works very well in India and no one pushes another to 'join a different club'.

If you have a feast for Diwali, make a rangoli with coloured sand, lots of candles (sandlewood best), and eat sitting on the floor in a circle and use your right hand to eat. No forks/spoons etc. Go for it!

Yes, I am young but try to learn something new every day. I hope I can do that until the end of this life. I am so sorry that you did not have children.

I shall make sure my husband can buy me an Aston or Marussia for my dowry!

many regards to you

Alyona

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#4

Been reading lots more about rape, rape culture- in USA and abroad, also USA feminism. I'll include the links later but found some very interesting stuff, an overview:

USA, "rape culture", a FACT- which is indisputable, is FALSE. There is an extensive amount of popular as well as scholastic disagree about it's existence and therefor it's validity. Much if the push back comes from other women. Why?

I'd suspected that some of the disagreement some of us experienced elsewhere was because of GENERATIONAL differences. The scholarship of feminism backs this up. Feminism has been described as having 3 waves. Broadly speaking, the first wave would be at the time of the suffragettes, up through and around the time following WW2- Rosie the Riveter-through the 50's. The second wave would be "boomer" women, women of the "Mad Men" era, 60's through the 70's- Steinem, Friedan, Helen Gurley Brown and the "Cosmo" girl, e.g.. The third wave would be the Gen X-ers through today, the Millenials.

Feminism, Women's Lib movement of the 70's COMBINED with the Civil Rights movement accomplished alot, so much in fact that the movement had to change focus. Title Nine was HUGE, arguably THE most legislative accomplishment of the feminist movement.

I, for example, am in the category of the oldest of the X-ers. I grew up in a post Title Nine environment, as well as a post civil-rights environment (though our LGBTQ brothers and sisters were left behind). MY brand of feminism would be considered "Third Wave", meaning I never felt the extent of discrimination against women as say, my mother or grandmother had- BUT that's not to say I didn't still experience gender discrimination, but things HAD changed. I grew up with Madonna, Cher, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler , Roseane Barr, Whoopie Goldberg, Martina Navratalova destroying boundaries of gender expectation . I grew up with women who BEGAN the backlash to "slut shaming".

Combined with the progress of our blacks, I grew up nin a different world. Fast forward to today, the Millenials have the advantage of the "post X-er" accomplishment, I would argue the embracing of the LGBTQ community and greater acknowledgement and support to ALL minorities (at least among Progressives/Liberals).

Then it gets complicated when class, geography, religion comes into play, I know. Some people, including our legislators and geographical parts of the USA may as well be in the pre-suffragette era, some stuck in the Mad Men era, some still arguing the Steinem era, not recognizing that we are in a WHOLE NEW WORLD----a GLOBAL era. Third wave feminists embrace a much broader analysis and perspective of the identity of "woman", role of "woman" how to FULFIL the identity and role of "woman".

In short, times have changed.

SO, in reguard to the question of rape culture- it IS debateable, NOT all scholars or populists AGREE that it EXISTS or is a VALID description of the experiences of women.

EVEN other so-called "feminists" are in disagreement. "Rape Culture" is NOT an empirical fact, in part because it is impossible to PROVE it by the scientific method, as is any sociological phenomenon. Best we can do is give labels to sociological phenomena, but it is ALWAYS contextual and SUBJECTIVE, therefor not an indisputable FACT.

I get the "rape culture" concept, but I think it's distoted and too limiting and misses the mark. Rape is a subset of violence. I stand by that statement. E.G., when the very SAME ingredients are identifable when looking at "rape culture" and "gun culture" and ALSO "biggoted culture" or "xenophobic culture", I think we need to re-frame the issue.

5 men and the Elephant.

MlK

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#5
Quote alyona:I saw a South Park episode where all these SUVs in America fell on their sides at the first corner!
That's funny! I don't watch South Park so I missed that show.

I just did a google image search on Rangoli and I am very blown away with all of those very beautiful colors and designs. Must take many hours to make them.

Quote alyona:I shall make sure my husband can buy me an Aston or Marussia for my dowry!
Ha! Ha! There you go! You go girl! By the way, there is a commercial in the US that starts off with a wedding and the preacher (or whatever the official is) says: "Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband... "(then, very expressively, like a talk show host), says: "or, would you rather have a new car?" And the woman gets really excited and runs over to the new car.

Anyway, I really enjoy our conversations...but, I'm afraid we've gotten away from Michelle's original subject, of which I admit I know very little about. So, I am going to fade out...perhaps another time...thanks so much for all of your very interesting stories.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#6

michelle: As I told Alyona, I'm certainly not very knowledgeable about the subject of "rape culture". But, what you have said sounds convincing to me. I had suspected that those who had previously posted quotes from educational web sites were using biased data although at the time I didn't realize that there are other institutional studies that differ in their findings. Anyway, I think I will have to fade out on that subject because it is way too sensitive an issue and some people get too uptight about it.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#7

I apologise for digressing! Going to work at Sochi F1 has me very excited and I wanted to share.

Firstly, Palin, it would be very sad if you left. Your comments are valuable and please do not be fearful of emotive response and I think your posts are insightful.

You should make a rangoli. They have to be exact and that is how 3.142 was developed. It is great fun for all but also an act of devotion.

Michelle,

Your research is another interesting perspective. I would still prefer to be using the term 'human rights' rather than 'feminism'. I am a bit concerned that we seem to be drifting back to 'rape culture' and frightening others from joining in.

Suffrage.

1907. Finland when in Russian Empire.

followed by a small number of Scandanavian countries

1917. Soviet Union

1918 The West followed afterwards, probably for fear of women turning to communism. The UK at first allowed only older women to vote. The UK also had a 'University vote' on the grounds that graduates were smarter and should have two votes. This went some time ago BTW.

1920s India in segments but the Raj then enacted a law keeping women in separate parliament. For full equal rights 1947 at independence.

Iran 1963

Switzerland 1991

Saudi 2015 (pending)

Human Rights

USSR was first in the world to introduce labour laws. It also supported countries which had been 'colonial', India being one of them.

Outside of suffrage, I rather fail to see much point in 'feminism' in the developed world. Even more so as feminism appears to be laudable while chauvanism is reviled! It is surely just a question of equal rights.

From the outside looking in to the USA, the 1960s feminist movement is bewildering. It just seems to me to be about burning bras. This always appeared daft as any woman built properly would attest to!

The Vietnam war in my perspective offers a puzzle.

Thousands of young men were drafted and over 30,000 of them died. Women were NOT drafted and took jobs and advanced. Women were in combat in Viet Cong and NVA and did have real equal rights.

Many young American men on their return found themselves very disadvantaged. A case for chauvanism, perhaps. Women demanded equal pay for equal work but were not the gender sent out to die. Perhaps men at that time had a right to some form of leverage on pay scales.

This brings me back to a point often made but never responded to. Why was it OK for the men to die but rape was worse, or so it would appear? Is it better to be shot than raped?

Now there are volunteer armies (Ukraine and Switzerland the exceptions) and in many countries women can take combat roles but not in all.

It is all so much more complex than the ******ists would leave us to believe.

Now we look at Texas which seems to have taken control of womens bodies. It is also a state that very rarely executes a woman for a terrible crime but revels in the execution of men! Equal rights should mean equal consequences as well.

I suspect the ******ist culture is a form of crusading which one often finds with those who suffer from ADHD.

Just some more thoughts thrown into the pot.

We are leaving for Sochi (Foruma One) on Tuesday and will no longer be able to be involved for a few days. On Monday, I am getting 'scrubbed up' as my father would describe it.

I have one more year in Uni when I hope to have the equivalent of a Western style PhD. Life will then change for me as I go into uniform full time and live on a junior officer's salary (very little)! I do expect rapid promotion however.

have a great day

Alyona

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#8

Alyona: About the only thing close to art I've ever done is make a few bronze statues using the lost wax method. I still have the kiln for melting the wax and the furnace and crucible for melting bronze but haven't done that in many years. And acts of devotion, in any spiritual sense anyway, is not really part of my meme. I am an atheist, I don't believe in spirits, after all. But I do enjoy viewing art and creative things. I didn't know that about pi "π" 3.14159....I thought the Greeks invented that. But, what do they know...they don't even have tigers! ;-}

I looked up Sochi on Google Earth. I would have thought that the Olympic Stadium was located closer to Sochi but it is actually about 27 km southeast of Sochi. I used Google Earth Street view to "walk" around the stadiums. I also found some photos of it.
http://www.racedepartment.com/threads/sochi-nears-completion.91220/
Interesting racecourse...with a number of 90 degree turns.
It looks like about an 800 mile flight from Moscow to Adler Airport. Hope you have a safe flight. I didn't pay much attention to the Olympic games...not much interested in sports although I used to participate in football, basketball, track (mostly shot put, discus throwing, and javalin), and wrestling in school. But, I don't even watch football or any other sports now. My interests are in educational things like computer programming, etc. Hopefully, it will keep my brain from falling apart.

