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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Links - 5th December 2018 (1)

Where Will You Stand? - "If we are to uphold the dharma, says Rev. angel Kyodo williams, we must stand up to racism and expose its institutionalized forms—even in our Buddhist communities... The attention of our nation has rightfully turned to the policing of black and brown bodies. From above, it looks like just black and brown folks are being policed and while you may feel bad, you are free. But here is the truth: policing is expressing itself through the state. The police force is the institution carrying out a specific mandate—a mandate that expresses a survival need of the social construct that we inhabit. That mandate is to control black bodies."
The cancer spreads

What if women went on a sex strike before the midterms? (Opinion) - "I snapped to attention the first time I heard the term "service sex." I heard it in 2017, from a researcher at an annual sex researchers' conference in Montreal. This expert was describing straight women who were distressed because they didn't feel desire for their husbands or long-term partners. Wanting to keep their men happy, these women often had sex anyway, with a resigned attitude and little thought to their own pleasure"
So much for bashing white women for supporting white supremacy
"Oh look, another suggestion that women use sex as a political tool. These same people then ask "why is the value of a woman based on sex?"
All this framing of waning female sexual desire as a craving for novelty (i.e. trying to claim that women are as/more sexual than men) ignores the higher bar for sex in the first place - a bait and switch is a more parsimonious explanation

Physiological correlates of imagery-induced orgasm in women - "Orgasm has been reported to occur in response to imagery in the absence of any physical stimulation. This study was undertaken to ascertain whether the subjective report of imagery-induced orgasm is accompanied by physiological and perceptual events that are characteristic of genitally stimulated orgasm. Subjects were women who claimed that they could experience orgasm from imagery alone. Orgasm from self-induced imagery or genital self-stimulation generated significant increases in systolic blood pressure, heart rate, pupil diameter, pain detection threshold, and pain tolerance threshold over resting control conditions. These findings provide evidence that orgasm from self-induced imagery and genital self-stimulation can each produce significant and substantial net sympathetic activation and concomitant significant increases in pain thresholds. The increases in the self-induced imagery orgasm condition were comparable in magnitude to those in the genital self-stimulation-produced orgasm condition. On this basis we state that physical genital stimulation is evidently not necessary to produce a state that is reported to be an orgasm and that a reassessment of the nature of orgasm is warranted."
i.e. some women can orgasm without being touched

It's NOT Okay To Be White In Canada's Universities - "The absurd over-reaction, including by Harjit Sajjan, the Minister of National Defence, to a statement indicating it is "Okay" (i.e. acceptable) to be genetically European (white) is proof that many people do in fact believe it is not acceptable for an individual to be white. Simply stating that it is acceptable for an individual to have certain DNA has sparked outrage, accusations of "racism", "white supremacy", and "hatred", and has even been condemned as "offensive" and a "scare tactic""

Why a Helium Leak Disabled Every iPhone in a Medical Facility - "the issue was isolated to about 40 Apple phones, tablets, and watches. Android phones were just fine, as was the rest of the computer equipment at the facility."

‘Fight Club’ organized by teachers at day care caught on camera - "She says now she struggles making her son realize fighting at day care is not widely accepted. Merseal said, “When we chose a new day care for him and he started going he asked me in the car if they were going to make him fight.”"

Yelling ‘I hate white people’ and punching one isn’t a hate crime, Canadian judge rules - The Washington Post - "Tamara Crowchief may have yelled "I hate white people" as she carried out a violent assault on a white person, but that doesn't mean her attack was racially motivated"

‘I hope Trump is assassinated’: A Missouri lawmaker faces mounting calls to resign after Facebook comment - The Washington Post - "Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal went on her personal Facebook page Thursday morning to vent two days after the president blamed “both sides” for the brutality... Chappelle-Nadal once likened those looking to hand control of the St. Louis police force from the state to local authorities to “house slaves”"
But of course only Trump is to blame for "inciting violence"

