"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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Friday, June 08, 2018

Links - 8th June 2018 (1)

REPORT: Creston Valley Advance Article Circulating Online Refers To Justin Trudeau 'Groping' Young Female Reporter - Spencer Fernando - "Screenshots of an article from the Creston Valley Advance newspaper’s Monday, August 14, 2000 edition are causing growing controversy online. The article refers to Justin Trudeau apparently apologizing to a young female reporter for being “so forward.” The Creston Valley Advance referred to it as Trudeau “groping a strange young woman…”"
But he said peoplekind so he's a feminist
Tellingly the quote is "If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward"

Trudeau says zero tolerance on misconduct toward women applies to him as well - "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says women who come forward with complaints of sexual assault and harassment must be supported and believed. And he's confident no one will be able to accuse him of the kinds of behaviour that have brought down several high-profile politicians this week... Trudeau accepted Kent Hehr's resignation from cabinet pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. Kristin Raworth alleged on social media that Hehr made the inappropriate comments — which included calling her "yummy" — when he was an Alberta MLA a decade ago and she was an employee at the legislature."

TRUMP-KIM TALKS My take on what to expect from the Trump-Kim talks - "But both leaders are unpredictable; both are given to extravagant statements that nevertheless conceal a logic that is comprehensible if we rid ourselves of prejudices. And both seem to have a sense of theatre. It may well be that they instinctively understand each other better than others do. At any rate, Mr. Kim’s offer of a meeting, after months of exchanging insults and fierce threats, was quickly accepted by Mr. Trump... Mr. Trump had in fact periodically signaled his willingness to engage, even while threatening to rain ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea. We should have taken him at his word... North Korea understands the US far better than the US understands North Korea, and it understands the Trump administration without the emotion that clouds too many judgements of the administration."

The Difference Between Saying 'Thank You' in Chinese and English - "One of the most jarring yet subtle aspects of my experience with Mandarin Chinese was the counterintuitive use—or lack of use—of thank you (xiexie), please (qing), and other softeners like “would,” “could,” “I’m sorry,” and “excuse me” that liberally season vernacular American English."
When I thank people in China sometimes they reply in a bemused "there's no need to thank me"

'Thank You' in Hindi and English Mean Very Different Things - "when I travel to India, I often offend people by saying thank you to them. On a recent trip home, I was invited to my uncle’s house for dinner. He’s been a father figure to me, teaching me many things and advising me at every step of my life. As a kid, I spent more time at his home, and ate more lunches there, than at my parents’ place. That day, I made the mistake of telling him, in English, “Thank you for inviting me” before leaving his house, realizing the import of my words only after they had left my mouth. He didn’t respond, but I saw his expression turn sour. He was filled with disgust. I couldn’t even apologize for thanking him. The damage was done. In India, people—especially when they are your elders, relatives, or close friends—tend to feel that by thanking them, you’re violating your intimacy with them and creating formality and distance that shouldn’t exist. They may think that you’re closing off the possibility of relying on each other in the future"
Related: The Difference Between Saying 'Thank You' in Chinese and English

The Tart That Travelled the World - "not only do egg tarts in Singapore represent a melting pot of cultures and flavours, they also tell stories of our beginnings as a country of immigrants."

So here is the eternal debate: Instead of he says versus she says, let’s look at what data says. - "When it comes to safety, east may not be the best. Petty theft and outrage of modesty cases seem to be a little higher here, folks. Ladies especially are advised to stay vigilant in case of outrage of modesty cases (1.6x higher in the East than the West)... It also looks as though vehicles in the East might also be more appealing to thieves, (2.7x more than the North)"

Transgender Dolls Have Hit The Children's Toy Market
Given that normal male dolls don't even have genitalia, this is ???

Tribute to Rorke's Drift heroes erased after being accused of 'celebrating colonialism' - "It was meant to be a simple, factual tribute to the handful of British soldiers who held off 4,000 enemy warriors at Rorke’s Drift. But when a member of staff at Dollis Hill underground station in North London wrote a brief account of the battle on their station noticeboard they were accused of “celebrating colonialism”."

How overseas Chinese answered China’s call to return ‘home’, but couldn’t take the culture shock and left, many for Hong Kong - "Manufactured patriotism for an ancestral homeland that most Chinese families had left at least two generations earlier was an extraordinary Nationalist-era success that greatly benefited the early People’s Republic. Providing Mandarin-language schools, qualified teachers and Sino-centric textbooks to Southeast Asian Chinese had been a Nationalist policy since the late 1920s, with the aim of creating a generation of overseas Chinese who identified with China as a nation-state, rather than a cultural idea."

