Forum Replies Created
November 2, 2018 7:59 am at 7:59 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1615519
It’s true that I can’t imagine any workable way America can reverse the situation on guns, practically speaking. And there’s probably not the political will either. But that doesn’t mean a lot of the various arguments I’ve seem make any sense.
Fact: A terrorist with access to a gun is far more dangerous than one without, generally speaking.
Fact: A country with widespread gun ownership is generally less safe than one without.
Fact: Cars and knives are useful, common everyday items. There’s no reasonable way to keep them away from terrorists or criminals. The same is not true for guns, the sole purpose of which are to cause harm.
Fact: Israel does not have guns freely available. They’re highly regulated and only available to specific individuals, often ex-military. The sort of people who’ve carried out massacres in the US would not be able to get hold of guns in Israel.
Fact: I’m very glad I don’t live in a country with widespread gun ownership.November 2, 2018 7:56 am at 7:56 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1615514
The idea that those wishing to cause harm can just use knives or cars simply doesn’t stand up. There’s two crucial distinctions: Firstly, cars and knives are common and necessary everyday objects. You can require licenses and not sell knives to children, but there’s no reasonable way to stop people misusing them. The same cannot be said for guns, the sole purpose of which is it to kill.
Secondly, a country where criminals and terrorist use knives and cars instead of guns is far safer, to a huge degree. For example, the UK has a high Islamic terrorist threat, but the death toll is relatively low. There have been two notable suicide bomb attacks with large casualty counts, but that’s a seperate issue, as people make their own bombs, unlike guns. The death toll from attacks not using bombs is much lower than they would have been had guns been available. San Bernandino had a higher casualty toll than Woolwich, Borough Market & Westminster combined, not to mention many failed attempts. The difference is guns.October 28, 2018 12:24 am at 12:24 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1611698
It’s true that the USA probably wouldn’t be able to deal with all the guns if they so wished. But it seems obvious to me that a country like the UK, with very low gun ownership, is much better off in that regard than the US. The fact is, very few people get killed by guns in the UK, mass shootings simply don’t happen, and our terrorist attacks, when they do happen, kill much fewer people. That seems to me like a good thing.
Of course, the last time you responded to me, you said that a police officer on the bridge with an automatic weapon would have saved lives at the Westminster terror attack. I can’t imagine how this would work, how an officer firing through crowds of people at a speeding car would have led to less deaths, but there you are. So I’m intrigued at how a case could be made that guns make a country safer or better in any way.October 28, 2018 12:19 am at 12:19 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1611695
Thought I’d offer my belated two cents, a year on. I hope some of the orignal participants in this discussion can respond.
Mentsch1: I cannot see any hashkafic basis for this deterministic view that sensible safety measures are unnecessary since one is anyway destined to die at that time. By this reckoning, putting oneself in any manner of dangerous situations would be completely fine.
On the wider issue of gun ownership – I completely agree that the USA is almost certainly beyond the point of no return when it comes to private gun ownership. Guns are pretty easy to hide, don’t expire, and are pretty much everywhere. There’s no feasible way of changing that. But my question is whether people think that’s largely a positive thing, and that people should be allowed to own weapons due to ideological or practical reasons, or an unfortunate reality?
As a Brit, from a country where guns are rare and gun deaths even rarer, I fail to see why anyone would actively desire a situation like it currently is in the US.October 27, 2018 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm in reply to: NeutiquamErro's favorite thread with an obscure title #1611667
Hey, it’s my favourite thread with an obscure title! Glad to see it back on the main CR page, if only briefly. Kudos to whomever dredged it up.
Sadly, I’ve got little to no interest in video games, although my latent fondness for Harry Potter remains strong. Would be great if those discussions got kickstarted again.January 16, 2018 7:31 am at 7:31 am in reply to: Choson & Kallah Walking Together Into Wedding Hall – Jewish or Gentile? #1450625
Of course, what we’re talking about here, namely the wedding dinner, is essentially a glorified sheva brachos. It has no significance beyond that. So the copious amounts of snark directed at the question and questioner are unwarranted, nobody’s suggesting the new couple’s entrance is anything other than a pointless bit of pageantry. It would be nice to hear someone address the question directly and mention that their grandparents did it or suchlike. If people are aiming random digs at chassidim apropos of nothing, it’s hardly a good sign.
To take into account the Palestinian reaction to this move is not pandering to terrorism, it’s simply recognising the realities of the situation. The fact is this will probably lead to further deaths. Whilst the responsibility for the violence always lies with the perpetrators, it doesn’t make it amy less foolhardy for the politicians to push for a move that changes very little in material terms, but will lead to unrest. If it were a practical change that’d be one thing, but apart from one new building, nothing will have changed on the ground, except it will be significantly less safe to be a Jew in this city.
