"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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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Links - 2nd December 2018 (1)

Funding for Gaelic ‘discriminates against Muslims’ - "A former SNP Holyrood candidate has claimed “anti-Muslim racism” is seeping into Scottish education because language policies treat ethnic minorities as inferior to white Scots. Nighet Riaz, an academic at the University of the West of Scotland, said Gaelic was promoted and given millions of pounds in ring-fenced public funding while the traditional languages of non-white groups were sidelined in schools... She said the SNP narrative of Scotland being a “more tolerant, welcoming nation” clashed with the experiences of ethnic minority communities and described lack of provision for Urdu as “a form of anti-Muslim racism being played out by the state”. She added: “The reality is that no new funding is being diverted to minority languages other than Gaelic which is ring-fenced by the Gaelic School Capital Fund and protected by legislation, as it is seen as the ‘Scottish’ language. We cannot ignore that Gaelic is spoken by white Scots, whilst Urdu is spoken predominantly by brown Muslims. This suggests that ethnic minorities, Muslims in particular, are not considered equally Scottish as white ‘native’ Scots.”"
Promoting your traditional culture is racist if you're white

Brighton University accused of encouraging prostitution, as sex workers charity gets stall at Freshers fair - "The University of Brighton has been accused of encouraging prostitution after a sex workers' support group ran a stall offering help for students at its freshers' fairs. An investigation is being launched into the decision to allow the Sex Workers' Outreach Project Sussex (Swop) attend the university's events in the city and at its campus in Eastbourne... In a series of tweets it promoted its attendance, it said: "1 in 6 students does sex work or thinks about turning to sex work. We can help." It also tweeted: "If you're topping up your fees with sex work, or struggling to balance work and studies, or want to talk and don't know where to go... we're here for you. We respect your autonomy, privacy and confidentiality."... Another feminist activist, Sarah Ditum, told the Sunday Times: "This is essentially a grooming operation, pitching prostitution as a manageable, desirable lifestyle, equivalent to joining the rowing club.
If teaching children about homosexual relationships and homosexual people isn't promoting homosexuality, why is offering sex workers or potential sex workers support encouraging prostitution? Especially since a lot less than 1 in 6 people are homosexual

Owners of failed SMEs hit by huge debts - "Successful start-ups in Singapore are often glamorised, used as examples of the heights one can attain through innovation and grit. But there are many more that fail, saddling their owners with crushing debt and despair"

Southampton student union president vows to tear down WWI mural - "A US-educated student rep for England's University of Southampton, who sparked outrage by saying a mural in memory of First World War soldiers should be 'painted over' because it displays only 'white men', earns at least $25,000 (£20,000) as Students' Union President. Emily Dawes, 21, whose family lives in a $1.2 million (£930,000) home in upscale Vienna, Virginia, provoked outrage when she referred to a mural depicting Allied First World War soldiers as a 'mural of white men' and called for it to be taken down... she boasted about her 'extra as heck' manifesto and petitioned for unisex toilets, sexual consent training and 'social media accessible to multiple cultures'. Dawes, who describes herself as 'openly bisexual' was previously president of the university's Feminist Society and says her favorite thing about Southampton is the 'pretty dope' vegan food... Dawes has previously written a blog about her battle with anxiety and depression, it said: 'So as some of you will know, I live my life alongside some fun diagnoses: generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and clinical depression... 'Mark my words - we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself.' Both she and the students' union have since apologised for her comments after she was accused of abusing the free speech the soldiers fought and died to protect...
students painted over Rudyard Kipling's popular 'If' poem after it was put up to inspire those attending Manchester University. Activists said writer Kipling was racist and replaced his work with 'Still I Rise' by American poet Maya Angelou. Earlier this month, Cambridge University Students Union were criticised after considering crossing out the phrases 'British war veterans' and 'Poppies' from Remembrance Day plans... professor Nigel Biggar came under fire after he said society should take a more balanced view of the Empire rather than simply remembering it with shame... student campaigners at Oxford called his article 'racist' and claimed it 'whitewashed' the British Empire"
Apparently men sacrificing their lives isn't enough for feminists
Someone couldn't have come up with a better caricature of a SJW (feminist, anti-white racist, vegan, mental health issues etc) if he'd tried
Apparently balance is whitewashing and only an uncritically negative view of colonialism is acceptable ("blackwashing" is good?)

