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WATCH: isreali occupation forces stole a Historical Baptismal font dating back to the 6th century from the occupied Palestenian city of Bethlehem last night.

2020.07.21 09:32 zmerkh WATCH: isreali occupation forces stole a Historical Baptismal font dating back to the 6th century from the occupied Palestenian city of Bethlehem last night.

WATCH: isreali occupation forces stole a Historical Baptismal font dating back to the 6th century from the occupied Palestenian city of Bethlehem last night. submitted by zmerkh to israelexposed [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 12:58 its_jonnym8 My 2013 dated Isreali 4A1 kit

My 2013 dated Isreali 4A1 kit submitted by its_jonnym8 to gasmasks [link] [comments]


2019.11.21 07:37 InternetFreedomIn We ask the Committee on IT to let those targeted by Pegasus be heard!

We ask the Committee on IT to let those targeted by Pegasus be heard!
https://preview.redd.it/4n7ppv8vizz31.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=01c0e86c248a8b1209a625794d59dffe783c2b87

Tl;Dr

Much like our representation to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, we sent across a few concerns on the Pegasus Spyware incident to the Standing Committee on IT that we thought needed addressing at their meeting on November 20, 2019. Our primary ask has been that the Committee invite those affected by the hacking to provide testimonials!

Some background

If you haven't caught up with the ongoings of India's recent cyber-security incident, here's a statement we put out on the issue in case you need a bit of catching up to do (Read here for more). In brief, relying on spyware supplied by an Israeli cyber-intelligence firm, which was installed through a missed call on Whatsapp after which an attacker would gain complete access to a smartphone, individuals in India were found to have been targetted.

Specific asks of the Committee

Our representation covered the lack of legality, the violation of privacy and the unavailability to remedy, as we did with the Committee on Home Affairs. However, the most significant of the asks we made of the Committee lies in the request that the victims of the hacking be given the stage to provide testimonials before the Committees. A number of these individuals have even put out a statement asking the Government to reveal information on the issue (read here for more). It is important that these first hand human experiences be provided to fully demonstrate the patently criminal surveillance they have been subjected to.
In light of all of this, here's an interesting titbit, Isreali law requires that an export permit is granted for the sale of this software (there's a whole licensing process), therefore, the software supplied by the NSO Group is regulated under this. So, we thought it was important for the Committee to consider inviting the Israeli government to appear before the them to shed some light. Further, in Facebook's civil complaint in the California Court, an annexure of a contract between the NSO Group and Ghana indicates that the 'System Provider' which is the NSO Group shall receive a certificate which would also contain the identity of the 'end user'. This would be particularly interesting information to happen upon in order to establish identity in the attacks in India.
Looking at the bigger picture, we did touch upon broader concerns of India cyber-security with these suggestions for consideration.
  • Need for updation: India’s National Cybersecurity Policy has not seen any amendments since 2013 and while the new National Cybersecurity Coordinator has indicated that his office is seeking to ensure India has a new Cybersecurity Strategy in 2020, Parliament must act to ensure that this is openly consulted on, drawing on inputs from security researchers and other Indians who can provide their expertise to ensure a stronger National Cybersecurity Strategy that has widespread public support and awareness.
  • Lack of guidance: The time for a permanent advisory body is now more than ever. There is need for continuous counsel on matters of advancing technology and we have encouraged the Committee to ask the Government on how it can form a standing Digital Security Advisory body with stakeholders beyond civil servants, particularly as existing statutory bodies such as the Cyber Regulation Advisory Committee - mandated by the Information Technology Act - appear to be dormant.
While the heat of these events begins to fade, we hope that the Committee considers our suggestions to ensure it is made fully aware of the incident and its hit to India's cybersecurity.

Important Documents:

  1. Representation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology dated 20.11.2019 [link]
  2. Statement on the Pegasus Spyware hack [link]

We're fighting for surveillance reform in India! Become an IFF member today!

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2019.11.05 12:07 Ruski_Kain Why this revolution is still going, and what the politicians are actually trying to do.

So maybe some people still don't know why all these protests are happening. What are the actual causes, what are the effects, what the politicians are doing because of or despite it.
Disclaimer: I am not an actual expert, I'm just a fellow Lebanese Redditor that's been on the ground, getting informed, and keeping up to date. All that I know, I have learned from writings, talks, and discussions of people more knowledgeable than me. If I got anything wrong, please feel free to correct or criticize me or maybe add to what I said.
So the problems fall into three categories, that will be separated, feel free to skip any of them if you are familiar with them:
  1. Regional, meaning the geopolitical environment, our relationships with neighboring countries, and as we all know, our dependence on some of them.
  2. Political, meaning our internal governance situation that has been in existence in it's current for almost 30 years now.
  3. Economic, or how the money in the markets, banks, and industry have been affected, plus the flow of the cash in and out of the country, as well as the actual value of the currency.

Regional:
In the middle east, arguably the two most powerful counties, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are currently in a cold war. They are, of course, themselves part of a more significant power structure split, US and EU Vs. Russia and China, but I will focus on the effects this split has on Lebanon, which is through Isreal, KSA, and Iran.So proxy wars are going on between Saudi and Iran in Yemen (Huthi rebels supported by Iran vs. Yemen Government supported by KSA) and Syria (Government supported by Iran vs. rebels supported by KSA). These are happening because the way to fight a cold war is not with direct military actions against opponents, but getting as many countries around them on their side or under their control.Coming to Lebanon now, we also see this split, going down between 8 March parties (Hezb, Amal, FPM..) siding with Iran and 14 March parties (Future, LF, Kataeb..). A side note, the Socialist party (i.e., Jumblat), is a bit of wild card because their alliance always lies with what is in the best interest of the entire durzi population in the Levant, and that continual shift toward that of the most potent political power. Anyway, in the last elections, the 8 march alliance won big time in the parliament, getting a majority, which translated into the government being mostly in their hand despite Hariri being the Prime minister, which only happened with the consent and semi-alliance with the 8 march bloc. The majority power now leans towards Iran, so in the view of this cold war, Iran is winning in Lebanon. So with the current upheaval of the people against the government, it happens to be in KSA's best interest for it to succeed since it hurt Iran. Here KSA is taking a seemingly neutral stance and is not getting involved although it is doing so in very hidden ways through social media, mostly propagating anti-hizb material. A possible goal they have here is to inculcate in the minds of the revolters that demand to remove Hizbollah from Lebanon while Iran wants to keep its power in Lebanon, as it aids their efforts in Syria and provides a buffer zone for any Isreali aggression.

Political:
Following the line of thought from the regional view, it is in the best interest of the 8 March Bloc to maintain their power, by defying the organic and sectarian breaking revolts. Doubling down on their power, and crowd controlling their remaining supporters, and not resigning. They know if they start losing their support, then they lose their power. All the speeches and actions, by Basil, Aoun, Nasrallah, an important goal of theirs is to show their supporters their strength. Using whatever means they have to keep the moderates (i.e., not the extreme supporters because they are the most likely to stop supporting these parties) supporters inline. In terms of action, I mean things like FPM doing rallies, Amal harassing peaceful protestors, Hizb doing motorcycle parades in Dahye, and shooting at Israeli drones and such.As for the 14 March Bloc, they are doing what they can to regain power, even if it means supporting the revolts. So in some regions where there are roadblocks and gatherings, especially in Jal el Dib and Zouk, LF and Kataeb are propping them up. LF reigning at the start of the revolution, and Geagea even going far as talking about what he is calling the 17 October bloc and how righteous it is and how he supports it, meaning he is willing to put on a new mask as this revolutionary to gain power later on if early parliamentary elections happen. While Hariri, pulled the rug from under FPM, Hizb, and Amal by resigning, trying to take some power away from them even if it hurts him.So currently, "parliamentary consultations" are going on between the caretaker government. Practically speaking, this is all political charades between the 8 and 14 March blocs, to delay the formation of the new government in the hopes that the protests and roadblocks start to dwindle and die out, to form the new government, with people that will guarantee their best interests. The ruling class has been trying to knock down the protests every way then can, sowing discord between the protestors, spreading misinformation, trying to create clashes, and so on. But because of the economic situation and the increased political awareness of the people, the protests will not and cannot vanish. On the contrary, the protests will keep escalating as the people will find more ways to hurt the politicians, targeting their banks, companies, and all their sources of money and power. So they will be forced to create a new smaller government, meaning with fewer ministries, but keeping a "foot in the door" so to speak, by having its Prime Minister and some of the ministers from each of the political parties. And using terms like a Techno-Political (a mix of technocrats and politicians) government, in which even some of the so-called technocrats will only appear to be neutral but are in fact biased to the parties in power.
Economic:
As I mentioned briefly in the Political section, the financial situation is what is keeping the people on the streets. And it is not the case that the people the roads and roadblocks are causing the deterioration of the economy, as some people would have you believe. The banks closed in the first two weeks of the protest when they didn't have to. The main reason is that the amount of dollars in the country is dwindling, and right now, the banks are scraping the bottom of the barrel, knowing that we are getting very close to economic collapse. We are currently in a severe economic recession caused by the shortage of dollars, due to the reduction of deposits in dollars in banks coming from outside Lebanon, rich people taking advantage of the account secrecy laws of Lebanese banks, and the Lebanese diaspora generating wealth abroad and transferring it to Lebanon. The reason also go back to the regional situation with the war in Syria cutting of the goods transit line that ran through Lebanon before 2011, the economic strain that at least a million Syrian refugees are causing, and that most of the money, in forms of investments and deposits, comes from the rich gulf countries in the middle east which want to weaken the 8 march bloc that is currently holding the majority of power in the country.Even Riad Salemeh, the governor of Banque du Liban (BDL), came out and said that we are days away from economic collapse ( source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/28/middleeast/lebanon-salame-economy-collapse-intl/index.html) although he tried to frame the narrative by saying that the protests themselves are causing the economic deterioration. When in fact, he is partly responsible for the current situation, because of him being in bed with the politicians basically giving out free money to them, causing interest rates on loans to increase and not funding investments that actually benefit the working class, but only benefitting the rich oligarchical class, and also trying to maintain the currency peg of the Lira to the dollar at around 1500 L.L.. If you would like a more thorough analysis of the economic situation, Prof. Mohammed Zbib gave a brilliant hour-long monolog about it, which I highly recommend you watch when you find the time: https://www.reddit.com/lebanon/comments/drooia/mohammed_zbib_from_martyrs_square_economic/

To conclude, these three factors mix together to explain the current situation in Lebanon, and all the political maneuvering that those in power are doing. I also want to do another post later on to explain how the changing demographics and the ideological shifts of the Lebanese people is fueling the revolution.
submitted by Ruski_Kain to lebanon [link] [comments]


2019.08.12 15:07 REK_CSGO Karen Force my girlfriend to be his son's gf

Hi there this is my first time doing Reddit post. EK - entitled kid EM - entitled Karen GF - MY girl ME - have a guess
1.5 months ago I took my gf to nice restaurant had a nice meal then we saw the demon Karen and her little Brad she came up to my gf and said em: what a nice brother you have that he took you to nice restaurant ME :(knowing we are looking different) ma'am this is my GF em: NO WAY Me: ma'am are u ok in the head? Em: no way you are dating this nice girl Me: wanna bet? (I gave my GF a kiss) Em: my angel will be better bf then you!! Me: then we're is he (A 13 yo kid showd up and said) EK: I'm here and I'm taking you'r girl on a real date GF: I don't think so Em: shut up you will and I will pay you A LOT (Me winking over to my gf) Me: how much will you pay?? Em: like 10000$ a month We live in Israel the money we are using is new isreali shekels or ins, 3.5 ins = 1 Dollars and she offered in dollars I'm 15 and making 20 ins an hour Me :well then I cannot offer more so all I have to say, take care of my gf name because she a keeper The day after I took gf on another date and nothing happened After 8 months me and gf walking down the street and we saw Em and Em Em: you are my son's slut what are you doing with this retard We basically had bunch of cash from em and ek and gf had enough of ek (as I knew he was awful bf) Me : yo em you bitch I told you Im better bf then your dumbass kid Em: NO WAY Em to my gf: who is better bf my kid or this retard Gf: obviously Nathan (this is me :) ) Em: then give me back my money Gf: don't you mean MY MONEY Em tries to kick my girl then I punched her (No need to explain way) Em in tears DONT TOUCH MY BABE Em: calling the cops meanwhile gf snatched Em's phone before the police answer Hangs up and we ran away, Lucky she didn't have gf's phone number. Now we are in Gucci buy shit with Em's cash hehe Hope you enjoyed the store and you having a good day <3 Today I'm 16 and I'm going to buy with this cash my very first gaming PC
submitted by REK_CSGO to redditoryt [link] [comments]


2019.01.28 09:57 Whatsayuuu Bursting propaganda part I: Where legend meets history. (Origin legends)

History is a very crucial thing as it is tied to identity. Which is why unscrupulous politicians and outsiders usually start from fabricating a propaganda history that fits their own nariative and interests. This is why it is crucial to reject such new alterations and stick to the origional local tradition and the historical nariative that is most supported by concrete evidence not mere theoretical speculation.
Here i will discuss local heritage from 4 dimentions: Legend, Genetics, Archeology, and History supporting the assertions with as much concrete evidence as i can find. My object here is not to prove the existence of Queen Makeda and King Solomon. And i dont give a shit about race or skin color so any race focused person needs to stop taking offense. This is about heritage not race.
Almost every country has its own origin legend. It is usually these origin myths to which origional historical nariative attaches itself and branches out from.These local legends usually form part of the national character so long as they are adhered to and are realistic. Ethiopia is one such country with many origin legends, to name a few:
• Awre/Agabos myth (where Agabos takes the throne after killing the serpent and is succeeded by "Sabadut" and "Gedut")
• Ithiopis (mainly remains in greek writings, and known in some church circles along with scholars)
• Queen of Sheba (this is connected to the first and in one version she is either Agabo's descendant or comes several generations after him)
• The Habesha legends.
Here, I'll be focusing on the last two.
There are several versions of the queen of sheba legend which we grow up hearing about from childhood ( I first learned about this legend when I was 3 years old) Based on the main version of the legend, to put it briefly:
• Makeda visits King Solomon • Gets pregnant • Minilik I grows up and visits his father • Nobles get weary of their relationship • Minilik decides to leave • Solomon is reluctant to let him go but agrees on the condition that all the first sons of the Isreali nobles accompany him and they leave after the sons of nobles take some thing.
The habesha legend is also like wise old. The 17th century historian Ludolf writes based on his interactions with the Amhara monk Gregory.
They transported themselves out of the Arabian-felix in to Africa. For they derive their origin from the Sabeans or Homerites.
The habessines themselves also, while they claim the queen of Sheba to be their princess betray their origin.
This shows that the Habesha origin legend was not a theory proposed by a foreigner but something our own ancestors considered. This is also supported by the inscriptions found in Yemen from around King Kaleb's reign which refers to the Habesha as a "clan" in reference to the Aksumuites.
It is also said to be found on Egyptians inscriptions which refers to insence gatherers but none of these evidence contradict the actual Habesha legend.
Genetics
Genetics backs both of these legends to some extent though it doesnt prove the existence of the characters.
One on the paternal side. And the other on the maternal side.
Genetics shows that in Ethiopia the maternal line has ancient South Arabian and East African admixture.
According to Kivisild et al
Lineages that belong to haplogroup N that cover virtually all mtDNA sequences in western Eurasia (Richards et al. 2000) show substantial frequencies both in the Yemeni (44%) and Ethiopian (31%) mtDNA pools.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_N_(mtDNA)
with both N and M later evolving outside the continent. .
Kivisild et al
Haplogroup M1 lineages constitute 17% of the Ethiopian mtDNA sequences, consistent with their high frequency in the region
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_M_(mtDNA)
While the paternal line of mainly the Semitic groups has greater doses of the 3000 year old admixture in addition to the first.
Refer to Pagani et al, Shiriner et al, etc...
Pickrell et al
It is perhaps not a coincidence that the highest levels of west Eurasian ancestry in eastern Africa are found in the Amhara and Tygray, who speak Ethiosemitic languages and live in what was previously the territory of D’mt and the later kingdom of Aksum.
Pagani et al
The non-African component was found to be more similar to populations inhabiting the Levant rather than the Arabian Peninsula.
Archeology
• Two jewish sacrificial Alters, one in Bahirdar on tana Qirqos, dated around 800 BC the second in Yeha dated 600 BC.
Dengur palace, yes archeologists dated it to a much later time BUT THEY NEVER DATED THE OLDER LAYER THAT LAY BENEATH THE TOP LAYER.
• Inscriptions found in Yemen that describes the habesha as a clan.
• Ancient Egyptian inscriptions (does not contradict any thing)
• Other artifacts and sites
History
The Historocity of this is also supported by the migration of what were called the sea peoples. It is a fact that around the end of the bronze age a swarm of people from the Meditranean swept through the coasts of northern Africa whom the ancient Egyptians refered to as sea peoples. Genetic studies show that both ancient Egypt's and Ethiopia's genetic makeup was altered at this point and then both incurred a slight shift later on due to a northward migration from southern local east African populations and eastern migration of western local nilo Saharan populations. This second genetic shift also accords with historical events. For instance, cushitic nubia becomes replaced with nilo saharan Nubia. And northern semitic Ethiopians also gain certain genes from the migrating southern cushtic ethnics.
submitted by Whatsayuuu to Ethiopia [link] [comments]


2018.12.21 00:22 NotJ3st3r What Happend On December 21th

What Happened On December 21st:

Isreali troops withdrew from the city under the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in September 1995. The city was under a British mandate from 1920 to 1948, and then it was captured by Jordan during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. Most recently, it was taken over by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.

