When you can't live without bananas

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Links - 3rd December 2014

Monkey test shows gender choices - "An experiment seems to back the theory that male monkeys choose traditional boy toys above dolls, which female monkeys choose to play with. The experiment, which was conducted at the Woburn Safari Park, in Bedfordshire with Barbary macaques, formed part of a Horizon investigation into the differences between male and female brains."

German village plays prank on neo-Nazis - "For each meter the neo-Nazis marched last Saturday throughout the village, local companies donated 10 euro for a project called “Exit”, a NGO that supports neo-Nazis who are ready to leave the milieu... To make them aware of what they were inadvertently taking part in, the people of Wunsiedel put up colorful posters along their route, thanking the neo-Nazis for their participation... Even food was provided for the neo-Nazi protesters, who tried to ignore the prank as much as possible. Under a banner saying "Mein Mampf" ("My food") instead of "Mein Kampf" (the title of Hitler's book), the village offered bananas to the demonstrators."

shitsenders - the ULTIMATE gag gift - SWEET revenge at its finest - "Looking for a great gag gift? Has some one really pissed you off? Don't get mad, GET EVEN. Send that special some one a big stinky pile of shit"

expert reaction to non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) and glucose intolerance | Science Media Centre - "On this evidence, I’d agree that lab mice shouldn’t have lots of sweeteners in their drinking water"

Commentary: The hormone replacement–coronary heart disease conundrum: is this the death of observational epidemiology? - "As long ago as 1986 Diana Petitti and colleagues showed that HRT was apparently equally protective against accidental and violent deaths in an observational study as it was against cardiovascular disease deaths. They pointed out that given the lack of any biologically plausible link between HRT and these external causes of death both associations should be suspected of suffering from residual confounding"

Analytical Trend in Medical Research Troubles Scientists - WSJ - "While the gold standard of medical research is the randomly controlled experimental study, scientists have recently rushed to pursue observational studies, which are much easier, cheaper and quicker to do. Costs for a typical controlled trial can stretch high into the millions; observational studies can be performed for tens of thousands of dollars... observational studies, researchers say, are especially prone to methodological and statistical biases that can render the results unreliable. Their findings are much less replicable than those drawn from controlled research. Worse, few of the flawed findings are spotted—or corrected—in the published literature. "You can troll the data, slicing and dicing it any way you want," says S. Stanley Young of the U.S. National Institute of Statistical Sciences. Consequently, "a great deal of irresponsible reporting of results is going on." Despite such concerns among researchers, observational studies have never been more popular... observational studies in general can be replicated only 20% of the time, versus 80% for large, well-designed randomly controlled trials, says Dr. Ioannidis. Dr. Young, meanwhile, pegs the replication rate for observational data at an even lower 5% to 10%. Whatever the figure, it suggests that a lot more of these studies are getting published. Those papers can often trigger pointless follow-on research and affect real-world practices"

Barbie book about programming tells girls they need boys to code for them
Does Lolita tell men that they're pedophiles?

Triya Bhattacharya's answer to Is the Verge right that comet landing scientist Matt Taylor's 'problematic' shirt drives women from pursuing science? - Quora - "honestly, I don't think anyone could get so offended by that shirt that they would actually leave their job as the ESA and leave science just because a guy wore a shirt with sexualized women on it. So the hyperbole created by the headlines "THIS IS WHY WOMEN DON'T GO INTO SCIENCE" is just that - hyperbole. If there really a culture of misogyny at their workplace, then women wouldn't work there, but that is not true, because women do work there. Of course, they could all be more inclusive, but this was a special day for him and he wore a special shirt, made by his friend. But the internet mob against him was horrible. And it strikes me more because lots of feminists have been very vocal about this same thing - men attacking women through internet mobs, sending threats against them and all of that. If they now don't see their awful hypocrisy in doing the same thing to him, for a shirt no less, then they are awful people. This does give a bad name to feminists and I can just shake my head. Internet mobs are a real problem. But who cares about that when you can get click on your clickbait style headlines, right? "One step for man, three steps back for humankind"? Gimme a break! This shirt did not take back humankind. Why don't we focus on positive ways of encouraging women into science? Focusing on the women who did work on the Rosetta mission? These people could care less about women in science, let's not pretend that they do."

