"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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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Links - 8th August 2018 (2)

Gender Stereotypes are Mostly Accurate - "there are 11 papers published in peer reviewed journals reporting a total of 16 studies that have directly assessed the accuracy of gender stereotypes. Ellemer’s review did not cite a single one. How is this possible? In addition to the 11 papers published in peer reviewed journals, several reviews of this evidence have appeared in numerous other sources (a list appears at the end of this article). How could Ellemers’ review have just missed all that?... In 2018, Ellemers declares “females were less likely to have their grants funded,” even though in 2015, she acknowledged that her study actually found no significant evidence of bias!... How is it possible that such a large literature on gender stereotype accuracy was ignored or overlooked by so many experts? How is it possible that the editor and reviewers of Ellemer’s PNAS article on grant funding all overlooked Simpson’s Paradox, which has been well-known since at least the 1970s to constitute an alternative explanation to sexist bias for many outcomes? This is impossible to know. We do know, however, that, throughout the social sciences, empirical findings that contest social justice narratives often are systematically ignored, overlooked, denigrated, and dismissed"

Fall asleep in seconds by listening to a soothing voice read the EU’s new GDPR legislation - "Meditation app Calm provides what it calls “bedtime stories for grown-ups” (an eclectic mix of lullabies, fairy tales, and short stories in audiobook form). But it’s now added highlights from the GDPR legislation to its roster, narrated aloud by former BBC radio announcer Peter Jefferson, who is famous in the UK for his readings of the Shipping Forecast — a nightly maritime weather report that’s cherished by non-maritime listeners for its repetitive and ritual qualities"

The terrible truth about your tin of Italian tomatoes - "The gangmaster or “caporalato” system is rife across the Italian agricultural sector where migrants – both legal and illegal – are organised into informal labour groups that are hired by Italian landowners to harvest their crops."

At this Portland Bakery, White Guilt Poisons the Batter - "a small network of agit-activists, diversity educators, and sycophantic progressive white ‘allies’ are trampling over the lives of innocent individuals in pursuit of an “equitable” power redistribution with them at the top... having established that his staff had done nothing wrong did not alter Blomgren’s decision to fire them. “In this situation it doesn’t really matter that the two staff members working are not themselves racist because the call they made to deny Lillian service caused her to feel like she had been discriminated against,” his statement explained. “Sometimes impact outweighs intent and when that happens people do need to be held accountable. Since both Lillian and the clamoring public were demanding that these staff members be fired that it is what we did putting these two young women out of work.” The bakery has since deleted this statement and denies firing the employees to “save face or to appease anyone.” They now insist the women were fired for their “poor customer service decision” and its “racial implications.”... As a newcomer to Portland, Lisa assumed that this incident was a freak occurrence. She was surprised to discover that it’s actually part of an emerging trend... Kali Wilgus and Liz Connelly were accused of culturally appropriating—that is, stealing—Mexican culture by selling burritos from their new food cart. After receiving death threats and sustained protest, they shut down their business, deleted their social media accounts, and went into hiding... calls to action—and the protests that follow them—are seldom organic or spontaneous occurrences. They are usually the work of professional agitators and activists who set the agenda and lead the way. Using “call-out” tactics as an instrument of public humiliation, they shame their targets and sometimes seek to benefit socially and financially from the controversy they hope to ignite... Whitten was also furious that a white man had been employed as the bakery’s PR specialist. He withdrew plans to host an upcoming ‘Reparations Happy Hour’ event at the bakery in protest. “This is the unfortunate danger of working with white people,” Whitten complained during a 48-minute tirade live streamed to his nearly 5,000 Facebook followers on June 2. The video is both fascinating and appalling, and reveals a working relationship hopelessly compromised by his attempts to exploit and manipulate. The hapless Blomgren is denounced as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” for being white, for refusing to obey Whitten or compensate him for his labor... For his gratuitous and public humiliation of a progressive scholar, Whitten was not only afforded a warm reception at the event but he was thanked by his target, who was evidently grateful to have been shamed in this way"

