"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, November 02, 2018

Links - 2nd November 2018 (1)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defends $40 trillion price tag for progressive proposals - "Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday defended what could accrue to a $40 trillion price tag for progressive policy programs, including Medicare for all, over the next 10 years... CNN "State of the Union" anchor Jake Tapper asked where that estimated $40 trillion -- which would include the costs for Medicare for all, jobs guarantees, student loan forgiveness, free college programs, paid family leave, and Social Security expansion -- would come from. Medicare for all would be the costliest initiative, coming in at about $32 trillion... asked again where that $40 trillion would come from, aside from her proposed increase in taxes on the wealthy and corporate taxes, which she has said would raise $2 trillion over the next 10 years, Ocasio-Cortez said the taxpayer-funded programs would free people up to increase economic activity in other areas, adding that the Medicare for all program is part of "a broader agenda.""

Salvini: 'We Need to Have More Children, Not Africans to Replace Them' - "Maybe in Luxembourg they need to do this, but in Italy we need to help people have more children, rather than bring in modern-day slaves [from Africa] to replace the children we’re not having"

Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet: Reason Roundup - "A leaked memo circulating among Senate Democrats contains a host of bonkers authoritarian proposals for regulating digital platforms, purportedly as a way to get tough on Russian bots and fake news. To save American trust in "our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets," it suggests, we need unprecedented and undemocratic government intervention into online press and markets, including "comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation" of the sort enacted in the E.U."

6 Reasons Why the French Are Such Good Lovers, According to French People - "“We are used to French kisses since we are 12. We don’t play basketball or baseball on the playground. We just practice the French kiss.” -- Hugo...
“They [French men] know they are charming, so they will go over the top and people [foreigners] are seduced and wrapped into it. They know women are easy prey. A friend came a month ago and the first man we met at a party picked her up and carried her down the stairs because he said she was ‘too good to take the stairs.’ She fell for it.” -- Jill
“We buy the lingerie because we know it is important.” -- Marine
“We love the Mediterranean way of life. It is all about the wine and seduction.” -- Hugo...
“They [French men] listen to women and try to understand what they feel. They try to meet a woman’s expectations and they pay a lot of attention. They also have some skills with their tongues.” -- Marine...
“The way we are with women is in our nature since we first learned to talk and walk. We hold the door for a woman, we stand when she joins us at the table, and we kiss her hand when we meet. It’s just the way we are. We take care of women and make them laugh and feel good. As I always say, ‘On ne peut pas être performant à l'horizontale si on ne se sent pas bien a la verticale,’ which means, ‘you can’t be good at sex with your lover if you don’t feel right when you are standing with them.’” -- Marco"

Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why I Will Never Hire You.

Oakland Tech to hold first Black Graduation, joins growing movement to celebrate among one's own - "Oakland Tech joins public institutions such as the University California at Berkeley, Berkeley High and for the first time this year, the West Contra Costa Unified School District, all of which hold separate black graduations. Harvard University held its first official commencement for black graduate students last year, in addition to the commencement ceremony for the entire school where they received their diplomas... Critics see these events as having a separatist attitude, something Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., worked hard to fight against. And they are being held at a time when the country is rife with accusations of racism and hateful attitudes toward ‘the other.’"

Probiotics are mostly useless and can actually hurt you - "the microbes found in faeces were not representative of those that had colonised the gut. “Relying on faecal samples as an indicator of what goes on inside the gut is inaccurate and wrong” says Elinav. The research also showed that while probiotics colonised the gastrointestinal tract of some people, the gut microbiome of others just expelled them. There was no way of telling from their stool sample which category people fell into. “Some people accept probiotics in their gut, while others just pass them from one end to the other,” says Elinav. They found that the probiotic colonisation patterns were highly dependent on the individual. That tells us that the concept that everyone can benefit from a universal probiotic bought from the supermarket is empirically wrong, he says... Probiotic bacteria readily colonised the gut of everyone in the second group after antibiotics had cleared the way. However, the researchers were surprised to find that this prevented the return of the person’s normal microbiome for up to six months"

The man who won the lottery 14 times - "This is the story of the man who “gamed” the lottery by buying every possible combination."

