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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Links - 19th May 2018 (1)

Venezuela raises minimum wage 40 percent, stoking world's fastest inflation - "Opposition politicians say Maduro’s refusal to overhaul Venezuela’s state-led economic model and stop excessive money printing will only create more misery in 2018. Maduro, however, spent much of his half-hour address blaming others for the country’s woes. He said foreign and local media were spreading ”negative propaganda,” while Venezuela was facing “attacks” on its currency and attempts to “sabotage” its oil industry"

Errors about Witches - "While Christianity clearly created the framework for the Witch Hunts, no single "Church" was to blame, and many secular governments hunted witches for essentially non-religious reasons... While many witch hunters explicitly went after women, very often men fell victim to the witch hunts... In some areas, like Russia, the large majority of victims were male... While millions of people might have been affected, the best estimates of recent historians range from 50,000 to 200,000 dead.
Even the high estimate of 200,000 dead works out to 500 a year at most

Women spend more time checking out OTHER WOMEN than they do men (and it's their clothes, figures and hair we're most interested in) - "Half of the 2,000 women polled by online retailer Swimwear 365 said they 'enjoy' comparing themselves to women they work with, befriend or pass in the street. And the beach is the place where most female ogling goes on, with 80 per cent of those polled saying they love having a good look at other women when they are sunbathing... half said they get a genuine buzz when women they don't know give them a compliment on how they look, but a cynical 43 per cent of say they don’t believe it when a man pays them a compliment."

Study Finds Women Interpret Looks From One Another in the Worst Ways - "women felt judged by virtually everyone they made contact with, from close friends to complete strangers"

Do More Women on the Board Mean Better Results? - "much of the research on financial performance and female leadership tends to be sponsored by groups with an interest in boosting women’s representation in business, like Catalyst, a U.S. nonprofit... Other research, though, appears to show that female representation on boards may not make much of a difference to a company’s performance. A 2011 study by two University of Michigan professors showed that the stock price of Norwegian companies actually dropped when they began adding women to their boards to comply with the country’s requirement that women comprise forty per cent of supervisory bodies... Better performance by companies with female board members doesn’t necessarily suggest that the women led to the stronger performance, either; it could also mean that companies that are financially successful tend to be more inclusive. Last year, professors at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the University of Edinburgh examined two thousand firms and found that larger companies with bigger boards were more likely to add women. The Credit Suisse Research Institute, acknowledging that it’s hard to make sense of the many confusing and contradictory findings, last year offered its own figures. It studied publicly traded companies and found that, over the past six years, the share prices of companies with at least one woman on the board outperformed those with no women on the board. Interestingly, while performance seemed to have little correlation with female board membership when the economy was booming, from 2005 to 2007, this changed with the recession. From 2008 to 2012, the stock prices of companies with at least one female board member were, on average, twenty-six per cent higher than for companies with no female board members. The authors concluded that “more balance on the board brings less volatility and more balance through the cycle.” What about German companies? Hagen Lindstädt, a management professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, found no relationship, in a 2011 study of a hundred and sixty German public companies between 2002 and 2010, between female board membership and stock-market performance. There were, however, two exceptions: consumer-oriented companies gain from placing females in decision-making positions, because women tend to control household purchases, and other women understand better what appeals to them. In addition, he said, companies with a large female workforce benefit from female leadership because they can hold onto talent better and decrease employee turnover... There are plenty of reasons to improve women’s representation on boards that have nothing to do with financial performance—among them, for diversity’s sake. “This is about equality in our society,” Lindstädt said, “and fairness for all women.”"
It is easy to get other people to subsidise your vision of a good society

8,000 Years Ago, 17 Women Reproduced for Every One Man - "Another member of the research team, a biological anthropologist, hypothesizes that somehow, only a few men accumulated lots of wealth and power, leaving nothing for others. These men could then pass their wealth on to their sons, perpetuating this pattern of elitist reproductive success. Then, as more thousands of years passed, the numbers of men reproducing, compared to women, rose again. "Maybe more and more people started being successful," Wilson Sayres says. In more recent history, as a global average, about four or five women reproduced for every one man."

