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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Links - 7th June 2016

The Transgender Bathroom Debate and the Looming Title IX Crisis - "there is also a growing sense that some females will not feel safe sharing bathrooms, shower rooms, or locker rooms with males. And if a female student claimed that a bathroom or locker room that her school had her share with male students caused her to feel sexually vulnerable and created a hostile environment, the complaint would be difficult to dismiss, particularly since the federal government has interpreted Title IX broadly and said that schools must try to prevent a hostile environment. This is not wholly hypothetical. Brandeis University found a male student responsible for sexual misconduct for looking at his boyfriend’s genitals while both were using a communal school shower. The disciplined student then sued the school for denying him basic fairness in its disciplinary process, and a federal court recently refused to dismiss the suit."

Rapes, sexual assaults by migrants increase dramatically in Germany and Sweden - "On Monday, police in the Swedish city of Östersund advised women not to go outdoors alone following a string of public assaults and sex attacks in the past three weeks... National broadcaster SVT reports what police area manager Stephen Jerand described as a “worrying trend” of unprovoked violence on women in public places. Speaking at a press conference, police said they had never experienced crime of this nature in the small city of Östersund, which has a population of just 44,000... It comes after a poll conducted by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet found nearly half of all women in the country are now scared to exercise alone at night... Earlier this month, the Daily Mail reported of an all-female, bikini-clad group of ‘vigilantes’ called the ‘Groping Guards’, who patrol swimming pools in Sweden to prevent migrants molesting bathers."

Prosecutor: Most Cologne New Year's suspects are refugees - "Cologne prosecutor Ulrich Bremer said 73 suspects have been identified so far — most of them from North Africa. A total of 1,075 criminal complaints have been filed, including 467 alleging crimes of a sexual nature ranging from insults to rape. "The overwhelming majority of persons fall into the general category of refugees," Bremer told The Associated Press, saying recent reports describing only three of the suspects as refugees were "total nonsense.""

Why I Would Never Go to Pink Dot Again - "The Ikea saga had in my mind, exposed a very ugly side of our pro gay community. I silently watched while people on my facebook feed screamed that Khong's magic show should be boycotted and shut down. That he shouldn't be granted any platforms to air his views despite the glaring fact that Khong was simply putting on a magic show performance. That it was shameful for Ikea to help sell tickets for Khong's magic show just because he has been public with his anti gay stance in the past. I tried to reason with some of the rabid "anti Khongers" within my circle but they wouldn't back down from their position. They justified their frenzy by saying it was just for them to oppress someone who was hell-bent on oppressing them."

If you vote against Donald Trump, Tramps Against Trump will send you nudes - "Tramps Against Trump is the American version of Sluts Against Harper, a campaign launched in opposition to Stephen Harper, Canada's former prime minister who was defeated by Liberal Justin Trudeau in the country's 2015 election."

Protesters punch, throw eggs at Trump supporters in San Jose

The System Isn’t ‘Rigged’ Against Sanders - "Sanders fans claim that the Democratic primary system is rigged against their candidate and that Sanders wins when turnout is higher, they fail to point out that Sanders has benefited tremendously from low-turnout caucuses. Indeed, if all the caucuses were primaries, Clinton would be winning the Democratic nomination by an even wider margin than she is now... Realistically, if you throw everything together, the math suggests that Sanders doesn’t have much to complain about. If the Democratic nomination were open to as many Democrats as possible — through closed primaries — Clinton would be dominating Sanders. And if the nomination were open to as many voters as possible — through open primaries — she’d still be winning."

Fast Food Workers: You Don’t Deserve $15 an Hour to Flip Burgers, and That’s OK - "Sure, as a human being, you’re priceless. As a child of God, you’re precious, a work of art, a freaking miracle. But your job wrapping hamburgers in foil and putting them in paper bags — that has a price tag, and the price tag ain’t anywhere close to the one our economy and society puts on teachers and mechanics. Don’t like it? Well, you shouldn’t. It’s fast food. It’s menial. It’s mindless. It’s not supposed to be a career. It’s not supposed to be a living. An entry-level position making roast beef sandwiches at Arby’s isn’t meant to be something you do for 26 years... despite what Elizabeth Warren might tell you, these fast food franchise owners have a finite amount of money to spend on operating expenses. They aren’t making millions in profits, most of them, so when you come along and say, “Hey, your labor costs just doubled — congratulations!” that business owner will have to make decisions."

