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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Links - 28th November 2018 (1)

Weinstein may get criminal sex act charge dropped because accuser's log implies it was not rape - "Evans' credibility was also undermined in another damning report, which revealed that the NYPD's lead investigator on the case failed to turn over statements from a casting director claiming the actress had performed the sex act to score an acting gig... the woman told Weinstein: 'I love you, always do. But I hate feeling like a booty call. :)'"

Equality Institute: Don't Say 'Pregnant Women', as 'All Genders Can Fall Pregnant' - "The Equality Institute has deleted a Facebook post advising the public to say “pregnant people” instead of “pregnant women” after attracting thousands of overwhelmingly negative comments... The Melbourne-based organisation’s position on gender cannot be dismissed as a fringe idea from the wilder shores of social justice activism, however, as the British government has advanced similar proposals to amend the use of language around pregnancy at the global level... Similar issues have arisen on the other side of the Atlantic, with the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) in the United States having purged references to “women” and “mothers” from its core competencies booklet in favour of “pregnant people” and “birthing individuals” in 2014."

Teacher Fired Over Anti-Asian Racism Says "I don't believe East Asians can be subject to racism." - UPDATE - - "It all started when a 10-year-old Asian girl was suspended after she brought hair sticks to her school because they were seen as weapons. Her mother @LovelyLearynn tweeted out that her daughter faced discrimination from Ms. Shonterikka Williams, who referred to the hair sticks as “oriental things.”... Shonterikka Williams went on her Instagram and posted a long letter saying she got fired from her job. She claims that “the war on black women continues” and that she couldn’t be racist towards Asians because “they are close to white people in terms of supremacy.” She did admit to using the word “ch**k” but she said it was a “joke” and “not racist”. She then accuses the mother of trying to make her “look bad” because she’s “black.” Oddly enough she emphasized that she couldn’t be racist because she hired an Asian man to be her daughter’s babysitter. In addition, she said that she will not be apologizing... she said that the people calling her out had an “anti-black agenda” and that “Asians and white people deserve each other.” In addition, she corrected people who claimed that she was “manipulating” her Asian babysitter by stating that he wasn’t a kid because the 16-year-old was dating a 20-year-old. She also called out people who didn’t have the same passion when black girls get “sent home for their NATURAL hair?” She has now deleted this post and has posted pictures of people who she said, “publicly shamed me.”"
First, they came for the white people

Public university hires puppet sexologist to teach students 'healthy relationships' - "If there’s one thing colleges students need to learn, it’s how to have sex. That’s why Towson University, part of the University System of Maryland, is bringing a board-certified sexologist who wears genital puppets on her arms to campus... Universities that punished students who used BDSM with their partners – sometimes inspired by “50 Shades of Grey” – have occasionally been sued for depriving the accused of due process."

If Labour keeps telling working class people they're saying the wrong thing, they'll start talking to Theresa May - "Everyone has Google, but not everyone has been given the tools to educate themselves. You might have missed the memo on the ins and outs of intersectionality if you didn’t have an expensive private education"

Parents who won't let their son wear a skirt may have to be referred to social services, schools advised - "Mothers and fathers who dismiss a “gender questioning” child’s requests to change their name could also be a trigger for concern, according to Brighton and Hove City Council’s “Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit”. It comes after warnings that schools are "sowing confusion" in children's minds by over-promoting transgender issues, and that children are being encouraged to “unlearn” the difference between boys and girls... Another scenario outlined in Brighton and Hove City Council’s guidance document is parents who contact the school to ask: “My daughter doesn’t want a boy changing next to her, what if he looks at her body?” It explains that in such a case, “it would not be appropriate to remove the trans pupil from the changing rooms”. Instead, the school should focus on increasing their “training and awareness raising” to ensure that all pupils understand that a transgender girls is a “real girl”. The guidance document, now in its third edition, was produced by Allsorts Youth Project, a charity that supports young people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ)."
Yet many people only get upset when religious organisations are invovled

