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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, May 09, 2016

Links - 9th May 2016

Goody Feed's Content Is Now Blocked On Facebook - Here's What We Think Happened. - "perhaps the main reason why we think Goody Feed is in trouble with Facebook, is because Goody Feed may have infringed Facebook’s posting standards. According to Facebook’s Developer’s Platform Policy, you cannot use social plugins for your content. Facebook states clearly:
“Don’t participate in any “like” or “share” exchange programs.”
“Don’t obscure or cover elements of social plugins.”
What we have noticed a few weeks back was that, Goody Feed enabled a social locker, which only allows reader to read and access the full content – if and only if they “liked” Goody Feed’s Facebook Page."
Good riddance to shit sites

There is a trade-off between citizenship and migration — - "migration does more to reduce global poverty and inequality than any other factor. Calculations done by Alan Winters of the University of Sussex show that even a small increase in migration would be far more beneficial to the world’s poor than any other policy, including foreign aid. So is there a way to make greater migration acceptable to the native populations of the rich countries?... The arrival of migrants threatens to diminish or dilute the premium enjoyed by citizens of rich countries, which includes not only financial aspects, but also good health and education services, and public goods like the preservation of national culture and language. Can that threat be defused? I believe it can, so long as we redefine citizenship in such a way that migrants are not allowed to lay claim to the entire premium falling to citizens straight away, if at all... Despite such discriminatory treatment, the welfare of migrants and their families would increase, while native populations would not be made to share their entire premium with incomers. This would require significant adjustments to traditional ways of thinking about migration and citizenship. We should stop thinking of migration as a voyage of reinvention in which an African, say, “becomes” a European, and start viewing it simply as a way of finding a better job in a foreign country. Moving from a Nigerian village to work in London should not be seen as any different from working in Lagos while one’s family stays in the countryside. Nor should this lead to the expectation of any special citizenship benefits... The more we insist on full rights for all residents, the less longstanding residents will be willing to accept more migrants... If we do not do something, we will be stuck in a position in which everyone who makes it to the rich world is given full rights of citizenship, but we do everything in our power to make sure that nobody gets here"

Singapore Is Taking the ‘Smart City’ to a Whole New Level - WSJ - "As part of its Smart Nation program, launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in late 2014, Singapore is deploying an undetermined number of sensors and cameras across the island city-state that will allow the government to monitor everything from the cleanliness of public spaces to the density of crowds and the precise movement of every locally registered vehicle... Any decision to use data collected by Smart Nation sensors for law enforcement or surveillance would not, under Singapore law, need court approval or citizen consultation. If the network is somehow hacked, criminals could potentially access a trove of data about citizens’ lives... The project appears to be popular in Singapore, where faith in the government is high and citizens have accepted limits on behavior, including restrictions on public speech and the press, in return for a more efficient state."

Can Bruce Springsteen Refuse to Play a Gay Wedding? - "When Bruce Springsteen refuses to do a concert in North Carolina for moral reasons he’s a hero to the liberals and the media, which are the same thing. (Imagine what would have happened to Bruce if he had refused to perform at a gay wedding? He’d go from hero to zero.) Yet, when a conservative band, florist, or photographer refuses to work at a gay wedding for moral or religious reasons, the left and the media bully those folks mercilessly as intolerant bigots. And they do so while claiming to be against bullying and for “tolerance”! (As Ryan Anderson pointed out, if it wasn’t for double standards, liberals would have no standards)... Ask anyone in corporate America this question: Are you more likely to experience problems at work for supporting same sex marriage or opposing it? Not even close. If any group is being discriminated against in corporate America it is Christians who are cowardly hiding under their desks for fear of being outed and then excluded by the “inclusion and diversity” police. I experienced their bias personally. In 2011, I was fired as a consultant by Cisco and Bank of America for writing a book against same sex marriage even though my beliefs were never expressed on the job. Why did they judge and fire me? What does accepting homosexual behavior have to do with job productivity? Are we supposed to have sex at work?... using the strong arm of government to make “sexual orientation” a protected class would actually make the workplace less fair because it would result in employment preference for people with a long list of sexual feelings and behaviors. Someone who claimed a homosexual orientation—or someone who chooses the behavior of cross-dressing at work for example—would have more job security than John or Jane Doe. How so? Because if a company has to downsize, who are they going to let go—one of the helpless Does, or the person who can bring a financially devastating lawsuit alleging “discrimination”?"

