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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Friday, May 12, 2017

No Babies in Japan

BBC World Service - The Documentary, No Babies in Japan

"In the last few years, Japan's government has joined this matchmaking party. The central government has pumped billions of Japanese Yen into konkatsu activities sponsored by local governments...

The irony of course is that while Japan's birth rate is declining, its sex industry is thriving. The fūzoku industry, which includes brothels, massage parlors and love hotels, caters for the desires of mostly businessmen. The market reached an estimate $24 billion in 2014...

Japan and Asian countries have very different concepts of marriage and romance. Unmarried women have very high expectations for their future husbands' income. Most of the men say they don't care about their future partner's income. However, the majority of women want their future partner to have a high annual income. And there are only a few men who meet this criteria.

When I made a speech about this in Manchester a few years ago, an English professor asked: how can Japanese women ask such a rude question? How can they choose their future partner based on income? Isn't that disgraceful for women?

In Europe or America, people think of marriage as the result of romantic love. In Japan, an important part of thinking about marriage is the financial aspect. This doesn't mean people marry someone they don't like, but people seem to think the most important thing is how comfortably they can live after marrying...

[On a matchmaking event] It's too embarrassing to come here on your own, so I came with my friend. We were complaining that we don't have boyfriends. I'm looking for someone strong and masculine. I don't see such guys so far. Most of them look like the indoor type. They may be a bit herbivore. Perhaps many of them are not really used to talking to women. I think I'll have to compromise a bit to find someone...

I think Japanese guys may be compared to guys from abroad: they're not pushy enough, they're too shy. They were very chatty when we were bowling but in this free time they became very quiet. When the time came for talking to the girls they just can't face it...

At the bowling machicon what was surprising was how shy the men were but also how critical the women were of the men...
A lot of women seem to suggest that herbivore men are why they can't get married...

'Women who say that there are those who cannot get married, it's because they can't stop moaning. I mean how old are they now? 35? 40? Then what? Women over 25, they're just like Christmas cakes - past their expiry date. So that's it for them... Those who are over 35 yet still want to get married but are unable to do so, it's because they have problems. Problems such as being strong-willed - they don't get on with men. They go on about: ah, this person is a bit bald, this person is a bit small, ah, this person is a bit smelly, oh, this person's nostril hair is poking out. Based merely on things like this, they will reject a man'

'But don't you think it's unfair that men can still get married later but women have to adjust accordingly?'

'It's not unfair. Women during their teens and 20s have had their time. They got men to buy them meals, drive them to places, took many advantages. You didn't find a marital partner during those days? Are you kidding? At their age men have now stopped spending on them. And then they start to consider settling down. Yet these women are still picky. Past the age of 30 the position of men and women switch'...

'I'm worried about where Japanese people's sexual appetite has gone. According to the research conducted 6 years ago asking: do you ever fall in love with a character from the media or do you fall in love with stars or idols, the percentage is very high. The percentage is higher among women. Over a quarter of women have fallen in love this way, almost a third...

Based on the Western sense of value or culture, you think you have to have everything: intimacy, passionate love and sex all from one person. By contrast in Japan, people are diversifying where they get these things from. For example, they get passionate love experience from the idol of the character that they fall in love with, but they pay to have sex with prostitutes, thereby satisfying their physical need in the case of men and they get intimacy from their parents'...

'Virtual love, through western eyes is shocking but for Japanese people it's everywhere'...

'Surely the idea of physical interaction is essential for sexual satisfaction.'

'When I ask whether there's a difference between a real physical partner and a virtual partner, every westerner would say there's definitely a difference, whereas among young Japanese people there is an increasing number of them who say it's the same thing.'

'This is a lot for me to get my head around too I'm 35 and I still feel quite young but this new generation of Japanese people don't seem to share my world view. If so many young people are completely forgoing conventional physical relationships for virtual love which could include porn, prostitutes, host or hostess bars or even falling in love with characters from cartoons or films then surely this is a threat not just for Japan's economy but also for its society'...

'Guys don't hate women. It's because they like women, that's why those virtual female characters were created. Virtual women are the perfect versions of women. If women acted like them then it would have been great...

Virtual women aren't perfect. They may be autistic, bad cooking, small breasted and short. There are lots of imperfections in these so called ideal women. It's because they have their vulnerability and modesty, that's why men find them cute even if they are not good at cooking et cetera'...

'If it's an issue of men exerting control over women in the real or digital world then why according to Yamada's data are even women choosing virtual relationships than men?'...

'They're not interested in physical masturbation. From long ago Japan has been a male dominated culture so the very fact of being treated with warmth by men rather than physical desires is what they want. Just being spoken to kindly fulfills them enough...

If you go to a concert say Toshiki and they ask you from the stage: how you feeling? Have you already eaten? Just that makes them so pleased. Getting a kind word like that or at the most getting hugged is more than enough to get them satisfied. So I'm sure nobody does anything like masturbating'...

'The current system will fall apart in twenty years. In twenty years Japan will be overflowing with middle aged people who cannot depend on their parents, have very low paid jobs and are left single. When I speak to these people they say they don't want to think about what will happen to them twenty years from now when their parents have died.'...

'I've come to another match making event. We're not going bowling or drinking this time. Instead we're in a Buddhist temple where twenty sets of men and women are about to arrive. They're here to find their perfect partner - through meditation... they have two minutes to talk to each other based on their question form and then the men move on to the next woman until all participants have spoken'"


So much for SDN being Uniquely Singapore

Soviet science and feeding Britain at war

Soviet science and feeding Britain at war | Podcast | History Extra

"Marxism was the acme of 19th century scientism. The belief that the sciences would eventually all be able to join up with each other and there would be a single, coherent scientific explanation of everything. A theory of everything.

So that for example you could explain one's psychological state through one's physiology, one's physiology according to the anatomy and histology of the brain. From there to the chemistry, from there to the physics and everything would join up seemlessly and Marxism was to be the earth science. The pinnacle of those different disciplines which had been split up essentially by capitalism and under socialism these sciences would cohere under the Marxist system, the system of dialectical materialism.

And so it was a state founded on the idea of scientific rationality and of course the tragedy of that is that it's founded as a rational scientific state at the very point at which scientists in a number of unrelated disciplines are turning around and saying the world isn't rational.

We thought it was rational because rationality has proved such a wonderful tool for unpicking so much of it, but we've actually hit a hard barrier here and it turns out that even though we can use the tools of mathematics and rationality, reason, to unpick a lot of the world, we've actually realised that the world is far wilder than that and there is a limit to what we can understand...

Einstein's theories of relativity and the quantum revolution... the more day to day problem of course is the one of psychology which is never successful, even to this day, ever successfully been able to explain itself in simpler terms, the terms of physiology or histology...

Joseph Stalin himself considered himself the last of the Great Philosopher Kings. He is the leader of a state that believes in science and believes it can be scientific. His scientific views are incredibly influential...

Someone's love of lemon trees and his belief that you can grow lemon trees in Siberia as Joseph Stalin did lead to the death of millions...

[During World War II] Stalin was involving himself day to day in the editing of speeches by certain scientific figures, not just correcting their political mistakes but correcting their scientific mistakes. And you know, now and again being absolutely right...

Ironically the one area that perhaps benefited most from the Soviet experiment was psychology. It had an incredible uphill struggle to explain itself... this is the point at which... not that long after William James famously decides there is no such thing as psychology. There're lots of little psychologies running around trying to put the evidence together and come up with a coherent picture, but it's nowhere near a science yet...

Marxist psychology was a remarkably broad church that produced a tremendous amount of interesting data. It was far and away the most interesting centre for developmental psychology...

These days we think of the Soviet system, we think of a country that had almost no grasp of mind, that throws political dissidence into the mental hospitals and one of the chief reasons why this happened was actually not ideological - it was to do with the way organizations worked under Stalin and under the Soviet system and that there was this increasing centralization bit by bit by bit so that different disciplines within psychology and within medicine would be stabbing each other in the back in order to get the paycheck in order to get the place to work in, in order to get the lab time"

Links - 12th May 2017 (2)

Hours before Trump ordered missile strikes on Syria, Hillary Clinton said the US should attack Assad's airfields
Just like liberals wanted to fire Comey - until Trump did so

How very Cambridge! Latin graffiti daubed on controversial housing development - "Dr David Butterfield , lecturer in Classics at Cambridge University said: "The Latin over in Chesterton is interesting but it is not worth undue head scratching. " It is an automated (and therefore incorrect) translation of 'Local homes for local people'. The Latin graffiti matches what Google Translate turns up for this phrase (even if the Latin literally means 'a place into homes, the people of the place'...)."

India state to give life sentences for cow slaughter

Hamas animation encourages stabbings, shootings, and ramming attacks, shows daggers, butcher’s knives, and guns, honors 3 murderers who killed 6

Black Lives Matter Just Banned White People - "Sad news for white leftists in Philadelphia who want to support the Black Lives Matter movement by attending the group's meetings in person. According to BLM Philly, white people are banned from future gatherings and are not allowed to be official members of the organization because it is considered a “black only space.”"

