"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Links - 24th April 2019 (2)

Stefan Molyneux on Twitter - "Many female “friendships” are based on mutual “you go girl!” boosterism, and if one woman ever criticizes the other - especially morally - she is immediately attacked and ostracized.
“Eternally praise me or I’ll destroy you” is more like a cult than a friendship.

A new N.J. bar’s dress code was called racist. The owner says it was ‘an oversight.’ - "The sign at The Ashford, which referred to its dress code as “upscale business casual,” banned oversized jeans and shirts, head gear, ball caps, work boots, gym sneakers, shorts or athletic apparel, sweatpants or joggers, cargo pants, oversized jewelry and chains, sunglasses, camouflage, low or baggy pants and headphones. The code also required belts be worn with pants."
Isn't it racist to assume certain forms of dress are particular to certain races?

The Latest Example of Reverse Discrimination - "We have three communications directors. One slot is reserved for minorities. So we hire this Latino guy. It turns out he has a Latino-sounding name but really, he's Russian. He turns out to be a total failure but we end up having to keep him because we had had to get rid of another minority manager six months ago and our organization's Diversity Committee would give us hell if we fired him. So we hired someone to train him, which cost us (and ultimately the sick people we're trying to serve) a fortune. After a year, we gave up. It was hopeless and we fired him and his trainer. Now we're looking for another person of color"

Prior Dengue Infection Protects Children against Zika Symptoms

How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas To Promote White Nationalism - "critics counter that Trump is promoting a version of the holidays that excludes members of other religions, and that his crusade to bring back Christmas is part of a larger attempt by the president to define America as a country for white Christians alone.Wishing people “merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays” is thus in line with Trump’s decision to ban citizens of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, critics say. It fits neatly with his refusal to condemn white supremacists when they march against diversity, and with his condemnation of athletes who protest police brutality against black men.With this in mind, the fight to end the war on Christmas is exclusionary politics at its most flagrant. “I see such invocations of Christmas as a kind of cypher, what some would call a dog whistle. It does not appear to be intolerant or extreme, but to attentive audiences it speaks volumes about identity and belonging—who and what are fully American,” Richard King, a professor at Washington State University who studies how white supremacists exploit culture, told Newsweek... Nazi Germany’s propagandists rooted their idea of Christmas in visions of ethno-nationalism. They rewrote the lyrics of Christmas carols, promoted Nazified holiday traditions and launched numerous Christmas charity events for poor Germans. The ultimate goal was to draw a clear line between those who belonged and those who should be excluded and not benefit from the joys of Christmas.Trump’s rhetoric differs from that of Nazi Germany’s, most notably because he has never advocated genocide. But Trump’s talk about Christmas coexists with re-emerging white identity politics, Randy Blazak, a sociology professor who studies white nationalism, told Newsweek."
Someone better tell the Japanese they're not allowed to celebrate Christmas since they're not white and not Christian
This is a subtle acknowledgement that there really is a War on Christmas (which is more real than the "War on Women", i.e. making women pay for their own birth control)

Australia's first Muslim senator does not support 'traditional' halal slaughter where livestock are conscious when killed - "Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, who immigrated to Australia from Pakistan in 1992, is against livestock having their throats cut while they are still conscious, as part of traditional Muslim and Jewish custom... Australia backed new Indonesia laws which will require, from October 2019, all meat exported to the Muslim-majority nation to be slaughtered the halal way.Indonesia sources 80 per cent of its beef from Australia."
I guess you won't be able to get quality steak in Indonesia soon

The public health lobby wants to introduce a ‘meat tax’. Don’t bet against it | Spectator Health - "Once you accept that the modern ‘public health’ movement is just the latest incarnation of the puritanism that waxes and wanes throughout history, it is easy to predict its next target. If you further assume – and who can now deny it? – that nanny state campaigners follow a blueprint laid down by the anti-smoking lobby, it becomes easy to guess not only their future targets but also their methods... Coffee is too popular with the upper-middle classes to be done away with yet, but this year saw the start of a minor crusade against energy drinks. The imminent downfall of fixed-odds betting terminals represents the first real scalp for the anti-gamblers in decades, with gambling advertising lined up as the next dragon to slay.Meat has had an easier ride. Until now. A study published today in PLoS One looks very much like the start of a concerted effort to clamp down on processed and red meat. The crusade is beginning, as such crusades usually do, with a push for a sin tax.Like most of the influential policy-based evidence in ‘public health’ of recent years, the study rests on opaque computer modelling... The authors reckon that the global death toll from processed and red meat is 2,390,000 people a year. The link between processed meat and bowel cancer is reasonably robust by the debased standards of nutritional epidemiology and there may be an association between meat-eating and coronary heart disease and stroke. Even so, a figure of 2.4 million defies belief. The authors admit that the Lancet’s Global Burden of Disease reports estimated the true figure to be 900,000 in 2010 and 700,000 in 2013. That is enough of a discrepancy, but they do not mention the most recent edition of the report which put the figure at just 140,000. The estimate published today is therefore seventeen times larger than an estimate of the same risk factor published barely a year ago. How can anyone have confidence in this field of academia?"

