"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, December 14, 2016

Links - 14th December 2016

Sweet Cakes By Melissa, Bakery That Denied Lesbian Couple A Wedding Cake, Sees Business Boom - "Sweet Cakes by Melissa owner Aaron Klein is standing by his decision to turn away the same-sex couple, saying he’s received “lots of support” in the days since the case made headlines around the country. "
Even in Oregon, they received support

would burn his own heart to ash - "I just love this quote. It’s so easily overlooked, seen as unimportant, until you see the prequels. Because then you realize how utterly true and heartbreaking that phrase is. “He died about the same time your father did.” Meaning that Obi-Wan, that is, everything that made him who he was, his faith, his joy, his light, was murdered, killed, at the same time that Anakin was lost to the Dark Side. When Anakin became Vader, Obi-Wan became Ben. Anakin and Obi-Wan died together on that planet. Only Vader and Ben left it alive. One full of hate and darkness, the other a broken shell that was merely existing, not even really living. These two men were so deeply entwined, so bonded together in the force, that when one died, so did the other. That is the real definition of true love"

ANZ Bank launches a super deal for female employees - "Rather than talking about helping women progress, ANZ Bank will beat its rival banks and major corporates today by promising an extra $500 a year employer super contribution for its 12,700 female staff in Australia, as part of a raft of benefits aimed mainly at women... ANZ is the first bank in Australia to discriminate positively in favour of women in terms of compulsory super contributions, although actuaries Rice Warner have been giving female staff an extra 2 per cent since 2013 and Unions NSW followed suit about a year ago. The only complication to date is that organisations planning to do so have to get a waiver from the Human Rights Commission to be allowed to discriminate in that way."
So much for equal pay for equal work

Melbourne University advertises female-only jobs in bid to remedy gender imbalance in maths - "The University of Melbourne positions have been advertised using a special measure of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act. "The use of this kind of special measure that we're using has been used with regards to Indigenous employment," Professor Owczarek said. "For this kind of positions, permanent continuing academic positions, I believe it might be the first time it's been used," he added. Discrimination lawyer Rowan Skinner said the Act allows organisations to take actions to promote equality. "The Act specifically permits an organisation to engage in what is overtly a discriminatory act, but for the purposes of ensuring that there is equal opportunity overall," Mr Skinner said."
Do people advertise for male-only jobs to remedy gender imbalances? Maybe in feminist language, equal opportunity means equal results

Brett Caton's Controversial Commentary: Men are not regarded as 'Human' thanks to Feminist legislation in Australia - "I have confirmation, in writing, from the Australian government, that men are NOT protected by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) - equality only applies if it benefit women."

Australian Bureau of Statistics to discriminate against hiring men - "EMBATTLED Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs will allow the Australian Bureau of Statistics to discriminate against hiring men partly because they are more likely to commit domestic violence... the move has outraged Conservative Turnbull Government MPs, who have accused the Human Rights Commissioner of reverse sexism and demanded she resign. The plan has also split male workers within the ABS, who questioned why the Government agency would perpetuate stereotypes and not consider an employee’s qualifications and training."
They better not hire lesbians

Women in the Boardroom and Their Impact on Governance and Performance - "We show that female directors have a significant impact on board inputs and firm outcomes. In a sample of US firms, we find that female directors have better attendance records than male directors, male directors have fewer attendance problems the more gender-diverse the board is, and women are more likely to join monitoring committees. These results suggest that gender-diverse boards allocate more effort to monitoring. Accordingly, we find that CEO turnover is more sensitive to stock performance and directors receive more equity-based compensation in firms with more gender-diverse boards. However, the average effect of gender diversity on firm performance is negative. This negative effect is driven by companies with fewer takeover defenses. Our results suggest that mandating gender quotas for directors can reduce firm value for well-governed firms."
This suggests that the oft-trumpeted claim that gender diversity improves corporate performance is spurious correlation

You Are Still Crying Wolf - "the group where Trump’s message resonated least over what we would predict from a generic Republican was the white population... All this stuff about how he’s “the candidate of the KKK” and “the vanguard of a new white supremacist movement” is made up. It’s a catastrophic distraction from the dozens of other undeniable problems with Trump that could have convinced voters to abandon him. That it came to dominate the election cycle should be considered a horrifying indictment of our political discourse, in the same way that it would be a horrifying indictment of our political discourse if the entire Republican campaign had been based around the theory that Hillary Clinton was a secret Satanist.

