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  1. I've seen a lot of my fellow Americans (including my family) wondering why the ANA soldiers didn't stand their ground and "defend their women" from the Taliban. Many of them even labeled the ANA soldiers as "cowards" for not fighting back. However, there are so many things that these armchair westerners don't understand with that mentality. For one, the ANA chain of command and the Islamic Republic are extremely negligent to their own soldiers. From my understanding, many officers within the ANA are prone to embezzling their units' supplies for their own pockets. Leaving their men under paid, poorly armed, and barely fed. ANA tactics were also quite crude and careless, mostly consisting of throwing recruits into the meat grinder in hopes of overrunning the enemy. Made all the worse by the practice of "ghost soldiers", a common term for when officers inflate the number of troops under their command to illicit a bigger pay check. For example, in a unit of supposedly 250 men, probably only about 80 of them actually exist. Government officials and military commanders looking only at the theoretical numbers would then toss the “ghost units” into situations they couldn’t possibly win. Such as expecting them to defend an outpost against hundreds of Taliban fighters, when they only have a force of a couple dozen men. Not to mention, with all the aforementioned embezzlement of equipment, those garrison units were lucky to have bullets in their guns. Let alone any access to aerial, armored, and artillery support, as those were in short supply in the entire government arsenal. From what I read, the ANA only had ~1,000 artillery guns, 40 tanks, and 150 combat aircraft, and even the vast majority of those were decommissioned by lack of maintenance. Secondly, the Taliban rules for women are apparently far from unique in Afghanistan. From what I read, the Uzbek, Nuristani, Hazara, and Pashutan tribes, the vast majority of the warlord militias, etc. all treated women similarly to the Taliban. Even with the American backed government, most rural women lived pretty much the same lives as they did under the Taliban's emirate. At least as far as my understanding goes, only urbanized populations under heavier foreign influence like Kabul are a tad more progressive on women’s rights. As such, the vast majority of the ANA’s rank and file aren't that different from your typical Taliban fighter in terms of views on feminism. Thus defending women’s rights aren’t going to be much of a concern for your standard ANA soldier/pro government militiaman. In the grander scheme of things, most of Afghanistan’s power-players (especially the government backed warlords) have demonstrated time and time again that women's equality is at best an afterthought to them, despite their toothless PR rhetoric stating otherwise. Pivoting back to the topic of corruption, corruption within the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA) was so severe that it deteriorated the country’s infrastructure. For most IRA officials, embezzling funds for themselves took precedence over ensuring the functionality of their intuitions. This had the tragic result of impoverished Afghans being left to fend for themselves. Why do your average Americans expect ANA soldiers to die for a train wreck of a government that forsaken them? Even without the Taliban in the picture, the IRA government’s days were always going to be numbered for those previously mentioned issues. The only reason why they stayed in power for so long was due to the Americans babysitting them. Case in point, the 2014 elections to replace the incumbent president Karzai were so badly mangled, that a civil war within a civil war was only prevented by American negotiations. Once the Trump administration started pushing for a full withdrawal and the Biden administration finishing it, their only stability anchor was taken with them. Fighting for the IRA is only bucketing water out of a sinking ship. Realistically speaking, if the ANA soldiers actually tried to hold the line, they’re only going to end up as another corpse in the ruins of an overrun base. The best chance for ensuring the safety of their female loved ones would be fleeing Afghanistan before its’ too late. ANA deserters aren't cowards, they've simply men and boys trying to survive the circumstances they're caught in. I’m very sorry for this post coming out as an incoherent ramble. I’ve got so many moving thoughts about this whole Afghanistan situation, and I’m struggling to write them down under one cohesive format. Also, did anything that I wrote make any sense, as I also had a difficult time properly wording my viewpoints here.
  2. Yes, very true indeed. The same can be said for a plethora of other cultural interactions thorough out history and the globe. However, as someone who has a particular interest in war and armed conflict, I was just curious if there was any evidence of violence between those "two" groups.
