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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Links - 15th March 2018 (2)

Iran: The Shah, Mossadegh, and the CIA - "Mossadegh called a parliamentary election in late 1951. When he realized he was going to lose, he had the election suspended. (That should put to bed the notion that he was an idealistic democrat.)... Mossadegh — in the tradition of all great democrats — persuaded the parliament to grant him emergency powers, which he used to confiscate the Shah’s land, ban him from communicating with foreign countries, and exile his sister. Mossadegh also used his emergency powers to institute collective farming. According to Stephen Kinzer’s book All the Shah’s Men, “Iranians were becoming poorer and unhappier by the day. Mossadegh’s political coalition was fraying.” You may have noticed that, up to this point, the dark and shadowy hand of the CIA has not made an appearance... The U.S. had helped turn Persian public opinion against Mossadegh. However: There was no coup. In 1953, Mossadegh was prime minister of Iran; like many heads of state, the Shah had the legal, constitutional authority to remove his prime minister... The CIA was happy to take credit, exaggerating its involvement in what was, at the time, considered a big success — but a private CIA cable credited Mossadegh’s collapse to the fact that “the flight of the Shah . . . galvanized the people into an irate pro-Shah force.”... Mossadegh was no democrat, and the CIA was not responsible for his ouster; the CIA did not install the Shah in his place, and it did not become involved because of oil... Prison life was drastically worse under the Islamic Republic than under the Pahlavis. One who survived both writes that four months under [the ayatollahs’ warden] took the toll of four years under SAVAK. In the prison literature of the Pahlavi era, the recurring words have been ‘boredom’ and ‘monotony.’ In that of the Islamic Republic, they are ‘fear,’ ‘death,’ ‘terror,’ ‘horror,’ and most frequent of all ‘nightmare.’”
Even Wikipedia agrees that Mossadegh was dictatorial and tried to take over

Hydrocarbon Enema: An Unusual Cause of Chemical Burn. - "we present a 37-year-old female who suffered 6% TBSA partial-thickness burns to her perineum and buttocks, which she claims resulted from diarrhea after ingesting a bottle of lighter fluid. The patient underwent decontamination and medical treatment for her burns and during her inpatient stay, it became apparent that the burns were more likely sustained from an intentional rectal administration of lighter fluid. To our knowledge, this is one of the first reported cases of hydrocarbon enema"

Penn Students Hold Presentation on Environmental Racism - "The Jewish National Fund, an organization that plants trees in Israel, was a major subject of discussion... the presenters looked into the symbolism of “making the desert bloom,” a phrase the students argued connected the forest environment to whiteness, evoked the notion of “a vacuum that the European savior can come nourish,” and ultimately incentivized “artificially making these areas look more like Europe.” The students found a particular problem in the planting of pine trees in Israel and the West Bank, drawing a “connection between pine trees, forestation, and the way they further the colonialist agenda through capitalistic (sic) means of timber production.”... “If we are talking about environmental justice, we have to consider intersectionality,” one of the presenters said. “We have to consider the way that different environmental agendas are being used in order to romanticize and support things that may be in violation of human rights and ancestry rights.” Additionally, the students urged the audience to “look for the complexity in the way that issues are whitewashed.”"

KFC tracked down the guy who figured out their Twitter gag and sent him something insane - "Mike Edgette, a user with the Twitter handle @edgette22, realised that the KFC official Twitter account follows only 11 users on the social networking site. The five members of the Spice Girls, as well as six random dudes named Herb. 11 Herbs and Spices... The mailman would have then wheeled in a glorious portrait, this glorious portrait. No, your eyes are not deceiving you; that’s a painting of Mike Edgette getting a piggyback from none other than Colonel Sanders himself."

I Reviewed The KFC-Themed Romantic Novella And It's Utterly Insane - "As we speak, Tender Wings of Desire sits in my Kindle library... In real life, Colonel Sanders was a mythical figure of fast food who came across his fried chicken fortune late in life; he once shot a man, developed a notoriety for his sailor-like vocabulary, and when his second wife declared she was no longer into sex for pleasure after three kids, Sanders went on a quest for breasts and thighs of an entirely different kind. This, plus many more nuggets (pun intended) of information, would have made for a much better story than the one we eventually got, where a man and a woman boringly falling in love with the faint smell of the sea in the air. This book actually makes me want to eat KFC less."

