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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Links - 25th February 2014

The slow decline of American Chinatowns - "The report on gentrification, published by the Asian American Legal Defense Fund, finds that from 2000-2010 the share of the Asian population has fallen from 48%-45% in New York's Chinatown, 57%-46% in Boston's, and 49%-30% in Philadephia's, and that the share of the white population rose in all three cities... Wellington Chen, who runs a community network formed to help the neighbourhood recover after the 9/11 attacks, thinks the focus on gentrification is misplaced. "At the end of the day the narrow splitting of us versus them - the class differentiation, the gender, the race thing - that's nonsense," he says. "The best communities, just like the best individuals, are the ones that can adapt to changes very flexibly, nimbly, quickly"... Bonnie Tsui, author of the book American Chinatown, says that when Chinese communities decline "there is this larger sense of loss of that everyday vibrancy that a neighbourhood like Chinatown has". Visitors "like that concentration, they like that richness of experience, they like that people are speaking in a different language because it feels foreign yet familiar," she argues."

For rent: a boyfriend at Chinese new year - - "Mr Sui feels a certain sympathy for those who provide his livelihood. “I charge between Rmb1,000 and Rmb10,000 a day, to girls who are under pressure from their parents to bring a boyfriend home for family gatherings,” he says. That pressure often peaks at lunar new year, the most important family holiday in the calendar. Worried parents do not drive his whole business though, says the tall, handsome and disarmingly boyish Mr Sui: some girls hire him as a date for Valentine’s day, others are just bored – and some even want sex (though that costs extra, between Rmb3,000 and Rmb20,000)."

TV's 'Dr House' helps solve real-life medical mystery - "Thanks to an episode in "House", doctors at a German clinic were able to save a 55-year-old man who was in a serious and baffling decline."

Lesbian Feminists from Latin America Take to the Streets in Chile - "women from Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Argentina and other Latin American countries were bussed in to Santiago for the meeting... While men were not officially allowed on the march, some gay men couldn’t resist joining in the singing and chants, led by Argentine group Lesbian Banda. Many of the chants were unprintable, but perhaps the most effective slogan was one of the simplest: “Lesbians: we’re bad, but we could be worse!” In Plaza de Armas, activists took part in a mass kissathon, and set fire to lesbian symbols painted on the ground. Others threw their bras in the air in time-honored feminist fashion."

Gay Couple Win Kiss-athon Competition

Wage Gap Myth Exposed -- By Feminists - "The AAUW researchers looked at male and female college graduates one year after graduation. After controlling for several relevant factors (though some were left out, as we shall see), they found that the wage gap narrowed to only 6.6 cents. How much of that is attributable to discrimination? As AAUW spokesperson Lisa Maatz candidly said in an NPRinterview, "We are still trying to figure that out." One of the best studies on the wage gap was released in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Labor. It examined more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and concluded that the 23-cent wage gap "may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers." In the past, women's groups have ignored or explained away such findings... its researchers count "social science" as one college major and report that, among such majors, women earned only 83 percent of what men earned. That may sound unfair... until you consider that "social science" includes both economics and sociology majors. Economics majors (66 percent male) have a median income of $70,000; for sociology majors (68 percent female) it is $40,000. Economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute has pointed to similar incongruities. The AAUW study classifies jobs as diverse as librarian, lawyer, professional athlete, and "media occupations" under a single rubric--"other white collar.""

A Study on Emigration Attitudes of Young Singaporeans - "the hectic pace of life and stress were the most frequently mentioned factors of dissatisfaction for respondents. Unexpectedly, the results indicated that the multicultural fabric and the enthusiasm for food contributed to the sense of satisfaction and pride in the Republic... a paradox of success seems to have emerged. A significant number of respondents from privileged backgrounds were either socially disconnected (Disengaged) or had expressed a strong desire to relocate abroad (Explorers). Furthermore, respondents who were comparatively more educated (Cosmopolitan Stayers
and Explorers) expressed a greater concern about the economic and social threats from foreign talent... The findings also signal a need to preserve our unique food culture and revisit policies that could promote or hinder the development of Singapore’s heritage food sector... Media coverage on the findings of a 10-year longitudinal data set showed that more than 20% of top performing junior college students were presently working abroad"

Charles Tips's answer to As a Republican, does it bother you that for almost the past 50 years, your party has been the go-to party for people harboring racist, sexist and homophobic sentiments? What do you think about this? - Quora - "Progressivism, the politics derived from the interplay of Bismarck and the Social Democrats in Prussia in the late 19th century, represents a rejection of the American Experiment and a reversion to the ancient politics of government over the people. Left progressives [read: modern Democrats] want socialism, an oft-tried form of government with no history of success anywhere on the planet... Democrats are still the party of grievance grouping and deciding just how much each group has been victimized. Seems to be based now on Fanon's idea of who was victimized to what extent by colonialism, but it's ever-shifting. And since white southern males stand in their mind as the victimizers, why, it's open season on them. When I told progressive friends in the SF Bay Area I was moving to Texas, I got comments along the lines of, "Why do you want to live with a bunch of white-trash rednecks and crackers?" It sounded just like my teacher 35 years earlier... If the pursuit of happiness does not, at a minimum, confer the right to decide the major milestones of your own life, such as choice of life partner, then it is a paltry concept indeed. I can actually express that to my conservative friends, even the more traditional ones, and expect a respectful conversation. Try that with progressives on their pet issues. In fact, I had progressive friends defriend me from FB for expressing that support of gay marriage. It violated their sense that we get our rights from government, and the way to proceed is to change the laws first (plus, that way we can bash Republicans and call them homophobes). So, Democrats may be able to cast themselves as champions of the homosexual community, but they are still a long way from honoring the American Experiment in doing so."

