When you can't live without bananas

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Links - 31st December 2015

Designers Are Prostitutes, Agencies Are Brothels - "When we first became designers (substitute this with your profession if applicable), we had big dreams. We wanted to get to know each of our clients. Understand their underlying problems; preferably through multiple conversations and a nice fancy dinner. Console them. And of course, eventually solve their issues with our skills and knowledge. In other words, we wanted to be a social escort."

Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’

Muslim children should not be forced to sing national anthem, says Hizb ut-Tahrir - "They were told Muslim children should not be forced to sing the Australian anthem and that "deradicalisation" was an agenda of forced assimilation...
"The insistence of senior government ministers that Muslim children sing the national anthem – an anthem that reflects a particular disputed view of history and celebrates particular ideological values ... Why should they be forced to sing it?" he asked the crowd, gathered at The Bellevue function centre in Bankstown."

Australia school criticised for letting Muslim students walk out during national anthem - Telegraph - "The head of Cranbourne Carlisle primary school allowed about 30 to 40 Shia Muslim students aged eight to ten to leave the assembly, saying it was the Muharram period for the children, a sacred month when Shia Muslims observe a period of mourning, and they should not be required to take part in “joyous” events... The decision angered parents, while Muslim schools said it was standard for all Muslim students to sing Advance Australia Fair, the national anthem."

Can We Take Political Correctness Seriously Now? - "The upsurge of political correctness is not just greasy-kid stuff, and it’s not just a bunch of weird, unfortunate events that somehow keep happening over and over. It’s the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism. The reason every Marxist government in the history of the world turned massively repressive is not because they all had the misfortune of being hijacked by murderous thugs. It’s that the ideology itself prioritizes class justice over individual rights and makes no allowance for legitimate disagreement. (For those inclined to defend p.c. on the grounds that racism and sexism are important, bear in mind that the forms of repression Marxist government set out to eradicate were hardly imaginary.) American political correctness has obviously never perpetrated the brutality of a communist government, but it has also never acquired the powers that come with full control of the machinery of the state... As far as the students are concerned, they represent the cause of anti-racism, a fact that renders the need for debate irrelevant"

Brunei puts stop to Christmas celebrations to protect Muslims, religious ministry says - "The ban, instituted after Christmas last month when local children and adults were seen wearing clothes “that resemble Santa Claus”, raises fresh concerns of religious restrictions after last April’s announcement of the introduction of a penal code that will eventually include penalties such as the severing of limbs and death by stoning."

Failed Windows 3.1 system blamed for shutting down Paris airport

We Muslims should be appalled by the sale of halal meat by stealth - "Halal meat should never be forced on customers without their knowing, surreptitiously and using clandestine methods. It’s unfair to everyone, non-Muslims and Muslims alike. It’s deception on a grand scale for the former, while it could fuel bitter resentment against the latter... if the Koran does not insist on what have become the customary halal methods, why are they now so prevalent in Britain? One reason is that religious zealots and theological ideologues are deliberately promoting confusion about halal to sow discord and resentment... Muslim fundamentalist insistence on halal meat does not come from the Koran itself — it derives from a secondary and often suspect source, called the Hadith... In my hometown, Oxford, you can go to the local supermarket and pay perhaps £5.50 a kilo for lamb. But go to the halal shop and it’s £6.50 or £7 a kilo — even though, as we now know, the supermarket meat is probably halal too. That’s a big mark-up. As a British Muslim — and I underline the word ‘British’ — I want to see full transparency when I go to the supermarket. I want to know the true provenance of the food I buy, and it’s essential that businesses start labelling food better and accurately. It is high time the white, liberal, Guardian-reading classes stopped behaving like apologists and woke up. There is a fundamentalist Trojan horse in our midst, and we must take corrective action."

Muslim academic gets death threats over women and gay-friendly mosque - Telegraph - "A Muslim academic is vowing to push ahead with the launch of his woman and gay-friendly mosque in South Africa, despite receiving death threats. Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, a group of "forward thinking" Muslims, said his Open Mosque will welcome all genders, religions and sexual orientations when it opens in Wynberg, a Cape Town suburb, on Friday."

The ISIS leader was NOT trained by the CIA or Mossad, and Snowden didn’t say it - "There are three common rules when people discuss politics:
1) they are willing to believe anything on the internet if it confirms their prejudices
2) they don’t want to accept people of their tribe do awful things
3) they find a way to blame America or the UK for most of the world’s problems...
Edward Snowden’s lawyer called this claim a hoax too."

Federal Government Money Is Not The Best Way To Fund The Arts - "we can't take for granted that government funding for the arts will always be virtuous in purpose. One could argue that Western Europeans have lucked into a happy accident of history that combines exceptional largesse with a largely hands-off approach. Some countries, such as the former Soviet Union and modern-day China, have had no qualms about using state power to exercise censorship on a vast scale and co-opt the arts for nationalistic purposes. Closer to home, even Hungary's arts community has seen significant turmoil due to the meddling of a newly elected conservative government. And while it's hard to imagine anything destroying Sweden's commitment to public funding of the arts, the recent scandal involving that country's culture minister cutting a "racist cake"certainly gives critics some ripe material."

Should Government Fund "the Arts"? - "government support of specific institutions or individuals is in no way necessary or sufficient for the production of "art" (however you choose to define that gloriously nebulous term). What more do you need to know than the one point on which Alan Davey and Pete Spence agree: Britain—the very birthplace of Dr. Johnsonand Dr. Who—didn't start using serious amounts of tax money to fund art until after the second world war. How did culture in Old Blighty ever survive so long?... There's at least a third reason to stop state funding of the arts, and it's the one I take most seriously as a literary scholar and writer. In the 17th century, a great religious dissenter, Roger Williams (educated at Cambridge, exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony), wrote the first case for total separation of church and state in the English language. Forced worship, said Williams, "stinks in God's nostrils" as an affront to individual liberty and autonomy; worse still, it subjugated theology to politics. Something similar holds true with painting, music, writing, video and all other forms of creative expression. Forced funding of the arts—in whatever trivial amounts and indirect ways—implicates citizens in culture they might openly despise or blissfully ignore. And such mandatory tithing effectively turns creators and institutions lucky enough to win momentary favour from bureaucrats into either well-trained dogs or witting instruments of the powerful and well-connected. Independence works quite well for churches and the press. It works even more wonderfully in the arts."

Unethical health food: is your avocado habit funding drug cartels? - Telegraph - "It turns out that those nuts you love to sprinkle on your granola every morning are greedy little so and sos - it takes a gallon of water to produce each and every almond. California produces 82 per cent per cent of the world's almonds and as the state hits its fourth consecutive annual drought, the finger of blame is being well and truly pointed at the almond. Planted to meet the demand for almond milk in the US’s most hippified state, this all-year round crop guzzles about eight per cent of the area's agricultural water supply"

Free Ottawa yoga class scrapped over 'cultural issues' - "Student leaders have pulled the mat out from 60 University of Ottawa students, ending a free on-campus yoga class over fears the teachings could be seen as a form of "cultural appropriation"... The centre goes on to say, "Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced," and which cultures those practices "are being taken from." The centre official argues since many of those cultures "have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy ... we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga"... Scharf, a yoga teacher with the downtown Rama Lotus Centre, said the concept does not apply in this case, arguing the complaint that killed the program came instead from a "social justice warrior" with "fainting heart ideologies" in search of a cause celebre. "People are just looking for a reason to be offended by anything they can find," said Scharf... According to email correspondence between Scharf and the centre, student leaders debated rebranding the program, but stumbled over how the French translation for "mindful stretching" would appear on a promotional poster, and eventually decided to suspend the program."

Blocking yoga classes: Multiculturalists succeed where Christian conservatives failed - "It, like all such ideas, is the common heritage of all mankind. That means of each and every one of us, even those of us who have a genetic background or culture that some people feel aggrieved at. We (Indian, American, African, Oceanian, anyone else) are entitled to use it, to adapt it, to merge it with other ideas. There’s no improper “appropriation” here because there’s no “property” here in the first place. I think it makes sense to view this as our honoring other ideas: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and so is adaptation and modification, since it represents the view that the thing be imitated, adapted and modified is worth our time and attention."

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says - "The neuroscientists ran a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on an Apple fanatic and discovered that images of the technology company's gadgets lit up the same parts of the brain as images of a deity do for religious people, the report says... People have gone to great lengths to prove their love of Apple with tattoos, bumper stickers and home shrines to outmoded Mac computers. Apple's cult-like following was highlighted in a 2009 documentary called "Macheads.""

Creationism poll: How many Americans believe the Bible is literal, inerrant, or symbolic. - "only 21 percent agreed that everything in the Bible is literally true. Thirty percent chose the second statement: that the Bible is “without errors” but that “some parts are meant to be symbolic.” This isn’t what secular people tend to think inerrancy means. But it is what a lot of Christians apparently believe. Most people who believe that the Bible is inerrant do not believe that this means everything in it is literally true... Ask whether humans have been around for only 10,000 years, and the hardcore—those who are absolutely or very certain on all five questions—shrinks to 7 percent."

On Yasukuni Politicking

"Most people end up wrongly believing the blame game played by China to divert their population's attention outward every time a Yasukuni Shrine visit is done.

