• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by OlwenaSedai

  1. The Warder Field Trip

    How does the bonding thing work on here, anyways?
  2. Egwene realises she can learn from for example the Kin, the Windfinders and the Aiel, something most of the other Aes Sedai are unwilling to. That, in itself, shows she is willing to change and understands that she does not know everything. Sure, she becomes more and more arrogant as she grows more secure in her role as Amyrlin, but that is also pretty natural, the way I see it. You seem to dislike her because you generally dislike the WT and Aes Sedai, and she represents the WT faction. You can dislike the WT all you want, but I think it really clouds your judgment. Yes, she believes the WT are vital for the world to be a place of stability and peace. Can you blame her? She has been raised to the highest position within the WT. Even though she is very much a part of that institution, she also accepts they cannot - and should not - control everything, and that there will be other organizations of channelers. She wants them all to work together, but unlike her predecessors and many of her contemporary AS, she does not believe the WT way is the only way. She wants to connect the Windfinders and the Kin to the tower, yes, but in doing so, she also accepts that the sea folk channelers will not become Aes Sedai, but instead keep up the windfinder tradition. This, in itself, is a huge shift in the WT policy and world outlook. She will strengthen the WT in a way it hasn't been strengthened in decades, maybe centuries, and under her rule, the WT becomes the seat of power it once was. You might dislike it, because you dislike the WT and AS in general, but that doesn't mean Egwene is bad at what she does, or a bad person. The innkeeper Egwene was set out for a simple life. The Amyrlin Egwene holds one of the most powerful positions of the continent, and she IS aware of her responsibilities. You say she doesn't care if people suffer on behalf of her, but I don't see that lack of caring in her at all. She is just very focused on what she believes has to be done. She still cares about other people, and want the "regular people" to live in peace and be left alone. I agree Nynaeve has the biggest heart of them - she also grounds the other characters, when they are about to go too far. That doesn't mean all the others are heartless.
  3. Reading your posts here, I more and more feel we have not been reading the same series. Sure, she was at times arrogant - but not at all as bad as many of the other characters (including Rand, and virtually all the Aes Sedai we meet, maybe with Verin and Moiraine - and post-stilled Siuan - as exceptions). She much more than a lot of other characters learns from her mistakes, and does not blame others for them.
  4. @Faroresdragn You are forgetting that the AOL is in our future. A hyper-modern world. Sure, they relied on magic, but they had cars, planes, tall buildings, you name it, things that show they understood the laws of physics. The Randland in the book is equal to the middle ages, but the age the Forsaken left when the Bore was drilled, was a futuristic one.
  5. You don't see a difference between the Two Rivers girl and the Amyrlin? I think she is one of the characters with the MOST character development. She grows into the queen Elayne thinks she is.
  6. As others have already said, Japan is different. They have had a whole different cultural relation to suicide. So that Japan is an exception doesn't really debunk anything.
  7. Do you have any really controversial opinions? If so, which ones? And why? (Advance warning: as this is about controversial opinions, you can safely assume some people will find some of the opinions triggering. I do hope people can stay calm amd follow the rules. Admins, I hope you allow this thread, as I think it will be an interesting one.)
  8. What is your most controversial opinion?

