The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Red Lines

One of the most important ethical practices is to know where your red lines are.

What won’t you do? What won’t you accept or let go?

If you don’t think about this in advance you risk doing abominable things and then realizing you have gone too far.

This is true in personal life, and it’s true in political life.

Two simple personal lines I have are that I won’t rape, I won’t torture, and I don’t approve of those who do.

Those don’t seem, to me, to be lines that should be all that controversial, but if often seems like they are. A lot of people, especially, are willing to excuse torture, and a lot of people rape.

Heck, a lot of people excuse rape. I recently saw a picture of the “Proud Boys” wearing shirts proclaiming that Pinochet did nothing wrong. Pinochet had dogs trained to rape women.

If you support Pinochet, you’re unutterable scum. No exceptions.

One of the simple rules for living in a good world is taking certain actions off the board. There are some things, which if you do, you lose the right to call yourself a good person, or the right to the good will and opinion of other people.

In geopolitics, aggressive war, like Iraq or Libya or the current Saudi attack in Yemen, mark a country as beyond the pale, because war always includes a myriad of evils, and should be engaged in only, truly, as a last resort.

If you violate hard, red lines you morally destroy yourself, and it’s a hard thing to come back from. Part of it is the human need to justify ourselves: If we do something bad, we like to pretend it wasn’t “so bad.” Part of it is that we normalize whatever we do.

Doing evil, to put it poetically, stains our souls, and getting them clean again isn’t easy. Most people never really manage it, not if they’ve done true evil.

Then there is the issue of hypocrisy. When our people do it, somehow it isn’t as bad as when their people do this.

I see this with a lot of the opposition to Trump. Oh, Trump’s evil. He was always clearly evil, as when he endorsed torture. But Obama engaged in the Libyan war, which, of course, led to mass rapes, murder, torture and open air slave markets.

The same people screaming about Trump’s evils, which are certainly real, somehow said little about Obama’s evils.

Because Obama was their guy.

Nor, of course, is it only Democratic partisans who are hypocrites this way.

We all have our tribes: The groups and beliefs and symbols we identify with. And when they do evil, well, somehow we just don’t find the outrage in ourselves that we find for our enemy’s evils.

Trump may yet cause a war. He’s sure trying with Iran. If he does, he’ll wind up worse than Obama, odds are (since a war with Iran will do even more harm than the Libyan war). But he hasn’t yet.

Domestically, of course, he’s been worse, and is due criticism. But absent an aggressive war, well…

Be careful who and what you justify. Think about your own red lines. Do it for your soul, and do it so the actions of your tribe, your country, don’t cost you your soul.

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Open Thread


The Closing of the Saudi Elite


  1. bruce wilder

    I suppose my own political thinking has several of these red lines: distinctions or limits that I think are dispositive about what is right and wrong, wise and unwise. It is a matter of ethics and morality, yes, but also a matter of intellectual clarity.

    Unfortunately, I have had to also introduce into my thinking an element of resistance to manipulation.

    People with some shred of decency or sensible reason are, for some other more cynical folks, merely cattle to be stampeded at an appropriate moment. Think about Bush2 and weapons of mass destruction, or the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) scam.

    It is the repeated manipulative use of tendentitious narratives to create little stampedes, little moral panics, that have by and large created our current political “tribes” (so-called).

    I keep hoping that people will grow callouses or develop resistance to narrative manipulations as these are misused over and over, but so far I have been sorely disappointed. They’ve become a low-priced consumer good, opinions as fashion accessories, and they crowd out genuine awareness. If anything is wearing out, it may well be a common sense of morality and decency.

    And, the substance of political issues is completely lost. Waiting for Rachel Maddow to discuss the catastrophe in Yemen or the depravity of Saudi Arabia. Kavanaugh v Blasey Ford, of course; god forbid that arguments be marshalled against Kavanaugh’s reprehensible jurisprudence.

  2. NR

    As I said in the previous topic, the United States is not more divided than it’s ever been. Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton. Charles Sumner was almost beaten to death on the floor of the Senate. We’re not at that point. Frankly, I don’t think things are even as bad now as they were at the height of the civil turmoil in the 1960s.

    However, things are definitely worse than they’ve been at any point since then, and it is clearly getting worse. And I don’t see anything on the horizon that’s going to reverse the trend. Trump sure as hell isn’t going to do it.