You had said that you would "rather be raped than murdered" and that certainly sounds right to me...and I would certainly agree. Even as a male...I would most certainly rather be raped than murdered. Seems very logical to me that the former is far better than the later. And, it seems to me that those who claim otherwise would fit in nicely in a country where they stone women who have been raped or women who have "disgraced" their families by committing adultery. I think those that claim otherwise are not really being truthful with anyone including themselves. But claiming so sure does heighten their ability to do the greatest amount of damage in revenge against perpetrators. To say a rapist is equal to a murderer is pretty ridiculous. Richard Dawkin's controversial remarks were logically correct but illogical-emotional people are not geared to hear such things.

Alyona: Will you be a junior officer in the Russian military? How long will you have to serve...is it voluntary or mandatory? Some countries like Israel..it is mandatory for even women to serve a couple of years. I don't know about Russia. The way I feel about the U.S. military, now, is that it is pretty futile to join the military because it is almost a certainty that the person would find him/her self sent to some war somewhere. If it really was in the interest of protecting the nation against invaders...well, that's honorable...but to fight, kill, and die for Texaco...is a great big No Way Jose! I'm long past believing that the U.S. goes to war in order to protect the U.S. from foreign aggression. I believe it has been the aggressor in all but a couple wars (possibly).

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#9

Hi Palin

Pi was known long before the Greeks, ancient Egypt, India and others all claim it. As you say, the Greeks don't even have tigers! Sochi is the longest city in Europe. It is very narrow before the mountains rise up and it is in those mountains that the games were held. A bit like Cannes, France, in many ways. One can be on the beach in Sochi (not nice sand though) and then drive a few miles up and then go skiing.

I completely agree with your comments. I look at overall trends which short term, can be clouded by war, conflicting cultures, genocide etc. Genocide, which is again so fashionable has a very long history of course. I really wonder about Ebola. It was a disease that hit very fast and very hard so in the past, it did not have the opportunity to travel. Suddenly its incubation period is much longer and perhaps has been manipulated by Man. Is this another novel way to remove indigens for another resource rape, similar to smallpox given to native Americans? I cannot help but wonder.

Psychologist Carl Jung suggested that humans would need another 2000 years to evolve into better creatures. I think he is very optomistic!

The US military does appear to me to be offensive in nature. Your comments are correct I think.

This is also possibly due to genetics. European countries colonised and raped many cultures for resources. Huge numbers were needed to hold these places down.

Those that stayed in Europe were the 'stay at home' types while those who went abroad were the more aggressive and adventurous.

Those who migrated to the USA are likely to have been more the aggressive and adventurous and perhaps this reflects in the current population. Add to that the 'how the West was won' scenario which was nothing but ethnic cleansing in my view. Very brutal times in very recent history.

Gangsters were eulogised at times and are still so to this day. Those in power, such as the Kennedys were also ex gangsters as I understand it. Perhaps the USA has yet to evolve from that 'gangster' culture.

Both my parents were military pilots and that is actually how they met. Both were volunteers (ish). I am also a volunteer and wish to be able to defend my country too. I wanted to be a flyer as well but because of my language skills and 'certain attributes' enter into another field entirely. One must serve where one is most needed which for me will be in other types of operations. I am already commissioned, BTW and was recruited while an undergraduate. I would expect to serve a minimum of five years.

I yearn for a baby now but will wait and then choose a good, successful Indian Hindu. I know that 3 generations in a country extinguishes all culture from the mother land. I want my children to be both Russian and Indian too. If I have to teach him Russian, I will, if necessary at gun point! LOL.

best regards

Alyona

nimblecivet 4 years 32 weeks ago
#10

As is so often the case generally, language seems to be at the root of the problem in the case of use of the term "rape culture". If someone says "There is a rape culture on college campuses" does that mean "The culture of college campuses is a rape culture"? Those who feel that they must emphasize the problem are prone to leave open the extent to which this "culture" has rooted itself into the culture at large. But the problem is more accurately put as something like "Within many college campuses there exists the problem of many people cultivating certain negative attitudes and behaviors which could be called 'rape culture'."

While I agree that in general over the course of human history rape is a form of violence, this "rape culture" is a reality to some extent in that the larger set of ideas about power and gender encourage men to treat women disrespectfully.

I am not surprised that some of you seem to have such a jaded opinion of american culture. Over time, unfortunately, the progressive element was defeated. Mostly I think it is due to the relentless conditioning by the media. Machismo was appealed to in justifying the insane spending amounts on the military. A sense of entitlement made us all too willing to accept buying products on credit because the prices were lower now that they are made elsewhere. Just like in Vietnam, we ignore the reality of the death and misery we caused when we invaded the Middle East to secure our "national interests" (everybody knows it was for the oil). It looks like its going to get worse before it gets better.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#11

Dear nimblecivet

Thank you for that clarification. This is the first time I have managed to get any sense about the term and its context. It had progressed to other things by the time my parents attempted to communicate.

Campus rape in the USA is completely alien to me. At my campus we have more than 40,000 students, under and post grads. This just does not exist there or anywhere else in Russian unis. to my knowledge.  

'I am not surprised that some of you seem to have such a jaded opinion of american culture. Over time, unfortunately, the progressive element was defeated. Mostly I think it is due to the relentless conditioning by the media. Machismo was appealed to in justifying the insane spending amounts on the military. A sense of entitlement made us all too willing to accept buying products on credit because the prices were lower now that they are made elsewhere. Just like in Vietnam, we ignore the reality of the death and misery we caused when we invaded the Middle East to secure our "national interests" (everybody knows it was for the oil). It looks like its going to get worse before it gets better.'

Cannot argue with any of that. It really scares us 'across the border' and see an inevitability that an attempt will be made to subjugate us too.

very best

Alyona

PS. On a happier note in better times, this couple represent all that is good about love between a man and a woman. They were both born in Kiev. I hope the West will remember that in this countriy there were beautiful things before it was destroyed by interference.

enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaZxZqPprtw

and the final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDeprRiA6SM

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#12

Hi Aly, PalinD, Nimble

Sorry PD, didn't want to go overboard w/the "feminist" sorta thing either. But I think Nimble & Alyona combined ,and you, and me, if I put it all together is this:

Perception/perspective is reality. What do I mean?

Some people perceive ALL reality from a very specific perspective. Think of all of reality as circles within circles, like Matroshka dolls, those Russian dolls that have one inside another, each one smaller (EO Wilson discusses this concept)

So, the biggest doll contains regressively smaller dolls, right? So REALITY/GLOBAL could be seen as the biggest doll. Open her, smaller doll, so on. Global includes everyone, evrything, people, plants, animals, the planet. Next doll, maybe just all LIVING things. Next smaller doll, humans. Next, if we could do subsets of the smaller dolls, say women.

Open the "woman" doll, subsets of "feminist".

Man, wish I could draw a picture!!!! This diagram needs concentric circles AND Venn diagrams, but I hope I'm making enough sense for everyone to picture this system of BIGGER IDEA (doll) encases LITTLER IDEAS (dolls) which may then branch off into their own subsets of dolls, so so forth until you nget to very tiny dolls and very narrow subsets.

Nimble used the language brilliantly. Great syllogism. THAT's what's been missing! Even by simply REPHRASING, re-categorizing, it makes all the difference!

Thanks to all for bringing your unique "elephant part" observations into the mix, so we can build, visualize, realize the WHOLE elephant.

It's not that those who identify a "rape culture" are WRONG, it's just that they are coming at this from the "tiny doll" perspective, not realizing that it is a PART of a bigger issue, a "doll within a bigger doll" as Nimble/Aly brought up.

Hope this makes sense!

BTW, one thing I was very WRONG about was to assume that rape was the norm, globally, rather than the exeption. Not exactly so, but here's some very interesting info, a scholarly study about the prominence of "rape' OR "rape cultures" around the world TY everyone!!!! Take care!

A moment, I'll include links, next post, a bit of trouble.........

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#13

Alyona: Thanks for those links. Such talent always chokes me up, emotionally. I don't often watch dancers or even talent shows so I don't know if the moves these two lovely dancers made were unusual. But, I suspect they were very daring and innovative. I was on the edge of my seat watching them...thinking that they should have a safety net. But that guy was obviously very strong and could, no doubt, have caught her if she had slipped.

