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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Links - 31st December 2015

Designers Are Prostitutes, Agencies Are Brothels - "When we first became designers (substitute this with your profession if applicable), we had big dreams. We wanted to get to know each of our clients. Understand their underlying problems; preferably through multiple conversations and a nice fancy dinner. Console them. And of course, eventually solve their issues with our skills and knowledge. In other words, we wanted to be a social escort."

Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’

Muslim children should not be forced to sing national anthem, says Hizb ut-Tahrir - "They were told Muslim children should not be forced to sing the Australian anthem and that "deradicalisation" was an agenda of forced assimilation...
"The insistence of senior government ministers that Muslim children sing the national anthem – an anthem that reflects a particular disputed view of history and celebrates particular ideological values ... Why should they be forced to sing it?" he asked the crowd, gathered at The Bellevue function centre in Bankstown."

Australia school criticised for letting Muslim students walk out during national anthem - Telegraph - "The head of Cranbourne Carlisle primary school allowed about 30 to 40 Shia Muslim students aged eight to ten to leave the assembly, saying it was the Muharram period for the children, a sacred month when Shia Muslims observe a period of mourning, and they should not be required to take part in “joyous” events... The decision angered parents, while Muslim schools said it was standard for all Muslim students to sing Advance Australia Fair, the national anthem."

Can We Take Political Correctness Seriously Now? - "The upsurge of political correctness is not just greasy-kid stuff, and it’s not just a bunch of weird, unfortunate events that somehow keep happening over and over. It’s the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism. The reason every Marxist government in the history of the world turned massively repressive is not because they all had the misfortune of being hijacked by murderous thugs. It’s that the ideology itself prioritizes class justice over individual rights and makes no allowance for legitimate disagreement. (For those inclined to defend p.c. on the grounds that racism and sexism are important, bear in mind that the forms of repression Marxist government set out to eradicate were hardly imaginary.) American political correctness has obviously never perpetrated the brutality of a communist government, but it has also never acquired the powers that come with full control of the machinery of the state... As far as the students are concerned, they represent the cause of anti-racism, a fact that renders the need for debate irrelevant"

Brunei puts stop to Christmas celebrations to protect Muslims, religious ministry says - "The ban, instituted after Christmas last month when local children and adults were seen wearing clothes “that resemble Santa Claus”, raises fresh concerns of religious restrictions after last April’s announcement of the introduction of a penal code that will eventually include penalties such as the severing of limbs and death by stoning."

Failed Windows 3.1 system blamed for shutting down Paris airport

We Muslims should be appalled by the sale of halal meat by stealth - "Halal meat should never be forced on customers without their knowing, surreptitiously and using clandestine methods. It’s unfair to everyone, non-Muslims and Muslims alike. It’s deception on a grand scale for the former, while it could fuel bitter resentment against the latter... if the Koran does not insist on what have become the customary halal methods, why are they now so prevalent in Britain? One reason is that religious zealots and theological ideologues are deliberately promoting confusion about halal to sow discord and resentment... Muslim fundamentalist insistence on halal meat does not come from the Koran itself — it derives from a secondary and often suspect source, called the Hadith... In my hometown, Oxford, you can go to the local supermarket and pay perhaps £5.50 a kilo for lamb. But go to the halal shop and it’s £6.50 or £7 a kilo — even though, as we now know, the supermarket meat is probably halal too. That’s a big mark-up. As a British Muslim — and I underline the word ‘British’ — I want to see full transparency when I go to the supermarket. I want to know the true provenance of the food I buy, and it’s essential that businesses start labelling food better and accurately. It is high time the white, liberal, Guardian-reading classes stopped behaving like apologists and woke up. There is a fundamentalist Trojan horse in our midst, and we must take corrective action."

Muslim academic gets death threats over women and gay-friendly mosque - Telegraph - "A Muslim academic is vowing to push ahead with the launch of his woman and gay-friendly mosque in South Africa, despite receiving death threats. Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, a group of "forward thinking" Muslims, said his Open Mosque will welcome all genders, religions and sexual orientations when it opens in Wynberg, a Cape Town suburb, on Friday."

The ISIS leader was NOT trained by the CIA or Mossad, and Snowden didn’t say it - "There are three common rules when people discuss politics:
1) they are willing to believe anything on the internet if it confirms their prejudices
2) they don’t want to accept people of their tribe do awful things
3) they find a way to blame America or the UK for most of the world’s problems...
Edward Snowden’s lawyer called this claim a hoax too."