  3. From what is given from archaeological records, what type(s) of relationships did the settled Ancestral Puebloans have with the Athabaskan (i.e. ancestors of the Apache and Navajo) and Numic (i.e. ancestors of the Comanches and Utes) nomads? What was their typical patterns of interactions? More specifically, is there any evidence of armed conflict between them? I recall reading somewhere that there apparently was bit of bad blood between the Ancestral Puebloans and the nomads. To the point that scholars previously speculated that nomadic Athabaskans and Numics were responsible for displacing the Ancestral Puebloans. Nowadays, from my limited understanding, it is now believed that there were more complicated factors at play for the Ancestral Puebloans "disappearing." In other words, a series of climate shifts and natural disasters were far more of a contributing factor for the Pueblo settlements being abandoned. However wars still played a part, but the more devastating ones were mostly fought between rival Puebloans from what I read. What I'm looking for in my question, is more specific details on the alleged conflicts, and what are the current academic consensus on what they entailed.
  4. That is actually very fascinating to read. Will have to look into it more. Thanks for introducing the concept to me.
  5. Your obviously entitled to your interpretations, but I personally feel like inserting "white privilege" into the "Mad Trapper" is a bit of a stretch. To me, he just seems like a cantankerous loner with some pathologically violent anger issues. It doesn't appear that he liked human contact period, regardless of their ethnic origins. As noted by the fact he was just as hostile to the white officials as he was to the local natives. Although he probably didn't have the most progressive views on race, being a general misanthrope more likely played a large role in his animosity with the locals, then racism. In other words, if he had chosen to move into some remote mountain range or desert in the Great Basin and the Southwestern states, Johnson probably would have treated the locals there similarly to how dealt with the Yukon Natives. Also, given his extraordinary survival skills demonstrated in the manhunt, it's highly doubtful that he was some sort of "native cosplayer" as you insinuated. If anything he probably was raised from birth in some remote wilderness, and no doubt felt most comfortable being as far away from civilization as possible. Johnson moving to Yukon was probably more of him trying to find a untouched wilderness similar to his childhood home, then appropriating the "wild lifestyles" of the indigenous tribes. In terms of his lack of respect for authority, I'm certain that can be more attributed to a lifetime in de facto autonomous isolation, then to "American entitlement." It seems like there are two opposing schools of thought when it comes to interpreting the Mad Trapper. One is that he was an ostracized loner acting out in self defense, while the other is that he was an interloper trying to bully the indigenous from their traditional livelihoods. To me, both sides are projecting their own personal values on the matter. In my own personal research, it seems like information is too scant to come to a solidified conclusion on what actually occurred. Though I personally take a middle ground approach. In my personal speculation, Johnson simply moved near Fort McPherson for the sake of finding isolation. From years of exploitation and dealings with sketchy characters, local natives (and likely long time white settlers as well) probably were already wary of newcomers. The "Mad Trapper's" sullen and secretive demeanor most likely didn't help matters. In other words, it seems feasible that they thought Johnson was a creepy jerk, and never friendly to him to begin with. Their theoretical passive aggressive suspicion of him would have definitely exacerbated Johnson's disdain for others. I envision that things took a turn for the worse, when Johnson tried establishing himself. When setting up his hunting grounds, it ended up overlapping with that of the Indigenous trappers. The local trappers weren't thrilled by this and confronted Johnson about it. What exactly happened next is quite murky, but I can picture several different scenarios. Perhaps the natives confronted Johnson and demanded him to leave. In the resulting altercation, he angrily retaliated by threatening them at gunpoint. Maybe they conjured up false accusations of trap sabotaging to remove an unhinged competitor, and added them with the real complaints to the Mounties. Johnson genuinely being responsible is also very plausible, given his actions in the manhunt. Another, less likely, possibility is that an unknown third party was behind the sabotages, and the "Mad Trapper" was scapegoated for it. Regardless, I don't feel like there just isn't enough information available (at least to me) to suggest which side was in the wrong. Thus propagating both that the "'Mad Trapper' was a misunderstood victim of bullying" and "he abused and depredated upon the indigenous locals" doesn't sit well with me. Last but not least, as I mentioned in my first paragraph, it doesn't seem like Johnson was motivated to feud with the natives by a racism induced malice. I feel like if the natives would have been more keen to turn a blind eye to him, he wouldn't "harassed" (as you put it) them in retaliation. Johnson seems to be the type that really only wants to be left alone, and will resort to violence if he feels threatened or provoked. Unfortunately though, his definition of "threatened or provoked" is likely quite loose, and extends to any sort of slight. However, I must emphasize that I don't sympathize with Johnson's cause here. It is clear that his standoffish and uncooperative behavior is what sparked the whole mess. If he would've been more civil and communicative with the Mounties and the First Nations alike, the manhunt/standoff could of been avoided.
