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It’s dangerous to be young in the US
Posted: 04 December 2012 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 December 2012 11:34 AM

True Mac and I think it’s more than just heavy traffic even though we do average at least cars 2 per family. Also, culture has something to do with it. Alcohol use for instance. And what about traffic patterns in those Medieval cities with their twisted streets and round abouts? How are the streets policed and speed limits to name a few. Plus legal driving ages. In some countries it’s 18. People here drive like they’re competing in a NASCAR race, jockeying for position and lane changing at higher and higher speeds and with no cop around it’s any speed goes. Ex. In Ohio the speed limit in major roads is 55 but if you try it you’ll be honked off the road. No one does the limit and there’s too few cops to patrol the highways. Budget cuts. Do the drivers in the countries respect authority? We generally don’t until caught. Same with gun ownership. THis is still the “wild West”.

Not to keep picking on Italy but it was one of the things that left an impression on me when i was there. They have kids in their early teens riding scooters on congested city streets. The drivers there are no more courteous than they are here and the speed limit isnt even a consideration. We took a van form our ship into Rome and the driver was cruising along at the equivalent of nearly 90 mph as other cars whizzed past. Spain did not seem to be much different during the same visit.  I think its natural as we dodge lunatics on the road to think its only our drivers that are crazy but from what I have experienced, and allowing for some local variation ( ie. NY and Boston drivers seem much more aggressive than the ones I came across in Hawaii), there are nuts everywhere. Maybe there is a difference in driving behavior thats not immediately apparent though that accounts for some of the difference in fatalities.

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Posted: 04 December 2012 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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George - 04 December 2012 05:27 AM

It’s a mystery, isn’t it?

George since you brought up mystery, I presume, here, in the context of a rhetorical comment, rather than as an actual question, do you have any insight re: New Zealander young people’s propensity for killing themselves?

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Posted: 04 December 2012 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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GdB - 04 December 2012 01:12 AM

To think about: it is the price for living in a free country.

Compare the political climate between the countries, and there is a tendency from the countries higher on the list to down the list.

Do you all agree to pay this price?

I guess it is a question of how free we want to be and whether we can be responsible enough to be so free.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 04 December 2012 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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TimB - 04 December 2012 12:05 PM
George - 04 December 2012 05:27 AM

It’s a mystery, isn’t it?

George since you brought up mystery, I presume, here, in the context of a rhetorical comment, rather than as an actual question, do you have any insight re: New Zealander young people’s propensity for killing themselves?

No idea. Maybe it has something to do with their country being isolated from everybody else. Japan, also an island, is up there as well.

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Posted: 07 December 2012 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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There is more freedom in the US than in Europe?

Our women in Europe can breastfeed their babies in public. Our 20-year-old men and women can drink a bottle of beer, which is harmless. Our adults can buy alcohol on Sunday. They can also buy sex toys if they want to.

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Posted: 07 December 2012 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Hey, from all the Internet spam I keep trying to block, we can buy sex toys here, too, if we want.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 07 December 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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There is more freedom in the US than in Europe?

Our women in Europe can breastfeed their babies in public. Our 20-year-old men and women can drink a bottle of beer, which is harmless. Our adults can buy alcohol on Sunday. They can also buy sex toys if they want to.


I’ll have to admit my research on this topic is limited but one can do all of the above here in America as well but not in every state. Some limit the drinking age to 21 while for others the legal limit is 18. Also, Blue laws are lapsing in many states now thus allowing anyone of legal age to buy beer on Sunday. Breast feeding is becoming more common and accepted especially in urban areas. Ex. We sat next to a couple with a newborn at a restaurant in Disney World recently and the mother breast fed her child and no comments were made. In fact, no one seemed to notice at all. As to sex toys, these are usually sold at legal porn shops which exist in all three states in our area. Once again, I don’t have stats nationwide as some states probably do restrict their use. I would suspect in the south.

 

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Posted: 07 December 2012 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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The laws related to drinking in Canada are absolutely ridicules (except for Quebec). We can only buy alcohol in special stores and drinking in public is strictly prohibited. I remember when years ago a friend of my got a $50 fine from a ranger in one of our provincial parks because he was drinking a few feet away from a campsite.

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Posted: 07 December 2012 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Occam. - 07 December 2012 11:19 AM

Hey, from all the Internet spam I keep trying to block, we can buy sex toys here, too, if we want.  LOL

Occam

Why are you trying so hard to block them Occam. Do you have too many sex toys already tongue wink

Just teasing. If i get one more Viagra email..grrrr.  I have sample closets full of the stuff. I dont need cheap viagra from China LOL  Would love to know who’s selling our email addresses to these idiots.

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Posted: 07 December 2012 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Quoting MAcgyver:

Do you have too many sex toys already

  You. . . you. . .  you mean we can have too many of them???  big surprise LOL

Occam

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Posted: 07 December 2012 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Occam. - 07 December 2012 06:26 PM

Quoting MAcgyver:

Do you have too many sex toys already

  You. . . you. . .  you mean we can have too many of them???  big surprise LOL

Occam

I really, really did not need that visual of an octogenarian with sex toys. 109.gif

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Posted: 08 December 2012 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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macgyver - 04 December 2012 08:30 AM

When did Australia, The Netherlands, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Germany,Italy and France become less free than the U.S.?? Their rate of violent deaths is a tiny fraction of ours. I dont see any evidence here for a link between gun ownership and greater freedom in this graph.

