"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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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Links - 16th May 2018 (2)

Olivia Locher photos capture the most bizarre things outlawed in America - "From riding a bike in a swimming pool to carrying an icecream cone in your back pocket, America has outlawed some pretty absurd things... in Wisconsin it's illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese and that in Texas children are banned from sporting unusual haircuts. Meanwhile, in Connecticut pickles must bounce to be deemed pickles and in Hawaii you'll be in trouble if you put coins in your ears."

Why are modern women are becoming more aggressive? - "Dr Elle Boag, social psychologist at Birmingham City University, says: 'Women feel aggression is a form of empowerment. It has become so commonplace that it's not even shameful'... Steven who works with disabled children, has learned how to cope with her outbursts. As mild-mannered as Jo is volatile, he's found that the best thing to do is to walk away and let the tantrum burn itself out... Once, when Jo wanted to eat out and Steven didn't, she kicked the air conditioning in her car so hard that it broke. 'I apologised profusely and promised I would never lose it with him again. But I obviously did.'"

The tech nerds attracting the world's most desirable women - "He became infatuated with Amber after they appeared in the 2013 film Machete Kills, and wrote to the director Robert Rodriguez many times asking him to set up a meeting. He wrote: ‘Am not angling for a date. I know she’s in a long-term relationship, but . . . Amber just seems like an interesting person to meet.’ They started dating last summer."

Two-year probe into Edward Heath branded 'idiotic waste' - "A probe into allegations of historical sex offences by former Prime Minister Edward Heath was branded an 'idiotic waste of public money'. Mike Veale, Chief Constable at Wiltshire Police, said yesterday that the £2million investigation is to end is coming weeks"

Sir Edward Heath accusers also claim parents ran sex cult - "A group of women who say Sir Edward Heath abused them as children have also accused their parents of being involved in up to 16 murders. The farce came as police probe incredible claims that the former prime minister was linked to a paedophile ring that killed as many as 16 children – which would make them the worst child murderers in British history. The seemingly far-fetched allegations have been made by a family who allege that the politician was part of a satanic sex cult run by their own parents. They say that the cult regularly slaughtered children as ritual sacrifices in churches and forests around southern England and also participated in similar ceremonies in Africa.... The paedophile ring – which they say Sir Edward was part of – stabbed, tortured and maimed youngsters in churches and burnt babies in satanic orgies before men, women and children gorged themselves on blood and body parts, police have been told."
If it sounds too good to be true...

Rupert Everett: the queen of mean - ""Why do queens want to go and get married in churches? Obviously this crusty old pathetic, Anglican church – the most joke-ish church of all jokey churches – of course they don't want to have queens getting married. It's kind of understandable that they don't; they're crusty old calcified freaks. But why do we want to get married in churches? I don't understand that, myself, personally. I loathe heterosexual weddings; I would never go to a wedding in my life. I loathe the flowers, I loathe the fucking wedding dress, the little bridal tiara. It's grotesque. It's just hideous. The wedding cake, the party, the champagne, the inevitable divorce two years later. It's just a waste of time in the heterosexual world, and in the homosexual world I find it personally beyond tragic that we want to ape this institution that is so clearly a disaster." So I wasn't entirely surprised when, just a few days later, he landed himself in trouble. It was a throwaway remark to a Sunday supplement – "I can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads" – and within hours the world's media was buzzing with letters from angry gay dads calling Everett a dinosaur"

David Starkey: Do gays need to call each other Mr and Mrs? - "Henry did not loosen but tighten the rules of marriage. And his Church has continued to keep them tight – against divorcees, including its own future Supreme Governor, Prince Charles, who was notoriously denied a Church service for his second marriage, and now against gays... Can gays really be surprised that they are being treated with the same rigour as the heir to the throne and would-be Defender of Faith? For the Church’s grounds for its refusal to countenance gay marriage are identical."

I¿m a gay man who opposes gay marriage. Does that make ME a bigot, Mr Cameron? - "Even some of the Prime Minister’s admirers concede that the policy has less to do with offering equality to the gay community and more to do with decontaminating the allegedly ‘toxic’ Tory brand... ‘This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which has already won equal rights with civil partnerships,’ says Bradshaw. ‘This is pure politics.’... Ministers have ruled out extending civil partnerships, which became law in December 2005, beyond the gay community. So we gays will enjoy rights denied to heterosexuals. What an absurd state of affairs. The truth is that no one has been able to explain to me the difference between gay marriage and a civil partnership. I have asked ministers and friends. None has an answer."