    Maybe something will happen that will turn things around. But I don’t see it right now.

  3. Willy

    Too many are afraid of being shunned by their tribe. It can be a lot of work finding new network resources for survival, especially if you need them ASAP.

    Trump proudly displays his bullying as a badge of honor. Obama rationalized any bullies or bullying.

    Robert Hare said he could tell the difference between sociopath (behavioral) and psychopath (temperamental) by holding them in a room to try and get the subject to understand the ramifications of their bad behaviors. Sociopaths eventually came to display honest emotions like guilt or empathy, even repenting and changing. Psychopaths would try to appear to do the same, but emotions were faked and they always went back to doing the same old thing.

    Maybe Trump is just being an honest asshole, and Obama is a very crafty faker-liar. It’s up to us to be able to know the difference. Not an easy task.

    What seems easier, is demonstrating that we’re replacing meritocracy with kleptocracy. Case in point: Kavanaugh.

  4. Effem

    As far as I’m concerned, a “red line” is only valid if you would apply it to members of your own tribe. I find that rather rare. How many former Ted Kennedy voters also thought Kavanaugh wasn’t fit to hold a position of power? I’d bet most of them.

  5. Daniel A Lynch

    If I wore a t-shirt that said “HOWARD ZINN DID NOTHING WRONG,” would that cross a red line?

    Agree that Pinochet was a bad guy and that rape and torture and wars of aggression are wrong and that it is important to have personal boundaries that you don’t let people cross … but at the same time, I try to avoid black and white thinking about human beings.

    Howard Zinn was a good guy, but in WWII he dropped napalm on civilians. Most of us are like that — we’re decent people, but occasionally we do bad things. The best we can hope for is someone who acknowledges that he made a mistake, as Howard Zinn did, and tries to chart a better course, as Howard Zinn did.

    I think the point Ian was trying to make is that wars of aggression are wrong no matter which party does them. Rape is wrong no matter which party does it. And so forth. Focus on issues and values and avoid tribalism.

    As for the brown shirts, would Ian still feel that way if he found out his friend and former landlord Peter had been a brown shirt when he was young and dumb?

    I grew up in the South, during Jim Crow. Many of my friends and family were the worst sort of racists, and I hated that. In fact, several neighbors had participated in the 1919 Elaine Massacre and admitted that they had shot and killed unarmed black people. Yet when I knew them, they were kindly old men who would not hurt anyone, black or white. I’ve learned to see people as a mix of good and bad.

  6. ponderer

    Why not support the Howard Zinn that he became, and condemn the one he was? If you stand against the brown shirts when they are being brown shirts, you can reconcile with those who reform themselves later. I think what Ian was saying is that there are a lot of people whose principles are flexible. That is, their “reformed” selves are just a mask, don’t let them whitewash their behavior. As long as you can say you aren’t contributing to Evil, I think that is ethically ok. Hold yourself to high standards, and do the same for the people who act in your name. It aligns with the principle that you can do very little about what other people do, but you have far more control over yourself. Be the change you want to see in the world (Ghandi I think), and extend that to your politics.

  7. Herman

    The decline of institutions like clubs, labor unions and mainline churches helps to produce these “red line” problems. Standards of conduct and behavior are disappearing as more Americans adopt a tribal outlook on politics. I predict that in 20 years many people will regret attacking Christianity so much when we have black nationalists and white supremacists running for office and fighting in the streets. Whatever you think of the claims of Christianity at least it provided some kind of moral compass and moderating influence on millions of Americans.

  8. bruce wilder

    . . . a “red line” is only valid if you would apply it to members of your own tribe.

    It is all kind of convenient and manipulative otherwise: fake outrage and synthetic grievances.

  9. JohnB

    What if there’s a Greshams Dynamic – where your enemies who you’re in competition against, will drop the standards lower than yours, and gain an advantage over you by doing so – what then?

    Sometimes to stay part of the fight at all, you’ve got to drop to the lowest standards of your enemies – in order to not allow them the advantage.

    I agree with your overall point – just am considering these type of situations.

  10. scruff

    Amazingly some people are proud of being hypocritical and tribal. “No bad tactics, only bad targets” was a self-described “moral” principle of the anti-gamergate movement.

