Objectification and Veto Power - Polyamorous Tribe
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Saying no to a potential partner, or a partner that is already established within your relationship, is called giving a veto, or having veto power. It is an extremely unhealthy use of your couple’s privilege when entering the dating scene in the polyamorous community. Dating Matters® Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention Training for Educators helps educators or individuals that work with teens learn how to prevent teen dating violence. EvaluACTION is a tool that allows you to learn the dos and don’ts of evaluation as well as create, save, and download your logic model and evaluation plan. Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention helps educators, school personnel, youth leaders, and others working to improve the health of teens. Based on insights from teachers, this online, accredited course uses expert interviews, creative visuals, interactivity, and compelling storytelling to communicate the relevance of ... Dating Matters - Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention Launch Training. DATING MATTERS ®: UNDERSTANDING TEEN DATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION Training for Educators is a free, online course available to educators, school personnel, youth mentors, and others dedicated to improving teen health. Follow a school administrator throughout his day as he highlights what teen dating violence is and ... Ship allows friends to plunge into the dating process and ‘veto’ incompatible matches or send you the one they may think will be a perfect companion for you. Yet, it’s just a function; you can use this app like any other dating application. Pros. Veto Dating: Browse Veto, OH Singles & Personals. Find an online single in Ohio or the Buckeye State today. Whether you're searching for casual Ohio dating or serious Ohio relationships, Match.com has millions of smart, sexy and attractive singles meant just for you. No Sliding Into These DMs! 7 People To Instantly Veto When Online Dating. By amberwarren on November 02, 2012. Online dating is the new way for busy singles to meet each other. Digital dating has swelled into a multi-million dollar industry, and is only going to get bigger. Blind dates and awkward setups are a thing of the past now that people ... Dating sites and free dating sites do not focus on helping singles find love in Vero Beach, FL like we do. Here you can find single men and women who are looking for love! We make it easy to search for singles in Vero Beach, FL or anywhere. Finding the perfect companion online to create a great relationship has become so much easier than before. A relationship agreement which is common in polyamorous relationships, mainly in primary/secondary relationships. A veto agreement gives a member of the relationship the power and authority to stop the other member from enjoying additional relationships or a particular activity or (sometimes sexual) act.
Creepy Talk : The Repository for Inappropriate and Bizarre Messages
2013.07.13 03:38 KrisCraigCreepy Talk : The Repository for Inappropriate and Bizarre Messages
Have you ever received a dick pic on a dating site or a "your hot lets fuck" message from a total stranger on Facebook? Do you enjoy laughing your ass off? Then Creepy Talk is the place for you!
“Hello, sister, I wasn’t expecting you to be here,” said Alexis, her smile as beautiful and cruel as ever. “If I had known you would show up, I would have brought you something. Maybe a crockpot or something, I never know what you like.” “Good to see you too,” said Maria, forcing a smile through gritted teeth. Alexis was the sole daughter of the King and the true heir by blood, meaning she was next in line should something happen to her father. If anything happened to the King, natural or not, the duty and responsibility would fall onto the svelte shoulders of Alexis Harrow, and many things had happened over the years that may or may not have been the result of attempted patricide, though no one would admit it. When an exploratory expedition returned with strange legumes, Alexis was the first to pitch the idea that eating them raw was the best course of action to celebrate. It had not been a pleasant evening for those in attendance, and the restrooms of the palace still held some rather questionable stains as a result. Fallen gargoyles and debris, animals let loose in the palace halls, miniature coups that went nowhere - something was off about the way things happened around the King when Alexis was near, and it seemed only Maria could sniff it out. Frankly, it was a miracle the King was alive at all. “Eliza here was just telling me about your guest,” said Alexis. Maria crossed her arms. “And?” “And I think it’s lovely that you’ve taken to these outings after all, sister.” Maria’s eyes widened. It was unusual to see Alexis even feign interest in anything other than herself. “You’ve lost me.” “It just warms my heart to see you participate like this, that’s all,” Alexis said, looking down her sharp nose. “It takes plenty to warm the dead, sister,” said Maria, a scowl barely protruding between her smile. “And I’ve always been here in court. Participation isn’t the problem, making a difference is.” By now the other guests of the event had begun to take notice of the quiet squabble, and they chattered amongst themselves just quiet enough that they could still hear all the dirty details. It wasn’t like they caught this hot gossip often enough to warrant a little discretion, so the ears burned and bent to the sisters. Alexis turned on her heels to face Pilly, not wasting a moment to seize control of the situation. Pilly looked cool compared to his fluster early in the evening, almost serene. Did he know something nobody else did? “You must be Pilsbury then?” she said. “It’s Pilly, ma’am,” he responded. “My friends call me Pill, but you can call me Mr Vedrano.” Alexis, not one to take a backhand like that, stepped closer to him. If it weren’t for her heels, she would have had to crane her neck up at him to match his eyes, but the towering stilettos she wore put them on an even keel. “Do you know who I am?” she prodded. “You must be good old Lexy, right?” Pilly hadn’t had much time to fully plot out a little black book of the who’s who of the kingdom, but he remembered enough. “Stepsister to Maria, first in line to the heir of the throne, royal pain in the neck - yeah, I know who you are.” “And why are you here?” “What, am I not allowed to be here?” Pilly asked facetiously. “Do you really need me to spell it out for you, fairy?” “I don’t know, human, do you know how to spell racial oppression?” She snapped back around to Maria and thrust a finger out, tapping her on the chest. “I don’t know what you think you’re doing or what game you’re playing, but this isn’t the way to go about it. All you’re doing is stirring up trouble that you don’t know how to stop.” “It’s always a game with you, isn’t it?” said Maria. “How else am I going to win?” The conversation seemingly ended, Alexis showed her back to her sisters and walked away. The few members of her entourage fell in quickly behind her, no doubt working up the next big rumour to spread. “Um, thanks for stopping by!” Eliza shouted like the good hostess she was. She faced Maria. “Why do you always have to do that?” “Do what?” Eliza sighed. “You’re new to the family, I understand that, but I have to warn you about a certain policy we like to keep.” She leaned in and whispered, “Don’t spit in the face of others and blame the rain. Everything you disturb will come back to bite you in the end.” Maria grabbed Pilly by the hand and said to Eliza, “I’ll keep that in mind, sis. I’ve got a party to enjoy.” She gently pulled Pilly away from the confections table, knocking the fresh plate of shrimp out of his hands. In a few brisk steps, the two were alone in the back of the room. With Alexis gone, the prying eyes had fallen inexplicably ill and now turned to their own devices. “How are you liking the party so far?” Pilly asked, his mouth full of hors d’oeuvres. “Too much drama, not enough action,” said Maria, adjusting her hair and dress. “Not even a single punch was thrown, though I can think of a few key moments where I should have pitched.” Pilly licked his fingers, savouring the final piece of shrimp. “You should come to my kind of parties then. None of this prissy stuff.” Maria hummed. The night was still young, the music still played, and her dance card was terrifyingly empty. Something needed to change. “Do you think he’s here?” she asked. “What, Julio Studmuffin, or whatever his name was? Your lover boy?” Her face blushed. “Julian Stadafin, and he’s not my lover boy. Yet.” She craned her neck around the shoulders of the nearby guests, trying to find a specific face in the crowd. More looking for the spectacular, chiselled body rather than the face, but all’s the same in love and lust. Her heart fluttered at the thought of speaking with Julian again, and this time in a more appropriate situation and not the horrid mess they’d met in last time. A bloody croquet mishap hadn’t been the best conversation starter, not with all that blood. Just as Maria was about to abandon her search, the door she’d come in through slowly opened again, a small group of individuals stepping in. A few men, armed with sabres at their hips and weighed down by needless medals on their lapels, took charge of the entrance, followed by three younger men clad in the valet’s red. Each of the young men carried either a coat, a bandolier or a plate of drinks, and bowed deeply to the incoming crowd. People from around the room, staff and guests alike, moved over to the doorway for the expected newcomer, eyebrows raised and gazes steadied. Maria tapped on Pilly’s shoulder to grab his attention. The tall fairy, his attention now torn from his snack, followed Maria’s stare to the back of the room. As the small gathering of men and women parted, a sharply dressed man in military dress waltzed in, confidence and assuredness seeping from his aura. His short black hair was carefully parted down the middle, a proclamation of his conquering of male pattern baldness. The sabre at his hip, shiny and new, said he was ready to fight anyone who dared challenge him but would rather have someone else do it for him. “There he is!” said Maria, a tad louder than she intended. “I mean, oh look, he’s here.” “If you need me, I’ll be at the bar,” said Pilly, marching away from the red-faced princess. Marai slowly sidled up the commotion and nudged her way through the shoulders of the other curious patrons, moving like a rat in a maze. Twisting and turning through the crowd, Maria could only think about the cheese at the end of her maze. That hunky, beautiful cheese. She bumped into something strong and stoic and fell on the ground. She looked up to find her strong and stoic hero standing over her, offering a hand. She blushed, grabbed the proffered hand and pulled herself to her feet. She could smell Julian before she saw him. The musk of pine and sweat flooded her senses, however subtle it might have been. But when she levelled out onto her feet again, Maria tried not to stare at Julian’s face. His jaw sharp as a blade and just as disarming, brow wide and strong, eyes deep and soulful like a wishing well. There was just something about him, Maria thought, that made the whole world stop spinning for her. “Are you okay, your majesty?” he asked, still holding her hand. Maria looked down at her hand and wished for this moment to never end. “Never better,” she said dreamily. Julian Stadafin was the son of the late Duke of Coreton, a small hamlet in the mining district, and had inherited more than a fair sum of money from his recent dowry, making him a prime target for bachelorettes everywhere. His looks and bravado wrote cheques his bank account had no trouble cashing. Sought after by every eligible woman in the kingdom, Julian knew he was popular, so much so that, if he was so inclined, he could host a show at the theatre and have every woman who wanted to fight for a single rose to give to him so they might spend their lives together. A silly notion, but it had been done in the past, before the Actor’s Guild came and vetoed the idea right out into the street. Him and Maria had only met once before after a freak, rogue croquet mallet struck him in the face, a blatant rule violation by Maria who apologized profusely. She was unsure if he’d actually heard her as he was carried off by the doctors, but at least it had been memorable. Julian looked Maria up and down, his large, blue eyes shining in the dim light of the overhanging chandeliers. “Mary, right?” Maria dusted off her dress and stood up straight. “Uh, Maria, actually. We met at -” “Right!” he interrupted. “The croquet incident. I remember now. I must say, you have a good swing. A bit inaccurate, but you’ve got some heft to it.” “Perhaps you can show me the ropes one day?” she asked, batting her eyelids. “That would be nice.” The small pause seemed to stretch beyond the room. Quickly realizing that she was still in the middle of the crowd, Maria stepped back a pace. “You must be busy. Maybe we can chat later, possibly even dance?” Julian’s head moved from side to side as he shook the hand of approaching guests, looking for something but saying nothing. Maria went to his side. “What are you looking for?” “Is Alexis here yet?” he asked. “She is. Why? Scared she’ll turn you to stone?” she said, teasingly. “Well, she does make me hard. She’s my date tonight,” he said before walking away. Maria’s heart sank into her gut. Of course that bitch would take the only good thing Maria had going for her. It wasn’t like she’d been crushing on him for weeks or kept a portrait of him in her room or thought about him every day, not at all. She returned to Pilly’s side at the bar, where Pilly cradled a small tumbler in his hands. The fairy looked no worse for wear from the evening’s events, but the same couldn’t be said for Maria. She looked like she’d just escaped the clutches of a hungry predator, which, in a way, she had. “I hate this place,” she grumbled, taking a seat next to Pilly. She pointed to Pilly’s glass then her, and the bartender quickly began fixing up a fresh pour for her Without turning his head, Pilly said, “I told you this wasn’t gonna go well.” The bartender set down a small glass, presumably filled with courage, on the bar and slid it over to Maria who caught the sliding glass in one hand. She brought it to her mouth and downed the drink like a soldier on leave. It burned as the drink went down, and she savoured the feeling of being in control of something. She knew the burn well and it was a partner she didn’t expect to need this evening. She tapped on the bar once more summoning the bartender, mouthing another order. “This was a mistake, coming here,” she admitted. “I think we learned plenty, M,” said Pilly. “Like what?” “I don’t look good in a suit.” Part 1 Part 2 ----- Took a while to get to writing this one. I've been kind of stalled a bit, I don't know why. Hope you enjoyed this chapter! And if you come up with a better name for this than Fairy Godfather, please share. I'd need to delete the posts and relabel them so the sooner the better. Thanks!