    In those days, racism was the norm, anti-racism was "anti-establishment". But yes, there have been several studies showing blacks and latinos get harsher sentences for crimes, especially drug crimes. And they are (supposedly) more often caught, because they are more often suspected.
  9. Sorry, I am a bit drunk now, so I guess I swept by a couple of pages of discussion. Solarz said the study found no link between female sudicide increase and firearm ownership, and thus the studies I cited were irrelevant. Well. First of all, in most Western countries, at the very least, the suicide rate amongst men is much higher. And secondly, they found a DEFINITIVE link between male suicide and access to firearms. That should be an interesting thing to discuss... It is already known that women often choose less "messy" ways to kill themselves, so therefore, this conclusion is not that surprising (one theory is that they, more than men, think about those finding them and "cleaning up"...)
  10. Wait, solarz. This makes no sense. Correlation, in this case, does not mean causation. You can't just compare suicide numbers like that. You have to look at the reasons why people kill themselves, and then you realize why it's a higher number in f. ex. Sri Lanka. The debate is what happens after that point, when you decide to kill yourself. And the fact remains, using a gun is a "fool-proof" (virtually) way to kill yourself. It is better to look at comparable societies, or even look WITHIN the society. A couple of studies: States With More Gun Owners Also Have Higher Suicide Rates, Study Finds Firearm Ownership and Suicide Rates Among US Men and Women, 1981–2013: "Results. State-level firearm ownership was associated with an increase in both male and female firearm-related suicide rates and with a decrease in nonfirearm-related suicide rates. Higher gun ownership was associated with higher suicide rates by any means among male, but not among female, persons. Conclusions. We found a strong relationship between state-level firearm ownership and firearm suicide rates among both genders, and a relationship between firearm ownership and suicides by any means among male, but not female, individuals. Policy implications. For male persons, policies that reduce firearm ownership will likely reduce suicides by all means and by firearms. For female persons, such policies will likely reduce suicides by firearms." Guns and suicide: A fatal link "A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of all 50 U.S. states reveals a powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides. Based on a survey of American households conducted in 2002, HSPH Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management Matthew Miller, Research Associate Deborah Azrael, and colleagues at the School’s Injury Control Research Center (ICRC), found that in states where guns were prevalent—as in Wyoming, where 63 percent of households reported owning guns—rates of suicide were higher. The inverse was also true: where gun ownership was less common, suicide rates were also lower." The Association Between Gun Ownership and Statewide Overall Suicide Rates "Gun ownership predicted statewide overall suicide rates, with the full model accounting for more than 92% of the variance in statewide suicide rates. The correlation between firearm suicide rates and the overall suicide rate was significantly stronger than the correlation between nonfirearm suicide rates and the overall suicide rate. These findings support the notion that access to and familiarity with firearms serves as a robust risk factor for suicide." I really don't understand what you and @CUBAREY mean about there being no studies confirming this link.
  11. What is your most controversial opinion?

    If by "good lessons" you mean condemning the rich and greedy and "loving thy neighbour", then yes. If by "good lessons" you mean selling your daughter for cattle and killing everyone in villages you pass, or for that matter condemning people to hell for eternity because they prefer to sleep with people with similiar genitalia, then yes, I am sure they differ.
  12. What is your most controversial opinion?

    There have been lots of studies showing Blacks and latinos consisently get higher sentences than whites for the same crimes, and are more likely to get the death penalty. I wrote an assignment about this for my Sociology of the media class when I was an exchange student in Dublin. I can see if I find the assignment, for sources. I am not sure if they are more easily arrested for the same crimes, but because there is a policy of racial profiling, I would call it likely. Something completely different: another opinion I have, which I suppose is controversial, at least in the US, is that I have serious trouble understanding how someone can be religious, and truly believe in those ridicolous stories. :p (in Norway, only 38% of people say they believe in God, although 74% are members of the church - for most people it’s mainly because of tradition.)
  13. The rate of women being murdered by their husbands is much higher than the other way around. And this increased ratio is as far as I’ve understood for the spouse being killed, not the children etc. But yes, of course domestic violence also happens to men. I still think it’s somewhat a derailment of the debate to argue about that in this setting. :)
  14. Suicide should be counted - because the easy accessability to guns, means that more suicides will be committed (easier to do in the spur of the moment) and more attempts will be succesful. Another thing that should be mentioned, is that the probability of domestic violence turning deadly, increases when there’s a gun in the house. So this is also a women’s issue.
  15. What is your most controversial opinion?

