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Expat wanderer

Saudi Cleric: Driving Hurts Womens’ Ovaries

From today’s Kuwait Times:

RIYADH: A Saudi cleric sparked a wave of mockery online when he warned women that driving would affect their ovaries and bring “clinical disorders” upon their children. The warning came ahead of an October 26 initiative to defy a longstanding driving ban on women in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

“Physiological science” has found that driving “automatically affects the ovaries and pushes up the pelvis,” Sheikh Saleh Al-Luhaydan warned women in remarks to local news website Sabq.org. “This is why we find that children born to most women who continuously drive suffer from clinical disorders of varying degrees,” he said. His comments prompted criticism on Twitter, which has become a rare platform for Saudis to voice their opinions in the absolute monarchy. “What a mentality we have. People went to space and you still ban women from driving. Idiots,” said one comment.

Luhaydan, a member of the senior Ulema (Muslim scholars) Commission and former head of the Supreme Judicial Council, said that “evidence from the Holy Quran and Sunna (the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) completely prohibit (women’s driving) on moral and social background.”

An online petition titled “Oct 26th, driving for women” amassed nearly 12,000 signatures, while access to it was blocked in the kingdom yesterday. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are banned from driving. Activists declared a day of defiance against the ban on June 17, 2011, but few women answered the call to drive. Some of those who did were stopped by police and forced to sign a pledge not to take to the wheel again.

Saudi Arabia imposes other restrictions on women, including a requirement to cover themselves from head to toe when in public. The 2011 call, which spread through Facebook and Twitter, was the largest mass action since November 1990, when 47 Saudi women were arrested and severely punished after demonstrating in cars. – AFP

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September 30, 2013 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues, Women's Issues, Work Related Issues | 10 Comments

Hoist by Her Own Petard

I love words; I am a word-nerd. To this day, I always thought hoist by one’s own petard must mean a petard was some kind of edged weapon (knife, dagger, etc) so to know the true meaning is a glorious thing!

From Anu Garg’s A Word a Day to which I have subscribed for around 15 years now. You can subscribe and get a similar daily email here:

A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

What comes to your mind if I say the name Dumpty? Perhaps you’re thinking of Humpty and you’d be right. The two go together. Each of this week’s words also prefers specific company, and usually appears in set expressions.

You can also think of them as fossil words. They are mostly obsolete and only appear as part of idioms. We are used to seeing them bundled and never stop to think about what they literally mean. This week we’ll go behind the scenes to identify their origins.
petard

PRONUNCIATION:
(pe-TAHRD, pi-)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A small bomb used to blast down a gate or wall.
2. A loud firecracker.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French péter (to break wind), from Latin peditum (a breaking wind), from pedere (to break wind). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pezd- (to break wind) which also gave us feisty, fart, and French pet (fart). Earliest documented use: 1566.

NOTES:
A petard was a bell-shaped bomb used to breach a door or a wall. Now that we have advanced to ICBMs, this low-tech word survives in the phrase “to hoist by one’s own petard” meaning “to have one’s scheme backfire”. The idiom was popularized by Shakespeare in his play Hamlet. Hamlet, having turned the tables on those tasked with killing him, says:
For ’tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard

USAGE:
“Her attempt to rub salt in the wound had backfired. She had been well and truly hoist by her own petard.”
Immodesty Blaize; Ambition; Ebury Press; 2010.

“Ned … heard the petard exploding against the doors of the fort.”
Dudley Pope; Corsair; House of Stratus; 1987.

Explore “petard” in the Visual Thesaurus.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Communication, Words | Leave a comment

God Vs. Worry; God Wins

One of the things that adds texture to my life, and helps keep me on the straight and narrow (and that takes a LOT) is reading the daily lectionary every single morning of the year, before I do anything else. Normal days, I access it from my computer, traveling or appointment days, I can access it from my iPad or iPhone. It’s like a little extra fence that helps keep me safe from myself and my own creativity when it comes to evil.

There is another side, the blessing side. In one of the bible studies I attend, we learn, over and over that God blesses the believer. You don’t have to be perfect – and it’s a good thing, because none of us are. If you want to see how much God can love a sinner, just read your bible. Sin is one of the main characters, right along side Abraham and Sarah, Job, Lot, and especially King David.

