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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Links - 23rd June 2017 (1)

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Erdogan accuses Germany of behaving like Nazis - "[On Germany] Referenda actually don't happen here as a result of Hitler's use of them for example. So they are something which Germans don't like and don't trust

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Russia and US hit "all time low" - "A culture of discrimination. I've been to Southern Egypt where many of the Christian community members live. They told me harrowing stories about houses being set on fire, Christians being beaten up by some of their Muslim neighbours and they said when we go and complain, when we go and report it to the police, nobody does anything to help us so they just feel that everybody has failed them... One lady told me that she hasn't stepped outside her house for 3 years
Yet somehow the Coptic Christians in Egypt are not radicalised and become terrorists

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Dark Times for France's Right - "[On the Philippines] 7,000 people in 8 months. This is far worse than his notorious predecessor Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s, often accused of being brutal and, I mean he never killed that many people in that space of time... There's a lot of fear. The drug killings got so bad and a lot of people who were killed clearly were not particularly involved in drugs, that there is actually a perceptible fear that I've never seen in the Philippines before in communities when they talk about politics or the President, a sense that perhaps anybody could get killed now. And I think that makes it actually now quite hard to get an honest opinion about President Duterte. A lot of people are frightened of him"

The LA riots were a rude awakening for Korean-Americans - ""Where are the police? Where are the police?" Lee whispered over and over from his rooftop perch. Lee would not see law enforcement for three days -- only fellow Korean-Americans, who would be photographed by news agencies looking like armed militia in what appeared to be a guerrilla race war on the streets. It was April 30, 1992, and the city of angels raged in a second day of looting, armed assaults and arson in the wake of the acquittal of four white LAPD officers for use of excessive force in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. The nearly weeklong, widespread rioting killed more than 50 people, injured more than 1,000 people and caused approximately $1 billion in damage, about half of which was sustained by Korean-owned businesses. Long-simmering cultural clashes between immigrant Korean business owners and predominately African-American customers spilled over with the acquittals. The Rodney King verdict and the ensuing riots are often framed as a turning point for law enforcement and the African-American community. But it's also the single most significant modern event for Korean-Americans, says Edward Taehan Chang, professor of ethnic studies and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at the University of California, Riverside"
Fighting racism and injustice means looting Korean shops

Woman jailed for recording female victims at gym's changing room and selling footage online - "Some time in early 2014, she created an account with the username "gargar787'' on Sammy boy, which is an online forum with sections that allow users to post and exchange sexually explicit material including self-recorded sex videos and pornography. As she had difficulties in holding down a permanent job then, Heng created a discussion thread labelled "Changing room peektures'' to advertise videos depicting women in various states of undress, for sale at either 10 or 20 cents per second of footage. Investigations showed that from early 2014 until she was called up by the police on May 7 that year, she earned at least $1,540 by selling the videos to at least 22 account holders on Sammyboy."

John Boyega Got Dumped After Date Found Out He Was in Star Wars - "“She didn’t know what I did until we were driving through Times Square. She goes ‘What do you do for a living?’ [I] looked up and I said, ‘That.’ It was me over a lightsaber,” Boyega said (picture above for reference). Apparently, finding out Boyega was starring in the new Star Wars film “affected her stance,” and things ended badly— so much so that Boyega blocked her on his phone."

Brain Scams – Have You Heard - "When investigative reporter Trevon Milliard from the Las Vegas Review Journal dug into why the Clark County School District was spending $1000 a day to an Emergenetics® consultant to conduct profiles of district employees, he found a slick sales pitch but no science. The *science* of profiling to which Douglas County teachers and students have devoted weeks this fall has never been reviewed in a single peer reviewed journal. Why doesn’t Emergenetics® cite actual research? Because. There. Isn’t. Any. Instead the company relies on testimonials... Review Journal reporter Milliard—and the psychologists he interviews—leave little doubt that Emergenetics® is a scam, to use a non-scientific word"