They are ignorant that just 0.04% (or 1,068 out of 2,466,532 dead) of those commemorated there are war criminals.

Condemning Japan for every Yasukuni Shrine visit for that 0.004% is like screaming that a person has a shit fetish every time one sees a lady kiss her husband (since he, on conservative estimate, contains 100g of fecal matter out of his average 62kg, a massive 0.16% concentration of shit, or 4 times the concentration of Yasukuni Shrine war criminals)."

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Links - 29th December 2015

NETHERLANDS: “POOR REFUGEES” ARE WELL TO DO AND LOADED WITH MONEY - YouTube - "Some retailers are also complaining that some of the refugees have a lot of money to spend. 'They are really flashy and... Their mobiles and so! All the things (gadget) that we. as citizens, still don't have.' Asylum seekers coming sometimes with a lot of money. Notes of 200 or 500 are not accepted. "It is very frustrating for the one who hold a note of 500 Euro in his hand. As for he wants to buy something... Yesterday there was also a man who said, My goodness. I have here 500 Euro but I cannot use it!'"

Danish police refuse to seize refugee jewelry and cash - "The controversial proposals, which were revealed in parliament last week, would see migrants' valuables seized to cover the costs of their stay in the country and to dissuade others from making a similar journey. Any item with a value of more than 3,000 kroner (400 euros) could be confiscated... Danish ministers say the plan is no different from restrictions on existing Danish residents, which require them to deplete their savings to less than 10,000 kroner, before they can claim welfare."

Processed meats do cause cancer - WHO - "In the UK, around six out of every 100 people get bowel cancer at some point in their lives. If they were all given an extra 50g of bacon a day for the rest of their lives then the risk would increase by 18% to around seven in 100 people getting bowel cancer... It has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium, but also alcohol as they definitely do cause cancer. However, this does not mean they are equally dangerous. A bacon sandwich is not as bad as smoking... Red meat does have nutritional value too and is a major source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12."
Sunlight is in the same category too. So we should all become vampires

Hilarious Pics Of Men Mimicking Women’s Instagram Photos

The Wartime Origins of the M&M - "It was during the Spanish Civil War that Mars purportedly encountered soldiers eating small chocolate beads encased in a hard sugar shell as part of their rations. In an age when sales of chocolate typically dropped off during summer months due to the lack of air conditioning, Forrest was thrilled by the prospect of developing a product that would be able to resist melting in high temperatures"

How the US Military Helped Invent Cheetos - "emulsifying salts. The chemical disperses water‑phobic caseins by exchanging sodium for calcium; this permits the now smaller particles to be diffused and suspended in liquid. Melting traditional cheeses and mixing them with the emulsifying salts resulted in a cheese‑like product that withstands high temperatures and protracted storage. Even better, this new food could be made and sold very cheaply, because it could be produced, at least in part, from the rinds and irregular bits left over from cutting wheels of cheese into bricks. Melting the ingredients also pasteurized them, inactivating the live bacteria and enzymes and contributing to a longer shelf life... what could one do with football fields full of potato flakes, a cave stuffed with dried eggs (the army’s strange storage location for one hundred million pounds of the stuff), or a mountain of dehydrated cheese? Well, there was one group always interested in lowering the cost of finicky fresh ingredients: the grocery manufacturers"

'Finland's no good': Disappointed migrants turn back - "Hundreds of predominantly Iraqi migrants who have travelled through Europe to reach Finland are turning back, saying they don't want to stay in the sparsely-populated country on Europe's northern frontier because it's too cold and boring... Finnish authorities have seen a rise in the number of cancelled asylum applications. "You can tell the world I hate Finland. It's too cold, there's no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars," Muhammed, 22, told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 deg C on a recent blustery grey day."

'Star Wars' or ISIS: Which is more Islamic? - "Take Obi Wan Kenobi, for example, and his relationship with Luke Skywalker -- as well as Skywalker's relationship with Yoda. (Ignore, if you must, the filming of the most pertinent Jedi scenes in Tunisia, an Arab-Muslim country with a very long tradition of Islamic spirituality, or Sufism). The notion of the "Jedi Knights" is built very much on the quintessentially Muslim phenomenon of tariqah Sufism -- or the spirituality of the Sufi order."

Indian restaurants band together for productivity gains - "The signing took place during the launch of two Central Processing Units (CPUs). Set up by two consortia comprising of 22 members of the association, the CPUs are aimed at boosting productivity. They are also aimed at allowing companies to save on manpower costs by up to 40 per cent, through the adoption of innovative technology and food processing techniques."
Why is food made in bulk in central kitchens considered a good thing?

Rose McGowan slams Caitlyn Jenner over Woman of the Year Awards speech - ""Caitlyn Jenner you do not understand what being a woman is about at all," Rose wrote. "You want to be a woman and stand with us - well learn us. We are more than deciding what to wear. We are more than the stereotypes foisted upon us by people like you. You're a woman now? Well f**king learn that we have had a VERY different experience than your life of male privilege. "Being a woman comes with a lot of baggage. The weight of unequal history. You'd do well to learn it. You'd do well to wake up. Woman of the year? Not by a long f**king shot." Rose later clarified her comments and added, "Let me amend this by saying I'm happy for what she's doing visibility wise for the trans community, and I'm happy she's living her truth, but comments like hers have consequences for other women. How we are perceived, what our values are, and leads to more stereotyping. If you know you are going to be speaking to media about being a woman, maybe come to understand our struggles.""

Glamour Woman of the Year award returned by 9/11 widower - "The husband of a police officer who died on 9/11 has returned her Glamour "Woman of the Year" award because the magazine honored Caitlyn Jenner with the same award last week... Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner transitioned to Caitlyn Jenner over the past year in the spotlight of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" reality television show. It's not that Glamour honored a transgender person, James Smith told CNN. He supported Glamour's decision to honor actress Laverne Cox in 2014. As a New York City police officer, "my precinct covered a shelter for transgendered youth," Smith said via email. "On several occasions I responded there to take reports or give aid to suicidal youths. I listened to their stories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Young people thrown out of their homes or fleeing from unlivable conditions. "They didn't have the luxury of being part of the Kardashian circus," Smith wrote. "They weren't living in a Malibu Barbie beach house surrounded by what passes for family in Hollywood. They were truly brave people fighting hourly for existence. "When Mr. Jenner said the hardest part about being a woman was figuring out what to wear (in a recent BuzzFeed interview), he proved to me that he is not truly a woman. I believe this comment and others he has made trivializes the transgender experience as I have witnessed it."

How Terrorist Groups End: Implications for Countering al Qa'ida - "By analyzing a comprehensive roster of terrorist groups that existed worldwide between 1968 and 2006, the authors found that most groups ended because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they negotiated a settlement with their governments. Military force was rarely the primary reason a terrorist group ended, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory. These findings suggest that the U.S. approach to countering al Qa'ida has focused far too much on the use of military force. Instead, policing and intelligence should be the backbone of U.S. efforts... In 10 percent of cases, terrorist groups ended because they achieved victory. Military force led to the end of terrorist groups in 7 percent of cases. The authors found that militaries tended to be most effective when used against terrorist groups engaged in insurgencies in which the groups were large, well armed, and well organized. But against most terrorist groups, military force was usually too blunt an instrument."
Paper: "There is no statistical correlation between the duration of a terrorist
group and ideological motivation, economic conditions, regime type, or the breadth of terrorist goals. But there appears to be some correlation between the size of a terrorist group and duration: Larger groups tend to last longer than smaller groups."

Reza Aslan: If ISIS Says It's Muslim, Then It's Muslim
Is Reza Aslan Islamophobic for saying ISIS is Muslim?

Situation in Singapore | Project X - "In practice, police regulates and monitors a limited number of brothels. In particular, the Anti-Vice Police department issues licenses to brothels and provides clearance for brothel sex workers. Sex workers in such establishments are required to undergo monthly health checks and are given the infamous “yellow card” (literally—it is a yellow coloured card). The State does not publicly acknowledge this, however, through our work, we managed to learn of some criterion for application of the yellow card:
- You have to be between 21 to 35 years of age
- You cannot be Malay or Muslim
- You cannot be Male on your identification card (this includes pre-operative transgender persons)
- You have to be from a list of approved countries (i.e. China, Malaysia, Thai, and Singapore)
Most workers under the yellow card system are migrants. They will have to undergo an interview and sign a contract with the Anti-Vice police upon arrival. We understand that some workers were asked at this point if they have been coerced into this industry. Amongst other things, the agreement states that one will not break any local laws, and that once their contract ends, they will face a travel ban lasting between three years to a lifetime. Other terms and conditions include not soliciting outside one’s designated brothel, not loitering in public spaces, and not to have a Singaporean boyfriend...
Do sex workers truly enjoy their job?
Does anyone truly enjoy their job? Don’t we all wish to be lying on a beach looking over at fine white sand, clear blue waters and fluffy clouds?"
Majority Privilege means you're allowed to be a legal sex worker

Mark Ferguson's answer to Why do liberals defend Islam? - Quora - "In America, racism from the political right tends to treat non-white people as if they were animals; racism from the political left tends to treat non-white people as if they were children... some crimes receive disproportionate media coverage: liberal bigots expect those people to act in that way, so it's not newsworthy. It is straightforward to condemn a pastor in the American South for their homophobia and misogyny, but summon the same passion against an imam in the Middle East and many will accuse you of Islamophobia because the white criminal and the white savage is a greater betrayal of their expectations, needing condemnation, whereas a non-white criminal or savage is expected. Lowering your expectations of a person is a sign of disrespect to them."

