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Friday, February 09, 2018

Links - 9th February 2018 (2)

Elke Weiss's answer to From as unbiased a perspective as possible, is the UN truly biased against Israel? - Quora - "UN chief admits bias against Israel says it best...
Is the UN biased towards Israel? It considers it infinitely more problematic than Sudan, Pakistan, China, Cuba and Pakistan combined.
Qatar openly admits to have slave labor.
Saudi Arabia has executions and gender apartheid.
Sudan is...Sudan.
Russia invaded Ukraine"

Three Middle East Myths Exploded - "the myth loudly stated by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that the root of all problems in the Middle East lies with Israel’s intransigence. To accept the Turkish leader’s premise means throwing truth to the wind. Even a cursory study of the Arab world reveals deep-rooted problems having nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with political, economic, and social stasis. But that would have spoiled the appealing narrative...
• The total number of books translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years is fewer than those translated into Spanish in one year.
• Greece — with a population of fewer than 11 million — translates five times as many books from abroad into Greek annually as the 22 Arab countries combined, with a total population of more than 300 million, translate into Arabic...
There exist no overnight or over-the-counter remedies for these maladies that would allow the region to unleash its vast potential, but one thing is clear: they, not the straw man of Israel, are at the heart of the problem."
Colonialism explains why fewer books have been translated into Arabic in 1,000 years than Spanish in one

The Nazi Mass Hysteria of 2017 – Chad Felix Greene - "This week, over 5,000 Leftists, liberal writers and other verified accounts, and apparently Chelsea Clinton, became absolutely convinced that I, a gay Jew, am a Nazi. It all began with CUNY professor Angus Johnston going on a rant about why it is not only ok, but morally just, to physically assault various groups of people engaging in what he considers ‘hate.’... Since Trump announced, the Left has become increasingly preoccupied with white supremacy and now, Nazism. For several months absolutely everyone the President considered a close confidant or put into a position of power in the administration was a white supremacist... Just as many on the Right became fixated on Islam and a Muslim take-over of America after 9/11 and the election of Barack Obama, those on the Left have become absolutely convinced Nazis are literally in control of the White House... I found, surprisingly, that not a single liberal responding to me could tell the difference between Nazi Germany and Neo-Nazis in America... The Daily Beast, a liberal website, even minimized their overall impact... Nazis have no influence, everyone hates them, they are disjointed and scattered across the country, meet twice a year at most and imagine they are making social progress by sharing a cartoon frog online in a continuous loop between themselves. White supremacist marches or rallies tend to be fairly uneventful as well. They do not riot, break windows, burn cars or go shooting up places as a group. They wear their silly costumes, march down the street to a rally point and chant nonsense for a few hours and then go home. If it weren’t for the intense media coverage and the arrival of angry and often violent protesters, these events wouldn’t even be noticed by the majority of America. Charlottesville, for example as described by the Washington Post, only became violent when counter-protesters directly confronted the white supremacist marchers. They began attacking each other in various melees. The rally had ended and the marchers had left by the time the lone and mentally disturbed James Fields ran his car into other cars, hitting protesters and killing Heather Heyer... the ‘violence is resistance’ Left has decided the only acceptable method of combating hateful ideology is through physical force. They have been doing this with Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests across the country... As a general rule, the Left is highly opposed to group blame
There is more than one N word that makes Americans hysterical
The Left is only opposed to group blame where "minorities" are concerned

How Many Nazis Are There in America, Really? - "[The SPLC] estimate that the KKK counts between 5,000 and 8,000 members nationwide. Back in the 1920’s, when cities across the south were erecting monuments to Confederate generals, the Klan had 4 million members. As Roger L. Simon points out, this would be an impressive decrease even if the population of the U.S. hadn’t swelled since the 1920’s. Back then, the Klan constituted about 4 percent of the entire U.S. population. Now, the KKK is near its nadir. That would make them less than 0.003 percent of the population, even on the higher end of the SPLC’s estimate. But hundreds of protesters do not a country make. Their universal condemnation should further the point that no matter how soft-pedaled, how rebranded, how memed, this juvenile garbage has a diminishing foothold in American culture... Only hundreds showed up to the biggest “alt-right” meeting in the country. A single New York City subway car can hold around 200 people"

