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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Links - 18th May 2017 (1)

#ComeyMemo: “The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo” - "the pattern is a NYT-WaPo-CNN pearl-clutching circle over leaks provided by anonymous people over an investigation which has dragged on for several months and has produced no evidence regarding Trump’s links to Russia. In plain English: An unnamed person read parts of a note Comey wrote to himself (and kept in a drawer for three months), to an unnamed NYT employee. The NYT calls it “clearest evidence;” the WaPo says it’s obstruction of justice. Some are talking of impeachment over this – over some newspaper playing Mad Libs with stuff they haven’t actually seen."

Tips For Washington Post Trump Articles Based On Anonymous Leaks - "The story was based on anonymous sources, naturally, and noted “The news was first reported by the New York Times.” If true, it would support a narrative that Trump had fired Comey not due to his general incompetence but because he was trying to thwart a legitimate and fruitful investigation. Anonymous sources again had something very different to say from people whose comments were tied to their names, who all denied the report. The Justice Department spokeswoman immediately responded that the claim was false, and her quote was included in the story... The next day under oath, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly denied that the probe into Russia was undersourced or requiring any additional funds... Previous Washington Post stories sourced to anonymous “officials” have fallen apart... For context, it’s worth noting that breaking news is frequently wrong. In the aftermath of a terrorist attack or an active shooter, responsible journalists pass around a guide for how to monitor breaking news... Perhaps we need a similar guide for how to handle breaking news that comes from the Washington Post. It turns out we can keep many of the tips"

Comey Under Oath: Trump NEVER Pressured FBI to Halt Investigations "It's Not Happened" - "Lying during sworn congressional testimony is committing perjury, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison"

You Are Triggering me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger and Trauma | Bully Bloggers - "as people “call each other out” to a chorus of finger snapping, we seem to be rapidly losing all sense of perspective and instead of building alliances, we are dismantling hard fought for coalitions... controversies erupted in the last few months over the name of a longstanding nightclub in San Francisco: “Trannyshack,” and arguments ensued about whether the word “tranny” should ever be used. These debates led some people to distraction, and legendary queer performer, Justin Vivian Bond, posted an open letter on her Facebook page telling readers and fans in no uncertain terms that she is “angered by this trifling bullshit.” Bond reminded readers that many people are “delighted to be trannies” and not delighted to be shamed into silence by the “word police.” Bond and others have also referred to the queer custom of re-appropriating terms of abuse and turning them into affectionate terms of endearment. When we obliterate terms like “tranny” in the quest for respectability and assimilation, we actually feed back into the very ideologies that produce the homo and trans phobia in the first place!... it is becoming difficult to speak, to perform, to offer up work nowadays without someone, somewhere claiming to feel hurt, or re-traumatized by a cultural event, a painting, a play, a speech, a casual use of slang, a characterization, a caricature and so on whether or not the “damaging” speech/characterization occurs within a complex aesthetic work... With the help of friendly adults, therapy, queer youth groups and national campaigns, these same youth internalize narratives of damage that they themselves may or may not have actually experienced. Queer youth groups in particular install a narrative of trauma and encourage LGBT youth to see themselves as “endangered” and “precarious” whether or not they actually feel that way, whether or not coming out as LGB or T actually resulted in abuse! And then, once they “age out” of their youth groups, those same LGBT youth become hypersensitive to all signs and evidence of the abuse about which they have learned."

Thousands of Immigrants Didn't Go to Work to Protest Trump. How Many Were Fired? - "One of the examples of the "Day Without Immigrants" firings, reported by NBC4, occurred in Nolensiville, Tennessee, where commercial painting company Bradley Coatings, Inc., laid off 18 employees who skipped work despite being pre-warned by their employer they would be fired if they did so"

5,000-year-old ‘transgender’ skeleton discovered - "Men’s bodies from that age and culture are usually found buried with their heads towards the west and with weapons. But this skeleton was found with its head towards the east and was surrounded by domestic jugs – as women’s bodies from the time are usually found. At a press conference in Prague yesterday, archaeologists theorised that the person may have been transgender or ‘third sex’... This is not the first time a skeleton has been found buried as a member of the opposite sex. One woman from the Mesolithic period, who was assumed to be a warrior, was found buried with weapons"
How come the woman buried with weapons is not transgender?
Comments on I,Hypocrite: "it'd be funny if 3rd wave feminists clamor to this only to find this guy as some effeminate dude who was being ridiculed in death by being treated as a woman. Like, "look how progressive people were back then."
"No. He was actually the victim of a hate crime, even in his burial ceremony.""

