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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Links - 5th May 2015

Journal rejects female-authored study: “Find one or two male biologists to work with”
This was an article about gender differences. So if you find an all-male conference on female rights an absurdity, think someone of Group A can never fully understand Group B or otherwise subscribe to some strains of identity politics, this would be absolutely justified (if this were a male-authored study being rejected for having no female coauthors)

Infinity Stone Manifestations Seem To Be Spelling Out Thanos - "Marvel fans have noticed that the precious infinity stones are manifesting in objects that spell out the name of Thanos. This could be a coincidence or Marvel President Kevin Feige is even more clever than we originally thought."

Muslim husbands can’t ‘pull out’ during sex without wife’s consent, says Perlis mufti - "Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin claimed today that a Muslim husband is obliged to fulfil his wife’s sexual desires, to the point that he should not even perform coitus interruptus without consent from the wife. Weighing in on the marital rape debate, the Perlis mufti said that despite the obligation, sexual relations between husbands and wives must happen in a “harmonious situation” without physically harming each other. “Rough and painful sex is forbidden in Islam. Therefore, all couples must find the best sexual method that fulfils the personal desires of both parties”... The Perlis mufti said a husband who refuses to have sex with his wife has committed a sin for neglecting his marital duties, and similarly with a wife who refuses sex with her husband without “acceptable reasons”... Yesterday, Malay Mail Online reported religious scholars saying that it is sinful for a Muslim man to force his wife to have sex when she is ill or menstruating, while insisting that the concept of marital rape does not exist in Islam."

Israel as Middle Eastern hegemon - "Israel's prowess in the arts matches its accomplishments in technology and business. Israel has become something of a superpower in that most characteristically Western art form, classical music. In a July 21, 2010, survey of Israeli music for the webzine Tablet, I wrote, "Israelis take to classical music - the art form that most clearly creates a sense of the future - like no other people on earth, to the point that music has become part of Israel's character, an embodiment of the national genius for balancing hope and fear." Israel has one the largest local audience for chamber music recitals of any country in the world, and its leading musicians occupy top slots around the world - for example Guy Braunstein, concertmaster (principal violin) of the Berlin Philharmonic. This, I believe, explains the implacable hostility of Israel's neighbors, as well as the Europeans. It is the unquenchable envy of the dying towards the living. Having failed at Christianity, and afterward failed at neo-pagan nationalism, Europe has reconciled itself to a quiet passage into oblivion. "

Hamas Envisions West Bank Takeover, Destruction of Israel - "“[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine,” stated Al-Zahar, a senior Hamas political bureau member. Moreover, Al-Zahar believes that if Hamas established a military position in the West Bank it would be capable of destroying the Jewish State... In August, a Hamas spokesman admitted that Hamas’ main objective is the “liberation of our Palestinian land” and not simply the lifting of Israel’s internationally legal blockade of Gaza. “The time has come for us to say that our true war is not aimed at opening the border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing,” said Sami Abu Zuhri to a cheering Palestinian crowd... A recent Palestinian poll confirms that Hamas’ popularity remains higher than the Palestinian Authority (PA) in both Gaza and the West Bank. According to the Palestinian Center for Policy Research, if elections took place in the West Bank between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Haniyeh would emerge victorious with 55 percent support over Abbas’ 38 percent."

Performance Pay, Competitiveness, and the Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from the United States - "Evidence that women are less likely to opt into competitive compensation schemes in the
laboratory has generated speculation that a gender difference in competitiveness contributes to the gender wage gap. Using data from the NLSY79 and NLSY97, we show that women are less likely to be employed in jobs using competitive compensation. The portion of the gender wage gap explained by gender segregation in compensation schemes is small in the NLSY79 but somewhat larger in the NLSY97 – suggesting an increasing role for competitiveness in explaining the gender wage gap"

Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome - - "Writing in Nature last week, Edward Lanphier and other scientists involved in developing the rival zinc finger technique for genome editing also called for a moratorium on human germline modification, saying that use of current technologies would be “dangerous and ethically unacceptable.” The International Society for Stem Cell Research said Thursday that it supported the proposed moratorium."
The objections sounds like those to IVF when it first started. The slippery slope will move on

Person Putting “Whites Only” Stickers Around Austin Turns Out to be Liberal Social Justice Warrior

Was James Bond the Result of Ian Fleming's Midlife Crisis? - "In the early years, he spent his Jamaican vacations fishing with harpoon guns and steel tridents (not unlike the unique, yet totally preposterous, underwater battle in Thunderball). He tempted fate by carrying on conspicuous affairs with many of the island’s expatriate British elite, most of whom were taken (his most important mistress, Anne Rothermere, was married to a viscount who was the proprietor of the Daily Mail). He purportedly drank a bottle of gin a day and insisted his staff call him “the Commander.”"