  6. I probably should elaborate a bit more on the DNA tests. Throughout the years, there were several candidates for Johnson's true identity that were proposed. Almost all of them were stemmed out by comparing the DNA of their decedents to the samples procured from his remains.
  7. Recently, I was reading up about "Albert Johnson", otherwise known as the "Mad Trapper of Rat River." For those unfamiliar, Albert Johnson was an unidentified man shot dead in the 1930s by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, after an intense manhunt that climaxed into a gun fight. It all started when a mysterious fur trapper who referred to himself as “Albert Johnson”, arrived at Fort McPherson, a small outpost in Canada’s Yukon territory. At the time, most of Yukon was very desolate, and the local demographics were overwhelmingly dominated by Native Americans. The settlements around Fort McPherson were no exception. If I recall the details correctly, around ~87% of Fort McPherson’s population (more precisely 200 out of 230 people) were Native Americans. Thus, a blonde haired white man like Johnson stuck out like a sore thumb. Relations between Johnson and the local Natives quickly soured. As the natives were rather unwelcoming to white outsiders, whom they deemed as encroaching on their livelihoods. It didn’t help that Johnson was a very secretive recluse with a volatile temper, who avoided human interactions at almost all costs. Johnson only willingly intermingled with others when restocking his supplies, and even then was very curt and aloof in those exchanges. Reportedly, Johnson threatened native trappers with his rifle on a few occasions. In return, the natives accused him of sabotaging their traps, and took their complaints to the Mounted Police. Local authorities were already suspicious of Johnson on the account of him not acquiring a trapping license. With the sabotage accusations added on the list, a few officers tried talking to him. In the first interaction, Johnson only gave evasive and short responses to their questions. He then ghosted further attempts at contact. Fed up with Johnson’s uncooperative behavior, the Mounties trekked to his handmade cabin for further questions. Once they reached his cabin, seeing smoke from the chimney, they knocked on his door. Again, Johnson ignored them. A few days later, the officers returned with a warrant. When they tried to force their way in, Johnson shot one of them, and scurried away after a brief shootout. The other officers dragged their wounded comrade to safety to the nearby town of Aklavik. From there, they regrouped and formed a posse consisting of Mounties and their trapper guides, to hunt Johnson down. Over the course of the month and a half long manhunt, Johnson traversed over 150 miles in temperatures as low as -40°F to the Alaskan border, even crossing a 7,000 foot mountain peak. Some of the tactics he used to evade the Mounties was following Caribou tracks, building blind trails (with the help of wearing the snow shoes backwards), and backtracking. Johnson also carefully built small fires that would be difficult for pursers to detect. Last but not least, he also shot 3 more Mounties over the course of several skirmishes in the manhunt, killing one. In desperation, the authorities resorted to a search plane to flush him out. With the help of the plane, the Mounties finally located Johnson. In the final confrontation, Johnson shot another Mountie, while taking 9 bullets in return. Finally killing him in the process. While attempting to identify Johnson, the authorities took his fingerprints, though they couldn’t find a match in their archives. They also took pictures of his corpse and distributed them around both in Canada and the US, in hopes of soliciting someone to claim him. No one ever did. To this day, Johnson still remains unidentified. Every attempt to identify him with DNA testing has proven unsuccessful. Perhaps from his suspiciously generic sounding “name”, authorities and historians are almost certain that “Albert Johnson” is a mere pseudonym. What motivated his behavior during the whole episode is also unknown. As the dead can’t exactly speak for themselves. Johnson not leaving any diaries or written records, nor having any known associates didn’t help in that regard. Some scholars speculate that he might have committed some sort of crime(s) in another jurisdiction. According to such theories, Johnson was paranoid that if he was further questioned or detained, the Mounties would’ve eventually tied those previous crime(s) to him. Thus he was hellbent on eluding them. At the time of his death, Johnson was estimated to have been in his thirties. If that estimate is correct, then he would have been eligible to be a World War 1 veteran. Which might explain his proficiency with firearms and his performance in the shootouts. During their brief exchange, the officers noted him having a Scandinavian accent, leading some to believe that he was an immigrant from that region. Isotope testing done in the 2000s solidified