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Valar Qringaomis

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Monday, February 08, 2016

Observations - 8th February 2016

The most important reason to evacuate when the fire alarm rings is that the noise is fucking annoying.

"People are afraid of "radiation" like microwaves, WiFi and all that but can step into ionising UV radiation without sunblock"

"the #1 risk factor [for mass shootings] is media reporting
prior to the invention of the newspaper mass killings were uncommon, rare"

If you jaywalk from the shadows into the path of an oncoming vehicle which is 2s away you deserve to be knocked down

"Maybe to be a moderate and to know you are a moderate requires someone crazy enough to stand out there to mark the upper limit"

If you cannot choose what happens to you but you can choose how you react to it, what about depressed people?

Maybe the new American Dream is to play the media, get astronomical punitive damages in a lawsuit then write books and appear on talk shows (like Ahmed Mohamed)

If all Malays must be Muslim, does it mean that before Islam came to Southeast Asia there were no Malays?

It's easy to blame politicians. But what about those who vote for them? "The common man" is not innocent.

If the Copenhagen summit was the last chance for the planet, why did we waste time in Paris?

Traveling isn't the only thing you buy that makes you richer. What about a self-improvement course? Or a 10 year bond?

If no man can serve two masters, how about God and Country?

The coherence of an argument varies proportionately with the number of fucks in it

Links - 8th February 2016

You can't block Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook
If enough people block me on Facebook, I shall become unblockable!

Myanmar activist jailed for Facebook post mocking army - "A Myanmar court has jailed a woman for six months for a Facebook post "ridiculing" the country's army chief and the colour of a new uniform. Chaw Sandi Tun, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi's election-winning National League for Democracy (NLD) party, was found guilty under a new telecommunications law prohibiting the use of the telecoms network to "extort, threaten, obstruct, defame, disturb, inappropriately influence or intimidate"."

Hundreds in Scotland still have black and white TV

'Traces of cocaine' found in toilets of iconic UK cathedrals and churches

Activist fails to get police warning quashed - "The High Court has dismissed a civil activist's bid to quash a police warning, saying such warnings have no legal effect on the recipient so there is nothing for it to quash... Mr Wham was verbally warned and told similar leniency may not be shown in future. He refused to sign the Notice of Warning and was not given a copy. Such warnings are administered on the advice of the Attorney-General after investigations are completed and the findings reviewed... Mr Wham, concerned the stern warning would cause severe prejudice against him as it remained on record, then applied to court for a judicial review to quash the warning. The case has helped to clarify what a police warning implies... Justice Woo Bih Li ruled that such warnings are no more than an opinion of the relevant authority that the recipient has committed an offence. "It does not bind the recipient," he added. "It does not and cannot amount to a legally binding pronouncement of guilt or finding of fact. Only a court of law has the power to make such a pronouncement or finding." The judge explained that the recipient can challenge the warning as being inappropriate. He also pointed out that a court is not entitled to treat a warning as an antecedent or an aggravating factor for the purpose of sentencing a recipient who is subsequently convicted. The judge further noted the document meant for Mr Wham was headed "Notice of Warning" but the content referred to a "stern" warning. He said if there was a difference, the terms should not be used interchangeably."

Singapore singer Gentle Bones was detained in Indonesia for 3 months! - "Tan, the first home-grown act to be signed by Universal Music Singapore, revealed how immigration officials showed up after their two-hour show at Komunitas Salihara, a concert venue in Jakarta, asking for their passports. "Apparently we didn't have performance permits," he said. A spokesman for the tour's organiser Ellipsis Live, an entertainment and tour promotion company based in Australia and Asia, told The Straits Times that another promoter, Creon Asia, was responsible for the logistics - which included getting the permits - for the shows in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Manila."

Ever had drunk sex? That's rape, according to this university - "Coastal Carolina University, in South Carolina, is continuing its apparent quest to become the biggest panderer to the extreme wing of the campus sexual assault crusaders with a new poster claiming that only sober people can consent to sex. Nearly a decade ago, the same university hung up posters around campus claiming that women could not consent if they had been drinking, heavily implying that men could... any alcohol in the bloodstream would negate consent. Do students need to start carrying breathalyzers? The first question for any sexual encounter would always have to be: Have you had any alcohol? If yes, stop, put your hands up and get as far away from that person as possible, because anything done at that point is rape... "May I hold your hand?" "May I kiss you?" "May I touch you here?" and so forth become the new foreplay, each requiring a "yes" and counter question to proceed. No one has sex this way, making these policies a rather intrusive form of government regulation."

NEW DRESS CODE POLICY - "Administrative Circular No. SBM-2013-007 was issued on 01 October 2013 revising the policy on dress code imposed on clients transacting or with official business in the Bureau of Immigration (BI). Policy amendments were made to maximize and accommodate visitors and foreign nationals with legitimate dealings with the BI as well as the consideration of the tropical weather in the Philippines and the usual tourist attire."
Malaysia is not unique in havving a dress code in government offices

VA Caribbean Healthcare System - "Visitors are expected to wear clothing that is suitable for the hospital environment. The length of all skirts and shorts cannot be more than 4" above the knee while standing. Mini-skirts, spaghetti-strap dresses, dresses/blouses with low tops, bare shoulders, or shirts open to the waistline will not be allowed in the hospital premises."

Visiting Parliament House | Parliament Of Singapore - "Visitors are kindly requested to dress modestly and not to come in round-neck T-shirts, shorts or slippers"

Frequently Asked Questions | United Nations Visitor Centre - "Q: Is there a Dress Code?
A: Yes, please dress appropriately for the international diplomatic environment of the United Nations."

Visiting the Knesset - "Those who are wearing the following will not be allowed into the Knesset building: Shorts, 3/4 pants, torn pants, sleeveless shirts, shirts with political slogans, belly shirts and flip-flops.
This dress code applies to anyone aged 14 and older."

Keeping Your Car Safe From Electronic Thieves - - "Last week, I started keeping my car keys in the freezer, and I may be at the forefront of a new digital safety trend. Let me explain: In recent months, there has been a slew of mysterious car break-ins in my Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles. What’s odd is that there have been no signs of forced entry. There are no pools of broken glass on the pavement and no scratches on the doors from jimmied locks. But these break-ins seem to happen only to cars that use remote keyless systems, which replace traditional keys with wireless fobs. It happened to our neighbor Heidi, who lives up the hill and has a Mazda 3. It happened to Simon, who lives across the street from me and has a Toyota Prius."

Practice vs. practise - Grammarist - "In the main varieties of English from outside North America, practice is the noun, and practise is the verb. For instance, we would say that a doctor with a private practice practises privately. There is no such distinction in American English, where practice is both a noun and a verb, and practise is not used at all."

Gates of Jerusalem » The Golden Report - "The Jaffa Gate is located on the Western wall of the Old City. This gate has a lot of history over the past 100 years. The Jaffa gate marked the end of the highway leading from the Jaffa coast and now leads into the Muslim and Armenian quarters. A road allows cars to enter the Old City through a wide gap in the wall between Jaffa Gate and the Citadel. This passage was originally opened in 1898 when Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visited Jerusalem. The ruling Ottoman Turks opened it so the German Emperor would not have to dismount his carriage to enter the city."