To name a few:

- we are not free to buy fire arms
- there are limits to freedom of speech, e.g. hate speech, calls for violence, holocaust denial etc
- not as free to use your own money, i.e. personal taxes are higher in most European countries

I would say there is a pay-off between freedom and solidarity. It is the task of every society to find the ‘golden middle path’ between both. And this middle path is dynamic. One can never rest, thinking one has found it. As circumstances change, e.g. because of economic, political or environmental crises, one must redefine it.

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Posted: 08 December 2012 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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TimB - 04 December 2012 12:28 PM

I guess it is a question of how free we want to be and whether we can be responsible enough to be so free.

Gosh, TimB, don’t bring in free will and responsibility in every thread!  tongue rolleye

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Posted: 08 December 2012 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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GdB - 08 December 2012 03:50 AM
macgyver - 04 December 2012 08:30 AM

When did Australia, The Netherlands, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Germany,Italy and France become less free than the U.S.?? Their rate of violent deaths is a tiny fraction of ours. I dont see any evidence here for a link between gun ownership and greater freedom in this graph.

To name a few:

- we are not free to buy fire arms
- there are limits to freedom of speech, e.g. hate speech, calls for violence, holocaust denial etc
- not as free to use your own money, i.e. personal taxes are higher in most European countries

I would say there is a pay-off between freedom and solidarity. It is the task of every society to find the ‘golden middle path’ between both. And this middle path is dynamic. One can never rest, thinking one has found it. As circumstances change, e.g. because of economic, political or environmental crises, one must redefine it.

The point you were making was that firearm ownership buys us greater freedoms so to assert that firearm ownership is also an example of our greater freedom is circular reasoning.

Regarding your other points you cant really evaluate the freedom of a society by looking at a few individual items in isolation. You need to look at the whole picture. I doubt that people in any of those countries would agree that they are less free on the whole.

You state that they are less free to use their own money because personal taxes are higher but you need to keep in mind that those personal taxes also buy them universal health care among other services and since they pay much less for health care than we do their total expenditures are probably less.

Free speech is limited in some of the ways you describe in some of the countries I listed but certainly not all and free speech is not unlimited in the U.S. either. Certain words are not allowed on the airwaves because they are considered “obscene” by some people. Statements which might incite violence or encourage the use of force are subject to prosecution. Threats are also not protected and false statements of fact can also result in legal action.

I really think you need to look at the big picture to decide whether one country has greater freedoms than another and whether those freedoms are worth the price. In theory you could have a country that is completely lawless and by definition freedom would be without limits but you may not feel very free there because you would have no protection against individual intimidation. In some respects many of the freedoms we are so proud of are more illusion than fact in some areas of the country. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are difficult freedoms to exercise if you are the only gay,atheist,democrat ( take your pick) in some extreme right wing religious bible belt town.  In that regard Europeans Norwegians, Canadians, and Japanese for the most part have much greater freedom than we do.

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Posted: 08 December 2012 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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macgyver - 08 December 2012 07:00 AM

The point you were making was that firearm ownership buys us greater freedoms so to assert that firearm ownership is also an example of our greater freedom is circular reasoning.

That’s not what I said, quite the opposite… There you interpreted me wrong.

macgyver - 08 December 2012 07:00 AM

I doubt that people in any of those countries would agree that they are less free on the whole.

I doubt that too. But I (Dutch living in Switzerland) are astonished that in the USA firearms are so easily available. Except people who live under a continuous threat (not an imagined threat), nobody should be allowed firearms.

macgyver - 08 December 2012 07:00 AM

You state that they are less free to use their own money because personal taxes are higher but you need to keep in mind that those personal taxes also buy them universal health care among other services and since they pay much less for health care than we do their total expenditures are probably less.

Of course I know that. That’s one reason why we are living here relatively safely.

macgyver - 08 December 2012 07:00 AM

Free speech is limited in some of the ways you describe in some of the countries I listed but certainly not all and free speech is not unlimited in the U.S. either. Certain words are not allowed on the airwaves because they are considered “obscene” by some people. Statements which might incite violence or encourage the use of force are subject to prosecution. Threats are also not protected and false statements of fact can also result in legal action.

That’s true. Maybe free speech has nothing to do with it.

macgyver - 08 December 2012 07:00 AM

I really think you need to look at the big picture to decide whether one country has greater freedoms than another and whether those freedoms are worth the price. In theory you could have a country that is completely lawless and by definition freedom would be without limits but you may not feel very free there because you would have no protection against individual intimidation. In some respects many of the freedoms we are so proud of are more illusion than fact in some areas of the country. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are difficult freedoms to exercise if you are the only gay,atheist,democrat ( take your pick) in some extreme right wing religious bible belt town.  In that regard Europeans Norwegians, Canadians, and Japanese for the most part have much greater freedom than we do.

Yes, then freedom becomes the freedom to oppress others, like the moral majority does. Therefore a democracy needs a strong state, acting according to democratic principles (which is not just ‘the majority rules’), and not a weak one, like your republican would like to. As an outsider it is very clear to me that the republicans only want freedom for the rich and powerful. Just let the young (and poor) blacks kill each other, who cares. Add the ideology to it that it is their genes, and you are not obliged to do anything about their being poor and being badly educated. Why, good education costs money, and that would mean increased taxes!

(Sorry, just a little ranting…)

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