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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Links - 4th October 2017 (2)

Feminist politician Barbro Sörman says 'Swedish men rape by choice, migrants rape by ignorance' - "Here we have a simple case of a woman trying to excuse rape by simply saying, ‘they do not know any better’. This type of logic is an extremely slippery slope once implied to other crimes."

Palestinians: Abbas "The Jew" - "Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is facing a barrage of criticism for attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. The fury directed towards Abbas comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with the unrelenting campaign of anti-Israel incitement that has been taking place for many years in Palestinian society. If attending the funeral of an Israeli leader, especially one who devoted the past two decades of his life to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, draws such condemnation, it is easy to imagine the result of a Palestinian leader making a peace overture to Israel."

A University Professor Speaks Out - "the only solution on social media is to delete comments - which Social Justice Warriors and Feminists have started to do. Because when you say, "All men are potential rapists," and you find out women rape, too; when you say, "Men do domestic violence," and you find out Lesbians have the highest rates of domestic violence, this is what happens. People started producing data and questioning the mainstream narrative. And the media started say: "Let's not have this anymore." That's where we are now. The people asking the questions have not stopped doing it and now we have the proverbial "emperor has no clothes."... What's happened since 1985–2015 has been the rise of Cultural Marxism to equal Economic Marxism and the result is what we colloquially call the "Oppression Olympics". They arose for a reason - not by accident...
MM: Moving on, as a professor and Person of Color how are you treated by your colleagues or students when you don't buy into the popular narrative?
P: I've been called a racist. I get called a racist by white undergraduate girls because I don't believe their definitions from Introductory Sociology 101... "Brown people can't be racist; Black people can't be racist - only white people can be racist." I say to them the most racist people I know are my kind and they call me a racist for that...
MM: This is a bigger problem and what irks me. Any criticism or questioning of the narrative and you are automatically "problematic". If you question structural oppression of minorities you're immediately a bigot, if you question the 3rd Wave Feminist narrative you must have some misogynistic motives. I read this article on www.everdayfeminism.com by one of the lead editors which pretty much made the claim that by trying to logically, rationally look at facts, statistics, etc., individuals were "undermining lived experiences of women," and "insulting their critical thinking skills."
P: I read that article. It's actually worth saving as a historical record - I'm serious about this. I have two children and I'm going to show it to them. As a case in point, www.everydayfeminism.com is a goldmine - a historical goldmine - that we didn't have for the Nazis or the KKK for how warped their thinking was. And this is part of my historical readings, - guess where racism came from? Academic Professors - Liberals. Yes, racism was the leading theory of academic liberals about 150 years ago - to help people... No one is the bad guy in their own narrative, and that's the larger point I wish to make. In the 20th century we got the idea that the good guys want to liberate people and the bad guys want to oppress people. No - everybody wants to liberate people but the question is who do you want to liberate and how? The Christian Crusaders wanted to liberate the Muslims from their Paganistic beliefs and have them go to heaven. It's all good intentions."

Western Fashion Is Shaping Air Conditioning Around the World - "A better understanding of how non-western clothing keeps people warm or cool could translate to energy savings: If a loose-fitting Indian outfit is cooler than a western men’s suit, buildings don’t need to be cooled to the same (very cold) western standard."

Oxytocin Enhances Spirituality, New Study Says - "In the study, men reported a greater sense of spirituality shortly after taking oxytocin and a week later. Participants who took oxytocin also experienced more positive emotions during meditation"

Please believe us – Stomping Grounds - "“Your sister looks Indian. But you look Eurasian.” She smiled. She was paying me a compliment, and it made me feel pretty. Mostly, I was happy she didn’t think I looked Indian... One of my classmates asked me one evening if I had a boyfriend. I told him that I didn’t. “Oh, good,” he replied. “I want to introduce you to my friend. I think you guys will hit it off. He’s Indian, too.” I was shocked into speechlessness that an adult in the 21st century would think of setting two people up based purely on their ethnicity. Mostly, I was upset he thought I was Indian."
Apparently Indians themselves don't prize fairness. And there aren't a significant number of Indian families who get upset when their kids date non-Indians, and assortative mating does not exist within races

Sacha Baron Cohen: FBI Was 'Compiling a File' During Borat - "“[The FBI] got so many complaints there was a terrorist traveling in an ice cream van,” the actor said. “So the FBI got so many complaints that they started compiling a little file on us and eventually they came to visit us at the hotel. I obviously went missing when I heard because [the film crew] were like, ‘FBI’s downstairs. Sacha, disappear.’”"

Attractive Women May Impact A Man’s Desire To Wear Condoms: The Hotter The Girl, The Less Likely He’ll Wear One - "men who considered themselves attractive also had a higher tendency to avoid condom use during sex. Perhaps more interesting was their finding that men were still unlikely to wear condoms even when they thought the woman was at a higher risk of STDs"

Cure for baldness could be possible after researchers find new clue in cells - "A series of mouse experiments showed how Tregs in the skin send out signals that stimulate hair follicle stem cells to regenerate and spark new hair growth."

Man Stuck Inside ATM Rescued After Slipping Customers Terrifying Notes

Labour's 2017 election campaign worst in almost 70 years at turning votes into seats, analysis finds - "Labour’s increase in vote share was largely a result of the party stockpiling support in seats it already held. That will come as a boost to opponents of Mr Corbyn who have argued that he is popular among traditional Labour voters but is unable to win over enough swing voters to deliver a parliamentary majority."

In 1990, more than 60% of people in East Asia were in extreme poverty. Now only 3.5% are.
The horrors of neo-liberal capitalism and globalisation

If Disney Princesses Were Historically Accurate - "Pocahontas would have been considered a woman in the tribe once she turned 13. The daughter of the Powhatan chief, she would’ve worn a deerskin wrap around her waist with only strands of white shell beads around her neck. In the winter, she may have worn a leather cloak around her shoulders to keep warm. When unmarried, Powhatan women wore their hair in one long braid; women would cut their hair short after marriage. High-status Powhatan women like Pocahontas tattooed their faces and bodies with abstract patterns, sometimes of plants and animals. The ink was made of mashed roots, berries, and oils. Pocahontas most likely had face tattoos!"

Percentage of Europeans Who Are Willing To Fight A War For Their Country - "Europe is the continent with the fewest people willing to fight a war for their country. Globally, an average of 61% of respondents in 64 countries said they would. Morocco (94%), Fiji (94%), Pakistan (89%), Vietnam (89%) and Bangladesh (86%) had the highest percentage willing to fight. The country with the fewest people willing to go to war was Japan, with just 11% of respondents saying they would fight"

The Poorest Americans Often State the Least Support for Wealth Redistrubtion - "over the years, black Americans have become slightly less supportive of redistributive efforts while white Americans have become slightly more supportive. The number of black Americans who say that getting ahead is based on luck has decreased, while those saying that success is largely tied to hard work has increased. “Blacks view the economic system as becoming increasingly fair and are decreasingly supportive of government targeted aid based on race,” the authors write. And they say that this shift in views accounts for about 45 percent of the decreased support for wealth redistribution among the group.
Is it racist to say blacks have false consciousness?

Cultural differences: Within Singapore’s Indian community, a clash between the old and the new - "the Tamil hegemony that defines Indianness in Singapore may be threatened... “For long Indianness in Singapore was strongly defined by Tamilness,” said Rajesh Rai, a historian at the National University of Singapore. “Today Dravidian consciousness has to negotiate, even struggle, with alternative notions of Indianness.” Perceived cultural differences are exacerbated by socio-economic inequalities. The new Indian migrant is often professionally qualified and in well paying jobs in IT, and banking and finance. “The extent of income inequality amongst the Indian community is the highest as compared to other major ethnic communities such as the Chinese and the Malay,” said Rai. Norms of behaviour are often a problem. The expatriate Indian is often perceived as pushy and aggressive and coming in with a strong sense of entitlement."
If racism = power + prejudice who is more of a victim - rich Indian Indians or poor Singaporean Tamil Indians with official state recognition?