Or to put it another way, I couldn’t care less what the State of Israel considers as its capital, nor whether the United States agrees. It makes no difference to my life. Increased terrorism does, so I am proudly, and selfishly, decrying this pointless exercise.
So it looks increasingly likely that Trump will take this step, and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the next 24 hours or so, although it seems as if he will not move the embassy there. I for one hope that he can be dissuaded from carrying this out, as frankly the only people who will welcome this move will be certain sections of the Israeli right. But as a nascent Jerusalemite, I have no wish for an unnecessary return to the increased dangers of recent years. I’m writing this literally on the border between East and West, and am relatively safe standing here. I have no interest in being needlessly endangered over a purely symbolic move. I’d be astonished if anybody considered this good news for the Jewish inhabitants of Yerusholayim. Best case scenario, there’s significant unrest, worst case, another Intifada.October 17, 2017 10:46 am at 10:46 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1382855
So we’ve now reached the point of the ‘debate’ where someone is telling me I’m living in a ‘make believe dream world’ for thinking that a terrorist who killed 5, 4 with a car and 1 with a knife, would have been more dangerous had he had a gun. Have a good day.October 16, 2017 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1382601
And if the attacker had a gun, many more people would have died.
And my earlier point about coherent replies still stands. I’ve yet to hear one.October 16, 2017 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1381699
Health: I’m saddened to say I didn’t expect better. None of the victims would have been saved, the car was going very fast, and the policeman who was killed was caught by surprise. Were guns legal in the UK, the killer would have likely obtained a gun, meaning many more people would have been killed. And liberal and libertarian are completely divergent ideologies, especially in modern usage. Anybody who agrees that government has the right to regulate public behaviour, for example, with regard to owning offensive weapons like missiles or requiring licenses to drive cars, should be able to see the obviousness of the positives of gun control. Purely through the power of common sense.
And I’ve yet to hear a coherent point made from the opposing side of this debate in this discussion. So I’ll leave it at that.October 15, 2017 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1381281
Health: I’ve never been accused of being a liberal fantasist before. I’m merely a conservative libertarian who isn’t wedded to ideology over plain common sense. And perhaps being bought up in a country where guns have no cultural significance or legal baggage has given me a different perspective. And I know this comes across as arrogant, but I’m once again left feeling as if I’m holding up the sensible end of this discussion on my own. I’m not suggesting that there’s no reasonable points to be made on the opposing side of the debate, merely that those arguments aren’t being coherently made. Or to put it more simply, I worry I’m just talking into the ether.
But, due to some unfathomable desire I have to continue this masochistic cycle, I’ll respond the the point you made. Guns did stop the Westminster massacre, and there wouldn’t have been any fewer fatalities had there been more guns around. Even had there been enough people in the vicinity with firearms, they would have not been able to stop the speeding car as it mowed down the first four victims, and the officer who was killed would not have survived had he been armed, he was taken by surprise. A nearby armed officer killed him. In an example of a reasonable balance, key sites like the Houses of Parliament are protected by armed officers, and armed response officers are common enough to react promptly and efficiently in the uncommon event of an attack.
And, although this is so painfully obvious it shouldn’t require saying, if there were more guns around in the UK, it wouldn’t have been a car ramming attack with 5 fatalities, but a mass shooting with far more casualties. Obviously. If you’re looking for an example that makes the case for legal gun ownership, an attack where guns would have made things immeasurably worse is a hilariously poor one to choose.
But once I’m again concerned I’ve been too verbose. So I’ll try keep things simple with the summary. Do you think a country, as a whole, is better and safer with widespread legal gun ownership? Because that sounds like what you’re implying, which sounds, frankly, ridiculous.October 10, 2017 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1379849
Health: Oh, okay. So you’re not making any coherent sociological argument in favour of increasing the number of firearms officers, or the effect of gun ownership on criminality and terror. You’re just beating the drum for legalized gun ownership with no logical rationale. Which, to be fair, I can hardly claim to be surprised at. I’ll respond, but I think I’m done with this particular discussion until there’s some actual sense being spoken on both sides.
The obvious response to your fallacy is that if more civilians had guns, then the terrorists would have guns too. Which would make the whole country a lot more dangerous. Criminals would get hold of guns, which as I’ve explained for the most part isn’t the case at the moment, and then police would have to be fully armed too. Which means a country when shootings are so rare they’re usually national news when even a minor incident occurs, would see an increase in the terror threat, criminality, and deaths of police, civilians, and criminals. Basically, the same country just with more suspicion, violence and death. HIlarious.October 9, 2017 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1379759
It’s like asking why we don’t ban knives, because they’re probably the most frequently used offensive weapon. Because knives are an integral facet of the way we live and conduct our business, from eating to manufacturing, as are cars. Guns are not of positive use to society at large. So just stop using this analogy.October 9, 2017 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1379757
Can we please stop talking about cars?
