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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Links - 20th May 2018 (3)

BBC Radio 4 - Thinking Allowed, War Games - Riding the Subway - ""Come on, Laurie. The copious laughter at self help books which filled your Thinking Allowed on New Year's Eve was hardly criticality. Did it not rather betray the contempt with which ivory-towered sociologists hold the general population? This is supposed to be Thinking Allowed, not Sneering Allowed"

Vegan accuses police of 'offensive tweets' - because of a cooked breakfast picture

Man on sex offenders’ register for grabbing Tinder date’s breasts during sex has conviction quashed - "A medical student who was placed on the sex offenders’ register after having consensual sex on a Tinder date has had his name cleared. The 37-year-old man was taken to court for grabbing his date’s breasts during sex. Philip Queree met the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on the Tinder dating app and had what he called “rough” sex on their second date. He was later taken to court for grabbing her breasts too hard during sex... As a result of her accusations, Queree’s future medical career was destroyed as he was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years... “Her complaints to the defendant did not amount to a complete prohibition of touching her breasts,” Steenson said. “She was demanding he was more gentle with her not that he wouldn’t touch her breasts at all.”"

White noise video on YouTube hit by five copyright claims - "A musician who made a 10-hour long video of continuous white noise - indistinct electronic hissing - has said five copyright infringement claims have been made against him... one YouTube user reported that he faced copyright claims over birdsong captured in the background of one of his videos."

A Drug Meant for Alzheimer’s Treatment Regrows Human Teeth - "Researchers realized that an experimental Alzheimer's drug called Tideglusib had the side effect of encouraging dentin growth, which is the bony part of the tooth made of calcified tissue. It makes up most of the tooth, just above the pulp but under the hard enamel... Normally, a tooth would only grow a tiny layer of dentin over an injury—not nearly enough to save a tooth from needing to be drilled or removed to prevent infection. But when Tideglusib is applied to the injured spot on the tooth, it blocks the enzyme that usually stops dentin growth, glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3), and the whole spot heals up by itself."

Escort agency founder provides 'girlfriend experience' sans the sleaze - "For legal reasons, SG VIP Escorts hires only Singaporeans and permanent residents. The criterion also acts as a form of quality control for Richard and helps assure his clients that they will not be set up with foreign KTV hostesses. Besides, his clients prefer local girls. Most of his customers are Chinese men aged 30 to 45 who hail from Indonesia, China and Singapore. Richard has also dealt with clients from India and Western countries... Contrary to what he initially expected, the girls on the site who showed more skin in their pictures received less bookings, said Richard. Instead, the more popular escorts were the women with nice legs... “Before I entered, I thought clients just want someone who looks good, they don’t care if she is dumb. But after doing it I realised that they want someone who has class. They don’t want to deal with some ‘ah lian’,” he said."

Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings. - The New York Times - "many of us, including many longstanding feminists, will be rolling our eyes, having had it with the reflexive and unnuanced sense of outrage that has accompanied this cause from its inception, turning a bona fide moment of moral accountability into a series of ad hoc and sometimes unproven accusations. For many weeks now, the conversation that has been going on in private about this reckoning is radically different from the public one. This is not a good sign, suggesting the sort of social intimidation that is the underside of a culture of political correctness, such as we are increasingly living in... “Grow up, this is real life,” I hear these same feminist friends say. “What ever happened to flirting?” and “What about the women who are the predators?” Some women, including random people I talk to in supermarket lines, have gone so far as to call it an outright witch hunt. It goes without saying that no one is coming to the defense of heinous sorts, like Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer. But the trickle-down effect to cases like those of Garrison Keillor, Jonathan Schwartz, Ryan Lizza and Al Franken, in which the accusations are scattered, anonymous or, as far as the public knows, very vague and unspecific, has been troubling. Perhaps even more troubling is that we seem to be returning to a victimology paradigm for young women, in particular, in which they are perceived to be — and perceive themselves to be — as frail as Victorian housewives. Consider the fact that the campaign last month against the Met to remove a Balthus painting that shows a young girl in a suggestive light was organized by two young Manhattan feminists. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful. This is the kind of censorship practiced by religious zealots. What happened to women’s agency? That’s what I find myself wondering as I hear story after story of adult women who helplessly acquiesce to sexual demands. I find it especially curious given that a majority of women I know have been in situations in which men have come on to them — at work or otherwise. They have routinely said, “I’m not interested” or “Get your hands off me right now.”... Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy and, frankly, nonconsensual — one person, typically the man, bites the bullet by expressing interest in the other, typically the woman — whether it happens at work or at a bar. Some are now suggesting that come-ons need to be constricted to a repressive degree... Next we’ll be torching people for the content of their fantasies."

Senate Democrats Make Hard Turn Left in Warming Up for 2020 Race - The New York Times - "“The Democrats running in the 10 states that Donald Trump carried have all demonstrated an ability to get elected in Republican states, so they obviously have something going for them,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican strategist. “But having the Democratic Party veer further and further to the left makes their lives substantially more difficult.”"