14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid

China cracks down on its sex partying, Ferrari-driving 'fuerdai' rich kids - "A woman named Guo Meimei, who is now 23 and was considered to be the queen of the fuerdais, was accused by a male rival, Chen Junyu, of selling sex in Sanya. She responded by posting a picture of 5 million Yuan's-worth (£516,000) of casino chips online along with the caption: 'Too rich to need to sell sex.'... Miss Guo fell from grace last year when, after being arrested for gambling crimes, she admitted she had accepted money for sex in the past... Perhaps the most sinister incident of fuerdai excess-related behaviour came in 2012 when Ling Gu, son of high-ranking government official Ling Jihua, crashed his Ferrari 458 Spider in Beijing. Ling Gu, aged 23, was killed in the crash and three female passengers, two of whom were found naked with the other in a partial state of undress, were seriously injured... Wang Sicong, son of tycoon Wang Jianlin, China's richest man, posted pictures online of his dog wearing two gold Apple Watches: one for each front paw.

Gender differences in moral reasoning - "This research tests Gilligan's hypothesis that men are more likely to consider moral dilemmas chiefly in terms of justice and individual rights, whereas women are more likely to be chiefly concerned with questions of care and relationships with others... both moral orientations were widely used by both men and women, but that women were more likely to employ prodominantly care considerations. In a test of mean differences in proportion of justice responses, content of the specific moral dilemma showed a strong influence upon moral reasoning. Results suggest that both gender and situational factors need to be considered in our understanding of moral reasoning."
In other words, women are more subjective in morality, and men believe more in abstract and universal moral principles
See also: Ched Evans

Why are people so terrified of Milo Yiannopoulos’s book? - "Every act of censorship in history has had these two key ingredients, the tendency to blur the lines between words and violence and the snooty, authoritarian view of the public as dim and dangerous, and so does the outburst of Milophobia. When you’re scared of a book — a book! — then you have truly lost your faith in reason and in other people. You have submitted yourself, mind and soul, to the tyrannical logic, if not the practice, of the censor. The fury over ‘Dangerous’ might not be censorship, but it is unquestionably a stab at cultivating self-censorship. Putting moral and financial pressure on S&S is about telling this publishing house, and others, that they will suffer if they bring out books the right-on don’t like. It’s a kind of blackmail, with the overarching aim of controlling, or at least skewing, what does and doesn’t get published. Remember the words of Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451: ‘There is more than one way to burn a book.’ Some do it with matches, said Bradbury, while others, especially in the literary set, ‘lick [their] guillotine and eye the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme’. The Milo-fearing set might not be lighting matches, but they’re licking their guillotines."

Chester Tan (陈文希)'s answer to What is the saddest thing about Singapore? - Quora - "The saddest thing about Singapore from the perspective of a young adult like myself is the false sense of helplessness ingrained in a majority of the population's psyche"

Mark Lilla: the liberal who counts more enemies on the left than the right - "Lilla, a Columbia professor of humanities, published a New York Times op-ed, The End of Identity Liberalism. It became the Times’ most read political op-ed of the year and marked his transition from academic and occasional public intellectual to polemicist. Addressed to liberal Democrats, the op-ed was both a call to arms and a rebuke. Trump’s accession to the White House, Lilla argued, was a backlash against an obsession with identity politics on the part of the American left... Lilla doubled down on his argument with The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics (2017), a short book and his first for a popular audience. “We need no more marchers. We need more mayors,” he wrote. Only by articulating a political vision that speaks to all Americans, Lilla believes, can Democrats secure political power, turn the tide of Trumpism, and help minorities. Lilla, a liberal, wants to save liberalism from itself... In a rebuttal of Lilla for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Katherine Franke, a colleague of Lilla’s at Columbia, accused him of ‘Making White Supremacy Respectable. Again’ and compared him to former Klan leader David Duke. In a hostile review for the New York Times, Yale historian Beverly Gage called Lilla’s book “trolling disguised as erudition”... The Once and Future Liberal is not an academic text, he said; it’s an “intervention, like in a psychological case where you sit down with the person in the family who’s become an alcoholic”. American liberalism has become addicted to a losing political strategy, he believes, and the window for effective intervention is closing. Macomb County, Michigan, Lilla’s birthplace just outside Detroit, was one of the rust belt counties that voted twice for Obama before going for Trump – a fact which complicates the progressive “whitelash” thesis that Trump voters were motivated by racial resentment... Lilla saw firsthand the deterioration of the relationship between the Democratic party and working-class whites in Michigan, a breakdown motivated in part by “the sense people had that there was a Democratic cultural elite that looked down on them and their religion and their family life and their traditional views”. In an influential 1985 study of Macomb, Stan Greenberg, a pollster, argued that white rust belt voters lost faith in the Democratic party due to a perception that it advocated for other groups – black Americans, the very poor, recent immigrants, feminists – but not them... Lilla believes students’ lack of exposure to conservative ideas does them a serious disservice. Progressive activists today are poorly equipped to combat the right, he thinks, in part because one cannot debate an adversary one doesn’t understand. “You have to learn about what people actually think and not rely on a fantasy sense of what they think.”... He sees the backlash against Lilla as “ridiculous and indicative of the self-defeating purity tests the left imposes on itself”. For his part, Lilla sees the pushback as a commentary on the state of political discourse. “It’s depressing to see the low intellectual level, the lack of reflection, the unwillingness to simply engage with the very pragmatic case that I make. Not only do we have to fight Republicans, and argue with each other,” it turns out “we’ve also got to fight against this kind of self-satisfied expression of the political id.”... Lilla thinks Danica Roem, who recently became the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia legislature, is a good example of how Democrats can advance identity issues. “She’s proudly and openly trans, but her campaign was not about being trans. She talked about the issues that affect most people, and would not be baited by her opponent into making [her gender identity] the issue.”"

