"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Links - 18th June 2019 (1)

A Free-Trade Democrat in the Trump White House (Ep. 371) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "According to William Cohan, who’s written a definitive history of the firm, “Goldman determined never to do business with Trump and conveyed that message to its new recruits.” Keep in mind this is the same Goldman Sachs that until recently was happy to do bond deals with the government of Venezuela...
The Joint Committee on Taxation projects the new tax law will be very generous to the very wealthy. But Cohn — who is himself very, very wealthy — he argues with that perception. Indeed, some of the new provisions hurt high earners: a lower cap on the the mortgage-interest deduction and a new $10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction, or SALT, which is especially punitive to high earners living in high-tax states — states, by the way, that did not vote for Trump in 2016.
COHN: There was a very big tech company in California I was at two weeks ago, where all the senior management was bitching at me because how much their taxes are going up. I said, “Please tell Nancy Pelosi, because she was the first one that came out and said this was a tax cut for the rich.” Well, it was not a tax cut for the rich in San Francisco and it was not a tax cut for the rich in New York City or in Illinois...
DUBNER: Big question: it’s been a while now, too early for big macro results, but how do you think your tax plan is working so far?
COHN: I’m glad you say that, that it’s too early, because it’s amazing how everyone wants to take a 10-year tax plan and judge it after one year. We talked about increasing economic growth by one percent. And I think in essence we did that in the first year. We went from sort of two to sub-two percent to three and just below three-percent growth. We finally have real wage growth, wage growth in excess of inflation in the United States. It’s still not as high as we’d like to see it. We’re seeing job creation. We’re seeing movement in the labor force. And I do think that we’ve seen that disposable income in the system... The one thing the president and I completely, 100 percent agree upon is the Chinese stealing of intellectual property, the forced technology transfer into China, the market access for businesses into China."
How to get Democrats to oppose tax hikes

Why You Shouldn’t Open a Restaurant (Ep. 347 Update) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "DUBNER: So I understand that you’ve also, in the midst of all this, put yourself and the restaurant in the middle of a MAGA controversy. You tweeted, in response to public events in D.C., you tweeted, “It hasn’t happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a MAGA cap, you aren’t getting served. Same as if you come in wearing a swastika, white hood, or any other symbol of intolerance and hate.” So, that’s what you tweeted. What happened next?
LÓPEZ-ALT: What happened next was — well, nothing for a few days and then it got picked up by some newspapers and then went around national news. And that’s when trouble happened. It was a mistake on a number of fronts for me to say that. The first one and the one that I was really concerned about was, it was a mistake the way I treated my staff and my partners, because that’s my personal Twitter account. It was something I said off the cuff and I never talked to my partners about it. And I realized afterwards that I just put my partners and especially my staff in a really tough position. Because now there’s all this anger being directed at them, and they had nothing to do with it. It was just me shooting off my mouth. The other thing I want to say is that people very fairly read that as an attack on individuals, and as an attack on themselves after reading it, an attack on Republicans. And I can understand why it was read that way. And all I can say is that in my head it was really not about individuals. It is about the symbol, the symbol of the hat. I very admittedly live in a liberal bubble, I live in the Bay Area."

Disney says its more than $400 million Vice investment is now worthless - "Just a few years ago, big media companies were falling over themselves to bet on Vice Media. Disney made the biggest bet, by putting more than $400 million into the swashbuckling digital publisher.Now, Disney says all of the money it put into Vice has been incinerated: In investor filings Wednesday, Disney said it no longer thinks it will ever get any return on the investment it made in Vice — a company that at one point was supposedly worth $5.7 billion...
Investors have decided that high-flying publishers that once confidently explained that they’d created a new media paradigm are now worth very little ... or even less.
Here’s a partial roll call familiar to some of you:
Mic, which raised more than $60 million, sold for less than $5 million late last year.
Mashable, which was valued at about $250 million in 2016, sold for less than $50 million in 2017.
The properties formerly known as Gawker Media, plus the Onion and other sites, just sold for a price that’s likely well below $50 million; Univision, the TV conglomerate which sold them off, had paid $135 million for the Gawker sites alone in 2016."

Galactic War Report – Episode 150: A Celebration! from SWCC – Radio Free Tatooine - "'We've done Jedi Knight Revan and his companions. We've done Darth Revan and his companions. I should say Revan 's companions. We're not allowed to gender... Jedi Knight Revan's and Revan's companions. And Darth Revan'...
'It's fun writing marquee material when you can't gender anything at all'"
How politically correctness stultifies language

CIA 'Ninja bomb' replaces explosives with six long blades - "The US apparently has a unique approach to minimizing bystander casualties from drone strikes: replace the warhead with old-fashioned knives."

Black students reluctant to apply to Cambridge University 'due to lack of Afro-Caribbean hairdressers' - "Black students are failing to apply to Cambridge because there is a lack of Afro-Caribbean hairdressers in the city, the university’s pro-vice-Chancellor has said... “We have been doing some quite detailed research, particularly with black students, particularly in London, looking at obstacles to applying to Cambridge and thinking about Cambridge. And number three on the list was hairdressers,” he said... Naomi Kellman, founder of Target Oxbridge, a programme to assist black students with Oxford and Cambridge applications, said the question about hairdressers "comes up really frequently".“If you are from a majority group you assume you will be catered for, anywhere in the country can manage your hair," she said. "But if you have afro hair, the expertise is needed. Things that are really basic and simple become quite a big challenge.”As well as asking about the academic demands of courses at Oxbridge, black students are also concerned about what kind of food and night life will be on offer, Ms Kellman said.Cambridge has a number of hairdressers including the Afro European Beauty Centre, which says on its website it specialises in "Afro and European hair care for both men and women".However, Dr Tony Sewell, CEO of Generating Genius, a charity that encourages youngsters from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue STEM subjects, said a lack of hairdressers is not the reason why black students are put off from applying."It may be another lame excuse - kids need to get more resilient and get with it," he said. "As a minority, you will have to be confronting a situation where you are the only one. You have to face that and learn how to adapt to that. That’s the key issue.""

Fast-food chain Yoshinoya to sell beef bowl without rice - "Japanese fast-food restaurant operator Yoshinoya Holdings Co said it will start selling on Thursday a bowl of beef on vegetables, instead of the usual steamed rice, responding to requests from health-conscious people."

The Hole in the Wall Project and the Power of Self-Organized Learning - "In early 1999, some colleagues and I sunk a computer into the opening of a wall near our office in Kalkaji, New Delhi. The area was located in an expansive slum, with desperately poor people struggling to survive. The screen was visible from the street, and the PC was available to anyone who passed by. The computer had online access and a number of programs that could be used, but no instructions were given for its use.What happened next astonished us. Children came running out of the nearest slum and glued themselves to the computer. They couldn't get enough. They began to click and explore. They began to learn how to use this strange thing. A few hours later, a visibly surprised Vivek said the children were actually surfing the Web."
Apparently they didn't surf porn

Juncker regrets not intervening in Brexit referendum campaign
Great way to encourage "populism" and anti-EU sentiment

Jean-Claude Juncker lashes out at 'stupid nationalists' on eve of European elections - "Some polls project that populists may become the most powerful group in the parliament following this week's elections in all 28 EU nations, resulting in a lasting impact on the future of the bloc and the continent at large. "These populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own countries," Juncker told CNN in his Brussels office."
Apparently it is a bad thing to love your own country. Presumably it is good to love the EU

Elton John: 'I am a European – not a stupid, imperialist English idiot' - "Elton John has said he is ashamed of the UK over its voting for and handling of Brexit.While performing on Wednesday in Verona on his last ever world tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, he said: “I’m ashamed of my country for what it has done. It’s torn people apart … I am sick to death of politicians, especially British politicians. I am sick to death of Brexit. I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot.”"
Strange how he doesn't recognise that modern Europe was literally founded on white supremacy and imperialism, through the legacy of colonialism
So much for the myth that liberals hate their countries

Brexit news: Investment in Britain booms and beats France and Germany combined - "As global confidence grows in Britain, we retained our position as the top destination in Europe for foreign direct investment. The country managed to attract £1.48 trillion of inwards investment stocks in 2018, which is more than Europe’s next biggest economies – Germany and France. This leaves Britain the third-largest investment hub in the world, behind the United States and China. Berlin managed to only attract £739billion and Paris just £649bn as both capitals struggle to establish themselves.Over the past year the value of inward stock into the UK increased by 21 percent, compared to just one percent in Germany and a six percent fall in France.
Strange, Brexit was supposed to leave the UK a barren wasteland

Britain is in ‘pretty good shape’ for No Deal Brexit, Whitehall chief says — just months after his doomsday warning - "BRITAIN is in “pretty good shape” for a No Deal Brexit, the country’s top mandarin has declared — just months after he gave a doomsday warning.Sir Mark Sedwill said preparations for the UK crashing out of the EU without an agreement were among the “most impressive pieces of cross-government work” he had seen."