Khalid Elhassan's answer to If the U.S. was invaded, and the armed forces decimated, how well could the civilian population defend themselves with their guns? - Quora - "There is fantasy running through gun enthusiast circles that tyrannical governments fear civilians armed with the firearms militia members/ wannabe freedom fighters play with in the woods. I would suggest that recent history gives the lie to that piece of NRA propaganda. E.g.; contrary to the ubiquitous poster at gun shows showing a photo of Gaddafi or Saddam with a caption to the effect that they disarmed their citizens, the reality is that under Iraqi law, every adult male not under suspicion was allowed to own a firearm at home, and many opted for AK-47s. Reservists, members of the militia, and other popular mobilization forces, were actually required by law to maintain an AK at home. So Iraqis had a pretty high rate of gun ownership, and with firepower (full auto military grade rifles) greatly exceeding that available to US citizens. Yet, it didn't stop Saddam from riding roughshod over his people. Ditto Libya's Gaddafi - his citizens had AK-47s and other full auto military firearms in an abundance that would give US gun nuts a premature ejaculation. Didn't stop Gaddafi from kicking the Libyans around for > 40 years."

Hurrah for the cleaner who accidentally threw away a modern art exhibit - "Hero of the week is undoubtedly the cleaner at the Museion Bozen-Bolzano in Italy. Faced with a horrible mess in the main gallery – fag ends, empty bottles, party streamers – she cleaned it all up, put it in black bags and chucked it out. Yes, of course – it was an ‘installation’ by the artists Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari. As the Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi put it, ‘If she thought it was rubbish, it means it was. Art should be understood by everyone — including cleaners’... There’s a fine exhibition in London right now by the artist Peter Goodfellow which debunks the narcissism and worthlessness of our own conceptual artists, the Emins and Hirsts etc"

Jay-Z’s not the only one who needs to be nervous about Beyonce, PIERS MORGAN writes - "The Black Panthers, set up as a group who would protect black Americans from police brutality, became infamous for their own brutality, especially against police, and widespread criminal and murderous membership within their ranks. Beyonce’s tribute to them was branded ‘disgraceful and outrageous’ by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, incensed that she had ‘used the platform of the Superbowl to attack the police’... Another shows two grieving mothers appearing on camera. The first is Lesley McSpadden, filmed crying as she holds a photo of her late son Mike Brown who was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 – an incident which sparked huge protests... I felt very uneasy watching these women being used in this way to sell an album. It smacks of shameless exploitation... That interview took place five years ago. Beyoncé then was unrecognisable from the militant activist we see now. Then, she was at pains to be seen as an entertainer and musician and not as a black woman who sings. Now, it seems to be the complete opposite. The new Beyoncé wants to be seen as a black woman political activist first and foremost, entertainer and musician second... I have to be honest, I preferred the old Beyoncé. The less inflammatory, agitating one. The one who didn’t use grieving mothers to shift records and further fill her already massively enriched purse. The one who didn’t play the race card so deliberately and to my mind, unnecessarily. The one who wanted to be judged on her stupendous talent not her skin color, and wanted us all to do the same."

Why Palestinians are second-class citizens in Lebanon - "being a Palestinian in Beirut is mostly a liability; anti-Palestinian racism is a fact of life here... Today, Lebanon is the most hostile country to Palestinian refugees after Israel. They are second-class citizens here, but they are not the only ones. Foreign guest workers also have a notoriously hard time in Lebanese society. Racism is so widespread (see Nesrine Malik's recent Cif article) that African and Asian guest workers are openly barred from attending the beaches where Lebanese people frolic. And that's saying nothing of the often inhumane working conditions they are subjected to on a daily basis... In the 1980s, the Amal militia besieged the camps, killing hundreds and starving thousands. More recently, the Lebanese army bombarded the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in the north of the country in an attempt to root out terrorists unaffiliated to the camp. The Arab world is rife with hypocrisy when it comes to the Palestinian issue. Arab leaders frequently and rightly cite the chronic human rights violations in which Israel engages, but fail to address the marginalisation of Palestinians within their own societies. Historically, Lebanese citizens have declared that naturalising Palestinians will act as a disincentive to their eventual repatriation and the exercise of their inviolable right of return. But this is a specious and cynical misrepresentation of the issue."

