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Monday, February 25, 2019

Links - 25th February 2019

Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic - "The truth is, this is part of an old colonialist handbook. In her essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” postcolonial theorist Gayatri Spivak coined the term “White men saving brown women from brown men” to describe the racist, paternalistic process by which colonizing powers would decry the way men in power treated oppressed groups, like women, to justify attacking them. Spivak was referencing the British colonial agenda in India. But Grennell’s attack might be a case of white men trying to save brown gay men from brown straight men, to the same end."
When Trump Derangement Syndrome means you support homophobia
Whataboutism is good when employed for progressive ends
Comments: "You'd probably support killing puppies if he said he liked them"
"If he doesn't, he's a racist. If he does, it's racist. When you have a non-falsifiable belief, that's called a conspiracy theory or a blind religion. And people who deal with facts cannot reason with people like you."
"he speaks out about a gay man being executed in a regime that executes gay people and is advocating for the ceasing of it. The only retort is "well, they don't execute as many since 2013""
"As a 53 year old gay man it's just this kind of "logic" and rhetoric that resulted in me starting to distance myself from the gay community during the 1990s, and solidly place myself in the libertarian camp. What turned me off on the gay community in the 1990s, and what we're witnessing now is unabashed tribalism"
"It's a shade away from regressive leftists excusing gay people being pushed off buildings as "it's their culture, leave them alone, don't be Islamophobic", or worse still the far left nutjob article that made the claim that Islamic executions of gay people are actually helping gay people because they're stopping them from suiciding. #walkaway"

UK employment hits another record high
Funny, given Brexit is meant to ruin the country

What does Singapore PM-in-waiting Heng Swee Keat’s 2019 budget say about an early election? - "programmes such as the Merdeka Generation Package were inherently political in nature – firstly, because such long-term packages created a sense of gratitude towards the government that provided them.“Second, providing for the needs of these generations is very different from simply providing one-off cash incentives, since health care benefits are consumed over a longer term and on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “In a sense it is a gift that keeps giving, since individuals will be cognisant of the benefits they have received each time they need to draw on their medical benefits.”"

Donald Low - Good piece. Another point worth highlighting is... - "in last year’s Budget, when the government announced that it intended to raise GST in a few years’ time, it also projected a small deficit for the year. But for the umpteenth time, the budget last year ended with a decent surplus. And given that some revenues aren’t included in the Budget while some expenditure items are overstated (…/budget-2015-in-deficit-yet-v…), a “decent” surplus should be taken in the right spirit. This is why the DBS economists mentioned in the article estimate the government has a war chest of over $19 billion to spend before the elections... competent fiscal management entails a certain degree of fiscal marksmanship or accuracy, i.e. getting your budget estimates right (or on target) most of the time.The persistent under-estimation of budget surpluses is not healthy. It allows the government to create a narrative of “money not enough” (hence justifying the GST increase), and it makes it harder for citizens (especially analysts) to form accurate expectations about the country’s long-term fiscal needs and how they should be financed. It also erodes trust in government if its projections of budget deficits are repeatedly proven wrong.Despite saying it is fiscally tight for most of its term in office, the government somehow manages to conjure up large, supposedly “one-off” budget giveaways in the year before elections. And citizens are supposed to be thankful for its largesse.So the next time government says money not enough (which may indeed be the case) and taxes need to be raised—probably in the budget or two after the elections—it shouldn’t be surprised if people are sceptical, distrustful or, to use the word of the month, complacent."

The Blockchain Is a Reminder of the Internet’s Failure - "My gripe is with human faith in technology. The same kind of utopian promises that bloomed during the Internet’s early heyday — “freedom, fairness, and equality for the society of tomorrow” — are on the tip of every bitcoin miner’s tongue. The passion of the true zealot is everywhere: “The blockchain will set us free.” But if there is one thing that we should have learned from the history of the last 25 years, it is that digital networks and computers and code are no solution to human brokenness. With each passing day, the opposite seems more likely to be true. Pressure exerted by the Internet cracked some long-existing social fissures wide open... Decentralization is the first commandment of the blockchain faith. But what did William Butler Yeats tell us happens when “the center cannot hold”? Things fall apart!"
"This time, it's different" doesn't just apply to financial crises

GOOGLE'S ANTI-BREITBART PLOT: Employees Targeted Site's Ad Revenue in 2017 - "The group sought to strike at Breitbart News’ revenue by kicking the site off Google’s market-dominating ad services. Although their efforts ultimately failed, the discussion featured senior Google employees speaking frankly about their reasons for targeting the site. These included unfounded allegations of “hate speech” and “fake news.”... Gray’s statement confirms that in Silicon Valley, conservative media was a prominent target of the fake news panic from the very beginning... a cabal of employees in Google’s ad department was directing the company’s ad clients to the page of Sleeping Giants, a far-left organization that attempts to blacklist conservative media organizations – including Breitbart News – by spreading slander to their advertisers."

LEAKED DOCUMENTS: Google Employees Considered Censoring Conservative Media After 2016 Election - "at Google, some engineers debated whether the company should suppress conservative news websites — The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically mentioned — to keep President Donald Trump from winning in 2020... Other employees were not so keen to censor, believing the move could backfire and lead to “conspiracy theories,” according to the documents... In January 2018, Google was caught incorrectly fact-checking conservative news websites while leaving left-leaning outlets untouched. The company quickly ended its “fact-checking” process."