How an ambulance became a place for safe sex - "It's the sex workers plying their trade on the streets - who cannot afford to use an illegal brothel - that Michael aims to help. Sexelance is free to use, as while prostitution has been legal in Denmark since 1999, it is still against the law for sex workers to rent rooms or hire any help for their business"

March for Science Organizers Don't Want Bill Nye as Leader Because He's a 'White Male'

Italy Could Soon Offer Women Paid 'Menstrual Leave' - "Health experts and local media outlets have praised the proposal, saying it was a step in the right direction and would shed light on the silent plight of women suffering from debilitating cramps that can sometimes affect their ability to work. The Italian version of Marie Claire described it as “a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability.” But the bill also has critics, including women who fear this sort of measure could backfire and end up stigmatizing them... Menstrual leave is already a legal right for women in other countries, including South Korea and Japan, where it was made law 60 years ago. A number of private companies, including Nike, have also introduced a similar policy."

Are We Heading Towards A Civil War? - "Like their right-wing counterparts, most of these guys don’t exactly reek of competence or experience, and that should be of concern to all of us. Well-trained people are predictable. It’s fear-filled amateurs like the SKS-toting nimrod from Meal Team Six that start squeezing of rounds into crowds when they hear a car backfire... we’ll possibly see a bunch of left wing clowns and a bunch of right wing clowns square off and get into a shouting match, and then someone hiding in the back is going to crank off a round, just as they did on April 19, 1775 on Lexington Green. That’s going to trigger a panic, and then it’s probably going to devolve into a free-for-all, in which police officers trying to keep the peace between the groups will be caught in the crossfire."

Italian State-Run TV Drops Talk Show Over 'Sexist' List About Eastern European Women - "– They are all moms, but after giving birth they regain their figure
– They are always sexy. No tracksuits or pajamas
– They forgive cheating
– They are willing to let their man rule
– They are perfect housewives. They learn how to perform house chores at young age
– They don’t whine or get clingy, and they never hold a grudge."

As a Muslim, I am Shocked by Liberals and Leftists - "My father was brutally tortured -- justified by some of the fundamentalist Islamic laws of the ruling governments in both Iran and Syria. The punishment extended to my mother, my family, and other relatives, who were tormented on a regular basis. What was even more painful was, upon coming to the West, seeing the attitude of many people who label themselves liberals and leftists, towards radical Islam. These liberals seem to view themselves as open-minded, but they have a preconceived way of thinking about Islam: to them, it seems, there is no radical Islam, Islam is only a force for the good, Islam can do no evil. How could they not see the way extremist Muslims exploit some aspects of the religion of Islam to legitimize its acts? How could they not even acknowledge that radical Islam, a force that threatens to destroy the planet, let alone my family, exists? Instead, many liberals would criticize me or attempt to turn a blind eye, as if I were accidentally making some embarrassing mistake... Liberals argue that they are in favor of critical thinking, but they do not like anyone challenging their "comfort zone". They seem, in fact, to be just like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact. Even if a person is from a Muslim country, and has direct experience with extremist Islam, many liberals will strenuously avoid this information... sympathizing with all kinds of Islamist practices and radical Islam seems to fit a wider narrative of bashing the West and white people for "imperialism, colonialism, and any sense of superiority". Unfortunately that view fails to take into account that there have been no greater imperialists the Muslim armies; they conquered Persia, the great Christian Byzantine Empire in Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, virtually all of Eastern Europe, most of Spain, and Greece."

Man proposes with an $8 engagement ring; what his girlfriend does 5 days later is unbelievable - "Emily told the wedding coordinator that people put beautiful funerals together in just a few days, so why not a wedding?"

How the Social Justice Movement Fuels Corporate Capitalism - "Issues such as unfair tax structures, government welfare towards banks and corporations, a lack of protection for the common citizen, and gaps in the social safety net are all social justice issues. But somehow, in the following years, these issues have seemingly disappeared from the public conscience. Instead, social justice discourse now revolves around ideas of privilege that focus on race, gender, and sexual orientation—in short, everything but class. Is this a coincidence? Somehow an anomaly?"

Why is big business so interested in left-wing politics? - "Virtue signalling is cheap, and ‘tolerance’ is easy when it costs you precisely nothing; as long as you give lip service to diversity and equality, much of the Left will overlook how you actually behave and will concentrate their rage on small bakeries, whereas in the past they might have focused on wages or the treatment of producers. In fact, instead of being costly to big business as socialism would be, social justice actually profits them, the most prominent example being mass immigration, which big business is universally in favour of, supported by many Conservatives for economic reasons; even though, from a Burkean point of view, mass immigration makes absolutely no sense – short-term prosperity over posterity... ‘Traditional’ families take women out of the workforce to have children, and anything that reduces the availability of workers is going to damage business interests"

Why You Shouldn't Use Sticky Notes - "the glue used in these notes left behind a residue, even when the notes were immediately removed. The adhesive can attract dirt, make pages stick together, or smear text. Many brands of self-adhesive note paper also contains lignin, which causes instability and deterioration of paper. In addition to the damaging qualities of the paper, the adhesive contained on the paper hardens and leaves a film that becomes acidic. This results in eventual discoloration and brittleness of the paper"

Juli Jalaludin - In Islam, when you pose questions that they don't... - "In Islam, when you pose questions that they don't like and/or cannot answer, you automatically become an apostate, says one mufti (religious leader in official government position) in Malaysia."

Sex toy maker ordered to pay £3 MILLION for spying on customers through their smart vibrators

How to travel from one end of Japan to the other by train for less than 25 bucks - "Japan Railways, the largest train operator in Japan, offers something called the Seishun 18 Ticket package, which is a bundle of five tickets that each grant you unlimited use of unreserved seats on JR local and rapid (though not limited express) trains. While seishun is the Japanese word for “youth,” there’s no age restriction for the Seishun 18 ticket. What’s more, even though the Seishun 18 Ticket is sold as a set of five for 11,850 yen (US$107), they don’t have to all be used by the same person. As such, a single Seishun 18 Ticket works out to just 2,370 yen (US$21), and it turns out that’s enough to get you all the way from Tokyo, near the eastern edge of Japan, to Fukuoka Prefecture, located on the southwestern island of Kyushu"

Social interaction, food, scent or toys? A formal assessment of domestic pet and shelter cat (Felis silvestris catus) preferences - "social interaction with humans was the most-preferred stimulus category for the majority of cats, followed by food"

Starbucks CEO To Resign After Vow To Hire 10,000 Refugees Draws Boycotts - "The stock price, which had plunged 10 percent since Schultz's pledge on refugees, has bounced back nearly 5 percent in recent days."

Modern feminism is silent on the real issue of freedom for women - "If today’s feminists ran a hospital emergency department, they would be racing to fix an otherwise healthy middle-aged woman with a common cold over a young girl facing a life-threatening injury. Brave riders of feminism’s third-wave include pop stars such as Taylor Swift, who said recently: “I didn’t see myself as held back until I was a woman.” As Heather Wilhelm responded in The Federalist: “Held back from what?” Building a net worth of $US250 million? Today’s modern feminism is a corruption of what feminism should be. If feminism is not about freedom, what’s the point of it? If it’s not about freedom, it’s just a lobby group for pet grievances and low-rent political point-scoring. Gillard’s misogyny speech was crude politics from a prime minister on the ropes. When she became Australia’s first female prime minister, Gillard said she wasn’t interested in playing the victimhood gender card. Yet as soon as her leadership stocks dipped she did exactly that, making asinine claims of misogyny and sexism against then ­opposition leader Tony Abbott... Feminism has been corrupted by Western self-loathing and ­cultural infirmity. While hostages were being held at gunpoint by a terrorist in the Lindt cafe last December, high-profile Australian women rushed to join a feel-good hashtag campaign — #WISH — women in solidarity with hijabs. Instead of assuming Australians would default to Islamophobia, why didn’t these women show more concern for the hostages inside the cafe or have a more nuanced debate about the fact millions of women are forced to wear a veil as a medieval form of oppression?... Once the notion of human rights became untethered from classical notions of freedom, feminism was destined to do the same"

The Russia You’ll Never See On Postcards Through The Lens Of Photographer Alexander Petrosyan
This series incidentally is where the image used for the "Stop oppressing me" meme (of 2 women confidently walking by a male worker crouched on the ground peering into a manhole) comes from; it also has an alternate expression, I think something to do with patriarchy, but I can't find it

Why Belle Should Have Chosen Gaston

Blue Lives Matter flag deemed 'racist,' ordered to come down - "his daughter in St. Johns County has been flying the flag to honor him and many other family members who are law enforcement. "She called to ask why," Gaddie said. "They told her they had received a complaint that it was considered racist, offensive and anti-Black Lives Matter,” he said."

