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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Links - 12th December 2013

Sexually graphic questions appear in Cambridge law exam - "Oral sex, anal rape and torture all featured in a Cambridge criminal law exam last week, shocking some of the 200-plus students who sat the paper. Question nine featured graphic descriptions of legal murky acts of sexual humiliation conducted at the initiation ceremony of a fictional drinking society called ‘the Vizards’.
The question, which was in three parts, is introduced like this:
“Sandra is President of The Vizards, a College drinking society. She is organising the initiation of new members. After a great deal of alcohol has been drunk, the members of the society form a circle around Billy, Gilbert and Richard who are to be initiated.” It goes on to describe three situations in which one male student is tricked into receiving oral sex from another; another experiences an indecent assault with a win bottle; and a third dies after his pubic hair is removed to vigorously and the wound gets infected."

Nike women's marathon: San Francisco residents given sex hotline number instead of noise complaint line - "Callers trying to make a noise complaint were instead told to unzip ‘cause there won't be any room in there once we get our hands, mouths and legs wrapped around you.’"

Piracy site IsoHunt to shut down and pay $110m - "He also said the industry could render sites like IsoHunt obsolete if it offered simultaneous releases worldwide, as well as digital offerings that were cheaper than physical copies. His thoughts echoed findings by a trio of researchers at George Mason University in Virginia, US. Their site has been collating the weekly top 10 most-pirated films and investigating whether legal digital methods were available. They found that half of the movies in the list were not available to access legally online. Furthermore, none of the 10 titles could be streamed - arguably the most straightforward way to consume media online."

Commentary: The threats to Singapore hawkers - "A fellow drinks seller once told me that a few customers verbally abused him when they found out he raised prices of his coffee drinks by 10 cents. “I’ve not raised prices for almost 10 years,” he decried. “They complain that they have to now pay $1 for a kopi (coffee), but these are the people who don’t even blink at paying $7 at Starbucks”... Times may have changed, but mindsets sadly haven’t... The recent news of a Hougang kopitiam changing hands for almost an eye-popping $24 million doesn’t bode well for the industry in general... this is not helped by the bizarre idea where the authorities are encouraging hawkers to somehow maintain prices so that food is kept at affordable prices for the masses. Ironically, the same authorities were far less able at stopping landlords from increasing rentals. That would have been more helpful in relieving some of the cost pressures off hawkers. While I agree in principle that hawker food should be affordable, the idea that hawkers should be subsidising the meals of their customers, who range from low- to high-income earners, strikes me as rather ludicrous. I may be wrong, but I have an uneasy feeling that perhaps a lot of what is crippling Singapore’s hawker scene has to do with complacency . That Singaporeans have been feeling superior about our street food for far too long and that sense of pride has been misplaced. The truth is, Singapore’s street food has seen little real innovation since it began on the streets. We’ve seen quite a few old-school dishes die out over the decades, and some, such as ter kar tang (cold pig trotters) are on the verge of disappearing. Is selling Japanese or Korean cuisine in a hawker stall considered true food innovation? I’m not so sure."

Homosexuality is criminal offence, Supreme Court rules - "The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the decision of the Delhi high court, which had in 2009 decriminalised sexual relation between persons belonging to same sex. The apex court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code that makes anal sex a punishable offence. LGBT activists, whose sexual relationships had been legalised by the Delhi HC, broke down inside the court room. Parliament is authorised to remove Section 377, but as long as this provision is there, the court can not legalise this kind of sexual relationship, the SC bench observed."

Disturbing trends in judicial activism - "The Supreme Court has made an order even in a military operation. In 1993, the Court issued orders on the conduct of military operations in Hazratbal, Kashmir where the military had as a matter of strategy restricted the food supplies to hostages. The Court ordered that the provision of food of 1,200 calorific value should be supplied to hostages. Commenting on this, an Army General wrote: “For the first time in history, a Court of Law was asked to pronounce judgment on the conduct of an ongoing military operation. Its verdict materially affected the course of operation.” Even proceedings of Legislatures are controlled by the Court. In the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly case, the Supreme Court ordered the Assembly to conduct a Motion of Confidence and ordered the Speaker to conduct proceedings according to a prescribed agenda and not to entertain any other business. Its proceedings were ordered to be recorded for reporting to the Court. These orders were made in spite of Article 212 of the Constitution which states that Courts are not to inquire into any proceedings of the legislature."