Liberal road rage - "Ironically, the researchers’ regression results also show that liberals are much more likely to engage in road rage (both making obscene gestures and driving aggressively) than conservatives, and that the difference is larger than the difference for whether one had carried a gun in the car at least once."
Original article: Is an armed society a polite society? Guns and road rage by David Hemenway, Mary Vriniotis, Matthew Miller. In Accident Analysis & Prevention Volume 38, Issue 4, July 2006, Pages 687–695
The original claim this was responding to was that people with guns were more likely to engage in road rage
Maybe the Jedi mind trick will be to claim that liberals are ruder on the roads because they are faced with obnoxious conservative drives who justifiably make them angry (one person claimed that conservatives have more diverse social media feeds than liberals because they just follow liberals to troll them; someone else claimed that liberals are more likely to unfriend or block people on social media because conservatives have no friends)


MediaCorp typecasts mongrels, provokes the ire of animal welfare group - "In a text to welfare group Exclusively Mongrels Limited, the producer asks for a mongrel to star in a MINDEF commissioned series “When Duty Calls”. The chosen dog should be able to “bark fiercely [and] chase after people”"
So now mongrel activists are now on the bandwagon against harmful stereotypes and threatening government action. Who said the slippery slope was a fallacy?
"If this scene can't be replaced , I'm reporting to the Ava." takes the cake


Ambulance driver blocked by road hog: 'What if the patient had died?' - ""First I high-beamed the driver, then used the sirens, then the horn, but he just refused to give way," said Mr Chong, 23. "He even jam braked three times; it was clearly intentional." The New Paper reported the incident on Dec 11 last year, with the video of the incident going viral after it was posted on TNP's Facebook page. The video attracted more than 135,000 views. After the frustration, Mr Chong said he was happy to know that the driver of the Hyundai Matrix that refused to give way to him was being dealt with... A spokesman for Seas said there have been incidents of patients dying because of inconsiderate drivers.""

Berkeley killing renews debate over gender pronouns - "Pablo Gomez Jr. was a University of California, Berkeley, senior majoring in Latino studies and a prominent campus activist when authorities say he stabbed to death a popular elementary-school teacher. Soon, the crime that police described as "very brutal and unusual" in a city that reported just two homicides last year was sucked up into the debate over gender identity when it was reported that Gomez preferred to be called "they" rather than "he.""
Maybe the moral of the story is that snowflakes are dangerous, and inculcating a grievance mentality can drive people over the edge

Chinese student allegedly discriminated by Malay stall holder in school - "his nephew was discriminated by a stall holder in his school’s canteen. The stall holder repeatedly charged his nephew’s friend lesser for the same dish, on several occasions. His friend is Malay. Gordon’s friends who responded to his post said that such practices were common not only in schools but also in workplaces. Facebook user Patrick Lim said: “It is rather common to see this happening in company canteens and at hawker centers. They discriminate you in prices or food quantity based on who you are. But for muslim food, it is good to eat less, because most are fried and high oil content. Not healthy.”"
I like how many comments here are justifying the discrimination. Some races are more equal than others

Lego says its Jabba the Hutt set isn’t anti-Muslim - "the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria criticized the Danish toy company, saying the Jabba’s Palace set was insensitive because of its similarity to Muslim mosques. “The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed,” said the statement, reported by the Austrian Times. “It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.”"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Russia: What happens next? - "[Trump] has reached out to leaders all over the world. We haven't seen this kind of engagement literally since George HW Bush 3 decades ago. He's already established relations throughout the region in a way that President Obama never did, with Turkey, with Jordan, with Egypt, with Saudi Arabia, with Israel"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "[On preventing foreign takeover of strategic industries] Defence is the only place that you can really go and that slightly harks back to a bizarre case about 10 or 12 years ago in France where Pepsico tried to buy Danone the dairy company and allegedly was knocked back because Danone supplied yogurt to the French army"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, The protests that forced a government to U-turn - "There's talk here of turning Romania into sort of a laboratory for revolution, of inviting protest tourism. Various hostels have said they will provide free accommodation to any young people - or I suppose older people as well from across Europe or the world who'd like to come to Romania now and see what's going on here and see what they can learn about ways to organise and same time of course to take part in those protests...
[On Odebrecht in Brazil] Investigators even uncovered a self-contained bribe department inside the company, with its own accounts, management structure and communications department