UK's three leading lagers - Budvar, Heineken and Stella Artois - are indistinguishable, according to blind taste tests - ""Our results suggest that brand loyalty in this market is likely to be driven largely by marketing and packaging and not by underlying sensory properties of the competing products"... it's certainly not the first time that an independent blind test has left a major brand's marketing department with a bad taste in its mouth. In a survey of 13 tomato ketchups by Which?, Heinz finished joint second from last, despite boasting an 80 per cent share of the market. The favourite was a Sainsbury's own brand that cost almost half the price of "the nation's favourite".

Back to basics: Nothing keeps wrinkles at bay better than moisturiser - "In the first long-term study measuring the speed of wrinkle development, experts found that women with well-hydrated faces develop persistent wrinkles more slowly than those with dry skin"

Here comes the science... - "it "wouldn't surprise me at all if other, up til now, designated cosmetic products actually have more effects on skin physiology and skin structure than we gave them credit for in the past. But then you start to question what is a cosmetic and what is a pharmaceutical." And that's the catch for the cosmetics companies. If they prove a product really can heal damaged skin, it could be classified as a medicine. That would mean they require years of expensive tests before getting a licence. So for the moment, if you want to stay young and beautiful, don't smoke and avoid too much sun exposure. And if you think your moisturiser is helping keep away the wrinkles, just maybe it could be working a little more than skin deep."

Aldi's moisturiser is 'nearly' as good as La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe cream

Why Japanese doesn’t need swear words - "Japanese doesn’t really have much in the way of curse words. That’s not to say it completely lacks them, as there’re a few slurs for certain ethnic groups still rattling about, which are thankfully becoming less common as death thins the ranks of old-school racists. Aside from those derogatory terms, I’ve only come across two words that universally provoke an angry or shocked reaction, no matter how they’re said. One is manko, a vulgar way of referring to the vagina (it’s basically the Japanese version of “cunt”). The second instantly offensive word I’ve run into? Teme. What’s it mean? You."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Strays From My Original Vision, George Lucas Says - ""It's a family soap opera," he added. "People don't realize it's actually a soap opera and it's all about family problems--it's not about spaceships. So they decided they didn't want to use those stories; they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, 'Fine.'""

Butt-Chugging Cough Syrup? - "One of my Facebook friends shared a meme about teenagers “Butt-chugging” cough syrup. I was going to put the image in this post, but it’s just too much. It involved some girl…well…butt-chugging cough syrup. In the photo, the chugger is doing a hand stand, and one of her friends is administering the dose... I don’t have kids, but I think I would rather my daughter come home, tell me she’s pregnant, was only able to narrow the father down to 12 men, and had the fetus coat-hanger aborted by an Albanian in a Waffle House parking lot – than tell me she butt-chugged cough syrup."

Carrier Eisenhower crew posts Star Wars spoof

I Turned Off JavaScript for a Whole Week and It Was Glorious - "THERE’S ANOTHER WEB out there, a better web hiding just below the surface of the one we surf from our phones and tablets and laptops every day. A web with no ads, no endlessly scrolling pages, and no annoying modal windows begging you to share the site on social media or sign up for a newsletter. The best part is that you don’t need a special browser extension or an invite-only app to access this alternate reality. All you need to do is change one little setting in your browser of choice. Just un-tick the checkbox that enables “JavaScript” and away you go, to a simpler, cleaner web."

13 Percent of Syrian Refugees Support ISIS: Poll - "A poll published in November 2014 by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies found that 13% of Syrian refugees have positive feelings towards the Islamic State terrorist group. The data should raise questions about the risks posed by the acceptance of Syrian refugees into the United States. The poll surveyed 900 Syrian refugees equally split between Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The think-tank found that 4% expressed a positive opinion of the Islamic State (ISIS) and another 9% expressed a "somewhat positive" opinion of the terrorist group. Another 10% only view the group negatively "to some extent"... The majority are aware of the Islamic State’s extremist ideology and barbarism. About 40% said they follow news related to the Islamic State very closely and 37% follow it somewhat closely. About 10% said they rarely follow ISIS-related news and 12% follow it not at all. The survey didn't even ask about more popular groups like Al-Qaeda's Syrian branch named Jabhat al-Nusra and Hamas or extremist beliefs like jihad against the U.S. When asked about the greatest threat to the Arab world, 29% of Syrian refugees said Iran, followed by Israel (22%) and the U.S. (19%). The threat of Islamist militancy was rated the top threat by only 10%... The importing of the refugees could actually increase their risk of radicalization, based on widely-cited social science studies. A study of Al-Qaeda operatives found that 70% joined thejihad after moving to a new country and 80% were isolated from the society they lived in. The aforementioned congressional report warns that that the radicalization of Americans is already happening at an "unprecedented speed" and is "straining federal law enforcement's ability to monitor and intercept suspects.""

Blog: Pew poll: Between 63 million and 287 million ISIS supporters in just 11 countries - "A new poll by the Pew Research Center reveals significant levels of support for ISIS within the Muslim world. In 11 representative nation-states, up to 14 percent of the population has a favorable opinion of ISIS, and upwards of 62 percent "don't know" whether or not they have a favorable opinion of the Islamist group... In Nigeria, the ISIS favorability rating among the Muslim population soars to 20 percent. Another 12 percent of Muslims in Malaysia take a similar positive view of ISIS."

Dream of the bed chamber | The Economist - "The country is in the midst of a sexual revolution. A 2012 study found that more than 70% of Chinese people have sex before marriage... But a lack of sex education means that many are not protecting themselves, resulting in soaring abortion rates and a rise in sexually transmitted diseases. The Communist Party has stuck its nose into people’s bedrooms for 30 years through its harsh family-planning policies. Yet taboos on sex before marriage prevailed, the result of paternalistic—not religious—values about female chastity, with a dose of Communist asceticism thrown in. Pre-marital sex fell foul of a range of laws, including the catch-all charge of “hooliganism”, only scrapped in 1997. The social climate remains chilly. Most news items about sex involve scandals or crimes. Schools ban pupils from dating and many deploy “morality patrols” to root out flirting or frolicking couples. Sex outside wedlock is not illegal but children born to unmarried mothers face obstacles obtaining a hukou, or household residency, that entitles them to subsidised education and welfare... The pill is not widely used in China, even by married women. The government encourages the use of intra-uterine devices which provide less chance of human error. Until last year advertising condoms on television was banned (abortion, by contrast, is widely promoted)."

Unsafe to sew on train - "At times, MRT trains lurch when moving or halting. If the woman is pulling the needle in an upward movement and is caught unexpectedly by a sudden staggering of the train, an involuntary jerk of the hand holding the needle may cause the needle to jab at a fellow commuter sitting or standing close by. There will be very serious consequences if the needle impales an eye or other body part of a nearby commuter who could not move away in time. How can the injured commuter seek recourse? If the SMRT's regulations do not permit sewing inside MRT trains in operation, what is the appropriate action that a concerned fellow commuter can take in such a situation? By the way, what circumstances warrant an activation of the emergency communication button?"

Subscene - Speed English subtitle - "Created and Encoded by -- Bokutox -- of www.YIFY-TORRENTS.com. The Best 720p/1080p/3d movies with the lowest file size on the internet. Come and say hi to me; World of Warcraft - Terenas (EU) / Outland(PVP) (EU) - Bokutox (name)"
What if Blizzard helps trace him?

Art does heal: scientists say appreciating creative works can fight off disease - Telegraph - "Great nature and art boost the immune system by lowering levels of chemicals that cause inflammation that can trigger diabetes, heart attacks and other illnesses."

Publicity drive for new MRT Downtown line - "About 60 per cent of the primary and secondary students of Methodist Girls' School (MGS) go to school by car every morning, estimates vice-principal Diana Goh."

There Really Is No 'One Size Fits All' Diet Plan, According To Study - "people can metabolize the exact same foods in very different ways. What this means is that a healthy diet for one person may not be healthy for another person... "After seeing this data, I think about the possibility that maybe we're really conceptually wrong in our thinking about the obesity and diabetes epidemic,” Segal said in a statement. "The intuition of people is that we know how to treat these conditions, and it's just that people are not listening and are eating out of control -- but maybe people are actually compliant but in many cases we were giving them wrong advice"... the participants all responded very differently to foods, even after meals in which participants were eating the same exact provided foods. In the video above, the researchers explain that sushi actually caused one man’s blood sugar to spike higher than ice cream did. For another participant who had struggled to lose weight on different diets all her life, the researchers found that eating a seemingly healthy food -- tomatoes -- spiked her blood sugar... The researchers then selected 26 of the participants to see if they could provide personalized nutrition recommendations would bring down the subjects' blood sugar levels. And indeed, Elinav and Segal were able to lower blood sugar levels after recommending meals made of foods they knew wouldn’t spike individual participants’ blood sugar. Interestingly, these dietary changes also resulted in a change in gut bacteria in the participants."