A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight number 103 on its way from Frankfurt, Germany, to Detroit, United States, over the Scottish city of Lockerbie. The terrorist attack killed all the passengers and crew on board and 11 people on the ground.

The human rights convention was adopted by the United Nations' member states and was put into force on January 4, 1969. It attempts to eliminate racial discrimination in the world.

The movie made by Walt Disney Productions was the world's first full-length animated feature film and it was based on a German fairy tale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm.

The fictional character created by French writer Jules Verne for his book, Around the World in Eighty Days, finished circumnavigating the world and reached London to win the wager he had set with his friends. The date also coincides with the publication of the last of the series that ended up becoming the now popular science fiction novel.

Born On December 21st:

American baseball player

English/Canadian actor, director, producer

American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer

English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

English archbishop

Died On December 21st:

English cricketer

American general

American author

German journalist

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2017.03.22 21:29 KeeganTroye [Event]Tanks For Sale, A Movie, And A Lot Of Railway

SHAKA D1 RELEASE
The Shaka D1 is an in-house developed main battle tank built using the Tank Technology Demonstrator another tank project scrapped earlier in the turn of the century. With the Chinese think tank and Denel's years of experience the tank has passed through the testing phase and is ready for production.
The Shaka D1 will use new automatic gun technology pioneered by the Russians, that reduces the profile and weight of the tank by having it be completely electronically operated from within. This 125 mm (4.92 in) smoothbore tank cannon has been the focal point of Denel's involvement increasing the range of the tank without sacrificing accuracy. This is where we have seen the most success increasing the range to 3800m giving it almost 200m more guaranteed range than its competitors.
Reduction in weight from the initial design were successful taking it from its previous obscene weight to a light more reasonable standard though still not as light as Isreali and Bharati tanks.
The primary failure was in developing an in-house armour solution, all attempts were failures and in the end we called in outside assistance from Korea to develop a solution for this African product but due to time constraints the armour while reasonable does not match up to other 4th generation tanks.
Cost: Manufactured in Aztlan, $7.5m
SHARED OPPRESSION
The documentary Shared Oppression was released today, with the African investments in the art this film while being government funded was given a lot of room for the director to make a movie with genuine heart.
The documentary focuses on the shared history of Namibia and South Africa as they fought off western oppression in different ways. The war of independence that allowed Namibia to gain freedom years earlier that was supported by freedom elements within South Africa such as the ANC who fought with the Namibians.
And the peaceful South African fight that survived through oppression and culminated into the freedom of suffrage for all people breaking free of Apartheid.
The film interviews those who fought and what was lost and gained and focuses on the separation of Namibia to avoid oppression that was continued even after the fall of Apartheid.
This film will be premiered in Windhoek, Namibia where it will see mass distribution in Namibia before seeing a limited release to all of Southern Africa primarily in Zambia, Angola, and Botswana. The film primarily focuses on the idea of Bantu unity and the message is not limited to Namibia
THE GREAT AFRICAN RAIL
The great African rail project signed by all participating countries will be a rail that extends from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. This project was begun in the late 19th century by Cecil Rhodes. the South African business man and personality most famous for being instrumental in the colonization of then Rhodesia modern day Zimbabwe. called the Cape To Cairo Rail. Though Rhodes is now seen as an evil figure of colonial aggression.
SOUTHERN SECTION
As its name suggests, the line begins in Cape Town, South Africa. The southern section of the railway encompasses South Africa itself, along with the nearby countries that have historically been part of the South African sphere of influence: that is, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
The first segment – Cape Town to Johannesburg – is also the oldest, the best-maintained, and the best-serviced part of the entire route. The first train travelled this segment in 1892. There has been continuous service ever since. It's the only train route in all of Africa that can honestly claim to provide a "European standard" of passenger service, between the two major cities that it links. That is, there are numerous classes of service operating on the line – ranging from basic inter-city commuter trains, to business-style fast trains, to luxury sleeper trains – running several times a day.
After Johannesburg, we continue along the railway that was already fulfilling Cecil Rhodes's dream before his death. This segment runs through modern-day Botswana, which was previously known as Bechuanaland Protectorate. From Johannesburg, it connects to the city of Mafeking, which was the capital of the former Bechuanaland Protectorate, but which today is within South Africa (where it is a regional capital). The line then crosses the border into Botswana, passes through the capital Gaborone, and continues to the city of Francistown in Botswana's north-east.
This Botswanan line has since the opening of the Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway in Zimbabwe in 1999 had all of its passenger service cancelled. Instead the line will take the new Beitbridge Bulawayo route through Zimbabwe and bypassing Botswana completely.
The remainder of the route through Zimbabwe has seen better days: due to Zimbabwe's economic and political woes, the trains have been under cared for and left to disrepair though South African work on the rails is quickly fixing it and bringing it up to modern standards.
Problems arise at the border crossing between Zimbabwe and Zambia. This is because there has been no passenger service over the famous Victoria Falls Bridge – which crosses the Zambezi River at spraying distance from the colossal waterfall, connecting the towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone – more-or-less since the 1970s. The bridge is still intact but is over a 100 years old and has been closed due to safety concerns. South Africa will fund the renovation of the bridge and the reestablishment of the Zimbabwe and Zambia line.
Once in Zambia – formerly known as Northern Rhodesia – regular passenger services continue north to the capital, Lusaka; and from there, onward to the crossroads town of Kapiri Mposhi. It's here that the southern portion of the modern-day Cape to Cairo railway ends, since Kapiri Mposhi is the meeting-point of the colonial-era, British-built, South-African / Rhodesian railway network. The rail here is in serviceable condition but will see a revamp on sections in need of repair.
EASTERN SECTION
The Eastern section of the railway is centred in modern-day Tanzania and Kenya, although it begins and ends within the inland neighbours of these two coastal nations – Zambia and Bantuland, respectively.
Kapiri Mposhi, in Zambia, is the start of the TAZARA Railway; this railway runs through the north-east of Zambia, crosses the border to Tanzania near Mbeya, and finishes on the Indian Ocean coast at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city. The TAZARA is the newest link in the Cape to Cairo railway network: it was built and financed by the Chinese, and was opened in 1976 making it highly reliable and up to date.
From Dar es Salaam, the line north is part of the decaying colonial-era Tanzanian rail network. This line extends up to the city of Arusha, from where another line branches off, crossing the border into Kenya. Sadly, there has been no regular passenger service on the Arusha line for many years; therefore, nor is there any service to Moshi. This section will be surveyed and see extreme modernization funded by the Kenyan-Tanzanian government with financial help from Japan.
After crossing the Kenyan border, the route passes through the town of Taveta, before continuing on to Voi; here, there is a junction with the most important train line in Kenya: that which connects Mombasa and Nairobi. As with the Arusha line, the Moshi – Voi line has also been bereft of regular passenger service for many years. This entire portion of the rail network appears to be in a serious state of neglect. If there are any trains running in this area, they would be occasional freight trains; and if any track maintenance is being performed on these lines, it would be the bare minimum. Again this section will be modernized with financing from Kenya, Tanzania and Japan.
From Voi, there are regular passenger services on the main Kenyan rail line to Nairobi; and onward from Nairobi, there are further passenger services (which appear to be less reliable, but regular nonetheless) to the city of Kisumu, which borders Lake Victoria. The part of this route that we're interested in ends at Nakuru (about halfway between Nairobi and Kisumu), from where another line branches off towards Bantuland.
After Nakuru, the line meanders its way towards the Bantuland border; and at Tororo (a city on the Bantuland side), it connects with the Bantuland network. There is apparently no longer any passenger service available from Nakuru to Tororo – i.e. there is no service between Kenya and Bantuland.
The once-proud Bantuland railway network today lies largely abandoned, a victim of Bantuland's tragic history of dictatorship, bloodshed and economic disaster since the 1970s. The only inter-city line that maintains regular passenger service, is the main line from the capital, Kampala, to Tororo. As this line terminates at Kampala, on the shores of Lake Victoria (like the Kenyan line to Kisumu), it is of little interest to us.
From Tororo, Bantuland's northern railway line stretches north and then west across the country in a grand arc, before terminating at Pakwach, the point where the Albert Nile river begins, adjacent to Lake Albert. The northernmost point of this railway line is at Gulu; and so, it is the segment of the line up to Gulu that interests us.
Sadly, the entire segment from Tororo to Gulu appears to be abandoned; whether there is even freight service today seems doubtful. And, doubly sad, Gulu is also the point at which a continuous, uninterrupted rail network all the way from Cape Town, comes to its present-day end. No rail line was ever constructed north of Gulu in Bantuland. Therefore, it is at Gulu that the East African portion of the Cape to Cairo Railway bids us farewell.
This section will see the largest investment from both Japan and South Africa in coordination with the Bantuland government, this will be expensive as much of the colonial era rail will need to be completely replaced and new rail will have to be built connecting Bantuland to South Sudan.
NORTHERN SECTION
The northern section of the railway is mainly through South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. We pick up from where we finished in the previous section: Gulu in northern Bantuland. As has already been mentioned: from Gulu, we hit the first (of only two) – and the most significant – of the missing links in the Cape to Cairo Railway. The next point where the railway begins again, is the city of Wau, located in north-western South Sudan. The missing section accounts for about 1000km.
Wau is the southern terminus of the Sudanese rail network. From Wau, the line heads more-or-less straight up, crossing the border from South Sudan into Sudan, and joining the Khartoum – Darfur line at Babanusa. The Babanusa – Wau line was one of the last train lines to be completed in Sudan, opening in 1962 (around the same time as the Tororo – Gulu – Pakwach line opened in neighbouring Bantuland). Shortly after this time, the line was damaged by mines and explosives, a victim of the civil war. The line was supposedly rehabilitated but satellite imaging shows this to be unlikely and it will most likely have to see repairs primarily paid for by Egypt.
Similarly, the remaining segment of rail onwards to the capital – Babanusa to Khartoum – was apparently damaged during the civil war (that's on top of the line's ageing and dismally-maintained state). There are supposedly efforts underway to rehabilitate this line (along with the rest of the Sudanese rail network in general), and to restore regular services along it, Egypt will assist in funding these repairs.
From the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the country's principal train line traverses the rest of the route north, running along the banks of the Upper Nile for about half the route, before making a beeline across the harsh expanse of the Nubian Desert, and terminating just before the Egyptian border at the town of Wadi Halfa, on the shores of Lake Nasser (the Sudanese side of which is called Lake Nubia). Trains do appear to get suspended for long intervals, but this is the best-maintained route in war-ravaged Sudan maintenance will most likely be required here as well.
The border crossing from Sudan into Egypt is the second of the two missing links in the Cape to Cairo Railway. In fact, there isn't even a road connecting the two nations, at least not anywhere near the Nile / Lake Nasser. However, this missing link is of less concern, because: the distance is much less (approximately 350km). With Egypts recent push for relations with Sudan we expect they will fund connecting the rail here and establishing efficient transport between the two nations.
Aswan is Egypt's southernmost city; this has been the case for millenia, since it was the southern frontier of the realm of the Pharoahs, stretching back to ancient times. Aswan is also the southern terminus of the Egyptian rail network's main line; from here, the line snakes its way north, tracing the curves of the heavily-populated Nile River valley, all the way to Cairo, after which the vast Nile Delta begins.
The Aswan – Cairo line – the very last segment of the grand envisioned network – is second only to the network's very first segment (Cape Town – Johannesburg) in terms of service offerings. There are a range of passenger services available, ranging from basic economy trains, to luxury tourist-oriented sleeper coaches, traversing the route daily. It should be noted that after Cairo, Egypt's main rail line continues on to Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast.
This information has been hugely plagiarized from http://greenash.net.au/thoughts/2013/08/current-state-of-the-cape-to-cairo-railway/
submitted by KeeganTroye to Geosim [link] [comments]


2016.10.28 17:20 Guttmannator Porn took over my life, and I didn't even know it.

(18yo) I've had reddit for about a year now but used it for practically nothing but today I made a discovery, I have a serious problem. Today's internet and easy access to PMO has lead me to a life that I never could have imagined.
Through highschool I was always a very social, out going, class clown who was very invloved in extra carriculars such as Acting, Hosting, Public Speaking, Film making and Writing but when it came to acedemics I slacked off and just barely passed certain classes due to a lack of motivation. In public I was always secretly looking for approval and compliments because of my insecurities which lead to my outgoing yet narcissitic personality, but people still repsected and liked me. Underneath all the funny jokes and stacks of meaningless friendships I was a sad, lonley individual who latched onto porn as a cathartic releif.
My first girlfriend was in grade 9 and although I was associated with what was considered the "popular" group (I went to a Jewish secular private school so it doesnt mean much) she was a book worm who had gone through similar difficulties as I did such as parental divorce and secret insecurities. It was the closest relationship I had to being in love and reflecting on it now I miss the feeling so much. She was a prude (which I hate saying) but the one thing we were never on the same basis was our sexual drive. Even when I took her first kiss she was mad for about a week but eventually it lead to a 5 month very intellectual, non-phisical relationship thats foundation was built on trust and conversations that stemmed from intrapersonal cuirosity. The relationship ended 5 months in when I tried groping her boob while making out 5 months into the relationship which made her feel super violated and not ready, so she fealt the need to end things. This was the beginning to my downfall as my relationships turned into physical desire rather than a thurst for other peoples knowledge and outlook.
Grade 10 I decided that this was a year to be a new me as I felt as if I missed out on early drinking and partying due to a meaningful relationship. I began partying with the older grade 12's who I had befriended, hooking up with random girls who I never truly cared for and little did I realize until looking back now, porn was slowly devouring every inch of sinceretiy I had. I was never motivated to work which caused grades to drop, which caused me and my dad's relationship to destroy itself because he was "work hard" menatlity father while my mom was a lead back women who didn't have a problem with me drinking and smoking weed in the house. I fell into a hard depression as I found myself more conflicted with my relationships towards women (Often 2 years older than me) because whenever they'd drop me, I'd feel used when in reality I was trying to use them for my own sexual fantasies that I had built up in my head because of all the porn that was filling my mind like custard. Now because of my smooth talking menatlity, good kissing and early expierence, by the end of grade 10 I had done everything from 69, BJ's, eating out and yet was still too scared for sex but all this meaningless oral sex numbed my empathy and kept my porn addiction thriving to throw more and more women to the side to fill my void.
Grade 11 was filled with more meaningless oral sex, more porn addiciton and a huge attachment to weed. I thought my depression was due to a lack of belief in life while being suurounded by orthodox jews (most of my family) while I found myself religiously confused. I became an athiest as I became more intouch with the idea of a true self and became obssessed with meditation and disconnecting from the material world, yet i was totally oblivious to the fact that porn was driving my lack of motivation to try in school, my inability to connect on an intallectual level with women and a deprivation of idealogical cuirosity (As in writing new projects, reading new books cuz Iw as always a creative who aspired to do more but never motivated myself too). When Grade 12 started I realized how I treated women and I decided I needed to strap myself down to stop treating girls around me as oppurtunities, little did I know it had nothing to do with social anxieties and insecurities but all to do with my secret addiction to porn. I ended up losing my virginity to girlfriend I didn't actually like but lied to myself because the sexual oppurtunities were to easy and porn taught me that all I needed was a women to get rid of my hard on. I was so hypocrytically tough on her by saying she was "easy" with other guys while I was doing the same thing but because I was dating her, I felt it validated my actions when being titled as boyfriend even though I felt nothing while she slowly felt very in love with me. I thought I had simply lost a capability to love but I was simply losing touch with physical reality because I was always craving sex and wondering what the women closest to melooked liked naked.
My relationship with women defined me in every way while porn destroyed my potential to see the true beauty of connecting with women on a personal and true intellectual basis. I eventually became so confused with what I wanted to do with life after quitting a summer job that I decided it was in my best interest to give myself a mental rehab, by becoming a combat volunteer in the Isreali Army. I've been living in a realitives house when I found myself filled with guilt that was jerking off in my own relatives home. It suddenly struck me that i wasn't only treating women with no respect, but myself, a young, outgoing, funny guy who had all the girls he asked for, smoked all the weed he needed and yet still felt empty while my right hand was always full.
I've decided to start my Nofap challenge today by going for the goal of 100 days. I've jerked off to too many weird types of degrating porn in even more degrating locations. I'll be drafting into the IDF December 18 at which I have practically no way of reaching into my pants on my own agenda so hopefully its not too difficult. Come onto this subbreddit to vent and get my mind off things after I jerked off one last time and just felt disgusted with myself. thanks for reading. (SORRY FOR REPETETIVE WORDING AND BAD GRAMMER) Just looking for some support in my strange life.
submitted by Guttmannator to NoFap [link] [comments]


