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Friday, June 29, 2018

Links - 29th June 2018 (2)

Black Protest Has Lost Its Power - WSJ - "To hear, for example, that more than 4,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2016 embarrasses us because this level of largely black-on-black crime cannot be blamed simply on white racism... That’s why, in the face of freedom’s unsparing judgmentalism, we reflexively claim that freedom is a lie. We conjure elaborate narratives that give white racism new life in the present: “systemic” and “structural” racism, racist “microaggressions,” “white privilege,” and so on. All these narratives insist that blacks are still victims of racism, and that freedom’s accountability is an injustice. We end up giving victimization the charisma of black authenticity. Suffering, poverty and underdevelopment are the things that make you “truly black.” Success and achievement throw your authenticity into question. The NFL protests were not really about injustice. Instead such protests are usually genuflections to today’s victim-focused black identity. Protest is the action arm of this identity. It is not seeking a new and better world; it merely wants documentation that the old racist world still exists. It wants an excuse... the NFL protests may be a harbinger of change. They elicited considerable resentment. There have been counterprotests. TV viewership has gone down. Ticket sales have dropped. What is remarkable about this response is that it may foretell a new fearlessness in white America—a new willingness in whites (and blacks outside the victim-focused identity) to say to blacks what they really think and feel, to judge blacks fairly by standards that are universal. We blacks have lived in a bubble since the 1960s because whites have been deferential for fear of being seen as racist. The NFL protests reveal the fundamental obsolescence—for both blacks and whites—of a victim-focused approach to racial inequality. It causes whites to retreat into deference and blacks to become nothing more than victims. It makes engaging as human beings and as citizens impermissible, a betrayal of the sacred group identity"

The Black Family in 1965 and Today - ""The average high-income black person lives in a neighborhood with a higher poverty rate than the average low-income white person"... The concentration of poverty in inner cities means many black children are exposed daily to crime and violence. Their turbulent environment makes it harder for them to acquire habits of discipline and self-restraint."

The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies - "Moynihan argued that the rise in single-mother families was not due to a lack of jobs but rather to a destructive vein in ghetto culture that could be traced back to slavery and Jim Crow discrimination... Moynihan went much further than merely overthrowing familiar explanations about the cause of poverty. He also described, through pages of disquieting charts and graphs, the emergence of a “tangle of pathology,” including delinquency, joblessness, school failure, crime, and fatherlessness that characterized ghetto—or what would come to be called underclass—behavior... For white liberals and the black establishment, poverty became a zero-sum game: either you believed, as they did, that there was a defect in the system, or you believed that there was a defect in the individual. It was as if critiquing the family meant that you supported inferior schools, even that you were a racist. Though “The Negro Family” had been a masterpiece of complex analysis that implied that individuals were intricately entwined in a variety of systems—familial, cultural, and economic—it gave birth to a hardened, either/or politics from which the country has barely recovered... Scholars invented a fantasy family—strong and healthy, a poor man’s Brady Bunch—whose function was not to reflect truth but to soothe injured black self-esteem and to bolster the emerging feminist critique of male privilege, bourgeois individualism, and the nuclear family. The literature of this period was so evasive, so implausible, so far removed from what was really unfolding in the ghetto, that if you didn’t know better, you might conclude that people actually wanted to keep the black family separate and unequal... Other black pride–inspired scholars looked at female-headed families and declared them authentically African and therefore a good thing... In fact, some scholars continued, maybe the nuclear family was really just a toxic white hang-up, anyway... Feminists, similarly fixated on overturning the “oppressive ideal of the nuclear family,” also welcomed this dubious scholarship... Fretting about single-parent families was now not only racist but also sexist, an effort to deny women their independence, their sexuality, or both. As for the poverty of single mothers, that was simply more proof of patriarchal oppression. In 1978, University of Wisconsin researcher Diana Pearce introduced the useful term “feminization of poverty.” But for her and her many allies, the problem was not the crumbling of the nuclear family; it was the lack of government support for single women and the failure of business to pay women their due."

The Curse of Double-Digit Growth - "Werker identified shared characteristics of double-digit growers; conditions that often weren't sustainable. He found that natural resource exports were a crucial driver in 17 of the incidents of high growth, while 13 were pushed along by political reforms or economic diversification, most of which were temporary. Nine featured foreign aid and remittances playing a significant role, and another nine benefited from the catch-up following low-income levels caused during war or conflict. Five incidents were credited, or partially credited, to government spending on infrastructure or jobs. In most cases accelerated growth proved a two-edged sword... Overall, the double-digit fraternity exhibited a worse performance on every indicator of the quality of the business environment compared to the 6-7 percent growers"