Peter Jackson: 'I didn’t know what the hell I was doing' when I made The Hobbit

13 dreamy overseas homes you can get for the price of a Bidadari BTO flat

Turkey fans boo minute’s silence for Paris victims

Ninja rocks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Ninja rocks are broken shards of spark plugs formed by smashing the ceramic portion of the spark plug with a hammer or other large object. Since they can quickly and quietly fracture the glass side windows on most cars, ninja rocks have been used in "smash-and-grab" auto burglaries since at least 1995"

Sexism In China. A Good Thing For Foreign Business? - "Had an interesting lunchtime discussion the other day with two very dynamic international entrepreneurs on global prejudices. Both told me of how they “take advantage” of it. These two take advantage of it by hiring women, the disabled, and ethnic minorities in countries where other businesses are either reluctant or refuse to hire these people. And let’s face it, these prejudices exist, at least to some degree, in every country. One guy told me of how his small factory in Russia had hired one physically disabled person and of how that person ended up recommending a whole slew of his disabled friends and of how in fairly short order, 22 of his 40 employees were physically disabled"
Markets tend to clear

Malay Racism in Singapore

Re: Chinese kid in S’pore said he doesn’t want to sit beside ‘Malay people’ during Star Wars movie. Malay guy responds. | Mothership.SG


"I find it ironic that a Malay person is trying to pin Racism on Chinese people over one kid and how this hack of an alternative news site "TheMothership.sg" is trying to sensationalize "Chinese guilt".

I just hope more Chinese people are smart enough to see through this bullshit.

I'm 1/4 Chinese, many people here think I'm Chinese.
Growing up in Singapore, I faced so much racism from... guess who?

Primary school I had a had a racist Malay teacher who would single me out, give me low marks, hold me back in detention for the pettiest reason all because I looked Chinese, this was when I was 11 -12.

Wondering why I speak Malay poorly, there you go.
She turned me off from wanting to learn Malay.

Madrasa, again same problem.
Only this time on top of putting up with the racism from the ustazas, I also had to put up with the religious bigotry from them.
Often Id be picked on because of being mixed as the reason why did poorly at parroting jawi/urdu.

And now with Islamic fundamentalism on the rise, imagine how the Malay Muslim community would react to the Malays who identify as Ex-Muslims.
You want to talk about racism and tribalism, look into your own community first and how badly it treats outliers, the ex-Muslims, the homosexuals, the trans-gendered and the others who don't fit in.

And I'm not saying that there are no racist Chinese people.
I'm not even saying racism doesn't exist in Singapore.
I'm well aware that it's alive and well in ALL ethnic communities.
So before you start pointing your finger at other people and widening the ethnic chasm, look at yourself.

What irks me this is Malay guy trying to play victim over something so trivial in an attempt to demonize and put the responsibility of abolishing racism onto Chinese folks.

I'm Human."

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Links - 22nd December 2015

Star Wars is racist because Darth Vader is 'a black guy', MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry suggests

33 Questions We Desperately Want Answered After Star Wars: The Force Awakens
If it were so good there wouldn't be so many questions. If a normal movie does this we'd call it sloppy

25 Unanswered Star Wars: The Force Awakens Questions
Hello Marvel Cinematic Universe and its huge variety of spinoofs you all need to know about to understand it

5-Year Jail Time For Anyone Who Celebrates Christmas In Brunei

May the police force be with you: Chewbacca arrested at Ukraine polls - "A man dressed as Star Wars character Chewbacca was detained and fined for disobeying police during local polls in Ukraine. The Wookiee warrior — an activist from a marginal political party — was apprehended by police in the south-western city of Odessa after refusing to present his ID as he posed alongside children near a polling station, a local court said. Video footage from the arrest showed a growling Chewbacca resisting four officers, who were forced to pin him down on the bonnet of a van to handcuff him... Chewbacca, who had reportedly driven a candidate dressed as Darth Vader to the polling station, later told local media he could not pay the fine because his "intergalactic bank" did not have a branch on Earth. The local electoral commission registered 48 candidates from the Darth Vader Block political party, including 44 individuals with the last name Vader, a local news site reported. Another candidate — posing as Sheev Palpatine, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire — was elected to the Odessa city council. Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca, the Jedi Master Yoda and Princess Amidala had tried their luck in last year's parliamentary poll in full costume, all without success. Many of these offbeat candidates represent the tiny Pirate Party of Ukraine — one of more than 40 groups that have sprung up worldwide in defence of internet freedoms and limits on copyright laws. Last week, a Soviet-era statue of Lenin was transformed into one of Darth Vader in the city, an homage to the oddly prominent figure in local politics."

Chewbacca in court over lack of ID while driving Darth Vader to Ukraine election - "A statement posted on the official Instagram account of the Ukrainian police read: “Nothing unusual here, just Chewbacca detained for being without documents while driving Darth Vader to the elections in Odessa. The Sith Lord has already claimed this was illegal as Chewbacca is his pet and general servant and thus does not require documents.”

Virgins? What virgins? - "Modern apologists of Islam try to downplay the evident materialism and sexual implications of such descriptions, but, as the Encyclopaedia of Islam says, even orthodox Muslim theologians such as al Ghazali (died 1111 CE) and Al-Ash'ari (died 935 CE) have "admitted sensual pleasures into paradise". The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 ), Koranic commentator and polymath. He wrote: "Each time we sleep with a houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [ie Muslim] will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetising vaginas." One of the reasons Nietzsche hated Christianity was that it "made something unclean out of sexuality", whereas Islam, many would argue, was sex-positive. One cannot imagine any of the Church fathers writing ecstatically of heavenly sex as al-Suyuti did, with the possible exception of St Augustine before his conversion. But surely to call Islam sex-positive is to insult all Muslim women, for sex is seen entirely from the male point of view; women's sexuality is admitted but seen as something to be feared, repressed, and a work of the devil.
Citation for Christianity being sex negative/unfriendly

Singapore has the world’s worst taxi drivers - "in Singapore they ask because they have no idea how to get to the destination. If I hear one more time, “I’m new, I don’t know the way” when getting in a cab I will scream. My response is twofold 1) you’re not new to Singapore you have lived here all your life and 2) it’s your bloody job to know the way! If someone came to me in my marketing job and said I would like some marketing advice please and I then turned around and said well what do you think because I haven’t got a clue, what would happen? The client would walk out and not pay me. In a Singapore taxi this happens 75% of every one of my journeys... What happens at 4pm? Why does “change shift” give taxi drivers the right to not pick people up? Why do they drop by taxi ranks and say that they are going to their home and that if anyone else happens to live next door to them they will take them but if not they won’t! By the time they have driven around for hours looking for this perfect passenger who lives next door they could have taken several people home and earnt some money!... When is the one time you can never get a taxi in Singapore despite their being 26,000 of them, more than any other country per capita? When it rains... Why do the big posh black SMRT limos that Singaporeans won’t get into (because it costs a couple of dollars more, they would rather wait in the queue, even though it is the same cost as texting for one…) not take card? Why do the red and black/yellow ones do the same? Which modern country these days only takes cash when all the marketing from people like Nets, MasterCard, Visa, EZ link is cashless? Why do some cabs have displayed that they will take card/they are cashless only to turn around and say only cash? This usually happens only on a Thursday or Friday…when they don’t get their money to after the weekend unless it’s a cash payment… Why are there 25,000 of the 26,000 Singaporean taxis always at Changi Airport? This is why you can never get a cab when you really want one... In Australia and New York they allow non Australians and non Americans to take the roles and the service and knowledge of the city is better than Singaporeans of Singapore. In fact I would wager that if you took an Indian who had just got off a plane and never been to Singapore and gave him a cab he would do a better job than a Singaporean taxi driver in driving you to your destination…"

Notre Dame tutor accused of pressuring students — including athletes — into having sex with her daughter - "In the lawsuit against the school, the unnamed student argues “the tutor orchestrated ‘sexually and racially motivated’ trysts with her daughter by including condoms, transportation and hotel rooms for academic favors,” Nicole Hensley and Reuven Blau of the Daily News report. “She was exploiting African-American males”"

Matt Stone & Trey Parker Are Not Your Political Allies (No Matter What You Believe) - "Both men were adamant that the show has no political affiliation. "I would never want the show to be a Democrat show or Republican show, because for us the show's more important than that. It isn't for everybody else in the world, but it is for us. We don't want you to come to it thinking, 'These guys are going to bash liberals,'" Matt explained. "I look at it like this," Trey added. "I have a cat, I love my cat and it's like someone coming in and saying, 'Hey, is that cat a Republican or a Democrat?' He's my fucking cat, leave him alone"... "everyone sees their own thing in it. So a lot of our shows where even we think we've taken a very deliberate stand, liberals say, 'That's awesome, you took on the conservatives' same show and conservatives say 'That's awesome, you took on liberals.'" They have certainly mocked conservative groups and people on their show, but they tend to skewer liberals more often. Why? "Ripping on Republicans is not that fun for us only because everyone else does it""

Trey Parker and Matt Stone - Americans of the Year 2011 Parker and Stone - "Parker and Stone abhor having their politics labeled, even by themselves. They're better at defining themselves in the negative. A few years ago, Stone said, "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals"... But the truth is that Parker and Stone, the creators of the decade's most extreme mass entertainment, are shockingly ... temperate. They say it themselves: "There is a middle ground, and most of us actually live in this middle ground.""
Addendum: "What we're sick of — and it's getting even worse — is you either like Michael Moore or you wanna fuckin' go overseas and shoot Iraqis... We find just as many things to rip on the left as we do on the right. People on the far left and the far right are the same exact person to us."