2016.05.10 08:26 gunkers Puddh Tomneay (The Buddha's Prophecies)

I'm a first generation Cambodian-American. My father always told me about what a cursed land Cambodia was, but I thought it was built up resentment towards the war and how dangerous Cambodia was for tourist during the 80-90s. His hometown was also in a region about an hour away from Pursat in the country side so I figured country folklore that was relatively regionalized to where he grew up in.
The older I grew, the more I heard about it... not just from him, but other members of community. When I went to Cambodia, everyone knew about the 'curse' or the prophecy. Even educated successful upper middle class entrepreneurs in PP. It soon all made sense and I decided to research it fully.
My dad is a very religious guy. Not so much as he's insane or a fanatic, he has the same skepticism and evidence based opinions as if he graduated from a normal American high school. So when he spoke with passion about the ancient mystical lore that Cambodia endured, I felt as if he truly whole heartedly believed it. He spoke with psychics and shamans when he was younger who told him of his own destiny and the destiny of the country. The prophecy of Cambodia was recited and passed on orally.
I did some research and found this paper on the prophecy. It was published in 1996 and even 20 years later makes some good valid points. It was a really good read and the author connects historical events with excerpts in the prophecy.
It dates back to the beginning of the Angkor Empire and includes things such as Angkor Empire falling, now historically proven having the Cham (present day Thai) invading the lands, taking scrolls of knowledge and becoming a better state than Cambodia (Thai is way more economically developed) and even today many Cambodians believe that the reason for Thai's success and fortune was that they had taken the sacred Emerald Buddha in Bangkok. The black soldiers (Khmer Rouge) culling the lands and so on so forth.
If you choose to read it, you will see the author leaves off with correlating the withdrawal of Vietnam forces, peace treaties and return of land to a point in the prophecy. Yet there is still much more the prophecy that remains unlinked. In essence, Cambodia will undergo a terrible period of violence and war before achieving peace. The prophecy states that the ancient capital cities Battambang, Angkor, PP and Bangkok (Bangkok was under Angkor territory at one point) will either burn, be desecrated and become ghosts towns. Battambang, Angkor and PP all followed the prophecy accordingly yet Bangkok has yet to fulfill it. Bangkok was also one of the last cities to be destroyed as predicted.
The prophecy ends with eternal peace as a Indra, Hindu god of thunder and rain, sends his messenger to find the divine true king. is crowned through a holy messenger. He meets the current leader of Cambodia if he is god king and he claims to be so. The current king is a violent strength boasting ruler who is fighting wars in all eight directions. The messenger does not believe him and finds out the location of the real king: a man who has been living in PP for 23 years. The messenger seeks him and finds him to be a lowly monk. The monk is then inaugurated on blue and white decorated elephants and peace is restored. The interpretation of this excerpt is that Hun Sen is current violent and malevolent man. Hun Sen is currently fighting an all out war (8 directions) against the West, disputes with Thailand, north-east Asian countries and Vietnam. He is very vocal in boasting his strength, vocally expressing how he would destroy all his political enemies. He also wages a harsh war against his political enemies. It is well known, but not reported that he uses secret police to silence his political opponents and has no problem taking mortal action. He claims he is the god king and holy savior of the people as foretold, but as we know this is not the case. An intepretation of the blue and white decorated elephants is that the ruler would be escorted by blue and white U.N. APCs/vehicles.
In the end, the prophecy is a grim yet entertaining myth filled with violence, war, salvation and enlightenment. Like the end of the world conspiracies of the Mayans and Nostradamus, the events of the myth are stretched by the superstitious to bring relevance and meaning of the events in the real world. It should be taken for what it is: an entertaining tale. However, just for my entertainment, it may appear that the current events today that Southeast Asian and Cambodia experiences may unfold into proving the prophecy right: that is that there may be one more instance of terrible violence and turmoil.
An observer of the prophecy may deduct that the prophecy will not fulfill itself since Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, a relatively peaceful economically stable country with a population who have historically remained neutral throughout WWII and much of history. The overall image and reputation of Thai people is that there would be no possible way that Thais would let Bangkok fall into destruction. I believed it too envisioning Thailand as the Switzerland of Southeast Asia.
But with the military coup and rule, recent news about the insurgency in the South, scarce reports about the civil unrest/protest and terror attacks in the capital, it seems that this previously stable and peaceful country is experiencing enormous turmoil. As much as I pray and do not wish for anything bad to come out of this current turbulence, it plays into fulfilling the prophecy. Military rule and restriction has never been comfortable with people especially with a highly productive and well off to do economy of Thailand.
It is interesting to see and read the interpretations of the author and other people. After hearing many opinions about the prophecy it sometimes appears that Cambodians wish for the final prophecies to come true. Many Cambodians have their own theories, but it does not seem that the worse has passed for Cambodia. Workers are rioting because of wages and the general population, not working in garment and manufacturing industries, express great displeasure in his current rule. Despite economic growth being experienced via tourism and slowly growing domestic industries, Cambodia still seems to be stagnate. There is also enormous income inequality with the ruling class and the rest of the population. Millionaires live like kings, like lottery ticket billionaires who happened to just stumbled onto wealth. An analogy I would use is that the quickly risen rich behave similarly to inland Chinese land/factory owners who appear to behave with little class, morals or regard for proper collective social progress.
It is well known that of the affluent today in Cambodia are secretly ex-Khmer Rouge who were once high ranking officials or chieftains during the war. There were thousands of officers, camp leader and chieftains who avoided international persecution for their war crimes and escaped without reprimand. Many of them live today in all sorts of unrestricted abundance. Some even absolve themselves in polygamy holding many 'wives' delegating each woman to the roles of main wife, concubine, child caretakers and maids, which I saw first hand. They pretty much have sex with whoever they please. I spent time with one of the richest men in Pursat and he was a gangster straight up from the movie Shottas. I was visibly displeased with what was going on when I was in his presence, but he was just very happy to be in the company of a handsome Khmer speaking some-what complacent Cambodian American.
I can see a revolution going on. A very violent revolution a possible since there is a sharp division between those who work for the government (police and military) and the average Cambodian. The average Cambodian is very complacent by nature and abide by the philosophy of avoiding complications altogether. Thats why the bribery is so openly accepted and feels normal. Couple that with South East Asian pragmatism, you have a society that believes in two options: partake in the evils of the authority and receive protection through strength and numbers or be complacent to live as free as you can and pray that you avoid being the target of said authority. That said, the police/military are indoctrinated heavily into these definitions paranoid and scared to throw away the higher level of stability that they live at. There is no in-between or concession between the two.
While there, we were cautioned many many times not to discuss politics or 'American' ideas openly since you may not know who's listening. My cousin, who works in government, cautioned my Dad saying that he may be kidnapped or die for speaking his mind. He is also very traditional and respectful. My cousin is also anxious or paranoid or in Khmer "kaat" which means he's just super negative and pissy all the time. But when he spoke to my Dad he 'sday' him which is pretty disrespectful when cautioning an elder. This small sample may show insight on what the real situation is. Blood is being boiled between the two and I can only see war and mass protest being one sided as the military and police use absolute violence towards civilians. If you look at videos of police brutality in Cambodia, it's utterly shocking. People who are so desperate and vulnerable protesting as peacefully as they can being canned and beaten by the police. Woman aren't spared either.
Cambodia has a large youth demographic. Many who seek education live fairly peaceful lives working trying to abstain from the tension that exists with authority. They are happy, bright, creative and optimistic, but at the same time, I would call them soft: physically and mentally. They're more concerned with their own personal economic growth rather than collective political change. Those in well to do families who study abroad in Australia, Malaysia and Thailand almost reject their Cambodian identify believing themselves as multi-national citizens free to find economic opportunity beyond Cambodia's borders. It's not like in Middle Eastern countries where you see young adults' drive to change their country's political and religious ideas as a staple of their personalities. Especially when their parents are traumatized from the war and days of the 80s-90s, that they teach their kids only focus on own personal-self and aspirations may that be in Cambodia or in another country. I don't expect to see strong revolutionary zeal coming from young adults today and if shit hits the fan, the young can only flee.
There is a lot that needs to done. A vast majority of eager entrepreneurs and business owners are very much blind sided by sheer economic gain of exploiting their land, resources and human capital. From the larger level of those earning 30,000-60,000 a year to those earning 10,000 a year running small out of home business, the Khmer people are only enticed by the prospect of money that they remain blindsided to the real future cost of letting things like sand dredging, human trafficking, deforestation, mineral mining in the northern mountains and pollution (foreign garbage dumping) go on. They are eager to sell large plots of land to Japanese, Chinese and Thai investors for pennies on the dollar only caring for that short term monetary gain. Vietnamese emigrate from the East and settle onto Cambodian lands similar to Isrealis settlers on the Gaza Strip. These migrants move away from their increasingly saturated Vietnamese economy in hopes of easier money in Cambodia. Cambodians complain heavily about this trend. As these problems manifest and the Cambodian see that they are not only losing their identity but also their land, contempt and finding the scapegoat (the government) will come as a result. The bribe epidemic is a result of a poor tax collection system which is caused by difficult documentation of her citizens and residential addresses. If the government were to try to solve this issue by increasing taxes or launching a more rigorous regulation system on businesses, property and income, the Cambodian people who are so accustomed to looking at all their money and frankly just keeping it will outcry. What are just small smoldering kindles may turn into a raging fire that could lead into revolution.
These are simply my predictions and theories of what to come and prior to researching the Puddh Tomneay prophecy I saw this to be true. I do not hope or wish it to be true. I saw a lot of good during my trip. The youth are so happy, eager and optimistic; there is so much good in them. I can only hope that the elders who hold power see the wholesomeness in their children and understand that the current philosophies and policies they're currently following are inherently destructive and if revolution does come, I hope that they would not rob that from their children using martial law, violence and press restrictions. I also encountered very good entrepreneurs who gain success properly and are key leaders of change, but still they are few. Many of the good ones who operate in the country are Cambodians who were either born or lived in Western countries typically for more than 10 years. There is hope though. There are the key drivers of domestic development. In the 90s, Cambodian Beer and Angkor Beer only made up a small percentage of the market in Cambodia. Today, these domestic companies control 90% of the market. Cambodia's first domestic car is electric, skipping fossil fuels entirely. The internet and telecom infrastructure start mobile first with cell towers sprouting instead of landlines. IT, tech, programming and software development firms are growing to become rivals to that of Vietnams. The 'Hollywood' of Cambodia is growing ever-so and more and more Cambodian born TV shows and outlets of entertainment gain more popularity than previously dominated South Korean, Japanese and Chinese sources of enculturation. Cambodia is importing large quantities of German and Scandinavian engineers and scientists to help their manufacturing and mechanical industries. NGO's from the West, Australia and Scandinavia are a big things and continue to grow and do great things in Cambodia. As well as Cambodian zionism in America that is experience unanimously amongst all Cambodian-American communities in the U.S., many Cambodian-Americans return to Cambodia looking only to do good. I am pretty excited to see what comes of Cambodia in the next decades to follow. I guess the purpose of this post to bring awareness to the 'true' state of the country and bring light to another important aspect of Cambodia. It's not all fun and games, cheap tourism and beautiful sights. There is more behind it that needs addressing and I hope that if you have read all this you keep this mind.
submitted by gunkers to cambodia [link] [comments]


2016.04.11 12:13 Stenny007 [EVENT] Years of silence.

The people have become restless. Politicians have made little noice since the end of the second world war, and the loss of Indonesia to the terrorists is not helping the stability of the people. No major projects were announced, no modernization of the military except for the order of 80 Mystery IV fighter bombers. This order will be raised to 100.
The gas fields of Groningen, the oil from the caribean and the important roll of the Netherlands in European trade makes the Netherlands a wealthy nation. The fact that little money was spent since the end of WW2, means that enough budget was built up for major investements.
Willem Drees adresses the nation in a live broadcast from The Hague.
''Landgenoten, the dark days of world war 2 and Indonesia are still fresh in our minds. The lack of government action, understandably, causes a lot of unrest among the common man. Therefore i have been preparing the following projects for the last 6 months.''
Colonies
''The Dutch Antilles are a exception to what a lot of people consider a crime. Colonies. The people there have voiced their opinions more than once. They want to be a part of the Kingdom, and so they shall remain. We will allow no foreign corruption on any Dutch lands, anymore.''
''Curacao has fuelled world war 2, literally, untill the USA joined. The oil from this island is Dutch, and we will defend it like we did in the world war. Therefore i order the construction of Fortress Curacao. The entire island shall be fortified with Anti Air guns, bunkers, a large naval base and a new, larger airfield. If tension rises in South-America, we will ask the Americans to fortify our other Caribean holdings.''
''Suriname now borders a socialist country, Brasil. To secure our borders we will send a large portion of the Dutch Marine Corps. The already present 32nd Raiding Squadron will be increased in size with 250 %, to 800 marines. Most of them will be based in Curacao & Aruba. Another 2200 marines will be shipped in from the Netherlands. It will be organized as Division C (Caribean). It is responsible for the protection of the borders with Brasil. Dutch naval presence will also be doubled, and 50 of the new Mysterie IV figher bombers will be spread over airfields in the Dutch antilles.
''US, French and British forces are from now on always permitted to use Dutch naval and air bases. We ask from them to allow us to do the same. Also we ask their stance on the Brasilian matter.''
Dutch intelligence asks its allies to keep them up to date daily on the Brasilians. The Dutch are willing to assist in any covert operations to get the socialists away from its borders.
Modernization of the military
''We will request from the Isrealis to allow us to equip our marines and other SF with their new UZI's. The weapon has proved itself and is entering mass production in Turkey. The logistical and production capabilities of the Netherlands should speed up the equipping of Isreali and Dutch forces both. We hope we can work together more in the future with our allies in Isreal. ''
''From the Brits we ask for the permission of producing the EM-2 rifle.''
''The Belgian FN FAL will serve as the new light machine gun of the Dutch military.''
The state of the Dutch MBT's is a joke, allmost non-existant even. With no investments since the end of the second world war. Dutch interest in (foreign) tank designs is hereby made public, and any tank producing nation intrested, might be wise to send its offer to The Hague. All options will be considered.
''Now, on to possibly the most important part of our military. The navy. Our navy stood well during the World War, but suffered greatly. New investments over the comming years should change its current situation. The design of a new prototype class destroyer is now in production. It is looking promising, altough complications during the construction of the prototype might force us back to the design table. We offer the Belgians involvement in the production of this new promising ship.''
''Besides the new destroyer-class, we also initiated research for new submarine designs. Both processes will take a long time, and therefore we will also modernize one of the existing classes for direct construction.
4 ''De zeven Provinciën-class light cruisers.''
6 ''Van Speijk-Class frigates.''
6 ''Upgraded Friesland-class destroyers.''
Talks about selling the Karel Doorman aircraft carrier) will be started with the British.
[Will be updated later.]
submitted by Stenny007 to ColdWarPowers [link] [comments]


2015.12.23 23:23 TheBishop7 2015-2016 Columbus Crew SC Offseason Guide

Current as of 2/8/16 at 8:40pm

Current Roster

Goalkeepers (2)
  • Steve Clark
  • Brad Stuver
Defenders (8)
  • Harrison Afful (INT)
  • Corey Ashe
  • Chad Barson (HG)
  • Waylon Francis (INT)
  • Michael Parkhurst
  • Gastón Sauro (INT)
  • Tyson Wahl
  • Amro Tarek
Midfielders (11)
  • Ethan Finlay
  • Federico Higuaín (DP)
  • Hector Jiménez
  • Cedrick Mabwati (INT)
  • Justin Meram
  • Mohammed Saeid (INT)
  • Ben Swanson (HG)
  • Tony Tchani
  • Wil Trapp (HG)
  • Rodrigo Saravia (INT)
  • Chase Minter
  • Emil Larsen (INT)
Forwards (2)
  • Kei Kamara
  • Marshall Hollingsworth
  • Conor Casey
  • Ola Kamara (INT)
Roster Statistics
  • 4 open roster spots
  • 2 available spots for Designated Players
  • 0 available international roster spots
  • 2 SuperDraft picks are still unsigned, and thus not included in roster counts.
  • Rosters must meet regulations by March 1st