    I think solarz and WWWombat are right. The problem lies in the whole culture surrounding the officers, the way the American culture in general looks at violence, and the training the police officers receive. I don't know if this is true, but I have heard that some places in the US you can become a police officer after just a few months of training. Can anyone enlighten me on this? Because in that case, that's part of the problem. I saw a discussion once, about the different attitudes of the European and American police. In most European countries, police are taught to 1) try to defuse a situation and talk someone down, 2) if that is not possible, try to approach and if possible arrest that person and 3) if you have to use force to do that, make it non-lethal. If you have to shoot a suspect because they're carrying a gun, arm for their arms or legs. The priority is always to bring the subject in alive. In the US, the officers are taught to neutralize the threat quickly, and thus shoot to kill. Those are two very different attitutes towards policing, and I think that's important. I also think a lot of the shooting deaths of unarmed civilians stem from a mix between paranoia/prejudice and the strict focus on always being in control. How can someone get their driver's license, if they are not allowed to take their hands down from the air? It's almost like a damned if you do, damned if you don't-situation. If you don't do it, the police can get rough, drag you out of the car etc. and it could result in an altercation. If you d, they can shoot you because they think you might have a gun. The fundamental lack of trust seems to me the main problem. Re: intruders: my point was that the home owners often escalate the situations, and thus make the violence happen. The safest thing to do if someone broke in while you were home, would probably be to hide and try to call the police. It's when people confront them that the intruder could panic and become dangerous. A lot of lives would be saved all around if gun-toting home owners didn't decide they wanted to try to deal with the intruder thmselves. (Oh, and Nolder, re: Japan: No, they have a capitalist system taken almost to the extreme. I am not talking about "loyalty to a company". I am simply talking about being involved in running it / deciding who get to run it. It doesn't have to be very different from today a lot of places.)
  16. I both liked it and disliked it. I dislike that kind of coy disinterest that Faile worked at for a while, and the rigid gender roles she wanted in the relationship. But, if you ask me, the annoying part of the storyline was when they were NOT together. Because then they would constantly think about each other and try to get back to each other. But just the other night, I read a scene in the tent shortly after Faile and the others had escaped the Shaido camp, she and Perrin had had sex and he fell asleep, and Faile was awake, looking at him. That scene was actually really great, it added something to their relationship for me. It was so... intimate, showed a new side of Faile, and was quite relatable for anyone who's ever been in an "adult" relationship. In that moment, I felt that Jordan (or Sanderson, actually not sure who wrote that scene, seems they both wrote some in this book) showed a rare proficiency for writing relationships that seemed real.
  17. What is your most controversial opinion?

    Double posting because the last one was so long: The odd thing about the intruder discussion, is not being afraid of intruders. It's being so sure an intruder would kill you. The people committing theft and robbery, and the people committing violent crimes, are usually not the same people. It's more likely a burglar would get in, make off with your TV and computer, and leave again, trying not to wake you or your family, than a burglar deciding to shoot you in your beds. Some people seem to think all criminals are the same, that all are potential murderers. Few people who commit crimes, are violent. Even fewer intend to be. Thus, the whole discussion of you being allowed to shoot someone dead because they're trying to steal your TV, seems a bit odd to me. Those people are very rarely a threat to you. But by all means, I can understand that people are somewhat scared of this. But it is an overreaction. IOW; feel free to fear burglery, but it's just paranoid to assume burglery = me and my family all killed in cold blood. And people seem to go straight for the kill shot - instead of for example incapacitating someone until the police comes. I read a news article about a woman who had beaten a burglar to death with a cooking pot. Why didn't she just stop when he was unconscious? In other countries, people deal with these situations, police deal with suspects, also armed suspects, without killing them. I cannot fathom why this is such an impossibility in the US. Another thing is that if a criminal knows every home owner has a gun, isn't it more likely they'll try to get an even more dangerous weapon? In countries where guns aren't as common, many criminals prefer for example knives. They don't need guns to feel like they have an upper hand. If all they have is a knife, it's more difficult for them to do a lot of damage, and they need to get closer to people to hurt them. This means that it's easier to apprehend them before they can for example kill 20 people or something equally insane. If they know anyon aroun them could carry a gun, they would need something more efficient to tink they have the upper hand (I am not making this up, the police here wrote some articles about this a few years back. If the public has less dangerous weapons, so do the criminals.) This is also one of the reasons even armed police is a controversial debate in several countries, for instance my own. And the elephant in the room, of course, is whether crime can be prevented, and how. Social inequality increases crime and distrust in a society, so if the inequality keeps rising again in the Western world, it will be thrown into chaos. This is a reason also wealthy people should be in favour of more fair distribution of resources etc., because a more equal society where people feel they have options and choices is life, is safer for everyone.
  18. What is your most controversial opinion?