Ex-M1 staff gets 17 months' jail, caning for giving customer details to loansharks - "The court heard that in March 2015, Tay came under pressure from "Alvin", a loanshark he owed money to. Tay agreed to screen a list of NRIC and mobile phone numbers provided by "Alvin" against M1’s customer database, which Tay had access to as a customer service officer for the telco. "Alvin" paid Tay S$5 for each M1 customer whose particulars were provided. In addition, Tay also roped in his friend Mr Choo Kok Leong, who worked for Singtel, to similarly provide details of customers by accessing the Singtel database and searching for customers using the list of NRIC and mobile phone numbers provided by "Alvin". Tay paid Mr Choo S$5 for each Singtel customer whose particulars were provided. Tay, in turn, passed Mr Choo’s information to "Alvin", who paid Tay S$10 for the details of each Singtel customer."

TV5Monde hack: staff accidentally show passwords in report about huge cyber-attack - "Staff at a French TV station accidentally showed off passwords and other personal information during a TV report into a cyber-attack that happened only a day before. While filming interviews about the TV5Monde hack, which saw the station’s channel taken off air and its website made unavailable, staff were filmed in front of a wall that had sheets of paper with sensitive information stuck to it."

Retaliation -- Political Activity - Workplace Fairness - "Unlike many state and federal employees, most employees in America working for private employers do not have any legal protection against discrimination on the basis of political affiliation or activity. (A public employer can, under certain circumstances, be prevented from firing someone based on political speech (because that would constitute the government itself suppressing free speech.)) Only a mere handful of states (California, New York, and Washington, DC) have laws specifically making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of an employee's political activity or affiliation, while two more states (Colorado and North Dakota) prohibit discrimination on the basis of "lawful conduct outside of work.""

Throwing water into someone's face like in K-dramas may leave you with an assault charge

Woman guilty of assault for throwing water - Telegraph - "Speaking with help from an interpreter, Mrs Iqbal said water hit her son, now aged three, which turned his dry skin condition into eczema."

Woman Who Threw Water on Baltimore Mayor Gets Assault Charge - "Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had a large cup of water thrown on her Saturday at a community event at the mall where violence erupted in the city in April. Police have arrested Lacheisa Pailin-Sheffer, 37, of Baltimore and charged her with second-degree assault."

Sally Wen Mao - I've posted this on Twitter, but now I'm going to... - "the Trump supporter got aggressive and told us to go back to Tokyo (!), then called us c**** and whores. At which point I wasn't having it with his racism and misogyny -- I splashed my water across his face... More racist sexist shit poured out of him, "c*** whores," he wasn't very creative. So I splashed another glass of water on his face."
Luckily for Sally Wen Mao, throwing water at someone doesn't seem to count as assault in New York, so liberals can't get upset over her being "persecuted" by a "racist system" for "standing up for minorities". Though of course a few of them are cheering her on for splashing the water (and one said she should've used sriracha instead

You've got junk mail: SingPost says most residents welcome advertising material - "While some residents might complain about their mailbox being clogged up with promotional offers, furniture catalogues and discounts from food establishments, such advertising material is welcomed by most residents, SingPost told Channel NewsAsia. That could explain why only 0.8 per cent of the 1.2 million Singapore households have chosen to opt out of receiving unaddressed advertisements... Recognising that some residents do not like flyers being stuffed randomly, distributor Lim Yuan Hua said that he makes an effort to place the marketing material in the gate hinges and not dirty the surroundings. "I’ll fold the flyers and I will slot them in the gap of the metal gate. For letterboxes, I'll just use my bare hands to do from left to right so as to avoid any scratches on the letterboxes," said the 28-year-old."