One in seven major operations in UK cancelled on day of surgery, data shows - "Of these patients, 10 per cent have been cancelled once before, while patients waiting for riskier operations where they are likely to require a critical care bed to recover were also more likely to be cancelled on, the data shows."

We won’t save the Earth with a better kind of disposable coffee cup | George Monbiot - "It was charming to see how Norwegian herring boats seek to avoid killing orcas, but we were given no idea of how unusual it is. Even marine plastic is in large part a fishing issue. It turns out that 46% of the Great Pacific garbage patch – which has come to symbolise our throwaway society – is composed of discarded nets, and much of the rest consists of other kinds of fishing gear. Abandoned fishing materials tend to be far more dangerous to marine life than other forms of waste. As for the bags and bottles contributing to the disaster, the great majority arise in poorer nations without good disposal systems. But because this point was not made, we look to the wrong places for solutions. From this misdirection arise a thousand perversities. One prominent environmentalist posted a picture of the king prawns she had bought, celebrating the fact that she had persuaded the supermarket to put them in her own container rather than a plastic bag, and linking this to the protection of the seas. But buying prawns causes many times more damage to marine life than any plastic in which they are wrapped. Prawn fishing has the highest rates of bycatch of any fishery – scooping up vast numbers of turtles and other threatened species. Prawn farming is just as bad, eliminating tracts of mangrove forests, crucial nurseries for thousands of species. We are kept remarkably ignorant of such issues. As consumers, we are confused, bamboozled and almost powerless – and corporate power has gone to great lengths to persuade us to see ourselves this way. The BBC’s approach to environmental issues is highly partisan, siding with a system that has sought to transfer responsibility for structural forces to individual shoppers. Yet it is only as citizens taking political action that we can promote meaningful change... Disposable coffee cups made from new materials are not just a non-solution: they are a perpetuation of the problem"

British worker files discrimination lawsuit after being fired from Hong Kong company and called a ‘gweilo’ by staff - "A British blasting specialist was called a “gweilo” at work and was excluded when he was hired on a Hong Kong tunnel project, according to a discrimination lawsuit he filed against his former employer. Francis William Haden also said that Leighton Contractors (Asia) did not let him hire blasting specialists from Australia, even though Hong Kong was short on people with the skill, because a partnering firm on the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin tunnel project did not want non-Chinese involved."

The future is here today: you can't play Bach on Facebook because Sony says they own his compositions

6 maps and charts that explain sex around the world - "Only 10 percent of Japanese people report exciting sex. That's less than a third of the next-lowest, Hong Kong's, at 32... Japan is the only country in the world where a higher percentage of people report being dissatisfied with their sex lives than satisfied... working hours have made "physical contact" between spouses "so infrequent that some of Japan's leading homebuilders now report that more than one in three custom homes is built with separate bedrooms for husband and wife... Singapore, China, and Mexico had the smallest differences between between male and female orgasm rates, while Russia and Thailand had the largest. The thing that's most surprising about this is there's virtually no correlation between a country's overall level of gender equality and its orgasm gap... Turks reported more sex partners than any other country in the world, and were doing it unprotected about 45 percent of the time [and having more STIs]... Asian countries have a much higher mean age of virginity loss than nations basically everywhere else... there may be something about East Asian religious traditions or cultural norms that promotes sexual conservatism. One study by a group of researchers found very high levels of reported "embarrassment" about discussing sexual practices in public. These results, according to the researchers is that "in comparison with men and women from ‘Western' regions," respondents living in East Asian countries were "more sexually conservative, more male-orientated and less sexually active.""

SMRT Ltd (Feedback) And The Great Teh Tarik Expose - "Long gone is Azly’s brand of dry wit and humour from SMRT Ltd (Feedback), and browsing through the Facebook page, you’ll notice that the new administrator’s voice is distinctively different from the old guard’s. But Azly maintains that SMRT Ltd (Feedback) will and has continued from his time, and will maintain its anonymity for many versions to come."

