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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Links - 14th September 2018 (2)

Natalie Portman equates eating meat to Nazism in a new PETA video.
Maybe liberals will all become vegetarians, leaving more meat for the rest of us

Work less, get more: New Zealand firm's four-day week an 'unmitigated success' - "Reduced hours for same pay increased successful work-life balance management, cutting stress levels and boosting commitment"

Strip clubs could be outlawed in Scotland as new government guidlines rule lapdancing is 'act of violence' against women - "Draft guidelines set by the official Scottish government strategy deems stripping as an act of “violence against women and girls”. It classifies “lap dancing, stripping and pornography” as acts of violence, alongside physical and psychological abuse in a relationship, rape, child sex abuse, human trafficking and workplace sexual harassment. Now a number of women’s groups are backing the new regulations, and are calling for the Government to follow Iceland’s footsteps and ban strip clubs completely... Women’s organisations have since argued stripping harms all women by promoting objectification of female bodies, is associated with poor working conditions and causes drinking problems among dancers."
Muslim countries would approve. To prevent the objectification of female bodies we can make women wear veils

Probe for Melbourne GP clinic 'charging more to see female doctors' - "Laura said she asked a young receptionist about the sign and the receptionist said that the extra charge was because "women's issues take longer". When Laura asked a different receptionist about it, she said the separate prices were a long-standing policy because the female doctors sometimes took more time with their patients."
The claim is that this is discriminatory, but if you want to see a female doctor only isn't this sexist?

Opt out! Cassandra the Information Technology Wobbegong on My Health Record | First Dog on the Moon - "There's a health data breach in Australia every two days... A client who publicly criticised Centrelink had her Centrelink data released to the media... Once your record is there it is there until long after you die and who knows what prime minister Pauline Hanson might decide to do"

Singapore health system hit by ‘most serious breach of personal data’ in cyberattack; PM Lee's data targeted - "A total of 1.5 million SingHealth patients’ non-medical personal data were stolen, while 160,000 of those had their dispensed medicines’ records taken too, according to MCI and MOH"
The good news is that with the upcoming compulsory National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) system (healthcare database) with no optout and which forces private providers to take part as well, ALL Singaporeans can have their full medical records hacked into and leaked online

Postcard from China: In China, I've never felt more Singaporean - "On Taobao, a popular online shopping website, you can rent a foreigner for various purposes, whether it’s to model at a company event or simply to turn up at a nightclub. A business is more successful and a bar or club is cooler when there is a large proportion of foreign patrons. In this context, however, “foreign” is code for “only white people,” and it’s racist, of course. But the intention is less malicious than pragmatic and the rationale is simple: white people are easily identified as being foreign, and foreign anything makes everything better."

The Dark Knight at 10: how Christopher Nolan reshaped superhero cinema - "With Wonder Woman as the emboldened, upbeat exception along with the wisecracking Flash (Ezra Miller, livening up Justice League every time he appeared onscreen), the recent efforts from the DC camp simply slather on the somberness. They mistake world-weariness for outright pessimism, and aspire to nothing more profound than that most overused of registers: “gritty”. The DC canon has more grit than a sandpaper factory, full of grimacing heroes who would fly into the sun before they allowed themselves to crack a smile. They consider wielding power to be a great and terrible burden, just like Batman, but unlike the brutal vigilante protecting a town that nonetheless loathes him, they’re not supported with the motivation for that jaded viewpoint. More troubling still, DC’s works form the vanguard of a much wider movement towards the homogeneously dark"

'The Dark Knight' Changed the Movie Business, But at What Cost?

This map shows the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures - "Woodard mapped out the regions in his 2012 book “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.” Some of his regions might sound familiar, like the “Deep South”; others might surprise American readers, like his “Midlands” region that stretches from New Jersey to northeastern New Mexico."

Assertive Chinese identity due to China’s rise is a threat to Singapore: Bilahari Kausikan - "“(I) have come to the sad conclusion that they (pro-China entities) just cannot get it,” said Kausikan, adding that the equality of the different races in Singapore is an “alien concept” to them... The Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian had openly campaigned for Malaysian Chinese Association president Liow Tiong Lai in the latter’s constituency in Bentong, in an incident Kausikan described as “so wrong in so many dimensions”."

It's Called Murder Culture - "'I've got some time to kill'
'Sure, I'll take a stab at it'
'Don't shoot the messenger!'
'I think adding gravy was overkill'
'I'd kill for some chocolate'...
It describes a culture in which dominant social norms belittle, dismiss, joke about, or even seem to condone murder and violent assault... Language creates violence. When you resort to a vocabulary of terror, you send a clear message that you think lethal violence is acceptable, hilarious, even desirable"
Since this is Vice I can't tell if it's a parody of rape culture

Is Australia racist? Here are the 10 stunning stats - "36.4% believe the number of immigrants accepted into Australia is too high or much too high"
Presumably if Australia was accepting 100% of its population every year in migrants and 90% of Australians thought that was too much, that would be proof Australia is incredibly racist

Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth - "Much of the work on colonialism has been theoretical or anecdotal. In this paper, I close the gap between the literature on development and new growth theory by testing the effect of colonization on subsequent growth and development. In a sample of 63 ex-colonial states from 1961-1990, I find that colonies that were held for longer periods of time than other countries tend to perform better, on average, after independence. Finally, I show that the level of education at the time of independence can help to explain much of the development gap between the former British and French colonies in Africa."
If colonialism were disastrous for countries, we would expect colonies held for shorter periods of time to perform worse

Early Female Puberty Linked To Absent Biological Father - "The investigators report that the absence of a biological father in the household predicted earlier pubic hair and breast development - the association was only detected in higher income families. Even after such factors as the girl's bodyweight were considered, the findings still held... Early puberty has been associated with a higher probability of developing breast cancer and reproductive cancers later in life... early breast development was found in higher income families across all ethnic groups, while early pubic hair development was found in African American higher income families. Scientists cannot explain why this occurs. Some theorize that perhaps the lack of a biological father may indicate an unstable family environment, resulting in earlier female puberty. Some have suggested that perhaps when the biological father is absent, the girls are exposed to more unrelated adult males - and their pheromones - leading to earlier puberty. In this study, however, the presence of other adult males in the household did not alter their results"

There's growing evidence that eating fat won't make you fat, but sugar will - "A review of 50 studies on diet and weight gain published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research found that, on average, the more refined grains someone ate (like those from processed cereals and granola bars), the more weight they tended to gain over the study period."

To End the Border Crisis for Good, Give Trump His Wall - "The United States has not allocated the resources, political and financial, to stem the wave of illegal immigrants into this country that is now rising again, or to enable genuine asylum cases to be adjudicated fairly and expeditiously. Our political system — incapacitated by tribalism — has been incapable of addressing the intensifying problem since the Bush administration. Obama was trapped by the same impasse as Trump now is, and detained families in camps... There is fraud and trafficking and opportunism as well as valid family-based escapes from violence and persecution, and it can be hard to tell one from the other... There’s something deeply wrong, it seems to me, with expressing the view that what the government is doing is barbaric and yet allowing the underlying cause of it to continue for political reasons. If that’s the case, then Trump is not the only one using kids as pawns. Chuck Schumer is too. The Democrats need to accept that they lost the last presidential election for a reason, and that their opponent’s main campaign pledge was to tackle illegal immigration, with a wall at the southern border as the centerpiece. Completely resisting a legitimate agenda based on a clear campaign promise — well, it reminds me of the Republicans with Obamacare... the Democrats... give off the appearance, as Hillary Clinton did, of making no distinction between legal and illegal immigration, favoring de facto open borders, and calling anyone who disagrees with them a white supremacist. Until they recognize that illegal immigration is a huge and legitimate problem, and until they propose a set of actual policy proposals to end it humanely and efficiently, they run the risk of another 2016 in 2020."
Andrew Sullivan joins the alt-right

Naz Shah once suspended in anti-Semitism row has Shadow Equalities role - "Naz Shah was stripped of the parliamentary whip and barred from party activity for three months in 2016 while an investigation was carried out. It followed the unearthing of a 2014 Facebook post in which she shared a graphic of Israel's outline superimposed on to a map of the US under the headline: Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict - Relocate Israel into United States, with the comment: 'Problem solved.'... Ms Shah also waded into the Rotherham sex abuse scandal, sharing a post on Twitter last year that told victims to 'shut their mouths for the good of diversity'."
Labour has an interesting attitude to equality

A 91-year-old Mexican man beaten with a brick, told to 'go back to your country' - "Borjas, a 35-year-old Los Angeles resident, watched the child's mother - a black woman - push the elderly man to the ground and repeatedly bash him in the face with a concrete brick while yelling, "Go back to your country." "I tried to help him, but the lady said, 'If you come over here I'll hit your car with the same brick,' " recounted Borjas, who had attempted to pull over and rescue Rodriguez... A group of young men bounded down the street, accusing Rodriguez of trying to snatch the young girl. They kicked Rodriguez, who was already crumpled on the ground, and stomped on his head."

Mario J. on Twitter: "Shaun King posted about the woman who beat the 92 year old Mexican man with a brick, and then deleted it when he found out a black woman did it."

