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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Links - 9th July 2017 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Enemies of Old - "She is a columnist on one of Turkey's biggest papers. Oh so you're safe from being arrested? I naively asked. No of course not, she laughed. Whatever you write is in some way political. I'm next on the hit list. You'll get sent to prison, I said, incredulous. Well, yeah, I should think so, she shrugged. But you know it's probably best. All of my friends are there anyway. I don't know if this was irony or if Rosa was deadly serious... I'd been told that in the communist era the best Russian skiers at this event were often also in the KGB"

Hardcore History 59 – (BLITZ) The Destroyer of Worlds - "There's a decent number of historians who believe it's a Cold War instead of a Hot War because of the existence of Atomic and later Thermonuclear weapons...
[Gwynne Dyer says] 'each side has an ideologically watertight explanation for why the adversary behaves with such persistent wickedness and aggression, but none of the post-1945 developments would seem surprising to a 17th century
Spanish or Ottoman diplomat. Neither communism nor liberal democracy would mean anything to him, other than as a useful label for the players, but he would have no trouble understanding why the victorious alliance so quickly fell apart. They almost always do after victory, because the winners are the biggest players left on the board, hence they automatically become the greatest potential threats to each other's power...
He thought he might be another Franklin Roosevelt. Someone who could reach out and you could have another relationship the way Stalin and Roosevelt's relationship was seen to be... Khruschev did everything he could to get Kennedy. Told KGB officers in Washington, analyse the situation. If there's anything you can do diplomatically or with propaganda to help, do it. Called Kennedy his President after he was elected and told him at the first eye to eye meeting they ever had: I got you elected... his sources told him that Kennedy was a pragmatist - which he was, not an ideologue - maybe you could deal with a man like that."
There Russian hacking of the 1960 US Presidential election!

Hardcore History 58 – Kings of Kings III - "Pierre Briant says that many times in his book if you get rid of Herodotus cos he's so inaccurate, what do you replace him with? Then he pointed out that the only time you appreciate the guy is when you lose him, because you will after 479 BCE and then there's not even Herodotus anymore...
You will have more Greeks fighting on the side of the Great King of Kings of Persia than were his brethren the Greeks supposedly fighting for Greek freedom...
Historians like Richard Gabriel have been involved in test studies where they try to figure out, they do mathematical calculations and test studies and penetration surveys and kinds of things to try to figure out how effective things like archery fire would have been, and he says against Greek hoplites in close formation, not very effective. Because the arrows won't penetrate the armour or the shield. For the most part they're looking for little teeny gaps and there weren't very many of those...
You have people who are camp servants and helots and slaves... but on the day of the battle, oftentimes, especially in desperate situations, they're handed a spear and go and find someone to stick them into... Did they count? When Herodotus and others give casualty numbers for the Greeks, they seem ridiculously low. But some historians have pointed out they might not have been counting some of those other people. Remember Herodotus says there were 7 helots for every Spartan. That's tens of thousands of people that maybe nobody decided to count when it came time to adding up the important people who died in the battle...
Artaxerxes is the one who decides to make it the policy of Persia to use diplomacy as a weapon. And this is something I think a lot of modern day people forget that diplomacy is really good at. We think of it as wimpy sometimes or at best defensive. A lot of the great civilisations in history were fabulous at using diplomacy like a sword where you could go in and really deconstruct your adversaries using it. The Persians were so skilled at this... in the 490s and 480s Persia is fighting and mostly losing land and sea battles against these Greek city states. 100 years later the Persians have essentially emasculated them by paying for them to emasculate each other. And they're so Machiavellian about it that when one side seems to be doing too well, they fund the other side...
Traditionally it's at this point in the story where the Persians begin to offer Alexander deals. He's supposed to get letters or envoys, the ancient sources say from the Persian king, basically offering him territory and other things in exchange for deciding you've had enough. I think a little piece inside me died when I read Pierre Briant's very modern history and he suggested all these traditional accounts, which all the historians I grew up reading took as gospel, are almost certainly nothing but Macedonian propaganda from the time period"

Construction worker on trial for raping woman at MacRitchie Reservoir in broad daylight - "Liton was arrested at his worksite on the evening of Feb 10 after a fingerprint of his right thumb was lifted from the blade of the knife. His semen was found on the tissue paper, the woman's panties and swabs taken from her body. On Tuesday, Liton went on trial after he pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of abduction for illicit intercourse. When a sketch plan of part of the park, including the crime scene, was submitted in court, he said through a Bengali interpreter: "The map shows the left side of MacRitchie Park, I went to the right side." Liton also said he "doesn't know anything about this knife" when a photograph of the weapon was shown to him... Liton was previous represented by an assigned lawyer under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme but she eventually discharged herself and Liton did not want a lawyer. The judge wanted to adjourn the case to another day to find legal representation for Liton but the DPP said the victim "has been waiting for this day for a long time" and had taken leave from work to testify. The trial resumed after Liton's previous lawyer rushed to court and explained the circumstances to the judge behind closed doors."