2020.09.16 14:00 cincbusIntroducing: The Norwegian Royal Family
Royal Family Instagram https://www.instagram.com/detnorskekongehus/ Crown Princess Mette Marit Instagram https://www.instagram.com/crownprincessmm/?hl=en Princess Martha Louise Instagram https://www.instagram.com/princessmarthalouise/ Princess Martha Louise Instagram #2 https://www.instagram.com/iam_marthalouise/ (I believe she was asked to no longer use the Princess title) King Harald V (b. 1937) Ascended the throne in 1991 after the death of his father, King Olav V. He was the third child of the King, however his older siblings were both females. At the time of his birth he was 16th in line to the British throne as a descendant of Queen Victoria. He spent part of his childhood in Sweden and the US after his family went into exile during WW2. Harald has executive power granted to him by the constitution, however he is not politically responsible for exercising it. His acts must be countersigned with a member of the Council of State (generally the Prime Minister). He also has the power of veto, however no Norwegian King has exercised it since the dissolution of union of Sweden in 1905. Interesting Facts: Represented Sweden in the 1964, 1968, and 1972 Olympic Games in the sport of sailing. Marriage: Harald married commoner Sonja Haraldsen in 1968. They dated (in secret!) for 9 years prior because his father, King Olav, would not allow him to marry a commoner. Olav only relented when Harald told him he would remain unmarried for his lifetime unless he was allowed to marry Sonja. They met at a dinner party. See photos from their wedding here:. As part of his official visit to Washington and Alaska in May, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway spoke at Pacific Lutheran University’s Commencement ceremony, where he received a Doctor of Laws jure dignitatis. Gave a speech that publicly supported LGTBQ+ Queen Sonja (b. 1937) Born to a clothing merchant in Oslo. She received a diploma in dressmaking and tailoring as well as a degree from finishing school. She also attended the University of Oslo receiving a degree in French, English, and Art History. One of my favorite photos of the Queen at age 33. A fun article on Sonja and her love of art Listen to an interview with Sonja (in English) Crown Prince Haakon (b. 1973) CP Haakon is heir apparent to the throne of Norway although he has an older sister, Princess Martha Louise. He has served in the Royal Norwegian Navy, attended classes at the University of Oslo, and completed his education in development studies at the London School of Economics. Marriage: Married Crown Princess Mette-Marit, a commoner, in 2001. Then a single mother, Mette-Marit had a known “party” background that included involvement in the rave scene in Oslo, which included a significant drug-subculture. Additionally, the father of her child, Marius, had prior convictions of drug-related offenses. The Norwegian people were unhappy with CP Haakon’s choice of bride. Many Norwegian conservatives were also upset with the pair when it was made public that they were living together before their marriage. In a heartfelt press conference before their wedding, a tearful Mette-Marit explained her past and apologized for her youthful rebelliousness. Quotes from her press conference: “My youthful rebellion went further than it did for others, and I learnt some hard lessons.” The single mother has what has been described as “a colourful past in Oslo’s famously drug-ridden ‘house party’ scene.” “We tested the limits. It has taken time for me to deal with this. I know it has been difficult for many people. It has been difficult for me. But I can’t make those choices over again, even if I could wish that that were possible.” The Crown Prince told the assembled media that the Royal Family had spent time discussing how the questions around his future wife’s past should be dealt with before she brought up the issue herself. “What we shared was so important that I could not let it go,” said the heir to the Norwegian throne about his decision to marry Mette-Marit. “I think that together we are stronger than I am by myself.” The couple also talked about how both of their mothers were giving lots of marriage advice, and about Mette-Marit’s four-year-old son Marius, who will be a page boy at Saturday’s nuptials. “I think he thinks that he is getting married as well,” commented his mother fondly. See photos from their wedding (including some of your other favorite royals!) here. Watch their wedding: Mette-Marit appeared to weep throughout much of their wedding. Watch a speech from Haakon (in English!) Crown Princess Mette-Marit (b. 1973) Mette-Marit was born in Norway. Her father was a reported alcoholic who, once his daughter’s relationship with the Crown Prince was public, was paid up to $45,000 USD annually by a magazine to share private information and photos of his daughter. His relationship with MM was strained, however they reportedly reconciled sometime before his death in 2007. She completed her high school education before taking preparatory college courses at Agder College. She then worked as a waitress in Oslo before meeting the Crown Prince at a party during Quart Festival, Norway’s largest music festival. Years later, after becoming a single mother, she met Haakon again and their relationship began. Since becoming Crown Princess, MM has taken several college course and completed a master’s degree in Executive Management. In 2018 it was announced that MM had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which will limit her official duties. Watch a speech (in English) from MM. Princess Ingrid Alexandra (b. 2004) The Constitution of Norway was altered in 1990 to introduce absolute primogeniture, meaning the crown will pass to the eldest child regardless of sex. It was not considered retroactive, however, thus Crown Prince Haakon remains the heir ahead of his elder sister Martha Louise. As a result, Princess Ingrid Alexandra will become the country’s second female monarch behind Queen Margaret, who reigned over Norway, Denmark, and Sweden from 1380-1412. Her godparents include Crown Prince Fred of Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and the King of Spain. She was a bridesmaid in Victoria’s wedding – see a photo of her and fellow future queen Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands here. Ingrid is second in line to the throne behind her Father, Crown Prince Haakon. Prince Sverre Magnus (b. 2005) Known for dabbing on the royal balcony. He was confirmed in Asker church earlier this month. Marius Borg Hoiby (b. 1997) Marius is the son of CP Mette Marit from a prior relationship. Marius is not a working member of the royal family. He does not hold a title and does not appear in official portraits. On January 10, 2017 (shortly before his 20th birthday), Crown Princess Mette-Marit posted an open letter on the royal family's website, asking the press to let her son get peace, as he is not a public person or wants a life in the public light. "Marius does not want to live a life in public. My commitment to him as a mother is to take the responsibility that was given me at Aker Hospital 20 years ago seriously,” she wrote, before asking some Norwegian media to let him drop from their radar “as he wants, when he now partly for that reason chose to go abroad to study.” You can follow him on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/marius_borg/?hl=en Princess Martha Louise (b. 1971) Princess Martha Louise is the eldest child of the King and Queen, however due to Norway’s then-agnatic primogeniture rules she was replaced in the line of succession by her younger brother, Haakon. Princess Märtha Louise is a certified physiotherapist following education in Oslo and internship in the Netherlands. She has not practiced her profession, however, choosing instead, from her fascination in traditional Norwegian folk tales as well as a love of music, to establish her own commercial entertainment business based on giving public and televised performances reciting folk tales and singing with well-known Norwegian choirs. After studying physiotherapy at an academy for holistic medicine, she decided to open her own business in 2002. The King, after consulting her, issued a royal edict which removed Princess Märtha Louise's style of Royal Highness (she is conventionally accorded the lesser style Highness abroad, although this style has no legal standing in Norway), in order to provide her freedom from her constitutional role as a princess. She claims she can communicate with animals and angels and started an alternative therapy center named Astarte Education. Founded as Astarte Education in 2007 and dubbed an “angel school,” the company changed its name to “Soulspring” three years ago. The school offered classes in “healing, reading and touching,” and various treatments and therapies aimed at teaching clients “how to find yourself.” The school closed in 2018 due to financial issues. Marriage: Married commoner Ari Behn, an author, in 2002 and they divorced in 2017. He passed away from suicide last year. Together they have 3 children: Maud Angelica Behn (b. 2003) Leah Isadora Behn (b. 2005) Emma Tallulah Behn (b. 2008) See photos from their wedding here. Current Relationship: Is in a relationship with an American citizen, a shaman named Durek Verrett. Durek claims to be able to aid in the recovery from illnesses such as cancer and leukemia, however faces a lot of scrutiny from the Norwegian public, often being called a “conman”. You can read more about him here. Read more about their relationship here. Durek and Martha Louise now hold seminars and workshops in Norway titled “The Princess and the Shaman”, which promise to take attendees “on a self-discovery into wisdoms to reveal to you your divine self activated”. HH Princess Astrid (b. 1932) Sister to the King. After the death of their mother died, Astried (then 22) was the senior lady of the court and acted as first lady of Norway for her father. Like her brother, Astrid married a commoner. They had five children together and he passed away in 2015. You can read about their wedding here. The Princess still takes on some official duties on behalf of the Royal Family. According to one article I read, she is well-liked by the Norwegian people and considered to be funny, friendly, and unpretentious. Interesting Fact: One of her godmothers is Queen Elizabeth of England. Nobels Like their Swedish counterparts, the Norwegians play a role in the Nobel ceremonies. The Peace Prize is handed out in Oslo in the presence of the monarch, however it is a much more muted affair than the Swedes. No tiaras are at this event ☹ Jewels The Norwegians have an interesting collection of tiaras at their disposal. Check out their collection here: http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2016/01/sunday-sparkler-special-norwegian-royal.html Royal Family v Royal House The Norwegians have a clear distinction between the two. The Royal House (kongeheset) is the King and Queen, CP Haakon and CP Mette Marit, and their daughter, Ingrid Alexandra. The Royal Family includes all of the monarch’s children and their spouses, grandchildren, and siblings. See a photo of the family here: https://images.app.goo.gl/sLb4xJzqreemMyfV6 Have anything to add? Want to add your favorite photo or event? Feel free to do so in the comments :)
2020.09.14 20:01 papperonniYou've probably been hearing a lot about Sacramento's measures on this year's ballot. I've tried to break down in simple terms what each one does, and show arguments for and against each one so you can make a decision for yourself how you want to vote.
