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Reza

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Reza last won the day on August 16

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  1. Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum

    In general, breaking up and forming new countries is not a good idea. A few reasons: 1. Part of a wider divide and conquer. 2. New embassies, consulates, currency, military, government institutions, border patrols, etc have to be formed. All this takes money, which breakaway states likely won’t have much of. 3. Treaties have to be resigned, probably on less favorable terms. Less bargaining power in negotiations, distrust from other nations. And other reasons probably.
  2. #9 Oppression in the World

    Everyone is very pessimistic... In general, it’s understood that oppression will increase over the coming generation(s), because narrations suggest this. But I’m asking specifically about next year. What could happen next year that would cause a significant change from this year? Could any more happen that isn’t already happening? Could a big inciting event alter things dramatically, or will it simply be a chronic extension of the status quo? Basically, do you foresee a dull, steady curve or a sharp, acute curve as a projection for 1439?
  3. #9 Oppression in the World

    How will the state of oppression in the world be in the new Islamic year?
  4. The greatest blunder is to espouse false equivalencies and to deny true connections. 

  5. Old video, but good. Previously recorded footage from 2011. lll Karbala TV - Live Quran, Adhaan and Maghrib prayers from Roza-e-Imam Hussain AllahisSalam
  6. Welcome to Muharram 2017 Season

    That's kind of up to members themselves if they want to post on these subjects or not. Can't really enforce that.
  7. All: To commemorate this blessed and tragic time, ShiaChat is announcing: 1. A special site color change. 2. The Muharram subforum is back on the home page. 3. New and updated polls and featured images. 4. More to come. Any suggestions or feedback is welcomed. - SC Team
  8. #8 Muharram Night Plans

    Where will you be?
  9. New Feature...Clubs!