Symposium: Masterpiece Cakeshop - not as narrow as may first appear - "While Masterpiece was pending in the state adjudication process, a William Jack went to three different bakers and asked for cakes with religious symbols and quotations hostile to same-sex marriage. When the bakers refused to make the cakes, he filed claims of religious discrimination. The commission found no discrimination in these cases, and what it said about these protected bakers was inconsistent with what it said about Masterpiece and its owner, Jack Phillips. The Supreme Court emphasized two such inconsistencies. The commission said that any message from the same-sex wedding cakes would be the customer’s message, not Phillips’; it did not say that with respect to the protected bakers, and the Colorado Court of Appeals clearly implied that the protected bakers could understand themselves as morally responsible for the message on the cakes. The commission said that the protected bakers’ willingness to make other cakes with Christian themes for Christian customers was exonerating, but that Jack Phillips’ willingness to make other cakes for LGBT customers and same-sex couples was irrelevant. More fundamentally, the commission said that refusing to make a cake with a message celebrating same-sex marriage discriminated on the basis of the sexual orientation of the customer requesting that message, but that refusing to make a cake with a religious message opposing same-sex marriage did not discriminate on the basis of the religion of the customer requesting that message... The Supreme Court has announced a powerful ideal. Even when a law has no explicit exceptions, hostile enforcement is unconstitutional. Single-issue agencies that enforce state civil-rights laws must approach claims to religious exemptions with tolerance and respect."

Opinion | What Religion Gives Us (That Science Can’t) - The New York Times - "I do not intend to try to rescue religion as reasonable. It isn’t terribly reasonable. But I do want to argue that its irrationality does not render it unacceptable, valueless or cowardly. Its irrationality may even be the source of its power."

Bruce Pardy: Meet the new ‘human rights’ — where you are forced by law to use ‘reasonable’ pronouns - "the Senate passed Bill C-16, the Liberal government’s legislation that adds “gender identity or expression” to grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Bill C-16 was in part the motivation for Peterson’s video... The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated, in the context of equivalent provisions in the Ontario Human Rights Code, that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity … will likely be discrimination when it takes place in a social area covered by the Code, including employment, housing and services like education.”... Human rights were conceived to liberate. They protected people from an oppressive state. Their purpose was to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and censorship, by placing restraints on government. The state’s capacity to accommodate these “negative rights” was unlimited, since they required only that people be left alone. But freedom from interference is so 20th century. Modern human rights entitle... When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree... When Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, she specifically denied that the bill would force the use of gender-neutral pronouns. There are reasons to doubt her sincerity. First, human rights commissions say otherwise... Second, Senator Donald Plett proposed an amendment to the bill that would have clarified that it was not the bill’s intention to require the use of particular pronouns. The minister flatly rejected it, as did Liberal and most “independent” senators... The question is not whether required speech is “reasonable” speech. If a statute required people to say “hello,” “please” and “thank you,” that statute would be tyrannical, not because “hello,” “please” and “thank you” aren’t reasonable things to say, but because the state has dictated the content of private conversation."

Ex-stripper scores six-figure inheritance from dead customer - "Despite the sister’s accusations, Beckham claimed in a deposition they never had a sexual relationship: “We had more of an everlasting friendship.’’"

