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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Links - 14th May 2018 (2)

7 Shockingly Dark Origins of Lovable Children's Characters - "if he's just a friendly, untroubled spirit who has always been that way, then why, in some of the early cartoons, does Casper seems less "friendly" and more "clinically depressed"? Half the shows follow the same basic format: Casper tries to make friends, scares friends away, immediately tries to commit suicide. In his very first appearance, titled "The Friendly Ghost" Casper fails to win lifelong companions within the first couple of minutes, so his next step is to go lie down on a train track. He did the same thing in the comic book series, too: trying to off himself by jumping from a cliff, and then again by tying himself to a rock and jumping into the ocean. It all kind of makes us question how Casper became a ghost in the first place ... When Grimace made his first appearance way back in 1971, he wasn't the lovable moron we know him as today. Grimace was "The Evil Grimace," a four-armed monster with a milkshake lust equaled only by history's greatest monsters."

Do Blacks Need Favors? - " the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated. During the act's legislative debate, then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey, responding to predictions, promised, "I'll eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas." I don't know whether Humphrey got around to keeping his promise, but here's my question: Is it within the capacity of black Americans to make it in this society without the special favors variously called racial preferences, quotas, affirmative action and race-sensitive policies?... There are some areas of black life in which excellence can be found without the slightest hint of racial preferences. Young blacks dominate basketball, football and some track-and-field events despite the fact that there has been a history of gross racial discrimination in those activities. Blacks are also prominent in several areas of the entertainment industry. Those observations mean that racial discrimination alone is not an insurmountable barrier to success. By the way, I can't think of any two fields with more ruthless competition... when civil rights organizations and their progressive allies pursue special privileges for blacks in college admissions and when they attack academic performance standards as racially discriminatory, they are aiding and abetting an education establishment that delivers fraudulent education. They let educators off the hook, thereby enabling them to continue to produce educational fraud."

Goodbye Russia: A generation packs its bags - "Chirikova was arrested several times and other activists and journalists were set upon by unknown assailants. When Khimki newspaper editor Mikhail Beketov raised suspicions that local officials were profiting from the motorway project, his dog was killed, his car was set on fire and finally he was attacked so brutally that he suffered brain damage and never regained the power of speech... Between 2000 and 2014, approximately 1.8 million Russians left the country, according to Alina Polyakova, director of research for Europe and Eurasia at the Atlantic Council in Washington. Earlier this year she warned the trend was intensifying and called this outward migration of largely well-educated young people "a significant national security threat to the Russian Federation".

Affirmative Consent: What Do College Student Leaders Think About “Yes Means Yes” as the Standard for Sexual Behavior? - "Despite knowledge about AC, many student leaders thought that it was an unrealistic expectation for students. This suggests that college sexual health education needs to clearly articulate actions that are consistent with AC and indicate how these can be incorporated into students' sexual behavior."
If people tell you something is unrealistic, we need more social engineering!

The Hidden Perils of Affirmative Consent Policies - "The main problem with affirmative consent policies is that they don't match how people have sex in the real world, including on college campuses. They are a classic example of policies that sound good in theory but break down in practice... Requiring verbal consent seems that it would simplify proof in sexual assault accusations, but it doesn’t. We have seen multiple cases where the complainant acknowledged that they said yes, but claimed that they did not mean it, or that they non-verbally withdrew the consent later. The accused was found responsible for sexual assault in these cases. Requiring verbal consent is also patronizing. In our day, “no” meant “no,” and we assumed that everyone was capable of speaking the word during an encounter. To our minds, it is decidedly anti-feminist to tell non-incapacitated, sexually active adults that they lack the agency to say no, which is what affirmative verbal consent policies do. This brings us to consent through actions. This is where, as most communist nations eventually discovered, what sounds great in theory can be a disaster in practice... If you point to any one thing and say that’s what made me think I had consent, you’re going to be found responsible for sexual misconduct. That’s because most sexual misconduct policies explicitly say that consent for one sexual act does not imply consent for another sexual act. So if you say, “I thought because she put my hand on X, she wanted Y,” you’re toast. Goodbye, Harvard. Hello, East Whoville College (if you’re lucky). The problem is that consent through actions is all about context. It’s not any single thing, especially when the participants are in a romantic relationship. There is usually a natural progression in sexual contact. Partners start off by kissing and gradually escalate, barring any objections. But when sexual misconduct panels try to break down exactly where the consent through actions happened, that analysis inevitably becomes absurd... The practical result is that the affirmative consent policy allows any student to get his or her former sex partners expelled or suspended."