The phone banking, texting, advertising, and petitioning has begun on each of this year's ballot proposals for Sacramento's local measures. To help you all make an informed decision and not only rely on convoluted or politicized information, I have tried to simplify and summarize each of the local ballot measures and present arguments for and against each one. Note that these are my interpretations after reading each measure as well as the arguments for and against them. If you have any additional thoughts, corrections, or opinions for or against specific measures, feel free to post them below. I tried to remain neutral to each issue and present arguments from both sides so you can make a decision for yourself and not feel pressured one way or the other, and also avoid a situation where you are making an arbitrary decision due to not having enough information. It's also important to remember that changes that may seem arbitrary to you or me may have profound implications on specific political issues, leading to people investing a great deal of time and money in campaigning for or against them. Nobody will phone bank or heavily advertise unless there is something to be gained (or lost) for someone (that someone may be you, in which case you want to participate!) More information is available on the Sacramento City Website Measure A: In a nutshell: This measure makes the mayor more powerful relative to the city council and gives them more executive powers. What it does: Basically enacts a sort of 'strong mayor' type of government in which the mayor has more power relative to the city council. Some of these include more executive powers such as the power to veto ordinances and more ability to directly set policy. Right now, the mayor is sort of like the main city Councillor, like the chief justice of the supreme court (vs associate justices) or like a prime minister - one could imagine the strong mayor being more like a President, who is kept in check by the city council. Sacramento currently has a city manager - this is a little confusing since it sounds similar to the mayor but this is a role sort of like a CEO that implements the policy of the council and mayor. With Measure A, some of the responsibilities of the city manager, like setting the budget, would be determined by the mayor (with council concurrence) instead of the city manager, and the role of "CEO" would shift to the mayor while the manager would become more of a chief administrator - additionally, the mayor may remove the city manager (with limitations) whereas currently it requires a vote among the Councillors. Basically, it gives the mayor more executive power to make and implement decisions. In line with the idea that the mayor is treated more like an executive figure, a 2 term limit would be established for the mayor (currently no limit). Additionally, this measure will enact an additional ethics committee and attempt to ensure that a series of checks and balances is established between the council and the mayor. What are some arguments for it: The mayor can make more executive decisions more readily, making it easier to respond to crises and implement policies with less deliberation and red tape. Proponents claim that the revisions to the city charter will allow for updates that strengthen both the city council, the mayor, and the executive direction of the city and make it easier to respond to issues that affect the city, like homelessness, COVID, inequality, and housing. Supporters also cite many examples of other successful 'strong mayor' cities in the US. Who is in support: city council members, many community organizations and institutions, particularly those for growth and diversity What are some arguments against it: Many are concerned that changing the charter of the city to give the mayor more power is a dangerous permission to grant and that short term considerations like COVID should not dictate essentially permanent long-term policies. Opponents point out that this proposal has been shot down 3 times previously and would give the mayor too much power and would actually reduce accountability, and that this current proposal is an undemocratic distraction during a health crisis. Who is against: city council members, vice mayor, former mayor, Sac. Democrat chair, LWV chair Measure B: In a nutshell: Gives the people creating the new city council districts from the 2020 census data more time to finish the new boundaries due to COVID and the date change for the California Primary. What it does: Sacramento passed a measure in 2016 to require the Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission to establish new council district boundaries within a defined time limit of the 2020 US Census. The purpose of redistricting is to ensure that council districts are fair for population and demographic changes that may have occurred since the last US Census was taken, and that this redistricting is performed by a neutral third party with no political preferences. These districts would directly use data from the 2020 census conducted this year. The previous ballot measure required the commission to be done with their new districts within 6 months of the time of the US Census conclusion, ready for the next election after that. The purpose of a limit would be to prevent the council from sitting on the data between elections, which could be unfair to residents in those districts if they are set to change. This measure is requesting a one time exemption from this 6 month limit. They are requesting this change because: a) the state primary was moved from June to March (meaning there are 3 fewer months to prepare for this change), as well as the coronavirus epidemic, which is projected to delay census data. They do not believe they will have enough time to create fair districts. This measure would give them until October 2021 to prepare the districts, ready for the 2022 elections. What are some arguments for it: This is a one-time exemption, not ripe for future abuse, and it is mainly due to extenuating circumstances out of control of the city. Supporters do not believe that the districting would be possible within the window that was allotted in the 2016 measure. Who is in support: Council members, community organizations What are some arguments against it: No arguments were submitted against it. Theoretically, it could be argued that they should make do with the time they have, but I honestly don't see any reason to vote against this measure (if anyone does, please feel free to chime in). Measure C: In a Nutshell: Measure C would create a new rent control board with elected members that would oversee rent control and ensure landlords are abiding by it. This board would strengthen and supersede existing rent control laws. What it does: Some (but not all) of the apartments in Sacramento are rent controlled. These rules limit the amount that landlords can increase rent each year and how often (with exceptions) and also limit the ability for landlords to kick out a resident after living there for more than a year. Measure C would essentially implement a new rent control committee responsible for managing Sacramento's rent control policy, and implementing changes based on the needs of renters and landlords. It would determine based on economic and demographic conditions what are acceptable limits for annual rent increases, enforce rules and conduct investigations. They will also establish more protections against termination of leases with additional criteria that have to be met and in some cases, large relocation assistance ($5,500+) that would have to be offered to tenants removed from their homes due to factors other than breach of contract, such as the owner moving back into their unit. The board established by Measure C would replace existing ordinances regarding rent control, and the board would have the capability to determine future rent control and management adjustments that would be required. The board would be independent of the mayor and city council. It is important to note that rent control ordinances already exist, and not all who are opposed to Measure C are against rent control, they may just be against the additional provisions of this measure. However, supporters say that current measures do not go far enough to protect residents and prevent evictions. What are some arguments for it: Rent continues to climb in Sacramento due to factors out of most residents control, even during the pandemic. Sacramento has seen some of the largest rent increases in the country in the last decade, and it may take years before more units are available to meet demand. Renters tend to be lower income than home owners and are more susceptible to financial issues that could cause them to lose their housing. This board would create stronger and more dynamic controls that prevent evictions and address issues as they come up. Ideally, this board would provide a more stable and comprehensive group that is able to enact and enforce rent control and eviction policies. Supporters also say that rent controls are currently held by city councilors who may have corporate interests in mind and that an independent committee would be better at considering the needs of renters and preventing evictions. Who is in support: a council member, many community and progressive organizations, Democratic Chair of Sac. What are some arguments against it: The creation of an independently elected board is unnecessary when the city has already enacted some of the toughest rent control laws just last year. The board would be expensive to maintain and add needless red-tape and create conflict with the city council when they try to address housing costs. Opponents say that the measure would do nothing to add new housing or address the reasons why housing is so expensive, and may even make it harder to add new housing stock by deterring investors. Some people who are in support of rent control believe the current measures adopted by the city recently are satisfactory as is and that this new measure is unnecessary. Who is against it: The mayor, many council members, professional and veterans organizations
2020.09.14 11:09 DavidgogoA detailed explainer “Why Quran and not Hadith?” Part II
... Continued from part I Allow me to add my FB friend Hussam Abdelrahman's arguments negating this false claim: "IF THE QURAN HAD BEEN TRANSMITTED AND COMPILED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE AHADITH
There would be an alleged ‘sanad’ (support) or an 'isnad' (supporting) with every Quranic verse.
The Quranic verses would have been arguably collected by fallible compilers representing a completely different sectarian, socio-political milieu, centuries after the death of the prophet.
The compilers would have allegedly traveled many miles to other individuals who had never met the prophet but claimed they possessed isolated Quranic verses based on hearsay, allegedly passed on to them through numerous generations through primarily oral tradition.
The majority, if not all the Quranic verses would be based on what one companion had heard and not corroborated by any other.
Different students of the later compilers would have captured different variants of the Quranic verses and argued over its veracity.
The Quranic verses would have been canonized much later into a recognized corpus arguably after the death of the initial fallible compilers.
There would arguably been a classification of Quranic verses such as 'Sahih' (sound) verses, 'Hasan' (good) verses, 'Da'if' (weak) verses and 'Maudu' (fabricated / forged) verses.
There would have arguably been disagreements of the links of isnad of the Quranic verses and terms such as 'Musnad' (supported), 'Muttasil' (continuous), 'Munqati' (broken), 'Mu'allaq' (hanging), 'Mu'dal' (perplexing) and 'mursal' (hurried) would have been applied to them.
There would have been vociferous exchanges and disagreements regarding the reliability and trustworthiness of the reporters of the Quranic verses.
There would arguably be ‘sectarian’ Quranic Books with different compilations and verses.
There would have been raging debates of the authenticity of the Quranic verses and the corpus throughout Muslim history.
Thank God the Quran was NEITHER transmitted NOR compiled in the same manner as Ahadith" The myth of the Consensus of the scholars When everything else fails, out comes the so-called consensus of the "scholars". Reality check again, the scholars have not even agreed upon what constitutes consensus let alone formed one about anything for that matter. A quick reminder to how the five schools view consensus.
Hanafi: Through public agreement of Islamic jurists
Shafi: Through agreement of the entire community and public at large,
Maliki: Through agreement amongst the residents of Medina only
Hanbali: Through agreement and practice of Muhammad's Companions only (there is still no consensus on what constitutes a sahaba)
Usuli: Only the consensus of the ulama while the messenger of God was alive or Shia Imams
Don't you think they should first sort this core issue before claiming consensus? No less than the death for blasphemy, is based not on the Quran and not even on the Hadith but on this mythical consensus. In essence, they have illegally awarded themselves the right to kill another human being. Imagine that! The Abrogation falsehood The last trick up their sleeve is a late addition, abrogation. A notion so thoroughly refuted that it is not worth wasting time on. Let us just say that straightforward verses of the Quran are stripped of context and twisted to mean that some verse and in extreme cases some Hadith actually abrogates some other verse of the Quran. In typical fashion, the estimates of abrogated verse range from seven to several hundred. This one fact is enough to put this mischievous notion to one side. The nonsense of abrogation was exposed by upright scholars throughout history and one of the earliest oppositions can be traced back to Abu Muslim Al-Asfahani, followed by Ibn Rushd and the Ibn Khaldun and many more. Among the modern scholars Mohammad Asad, Ahmed Subhy Mansour, Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq and Shabbir Ahmed are often cited. Shahada (شَهِدَ ) of the Hypocrites Before moving to the positive, allow me to touch on something that will surely disturb a lot of you but it is necessary because it is a perfect illustration of how far we have deviated from the message of God. The question is: How did the non-Quranic but popular Shahada find its way into Islam? Below are the verses where the word (شَهِدَ) is used in the context of testifying. In twelve out of thirteen it had nothing to do with the Shahada of the sectarians, and in the thirteenth, this is what God has to say about it: When the hypocrites come to you, [O Muhammad], they say, "We testify that you are the Messenger of Allah." And Allah knows that you are His Messenger, and Allah testifies that the hypocrites are liars. Quran 63:01 Here are the verses where it is used in context: (4:15:11) shahidū they testify فَإِنْ شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ (6:19:20) latashhadūna testify أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَىٰ قُلْ لَا أَشْهَدُ (6:19:28) ashhadu (do) I testify أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَىٰ قُلْ لَا أَشْهَدُ (6:150:5) yashhadūna testify قُلْ هَلُمَّ شُهَدَاءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ يَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ هَٰذَا (6:150:11) shahidū they testify فَإِنْ شَهِدُوا فَلَا تَشْهَدْ مَعَهُمْ (6:150:13) tashhad testify فَإِنْ شَهِدُوا فَلَا تَشْهَدْ مَعَهُمْ (7:37:32) washahidū and they (will) testify قَالُوا ضَلُّوا عَنَّا وَشَهِدُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَافِرِينَ (7:172:10) wa-ashhadahum and made them testify وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ (12:81:10) shahid'nā we testify فَقُولُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَا إِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمْنَا (41:20:5) shahida (will) testify حَتَّىٰ إِذَا مَا جَاءُوهَا شَهِدَ عَلَيْهِمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَأَبْصَارُهُمْ وَجُلُودُهُمْ (41:21:4) shahidttum you testify وَقَالُوا لِجُلُودِهِمْ لِمَ شَهِدْتُمْ عَلَيْنَا (41:22:5) yashhada testify وَمَا كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُونَ أَنْ يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُكُمْ (63:1:5) nashhadu We testify إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُنَافِقُونَ قَالُوا نَشْهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ Quran 7:158 is sometimes used by the sectarians to justify the Shahada of the hypocrites. The only problem is that the word (شَهِدَ ) is missing from the entire verse. In fact, the word "say" (قُلْ) is used by God in order to make the issue even more clear to us. Furthermore, the actual Shahada is also present in the same verse and is once again distinctly repeated without the phrase "and Mohammad is his messenger" to remove all doubts. Note: The total number of times the word from the root "shīn hā dāl" is used in different contexts is 160, mostly in terms of a witness(s) Besides, there are numerous Ahadith where the true Shahada is detailed. How to interpret the Quran? Let us move towards the positive. Just a quick mention of how to interpret the Quran. When we interpret Islam wrong it is not Islam anymore, it is as simple as that. Similarly, when we succeed in interpreting some verses correctly and others incorrectly then it is just that, partly right and partly wrong. There are no blends, it is all black or white as one would expect from a Divine guide. God is not in the business of maybes. It is reasonable to assume that before wanting to discuss Islam, unless we can agree on the methodology of interpreting Islam, we won't be able to agree on anything. So let us keep the questions on hold for a bit and talk methodologies, because whoever is able to convince the other side on the best methodology can just apply it and get all the answers .just like that. In my humble opinion, this is how I see it and millions have come to more or less the same conclusions. Trust your God-given faculties of observation, logic and rational thought as reminded by scores of verses of the Quran. Yes, the thing to note and emphasize is that the methodology of how to interpret the Quranic verses is embedded in the Quran itself. In contrast, a reference to those who may know more than an average person is mentioned only a few times and that too not in the popular "ask those who know" manner. Those who keep harping on "Ask a Shaikh" need to be told that the number of times "use your brain" is emphasized runs into hundreds but “ask others “not once. There is no "ask those who know" in the Arabic version of the Quran. Please use your brain and observe, research, and draw valid logical conclusions. Remember God is the teacher of the Quran. (Quran 55:02) The actual guidelines of the Quran are not about "asking", but some in the community should be entrusted with researching and making their findings public and open to debate. For the record and with all due respect to those who have a different opinion, the thing about the Quran is, as one would expect from a Divine message, that it is fully Self-Referenced and the Checksums are also all embedded in the body of the message. The core message needed for salvation is easily understood by even a twelve-year-old. The Quran, of course, is much much more and is there for all of humanity, and for all times to come. The message is designed once again to be relevant to people with varying degrees of access to knowledge bases and brain power and who happen to be living at different times and in different space. When one decides to leverage the full potential of the book, the Quran once again comes to the rescue to address the issues associated with serious research and truly demonstrates its timelessness so to speak. For starters, the use of particular words is demonstrated by their use in a priori manner within the Quran and hence protected from the natural evolution of the language. One must research this aspect first. Similarly, the methodology of non-contradiction (there are none in the Quran) not only protects the content and its interpretation but does it in a manner where by and large the domain knowledge constraints are taken out of the equation. In simple terms, if your interpretation of a verse contradicts another verse then there are only three possibilities.