Vyktor Kratek - Hard to feel bad for this. She got that enrichment... - "A changing culture isn't bad"
"immigrants have a better work ethic"
"I hate white people"
"We need them"
"Diversity is necessary for growth"
"Mollie Tibbetts' suspected murderer identified as 24-year-old Christian Rivera, in US illegally."

Illegal Immigrants and Crime – Assessing the Evidence - "Michelangelo Landgrave, a doctoral student in political science at the University of California, Riverside, and I released a paper today that estimates that illegal immigrant incarceration rates are about half those of native-born Americans in 2017... The Texas research is consistent with the finding that crime along the Mexican border is much lower than in the rest of the country, homicide rates in Mexican states bordering the United States are not correlated with homicide rates here, El Paso’s border fence did not lower crime, Texas criminal conviction rates remain low (but not as low) when recidivism is factored in, and that police clearance rates are not lower in states with many illegal immigrants – which means that they don’t escape conviction by leaving the country after committing crimes."

Paul Ooi on Twitter - "Did you eat in public last month? It was Lent, also a fasting month. Did you respect the others?
You don’t need to actually. Because a fast is a private matter between God and yourself"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Danelaw - "[On hairstyles] That’s exactly the way the Normans are represented on the Bayeux tapestry of Scandinavian origins. But that's how you can tell straight off a Norman from an Anglo Saxon. Actually hairstyles probably distinguished classes in society more than they distinguished different ethnic groups, just as a woman of the rank of a married woman would have her hair covered. Whereas an unmarried virgin would have a hair long and open. Likewise, long hair was for the male elite...
We also know that in places like York, the Vikings cooperated with the church or the church cooperated with the Vikings, they had to find a way of living together. And they did and already by 958, we have an Archbishop of Canterbury whose father was a Viking, basically. So, but the question of how quickly the Vikings became Christian is very interesting one, which I don't think we know the full answer to. I think it varied enormously. I think there's quite a lot of evidence that they did become Christian, but in their own way, and that's where the sculpture comes in, that they kind of wanted a Christian cross, like the Guthred Cross with bits of Norse mythology on it. Not just I think to say that they've given up the old religion for the Christian. I think some people have argued, I think it's probably going a bit too far. But some people have even argued that some of the sculpture represents a kind of hybrid religion...
Although most of the Danelaws in the East of England, and it's called the Danelaw, people just assume that they're all Danes. And we have quite a lot of evidence for people come from the Irish Sea region, into the eastern part of England. And once you've got connections with the Irish Sea region, you have connections with the North Atlantic islands. There's even one of the settlers of Iceland is said to have come from England. So I think they're plugged into a larger world, and not just that kind of North Sea."

Monday, June 17, 2019

Links - 17th June 2019 (3) ("Protecting" "children" from "pedos")

A public register of child sex offenders will do more harm than good - "international research shows that it is likely to lead to vigilantism, have no impact on rates of offending and in fact could increase the risk of reoffending by those on the register. Most importantly, it offers no real assistance or support to people who are the victims of sex crimes... A 2011 paper by JJ Prescott of the University of Michigan and Jonah Rockoff of Columbia University, published in the Journal of Law and Economics, analysed previous research that “shows there is evidence that these laws create financial and psychological costs for the neighbours of registered sex offenders”. This includes “declines in property value for households living close to registered offenders” and the authors noted that previous research shows there is little evidence “that notification alleviates the concerns of the community members who have been made aware of an offender’s presence”... A recent paper from Connecticut and New York based researchers Michelle Cubellis, Douglas Evans and Adam Fera points to acts of vigilantism against registered offenders and the fact that 10 per cent of the vigilante events they examined involved the wrong individual. In other words, because of inaccurate information or misidentification of individuals, innocent citizens have been physically and verbally attacked by vigilantes. This research concludes that “the stigmatisation that convicted sex offenders experience is so pervasive that it extends even to individuals suspected of having committed a sexual offence”... “that convicted sex offenders are more likely to reoffend when their personal and offending information is made public due to the psychological and financial costs on offenders”... “research has found that being placed on a public sex offender registry can result in exclusion from neighbourhood or residence, job loss, anxiety and other psychological problems, all of which are counterproductive in terms of reducing reoffending”... We also need to remember that the vast majority of child sexual abuse perpetrators are known to the victim. As the AIC notes, Australian Bureau of Statistics work from 2016 shows that “83 per cent of child victims of sexual assault aged 0–14 years are assaulted by someone they know”... A public sex offender register will be expensive, is likely to be as counter-productive as its US counterparts and will not achieve Dutton’s professed aim, which is to keep children safe."
Of course those who rage against "pedos" will just say that they all need to be executed, which will make the recidivism rate 0

Paedophile hunters 'destroying people's lives for Facebook likes', police chief warns - ""they've also led to people being blackmailed, people being subject of GBH (grievous bodily harm), the wrong people being accused, people committing suicide as a result of interventions, family lives being completely destroyed; in the name of what? Facebook likes. Mr Bailey, who is Norfolk Police's chief constable, said one referral from a paedophile hunting group can take a working day to investigate, time that could be spent identifying half a dozen offenders."So many of these groups' drivers are about seeking infamy through the number of hits they get, the number of likes they get, the number of people that view their live streams""
He'll just be condemned as a pedophile himself

In America you can almost bet that the loud... - Nicolai Gamulea Schwartz - "In America you can almost bet that the loud voices against gay decadence and sin are closeted homosexuals waiting to be caught with some underage boy prostitute. The logic is really simple, I think: they're people living in fear of getting caught who want to establish for themselves a virtuous public identity that would put them above suspicion.
In the UK, there are forum regulars posting on tabloid articles on old men collecting child porn, and asking for the castration and death of paedophiles. Those folks too, like other paedo justitiaries, seem obsessed with sinners and eager to build for themselves a virtuous identity. I wonder if they follow a different logic, or they're just the British counterpart to the American anti-gay activists."
Just like Democrat lawmakers have more tax irregularities, and liberals are more racist

The Unjust, Irrational, and Unconstitutional Consequences of Pedophilia Panic - ""Sounds like you enjoy sex with kids," a reader tweeted at me after seeing a blog post I wrote about former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle. It was 2015, and Fogle had just signed a plea agreement in which he admitted to looking at child pornography and having sex with two 16-year-old prostitutes. "You also look like [a] pervert," the reader added.That's the sort of response you can expect if you write about the broad category known as "sex offenders" and suggest that not all of them are the same or that some of them are punished too severely... The fear and disgust triggered by this subject help explain why laws dealing with sex offenses involving minors frequently lead to bizarre results, including wildly disproportionate sentences, punishment disguised as regulation or treatment, and penalties for committing unintentional crimes, recording your own legal behavior, or looking at pictures of nonexistent children... In 2011, a Florida judge imposed a sentence of life without the possibility of parole on Daniel Enrique Guevara Vilca, a 26-year-old with no criminal record who was caught with 454 child pornography images on his computer. "Had Mr. Vilca actually molested a child," The New York Times noted, "he might well have received a lighter sentence."... One reason it is so hard to figure out an appropriate punishment for looking at child pornography is that it's not exactly clear why looking at child pornography is treated as a crime in the first place... When the Supreme Court upheld a state law criminalizing mere possession of child pornography in the 1990 case Osborne v. Ohio, its main rationale was that the government "hopes to destroy a market for the exploitative use of children." In other words, punishing consumers is justified because their demand drives production, which requires the sexual abuse of children. Now that people who look at child pornography typically obtain it online for free, that argument carries much less weight... Once images of sexual abuse have been viewed 1,000 times, Justice Samuel Alito wondered aloud during oral argument, is it even theoretically possible to assess the damage caused by the 1,001st viewing?... The fact that federal law treats virtual child pornography the same as the real thing suggests the essence of the crime is not the injury inflicted on actual children by looking at pictures of their abuse but the message communicated by such images... While Fogle may have known how old the girls were, that is not always the case when adults have sex with teenagers. The difference between a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old (or a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old) may not be obvious, especially when the teenager claims to be older than she is. State laws nevertheless assume that someone who has sex with an underage adolescent should have known better. Generally speaking, "mistake of age" is no defense against a statutory rape charge... Although sex offender registries and the restrictions associated with them are supposedly intended to protect public safety, the evidence suggests they are mainly a way of imposing additional punishment on people who have already completed their sentences. The rationale for publicly accessible registries is that they will protect children by alerting parents to the presence of potential predators. But the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that more than 90 percent of sexual offenses against children are committed not by strangers but by relatives, friends, or acquaintances. Furthermore, nearly 9 out of 10 sex offenses are committed by people who were not previously convicted of a crime that would have put their names in a registry. Justice Department data also indicate that sex offenders are much less likely to commit new crimes than commonly supposed—less likely, in fact, than most other kinds of offenders... A 2013 study funded by the Justice Department found those restrictions were associated with an increase in recidivism. A 2011 analysis in the Journal of Law and Economics likewise found evidence that publicly accessible registries have a perverse effect on recidivism... laws targeting sex offenders will be upheld as long as supporters of those laws claim to have good intentions"
Just like those who support gay rights are gay

FBI ran website sharing thousands of child porn images - "the FBI operated what it described as one of the Internet’s largest child pornography websites, allowing users to download thousands of illicit images and videos from a government site in the Washington suburbs.The operation — whose details remain largely secret — was at least the third time in recent years that FBI agents took control of a child pornography site but left it online... That approach is a significant departure from the government’s past tactics for battling online child porn, in which agents were instructed that they should not allow images of children being sexually assaulted to become public. The Justice Department has said that children depicted in such images are harmed each time they are viewed, and once those images leave the government’s control, agents have no way to prevent them from being copied and re-copied to other parts of the internet... "At some point, the government investigation becomes indistinguishable from the crime, and we should ask whether that’s OK”... When the FBI first realized it could break through Tor, Hosko said the agency gathered counterterrorism investigators and intelligence agencies to see if any of them had a more pressing need for the software. “It was this, exponentially,” Hosko said."