This Futuristic Water Bottle Is an Edible, Gelatinous Blob - "Though they might raise eyebrows, the globs have a honorable and pressing purpose: to battle the worldwide epidemic of plastic pollution"

Singapore Study Finds No Significant Relationship Between Access to Green Space and Well-Being - "neither access to nor use of Singapore’s green spaces had a significant impact on the respondents’ well-being. The most significant influence on well-being, in fact, was the underlying emotional stability and personality of the respondent. Stable, extraverted people tend to feel happier—and this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with nature. These results fly in the face of numerous studies extolling the benefits of green space on human health... Singaporeans may derive less enjoyment from the outdoors than their European counterparts—simply because it’s so damn hot outside."

Why Some People Find Crowded Cities Relaxing—And Others Don’t - "neurotic people found “high-anxiety” situations to be more calming for their minds"

Why not fund the welfare state with a 100% inheritance tax?
Naturally this appears in the Guardian
Comments: "Inheritance tax is the most punitive and irrational of all taxes. The implications of inheritance tax are (1) I am permitted to squander my estate, but not give it to my children; (2) my children are not permitted to inherit my money, but total strangers are. As if we needed reminding, the thievery and parasitism of the envious left leaves them mired in the most hopeless absurdity."
"This article provides an example of why so many hate the left. Under leftism, someone who has been careful with their money, and spends their whole life sacrificing and working hard for the sake of their children must be punished and others, many of whom have been indolent, should have the right to that hard earned wealth."
"People don't work to create wealth for no reason. They do it because they think they will get to spend it and pass it on. Take away that motivation and there are significant social and economic downsides"


China's forcing its citizens to install a Big Brother app or go to jail - "The app, known as Jinwang, is said to monitor files on your phone and “automatically detect terrorist and illegal religious videos, images, e-books and electronic documents.” If it finds any such content (by matching the files’ MD5 digital signatures with those in a database), users will be prompted to delete them. It’ll also grab your Weibo and WeChat records, SIM card info and Wifi login data and relay them to a government server."

Rahman: Fans walk out of A.R. Rahman's concert in UK because he did not sing enough Hindi songs - "fans started leaving the concert after Rahman started singing Tamil songs."
Racists!

A Marxist Education In 'Hypersensitivity' As A Cause Of Violence On American Campuses - "39.6 percent of the 449 colleges and universities it analyzed “maintain policies that seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of students.” (As alarming as this statistic is, censorship on campus has become so bad that this latest percentage of 39.6 actually represents an improvement over the recent past.)... "Hypersensitive people, who often think their pride is being assaulted, are potentially dangerous.” He goes on to explain how “hypersensitivity to insults also makes it possible to understand what might otherwise appear to be senseless violence. . . . Many violent people believe that their actions were justified by the offensive acts of the person who became their victim.”"

Finland's Miss Helsinki suffers racism and 'ugly' row after winning - "Fans of the competition felt that Sephora should not have been able to enter as she was not born in Finland while others felt she was not beautiful enough. Hundreds, who felt she lack the good looks to win, took to social media to voice their opinions. One Facebook user wrote: "Political correctness won. She's damn ugly and not even from Finland.""
She probably wouldn't have won Miss Nigeria, so...

Finland: Bus driver who refused Somali to board without a ticket gets fired from job, received threats from another Somali driver…… - "According to the employer, Simanov engaged in describing immigrant young people without tickets in an “inappropriate and racist behavior”."

Study: Density and Public Transit Access Might Be Good for Your Mental Health - "good accessibility to public transport, as well as a dense urban structure (versus sprawl), could contribute to reduced risk of depression, especially for women and elderly, by increasing opportunities to move around and have an active social life."

Calibri, Nawaz Sharif and Fontgate: How a Microsoft Typeset Could Bring down the Pakistani Government - "A report stated that she had disclosed her ties to the British Virgin Island's firm in 2006 in a statement written in Calibri font. But Microsoft only made the font publicly available in 2007, leading to speculation that the documents could have been forged."

ISIS jihadis trying to flee terror zone in make-up and dresses CAPTURED - "The Jihadi had powdered his face, applied obscene amounts of purple eyeshadow with thick black eyeliner, plucked and heavily filled in his bushy eyebrows, drawn on some beauty spots and finished the look with painted on red lips. He was also wearing a headscarf to try and make his outfit look more authentic. But the fanatic had overlooked one crucial part of his look - he had forgotten shave off his beard and moustache which - an immediate giveaway that he was not a real woman."

Australia: land of eccentric election candidates - "The key to understanding Australian politics is that voting is both compulsory and preferential (or “Alternative Vote” as the UK knows it). This means that in order to win elections, candidates have to appeal to people who don’t care about politics and also to people who plan to vote for someone else anyway. The result is two major parties who, despite some genuine ideological divisions, basically disagree within a fairly narrow band. Unthreatening centrism and a “don’t scare the horses” mentality is the order of the day."
There're many advantages to first past the post after all

Communism and Violence

"The civil war, like other such conflicts, was marked by terror and cruelty on all sides. Bolshevik terror was not, however, simply a response to White terror. It was an essential part, for Lenin, of the dictalorship of the proletariat stage. During this period, as Trotsky later recalled, Lenin stressed the inevitability of terror ‘at every suitable opportunity‘. As early as 1901 he had denied that he rejected terror on principle, seeing it as ‘useful and even indispensible in certain moments of battle‘. The battle, in the sense of class as well as civil war, had arrived. Both he and Trotsky defended their view that terror against class enemies was an essential part of the dictatorship of the proletariat against protests from leading European socialists in 1918 and 1919. To Kautsky, Lenin defended his concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat as ‘rule based directly on force and unrestrained by any laws. . . rule won and maintained by the use of violence against the bourgeoisie’. Thus terror was not just a reaction to civil war, or the undeniable White atrocities, but an essential part of creating the new society. As Lenin said, ‘When we are reproached with cruelty we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism."

Terror was, obviously, to be used against the old exploiting classes. In December 1917 Lenin wrote to Antonov—Ovseenko in Kharkov commending ‘the arrest of the sabotaging millionaires and advise that they be sent for six months to forced labour in the mines’. But it was also to be used against non- Bolshevik socialists who were defined as accomplices to the bourgeoisie. This attitude is most clearly expressed in two articles, written as early as January 1918, but not published at the time. Called, respectively, Fright at the Fall of the Old and the Fight for the New and How to Organize Competition, they urged ‘the most intense, the most acute class struggle’ if socialism was to be built. The dictatorship of the proletariat was here defined as

a state of simmering war, a state of military measures of struggle against the enemies of the proletariat power.,. systematic application of coercion to an entire class (the bourgeoisie) and its accomplices... ‘the lackeys of the money bags, the lickspittles of the exploiters — messieurs the bourgeois intellectuals . . . the rich, the crooks, the idlers and hooligans.

In language which echoed earlier pro-monarchist and anti-semitic . Black Hundred pamphlets of 1905, and which perhaps explains why publication was delayed, he called for Russia to be ‘cleansed’ of ‘all sorts of harmful insects, of crookfleas, of bedbugs — the rich and so on and so forth’. Calling for socialist competition in the organization of labour and distribution among work units, he went on to remind his readers that ‘he who does not work neither shall he eat, and recommended a variety of punishments to be applied at street level; from imprisonment to forced labour, to cleaning out latrines, to ‘one out of every ten idlers will be shot on the spot‘. The equaling of socialist opposition with that of the bourgeoisie, seeing it as ‘actually impeding our struggle, actually assisting the White Guards’, made any criticism of Bolshevik policies treasonable, and ruled out, for Lenin if not for all Bolsheviks, Cooperation with them against the While armies....

