"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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Monday, June 03, 2019

Links - 3rd June 2019 (1)

Oxfam says 'capitalism' is to blame for poverty - "Anti-poverty charity Oxfam faced criticism yesterday after it blamed capitalism for causing extreme poverty.A think tank accused it of ‘demonising capitalism’ and critics questioned why it was pursuing a political agenda while accepting millions in taxpayer-funded public money.Supporters threatened to cancel donations to the British charity after a war of words broke out on social media, following Oxfam’s annual report into global wealth inequality... The tweet drew condemnation from economists, and critics questioned why the charity appeared to have adopted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s slogan ‘For the many not the few’. Dr John Hemmings, director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, said: ‘Capitalism lifted more people out of poverty in the 20th Century than state-planned economies and communism ever did.’... He said: ‘Demonising capitalism may be fashionable in the affluent western world, but it ignores the millions of people who have risen out of poverty as a result of free markets.‘Eradicating absolute poverty is best done by ensuring the right institutional framework exists to enable economic growth. Instead, Oxfam is promoting a race to the bottom.’
"For the many, not the few" is literally against minorities

The Buffoons at Oxfam Believe it's Better to be Poor in Afghanistan than Singapore - "the study is a measure of whether nations have punitive welfare states, not whether poor people have better lives. The assertion in the second sentence that poverty can’t be reduced without reducing inequality is especially absurd. Unless, of course, you choose a dishonest definition of poverty (which is what we get from leftist groups like the UN and OECD, not to mention the Equal Welfare Association, Germany’s Institute of Labor Economics, and the Obama Administration)... There are some other aspects of the Oxfam study that merit attention, including the curious omission of some of the world’s most left-wing nations, such as Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea. In the case of North Korea, I’m willing to believe that there simply wasn’t enough reliable data. But why aren’t there scores for Cuba and Venezuela? I strongly suspect that authors deliberately omitted those two hellholes because they didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of incredibly poor nations getting very high scores (which is what made Jeffrey Sachs’ SDG Index an easy target for mockery)"

Joshua Ip - so, on that oxfam inequality index where Singapore... - "so, on that oxfam inequality index where Singapore ranked in the bottom 10. people are predictably bashing Desmond Lee for saying that Singapore focuses on "real outcomes". but if you bothered reading the report, you'd realise he was correct... Singapore's ranking in the bottom ten is mostly due to us being ranked 157 out of 157 in progressive tax policy. this is because we have one of the lowest top national income tax rates in the world (22%). however, after exemptions, more than half of Singaporeans don't pay personal income tax. i think that's a teensy bit progressive. Oxfam will argue that regimes like Afghanistan and Yemen , which don't even have an effective tax collection and redistribution system due to um, conflict, have more progressive taxation than Singapore, and hence have greater commitment to reducing inequality. As for Sudan and Myanmar, I don't know where genocide fits into reducing inequality or progressive taxation in this index but I guess it isn't there. What else did we get marked down for? Ah, "harmful tax practices". These include a patent box (Intellectual Property Development Incentive), a maritime sector incentive, a global trader programme and a financial sector incentive. Basically, any efforts by a government to attract corporate investment, and grow the Singapore economy, will mark you down in the index... check out who else is lower than us in the rankings? Oh, Bhutan. Guess "happiness", like other real outcomes, is secondary to ideological purity..."

OECD Overlooks Amazing Success of Low-Tax Singapore, Urges Higher Taxes in Asia - "The OECD report argues that a nation isn’t developed unless taxes consume at least 25 percent of GDP.
These targets will contribute to increasing financial capacity toward the minimum tax-to-GDP ratio of 25% deemed essential to become a developed country."

Commentary: Lessons from San Jose and Stan Lee as Singapore’s Smart Nation efforts enter new phase - "As part of our research on smart cities and digital economies, we often ask citizens to tell us what they know about Smart Nation. Typical responses that cut across age groups continue to be "not sure" and "something to do with technology". They struggle to elaborate further...
The first is disappointment: The new technology neither adds value nor fits their needs. The second is disconnect: The benefits of adopting something new are perceived to accrue mostly to companies and cities, and not to them."

Singapore’s Leaky Drugs Enforcement - "Singapore’s fearsome reputation for dealing with drug users and dealers seems to have a few holes. The limited data that is available tends to suggest that harsh policies, most notably the death penalty for dealers in quite small amounts, are not as successful as might be thought and that policies may be being applied selectively to keep foreign tourists and local expatriates from featuring in too many cases which might rebound negatively on the Republic."

All About the D' (Condo Edition) - "Singapore’s long affinity with using “D’” to name any and every thing can be assumed to be a lazy linguistic device that is used to elevate the associated noun with a French “je ne sais quoi”. And when it comes to appropriating Europeanness as a means to approximate class, no one is more guilty than desperate private condo developers!"

