"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, January 04, 2017

Links - 4th January 2016

Cologne police defend New Year′s Eve security tactics - "Police Chief Jürgen Mathies admitted that yes, officers had specifically targeted men who appeared to be of North African extraction to undergo police checks, but said that "for the vast majority, there was a clear threat of criminal activity present." He also stressed that the security checks had not only targeted people of North African appearance... Standing by the practice of blatant racial profiling, Mathies said "we had groups of people who were comparably aggressive," to the men who had carried out the attacks last year"
If they hadn't targeted certain demographics and Cologne 2016 had repeated, they'd have been slammed too

Why Trump Won And Why It Will Work Out Great For Democrats - "We are being fed everything from “racial identity” to “Whitelash” to “Americans hate women” to “rural vs. city.” Oh, and my new favorite: “fake news” (as if true news exists). Can you imagine the sheer chutzpah required to offer your political commentary (with nary a hint of irony) after being wrong for over a year and a half? Let that sink in: they were wrong for over a year and a half. If you were wrong at your job for six months, you’d be fired... May I propose a simpler explanation? Trump won because he was the better candidate and he ran the better campaign. Novel, right? Think of it as the Occam’s Razor version of 2016. Many people simply cannot accept the simplest explanation because it requires admitting that Donald Trump is smart. Well, Donald Trump isn’t just smart, he’s a genius... policy-wise, Trump is a Democrat’s best friend. He doesn’t believe in ANY of the things you hate about the GOP: taxes, gay marriage, wars and abortion. Don’t take it from me, listen to conservatives like Ben Shapiro who are lamenting that Trump is going to destroy conservative values. Or, if that doesn’t work, try to imagine (without LAUGHING) Ted Cruz on stage at a rally uncomfortably holding a rainbow flag."

Chris Butler - damn I just realised calling the only black spice... - "damn I just realised calling the only black spice girl scary spice is just about the most explicitly racist shit i've ever heard."
"Whatever the black one was called was gonna be racist.
Sporty? So black girls don't go to college?
Baby? Black girls just get called baby? Ain't your baby motherfucker.
Posh? Are you taking the piss?
Ginger? Is that a FUCKING ANAGRAM?"

Abdul Razak Ali Artan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know - "A refugee from Somalia stabbed multiple people before being shot dead by police at Ohio State University on November 28... In the August 25 edition of the Ohio State Lantern, Artan was featured in the “Humans of Ohio State” feature. During his interview, Artan bemoaned the lack of pray facilities at OSU. He stresses in the piece that he needs to pray five times a day. Artan adds, “I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think.” He concludes that he doesn’t blame people for judging him. “It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now [of praying in public]. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed”... Artan was a refugee from Somalia. According to NBC’s Pete Williams, Artan was admitted to the U.S. in 2014 having previously lived in Pakistan since 2007... Speaking to NBC News, the president of the Somali Community Association of Ohio, Hassan Omar, said:
'Every Somali person has been calling me, and everybody is crying. This is a shock. As a Somali community here, we are in a state of shock. In Columbus, we live in a very peaceful community. This is gonna affect the life of everybody. We are American and we don’t want somebody to create this problem.'... investigators are looking into a “declaration” that was posted on Artan’s Facebook page. The rant reads, according to Levine, “I am sick and tired of seeing [Muslims] killed & tortured EVERYWHERE.” It adds, “I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.” The post also mentions New Mexico-born terrorist recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki. According to ABC News, in one posting, Artan referred to the terrorist as a “hero.”"
Was the attack due to Islamophobia? Are those who are skeptical about accepting refugees still bigots?
Is it better that 100,000 refugees escape war and persecution than that 100 of your own people die?

