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About Wertbag

  • Rank
    Strong Minded
  • Birthday 02/21/1977

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    Auckland, NZ
  • Interests
    MMA, gaming
  • More About Me
    Married father of 1 from New Zealand

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
  1. Opinions on transgender

    That sentence caught my attention. Mental illness does not mean you are "bonkers" and does not have to affect your reasoning abilities. A person with depression has a mental illness, but is perfectly able to carry out their work/studies to a high degree. This might not be what you meant, but I have certainly seen people link mental illness with insanity, like there is only two options and not a vast range of potentials. I have a friend whose teenage daughter suffers from anorexia, to the point of having been hospitalised. She is a perfectly reasonable, intelligent young woman whose mind is broken. She has linked being beautiful with being thin, and without assistance would have starved herself to death. It feels similar, this thought that your self image is incorrect. As for the question of sports, they need to stick to pure biology regardless of gender. Men and women are physically different and it cannot be a fair competition to compete against the other sex. I believe some organisations were looking to base it on hormone levels, but that ignores the physical structural differences. Every single Olympic record is at a higher level in the men's competition. To have Usain Bolt change his mind and win the world record for woman's sprints, thereby holding records for both sexes would be ridiculous.
  2. I had heard the claim that every conflict in the world was due to Muslims, and thinking this was just over the top Islamiphobia I started looking into it... actually it does seem to mostly hold up. From Wikipedia there is this list of current armed conflicts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts What is says is there are 44 conflicts with more than 100 deaths in the last year. Of those there are a couple of anomalies such as the Mexican drug war or Colombian Civil war, which are drug cartel related rather than pure military conflicts, but the Mexican drug war is still rated as one of the bloodiest conflicts on the planet at the moment. Of the other 42 conflicts they do all appear to have Muslims on one or both sides. The conflicts are mostly in central or northern Africa, the middle east and subcontinent India. It would take some time to confirm the forces on each side of the conflicts and work out a percentage of Muslim involvement, but it does look like most of the worlds conflict involves Islam.
  3. Except you didn't see him force her to the ground in the first instance, they are already on the ground, you didn't see him do squat with his zipper and in the background is shitty music not people cheering it on. What you have is only a 10 second cut, from an unknown source, by unknown people at a unknown time. I'm not saying it isn't what it looks like but wishing we had more information is not a bad thing. We should always want as much information as we can get about any event to fully understand it. I'm not saying they don't have a horrific rape culture and sure as hell not "defending the perp", but I've been burnt in the past believing videos were real only to find I'd been fooled. Once bitten, twice shy. Being sceptical of this particular video doesn't mean you don't think there is a problem and don't want rapists to be dealt with brutally. Also if we had a longer video we might be able to tell if the victim was okay. We will probably never know.
  4. Opinions on transgender

    That's really interesting, a local mutation that slows the development till puberty. Amazing. One of those awkward situations where you want to see photos of their genitals to understand what they are talking about but realise that asking for it is wanting photos of children... "but officer it was for research!"
  5. Would love to see more of the video. How did it start? How did they end up on the ground? What happened next? It maybe what it claims but far too little detail to go on and could easily be faked. If it is a sexual assault then the kid is too young to understand which would point to a taught behaviour, which if true is pretty horrific.
  6. Opinions on transgender

    That's terrible, and the studies agree that the suicide rate is far too high. I think we all want to help and to make sure they get all the support they can, I guess the question is how best to do that? Personally I've asked these questions out of a lack of understanding of the issues and a hope that these discussions will help shed some light on these complex issues. Especially in cases of bullying and abuse like you describe, we need people to be a lot more understanding. It doesn't matter if it is a mental illness or a physical issue, we still need to offer support and care in the same amounts. Not sure I agree with the idea of "just leave them alone", as surely they are feeling a lack of friendship and a lack of support? To leave them alone would mean you aren't showing care and offering to help. When I was suffering with depression I would have much rather had friends than space, but perhaps that is an individual choice? My depression was not due to bullying, so maybe there is a difference there?
  7. Just as a thought, if you could imagine yourself in Kim's shoes, what would your choices have been? Do you think you would have made different choices given the complex environment? Personally I don't think it was the nukes that saved them from conflict. The Korean war ended in 1953 and the first nuke test was 2006, that is 53 years where NK didn't have nukes and without that deterrent they did not end up at war with the US. To my mind the thing that is providing NK with its greatest security is China. If I was Kim I would be jumping into bed with China in as many ways as possible, knowing the US does not want a war or even a loss of trade. So agree to disarm the nuke program, but request that China be the ones to send inspectors and make the call on what facilities are allowed for power generation and which must be mothballed. Sign the peace treaty with South Korea, but request that China is the arbiter and respect their ruling. Sign trade agreements with China that China will be given first rights on all resource exports in exchange for good exchange rates/low tariffs/guaranteed food imports. As Kim I would take a pay cut to say $1m a year (heck it is tax free with all expenses paid, so it is not like you will struggle) and say how ever many millions of dollars are freed up will be used to buy food from China to feed your country which would both improve your image with your people and directly help millions of people. Make China your sole supplier of military hardware but also see if you can do joint military exercises or pay them for military advisors. By linking yourself economically and militarily to China all foreign parties would leave you alone cos your big friend has your back. Hopefully that would free up finances from nuke research and military to get your economy back on track. If you can prove to the UN that the nuke program is gone then hopefully many of the sanctions could be overturned. To my mind diplomacy in this way is a better way to achieve the same goal but without ending up with the country cut off from the rest of the world. On a separate note, thank you for the details on Russia and Thurisaz for the info on Germany, both very interesting and educational. Cheers.
  8. Opinions on transgender