Guess what? More people are living in peace now. Just look at the numbers - "For John Gray, this is a big problem. As a part of his campaign against reason, science and Enlightenment humanism, he insists that the strivings of humanity over the centuries have left us no better off. This dyspepsia was hard enough to sustain when Gray first expressed it in the teeth of obvious counterexamples such as the abolition of human sacrifice, chattel slavery and public torture-executions. But as scholars have increasingly measured human flourishing, they have found that Gray is not just wrong but howlingly, flat-earth, couldn’t-be-more-wrong wrong. The numbers show that after millennia of near-universal poverty and despotism, a steadily growing proportion of humankind is surviving infancy and childbirth, going to school, voting in democracies, living free of disease, enjoying the necessities of modern life and surviving to old age... In a last diversionary tactic, Gray serves up a prolix disquisition on Aztec obsidian mirrors, which is somehow meant to show that quantification is like “sorcery”, “auguries”, “amulets”, and “prayer wheels”. But the inescapable fact is that whenever you use the words “more”, “less”, “rise”, or “fall” you are making a claim about numbers. If you then refuse to look at them, no one should take your claims seriously."

Timeline Photos - WXMG Magic 106.3 - "This is a crocodile wrapped in bacon, with a chicken in it's mouth. A Bacrocken? It's the Turducken of Australia. Would you try it?"

Not so sexy: hipster beards dirtier than toilets - "Bearded men are exponentially more exposed to skin infection than their shaved counterparts, as dirty hands and food crumbs leave residues that eventually decompose amongst the hairs. Even if washed regularly, beards contain bacterias that can lead to greater susceptibility to the common cold or eczema."

Bronze Bust of Putin as Roman Emperor to Be Unveiled

I Have Come to Indoctrinate Your Children Into My LGBTQ Agenda (And I'm Not a Bit Sorry)
Comments: "If you have a problem with the notion of "love the sinner, but hate the sin", then you have a problem with parenting. Parents operate according to this paradigm ALL the time. They love their children, but hate their disobedience or other undesireable behaviors"
"Buddhists believe that eating meat is misconduct, but I've never felt persecuted by them for liking steak. I'm perfectly cool with other people thinking some of the stuff I do is wrong. They're probably right about at least some of it."
"There is NO such thing as LGBTQ or what ever acronym is made up this week. As a gay man I wish people would stop lumping me in with what ever group catches some activists fancy. Im Gay, not TBLGQEIEIO"

Was Lee Kuan Yew an Inspiration or a Race Traitor? Chinese Can’t Agree | Foreign Policy - "Global Times, a state-owned newspaper, identified four watchwords of Lee’s legacy – “stability, orderliness, lack of graft, and rule of law” – that could also easily describe Xi’s domestic agenda. But more liberal-minded Chinese, like lawyer Tao Jingzhou, believed that the secret ingredient to Singapore’s success was Lee’s Western outlook and a legal system bequeathed by British colonists. Columnist Liu Shengjun wrote that Singapore’s stability and efficiency are built on “Lee’s authoritarian charisma,” which has limited appeal in China’s consensus-driven government. Then there are Chinese vocal nationalists and leftists, who have offered much harsher post-mortem assessments of Lee. Since he was an embodiment of state-led capitalism that many Chinese leftists despise, some nationalists and Maoists condemned Lee’s legacy and attacked China’s state-owned media, including CCTV, for their flowery tributes. Vindictive essays detailing Lee’s offenses against communists circulated on Chinese social media among leftist circles after his death, calling him a “fascist pawn of imperialism.” Since more than 74 percent of Singaporeans are ethnic Chinese, including Lee and most of its senior leadership, some Chinese tend to think of Singapore as a nation of long-lost cousins that should, one way or another, rotate close within China’s orbit. Hardcore Chinese nationalists loathe the idea that Lee instead vouchsafed Singapore’s own national interests, which sometimes brought the country closer to the United States than to China. Lu Qi, a nationalist scholar, took the vitriol a step further when he called Lee a hanjian – that is, a traitor to the Chinese nation — because Lee “embarked on a large de-Sinicization campaign in Singapore, and most ethnic Chinese Singaporeans could not speak Chinese.”"

Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame - ""Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop," says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way."
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