Cars perform a useful function beyond destruction. There’s a clear difference between a necessary, regulated activity and widespread weapons ownership for increasingly spurious ideological reasoning. Whatever. The analogy to cars just doesn’t work on any level, so whatever side of the argument you’re siting on, let’s avoid using it.
I was enlightening anybody it may have concerned as to the nature of my facetiousness. If that helps.October 9, 2017 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1379672
Health: Oh, come on. Law enforcement in the UK, as a collective, have access to firearms if and when they’re needed. The majority of police officers do not carry guns, as we all know, but a minority do. The ones who carry guns are also members of the police force, they’ve just had special weapons training, and access to firearms when necessary. A certain percentage of patrol cars carry guns. Not all police officers in the UK have guns, but the police in the UK ‘have access to them’. I was responding to this statement:
What if in England had No guns, not even for Coppers?!?
Random capitalization aside, that states that there are ‘no guns’. That isn’t the case, never has been, and nobody is saying it should be. In fact, in response to the increasing terror threat, they’ve encouraged more police to take up weapons training, to expand the number of trained firearms officers. If you’re trying to make a coherent point, please do, because I’m mystified as to what you’re trying to get at.
Yeah, I was being facetious #PoesLawOctober 9, 2017 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1379563
If no criminals had guns, then the police wouldn’t really have much use for guns. They could use tazers against knives and the like, as they indeed do. It would be a much better world.
If your point is that only criminals would have guns… I have no idea where you’re going with this. Nobody’s proposing that law enforcement shouldn’t have access to firearms. If that’s what you’re arguing against, it’s the strawman to end all strawmen.
It’s assur to propse.
The whole concept of proposing comes from the goyim.
In the UK, at least, staying in the overtaking lane whilst not overtaking is an offence, and as of a couple years ago can now get you a fine, too. I don’t know if this will be applied if the driver is driving at the speed limit, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t. A simple answer is that an ambulance or police car, travelling legitimately above the speed limit, might need to pass. But just as simple is the fact that the overtaking lane is officially reserved for overtaking. Undertaking is illegal. It could therefore cause issues to other road users regardless of speed. Of course, in the UK, the right hand lane is for overtaking.
And it’s considered speeding no matter how long you’re over the speed limit for. What may have confused the above poster is that speed cameras generally work by measuring speed over a certain distance, like 100 yards. If you brake sharply and go under the speed limit whilst within the distance, it won’t register as speeding. But that doesn’t make it legal, and if a policeman using a radar gun catches you speeding, it doesn’t matter if it’s only for a second. What is true, again, in the UK at least, is that they allow a certain amount of leeway, usually a couple of miles an hour, before they give a fine. It doesn’t make it legal, the guidelines are just flexible. They’re actually planning on changing that soon, so that drivers are penalized even at 1mph over the limit.October 9, 2017 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1379480
Health: I’m assuming when you say ‘Read up about England’ you’re referring to the fact that Britain has a very low level of gun violence. If your point is that only the criminals have guns, that’s simply not true. There are armed police, but they’re called upon when needed. There’s enough around to respond quickly in the event of an emergency, or for specific operations. And there are very few criminals with guns. It’s simply not worth it for them. Getting hold of one is more likely to get them arrested than most things, and even if they do get one, they’re extremely expensive, outdated and in poor condition. But more importantly, there’s just little cause for your average criminal to carry a gun. Criminals mainly carry guns to protect themselves against rival criminals, ot very rarely police or members of the public. If their enemies haven’t got guns, they don’t need guns either. So the gangs in London and elsewhere carry knives. The strict gun laws mean that even the few guns it might be possible to obtain are just not worth the trouble it’d take to get them. And when the police carry out a routine traffic stop, a stop-and-search, an arrest for a petty crime, they don’t have to worry whether the person they’re dealing with has a firearm, which makes everyone safer. And that’s without counting the fact that mass shootings are incredibly rare in England.
In the USA, there are already probably too many guns around to effectively police them anyway, so I’m not saying there’s comparisons to be made. I’m just saying that as far as guns are concerned, the UK is an example of the right way to do things. So if you’re bringing them as an example, I’m assuming it’s a positive one. Because suggesting otherwise would just be stupid.October 4, 2017 10:44 am at 10:44 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1378532
Okay, with all due respect, I’m now convinced I’m being preached at.
I have gone out of my way to explain that my issue is with ideology, not practicality. So why is the response I got so concerned with a particular law in New York? I’m going to ask the question one more time: If it were possible for the government to enforce a successful gun control act, to create a situation similar to that in the UK, why shouldn’t they? Let’s assume it’s not’s possible, so let’s please not talk about feasibility. Just if it were possible, what ideological basis is there for not doing so?October 4, 2017 1:20 am at 1:20 am in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1378370
Since Mensch made an effort to reply, I’ll respond. But since my question has not actually been answered in anything approaching a satisfactory manner, I’m not going to get into yet another discussion where only one side is interested in dialogue and the other one is going to write the same mostly incomprehensible stuff no matter what the actual point of contention is. I’m sorry, I know that comes over as more than a bit passive-aggressive, and it’s not directed at anyone in particular, I’ve been burnt before.
