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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Links - 24th June 2018 (2)

Labour's Position On The Gender Recognition Act Is A Huge Mistake - And Women Need To Be Able To Talk About It - "Trans rights activists have been lobbying hard for changes to the Gender Recognition Act so that those who wish to change from male to female can simply ‘self-identify’ as women, with all the currently required checks and processes removed. Any man could simply sign a form and become, legally, a woman. Every single person outside politics I have spoken to about this can see quite clearly and quickly why many women may not want to be naked around naked, male-bodied strangers... There are no officially collected statistics on the crime patterns and rates for transwomen. Some studies suggest that for sex offences it is equally as high as males, reports in reputable news outlets in the past couple of years show sex offence convictions are at least 10-20 times the rate that of biological women... as the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists puts it, it would be “rather naïve” to suggest that male prisoners wouldn’t pretend to be transgender in order to access women prisons... women have had their employers contacted by anonymous activists accusing them of transphobia for simply questioning the trans rights agenda - every single meeting that women have tried to organise to discuss the issues has been targeted by activists attempting to shut it down."

Up to half of trans inmates may be sex offenders - "a new report by the campaign group Fair Play for Women, to be published today, suggests that placing transwomen in female prisons may be even more risky for the other inmates [than putting transwomen in male prisons]. According to the research, a disproportionate number of transgender convicts are, like Ayrton and Winfield, sex offenders. It was a problem already quietly worrying professionals in the field. In previously unpublicised evidence to the Commons women and equalities committee, the British Psychological Society warned that some biological men convicted of sex crimes had “falsely claimed” to be transgender “as a means of demonstrating reduced risk and so gaining parole” or in rare cases it has been thought that the person is “seeking better access to females and young children through presenting in an apparently female way”... it appears likely, therefore, that between a third and a half of all England and Wales’s transgender prisoners — Fair Play for Women states 41% — are sex offenders. That compares with a proportion of 17% in the prison population as a whole... After the Tara Hudson case, however, the policy also says that requests from other trans prisoners to be moved to women’s jails will be looked on sympathetically where there is strong evidence of their living as female before incarceration — and will be blocked if an offender is suspected of “insincere motivation”. If the government’s proposals to allow gender self-definition go through, such controls may be removed and the number of biological men in female jails is expected to increase sharply."

Brexit, bullying and transgender rights: Why are women turning their backs on the Labour Party? - "The survey showed a three-point drop for Labour among all voters, but a six-point fall among women. The same poll suggested what is now becoming a trend: despite an embattled Prime Minister and a government hamstrung over Brexit, Labour are slipping further behind the Conservatives. Mumsnet, the parenting website with millions of users, has been debating this six-point fall among women voters for the past week, with a thread dedicated to the issue gathering almost 500 posts. Women there are angry about Labour’s policy on Brexit and allegations of antisemitism against some prominent party members, but one issue is dominant: transgender rights and, specifically, gender self-identification and the party’s position on allowing trans women onto all women shortlists"

Transgender model who said 'all white people are racist' appointed as Labour adviser - "Munroe Bergdorf, 30, made history when she was hired as L'Oreal's first transgender model, but was fired days after the appointment when critics unearthed comments she made in response to the far-right march at Charlottesville... "Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk... she has since said her comments were taken the wrong way, and were posted in response to the Charlottesville march... The model attracted support after she was fired, with many saying they would boycott L'Oreal for its actions... "When Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, he promised a ‘kinder politics’. Yet it seems every day we seem some new example of abuse from the Labour Party. The kind of language Bergdorf has used has no place in public life, and ought to be condemned by all those "who are serious about promoting equality."

Munroe Bergdorf: Labour LGBT adviser quits over 'online abuse' - "Tory MP Helen Grant said language used by the model - who was sacked by L'Oreal over racism claims - "damages the campaign to promote equality". She referred to tweets, all from the past year, which criticised suffragettes, gay male Conservatives and also made comments about racial issues. Munroe went on to "clarify" her comments on Twitter. Further old tweets were then highlighted by a newspaper in which she allegedly made offensive comments about lesbians and a gay TV character... "This is a decision I've made due to the endless attacks on my character by the Conservative right wing press and relentless online abuse.""
It's only to attack people if you're a left winger apparently

This Teacher in Ghana Uses Chalkboard to Help Students Learn Microsoft Word - "The school in rural Ghana Owura Kwadwo worked in could not afford a computer. But Kwadwo, who is originally from Kumasi, Ghana, wanted to help his students get familiar with the look and function of a computer. So Kwadwo, who has a background in visual arts, started by drawing the perfect copy of a blank Microsoft Word document on a chalkboard."