BBC World Service - The World This Week, At the end of a tumultous week, Donald Trump goes after the media. - "If you are then also successful in promoting an absolute collapse in the [North Korean] regime. Then what happens is you have 20-30 nuclear weapons' worth of materials floating out there and who controls it? If it gets out of North Korea I can guarantee you that material will explode in one of three places: the United States, Europe or Israel... when North Korea 15 years ago had 1 or 2 nuclear weapons' worth of material, you could sort of deal with that and figure out how to isolate that

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Turks give Erdogan new powers - "One of the things that makes Britain such an agreeable country is people don't like politics. People are not interested in politics. They don't go out on the street very often to protest"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, How was WW2 really won? - "'For the British, when they start sort of thinking about what new tanks they're gonna have in the summer of 1942, priority is ease of maintenance above powerful gun and armour and actually that makes a huge difference.'
'So, cos if it breaks down it's no good how powerful it is'
'So more than 50% of all the Panzer fatalities the Germans suffer in the Second World War is due to mechanical failure. I mean if you're talking about the Tiger tank, it's got a 6 speed, semi-automatic, hydraulically controlled (?) pre-selected gear box designed by per - unfortunately, if you put an 18 year old in that, it's going to break... The German way of war historically has been to try and overwhelm your enemy very quickly in the space of a matter of days if not weeks'
'Right. The Blitzkreig'
'Yes, but that goes back to Frederick the Great and the rest of it. That's how they've always done it. There's no change at all in 1939. The problem is that if you don't win in 6 weeks then you have got a problem because they haven't got enough resources'"

Why Is My Life So Hard? - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "GILOVICH: Yeah, self-handicapping is a familiar idea, particularly if we go back to the world of sports, where, before a contest, people claim a certain obstacle in their favorite team’s path. “Maybe we’ll win, but we’ve got a key player out.” And that’s setting everyone up for an explanation if you should lose. Students often do this too. They might study as hard as they can and pretend that they haven’t studied so if they bomb the exam, people don’t think they’re challenged. And if they should succeed, all the better. It’s a more glorious victory if you’ve overcome an obstacle. So people will put these obstacles in their path to manage other people’s and their own attributions or explanations for why they succeeded or failed...
DAVIDAI: We asked [siblings] to think back to when they were younger, both living at the same house, about how their parents treated them versus their brother or sister. Who got more praise? Who got more encouraged to do things? Who had more freedom to go out and party? And in contrast, who got punished more? Who got lectured more? And what we found was that siblings thought the other one had it easier and that they had it harder...
GILOVICH: when you feel like, “No, the deck is stacked against me,” it appears that people want to make up for that. And they’re willing to kind of bend the rules to do that... It encourages feeling resentful and unappreciative. And that’s a psychological state that where we’re not at our best."
The perils of identity politics - inculcating a sense of grievance in people not only makes them behave less morally, it also hurts their performance

Big Returns from Thinking Small - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "a “commitment referee,” someone willing to keep you on task. Gallagher says that significant others are terrible referees. When you don’t feel like following through, they’ll often conspire with you to let you off the hook"

Earth 2.0: What Would Our Economy Look Like? - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "GOLDIN on the UK: Long ago, at some point when people were riding horses and or walking along a road, and they were vulnerable individuals, and they carried daggers. When a rider on a horse wanted to show that he did not have a dagger in his right hand, riding on the left of the road allowed the rider to greet oncoming riders with his right hand outstretched. “Hey, I’ve got no dagger. You’re safe.”... So that became the standard. So buggies and carts and horses, and people included, walk and ride on the left. And when automobiles appeared, they also needed to conform to that standard or else they would have run into the horses and the people. So everything follows. We didn’t start with people on horses with swords and daggers and stuff like that. [In the US] we started later. In colonial America, we had these carts with these oxen in the front and there was a seat for the driver and because people are right-handed, you needed to be on the left side to whip the rear of the animal. So this standard then evolved, therefore, the reverse way, even though both standards evolved because the vast majority of people are right-handed."

