Welcome to the Rudest Region


MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

The first thing you notice, coming to Israel from the Arab world, is that you have left the most courteous region of the globe and entered the rudest. The difference is so profound that you’re left wondering when the mutation in Semitic blood occurred, as though God parted the Red Sea and said: “Okay, you rude ones, keep wandering toward the Promised Land. The rest of you can stay here and rot in the desert, saying ‘welcome, most welcome’ and drowning each other in tea until the end of time

Religious Doctrine


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Incompatible religious doctrines have balkanized our world into separate moral communities, and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it has been at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews vs. Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians vs. Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians vs. Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims vs. Hindus), Sudan (Muslims vs. Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims vs. Christians), Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims vs. Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists vs. Tamil Hindus), Indonesia (Muslims vs. Timorese Christians), Iran and Iraq (Shiite vs. Sunni Muslims), and the Caucasus (Orthodox Russians vs. Chechen Muslims; Muslim Azerbaijanis vs. Catholic and Orthodox Armenians) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of literally millions of deaths in recent decades.
Why is religion such a potent source of violence? There is no other sphere of discourse in which human beings so fully articulate their differences from one another, or cast these differences in terms of everlasting rewards and punishments. Religion is the one endeavor in which us–them thinking achieves a transcendent significance. If you really believe that calling God by the right name can spell the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, then it becomes quite reasonable to treat heretics and unbelievers rather badly. The stakes of our religious differences are immeasurably higher than those born of mere tribalism, racism, or politics

When will we get it? Palestinians are fighting for their freedom


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We consider ourselves a nation that just wants to live in peace, but it’s about time we realize that for Palestinians the siege and the occupation are a constant state of war.

Not one of our wars was one of our choosing. Nobody should have to sleep with the thought of Hamas digging tunnels under their home. No state would have been willing to live with rockets. No one should accept the abduction of soldiers. No society would be willing to tolerate terror attacks in its cities. No one wants Katyusha rockets falling on cities in the north. No regime should accept stone-throwing on its main roads. All of the wars were entirely justified when they broke out, and anyone who doesn’t understand this is simply naive, or traitorous.

That’s how the obtuse rationale that has taken over Israel functions. Israeli existence has no past and no history, no context and no politics – just a cycle of threats and responses, all of which are justified.

At some point this cycle is supposed to get tired. At some point it should be clear that if you stop the suicide bombings, the other side finds rockets. And if you stop the rockets, the other side finds tunnels. I’m sure that the greatest of minds are working right now on a solution to the tunnels, except that soon another existential threat will rise, one that is much more primitive and much more frightening. Because that’s how independence struggles play out all over the world. Cruel, ugly, and bloody. The Viet Cong, the Algerian FLN, even the African National Congress at some point – they all held what were considered at the time to be radical ideologies, and they all used horrifying measures. Why would it be any different for us and the Palestinians?

The infrastructure for terror is the occupation. We consider ourselves a nation of peace seekers who just want to be allowed to live in peace, and I believe that no Israeli wants to kill or be killed. But it’s about time we understood that the Palestinians live in a constant state of war – whether it be the siege of Gaza or military rule in the West Bank. And if we don’t understand this, they’ll be sure to remind us. Gaza is the farthest place in the world from Tel Aviv – until the rockets fall. And then suddenly we remember we’re neighbors.

The entire world understands the connection between the occupation and terror. It’s only us who don’t. Only we feed ourselves stories of global Jihad and anti-Semitism being the root of the problem, while the most simple explanation is right in front of us. World history makes it clear: Either the occupied minority are made citizens of the occupying state, or it is granted independence. There are no other nations stuck in this kind of limbo, without citizenship and without a state, like the Palestinians. And there are certainly no  other nations that would tolerate it.

Tel Aviv is to blame, too. Tel Aviv, which thinks it’s a cute Western city, opposes the situation in theory but mostly doesn’t pay any attention to those forgotten just an hour away. Tel Aviv would also prefer to have victims of war instead of paying the price of a just compromise. Maybe because most of the victims are on the other side. Maybe because the cost of a compromise is a war at home, with our own people.

One thing is clear: This won’t stop. If we occupy the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians will try to kill the soldiers who enter Gaza, and if we leave they will swim and dig and fire missiles so that we remember they exist. Then we will respond with force. There will be no other choice.

Ilham Tohti on separatism‑related charges serving a life sentence in China


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Ilham Tohti, who has become one of the most prominent political prisoners in China after his arrest in January 2014, was sentenced to life in prison last week. Amid the developments in the Middle East and the clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Kurdish groups in Kobani, many have missed this important verdict and the debates on its possible outcomes for the ethnic conflict in Xinjiang and the human rights situation in China.