Christmas also celebrated by many non-Christians | Pew Research Center - "81% of non-Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas, testifying to the holiday’s wide acceptance – or, at least, its unavoidability – in American society."

Dead raccoon memorialized in downtown Toronto

How Did Public Opinion on Gay Marriage Shift So Quickly? - "In 1979, at the first national march on Washington for gay rights, it was no happenstance that posters for the march proclaimed, “Come out, come out, wherever you are.” The 1970s were marked by a push for gays and lesbians to “come out of the closet.” Recall that the first gay protest had occurred only a decade earlier, in 1969, when gays at the Stonewall Inn in the heart of Greenwich Village fought back for the first time ever after yet another police raid on gay bars... gay rights leaders, aided by psychologists, discovered through focus groups and polling that framing the concept of gay marriage as a “right” was speaking the wrong language. They simultaneously happened upon a surprising level of heterosexual support for the humanitarian idea that gay people might love and want to commit to their partners, just like anyone else. Gay leaders stopped talking about “rights” and started talking about “love and commitment.” "The rapid turnaround in public support for marriage equality is unprecedented, and it shows that message really matters," recalled Doug Hattaway, who conducted the research that led to the messaging shift."

What freedom of speech? Prank petition to repeal First Amendment gets support at Yale (VIDEO) - "US political satirist and filmmaker Ami Horowitz approached the students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world asking its attendees to sign a petition in favor of repealing the First Amendment. “I think it is fantastic. I absolutely agree,” said one guy, while another commented: “I appreciate what you are trying to do.” “Brilliant,” “love it,” “I totally agree” and “…great,” were some of the compliments heard in support of the “anti-free speech"petition, which grew as he approached more students. “In under 60 minutes on campus, I collected over 50 signatures from the Yale University community calling for the repeal of the First Amendment of the US Constitution,” Horowitz said in his video."

False flag? ‘Tolerance’ of ISIS, Israel tested in social experiment at Berkeley (VIDEO) -
"A US political satirist staged a social experiment at a prestigious university. Waving an ISIS flag was met with no negative reaction, but with an Israeli flag he got a less-than-warm reception from the students."

Why is there no civil marriage in Israel? - "Israeli marriages are performed under laws inherited from Ottoman times that grant each Israeli religious community’s state-recognized leadership sole jurisdiction over marriage. These Ottoman religious communal structures, called millets, were continued by the British mandate. After Israel’s 1948 independence, Israel too maintained the system, citing among other considerations its obligations to the country’s minorities. As a consequence, marriages in Israel are performed only through religious institutions... Gay marriage is not actually illegal in Israel. There simply isn’t any institution empowered to carry it out. One signal that this may be more lacuna than conscious marginalization lies in the stark fact that no Protestants can marry in Israel either, not even each other; under British rule, Protestants married through British mandatory institutions, and a separate Israeli Protestant Christian hierarchy was never established."

Why it's wrong to blame western policies for the Paris attacks - "It’s beyond absurd to blame French occupation of Algeria for the shootings. This is the kind of apologism that facilitates radical Islam. This strategy only results in appeasement of puritanical radical Islamic ideology and only offers one solution: ‘the West is evil’. If past grievances and atrocities are considered to be the reasons behind these attacks then by this logic all Indians living in the UK would be retaliating to avenge the suffering their ancestors faced during British Colonialism. Bangladeshis would carry out attacks against Pakistan since they once ruthlessly persecuted Bengalis, killing more than a million of them and raping 200,000 of their women. If Fisk were right, Vietnam and Japan would not be some of the most pro-American countries in the world today. However the most pathetic and dismal response that came from the western press was from those who castigated Charlie Hebdo and blamed the cartoonists for provoking Muslims. If one follows this flawed narrative then all liberal Muslims struggling against radical Islam on a daily basis in their own Muslim majority countries should only have themselves to blame whenever they are brutally attacked by extremist clerics and their zealot followers... British Historian Tom Holland had his academic documentary on the origins of Islam cancelled by Channel 4 after he and his family received death threats and over 1200 complaints were received by Ofcom and Channel 4. To blame this ideology on recent western policies is nothing short of the murder of history. Blasphemy and critical evaluation of Mohammed’s character has always been forbidden and a highly sensitive issue among Muslims in the history of Islam. It is not a new issue. In 1929, Ilm-ud-din, a Muslim living in British India, took offence at a book published about Prophet Mohammed. He killed the publisher and was sentenced to death by the Indian Penal Code. Consequently he was considered a martyr; 200,000 people attended his funeral and he was praised by the ideological founder of Pakistan Allama Iqbal. Even today in Pakistan, Ilm-ud-din is used as an inspiration for those who would kill in the name of Islam."

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Observations - 6th February 2016

"You don't make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies." - Yitzhak Rabin


Following anti inequality logic, it's better not to have new drugs because only the rich can afford them

If a lesbian tells another woman that she likes her dress, is it sexual harassment?

To some people, equality means that everyone must be equally miserable.

Given how worked up feminists get over terms like "chairman" it is curious their own movement's name has a gender bias

Should a feminist support discrimination against the childless in the form of family-friendly policies?

If you don't want to hire someone who's married with children for a job that requires frequent overtime at night and on weekends and lots of business travel, is that discrimination?

"My impression online is that the amount of blog/Facebook space dedicated to bashing actual, open racists and bigots such as the KKK/ISIS/Stormfront is insignificant, while the harshest vitriol is reserved for moderates who oppose racism, but not in the exact terms they want."

"It's very easy to poke fun at extremists. Easy to the point where taking the opportunity says more about you than them."

The real diversity problem in SciFi is homocentrism: why are humans always the centre of the universe?

"Institutionalised racism is like the unified field theory of social theories- it can be used to explain anything."

Post colonialism is about blaming colonialism for everything

"Color-blindness is not the denial that issues related to race still exist, it's merely a state of mind that demands you see people as PEOPLE before anything else. If everyone adopted that mentality then issues pertaining to race would disappear."

[On being upset at slavery-linked institutions] "How far back do you go with this type of shit.....I'm still really upset when the french invaded Britain in 1066 and don't even get me started on what those scandinavians used to do what with all their raping and pillaging....bastards"

Social justice warriors need to hang together. Because they've unfriended everyone else.

Why is it okay to discourage teenage pregnancy but not single parenthood?

If the rise of identity politics is a reaction to the narrowing of the ideological spectrum, it just shows that despite all the kumbaya rhetoric, people want enemies and think the differences between us are more important than the similarities

50 years ago if you'd talked about gay marriage you'd have been trolling
100 years ago if you'd talked about animal rights you'd have been trolling
200 years ago if you'd talked about women's rights you'd have been trolling

If you hate haters, are you a hater?

"Opponents of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party argued that the Nazis were neither a party of workers nor socialists. Today, we are told again and again that Islamic State is ‘neither a state nor Islamic’, and that when we use the term ‘Islamic State’, it only ‘feeds into its hands’. In fact, the contrary is true: believing that refusing to call the Islamic State by its own name can somehow delegitimise it is only self-deluding. (A rose, or a National Socialist, by any other name is still what or who it is.)"

