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Monday, December 10, 2018

Links - 10th December 2018 (2)

Why Students Are Terrified (to Speak Their Minds) - "The student said she was silent because she was worried to share her opinion, for fear of being singled out or accidentally saying something offensive. I asked who else was not speaking for that reason. For the first time in my years of experience as a teaching assistant in the classroom, something happened that most teachers dream about: Everyone raised their hands. No one was talking because everyone was afraid. I encouraged them to speak despite their worries, and asked how I might make it easier for them to do that. Someone suggested that it would be easier if they were assigned an opinion so that they wouldn’t have to be responsible for holding it or feel bad for defending it. The students were eager to talk. They wanted to talk. But they were afraid of even letting themselves think out loud about a position that might land them in trouble through social sanctions and accusations that they are racists, fascists, bigots, or sexists. Political science students at a top Canadian university had become accustomed to having their mouths kept shut. It’s only a matter of time until the mind shuts, too."
Predictably, one commenter calls the author a "troll" and a right winger

Reasons to Be Fearful - "I’m more afraid of my allies than I am of opponents, since the latter can do me less harm... I am writing from the side of freedom. I’m writing to support nonconformists. I’m writing for the world’s heretics, eccentrics, truth-tellers, artists, and jokers... Like John Stuart Mill in his classic text On Liberty (originally published 1859), I am not concerned only about governmental threats to liberty and related values. Those threats are, of course, serious. The organized power of the modern state is vast and conspicuous. It merits vigilance for its grave potential to restrict our liberties. But even more dangerous, perhaps, and certainly more difficult to understand or restrain, is a less overt, more insidious kind of tyranny: what Mill called “the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling.” As Mill knew and explained, this can be more intrusive, pervasive, and effective than state power, even though the punishments it exacts are usually less devastating than those available to the state."

Ocasio-Cortez Comes Up With New Tactic To Dodge Questions She Can't Answer - "Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez still can't answer how America can afford to pay for an estimated $40 trillion in big government programs, which includes a socialist healthcare system for all. She also now claims that opponents who ask her questions that she can't answer "haven’t earned the right to ask" her those questions... Ocasio-Cortez's misleading claims about health care were dismantled by CNN's Jake Tapper in a fact-check segment"

Sinead O'Connor won't mix with 'disgusting' white people after becoming a Muslim - "the Irish singer announced she'd turned her back on Catholicism and converted to Islam.She changed her name to Shuhada' Davitt after becoming a Muslim.And now she's admitted to feeling something "so racist I never thought my soul could ever feel it".
Apparently there're no white muslims

Notre Dame Group Wants Campus Internet Service to Block Porn - "a group of students argued that allowing students on campus to access internet porn is a violation of the “social justice” principles that the school espouses"
So much for if you don't like it, don't watch it

Study Finds People Are Morally Outraged by Those Who Decide Not to Have Kids - "both men and women were stigmatized for choosing not to have kids—despite the fact that the conversation around reproductive rights and a woman's right to choose is so polarizing. "I was somewhat surprised by this too," she tells Broadly, "but that was probably due to my own personal experiences as a woman. When I looked at the past literature, the few studies that included opportunities for participants to rate men without children yielded similar findings.""
So much for gender stereotypes

Why the French don’t show excitement - "“You Americans,” he said, “live in the faire [to do]. The avoir [to have]. In France, we live in the être [to be].”... For Julie Barlow, Canadian co-author of The Story of French and The Bonjour Effect, this is largely due to the implied enthusiasm in the word ‘excited’, something that’s not sought after in French culture. She notes that Francophone Canadians, culturally North American rather than French, find work-arounds such as ‘Ça m’enthousiasme’ (‘It enthuses me’)... “Verbally, ‘I'm so excited’ is sort of a smile in words. French people prefer to come across as kind of negative, by reflex... those who are unable to show the proper emotional detachment within French society can even be perceived as being somehow deranged, something that is exemplified by the pejorative labelling of former President Nicolas Sarkozy as ‘l’excité’, due to the zeal he shows in public appearances... “Life in France places you happily in the present tense,” Paris-based author Matthew Fraser told The Local, “unlike in Anglo-Protestant countries where everything is driving madly towards the future.”"

The far left’s Islamist blind spot | Coffee House - "In the 1990s, the Socialist Workers Party could see Islamism as a resource a wily left might exploit and direct. Islamists ‘could be tapped for progressive purposes providing a lead came from a rising level of workers’ struggle,’ one of its ideologues opined in 1994. By the millennium it was impossible to separate the tail from the dog or decide who was leading whom. Radical Islamists killed Americans and hated Western democracy, just as the old revolutionary left had done. All socialists had to to do was forget Islamists wanted to create a clerical-fascist dystopia, and they might be comrades. The far left willingly fell into amnesia...
‘Do you condemn Hamas’,’ I asked.
‘We don’t think it’s our business to tell Palestinians what to think.’
‘That’s funny,’ I thought, as I turned down the offer, ‘you seem very keen on telling everyone else what to think.’...
The leaders of the far left are for the Shia forces in Islam’s civil war, even though the majority of Britain’s Muslims are Sunnis. When Assad gases Syrian Sunnis, white leftists back Putin’s propaganda that mass poisoning of civilians could be fake news. Corbyn took the money of Assad and Putin’s allies in Tehran and has shown no willingness to protect the murdered people of Aleppo. To date, there is no sign of British Sunni organisations realising what their friends have done. It is sufficient that Labour politicians hate Israel and ‘Zionists’ with the required ferocity. The disconnect will not last forever, and one day I expect to see this shameless and witless clique learn that, if they ride the sectarian tiger, they must expect to be eaten."