So, in very simple terms, I’d like to know why people would think a country with widespread gun ownership is better off than one with very few guns and strict gun control. This isn’t a matter of practicality as, I initially acknowledged.
If that question is simple to understand, please, as a favour to me, please answer it as best as you can. If you want further clarification, here it is:
Is it purely an ideology, that dictates that everyone should be allowed to possess any item, no matter of its purpose? Fair enough, I’m a libertarian too. But if you take that argument to it’s logical conclusion, there should be no limits whatsoever. Drugs, Apache helicopters, tanks, nuclear waste, the whole bang lot. I accept this as a worldview, I just want it to be expressed clearly and lucidly.
In my initial post, I immediately mentioned the Second Amendment, to which the response was if I was aware of the Second Amendment. Which sort of reinforces my sneaking suspicion that I’m not actually being conversed with, merely preached at. Anyway, the mere fact that it’s in the Constitution, which I happened to have studied in depth, doesn’t make it an ideology. I mean, it itself was an Amendment, so it’s not as if it’s beyond being, y’know, amended.
I never really have any time for the view that this is some kind of barrier against government intrusion, as in the rather unlikely event that the US Army attempts to subjugate its citizens, even semi-automatic rifles aren’t going to be much use against B-52s. Which brings us back to the above libertarian question, as to whether citizens should be allowed a full, nuclear-armed private army. In which, case, umm, fair enough.
So, bearing in mind that this isn’t about practicalities, but purely about ideologies, why should a government allow people to freely own what are purely implements of death? Cars serve other useful function, to address the most common and ridiculous strawman head-on. Eagerly awaiting the responses.
Yekke obviously is not a chassid.
Mind. Blown.October 3, 2017 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm in reply to: Vegas Massacre: 59 Good Reasons to Outlaw Automatic Weapons #1377947
I’m sure if you’re bought up with the Second Amendment as part of you national culture this all makes a lot more sense. Because to a Brit, this is just confusing. A country without guns is far safer than a country with widespread gun ownership. I accept that the USA has almost certainly reached the point of no return with regard to firearms, as there are now more guns than people, and guns don’t have an expiry date. So any effort to impose retroactive gun control would be so difficult as to be impossible. Fair enough. And once you’ve reached the point where guns are freely available, there is an argument to be made for increasing legitimate gun ownership. If this is an issue of practicality, then there’s a lot of grey areas. As an American friend of mine pointed out, there is very little the US government can do to police the smuggling of weapons over the Mexican/USA border. None of us know how feasible gun control would hypothetically be, but we can agree that it would be very problematic.
But what confuses me is the ideological component. There are plenty of Americans, including yidden, who, if they were offered to press a button that would rid their countries of guns, would refuse to press it. Or to put it another way, even if it were possible to turn the USA’s situation into one similar to that of the UK, where guns are very rare and highly regulated, they wouldn’t want it. And I find it hard to fathom how somebody would reach that point of view.
I fully expect the regular deluge of strawmen, ‘Good people with guns’,’Impossible to enforce’, etc, etc. But I’m not talking about practicality. I’m talking about ideology. In the UK, guns are very difficult to get hold of. Very few police carry them, and very few criminals have them either. Even when criminals do manage to get hold of them, the difficulties in getting them into the country are so extensive, and the penalties so extreme, that they’re just too expensive and too risky for most criminals to bother with. Obviously, as an island, the UK has a geographical advantage in policing this. But the end result is, we haven’t had a mass shooting since the ban on hand guns, which was enacted in response to the Dunblaine massacre. If, purely hypothetically, it were possible to change the USA’s situation to one similar to the way it is in England, specifically with regard to guns, would you?
Awaiting your responses with genuine curiosity.September 5, 2017 11:23 am at 11:23 am in reply to: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men…” #1354910
You’re making no sense whatsoever. Would you mind stopping the trolling?August 21, 2017 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm in reply to: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men…” #1343684
It’s not chiefly an issue of race, it’s an issue of culture. Men from certain cultures, in particular particular south Asian communities, feel that young white females are inferior, and as such they can treat them awfully despite what scruples they may feel as human beings. It isn’t really a matter for debate. That’s not to say don’t debate it, it’s just there’s pretty conclusive evidence. It’s a clear pattern across different towns and cities in the UK, that organised groups of men from particular cultures carry out a pattern of abuse against vulnerable white girls. The reluctance to accept that the culture these men originate from plays a part led to a failure to track down and prosecute these gangs.
