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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Links - 25th September 2018 (2)

Fla Democrat keeps calling the cops on reporters guilty of ‘committing acts of journalism’ - "The Miami Herald expects its reporters to ask public officials questions, Managing Editor Rick Hirsch said. “Asking a public official questions in a public place is perfectly appropriate,” he said. Blaskey later tweeted that she would not be backing down from doing her job."

Ruby Rose deletes Twitter account after Batwoman backlash - "Ruby Rose has deleted her Twitter account after receiving a barrage of criticism for being cast as superhero Batwoman. The Orange is the New Black star was unveiled as TV’s new superhero earlier this week, and will make her first appearance as the character, a lesbian also known as Kate Kane, during The CW network’s annual DC ‘Arrowverse’ crossover TV event in December, before fronting her own standalone series. Since the announcement, Rose has faced criticism on social media, with comic book fans slamming the actress for not being Jewish — as the character, Kate Kane is of that religion — and some even claimed the actress wasn’t gay enough to play a lesbian superhero."
This suggests that for many people, "representation" is just a way to lash out

Facebook post of Vietnamese soldiers using sanitary pads to line army boots goes viral - "The practice, while initially suspect, is actually well-documented. In fact, an entrepreneurial Chinese man once set up a business selling sanitary pads to students who were going for their military training. This was to ensure that foot odour could be cured, and to get rid of bacteria, among other plus points. Some stores in China actually giving a guideline for feet size and their corresponding sanitary pads"

Graham Vert's answer to Which US president was the closest to being a dictator? - Quora - "Woodrow Wilson, without a doubt. In fact, I’m not sure anyone else comes close (FDR is a distant runner-up). Wilson, along with many of his progressive cronies, was of the opinion that the Constitution was outdated and flawed. He sought to greatly expand the power of the presidency, primarily to rein in private industry, but also for his own interests. His proposals to “update” the constitution for the 20th century would have made America significantly less democratic, as he considered power a mandate to do with as he pleased. He also possessed a disdain for the separation of powers, which he saw as unproductive and a cause of partisan gridlock— he wanted the president to “impose his will” upon the party and the people... Mussolini and other fascist regimes used Wilson's administration as a partial blueprint for their own rise to power. Wilson also happened to be a believer in eugenics, as well as an appalling racist who helped to restart the KKK and re-segregated the military, going so far as to fire black postal workers. Prohibition, one of the most inept and authoritarian laws in US history, was implemented during his presidency. Scholars tend to rank Wilson highly in the pantheon of US presidents. This is because Wilson’s progressive school of thought has effectively defined academic standards for the presidency ever since the progressive era. Activist presidents who wield immense power are considered to be the movers and shakers of politics; presidents such as Calvin Coolidge who didn’t grow the government are considered sub-par... For those of you tearing your hair out over Donald Trump, Wilson is evidence that we’ve survived worse."

When it comes to euthanasia, not all slippery slope arguments are 'bullshit' - "Critics of assisted dying often argue euthanasia rates will increase with each year following legalisation... There is significant evidence from the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), as well as the US and Canada, to support this claim. Around 3.7% of all deaths in the Netherlands in 2015 were by virtue of euthanasia or assisted suicide, up from 1.3% when the procedure was legalised in 2002. And while Dutch legislation changed several times during that period, the steady rate of increase continued even in years when there was no legislative change. Similar figures are available in Belgium, and alarming initial figures have just been released for Quebec."

Palliative care nurses quit ‘houses of euthanasia’ - "Belgian nurses and social workers who specialise in treating dying patients are quitting their jobs because palliative care units are being turned into “houses of euthanasia”, a senior doctor has alleged... As euthanasia has become a “normal way of dying”, he said, he has encountered some cancer patients afraid to go hospital in case they are either coerced into euthanasia or are deliberately killed without their consent... the government is cynically slashing palliative care budgets year on year at the same time as numbers of people who die by euthanasia in Belgium are rising incrementally. A British contributor, Dr Trevor Stammers of St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, predicted in his article that Belgium would soon effectively re-introduce the death penalty by permitting the euthanasia of prisoners so their organs be harvested for transplant surgery. He said about 15 prisoners had already elected to die this way."

A Psychiatrist Visits Belgium: The Epicenter of Psychiatric Euthanasia - "For centuries Belgium has been a deeply Catholic culture. However, in the latter part of the 20th century, the country became extremely secularized. They refer to their culture now as “post-Catholic.” In that sense, there is a pushback (conscious and unconscious) against values for which the Catholic Church traditionally stands. One of those core values is the absolute value of life. “Post-Catholic” Belgians, rather, see the value of upholding life as something to be balanced against other values, which sometimes might supersede it (eg, autonomy, compassion, etc). Indeed, I heard that when a Belgian person asserts negative feelings about euthanasia, they are sometimes assumed to be “Catholic,” and that is used to invalidate their opinion... the leading and most celebrated psychiatrists in Nazi Germany lost their ethical moorings, swept along by a powerful social movement, and participated with dedication and relish in the “T4” program to exterminate the mentally ill."
The anti-religious slant probably explains the humanist fetish for euthanasia

