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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Links - 11th July 2018 (2)

Death of Alfie Evans Leaves End-of-Life Questions Unresolved - "The death this weekend of Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old terminally ill British youngster, closes a chapter on a tragic case that exposed in the full glare of media attention the friction that can arise in end-of-life cases when families and healthcare professionals are at loggerheads over what is best for a child... The case of Alfie Evans echoes the similar recent case of Charlie Gard...
"There's a high incidence of what's sometimes called 'moral distress' in intensive care units where health professionals find it incredibly challenging when they're in a situation where they are forced to do things that they feel goes against their deeply held moral values."
Evans and Gard are both cases of the government denying treatment so they're like passive euthanasia. Would we be happy if the government practised passive euthanasia on an adult in a coma with brain damage (since that person can no longer decide for himself; if guardianship passes to another adult isn't it the same as what parents do for children? If the government must 'protect' children from their parents, who can protect children from the government?
The talk of moral values is interesting. Because if my moral values tell me abortion is wrong I still must perform it
In the Gard and Evans case the parents were going to pay for further treatment themselves, so it's not about wasting public resources at all (this is why all the American idiots bashing socialised healthcare don't know what they're talking about - unless they mean socialised healthcare means the government sees fit to govern your bodies regardless of funding source, but it didn't seem like they meant that)
Some say this is protecting children from unproven treatments - but there's a difference between going to court to stop a child from being subjected to faith healing (and not conventional medicine) and going to court to stop a child from receiving any sort of treatment (i.e. withdrawing treatment)

Opinion | Alfie Evans and the Experts - The New York Times - "It is easy see the relevance here of Aviv’s story about Jahi McMath, a teenager from Oakland declared brain-dead after a horribly-botched tonsillectomy, whose family managed to spirit her away to New Jersey, where religious-freedom laws allow families to reject a “brain-death” ruling and keep a loved one on a feeding tube indefinitely. Since then Jahi has survived for years despite confident medical predictions to the contrary, and she now gives pretty decent evidence of retaining some form of consciousness, some ability to listen and respond. In California her status as a dead person is under litigation; in a small apartment in New Jersey, in the care of her mother, she is very much alive. Her fate is thus a case study in why a decent society allows families leeway to defy medical consensus: not only for the sake of parental rights and religious beliefs, not only because biases around race and class and faith creep into medical decision-making, but also because in hard cases the official medical consensus often doesn’t come close to grasping all the possibilities, and letting people go their own way is often the only way to discover where it’s wrong. But this tendency to arrogate power away from the family is not just an issue for extreme medical cases. In Aviv’s story on guardianship among the elderly, it plays out in a more prosaic and yet similarly shocking form — with old people who are hardly incompetent handed over to professional guardians who sell their assets and consign them to assisted living facilities from which they can’t escape. The basic dynamic is like the Gard and Evans and McMath cases but with the generational roles reversed: Instead of parents trying to pry their children away from the medical establishment, you have adult children unable to bring their parents home because their state-appointed guardians say no.... [it's a] system designed around the assumption that old people are basically better off without their kids, because offspring are probably motivated either by raw emotionalism or by gimme-gimme avarice, as opposed to the cool wisdom of expert doctors, professional guardians, and wise judges. Such a system is custom-built for the coming world of post-familialism, the world bequeathed to us by sexual individualism and thinning family trees

Are we taking too many children into care? - "This month, the most senior family judge in the land released a judgment showing that a mother and father in their mid-20s had given up the fight to get their baby back. In 2012, this couple’s six-week-old infant was removed by children’s services after they took it to hospital, worried it was bleeding from the mouth. Doctors saw bruising and suspected bone fractures; social workers were called. A family court then found, on the balance of probabilities, that the couple had abused their child. The parents did not appeal the findings. The child was later adopted. The collapse of the couple’s subsequent criminal trial for child cruelty was extensively reported last autumn – the judge threw the case out after medical evidence came to light showing that the baby had a blood disorder that led it to bruise easily, and an expert medical witness for the prosecution said he doubted any fractures existed at all. After the outcome of the criminal trial, the birth parents asked for and were given leave to appeal the family court’s initial findings of abuse. Shortly before the court was due to start hearing their appeal, they withdrew their appeal, principally because they felt it was not in the child’s best interests. (They continued to deny that they had caused any harm to the child.) The anguish they have suffered over the years was plain... has our child protection system become too risk-averse? At a recent packed public debate at Bristol’s main family court, two of the country’s most senior children’s social care professionals said that it has. “The number of children in public care is, I would contend, a national disgrace,” said Dave Hill, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS). They were especially exercised by what they saw as a postcode lottery... Between local authorities, Hill observed, the rate at which children are removed from their families ranges from 30 per 10,000 to 180 per 10,000. “If these rates pertained to heart disease or cancer care, we would all be marching to protest at the unfairness of the system”... Studying these assessments, she found that they are very inefficient at predicting who is going to kill or catastrophically hurt their children – they are thus not only a bad use of resources, but may actively put other children in danger... There is, Hill said, “a clear moral duty” to ensure that children are able to live within their own families wherever it is safely possible. “We spend too much time and effort in search of perfect families,” he said. “There are mostly, in my experience, imperfect families. Often resilience is built through less-good experiences, rather than good experiences. We need to be more accepting of this.”"
What happens when the fetish for "protecting" children goes too far (yet we still have grooming gangs which ran amok)
Ironically, the suggestion that mothers who would have children that would be taken into care immediately should be prevented from having them would be taboo - even though having your kid taken into care is more traumatic than having your fertility regulated