Not only other socialists but workers and peasants, if idle, non-cooperative or ‘hooligan’, also became ‘enemies of the people‘. This could apply to striking workers or to peasants who resisted grain requisitioning, or soldiers. who, if labelled cowards or depraved elements, should be expelled from the army or, if they resist, 'rubbed off the face of the earth‘. On 11 August 1918 during peasant resistance in Penza he gave orders to ‘hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers’, and added that all their grain should be seized and hostages taken... By 1920 he objected to opposition within the party on the grounds that ‘whoever brings about even the slightest weakening of the iron discipline of the party of the proletariat is actually aiding the bourgeoisie." In April 1918 he was complaining that ‘our government is excessively mild, very often it resembles jelly more than iron‘, and he criticised the Paris Commune for its failure to act with sufficient determination against class enemies... [he] called on his subordinates to follow ‘the model of the French Revolution‘.

The Cheka was established with Lenin's full support and was in practice responsible only to him, becoming a state within the state. It had nothing to do with law, abolished as bourgeois, or the new Soviet courts which were being set up. and the Left SR, I. N. Steinherg, the first Commissar for Justice, was in constant conflict with it. As Dzerhinsky's deputy advised, a Chekist should not look for evidence of guilt, but to the class origin, education and profession of the accused. ‘It is these questions that determine the fate of the accused. In this lies the significance and essence of the Red Terror.‘ In these circumstances the abolition of the death penalty by the Second Congress of Soviets was unacceptable and Lenin declared that only a ‘hypocrite' could fail to restore it. It was restored in June 1918 but in practice had been in use before. The historian of the Cheka has estimated the number of deaths directly attributable to it by February 1922 as 280,000, and other estimates talk of half a million deaths in Lenin's lifetime."

--- Lenin / Beryl Williams


There're significant echoes in Post-Marxist movements.

Links - 4th October 2017 (1)

Naked female scientist tries to tame beluga whales in the arctic - "marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits... The average human could die if left in sub-zero temperature sea water for just five minutes. However, Natalia is a yoga expert and used meditation techniques to hold her breath and stay under water for an incredible ten minutes and 40 seconds."

Pictured: Orthodox Jewish man covers himself in PLASTIC BAG during flight - "It was believed the man is a Kohein, a religious descendant of the priests of ancient Israel, who are banned from flying over cemeteries."

Koreans See Japan More Negatively Than Other Nations - "Almost all the Thai respondents, or 94.1 percent, think favorably of Japan, as do 76.3 percent of French respondents, 74.3 percent of Americans and 65.9 percent of Britons. But fewer than one in three Korean respondents (29.5 percent) have a positive perception of Japan. Results from China were unavailable since the designated polling firm there refused to ask that particular question. Asked to mention the name of a Japanese person they know, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first choice for Koreans, Chinese and Thais. But the differences became noticeable when it came to their second choices. Chinese and Thai respondents chose singer Momoe Yamaguchi and idol and adult film star Sora Aoi... even Chinese are not as preoccupied with Japan’s ugly history as Koreans."

EDITORIAL : The myth of ‘leftover’ women - Taipei Times - "Women’s empowerment and gender equality awareness have allowed women to weigh their options more carefully and prompted men who have had trouble finding spouses at home to turn to foreign brides."
Their definition of "myth" seems to be "something I don't like and will not even attempt to disprove, instead just dismissing"

For those who now consider Itailian-Americans... - Anthony Petrosino - "For those who now consider Itailian-Americans "white"--understand it wasn't always so. The largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place in New Orleans in 1891 — and the victims were Italian-Americans. What was the reaction of our country's leaders to these lynchings? Teddy Roosevelt, not yet president, famously said it was "a rather good thing." The response in The New York Times on March 16, 1891 referred to the victims of the lynchings as "... sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins." An editorial the next day argued that: "Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans. ..." John Parker, who helped organize the lynch mob, later went on to be governor of Louisiana. In 1911, he said of Italians that they were "just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits, lawless, and treacherous.""
And yet, Italian Americans managed to overcome such huge barriers (not to mention the prejudice that still exists in some quarters today)...

25 English words that mean very different things in Britain and America

Vigilante mob attacks home of paediatrician - "Vigilantes have forced a doctor from her home after daubing her walls with anti-paedophile graffiti. Yvette Cloete, who works at Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, found her home daubed with the word "Paedo". Police said they believe vigilantes confused the words paediatrician and paedophile."

The PC revolution devours its own - "In the mid-20th century, conservative philosophers provided justifications for banning homosexual acts between consenting adults, which “harmed” no one. “Society is justified in taking the same steps to preserve its moral code as it does to preserve its government,” said the British judge Lord Devlin as he upheld the use of criminal punishments to regulate sexual expression. “The suppression of vice is as much the law’s business as the suppression of subversive activities.” By the late 20th century, it was the turn of the left to demand that the law suppressed vice, even when the vice did not provoke the harm of violence. As the authoritarian strain in the left – which is always there – became dominant, intellectuals rushed to justify their friends and allies’ belief that the giving of offence was a good enough reason to call the police. In the 1980s, the American legal philosopher Joel Feinberg attacked Mill by saying that offence was a harm, which we feel like a wound... academics promote philosophers far less rigorous than Feinberg. Jeremy Waldron, for instance, suggests speech which attacks the dignity of others should be banned. Rae Langton of Cambridge University puts the arguments of the anti-pornography campaigners of the 1980s into obscure – and therefore academically respectable – prose. Pornography silences women, she argues, not by actually silencing them, but by making their protestations harder to believe. None deals adequately with how the law should gauge the pain of offensive speech. You can say that, of course, words can hurt more than blows, But that does not mean that psychic wounds are the same as real wounds. If I deliver a blow, the broken bones can be seen; the damage measured. If I incite violence, the court can again measure the consequences... FEW CONTEMPORARY theorists grasp that people oppose censorship not because they respect the words of the speaker but because they fear the power of the censor... Philosophers raised in the enclosed world of the Anglo-American university never explain why the punishments they inflict on their enemies should not be inflicted on them... One correspondent wrote, “I would like to tweet about your murder you fucking parasite.” So much for the safety of those who seek to challenge “safe spaces”... Howard Fast, the author of Spartacus, described why he left the American Communist Party in 1956. Rather than fighting for equal rights for blacks, Communist commissars policed language. They were convinced that the smallest slip provided evidence of buried racism.
People were expelled from the Party for speaking of a ‘negro girl’ or of a ‘black night’, for both ‘girl’ and ‘black’ had become magical taboo words, the use of which indicated that a white person had deep well of racism within him. The particular horror mounted to a point where dozens of Communists I knew avoided I knew avoided the company of all negroes, so terrified were they of taboo words or actions that could lead to expulsion. Work among negroes collapsed completely...
Dogmatists prefer changing language to changing society. Then as now, there is a particular type of witch-finder, always prominent in the universities, left-wing parties and public sector bureaucracy, who delights in hunting down “inappropriate” language. They delight in it because censorship is so easy... they can get away with any cruelty as long as they observe modern manners... Censors never confine themselves to deserving targets. The record shows they aren’t snipers but machine gunners, who will hit anything that moves. Give them permission to shoot, and one day they will hit you."
One of the problems with the current fetish for promoting the harms of mental health is precisely this - it is hard to gauge and subjective