Baghdad travel guide - Wikitravel - "The easiest way to stay safe in Baghdad is not to go there in the first place"

What is the greatest global threat to Muslims? - "Who is responsible for the greatest numbers of deaths against Muslims today? Who commits the worst atrocities against Muslims? It is not the West that claims the highest headcount nor is it Israel. The sad truth is that today Muslims kill the most Muslims around the world... We like to proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace. And for most of us it is. But we have to acknowledge that there are those Muslims for whom Islam is not a religion of peace. Whether extremist Salafist Jihadists, or Shiite Revolutionary Guards, there are those in our religion that speak of Islam with a gun in their hands. And as long as they have the power to do so, they will claim to speak on our behalf as well. We need to take responsibility for these facts. And we need to recognize that while we allow young boys and men who should know better kill Muslims on behalf of Islam all around the Muslim world, we are failing to uphold the Islam of peace. When we let our religion be hijacked by the violent minority, we are failing in our religious duty. There is only one uprising we need. We need the silent majority who does not care whether their neighbors are Sunni, or Shiite, or Sufi, or Ahmadi, or Ismaili, or Christian or Jewish, or whatever else, but who care that they are good people, we need this majority to stop being silent."
If the world's hypocritical for caring more for Paris than Beirut, it is a mirror of Muslims' attitudes to Muslim violence

Emma Watson Sofia Vergara Bizarre Mask Gif Mystery Solved - "You may have seen an intensely bizarre Gif image making the rounds that shows Emma Watson talking and then eventually peeling away her face (and chest) to reveal herself to be Sofia Vergara in disguise"

Fat Studies: Colleges' Hot New Course? - "Jacqueline Johnson knows what it's like to be shunned because of her weight. In the early 2000s fat activism was edging into existence, and Johnson, a weight studies scholar, was deemed too skinny to take part... critics worry that such classes emphasize bleeding-heart politics over intellectual rigor... the presence of feel-good politics in college classrooms concerns some scholars, who worry about promoting acceptance and tolerance at the expense of hard academics. Anna Kirkland, an associate professor of Women's Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan, is a supporter of Fat Studies, but fears it may lead to social proselytizing rather than serious study. "I'm not interested in areas of study whose main justification is that they're going to advance the situation of some social group," she says. "I mean, that's fine if that's part of the reason. But the main reason should be intellectual interest and energy cohering around a single topic area." In an article published last year on CampusReform.org, Abigail Alger, a manager at the Leadership Institute in Washington D.C., wrote that the subject is "part of a dangerous dumbing down of liberal education in which the pursuit of knowledge is replaced by frantic social programming and promotion of state programs." The discipline, Alger argued, doesn't encourage open debate, but instead "begins with the end in mind," and brands as a bigot anyone who disagrees... most fat activists still don't consider college to be a "weight-safe" environment"
Do they learn about the health effects of being overweight in fat studies?
Is "bleeding-heart politics over intellectual rigor" unique to fat studies?

Transgender father Stefonknee Wolscht who left family to be a six-year-old girl 'uses child's play to escape adult life'

Transgender father Stefonknee Wolscht who left family to be a six-year-old girl 'uses child's play to escape adult life'

"A transgender father who left her family to be a six-year-old girl says that she cannot be an adult and "uses child’s play to escape adult life".

The uncut version of an interview by Daily Xtra with Stefonknee Wolscht explains how she makes life a game and how living as a six-year-old girl enabled her to escape from depression and suicidal thoughts.

“It’s called play therapy, no medication, no suicide thoughts and I just get to play,” she says.

She said that even in jail, where she spent nine days in solitary confinement (but does not explain what for), she played.

She made the cell a kingdom and sang songs there and would not be an adult, so she said they could not hurt her, saying, “If I’m six-years-old, I don’t have to think about adult stuff.”

Ms Wolscht still does adult things like drink coffee and drive a car, but does these things as a little kid.

As she was never allowed to be a little girl, she feels she is “filling that tank full of little girl experiences” and loves the fact that she has access to "really pretty clothes" and doesn’t have to act her age.

“By not acting my age, I don’t have to deal with the reality of my past, because it hurt” she says.

She goes on to explain that she has a “whole bunch of friends who want to play, so they still do their job during the day, but when they’re stressed out, there’s nothing wrong with us pulling out a puzzle, or colouring in a colouring book, or watching cartoons.”

She says that some people turn to drugs, some people turn to different kind of fetishes, medication or therapy.

But for Ms Wolscht, she prefers to “just let it go and stop thinking about big people’s stuff.”

When asked what she hopes this will achieve, Ms Wolscht replies, “Well, eventually I will grow up.”

Ms Wolscht was married to a woman for 23 years and has seven children. She began her transition six years ago.

Her wife gave her an ultimatum: to either stop being trans or leave. But Ms Wolscht said she "did not know how to stop being trans".

“It would be like telling me to stop being 6ft 2 or leave”, she said in the published interview.

She now lives with an adopted family, who she says are “totally comfortable with me being a little girl.”"

Is Age Dysphoria the new Gender Dysphoria?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Links - 21st December 2015

Saudi millionaire cleared of rape after claiming he fell and accidentally penetrated teenager
What we learn from this story: most people don't read/understand articles, especially those with provocative headlines. The contention is that she says he raped her with his penis, and he says he fell and his hand penetrated her vagina. He's cleared of rape - presumably because they didn't have sex. But the trial is still ongoing. Also for all the people alleging that money buys justice or that the judge has a Swiss bank account - this was a jury trial zzz

Star Wars porn sees 500% sales growth in two weeks

Who Has Abortions? - "Who has abortions? For most of human history, the answer was obvious: women have abortions. Girls have abortions. Not any more. People have abortions. Patients have abortions. Men have abortions. “We must acknowledge and come to terms with the implicit cissexism in assuming that only women have abortions,” wrote feminist activist Lauren Rankin in July 2013 in truthout.com. She went on to criticize as exclusionary slogans like “the War on Women” and “Stand with Texas Women”...  removing “women” from the language of abortion is a mistake. We can, and should, support trans men and other gender-non-conforming people. But we can do that without rendering invisible half of humanity and 99.999 percent of those who get pregnant...  “Most of the pressure [to shift language] comes from young people,” said one abortion-fund head I interviewed, whose fund, like many, has “Women” in its name. “The role of people in our generation is to give money and get out of the way.” (Like many of the people I interviewed for this column, she asked to remain anonymous)...  it feels as if abortion language is becoming a bit like French, where one man in a group of no matter how many women means “elles” becomes “ils”...  every year over 2,000 men get breast cancer and over 400 die, and no one is calling for “women” to be cut out of breast-cancer language so that men will feel more comfortable seeking treatment...  The real damage of abolishing “women” in abortion contexts, though, is to our political analysis. What happens to Dr. Tiller’s motto, “Trust Women”? There was a whole feminist philosophy expressed in those two words...  When the actress and feminist advocate Martha Plimpton organized an abortion-fund benefit lightheartedly named “Night of a Thousand Vaginas,” some activists were outraged, because some trans men don’t like that word (“birth canal” or “front hole” are favored alternatives to the V-word). Trans men should refer to their genitalia however they like, but it’s hard not to feel that there’s something seriously awry when women, who only got to call their genitals by the proper term in public a decade or so ago, are supposed to stop naming them in order to avoid offense.  Most people who support dropping “women”-specific language are feminists (although maybe they won’t call themselves that for long, given that “feminism” itself comes from the Latin for “woman”). They point to their use of words like “misogyny” and “patriarchy” as evidence that they understand female oppression by men is central to their analysis. But a feminism that can’t say “women”—or “vagina” or “sisterhood” or even the cutesy “ladyparts”— is cutting the ground from under itself...  In an era where politics is all about identity, as a tool for organizing and claiming public space, are women about to lose theirs? Because after all we’re all just people now"
How long does it take for a movement to implode?

Does Talking About ‘Women’ Exclude Transgender People From the Fight for Abortion Rights? - "women know that “women’s clinic,” “women’s health,” and so on are code for “abortion.” That’s how they find services. That’s why many abortion funds have “women” not just in their messaging but in their name...  “women” reminds us that the denial of reproductive rights to women is political: It’s about the control of women’s sexuality by church, state, and (yes) men, individually and collectively, in order to confine them to lesser, subordinate roles. The use of the word “women” is a call for solidarity and mutual compassion among women—something we could use a lot more of. It also humanizes the abortion patient to the public. A recent Vox survey found that 28 percent of respondents agreed that “abortion should be legal in almost all cases.” But 37 percent agreed that “women should have a legal right to safe and accessible abortion in almost all cases.” That’s a 9 percent jump gained simply by including the word “women.” Most people understand that “Black Lives Matter” does not exclude Latinos or other victims of police brutality who are targeted because of race. Why is “Trust Women” or “Stand With Texas Women” or “women’s rights” exclusionary?"

The Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism - "radical feminists now find themselves in a position that few would have imagined when the conflict began: shunned as reactionaries on the wrong side of a sexual-rights issue. It is, to them, a baffling political inversion... Abusive posts proliferated on Twitter and, especially, Tumblr. One read, “/kill/terfs 2K14.” Another suggested, “how about ‘slowly and horrendously murder terfs in saw-like torture machines and contraptions’ 2K14.” A young blogger holding a knife posted a selfie with the caption “Fetch me a terf.” Such threats have become so common that radical-feminist Web sites have taken to cataloguing them. “It’s aggrieved entitlement,” Lierre Keith told me. “They are so angry that we will not see them as women”... a person born with male privilege can no more shed it through surgery than a white person can claim an African-American identity simply by darkening his or her skin... Heath Atom Russell gave the closing talk. A stocky woman, with curly turquoise hair and a bluish stubble shadow on her cheeks, she wore a T-shirt that read “I Survived Testosterone Poisoning.” At twenty-five, she is a “detransitioner,” a person who once identified as transgender but no longer does. (Expert estimates of the number of transitioners who abandon their new gender range from fewer than one per cent to as many as five per cent.) Russell, a lesbian who grew up in a conservative Baptist family in Southern California, began transitioning to male as a student at Humboldt State University, and was embraced by gender-rights groups on campus. She started taking hormones and changed her name. Then, in her senior year, she discovered “Unpacking Queer Politics” (2003), by Sheila Jeffreys, which critiques female-to-male transsexualism as capitulation to misogyny... Jeffreys calls detransitioners like Russell “survivors,” and cites them as evidence that transgenderism isn’t immutable and thus doesn’t warrant radical medical intervention. (She considers gender-reassignment surgery a form of mutilation.) “The phenomenon of regret undermines the idea that there exists a particular kind of person who is genuinely and essentially transgender and can be identified accurately by psychiatrists,” she writes. “It is radically destabilising to the transgender project.” She cites as further evidence the case of Bradley Cooper, who, in 2011, at the age of seventeen, became Britain’s youngest gender-reassignment patient, then publicly regretted his transition the next year and returned to living as a boy"

Jon Ronson: When online shaming spirals out of control | TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript | TED.com - "this was a unique moment when the beautiful naivety of Twitter was hitting the increasingly horrific reality... "Jonah Lehrer has not proven that he is capable of feeling shame." That one must have been written by the best psychiatrist ever, to know that about such a tiny figure behind a lectern. And, "Jonah Lehrer is just a frigging sociopath." That last word is a very human thing to do, to dehumanize the people we hurt. It's because we want to destroy people but not feel bad about it. Imagine if this was an actual court, and the accused was in the dark, begging for another chance, and the jury was yelling out, "Bored! Sociopath!"... Power shifts fast. We were getting Jonah because he was perceived to have misused his privilege, but Jonah was on the floor then, and we were still kicking, and congratulating ourselves for punching up. And it began to feel weird and empty when there wasn't a powerful person who had misused their privilege that we could get. A day without a shaming began to feel like a day picking fingernails and treading water... another woman on Twitter that night, a New Statesman writer Helen Lewis, she reviewed my book on public shaming and wrote that she Tweeted that night, "I'm not sure that her joke was intended to be racist," and she said straightaway she got a fury of Tweets saying, "Well, you're just a privileged bitch, too." And so to her shame, she wrote, she shut up and watched as Justine's life got torn apart... Google made somewhere between 120,000 dollars and 468,000 dollars from Justine's annihilation, whereas those of us doing the actual shaming -- we got nothing. We were like unpaid shaming interns for Google... We were all so excited about destroying Justine, and our shaming brains are so simple-minded, that we couldn't also handle destroying somebody who was inappropriately destroying Justine... Twitter is basically a mutual approval machine. We surround ourselves with people who feel the same way we do, and we approve each other, and that's a really good feeling. And if somebody gets in the way, we screen them out. And do you know what that's the opposite of? It's the opposite of democracy. We wanted to show that we cared about people dying of AIDS in Africa. Our desire to be seen to be compassionate is what led us to commit this profoundly un-compassionate act... the phrase "misuse of privilege" is becoming a free pass to tear apart pretty much anybody we choose to. It's becoming a devalued term, and it's making us lose our capacity for empathy and for distinguishing between serious and unserious transgressions... back on the early days of Twitter, when people would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, "Oh my God, I'm exactly the same." These days, the hunt is on for people's shameful secrets. You can lead a good, ethical life, but some bad phraseology in a Tweet can overwhelm it all, become a clue to your secret inner evil. Maybe there's two types of people in the world: those people who favor humans over ideology, and those people who favor ideology over humans. I favor humans over ideology, but right now, the ideologues are winning, and they're creating a stage for constant artificial high dramas where everybody's either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain, even though we know that's not true about our fellow humans. What's true is that we are clever and stupid; what's true is that we're grey areas. The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people, but we're now creating a surveillance society, where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless... for 30 years I've been writing stories about abuses of power, and when I say the powerful people over there in the military, or in the pharmaceutical industry, everybody applauds me. As soon as I say, "We are the powerful people abusing our power now," I get people saying, "Well you must be a racist too.
BG: So the other night -- yesterday -- we were at dinner, and there were two discussions going on. On one side you were talking with people around the table -- and that was a nice, constructive discussion. On the other, every time you turned to your phone, there is this deluge of insults."

I Once Had A Feminist Tell Me - ""I once had a feminist tell me that it was rude to disagree/rebuke a "bathing in male tears" post."
"I had another feminist tell me I was stupid and rude for implying that not all white people are bad and telling them I have black friends."
"Using feminism’s past achievements to imply that the movement’s above reproach is like if I were to use the Roman alphabet, bound books, the modern Gregorian calendar (which is based on the Julian calendar) and the concept of government welfare programs to excuse the tyranny and wartime atrocities of the Roman Empire."
"I once had a feminist tell me that feminism doesn't hurt men, but then the same feminist went on to make fun of men in very demeaning ways."
"I once had a feminist tell me that not enough stories (books, movies, etc.) had female protagonists. I told her about the books I was writing, starring female cops and graffiti artists and the like. Her reply was that since I'm not female, I'm not allowed to write female characters."
"I once had a feminist tell me that the reason why men don’t have more birth control options is because the pharmaceutical industry was controlled by men."
"I once had a feminist tell me that I was a "naive idiot" because I told her that calling people names, silencing, and cussing didn't strengthen her argument."
"I’ve more than once had a feminist belittle me in class for not being on board with feminism, and constantly says things like “What about the sisterhood?” and “I’ll make you a feminist one day.” This feminist is my sociology lecturer at college."
"I once had a feminist tell me that I was a pathetic whiny man because I said we needed more abuse recovery centers for men. (I am a cisgender female)"
Naturally, this is (supposedly) "not representative"
If the Everyday Sexism project shows that women face sexism every day does this show that feminists are crazy?

The 5 Most Depraved Sex Scenes Implied by 'Harry Potter'

The First Illuminati Recruitment Message I've Ever Seen

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Links - 16th December 2015

The Gender Wage Gap—A Myth that Just Won’t Die - "You wouldn’t compare the incomes of elementary school teachers with Bachelor’s degrees to those of individuals with PhDs in physics and complain that there is a “teacher-physicist wage gap”—but this is precisely what this statistic does... women actually tend to earn more than men with the same part-time jobs. When women do find themselves in male-dominant fields, they actually tend to do better than their male counterparts in terms of finding a job. Take, for example, academic jobs. One study from 2010 looked specifically at applications for tenure-track jobs in electrical engineering and physics. They found that while women comprised only 11 percent of engineering applicants and 12 percent of physics applicants, they were much more likely to receive job offers. In fact, the study found that 32 and 20 percent of job offers went to female candidates in engineering and physics, respectively."

For Love or Money: Why Married Men Make More - "married men earn approximately 11 percent more per hour than men who have never been married, even after controlling for work experience, education, age and other factors. Economists also find that divorced or separated men make about 9 percent more than never-married men do. The wage gap, present at all ages, is even wider for those 45 and older. Why does this premium occur? Some attribute it to employer discrimination. Others believe that married men make more money because marriage makes them more productive, while still others say that highly productive men are more likely to be married... The selection hypothesis offers the most compelling explanation of the marriage wage gap"

Don’t be a bachelor: Why married men work harder, smarter and make more money - "Married men are motivated to maximize their income. For many men, this responsibility ethic translates into a different orientation toward work, more hours, and more strategic work choices. Sociologist Elizabeth Gorman finds that married men are more likely to value higher-paying jobs than their single peers. This is partly why studies find that men increase their work hours after marrying and reduce their hours after divorcing. It’s also why married men are less likely to quit a current job without finding a new job. Indeed, they are also less likely to be fired than their single peers."

Here's What Really Happened at That Company That Set a $70,000 Minimum Wage - "The 20 percent raises Price implemented in 2012 were supposed to be a one-time deal. Then something strange happened: Profits rose just as much as the previous year, fueled by a surprising productivity jump -- of 30 to 40 percent. He figured it was a fluke, but he piled on 20 percent raises again the following year. Again, profits rose by a like amount. Baffled, he did the same in 2014 and profits continued to rise, though not quite as much as before, because Gravity had to do more hiring."