'We've been homeless for a month': Jackie Chan's daughter posts YouTube video in cry for help - "A short video that appeared online on Tuesday — but was only picked up by local media outlets today — shows 18-year-old Etta Ng with her 30-year-old girlfriend Andi Autumn revealing that they have been homeless for a month due to homophobic parents... the pair had been spotted in Canada, that Ng had quit her job, had not been heard from or seen for months, and that her mother filed a missing persons report in February... Ng adds that the pair are also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, are “extremely flustered about the whole situation,” and that neither “families, friends, or government services will help them.”... Ng’s mother Elaine Ng said it was wrong for her daughter to namedrop her father in order to ask for help.... When asked about her daughter saying she has PTSD, the elder Ng replies: “Etta has emotional problems. She was seeing a doctor last year, but she hasn’t gone to therapy since she left Hong Kong.” She also accused Autumn of being a bad influence on her daughter saying: “She’s already 30-something and is a teacher with working experience. How can she tell an 18-year-old girl to film such a video? It’s wrong. I feel that if they have no money, they should go find work. They shouldn’t film a clip telling others they are broke and who Etta’s father is. People all over the world work hard and don’t rely on someone else’s fame to get money.” She then goes on to say say the pair should not blame their parents, adding: “Many people in Hong Kong get paid low wages, but they still go to work. If they don’t have work, then they’ll film these videos to complain about their parents? How many of these videos would we see in a day then?”"
Apparently it's homophobic to not financially support your adult children if they're gay even if they have an adult partner

Jackie Chan's ex-lover claims their daughter Etta stole $30,000 worth of items from home - "Jackie Chan's ex-mistress, Elaine Ng accused her daughter Etta of stealing $35,000 worth of items from their Hong Kong home, including clothes, jewellery, and a guitar. Upon returning home, Elaine discovered that the items were missing and called the police, who concluded that it could have been an 'inside job' as there were no sights of forced entry... Etta chose to remain silent on the issue at first, but had a change of heart moments later, telling reporters that she had told her mother that she would be taking some clothes from the house. However, Elaine was not home at the time.
Maybe it's homophobic to accuse her of burglary

Garden hermit - Wikipedia - "Garden hermits or ornamental hermits were hermits encouraged to live in purpose-built hermitages, follies, grottoes, or rockeries on the estates of wealthy land-owners, primarily during the 18th century. Such hermits would be encouraged to dress like druids and remain permanently on-site, where they could be fed, cared-for and consulted for advice or viewed for entertainment"
Too bad they were white so racial activists can't bitch about this and how people of colour were commodified and objectified

America Versus - Home - "In our original series "America Versus," we explore political, social, and cultural differences between the U.S. and countries around the world."
Every single America Versus episode is about how the US sucks. Maybe they should do an episode on America Versus Haiti. Isn't gratefulness a good thing?

Liberal Feminist Vindictively Harasses Pro-Gunners Employers Until They’re Fired…Because “Tolerance” - "I give you Lysa Heslov….Her and her douchebag friends are “so proud” of it too…I mean, all they did was harass his employer by lying and saying he was a neo-Nazi and a pedophile for no reason…I know this because I was personally contacted by the people in the photo and the poor guy had to be sat down and asked why they were getting calls about him being a Nazi and a pedophile. Nice."

The Man Behind the President’s Tweets - The New York Times - "Unraveling the mystery of Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, whose job is to help @realDonaldTrump stay unpresidential."

The Man Who Knew Too Little - The New York Times - "The most ignorant man in America knows that Donald Trump is president — but that’s about it. Living a liberal fantasy is complicated... He swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016. “It was draconian and complete,” he said. “It’s not like I wanted to just steer away from Trump or shift the conversation. It was like I was a vampire and any photon of Trump would turn me to dust.”"

The Truth About America’s Civil Religion - "The recent retirement of Derek Jeter’s Yankees jersey number had all the marks of a civic ceremony. Old legends and dignitaries were paraded on the field, a plaque presented, and highlight reels played. It was a ritual in every way perhaps but name. Indeed, baseball is one of the nation’s most lasting and popularly observed elements of our civil religion"

Here’s the reason why your passport number is no longer your IC number - "Singapore passports have identification numbers different from our identity cards because it helps prevent the use of stolen or fake passports to gain entry to Singapore or any other country. That’s also why you get a new passport number every single time you change, replace or renew your passport with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority."

Social Identity and Preferences - "When we make ethnic identity salient to Asian-American subjects, they make more patient choices. When we make racial identity salient to black subjects, non-immigrant blacks (but not immigrant blacks) make more patient choices. Making gender identity salient has no effect on intertemporal or risk choices."

