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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Links - 25th March 2015

Lee Kuan Yew’s political legacy – a matter of trust - "Among the most controversial were the arrests of men labeled as communists in Operation Coldstore of 1963 and Operation Spectrum of 1987 (a.k.a. the ‘Marxist Conspiracy’) that targeted social activists who promoted greater social equality and were seen as challenging LKY’s People’s Action Party’s (PAP) authority. Two other round-ups occurred with Operation Pecah (Split) in 1966, which coincided with the year of the arrest of Dr. Chia Thye Poh who was held under detention and restriction until 1997, and the arrests of the ‘Eurocommunists’ in 1976-77... In the relatively small city state, it did not take much to instill a political culture of fear by making a few examples... The group that received the special focus of LKY’s distrust was the Malay population, who now comprise over 10% of the country’s population. Even as LKY matured as a politician, he continued to reinforce negative stereotypes of this community that rioted over their grievances in 1950, 1964 and 1969 when LKY was in his early years in power, and with whom he expressed hard judgments about their religion, Islam. This distrust was shaped in part by a worldview that was not only shaped by his early experiences in political life but had sharp racial cleavages, drew from eugenics and believed in a clear social order. Part of LKY’s outlook prioritized women as homemakers and disparaged single women who opted not to marry or follow a career – another group similar to Malays that faced discrimination within LKY’s Singapore... Years of following the LKY’s example and being told that the PAP is made up of the ‘best and brightest’ has imbued a mindset of superiority, a lack of empathy, and frequent dismissal of difference in engagement with the public... In 2007 LKY claimed that he governed without ideology. This was not quite true. The ideological foundation of LKY’s pragmatic tenure was materialism... The irony is that it is not even clear how much money the government of Singapore and its linked companies actually have. Singapore is one of the few countries in the world that does not follow the International Monetary Fund guidelines on its budget reporting... LKY did not trust local capital, and did not want to strengthen an alternative power center to his own. As such, Singapore’s economy is not a genuinely competitive one. It favors big business, especially property developers, and those allied with government rather than independent entrepreneurs. Those in the system have apparently disproportionately benefited from it, although the exact amounts and assets remain unknown... Much is made about the limited corruption of Singapore, but few appreciate that the country ranks high on the Economist crony-capitalism index, an important outgrowth of the government dominance of the economy... Singapore’s economy also favors foreigners"

As the Campus Rape Narrative Unravels, Will Due Process Strike Back in 2015? - "Affirmative consent is a baffling way to fight sexual assault. Rape is a crime committed by a minority of determined, serial perpetrators; it’s unclear why activists think that forcing students to jump through new hoops before they have sex will deter these monsters. The policy will produce more mutual confusion and false accusations, however. But sadly, the compelling arguments against affirmative consent haven’t dissuaded college administrators from codifying it... Activists’ reliance on the misleading 1-in-5 statistic might, at least, subside in 2015. New data from the federal government’s Bureau of Justice statistics indicated that students were actually less likely to be victimized than non-students, and suffered rape rates that were nowhere near 1-in-5. Politico noted that the statistic was "increasingly disputed," and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), a firm believer in tougher anti-rape policies, quietly scrubbed any mention of the stat from her website. The collapse of Rolling Stone's report on a gang rape at the University of Virginia (UVA) was perhaps an even more dramatic setback for activists. Shortly after the incredible story broke, UVA President Teresa Sullivan suspended all campus fraternities, and people predisposed to believe that campuses are veritable rape factories took up their pitchforks. But the story’s thorough debunking left them with egg on their faces. As Reason contributor Cathy Young noted, the crusade against rape culture undeniably "stumbled" in 2014. Unfortunately, none of these small wins for sanity about the scope of violence on college campuses mean that due process is destined to make a comeback in 2015... Kaiser and Dillon don't think they will need to quit their jobs anytime soon. "Affirmative consent laws will, unfortunately for the students subjected to them, be a full-employment act for lawyers who do this work," wrote Dillon. "California’s law, for example, is terribly worded and contrary to everything we know about how sex between human persons actually works.""

