"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, September 28, 2018

Links - 28th September 2018 (1)

EU food safety agency says aspartame poses no risk for consumers
Given that this is Europe where they're terrified of GMOs and don't have chlorinated chicken, this is a strong statement indeed

Revelation: Anthony Bourdain Was Defending Asia Argento, Attacking Harvey Weinstein, At the Same He Was Helping “Navigate” Settlement with Underage Actor - "Anthony Bourdain committed suicide on June 8th. His death was a shock until some associated his abrupt decision with tabloid photographs of girlfriend Asia Argento cavorting with a young Italian journalist. But now this comes to light: Bourdain and his attorney were helping Argento navigate a settlement and $380,000 pay off to an underage actor she allegedly raped. It’s mind boggling. Bourdain had been Argento’s steadfast supporter, speaking out against her alleged rapist, Harvey Weinstein. He was fully committed to her cause, to #MeToo, and loyal to his girlfriend"
Looks like it's not just male feminists who do protest too much

Asia Argento denies sexual assault of 17-year-old, says Anthony Bourdain made payment to accuser - ""I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false," Argento said in a statement to reporter Yashar Ali on Tuesday morning, referring to an article published on Sunday in the New York Times... The Times reported that it received documents that included a selfie of Argento and Bennett in bed. It also reported that three people familiar with the case had said the documents were authentic."
Asia Argento was representative of #metoo when she was seen as a victim, but not now that she's revealed to be a predator. Meanwhile, anti-gay men found doing strange things in public toilets with other men prove that anti-gay men are all closeted gays

MeToo actress Asia Argento now admits to sex with under-age boy - "Asia Argento, the Hollywood actress and "MeToo" activist accused of sexual assault on an underage boy, has privately admitted having sex with the fellow actor despite issuing a public denial."

Asia Argento sent unwanted topless video to comedian and then 'freaked out' when he got upset

Asia Argento Says 17-Year-Old Jimmy Bennett Sexually Assaulted Her - "As for her statement after the story broke -- "I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett" -- Heller says she was being honest because it was a one-time only encounter and not a relationship... The attack against Bennett is odd ... because Argento has spoken out against shaming alleged victims in sexual assault cases."

Asia Argento Gives Rose McGowan 24 Hours to Retract Assault Comments - "Asia Argento is threatening legal action against Rose McGowan. On Twitter, Argento gave McGowan 24 hours to retract claims she made detailing how she discovered that Argento had reportedly paid off actor Jimmy Bennett, who alleges the actress assaulted him when he was 17 years old."
Female solidarity!

America’s Empty-Church Problem - "Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal. And it has contributed to the rise of both Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right movement, whose members see themselves as proponents of white nationalism. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways... culturally conservative white Americans who are disengaged from church experience less economic success and more family breakdown than those who remain connected, and they grow more pessimistic and resentful... For decades, liberals have called the Christian right intolerant. When conservatives disengage from organized religion, however, they don’t become more tolerant. They become intolerant in different ways. Research shows that evangelicals who don’t regularly attend church are less hostile to gay people than those who do. But they’re more hostile to African Americans, Latinos, and Muslims... White Democrats who are disconnected from organized religion are substantially more likely than other white Democrats to call the American dream a myth"

Sir Patrick Stewart quits Labour Party and reveals 'awkward' encounter with Jeremy Corbyn - "Sir Patrick Stewart, one of Labour’s most high-profile members, has abandoned the party he has supported for 73 years after saying he no longer knows “what it stands for”. The Star Trek actor, who attended his first Labour event when he was five, said: “It doesn’t feel like my party any more” as he attacked Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership."

The Forgotten Story of How "Punching Up" Harmed the Science-Fiction/Fantasy World - "It relies on crude and often skewed definitions of power, privilege and oppression—so that, for instance, Jeong, a Harvard Law School graduate and successful journalist from a minority group with higher income and lower incarceration rates than white Americans, can outscore an unemployed white high school dropout in “oppression points.” (Or so that Jeong supporter Rani Molla, another journalist with an elite degree and from a thriving demographic, can deride “whiny” rural white workers at a chicken processing plant.) However, the normalization of “punching up” can also do more immediate and tangible harm. In many cases, it can enable and excuse abusive behavior supposedly motivated by righteous anger or “anti-oppression” activism... the sci-fi/fantasy world was rocked by revelations about the bizarre online past of a much-praised young author in the field, the Thai-born, Hong Kong-based Benjanun Sriduangkaew, one of that year’s finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Sriduangkaew was outed as a notorious social justice “rage-blogger” known by the fitting moniker “Requires Hate” (a shortened version of the title of her blog, “Requires Only That You Hate”), whose vitriol-soaked takedowns and callouts of “problematic” works and authors had sown fear in the SFF community since 2011. What’s more, Requires Hate also doubled as a prolific troll and cyberbully who mainly went by “Winterfox” but sometimes used other handles."

The incoherent, divisive dogma of cultural appropriation outrage - "Richard Wagner declared that unconverted Jews could never authentically belong in Europe’s folk-cultural life, because of their appearance, their avarice and their inability to master European languages. In arts such as music, he believed Jews could only produce inferior copies of the great German composers’ works. The popularity of Jewish composers in his time, Wagner raged, was a sign of the terminal decay of European music: Jews were its scavengers, like a “swarming colony of insect life” dissolving a corpse’s flesh. Within a century, such ideas were rhyming to the tramp of jackboots."