Did People Ever Really Put Crocodiles In Moats? - "water filled moats were something of a rarity. You see, unless a natural source of water was around, maintaining an artificial moat filled with water required a lot of resources to avoid the whole thing just turning into a stinking cesspool of algae and biting bugs, as is wont to happen in standing water. As with artificial ponds constructed on certain wealthy individuals’ estates, these would have to be regularly drained and cleaned, then filled back up to keep things from becoming putrid. Of course, if one had a natural flowing water source nearby, some of these problems could be avoided. But, in the end, it turns out a water filled moat isn’t actually that much more effective than an empty one at accomplishing the goal of protecting a fortress."

Roachgate – No Constitutional Crisis - "It is common knowledge that David Roach made good his escape to Thailand, and that he subsequently was convicted in June 2017 for an offence of failing to declare the S$30,450 which he brought into that country, a substantial proportion of which most likely represented his takings from the Standard Chartered Bank branch he had robbed in July 2016. Upon completion of his jail term in January 2017, Roach was deported by the Thai authorities to his home country of Canada – but was held en route by authorities in London, owing to an extradition request which was made by Singapore... Once judicial power to hand down a conviction and impose corporal punishment has been exercised, the matter of meting out the punishment passes out of the hands of the Judiciary back into the hands of the Executive. From there, it becomes a matter for the Executive to decide whether or not to cane Roach. There is scope in the law for convicted persons to escape caning under certain circumstances, for example, by virtue of remission of caning by presidential discretion"

Transgender and pansexual parents raising their child as gender fluid - "They are raising four-year-old Star Cloud as a ‘person’ and are telling him to ‘not get hung up’ on being a boy. Parents Nikki and Louise Draven say they are ‘just ordinary’ and are being ‘who they want to be’. Star calls Louise, 31, his mummy, but she is in fact his biological father and is transitioning to become a woman with hormone treatment... Star’s daddy is pansexual Nikki, 30, who was born a woman and is his biological mother. Nikki will dress as a woman on some days and will dress as a man on others."
"A transgender four year old is like a vegan cat. We all know who's making the lifestyle choices"

This Is What A 21st-Century Police State Really Looks Like - "thousands of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have disappeared into so-called political education centers, apparently for offenses from using Western social media apps to studying abroad in Muslim countries, according to relatives of those detained... The ubiquity of government surveillance in Xinjiang affects the most prosaic aspects of daily life, those interviewed for this story said. D., a stylish young Uighur woman in Turkey, said that even keeping in touch with her grandmother, who lives in a small Xinjiang village, had become impossible. Whenever D. called her grandmother, police would barge in hours later, demanding the elderly woman phone D. back while they were in the room... China’s government has invested billions of renminbi into top-of-the-line surveillance technology for Xinjiang, from facial recognition cameras at petrol stations to surveillance drones that patrol the border... In some parts of the region, Uighurs have been made to download an app to their phones that monitors their messages. Called Jingwang, or “web cleansing,” the app works to monitor “illegal religious” content and “harmful information”... the broader security industry, including both physical policing and surveillance, is now the biggest employer of people in the region... Surveillance in Xinjiang may be particularly harsh, but it’s clear the government is expanding the use of the technology in the rest of the country, too... At a beer festival in the seaside city of Qingdao in August, 49 people found themselves arrested when cameras matched their faces with a national police database that showed they were suspected of crimes like theft and drug use... In another big data foray, the government is also working on a “social credit system,” which would put together lots of variables, including patriotism and moral behavior, to assign numerical scores to its citizens."

Are They Having Sex Or Are They Dying?

21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes - "10. Liver Sausage Pineapple"

No Jail For Texas Teen Who Lied About Being Raped By 3 Black Men - "19-year-old Breana Harmon of Pottsboro pleaded guilty to four felony charges of tampering with physical evidence and government documents in relation to false reports of kidnapping and sexual assault."

HERE'S A SHOCKER: Republican States Have The Best Public Schools In The Country, By A Long Shot - "Three of the nation’s ten best public high schools are in Texas—the no-income tax, right-to-work state that blue model defenders like to characterize as America at its worst. Florida, another no-income tax, right-to-work state long misgoverned by the evil and rapacious Bush dynasty, has two of the top ten schools... On both lists, only one of the top ten public schools was located in a blue state.. Defenders of the high tax, high regulation, highly unionized model of state governance that characterizes the blue states like to point to their higher quality of government services as justification for the taxes they pay and the regulations they accept... Blue states are—generally speaking—richer than red states. They tend to spend substantially more money per pupil on education. They do not have the history of legal segregation that disrupted education in many Southern states"

Evidence Mounts: More Porn, LESS Sexual Assault - "Around the millennium, partly in response to the availability of Internet porn, Japan, China, and Hong Kong relaxed laws that restricted its availability. In all three places, as porn became more easily available, sex crimes decreased.
Compared with Most Men, Rapists Consume LESS Porn...
As porn consumptions increased, so did emotional closeness to others. Far from providing an escape from close relationships, the researchers suggested that porn use may signify a “craving for intimacy.”"