Lancashire council upholds unstunned halal meat ban - "Councillors in Lancashire have voted to stop supplying halal meat from unstunned animals to schools... He said the council accepts that "a small number of schools may choose to use different suppliers for halal meat". "However we hope that people understand how the council has arrived at this decision, which has been taken solely on the grounds of animal welfare with due consideration for the impacts outlined in the responses to the consultation," he added. But Labour opposition leader Azhar Ali claimed: "The animal welfare issue, which is important to all of us, is being used as a tool to make a particular decision today." Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chief executive of Lancashire Council of Mosques, said they would be meeting to decide how to respond to the decision. "This is a very sad decision. It is discrimination, it is dictatorial - two thirds of the people surveyed said they did not want a ban," he added."
They could always go pescatarian

Diversity among SAF, Mindef scholarship holders - "The eight types of scholarships were awarded to 84 recipients - 22 females and 62 males - and saw a record number of 1,300 applicants, a 60 per cent increase from 2014."
I'm quite sure under 22/84 of SAF regulars are female

Dear Grab, there seems to be an error in your app - "I tell you the number one reason I’m convinced all this is a simple misunderstanding: Moves like this would be something you’d expect in a market where one participant wielded an unhealthy amount of market power. And we know that’s simply not the case here. After all, in your objection to the CCCS’s report, didn’t you say that-
“the CCCS has not taken into account the dynamic developments and intense competition going on over the past few months, from both new and incumbent taxi and ride-hailing players.”
Right on! In a market with intense competition as this, how could a provider show such disdain for its loyal members knowing full well they have a veritable smorgasbord of alternatives to turn to? How could they insult their intelligence by spinning this as an enhancement? How could they expect members to stay loyal in the future when it’s not reciprocated? It would be completely unthinkable!"

Morality and Gender Equality

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Morality and Gender Equality

"[On the BBC Gender Pay Gap] It takes a special kind of tone deaf morality that you can get outraged in quite this way, amongst the highest earners about the inequality between them, that people genuinely feel that they are victims of the patriarchy, that they get 170,000 in preference to 120. This I find insulting to the whole memory on what fighting Women's Rights is all about...

They're all grotesquely overpaid, in my opinion as a columnist, not a blogger. They're all grotesquely overpaid, and it is a distraction from the genuine violence that is still perpetrated against women abroad and in this country. And also from the growing systemic problems faced, particularly by young men...

[On the BBC's top 96 earners] I'm amazed that this has become a story about the gender pay gap. I think the pay of 96 wealthy people actually tells us nothing whatsoever about the pay of everyone else in society, and tells us very, very little about what's happening to women nowadays… these people are such an elite group within society that they're not doing jobs that are comparable... they’re not doing the same job. That you can't compare Gary Lineker and Clare Balding because their pay is not determined by the hours that they work, or their grade or their career structure. Regular people who have regular jobs have to apply for promotions, have to apply for annual increments, they have standard paid salaries… because we're not comparing like for like this, this misses the point about what's going on in the rest of society, because in the rest of society the pay gap, the gender pay gap is at an all time low...

‘It still seems to me that a basic sense of inequality is a moral outrage to many people’...

‘I agree with you. And I do think that there is a basic sense of inequality that's a moral outrage here, and I think that is that the people who are cleaning the BBC's offices, who are making the coffee, who are doing the makeup, who are the producers, who are the secretaries, they are being paid an awful lot less.

Now, those women in order for them to get higher salaries, they are much better off working alongside their male colleagues and fighting... It's a big distraction, and I actually find it really nauseating because what these very very wealthy women are saying is we're not doing this for us, we're doing this for our low-paid sisters. Rubbish. It's not going to help the women who are on low salaries. You know what, minimum wage jobs there is zero gender pay gap. If you're on a minimum wage job then you get the same minimum wage if you're a man, or if you're a woman'...

‘Why is it that whenever I go out for dinner with my wife, I always get the bill?’

‘I have no idea. I think you need to have a talk to her’

‘No, no, I always get handed the bill by the waiter.’...

‘Once that happened to me in a restaurant and my boyfriend pushed it towards me and said that's a ship that will never come in because I was earning more money than him.’...

‘This is not just one waiter. This is part of an assumption, this is part of what I suppose the people are calling everyday sexism, which is manifest, all over the place. You, I mean, I've been reading the Everyday Sexism website today and there's the constant examples of-’

‘I just don't see how a waiter handing you a bill is indicative of there being-’

‘Not once but over years and years and years, it always comes to me’

‘Well maybe your wife should step up and say, oei… bill please. You can say check and she can sign it’

‘Oh so it’s my wife's fault she doesn't put her hand up?’

‘If this is a problem you're experiencing in life, and you’re upset about being handed the bill, I'm just saying your wife could volunteer to pay the bill, and I'm sure a waiter or waitress would respond to that.’

‘Can we move on Giles? I’m a bit fedup of your dinner table’

‘The whole issue of what's called everyday sexism, is something that you don't recognize or experience.’

‘Yes, absolutely. I’ve been sexually harassed in my life but I decided to get over it. You can't, you can't just say, "Oh some man like tried to kiss me’. It was completely inappropriate situation. What I should have done was the next day, kneed him in the balls at some point but I had to do a job of work with him. But you get over, you get over this, you have these things as women. I know men who have been sexually harassed by men’

‘Is this your feminist strategy - get over it?’

‘My feminist strategy is tackle it. So if a man wolfwhistles at you and in the street, you can tell him to - f off, or whatever you want to say. A great thing for young girls would be to listen to Germaine Greer absolutely eviscerate Norman Mailer, who was a massively powerful man, and she used her words. I just think if you are experiencing problems in society as a woman, you need to yourself stand up and say, oi, not taking that’…

‘In the age of social media, isn’t there this new generation of problems as it were, that are there for the way in which women are abused on social media, objectified?’

‘I think men are also abused on social media. Demos did a study study that said it was actually roughly equal... Owen Jones who I'm sure you know, who gets a massive amount of abuse on Twitter, with that I think again you need to survive it, you can't be censoring other people. What they say is despicable and awful and the best way to do to tackle that is to satirize it, your attention to it, make them seem the pathetic losers that they are.’

‘Owen doesn't get generally satirised for his body shape for instance.’

‘Well, I think lots of people do get satirized for all sorts of things. I mean, if you look at Kelvin Mackenzie for instance, used to objectify women in this manner. And then when he was having an affair you have this awful spectacle of his massive belly being honed in on’…

‘So you don't think that social media presents a particular sort of problem that I should be anxious about for my girls’...

‘If they're suffering on social media, just alert Facebook or Twitter or whatever and then say go read a book, go read Margaret Atwood, go read Germaine Greer, go read Camille Paglia, go read Jane Eyre’...

'The danger is or the fears are that there's a kind of trivialising of the fight for women's equality through things like this gender pay gap issue that we've seen on the BBC. And I just wondered what you thought about a kind of what I worry about, which is feminism is now victim feminism. Contemporary feminism always treats women as hapless, hopeless, in need of protection, victims who whinge... they're demanding safe spaces to be protected from difficult ideas'

'Which is really important'

'Treating yourself as though you can't cope with an idea, you're no platforming people whose ideas say cause you trauma'...

'Online and offline violence has actually increased'

'You all know that safe spaces are not about violence, they're about words and ideas, so that's some huge difference that's occurred in relation to women's equality, that women are demanding to be protected from words and ideas and demanding that people are censored and banned, and that women in particular can't cope with challenging, controversial ideas... you've got victim feminists in the West saying that they can become mentally ill if they hear Germaine Greer speak'...

'Why I find the whole thing so distasteful was when the salaries came out… we were all kind of saying God, can you believe so and so got that in comparison with. But it really wasn't kind of like, it was more like I didn't know that anyone would think that person was talented in that way and get that much money.

But what then happened was once the gender pay gap took over that discussion, some of the more important I think socially interesting discussions we might have had about those revelations got sidetracked. Suddenly everything we've seen through the gender issue and that's when it became naval gazing.

I thought that when somebody made the point that we should be thinking about the fire service in relation to the Grenville terrible tragedy and how little money they got in comparison with how much, I think that I don't mind having that conversation with… within that group, there's a new set of victims and they’re rich, wealthy women, and actually that distracted the whole conversation'"

Links - 14th September 2018 (1)

Firebrand: Phyllis Schlafly and the Right-Wing Revolution - "“I just don’t see why some people don’t hit Phyllis Schlafly in the mouth,” a well-known feminist lawyer, Florence Kennedy, told a Miami radio station. “I’d like to burn you at the stake,” Betty Friedan blurted out during a debate with Schlafly in Bloomington, Illinois. “I consider you a traitor to your sex. I consider you an Aunt Tom.”... Schlafly once said that the pro-E.R.A. [Equal Rights Amendment] movement had “sealed its own doom,” and to a certain extent she was right. Feminist groups had fought off efforts to add a provision to the amendment that would have exempted women from the draft. Though it was unclear whether passage of the E.R.A. would have meant women could be sent into combat, advocates found themselves arguing that this would be a desirable outcome. (When Alan Alda, a vocal E.R.A. proponent, was asked whether he would support his daughters’ being drafted, he answered emphatically “Yes,” only to add that his daughters would be conscientious objectors.) Meanwhile, as the ratification battle dragged on, the nation’s most prominent pro-E.R.A. group, the National Organization for Women, became increasingly associated with radical feminist politics. In a 1977 book, “The Power of the Positive Woman,” Schlafly reprinted in its entirety one of the organization’s pamphlets, “Revolution: Tomorrow Is NOW,” which proposed, among other things, “an end to militarism, narcissism and sexually stereotyped advertising” for children’s toys and a public veil-burning to “protest the second class status of women in all churches.”"
Feminists have been nasty for a long time

The Confusion About Pets - "an increasing number of your neighbors have been keeping company with their pets in human-only establishments, cohabiting with them in animal-unfriendly apartment buildings and dormitories, and taking them (free!) onto airplanes—simply by claiming that the creatures are their licensed companion animals and are necessary to their mental well-being. No government agency keeps track of such figures, but in 2011 the National Service Animal Registry, a commercial enterprise that sells certificates, vests, and badges for helper animals, signed up twenty-four hundred emotional-support animals. Last year, it registered eleven thousand. What about the mental well-being of everyone else? One person’s emotional support can be another person’s emotional trauma... The Americans with Disabilities Act allows you to ask someone with a service animal only two questions: Is the animal required because of a disability? What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? Specific questions about a person’s disability are off limits, and, as I mentioned, people are baffled by the distinction between service animals and emotional-support animals. Len Kain, the editor-in-chief of dogfriendly.com, a Web site that features pet-travel tips, said, “The law is fuzzy. If you ask one too many questions, you’re in legal trouble for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and could face fines of up to a hundred thousand dollars. But, if you ask one too few questions, you’re probably not in trouble, and at worst will be given a slap on the wrist.”"