Salons that help women let their hair down - "For many women, going to get their hair done is an activity that is only partly related to hair at all. Sure, there is a lot of talk about highlights and split ends, but discussions about the pros and cons of conditioning masks tend to veer off into other realms. Work problems are aired, relationships analysed, life's frustrations admitted and secrets spilled. And this universal fact of life got Ms Liora Kessel thinking. It was 2003, and she was just about to open the first Women's Courtyard at the intersection of the three poorest neighbourhoods in Jaffa. The idea behind the non-profit initiative was to offer a safe space to any young woman, usually in some sort of distress, who needed somewhere to hang out and just be herself. Coaching and therapy were offered. But more exciting was the free, professional hair salon that the founders added."

Inside the 'Asian Men Black Women' Dating Scene - ""The girl-to-guy ratio at these events is usually disproportionate (16:6), so the Asian guys get a lot of attention. "There are definitely some crazy 'cougars' in this group," Kemi told me. "When they get a look at you and how young you are, they are going to jump all over you.""

Shahindha Ismail investigated for 'anti-Islamic' tweet - "Shahindha Ismail, executive director of Maldives Democracy Network (MDN), told Al Jazeera that anonymous accounts on Twitter and Facebook have been calling for her death, after a newspaper article and religious scholars accused her of advocating for secularism in the Sunni Muslim state... she responded to a speech by President Abdulla Yameen, in which he had vowed to crack down on what he said were domestic and international efforts to propagate faiths other than Islam in the Maldives. "Religions other than Islam exist in this world because Allah allowed for it. No other religion would exist otherwise, is it not?" Ismail said on Twitter... the Ministry of Islamic Affairs issued a statement urging Maldivians to refrain from "nonsensical talk that advocates for any faith other than Islam in the Maldives". Hours later, the police announced that it had launched an investigation against Ismail. Several ruling party politicians, including Majority Leader Ahmed Nihan, thanked the police for the probe. A police spokesman said Ismail was being investigated under the Religious Unity Act, which criminalises actions that may lead to religious strife in the Maldives"

Analyzing the Couch - NYTimes.com - "“Unlike fashion, where you pay for style and name but not necessarily construction, with a sofa I think you are paying for quality,” Ms. Elliott said. “You’re getting things like feather and down cushions as opposed to foam.” But you can buy a perfectly fine sofa, Ms. Elliott said, with a solid wood frame and feather-wrapped foam cushions, for as little as $1,500, if you find a deal. And she doesn’t see much difference in sofas priced in the midrange (say, between $2,000 and $4,000), other than shape or slight differences in fabric and cushion quality. “Now, when you get below $1,000, that’s where I think you have to be careful,” Ms. Elliott said, because manufacturers are probably cutting corners to keep the price down."

Taking Out the Trash? That’s Still a Man’s Job, Even for the Liberal Coastal Elite - The New York Times - "Almost every woman I know who lives with a man shirks this chore. It’s as if all hard-won equality in the home is tossed on trash night. It may be the last bastion of accepted 1950s behavior. And in this case — and this case alone — women are fine with that... Sophie Galant, 24, a consultant, lives with female roommates in a San Francisco apartment and routinely passes the honor of trash duty to guy friends who come for dinner. “I always ask them to take it out on their way out,” she said. “It smells. And I don’t want it to drip on me.”"
See also: Pepper Schwartz's research on how in feminist couples, the man does most of the driving

The rise and rise of international diplomacy by WhatsApp - "You can send a more secure message through WhatsApp now than most government information systems