Somali man whose deportation was stopped by do-good plane passengers is revealed to be a gang-rapist - "A Somalian whose deportation from Britain was dramatically halted after airline passengers staged a mutiny demanding his release can be exposed today as a convicted gang rapist who was being kicked out of the country because of his sickening crime. Officials escorting Yaqub Ahmed on a flight from Heathrow to Turkey were forced to abandon his deportation when around a dozen holidaymakers who felt sorry for him angrily intervened shortly before take-off... Ahmed, 18 at the time of the rape and living in Clerkenwell, North London, is thought to have been granted refugee status after arriving in Britain from war-torn Somalia as a boy."
Is this rape culture?

Millennium Falcon Alternate Layouts That'll Blow Your Mind - "The Design of the Millennium Falcon Is Fully Customizable"

Hong Kong’s Cantonese speakers have long had to code switch, but is that a disadvantage? - "Hong Kong’s education chief Kevin Yeung Yun-hung recently got flak for asserting the obvious: “the future development of Chinese language learning across the globe will rely mainly on Mandarin”, before wondering aloud whether Hongkongers, most of whom learn Chinese in Cantonese, would be disadvantaged... Given China’s sheer size, and ethnic and linguistic diversity, a standardised common tongue has always been necessary. In the centuries before the founding of the Chinese empire in 221BC, the myriad feudal states conducted official business and inter-state diplomacy using Yayan or “standard speech”, a language spoken in the Zhou dynasty royal capital, in present-day Henan. Yayan continued to be spoken in the imperial era, with a standardised written form,but by the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), the Chinese language spoken in the then capital (present-day Beijing) was made the common tongue of the empire. The subsequent Ming dynasty used the language of the original capital Nanjing, but the Manchu Qing dynasty that followed once again decreed the use of the “speech used by mandarins in Beijing” as the common language."

A lottery win could change the way you vote - "they became more right wing after their windfall... Winning more than £500 ($645) shifted people’s views approximately 0.13 points on the scale to the right. That’s equivalent to about a 2% shift towards the Conservative end of the spectrum. It might not sound like a huge shift, but it was significant compared with other factors that influence an individual’s politics, such as education. Completing secondary education to age 18 nudged people along the political spectrum by nearly 4% to the right, compared with people who have no formal education, according to the survey data. And the greater the lottery win, the greater the shift to the right. There’s a well-established link between having more money and being more right wing, but this is tricky to disentangle from the values people grow up with and the social circles they move in"

The cost of keeping Singapore squeaky clean - "“If you have littering like you see in other countries, it can breed rodents, flies, cockroaches. They are all carriers of bacteria and germs,” said Edward D’Silva, chairman of the Public Hygiene Council. Mosquitoes are an even bigger worry. You won’t get malaria here, but in a bad year, there’ll be tens of thousands of cases of dengue... Singapore isn’t clean because locals fear fines. It’s clean because there’s an army of workers scrubbing it... There are 56,000 cleaners registered with the National Environment Agency. There are likely thousands of independent contractors who aren’t registered. Mostly they’re low-paid foreign workers or elderly workers. Taipei, by contrast, has maybe 5,000 cleaners... In Japan, Australia or the UK, there isn’t the same availability of very low-cost labour to take on the cleaning jobs. In Singapore, cleaners are mostly drawn from a pool of roughly a million foreign workers as well as local aged workers. But as Singapore’s population grows and labour becomes more expensive, it simply won’t be affordable to employ so many cleaners... Singapore spends at least SGD$120m (US$87m) a year on cleaning public spaces."