Why history matters to Singapore - "Lee found it increasingly difficult to exercise self-control in front of a microphone, and he developed a pattern of making outrageous and inflammatory speeches, which Toh Chin Chye later admitted were anti-Malay. Lim Kim San, years later, was asked in an interview whether they had asked Lee to tone down his speeches, and he replied:
“Oh yes! We did! But once he got onto the podium in front of the crowd, paah, everything would come out. Exactly what we told him not to say, he would say!”
So it in this context of Lee inflaming the racial situation that the 1964 “race” riots happened. Thus, if we simply call them “race” riots then we totally neglect the fact that the conditions for the riots were created by Lee Kuan Yew and inflamed by selfish, short-sighted, racist politicians, on both sides of the causeway, for their own personal ambition. And it is because of this whole situation that that Goh Keng Swee desperately opened secret negotiations with UMNO in mid-July 1965 to arrange separation. He wanted to avoid mutual destruction. And the final formula that both sides agreed on centred on the creation of a lie that would become the foundation of Singapore’s nation-building mythology: the myth that the Tunku expelled Singapore from Malaysia against its will. People today still repeat this myth even though Goh Keng Swee admitted the truth in 1996. Why did he admit the truth? I think it was because 1996 was the year National Education started. Goh felt compelled to finally reveal the truth to avoid the systemic perpetuation of a lie. In Singapore’s official history, the riots have been depicted as racially, not politically, motivated, because in the immediate aftermath of separation, the government needed to create a narrative which supported its actions throughout Malaysia... The race issue was so dangerous that after the 1964 riots, the government rushed to create Racial Harmony Day in… 1997. If racial tensions were such a big issue, why did it take the PAP 33 years to start Racial Harmony Day? Because 1996 was the beginning of National Education. The reason for the day is not race, but politics. Without this myth about the 1964 riots, we realise that Singapore has never had a riot caused primarily by racial antagonism or racial hatred."

Europe's Mass Migration: The Leaders vs. the Public - "Is Bill Gates a Nazi, racist, "Islamophobe" or fascist? As PG Wodehouse's most famous butler would have said, "The eventuality would appear to be a remote one". So far nobody in any position of influence has made such claims about the world's largest philanthropist. Possibly -- just possibly -- something is changing in Europe... The annual survey of EU citizens recently carried out by Project 28 found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found, for instance, that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU's handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been "poor". There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from this consensus. In countries such as Italy and Greece, which have been on the frontline of the crisis of recent years, that figure rockets up. In these countries, nine out of ten citizens think that the EU has handled the migrant crisis poorly... At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. Chancellor Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies. This was just one example of a much wider trend. Across the continent, any private or public figure who dared to warn that importing so many people in such a disorganised manner was the origin of a catastrophe found themselves impugned with the darkest imaginable motives."

Life As An Ex-Fatty: Here’s Why It’s Still Hard - "The one thing I really loved about being fat was being able to eat anything I want without hesitation at any time!"

Swedish Libraries Removing Pippi Longstocking Children's Book Because of 'Racist' Content - "The new edition of the children’s book doesn’t feature the phrase “king of the Negroes” or “Negro King”, which was used in the original in reference to Pippi’s father. The new book substitutes the phrase with “king of the South Seas” or “South Sea king.”"

Fake news in The Guardian - "Maclean doesn’t just get this quotation wrong—she edits it so that it says exactly the opposite of what Buchanan actually wrote. This isn’t an aberration. It’s not a sloppy mistake in an otherwise well-researched book. This is Maclean’s modus operandi"

AI Is Inventing Languages Humans Can’t Understand. Should We Stop It?

You are not Spider-Man - "Spider-Man gives us a constant excuse for our own behavior, or the behavior of those who let us down, through the hyperbole of his struggles. He’s hurting, the people around him are hurting, but at least the real work he’s doing makes him a hero to the people whose literal lives he’s saving. He’s a mess in his personal life because he’s so good in his public life"

Feminists treat men badly and it's bad for feminism - "a lot of feminist rhetoric today does cross the line from attacks on sexism into attacks on men, with a strong focus on personal behaviour: the way they talk, the way they approach relationships, even the way they sit on public transport. Male faults are stated as sweeping condemnations; objecting to such generalisations is taken as a sign of complicity. Meanwhile, similar indictments of women would be considered grossly misogynistic. This gender antagonism does nothing to advance the unfinished business of equality. If anything, the fixation on men behaving badly is a distraction from more fundamental issues, such as changes in the workplace to promote work-life balance. What's more, male-bashing not only sours many men - and quite a few women – on feminism. It often drives them into Internet subcultures where critiques of feminism mix with hostility towards women... in the 1970s with the rise of radical feminism. This movement, with its slogan, "The personal is political," brought a wave of female anger at men's collective and individual transgressions. Authors such as Andrea Dworkin and Marilyn French depicted ordinary men as patriarchy's brutal foot soldiers... Sitting with legs apart may be a guy thing, but there is plenty of visual documentation of women hogging extra space on public transport with purses, shopping bags and feet on seats. As for "mansplaining," these days it seems to mean little more than a man making an argument a woman dislikes. Slate correspondent Dahlia Lithwick has admitted using the term to "dismiss anything said by men" in debates about Hillary Clinton. And the day after Clinton claimed the Democratic presidential nomination, political analyst David Axelrod was slammed as a "mansplainer" on Twitter for his observation that it's a measure of our country's "great progress" that "many younger women find the nomination of a woman unremarkable"... Feminist commentary routinely puts the nastiest possible spin on male behaviour and motives. Consider the backlash against the concept of the "friend zone", or being relegated to "friends-only" status when seeking a romantic relationship – usually, though not exclusively, in reference to men being "friend zoned" by women. Since the term has a clear negative connotation, feminist critics say it reflects the assumption that a man is owed sex as a reward for treating a woman well. Yet it's at least as likely that, as Australian-born feminist writer Rachel Hills argued in a rare dissent in The Atlantic, the lament of the "friend zoned" is about "loneliness and romantic frustration," not sexual entitlement. Things have got to a point where casual low-level male-bashing is a constant white noise in the hip progressive online media"

Gender Language Differences: Women Get Interrupted More - "“When speaking with a female, participants interrupted more and used more dependent clauses than when speaking with a male,” they wrote. Over the course of each three-minute conversation, women, on average, interrupted men just once, but interrupted other women 2.8 times. Men interrupted their male conversation partner twice, on average, and interrupted the woman 2.6 times."
This was referenced in the link above as: "The study that is cited as evidence of excessive male interruption of women actually found that the most frequent interrupting is female-on-female ("femterrupting"?)"

Having more sex than peers makes us happy - "sex apparently is like income: people are generally happy when they keep pace with the Joneses and they're even happier if they get a bit more."

What Descriptors Are Men And Women More Likely to Use on OKCupid? - "Men, by placing a profession at the forefront of their appeals, are seemingly responding to the expectation that they can contribute financially to a relationship, while women elect to highlight their looks and femininity"

Kanye West Thinks He Is Discriminated Against For Not Being Gay - "Kanye West said he faced discrimination in the fashion industry because he is not gay"

College Admissions Mania: Does It Matter Where You Go to School? - "These economists are not telling you that you can get straight Cs in high school and magically improve your life just by mailing an application to Princeton. It means, rather, that actually getting into Princeton isn't as critical as being the type of person who could get into Princeton. (They did find, however, that for low-income students, more-prestigious schools yielded higher earnings, which is another issue entirely.)"

Shops in strata-titled malls pull out all the stops to avoid closure - "The fading fortunes of Beauty World Centre — built in 1984 at a cost of S$45 million — is mirrored across the island: Strata-titled malls, where stallholders own the individual units, find themselves stuck in time and on the brink of oblivion... there are about 80 strata-titled malls in Singapore — many among them were household names in the past including Katong Shopping Centre, Queensway Shopping Centre, City Plaza and Golden Mile Complex, to name a few... The problems are strata-titled malls are well-documented: It is almost impossible to get individual owners to agree on issues ranging from collective sale to maintenance. Such malls have management councils made up of subsidiary proprietors to represent owners. Compared to institutions such as real estate investment trusts (Reits), management councils do not have strong profit incentive or the resources to keep the malls in tip-top condition. There is also a lack of vision and coordination in terms of promotional or marketing efforts. The end result? A hodge-podge of retailers, often selling similar goods and services, housed in rundown malls in need of a facelift... vacancy rates at strata-titled malls — which happen to include several of the oldest properties on the island — in the second quarter of the year reached about 10 per cent, compared to 7 per cent in malls managed by professionals."