    For some reason, I couldn't post before, don't know if anyone else had the same problem. Wow, this thread really caught fire while I was off on an island with no cell phone reception, which I guess is good, because then I could really get into being where I was and not checking this board and social media a lot :) A couple things. 1. Re police society: I am of course aware that the US is not fascist Italy or Stalin's Russia. But I do think it's possible to talk about a police state, albeit in a milder version, when police officers can execute people in the streets without due process, for minor infringements or felonies. When your laws in some states actually say that it's self defense if you FEEL SCARED or FEEL THREATENED, withut having to prove beyond a doubt that this threat was real, you are going down a scary road. Especially coupled with increasing paranoia and a polarized society. 2. Re taxes: I agree that it's basically a payment for living in an organized society. I like having a plumbing system, roads to drive on or walk on, I like that my trash is picked up, to have mail delivered, to know that my kids will be ensured an education and that if my father gets sick, he will get the help he needs, regardless of the cost. I could pay almost anything for that, and the taxes I pay, I am more than happy to. I pay about a third of my pay in taxes, and it's a bit more than I really need to, so every summer I get the extra tax paid back. A nice buffer when summer comes around, more outdoor beers for me :) of course, I could keep ALL my money. But it wouldn't be anough to pay for those things, and then I would constantly stress about them. 3. Re "welfare freeloaders": I see Americans use this argument a lot. In Europe, you basically just have some far-right people talking a lot about this. The gist seems to me "I don't want lazy people stealing what I worked for, not giving anything back". And of course, it's horrible if people do that. But most people don't. Most people WANT to work, like you all do, stating that you would be ashamed to receive benefits. The vast majority feel the same way. Sometimes they might NEED benefits - like my sister did for a while, when she was a teenage single mom - but few people stay on benefit all their lives. There are always some people who want to abuse the system, but it's heavily frowned upon. And they aren't many, they sure as hell are not enough to crash the system. It appears as though some people think that "if there are people cheating the system, it's better not to have a system". I couldn't disagree more. Yes, you do have some - not many - freeloading off the system. It makes me angry, and I am glad when those people are caught (for example for benefit fraud). But it's not a big enough probem for me to think we should discard the welfare system alltogether. There are too many people who actually need the system, without cheating, and too many benefits to having a society where people don't need to worry about affording school or the hospital bill, that I have no doubts it's for the best. The people cheating the system I really am mad about, are the super wealthy trying to avoid taxes. I'll get back to this in the next segment. 3. Re "I worked hard, I deserve everything I have": Wow. you people really took what I said personally. Unless you work as a stock broker or investor or something, no need to worry xD Working people are the ones who should have MORE, not less. Yes, you worked hard for what you have. And yet, most of your work only made the bosses and owners of your company richer. You are proof that working people are pinned against each other in the US (and many other places), and who profits off that? The people on top. Then you have people underbidding each other to do the same work, getting angry at their "competitors" in stead of the people rigging the competiton. I think workers should own their companies, or at the very least, you should be required by law to actually work in a company if you want to own it, to ensure long-term ownership. Not being allowed to buy and sell stocks in the blink of an eye. If workers owned the company together and for example elected board representatives, they would have every incentive to make the company succesful, and they would keep the profits of their work between them. Have you heard of the Bauen Hotel in Buenos Aires? It is one such worker-run company. In the early 2000s, the owner of the company fired all the staff, citing economic troubles (in the country and in their business). The hotel building was left, empty. not used. In 2003, the former staff broke in and simply resumed their jobs. They cleaned up and renovated, they redecorated, and then they reopened the hotel. It is still open today, 15 years on. Of course, the old hotel owner is not happy, and constantly trying to take them to court for it. But their argument is: we have a right to work. This building was left, decaying, the owner not caring for it. We could make a livelihood by working ther doing jobs that we are good at. It's going well, and now they can share the profits between them. Some call it theft, I call it justice. The building owner just owns a building, the staff do all the work. When he closed down the place hoping to profit more from letting the building rot so he was allowed to tear it down, then building apartments, he was gambling wih all their lives to line his own pockets. Why should the right of a building, of a place, not belong to those using it, caring for it? The same, IMO, goes for land and houses. Passive ownership is a huge problem, you have a lot of people owning stuff just for the sake of oit, letting it fall into decay, while at the same time you have people who could make good use of that piece of land or house, but they're not allowed to, because of a piece of paper. It makes no sense to me. TL;DR: I think people should keep MORE of the fruits of their work, not less. The problem is when you work for someone else, not yourself, and they get richer while you barely stay afloat. Especially when you know that most rich people are rich because of inheritance - they inherit money and companies they might not ever have worked a day in, and keep getting richer while the people working for them, stay much the same. Last year, 80% of the world's fortune increase went to the richest PERSONS in the world (not countries, persons). You have just a few dozen people owning more than half the world combined. It is in no way sustainable, and it is no way fair. No person will ever be able to use all that money, and most of them invest it in stuff like property, which is 1) passive ownership and 2) gives little back to the social economy, it's almost like keeping your account in te bank frozen. The propety is there, but it doesn't generate anything economically. And still, those people try to keep their vast fortunes hidden. They, many of whom have never worked a day in their lives, try to hide away their money and avoid paying taxes. The so-called super rich have hidden away AT LEAST 8 TRILLION DOLLARS in tax havens* - and that is a conservative estimate, according to several economists. This is because only actual money is counted in that sum, not for example cars, art, jewellry, property etc. that the persons might own in the tax havens. 8 trillion. 8000 billions. And that's just the money hidden away, on top of all the rest of their money. Imagine what the world could have looked like if they had actually paid taxes on that money. THOSE are the welfare cheaters people should be angry about, not the few (but sucky) people trying to get more benefits than they're entitled to. Other people trying to work to feed their family are not your enemy. (BTW: I also find it a sad testament of the American culture if everyone simply assumes "everyone else" is lazy and would try to leech on benefits etc. And I dislike the underlying implication that poor people in some way "chose" to be poor - we are, to some extent, slaves of our circumstances. Or, as some people put it, just one check away from being homeless. I believe that if I had a much worse start in life, if I had for example grown up in an abusive household filled with drugs and violence, the ladder to climb to where I am at now, would be much higher and more difficult. Or, if I grew up poor and had to work from an early age. I do not stick my nose up at poor people or those living in poor countries - as Tyrion Lannister says about the wildlings, "I believe the only difference between me and them, is that their ancestors happened to be born on the wrong side of the wall." It's easy to think of someone as primitive or stupid or lazy if you know nothing about their circumstances and have never walked a day in their shoes. And I was talking about fairness on a global scale, not just within f. ex. your communities, in which you were sure there were so many people willing to leech of people like you.) *Source: Book "The Wealth of Nations" by Gabriel Zucman, scientific articles "Who owns the wealth in tax havens? Macro evidence and implications for global inequality". The World Bank have come to similar estimates.
  19. What is your most controversial opinion?