First of all, the verdict demonstrates that China is becoming increasingly predictable in its patterns of behavior regarding human rights and defiant to the principles of the international community. In reality, nobody was surprised when Ilham Tohti was arrested in China. Even the life sentence did not shock many human rights advocates working on different issues of human rights and basic liberties in China. For years now, by constantly witnessing these forms of violations, the international community started to be less sensitive and Western governments “learned” to become satisfied with the minimum level of improvements in human rights in China. For years, very small gestures and the release of individual political prisoners as a result of international pressure have been regarded as “a major step” toward the improvement of conditions in the country. However, these “major steps” did not bring any form of structural reform or development in the state of human rights in the country. While Beijing remained reluctant to make these reforms, Western democracies started to bring human rights less frequently to their agendas of meetings with China. The global economic recession deteriorated the situation further as many Western countries started to approach human rights issues as a burden to their economic policies and trade relations with China. This situation may bring short term benefit for the economies of these countries, however, in the long run it is generating a major threat for the international system as a whole. What is being neglected here is how the government’s treatment of its citizens can have a major influence to its pattern of behavior in foreign relations, which can make it less cooperative and more assertive and aggressive. In addition, the defiance of a single country to the principles of the international community can generate a model for other less powerful authoritarian regimes in different parts of the world and may help the spread of authoritarianism. This situation presents a clear threat for an already unstable international system today.

 

Secondly, the arrest and sentencing of Ilham Tohti, who was considered as the most moderate voice among Uighurs in China, is also indicative of the possible path of ethnic conflict in the region. So far, authorities in China rejected to recognize anyone that voiced the demands and grievances of the Uighur minority. There is no political space for Uighur dissent to organize and ask for their rights in the country and every form of criticisms is perceived as a major threat. This situation prevents the emergence of a healthy and meaningful dialogue where parties can discuss their problems and possible ways they could be resolved. Uighur organizations abroad are considered “groups under the influence of foreign powers” and “external elements,” whereas more religious and conservative organizations are portrayed as being “fundamentalists” and “radicals.” The last hope of emergence of a meaningful and healthy dialogue between Uighurs and the Chinese state was the rise of personalities such as Ilham Tohti. However, the arrest and sentencing of Tohti demonstrates that China does not recognize the existence of a problem, will continue to avoid paying attention to the despair and grievances of the Uighur people and will not engage in a dialogue with Uighurs to resolve the problems. Without this dialogue it is hard to be optimistic and to expect the highly touted “social harmony” in the country.

 

Both of these outcomes presents a clear threat for both liberty and security of Uighurs and stability and prosperity of China as well as the future of human rights and fundamental liberties in international system. Thus this verdict provides us every reason to be less optimistic for the resolution of the ethnic conflict in the region.

How does hypocrisy play a role in a civilized society?


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Hypocrisy, in the sense of professing to believe one thing but actually practicing, or believing in, something different, is essential in any civilized society. Under the broad spectrum of hypocrisy come such survival techniques as good manners, politeness, diplomacy, euphemism, those ‘little white lies’, and wisely-formulated policies which include ‘the customer is always right’ and ‘money talks’. When we meet a person for the first time, perhaps socially, in a business or work situation, or through family, and that person proves to be the most utterly boring person we’ve ever met, we would be extremely ill-mannered, not to mention unwise, to tell this person we can’t bear another second of their company, and march off. Instead, we’ll nod politely, and find somewhere else we need to be as soon as possible. This form of hypocrisy is known as good manners. Similarly, if another person is introduced to us as a cattle farmer, and proceeds to speak proudly of their business, we shouldn’t instantly inform our new acquaintance that we believe all cattle-farmers to be little better than sadistic murderers of innocent creatures, parasites who make money by gratifying barbaric and carnivorous humans, and then throw a handy bottle of blood all over the surprised farmer. No matter how fierce a vegetarian we might be at heart, we’ll instead pretend to listen politely while quickly seeking an excuse to diplomatically move away. This is also good manners. Whatever we might think of another person, or their beliefs, or their business, or whatever else about them there might be that we don’t like, to make our distaste or even disgust obvious is a bad thing to do. We can hardly avoid meeting many people we might disapprove of while in company with others to whom we give, or owe, respect. To behave badly towards another in that company is to behave badly to all present. Where hypocrisy becomes distasteful and unpleasant is in circumstances where a person professes – for instance – good intentions, or good deeds, when we know perfectly well they’d take the last piece of candy from a starving baby. In other words, we know they’re lying about themselves. Again, because we live in a civilized society, we usually dont want to, or can’t, call them a filthy hypocrite loudly to their faces or to people we know will pass our comments back to them. We might keep quiet not because we condone their behavior but because to publicly condemn them might bring about unfortunate consequences to others, not to mention ourselves. Every day we make the decision to speak to or about people in a certain way; to behave towards them in one manner or another. If in every instance we behaved exactly the way we felt, we wouldn’t last long in any civilized society. We need to temper our reactions, our responses, with the realization that our need to live within a community involves civilized behavior. Mostly we do this without much, if any, conscious thought. But when the necessity arises to behave in a way at odds with our conscience, we weigh up the alternatives, to ourselves and to others, and respond accordingly. It isn’t clear cut, not black and white, at all. A small child might see its parent behave politely towards someone that child knows is despised by the parent, and feel outraged, even without knowing the term, ‘hypocrisy’. A wise parent will explain as simply as possible what has happened and why. Even without the advantage of wise parents, the child will in any case grow to learn how to instinctively respond to others so that their place in the community – civilized society – remains as pleasant as possible. When a really important struggle with one’s conscience arises, and it doesn’t usually arise all that frequently, then we can only make the best possible decision we can, taking the needs of others into consideration as well as our personal need to be honest. There is no shame in finding hypocrisy might be the best policy. Just call it good manners, and avoid lying about yourself: that’s the bad sort of hypocrisy which is, after all, also bad manners.