But in my life, I have seen wondrous things, and I have had some totally WOW moments when God has blessed me beyond any prayer I could have raised. One of those moments was showering under a waterfall near an oasis in the Tunisian desert. Two others happened this year, and these were blessings that stopped me in my tracks with their timing and aptness. First, we got an unexpected tax refund which arrived in our account just in time to cover the big expensive air conditioning system on the main floor when it broke and had to be replaced.

Second, when we were looking for the last few thousand dollars to help us buy a new car (we prefer to pay cash) we got another tax refund – we had asked that they re-look taxes for a move, and they allowed the moving expenses. We had waited almost a year for that decision; we had waited so long we had pretty much forgotten and given up on it. I mean tax refunds – it’s a never-never land, it all seems so arbitrary. You can have a perfect case, and it can be denied for a reason you’ve never heard of.

God’s timing is perfect. His sense of humor is breath-taking. The funds we needed poured into our hands just when we needed them, in just the right amount.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,* or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?* 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God* and his* righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Lectionary Readings, Moving, Spiritual, Tunisia | 2 Comments

Or How About A Gold Mine in Burkina Faso?

Dear Sir

We are village local gold miners located here in Burkina Faso in West Africa we
hereby make this offer of au metal gold dust under the penalty of perjury with
full responsibility. the purity below.

1. Product: Au metal (gold dust) & (dore gold bar)
2. Origin: Burkina Faso, west Africa
3. Type: alluvial
4. Purity: 92.8% or better(gold dust) & 96.8% or better(dore gold bar)
5. Carats: 22+
6. quantity :400kg(gold dust)and 350k(dore gold bar)
7. Price gold dust: $34,000usd(CIF) & $28,000usd(FOB)
8. Price dore gold bar: $36,000usd(CIF) & 32,000usd(FOB)

PROCEDURE FOB

Buyer will have to come to Burkina Faso for face to face transaction, The
Seller brings the gold to BUMIGEB (Ministry of Mines) Ouagadougou, where the
gold will be essayed in the presence of Buyer. Buyer pays for the gold and pay
for all export taxes. We can also FOB to AA Minerals or PMMC refineries in Accra
Ghana. The Seller ships the gold to Accra Ghana, Buyer meets up with Seller at
any of these refineries. The gold is essayed in the presence of both Buyer and
Seller, after which Buyer makes payment through Seller’s account with any of the
refineries.

goldmines226@gmail.com

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cultural, Scams | 2 Comments

My Friend BOUDA NAZIKO in Ouagadougou

When we were with the embassy in Amman, there was a joke that if you were really bad, you would be sent to Ouagadougou. When I see Ouagadougou, I still smile. I did not know that I have a friend in Ouagadougou who wants to share a lot of money with me. He just needs a few of my personal financial details . . .

He got a little careless, I think, and sent me his draft. He was so excited, he sent it to me twice, with an unidentified party invite at the bottom, LOL.

نعم Can you Assist Me..
FROM THE DESK OF MR BOUDA NAZIKO
AUDIT/REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF
OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO
ALTERNATE E-MAIL 😦 mr_bouda.n@outlook.com )
SIR/MADAM,

(CONFIDENTIAL)

I KNOW THAT THIS EMAIL WILL BE A BIG SURPRISE TO YOU, BUT I WANT YOU TO CALM DOWN AND READ VERY CAREFULLY. I GOT YOUR IMPRESSIVE INFORMATION THROUGH ONLINE INTERNET HERE IN OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO. I CONTACTED YOU TO BE MY PARTNER AND PERSON TO BE VIABLE AND CAPABLE TO CHAMPION A
BUSINESS OF SUCH MAGNITUDE WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM, ALTHOUGH I DON’T KNOW YOU BEFORE, NIETHER WE HAVE MET BEFORE BUT I BELEIVE GOD THAT YOU WILL NOT SEAT ON THIS FUND WHEN ITS GET TOYOUR COUNTRY POSTION.