[On the Europe refugee crisis] "The problem is that, it seems, many of the refugees, and children of the refugees, blame the secular countries, rather than their own leaders' failed policies, or, gasp, their own cultures. It's always colonialism, imperialism, support for dictators, crusader this, the Jews that."

"Taliban also trained by Saudi and Pakistan...Not just U.S.. Why omit the culprits without whom USA won't be able play a role? Or is it USA is pawn in Saudi agenda"

Isn't blaming Western foreign policy for Islamist terror in western countries victim blaming?

Somehow Western intervention leads to violent extremism only in the Muslim world.

"The peaceful majority is irrelevant. o ask the Jews"

Would the Chinese privilege crowd rather Chinese or white people appear in ads in Singapore?

There's an easy way to give single mothers equal benefits in Singapore.
Take away benefits from married mothers.

The problem with giving people benefits is they soon turn into entitlements (e.g. single mothers in Singapore not getting the same benefits as married ones)

Maybe the way to keep hawker food in Singapore cheap: allow them to move back to street hawking - no rent paid

If the number of Tamil speakers dwindles to 0.1% of the population, will it still remain a national language?

"If we were to all work according to gebiz and follow procedures, the academic year would be over before anything gets done"

[On 377A] "Liberal wish-list usually too long while giving little back in return, it's not like they will vote for them anyway so no incentive for govt. to alienate it's vote base to court a group that doesn't like them."

"You really cannot hope that something that will happen in 50 years' time is proof that it should be effected now." - on 377A

Masturbating in an echo chamber can be fun, but if you get your jizz on people outside it that's disgusting.

It's sad people like to watch videos of people on YouTube talking. I don't know about them but I read faster than they talk.

Links - 6th February 2016

"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off." - Raymond Chandler


The racial tensions behind Sweden’s idyllic facade - "I’m three times screwed in Swedish society: I’m black, Muslim and Somali"

Trader is fined £300 by council for using black bin bags instead of grey - "the company that supplies the sacks had run out of them, so staff at Charli, a designer fashion store, were forced to use normal black bags instead. To their horror, Haringey council officials patrolling the area spotted the four bags left outside the store and imposed a £75 fine for each. Shop owner Sangita Ibrahim, 47, said: "The shop was really busy and they came in like the Gestapo. "Staff were told they would face criminal prosecution and receive a criminal record for the bags. I felt like I was going to be frogmarched away"... the shop asked the council several times for the correct bags before resorting to using the black ones. "We repeatedly asked for a delivery of bags but it never came, so we had to use ordinary black bags""

Chris Gayle: Cricketer fined in 'sexism' row - "it's a comment that has cost cricket star Chris Gayle dearly, after his club fined him $AUD10,000 ($7,100) for his remarks to Australian Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin live on national television. After she congratulated the West Indian on smashing a 15-ball 41 for the Melbourne Renegades in a Monday Big Bash League match against the Hobart Hurricanes, Gayle complimented McLaughlin's eyes, propositioned her for a post-match drink and laughingly told her: "Don't blush, baby"... Australian hockey international Georgie Parker also suggested the situation would be different if the gender roles had been reversed... Gayle told a media scrum at Melbourne airport that the incident had been blown out of proportion. "There wasn't anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I'm really sorry for that. There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way. It was a simple joke. The game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things happen.""
Ahh... priorities

The Joys of Watching a Bridge Shave the Tops Off Trucks - WSJ - "More than 100 vehicles have crashed into a low bridge in Durham, N.C., since 2008. Jürgen Henn tracks it all on his website,"

S'pore tour group stranded up to 3 1/2 days - "During the ordeal which stretched to 31/2 days for 11 of the travellers, some of them spent two nights at two airports, slept in near-freezing temperatures and went without food and water for 10 hours... Recruitment manager Lin Yaohui, who was part of the tour group, told Wanbao that the situation was "a mess" and airline staff and ground crew "did not care" about their plight... They received food and drinks only at 8pm, after the tour guide begged the airport ground crew to help them, he said. There were no water coolers or vending machines at the airport, added Mr Lin, so his 68-year-old mother took medication for her heart condition using tap water from the toilet. He said that the temperature at the airport that night was 3 deg C to 4 deg C and the entire tour group slept on ice-cold metal benches or on the floor... elderly tourists and young children in the group had to sleep on cold, hard floors in winter with no access to food, water or their own luggage, as they were "forced to check them in by Turkish Airlines". Ms Oh also claimed that she was sexually harassed by a cleaner at the Ataturk Airport toilet. The man allegedly stood blocking her only way out with "one hand doing the money sign and the other hand fondling his crotch". She managed to escape when another man distracted him."

Kyrgyzstan detains Briton for 'horse penis' delicacy comparison - "A Briton working at a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan has been detained and faces up to five years in jail for comparing a local delicacy to a horse penis, according to authorities. Police detained Michael McFeat, an employee of the Toronto-based CenterraGold, after he posted the comment on Facebook, which caused a temporary strike at the mine... McFeat wrote that his Kyrgyz colleagues were queueing for their “special delicacy, the horse’s penis” during holiday celebrations, referring to a traditional horse sausage known as chuchuk. He now faces racial hatred charges, which can result in between three to five years in prison under Kyrgyz law."
This is why you get hardship allowance for working in third world countries

Meet the lawyer taking on Uber and the rest of the on-demand economy - "Liss-Riordan, 45, has spent her entire legal career going after employers for allegedly short-changing their employees. She specializes in worker misclassification lawsuits—the illegal practice of companies who classify their workers as independent contractors, rather than normal employees, in order to avoid paying them benefits they’re owed under federal law. She’s filed class-action lawsuits on behalf of truck drivers, waiters, delivery men, cable installers, call center workers, and exotic dancers. FedEx andStarbucks are among companies that have paid out millions of dollars for misclassifying workers and misallocating workers’ tips, respectively, as a result of suits she’s filed."

Diet debate: Is breakfast a waste of time? - "Studies repeatedly show that skipping breakfast is more common in people who are overweight or obese. But this could be a dangerous trap - when the number of ice cream sales goes up so does the number of people getting sunburn. It doesn't mean ice-cream is causing sunburn...The few clinical trials that have actively altered people's eating habits also showed no impact on waistlines."

Crab in da Bag gets a 2-star review on Facebook, reacts passive-aggressively to win customer back - "You know this is going to go viral when it involves watching CCTV footage to count number of mussels a customer has eaten. Also, we are not sure how appropriate it is for a business to put it out on a public platform that a customer has mutual friends with the business-owner, and also to highlight the customer’s employer."

The little car you can drive in France without a licence - "You can simply go shopping for a VSP a voiture sans permis - a small two-seater car that anyone aged 14 or over can take out on the road with as little as four hours' experience behind the wheel, sometimes not even that."