That One Time The Pope Banned Cats And It Caused The Black Plague - "Gregory lived from 1145 to 1241, AD. He was born Ugolino di Conti but took the name Gregory when he became the pope... It was his distaste for cats that penned the Vox in Rama. That was the first church document condemning black cats as instruments of satan. By Gregory’s decree, there was a target on the head of every black cat."

Humans Walked Differently Before AD 1500, Research Shows - "in Medieval times, people had to be much more careful about where and how they stepped. As such, they had a completely different gait that was based much more on the balls of the feet. This allows you to feel out potential dangers and obstacles before completely bearing your bodyweight on that foot…and possibly on a snake or hidden rock."

No Time - "Ann Burnett, has collected five decades’ worth of holiday letters and found that they’ve come to dwell less and less on the blessings of the season and more and more on how jam-packed the previous year has been. Based on this archive, Burnett has concluded that keeping up with the Joneses now means trying to outschedule them. (In one recent letter, a mother boasts of schlepping her kids to so many activities that she drives “a hundred miles a day.”) “There’s a real ‘busier than thou’ attitude,” Burnett says. A second theory that Schulte considers is that “the overwhelm” is a function not so much of how many things Americans have to do but of how much time they spend thinking about how many things they have to do... As the income gap in the U.S. has widened, it’s actually lower-wage workers who have ended up with the most leisure. And it’s high earners who report feeling the most time pressure. This is true even for couples in which only one spouse works outside the home"

Top Dem candidate gave millions to groups advocating for taxing families 'to the hilt' for 'irresponsible breeding' - "Scott Wallace, a liberal millionaire candidate running for Congress in Pennsylvania, has given millions of dollars to so-called population control groups. Such groups have advocated for taxing parents “to the hilt” for having more than two children, calling it “irresponsible breeding,” and said abortion is “a highly effective weapon” to combat overpopulation."
It's only bad when the Koch brothers do it

Better Research Through Video Games - "The medium’s greatest threat, they concluded, is not that it turns people into vicious killers, or that it dulls their communication skills, or that it sunders their minds from reality. No, the problem is that, in providing players with a sense of accomplishment, games may distract our species from genuine achievement... for the rote tasks that are the bread and butter of most scientific research, gamification can be a natural complement—especially since so many video games already simulate labor"

Can Reading Make You Happier? - "a long-held belief among both writers and readers that books are the best kinds of friends; they give us a chance to rehearse for interactions with others in the world, without doing any lasting damage"

Trevor Noah's World Cup joke shows how the world misunderstands the French - "what Noah, Beydoun, and others may not realize is that the soccer players themselves don’t want to be seen as anything other than French, for reasons that go back to the founding of the French Republic. Before the French Revolution, a person’s “Frenchness” was typically seen as deriving from their Gallo-Roman ancestry. But the changing demographics and evolving mentality of French people during the politically tumultuous 18th century meant that French people had to be defined, and united, by more than just a common ancestry. The future of the French nation-state was at stake... That’s where the difference between multiculturalist states like the US and assimilationist states like France really comes in. The Jacobin universalist definition of the French national identity promises to allow people freedom from differences; if everyone is French first, then everyone is equal. The “melting-pot,” multiculturalist American model allows people the freedom to be different, but still be American... “Unlike the United States of America, France does not refer to their citizens based on their race, religion or origin. To us, there is no hyphenated identity, roots are an individual reality. By calling them an African team, it seems you are denying their Frenchness. This, even in jest, legitimizes the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French.”... In imposing the identity of “African” on these players, Noah also ignored the wishes of professional athletes themselves, some of whom have responded directly to this controversy. Benjamin Mendy, who is on the French national soccer team, responded to a tweet by a French sports publication of each player’s non-French family origin with a series of French flags and the word “fixed”"

Robbery on the go: Moving bus looted during World Cup celebrations in Grenoble (VIDEO)
Maybe this kind of thing is worth a World Cup win

Can the French Talk About Race? - "race and ethnicity seem too explosive to discuss frankly. In developing its alternative to affirmative action, France has developed its own euphemistic language: neighborhoods with a high percentage of descendants of immigrants are often referred to as quartiers sensibles, or sensitive neighborhoods, and their school districts are called zones d’éducation prioritaire"
Given that liberals are crowing that "Africans" won France the World Cup (when 21/23 of them were born in France)...

Fifa World Cup: Trevor Noah accused of racism by France fans as Daily Show host jokes ‘Africa won’ Russia 2018 final - "Is this what you want to deliver to all African-Americans also?"

Trevor Noah slammed for stand-up about Aboriginal women - "COMEDIAN Trevor Noah is under fire after footage from a 2013 stand-up special resurfaced, showing the comic making crude and derogatory jokes about Aboriginal women."
Live by liberalism...

Shipwrecks Under Istanbul - "sorting the contents into three groups: display quality, study quality, and uninteresting. The first two groups would be sent to the museum; the third would be put into sacks and reburied. Contemporary Turkish coins would also be put in the sacks, as a message to future archeologists that the materials had been reburied in the twenty-first century."

Report: After Kicking Out Customer Over Jawbreakers - Lost Souls, Magic Mirror Comics Closes - "The news of Magic Mirror Comics going out of business comes less than two months after Heather Harris McFarlane, who works at the shop, promised to to “drag and dunk” Antarctic Press for publishing Diversity & Comics, Jon Malin, and Brett R. Smith’s Jawbreaker – Lost Souls graphic novel. She would go on to promise that “whoever publishes it is losing my business, and my customers will know why.” Not only did Magic Mirror Comics promise to go after the publisher, but she also decided to target her own customers. A customer by the name of Dylan who makes YouTube videos on his channel TheRealComicBookGamer claims he was kicked out of the store for supporting Jawbreakers – Lost Souls."
SJW comic store shuts down

Mobs on the Menu: Restaurateurs and the Culture War - "it shows how reflexively (and often baselessly) terms such as ‘Nazi’ and ‘white supremacy’ get thrown around. The leadership of the L.A. chapter of Proud Boys is headed by an Asian president and a queer V.P. (they asked that they not be named). Several of the Proud Boys in attendance that night included men of color. Edwin Arthur, a 44 year-old black Proud Boy who was at The Griffin tells me he was shocked to see white protesters calling him a white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer... relatively small groups of activists can now leverage their power on social media to enlist otherwise apolitical businesses into their mission to shame and marginalize political actors with unpopular opinions. In March, Kachka, a Russian eatery in Portland, Oregon, was smeared online as a hub for Nazi sympathizers after the owner refused to eject a patron accused of wearing a Nazi shirt. Deavon Snoke, one of the offended patrons, had shared her experience online with a photo of the man. “Remember his face. Memorize the symbolism on his shirt. Yell as loud as you can,” she wrote in the viral post. The business was soon bombarded with calls and hysterical accusations that it had acted in solidarity with Nazis. It didn’t matter that the business was Jewish-owned, or that one of the owner’s grandmothers escaped the Nazis in Belarus. As for the shirt, it actually just displayed a variant of the contemporary German Air Force logo (the German word for air force—Luftwaffe—is unchanged from that used during the Nazi era). Last month, The Green Dragon Tavern in Boston was similarly accused of hosting Nazis when a group of patrons dined there following an entirely legal gun rights and free speech rally at the State House. They were followed by counter-protesters who demanded that management kick them out. When The Green Dragon declined to do so, an online campaign mobilized hundreds of people to attack the family-owned business with vicious reviews. In what now seems like a predictable development, some trolls spread the claim the group was tolerated even as its members openly wore swastikas and white supremacist symbols (the tavern released security footage showing this claim was false)... Calling all right-wing ideologues Nazis and white supremacists diminishes the horror of actual Nazi crimes and chattel slavery—doubly so when such libels are hurled at Jews and blacks. Online activists such as Androsky claim they are looking out for the vulnerable. But the main effect of their campaigns is to drive away customers from small businesses that provide jobs for those in the community"

Men Legally Allowed to Finish Sex Even If Woman Revokes Consent, NC Law States - "While North Carolina may be the only state where women explicitly can't withdraw consent after sexual intercourse has begun, most other states see this as a gray area. Only South Dakota, Connecticut, California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Kansas, and Minnesota affirmatively recognize that consent can be withdrawn at any time during sex; Illinois is the only one that's made it law."

Gallup Shows How Much Americans Really Care About The "Situation With Russia" - "when asked what the most important problem facing the nation is, Russia did not even warrant a 1% - and worse still, it is declining in importance from there... with all that energy expended on pinning the Russia collusion tail on Trump's campaign donkey, let alone former FBI Director Comey's insistence that 'anyone voting Republican is anti-American', we are reminded of the blinkered view of the world so many suffer from and what Steve Bannon said yesterday at CNBC's "Delivering Alpha" conference: The Democrats abandoned the American worker."

Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Every US president before Trump has been friendly with Putin. This outrage machine is confusing as hell… "

Trump isn’t the first president to embarrass himself by cozying up to Putin - The Washington Post - "as cringeworthy as Trump’s news conference was, unlike Obama, he didn’t throw U.S. allies under the bus to appease Putin or take any of the actions many feared — such as lifting sanctions or recognizing Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Unlike his rhetoric, Trump’s Russia policy has actually been a dramatic improvement over that of his predecessor... If Putin was looking for a more pro-Moscow policies from the United States, his election interference backfired in a big way. Critics say that words matter — and they are right. But if words matter, then Trump’s critics should be careful what they say. In many cases, their responses to Trump’s news conference have matched the president in absurdity... As always, Trump’s critics bail him out by overplaying their hands. A news conference, however humiliating, is not an impeachable offense. And conspiracy theories aside, there is a simple explanation for Trump’s performance in Helsinki: He is deeply wrong on Russia. He thinks he can charm Putin into behaving like a normal leader. Trump will learn that Putin is KGB to his core, just as those before Trump learned. When should we be worried? When Trump’s actions match his rhetoric. Until then, Trump’s summit was simply an embarrassment, not a disaster."
More proof that words speak louder than actions
Looks like democracy has died in darkness when they agree with the Pizzagate guy

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Links - Serena Williams

It's shameful what US Open did to Naomi Osaka - "Naomi Osaka, 20 years old, just became the first player from Japan to win a Grand Slam. Yet rather than cheer Osaka, the crowd, the commentators and US Open officials all expressed shock and grief that Serena Williams lost. Osaka spent what should have been her victory lap in tears... It’s hard to recall a more unsportsmanlike event.. The crowd booed her. Katrina Adams, chairman and president of the USTA, opened the awards ceremony by denigrating the winner and lionizing Williams — whose ego, if anything, needs piercing. “Perhaps it’s not the finish we were looking for today,” Adams said, “but Serena, you are a champion of all champions.” Addressing the crowd, Adams added, “This mama is a role model and respected by all.” That’s not likely the case now, not after the world watched as Serena Williams had a series of epic meltdowns on the court... After her loss, Williams’s coach admitted to ESPN that he had, in fact, been coaching from the stands, a code violation. The warning was fair. Everything that followed is on Williams, who is no stranger to tantrums. Most famously, she was tossed from the US Open in 2009 after telling the line judge, “I swear to God I’ll take the f—king ball and shove it down your f—king throat.” John McEnroe was taken aback. Even Williams’s mother Oracene Price couldn’t defend her daughter’s outburst... she also could have tried to be gracious in defeat. No matter how her fans try to spin this, Williams was anything but. Upon accepting her finalist award, she gave parsimonious praise to her competitor while telling the crowd she felt their pain."

Serena Williams is fined $10,500 for US Open line judge tirade - "Afterwards, she was unrepentant: "An apology from me? How many people yell at linespeople? I see it happening all the time. I don't know how many times I have seen that happen. I am a professional. I'm not the beggar, like, 'Please, please, please, let me have another chance,' because it was the rules and I play by the rules.""
Apparently the sexism against Serena Williams dates back to 2009 when she was fined for insulting a female official

Tennis: Serena fined US$17,000 after US Open final outburst - "Serena Williams has been fined US$17,000 by the US Tennis Association in the wake of her outburst during a controversial US Open final loss to Japan's Naomi Osaka. The American star was fined for coaching, racquet abuse and for verbal abuse when she accused umpire Carlos Ramos of being "a thief" during Saturday's stormy final. Williams was incensed at the coaching violation, although coach Patrick Mouratoglou, sitting in her box, admitted that he was coaching when he moved his hands. That violation carried a US$4,000 fine, while a second violation for racquet abuse - after she smashed her racquet after dropping her serve in the fifth game of the second set - cost her US$3,000. The second violation also cost her a point in the match, sparking her renewed verbal attack on Ramos"

‘Terrible Disservice To Women’s Rights’ — Here Are The Reactions To Serena Williams’ US Open Meltdown - "Australian journalists Peter Lalor and Caroline Wilson were in the minority in their criticism of Williams. “It was her McEnroe moment, it was hard to watch,” Lalor said on “Offsiders” ABC Sunday morning. “Nobody owes you an apology, you owe a lot of people an apology and when you calm down, I hope you realize that.” “The comment about having a daughter, women around the world would have cringed at that,” Wilson said. “This is a woman who threatened to shove a ball down an umpire’s throat and was only fined $10,000. This is a woman who, again, verbally threatened a linesman in 2014. People have not stood up to Serena Williams.”"

For Serena Williams, a Memorable U.S. Open Final for the Wrong Reasons - The New York Times - "Ramos, who works primarily on the men’s tour, is known for being one of the strictest umpires, notably giving time violations to the slow-moving Rafael Nadal where other umpires are more lax. “I say it with sadness, but he is an umpire who scrutinizes me more and who fixates on me more,” Nadal said of Ramos after a match at the French Open last year. “He also pressured me about coaching. I have respect for him, and all I ask is for that to be reciprocated.”... Williams said: “I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. But I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’”... Williams’s assertion that female players are policed more than male players is difficult to prove. At this year’s Open, men have received 23 fines for code violations, compared with nine for women. Most of the sport’s infamous brats have been men, and they have often been punished for bad behavior. John McEnroe, the best-known instigator, was frequently assessed point and game penalties during his career. He was disqualified from a fourth-round match at the 1990 Australian Open after a series of outbursts. Fabio Fognini, another serial offender, was ejected from the United States Open last year for making crude remarks in Italian about a female chair umpire during a first-round match... For Williams, the issues are more complicated, given her history of controversy at the tournament... In 2011, in the final against Samantha Stosur, Williams celebrated what she thought was a winning shot too early, and then reacted with indignation to a hindrance call assessed by the chair umpire Eva Asderaki, calling her “a hater” and “unattractive inside.” Williams lost that match, too."
Sexism (which we know can only be against women) means giving men more fines than women

The furore over Serena Williams exposes the double standards and invisible structures of our society
Basically because Serena Williams is black and has suffered racism in the past her tantrum was justified
Fortunately most of the comments are aghast


Meltdown: Official Says Tennis Star Serena Williams Told Her "I Will Kill You"

Gad Saad - Posts - "The cretin intellectual terrorist @mzemilycain has now apparently deleted her Twitter account after trying to get me fired at @concordia because she did not like the fact that I was critical of @serenawilliams' antics at yesterdays' @usopen final. Truly unbelievable."

Artist Mark Knight Defends Cartoon of Serena Williams - "Herald Sun artist Mark Knight tweeted a drawing showing an exaggerated caricature of Williams stomping on her tennis racket with a pacifier near her feet — which many felt was comparable to the stereotypes seen in anti-black political cartoons from the Jim Crow-era of America... In the background of Knight’s cartoon, an umpire is seen asking Williams’ opponent to let the star win. It isn’t clear whether the drawing of the white and blonde player is meant to represent Osaka, who is the daughter of a Haitian father and a Japanese mother."... Knight defended himself by tweeting out another recent cartoon he’d drawn of male Australian player, Nick Kyrgios. “Here’s a cartoon I drew a few days before when Australian male tennis player Kyrgios at the US Open was behaving badly,” Knight tweeted, along with the cartoon. “Don’t bring gender into it when it’s all about behaviour. I’ll accept your apology in writing.”"
Equality is about treating people differently based on race
Moral of the story: don't caricature black people. Only caricature white people since you won't be called racist for doing the same thing
It seems the artist anticipated this criticism by having a white player in the background but of course this is further slammed as "whitewashing"


Serena Williams cartoon: Herald Sun publishes defiant front page defending Mark Knight - "The Herald Sun newspaper has republished its controversial cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams on a defiant front page in which it attacked its critics and foreshadowed a future where satire is outlawed. "WELCOME TO PC WORLD," read the paper's headline, over a collection of Mark Knight cartoons, including the depiction of Williams spitting a dummy and stamping on her racquet... "a front page that has pictures like Donald Trump being caricatured for his hair, Tony Abbott being caricatured for his big ears, you know the Prime Minister being portrayed as a muppet, kind of this innuendo that he's having his strings pulled""

Serena Williams cartoon: Mark Knight discovers it’s dangerous being funny - "If Williams were not an African-American female, Knight’s cartoon would have gone unnoticed outside his immediate newspaper readership and social media followers. He didn’t comment on anything but her behaviour. I’m struggling to figure out just what Knight’s crime is. From what I can tell, his crime is that he drew Williams as an African American woman, complete with her powerful, muscular build with all the features that clearly identify Williams as … Williams. Racist! How dare he! What was he supposed to draw? An old white angry dude?... even champions are not infallible. They’re not off limits simply because they’re champions, or female, or African. I’ve known Knight since we were both 18-year-old cadets at Fairfax in Sydney, too many years ago than either of us will care to admit. I still haven’t figured out his political leanings. That’s because he dishes out his humour to all sides fairly and equally... equality mean that all people should be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of cartoonists. Judge a person not on the colour of their skin but on the basis of their behaviour or idiocy, as Knight certainly did when it came to Serena Williams, as he does to Trump... To refuse to draw an African female simply because she’s an African female would indeed be sexist and racist. It would also be safer. There’s got to be an easier way to earn a living."

Tennis umpires consider forming union following Serena Williams storm - "The game’s top umpires are considering forming a union because they believe Carlos Ramos was “hung out to dry” by the authorities during and after the US Open women’s final despite upholding the rules in sanctioning Serena Williams. Many officials were also left angry with the fact that the International Tennis Federation took nearly 48 hours to defend Ramos, on Monday afternoon, by which time the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) had supported Williams’s claims of sexism after she was given a game penalty for her behaviour during her defeat by Naomi Osaka... the International Tennis Federation, for whom Ramos is a contracted gold badge umpire, belatedly issued a statement to support his handling of the final. It confirmed that, under the grand slam rulebook, all three violations he issued against Williams – following the three-step penalty process of warning-point-game – were correct. “Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis,” the statement said. “Mr Ramos’s decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were reaffirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Ms Williams for the three offences.”... Ramos... told the newspaper that he had avoided walking the streets of New York on Sunday to avoid any “complicated situations”"
Presumably they're all sexist

Wimbledon 2018 - How some drug testing figures really pan out in tennis - "Over the past five years, Williams has been drug tested in the same range as other top tennis players, according to the most recent statistics published by the International Tennis Federation, the global governing body and primary testing authority of the sport... "Across the sporting world, the top athletes are always going to be tested more than lower-ranked athletes, that's just the nature of the beast""
In response to claims that it's sexist and/or racist that she's tested more frequently than other people

Serena was no victim of racism or sexism - "So hypnotised by gender and race have liberal leftists become that they failed to see what really went on here and what really should disconcert them: the spectacle of an entitled multimillionaire using and abusing her position of power in front of a global audience to intimidate, threaten and bully someone of a lower social standing. That is the real disgrace of this incident. This was class warfare from the top down."

