"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 30, 2018

Links - 30th November 2018 (2)

The Pythagorean Cup - The Cup That Spills Your Drink When You Get Too Greedy

Republicans and Democrats Don’t Just Disagree About Politics. They Have Different Sexual Fantasies. - "Republicans were more likely than Democrats to fantasize about a range of activities that involve sex outside of marriage... self-identified Democrats were more likely than Republicans to fantasize about almost the entire spectrum of BDSM activities, from bondage to spanking to dominance-submission play. The largest Democrat-Republican divide on the BDSM spectrum was in masochism, which involves deriving pleasure from the experience of pain... What connects Republicans and Democrats, I believe, is that their fantasies are at least partly driven by what they can’t have. As I argue in Tell Me What You Want, the supersized sexual appeal that nonmonogamous and voyeuristic acts hold for Republicans likely stems from the fact that sex outside of marriage and multipartner sex are huge no-nos in a political party that continues to make “traditional marriage” one of the cornerstones of its official platform and regularly funnels federal funds toward abstinence-only sex education... Within the Democratic Party, much of what drives the political agenda is the view that inequality is the source of a wide range of social problems. This is regularly seen in the party platform, which recently made multiple mentions of the need to “level the playing field.” It’s not a stretch, then, to suggest that playing with power differentials—especially in BDSM settings, where women and men might not appear to be on equal footing and where the lines of sexual consent might not always be explicit—is taboo in many Democratic circles... the single most commonly fantasized-about politician among both parties was the same: Sarah Palin"
This is evidence that feminists really do want to be dominated

Upholding the Jihadist's Veto - "The vast majority of European democracies have abolished their blasphemy bans without an increase in religious conflict, unrest or violence. And those who do seek to enforce the “Jihadist’s Veto” by killing and threatening journalists and authors in Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen, should not be rewarded for their efforts. Enforcing blasphemy bans is neither a sign of progress and tolerance nor likely to appease religious extremists. That lesson should be clear from a number of Muslim majority countries where blasphemy laws contribute to more, not less, extremism and violence. In 1992, Egyptian secularist intellectual Faraq Fouda was condemned as a blasphemer by a council at the Islamic Al-Azhar Islamic for mocking Islamist ideology and pointing to dark chapters in the history of Islam. Shortly thereafter, he was murdered by Islamists. Subsequently, Al-Azhar university not only blamed Fouda for his own murder but also banned Fouda’s complete works... blasphemy laws are being abused to target religious minorities, dissenters, and to legitimize vigilant mob violence. Human rights discourse should play no part in providing legitimacy—however indirectly—to such practices... the Court’s insistence that verbal attacks on religious doctrines and figures should have a certain “factual basis” creates an impediment to rigorous and passionate debate of religion. Much contained in texts considered sacred by their followers will be rejected as falsehoods by those of other faiths or non-believers"

What's so blasphemous about free speech? - "the American First Amendment lawyer Ken White argues that hate speech isn’t capable of legal definition — because baked into any such legislation is the claim that certain words cause direct harm in the same way a violent act does. The problem with this is that what is hateful to one person may be amusing or even meaningless to another. As a result, “hate speech is whatever someone in power thinks it is”, White suggests. It’s important here to note the distinction here between hate speech and incitement, which is a crime. Incitement requires a causal link between speech and the commission of a crime. Hate speech does not. It is such US-style legal reasoning that led Irish politician Councillor Keith Redmond to call hate speech (all of it) “secular blasphemy law” during Ireland’s referendum campaign, and to argue that hate speech laws generally and religious vilification laws in particular amount to “blasphemy by the back door” — and constitute a direct assault on freedom of speech... Section 127 only applies online, people can make the most outrageously racist, sexist, or bigoted jokes at, say, a comedy club or down the pub. If, however, their speech is recorded and finishes up on the internet, they’re in trouble. Thousands of people have been convicted under this statute — we’ve only heard about Meechan and Linehan because they’re famous. It is Section 127 that allows police up and down the country to pitch up on people’s doorsteps — while loosely throwing the phrase “hate speech” around — for something they’ve posted on Facebook or Instagram."

In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland – review - "The problem with the life of Muhammad is that there is almost no textual support for it until almost two centuries after his death. Holland is not going so far as to say that he never existed. Just that the account we have comes from the 800s, by which time Haroun al-Rashid was caliph over an empire that stretched from China to the Atlantic, and the 1,001 Nights was being compiled. The veracity of details and perhaps also some of the more important moments of the prophet's life were – are – impossible to prove. The same goes for the Qur'an. There is no written mention of it in the period immediately following Muhammad – nor any commentary on it until the eighth century... Holland points out that "there is not a shred of backing" in the Qur'an for locating Mecca in the Hijaz"

Christian News Site 'LifeSite' Blacklisted by Web Host

Trump approval rating with blacks now at 36%, Rasmussen poll says - "Trump proudly and frequently cites the current low unemployment figures among African-Americans as a reason voters from that demographic should support him. On Friday, Trump cited those numbers in a tweet in which he also said he was "honored" to have the support of musician Kanye West. In May, Trump boasted to a crowd at a National Rifle Association convention that West's endorsement had doubled his percentage of African-American supporters after a Reuters poll showed it went from 11 to 22 percent in one week"