Offseason Transactions

Players in
Name Pos. Date Type
Corey Ashe DF 12/18/15 Free agency
*Chase Minter MD 1/14/16 SuperDraft Pick
*Marshall Hollingsworth FW 1/14/16 SuperDraft Pick
Emil Larsen MD 1/22/16 Purchased from Odense Boldklub
Conor Casey FW 1/26/15 Free agency
Amro Tarek CB 2/3/16 Season loan from Real Betis (Option to buy)
Rodrigo Saravia MD 2/4/16 Signed from SuperDraft Pick on 1/14/16
Ola Kamara FW 2/4/16 Discovery signing
*SuperDraft picks do not have an MLS contract upon being drafted.
Players out
Name Pos. Date Type
Emanuel Pogatetz DF 12/7/15 Option declined (Signed by Union Berlin)
Kristinn Steindórsson MD 12/7/15 Option declined (Signed by GIF Sundsvall)
*Ben Speas MD 12/7/15 Out of contract (On trial with Seattle Sounders)
*Matt Lampson GK 12/7/15 Out of contract
Aaron Schoenfeld FW 12/7/15 Out of contract (Signed by Maccabi Netanya FC)
Chris Klute DF 12/11/15 Trade
Jack McInerney FW 1/13/15 Trade
Kevan George MD 1/22/16 Waived
*Players out of contract, but not signed by Columbus, may have the rights to their contracts traded to other MLS teams.
Official Crew SC transaction announcements
Relevant MLS transaction news
Notable related links

Offseason Schedule

Preseason Matches
Date Opponent Competition Result/Time (EDT)
Feb. 17 Sporting Kansas City Desert Diamond Cup 8:00pm
Feb. 20 Real Salt Lake Desert Diamond Cup 7:00pm
Feb. 24 Swope Park Rangers Desert Diamond Cup 8:00pm
Feb. 27 TBD (Final ranked match) Desert Diamond Cup TBD
Offseason/Preseason Events
Date Event
Dec. 7 List of all players eligible for Free Agency and Re-Entry Draft made public
Dec. 8 Starting at 1 p.m. ET, Free Agents may engage in negotiations with MLS clubs outside of their previous club; List of eligible players for the Waiver Draft made public
Dec. 9 Waiver Draft at 4:30 p.m. ET
Dec. 10 Starting at 5 p.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players
Dec. 11 Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft at 3 p.m. ET
Dec. 16 Starting at 11 a.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players
Dec. 17 Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft at 3 p.m. ET
Jan. 7-12 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine
Jan. 14 2016 MLS SuperDraft
Jan. 22 2016 MLS preseason begins; Team in Columbus for entrance physicals and testing
Jan. 23- Feb. 5 Camp in Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Feb. 8- Feb. 12 Camp in Powell, OH (SuperKick)
Feb. 15- Feb. 28 Desert Diamond Cup (Tucson, AZ)
Mar. 6 Preseason ends with first MLS game in Portland against the Timbers.
submitted by TheBishop7 to TheMassive [link] [comments]


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2015.05.20 21:34 PalestineFacts Israeli Colonization With the recent news of Israeli Bus Segregation and Discrimination in the West Bank

Just a few moments ago the CNN and BBC reported an article similarly entitled: Israel PM suspends trial Palestinian bus segregation program This is by far one of the most accurate headlines that not even Palestinian sources said. They were brutally honest and called it what it was: segregation
In light of Netanyhau halting the practice of separating Palestinians from settler buses I'd like to take some time to explain what Human Rights Watch refers to as separate and unequal. Separate but equal is Israel's discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.

What's with the Buses? The fact is only a particular aspect was halted

In 2013 Haaretz reported that one bus company, “The Afikim bus company will begin operating Palestinian-only bus lines from the checkpoints to Gush Dan to prevent Palestinians from boarding buses with Jewish passengers. Palestinians are not allowed to enter settlements, and instead board buses from several bus stops on the Trans-Samaria highway.” Though it is important to note that Israel’s Transportation Ministry had been looking into a plan like this in 2012 due to complaints from settlers being “scared.” Despite this the officials at the District Police were telling Palestinians that there would be no official policy to remove them from all the buses. But as Haaretz pointed out they had reported incidents “when Palestinians were taken off of buses, and witnesses at checkpoints say that such incidents are ongoing [written in 2013].”
Eventually in 2014 Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced a planwhich would require Palestinians who work in Israel during the day to return home to the West Bank through a separate checkpoint than Israelis with the same commute. This practice announced by Ya’alon in 2014 ignited B’Tselem to release the following statement:
It is time to stop hiding behind technical arrangements and demand that Palestinians return to the West Bank through the same checkpoint they entered Israel, and admit this is military procedure is thinly veiled pandering the demand for racial segregation on buses.
That practice had been ongoing for all Israeli buses since. Though suddenly as of the past day there was an announcement of a three-month pilot project, Palestinians who work in Israel will, starting Wednesday, need to return home by the same crossing without taking buses used by (Israeli) residents of the occupied West Bank, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry. Only hours later Netanyahu froze THIS UPCOMING PRACTICE and they agreed that “Palestinian commuters' outward journey would remain unchanged but for their return trip they would have to board special Palestinian-only buses, which would have dropped them off at the same checkpoint where they crossed.”] Following this the Palestinians would catch their way home on foot from the checkpoint. According to MaanNews (and explained above) Palestinians before were able to catch any buses returning to the West Bank that served Palestinians and settlers. This is what ignited all these recent news headlines.

Bus segregation continues

The underlying factor here is that Netanyahu simply banned the practice when it deals with Palestinian workers returning to the West Bank. Regardless they still must take a Palestinian only bus to return to their respective “checkpoints.” It remains unclear, but it appears that bus segregation in the West Bank continues. All that has changed is the return of workers. Buses that are used to move between and within the settlements remain settler-only.
In 2011 some Palestinians resisted this discriminatory Israeli practice in the West Bank with "freedom rides.” One article explains, Just as the American freedom riders — black and white — boarded segregated buses together, defying Jim Crow segregation, the Palestinian freedom riders will board segregated Israeli buses that pass through Jewish-only settlements. As it turned out the Palestinians participating in these Freedom Ride protests were taken off the bus and arrested by Israeli occupation forces. In November 2011 the Palestinian Freedom Riders referring to the incident released that they had been arrested: Earlier today, seven Palestinian Freedom Riders were violently arrested while attempting to ride on segregated Israeli public transportation taking settlers from inside the West Bank to occupied East Jerusalem in an act of civil disobedience inspired by the Freedom Riders of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Photos of their removal from the bus can be found here

Response by B’Tselem: “Settler demand to keep Arabs off buses no surprise in light of the two separate legal systems for settlers and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories”

A press release by B’Tselem from today (May 20) states the following:
Now that the Israeli prime minister has instructed the Minister of Defense to freeze the pilot plan to keep Palestinians off the buses used by settlers, the most explicit and blatant manifestation of the segregation and discrimination regime will temporarily be put on hold, probably due to the negative fallout for Israel’s public image. However, the policy of segregation and discrimination against Palestinians has existed on the ground for a long time and it is the direct continuation of the regime of occupation and settlement. During the past 48 years the State of Israel has created two separate legal systems in the Occupied Territories, one for settlers the other for Palestinians. It also has imposed an official policy of segregation in downtown Hebron and, elsewhere, has set up a system of separate roads for use by Palestinians and settlers. It is therefore no surprise that the lords of the land are now demanding racial segregation on buses.
The flimsy excuses cited to rationalize this separation policy are entirely unconvincing. Particularly recalling the military’s past assertions that Palestinian workers who have undergone all the general and individualized security checks pose no security risk to settlers on the busses. Moreover, internal discourse among settlers unequivocally indicates that the demand for segregation comes from their interest in removing Arabs from the buses.
An official policy intended to segregate buses under the guise of security is not only morally repugnant. If implemented, the segregation policy will cause tangible harm to individual Palestinian workers with permits who are trying to earn a living and support their families. To get to work on time, these workers must arrive at the entry checkpoints in the wee hours of the night. They then spend hours on end waiting in line because of crowding at the checkpoint which is the result of the policy of authorities to keep down costs at the expense of the Palestinians workers, by not staffing enough booths at the checkpoints. After this interminable wait, the workers put in a long day of labor for low wages, often denied social benefits. The planned segregation will mean that the already long trip to work will be up to two hours longer for some of the workers.

Israeli Discrimination: “Separate and Unequal”

In 2010 Human Rights Watch came out with a 166 page report identifying Israel’s general discrimination towards Palestinians in the occupied territories – meanwhile Jews in the same territory faced no discrimination and were favored.
A summary of this report opens up by stating that:
Israeli policies in the West Bank harshly discriminate against Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities while providing lavish amenities for Jewish settlements, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report identifies discriminatory practices that have no legitimate security or other justification and calls on Israel, in addition to abiding by its international legal obligation to withdraw the settlements, to end these violations of Palestinians' rights.
The summary of the report continues by explaining that:
[the report] shows that Israel operates a two-tier system for the two populations of the West Bank in the large areas where it exercises exclusive control. The report is based on case studies comparing Israel's starkly different treatment of settlements and next-door Palestinian communities in these areas. It calls on the US and EU member states and on businesses with operations in settlement areas to avoid supporting Israeli settlement policies that are inherently discriminatory and that violate international law.
…"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits," said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations at Human Rights Watch. "While Israeli settlements flourish, Palestinians under Israeli control live in a time warp - not just separate, not just unequal, but sometimes even pushed off their lands and out of their homes."
The report cites many specific incidents of Israel’s discriminatory policies. One instance that appears in the beginning of the report says that "both Jubbet al-Dhib (the Arab village that existed since 1929) and Sde Bar (the Jewish settlement) fall within 'Area C' - land that was designated under the 1995 Oslo interim peace agreement to fall under Israeli civil and military control. But while Israel grants Sde Bar residents access to roads, electricity, and funds for housing development, it deprives residents of Jubbet al-Dhib of similar amenties. Since Sde Bar's founding in 1997, Israel has invested millions of dollars in nearby Jewish settlements like Tekoa and Nokdim to build homes, schools, community centers, health clinics, and swimming pools. The same is not true for Jubbet al-Dhib, which dates to 1929. Development and infrastructure there are at a standstill, strictly prohibited by Israeli authorities who prevent villagers from building new homes or expanding those they already have."
The HRW report notes that Palestinians are excluded from living in all settlements. They must obtain renewable permits by the Israeli authorities to enter settlements. There are no instances of the military granting permits for Palestinians to live inside any of the Jewish-only settlements.
The report focuses in on a few things, most notably:

Construction, Permits, Zoning, and Demolitions

Freedom of Movement

Water

Land Confiscation

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2014.08.10 01:59 kstinfo Why DC is delighted to be back in Iraq

What to do, what to do, what to do? Obama can do what he does best, deliberate (that's inside the beltway code for listen to his backers). The hawks will do their hawk thing, and the doves will do their dove thing. Not much will change, but it provides perfect cover for not dealing with anything else.
That "else" in my particular area of concern is Gaza.
And damn if anyone in elected office wants to know, not to contemplate, speak out on the activities of Israel in Gaza. You've heard of political third rails? Israel is touching the third rail with your tongue when the temperature is below zero.
But Israel isn't helping. The first casualty after a 3 day ceasefire was a 10 year old Gazan boy playing next to a mosque. Five other children were also wounded. BBC is questioning the UN's civilian/militant casualty designations but that's not helping because it brings up the numbers of dead women, children, and infirmed - designations not easily mistaken.
The pols need to be pressed. The UN is pressing, as are the Red Cross, the Bishop of Canterbury, the Pope, the International Federation of Journalists, Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, and Amnesty International.
700 people were arrested in Israel on July 21 protesting Israeli actions in Gaza. As I write this tens of thousands of people are in the streets of London and 50 thousand in South Africa according to The Guardian. In Washington DC today one person stood at the Isreali Embassy with a sign that read, "Israel: Stop Killing Children - to date 447".
That was me. Where the hell is everyone else?
The very best report I've seen on the conflict does not come from the media but from wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict
My ONLY concern is the deaths of the children. I will not respond to arguments that I am anti-Jew or pro-Hamas. I'm not. I probably won't respond to posts in favor of killing children either.
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2014.07.17 02:17 tabledresser [Table] Iama IDF (Israeli) solider. Ready to talk about my opinions and the way we deal with Gaza. Please, ama.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-07-16
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Thanks. What are your thoughts on Netanyahu? Do you think he has any interest in peace, or the emotional capability to bring it? He is obviously a smart man. Many people in Israel view him as a self centered politician. I tend to agree, but you got to give him credit, he has a long history with many achivments. And I can't believe that he doesn't care. So if he cares and he is smart and capable, its fine for me. I didn't vote for him.
Interesting response. Do you think the majority of mainstream Israelis feel the same way? Why doesn't Israel go further to reel in how militant they've become, given the problems it creates? Is the influence of American "Christians" a factor in that? I don't think they do. I think (sadly) that the majority of the israelians are religious to some degree. Many of them would adopt a "right wing" agenda. I didn't understand the rest of the question.
What percentage of the Palestinian population do you think feels this way? It seems like a very radical view of the world. Its hard to say. Does who wish for an Islamic eutopia probably are. I can't estimate a present. May be a Palestinian ama?
I read that you are doing this to protect your loved ones, is it hard knowing that the other side is doing the same? Have you ever been able to talk to those from the other side? It is. And we talk about it a lot in here, the morality. But I can calm myself knowing that we (and by we I mean the likes of me, my loved ones. Not people like extreme settlers) wouldn't hurt a human if it is not needed for protection. Its hard, knowing how many innocents died by my uniform. I guess reading helps... So it goes.
Do you read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut by any chance? Listen! Biliy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.
What is your opinion on the building of settlements in the west bank? Isreal needs to be able to defend itself, but the Palestineans also need room to live. What to you think the best solution is? Let me tell you buddy, if I could fight against them settlers, I would. They are driven from the same extreme drive as any other terrorist group.
Do you think any actual peace can be reached with Hamas? Any treaties? Or do they need to be removed from power entirely? From my prospective it looks like an actual stong Palestinean state is needed to take control of Gaza instead of just having a lawless area that is just guarded and bombed. I agree with you. They need actual leaders with leaser religious agendas. Hamas is a terror group that grew from the Muslim brothers. This is not a leading body.
Whats the current attitude on the subject of letting Hassidics dodge the draft? Is the free ride soon to be over? I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. Probably my English.
So this is the internet. We have all seen the pics of of the super-hot IDF chicks. Any insight on the matter would be appreciated as well as any stories or pictures. Mostly pictures. Well, we also have clever girls. But if you want to talk about the naked ones so, you know, every 18 yr old has to sign up, statistically, some are hot dum girls. When you put a large group of 18 to 21 ones in a closed base for weeks you get needs.
Thanks for responding. For #3, These guys don't have to do do two years in the army like everybody else. From what I hear this upsets a lot of people who think that they should not be excused from service. What's the current situation for this? OK got it. Well, if they don't want to serve I won't make them. They can go fuck them self's. Don't know the current status, don't care.
As for the girls. Its because you draft them all and uniforms look good on an already hot girl. Well, what can I say.
One extra question. How much english is spoken as opposed to Hebrew and yiddish? Every Isreali I have ever heard has english down really well. There was an Isreali girl I knew in high school and you couldn't tell she wasn't an American. I have also heard that young people consider english more hip. Hmmm... We do consume american content, like music and cinema. So most of the young people speak it pretty well.
Is the "Hamas using human shield" narrative true? to what degree? As far as I know it is. They form bases under schools and hospitals. They put launchers in families homes. This is way Israel can't complete the operation with air strikes alone, and says it need to physicly march in to Gaza.
Quick question, is that just a joke, or do people actually do that to avoid service? There's an article about pre-teen Israelis tweeting some pretty awful things. I hope this is just a small minority of horribly bigoted people. Ha ha. Yeah, some kids do desperate things to get out. I can't judge them, they have different views and want to go on with their lives with the 3 years holdback. The main joke on how to get out is to tell a psychiatrist and a can of ants are your best friend. Or claim you are a light bulb. Or just saying that the Torah is your craft.
What land, if any, do you believe Israel is entitled to? A tough one... I don't believe the Jewish narrative (or any other nation's narrative) for birth right. Which raises the question of why did I sign in. Well, I want to protect my loved ones.
Have your loved ones been harmed in the past? Fortunately no.
What is your opinion of the "two-state solution" to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and what would need to happen for it to actually work? Edit: oops, I meant the binational solution. But interested in your opinion either way/on both. I could live in both situations, happily. But I do know many people who won't be able to live with letting Arabs walk the hills of Jerusalem, and vice versa. It would take a brave leader who won't let noisy minorities with high political power in his way.
Link. If this story is true, the soldiers should be locket in prison and publicly exposed.
Since it's on the front page right now. What do you think about what happened to those Palastinian kids on the beach who got bombarded by shells from warships ? And what's your take on it ? Just saw a report on the subject on our media. People here are furious and an investigation has been opened. It won't just slip away, someone will be punished, I am proud to say.
How would you respond to the assertion that Israel is a "rogue nation" and should not be supported by the US? Edit: typo. Thanks for telling me about by making the same remark 3 different ways. We have rough politicians. And we use violence often. But I don't think we are proud of it, and this is the difference. We don't intend to kill because we hate Arabs, we use force to eliminate actual threats.
What do you see as the immediate reason for Israel's military action in Gaza? I mean, do you view it in a historical context, as retaliatory, or what? No historical context. Its about dealing with a threat. They publicly want to kill me and my other humans for that matter, all out of religious extreme.
I love how you say 'my other humans". All I hear about is 'the Israelis and the Palestinians' but never 'humans and humans'. Do you feel alone in thinking this way? Not alone, but not popular enough.
What kind of trouble would you get in for doing this? I won't get caught. But it could cost me some jail time. But I think that having an intelligent conversation does us more good.
The uniform looks quite stuffy -- is there a breezier uniform for casual duty? Because I'm on guard I'm wearing an antibullet vest (not sure about the English term). But usually we have lighter clothing.
Is there any conditioning prevalent in your military training that builds any kind of prejuidice towards Palestinian people? Not in my training, I can't tell for sure about the rest, I don't believe so. Not in my training, I can't tell for sure about the rest, I don't believe so.
Hamas is clearly opposed to peace. Does it seem like the Palestinian people, as a whole, feel the same? I don't believe they feel the same. Not all of them. I believe people are born good. You can't corrupt a whole nation.
I saw an article about the fresh food prepared for the dutch army, and it looked very appetizing. How is food in the IDF? Can you choose your assignments -- for example, could you become army chef if you showed good culinary skill? Most of the food is horrible. We a great cook in my base so I'm doing fine:) And you could ask for a position, sure.
This AMA ended quickly. Do you think the Mossad got him? No man. I'm fine:) just went to sleep.
Does your family have a solid shakshuka recipe that you're willing to share? I put apples in my shakshuka, only red.
Ok awesome, let's just put you two in charge and we can get this thing sorted before dinner. We will still need our people's support.
FWIW, they probably pick attractive female soldiers to take guard duty. Trust me they dont.
Last updated: 2014-07-21 00:06 UTC
This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
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2014.05.04 14:35 NewryGG Guerrilla Gardeners Newry Northern Ireland (plant for lasting peace)

