"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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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Links - 24th November 2011

"If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative." - Arthur C. Clarke


No wonder children use 'gay' to mean 'rubbish': gay culture is shallow, camp and kitsch - "One thing that causes great consternation amongst schoolteachers, commentators and gay-rights activists is that young people use the word gay to mean "rubbish"... thousands of schoolchildren, some as young as four, have been reported to their local authorities for using racist or homophobic language... One boy was reprimanded for saying in class: "This work's gay"... is it really such a mystery as to why the word gay has come to mean rubbish?... gay culture is quite knowingly and resolutely lame... Susan Sontag examined what she called the "improvised self-elected class, mainly homosexuals, who constitute themselves as aristocrats of taste" and who are fascinated with "camp" – that is, with viewing the world "not in terms of beauty, but in terms of the degree of artifice, of stylisation"... It seems a bit harsh to write off schoolkids as homophobes when they are only expressing, in cruder lingo, what serious thinkers have said for years... it is often the same small urban clique that gives us rubbish "gay culture" which also goes mad when young people start to think that gay means rubbish. Their double standards are totally gay"

Calls for Melanie Phillips to be killed over gay rights prove society's values in danger - "I ­suggested on this page that some gay people were in danger of turning into the new McCarthyites by demonising and attempting to silence all who disagreed with the gay rights agenda... emails to me included such epithets as ‘vile, poisonous, horrible old woman’, and ‘people like you should be silenced as you insight (sic) bigotry and fear. Go and suck a tail pipe, get cancer, GET RAN OVER BY A TRAIN. I hope your ******* house burns down’... that they are, in fact, spewing out the very hatred, intolerance and incitement to violence of which they are accusing others would be hilarious were it not so terrifying... Whether it is dealing with lone ­parents, women or gays, ‘victim culture’... starts from the premise that such groups are the victims of those with power — whether these are men or heterosexuals — their ­members are therefore deemed to do no wrong, while the so-called ‘victimisers’ can do no right... To oppose the gay rights agenda no more means that one is anti-gay than to oppose multiculturalism or extreme ­feminism means one is anti-black or anti-woman... [This] makes our society intensely ­vulnerable to the radical Islamists whose inroads, for very similar reasons, we are also not allowed to discuss without being tarred and feathered as ‘Islamophobes’. But here’s the really awful irony in all this. Gay people are dreadfully persecuted under fundamentalist Islam, which dictates that they should be killed"
There is something seriously wrong when death threats are considered less serious than calling someone a faggot; rather predictably her article was linked disapprovingly by someone who missed all of this and only saw the keywords "bullies" and "totalitarian" out of context, and criticism of the politicisation of the curriculum equated to an anti-bullying measure

'Singh' ban denounced - "For the past decade, Indian immigration applicants with the surname Singh or Kaur were told by the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi that their names, too common to process quickly, would have to be changed"

Occupy Wall Street Divided - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 11/16/11 - Video Clip | Comedy Central - "Occupy Wall Street was divided by Class... You’ve been here for eight weeks, and you already have a ghetto?... Is there a course in condescension that everyone is taking here?... 'Would you share your iPad 2 with one of those shiftless hobos down in Bum Town?'
'No, but I do think we should live in a society where everyone has access to technology...'
'So it's not so much about sharing, it's about everybody having an iPad 2'
'Or at least everybody having access to the material wealth of life. Not just rich people'
'Except for yours'
'This is a personal possession. I'm more against private property, not personal property...
'Big decisions about Occupy Wall Street are being made in the atrium of the Deutsche Bank building'...
It made sense. Here decisions could be made quietly and out of the sight of the masses... the Occupation ended too early. They didn't even have time to develop a middle class for this new society to crush"

Occupy Harvard? Students walk out on Greg Mankiw economics class. - "Students who participated in the walkout wrote in the open letter that they had hoped to be presented with a balanced view of economics in a required introductory course. "Instead, we found a course that espouses a specific—and limited—view of economics that we believe perpetuates problematic and inefficient systems of economic inequality in our society today. There is no justification for presenting Adam Smith’s economic theories as more fundamental or basic than, for example, Keynesian theory"... 'Incidentally, the authors of this letter are in for a treat: there’s plenty of Keynesian theory to come in the second semester of Ec 10. In fact, Mankiw is a great Keynes admirer... The only reason that these students have not yet studied the father of modern macroeconomics in Ec 10, of course, is that the first semester of the class is devoted to microeconomics'"
FAIL! Again, this is what happens when you let yourself be guided by your emotions

