"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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Monday, March 19, 2018

Links - 19th March 2018 (1)

George Takei Accused of Sexually Assaulting Former Model in 1981 - "THR spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton — Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward — who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago... Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. "Who's going to believe me? It's my word against his," he says. Brunton's reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and specifically when Takei spoke out regarding allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey... Brunton says he found Takei's response infuriating. "I don't want anything from him but an apology," he says. "I am sure he'll disown all this, I don't know, maybe not."

George Takei Tells Howard Stern He Would Grab Men By Their Genitals To "Persuade" Them To Have Sex - "“Did you ever grab anyone by the cock against their will?” Stern asked Takei. Takei remained silent. “Uh oh,” Stern reacted to the non-answer. “You’ve never sexually harassed anyone, have you?” The Star Trek star began awkwardly laughing. “Some people are kind of… umm… skittish,” Takei responded. “Oh maybe… um… afraid and you’re trying to persuade.”... “You mean some guy who was hesitating to have sex with you and then you gave him a gentle squeeze on the balls or something?” “More than a gentle…” Takei laughed. “But it didn’t involve power over the other.”...
Takei often spoke out against sexual assault with Trump. But this clip shows he may not take the subject very seriously with himself."
Apparently sexual assault is okay if there's no "power over the other"

George Takei just blamed Russia for spreading the sexual assault accusation against him

George Takei says he “played the part of a ‘naughty gay grandpa’” on Howard Stern - "Stern brings up the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and asks Takei if he ever “grabbed anybody by the cock against their will.” Takei pauses uncomfortably and laughs, and then describes some “people that are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you’re trying to persuade.” (Even Howard Stern responds, “Do we need to call the police?”)"
Meanwhile, Trump had the good grace to apologise for his locker room talk
Comments: "Wait for his “I was just paying tribute to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”"
"Ah, yes, the naughty gay grandpa archetype, stock character found across European folklore dating all the way back to the ancient era. Who can forget the timeless moral message of Aesop’s “The Fox, the Hen and the Naughty Gay Grandpa”?"
"He is empowering every person who has ever justified gross sexual comments as ‘joking around’ and ‘not reflective of who I am’. This is especially awful given that Stern brought it up in the context of Trump’s own ‘locker room talk’. Ugh."
"So he admitted to grabbing the penises of dudes who “were skiddish” or “needed to be persuaded” but it’s totally fine because he didn’t do it at work guys!"

Turkish Woman Faces Backlash After Posting Blackface Tutorial Video - "When Percem Akin, a makeup artist from Turkey, posted a racially-charged tutorial of herself in Halloween blackface, she was met with consternation from around the globe... Many people who post photos of themselves in blackface don't see themselves as racist. Some think it's funny; others believe it's ironic. But they see it as anything other than what it really is because they don't know, or don't want to know, the history behind it. The very idea of slipping in and out of racially-themed costume for fun smacks of white privilege"
Apparently Turks need to be aware of White Privilege and the history of another country halfway across the world
Top comments, notably from George Takei's Facebook: "I'm a black guy and I once dressed up as a samurai. No one cared about that, and I really don't care about this."
"Fuck the internet! This was NOT done out of malice.
This isn't the 1950's anymore and you people have to stop looking for reasons to get offended when there was no offense intended."
"As an African American/mixed person, I am not offended by this. I see talent not racism. We need to get past what happened in the past. Michael Jackson turned himself white and Black women dye their hair blonde and red which are not natural African hair colors. Is that unacceptable? Come on, 21st century here."
"That was not blackface it was tasteful done and if the Waynes bros can make the worst movie ever wearing white makeup then......"
"From an artistic viewpoint, I think she did it in a respectable way- it’s not slandering anyone if anything it is reproducing beauty. Art should allow such a thing"
"So when my kid put on a Moana costume I suppose I should have been arrested. Get a fucking life people."
"Don't many paler people spend a lot of time tanning themselves and applying spray tanner in order to make themselves darker?"
"This lovely TURKISH woman has amazing skills and turned herself into a beautiful black woman. Whatever happened to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?"
It looks like not everyone has an extremist, unnuanced take on blackface, but unfortunately loud invested minorities have disproportionate power

