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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Links - 10th May 2018 (3)

Islamic faith schools endorsing misogyny, dossier reveals - "The Government's former integration tsar has called for a moratorium on the opening of new faith schools after a dossier revealed endorsements of wife-beating and misogyny in Islamic schools... In one example from it a school library stocked a book entitled Women who deserve to go to hell, by Mansoor Abdul Rahim. This says women should be "disallowed to go out of the house unnecessarily" and should not show "ingratitude to their husband" or have "tall ambitions"... Alastair Lichten, the NSS's education and schools campaigner, said the dossier was "a damning insight into the intolerant attitudes being promoted in too many Islamic schools"... Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, said Ofsted would crack down on schools which forced children to wear the hijab – a problem highlighted by NSS research"

Ofsted accused of racism over hijab questioning in primary schools - "Ofsted’s recommendation for inspectors to question Muslim primary school girls if they are wearing a hijab has been condemned as “kneejerk, discriminatory and institutionally racist” by more than 1,000 teachers, academics and faith leaders. The schools inspectorate announced this month that the policy was designed to tackle situations in which wearing a hijab “could be interpreted as sexualisation” of girls as young as four or five, when most Islamic teaching requires headdress for girls only at the onset of puberty."

Ofsted chief: Children leave school unable to read English - "Figures show 58 per cent of the 160 independent Muslim schools inspected are either inadequate or require improvement... Meanwhile 54 per cent of the 60 independent Jewish schools fall in the same bottom two categories as do 33 per cent of the 110 independent Christian schools"
And 25% of all non-faith schools fall into those two categories

Women’s March organizer accused of covering up sex abuse - "Controversial Muslim activist and Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour bullied an underling to cover up sex-abuse allegations in her Brooklyn office, a report said... when Fathelbab reported the abuse, Sarsour — a self-proclaimed feminist and co-founder of the Women’s March organization — fat-shamed the woman and threatened to blacklist her from political jobs, the woman told the website... Fathelbab went to the president of the Arab American Association’s board of directors, Ahmad Jaber, but says he told her the accused man, Majed Seif, was incapable of the allegations because he is a “God-fearing man” who was “always at the Mosque.”"

Idiot spends $16K on mobile game : sadcringe

Hawaii Wants To Fight The 'Predatory Behavior' Of Loot Boxes - "the video is titled “EA predatory behavior announcement”, and Lee specifically calls out Battlefront II, labelling it a “Star Wars-themed online casino, designed to lure kids into spending money”"

Why doctors aren't allowed to tell patients that they're obese - "Doctors are being told not to tell patients that they are “obese” in new guidelines sent out by the NSW Health policy. Rather than applying some tough love, the guidelines instruct doctors to use “positive” language when discussing the weight of their patients. As well as talking in a “non-judgemental manner”, doctors are being told to scrap words like “skinny”, “malnourished” and “morbidly obese” and instead use terms like “well above a healthy weight”. NSW Health’s Executive Director Centre for Population Health Jo Mitchell told News Corp that such terms can be “stigmatising” for overweight adults and children."

BuzzFeed Editor: 'All I Want For Christmas is Full Communism Now' - "It’s not the first time BuzzFeed has gotten into hot water over their editorial staff tweeting their open sympathy toward Communism. In November, BuzzFeed reporter Blake Montgomery blasted a White House proclamation memorializing victims of Communism and tweeted out his belief that the term “victims of Communism” was just dog whistle and a “white nationalist talking point.”"
The bar for being a white supremacist steadily drops

Crime-fighting robot retired after launching alleged 'war on the homeless' in San Francisco

CNN corrects Trump story, fuelling claims of fake news - "It was also yet another prominent reporting error at a time when news organisations are confronting a skeptical public, and a president who delights in attacking the media as "fake news." Last Saturday, ABC News suspended a star reporter, Brian Ross, after an inaccurate report that President Trump had instructed Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, to contact Russian officials during the presidential race... Several news outlets, including Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, also inaccurately reported this week that Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for Mr Trump's financial records... In June, CNN severed ties with three journalists after a botched report about ties between Russia and a Trump confidant, Anthony Scaramucci, who went on to briefly serve as the White House communications director."
There is a theory that all the fake leaks about Trump leading to fake news are deliberate in order to discredit leaks. If so, Trump is even more brilliant than he's credited