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Links - 3rd October 2017 (2)

Women with hot husbands suffer bad self esteem - "That extra motivation to diet did not exist among women judged more attractive than their husbands. As for men, their motivation to diet was low regardless of their wives' attractiveness or their own... The study advanced existing research from Dr Meltzer's lab that found marriages tend to be more successful and satisfying when wives are more attractive than their husbands."

Tertiary students in S’pore not as tech-savvy as they think: Study - "Nearly 90 per cent of the Singaporean participants in the study, conducted between February and May, rated their skills from “fair” to “excellent”. However, the participants’ average competency standard — based on the results of their ICDL tests — stood at 55 per cent, which is “relatively low” than the global passing standard mark of 75 per cent, the study noted."

Thousands of minks die after being set free. - "Farm-raised minks aren’t really able to make it in the wild. Many of the minks died once released because of the heat. The ones that were recovered alive were haphazardly thrown into pens, which disrupted their social groupings and drove the minks to kill one another... “They are not interested in animal rights, they are interested in chaos.”"

Maria Popova Uses Huge Twitter Following to Try to Shame Breitling Into Removing Racy 'Bomb Girl' - "While it’s doubtful that Popova would ever buy a Breitling watch, her attempt to police a piece of art because it offended her personal taste as a feminist speaks to the level of entitlement common among the progressive left."

Voting for Jeremy Corbyn Isn’t Just Dumb. It’s Dangerous. | Foreign Policy - "Over a near 35-year career in the British House of Commons, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has never come across an anti-Western terrorist, political movement, or dictator he couldn’t defend... Though it is custom in parliamentary systems for a party leader to resign immediately after losing an election, Corbyn is not a customary political leader but a blinkered revolutionary: Now that he and his hard-left acolytes are firmly in control of the Labour Party, they are not about to give it up. Indeed, one of the most alarming aspects of Corbyn’s rise is the cast of fellow extremists he has brought with him"

Why the Rise of Corbyn's Labour Party Should Worry the West - "while he has insisted that former prime minister and fellow Labour Party member Tony Blair should stand trial for war crimes, he was part of a movement in parliament opposing the U.K.’s decision to strike against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic—an actual genocidaire— denying that the butcher of Belgrade attempted yet another round of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in 1999... Jewish members of parliament routinely receive death threats from self-described Corbyn supporters. One of them, Ruth Smeeth, a member of his own party, said she has saved more than 25,000 anti-Semitic emails from his partisans."

Sexual desire and relationship duration in young men and women. - "Sexual desire is often present at the beginning of a romantic relationship. However, research is divided regarding whether, and how, desire is experienced as a relationship progresses. The authors examined relationship duration and its effect on sexual desire in a sample of 170 undergraduate men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Hierarchical multiple regression results indicated that women's sexual desire was significantly and negatively predicted by relationship duration after controlling for age, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. Men's sexual desire, however, was not significantly affected by the duration of their romantic relationships. These findings suggest that men and women may have different experiences with sexual desire as relationships progress and that sexual desire might be affected by different factors depending on one's gender. Possible reasons for these results are suggested and therapeutic implications are discussed."
In other words, women in a relationship get less horny over time but not men

RAINN, the Anti-Sexual-Violence Organization, Rejects 'Rape Culture' Hysteria - ""Rape is as American as apple pie," says blogger Jessica Valenti. She and her sisters-in-arms describe our society as a “rape culture" where violence against women is so normal, it’s almost invisible... Activists at Wellesley recently demanded that administrators remove a statue of a sleepwalking man: The image of a nearly naked male could “trigger” memories of sexual assault for victims... RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is America’s largest and most influential anti-sexual-violence organization. It’s the leading voice for sexual-assault victim advocacy. Indeed, rape-culture activists routinely cite the authority of RAINN to make their case. But in RAINN’s recent recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, it repudiates the rhetoric of the anti–“rape culture” movement"... RAINN urges the White House to “remain focused on the true cause of the problem” and suggests a three-pronged approach for combating rape: empowering community members through bystander intervention education, using “risk-reduction messaging” to encourage students to increase their personal safety and promoting clearer education on “where the ‘consent line’ is.” It also asserts that we should treat rape like the serious crime it is by giving power to trained law enforcement rather than internal campus judicial boards. RAINN is especially critical of the idea that we need to focus on teaching men not to rape — the hallmark of rape-culture activism. Since rape exists because our culture condones and normalizes it, activists say, we can end the epidemic of sexual violence only by teaching boys not to rape. No one would deny that we should teach boys to respect women. But by and large, this is already happening. By the time men reach college, RAINN explains, “most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention messages, in one form or another.” The vast majority of men absorb these messages and view rape as the horrific crime that it is. So efforts to address rape need to focus on the very small portion of the population that “has proven itself immune to years of prevention messages.” They should not vilify the average guy. By blaming so-called rape culture, we implicate all men in a social atrocity, trivialize the experiences of survivors, and deflect blame from the rapists truly responsible for sexual violence. RAINN explains that the trend of focusing on rape culture "has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.""
Since RAINN engages in "victim blaming", feminists should villify it

Did ‘Mattress Girl’ Tell the Truth? Not Very Likely - "Sulkowicz’s account of her rape strains credulity to the extreme. Sulkowicz accuses Nungesser of an extremely brutal assault that should have left her visibly injured (with bruises not only on her face but on her neck and arms, unlikely to be covered by clothing in August and early September in New York) and in need of medical attention. Yet no one saw anything amiss after this attack, and both Nungesser and Sulkowicz went on to chat and banter on Facebook as if nothing happened. Sulkowicz’s claim that she kept up a friendly act hoping to confront him about the rape seems extremely dubious, given the near-psychotic violence she alleges and the lack of any sign of unease or tension in their online conversations. (When I reread these archives recently, I checked the timestamps to see if there were any awkward pauses; there weren’t, not even when Nungesser asks Sulkowicz to bring more girls to his party and she replies, “I’ll be dere w da females soon.”)... Sulkowicz has demonstrable credibility problems"

Man Accused Of Raping 'Mattress Girl' Wins Lawsuit Against Columbia University - "Nungesser's recent lawsuit against Columbia claimed the university failed to protect him after the college investigation cleared him of rape allegations. He stated that because of Sulkowicz's art project, he faced discrimination and argued the university violated Title IX by allowing her to receive academic credit for a project that encouraged protest against a fellow student."

Michigan Marxist Restaurant Closes After Long Sandwich Waits - "The Garden Diner and Café—replete with wall murals of Che Guevara in a chef's apron and raised fists clutching asparagus sprigs—had eschewed tips in favor of paying its workers a living wage and scorned traditional management methods. And while its vegan, vegetarian and raw food fare was mostly a hit, Vice's Munchies reports, its unpredictable opening hours, slow service and 40-minute waits for a sandwich, strained customer patience... the Garden Diner and Café, which was called Bartertown Diner until September, had struggled to pay its workers or turn a profit. The restaurant's (now-defunct) Facebook page was flooded with complaints from patrons angry at its slow service. Patrons hungry for a sandwich would find the café shuttered at odd times, thanks to opening hours set by employee group decision... for others in Grand Rapids, the restaurant wasn't progressive enough. After sending a free meal to the local police department, some complained that it had sold out by cozying up to the city's "nearly all-white police force in this era of police violence.""
"They weren't really Marxist"

5 Differences Between Singapore Kopi & Espresso Which Make Lattes Cost So Much More - "Due to the nature of how espresso is made, there has to be a dedicated espresso machinery for the extraction of the coffee powder which not only takes up space, but costs thousands of dollars. An espresso machine will have a ‘pump’ which will deliver the intended 8 to 9 bars of high water pressure through the coffee powder. Kopitiam uncles and aunties will normally be seen wielding just a long snout pot and sock filled with coffee grinds to brew their coffee. A vast difference, eh? That’s why Starbucks’ frappuccino costs way more than a Kopi-peng."

