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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Links - 24th February 2016

Catholic Archbishop expresses grave concerns about Madonna's concert this Sunday - "Archbishop William Goh has expressed the Catholic Church's grave concerns about American singer Madonna's concert in Singapore on Sunday. He reminded Catholics that it was their "moral obligation not to support those who denigrate and insult religions, including anti-Christian and immoral values promoted by the secular world". "There is no neutrality in faith; one is either for or against. Being present (at these events) in itself is a counter witness. Obedience to God and His commandments must come before the arts," he said in a statement issued by his office on Saturday."
Will Catholics who attend be excommunicated?

Refugee crisis: Sweden's deputy Prime Minister Asa Romson cries as she announces asylum policy U-turn

Mario Woods’ last moments: ‘You better squeeze that ... and kill me’ - "The incident began at about 4 p.m. on Dec. 2, when officers were dispatched to San Francisco General Hospital to take a report from a 26-year-old Bayview man who had been slashed in the upper arm... Woods “then grabbed a knife out of his jeans pocket and said something to the effect of, ‘You’re not taking me today,’” wrote the partner, whose named was redacted from the documents provided to us. The partner reported that he and August then drew their guns and told Woods “to drop the knife.” That’s when August’s partner says he heard Woods say, “You better squeeze that mother— and kill me.” Then Woods turned south on Third, and the officers radioed for backup while repeatedly ordering him to drop the knife, police documents say. More officers arrived, some of them armed with weapons that fire nonlethal beanbags filled with lead shot. The first beanbag round, shot from a 12-gauge weapon, “had no effect,” August’s partner wrote. Police then hit Woods with two more rounds, including one that struck his leg, causing the limp that Woods displayed in the videos of the police confrontation. Still, Woods wouldn’t drop the knife... another officer tried to subdue Woods using pepper spray. He didn’t appear to react, the police accounts say. “I then noticed a large crowd of people behind me,” said August’s partner. “I walked toward the crowd to advise them to back up when I saw the subject with the knife still in hand begin to walk toward the crowd.” As Woods headed toward the bystanders, August tried to cut him off, police accounts say. In the videos of the shooting, he can be seen stepping into Woods’ path... Some of the racial element in the case has been defused by the fact that August and his partner are African American, as Woods was."
Black lives matter. But slashing victims lives don't matter. Nor do those of a crowd

Man allegedly stabbed by Mario Woods says he's 'forgotten' victim - "Since the stabbing, Jacob is afraid people may want to harm him because the stabbing was the first in a sequence of events that ended with Mario Woods' death. The officer involved shooting was captured on video, which went viral. Jacob says he was attacked, sitting in his car, for no reason at all... What also disturbs Jacob is the Day of Remembrance that the city's supervisors unanimously passed for Mario Woods."

7 Outlets: IPL for Underarms - "Having won numerous accolades and awards for their aesthetics treatments, ONLY continues to maintain its reputation by using the latest medical aesthetics technology on their customers. Its services range from laser hair rejuvenation, teeth whitening, IPL hair removal, laser bust enhancement, and fat freezing. Established in 2005, the international company built its success by focusing on each client’s specific needs and coming up with a suitable treatment that addresses those needs. The company is vertically integrated; encompassing medical equipment distribution, retail outlets, franchising, and global investments."
Laser bust enhancement sounds scary.

America’s Syrian Shame - The New York Times - "Aleppo may prove to be the Sarajevo of Syria. It is already the Munich. By which I mean that the city’s plight today — its exposure to Putin’s whims and a revived Assad’s pitiless designs — is a result of the fecklessness and purposelessness over almost five years of the Obama administration... Obama’s decision in 2013, at a time when ISIS scarcely existed, not to uphold the American “red line” on Assad’s use of chemical weapons was a pivotal moment in which he undermined America’s word, incurred the lasting fury of Sunni Persian Gulf allies, shored up Assad by not subjecting him to serious one-off punitive strikes and opened the way for Putin to determine Syria’s fate. Putin policy is American policy because the United States has offered no serious alternative. As T.S. Eliot wrote after Munich in 1938, “We could not match conviction with conviction, we had no ideas with which we could either meet or oppose the ideas opposed to us.” Syria has been the bloody graveyard of American conviction."
Maybe Roger Cohen is a Republican, since supposedly only Republicans criticise Obama

