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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, May 06, 2016

Links - 6th May 2016

Independents Are Souring on Hillary Clinton - WSJ - "While declining favorability ratings are common for presidential candidates as voters learn more about them, the striking decline in independents’ view of Mrs. Clinton is indicative of the popularity of Mr. Sanders, who served in the Senate as an independent before running for president as a Democrat... Mr. Trump’s standing among independents is even worse than that of his would-be general-election rival. Just 19% of independents viewed Mr. Trump favorably in the latest poll, while 67% had a negative opinion"
Maybe she'll lose to Trump thanks to Bernie!

Icelandic PM called to quit as protestors pelt eggs, yoghurts and bananas at parliament

Chinese Market Concerns Led To "Doctor Strange's" Ancient One Changes - "“The thing about the Ancient One is it is Marvel's Kobayashi Maru," Cargill explains. "There is no other character in Marvel history that is such a cultural land mine, that is absolutely unwinnable. I’ve been reading a bunch of people talking about it, and the really frustrating thing about it this week is that most of the people who have thoughts on it haven’t thought it all the way through, and they go, 'Why didn’t they just do this?' And it’s like, I could tell you why. I could tell you why every single decision that involves the Ancient One is a bad one, and just like the Kobayashi Maru, it all comes down on which way you're willing to lose"... "He originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he's Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit and risk the Chinese government going, 'Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.' If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular and have him be in Tibet… if you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about." China is a major part of Marvel's international plan, as it is for ever major Hollywood studio. "Avengers: Age of Ultron" earned $240 million in the country last year, and even the more modestly-budgeted "Ant-Man" raked in over $100 in China
Perhaps one or two SJWs will be led to reflect that they've basically been bitching about First World Problems and that real people are suffering real oppresion

Doctor Strange writer says he knew the trailer would upset “social justice warriors” - "Casting an actor of a different Asian background—say Japanese or Indian—would be seen as “disrespecting the original ethnicity” of the character. Regardless, having the Ancient One be an Asian character at all would further perpetuate the “white hero” narrative in which a white protagonist learns a skill from an Asian character only to surpass all of the Asian characters in that skill (i.e. The Last Samurai). And to simply remove the Ancient One altogether, he argues, would be seen as eradicating a character due to his race... '“There’s no real way to win this so let’s use this as an opportunity to cast an amazing actress in a male role.” And sure enough, there’s not a lot of talk about, “Aww man, they took away the job from a guy and gave it to a woman.” Everyone kind of pats us on the back for that and then decides to scold us for her not being Tibetan. And that’s just the way it’s gonna go... The social justice warriors were gonna get mad at us for something this week. They were just gonna do it, there was no way to avoid it. So the hill Scott decided to die on was the one of feminism.'"

‘Doctor Strange’ Writer Explains Casting of Tilda Swinton as Tibetan - The New York Times - "Mr. Cargill also drew a parallel, saying that the only thornier situation he could envision was if Dr. Strange’s origin story had involved him going to Palestine in the 1930s and studying under a Palestinian mentor... “The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic”"

Why is Hollywood Pandering to Chinese Censors? - "When Transformers 4 came out, pan-democratic protesters were planning on occupying the streets to protest for universal suffrage. The scene where Beijing sends fighter jets to the rescue functioned as a fantasy of what the Beijing central government thinks of Hong Kong. Hong Kongese pan-democrats, meanwhile, think that local government kowtows to their masters in Beijing, who have an outsized role in controlling the elections. If anything, they argue, the central government would be out there to save the local officials from the wrath of the people. “When that part came on, nearly everyone in the theatre with me laughed out loud,” South China Morning Post blogger Jeremy Blum, who watched the movie in Hong Kong, wrote. Craig Detweiler of Patheos went so far as to say that Transformers director Michael Bay “shill[s] for China”... China still punishes rather than promotes some of its own best filmmakers. The 2013 independent film A Touch of Sin, by Chinese director Jia Zhangke, won best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, best film editing at the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival, and earned a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was banned in China. How can China ever spread cultural power if it stifles its best artists?"