Hi, I'm Joe. I posted this hoping to gain support for a community venture. Im From a small City called Newry, the city is steeped in history and since the peace process, as result of the good Friday agreement Newry has started to become a buzzing hive of cultural diversity becoming a safe and comfortable home for many Nationalities choosing to settle in northern Ireland. This was something that was unthinkable 20 years ago as the world news saw images of bombings, killings and violence almost on a daily basis the situation was similar to the Isreali / Palestinian conflict which continues today. We now all enjoy a peaceful happy and democratic society , I think it is appropriate to celebrate and safe guard what has been pain stakingly persued for the last 15 years. I wish to create a community project to brighten up our surroundings by organizing a group of like minded individuals and voulenteers to undertake guerrilla gardening projects under dead of night, instead of the threat of guerilla war which remains a dark reminder of the past. This group of individuals will be made up of people from all walks of life weather they be young or old, able bodied or disabled, beliefs, sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds. Togeather we can fight to preserve the peace process by working togeather as a community planting out shrubs flowers trees fruit and veg to show our support to adapt overcome and evolve as a city and evolve as a culture making Newry and mourne a brighter and happier place for all.
Recent events in the news namely the arrest of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has caused peace to be threatened . The unsuitable timing of the arrest approaching the local and european parliamentary elections has cast a dark shadow on the peace that everyone has worked hard to preserve. Sinn Fein have described the arrest as "Political Policing" and have threatened to withdraw support for the police and take a backwards step not only from the policing board but from the peace process. I belive that this community project will lead as an example not only to other cites and towns throught northern Ireland but will also lead an example of the use of dogcoin and spirit of giving represented by one of the world's most popular and generous crypto communities. with recent events in the news people need to be reassured that peace can exsist regaurdless of what our politicians want or what the brithish government decides to achieve.
Projects will include :
Conservation on the banks of the Newry canal which is one of Europe's oldest summit level canals and a historic feat of engineering for northern Ireland. Planting wildflowers Shrubs and trees will make it an ideal spot for wildlife canooing, cycleing, kyaking and many other wonderful benifits including enhancing the look of the towpath which runs along side the canal all the way to portadown predominantly protestant. whilst Newry on the opposite end is predominantly Catholic. I am hoping that co-operation will spread and similar ideas will be adopted in towns and villages along the canal stretch, with co-operation hard work and dogecoin we can make this happen.
Reclaiming dissused land that is neglected planting fruit trees and shrubs to bring colour, into dull areas of Newry planting a dogecoin icon out of marry golds on the Albert basin to promote the work we are doing. Think of it like a construction of a crop circle except we use flowers to do the art. Try to capture the eye of local media sources and promote dogecoin this way.
The construction of a local community farm somewhere in the city that caters for everyone and is a unique place to visit and mix with other people. The produce will be sold for doge and that in turn can be invested into other projects all proceeds go towards other voluntary projects.
These activities give the community a chance to mix and understand each other through cooperation we can continue to sculpt the landscape and fabric of society, maintain peace whilst enjoying the benifits of crypto currency and launching our city towards a better future, without the influence of politicians and political belifs. A website is currently under construction a link will be posted at a later date progress will be uploaded and documented weekly and all proceeeds donated will go towards our cause as we embark on our horticultural Revolution.
If you like what you have read and wish to donate our dogecoin address is as follows thankyou in advance for taking the time to read this and donating:
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2014.03.21 19:45 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: AMA about serving in the Israeli Special Forces

