"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Links - 24th January 2018 (1)

COMMENT: Singapore presidency with an asterisk and a government that was blindsided - "Many Malays have questioned the very basis of this election. In the first place, they didn’t feel the need to have a Malay President and even if they felt the need they would have preferred one who contested on equal terms, not on a preferential basis. By putting such a high bar — experience of managing a company with $500 million shareholder equity in the last three years for private-sector candidates — the government must have known that getting qualified Malays to contest would have been an impossible task. Even if there were individuals who would have qualified, not many would have wanted to fight the government’s unofficial candidate. PM Lee said confidently when he was asked if there were Malays who would qualify, “There are qualified Malays, there are qualified Singaporeans.” Today those words are being ridiculed. Worse, there was so much scrutiny on the Malayness of the three contestants that forced many Malays to ask themselves whether there was a true-blue Malay among themselves. This debate is something PM and his team had never expected and it shows how the government had been totally blindsided by an electorate that would chuck the official narrative aside and let their counter narrative prevail. The implications are huge as the government’s control of its message will be muddied and muddled by a population that will use social media to press their points of view. If there is one political lesson to be learnt by the government from this badly-thought-out exercise it is this: Don’t take Singaporeans for granted."
PAP supporters were bashing Kirsten Han's article(s) on this. I wonder if they can dismiss P N Balji as easily

PE2017: Salleh Marican's three bugbears about the PE - "“I identify myself as a person belonging to the Malay community. I was raised with Malay cultural values and tradition… I often watch Malay Suria channel. At home my family and I enjoy home cooked Malay food prepared by my wife,” he had written in his response to the Malay Community sub-committee. “To me, it’s quite funny ah,” he said, with a short laugh. He wondered if he should write his answers in Malay, but decided to do so in the working language, English. He wasn’t sure, he said, if all six members of the Malay community sub-committee could read Malay. Then he went to a Commissioner of Oaths to make a statutory declaration on the truth of his words... the principal activities of Second Chance were “those of an investment holding company, retailing of garments, holding of property as investment for rental income, investing in equities, and trading in bonds and equities”. This was why “the committee was unable to satisfy itself” that Mr Salleh’s ability and experience was comparable to that of the “experience and ability of a person who had served as a chief executive of a typical company of at least S$500 million shareholder equity”... Mr Salleh was convinced that he would clear the PEC because a founder of a start-up should not be assessed in the same way as an executive parachuted into a big, successful company. He had also been heartened by a statement made by Law and Home Affairs minister K Shanmugam at The Straits Times roundtable on the elected presidency in September last year. Mr Shanmugam had said: “If you can persuade the PEC that you have this kind of qualities and you have run a smaller company but your company made all these sorts of advances and changes and it’s demonstrative of your ability, if you can persuade the PEC that you have comparable experience, then you can still succeed.” As far as he could tell, the number of Malays who could have automatically qualified under the private sector rules was “zero”. There were a couple who came close, said Mr Salleh, but they either did not hold the job for at least the requisite three years or were helming companies with volatile profitability records. “If let’s say I or Farid doesn’t go in… the non-Malay communities will have that (perception) that this community cannot even come up with one candidate,” he said... People supported his move, until former Parliament Speaker Madam Halimah Yacob threw in her tudung. That was when he found some of his supporters looking the other way, worried that any association with him would bring problems to themselves or their organisations. However non-partisan the Presidential Election was going to be, some people, especially members of the Establishment, evidently did not see it that way, turning down his request for references, testimonials or to have their names down as assentors on Nomination Day."

Commentary: Why Did Malay Candidates Who Qualified Refused To Challenge Halimah Yacob? – Rilek1Corner.com - "there were high profile business persons who automatically qualified like Bank Of Singapore CEO Bahren Shaari and the CEO of PT Trans Retail Shafie Shamsuddin. Why did they not stand up and be counted for our Malay community and stop this farce of an election walkover?"

Florida looting crackdown is 'white supremacy,' claims author Sarah Jaffe - ""They have prisons, crime, and private property in Nigeria too," one user wrote. "And Egypt. And India. Nothing to do with white supremacy. Poverty/inequality." "So you'd be ok with someone breaking into your house and stealing all your stuff to avoid a 'carceral state'?" another asked. Someone replying to Jaffe said, "You're saying non-whites can't help but steal, so they shouldn't be punished? Seriously? Keep your racist opinions to yourself. #ShameOnYou."... Her online bio lists her as "an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture." Later Monday, Jaffe tweeted that "every now and then I check replies on my tweets and confirm why I have the quality filter on: that s---'s full of nazis.""
Only Nazis are against looting by People of Colour

Hillary Clinton Literally Compares Herself to Game of Thrones Villainess Cersei Lannister in Her Book
Shame! Shame!

