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Friday, April 21, 2017

Links - 21st April 2017 (1)

Muslim Prayer Breaks at Ariens Plant Cause Problems - "Initially, Dan Ariens says, supervisors didn’t notice the Muslims leaving the line, “but employees would report, ‘Hey, so and so was missing.’”The reason he stopped the breaks, he says, is because of the cost to the company from work stoppages.The plant, which he describes as “very lean,” is set up with U-shaped cells with anywhere from around seven on a small cell up to 25 people on an assembly cell. “When one person stops, all seven people are slowed or stopped,” he says. “It isn’t just one person”... Ariens will need to prove two things to be in the clear. It must show that it tried to accommodate employees’ religion within reason. And it must show that the accommodation employees require would cause “more than a minimal burden on the operation of the employer’s business,” as EEOC regulations state... not all beliefs can be reasonably accommodated, says Warner. For instance, she once represented a hospital that required a worker to shave his beard because it interfered with the safety mask employees wore to prevent infection. The employee, who argued that he could not shave his beard for religious reasons, lost the case because not having the mask on properly would create a safety hazard that prevented him from working in areas of the hospital where he needed to perform his job... In 2009, the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn., ordered poultry processor Gold’n Plump to add a paid break during the second half of each shift to accommodate prayer breaks for Muslim employees. The timing of the break was to fluctuate to comply with Muslim religious law, as prayer break times change with the season"
This can't help solve hiring discrimination

Prof Screams at the NYPD Because They Didn’t Beat Up ‘Nazi’ Gavin McInnes - ""You are fucking assholes!" the professor shouted at the New York Police Department (NYPD). "You're protecting the Nazis!"The NYPD had arrived on the scene to prevent violence and escort McInnes out of the building safely. But the professor seemed to think the cops' job was to shut down a speaker she didn't like—by engaging in explicit violence against him."You should kick their ass!" the professor declared, referring to McInnes and his entourage. "You should!"Note that the professor—a dead ringer for Melissa Click, by the way—considered violence to be beneath her and her owns students."These are kids who are trying to learn about humanity!" she said. "They're trying to learn about human rights and against racism and xenophobia, and LGBTQ rights, and you're letting these fucking neo-nazis near here! It's not up to these students to kick the ass of a neo-nazi! They don't have to raise their fist! They were taught to be peaceful! Fuck you!" So according to the professor, it's college students' job to contemplate humanity and practice tolerance, and it's the cops' job to beat up people with whom the left disagrees"
"Nothing says “anti-fascism” like demanding that the state physically attack your political opponents"


Trump Is Right: Silicon Valley Is Using H-1B Visas To Pay Low Wages To Immigrants - "This stranglehold on foreign workers enables firms to pay low wages. Academics with industry funding claim otherwise, but one can see how it makes basic economic sense: If a worker is not a free agent in the labor market, she cannot swing the best salary deal. And while the industry’s clout gives it bipartisan congressional support concerning H-1B and green card policy, Congress’s own commissioned report found that H-1B workers “received lower wages, less senior job titles, smaller signing bonuses and smaller pay and compensation increases than would be typical for the work they actually did”... The industry especially asserts a need to hire H-1Bs with a PhD, citing the fact that 50 percent of computer science doctorates in the U.S. are granted to foreign students. What they are hiding in that claim is that it simply doesn’t pay for an American student (i.e. U.S. citizen or permanent resident) to pursue doctoral study, as the salary premium for a doctorate is too small. That small wage premium is due to the flooding of the market by foreign applicants, something correctly forecast (with approbation) by the National Science Foundation years ago. The industry claim is doubly deceptive, as they are not very keen to hire PhDs because this level of study just isn’t needed. We actually have a surplus of computer science PhDs; 11.3 percent of them are involuntarily working in a non-computer science field... the former foreign students now in the U.S. workforce tend to be weaker than their American peers. On a per capita basis, the former foreign students in computer science file fewer patents, are less likely to work in research and development and have degrees from less selective U.S. universities. Given the indirect and direct displacement of Americans by foreign workers, this amounts to replacing stronger people with weaker ones in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM fields"

Effects of income and the cost of children on fertility - "The relationship between income, cost of childrearing and fertility is of considerable political and theoretical interest. We utilize exogenous variation in family income and the direct cost of children to estimate causal effects on fertility. The variation comes from a regional child benefit and tax reform implemented in the northern municipalities of the Norwegian county Troms. The southern municipalities of the same county constitute a plausible and empirically similar control group. Individual-level multivariate analysis suggests that a reduced direct cost of children increases fertility, mainly among unmarried women in their early 20s. We find little evidence of income effects on fertility. Our results are robust to a variety of specifications, including a standard difference-in-difference setup, and regional trend modeling. The findings indicate that lowering the direct cost of a child would shift childbearing to lower ages in Norway. However, a lower price of children is also likely to induce a shift towards non-union childbearing or childbearing in less stable unions."