‘Crosses’ on rooftops of housing project in Langkawi create stir - "A decision by the Kedah state government to order the developer of a housing project in Langkawi to paint over air wells on rooftops that resemble crosses from afar has led to calls for Malaysians to be less prejudicial over one another’s religions. According to media reports, Kedah State Education, Transport and Housing Committee chairman Tajul Urus Mat Zain said the developer did not mean to create the cross symbols, but had built an internal air well to enhance light and air ventilation... “Even the multiplication sign is a cross; even the letter ‘t’ is a cross"... an opposition Member of Parliament, Mr Lim Lip Eng, questioned whether the cross-shaped Kuala Lumpur International Airport should also be torn down because of religious sensitivities... He suggested that the individuals who raised the issue were suffering from “eye problems”, after aerial angles of the offending homes showed that the air wells were square rather than cross-shaped. The case in Kedah is the most recent controversy over Christian icons, both actual and perceived, in Malaysia. In April, an angry mob protested outside a church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, and demanded the removal of the cross affixed to the exterior of the building."
Malaysia Boleh!

Why Some of the Worst Attacks on Social Science Have Come From Liberals - "What she found, over and over, was that researchers whose conclusions didn’t line up with politically correct orthodoxies — whether the orthodoxy in question involved sexual abuse, transgender issues, or whatever else — often faced dire, career-threatening consequences simply for doing their jobs. Two examples stand out as particularly egregious cases in which solid social science was attacked in the name of progressive causes. The first involves Napoleon Chagnon, an extremely influential anthropologist who dedicated years of his life to understanding and living among the Yanomamö, an indigenous tribe situated in the Amazon rain forest on the Brazil-Venezuela border... Chagnon’s reputation as a careful, dedicated scholar didn’t matter to his critics — what mattered was that his version of the Yanomamö was “Not your standard liberal image of the unjustly oppressed, naturally peaceful, environmentally gentle rain-forest Indian family”... Dreger also recounts her earlier investigation into the controversy surrounding J. Michael Bailey, a Northwestern University psychologist and researcher of human sexuality and former chair of that university’s psychology department... some transgender people and activists hold very dear the idea that they have simply been born in the wrong type of body, that transitioning allows them to effectively fix a mistake that nature made. The notion that there might be a cultural component to the decision to transition, or that sexuality, rather than a hardwired gender identity, could be a factor, complicates this gender-identity-only narrative. It also brings sexuality back into a conversation that some trans activists have been trying to make solely about gender identity — roughly parallel to the way some gay-rights activists sweep conversations about actual gay sexuality under the rug, preferring to focus on idealized, unthreatening-to-heterosexuals portrayals of committed gay relationships between clean-cut, taxpaying adult"
The liberal war on science

How to Spot a Bad Boss During an Interview - "You can often get a sense of your potential manager by asking probing questions, but be careful how you phrase them. “People say an interview is a two-way process,” Lees says. “In practice, that doesn’t work very well.” The interviewer might misinterpret multiple questions about his management approach as disinterest in the job. Fernández-Aráoz agrees: “What you should not do is ask direct questions, like ‘Tell me about your leadership style,’” he says. Not only could this signal hesitancy on your part, but it’s unlikely to get you an honest answer, because your interviewer is in selling mode. Instead, ask questions that will help your potential manager visualize you actually doing the job. “What will I do on a day-to-day basis?” “How will I learn?” Phrasing your questions as if you already have the job will help the hiring manager create a mental picture of you in the role. At the same time, you can watch how she responds. “Look for her willingness to engage in dialogue, rather than asking you pre-established questions,” says Fernández-Aráoz. “Think of it like rehearsing a collaborative working session with your future boss.” If she’s willing to engage with you during the interview, she’ll likely engage with you in a working relationship"

Micropenis: Prevalence and etiologic profile at CHU of Rabat - "The prevalence of micropenis is increasing in our service. Etiologies are diverse but idiopathic causes are the majority in our series, assuming hypothesis on parental contamination by endocrine disruptors."

So much for that Voynich manuscript “solution” - "a history researcher and television writer named Nicholas Gibbs published a long article in the Times Literary Supplement about how he'd cracked the code on the mysterious Voynich Manuscript. Unfortunately, say experts, his analysis was a mix of stuff we already knew and stuff he couldn't possibly prove"

SPLIT: Feminists Reject Pussy Hat As Offensive to 'Women with Penises' and 'Brown Genitalia' - "Never mind that the hat has cat ears, and not a vulva. The color pink, according to the Pussyhat Project, which first designed the headwear following the 2016 general election, was chosen “because pink is associated with femininity,” according to a post on its website"