Netherlands: Let's talk about sex - "A liberal attitude towards sex education appears to be paying off for the people of the Netherlands. The country has the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe. Dutch children are taught about sex from a young age, but opt to have sex at a later age than their European counterparts."

A White Terrorist Is A 'Troubled Loner,' But Unarmed Black Teens Are 'Thugs'
The "evidence" presented in this story that "the media" call blacks thugs: Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson (who's black) calling Trayvon Matin a thug, the Baltimore rioters being called thugs by the Governor, Mayor, City Council President and Barack Obama (who's black), a former DEA agent on CNN calling Michael Brown a thug. Presumably "the media" is supposed to censor their guests, or they're racist.

MAS stewardess wept for having to serve alcohol, says mufti - "Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said a Malaysia Airlines stewardess had wept in front of him as she complained about having to serve alcohol and not being allowed to wear the headscarf... "She is only trying to support her children and this is not the first time I hear of such complaints," said Asri in a Facebook posting last night. Asri said he sympathised with the woman and said it was unbecoming for the national air carrier of a majority Muslim country to prevent its air stewardess from wearing the headscarf and serve alcohol... a Muslim stewardess should also not be made to serve alcohol or better off, for MAS not to serve alcohol at all."
I foresee more record shattering losses at MAS

Hong Kong politicians call for Beijing to answer over bookseller's 'abduction' - "Politicians in Hong Kong are demanding answers from Beijing over the mysterious disappearance of a group of booksellers who specialised in tabloid-style exposés about China's communist leaders."
One Country, One System

Ginsberg's theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Ginsberg's theorem is a parody of the laws of thermodynamics in terms of a person playing a game...
The "theorem" is given as a restatement of the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics:
You can't win. (restatement of first law of thermodynamics)
You can't break even. (restatement of second law of thermodynamics)
You can't even get out of the game. (restatement of third law of thermodynamics)"

Mother Kills 9-Year-Old Son For Having Small Penis In Indonesia - "An Indonesian woman drowned her nine-year-old son in the bath, claiming she was worried that his "small penis" would affect his prospects for the future... her son had had a small penis prior to being circumcised, but that it appeared to shrink further after the operation"

Eggplant vs. Aubergine - "What we call zucchini, they call courgette. Our snow pea is their mangetout. What we know as squash, they know as marrow. And what we call eggplant, they call aubergine, which to many ears sounds much more elegant."

Erdogan cites Hitler’s Germany as example of effective presidential system - "Erdogan has already jailed a number of his political opponents and journalists who are critical of him. On New Year’s Eve, political opponent Feyzi Isbasaran was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for posting tweets deemed insulting to the Turkish president. Isbasaran is a former member of Erdogan’s own AKP party. Meanwhile, opposition MP Eren Erdem, from the Republican People's Party (CHP), was accused of “treason” for telling RT that Islamic State had obtained sarin gas supplies via Turkey. He also alleged that Ankara had done nothing to stop the flow, despite having all the evidence at their disposal... He has also unleashed a harsh crackdown on Kurds in the southeast of the country, who have had week-long curfews imposed on them."

Germany has defaulted on its debts, too - "Germany's own strong position was possible only because it has escaped its debts in the past... Albrecht Ritschl, an economic historian, has calculated that Germany had truly been exceptional when it came to escaping its debts. "Germany is king when it comes to debt," Ritschl told Der Spiegel in 2011. "Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century"... Germany defaulted on its debts during the 1930s, and the German states that predated a unified Germany defaulted at least three times in the 19th century. Modern-day Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, is a product of all these defaults."

In Iceland, ‘respect the elves – or else’ - "half of the population entertains the possibility that a parallel community of elves, dwarves and ghosts might exist – a statistic repeated in tourist brochures since a landmark 1975 survey... Speak to Icelandic construction workers and they’ll repeat the history of mishaps that have befallen those who failed to heed elven warnings. These are so numerous that even non-believers would rather play it safe than risk incurring the wrath of the huldufólk... “They’re a symbol for everything that was simple and straightforward in the good old days,” she says. “They were originally figures of magical wealth and prosperity, when Iceland was terribly poor. For rural farmers, starving in their turf-houses, the elves embodied the dream of a richer, more comfy world, a parallel community enjoying palatial homes and fine food.” But now they serve the opposite role. The huldufólk are forever clothed in 19th-century peasant costume, an image of parsimony in the days before our era of reckless excess."

Egyptian golden jackal is actually a grey wolf scientists discover in DNA test

How thousands of Icelanders suddenly started worshiping the Norse gods again - "“We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology”... The people of Iceland were never sold on Jesus. “From the time of Iceland’s formal adoption of Christianity as the official state religion in the year 1,000 C.E., Iceland has never been a fanatically Christian country nor particularly orthodox in its Christianity,” wrote scholar Michael Strmiska of SUNY Orange. “A strong case can be made that the acceptance of Christianity was motivated more by economic and political considerations than authentic Christian fervor. … Good political and economic relations with Christian Europe depended on at least a semblance of Christian conversion, and so this semblance was achieved.”"

Friday, February 05, 2016

Links - 5th February 2016

Thai faces jail for insulting king’s dog: Lawyer - "Thanakorn Siripaiboon, 27, has been charged by police with lese majeste for a “satirical” Facebook post about the king and his dog... Thanakorn also faces lese majeste, sedition and computer crimes charges for clicking “like” on a doctored photo of the king and sharing it, plus an infographic on a growing corruption scandal engulfing the junta... Even the US ambassador faces a police investigation for royal defamation over a speech last month in which he expressed concern at the lengthy sentences."

Men Strip, "Finger" and Molest Bikini-Clad Girls at Water Park after Being Given Free Entry - "On 19/4, a water park in Hanoi, Vietnam called ‘Ho Tay’ opened for free admission... many other guys went home and updated their facebook status about their “achievements” at the water park like how many boobs they had grabbed or how many girls they’d molested on that day."

Europe has taken over the Holocaust - "Killing six million people is a moral stain on one's nation that surely ought to endure more than a couple of generations. But, on the other hand, almost everything else about the Germany of 60 years ago is gone - its great power status, its military machine, its aggressive nationalism, its need for lebens-raum. The past is another country, but rarely as foreign as the Third Reich. Why should Holocaust guilt be the only enforced link with an otherwise discarded heritage? "Enforced" is the operative word. If most Germans don't feel guilty about the Holocaust, there's no point pretending they do"

The Land without Muslims - "The official policy of Japan is not to give citizenship to Muslims who come to Japan, and even permits for permanent residency are given sparingly to Muslims... In contrast with what is happening in Europe, very few Japanese are drawn to Islam... The most interesting thing in Japan’s approach to Islam is the fact that the Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam"

The Big Apple: “We campaign in poetry, but when we’re elected we’re forced to govern in prose”

John Burgess's answer to Why didn't President Barack Obama close Guantanamo as he promised in his first presidential campaign? - Quora - "there's a continuity of US foreign policy from one Administration to another, one party to the next. There's a reason for that: practical solutions do not grow on ideological trees. Real problems have relatively few solutions and wishing doesn't change that. In fact, so many policies (foreign and domestic) that were followed by Bush are also being followed by Obama because those are the best available policies"

What Liberals Still Don’t Understand About Fox News - "The reliably liberal Frank Rich appreciates better than most Fox’s essential harmlessness. In a piece published last year in New York, he concluded that aside from infuriating liberals, Fox flexes little political power. The median age of a Fox viewer is 68, eight years older than the MSBNC and CNN median age, and its median age is rising. “Fox is in essence a retirement community,” Rich writes, and a small one at that!"