I HAVE A BUSINESS WHICH WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US. THE AMOUNT OF MONEY INVOLVED IS ($ 2,700:000:00 TWO MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) WHICH I WANT TO TRANSFER OUT OF THE COUNTRY TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, ALL TO MY FINANCIAL BENEFIT AND YOURS TOO AND
ALSO TO TAKE MY WIFE ABROAD FOR TREATMENT OF LIVER DAMAGE.

THIS MONEY IS OWNED BY A MAN CALLED BAO YU, A BUSINESS COMMERCIALIST IN WEST-AFRICAN REGIONS. HE HAS BEEN DEAD SINCE SIX YEARS AGO AND SINCE THEN; NO CLAIM HAS BEEN PLACED ON HIS BANK ACCOUNT BALANCE.
I WANT TO TRANSFER THIS MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY BUT SUCH FUND CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED WITHOUT A NEXT OF KIN ATTACHED TO THE FUND.
THE FUND COULD BE TRANSFERRED IN THESE WAY; YOU SHALL PRESENT YOURSELF AS A BUSINESS ASSOCIATE TO THE DECEASED PERSON AS DETAILS SHALL BE THAT YOU ARE THE CARE-TAKER BUSINESS ASSOCIATE TO LATE DECEASED CUSTOMER AND HIS PROPERTIES.

I SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO YOU MATERIALS AND INFORMATION WITH WHICH A SUCCESSFUL CLAIM SHALL BE PLACED ON THE FUND. I SHALL ALSO BE YOUR GUIDIANCE AND INSTRUCTOR THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THIS TRANSACTION SO AS TO ENSURE A SWIFT AND SURE TRANSFER OF THE FUND TO
YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.AS TO YOUR BENEFITS, YOU SHALL BE ENTITLED TO 40% OF THIS FUND FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION IN THIS TRANSACTION WHILE 5% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR EXPENCES INCURED DURING THE COURSE OF THIS TRANSACTION.
IN FACT I COULD HAVE DONE THIS DEAL ALONE BUT BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN THIS COUNTRY AS A CIVIL SERVANT (ABANKER),WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT AND WOULDEVENTUALLY RAISE AN EYE BROW ON MY SIDE DURING THE TIME OF TRANSFER BECAUSE I WORK INTHIS BANK.

THIS IS THE ACTUAL REASON WHY IT WILL REQUIRE A SECOND PARTY OR FELLOW WHO WILL FORWARDCLAIMS AS THE NEXT OF KIN WITH AFFIDAVIT OF TRUST OF OATH TO THE BANK AND ALSO PRESENT AFOREIGN ACCOUNT WHERE HE WILL NEED THE MONEY TO BE RETRANSFERRED INTO ON HIS REQUEST AS
IT MAY BE AFTER DUE VERIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION BY THE CORRESPONDENT BRANCH OF THEBANK WHERE THE WHOLE MONEY WILL BE REMITTED FROM TO YOUR OWN DESIGNATION BANK ACCOUNT.

SO IF YOU ARE INTRESTED, SEND A REPLY TO ME IMMEDIATELY AND IN YOUR REPLY PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR [PRIVATE PHONE AND YOUR FAX NUMBERS] URGENCY HAS TO BE IMPLIED AND THIS BUSINESS MUST STRICTLY BE A DEAL BETWEEN BOTH OF US.WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONSE SO THAT I CAN MOVE AHEAD AND GIVE YOU THE INDEPT DETAILS CONCERNING THIS TRANSACTION AND ALSO THE STEPS TO TAKE FOR A SMOOTH TRANSFER OF THE FUND
INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.

BEST REGARDS,
BOUDA NAZIKO
PLEASE REPLY ME HERE; mr_bouda.n@outlook.com

When
Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:30am – 1:30am Eastern Time
Calendar
mariamadams2010@gmail.com
Who
(Guest list has been hidden at organizer’s request)
Going? Yes – Maybe – No more options »

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cultural, Scams | Leave a comment

The Meat You Eat Can Make You Sick

A fascinating – if long – article on how our meat is farmed and the high cost of ‘cheap’ meat:

‘Healthy’ Cows, Sick Consumers: CDC Warns of a High Cost in Cheap Meat
by Bruce Watson Sep 25th 2013 6:00AM

On the surface, it’s hard to question the cost-effectiveness of factory-farmed meat. After all, the math is pretty simple: You start with inexpensive animals, raise them at relatively minimal cost, butcher them in the cheapest way possible, and sell them for low, low prices.