Will Tim Cook's privacy stance win or lose customers for Apple? - "Cook vowed to fight a court order from a Los Angeles judge to provide "reasonable technical assistance" to investigators wanting access to the phone of Rizwan Farook, a shooter in the San Bernardino attack that killed 14. Cook said complying with the government's request would set a dangerous precedent that could ultimately undermine the security of its iPhones.
I wonder what people who complain that companies are more powerful than governments and say they need more oversight and should be subject to democratically elected governments' wills would say

Icelandair Free Stopover Buddy Iceland Adventure - "It's an Icelandair employee who will accompany a traveler — for free — on various adventures in Iceland. It's like having your own local tour guide who's ready to go skiing, cooking, or horseback riding... You can even request that Icelandair CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason personally join your adventure, which he announces in the ad video while sitting on a snowmobile."

Antonin Scalia, Justice on the Supreme Court, Dies at 79 - The New York Times - "Justice Scalia’s fidelity to originalism frequently caused him to take legal positions almost certainly at odds with his policy preferences. He voted in 1989 to strike down a law making it a crime to burn an American flag. He said his fidelity to the Constitution overrode his sympathies. “I don’t like scruffy, bearded, sandal-wearing people who go around burning the United States flag,” he said in 2000. Justice Scalia also helped transform aspects of the criminal law, often in ways that helped people accused of crimes. Here, too, his understanding of the Sixth Amendment, which sets out defendants’ rights in criminal prosecutions, may have been in tension with his policy preferences. “The Sixth Amendment is a meaningful presence in American courtrooms today in large part because of Justice Scalia,” said Jeffrey L. Fisher, a law professor at Stanford. “He followed his understanding of the original intent of the Sixth Amendment, even when it made prosecutions harder and less efficient. He said it was necessary to keep the people free.” The right to trial by an impartial jury, Justice Scalia said, means that juries must find beyond reasonable doubt all facts that give rise to punishment. He made the point in a 1998 dissent, and it ripened into the majority view in Apprendi v. New Jersey in 2000, which struck down a New Jersey hate crime law. In 2004, Justice Scalia relied on the Apprendi decision in writing the majority opinion in Blakely v. Washington, which struck down the sentencing system of Washington State for giving judges too large a role. He later voted with the majority to strike down the federal sentencing system on the same grounds. “It’s not because I’m in love with the jury necessarily,” Justice Scalia told Ms. Biskupic. “It’s because I’m in love with the Constitution.”"

This Chart Shows Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors - "Some of the matches seemed practical (the most common marriage is between grade-school teachers), and others had us questioning Cupid’s aim (why do female dancers have a thing for male welders?). High-earning women (doctors, lawyers) tend to pair up with their economic equals, while middle- and lower-tier women often marry up. In other words, female CEOs tend to marry other CEOs; male CEOs are OK marrying their secretaries"

The sexism of Safe Spaces - "Safe spaces mirror the sexism women fought against in the past. Universities and students’ unions now deem women too vulnerable, too weak and too scared to manage university life without bureaucratic structures to protect them from other students. Living on many UK campuses today is like living in a Jane Austen novel, except it’s not a patriarchal society confining women to the safety of the drawing room; it’s their own peers. In October 2013, the University of Swansea students’ union refused to give the Pole Fitness Society official SU status. SU officials ruled that female students didn’t realise how ‘pole fitness’ was damaging them... Safe spaces undermine the freedoms women have fought for. Arguing that women are ‘triggered’ by words, sounds or images revives the sexist cliché that women are hysterical, unpredictable and unable to control their emotions"

Paris Pinacotheque museum closes as visitor numbers drop post attacks - "The Paris Pinacotheque, one of France's rare privately owned art museums, will close on Monday as visitor numbers have plunged following the November shootings in Paris. The Pinacotheque, which has been under court receivership for three months, said that like all Paris museums it had suffered a dramatic drop in attendance... The museum said it hopes to reopen in a less expensive site in a few years, adding that part of its permanent collection - made up mainly from private collector's loans - would be partly relocated to the Singapore Pinacotheque de Paris. Founder Marc Restellini told Le Monde that as a private museum the Pinacotheque struggled to compete with state-owned museums, which do not pay rent or value-added tax on their ticket sales. Major private art museums such as Fondation Maeght in southeast France, Jacquemart-Andre in Paris and the recently opened Paris Louis Vuitton Foundation, are rare in France, where the state runs most top collections."