Monthly sex worker tests are ridiculous, health experts say - "Health and human rights experts said it was ridiculous to force sex workers to have monthly tests when they were at extremely low risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Three Australian studies have found that about one in every six men admit to having paid for sex at least once. Professor of Sexual Health at Melbourne University, Christopher Fairley, said research showed monthly testing was unnecessary and a waste of public health resources because sex workers have much lower rates of STIs than other people. This was backed by a recent study of patients at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre which showed that of 2896 female sex workers tested for STIs over three years, only 3 per cent were positive. In contrast, the study found that 41 per cent of 4208 STIs diagnosed at the clinic over the three years were in men having sex with men. "You are at lower risk of catching an STI if you have sex with a sex worker than if you have sex with a member of the public""

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, 60th Anniversary – Memorable Reports 1 - "That incredible stoicism is everywhere. In Irkutsk at least, people seem simply to accept that winter is harsh and this one especially so. It is without doubt the cruellest Siberian winter in living memory. Yet outdoors everything appears to function normally; even schools reopened as the temperature rose briefly to minus 25"

10 Inspirational Quotes You'd Never Guess Were Said By Horrible People

Rethinking Singapore’s housing policies - "A second and more fundamental objection to the use of housing as a form of retirement security is that it is highly regressive and inequitable. The people who benefit the most from housing as a form of social security are those who have the means to own more than a single property. The Government has a general aversion to inter-generational transfers through the fiscal system (of taxing the young to pay for the benefits of the old); this is why Singapore does not have the tax-financed pensions found in most developed countries. But the current approach of relying on house price appreciation to finance the retirement of the elderly is, de facto, a form of inter-generational transfers too, since it is always the next generation that has to bear the burden of rising house prices... if house prices increase more rapidly than wages over a sustained period, people may begin to view financial speculation or investing in property as a more reliable way of securing income gains than through their own labour. This would erode society’s work ethic, increase status competition and envy, and divert society’s resources from productive activities to less productive and potentially destabilising ones."

65 Rules For Being A Man According To Elevator Gossip at Goldman Sachs. - "55. If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone."

A new study finds arranged marriages are happy.

Sex Assault: A Crime against the Young & Attractive? - "The main factors driving sexual assaults may be the attractiveness and vulnerability of young people of both genders, rather than negative attitudes toward women, a new study suggests. More than half of sexual assault victims in the study were under 20. The group at greatest risk of being assaulted was 15- to 19-year old females, and the most common age of all victims of rape (of both genders) was 15. Homosexual men were as likely as heterosexual men to commit sexual assault... adolescents' higher risk of sexual assaults could be explained by their attractiveness, their vulnerability, and their active social lives, which increase contact with potential offenders... Many scholars and activists believe that sexual assaults stem from hatred of women, patriarchy or the desire to control and dominate. But the researchers say that the similarity between the rates of assaults committed by gay and straight men suggests that attitudes toward women are not likely playing a strong role in sexual assaults... 10- to 14-year-old girls were at greater risk of rape than women in their 20s. In the study, 15-year-old girls were about nine times more likely to be raped than 35-year-old women, and 15-year-old boys were more likely to be victims than 40-year-old women... Older people and women rarely commit sex crimes, but when they do, they also attack young people"

Certain Self-Defense Actions Can Decrease Risk - "potential rape victims who resisted their attackers physically and verbally significantly reduced the probability that a rape would be completed and did not significantly increase the risk of serious injury... The most effective actions, according to victims, are attacking or struggling against their attacker, running away, and verbally warning the attacker... the only self-protective tactics that appear to increase the risk of injury significantly were those that are ambiguous and not forceful. These included stalling, cooperating and screaming from pain or fear. A separate study found that even when a rape was completed, women who used some form of resistance had better mental health outcomes than those who did not resist"

Food evolution - "At present, there are more than a thousand recipes from the caterers' menu database to choose from, and new dishes are introduced each month to update the menus... Although 2WO Tan no longer cooks for fellow servicemen and women, it still matters to him how satisfied they are with cookhouse meals. "Based on the feedback we get, we constantly look for ways to improve the taste of fresh rations," said 2WO Tan, who has dedicated 29 years of
his life to warming the hearts and tummies of soldiers with food... About five new dishes are added to the menus of the 24-hour field ration packs every three months, replacing unpopular ones, said HQ Supply Ration Warrant Master Sergeant (MSG) Mok Shao Wei. Added SFIM Assistant General Manager Tan Yan Ren, who works on the supply of field rations: "We review the menus quarterly and develop new recipes regularly to provide variety. So by the end of each year, you will find that more than half of the food items on the menus have been replaced... "dialogue sessions and surveys are conducted every quarter, where 100 servicemen are randomly selected to suggest improvements to the field rations menu"... On the outcome of the dialogue sessions, Mr Tan said: "The entrees used to be mostly rice-based. At present, these meals only constitute about 25 percent of the dishes offered, with pasta and noodles becoming the popular picks. It is a reflection of the taste profile of our soldiers nowadays." Fresh rations' menus are also discussed with selected soldiers when caterers propose monthly menus to each unit's F&B manager... when a unit has outfield training on a particular day, caterers are advised to avoid serving "heaty" food like curry chicken for lunch. Menu development also takes SAF-level activities into account. To prepare servicemen and women for the annual Army Half Marathon this year, the cookhouses served carbohydrate-loading meals four days prior to the event...
2010: The Weekend Meal, which has greater menu variety, was created for personnel on weekend duty."

Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam to make police report over 'inaccurate and seditious' Facebook post by Sangeetha Thanapal : singapore - "Sample post: It’s so tiring to even leave the house and deal with being in public, because Chinese people refuse to treat us as human. Chinese Privilege is being treated as a human being, rather than an object to avoid... my advice to all minorities who aren’t super rich and open to licking PAP balls, RUN. Run to another country as soon as you can."
"These people are everything that's wrong with the younger generation. Everything is an act of microaggression that's out to offend people"
"Lolololol been waiting for this for some time already. As a minority Singaporean I'm sick of her divisive SJW antics and I'm #nothershield."
"I used to get very offended all the time and it got seriously exhausting. So I decided to have a more humorous outlook."