Good Ideas Vs Bad Ideas: Against The Regressive Left, Islamists & Racists - "Analysis of a tantrum: Serena Williams
I ‘ve known many abusive alpha feminist types like Serena and I recognise these behaviours:
1) Becoming emotional when things don't go well
2) Blaming the other person and avoiding personal accountability
3) Turning on the tactical tears
4) Invoking children as 'hers' and using them as a catalyst to change her (distorted) opinion into some irrefutable truth
5) Calling for a higher authority to referee and then misrepresenting events into a completely fabricated narrative that airbrushes her culpability
6) Vindictive threats that transcend reason and are disproportionate and motivated by revenge, not 'justice'
I hope everyone sees through this type of manipulative behaviour"

Opinion | Martina Navratilova: What Serena Got Wrong - The New York Times - "I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of “If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.” Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?... Ms. Williams opted to argue about this: She insisted that she didn’t cheat, she wasn’t coached, and therefore she shouldn’t have been docked. But it doesn’t matter whether she knew she was receiving coaching. She was being coached, as Mr. Mouratoglou admitted after the match, and whether she knew it or not is moot. So at this stage, she had been given a warning — one that couldn’t be dismissed retroactively — and had smashed her racket, an automatic violation. Mr. Ramos, effectively, had no choice but to dock her a point. It was here that Ms. Williams really started to lose the plot... Martina Navratilova... There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket."
Feminism means women aspiring to be as bad as men (allegedly) are
Too bad even though Martina Navratilova is female and "a broadcaster, former tennis champion and human rights activist", she is also white and thus in this situation automatically wrong


'You will never be on another court of mine' - Read the full transcript of Serena Williams' furious rant at US Open final - "You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology."

Addendum:
Under fire umpire Carlos Ramos acted at all times with integrity, says ITF following Serena Williams sexism row - "The strong impression was of two organisations who benefit from Williams’s star power bending over backwards to appease her, at the expense of the less celebrated Ramos. This was a dangerous message to send out to other umpires: take on a big name and we will disown you. The sexism narrative also failed to reflect the statistics from the US Open, which showed 86 code violations were handed out to male players in the course of the fortnight, but only 22 to women. Ramos is arguably the strictest umpire on the circuit. During his 30-year career, he has had previous run-ins with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, among others. Until last weekend, though, his even-handedness had never been impugned."

Links - 13th September 2018 (2)

Chaat-Fix in Little India – Our Recommendations

Give China a Taste of Its Own Bad Trade Medicine - "A better plan would be to adopt the same restrictions on Chinese companies in the U.S. that Beijing imposes on foreign firms there. In other words: Give the country a taste of its own bad medicine."

An illustrated compendium of Chinese baos

Trouble in Paradise: A Chinese Occupation in Tahiti - "China — like any lender — exacts a price for its aid, and Pacific nations are gradually learning the cost. Nothing sums up the challenges and dilemmas Pacific peoples face in dealing with a rising China more than the simmering political scandal over the Chinese consulate in Tahiti’s illegal occupation of a house used for China’s diplomatic offices in French Polynesia."

Sex and flirting in Japan from a foreigner's perspective (originally from lj user supacat) - "Japanese social interaction is all about intuiting the other person’s wishes without discussing them openly, at the same time that they are intuiting your wishes without discussing them openly, so that although nothing is ever verbalised, the two of you will always exist in a compromise position of equilibrium. If you like someone, that intuitive part goes into overdrive, because you should be able to understand everything about that person without them ever telling you, and you should be able to please them without ever asking how, even more than you would with a normal person. So it’s more important than ever to be indirect... sex in Japan is not a mutual sharing experience with both partners spontaneously doing whatever they feel like or enjoy whenever they feel like doing it. Sex has rules and sex has roles just as every social interaction in Japan has rules and roles. There is an active partner and a passive partner. Active means moving; passive means unmoving. In heterosexual sex, the active partner is always male, and the passive partner is always female... Japanese guys are generally more stressed out by sex than western guys and that is because they are responsible for the sex; as the active male, the sex is their burden, they have to do everything, it’s all up to them. Sex equates not only (sometimes not even primarily) with ‘fun’ or ‘pleasure’, it also equates with ‘work’ and ‘obligation’. I also can’t emphasise enough just how passive the passive partner is. The way a woman kisses is by submissively opening her mouth, not moving her tongue unless she is cued to do so; if she’s really feminine she won’t open her mouth at all, until she’s told to. Sometimes women will move around a (very) little during sex, but mostly not at all. The slang term for a woman who lies completely still in bed is maguro (tuna). For me, with my western sensibilities and preconceptions, calling someone a ‘tuna’ in bed sounds like an insult, conjuring up images of cold dead fish, but in Japan that word has a very positive connotation. Tuna’s an expensive delicacy... Seiji told me much later that dating me made him feel like he was gay, because I was active in bed, and he couldn’t connect that with anything except masculinity... It’s not liberating for a Japanese person to be told there are no rules, it’s frightening
Looks like JAV is not an inaccurate depiction of Japanese sex

Why Weight Loss Diets Fail | SELF - "an interdisciplinary group of researchers started a workplace-based study called the “Dietary Intervention-Randomized Controlled Trial” (DIRECT), in which 322 moderately obese adults over the age of 40 (the mean age was 52, and 86 percent were men) were randomly assigned to either low-fat/restricted calorie, low-carbohydrate/no calorie restrictions, or Mediterranean style/restricted-calorie diets, and met with registered dietitians for 18 90-minute sessions over two years. This trial has an added bonus: Participants received a four-year follow-up analysis after the two-year period ended, allowing researchers to also take a look at any long-term (six years total) effects of the diets. In their findings, published in 2008, they found that participants assigned to all three diets gained back lost weight. After six years, net weight losses (so, the weight they lost after accounting for what they gained back) were one pound, seven pounds, and four pounds for the low-fat, Mediterranean, and low-carb groups, respectively... The brain’s response to caloric restriction tends to be to increase cravings for foods that are highly rewarding (delicious stuff that’s some combination of sweet, fatty, and salty) and reducing our perception of being full. In short, our body and our brain work together to vigorously defend against weight loss and promote weight regain. It’s an unending “feedback loop,” and once the loop gets off kilter, it’s very hard to turn it back around. As David Levitsky, Ph.D., professor at Cornell University’s School of Human Ecology, tells SELF, “The body has had millions of years to develop mechanisms to resist starvation. You cannot bypass them by simply going on a diet.”... Diets frequently fail because “...they have an endpoint and are not real lifestyle change”... "most people, and many research protocols, encourage dieters to take on lifestyles that at best are tolerable, and at worst involve ongoing suffering by way of some combination of cultivating hunger or cravings, eliminating enjoyable foods or food groups, and making it difficult to lead normal lives with friends or family. So perhaps it's not surprising that the outcomes of diets that involve suffering are short lived"... People who experience bias because of their weight may be at an increased risk for developing obesity and staying obese... a history of dieting can be associated with greater weight gain, not weight loss"

Perceived Weight Discrimination and Obesity - "Participants who experienced weight discrimination were approximately 2.5 times more likely to become obese by follow-up (OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.58–4.08) and participants who were obese at baseline were three times more likely to remain obese at follow up (OR = 3.20, 95% CI = 2.06–4.97) than those who had not experienced such discrimination... Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity."

Guess Which Country the U.N. Decries Now - WSJ - "The World Health Organization seems to have its hands full. With the Rio Olympics only two months away, the Zika virus has become an international public-health emergency. Ebola’s embers still glow in West Africa, and yellow fever besieges Angola. Yet the WHO found time at its annual meeting in May to tackle what it must consider a particularly pressing item: Israel... The WHO’s session neglected to address the bombing of Syrian hospitals by Syrian and Russian warplanes. It skipped the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, where the Saudi-led bombings and blockade have left millions without food and water. Israel, like any country, makes mistakes. Its actions should be scrutinized, but it shouldn’t be held to an arbitrary, higher standard. Far from being outraged, the WHO should laud the Jewish state for its treatment of Syrians in the Golan... This typifies the Jewish state’s humanity. Palestinians regularly go to Israeli hospitals for treatment. Two years ago, the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh underwent emergency treatment in a Tel Aviv facility shortly after Hamas-Israel fighting ended. Health outcomes in the West Bank and Gaza might surprise many readers. Take life expectancy at birth, a classic benchmark. In 2014, the figure for these territories was 73, according to the World Bank. Compare that with Libya (72), Iraq (69), Egypt (71) and Jordan (74)."

After Najib’s Ouster, ‘The Leash Is Off’ for Malaysia’s Scrappy Media - WSJ - "At the Malay Mail, managers sent around an email informing staff that it was now an independent news organization, Mr. Edward said. Board members at the largest Malay-language daily Utusan Melayu stepped down after Mr. Najib’s shock defeat, as the publisher declared a new business model: “The board and the management have expressed their commitment to adopt more balanced reporting,” Utusan said. Many readers of the UMNO-owned paper were surprised to see it publish an article extensively quoting the country’s best-known ethnic-Chinese politician, Lim Kit Siang, about how Mr. Najib was in denial about the scale of UMNO’s election defeat. The paper had demonized him for years as a threat to the majority Malays’ privileged status here."

