"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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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Links - 6th June 2017 (1)

Colombian military's new weapon against rebels: Christmas trees - "The tree was rigged with a motion sensor that will turn the lights on when someone walks by. A banner next to it says, "If Christmas can come to the jungle, you too can come home. Demobilize. At Christmas, everything is possible."... She says that traditionally, the holiday season sees a larger number of defections as rebels reflect on the positives and negatives of their situation. When they were recruited, many of the rebels did not know that it would mean being isolated from their families, she added."

'Get Out' star responds to Samuel L. Jackson's casting criticism - "Though Jackson hadn't yet seen Get Out, he explained that he couldn't help but wonder "what would that movie have been with an American brother [in the lead]," who could relate more to the specific type of American-centered racism tackled by the film."
Identity politics!

Super Antics by Kerry Callen - Album on Imgur

Codoh.com | The dangers of calling the Holocaust unique - "Although debate continues as to the precise number of Armenians killed, no serious historian today questions the existence of the Armenian genocide. But the Republic of Turkey, which came into being in 1923 as the successor to the Ottoman Empire, officially denies that any such mass killing ever took place. While it is not unusual for countries to deny the truth about their violent pasts, it might seem odd that Israel enthusiastically supports the Turkish government's position... Why would the descendants of those who died in one of the most monstrous genocides in human history be motivated to join in a genocide-denying propaganda effort on behalf of a country that is demonstrably guilty of genocide? The answer is what the essayist Phillip Lopate calls "extermination pride . . a sort of privileged nation status in the moral honor roll." The Holocaust historian Zygmunt Bauman has noted that Israel uses the Holocaust "as the certificate of its political legitimacy, a safe-conduct pass for its past and future policies, and, above all, as the advance payment for the injustices it might itself commit." Doing so creates the need to play down other genocides. As one proponent of the uniqueness of the Holocaust, Edward Alexander, has put it, to describe as genocidal the ghastly agonies suffered by others-the Armenians, for instance-is "to plunder the moral capital" of the Jewish people. It is to "steal the Holocaust"... To be sure, those who maintain that the Holocaust was unique do not by any means represent the entirety of Jewish scholarship on the subject. On the contrary, dogmatic proponents of uniqueness are something of a cult within the world of genuine scholarship. Israel W. Charny, executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, describes them as self-appointed "high priests." He strongly objects to what he calls their "fetishistic" efforts to "establish the exclusive 'superiority' or unique form of any one genocide." Yet in the public realm, Jewish suffering has attained what the religion scholar Richard L. Rubenstein calls "religio-mythic" status... Proponents of the uniqueness of the Holocaust not only do damage to historical truth, but in their determination to belittle all genocides other than the Holocaust, they are, in fact, accomplices in the efforts of numerous governments to conceal and deny their own pasts or to obscure current campaigns of mass violence... What is true for the Jews is true for others, as well: Genocide concealed is genocide likely to recur. This is not an academic game. Real people's lives are at stake"

The Women Movement’s Embrace of Rape-Torturer Psychopath Donna Hylton - "At the Women’s March, there was no mention of the man who lost his life because of her actions. There was no humility–only defiance. Donna Hylton presented herself as a victim but did not mention her role as victimizer. Hylton has written a memoir and Rosario Dawson wants to play her. So, fairytales really do come true for psychopathic torturers–at least they have for Women’s March poster child Donna Hylton."

China fortifies its Great Firewall with crackdown on VPNs - after Xi Jinping called for 'global connectivity' - "Well over 100 of the world’s most popular 1,000 websites are banned in China, experts say."

Donald Trump & Muslim Immigration - "the reason his careless and sloppy immigration commentary resonates is that no one else in public life is willing to address issues that worry — and, at this point, frighten — people. If “respectable” politicians refuse to even talk about the real problems caused by mass Muslim immigration, then a larger and larger share of the public will turn to carnival barkers unafraid of elite disapproval... Polling suggests between a quarter and a third are not attached to the principles of the Constitution, supporting things such as sharia law over U.S. law and the use of violence against those who insult Islam. Nor is this merely hypothetical; Muslims account for only about 1 percent of the U.S. population but account for about half of terrorist attacks since 9/11. That means Muslims in the United States are about 5,000 percent more likely to commit terrorist attacks than non-Muslims...
The narrowest solution would be to restore the principle of “ideological exclusion” to U.S. immigration law... large-scale immigration of non-violent Islamic supremacists also facilitates violence, by forming and sustaining neighborhoods that serve as cover and incubators for jihad attacks, however unintentionally... The Somali community in Minneapolis is a prime example. Established through refugee resettlement, and continually expanded and refreshed by more resettlement (nearly 9,000 Somali refugees were admitted last year) as well as follow-on chain migration, it has been the source of dozens of recruits for Al Shabaab and ISIS, and dozens more supporters... While our Muslim population is indeed more prosperous, more dispersed, and more ethnically heterogeneous than Europe’s, it seems likely that the main difference is simply that it’s so much smaller."