    I didn't think it was possible to get three chromosomes? Certainly with transgender people they (at least the majority) have the correct XX or XY of the sex of their birth. Mutations could have an effect but that would be the exception not the norm. I don't understand how Costa Rica can have that confusion? Surely the child's genitals make it perfectly clear at birth as to what they are? At puberty there is no change to their sex, so I'm not sure what is going on there? Perhaps it is something cultural?
  9. Opinions on transgender

    Finding the details on transgender suicide is challenging, as once a person has died there is no physical way to know their sexual orientation. The studies seem to focus on pre and post op people, as they are the easiest group to confirm. The study I found: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662085/ is very heavy in its links to many other studies, so to digest all of this data would be quite a task. I saw these notes: "Another international review of studies that followed over 2,000 persons in 13 countries who had undergone gender reassignment surgery identified 16 possible suicide deaths (Pfäfflin & Junge, 1998). If confirmed as actual suicides, these figures would translate to an alarmingly high rate of 800 suicides for every 100,000 post-surgery transsexuals. By contrast, the current suicide rate for the overall U.S. population is 11.5 suicides per 100,000 people" While anywhere up to 30% had claimed to have attempted suicide.
  10. Always interested to hear first hand how people see their own countries. All we hear of Germany is a mix of very positive economic news (biggest economy in Europe, highest trade surplus in the world, lowest unemployment rate in 30 years etc) or the negative news of mass immigration and refugee issues. Is it more the countries external polices that are being forced on it? The elections are free and open from what I've heard, there's no claims of corruption or vote rigging going on? I think we agree on many points, if you look at my posts I've said nothing positive about the US and yes they have a horrible global police mentality that we agree would be great to be curtailed. My argument was purely that Kim should not be applauded for his driving his country into the ground. Sure they are under sanctions, but they also had an open border with China who was buying all of their coal and oil which appears to have been where the majority of their funding came from. Don't take my points against Kim as being against his whole leadership team, there are doubtlessly many very skilled and intelligent people making his country run. Their success is in spite of his leadership not because of it. Put simply I am anti-Kim not anti-NK. As for "recognizes a threat and establishes deterrents is behaving rationally" I think that is ignoring the vast harm done to his own country in order to protect against a perceived threat. Surely if you have two options in front of you, one being millions of people will starve to death and the other that someone could maybe one day think about being aggressive, then the rational choice should be to save lives. You have to consider which is the immediate, most damaging problem to face your country. A dictator will of course put himself first and will care about losing power above all else, he will pick self interest over what is best for his people. As for regime changes, there have literally been thousands of them in our history, are you trying to say every single one of them was purely negative? It would certainly be a subjective matter and it would depend on how you choose to rate the country post regime change but even with that in mind a blanket statement that all have achieved nothing would be incorrect. More freedom has occured many times, self rule has occured many times and countries have flourished with great economies. I'm certainly not saying it will always be that way, but I would also say it does not have to be a guaranteed black hole. I'm sure the majority of Americans would say their war of independence was a postive step for their nation, and certainly here in NZ changing from a British colony to self rule was a very positive move. Having said that, I absolutely agree that it shouldn't be the US making the change. However if a coup occured and Kim was ousted I believe it would be a positive step forward for NK. If it did nothing more than pour his personal wealth back into their economy, that would be a positive step. I am genuinely interested in learning from first hand experiences of countries, so perhaps I could ask you about Russia? I've tried to look into the Russian democracy but it seems very complex at a surface glance. Is it fair, open and honest elections? Do you think the current political system is better than what you had previously? Russia is the only country I can think of that has gone from monarchy, to communism, to democracy.
  11. Opinions on transgender

