"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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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Links - 6th October 2018 (2)

HARPER: Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is a threat to all of us - "The rise in anti-Semitism across Europe should be alarming to all of us, and not just for moral reasons. History shows that the mindset which embraces anti-Semitism rarely restricts its hatred to the Jewish minority. Today’s threats against Europe’s Jewish populations are both different and more diverse than those in the past. Far-right extremism is still with us, but now represents only one slice of the problem. Radical, jihadist Islam is now the much larger threat. However, the far-left has also become a substantial source of anti-Semitism. Today’s hard-left exhibits a particularly pernicious form of anti-Semitism – one couched in anti-racism rhetoric to make it socially acceptable in polite company... we arrive at the sorry phenomenon that is Britain’s Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn – a man who lays wreaths at the graves of anti-Semitic terrorists, and then thinly papers over his actions with nonsensical hair-splitting. Mr Corbyn’s comfort in the company of anti-Semites and other extremists whom he calls “friends” speaks for itself. While he claims to embrace such individuals in the name of “peace,” it is a peace that only ever involves the enemies of the West generally and of the Jewish people specifically. From the highest levels to the foot soldiers of Corbyn’s Momentum, not a day goes by without another vile display of anti-Semitism, darkly hinting about an omnipresent Jewish cabal, controlling the media and conspiring for their comrade-leader’s downfall... It is the far-left’s obsession with Israel that concerns us most specifically. Our organization is premised on a simple demand: A fair debate about that country, on the same terms which we extend to debates on all other countries. Today’s anti-Semitism all too often manifests itself in the singling out of Israel, depicted as a uniquely horrific place, responsible for all the ills of the Middle East, if not the world. A fair examination would show that nothing could be further from the truth. Israel grapples with some of the most acute challenges the West faces in defending ourselves against jihadist aggression while maintaining modern, open societies. Israel carries this burden admirably, sustained by a democratic polity and a civil judiciary that, in some instances, surpass our own practices. It does this despite having been repeatedly tested under fire in ways our own citizens would simply not tolerate... This column, which first appeared in The Telegraph, was co-authored with David Trimble, who was First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002."
This has the imprimatur of a Nobel Peace Prize winner

'Nazi uniforms' at Gloucester 'Allo 'Allo reunion accidentally spark hard-right fears in twitter storm - "An ‘Allo ‘Allo reunion on the streets of Gloucester has led to outrage over the 'hard right' due to their Nazi uniforms."

Can somebody finally settle this question: Does water flowing down a drain spin in different directions depending on which hemisphere you're in? And if so, why? - "There is an African country near the equator where entrepreneurs have set up two toilets, one just north of the equator, the other just south of it. For a fee, they will allegedly demonstrate that the toilets flush in opposite directions. It is only for show, however; there is no real effect. Yes, there is such a thing as the Coriolis effect, but it is not enough to dominate the flushing of a toilet--and the effect is weakest at the equator"

Subway removes pork from stores after 'strong demand' from Muslims - "Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers. It has confirmed turkey ham and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules. The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with 'the views of religious communities'."

Mystery prize machines are back, boxes no longer a mystery - "Hey Box, which ceased operations along with all other vendors last month, has tweaked its business model to comply with the law. The boxes in the machines now have a plastic window, making the contents visible. On Aug 16, the police had said that operating the machines was considered a form of public lottery and was illegal. Previously, users typically paid $10 to buy a box which contained a mystery prize, usually mobile phone accessories, but which could also include luxury goods and gaming consoles."
Just sell some crap with a chance to win something valuable and it's probably alright since stores run such promotions all the time

Student Kicked Out Of Class For Asking Feminist Professor How Women Are Simultaneously 'Powerful' And 'Helpless Victims Of Patriarchy' - "Students in the class describe Dr. Richards’s initial reaction as one of complete shock. “She just stood there with her mouth open and her hands on her hips,” one student told us on the condition of anonymity. After a full sixty seconds of silence, students allege, Dr. Richards “lost it” and yanked Johnson out of his chair. “Typical intolerant male!” Dr. Richards reportedly yelled as she dragged Johnson from his collar into the hallway. “TOXIC MASCULINITY, BEGONE!”... Johnson has since apologized to his professor, his class, as well as the entire student body, claiming that his question came from a place of “subconscious misogyny” and that he won’t let it happen again."