But the math gets a little more complicated when you look at the long-term health impact of all that cheap meat. Of course, there are the obvious things that everyone’s already worried about — issues like cholesterol and high blood pressure and gout and whatnot — but the biggest downside comes from something that you probably haven’t considered: antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that 2 million Americans are hit with antibiotic-resistant infections every year — and 23,000 people die from them.

Doctor Feelgood

So what causes all these outbreaks? In part, it’s our overreliance on antibiotics. Every time your doctor prescribes antibiotics to you, the bacteria in your body grow more able to tolerate them. Those antibiotic-resistant germs can then get passed on to other people, leading to the spread of harder-to-kill infections, which leads to more doctor visits, and so on, in a vicious cycle.

So, obviously, the first solution to our antibiotic-resistant bug problem is to stop overprescribing antibiotics. We should, many health experts argue, save the antibiotics for the times when we really need them.

This Little Piggie Had Penicillin …

But our overuse of erythromycin and amoxicillin is just a small part of the problem. Even if you never fill your antibiotic prescriptions — even if your doctor never writes them — chances are that you’re still consuming a huge amount of antibiotics in your food. More specifically, in your meat.

When factory farms look for ways to cut costs, space is one of the first things to go: Factory owners often crowd animals together in cramped pens. But when cows, pigs and chickens live in such cramped conditions, often with open wounds and amid ever-growing piles of feces, the barns become a breeding ground for bacterial infections. One way to cut back on this is to give the animals more space. Another way is to pump them full of antibiotics.

Not surprisingly, most factory farm operations go for the latter. In fact, the meat industry currently uses 80 percent of all antibiotics that are consumed in the US. All those drugs keep the animals relatively disease-free — and help keep meat cheap. But it’s not exactly an impressive price cut for the customer: According to one estimate, the use of antibiotics on farms saves the average meat-eating consumer $5 to $10 a year.

And those minor savings may come at a huge cost. Sloppy slaughtering methods often contaminate meat with antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the animals’ colons and stomachs. And, even if factory-farmed meat makes it to your grocery store without becoming contaminated, there are other ways animal waste enters the food cycle: Water and manure that are left over from factory animals often get used on crops, further spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

So What Can You Do?

As I’ve pointed out in the past, there are a few ways to protect yourself. To begin with, you can ensure that your meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F — both at your home, and in any restaurants that you visit. Unfortunately, while this will kill any bacteria hiding inside your burger, it will also transform it into a well-done hockey puck.

Maybe you should just stick to the brisket.

You can also try looking for organic meat. While a little more expensive, it is produced without antibiotics, which lowers your chance of encountering antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For that matter, you may want to think about using organic vegetables — or, at least, carefully washing your fresh produce.

Another option is to get involved. Last week, I wrote about new USDA procedures would cut inspections on chicken and pork, and would allow Chinese poultry to be sold in American markets. Since these plans also reduce the number of USDA inspectors — among the few barriers between you and food poisoning — they could directly affect your health. If you get a chance, you may want to tell your congressman or senator that you’ve got some problems with this.

Given the huge lobbying efforts behind the USDA’s inspector cuts and opening the U.S. to Chinese chicken imports, chances are that both policy changes will happen. Even if they don’t, however, it never hurts to be safer with your food.

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance’s Savings Editor. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

September 25, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Food, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Shopping | , | Leave a comment

“Open His Eyes That He May See”

Some of the historical books of the bible have the most amazing stories. What I love about this one is that when the servant’s eyes are opened, he sees the unseen heavenly beings which surround us. Imagine, too, the King of Israel preparing a feast for the warrior force sent against him, and sending them peacefully on their way back after eating and drinking. This is the old testament reading from today’s Lectionary:

2 Kings 6:1-23

6Now the company of prophets* said to Elisha, ‘As you see, the place where we live under your charge is too small for us. 2Let us go to the Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a place there for us to live.’ He answered, ‘Do so.’ 3Then one of them said, ‘Please come with your servants.’ And he answered, ‘I will.’ 4So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5But as one was felling a log, his axehead fell into the water; he cried out, ‘Alas, master! It was borrowed.’ 6Then the man of God said, ‘Where did it fall?’ When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7He said, ‘Pick it up.’ So he reached out his hand and took it.
8 Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, ‘At such and such a place shall be my camp.’ 9But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, ‘Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.’ 10The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place* so that it was on the alert.