  11. NR


    And the Charlotesville protesters were just a bunch of “fine people” who wanted to protest the removal of a statue, right?

  12. S Brennan

    Good one Effem;

    “As far as I’m concerned, a “red line” is only valid if you would apply it to members of your own tribe. I find that rather rare.”

  13. You’re comparing Trump less than two years into his term to Obama after his two terms; this is an apples and oranges comparison.

    In its time so far, the Trump administration has already committed crimes against humanity. Trump has been talking of using nuclear weapons since the 1980s. Trump is working to expand the US nuclear arsenal, and has abrogated a nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

    I see your point, but this isn’t the time or way to make it; you are comparing the failings of Weimar with the failings of early Nazi Germany.

  14. Webstir

    There’s really only one red line, Ian.
    But it comes in two forms. We lie to ourselves. And, we lie to others.
    I had an epiphany sitting in an AA meeting years ago.
    I realized that when I lie to myself, I hurt others.
    And when I lie to others, I hurt myself.
    All you’re talking about with the red rape and torture lines are lies of the first variety.
    Think hard on that. You’ll come to see the truth of it.

    In regard to Neiwert — has he gone full twitter now? I’ve had his blog bookmarked for some time, but he doesn’t seem to put much up these days. Caitlin Johnstone posted an interesting piece recently on how to create a filter proof news stream by creating a twitter list, here:
    I’ve never done twitter, but am considering it, as I now see a productive use for it.

  15. Webstir

    Again, with moderation?
    Did I really dust things up so bad with the boomer stuff I’m auto flagged?
    Or, is it keywords? I thought using the word kcill got me sent to mod on my last comment.
    Was it the Caitlin Johnstone link in this one?



  16. Webstir

    “Whatever you think of the claims of Christianity at least it provided some kind of moral compass and moderating influence on millions of Americans.”

    Yeah, none of which have advanced past Kohlberg’s “preconventional” first stage of moral development:
    Christianity stunts moral growth.

    Yet again, par for the course. Most “men” in this country have the moral development of a 12 year old.

  17. Jane

    Ian, would you mind offering your thoughts on red lines relating to the migrant crisis in Europe? I am of very mixed feelings and would be interested in hearing your views. I think the “no borders” young people are trying to be compassionate, but that this view is ultimately naive.

    I worry that kicking the can further down the road on any constructive action increases the chances that what does happen later will be more explosive. (That’s a bit vague I’m sorry.)

    Is there a wise limit to the extent to which drastically different cultures can live in the same place? Is there a requisite minimum of shared values for things to work? What might that minimum look like, and do you think it can be achieved in Europe?

    For example, my city is in the process of drafting a restriction on elementary school and kindergarten girls wearing the hijab. I once asked my Saudi friend why she supported wearing the hijab even when she was in the US, and she explained that it is to protect her modesty and to not appear outwardly sexual. If that same logic holds true here, then why are girls ten and younger even wearing a hijab? The cultural values are so different that I cannot even begin to understand the other side.

    Thank you.

  18. Weather, Jane, “climate”, the atmosphere, the thin layer of potentially toxic gases we live in that envelopes the only ball of rock we know of we can live on, does not recognize the boundaries of “nation/states”. You can’t stop the migration. Ask the Neanderthal.

  19. Stirling Newberry

    “we’re not at that level…”

    Tell that to the black man….

  20. ponderer

    What if there’s a Greshams Dynamic – where your enemies who you’re in competition against, will drop the standards lower than yours, and gain an advantage over you by doing so – what then?

    There’s no such thing. If there were we wouldn’t have had a Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed much less a MLK or Ghandi. It’s a sad state of affairs when you think that having lower standards can gain you an advantage.

  21. scruff


    And the Charlotesville protesters were just a bunch of “fine people” who wanted to protest the removal of a statue, right?

    As I assess it, the Charlottesville protesters were part emotionally damaged people who don’t know how to stand up for themselves and end up escalating violence, part cowardly wannabe-edgy people who just want to fight and follow the lead of a fight-oriented “alternative” media, and part neo-nazis who are inciting the first two groups and trying to move the population towards ejection or probably genocide of black people from the country. Of these groups, only the first might be ok people who could be salvaged with some work. I don’t know the proportions.