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Banning 'Hate, Division' Is 'Right Thing to Do' - "Cook suggested that the Holocaust was a function of excessively free speech and expression, invoking Kristallnacht"

Twitter Censorship: Ads Critical of Illegal Immigration Are 'Hateful Content' - "Twitter rejected four advertisements from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) on the basis of the tweets containing “hateful content” on Tuesday. The hateful content in question appears to be the phrase “illegal alien.” The platform later reversed the decision, calling it an “error.”... In its initial comment on the matter, CIS indicated it was the use of the term “illegal alien” that Twitter considers hateful, despite the common usage of the term by legal entities including the Supreme Court. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey maintains that his company’s censorship and content management policies are not colored by left-wing or partisan Democrats biases"

Twitter Stock Drops on Fears of Conservative Exodus - "Twitter’s stock dropped, Thursday, after the social network faced controversy for banning two conservatives: Jesse Kelly and Laura Loomer. Financial news site the Street believes the drop is tied to fears of a conservative boycott of the social media platform."

Conservative Activist Laura Loomer Banned From Twitter After Criticizing Congresswoman-Elect Ilhan Omar - "Independent journalist Laura Loomer was banned from Twitter on Wednesday, following a tweet in which she accused Congresswoman-Elect Ilhan Omar of supporting Sharia law and female genital mutilation."

Facebook Reacts to Child Bride Sale 2 Weeks After Posting, 6 Days After Auction Ended - "Facebook allowed a child bride to be sold to the highest bidder before the social network finally decided to take action against the post over two weeks later, according to charity organization Plan International, which called the Facebook auction “beyond belief.”"

'Nazi Lives Here': Vandals Strike Home of Purdue University College Republican Adviser - "The faculty adviser for Purdue University’s College Republican student group woke up to find that his home had been vandalized with paint, including the words “Nazi Lives Here” scrawled on his garage door. Professor David Bridges, who is the adviser of the College Republican (CR) group at Purdue University, discovered that his home had been vandalized with a red paint-like substance on his driveway, and the words “Nazi Lives Here” spray-painted on his garage door.The suspect is still at large, but Bridges believes that the vandalism was carried out by local Antifa members"
Since everyone to the right of Stalin is a Nazi, violence is justified against most of the world

PETA: Saying 'Bring Home the Bacon' Is as Bad as Racism, Anti-Gay Slurs - "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for an end to what it calls “speciesism,” or using animal names in negative contexts, such as “beat a dead horse” or “take the bull by the horns.”"
For those claiming the slippery slope is a hysterical conservative myth

Study: 'Sh*t' Is America's Most-Used Word on Twitter - "A recent study claims that American Twitter users are overwhelmingly negative on the platform and utilize swear words more often than those from other countries. Researchers claim Twitter data matches the “established stereotypes” about Americans.NPR reports that a study conducted by researchers from Canada claims that American Twitter users tweet more negative words than those from Canada. The study analyzed 40 million tweets to study the tweets of both American and Canadian users, finding that in general American users are more negative while Canadian users are more positive... "If you just survey lots of Canadians and Americans … personality traits on average just don’t seem to be any different.” Snefjella stated that it may actually be the language used by Americans that have negative connotations without having a negative meaning behind them, this could include curse words or common phrases"

University of Idaho Bans Pro-Life, Two-Genders Posts on Student-Run Feminist Blog - "A University of Idaho administrator has banned a female student from expressing pro-life views and stating that women have XX chromosomes on a university feminist blog, accusing the student of writing in a way that “directly challenges” opposing viewpoints. The Administrator advised the female student that she should avoid “hot button” issues in her future feminist articles... Salsbury stated that while she does “try very hard” not to censor students, Dilone had become an exception, because she did not use a proper “feminism lens” while writing her piece.“Feminism is the grounding philosophy undergirding the topics we allow on the blog,” stated Salsbury in her email to Dilone, “On more than one occasion, your personal views have been in direct conflict with one of the fundamental principles and tenets of feminism—that of choice.”... Upon reviewing a draft for another blog, Salsbury and the editor had instructed Dilone to remove language in which she stated that women have XX chromosomes, according to Students for Life of America.“Leave this part out. Not all women have XX chromosomes, and not all men have XY,” read the edits to Dilone’s draft, “Chromosomes have nothing to do with gender.”"
So much for feminism being about women's voices - it's only about feminists' voices

Merkel: EU Nations Must Prepare to Hand Sovereignty over to Brussels

WATCH: Students Want 'Clarence Thomas' Building Renamed. Then They're Asked To Explain Why. - "students who back a petition demanding the removal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's name from a campus building are asked to explain why they so passionately support the effort. "I don't know" becomes a familiar refrain."

Dear Tigertones, please stop singing ‘Kiss The Girl’ | The Princetonian - "Even when gently crooned by an animated crab, the song “Kiss The Girl,” from the Disney hit “The Little Mermaid,” is more misogynistic and dismissive of consent than cute. By performing the song multiple times each semester, the Tigertones elevate it to an offensive and violating ritual... The song launches a heteronormative attack on women’s right to oppose the romantic and sexual liberties taken by men, further inundating the listener with themes of toxic masculinity"
This is not a joke. Then again, since feminism is a joke...
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