Protectionism


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Any of several political-economic doctrines that have in common advocating that government impose political barriers to international trade (usually taxes on imports or quantitative restrictions limiting the volume of legally allowable imports of each particular good) in order to “protect” a domestic firm (or firms) manufacturing these same goods from foreign competition and thereby make it (them) more profitable than would otherwise be the case under free competition. Although difficult to justify on the basis of economic theory, protectionist measures often enjoy considerable political support because it is usually much easier for a tiny group of firms (and their associated labor unions) that stand to benefit greatly from a protectionist measure to organize for political influence than it is for the much larger group of consumers who each stand to lose smaller individual amounts by the proposed measure — even though the total losses normally greatly exceed the total gains.

 Social Issues in Today’s Society


The following article lists some of the prominent social issues that are present in today’s society, which should be dealt with immediately, if society has to run smoothly and progress.

Society social Issues can be defined as problems or matters, which affect a person, a group of persons or the whole society in general, either directly or indirectly. Social issues in society thus, have a very wide scope.

List of Social Issues in Today’s Society

Alcoholism

Food and Drug Safety

Tax Separation

Global Warming

Birth Control

Abortion

Suicide

Drug Abuse

Capital Punishment

Media, Sex and Violence

Animal Rights

Homosexuality

Poverty

Women’s Rights

Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Violence

World population

Same-sex marriage

Organ & body donation

Human Rights

Environmental Pollution

Children’s Rights

Corporate Downsizing

Defense Spending and Preparedness

Euthanasia & assisted suicide

Eating Disorders

Unemployment

Homelessness

Racial profiling

Welfare

Recycling and Conservation

HIV/AIDS

Civil Rights

Genetic Engineering

Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy

Obesity

Terrorism

Judicial Reform

Censorship

Violence

Academic Freedom

Gun Control

Gender issues

Environmental issues

Single Parenting

Child Labor

Immigration

Tobacco

Nuclear Proliferation

Ageism

Stress

Cancer

Prostitution

Gay Marriages

Education

Health Care

Reform

Affirmative Action

Revelations about Social Issues in Today’s Society

Health Issues

As can be seen from the above list, the social issues can affect it on a number of levels. Also, some of these common issues in society are inter-related. For example, there are health issues, which arise due to the increase in number of people detected with life-threatening diseases like cancer and AIDS every year. This social issue can be handled only if another issue i.e. health care reform, is dealt with appropriately.

Teen Issues

Teenagers most of the times feel immense pressure to do well at college, at house and in communal groups. Simultaneously, they do not have the experience and understanding of life that allows them to realise that problematical circumstances do not remain forever.

Psychological problems usually linked with teenagers, like depression, play a vital role in motivating them to commit suicide. Some of these issues, or a blend of them, can possibly turn out to be such a cause of grief that they look for their release in suicide.

In spite of this people are unwilling to talk about it. This is partially because of the disgrace, remorse or humiliation that surrounds it. Sadly, it also stops individuals from openly discussing about the grief or anguish they suffer from. If helped in the right way, the ratio of suicide among teens can be lowered. Therefore, to save the asset of our country we must make sure that we infuse our youth with self-assurance and confidence so they can pave their way to success.

Gender Issues

Geographically and culturally Pakistan is very diverse, but violence against women is endemic, and widespread, cutting across all differences. It is found on streets and in homes, in offices and bedrooms. Gender-based violence in Pakistan includes domestic violence, rape, trafficking, honor killings, forced prostitution, public humiliation, incest, child marriages, and sexual harassment. Extreme forms of physical abuse include burning, acid throwing, physical mutilation and female infanticide. However it was not until the 1980s that violence was exposed to public scrutiny, and only in the Nineties did the issue gain acceptance, especially by the government. Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls in general, including their reproductive and sexual health, and in some instances, results in death.