I also watched another video from the same source of the first video. Very moving indeed:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCozWZeEa2gKYlnC9YoHrwvQ

792,000 baht is equal to about $24,261 in the U.S. The video was a scene in Thailand. I have heard that India has some very inexpensive doctors and hospital expenses as compared to the U.S. and some people from the U.S. take medical vacations to India. They also go to Mexico where it is cheaper as well. I am wondering what it is like in Russia concerning medical care. In the U.S., if a person serves in the military and gets an honorable discharge they get V.A. (Veterans Administration) medical care and the cost to the veteran depends upon whether their condition was service connected. Of course, their have been problems with that in some cases.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#14

Michelle wrote;

'Some people perceive ALL reality from a very specific perspective. Think of all of reality as circles within circles, like Matroshka dolls, those Russian dolls that have one inside another, each one smaller (EO Wilson discusses this concept)

So, the biggest doll contains regressively smaller dolls, right? So REALITY/GLOBAL could be seen as the biggest doll. Open her, smaller doll, so on. Global includes everyone, evrything, people, plants, animals, the planet. Next doll, maybe just all LIVING things. Next smaller doll, humans. Next, if we could do subsets of the smaller dolls, say women.'

Spot on IMO!

Palin,

Apart from the dance itself which is about as good as it gets, the love between those two shows in every movement. The love is real BTW. I find it very moving too. Being into dance myself, I really do appreciate those two people. It is extremely dangerous to do no matter how strong he might be. She also has huge strength and has supported him completely in some of their dances.

Medical care in Russia is pretty good in general although isolated areas have far less resources. It is free to us BTW. One thing I think very good is the use of phages rather than swamping the world with antibiotics. I suspect that phage technology does not make big profits for the Western pharmaceutical companies.

Dentistry has still some way to go and private treatment is a far better choice if one can afford it.

best to all

Alyona

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#15

Nimblecivet: I agree with what you said. Language can be very confusing and some people are well adept at using it in ways that can convince others of their beliefs about certain issues..whether or not they are correct about those issues.

But what exactly is "violence"? Is it always bad? You may have to use violence to defend yourself against another who commits violence against you. Some people, like the Jains in India, from what I've read, are so non-violent that they won't even kill bugs...in fact, they drink through a cheesecloth in order not to swallow, thereby killing a bug that might be in the water. If I had bugs in my water, I'd probably do the same thing so that I wouldn't swallow a bug but then kill the damn thing by stomping on it. But, bugs in the water, except perhaps for the microscopic ones, are usually not a problem in the U.S.. But, I have 3 stages of filtering in my house just the same.

Problem is with the "all life is sacred" mantra there are some forms of life that will kill us...If not man-eating tigers...then microscopic creatures...like bacteria. Viruses, like influenza, cold, or ebola are not living organisms until they attach to the cells of a living organism where they do their damage and then mutate to some other slightly different form of the same virus.

There are various forms of "violence" some more damaging to their victims than others. I got the crap beat out of me when I was a teenager, a freshman in high school, I believe, by a guy who was older and stood about a 6" taller than me..and I was about 6' tall myself. My mom told me that I had been taken to the hospital...but I didn't remember any of that. She said I was lucky to be alive. But, hey, I certainly got over that...and didn't let it carry me through life with a grudge. I certainly did not think the guy should have even been jailed for that...and I don't think he was. I was foolish enough to think I could fight back instead of running away..which would have been the smart thing to do. I did get in a couple of good punches, though, and I was told that he had a very swollen face. At the time, I knew how to play football and wrestle but never was in a boxing match before.

There are various definitions and variations of what constitutes violence. If a law body is cajoled by overly emotional nagging and complaining citizens to make a law that stealing cookies from a mother's cookie jar constitutes violence because, it claims, has brought emotional violence against the mother, then the child may get sent to a correction center, a convent perhaps, where they beat him till he repents and promises not to steal cookies anymore. Or, perhaps, the "crime" is seen as so horrendous that he has to do life at hard labor.

It reminds me of something I saw on a Russia Today news story about how blacks who have been imprisoned for crack use and possession are the greatest percentage (something like 79% ) of prison population compared to whites who favor powdered cocaine who have something like 2% of the prison population. Why is this? Could it possibly be that the effects on one's body, when using crack cocaine, makes them very dangerous to not only themselves, but to others as well...including the cops? I have heard that when people use crack cocaine they can even be shot and still not stop...and continue to attack. Crack cocaine is a more dangerous drug than powder cocaine..perhaps that's the reason people who use crack cocaine (predominantly the blacks) are the greatest population in prisons for drug use. Of course, some people try to use that seemingly unfair statistic to make it look like it is all about racism.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#16

Alyona: I certainly agree with you. She was truly amazing! I wish I could have understood Ukrainian...or is it Russian...to have been able to understand what they were saying.

Here's another really amazing performance by a 9 year old Dutch girl.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqTBlKU4CE
At first, I thought that she must surely be lip singing to a more mature professional opera singer. How can such a voice come from such a little girl?

Perhaps, one day, the U.S. will become civilized and have the kind of universal healthcare and education that they have in many of the other countries in the world..like Russia...and Cuba.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#17

To PalinD's point, violence is also subjective? Has a virus the right to live at the expense of others? That's a deep question.

Though to filter water through cheesecloth serves both?

Except: a virus has no mind

mindfull creatures can choose, where a virus can't

PalinD, afraid we've moved into Dawkin's territory (TY, you know him, and know about his run-ins w/his rape comments- was he being provacative for selfish attention or for legitimate attention---only he can answer)

Human have brains, minds, we can choose. Viruses do not have brains, they cannot choose. Humans have self awareness, viruses do not. To say that the damage a virus can do is comparable to the violence that humans can do is fallacious. This is like comparing the violence of nature, weather, to human violence. And damage that nature does, to call it "violence" is an entirely anthropomorphic interpretation of the consequences of weather. Weather just IS, neither good nor bad. Not the same thing, apples and oranges.

HOWEVER- when we get into "genetic propensity"? that the selfish gene will act to ensure it's own survival at all cost? It gets sticky, right? There is validity to the selfish gene theory, yet genes don not have brains, minds, to choose.

It's a bit of a mess, nicht war? Messy, no?

The question of violence, the motivation FOR violence, the definition OF violence could be said to be somewhat subjective. OK? now what?

TY for muddying the waters, you atheist!!! :) : ) : )!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

with all due and piss pants respect,

(teasing)

MlK

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#18

And to Alyona, hope Father sis getting better? Best wishes! and good luck w/the upcomming adventures! I'll miss you, as will everyone I think.

Take care! Peace

MlK

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#19

I recently watched the movie "The Life of Pi", again (I had seen it when it first hit the theaters). The adult, Pi Patel (played by Irrfan Khan), an Indian storyteller, was being interviewed by a writer for a book that was about the life and incredible longest survival at sea by anyone (according to the story). He first tells him a story that his family was on a Japanese owned ship that Pi's family and family zoo were traveling on to their way to the US from India. The ship had some kind of accident at sea at night and only he and a bunch of animals were the only survivors in a life boat. There was an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger (that Pi called "Richard Parker"). The hyena killed the zebra and the orangutan but then was itself killed leaving only the young boy Pi and the tiger to battle it out for survival but in the end they learned to respect one another in order to survive. Pi even said that he came to love Richard Parker.

In the end of the incredible journey, when Pi made it to Mexico, he was in the hospital bed and being interviewed by two Japanese investigators who wanted to know the cause of the ship sinking. Pi told them the animal story but the Japanese investigators didn't believe him..so they asked him to tell the a story that would be believable for their report..."the truth"...they said. So, he told them a very different story of how the Orangutan was really his mother, and the other animals, except the tiger, were other members of the ship..who all died in various ways...including his mother. The writer guessed that Pi was actually the boy and the Bengal tiger.

Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer?
Writer: The one with the tiger. That's the better story.
Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God.
Writer: It's an amazing story.

Some people believe that God is the better story. I think a lot of people would rather hear "amazing stories" than the real ones. "And so it goes with God".... just a fantastical story that people would rather believe in than the truth. People don't want to hear the truth...they want to hear the "just pretend" stories that are invented by man's imagination. And, as this movie is also a made up movie from man's imagination...I guess it's a bit of recursion. It's entertainment, after all. It's like looking at the many recursive reflections of just one image into infinity in a couple of mirrors placed just right.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#20

Здравствуйте!

I am still around today and Monday in between getting 'pimped up' (US expression, no?) for Sochi.

Mother, needless to say has thrown herself into that project! She could easily have been a model but prefers joysticks! My hair is being treated with henna which is half a day for a start as it is one metre long! I am booked for the salon for most of Monday. What a waste of hours!

I have also been asked to perform Indian dance at some party on Wednesday night so this means taking all those clothes and stuff as well. It will be fun, I am sure.

While away, I shall miss you all too. I might get the time to drop in once in a while. It only goes to show how folks from opposite sides can get along if there is a genuine wish to understand. You all seem like a lovely group of thinking people on this thread. I would love to meet you all.

Palin my friend!