11 The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this; he called his officers and said to them, ‘Now tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?’ 12Then one of his officers said, ‘No one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.’ 13He said, ‘Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him.’ He was told, ‘He is in Dothan.’ 14So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city.

15 When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, ‘Alas, master! What shall we do?’ 16He replied, ‘Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.’ 17Then Elisha prayed: ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18When the Arameans* came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Strike this people, please, with blindness.’ So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. 19Elisha said to them, ‘This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.’ And he led them to Samaria.

20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, ‘O Lord, open the eyes of these men so that they may see.’ The Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, ‘Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?’ 22He answered, ‘No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master.’ 23So he prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into the land of Israel.

September 25, 2013 Posted by | Cultural, Faith, Lectionary Readings, Relationships | Leave a comment

“Is Your Cat Always Fractious?”

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 8.41.25 PM

“Fractious” isn’t a word you often hear. Clearly the veterinary tech had just read the word off the record, perhaps there is some warning in there about the Qatari Cat.

The Qatari Cat was born on the streets of Qatar, and had a bumpy start with another owner. While the man and his daughter liked him just fine, the wife and her mother did not. When the Qatari cat came to live with us, he was very wary of me. It took a couple years for him to fully trust me. He watched my feet all the time. He quailed in fear, ears back, if I used a loud voice. He was terrified of the sound of plastic bags.

Slowly, slowly, we built a relationship. Today, ten years later, he is a sweet cat.

He is a sweet cat every single day of the year, but he still has his street instincts. AdventureMan has learned that you can’t play rough with the Qatari Cat; you play rough, you lose. I never speak loudly to him; it just won’t work, it just gets his back up. Because he knows I am the boss, I speak sternly, but softly to him and he will do just what I ask him to do.

Our first visit to the vet went badly. You can read about it here. He was fine until the buzzing razor hit his bottom and then all his survival instincts kicked in. He’s been back twice, and he has been as good as gold, but somehow . . . that notation has stuck.

“No!” I replied, maybe a little bit too loudly.”No! He is a sweet kitty! He is snuggly and loving and quiet and good! But if he is scared, he wants to defend himself.” I told the tech about the Italian vet the Qatari Cat fell in love with in Kuwait, she snuggled him and told him how beautiful he was and how much she loved him and he was putty in her hands. I was almost jealous. I thought maybe she distilled some catnip and mixed it with her perfume or something, Qatari Cat’s eyes glazed a little in sheer adoration when he was around her, and he even drooled a little. She could take his temperature, give him a shot and check his innards and he never complained, just looked at her adoringly.

The tech shot a skeptical look at me and exited the room. I could hear her repeat this to the vet, and muffled laughter before she entered the room again.

So the vet came in and snuggled Qatari Cat, and told him he was pretty, and while she did not say it with an Italian accent, Qatari Cat was clearly intrigued – and on his best behavior. It doesn’t take much . . . he’s a male. Snuggle him a little, rub his fur the right way, chat him up . . . it doesn’t have to be rational, it’s all in the tone of voice and the flirtation. He totally digs it, he eats it up. A little grope here, a quick look at the teeth, a quick injection and he’s finished, not a fractious moment in the entire visit.

On the way home, we laughed thinking of our sensitivity at having our cat called “fractious.” We remember the indignant response of friends whose cat was annotated as “vicious” by a German vet. The cat was diabetic and objected to the roughness with which the vet wanted to take his blood. I think if you are a veterinarian, you might have an understanding that a sick animal, or a scared animal, might act unpredictably or defensively, there are big thick gloves you can wear if an animal seems wired up.

Does this look like a fractious cat to you?

