General discussion


Is there a Brink?

By MallardtooXX ·
For the last few months I have watched everyone here get into arguments. I have also watched people defend themselves and each other. I have seen many different countries, religions, professions and genres duke it out. To me this is a good thing. Knowing when to go off topic is important when there is a reason; the problem is the reason itself. It is because of this I toss this little question out there. "IS there really such a thing as the brink? Can a situation escalate to such a levelthat no-one can stop it?" I ask this for the people who, like me, like to debate. I ask this because I have a very well defined ideal of what the "Brink" is. I want to see if I am close in my definition. I am not looking for the brink of anything in particular here, it could be anything, or it could be nothing. I have seen you guys go to bat for one another; I have seen you tear each other down. What I have not seen is what defines your reactions. I know this is a very vague statement, but I also know you can all handle it. I don't care what gets posted below this thread, if anything at all. But I want to see if we can push the "brink" here or if we are all too afraid to speak our minds because of what, in the United States anyway; has begun to decay us, Political Correctness.

So there it is people, I will even pick a topic to start it off just because I want to see it. Lets talk about something that irks me no end to start off. Welfare.


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Brink - Cannot Reach It Here

by Oldefar In reply to Is there a Brink?

The brink in any situation occurs when the parties involved feel they have reached a point where the only options left are action or surrender. It is that put up or shut up point.

Can the brink ever be reached online? Can a poster become so caught up in a position that direct action to resolve a disagreement is the only course? Are posters who stop contributing victims of pushing another over the brink? Is the answer 42?

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My 2c

by Jim Phelps In reply to Brink - Cannot Reach It H ...

As long as you can keep your sense of humor, you will likely not go over the brink. And try not to hit the hot buttons of someone else, so that you won't push them over the brink.

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My experience at the brink

by Jim Phelps In reply to Brink - Cannot Reach It H ...

I was about to reach the brink one evening, and I decided that I should back off.

I had driven my wife's new car to WalMart. It was very crowded, as usual. Suddenly, there was a parking place, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! There was also another driver who had just passed the spot, but wanted to back up and get it. Finally, there was the poor guy who was still in the spot, trying to get out.

I decided to simply stop the car and wait. The guy who was trying to back up got very angry at me, and yelled at me from his window, using lots of choice words. However, I didn't back up, and neither did I respond in kind. The only time I responded is when he asked me why I wouldn't move, and I told him, "I'm going to park in that parking place."
(Oh yeah, when he got out of his car and came threateningly toward me, I told him that he needed to back off.)

So we were both at the brink. What to do?

He then backed up his car along side of mine (there was about an inch of clearance between us), to try to fight for the spot. At that point, I drove off, not wanting to scratch up my wife's new car over something as stupid as a parking place.

Later, I saw him in the store. He saw me, too. He looked like he felt really stupid for his attitude in the parking lot. (I still didn't say anything.)

How did I avoid going over the brink? I didn't respond in kind to his angry and obscene words, I simply told him why I wouldn't leave ("I'm going to park in that spot."); and I drove off when it was about to get ugly.

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Thank you always works

by Oz_Media In reply to My experience at the brin ...

I find if someone is REALLy getting pissed off at me, the funniest response is to completely agree with them or thank them. When they are expecting an answer as ridiculous as they sound, kindness kills it all and simply ruins the mood by maling it better.
That aside, kick'em in the teeth and cut their throat. The gurgly noise is rather cool, ya gotta try it.

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Agreeing with your opponent

by Jim Phelps In reply to Thank you always works

Speaking of agreeing with your adversary, I have found that the quickest way to end a hot debate is to agree with your opponent! Not only will it end immediately, but you'll also take all the wind out of his sails. It's really lots of fun watchingthe other guy when you do that.

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by generalist In reply to Is there a Brink?

It is useful as a temporary lifeline in those situations where things have gone catastrophically wrong.

It is destructive when it is a way of life.