Civil partnerships: 'Why I want one with my sister' - "Catherine and Ginda want to be able to enter into a civil partnership so they can enjoy the same inheritance rights as other couples who have formalised their relationship. Catherine says it is a "glaring injustice" because civil partnerships are open to any two people. They don't need to be involved in a romantic relationship - they just cannot be blood relatives. "Excluding siblings is pure discrimination. I could have a civil partnership with my next door neighbour, but I can't have a civil partnership with the person I have shared my home and life with."... "The central issue is this: why should all those whom the government presume are in a sexual relationship, whether heterosexual or gay, enjoy legal recognition, and only those who live together in committed, secure, platonic relationships be denied it?""
So much for the slippery slope being a logical fallacy

Polyamorous relationships may be the future of love - "Polyamory does not feature in any census tick box but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is on the rise. Some are even calling for it to be recognised by law following the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK and the US... She spoke to numerous poly activists in research looking into whether polyamorous marriage might ever legally be possible A 2012 survey of 4,000 polyamorous people revealed that about 76% of the respondents would be interested in legal marriage if it were available, while 92% agreed that “consensual, multiparty marriages among adults” should enjoy the same legal status as marriage between two people. This appetite for legal poly marriage may have arisen as a result of the support given to same-sex marriage, which is now a legal right in the UK and in the US, Aviram says. “It galvanized the poly activists.”... For polyamory to be protected by law it will first have to be considered an orientation in the way that homosexually is. If, legally speaking, it is seen as an orientation, then the reasoning goes that poly individuals would be protected by similar anti-discriminatory laws. Legal researcher Ann Tweedy, of Hamline University School of Law recently laid out an argument for why it should be considered an orientation... Monogamy is also extremely rare in the animal kingdom, as BBC Earth explored in detail. Even among apparently monogamous animals there are many “extra-pair copulations”, or cheating. Our closest relatives, chimpanzees, bonobos and even orangutans all live in highly promiscuous societies, which suggests our common ancestor with chimps did so too. In this view, “the idea that monogamy is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ in human beings is hard to sustain”, says Barker. “As with so many things, there is a lot of diversity in this area.”"

Blasphemy laws are being repackaged around the world as prohibitions on 'hate speech.' Don't buy it - "blasphemy laws are being repackaged as prohibitions on “hate speech.” Over the years there has been a campaign, led by some Muslim nations, to have the international community condemn “defamation of religion." This rhetorical sleight of hand allows defenders of blasphemy laws to portray them as protections for persecuted believers rather than the enforcement of a theological orthodoxy. On the day before Irish voters chose to remove blasphemy from the constitution, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that an Austrian woman’s rights weren’t violated when she was convicted of “publicly disparaging religious doctrines.” While conducting a seminar on Islam, the woman had suggested that an alleged marriage between Muhammad and a 6-year-old girl amounted to pedophilia... Criminalizing criticism of religion is also difficult to reconcile with guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of religion contained in such widely embraced documents as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Union‘s Charter of Fundamental Rights. It also has been demonstrated that blasphemy laws are more likely to be enforced against religious minorities than adherents of a majority faith."

Should it be illegal to call Mohammed a paedophile? - "Should you be allowed to say that the founder of one of the world’s largest religions was a paedophile? According to the European Court of Human Rights the answer is ‘no’. In a decision issued this week the Court in Strasbourg ruled that this statement is defamatory towards the prophet of Islam, ‘goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate’ and ‘could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace.’... I have a huge four-volume collection of the hadith (sayings) of Mohammed picked up on my travels in North Africa some years ago. They are the Bukhari hadith – that is the collection of hadith that scholars of Islam recognise to be the most authentic and reputable collection of Mohammed’s sayings... All religious traditions have oddities. Some Christians and Jews recently expressed aggravation when Joe Rogan and I laughed at a portion of a text from their religious tradition regarding blasphemy, bears and baldies. But what can you do? Pretend that the legend of Elisha and the two bears isn’t in the Bible? Isn’t odd or funny? Burn all copies of the text? Unwittingly, perhaps, the ECHR has brought us to something of an impasse in this ruling. For the hadith are – next to the Qur’an – the most important foundational texts of Islam... Are we allowed to say what we read in books? Or are we to lie in order to remain on the right side of the new blasphemy laws of our day?"
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