Definition of a “Malay person” opens up a can of worms about Mendaki and apparent double standards - "When I was in school and asked Mendaki for financial assistance, they rejected me cos my father is Indian on IC. Told us to go to Sinda. Sinda told us to go back to Mendaki cos culturally, we are malays and my mum is malay. So no help. Then the moment i graduated and got a 'Dr' title, Mendaki had the nerve to call me up and told me it is my duty to contribute back to them. I told them to F off!! What a bunch of hypocrites! So the PAP will only consider one malay when it suits them. It is a rigged election anyway and PAP has lost all credibility imo"

Saturated Fats and CVD: AHA Convicts, We Say Acquit - "None of these reviews could find any evidence that saturated fats had an effect on cardiovascular mortality or total mortality. As quite a few of the authors state in their conclusions, the results clearly do not support the current national dietary guidelines which limit saturated fats to 10% of daily calories, or those by the AHA and American College of Cardiology, which further limit those fats to 5%-6% of calories for people with high cholesterol. What is striking about the latest AHA Presidential Advisory is that it's such an anomaly. It concludes that swapping saturated fats for vegetable oils will reduce the risk for cardiovascular events by about 30%—as much as a statin!... lowering total cholesterol didn't reduce mortality. In the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, in fact, researchers later discovered that the more the men were able to lower their cholesterol, the more likely they were to die from a heart attack. One possible explanation is that while it's true that saturated fats drive up LDL cholesterol a bit, they also raise HDL cholesterol, nullifying the effect on heart-disease risk. Another possibility is that LDL-C is less meaningful than we thought. One little-known reality is that trials lowering LDL-C by diet have failed to yield consistent cardiovascular benefit despite the apparent sustained benefits from LDL-C lowering that have been found in trials on drugs."

How Classic Cartoons Created a Culturally Literate Generation - "Beyond the aforementioned case of Mark Twain’s novel, these cartoons introduced children to stories such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde through the medium of Bugs Bunny. Key quotations and scenes from William Shakespeare’s works were the main theme in a Goofy Gophers cartoon known as A Ham in a Role. And Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha was placed front and center in a Walt Disney short called Little Hiawatha... neither schools, nor Saturday morning cartoons seem to be passing on the torch of cultural knowledge and literacy. Could such a scenario be one reason why we see an increased apathy and lack of substance in the current generation?"

New 'Dungeons & Dragons' site manages the rules so you can just play

Florida Student Wins Against College that Suspended Him For ‘Correcting’ Girlfriend’s Apology Letter - "A student at the University of Central Florida who was suspended for “cyberbullying” after he published an apology letter written by his girlfriend – complete with his own spelling and grammar corrections – has successfully appealed the decision."... Lutz tried to ensure that no personal information about his girlfriend was visible to lessen the chance of anybody tracking her down. Despite his efforts, she claimed she was “cyberbullied” as a result of his actions. After being rebuffed by the local police, she filed a grievance at the university where Lutz studies – despite not being a student at the University of Central Florida."

REVEALED: Tensions on Set of 'Black Panther' Because of Marvel's Unofficial Affirmative Action Policy - "“There was more tension on the set of Black Panther than on any Marvel movie I’ve worked on previously.” The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the antagonism arose from the Black Panther‘s personnel set-up. He said: “The Black Panther cast is predominantly African-American which of course suits the material. But in addition to the performers in the movie, Marvel and Disney also took the decision to ensure there were black staffers high up in every department of the Black Panther crew. “This affirmative action policy might be fine in theory but unfortunately in practice a certain level of stress existed between new members of the crew and some Marvel veterans."

Marvel's 'Jessica Jones' Tweets About 'Male Tears' in Failed Attempt to be Funny - "Some pointed out how mocking men for crying is hypocritical, especially since feminists often question why men have difficulty expressing their emotions. They usually blame “toxic masculinity” for stunted emotions, but do their best to perpetuate that toxicity."

Marvel Cancels Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Lives Matter Comic Due to Poor Sales - "No one is buying Marvel’s lineup of social justice-themed comics. It’s no surprise, given that few readers want politics to be forced down their throats. Thus liberal darling Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yona Harvey’s Black Panther & The Crew is getting the axe after poor sales, just two issues after its launch. Its cancellation comes just weeks after a Marvel VP revealed that comics with forced messages of “diversity” were responsible for the publisher’s sales slump... Gizmodo writer Charles Pulliam-Moore takes issue with Marvel’s business decision, to opine how the publisher was cancelling the only mainstream comic featuring a “majority-black” (a misnomer) cast of characters. Describing it as a “bad look” for Marvel, the writer says the publisher should have considered “more thoughtful approaches” instead of cancelling the underperforming title. Pulliam-Moore argues that the comic book industry “needs to change in order to sustain itself and cultivate new readers,” and insists that stories like The Crew “deserve to be told,” but offers no solution for “culturally relevant” comics that just don’t sell. Given Marvel’s failed forays into “culturally relevant” storytelling, it’s clear that any attempts to cultivate a new audience shouldn’t come at the cost of alienating existing readers. If there is any market at all for Black Panther & The Crew, it certainly isn’t with the social justice warriors who cry when their stories are canceled but refuse to spend any money on them."

New Study Shows What Really Happened in the 2016 Election - "Libertarians don’t exist.
Well, obviously, they exist — just not in any remotely large enough numbers to form a constituency. It’s not just hardcore libertarians who are absent. Even vaguely libertarian-ish voters are functionally nonexistent. The study breaks down voters into four quadrants, defined by both social and economic liberalism. But virtually everybody falls into three quadrants: socially liberal/economically liberal; socially conservative/economically conservative; and socially conservative/economically liberal. The fourth quadrant, socially liberal/economically conservative, is empty... the underrepresented cohort in American politics is the opposite of libertarians: people with right-wing social views who support big government on the economy... in 2008, Clinton had positioned herself as the candidate of the white working class and she dominated the white socially conservative wing of her party. But she lost that identity so thoroughly that she couldn’t even replicate the performance of a president who had become synonymous with elite social liberalism."

Britain’s ageing ice cream vans are belching out pollution - "The engines are kept running while the vans are parked to power their fridges, leaving queuing families to breathe in a pollutant that can trigger asthma attacks after just a few minutes’ exposure and is responsible for thousands of deaths each year."

Libertarians say the darndest things

On the Las Vegas mass shooting:

Melissa Chen - There is simply no other country on earth that...

Davin Chee: What happens when guns are banned is not merely "the bad guys get guns" -- what happens when guns are banned is that the government retains their right to have guns, and their citizens are left completely hapless against any form of tyranny.

Bans are not magic, and there's is no magic bullet to solve this problem.

Joshua Insel: Try using a gun against tanks and drones.

Me: There is no magic bullet, but fewer bullets sure will help


NRA: "We need more guns!"
"We need even more guns!"
"More guns!"
"Why does this keep happening?"

Davin Chee: Anyway, I'm afraid that many here are missing the point - I'm not advocating for MORE guns - who is?

I'm saying that citizens having the right to properly arm themselves (which may or may not result in more guns) would lead to better outcomes to all. It's the right to self-defense I'm concerned about, not the amount of guns per se.

Brenan Nierman: That is a stupid argument that, taken to its logical conclusion, would entitle every citizen to an atomic bomb or, at the very least, a tank.
What happened to Original Intent?
Then anyone who wanted a flintlock could have one.

Jackson Piper: No amount of American citizens possessing any arsenal of weapons is going to make the American public an effective fighting force in the event that the government becomes totalitarian. The idea that citizen militias could fend of the government is ludicrous, and has been for quite some time - in fact, despite the mythologizing of the militias in the American Revolution, it was the regular army and the aid provided by France that won the war for us, not Johnny Tremain.

Chris Tunstall: What is it with gun nuts and their paranoia about the government coming to get them?