It Keeps Happening - "One of the former Democratic presidential candidate’s most renowned weaknesses has always been her tendency to reward loyalty over competence, with the effect of saddling her with ineffectual staffers like the disastrous Mark Penn or the data-worshipping Robby Mook. And as Shattered, the behind-the-scenes tell-all about Clinton’s 2016 campaign, argued, her campaign staff was too afraid of missing out on cushy White House jobs to criticize her. All of which brings us to the present moment, where Clinton has made the baffling decision to not just attack Bernie Sanders in her new book, but to double down on her attacks in subsequent interviews... Clinton was guilty of the exact thing she’s now blaming Sanders for, only with an added, racist twist... prominent Democrats have already understandably expressed their unhappiness with Clinton’s decision to very publicly relitigate the primary fight. One donor wishes she would “just zip it.” But it’s too late now. Clinton is too preoccupied to hear, fighting a war long over, clinging desperately to a party and public that has long since left her behind."
At least this shows why she shouldn't have gotten it (though doubtless her supporters won't care

Why Most Star Wars Ships Are Poorly Designed - "since there is no top or bottom in space, building ships that are not perfectly symmetrical is a serious design flaw... One also wonders why there is still such a desire for the First Order to show they're military superiority through bigger and bigger ships. We don't even do that on Earth anymore, as World War II showed us that small aircraft can easily defeat massive battleships. Also, in the galaxy far, far away, there was a small matter of a Death Star and small one-manned fighters. Twice. Also, Starkiller Base. Of course, for the most part, this is never an issue because space battles in Star Wars rarely take advantage of the freedom that space offers. They fight on a more or less two-dimensional plane and it seems that everybody in the fight has somehow come to an agreement about which way is up."

Cape Town pupil named as Africa's top young mathematician - "Sangeun Lee‚ a pupil at St George’s Grammar School in Mowbray‚ came top out of 45 participants in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad in Senegal. She also won the girls competition for the second successive year."
It must be racism!

Falooda - Wikipedia - "a cold dessert popular in the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally it is made from mixing rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil (sabza/takmaria) seeds, and pieces of jellywith milk, often topped off with a scoop of ice cream"

Wonder Woman Movie Clio Sex Joke Amazon Lesbians - "BuzzFeed reports that Prince's answer — she mentions that she's well-versed in the 12 volumes of "Clio's treatises on bodily pleasure" — doesn't necessarily draw on real-life history. What exactly is in those treatises? Well, according to Prince, Clio "came to the conclusion that men are essential for procreation but when it comes to pleasure, unnecessary." That's where things in the movie world start to deviate from history... Clio is a fictional DC character that also lived on Themyscira as a scholar and scribe, so that little Easter egg was a real deep dive from the movie's writing team"

Teenager Murders Mayor Outside Cemetery in Belgian Revenge Killing - "Alfred Gadenne, the 71-year-old mayor of Mouscron, a town of 57,000 near the French city of Lille, was found by his wife on Monday. Public broadcaster RTBF reported that a Belgian teenager, an 18-year-old who is yet to be formally identified, had handed himself in and had now been arrested. It said that the teenager blamed the mayor for his father's suicide after he was fired from his job at the local town hall."
How is this a 'revenge killing'?

Hepmil Media Group - "Mak and Ang cofounded SGAG, a content distribution platform reaching 1.9 million young Singaporeans every month, in 2014. SGAG has become an integral part of Singapore's internet culture and its combination of memes, videos and listicles reach over 3 million readers weekly across six contents. "
Limpeh say...

Physical Attractiveness Can Be Harmful to a Relationship

Good News: People Don’t Get Paid More Because They Are Prettier - "While it appears that more beautiful workers earn more, very unattractive respondents always earned significantly more than unattractive respondents, sometimes more than average-looking or attractive respondents (study authors called this a potential “ugliness premium”). The findings show that the opposite ends of the beauty spectrum — very unattractive and very attractive — fared best in the salary department. So, it can’t be beauty that pays off. The study authors found that good-looking people make more not because they are beautiful, but because they are healthier and more intelligent and have better (more conscientious and extroverted, and less neurotic) personalities. And the same can be said for the “very unattractive” people — they weren’t getting pity pay, but were being rewarded for health, intelligence, and personality."