Attention name-change brigades: These Canadian things may sound offensive, but aren’t - "Simon Fraser University’s sports teams are known as the Clan, a nod to the Scottish origins of the school’s namesake. But all of that will come to an end if a name-change campaign by philosophy professor Holly Andersen is successful. Andersen understands that there is nothing inherently wrong with the name, but wants it changed solely because it sounds like “Klan” — as in “Ku Klux Klan.”...
A lynching is an extrajudicial hanging carried out by a mob, and is particularly associated with terroristic violence against U.S. black communities. It’s also a common surname to many people who have nothing to do with racialized murder. In a world of David Lynch and Merrill Lynch, this might seem obvious, but tell that to Oregon’s Centennial School Board, which recently scrubbed the name “Lynch” from two of its school buildings. The schools were named for Patrick Lynch, an 1800s philanthropist, but school officials nonetheless deemed the name offensive and racist...
Moby Dick, a fish and chips restaurant in White Rock, was blocked from renting space for an expansion on the grounds that their name was offensive...
An Alberta family was not amused when they popped a bottle of Vitamin Water to find the words “you retard” under the cap. The phrase was the most disastrous outcome imaginable of a promotion that combined random French and English words...
Dildo: Canada’s ranking entry on any online list of curious place names. The name is owed to a 1760s surveying voyage by Captain James Cook. Given the sheer quantity of Newfoundland landscape features that required official names, Cook occasionally assigned monikers based on whatever happened to be in his field of view at the time. Back then, however, a dildo referred to any cylindrical object"

Outcry after Miss South Africa wears gloves to greet black kids - "A beaming Miss South Africa was photographed with children at a soup kitchen in what was supposed to be a feel-good charity event. But she ended up fending off accusations of racism for wearing gloves while interacting with black children... she and other volunteers wore disposable gloves at the event in the Soweto section of Johannesburg because they wanted to be hygienic."

Woman Accuses Taco Bell of Racism After Being Refused Fries

Is motherhood the unfinished work of feminism? | Amy Westervelt - "Most surprising to me, as someone told by women’s magazine editors for years “we don’t cover motherhood”, is the fact that publications like Elle and Marie Claire appear to have lifted their long-standing ban on motherhood. Apparently, it is finally OK to talk about one of the possible outcomes of all that great sex women’s mags have been promising us for years... Feminism and motherhood have a complicated relationship. Radical feminist Shulamith Firestone articulated this most starkly in her argument that women would never truly be free of patriarchy until they were freed from the yoke of reproduction. She imagined wistfully a day when babies could be created in mechanical uteruses, freeing women from the physical subjugation of childbirth... motherhood has once again become a bogeyman for feminists. The topic comes up in fewer than 3% of papers, journal articles, or textbooks on modern gender theory. Discussing it marks one as a “gender essentialist” in academia, a label that can end one’s academic career before it even begins"

Asking America's Police Officers to Explain Abusive Cops - "police and their critics often see the same events very differently. For example, one anecdote concerns a man in the back of a police car who told his arresting officers that he was having trouble breathing. They ignored him. He died. Many who watched the video saw callous cops who placed no value on a human being's life. But police officers who watched the same tape saw two cops who thought that their seemingly healthy arrestee was faking, as so many people fabricate medical conditions to avoid being taken to jail"

The City Where Blacks Suffer Under 'Stop and Frisk on Steroids' - "police in Miami Gardens, Florida briefly made headlines after surveillance video captured their harassment of a black clerk at a convenience store. They stopped and questioned the man, Earl Sampson, a ludicrous 258 times. On 62 occasions, they arrested him for trespassing at his place of employment, a pattern of abuse that confounded his employer, the store's owner... This is the reality of anti-racism in American public discourse. Maximum outrage and urgent demands to do something are marshaled against offensive words. A Princeton student who critiqued the concept of white privilege in the school newspaper made national headlines and inspired numerous essays picking apart his logic. But public employees with guns harassing, intimidating, and humiliating innocent black children, because they're black, every day in their neighborhood? Fusion published that story Thursday morning and almost no one noticed."
Words speak louder than actions

