"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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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Links - 20th December 2018 (2)

Minimize walking time with "Cold Safe" - Citymapper - "Toronto winters can be harsh and getting to your destination faster is not always a priority. Sometimes, spending less time outdoors is what truly matters. That's why we now display a section with Cold Safe options when you look for directions."

Workday Predicts When Employees Will Quit - "Workday is an HR technology company that wants to tell your employer that you're planning to leave your job — ideally before you've even started looking for your next gig... Workday's new software, which it hopes to release next year, works by looking at your career progression and comparing it with other employees who have followed a similar path"

Midterm Election Results - The President's Party Loses - "Midterm elections are not friendly to the president's political party. Modern midterm elections have resulted in an average loss of 30 seats in the House of Representatives and Senate by the political party whose president occupies the White House. Midterms, held in even years in the second year of a president's four-year term, are typically thought of as a barometer of the majority party's popularity among the electorate... In the 21 midterm elections held since 1934, only twice has the president's party gained seats in both the Senate and the House: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first midterm election and George W. Bush's first midterm election. On three other occasions, the president's party gained House seats and once it was a draw"

Opinion | The Midterm Results Are a Warning to the Democrats - The New York Times - "The 28-seat swing that gave Democrats control of the House wasn’t even half the 63 seats Republicans won in 2010. Yet even that shellacking (to use Barack Obama’s word) did nothing to help Mitt Romney’s chances two years later... It also underscores that while “the Resistance” is good at generating lots of votes, it hasn’t figured out how to turn the votes into seats. Liberals are free to bellyache all they want that they have repeatedly won the overall popular vote for the presidency and Congress while still losing elections, and that the system is therefore “rigged.”is replying to comments. But that’s the system in which everyone’s playing — and one they had no trouble winning in until just a few years ago. To complain about it makes them sound like whiners in a manner reminiscent of Trump in 2016, when he thought he was going to lose. It’s also a reminder that, in politics, intensity is not strategy. You have to be able to convert. The Resistance didn’t convert.It didn’t convert when it nominated left-wing candidates in right-leaning states like Florida and Georgia. It didn’t convert when it poured its money into where its heart was — a lithesome Texas hopeful with scant chance of victory — rather than where the dollars were most needed. It didn’t convert when it grew more concerned with the question of how much Trump did not pay in taxes than with the question of how much you pay in taxes. It didn’t convert when Chuck Schumer chose to make Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court the decisive political test of the year. It didn’t convert when it turned his initial confirmation hearing into a circus. It didn’t convert when media liberals repeatedly violated ordinary journalistic standards by reporting the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh that followed Christine Blasey Ford’s.Above all, it didn’t convert the unconverted. It didn’t convert when Chuck Schumer chose to make Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court the decisive political test of the year. It didn’t convert when it turned his initial confirmation hearing into a circus. It didn’t convert when media liberals repeatedly violated ordinary journalistic standards by reporting the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh that followed Christine Blasey Ford’s.Above all, it didn’t convert the unconverted... Then again, what does the average voter think about the people who pompously style themselves “the Resistance”?... They measure their moral worth not through an effort at understanding but by the intensity of their disdain. They are — so they think — always right, yet often surprised by events. I was a charter member of this camp. Intellectual honesty ought to compel us to admit that we achieved precisely the opposite of what we intended. Trumpism is more entrenched today than ever. The result of the midterms means, if nothing else, that the president survived his first major political test more than adequately. And unless Democrats change, he should be seen as the odds-on favorite to win in 2020."

Democrats won the House, but Trump won the election - The Washington Post - "Democrats have underperformed in comparison with the historical markers and general expectations of a midterm cycle. The president’s party loses 37 seats in the House on average in midterm elections when his approval is below 50 percent... Trump and his allies have an appeal that the elites in New York and Hollywood cannot dismiss or combat. All of the 2018 Democratic heartthrobs lost. That must sap the enthusiasm of the resistance. For the most part, when voters had to decide, the angry left was rejected and Trump was rewarded."

Why the Democrats Won the 2018 Midterms - "Almost every candidate in whom Democrats at the national level invested emotional energy—Beto O’Rourke in Texas, Andrew Gillum in Florida, Stacey Abrams in Georgia—appears to have lost. Almost every detested Republican appears to have survived: Devin Nunes, Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis, even Duncan Hunter, a California Republican under indictment... the vote administered enough Democratic disappointment to check the party’s most self-destructive tendencies. If Beto O’Rourke had eked it out in Texas, Democrats might well have nominated him for president in 2020, almost guaranteeing a debacle. There is no progressive majority in America. There is no progressive plurality in America. And there certainly is no progressive Electoral College coalition in America"

In #MeToo era, at least 4 Democrats elected despite misconduct allegations - "At least four Democrats facing sexual misconduct controversies in the #MeToo era were voted into office on Tuesday, a result that would appear to clash with the party’s claims to stand behind women and have zero tolerance toward such allegations.House Reps. Keith Ellison, Tony Cárdenas and Bobby Scott, and Sen. Bob Menendez, all came out victorious on Tuesday, despite being accused of misconduct.Their election raises questions whether the Democratic Party, which went all-out to stop now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of assault claims and stressed the importance of believing women’s allegations, is selectively tapping into the #MeToo movement... On the Republican side, meanwhile, there were no congressional candidates that managed to survive allegations raised against them."