Folk stories are folk stories but they do not prove or disprove the existence of God. I find my religion a good way of 'being' and conducting myself and I find a peace that I can find nowhere else. I am a pragmatist as you probably realise and quite down to earth but am happy to maintain a mystic side.

It does seem illogical to me to worry about germs and some even sweep ahead of themselves in case they step on a bug but it is their choice.

Freedom is the freedom to choose one's own 'point' about what is important in life.

I really believe that all girls should learn to defend themselves. It is so important and it is no good saying what 'should' happen. Life is what it is. Seeing young women becoming incapacitated with alcohol or drugs is also pretty stupid for so many reasons.

Females can be so very strong despite usually being smaller and they do not have to have bulging muscles.

I give a link to one amazing young woman who 'has it all'.

This is for the guys. Eat your hearts out! LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubTlTKLas_o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2jZ5oI1DmQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0LAOCo5NJs

Спокойной ночи

Алёна

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#21

Здравствуйте to you too, Alyona...oh, and especially to your father. I guess he must be feeling better if you two are going off to Sochi races.

I don't know if that expression is correct, (I'm out of touch with today's younger generation's lingo) but I thought it might be "pumped up" as in getting excited and looking forward to something. Or, maybe it is "primped up" as in getting all dolled up (hair, makeup, clothes, etc). I would suspect "pimped up" is wrong..a pimp is a guy who sells prostitutes.

I fully agree with you in that whatever makes people happy is the path they should take. If they find mysticism their cup of tea then, by all means, they should seek that way no matter what anyone else thinks.

Wow! one meter long? "Repunzel, Repunzel, let down your hair!" Not many women are willing to deal with long hair anymore.

Oh, Alyona, you big tease! ;-) You're not going to believe this but I had already seen this girl do her pole dance before. Yes, she is quite talented and very sexy and beautiful.

Hope you have a great time in Sochi! :-)
Спокойной ночи (spah-KOY-nuy NOH-chee)
Till next time, Алёна!

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#22

Mother is making me feel like a small girl getting ready to go to school with all her fussing about but she is clearly loving it. She always does!. So many clothes and the F1 uniform needed adjusting a little too. My father is so much better and is looking forward to going as well. It will be the three of us. We are also watching the Japanese race at the same time.

Yes my hair is a bit long but funnily enough my military boss does not want me to cut it so it is a real game keeping it under control doing excercises as a soldier and a nightmare to sort out afterwards. Once it all fell out and I managed to get caught up in razor wire. Stopped everything until I was released! LOL I live at home and usually either mother or father help if needed!

I also now must have the palms of my hands decorated by henna because I will be doing a dance routine and so it goes on.

Yes, perhaps it is 'primped up' but I thought there was a US expression 'pimping up cars', for instance. What do I know. England and the USA is separated by language.

Well, you ARE a naughty boy! Yes, she is very pretty and sexy and a superb gymnast! LOL

best to all

Alyona

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 4 years 32 weeks ago
#23
Quote nimblecivet:It looks like its going to get worse before it gets better.

It does look that way just now, nimblecivet, but reading a good many of the posts on this thread give me hope that it just may not get worse - it could even, possibly, get better.

The best to all from Mexico's highlands.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#24

Alberto,

Tristemente, creo Nimblecivet es correcta. Se pondrá mucho peor y no puedo creer que alguien tiene el poder suficiente para detener las guerras. Creo que Rusia y Occidente pueden ir a la guerra también. Esta sería la guerra para acabar con las guerras. Occidente está Contolled por corporaciones y no por personas reales.

The Japanese race has ended very badly with Jules Bianchi sustaining very serious head injuries in his Marussia. The race should have been stopped before this happened.

Alyona

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 4 years 32 weeks ago
#25
Quote MarinaL:

Alberto,

Tristemente, creo Nimblecivet es correcta. Se pondrá mucho peor y no puedo creer que alguien tiene el poder suficiente para detener las guerras. Creo que Rusia y Occidente pueden ir a la guerra también. Esta sería la guerra para acabar con las guerras. Occidente está Contolled por corporaciones y no por personas reales.

Alyona

But now and then there's a glimmer of hope. When even Joe Biden gets it...

http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20141004/193638674/Bidens-Truthful-Statements-Should-Mark-US-Foreign-Policys-Change.html

Biden’s ‘Truthful Statements’ Should Mark US Foreign Policy’s Change: ExpertTopic: Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises

MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - The United States should work closely with Russia, China, India, Iran, Syria and the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) countries in defeating the Islamic State, and US Vice President Joe Biden's recent speech should mark this profound shift in the US policy, Jeff Steinberg, senior editor of Executive Intelligence Review newsmagazine told RIA Novosti Friday.

"The United States should be working closely with Russia, China, India, Iran, Syria – as well as the GCC countries – in defeating the Islamic State. The United States should be supporting the BRICS initiatives, including the Chinese promotion of the New Silk Road of Eurasian development," Steinberg told RIA Novosti.

"Biden's identification of the Saudis and other Gulf allies along with NATO memberTurkey in promoting the Islamic State, the al Nusra Front and other jihadists is a belated but welcome admission. He is clearly correct in his warning. I hope that this is a reflection of a larger about-face in US policy," Steinberg claimed, commenting on Joe Biden's speech at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Thursday.

Steinberg called Biden's remarks "the first truthful statements since the outset of the Syria conflict." However, he expressed doubt that they will entail positive changes in Obama's foreign policy in the short term.

"Do Vice President Biden's remarks reflect a change in Obama Administration policy? I do not know, but I am personally skeptical that Obama is prepared to make a clear public break from the Saudis and from his British friends who are equally deeply implicated in the promotion of jihadist terrorism," Steinberg said.

The expert criticized a number of Obama administration's steps as being conducive to the rise of jihadists in the Middle East.

"Yes, the US has tolerated Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar promotion of radical jihadists in their zeal to overthrow Assad," Steinberg stated. "President Obama … opened the floodgates in August 2011 by demanding that President Bashar al-Assad step down. This was not only a total violation of Syrian sovereignty. It was an unprecedented statement for any US President to call for the removal by force of a foreign head of state who was legitimately elected by a vote of his people. The US has not been innocent in the arming of the very Syrian rebels who we are now fighting as radical jihadists."

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#26

Alberto

If only! Biden has his son now on board of Ukrainian gas/oil distribution company. Maybe the US wants Russia to co-operate with ISIL but will still try to take Ukraine, then some more '****Stans, Iran, etc etc.

Why should Russia be alongside the West after the Libya double cross?

I think the West has made the mess in Middle East and it is the West who must live with it.

In any event, this thread is not appropriate for such things

best

Alyona

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#27

Alyona: my bad! I did another search and sure enough "pimped out", when referring to cars anyway, maybe when referring to people as well, is a commonly used term....like "my bad" to express: my error, sorry. What do we old fogies know?...nada...I guess. :-)

"Well, you ARE a naughty boy!" Aren't we all? ;-}

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#28
Quote Palindromedary:Alyona: my bad! I did another search and sure enough "pimped out", when referring to cars anyway, maybe when referring to people as well, is a commonly used term....like "my bad" to express: my error, sorry. What do we old fogies know?...nada...I guess. :-) "Well, you ARE a naughty boy!" Aren't we all? ;-}

You are much older than I. You should have learned by now that women are ALWAYS right! LOL

We should always look for fun when it comes. Too often there are just tears.

Mother is now in 'hyper-active' mode while father and I would rather just sit quietly, if necessary, with bags on our heads!

Talking about human rights in general, the split on gay rights is still a big sticking point between East and West. Latvia, an EU country has just voted against gay marriage. Personally, I prefer to stay out of that wasps' nest entirely.

best

Alyona

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#29

Of course, they're always right. ;-} Yes, I agree with you gay rights in not my favorite subject either. I hope you keep your eyes and ears open for terrorists. They like to strike at big events when they can. I imagine that Russian security will be very, very tight in Sochi, or at any of the Russian airports, since the bombing in Grozny, Chechnya. Hope you don't worry too much but have a great time...but I also hope you will be safe.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#30
Quote michellekovalik:

Feminist activists, civil-rights activists, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, anti-war activists, environmental activists, animal rights activists, all of us, when become adversaries instead of allies, we lose the plot. We become like the five men and the elephant, one describing the tail, one descibing the ear, and so on but fail to recognize that they are all experiencing and describing the same creature, the elephant.

The ELEPHANT in our global room is IMBALANCE of POWER. Restore balance, restore peace, peace for ALL.

Gay rights are part of the equation, the philosophilcal consistency, if one wants to call oneself a "humanist".