Thirty Years of Denying the Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence: Implications for Prevention and Treatment (PDF Download Available) - "The first part of this article summarizes results from more than 200 studies that have found gender symmetry in perpetration and in risk factors and motives for physical violence in martial and dating relationships. It also summarizes research that has found that most partner violence is mutual and that self-defense explains only a small percentage of partner violence by either men or women. The second part of the article documents seven methods that have been used to deny, conceal, and distort the evidence on gender symmetry. The third part of the article suggests explanations for the denial of an overwhelming body of evidence by reputable scholars. The concluding section argues that ignoring the overwhelming evidence of gender symmetry has crippled prevention and treatment programs"

Ex-husband told to support wife for life after she blew £230k payout on homes
Ahh, moral hazard!

How to Beat Trump - "left-liberal demonstrations are exercises in catharsis, the release of emotions. Their operating principle is self-expression, not persuasion. They lack the means, and often the desire, to police their radical fringes, with the result that it’s the most obnoxious and even violent behavior that produces the most widely shared and memorable images of the event. They seldom are aimed at any achievable goal; they rarely leave behind any enduring program of action or any organization to execute that program. Again and again, their most lasting effect has been to polarize opinion against them—and to empower the targets of their outrage... “Tone policing” has entered the left-of-center vocabulary as one of the worst possible things you can do or think. In fact, all effective political communication must carefully consider both tone and content. If the singer Madonna wants to indulge herself in loose talk about political bombing, let her do it on her own platform, not yours. If you see guys with crowbars in the vicinity of your meeting, detain them yourselves and call the cops. You’re the defenders of the Constitution, the Republic, and the Western Alliance. Act like it... if you are building a movement to protect American democracy from the authoritarianism of the Trump administration, you should remember that the goal is to gain allies among people who would not normally agree with you. Just as the iconography of your protest should originate in the great American mainstream, the core demand of your movement should likewise be easy to explain and plausibly acceptable to that mainstream, stretching from Bernie voters to Romney donors... The difference between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party was that only the second movement translated the energy and excitement of its early mass meetings into steady organizational work aimed at winning elections."
Predictably, many Facebook comments slammed David Frum for mansplaining. So I guess it's Trump 2020!

Greek Schools To Dump Greek Literature For Gender Studies - "Classical works like Sophocles' Antigone and Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War have already been ripped from the curriculum. Educators with brains are fighting back against the furthered left-wing indoctrination at the expense of the classics. “This is preposterous,” said National Federation of Classical Studies Professors member Antonis Mastrapas. “Not even during Greece’s gruelling years of dictatorship were the works of ancient masters like Sophocles and Thucydides excluded from high school curriculums.”"

Sex doesn’t sell any more, activism does. And don’t the big brands know it - "“Brands are allowing people to pat themselves on the back without them personally having to sacrifice anything.” It’s true. Popping into a warm, extremely convenient Starbucks for a sweet caffeine pick-up isn’t the same as driving to Calais on a Wednesday night with a boot full of baby carriers. I swapped one taxi app for another and felt incredibly smug. We’re all feeling the need to right the wrongs of today’s Brexit and Trump world – but few people are willing to actually sacrifice anything. If a brand can allow me to carry on living exactly as I was and fuel my social conscience then they can have all my pocket money."

