"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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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Links - 10th July 2018 (2)

I Was a Liberal Who Worked at Fox News. Here's What That Taught Me About Arguing Politics - "when people ask how to talk to their own Aunt Lucys about politics, I often ask how they talk with their family members about topics other than politics. Do they yell and scream at their aunt if she loves some movie they think is stupid? Of course not. Maybe they get heated and say things like, “Seriously? You don’t think Dirty Dancing is the greatest love story of all time?” But the conversation stays civil, and any outrage is secondary to the overwhelming spirit of love. I’m not going to disown Aunt Lucy for not liking Dirty Dancing. Obviously, political issues are far more important. But still, I love Aunt Lucy infinitely more than I dislike Donald Trump. Remembering that helps. And frankly, I have plenty of good friends I don’t see 100 percent eye to eye with but generally think are “on my side.” What if I only agree with them on 90 percent of issues? Or 60 percent? Or 40 percent? Where do I draw the line between accepting we just “agree to disagree” and defining them as monstrous enemies? The thing is, I give “my people” on “my side” the benefit of the doubt. Why don’t I do that for Aunt Lucy?"

Why Do Fantasy Novels Have So Much Food?

Americans and Brits think "strike," "moot," and "slutty" mean two different things - "Janus words are the worst. Named after the two-faced Roman god, these words look in two directions, meaning opposite things: temper, meaning ‘to harden’ (metal) and ‘to soften’ (a criticism); or dust, meaning ‘remove dust from’ or ‘apply dust to.’"

Eating pasta 3 times a week won't make you gain weight, according to a new study — and it could even help you lose it - "Pasta has a low glycemic index, which means it causes smaller increases in blood sugar levels than most other refined carbs, such as rice and white bread."

The hidden healing power of sugar - "In some parts of the world, this procedure could be key because people cannot afford antibiotics. But there is interest in the UK, too, since once a wound is infected, it sometimes won’t respond to antibiotics. To treat a wound with sugar, all you do, Murandu says, is pour the sugar on the wound and apply a bandage on top. The granules soak up any moisture that allows bacteria to thrive. Without the bacteria, the wound heals more quickly."

Make a sustainable choice: Buy GMO food

Shrinking HDB void deck leaves empty feeling

When academics speak their mind, society benefits - "To extrapolate from the two recent isolated incidents in Singapore that academics should not have freedom of expression on social media, and by inference, that no one should express any opinion unless they have done exhaustive data analysis and have the right answer (rather than many possible right answers), is to draw a very disheartening conclusion. This conclusion is that Singaporeans should deny ourselves the freedom to ask questions of authority, to offer suggestions that might deviate from official narratives, and to make mistakes."

WHITES NEED NOT APPLY: Brits of English Heritage Banned from Paid Training Posts... at English Heritage

ABC Fired Transgender Employee Dawn Ennis After a Complicated Saga - "It’s been a tough year for Dawn Ennis. Last summer, the ABC News assignment editor came out as transgender and was met with support from co-workers (network president Ben Sherwood reportedly sent a nice note) and some local news coverage, with even the New York Post telling the story with an unusual amount of compassion. Then things got more complicated. After a bout of "transient global amnesia," Ennis announced that she would go back to presenting as Don — "it appears I’m not transgender after all," she wrote to friends and colleagues in an explanation that again ended up in the papers. Today, the Daily News reports, absent any sensitivity, "A gender-flipping producer from ABC News now has a pink slip to go with her pink slip." But with her firing from ABC (and medical history) now public, Ennis tells Intelligencer, "Everything seems to have accelerated after I let them know about my transition [for the second time].""
Did they need to rewrite history twice?

Sex workers fear violence as US cracks down on online ads: 'Girls will die' - "Sex worker rights groups have long argued that initiatives targeting child trafficking end up hurting the most marginalized workers by broadly criminalizing the industry. That includes queer and transgender people, the homeless and others who have been excluded from traditional employment. Defenders of Backpage and Craigslist say those sites gave workers control over their jobs and allowed people to detect and report traffickers... on sites like Craigslist and Backpage workers could negotiate terms in advance, request that clients provide references, run cross-checks on clients’ email addresses, and communicate with other sex workers about dangerous or violent people to avoid"

Small ads sex trafficking: the battle against Backpage - "The first time Kubiiki Pride used Backpage, America’s largest classified website, was to buy a fridge. The second time she sold some clothes. The third time she was looking for her 13-year-old daughter... Nobody has a clear idea of how many children have been sold on Backpage but, currently, 73% of child sex trafficking reports NCMEC receives from the public relate to Backpage ads"

Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins - Wikipedia - " California's constitution contains an affirmative right of free speech which has been liberally construed by the Supreme Court of California, while the federal constitution's First Amendment contains only a negative command to Congress to not abridge the freedom of speech. This distinction was significant because the U.S. Supreme Court had already held that under the federal First Amendment, there was no implied right of free speech within a private shopping center. The Pruneyard case, therefore, raised the question of whether an implied right of free speech could arise under a state constitution without conflicting with the federal Constitution. In answering yes to that question, the Court rejected the shopping center's argument that California's broader free speech right amounted to a "taking" of the shopping center under federal constitutional law... Because of the Pruneyard case, people who visit shopping centers in California may regularly encounter people seeking money or attention for various causes, including charitable solicitations, qualifying petitions for amendments to the state constitution, voter registration drives, and sometimes a beggar. In turn, many shopping centers have posted signs to explain that they do not endorse the views of people exercising their right to free speech, and that if patrons do not give them money, the speakers will go away."

COMMENT: Bilahari Kausikan, Singapore's undiplomatic diplomat - "Nothing seems to scare him, even making unsavoury statements about politics and politicians of other countries. Earlier this month, he waded into Malaysian politics when he wrote that Chinese Malaysians were being delusional if they think the principle of Malay dominance can be changed. “Malay dominance will be defended by any means,” he thundered. Malaysian opposition politician Tony Pua hit back calling Singapore the mercenary prick of South-east Asia... For all his candour, he remains rather cagey when it comes to commenting on Singapore’s policy missteps."
Unfortunately, the job description of a diplomat...

How to Fix America's Identity Crisis - "While the melting pot theory of American identity—if only for white groups—prevailed in the mid-20th century, it is no longer in vogue. The multicultural left makes two arguments against it. The first is to falsely equate two different things—assimilation and amalgamation. The melting-pot ideal is not assimilation—the coerced conversion of immigrants and their descendants into clones of WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) with Mayflower pedigrees. Rather, the melting pot stands for amalgamation, the voluntary blending of previously distinct groups into a new community. In the words of John Dewey, the “genuine American, the typical American” is “not American plus Pole or German” but “is himself Pole-German-English-French-Spanish-Italian-Greek-Irish-Scandinavian-Bohemian-Jew—and so on.” A second argument holds that the melting pot ideal may have accurately described the fusion of Anglo-American pioneers with subsequent waves of European immigrants, but today’s multiracial America is best compared not to a metallurgical melting pot but to a “salad bowl” in which the ingredients retain their own identities. But the statistics do not bear this out. Measured by the adoption of English as the first language and rates of out-marriage over generations, today’s Latin American and Asian diasporas are blending into the American mainstream as rapidly as did the European diasporas of yesteryear"

The City and the Writer: In Singapore with Toh Hsien Min - Words Without Borders - "Rudyard Kipling has described the Raffles as a place “where the food is as excellent as the rooms are bad. Let the traveller take note: Feed at Raffles and sleep at the Hotel de L'Europe.” The Sarkies brothers, who owned the Raffles, then appropriated the “Feed at Raffles” snippet for their own advertisements in what is perhaps an early example of tactical literary blurbing."

Drew Houston's answer to What great products have degraded over time due to feature overload? And which features of said product should be stripped? - Quora - "The most prominent example I can think of is ICQ. ICQ became so comically bloated that they released an "ICQ Lite" version, but by then they were already on the decline compared to AIM (at least in the US), if I recall correctly. AIM, Yahoo/MSN Messenger, etc., even Skype fell into the same trap; every desktop IM tool for some reason took it upon itself to add games, stock quotes, voice/video chat, plugins, themes, custom UI controls, etc. In fact, feature bloat is how most consumer web and desktop products suffocate themselves... (I cut Office a break, because I think Joel Spolsky had a point that while no one uses more than 20% of Word or Excel's features, each person uses a different 20%.) Traditional incentive structures tend to reward adding, not subtracting."

I Blinked, And My Kids Disappeared - "Anyone who raises children will know that they can disappear in an instant, because that’s what they do, even ones that normally don’t behave that way; like the case with my son running in front of an SUV. All you can do is hope that it doesn’t end badly and someone else is there to help. In my case, I got help from the driver who was on his game. The mother got help from the zoo staff who made a tough call to protect the child. One thing I wonder about is how many of the people hurling vitriol at this mother have any experience with raising children."