    Be sure to check out the travel club. It's a public club, no membership necessary to participate!
  10. Extended Adolescence: When 25 Is the New 18 It is a common grumble that children grow up too fast. No more. Teens are in no hurry to embrace the putative joys of adulthood By Bret Stetka on September 19, 2017 Especially now, with society’s deepest depravities freely available online, youngsters seem to grow up quickly: barreling toward adulthood, iPhone in hand, while they Snap Chat racy photos along the way. But new research suggests otherwise. An analysis by researchers at San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College reports that today’s teenagers are less likely to engage in adult activities like having sex and drinking alcohol than teens from older generations. ADVERTISEMENT The review, published today in the journal Child Development, looked at data from seven national surveys conducted between 1976 and 2016, including those issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Together, the surveys included over eight million 13- to 19-year-olds from varying racial, economic and regional backgrounds. Participants were asked a variety of questions about how the they spent their time outside of school and responses were tracked over time. Beyond just a drop in alcohol use and sexual activity, the study authors found that since around 2000, teens have become considerably less likely to drive, have an after-school job and date. By the early 2010s, it also appeared that 12th graders were going out far less frequently than 8th graders did in the 1990s. In 1991 54 percent of high schoolers reported having had sex at least once; in 2015 the number was down to 41 percent. What’s more, the decline in adult activity was consistent across all populations, and not influenced by race, gender or location. “I’ve seen so many articles in which experts said they didn’t know why the teen pregnancy rate was going down or opining that teens were behaving in a more virtuous way…or that they were lazy because fewer were working,” recalls Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State and the lead author on the study. “Our results show that it’s probably not that today’s teens are more virtuous, or more lazy—it’s just that they’re less likely to do adult things.” She adds that in terms of adult behaviors, 18-year-olds now look like 15-year-olds of the past. Twenge and her co-author, Heejung Park, assistant professor of psychology at Bryn Mawr College, initially thought the findings meant teens today are doing more homework or engaged in more extracurricular activities. Yet their data suggest the frequency of these activities has been stable for years, if not on a slight decline. The fact teens (not unlike many adults) are glued to their computers and smartphones for much of the day may have contributed to the results the authors suggest. Perhaps their socializing and more salacious interests have simply gone digital via texting, sexting and online pornography. (Today’s teens watch more porn than their predecessors.) Yet virtual vice isn’t the whole story because the dip in adult activities began before internet usage became common. The more likely explanation for this new extended adolescence its relationship to affluence. The analysis found adolescents were more likely to take part in adult activities if they came from larger families or those with lower incomes. This mirrors so-called “life history theory,” the idea exposure to an unpredictable, impoverished environment as a kid leads to faster development whereas children who grow up in a stable environment with more resources tend to have a slower developmental course. ADVERTISEMENT In families with means there is often more anticipation of years of schooling and career before one necessarily has to “grow up”—there’s plenty of time for that later. As Twenge and Park conclude, despite growing income disparities, a significant percentage of the U.S. population has on average become more affluent over the past few decades and are living longer. As a result, people are waiting longer to get married and have children. We’re also seeing a higher parental investment in fewer children—or, in the parlance of our times, more “helicopter parenting.” This concept of extended adolescence is not new. It was first made famous by psychologist Erik Erikson, who in his theory on the different stages of human development termed this stage a “psychosocial moratorium.” Yet many child psychologists believe today’s children seem to be idling in this hiatus period more so than ever before. “I'm keenly aware of the shift, as I often see adolescents presenting with some of the same complaints as college graduates,” says Columbia University psychologist Mirjana Domakonda, who was not involved in the new study. “Twenty-five is the new 18, and delayed adolescence is no longer a theory, but a reality. In some ways, we’re all in a ‘psychosocial moratorium,’ experimenting with a society where swipes constitute dating and likes are the equivalent of conversation.” Some experts caution against reading too much into the new findings, because asking a bunch of teenagers to accurately recount their behavior has its obvious statistical flaws. “The new work highlights how vital it is to do careful, methodologically rigorous research,” says Robert Findling, director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medicine who also did not take part in the new research. “Working from impressions, opinions or individual experiences can lead to spurious conclusions.” But presuming some degree of truth to the new findings, what might postponing adulthood mean for society? Are we headed toward a culture of helpless, coddled teenagers unwilling to work? Or given that we’re living so much longer than past generations, maybe there’s nothing wrong with a few extra years of innocence? Twenge sees both upsides and downsides: “It's great to protect young teens, but parents should realize that older teens need some experience with independence before they go to college or start working.” Domakonda adds that although parents can play a role in indulging extended youth, they are not the root cause. “Most are responding to their own anxieties about the new norm,” she says. “They recognize that now, in order for their children to succeed, they can’t simply get a job at the local factory, but may be faced with 10-plus years of postgraduate education and crippling student debt.” ADVERTISEMENT She feels that instead of pushing young adults to mature faster, we should embrace the cultural shift and develop ways to both meet the psychological needs of modern teens while also setting them up for future success. Domakonda suggests one such strategy might be expanding mental health services for adolescents, particularly because 75 percent of major mental illnesses emerge by the mid-20s. She also feels we should stop arbitrarily defining 18 as the age of adulthood and recognize that psychosocial development occurs differently in different people. “Researchers need to recognize that emerging adults are a unique developmental cohort and stop lumping them in the 18- to 65-year-old category for studies of adults,” she says. “That will help us learn about their specific needs so we may develop targeted prevention and treatment strategies [for mental illness] Time will tell how extended adolescence influences American culture and character. But in the words of basketball legend Charles Barkley, there is one clear upside: “Kids are great. It’s a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names.” Rights & Permissions ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S) Bret Stetka Bret Stetka is a writer based in New York City and an editorial director at Medscape (a subsidiary of WebMD). His work has appeared in Wired, NPR and the Atlantic. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2005.