    The US is a police state. Luckily I'm white, it's the only thing which makes me dare to even go there in the first place (although, I'll wait until Trump is finished with his tenure). Other countries manage to handle criminals, even violent criminals, without deadly force... I have major problems believing this is that much more difficult in the US. But poiice officers there only also get a few months of training, while in most European countries they need a bachelor degree or at least a course lasting more than a year, with heavy impact on ethics. Taking a life can never be undone. The lax attitude some police officers in the US seems to have towards it, scares and angers me. A lot of these countries also have pretty good rates when it comes to rehabilitating criminals. When you know they're getting out (because you don't have life without parole or death penalty), you want them to function when they get out. @Nolder: Yes, of course I disagree with eugenics. What a question...
  20. What is your most controversial opinion?

    If we were to control society based on evolutionary principles, we would neuter our sick, old and handicapped. Not exactly a good argument... (yes, humans evolved, but we also evolved to work together in groups, to love, to protect others, to sacrifice. We are programmed to put others before ourselves, although we tend to forget it and use evolution as an excuse to be selfish.) I think people often forget that humans as a species learnt to live together in large societies, and that is really when we begun to thrive. When we were scattered hunter/gatherers, we didn't build civilzations, we didn't develop rituals or cities or systems of government. We were just a bunch of kinda scared people living alone or in small groups. When we eventually settled, begun getting to know other small groups and realizing they weren't so different, until we became large groups and begun moving across large distances - all of these things are part of what makes us humans. Oh, and my reason for thinking it's unfair to say "we help that group, but not this one", is that it's a coincindence where you were born. Saying "life is unfair, deal with it" is easy for those who are privileged.
  21. What is your most controversial opinion?

    Why not? Fairness should be what we strive for as a society. If everyone had the same opportunities throughout life, I wouldn't really have that much of a problem with wealth differences, but that's not the case. People are born into wealth or poverty, and that's just not fair.
  22. What is your most controversial opinion?