When Government Plays Arts Patron - "perhaps because I've spent nearly 30 years as a freelance writer with no sense of entitlement to public subsidies, (though I struggled financially) I have limited sympathy for people seeking taxpayer support for work that offends taxpayer sensibilities. (My sympathy for movie studios or people with other private funding sources is especially limited.)... Arts patronage (again) is inherently discriminatory; as a practical matter, viewpoint discrimination is unavoidable: or, as O'Connor said, "Any content based generalizations...are a consequence of the nature of arts funding."... as a taxpayer and writer, I have little patience for anti-establishment, avant garde artists who seek establishment support and cry censorship when it's denied"
The Singaporean government giving a grant to modern fairytales on fertility is seen as state oppression. Yet it giving grants to artists who criticise the state is not seen as the state hating itself

‘The Last Jedi’ failed its Black and Asian characters, reducing them to comic relief and Canto Bight | AFROPUNK - "When not asking where Rey is, Finn’s purpose is as funnyman. Cut to Finn—here’s a joke. Many jokes. Too many jokes. Sometimes speaking only in punchlines, Finn’s screentime too often only served as a vehicle for someone else’s development or Rian Johnson’s personal... Finn’s partner-in-crime in this film is the well-intentioned, but idealistic Rose. Who I loved! Until I didn’t. In comes that godforsaken Canto Bight. To be fair, the way Canto Bight goes down, the heavy-handed political metaphors, and the Fantastic Beast scene, isn’t Roses fault, or actress Kelly Marie Tran, who is a welcome addition to the trilogy. Not only is this the WORST sequence in the film, it’s also one of the most pointless. But what bothered me the most about Finn (and Rose) was their third act. On Crait, facing off against the First Order, our heroes brave a valiant final attempt to save the Resistance. When the mission seems lost and the remaining Rebels fall back, Finn—filled with the spirit of a kamikaze—tries to sacrifice himself by flying into General Hux gigantic blaster. But, like, why? On what planet did Rian Johnson earn that? It’s like Finn just wanted to die. And, hey, sometimes you just wanna die. But this is the same character who, up until this very moment, has been actively running away from this possibility and now he has a death wish? “What about Rey?!?” He don’t care no ‘mo. Where we leave Rose in this film is just as bad, wtf. After saving Finn from himself, Rose professes her love to Finn, utters some self-righteous cliches, kisses him without permission, and passes out. The worst on-screen kiss maybe ever, at that"
Looks like racist sexist shitlords aren't the only ones who hated The Last Jedi

Rape evidence flaws may have put hundreds of innocents in jail - "Hundreds of innocent people could be behind bars for rape and other serious offences because of the failure to disclose crucial evidence, legal experts have said. The warning came after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was forced to drop 47 serious sex assault cases in just six weeks after a review found key material had not been shared with the defence... Isaac Itiary, 25, who was accused of raping an underage girl, walked free from court when phone messages emerged supporting his claim that the girl had claimed to be 19... Tana Adkin QC, a member of the Criminal Bar Association's executive committee, said part of the problem was that the police and prosecutors were now more focused on believing the complainant than on obtaining justice.
What happens when you have a feminist legal system
Interestingly unlike in Singapore underaged sex isn't absolute liability in the UK

Victim culture fosters contempt for defendants, says ex-DPP - "A former Director of Public Prosecutions has blamed the “victim” culture that he says fosters a contempt for defendants and their rights for the recent collapse of trials after non-disclosure of evidence. Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, QC, said that a promotion in recent years of “victims’ rights over defendants’ protections had come home to roost”. It had led to an “openly hostile attitude to suspects that borders on contempt for them and their rights”... Lord Macdonald did not refer to his successors by name but both Sir Keir Starmer, now a Labour MP, and the current DPP, Alison Saunders, have promoted the “victim” rhetoric to which he referred. Since entering parliament Sir Keir, the MP for Holborn and St Pancras, sought to promote a Victims of Crime Bill to create a Victims Commissioner and Victims’ Code. Saunders, who succeeded him, has been criticised for adopting the same terminology, speaking of “rape victims” rather than rape complainants."
Feminists probably can't see the link between feminism/social justice, Saunders's 2015 guidelines reversing the presumption of innocence in rape cases and the avalanche of false convictions
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