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Monday, February 05, 2018

Links - 5th February 2018 (1)

Red Skittles Spilling Onto Wisconsin Highway Were Headed for Cattle Feed - "In 2012, Reuters reported that corn alternatives were in high demand in places where feed corn for cattle was becoming very expensive or unavailable. Using an alternative like candy could yield a savings of 10 to 50 percent for cattle farm operators, though prices for corn alternatives then began to increase as well... John Waller, a University of Tennessee animal nutrition professor, said in a Live Science article a candy-based diet for cattle is fine and also helps the environment by reducing the amount of candy waste that ends up in landfills."

Why I Believe Palestine is Jewish land - "By the 9th Century, the Fatimid Dynasty – a Shia Islamic Caliphate, invaded Palestine and massacred Christians in Jerusalem for siding with the Romans of the Byzantine; whom had attempted to regain their conquered land. The notorious Caliph of the Fatimid Islamic Caliphate, Al-Hakim, caused much damage to the entire region, even killing John VII, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. After the defeat of the first Crusaders, Muslims became the Majority. The entire Mediterranean coast was captured, followed by a series of massacres of the Christian people and a genocide that spread all the way to Damascus and Beirut."

Saudi Arabia accidentally prints textbook showing Yoda sitting next to the king

Apology on the cards as police pup picture sparks warning over offence to Muslims - "As part of a campaign to publicise its new non-emergency telephone number, Tayside Police used a picture of a black puppy, Rebel, on postcards to be distributed throughout the east coast region. However, following the intervention of Mohammed Asif, a Dundee councillor who warned police the image would "not be welcomed" by some communities, the force described the publicity drive as an "oversight"... Mr Asif, a Labour councillor for Dundee's Coldside ward, said some shopkeepers would refuse to display the postcard."

Miranda Devine: Yes campaign bullies strike again - "SO now we see why rainbow warriors didn’t want a people’s vote on same-sex marriage. It was because they knew we’d see their true, intolerant colours... about 15 students, including members of the uni’s Catholic Society, set up an information table on the main campus thoroughfare with placards saying: “It’s OK to Say No”... After an hour 40 to 60 activists arrived with a megaphone, led by “Queer officers” of the Students’ Representative Council, which has an annual budget of $1.7 million. For the next five hours they screamed abuse at the Catholic students, calling them: “homophobes” “bigots” “neo-Nazis” “gay-bashers” and chanting: “Bigot scum have got to go” and “We will fight, we will win, put the bigots in the bin”. They up-ended the table of kebabs and threw bowls of hummus on the ground. They stole pamphlets and placards, threw condoms and glitter at the students, chalked “F..k off bigots” on the path, swore and yelled anti-Christian abuse... it’s not OK for Wallaby star Israel Folau respectfully to disagree. “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions, but personally, I will not support gay marriage” he tweeted last week to a chorus of criticism, calling him, among other insults, a “bad human being”. Nor is it OK for former tennis champion Margaret Court, admittedly less respectfully, to state her opposition to same sex marriage. The backlash has now resulted in the Cottesloe Tennis Club ditching her as patron."

Gay people break stereotypes in support of man-woman marriage - Why Vote No? - "Contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, the ‘NO’ campaign is not a movement solely comprised of “conservative homophobic bigots” who oppose legalising so-called same-sex “marriage” solely on religious grounds (even though freedom of speech, expression, conscience and parental rights have been repeatedly cited as more than adequate grounds to oppose redefining marriage). Wilson Gavin, a University of Queensland student, is a spokesman for student organisation ‘Our Voice, Our Vote’ which claims to represent tens of thousands of gay people who are opposed to so-called same-sex “marriage.”... “More deeply I’m just worried about the negative ramifications that can come directly from same-sex marriage.” Gavin then listed examples of cases in the United Kingdom, alongside reports that a Canberra contractor had lost her job over her position against marriage equality. Gavin said he had created the organisation to give a voice to LGBTI people who are opposed to marriage equality because their voice is not being heard in the debate."