The Feds Would Rather Drop a Child Porn Case Than Give Up an Exploit - "Evidence in United States v. Jay Michaud hinged at least in part on information federal investigators had gathered by exploiting a vulnerability in the Tor anonymity network... In other words, the feds are letting an alleged child pornographer free so that officials can potentially catch other dark-web using criminals in the future"

Child Porn Laws Aren't As Bad As You Think. They're Much, Much Worse. - "If you film a police abuse situation to get evidence and show it to the world so the power abusers can get caught, you’re a hero to the level that your film can cause riots.
If you document a genocide in enough detail that your evidence can bring perpetrators to justice, you’re a worldwide hero.
If you film wartime killings, people will risk their lives – and sometimes die – to bring your evidence and documentation to news studios.
If you risk being beaten up by covertly filming a street battery and assault, you’re welcomed with open arms by the police when you hand over the evidence you produced. (I personally did this, for the record.)
If you film something as serious as a presidential assassination, people will watch the film over and over and over again and your name will go down in history for centuries.
If you film a rapist of a minor to get evidence in order to bring the sick, twisted bastard to justice, you’re the bad guy and will get a worse sentence than the rapist you attempt to bring to justice and jail...
These laws weren’t primarily written to help children at all... these laws were constructed by Christian-fundamentalist pressure groups with the intent of shaming and criminalizing normal teenage behavior, and the side effect of protecting child molesters from prosecution, under the pretext of protecting children... Even the police argued publicly against the law banning possession of child abuse imagery here, arguing – from their viewpoint – that it protects child molesters, as they are forced to hunt comics fans instead of real crime... The man was eventually acquitted because manga images weren’t realistic enough – the eyes were too big – and not because the imagery as such wasn’t criminally culpable child pornography. The Supreme Court basically bent over backwards to acquit in a highly political verdict, seeing the nationwide attention of the case... In the Nordic countries, there is a secret censorship list maintained by the police that most ISPs follow about which domains you’re not allowed to visit. It’s supposed to be strictly CAI only, but has been found to be less than 1% such material, 9 out of 1047 censored domains: in reality, once leaked, it was discovered to be mostly ordinary porn with age certs and all, but also completely unrelated sites like Bonsai gardening that’s on the list of censored sites (koreabonsai.com)... When a Finnish activist published the secret censorship list to criticize this wrongdoing and abuse of power, their site was itself immediately added to the censorship list... Christian von der Weth has an additional writeup about the toxicity of “possession” as such, when applied to computers – most users have no idea about what files they have on their computer, and it is trivially easy for a webpage to plant images on a computer"

Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade - "Our current laws treat the video of a seven-year-old being brutally raped, on one hand, and two seventeen-year-olds who have eyes for nothing in the world but each other making consensual passionate love, on the other hand, as the exact same thing. This is mind-bogglingly odd... Technically, most people growing up today lose their virginity through rape... Just daring to talk back will take many people completely by surprise. They won’t understand what’s going on and won’t have a script to follow. You won’t have to defend against “defending pedophiles” – you can refer to many others that take the same stance, like the Swedish Association of Journalists, who demand the ban on child porn to be repealed"

Is This Child Pornography? - "The ruling, issued by the Supreme Court of New South Wales, affirms that a cartoon can be prosecuted as child pornography... Apparently, more people are now arrested for using the Internet to solicit cops posing as kids than for using it to initiate relationships with real kids... I understand why we do this: We’re afraid that if we don’t prosecute cyber-perverts, they’ll move on to the real thing. But the danger runs both ways. How far will we extend felony prosecution into the realm of the private, the fake, and the abstract? If the Simpsons count as child pornography, what’s next?Actually, the Australian court has answered that question. Under the relevant child pornography laws, says the court, “a stick figure … might well depict a representation of a person. No bright line of inclusion or exclusion can be sensibly described.”"

Iowa Prosecutor Who Threatened to Treat Girl’s Selfies As Child Porn Backs Down - "one photo showed the girl "from the waist up, hair entirely covering her breasts and dressed in boy shorts." The other picture showed her "standing upright, clad in the same boy shorts and wearing a sports bra." The statute defining "sexual exploitation of a minor," the charge that Bull threatened to bring, requires "a prohibited sexual act," which includes prurient nudity only when it involves exposure of breasts, genitals, or buttocks."

Colorado Cops Say Sex With Teens OK So Long as There’s No Sexting - "Local authorities defended their position that sexting is worse than actual sex, contending that even if there is no indication a person intends to share or distribute such images—they could, some day"

The Year in Teen Sexting Panic - "the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill that could subject teen sexters to 15 years in prison... Our desire to protect children has turned into perverse performance of protection in which certain members of the vulnerable class are sacrificed for the sake of arrest goals, sensationalist news, and political theater."

Dick Pic Makes Teenager Guilty of Sexually Exploiting Himself, High Court Says - "Gray's conviction on that charge, which makes him a perpetrator as well as a victim, guilty of exploiting himself... The court's reading of the law, she notes, "means that a child who texts explicit depictions of himself or herself can be punished more harshly than an adult who does exactly the same thing" and that "a 12-year-old girl who is groomed or lured into taking and then texting explicit depictions of herself to an adult can be prosecuted for succumbing to that grooming.""

A teen sexting case revealed how judges let police invade children's privacy - "Whether the police have the right to force your teenage son to masturbate in front of them in order to incriminate himself is a legal question few parents would think they’d have to consider.And yet Trey Sims’ legal guardians had to do exactly that. In an effort to prosecute the 17-year-old for sexting his 15-year-old girlfriend, Manassas police detective David Abbott obtained a search warrant authorizing him to take “photographs of [Sims’] genitals,” including “a photograph of the suspect’s erect penis.”... Abbot then ordered the minor to masturbate so that he could take a picture of his erection. Sims tried but failed to comply with the officer’s orders; Abbott later threatened Sims’ lawyer that, if police couldn’t get a picture of the teenager’s erection by forcing the kid to masturbate, he would obtain a photo of the teenager’s engorged genitals by subjecting him to “an erection-producing injection” at a hospital... the fact that Sims’ initial conduct was criminalized at all speaks to the staggering breadth of substantive overcriminalization. The activity for which Sims was charged was a consensual, mutual exchange of nude pictures and videos between two teenagers in a lawful relationship (in Virginia, it’s legal for a 17-year-old and 15-year-old to have sex). Sexting between teenagers is commonplace, and often an innocuous part of flirtation and sexual expression in the digital age. If the taking of or delivery of pictures were non-consensual, or if one party was of the age of majority, that would be a legal issue to address; for parents, such behavior might well be concerning, if not deserving of some proportionate punishment. But to brand Sims a child pornographer under Virginia law is to say that a teenager’s consensual, (mostly) non-harmful conduct merits one of our society’s most severe punishments and social stigmas."
The perils of "protecting" "children" from sex

Cop Who Sought Photos of Teen’s Erection in Sexting Case Commits Suicide Moments Before Arrest - "Authorities now believe Abbott was a pedophile. He had inappropriate contact with two young boys, ages 11 and 13, according to patch.com. Police attempted to arrest him at his home earlier today, but he refused to surrender and eventually shot himself."