Earth 2.0: Is Income Inequality Inevitable? - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "KANTER: One of the striking things about sports teams on losing streaks is that losing teams often had stars, just like third-world countries have rich people, even though most people are poor. Losing teams have stars, even though the team isn’t winning. The difference is that the stars look out for themselves. They feel no obligation to lift up the other players, to teach them, to include them. They only care about their own record. Rich people in an African country can take their money and go park it in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands, and not care about lifting up their country. Whereas [with] winning streaks in countries, as well as sports teams and companies, generally those at the top feel some obligation toward the education, the training, the development of people below them. To make things work well, inequality doesn’t help...
The U.S. and Canada, colonized primarily by England, have done far better than a lot of Latin and South American countries colonized by Spain... The English colonial model often called for integrating laborers into their system of production and trade. Whereas, say, the Spanish colonies …
Tyler COWEN: Whereas, say, the Spanish colonies were more likely based on the idea of extracting wealth from other people, or taking a lot of the resources out of the ground and not investing as much in human capital... They had better laws and somewhat less corruption. More of a common-law tradition. They’re more likely to have an independent judiciary."

Adenovirus 36 and Obesity: An Overview - "Evidence emerging over the last 20 years supports the hypothesis that viral infections may be associated with obesity in animals and humans. The most widely studied infectious agent possibly linked to obesity is adenovirus 36 (Adv36). Adv36 causes obesity in animals. In humans, Adv36 associates with obesity both in adults and children and the prevalence of Adv36 increases in relation to the body mass index"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Mary, Queen of Scots - "[On the Guises] There was always this issue of who was the better looking, and who was the taller, who could play the virginals better, who could speak languages better...
[On her as a young girl] When challenged by the great Catherine de Medici when she came to her nursery saying: why do you not bow to the Queen of France. And this girl immediately replied: why do you not bow to the Queen of Scots...
'One of the very few silly things Elizabeth ever did was to try and foist Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, her own favourite'...
'Almost proved lover'
'And Elizabeth's idea was they would all live together in a menage a trois in the South of England'"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Kuiper Belt - "People believe in God, astronomers believe in the oort cloud. It's a hypothetical construct which helps us understand the extent of the sun's gravitational pull"