Your interpretation of the first verse is wrong
Or your interpretation of the second verse is wrong
Or your interpretation of both the verses is wrong, hence, seek another interpretation
God is not in the business of maybes as I said. Let's put it this way, every verse in the Quran has a potential veto over a wrongly interpreted verse. We cannot thank God enough for this particular aspect of understanding the message of God. God in His infinite mercy has gifted us a touchstone and if people still insist on "different interpretations" then there is extraordinarily little one can add to the argument. Quran's framework is based on a self-correcting mechanism that needs no outside input. The answer to the question,” Is it even possible to interpret the verses of the Quran in such a manner that it eliminates verses contradicting each other?” is not only an emphatic yes, but yes on several levels. The non-contradiction claim of the Quran serves two purposes; the first , to point out that for mere humans to put together over 77,000 words, covering a full spectrum of domains, is not easy without some elements contradicting others, and the second, is to facilitate our understanding as mentioned above. Mustansir Mir, Professor of Islamic Studies at Youngstown State University, eloquently argues for a multi-layered approach. He writes, “From a linguistic standpoint, it is quite possible for a word, phrase or statement to have more than one layer of meaning, such that one layer would make sense to one audience in one age and another layer of meaning would, without negating the first, be meaningful to another audience in a subsequent age.” So yes, one is free to use different meanings associated with certain words but must do so only in a manner that it does not contradict a chosen meaning in another verse. Add to it a simple rule of restricting the meaning of words to the Arabic language even when they appear to be resembling words of a different language and be alive to the obvious allegorical references and you are done. To seek the best of meanings is an additional and general guideline in order to understand the truth within the verses and hence take out hiding the truth from the equation. Who in their right mind would refuse to follow the instructions of how to understand the intended message of a guide, found in the guide itself, that is if the intention is to understand the message? Indeed, there is no doubt. A word of caution. Some in the Quran focused approach have taken a reactionary stance to the traditional Islam and even legitimate practices of the traditionalists are challenged for the sake of challenging them. One stark example is the issue of Salah. The notion that standing, bowing, and prostration don’t mean what they say they do, because their use in some verses points to a different context, is strange. If we were to reverse this logic and make those different contexts the baseline, then standing should not mean standing anywhere in the Quran. Similarly, if we were to change the definition of a Mosque to mean something other than a physical structure, we would have to do the same with monasteries and churches and synagogues. Quran 22:40. Here once again the non-contradiction aspect of the Quran guides us in the right direction. The impossibility of different interpretations Why is it that there is only one correct way to interpret the Quran? First of all, let me qualify that. It is possible to extract more than one meaning from a given verse (s) of the Quran, as long as each subsequent interpretation (s) does not negate the previous one. Regardless of the number of extracted interpretations, each interpretation will have to pass the test of non-contradiction independently. Let us layout the two elements of non-contradiction. It is hoped that the issue of the language of understanding can also be easily settled through it. Assuming one has already verified the Quran to be the very word of God, the logic is pretty straightforward.
The first rule is that there are no contradictions in the Quran
The second rule is that if the Quran was produced by someone other than God one would find contradictions in that version of the Quran.
When we apply these two rules simultaneously to any interpretation of the Quran, either in its original Arabic or a translated version, we can make the following conclusion. If one were to interpret the Quran in a way that was not intended by God then we are likely to introduce contradictions in the Quran because man is not capable of producing a different version of the Quran without any contradictions. Hence there can only be one correct way to interpret the Quran irrespective of the language of understanding. One is free to claim that their interpreted version is the correct one, but it is not possible to claim that there is more than one correct version of the Quran. Of course, when they make such a claim, they also take on the burden to defend it to be free of contradictions. The choice dilemma By the way, which of the following must one follow and why? Just to help the readers out, of course you always have the option to throw a dart in the direction of the following collections and see where it lands and take that as the one "true" Sunnah and be prepared to be declared a "Kafir" by the followers of all the rest. Mind you, all of them are claimed to have been vetted through the same magical "Science" of Hadith. Needless to say, each and every one of them ignores the all-important, essential, condition of the public delivery of the official message and hopes nobody will notice that 99.9% of them are single third-party narrations, the opposite of public.
Kutub Al-Sittah - (The six books of Sunnis )
Sahih Al-Bukhari ( صحيح البخاري ) Sahih Muslim ( صحيح مسلم ) Al-Sunan Al-Sughra ( السنن الصغرى ) Sunan Abi Dawood ( سنن أبي داود ) Sunan Al-Tirmidhi ( جامع الترمذي ) Sunan Ibn Maja ( سُنن ابن ماجه )
Al-Kutub Al-Arb'ah - (The four books of Shias)
Kitab Al-Kafi ( الكتاب الكافي ) Man La Yahduruhu Al-Faqih ( من لا يحضره الفقيه ) Tahdhib Al-Ahkam ( تهذیب الاحکام ) Al-Istibsar ( الاستبصار )
The Ibadi one Jami Sahih Tartib Al-Musnad
The Mu'tazila collection Comments on the Peak of Eloquence
Now comes the fun part, with the possible exception of the Ibadi collection, each and every collection has an interesting thread running through it. All the collectors were Persians and almost all of them appeared out of nowhere right after the defeat of the Persians. You just need two functioning brain cells to figure out the rest. Now throw in the following to highlight the difficulty of choosing the correct version; Muwatta Imam Malik Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal Sunan Al-Darimi Shama'il Muhammadiyah is often referred to as Shamaail Tirmidhi Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān Al-Mustadrak Alaa Al-Ṣaḥīḥaīn Al-Mawdū'āt Al-Kubrā Rīaḍ As-Ṣāliḥīn Mishkat Al-Masabih Talkhis Al-Mustadrak Majma Al-Zawa'id Bulugh Al-Maram Kanz al-Ummal Zujajat al-Masabih Minhaj us Sawi Muntakhab Ahadith The Book of Sulaym Ibn Qays Al-Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyya Uyun al Akhbar ar Reda Sharh Usul al-Kafi Nahj Al-Balagha Wasā'il Al-Shīʿa Bihar Al-Anwar Haqq al-Yaqeen Ain Al-Hayat (17th century) Qalam-e-Mowla Daim al-Islam ETC I wish it was as simple as choosing a version or two and you were done. Not so fast, as the saying goes, even after settling for a particular version you are still totally dependent on the "scholars" associated with that particular version. In essence, they have the final say in what you ought to believe and often their explanations are not only at odds with the word of God but the wordings in a given Hadith as well. No matter where the dart lands, in essence, it will still be no more than a game of "my scholars are better than yours". I for one refuse to assign my eternity to this crapshoot. Narrated Anas: The fact which stops me from narrating a great number of Hadiths to you is that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Whoever tells a lie against me intentionally, then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire." حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مَعْمَرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ، قَالَ أَنَسٌ إِنَّهُ لَيَمْنَعُنِي أَنْ أُحَدِّثَكُمْ حَدِيثًا كَثِيرًا أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " مَنْ تَعَمَّدَ عَلَىَّ كَذِبًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ ". Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 108 In-book reference: Book 3, Hadith 5 Some important verses Perhaps these verses may help 80:11 Nay! Indeed, it (is) a reminder, 80:12 So whosoever wills may remember it. 80:13 In sheets honored, 80:14 Exalted, purified, 80:15 In (the) hands (of) scribes. 80:16 Noble, dutiful. Surah Al-Qamar :
We made the Quran easy to learn. Is there anyone who would learn?
We made the Quran easy to remember. Is there anyone who would remember?
We made the Quran easy to understand. Is there anyone who would understand?
We made the Quran easy to memorize. Is there anyone who would memorize?
If you really are interested in the truth, please read the following verses very carefully; Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof - for him is a great punishment. (11) Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, "This is an obvious falsehood"? (12) Why did they not produce for it, four witnesses? And when they do not produce the witnesses, then it is they, in the sight of Allah, who are the liars. (13) And if it had not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy in this world and the Hereafter, you would have been touched for that [lie] in which you were involved by a great punishment (14) When you received it with your tongues and said with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the sight of Allah, tremendous. (15) And why, when you heard it, did you not say, "It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, [O Allah]; this is a great slander"? (16) Allah warns you against returning to the likes of this [conduct], ever, if you should be believers. (17) And Allah makes clear to you the verses, and Allah is Knowing and Wise. (18) Quran 24:11-18 The true level of our deviation from the straight path can be illustrated by naming the stuff we follow without taking the time to verify it. Just to help some of you out, besides the lies about Aisha’s chronologically impossible age, the false justification of slavery and killing of non-Muslims and the un-Islamic notion of ruling the world under the disguise of Khalafat, Shahid Khan, a Facebook user, has compiled the following list; Things NOT Contained In The Quran: List of Interpolations
Saying that the Quran is not self-sufficient and that there is a need for additional speculations.
Taking the hadiths as a source for Islam.
Sectarian scholars pronouncing fatwas or ijtihads (canonical jurisprudence).
Practices conforming to sectarian dictates.
Equating sects with the religion.
Reciting the Quran for the sake of its music without understanding the text.
Using the Quran as a book of prayer recited for the souls of the departed.
Contributing authority to the Prophet outside the scope of the Quran.
The fact that God created everything for the sake of Muhammad.
Competition between prophets. Supremacy of some prophets over other prophets.
Imitation of the ways and manners of the Prophet even before his prophethood.
The belief that the Quran has missing points which can be found in other books.
To announce certain select devotees to be Muslim saints and visit their tombs with all sorts of reverential rituals.
To idolize the sheikhs of religious orders.
Establishing a type of communication with the sheikhs by a special ritual called rabýta. 16. To claim that only the Sunnites or the Shiites are to go to paradise.
To declare the Jews and Christians as the future dwellers of hell.
To adopt Arabic customs and traditions as religious practices.
To come forth alleging to be reformist with a view to changing the Quranic religion.
To formulate religious precepts ascribing them to the Prophet.
To claim that the vote of the majority always prevails.
To interpret the continuity of sects as evidence of their genuineness.
The Hanafi sect. (Yes, they are sects under the disguise of Madhab)
The Shafi sect.
The Hanbali sect.
The Maliki sect.
The Jafari sect.
All Sunni and Shia sects.
Any sect like Maturidiya, Ashariya.
A canon book called Majalla.
To deny reason and favor apishness.
Hostility against science.
Hostility against the arts.
To abide by the rules that the book entitled Sahih Bukhari lays down.
To abide by the rules of the hadith book entitled Muslim
To abide by the rules of the hadith books Kutub-i Sitte or other such books.
To venerate individuals to whom religiosity is ascribed other than the Prophet.
The allegation that all of those who had the privilege to set eyes on the Prophet (sahaba) were on the right path.
The wearing of the headscarf.
The wearing of the veil.
Segregation of men and women.
The fact that a woman is not allowed to travel alone.
The wrong and absurd belief that a woman can never repay the debts she owes to her husband even if she were to lick him from head to foot when he is in a deplorable state covered with pus.
“If prostration was permitted to any entity other that God, the wife should prostrate herself before her husband” claimed the hadith.
That a woman cannot become a head of state or an administrator.
That women have no right to vote for the governing body of the government.
That women’s voices must not be audible to men.
That women are not allowed to perform the Friday salat.
That women are not allowed to perform salat, fast, recite the Quran or enter a mosque during their period.
Covering women with all sorts of outer garments.
That it is forbidden for women to shake hands with men.
That a man is not allowed to sit in a chair previously occupied by a woman whose warmth is still preserved.
That a woman cannot stay in an enclosed space where there are men.
That women are considered along with dogs and pigs to invalidate the salat of a praying man.
That the majority of women are doomed to go to hell.
That women are evil by nature.
That women lack intelligence.
That women must be kept indoors.
That it is forbidden for women to wear perfume.
That women are not allowed to use makeup.
That a wife must obey her husband as a slave does.
That a woman is required to have sexual relations whenever her husband calls her.
That two female witnesses equal one male witness.
That a woman must have her parents’ permission in order to get married.
Stoning to death of the adulterer.
That the papyrus on which the verse regarding adultery was on was eaten by a goat.
Arguments about killing adulterers being practiced even among monkeys.
Prohibition of a man’s wearing golden ornaments.
Prohibition of men wearing silk.
Prohibition of use of golden and silver utensils and plates.
Prohibition of sculpture.
Prohibition of drawing and painting.
Prohibition of chess.
Prohibition of musical instruments and music.
Prohibition of consumption of seafood like mussels, shrimps, etc.
Prohibition of eating the flesh of donkeys, horses, or wild animals
The fact that kidneys and ram’s testicles are abominable to eat.
The fact that smoking is religiously unlawful.
That there is a separate list containing things considered to be abominable (makruh). 80. That the sexual act must take place under covers.
The prohibition for the couple to look at each other’s sexual organs.
Prohibition of masturbation.
Prohibition for women to use birth control.
That an individual should keep his/her sexual organs covered even when taking a bath lest the angels be offended.
Circumcision of men.
Circumcision of women.
The sunnah of letting beards grow.
The prohibition of trimming a beard.
The sunnah according to which the hair had to be parted from the middle of the scalp.
The sunnah regarding the oiling of hair.
The sunnah of applying henna to hair and beard.
The sunnah of applying mascara to the eyes for men.
That lying face down is a satanic act.
To sleep on a mattress spread on the ground.
To use one’s right foot going out of the house or getting up from the bed.
To enter a soiled place like a WC with the left foot.
Saying that canonical purification of the body can only be performed using water after defecating.
The obligation for men to crouch when urinating.
To relieve yourself in the direction of Mecca.
The fact that eating with the left hand is a satanic act.
To wound a turban.
To use miswak to clean the teeth.
To wear a robe with a long skirt reaching down to one’s feet.
For men to wear a loose dress (antari). .
To wear shalwar (a type of wide trousers) as sunnah.
To interpret as a meritorious act the wearing of white, green, or black raiment.