Treating Pedophiles: Therapy Can Work, But It's a Challenge - "A 2004 study, which included 109 convicted sex offenders who completed therapy and 37 who dropped out, showed "non-completers" were six times as likely to commit another sexual or violent crime, compared with those who completed therapy. But the researchers, who published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, noted that sex offenders who completed therapy were not any more likely to show empathy toward their past victims.In the late 1980s, Berlin tracked 406 men convicted of sex crimes against children in Maryland. Five years after they were discharged, 2.9 percent of men who completed therapy had been arrested for another sex crime. Men who didn't complete therapy re-offended at a rate of 7.4 percent, according to the article, published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry."On average, there is a 40 percent reduction of recidivism (or re-offending) by treatment in studies""

Alabama Approves Chemical Castration for Child Sex Offenders - "If we could put ethical considerations about nonconsensual medical treatment aside, it still wouldn’t be clear whether this approach will have the desired effect on recidivism. Most research in the area puts sexual desire low on the list of reasons people assault children. The best predictor of sexual assault is not libido, research has shown, but “an early and persistent general propensity to act in an antisocial manner during childhood and adolescence.”... In addition to lowering libido and causing sexual dysfunction, the sudden removal of androgenic hormones has been known to impair performance on visual-motor tasks and cause declines in bone density, increased rates of fractures, and depressive symptoms... Some ethicists argue that child offenders are diseased, and it is only humane to treat them—even sometimes without consent. This is predicated on the basic idea that assault is a result of an imbalance of hormones, whereby too much testosterone leads to rape. On the whole, however, sex offenders do not have higher levels of testosterone than the average male. A recent meta-analysis of research found “no evidence to suggest there is anything chemically wrong with sexual offenders.”... Research has found small reductions of recidivism among convicted sex offenders when they request chemical castration in conjunction with other therapeutic measures. Small studies have found that recidivism decreased when offenders received antidepressant medications, not anti-testosterone medications... Some legal scholars believe mandatory chemical castration violates the Eighth Amendment, which bans cruel and unusual punishment. The University of Florida law professor John Stinneford has called the practice “maiming” and “impermissibly cruel.”"
Incidentally, the negative side effects also apply to trans mania

Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work

Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373) - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"A recent report by a consortium of affordable-housing advocates says that if all the proposed rent-control legislation were to pass, nearly one in three American tenants would have some kind of rent protection...

GLAESER: Sweden, of course, is the place where Assar Lindbeck, the famous economist — and although he was market-oriented, he certainly skewed to the left — Assar famously said that, “short of bombing, I know of no way to destroy a city that was more effective than rent control,” and he certainly had Stockholm in mind.

Tommy ANDERSSON: Right now, there are around 10 million people living in Sweden. Around 550,000 of these people were standing in a queue waiting for an apartment in Stockholm. That is 5 percent of the Swedish population...

GLAESER: It’s not particularly fair. It’s not a good way of allocating scarce space. It’s not a good way of helping the downtrodden. It’s a way that freezes a city and stops it from adjusting to changes, a way that freezes people in apartments and stops the motion that is inherent in cities... Nat Sherman, the famous tobacconist to the world, who had this big shop on Fifth Avenue, who said that he pays, I forget what it was.

DUBNER: $355 a month for a six-room apartment, it says here.

GLAESER: Isn’t that amazing? Keep in mind, it’s a few decades ago. But it’s an unbelievable deal. Now, what’s outrageous about this is, he then says, “I think it’s fair because I use it so rarely,” right? Which means that he’s not getting very much value out of it, but the crazy thing about this is, there were lots of New Yorkers who would love to have that apartment and it would get a lot more value out of it.
In 1997, Ed Glaeser did his own analysis of rent control in New York City, trying to determine just how economically inefficient it was. He and his co-author, Erzo Luttmer, found that “this misallocation of bedrooms leads to a loss in welfare which could be well over $500 million annually to the consumers of New York, before we even consider the social losses due to undersupply of housing.”...

Rent control may be accomplishing a narrow, short-term goal — making existing housing more affordable for a select group of people — at the expense of the long-term goal of making a city more affordable generally...

DUBNER: You find evidence that rent control increases gentrification, one component of which is the displacement of low-income tenants. On the other hand, you also find evidence that low-income people, including minorities — at least those who are in rent-controlled units already — they’re likely to disproportionately benefit from rent control...

DIAMOND: So, when you think about those initial tenants, that’s the best bet you’re going to get for the benefits of rent control to low-income tenants: the people that are already in the housing. But even though we find that those tenants are much more likely to stay in their apartment, when we look 10, 15 years later, the share of those 1994 residents that are still there is down to 10 percent or so. So 90 percent of them no longer live in that initial apartment.And it’s that next low-income tenant that wants to live in the city, that low-income tenant is going to have a very hard time finding an affordable option, because now there’s going to be less rental housing, the prices that that low-income tenant are going to face when they want to initially move in are going to be higher than they would have been absent rent control...

GLAESER: Neighboring apartments became more valued as a result of the end of rent control. And the most recent paper has shown that crime has gone down — particularly, street crime has gone down right after the elimination of rent control in Cambridge... You can easily tell a story where the threat of some form of rent control makes a vacancy problem worse in the short run. So, for example, I don’t want to rent right now to a lower-end tenant who could fill my space, because I’ll be locked in by the rent-control law and I’ve got that tenant forever. So, that means, I’m going to really hold out for a blue-chip tenant because I have this threat of this law over my shoulder...

Tommy ANDERSSON: Right now, there are around 10 million people living in Sweden. Around 550,000 of these people were standing in a queue waiting for an apartment in Stockholm. That is 5 percent of the Swedish population."

Links - 17th June 2019 (2)

'Gender gap in STEM'? Women are majority of STEM grad students and they earn a majority of STEM bachelor's degrees - "according to several measures, women are actually slightly over-represented in STEM graduate programs and earn a majority of STEM college degrees. A lot depends on how we define “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)”... If the CGS category “Health and Medical Sciences” is included as a STEM field (e.g., graduate degrees in Nursing, Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy, Health Sciences, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nutrition Sciences, Environmental Health, Audiology, etc., see Appendix D “Taxonomy of Fields of Study”) there are slightly more women currently enrolled in STEM graduate programs (335,346) in the US (master’s and doctoral degrees) than men (326,846).... In a 2014 report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics included “Health Occupation” jobs as one of its categories for “STEM Employment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupational groups,” and that group had the largest number of STEM jobs among the four main occupational groups in May 2013... from 2004 to 2014. In total during that 11-year period, more women (2,924,660) earned bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering fields than men (2,890,904) in the academic fields the NSF defines as “Science and Engineering”: Agricultural sciences, Biological sciences, Computer science, Earth/atmospheric/ocean sciences, Engineering, Mathematics/statistics, Physical sciences, Psychology, and Social sciences... If there is any “national crisis that will be deeply detrimental to America’s global competitiveness,” I think y0u could make a stronger case that it’s a crisis related to the declining share of college degrees earned by men and the persistent and increasing “college degree gap” favoring women than any “crisis” related to a female gender gap in only certain STEM fields like computer science and engineering."

OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong - "The $100 laptop would have all the features of an ordinary computer but require so little electricity that a child could power it with a hand crank. It would be rugged enough for children to use anywhere, instead of being limited to schools. Mesh networking would let one laptop extend a single internet connection to many others. A Linux-based operating system would give kids total access to the computer — OLPC had reportedly turned down an offer of free Mac OS X licenses from Steve Jobs. And as its name suggested, the laptop would cost only $100, at a time when its competitors cost $1,000 or more... OLPC pushed the laptop’s cost to a low of $130, but only by cutting so many corners that the laptop barely worked. Its price rose to around $180, and even then, the design had major tradeoffs... As OLPC’s full-scale launch slipped to 2007, and its $100 price tag faded away, Intel shipped the first Classmate PCs to Brazil and Mexico... Bender thinks OLPC might have struck more deals if it had focused less on technical efficiency. “Every conversation we ever had with any head of state — every time — they said, ‘Can we build the laptop in our country?’” he says. “We knew that by making the laptop in Shanghai, we could build the laptop [to be] much less expensive. And what we didn’t realize was that the price wasn’t what they were asking us about. They were asking us about pride, not price. They were asking us about control and ownership of the project.” OLPC had created a computer that could withstand dust and drops, but it hadn’t accounted for political messiness... Ames says the real question isn’t whether laptop programs help students, but whether they’re more effective than other programs competing for the same money."
Why TED talks should all have followups in a few years about whether their promises came true

Cancer researchers may have accidentally found genetic cure for baldness - "When the cells were removed in mice, they became bald. And deleting a gene in the cells turned the mice hair white.Associate Professor of Dermatology Dr. Lu Le at UT Southwestern Medical Center said: “Although this project was started in an effort to understand how certain kinds of tumors form, we ended up learning why hair turns gray and discovering the identity of the cell that directly gives rise to hair.”"

Daring underwater porn star shoot goes horribly wrong when SHARK takes a bite out of her foot - "Plucky Molly Cavalli donned a barely-there one-piece swimsuit to film a 'shark cage' promo for adult entertainment company Camsoda."