24 Times The World Was Almost Too Damn Clever

Denmark spends £41m sending criminal youths on Caribbean cruises - "In all, 26 city councils throughout Denmark have opted to send 59 young criminals and drug abusers to the islands. In just five years the city governments, or municipalities, have spent a combined amount of 42 million kroner (or just over £41million) on these two-year treatment programmes"

Dragon babies, muted achievements - "Among the 12 zodiac animals, those born in the Year of the Dragon are believed to be noble, fearless and ambitious, and bound for success. Thus it comes as no surprise that there is usually a baby boom during this auspicious year among the Chinese... After controlling for gender, ethnicity, year and month of birth, we found that those born in the Year of the Dragon have lower admission scores, especially the men... Likewise, Dragons' monthly incomes are also lower, especially for the more recent cohorts. The differences in academic results and incomes between Dragon and non-Dragon children are more marked for Chinese than other ethnic groups. Although the Government opened new primary schools to accommodate the larger Dragon Year cohort, the opportunities of marginal Dragon students are still reduced, which takes an economic toll when they enter the labour market.... despite their lower incomes, both Dragon men and women are more materialistic... We also studied babies born in the Year of the Tiger, in particular Tiger women as they are the least desired among Singaporean Chinese who consider them to be fierce and unsuitable for marriage... interestingly, Tiger women have higher monthly wages."

Huffington Post ordered to apologize for hateful article, editor in chief resigns - "The press Ombudsman of South Africa (A governmental agency that arbitrates all issues relating to the media) has ordered Huffington Post – South Africa to issue an apology for publishing their article titled “Is it time to deny white men the franchise“. As we have come to learn, the article was in fact a satirical piece written by a very clever troll to expose Huffington Post’s bigotry and lack of fact checking. The Press Ombudsman issued a very stern rebuke toward HuffPo, stating that they have violated numerous sections of the press code. The agency said it has found HuffPo of publishing “hate speech”, and publishing speech that targeted a specific group of people. According to the agency, Husspo’s article was “Discriminatory and denigratory to white males'”"

Oxford University says avoiding eye contact is racist - "Avoiding making eye contact with someone or asking where they are originally from have been deemed as racist micro-aggressions in a newsletter issued by Oxford University. The institution's Equality and Diversity Unit states these two common behaviours could potentially cause the listener 'mental ill-health'... Oxford University said the advice was part of an attempt to fight discrimination and encourage equality of opportunity. Students at the university recently took part in a campaign called 'I, too, am Oxford', to raise awareness of unconscious racism. At one college, Pembroke, students are advised by their representatives to report 'macro and microaggressions' to a welfare officer... The Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Kent University urged British students to resist the trend, adding: 'A minority of students make it their own cause. 'But there are usually a lot of people who think it is stupid but they acquiesce to it and eventually the influence of these ideas becomes more prominent.'... The row comes two months after a Cambridge college was accused of 'cultural misrepresentation' by students after serving 'Jamaican stew' and 'Tunisian rice'... academics at the university are offered counselling so that they can avoid being traumatised by their own research. In January 2017, the University of Glasgow revealed that it issues 'trigger warnings' for theology students studying the crucifixion of Jesus Christ"
Maybe the students would be happier eating fish and chips every day
Also in the Trinity Term 2017 Newsletteris the revelation that 5% of job appointees identified as non-heterosexual (86% response rate), vs 2.1% of the UK population (96% response rate). Does that mean straight people are being discriminated against?

Gorsuch Defends Illegal Immigrant's Rights, and Progressives Are Appalled - "Critics of Gorsuch should not be taken seriously if they can't recognize (or refuse to acknowledge) the ways that "conservative" convictions can achieve liberal ends."