    Why, though, do you think it appropriate to suggest that I would be morally aligned with these people and excuse their behavior? I’m inclined to think that it’s because I suggested that a group that you might find yourself morally aligned with were ethically imperfect (hypocrites). If so, that would seem to be just another instance of the kind of moral hypocrisy under discussion.

    To be generous, perhaps you see that I was mistaken in saying that “No bad tactics, only bad targets” was a self-description, assume that I have fallen wholeheartedly for propaganda of one sort and therefore of all sorts including alt-right sorts, and therefore leap to the conclusion that I love neo-nazis. Sorry, I tried, but even the generous version ends up with you being silly.

    I did later discover that the phrase I thought was self-description was originally not, but rather applied to the movement from someone outside of it. That doesn’t mean the movement had no serious hypocrisy in it, of course, but it’s a bit of a shame since the phrase is so catchy… which is probably why I was thinking of it reading this post.

    Anyway, I hope that in the future you could refrain from assuming the worst of me based on such little evidence. It would be nice if Ian’s comment section could approach his good moral sense.

  22. Ché Pasa

    I would argue that most of us have no idea what we would do given the right combination of inducements, coercion, and expectations — red lines, morality or no.

    It happens to otherwise good people all the time that they wind up doing or supporting unconscionable things so long as they can believe they themselves are blameless or that whatever it is is “necessary” for the good of all.

  23. Peter

    Ian makes some good points about what behavior and rhetoric should be condemned by everyone no matter their politics. It’s good to know what things he won’t do but I hope his list is much longer than the two he mentioned. The use of the word evil to descrive too many things and people is too easy, religous and subjective. Is Trump truly evil because he used the threat of military retaliation against North Korea to push them towards the peace agreement they agreed upon with South Korea ending their state of war. Torture used to kill someone, for vengeance, for entertainment or used on innocent victims is evil. We’ve had this discussion before and I still think it can be morally justified to save innocent lives in an extreme situation just as Trump does. This doesn’t mean I support torture as a practice just that it may be necessary and justifiable in a very unlikely curcumstance. A Theocracy such as Iran can be described as evil because of their deeds and their methods of expanding their evil empire. Trump has demanded that Iran stop their evil ways and change and if there is a war Iran would have to start it.

  24. nihil obstet

    I suspect we ought to have rather few red lines, so that the ones we have are absolutely unbreachable. In confusing, emotional times, we appear hardwired to join others in thought and mind for safety’s sake. And there is such a thing as a slippery slope, where you start with minor compromises and end up doing terrible things. In those times and situations, we need a hard brake, a red line. If we’ve described our beliefs to ourselves and others as “red lines” when they’re really simply things we disapprove of and are often situational, we’ve basically stripped the brakes.

    Lying, hypocrisy, continuity or reformation of character — they’re all moral judgments, but I can’t see that any of them constitutes a serious red line.

  25. Willy

    It’s a sad state of affairs when you think that having lower standards can gain you an advantage.

    In a more just world the ethical victim would always have the advantage over the unethical bully, since most people would rather deal with ethical calm than unethical hostility.

    But this is often not the case. Why?

  26. Webstir

    nihil obstet:

    Lying, to either myself of another is my red line. It keeps me from ever having to think about the approach to any other red lines.
    We all know right from wrong. As soon as we lie to ourselves (rationalization) we begin the slide down the slippery slope to which your refer. Our soul, as Ian states, is dirtied. For me personally, the telling of lie, no matter how small, is a signal to me that I’m on the slippery slope back to taking a drink — at which point all morality bets are off.

    It’s not a “moral judgment” to lie. It’s a definable act of reality distortion.
    And once we begin to distort reality, again, all bets are off.
    If I can lie, I can rape and torture.
    To thine ownself be true …

  27. Webstir

    And nihil, let’s take Kavanaugh as an example.
    We’ll never know for certain what happened between he and Professor Ford. But we do know one thing for certain. He’s a liar. And if he can lie with impunity, what else can he do? Rape? Support torture? Check, and check.

    This is the appearance of impropriety to which even judge, every human being in a position of power over others, should be held.

    Red line.

  28. Webstir

    Last bit on Kavanaugh in this thread —

    As a practical matter, were I to appear before the SC my first motion would be for his recusal due to the known appearance of impropriety his lies cast.

    Let’s hope I’m not the only lawyer thinking along these lines.