    It is not immigration, but increasing pressure from neoliberal interests that threaten our welfare systems. They constantly look for new venues for profit, and the welfare industries must in their eyes be a potential gold mine. I have firm belief the welfare system will last, that people will see that personal greed is not even in their own interest. (There is STRONG resistance in Denmark aswell to the far-right agenda, I don't think the right will win the next election. The far left has been growing there, the ultra-socialist Enhedslisten has gotten between 8 and 12 percent in the last elections. They used to be less than half that.) And we still have really strong unions here. The unions are really who insured our wealth was used to the good of all, not just the good of few, and fought for all the rights we enjoy today. You are of course free to disagree. My point was either way that you claim a system like ours is only possible with a sovereign wealth fund, and I pointed out other countries have the same system and they don't have that. Most, if not all, of Europe have partly the same system. Universal health care for example is a given throughout virtually all of Europe. I also think it is unfair if where you are born in life should determine your chances. In effect, we say their lives are worth less than ours. They die from bombs, malnutrition or diseases while we sit safe and sound in our "castles". Where I was born is an utter coincidence. I was extremely lucky, to be born in what is arguably one of the best countries in the world to grow up in and live in. I could just as easily have been born in the slums of Bombay or the Afghani countryside. To say that we somehow deserve this wealth and safety better than others, and thus should keep them away from our countries, is morally wrong in every aspect of the word. What did you do to "deserve" to be born in the US? Nothing. You just were. But, back on topic. I have a WoT-related controversial opinion: I really dislike Mat... (Although I like him a bit better now than when I first begun reading the series as a preteen.)
  23. What is your most controversial opinion?

    The problem with your argument is that Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland have the same kind of system. And they have no gigantic oil fund.
  24. The Warder Field Trip

    Okay, I am checking in on my field trip tour as an aspie! I don't really understand if I should post just in this one, or in threads for each discipline, but still :) I always liked the Warders of the book, wish we got to know them a bit better. There was always so much focus on them being strong and agile, but we never learnt much about their thinking and motivations, except in some of Gawyn's chapter and certain parts with Lan. They do have a very special relationship with their Aes Sedai, but also with each other. They are often viewed with the same reverence AND fear as the AS, and don't really have any social contacts outside their own groups. Some of the AS only see them as tools and not as equals, which I find sad.
  25. What is your most controversial opinion?

    I have never been greedy, and that might be why I have problems understanding that as a motivation. As long as I have enough to get by, and a little extra so I can also afford some fun, I'm happy (as a salmon, which we say here in Norway). I think the key is to make the greater good, YOUR good. Iow., if you profit off the society being fair, then you will work to that end. The Scandinavian countries, one of which I live in, are good examples of this, I think. If you work and pay taxes, you get in return health care when you and your family need it, an ensured education for your children, and so forth. That means that you benefit from what benefits the public. The exception, of course, is for the very rich who can afford that stuff anyways, but luckily we 1) don't have that many people of that caliber in Norway and 2) some of our super rich are also social democrats, and support the welfare system that we have. Cubarey, I think capitalism is only really a good system in a world where everyone starts out the same, and thus have the same opportunities for success. You and other proponents of it like to portray it as fair and "if you work hard, you will get rich", but he truth is that f. ex. the US has a very low social mobility. Most people stay in the socioeconomic classes they're born into all through their life. Regardless of whether they have 3 jobs and work 15 hours a day, or not. There is a saying that "if hard work made you rich, the women of Africa would be millionaires", and although this is somewhat simplistic, there is some truth to it. Capitalism looks like a great system if you've got the long end of the stick. And of course, our society is so indoctrinated with it that also poor people believe this system works for them, when really it's mainly there to ensure the rich and elites keep (and add to) their wealth. If you are already rich, becoming richer is easy. If you are very poor, it is almost impossible. It happens, from time to time, and those "success stories" are repeated to eternity and back to keep people believing in the system. The richest are rich by inheritance. IOW., they did nothing for that money except being born. And their parents usually gained money either by 1) finacial speculation / shares or 2) owning or being the boss of a company. It's the employees' work that build the company and makes their bosses and owners rich. Our system rewards ownership, not work. The people owning Wal-Mart get rich, not the people working there, ensuring the wealth of the Wal-Mart owners. I've never understood how anyone can call this exploitation fair and portray it as a road to success for the everyday Joe. Re: shithole countries - I mainly think it's an extremely rude and undiplomatic thing to say. And I also think the US are not the ones to talk, the country was responsible for f. ex. the chaos during the civil war in El Salvador, supporting the militia which killed tens of thousands. And colonized Haiti for the first time in 1915. I'd say you have special responsibilities concerning those countries. (As for the rest of his statement - most Norwegians just laugh at it, why would we go to the US? Many, like me, don't even want to visit on vacation as long as Mr. Orange Head is in office.)