We Are the 99 Percent - I have a Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies.... - "I have a Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies. However, the only job I can find is as a bartender at a local restaurant. I owe over 60k in student loans. I am forced to rely on food stamps and W.I.C. to support my son. Is this the “American Dream” I worked so hard for? I am the 99 percent! "
I thought this was a parody at first

The least-cost low-carbohydrate diet is expensive - "The major finding is that the cheapest possible low-carbohydrate diet costs about triple the cost of the cheapest diet with no constraint on carbohydrate. Furthermore, the minimum cost of a diet low in both carbohydrate and fat is 5 to 10 times the cost of the cheapest diet, depending on the relative amounts of these nutrients"

An irreligious approach to abortion - "I can't believe that the only question which matters is the convenience of the parents, or the capacity of the foetus for independent existence. My text here is taken from John Harris, a philosopher at Manchester who says he has not got a religious bone in his body. Because of this, he argues that there is something absurd in supposing that the moral status of a baby changes during its passage down the birth canal. One can sharpen the argument by imagining a caesarean section. If the knife slips and the baby is cut, that is no less wrong if it still inside the womb. So whatever it would be wrong to do to a newborn baby would be wrong also to do to one that is ready to be born. Something of great moral importance has changed in the nine months of development from one cell to a baby; but like most biological changes, it's fuzzy. There is a "before", a "during" and an "After" but we can't easily point to the boundaries... let's say that we are all agreed that infanticide is wrong, and not to be used as a tool of policy by anyone in peacetime. So what is it about the infant which makes it wrong to kill one? I'm looking for a non-religious answer here, as the rules of the debate demand. I am not sure that I can come up with a wholly convincing reply except that it just is wrong, in the same kind of way that torture is simply wrong. But I am pretty certain there is something wrong with an answer which is often heard in these debates: the idea that the crucial quality that makes for a proper human is autonomy. This comes up in the context of abortion when discussing time limits. It is felt – and argued – to be grotesque that a baby can be aborted who might survive given sufficiently intensive care. In that case, it is said to be capable of independent existence. But of course it isn't. This doesn't change much at birth, either. Anyone who has ever handled a new-born baby knows that they are incapable of independent life... This dependence doesn't materially change at birth. It just becomes wider and more general. Even in the womb, and even an embryo or foetus never depends only and entirely on the mother, since the mother also depends on other people to feed her and keep her alive. That kind of mutual interdependence is part of what being human means. This interpretation runs against the whole current of reasoning about rights. Interdependence can't be described or defined by contracts because the whole point of a contract is that it has conditions"

On generalizations about women (and men) - "I am a woman, but I am not Woman. I base my self-identity on my actions, not on the actions of other women, or most women, or even all women, and when someone gives an opinion of women, or most women, or even all women, even if that opinion is blistering, and even if I recognize a little of myself in there, I don’t take it as a personal attack. In fact, if I do recognize myself in someone’s scathing opinion of women in general, that’s when I sit up and listen. If it makes me feel uncomfortable, then that is my problem and my discomfort and does not invalidate the accuracy of what was said. It definitely does not mean that that opinion should be silenced. In fact, it means the opposite. It means that it is a part of myself that I need to examine, and in order to examine it I have to talk about it and hear what others have to say about it. One of my favorite MRAs once said, “Generalities exist. A bigot thinks there are no exceptions. An idiot thinks everyone is an exception. I am neither.” I can’t state this clearly enough: It is impossible to talk about gender issues, or society, or culture, or biology without using generalities... I’ve been trending away from the loaded, hostile, blame-laden language of the gender debate recently because not only are terms like privilege and oppression accusatory, but they’re also kindergarten-level simplistic. That’s true no matter which direction they’re applied in. I would much rather explore the actual problem all the way to its roots (even if that’s essentialist of me) than assign blame to one side or the other... feminists have been claiming to speak for all women since the mid-1800s, and the majority of women have allowed them to. Female protests over women’s suffrage involved objections to the potential assigning of male responsibility onto women—once it was clear that there would be no such imposition of responsibility, the majority of women went along with women’s fight for equal rights. Nary a woman spoke up about the absurdly unequal distribution of marital property brought about by early feminists in the 1800s and early 1900s—not until the inability to acquire loans and mortgages in their own names convinced them that the grossly unbalanced distribution of female entitlement and male responsibility was more harm to women than benefit. The few fair-minded women who spoke out on principle against the injustice of those laws were drowned out by the majority of women who knew a good deal when they saw it—the majority who rationalized that something for nothing is always a good thing, and besides, I would never take advantage of those laws. I’m not like that. If I were allowed to victimize someone and then have my victim put in jail for it, I wouldn’t do it, so what’s the harm?"