  29. NR

    Stirling Newberry:

    Are you really saying that black people today are worse off than they were during either of the times I mentioned?


  30. nihil obstet


    To fulfill Godwin’s law immediately, did the headmaster of Louis Malle’s boarding school cross your red line by telling the Gestapo that his three new boarders were Protestant when they were in fact Jewish?

    Have you crossed a red line when you assure someone that the disastrous new haircut doesn’t look that bad?

    If a far more serious outcome hadn’t depended on the answers, I think someone lying to Renate about the “Renate Alumnus” in Kavanaugh’s yearbook might have been kind.

    Hell, I’m a lying toad who will not feel bound in the slightest by all the “I agree”s that I mark on the programs/services I use. Forced arbitration clauses are an abomination, so I feel perfectly fine about lying about my intentions.

    Lying about serious matters is morally wrong, but there’s too much judgment up and down the line for it to function as a red line.

  31. NR


    Fair enough, my comment to you was probably a little snarkier than it should have been, so I apologize for that. I’ve just noticed that the correlation between people sympathizing with Gamergate and people who support neo-nazi movements (or at least, are somewhat sympathetic to them) is nearly 100%, which makes it hard to believe that the movement was *really* about ethics in video games journalism. Not that video games journalism doesn’t have the same issues that other kinds of journalism do, but Gamergate showed a lot of really toxic behavior from a lot of people.

  32. Webstir


    I see your point.
    But, your exceptions prove the general rule.
    In each instance you set out, the lie is in service to a higher moral directive.
    As mentioned upthread, this accords with Kohlberg’s 6th and highest level of moral development, excepted below from the link:

    • Stage 6. Universal Principles. People at this stage have developed their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law. The principles apply to everyone.

    E.g., human rights, justice, and equality. The person will be prepared to act to defend these principles even if it means going against the rest of society in the process and having to pay the consequences of disapproval and or imprisonment. Kohlberg doubted few people reached this stage.

    — Interestingly enough, people’s comments in this thread reveal their stage of moral development.

  33. Billikin


    I am afraid that Christianity or religion in general will not heal our rift, at least, not any time soon. It may have led Governor Wallace to repent his racism late in life, but it did not keep him from stirring up hatred when he held the political stage. Much of our current divisiveness can be traced to his demagoguery. Not his alone, but he inspired others to follow in his footsteps. Trump fosters divisiveness, fear and hatred. What do we make of Trump’s current Christian cheerleaders? Do they not see through him, or are they willing to make a deal with the devil? As for Black nationalists and White supremacists, Black nationalists mostly adhere to Christianity or Islam, and White supremacists are nearly all rabid Christians. The fiery KKK cross is, after all, a Christian symbol.

  34. scruff


    Thank you for reconsidering. It is better treatment than I was expecting – even here in Ian’s comments – which probably says something terribly depressing about social and political conversation these days.

  35. Webstir

    Yo, Willy!
    We were talking about flyover county:

    Have I ever mentioned I’m not the biggest fan of urbanites? It might have something to do with morons like Larry Summers.

  36. “Domestically, of course, he’s been worse”

    Really? has Trump deported 2 million immigrants like Obama did, or locked up more whistleblowers than all previous presidents, like Obama did, or helped crush the Occupy movement, like Obama did?

  37. XFR

    I keep hoping that people will grow callouses or develop resistance to narrative manipulations as these are misused over and over, but so far I have been sorely disappointed. They’ve become a low-priced consumer good, opinions as fashion accessories, and they crowd out genuine awareness. If anything is wearing out, it may well be a common sense of morality and decency.

    I try to remember how completely I was taken in by such things in the past, how dramatic the treachery had to be (the Afghan war in my own case) before I could acknowledge what was truly happening, and how wrenching it was to realize that so much of the heartfelt anguish I had experienced before had been conjured up by heartless cynics. Presuming bad faith on that scale doesn’t really come naturally to people–we’d probably just tear each other to shreds if it did.

    So much of my own understanding of the world is down to circumstance; if I’d been born in a different city in a different country, had had a different family, had gone to different schools, etc. I’d be quite ignorant to this day of many things that seem blindingly obvious to me now.

    I was a “knee-jerk liberal” when I was a young teenager; while I may have been more prone than most to question my own beliefs it took extensive exposure to a milieu with many people from other countries to help realize–very slowly–that no group had a monopoly on prejudice and truth could not be had simply by flipping the old racist narratives upside-down.