National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track - "The underrepresentation of women in academic science is typically attributed, both in scientific literature and in the media, to sexist hiring. Here we report five hiring experiments in which faculty evaluated hypothetical female and male applicants, using systematically varied profiles disguising identical scholarship, for assistant professorships in biology, engineering, economics, and psychology. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference. Comparing different lifestyles revealed that women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers and that men preferred mothers who took parental leaves to mothers who did not. Our findings, supported by real-world academic hiring data, suggest advantages for women launching academic science careers. "
This is what Male Privilege looks like

The Role of Alcohol and Substance Use in Risky Sexual Behavior Among Older Men Who Have Sex With Men: A Review and Critique of the Current Literature - "HIV incidence is increasing among men who have sex with men (MSM) despite years of prevention education and intervention efforts... older MSM are engaging in risky sexual behavior, with the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual activities increasing with the use of alcohol and other drugs"
It's okay, one can continue to blame discrimination and homophobia for bad MSM sexual health outcomes

Government Will Force UK Universities to Defend Free Speech - "Universities minister Jo Johnson reminded bosses that it is their “legal duty” to ensure free speech for “members, students, employees and visiting speakers”. A specific measure which would shut down no-platforming said that access to premises must never be “denied to any individual or body on any grounds connected with their beliefs or views, policy or objective”. It further added that all universities must have a code laying out how free speech will be observed in meetings, which should be vigorously enforced rather than left to “gather dust”. Heat Street has extensively documented the clampdown on free speech on British campuses. Student societies such as the anti-abortion Stratclyde Life Action were shut down for contravening “safe space” policies, while feminist Julie Bindel and Milo Yiannopoulos were banned from debating each other by Manchester University Students’ Union. An Iranian dissident was prevented from speaking by Warwick University Students’ Union because of her opposition to Shariah law, while the union at Queen Mary University of London sparked protests by banning tabloid newspapers. The anti-censorship website spiked compiled a free speech rankings, the most recent edition of which found that 94% of campuses censor free speech in some way, with 64% given a “red” ranking, the lowest possible rating."

Woman would go into debt travelling than buy Sydney home - "Ms Wehbe is not the only young Australian who values travelling over financial security. A new study revealed more than a third of 18 to 21-year-olds would go into debt to travel. The figure is even higher among 22 to 36-year-olds, with 39 per cent saying they would do so, according to the Contiki Youth Evolution Report 2017. Travel remains the top priority for young Aussies, with three out of four 18 to 21-year-olds saying they want to travel more."

FGM in Sweden: School where every single girl in one class underwent procedure exposed - "In the class where all of the girls had FGM performed on them, 28 were subjected to infibulation - the most extreme kind where the clitoris and labia are complete cut away, and the genitals are sewn to leave a small vaginal opening"

Qasim Rashid's Christian ISIS False Equivalences

Tosh I saw being shared:

White Supremacist Asks Muslim Lawyer Why There Is No 'Christian ISIS,' Gets Schooled.

Original tweet by Qasim Rashid: A white supremacist DM'd me claiming Islam is violent & taunted me to show "where's the Christian version of Isis?"

This was my response. (proceeds to post screenshots transcribed below)

Original message by "white supremacist": Ah gotcha thanks. Where's the Christian version of ISIS and every other religion then? Asking for a friend.

Reply by Qasim Rashid: —400 years of Trans Atlantic Slave Trade that maimed, raped, killed, kidnapped, and enslaved 20 million Africans "heathens" to bring them to Christ
—Genocide of Native Americans under the name of Christ as Manifest Destiny
—Genocide of Australian Aborigines that killed 90% of their population in less than a century, again by Christian Europeans
—Salem Witch Trials
—Spanish Inquisition
—Crusades
—The Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda that has maimed, raped, & killed up to 100,000 people according to the UN, during the past 15 years, which is far more destructive than ISIS, and they've done so to establish Biblical Law as a self-described Christian organization
—In Central Africa Republic Christian Militias have destroyed every single mosque and the UN reports that Muslims are facing ethnic cleansing, with reports that Christians are cannibalizing Muslims, literally
—In America white supremacists who are self-described Christian are the single largest terror threat to American security, that's according to the FBI and 392 police agencies in a study published last year
—George Bush, a devout Christian, said God told him to invade Iraq, where by some estimates 1 million civilians were killed due to this unjust war
—The KKK still exists
—Nazis still exist
—Aryan nations still exist

So before you question any Muslim about ISIS (which btw is the result of that Iraq bombing and not the result of the Qur'an) please check yourself. Pretty sure it was Jesus who said something about motes and beams and judge not lest ye be judged.


Evidently Qasim Rashid has bad grammar

When asked "Where's the Christian version of ISIS" (i.e. "Where is [it]", in other words it's a question in the present tense asking about the world today) he mostly resorts to pulling out things that happened before anyone alive today was ever born. Yet, even if we ignore the temporal disjunction of his examples, they are fatally flawed.

First off, he starts off by conflating things done by people who happened to be Christians with things done in the name of Christianity - say what you would about the transatlantic slave trade, but religion was not a primary motivating factor.

Then somehow deaths by disease caused by a lack of acquired immunity, which Europeans had built up over generations, are equated to genocide. If that's the case, if someone gives me the flu and I die, he should be convicted for murder. To say nothing of the utter misrepresentation of Manifest Destiny, which was about American exceptionalism and not religion.

And then we have the Salem Witch Trials. Which resulted in 20 executions and 5 deaths in prison. Considering that ISIS killed 55 people in a single day in April 2017, this is almost insulting. Not to mention how mass hysteria (even if religiously-tinged) is very different from an apocalyptic theocracy with brutal restrictions on daily life.

Naturally we have the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades. While the former is the closest of his false equivalences, I will note that its death toll is estimated at 135,000 at most - over 4 centuries. And as for the latter, we all know that the spread of Islam from being confined to the Arabian Peninsula in 632 AD to the Umayyad Caliphate stretching from Spain in the West to Iran in the East just 100 years later had nothing to do with war or violence at all. In Ross Douthat's words, this is "an exercise in historical amnesia where the actual necessities of medieval geopolitics get wiped out of Western memory in favor of blanket condemnation of anyone who took the cross".

The Lord's Resistance Army? As experts on the LRA note, "the LRA has no political program or ideology, at least none that the local population has heard or can understand" (Gersony, 1997) and "the LRA is not motivated by any identifiable political agenda, and its military strategy and tactics reflect this" (International Crisis Group, 2004). Again, this is very different from ISIS.

Central African Republic Christian militias? That simplifies a complex civil war for the sake of scoring cheap rhetorical points (hint: the Christian militias are not running around unchecked by domestic opponents like ISIS is). Don't take it from me: the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) notes that "The simplistic reduction of the conflict to the dichotomy of Islam versus Christianity... does not capture the true extent and complexity of the conflict". And while religion certainly plays a part in that conflict, I'll just note that I really doubt that rich foreigners are funding it, just like people in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others are giving ISIS money, which says something about how co-religionists outside that national context see it.

As for the white supremacists who are the largest terror threat to the USA, this seems to be a conflation of a 2014 START (Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) study which found that the Sovereign Citizen movement was law enforcement's top terrorist threat concern and a claim that white supremacists have killed more people than Islamic terrorists in the US since 9/11. Yet, as START notes, "Although most organizations group Sovereign Citizens with other right wing groups, they are quite unique. Sovereigns do not specifically share the “supremacist” views of the Klan, etc. Their focus is not on individuals (e.g., minorities, Jews, etc.) rather their focus is on government dysfunction and abuse of authority. Their anti-government ideology is arguably more akin to left wing anarchists than right wing Klansmen." Note what is not mentioned: Christianity. And the lower number of deaths attributed to Islamic Terrorism than right wingers is a result of creative accounting.

Of course the George Bush thing is just a puerile throwaway remark. For the record, he supposedly said "God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq". Not "God told me to convert all the non-Christians in Iraq to Christianity on pain of death". This of course ignores the fact that the Christian god presumably didn't tell everyone else the same thing (in contrast, it's quite assured that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not the only member of ISIS who feels driven by a religious mission).

And how can we finish a listing of Christianity's sins without mentioning the KKK, which today is a pale shadow of its former self (the Anti-Defamation League calls it "a collection of mostly small, disjointed groups with no predominant leadership or stability")? As one commenter on a site which approvingly shared this observed: "Without using your super google powers.. Tell me when the last time was that the KKK killed one person? Let alone 5. Or 15. Or 50." Not to mention how the Southern Poverty Law Center states that "in modern times Klan groups are motivated by a variety of theological and political ideologies [other than Christianity]"

Almost at the end, we come to Nazis. Assuming he doesn't follow a common liberal definition of Nazi as anyone who disagrees with you, there aren't Nazis anymore - the modern equivalent are called Neo-Nazis. While the original Nazis had some Christian influence and institutional collusion, historical Christian anti-Semitism is the only motivation we can blame (in part) on Christianity. And how many people have Neo Nazis killed compared to ISIS?

To end off, we have the "Aryan nations". At first I had no idea what they were or were supposed to be (I thought it was a jibe at Scandinavia). Now that I have read up I find out it's some small group that never did much harm and has since declined, making it even more insignificant than it ever was. So this is an even more silly point than the KKK.

What a silly response this was. While better than the usual anti-Semitism and conspiracy theorising, it's still an appalling and deliberate ideologically twisted misreading of history.

So, first take the plank out of your brother's eye, and then you can worry at leisure about your own trivial speck-induced ocular issues.