CDC Study: More Men than Women Victims of Partner Abuse » SAVE: Stop Abusive and Violent Environments - "According to a 2010 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Justice, in the last 12 months more men than women were victims of intimate partner physical violence and over 40% of severe physical violence was directed at men. Men were also more often the victim of psychological aggression and control over sexual or reproductive health. Despite this, few services are available to male victims of intimate partner violence... There has been little research on responses to male victims of intimate partner violence, in part because agencies refuse to fund such research. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice solicitation of proposals for Justice Responses to Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking (p. 8) stated “What will not be funded: 4. Proposals for research on intimate partner violence against, or stalking of, males of any age or females under the age of 12.” In the few studies done, many men report that hotline workers say they only help women, imply or state the men must be the instigators, ridicule them or refer them to batterers’ programs. Police often will fail to respond, ridicule the man or arrest him. (Cook 2009)(Douglas and Hines, 2011)... informal help, mental health and medical services were the most helpful. The services least helpful were those that are the core of the DV service system: DV agencies, DV hotlines, and the police... Feminist theory states that intimate partner violence is an accepted form of “power and control” by men in a patriarchal society. But according to Straus (2011) the predominant immediate motives for violence, by women as well men, are frustration and anger at some misbehavior by the partner. “They are efforts to coerce the partner into stopping some socially undesirable behavior or to practice some socially desirable behavior. … Studies have found that women engage in coercive control as much as men.” Further, intimate partner violence is more likely to be mutual or female-initiated than male-initiated... Courts in California and West Virginia have found that DV programs discriminate on the basis of sex, in violation of equal protection provisions of their constitutions"

"Stereotype Threat: a Case of Overclaim Syndrome?" by Amy L. Wax - "The theory of Stereotype Threat (ST) predicts that, when widely accepted stereotypes allege a group’s intellectual inferiority, fears of confirming these stereotypes cause individuals in the group to underperform relative to their true ability and knowledge. There are now hundreds of published studies purporting to document an impact for ST on the performance of women and racial minorities in a range of situations. This article reviews the literature on stereotype threat, focusing especially on studies investigating the influence of ST in the context of gender. It concludes that there is currently no justification for concluding that ST explains women’s underperformance compared to men on standardized tests of mathematics ability, or in scientific fields more generally. The current experimental literature provides no information about the magnitude of ST’s influence relative to other possible causes of gender or race disparities in academic performance generally, or in women’s underperformance in math more specifically. Existing studies are fully consistent with a minimal role for ST in accounting for observed patterns. In addition, there are unexplained inconsistencies and puzzles in the ST literature that further undercut the possibility of drawing firm conclusions about the magnitude of ST effects or the importance of ST to observed group disparities"

Refuting 40 years of lies about domestic violence - "Dean: It’s almost as if we’re afraid to see women as human beings with the same flaws as men.
Erin: Isn’t it awful? Because it’s so condescending to tell all women they’re victims. I’m not a victim. I made my choices and I take the consequences. And I used to often say that to a woman. I’d say, “Look, you chose that man, you knew he was violent, you chose to have children by this man even though you were being beaten up. Now you take some responsibility for this.”
Dean: Well and one of the patterns I’ve seen and read about is that you’ll get these women in violent relationships and they’ll be the ones who actually start the hitting.
Erin: Yes, they do, because the majority of violent women bank on the fact that most men don’t hit women. And they don’t...
Dean: And they hate you for saying that women can be violent or that domestic violence is often or usually mutual?
Erin: Yeah. And also that I say that it’s a fact that it’s a multimillion-, billion-dollar industry. That’s one that absolutely outrages them, because they don’t want anyone to know how much money they’re getting.
Dean: It’s funny, and I happen to know that even in the States there is no accounting for where that money goes. I guess it’s marked as going to women’s shelters and that’s it—it’s like a black box.
Erin: Well, it’s not even going to women’s shelters. It’s going to keeping the empire going. Great big offices, loads and loads of staff—that’s what happens."

Eating rice with chopsticks lowers one's blood sugar level: Local study - "when people eat less and chew less, slowly-eaten or incompletely digested carbohydrate particles are larger and take longer to digest, which result in a lower increase in blood sugar after eating. "For example, you take about 43 mouthfuls to finish a bowl of rice if you're using a pair of chopsticks," he added. "If you use a spoon or your hands, you can finish the equivalent in between 17 and 20 mouthfuls. When you take a longer time to finish eating, it's effective in lowering your glucose response.""
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