Even Good Husbands Are Sexist. Here's What I Did About Mine. - "To be frank, they tend to sit out anything bigger than cutting up an onion. And when they do cut up onions, they often do it wrong — chopping for a salad instead of slicing for a stir fry. Most of the time, it’s easier for us just to do it ourselves, rather than accept their "help."... There’s no comparison to the feeling of failure a woman has when her “work day” is done and she comes home and the house is a complete mess. I’ve never seen a man lose his mind over a dirty countertop, but I have seen and heard many women pour their hearts out on the issue (and I have definitely been one of those women). And that’s OK! I don’t think a woman should ever apologize for wanting things to be tidy or to look a certain way. But, emotional labor also has a way of slowly scraping us from the inside out. As generous as some of us are by nature, it can feel like we are chasing our tails for no one when our time- and brain-consuming efforts are taken for granted... "I am still running around the morning our house cleaner comes to ‘clean before she cleans,’ which my husband thinks is crazy.”... She would do what many of us are normalized to do — resent the fact that he wasn’t helping and then feel even more resentful when he didn’t complete the task up to her standards... Geoff and I came up with a “hack.” On even-numbered nights during the workweek, he would provide dinner for us. He could cook, he could order takeout, we could go out to eat — the decision was totally up to him. The only rule was that he couldn’t ask me for any insight, preferences, or cravings beforehand, and I couldn’t make any suggestions or provide any opinions before or during the meal. I would just arrive home and dinner would be there for me, and I would have to eat it whether I liked it or not. On odd-numbered nights of the week, I would do the same for him... I bit my tongue a lot. If I had Thai food for lunch and he ordered Thai food for dinner, I would eat Thai food twice in one day without telling him. It was hit or miss, but I couldn’t complain. Like, I literally could not complain. And that silence was a game changer — as was my attitude. Even when the food was kind of meh, I made sure Geoff knew how much I appreciated his efforts, and this paid off in spades (and pasta). Regardless of gender, compliments and encouragement are the oldest "hack" in the book. And I had all this extra space in my brain!... I’ve stopped micromanaging and making assumptions about who can or can’t do what chores well. Perfect is the enemy of the good, and honestly it’s just great not having to decide what’s for dinner."
She almost realised the answer to her question - "emotional labour" is to a large extent women caring about things that men don't care about and don't see the need to care about, or getting upset that men don't do things the way they would (actually this isn't even limited to a gender divide - women also disagree with other women on how to do the same task)
Keywords: a cleaner before, embarrassed, women have higher standards for cleanliness

Melissa Chen - Can we please appreciate my sister's commitment to... - "Can we please appreciate my sister's commitment to Halloween? They had a Halloween costume contest at work and she stayed in character as Rafiki all day, singing "asante sana squash banana" and going up to co-workers and smearing whipped cream on their foreheads, saying "Siiiiiiiimba.""

Canada resort staff were fired for being white - tribunal - "Resort owner Kin Wa Chan said he wanted to hire Chinese employees because he believed they were cheaper. The tribunal found the seven staff were forced out in August 2016, and replaced with Chinese workers."

Canada woman loses snoring row complaint with neighbours - "A Canadian woman who complained of harassment after her landlords urged her to seek help for her snoring has lost her case. The woman had taken her landlords to Quebec's rental board seeking a rent reduction over the dispute. The board's tribunal said her excessive snoring could not be considered a normal level of noise expected in an apartment complex. It also said she was wrong to refuse to see a doctor about her snoring."

Seventy Years of the New York Times Describing Saudi Royals as Reformers - "In honor of Thomas Friedman's latest love letter to the ruling dynasty in Saudi Arabia, here is seventy years worth of the New York Times describing the royal family as reformers"

Ben & Jerry's partners with group tied to Anti-Semite Farrakhan - "Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s released a new flavor to show its support for groups fighting President Donald Trump’s agenda, including the Women’s March, a group whose leaders enjoy ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan."
"Resist"

Are Koreas About to Finally Make Peace? U.S. Helps Disarm World’s Most Heavily Fortified Border - "North and South Korean personnel have completed disarming an important section of the massive demilitarized zone that lies between them, an unprecedented step amid a warming of relations between the longtime foes."
Trump haters can't continue to insist that there's no progress - so they'll just claim he has nothing to do with this

Trump’s reversal of failed Obama policies has created a booming economy - "The unemployment rate in September stood at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate since 1969. Not coincidentally, for the week ending Oct. 15, initial claims for unemployment benefits were the lowest since 1973, when the U.S. population was 110 million people smaller. This is because the Trump economy’s job creation numbers are regularly beating expectations – averaging over 208,000 jobs per month so far this year. Will hiring continue to increase, causing the number of workers forced onto the unemployment rolls to continue its decline? Yes, it will. There are currently more job openings than people unemployed. Last March was the first time that had happened since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began compiling the data. It has happened every month since. In August, there were 7.1 million job openings – the highest number ever recorded – with only 6.2 million people unemployed. In other words, there were 900,000 more job openings than people who had looked for a job in the past 30 days. Again, a remarkable record. Who is benefitting? Is it, as Democrats claim, only the rich who benefit from tax cuts and economic growth? No. People are benefitting across demographics regardless of race, sex or level of education. Unemployment rates are at or near record lows for African- Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women and people without high school diplomas. The BLS announced Wednesday that the wages and salaries of American workers in the third quarter of this year were 3.1 percent higher than during the same period one year ago – the biggest increase in 10 years... We are averaging 3.3 percent GDP growth year to date with GDP growth coming in at 4.2 percent in the second quarter and 3.5 percent in the third... Following the 2016 election, Obama economists initially tried blaming structural problems for his failure to generate better economic growth. They also were quick to demean the Trump administration’s 3 percent GDP growth forecasts. A February 2017 Business Insider article discussing 3 percent GDP growth quoted former Obama administration economist Lee Branstetter as stating that “it's essentially mathematically impossible to get the growth they're talking about.” In March, economist and Obama administration alum Jason Furman blamed changed economic circumstances and forecast 10 years of GDP growth “around 2 percent a year.” In May, fellow Obama economist Larry Summers, compared believing in the Trump administration’s forecast of 3 percent GDP growth to believing “in tooth fairies.”"
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