Links - 12th May 2017 (1)

Labour has produced a fantasy-land blueprint for a socialist Britain - "In addition, the manifesto contains a mish-mash of oddball policies that reinforce the sense of a party made up of a series of pressure groups all vying for attention rather than a vehicle for delivering a coherent programme for a 21st-century government. They include rights for gipsies to pursue a nomadic life, the imposition of “diversity” requirements on television, the creation of a network of public bus companies, targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, a prohibition on the third party sale of puppies and a review of smoking habits in the LBGT community. In addition, Labour would impose Government restraints on a free press, cut the voting age to 16 and abolish the House of Lords. Individually, some of these measures will no doubt be welcomed by the groups affected. But they are simply a gigantic wish list cobbled together from the policy ambitions of dozens of interested parties. Labour is advancing a programme that would leave the country penniless, defenceless and powerless in its literal sense – since they want to end fracking for new gas reserves and cleave to an almost nostalgic belief that central government control of the means of distribution makes it more efficient."

Comey sacking doesn't rise to Watergate levels - "Donald Trump's sacking of his FBI director, while highly unusual and deeply controversial, is constitutionally permissible. No court orders have been flouted. The president, while breaking with the norm of allowing FBI directors to serve out their 10-year terms unimpeded, is not putting himself above the law. Trump's motivations may also be different. Nixon sacked Cox through fear his criminality was about to exposed."

Kindergarten says pupils only acting in Israel-Palestine play with toy guns - "Tadika Hidayah Bestari, based in Bandar Sri Damansara, told local daily New Straits Times that the play was held in 2014 in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations (Mapim), that had raised funds for war victims in Palestine and Syria."

This 13-year-old tried to buy porn, lottery tickets, and a gun. Guess which one he got.

It's easier to get a gun than to get a puppy

Iowa grants gun permits to the blind - "blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities"

Guns Don't Deter Crime, Study Finds - "This study suggests that it's really hard to find evidence that where there are more guns, there are less crimes, but you can easily find evidence that where there are a lot more guns, there are a lot more gun crimes... Firearm ownership was not related to the number of stranger firearm homicides — cases where someone is killed by a stranger. But when more people owned guns, the nonstranger firearm homicide rate rose — cases where someone is killed by someone they know. "It wouldn't make sense to argue that people only go out to buy guns if the nonstranger homicide rate goes up, but not if the stranger homicide rate goes up," Siegel told Live Science. The data, he said, points to a picture in which confrontations between families, friends, bosses and acquaintances become lethal in the presence of guns... What's known? One, the presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide in that home. "That relationship we really know, no doubt about it," Hemenway said. Second, the research also confirms that more access to guns means more firearm homicides, Siegel added. Research on whether other weapons replace guns when guns are unavailable suggests that they do not: Overall homicide rates, not only gun homicides, creep up when guns are in the picture"

‘Hot lesbians’ ad bashing Saudi oil backfires on Canadian oilsands advocates - "“In Canada lesbians are considered hot! In Saudi Arabia if you’re a lesbian you die!”

Time for Singapore to say 'Yes' to nuclear - "Without radioactive emissions, we would all be dead. The human body is radioactive and much of our food is naturally radioactive. Many medical procedures are radiation-dependent. Exposure to radiation becomes hazardous when the subject receives more than 100,000 microsieverts a year for multiple years. To put this in perspective, the radiation recorded in Tokyo 10 days after the Fukushima accident was 0.125 microsievert an hour or 1,096 microsieverts a year. This level is below the threshold and safe... Natural gas supply can be threatened by political instability or blatant disregard by a party to an agreement to supply it. This would cause havoc to the economy. With water, Singapore has developed fallbacks should its main supplier abrogate a deal. We should be as resilient with natural gas."

Germany Runs Up Against the Limits of Renewables - MIT Technology Review - "At one point this month renewable energy sources briefly supplied close to 90 percent of the power on Germany’s electric grid. But that doesn’t mean the world’s fourth-largest economy is close to being run on zero-carbon electricity. In fact, Germany is giving the rest of the world a lesson in just how much can go wrong when you try to reduce carbon emissions solely by installing lots of wind and solar. After years of declines, Germany’s carbon emissions rose slightly in 2015, largely because the country produces much more electricity than it needs. That’s happening because even if there are times when renewables can supply nearly all of the electricity on the grid, the variability of those sources forces Germany to keep other power plants running. And in Germany, which is phasing out its nuclear plants, those other plants primarily burn dirty coal... Because fossil-fuel power plants cannot easily ramp down generation in response to excess supply on the grid, on sunny, windy days there is sometimes so much power in the system that the price goes negative—in other words, operators of large plants, most of which run on coal or natural gas, must pay commercial customers to consume electricity. That situation has also arisen recently in Texas and California (see “Texas and California Have Too Much Renewable Energy”) when the generation of solar power has maxed out."

Rare Earths and Other Chemicals Damaging the Environmental Value of Renewables

Tinder in one picture. : pics

The Behavioral Economics of Recycling - "People who know they are going to recycle after completing a task that generates waste use far more resources than they otherwise would have... the positive emotions associated with recycling can overpower the negative emotions, like guilt, associated with wasting. As a result, consumers feel comfortable using a larger amount of a resource when recycling is an option. Conserving resources in one domain may lead you to waste resources in another—in effect, giving yourself a pass because of your prior good behavior – a phenomenon known in social science as “moral licensing.”"

Can We Build A Clean & Smart Future On Toxic Rare Earths? - "Clearly, the “commercial viability” of all these mining companies would be questionable if environmental costs were to be factored in. Will this then translate in to higher prices for green and clean tech products, which in turn makes them less attractive and affordable? Will manufacturers then use less rare earths and so will their products become less efficient, lose performance?... Under the current pricing, it may not be economically feasible to develop new mines in countries with stringent environment standards and enforcement"

Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks - "According to Gavin Mudd, an environmental engineer at Australia’s Monash University, rare earths mining provides a wide range of economic and social benefits and can be exploited in a responsible way. However, he says no company — including Mitsubishi and Lynas — has managed to set a good example."

Teacher quits after primary school students threaten to behead her - "Students as young as in Year 5 are making the threats and pressuring peers into reading the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney's southwest, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Documents given to the newspaper reportedly reveal that at least three staff members have taken stress leave, received counselling and been paid compensation after bullying from Islamic students... she was abused by students when she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom. The woman also said she was pushed into a corner by several students who then began marching around her chanting the Koran. Many of the students also reportedly spoke of family members fighting in the war in Syria and pupils would walk out mid-way through a lesson to go and pray. The woman also reported an instance of bullying during which students would say to that the child being targeted had "betrayed his religion" by "not going to Muslim scripture". She said in an earlier incident a "group of boys had stood around a girl and called her horrible names like dog". News Corp reports that the woman said her complaints to the NSW Department of Education were simply dismissed... the principal of that school Chris Griffiths was fired for refusing to allow the department of education to run a counter-extremism program there to target students at risk of radicalisation."

Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies - "For a majority (69%) of traits, the observed twin correlations are consistent with a simple and parsimonious model where twin resemblance is solely due to additive genetic variation. The data are inconsistent with substantial influences from shared environment or non-additive genetic variation"

A longitudinal twin study on IQ, executive functioning, and attention problems during childhood and early adolescence. - "variation in all phenotypes was influenced by genetic factors. For IQ the heritability estimates increased from 30% at age 5, to 80% at age 12. For executive functioning performance genetic factors accounted for around 50% of the variance at both ages. Attention problems showed high heritabilities (above 60%) at both ages, for maternal and teacher ratings"

Shop 'til they drop: Singapore's shopping centres struggling to survive - "Official statistics put the median rental cost for a space on Orchard Road – Singapore’s famed shopping belt – at $6.88 (SGD9.82) per square-foot, or $4.30 (SGD6.14) per square-foot for a less-central location. But searches on real estate listing websites show that in this galaxy of shiny, mammoth-sized malls and opulent designer boutiques, asking prices can reach $11.22 (SGD16) per square-foot and beyond. And that’s not all: many mall operators also charge their tenants a commission, taking about 10% to 20% of their revenue every month. Such hefty expenses have forced smaller businesses to shift their strategies to e-commerce to avoid paying out more... restaurateur Keith McNally penned an opinion piece for the New York Times about the difference between opening a restaurant in Manhattan in the 1980s and opening one today. “One crucial change that’s hurt restaurants in Manhattan is the drastic rise in rents. During my first 30 years as a restaurateur, I expected to pay around 7% of my income on rent. Today, it’s at least 14%,” he wrote. It was a figure intended to shock – to drive home the point of how ludicrously tough it has become to run a restaurant in New York. The reaction among Singapore’s hospitality operators, however, went more along the lines of an eye-roll and a ‘we should be so lucky’. “It’s at the point where most F&B outlets [in Singapore] are looking at rent being 25% to 30% of their revenue. With staff costs and food costs, that leaves you with sliver-thin margins,” explained one of the country’s most successful chefs, Shen Tan."

Don't impose secular views on religious bodies - "The statements by the National Council of Churches of Singapore and the local Roman Catholic Church regarding the "gay moment" in the Disney movie, Beauty And The Beast, are quite clearly meant as advisories to the leaders of their respective congregations and the parents there (Disney's Beauty And The Beast given PG rating for 'mild violence'; March 15). But the statements were picked up and published by various media outlets. Not unexpectedly, a number of netizens took offence and attacked and ridiculed these statements without considering the context."
Somehow, many homophiles are claiming the NCCS statement directed at Christians is their imposing their views on everyone else, and a lot of them said the NCCS should STFU. Wut?