How many botched cases would it take to end euthanasia of the vulnerable? - The Washington Post - "Despite the lack of a clear expression from the patient, a physician concluded her suffering was unbearable and incurable — though there was no terminal physical illness — and prepared a lethal injection. To ensure the patient's compliance, the doctor gave her coffee spiked with a sedative, and, when the woman still recoiled from the needle, asked family members to hold her down. After 15 minutes were spent by the doctor trying to find a vein, the lethal infusion flowed. Neither voluntary, painless nor dignified, this physician-assisted death has become the first ever referred to prosecutors by the Dutch regulatory commission — with, so far, unknown consequences... Between 2012 and 2016 , Miller and Kim reported, there were 33 cases in which Dutch regulators found that doctors had broken at least one rule while ending a person's life, though not so flagrantly as to warrant criminal referral. Pro-euthanasia activist doctors were overrepresented in problematic cases. "In some cases, physicians knowingly pushed the limits of [the] law," Miller and Kim noted. Nevertheless, a 29-year-old woman, "Sarah," whose sole medical complaint is serious, nearly lifelong depression and self-harming behavior, has received permission for euthanasia"
The 29 year old should be Aurelia Brouwers

Just 10 rivers carry 90% of plastic polluting the oceans - "Two of them are in Africa - the Nile and the Niger - while the others are in Asia: the Indus, Ganges, Amur, Mekong, Pearl, Hai he, Yellow and Yangtze."
Clearly the solution is to ban straws in developed countries, since all straws make up 0.03% of the plastics that enter the ocean each year

London mayor wants to ban cars in some areas after attack
Banning cars was supposed to be a joke

V&A · Tipu's Tiger - "The tiger, an almost life-sized wooden semi-automaton, mauls a European soldier lying on his back. Concealed inside the tiger’s body, behind a hinged flap, is an organ which can be operated by turning the handle next to it. This simultaneously makes the man’s arm lift up and down and produces noises intended to imitate his dying moans"

The educated and conservative think fatness is a choice

Prison as a Safety Net for the Elderly in Japan - "Quite a few elderly prisoners repeatedly engaged in shoplifting due to poverty and then became repeat offenders soon after release to return to a place where they could at least secure three meals a day and somewhere to sleep. In this sense, the prison system has become a sort of social “safety net” for such people."

Beyond Birds, Cats Also Kill Reptiles - "Research has shown that domestic cats and their feral counterparts are capable of huge impacts to bird populations—one house cat and its offspring were purportedly all it took to push a bird that lived only on Stephens Island in New Zealand into extinction."

Taiwan cafe chain 85°C vanishes from China's food platforms after Tsai's visit

Trump approval rating with blacks now at 36%, Rasmussen poll says - "Even as cable news networks debate reports of the existence of a recording of President Donald Trump using a racial slur, a new poll from Rasmussen Reports says that the president's approval rating among African-Americans is at 36 percent, nearly double his support at this time last year"
Apparently they didn't get the memo that he's racist

There has been a lot of conversation surrounding Crazy Rich Asians and here are my views as a Malaysian (neighbor to Singapore) living in America. - "It was never made to represent Asian culture in its entirety, and for Asian Americans who feel that it doesn't represent them, it isn't really a story about Asian American culture in the first place. Besides, no one watches a cheesy rom-com with white protagonists and remarks "that isn't a real portrayal of white America!" I find it unfair to hold CRA up to the lens of representing an entire culture. This film is about the lives of the 1% of Singapore and it does a really good job of representing that world in a fun way while making some slight commentary on its issues (e.g. racism and tribalism within the elite Chinese community). Whatever happened to suspension of disbelief in movies? Are some critics skeptical because they have never witnessed that part of Singapore and thus don't believe it exists? Well, I can tell you from experience that it's absolutely real. In terms of representation, I was in awe hearing the characters speak Malay, Hokkien, Mandarin, and Cantonese — exclaiming "alamak" and saying "lah" in a New York City theater. The film does an excellent job of showcasing Singapore's multifaceted culture, from its language to food to fashion. It is fair criticism that it doesn't represent the multiculturalism of Singapore but it is a film about this specific group of people in the country."

Sesame Street Screenshots out of context with wrong captions

Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens - "Tiny Insjön in central Sweden isn't known for pig mask-wearing couples shooting lasers at Pokémon hunters before having sex by a waterwheel. But that could be about to change."

Singaporean couple invents roti-making robot, Rotimatic - "There are plans to upgrade the software so users can make other types of flat breads and add ingredients such as herbs and spices to the dough."

>Implying video games are fun - Posts - "Women in Battlefield 5: 'Accept it', EA says, 'or don't buy the game'. Electronic Arts' Patrick Soderlund says the people lashing out against women in the new Battlefield trailer are uneducated"
"Batlefield V Pre-Orders are reportedly very 'weak', according to analysts"
"EA Chief Design Officer Patrick Soderlund Leaves Company"
Looks like insulting your customers doesn't work after all

Battlefield V Has Gone Full SJW And Gamers Hate It, Spawning #NotMyBattlefield - "In the latest trailer for the game we see a multicultural squad of soldiers assaulting a house and being shot up by the enemy. One of the recurring themes in the trailer is to highlight a woman with a missing arm somehow fighting in the thick of battle. Yes, there’s a disabled woman fighting on the battlefield in World War II… and the verdict is still out on if she’s a lesbian, but given today’s politically distorted promotion of degeneracy and regressive policies, don’t be surprised if she’s a one-armed, disabled, lesbian... The Forbes contributor rightfully called out DICE and Electronic Arts for turning the Battlefield series into a cartoony, completely unrecognizable shooter that seems to be aimed at the Tumblr crowd more than the fans who actually enjoy first-person shooters."

Cowen predicts EA’s ‘Battlefield V' will be a ‘serious disappointment' - "preorders for “Battlefield V” are tracking more than 85 percent behind “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” which is substantially worse than previous instances."
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