What makes for a stable marriage? - "dating 3 or more years before getting engaged leads to a much more stable marriage... The more money you and your partner make, the less likely you are to ultimately file for divorce... couples who never go to church are 2x more likely to divorce than regular churchgoers... Men are 1.5x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s looks, and women are 1.6x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s wealth... Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people. Clearly, this shows us that having a large group of family and friends who support the marriage is critically important to long-term marital stability... The more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you’ll end up divorced... Whatever you do after your marriage, don’t skimp on the honeymoon!"

Why you’re more likely to get free Wi-Fi in a budget hotel than a fancy one - "It might seem perverse to refuse customers the free perk they most seek, but there’s actually a pretty simple explanation for it: Luxury hotels charge for Wi-Fi because they can. Those who are traveling for business can expense the $20 daily Wi-Fi fee, or if they’re paying for their own $500 room, $20 extra for Wi-Fi probably won’t break the bank. Budget travelers, on the other hand, are more price-sensitive. And unlike budget airlines that strip down the amenities to bare bones for a cheaper ticket prices, hotels in this sector have found that the promise of free Wi-Fi helps them compete with other hotels."

If it sounds too good to be true...

Friend's FB:

WTF story of the day:

Today I was scrolling through one of those groups where people were offering temp jobs on Facebook when I saw a job listing looking for "outgoing girls/who liked to socialize/females only". Thought it sounded like a nighlife/events/promoter job so I texted the lady at the number given to ask for more details. Turns out it was a job ad for a social escort(!!!)

So... anyway for some strange reason because I was bored/curious/too free, I decided to arrange an appointment to meet them. It was mentioned that two people - a guy and a lady would be meeting me, so I arrived at the place and waited, curious to see what kind of people would actually be running a social escort agency. Lady turned out to be one of those tiny blonde hair English speaking ah lian types who looked about 21. Came and left in 5 minutes so I barely spoke to her. Guy was my age (24), a uni grad and I found out (wish I didn't) that he was actually from ACJC previously. Quite a charming and eloquent chap. I asked him about his motivation for setting up an escort company (because that's such a mass comm student thing to do) and he went on about how he fell in love with an escort years back and wanted to "save girls" and "help them achieve something in life". Can't decide if he is a genius or a psychopath.

Anyway, I left the meeting strange enough, with a business idea to open my own escort agency. I mean, hello low capital and you get to take a cut from poor girls selling their bodies. Looking for business partners, holla if you're interested.

(Oh, they did offer me the escort job by the way. Apparently I'm worth 300 bucks an hour.) ‪#‎wtf‬ ‪#‎fml‬ ‪#‎bbq‬

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Links - 2nd December 2014

"There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words." - Dorothy Parker


Girl’s Day: A group of playful tomboys
If these are tomboys, Korean girly girls must be way over the top

Judith Grossman: A Mother, a Feminist, Aghast - WSJ - "I am a feminist. I have marched at the barricades, subscribed to Ms. magazine, and knocked on many a door in support of progressive candidates committed to women's rights. Until a month ago, I would have expressed unqualified support for Title IX and for the Violence Against Women Act. But that was before my son, a senior at a small liberal-arts college in New England, was charged—by an ex-girlfriend—with alleged acts of "nonconsensual sex" that supposedly occurred during the course of their relationship a few years earlier. What followed was a nightmare—a fall through Alice's looking-glass into a world that I could not possibly have believed existed, least of all behind the ivy-covered walls thought to protect an ostensible dedication to enlightenment and intellectual betterment... I fear that in the current climate the goal of "women's rights," with the compliance of politically motivated government policy and the tacit complicity of college administrators, runs the risk of grounding our most cherished institutions in a veritable snake pit of injustice—not unlike the very injustices the movement itself has for so long sought to correct. Unbridled feminist orthodoxy is no more the answer than are attitudes and policies that victimize the victim."