Davin Chee: Brenan Nierman I'm of the opinion that any citizen should have the right to own an atomic bomb/tank assuming that it does not pose a threat to anyone else's property except theirs. Possessing a gun is one thing - possessing a gun and pointing it at your neighbour's house; that's another.

Besides, why the double standard? Why is government allowed to own weapons of mass destruction but private citizens aren't? Is the government somehow beyond the law?

Me: If I take $100 from your wallet and threaten to lock you in a room if you say no, it's extortion

If the government takes $100 from your wallet and threatens to lock you in a room if you say no, it's taxation

This is only a double standard to a libertarian

Brenan Nierman: I think we dealt with that back in high school when we studied what the role of government is.
It’s kind of different from a private citizen.

J Leighton Leach: You said that the Second is an anti-tyranny mechanism, which is inane.

Apart from insinuating that the engineers of the Constitution actually intentionally included a self-destruct button into their painstakingly crafted system of government, you've implied that a loose-knit, paunchy army of Jasons and Travises could remotely expect to outfight the United States Armed forces, or even their local SWATs, or even a flock of drones.

Davin Chee: Gabriel Seah I don't get what you're trying to say. Both are morally abhorrent.

Brenan Nierman Right, and they're different because of magic. I get it! :P Only private citizens have to be accountable to the law. Government, which sets these laws, doesn't have to be.

Zubin Madon: Govts have been toppled in many countries by mass movements without using automatic weapons. That's the silliest excuse to allow guns. Countries with strict gun control have minuscule amounts of gun-related deaths compared to the US. That's a very plain fact. It's amazing how gun nuts can't see that.

Brenan Nierman: When private citizens elect the government and give it certain powers, this is normally what one expects.
If a guy flying under the radar can do this with an automatic — which in your universe you’d think him perfectly fine in having one or seventeen — just think what he’d do with an atomic bomb!
And if he’s some religious nutcase who thinks his pathetic deity will reward him for killing all the Jews and infidels he can, hey! In your universe, that’s just too bad!
Politics and statecraft are about real people, grown up people, making decisions that are, often, compromises at best with the rigid ideologies that read so well in books.
I advise a deep immersion in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, THE REPUBLIC OF PLATO, Aristotle’s POLITICS, Locke’s SECOND TREATISE, Hobbes’s LEVIATHAN, Rousseau’s THE SOCIAL CONTRACT and the writings of Jefferson and Lincoln.
And then read Ayn Rand and see how she measures up against the big boys.
Here’s a clue: she doesn’t.

Links - 3rd October 2017 (1)

King Solomon's legendary fabulous wealth in hidden gold mines never existed, says historian - "Historians claim the Old Testament King’s story has been misinterpreted and King Solomon was in fact an Egyptian Pharaoh"

Journalists drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower level than average, according to a new study

CA Educator: Algebra Is a 'Civil Rights' Issue. Get Rid Of It. - "a chancellor of the California community college system argued that since it may be too difficult for students, algebra, the single most failed course in community colleges across the country, should be eliminated from their requirements"

Ex-Hwa Chong scholar bounces back from retrenchment and learns humility - "At 36 years old, he was already earning $20,000 a month as an expatriate in Hong Kong. But two years later, Eugene Seah was retrenched from his investor relations job with Nomura, a top Japanese bank, in 2014. His world came crashing down. Until his retrenchment, he was leading the high life... reality hit him hard when he realised he couldn’t pay his credit card bill one day. He had remained jobless for nine months despite intensive job search after his return to Singapore. “I cried a few times… how could this happen to me? I was so successful in my studies and CCAs. I was the HCJC students’ council President for goodness sake,” he recalled his ordeal."

Public Service Announcement: You Should Not Force Quit Apps on iOS - "Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background."

Teacher who allegedly took upskirt video of female commuter on train has "habit" of "leaving his handphone on the surface of his bag", says ex-colleague - "Ms Naidu, who knows Chua for five years, said he has a “habit” of “leaving his handphone on the surface of his bag at our home or when we are walking together in places where there are absolutely no people around.” “It’s a “habit” not a perverted purposeful act like what the Internet and viral video claims of him,” she said. She added that she has photos showing Chua “carrying the same bag and putting his stuff just on the surface of his bag”."

John Boyega criticises Game Of Thrones for having ‘no black people’ - "There are no black people in Game Of Thrones. You don’t see one black person in Lord Of The Rings. I ain’t paying money to always see one type of person on-screen
Some SJWs are saying that even though this was inspired by Medieval Europe, since you have dragons (i.e. it's a fictional universe) you should have black people. But then why do we expect a fictional universe to have the same racial diversity as a 21st century developed country on Earth?
They should have a perfect world with peace and happy people and no winter in Game of Thrones because it's fiction so you can write anything you like
Game of Thrones should have cast Jon Snow as a black guy. Then everyone would have known he wasn't Ned's son
I guess Grey Worm, Missandrei, Salladhor Saan, Xaro Xhoan Daxos etc don't count
Comment somewhere: "I'm willing to bet if the Lannisters were a black family there will be a different set of complaints about how black people are portrayed"


Duskirises Cinnacom & Rosslynpaladin Throwtime Throwtime I'm About to Have a Fun Afternoon So My Trainer's Bf Cheated on Her She Broke Up With Him He's Holding Her Stuff Hostage Until She Agrees to Talk With Him Which She Refuses - "I love this whole story"
I saw many many people cheering this (especially shared as A Thrilling Tale (That Font Is Terrible!) | WannaLOL, but basically they broke into his home, stole stuff and messed up his things. I hope he called the police.
If the genders had been reversed people would be doxxing him and sending him death threats.


He Said, She Said - "I have spent more than three decades collecting and analyzing thousands of examples of how women and men interact and have found that men's talk tends to focus on hierarchy—competition for relative power—whereas women's tends to focus on connection—relative closeness or distance. In other words, a man and woman might walk away from the same conversation asking different questions: he might wonder, “Did that conversation put me in a one-up or one-down position?” whereas she might wonder, “Did it bring us closer or push us farther apart?”... Parents tell me that recognizing these as gender-related patterns in their children helps them deal with otherwise baffling behavior... The contrasting focus on connection versus hierarchy also sheds light on innumerable adult conversations—and frustrations. Say a woman tells another about a personal problem and hears in response, “I know how you feel” or “the same thing happens to me.” The resulting “troubles talk” reinforces the connection between them. (Indeed, some women feel they have to dig up problems to tell friends to maintain intimacy.) Because this is not a conversational ritual he is used to, a man may well misread her conversational gambit as a request for help solving the problem. The result is mutual frustration: she blames him for telling her what to do and failing to provide the expected comfort, whereas he thinks he did exactly what she requested and cannot fathom why she would keep talking about a problem if she does not want to do anything about it. Similar scenarios play out at work, where mutual misinterpretations may have career-altering consequences... Which takes us back to the woman and man in the car who have different assumptions about asking directions. From her point of view, asking directions means making a fleeting connection to a stranger and getting where you are going without losing anything. From his perspective, he would be putting himself in a one-down position to a stranger—an uncomfortable experience. He might even believe the effort is counterproductive because a stranger who does not know the way will be similarly motivated by a reluctance to appear one-down and send them on a wild-goose chase. For both reasons, it makes sense to avoid this discomfort and spend 10 minutes—or 20 or 30—finding the way on his own."