Hope you guys come on boad. Not your main conscern? OK, true, many other priorities, yes. But support gay rights? ........................just sayin'................know it's to go against the establishment in Russia, but in USA? What's the hold-up? how is gay rights any different than black rights or womens rights or any minority rights of any kind? I am confused. How does one not include ALLL of our brothers and sisters, no matter their sexual orientation? What has that to do with their HUMANITY?

Funny, a debate about "rape culture" and "rape", primarily an act of violence, but our LGBTQ friends and neighbors also become victims- to stand up for their rights to not be victims of rape is OK, to but to take the next logical step tp STAND UP for their PROGRESS, not just rally against REGRESS is to go too far?

I must say, though I respect these opinions, I do find a bit sad.

Justice for ALL means justice for ALL. When we waffle with our ethics, the impact gets diluted.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#31

Ps- fracking of the planet is rape.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 32 weeks ago
#32

Tonight's 60 Minutes is showing how people who get cancer are being raped by pharmaceuticals who charge more than $100,000 per year for drugs that only extends a persons life by only about a month on average. It also shows how doctors who prescribe the drugs are getting very large kick backs from the drug companies.
Here's the transcript:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-cost-of-cancer-drugs/

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#33

Good morning all,

I have a few minutes while mother, (now called the 'White Tornado') is doing breakfast/lunch and then, I am carted off for the day to the salon!

Dear Michelle,

I did say that I was reluctant to grasp the nettle concerning 'gay rights' . I would, however point out that there is no 'universal ' definition of what humans have as rights covering all aspects of life. Some are defined and some are not.

I give an example of the 'right of water'. There is not a right to have clean water. Detroit may in the end have accepted to supply the poor with free water, but in many countries of the West, water has to be bought. I should imagine that fracking will erode any perceived right there too.

What are considered 'rights' vary with culture. I think, for example there should be a right to have a job. The West would call this Socialism or Communism.

Should everyone have the right to have as many children as they want regardless of population?

I follow the lead of my country in believing that International law is the only instrument that can be viewed as 'universal'. That law is passed by resolutions at the United Nations.

Many countries have also signed the International Criminal Court accord at the Hague. The USA, Russia, China and Israel are some that have not.

With regards to gay rights at the United Nations, even the most basic right of 'not being persecuted or killed' is not yet a resolution. A large section of countries East and South of the Med. oppose it while the rest have not signed. Those that have could be described as the Western block and South America.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/LGBT_rights_at_the_UN.svg/530px-LGBT_rights_at_the_UN.svg.png

Personally, I do support that the LGBT community should not be killed or persecuted, but how much further should one go?

Russia makes such decisions following extensive polls of its people (true democracy IMO). A slight majority about 12 years ago changed gay laws so it is no longer illegal, but feelings have now slipped back following the gay protests by the West during the Sochi Olympics.

Russian gays pleaded with the Western gay community to not get involved but it happened and now further rights are unlikely and it is viewed by many as a Western instrument of perversion.

There is also the issue of what rights 'trump' other rights. Should gay rights be more important than religious rights? A British couple who owned a private hotel in Blackpool, UK, I think, lost everything because they refused to allow a gay couple to share a bed. They were devout Christians. They were taken to court and lost. There are many such examples.

Homosexuality is still illegal in many countries including India. Some of those countries show a blind eye while others such as Iran do not.

Many 'anti' countries will allow gender reorientation however.

Personally, I am against gay marriage but for some form of civil partnership. I am against the promotion of homosexuality to children (difficult to define though, I know) and against gay rights trumping other human rights.

I am for the fundamental right of non persecution of LGBT of course but as the West seems happy to support much worse crimes, such as in Israel, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine (killing millions in all), I find it hard to even begin to want to deeply consider this issue because of this. I certainly would hate to have the minorities dictate to the majorities and this happens a lot in the West, I think.

Hard sometimes to know what should be part of that elephant! It can only have four legs and a trunk!

The 'White Tornado' is calling us for breakfast.

All have a lovely day. Here it is getting cold.

best

Alyona

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 32 weeks ago
#34

During my 'salon ordeal' I have had moments to write down on a tablet some comments which hopefully are open to rational discussion. Some friends have come round and they say I look like I have walked right out of Bollywood! Good enough for me! This is what I wrote:

I have to say that for me, once my future children are old enough (I shall be a 'full time mother until then') I shall enter into Russian politics; almost certainly with United Russia. I aim to get to the Kremlin and as high as I can reach and I have ambition!

We should all write down our personal statements or at least examine the issues from time to time so I take this as another opportunity before those from another culture. Could be interesting..........

We have talked about the Elephant here and have reached a considerable consensus but I would like to go a little further. I have rather flippantly said I have suspicion of all ****ists (dentists excluded). I do view ****ists as those who have only a very narrow perspective of THE BIG PICTURE (apologies to T.H.).

Life is actually, as usual far more complicated than things may at first appear and are really only 'shades of grey'. Some may choose to behave like ostriches and only talk about their culture (USA) but I find this hard to accept considering that the USA interferes with every other culture to the extreme.

I refer, of course to human 'rights' which I mentioned briefly in my last post.

Human rights IMO can only be defined by international resolution at the United Nations. That is all we have. Individual countries may of course develop additional rights but they are NOT universal and should not be applied automatically to other countries without agreement of that country.

Let us first look at the Right to life.

That seems simple enough or is it?

When does life begin? At conception? 12 weeks? or birth? This definition alone will affect the rights of women to control their own bodies or not.

Should all women have the right of contraception? To the Catholics, it would not appear so.

Should women always have the right to terminate? Again not so easy either. In some cultures, females have been terminated to such an extent that this has resulted in big difficulties for the male population. This can give rise to trafficking and many other abuses.

Should a fetus be terminated if it is shown there are developmental problems; Downs or Spina Bifidia for instance? Should such a termination be mandatory? Should extraordinary help be given to a defective baby or should it not be given any succor whatsoever?

Should all have the right to reproduce as often as it is wished or should there be control when the population is unsustainable?

In view of the rapidly increasing knowledge of the human genome, should the issue of eugenics be reviewed again?

The right to live as a civilian.

Simple enough too, but it would seem that this, the very first tenant of the Elephant is constantly abused. (From my perspective, it would seem that such a right exists only for WHITE Westerners. The value of life of other ethnic groups is largely dismissed. )

I suppose there is also the issue of capital punishment. I am personally unsure of this issue but feel that there is very definitely in the USA, a law for the rich and another lesser law for the dispossessed. O.J. Simpson would be a case in point. I cannot understand such ‘shock horror’ about a handful of Westerners who have been decapitated recently when Muslim civilians die by the dozen every day. Is it the decapitation? Germany loved decapitating people during WW2 and France kept it up until the 1970s. While Iraq was under US rule, one of Sadaam’s family was decapitated by hanging.

Then there is the right to life if there is a need for medical care.

This list is endless.

Nothing is ever simple but unless we are able to debate unemotionally about such issues, we will never reach international consensus.

It might be productive to fully explore all 'rights' issues beginning with this, the most fundamental of all.

Perhaps another would care to start the ball rolling with another ‘right’.

I shall try to ‘drop in’ while I am at Sochi if I can find the time.

best regards

Alyona.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#35

True, "rights" may not be universal, it is debateable

And philosphical 100% consistency is nearly impossible for an individual let alone for a whole group of people. ( I wrestle with my own hypocrisy within myself, it is a challenge)

The best we can do is share ideas and try to find consensus.

Agreed, I dismiss the idea that humans can be "absolute" (that would be "GOD"-?-) Reality is shades of grey- IMO, HOWEVER not everyone believes that, many believe in the "black/white" way of the world, many do not share the view that the world is about "shades".

To extend the "Elephant", let's sat for example, TWO different people are touching the tail, experiencing the tail. One might insist that it is "fuzzy". The other might insist that the tail is "hairy". Now if these two get bogged down in disagreement over this part of the part that is still just a part of the elephant, well crap. Progress can be exceedingly tedious, slow, exasperating.

I believe that all humans have the RIGHT to clean and sufficient air, food and water.
I believe that "all men are created equal", meaning all races, genders, ethnicities, etc. INCLUDING LGBTQ. I believe that these concepts are guranteed in the USA, in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I have expanded that what I believe is guaranteed for USA citizens should extended to ALL GLOBAL CITIZENS. I believe every person on this planet has the Right to PURSUE HAPPINESS, and ALL '"MEN" everywhere are created equal . In order to pursue happiness, to THRIVE- thrive means to pursue happiness- which goes beyond just survival, ALL people must have clean air, water, and food. Yet in this human pursuit, we must be respectful of our environment and it contained within, the plants, animals, rivers, forests, oceans, etc.

It is about BALANCE. We will never find 100% agreement, but do believe we can find BALANCE.