OPINION - Why Golda Meir was right - "It has been more than two and a half years since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told to Israeli President Shimon Peres’s face, “You (Jews) know well how to kill.” Prime Minister Erdoğan has also declared more than a few times that the main obstacle to peace in this part of the world is Israel, once calling the Jewish state “a festering boil in the Middle East that spreads hate and enmity.”... 11 million Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3 percent) died during the six years of Arab war against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent who perished were killed by fellow Muslims... Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, or rather the “Mother of Israel,” had a perfectly realistic point when she said that peace in the Middle East would only be possible “when Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”"

Tallying Right-Wing Terror vs. Jihad - Bloomberg View - "The most obvious thing to note is the choice of start date: Sept. 12, 2001. That neatly excludes an attack that would dwarf all those homegrown terror attacks by several orders of magnitude. Ah, you will say, but that was a one-time event. Sort of. It is no longer possible to destroy the World Trade Center, but we can't be certain to never again have a large-scale terror attack that kills many people. If you have high-magnitude but low-frequency events, then during most intervals you choose to study, other threats will seem larger -- but if you zoom out, the big, rare events will still kill more people. We don't say that California should stop worrying about earthquake-proofing its buildings, just because in most years bathtub drownings are a much larger threat to its citizens. The other thing to ask is how we're defining a terror event and classifying the motivation. I took a little stroll through the underlying data, and on the "jihadist violence" side, the definition is pretty clear: with the exception of one case in which a Muslim who seemed fond of jihadist propaganda beheaded a coworker for reasons that are not entirely clear, the rest of the attacks involved someone with an ideological commitment to radical Islam trying to kill a bunch of people in a way that made it clear that this was about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Counting the other types of extremist terrorism is a little murkier. Some of them are fairly obvious: When a white supremacist starts shooting people at a Sikh temple, I don't think we need to wonder too hard what his motives were. On the other hand, the data set The Times relies on also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who you may remember piloted a small plane into an IRS building in Austin. Stack left a manifesto behind, and it doesn't exactly read like an anarcho-capitalist treatise. Oh, he's mad at the government, all right, but he's mad about ... the 1986 revision to Section 1706 of the tax code, which governs the treatment of technical contractors"

What Gut Bacteria Do to the Human Brain - "the yogurt eaters reacted more calmly to the images than the control group. “The contrast was clear,” says Mayer. “This was not what we expected, that eating a yogurt twice a day for a few weeks would do something to your brain.” He thinks the bacteria in the yogurt changed the makeup of the subjects’ gut microbes, and that this led to the production of compounds that modified brain chemistry."

USA women's national team suffer 5-2 loss against male under-15 team
Damn patriarchy

Swedish soccer hooligans wear Muslim niqabs to get around newly imposed mask ban - The Washington Post - "Swedish government officials thought they had the perfect solution to curtail violent behavior by masked soccer fans — ban their face coverings. The new law, passed in January and enacted in March, was supposed to prevent extremist fans from “disguising all or part of their face so as to make it more difficult to be identified,” according to the bill’s language (via Sweden’s Local newspaper). To make sure the bill didn’t infringe on anyone’s religious rights, however, the law offers an exemption for “people who cover their face for religious reasons.” Well, it appears soccer is now a religion in Sweden."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Links - 11th May 2017 (2)

Families cause loved ones to suffer at end of life by 'begging doctors for treatments' - "Up to a third are given chemotherapy, dialysis, blood transfusions or CPR in their final weeks which is of no benefit and only serves to prolong suffering. Researchers say family members are unwilling to let loved ones go and pressurise doctors into performing 'heroic interventions.'"

How Ule is revolutionising small businesses in China - "In one month in 2015, Lou says, her website sold 800 pairs of shoes to this 1,000-person village. And that she credits entirely to her membership of Ule - the fast-growing commerce platform created by the postal service and a Hong Kong multibillionaire, which aims to transform a million village stores into the world's biggest real-time searchable retail database."

MIT has created a $250,000 award for disobedience

'Feminists Are Too Busy Picking First-World Fights To See What's Under Their Noses' - ""A public, tearful, apology, repentance and retraction, merely for dancing. Welcome to the United Kingdom in 2017. We may have just witnessed our first online religious fundamentalist inquisition. "Initiated, conducted, and concluded, all online. And the worst part of this? Is it happened a couple of days before International Women's Day, and you'd be forgiven for not having heard of it. "Not a single global, nor national, feminist movement adopted this as a cause. Not a single mainstream, left wing nor liberal, media outlet reported on this. "And I am wondering whether feminists are too busy picking first world fights while neglecting the minorities within minority communities. Like women within Muslim communities, who face a triple threat, who are discriminated from three different directions"

How Beats Tricks You Into Thinking It Makes a Premium Product - "the headphones are so cheap that Beats actually needs to add weight to make them feel heftier"

Teachers who avoid touching children are guilty of child abuse, experts claim
It's abuse if you touch them - it's abuse if you don't

Chinese government warns of dangers of Korean dramas as Descendants Of The Sun hits 440m views in China - "the ministry offered examples of several extreme cases - a couple who divorced due to Korean dramas and a man who went through plastic surgeries to reclaim his wife's heart, who was smitten by the male protagonist of a Korean drama - to illustrate the "potential troubles" faced by those watching Korean dramas"

The Isolation of College Libertarians - The New York Times - "Leftists, in an effort to make campuses welcoming — ostensibly, for everyone — end up frequently silencing conservative and libertarian students. They paint any argument that isn’t progressive as immoral, so conservative students can find themselves branded as such. Needless to say, this can be socially isolating. Animosity toward campus conservatives and libertarians was a common topic among students at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend in Washington. Many of us who attended are outliers on our liberal campuses, and there was a general feeling of excitement and relief to be among like-minded peers. One discussion, about how to deal with protests against conservative speakers visiting campus, became a bonding session for those of us who have found that we can’t bring up controversial topics without being told we are fomenting hate or invalidating someone else’s existence. One student remarked that it was harder for him to be openly conservative on campus than it was to tell his peers he was gay... a growing tendency to reject conservative ideas as oppressive is taking a toll on learning. Sometimes it is subtle. For example, when I argued that a $15 minimum wage might hurt some workers by pricing them out of the labor market, a fellow student accused me of a lack of empathy for the poor. There was no attempt to grapple with the data I presented on academic terms... because I invited Mr. Yiannopoulos, a professor said publicly that other students at Bucknell should “impose a steep and lasting price” on me and my peers. We were singled out as “racists and fascists,” and I returned to my dorm one evening to find “Tom is a fascist” written on the door. The Bucknell administration was silent."

Myth busting: Are synthetic pesticides, used with some GMOs, more dangerous than natural ones? - "we eat an estimated 1.5 grams of natural pesticides a day, “which is about 10,000 times more” than the amount of synthetic pesticide residues we consume. This amount would be significantly higher in vegetarians and vegans. As an example, the authors provide a list of 49 different pesticides found in cabbage alone. The concentrations of these pesticides are in parts per thousand or parts per million, whereas the amount of synthetic pesticides we find on our food are in the parts per billion range."

Govt's double standards a danger to society - "The government must realise that it is impossible for anyone to be accurate or true all the time. It is a standard which the authorities themselves are unable to fulfil. Thus, when it sets such a standard and then fails to live up to it, while castigating others for the same, it becomes a question of hypocrisy which erodes public trust."

The paper lantern of elite education in Singapore - "Once, the vice principal ordered all the students to the hall during assembly, and projected upon the screen statistics showing our air-conditioning bills. What followed was an hour of reprimanding and lecturing from the teachers, about how ungrateful, inconsiderate and selfish we were about the resources endowed upon us, and how unbecoming it was that the future leaders of Singapore were so wasteful of their resources. One year later, on the first day of school, we arrived to see the foyer decorated in a dazzling array of potted flowers, the school entrance fixed with a beautiful, flowing water feature complete with a koi pond, and absolutely no explanation from the school as to why we needed even more beautification than before."

India washing machine launched with 'curry' button - "The machine has five other cycles aimed at the Indian consumer, including one to remove traces of hair oil"

Marine Le Pen - "Many in the Muslim community do not trust her. Iman Mestaoui, a 25-year-old clothes designer of Moroccan parents, sees Marine Le Pen as merely a more presentable version of her father. “She's definitely a racist, but she hides it better. She hides the Islamophobia. She is totally scary,” she says. But this “just-scratch-beneath-the-surface” argument has its limits. If people insist over and again that they do not have a particular opinion, is it fair to judge them by saying that you think they do? In France they call that a procès d'intention - putting people on trial for views you tell them that they have. People who resent the allegation that they are racist are voting FN to thumb their noses at the establishment... “I concede that the FN label shocks some people. But since Briois came to power the only things that have changed are that the taxes have come down and the place is better run. There is no discrimination. The North Africans are still on their market stalls.”
Calling people racist when you have no evidence is like saying Jews are part of some international conspiracy (with no evidence)

Vending machines dispense short stories to bored French commuters

French hitchhiker 'goes berserk' in New Zealand after four days stuck without a lift

Almost 30 percent of French Muslims reject secular laws, new poll finds - "When asked if they considered the Islamic legal and moral code of sharia to be more important than the French Republic’s laws, 29 percent of respondents answered “yes.” The poll found that 20 percent of male Muslim respondents and 28 percent of female Muslim respondents were in favour of the face veil, the niqab, and of the burqa which covers both face and body... The Ifop poll contradicted previous estimates which said Muslims made up to 10 percent of France’s population of some 65 million. It said Muslims represented 5.6 percent of the country’s citizens aged 15 and over and 10 percent of under 25s"
What do you do when more Muslim women than men favor veiling?