Alleged rapist claims victim 'died'; she testified against him two days before - "Pramanik Liton, 24, admitted he spotted the woman, a 40-year-old Chinese national, at the park on Feb 8, 2015 and followed her. However, he insisted that he “did not touch her”, much less rape her. Liton said he only “tried to scare (the woman) by shouting and screaming”. He claimed he did not talk with her, but only made sounds. "I just tried to scare her and she died out of fear.” Deputy Public Prosecutor Stella Tan retorted that the victim was obviously not dead as she had appeared in court to testify on Tuesday. “I disagree,” Liton replied...
Liton, who the prosecution said had given at least four statements to the police admitting to the rape and even asked for forgiveness, claimed on Thursday he “did not say all these things to the officer”"

Vice is big money for Russian 'student' in Singapore - "With her porcelain-smooth skin, sharp features, lively blue eyes and tall, slim physique, 26-year-old Anna from Moscow could have made a living strutting down the catwalk in Russia. However, the very idea made her laugh. Speaking in near-perfect English, she said "there are too many model-wannabes in Russia who are poorly paid". Instead, the business graduate, who said she is studying English here, moonlights as a prostitute, charging between $600 an hour and $1,500 for an overnight rendezvous. She said: "It's safe here and you can make good money in a short time. I hope to 'make it' in six months and leave to open a restaurant in Indonesia"... Anna said Singapore is an adventure for her. She added that for now, "she believes in trying everything life has to offer". Dressed in a figure-hugging bustier and stilettos, Anna said she decided to leave Moscow because of the cold climate and the low value of the rouble, the Russian currency... In a bad week, she can earn at least $5,000, she said. The highest she made in a week was a little more than $11,000. Her clients are middle-aged Singaporean men and foreigners on business trips... being too visible and greedy can be dangerous. "You don't want to attract unwanted attention in this line of work," Anna said. She added that she does not cut classes despite her late-night escapades."
Interestingly if she studies in an "approved institution" she can work for up to 16 hours a week. Which is presumably why ICA talks about "undesirable activities" as a general catch-all

Angelina Jolie: 'My blonde-haired natural daughter Shiloh is the outcast in our family' - "The actress said she felt a deep connection to her adopted children because of the pain they had endured in their young lives. She added: "I felt so much more for Madd, Zahara and Pax because they were survivors. "Shiloh seemed so privileged from the moment she was born. "But I'm conscious that I have to make sure I don't ignore her needs, just because I think the others are more vulnerable.""
Maybe all her children should've been adopted

Chefs reveal the kitchen hacks that will turn you into a culinary whizz - "'If your dish is well seasoned (salt and pepper) but seems like it is missing something, try incorporating an acidic element to brighten it up! 'It could be lemon/lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcester sauce... anything that will add a bit of an acidic note to your dish.' TSOD added: 'Additionally if your food smells great and tastes bland, it needs salt.' ... 'Add salt to the water or meat before you cook because you want the sodium to melt into the flavor in the liquids. 'The big exception is using a salt that contains a lot of flavor (fancy sea salts, etc), typically you'll want to do that salt last so it doesn't melt away. 'The really flavorful salt just blends into dishes that are too oily or watery. For example, vegetables need to have their water cooked out before you salt... 'He was at a dinner party a friend was hosting. Somehow, the dessert got ruined and his friend was freaking out because there was nothing in the kitchen to serve for dessert. 'Mario offered to help. He went in the kitchen and found a quart of vanilla ice cream, a bag of Skittles and a can of 7-Up. 'He heated the Skittles and 7-Up in a saucepan and made a glaze to pour over individual scoops of vanilla ice cream. 'The dinner guests never noticed and, in fact, loved the dessert, thinking it was some new recipe the host had discovered"

Why are modern women are becoming more aggressive? - "In 1957, men were responsible for 11 violent offences for every one perpetrated by a woman — today, that is four to one... Dr Elle Boag, social psychologist at Birmingham City University, says: 'Women feel aggression is a form of empowerment. It has become so commonplace that it's not even shameful.'"