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls - "these laws and safeguards are regularly ignored and transgressed in all the jurisdictions and that transgressions are not prosecuted. For example, about 900 people annually are administered lethal substances without having given explicit consent, and in one jurisdiction, almost 50% of cases of euthanasia are not reported. Increased tolerance of transgressions in societies with such laws represents a social “slippery slope,” as do changes to the laws and criteria that followed legalization. Although the initial intent was to limit euthanasia and assisted suicide to a last-resort option for a very small number of terminally ill people, some jurisdictions now extend the practice to newborns, children, and people with dementia. A terminal illness is no longer a prerequisite. In the Netherlands, euthanasia for anyone over the age of 70 who is “tired of living” is now being considered. Legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide therefore places many people at risk, affects the values of society over time, and does not provide controls and safeguards."
So much for the slippery slope being a fallacy

How arguing can help your relationship - ""Believing a partner is forgiving leads agreeable people to be less likely to offend that partner and disagreeable people to be more likely to offend that partner," he said in a statement. Moreover, expressing anger can serve as an important role in signaling that the offending behavior is unacceptable"

What do Palestinians want from Israel? - "The late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban once commented about the United Nations General Assembly that, “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”... it is the Palestinians who have firmly refused to negotiate with Israel on land-for-peace solutions. The Palestinians have been offered numerous deals (and even statehood) since the crisis began more than eight decades ago but have rejected them all... The Israeli capture of East Jerusalem happened in 1967 in a war of self-defence against about half a dozen Arab nations bent on wiping Israel off the map... immediately after Israel’s triumph, Israel agreed to comply with Resolution 242 of the United Nations Security Council which was the first resolution in history which required a nation to return territories captured in a defensive war... the 1967 resolution declares that Israel must be granted, “the right to live in peace, secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” But how did the Arabs respond to Resolution 242? At the Khartoum Resolution of September 1967, the Arab nations adopted the three Nos’ statement, “No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.” The Palestinians, in turn, responded by revising the Palestinian Charter whose Article 19 declares the establishment of Israel as illegal... The Arabs started a war to exterminate Israel, Israel won, Israel offered peace and accepted UN Resolution 242, but the Arabs refused peace and, instead, declared Israel illegal (in direct violation of 242). This is why it’s interesting to ask people who condemn Israel every other minute: What kind of proposal do you think Israel should offer the Palestinians? Or, what do the Palestinians really want?... It would appear the only precise “demand” which would satisfy their notions of justice would be for Israel to give back ALL the land to the Palestinians. In other words, the only solution on the table would be for Israel to cease existing as a state in Palestine. Again, this answer is doubly bizarre not only for the sheer lack of realism but also for its 100 per cent consistency with the Hamas covenants and Palestinian charters. Conclusion: The Palestinians do not want peace with Israel. They want Israel gone. If that, indeed, is the only outcome the Palestinians will accept, then is it any surprise they are in their present condition?
Note 1: Our use of words reflect our deep biases. If Trump threatens to cut off aid money to countries who vote against him, we call it “blackmail;” if Hamas continually fires rockets against Israeli citizens unless Israel submit to their demands, we call it “resistance.”...
Jordan grabbed the Palestinian portion of the 1947 UN Partition Plan during the 1948 war in which Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon (with help from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Libya) tried to ─ all together now ─ wipe Israel off the face of the map."

Married Muslim men look to halal speed dating to find love... again - ""In the application forms, some said they are married and looking for second wife. Unfortunately, none of the female applicants stated their willingness to meet married men"... female participants will be accompanied by their guardians who will monitor the chat and interactions with non-mahrams (men who are not related by family ties or marriage), in addition to a strict vetting process for those who are serious in wanting a soul mate."

Dean Mark's answer to Is Hamas more ethical than the Israeli Army? Hamas killed over 70 Israeli soldiers but no civilians even though their technology is primitive. Israel has advanced weapons, but they'd rather hit civilian buildings and unarmed targets in the streets. - Quora - "In his 30 years of military experience, Col. Kemp has repeatedly faced enemies fighting from within civilian populations. As such, he is well acquainted with the sorts of challenges that Israel faces as it seeks to prevent terror attacks without harming innocent civilians. Col. Kemp commented that media outlets often misjudged situations, due to a lack of such experience. "It was clear to me that there was a great deal of propaganda that was being generated against Israel, and then being exploited by people who didn't understand military matters and didn't want to question it," he explained. "It suited their agenda to vilify Israel.""
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