Social Justice warriors offended by an African woman playing an African character (They think she is white) - "she’s playing “Princess Ahmanet”, a dead Egyptian princess who is resurrected from her slumber and then proceeds to fuck shit up. You know, normal mummy stuff. Since Sofia Boutella hails from Algeria (A country that is only 3 hours away from Egypt), you’d expect that Social Justice warriors would be glad that Hollywood was casting actors to play roles based on their backgrounds (Something they keep demanding). But NO. Apparently, Sofia looks too “white” to be playing a black character (Nevermind the fact that ancient Egyptians weren’t black to begin with). Apparently the fact that she looks “western” means that she has to be a white person, and since doing a simple Google search is too hard, they decided to go online instead to complain about “cultural appropriation”."
I like how someone called Boutella a "white bitch"

Infants show racial bias toward members of own race and against those of other races - ""The results show that race-based bias already exists around the second half of a child's first year. This challenges the popular view that race-based bias first emerges only during the preschool years." Hear Dr. Lee discuss the research results. Researchers say these findings are also important because they offer a new perspective on the cause of race-based bias. "When we consider why someone has a racial bias, we often think of negative experiences he or she may have had with other-race individuals. But, these findings suggest that a race-based bias emerges without experience with other-race individuals," said Dr. Naiqi (Gabriel) Xiao, first author of the two papers and postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University"
So much for babies not being "racist" and "racism" being "learned"

Investigation finds inmates built computers and hid them in prison ceiling - "Investigators say there was lax supervision at the prison, which gave inmates the ability to build computers from parts, get them through security checks, and hide them in the ceiling. The inmates were also able to run cabling, connecting the computers to the prison's network... an inmate used the computers to steal the identity of another inmate, and then submit credit card applications, and commit tax fraud. They also found inmates used the computers to create security clearance passes that gave them access to restricted areas."

Indonesia to censor 'pornographic' Japanese cartoon - "A popular Japanese children's cartoon in which the main character regularly displays his naked buttocks will be censored in conservative Indonesia after regulators criticised it as "somewhat pornographic"

Taiwan bans eating dogs and cats
Some animals are more equal than others

Madonna angers fans with gushing tribute to Margaret Thatcher on Instagram - "If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing"

Privilege and the working class | - "THE PRIVILEGE model of oppression, often encountered in today's liberal and radical circles, has evolved since the 1960s. Many of today's well-intentioned advocates are unaware of the theory's class roots--roots that continue to profoundly impact privilege politics today. At the height of the American civil rights movement, when theories of oppression might be expected to have some resonance, privilege politics were virtually unknown. The privilege model was unable to find a foothold among the hundreds of thousands of anti-racists involved in the country's massive and often integrated struggles for freedom. Only later, during the tragic crisis and disintegration of the New Left at the end of the '60s, were privilege politics able to gain a hearing--among white, middle-class students, most of whom had had no involvement in the civil rights novement. White-skin privilege theory would come to play a major role in the destruction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) by extreme sectarians. The roots of privilege theory extend deep into the factional political atmosphere of early American Maoism"

People in the EU, aged 25-34, who still live with their parents - "While in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe living in the parents' house is nothing unusual, Scandinavia has the lowest numbers, with more than 95% of young people deciding to move out after they finished their studies."

Doctors back denial of treatment for smokers and the obese - "A majority of doctors support measures to deny treatment to smokers and the obese, according to a survey that has sparked a row over the NHS's growing use of "lifestyle rationing"... Smokers and obese people are already being denied operations such as IVF, breast reconstructions and a new hip or knee in some parts of England
This is one of the downsides of single payer healthcare: when the taxpayer pays for your medical treatment, you have less control over it

Western Feminists Snub an Iranian Heroine - WSJ - "It would be nice to report that Western feminists rallied to Ms. Derakhshani’s defense, but they didn’t. America’s liberal feminists have been busy planning a “Day Without a Woman” to protest President Trump’s alleged misogyny... Feminists and progressives have a habit of ignoring Islamism’s female victims, preferring to focus on phantom reports of Islamophobia in the West. Enormous attention has been paid to “burqa bans” in European countries. But how many readers have heard of Ms. Derakhshani? Sweden claims it has a “feminist foreign policy,” yet during an official trip to Iran last month several female cabinet members covered their heads. How will Iranian women escape Islamism’s chokehold if European feminists submissively bow to men who refuse even to shake a woman’s hand?"