Why Italy's #MeToo movement is failing - The Washington Post - "Culturally, we have a very high bar for what constitutes sexual harassment, both socially and legally. We are more tolerant of men’s improper behavior. Any Italian woman is used to having men commenting on her physical appearance: We call them compliments (and men think of it as just being men). No woman would go to Human Resources if a male colleague were to ask about her sexual life: We call that joking... Instead of having their voices amplified, Italian women supporting the #MeToo movement are constantly mocked online by men and even other women who see them as uptight feminists"
Cultural imperialism is good?
Someone she is blaming Latin culture on Berlusconi

Princeton protesters occupy president’s office, demand ‘racist’ Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed - The Washington Post - "Student protesters filled Princeton’s historic Nassau Hall Wednesday afternoon, sitting in the university president’s office and refusing to leave until their demands to improve the social and academic experiences of black students on campus are met — starting with an acknowledgement of famous alumnus Woodrow Wilson’s “racist legacy” and the removal of his name from all buildings.
once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

How Japan learned to love PC gaming again - "You can get a credit card in Japan, but good luck using it. Cash still reigns supreme, and even if a store takes credit cards, Huntley joked that you should expect five receipts covered in stamps. Worse, he says most bank cards won't let you make purchases online... Is it any wonder physical music sales are still massive in Japan while digital media sales lag behind the rest of the world? "I think that impulse buy, it's hard to get that in Japan," Huntley said... "Japanese people have a genetic predisposition to motion sickness," said Huntley. "That's why most Japanese games actually don't let you control the camera. It's why they don't play first person games, really, in Japan. Actually, a lot of people will actually take motion sickness pills before playing a VR game. That's how hardcore they are. They want to enjoy it, even though they know they're going to get sick. They buy pills just so they can play the game. Anything camera related, that can make anybody feel remotely queasy, that's just a no-go for Japan.""

Let's Face It, A Staycation Is Code For “Let’s Have Sex” - "According to a another boutique hotel in Somerset, 25% of their customers comprise young Singaporean couples aged 21 to 30. From their observations, most couples arrive with the intention of spending time together away from their homes, and spend the majority of their stay holed up in the room ‘Netflix and chilling’... Camera surveillance is, in fact, a growing trend amongst parents"

Free speech: a selfish and irresponsible right? - "Of all advanced industrial nations, Singapore has by far the least freedom of expression. What makes this fact even more remarkable is how little pressure there is from the public for liberal reform. One reason for this state of affairs is the negative reputation that freedom of expression has been saddled with... it is again a myth that democratic principles call for unrestrained, unregulated speech... It is through public discourse that people in a democracy express and shape their interests, seek conciliation and make compromises, and it is there that the maximum level of free expression is required. This has to do with the fact that democracy is essentially is a promise we make to one another that even if we don’t like the outcome of certain collective decisions, we will peacefully respect them. No other system known to man is better able to generate the peaceful and voluntary assent of the losers, without coercion or violence. This assent depends on the legitimacy of the process, which is more likely when every segment of society believes that it has been heard. Here again, we can see that it is a gross mischaracterisation to consider freedom of expression a selfish or irresponsible right. The right to freedom of expression is so important not for the sake of the individual alone, but because the right to hear and be heard is central to an order tailored to achieve peaceful co-existence as a society... Here again, we can see that it is a gross mischaracterisation to consider freedom of expression a selfish or irresponsible right. The right to freedom of expression is so important not for the sake of the individual alone, but because the right to hear and be heard is central to an order tailored to achieve peaceful co-existence as a society... There is another respect in which Singapore’s stifled freedoms are irresponsible even from a pro-PAP perspective. Consider the party’s favourite nightmare scenario: a freak election in which it is suddenly booted out of power and finds itself in opposition. When that happens, all those discretionary powers that it now possesses will pass into the hands of another party... Despite the evidence that excessive restrictions on freedom of expression have been costly for governance, there may still be diehard conservatives who argue that, all said and done, Singapore is the best country on earth, and that those of us who seek more freedom are being irresponsible. I liken this attitude to a father who tells his family that since he is fitter and healthier than other men out there, he really doesn’t need to take out a life insurance policy"