Bomb Threat at DC GamerGate Meetup Shows There Are Bad Eggs on the Other Side - "A Washington, DC-area bar hosting a meetup for supporters of GamerGate was briefly evacuated Friday night after someone called in a bomb threat... While it’s not clear who specifically made the bomb threat, Twitter personality Arthur Chu—a celebrated Jeopardy! winner, Salon columnist, and vitriolic critic of GamerGate—personally spearheaded efforts to convince the bar, Local16, to cancel the event. He sent emails to Local16 management asserting that GamerGate was a “right wing hate group and harassment campaign that’s caused tremendous damage to my life.” Letting the meetup take place was akin to “letting anti-feminists gather to celebrate the harassment and intimidation of women in tech,” he claimed. I’m not sure how GamerGate has damaged Chu’s life—indeed, criticizing the movement has given Chu an impressive podium in his post-Jeopardy! career—but it seems hyperbolic (to say the very least) to brand the entire meetup as a right-wing, anti-women hate group. As Yiannopoulos pointed out in his write-up of the event, attendees included a lesbian video game designer—who currently relies on a cane and had some difficulty evacuating the after the bomb threat—and her fiancé. Presumably these are not the right-wing opponents of women in tech that Chu was talking about... Chu seems unable to separate the real abusers from the honest critics of his perspective, and plenty of other people on both sides of GamerGate have done the same. The mentality of “you either agree with me or you’re a Nazi,” is often on display. But threats of violence against another group are never okay, and that goes for militant GamerGate anti-feminists, scorched-earth social justice warriors, and everyone in between."

#GamerGate Event Evacuated After Multiple Bomb Threats - "The Society of Professional Journalist’s #GamerGate “#SPJ AirPlay” event in Miami, FL was evacuated today after repeated bomb threats. According to event organizer and moderator, Michael Koretzky, six bomb threats were directed at the event."

India: Land of Scams?

From a New Delhi hotel:

"Scams & Schemes in India upon arrival
Verified video by Ministry of Tourism Govt. of India"

"India: Scams & Schemes

Dishonest Taxi Drivers at the Airport - Taxi driver from airport try to misguide you in many ways providing wrong information about your hotel. His plan is to direct you into a fake tourist office as he gets good commission for this job. Don't trust him. Arrange from the hotel to send you a taxi is good idea.

New Delhi Train Station Scam - If you have booked a ticket, you reach the station and someone approaches you to tell you the train has been cancelled, its a scam to get you to book a car at high prices. Don't fall for it.

Tourist Office Scam : Private tourist offices will often try to arrange the whole trip for you. Be aware. Better not to believe all the proposals they make. Sometimes they tell you trains are full booked so they can arrange private taxi for you. Also check the prices of trains, buses, hotels,... before you deal wit a tourist agency.

Train booking scam : When you ask for the booking office in the train station people send you to a private tourist office to sell you more expensive train-tickets or even tell you the trains are full booked and you need to book a private taxi to your destination. Don't believe that."

Delhi scams | About Delhi | Rough Guides

"Delhi can be a headache for the first-time visitor because of scams to entrap the unwary – even down to dumping dung onto visitors’ shoes and, then charging them to clean it off. The most common wheeze, though, is for taxi drivers or touts to convince you that the hotel you’ve chosen is full, closed or has just burned to the ground so as to take you to one that pays them commission. They may even pretend to phone your hotel to check, or will take you to a travel agent (often claiming to be a “tourist office”) who will do it, dialling for you (a different number); the “receptionist” on the line will corroborate the story, or deny all knowledge of your reservation. The driver or tout will then take you to a “very good hotel” – usually in Karol Bagh – where you’ll be charged well over the odds for a night’s accommodation. To reduce the risk of being caught out, write down your taxi’s registration number (make sure the driver sees you doing it), and insist on going to your hotel with no stops en route. Heading for Paharganj, your driver may try to take you to a hotel of his choice rather than yours. To avoid this, you could ask to be dropped at New Delhi railway station and walk from there. You may even encounter fake “doormen” outside hotels who’ll tell you the place is full; check at reception first, and even if the claim is true, never follow the tout to anywhere he recommends. These problems can be avoided by reserving in advance; many hotels will arrange for a car and driver to meet you at your point of arrival.

New Delhi railway station is the worst place for touts; assume that anyone who approaches you here – even in uniform – with offers of help, or to direct you to the foreigners’ booking hall, is up to no good. Most are trying to lure travellers to the fake “official” tourist offices opposite the Paharganj entrance, where you’ll end up paying way over the odds, often for unconfirmed tickets. And don’t believe stories that the foreigners’ booking hall has closed.

On Connaught Place and along Janpath, steer clear of phoney “tourist information offices” (which touts may try to divert you to – a typical CP tout chat-up line is to inform you which block you are on, so be suspicious of anyone who comes up and tells you that unasked), and never do business with any travel agency that tries to disguise itself as a tourist information office.

Finally, be aware that taxi, auto and rental-car drivers get a hefty commission for taking you to certain shops, which will be added to your bill should you buy anything. You can assume that auto-wallahs who accost you on the street do so with the intention of overcharging you, or of taking you to shops which pay them commission rather than straight to where you want to go. Always hail a taxi or auto-rickshaw yourself, rather than taking one whose driver approaches you, and don’t let them take you to places where you haven’t asked to go.


Thursday, February 04, 2016

Links - 4th February 2016

All Anti-Feminist Talk Would Be Criminal 'Hate Speech' If U.K. Activists Get Their Way - "a government allowed to whimsically ban someone from entering the country or ban a group of people from associating based purely on dislike for the content of their beliefs is sure as shit not a government that's going to stop with pickup artists. Throughout history, limits on freedom of speech and association have come down hard on the left, because it's the left that most frequently challenges the status quo. Lip service to social justice goals notwithstanding, there's no reason to think that people in power are going to suddenly stop with this centuries-long tendency now."

Don’t ban Roosh V – criticise and ridicule him - "Scotland’s contemporary aversion to free speech and freedom of association is rearing its ugly head once again. Not content with outlawing football chants, or monitoring social media for offensive material, SNP MPs are now keen on banning a controversial speaker from Scotland... How strange it is that Sheppard promotes education despite his unwillingness to let the Scottish people hear and criticise the views he so opposes. What sort of an education is it when you only hear one side of the argument?... There’s not a single one of Valizadeh’s views I agree with. His writing is rubbish, and his ideas repugnant. However, I know I possess the moral autonomy to hear them and respond critically. It seems our politicians do not think so highly of me... Activist and author Vonny Moyes wrote on Facebook that we need to ban Valizadeh and shut down his meetings ‘to show that women are not submissive, frightened, or controlled by threats’. It seems to me that, by calling for a ban, we would be doing the complete opposite. We would be showing that we are frightened of Valizadeh’s views, and particularly frightened that women might encounter them."
This hits the nail on the head. When liberals talk about "education" and "educating people", they mean people should uncritically accept their views

Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis. - "The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis."

The effect of male circumcision on sexuality. - "There was a decrease in masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment after circumcision, indicating that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings."