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-03-21
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
What's your opinion on ultra-orthodox Jews having to serve in military? Is it going to create more problems than it solves by having to accommodate them? or should there be no special accommodation? Is it a political move, or are they actually required to serve because there are not enough people in service otherwise? One might say it's a political move, but truth is, the ultra-orthdox Jews are being a financial burden on the GDP and most of the Israelis are upset with the fact it is a non-working sector that gets big government welfare. I think it's good, it's time to get them out of their 17th century mentality.
What is your view on the Israel-Palestine conflict? What is the general view within the military? It's a very tricky subject. I think that most of the world (at least the people I speak to/read) sees it as a one-dimensional, somewhat flat, diplomatic, problem. The truth is far more complex. I think both sides have aspirations to reach to a peaceful state now, but it's going to take a while, given the complex mixture of foreign influences and domestic interests involved.
Have you ever had to do anything (militarily) that you felt was wrong? It will sound very subjective, I am aware of it, but the Israeli military is incredibly moral. People find it hard to believe how strict are the moral codes, and how strictly they are being enforced. I had my arguments with my commanders about few operations/orders, but it was never on a moral ground.
We were told (by a palastinian organisation) that young soldiers are stuck in watchtowers for days so they start shooting things for fun ^ This shows you how propaganda works. It's outrages, really. If a soldier would ever, ever, fire a bullet which is not under the direct order of its commander (in a shooting range) or a life-threatening situation - he would end up in jail. Clearly as that. There are no games around this subject. War is a dirty game, unfortunate mistakes do happen (not just civilians getting hurt; even in my unit, 5 soldiers have been killed over the years as a result of army cross-fire) and as usual, you got these extreme cases of extreme nutcases. All in all, I think that the Arabic propaganda which is being delivered to the Western world doesn't differentiate fiction from facts in purpose, in order to win the public opinion battle. Israel is finding it very hard to deal with.
but the Israeli military is incredibly moral. It's a little hard to believe that statement when you hear stories like this: Link to www.thenation.com. As the article notes, that was not an isolated incident. Well, I think I said everything on the moral subject. I was there, I saw the truth with my own eyes for too many years. You can blame me in being subjective, but I promise you that I wish to live in a moral country as much as you wish to live in a moral world. The media is your "truth pipe" to consume the information, but the media is easily manipulated. The stories you consume are not the absolute truth. I can reply by asking you to watch this clip: Link to www.youtube.com , and we'll ping-pong links and sources of information forever. I can honestly say, as someone who've been there: Israel is not the perfect country, but the Israeli military is incredibly moral. And by that I'm concluding the moral discussion.
Link to en.wikipedia.org. Link to en.wikipedia.org. Link to www.haaretz.com. I clicked your link and haven't found anything about shooting things for fun in Bathlehem. I did see an unfortunate incident where an activist got shot in a war-zone, and the shooter got sent to jail for 8 years on the grounds of manslaughter and obstruction of justice, which is exactly what I said. this discussion is a non-winning debate for me, as you will never get 'convinced', but this is exactly the same as shooting in the streets of Detroit, Oslo or Moscow (except these are not war-zones!): People are crazy sometimes, and sometimes unfortunate incidents do happen, but justice has been served. This is not part of a big mechanism as you are trying to portray it.
This shows you how propaganda works. It's outrages, really. I have a question, how do "jew" people expect to be considered as the "good guys" if you systematically refuse to admit that another jew person can do wrong things ? Palestinian accept without problems the wrong doing of young people, influenced people, and even the hamas, or at least the one that are acting for the peace. But I hardly ever witnessed a Jew person accepting to say that in a particular situation between a Jew person and a Palestinian one, the Palestinian was right. It's always "oh it's propaganda", " I never heard about it", it just sounds wrong, impossible, therefore Israeli people are often considered as hard to believe. And you can't deny the hundreds of videos showing people getting shot at by Israeli soldiers, also I have friend who went in palestine and witnesses it from their own eyes. And I'm not denying the wrong doing of the Palestinian side. Just saying that nothing will ever get better if Israel refuse to admit theirs, let alone punishing the people for doing so. Also, there has been many example in the past of the Israeli army going into Palestinian territory to avenge some of their people, how do you view that ? What he wrote was a false propaganda, period. And they brought him all the way to Bethlehem just to show it to him, which is ridiculous. Anyway, I said many times in this question, Israel is not perfect, we have our nutcases as well, etc, but systematically and holistically, there is no immoral agenda going on and every moral issue is being tackled with all seriousness.
So Israel is at war with Palestine? No, there is peace and love between Israel and Palestine.
Some people only see what they want to see. I provided 3 links of three different incidents. All 3 are examples of non Arabs being hit and thus garnered more publicity. Of the three only one resulted in a prosecution. Furthermore if you look at how this prosecution came about, it was the result of huge pressure from the family and british goverent, the army infact resisted anything other than a routine investigation. That's quite different from the picture that was painted. I won't get convinced by lies. You started out by saying how the army was so moral and any such incident would be next to impossible to imagine and would result in swift convictions aided by the army, now you are comparing it to shootings by criminals in moscow? but justice has been served. Only due to the determination of his family, not the state apparatus, and what about the other examples I posted? Just to be on the right side, you provided the 2 other links in retrospective editing. Wish you all the best.
Do you know Krav Maga? If so, how would you rate your skills in the martial art and how hard is it to learn? Yes, I know Krav Maga. I was specialized in urban territories warfare, and as such, close-combat skills are important. I cannot say I developed a real skill in martial art but I can definitely fight. We were trained to fight under tough conditions with full focus on the target. For example, we had trainings where 5-6 people were beating one of us and he has to ignore the pain/beating and get to the designated target person. It's more of a mental practice rather than the aesthetics.
Did you take part of any operations in Gaza? If so what were your impressions of life there? Yes. Depends where. Generally not the best, but OK. Again, I might be accused in subjective thinking, but I think that if they were to put down the guns there and start focusing on their quality of life and infrastructure development, they can build very nice country. They have an amazing seashore.
Fair point but its kinda difficult to do that when all trade is being blockaded except for a single route into Egypt. It not a real trade blockade - everything has to be monitored first in Israel to ensure no missiles/bombs/etc have been sent. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? It's a dirty game, this conflict. But fact is that if Gaza would put down their weapon, Israel would be relieved and let it be. If Israel would put down their weapon, Gaza will strike it as hard as it can. I do not support any blockade, but the situation is complex.
What is your best memory serving in the Israeli Special Forces? What is your worst memory? Hi! Best: It's funny, but I remember vividly the first time after finishing the training process. Having our space within the fighters unit, with a private sand volleyball pitch, TV, fresh milk and the respect only elite fighters get, all those things we were dreaming for 18 months during the training process, this was very uplifting moment. Worst: Two of my friends got killed close to me.
I know that you aren't "good" at story telling, but what is the most memorable/scary experience from your time in Special Forces? Sure. I had many of those all. In my first operation ever we were waiting for almost a week for the zero hour. We had enormously tight time-frame to capture a terrorist once we were called. When we finally got triggered, we had to get into urban hostile territory in 3pm in the weekend and "pick up" a terrorist. We knew how to do it without getting noticed at first (search in YouTube for more), but once we were recognized the terrorist pulled up a gun on me. It was my first ever real operation. Luckily I was trained very well and for me - everything ended up fine. I didn't kill him, btw, just neutralized him and got him back to Israel. But it was scary as hell.
Have you ever kicked a terrorist so hard in the balls you tore a tendon? Once terrorists are being captured, no one touches them until they are being taken into custody. Once, during an operation, a terrorist fought us and hit my friend in the face so hard with an iron bar, that it literally got my friend's face open. Well, you might say this terrorist had blue balls for few weeks after.
What do you do on plan to be doing now that you have left the military? Has your time with the IDF changed or influenced any of your world views? Does the IDF treat men and women exactly the same, especially when it comes to (potential) combat roles? Or does human nature tend steer men/women on different paths within the military? After finishing my service, I went to banking/finance/trading. I left the defense world, though I still miss the adrenaline, the rhythm and the feeling of purpose. For sure my service changed my views, I'll try and elaborate more about it later. The IDF tries its best to treat men and women equally, but women still forming a very small fraction of the combat roles.
If you end up in some random mall in the US selling dead sea cosmetic goop, do we have permission to pimp slap you for vastly exceeding your quota of "fail" ? ;) For sure. Gee, dead sea cosmetics is the scam. I love it when they try to sell it to me in the mall, it's funny games time.
But seriously, do you have any favorite non-Israel made rifle? M14, Dragunov, Barrett .50, Hecate 20mm, Denel 14.5/20mm, or possibly something that weighs less than 12 pounds? AKs, ARs, Valmets, etc, etc. ? :D The rifles you've mentioned are being used as sniper rifles, I wasn't a sniper. However, I loved shooting at Barrett .50 . 0.5 bullets with this accuracy... Whoa. I think it's the most humanitarian rifle - if you get hit, you feel nothing ;) My favorite assault rifle was micro-Uzi, it's rifle the size of a gun, with amazing durability and very easy to stash.
Did your unit ever go into Syria or Lebanon to act as FAC's/Spotters for an airstrike? There is a designated unit for airstrikes spotting. We haven't done it.
What is the primary small arm of your unit? Are you guys still using M-4 legacy systems or have you moved on to the Tavor? If you have had hands on with the Tavor how do you like it VS the older M-4/M-16 based firearms. Primary assault rifle was M4 when I served, together with mini and micro Uzi. Primary pistol was Sig Sauer 228. I love this pistol. Personally I prefer the M4, because I specialized in it and I know every part of it upside down and know to deal with any jam within milliseconds. We trained with it until our hands were severely bruised. Also I didn't get used to the different weight balance in the Tavor. The Tavor, however, is much better.
I am writing a capstone on the Conflict between Israel and Palestine and would love to have your opinion on a few things first: has your view on the conflict changed with service and adulthood? Of course. I started off by having very flat picture, in time I understood better the interests, motivations, players, media bias (from both sides) and built a coherent view of the situation.
how much interaction do you have as a civilian with Palestinians everyday? Depends where you live, what you do, and who do you (yourself) declare as Palestinians. There are also the Israeli-Arabs, which for the larger part see themselves as Palestinians more than Israelis.
this is controversial, so if you don't want to answer you can ignore it (I won't be offended) How important to you, and people you know, is the "right to return" for Palestinians? Personally, I think the "right to return" is a leverage argument for the sake of negotiation rather than a real aspiration of the Palestinian leadership.
Fourth: this one is for fun :D Have you watched NCIS with Ziva David? What do you think of their portrayal of Israeli intelligence? Haven't watched it, but it's 8.1 on IMDB, so it's in my wishlist now. Thanks for the reference.
What do you think are the main reasons why a rather small country like Israel has one of the most respected military in the world? For the last 60 years we are in a constant war, in a shifting intensity. As you said we are rather small. In this state it's either you develop the best possible military or you are out of the game.
What was training like? What is the wash out rate? At first you get basic training for 6 months, which is demanding physically and mentally. You are being treated very harshly. You learn navigation, developing basic survival skills, shooting skills and a lot of physical activity. We ended up by having a long 120km continues trek at the end of basic training‎‏, after which the soldiers get the brigade's beret. Than I've been for few months in counter-terrorism courses, and learn to master my skills in Krav Maga, shooting a rifle, shooting a pistol and urban warfare tactics. After these few months end, I had a designation training, where the personal skills are developed according to the role one have in his team. All in all the training takes 18 months of very little sleep and strenuous physical activity. Wash out rate is high, I guess that 1 out of 50 people who tries to get accepted to the unit, finishes the course. In the course the washout rate is about 20%.
Are all IDF women hot? Unfortunately, no.
What is your honest opinion on Isreali military seizing the Turkish aid ship "Mavi Marmara" and evidently killing innocents? Have a look yourself please: Link to www.youtube.com ; This is the "aid" (weapons they were being attacked with): Link to www.youtube.com
Now imagine you were the soldier, please tell me your honest opinion of how would you react. I know how would I react if someone would have threatening my life. The sad part is that the Turkish government used protesters and the Israeli government used soldiers for their strategic games. I think this whole ordeal could've been resolved much better from both sides.
Do you have any tips for me before I go to the army draft? (צו ראשון) Just aim for what you want to achieve there. If you want to go to any of the special forces, help others in the Gibbushim as much as you can. You don't have to be the most dominant person, but you need to have a good sense of determination and solidarity. Best of luck.
Have you served in the occupied territories or around the Golan Hights? Can you name some areas or cities? Occupied territories mainly. You can have a look at the OP for more information.
Any stories about those people throwing rocks (or similar) mistaking Arabs for Jews, and attacking them by mistake? Not really. But there were times that Palestinians attacked their own, accusing them in cooperating with the Israeli intelligence. Most of the time these accusations were thrown as part of a political fights, where someone literally wanted to destroy his opponent.
What did you think of World War Z? Meh movie. The Israeli reference seemed awkward to me.
I've noticed that a lot of former Israeli soldiers who visit India and drown their minds shitless in drugs after their required stint in the army. Word is that this is a common thing to do for most Israeli army personnel after being discharged because of the tremendously high stress levels they endure. In south India Israeli expats are known as fiendish consumers of drugs. Is there any truth to this? Have you seen anything to believe or support this apparent trend? Thank you. For sure, happy to take more questions.
What is the perception of Islraelis and their army on India as an ally against terrorism. I know India politically/diplomatically supports Palastine. But is it true that there has been a fair level military co-operation between India and Israel? (I ask because I recently was surprised to learn of secret visits of Moshi Dayan to India in the past to discuss exchange of tactical knowledge and elite training to the Indian military.) Any thoughts on this? You articulated it quite well - unfortunately it's true. Many are going to India or South America after the service, some of them do try hard drugs. I did a backpacking trip in India myself for 6 months after I finished the service, although I wasn't into drugs.
Also, you sound like a total badass. As far as I know, there are great strategic relations between India and Israel.
How many times have you been heckled by Israel hating anti-semites? Thanks for serving by the way. How do you feel about the general anti-Israel, anti-semtism that is displayed so often on the internet? Three times, nothing major, but for the first time I understood what is 'harassment'. No one likes to be hated I guess.
What's your opinion on your current government? Not my cup of tea.
Do you think that the mandatory military service law your country has is beneficial to society, in that it promotes being aware of the tolls of serving and makes peace with other countries a bigger priority? That's a good one. I think the answer for that would be 'no', as Israelis treat the service as part of a routine civilian duty, and doesn't look at it as a learning process. But I'll have to think about it a bit further.
The proof provided would need to be posted publicly as it does cannot be mod verified, thanks! Supplied in OP.
Were you shown how to shoot an AK-47??? you know, just in case... Yes. Just shown, never really used it.
Do you work alongside the US Special Forces often? Not really.
Hello, i was past summer in Israel. Beautiful country! Is there any deaf soldiers in the ISF you've met? So yes, how do you work with them together? (I'm deaf too and i know there are armies in several countries who accept deaf soldiers) Hey rem0g, glad you liked Israel! There are no deaf fighters, just because it's not physically possible. But for sure, there are deaf soldiers, I worked with them just like I worked with blond soldiers, or everyone else for that matter. If there's job to get done, everyone's expected to give their best to get it done.
Hey Man, Im a little late to the party but just wanted to say thanks for the AMA and your service. My old man was a paratrooper during the 6 day war and my uncle and all my cousins served in the IDF. I didn't join the IDF because I live in the states but did join the Marine Corps. Anyways on to my questions if you are still answering any, what made you want to join Duvdevan unit? Did you ever think of joining Sayeret Matkal? Or another Sayeret unit? I wanted to join Sayeret Matkal at first, this is how I got to Duvdevan. Duvdevan is somewhat detached (up to a certain extent) from the big military infrastructure, thus having much more freedom to operate and less 'big army' duties. Unlike the 'big' military, in Duvdevan junior fighters could make an impact on operation plannings, post-operations analysis and have much more responsibilities and decision-making ability on the ground, during an operation. There are also about 4 levels of hierarchy between junior fighters and the army generals, unlike parallel Sayarot (except Matkal, Shaldag and Navy seals) who has 7-8 levels. This makes the work much more unique. And last, it is the busiest special operations force unit within the Israeli army, so for an adrenaline addict like me, it suits best.
As a member of the IDF, do you think that nationalism or faith plays a bigger part in motivating a soldier? Yes, of course. It's not a mercenary/professional army, it's a country military.
Do you think the Israeli method of room clearing is better than American and other methods? I think it's quite useful for our needs. Urban territory warfare tactics are different between Iraq and Gaza.
What is your opinion on the religious not going to the army? אחלה של עבודה אחי They should definitely start embed in the society. (It's called ultra-orthodox btw, 'religious' people include also Hovshey Kipot)
How often were you able to go home from base? Once every two-four weeks for the weekend.
לא ציינת באיזו סיירת. אגב fraction ≠ friction. Guess the only question I got is what sort of motivational tools do they use to get you to stick around for 5 years and devote your life to the IDF? Thanks. On a moral level it was the purpose feeling, on an emotional level it was the adrenaline rush and the rhythm. Also, I knew I was going to serve 4-5 years when I started the training.
I don't think it is a high-level strategy, but I do think the state of Israel turns a blind eye. Ok, here's a testimony ( Hebrew ). "Company commander, are you kidding? No way, I tell you, it wouldn’t leave the platoon. The platoon is like a state secret, that’s what we’d say. No one knew." Fair enough. There are inconsistencies between the English and the Hebrew versions (in the Hebrew version he specifically says officers weren't aware of it, in the English version it says officers were aware of it but the commanders weren't). Anyway, let's say it's real and the soldier himself didn't exaggerate (please take into account that it might be exaggeration. Just might.) and told an accurate story, please have a closer look on what he says: "While talking with the company commander? Company commander, are you kidding? No way, I tell you, it wouldn’t leave the platoon. The platoon is like a state secret, that’s what we’d say. No one knew." The reason he is so afraid ("are you kidding me? No one knew.") is that even for just harassing civil community (and however severe it is, it's much less severe than "shooting children for fun", mind you), if any commander knew about it - they would end up in jail. Unfortunately there are rotten roots and ill people in the army, just like in every other society, everywhere around the world. But this article quite prove you that Israel do not turns a blind eye, on the contrary: It created a culture where ill behavior is being done in secret, from the fear of getting caught by those in charge.
What do you mean "Special Forces"? What unit? Written in OP.
Do you think countries like US should have compulsory service? I really cannot tell. I'm not familiar with the US society-military structure at all.
How fast is your 2mile/3kms? I hate running. In my prime, I think my 3km was around 10mins.
The Israeli Limited Entry is an entry conducted from the door where they clear the immediate room before moving to the corners, unlike our methods which dictate direct (blind) entries where we clear corners first, ignoring immediate threats. And yes, as you guessed it, has got a lot of people hurt. Nah, It's not Iraq. Very rarely you clear a house/room. Always when you know for fact there are terrorists in there, usually followed by a gun battle with them. Before it's done you make sure there are no civilians there, this is being done by a PA system calling all civilians to leave the house, followed by sending trained dogs in to scan the perimeter. Only than, we clear the house, and even than, it's not 'blind-shooting'.
Here is an incident that happened few days ago: Link to www.jpost.com . The method is there: 1. "Counterterrorism unit members encircled the home, as a force composed of infantry soldiers (...) formed a perimeter to secure the operation." 2. "As counterterrorism unit members approached the house to make an arrest, shots were fired at them. The special forces stopped their approach, and the army used loudspeakers to call on all of the inhabitants to vacate the building." 3. “Everyone left the home other than the suspect. We ensured there were no family members inside” 4. The counterterrorism unit sent an attack dog into the home, but Abu Aleija shot and killed it. 5. At this stage they could've got in to clear the house, but "The wanted man then burst from home, shooting as he went. He shot two members of the counterterrorism unit, lightly wounding them. The unit returned fire, killing him on the spot."
Women of the IDF...quite fetching! Indeed! But as mentioned before - not all of them :(
It's not anti Semitic to hate Israel. Israelis are war criminals. Educate yourself about the Israeli Palestine conflict and look up the "USS Liberty attack". The whole anti Semite thing is something Israelis hide behind because they know it works on uninformed people like yourself. I could never convince you otherwise, but although it's popular accusation in some circles, it couldn't be further far from the truth that "Israelis are war criminals".
Do women get harder task in the israeli military. My penpal is a female from israel and she once told me her task was guarding a military base. Haha, there is no real differentiation. Guarding a military base is something almost everyone does at some point. It is not really a combat role, it's similar to guarding a factory.
Why is Israel portrayed as the underdog when it has a massive, extremely well-funded military (palestine has none), is the only nuclear power in the region, and it's borders are constantly expanding? Not sure where did you get the info about borders expansion, because it's not true. In fact, it goes the other way around. In my opinion Israel is not being portrayed as the underdog, on the contrary, I think that the fact that the Palestinians are being portray as the underdog is bringing lots of criticism upon Israel. If it does portray to you as the underdog, it might be because Israel has about 7 million people, while our enemies has about 150 millions people combined.
If you woke up tomorrow and a Muslim state had taken over Israel and was kicking you out of your home and killing your neighbor would you resist them? If you were segregated into a small geographical area and isolated from the rest of the world, do you think you might resort to unsavory tactics? If I would see that this Muslim state doesn't really want to occupy my land, but cannot withdraw because my extremist brothers just want to fight it no matter what, I would probably focus my time and energy on education.
I'm going to have to come back and ask a follow up actually. I find it hard to believe that you, a trained elite soldier would just give up and go pursue an education if you were besieged. Why do you find it so hard to believe? One of the best things I acquired in my service is perspective. I learned how the other side thinks, what values does he have, how he views hierarchy in society, in his family, what's important and less important for him. I see the other side exactly as I see my friends, I do not hold personal grudge against them. I understand them, however I do not agree with their philosophy/strategy - I don't think it's a winning strategy. If you want to put it so one dimensional - of course I would fight whoever wishes to destroy or besiege me. However, this is not the case between Israel and the Palestinians.
I think some Palestinians would disagree with your assessment that they're not under siege. They're not shooting rockets at Israel for fun. You have a 'linear' point of view on a 'spherical' situation. They are not shooting rockets at Israel because they are under a siege, either. As stated in the comment above, Israel do not wish to occupy any territory, however withdrawing all of a sudden unleashes extremists that attack Israel, as demonstrated in the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
Israel do not wish to occupy any territory, I cannot swallow any more bullshit than this. Hi Gandalaugh, if you think there are any hidden, evil interests for occupying this territory, please feel free to elaborate. Please look at it in a very cold manner: interests. Does the Palestinian territory have any oil? no. does it have any gas? no. Any resources at all? no. Is it strategic place to hold? no. Did Jordan want it back in the 94' peace treaty, after we captured it from them in 1967? no. Why? they saw it as a liability. Did Egypt wanted Gaza in the 1979 peace treaty? no. They only wanted Sinai back. There is absolutely no value in holding the occupied territories or Gaza strip. On the opposite: it 'sucks' tons of money and energy. Israel is there first and foremost from the reasons I stated above.
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2012.12.15 23:13 tabledresser [Table] I am an Israeli soldier stationed near the Gaza Strip. AMAA.