We have IMBALANCE now, producing extinction, climate change, abject poverty, racism, xenophbia, unemployment and "rape cultures"......All forms of violence. We must regroup, take a step back, to SEE the Elephant. Balance we live, imbalance we die.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 32 weeks ago
#36

The caveat- yes, this IS an imperfect union. The goal is a MORE perfect union, everday, for everyone, we should continue to reach for this goal. Much as we are imperfect individuals and hopefully we strive to become better individuals, we strive to become a better country, we strive to become a better world. Ultimately, the whole is greater than the sum if it's parts. This is why we're still here. It is possible to find balance within ourselves, within our respective countries, within this planet, this world. It is possible if we make it so. Can we is not the question, WILL we is the question.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 31 weeks ago
#37

Forgive me but I have just a few minutes.

The USA may have a constitution but it seems to me not to work at all. Even the previously favoured white middle classes are now being disposessed. The 'American dream' has not advanced since the 1970s.

As for the black community, marginalization just seems to get worse.

I certainly do not see it as an ideal to spread elsewhere. Make it work in the USA then I might consider.

You specifically mentioned LGBT and this is one of the examples which I ask for comment. Extensive rights for LGBT (apart from killing and prosecuting) can have the effect of 'trumping' other human rights such as the practice of religion. Should a church or temple be forced to perform same sex marriages, for instance?

Who will decide which human 'right' is the most important?

In the West it would appear to me that LGBT rights outweigh personal religious beliefs which is also a defined 'right'.

Therein lies the problem.

Must go. It is great here but subdued a bit because of condition of Jules Bianchi. Tonight I do my dancing!

I am amazed to see the original 'rape culture' thread is still going.

best

Alyona

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#38

Alyona,

Good to hear from you! Ty for not taking my LGBTQ disagreement personally. Ah, we can disagree w/out disintegreation! I respect your opinion. This is a bit long, so not best if you're short on time, sorry.....................: )

On USA- absolutely true your observations that is is FAR from perfect, and yes many Americans share your view that the so called "American Dream" is certainly on the decline if not already finished. The USA is very much out of BALANCE. The middle class have become working class, working class has fallen into pure poverty, over all and broadly. Wage disparity is greater now than before the Great Depression. Sigh. It isn't good.

Racial problems/unrest does seem to be worse, though I wonder if it's not so much about "worse" but rather it is about greater exposure and awareness or a combination. So many people/places have cameras now, so much more is knowable, proveable. The experiences of black people and all minorities, the everyday racism, things that might've just been a headline for white people are now on VIDEO for everyone to see/hear. And more black people/minorities do have more voice today, say than 20, 30, 50 years ago, to tell their story or comment (journalists, editorialists, etc in the media) But then there's the "conservative" media 24/7 that reinforces bigotry and xenophobia as correctness, often cloakinking such attitudes in phony "patiotism" .

As far as LGBTQ rights go, I get your point, concerns. 30 years ago I didn't think about it. 20 years ago I thought that "civil unions" were a good enough solution, middleground. I have long since changed my mind again, "evolved" (?), that the right for LGBTQ people to marry is constitutionaly consistent. It is also my PERSONAL belief that LGBTQ people have the right to marry, as fellow human beings they do have the right to "pursue happiness" and benefit from all legal (and social) advantages the rest of "us "enjoy.

One clarification: marriage equality DOES NOT require any particular church, mosque, synoguage to perform a "ceremony". Marriage equality is only for recognition from "The State". Religious ceremony IS NOT necessary or required. That is a matter for each individual religious institution to decide. Therefore, the rights of LGBTQ to not "trump" the rights of any religious people or religious institution. The religious LOSE no rights, a "church" does retain it's right to deny performing a marriage ceremony. That is not the debate. Religion LOSES nothing, only that LGBTQ people GAIN.

Marriage equality is not about TAKING rights away from one group to give to another, this is about ADDING rights to a disadvantaged group the make society more EVEN.

Marriage inequality is IMBALANCE. Marriage equality is BALANCE.

When people try to argue that extending, expanding rights to disadvantaged groups of will "take away", this is usually a false argument because: if there were enough BALANCE within society, an even playing field, no one would lose anything. And in USA, "wealthiest nation on Earth", there is MORE than enough to go around. But resources, opportunity, money is being HOARDED by those at the top, the powerfull. This goes back to the first arguement, when the "American Dream" is lost, when even the majority group (white christian (males?? esp.)) is struggleing, hasn't enough resources, the majority group DOES feel threatened. But it is always a straw man to blame equality granted to minorites for scarecity, the TRUTH is IMBALANCE, the powerfull failing in their moral responsibilty to the less powerfull, to be fair and equitable in sharing resources, not to hoard resources. ( to get away with paying less taxes by percentage, e.g. as individuals or as "corporations" who are people too, my friend. TY SCOTUS)

***************************************

Anyhoo, Hope Father is doing well, Aly, hugs and meditations and to him, the "white flagpole/tornado" : )-----you guys are SO mean to her! LOL---- and to yourself as well, take care and good luck at Sochi. I heard about the horrible accident over the weekend. Wet course, maybe too wet? (much debate), and just looked like a horrible freak accident. meditations to Bianchi and all Formula drivers as well. Take care!

And TY for the good points, it is a good debate when we can disagree yet remain civil and respectful. Arguement by the academic, not vernacular, rules? Progress IS possible, BALANCE is possible.......and yes, the other thread. sheesh.............Guilty......: ( ....my bad.

MlK

nimblecivet 4 years 31 weeks ago
#39

Back during the Great Depression (which, let's admit, was far, far worse than what the U.S. is experiencing today- at least in terms of the general misery) the Roosevelt administration had the Works Projects Administration. In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for example you can still find water fountains and bathrooms constructed during that time. They did a lot of good work. Unfortunately, it has often come to be remembered by its worst example of "make work" including moving piles of leaves back and forth. But there are still excellent murals in public places such as the Post Office from that era. Admittedly, many who benefited from that program became somewhat discouraged about getting a "real job" and suffered from some loss of self esteem. Still better than the demoralization people feel today, whether stuck in a low-paying job or unemployed.

I fear the idea of "right to a job" simply is not in the vocabulary of those in the U.S. The irony is that it is the culture of capitalism that has undermined the work ethic. That is why intuitively people sense that there is a problem with administering a jobs program. Workers have lost so much respect for authority under capitalism because of how they have been treated. Still, overwhelmingly I have observed that when given a chance people will always choose to do something which is beneficial to them in some way and gives them some basis for pride and hope.

As for gay marraige, please keep in mind that our politicians really could care less what laws you have. Personally I agree with legalizing it. But the policians here really only care about the votes of the people that elect them, which in the case of Democrats is urbanites, office workers, etc.. The young people today see themselves as the first generation truly liberated from the unhealthy psychoses of the past, so for them it really is the main issue they are concerned about. They tend not to recognize the overall problems of the world, since they are more or less insulated from them by the mainstream media including the cultural sphere which has largely been co-opted by the financial industry even down to the local venues and probably the underground parties. There is a healthy underground cultural network but its not producing or widely distributing works on par with previous eras.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#41

Nimble,

Yes, today's recession/depression not as bad perhaps (though perhaps that's still arguable, a matter of personal perspective or raw stats?), in part because when this one began, there were some safety-nets already in place, thanks to FDR's administration, that were not in place before the Great Depression? Even though the safety-net system has been dramatically degraded and defunded, it is still much more than those who suffered durring the Great Depression had the advantage of, so perhaps the overall impact isn't as dramatic. Even Bill O'Reily pointed out, the poor have microwave ovens. (AAaarrrrgghhhh)....................double-edged comment.............

Yes, the neo-liberal lassez faire variety of capitalism has been devastating to many people finacially and psychologically. Not only is there no agreement that all people have the right to a job, they don't agree that people who have jobs have the right to a living wage. This is extrordinarily unacceptable, I would say Un-American as well as Un-Christian as so many extreme capitalists claim to be. Working full time and in many cases well above and beyond 40hr/wk and yet being paid so little in wages as to be unable to afford nutritious and sufficient food, clean and safe shelter, and educational opportunity is humiliating, insulting, disrespectful and just plain cruel. No wonder the USA has the world's highest rates of depression. Subsistence/survival living, living in fear, is not a boost to self-esteem. It is crushing.

Why we also have some of the highest rates of violence and incarceration across the globe. When so many members of the population are struggling with disparity, IMBALANCE, violence is a noticable symptom.

I would go so far to say that DEPRESSION is an INWARD expression of violence, it is injury the the psychological spiritual/ self, a symptom of personal IMBALANCE.

AGGRESSION is an OUTWARD expression of violence, it is injury to others, a symptom of social IMBALANCE.

Both of these things, depression and agression may exist simultaneously within one individual or a whole society.