Cummingtonite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Cummingtonite was named after the town of Cummington, Massachusetts, where it was discovered in 1824"

No woman will ever be truly satisfied on Valentines day because no man will ever have a chocolate penis that ejaculates money. | Valentine's Day Ecard |

The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises | PolitiFact - "PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns and is tracking their progress on our Obameter. We rate their status as Not Yet Rated, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken. The report card at right provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises."

Sex Ed Program in Hawaii Public Schools Teaches 11-Y-Os That the Anus Is a Genital and Gay Sex, Promiscuity Are Normal, Says Lawmaker - "His complete list of trouble points with the curriculum are below:
Normalizes anal sex, while failing to warn students of the extreme dangers of anal sex, even when condoms are used.
References multiple sex partners, while failing to inform students about the health benefits of monogamy.
Fails to warn students about the relative ineffectiveness of condoms against HPV and herpes.
Fails to educate students on the stages of human reproduction.
Is not age-appropriate for its intended students.
Treats sexual activity before the age of 14 as a viable "choice" in spite of state sexual assault law.
The failures of the program stem largely from an ideological bias that naturally results from the involvement of the sources responsible for developing the program."

Dress witches in pink and avoid white paper to prevent racism in nuseries, expert says - "Anne O'Connor, an early years consultant who advises local authorities on equality and diversity. Children should be provided with paper other than white to drawn on and paints and crayons should come in "the full range of flesh tones", reflecting the diversity of the human race, according to the former teacher. Finally, staff should be prepared to be economical with the truth when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer "black" or "brown". The measures, outlined in a series of guides in Nursery World magazine, are aimed at avoiding racial bias in toddlers as young as two. According to the guides, very young children may begin to express negative and discriminatory views about skin colour and appearance that nursery staff must help them "unlearn"."

Assortative mating: Sex, brains and inequality | The Economist - "Nowadays, successful men are more likely to marry successful women. This is a good thing. It reflects the fact that there are more high-flying women. Male doctors in the 1960s married nurses because there were few female doctors. Now there are plenty. Yet assortative mating (the tendency of similar people to marry each other) aggravates inequality between households—two married lawyers are much richer than a single mother who stacks shelves. A new study* of hundreds of thousands of couples investigates the link."
Good news for feminists, bad news for Marxists

Virginia Bill to Decriminalize Sex Outside of Marriage Stalls - "HB914 would repeal the state statute that classifies it as a misdemeanor for “any unmarried person to voluntarily have sexual intercourse with any other person.” Those convicted face a $250 fine but no jail time... Eight people were convicted of fornication last year, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Prosecutors might charge someone with it as part of a plea deal to avoid a stiffer sentence. So-called morality laws, meanwhile, remain a hot topic in Virginia. Adultery also is a misdemeanor in the state, and carries a $250 fine. Suicide is considered a common-law crime. “I think we generally support the idea of taking these no longer enforceable, moral laws off the books”"

There's a de facto 'sex partition' in the workplace - "Taboos on workplace romance and increased awareness of sexual harassment issues have left some employees confused about how to interact with opposite sex coworkers, and it has become easier to limit socializing, both inside and outside the office, to coworkers of the same sex. The barriers between male and female coworkers that are a result of organizational policies on office relationships and sexual harassment make up what I call the sex partition. The sex partition limits the number of friends everyone has at work, and research clearly indicates that better networks result in bigger paychecks and faster promotions... Since employees' strong reaction to workplace policies contributes to the sex partition, accuracy in communicating these policies is also key in breaking down the partition. Occasionally, enforcers of these policies, in their efforts to limit legal liability, can overstate what constitutes harassment. This only adds to the confusion and anxiety in dealing with opposite sex coworkers. One male employee I spoke with was reprimanded by his human resources department for complimenting a female coworker on her business suit, and another was lectured for inviting a female colleague to join him for lunch. In addition to accurately communicating what constitutes harassing behavior, we must educate employees about what is not considered harassing behavior. We absolutely don't want employees to sexually harass, but we also don't want employees afraid to compliment opposite sex coworkers. Senior male executives shouldn't hesitate to meet with or mentor junior female employees. No eyebrows should be raised if a man grabs lunch with a female colleague. Indeed, organizations should encourage these behaviors."
The feminist solution to this self-created problem, obviously, is quotas
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