Luxury movie theater shut down on suspicion bed seats could lead to sexual misconduct in Palembang - "According to the manager of the cinema, they had already obtained permission from the government for the theater and also had CCTV cameras to monitor the activities of the studio audience"

Avengers director Joss Whedon says angry feminists didn't drive him away from Twitter - "Certainly some of that hate has emanated from feminist sources in recent days. Whedon noted as much, telling BuzzFeed News that by supporting feminist causes, feminism became the barometer for all he did to some people. "If you don't live up to the litmus test of feminism in this one instance, then you're a misogynist," he said... his newest movie took criticism from notable feminist sources"
Pandering to people who want to be offended is a losing proposition

Islamic Peace Conference hides faces of women on flyer - "Organisers of a controversial Islamic conference in Melbourne have sparked outrage for publishing a promotional flyer with the faces of female speakers blacked out... Wasseem Razvi told Daily Mail Australia they had been trying to protect the women from right-wing extremism."

Professor Says Male Student's Paper Was So Triggering She Had Trouble Distinguishing Him From Her Rapist - "She said she was so upset that she could no longer grade papers or read... She recounts screaming “Zero! You get a f*cking zero!” at the computer screen as she graded the student’s two-page paper, saying that she also felt that simply by writing the paper, he had undermined her authority as an instructor."
If you can't do your job...

This Adorable Jyn Erso Cosplayer Spent Star Wars Celebration Handing Out the Death Star Plans to Every Princess Leia

The Mark Zuckerberg Manifesto: Great for Facebook, Bad for Journalism - "85 percent of all online advertising revenue is funneled to either Facebook or Google—leaving a paltry 15 percent for news organizations to fight over... In the past, the deaths of news organizations have jeopardized the prospect of a safe, well-informed, civically-engaged community. One 2014 paper found a substantial drop-off in civic engagement in both Seattle and Denver from 2008 to 2009, after both cities saw the closure of longstanding daily newspapers"

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria - "There’s actually a long tradition of technology companies disregarding intellectual-property rights as they invent new ways to distribute content. In the early 1900s, makers of the “piano rolls” that control player pianos ignored copyrights in sheet music and were sued by music publishers. The same thing happened with makers of vinyl records and early purveyors of commercial radio. In the 60s, cable operators re-aired broadcast TV signals without first getting permission and found themselves in costly litigation. Movie studios sued VCR makers. Music labels sued KazaA and Napster... When the VCR came out, film executives lashed out. “I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone,” Jack Valenti, then the president of the MPAA, testified before Congress. The major studios sued Sony, arguing that with the VCR, the company was trying to build an entire business on intellectual property theft... The Sony case forced the movie industry to accept the existence of VCRs. Not long after, they began to see the device as an opportunity. “The VCR turned out to be one of the most lucrative inventions—for movie producers as well as hardware manufacturers—since movie projectors,” one commentator put it in 2000... Out-of-print books, almost by definition, were commercial dead weight. If Google, through mass digitization, could make a new market for them, that would be a real victory for authors and publishers... It’s been estimated that about half the books published between 1923 and 1963 are actually in the public domain—it’s just that no one knows which half... The cost of figuring out who owns the rights to a given book can end up being greater than the market value of the book itself... It was strange to me, the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them"

It might be time to stop using antivirus, and just regularly update your software instead - "Antivirus, in an attempt to catch viruses before they can infect your system, forcibly hooks itself into other pieces of software on your computer, such as your browser, word processor, or even the OS kernel... because of the aforementioned knotweed-style rhizomes of antivirus programs, the AV software itself presents a very large attack surface. As in, without AV installed, a hacker might have to find a vulnerability in the browser or operating system—but if there's AV present, the hacker can also look for a vulnerability there. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if AV makers made secure software, but for the most part they don't (except for Windows Defender, because Microsoft is "generally competent," according to O'Callahan). Back in June last year, Google's Project Zero found 25 high-severity bugs in Symantec/Norton security products. "These vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets," said Tavis Ormandy, a Project Zero researcher. "They don’t require any user interaction, they affect the default configuration, and the software runs at the highest privilege levels possible. In certain cases on Windows, vulnerable code is even loaded into the kernel, resulting in remote kernel memory corruption." Over the past five years, Ormandy has found similar vulnerabilities in security software from Kaspersky, McAfee, Eset, Comodo, Trend Micro, and others."... using antivirus software doesn't necessarily make your computer any more secure. In some cases, AV might make your computer less secure, and cause a deleterious effect on system performance—and, if you believe the browser makers, the continuing popularity of AV software might have a gnarly knock-on effect on other developers, too."

Pub campaign introduces code word to help you escape from bad dates
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