Economic Issues

Pakistan is facing Economic challenges. It shows that our country is in the list of under developed countries. The government gained 4.3 per cent economic growth but with gas and load shedding problems they didn’t achieve the targets. So due to lake of experience and knowledge they came in the figure of 2.2 per cent growth which shows almost no growth in the current year. The major problem in Pakistan is increase in population which is directly effecting our economic growth. Of course, due to higher rate of population, we should increase our investments but due to less financial reserves this investment is not possible. The present rate of GDP is around 14 percent which is lower than the developing countries. If we want to increase our investments for getting higher growth we should increase our savings for GDP to at least 20 percent, especially when foreign investments are not involved.

International Issues

Internationally, the most important issues today are – terrorism and global warming. Global warming, as everybody knows has resulted in change in weather and temperatures all over the world. United States itself has felt its fury by way of the ferocious hurricanes in the past. Islamic terrorism, particularly handing the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, is another social issue plaguing the world.

 

These are some of the major social issues present in today’s society. Efforts need to be made at an individual, national, international and political level, to tackle them with conviction and in time.

Political Business 


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A business cycle that results primarily from the manipulation of policy tools (fiscal policy, monetary policy) by incumbent politicians hoping to stimulate the economy just prior to an election and thereby greatly improve their own and their party’s reelection chances. Expansionary monetary and fiscal policies have politically popular consequences in the short run (tax cuts, falling unemployment, falling interest rates, new government spending on services for special interests, etc.). Unfortunately these very policies, especially if pursued to excess, can also have very unpleasant consequences in the longer term (accelerating inflation, an unsustainably low rate of savings to support future investment, damage to the foreign trade balance, long-term expansion of government’s share of the GDP at the expense of people’s disposable incomes, etc.). So immediately after the election is over (and the next election is far away), politicians tend to “bite the bullet” and reverse course by raising taxes, cutting spending, slowing the growth of the money supply, allowing interest rates to rise, etc. Thus the regular holding of elections tends to produce a boom-and-bust pattern in the economy because of the on-again-off-again pattern of government stimulus and restraint encouraged by trying to schedule an artificial boom at every election time.

 

Youthful Importance in Politics


Unfortunately,  the youth of today have been given such a bad name when it is only a minority of people who are creating social disruption. Most youthful people are motivated and long to do well in everything they do, which means they could be a very important aspect in politics.

 

Firstly, young people have different perspectives and a host of different ideas. By allowing them to voice their opinion we could be opening and moving the political world forward. This is not only good for society, but necessary for society. If the young did not engage with politics, even if it is through pressure groups, there would be many issues with our political establishments in trying to keep policy fair and sustainable for future generations. For example, equal rights for women required many young women to engage with the issue at hand. Why? Because they had strong feelings for the issue at hand, and that is something that countries should work to increase – interest and opinion on political matters.

 

How do we do this? Other than the obvious, reading the paper and consulting with your area counsellor, there are a plenty of exciting opportunities for the young to get involved.

 

Many people may take this as too heavy and wish for a lighter relief of politics. Hence, the coining of the term e-democracy. Just by reading this post right now you are engaging and informing yourself with politics; e-democracy. And, double congratulations if you are young because you are doing what we want you to, and engaging with the most confusing yet important subject in the world

 

We strongly believe that not enough is done for the young of today to get involved with politics and, as a large portion of our society, they should be allowed more access to politics to shape the world they live in.

 

Unfortunately,  the youth of today have been given such a bad name when it is only a minority of people who are creating social disruption. Most youthful people are motivated and long to do well in everything they do, which means they could be a very important aspect in politics.

 

Firstly, young people have different perspectives and a host of different ideas. By allowing them to voice their opinion we could be opening and moving the political world forward. This is not only good for society, but necessary for society. If the young did not engage with politics, even if it is through pressure groups, there would be many issues with our political establishments in trying to keep policy fair and sustainable for future generations. For example, equal rights for women required many young women to engage with the issue at hand. Why? Because they had strong feelings for the issue at hand, and that is something that countries should work to increase – interest and opinion on political matters.

 

How do we do this? Other than the obvious, reading the paper and consulting with your area counsellor, there are a plenty of exciting opportunities for the young to get involved.

 

Many people may take this as too heavy and wish for a lighter relief of politics. Hence, the coining of the term e-democracy. Just by reading this post right now you are engaging and informing yourself with politics; e-democracy. And, double congratulations if you are young because you are doing what we want you to, and engaging with the most confusing yet important subject in the world

 

We strongly believe that not enough is done for the young of today to get involved with politics and, as a large portion of our society, they should be allowed more access to politics to shape the world they live in.