Now they want to demonize Francis Crick « Why Evolution Is True - "The problem with wholesale statue removal and effacing of people’s memorials is that before the 20th century, nearly every white person evinced some bigotry, and nearly every male evinced some sexism. As Steve Pinker has pointed out in The Better Angels of Our Nature, the world has undergone a moral improvement in the last few centuries, and what was once acceptable speech or thought is no longer acceptable... if we just sanitize history by taking down statues of Gandhi, Woodrow Wilson, or anyone else who every said anything offensive, we’ll have an empty history—or rather, a history populated by statues of oppressed minorities who, it’s often said, cannot be racist—or by women who, by the same token, cannot be sexist... No country has a history that’s is totally admirable, and I think we need to find ways to remember it without extolling the bad parts... Katz’s Guardian piece called “It’s time to take the ‘great’ white men of science off their pedestals.” (Note that he doesn’t say some great white men, nor mention any women or people of color, despite the fact that such people, too, were sometimes bigots. No, he’s referring to “great white men” in general, for of course that’s a universally d igrated group.)... It is fatuous to suggest that we should demonize Crick and “revisit” his monuments because of a few remarks he made in private letters, remarks whose context isn’t given. Even if Crick thought there might be a genetic IQ gap between blacks and whites, or suggested some form of voluntary sterilization, those were never public remarks. If you want to argue that those private statements in letters are sufficiently bad that they outweigh the good that Crick did, well, you’re welcome to, but you’ll be on shaky ground, accusing him of Thoughtcrime. And then you’ll have to start in on people like Darwin"
Comment: "Seems those Confederates were the thin end of the wedge. Some slopes are indeed slippery."
"It’s also a little suspicious that icons of the left appear to be immune. The Smithsonian Institute issued a flat “no” when requested to remove a bust of Panned Parenthood founder and eugenics sympathizer Margaret Sanger. I guess the shoe doesn’t feel so good on the other foot."

How a rise in sex crimes in Bavaria has opened a debate about women’s rights - "sex crimes with asylum seekers as suspects jumped by 91 percent in a year. While the large majority (71 percent) of suspects were Germans, people who had come to the country seeking asylum made up 11 percent of all suspects, a figure disproportionate to their number in the population... “When women meet large groups of male refugees today there is always a sense of being threatened,” she writes. “They fear that the way they dress is sending the wrong signal. That is unacceptable. The freedom to dress and move how you want is non-negotiable”... Experts argue that the demographic make up of Germany's asylum seeker population makes them particularly at risk of committing crime."

Arguments over free speech on campus are not left v right - "a dozen or so students continuously occupied the three-day-a-week lecture series by sitting in front of the auditorium with cardboard signs, sometimes taping their mouths in protest at the absence of non-white voices in the syllabus. One even took to lecturing the freshman class on the podium from an alternate curriculum before the start of each session... Reed College students were ranked as the most liberal and the second most studious in Princeton Review’s survey of its top 382 liberal arts colleges. That compound of leftist politics and serious scholarship proved unstable last year as activists managed to cow the college’s administration, students and faculty alike... Assistant professor Lucia Martinez Valdivia, who describes herself as mixed-race and queer, asked protesters not to demonstrate during her lecture on Sappho last November. Ms Valdivia said she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and doubted her ability to deliver the lecture in the face of their opposition. At first, demonstrators announced they would change tactics and sit quietly in the audience, wearing black. After her speech, a number of them berated her, bringing her to tears. Demonstrators said Ms Valdivia was guilty of a variety of offences: she was a “race traitor” who upheld white supremacist principles by failing to oppose the Humanities syllabus. She was “anti-black” because she appropriated black slang by wearing a T-shirt that said, “Poetry is Lit”. She was an “ableist” because she believes trigger warnings sometimes diminish sexual trauma. She was also called a “gaslighter” for making disadvantaged students doubt their own feelings of oppression. “I am intimidated by these students,” she later wrote in a blog post. “I am scared to teach courses on race, gender or sexuality or even texts that bring these issues up in any way…I’m at a loss as to how to begin to address it, especially since many of these students don’t believe in historicity or objective facts (they denounce the latter as being a tool of the white cisheteropatriarchy).” A few weeks later, the college invited Kimberly Peirce, the gender-fluid director of “Boys Don’t Cry”, which was widely praised as the first sympathetic portrayal of trans people in cinema. Protesters ripped down posters promoting the event and put up their own posters that said: “Fuck this cis white bitch”... The dean of faculty, Nigel Nicholson, later wrote that students came to the session “asking questions designed to indict the speaker…It felt like a courtroom, not a college.”... Many students have said privately that the campus has become a place where they are afraid to express dissenting opinions... When one student voiced a dissenting opinion on social media, his classmate threatened to get him fired from his job at the college bookstore"
Presumably some people would still claim that these SJWs have their hearts in the right places
I don't see how the article title is justified when it is left wingers attacking free speech and right wingers defending it (not mentioned in the article)

EU paid for a report that concluded piracy isn’t harmful — and tried to hide the findings - "The 300-page report seems to suggest that there’s no evidence that supports the idea that piracy has a negative effect on sales of copyrighted content (with some exceptions for recently released blockbusters)... The report doesn’t settle the debate definitely for all “online copyright infringements” (piracy) but it points to similar conclusions as previous studies have done... 'in the case of video games, the study found the opposite link, indicating a positive influence of illegal game downloads on legal sales.'"