BBC Radio 4 - The Pull of Putin - "With the rise of Communism, economic conservatives, social conservatives and foreign policy conservatives ,the three legs of the stool of modern conservatism: all their interests were aligned. With the fall of the Soviet Union there is no more one embodiment of everything that clearly conservatives oppose. You have a fracturing of these 3 legs of the stool...
Reagan didn't originally come to bury the Evil Empire, but to engage with it.
'I was with Ronald Reagan when I came in to his White House. He desperately said: Pat I want to talk to these people but they keep dying on me. Brezhnev died on me, Chernenko, Andropov - they're dropping dead on him and as soon as Gorbachev arrived, he took up the occasion to meet him in Geneva and we had a great meeting there...
Whenever there's a conflict between East and West, then Central Europe is usually always the loser. And this is a situation which you'd like to avoid...
Germany took a decision in the 60s to open its frontiers to guest workers... The choice made here is we don't want to be multicultural precisely because we've looked at places like Germany and seen what some of the outcome is. The Hungarians: look, iif this is multiculturalism we don't want...
'Today, if there was a, thousands of Americans were to die in some kind of attack, maybe even hundreds of thousands, it wouldn't be Russia. The chances of it being Russia attacking us are just about 0. The chances of it being a radical Islamic terrorist plot that managed to succeed would be the most likely scenario'"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Breaking News - "One of the ironies here is that White House correspondents report they're getting more time with the President and other officials than they ever did under Obama...
'I used to get great press. Until I said I'm running. Then they said: he's running, we don't want him to run. But I used to get great, who got better press than me? I got great press, a lot of press'
'And it's true, he did... the stories about how Trump used to manipulate the New York press were legendary. Reporters who were around at that time believe Trump would use the pseudonyms John Miller and John Barron when he called journalists to offer tipoffs about himself'...
[On media bias] In the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite was like the standard newscaster. His trust level was 100% with the American people. And one day he came out and said: this war is wrong. In my opinion that was like a major milestone in the shift in the media from reporting the news to influencing the news... some of the places they've called out by name: the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, are all but hopelessly biased against the President. They believe that something went wrong, so to speak, on November 8th and that it's their mission, an almost religious mission, to correct that message"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, In Search of Henk and Ingrid - "'You have the suburbs in London, which are, you know, Islamising at a rapid speed... You have mosques, you have Islamic schools who tell girls to, you know, wear burkas and women are less than them.'
'Why is that bad?'
'Why is that bad? Can you tell me why it's good that women are less than men?'
'Maybe they say it's their culture'
'Their culture? Well, excuse me but some cultures are better than others'
'Really?'
'Yeah'
'You say that about Muslim societies, but you know Western societies, Dutch and British societies. There's roads of child abuse, domestic abuse, all kinds of things like that'
'Of course. I'm not saying any culture is perfect. I'm saying some cultures are better than others. Simple as that'
'Surely that's ridiculous. That is just the spreading of hatred, isn't it?'
'No, it's not spreading of hatred. You know, we are proud that we have gay marriage. We are proud that we have full women's right, and how do you break that? You bring in more Muslim immigrants who don't share our values. That's the problem... How am I spreading hatred if I want to prevent that gay marriage is being brought back to zero?'
'Not all Muslim people are against gays. I mean even a few years ago, even in Holland, even in Britain people weren't very nice to gays. This is very recent change, even in the West'
'Of course. But at least we acknowledge them. At least we try to accept them. I don't have a problem with gay people. I play in a band and one of my band members is a black man homosexual. And they telling me I spread racism. No, it's not true. But what is true is that you have Islamic countries where it's okay to kill gay people. Why don't you report on that?
Well that was a short sharp dunking into the PVV view of the world...
In most cases you can tell how Dutch people vote simply by peering at their houses
'There are also areas where you see a lot of bikes with baskets in front, and in areas with a lot of these crico [sp?] bikes, you see a lot of voters for the Green Left party'...
'Roller shutters, PVV'
And we were told that relativists were a myth cooked up by right-wingers

BBC World Service - Assignment , Killing for Conservation in India - "Kaziranga's war on poachers isn't just about conservation per se. The tourists the park attracts spend 100s of 1000s of dollars in the state's hotels and restaurants and these economic benefits have made poaching a huge political issue. That's why when in 2013 the number of rhinos more than doubled to 27, local politicians demanded action. The then head of the park was happy to oblige...
'Suspects must obey or get killed' and that 'Guards must never allow unauthorised entry'. adding in brackets - kill the unwanted. The document also includes the director's reflections that environmental crimes including poaching are far more heinous than murder...
The concern felt by activists like her that traditional communities might be sacrificed in the name of wildlife protection. And what's more she says, some of the biggest animal conservation charities in the world have turned a blind eye to these activities, including the World Wildlife Fund or WWF...
It needs more space. The park wants to double in size. The High Court of Assam has issued an eviction order for the area in question. The problem is the villagers who live there are not happy about moving. In September, the first 2 villages were cleared. Big crowds turned out to protest but the police and park guards moved in, beating the protesters. These scenes could be repeated across India as parks attempt to follow Kaziranga's example and expand their boundaries. The crowd charged the police, hurling stones. The police responded with tear gas. When the crowd didn't disperse, there was gunfire. 2 people were killed...
We requested interviews from India's Environment Minister, the Minister of Environment for Assam, the head of the National Tiger Conservation Authority which oversees India's national parks, the Chief Forest Officer for Assam and for another interview with the head of Kaziranga itself. None of them were available to speak to us. We've heard Kaziranga and WWF say they place a high premium on working with local communities but we've also heard allegations that innocent people have been tortured, crippled and killed in the name of protecting wildlife
I'm sure people can just dismiss this story as Arrogant British Imperialism