Husband reveals he slept with his wife's dead body in their bedroom for SIX DAYS after she lost cancer battle - and says everyone should do it - "A GRIEVING husband who slept next to his wife's dead body in their bedroom for six days says he couldn't bear to see her taken off to a mortuary in a bodybag.Letting agent Russell Davison's wife Wendy died at their home in Derby after a ten-year battle with cervical cancer... Wendy, 50, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2006 - just after the couple's joint 40th birthday - and was told three years ago she had six months to live.But she shunned chemotherapy and radiotherapy and embraced "natural health", Russell said."

Historian Levi Roach on the global activity of the Vikings | History Extra Podcast - History Extra - "They probably are quite warlike. But there's no indication that these early contacts suggests that they're more warlike than anyone else. And it's a famous early medieval saying that if a Frank is your neighbor, he is not your friend. And this led one modern scholar to point out quite rightly that for most Europeans of at least continental Europe in the early Middle Ages, the Franks were the real Vikings, that they were raiding across their borders. We know that kind of border raids, and cattle raiding is endemic and all sorts of things. That's probably what offers dyke [Ed: ???] between England and Wales and tend to stop...
One of the things that makes the Vikings seems scarier, if you will, to go back to some of these ideas we have of them being more violent and more aggressive. It's probably less than they actually were than they seem scarier than other Christians doing these things. And that they were willing to do things that Christians wouldn't, they were happier to sack churches, they were happier to ignore a saint, to attack on a Saint's feast day or on Christmas or things like this. So they're not playing by the standard rules. But the sense is that once they settle they fairly quickly start doing so because it's actually in their own interest to integrate in terms into the local socio political scene...
[In 1066 for the invasion] They’re French-speakers. In fact, the English sources just call them French, they don't really see them as being distinctively Viking, although the Normans are aware of this, and the idea and the myth remains of these kinds of origins, they’re quite proud of it. But by 1066 that’s long since"

Historian Jonathan Fennell on Soldiers During WW2 | History Extra Podcast - History Extra - "In the middle of the Normandy campaign, a lot of stuff written in the British army in Normandy, and there's a sense of, kind of mid July that the troops are utterly exhausted. And this comes through in censorship reports. And so very quickly, senior commanders start to get welfare amenities to the continent. And so one week, you have a letter saying, no one's had a shower in weeks... we’re running out of cigarettes. And no one has clean clothes... morale is terrible. And then the following week, you see, they have all these things and morale has bounced back. So you do see this kind of em, this dynamic interaction between command and the ordinary soldier, when the censorship summaries report that things are problematic, almost always about a week later, or two weeks later, you see that that problem has been fixed in that unit... one of the things that they really tried to stress at the start of the Normandy campaign was to bring censors over with the initial landings, because the commanders want to know what the troops were experiencing. And they recognize that morale matters. So how do you assess morale, get the censors in...
The closer to danger, I say combat… that these soldiers are during the war, the more left leaning their vote tends to be. So New Zealand airmen taking greater risks with their life over the skies of Europe in 1943 are more likely to vote for the New Zealand Labour Party than a New Zealander training in Canada to fly a plane, or a New Zealander training back home in New Zealand to learn how to fight. So it's quite consistent. And I guess it does appear to be a very consistent set of experiences across the Commonwealth"

Professor Tom Devine on the Scottish Clearances | History Extra Podcast - History Extra - "So here you have this extraordinary development, that by the middle decades of the 19th century, to external observers, at least, a society which was even more industrialized than England, by the census of 1851. In 1851, 41.6% of English men were employed in mining or manufacturing. In Scotland, it was 43%. That made Scotland the most industrialized society on Earth, in the middle decades of the 19th century"

Was I Right to Call the Cops on a Black Man Breaking Into a Car? - The New York Times - "The federal government, in 2016, warned that a blanket policy against providing housing to people with criminal records could violate the Fair Housing Act, because of its disparate impact on minority applicants... most sex offenders, so far as we can tell, don’t reoffend; and there are good reasons to be wary of sex-offender registries, which arguably increase homelessness among former offenders without seeming to reduce recidivism"
Maybe it's racist to send black people to prison

The Future Is Here, and It Features Hackers Getting Bombed – Foreign Policy - "After blocking a cyberattack that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said was launched by operatives working on behalf of the militant group Hamas, the IDF carried out an airstrike in Gaza targeting the building in which the hackers worked, partially destroying it. The strike appears to be the first time that a nation’s military has responded in real time to a cyberattack with physical force."

Think College Is Expensive? Wait Until It’s Free - "The college-for-all crowd maintains that in addition to increasing a person’s earning potential, university experience has positive spillover effects that are important but hard to quantify. College students make new friends and enjoy new experiences. College graduates are better communicators, commit fewer crimes, and supposedly make more-informed political choices. Increased college attendance is also supposed to promote upward mobility and meritocracy—the American dream. The more college graduates, the better, right? And if the college-educated make our society more prosperous in the long run, what’s wrong with increasing government subsidies to cover everyone’s tuition costs? Well, plenty, according to Richard Vedder, an economic historian at Ohio University whose new book on higher education, “Restoring the Promise,” is due out later this year. It’s a follow-up to his 2004 tome, “Going Broke by Degree,” and it argues that federal subsidies aren’t the solution to rising college costs—quite the opposite... college costs have risen whenever student aid was made more generous. He doesn’t expect it to be any different this time. Tuition is only about 20% of the total cost of attending college. If tuition is subsidized, he expects colleges will raise nontuition costs... "a majority of people going to college are not poor. Even at state universities, a majority of the students are from moderately affluent, upper-middle-class families.”... “Forty percent of our kids who go to college don’t graduate. We have a tremendous dropout rate, much bigger than the high-school dropout rate. These kids are saddled with a certain amount of debt and their earnings prospects are barely equal to that of a high-school grad.”... there’s a strong case that the country is already being flooded with college graduates. Even with an unemployment rate below 4%, the number of college graduates is growing faster than the number of jobs requiring a degree"

Historian Jared Diamond on Countries in Crisis

Historian Jared Diamond on Countries in Crisis | History Extra Podcast - History Extra

"It must be differences between national character of Germans and national characters of Japanese that make it possible for for Germans to acknowledge guilt and to apologize. And that make it difficult or impossible for Japanese to acknowledge guilt and apologize.

This is something shared between Japan and Indonesia as well. In East Asia and Southeast Asia generally, there is not the openness about feelings that there is in the West. And in my work in Indonesia, it's my experience that Indonesians don't say no. If I ask them something, and they don't want to do it, they won't say no, we won't do it. They'll say oh, we’ll do it. And then they don't do it. So it's a difference.

Partly a difference between Germany and Japan, or between the West and East Asia in openness...

In the case of Australia, just as Britain has been struggling with the issue of national identity - who are we? Australia during the time that I've been visiting Australia, which began in 1964, Australia has been struggling with an issue of national identity.

When I arrived in Australia, Australia viewed themselves as an outpost to Britain, loyal British subjects who happened to be near Asia. But by God we were loyal British subjects and we died for the British motherland at Gallipoli. But during World War Two, they were shocked when when Britain did not succeed in defending Australia.

And two other things changed. Australia wanted immigrants, there weren't enough British who wanted to emigrate, Australia began taking in then people from the Baltic republics and Italians and Greeks, who did not share loyalty to the Queen, and were receptive, were tolerant of Asian immigrants which the first British settlers were not.

And in addition, Australia's trade patterns changed, just as have Britain's trade patterns chain. Initially, Australia's trade was overwhelmingly with Britain, but it's not, was not so much the case that Australia threw Britain out. But that Britain threw Australia out. Britain recognized, changing trade patterns in Britain, realized that it had to join the EU. And that meant erecting trade barriers against Australia, which for Australia felt like a real betrayal.

So Australians from the 60s onwards, weaned themselves of their British identity in 1979, around 1979 under Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, the White Australia policy was explicitly given up. And when I in 19, 2008 took my son to the University of Queensland campus, and walked across the campus with him, I felt that I was at University of California, Berkeley or UCLA, namely, here I was on an Asian majority campus. In 1964, this would have been unthinkable. But that's how much Australia had changed... That was 44 years...

Why political polarization in the United States more than in other countries. I can't prove what my answer is. It seemed to me that the political polarization in the US is part of a general social polarization in the academic sphere and other spheres.

And when I asked what could have caused that, my guess is that it's by comparison with New Guinea, the other part of the world that I know best, that it's the decline of face to face communication in the US. It's easy to be abusive, and swear at someone who consists of words on a screen. It would be difficult for me to look you in the face and start swearing at you. But if you are words on my screen, yes, it would be easy for me to swear at you. So I see a, possibly a cause for the polarization in the United States has been an outgrowth of the decline of face to face communication.

But that then raises the question, why in the United States, and why not. And I mean, Italians, and Japanese use cell phones more than Americans do. I think there are a couple of reasons, one, that the distances in the United States are much greater. In Italy, when you move, Italians don't move that much. And when they move, you're still within a day's journey of anywhere else in Italy. Whereas in the United States, your movements is likely to be coast to coast. And it's a five day train journey, although it's a half day plane flight.