Serious Question: What Rigors, Methodologies and Scholarly Qualities Characterize "Feminist Studies"? - "the chair of her department asked her to consider teaching feminist philosophy. Sommers thought, Well, okay, I'm a feminist, and I'm a philosopher, so why not?But then something weird happened.She sent away for the textbooks, assuming that they would read like other philosophy texts: a collection of the best arguments about issues that concerned women -- affirmative action, abortion, maternity leave, etc.The textbooks shocked her. According to Sommers, they presented what looked like a "conspiracy theory" against the patriarchy. The arguments weren't debates -- they were mutually reinforcing. She couldn't, in good conscience, use them."I just thought it was a sacred commandment of college teaching," Sommers told Kristol. "I never saw the classroom as a place to pass on my beliefs to students."So she sent away for more textbooks-- and saw more of the same. So she went to the American Philosophy Association to raise her issues. She entered this presentation knowing that issues brought before the APA are always contentious -- but usually everyone, being reasonable adults, goes out for drinks after.Sommers recalls, "We did not go out for drinks after. There was hissing, and booing, and stamping their feet. And that evening, I was excommunicated from a religion I didn't even know existed."Prior to this event, Sommers' articles had occasionally been included in feminist studies texts -- and after, that stopped.Someone was interested in hearing her thoughts on this, though: The Atlantic. They commissioned a piece from her, and she began doing research -- and was shocked by some of her findings. She read preposterous claims that were not backed by psychology and began further questioning feminist theories.Her article was never published in the Atlantic -- because the feminist philosophers found out she was writing it, and campaigned against the Atlantic"

"Activism Responsibilities" Cause Students at Brown to Fail Classes and Have Panic Attacks - "It reads like satire... but the children at Brown University (Preschool?) seem to genuinely feel this way. Which is kind of sad, considering:
One of the big "causes" students in the article were protesting was an op-ed that was published in the Brown Daily Herald. An OP-ED! Nothing even happened! Students were upset because of someone's opinion... the controversial opinions of one student caused so many others to fail tests, drop classes and start taking anti-anxiety medications... Students have been working with deans to pressure professors into giving them extensions on class assignments so that their homework won't interfere with activism "responsibilities"... As I wrote in Intersectionality is the OPPOSITE of Feminism, many feminists are shamed or pressured into certain social or political beliefs, lest they be rejected by their community. I sincerely hope that every student who has suffered on account of their activism did so of their own free will, and not of a fear of rejection or isolation."

WOMEN’S RIGHTS? Man Forced To Allow Ex To Use Sperm To Get Pregnant - And Then Pay Child Support - "An Arizona court recently ruled that a woman wanting to use her ex-husband’s saved sperm to become pregnant “outweigh[ed]” the man’s desire not to become a father. Due to this court ruling, the man could also be liable for 18 years of child support."
As usual, men have no reproductive rights

When Meth Was an Antidepressant - "How is meth different from modern amphetamines, such as Adderall? There isn’t much of a difference, according to the Columbia University psychiatry professor Carl Hart."

On the Eve of the Great Psychedelic Debate - "Listening to some of the opponents of medical marijuana over the last few years, one could be forgiven for thinking that they have never heard of a psychoactive substance being used in medicine before. These people might be surprised to learn that in England the doctor can send you home with a prescription for pain called diamorphine, a fancy word for heroin. They might be equally surprised to learn that the anti-obesity prescription Desoxyn is nothing more than methamphetamine in a pill, or that the popular ADHD medication Adderall is very similar to methamphetamine chemically and physiologically. If you’ve had throat, dental or nose surgery there’s a chance the anesthetist used cocaine... medical vernacular replaces street names for drugs to provide a line of demarcation between highly stigmatized illicit activities and their pharmacological corollary under medical settings. In its online guide for safe diamorphine use for cancer sufferers, Cancer Research UK chooses to omit the word heroin completely, to obfuscate any connection with its recreational use. Unfortunately, a consequence of hiding normally illegal drugs in plain sight in the medical world is to make them seem especially fringe and troubling when used in other contexts... There’s no clear line separating drugs that make it into club psychedelic from those that do not—marijuana, ketamine, ecstasy and all sorts of substances can at times produce the hallucinogenic effects commensurate with a psychedelic experience... a group of psychologists in Saskatchewan thought they could frighten alcoholics away from alcohol by providing them with LSD and its terrible but similar disorientating effects. The LSD experiments actually seemed to work much better than other treatments for alcoholism, with many of the alcoholics refraining from drinking months later, but for reasons entirely unrelated to those hypothesized. The alcoholics in Saskatchewan reported that their LSD experience was profound and spiritual, nothing like the negative experience that was intended, and that it allowed them to see how their alcohol abuse was affecting those they loved... the problem solving or creative insights inspired particularly by LSD are well known. One user of LSD was the Nobel Prize winning chemist Kary Mullis, inventor of polymerase chain reactions, the process whereby scientists rapidly reproduce new copies of DNA. “It was certainly much more important than any courses I ever took,” Mullis said, crediting an LSD trip with his discovery... Ninety percent of the world’s cultures institutionalize an altered state of consciousness, recognizing and even promoting an altered state of consciousness... As with magic mushrooms, a number of small trials have found ayahuasca to produce experiences considered so profound it that leads to diminished signs of depression in Westerners and reports of a renewed life outlook... psychedelic drugs are some of the least harmful drugs used in society, considerably less harmful than even cannabis, with magic mushrooms given the lowest harm ranking of all drugs... LSD use precedes mid- to long-term improvement in psychological health... psychedelics produced the type of growth in brain cells that prevents them degenerating as they do in people suffering from depression and neuropsychiatric disease. Perhaps in the future we will use psychedelics on a daily basis for brain health as we use vitamins today... The prohibition on psychedelics is microcosmic of the larger war on drugs: moral exhibitionism on the part of the politician caught in a competition to be holier than their rivals"
Of course, the most harmful drugs tobacco and alcohol are legal - while the less harmful ones are banned. Singapore anti-drug people's logic is that anything harmful should be banned, and tobacco and alcohol being legal are unfortunate (i.e. they would ban them if they could). But point out that sugar is harmful and addictive too and...
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