Student Protesters Claim Police Went Too Far in Shooting Ohio State University Attacker - "Since October, the Coalition for Black Liberation at Ohio State University has been keeping a list of people of color killed by law enforcement. Now the group added a new name: Abdul Razak Ali Artan. That should sound familiar. He’s the student who went on a stabbing rampage at the school in late November, injuring eleven. A campus police officer shot and killed him, and the group says it’s actually an example of law enforcement going too far. That’s why they held a rally on Wednesday."

Ohio State student: 'After terrorist attack I've learned Left's more scared of Trump than ISIS' - "“After this terrorist attack I’ve truly learned that the left is more scared of conservatism and Trump and Republicans than they are of ISIS and terrorists,” Mackenzie told Hannity. “Because after this terror attack I haven’t heard anything about, you know, ‘We’re praying for the victims’ or this and that. I’ve heard things about how we need to understand Islam, the vibrant Somali community we have here, how we need to embrace them even though this is the third attack by a Somali in the last year here in Columbus, and all this stuff about, you know, Muslim sensitivity.” “That’s all they care about,” she continued, “and they are more scared of the Right and Trump than they are of this terrorist attack that just happened on our campus. It’s sickening to me because I feel like they are gambling with my life in order to reach this multiculturalism lie that they worship in all of my classes — and it’s crazy. Compare that with the hysterical reaction on campus after Trump was elected. “After the election, my professors went crazy,” Mackenzie said. “I remember calling my mom and saying ‘You would think Hitler just got elected and massacred half the country’... It’s not unheard of for a campus community to mourn its terrorist-inspired attacker. Last year, after Faisal Mohammad went on a similar knife attack at UC Merced, injuring four before being shot and killed by a campus police officer, the campus community mourned Mohammad, and called for understanding. Some professors blamed toxic masculinity for the attack and ignored how Mohammad was found with an image of the ISIS flag, a handwritten manifesto with instructions on how to behead someone, and reminders to pray to Allah."

It Seems the New Atheist-Bashers Were Wrong About the Chapel Hill Shooter's Motive - "Almost immediately after news broke last month that 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks allegedly shot and killed three Muslim students from the University of North Carolina, critics of Islam found themselves being implicated. That's because Hicks' Facebook page was peppered with atheistic posts and criticisms of religion, including Islam. Even though police said at the time the murders appeared motivated by a parking dispute, this was dismissed out of hand by Islam's defenders, who jumped to the tenuous and absurd conclusion that New Atheist "Islamophobes" were responsible because they supposedly incite anti-Muslim hatred... Hicks supported the so-called Ground Zero mosque and said he would be "ok" with having a Muslim president, seem to lend credence to the parking dispute as a motive, while also putting a damper on the claim he hated Muslims... The sad thing is that even if it's discovered beyond all doubt that Hicks killed the three students over a parking spot, the aforementioned traducers will continue living with their delusion. And certainly, no apology will be forthcoming for their downright defamatory non sequiturs."

'2 in 100' Syrian refugees may be IS members, Cameron told - "A Lebanese official warned British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday that the Islamic State is sending trained fighters posing as Syrian refugees to attack Western targets. Education Minister Elias Bousaab told Cameron during the British leader’s one-day trip to the region that two in every 100 Syrians entering Europe are Islamic State-trained fanatics... The Pope also warned Monday of the danger of infiltration by extremists posing as refugees. “It’s true that 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Sicily, there is an exceedingly cruel terrorist guerrilla group, and it’s true there’s the danger of infiltration,” Francis told Portuguese Catholic radio station Renascenca, in an apparent reference to Islamic State extremists."

