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Friday, July 08, 2016

Links - 8th July 2016

Review ministerial salaries to bring S’pore’s rates in line with other global cities | New Nation - "A citizens’ review of ministerial salaries is currently under way in a move that is set to lower payouts to all ministers and MPs in Singapore Parliament, which will keep wages in line with what leaders in other countries are receiving... This comes just two months after the ministries of National Development and Transport said in Parliament that parking prices would go up to bring Singapore’s rates in line with those of other global cities."

This past month many senseless attacks have... - Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) - "The fact that the attacks took place during Ramadan, in which Muslims are taught to be close to the Creator and to seek His blessings through doing good deeds and refraining from evil, show clearly these attacks have nothing to do with Islam"

Why so-called Islamic State chooses to bomb during Ramadan - "The belief in Ramadan as a month of war comes from Islamic history itself. The Prophet Muhammad waged his first jihad, known as the Battle of Badr, during Ramadan in 624. Eight years later he also conquered Mecca during the month of Ramadan, thereby claiming the city which houses one of Islam's most holy sites today: the Kaaba. All of this fuels the radical belief that jihad is, in itself, much more than just a militaristic action. It is also seen as an act of worship akin to ordinary ritual acts and is fought "fi sabil Allah" (in the path of Allah). Abdullah Azzam, who is often referred to as "the godfather of modern jihad" because he led the original Arab foreign fighters in Afghanistan during the 1980s, argued that "neglecting jihad is like abandoning fasting and praying." Later, he wrote, "jihad is the most excellent form of worship, and by its means the Muslim can reach the highest of ranks [of paradise].""

Maajid Nawaz - There is a pernicious, disingenuous meme floating... - "Religious extremism throughout the ages has targeted its 'own' before others. That's the nature of trying to control people. And that's why extremists were always so concerned with 'heresy' and 'blasphemy'. The 'traitor' from within is always more dangerous, and thus always more strictly punished. The Prophet's own grand children were killed by Muslim extremists known as the khawarij who were reported to be better at reciting the Quran & more steadfast in prayer than anyone else... Instead of whinging and making our first reaction about Muslim victimhood, again, why not try being part of the solution by working to challenge extremism? Or are cartoons the only thing that make us come out in the streets with rage?"

PJ church nixes interfaith ‘buka puasa’ after police report lodged - "Syed Azmi explained that police officers had visited the church to warn it of potential trouble over the planned event in Selangor during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan."

Black Lives Matter Toronto stalls Pride parade - "Members of the Black Lives Matter Toronto group briefly halted the Pride parade today, holding up the marching for about 30 minutes. The parade didn't re-start until after Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois signed a document agreeing to the group's demands."
Isn't this criminal intimidation? Is this homophobic? Is it derailing if a minority does it?

This gay Toronto cop sent an open letter to Pride Toronto about the Black Lives Matter protest - "it's Pride Toronto's assent to a request that police floats and booths not appear in future Pride parades, marches and community spaces that Const. Chuck Krangle's letter singles out... ' Police officers are significantly represented in the LGBTQ community and it would be unacceptable to alienate and discriminate against them and those who support them. They too struggled to gain a place and workplace free from discrimination and bias... Exclusion does not promote inclusion'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, What's life really like as a war correspondent? - "There were a couple of legendary people like Martha Gellhorn who slept and boozed her way around warzones... there was a wonderful woman who's now forgotten called Anne Sharpley of the London Evening Standard... she was dedicated to her career. And I remember her saying to me: you know, the way you get on as a foreign correspondent is sleep first with the Reuters correspondent - the local one - and then sleep with the chief of police"

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls - "The present paper provides evidence that these laws and safeguards are regularly ignored and transgressed in all the jurisdictions and that transgressions are not prosecuted. For example, about 900 people annually are administered lethal substances without having given explicit consent, and in one jurisdiction, almost 50% of cases of euthanasia are not reported. Increased tolerance of transgressions in societies with such laws represents a social “slippery slope,” as do changes to the laws and criteria that followed legalization. Although the initial intent was to limit euthanasia and assisted suicide to a last-resort option for a very small number of terminally ill people, some jurisdictions now extend the practice to newborns, children, and people with dementia. A terminal illness is no longer a prerequisite. In the Netherlands, euthanasia for anyone over the age of 70 who is “tired of living” is now being considered. Legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide therefore places many people at risk, affects the values of society over time, and does not provide controls and safeguards."

Belgian doctors give healthy woman green light to die by euthanasia because of 'suicidal thoughts'

irst Do No Harm: Intentionally Shortening Lives of Patients without Their Explicit Request in Belgium
- "The liberal state has an obligation to protect the vulnerable. The use of drugs with the explicit intention to shorten life and without the patient’s volition still continues to linger on and should be addressed adequately. The liberal state has an obligation to protect the vulnerable. Given that ending patients’ lives without request is more common than euthanasia, it is suggested to urge the Belgian medical profession to put this issue high on its agenda. The lives of many patients are still shortened involuntarily. Even Chambaere et al who are not critical of life-ending acts without the patient’s explicit request implicitly acknowledge that in 31.9% of the cases they studied the practice was problematic"

Category:Blue Skin - X-Men Movies Wiki - Wikia
Very dilligent.