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner - "while home-cooked meals are typically healthier than restaurant food, sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton from North Carolina State University argue that the stress that cooking puts on people, particularly women, may not be worth the trade-off... Beyond just the time and money constraints, women find that their very own families present a major obstacle to their desire to provide diverse, home-cooked meals. The women interviewed faced not just children but grown adults who are whiny, picky, and ungrateful for their efforts. “We rarely observed a meal in which at least one family member didn’t complain about the food they were served”"

New Study: Anti-Abortion Laws Don’t Reduce Abortion Rates. Contraception Does.

How “no worries” infected American English - "Just how the phrase washed up stateside, nobody knows. One theory is that California-based surfers were likely the first to embrace it after encounters with antipodeans in Oz or elsewhere... according to a separate corpus of Web-based English from around the world, suggests “no worries” might be used more heavily in Singapore and Malaysia than it is in Australia and New Zealand."

UK police apologise for Muslim phrase in terror exercise - "In video footage of the exercise broadcast on British television, a masked man dressed in black could be seen running into a shopping centre in Manchester shouting the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar".
"when saving feelings is more important than lives. the world has gone mad."
"what are they suppose to shout? I am going to detonate a bomb now and this has nothing to do with my religion"
So much for realistic training; doesn't it make more sense to be upset at real terrorists who use the term?

Muslim group demands sacking over fake suicide bomber who shouted 'Allahu Akbar' at Trafford Centre - "Azhar Shah, the chairman of Saath Saath, refused to accept the apology and told the Manchester Evening News: “We need an enquiry into this and those who are responsible should be kicked out or resign.""

Emma Watson used Panama Papers firm to set up offshore company
Perhaps this will convince some that shell companies aren't always evil

Japan PM ex-adviser praises apartheid in embarrassment for Abe - "A former adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has praised apartheid as a model for how Japan could expand immigration... Author Ayako Sono, considered part of Abe's informal brain trust, set off a wave of online fury this week when she wrote in the conservative Sankei newspaper that South Africa's former policies of racial separation had been good for whites, Asians and Africans. "

Why Japan’s Smartphones Haven’t Gone Global - The New York Times - "At first glance, Japanese cellphones are a gadget lover’s dream: ready for Internet and e-mail, they double as credit cards, boarding passes and even body-fat calculators. But it is hard to find anyone in Chicago or London using a Japanese phone like a Panasonic, a Sharp or an NEC. Despite years of dabbling in overseas markets, Japan’s handset makers have little presence beyond the country’s shores... Japan’s lack of global clout is all the more surprising because its cellphones set the pace in almost every industry innovation: e-mail capabilities in 1999, camera phones in 2000, third-generation networks in 2001, full music downloads in 2002, electronic payments in 2004 and digital TV in 2005... Despite their advanced hardware, handsets here often have primitive, clunky interfaces, some participants said. Most handsets have no way to easily synchronize data with PCs as the iPhone and other smartphones do."

Islam in Japan - "the manager of this factory had a “bad experience” with a Muslim employee. The man in question was a Filipino Muslim who was very devout. Soon after he was employed at the factory, his boss became dissatisfied with him because the employee always seemed to be missing. It turned out that this Filipino prayed five times a day for about ten minutes each time. His Japanese boss was annoyed about this custom because he didn’t feel that it was proper for an employee to take any time off for such “personal matters.” After about five months came the final straw: the employee came to the boss and asked to do only light work. It was the month of Ramadan and the employee was fasting. The boss fired him. This is a very Japanese tale. In most Muslim countries, the employee’s right to pray and fast would not have been questioned. In the United States, the employee could probably have hired a lawyer and sued the company for religious discrimination. In Japan, however, the employee had no real option other than to leave the company or to stop performing what he regarded as his religious obligations. The employee left. About a year-and-a-half later, a Turkish Muslim applied for a job at the same company. The interview was going well until the Japanese boss learned that the man was a Muslim. He almost terminated the interview at that point, declaring that he would not hire a Muslim. The surprised Turkish man, who badly wanted the job, asked why. The boss told him the story of the Filipino Muslim. The Turkish interviewee then informed the boss that he was a secularized Muslim who did not pray every day or fast for Ramadan. The boss was skeptical, but decided to give him a chance. In a short time, things worked out well. The Turkish employee worked hard, and the boss was very satisfied. Commented the boss to our informant: benkyo ni narimashita (I really learned something)!"
How does equal pay for equal work affect fasting?
If the boss had not said the real reason he didn't want to hire the Turkish man because of laws against religious discrimination, he would not have had the chance to change his mind (since he would've declined to hire him without giving the real reason), and the Turkish man would not have gotten a chance