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Gun Control - Japan, My Perfect Country Boxset - "'The majority don't carry guns'
'Japanese police aren't outfitted in a military way and never use their guns. I think like last year only 6 shots were fired from Japanese police nationwide'
'So to compensate for the lack of guns, Japanese police rely heavily on their skills in martial arts and they're said to train more than any other nation'...
What most Japanese police will do is to get huge futons and essentially roll up the person who's being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station and calm them down. The response to violence is never violence. It's always to de-escalate it...
There would be listeners particularly from America who would listen to this and think: you don't take a knife to a gun fight and they would think it ludicrous to have unarmed police. The American model has been militarise the police. So you have 80,000 SWAT team raids every single year in America... there is very little evidence that a more militarised police results in a more peaceful society. And I'm very concerned that if you have too many police pulling out guns at the first instance of crime then you lead to a miniature arms race between police and criminals...
The eradication of gun has given a prominence to other weapons...
We see a trend for knife use in Japanese crime...
The two weapons are fundamentally different things. Because the only thing you're going to use a gun for is to shoot someone...
Who wants to buy a gun in Japan? The only person who would want to buy a gun in Japan is usually a Yakuza and they're going to only use the gun in a gang war. Everyone agrees that arms are an instrument of evil. You don't want them around...
Japanese officers get arrested if they pull out a weapon, even if it's self-defence...
'Australia actually introduced a buyback program were 650,000 weapons were voluntarily handed back to the government to be destroyed'
'The evidence is that gun amnesties around the world really work'"

How Japan has almost eradicated gun crime - "Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015]," says journalist Anthony Berteaux... To underline the taboo attached to inappropriate use of weapons, an officer who used his gun to kill himself was charged posthumously with a criminal offence"

BBC Radio 4 - The Muhammadan Bean: The Secret History of Islam and Coffee - "My parents hail from Pakistan and come from families that take the brewing of tea very seriously. But tea was a ritual for the home. Coffee was something we went out to drink... In Islamic society, there was no drinking establishment. Because alcoholic beverages were in themselves prohibited. But when coffee is introduced, it seems to have served a social need that was always there but was never answered. It's a chance to meet with one's fellas in a context outside of sitting around outside your shop, or sitting around with one's friends outside the mosque and of course these places became a natural locus of social intercourse. And the coffeehouse in a lot of ways was something new and something which transformed the way people associated with one another in the Islamic world...
If I had to use a Turkish saying.. the heart desires nor coffee nor coffeeshop, the heart desires sorbids [sp?] which is company and exchanging words in one another's company and coffee is merely an excuse...
Even the Pope was forced to contend with coffee's wild popularity. Catholic priests warned against the 'Beverage of Islam'. They denounced it as an 'invention of Satan', affirming that: 'Satan, having forbidden his disciplies, the Muslims, to drink wine, certainly because this liquid was sanctified by Christ and was used during Communion, gave them as compensation this infernal black beverage that they called coffee'
Pope Clement VIII in 1600 was asked to intervene. According to legend, the Pope tasted a cup of coffee and was so delighted that he declared: 'This Devil's Drink is so delicious, we should cheat the Devil by baptising it'. Perhaps no city outside of Constantinople was more transformed by coffee than London...
To this day, in the Muslim world, special prayers are recited before drinking coffee"
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