Toys Are Taking Vacations and Seeing the World (Without Their Owners) - "Azuma quit her job in Tokyo’s financial industry to start a travel agency—not just any travel agency, but one that caters exclusively to stuffed animals... To date, Unagi Travel Agency has organized trips for more than 100 stuffed animals, many of which have become repeat customers. Prices for trips vary depending on the destination, but standard tours of Tokyo and its surroundings go for around $50. Clients ship their toys to Azuma, and they stay with her for two or three weeks, during which time their adventures are promptly reported back to their owners via social media posts. At the end of the tour, Azuma ships them home"

A Former AP Correspondent Explains How and Why His Colleagues Get Israel So Wrong - "When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted... In all of 2013... the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago... A reporter working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel. If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate. The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters. Corruption, for example, is a pressing concern for many Palestinians under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, but when I and another reporter once suggested an article on the subject, we were informed by the bureau chief that Palestinian corruption was “not the story.” (Israeli corruption was, and we covered it at length.) Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported... During the 2008-2009 Gaza fighting I personally erased a key detail—that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and being counted as civilians in the death toll—because of a threat to our reporter in Gaza. (The policy was then, and remains, not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli)... Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story... The fact that Israelis quite recently elected moderate governments that sought reconciliation with the Palestinians, and which were undermined by the Palestinians, is considered unimportant and rarely mentioned. These lacunae are often not oversights but a matter of policy... it should be clear to everyone that peace is pretty elusive in the Middle East even in places where Jews are absent."
I wonder how many Singaporeans who play down the Hamas charter as symbolic obsess about 377A

LTA removes MRT artwork plaques following online comments - "The Land Transport Authority has removed the accompanying plaques for the mural “Welcome to Jingapore” at stations along the Downtown Line following comments from netizens that the word “Jingapore” was a misspelling... The award-winning artist, who has a series of works which have been exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum, wrote on Facebook that “in the great tradition of Chinese and English linguistics, it’s called a Pun.”"
This is why we can't have nice things

Undoing the Dis-Education of Millennials - "I teach in a law school. For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors. They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison. This year in my Foundations of Law course for first-year law students, I found my students especially impervious to the ancient wisdom of foundational texts, such as Plato’s Crito and the Code of Hammurabi. Many of them were quick to dismiss unfamiliar ideas as “classist” and “racist,” and thus unable to engage with those ideas on the merits... Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky. Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult. Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.” Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful"

Dumbing Down What Students Read Didn't Make Them Any Smarter - "Possessed by the notion that low achievers in certain ethnic groups would be more motivated to read texts about and by people who looked or talked like them, but at the same time believing that poor readers couldn’t read the difficult titles required by College Board exams, educators gradually replaced more difficult works in the secondary English curriculum with weaker books on the grounds that existing works were by dead white males, Eurocentric, or reflective of an oppressive culture. Older, or “canonical,” works (almost anything written before 1970) were regularly discredited and replaced by more contemporary works. The result: it is difficult to find a currently popular contemporary work assigned in high school that is as difficult to read with respect to its vocabulary and syntax as the “canonical” work it may have displaced... To this day, no researcher has found a positive effect on student reading interest from eliminating what were denigrated as “canonical” works. According to Renaissance Learning’s annual reports on what thousands of K-12 students read, the average reading level of the top 25 titles assigned to or read by grade 11 students is at about the grade 6 level. Unsurprisingly, Congress, parents, and the public at large have no idea why all the practices now apparently “justified” by English educators have resulted in average student achievement levels in 2015 that are not very different from those in 1970 on the “Nation’s Report Cards.”"
Presumably this is a prescription for even more diversity to cure the problem

'Diversity': The Major Obstacle in Strengthening Teacher Quality - "As Dan Goldhaber noted in his article in the Spring 2016 issue of Education Next: “Of the characteristics [of teacher quality] that were measured in the still-revered 1966 Coleman report titled Equality of Educational Opportunity, those that bear the highest relationship to pupil achievement are first, the teacher’s score on the verbal skills test, and then his educational background.”... Many students failed a new test in Illinois required before admission to a teacher preparation program (called Test of Academic Proficiency or TAP), and many of those failing the test were black and Hispanic... The issue in Illinois became not why students admitted to a public college failed a basic skills test (an academic issue) but rather the pass/fail score that should be set to enable the right proportion of blacks or Hispanics to be eligible for admission to a teacher preparation program (a political issue)... The bandwagon is already rolling. Licensing teachers is being declared tantamount to excluding “teachers of color.”"

Fury as Cambridge don tells students to stop drinking - "Cambridge students accused a professor of ‘damaging their mental wellbeing’ by asking them to work hard and avoid getting drunk... ‘Nowadays, students are being treated as somewhere between children and psychiatric patients. ‘They need to be looked after, coddled rather than challenged, their wellbeing attended to at all times... Last month it emerged that Cambridge issues ‘trigger warnings’ about ‘upsetting content’ in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus in an effort to protect mental health"
Are universities mental institutions?