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Date: 2012-12-15
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Questions Answers
Do you feel that Israel is an apartheid state? Do you ever feel like you are part of a morally questionable institution? How is morale in the IDF in units that have the duty to help enforce new settlements? The biggest provider of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is Israel. How is that apartheid?
The morality of IDF is indeed questionable sometimes. But compared to the Hamas we are saints.
I wouldn't know. You're just gonna have to wait for those guys to do an AMA.
Because they block trade causing economic collapse in gaza They block trade because you could smuggle a large amounts of rockets through sea.
How to arrive at point 1? From my understanding Israel gives very little aid to Gaza, most comes from international donors. In 2010, 230,690 tons of humanitarian aid has been transferred from Israel into Gaza through the Israel-Gaza goods crossings More than 6.5 million gallons (25 million liters) of heavy duty diesel fuel for Gaza’s power station has been transferred from Israel to Gaza 6,354 Gazans have entered Israel on medical grounds 86 truckloads of flowers and strawberries have been exported from Gaza into Israel.
Transferred not provided. You want to debate semantics?
How do you feel about Israel stealing the West Bank? I am against it. The settling in the West Bank is preventing development for peace.
BTW, we are not allowed to voice our political opinion in public.
Have you served alongside many female soldiers? What are your opinions on their "combat fitness"? (I ask because this is a constantly cited reason in many countries as to why women should not be allowed to serve in combat roles) What do you think of the recent lift on the prohibition of ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the IDF? I have served with many female soldiers my company includes many female combat soldiers unlike many other places in the IDF. I do think they are somewhat less fit to combat then men. But at days end. Many of the reserve forces Israeli depends on are also.
Do you get a lot of Jews from abroad joining the IDF? We do. I have met many people we came from the US to join the IDF.
How do you protect your civilians from rocket fire? I can't tell you the details but I am connected to the Red Color alarm system.
Being an atheist do you get annoyed with all the religion surrounding your particular conflict? WOW, yeah.
How long are your sentry duties? Two hours each twice a day.
What is your ROE like? Googled ROE -> Return on equity?
Rules of Engagement. Means to attack.
Intention to attack.
Ability to attack.
Atheist? And yet YOU still kill in the name of a God? You're fucking scum. I have never killed anyone.
Define intention to attack, is that something that is interpreted by different soldiers differently? Man with a knife and is far away - no intention.
Man with a knife running towards me - intention.
Do you think there could be peace between Israel and Palestine if the two nations respected the 1947 boarders? "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading". - what i take from this is that Peace will never be possible in this conflict.
Do you have any fear that Iran or another state could attack Israel? I fear Israel attacking Iran. When Iran crosses the line we have put we will attack them. Period. Israel will not let Iran become nuclear as our leadership stated many times before.
Do you agree with the occupation of Palestine? Personally I disagree with it. And do you feel Israel's interaction with the raided aid flotilla was justified? You need to be more specific on what you mean in Palestine. Because it's a broad term.
That flotilla was armed, and carried weapons to deliver to Gaza aboard. So to call it an aid flotilla would be a stretch.
Do you have any family not in Israel? No.
How are you today? Quite alright actully. Thanks for asking.
Could you comment on the role of women in the Israeli military? Are they in combat arms? How about special forces? Women serve two years (Men serve three). First and foremost there are female pilots, and there are Battalions that allow for women fighters such as the Caracal Battalion. In the Artilliray corps there also integration of women fighters. No special special forces units would allow for female combatants because the IDF would not allow a female to get captured.
the IDF would not allow a female to get captured. For what reasons? They might get raped.
I have a follow up question if you don't mind- What do you think about allowing women to serve in combat? Are there any problems? Are they generally as capable? Most women combatants I know are in a better shape then I am. Does that answer your question?
Expand on this please. Why would that be significantly worse than other forms of torture? They could get pregnant in captivity. That's pretty harsh.
Is the formation of Israel in 1948 , taught In schools. Just curious because my Grandfather was in the British army and served in Palestine from 1944-1948? Of course it is. The formation of our country is in the heart of our history.
Good to hear :), another question regarding the British what were your opinion of them in that time period, were they bad or good? They were an annoyance most of the time. We liked the ones that liked us, and let us enter the country.
When you reflect on your military career what do you want to be proud that you helped accomplished? Keeping innocent lives out of harms way.
When I was younger, maybe 15 - 16 years ago I visited Israel and actually saw the Ghaza strip, there were a lot of soldiers on both sides and when we got stopped [my dad was driving] the soldier gave us a box of goodies for our 'troubles', but that was the only thing that happened. Could this be done today? Would you say a tourist is safe there still or is it a no-crossing zone? The area near the Gaza Strip is constantly bombarded with mortar and missile fire. i wouldn't recommend anyone going near there.
Is there still a belief in 'Purity of Arms' and 'The Most Moral Army', as the Israel lobby attempts to portray the IDF in the US? Have you ever witnessed another soldier (or have you, yourself) refuse to obey an immoral order? What were the consequences of that? Certainly. Most of us do believe we are the Most Moral Army.
No, I have not witnessed such an event. Mainly because (in my opinion) it's a rare event.
How much American involvement do you personally see? None. I believe the main involvement from the US is monetary.
Is it aid-based (food, supplies, etc.) or more military/diplomatic? Basically what are we doing for civilians, and how do you personally think the US should be involved. Id have to say military. I know that we bought a few million M16s each for a dollar.
Are you proud to be an Israeli soldier? Yes.
Under an order or something like that, do you think you could kill civilians? There is such a thing called a clearly illegal order. And if I am under such command I have the responsibly to say disobey that order. If I am every ordered to kill civilians with no apparent reason, i'm refusing it.
Whats your view on your prime minister? I don't like him. Not voting for him that's for sure.
What's the weather like? In the morning it really cold. In the noon it is blazing hot. In the evening it is cold again.
Whats the arrangement with shooting people in the buffer zone? The arrangement is that we don't do it.
As of the ceasefire arrangement the buffer zone of 300 meters into Gaza has been lifted and now they may approach the fence up close.
Use that space for farming and whatnot.
Have you been trained in Krav Maga? If so what is it like? I have. IT'S BADASS.
How many live fire training exercises are performed by the IDF inside or on the border of the Gaza Strip on a monthly basis? How many live fire training exercises are performed by the IDF near any other highly populated area in that same time frame? None. Our main goal around Gaza is to prevent unauthorized entrance into Israeli ground.
Could you give us an insight on what you do on a daily basis? Briefings, workouts, sentry dutys, taking care of my vehicle.
How do you feel about conscription? Was it more a feeling of doing your duty for country or something to get over with quickly and be done with it? I try to make the best of it. To take what i can from the training, the interactions with the people around me and the little money I do get for what I do (the equivlence of 184 dollar a month).
A know a few other countries like South Korea that also use conscription, curious what the average solider's take is on it. Thank you for doing the AMA However, the morale of the soldiers around me are rock bottom.
What do you guys think of Americans? You guys are cool.
What country are your ancestors from and when did they immigrate to isreal? Syria and Romania.
Why are there so many incidents of isreali soldiers killing palestinians on the web ? And what do you think about them ? This one. This on here. Or this one. And this. And this video (youtube) [and please ignore everything on the site besides the video, sorry for using this one] Do you feel like doing the right thing ? What do you think about Netanjahu wanting to start another war with iran that would cost countless more lifes ? Also thanks for doing this AMA. We do not target civilians. If civilians are hurt someone is not doing his job correctly and they pay for those mistakes. We have nothing to gain from killing civilians.
Have you ever had a Palestinian friend? Do you like to have one? What would your family think of you having a muslim best friend? Also, is there any chance that you would start dating a Muslim chick if you see one with nice boobs? Yes, i do have one.
They would dislike him instantly if they ever meet him.
Muslim boobs are just as good as Jewish boobs.
Do you think real peace will ever be attainable? I don't know. I hope so.
Do you think israel has been "americanized", and if so how do you feel about it? Yeah, I can see a lot of American influence in my life and I fucking love it.
I'm a former soldier from the U.S. what do you see happening if Iran does not stop its nuclear program, do you see a limited air attack or a more costly ground invasion? Also, with syria going crazy right now have you heard any grumblings from the lower enlisted grapevine about possible interference in that countries civil war? Sorry last question, do you realize how lucky you are in the hot female ratio you guys have in your military? Its really unfair just saying. We won't go in for a ground invation.
We won't go into Syria.
Yeah, I know. I would elaborate why but it involves math and i'm tired so maybe later.
How can you hold conflicting beliefs; that you are promoting the safety of people in your country and yet recognize the settling of the west bank is preventing development for peace? If all left wing people would not serve the IDF, the IDF would lose almost half it's forces.
Did the guns that Hamas use initially come from the USA or are you more concerned about makeshift rockets? I don't know about makeshift rockets but the weapons that Hamas receives are from Syria and Iran.
Ok, I guess I need to be more clear here. Were they manufactured in Syria and Iran? Most countries have a system of labeling their products. Do the labels on their AK-47's say "Made in Syria" or "made in Iran"? if you disassemble one, does it say "Made in the USA" somewhere? Or are they completely unlabeled in that sense? No, AK47's are made in Russia and then bought by Syria and Iran then transferred to Gaza.
Where the hell is your Tavor? They are giving it to the infantry corps first. I'm in the Artillery corps.
They still have you using the M4? But I don't care. It's really fucking heavy.
What brigade do you serve under? The 143 Brigade.
Do your superiors know your participating in this AMA? Are public affairs officers of any kind ounces in drafting your responces? Why does Israel continue to annex portions of the west bank for settlement purposes? Isn't that country productive to the two state solution? Nope. And that's why i'm keeping my identity secret.
Nope. Which is why this AMA is so unprofessional. haha.
I don't know.
I don't know.
What do you plan on doing after your mandatory service is over? Travel to the US. Unwind there for a few months and then go back and start working and generally living my life.
Are you stationed at HAZOR? Nope. It is up north. Waaay north.
Have you seen Waltz with Bashir? If so what were your thoughts on that movie? I've seen it. It has brought to my attention the Sabra and Shatila Massacre. But I don't think its fair to criticize that war from my perspective. I wasn't even alive back then.
Do you have any experience with the Galil family of firearms? Always been a fan of AK style guns just wondering what you have heard and or experienced regarding their reliability. Sorry, no.
Well, might as well get it out of the way so... Would you rather fight one camel sized duck or 100 duck sized camels? One camel sized duck, definitely.
I don't know if you are still answering questions. But as an American and a Jew i have always wanted to move to Israel and join the IDF. I speak no hebrew, i can only read it but not understand it. Are there a lot of Americans in the IDF and do they speak hebrew? Yes, we do get a lot of new immigrints joining the IDF. If you would like to join they will teach you Hebrew so you can serve. They have programs for that.
Go here: Link to www.mahal-idf-volunteers.org
I think they might help you a bit more then I can.
אתה בהגנה אווירית לא? בכל מקרה אחי כל הכבוד, תייצג אותנו ותגיד את האמת. אני רק אגיד את זה. אם אני אומר מאיפה אני. יידעו בידיוק מי אני.
If you could move to another other country would you? And where? Yes. I would move to the US.
What are your thoughts on North American Jews who do short-term volunteer work with the IDF (Mahal)? I feel like they'd just get in the way. We need every help we can get.
Whats your stance on the different political parties in Northern Ireland. 20 or 30 years ago it would have been the same type of conflict as in Israel now. TL;DR Irish freedom fighters or british military forces. I don't really know. I'm sorry. Irish people are cool though.
USS Liberty. Never forget. Wow dude, let things go. We apologized and everything...
Since your an atheist. Do you have to keep your thoughts about god to yourself to ensure your well being? Have you ever had to pretend to be apart of a religion to avoid a bad situation? Yes and No. I'll elaborate: My crew knows fully well i'm an Atheist. They don't mind. In the Kiddush prayer every Friday I participate because I come from a Jewish home and my Mom and Dad are Jewish. I participate because of standing outside would be insulting to them. My officer is quite religious, and gives a speech each Friday night after the Sabbath dinner. He talks about how the Old testament can make us better people. I've know him for almost two years and this speech became a constant in my life reminding me that religion sometimes can lead to good things.
Link to www.youtube.com. If you only answered some of these questions.. You literally shot first Link to www.reddit.com and then asked questions. ^
Last updated: 2012-12-19 10:41 UTC Next update: 2012-12-19 16:41 UTC
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2012.09.05 22:33 tabledresser [Table] IAmA hardcore Mormon who will tell you what we actually believe rather than skirting around the issues. AMA