The Anti-Semitic 8—Election Results - "The eight politicians singled out, four each from the Democrat and Republican parties, had all, in different ways, openly crossed the red line. The results are in and the good news is that voters rejected four of the public officials from our list. The bad news is that they voted to keep the other four in office"
Interestingly 3/4 of those who were elected were Democrats and "minorities"

The Democrat ‘wave’ was barely a wash. The midterms will embolden Trump | Coffee House - "The US press is pretty united on saying this is mixed news. “The vaunted blue wave that Democrats had hoped for failed to fully materialise” says the New York Times. The intensity of the swing against him in suburban areas is striking, but the failure of Democratic governor candidates in the south was it adds, “a sign that steady demographic change across the region was proceeding too gradually to lift Democrats to victory.” Fox News spots a “Kavanagh effect” saying that the Democrats who opposed Kavanaugh in swing Senate seats were all defeated... Trump’s objective was never, really, to win. It was to deny the Democrats that ‘blue wave’ and as the BBC’s Jon Sopel observed, there was no Democrat tsunami: just some gentle lapping at the shore. And for all of their wins, the Democrats have still failed to find an anti-Trump. Nancy Pelosi embodies the timewarp that the American left finds itself stuck in. Democrats finish the midterms with no gods and precious few heroes. All told, Trump will be emboldened by these results"

BHP suspends WA rail operations after train travels 92km with no driver - "BHP has suspended all rail operations in Western Australia after a runaway train laden with iron ore travelled 92km with no one on board before it was deliberately derailed. The driver of the 2km-long BHP-operated train stepped out of the locomotive early on Monday to inspect an issue with one of its 268 wagons and it took off without him."

What Really Happened At Trials By Congress? - "In pre-modern France, a woman could bring her husband to public trial for an annulment on the grounds that he was impotent. Impotence as a basis for divorce wasn’t unique to France, similar accusations were made in medieval Spain and England as well. The methods by which men had to prove their virility reached increasingly invasive and public levels during the Early Modern period with intricate medical exams, virginity tests, and even Trial by Congress - a public display of one's sexual ability... In Naples, matrone (female sex experts) were used. This woman would accompany a couple, rub ointments on them, encourage them to relax, give them aphrodisiacs, and watch to see what would happen. She'd then report back to the court. In France, in a Trial by Congress, men were expected to get an erection in front of the Court, usually by mounting his wife and copulating on demand... Overall, impotence trials put a man's reputation at risk more than a woman's. Tagereau stated that in the aftermath of a trial some men died of embarrassment, others lost their minds, and all were ruined and miserable. Additionally, men who were deemed impotent had to pay for the trial proceedings as well as return their wives' dowries after the annulment was granted"

Vaginas absolutely need sex or they’ll waste away: study - "Vaginal atrophy is a common but treatable condition that causes the vaginal wall to thin."

I deliberately sent myself to prison in Iceland – they didn't even lock the cell doors there - "When I asked the prison authorities in Iceland if I could spend a week in each of the two open prisons they were surprisingly receptive. I got the impression that they quite liked the idea: a foreign academic who wanted to get under the skin of these places by assuming the role of a prisoner. They promised to keep a room free for me... a prisoner’s room is their own space. And with in-room internet (with obvious restrictions) and a mobile phone, some prisoners, like teenagers, spend a lot of time in there. Prisoners have their own room keys but they leave their doors unlocked, pretty much at all times. This is a potent symbol: life in Kvíabryggja is all about trust. I found that difficult at first, knowing that my passport, rental car keys and research notes were all in my room. In the end I did what prisoners do and even slept with the door unlocked. I slept like a baby. And looking out of my room window every morning I saw sheep, grass and snowy mountain tops. The outside space in Icelandic prisons is important as well. The iconic and much photographed Kirkjufell mountain loomed large to the east and I was next to the sea, with a nice beach and plenty of grassland. This allows for the prisoner to feel “away” in some sense while still being on the premises. Prisoners, I was told, like to walk up to the entrance gate, where the only barrier to the outside world is a cattle grid. It yields that strange feeling of sensing freedom, just one footstep away."

White theatre director scoops a major grant for 'people of colour' because he claims 'everyone is African' - "Anthony Ekundayo Lennon writes about growing up with white parents in West London."
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