Federal Government Money Is Not The Best Way To Fund The Arts - "we can't take for granted that government funding for the arts will always be virtuous in purpose. One could argue that Western Europeans have lucked into a happy accident of history that combines exceptional largesse with a largely hands-off approach. Some countries, such as the former Soviet Union and modern-day China, have had no qualms about using state power to exercise censorship on a vast scale and co-opt the arts for nationalistic purposes. Closer to home, even Hungary's arts community has seen significant turmoil due to the meddling of a newly elected conservative government. And while it's hard to imagine anything destroying Sweden's commitment to public funding of the arts, the recent scandal involving that country's culture minister cutting a "racist cake"certainly gives critics some ripe material."

Should Government Fund "the Arts"? - "government support of specific institutions or individuals is in no way necessary or sufficient for the production of "art" (however you choose to define that gloriously nebulous term). What more do you need to know than the one point on which Alan Davey and Pete Spence agree: Britain—the very birthplace of Dr. Johnsonand Dr. Who—didn't start using serious amounts of tax money to fund art until after the second world war. How did culture in Old Blighty ever survive so long?... There's at least a third reason to stop state funding of the arts, and it's the one I take most seriously as a literary scholar and writer. In the 17th century, a great religious dissenter, Roger Williams (educated at Cambridge, exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony), wrote the first case for total separation of church and state in the English language. Forced worship, said Williams, "stinks in God's nostrils" as an affront to individual liberty and autonomy; worse still, it subjugated theology to politics. Something similar holds true with painting, music, writing, video and all other forms of creative expression. Forced funding of the arts—in whatever trivial amounts and indirect ways—implicates citizens in culture they might openly despise or blissfully ignore. And such mandatory tithing effectively turns creators and institutions lucky enough to win momentary favour from bureaucrats into either well-trained dogs or witting instruments of the powerful and well-connected. Independence works quite well for churches and the press. It works even more wonderfully in the arts."

Unethical health food: is your avocado habit funding drug cartels? - Telegraph - "It turns out that those nuts you love to sprinkle on your granola every morning are greedy little so and sos - it takes a gallon of water to produce each and every almond. California produces 82 per cent per cent of the world's almonds and as the state hits its fourth consecutive annual drought, the finger of blame is being well and truly pointed at the almond. Planted to meet the demand for almond milk in the US’s most hippified state, this all-year round crop guzzles about eight per cent of the area's agricultural water supply"

Free Ottawa yoga class scrapped over 'cultural issues' - "Student leaders have pulled the mat out from 60 University of Ottawa students, ending a free on-campus yoga class over fears the teachings could be seen as a form of "cultural appropriation"... The centre goes on to say, "Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced," and which cultures those practices "are being taken from." The centre official argues since many of those cultures "have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy ... we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga"... Scharf, a yoga teacher with the downtown Rama Lotus Centre, said the concept does not apply in this case, arguing the complaint that killed the program came instead from a "social justice warrior" with "fainting heart ideologies" in search of a cause celebre. "People are just looking for a reason to be offended by anything they can find," said Scharf... According to email correspondence between Scharf and the centre, student leaders debated rebranding the program, but stumbled over how the French translation for "mindful stretching" would appear on a promotional poster, and eventually decided to suspend the program."

Blocking yoga classes: Multiculturalists succeed where Christian conservatives failed - "It, like all such ideas, is the common heritage of all mankind. That means of each and every one of us, even those of us who have a genetic background or culture that some people feel aggrieved at. We (Indian, American, African, Oceanian, anyone else) are entitled to use it, to adapt it, to merge it with other ideas. There’s no improper “appropriation” here because there’s no “property” here in the first place. I think it makes sense to view this as our honoring other ideas: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and so is adaptation and modification, since it represents the view that the thing be imitated, adapted and modified is worth our time and attention."

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says - "The neuroscientists ran a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on an Apple fanatic and discovered that images of the technology company's gadgets lit up the same parts of the brain as images of a deity do for religious people, the report says... People have gone to great lengths to prove their love of Apple with tattoos, bumper stickers and home shrines to outmoded Mac computers. Apple's cult-like following was highlighted in a 2009 documentary called "Macheads.""

Creationism poll: How many Americans believe the Bible is literal, inerrant, or symbolic. - "only 21 percent agreed that everything in the Bible is literally true. Thirty percent chose the second statement: that the Bible is “without errors” but that “some parts are meant to be symbolic.” This isn’t what secular people tend to think inerrancy means. But it is what a lot of Christians apparently believe. Most people who believe that the Bible is inerrant do not believe that this means everything in it is literally true... Ask whether humans have been around for only 10,000 years, and the hardcore—those who are absolutely or very certain on all five questions—shrinks to 7 percent."
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