Media errors give Trump fresh ammunition - "Adding insult to injury: Breitbart News, the pro-Trump media outlet that is scorned by many in the mainstream press, has been fact-checking their mainstream counterparts with some success. Breitbart’s Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, was first to call into question a CNN story on alleged ties between a Trump associate and a Russian investment fund that was later retracted. Boyle was also reporting on an error in an Associated Press report when the newswire corrected and later rewrote the story... “There’s a dramatic difference in the degree of hostility the press has shown Presidents Trump and Obama,” said Tim Graham, a director at the conservative Media Research Center. “I guess it’s easier to make errors writing stories where Trump is twirling his villain’s mustache than when you’re writing about how tone Michelle Obama’s arms are.” Last week, The New York Times and The Associated Press ran similar corrections acknowledging that reports on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election had overstated, by more than a dozen, the number of U.S. intelligence agencies that had signed off on the assessment. Both outlets had reported that all 17 organizations that fall under the umbrella of the U.S. intelligence community had made the assessment. In fact, only four — the CIA, FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency — had contributed to that conclusion... The AP ran into more trouble over the weekend after it ran a story about how Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt met privately with the CEO of a top chemical company, then decided to drop a ban on a widely used pesticide that has been shown to harm children’s brains. The story insinuated that Pruitt had made the decision under pressure from a corporate lobbying campaign. But while the meeting between Pruitt and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris was on Pruitt’s schedule, it never happened — an admission the AP made after Pruitt’s office and Breitbart pressed them for a correction... It has been a tough stretch for CNN. A few weeks earlier, the network had to retract a story authored by some of its most recognizable on-air talent after it was directly contradicted by public testimony from former FBI Director James Comey."
Yet liberals assume that if it's in Breitbart it must be false

Two mainstream media orgs forced to issue huge corrections in Trump-Russia stories over untrue claims - "A recent USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll even found that the media’s approval is less than Trump’s, 36 percent to 40 percent."

Man fined $5,000 for molesting female cabby, who drove him to the police - "A drunk male passenger courted and touched a female taxi driver on her waist while he was taking her taxi. Angered by his action, she delivered the man straight to the police."
The bar for molest is really low in Singapore

Low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies - "The current meta-analysis provides a rigorous evaluation of the scientific evidence on LCSs and body weight and composition. Findings from observational studies showed no association between LCS intake and body weight or fat mass and a small positive association with BMI; however, data from RCTs, which provide the highest quality of evidence for examining the potentially causal effects of LCS intake, indicate that substituting LCS options for their regular-calorie versions results in a modest weight loss and may be a useful dietary tool to improve compliance with weight loss or weight maintenance plans"

Now, this is presidential obstruction - "What if a president used his power to interfere with a federal investigation involving foreign powers committing serious crimes in the United States as well as elsewhere? Such a thing would be considered a terrible scandal and, no doubt, lead to a federal probe by a special counsel who would be expected to get to the bottom of such a mess.But if you think this is a reference to the investigation led by Robert Mueller into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign and obstruction of justice once President Trump took office, you’re wrong. While proof that the Trump campaign actually plotted with Russia still has yet to be presented, evidence of another scandal involving President Barack Obama and Hezbollah, Iran and the Russians has just been uncovered in an investigative story by Politico. The tale involves an administration decision to spike Project Cassandra, a federal probe into international drug smuggling, money laundering and terrorism by Hezbollah... a decision was made at the highest levels of the Obama administration to prioritize making nice with Iran and Russia over the federal government’s obligation to protect US citizens. It’s the sort of thing that ought to rock Washington. An actual plot that placed the interests of foreign powers over those of the US by Obama... it may be that the country is so obsessed with Trump’s uncivil discourse that it may not care much about Obama aiding and abetting terrorism. If so, you don’t have to be a fan of Trump’s to understand there is something deeply wrong with giving Obama a pass for decisions that look far worse than anything Trump is accused of doing."

A deafening media silence on the Obama-Hezbollah scandal - "What makes the media blackout particularly shameful is that the story isn’t a partisan hit job. It was written by a well-regarded journalist at a major outlet. The story has two on-the-record sources — which is more than we can say for the vast majority of so-called scoops about the Russian “collusion” investigation. One of these sources, David Asher, was an illicit finance expert at the Pentagon who was tapped to run the investigation. There’s no plausible reason to ignore him or the story. Then again, ignoring or diminishing Obama’s shady dealings with Iran isn’t new. Obama administration officials bragged to the New York Times Magazine last year that they’d created an echo chamber, relying on the ignorance, inexperience and partisan dispositions of reporters to convey their lies to the American people."