6 months with BlueSG electric vehicle car sharing: My driving experience - "At this point of time, BlueSG’s appeal is very selective and it really depends if 1) there are stations near your residence and your destination spots, 2) you don’t mind driving and all its related hassles, 3) you don’t mind playing Russian Roulette."

Instagram Stories At Two: What Price Have We Paid For Recording Everything? - "The downside of having a virtual guest list is that it soon instilled the constant need to throw a party... more than a third of millennials have intentionally posted misleading photos to make their holiday seem better than it is and 65% of those do so specifically to make others envious... "I have definitely seen my friends acting up for the camera"... A 2017 study found Instagram to be the worst social network in terms of its impact on mental health, linking it to depression and anxiety"

Why It's Not OK to Hate Men - "misandry – the unapologetic hatred of men as an undifferentiated group – is nothing new. Radical feminists like Andrea Dworkin and Valerie Solanis (founder of the Society for Cutting Up Men and shooter of Andy Warhol) were the most famous man-haters in the 1970s, but were pretty much disavowed at the time by many more mainstream feminists and later by third wave feminists. Misandry went out of fashion during the 1980s and the idea that feminists were all ‘lesbians and man haters’ was rightly ridiculed. Now it’s back – and much closer to the mainstream than it was 50 years ago... “You can’t hate all men can you? Actually I can,” writes Suzanne Moore, a British feminist, in the New Statesman in 2016. “As a class, I hate men.” Men are not a class but this doesn’t deter Moore from continuing her peroration. “I think any intelligent woman hates men,” she continues. She even comes up with a hash tag in the hope that this blanket condemnation will catch on – #yesallmen... Power is everything – which tells you something, perhaps, about the status anxiety of this theory’s most fanatical adherents... Hating men is not going to advance the cause of gender equality. On the contrary, if you tell someone that you hate them, simply because they have a penis, they have two basic alternative responses (other than ignoring you, which is probably the most sensible response). They can cringe and apologise – as many liberals do in the face of such onslaughts, hoping in vain for rehabilitation. The Maoists and their show trials did a lot to reveal the intrinsic human propensity to confess to imaginary sins. Alternatively, and more dangerously, you can respond with, “If you are justified in hating me then I am justified in hating you.”"
This is what a feminist looks like

Malaysia’s secret ‘hell’: victims of violence, extortion and abuse of power in immigration detention centres tell their stories - "more than 100 foreigners in Malaysia’s immigration centres had died in the preceding two years as a result of “various diseases and unknown causes”. More than half of the victims were ethnic Rohingya refugees escaping persecution in Myanmar."

The Crackdown Continues: Twitter Suspends Libertarian Accounts, Including Ron Paul Institute Director

Women's Studies 101: It's So Cool! If You Use Your Imagination You Can Blame Men for Everything!

FACT CHECK: Was Arnold Schwarzenegger Forced to Sleep Outside a Hotel He Had Helped Open? - "Social media users love to share words of inspiration and wisdom — if you can pair a profound (or at least vague) life lesson with a striking photo of a celebrity, all the better. That was the case in early 2018, when a photograph of California’s former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared along with an elaborate, but false, back story...
'when he was governor of California he inaugurated a hotel with his statue. Hotel staff told Arnold, “at any moment you can come and have a room reserved for you.” when Arnold stepped down as governor and went to the hotel, the administration refused to give him a room arguing that he should pay for it, since they were in great demand.'"

Sweden rape: Most convicted attackers foreign-born, says TV - "the total number of offenders over five years was 843. Of those, 197 were from the Middle East and North Africa, with 45 coming from Afghanistan. "We are very clear in the programme that it is a small percentage of the people coming from abroad who are convicted of rape," chief editor Ulf Johansson told the BBC. He pointed out that the number of reported rapes in Sweden was far higher, so no conclusions could be drawn on the role of immigrants in sexual attacks... A former police officer born in Afghanistan told the programme that some young Afghans who had come to Sweden in recent years had views that differed significantly from Sweden's idea of sexual equality."
Presumably this is clear evidence of xenophobic/racist bias in the Swedish court system

Nobody Should Listen to Twitter Mobs - "Mobbing people over “bad” tweets and hounding them out of jobs is a good way to create a new norm that discourages people from being forthright on social media. It threatens to turn Twitter from a place where people are freewheeling and unfiltered into an environment where people stay on message and work to promote their personal brand. If that happens, Twitter will just be Instagram."

Move over ‘monkey Jesus’, China’s technicolour Buddha joins the wall of shame for botched repair works - "Most restorations are believed to have been done by “Buddhist believers who voluntarily pooled small amounts of money they saved from cheap groceries or discounts … they believe they were protecting the relics and had good intentions,” the internet user wrote... “Relics are called relics because they look old, showing their historical value,” Xu said. “Restoration work may show the faith of a Buddhist believer, but if the restoration covers up the marks of the original relics, then they are turned into idols for worship, not relics any more.”"

Botched Chinese temple fresco restoration sparks outrage - "The new frescoes in Chaoyang’s Yunjie Temple are definitely bold and colorful – too bad they don’t look a thing like the delicate historic originals they were meant to restore. They were painted directly onto the nearly 300-year-old original ones using bright colors and bold lines, with almost no stylistic similarity to the originals... destroying cultural relics is quite common in China."
Many Singaporeans would say that if you can't do better you have no right to criticise the restoration
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