this possibility, with the conclusion that he was either raised in the American corn belt states or Scandinavia. On a few parting notes, first hand accounts mentioned that they never heard him utter a word in the entire chase. The only vocalization they reported Johnson making, was him laughing after shooting a Mountie. It is also unknown if he truly was responsible for sabotaging those traps, or if they were just false pretenses conjured up by the natives to get rid of him. What are your thoughts on the Albert Johnson case, if any? From what little is available to us, what are your theories on the man's true identity and nature? Sources: 1.https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/albert-johnson 2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Johnson_(criminal) 3.https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2017/02/17/canada-history-feb-17-1932-the-end-and-beginning-of-the-mystery-of-the-mad-trapper/
  8. Edit: This thread was accidentally placed under the wrong folder. I meant to put it under "general chatter" instead of "entertainment." I'll duplicate this post under the proper folder, though I don't think this forums allows submissions to be deleted. Recently, I was reading up about "Albert Johnson", otherwise known as the "Mad Trapper of Rat River." For those unfamiliar, Albert Johnson was an unidentified man shot dead in the 1930s by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, after an intense manhunt that climaxed into a gun fight. It all started when a mysterious fur trapper who referred to himself as “Albert Johnson”, arrived at Fort McPherson, a small outpost in Canada’s Yukon territory. At the time, most of Yukon was very desolate, and the local demographics were overwhelmingly dominated by Native Americans. The settlements around Fort McPherson were no exception. If I recall the details correctly, around ~87% of Fort McPherson’s population (more precisely 200 out of 230 people) were Native Americans. Thus, a blonde haired white man like Johnson stuck out like a sore thumb. Relations between Johnson and the local Natives quickly soured. As the natives were rather unwelcoming to white outsiders, whom they deemed as encroaching on their livelihoods. It didn’t help that Johnson was a very secretive recluse with a volatile temper, who avoided human interactions at almost all costs. Johnson only willingly intermingled with others when restocking his supplies, and even then was very curt and aloof in those exchanges. Reportedly, Johnson threatened native trappers with his rifle on a few occasions. In return, the natives accused him of sabotaging their traps, and took their complaints to the Mounted Police. Local authorities were already suspicious of Johnson on the account of him not acquiring a trapping license. With the sabotage accusations added on the list, a few officers tried talking to him. In the first interaction, Johnson only gave evasive and short responses to their questions. He then ghosted further attempts at contact. Fed up with Johnson’s uncooperative behavior, the Mounties trekked to his handmade cabin for further questions. Once they reached his cabin, seeing smoke from the chimney, they knocked on his door. Again, Johnson ignored them. A few days later, the officers returned with a warrant. When they tried to force their way in, Johnson shot one of them, and scurried away after a brief shootout. The other officers dragged their wounded comrade to safety to the nearby town of Aklavik. From there, they regrouped and formed a posse consisting of Mounties and their trapper guides, to hunt Johnson down. Over the course of the month and a half long manhunt, Johnson traversed over 150 miles in temperatures as low as -40°F to the Alaskan border, even crossing a 7,000 foot mountain peak. Some of the tactics he used to evade the Mounties was following Caribou tracks, building blind trails (with the help of wearing the snow shoes backwards), and backtracking. Johnson also carefully built small fires that would be difficult for pursers to detect. Last but not least, he also shot 3 more Mounties over the course of several skirmishes in the manhunt, killing one. In desperation, the authorities resorted to a search plane to flush him out. With the help of the plane, the Mounties finally located Johnson. In the final confrontation, Johnson shot another Mountie, while taking 9 bullets in return. Finally killing him in the process. While attempting to identify Johnson, the authorities took his fingerprints, though they couldn’t find a match in their archives. They also took pictures of his corpse and distributed them around both in Canada and the US, in hopes of soliciting someone to claim him. No one ever did. To this day, Johnson still remains unidentified. Every attempt to identify him with DNA testing has proven unsuccessful. Perhaps from his suspiciously generic sounding “name”, authorities and historians are almost certain that “Albert Johnson” is a mere pseudonym. What motivated his behavior during the whole episode is