Colorado man forced to pay child support to ex-wife despite DNA test proving it's NOT his - "He is still required by law to pay child support because his name is on the girl's birth certificate... Atkins daughter is now 15, however he says he has not been allowed to see her for four years. He says that while the courts can force him to pay child support, he is still not allowed visitation."

Have we got Machiavelli all wrong? - "For every cynical Machiavellian precept, I found two or three others that clashed with it... Machiavelli was convinced the real threats to freedom come from within – from gross inequalities on the one hand, and extreme partisanship on the other... “I’d like to teach them the way to hell,” he told a friend toward the end of his life, “so they can steer clear of it.”"

Your Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like You – Are We Doing It Wrong? - "we didn’t always sleep for an average of 8 hours straight. Instead we would sleep in two shorter periods throughout the night. All sleep would occur within a 12 hour time frame that started with 3 or 4 hours of sleep, followed by being awake for 3 hours or so and then sleeping again until the morning."... many modern day sleeping problems have roots in the human body’s natural preference for segmented sleep"

Moral Outrage Is Self-Serving, Say Psychologists - "1. Triggering feelings of personal culpability for a problem increases moral outrage at a third-party target
2. The more guilt over one's own potential complicity, the more desire "to punish a third-party through increased moral outrage at that target."
3. Having the opportunity to express outrage at a third-party decreased guilt in people threatened through "ingroup immorality."
4. "The opportunity to express moral outrage at corporate harm-doers" inflated participants perception of personal morality.
5. Guilt-induced moral outrage was lessened when people could assert their goodness through alternative means, "even in an unrelated context."
In other words, virtue signallers (and SJWs, by extension) are compensating for personal deficiencies

The Islamic world did liberalise – but then came the first world war | The Spectator - "That Islam’s liberal moment came juddering to a halt in 1914 is a little-known tragedy. In the first decade of the 20th century, Iranian and Turkish democrats had launched revolutions establishing parliamentary systems that limited the powers of the ruler — a similar movement in favour of popular sovereignty in Egypt had been thwarted by the British occupation two decades earlier. But war laid waste to the region and the British and French chopped up much of the former Ottoman Empire into mandate-sized chunks. Egypt stayed under British supervision, while in Iran and Turkey the powers were only kept at bay by new regimes that westernised furiously along Roman lines (Mussolini was the model), not Jeffersonian ones. One of the reasons why Islam’s liberal moment was never revived was its association with an avowedly liberal West that in fact behaved anything but liberally"
Yet somehow Japan, despite being humiliated by the West in being forced to open up, embraced westernisation

John Etchemendy: ‘The threat from within’ - "The threat from outside is apparent... But I’m actually more worried about the threat from within. Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. It manifests itself in many ways: in the intellectual monocultures that have taken over certain disciplines; in the demands to disinvite speakers and outlaw groups whose views we find offensive; in constant calls for the university itself to take political stands. We decry certain news outlets as echo chambers, while we fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves. This results in a kind of intellectual blindness that will, in the long run, be more damaging to universities than cuts in federal funding or ill-conceived constraints on immigration. It will be more damaging because we won’t even see it: We will write off those with opposing views as evil or ignorant or stupid, rather than as interlocutors worthy of consideration. We succumb to the all-purpose ad hominem because it is easier and more comforting than rational argument. But when we do, we abandon what is great about this institution we serve. It will not be easy to resist this current. As an institution, we are continually pressed by faculty and students to take political stands, and any failure to do so is perceived as a lack of courage. But at universities today, the easiest thing to do is to succumb to that pressure. What requires real courage is to resist it. Yet when those making the demands can only imagine ignorance and stupidity on the other side, any resistance will be similarly impugned."
Will liberals dismiss the former Provost of Stanford as a right wing hack? Would the current Provost dare to say this sort of thing?

No College For Old Administrators: Time For Donors/Alums To Defend The Freedom To Learn - "all hope is not lost, as the response to the 2015 University of Missouri protests revealed. There, donors, alumni, and prospective students spanked the school for failing to safeguard the freedom to learn. Their action took the form that, sad to say, seems most persuasive to today’s colleges: They withheld enrollment and/or donation dollars. How can those who share these concerns exercise a similar force for good at their alma maters? Begin by going to the website of the nonpartisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Once there, search for your alma mater’s free-speech rating. Don’t be shocked if you find that your school has a failing grade: The majority of universities studied by FIRE are in violation of the First Amendment. Then, armed with this knowledge, you will be better prepared for the next phone call you receive from your alma mater, asking for money."
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