Has convenience turned you into a monster? - "in an environment shaped by on-demand apps, workers are considered independent contractors or free agents, and job protections are eliminated. It’s a system that heavily favors the corporation over the laborer. Strangely enough, however, progressives aren’t just giving their tacit approval to the sharing economy by spending their money with companies like Uber. They’re straight up coming out against protecting the workers involved. A survey from Pew found that Americans who use ride-hailing and home-sharing services are against regulating them. The people who use these services tend to be younger, and they tend to identify as Democrats. The conclusion is obvious: we young progressives are hypocrites... The reality is that to exist in a capitalist system is to engage with exploitation... If being a progressive required ideological purism, I would have to abscond to a yurt in nature, grow my own crops, make my own clothes, and never list that yurt on Airbnb as a romantic getaway in the woods."

Facebook Bans Admin Who Supported Trump's Immigration Policies, Then Bans Libertarian Commentator For Defending Him

AI will create 'useless class' of human, predicts bestselling historian

Why Tamil Nadu may soon ban alcohol - "The first Tasmac store was set up in 1983 - in just over three decades, their numbers have risen to over 6,800 and locals say every single village in the state has one within walking distance. But campaigners say this ease of accessibility has fuelled massive alcohol addiction in the state with nearly 10 million addicts. According to the government's own admission, more than seven million people in the state drink daily... there have been several instances when the state has banned alcohol, only to lift it again... Alcohol is completely banned in the western Indian state of Gujarat while the southern state of Kerala and some other Indian states have imposed a partial ban. In April, the eastern state of Bihar announced a complete ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol. Reports coming out of the state, however, suggest that the ban has just pushed the alcohol trade underground, and that illegal sales are rampant"
Maybe this is where the Malaysian stereotype of Indians as drunkards - "Tak mabuk bukan india" - comes from

Edible Rings On Six-Packs Feed Marine Life If They End Up In The Ocean

Justin Trudeau accused of 'manhandling' Conservative MP - ""What kind of man elbows a woman? It's pathetic! You're pathetic!" Mr Mulcair shouted at Mr Trudeau in the incident caught on video. The CBC reported that Mr Trudeau lost his temper and shouted an expletive. The incident is considered a rare misstep for the young prime minister who is popular at home and abroad. "I have never seen a display of bully behaviour by a Canadian politician let alone a prime minister as I witnessed just now in the chamber""

Isis employs wheelchair-bound killer - "The killer, who appears in propaganda photos showing the shooting of an alleged spy, may have been chosen by Isis as part of a crude attempt to show it is an "equal opportunities" organisation... Other celebrity endorsements have come from the linguist and writer Noam Chomsky and model Naomi Campbell"
How progressive

Sean Penn: Journalists who call Hugo Chávez a dictator should be jailed - "Sean Penn has defended Hugo Chávez as a model democrat and said those who call him a dictator should be jailed... The Organisation of American States recently accused Chávez of intolerance and authoritarianism, and a Spanish judge accused Venezuela of cosseting Farc and Eta terrorists"

There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor - "Venezuela has become a failed state. According to the International Monetary Fund's latest projections, it has the world's worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate at public hospitals that's gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn't bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99 percent of its value since the start of 2012. It's what you call a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves. Never has a country that should have been so rich been so poor. There's no mystery here. Venezuela's government is to blame."
“When we celebrate, and it is a cause for celebration, the achievements of Venezuela, in jobs, in housing , in health, in education, but above all its role in the whole world as a completely different place, then we do that because we recognise what they have achieved.” - Jeremy Corbyn, June 2015

Chomsky as Chavez's Clown - "How can Chomsky commit the same error as some famous intellectuals of the past century, some praising Stalin and some, years later, revering Mao and his “Little Red Book”? They did so because they believed that in Russia and in China they were building the “true communism” and he does so now because he believes that in Venezuela “a new world, a different world” is being created. How can he forget that later all those intellectuals were forced to confess a “mea culpa” for their ideological blindness that prevented them from seeing what was behind the Stalinist and Maoist revolutionary discourse? That totalitarianism, responsible for the death of millions of people, inspired Castro to impose for fifty years a dictatorship in Cuba that Chávez devoutly imitates... Could it be that this obstinate anti-imperialism, the fact that in his view the most important thing is to denounce the injustices prevalent in the USA as well as the injustices generated by this country on a global scale, drives him to stake his position on what happens in the American continent in such a confusing manner? Although Chomsky still considers himself “anarchist-libertarian” it’s clear that for him ideological considerations must be relegated to the background and a kind of gradation must be made between injustices according to the degree of global danger posed by the targets of his criticism. The problem is that such political relativism allows many Marxist-Leninists, demagogues and politicians, whose only concern is the conquest of power, its execution and conservation, to get shelter in Chomsky’s anti-imperialist arguments instead of caring about helping the people to organize themselves. It’s a serious problem because Chomsky does and says nothing to dissuade them. On the contrary, maintaining such immoral discretion with such perseverance and allowing himself to be photographed besides the Castros and the Chavezes he becomes an accomplice of the clownishness and the authoritarian, dictatorial deviations of these modern day oligarchs, no matter how convenient or discreet his praises might be."
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