Akuperma is correct. This is really not a pleasant topic.August 7, 2017 6:33 am at 6:33 am in reply to: Kensington, Brooklyn, NYC versus Kensington, London #1333369
As presumably the only member of the Coffee Room who has been in Kensington, London in the past 24 hours, I suppose I can try enlighten you. But I haven’t been to the knockoff American version.
It’s quite an upscale area, with some of the most expensive property prices anywhere in the world. And like many parts of London, there are also poorer areas, particularly from immigrant communities. The area has been in the news recently due to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, where a council tower block caught fire and, exacerbated by poor building standards, led to the death of over eighty people, mainly immigrants. I actually saw the tower last night, and the sight is truly shocking.
For the sake of clarity, in the UK there’s several different types of schools. Firstly, fully private schools, some of which, confusingly, are known as public schools. These receive no government funding. Many of the ‘frummer’ schools are fully private, as this allows them complete control over their curriculum, within very broad perimeters. An example of this would be Etz Chaim school in Manchester. Secondly, state-aided schools. These are private schools in most respects, except in order to receive state aid they have to commit to certain guidelines, for example a commitment to a certain standard of secular education. The funding they receive covers a portion of the schools costs, although they are fee paying. Pardes House Primary School is an example of that. Thirdly, you have state schools, what in the US would be known as public schools. These are run by the state, with the basic curriculum set by the education ministry. Also, a fourth category would be an academy, which is independent of government control but fully funded by the state. A type of academy is a free school, which is set up and run by the parents of a community. JFS, or the Jewish Free School, in London, is an example of this.
Most frum Jewish schools are fully private or state-aided to avoid close government control of their curriculum. But Ofsted have broad powers, and all schools are inspected and receive a rating. A school has to be judged to be providing a satisfactory level of education, and if it consistently fails to do that, it risks forced closure. A private school has more leeway in that it can set its own parameters, and has to fulfill those. But as regards the issue of having to teach subjects regarding modesty, toeivah and issues ragrading gender, there is no particular reason why a fully private school should have an easier time than a state-aided one. It has to fulfill what Ofsted class as a full education, and that includes so-called ‘British values’.
It’s worth noting that inspections can be over 5 years apart. Therefore, these stories do not emerge at once, but arise if and when the school fails an inspection. Certain inspections have led to problems of this nature, others have not. The standards are not applied consistently. Since there are so few frum Jewish schools, and inspections are relatively rare, it’s difficult to see at what stage of this story we are holding. The worst could be over, it may have just began. But what has been consistent throughout is that it is not the teaching standards that are causing the issue, it is the specific issue of ‘values’. This has been repeatedly made clear. The case that made the news most widely was the Vihznitz Girls School, that failed three consecutive inspections, a newsworthy story regardless of the cause. And in that case, it was made abundantly clear that it was down to the failure to teach the children about toeivah and suchlike. Insinuating that the issue at hand is poor teaching standards is prejudiced and plain false. And it is not restricted to that one school, virtually every school has had to deal with this specific issue in some respect recently, and have had to get around it in different ways. There have been stories in various schools of inspectors taking it upon themselves to bring the issues up before the children, and similar such events. As I have said, there was an entirely separate issue of unregistered yeshivos that is an entirely different story, that has since passed. There is no need to conflate the two.
Without meaning to complicate matters here, as much as I agree that there is probably a huge dislike for Trump amongst the wider media, it’s hard to argue that much of the vitriol he gets isn’t deserved. When Trump actually fulfills his duties competently, and is still given a hard time, then this would be a fair comment to make. The fact that the ‘wrong’ people dislike him doesn’t make him a good Commander in Chief. I say that as somebody with no particular political affiliation, and certainly no love for his opponents. It just irritates me when people ignore his obvious failings just because they dislike his detractors more.
Joseph: Sorry, was offline for a bit.
The way I see it, it’s impossible to know how this ends. The attitude towards religious faith schools has hardened in recent years, due to the ridiculous stories coming out of some Islamic schools. But public sentiment is still not in favour of forcing schools to teach young children about toivah and similar issues. There has been a bit of a backlash against Ofsted for being politicised. Inspections tend to come a few years apart, so these things unfold slowly. Under this government, which is broadly supportive of religious issues, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but these things can change. Ofsted’s power to close schools is limited, but it can make things very difficult.August 4, 2017 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm in reply to: If you can go to war at 18, you should be able to drink at 18 #1332758
DaasYochid: Got it in one. This has been fun.
yekke2: But, continuing my train of thought, yes, I am arguing in semantics. It’s not as if 20 year olds are naturally more susceptible to alcohol, they are deemed too irresponsible to deal with it safely. If the law deems them not yet old enough to be responsible for their actions, to the extent that it will ban them from doing an otherwise legal activity, then the state should not consider them legally an adult. The definition of an adult should be the age at which one becomes considered fully responsible in all respects, with no exceptions. That’s what it should mean, and the law should reflect that.