And the other thing is that the US just had less social capital to begin with. The US has been historically much more into independence and self reliance. Friendships have counted for less in the United States than they have in Britain, than in Italy and Germany... these technologies, these non face to face, they began in the US the internet was invented, cell phones, and cell phones took off in the US, so that it began earlier with us and there was less resistance...

Having been in US academic life since the mid 1950s, I know firsthand that there's much more nastiness in American academic life now than there was decades ago. Decades ago, when I had academic arguments, I would still take vacations. I would argue with someone about water transport, and then we got a rental car together and went off to see British cathedrals. Today, that would be - people that disagree with with Guns, Germs, and Steel, there's no way that I'm going to go on a vacation with them.

‘Someone ended a book review of yours by saying shut up, is that right?’

‘That's right’

‘That’s outrageous, I can’t believe someone would write that’

‘That was a mild book, there was another book review of whose title was capital F blank black K U, Jared Diamond. That was the title of the review in an academic journal’"

Links - 17th June 2019 (1) (#MeToo)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Joe Biden and 'personal space' - "Jan Halper-Hayes: In 1991, President HW Bush had the glass ceiling commission. I think President Trump needs to create the #metoo commission and we need to define exactly what sexual harassment, sexual assault really is, because men and women are getting hurt by this very loose definition.’
‘You don't believe that that inappropriate touching is the same as sexual harassment. You know, I don't. I don't. I think we've gone way too far. I think the millennials who in a poll said if he asked me out twice, I consider it harassment. Dear God, what happened to courting, what happened to flirting? What happened? You know, it's basically emotionally castrating men’
‘If a man in a senior position came up to you as Joe Biden's accused of done, wrapped both of his hands around your face and pulled you in to rub noses, would you not feel you'd been harassed?’
‘No, I wouldn't feel I'd been harassed. But I would feel comfortable enough to say that if I wasn't comfortable, that I didn't like that. And that's the other thing. We need to provide more training for women, so that they can speak up. Instead of this repressed anger coming out years later, that, really, why should he be condemned for what he had done years and years ago?’"

Joe Biden told a 10-year-old she's 'good-looking' and touched her shoulders a month after vowing to respect women's space

Me Too Backlash Is Getting Worse - "A stunning 60% of male managers said they’re uncomfortable mentoring, working one-on-one, and socializing with women at work, according to a survey released Friday morning by LeanIn.org, the women’s advocacy group founded by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.That’s an increase from last year, when 46% of male managers said they were uneasy working with women after several prominent men lost their jobs over sexual misconduct claims.In this year’s survey, men also said they were much more likely to hesitate to travel or have dinner with a junior woman for work... It’s hard to get men to talk about this. Some told Bloomberg anonymously that they’re trying to be like Vice President Mike Pence ― who notoriously avoids one-on-one interactions with women in social settings. Some said they won’t meet with women in windowless rooms or get on elevators alone with them, according to the report. One said he won’t have dinner with women under age 35.This behavior could wind up backfiring, as the story notes. Treating women differently in the workplace can end up forming the basis for a discrimination suit."

She was once a panelist at a #MeToo discussion. Months later, Rep. Rochelle Galindo used alcohol, influence to seduce young staffer, according to police report - "when she was still a Greeley City Councilwoman, Rochelle Galindo was a panelist for “Perspectives on #MeToo,” an event hosted by the University of Northern Colorado’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences Diversity Advisory Board in March 2018.Galindo had already declared her campaign for Colorado’s House District 50, and as a gay Latina looking to enter a Legislature with its share of problematic behavior, Galindo was tapped to provide perspective at the event... She... hadn’t yet been accused of providing alcohol to an underage campaign staffer and using her power and influence to turn the relationship sexual, even during times that staffer described to police as “blackouts.”... “People are thinking twice about how they approach people, people are thinking twice about what they say, and how these conversations are being had,” Galindo said. “I think that’s going to bring more respect to the victims, to women, from this patriarchal society. Even myself, I sometimes have to think twice about how I am going to approach a woman now especially being in a position of public service, being an elected official.”Five months after uttering those words, Galindo found herself in a relationship with an unbalanced power dynamic, according to police records obtained Thursday by The Greeley Tribune. It appears Galindo was aware of the dynamic, as she’s alleged to have jokingly called the campaign staffer “Monica Lewinsky.”"

BethAnn McLaughlin Started #MeTooSTEM To Fight Harassment In Science. Now Critics Are Challenging Her Leadership. - "An outspoken campaigner against sexual harassment in science is facing a crisis of leadership at MeTooSTEM, the volunteer organization she founded last year to support victims and hold perpetrators and institutions accountable.Since November, seven members of the leadership team have resigned, citing concerns about the behavior of its founder, BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.In their resignation letters, former MeTooSTEM leaders said that McLaughlin kept them in the dark about key decisions and reacted with hostility when they asked about the small organization’s finances and legal structure. They also worried that McLaughlin had alienated allies through her combative tweets. “There have been several instances where supporters of MeTooSTEM have been upset by the tenor of your tweets, up to and including blocking you or being blocked by you”... McLaughlin tweeted angrily at Hontas Farmer, a transgender woman of color who teaches physics at the City Colleges of Chicago. In a thread about student–faculty relationships, Farmer noted that it would be “unenforceable to forbid relationships.”“Get off my time line with your pro-preying on students garbage,” McLaughlin responded. “Grown ups are talking. #STEMTrollAlert.”"
Internalised misogyny!

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Persistence of the Bad Male Apology - "Such is the state of the male apology, a phenomenon that's emerged with the rise of the #MeToo movement. According to its critics, the male apology—by which I mean, very specifically, men's response to allegations of misconduct—is characterized, first and foremost, by a lack of any genuine remorse... Tyson's apology shares some noticeable qualities with its antecedents. Like CK and Batali, Carson says, Tyson finds opportunities to tout his achievements. He talks about his "professional history with the demotion of Pluto" when addressing the groping allegation against him, and mentions the "grueling adventure-marathon" that was finishing astrophysics graduate school. And then he uses these successes, Carson adds, to tear down his alleged victims, whom he seemingly blames for his alleged indiscretions. The woman with the Pluto tattoo who accused him of groping her upper arm and shoulder? She could've told him of her discomfort "in the moment," Tyson says. The woman who felt uncomfortable during a wine and cheese night? She showed no indication of being uncomfortable during their "long conversation," which he says "had been in the same vein as all other conversations [they'd] ever had." And Tyson makes sure to point out that the woman who says she'd been drugged and raped by him dropped out of graduate school."Every 'male apology' is really a 'man-splaination' of misogynistic culture, that makes women feel shame for feeling uncomfortable by unwanted sexual behavior," Toni Van Pelt, the president of the National Organization of Women, wrote in an email. "Brave women have come forward to tell their truth and the impact their experience has had on their careers and lives. We must believe women." Aside from the ways in which apologies from accused assailants can victim-blame, function as press releases for the accused's personal and professional triumphs, and, conspicuously, be absent of any genuine, or at least explicit, apology, Van Pelt and Carson agree one of the most insidious effects of these public apologies is their erasure of victims' stories."Tyson’s post on being accused was not an 'apology'—it was a long winded attempt to justify his inappropriate behavior towards women," Van Pelt says. "In publicly releasing a denial of sexual misconduct allegations, Tyson has made this conversation about him—it is not about him.""
Accusation = guilt - the story of #metoo

Ex Columbia student accused of rape is victim of ‘anti-male’ bias: lawsuit - "The young woman had allegedly begged him for sex one night that October before forcing him to fool around, ­alleges Feibleman, who filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.The woman told her friends in the days that followed that Feibleman sexually assaulted her and she reported the incident to faculty about a week later, the suit says, but not to police.Columbia investigated the matter and obtained an audio recording of the alleged rape, as well as photos from the pair’s evening together before they went to her room.Feibleman says he and the woman struck up an “hours-long flirtation” that night after meeting up at a reception. He alleges in the complaint that they took a trip to a water tower on top of an apartment building, where the two kissed and the female student pulled Feibleman’s face into her breasts.They allegedly ended up alone in the woman’s room, where Feibleman claims there was consensual kissing and fondling. It is here when the woman allegedly begins to beg Feibleman for sex, his suit says, but he refused — citing the fact that the woman was seeing another man.The refusal didn’t sit well, according to the suit, and the female allegedly berated Feibleman for half an hour.“Please because I can’t let you go without it,” she begged, according to the suit, which accuses the woman of trying to perform oral sex on Feibleman, as well as biting him.“Ben simply did not want to have sexual intercourse with [the woman],” the suit states.The suit says Feibleman eventually started thinking he might be accused of misconduct, so he made a 30-minute phone recording of his encounter in the woman’s room.The recording, however, was unable to convince Columbia investigators that he was innocent. The school found that his female friend was too drunk to consent to any sexual relations and deemed Feibleman — who graduated from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism — responsible for sexually assaulting her. He was expelled and his degree is currently being withheld.
Evidence is no match for #BelieveWomen!