I Love Wolf Whistles and Catcalls; Am I a Bad Feminist? - "Harassment, by its very nature, is unacceptable. But is catcalling always harassment? The Independent's social-media editor, Felicity Morse, loves catcalls, and I'm guessing she gets loads because she's freaking hot. Even though I'm probably not supposed to say that. She told me, "If I'm dressed up in a sexy little something, if I'm sashaying down the street and tossing a head of freshly washed hair like I think I'm Beyoncé, I find a catcall rather appreciative. But if I'm out jogging or running to the bus stop, huddling past a building site in the rain, I find it intrusive." It also depends on the number of men and what they're doing: "If they are working on a building site or something, where they can't really leave their work, it's almost traditional to wolf-whistle and pretty meaningless, so I don't feel threatened. But a big gang of young men in the dark? I wouldn't even acknowledge I'd heard them." Would she give her number to a guy in the street? "Probably, but I wouldn't have high hopes for a relationship! That's not harassment; it's flattering. If he doesn't go away? That's harassment." She'd still ban catcalls on the basis that they upset many women, though. This is kind of my problem with the debate around street attention. It's part of a culture that infantilizes women and teaches them to be constantly afraid... Nichi Hodgson, author of Bound to You, sex columnist for Men's Health, and director of the Ethical Porn Partnership, said there's a certain kind of middle-class woman that finds catcalls particularly galling: "There's a sense of being sullied if an uncouth or lower-class kind of man—a white-van man, for example—heckles. But if it's a Roger Sterling type who can just about pull it off with a certain retro-sexist panache, the offense isn't experienced the same." Laura said that growing up in working-class West Yorkshire and learning to hit back with witty repartee was a kind of rite of passage. The same is true where I come from, although it's the blokes who need the comebacks. Let's just say Nottingham girls aren't shy... I phoned my mom afterward, and she said catcalls are like periods—she hated them when she was younger but feels sad now they're about to dry up. Wow, mother... The Guardian's Ellie Mae O'Hagan said it doesn't surprise her that some women like catcalls: "One of the ways patriarchy sustains itself is by convincing women that their worth is determined by the approval of men along a strict set of terms. Getting wolf-whistled at is a small confirmation that a woman is meeting the terms patriarchy demands of her." Couldn't you say that about pretty much anything, though? Like, if a woman tells another woman "Great dress!" is she letting her know that she's meeting the expectations of capitalism and the fashion industry and beauty culture? Or is she just telling her she likes her dress? Or is it a bit of both?... Ellie goes further and cites studies that suggest sexual violence is "to an extent rooted in ideologies of male sexual entitlement," though I struggle to see any real connection between rape and the guy who wolf-whistled at me this morning... men, for the record, I haven't spoken to any woman yet who likes being told, "I'd like to fuck you up the ass" as you drive past her in the street. So stop it with that, you shitheads. I just wish we could make a distinction between harassment like this and harmless fun... I'll leave you with the words of 86-year-old Jinx Allen Craig, the woman in catcalling's greatest portrait, An American Girl in Italy: "It's not a symbol of harassment. It's a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time!""

Requirement to tell foster kids the Easter Bunny is real violated couple’s charter rights, judge rules - "A couple’s charter rights were violated when a children’s aid society closed the pair’s foster home over their refusal to tell two young girls the Easter Bunny is real, an Ontario court has ruled... Lindsay told them it was part of their duty as foster parents to teach the girls about the Easter Bunny... The Baars told Lindsay they intended to hide chocolate eggs and have the girls find them on Easter and play other games, but didn’t plan not to speak to the children about the Easter Bunny, unless the girls specifically asked questions about the character"

Evidence supporting the biologic nature of gender identity. - "Evidence that there is a biologic basis for gender identity primarily involves (1) data on gender identity in patients with disorders of sex development (DSDs, also known as differences of sex development) along with (2) neuroanatomical differences associated with gender identity."
So much for claims that sex and gender are unrelated, or that sex is a scientific myth, or other outlandish claims inspired by trans mania

The mirage of working as a stewardess in Dubai - "We were also told that our organs wouldn’t be viable for transplant after 2 years of flying. We were afraid to ask why but we had our guesses right. Above all that any testimony in court would not be taken into account after 3 years of working as a flight attendant. We didn’t ask the reason and even if we did I am pretty sure the response would have been a rhetorical question"

Science Analyzes the Academy Awards Speech - "Crying is less common that you’d think: only 21% of actors and actresses choke up and a mere 3% of directors do. And it’s a relatively recent phenomenon: fully 71% of the tears have come since 1995"

In Defense of Looting - "It is in solidarity with these latter protesters–along with those who loot–and against politicians and de-escalators everywhere that I offer this critique, as a way of invigorating discussion amongst those engaged in anti-oppression struggle, in Ferguson and anywhere else the police violently perpetuate white supremacy and settler colonialism. In other words, anywhere in America... Modern American police forces evolved out of fugitive slave patrols, working to literally keep property from escaping its owners. The history of the police in America is the history of black people being violently prevented from threatening white people’s property rights. When, in the midst of an anti-police protest movement, people loot, they aren’t acting non-politically, they aren’t distracting from the issue of police violence and domination, nor are they fanning the flames of an always-already racist media discourse. Instead, they are getting straight to the heart of the problem of the police, property, and white supremacy. Solidarity with all Ferguson rebels! Justice for Mike Brown!"
Ahh... anti-racism!
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