McDonald's Korea Kicks Out Kids For Ordering $250 Worth of French Fries

The French have some sauce to ban tomato ketchup - Telegraph - "In one of the more bizarre prohibitions of modern times, France has banned tomato ketchup from primary schools"

France's Jews Flee As Rioters Burn Paris Shops, Attack Synagogue | The Huffington Post - "France’s politicians and community leaders have criticised the “intolerable” violence against Paris’ Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars. It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city’s Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews”, as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as “little Jerusalem”."

America’s “middle class” shrinks, as many move into the upper middle class

What do you mean we need a new cooker? We only got it in 1963 - "Manufacturers used to pride themselves­ on making things that lasted. It is the lack of will, not lack of know-how and technical skill, that has caused this rise in throwaway appliances. It is short-sighted environmentally, and it is short-changing consumers who seem to accept that their appliances will break as soon as the one or two-year warranty is over... “White goods built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s would often last 15 years or more, now it is more like six or seven,” he says. “Consumers have demanded cheaper and cheaper products, so the quality has declined. Until the mid-1980s washing machines were serviced like cars with annual or biannual checks. “Now manufacturers are creating products that cannot be repaired economically, or with sealed parts that cannot be repaired at all. They often sell products as ‘eco-friendly’, but if they can’t be fixed and have to be thrown out after a few years the damage to the environment is phenomenal.””

Money Trees - "Apparently in several wooded areas around the UK, passersby have been stopping for decades (if not centuries), meticulously hammering small denomination coins intro trees"

How Elmo Ruined Sesame Street - "Elmo stories, on the other hand, tend to affirm and celebrate the child’s perspective. Rarely, if ever, is Elmo’s innocence challenged, or is he forced to think about someone’s happiness other than his own. He spends most of his time hanging out with Zoe, Abby, Telly, and Baby Bear—Muppets who share his emotional maturity, and unlike Grover, Kermit, and Ernie, do nothing to push him. In fact, he is the de facto leader of his group—the dialogue lowers to Elmo’s level, rather than rising to an older character’s. And while this is cute and fun, it gets old fast, and it doesn’t really go anywhere. Elmo is learning about counting to four and different shapes, but he’s not learning a whole lot of life lessons."

Customers can pedal for a scoop at this bicycle-churned artisanal ice cream parlor - "if you'd like to pedal for ice cream, you can be in the Peddler's Club and sign up for a 15-20 minute session on the bike powering the churner (enough for a single batch to be made), receiving a free scoop for your efforts. It's not just a slow spin that's required, though, and riders should be prepared to keep up a 15 mph pace during the session."

Resident tracks woman offering sex services in condo, records 111 visitors in 3 weeks - "When I was working in a HR department, i saw letters where neighbor wrote in and complain that our staff is always seen at home and doesn't seem to be at work. Our investigation show that our staff actually took leaves and legitimate MC.
Oh yes, the neighbor have a log too.
A total waste of our time investigating."
"safety of the residents? Why???? You are talking as though those visiting the woman are supernatural mythical creatures out to eat any human they see"
"If she is so kaypoh over one thing, you can bet she's kaypoh about other things. The people I invite to my house, she also has to know? What time I come and go to work, she must write down? How do you know she isn't prying into other people's business?"
"why does a "condo resident" have access to CCTV footage? Aren't her neighbors concerned about the invasion of privacy? I mean, you have someone watching you and your kids coming in and out. Flip it around, that access could just as easily be abused for less well-intentioned purposes."

Get rich or die vlogging: The sad economics of internet fame - "Many famous social media stars are too visible to have “real” jobs, but too broke not to"

Why There's So Much Confusion Over Health and Nutrition - "By taking advantage of the public's desire for practical health information, so-called "experts" sell us everything from juicers to supplements, convincing us the whole time we'll live forever thanks to their advice. It shouldn't work, but it does... Selling health is only half of the job. The other half is undermining public trust in science-based medicine and traditional authorities (although they carry blame too—we'll get to that in a moment) so they can swoop in to the rescue... 'Even the person in charge of the first pyramid, Louise Light, wrote a book about how screwed up the process was by industry and differing interests. She said that the grain-based pyramid would cause obesity and diabetes, and it did. The people in charge told her that fruits and veggies are kind of interchangeable with grains, plus grains are cheaper for food stamps'...
'Researchers used to think that vitamins E and A may protect against disease if supplemented. Dozens of trials later, it turns out that both may slightly lower lifespan or cause a bit more disease. One reason is that nutrients work in concert — eating a healthy diet where the foods naturally have a variety of nutrients is probably a better idea than relying on supplements to save you from a crappy diet. Indeed, there are no "superfoods" or "supernutrients"...
'It's probably more important to eat a natural diet that has some of each nutrient in addition to some healthy plant and animal components that aren't classified as essential nutrients (these are good/great for optimal health, but not technically necessary to live).'"

In the face of contradictory evidence: report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee. - "Important aspects of these recommendations remain unproven, yet a dietary shift in this direction has already taken place even as overweight/obesity and diabetes have increased. Although appealing to an evidence-based methodology, the DGAC Report demonstrates several critical weaknesses, including use of an incomplete body of relevant science; inaccurately representing, interpreting, or summarizing the literature; and drawing conclusions and/or making recommendations that do not reflect the limitations or controversies in the science. An objective assessment of evidence in the DGAC Report does not suggest a conclusive proscription against low-carbohydrate diets. The DGAC Report does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that increases in whole grain and fiber and decreases in dietary saturated fat, salt, and animal protein will lead to positive health outcomes. Lack of supporting evidence limits the value of the proposed recommendations as guidance for consumers or as the basis for public health policy. It is time to reexamine how US dietary guidelines are created and ask whether the current process is still appropriate for our needs"

Who Is Chinese? Voices in Hong Kong and Taiwan Reveal Deep Cultural Divide - "“Hong Kong’s today is Taiwan’s tomorrow”... The gamble by Deng Xiaoping and his successors was that reunification would strengthen identification to China in the Hong Kong population, which in turn, would make the difference in economic and political systems harmless to national unity. Patriotism would defang autonomy. Instead, identification to Hong Kong as a specific entity has been gaining strength particularly among young generations educated under Chinese sovereignty. In a strange historical twist, decolonized Hong Kongers seem less attached to their Chinese identity than their colonized parents were. This sense of estrangement sometimes turns to outright hostility or contempt, fueled by what’s regarded as the negative influence of mainland China – from soaring real estate prices to pressures on the freedom of the press to the influx of mainlanders, whether they are tourists or illegal immigrants. In 2012, Hong Kong activists even bought a full-page ad in Apple Daily to denounce the invasion of “locusts”... many Hong Kongers and Taiwanese find China wanting compared to their former colonial overlords. This rhetoric strikes at the heart of Chinese nationalism by recalling the tropes of colonial times on Chinese backwardness... violent rhetoric suggests that the root of the problem might well be Chinese – for it is Chinese nationalists on both sides of the Taiwan Strait who made political loyalty a question of national identity, equating patriotism with obedience to an authoritarian regime"

Why Liberals Aren’t as Tolerant as They Think

Why Liberals Aren’t as Tolerant as They Think

"After the election, Sean McElwee, a policy analyst at the progressive group Demos Action, reported that Donald Trump had received his strongest support among Americans who felt that whites and Christians faced “a great deal” of discrimination. Spencer Greenberg, a mathematician who runs a website for improving decision-making, found that the biggest predictor of voting for Trump after party affiliation was the rejection of political correctness—Trump’s voters felt silenced...

Conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. But surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are...

When Mark Brandt, an American-trained psychologist now at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, first entered graduate school, he wondered why members of groups that espouse tolerance are so often intolerant. “I realized that there was a potential contradiction in the literature,” he told me. “On the one hand, liberals have a variety of personality traits and moral values that should protect them from expressing prejudice. On the other hand, people tend to express prejudice against people who do not share their values.” So, if you value open-mindedness, as liberals claim to do, and you see another group as prejudiced, might their perceived prejudice actually increase your prejudice against them?...

Not only are conservatives unfairly maligned as more prejudiced than liberals, but religious fundamentalists are to some degree unfairly maligned as more prejudiced than atheists, according to a paper Brandt and Daryl Van Tongeren published in January in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. To be sure, they found that people high in religious fundamentalism were more cold and dehumanizing toward people low in perceived fundamentalism (atheists, gay men and lesbians, liberals and feminists) than people low in fundamentalism were toward those high in perceived fundamentalism (Catholics, the Tea Party, conservatives and Christians). But this prejudice gap existed only if the strength of the perceiver’s religious belief was also very high. Otherwise, each end of the fundamentalist spectrum looked equally askance at each other. And while liberals and the nonreligious sometimes defend themselves as being intolerant of intolerance, they can’t claim this line as their own. In the study, bias on both ends was largely driven by seeing the opposing groups as limiting one’s personal freedom.