Once again, "rape culture", I think is no different than "biggotted culture" or "xenophobic culture", or "gun culture". They all share many of the same ingredients, distilled down , it is violence palyed out, due to imbalance. "Rape culture" is the concept of "otherness", just as "racism" or "biggotry" is a concept of "otherness". In both cases, the "other" may suffer violence- for women, rape in particular, for a black/brown person, murder (lynching). It is all dehumanization, just different forms. It is all violence. It is all a symptom of IMBALANCE.

IMBALANCE supports/promotes the concept of "otherness", that some people are "less than". This concept of "otherness" goes by another name, it is called "culture". Maybe this concept, "culture", is directed by some upon women and called "rape culture", toherness and the less than view of women. By others, upon blacks, "racist culture" and so on. I still maintain that these different kinds of "otherness", "cultures" and the violence that can result are differents manifestations of the ove all problem, imbalance. Different parts of the ELEPHANT.

Iraq, the Sunni/Shia fighting, the rise of ISIS, much of it iis because of imbalance. One group had/has power and "othered" the competing group due in part to unfair access/distribution of resources, including the freedom of self expression/determination. Then, war. ISIS is a "war culture" which arose from imbalance.

The global Elephant in the room is imbalance. Restore balance, restore peace, peace for all, peace for everything. Balance reduces "otherness". When people feel that their needs are sufficiently met, there is less opportunity for "otherness", for "cultures" to exist because it is not necessary. Polyanna? Maybe, but I believe it is possible to reduce all forms of violence if all forms of unfairness, disparity, imbalance is reduced.

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 31 weeks ago
#42

I have done my dancing and all went very well. By the end I was exremely hot from the cans and have retired to the hotel with my parents. I think the British say 'women never sweat, they 'glow''....humph.....I am wringing wet glowing then!

My father who knows all the dance rules has just said I did not do a thing wrong but cannot understand how I can make them 'so pornographic'! The crowd enjoyed it though.

We have walked around the paddock and father has had two visits to pits. I arrived while my mother (in very high heels and short skirt) was being interviewed by some Russian channel. All I heard her say concerning the drivers was;

'The last time I saw so many midgets was at a circus'. Good old Mother! LOL

Father is brightening up by the minute.

The LGBT issue is just one of those things that is so very complicated. It is still the possible 'trumping' of one right over another that worries me.

I posted an example earlier

'A British couple who owned a private hotel in Blackpool, UK, I think, lost everything because they refused to allow a gay couple to share a bed. They were devout Christians. They were taken to court and lost.'

It is so sad about Bianchi. He was the driver I had hoped to get a phone number from.

To me, one of the prime rights should be the right to a living wage. That seems to have gone for the most part.

I really enjoy the insightful comments. They are all full of 'meat'.

Early bed time for me although

best to all

Alyona

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#43

Change always generates questions. Change makes the future uncertain, uncertainty often produces anxiety, anxiety often produces fear.

It is a legitimate question, would gay marriage interfere with the rights of others, specifically religious rights, "trump" religious rights. In the USA there've been legal challenges similar to the case in UK that Alyona brought up. I don't know specifics of UK law which supported the gay couple over the business owners, but I assume those laws are similar to those in the USA in that courts have ruled in favor of gay patrons here as well. Basically, post civil rights in USA, a business cannot discriminate providing service based on race, religion, gender, so on, including sexual orientation. (Any legal experts would be helpful here). Also, in USA, separation of church and state is law, period.

It used to be the case that a business(owner) could refuse service to anyone they chose. Blacks, Jews, Irish, whatever. Some businesses actually had signs in the window declaring "No Negroes" for example. Even as late as the early 90's some country clubs maintained "restricted" (no Jews) status. In the UK, it's only been in the last several weeks that women are offered equal status, membership, at some Golf Clubs.

The business world, country clubs, society at large has not has not crumbled into oblivion because people with minority status, blacks, Jews, Irish, women, etc. gained equal access. No house of faith has ceased to exist because of equal rights either. I doubt that granting LGBTQ marrige is likely to trigger the end of the world, but there are some specific details that must be and will be worked out, no doubt.

Afterall, many (men) all over the world thought it might signal doom and disaster when women finally got the right to vote!

That gets back to the heart of this debate here. Once again, a "rape culture" is no different from any other type of "culture" when there is imbalance among people that tragically results in violence. Rape is an act of violence. Minorities in USA describe feeling the effects of "racist culture", especially in places like Fergusen, MO. Many of the same ingredients of "rape culture" are in play, for example, authorities who deny that an offence has been committed (against a black person), jokes made about (black) people, images in media that reinforce negative attitudes/stereotypes of (black) people and so on. I could substitute "women" for "black" people, that would define a "rape culture" according to the definition. I could substitute "gay/LGBTQ" people, that would define a "bigotted culture", I could substutute "Mexicans", "xenophobic culture" and so on.

Five men and the elephant.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Aly, congrats on the dancing! Hope everone is well! : )

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 31 weeks ago
#44

A wonderful day and now turning in. I have been busy being an F1 girly and thinking of the ****ists on the 'dark other side', I could not help smirking at how many gaskets they would have blown seeing us doing our glamour bit for the races! Thanks for the congrats on the dancing. I got a lot of positive feedback this morning too.

Lewis Hamilton is TWICE as dishy in the flesh and he was fastest at the last practice! Marussia is only running the one car with Max Chilton in deference to Jules Bianchi. The atmosphere here is fantastic but the accident has cast a long shadow. Sochi is one of the longest circuits in F1.

The new engines are not very noisy which I think rather sad. My father thinks they sound like farts in a bath! Give me a big V 8 any day of the week.

Mother did 2 more interviews (she always manages it!) and I don't even want to know what she was talking about.

Michelle, a very balance view from you but for me, I could never accept gay marriage in either Russia or India. I cannot imagine it ever happening. I still think that marriage is between a man and a woman. I could not accept a gay couple adopting a child either although I know this is just my personal view.

The world gets madder by the second. East Ukraine is getting more violent and it is likely the ceasefire will break completely. Kurds riot everywhere (with reason) and in the USA I understand the issue in Ferguson is going more national. The word is going round here that the new Ebola strain was developed in a USA labolratory.

I could not help looking at the 'Culture Club' thread where poor Palin has been singled out as well as your good self. The 'dynamic duo' have blugeoned everybody else into a stupor, I think! It would appear that anybody without girly bits are deemed 'rapists at heart' and any female that does not support to the letter their dogma is deemed 'contributary factors' to rape culture.

Your comments about race are so right.

I have thought much about the 'right to work' and to work for a living wage. This cannot happen as long as the big companies are happy to have things made in countries where there is almost slave labour.

I would be very interested to hear comments from others.

Have a great weekend all,

Alyona.

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#45

Ps.------this thread has no "last post " option at the top of the page, making it more tedious for others to try to join in?

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#46

to Alyona------the engines- "farts in a bath"---LOL!!!!! Father must be feeling better, sense of humor is always a good sign!

The LGBTQ debate, lets agree to disagree, shake hands and walk away? It is only a corrolary to the main topic, anyhow, no biggie. Besides, two straight women engaged in that debate is rather lopsided, a better and more legit debate would include an LGBTQ person. Our opinions are only one side, so it is an incomplete debate. : ) ?????

Non-living wage plays a role in violence as survival/subsistence living produces stress, anxiety and fear. Poverty is generally not an ingredient for happiness. Happy people people are more inclined to be peacefull people? Unhappy people may be more inclined to violence? Those are pretty raw and generalized statements, true.

Yes, I noticed 3 more tapped out and I write stupid. Oh well. To each his/her own.

Sorry to see the violence flareing up again in Ukraine. Combined with N.Africa, Middle East, looks like the world is in for a long period of perpetual war. Some predictions say at least 30 years. It is truly devasting, that would mean perpetual war for nearly the remainder of my natural lifetime. This, of course, on top of the last 13 yrs. 43 years of perpetual war, perpetual violence, perpetual suffering.

Global climate change could outdo the war, however, as super-storms, super droughts, mass extintions rolls on. Which gets to the finish line first? War or climate collapse?

It is difficult to keep chin up and carry on. Then there is our home-grown violence in USA. Ferguson, the nightly murder tally accross the country, guns, water turned off in Detroit. Here in my town yesterday/day before, a woman was attacked on a nature trail at a local park in broad daylight, afternoon. She was doused with something and set on fire. She is recovering.

So many people around the world livng- surviving- in austerity or worse, abject poverty, no end in sight, no leadership, no cooporation, little compassion. Very Libertarian.

This "rape culture" in USA debate has been such a sliver, pinpoint, of all that is wrong with the world. So much energy poured into it, lost plot, verbal violence. It is a shame to get bogged down in dogma. It rarely produces solutions, just more arguing. Adversaries rather than allies in this human/global struggle.

Take care---and ps---Lewis Hamilton..............: ) : ) : )

bath farts- ty Father for making me laugh!