Trump's Record on Judges - "It is not simply the number of appellate judges confirmed, but the caliber. Trump's appellate nominees have been impressive, and compare favorably in terms of intellect and qualifications with those of any modern President"

COMMENT: Journalism, ethics and the Official Secrets Act - "One of the cardinal principles of journalism is the protection of sources. That protection must be sacrosanct – even working out a compromise will damage the source-reporter relations. Revelations of such compromises will only make the reporter’s job even more difficult, especially in a tightly-regulated media environment like Singapore’s... Singapore journalists go about their jobs without realising the all-encompassing nature of the OSA. Lawyer Jason Lee, of Peter Low and Choo LLC., said in an interview that even a mundane item like how many cubicles there are in a toilet can be considered secret"

Why Can't Uber Make Money? - "Uber’s elephant in the room is that its business model is fundamentally broken. To understand why, it is useful to assess Uber’s business model in the context of the history of the taxi industry... The taxi industry that Uber is seeking to disrupt was never profitable when allowed to expand in unregulated markets, reflecting the industry’s low barriers to entry, high variable costs, low economies of scale and intense price competition -- and Uber’s current business model doesn’t fundamentally change these structural industry characteristics"

What America's highways truly need: More highway traffic tolls - "SR-91, a government highway in Orange County, California, was extremely congested, but no government funds were available for expansion. So the government leased the median to a private consortium for private express lanes. The 10-mile, four-lane private highway was opened in 1995. Drivers could choose to remain on the congested "free," government highway or to pay a variable electronic toll for the private express lanes. Traffic in the toll lanes moved faster and the private company operating them even provided free roadside assistance to cars that broke down in order to keep traffic — and revenue — flowing"

Toll Roads and Political Ignorance - ""free" roads and "free" parking aren't really free if you have to pay for them with time and effort lost stuck in traffic or in futile searches for an open space. Negative reactions to tolls are, of course, likely to be much stronger among people who do not realize their potential benefits at all. Even if tolls ultimately benefit the public by reducing traffic congestion, voters probably won't realize they are the cause of the improvement and could continue to resent them."

What everybody got wrong about that viral video of a starving polar bear - "These images aren’t the work of a scientist, an impartial documentarian or even a concerned bystander. They are part of a very calculated public relations exercise by SeaLegacy, an organization whose stated purpose is to capture photos that drive “powerful conservation wins.” The group dispatched five expeditions in 2017, all with the goal to “trigger public and policy support for sustainable ocean solutions.” Terry Audla is a past president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, an advocacy organization representing all Canadian Inuit. In a Sunday tweet, he called the photos a “stunt” that represented a “complete disservice to climate change science.” SeaLegacy’s social media posts about the bear also failed to mention that the images were taken in August, when ice cover naturally disappears from many polar bear habitats... Critics have noted an obvious flaw with pointing to a starving bear as the “face of climate change.” By the same logic, Canada’s many healthy polar bears could similarly be used as mascots for climate change denial. “Arguing (climate change) is real because of a video of one sick bear is like claiming that it is a hoax because yesterday it snowed in southern Texas,” read a tweet by Université de Sherbrooke biologist Marco Festa-Bianchet"

Just what men need – a sex survey that kicks sand in our faces | Peter Ormerod - "You don’t need to be a men’s rights activist to be troubled by the academics’ language. They talk of “weaker men of poorer quality”. And the study is widely reported in a way which, were the genders and physical attributes changed accordingly, would surely be unacceptable: “Some women may claim that chiselled abs and giant biceps are not what they are seeking in a man. But a scientific study suggests that if your female partner tells you this, she is probably just being kind,” begins the Guardian’s own article. I’d also suggest that it might not necessarily be regarded as acceptable for a headline to advise women to beef up or thin out any part of their body to attract the opposite sex. And there would surely be something a little troubling about men being asked to rate headless torsos of women."

‘Snowflake students’ get University to apologize for calling snow white - "University College London was forced to apologize after a “dreaming of a white campus” tweet was deemed racist by “snowflake students.” The tweet had been intended to let students know the campus was still open as some parts of Britain remained covered by 13 inches of snow."

Moral outrage in the digital age - "digital media limits the potential social benefits of moral outrage in several ways. First, ideological segregation online prevents the targets of outrage from receiving messages that could induce them (and like-minded others) to change their behaviour. For politicized issues, moral disapproval ricochets within echo chambers but only occasionally escapes. Second, by lowering the threshold for outrage expression, digital media may degrade the ability of outrage to distinguish the truly heinous from the merely disagreeable. Third, expressing outrage online may result in less meaningful involvement in social causes, for example through volunteering or donations. People are less likely to spend money on punishing unfairness when they are given the opportunity to express their outrage via written messages instead. Finally, there is a serious risk that moral outrage in the digital age will deepen social divides. A recent study suggests a desire to punish others makes them seem less human"

Everyone should cook with MSG, says food scientist - "Witherly’s popcorn – seasoned with Parmesan, garlic powder or white pepper, and supersalt – is so good, he says, that visitors often ask, unprompted, “Why is your popcorn so much better than mine?”... Take it from the American Chemical Society, which says, “MSG can temporarily affect a select few when consumed in huge quantities on an empty stomach, but it’s perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.”... MSG might even promote healthy eating, the food scientist hypothesizes, by not only making kale more delicious but also letting you get away with using less salt."... “If you want to make something taste good, put Parmesan on anything,” he said. “The Italians have known this for about 2,000 years.”"