Chinese farmer declares war on property developers with homemade wheelbarrow cannon - "Yang Youde, who lives on the outskirts of the bustling city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, said he had fended off two eviction attempts with his improvised weapon, which uses ammunition made from locally sold fireworks... His approach is more aggressive than most, but Mr Yang's problem is a common one. Anger over property confiscation is one of the leading causes of unrest in China, with many people forced to give up homes and land to make way for anything from roads to luxury villas."

IVF to fix male infertility 'infringes human rights of women' argue scientists - "Women are unfairly paying the price for men's falling fertility, scientists have warned... a widely used form of IVF which involves injecting a sperm directly into an egg, before implanting it into the mother, is now being used regularly to ‘bypass’ male infertility. Scientists warned that the treatment infringes ‘the basic human rights and dignity of women’ because they are forced to undergo invasive procedures to harvest their eggs and then implant an embryo, even though they themselves are not infertile."
We have explicit discriminatory policies on potty parity, dedicating more space to women's toilets, and men having no reproductive rights but something men cannot control and is a quirk of the environment infringes human rights; if it were women who were infertile, they would be pointing to this as evidence of sexism instead

Why Did Foucault Disregard Iranian Feminists in His Support for Khomeini? - "The transition to the Islamic Republic, ruled over by Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, found the unlikely support of Michel Foucault, the French philosopher well-known for his anti-authoritarian critique of Western modernity, who expressed great enthusiasm for the Shi’ite Islamist elements of the Revolution... The authors argue that Foucault’s attitude in this sense — rather than signify some aberration or lapse in judgment — indeed follows from his post-structuralist political theorizing, which rejects the Enlightenment and despairs at the historical possibility of emancipation. As such, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution serves as an important warning for Western radicals and intellectuals vis-à-vis revolutionary movements, anti-imperialism and political authoritarianism in the rest of the world. Moreover, it raises questions about the liberatory potential of post-structuralism, detailing how that tendency’s preeminent spokesperson so clearly betrayed Iran’s workers, women, LGBTQ citizens, dissidents and religious and ethnic minorities by romanticizing what French leftist Maxime Rodinson refers to as “a type of archaic fascism.”... Foucault privileges pre-modernism, irrationalism and traditionalism — and therefore patriarchal domination... in certain ways, the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini can be said to typify the “will to power” developed by Friedrich Nietzsche, the authoritarian irrationalist whose thought was central to Foucault’s worldview, as was that of Martin Heidegger, the Nazi-friendly phenomenologist whose concept of “being toward death” resonated with Foucault. The authors have a point, then, in observing that “Foucault’s affinity with the Iranian Islamists […] may also reveal some of the larger ramifications of his Nietzschean-Heideggerian discourse.”... an Iranian woman named “Atoussa H.” to call him out publicly. In a letter to Le Nouvel Observateur published in November 1978, Foucault’s critic issued a warning about the philosopher’s romanticization of Islamism and the prospect of an Islamic State in Iran, noting that, “everywhere outside Iran, Islam serves as a cover for feudal or pseudo-revolutionary oppression.” Atoussa H. despaired at the prospect of having the reign of the bloody Shah merely yield to religious fanaticism. Foucault’s public reply to Atoussa H. was condescending and evasive — rather than respond to the woman’s concerns, Foucault accused her feminism of being Orientalist... Foucault failed to grasp that “an anti-Western, religiously based system of power” could be as oppressive as fascism or Stalinism... Foucault’s delusions regarding Iran mirror the serious errors expressed by several left-wing intellectuals in history — Albert Camus, for example, who rejected Algerian independence from the French Empire, or the numerous thinkers who lent their support to the Soviet Union and Maoist China — and they are well-critiqued by Dunayevskaya’s denunciation of observers of the Iranian Revolution who prioritized anti-imperialism over internal oppression"