India Car Rental and Driver Hire : Flashpacking Travel Blog - "Before interviewing several drivers we were told they all spoke English, this just wasn’t the case, and communication is very important when you are spending a considerable amount of time with a person. I heard a story were one guy kept saying to his driver “too late…. too late” so the driver kept accelerating. In the end the client had an accident, he was actually saying to his driver “toilet” but he didn’t understand or had the ability to communicate this misunderstanding. Ensure your driver doesn’t use his horn excessively; this could potentially send you mad and would suggest the driver doesn’t have that much road experience. Trust your instincts, if you’re not comfortable with your driver, chances are things will only deteriorate as time goes on... You will be taken to your driver’s home to meet his family, and share in a meal or get a henna tattoo, the variations are endless. We refused, but our driver said he needed to pick up his laundry at 8am, and breakfast was waiting for us. All drivers do this, some people offer money for the meal, or give the family money to help with school fees, or enhance their tip as they have bonded with the driver’s family etc. Others view this as pure emotional blackmail and give nothing. Whatever your own view, there are many people who struggle for money in India, but the luxury chauffeur taxi drivers don’t fall into this category and the overwhelming majority are extremely affluent compared to many here. Small alterations to your itinerary can lead to excessive charges by some unscrupulous drivers or companies. Check and agree prices before making any changes ideally agree these before the start of your trip. A driver may suggest an extra destination or small detour, always ask the cost. Clearly state when hiring a driver your accommodation requirements and that you will not be using his recommendations. Otherwise you will end up paying vastly inflated prices, with substandard food and service and high mark-ups. Drivers earn massive commission and it really isn’t good value as the hotels rely almost solely on customers brought to their doors by drivers... Don’t go shopping with your driver, unless you are very kind or have deep pockets. Our experience was that the products were poor quality, offered at the most ridiculously inflated prices whether this be for jewellery, bedspreads, rugs, clothes, cushions, or whatever. The driver will usually get a few hundred ruppees just for taking you and then anything from 20-30% of what your spend. Roadside refreshments and restaurants are again of a poor quality. The driver will tell you he needs to eat and gets free food, the prices are again ridiculous by Indian standards, taxes, services charges, and everything else will be added. We refused to eat and drink in these places, but were happy for him to get his fill. We did offer to buy him lunch but he said he would get food poisoning and told us some horror stories. We have not any food poisoning the whole time we have been in India. Don’t fall for it – it’s all about commission, and your driver has adequate allowance provided for. What they choose to spend their allowance on is up to them. There is nothing some drivers won’t try to sell you (including themselves) just be careful!... Never discuss any plans in front of your driver about purchases, prices or changes, it will give them time to scheme before you have finalised your plans! Having said all of the above, we didn’t get ‘scammed’ by our driver, although it was sometimes tiresome thwarting his never ending quest for commission"

Well-heeled: Monks spotted shopping for ladies' shoes

Tracy Dart: West Seattle woman faked cancer for 10 years - "Dart, who not only raised money for a local breast cancer charity but set up a fundraising team specifically for it, was exposed after she was rushed to hospital for treatment to her liver last week. Following a search for her medical records her family allegedly discovered she had been lying about having the disease. Her records showed no treatment for cancer. Dart’s story is similar to that of former wellness blogger Belle Gibson who lied about having terminal brain cancer... so far she has not been accused of using the money for herself, just of lying about her disease"
When you glamourise suffering...

Feminist comedian: I want to castrate every conservative Christian male - "Laura Levites, the liberal comedian who recently said she wanted to "rip out" Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodger's uterus, proved yet again that liberalism is an ideology of hate and rage when she went on another profanity-laced Twitter rant saying she would "personally like to castrate" every male conservative Christian. "I would personally like to castrate every Male Conservative Christian so that they have NO reproductive rights," she said, using the hashtag "#HobbyLobby." "I'm just going to stay broke so that Republican Conservative Christians have to pay for EVERYTHING!" she added in another tweet. She also expressed her hatred of Christians in a tweet calling conservative Christians "scumbags," claiming they are "really trying" her patience. "Why can't Agent Orange be legal?" she asked. In another tweet, Levites said she would pay for Hobby Lobby's David Green to be castrated. She went so far as to advocate violence on Green, proclaiming she would purchase a saw from Home Depot to cut off Green's male organ so she can "shove it up his a**." "Scratch a reactionary leftist, find the fascist thug writhing underneath," one person said in response to Levites' violent rhetoric."
If a few conservative Christian politicians who engage in homosexual activities show that conservatives Christians are all hypocrites...
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