Obama Attacks Wealthy For Big Houses Before Returning To His $8 Million Mansion - "After the speech calling for rich people to get smaller houses, Obama traveled back to America and to his $8.1 million eight-bedroom, nine-and-a-half bathroom mansion in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world... The mansion is Obama’s second home."

Goldman Sachs: David Solomon, veteran banker and part-time DJ, named new boss - "A veteran banker who also DJs under the stage name D-Sol has been named as the next chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs. David Solomon, 56, will take over from the current boss, Lloyd Blankfein, on 1 October"

Beijing's air pollution helps its trees grow better, faster, stronger, study finds - "countries with high levels of PM2.5 – the small particles that are most harmful to human health – such as China, India and Brazil should reduce their carbon footprints by a larger percentage in the future to compensate for the loss of this “positive side effect” from air pollution. Aerosols are minuscule particles floating in the atmosphere, including soot, dust and sulphates. They can be produced from industrial and agricultural processes such as burning coal, gas or wood. Such particles are harmful to human health but help plants to photosynthesise, the process whereby they convert light into energy."

Stop Gendering Your Baby - "Washington, Oregon, and California are implementing third-sex gender markers on identity documents like birth certificates—which is great, since biological sex doesn't exist."
Ahh... science and the left!

Attacks on Asians Highlight New Racial Tensions - The New York Times - "“We recommend our staff not to say it,” Ms. Tan said, looking over the crowd. “We don’t want to escalate with African-Americans, so we don’t say it.” Then she turned and faced a reporter. “But it is racial,” she said. “That’s fact.”... The recent spate of highly publicized attacks on elderly Asians by black teenagers has abruptly enhanced a longstanding perception among Asians that they are disproportionately targets of racially motivated violence... hundreds of Chinese lined up at a board meeting to tell stories of assaults and intimidation, sometimes without clear motivation, by young African-Americans. Two days later, a young black man, Amanze Emenike, 21, said he was 12 when he heard older boys talking about why they singled out Asian and Latino immigrants: they would not report the crime and had no gangs to back them up... Part of the frustration, some say, is fueled precisely by the reluctance — both among Chinese and among San Franciscans generally — to discuss such issues. “Because San Francisco sees itself as very progressive, people just don’t want to talk about these issues,” Mr. Der said. “But that’s how people feel about it. You can’t argue it away.”... “I wake up and I’m hungry, my stomach growling,” Ms. Blunt said. “Why am I just getting by when there’s this Asian walking out of the house with a laptop going to the cafe?” There is also the frustration at perceived prejudice by Asians. Ms. Blunt still recalls a Chinese classmate in junior high ignoring her requests to borrow a pencil.
It's okay, we can still blame white people. Or maybe Asian "anti-blackness"

A $1.5 Million Plan to Count Every Cat in Washington, House Cats Included - The New York Times - "Stray and feral cats roam the streets of Washington, protected by neuter-and-release policies. They prey on wildlife and carry diseases that are dangerous to humans, concerning conservationists. Their quality of life can be poor... some conservationists are fighting the neuter-and-release practice.“No-kill simply moves the killing to other places,” Travis Longcore, science director at the Urban Wildlands Group, told Los Angeles Magazine last year. “Maybe you aren’t euthanizing that feral cat, but you are guaranteeing the death of lizards and birds and contamination of waterways with Toxoplasma gondii and adverse impacts to sea lions and seals.” Cats not only carry diseases like rabies that can be spread to people, they have also contributed to at least 63 extinctions."

The Astonishingly High Administrative Costs of U.S. Health Care - The New York Times - "about 30 percent of American health care expenditures were the result of administration, about twice what it is in Canada. If the figures hold today, they mean that out of the average of about $19,000 that U.S. workers and their employers pay for family coverage each year, $5,700 goes toward administrative costs... Like the overall cost of the U.S. health system, its administrative cost alone is No. 1 in the world... By one estimate, for every 10 physicians providing care, almost seven additional people are engaged in billing-related activities... Costs related to billing appear to be growing... One obvious source of complexity of the American health system is its multiplicity of payers. A typical hospital has to contend not just with several public health programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, but also with many private insurers, each with its own set of procedures and forms (whether electronic or paper) for billing and collecting payment. By one estimate, 80 percent of the billing-related costs in the United States are because of contending with this added complexity. “One can have choice without costly complexity,” said Barak Richman, a co-author of the JAMA study and a professor of law at Duke. “Switzerland and Germany, for example, have lower administrative costs than the U.S. but exhibit a robust choice of health insurers.” An additional source of costs for health care providers is chasing patients for their portion of bills, the part not covered by insurance"
Looks like the "slavery" of single payer isn't such a bad idea after all

I am the Bread Man

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, I am the Bread Man

"[On modernist bread] Bread is a food that essentially every culture has at least some version of. And what we eventually decided is that bread is a grain based product, which is microbially leavened.

So that lets out muffins and scones and biscuits and so forth. Those are chemically leavened. It lets out things like chapatti or rotis - those aren't leavened at all... A croissant is microbially leavened and it's flour...

The boundary between a bread and a pastry is a very soft one. So for us brioche is a bread, croissant is not...

Bread has become unnecessarily trapped in time... all the result of events he believes that unfolded in the 20th century with the industrialization of bread...

'To many [the baguette] conjures up an image of long French village baking traditions. Not so. This is very much a 20th century urban bread.'

'In fact, you can kinda tell from the size. A baguette in France is typically 250 grams. Now, in the 19th century, bread was a major source of calories. In order to survive on nothing but bread, you need to eat half a kilogram to a kilogram per person per day. You don't come home with itty bitty baguettes. In fact, the loaves of the 19th century were huge... 1840s... smallest loaf he had was two kilos.'...

'First ciabatta was baked in the 1980s. We know this because the baker who invented filed for a trademark on it.'

'In fact, ciabatta wouldn't have been possible without abundant access to flour from modern wheat varieties and imports into Italy from Canada, the US and Ukraine. It's a brand that was built on high levels of protein.'...

'It's an invention that was marketed like it was this thing of the past where people have to ascribe a provenance that's false... admit that actually we have the best breads in the world. Golden Age of bread is now'...

'There are people who are very upset about our modern food system, and I understand why they are, but you have to have a look in the context of, for thousands of years, we were obsessed with efficiency and making things cheap'

'And avoiding starvation and the risk of riots'

'The US department of Agriculture did this great study we found which broke down all of the different costs that go into a loaf of bread. And it turns out that the farmer gets five cents out of a typical loaf of supermarket bread. And my guess is that would be very similar in this country. That's the smallest wedge in the pie chart.

The plastic bag costs about as much as the grain did. Advertising, more money than the damn grain cost. Transportation, more. Finance and insurance about twice as much.

We the consumers bear some responsibility. It's temping to point at them, but unless we're willing to pay more for it, which we are with coffee or with wine or chocolate. I'll give an example, in restaurants, some restaurants start charging for bread. People get mad, they say: no, bread should be free. You have to give it to me free.'"

Links - 13th September 2018 (1)

Americans have forgotten what 'treason' actually means — and how it can be abused - "Treasonous acts may be criminal, but criminal acts are almost never treason. As Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution specifies, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The Founders went out of their way to define treason narrowly because they knew how it had been repeatedly abused in the past. For much of the pre-revolutionary period in England, the accusation was a means of suppressing political dissent and punishing political opponents for crimes as trivial as contemplating a king’s future death (what was known as “compassing”), or speaking ill of the king (“lèse majesté”). King Henry VIII even had two of his six wives executed for alleged adultery on the ground that such infidelity was, of itself, “treason.” The English abuse of treason was anathema to a nascent republic dedicated to the rule of law and the right of peaceful dissent. Thus, to ensure that treason could not likewise be co-opted for political or personal purposes, the Constitution’s drafters not only defined it precisely (it’s the only offense specifically defined in that document), but also specified that “No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.” (Article III also limits the punishment that can be inflicted, even with a conviction.)... Even during the height of the Cold War, when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried, convicted and executed for conveying nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, the charge against them was espionage, not treason."

I swear to make the patriarchy uncomfortable. And I'm proud of it. - "That is the power of profanity — and why it is important for women to not shy away from it. Indeed, whenever I stand at a podium to give a lecture, I begin with my declaration of faith: “F**k the patriarchy.” Whether I am lecturing on feminism in Lahore, Pakistan or Dublin, Ireland or Johannesburg, South Africa or New York City, my declaration never changes... Actress Helen Mirren, who is child free, has said that if she had had a daughter the first words she would have taught her would have been “f**k off”"
Basically feminism is about being rude. And apparently men are never criticised for being rude. I guess all the editorials against Trump are fake news

What the world would look like if we taught girls to rage - "From a very young age girls around the world are told that they are vulnerable and weak"
And when they grow up feminism continues to tell them they are vulnerable and weak
Undoubtedly, male rage is taken to be "toxic masculinity" and all the world's problems are blamed on it. But female rage is supposed to be a good thing. Somehow defying "stereotypes" and socialisation is taken to be progress. Maybe we should teach everyone to shit in the street to improve the world


Paedophile who filmed vile sex attack on young girl is spared jail because he 'wouldn't cope' - "A man with autism who sexually abused two young girls on separate occasions has been spared a sentence because he "wouldn't cope mentally in prison"."