00qcnapwadventureman

00qchappyplace

September 23, 2013 Posted by | Civility, Communication, Community, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Pets, Qatteri Cat, Relationships | 4 Comments

Every Day Sadists Walk Among Us

images

“Trust your feelings,” my friend told me when I was telling her about a person who seemed so nice, but made me uncomfortable. This article says the same thing; if you feel like a person takes pleasure from humiliating or hurting others, stay far far away. It’s only a matter of time before they turn on you.

Everyday Sadists Walk Among Us, Study Says

(From AOL News/Every Day Health)

Although we may think of sadism in a sexual or criminal context, sadistic tendencies are common in everyday life.

By Laurie Sue Brockway, Everyday Health Staff Writer

Whether it’s the Marquis de Sade, the evil stepmother from Snow White, or Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, all sadists take great pleasure in inflicting pain on others. Fortunately, you are unlikely to meet those particular three anytime soon, but according to an unusual duo of studies conducted in Vancouver, British Columbia, and published in Psychological Science this week, it is very possible you will bump into a boss, a colleague, or even a family member who may be considered an “everyday sadist.”

While most people try to avoid hurting others — and will feel guilty, remorseful, and distressed if they do hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally — an everyday sadist enjoys being cruel and may find it exciting.

“We have probably all encountered people in our daily lives who — at least seem to — enjoy hurting others,” said lead researcher Erin Buckels, MA, who conducted this work as part of her master’s thesis in Social-Personality Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She is now a doctoral student at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

“Everyday sadists lack empathy, and they possess an internal motivation to hurt others. However, they are unlikely to act in a way that would be criminal or dangerous — at least in most contexts, where such behavior is met with social disapproval or punishment,” Buckels said.

Everyday sadists may be cousins to classic sociopaths in their lack of empathy, but they are not considered a danger to society in the same way. “It is only in situations where cruelty is encouraged or socially acceptable that dangerous behavior might enter the equation,” said Buckels. “Both sadistic personality and situational pressures are necessary for sadism to manifest with everyday people. War is one example of this confluence — we have all seen the images of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. All forms of cruel behavior have the potential to be motivated by sadistic pleasure, including bullying and abuse by others. If it were done purely for pleasure, then it would be sadism.”

If You Like to Hurt Bugs, You May Be a Sadist
It’s one thing to take an empty mayonnaise jar to catch fireflies when you are a kid and accidentally forget to poke holes in it, causing the fireflies to die. It’s another thing to enjoy harming bugs (or animals). Buckels used a bug-crushing exercise to draw the everyday sadists out in a controlled laboratory environment. For the experiment, she defined sadists in two ways: Their cruel behavior and felt pleasure in the lab, and personality characteristics consistent with sadism. A group of 71 participants were asked to fill out a sadism personality questionnaire and also given a list of four tasks they could choose from:

Killing bugs

Helping the experimenter kill bugs

Cleaning dirty toilets

Enduring pain from ice water

A bug-crunching machine fashioned out of a coffee grinder made distinct crunching sounds. Placed close to this machine were cups containing live pill bugs that were labeled with names like Muffin, Ike, and Tootsie. Those who selected bug-crushing were told to put the bugs into the machine and grind them up. Unbeknownst to them, there was a barrier that prevented the bugs from being dropped into the grinder. No bugs were killed for this experiment, but it brought the sadists out of the closet. Of 71 participants, nearly 28 percent chose to kill bugs.

What Exactly Is a Sadist?
Sadistic personality disorder was once defined as a mental illness, but over time sadism has been considered more of a lifestyle choice or a personality quirk or trait. The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), does include sexual sadism disorder. “This is marked by recurrent and intense sexual arousal from the suffering of others as manifested by fantasies, urges, and behaviors,” said Wilfried Busse, PhD, a psychotherapist based in Bethesda, Md. “To meet full criteria for the disorder, an individual also has to act on such urges by inflicting harm on a non-consenting individual, or must experience such uncontrollable urges to cause significant social and occupational impairment.”

“The central feature of sadism is deriving pleasure from watching or inflicting physical or psychological harm on others,” added Dr. Busse. “In the extreme form a sadist will seek to inflict suffering on another for the psychological gratification derived from such an action.”