Why Are Cantonese People So Obsessed With Soup? - "First, there are herbal soups that are drunk for their nutritional value. These contain familiar herbs like wolfberry seeds, dried dates, codonopsis root, and even ginseng—all staples you can buy from any traditional Chinese medicine shop. Then there’s ‘gun tong’, which are simple soups with meat and vegetables that make for quick meals. Finally, there’s ‘dan tong’, which is soup prepared for important occasions, and usually contains more expensive ingredients like shark’s fin or abalone."

'Kingdom Come: Deliverance' Sales Soar Despite Social Justice Warrior Boycott - "Despite the loud complaints from its most vocal detractors in the gaming press, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has sold more than half a million full-priced copies within the span of two days—turning a profit that more than makes up for its development and marketing costs. Game designer Daniel Vávra has been an outspoken supporter of the GamerGate movement for ethics in games journalism. He chimed in with support for the consumer rights group after his game was accused of “whitewashing” Europe with its adherence to historical accuracy... Kotaku was among one of the many mainstream gaming publications to signal boost the Tumblrina’s complaints, referring to Malisha Dewalt (MedievalPOC) as an “awesome internet historian.” Dewalt’s wild claims that Beethoven was a black man have seemingly gone unchallenged by the unhinged progressive press... Progressives in the gaming press and the SJW community have paid no heed to Vávra’s calls for moderation and discussion over political topics, preferring instead to condemn the title and many others like it (along with their creators). Their obstinate stance has had little bearing on the tastes of gamers, who are more than eager to ignore their pleas for censorship and simply enjoy the game for what it has to offer."

7 Reasons Why Tribalism Is Africa’s Curse - "Imagine a world where political and ethnic division are the norm. A world where tribalism thrives as intensely as corruption. That world is Africa... In Morocco, if you're a Berber you're Scroogelike, if you're a Fassi (from Fez) you're a snob and if you're a Jew you're too calculating. Whereas in Kenya, if you’re a Kikuyu you’re overly greedy, if you’re a Luo you are extravagance in its purest form and if you’re a Kisii you need anger management classes"

A vegan's guide to ethical alcohol - "Drink producers typically incorporate animal derivatives in one of two different ways: 1) as an ingredient in the drink itself; or 2) in the filtering process, and it is through this filtration that most alcoholic drinks cease to be vegan."

Is the Christian holiday of Easter named after a pagan goddess? - "the Venerable Bede, an English monk writing in Latin during the 8th century. He claimed that the word Easter came from the name of a goddess called Eostre, whose festival was celebrated by pagan Anglo Saxons at the time of the vernal equinox. Bede’s mention of the goddess (an aside in his description of the Old English names of the months) is the only record of her existence, and some scholars have suggested that she may have been the product of his own invention. Nonetheless, as the Oxford English Dictionary’s etymology points out “it seems unlikely that Bede would have invented a fictitious pagan festival in order to account for a Christian one”."

Sugar dating a way to 'ease my loneliness', says disabled writer - "Carson*, a writer, met his sugar baby, Amy*, an accountancy undergraduate at a Malaysian university, through TheSugarBook, a controversial dating platform that connects women with men who are willing to pay for their upkeep in exchange for companionship. Despite their age difference, and the fact that one party entered the relationship solely for financial gain, Carson and Amy have become fast friends. In fact, Amy’s frankness from the start – she told Carson that she was interested only in his bank account – is one of the reasons why Carson agreed to the relationship... Money aside, Carson also enriches Amy’s mind by introducing her to the classic works of authors such as George Orwell and Scott Fitzgerald. “Carson is so well-read. Spending time with him is like absorbing all sorts of information from books and climate change, politics to how-to advice,” Amy said."
Writing pays so well?

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies - "10) Do dolphins live shorter in captivity?
No. This is likely due in large part to the medical attention and the consistent, high quality supply of food they receive. A study comparing the survival of dolphins in captivity from 1940 through 1992 showed no significant difference in annual survival rates (ASR) between the "captive population" and the Sarasota Bay wild population. The ASR for the captive population was 0.944 (life expectancy: 17.4 years). In captivity dolphins have also reached ages over 40 years and one is even over 50 years old."
Unlike all the animal lover propaganda, this actually has a quasi citation and does not have a didactic tone
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