Chez Chiara: Mother's Day in France and the Former French Colonies of MENA - "For it was only with the urgent need to repopulate France after the "Great War" of 1914-1918 (and the influenza epidemic of 1919) that Mother's Day took on a national character. Later, the debacle of the Occupation of France in 1940, and the establishment of the Vichy Government saw the birth of Mother's Day as a national institution, both at the level of the obligations of the public school system, and at the level of national law."

Entomological warfare - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Entomological warfare (EW) is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to attack the enemy. The concept has existed for centuries and research and development have continued into the modern era. EW has been used in battle by Japan and several other nations have developed and been accused of using an entomological warfare program."

Here Are 20 Examples of Cissexism That We've Probably All Committed at Some Point — Everyday Feminism - "7. Asking ‘Is It a Boy or a Girl?’
Want to get an accurate answer on that one?
Ask the person in question, not the person carrying them to term.
8. Assuming You Know a Child’s Gender Identity Before They Tell You
Yes, this includes your own child...
9. Having Sex Education Using Genital to Explain Gender Practices...
(Reason 9 ½: If you don’t click on that link, you’re cissexist! BLARRRGH!)
10. You Show Off Your Baby Photos with Little Hesitation
12. Referring to Equal Marriage as ‘Gay Marriage’ or ‘Same-Sex Marriage’
17. Regarding the Misgendering of Cis People as a Serious Offense"
Poe's Law - I can't tell if this is satire

Australian High Schools Are Now Teaching Feminism to Their Students - "Topics covered include objectification, gender equality's ties to domestic violence, media representations of gender, statistical breakdowns around the pay gap, and female visibility in sport."
Jesuit motto: "'Give me the child for his first seven years, and I'll give you the man

Lazy Australian accent comes from drunk slurring - expert - "Dean Frenkel, a public speaking and communication lecturer, said "drunken Aussie-speak" first originated many generations ago with early settlers in the country who liked to have a pint or ten but sober parents are passing the accent onto their children... Frenkel says the average Australian speaks "to just two thirds capacity - with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch"... The Australian accent is known for its flat tone and nasality, as well as the elision of syllables. This new theory attributes those characteristics to the colonials heavy drinking habits... This isn't the first time the Aussie accent has been under fire, with Winston Churchill famously describing it as "the most brutal maltreatment ever inflicted upon the mother tongue""

#PissForEquality: Feminists Fall For 4Chan Troll Campaign by Peeing Themselves - "Within 24 hours, numerous feminists on Twitter were posting images of their stained and soiled pants in order to show support for “rape victims” who had defecated or urinated while being assaulted (another meme created by 4chan)... The sheer hilarity of social justice warriors being so gullible as to fall for such an obvious troll again illustrates how leftists are so desperate to engage in “virtue signaling” that they will literally piss themselves and put photos of it on Twitter to try and earn ‘progressive’ social brownie points. This is by no means the first time that feminists have openly embraced something that was originally created by 4chan to make fun of them. The “free bleeding” movement, in which feminists post pictures of themselves showing menstrual blood running down their legs in order to draw attention to ‘period shaming’ – was another troll campaign contrived by 4chan... #PissForEquality and the “free bleeding” movement – both created by 4chan to make fun of radical feminists – illustrate why more and more women don’t describe themselves as feminists. 3rd wave feminism has become synonymous with outlandish preoccupations like manspreading, trigger warnings, safe spaces, slut walks and free bleeding, while genuine threats to women’s rights – particularly in Islamic countries – continue to be ignored. This is easily the funniest feminist story of the year. Period. ‘Full retard’ doesn’t even begin to cover it."

Déjà vu? - "Steve Sailer has compared [the European refugee crisis] to the entry of the Goths into the Roman Empire... To some degree, optimism was justified. Large numbers of barbarians had become useful citizens, particularly soldiers. But past success is no guarantee against future failure. First, a demographic pressure cooker was developing beyond the Empire’s borders, and many more barbarians would soon follow the example of the Goths. Second, even as longtime Roman soldiers, they often felt greater loyalty to their own people than to abstract principles of humanitas. Third, many had trouble accepting the Roman idea that only the State may use violence."

The big passport scam: Pakistanis dumping IDs to become Syrian - "A Pakistani identity card in the bushes, a Bangladeshi one in a cornfield. A torn Iraqi driver's license bearing the photo of a man with a Saddam-style mustache, another one with a scarfed woman displaying a shy smile. Documents scattered only metres from Serbia's border with Hungary provide evidence that many of the migrants flooding Europe to escape war or poverty are scrapping their true nationalities and likely assuming new ones, just as they enter the European Union... Serbian border police say that 90 percent of those arriving from Macedonia, some 3,000 a day, claim they are Syrian, although they have no documents to prove it. The so-called Balkan corridor for the migrant flight starts in Turkey, then goes through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the European Union in Hungary. "You can see that something is fishy when most of those who cross into Serbia enter January first as the date of their birth," said border police officer Miroslav Jovic. "Guess that's the first date that comes to their mind." The chief of the European Union border agency Frontex said that trafficking in fake Syrian passports has increased."

Is Pornography Really about “Making Hate to Women”? Pornography Users Hold More Gender Egalitarian Attitudes Than Nonusers in a Representative American Sample - "According to radical feminist theory, pornography serves to further the subordination of women by training its users, males and females alike, to view women as little more than sex objects over whom men should have complete control. Composite variables from the General Social Survey were used to test the hypothesis that pornography users would hold attitudes that were more supportive of gender nonegalitarianism than nonusers of pornography. Results did not support hypotheses derived from radical feminist theory. Pornography users held more egalitarian attitudes—toward women in positions of power, toward women working outside the home, and toward abortion—than nonusers of pornography. Further, pornography users and pornography nonusers did not differ significantly in their attitudes toward the traditional family and in their self-identification as feminist. The results of this study suggest that pornography use may not be associated with gender nonegalitarian attitudes in a manner that is consistent with radical feminist theory."

Treaty of Shimonoseki - "The date 17 April 1995 marked the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, in which China ceded its sovereignty over Taiwan in perpetuity... Thus, the Shimonoseki Treaty holds symbolic significance for the Taiwanese, and to commemorate the event, the Taiwan Association of University Professors organized a "Farewell to China" march in downtown Taipei on 16 April 1995"

Japanese man hid in sewer to film women's underwear

Garlic gets the girl: Forget aftershave - just eat garlic to attract women, study finds - Telegraph - "The effect only came into play once the men were eating a substantial amount of garlic, the researchers found. In the first experiment, when the men ate 6g of garlic - the equivalent of two cloves - with bread and cheese - there was no difference in the ratings between then and when they simply ate the bread and cheese on its own. But when the dosage was doubled to 12g, or four cloves, the men were judged to smell more attractive than when they hadn't eaten it. In the third experiment, when the men ate the same amount (12g) of garlic but in capsule form (12 x 1,000mg garlic capsules), their odour was also perceived as more attractive."

Ryanair pledges to end 'abrupt culture' to win new customers - "Europe's biggest budget airline, has promised to transform its "abrupt culture" in a bid to win customers from costlier rivals, admitting for the first time that it had a significant problem with customer service... "We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off," Chief Executive Michael O'Leary told the company's annual general meeting after several shareholders complained about the impact of customer service on sales. He said the company would overhaul its web site, set up a new team to respond to emails and stop fining customers whose carry-on baggage exceeds minimum sizes by a matter of millimeters."

Even Famous Female Economists Get No Respect - The New York Times - "Men’s voices tend to dominate economic debate, although perhaps this is shaped by how we talk about the contributions of female economists. This is easiest to see in how we discuss the work of economist power couples.
He is conflating multiple factors here. In all these examples, they are male/female partner duos. I suppose it's the usual ordering of partnered couples as "Mr and Mrs", "husband and wife" and the like. To isolate the effect he claims to talk about he should look at unpartnered male/female pairs

The Failure of Multiculturalism

The Failure of Multiculturalism

"Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them...

As a political tool, multiculturalism has functioned as not merely a response to diversity but also a means of constraining it. And that insight reveals a paradox. Multicultural policies accept as a given that societies are diverse, yet they implicitly assume that such diversity ends at the edges of minority communities. They seek to institutionalize diversity by putting people into ethnic and cultural boxes—into a singular, homogeneous Muslim community, for example—and defining their needs and rights accordingly. Such policies, in other words, have helped create the very divisions they were meant to manage...

Both proponents and critics of multiculturalism broadly accept the premise that mass immigration has transformed European societies by making them more diverse... From a historical perspective, however, the claim that these countries are more plural than ever is not as straightforward as it may seem. Nineteenth-century European societies may look homogeneous from the vantage point of today, but that is not how those societies saw themselves then.

Consider France. In the years of the French Revolution, for instance, only half the population spoke French and only around 12 percent spoke it correctly. As the historian Eugen Weber showed, modernizing and unifying France in the revolution’s aftermath required a traumatic and lengthy process of cultural, educational, political, and economic self-colonization. That effort created the modern French state and gave birth to notions of French (and European) superiority over non-European cultures. But it also reinforced a sense of how socially and culturally disparate most of the population still was. In an address to the Medico-Psychological Society of Paris in 1857, the Christian socialist Philippe Buchez wondered how it could happen that “within a population such as ours, races may form—not merely one, but several races—so miserable, inferior and bastardised that they may be classed as below the most inferior savage races, for their inferiority is sometimes beyond cure.” The “races” that caused Buchez such anxiety were not immigrants from Africa or Asia but the rural poor in France.