How Scientists Use 'Phantom Aromas' To Make Food Taste Better - "In 2004, General Mills released reduced-sugar versions of its cereals to lackluster sales, only to pull the cereals three years later. The British publication The Grocer reported in 2014 that sales of Sprite took a dive after Coca-Cola cut the drink’s sugar by one-third. In 2012, Mintel, a consumer-research firm, released a report that found that products with “low-sodium” labels had declined by 5 percent in the previous year due to low consumer demand... when participants ate something treated with a salt-associated aroma (like the smell of ham), they perceived that the food had more salt in it. The researchers theorized that when the brain has a learned perception of a certain type of food, it fills in for the missing taste on its own... The trick, he says, is to get the aroma to barely detectable levels so that we don’t actually know that we’re smelling it, but we can perceive it when we’re eating the food. While we don’t particularly want a ham-smelling bread, for example, it may be possible to add just enough ham flavor to bread that we still associate it with a salty flavor without realizing the salt isn’t actually there... While phantom aroma can’t entirely replace a food’s salt or sugar content, it’s a good place to start, says Sobel. Through his experimentation, he’s been able to achieve a 10 percent reduction of salt in food products like chips, sauces, and soups. Based on past studies, researchers like Thomas-Danguin believe that phantom aroma, when combined with other salt-reduction techniques, may have the potential to reduce salt by more than 35 percent."

Singapore’s “Paper Generals” - "This system of grooming prospective leaders has contributed to an ever-growing disconnect between the elite and the electorate; people feel as though those in the anointed ruling class cannot relate to the anxieties and concerns of their everyday lives. A perceived lack of accountability on the part of the leadership only makes things worse. Within a year of NOL’s sale to French company CMA CGM, NOL was again profitable, making $86 million compared with a $100 million loss in the same period of 2016 under Ng Yat Chung. Despite Ng’s failures, he was appointed as CEO of Singapore Press Holdings, where he has presided over a major retrenchment exercise in his first year. Meanwhile, Desmond Kuek continues as SMRT’s CEO despite the numerous train delays, breakdowns, and struggles to upgrade the system to meet the needs of Singapore’s rapidly growing population."

Why you should give a damn about when you say 'fuck' | Emma Brockes - "If the function of foul language - to be held in reserve as a resource more powerful than regular language – is to survive, it has to be used advisedly. Swear by all means, but swear responsibly, or you’ll ruin it for all of us"

Roman Emperor Caligula and the Floating Bridge of Baiae - "Some say that Caligula did this in defiance of a prediction from Roman astrologer Thrasyllus. Supposedly, Thrasyllus predicted that Caligula had “no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Gulf of Baiae.” This may shed some light on Caligula’s reasoning for having the floating bridge constructed for his seemingly pointless activity of riding his horse across it in triumph. Maybe rather than a sign of madness, this was a boastful display over having proved Thrasyllus and other naysayers wrong"

My Apostasy from the Church of Critical Theory - "Similar to how guitar players speak of the three kings: B.B., Freddy, and Albert, Critical Theorists and postmodernists had “the three H’s”: Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger... We were told that one’s feelings about something, one’s subjective experience (of say, the likelihood of a building collapsing on top of someone), ought to be the only thing considered in understanding a person’s experience. To them, the mind could not know itself, and therefore all empirical evidence was to be completely disregarded (a` la Kurt Lewin)... Postmodernists raise an individual’s “lived experience” to the state of apotheosis. At Duquesne, I was told that whatever a person experienced — or in their vernacular: “Dasein’s experiential-bodying-forth as being-in-the-world with-Others” (no, I’m not kidding) — was in fact, the literal equivalent of reality. What this boiled down to was that the hallucinations of a psychotic patient were to be regarded every bit as real as what one would measure using science... In a way, it makes sense why postmodernists hate empiricism so much: if you believed that the world owes you something simply because you have an experience then any system of thinking that would call this orientation into question would obviously be perceived as a threat"

Feminists and the police: an illiberal alliance - "A man can now be criminalised for standing too close to, or shouting at, a woman. This is insane – but it’s also unsurprising. Feminists are actively encouraging police surveillance of women. Aren’t feminists creeped out by the idea that police officers (some in plain clothing) could be watching their every move?... Women don’t want, or need, to be watched over by the state. In fact, liberation movements of the past explicitly argued that viewing women as in need of protection against the ups and downs of public life was exactly what prevented them from being treated as equal to men"

Norway integration minister tells Muslims 'we eat pork and drink alcohol' - "I expect when you come to Norway, to align yourself with the Norwegian labour market. It’s about how one must endure serving pork if you will be working in a restaurant, or serve alcohol if you work at a piano bar. And in the same way, you don’t turn up in sweatpants and caps on a job interview, you have to think about how to dress to get a job"

You’re Not a Princess and You Don’t Deserve Better - "Why is it that women never ask themselves what they did wrong in the relationship? They never ask themselves what they did to cause the guy to leave. It’s always the guy who “doesn’t know what he’s missing.”... You demand the world from a man and give nothing but headaches"
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