Michel Foucault's Iranian Folly - "Islam values work; no one can be deprived of the fruits of his labor, what must belong to all (water, the sub-soil) shall not be appropriated by anyone. With respect to liberties, they will be respected to the extent that their exercise will not harm others; minorities will be protected and free to live as they please on the condition that they do not harm the majority; between men and women there will not be inequality with respect to rights, but difference, since there is natural difference. With respect to politics, decisions should be made by the majority, the leaders should be responsible to the people, and each person, as it is laid out in the Quran, should be able to stand up and hold accountable he who governs."

Dave Rubin on Twitter - "Hi @teamyoutube, can you let me know what about this interview with researcher and author @DrDebraSoh caused it to be demonetized? And not just by the algorithm but also by manual review"
"Sex Research, Asian Discrimination, and #MeToo (Debra Soh Full Interview)"
If science advances "harmful gender stereotypes", science is hate speech and must be marginalised

Street Grooming, Criminality and Culture – Youth & Policy - "In Birmingham in 2010, a report compiled by West Midlands Police (WMP) identified groups of ‘Asian’ men grooming school girls with alcohol and drugs and then sexually abusing them (Oldham, 2010). The report was not made public in order to avoid inflaming racial tensions in the run-up to the 2010 General Election"
I thought it was a far right conspiracy theory that this was being suppressed

Shteve #Refollow Again One of These Was Banned for Promoting an Unhealthy Body Image
Glorifying obesity is healthy

Who's Afraid Of PJ Thum? - "PJ Thum is not just any garden-variety opposition. He is a rare and unique archetype found only in Singaporean politics: The PAP Minister Gone Rogue."

EU and national funders launch plan for free and immediate open access to journals - "The business of big journals is about as lucrative as it gets. The market is worth €10 billion a year globally, with operating margins for publishers of about 30 per cent. A 2005 Deutsche Bank report referred to academic publishing as a “bizarre triple-pay” system, in which “the state funds most research, pays the salaries of most of those checking the quality of research, and then buys most of the published product” for thousands of euros per year."

Academic slams Qantas after she is called Miss instead of Doctor - "Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer, an Australian academic currently working in the UK, took to Twitter on Friday to complain about her experience of being called Miss... 'I'm first gen to finish high school (let alone get several degrees) in my family … I'll be damned is some trolley dolly gets to decide what honorific I get called, FFS.'... British man Tim Almond said people who insisted on being called Doctor on planes when they didn't have a medical degree could UK man Tim Almond said he had two friends with doctorates who refused to use their correct title outside of professional conferences. 'You're asking for trouble on an aircraft. A passenger gets stuck and they'll ask you for help,' he tweeted... 'Your tweet is exactly about ego. How many male doctors write tweets to Qantas complaining they get called Mr & not Dr ? If they did, they would cop exactly same the responses as you,' one man wrote."
Her denigration of cabin staff is very telling

An Incredibly Horny Dolphin Is Terrorizing Swimmers at a French Beach

‘Human impulses run riot’: China’s shocking pace of change - "These three surges in suicide demonstrate the failure and impotence of legal institutions in China. The public security organs, prosecutorial agencies and courts all stopped functioning at the start of the Cultural Revolution; thereafter, laws existed only in name. Since Mao’s death, a robust legal system has never truly been established and, today, law’s failure manifests itself in two ways. First, the law is strong only on paper: in practice, law tends to be subservient to the power that officials wield. Second, when officials realise they are being investigated and know their position won’t save them, some will choose to die rather than submit to legal sanctions, for officials who believe in power don’t believe in law... In China today, Buddhist temples are crowded with worshippers, while Taoist temples are largely deserted. A few years ago, I asked a Taoist abbot: “Taoism is native to China, so why is it not as popular as Buddhism, which came here from abroad?” His answer was short: “Buddhism has money and Taoism doesn’t.”... Protests today are not geared towards transforming society – they are simply designed to protect the material interests of the group involved"
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