Woman who does not understand rape blasted on Imgur - "A woman who shared her views on the difference between regretting a consensual sexual encounter and being a victim of sexual assault sparked a heated online debate after another person irresponsibly claimed her regret is a sign of rape... a woman known as Jesse boldly disagreed with her, responding: 'No, if you regret it then you did not fully 100 per cent consent and that is rape.' She continued: 'You may not want to admit you were raped because it's very traumatic but you were raped'... Plenty of women took to the comments section of the recent Imgur post to slam Jesse for making such an ill-considered claim. 'As a woman who was legitimately raped, I hope that woman is banished to the darkest, cruelest depths of hell,' CrazyMrowLady wrote"

Maki-san deletes ‘Maki Kita’ Instagram post after realising it means ‘Curse us’ in Malay
Facebook comments: "Wait... if maki kita is curse us, wouldn't the whole restaurant name need to change since maki-san probably means curse oneself?"
"I personally found it ridiculous to have a shop named "Hararu Izakaya" (halal izakaya) since Izakaya in its original form is 居酒屋 which has 酒 (sake) in it, which means alcohol."
"A non issue that should have been handled with humor was treated as if it trampled on Malay sensitivities. Trust me; we sold off this country to the british for peanuts so we got bigger problems to worry about."
"Well, Kani Nabe is a legit Japanese dish but means something else completely in Hokkien."

Hindus angered over Aussie ‘You Never Lamb Alone’ ads - "The video showed Lord Ganesha eating meat even though the God is a vegetarian. MLA Andrew Howie said the ad was not intended to offend. “Lamb is the meat that brings people together. Our ‘You Never Lamb Alone’ campaigns have promoted the value of unity and inclusivity ... this latest campaign instalment is no different.”"
Maybe it's better not to be inclusive as it just offends people

Gendered Occupational Interests: Prenatal Androgen Effects on Psychological Orientation to Things Versus People - "We explored the contribution of sex hormones to career-related interests, in particular studying whether prenatal androgens affect interests through psychological orientation to Things versus People. We examined this question in individuals with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), who have atypical exposure to androgens early in development, and their unaffected siblings (total N = 125 aged 9 to 26 years). Females with CAH had more interest in Things versus People than did unaffected females, and variations among females with CAH reflected variations in their degree of androgen exposure. Results provide strong support for hormonal influences on interest in occupations characterized by working with Things versus People."

Why the left must confront the cult of identity politics - "'God is dead and identity fills the vacuum.’ So says Riya Zachariassen, a character in Salman Rushdie’s new novel The Golden House, who holds a senior position at the ‘Museum of Identity’. For Riya, this new movement represents a ‘mighty new force in the world, already as powerful as any theology or ideology’. But when later in the novel she grows disillusioned and resigns her post, her former allies turn nasty. ‘So how’d you feel now about white women dressing up as Pocahontas on Halloween?’ they demand. ‘What’s your position on blackface? Are you a SWERF now as well as a TERF? Maybe you aren’t even an RF any more. What are you? Are you anyone?’ Riya has learnt the hard way that for the guardians of identity politics, apostasy is the unpardonable sin... I find myself tempted to quote the Confucian adage, ‘When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger’, but I would probably be accused of cultural appropriation. For those of us who are still on the left, a return to genuine class consciousness has to be a priority. That identity politics has superseded concerns for the economically disadvantaged is now beyond question. For example, in her recent interview for the Guardian, prominent anti-racist activist Munroe Bergdorf made the astonishing claim that ‘you can be homeless and still have white privilege’. The bourgeois hijacking of the left is apparently complete. The problem lies in the fact that we are facing an ideology based not on reason, but on faith. In place of rational argument, identitarians rely on mindless shibboleths – ‘toxic masculinity’, ‘internalised homophobia’, ‘mansplaining’, ‘white privilege’ – concepts that do not become more convincing by virtue of endless repetition... Worse still, those who dare to oppose their creed are branded as ‘bigots’, or unfairly aligned with racists. When Mark Lilla wrote an article attacking the ways in which identity politics has distorted the key values of liberalism, he was accused of doing the ‘background work of making white supremacy respectable’. What this reveals is not so much an unwillingness to argue, but an inability to argue"

Princeton holds 'F%*# Free Speech' event for Constitution Day - "The lecture, given by Prof. Carolyn Rouse, Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Program in African Studies, was entitled “F%*# Free Speech: An Anthropologist’s Take on Campus Speech Debates.”... Rouse asserted that “free-speech absolutism” has never been treated as a core value of academia. She appeared to use the phrase to refer to the notion that all propositions, arguments, opinions, etc.—however absurd—are deserving of equal consideration, without reference to any peer review process or any system of credentials."

Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars - "A quarter of part-time college academics (many of whom are adjuncts, though it’s not uncommon for adjuncts to work 40 hours a week or more) are said to be enrolled in public assistance programs such as Medicaid... "We take a kind of vow of poverty to continue practicing our profession,” Debra Leigh Scott, who is working on a documentary about adjuncts, said in an email. “We do it because we are dedicated to scholarship, to learning, to our students and to our disciplines.”
Vows of poverty are voluntary

'Demolish that lie': James Forman Jr takes on Black Lives Matter backlash - "in Washington, for example, it was a black electorate and leadership that killed a 1975 bill to decriminalize marijuana. “This was not a story in which a white majority, acting out of indifference or hostility to black lives, imposed tough criminal penalties that disproportionately burdened a black minority,” Forman writes. “Quite the opposite: the leaders of the decriminalization effort were white and … it was blacks who killed marijuana decriminalization in DC.” In the 1980s, this trend toward punitive justice continued. A 1982 ballot initiative to enact harsh mandatory minimum sentences for violent criminals passed in a landslide, with more support in black and poor districts than in their whiter and more affluent equivalents."
In other words, don't blame white people for policies that jail black people, since it's the latter asking for it

Trip to world beard competition ends in arrest for alleged dark web drug dealer - "Investigators tied the username to Vallerius’s real identity through his bitcoin transactions, some of which went to bitcoin wallets associated with his name. They then tracked down his Instagram and Twitter accounts to compare the writing style with that of OxyMonster and discovered “many similarities” including the use of the word “cheers”, frequent quotation marks and intermittent French posts, according to court documents filed in Florida."

'You will be sexually harassed': just one of the perils of working for tips - "When tipping first came to America in the 19th century from Europe (which has since largely erased it) Americans were not taken by the practice, finding it “dehumanizing, demeaning and de-professionalising”, says Saru Jayaraman, the co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. At the time, it seemed contrary to American democratic ideals. “They rejected it as the vestiges of a feudal system. They thought you should get good service regardless of how much you are able to tip,” she says... a study that surveyed 688 restaurant workers found that a staggering 80% of women experienced sexual harassment from customers, two-thirds from managers, and half from co-workers. (Male restaurant workers also suffered sexual harassment, but to a lesser degree.)"

Florida case of clown who killed woman solved, police say – 27 years later - "How many times do you have a clown come to the door, you open the door and it shoots you?"

Hospital bosses forced to chant 'we can do this' over A&E targets - "Hospital bosses were forced to chant “we can do this” by a senior NHS official in an effort to improve their accident and emergency performance in advance of what doctors have warned will be a tough winter for the NHS... Watson told trust bosses that they were initially chanting too quietly and that they should chant the slogan again but louder, and “take the roof off” with the noise."

Peta says sorry for taking girl's pet chihuahua and putting it down - "Zarate alleged Peta operated under a broad policy of euthanising animals, including healthy ones, because it “considers pet ownership to be a form of involuntary bondage”."

Why do Islamist groups in particular seem so much more sadistic, even evil? | Kenan Malik - "Jihadis view themselves as warriors against western imperialism. Yet few anti-imperialists of previous generations would recognise jihadis as ideological kin. There is a long history of popular struggles against colonialism and empire. While such movements often used violent means to pursue their ends, they were rarely “anti-western” in any existential sense. Rather they worked within a universalist moral framework that stressed freedom and emancipation for all humanity."

The public prosecutor, politics and the rule of law - "If one accepts the premise that the public prosecutor should be independent, the first step is to separate the two functions of the Attorney-General. As the Government's legal adviser, he must take instructions from the Cabinet, whatever his own judgment may be. Take this function away from the Attorney-General. Give it to the Solicitor-General, for example. The three non-prosecution divisions of the Attorney-General's Chambers - civil, legislation and international affairs - can come under the Solicitor-General or whoever is designated as the Government's legal adviser."

German man's penis gets stuck in gym weight plate, rescue effort takes 3 hours

Taxman calls on Grab, Uber drivers - "Dodging the taxman will become more difficult in the gig economy, as going cashless allows for better electronic tracking of payments. And the taxman has his sights next on Uber and Grab drivers."
Ergo the push for a cashless economy
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