My Great-Grandfather, the Nigerian Slave-Trader - "my relatives gleefully recounted Nwaubani Ogogo’s exploits. When I was about eight, my father took me to see the row of ugba trees where Nwaubani Ogogo kept his slaves chained up... “I can never be ashamed of him,” he said, irritated. “Why should I be? His business was legitimate at the time. He was respected by everyone around.” My father is a lawyer and a human-rights activist who has spent much of his life challenging government abuses in southeast Nigeria. He sometimes had to flee our home to avoid being arrested. But his pride in his family was unwavering. “Not everyone could summon the courage to be a slave trader,” he said. “You had to have some boldness in you.”... African intellectuals tend to blame the West for the slave trade, but I knew that white traders couldn’t have loaded their ships without help from Africans like my great-grandfather. I read arguments for paying reparations to the descendants of American slaves and wondered whether someone might soon expect my family to contribute... The descendants of freed slaves in southern Nigeria, called ohu, still face significant stigma. Igbo culture forbids them from marrying freeborn people, and denies them traditional leadership titles such as Eze and Ozo. (The osu, an untouchable caste descended from slaves who served at shrines, face even more severe persecution.)"

Why Whales Got So Big - "Most of the explanations for this trend treat the ocean as a kind of release. The water partly frees mammalian bodies from the yoke of gravity, allowing them to evolve heavy bodies that they couldn’t possibly support on land. The water unshackles them from the constraints of territory, giving them massive areas over which to forage. The water liberates them from the slim pickings of a land-based diet and offer them vast swarms of plankton, crustaceans, and fish to gorge upon. But William Gearty from Stanford University has a very different explanation. To him, the ocean makes mammals big not because it relieves them of limits, but because it imposes new ones."

Humans Can Size One Another Up with a Roar - "Listeners to a person letting loose with a roar can accurately estimate the size and formidability or the human noise maker... "the U.S. National Park Service actually recommends roaring as a defense strategy against bears.""

People Ration Where They Roam - "An analysis of the movement of some 40,000 people suggests most of us frequent only 25 places—and as we sub in new favorites, we drop old ones"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, George and Robert Stephenson - "Railways have been around for at least 200 years before the Stephensons came on the scene. We can date back to the early 17th century, and most of these lines were part of the mining or extractive industries. So they were carrying coal or minerals like limestone, and they were very effective as bulk carriers. You could move things on a railway, which it was almost impossible to move on the roads as they existed at the time. But these were short railways, they were usually only a few miles long at maximum, and they were part of a transport system that extended beyond the railway... most of them were horse powered, although some of these railways used gravity as well"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, The Taste Of Climate Change - "The minister insists differences can't be solved by confrontation and he points out how the blocked is actually making Qatar more reliant on Iran as its planes now need access to Iranian airspace. For the most part, Qatar, the world's richest country relative to its number of citizens, has bought its way out of this crisis. When Saudi dairy imports were cut, a local firm flew in thousands of cows from top breeders in the US and Europe. Now the country produces all of its own fresh milk...
About a dozen women in matching T-shirts, tracksuit bottoms, aprons and hairnets stand huddled together as an instructor demonstrates how to make a bed. Then they take turns changing the sheets two at a time. It's like a synchronized dance. They marry each other's movements, keeping an arm's length away from the mattress, working quickly but systematically. The goal is to do this in less than eight minutes. There will be a test. Later they learn how to use a microwave and a vacuum cleaner, clean a kitchen worktop, scrub down the bathroom. Many of the cleaning products are similar to those you would find in the Middle East, but that's not where we are. Welcome to Sri Lanka's mandatory pre-departure training for migrant domestic workers. Every year, the country sends tens of thousands of women to the Middle East to work as house maids. Some are grandmothers who have been making the journey since the 1980s...
[On K Pop] At the entertainment companies she explains, they usually tell you that your weight in kilograms has to be 120 less than your height in centimeters."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Open For Business - "If you're going to Petra on your own, watch out for the Jack Sparrows, he tells me with a smile... These young Bedouin guys who grow their hair long, wear bandanas and put kohl around their eyes, because they think western women like that look... [I] find several backpacker blogs written by young women warning about these smoky eyed seducers. If one of them invites you back to his cave, don't go says one... There's no doubt that the tales of Jack Sparrows scamming female tourists haven't helped their reputation. Some local hostels even have signs up warning lone women travelers"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Playing To The Crowd - "[On Lucha Libre in Mexico] My ticket cost 225 pesos which is eight pounds 50, a hefty sum in a country in which the average family earns 629 pounds a month... For lots of families the lucha is their major source of entertainment outside the house where they watch soap operas day and night"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, A Hidden Conflict - "In January, it was Marriott Hotel's [turn]. Its Chinese website was blocked for seven days after Taiwan, along with Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau were listed as separate countries on a customer questionnaire. Next, airlines which placed Taiwan in drop down lists of countries received angry letters. Taiwanese cities should be listed under the heading China Beijing said. Or at the very least, China should be included after the word Taiwan. Some apologized, most complied. The government in Taipei, then sent letters of its own, urging companies to be courageous, defy the bullying and reverse the wrong decisions. The US State Department criticized China's demand as Orwellian nonsense, but China insisted it had every right to request companies that do business in China follow its laws and do not hurt the feelings of its people. And a Chinese regulator demanded apologies from the fashion brand Zara and medical device maker Medtronic after their websites suggested that Taiwan was a country... Even in airports in mainland China, flights to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau are grouped in the international departure area and Chinese travelers have to pay roaming charges when they use their phones in Taiwan. When my WeChat malfunctioned recently, I had to contact a Chinese social media company to reset my password. And surprisingly I found Taiwan listed among the countries in this drop-down menu"

Londoners least liberal on homosexuality and pre-marital sex - "London is known as a bastion of liberal values. But by some measures the capital city is less progressive than you might think. Findings from the British Social Attitudes survey found that residents were the least likely to say that pre-marital sex and homosexuality were rarely or never wrong... The trend is despite London having the largest proportion of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the country. Researchers said the regional variations were down to "religious differences" between different areas of the country and Londoners' social conservatism was "largely driven by religious factors"... London is the most religiously diverse area of the country, with over a fifth of the population following a faith other than Christianity. It has the highest proportion of Muslims, at 12.4 per cent, compared to 4.8 per cent across England and Wales, and the lowest proportion of Christians, with less than half of people following Christianity... Londoners were more predictably liberal on issues such as crime and punishment, with just 53 per cent arguing that criminals deserve stricter sentences, compared to up to 73 per cent in other regions, and 29 per cent in favour of the death penalty, compared to up to 51 per cent in other areas."

Why the UK has so many words for bread - "A study conducted by the University of Manchester identified seven terms used around the UK for the generic bread roll, mostly found in Northern England, or, in the case of ‘bap’ and ‘blaa’, Scotland and Ireland. Other variations are ‘batch’, which turned up with most regularity in Coventry and Liverpool; the Lancashire ‘barm’; and the West Yorkshire ‘teacake’. Oldham got in on the action with ‘muffin’, while ‘bun’ and ‘cob’ are more generally used in north-east England and the Midlands respectively"

Sir Winston Churchill 's family feared he might convert to Islam - "Churchill’s fascination led him and his close friend Wilfrid S. Blunt, the poet and radical supporter of Muslim causes, to dressing in Arab clothes in private while in each other’s company. Dr Dockter said of the letter from Lady Gwendoline: “Churchill had fought in Sudan and on the North West frontier of India so had much experience on being in 'Islamic areas’."

Parenting website Mumsnet 'hijacked by sex discussions' - "Hidden behind discussions of nappies, family holidays and breast feeding are explicit threads about sexual practices, how to please a man, bedroom positions and ménage à trois"

5 Ancient Hair Dye Techniques That Are Utterly Disgusting, Reminding Us To Be Thankful For Boxed Dye - "In ancient Rome, the Romans used all sorts of crazy methods to dye their hair, including using actual gold dust to make their locks "gold". If you wanted to dye your hair black, however, you were in for a disgusting experience. One would prepare a mixture made from leeches mixed with vinegar. That's right, leeches. They would then allow this awful mixture to ferment for two months. After the allotted fermenting period, they would apply this to their hair and sit in the sun to allow it to bake in"

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Links - 12th September 2018 (2)

What Is Your Opposite Job? - The New York Times - "The Labor Department keeps detailed and at times delightfully odd records on the skills and tasks required for each job. Some of them are physical: trunk strength, speed of limb movement, the ability to stay upright. Others are more knowledge-based: economics and accounting, physics, programming. Together, they capture the essence of what makes a job distinctive. We’ve used these records to determine what each job’s polar opposite would be... Breaking a job into its component parts helps us look beyond the obvious and think clearly about the things that people actually do... The most distinctive jobs in the American work force are model and physicist, at least according to the data; they’re the two opposite jobs that appear most frequently on our list... the good news, as a recent Upshot article showed, is just how much overlap in skills there can be between seemingly dissimilar jobs. A new start may not be as daunting as you might think."

Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain - The New York Times

The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown - "One 2016 Harvard study estimated that the Chinese government fabricates and posts approximately 448m comments on social media annually. A considerable amount of censorship is conducted through the manual deletion of posts, and an estimated 100,000 people are employed by both the government and private companies to do just this... An internet that does not work efficiently or limits access to information impedes economic growth. China’s internet is notoriously unreliable, and ranks 91st in the world for speed. As New Yorker writer Evan Osnos asked in discussing the transformation of the Chinese internet during Xi’s tenure: “How many countries in 2015 have an internet connection to the world that is worse than it was a year ago?” Scientific innovation, particularly prized by the Chinese leadership, may also be at risk. After the VPN crackdown, a Chinese biologist published an essay that became popular on social media, entitled Why Do Scientists Need Google? He wrote: “If a country wants to make this many scientists take out time from the short duration of their professional lives to research technology for climbing over the Great Firewall and to install and to continually upgrade every kind of software for routers, computers, tablets and mobile devices, no matter that this behaviour wastes a great amount of time; it is all completely ridiculous.”... Those responsible for seeking to control content have also been widely mocked. When Fang opened an account on Sina Weibo in December 2010, he quickly closed the account after thousands of online users left “expletive-laden messages” accusing him of being a government hack. Censors at Sina Weibo blocked “Fang Binxing” as a search term; one Twitter user wrote: “Kind of poetic, really, the blocker, blocked.” When Fang delivered a speech at Wuhan University in central China in 2011, a few students pelted him with eggs and a pair of shoes."

