Top 10 Things You Should Never Discuss Online

The late comedian George Carlin made a good living on his famous “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” monologue. In the monologue, he details seven particular words that one could never use on television (or radio either) regardless of intent or context. Use of any of those seven words would (and will) get you bleeped out. Use of enough of them at one sitting and the FCC (in America) will have you up on fines or worse.

Well, Mr. Carlin’s seven dirty words won’t usually cause an eye blink on the Internet; however, some topics are tacitly taboo regardless of the site one is surfing or the point one is trying to make. The introduction of any of these verboten topics into a comment stream, blog post, or general web discussion will invariably result in the immediate cessation of whatever was being discussed and the explosion of a full fledged flame war. These particular topics are so incendiary because they have little or no perceivable middle ground. One must chose a side and any refusal to chose a side will usually result in taking fire from BOTH sides.

Pretty much all of these topics have been around for years, but none of them show the slightest sign of becoming any less inflammatory. If anything, the rapidity of communication available via the web has polarized these issues even more. They are all grenades and a wise man once said, “when the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.” So, without further ado and with apologies to the late Mr. Carlin, Ten Topics You Cannot Discuss on the Internet (without serious drama following shortly thereafter).


The Middle East


Everyone has an opinion about the Middle East. It may be about the Palestinian State; it may be about oil; it may be about Israel; but that little area of land is blood-soaked for a reason. Trying to talk about the Middle East will almost always end up in a fight because no one has been able to come up with a win-win solution to the area’s problems in a few thousand years. Any solution requires one side or the other to give ground and so far, no one has decided to. This mentality carries over into the supporters of the different positions. Israel is evil. The Palestinians are evil. The Jews are evil. The Arabs are evil. Round and round it goes. Again, no middle ground.



Two Men Holding Hands 420Jp

Can’t be discussed rationally. No way, no how. To some it’s a perfectly acceptable lifestyle. To others, it is anathema. It is genetic. It is a choice. It can be “cured”. Once a homosexual, always a homosexual. Nature – or nurture. What’s really upsetting is no middle ground is usually available. If one happens to be a live and let live type of person, he or she is still in some danger of being painted negatively by the other side. One thing that makes this particular topic so explosive is homosexuality is much more mainstream now than it used to be. To some, that is a positive and sought after development. For others, it is a sign that the apocalypse is at hand.

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Dangerous Liaisons: How to Deal with a Drama Queen

Scientific American Mind –  November 3, 2009


The damaging theatrics of drama queens may spring from defects etched in the brain. Yet you can limit the havoc they wreak on your life

By Ophelia Austin-Small

Sam paged me at 9 p.m., crying. It had started with his hair, which he was convinced was falling out. And although his work as a teacher’s aide had “filled him with love and joy,” he was sure his boss had given him a nasty look at the lunch break, and he felt utterly sick inside. Later Sam had phoned his partner, who had seemed distant. Afraid he was about to be dumped, Sam locked himself in the staff bathroom and cried for almost an hour, failing to finish his work and preventing others from using the facilities.

Sam is a drama queen—a person who reacts to everyday events with excessive emoton and behaves in theatrical, attention-grabbing ways. This type is the friend who derails a casual lunch to tell you a two-hour story about the devastating fight she had with her partner or the co-worker who constantly obsesses about how he is about to lose his job and needs your support to make it through the day. The drama queen worships you one minute and despises you the next, based on overreactions to minor events.

Living or working with drama queens can be draining and disturbing. Such a colleague can curtail your own productivity at the office or even shut down teams as everyone tries to contain the chaos. If you live with a drama queen, you may be bombarded daily with accusations and showy attempts to apologize, leaving you feeling angry, guilty and exhausted. Some drama queens are violent toward others, cut themselves or threaten suicide. The extreme behavior can lead to depression or anxiety in family members and colleagues.

Scientists have begun to understand some of the causes of these destructive traits, which are difficult to change without professional help. At the extreme end of the spectrum, if this behavior pervades most areas of a person’s life, he or she may be diagnosed with a personality disorder. Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), for example, are extremely volatile and impulsive and have wildly tumultuous relationships; those with histrionic personality disorder are highly emotional and attention seeking, with an excessive need for approval. Nevertheless, if you are in a relationship with, or otherwise connected to, a drama queen, a few simple tactics can help you avoid being sucked into his or her spinning world of emotion. Continue reading

Swiss poll ‘reflects unease with Islam’

As a Swiss referendum backs a ban on the building of minarets, the BBC’s Islamic affairs analyst Roger Hardy looks at the often uneasy relationship between Islam and Europe.

It might be argued that Switzerland is a special case without much relevance to the rest of Europe.

It is true enough that the country has its own individual form of popular democracy – and that it is home to only 320,000 Muslims, between 4% and 5% of the population.

But it is not just in Switzerland that the presence of growing Muslim communities has polarised opinion.

A series of controversies from the Rushdie affair 20 years ago to the more recent row over Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad have reflected the unease that many Europeans feel about this relatively new Muslim presence.

This is not confined to a few tabloid newspapers or a few xenophobic right-wing parties.

It is an Islamophobia driven by a variety of factors.

Since the attacks of 9/11 in the United States, and the bombings in Madrid and London, Muslims have often been regarded as a security threat.

They are seen as not just resistant to integration, but determined to impose their values on the Christian or post-Christian societies of the West.