How Jiro dreams of sushi turned into nightmare at Jiro - jokuti - "Don’t misinterpret: the sushi place is not a bad one by European standards. But, it is not at all the best in Japan! Of course, there’s nothing new under the sun, we have already seen that the media picks up someone not based on quality and merits, but thanks to an exciting story and strong characters. And Jiro is good at that, (old, 3 Michelin starred sushi chef in an underground passage) as much as the movie itself is good (for those interested in gastronomy and Japan). But the “restaurant” is not quite like that...
Given the strictness and the fastidiousness towards any possible violation of the etiquette, the ambience was anything but comfortable or friendly. I didn’t really feel welcome, and looking at my fellow guests, no one seemed to be at ease, either. And believe me, even if they served the best sushi in the world, you need a relaxed atmosphere to really enjoy it (and not to be rushed: 27 minutes for 21 big nigiris is anything but stress-free).
But the sushi is not the best in the world. It is not even close to perfect. I had so many great experiences in Tokyo on my trip, that it wasn’t simply enough to get nice food. Most of the fish were great, but some pieces seemed low quality or defective. For example, the mantis shrimp had a very strange slushy texture, definitely not the best quality...
Not even the Japanese think this is the best sushi. If you check out Tabelog, a reliable restaurant guide, you won’t see Jiro in the TOP20 in Tokyo, and it’s even lower on the list if we look at the whole country...
Service was not friendly at all - No 2. I was not allowed to take off my jacket!"

Democrats won't be able to block Trump appointments due to rules they imposed - "the Democratic Senate majority — led by Harry Reid (Nev.) — rammed through controversial rules fundamentally changing the way the Senate does business. They unleashed in November 2013 what’s called the “nuclear option” allowing senators to approve by a simple majority all presidential appointments to the executive branch and the judiciary, with a big exception for Supreme Court justices... Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) noted that he opposed the rules change in the first place... Republicans warned at the time that Democrats were making a mistake with what they called a “power grab,” warning they would be sorry about the change when they eventually found themselves in the minority."

Tony Blair Wants To Shape Brexit Deal, Thinks Jeremy Corbyn Is A Nutter

Pence's shaming 'in the room where it happens' is itself a shame - "Broadway made it clear they were “With Her” during the general election, and now the “Hamilton” cast clearly felt it was time for a brave stand. Like those brave statements they made every time Obama's drone strikes killed innocent people of color and Muslims overseas. Those brave statements must just not be up on YouTube yet, I guess."

'I will not participate in dressing the next First Lady': Is fashion being hypocritical with its cold shoulder attitude to Melania Trump? - "For Sophie Theallet - one of Obama's favourite designers - the answer is a resounding yes. French-born, New York-based Theallet is the first fashion designer to come out publicly saying that she won't be dressing Melania Trump. “As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady," she wrote in an open letter on Twitter. "The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.”... Because with her poker-straight bronde hair, love of Louboutins, lashings of lip gloss, permatan and "done" face (yes, of course, she has denied ever having had surgery or Botox), Melania's glamazon vibe is the antithesis of many designers' ideal - and the natural, accessible look which has made Obama so appealing... one can almost imagine Melania vindictively ordering a batch of Theallet dresses as a two-fingers to her public statement... The irony is that as a former model Trump knows how to wear clothes - and to many women she will represent the epitome of aspirational polish. Indeed, that Gucci shirt sold out on Net-A-Porter within hours of Trump being seen wearing it. And no doubt we will see a similar phenomenon happen to the tightly fitted sheath dresses, power coats and waist-cinching silhouettes she'll bring to the White House from January... some designers believe that by boycotting Trump, they could be going against the very values which they claim to be defending."

Designer Sophie Theallet Says She Won't Dress Melania Trump - "the swipe at Melania Trump is pre-emptive, and it’s clear Ms. Theallet has every desire to draw conclusions about Mrs. Trump before actually meeting her. She also seems to forget that Mrs. Trump is both an immigrant, and not responsible for her husband’s Presidential policies... at least one designer, Marcus Wainwright of the label Rag + Bone, said he’d definitely consider the opportunity. “It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump,” Wainwright told NYT. “If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs.”"
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