"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Links - 12th October 2016

Donald Trump threatens to jail Hillary Clinton in second presidential debate - "Trump, embracing the spirit of the “lock her up” mob chants at his rallies, threatened: “If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation – there has never been so many lies and so much deception,” he threatened. Clinton said it was “awfully good” that someone with the temperament of Trump was not in charge of the law in the country, provoking another Trump jab: “Because you’d be in jail.”"
If saying you want your political opponent to be investigated means you're threatening to put him in jail, perhaps we should make politicians immune from prosecution

On Rape, Liberals Don't 'Believe the Victim' If It's Juanita Broaddrick - "In the wake of the publication of a major interview with Juanita Broaddrick, a lot of left-leaning writers are soberly re-examining her decades' old rape accusation against Bill Clinton—which seems to grow less plausible (or perhaps less important) in their eyes, the more it threatens Hillary Clinton's presidential bid... We need not try to imagine how left-leaning feminist writers would respond if someone else described an alleged rape survivor as sounding "irrational." People like Cathy Young, Richard Bradley, and me have been excoriated by sites like Wonkette, Jezebel, and Feministing for daring to scrutinize self-described victims... "Believe the victims," is the mantra of the feminist-left. It was even Hillary Clinton's position on sexual assault accusations—at least until people pointed out the irony of Hillary vowing to believe all women while very specifically disbelieving those who had accused her husband. Last February, after Broaddrick sent a tweet accusing Hillary of trying to silence her, the Clinton campaign deleted the following sentence from its website: "You have the right to be believed, and we're with you.""

Amused that the Flying Dutchman has separate casts: Asian and International

It is about being respectful to my religion Storm of controversy over sign banning Muslim staff from washing their feet in city office public toilet before their daily prayers - "Paul Culbi from Jamesons, the strata managers of the building, said the cartoon was 'racist, defamatory and a breach of owner corporation guidelines'. 'I would like to say that this racist item is against guidelines and I will be making a report to the owners,' he said. 'Apart from being a breach of guidelines to place anything up like that without owners' permission, it is racist. 'I have questioned the caretaker who doesn't know anything about it.'"

Admit It: These Terrorists Are Muslims - "The atrocious attack in Orlando, Florida, was an act of ISIS-inspired jihadist terrorism that targeted gays. It must concern us all... So far do many of us liberals go in denying the problem, that we’re happy to stigmatize other vulnerable minorities in the process. “He was not a Muslim, he was nothing but a mad lunatic,” we cry in exasperation. As if those with mental health issues are somehow automatically predisposed to murder, or immune to manipulation and exploitation by cynical Islamists and jihadists. Then there’s that other old tactic to try and avoid discussing the Islamist ideology. “He wasn’t from the Muslim community,” we proclaim. “He was acting in isolation, a lone wolf.” Apart from the fact that research highlights how incredibly rare it is for jihadists to act in a vacuum, we need look no further than the Orlando attacker Omar Mateen’s father, who praised the Taliban as “warriors” to realize this avoidance tactic for what it is. Clearly Omar Mateen had moved in an atmosphere that glorified jihadist ideology. “But it must be foreign policy in Afghanistan,” we naively protest... what did gays in the Pulse nightclub have to do with any of that? Or the gays that ISIS regularly throws off the tallest buildings in Syria, for that matter?... In the long run, only reducing the local appeal of this ideology will solve the problem. Whereas Islam today requires reform, the Islamist ideology must be intellectually terminated. To do so requires first acknowledging it exists, isolating it from Muslims, devising a strategy to challenge it, and then backing the voices that do... the danger of not doing so is twofold. Within the Muslim context, it is a betrayal of those liberal reforming Muslims who risk everything daily... we deprive them of the lexicon to deploy against those who are attempting to silence their progressive efforts within their own communities. We surrender their identity of Islam to the extremists. The second danger is in the non-Muslim context. What happens if we don’t name the Islamist ideology and distinguish it from Islam? We leave a void for the vast majority of Americans—who are unaware of the nuances in this debate—to be filled by Donald Trump and the Populist Right"
One claim is that naming the problem will do nothing to solve it. Yet somehow we need to name "white male privilege"

Revealed: How a homesick wife nearly blew it for the British double agent who fooled Hitler - "a tearful Mrs Pujol was taken blindfolded to MI5's Camp 020 interrogation centre near Ham Common, west London, where her husband was brought before her, unshaven and dressed in camp clothing. In an emotional reunion, she swore to him she had never meant to carry out her threat to go to the embassy and had simply wanted her request to to return home to be taken seriously. "She promised that if only he was released from prison, she would help him in every way to continue his work with even greater zeal than before," Mr Harris noted. "She left Camp 020 more composed, but still weeping.""

A Chart That Says the War on Drugs Isn't Working - "while the blue illicit drug addiction rate line has remained relatively steady at about 1.3 percent, the green line for drug control spending has skyrocketed. The increased spending did not correlate to lower addiction rates. "Drug use and abuse exists on a spectrum and as a society we must accept that some portion of the population will be addicted to drugs even if we don’t like it," Groff says."
This supports the theory that drug addiction is due not to the drug but the individual's social circumstances

India police detain pigeon with threatening note addressed to PM Narendra Modi

Sir Neville Marriner obituary - "On the strength of what he had achieved by his early 30s, Sir Neville Marriner, who has died aged 92, would have been remembered as a decent orchestral and chamber music violinist. But at 34 he made a brilliant career move that led to his becoming one of the world’s best-known conductors. His chamber orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, not only inaugurated a fashion for long-winded ensemble titles, but shot straight to the top of its class, beating the Germans and Italians at their own game. To achieve this feat in Britain, a land not noted for its string playing, was extraordinary."