It’s not only Germany that covers up mass sex attacks by migrant men... Sweden’s record is shameful - "It took days for police to acknowledge the extent of the mass attacks on women celebrating New Year’s Eve in Cologne. The Germans were lucky; in Sweden, similar attacks have been taking place for more than a year and the authorities are still playing catch up. Only now is the truth emerging, both about the attacks and the cover-ups. Stefan Löfven, our Prime Minister, has denounced a ‘double betrayal’ of women and has promised an investigation. But he ought to be asking this: what made the police and even journalists cover up the truth? The answer can be discovered in the reaction to the Cologne attacks. Sweden prides itself on its sexual equality and has even pioneered a feminist foreign policy. When hundreds of women were reported to have been molested and abused in Cologne — at the hands of an organised mob — the reaction from Swedish politicians and pundits ought to have been one of outrage. Instead, we were told that the events in Cologne were not unusual. An article in Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest tabloid, argued that it was racist to point out that the perpetrators in Cologne had been described as North African or Arab, since German men had carried out sexual assaults during Bavaria’s Oktober-fest. Another Aftonbladet article said that reporting on the Cologne attacks was bowing to right-wing extremism. Over the last week, we have been told over and over that the real issue is men, not any particular culture — that Swedish men are no better. Then last week Sweden’s own stories began to emerge... We Swedes pride ourselves on our unrivalled record on respecting women’s rights. But when women’s rights conflict with the goal of accommodating other cultures, it’s almost always women who are pushed to the side"

Why does Sweden Have One of the Highest Sexual Assault Rates in the World? - "'Since 2000, there has only been one research report on immigrant crime. It was done in 2006 by Ann-Christine Hjelm from Karlstads University. It emerged that in 2002, 85% of those sentenced to at least two years in prison for rape in Svea Hovrätt, a court of appeals, were foreign born or second-generation immigrants. A 1996 report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention reached the conclusion that immigrants from North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) were 23 times as likely to commit rape as Swedish men'...
The report cites a telling story of Swedish journalists misleading their readers about who exactly committed a highly-publicized gang-rape... European journalists immediately assume that the over-representation of black Americans in prison signals racism in the justice system. Could something similar be going on in Sweden? Why aren't crusading journalists like Mikeal Blomkvist trying to find this out? Is it because they trust the Swedish justice system to always reach the right conclusions, no matter what? Is it because they are afraid of finding out that the conviction rates actually do reflect reality?... If you refer to rape suspects who don't even have Swedish citizenship as "Swedish men", you are lying to your readers. Since this actually happens, the conversation should move on: why does it happen?"
Comment: "Note that if I said any of this in public, i immediately would loose my job. It also goes against everything I have learned in school. I already feel like a Nazi just for rewriting these lines.

German authorities accused of playing down refugee shelter sex crime reports - "Barbara Helfrich of the charity Paritaetischer Bund in the central state of Hesse, said some women had come forward. "We have several trustworthy reports on sexual violence and assaults from victims, as well as advisory groups and NGOs," she told Reuters. In a recent open letter, several charities alleged crimes had been committed a city shelter in the state. "There are several cases of rape and sexual assault and increasingly even reports on forced prostitution," the joint letter said, adding that these were not isolated incidents."

Jew arrested for 'moving lips' on Temple Mount - "A strange story that raises questions about the hostile perception of Israelis and their treatment of Muslims. I have often wondered why, if the Israeli government is so horrible towards “Palestinians” – and I’m not ignoring the bloody battling of the past several decades since Israel’s founding – they allow the Dome of the Rock to stand and Muslims essentially to control it? If Israelis are such “evil Zionists,” would they have not blown up the Dome by now and booted Muslims out of Israel?"

Gun Laws, Deaths and Crimes - "President Barack Obama claimed that “states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.” Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, meanwhile, has made nearly the opposite claim, saying states with stringent gun control laws have “the highest gun crime rates in the nation.” In looking solely at the numbers of gun deaths and gun crimes, the data back up Obama, not Fiorina... One news report that compiled these same CDC numbers on firearm death rates, by 24/7 Wall Street and published by USA Today, listed several reasons besides gun laws that these states might have high rates of gun deaths (suicides included). Many of the states also have higher rates of poverty, lower educational attainment and perhaps more rural areas that make getting to a hospital in time to save someone’s life difficult. But that report also noted weaker gun laws were common among the states with higher gun death rates: “In fact, none of the states with the most gun violence require permits to purchase rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Gun owners are also not required to register their weapons in any of these states. Meanwhile, many of the states with the least gun violence require a permit or other form of identification to buy a gun,” reporter Thomas C. Frohlich wrote... Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health looked at gun laws and gun deaths in all 50 states from 2007 to 2010, concluding that: “A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state, overall and for suicides and homicides individually.” Their research was published inJAMA Internal Medicine in May 2013. But the study said that it couldn’t determine cause-and-effect."

Adam Steiner's answer to Is The Force Awakens better than The Phantom Menace? - Quora - "the Phantom Menace was a decent story badly told. It was more ambitious than what Lucas was at that time capable of delivering. I thought that The Force Awakens was a terrible story told well. In fact I would argue that the Force didn't have a story, more like a collection of pre-agreed scenes, linked by unlikely coincidences. JJ Abram's did his best, its just that his best wasn't particularly interesting. It was product rather than art."
"TFA was like a brilliantly made trailer that went for 2 hours."

Laju hijacking | Infopedia - "the hijackers agreed to release the hostages in exchange for a party of guarantors to ensure their safe passage out of Singapore. The incident ended on 8 February 1974, when the hijackers left for Kuwait."
If Singapore doesn't negotiate with terrorists, why did they let the Laju hijackers what they wanted?

A Deep, Dark, Secret Love Affair - "In his book, "From Third World to First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000," published in 2000, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father and its first prime minister, disclosed the secret that had been kept for almost 40 years: It was the Israel Defense Forces that established the Singaporean army. The Israeli military mission was headed by Yaakov (Jack) Elazari, then a colonel, who was later promoted to brigadier general. After leaving the army, he became a consultant to the Singaporean army. Hedied 15 years ago. "To disguise their presence, we called them `Mexicans.' They looked swarthy enough," Lee wrote... The two Israelis met with Lee, who writes that he "told Keng Swee to put it on hold until Lal Bahadur Shastri, the prime minister of India, and President Nasser of Egypt replied to my letters seeking their urgent help to build up our armed forces." It's not clear whether Lee, in fact, believed India and Egypt were capable of, or interested in, building up Singapore's army. Many Israelis believe the two leaders were approached only for appearance's sake. After a few weeks of waiting, India and Egypt congratulated Singapore on its independence but did not offer military aid. Lee ordered Goh to push ahead in contacts with the Israelis... "We discovered that there was psychological resistance to conscription in Singapore," he relates. "Of 10 professions, that of soldier was ranked last. In first place was the artist, followed by the philosopher, the teacher and the merchant, and the thief was in ninth place. Soldiering was considered a contemptible profession. In Singapore, conscription was considered a means to overcome unemployment."