Can Democrats Follow #MeToo to Victory? - The New York Times - "In her paper, “How Gender Mattered to Millennials in the 2016 Election and Beyond,” Kawashima-Ginsberg found that in an election in which allegations of harassment and abuse against Donald Trump were central, support for the Democratic nominee dropped by 15 points from 2008 to 2016 among all young men between the ages of 18 to 29 (from 62 to 47 percent) and by 6 points among all women (from 69 to 63 percent). At the same time, turnout among young white men, many of whom supported Trump, shot up significantly... 'progressives have done a great job framing racial inequality, feminism and LGBTQ rights as part of the same basic struggle. However, this association works both ways. Accusations of misogyny, for instance, are often heard in the context of a fundamentally anti-white, anti-Christian culture war — a zero-sum campaign waged against ordinary hard-working Americans by condescending and politically-correct liberal elites.'"

Is there a butter crisis in France? - "Every country in the world has to cope with these market changes. Why is it only in France we see the spaces in the racks? There is a simple answer to that - rigidities in France's system of pricing and distribution. In other countries like Germany, supermarkets have responded to the changing world butter market by putting up their prices. In France, the cost to the shopper of a pack of butter has barely changed. This is because butter prices are set annually in France, in negotiations between supermarkets and producers. The next round of talks is not due until February, so until then the supermarkets are only offering to pay what was agreed nine months ago - when butter was much cheaper. French producers are not foolish. They can see that the world market is much more attractive than the domestic market. So they are saying "non" to the supermarkets, and selling their stock abroad."

‘Sounds more like North Korea’: Anti-censorship Toronto subway art delayed over hate speech fears - "Two artists behind a controversial art installation commissioned for a newly opened subway station in Toronto say the city’s refusal to greenlight the project has ironically achieved what the art was meant to do — spark a debate about free speech."

'It's no different from being an athlete': An afternoon with high-class escort Courtesan Cara - "For Cara, who says she comes from a relatively well-off family, escort work is not primarily about making money but is more about attaining “job satisfaction”. “I don’t get a lot of satisfaction from my day job. In fact, the clients (from my day job) hate me because I come in and I tell them what they’re doing wrong”"

Meet the Women Who Ruined Star Wars - "There are people to blame for this franchise stumbling so early, but the most important of all is the Star Wars story group. This group, led by Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, is supposed to rule over the franchise’s canon, story and make sure the continuity and consistency is seamless. It seems they were busy promoting the diversity on their team instead of guaranteeing success for the franchise. In an interview with Fortune, she explained: “Fifty percent of our executive team are women. Six out of eight of the people in my Story Group are women. I think it’s making a huge difference in the kind of stories we’re trying to tell.” While she ran around with “The force is female” t-shirts and staffed her story group with women, she apparently forgot to actually plan out this franchise. In an interview with Deadline, director Rian Johnson revealed that there was no big outline on the trilogy, and that he had full creative freedom to do whatever he wished in The Last Jedi. Meaning Disney and the Star Wars story group left the fate and success of this multi-billion dollar franchise to chance and at the whim of whichever director & writer happened to be directing at the time... The characters in The Last Jedi mirror this mess. Admiral Holdo, nicknamed by critics as Admiral SJW, is the definition of leadership as explained by someone with critically low testosterone: a person who must not explain herself, is expected to be followed blindly and without question, and must not be upstaged."

How ‘Cheap Sex’ Is Changing Our Lives — and Our Politics - "A system that produces incentives for stable relationships and prosocial male behavior might do so at the cost of individual sexual autonomy, and vice versa... cheap sex has produced a new equilibrium in which, for the college-educated at least, the norm is low-commitment sexual exploration in one’s 20s before stable marriage in the mid- to late-30s (for the poorer and less-educated, it is more often serial relationships and unplanned pregnancies)... Regnerus spends little time discussing the political implications of cheap sex, other than to note a strong correlation, especially among women, between secularism, political liberalism, and high levels of unmet sexual desire, which he provocatively attributes to their searching for transcendent meaning in sex... as Ed West and others have suggested, much of contemporary political extremism is, among other things, an exaggerated form of stereotypically feminine (in the case of the far left) and stereotypically masculine (in the case of the far right) behavior"

Workplace Relationships Are Inappropriate but Oh, So Fun - "ultimately, it wasn’t the clandestine sex that kept her the relationship for so long. Rather, the affair gradually built a kind of rapport between the two of them. It made the long hours at work more bearable, and it made them (as a couple) more driven to achieve their team goals. “It wasn’t really affection,” she says, “More like, we just got closer and became more sensitive to each other’s moods and habits. And as a result, we had a better working relationship.” As to how she made it work, Melissa simply shrugs and admits that she was lucky. She met the right guy, and it both started and ended well. Like the most ideal of ‘friends with benefits’ arrangements, the thrill of hooking up faded, and they simply stayed colleagues after that. Yet few individuals who find themselves in such situations are this lucky... “You wanna know why we’re so impressed by people who tell us they’ve had office sex? It’s because not everyone gets to do it, and it’s awesome.”... they regret the current climate of knee-jerk condemnation of anything that could possibly be construed as sexual harassment"

Time to concede it was the West who stopped bumiputera slavery - "Due to Islamic teaching that forbids enslaving fellow Muslims, the indigenous people, or Orang Asli, who weres labelled as ‘Sakai’ (slave) or ‘kafir’ (infidel) became the usual target. The Orang Asli were the “greatest local source of slaves”.