Montreal Moving Day: what happens when a whole city moves house at once? | Cities | The Guardian - "Moving Day has its roots in the province’s colonial past. In 17th- and 18th-century Quebec, there was a fixed date – 1 May – for many legal agreements. It took until the 1970s for the Quebec government to abolish this law for housing leases, and then it moved all existing leases to 1 July because too many kids were being pulled out of school to help their parents move. Since 1973, then, Moving Day has not been law, but rather tradition – a problematic idea that refuses to peter out... making Quebec’s Moving Day happen on Canada Day is nothing short of the francophone province – which has held referendums on separating from the rest of Canada not once, but twice – “punching [English] Canada in the eye”."

Overwhelmed? 10 ways to feel less busy - "A uniquely tricksy cause of busyness is the opposite of procrastination – not leaving them too late, but doing them too early, just to have them done with, even though waiting might have meant less effort overall. That’s how you end up wasting a whole day on trivialities, in search of that satisfying sensation of having cleared the decks – when all the while, more important stuff is mounting up. The secret truth, especially applicable to email, is that neglecting something for a few days often makes it go away entirely: people find alternative solutions to their problems... Time debt, as the computer programmer Patrick McKenzie describes it, is what accrues whenever you do work that feels productive, but that in reality has the effect of generating more work, later on. This is why clearing your inbox is often a false victory: eliminating all those emails means replying to lots of them, thereby generating replies to your replies, and thus more email in the long run"

Top 10 Paris restaurants for €10 a head - "At one time, says Romain, you’d look to a brasserie for good basic food; now, brasseries just do rubbishy croque-monsieurs and frozen stuff. But as their quality declined, other places, from bistronomie joints to veggie cafes and ethnic restaurants, filled the gap."

Who are the new jihadis? | Olivier Roy - "The first motivation he cited is atrocities committed by western countries against the “Muslim people” (in the transcript he says, “my people all over the world”); the second is the role of avenging hero (“I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters,” “Now you too will taste the reality of this situation”); the third is death (“We love death as much as you love life”), and his reception in heaven (“May Allah ... raise me amongst those whom I love like the prophets, the messengers, the martyrs”). The Muslim community such terrorists are eager to avenge is almost never specified. It is a non-historical and non-spatial reality. When they rail against western policy in the Middle East, jihadis use the term “crusaders”; they do not refer to the French colonisation of Algeria. Radicals never refer explicitly to the colonial period. They reject or disregard all political and religious movements that have come before them. They do not align themselves with the struggles of their fathers; almost none of them go back to their parents’ countries of origin to wage jihad. It is noteworthy that none of the jihadis, whether born Muslim or converted, has to my knowledge campaigned as part of a pro-Palestinian movement or belonged to any sort of association to combat Islamophobia, or even an Islamic NGO"

Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad | Sophie Elmhirst - "If the last decade witnessed water’s great commercial expansion, 2016 could perhaps be defined as the year the market lost its mind. There now seems to be no limit on what a water can be, or what consumers are willing to buy. It is no longer enough for water to simply be water: it must have special powers. This summer alone saw the launch of Flõ Essence Water, Omega Enhanced Health Water, BiPro Protein Water and Svalbarði polar iceberg water. Other recent additions include blk. water (black water), FATwater (water containing “quality fat”) and deep ocean water harvested from off the coast of Hawaii (which allegedly hydrates you twice as fast as “normal” water). In July, the Evening Standard ran an article that only semi-ironically described water as a “superdrink”... Melted iceberg essentially has no taste, having the lowest TDS (9mg/L) of any water on earth. It is like the ur-water, the water that pre-dates all other waters. “This is your starting point,” said Leonard, gravely. “Your baseline.”"

How to make perfect scrambled eggs - "Great scrambled eggs require a generous hand with the fat, and single-minded devotion to stirring and watching – leave them alone for a second, and they'll overcook. Get someone else to make the toast."

The five principles behind the world’s most efficient health systems - "1. Integrated care
2. Hospitals as health systems
3. Standardise and simplify
4. Take social care seriously
5. Payer power
A look at the nations that consistently top “most efficient health systems” rankings shows that many share a common trait. Hong Kong, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Singapore, Spain and New Zealand all have a single or dominant payer at the centre. This model puts a vital brake on costs that explains much of the slower rates of spending growth in these countries compared with those with disparate payers such as the US, Germany or the Netherlands."

Álvaro Múnera: This photo is not what it seems... - "The above photo has been doing the rounds on the internet with claims it is Álvaro Múnera Builes, a Colombian animal rights activist who worked briefly as a bullfighter in his youth under the name ‘El Pilarico’ in Colombia and then Spain... Sitting on the ‘strip’ around the ring after the sword has been placed in the bull is a known desplante, or act of defiance, within the part-scripted, part-improvised spectacle that is the corrida de toros. Whatever the corrida is, it is certainly not a fight. The English word bull-fight derives from the English pastime of baiting bulls with dogs, hence their national symbol is the bulldog and Spain’s is the bull. The concept of fairness or sport no more enters into the corrida than it does the slaughterhouse. Which is why the man in this photo is still working as a matador across Spain."

Reuters Poll: Black Male Approval For Trump Doubles In One Week - "The results are interesting given the recent transformation of Kanye West, who posted a picture of himself wearing a Make America Great Again hat"

How should white people talk about Kanye West? - "you aren’t black, and West is. What if you say the wrong thing? What if you jump into a black Twitter thread and you think you are dancing on beat but then you open your eyes and stop snapping and realize that everybody is staring at you confused and disappointed? What if you really say the wrong thing and get called a racist? If you find yourself feeling like you should say something about West, but you aren’t sure how to do so responsibly, here are some helpful tips on how to stay in your lane."
In another era, saying that you couldn't say something because of your race would've been considered... racist

Kanye West and the Future of Black Conservatism - "the Left’s strategy of sweeping black conservatism under the rug, and of pretending that blacks unanimously converge on Left-wing opinions, can’t continue forever, not least because it’s out of touch with reality. When black people are asked what they think about myriad race-related issues, their answers often deviate from liberal orthodoxy. For example, if a white person were to say, “I don’t think racism holds poorly-educated blacks back,” it would mark them on the Left as woefully ignorant of systemic injustice, if not downright racist. But a 2016 Pew poll found that 60 percent of blacks without college degrees say their race hasn’t affected their chances of success. If a white person were to say that “Rap music is a bad influence on society,” it might mark them as subconsciously prejudiced in the minds of many on the Left. But according to a 2008 Pew poll, 71 percent of black people agreed with this statement. Moreover, most black people don’t care about microaggressions... 57 percent of blacks agreed that race/ethnicity “should not be a factor at all” in the college admissions process... The Left may be able to ignore public opinion polls, but it cannot easily ignore Kanye West. In the past, the Left has successfully ignored black celebrities when they’ve challenged prevailing orthodoxies. Witness, for example, Lil Wayne’s refusal to support Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest; or watch Denzel Washington blame the high black incarceration rate on fatherless homes rather than on ‘the system’; or listen to Morgan Freeman argue that racism is no longer a problem... fully 45 percent of black Americans identify as conservative, compared to 47 percent who identify as liberal. Additionally, blacks tend to be, on average, more religious than whites... the belief that the Democratic party has a better civil rights record than the party of Abraham Lincoln is dubious at best"

Lonely elderly Singaporean sits at HDB void deck for years so that someone might see him if he suffers another stroke

Saying "This May Hurt" May Make It Worse - "Warning a child that something, like a vaccine shot, will hurt can actually increase their perception of the pain."

Why Are Some Countries Good at Soccer? - "the best predictor of a country's success in the World Cup is the number of games the national team had played... while foreign teams prioritize development by giving star players extra attention and allowing them to play with older and better players, the American focus on winning and the team keeps youth soccer in America from shaping future stars of the national team. (Something parents and young players may appreciate, but that won't make America a soccer powerhouse.)"

Computers Go Head-to-Head with Humans on Face Recognition - "The best facial-recognition algorithms are now as good as the best forensic examiners are. But the best results come by combining human and computer skills"

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling tells Ben Davis to 'follow his dreams' - "Schooli ng, 23, is one of three athletes to have been granted long-term deferment from NS in the last 15 years. In a statement last Saturday announcing its decision to reject Benjamin's application, MINDEF said that deferments are granted only to those who represent Singapore in international competitions like the Olympic Games and are potential medal winners for Singapore. Apart from Schooling, swimmer Quah Zheng Wen and Asian Games gold medallist sailor Maximillian Soh are the other two who have been granted deferments in that period."
Maybe Schooling's deferment is going to be revoked

Facebook Censors Pro-Trump Page as Company Denies Censorship Before Congress - "“God Emperor Trump,” a popular pro-Trump Facebook page, has been removed from Facebook for the sixth time on the same day that the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe denied to Congress that it routinely censoring conservatives... “Freedom of expression is one of our core values, and we believe that the Facebook community is richer and stronger when a broad range of viewpoints is represented,” claimed Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management. “We are committed to encouraging dialogue and the free flow of ideas by designing our products to give people a voice and by implementing standards to ensure fair and transparent processes for removing content that doesn’t belong on Facebook.”... Dozens of popular Facebook pages have been removed in the past, including comedy pages, anti-feminist pages, men’s rights pages, anti-Hillary Clinton pages, and the page of conservative commentator Pamela Geller."
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