    There has been a lot of talk about transgender issues, from the various bathroom bills, to Trump's ban on transgenders in the military, to Catlyn Jenner receiving an award for bravery. I'm interested in hearing what everyone's thoughts are on this hotly debated issue. Should transgender people be given special rights and special protection under law? From what I can see it does appear to be a mental illness. Body dismorphia can appear in several forms, from anorexia to self harm, but while the other cases are categorised as a mental illness, transgender seems to be held in a special category. Voicing an opinion will often get the speaker yelled at for being a bigot, so often intelligent discussion and free speech is crushed in favour of protecting feelings. I have sympathy for anyone suffering mental illness and believe they should get help with professionals to overcome their problems and live a happy life. Sex change surgery doesn't achieve this. You are making some cosmetic changes but you can't change someone's sex. From reports I've read it appears suicide rates are very high but pre and post op the rates remain unchanged, which shows this is not a working solution. One report said that 80% of teenagers who believe they have body dismorphia, turn out to be confused by life, hormones, puberty and the information coming at them from every angle, and they will drop the idea as they get older. I would hate for kids to get surgery to later regret it. One other concerning trend are sporting associations allowing transgender people to compete with the sex they feel like and not what they are. This has lead to men competing in women's events, which is not an even playing field. But it gets worse, in that one man competed in women's MMA, beating 3 woman fighters before it was revealed he was a man, post-op. What you feel doesn't change the fact of what you physically are, and as every Olympic record shows men are the physically the stronger of the sexes. I think the big thing that I can't understand is someone saying "I feel like a woman". What does a woman feel like? I'm a man, but if someone asked "what does being a man feel like?" I couldn't answer. I only have my personal experience, so I can say I feel like me, but whether what I feel is somehow enough manly quota to be considered the same as other men... You see some of the teenage transgenders (especially the "gender fluid" or "non-binary" types) saying "I like short hair, wearing jeans, watching sports and tinkering with engines, so I'm a man" but are clothing choices, hair cut and hobbies really what defines a gender? So far my views seem to lean to the conservative idea of biology matters above all else. Where do you stand on these issues?
  12. I've never said it was only Kim doing the threatening, the fact Trump is crazy doesn't make Kim less so. Two wrongs don't make a right, so to speak. As for regime change, you list a series of Muslim countries who go from one theocracy to another, replacing stupidity with stupidity. What is true for the middle east doesn't carry over to the rest of the world. Almost every country has had a change of regime, obviously WW2 caused many, and the results of those changes have been very positive. Germany itself went from a fascist dictator to democracy, and most people would agree that was for the best. "A spoiled lunatic could never oversee a military and nuclear program of the level that exists in NK" - Pure assumption. There is no reason the leader has to be of any particular set of qualities for these programs to go ahead. What he needs is intelligent people under him to drive the projects, as long as he is not actively blocking those projects then he certainly doesn't need to be hands on with any of it. As for how they got the technology for nukes, it was a combination of stolen information, Russian aid to build the first power plants/facilities and trades with Pakistan. So while there were many very intelligent people working on the project they certainly had a lot of help getting underway. Of course a "spoiled lunatic" would invest time, money and man power into such things while his country starves. The average income estimated at $1800 per year, ranked the 211th poorest country, with human rights violations on a regular basis (see the horror of the gulags). Priorities are severely skewed when making nukes takes precedence over helping your people eat. "It's depressing what kind of number the western media has done on folks, and to see it extends all the way to NZ is even more depressing." - Keep it civil, signing off with an insult is no way to have an intelligent discussion on a complex subject.
  13. Suicide Is A Sin...

    Sorry to hear that. When we mock god as above it is from a place of mocking fantasy, it is blowing off steam and in no way related to the real world. As someone who has suffered with depression and been suicidal I find venting is very therapeutic. I do not know your situation but I do believe everyone can be helped but only if they are willing to ask for help and societies laws allow us to help those in need. Sadly both of those things are not always provided.
  14. I would say anyone willing to leave your country at a constant state of war with the world against you is anything but rational. A rational mind would say "how do we fix this?", Kim takes his small army and threatens the worlds largest most advanced military power. This from a man who has it taught that he could drive at age 3, played a pro round of golf with all holes in one, had the words "glory to general kim il un" carved into the side of a mountain. In a country where 41% are unable to get regular meals he spends millions of dollars on gifts for his harem, over a million on his personal liquor collection and $86k on swiss cheese alone. As for the attempted peace offers, the previous one agreed to was broken by the north once again testing missiles against what they had agreed. Their asking the US to stop training while still not agreeing to an end to the cold war, while offering to stop nuke research yet refusing international inspectors to confirm they kept their side was an offer that should have been unacceptable to anyone.
  15. What is the most dangerous irrational belief?

    I'd say hedonistic belief that you are entitled to anything and others are either in your way or against you. The lack of human empathy is horrifying. You hear of people crushed at black Friday shopping or old people being knocked down cos they were too slow. This modern idea that the world owes you and therefore you deserve free everything and enough welfare so you don't have to work. As soon as you say "whats best for me?" You aren't considering the effect on everyone else.