Use your noodle: Tokyo metro offers free food to ease crowding - "One of Tokyo’s most crowded subway lines is hoping the way to reach their customers’ hearts is through their stomachs, and offering free food to ease rush hour congestion... If it can convince at least 2,000 commuters to take earlier trains over the next two weeks, Tokyo Metro – the company operating the line – will offer each of the early birds free tempura.And if 2,500 people complete the challenge to ride into work earlier every day over the period, they will each get a free bowl of soba.If over 3,000 commuters get on board, they’ll get a combo – soba and tempura – for their trouble."

Only half of Singaporeans get enough sleep: Survey - "While the average adult should get between seven and eight hours of sleep daily, only 48 per cent of Singaporean adults do... More than half of the respondents (53 per cent) also said they sleep with a "chou chou" or comfort object such as a stuffed toy or security blanket, the survey found.Women were more likely to sleep with a comfort object at 61 per cent compared to men at 44 per cent."

Muslim pre-term babies can benefit from first human milk bank in Singapore: MUIS - "Ustaz Irwan Hadi said that if a baby consumes human milk from a wet nurse, is under two years of age and has had five full feeds from the wet nurse, Islamic law provides that the baby has kinship ties with her. This means the baby cannot go on to marry her or her children later in life.“But based on the information and different combination of factors, our Fatwa Committee says for the purposes of babies who consume milk from the milk bank here from KKH (KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital), we do not think there is any kinship established”"

How Asian Americans Became Democrats - "In 1992, the majority of Asian Americans had voted for George H.W. Bush, creating the impression that as an upwardly mobile and affluent group, they would continue to vote Republican. But 20 years later, in an astounding shift, Asian Americans moved 40 points toward the Democrats in presidential elections"

The risks and benefits of sun exposure 2016 - "Public health authorities in the United States are recommending that men, women and children reduce their exposure to sunlight, based on concerns that this exposure will promote skin cancer. On the other hand, data show that increasing numbers of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiencies and serious health problems caused by insufficient sun exposure. The body of science concerning the benefits of moderate sun exposure is growing rapidly, and is causing a different perception of sun/UV as it relates to human health. Melanoma and its relationship to sun exposure and sunburn is not adequately addressed in most of the scientific literature. Reports of favorable health outcomes related to adequate serum 25(OH)D concentration or vitamin D supplementation have been inappropriately merged, so that benefits of sun exposure other than production of vitamin D are not adequately described. This review of recent studies and their analyses consider the risks and benefits of sun exposure which indicate that insufficient sun exposure is an emerging public health problem. This review considers the studies that have shown a wide range health benefits from sun/UV exposure. These benefits include among others various types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer disease/dementia, myopia and macular degeneration, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. The message of sun avoidance must be changed to acceptance of non-burning sun exposure sufficient to achieve serum 25(OH)D concentration of 30 ng/mL or higher in the sunny season and the general benefits of UV exposure beyond those of vitamin D."

Let Us Walk You Through This Astrological Roommate Drama - "a facebook group I'm in is having a heated debate about whether it's ableist to deny someone housing on the basis of being a capricorn"
When social justice meets astrology, the bullshit multiplies

Bernie Sanders called millionaire senators 'immoral,' unearthed 1971 newspaper article shows - "Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is now a millionaire, had called millionaire senators “immoral” when he first ran for Senate in the 1970s.On Wednesday, CNN dug up a 1971 issue of the Bennington Banner, a local Vermont newspaper that reported on then-Liberty Union Party Senate candidate Sanders, who declared it was “immoral” that half the U.S. senators at the time were millionaires and insisted that they represented “the interests of corporations and big business -- their fellow millionaires.”As the paper reported, Sanders also proposed to replace each lawmaker's pay with the average income of his or her home state."

Meme - "You should sleep with at LEAST 25 guys before settling down, and I'll tell you exactly why"
"Transgender Activist Says Men Have No Right To Refuse Sex With Men Dressed As Women"
"Hillary Clinton could still become president if Russia probe finds conspiracy evidence"
"The girl who lied about hijab attack deserves an apology"
"please do not use words like "policeman" or "policewoman." Use gender neutral terms like "tools of the capitalist bourgeoisie" and "enemy of the people""

The Girl Who Lied About Hijab Attack Deserves An Apology - "Rather than call for an apology (what good would that do?) from the girl and her family, I believe we owe her an apology for not remembering that, even though she is well-spoken, she is still a child. She even told us, although it was while describing her fear at the fictitious attack: "I am a kid." Exactly."
So... we are justified in being ageist in treating what children say with a grain of salt and denying the validity of their lived experiences

Harvard study: Heat slows down the brain by 13%
Why Singapore is bad for health
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