Other researchers have come forward with similar findings...

If liberalism and secularism don’t mute prejudice, you can guess what Brandt found about intelligence. In a study published last year in Social Psychological and Personality Science, he confirmed earlier findings linking low intelligence to prejudice, but showed it was only against particular groups. Low cognitive ability (as measured by a vocabulary test) correlated with bias against Hispanics, Asian Americans, atheists, gay men and lesbians, blacks, Muslims, illegal immigrants, liberals, whites, people on welfare and feminists. High cognitive ability correlated with bias against Christian fundamentalists, big business, Christians (in general), the Tea Party, the military, conservatives, Catholics, working-class people, rich people and middle-class people. But raw brainpower itself doesn’t seem to be the deciding factor in who we hate: When Brandt controlled for participants’ demographics and traditionalism (smart people were more supportive of “newer lifestyles” and less supportive of “traditional family ties”), intelligence didn’t correlate with overall levels of prejudice...

Conservative political views were correlated with coldness toward liberals, gays and lesbians, transgender people, feminists, atheists, people on welfare, illegal immigrants, blacks, scientists, Hispanics, labor unions, Buddhists, Muslims, hippies, hipsters, Democrats, goths, immigrants, lower-class people and nerds. Liberal political views, on the other hand, were correlated with coldness toward conservatives, Christian fundamentalists, rich people, the Tea Party, big business, Christians, Mormons, the military, Catholics, the police, men, whites, Republicans, religious people, Christians and upper-class people.

Brandt found that knowing only a target group’s perceived political orientation (are goths seen as liberal or conservative?), you can predict fairly accurately whether liberals or conservatives will express more prejudice toward them, and how much. Social status (is the group respected by society?) and choice of group membership (were they born that way?) mattered little. It appears that conflicting political values really are what drive liberal and conservative prejudice toward these groups. Feminists and fundamentalists differ in many ways, but, as far as political prejudice is concerned, only one way really matters.

In another recent paper, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Crawford, Brandt and colleagues also found that people were especially biased against those who held opposing social, versus economic, political ideologies—perhaps because cultural issues seem more visceral than those that involve spreadsheets.

None of this, of course, explains why liberals’ open-mindedness doesn’t better protect them against prejudice. One theory is that the effects of liberals’ unique traits and worldviews on prejudice are swamped by a simple fact of humanity: We like people similar to us. There’s a long line of research showing that we prefer members of our own group, even if the group is defined merely by randomly assigned shirt color...

Although openness to new experiences correlated with lower prejudice against a wide collection of 16 social groups, it actually increased prejudice against the most closed-minded groups in the bunch. Open-minded people felt colder than closed-minded people toward “conventional” groups such as evangelical Christians, Republicans and supporters of the traditional family. And, unsurprisingly, closed-minded people were more biased than open-minded people against “unconventional” groups such as atheists, Democrats, poor people, and gays and lesbians. Research consistently shows that liberals are more open than conservatives, but in many cases what matters is: Open to what?...

Education’s suppression of expressed prejudice suggests a culture of political correctness in which people don’t feel comfortable sharing their true feelings for fear of reprisal—just the kind of intolerance conservatives complain about...

“Nowadays, as the right sees it, the left has won the culture war and controls the media, the universities, Hollywood and the education of everyone’s children,” says Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist at New York University who studies politics and morality. “Many of them think that they are the victims, they are fighting back against powerful and oppressive forces, and their animosities are related to that worldview”...

Regardless of who has the more toxic intolerance, the fact remains that people have trouble getting along. What to do? “One of the most consistent ways to increase tolerance is contact with the other side and sharing the experience of working toward a goal,” Brandt says. He suggests starting with the person next door. “Everyone benefits from safe neighborhoods, a stimulating cultural environment and reliable snow removal,” he says. “If liberal and conservative neighbors can find ways to work together on the local level to improve their neighborhoods and communities, it might help to increase tolerance in other domains.” (If you can find a neighbor of the opposite party, that is.)"


This is good empirical evidence to throw at people who claim that racial resentment (i.e. racism) was the most important reason why Trump won (ignoring the fact that he got non-negligible minority support) and deny that political correctness was a factor.

Isn't proclaiming that you're tolerant and yet being intolerant being hypocritical, thus making your intolerance even worse? Hypocrisy thus adds on to the charges against liberals.

This is some evidence for feminists hating men and "anti-racists" hating white people (yet, conservatives aren't prejudiced against women - just feminists).

This makes for an interesting intersection with the Popper misquote that liberals like to trot out for justifying being intolerant of "intolerant" people.

This shows why post-Marxist identity politics is more powerful than Marxist class politics.

And this is why blocking people is a bad idea.

Links - 11th May 2017 (1)

FBI Interviews Donors For Alleged Bank Fraud By Jane Sanders - "Federal investigators are conducting interviews in Florida regarding accusations Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, defrauded a bank while serving as president of the now-defunct Burlington College."

Trump's call for human space exploration is hugely wasteful and pointless - LA Times - "Astronomers and other scientists long have been skeptical of the need for human exploration. In 2010, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees of Britain said, “The practical case gets weaker and weaker with every advance in robotics and miniaturization. It's hard to see any particular reason or purpose in going back to the moon or indeed sending people into space at all." As physicist Steven Weinberg observed more than a decade ago, placing humans on a space mission makes it so much more expensive than an unmanned flight that some elements of the mission get jettisoned — and those are almost always scientific projects. The public obviously considers the human participants to be indispensable, so much so that a loss of life can almost destroy a space program, as happened with the space shuttle program after two human catastrophes. Accordingly, protecting human lives and health becomes paramount; the cost of those arrangements will be much greater on a Mars flight, which is estimated to take as long as nine months. Weinberg makes short work of the best example made for the necessity of humans in spaceflight. This is the series of repair missions on the Hubble Space Telescope performed by shuttle crews, the last time in 2009. The Hubble is one of several orbiting observatories that have added immeasurably to our knowledge of distant space. But because it was launched by the shuttle, it was also uniquely expensive. Weinberg quotes Riccardo Giacconi, the former director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, as estimating that had the telescope been launched by unmanned rockets instead of the shuttle, seven Hubbles could have been launched for the same price as the one we got. “It would then not have been necessary to service the Hubble,” Weinberg writes; “when design flaws were discovered or parts wore out, we could just have sent up another Hubble.” What really underlies the lure of human space exploration is its romance and drama... Among the dangers of cavalier calls for publicly-funded human space exploration is that monumental Big Science programs like the space race tend to suck resources away from any science left on the outside looking in. A multitrillion-dollar program to put an American on Mars, endorsed by a president, will get first call on the federal budget, leaving programs aimed at disease cures, chemistry, and physics far behind. In the current political climate, the biggest threat is to Earth science, which is increasingly devoted to climate change"

Charlie's 'angels' rake in $600,000 for vice ring - "District Judge Joseph said "the scale of his business, the profits earned from the sexual services of the women, the sheer number of women involved, must clearly also attract a deterrent sentence". "These are offences that clearly cause feelings of outrage and revulsion to the community, and the sentence must adequately reflect that feeling," the judge added."
Presumably the community is not outraged and has no revulsion about the licensed pimps in Geylang

Transgender boy wins girls' wrestling championship in Texas - "Under Texas law, the state can issue a new birth certificate with an updated gender marker after the authorities receive a court order granting a request for a sex change"
Orwell is alive in Texas!

What's in your chicken sandwich? DNA test shows Subway sandwiches could contain just 50% chicken

Alpinist sentenced for shaking baby son to death - "Loretan, who was charged with negligent homicide a year ago, admitted to shaking his baby for a couple of seconds to stop him crying... "Everyone knows that you shouldn't hit a child, but not everyone is aware that shaking a baby - even for a few seconds - is far more dangerous and carries more long-term consequences," Lips told swissinfo."

Sorry, this president is way less ‘authoritarian’ than the last one - "The Trump administration just relinquished authority over gender-identity policy in the nation’s federally funded schools and colleges. In other words, Trump was less authoritarian than Obama. And that’s not the only case... This tweet, from Sonny Bunch, is perfect: “Donald Trump is such a terrifying fascist dictator that literally no one fears speaking out against him on literally any platform”... Liberals were blind to Obama’s authoritarian tendencies in part because they agreed with his goals and in part because their adherence to “living Constitution” theories made the separation of powers far more conditional and situational."

Censorship concerns as European Parliament introduces 'kill switch' to cut racist speeches - "MEPs granted the parliament's president authority to pull the plug on live broadcasts of parliamentary debate in cases of racist speech or acts and to purge offending video or audio material from the online system... "This undermines the reliability of the Parliament's archives at a moment where the suspicion of 'fake news' and manipulation threatens the credibility of the media and the politicians," said Tom Weingaertner, president of the Brussels-based International Press Association."
Freedom is Slavery

Uber's secret is out - it avoids certain customers - "Greyballed officials trying to use Uber would have rides cancelled and be shown fake versions of the app, complete with maps showing icons of ghost cars appearing to be on the move. Tactics used included identifying locations of government offices and making them off-limits with "geofences" erected in the mapping software. Ways of figuring out which users might be regulators or police included checking whether the credit cards used for the accounts were linked to governments or police credit unions. "Uber clearly lost its moral compass if it ever had one," entrepreneur and journalist John Battelle said in a Twitter post referring to the Greyball news. The Greyball disclosure comes as accusations of sexism, cut-throat management and a toxic work environment have Uber trying to pull its image out of a skid as competition revs up in the on-demand ride market."