The prohibition to wear yellow or red.
To consider eating dates or squash as meritorious acts.
To eat seated on the ground.
To eat from the same dish with others.
To eat with three fingers.
To drink water in three gulps.
To drink water in a seated position.
To lick one’s fingers after having eaten with them.
Not to use perfumes containing alcohol.
Not to use eau de cologne.
To kill black dogs.
Not to let dogs into the home.
To cover the mirrors at night.
To perform black magic with or without the use of the Quran.
To write on and wear amulets.
To use the Quran as a book of magic.
To believe that whistling is a satanic act.
To knock on wood or wear trinkets against the evil eye.
To take fortunetellers and magicians for religious figures.
Feasts celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan and on the occasion of sacrifices.
To avoid passing underneath a ladder and to consider black cats, black dogs as ominous signs and to melt lead against the evil eye.
To believe that there are special days on which linen can be washed and sexual intercourse can be performed.
To recite the Mevlit (poem written to celebrate the birth and the death of the Prophet) for the souls of the departed.
To hold ceremonies for the soul of the dead on the 7th, 40th and 52nd days after death. 131. Stories concocted about the suffering that the dead is to be subjected to after burial. 132. Rumors about the bridge of Sýrat from this world to paradise, more slender than a hair and sharper than a sword and a person’s traversing it riding the animal he sacrificed in this world.
The belief that a person who cannot avoid his urine from sprinkling on his clothes shall undergo excruciating torture in the grave.
To fast in the place of a dead person.
To go on Hajj in the place of a dead person.
That tears shed after a death will cause his soul to suffer beyond endurance.
To predict the hour of the Day of Judgment.
The Muslim Messiah, Mahdi.
To say that Dabbe has the ears of an elephant, eyes of a hog and head of an ox.
The Second Coming of Christ.
The belief that Agog and Magog are Turks.
Racism, superiority of the Arab race.
The belief that Agog and Magog are the homunculus.
To set down prayer hours not indicated in the Quran.
To prescribe a certain number of rakats as a binding duty.
The requirement of performing the salat by reciting verses in the original Arabic language.
Prohibition for women to conduct the congregational prayer.
To have to repeat always the same thing during the kneeling and prostrating in the course of the performance of the salat.
The obligation to recite the fatiha at every rakat.
The obligation to sit and recite attahiyyat at the end of the salat.
To make a long list of the particular requirements during the salat not mentioned in the Quran.
To make a detailed description of the praying man with regard to his posture, such as how he will place his hands).
That the compensation of a wilfully broken fast is two months without interruption.
Special salats like the taravih (the superfluous night service during the month of Ramadan performed immediately after the prescribed night service of worship, consisting of twenty genuflections with an interval for rest and breathing after each two or four acts), and the congregational prayers at the end of the month of fasting and at the festival of sacrifice. 156. To put people in misery by restricting the period of Hajj to a short space of time.
The stoning of Satan during the Hajj.
To slaughter animals at the Festival of Sacrifice.
To believe that certain restrictions start after the Hajj.
Calling holy the water from the well zamzam, to pray over sugar or salt for luck.
To give zakat (alms, charity) as 1/40 of one’s assets.
To assign special rates for zakat for camels, sheep, and agricultural products.
The belief that one invalidates his ablution by certain acts other than nature’s call.
The belief that total ablution (ghusl) is required not only after sexual intercourse but also by other causes.
To make the order of acts during the performance of ablution strictly binding.
To say that rinsing one’s mouth and blowing one’s nose during the major ablution is a binding duty.
The requirement of washing one’s heels along with the feet.
Details such as the obligation of pouring water three times each to the right and left of a person performing the total ablution.
The requirement of total ablution before reciting the Quran.
Saying that one sins when he/she goes about not having performed total ablution.
The nullification of ablutions for a person who has a tooth filled.
The nullification of ablutions for men/women having a tattoo.
Martyrdom for those having died in an earthquake or a flood.
Martyrdom of those having suffered stomach pains.
That the earth is supported by an ox or a fish.
The belief that earthquakes occur when the fish shakes its tail.
The fact that the moon is unattainable.
To define the setting of the sun as the loss of the sun as a guide for prostrating.
The belief that the eclipses of the sun and the moon occur when they are drawn by carriages equipped with handles.
Existence of angels in the form of bulls, lions, and eagles.
Accounts related to the 600 wings of Gabriel.
God’s opening His calf in paradise.
God’s touching the back of the Prophet.
God’s coming down on earth on special days to shake the hands of His creatures.
The bargaining between God and the Prophet for the reduction of the times of salat from 50 down to 5.
The Institution of the caliphate.
The sultanate and the making the subjects into slaves of the political power.
Classes of clergy.
To sanctify the Arabic language and ascribe sanctity to the Arabic letters.
To terrorize people with the countries outside the dominion of Islam (Dar-ul Harb).
To loot and disregard the rights of people living outside the dominion of Islam.
To beat or kill persons who refuse to perform salat.
To compel people to fast and beat those who fail to do so.
To beat women who have put on makeup and go around uncovered.
To kill the renegades (of Islam to other religions).
To flog the renegades (even those who convert from one sect to another).
To make conquests merely for the sake of looting.
To beat drunkards.
To use force and compel people to abide by religious rules.
To call Islam by the names of sects, etc.
The myth of the Muslim majority What "vast Majority"? The reality is a sea of fragmented competing sects constantly at each other's throats. The only thing that unites them is defending their illegal relevance and attacking those who point out the illegality of their position. They are in it for the money. They are masters at duping the unsuspecting to part with their hard-earned wages. When pushed, the majority of their own members reject their sect's nonsense. People are not fools in general, they can tell when they have been taken for a ride. It is one thing to go along with the "majority" under duress and another to take all this nonsense to heart. Here is what God has to say about the majority: 2:100 the majority do not believe (in The One God) 2:243. Majority are ungrateful. 3:110 the majority are wicked. 4:114 the majority whispers lies. 5:32 the majority are transgressors 5:49 majority are wicked 5:59 majority are wicked 5:62 the majority hasten to sin and transgression and consuming money illicitly. Miserable indeed is what they were doing. 5:64 the majority are rebels and rejecturers Here are some other verses with similar warnings 5:66 5:71 5:81 5:103 6:37 6:111 6:116 6:119 7:17 7:102 7:131 7:187 8:34 9:8 10:36 10:55 10:60 10:92 11:17 12:21 12:38 12:40 12:68 12:103 12:106 13:1 16:38 16:75 16:83 16: 101 17:89 21:24 21:93 23:70 25:44 25:50 (thanks to Wan Ibnul Bahar)
2020.09.13 10:10 kamakameliaI (f20) am falling in love with one of my best friends of two years (m50)
I cannot tell anybody in my life, because i (and he) would get a ton of shit for it coz nobody would understand. But i need to share this! I cannot keep it secret any longer. I have a thing for older guys, always had. At this point, most of my friends are above 35. It sounds strange but it works for me. Its gonna be a long rant probably. Sorry not sorry. So, at the beginning of 2018 i started salsa dancing as a hobby. I kinda had a crush on one of the best dancers in the class early on, and we kinda hit it off. Ill call him Luke. We met a couple of times, i was still super shy around him, and very cautious when at his place (like, i followed him to watch him pour me a glass of water instead of sitting on the couch and waiting for him to bring me. He was very accepting of my caution, even considered it positive, and did everything he could to make me feel more comfortable. the first time i was at his place, he even put the keys in on the outside of the door to show me that there will not even be any way for him to lock them) and then, i had a ball from ballroom dancing classes i previously took, and i invited him to come. We found ourselves sitting next to each other on a couch somewhere a bit further away from all the other people. We looked at each other intensely, then luke said: "usually, wed be supposed to kiss in this situation" and i looked at him and said "we shouldve been kissing all along" Well, i took him somewhere even further away from the people and we started making out. It was like in the end of a romantic movie, except it was only the beginning of our story. At that time i still was in a (dying) open relationship with my boyfriend, so while everything i did was allowed, he was less than pleased to hear about luke and actually decided to put a veto on him because he was so convinced luke was a creep. I remember one time during class he touched my butt and i went completely mad, like i was so pissed and so certain that my bf was right about luke. Luke swore that hed never do that and that it mustve been an accident. Luke is a teacher, and an old friend of mine actually used to be his student. She told me some strange stories about him aswell, so i was weary. to make it short: I broke up with my boyfriend (not coz of luke) and ended up sleeping with luke once or twice. In the following two years, we did a lot of dancing, dance festivals, workshops and so on. Sometimes we were in closer contact, sometimes we were further away from each other. We kissed sometimes, but never really had sex anymore. Shortly after i broke up with my boyfriend, i got into a short, monogamous relationship with another guy, so sex with luke was off the table. After that relationship also ended, it just never really went back on the table. But i found a great friend in luke, someone i could discuss anything and everything with. We quickly noticed we both had the same outlook on relationships and love (both polyamorous/non-monogamous) and also on a lot of other things in life. This kind of dips into my backstory, but i have a lot of issues regarding my sexuality. I was terrified hed leave me if i didnt have sex with him, but he didnt. It wasnt even an issue at all, ever. I told him about these issues and the issues that formed from my sexual relationships with other men, and he was there and listened and wished me all the best for my future and my development in that regard. I watched him get to know women and date them and helped him make decisions in that regard sometimes. Also, on the festivals, we shared hotelrooms and beds a ton of times. He never made any moves, even in a hotel with no-privacy-showers in the room (wtf, interior designer?) i felt comfortable showering naked infront of him, he didnt look, didnt make it awkward, and i didnt feel weird having him naked in there either. We cuddled a lot in those hotels. Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Were having dinner with some other dancers, and he makes a joke about how ill get angry if they get too drunk. I laugh and tell him that ive never once been angry with him in 2 years of friendship. He stops and thinks, then says he only just realized thats true. Sooo, a couple days or so later, we take mdma. Ive convinced him, because ive been wanting to share it with him for ages. In the middle of our (amazing) roll, he suddenly blurts out "okay, this is going to sound absolutely criminal, but... I was thinking.... Oh man, I can't say that out loud... So, why arent we together, actually? We work so well together" i am laying on my back next to him with the biggest grin on my face, i canr believe hes actually asking that. I tell him that theres no reason, ive been wondering about the same thing before, so if we like to label what we have as a relationship, we can do that. The rest of the trip, we share a lot of deep fears, a lot of loving words and a lot of cuddles. I feel like thats the point when i really started to fall in love with him. Eversince then, its just been getting more and more. The other night, we hung out again. It started so normally, we danced, cuddled, (thats when it stopped being normal), he asked me if id like to sleep over (made my heart skip a beat) we had sex, drank fine wine and fell asleep in each others arms. Before we really got started with the sex, he slowed it down and we had a long conversation about boundaries and how hes a bit worried hes taking something from me and how hes heard all those stories i told him, and he doesnt want that for me, and hes scared things will change and all that. He said, he sometimes worries hes like a vampire for my youth and my time. After i admitted that i sometimes worry im a vampire for his love and affection and time and all that aswell, we could both laugh about it and realize its bullshit. Then, we finally had sex. It was great. He was super careful to never cross any lines, as soon as i gave any "no" indication, hed stop. Later, while i was in his arms, i had the biggest smile on my face. Whenever i was looking at him, he was the most beautiful man to me. His voice is so calming to me. I love his smell. Lmao even him shoving his dick down my throat felt like a romantic gesture. I havent been in love like this in years, and i cant tell anyone about it, because they woulsnt understand. They wouldnt understand the age difference, they wouldn't understand how i can see someone i love only like once or so a week. They wouldn't understand why both of us see and sleep with and kiss other people while we do love each other (and them) Last time i saw him, i wanted to say "i love you" all the time. It was stuck in my head, as a sentence. I couldnt think clear because it was fogging up my brain, but i didnt have the courage to say it. We have this habit of telling each other we love each other in other ways, but never said it directly so far. Yea, so uh. Moral of the story, im in love and cant shut up about it, sorry. If you read this far, thanks! About the stories of my friends, idk. He says, as a teacher its normal that the students tell a lot of roumors.
My husband and I are polyam (obvi) He decided to date my X that I broke up with because I couldn't trust them due to their constant lying. I said I would still be their friend and I put them at arms length to protect myself a little. Because we don't do veto I have been trying to radically accept their relationship and have been even been working to communicate with them to build a friendship so we can be happy metas and create less stress for my husband. They have been completely combative and have been ignoring me the vast majority of the time and seem completely unwilling to bridge the gap. I had a ton of anxiety about them dating because of their manipulative behaviors. Well in the 5 or so months that they have been dating his partner has actively lied about theirs and mines interactions multiple times to my husband. He caught them in it but keeps forgiving them. I'm beginning to harbor resentment for my husband because he keeps choosing to forgive them. I'm hurt. I feel like he thinks his relationship is more important then the mutual respect and compassion I deserve. I feel like I don't matter to him. I don't know what to do. I want him to be happy and have what he wants but his partner seems to be actively trying to break us up or cause chaos in our relationship. Has anyone ever dealt with this? How did you over come? Is this right and I just need to learn how to deal? Any and all advice is appreciated. Thank you.