Bernie's Right—America Should Be More Like Sweden - "Being more like modern Sweden actually means deregulation, free trade, a national school voucher system, partially privatized pensions, no property tax, no inheritance tax, and much lower corporate taxes. Sorry to burst your bubble, Bernie... As the Swedish researcher Nima Sanandaji has observed, the income of Scandinavians in the U.S. is about 20 percent higher than the average, and their poverty rate is about half the poverty rate of average Americans... Apparently, you can take Scandinavians out of Scandinavia, but not the Scandinavia out of Scandinavians. There is a cultural background that explains some of our success, going even further back than the laissez faire period in the late 19th and early 20th century, a culture of social trust, comparative lack of corruption, and a Lutheran work ethic. This may reflect a long history of internal stability, scant levels of feudalism, and a strong tradition of trading... Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, the two leading Social Democratic thinkers of the 20th century, thought that the Scandinavian countries were uniquely suited for experimenting with high taxes and redistribution. They had homogenous populations with a strong work ethic, non-corrupt civil services, a high degree of trust in bureaucracies and politicians—and competitive free trade economies to foot the bill. If it did not work there, they suggested, it would be difficult to think it could work anywhere"

Who Has the Right to a Dignified Death? - "In [Belgian] terminal cases, two doctors need to confirm that the patient’s suffering stems from an incurable illness. For non-terminal cases, three doctors must agree. But doctors have adopted increasingly loose interpretations of disease... Last year, thirteen per cent of the Belgians who were euthanized did not have a terminal condition, and roughly three per cent suffered from psychiatric disorders. In Flanders, where the dominant language is Dutch, euthanasia accounts for nearly five per cent of all deaths... The Flemish media have adopted a mostly uncritical approach to euthanasia, running numerous articles about the courage of people who have chosen to die. Last year, De Standaard, a prominent Flemish newspaper, published a long tribute to a depressed mother who was euthanized after being abandoned by her boyfriend and becoming disillusioned by her psychiatric care...The suicide rate in Belgium (excluding cases of euthanasia) is the second-highest in Western Europe, a phenomenon often attributed to the Flemish personality type known as “binnenvetter,” a person who holds emotions inside... he rejects the idea that suicide is always an indication of pathology... Godelieva had never had electroconvulsive therapy, though it is effective for about half of patients with depression... De Wachter believes that the country’s approach to suicide reflects a crisis of nihilism created by the rapid secularization of Flemish culture in the past thirty years. Euthanasia became a humanist solution to a humanist dilemma... He recently approved the euthanasia of a twenty-five-year-old woman with borderline personality disorder who did not “suffer from depression in the psychiatric sense of the word,” he said. “It was more existential; it was impossible for her to have a goal in this life.” He said that her parents “came to my office, got on their knees, and begged me, ‘Please, help our daughter to die.’ ”... René Stockman, the director of a Catholic organization, Brothers of Charity, which says that it runs a third of the psychiatric institutions in Belgium, told me, “They are using our Christian vocabulary in a new context. They say they are ‘saving’ people from their bad lives, through ‘mercy’ and ‘compassion.’ I cannot accept that.” He sees euthanasia as a failure of both psychiatry and medical education... René Stockman, the director of a Catholic organization, Brothers of Charity, which says that it runs a third of the psychiatric institutions in Belgium, told me, “They are using our Christian vocabulary in a new context. They say they are ‘saving’ people from their bad lives, through ‘mercy’ and ‘compassion.’ I cannot accept that.” He sees euthanasia as a failure of both psychiatry and medical education... only half of euthanasia cases in Flanders had been reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Commission. There were no repercussions for failing to report euthanasia deaths to the commission, a situation likely aided by the fact that nearly half of the sixteen members on the commission are affiliated with right-to-die associations."
On the slippery slope of euthanasia in Belgium
Evidently the claim that euthanasia reduces the suicide rate is not so uncontestable
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