Are Iranian Women Overeducated? - "Women have outnumbered men in the entering classes of universities two to one for the last several years, but when they graduate they are one-third less likely to work as men, and even lower when they marry and have children... in universities, as the only co-ed institutions of education, women have an opportunity to meet men in an environment approved by their parents and the society at large, which most find a superior way to choose a spouse than through arranged marriages... if the proportion of men in universities were to drop too far, fewer Iranian women would be willing to spend four years learning skills that they do not intend to use in the labor market... In Iran, a large proportion of women are enrolled in fields such as humanities and social sciences that have low market reward, so men may not necessarily prefer them to work"

Sex worker with over 10K partners reveals what men really want - "Gwyneth Montenegro, 39, from Australia, spent 12 years in the industry and has now written a book revealing the surprising things that men will pay for. In her book, on “being financially successful in the sex industry”, she said “most gentlemen don’t always go for the kinky services.” In fact, in the decade she was in the industry, the most important thing to her clients was “feeling of being needed and wanted. Wanted badly by a horny woman. It is their ultimate fantasy after all.” She said that it is vital, therefore that whatever sex acts you are doing, “you make look like you want him bad and are enjoying him so much (even if you aren’t).”"

Transgender lessons for 2-year-olds - "Drag queens are being brought into taxpayer-funded nursery schools so that children as young as two can learn about transgender issues. The cross-dressers are reading nursery rhymes and singing specially adapted songs ‘to teach children about LGBT tolerance’... The ‘performances’ are the brainchild of Thomas Canham, a Bristol University law graduate and part-time cross-dresser who dismisses traditional notions of masculinity as ‘meaningless’. But critics last night said the sessions could ‘blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence’. Leading child psychotherapist Dilys Daws, co-author of the book Finding Your Way With Your Baby, feared they could sow the seeds of confusion in young children about their own sexual identity, with long-term consequences. She said: ‘There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an “ordinary situation”. It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender, when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them... ‘They can include, for example, drag queen references within songs. So if you’re doing something like Wheels On The Bus, you can sing, “The skirt on the drag queen goes swish, swish, swish.”"
This doesn't help dispel fears about the gay agenda

Marxist Prof: Perhaps Art Classes Should Be Used To ‘Help Our Kids Turn Out Queer’ - "In the same paper arguing that young students need to be taught about gay sex, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago recently suggested art classes need to be used to turn children “queer” in an effort to fight “heteronormative realities.”"

Teacher suspended for praising pupil using wrong gender - "A teacher has been suspended and could face the sack after he ‘accidentally’ called a transgender pupil a ‘girl’ in class when the student identifies as a boy. Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, who teaches maths at a state secondary school in Oxfordshire, said ‘Well done girls’ to the teenager and a friend when he spotted them working hard. He apologised when corrected by the pupil, but six weeks later he was suspended from teaching after the pupil’s mother lodged a complaint.Following an investigation, he has been summoned to a formal disciplinary hearing this week to face misconduct charges for ‘misgendering’. According to documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, he also faces claims that he is breaching equality policies by referring to the pupil by name rather than as ‘he’ or ‘him’."
So much for it about just being decent to trans people

12-Year-Old Boy 'Transitions' To Female. Then This Happens Just Two Years Later. - "With guidance from medical professionals and his own mother, a 12-year-old Australian boy suffering from gender confusion began to transition into a "female." Just two years later, the young man told his mom he felt like his born sex again, and is now in the painful process of transitioning back, which includes surgery. Patrick Mitchell was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age 12"

Does Evolutionary Psychology Promote Transphobia? - "Should academics no longer design surveys wherein a participant’s biological sex is measured as a binary variable? Would this be “transphobic systemic violence” since it perpetuates “fixed binaries and biological essentialism”?... Should evolutionists no longer explain how sexual selection works, namely the fundamental process by which sex differences evolve? This mechanism recognizes two sexes and hence it might “disenfranchise” those who reject “fixed binaries and biological essentialism.” Bottom line: Foundational tenets of evolution might be construed as legal transgressions under Bill C-16. Ongoing governmental efforts are pushing for a gender-neutral society to cater to an extraordinarily small number of non-binary or non-gendered people who feel marginalized at having to provide their biological sex as part of their profiles. This is the tyranny of the minority. 99% of the population should acquiesce to having a default feature of their personhood erased because a few individuals might be inconvenienced by it... I am weary of the ethos of victimhood that has parasitized our culture. The operative motto is not “I think therefore I am” but “I’m a victim therefore I am.” I refer to this condition as Collective Munchausen, namely the pathological quest for sympathy and empathy by proclaiming victim status using identity politics and intersectionality. People have the right to live as equal citizens under the law. They do not have the right to demand that their identities be coddled and celebrated lest they might otherwise get offended. Thank you.”
Bill C-16 was eventually passed."

First grader sent to office for 'misgendering' fellow student - "A first grader at a California charter school was sent to the principal’s office this week after she accidentally “misgendered” a classmate in what’s being called a “pronoun mishap.” The incident occurred at Rocklin Academy, a school roiled by controversy after a kindergarten teacher led an in-class discussion on transgenderism that included a “gender reveal” for a little boy who was transitioning to a little girl"
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