Rules of attraction: Why white men marry Asian women and Asian men don't wed white women | Vesko Cholakov - "I studied abroad at the National University of Singapore for a semester my sophomore year. I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar trend: My white male friends talked with fascination about hitting on Asian girls. The yellow fever hardly rang true for my female friends though... The phenomenon is not even confined to the U.S. In 2013, cognitive psychologist Michael Lewis at the University of Cardiff in Wales in the U.K. asked 20 females and 20 males to rate 600 Facebook pictures of British, sub-Saharan Africans, and East Asians. The participants consistently voted black men and Asian women as the most attractive representatives of each gender; Asian men and black women were seen as the least desirable partners"
Sadly the actual article isn't very good

The internet hates men, and no one's a winner - "Depictions of decent men have now become strikingly absent online. The overall suggestion is that men are guilty until proven innocent; this only reinforces gender stereotyping. Indeed, we have reached a stage where feminist sites like Jezebel run stories like “How to kick men in the balls: an illustrated guide”, confirming the impression that the internet hates men... The more the anti-men trend gains traction, the more women will be deprived of decent male allies in the battle against abuse"
'Stereotyping' is only bad when it's about 'minorities'

Is Change.org just a weapon of censorship? - "Ever get that feeling it's “another day, another foam-flecked Change.org petition – what do they want us to ban now?” Most days, at present, it seems the liberal Twitterati can’t get by without clamoring for something – or somebody – they don’t like to be metaphorically sent to the gallows... another “misogynist”, bad-taste comedian Dapper Laughs claimed to have had his career “completely ruined” by 68,210 Change.org protesters. Despite the fact that his critics were dwarfed by his 1.7 million Facebook fans, their online sabre-rattling was enough to give lefty TV commissioners the collywobbles, and they pulled the plug on his On The Pull ITV2 show and, according to him, “wrecked his life”... the moment the largely liberal, privileged world gets angry about something, they go running to Change.org to call for whatever it is they dislike to be banned... when a small, vocal minority of Change.org protestors tells the rest of us what we can or can’t laugh at, look at, or pay to listen to, it feels like a sinister, tail-wagging-the-dog liberalism. One that runs contrary to the very cornerstones of freedom of speech – the very virtue Change.org claims to represent. Last month, Exhibit B, an art installation that tackled the thorny topic of black slavery, was pulled from the Barbican after a mere 22,998 Change.org signatures were gathered, an act that was decried by some as “deplorable censorship”. Not only does it now feel like too much power is being brandished by too few, but if Julien Blanc’s protest is upheld and he is banned from entering the UK, it could also be over-riding the law... Really, is Blanc really the biggest fish the Home Office should be frying when they don’t seem to know where 175,000 illegal immigrants are? Besides, there is little legal precedent for banning people because of what they think, not what they’ve done (Blanc has no criminal record)... These days, liberals seem to spend an inordinate amount of their time waiting to be offended, scanning the static of Twitter, high-street windows and tabloid newspapers looking for nuggets of annoyance. As a consequence, Change.org feels like it is riddled with hundreds of decidedly First World protests"

It's time we all stopped pretending to be passionate about our jobs - "Business buzzwords tend to creep up on us. So it’s only when you sit back and think that you realise how odd it is for people to use a word that was long the preserve of torrid love affairs to describe their jobs... In the late 90s, though, we decided that perhaps work could answer these more spiritual needs. And this is where it all started to go weird. The trouble is the whole passion package promises more than most employers can deliver. “From a psychological perspective, to expect work to fulfil all our needs from learning to hedonism is ridiculous,” says Prof Chamorro-Premuzic.“We just don’t have that many jobs which are that great”... the desire to prove you love your work can disrupt all sorts of other parts of your life and lead to burnout. “You can’t sustain your highest level of commitment and effort all the time”... you’re reminded that passion’s Latin root is passionem, which means suffering and enduring"

62p AN HOUR: That's what the women sleeping 16 to a room get paid...to make Ed and Harriet's £45 'This Is What A Feminist Looks Like' T-shirts - "At one factory visited by The Mail on Sunday, a female worker told us: ‘How can this T-shirt be a symbol of feminism when we do not see ourselves as feminists? We see ourselves as trapped.’ An official from factory owner Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT) told us he ‘would not be happy’ if the women left the work camp during the week in case they turned up for work ‘hungover’... ‘It would take a woman working in the factory nearly two weeks just to buy one shirt. What is feminist about that? These women have nothing in this world. They are paid a pittance and any money they do receive they send back home. ‘They work very long hours and have no lives other than their work. They are on four-year contracts that mean they don’t get to see their families in that time. What kind of existence is it when you are sharing your bedroom with 15 other women?"