2020.09.09 02:58 LuciusQBrother wants to date my ex
I’m a 31 yr old man; and my older brother of several years, who is basically the last person left in my family I have a strong connection with and can talk openly with about most anything, that I have always looked up to, has just asked me how I would feel about him dating my ex. They started hanging out recently “as friends” and he thinks he’s developing feelings for her and she’s giving him loads of attention and he thinks there’s something there. Her and I had a very toxic, destructive and painful relationship and both of us were unhappy and unhealthy people at the time. When she dumped me I was in the worst mental state I have been in the past decade, and my brother was who was there for me when I needed someone to turn to. He heard a lot of the details of our relationship, and I’m really surprised he is seriously entertaining dating her. I have since moved on and found stability and have started a family across the country . My brother was to be the legal guardian of my kid if anything were to happen to us. Now, hypothetically, my ex, whom I have forgiven; but don’t necessarily trust, and don’t maintain a relationship/friendship with could end up helping or being involved with raising my child. I want to trust my brother, but this has come completely out of left field and immediately made myself and my partner feel pretty uncomfortable. He expressed he didn’t want this to get in the way of his and my relationship and that’s why he was approaching me before making a move rather than asking forgiveness. My initial reaction is it’s just cringey, hers too. My ex is no threat to heour relationship, and it’s not an issue of being possessive of an ex, it just doesn’t feel right at all. It feels like a violation of a brotherly code or something. I was very open and honest and I expressed all of this to him more or less and it seems he feels like moving forward and having a relationship with her...he basically said he wanted to give me the option to veto, but that I passed on it when I told him he was an adult and could make his own decision. I’m not testing him, just feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to make what I feel is the right choice. It is tough as I want my brother to be happy but there were some key words and things he said in our conversation that made it clear to me that he is not doing well and is lonely and probably pretty depressed. It’s possible I’m wrong but his attitude reminded me of when he’s been in the dumps before, as well as how I would speak about myself and my situation when I was at low points. I want the best for him and for him to find happiness but knowing the person he is trying to date (who I believe has been discreetly pursuing him for a while now) I truly don’t think it’s a good choice for him. It’s even possible it is a weird revenge situation as she has said multiple strange and passive aggressive things long after our relationship ended, and there was a very awkward business transaction between her and my current partner. 2020 is fucked, I’ve been working the last few weeks at really putting an effort into finding my footing and reclaiming my mind from the shit storm of life and it feels like I just got dealt a big old pile of weird bullshit. It’s deeply disappointing to feel like my last strong family connection is now being jeopardized by an easily avoidable situation. Am I overthinking all of this? I feel like it is normal to feel some uneasiness and discomfort. Is there something I can say or do ? Or is it best to get out of the way and let what happens happen?
2020.09.08 07:39 AllUrMemesCooperative Storytelling Power Dynamics (and tools to play with them)
Preface: These musing arose from thinking about how to handle the effects of playing poorly- death, disability, narrative consequences, etc. I talked about this at the end of this post and how I offer Heroes the choice to Fall or Fight, and how choosing to "Fight On" has consequences that can be both mechanical and narrative. This got me to thinking that perhaps the "punishment" for doing poorly (hitting 0 HP, i.e.), could be a loss of powecontrol over the narrative. But first I think we have to talk about power dynamics a little bit so we are all on the same page. To wit- One of the ways we describe the RPG genre to outsiders is "cooperative storytelling". To me, this conjures up the image of a writer's room, with the GM as director working in (and occasionally rejecting) input from writers (PCs, of course). There is an uneven power dynamic- the director holds the lion's share of the power, and the final veto over the story. But in most artistic collaborations, power is generally shared more equitably than in other superior-subordinate relationships. A good director understands that he needs to give and take, and let the writers run with ideas that he or she might not be in love with off the bat. The power dynamic varies from group to group. A famous director has more clout in the room, both in an artistic sense- "He for fuck's sake, who am I to question him wanting ____"- and also in a material sense- "he can fire my ass in a heartbeat if I piss him off". On the contrary, a less prestigious director working with more successful and in-demand writers might find himself in a weaker position. (Weaker in the sense of being able to push his ideas into the final product.) The power dynamic also varies from story to story. If there is a very clear and definitive vision for the project- either mutually agreed on, or perhaps dictated from above (the money men)- then anyone who wants to deviate from the vision and head in a different direction, be it director or writer, will face a more uphill battle. The power dynamic is also influenced by interpersonal authority. As wrong and unhelpful as it is, we all know that an attractive and assertive person who speaks loudly and confidently will often have an advantage over someone more timid, even if the latter's ideas are superior. So now we have our RPG group seated around the writer's room conference table, ready to write a story together. The GM has more power over the narrative by virtue of his position, and either more or less power by virtue of his reputation, ability, and interpersonal skills. I would argue that in a general sense, the power dynamic has shifted in favor of the players in recent times. The days of the Gygaxian tyrant GM- all hail his perfect and unquestionable might- are giving way to a style of cooperative storytelling that puts greater emphasis on cooperation and less on story-telling. This is probably a healthy shift for the RPG zeitgeist. Older RPG'ers probably have at least one memory of a tyrannical GM- maybe the classic example of the power-tripping teen GM holding court over the younger sibling and their friends. (A good example of interpersonal authority and/or materialism dominating artistic merit- "accept my rulings or I'll punch you in the arm"; "my dice/books, my rules", etc.) My experience playing RPGs in 2020 vs playing in the 90s is of a more equitable playing field. In short, it seems like the newer generation of players do a better job of playing nice together and letting each player have their turn at the helm, their time in the spotlight. That's great. I imagine this is part cultural shift- we hate listening to anyone, even experts we really ought to- and part a deliberate change engendered by newer RPG systems which are built to emphasize cooperative storytelling. *But... * I think that the story itself can often suffer from too many cooks- all the more so when the writers are encouraged to heavily self-identify with the protagonists. I mean, that is kind of the definition of a conflict of interests right there. And again, just based on my own observations, it appears that the stories have gotten less interesting. When I ask players to tell me about their past or present campaigns, I don't hear a lot of failures, a lot of continuously rising tension and confounding factors... What I hear is a set of carefully measured and predictably increasing hurdles, each narrowly surmounted just in the nick of time. And while the decent person in me will smile and nod and say "oh cool" at the appropriate intervals, the elitist egotistical GM in me will inwardly snort and think "ugh how trite". But I'm starting to realize that the appropriate response to my inner monologue may be "shut up, asshole, it sounds like they are having a fucking blast." That's when I remembered this Key and Peele skit about writing Gremlins 2. Long story short, the writers get caught up in the excitement and charm and energy of the studio script doctor, and have an absolutely rip-roaring time incorporating everyone's ideas for new Gremlins, and thus ultimately writing an incredibly awful film. At the same time, it's pretty well accepted that lots of great fantasy stories would have made for awful RPG campaigns. I know that Weis and Hickman's seminal Dragonlance Chronicles was a heavily-modified RPG campaign writeup, but I've also read reviews of the modules published for others to play through the same campaign, and they are not kind. So maybe Gremlins 2 is the better approach for an RPG group. Maybe GMs like me who have that Great Fantasy Story in their heads should write that manuscript on their own time and not try to coax and coerce players into that world. But at the same time, plenty of people get into RPG because they like Big Epic Fantasy Stories. Maybe it's something that works for certain players and should be hashed out before hand, with questions like "would you rather create the story, or play an improv-heavy role in a story."? I imagine a lot of people will wind up agreeing with the last point- to ask players beforehand and mutually agree on things. But to be honest, very few people have the luxury of being so selective and deliberate about this RPG groups. For most of us, if you know the game or are willing to learn, and will show up vaguely on time most of the time... Well, you're in. And it can take a lot of experience to know yourself well enough to answer the "create the story or just act in it" question. And a person's answers might very well change over the course of a campaign! Some days they might want to drive the bus, some days they might want to take a seat in the back and watch the world go by through the window. So that leads me to the big questions, which I think are a bit more difficult than the ones that get asked in the usual version of this debate: First Question- What tools/methods can a game give a GM (or player) to quietly say "hey, I would like to drive the bus for a while, would you guys mind just rolling with it for a bit?" (Because if I drive the bus, I can let you guys off at a much more interesting and fleshed out bus stop than you will probably find on your own.) Second Question- I know that there are some RPGs that utilize some sort of story currency. Player A does something to merit a reward chit (a great roleplay for example), and at a later date Player A cashes in the reward chit to basically say "lighting Gremlin is definitely in this story, IDGAF what y'all say", and the table accepts it because them's the rules. My question is: is there anything like this for the GM? For instance, Player A's character falls in battle. As punishment (instead of dying), Player A can opt to essentially give up some agency over his character to the GM in exchange for his life, and the table accepts it because them's the rules. Edit: To clarify, the point of the above questions is to kind of get at "how can we arrive at the best balance of power", or perhaps dare to dream "how can we have the ideal of a cooperative story with strong player agency that is also a really good story".
2020.09.07 15:22 selfproclaimedFeatured Character/Team Sign-ups for October through December 2020
What is this?
Every week our subreddit features a character, and every two weeks we feature a team. The posts are written by users for characters/teams they feel like should be shown more love on the subreddit, and the posts in question are sort of like shorter respect threads. So if you go to one and say "Doesn't this belong on /respectthreads?", prepare to be mocked!
How to Sign Up
This post will be for sign-ups for the October through December session and will stay up for around a week. Therefore, Sign-Ups close at 11:59 PM EST, Monday September 14th, give or take. Now, how do you sign up? Easy. Just post here, listing either the character or team you're planning. Then, at any point, before signups close, send us a Proof of Concept through modmail. A Proof of Concept can be anything from a draft of the thread, to an already done Respect Thread, to an Imgur album of feats, as long as we know that you have something ready. We're going to be vetting these more than we have in the past so if the post doesn't meet our standards (more info below under the Rules section) we can work with you to get it ready by submission time. However, if you don't have an acceptable draft ready within one week of a submission we will choose a backup in its place. After everything is set, you can look forward to the Session Schedule a little bit after we finalize everything.
What's a Featured CharacteTeam? How do I do these things?
Easy! If you're familiar with the concept of /respectthreads, then you'll be able to understand this stuff. A Feature is basically a reasonably sized post summarizing the character or team, who they are and what they can do, including things like feats, allies, etc. etc. etc. (and in the case of teams, having small sections for each member of the team). Maybe throw in some recommended reading while you're at it.
Feature Rules and Guidelines
For a Featured Character post we are looking for posts that have a reasonable, easily digestible number feats. We're basically looking for briefer posts that get to the nitty-gritty of what a character can do rather than a post that is a full RT. Tell us who the character is, their most notable feats, and how they can be used on WWW. Team posts will have looser restrictions on this, but we're still looking for them to be easily consumable. Characters and Teams that have been featured in the past will not be accepted, excepting special circumstances (such as being an alternate version of the character, or something). Characters or Teams that are in poor taste will not be considered. And we reserve the right to, for any reason, turn one down (though we never really exercise this). We will prioritize submissions that have a Proof of Concept that is closer to completion and higher quality. What this means is we will put someone who has a final draft of their Proof of Concept earlier in the schedule than someone who has an incomplete draft or is just submitting a respect thread. If you want to increase your chances of making the cut, submit a final or nearly final draft of your Feature. However, do note that the team deciding this will have the final say in what is accepted and if we feel your submission is either incomplete or misleading of a character or team we reserve the right to refuse to put it on the schedule as a result. Don't complain if your Character or Team doesn't get picked. There's always next time. And in addition to the rules, we have a few guidelines and/or suggestions for your submissions! Generally, we aim to show off more obscure characters, but that is not necessarily a prerequisite nor will someone 'popular' being submitted automatically veto a submission. Go for variety! Notice a lot of Marvel characters or a lack of video games being represented? Try to fix that! We want a lot of fun characters and teams to show off! Further, if you are submitting a draft for a character, if you use someone else's Respect Thread for your proposal, you must submit documentation that you obtained the permission of the Thread's author beforehand. We will be following up on this, and if your draft is wholly another person's RT, your submission will likely not be favorably viewed. Want some examples? Check out our Featured Archive or look at these two submissions, Axe Cop and Zorian Kazinski for Featured Characters or The League of Losers or Class 3-E for Featured Teams which are excellent displays of what we're looking for.