Persuant to your further question, the nature of heroin is that people under its influence harm others, due to their altered mental state and its addictive nature. The same argument can be made about alcohol, but for societal reasons it is legal to consume. There is far less reason to ban marijuana, although there are studies showing it leads to psychosis in the long term.
And with regard to your final point, as I’ve said, I don’t think the state should consider adults responsible and mature in only some respects.August 4, 2017 12:18 am at 12:18 am in reply to: If you can go to war at 18, you should be able to drink at 18 #1332512
yekke2: So would you have some sort of system to disqualify voters deemed incapable of making an informed decision? I didn’t vote in the European referendum because, despite having an A Level in politics, and having read extensively on the subject from all sides of the debate, I simply couldn’t make my mind up. I disliked the EU on principle, but I couldn’t decide which side had a more convincing argument on the economy. So I withheld my opinion. What confuses me is that I would consider the vast majority of those who voted less ‘qualified’ than I to come to a decision, so how where they all so certain? The fact that whether a question in a referendum is posed in a positive or negative manner can lead to a decisive vote swing provides further evidence that nobody really knows anything. Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. America ended up with a decision between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, for crying out loud!August 3, 2017 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm in reply to: If you can go to war at 18, you should be able to drink at 18 #1331990
Perhaps I should have made myself clearer. To my mind, the difference between being a child and an adult in legal terms is personal responsibility. The legal definition of adulthood should be the age at which the individual is in all respects deemed old enough to take full responsibility for their actions. This would extend to anything. For me, it is a fundamental dichotomy for the state to impose further age restrictions on people who have already reached adulthood. It isn’t just a label, it’s a legal concept. I’m not necessarily saying this is the case, only that it should be.
Now, in my opinion the role of the legal system is govern the boundaries where people’s actions have consequences on others around them. If this sounds simplistic or obvious, all governments overstep their mark by imposing restrictions that it is not within the essential remit of a democratic liberal system. So therefore, even from a libertarian standpoint, taking heroin or driving drunk would be illegal, as you’re placing others at risk, not just yourself. So too would does it make sense to require a certification to drive, as otherwise you’re placing others at risk. On occasion, there is a common sense case to be made for banning things that are harmful to society as a whole, such as possessing guns, even though a hardcore libertarian would feel this is outside the remit of governance. But all of these things are equally applied across society. Telling adults of a particular age that they are not permitted to drink, whilst allowing others, is unequal. A supposed scientific basis is not enough, there needs to be an ethical and legal case.
Drinking alcohol is a matter of responsibility. And it is wrong to tell somebody otherwise deemed fully responsible for themselves and their actions by the state, that they are not responsible enough in this narrow regard. If they feel 19 year olds truly aren’t responsible, and bring evidence from increased drink driving rates or the like, then they should be legally considered children, with commensurate voting and tax legislation.
I justify monitoring and restricting children thus: The state is responsible for the welfare and actions of children, hence legal guardianship, and juvenile courts. They are not deemed legally equipped to take responsibility for themselves, so the state does it for them. So having different stages at which children are permitted to take responsibility for certain behaviours, such as driving, is sensible. There is a fundamental difference between a 17 year old and a 7 year old, in that a 17 year old can generally be adjudged capable enough to drive. Both are children, and are unequipped to decide for themselves, so the state decides for them. But adults should all be equal under the law, in terms of responsibility and capability. So do deem some adults less capable than others on account of their age seems nonsensical. I would object to requiring 100 year olds to hand in their driving licenses, although they should have to prove they are capable of driving safely. That’s the key distinction. If something is deemed unsafe for a 20 year old, it should be similarly restricted for 40 year olds. Either that or change the arbitrary cutoff age at which one is deemed mature.August 3, 2017 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm in reply to: Market hits record high under Trump Administration #1332521
A number of reputable economists have repeatedly said, over several decades, that all studies point to the fact that the President has a far smaller influence on the performance of the overall economy than most would believe. He’s not powerless, the President almost certainly has more influence on the economy than any other single person, especially in a time of crisis. But the contributing factors to a country’s economic status are so diverse and numerous, that attributing any success to the current President with any measure of certainty is foolhardy at best. I’d be more inclined to give credit to Obama, since he at least had a decent amount of time to exert his influence. And were I applying my own thinking hat, I’d say Trump’s behaviour, due to it’s volatile nature, is more likely to increase uncertainty in the notoriously fickle markets. But that’s the whole point, it’s all hypothetical. I’m not taking a political standpoint here, I’d be saying a similar thing if Hillary had won and one of her supporters was making this point. There is a lot of research that points to the conclusion that if you showed informed people a graph showing US economic performance, without dates to signify who was President at the time, they’d be unable to say what kind of President was in office at the time of certain trends. An enormous media profile, which the Office of the President naturally comes with, does not mean the effects on the ground are as concrete. I wouldn’t have any truck with somebody praising a hypothetical Clinton administration for this rise, and neither would I be okay with immediately blaming Trump if the economy took a downturn. There are indicators of how good a job a President is doing, but the Dow Jones is not a good one.August 3, 2017 11:11 am at 11:11 am in reply to: If you can go to war at 18, you should be able to drink at 18 #1331370
Drugs fall into a difference category because they have a wider negative affect on society as a whole, and are therefore illegal for every citizen. I believe that drugs which only affect the user should be legal, from a purely libertarian standpoint, although I don’t think that drug exists.