also unknown. As the dead can’t exactly speak for themselves. Johnson not leaving any diaries or written records, nor having any known associates didn’t help in that regard. Some scholars speculate that he might have committed some sort of crime(s) in another jurisdiction. According to such theories, Johnson was paranoid that if he was further questioned or detained, the Mounties would’ve eventually tied those previous crime(s) to him. Thus he was hellbent on eluding them. At the time of his death, Johnson was estimated to have been in his thirties. If that estimate is correct, then he would have been eligible to be a World War 1 veteran. Which might explain his proficiency with firearms and his performance in the shootouts. During their brief exchange, the officers noted him having a Scandinavian accent, leading some to believe that he was an immigrant from that region. Isotope testing done in the 2000s solidified this possibility, with the conclusion that he was either raised in the American corn belt states or Scandinavia. On a few parting notes, first hand accounts mentioned that they never heard him utter a word in the entire chase. The only vocalization they reported Johnson making, was him laughing after shooting a Mountie. It is also unknown if he truly was responsible for sabotaging those traps, or if they were just false pretenses conjured up by the natives to get rid of him. What are your thoughts on the Albert Johnson case, if any? From what little is available to us, what are your theories on the man's true identity and nature? Sources: 1.https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/albert-johnson 2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Johnson_(criminal) 3.https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2017/02/17/canada-history-feb-17-1932-the-end-and-beginning-of-the-mystery-of-the-mad-trapper/
  9. Are the Basilisk Islanders a somewhat single ethnicity (with plenty of outside mixture), or are they just a motley collection of criminals from all across the known world? From what little is described in the books, do these corsairs have a culture of their own (i.e., their own set of religion, customs, rituals, or even raising families of their own etc.)? Or are they just an aforementioned temporary band of criminals, just exploiting the Basilisks Isles as a passing hiding spot? On another note, from what very little information we have available, what do you imagine the Corsairs of the Basilisk Isles looking like? I personally flop flop between picturing them as similar to buccaneers depicted in Howard Pyles' pirate paintings (without the muskets of course) to the "black pirates" in Robert E Howard's short story "Queen of the Black Coast".
  10. DBZ was mostly on Adult Swim, and I never had much of interest in Adult cartoons/animes. Not to mention, they were on when I was in bed. Thus I never really watched in my childhood
  11. Yeah, the Essos city states could use some more depth in their cultures.
  12. I'm not a teacher, so I don't know how the process of becoming a teacher in my country exactly works. If I get anything wrong, please feel free to correct me. However, I recall reading somewhere that a some sort of bachelor's degree in teaching is required somewhere in the process. Would could earned shortly after collage graduation. I could be wrong on this, but I thought that the 22-25 age range was your typical starting point for a teacher. As a related side note, I do picture in the first scenario, that is it the 23 year old's first year teaching.
  13. My apologizes for the lousy title, couldn't think of a better one for this topic. Anyways, here are two questions of mine that I will ask in the form of hypothetical scenarios: 1.A 23 year old middle school teacher is looking for a new relationship on Tinder. She matches up with a 22 year old man who lives in the her same town as her. After going on a few dates, the pair really hit it off. However, she soon discovers that her potential boyfriend is the older brother of one of her students. 2.A 31 year old high school teacher is having her own 17 year old brother as one of her students. The school she is employed at is located at a rural town with a very small population. As you might expect, the school has a low budget, a limited amount of staff, and only offers the required courses. She is the only educator in the school one teaching a certain essential course. Thus her brother ending up in her class was unavoidable. What would be the official policy for those situations? Would the teacher be technically allowed to carry on with the relationship in situation 1, or are there too many conflicts of interest at play for it to work out? In situation 2, would there be anything done to ensure that nepotism doesn't arise between the teacher and her younger sibling? If so, what such actions would the school take? Furthermore, teachers here, have any of you been in similar situations to my scenarios? If so, how did you handle them?
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