For the purposes of tax law Marvel mutants are not human - "“Dolls” have are taxed at 12% whereas “toys” are taxed at 6.8%. The key difference, according to the law, is that dolls are defined as being representations of humans and only humans, while toys can covers just about everything else — including humanoid creatures."

RESISTANCE: Liberals Cry Tears of Joy After Quran Quoted At Oscars - "The “woke” moment was celebrated by so-called white “progressives” who failed to see the irony in praising a 7th century Islamic religious text."

WATCH: Anti-Trump Feminists in Germany Wear Hijabs, Shout 'Allah Akbar' - "On Saturday, hundreds of thousand of women protested President Donald Trump just hours after he was officially sworn into office because...they didn't vote for him and love abortion, or something. The protests spilled over into other Western nations, too, like Germany, where non-Muslim feminists wore hijabs and shouted "Allah Akbar.""

Peppa Pig pulled: China cracks down on foreign children's books - "A second source who is an editor at a state-owned publishing house said Communist party officials had complained that foreign storybooks had caused an intolerable “inflow of ideology” from the west. “[The government] has deliberately decided to constrain imported books and protect those written by Chinese authors,” the source added. On Friday, e-commerce giant Alibaba announced it would ban the sale of all foreign publications on Taobao, one of China’s most popular online shopping sites in order “to create a safe and secure online shopping environment to enhance consumer confidence and satisfaction”"

Raja Bomoh conducts beach ritual to 'protect' Malaysia from North Korea - "A 3 minute 18 second video of Ibrahim Mat Zin, who calls himself Raja Bomoh Sedunia Nujum VIP with the title of Datuk Mahaguru, conducting a ritual on a beach has gone viral. The video features Ibrahim and three assistants ankle-deep in water with two coconuts, a pair of sticks used as binoculars, five bamboo cannons, a carpet, and a bowl of seawater. Ibrahim, who is wearing a business suit, recites prayers throughout the ritual and then vehemently throws the coconuts into the water as it ends. A cameraman can be seen in the background recording the entire session. There is also a disclaimer in the video, saying that you are forbidden to conduct the ritual at home... Explaining that the bamboo cannon is symbolic, he said the ritual is not to provoke any party but is a cautionary measure to ensure that the conflict will be resolved soon."

Garfield’s a boy … right? How a cartoon cat’s gender identity launched a Wikipedia war. - The Washington Post - "Wikipedia had to put Garfield’s page on lockdown last week after a 60-hour editing war in which the character’s listed gender vacillated back and forth indeterminately like a cartoon version of Schrödinger’s cat: male one minute; not the next... Garfield’s gender swapped 20 times over 2½ days (during which his religion was briefly listed as Shiite Muslim for some reason) before an administrator was forced to step in"
SJWs strike again

Transgender boy’s mom sues hospital, saying he ‘went into spiral’ after staff called him a girl - The Washington Post - "Ehrensaft said that when people “misgender” them, it “pings” them, causing further damage. “Particularly if you already have a child in stress who’s feeling suicidal, you’re going to make them feel more suicidal if you don’t mirror back to them who they’re trying to tell you they are,” she said. “The core of their distress may be that ‘I’m trying to tell everybody who I am, and nobody’s listening.’ ” Not only is it psychologically damaging, Ehrensaft said, it’s also a form of discrimination."
If I tell an anorexic that she's a healthy weight, can I be sued?

'He Will Not Divide Us' Livestream Placed in the Middle of Nowhere, but 4chan Still Found a Way to Troll It - "4channers began looking into flight patterns. One of the few clues available on the stream were the contrails left by airplanes. Greenville was finally confirmed as the location after two planes observed on online flight radars intersected over the town and were seen on the stream. Finally when three planes flew over the area, 4channers were able to triangulate an approximate location of the flag. This area was too large to search unfortunately. The 4channers began looking to the stars, using ancient astronomy to help map the direction of the camera and pinpoint a more precise location."

Does Reza Aslan's 'Believer' Make Religion Relatable? - "Positing that all religions are essentially the same, as Aslan does, carries another risk: It makes one overly inclined to interpret faith in the light of this thesis. In an upcoming episode, Aslan explores the tension between Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews. Adhering to his formula, by the end of the episode, he has discovered an ostensible middle path: the Na Nachs, a group of Hasids who follow the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov... Having lived among both ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews in Israel, I know that the Na Nachs are a tiny minority who aren’t taken seriously by either camp. At best, they’re amusing; at worst, embarrassing. They’re tolerated because they’re viewed as harmless hippies, not as real agents of change—unlike the mainstream ultra-Orthodox, who are a powerful political force. Onscreen, Aslan’s apparent desire to fit the Na Nach into a preconceived template invests them with false importance, obscuring the truth. Believer’s best moments come when the template cracks. In the same episode, Aslan takes a drive through the heavily ultra-Orthodox city of Beit Shemesh with one of its few moderate religious inhabitants. When she describes the abuse she’s suffered at the hands of her ultra-Orthodox neighbors (she’s had stones, saliva, and shouts of “Whore!” hurled at her), Aslan exclaims, “I have to say, it sort of sounds like you’re describing Iran!” The woman views this as a facile comparison and rebuts it, saying, “No, it’s not Iran. I’m not afraid that someone’s going to arrest me in the middle of the night. The law is on my side, the courts are on my side.” To the show’s credit, it doesn’t edit this out: It lets the differences breathe. What results is nuance... dissimilarities are what make religion tick, for better and for worse. As the drivers of dispute and, often, of conflict, they’re arguably the more urgent aspect to tackle"

China congress: BBC team forced to sign confession - "While such violence can be part of the risk faced by foreign reporters in China, what happened next is more unusual. After we left the village, we were chased down and had our car surrounded by a group of about 20 thugs. They were then joined by some uniformed police officers and two officials from the local foreign affairs office, and under the threat of further violence, we were made to delete some of our footage and forced to sign the confession. It was a very one-sided negotiation, but it at least gave us a way out - a luxury denied to the petitioners who find themselves on the receiving end of similar intimidation and abuse... Even for those who do make it to Beijing, the threat of being caught remains. Outside the petitioning office this week, hundreds of "interceptors" have gathered, the squads of goons sent from each province to search out and cajole or coerce their petitioners to return home... the desperation of their own provincial governments to catch them gives those who make it to Beijing a certain leverage. Ignored all year round, often by the same officials they're petitioning against, they suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of offers to negotiate. One petitioner showed us the text message exchanges she has had with the interceptors trying to track her down, with one even offering to take her on holiday. Anything to get her out of Beijing."

Why It's Taking Jon M. Chu A While To Assemble The "Crazy Rich Asians" Cast - "“One of the biggest questions now is: Do we have to hire a Chinese to play a Chinese? Can you have a Korean play a Chinese? Can you have a Japanese play a Chinese? Can you have a mix?” Chu said. He admitted to consulting many friends and colleagues involved in Asian-American entertainment — his own private “brain trust” — for their thoughts on the matter. So far, he’s heard a range of opinions, though he thinks limiting his cast to solely those of Chinese descent would be “a ridiculous ask.”"
If "whitewashing" is problematic isn't having a Korean playing a Chinese problematic? Maybe the subtext is that Yellow People are all the same (which is even more racist than "whitewashing")

Hackers using Facebook quizzes to get your personal info

How the Design of Hotels Makes Housekeepers Invisible - "Today, one initiative found at many Starwood properties around the world that has an enormous impact on its workers (unbeknownst to most guests) is a program called Make a Green Choice. Starwood frames this as a “guest-facing sustainability program,” allowing customers to assuage anxieties about their carbon footprints by opting out of housekeeping for up to three nights in exchange for a limited number of Starpoints, which can be used for free hotel stays, or a $5 food voucher for each day that a guest waives housekeeping services. In 2011, I spoke with numerous Starwood housekeepers in Hawaii, where the hotel workers’ union successfully bargained to end the Make a Green Choice program earlier that year. These conversations indicated that this ostensibly progressive initiative had placed an onerous burden on staff. Devising a work schedule that had employees cleaning contiguous rooms became impossible with so many guests selecting the “green” option. This meant that a housekeeper who used to push her cart (carts can weigh a few hundred pounds, with ones that are fully loaded sometimes exceeding 500 pounds) down a single hallway to clean 15 adjacent rooms now had to move the cumbersome apparatus from floor to floor—or even from building to building, in the case of one hotel on the island of Kauai—in order to meet her daily quota of rooms. Moreover, housekeepers now had to clean sometimes-filthy rooms that had not been maintained by housekeeping for several days. Most significantly, with fewer hours of work per week, they lost pay in the wake of so many guests electing to Make a Green Choice."
Save the Earth. Screw Humans
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