As the left surges back, Marxism’s bloody legacy is covered up - "communism’s millions of victims are remembered hardly at all. One standard history of modern times, widely used in our schools, praises the Russian Revolution as aiming at ‘the complete destruction of the Russian and European bourgeoisie’, necessary for ‘the victory of socialism’. This history (Eric Hobsbawm’s Age of Extremes) does not mention the abolition of the law courts, or the establishment of the Cheka (the secret police), or the vicious expropriations that destroyed the Russian economy, or the mass starvation inflicted on the Ukrainian peasants. It is inadmissible for a historian to write in any but disgusted terms of the Nazi destruction of the Jews; but the equally cruel ‘destruction of the bourgeoisie’ can be described in terms of unqualified approval... One thing we should surely learn from the Russian revolution is that resentment is always on the lookout for the theories that will justify it. And the lesson that bore in on me in vivid and unforgettable ways during my own journeys behind the Iron Curtain, is that resentment, when it finally takes power, spells the death of politics. The real purpose of politics is not to express resentment but to contain and conciliate it"

Almost 1,000 cars torched around France on New Year's Eve but government insists it 'went particularly well' - "Vandals in France torched 945 parked cars on New Year's Eve in an arson rampage that has become a sinister annual "tradition" amid a row over whether the government sought to play down the figures... The custom of setting vehicles alight on New Year’s Eve is said to have kicked off around Strasbourg, eastern France in the 1990s, in the the city’s deprived, high-immigrant districts."

How many transgender kids grow up to stay trans? - "I listed the results of every study that ever followed up transgender kids to see how they felt in adulthood (Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow up?). There are 12 such studies in all, and they all came to the very same conclusion: The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older... Despite coming from a variety of countries and from a variety of labs, using a variety of methods, all spanning four decades, every single study without exception has come to the identical conclusion... activists are rejecting the unanimous conclusion of every single study ever conducted on the question in favour of a conclusion supported by not one"

Why No One Cares About Feminist Theory - "it’s difficult to ignore many of the more recent real-world applications of feminist theory. I could point to obvious egregious abuses here, like the shameful excesses on college campuses and outsized moral panic about sexual harassment, yet I’m even more compelled by “shrill” feminist popularizer Lindy West’s recent tirade against men in the the New York Times. Even more worrying, this screed echoes feminist scholar Lisa Wade’s weeks-earlier definitely-not-man-hating assertion that “the problem is not toxic masculinity; it’s that masculinity is toxic,” and that “we need to call masculinity out as a hazardous ideology and denounce anyone who chooses to identify with it.” For those who don’t realize, “toxic masculinity” is a technical term originating from within feminist theorizing, not some cute turn of phrase invented by edgy writers with an axe to grind.... criticism of feminist theory, from within feminism itself, is worse than un-care-about-able. It’s arranged so that substantive criticism makes no impact. How could it? It has set up a self-protective system (as do nearly all conspiracy theories) in which criticism of feminist theory is understood to validate feminist theory. Take, for example, the commonly heard claims that “criticism of feminism is why we need feminism.” Under feminist theory, which is deeply dependent upon postmodern thought, knowledge is believed to be constructed by “dominant discourses,” and feminism, particularly intersectional feminism, is taken to be the true defender of marginalized voices, including those allegedly of women. Worse than this, because of its beliefs about these structures of power, to criticize feminist theory is to violate a moral taboo against gender equality. Critics of feminist theory, even in purely scholarly terms, are easily derided as being complicit in sexism, and the moral architecture of the post-1960s academy left other academics (and administrators) particularly weak against these charges... critics like myself, Peter Boghossian, Paul Gross, Norman Levitt, Alan Sokal, and Steven Pinker are just white males exercising our epistemic pushback, like every other man who disagrees. (Nota bene: Women who disagree suffer from “internalized misogyny” and, in an attempt to maintain favor with “the mens,” engage in the same epistemic pushback, once removed — so there’s no winning here, only agreeing with the feminists, being used as evidence of the rightness of feminism and the need for more feminism and feminist theory, or being ignored.)"