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Date: 2012-09-01
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I understand that mormans believe different things based on where they are located, so here are my questions; 2) What rituals did you have to partake in? 3) What limitations on literature do you have? Also, why are you then allowed on the internet? 4) May you please explain in more detail this "Milk before meat"? 2) Mormons have some basic rituals like baptism and the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost. But they add a lot more afterwards. At 12, 14, 16, and 18 Mormon boys get blessed again to level up their priesthood powers. Sometime during the teen years, we also receive a Patriarchal blessing from the regional patriarch. This is more or less a "fortune-telling from God." Mormons treasure their patriarchal blessing and use it to make life decisions. They usually say what Israelite tribe we are from and they say that we will receive all kinds of blessings as long as we do what the church say. Finally, we have temple ordinances. First, we have a washing and annointing. An older man puts oil and water on our head and different parts of our body to bless us. Then, we go to the endowment room. We watch a movie about Adam and Eve and then learn the secret handshakes and passwords that the angels will ask us for when we go to heaven. We also dress up in baker's hats, sashes, robes, and green aprons. The women must wear veils. You can see the actual temple ritual on youtube. Before 1990, Mormons had to swear to never reveal anything in the temple or else. We then had to pantomime slashing our throat and spilling our bowels as a penalty. At the end of the lecture, Mormons pass through "the veil" by passing a pop quiz by a temple worker. We can then pass to the Celestial Room, which is a white room with a chandelier that represents heaven. When we get married, we are sealed in a ceremony across an altar where we once again promise to do everything the church says. Some elite Mormons receive an extra ceremony called a Second Anointing. In this ordinance, their feet are washed by an apostle and they are blessed by their wives and given a free pass to heaven. This is a super secret ritual that even most Mormons, except the elites, do not know about. It is by invitation only.
1) What does your church say will happen after you die? 5) What do you think are the worst rules in your church? 1) After you die, you go to one of two places depending on if you are Mormon or not: spirit paradise or spirit prison. In spirit prison, you will be proselityzed by spirit Mormon missionaries. We will then baptize you for the dead here on Earth just in case you accept their teachings. Whenever a non-Mormon we like dies, we joke that he will soon be Mormon because of this. After these states, we have judgment day and the resurrection. The best Mormons will go to the Celestial Kingdom where they will become Gods and make babies for eternity. The good people who are not Mormons go to the terrestrial kingdom, which by all accounts is cool. The worst people go to the telestial kingdom, which we still don't know anything about, but it is better than Earth. You want to go to the Celestial Kingdom because you can't be with your family in any of the others. As a closet atheist, I would say that all the rules suck. There are so many limitations on what you can think and say. It is anti-democratic at its heart. We are actually taught that we should NEVER criticize church leaders, even if they are wrong. This is dangerous I believe.
3) We are discouraged from reading anything with sexual content, swearing, violence, or secular ideas. This "drives away the spirit," they tell us. We are allowed on the Internet, but we are encouraged to have an Internet filter to block porn or "anti-Mormon propaganda." We are also discouraged from wasting time and told that we should do more constructive Mormon things rather than play games or surf the web. They also tell us to make the LDS church website our homepage so that we won't be tempted to look at porn. Porn is a huge hidden problem in the church.
4)"Milk before Meat" is a common saying among the brethren. Basically, we only tell non-members and prospective converts the easy, simple, and normal stuff. We are strongly discouraged from saying anything controversial or hardcore that might prevent them from being baptized. Eventually, new converts are slowly introduced down the rabbit hole of Mormonism to more and more strident teachings and practices.
Anything voters should know before voting for President? Romney swore in the temple to give everything he owns including his time, talents and everything with which he has been blessed to build up the Kingdom of God or the Mormon church.
Romney was also a member when they church taught that Blacks could not have the priesthood because they were "weaker spirits in the pre-existence." The First Presidency even made an official statement to this effect in 1947. Romney never opposed these teachings or this policy publicly. Those that did were excommunicated.
Also, hatred of gays is a very strong undercurrent in the Mormon church, especially among fundies.
Wait - why would a church demand that you "Give up everything you own... to the church"? Because they believe that the LDS church will grow in wealth and power to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. A recent Bloomber Businessweek article estimated that the LDS church now brings in about $6 billion dollars in tithing revenue every year and owns many businesses worth over $30 billion dollars. The LDS church owns resorts, theme parks, hunting preserves, mines, ranches, and many TV and radio stations. They bring the members on to do all the work as "service for the church" so that they don't have to pay people. When I was a kid, we would go up to the ranch near my house as a ward project to fix it up. Many retired old people in the church are encouraged to do "service missions" for the church. They often end up doing management or repair work at LDS businesses.
Do you believe that God lives on planet Kolob? Kolob is actually the star next to where God lives and it gives its power to our Sun to make it shine and rotate. See Pearl of Great Price Fac 2.
Also, in the temple movie, God is portrayed as chilling on a huge platform in space with Greek style pillars and he wear really baggy and shiny robes.
Also take in mind that Brigham Young states that people lived on the Sun, saying it was a Celestialized earth of some sorts. Hence why I say God lives on Kolob, because Kolob is a Sun nonetheless. Joseph Smith also said Quaker like people lived on the moon. True. But most Mormons do not know about these teachings. They are understandably downplayed. I did find a book by a fundie Mormon PhD which tried to argue that astronauts found footprints on the Moon which proves that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
DAE always read "LSD Church" at first? Some Mormons joke about that all the time actually. We usually look down on them.
Missouri? Why Missouri? In 1833, Joseph Smith was looking for a new place to build the Kingdom of God. At the time, Missouri was the frontier. Joseph wanted a place that was far enough away from government control to do what he wanted, but was close enough to be able to trade easily with the rest of the world. So, he got a revelation from God proclaiming that Missouri was now a land for the Mormons to build Zion on.
Most of the Missourians were not happy with having their land given to someone else. Conflicts between the Missourians and Mormons escalated until the Mormons were kicked out and sent to a more Northern part of Missouri. In 1838, Mormon militias began looting and burning 'Gentile" settlements to pave the way for the return of Zion. Joseph's brother also signed a document threatening dissenting Mormons with death. This scared the Missourians so much that they called up the State Militia in order to exterminate the Mormons or push them from the State. In a tragic episode, more than 20 Mormons were killed at a place called Haun's Mill by state militia. The Mormons soon surrendered and left for Illinois where it began all over again.
Mormons left Missouri behind, but they still have the revelations calling for them to build Zion there. Ever since then, Mormons have believed that a "return to Missouri" would happen in their lifetimes. They believe that God will wipe out the non-Mormons so that they can move back and build huge temples and pave the way for a huge meeting in a valley called Adam-Ondi-Ahman with all the Bible and Book of Mormon spiritual bigshots and Jesus.
Proof? Hard to prove. Ask me anything about the Mormon faith and I can give you a good answer though. I can't very well upload a picture, because I could get kicked out of my church and college for doing this.
So what would be an example of the "milk before meat"? (ie, If I were to talk to someone who is LDS what would be something I could ask them to see if they were telling the truth about their belief vs. lieing to win me over) A great example of "milk before meat: would be anything about the "magic underwear" or what happens in the temple. I would definitely be condemned to hell or disciplined in the church for talking about that. Mormons are not even supposed to talk to each other about it, let alone "outsiders."
How long have you been atheist, and what age are you now? I am now 21. I have been since 18.
As a "mormon" (closet athiest), I can verify that the OP's answers are mormon beliefs. First time I've seen actual beliefs in this format on reddit, as most people tend to exaggerate and belittle, rather than say how "we" see it. Ah. BYU, eh? I'm so sorry. Yep. You know. Thanks for verifying.
Do you think that the qualities that enable someone to maintain such far-fetched beliefs precludes them from rational thought in non-religious spectrums? Depends. Mormons are really good at building walls around their religious beliefs. If you talk to a Mormon about troubling episodes in LDS history or archaeology that shows that no Jews were in America, they become very irrational, defensive, and offended. They are not very good at being rational about their own leaders.
For instance, if any other church demanded that you give them 10% of your money as charity, but refused to tell you what they did with your money, most Mormons would never give any money to it. However, the Mormon Church demands 10% and refuses to release any kind of financial information to members or anyone else "since God is taking care of it." In fact, members will get really offended if you suggest that the Prophet should release financial data to them. Once the prophet speaks, the debate is over for hardcore Mormons.
As long as they are thinking about something which the Church has never spoken on, like business decisions or foreign policy, they are usually OK. But on scientific issues or social issues, there are plenty of creationists, radical pro-lifers, homophobes, and conspiracy theorists.
What really pissed me off about the church was that, supposedly, they have no political stance. The exception: morality mixed with politics. Prop 8 in CA was a fucking chore to sit through at church. So much bigotry, while still providing proclamations of love for all. sigh In Idaho, they told us to oppose state lotteries.
In the 1970s, they had an official statement asking members to "prayerfully consider" whether flouride in water was a socialist plot.
In the 1950s, the church said that segregation was God ordained and an apostle even wrote a letter to Romney's Dad telling him that he was "out of line" for opposing segregation.
There is also a very conservative cultural element. Liberal Mormons are usually rumored to be apostate or gay and are ostracized. I knew a missionary who was cut out of his Dad's will and practically disowned because his girlfriend was a Democrat. Neutrality is a joke.
Does the Mormon church have any problems with member retention or people leaving the church? Do you think there are many other "closet atheists" or doubters like yourself? Definitely. I know many. The last study I saw estimated that about 20% of people born in the church leave for good. Another 2/3s go inactive for a time. Most come back eventually though.
Convert retention is horrible though. In Latin America and Asia, less than 20% of Mormons that are counted on the church rolls still identify as Mormons to pollsters. Even though the LDS church claims 14 millions members, I would estimate that only 5 million actually consider themselves to be Mormons. Many die, stop going to church, or even join another church and are simply never scrubbed from the records.
How does this religion spread? with other religions, you get a prize...heaven, peace, etc. if you can be baptized post-mortem, why care about it now? We teach that if people don't accept baptism in this life, they won't get as good of a chance in the next one. We are not sure how it works, but we teach that you must get baptized now.
I just don't understand how people get past the crazy, how does the sales pitch go to non-mormons they are trying to convert? Most Mormon converts are not random people off the street. As a former missionary, I can tell you this. Almost all new converts are lonely people who have a couple friends in the church and just want a social group. A lot of converts are also pressured into it by family members or love interests. Peer pressure is the single biggest way that the church gets new members. Sometimes, the church unit even "assigns" friends to possible converts in order to bring them to church and fellowship them. I kid you not. They do not see the irony in this.
I have heard that Lucifer is mentioned during the temple ceremonies you go through the first time you go through the temple. How does he fit into your beliefs? Yes. He is a character in the temple movie. His character even threatens that if we ever speak of anything in the temple, that he will own us. It is a scary moment.
Lucifer is an omnipresent boogie man for Mormons. Mormons are afraid to do anything that might put us in "his power." He is everywhere. Many Mormons even believe that he can possess us or appear as a disguised angel. In the D&C (a Mormon scripture), it says that Satan has power over water. Many Mormons believe that he can literally drown you if you go swimming on Sunday. I was taught this all throughout my youth. Another section says that if an angel appears to you, you should shake its hand to see if it is Satan or one of his minions. If it is a resurrected being, you will be able to feel its hand. If it is a holy spirit, he will refuse to shake your hand because he doesn't want to deceive you. If it is Satan, he will try to shake your hand, but since he doesn't have a body, you won't be able to feel anything.
Lucifer is a great enemy though. If anyone leaves the church, it is automatically assumed that he is under Satan's power in some way. He must be bitter, gay, or sinful. Mormons do not understand how anyone could ever disagree with their obviously true beliefs.
Is it comfortable? NO. I hate wearing garments. Especially in hot places. They used to be one piece jumpsuits that were really itchy. They have modernized them a lot, but they still suck when it is summer or you are exercising.
How can you (or anyone) believe Joseph Smith when even the people that knew him best - his inner circle - all abandoned him and/or joined other religions. Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and even his wife. If you met a real prophet and saw actual miracles and proof - would you ever abandon that person? I agree that this is a good point. That is why I am closet atheist. See post.
However, most Mormons think that Joseph's inner circle left because Satan was "trying harder" to tempt them and because they were not strong enough to deal with persecution. Mormonism has an interesting value set. They think that the more strongly you believe something, despite the evidence, the better and more righteous you are.
In General Conference, the biggest Mormon meeting of the year, one apostle taught that McClellan, one of Joseph's top associates, left because he was offended over some disagreement with Joseph's wife over milk cream. The apostle made the point that most people leave out of pride or sin.
The real reason that McClellan left was because he found out that a secret band of Mormons known as Danites were burning down and looting the houses of "gentiles" in order to clear the way for Zion.
I understand that mormans believe different things based on where they are located. I went on a mission to a third world country where they taught that eating unripe fruit is a sin and where the religious leaders practiced polygamy in their branch. Very different from Utah.
Thats crazy! Also, I didn't know california mormons were more liberal, they seem like they must be really really into it whenever I talk to them, also most of the ones I know are very very anti gay, and a lot of them seem racist, but maybe thats just the ones in my part of town. Maybe. That is the stereotype, but every California Mormon I met seemed really conservative to me as well. I think that a lot of the more liberal Mormons have left the church over the past decade. The California Area of the church was the only one in the world to lose thousands of members over the past 5 or 6 years. Maybe it is because all the liberal ones are leaving. I don't live there though, so this is only my speculation.
Wooo! Finally a question that hasn't been asked yet. What the hell is up with coffee or tea? Why can't you drink those but hot chocolate? Wouldn't that be considered a "hot" beverage too? Yes. The "Word of Wisdom" or the ban on alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea actually comes from D&C 89. It also says that "Mild barley drinks" are OK and that meat shouldn't be eaten unless it is cold or a time of famine. The second verse of the revelation says specifically that the "Word of Wisdom" is good advice rather than a commandment. For the first century, Mormons didn't take it seriously. In the 1930s, the Mormons had a prophet named Heber J Grant who was a big prohibition advocate. When prohibition was struck down, he told the church that we needed to take this commandment as mandatory. He redefined hot drinks to mean tea an coffee. In the 1830s when the original revelation was given, the medical establishment believed that rapid changed in temperature would actually harm health and that tea had a poison called "muriatic acid" in it. Joseph Smith probably included these current beliefs in his revelation.
Have you or any Mormon you know seen "The Book of Mormon" the play by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker? If so, how would you (or those who saw it) characterize it? I've heard that Stone and Parker are more fascinated by the Mormon belief than anything else, in part because of some of the "silly" kinds of things that you have been discussing in this thread. Would you say the play is an honest portrayal of Mormons, or are Stone and Parker just as off base about the religion as anyone else? I have. But most Mormons do not. We are definitely not supposed to. Most Mormons think it is an "anti-Mormon propaganda piece" by the liberal media. There were a few minor things that I would correct, but I thought it was a surprisingly fair and accurate depiction of what we believe.
You mention the "temple movie" a few times. What is that? It is a movie that the church made that they show us in the temple when we go get endowments.
First, it shows some nature scenes with a narration by God, Jesus, and Adam talking about how they are to create the world. It closely follows Genesis Chapter 1.
Then, Adam is created in the garden and Eve is given to him. They wander through the garden for awhile until Satan appears in an exotic outfit and apron. He tempts Eve to eat the fruit and she gets Adam to do so as well.
God and Jesus appear and reprimand them. Adam and Eve are banished and Satan swears vengeance on the children of men. Adam builds an altar and prays to God. Satan appears and tries to tempt him with money to sell the secret handshakes and passwords to him. Adam refuses. Peter, James, and John come and dismiss Satan and praise Adam for his faithfulness. Adam turns to the camera and promises Mormons that as long as they keep the covenants that they are about to make in the temple, they will be happy and return to live with God.
Satan tells us that he will own us if we don't live up to the covenants or if we reveal them to outsiders.
What was the wake-up call for you? Like the voice of sanity in this church of insanity and discordia? If you can blank out the personal details do so, I also completely understand if you do not answer this question. I am just curious what make people wake up from such a doctrinal "sleep". Actually, I read the Koran and 1984 for a college class. The Koran made me realize that all other religions also rely on faith and the same silly evidences that I was using. Then, 1984 showed me how doublethink can make us put up walls in our minds to stop seeing obvious truths. I tore down my walls and, one day, I woke up and realized it was all bullshit.
What is the single strangest belief Mormons hold, in your opinion? That all of history was designed to create the Mormon Church. We teach in church that the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution, and all the technological inventions of the past 200 years all happened so that Mormonism could come and grow throughout the world.
Is that any different than any other religion? Not really. And I think that it is crazy that any religion believes that they are the center of the universe. Spend a little time on a virtual space map of the universe and you will begin to see how ridiculous that is.
If Romney becomes President, how much control will the LDS have over him and his administration? I don't think the church will blatantly dictate policies to him. But I wouldn't be surprised if he gave them preferential treatment on some things.
He will never go against them on social issues though. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he went on an anti-pornography crusade and supported pro-life and anti-gay marriage positions.
Is any of what is in this video true? Kind of. Mormons hate that cartoon because it uses different terminology and slants things to look weirder than they are. But the cartoon is at least based in fact.
Link to www.youtube.com. The LDS church now teaches that we do not literally become Gods and that God didn't literally screw the Virgin Mary, but most Mormons still believe both of those things and church leaders affirmed both of those beliefs as recently as the 1980s. The current church is trying to push most of the beliefs in that cartoon down the memory hole.
What happens in the super secret Mormon wedding ceremonies? The endowment ceremony is the first part of Mormon temple ceremonies. It is not technically part of the wedding, but it is something of a prerequisite. First, we have a washing and annointing. An older man puts oil and water on our head and different parts of our body to bless us. Then, we go to the endowment room. We watch a movie about Adam and Eve and then learn the secret handshakes and passwords that the angels will ask us for when we go to heaven. We also dress up in baker's hats, sashes, robes, and green aprons. The women must wear veils. You can see the actual temple ritual on youtube. Before 1990, Mormons had to swear to never reveal anything in the temple or else. We then had to pantomime slashing our throat and spilling our bowels as a penalty. At the end of the lecture, Mormons pass through "the veil" by passing a pop quiz by a temple worker. We can then pass to the Celestial Room, which is a white room with a chandelier that represents heaven.
When we get married, we are sealed in a ceremony across an altar where we once again promise to do everything the church says. Some elite Mormons receive an extra ceremony called a Second Anointing. In this ordinance, their feet are washed by an apostle and they are blessed by their wives and given a free pass to heaven. This is a super secret ritual that even most Mormons, except the elites, do not know about. It is by invitation only.
I heard a rumor that Mormons believe they become God of their own planet when they die. Any truth to that or is that totally insane? Mormons used to teach that until about 20 years ago. Actually, they taught that Gods have multiple wives and that they create their own universe. Most Mormons still believe this.
However, the LDS PR department realizes that this sounds bad and they have been downplaying it. The penultimate LDS prophet, Gordon B Hinckley told New Yorker Magazine that that teaching wasn't emphasized and that we don't really teach that anymore. Now, we teach that we become "like God" in attributes.
Is the wikileaks book real? If so, has anything changed since its release? Link to wikileaks.org. Yes. The Church sues anyone who puts it up thought. They have a General Release Church Handbook of Instructions for members. Its pretty boring and has lots of silly regulations, but anyone can get it.
Do you believe that mormons will vote for Romney exclusively because he is also a mormon? My facebook feed is absolutely saturated with Pro-Romney-Ryan posts from friends and family who are convinced that they will save America from evil.
I have also heard many Mormons say that Romney's campaign will bring lots of converts to the church. They also say that it is great that a man who knows how to pray and talk to God will be in the White House.
I've met some outstanding people that have decided to be non-hardcore LDS, while still staying faithful to their church. how do hard-core LDS look at these people? are they straying from the "true path?" Oh yes. There is a group called "New Order Mormons." Most hardline Mormons see them as borderline apostates or prideful. They are looked down upon and judged in Mormon areas.
Do Mormons actually want to bring back polygamy? Some believe it will come back "after the Millenium" when Jesus rules the Earth. Polygamy is still technically a "doctrine of the church" that is temporarily suspended.
However, the LDS church is ruled more by businessmen and PR guys than religious ideologues. I really doubt that they would bring back polygamy because it would be a disaster for their image and growth. The church spends millions on commercials to try to make itself look respectable and normal. Polygamy would destroy all of that.
What are the Mormon views about different races? I've heard that Mormon doctrine is pretty racist, but I've never actually looked into it. The Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price teach that black people and American Indians all have brown skin as a curse for the wickedness of their ancestors. God did not want the righteous white skinned Nephites to mix with them. The church downplays these kinds of teachings now because they are not good PR.
As I understand your church rejected some of the controversial teachings of Brigham Young back in the '60s or so. I'm curious as to how things might've changed with regards to those teachings. A) Are people in the church still mostly aware of what he said, even if it's no longer being taught? I'm sure it's not really something they want to talk about a lot - but do they, for example, explain to their kids that he existed and that they don't believe in his teachings anymore? B) Does the church have any official justifications/explanations for what Young said? Ie - do they feel that what he said simply reflects the "zeitgeist" of that era? They rejected a lot of Brigham Young's teachings when he died. One of his theological rivals, Orson Pratt, outlived him and reversed his Adam-God teachings in the late 1870s. Some of Brigham Young's teachings weren't repudiated or de-emphasized until the 1970s or 1990s though. They dropped the teachings when they became inconvenient. No. Most Mormons are blissfully unaware of his controversial teachings and won't believe any source that they happened. It is kind of like 1984. Brigham Young is mostly down the memory hole. They have a manual to teach about him in church that only teaches uncontroversial stuff. The manual about his life doesn't even mention that he was a polygamist.
What, besides your family and mormon friends, would you miss most if you were to come out of the atheist closet? I'd get kicked out of my college and wouldn't be able to transfer my scholarship or credits.
That would hurt.
Please explain the magic underwear thing. The magic underwear are sacred garments that all Mormons get in the temple. This is a reminder of the covenants that we take in temple, including that we will give all of our time, talents and possessions to the LDS church and that woman must obey their husbands as they obey the church in all things.
We also believe that the magic underwear actually has some kind of protective power from both demons and from physical harm. When I went through the Mormon temple to receive mine, they told me that the garments would protect me from fire, gunshots, or car accidents and said that their friends had been protected in a similar manner.
The garments include stitching over the breasts, belly button, and knee that give them their sacred power. When the garments become worn, Mormons are supposed to cut out the stitchings and burn the pieces, so that you can throw away the garments without blaspheming them.
Most Mormons will just get super offended when you ask about the magic underwear thing, because, deep down, they think it's kind of silly too, but don't want to admit it to themselves. Getting offended is a great way to avoid answering questions that make you sound dumb.
Actually Mormons generally have a sense of humor that as a Non-mormon in the corridor I often find straight up offensive. It's like pg frat humor at the world's expense. True. We do often joke about non-Members going to Hell or getting their "comeuppance" when they die.
Law of Consecration. Indeed.
Romney has a personal and religious disposition to support Isreal. That should be concerning for anyone who thinks Isreali security is not neccisarily American security. This is also a big concern for me. Most Mormons I know think that Romney needs to win as part of God's plan so that we can have a world war with Islam in order to bring back Jesus at the end of the apocalypse. I have heard this often, especially from the older Mormons.
They also say that, within our lifetimes, the United States will fall apart and Missouri will be emptied by the wrath of God. Then, we will all go back like pioneers to build Zion there and replace the old inhabitants.
Mormon's believe that science and religion will eventually meet in the middle, part of the problem is that in all the areas that they don't meet, "science" is at fault. Yep. That is true. My astronomy professor at BYU still taught us physics, but explained the Kolob stuff as "higher physics" that we don't understand yet.
According to the Book of Abraham (scroll Joseph Smith found on a mummy), God lives on a planet called Kolob, which is in a different galaxy/orbit than Earth. 1 day in Kolob is 1000 years on Earth. True.
Technically, I am a closet atheist and I no longer believe in the Mormon Church. However, I must pretend to be a hardcore Mormon so that my family and friends don't disown me. The only thing I need to know. So sad that people put their faith before love! Agreed. I hate it. But my family would not let me have unrestricted contact with my siblings because they would be afraid that I would "poison them" like a mini-devil and make them lose their beliefs as well.
Last updated: 2012-09-09 15:09 UTC
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How has the Jewish approach to finding love evolved over the past 5,000 years? Meir Kay, Mendy Pellin, Flatbush Girl and the Hasidic Hipster Girl bring to li... Want to learn more? Book a Chassidic walking tour at https://www.JewishBrooklyn.nyc/ Visit http://11213.org/ for Audio/Video of Rabbi Manis Friedman Like: ht... Tsafi hit the streets of Tel Aviv to find out what the locals think we needed to know about dating in Israel. Any tips for dating Israelis? Let us know in th... Film starts at 0:37. For the first time, Orthodox Jewish people in Israel allow a camera to enter their personal lives on an intimate level, enabling us to d... Four Jewish women sit down for a conversation about dating — and all the family pressure that comes along with it. From the bluntness to the fun-loving, relaxed attitude of the Shabbat. To the mother.. yes the mother, this is what it's like dating that Israeli man, יַקִיר... At Israeli News Live we examine world headlines and their relevancy to Biblical Prophecy. In the latter days that we are living in as many call the 'End Time... While at FluenTLV's Purim party this year, there were hundreds of internationals practicing their language skills, so we thought it would be fun to walk aro... The Ask Project is made possible by donations from viewers like you. Please donate to the project at: * https://www.paypal.me/coreygilshuster * https://www.p... She may be blunt and strong-willed, and she probably doesn't take bullshit. What it's like to date that Israeli woman. Behind the scenes, dating tips and Goo...