Is Breakfast Really Your Most Important Meal? - "The reports that challenge the importance of breakfast say most studies linking it to a smaller waistline and improved health have been observational. Observational studies can’t prove cause and effect, though... a study published in June challenged these beliefs. The study was a randomized controlled trial, considered the gold standard of medical research. In this type of study, volunteers don’t get to decide whether they eat breakfast, but are instead randomly assigned to either eat it or not. The study showed that when people skip breakfast, “overall, there’s still a similar intake or a lesser intake (of calories) over the whole day,” says researcher Krista Casazza, PhD, RD. Another small randomized trial published by Cornell University researchers in Physiology & Behavior in 2013 found that college students ate about 145 calories more at lunch when they ate nothing in the morning than they did on a day when they ate breakfast. Considering that their breakfasts averaged about 625 calories, skipping it still resulted in a savings of about 450 calories by day’s end, according to the study."

Seals Caught Having Sex With Penguins - "It seems that the Antarctic may be a hotspot for documenting disturbing animal sex acts. Many years ago, British explorer George Murray Levick caught Adélie penguins engaging in all sorts of debauchery, such as necrophilia, sexual coercion and sexual abuse of chicks. Now, scientists have observed fur seals trying to have sex with penguins... Traumatically for the penguins, some of the seals were thought to have successfully penetrated the victims’ cloacas during the act as blood was observed around the area afterwards. Although seals often catch and consume penguins, in all but one of the acts the seal let the penguin go afterward. After the most recently documented incident, however, the seal killed and ate the penguin."

There are bigger issues at stake than racist taunts - "It is unfair to call Australia a racist country, simply because some racism exists. That would be akin to calling us a rich country because we have some millionaires... Activists and apologists are quick to shout accusations of racism and stereotyping when media stories highlight negative aspects of some Aboriginal communities: high crime rates, child abuse. But they fall into the same trap by calling Australia a racist country just because instances of assumed racism are reported in the media. Interestingly, though common enough in some places, the media rarely reports verbal abuse of non-Aboriginal people by Aboriginal people. Refusing to give an Aboriginal person money or a cigarette can evoke "f . . king white c ... " Racism can run both ways... When faced with racist remarks, one can simply laugh. This is easy to do once people learn to value their opinion of themselves more than they value other people's opinions of them. But learning new responses is made difficult when there are rewards for being the victim of perceived racism, such as being called a hero, or the power to silence or sue others. A response to a racist taunt that communicates "your racist remarks have no effect on me and are more of a reflection on you than they are on me" is easy once the motivation of the racist is better understood. A person who engages in intentional racist acts does so because of a low sense of self-worth. Someone who genuinely feels good about themselves sees others as their equal, and has no need to engage in racist activities. People who are insecure with themselves engage in racist acts as a way of protecting their own weak nature. So why waste your time being offended by the words of an insecure person? It is far better to empower people by teaching them that they have choices in how they respond to racist taunts, than to "protect" them by focusing on prescribing and monitoring what others can and cannot say... To focus on issues like these detracts from more serious issues of physical abuse and neglect, poverty and unemployment, which plague some Aboriginal communities. Proof of such distraction was evident when Aboriginal politician Bess Price gave a speech recently to the Northern Territory parliament on the death toll from violence in Aboriginal communities, starting with her own kin. Her powerful speech barely registered in the media. Let's focus on what matters most."

Children are like penises

Children are like penises. Everyone thinks theirs is awesome, but really they're not that special and lots of people have one.

Children are like penises. Once you have one, it controls your life.

Children are like penises. Most women want (at least) one.

Children are like penises. They grow so fast.

Children are like penises. Everyone likes to compare theirs.

Children are like gremlins - one is bad enough but get a group of them and it's pandemonium.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Links - 1st December 2014

Harvard University offers students ‘Anal Sex 101’ class

Raw chocolate, the new hot favourite in the world of gourmet! - "Whatever the claims made for raw chocolate, French nutrition consultant Laurent Chevallier, warned against relying on it as a source of nutrients. "The nutritional benefits of chocolate are only worth anything in very large quantities," he said adding that from a health point of view levels of antioxidants in chocolate were "infinitesimal". "Chocolate does not have nutritional value when you consume it in reasonable quantities and if you eat it in unreasonable quantities you will get fat," he said."