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Some thoughts on welfare.

by jardinier In reply to Welfare

From the various postings which I have read in this discussion, the use and abuse of the welfare system in Australia is pretty much on a par with the US. The abusers who particularly annoy me are those people who have full-time jobs and claim the dole as well: those who go onto welfare because of some temporary health condition, but neglect to inform Centrelink (Australia’s trendy new name for the department which manages all varieties of welfare) when they are recovered, and resume full-time work.
However I am guessing that effective policing of the system would probably cost more than what is lost by abuse.
But it is not just the bludgers who perpetuate the system. During a period in my life when I was engaged in part-time gardening, I was shocked to learn that most of the upper middle class people for whom I worked took it for granted that I was also collecting the dole (which I wasn’t). This I think would indicate an attitude that permeates the whole society: get whatever you can from the Government. I understand that the wealthiest people in the society know how to minimise tax, so that the major part of the tax burden actually falls on the shoulders of mostly middle class people.
The current Government is gradually tightening up the welfare system to make it much more difficult for people to deliberately choose welfare rather than go to work.

Some time ago I met a fellow from some northern European country – probably Sweden I think – who said that although the dole was equal to a wage, it was so bloody cold and boring being unemployed that people actually preferred to work.

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Some thoughts on welfare ... Part 2

by jardinier In reply to Welfare

The money that is handed out to welfare recipients is recycled back into the system. Whenever a welfare recipient (or anyone else for that matter) spends money, they help someone else (the merchant for example) make a living. This in turn helps themerchant’s business to grow, so that he may employ more people. All these people pay taxes which return to the general money pool.

I would really like some financial genius to calculate just what proportion of the welfare payment actually disappears altogether.

Now there is a glaring anomaly in our society which enables people employed in legitimate jobs to actually end up being a burden on the national economy. The most obvious example is the tobacco industry. The enormous cost tothe health system from people suffering serious tobacco-related illnesses might well, for all I know, exceed the amount of tax collected by the Government through its levy on the sale of tobacco products. The alcohol industry would probably be the second worst offender in this situation.

And then there are the people who attract enormous incomes without producing anything at all. Here I am referring especially to the entertainment industries; movie stars and sports stars. I am not of course saying that entertainment isn’t important to the human psyche, but it does not put food in people’s mouths, clothes on their shoulders, or rooves over their heads.

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On Burdens

by Oldefar In reply to Some thoughts on welfare ...

You make an interesting point on money handed out via the dole might actually be fuel to the economy.

When your financial genious completes that analysis, perhaps he can look at those burden industries in the same fashion. Money spent on harmful and frivolis pursuits such as tobacco, alcohol, dangerous hobbies, and sport-entertainment might actually show a net gain for the society at large.

As a gardener, you might compare this with the ecosystem. On a global scale over geological time frames a particular element might have a crucial role while on a micro scale in a day to day time frame it appears simply to be a pest.

I happen to see most government programs like the foolish gardener trying to control the garden on a daily basisrather than the organic gardener who allows an ecosystem develop.

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Excelent point

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to On Burdens

From my observations most Government Policy comes from Knee Jerk Recations to some Stimuli and most Governments are after thequick fix rather than looking at the underlying problems. I'm not having a go at any particualr Government here just all andas an example I'll take the Australian Governments reaction to the Port Arthur shootings. They outlawed a lot of different firearms from the comunity that wernt doing any thing wrong. They then introduced a new tax to pay for this and went on to make money out of it.
But if they had of looked at the basic problem there should have been a far different outcome. Like how did a firearm handed in, in a different state to the police for destruction come to be sold in a different state? How did a person with a history of discharging firearms in the general vicinity of people come to still have a valid firearm licence? How did a person with a 10 round clip and no spare mag's manage to shot 25 people when they could have just run away? More to the point why ban semi-automatic fire arms when it would have been far cheeper just to licence the ammo and reloads which would have cost very little and been easy to impelment?

At present if I'm so inclined I can buy a machine pistol in some country Legally and import it in bits without the likely hood of it being intercepted and then go out and buy 100,000 rounds of ammo without raising any suspissions. To me this is a far more dangerious position to be in than having a couple of thousand firearms that are well controlled and licensed.

But that is just an example I'm sure that there are many others from all countries.

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