Germany's Major Firms Have Hired Fewer Than 100 of Its 1m Refugees - "Merkel, fighting for her political life over her open-door policy, has summoned the bosses of some of Germany’s biggest companies to Berlin to account for their lack of action and exchange ideas about how they can do better. Many of the companies say a lack of German-language skills, the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications, and uncertainty about their permission to stay in the country mean there is little they can do in the short term. A survey by Reuters of the 30 companies in Germany’s DAX stock market index found they could point to just 63 refugee hires in total. Several of the 26 firms who responded said they considered it discriminatory to ask about applicants’ migration history, so they did not know whether they employed refugees or how many... What is clear is that early optimism that the wave of migrants could boost economic growth and help ease a skills shortage in Germany — where the working-age population is projected to shrink by 6 million people by 2030 — is evaporating... Others among Germany’s top listed companies, mainly in the financial or airline sectors, say it is practically impossible for them to take on refugees at all. They cite regulatory reasons such as the need for detailed background checks on staff."

Is Power Rangers Still Worth Watching? - "With the finale of Dino Super Charge behind us, I can confidently say Power Rangers has run out of excuses. For the better part of ten years, fans have repeated these four excuses over and over in an attempt to rationalize why the show wasn't reaching its full potential.
1. Rushed production.
2. The Sentai.
3. Bad leadership.
4. It’s a kid’s show...
The show can be better. It has been better. Seasons like Zeo, In Space, and Dino Thunder prove this franchise can be really fun, engaging, and have some great science fiction for kids"

Lee Kwan Yew, Singapore and the Power of Filial Piety - "He fulfilled, spectacularly, the Confucian obligations a father has for his children, even as those children matured into economic adulthood. In an uncertain, shape-shifting world threatened by disorder, Lee Kwan Yew offered stability, the platform on which progress is constructed. The Chinese, individually and societally ambitious, cherish progress. As he created order from chaos, the Singaporean people forged national success. On Facebook, a co-worker posted a final tribute written by his young son: “I am grateful for the many things you have done for Singapore such as building our nation and making us independent. You also created jobs for people. I am proud to be Singaporean.” Pride, independence and security are the gifts a self-sacrificing father provides to his family. In return, the younger generation offers filial piety, loyalty and love that transcend time... Western-style representative democracy is not the probably not the way forward for this city-state, the prosperity of which is more fragile — and the social fabric more traditionally Chinese — than outsiders realize. No matter how Singapore develops, however, its citizens’ love for a modest man with a lion’s heart will stand the test of time."
Maybe it's a filial obligation to vote for your father

Thanks To 'Fight For $15' Minimum Wage, McDonald's Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide - "Eatsa, a fully-automated restaurant concept, now has five locations—all in cities or states that have embraced a $15 minimum wage. And in a scene stolen from The Jetsons, the Starship delivery robot is now navigating the streets of San Francisco with groceries and other consumer goods. The company’s founder pointed to a rising minimum wage as a key factor driving the growth of his automated delivery business. Of course, not all businesses have the capital necessary to shift from full-service to self-service. And that brings me to my next correct prediction–that a $15 minimum wage would force many small businesses to lay off staff, seek less-costly locations, or close altogether. Tragically, these stories—in California in particular–are too numerous to cite in detail here... the Fight for $15 was always more a creation of the left-wing Service Employees International Union (SEIU) rather than a legitimate grassroots effort. Reuters reported last year that, based on federal filings, the SEIU had spent anywhere from $24 million to $50 million on the its Fight for $15 campaign, and the number has surely increased since then."

What Should The Minimum Wage Be? What Trump, Fight for $15, Economists Have To Say - "A 1993 study on the effects of a minimum wage increase in New Jersey comparing the changes in employment there to those of Pennsylvania, which kept its minimum flat, found a 13 percent increase in employment in the Garden State over that of its neighbor. “How can this be? There are several answers, but the most important is probably that the market for labor isn’t like the market for, say, wheat, because workers are people,” New York Times economist Paul Krugman wrote about the study in a column last year. “And because they’re people, there are important benefits, even to the employer, from paying them more: better morale, lower turnover, increased productivity.”"