Don't use the word "cishet". - the bicker - "Those oppressed people with their shothand references to others must be stopped!!!! Stop slapping me and other straight cisgender people in the face by calling us straight and cisgender!"
So it's okay to call normal people "cishet" but "tranny" is hate speech. Right.

New Jersey Professor's 'Game of Thrones' Punishment Reversed - "Drancis Schmidt, who teaches art and animation at Bergen County Community College, said he was suspended for 11 days after posting a photo in January of his 7-year-old daughter wearing a T-shirt with a quote from the graphic HBO show that read: "I will take what is mine with fire and blood... Schmidt said that school officials questioned whether the reference was meant as a threat against a dean"

Do Lions and Tigers Like Catnip? - "Do lions and tigers purr? (Answer: Sort of. Your neighborhood tabby purrs while inhaling and exhaling; big cats purr only when they breathe out)... The folks at Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit in Florida, decided to test whether their guests liked catnip as much as a household cat. They filled bags full of the stuff and threw them in with the animals. As you can see from the video, lions and tigers do like catnip."

Jokowi forgives online troll - "President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has forgiven Muhammad Arsyad, a satay vendor who was detained by the police for allegedly defaming him online.
By not suing him, he is perpetuating the lie!!!

Beyonce labeled as 'anti-feminist' and 'terrorist' by scholar bell hooks - "Beyonce has been labeled as "anti-feminist" and a "terrorist" on young girls by scholar bell hooks during a recent New School panel discussion about "liberating the black female body""

Policeman sues his police force for racial discrimination after 'travelllers' comments - "A policeman is suing his bosses after colleagues allegedly offended him by referring to Romany people as 'travellers'... James Arnold, the TVP representative at the tribunal compared the case with a Scottish person being offended by the word 'gingers.'"

Gypsies, Travellers and ‘White racism’ in secondary schools in England - "This article examines the concept of ‘White racism’ in relation to the experiences of Gypsy and Traveller groups in England"
I thought white people can't suffer from racism

Unfair discrimination of Malays in National Service - "I served as a Signaller in 35 SCE, HQ Company, from 2005 to 2006. The fact remains that the Signal Formation is distinct in its exclusion of Malays, as are certain other units, such as 39 SCE, CBRE Defence Group, the Armour Formation, Reconnaissance units and Military Intelligence amongst others. This is anecdotal evidence and also based on personal experience and observation within the institution – as most Singaporean men can attest to. The token Malays are a consolation, an exercise in Public Relations. Only a fool would think otherwise"
I knew a Malay in Armour, but he had declared that he wasn't Muslim. So...

S’pore police & SCDF use real Indian foreign workers for fake riot demonstration
If you're staging a mock riot, the only way not to offend people is to hire Upper-Middle Class/Upper Class Chinese men as rioters. But they're expensive so that wastes taxpayers' money
Maybe we should use robots so no one will get offended. But then there will be robot rights advocates too


Hiding Black Interracial Crimes - Walter E. Williams - "If you're like I am, you've heard scores of media reports about the 2006 Duke University rape case, in which three white lacrosse players were falsely accused of raping a black stripper at a wild party at the home of one of the team members. These guys, convicted by the news media and Duke faculty, were later found innocent. It turned out that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong was running for re-election. In seeking the black vote, he concealed DNA evidence that would have exonerated the lacrosse players... According to the 2004 FBI National Crime Victimization Survey, in most instances of interracial crimes, the victim is white and the perpetrator is black. In the case of interracial murder for 2004, where the race of victim and perpetrator is known, more than twice as many whites were murdered by a black than cases of a white murdering a black. The failure of civil rights leaders, people like Jackson and Sharpton, as well as politicians to vocally condemn black-on-white crime -- and the relative silence of the news media in reporting it -- is not simply a matter of double standards. It's dangerous, for it contributes to a pile of racial kindling awaiting a racial arsonist to set it ablaze. I can't think of better recruitment gifts for America's racists, either white or black"

Viral Catcall Video (October 2014): What percent of men that the woman walked by made cat calls? - Quora - "well over 99% of men DID NOT catcall her. Think about that. That means that there a hard core of less than 1% of men are responsible for all of the catcalling. That small percentage is basically even less than the percentage of men that have been incarcerated and released. Do we expect ex-felons to have manners?"
"By Italian standards nobody... They hire a model and they pick an area in New York with working-class guys and after walking 30 miles the most they can come up with are some mild pleasantries? Obviously the experiment failed because the kind of person who might come out with crude cat-calls saw the photographer and saw it as a set-up. The guys who made comments were more like those auditioning for the role of extras in a reality movie."