In the Victorian era, many Britons, too, viewed the urban working class and the rural poor as the other...

The social and cultural differences between a Victorian gentleman or factory owner, on the one hand, and a farm hand or a machinist, on the other, were in reality much greater than those between a white resident and a resident of Bangladeshi origin are today. However much they may view each other as different, a 16-year-old of Bangladeshi origin living in Bethnal Green and a white 16-year-old probably wear the same clothes, listen to the same music, and follow the same soccer club. The shopping mall, the sports field, and the Internet bind them together, creating a set of experiences and cultural practices more common than any others in the past.

A similar historical amnesia plagues discussions surrounding immigration...

As the scholar Max Silverman has written, the notion that France assimilated immigrants from elsewhere in Europe with ease before World War II is a “retrospective illusion.” And much the same is true of the United Kingdom. In 1903, witnesses to the Royal Commission on Alien Immigration expressed fears that newcomers to the United Kingdom would be inclined to live “according to their traditions, usages and customs.” There were also concerns, as the newspaper editor J. L. Silver put it, that “the debilitated sickly and vicious products of Europe” could be “grafted onto the English stock.” The country’s first immigration law, the 1905 Aliens Act, was designed principally to stem the flow of European Jews. Without such a law, then Prime Minister Arthur Balfour argued at the time, British “nationality would not be the same and would not be the nationality we should desire to be our heirs through the ages yet to come.” The echoes of contemporary anxieties are unmistakable...

A century and a half ago, class was a far more important frame for understanding social interactions. However difficult it is to conceive of now, many at the time saw racial distinctions in terms of differences not in skin color but in class or social standing...

Over the past few decades, however, class has diminished in importance in Europe, both as a political category and as a marker of social identity. At the same time, culture has become an increasingly central medium through which people perceive social differences. The shift reflects broader trends...

As the ideological spectrum has narrowed and as the mechanisms for change have eroded, the politics of ideology have given way to the politics of identity...

One of the most prevalent myths in European politics is that governments adopted multicultural policies because minorities wanted to assert their differences. Although questions about cultural assimilation have certainly engrossed political elites, they have not, until relatively recently, preoccupied immigrants themselves...

The immigrants brought with them traditions and mores from their homelands, of which they were often very proud. But they were rarely preoccupied with preserving their cultural differences, nor did they generally consider culture to be a political issue. What troubled them was not a desire to be treated differently but the fact that they were treated differently. Racism and inequality, not religion and ethnicity, constituted their key concerns...

The [new] approach redefined the concepts of racism and equality. Racism now meant not simply the denial of equal rights but also the denial of the right to be different. And equality no longer entailed possessing rights that transcended race, ethnicity, culture, and faith; it meant asserting different rights because of them...

The problem with Birmingham’s policies, observed Joy Warmington, director of what was then the Birmingham Race Action Partnership (now BRAP), a charitable organization working to reduce inequality, in 2005, is that they “have tended to emphasize ethnicity as a key to entitlement. It’s become accepted as good practice to allocate resources on ethnic or faith lines. So rather than thinking of meeting people’s needs or about distributing resources equitably, organizations are forced to think about the distribution of ethnicity.” The consequences were catastrophic. In October 2005, two decades after the original Handsworth riots, violence broke out in the neighboring area of Lozells. In 1985, Asian, black, and white demonstrators had taken to the streets together to protest poverty, unemployment, and police harassment. In 2005, the fighting was between blacks and Asians...

Why did two communities that had fought side by side in 1985 fight against each other in 2005? The answer lies largely in Birmingham’s multicultural policies...

The council’s policies, in other words, not only bound people more closely to particular identities but also led them to fear and resent other groups as competitors for power and influence. An individual’s identity had to be affirmed as distinctive from the identities of those from other groups: being Bangladeshi in Birmingham also meant being not Irish, not Sikh, and not African Caribbean. The consequence was the creation of what the economist Amartya Sen has termed “plural monoculturalism”—a policy driven by the myth that society is made up of distinct, uniform cultures that dance around one another...

Today there is much talk in European countries of a so-called Muslim community—of its views, its needs, its aspirations. But the concept is entirely new. Until the late 1980s, few Muslim immigrants to Europe thought of themselves as belonging to any such thing. That wasn’t because they were few in number. In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, for example, there were already large and well-established South Asian, North African, and Turkish immigrant communities by the 1980s.

The first generation of North African immigrants to France was broadly secular, as was the first generation of Turkish immigrants to Germany. By contrast, the first wave of South Asian immigrants to arrive in the United Kingdom after World War II was more religious. Yet even they thought of themselves not as Muslims first but as Punjabis or Bengalis or Sylhetis...

In channeling financial resources and political power through ethnically based organizations, governments provided a form of authenticity to certain ethnic identities and denied it to others.

Multicultural policies seek to build a bridge between the state and minority communities by looking to particular community organizations and leaders to act as intermediaries. Rather than appeal to Muslims and other minorities as citizens, politicians tend to assume minorities’ true loyalty is to their faith or ethnic community. In effect, governments subcontract their political responsibilities out to minority leaders.

Such leaders are, however, rarely representative of their communities. That shouldn’t be a surprise: no single group or set of leaders could represent a single white community... A white Christian probably has more in common with a black Christian than with a white atheist; a white socialist would likely think more like a Bangladeshi socialist than like a white conservative; and so on. Muslims and Sikhs and African Caribbeans are no different; herein rests the fundamental flaw of multiculturalism...

In their own ways, racist populism and radical Islamism are each expressions of a similar kind of social disengagement in an era of identity politics...

An ideal policy would marry multiculturalism’s embrace of actual diversity, rather than its tendency to institutionalize differences, and assimilationism’s resolve to treat everyone as citizens, rather than its tendency to construct a national identity by characterizing certain groups as alien to the nation. In practice, European countries have done the opposite. They have enacted either multicultural policies that place communities in constricting boxes or assimilationist ones that distance minorities from the mainstream.

Moving forward, Europe must rediscover a progressive sense of universal values, something that the continent’s liberals have largely abandoned, albeit in different ways... there is a section of the left that has combined relativism and multiculturalism, arguing that the very notion of universal values is in some sense racist...

There has also been a guiding assumption throughout Europe that immigration and integration must be managed through state policies and institutions. Yet real integration, whether of immigrants or of indigenous groups, is rarely brought about by the actions of the state; it is shaped primarily by civil society, by the individual bonds that people form with one another, and by the organizations they establish to further their shared political and social interests. It is the erosion of such bonds and institutions that has proved so problematic... To repair the damage that disengagement has done, and to revive a progressive universalism, Europe needs not so much new state policies as a renewal of civil society"


Kenan Malik's discussion with Amartya Sen of his book Illusions of Identity

"For Amartya Sen... Why, he asks in his new book Identity and Violence, 'should a British citizen who happens to be Muslim have to rely on clerics and other leaders of the religious community to communicate with the prime minister?'...

At the heart of the book is an argument against what Sen calls the communitarian view of identity - the belief that identity is something to be 'discovered' rather than chosen...

'First, the recognition that identities are robustly plural and the importance of one identity need not obliterate another. And second, that a person has to make choices about what relative importance to attach, in a particular context, to their divergent loyalties and identities. The individual belongs to many different groups and it's up to him or her to decide which of those groups he or she would like to give priority to.' We are multitudes and we can choose among our multitudes.

Sen is particularly critical of the ways in which communitarian notions of identity have found their way into social policy, especially through the ideas of multiculturalism, and in so doing have diminished the scope for individual freedom...

What policymakers have created in Britain, Sen suggests, is not multiculturalism but 'plural monoculturalism', a system in which people are constantly herded into different identity pens. 'Take the case of the Bangladeshis', says Sen. 'Bangladesh's separation from Pakistan was not based on their religion but on their language, their literature and their secular politics. At the time of independence Bangladeshis who came here had a very strong sense of Bengali identity. But all that disappeared, because the official government classification ignored language, culture and secular politics, and insisted on viewing all Bangladeshis as Muslims. Suddenly they had lost all identity other than being Islamic. And suddenly Bangladeshis stopped being Bangladeshis and were merged with all other Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia.'

'We have a system in which Muslim organisations are in charge of all Muslims, Hindu organisations in charge of all Hindus, Jewish organisations in charge of all Jews and so on'. This parcelling out of the nation can only weaken civil society. 'In downplaying political and social identities, as opposed to religious identities, the government has weakened civil society precisely when there is a great need to strengthen it.' Multicultural policies, in other words, have allowed mainstream politicians to abandon their responsibilities for engaging directly with Muslim communities. Far from promoting a sense of integration, the policy has encouraged Muslims to see themselves as semi-detached...

The same person, Sen suggests, 'can be without contradiction, an American citizen, of Caribbean origin, with African ancestry, a Christian, a liberal, a woman, a historian, a novelist, a feminist, a heterosexual, a believer in gay and lesbian rights, a theatre lover, an environmental activist, a tennis fan, a jazz musician, and someone who is deeply committed to the view that there are intelligent beings in outer space with whom it is extremely urgent to talk (preferably in English).'"
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