Colin Kaepernick & Nike's Sweatshops - "Nike never does anything simply because it is the right thing to do. They do not care about social justice or human rights. This is about money. Period. They are still reeling because of the sexual misconduct allegations at Nike headquarters and want to pivot attention away from that. They also see this as a way to endear themselves to one of their largest bases of customers - young black men - to sell more sneakers. And they are banking on capturing the anti-Trump movement with this move. Again, to sell more sneakers. This is “cause marketing” 101."

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter says his criticisms of Turkish government have stifled endorsement deals - "New York Knicks center Enes Kanter said that Nike and other companies have shied away from signing him to endorsement deals because of his outspoken criticisms of the Turkish government."
So much for standing up for something

NBA Player Enes Kanter: How I Became Erdogan's Enemy - "If you speak out against Erdogan, it can affect your whole life and everyone around you. It has been too dangerous for me to set foot in Turkey for three years. The last time I visited, the government destroyed my brothers’ school and threw my dentist and his wife in prison. The regime arrested and charged a man for links to Gulen after I took a picture with his child, and went after a comedian after he exchanged a few tweets with me. Last year, Erdogan canceled my passport and put out an international warrant for my arrest. That means I am now stateless and pretty much can’t leave the United States. It’s interfering with my career, too"

Evergreen State College apologizes for protesting Sumas farm - "Evergreen State College’s President apologized for using taxpayer-funded resources to transport students to a Sumas berry farm for a protest in 2017... Medical examiners and the state Department of Labor and Industries found his death was due to natural causes unrelated to his work and cleared the farm of any wrongdoing."

Steve Bannon, Chelsea Clinton & “No Platforming” Rules - "Ms. Penny chose not to engage in the same festival as Steve Bannon because she believes that he doesn’t want to engage. Which must count as a sort of pre-emptive hit of non-engagement: “I’m going to not engage with you before you can not engage with me.”... the most shocking aspect of that event (even more than the presiding minister fondling Ariana Grande live onstage at a funeral) was the moment when we all said, “Isn’t that Louis Farrakhan up there onstage?” And indeed it was. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton seemed to have no problem sharing a platform with one of the world’s most notorious racists and anti-Semites. Indeed, when Farrakhan waddled over to President Clinton to shake his hand, he was positively oozing with the satisfaction he obviously gets — and has always gotten — from such encounters. For handshakes with — and proximity to — the likes of the Clintons is the only thing that stops Farrakhan from being recognized for what he is: no better or worse than a David Duke... I just cannot understand the rules here. So far as I know, Steve Bannon has never given a speech titled “Thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan.” If he had, then I doubt he would be so proud of it that it would be still sitting at the top of his Twitter page. And if he had, then I imagine that the Clintons would run the other way from him even if it meant no-platforming someone at a funeral."

Doug Casey On China's Exploitation Of Africa - "The Chinese basically see Africans as no more than a cheap labor source. That’s at best. Other than that, they’re viewed as a complete nuisance. Basically an obstacle, a cost, standing in the way of efficient use of the continent itself... Chinese are moving to Africa in record numbers and Africans are leaving as fast as they can... Rich Chinese are smart to diversify to developed Western countries. Poor Chinese go to backward countries, to try to become wealthy. Africa is the prime recipient... I honestly think Africa could implode. I mean where is the economic growth going to come from that will be needed to support all these people? It’s turning into the world of Soylent Green in the cities. And in the boondocks, people just sit around on their haunches and beat on earth. Or at least the women do. Men just sit around and palaver all day... Africans haven’t learned anything from the past... Just look at what Zimbabwe recently went through... You’d think South Africans would say, “Geez, that country’s economy was totally destroyed by politics and envy. That wasn’t a good idea; we ought to act more intelligently.”... hey actually view what happened in Zimbabwe as a success... The blacks went from owning, say, 10% of the country’s wealth to now owning, say, 99%. That looked pretty good. The fact the absolute amount of wealth fell by perhaps 75% is irrelevant to them... Africa is probably the most racist place on the planet... The methodology in Africa has been the same for years. Get into the government. Steal as much as you can. Then go to Europe to live like a billionaire."
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