Buckel’s study did not use classic criteria to define sadism – most widely known as sexual or criminal behavior – and instead explored sadism as it exists in the “subclinical” range of personality, an aspect of sadism not considered a mental illness.

“There is clearly a difference between a person who gets pleasure from killing bugs and a person who kills other humans for pleasure,” said Buckels. “That being said, the core experience of sadism is probably pretty similar for both of them. Our research has also revealed both similarities and differences between people who enjoy acting cruelly, or direct sadists, and those who simply enjoy watching cruelty, or vicarious sadists.Regardless of whom the victim is, direct aggression requires a certain amount of callousness and a lack of distress towards the suffering of another living creature.”

How to Spot a Sadist
There is a big difference between the kind of evil sadists we know from history and movies and people with sadistic impulses, who fall into a category of sadism that is considered a personality trait rather than a personality disorder.

“It is very important to differentiate between an antisocial, or sadistic, personality disorder and sadistic impulses,” said psychologist Fran Walfish, Psy.D., a family therapist and author in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“Antisocial personality disorder is very rare,” Walfish said, offering examples such as Hitler, murderers who enjoy torturing their victims and watching them suffer, and, possibly, Syrian President Bashar Assad. “But the rest of us have unconscious sadistic impulses. Even the kindest, most loving person, when terribly mistreated, can feel an impulse of hate very strong,” she added.

Walfish explained that there are several sub-types of sadists:

Explosive sadist. When disappointed and/or frustrated with their lives, humiliated or hopeless, they lose control and seek revenge for the mistreatment to which they feel subjected. They are known for being unpredictably violent. This manifests through tantrums, fearsome attacks on others, especially family members, and uncontrollable rage.

Tyrannical sadist. They are frightening and cruel because they appear to relish the act of menacing and brutalizing others; forcing their victims to cower and submit gives them satisfaction.

Enforcing sadist. They tend to be military sergeants, deans of universities, prison overseers, police officers or people with other authoritative functions who feel they should be the ones controlling and punishing people who have broken rules, regulations or laws.

Spineless sadist. They are typically deeply insecure and act like cowards. In anticipation of real danger, they project their hostile fantasies and strike first, hoping thereby to forestall their antagonist and ask questions later. They use aggressive hostility to send the message to others that they aren’t intimidated or fearful, so that they can control their inner feelings and display the exact opposite of how they actually feel. They seek out scapegoats to gang up on, which allows them to assault the exact things that exist within themselves that they want to deny.

Everyday sadist. There is a renewed interest in studying subclinical sadism as a personality trait, said Walfish. Subclinical psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and everyday sadism form the so-called “Dark Tetrad” of personality.

“These people aren’t necessarily serial killers or sexual deviants but they gain some emotional benefit in causing or simply observing others’ suffering,” said Walfish. “The type of person the study is referring to are, for instance, the co-worker who repeatedly humiliates you and smiles or appears to reap pleasure from hurting you. If you self-advocate and say something that inflames your co-worker, she retaliates with evil revenge, further humiliating you.”

Exercise Caution Around Everyday Sadists
The British Columbia researchers surmised that everyday sadists are not the most popular people.“A person who has a high score on a sadism personality questionnaire is unlikely to be regarded as a nice and loving person,” said Buckels. “That is not to say that they are always nasty or that they can’t love others; but in general, high scorers tend to be less nice than average.”

How does someone become an everyday sadist? “In general, the cause or reason someone wants to go the extra effort to hurt another is because someone terribly mistreated them,” said Walfish. “That someone is usually their mother, father, or an older sibling. The sadist was a receptacle, or container, for hostility and evil meanness. These toxic feelings become too much for one to bear. They have no choice but to find a weaker victim and spew their venom onto the other.”

“Within their own families and in the workplace these people cannot be trusted,” Walfish observed. “No one can ever feel safe with them. Therefore, they do not have real relationships. They engage by exploiting, manipulating, and using other people as a means to their own end. The best thing to do is keep reasonable distance from these people. Always be pleasant so you don’t become their target. This does not mean to kiss up. It just means you present yourself as a benign nice guy. Never do business or get close to one of these people. They will always take you down.”