And yes, I believe the issue is a binary one. If one is to be deemed by the state and adult, then that person should no longer be bound by laws that discriminate by age. I simply believe that should be the definition of an adult. If that age is deemed to be 21, then so be it. But I don’t believe the state should be allowed to tell some of its subjects that they are not yet responsible enough for a particular activity. I’m fine with the law deciding that children over a certain age are generally mature enough to do things like drive or get married, but I’m not okay with the statutes doing the same for adults. To take this argument to its logical conclusion, if there were a scientific, peer-reviewed, double-blind study showing that people aged 40-46 are 32% more likely to be involved in an automobile accident, would there be a case from restricting the right to drive for people in that age bracket? I would argue certainly not, and ages 18-21 should be no different, unless we legally consider them children.August 3, 2017 6:11 am at 6:11 am in reply to: “There is no solution” to the Israel conflict: Jared Kushner #1331240
Let’s be brutally honest. Any change to the status quo is so difficult as to be unworkable. A two state solution is impossible as long as there remains a strong possibility that a Palestinian state would vote in Hamas. And the Israelis have a vested interest in keeping the status quo too, as they are too beholden to the West to unilaterally exert sovereignty over the West Bank, and even were that not the case, they can’t annex it due to demographic concerns. But neither can they simply withdraw from the West Bank, as a Palestinian state would cause obvious and massive security issues, and besides they have nationalist reasons not to withdraw. Basically, Israel wants the West Bank/Judea and Samaria but can’t have it properly for numerous reasons. And it’s no use pointing out that the Palestinians are an invented people, because the movement is sufficiently advanced that wishing it away is a futile exercise. And of course they couldn’t deport them away, and anyway shouldn’t.
So for anything to change, attitudes on both sides would have to shift, with obviously the Palestinian commitment to violence being by far the biggest contributing factor. With the situation as it is, the only partial possible solution that might work, if only a good few years down the line, is a confederacy of some sort. This means the two populations remain distinct enough to manage security and demographic concerns, whilst allowing Israel to retain control over security and secure its settlements, and the Palestinians get come measure of civic rights and local, workable government.
I know this view will anger some, so I would like to clarify this is just what I consider a fair partial summation of the barriers to peace. So it’s not what I want to happen, but what could happen.August 3, 2017 6:10 am at 6:10 am in reply to: Market hits record high under Trump Administration #1331247
If Hillary Clinton was the President, then one of her supporters would be pointing out the exact same thing.
My point being, it is overwhelmingly likely that the performance of the Dow Jones would not have been markedly different under a different administration. The President has far less influence on the general performance of the economy, of which the Dow is an indicator, than people like to believe. And that is true even during a recession or crisis of some sort, where the President has more room to exert their influence and has more direct responsibility. In the relatively economically stable times of the past 6 months, I feel entirely comfortable in believing that Donald Trump has little, if not nothing, to do with this.August 3, 2017 6:08 am at 6:08 am in reply to: If you can go to war at 18, you should be able to drink at 18 #1331241
DaasYochid: In my view, it’s a libertarian issue. If somebody is an adult, then further age restrictions should not be applied. I have no problem with the age at which one legally becomes an adult being 21. I do have a problem with somebody being an adult in all respects except one narrow respect. If you’re an adult, you’re supposed to be fully responsible for your actions and their consequences. If we’re saying that’s not possible until the arbitrary cutoff age of 21, then that should be the age for everything. If not, not. The law shouldn’t differentiate.August 3, 2017 6:07 am at 6:07 am in reply to: Additional Societal Casualties Of The Shidduch Crisis #1331245
You cannot selectively plead the Fifth.
Punctuation is your friend.August 3, 2017 1:00 am at 1:00 am in reply to: Should the frum world create an alternative to “Footsteps” for OTD support #1331234
DaasYochid: The book claimed that he has a large part in funding it during its inception, and was ‘a’ founder’, if not ‘the’ founder, and I give rather more credence to Michael Lewis than I do to Wikipedia.
But In was inexact in my use of language, and I apologise.