Six Months in, #MeToo Has Become Infantilizing and Authoritarian - "#MeToo has become an orthodoxy intolerant of criticism or even question. Women who have suggested that it may have gone too far, that conflating rape with crude flirtation risks trivializing serious incidents and falsely demonizing innocent men, have been hounded for thought crimes... #MeToo is a moral crusade where facts are readily sacrificed for the greater good of the cause. When it comes to declaring rape, sexual assault, or harassment, what matters to activists is not objective evidence that can be proved or disproved but the subjective feelings of the accuser. #MeToo has redefined sexual misconduct as unwanted behavior. As the case against actor Aziz Ansari showed, defining abuse as unwanted behavior takes us into the realm of the bad date... thanks to concerns raised under the banner of #MeToo, women who worked as Formula 1 “grid girls” have lost their jobs entirely. Putting women out of work they enjoy is now a feminist act... The #MeToo movement treats women like children, incapable of ever standing up for themselves or being able to make their own choices in life. In the UK there have been calls for the street harassment of women—whistling and catcalling—to be made a criminal offense. Last week, the Screen Actors Guild proposed a ban on “hotel auditions.” Its advice to women was that if a “safe venue” cannot be found for auditions then they should be accompanied by a “support peer.” We need to ditch the therapeutic language and call this what it is: a chaperone. Previous generations of feminists fought against such infantilizing protections. Today’s #MeToo activists are all too happy to see men demonized and women protected. Six months on we can see that some women have certainly gained a louder voice thanks to the #MeToo movement. Sadly, all they can do with it is proclaim their own victimhood and demand greater protection"
Six hours, maybe

Real Life Can Be Raw, in Marriage and Death - The New York Times - "“Romeo and Juliet never had to grow older together or put their kids through college,” said Ms. Mead-Armor, now 67, in a phone interview from her home in Waynesboro, Va., on the southern fork of the Shenandoah River. “Juliet never went through menopause. You don’t live happily ever after.”"

Can We Please Stop Denying Our Public Sector's Culture of Learned Helplessness? - "This deep-seated learned helplessness becomes clearer when I speak with several public servants. All of them request to remain anonymous, a fact that they all also coincidentally point out supports the fear of speaking up and its perceived consequences."

Black Woman Brags About Giving White Students Lower Grades On Papers - "Why is it not considered wrong or racist to purposely give white students terrible grades, but a white teacher saying that a student, who happens to be black, has less of a chance at graduating is the equivalent to being a Grand Dragon (or whatever) of the KKK?"

Jiangxi village authorities smash coffins to comply with burial ban - "Rushing funeral reforms, setting deadlines, and pushing cremation quotas in the past has led to a number of morbid outcomes. In 2014, elderly in Anhui Province committed suicide to beat a cremation policy deadline, and police in Guangdong purchased corpses from grave robbers and burned them to meet cremation quotas."
Obvious proof that the Decadent West is doomed and that China is the future!

Woman who posted rap lyrics as tribute on Instagram guilty of sending offensive message - "Ms Clarke argued that the meaning of the ‘n’ word had changed over time because it had been popularised by hugely successful and popular rap artists such as Jay-Z, Eminem and Kanye West. She said: “Jay-Z used these words in front of thousands of people at the Glastonbury festival.” Ms Clarke also pointed out that Russell had spelt the ‘n’ word ending in the letter a rather than er. She also quoted from the urban dictionary, which said that the word ending in the letter a meant a ‘black man wearing a gold chain.’... David James Rodway, who appeared as a defence witness, also said that the lyrics were used by young people all over Liverpool to pay tribute to Frankie Murphy on Instagram."
Maybe Snoop Dogg should be banned from entering the UK
If you can't stop knife attacks, at least you can stop 'hate crimes'

Buying Facebook Likes is Now Against Islamic Law, But Child Marriage Still Isn’t - "Egypt’s top Muslim legal expert issued a fatwa, an official religious ruling, condemning the act of paying for Facebook “Likes” and making the practice illegal under Islamic law."

Oxford College Cancels Cannabis-Themed Party Citing ‘Cultural Appropriation'
Apparently minorities are druggies

I wasted four years of my life – don't make the same mistake - "My teachers recommended that I study economics and statistics as my A-level subjects, but I had my mind set on a life fulfilled by the arts. I saw myself as an accomplished novelist or an interpreter for the EU. If you are studying for a degree in arts or languages, you are probably wasting your time, too. I mean this in a literal sense. The next three or four years of your life may be romantic, inspiring and entertaining, but you are still wasting your time. Trust me, I know a thing about time-wasting. Without realising it, I was a victim of a gender stereotype... Not being able to code limits your impact on the world far more than an ignorance of great literature."
Funny how she suddenly realised she'd been indoctrinated by 'stereotypes' a decade and a half later
Maybe it's okay to bash the arts as long as you're promoting women in STEM
Given that having more female peers in high school reduces female STEM participation, this suggests that 'stereotypes' aren't the issue (since we are told single sex schools are good to fight stereotyping since girls don't feel so intimidated/pigeonholed when there aren't boys around)
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