Democracy or Republic? - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world - "Thus we have been transformed into a democracy. The most dangerous and insidious effect of majority rule is that it confers an aura of legitimacy, decency, and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical. Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and could actually be opposites. If we have become a democracy, I guarantee you that the Founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. They intended, and laid out the ground rules for, a limited republican form of government that saw the protections of personal liberties as its primary function."
It's quite funny how some Americans (who always seem to come from the Right Wing) have contempt for Democracy and proclaim that luckily the US is a Republic. For some reason they conflate Democracy and Mob Rule

An Overreaction to Food Allergies - "a diagnosis of allergies comes with a high price: a few years ago Ruchi S. Gupta, a pediatric allergist affiliated with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, estimated the annual cost of food allergy at nearly $25 billion, or roughly $4,184 per child, with some of that attributed to medical costs but even more to a decline in parents' work productivity. There is a mental health price as well: children who believe they have a food allergy tend to report higher levels of stress and anxiety, as do their parents"

A Student Felt ‘Traumatized’ Because His Professors Did Not Silence Everyone He Disagreed With - "Fisher went on to accuse one of his professors of "perpetuating these systems of oppression in class." Why? The professor showed images of plantation slaves, and also permitted other students to "say ignorant comments." Fisher evidently told the professor that this wasn't OK—the professor had an obligation to silence other students in order to protect Fisher from mental anguish. The professor tried to console Fisher, but to no avail. As a result, Fisher stopped going to class. "I stopped going to his class for a month," he wrote. "With different emotions going through my head from not only this class but from the Trump election, I did not want to step foot into another white space until I made sure that my mental health was restored." Readers might find it incredible that a college student could remain a college student even after he stopped attending class for a month because he was offended by some of his peers. But the professor's flexibility wasn't sufficient for Fisher. "It is not enough that you gave your black students extensions on their papers because Trump got elected," he wrote. Nothing is enough, it seems..The College Fix reached out to Fisher for comment, asking him to elaborate on how he felt. Fisher evidently bristled at the suggestion that the answer wasn't obvious. "I get that you're always searching for us [minority students] to get the answer," he told The College Fix, "when all you have to really do is just shut up and listen." That's a frustrating non-answer: The College Fix was listening. People like me who read Fisher's column were listening. But no useful answer came. This of course makes it harder to take complaints bout marginalization and emotional trauma seriously. When students claim victim status, it often comes across like this is the goal in and of itself, rather than the means to some end."

From peanuts to shellfish... Why are so many adults suddenly getting allergies? - "animal studies have shown that regular exposure to such bacteria can reverse eczema, for instance. 'There are also trials running with various parasitic worms as treatments for allergies, because these are also involved in regulating the immune system,' explains Professor Rook. 'Again, these have been progressively depleted from humans in rich countries.' High use of antibiotics in children may also increase the risk of allergy later in life... A lack of vitamin D as a result of our paranoia about skin cancer could be to blame"

No need to be draconian over allergen sensitivity - "Peanuts are a common allergen in Western populations, including those born to Asian parents residing in the West. But the sensitivity to them is far rarer in Asians born and bred in the East. Asians are more likely to be allergic to seafood, fruits like apples, peaches, kiwis and strawberries, honey, chocolate, perfumes and a whole plethora of natural foods... those allowed on planes and, indeed, on any long-distance public transportation modes, should be unwashed, unperfumed and unshod. They also should not be served any food, if one is to be logical and draconian about allergen sensitivity... Many doctors do not see a single case of anaphylaxis during the entire tenure of their practice."

Justin Bieber banned from China in order to 'purify' nation - "Bieber joins fellow music acts including Oasis and Lady Gaga in being banned from touring in the country for being "unsuitable"."

Germany: Infectious Diseases Spreading as Migrants Settle In - "A new report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government's central institution for monitoring and preventing diseases, confirms an across-the-board increase in disease since 2015, when Germany took in an unprecedented number of migrants."

Is it real or Photoshop? People are bad at spotting fake photos - "even when participants correctly said that a photo was fake, they had trouble pointing out exactly what they thought was wrong with the image"

Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings - "Intelligence is a core construct in differential psychology and behavioural genetics, and should be so in cognitive neuroscience. It is one of the best predictors of important life outcomes such as education, occupation, mental and physical health and illness, and mortality. Intelligence is one of the most heritable behavioural traits. Here, we highlight five genetic findings that are special to intelligence differences and that have important implications for its genetic architecture and for gene-hunting expeditions. (i) The heritability of intelligence increases from about 20% in infancy to perhaps 80% in later adulthood. (ii) Intelligence captures genetic effects on diverse cognitive and learning abilities, which correlate phenotypically about 0.30 on average but correlate genetically about 0.60 or higher. (iii) Assortative mating is greater for intelligence (spouse correlations ~0.40) than for other behavioural traits such as personality and psychopathology (~0.10) or physical traits such as height and weight (~0.20). Assortative mating pumps additive genetic variance into the population every generation, contributing to the high narrow heritability (additive genetic variance) of intelligence. (iv) Unlike psychiatric disorders, intelligence is normally distributed with a positive end of exceptional performance that is a model for ‘positive genetics'. (v) Intelligence is associated with education and social class and broadens the causal perspectives on how these three inter-correlated variables contribute to social mobility, and health, illness and mortality differences. These five findings arose primarily from twin studies. They are being confirmed by the first new quantitative genetic technique in a century—Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis (GCTA)—which estimates genetic influence using genome-wide genotypes in large samples of unrelated individuals. Comparing GCTA results to the results of twin studies reveals important insights into the genetic architecture of intelligence that are relevant to attempts to narrow the ‘missing heritability' gap."
In other words, much of what many people believe about intelligence (that it mostly/totally depends on nurture, not nature, that it doesn't predict outcomes etc) is wrong

Corrigendum to “RF fingerprint measurements for the identification of devices in wireless communication networks based on feature reduction and subspace transformation” [Measurement 58 (2014) 468–475] - "The Prof. JM Górriz and Prof. J. Ramírez regret to have missed to add the below note in their article
Note: Prof. Juan M. Górriz and Prof. Javier Ramírez do not share this view about using research outcomes as a protest against any democratic government.
The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused."
In originl paper: "This work has been carried out despite the economical
difficulties of the authors’ country. The authors want to overall remark the clear contribution of the Spanish Government in destroying the R&D horizon of Spain and the future of a complete generation."


Allergies and food intolerances on flights – how do airlines react? - "A ban on food allergens isn’t the solution, says Holly Shaw, a nurse adviser at the charity Allergy UK, as it “creates a complacent society where people assume they are safe. Flying with an allergy is all about individual risk assessment, taking responsibility for your own safety and communicating with airlines at all stages.”"

some final thoughts on Oxley - "If Singapore ever faces a serious corruption problem at the top, we now know there are many Singaporeans who won’t bother. A corrupt leader may simply be able to waltz off with the family jewels. Think about it. The prime minister’s own siblings had accused him of abuse of power. Instead of simply being curious about the incident, never mind calling for an investigation, many Singaporeans shot the messengers—please don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Worse, there were suggestions that Singaporeans shouldn’t talk about this because it damages our country’s reputation. People were more concerned about face than abuse of power. Let’s just sweep everything under the carpet, now. That’s the mature way to deal with problems... Sarojini Naidu, a poet and political activist, once joked that it cost India a fortune to keep Gandhi in poverty. She was referring to, among other things, the fact that while he travelled in third-class in his homespun dhotis, lots of money had to be spent on buying up tickets to clear up the cabin and ensure his security... In almost every aspect of this case, from the ministerial committee, to the narrative that the government has tried to sell (“LKY did actually contemplate something else”), one observes a leadership unsure how to balance these competing impulses, forced on the back foot by accusations that LKY would have easily dealt with. All this is despite the fact that since GE2015 the government has become more centralised and repressive, according to most observers, journalists and civil society folk."

Crocodile returns with body of a dead man it killed - after it was summoned by a WITCH DOCTOR - "He added there was a local myth that anyone bathing with clothes on in the river would be fine - but bathing naked would result in a crocodile attack"

Punk rock vs the PC police - "Punk music and its performers have historically dissented from orthodoxies, often causing offence in the process. Basing itself on anti-authoritarianism, punk sought to react against hegemonic structures and to strike out for freedom and autonomy. It wasn’t just a sound, it was an attitude. But today its progressive, dangerous essence has all but vanished. It has become the latest target of the PC crackdown on artistic freedom"
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