  11. SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 In Bangkok – “No Speak Your Language, Speak Thai or Die!” by ANDRE VLTCHEK It is hard to calculate the cost of the stubborn refusal of the Thai population to learn foreign languages. Some daring estimates, however, calculate that the losses could be in tens of billions of dollars, annually. And the situation is not getting any better. Bangkok wants to be the center of Southeast Asia, and by many standards it has already achieved this goal. Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the second busiest in the region. Almost all of the international news agencies are here, and not in Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur. Several UN agencies are now located in Bangkok, as well as mega malls and top private medical facilities, catering mostly for people who live in Burma, Cambodia, Laos and as far away as the Middle East. For years and decades, Thailand was busy promoting itself, capturing the imagination of millions all over the world. Some wonder whether it could really do even better than it is already doing. According to Forbes, Bangkok recently became the most visited city on Earth: “According to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, the Thai capital had 21.5 million visitors who stayed at least one night in 2016. By comparison, London had 19.9 million overnight visitors last year while Paris had 18 million. The Big Apple was even further down the list with 12.8 million.” 32.59 million foreign visitors descended on Thailand in 2016 alone, and the numbers are not subsiding. Statistics vary, but travel and tourism now account for approximately 20 percent of Thailand’s GDP. That’s a lot, much more than in other countries of the region. *** For Thailand, that is all good news, or at least theoretically it is. But despite its cosmopolitan flair, Bangkok remains a relatively closed and segregated society. Now, there seems to be more Japanese eateries in the center of Bangkok than traditional Thai restaurants. However, try to order in one of them, for instance, an iced tea in any other language other than Thai, and you will be up with a great surprise. The chances are that, the staff will not speak any foreign languages. And it gets much more serious than that: people working in banks, at least theoretically catering to foreign customers, hardly speak anything except Thai. Even the ‘tourist police’ cannot understand what you are talking about when you try to report a crime. The other day, in Bangkok, I tried to retrieve a substantial payment from a foreign magazine, which for some reason utilized Western Union in order to transfer funds. Western Union in Thailand is teamed up with the large Krungsri Bank. In one of its branches, I spent a humiliating 90 minutes, trying to complete a simple transaction that would normally take 2 minutes, even in Beirut or Nairobi. The incompetence of the staff was covered up by spiteful facial expressions and outright rudeness (using Asian, not Western standards). More and more new ‘additional information’ was demanded sadistically, by pointing at some confusing printouts. Not one out of six people involved spoke anything but Thai. *** Generally speaking, many Thais believe that making a decent income from foreign tourists and expats is their inherent right. The perception is that no high level of knowledge, language proficiency or provision of quality services is required from them. Once my local interpreter told me: “Everyone wants to come to Thailand, everyone loves it here, so they should accept things the way they are done in the Kingdom.” Recently, trying to buy an item of professional video equipment at the SONY showroom in Bangkok, I realized that the assistants did not speak absolutely any foreign languages. I had the same experience in the studio, where I was attempting to capture two of my damaged HDV tapes. This was all totally acceptable when Thailand was, many years ago, one of the cheapest places on Earth, a haven for backpackers and romantics. Since then, everything has changed. The country is desperately trying to provide high-end services. But comparable services and goods are now often cheaper in London, Paris or Tokyo, than in Bangkok. So is the food in supermarkets. And still, there is no foreign languages proficiency. As a veteran traveller from Japan recently pointed out: “It was much easier to accept an overcooked and tasteless bowl of pasta from a waitress who was rude and spoke no foreign languages, when it came at a symbolic price of US$2. It is much more difficult to remain ‘benevolent’, if the service is still terrible, nobody speaks anything but Thai, but the cost is twice that of a good spaghetti dish in some excellent restaurant in Venice.” *** But Thailand is confident that hordes of people will keep coming. Partially it is because of the extremely positive propaganda coming out from countless Western mass media sources. If there is any criticism of Thailand, it is of an exceptionally mild and ‘kind’ sort. All the basic elements of Western dogmas – about how great, relaxed, safe and comfortable the country is – are upheld in such reports. No wonder! No matter which government is in charge, the country remains one of the staunchest US ally in Asia. Thailand fully implemented the economic system promoted by the West. During the Cold War, it killed, tortured or at least imprisoned thousands of its own Communists and leftists (no need for interventions). In the past, the Kingdom readily accepted and accommodated many defeated (in China), genocidal troops of Chiang kai-shek. It participated in the savage bombing campaigns of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, often lending its own pilots, and it brought poor young women from the countryside, in order to serve the US, Australian and other pilots and technicians based at Pattaya and other military airports, as prostitutes. It adopted draconic laws that forbid all criticism, and often even mention of almost all the basic power elements injected into Thailand by the West. The rewards have been great ever since. No matter how rude an interaction between locals and foreign visitors often is; the country still maintains the reputation of the ‘land of smiles’. While the murder rate is higher in Thailand than in the United States, the Kingdom is still perceived as a relatively safe place. Endless military coups that overthrow democratically elected governments are generally accepted and after a few headlines, ignored by the Western mainstream press. While virtually all coastlines are irreversibly over-commercialized, even ruined, Thailand is known as a ‘tropical paradise’. *** There is actually one group of Thais, which speaks perfect English – the elites. Most of their members were educated in the United States, in the UK or Australia. Some of them are leading jet set, cosmopolitan lives, with several properties in different parts of the world. But these are not people that foreigners stumble across during their two-week long vacations. I encountered several of them, on different occasions, and I can “testify” that their proficiency in foreign languages, particularly in English, is great. *** Frankly and honestly, I actually love Bangkok. It is chaotic, overgrown but an extremely complex and exciting city. I have worked in almost 160 countries, on all continents, but Bangkok is still one of my favorite places on Earth. It drives me insane, it often defeats me, but I cannot imagine my life without it. It is one of the places where I come to think and to write. But it is not a ‘friendly place, and it is not cheap. It is definitely not an easy and comfortable city. It is what it is. For me it is great, for many others it isn’t. But it is definitely not at all what it is being defined as by the Western positive propaganda. Thailand could change; it could greatly improve, if its populations would take advantage of those tens of millions of foreign visitors every year, and learn about many other places, not just about the United States, Europe and Japan. People don’t travel here only from the West; they are also arriving from China, India, Russia and Latin America, even Africa. And savage capitalism is not the only economic system now on offer. As the Western “truth” is not the exclusive one, anymore. The best thing for Thailand would be to interact, to learn something new from those millions of visitors. And what better way to learn than through interaction, through learning languages. Bangkok is now a world city, a cosmopolitan metropolis, but with a provincial mindset. All this can and should change. Not for the sake of foreign visitors, but for the sake of the people of Thailand! First published by NEO as “Can Thailand Evolve into A Regional Leader?” Join the debate on Facebook More articles by:ANDRE VLTCHEK Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.
  12. #7 Can you cook?

    Can you Cook?
  13. Are you a mental health professional? What qualifications do you have to make that conclusion?
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