QLD licence change: Reason state dropped gender, height from card - "“TMR has received complaints and suggestions from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community about displaying gender/sex (M or F) on TMR cards,” the leaked document said. The leaked document also claimed personal information such as a person’s hair and eye colour was also scrubbed because it could be potentially “perceived as discriminatory”."
From Queensland

Half of Jerusalem's Palestinians Would Prefer Israeli to Palestinian Citizenship - "52% of Palestinians living in Israeli-ruled East Jerusalem said they would prefer to be citizens of Israel with equal rights -- compared with just 42% who would opt to be citizens of a Palestinian state. This remarkable result confirms and extends a trend first observed five years ago... Their everyday access to Israel has probably also made Jerusalem's Palestinians more sanguine about that country's long-term future. A majority (62%) think Israel will still exist, as either a Jewish or a bi-national state, in 30 or 40 years -- compared with just 47% of West Bankers and 42% of Gazans who think so. They are also somewhat more aware of the city's history, if perhaps not so much as might be expected. Thirty percent of East Jerusalem's Palestinians, as against a mere 18% of West Bankers, say that there were Jewish kingdoms and temples in Jerusalem in ancient times. In some other respects, too, East Jerusalem Palestinians have acquired relatively moderate attitudes toward Israel. A stunning 70% say they would accept the formula of "two states for two peoples -- the Palestinian people and the Jewish people." In the West Bank, the comparable figure is 56%; in Gaza, 44%. An equally noteworthy 40% in East Jerusalem say that "Jews have some rights to the land along with the Palestinians" -- as against just 13% in the West Bank or 11% in Gaza. And concerning Jerusalem itself, only 23% of its Palestinian residents insist on Palestinian sovereignty over the entire city -- just half the percentage with that view in either the West Bank or Gaza. This does not mean that Jerusalem's Palestinians are moderate in every respect. For example, 55% say that even after a two-state solution, they would still want to "liberate all of historic Palestine," though not necessarily to expel or disenfranchise Israeli Jews. Combined with their comparatively widespread preference for Israeli citizenship, this may indicate a drift among East Jerusalem Palestinians toward a "one-state solution." Meanwhile, however, a majority (61%) also offer at least verbal support for "armed struggle and car attacks against the occupation." This figure is somewhat lower than among West Bankers or Gazans, but not by much. Most surprising of all in this connection are the findings about partisan affinity. Fully 39% of East Jerusalem Palestinians say that Hamas "most closely represents your political affiliation."... Interestingly, declared support for Hamas is only half as high in Gaza, whose residents have had to live under actual Hamas rule since 2007. And in the West Bank, where the PA rules and sometimes arrests Hamas activists, a mere 11% openly affiliate with that party. A plurality of 44% identify as "independent.""

Palestinian kleptocracy: West accepts corruption, people suffer the consequences - "These documents, reports from senior Fatah officials and Palestinian social media reveal extensive corruption at the highest levels — the Abbas family and a Palestinian elite manipulating the political and financial systems to benefit themselves at the expense of the people... Abbas is currently in the eleventh year of a four-year term. He rules by decree, and parliamentary and presidential elections are not on the horizon... The PA fails to submit budgets for required audit, eliminating oversight of how over $4 billion is spent each year. As part of its “development budget” of $17.9 million for the first quarter of 2014, funds specifically designated for projects to benefit the Palestinian community, $9.4 million was budgeted for Abbas’ presidential plane and another $4.4 million was budgeted for “other” expenses."

“How long have I got, Doc?” Why many cancer patients don’t have answers - "patients like him are largely kept in the dark because their doctors either can’t or won’t communicate clearly. Many patients compound the problem by avoiding news they don’t want to hear... Patients who don’t understand how long they have to live often choose overly aggressive therapy that can cause pointless pain and suffering. Nearly one-third of cancer patients end up in the intensive care unit, or ICU, in the last month of life, according to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. Although intensive care can save the lives of younger, healthier people, it doesn’t improve or lengthen the lives of people with terminal cancer... In surveys, people with cancer overwhelmingly say they want doctors to be honest with them. In the real world, doctors can pay a price for honesty... more than 70 percent of patients based how long they expected to live on personal beliefs. Six percent based their estimates on religious beliefs, while 18 percent based their estimates on information from their doctor... The American Society of Clinical Oncology, the country’s largest group of cancer specialists, now recommends that everyone with advanced cancer receive palliative care within eight weeks of diagnosis. Several studies show that early palliative care has been shown to help patients live longer and better."

Telling Poor People to "Just Cook" is Stupid - "Cooking is not just a trip to a grocery store. You need a basic set of cookware for starters. I’ve been on a $70 Tools of the Trade set for more than a decade, and trust me, it really wants to retire. You’re going to need some knives for chopping, butterflying, mincing, etc. The low-end of those starts at $20, but they are absolutely essential. Of course, you’ll require a cutting board as well. These things add up quickly"
Basically requiring people to plan beyond the short term (or to be intelligent in choosing recipes) is stupid. Unsurprisingly his bio reads: "Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful."