Hawkers with accolades: Food award or paid ad? - "The two main players in the field - the Singapore Food Web and Singapore's Best Food - have more than 1,000 hawkers in total listed on their websites. But checks with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) drew a blank. Both websites are not run by any Singapore-registered company... Mr Wang declined to give any information on the panel of chefs and their criteria for selection... Mr Wang admitted that he knew Mr Wong and the Singapore Trade Press was set up in the latter's name, but he would not elaborate on the relationship. He also would not directly answer the question on why the now defunct company is still handing out food awards... The Sunday Times spoke to about 20 hawkers at three hawker centres who displayed the award certificates, but most declined to be named. None admit to knowingly paying for the "awards". A yong tau foo hawker at Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre said she suspected that something was amiss when she saw how easy it was for other hawkers to also receive the award. A hawker even chased The Sunday Times away, saying that the newspaper was unfairly singling out her cooked food stall. "If you want to report that my food is good, I will talk to you. This type of news, I do not want.""
"They go to every food area (Hawker centres, clusters etc) and ask them do you want to be the best chicken rice store of this food centre? You have to pay $x to be graded. Once you get the cert, you effectively block other chicken rice stalls from the same area from getting the cert."

Are Australia's politicians underpaid? - "there isn’t much evidence to suggest that paying our MPs more would make politics cleaner. Research is indecisive on this point, but seems to suggest that paying public officials more once they’re already making a decent, living wage doesn’t have much of an effect on corruption. Such studies usually point to the importance of transparency in government practice and strong anti-corruption institutions as the primary factors in reducing sleaze"

Why 'fake news' is now ensnaring liberals - "The penchant to believe fake news is often rooted in a deep-seated feeling of alarm and powerlessness... Ms. Binkowski says she has seen an uptick in liberals sharing misleading stories on their news feeds. Others agree. “Certainly, you can see more examples in the kind of stuff that people of the left are now fascinated by,” says Judith Donath, a faculty fellow at The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. “Liberals were not being terribly alarmist before the election, but now there’s this nonstop sense of emergency.... You don’t really want to stop and smell the flowers, because you think that if I miss something, disaster might happen.”"

Trump's Muslim ban is old news in Kuwait - "Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans were not allowed to obtain visit, tourism or trade visas to Kuwait in 2011, in a move which pre-empted US restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries. Passport holders from the countries were not allowed to enter the Gulf state while the blanket ban was in place, and had been told not to apply to visas... Meanwhile, Trump's Muslim ban has been met with widespread outrage since it was signed on Friday, although most Gulf states have largely remained quiet on the issue. Dubai security chief Dhahi Khalfan outraged Syrians and other nationalities included in the ban when he backed Trump's decision, and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the ban was "not Islamophobic"."

Dubai Security Chief Backs Trump Immigration Order - "The UAE has cited security concerns for its own reluctance to admit Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war in 2011. After drawing criticism from human rights groups, UAE officials agreed in September to accept 15,000 Syrian refugees over a five-year period... He bucked the regional consensus last March when he expressed opposition to a Palestinian state, warning it would become another failed state. He also urged his Twitter followers not to treat Jews as their enemies."

Man who claimed mom died in Iraq after Trump's ban lied, Imam confirms

Woman claims marriage ended over husband's Trump vote - "A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 6,426 people found that 16% had stopped talking to a family member or friend as a result of the election. Thirty percent said they ended a relationship entirely."

#TRUDEAUEULOGY THREAD - "Twitter "loves" Justin Trudeau's eulogy for Fidel Castro."

Step Aside Coffee, This Is A Job For Alcohol

Wikipedia bans Daily Mail as 'unreliable' source - "Some of those who opposed the ban also pointed to inaccurate stories in other respected publications, and suggested the proposed ban was driven by a dislike of the publication... A spokesman for Mail Newspapers said: “It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia. For the record the Daily Mail banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability. “Last year, the Daily Mail and MailOnline together published more than half a million stories and yet received just two upheld adjudications each for inaccuracy from the UK industry’s regulator IPSO"

No, Britons Were Not Frantically Googling ‘What Is The EU?’ Hours After Brexit Vote - "The problem with using Google Trends as an indication of anything other than a relative increase or decrease over previous norms is that it doesn’t give the whole picture. Yes, there may have been a big spike in searches about what happens if the U.K. leaves the EU, but compared with what? Were there hundreds of thousands of people searching Google for these answers? Millions? It turns out the figure is likely to be less than 1,000 people, or 0.001 percent of the population."

Amend housing policies for single parents: Women's group Aware - "Housing policies in Singapore ought to be amended so they are more inclusive of single parents, said Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware). The women's rights group released a study on Wednesday detailing the top challenges 55 single mothers faced with accessing public housing."
Apparently to AWARE, single mothers = single parents
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