    And yet at the same time I felt overwhelmed at the inescapable realization that Westerners–to say nothing of Anglo-Saxons–were far from the majority of the world’s population and secretly but fervently hoped that the West could secure a legacy for itself by somehow (I never thought it through any further) supplanting Asia’s cultures with its own. Coming to appreciate just how ugly the result would be if such desires were to be followed through on also was very hard and took many years.

    If I’d had a different life perhaps I would acting on them even now, all the while cloaking my fear and malice in phony pieties and crocodile tears.

  38. Willy

    Webstir, I’ve driven coast to coast for work on several occasions. If I had to define small townies in one word, I’d choose “innocent” or “friendly” before “redneck” or “intolerant” (cept maybe the deep south). Maybe some people really need to stay off the plane and just drive.

    I know three families raised near N. Idaho (Kalispell, Polson, Cheney) where all eleven of the kids moved away to big cities for work. They never lost their local ties. One for sure will be retiring on Flathead, bringing his city money with him. Some of the others live in places like L.A. and Jacksonville, which they don’t like so much, so I’d almost assume they’ll go back too. Seems sad for next-generation locals who stayed that the real estate prices have gone up so much.

    On the plus, the small townies I’ve known usually had an incredibly wide musical taste range. At a wedding in Ronan, Mt. they all seemed to know the lyrics of every song be it old rock, new rock, C&W, R&B, rap…

  39. Webstir

    My old stomping grounds, Willy. I’ll always be a Missoulian.

    Go Griz!

  40. Webstir

    Oh, geez. I used an exclamation mark.

    Into the mod pod I go.

  41. gnokgnoh

    @Jane, not sure where you’re going with your comment, but some correction about Islamic dress norms seems appropriate. I worked in Abu Dhabi for nearly five years, among local, Levant, and North African Arabs, in the courthouse. Many women had joined the workforce, and my immediate boss was an Emirati woman, married with kids. Her girls and the girls of the other Emirati women were not required to wear a shayla (scarf over their head) or a fully abaya (dress that covers arms and legs) until they reached puberty. My daughter was in third and fourth grades with local, Levant and North African Muslim girls, and none wore head coverings. As important, the local government saw no reason to impose dress codes on the U.S. and European girls or boys, even through high school or as adults. They wore all manner of clothing to school, much like here. They did not have uniforms.

    My experience is not universal. Some extremely fundamentalist sects, especially in Egypt, do require their young boys and girls to wear coverings of their hair and limbs. I am reluctant to use the term hijab, because that has strong connotations for U.S. audiences. In Abu Dhabi, hijab was a reference to a particular style of head covering that some women wore that shielded much or most of their face. Most simply wore shaylas (scarves) over their hair. In the courthouse, full hijab is forbidden by human resources (HR) regulations. I interviewed a woman for a job with my boss. She was asked to remove her hijab, but she refused. She came back the next day with her full face covering removed, wearing only a shayla, which was permitted. The rule of thumb was that a woman in a public-facing job was required to expose her face and eyes, or they would lose trust with the public.

    Hope that helps.

  42. gnokgnoh

    @Jane, my perception about dress norms in Islamic countries in which I worked is that most of the norms are rooted in culture, not religion. Bedouin women, long before Islam came along, wore what they wear today, only much more elaborate and be-jewelled, especially among the wealthy Bedouins. That is why each of the countries in the Middle East have quite different styles and expressions of dress. Islamic norms, written mostly in the ninth century and later, simply codified cultural dress habits. That is why Afghani fundamentalist women (who are not Arabs) dress quite differently from the women in gulf states.

    Are the dress norms of Amish men and women religious or cultural? It’s likely a mix of both, but mostly cultural. Same principle applies. I’m not sure why people are so fearful of people who dress differently.

  43. Webstir


    Perceptive. I was going to say the same about the Mennonite populations we have here in N. Idaho. Two groups. White caps & black caps. Every woman past puberty wears one or the other. I’ll ask next time I run into one … which shouldn’t take long.

  44. Willy

    Personally, I favor the black caps and side dreads the Jewish orthodox enjoy. But I believe that was a Biblical dictate, and not cultural in origin.

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