She Begged Him For Sex, He Says He Refused: Now He’s Suing Columbia University - "Columbia is no stranger to high-profile alleged sexual assault cases. If the past is any indication, Feibleman could have a rough road ahead.In 2014, Emma Sulkowicz lugged a mattress around campus, calling it art after claiming to be a rape victim. Her now-well-known nickname became “Mattress Girl.” The details of the case are raw — in a blunt Facebook exchange, she wrote, “fuck me in the but [sic].” In that case, the accused party, Paul Nungesser, also tried to sue the university for discrimination on the basis of his gender.The case settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017"

Would it work here? New law in Iceland means rape accused must prove they had explicit consent - "The legislation passed unanimously in the parliament on 23 March"
The presumption of innocence is no match for feminism

Chicago Expelled a Male Student 4 Days Before Graduation Because His Ex Made a Dubious Sexual Violence Claim - "According to Doe's lawsuit, their relationship was entirely consensual, and Roe did not dispute that. After they broke up, they continued to have sex, and those encounters were all consensual as well. Roe did not allege wrongdoing until her friends—to whom she had trash-talked Doe, and promised to stop seeing her ex—discovered she was still sleeping with him. She then claimed Doe had engaged in nonconsensual sex with her after she had passed out... he was expelled—even though one of his witnesses, a friend of Roe's, had told the university that the friend had spoken with Roe for an hour via FaceTime immediately before the encounter. This witness, "CG," said Roe did not seem too drunk to consent, and in fact bragged that she and Doe were about to have "angry sex," just before the call ended"

She Didn’t Get An ‘A’ So She Accused Professor Of Sexual Harassment. Then She Held Ex At Knifepoint To Destroy Evidence. - "Summer Naqvi is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)... Naqvi and her friend William Farrell were arrested after holding Naqvi’s ex-boyfriend at knifepoint in order to delete information off of his phone and computer. The ex-boyfriend, who wasn’t injured, told police he thought the information Naqvi sought to destroy related to her claims against the professor... “victim-centered,” or “trauma-informed” investigation techniques require investigators to view every action of an accuser as a result of the trauma she suffered. Even if those actions indicate the accuser is lying, as would be the case in any other crime, “trauma-informed” investigations insist this is evidence of trauma. In other words, evidence of lying is evidence of the truth. The world has turned upside down."

Some Guys Say They’re Paying For Sex In Mexico To Escape The #MeToo Movement - "Because sex work is legal in Mexico, it’s simple to set up a meeting. “You can go to a strip club, call an escort agency, or hit up a massage parlor. It's an easy, prepackaged sex destination,” he said. The women “are the type you can invite to a nightclub or restaurant and no one would suspect she’s a hooker.”... “It's not safe to hit on women in the US anymore,” Hookerfucker1 wrote, but in Tijuana’s Zona Norte, it’s definitely different. “Slapping a strippers ass is not only ok, but encouraged! In the US you'd get kicked out of the club, prosecuted for harassment, fired from your job, and probably listed as a sex offender.”... “It's just too risky to deal with American women in a system that's increasingly becoming hostile towards men who only want intimacy with a woman,” Hookerfucker1 said. “I keep going back because TJ is a literal fantasy land for males. Where else can you pick and choose from 100s of beautiful girls to have sex with?”... “They say they’re more free here than over there,” a 24-year-old sex worker named Laura said of her American “friends,” the term most sex workers here use to refer to clients. “They say that just by looking at a woman, you can get sued. They call it harassment”... The sex industry in Tijuana is a multimillion-dollar enterprise that employs thousands. It’s become such a major driver of the city’s economy that in 2015, city officials considered basing an advertising campaign around the sex industry. Called the Tijuana Coqueta, or Flirty Tijuana, the short-lived proposal would have used “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”–style ads to lure back US tourists who’d begun avoiding Tijuana because of the drug war... Several sex workers said they had regular clients flying in from as far away as Chicago and New Jersey"

And the least feminist nation in the world is... Denmark? - "It is one of the best places in the world to be a woman, with a narrow gender pay gap, equal employment rights, universal nursery care, and some of the happiest female retirees on the planet.So it comes as a surprise to find, in a global survey of attitudes towards gender, equal rights and the #MeToo movement, that Denmark is one of the least feminist countries in the developed world... just one in six Danes consider themselves a feminist, a third said that wolf whistling at women in the street was acceptable, and two in five had an unfavourable view of the #MeToo movement... “I don’t want to be equal in all senses.”“It depends what you mean. I’m just ordinary, says Charlotte Venvike, a 55-year-old taking her break from the bank where she works. “I’m not marching in the streets.” According to the data, only a quarter of Danish women consider themselves feminists, a stark contrast to neighbouring Sweden, where 46% do, and a smaller share even than in countries like Italy, Spain and the UK, which otherwise lag far behind Denmark on gender equality.Even Denmark’s Equality Minister Karen Ellemann declared that she didn’t consider herself one when she took up the post three years ago... more Danish women are happy to be wolf whistled than called a feminist, according to the survey. Fully one third say it is acceptable, the highest proportion than in any country other than Nigeria.“I don’t mind it so long as it’s done in a nice way,” says Hansen. “I see it as a compliment, actually,” she says. “A lot of Danish women say that they would like men to to be more like in southern Europe and tell you how nice you look”... Rikke Andreassen, Professor of Communication Studies at Roskilde University argues that one reason Danes tolerate low-level sexual harassment is the belief that what is meant well should be excused.“We have had a culture where what you say isn’t racist or sexist if you don’t intend it to be,” she explains. “You can grab a woman, but so long as you did it because it was ‘fun’, then culturally we tend to think it’s not that bad.”... Only 4% of men and 8% of women in Denmark questioned in the survey said they had a ‘very favourable’ impression of the #MeToo movement, compared to 16% and 34% in Sweden, and 19% and 24% across all the countries in the survey. Sara Pihl, 32, who is out walking her baby on the nearby Kultorvet Square, worries that #MeToo will make men feel constrained in their relationships with women. “I think some men are afraid of talking to women at work, in case they get accused of something.”Andreassen’s research on the #MeToo movement has found that while in Sweden the media treated it as a political issue, in Denmark it was covered in the culture and opinion sections of the newspapers, with very few men outed. “A lot of people have been writing about whether it’s really true that women are being harassed, or that women are being too sensitive,” she says. “And they’ve focused a lot of what would happen to a man who has been falsely accused.”"

Is It Sexual Harassment to Discuss this Article? - "Jordan Peterson recently tweeted that, “The STEM fields are next on the SJW hitlist. Beware, engineers.” I’m convinced that Peterson is correct and I feel that my ongoing case has allowed me to see a likely avenue of attack from those who support the equity agenda. They will characterize any discussion of sex differences, no matter how calm and rational, as a form of gender harassment which in turn constitutes sexual harassment. In other words, if you dare to discuss the science of sex differences—even at a university—there’s a good chance that you’ll be accused of violating US law... the mere mention of James Damore awakens a tribal response from supporters of the equity agenda. Saying anything positive about Damore is considered a form of harassment... I expect to see more of this going forward as the #MeToo movement broadens out. Recommendation 3 from the national academies report is to, “Move beyond legal compliance to address culture and climate.” The next phase of the culture war will include attempts to silence any discussion of sex differences within the STEM disciplines"

USC Education Student Filed a Title IX Complaint Because Another Student’s Answer Offended Her - "Here's how one University of Southern California student handled an awkward moment: She complained to the professor, filed a Title IX report when the professor declined to spend an entire class period litigating the matter, dropped the course entirely, and then launched a petition demanding that everyone who offended her be forced to undergo racial sensitivity training... This incident is a strong example of a phenomenon I've noticed among aggrieved leftist students: immediate, constant appeals to authority. It was not enough for the professor to briefly address what was an admittedly stupid move by a fellow classmate—according to this activist, the very curriculum of the education program should be rewritten so as to make offensive statements not merely unutterable, but unthinkable in the first place. And while anyone can make a petition about anything, the Title IX process is a powerful tool for formal adjudication of problematic speech and conduct."

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Links - 16th June 2019 (3)

Women -- but not men -- seek to actively punish sexualized women, study finds - "both men and women are prejudiced towards sexualized women. But only women are willing to endure a cost to themselves to punish a woman who appears to be promiscuous... the vast majority were from the United Kingdom — a country with a relatively high level of gender equality... The researchers believe that men seek to avoid being duped into investing in a child that isn’t their own, while women seek to keep the cost of sex high or wish to sabotage potential sexual rivals.“More broadly, our results find that sexual suppression cannot be described as being either male- or female-driven, and that more nuanced models are needed to understand society’s propensity to suppress female sexuality”"
This is only a surprise if you're a feminist - Women Hate Sluts, Prostitutes and Porn for the same reasons, after all

Women — not men — are more likely to punish sexualized women - ""Sex is coveted by men," Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt, who's conducted research similar to the new study, told the New York Times. "Accordingly, women limit access as a way of maintaining advantage in the negotiation of this resource. Women who make sex too readily available compromise the power-holding position of the group, which is why many women are particularly intolerant of women who are, or seem to be, promiscuous."... The researchers noted that this is "consistent with our view that sexually-accessible women are perceived as more likely to cheat on mates or poach the mates of others."... men don't really have good reasons to suffer the costs of punishing sexually accessible women with whom they're not romantically involved. However, women do because they have an interest in maintaining the value of sex within the group."