Annie Wang's answer to Viral Catcall Video (October 2014): Do women generally agree that catcalling in cities is a problem – consistent with what the viral catcall video shows? - Quora - "Aside from being a breathtaking work of elitism, that video was an self-indulgent piece of work by women who should put their brain power and effort into areas of feminism that still need help. Protecting our precious young females from the vicious whistles and hoots of construction workers is not one of them. Living in an urban environment means living with other people. Other people, depending on their culture, background or personality, have different ways to communicating. For the young woman in the video, catcalling is depicted as some kind of verbal assault. For many of the young men in the video, there's nothing behind the catcalling besides conviviality expressed in a way that is perhaps not the norm for upper middle class white people. Catcalling is sometimes just out of sheer boredom. I was catcalled left and right in Rome. Honestly, it was kind of fun... to go through the world as an oversensitive woman is a terrible experience. To foster that mindset is not something I understand. That's what this campaign is encouraging: oversensitivity. I can see why this is a cause white upper middle class women have really relished getting behind. You get to point your finger at largely lower middle class blue collar workers whose behavior make you feel uncomfortable... of course this world needs to be reshaped in a way that accommodates the most vocal, those most capable of launching hashtag campaigns on Twitter. This whole "movement" is rooted in downright classism. Clearly, there is an expectation that other people should conform to what nice white girls want. This is a "movement" that frowns on a plurality of communication, of behavior"
Comment: "Your answer is consistent with what I've heard from many of the women in my life, who come from pretty diverse backgrounds and political perspectives"

Isaac Gaetz's answer to Viral Catcall Video (October 2014): Do women generally agree that catcalling in cities is a problem – consistent with what the viral catcall video shows? - Quora - "Here is one unscientific poll of men and women, that suggests (at the time of writing)
27% of voters believe it is always bad,
7% feel it is always ok,
66% of people feel it is a more nuanced topic and highly dependent on what is specifically said, how it is said, when it is said, etc...
[My wife] pointed out that she has been cat called and has positive and negative opinions of various occurrences of this*. She also pointed out that she has seen it successfully pick up women. In fact, she's even seen versions of the guy following the girl talking to her for several minutes eventually work. After several blocks, the women she observed stop and they chatted each other up. She's not saying any of these worked every time, but they didn't always fail either."

Brian Fey's answer to Why is catcalling more popular in Latin countries/cultures? - Quora - "In traditional Latin culture there appears to be more social permission to talk to someone you don't know, than in, for example, traditional England. Compare English and Spanish culture. Where I live now in rural Mexico, it is common for the men in the small town of 400 people to say things to the women passing by. There is no threat, and everyone knows everyone. I haven't talked with the young women about it, but I am guessing that a small town context, it isn't considered a problem. There is quite a bit of gender separation and I think this type of catcalling is a way to bridge the gap... The next time I experienced "catcalling" was while photographing the Nicaraguan civil war in 1986. Women would make a hiss noise at me on the street apparently to indicate their attraction. I didn't respond because I was young, shy, and oblivious, and my Spanish was terrible"

Alex From Target: The Other Side of Fame - NYTimes.com - "Mr. Fooks said that in addition to death threats, people have leaked the family’s personal information online, including Social Security numbers, bank accounts and phone records. The family, worried for the safety of Alex and his five siblings, has been in contact with the local police. Alex’s parents have met with his school’s principal and security officers, as well as Target managers, to put together security plans in case of an emergency."
The fact that #alexfromtarget gets death threats shows that most of them come from idiots and don't mean anything

No Social Justice Week

I am declaring this calendar week "No Social Justice Week".

For this week, I shall try my best not to read, write or think about Social Justice issues like race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity etc.

I anticipate that besides an elevated mood, I will also have somewhat more time this week.

(Note: Links posted on this blog may contain Social Justice material - because they are put in a queue beforehand. So their appearing here as part of a Links post does not mean I am actively reading, writing or thinking about those issues)
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