For governments anxious to maintain social harmony at home and good relations with Muslim governments abroad, this poses a set of difficult dilemmas.

And for many of the estimated 15 million Muslims in Western Europe, the Swiss vote will be seen as one more sign that – whatever governments may say – they are simply not welcome.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Saudi Arabia steps up fight against Yemen rebels

posted November 29, 2009 at 11:49 am EST –

The rebels, called Houthis, are followers of the Zaidi sect of Shiite Islam, and the Saudis believe both that they have ties to Shiite-dominated Iran and have Al Qaeda members within their ranks.

By Ben Hancock

A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Saudi Arabia said Saturday it has cleared a mountain foothold used by Yemeni rebels along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border, in what appeared to be part of a larger battle against Al Qaeda’s expansion.

The rebels, called Houthis, are followers of the Zaidi sect of Shiite Islam, and the Saudis believe both that they have ties to Shiite-dominated Iran and have Al Qaeda members within their ranks. Saudi Arabia fears they may destabilize Yemen, posing a major security threat to the world’s largest oil exporter, reports Reuters.

The fighting near Jabal al Dood began earlier this month after the rebels announced they had killed two Saudi border guards. Last week, nine Saudi soldiers were taken prisoner, apparently by Houthis. The Jeddah-based Arab News said Sunday they had reportedly turned up and were receiving medical treatment inside Yemen, but couldn’t confirm those reports.

A recent statement of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation said King Abdullah, the supreme commander, directed all military sectors to clean every inch of Saudi land of infiltrators without touching a single meter of the Yemeni territory.

The ministry denied media reports that the Saudi armed forces were “creeping” their way toward Yemen and said such heinous reports were circulated by parties hostile to both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

The Houthis have been battling the Yemeni government of Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2004, “citing political, economic and religious marginalization,” reports Al Jazeera. The Houthis also accuse Saudi Arabia of allowing the Yemeni military to launch strikes against the rebels from within its territory, a claim denied by both nations, according to the BBC.

The Yemeni government launched a new offensive against the rebels in August 2009, the BBC says, leading to a wave of intense fighting. Reuters reports the Yemeni military tried to rout Houthi rebels near Saada, Yemen, leading up to the weekend.

Yemeni forces and Shiite rebels waged pitched battles on the outskirts of Saada on Saturday after regular troops thwarted an attempt by the insurgents to enter the northern city, a Yemeni military official said.

The Army stopped the rebel advance on Friday and fighting was still taking place in the suburbs of the capital of the rebels’ mountainous stronghold province, the official told Reuters.

A Saudi official said Saudi planes carried out renewed strikes in the Jabal Dukhan area on Friday, where rebels carried out a cross-border incursion earlier this month in which two Saudi border guards were killed. …

The rebels said on their website Saudi air raids in an area outside Saada killed an unspecified number of civilians.

According to PRESS TV of Iran, which denies any involvement with the Houthis, the rebels accuse Riyadh and the Yemeni government itself of funding Al Qaeda and Wahhabi extremists to help quell their resistance – countering the kingdom’s claims.

The United Nations says over 175,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in northern Yemen, PRESS TV reports.

British Muslim tycoon Sir Gulam Noon calls for curbs on extremist imams

‘Curry King’ recalls horror on anniversary of Mumbai hotel attack

Britain’s most prominent Muslim businessman, who was trapped inside a burning hotel in the Mumbai terror attacks, is calling on the government to toughen measures against extremist preachers.

Sir Gulam Noon, one of Labour’s most generous donors, says the door is being left open for foreign imams to radicalise thousands of young Muslims in mosques.

His demand comes in an exclusive interview on the anniversary of the attacks, which left 173 people dead after three days of mayhem. Noon was trapped on the third floor of the Taj hotel for nearly 10 hours while dozens of people were murdered in rooms around him.

Known as the Curry King for selling 1.5 million Indian ready-meals a week in Britain, he says the experience has left him less tolerant of foreign Islamist preachers, who he believes are indoctrinating young British Muslims.

“Having seen what I saw at close quarters, the indiscriminate violence and pain inflicted in the name of my religion, I am astounded that I hear from friends in the community that radical preachers are still coming to this country and praising attacks by al-Qaida and suicide missions. There is a limit to free speech. Extremists who preach their approval of suicide bombers should be sent back to their country of origin,” he said.

Noon, 73, who was born and raised in Mumbai, said his ordeal last year began as he stepped into the lift of the five-star hotel to go up to his third-floor suite to meet his brother and four colleagues for dinner. Behind him he heard a few sharp cracks, but thought nothing of it. “I heard what I believed were firecrackers from a wedding party. But a minute later a member of staff ran over and told me it was gunfire,” he said. Noon and his friends were told by staff to barricade themselves in. It was 9.30pm, and they would not emerge until 7am the next morning.

By the time the shooting was over, on 29 November, 173 people had been killed and 308 had been wounded.

Noon, who has given more than £300,000 to Labour, said he is proud of the way that India‘s Muslim community has responded to the attacks. “Indian Muslims have refused to bury the nine dead terrorists. They are still in the mortuary. It is a good symbolic message for the rest of secular India. Now Britain needs to get tough with the radical imams. We have the power to do something,” he said.

A spokesman for the UK Borders Agency said the government has introduced new laws to force imams to go through tougher English tests before being allowed into Britain.