Beware the new outrage over plastic - in politics, consensus leads to cock-up - "no one is asking why plastic has gone from being a wonder material – a cheap and durable replacement for metal, leather, glass, ceramics and more – to being denounced as a modern-day menace, a threat to coastlines, sea life and the planet. Almost no one in parliament, it seems, has a word to say in defence of it. Look more closely, and it’s hard to see how the country – let alone the planet – has been helped much by the plastic bag charge. Even before the 5p tariff, they barely made the top 10 litter offenders in the list drawn up by Keep Britain Tidy. Cigarette butts, sweet wrappings, fast-food containers, drinks bottles and car parts: they’re the real scourge. Plastic bags make up about 0.2 per cent of household waste; and bear in mind that almost half of the old plastic bags were themselves used as bin liners. If people are now buying more bespoke bin liners, instead of free plastic bags, is that such a win for the environment? My local supermarket now doesn’t even sell normal bags, charging 15p for thicker ones. This leaves me with higher-quality bin liners, but I’m not sure the planet is much better off."

Foursquare Swarm is the only social network for being social - "In an age of social media where Facebook gets you into arguments, Twitter makes you anxious, and Instagram makes you jealous, Swarm is programmed like a game to help you actually explore the real world and meet up with friends in your real life"

If gender and race are artificial constructs, does diversity matter? - "We proclaim that gender and race are social constructs, completely removed from science and reality. Women, men and people of different races are perfectly uniform in all abilities, interests and aptitudes. This is an incredibly subjective stance to take… but let’s entertain it for a minute. If this were true, then there’d be absolutely no need for diversity. If we are all uniform, then we are all interchangeable. This is an exemplary case of mutual exclusivity. Either we are all different, therefore we need a good mix to capitalise on unique qualities… or we’re all the same, and each human possesses the same abilities to the same degree of competence as every other human. If we acknowledge diversity, we *must* also acknowledge lack of uniformity. And if we acknowledge lack of uniformity, we *must* also acknowledge inequalities of ability... no one would bat an eyelid were I to suggest that the average height of Dutch people is greater than the average height of Senegalese people. But swap height for beauty, IQ or some other politically charged subject and the reaction completely changes—because human prejudices cause us to assume “beauty” and “IQ” are more valuable (or humanising) qualities than height... We push groups identified as being marginalised to measure their value based on how identical they are to groups which are considered to be unfairly free of marginalisation. Equality has been (wrongly) conflated with uniformity. Similarly, Apple’s diversity officer lost her job because she dared to suggest that a group of white men can still be diverse. Is whiteness so overpowering now, that it completely nullifies every other aspect of a person’s existence? Their nationality? Their sexuality? Their socio-economic background? Their religious background? Their philosophical background?... Any good scientist (or problem solver) will tell you that to change an outcome, you must first accurately diagnose its cause. If you try to affect the wrong cause, you will not reverse the negative outcome. This is why I’m so opposed to the politicisation of these issues. When we politicise them, people stop looking for answers and start looking for scapegoats. Throw the exaltation of subjectivity into the mix and you get a recipe for obscurantism and ego tripping. Meanwhile, people are still suffering the very real consequences of these problems. This is not a game where the blacks win and the whites lose, or the women win and the men lose. It’s a reality where we all win or lose together—because there’s only one Earth and we *all* have to share it...
I’ve gotten loads of responses and private messages to this article. 99% of them supportive—unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority from women and ethnic minorities. But there’s a small sect of people—many of whom admit to not even reading the article—who’ve sent me abuse because “this could only have come from a privileged white, male pig”. LOL. Ironically, most of these people have been white men"

Vienna police charge 3 men for waving Israeli flag at rally - "The criminal notice, dated January 3, states that the activists “showed an Israeli flag at a rally in an extremely provocative way and manner that was visible for participants at the rally and thereby produced considerable offense and provocation among the Palestinian protesters.”... “An Arab-speaking friend from Israel was able to translate some of the slogans yelled [at the rally], for example, the Arab battle cry to massacre Jews: ‘Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,’ and... ‘Death to Israel.’”... The police, according to Matthias, made efforts to discourage the waving of the Israeli flag, but the protesters were permitted to wave the Palestinian and Turkish flags. Immediately after Matthias and his friends rolled out the Israeli flag they were confronted by Palestinian demonstrators, who triggered a scuffle with the pro-Israeli activists, according to the Vice interview. The police confiscated the Israeli flag and took down the personal information of the three men. The Palestinian attackers were allowed to return to the demonstration."
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