'Shoot the Jews': How Sweden's Jews just became key targets for violent Muslim anger over Trump's Jerusalem move - "It is mindboggling that, in 2017, a group of 200 people can gather in a public square in Sweden (Sweden!) and shout their intention to kill Jews, apparently without fear of reproach... Nearly a decade ago, reports by journalist Niklas Orrenius helped open Swedes’ eyes to the prevalence of Jew hatred among the Muslim population in Malmö, a city that has since earned an international reputation for anti-Semitism... let us hope that the country’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, makes good on his recent vow, in an interview this month with the Jewish magazine Judisk Krönika, to "stand on the barricades in the fight against anti-Semitism and racism" and not to "turn a blind eye to the fact that many people have come here from the Middle East, where anti-Semitism is widespread, almost a part of the ideology.""

Dalian Atkinson death raises concerns about police Taser use - "The Sun reported that Atkinson shouted: “It’s not working,” when he was first struck by a Taser and police then allegedly fired two more rounds of the 50,000-volt shock. Campaigners accused the police of using excessive force and said the incident raised issues about policing and race"
Apparently it's racist to try to subdue someone who might be a danger - and is taunting you that he's still a threat

'Stop political correctness': African community leader urges action on youth crime - "A professional athlete from Melbourne's Sudanese community who survived a machete attack believes gang violence has worsened because Victorian authorities have been too "politically correct"... Mr Yoa said he wants authorities to acknowledge gang crime involving youths from African communities is a problem... "I was sort of in disbelief when I heard police say gangs don't exist."... Previously an African think-tank leader, Berhan Ahmed, told SBS News there was an issue with African youth crime"

France sets up tax dept to investigate Jews - "Setting up a specific department dealing with a designated nationality or religion, however, is not an accepted practice."

China’s ‘little emperors’ vandalise art in Shanghai museum as their mothers film the act

Why Monarchies Are Still Relevant and Useful in the 21st Century - "There are several advantages in having a monarchy in the 21st century. First, as Serge Schmemann argues in The New York Times, monarchs can rise above politics in the way an elected head of state cannot. Monarchs represent the whole country in a way democratically elected leaders cannot and do not. The choice for the highest political position in a monarchy cannot be influenced by and in a sense beholden to money, the media, or a political party. Secondly and closely related to the previous point is that in factitious countries like Thailand, the existence of a monarch is often the only thing holding the country back from the edge of civil war. Monarchs are especially important in multiethnic countries such as Belgium because the institution of monarchy unites diverse and often hostile ethnic groups under shared loyalty to the monarch instead of to an ethnic or tribal group. The Habsburg dynasty held together a large, prosperous country that quickly balkanized into almost a dozen states of no power without it... Third, monarchies prevent the emergence of extreme forms of government in their countries by fixing the form of government. All political leaders must serve as prime ministers or ministers of the ruler. Even if actual power lies with these individuals, the existence of a monarch makes it difficult to radically or totally alter a country’s politics. The presence of kings in Cambodia, Jordan, and Morocco holds back the worst and more extreme tendencies of political leaders or factions in their countries. Monarchy also stabilizes countries by encouraging slow, incremental change instead of extreme swings in the nature of regimes. The monarchies of the Arab states have established much more stable societies than non-monarchic Arab states, many of which have gone through such seismic shifts over the course of the Arab Spring. Fourth, monarchies have the gravitas and prestige to make last-resort, hard, and necessary decisions — decisions that nobody else can make. For example, Juan Carlos of Spain personally ensured his country’s transition to a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary institutions and stood down an attempted military coup. At the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito defied his military’s wish to fight on and saved countless of his people’s lives by advocating for Japan’s surrender. Fifth, monarchies are repositories of tradition and continuity in ever changing times. They remind a country of what it represents and where it came from, facts that can often be forgotten in the swiftly changing currents of politics. Finally, rather counterintuitively, monarchies can serve up a head of state in a more democratic and diverse way than actual democratic politics... Even monarchies that were absolute in theory were almost always constrained in practice. A second criticism is that even a good monarch may have an unworthy successor. However, today’s heirs are educated from birth for their future role and live in the full glare of the media their entire lives. This constrains bad behavior. More importantly, because they have literally been born to rule, they have constant, hands-on training on how to interact with people, politicians, and the media."
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