Buckels said she was surprised to find such a low baseline of positive emotions reported by sadists. “They are not just acting out to compensate for deep-rooted insecurity or low self-esteem,” she said. “Interestingly, after an act of cruelty, their moods seemed to lighten, suggesting instead that the sadist’s appetite for cruelty derives from some diabolical need. Although speculative, our hypothesis is that sadists have an underlying deficit that is sated through cruelty’s rewards.”

September 23, 2013 Posted by | Character, Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Relationships, Safety, Values | , , | Leave a comment

Kuwait Marriage and Divorce 2013

The presentation is a little confusing, but I have to guess that if 19% of the divorces are “non-Kuwaiti” by which they mean that one member of the marriage is not Kuwaiti. So what they are not saying is that 80% of the divorces are Kuwaitis married to Kuwaitis.

They also did not say how long marriages lasted – how many of those marriages were divorced in the first year, how many after many years? If the statistics are accurate, Kuwait is doing OK – more than half the marriages are succeeding.

OOps – found second report in the same Kuwait Times! See below

9,404 Kuwaiti marriages, 4,067 divorces in 2012

KUWAIT: More than 9,000 Kuwaiti couples married last year and more than 4,000 marriages ended in divorce the same year, a local daily reported yesterday quoting official statistics.

The statistics released by the Ministry of Justice and published by Al-Qabas daily indicate that 9,404 marriages between Kuwaitis took place last year compared to 4,067 divorces, or 43.3 percent.

The same statistics also indicated that 4,910 marriages took place between a Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti spouse in 2012, compared to 2,605 divorces in the same category. In detail, the statistics show that 814 Kuwaiti men married non-Kuwaiti women in 2012, while 648 Kuwaiti women married non-Kuwaiti men the same year.

The percentage of Kuwait couples in the total number of marriages last year reached 65 percent, according to the statistics, while 19 percent took place between non-Kuwaiti couples. 10 percent of marriages took place between a Kuwaiti man and a non-Kuwaiti woman, while marriages between a non-Kuwaiti man and a Kuwaiti woman also reach 10 percent.

Regarding divorce percentages, the statistics show that 19 percent of divorce cases happened between non-Kuwaiti couples; 12 percent between couples in which the husband is Kuwaiti and the wife is non-Kuwaiti, and 7 percent between couples in which the husband is non-Kuwaiti and the wife is Kuwaiti.

Regarding academic qualifications, the statistics show that 35 percent of women married last year have university degrees, 30 percent have high school degrees, and 19 percent have diplomas, whereas 29 percent of men have university degrees, 24 percent have high school degrees, 21 percent have middle school qualifications and 20 percent have diplomas. On the other hand, the statistics show that the majority of women divorced last year have university degrees (29 percent), while the majority percentage of divorced men have middle school qualifications (29 percent).

55% couples married in last 4 years seek divorce

KUWAIT: Almost 55 percent of couples filing for divorce in Kuwait have been married for four years only, including 25 percent who are yet to celebrate the first anniversary of their wedding, a local daily reported yesterday quoting official statistics. The statistical report released by the Research and Statistics Department in the Ministry of Justice and obtained by Al- Qabas daily further indicates that out of 5,662 couples who sought marriage counseling, only 20 percent had their issue successfully resolved.

Lack of willingness to coexist was identified as the primary cause for divorce requests, with 32 percent of the requests made by husbands and 23 percent by wives.

The statistics further indicate that 77 percent of couples who attended marriage counseling were Kuwaitis compared to 22 percent non-Kuwaitis.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of those couples do not have children, 34 percent have one to three children, and 2.7 percent have between four and six children.

Regarding age groups, the statistics show that 42 percent of couples seeking marriage counseling are aged between 25 and 34, 22 percent aged between 35 and 44, and 20 percent aged between 15 and 25. And according to the couples’ academic levels, the statistics indicate that 28 percent of husbands have middle school degrees, 22 percent have high school degrees and 21 percent have university degrees, whereas 27 percent of wives have high school degrees, 23 percent have university degree, 22 percent have diploma and 20 percent have middle school

September 18, 2013 Posted by | Family Issues, Kuwait, Marriage, Relationships, Statistics | Leave a comment