Women reject sexually promiscuous peers when making female friends - "College-aged women judge promiscuous female peers -- defined by bedding 20 sexual partners by their early 20s -- more negatively than more chaste women and view them as unsuitable for friendship... Notably, participants' preference for less sexually active women as friends remained even when they personally reported liberal attitudes about casual sex or a high number of lifetime lovers"
Ahh... hypocrisy!

Oil worker confronts Trudeau on his ‘gender impact’ comment — but he dodges question - "During Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s town hall in Regina on Thursday, an oil worker stood up and asked him to clarify comments he made about the “gender impact” of construction workers in rural communities.“During my time working in the oil field as a young female, I have come across some of the kindest and most respectful male coworkers … in the rural towns I have temporarily relocated to”... Trudeau skirted the question and gave a somewhat unrelated response.“Construction workers build this country every single day,” Trudeau said, adding that his government was investing “historical amounts in infrastructure.” He then thanks the woman for her question and was booed by some people in the crowd. Trudeau’s comments in question were made in December during a G20 meeting on gender equality in Argentina, in which the prime minister discussed the importance of looking through a gender lens when dealing with large construction projects... Several studies show there is a link between large-scale infrastructure projects and violence against woman."

Canada’s Cultish Politics Turn Problems Into Crises – Foreign Policy - "the Canadian prime minister has taken a homegrown Libyan bribery case and turned it into a full-blown crisis of confidence in his leadership. Since then, Trudeau’s fumbling has gotten only more bumbling... Research consistently shows that it is very uncommon for parties to stay united as often as they do in Canada.In the United Kingdom, half the votes in any given Parliament involve MPs breaking ranks with their caucus mates—and not just on the endless stream of Brexit-related proposals... you would be hard-pressed to point to a major democracy where individual legislators have as little power and exercise as little autonomy as in Canada... The firing of Wilson-Raybould and Philpott is symbolic of the gross power imbalance where almost all authority falls into the hands of the leader. It is, in large part, because both women represented a possible hit for the Liberals’ poll numbers. But, more than that, they represented a danger for the incredibly thick cohesion of Trudeau’s caucus."

Female lice grow penises, demand 70 hours of sex: study - "Despite seemingly having it all, these gals are hungry: they live in caves where food is extremely scarce. Switching into sexual survival mode, the female lice stalk males to acquire their “seminal gifts,” which are rich with nutrients.Often, sperm cravings come before consent, and the females force themselves on the men in marathon sex sessions, Yoshizawa says.These insatiable women “grasp and stimulate” their men for as long as 70 hours, he says. Male species have, in turn, developed vaginas."

Q: A Single Term That Includes All Sexual Minorities - "Frank Kameny, the last century’s greatest gay-rights activist, filed the first-ever Supreme Court petition challenging discrimination against homosexuals. He led some of the first gay-rights demonstrations. He was the first openly gay congressional candidate. He spearheaded the challenge to the psychiatric establishment’s categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness. He fought tirelessly against sodomy laws. He did a lot more than that. But there is one thing he never did—at least to my own recollection and that of associates of his whom I consulted. He did not use the term LGBTQ, or any of its variations... his friends say he abjured it. “My recollection is LGBT or its derivatives were expressly disliked by Frank,” one of them told me. “He would use gay to cover the full range; or gay and lesbian.” Another said: “Frank was quite indignant about the alphabet soup. When it started in the ’80s with gay and lesbian, he correctly predicted that there would be no end of it.”... The alphabet-soup designation for sexual minorities has become a synecdoche for the excesses of identity politics—excesses that have helped empower the likes of Donald Trump. It’s time to retire the term and find a replacement. I propose a single letter: Q... its intended message is admirable. But it carries an unintended message as well: an embrace of the identity politics and group separatism that have soured millions of Americans on progressivism and egalitarianism. Once activists started listing identities and groups, they realized that anyone not specifically included might feel specifically excluded. Their solution has been to keep expanding the list. But no matter how many letters are added, one group is still pointedly excluded: the cisgender heterosexuals who make up the vast majority of the U.S. population... Imagine if the religious-liberty movement instead styled itself the CJMHBSBA+ (Catholic-Jewish-Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Sikh-Baha’i-Animist-plus) movement. The symbolism ceases to be about equality for all Americans and becomes instead about naming particularistic claimants. And the very act of asking ordinary Americans to drag themselves through a list of initials is redolent of special rights, not equal rights.For me, the ugliness and unwieldiness of LGBTQ add insult to injury... Even as it seeks to explicitly include groups, the concatenation of initials implicitly blots out individuals.
Why 'inclusivity' doesn't work and is a slippery slope

Why Can't Public Transit Be Free? - "About 500 subway riders in Stockholm have an ingenious scheme to avoid paying fares. The group calls itself Planka.nu (rough translation: "dodge the fare now"), and they’ve banded together because getting caught free-riding comes with a steep $120 penalty. Here's how it works: Each member pays about $12 in monthly dues—which beats paying for a $35 weekly pass—and the resulting pool of cash more than covers any fines members incur. As an informal insurance group, Planka.nu has proven both successful and financially solvent... they argue that public transportation should be free, just like education, parks, and libraries (and health care, in some parts of Europe).... While [free public transport] succeeded in increasing ridership, the new riders they brought in were people who were already walking or biking to work. For that reason, they were seen as failures... the lack of fares attracted hordes of young people, who brought with them a culture of vandalism, graffiti, and bad behavior—which all necessitated costly maintenance. The lure of "free," the report implied, attracted the "wrong" crowd—the "right" crowd, of course, being wealthier people with cars, who aren't very sensitive to price changes. The NCTR report concluded that eliminating fares “might be successful for small transit systems in fairly homogenous communities, it is nearly certain that fare-free implementation would not be appropriate for larger transit systems.”... In January 2013, Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, announced that it was making public transit free to all of its citizens. A study released a year later revealed that the move only increased demand by 1.2 percent—though it did inspire Estonians that year to register as Tallinnian citizens at three times the normal rate... What makes more sense than implementing free transit on a grand scale is deploying it as a specialized tool. By the summer of 2013, officials in Singapore, for example, noticed that the city’s subways were getting unsustainably crowded during peak hours, between 8:15 and 9:15 in the morning. In response, the city comped rides for anyone who got off the train in a city center before 7:45. The shift made a significant difference. Before the rule change, peak-hours riders outnumbered off-peak riders about three to one; after, that ratio was closer to two to one... simply telling people just how heavily subsidized their subways and buses were made them willing to pay more money to ride"

The Truth About Why Some Men Stay Single - "In what strikes me as a very poor decision, the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science published Apostolou’s article. The title is, “Why men stay single? Evidence from Reddit.” (Yes, the scholarly journal put a question mark after a statement.) Springer, the publisher, was so proud of the article that they put out a press release, “Top 43 reasons why men remain single – according to Reddit.” (The press release was so misleading – largely because the study was so terrible – I could write a separate critique just of that.)... The author also takes penis size very, very seriously. He has an entire paragraph, complete with references, about its varying importance over time. For example, citing his own study of penis size, he argues that penis size did not matter in pre-industrial societies where men did not get to choose their mates. “Selection forces” were weak, and so now, when it matters, men are stuck with penises that are too small"

The mothers who regret having children - "It is impossible to know how many women feel this way because so few speak openly about it.But in a 2016 German survey by YouGov, 8% of 1,200 participants said they regretted becoming parents.In 2015 an Israeli sociologist Orna Donath published a study with women who all said they regretted having children. She described "the wish to undo motherhood" as an "unexplored maternal experience"."
Given the response when people admit publicly that they regret it (e.g. slamming the person for making his kid[s] feel awful), there are certainly a lot of people who won't admit it
It's telling all 3 women here are anonymous

Boy dumps Trump name over bullying at Delaware school - "A student at a Delaware school will be going by a different name in class after relentless bullying.The situation had the parents reaching out to Action News for help, saying their son's bullying wasn't being addressed by the Brandywine School District.The problem: They say 11-year-old Joshua Trump was being picked on because of his last name."They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid," said his mother, Megan Trump... "He said he hates himself, and he hates his last name, and he feels sad all the time, and he doesn't want to live feeling like that anymore, and as a parent that's scary""
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