In the event of someone not posting their feature on their scheduled date, the modteam will step in and supply an entry for that date. This is to encourage submissions to be of the highest possible quality as well as reward a quick response time. The following dates will be available to post your Features:
2020.09.06 14:40 AB1908Fact check: Trump was tougher on Russia than the previous administration
You can see my previous fact checks here and here. I've seen an oft repeated claim on /AskTrumpSupporters by a certain user stating the following:
Trump is tougher on Russia than your softball administration ever was (1)(2)(3)(4)
The evidence does not appear to (strongly) support the conclusion. I have attempted to read through all four articles as well as their corresponding citations and I present my findings here. I would also welcome any feedback or corrections in any form. I doubt a limited amount of reading would present a full picture of the scenario.
Analysis of given articles
From  which, to note, is an op-ed:
For starters, it was President Obama who, according to Reuters, was “caught on camera” saying to a Russian leader that he’ll have more flexibility after the election — not President Trump.
This excerpt cites an article from Reuters  and has been mischaracterised as can be seen below:
The exchange, parts of it inaudible, was monitored by a White House pool of television journalists as well as Russian reporters listening live from their press center. The United States and NATO have offered Russia a role in the project to create an anti-ballistic shield which includes participation by Romania, Poland, Turkey and Spain. But Moscow says it fears the system could weaken Russia by gaining the capability to shoot down the nuclear missiles it relies on as a deterrent. It wants a legally binding pledge from the United States that Russia’s nuclear forces would not be targeted by the system and joint control of how it is used. “This is my last election ... After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.
Additionally, this was in 2012, during his re-election, much prior to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and thus, is not relevant to the discussion in any way. However, subsequent paragraphs in the article do appear to make accurate claims such as addition of new sanctions that directly penalised President Putin's inner circle and several wealthy individuals. It is also noted that the sanctions from the previous administration remained in place which, although true, aren't exactly helping the point of President Trump's administration being "tougher on Russia". The following excerpt from the article states that he made even more progress by signing Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, in 2017.
In August 2017, Trump signed a bill slapping even more sanctions on Russia — this time specifically aimed at the country’s energy and defense industries. Congress made the legislation Trump-proof, meaning that no executive order could ever undo such sanctions; yet Trump signed it anyway.
This excerpt cites a piece from CNBC  which states the following:
Trump and his secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had expressed concerns about the sanctions’ possible effects on U.S. relations with Russia. The administration has pushed to improve relations with Moscow but has gotten tripped up by the probe into Russian attempts to affect the election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin. In a statement after the signing, Trump said he wanted to “punish and deter bad behavior” by North Korea and Iran. The president wanted to make “clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process.” However, Trump argued that the measure “encroaches on executive power, disadvantages American companies and hurts the interests of our European allies.” Trump needs congressional approval to roll back sanctions under the measure.
This is corroborated by a statement from The White House :
Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies. My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better. We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies – who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions – regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defense sectors, because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies. Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice. Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.
Some critics noted that the imposition of sanctions was far too slow as the bill had been signed in August but sanctions were imposed in April. The administration deserves criticism for failing to miss its October 1 deadline of producing a list individuals to be sanctioned but they still deserve credit for the move in its entirety . Here is yet another excerpt:
In fact it was Trump — not Obama — who ordered the closure of Russian diplomatic properties in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City that appeared to be a threat to American security.
This is misleading as it cites a piece by NYT  that clearly states the following:
The administration’s response had been expected for the past month, since Russia ordered the American Mission to cut its staff by 755 people — a sign of its displeasure after Congress imposed sanctions because of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. President Trump has kept his distance from the dispute. He expressed gratitude, rather than anger, toward Mr. Putin when was asked about the Russian president’s action to reduce American diplomatic personnel. “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down the payroll,” Mr. Trump said, “and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go a lot of a large number of people, because now we have a smaller payroll.” Mr. Putin’s move was also a delayed reaction to President Barack Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and his seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds last year. Mr. Obama was acting after American intelligence agencies concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election. The administration said there was no decision on whether the Russian government would be allowed to take back those facilities.
The rest of the article seems to be fairly accurate except for engaging in a hypothetical in the following excerpt:
To be sure, Obama kicked 35 Russian diplomats out of the country after suspected election meddling by Russia, but only after Trump won the 2016 election. It is questionable whether he would have done so had Hillary Clinton succeeded in being the victor.
and making the following misleading claim:
Furthermore, it was President Trump who led the world in expelling Russian diplomats after the Russian government was suspected of carrying out a nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom against one of their former spies. President Trump moved swiftly to expel 60 Russian diplomats from U.S. soil, and other countries followed suit by expelling dozens as well.
As evidenced by the Reuters article cited in the above excerpt, the administration actually joined other countries instead with Australia joining in later . However, it may have been referring to the claim that it was expelling the highest number of diplomats, in which case it would be accurate but again, not noteworthy as it likely has the highest number of diplomats of all nations involved . The article, however, goes on to note that he had expressed sentiments earlier of wanting to work together. To quote:
Trump, who before he took office in January last year promised warmer ties with Putin, last week congratulated the Russian leader on his re-election, drawing criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. Trump said the two leaders had made tentative plans to meet in the “not too distant future”. He did not bring up the poisoning attack in his phone call with Putin. Trump himself was silent on Monday on Twitter, where he often comments about his policy decisions. However, the White House said later it would like to have a “cooperative relationship” with Russia. “The president wants to work with the Russians but their actions sometimes don’t allow that to happen,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told a news briefing. “The poisoning in the U.K. that has kind of led to today’s announcement was a very brazen action. It was a reckless action.”
Overall, the article does have some valid points regarding the sanctions but a thorough analysis of its effects are required before we can objectively conclude it has been "tough on Russia". A report from the Congressional Research Service may prove useful for said analysis. Still, I would say this does appear to support the claim of the President being "tough on Russia" but whether it was "tougher than your previous softball administration" remains to be examined.
The Washington Post op-ed by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK)  also appears to make a few misleading claims. With regards to the Pentagon budget:
More broadly, under Obama, the Pentagon’s budget was slashed by 25 percent from 2010 to 2016.
This cites a report by the Heritage Foundation  that states the following:
In total, since FY 2010, the defense budget, including overseas contingency operations (OCO) spending, has been cut 25 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. FY 2010 and FY 2011. While the FY 2010 budget slightly increased the defense budget, the department began cancelling major programs that year. For the FY 2010 budget, the department announced:
Cancellation of the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft;
Cancellation of the VH-71 presidential helicopter;
Cancellation of the vehicle portion of the Future Combat System;
Cancellation of missile defense programs, including the Airborne Laser and the Multi-Kill Vehicle;
Cancellation of the CSAR-X search and rescue helicopter; and
The end of C-17 Globemaster III military transport production at 205 aircraft.
In FY 2011, the cuts focused on modernization spending:
Ending C-17 production at 223. (Congress blocked the first attempt.)
Cancelling the F-35 alternate engine program.
Cancelling the CG(X) future large cruiser.
Cancelling the Navy’s EP-X future intelligence aircraft.
In some cases, these cuts were necessary because the program requirements were not a high priority or because the program was too costly. On the other hand, other cancellations have led to serious problems for the military today.
Note that this is also somewhat contentious as this is fails to take into account the fact that the (then) administration started pulling out of Iraq and was also bipartisan, as stated in a fact check by Politifact :
Has the military budget dropped under Obama, and if so, who is to blame? Overall spending on national security includes the Pentagon budget as well as spending by other agencies, such as the Energy Department’s work on nuclear weapons. Spending increased in 2010 and 2011, but it has fallen every year for four years since then by a cumulative 15 percent. Other ways of looking at the question show declines as well. National security spending made up 20.1 percent of the federal budget in 2010, but in 2015 it was 15.9 percent. Over the same period, spending fell from 4.6 percent of gross domestic product to 3.3 percent. There are two main reasons for the spending drop. The first is the Obama administration’s decision to start removing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The second has to do with a process known as sequestration. Sequestration refers to the framework for automatic, across-the-board cuts to both military and non-military spending that were originally designed to force bipartisan negotiators in Congress to strike a deal in 2011. When negotiations fell apart, the cuts went into effect. The bipartisan nature of the sequestration provision means that both parties merit a share of the blame, experts say. The most recent Obama budget proposed a 7.8 percent increase in the base Defense Department budget between 2015 and 2016. The spending bill enacted this fall puts the defense budget on a path to start growing in fiscal year 2016, up about 6 percent from the previous year. "It’s still not quite as much as the president requested, but it’s much closer," said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Another claim made is the following:
After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian leaders desperately requested from President Barack Obama defensive anti-tank weapons systems that could fend off the invading Russian T-72 tanks in eastern Ukraine. In 2015, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee — Democrats and Republicans — encouraged Obama to grant this request to help Ukraine defend itself. Obama refused. Soon after coming into office, Trump changed course , and the Ukrainians now have Javelin anti-tank weapons systems from the United States. Russian tank drivers have a lot more to worry about today.
The initial sentence cites a report from Foreign Policy  that corroborates the statement that T-72 tanks were invading eastern Ukraine but they were controlled by separatists and appear to have had some ties to Russia in the form of funding. It is very slightly misleading to call them "Russian" forces. To quote:
Fighting has not stopped, and the rebels have continued to retake territory. The Russian military took advantage of the deals and continued to supply weapons and troops to the separatists, and this conflict is not any closer to resolution than it was before the deals were signed. On the other hand, each carried with it at least a temporary de-escalation in fighting, bringing needed reprieve for civilians who have been stuck in the crossfire.
The claim of President Obama denying anti-tank weapons is also correct as corroborated in an article by the AP . However, the overall claim is misleading. His administration actually refused to provide lethal weaponry for fear of escalating conflict and instead relied on non-lethal aid. To quote from the USA Today article  also cited in the excerpt:
The White House refused to include weapons in an aid package announced Thursday for embattled Ukraine despite an impassioned plea by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for more military assistance. The Obama administration is providing $46 million in non-lethal security assistance and $7 million for relief organizations providing humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians affected by the conflict between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern region. The White House announcement came shortly after Poroshenko stood before a joint session of Congress and pleaded for more political support and military equipment beyond the non-lethal aid the United States has pledged. Poroshenko said blankets and night-vision goggles from the USA are important, "but one cannot win a war with blankets!" What the White House offered was a military aid package that will provide body armor, helmets, vehicles, night and thermal vision devices, advanced radios, patrol boats, counter-mortar radars, rations, tents and uniforms. U.S. military and civilian advisers will help Ukraine improve its defense capacity, the White House said. The new aid brings the total U.S. assistance package for Ukraine to $291 million, plus a $1 billion loan guarantee. The Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid for fear of escalating tensions.
This is further corroborated in a fact check by PolitiFact , an article which I would recommend reading in its entirety. Here are some relevant excerpts:
At the time, Obama officials were debating whether to send lethal military equipment amid the conflict with Russia, particularly Javelin anti-tank missiles. Obama rejected a request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal aid in 2014, though the White House approved a $53 million aid package that included vehicles, patrol boats, body armor and night-vision goggles, as well as humanitarian assistance. U.S. officials were concerned that providing the Javelins to Ukraine would escalate their conflict with Russia. Key allies, including Germany, were not keen on sending weapons into the conflict zone, said Michael Kofman, an expert on Russia and senior research scientist at the CNA Corporation. Under Obama, the federal government started the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which sent other kinds of U.S. military equipment to the country. From 2016 to 2019, Congress appropriated $850 million. In the last year of the Obama administration, Congress authorized lethal aid, but it didn’t include the Javelins. "The first lethal deliveries came from Trump," said Jim Townsend, deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO Policy during the Obama administration. In July 2016, the White House announced a $335 million security assistance package for Ukraine that included "counter-artillery and counter-mortar radars, secure communications, training aids, logistics infrastructure and IT systems, tactical UAVs, and medical equipment." In 2017, the Trump administration said it would sell lethal aid to Ukraine, and in 2018 it approved a plan to sell Ukraine $47 million in lethal Javelin Missiles. Even though the Trump administration has allowed the weapons, they are far from the frontlines. Congress approved another $250 million in military assistance in 2018, which Trump temporarily withheld along with $141 million in State Department aid in July.
Overall, the article does very little to support the claim that President Trump has been tougher on Russia than his predecessor. It is somewhat misleading, tries to conflate numbers so as to make them look favorable and does not produce concrete evidence to support the claim. There is also the issue of witholding aid from Ukraine despite pledging support in terms of lethal weaponry. However, credit should still be awarded for continuing to provide assistance to them. Note that being pro-Ukraine isn't necessarily anti-Russia, so this is poorly supportive of the claim at best.
The third article linked mostly goes on to state the several actions taken by the current administration without providing much context or history behind the moves but is still a decent source . It was subsequently cited in the NPR article on President Trump's actions against Russia. It can be said that he has a decent stance against Russia.