Gawkers 'haven't broken the law' - "BANGLADESHI construction worker Masum Tapader['s] He added that his employer had made him sign a document to ensure that he abides by stipulated rules during his stint here. "We are not allowed to talk to or marry Singaporean girls"... He was responding to an incident last Sunday where migrant workers thronged a Sentosa beach filled with bikini-clad sunbathers... Another netizen, lesterjason, felt that the migrant workers were only looking and have not broken any law. He said: "Girls are exposing themselves like that and you expect a normal guy not to look? There is no logic in that""
1) At first I thought they could hit them under my second-favourite part of the Penal Code: s. 509 Word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman, but I realise staring does not fall under "utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object" or "intrudes upon the privacy of such woman"
2) This is worse than apartheid - at least then you could talk to the "superior" race

Saudi Clerics: Women Will Turn Gay If They Drive - "Some Saudi men believe that allowing women to drive will lead to prostitution, pornography, divorce, and homosexuality"

Homeopathy worked for me - "250 homeopaths and patients lobbied their MPs and handed in to No. 10 Downing Street a letter and the declaration "Homeopathy Worked for Me" signed by 28,112 people"

Family Politics | India: A Portrait by Patrick French - "46.8% of the MPs have no significant family political background. Three out of ten MPs (28.6%) entered politics through family connections... an alarming 69.5% of women MPs came into politics through family connections"
Evidence that more women than men enter politics because of family ties; for the larger Asia region it's even more overwhelming

Poll: Most Jamaicans believe UK rule better - "Sixty percent of those surveyed believed the island would be better off if it had remained a U.K. colony... Jamaica achieved independence from Britain in 1962. Since then, the island has struggled with high crime, a hefty debt burden and inefficient government"
This would be a good refutation of postcolonialism, but we can anticipate the response which makes postcolonialism unfalsifiable

SubwayCrush.net - "Welcome to SubwayCrush where your MTA man-crushes can be shared online. This website was built to bring you the hunks of the underground – our everyday daydreams of the sexy straphangers across the train brought together by a community of compliments and adoration. Click through the galleries to see the many men of NYC that you should keep an eye out for and contribute the ones that you were lucky enough to view in person. The premise is simple: “See. Snap. Share.” After your jaw has been picked up off the floor, discretely snap a photo of him and send to us"
If this were about women it would be labelled creepy, objectification etc

Danish hotel flouts the law by reserving floor for women only - "A Copenhagen hotel will continue reserving a whole floor for women, despite a recent ruling that doing so is discriminatory and illegal... the Danish Gender Equality Board found in favor of a man who had filed a complaint against the hotel, ruling that the initiative was illegal. Since men are not allowed access to all the rooms, you would have to “presume that there is a difference in treatment based on sex” at the hotel, the board said in its ruling... the plaintiff could take the case to civil court and demand damages"
Don't you love this country? This is TRUE equality, not feminist equality (i.e. "Privilege")

Company introduces bacon-flavored... what?!? - "We've seen bacon-flavored mayonnaise, bacon-flavored vodka and even bacon-flavored ice cream. But just how far can the bacon obsession go?... J&D Foods, the company that brought you Bacon Salt and Baconnaise, is introducing Baconlube -- billed as "the world's first bacon-flavored personal lubricant and massage oil"... 43 percent of Canadians surveyed said they prefer bacon to sex. Now they'll never have to choose again"

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration - "EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact. Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict... Rules banning bent bananas and curved cucumbers were scrapped in 2008 after causing international ridicule... Prof Brian Ratcliffe, spokesman for the Nutrition Society, said dehydration was usually caused by a clinical condition and that one could remain adequately hydrated without drinking water... “This claim is trying to imply that there is something special about bottled water which is not a reasonable claim”"

Racist — or just a symptom of wider malaise? - "While Neo's posting is undoubtedly deplorable, we should be asking if it is not a symptom of a wider malaise, particularly in whether such a stereotypical racist mindset has taken root among the populace and, if so, what the cause of this is. For the longest time, since our independence, in fact, Singaporeans have been told, warned, and threatened into not only staying away from discussing anything racial or religious, but to also trust the government in handling matters with regards to these... the Singapore government [creates] the impression and belief that a particular race is more prone to violence than others. Indeed, in March 2011, former Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo, when commenting on why the book "The Satanic Verses" was banned in Singapore while the film, "The Last Temptation of Christ", was allowed, explained that this was because "Christians are less likely to riot""
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