Flying the tricolour and other Irish flags could be a criminal offence in Scotland - "Ireland's national flag and several other Irish banners are potentially illegal in Scotland if used "in a provocative manner"

The troubling relationship between anime and fascism
Fiction apparently isn't just fiction

The Da Vinci mystery: why is his $450m masterpiece really being kept under wraps? - "if the Louvre Abu Dhabi really has got doubts about Salvator Mundi, they will most likely be about its condition. For there really is a problem with this painting and it is there for anyone to see. If the Louvre – both its new outpost and its home in Paris, which has the most sophisticated conservation technology on Earth – has not yet spotted the issue, all its curators need to do is check out an Instagram post that materialised just after the painting’s sale last year... “Photographs seem to show that, before it was touched up, it was all Leonardo,” he says. “They show the painting mid-restoration – and it looks as if the subsequent retouching has obscured the quality of the face.” Clayton is not questioning the painting’s authenticity. He’s suggesting that a very pure Leonardo has been partly “obscured”."

After a year of #MeToo, American opinion has shifted against victims - "this year-long storm of allegations, confessions and firings has actually made Americans more sceptical about sexual harassment... The share of American adults responding that men who sexually harassed women at work 20 years ago should keep their jobs has risen from 28% to 36%. The proportion who think that women who complain about sexual harassment cause more problems than they solve has grown from 29% to 31%. And 18% of Americans now think that false accusations of sexual assault are a bigger problem than attacks that go unreported or unpunished, compared with 13% in November last year... Surprisingly, these changes in opinion against victims have been slightly stronger among women than men"
Maybe women are more concerned because an obsession with sexual harassment and being too credulous about claims hurts real victims, who are more likely to be women

Fake #MeToo Claims: Pew finds worries of fake sexual harassment claims - "34% of poll takers told Pew that employers firing accused men before finding out all the facts is a major issue (39% called it a minor problem)."
I'm more alarmed that 39% don't think it's a real problem that you can get fired without all the facts being out

Rose McGowan clarifies #MeToo remarks: 'I never said #MeToo is a lie' - "McGowan also claimed she was shunned by the #MeToo community, frequently left out of the survivors’ brunches and campaign lunches, despite being one of the most outspoken members... The "Charmed" alum vowed to never work in Hollywood again, the paper reported, adding that although she doesn't agree with President Donald Trump's politics, she does share something in common with his supporters. “They hate Hollywood for being faux liberals – and they’re 100 percent right about that. It’s a bunch of faux liberals,” McGowan said. “It’s crap, and they know it is deep down, but they’re living an empty life, and to me that’s their punishment. They get to live the lives they live.” The "Charmed" alum vowed to never work in Hollywood again, the paper reported, adding that although she doesn't agree with President Donald Trump's politics, she does share something in common with his supporters. “They hate Hollywood for being faux liberals – and they’re 100 percent right about that. It’s a bunch of faux liberals,” McGowan said. “It’s crap, and they know it is deep down, but they’re living an empty life, and to me that’s their punishment. They get to live the lives they live.”"

Midwestern Poke Chain Threatening Legal Action Against Native Hawaiians For Using Their Own Language and Selling Their Own Food - "A Midwestern chain of poke stores named Aloha Poke is under fire this week for threatening legal action against Native Hawaiian small businesses who use the words “Aloha” and “Poke” in combination to sell the traditional rice and fish dishes."

Non-halal booths at Melaka food expo shut down - "The Melaka International Trade Center (MITC) in Ayer Keroh has issued an apology for allowing non-halal products inside its exhibition hall. MITC CEO Abdul Wahab Ibrahim, when issuing the apology, said seven stalls selling pork-based products at the Tastefully Food and Beverage expo were ordered to be closed following criticism. Netizens said that was the first time non-halal products were sold inside the exhibition hall. Previously, such booths with non-halal products were restricted to the car park area."
Apartheid is good; good luck hosting international expositions

Singaporeans spend most on food and beverages: Poll - "A poll on Singaporeans’ spending habits over the past three months found that they spent the most on food and beverages. A Singaporean could spend an average of $17,000 if he eats out every day for a year.The key reason for such spending could be that Singaporeans prefer the ease of finding readily available cooked food to the hassle of preparing meals at home, according to the survey conducted by e-commerce company ShopBack. More than 95 per cent of the respondents eat out at least once per day. Also, 50 per cent of respondents are willing to spend twice or more on a meal over the weekend. The average spend per meal is roughly $12 on a weekday and $24.50 on a weekend... nine in 10 respondents own at least one credit card, while about half of them own four or more credit cards."

Liberals believe politics can be settled. They're wrong. - "Whether the issue concerns public policy or the fundamental moral principles undergirding American public life, progressives tend to presume that their own positions deserve to be treated as lying beyond the give-and-take of political disagreement and debate.What the rise of a less liberal, more radical, intransigent, and populist right is forcing progressives to confront is that this way of conceiving of democratic politics is a fiction. Nothing in democratic politics is given — or rather, the things we consider given at any moment enjoy this status for no more exalted reason than that public opinion (expressed primarily through elections) favors treating it as such. But the settlement or consensus in its favor is always temporary and contingent. The contestation of politics, the struggle over power and ideas, over the Constitution and the law and who we are as a political community, never ends. It's always possible for a settlement or consensus at one moment of history to be rethought, overturned, or reversed. Rights granted can later be rescinded — and there's no way to prevent that from happening beyond continuing the fight, day after day. History isn't an arc slowly bending toward justice. It's a battlefield on which a skirmish line shifts back and forth in an unending contest between ideological combatants"
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