I fell for a Frenchman, but didn’t speak the language - "As I got to know French, I got to know Olivier. I began to appreciate his subtlety, his restraint, his aversion to hyperbole or overpromise. If he’d taken off a pair of gloves, I’d put on prescription glasses"

New churches or temples not allowed - "The couple told us local Christians were allowed to hold low-key Christmas celebrations inside the churches or at homes, but not outdoors or at a shopping mall. Christmas decorations and sending greeting cards are seen as offensive to Muslims and against the country’s law. Non-Muslims are prohibited by law to preach to Muslims or atheists... The Brunei government has also listed 19 terms for the exclusive use of Muslims only, and Christians are not allowed to use the Malay version of the Bible... no permits for the construction of new Chinese temples will be issued by the government. In the meantime, a Bruneian Muslim told Sin Chew Daily they were also not allowed to celebrate Valentine’s Day and many youngsters have the wrong impression that Valentine’s is a Christian festival. In addition, Muslim parents are banned from entrusting their children into the care of non-Muslim families."

Japan sushi chain stung by 'wasabi terrorism' claims - "A Japanese sushi chain is being accused of "wasabi terrorism" after it admitted to heaping excess dollops of the pungent root into foreign customers' food. Osaka-based Ichibazushi issued an apology on its website Sunday (Oct 2), owning up to the charges but denying discrimination was at play... The story was picked up by national media which pointed to comments online complaining of so-called "wasabi terrorism" - and racism. "That is no apology; it's an excuse. What they did was a hate crime," @sakeuchi317 wrote on Twitter."

Archaeologist Finds Ancient Roman Coins in 12th-Century Japanese Castle - "This isn't the first time that ancient Roman artifacts have been found in Japan. As the AFP reported back in 2012, glass jewelry believed to have Roman origins was uncovered in a Japanese tomb."

Our IQs have never been higher – but it hasn’t made us smart - "as an adult your genes can predict about 80% of the differences between you and the next person... reading the schematic London Underground map may have been tough for someone in the 1900s who was used to seeing the world more literally, Flynn says. This progression has forced us to think in hierarchies and symbols, to learn how to follow rules and draw analogies – and it is now so widespread that we forget the cognitive leaps it requires... The Flynn Effect seems to predict a country’s rising economic performance... Flynn’s analysis shows that even a few IQ points can determine your path in life. For a fairly bright kid entering university in America, for instance, living in a slightly more academic home could push their score from 500 to 566 on the SAT exams, for instance – the difference between a place at a prestigious or more mediocre college... Despite the gains in IQ, he worries that we aren’t engaging our minds effectively on the issues that matter. “I’m not being gloomy but actually the major intellectual thing that disturbs me is that young people like you are reading less history and less serious novels than you used to”

Beyond the Flynn effect: new myths about race, family and IQ? - "a sentence from his new book is nagging away at me. American blacks, it says, “come from a cognitively restricted subculture”... “It’s whites, not blacks, who complain,” he says. “Blacks know the score. Facts are facts.” On recorded IQ tests, he says, African Americans have persistently lagged behind [pdf] most other ethnicities in America [pdf] (including, according to some commentators, black immigrants from, for example, the Caribbean) and this cannot be explained by the Flynn effect since, as he puts it, “blacks don’t live in a time warp”. He then tells what sounds like a version of those dodgy jokes about the Irishman, the Scotsman and the Englishman. Except this isn’t a joke. “Go to the American suburbs one evening,” says Flynn, “and find three professors. The Chinese professor’s kids immediately do their homework. The Jewish professor’s kids have to be yelled at. The black professor says: ‘Why don’t we go out and shoot a few baskets?’” As I emit a liberal gasp, he continues: “The parenting is worse in black homes, even when you equate them for socio-economic status. In the late 1970s, an experiment took 46 black adoptees and gave half to black professional families and half to white professionals with all the mothers having 16 years of education. When their IQs were tested at eight-and-a-half, the white-raised kids were 13.5 IQ points ahead. The mothers were asked to do problem-solving with their children. Universally, the blacks were impatient, the whites encouraging. Immediate achievement is rewarded in black subculture but not long-term achievement where you have to forgo immediate gratification.” He tells me of research showing that “when American troops occupied Germany at the end of the second world war, black soldiers left behind half-black children and white soldiers left behind all-white. By 11, the two groups had identical average IQs. In Germany, there was no black subculture.”"

Gene Expression: James Watson Tells the Inconvenient Truth: Faces the Consequences - "James Watson implied a belief that the uniquely low intelligence of both continental Africans and African-Americans are probably related to familiar genetic causes. This belief is deemed unacceptable to express in public, even in most academic contexts, or hold in private. This is despite the fact that the research evidence in support of this position is stronger than the research evidence that contradicts it. Thus even top scientists like Watson are punished for holding beliefs that are more scientific and logical, while scientists that hold to less scientific beliefs and illogical arguments are rewarded. This is a rot on the soul of science... Watson was thinking like a scientist. Which is exactly why he was punished. The moral laws of our society dictate that we are not allowed to think scientifically about some issues. Especially not in public."

Man fined 10,000 yuan for illegally reprinting ancient erotic novel 'The Plum in the Golden Vase' - "Thanks to its explicit descriptions of sex, it still remains pretty controversial in China, even after more than 400 years in publication, and has been partially-banned by Beijing. Written during the late Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644 C.E.), first circulated around 1596, under the pseudonym Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (The Scoffing Scholar of Lanling), it can still be bought in its abridged format, published in 1983. Though if you were to buy that version, you would be missing out on over 19,000 characters conveniently removed due to too much sexiness. Despite China easing the ban in 1991, the complete version is only available to scholars and cadres of a certain level."
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