Islam Is Pushing Gays to the Right in France, Germany, and the Netherlands

6 Years Ago, He Left Islam for the Streets - "The problem with Islam in Singapore, Zim tells me, is that the lines between Muslim culture and Malay culture are blurred. Ironically, while he used to be a more moderate Muslim, his knowledge of his former religion has only grown since he left it behind six years ago... "You want to know why the Malay community is so behind? It’s because this notion has robbed it of ambition and autonomy. They go with the flow, because everything is God given. If I have five kids and I’m struggling to feed them because my finances are a mess, I accept it because that’s my rezeki. But the truth is that I should have had family planning, I should have stopped at two, or even one.”"

Contrasting Muslim And Western Psychologies: The Locus Of Control - "Nicolai Sennels spent several years working with criminal Muslims in Copenhagen (where as of March 2009 “70% of the prison population in the Copenhagen youth prison consists of young man of Muslim heritage.”)... They have strict external rules, traditions and laws for human behavior. They have a God that decides their life’s course. “Inshallah” follows every statement about future plans; if God wants it to happen. They have powerful Muslim clerics who set the directions for their community every Friday. These clerics dictate political views, child rearing behavior, and how or whether to integrate in Western societies. The locus of control is central to our understanding of problems and their solutions. If we are raised in a culture where we learn that “…I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul,” as William Ernest Henley wrote in his famous poemInvictus in 1875; we will, in case of personal problems, look at ourselves and ask: “…What did I do wrong?” and “…What can I do to change the situation?” People who have been taught throughout their entire lives that outer rules and traditions are more important than individual freedom and self reflection, will ask: “Who did this to me?” and “Who has to do something for me?”... it is also a powerful source of victim mentality and leads to endless demands on one’s surroundings. In a very concrete way this cultural tendency, shows itself in therapy, as a lack of remorse. The standard answer from violent Muslims was always: “…It is his own fault that I beat him up. He provoked me.”"

Being anti-Trump won’t win in 2020. What will? - "When pressed, the anti-Trumpers admit the Democrats lack an authentic and engaging messenger. Moreover, the party is disunited on the message they should offer in the midterm elections in 2018 and the 2020 presidential poll, and how they should get that message across in these new and unfamiliar political times... As Bill from Vermont put it, “Blaming Trump for being Trump is a weak play,” while anti-establishment feeling still runs so high. “I largely credit the DNC for putting President Trump in office,” he adds, citing the “coronation” of “their” candidate, Hillary Clinton... If they tune in to the Democratic convention, they will see a crowd roar its approval whenever the slogans of identity politics are mentioned. Cheering transgender bathrooms is splendid, but when, I asked the anti-Trumpers, did they march to protest a factory closure or the contamination of water in a working-class neighbourhood? If only there were as much sensitivity about the quality of inner city schools as there is about the correct words to describe self-selecting gender options. Semantic pickiness fuels the right-wing horror stories about progressives who are too delicate to confront the reality of their nation’s history, including persisting racism, and sexism. We have been here before, so Liz, a retired college president, reminds me. In the 1960s, progressives were duped into allowing bra-burning to become the story rather than the still unfulfilled goal of equal pay for equal work. Similarly, a tiny minority demands slavery reparations more loudly than the call for better schools and health care in African American communities. Liz can pinpoint the exact week in the late 1960s when progressives turned to self-indulgent identity issues, rather than a forensic analysis of the way in which power is controlled in America. “They found it too intellectually demanding to understand economic structures. It was easier to talk about themselves, and how they were victims,” Liz remarks... Mary, a Buddhist meditation teacher from the Midwest, believes the day-by-day torture of following Trump’s every bizarre step is self-defeating because it disempowers the anti-Trumps. “People need to look to the big picture,” she advises. “Being able to recite all the man’s blunders isn’t going to make a dent in his support.” The anti-Trumps are also largely failing to consider a distressing underlying question: what if this is the new normal, and not an anomaly? What if it is enough that a reality TV star articulates the grievances of people who don’t expect anything to change because the system is fixed?"

Why Darth Vader Wears Different Suits During The Star Wars Saga - "Whenever he goes to meet Emperor Palpatine, Vader wears a suit that is polished and shines more compared to the suit that he wears when he goes on to fatally choke his subordinates or rivals"

Environmental impacts of what we eat: the difficulty of apples-to-apples comparisons. - "Really, without specifics about what you're eating, how it was fed or produced, and how much fuel was consumed getting it to you, it's impossible to hold up a kilogram of protein from one source and a kilogram of protein from another and say anything very sensible about which contributes more to global warming. Locally grown whole soybeans probably contribute less GHG emissions than beef from gassy cows fed corn trucked in from 1000 miles away, and then itself put on a truck for hundreds of miles to get to the store. But it's not obvious that soybeans that are shipped 1000 miles to make tofu and then shipped hundreds of miles to get to the store would lead to lower GHG emissions than an equivalent amount of beef protein from locally raised grass fed cows."
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