China responds to Singapore diplomats' remarks on South China Sea - "Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last Saturday announced a four-point consensus with Brunei, Laos and Cambodia on the South China Sea, including that territorial disputes in the sea were "not an issue between China and Asean as a whole". Former Asean secretary-general and Singapore's Ambassador-at- Large Ong Keng Yong criticised the move as tantamount to China "meddling" in Asean's internal affairs. Mr Bilahari Kausikan, policy adviser to Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the consensus can be seen as a means to divide Asean ahead of an international ruling on a petition against China's claims in the South China Sea brought by the Philippines."
China is not meddling in other people's internal affairs, because the whole world belongs to China

In Asia, govts struggle to deal with a worsening water crisis - "Asia’s water woes are worsening. Already the world’s driest continent in per capita terms, Asia now faces a severe drought that has parched a vast region extending from southern Vietnam to central India. This has exacerbated political tensions, because it has highlighted the impact of China’s dam-building policy on the environment and on water flows to the dozen countries located downstream... The main culprit in this regard is China, which has heavily dammed the Mekong, South-east Asia’s lifeline. In the current lean season, which will last until the monsoon rains arrive in June, the lower Mekong is, according to a recent United Nations report, running at “its lowest level since records began nearly 100 years ago.” China is now trying to play saviour, by releasing an unspecified quantity of water from one of its six upstream mega-dams to “accommodate the concerns” of drought-stricken countries. China’s rulers have touted the move as underscoring the effectiveness of upstream “water facilities” in addressing droughts and containing floods. Of course, in reality, all of this simply highlights the newfound reliance of downriver countries on Chinese goodwill, a dependence that is set to deepen as China builds 14 more dams on the Mekong."
Perhaps according to China apologists, this is the fault of the US

UBC student Brooklyn Fink explains why she burned the pride flag on campus - "The University of B.C. student charged with mischief for allegedly burning a rainbow LGBT pride flag at the university last February says she did it to protest what she considers an "offensive" symbol. Brooklyn Marie Fink, 31, who describes herself as transsexual, talked about the flag burning after her first court appearance in Richmond on Tuesday. "As a media artist, I intended in burning the flag only to illustrate my displeasure at the university's failure to come to an agreement on the fact of the flag's offensiveness"... When it was discovered burned Feb. 9, the act was viewed as a possible hate crime, prompting extra security precautions and the cancellation of a parade in support of transgender people. Fink told CBC she does not feel included in the LGBT label — an abbreviation used to cover a range of non-gender-conforming identities, which often stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender... Fink said the rising awareness about transgender people has made life more difficult for her, something she finds "really emotional, really stressful" to talk about. "Ten, 12 years ago I was just a tall woman and nobody thought anything of it," she said. "But because these gender nonconformers are being so loud and proud ... now everybody looks and they can see oh, that tall woman with a deep voice, maybe she's a dude"... However inclusive rainbow flag-wavers might intend to be — the reality can be more complex, said transgender-rights activist Morgane Oger."
Is it hate speech to burn a hateful symbol?; this just shows that many SJWs just want attention and want to hate something
Comment elsewhere: "Nothing will ever be inclusive, diverse, and tolerant enough. Why fucking bother? They'll hate me anyways for being white, male, cisgendered, etc."


Israeli Rights Group Releases Video of Army Medic Executing Wounded Palestinian Suspect - "Several Palestinian and Israeli observers were struck by the fact that no one around the soldier who fired the shot seemed to treat the incident as unusual — suggesting that such extrajudicial killings of suspected attackers have now become “routine,” as critics have charged."

Majority of Palestinians Support Knife Attacks, Unless The Attacker Is a Young Girl - "Two-thirds of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip support the current spate of knife attacks against Israelis on the streets of Israel and the Palestinian territories—but almost three-quarters disapprove of young girls doing the stabbing, according to a new poll released on Tuesday."

