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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Links - 22nd December 2015

Star Wars is racist because Darth Vader is 'a black guy', MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry suggests

33 Questions We Desperately Want Answered After Star Wars: The Force Awakens
If it were so good there wouldn't be so many questions. If a normal movie does this we'd call it sloppy

25 Unanswered Star Wars: The Force Awakens Questions
Hello Marvel Cinematic Universe and its huge variety of spinoofs you all need to know about to understand it

5-Year Jail Time For Anyone Who Celebrates Christmas In Brunei

May the police force be with you: Chewbacca arrested at Ukraine polls - "A man dressed as Star Wars character Chewbacca was detained and fined for disobeying police during local polls in Ukraine. The Wookiee warrior — an activist from a marginal political party — was apprehended by police in the south-western city of Odessa after refusing to present his ID as he posed alongside children near a polling station, a local court said. Video footage from the arrest showed a growling Chewbacca resisting four officers, who were forced to pin him down on the bonnet of a van to handcuff him... Chewbacca, who had reportedly driven a candidate dressed as Darth Vader to the polling station, later told local media he could not pay the fine because his "intergalactic bank" did not have a branch on Earth. The local electoral commission registered 48 candidates from the Darth Vader Block political party, including 44 individuals with the last name Vader, a local news site reported. Another candidate — posing as Sheev Palpatine, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire — was elected to the Odessa city council. Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca, the Jedi Master Yoda and Princess Amidala had tried their luck in last year's parliamentary poll in full costume, all without success. Many of these offbeat candidates represent the tiny Pirate Party of Ukraine — one of more than 40 groups that have sprung up worldwide in defence of internet freedoms and limits on copyright laws. Last week, a Soviet-era statue of Lenin was transformed into one of Darth Vader in the city, an homage to the oddly prominent figure in local politics."

Chewbacca in court over lack of ID while driving Darth Vader to Ukraine election - "A statement posted on the official Instagram account of the Ukrainian police read: “Nothing unusual here, just Chewbacca detained for being without documents while driving Darth Vader to the elections in Odessa. The Sith Lord has already claimed this was illegal as Chewbacca is his pet and general servant and thus does not require documents.”

Virgins? What virgins? - "Modern apologists of Islam try to downplay the evident materialism and sexual implications of such descriptions, but, as the Encyclopaedia of Islam says, even orthodox Muslim theologians such as al Ghazali (died 1111 CE) and Al-Ash'ari (died 935 CE) have "admitted sensual pleasures into paradise". The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 ), Koranic commentator and polymath. He wrote: "Each time we sleep with a houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [ie Muslim] will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetising vaginas." One of the reasons Nietzsche hated Christianity was that it "made something unclean out of sexuality", whereas Islam, many would argue, was sex-positive. One cannot imagine any of the Church fathers writing ecstatically of heavenly sex as al-Suyuti did, with the possible exception of St Augustine before his conversion. But surely to call Islam sex-positive is to insult all Muslim women, for sex is seen entirely from the male point of view; women's sexuality is admitted but seen as something to be feared, repressed, and a work of the devil.
Citation for Christianity being sex negative/unfriendly

Singapore has the world’s worst taxi drivers - "in Singapore they ask because they have no idea how to get to the destination. If I hear one more time, “I’m new, I don’t know the way” when getting in a cab I will scream. My response is twofold 1) you’re not new to Singapore you have lived here all your life and 2) it’s your bloody job to know the way! If someone came to me in my marketing job and said I would like some marketing advice please and I then turned around and said well what do you think because I haven’t got a clue, what would happen? The client would walk out and not pay me. In a Singapore taxi this happens 75% of every one of my journeys... What happens at 4pm? Why does “change shift” give taxi drivers the right to not pick people up? Why do they drop by taxi ranks and say that they are going to their home and that if anyone else happens to live next door to them they will take them but if not they won’t! By the time they have driven around for hours looking for this perfect passenger who lives next door they could have taken several people home and earnt some money!... When is the one time you can never get a taxi in Singapore despite their being 26,000 of them, more than any other country per capita? When it rains... Why do the big posh black SMRT limos that Singaporeans won’t get into (because it costs a couple of dollars more, they would rather wait in the queue, even though it is the same cost as texting for one…) not take card? Why do the red and black/yellow ones do the same? Which modern country these days only takes cash when all the marketing from people like Nets, MasterCard, Visa, EZ link is cashless? Why do some cabs have displayed that they will take card/they are cashless only to turn around and say only cash? This usually happens only on a Thursday or Friday…when they don’t get their money to after the weekend unless it’s a cash payment… Why are there 25,000 of the 26,000 Singaporean taxis always at Changi Airport? This is why you can never get a cab when you really want one... In Australia and New York they allow non Australians and non Americans to take the roles and the service and knowledge of the city is better than Singaporeans of Singapore. In fact I would wager that if you took an Indian who had just got off a plane and never been to Singapore and gave him a cab he would do a better job than a Singaporean taxi driver in driving you to your destination…"