Women avoid transgender debate in fear of reaction, says Jo Brand - "Many women are wary of entering feminist debates over transgender issues because they are frightened of the reaction, the comedian and writer Jo Brand has said. Brand was addressing a debate that has led to feminists such as Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel being “no-platformed” at some universities. She said that reaction was “pathetic” and the two sides needed to see there was common ground. The big danger was that women avoided the debate... “I think there’s a lot of infighting with feminism and feminists being quite nasty to each other depending on which camp they’re in. I would rather it was a broad church. We should be able to be adult.” Brand said some of the things Greer said were “slightly bonkers or off the wall”. But she added: “The fact is Germaine Greer is virtually the mother of modern feminism and it is disrespectful, it is a phasing out of history, to treat her in the way that people do.”... Her appearance presenting Have I Got News for You late last year, at the early stages of the #MeToo movement, was memorable, as she explained the effects of sexism on women to a panel of four men. Brand said it was not planned. “I don’t really know why I did it like that because I much prefer to say, ‘Shut the fuck up!’ For some reason I didn’t do that. Maybe I thought I’d get the point across better if I didn’t shout in their faces.”"

Immigrants face new 'British values test' to become UK citizens, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announces - "Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, poured scorn on the idea of a British values test, saying: “It’s not clear this is any improvement on Theresa May’s derided ‘British values’ test in 2015, or even Norman Tebbit’s earlier cricket test... Mr Javid also launched a fierce attack on Jeremy Corbyn, branding him a “threat to our national security”. “Imagine having someone in No 10 who has voted against vital counterterrorism legislation, someone who refuses to condemn the Kremlin over an attack on our soil,” he said. “Someone who seriously suggested sending a nerve agent sample to Vladimir Putin, to see if the Russians could tell us what it was. Who compared the actions of the US military, our closest ally, to Daesh [as Isis is also known].”"

Are Conservatives More Likely Than Liberals to Avoid Cognitive Dissonance? - "do liberals and conservatives differ in their tendency to avoid cognitive dissonance? Suggestive evidence from past research suggests they might. For instance, a study of voters in the 2000 election by Stanford public opinion specialist Shanto Iyengar and his colleagues found that although Republicans and conservatives were more interested in learning information about George W. Bush than about Al Gore, Democratic and liberal voters had no such political preference. In a recent study in PLOS One, an online academic journal, the psychologist Jay Van Bavel and his colleagues at New York University set out to explicitly test whether conservatives are more likely than liberals to avoid the unsettling sensation of cognitive dissonance... the results yielded a significant partisan difference in the willingness to write the essay—but only when the essay was political (not about Macs vs. PCs) and only when writing it was presented a choice, not an assignment. In that context, the results were rather stunning: Not a single Bush supporter was willing to write a pro-Obama essay. That’s 0 out of 28 Bush supporters overall. Obama supporters didn’t like writing pro Bush essays much either, but they were a lot more willing in general: 20 out of 71 did so, or 28 percent overall. (The study sample, obtained through’s Mechanical Turk, contained more liberals than conservatives.)"

Why humans build walls to keep people out—or in - "People have been building walls since the tenth millennium B.C. The ancient walls were built primarily for defensive purposes. Nowadays, they are built more to prevent immigration, terrorism, or the flow of illegal drugs. But there is a common connection, which is the idea of keeping outsiders out... there would be no writing and nothing as complex as gunpowder without first the construction of walls. The ancient human need for security is one of the fundamentals of life and has to be achieved before we can achieve other things. It was walls that gave people the security to sit and think. It’s hard to imagine a novel being written in a world in which every man is a warrior. Until a society achieves security, it can’t think about anything except the dangers all around it. As a consequence its culture will be limited."

A global tipping point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier - "Why does it matter that a middle-class tipping point has been reached and that the middle class is the most rapidly growing segment of the global income distribution? Because the middle class drive demand in the global economy and because the middle class are far more demanding of their governments."

Corbyn pictured in Muslim Brotherhood allegiance gesture - "British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn made a sign used by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to show allegiance in the latest allegation he has ties to extremist groups and supports sectarian politics."