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 31 weeks ago
#47

Dearest Michelle

I shall always respect the views of others! I only dig in heels when told that I MUST follow another view!

I fear that US foreign policy continues its plan whatever happens to others in the world. Western 'democracy/capitalism' is just an early sign of fascism which it has now become.

The prospect of endless war will result in the BIG WAR sooner than later, I fear.

I would now mention the right of health. Again, I think this should be free for all. The USA spends all its money on world domination and none on its people. IMO.

Must go now to a reception. Lovely hot weather here and it has been so busy.

best

Alyona

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#48

Agreed, when conformity is compulsary, I too dig in, red flags and red herrings. I think it is in some ways the difference in generations, the younger people watching the world around us crumble under the weight of dogmatic thinking, dogmatic policy instilled by the elders.

It is unfortunate that many do not recognize that there has been a changing of the guard. Although it is common, human nature, for people to resist giving up power, the power of words and ideas as though concepts signify and require ownership. No one individual or government or group can claim the ownership of ideas, claim ownership of values, claim the ownership of humanity. These concepts are fluid, not absolute, and those who refuse to recognize this and adapt are doomed to be left behind.

Times have changed. This is global society. It is both exponentially larger and exponentially smaller simultaneously.

The definition of what is "power" has changed. The definition of who has power has changed, and how to get and retain power has changed. For some this is far from obvious, for others it is ridiculously clear.

With the changes in power come the changes in the battlefield.

What does this have to do with rape? I wrote about "Imbalance" how imbalance leads to violence, rape is one manifestation of violence. I think some people cannot come to terms with the fact that what is "power" has changed. Power for the unempowered, how to get it how to keep it- how this comes truly into focus is unclear at the moment, perhaps, but it will not come to be in the same ways and means by any historical precedence. Power is shifting in ways some believe is/will be unpredictable which causes anxiety and fear, an instinct to "batton down the hatches", curl in a ball, and just repeat the same rhetoric one is familiar with because it is comfortable.

There is so much more complexity visible and invisible in today's world that is hard to understand, hard to sort out, which makes the world more difficult to predict.

One of my complaints with the narrow "rape culture" definition is that I think this is a case of trying to force the data to fit the theory. That is not the scientific method. It produces false conclusions, false conclusions lead to failed "solutions".

Dogma is a rabbit hole.

MlK

MarinaL's picture
MarinaL 4 years 31 weeks ago
#49

A very reasoned viewpoint.

Many, it seems, in the USA well realise what has happened to so called Western 'democracy' and many here accept that it has evolved to the inevitable Fascism. I suspect that most in the USA undergo brainwashing from a very early age that the 'American Way' is freedom and that the USA must enforce that to the rest of the world. Those who voice alternative viewpoints on T.H. are clearly those who have broader horizons and have some education. It is difficult to understand why these people are not able to react to obtain change in government. Perhaps the comforts of Western lifestyle are too compelling to stand up for what is right and risk all. In the meantime, wherever the West interferes leaves thousands dead and wounded and often in countries that have been bombed back to the dark ages.

The Kurds for example, are now just left to be killed despite pleas from the UN. Just as many civilians have been killed in the Donbass as by ebola but the West does not care; and so it goes.

With an expenditure of one trillion dollars a year on military, the USA is again dragging the West into another financial meltdown. (IMF statement).

You mention security for the People. Governments exist on promoting fear. That is how their power is maintained.

There is a complete disconnect in the West between its People and those in power. That disconnect widens by the day. Balance goes by the minute.

A small number of people on this forum convert EVERYTHING to the battle of the sexes. When confronted by logic, they would wish to control by excluding those of other cultures in discussion. My father called two of them 'harpies' which I thought was quite fair. There is an English expression that I would prefer; 'fish wives'.

Whatever one cares to call them, they IMO represent everything I would hate to be as a woman. I believe that real women in politics are generally more moderate and are able to find non-violent solutions.

The 'Fish Wives' are worse than the men they choose to vilify. In their minds, unless one agrees absolutely to their form of extremism then one is complicit in rape. One of them even occupied an entire blog getting free counselling from another but still proclaims her expertize in so many spheres!

You and I try to navigate paths which avoid confrontation, but the 'Fish Wives' now occupy almost every thread online, the message being that the cause is only 'patriarchy'.

The schism between East and West grows by the minute and both sides will have more and more fear of the other. As we head back into an all out cold war, I really wonder why we even bother to discuss any form of human rights. There will only be fear, more wars and death.

Moscow feels so cold again! Sochi was absolutely wonderful and father is much better and cheerful. I did not like the dresses we had to wear. They were quite feminine but too much emphasis on white blue and red and the neckline was uncomfortable. I was kept very busy with languages but it was challenging and fun.

Mother has to get back to work as indeed I do. Father has leave for the next month but is going back to taking prayers at our temple.

I am just so saddened by all of this madness.

It is the 'Year of the Girl' for those who respect the United Nations. In India, Modi has made it a priority.

best regards

Alyona

michellekovalik's picture
michellekovalik 4 years 31 weeks ago
#50

Alyona,

Your post is loaded with "meat" this time : ) . Alot to go through while remaining on topic and knowing I must choose my words vvveeerrrrryy carefully. Why do I feel it necessary to be so careful in choosing my words? I'll try to tie it all together. Ultimately, it all leads back to IMBALANCE and ELEPHANTS.

Fascism. That is powerful word. It mus be handled with care, it is very explosive. Brainwashing. Also explosive. I'll toss another into the brew: Authoritarianism.

While the USA is suffering from many ugly symptoms that look like fascism, fascism is a misdiagnosis, simply, Presidant Obama is not a dictator. In fact it is the exact opposite- The President has been obstructed by the House and Senate-a collection of individuals, as well as the Supreme Court, also a collection of individuals. To say that the USA is ill with fascism is a misdiagnosis. I think TH has been most accurate to diagnose the illness as " Constitutional Monarchy".
The illness is The Supreme Court. It is a cancer. It has metasticized to infect the House and Senate. Like a cancer, SCOTUS has taken advantage of it's ability to spread quickly by legislating from the bench. The illness spreads much more rapidly than the potential cure, Congress, can act to stop it. The most devasting symptom of the cancer has been the Citizens United ruling. This has sickened the entire political system in the USA.

Brainwashing. Nationalism or Patriotism? Conflation. The propaganda machine, the mainstream media, bought and paid for by a different collection of individuals, the media Oligarchs, contribute by keeping the cancer alive and spreading by using lies, distortion and mis-information to convince people that the sky is falling, fear mongering. It's done a brilliant job of capturing and corrupting the concept of "American Exceptionalism", a concept that used to be respected around the world, as well as a point of pride here at home, into something sinister and obscene.

The Military Industrial Complex and the trillions of dollars spent not on defence but on hell-bent destruction around the world has been unconscionable. If the scope of MIC is international, domestically we suffer with similar consequences from the NRA, the MIC's close cousin. It's all about making a buck. Mass-murder is a thriving industry.

Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism thrives on a kind of brainwashing. It thrives on fear. Fear is produced by anxiety. So how do you produce anxiety within a society? Begin by dismantleing the educational system. Convince people that this is a world of absolutes by distorting subject matter, printing inaccurate textbooks, privatize schools, most importantly eliminate critical thinking. Afterall, critical thinking is unecessary if there is only one side to every story, whether history, science, politics or religion. Dumb down the population. Then it's easier to convince people that it's "us against" them, whoever the powerfull decide is "them". Threaten those with who dare to question with exclusion, ridicule, shaming, even violence.

These are not new strategies.

I have been dismayed to find that many who participate in this TH community are infected with the cancer though they don't seem understand this. I have been suprised to see that a handfull of participants hold power by the very same ways and means they claim to be against. They claim the moral high ground by rebelliing against "The Patriarchical" system, a variety of Authoritarianism, by demanding that others conform to THEIR authority instead. This is ludicrous, absurd and irrational. Yet those who resist the "alternate Authoritarians" are shouted down, belittled, insulted and shunned.

This is the antithesis of what they claim to believe in. Patriarchy, or any kind of Authoritarianism is not abolished by requiring lock-step devotion to counter-Authoritarianism.

If Patriarchy is the ear of the Elephant, Matriarchy might be the trunk of the Elephant. In this case the Elephant is Authoritarianinsm. Authoritarianism is always an IMBALANCED family, political or social structure. Thus the nastiness and negativity, verbal violence which runs through many threads within this community.

Dogma is a rabbit hole. Skepticism is the courage to step around it.

MlK

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Peace to Father, Mother and everyone!

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The GOP Is on the Road to Mass Lockups for Women Who Have Miscarriages

Thom plus logo The Republican Party's attack on women's reproductive rights has put the nation on a terrifying path

The GOP's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is on its way.