The main issue affecting UK mosdos is the insistence of Ofsted, the body charged with inspecting and evaluating educational establishments, on promoting ‘British values’, which particular emphasis on issues such as toeivah and modesty. This was sparked by a case in Birmingham, known as the Trojan Horse plot, where Muslim organisations attempted, and managed, to ‘Islamify’ certain state schools. They used the schools, which were publicly run but had many Muslim students, to promote fundamentalist and Salafist values. Some of the incidents that were reported were truly shocking, although they are too numerous to go through here. The result of this was a moral panic, and heavy scrutiny on faith schools. Ofsted announced new procedures, such as unannounced surprise inspections, and a focus on ‘values’ and ‘rights’.
Unsurprisingly, the frum schools were caught in the crossfire. The majority of the fresh surprise inspections were targeted at religious Jewish schools, despite there only being about two dozen frum schools in the entire country. Whilst these schools often receive public funding, they were not actual state schools, like those affected by the Trojan Horse plot, and are technically private schools. And these schools had mostly received excellent results previous to this, with almost all rated ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’. These were schools that generally provided an exemplary secular education, attaining very good, sometimes country-best, exam results, and also taught as part of the curriculum ‘British values’ such as civic responsibility, democracy and tolerance. But this was not considered, and the inspectors focused very heavily on specific issues such as ‘equality’ and toeivah. As a result, previously highly rated schools were downgraded to ‘Poor’ or ‘Special Measures’, which can lead to forced closure. For example, Vizhnitz Girls School failed three consecutive inspections for failing to teach their students about toeivah, this being the only stated reason for the poor rating. There were instances of inspectors far overstepping their bounds by directly telling very young children about certain issues related to ‘equality’. In fact, the reports from Ofsted failing these schools bring the ‘Equalities Act of 2010’ as the primary reason. This story is ongoing, and leaves frum schools in a very difficult position. There has been a backlash, as Ofsted is supposed to be an apolitical organisation, but it seems determined to enforce its liberal values on the frum education sector.
What other posters have mentioned is a separate, although tangentially connected, issue regarding unregistered yeshvos, generally chassidishe chedarim, and their status. This has been fueled in particular by some who have left the kehilla going to the media. This is far less widespread then the above issue regarding ‘values’, and is notable mainly for the headlines it has generated. Some of them have reregistered as ‘sunday schools’, and Yeshiva Tiferes Yaakov in Gateshead, amongst others, had to register its lower shiurim as a ‘school’ to avoid censure. But the two are not the same story, and should not be confused with each other.August 2, 2017 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm in reply to: If you can go to war at 18, you should be able to drink at 18 #1331153
It’s an arbitrary cutoff point, like the voting age. There’s a drive in the UK to lower the voting age to 16, and in the Scottish independence the voting age was indeed 16. for obvious reasons, this is led by the left-leaning parties. It makes sense to just pick an age that denotes adulthood and stick to it. In the UK, you become an adult at 18, and can therefore do everything, from drinking to soldiering to voting. 17 for driving and 16 for marriage, supervised drinking and smoking, and joining the army, but not fighting. Basically, in my opinion there should be an age where you’re not subject to age limitation. In today’s juvenile world, where adolescence basically continues into the twenties, then 21 probably makes more sense than 18. But random age distinctions based on ad hoc reasoning is a little weird.
Either you’re an adult or not.August 2, 2017 11:39 am at 11:39 am in reply to: Should the frum world create an alternative to “Footsteps” for OTD support #1330784
Just a random side point. The quote in the excellent book The Big Short about Steve Eisman, the founder of Footsteps, is that ‘He couldn’t even give his money away without starting a fight’. Unfortunately, the worst part about this organisation is that it doesn’t just fulfil its stated aims to ‘help’ people who have left the community, it aims to actively persuade vulnerable people to leave the kehilla. It’s UK counterpart is just as bad, as it focuses heavily on hitting back at the community it’s left, causing problems with regards to religious schools, kashrus and chinuch, all matters that are particularly volatile right now in this country anyway. There were several articles in a major newspaper several weeks ago where one particular young OTD bochur gave an interview in which he basically slandered the entire community, with charges that lacked any semblance to reality. The paper in question repeated all his accusations as if they were gospel, refused to listen to counterarguments, an supported his statements with comments from a female Reform ‘rabbi’ that were too completely false. The angle they took was education, but they used it to tar the entire community with a particularly thick brush. A counterpoint organisation would have a very difficult job getting the necessary publicity to counter these accusations, but it woul be a very useful resource for the frum kehilla.July 27, 2017 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm in reply to: NeutiquamErro's favorite thread with an obscure title #1327109
Um, I dunno who I thought Zaltzvasser at the time I wrote that. I can’t actually remember what I was replying to. Sorry.
HTEA is sooo tiring.