The Far Right Has Come For The Working Class. How Should The Left Respond? - "There is a curious double standard at play here. Consider two different responses.
Here is the first response. Whenever an act of Islamic terrorism occurs it has tended to trigger a mantra within the media and amongst the political classes (not including, obviously, Donald Trump) that the perpetrators are not representative of the wider Muslim population. Further, that we should be reaching out to those who might be at risk of radicalization to bring them back into the mainstream flock. And even further, that we should be engaging in soul searching to determine whether we, up on our perches of privilege, have contributed in any way to the constellation of events and attitudes within which Islamic terrorism has come to thrive.
No similarly careful approach is taken with the white working class and the continuing rise of the far-right. The second response, the response to this bloc of voters, is very different. When it comes to these voters, making sweeping presumptions about the working class is perfectly fine. They are the political untouchables. To express any kind of sympathy with them, even to attempt to engage with them, would be to guarantee yourself an accusation of being a Nazi-sympathizer. So the politicians stay away from their marches, and refrain from seeking their votes...
The kind of purist moralizing that says “Oh, I don’t engage with anyone who might be perceived as anti-immigrant” or “I don’t engage with working-class people who express disquiet at the ‘Islamic’ in Islamic terrorism” is utterly self-indulgent. The complexities of 2017 politics do not lend themselves to an analysis which perceives only two categories, racists and non-racists. Nor can everything be analyzed in terms of the oppressed and the oppressors. Being a leader in 2017 must necessarily entail embracing the grey areas"

The Football Lads Alliance is a working-class movement – and the political class wants to ignore it - "It was a very rare thing in the 21st century: a march organised by working-class people and attended by working-class people. Thousands of them. Most marches these days are packed with public-sector types, plummy anti-fascists, and Guardian columnists who must maintain their rad cred by occasionally traipsing through the streets with people holding dusty trade-union banners. But the two FLA marches have been different. They have been cries from below. And they’ve been all but ignored. Sure, there has been media coverage, but it has been perfunctory. Despite being big, stirring and novel — people in football shirts gathering in their thousands to confront the ideology of terror! — the demos haven’t trended online or attracted much attention from the ‘voice for the voiceless’ brigade. They don’t want to hear those voices... There’s a presumption among some observers that the people who support FLA, being white and working-class and passionate about football, must be racist scum... it strikes me that this new working-class movement is trying to do something the supposedly intellectual classes have flat-out refused to do: make an issue, a national fuss, of terror. It is defying the post-terror diktat from on high that says we should respond to Islamist attacks sheepishly, by laying a flower, singing ‘Imagine’ and going home again... the political class has so thoroughly abandoned the task of discussing and getting angry about terrorism that footie fans are having to step in and do it for them, and us"

If You're A Woman And You're Bad At Math, Blame the Patriarchy
At first I thought this was satirical, then I saw it was from Buzzfeed

Gender-neutral changing rooms aren't safe — they just appease the trans lobby who won't accept you if don't conform to their views - "Changing gender should not be taken so lightly. If all you have to do to change gender is say so, it takes away ­whatever authenticity trans people can claim. It will base your reassignment on mere thoughts and feelings rather than an accepted screening process. It’s tough enough to go through what we do in society without our sincerity being questioned. Making it easier to legally change gender will inevitably result in a greater number of people doing so — and the flip side will be a larger number of people de-transitioning after deciding they don’t want to be that gender after all. How is that going to help anyone? There is also a campaign to lower the legal age of transition to 16, and that is very dangerous. I believe children have become the collateral damage of transgender rights... The trans community makes out it is very welcoming and accepting, but if you don’t conform with their views then they can make life very difficult."

Teen Girl Posed For 8 Years As Married Man To Write About Baseball And Harass Women
Logic, Empathy, Honesty: "What's interesting here is how drastically different the tone of the article is. This isn't an attack on rape culture and the terrible behaviour of this individual, rather a very sympathetic tale of a struggling writer. This reveals the double standard we've all come to expect. That when a person is harrased, we care more about the identity of the harraser than their actual actions."

We Should Ban Cars From Big Cities. Seriously. - "If we banned cars from every city in the US tomorrow, we would stop vehicular terrorism overnight — and save thousands of lives."
Comments: "I've got friends who have been killed by ILLEGAL ALIENS, yet I don't see Buzzfeed demanding that ILLEGAL ALIENS be banned in this country. "
"it's Buzzfeed which support women playing with their menstrul blood so it's not too absurd"
"Eliminate booze and you eliminate drunk drivers, do you not? Why is she not calling for prohibition?"
"Sunlight can kill millions of people every year via skin cancer. We shuld all just stay inside from now on. Never ever go outside. There's a huge percentage of people who die when they happen to be outside. That's it... Ban the OUTSIDE!"