Notre Dame tutor accused of pressuring students — including athletes — into having sex with her daughter - "In the lawsuit against the school, the unnamed student argues “the tutor orchestrated ‘sexually and racially motivated’ trysts with her daughter by including condoms, transportation and hotel rooms for academic favors,” Nicole Hensley and Reuven Blau of the Daily News report. “She was exploiting African-American males”"

Matt Stone & Trey Parker Are Not Your Political Allies (No Matter What You Believe) - "Both men were adamant that the show has no political affiliation. "I would never want the show to be a Democrat show or Republican show, because for us the show's more important than that. It isn't for everybody else in the world, but it is for us. We don't want you to come to it thinking, 'These guys are going to bash liberals,'" Matt explained. "I look at it like this," Trey added. "I have a cat, I love my cat and it's like someone coming in and saying, 'Hey, is that cat a Republican or a Democrat?' He's my fucking cat, leave him alone"... "everyone sees their own thing in it. So a lot of our shows where even we think we've taken a very deliberate stand, liberals say, 'That's awesome, you took on the conservatives' same show and conservatives say 'That's awesome, you took on liberals.'" They have certainly mocked conservative groups and people on their show, but they tend to skewer liberals more often. Why? "Ripping on Republicans is not that fun for us only because everyone else does it""

Trey Parker and Matt Stone - Americans of the Year 2011 Parker and Stone - "Parker and Stone abhor having their politics labeled, even by themselves. They're better at defining themselves in the negative. A few years ago, Stone said, "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals"... But the truth is that Parker and Stone, the creators of the decade's most extreme mass entertainment, are shockingly ... temperate. They say it themselves: "There is a middle ground, and most of us actually live in this middle ground.""
Addendum: "What we're sick of — and it's getting even worse — is you either like Michael Moore or you wanna fuckin' go overseas and shoot Iraqis... We find just as many things to rip on the left as we do on the right. People on the far left and the far right are the same exact person to us."

Baghdad travel guide - Wikitravel - "The easiest way to stay safe in Baghdad is not to go there in the first place"

What is the greatest global threat to Muslims? - "Who is responsible for the greatest numbers of deaths against Muslims today? Who commits the worst atrocities against Muslims? It is not the West that claims the highest headcount nor is it Israel. The sad truth is that today Muslims kill the most Muslims around the world... We like to proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace. And for most of us it is. But we have to acknowledge that there are those Muslims for whom Islam is not a religion of peace. Whether extremist Salafist Jihadists, or Shiite Revolutionary Guards, there are those in our religion that speak of Islam with a gun in their hands. And as long as they have the power to do so, they will claim to speak on our behalf as well. We need to take responsibility for these facts. And we need to recognize that while we allow young boys and men who should know better kill Muslims on behalf of Islam all around the Muslim world, we are failing to uphold the Islam of peace. When we let our religion be hijacked by the violent minority, we are failing in our religious duty. There is only one uprising we need. We need the silent majority who does not care whether their neighbors are Sunni, or Shiite, or Sufi, or Ahmadi, or Ismaili, or Christian or Jewish, or whatever else, but who care that they are good people, we need this majority to stop being silent."
If the world's hypocritical for caring more for Paris than Beirut, it is a mirror of Muslims' attitudes to Muslim violence

Emma Watson Sofia Vergara Bizarre Mask Gif Mystery Solved - "You may have seen an intensely bizarre Gif image making the rounds that shows Emma Watson talking and then eventually peeling away her face (and chest) to reveal herself to be Sofia Vergara in disguise"

Fat Studies: Colleges' Hot New Course? - "Jacqueline Johnson knows what it's like to be shunned because of her weight. In the early 2000s fat activism was edging into existence, and Johnson, a weight studies scholar, was deemed too skinny to take part... critics worry that such classes emphasize bleeding-heart politics over intellectual rigor... the presence of feel-good politics in college classrooms concerns some scholars, who worry about promoting acceptance and tolerance at the expense of hard academics. Anna Kirkland, an associate professor of Women's Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan, is a supporter of Fat Studies, but fears it may lead to social proselytizing rather than serious study. "I'm not interested in areas of study whose main justification is that they're going to advance the situation of some social group," she says. "I mean, that's fine if that's part of the reason. But the main reason should be intellectual interest and energy cohering around a single topic area." In an article published last year on CampusReform.org, Abigail Alger, a manager at the Leadership Institute in Washington D.C., wrote that the subject is "part of a dangerous dumbing down of liberal education in which the pursuit of knowledge is replaced by frantic social programming and promotion of state programs." The discipline, Alger argued, doesn't encourage open debate, but instead "begins with the end in mind," and brands as a bigot anyone who disagrees... most fat activists still don't consider college to be a "weight-safe" environment"
Do they learn about the health effects of being overweight in fat studies?
Is "bleeding-heart politics over intellectual rigor" unique to fat studies?
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