Are children really better at foreign language learning? - "While children are still learning the mechanics of their own first language, adults have a more developed understanding of how language works. Adults already know the more advanced elements of grammar, such as how conjugation works, or what an adverb does"

How to Sell Combs to Monks - "3 sales professionals applied to work for a huge company. As they were all evenly qualified, the interviewer decided to set a sales challenge and the person who sold the most would be awarded the job. The challenge was to sell combs to monks of any temple up in the mountains"

Everything You Thought You Knew About SHARK FINS Is A Big Lie - "Do you know how you’ve always thought that the fins you’ve been eating at wedding dinners was forcibly removed from a group of sharks before they are thrown back into the ocean, still alive, only to slowly die? That story is as true as the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. “Most of the videos that you see is either really old footage, we’re talking 10 to 15 years ago, or deliberately construed. The environmentalists pay a poor fisherman from the Philippines to rip the fin off from the shark so that they can film it,” declares Executive Officer Anthony Ciconte from the Southern Shark Industry Alliance... A large number of Singapore’s shark fins come from Australia and the most common shark species fished in the land Down Under is the gummy shark. The fishermen – shark or other species – are governed by a strict set of regulations, most of which are designed to keep the marine population at healthy, sustainable levels... “the shark stocks are in the best shape that they’ve ever been for the past 30 years”, as proven by the consistent rise in the gummy shark quota over the past decade."

2 Secrets To The Good Life, Backed By Ancient Wisdom And Research - "It’s the little things. Rituals are key. You are your habits; so take the time to get rid of the bad ones and develop good ones.
Don’t make life plans. Cultivate opportunities. The master plan may fail. Your goals will change. So guarantee that new possibilities will keep coming your way by making “little bets.”"

Two heterosexual Irish men marry to avoid inheritance tax on property - "Two Irish men have married in Dublin to avoid paying €50,000 in inheritance tax on a house... O’Sullivan paid tribute to Ireland’s LGBT community. “The equality gay and lesbian people did for this country, that they fought hard for, they were discriminated against for most of their lives, they got equality for themselves but also for everybody else”... O’Sullivan said after the ceremony: “I love Matt and he loves me, as friends.”"
Comment: "People should be outraged. It’s a clear and self confessed case of tax avoidance. No different from having offshore bank accounts."

Seven Reasons the Left Is Losing - "Reflecting on what he called “the woke identity,” Freddie DeBoer observed a tendency among some leftists to forcefully reject the work of persuasion with excuses like, “It’s not my job to educate you.” The not-yet-woke are to be chided, not engaged. “The problem with making your political program the assembly of a moral aristocracy is that hierarchy always requires exclusivity... It’s just math: you can’t grow a mass party when the daily operation of your movement involves finding more and more heretics to ostracize from the community.”... He therefore rejects “the performative uselessness that is the call out”... DeRay Mckesson, the civil-rights activist best known for his work with Black Lives Matter, worried that “there is a noticeable absence of grace in the movement space,” that “some people are more addicted to fighting than winning,” and that the personal backgrounds of organizers are too often treated as if they are a proxy for their effectiveness. “We have started to police people's authenticity by their proximity to trauma, not their proximity to the work,” he said. “Both my parents were drug addicts. My father raised us. My mother left. I know what it's like to sleep on the floor when they shoot too close to the house. That doesn't make me a better organizer. It could actually just make me more traumatized. How do we stop thinking about proximity to trauma as the thing that makes you the best organizer?” Implicit in that formulation is the notion that the best organizing is that which achieves ends in the real world, not that which most defers to or elevates the traumatized... Built into the privilege framework is “the idea that the normal state of affairs is for things to be going terribly”... "It can seem as if the desired goal is for everyone to be oppressed, rather than for all to be free from oppression""
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