Minimum wage: Updated research roundup on the effects of increasing pay - Journalist's Resource Journalist's Resource - "Among the extended primers worth considering is the 2014 book “What Does the Minimum Wage Do?” by Dale Belman of Michigan State University and Paul Wolfson of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. That work synthesizes some 200 papers. In their conclusion, they write: 'Evidence leads us to conclude that moderate increases in the minimum wage are a useful means of raising wages in the lower part of the wage distribution that has little or no effect on employment and hours. This is what one seeks in a policy tool, solid benefits with small costs. That said, current research does not speak to whether the same results would hold for large increases in the minimum wage'... The research generally supports the idea that raising the minimum wage would have varying effects across U.S. regions and industries, even if on the whole it doesn’t produce massive negative effects... It’s worth keeping in mind that low wages impact more than just workers. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is, in effect, a wage subsidy, and consequently paid for by taxpayers, not private firms. A 2013 study from U.C. Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Fast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry,” found that workers at McDonalds and other major restaurant chains use federal and state programs at far higher rates than other workers — costs that are again picked up by society. A raise in the minimum wage might, in theory, shift some of the burden back to private companies, something that some labor economists see as being only fair."

The Truth About Myanmar’s Rohingya Issue - "In even a cursory survey of Rohingya history, it is clear that the Rohingya are not an ethnic, but rather a political construction. There is evidence that Muslims have been living in Rakhine state (at the time under the Arakan kingdom) since the 9th century, but a significant number of Muslims from across the bay of Bengal (at the time a part of India, now Bangladesh) immigrated to British Burma with the colonialists in the 20th century. They are, as defined by Benedict Rogers (himself a prominent critic of the military regime’s persecution), “Muslims of Bengali ethnic origin.” The group referred to as “Rohingya” by contemporary Rohingya scholars (and most of the international community) today actually display huge diversity of ethnic origins and social backgrounds, and, as Leider argues, the existence of a “single identity” is difficult to pinpoint. This is not to deny the Rohingya’s claims for citizenship. This is, however, to point out that claims to legitimacy are much more complicated than is currently understood... in New York Times coverage of the tensions between Muslim and Buddhist Burmese, very few Rakhine Buddhist voices were heard. When asked why, Kristoff replies, “The problem is the trade-offs with length… we didn’t want to exceed 10 minutes for fear of losing viewers.” This careless portrayal of the Rohingya’s claims to legitimacy is not just a matter of academic nit-picking. It has real implications for humanitarian aid."

Arakan massacres in 1942 - "Aye Chan, a historian at the Kanda University, has written that as a consequence of acquiring arms from the British during World War II, Rohingyas tried to destroy the Arakanese villages instead of resisting the Japanese. On 28 March 1942, around 5,000 Muslims in Minbya and Mrohaung Townships were killed by Rakhine nationalists and Karenni. Rohingya Muslims from Northern Rakhine State killed around 20,000 Arakanese, including the Deputy Commissioner U Oo Kyaw Khaing, who was killed while trying to settle the dispute."
Historical context on the Rohingya

Rakhine in Myanmar's Sittwe tell of renewed attacks - "Three thousand Buddhist Rakhine are believed to have fled their homes after a series of attacks on the border police in Maungdaw township, a predominantly Muslim area on Myanmar's northwestern border where the majority of the population belong to the stateless Rohingya minority. Nine officers were killed by a group of men, said to number 250, who fled the bloody scene with a hoard of weapons stolen from the police armoury... With the government short of answers, the displaced Rakhine have had to draw their own dangerous conclusions. They say this is not the work of an isolated group but the start of another bloody, sectarian conflict. "Almost all the people there are Muslim and they hate Rakhine people. If we return, we will all become victims by their hand," says Khine Soe Nwe... "The NGOs only support the Bengali people," says Rakhine camp chairman U Soe Naing, referring to the Rohingya with a term used to imply they are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. "If their IDPs get WFP rations, why don't we." Similar accusations are echoed only a few kilometres away in the camps populated by the Rohingya. "We are dying because we are not getting our food rations … The government is starving us by blocking our aid," says Kyaw Tin."
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