Why is the left so blinkered to Islamic extremism? - "a new report by the One Law for All campaign: Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left... The result, as the report notes, has been an anti-war movement working enthusiastically with those advocating the murder of homosexuals, a left-wing Mayor of London embracing a man who said Adolf Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews, and a group set up ostensibly to oppose fascism warmly welcoming religious fascists into its own ranks... The mystery is why the left has welcomed into its ranks individuals who by any definition sit on the ultra-right. The answer, I suspect, lies in the fact that many Islamists exhibit a pathological anti-Americanism that is quite attractive to a certain type of degenerated progressive"

Ghaffar Hussain: An unlikely alliance - "The old rule that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" seems to be shaping the relationship between the hard left and Islamists in Britain today. By having a common foe in western capitalism, which they conveniently blame for all of the world's ills, they have developed a marriage of convenience against the odds. This alliance can also be seen on the international stage as Hugo Chávez holds hands with Iran's Ahmedinejad while our own Ken Livingstone hugs Yusuf al-Qaradawi. It was also evident at anti-Iraq war rallies where CND, the Socialist Workers Party and Respect shared platforms with the likes of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the British Muslim Initiative which are schismatic offshoots of radical Islamism"

Who Is Linda Sarsour's Mentor? - "Sarsour has a long history of distasteful views and associations with extremist figures. In 2017, for example, she attended a summit run by the radical left-wing group Jewish Voice for Peace, where she sat alongside the convicted Palestinian terrorist, Rasmea Odeh, and gave her a warm embrace. While speaking, Sarsour said she was “honored and privileged to be here in this space, and honored to be on this stage with Rasmea.” Sarsour has also called for people to show solidarity with Muhammad Allan, a member of the terror group Islamic Jihad. Allan has a history of recruiting suicide bombers. Sarsour also associates with the organization Al-Awda and its co-founder (an open and unapologetic Hezbollah supporter) Abbas Hamideh. Sarsour has attended numerous rallies sponsored by Al-Awda, promoted and solicited donations for their events, and spoken at their rallies."

Linda Sarsour blames 'Jewish media' for her controversial reputation - "Pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, sitting on an "Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice" panel at New York City's The New School, blamed the “Jewish media” for her controversial reputation. Sarsour’s speech – which barely touched on the issues of anti-Semitism and how to fight it – focused heavily on her “unapologetically Palestinian-American” identity and how she is a “very strong staunch supporter of boycott, divestment, sanctions movement” against Israel, which singles out the Jewish state and tries to isolate it economically and culturally. When one panelist from Jewish Voice for Peace, a Left-wing, anti-Israel group, said Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is an “anti-Semite,” Sarsour pushed back... Sarsour shifted the blame for her reputation to the Trump administration... The Anti-Defamation League blasted the New York City-based private school’s decision. “Having Linda Sarsour...leading a panel on #antisemitism is like Oscar Meyer leading a panel on vegetarianism,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “These panelists know the issue, but unfortunately, from the perspective of fomenting it rather than fighting it.”

Judith Butler on Hamas, Hezbollah & the Israel Lobby (2006) - "understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important"

Bottomless bowls: why visual cues of portion size may influence intake. - "Participants who were unknowingly eating from self-refilling bowls ate more soup [14.7+/-8.4 vs. 8.5+/-6.1 oz; F(1,52)=8.99; p<0.01] than those eating from normal soup bowls. However, despite consuming 73% more, they did not believe they had consumed more, nor did they perceive themselves as more sated than those eating from normal bowls. This was unaffected by BMI."

Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown - The New York Times - "How easy is it to change people’s votes in an election? The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all. This conclusion may sound jarring at a time when people are concerned about the effects of the false news articles that flooded Facebook and other online outlets during the 2016 election... a recent meta-analysis of numerous different forms of campaign persuasion, including in-person canvassing and mail, finds that their average effect in general elections is zero... Dubious political content online is disproportionately likely to reach heavy news consumers who already have strong opinions. For instance, a study I conducted with Andrew Guess of Princeton and Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter in Britain showed that exposure to fake news websites before the 2016 election was heavily concentrated among the 10 percent of Americans with the most conservative information diets — not exactly swing voters... those who want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data, not hype or speculation."
Those who obsess about fake news are... taken in by fake news
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