The Best Part of Having An ‘Average’ Face - "the closer an image was to the “typical” face in the middle of the spectrum, the more trustworthy the women rated it. Attractiveness, on the other hand, had nothing to do with typicality. As expected, moving beyond the central image and up the spectrum, the participants rated each face as more and more attractive."

Why Beautiful Women Marry Less Attractive Men - "Overall, wives and husbands behaved more positively when the woman was better looking. The finding "seems very reasonable," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management. "Men are very sensitive to women's attractiveness. Women seem to be sensitive to men's height and salary," said Ariely, who was not involved in the recent study. In couples with more attractive husbands, both partners were less supportive of one another"
Replication by another researcher: Beyond initial attraction: physical attractiveness in newlywed marriage.

Why Women Don't Want Macho Men - WSJ - "In countries where poor health is particularly a threat to survival, women leaned toward "manlier" men. That is, they preferred their males to have shorter, broader faces and stronger eyebrows, cheekbones and jaw lines... 29 women were asked to look at photos of men and rate their masculinity and fondness for infants. (The men had already been tested for child-friendliness and testosterone levels.) The men who were rated as the most masculine generally had higher testosterone levels; the women also were generally accurate in assessing child-friendliness. In another study of 2,100 Air Force veterans, men with testosterone levels one standard deviation above the mean were 43% more likely to get divorced than men with normal levels, 31% more likely to leave home because of marital problems, 38% more likely to cheat on their wives, and 13% more likely to admit that they hit or hurled things at them... a nation's health index explained more of the variation in women's masculinity preferences than did many culture-specific female norms identified in previous studies."

Epic Privacy Browser, a secure chromium-based web browser that protects your privacy and browsing history | a free VPN privacy browser - "We believe what you browse & search online should always be private. In incognito mode, you're still being tracked.
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Cannibalism Quells Contagion among Caterpillars - "Generally speaking, it’s nutritious to eat the same species, because they have all the nutrients that are already inside you, so it’s an easy-to-process meal... chemicals produced by plants can ward off caterpillars, by inducing the caterpillars to eat each other instead of the plants."

Disrupting Trump's Inauguration - "#DisruptJ20 had a stated goal of disrupting the inauguration, which we did using Direct Action. The checkpoint blockades were the centerpiece of the disruption, and we managed to permanently shut down 7 out of the 12 that were blockaded."
No wonder the Justice Department wants information on visitors

Kmart is renames 'plus-size' section 'Fabulously Sized'
Somehow discouraging fat shaming has become glorifying obesity

20 Fat Versions of Celebrities That Are Normally Thin - "Artist David Lopera, Xmasterdavid on DeviantArt, reimagines what the biggest celebrities in the world would look like if they were a bit, well... bigger! Lopera's fat versions of celebrities celebrate the female body in the largest ways possible. The fat actresses, models, and socialites usually come dressed in revealing outfits as well, accentuating their figures and sensuality in ways many people do find sexy. In fact, morphs of celebrities as fatter or pregnant selves is a kink that falls under the umbrella of fat fetishism, explored on DeviantArt pages such Heavy Hollywood. Like other fetishes, curvy celebrities morphs often go for the extreme, and Lopera never hesitates to think as big as possible. His BBWs, or big beautiful women, are curvy in ways most people never consider finding sexy, or at least they're are afraid of admitting so. But BBW versions of Game of Thrones characters, K-pop idols, and Academy Award winners will make you reconsider the big picture. If you can enjoy fat characters in your fictional lives, you definitely can make some room for fatter morphs of celebrities."
Anyone who criticises this will definitely be accused of fat shaming - even though it involves real life women who didn't give their consent

Gabrielle Deydier: what it’s like to be fat in France - "In France, she says (and all the facts of her experience seem to bear this out), being fat is considered to be a grotesque self-inflicted disability. At any given time, 80% of Frenchwomen are thought to be on a diet. In the south of the country, there’s a lively gastric-band industry (50,000 operations a year). There’s currently a vegan craze sweeping the land – a way for some people to cover up eating disorders. “Frenchwomen,” says Gabrielle, “pride themselves as being the most feminine in Europe. There is this feeling that women have to be perfect in every way.”"
There're reasons they have a low obesity rate. Is it possible to discourage a negative outcome without stigmatising it? Perhaps not
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