Misreading the Madras HC ruling: Premarital sex is not marriage | Firstpost - "the judge did indeed make a number of incendiary statements, such as: “Consequently, if any couple choose to consummate their sexual cravings, then that act becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow, except on certain exceptional considerations”... In 2010, a Delhi Court held that sex outside marriage was equivalent to rape because the man had coerced the woman into sex by promising marriage. But in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned a similar conviction by raising the bar of proof... The notion that a man has robbed a woman of her honour by falsely luring her into bed may be somewhat Victorian"

Conservative Judicial Activists Run Amok - "for decades, judicial activism had been primarily associated with the left — liberal judges handed down broad readings of laws to expand rights, enraging conservatives who believed they were taking upon themselves decisions better left to democratic channels. Their complaints were not wholly unfounded — even if you support, say, abortion rights, as I do, the notion that the Constitution requires the right to an abortion is quite a stretch of judicial activism... At times the deliberations of the Republican justices are impossible to distinguish from the deliberations of Republican senators"
Judicial activism is two-sided

Centuries-old temple ruins in Bujang Valley furtively destroyed - "Prehistoric ruins at an archaeological site in Bujang Valley some 1,200 years old were secretly demolished by a land developer, a Penang lawmaker said yesterday, even as Badan Warisan Malaysia seeks to list the historical spot as a Unesco world heritage site."

Joseph Prince and the New Creation Church - "Jon Ruthven, a Regent University professor emeritus of theology, says Prince has done good work in emphasizing positive aspects of Christianity, including the idea “that God is very present to save, heal and provide.” But he expresses concerns shared with other critics of Word of Faith, faulting Prince for minimizing Biblical warnings that the Christian life “necessarily will cause suffering, loss and rejection.” God, says Ruthven, “is not the popular ‘vending-machine’ God, who exists only to make someone healthy and rich.”"

Japan Legal FAQ – Is the age of consent in Japan really 13? - "The age of consent in Japan is 13 years old under the Japanese national criminal law code. However, all municipalities and prefectures have their own particular laws such as Tokyo’s “Youth Protection Law” which prohibit adults from having sex with youths who are under 17 years old. Because the age of consent in Japan ranges from 13 to 18, depending on jurisdiction, many enjo kyosai clients cannot be charged with statutory rape"

Uruguay approves world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana - "Uruguay's Senate approved the world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana Tuesday, an audacious and risky experiment that puts the government in charge of growing, selling and using a drug that is illegal almost everywhere else"

» Friday Fun: Les oiseaux dans la charmille (The Doll Aria) – Offenbach Cate Sings - "Today’s aria is a favourite of mine, because you can do so much with it, and because it contains so much potential for humour, pathos, and creepiness. This version contains all three of those aspects… The Doll Aria comes from Offenbach’s rather strange and disturbing opera Les Contes D’Hoffmann, in which the protagonist keeps meeting and falling in love with the same woman in different incarnations – first she is a clockwork doll, later a girl who will die if she ever sings, and finally a courtesan who plans to steal his reflection. Strange to say, none of these love affairs end well – in every case, the woman’s guardian, parent or keeper plays a rather sinister role – and our coloratura soprano gets not one, but three death scenes, thus creating a new record in the ‘soprano falls and love, then dies’ school of opera... The words are very simple, and don’t have much relevance to the opera... if you think that one is indecent, I suggest that you do not Google Patricia Petibon’s version, which keeps on being taken down from YouTube for general X-ratedness."

A conservative's answer to Wikipedia - "After administrators blocked their accounts, Lipson and several other editors quit trying to moderate the articles and instead started their own website, From there, they monitor Conservapedia. And -- by their own admission -- engage in acts of cyber-vandalism. In recent months, Conservapedia's articles have been hit frequently by interlopers from RationalWiki and elsewhere. The vandals have inserted errors, pornographic photos and satire, including this addition to an entry on Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales: "Mr. Gonzales is a strong supporter of torture as a law enforcement tool for use against Democrats and third world inhabitants." The vandalism aims "to cause people to say, 'That Conservapedia is just wacko,' " said Brian Macdonald, 45, a Navy veteran in Murfreesboro, Tenn., who puts in several hours a day on the site fending off malicious editing. Such aggression has reinforced the view among some Conservapedia writers that left-wingers are out to suppress their free speech. "I had heard it spoken of, but it had never really hit home before just how hostile they are," said a 15-year-old in New Jersey whose mother asked that her name not be used. The girl, who is home-schooled, wrote an article for Conservapedia on Irish dancing and uses the site to research papers. But the biggest lesson she's taken away as a young conservative is: "There are people who want to destroy us.""
Apparently Rationalism = Aggressive Liberalism
It's hard to take claims of rationality seriously if you use the terms "balls deep" and "even more hilarious" to describe people you disagree with (Scalia) and don't mention critiques from the other side despite appropriating "their" term

Sex, Lies and the Politics of Padded Bras - "Why is the bust something important enough to bring up dishonesty and deception? Because it's seen as a bargaining chip in a sexual relationship, bigger boobs being more valuable. Fraud is only relevant if you are replacing something of higher value with something of lesser value. Deceit comes into play when the result is hurtful. The only reason push up bras can be dishonest is because boobs are viewed as commodities that increase a woman's sexual value."
Of course, if a man lies about his life it just shows that he is dishonest, shifty and not to be trusted
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