Adam Steiner's answer to Were the lightsaber fighting styles in Star Wars inspired by real life sword fighting technique? - Quora - "When Kylo fights Finn the first thing he does is twirl his blade (barf). Then he launches three attacks in a row against Finns sword, which Finn is holding upright in front of him, plausibly the only guard he knows. What Finn is doing is fine, but Kylo's approach seems VERY basic. Why not keep a sensible distance and chop off Finn's legs? Or try a fient? Finn ducks under a wild swing and clips Kylo, which could happen. Kylo then disarms Finn and whacks him with a jumping pirouette. Some people have argued that Kylo fights badly because he is wounded, but Kylo fights very physically and untechnically. If you are wounded you can't fight physically and you try to use technique to compensate. That's the opposite of what happens, so I'm not sure the choreography of Kylo makes sense. When Rey and Kylo fight, over the course of their very brief encounter, Rey seems to transform from clueless novice (throwing some of the worst lunges ever seen) to a competent swordswoman in the space of a few minutes. I don't know if this was intentional. You could argue she is getting used to an unfamiliar weapon. Kylo continues to flail away with wild abandon. Rey outmuscles Kylo, which seems a little implausible to me, even with Kylo wounded. The fight ends with a continuity error. She throws Kylo to her feet, and then a frame later hes standing a good 25 meters away. Presumably this is to allow enough space for the conveniently wide chasm to open up between them."

Tall Privilege | The Cydonian Signal - "There are two ways my ego can handle this basic fact of reality. The first is the road to ruin, the other is the road of acceptance... even if I were to succeed, I would not be a better person. I would still be short. Nothing can change that. Only now, I would be made bitter by my constant shaming of others to change their preferences so they could conform to mine. I would see staturism everywhere and every event would stab at me, right in the heart. Instead of finding serenity in acceptance, I would only obsess over the slight handicap I was born with and make it my identity. The path of activism and awareness, of changing everyone else to meet your ideal and exploding with rage at those that don’t, will only lead to a life wasted and saturated in negativity.But there is a second path – acceptance – and it is the one I have chosen. I can’t help being short. While this may seem depressing at first, and it can be, it can also be freeing. I know I can’t get any taller, so it’s futile to worry about it. The rational response to this is simply to understand that I can’t change my height, nor can I change the world, but there are many other things about myself that I can change... The actual path to happiness is to understand that I was born with a cross to bear, just like everyone else, and I should ascend past my shortcomings."

What are your thoughts on "Roosh" worldwide meeting to call for legalizing rape?

Details: See article: 'Pick-up artist' slammed and ridiculed online over notion of ‘legal rape’
This uber-manhood group, lead by a "pick-up artist", is calling for the decriminalization of rape laws, and making WOMEN responsible for such actions.

Gabriel Seah's answer to What are your thoughts on "Roosh" worldwide meeting to call for legalizing rape? - Quora

What would your thoughts be on a meeting to call for legalizing the sale of poor families' children for rich people to eat?

Would you call the police?
Refuse to associate with anyone who attends?
Boycott the people or institution supporting such a heinous proposal?
Pelt participants with rotten tomatoes?

Such a meeting occurred on 16th November 2015 in Florida International University (HEARTS Book Club - Honors College).

It was a HEARTS Book Club meeting to discuss Jonathan Swift's Gulliver’s Travels.

There are more parallels between a Jonathan Swift book club and the planned Return of Kings' International Meetup Day On February 6, 2016 than are apparent at first glance.

I can't find the place  where Roosh is alleged to have, coming from “the best of motives”, argued "that legalizing rape would significantly decrease its rate forcing women to “take better care of their bodies”".

I have, however, found the article which other media sources are presumably using to justify their claim that the group "believes rape should be legalised on private property"  ('Legal rape' group leader announces he will come to Australia).

For one, How To Stop Rape was not published on the site Return of Kings but on Roosh's personal website.

More importantly, it is clear from reading the article that it is not entirely serious.

Take the following extract, for example:

Thankfully, a man only has to be told the phrase “rape is bad” at some point after puberty by an overweight feminist to definitively stop his future brutal and bloody rape career. It’s a miracle that more men have not raped their mothers, babysitters, and sisters before being taught in college that rape is actually not a good thing.

I knew from an early age that rape was bad, as was all forms of violence, not just against women but men as well. I also knew that killing, stealing, and having sexual interest in relatives was bad. I don’t remember if someone specifically taught me these rules, but I also don’t remember being taught that the sun rises and sets once a day, or that I will go splat if I jump off a tall building

Compare the serious tone in this article to the following equally serious extract:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

A discerning reader would at least suspect that neither of these essays is not meant to be read literally.

This is especially obvious when comparing the former to Roosh's usual writing.

Of course, I don't think that "How to Stop Rape" is as finely crafted a piece as "A Modest Proposal". For one it mixes satirical and serious points too liberally for the satirical intent to shine through.

Yet, a bad poet's poems are still poems (even if they are not as good as a good poet's).

I am not the first to note the article's satirical intent, or even to make a parallel to A Modest Proposal.

In February 2015, a full year before the current hooplah, the Raw Story reported on this alleged call to make rape legal (Misogynist blogger: Make rape on private property legal so women can have ‘learning experiences’) and noted that "Some of Vörek’s commenters immediately likened his column to Jonathan Swift’s satirical “A Modest Proposal.”"

The Raw Story tucked this at the very end of the post, but at least they put it in somewhere.

The current media circus, unfortunately, did not even pick this qualifier up.

Now that we've established that Roosh did not call for rape to be legalised on private property, let us move on to the meetup itself.

The purpose of the meetup is to

allow masculine men to regularly bond and converse with each other while providing support in the case conflict or disturbances affect their city or nation
(About | Tribal Meeting)

This might sound ominous to some people, so let's unpack that. Past meetups, on which this is modeled, were

an enjoyable male bonding session where we could have locker room banter, ask for advice, tell stories, and share ideas for a couple of hours before heading to the nightlife district for an additional drink or two

So in other words, it's for (heterosexual) men to meet up, talk and have a beer while discussing something broadly termed "neomasculinity" (a worldwide definition of which is not imposed;

This sounds like what people used to call a "male bonding" session.

Anyhow, if you don't believe a word that I wrote above, note that even Snopes, that stalwart granddaddy of Urban Legend and Hoax Debunking Sites rates the claim that "Men's rights activist "Roosh V" organized a "make rape legal" event across 43 countries on 6 February 2016." as  "Mostly False" ('Make Rape Legal' Event in 43 Countries?)

I don't agree with much of what Roosh V writes, but even if you don't agree with any of his views at all, the best thoughts come from Richard D:

Although I do not agree with most of the things you write, I will be at the Brisbane event this weekend to hear you speak, and to help ensure that you are heard.

Freedom of speech only has value if it applies to everyone, especially those who think differently. The people who threaten you with violence to try and silence you are criminals against a free society.

Sadly, the meetup has been cancelled (ANNOUNCEMENT: The Meetup On February 6 Is Cancelled) due to the media circus and threats (including those of death and physical violence) to both Roosh and attendees (Roosh on TwitterRoosh on Twitter), and even government officials were talking about banning it (Don’t ban Roosh V – criticise and ridicule him).

Apparently the best response to imaginary pro-rape views is to make death threats.

Go figure.

This is yet another worrying episode in the liberal attack on free speech. As notes,

a government allowed to whimsically ban someone from entering the country or ban a group of people from associating based purely on dislike for the content of their beliefs is sure as shit not a government that's going to stop with pickup artists

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