An Angry Young Man Leads Protests Against India's Affirmative Action : Goats and Soda : NPR - "Half of Gujarat's population derives from castes formally known as "Other Backward Classes." Because they are socially and educationally deprived, they are entitled to 27 percent of government jobs and college seats... Patel asserts that 30 percent of his caste is forced to sell off land to fund their children's education while less qualified candidates secure a seat in a good college and government employment. "We've been pushed back by 30 years because of this quota policy," Patel says. "Only if we set it right will we become a global superpower.""
Because he opposes affirmative action he must be racist! Err. Casteist!

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places - "The accepted and lazy history of civilisation, wrote Wolf, is one where "Ancient Greece begat Rome, Rome begat Christian Europe, Christian Europe begat the Renaissance, the Renaissance the Enlightenment, the Enlightenment political democracy and the industrial revolution. Industry crossed with democracy in turn yielded the United States, embodying the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Why Google Is Warning That Is 'Partially Dangerous' - "the search giant's own Safe Browsing tool labels "" as "partially dangerous." The tool, which automatically scans "billions of URLs per day looking for unsafe websites," cites "" for some potentially scary problems."

The only friend in death - "It is the last moment before the body is turned to ashes, but there is no sobbing or sniffling inside the Mandai Crematorium service hall. In the casket lies the body of Mr Hong, 74, a bachelor who died with no known next of kin. There is no one in the hall except Mr Tommy Yu, 51, funeral director and owner of Seng Xiang Services, who has taken on Mr Hong's funeral pro bono, and Mr Yu's son, 21, who is having school holidays. Like a family member, the older Mr Yu places flowers on Mr Hong's coffin and tells him not to worry, that the funeral is taken care of, and to go in peace. Although they were total strangers, Mr Yu took it upon himself to see to Mr Hong's last rites last Saturday. Mr Yu, who is married with three children, has a soft spot for elderly folks who are poor and lack family support."
Some said the government should be helping instead. But what is the proper role of the state?

Anders Behring Breivik, Norway murderer, wins human rights case - "In her ruling, judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic said the right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment represented "a fundamental value in a democratic society" and also applied to "terrorists and killers". Breivik had challenged the government over his solitary confinement, which saw him kept alone in his cell for 22 to 23 hours a day, denied contact with other inmates and only communicating with prison staff through a thick glass barrier. His prison regime deviated so markedly from that enforced upon any other prisoner in Norway, regardless of the severity of their crimes, that it had to be considered an extra punishment, the judge said... Judge Sekulic also noted that Breivik had been woken up every half hour at night over a long period of time and on some occasions subjected to strip searches with female officers present, which he found particularly difficult... the judge ruled that strict controls on Breivik's correspondence were justified and his right to a private and family life under article eight of the ECHR had not been violated... Another survivor, Bjorn Ihler, tweeted that the judgement in Breivik's favour showed Norway had a "working court system, respecting human rights even under extreme conditions"."
OT: at least the word 'survivor' is being used properly here

Child prodigy quits 'rigid' Singapore for Malaysia - "Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, gained attention when he passed the O Level — or American 10th grade — chemistry examination in Singapore at 7. Two years later, he passed the O Level physics exam and the AS Level, or 11th grade, chemistry exam. However, his Irish father Valentine Cawley told reporters Monday that the Singapore government was inflexible and failed to support his son’s needs to ensure his intellectual growth... With the help of the National Association for Gifted Children of Malaysia, Cawley and his Singaporean wife enrolled Ainan at the private-run HELP University College in Kuala Lumpur this week. Cawley said his son will be joining 18-year-olds in studying in a degree program with computer science and chemistry options, as well as adding A-level physics and math to his tally."
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