When the 'Arab Street' Comes to Sweden - "the western Swedish city of Gothenburg, headquarters of Volvo Car AB, saw the firebombing of a synagogue on Friday. The same evening, demonstrators in Malmö, in Sweden’s far south, called for their own “intifada” and threatened to shoot Jews. What’s going on in Sweden reflects a changed demographic and psychic reality. The “Arab street,” if that abstraction ever existed, is no longer restricted to Arabic-speaking countries. Arab and other Muslim immigrants now living in Europe increasingly play just as active a role in enacting collective political opinion as their counterparts who did not leave their home countries. Indeed, because Western European states respect civil liberties, allow peaceful protest and punish at least some kinds of violence mildly, Arabs and Muslims living in places like Sweden may have more freedom to protest -- and to go overboard into violence -- than their counterparts in majority-Arab or Muslim countries. And what’s happening today in Sweden can happen tomorrow throughout the rest of Europe."

CBC's decision against airing Transgender Kids doc should leave everyone unsettled - "CBC was scheduled to air the controversial BBC documentary Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? but scrapped the plan the day of, citing audience feedback and its own "further review of the doc." Activists had argued that the film was "harmful" and poised to "feed transphobia." In actuality, the documentary offers a rare and factual perspective on the politicization of gender therapy by featuring interviews with Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist and international research expert on gender dysphoria in children. (Zucker also happens to be a former colleague of mine.) Although his research and approach to therapy are scientifically sound, they counter transgender orthodoxy... Nowadays, clinicians face extreme pressure to endorse the early transitioning model for their young patients, even when it may not be the best way forward for them... transgender activists have harassed and intimidated sex researchers who produce work that counters their political agenda. That's a big reason why you'll be hard-pressed to find many new studies countering the early transitioning approach. More recently, this activism has influenced Canadian policy by way of Ontario's Bill 77 — the Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act of 2015 —which incorrectly conflates therapeutic approaches like Zucker's with unethical attempts to change a person's sexual orientation. And Bill 89 earlier this year, which writes gender ideology into child welfare laws and justifies intervention on the part of the government if a parent does not affirm a child's gender identity or expression. Now the activism has made its way to Canada's publicly funded national broadcaster, which has opted against airing dissenting views on this issue. This should have individuals on both sides of the debate feeling unsettled... The issue is no longer about what's in the best interest of these children, but about winning, at any cost, the ideological war."
Trans mania means dissenting opinions are forbidden

MALCOLM: More stupid stuff Justin Trudeau says - "“We know that actually someone who has engaged and turned away from that hateful ideology can be an extraordinarily powerful voice for preventing radicalization in future generations and younger people within the community,” he said. These terrorists aren’t even back in Canada yet and Trudeau is already envisioning speaking tours and book deals for them. Not only does he assume returning terrorists have “turned away” from their jihadist ideology, he imagines they’ll perform a welcome duty within Muslim communities in Canada. Does he think Canadian mosques and Islamic schools will open their doors to an ISIS jihadist who has “engaged” in terrorism? Trudeau’s statement reveals something he has long denied: that radicalization can occur within the Muslim community. Worse, he seems to believe Muslims in Canada are so desperate for leadership they could use the help of a jihadist to speak to “younger people within the community”. Trudeau’s willingness to enlist jihadists as community ambassadors blurs the important distinction between ordinary Muslims and violent extremists, doing no favours to Canadian Muslims. Worst of all, Trudeau’s naïve assumptions about ISIS fighters omit the prospect of justice for the victims of Islamic State genocide and war crimes. ISIS members went overseas to join a terrorist organization – a crime under Canada’s criminal code. Once in Syria and Iraq, these thugs were complicit in genocide against Yazidis and Christians, selling women into slavery, throwing gay men off rooftops and beheading journalists and aid workers. A teenager sitting in his basement watching jihadist propaganda and nodding approval is engaging in a “hateful ideology”. ISIS fighters have put that hateful ideology into action by traveling across the world to join an Islamist death cult. That’s a serious crime, not a minor indiscretion that can be easily forgiven. If Trudeau welcomes ISIS fighters back into Canada, his statement will be more accurate than he realizes. These ISIS thugs certainly would be an “extraordinarily powerful voice” in Canada – in recruiting and radicalizing the next generation of jihadist maniacs"

Trudeau violated multiple conflict laws when he accepted family holiday to Aga Khan’s island: ethics commissioner

Meet the ‘pay pigs’ - "These men are hooked on “paying tribute” – giving gifts and money to women – or rather they’re hooked on being told to give money to women. Welcome to the world of financial domination. Pay pigs, money slaves, human ATMs and cash cows: there’s no shortage of men looking to get “wallet raped” online and no shortage of women happy to do just that."
This is just the ultimate form of give your money to women
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