The Family – 60sec – Life Well Travelled - Cathay Pacific - YouTube
Comment: "I congratulate Cathay Pacific for portraying Asian men as married to white women. We are a mixed couple (I am Chinese American and my wife is Caucasian) and we find very few examples of couples like us portrayed in the media. The vast majority of media portrays mixed Caucasian/Asian couples as white men with Asian women which reinforces a stereotype that doesn't reflect modern society. This ad is high quality and helps with equal treatment of this subject. I look forward to the day when the mainstream media portrays Asian/Caucasian couples equally with as just as many men and women being Asian or Caucasian."

Sign Up For Visa Checkout Today! - YouTube
My favourite Visa ad. Too bad comments are disabled

The Problem With Those Annoying Chip Cards - "At this point you may be wondering—what was wrong with the old system? Why can’t I just avoid the longer wait and swipe my card like I used to? It’s easy to understand why consumers don’t want to change behavior, because ultimately we’re not on the hook for fraud. If someone steals your credit-card information, you don’t bear the cost; banks and merchants do. So the parties that have to pay for theft want to reduce theft, even if in the short term it means introducing technology that may make consumers grumble."

The Avengers should agree to be placed under UN supervision | The Economist
By the time the UN acted, the world would've been destroyed
Comments: "Why is the lame-stream media so silent on the blatantly flawed processing and identity verification procedures for their "expert" psychologist interviewer? If the UN can't even keep track of its shrinks, what hope does it have of monitoring a Hulk? If you can't restrain a guy with one metal arm, how will you lock up the Iron Man? You can't even keep your lights on, but you expect to bottle Thor? You may as well ask an ant to defeat a spider."
"It's one of those eternal questions of governance, really. When you wish quick, decisive action, often while at war, you appoint a consul and give him great powers. When you have peace, you elect a senate with checks and balances to guard against tyranny, and accept that they will dither, wasting a certain amount of time and money, but hopefully acting in the best interests of the citizenry, to whom they are accountable... It's hard enough to gather a consensus within the United States, or in a coalition like NATO. To do so globally is tremendously difficult. Putting superheroes under UN supervision seems like a recipe for dysfunction and inaction."
"while the Accords appear superficially attractive they were swiftly followed by massive government overreach - internment of Ms. Maximoff, a complete disregard for due process (outright laughter at the suggesting that Lt. Barnes should be entitled to a lawyer) followed then by imprisonment without trial of the Avengers. In such circumstances, what hope then is there but that your leader, Capt America, will bust you out? On a final point - if Mr. Stark was motivated by anything other than guilt over his own life choices - as opposed to the rule of law that he now supposedly aspires to - he would have arrested Lt. Barnes for his undoubted crimes, not tried to kill him"
"Perhaps there would be more credibility in the question of outside oversight of superhuman powers if one of the main players in establishing said oversight, Secretary Ross, hadn't been involved in unethical human experimentation, insufficient securing of biohazardous materials and then vanishing the subject of said research after being similarly responsible for huge amounts of civilian damage, and using his previous military powers and authority to harass his daughter's ex-boyfriend. OR any evidence of ability to perform an effective background check for membership in cryptofascist organizations, as evidenced by the SHIELD debacle and Ross's predecessor, Alexander Pierce. Or any tiny effort to actually involve said superhero community in the regulatory process - possibly gaining valuable insight on previously unconsidered contingencies - rather than trying to present a fait accompli in less time than a lawyer usually takes to review a personal injury case for something the equivalent complexity and significance of an act of Congress?"
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