The fourth article from NPR  weighs the President's rhetoric versus his policies. It notes that his policies have largely been in the right direction as noted in the opening:
President Trump is in the process of inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington, D.C., this fall to continue the talks they started in Helsinki earlier this week. It's another sign of Trump's efforts to build closer ties with Moscow, even though he insists his administration has taken a hard line toward Russia. "There's never been a president as tough on Russia as I have been," Trump told reporters on Wednesday. That might sound like hyperbole, but in this case, there's actually some basis for the president's boast.
After describing a list of actions taken, it then notes:
Whatever tough policies the White House may have adopted toward Moscow also have to be weighed against Trump's rhetoric, which is consistently friendly to Putin. He suggested inviting Russia to rejoin the G-7, a group Moscow was suspended from following the illegal annexation of Crimea. Trump also congratulated Putin on his suspect re-election victory, despite explicit instructions from his advisers. "There's a real disconnect between the president's words and the underlying policy," said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security. While Trump has no qualms about criticizing leaders of allied countries like Germany's Angela Merkel, Canada's Justin Trudeau or the U.K.'s Theresa May, he almost always treats Putin with kid gloves. "The president very rarely speaks about Putin's transgressions and when asked about them expresses the hope that everyone can get along," said Fontaine, a former national security adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Just last week, Trump told reporters in the U.K., "If we could develop a relationship which is good for Russia, good for us, good for everybody, that would be great."
The article goes on to cite a report from The Washington Post detailing the President's attitude in private :
The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies — part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil. “We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.” The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on. The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia. His briefers tried to reassure him that the sum total of European expulsions was roughly the same as the U.S. number. “I don’t care about the total!” the administration official recalled Trump screaming. The official, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. “There were curse words,” the official said, “a lot of curse words.” The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration’s increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some close to Trump say the recent measures are the product of an ongoing pressure campaign to push the president to take a more skeptical view of the Russian leader. “If you’re getting briefed by the CIA director on all this stuff, there’s a point where, even if you’re Donald J. Trump, you think, ‘Hmm [Putin’s] a really bad guy,’ ” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser. Others note Trump’s ongoing unease with his own policy. Even as his administration has ratcheted up the pressure on Putin’s inner circle, Trump has continued in recent weeks to make overtures to the Russian leader, congratulating him on his election win and, in a move that frustrated his national security team, inviting him to visit the White House. “I think I could have a very good relationship with Russia and with President Putin,” Trump said at a news conference just days after the largest expulsion of Russians in U.S. history. “And if I did, that would be a great thing. And there’s also a possibility that won’t happen. Who knows?” Trump came to the White House believing that his personal relationships with other leaders would be central to solving the world’s thorniest foreign policy problems, administration officials said. In Trump’s mind, no leader was more important or powerful than Putin, they said. A cooperative relationship with the Russian leader could help Trump find solutions to problems that bedeviled his predecessor in places such as Ukraine, Syria and North Korea. Former president Barack Obama had a tense relationship with Putin. Trump said he could do better but felt stymied by the media, Congress and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Any conciliatory move he made toward Putin came under heavy scrutiny. “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship is a good thing,” Trump tweeted in November. “They are always playing politics — bad for our country.” Privately, he complained to aides that the media’s fixation on the Mueller probe was hobbling his effort to woo Putin. “I can’t put on the charm,” the president often said, according to one of his advisers. “I’m not able to be president because of this witch hunt.” As the months passed, the president’s options for improving relations with Russia narrowed. In late July, Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions on Moscow that were widely seen as a rebuke of Trump’s efforts to reach out to Putin. It took aides four days to persuade Trump to sign the bill, which had cleared with a veto-proof majority. Trump advisers were reluctant to even raise the topic of Russian interference in the election, which Trump equated with Democrats’ efforts to undermine his victory. “It’s just kind of its own beast,” a senior national security official said. “It’s been a constant from Day One.” Gingrich and other Trump advisers said CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state nominee, was one of the few advisers who could address Russia without raising the president’s ire. In January, Pompeo told the BBC that he had “every expectation” that Russia would make an effort to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections. Privately, he pushed Trump to take a tough line on Moscow. One area where aides worked to change Trump’s mind was on a proposal to sell antitank missiles to Ukraine. Obama had opposed the move for fear of angering Moscow and provoking a Russian escalation. Trump initially was also hesitant to support the move, which had the backing of the Pentagon and State Department. “He would say, ‘Why is this our problem? Why not let the Europeans deal with Ukraine?” a U.S. official said. Aides described a lobbying effort by Pompeo, Haley and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in support of the lethal aid. “I just want peace,” Trump would say when pressed on Ukraine. His aides countered that the weapons would help achieve peace by deterring further Russian aggression. To bring the president around, U.S. officials argued that the $47 million military aid package could be a boon to U.S. taxpayers if cash-strapped Kiev stabilized and someday became a reliable buyer of American military hardware. To the surprise of even his closest advisers, the president agreed late last year to the weapons transfer on the condition that the move be kept quiet and made without a formal news release. Aides tried to warn him that there was almost no way to stop the news from leaking. When it broke, Russia hawks in Congress praised the president. “Another significant step in the right direction,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a frequent Trump critic. But Trump was still furious, an administration official said. “For some reason, when it comes to Russia, he doesn’t hear the praise,” a senior administration official said. “Politically speaking, the best thing for him to do is to be tough. . . . On that one issue, he cannot hear the praise.” The poisoning in Britain in early March of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a nerve agent upped the tension between Trump and his advisers. Initially, the president was hesitant to believe the intelligence that Russia was behind the attack — a fact that some aides attributed to his contrarian personality and tendency to look for deeper conspiracies. To persuade him, his advisers warned that he would get hammered in the press if he was out of step with U.S. allies, officials said. “There was a sense that we couldn’t be the only ones not to concede to reality,” the Trump adviser said. The next task was convincing Trump that he should punish Putin in coordination with the Europeans. “Why are you asking me to do this?” Trump asked in a call with British Prime Minister Theresa May, according to a senior White House official. “What’s Germany going to do? What about France?” He was insistent that the poisoning in the English city of Salisbury was largely a European problem and that the allies should take the lead in moving against Russia. Trump told aides in an Oval Office session on March 23 that he was confident French President Emmanuel Macron would deliver on promises to expel Russian officials but that he was worried about German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country depends on Russian oil and gas. The next day, at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump’s aides gave him the final memo with the precise number of American expulsions. Trump was furious as news reports described the expulsions as the largest purge in U.S. history and noted the wide gap between the United States and its allies. “If you had told me France and Germany were only doing [four], that’s what we would have done,” one official recalled him saying. Some officials said it was a simple misunderstanding. Others blamed the president’s strained relationship with his top aides, including H.R. McMaster, his former national security adviser. “Anytime McMaster came in with a recommendation, he always thought it was too much,” the Trump adviser said. “They were just oil and water on everything. So his natural impulse was, if this was your recommendation, it must be too far.” Less than a month after Trump shocked his foreign policy advisers by inviting Putin to the White House, the prospects for a visit anytime soon seem remote. No date has been set, White House officials said. “We’re not rushing to do this meeting,” a senior administration official said. “Our team wasn’t thrilled about the idea.”
The report certainly paints an unflattering picture of the President's attitude towards Russia but the NPR report concludes the following:
However grudging Trump's moves against Moscow might have been, though, his defenders say the actions speak for themselves. "It is hard for me to believe that he was dragged kicking and screaming through each and every one of these decisions," Vajdich said.
Counter Analysis and Evidence
Overall, from the evidence presented, we can safely say that the policies certainly do appear to be a step in the right direction but they have done little to deter Russia. Crimea is still occupied and military operations against Ukraine have expanded to nearby waters :
Debates about the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia continue in Congress, in the Administration, and among other stakeholders. Russia has not reversed its occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, nor has it stopped sustaining separatist regimesin eastern Ukraine. In 2018, it extended its military operations against Ukraine to nearby waters. At the same time, Russia has not expanded its land-based operations in Ukraine, and Moscow participates in a conflict resolution process that formally recognizes Ukraine’s sovereignty over Russia-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine. With respect to other malign activities, the relationship between sanctions and changes in Russian behavior is difficult to determine. Nonetheless, many observers argue that sanctions help restrain Russia or that their imposition is an appropriate foreign policy response regardless of immediate effect.
Examining his record outside the data presented, however, paints a different picture. For example, he failed to bring up Russian interference in election during early talks in 2017, despite overwhelming evidence produced from multiple intelligence agencies . Notably, in 2018 in Helsinki, he cast doubt on Russia's role in the interference, putting forth a "both sides" narrative on both US Intelligence and Vladimir Putin. To quote the interview published in a fact check by FactCheck.org :
Reporter, July 16: Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. What — who — my first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? My second question is would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again? Trump: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that, I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying? With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coates came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server. But I have — I have confidence in both parties. I — I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing; where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s e-mails? 33,000 e-mails gone — just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 e-mails. I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Ok? Thank you.
Further, he also pushed for Russia to be included in the G7 Summit, much to the disapproval of other member nations. In an article from Reuters :
Trump over the weekend had raised the prospect of expanding the G7, whose members are the world’s most advanced economies, to once again include Russia, which had been expelled in 2014 following Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
All these events, combined with the indictment of his campaign officials certainly cast doubt over the "tough on Russia" claim. The claim of being "even harder than the previous administration" becomes even more outrageous, especially since relations were already strained during the previous administration and Russia was not as aggressive in its operations. I would therefore have to reject the claim of "Trump was tougher on Russia than the previous administration" and label it as somewhat true but still disputable at best if considering only policies and not personal actions, as Russia's aggressions warranted action regardless of the sitting President, and false at worst when considering the broader picture.
The actions of the Trump administration with regards to Syria and Iran have not been examined. Further, there are additional ties that the President seems to have to Russian oligarchs but they have been left out in the interest of examining the evidence presented. The report on the sanctions by the Congressional Research Service has also not been thoroughly read and thus, its findings have been left out at the time of writing.
2020.09.05 20:28 txteachertrans43 [R4F] #Dallas - Leftist, intersectional feminist, relationship anarchist in search of dem feels tho.
By all accounts, I am a very lucky human. I have an amazing nesting/handfasting partner of about three years with whom I share the deepest love either of us has ever known. Yet I still long for another partner. Is it the variety I desire? A sense of community? Or more of those good feels that make your fingertips shoot laser beams and sends your hypothalamus into overdrive producing oxytocin? A little bit of everything, I suppose! I'm 43, non-binary (AMAB, male-presenting, he/him), a high school math teacher, relationship anarchist, unapologetic leftist, secular humanist, intersectional feminist. My partner and I date separately, though in case you'd care to know about her, she is a pansexual cis woman with two other partners who are wonderful people, and she and I love sci-fi, fantasy, and board games, among other things. We practice kitchen table polyamory, and it is killing us that we can't have the polycule over to our house during this pandemic. It will be over soon enough, though. I am in search of an emotionally fulfilling relationship with someone within...let's say 200-ish miles from Dallas. I'm much more emotionally-driven than sexually-driven, so sex doesn't have to be a part of it. As for the type of person I am in search of, I find romantic attraction with female-presenting people, but I don't have any other restrictions really about who I'll chat with. Outside of hard limits, I try to never say "no" to new experiences with people but always "maybe" (unless they support 45...that is the HARDEST of limits). This is a total long-shot, but it is worth a try because I have reached the very bottom of Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and OKC. Edit: Oh, and my partner and I each practice radical autonomy and have no use for veto power or couple's privilege. Each of us has an absolute right to share our time, body, emotions, energy, or resources with whomever we wish, in whatever capacity we wish, for as long as we wish, as long as it is done ethically and consensually.
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Dating Matters®: Communities for Healthy Teen Dating - Duration: 3:00. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommended for you. 3:00. Did you know that statistically 1 in 4 teens (boys & girls) is in a physically abusive relationship today? Join us on October 24th as we discuss Healthy Emot... Krystal and Saagar discuss Biden and Bernie's electability in tonight's primaries. About Rising: Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Teen dating violence is a topic not often heard of, in fact, according to loveisrespect.org, eighty-one percent of parents do not even know that it's an issu... The final four houseguests compete in the final veto competition of the season. Subscribe to the 'Big Brother' Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/1lvQig6 Watch Full... DON'T FORGET TO LIKE AND HIT THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! 🤟🏾 Y'ALL GO SUBSCRIBE TO THE GANG🤟🏾 SUBSCRIBE TO VR VETO - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr3Ar ... Lovely short movie from 1947 on how to be popular. How to talk to girls and date. A nostalgic look at a very different kind of America, where respect for the... Thanks for watching!!!! Help us get to #10K subscribers 💪🏾 NOTIFICATION GANG WHERE YALL AT ⁉️👀 SUBSCRIBE TO THE GANG 🤘🏾 AJ MOBB https://www.youtube ... The Houseguests compete for the chance to win the Power of Veto. Click HERE to subscribe to the Big Brother channel: http://bit.ly/1lvQig6 Don't miss a minut...