"The banking system basically lends on tangible security: property, plant and the like. It’s role is not venture capital provision, for the very good reason that when people put money in a bank, they want it back."
That's the official story but it's such a crock. My bank sent me an invitation to apply for a personal loan. I called and told them I wanted one for capital investment in my growing manufacturing business, and could fund it from solid earnings int he day job. "No dice, can't loan for that they said". So my partner and I spun them a yarn that we were getting married in Europe, needed $50k to fund the event. "No problem" they siad and we got the cash.
We recently had the business banking manager out visiting after we received a small business award that they sponsored. We told him the story. "Yep, he laughed. Go on ya, that's exactly how it works inside the organisation.." They're not at all unused to customers doing the same thing.
I'm seem to be missing something here..
WTF has the depradations of Al Queda in Iraq to do with Bin Laden? The linked Wiki article on AII mentions Bin Laden exactly twice, and it seems to me fantastical to suggest he was in some way personally directing it's activities.
To describe it as an Al Queda "franchise" is a trite simplification - great for tarring the ogre but more than a little disingenuous.
The argument reminds me of extreme Dawkins.. ie tarring the Jesus or Mohamed franchises with everything done in their names.
Oh, FFS, this is pointless. Now that we're all in agreement about the descent of the Listener and the root cause of the problems with the world, let's return to a discussion of footwear.
Footwear - 1. Debate - 0.
Yeah, I do see your point Megan. And I think that's where I read the Listener article differently. I saw the article as pointing out "you know it's really stupid to behave like these people are doing". Which I still think it is. But I don't honestly believe the reality is that women in most parts of New Zealand need to don a burka or be home before nightfall in order to have a lairing good time. When I go out in Wellington, I see heaps of women enjoying themselves, and also a group pretty much as described in the Listener - pissed off their faces, dressed like they came out of a ganstarap video, plainly not in control of where/how they end up. I would point the finger in whole lot of directions, including the dirnking age, the whole gangsta culture/ho thing promoted by the music industry, the emerging 'laddishness' of young women. And, you know, I sure as hell don't have any answers to a lot of that. But (and this may well get me shot..) I think the feminist movement could really do with fronting up to these kinds of issues instead of staying locked in the victim role, 'cause I think that pushing the "sister, what the f*ck do you think you're doing behaving like that?" line could be much more effective in keeping women safe than gunning for the "rapists". And in saying that, *please* don't misinterpret that as condoning rape in any way. I'm just trying to point out, that if we're not careful, rapists are the new terrorosts which we should all hide from rather than go about our business mindful of their existence and responding appropriately.
Emma - um, no. Women have no more or less rights than men in my book. There's times and places where it's not safe for me to go, and in order to protect myself, I don't go there. You seem to be saying women should have the right to go anywhere at anytime. Which is stupid. And I think, part of the issue. It's part of the "entitlement" mentality which is so toxic. Lots of entitlement, less of the self-responsibility.
Just so you know, I have absolutely no bravado gene going on here, neither am I getting off on the controversy. I actually believe what I'm saying, and I'm trying to express it rationally. And I think you should reread your last post before you accuse me of being closed minded. You certainly can influence my thinking, but not like that.
Sacha - very recently and many times before in (family) anti-violence campaigns.
" I should note that as a *human being*, I never bear responsibility for someone else attacking me physically. The person doing the attacking is the responsible party. That's how it works."
Daniel - I'm sorry, but I find this kind of thinking is just abstract intellectual wank (and which I suspect feminist departments turn out at about the same rate as economics departments do). Back on earth, where we are forced to deal with a hodgepodge mixture of individuals in various states of wellness and unwellness, I would sooner deal with a moral code that recognises nuances like that. The rapist is demonstrably, clearly unwell (can you point to a well one?). The victim is a member of a society that has demonstrably failed to deal with the rapists unwellness. So how does everyone (including the victim) suddenly get to wash their hands of the actions of the unwell person? Oh, that's right, unwell people can reasonably be expected to behave like well ones, and can be held to the same standards.
"What we shouldn't have to do is constantly say (as Deborah did upthread) is that the only thing there needs to be for a rape to happen is a rapist. What the victim is wearing/doing/drinking is irrelevant."
And this is precisely where we disagree. There is an implicit demand behind this thinking that all rapists be somehow removed from the planet, and that somehow society should conspire to keep the victim absolutely, completely safe iin all circumstances. Funny, we don't apply the same logic to property crimes, but then they don't break down along gender lines..
To make a very simplistic (but relevant) argument - a large percentage of the population are MENTALLY UNWELL. Going to *any* environment and a percentage of the people there will be unwell. Filling them up with piss is certainly not going to make them behave better. Getting off yer face yourself and going into such an environment, dressed in such a way as to attract maximum attention, is not, shall we say, an act of thoughtful self-care.
In these circumstanmces, it's ridiculous (and naive) to say the victim bears absolutely no responsibility.
So I'm very late to this party..
but I want to add a few words to back Stewart (and to observe how strange it is that he seemed to have to bend over backwards to avoid giving offence - funny how the left has become quite so delicate...)
This world is unfair and shit happens. Smart people (dare I say it) will try and avoid that shit happening to them. That means everything from taking care where you get your financial advice, putting deadbolts on the doors and, yes, not getting completely off your face, dressing to maximise the likelihood of unwanted attention, then going to places with lots of people who are also guaranteed to be liquored and very likely a few with poor judgement or in poor control of their actions. Don't want to get mugged? Avoid walking down dodgey streets in dodgey neighbourhoods in the middle of the night. When exactly did this wisdom of the ages become so goddam controversial?
I'm not really a fan of the Listener's current incarnation, but I do enjoy the fact it's become one of the few places willing to say some of the things it's become politically impossible to repeat in public. Like is it possible that with the wisdom of hindsight, Green was effectively lynched by an angry feminist mob for being a male surgeon in the wrong place and time?
None of this is to say women "earn" or "deserve" bad shit and sometimes unwanted attention that happens, anymore than men do. But we might be far better off to begin by squaring up the fact that we are never going to live in a safe, utopian society (and that one has never existed anywhere that I'm aware of), rather than jumping to the conclusion that advocating taking personal responsibility for the safety of one's self and possessions (and yes that may mean criticising the naivete in those who refuse to square up to that adult responsibility) is in no way implicit support for the "evildoers". (Sorry, had to get an evildoers in there somewhere.. ;-)