The Most Infamous Swimming Pool in Japanese Pornography

In Low-Crime Singapore: Understanding the Link between Diversity and Crime at the Neighbourhood Level - "we found no correlation between ethnic diversity and crime rate, even though there are varying degrees of ethnic diversity across the different areas we looked at. The lack of a significant link may be due to the Singapore government’s long-standing policies to promote interaction and understanding among Singaporeans of different races, such as through the Ethnic Integration Policy in Housing and Development Board estates to ensure a mixture of residents from different racial background. Thus, our findings suggest that, unlike in other countries, ethnic diversity in Singapore is not a factor in an anti-social behaviour like crime... Similar to research done in the US, neighbourhoods in Singapore where residents have greater diversity in terms of socioeconomic potential (e.g., mixture of households with varying levels of income) and family backgrounds (e.g., mixture of single-member, couple-based and single-parent households), tend to experience higher crime rates."

The Expanded Universe Story That Led to Lucasfilm Re-Writing Star Wars Canon - "The Expanded Universe was filled with infamous moments that many Star Wars fans were happy to have lost (and plenty whose absence still stings today). Perhaps one of the most controversial came in R.A. Salvatore’s 1999 novel Vector Prime, which saw Chewbacca become the first major movie casualty of the EU when he sacrificed himself to save the youngest son of Han and Leia, Anakin Solo, and... was killed by having a moon dropped on him?"

Having a Gun in the House Doesn't Make a Woman Safer - "Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, has argued that firearms are a great equalizer between the sexes. In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee last year, he declared, “The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun.”... females are uniquely impacted by the availability of a firearm. Indeed, the study found that women with access to firearms become homicide victims at significantly higher rates than men... within American borders, women die at higher rates from suicide, homicide, and accidental firearm deaths in states where guns are more widely available. This is true even after controlling for factors such as urbanization, alcohol use, education, poverty, and divorce rates... not a single study to date has shown that the risk of any crime including burglary, robbery, home invasion, or spousal abuse against a female is decreased through gun ownership"

Palestinians are rewarding terrorists. The U.S. should stop enabling them. - The Washington Post - "Payments to terrorists and their families are enshrined in Palestinian law, provided for in the Palestinian Authority budget and indirectly supported by foreign aid. Israeli settlements may be obstacles to peace, but so, too, is Palestinian incitement, epitomized by these lavish incentives to commit violence... Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who are convicted of attacks in Israel (“participation in the struggle against the occupation”) are entitled to monthly “salaries” commencing with their arrest (and continuing for life for men who serve at least five years and women who serve at least two), along with additional cash grants and priority civil-service job placements upon their release. In this lethal logic, the longer a prison sentence — really, the more deadly an attack — the more profitable the payout... The “lone wolves” who perpetrate stabbings, shootings and car-rammings are not really acting alone — they are a people’s army recruited to kill by their government... When murderers are hailed as heroes and welcomed into the high ranks of government, when public squares and streets and summer camps are named after terrorists who killed Israeli children, Palestinian leaders can’t reasonably expect their next generation to dream of becoming doctors, teachers and peacemakers... Imagine if that money and administrative finesse were used to deliver better health care, education and enhanced quality of life to the West Bank. Ironically, the payments derive, in part, from foreign aid that’s intended to meet humanitarian needs, sustain the Palestinian economy and discourage violence... Enabling Palestinians to distribute blood money not only violates the obligations of the Oslo Accords, it also contravenes the 1999 U.N. Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terror and the 2001 U.N. Security Council Resolution to combat international terror in the aftermath of 9/11. All nations that provide the Palestinian Authority with a blank check for such illicit affairs are complicit in the killing of civilians."
Rewarding terrorists is a lot bigger of an anti-peace measure than settlements, but "resistance" justifies anything

CNN Sanitizes Mahmoud Abbas' Speech, Expunges Antisemitic Statements - "Among the Palestinian leader's falsehoods was his denial of any connection between Judaism and the Holy Land, the assertion that Jews preferred to be murdered in the Holocaust rather than come to pre-state Israel, and the charge that Israel is sending drugs to Palestinian youth"

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Praises Murder of Rabbi - "What is not currently being reported by the mainstream media is the reaction of Fatah, the party of our “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas, which is even more gleeful than that of Hamas"
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