For elites, politics is driven by ideology. For voters, it’s not. - "One consistent finding in Kinder and Kalmoe’s research is that party identification bests ideological identification. Most people are a Republican or a Democrat before they are a conservative or a liberal. And most people will stick with their party long after they’ve abandoned their ideology."

Sean Parker on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook: ‘You’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology’ - "The man who was reportedly an early inspiration for the young Zuckerberg and co-founded the music file-sharing site Napster in 1999, five years before Facebook, called the social network “a social validation feedback loop.” He added, “It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators, it’s me, it’s Mark... understood this consciously and we did it anyway.”"

Why Glitter Must Be Banned - "They really do get into everything, and despite their tiny size, they can have a devastating impact on humans and non-human animals"

Send scam emails to this chatbot and it’ll waste their time for you - "Another famous chatbot time-waster is “Lenny,” which is designed to waste telemarketers’ time, and does so without any AI or speech recognition component. Instead, Lenny uses just 16 pre-recorded snippets of dialogue, each of which is as vague and ambiguous as possible. Lenny simply waits until there’s a gap in the conversation, then plays one of its bits of dialogue, cycling through all 16 in various patterns."

Joseph Wong - Its been 7 years and I still remembered it like... - "I even saw later that night an article written from the first journalist. She censored my autism, she completely rewrote everything I said. Writing that I wanted to become a doctor and that my inspirations were local heroes such as Tan Tock Seng... when I was in school I was consistently told by the vice principal to NEVER ever talk about video games again. I was a scholar and I should have bigger dreams... I never had a fking god damn say in any of it. And thats why I stopped studying. I hated the school and I knew anything in school that happened onwards for my grades was irrelevant"
This is hardly the first case of the Singaporean media making up quotes

Weather Channel founder calls Bill Nye ‘a pretend scientist in a bow tie’ - "“As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the AMS (American Meteorological Society’s) ‘Meteorologist of the Year’ award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does. And I am rooting for the ‘Climate Hustle’ film to become a huge hit — bigger than ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore,” Coleman said. Coleman also slammed Nye for claiming earlier this month that climate change skeptics should face jail time. “That is the most awful thing since Galileo was jailed for saying the Earth was not the center of the Universe,” Coleman said."

Feminists vs women - "Feminism has long pitched men against women. But increasingly it pitches women against women, too. Women who don’t see men as problematic, who refuse to accept that ‘the patriarchy’ lies at the root of all their difficulties, are alternately pitied for suffering from internalised misogyny and loathed for betrayal. The sexual-harassment panic makes clear that there are some types of women feminists approve of – women who bravely detail their knee-touching allegations in newspaper columns, for example – while other women who refuse to join in with the pity-me stories are shamed for victim-blaming... Yes, she acknowledged, sexual harassment takes place. But she dealt with it through being fearless and fearful, once stubbing out a cigarette on someone, and shouting loudly at others. Leslie argued that feminists today ‘spend their time saying women are traumatised because some silly old drunk in parliament put his hand on her knee or something like that’... wailing over knee-touching makes women appear, frankly, a bit pathetic, and ‘you can’t say women are strong and empowered and then say they’re scared and they’re going to cry and all that sort of thing’. On cue, keyboard feminists took to Twitter to bemoan Channel 4 News for providing a platform for this ‘appalling woman’... Feminism now insists upon an emotional correctness and an adherence to one set of views. Feminists now present women as victims or, at best, survivors of the patriarchy. I prefer the feistiness, idiosyncrasy, ruthless ambition and sheer fun of the now vilified previous generation."

Bullied after refusing boss' sexual advances - "Her former boss made life at work hell for her after Mary, a 28-year-old lawyer, repeatedly rejected his romantic advances... For a year, she cried almost every day, feeling trapped and afraid to go to work. She finally confided in her father, a criminal lawyer, who told her she could go to the police as her boss was harassing her... when she wanted to go to the police, the firm paid her a year's salary in compensation and asked her to leave. In return, she was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement and told that she could not report the matter to the police or talk about it at all."
What sort of lawyer needs to be told that she can go to the police over sexual harassment? And doesn't understand what a non-disclosure agreement is?
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