Why Abbas turned Biden down - "There was a good reason Netanyahu's conditions against the return of Palestinian refugees and for a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state came up during the conversation with the vice president. These momentous issues have enormous opposition among the Palestinian public, including within the Fatah movement. If in the past, one could have perhaps overcome them with creative solutions, now, in Abbas' current political reality, there’s no chance that these Israeli demands would be met with understanding by the Palestinians — even if this would guarantee a Palestinian state"

Syrian refugees flee to Palestinian Gaza: 'World's largest open air prison' unlikely sanctuary for Syria's dispossessed - "Palestinians and those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause describe Gaza as "the world's largest open air prison" – despite this, Syrian refugees are breaking in... Other Syrians have quickly got established in Gaza, setting up businesses and starting families. Wafeef, 35, had a horrific ordeal in Turkish refugee camps before getting to Gaza, where he has now set up his own fast-food restaurant – the Syriana – and married a local woman, Maha... the situation for Syrians became hard by the way we were treated, as part of the policy from the Turkish government," he said. "A friend told me that he could find a better life in Gaza. I loved it because it was Palestine. The only obstacle was how to actually get there.""

Abbas Admits Rejecting Two-State Peace Plan With Israel in 2008 - "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly admitted for the first time that he turned down a chance for a two-state peace deal with Israel in 2008 that would have given him nearly all the land the Palestinians wanted. The offer by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert included a near-total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a land link to the Gaza Strip. The Old City of East Jerusalem, home to Jewish and Arab holy sites, would have been under international control."

Understanding What Hamas Wants - "The goal of Hamas—the actual, overarching goal—is to terrorize the Jews of Israel, through mass murder, into abandoning their country. If generations of Palestinians have to be sacrificed to that goal, well, Hamas believes such sacrifices are theologically justified... President Obama himself has spoken strongly about Israel's right to self-defense. Here is what he said Wednesday: "As I’ve said repeatedly, Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks that terrorize the Israeli people. There is no country on Earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets... The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the institution that cares for Palestinians but whose actual raison d'être is the perpetuation of the stateless status of the descendants of refugees from 1948, recently tweeted this thought to its followers: “Palestinian children in #Gaza are experiencing severe trauma for the 3rd time in 5 years. The effects are lasting.” Entirely, miserably, true. An alternative to this current horrible reality presented itself in 2005, when the Israeli government—after years of foolish and destructive colonization—expelled thousands of Jewish settlers from Gaza and then withdrew its army. The Palestinian leadership could have taken the opportunity created by the Israeli withdrawal to build the nucleus of a state. Instead, Gaza was converted into a rocket-manufacturing and -launching facility... Some commentators, like the excellent Shlomo Avineri, believe that even Palestinian moderates such as Abbas are incapable of making final-status compromises, because they are "genuinely uninterested in a solution of two states for two peoples because they’re unwilling to grant legitimacy to the Jewish right of self-determination." I don't disagree that many, many Palestinians fall into this category"

Pres. Clinton: Arafat Turned Down Major Last-Minute Israeli Concessions in 2000 - "Arafat insisted that a narrow strip of land on the Temple Mount be included in the deal, and walked away when Israel refused to add that to the other far-reaching concessions it was prepared to make... The former president expressed sympathy for the Israeli position, saying, ““if you got in, you could do mayhem to the ruins of the temples.” Arafat subsequently launched the second intifada a few months later."

Hamas Acknowledges Its Forces Fired Rockets at Israel From Civilian Areas

PA salaries to terrorists - "In April 2011, the Palestinian Authority Registry published a Government Resolution granting all Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in Israel for security and terror-related offenses a monthly salary from the PA (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011). This new resolution, called PA Government Resolution of 2010, numbers 21 and 23, formalized what has long been a PA practice."
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