How Liberals Killed the Freedom of Movement - WSJ - "The irony is that freedom of movement is unraveling because liberals won central debates—about Islamism, social cohesion and nationalism. Rather than give any ground, they accused opponents of being phobic and reactionary. Now liberals are reaping the rewards of those underhanded victories... Mr. Obama’s linguistic exertions didn’t repress the truth. They merely opened the space for others to express it—and sometimes to grossly distort it, by suggesting, for example, that all 1.4 billion Muslims are terrorists or sympathizers and should be kept out. The left also largely “won” the debate over Muslim integration. For too many liberals, every Islamist atrocity was cause to fret about an “Islamophobic” backlash. When a jihadist would go boom somewhere, pre-emptive hashtags expressing solidarity with threatened Muslims were never far behind... Amnesty International cozied up to the British-Pakistani radical Islamist Moazzam Begg despite his fawning interviews with the al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki. When Amnesty staffer Gita Sahgal went public with her objections in 2010, the organization suspended her and argued in a press release that “jihad in self-defense” wasn’t “antithetical to human rights.” The Islamist philosopher Tariq Ramadan became the toast of New York intellectuals, though he refused to call for an outright end to the Islamic practice of stoning adulterers. By contrast, liberal writers sneered at the Somali-born human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali as an “Enlightenment fundamentalist.”... Liberals thus empowered the most illiberal elements of Muslim communities while marginalizing reformers. Is it any wonder that many voters came to see Muslims as sources of danger and social incohesion?"

Yes, Students Do Learn More From Attractive Teachers - WSJ - "The researchers don’t think that sexual interest explains the results, which held up whether the teacher and students were of the same sex or not. This suggests, they write, that the improved student performance was “driven by processes independent from human sexual attraction, such as attention and motivation.” Or, as one of them put it, it’s just human nature."
This is from “Effects of Instructor Attractiveness on Learning,” R. Shane Westfall, Murray Millar and Mandy Walsh, Journal of General Psychology (July 13)

Thousands of Injuries, Mishaps at Chinese Marathon Prompt Alarm - China Real Time Report - WSJ - "In the case of the Qingyuan marathon, the organizers’ lack of experience was also on display when it came to the gift bags given to runners. According to local media, organizers gave runners bars of grape-scented soap, which many participants mistook for energy bars and attempted to eat. Photos posted online by race participants show the packages of soap were decorated with an image of succulent grapes, along with the words “fruity soap” and “extra moisturizer” written in English... The spokesman added that the organizers regretted that the product wasn’t labelled in Chinese and said that of all the complimentary items in the gift bag, the imported soap was actually the most expensive one."

China Real Time Tries Pizza Hut’s New Durian Pizza So You Don’t Have To - China Real Time Report - WSJ - "At Pizza Hut’s Dongzhimen branch in Beijing, chef Wei Haojie on Thursday acknowledged that the pizza has so far been selling “very well” among Chinese consumers, who are increasingly becoming durian fans. But he added: “I myself can’t bear the smell, so when people order this one, I need to ask another cook to help do it.”"

Dead obese woman had so much body fat she set the building on fire during her cremation

Why Pro-SJW Game Developer Tale Of Tales Is Going Out Of Business - "Tale of Tales was founded by Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn in Ghent, Belgium back in 2002. The more and more I looked into Harvey and Samyn’s backgrounds, the more I noticed that neither one them seemed particularly interested in video games themselves... If that wasn’t enough, Tale of Tales is unwilling to take responsibility for their own failure. They want the video game industry to conform to their ideas of gaming. Tale of Tales would also like to blame capitalism, since gamers vote with their wallets and no one is interested in giving hipsters money out of the kindness of their hearts."

End of daily injections for diabetes as scientists restore insulin production - Telegraph - "The end of daily injections for diabetes sufferers could be in sight after scientists showed it is possible to restore insulin production for up to a year by boosting the immune system."

Social Justice Warriors now against YouTube censorship because it affects them - "Remember some time ago when YouTube introduced its “YouTube Heroes” program and the media hailed it as a step in the right direction to counter “online harassment”? Or how about that time when YouTube updated its terms of service; an update that would see several YouTube videos lose their monetization status because they discussed “controversial” topics? Social Justice warriors argued that YouTube is a private company and therefore has the right to censor any content that they want to. “if you don’t like it, then leave” they said. Turns out that they don’t apply these same rule to themselves….."

A hot bath has benefits similar to exercise

Sichuan restaurant boss celebrates divorce with free beer for customers

Woman in China buys house by selling 20 iPhones given by 20 boyfriends - "Some users have expressed admiration for Xiaoli's efforts. One of them, 'small sand is growing', wrote: "I can't even find one boyfriend. She can actually find 20 boyfriends at the same time and even get them to buy her an iPhone 7. Just want to ask her to teach me such skills"... Some also suspected that the whole story was a marketing ploy by mobile phone recycling business Hui Shou Bao."
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