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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Links - 30th April 2015

"Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing, and you’ll never be criticized" - Elbert Hubbard

(misattributed to Aristotle as "To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing")


Two women reveal why they became mistresses in Singapore - "The owner of the factory, where her father worked as a welder, offered her a way out: Be my mistress and I will pay off all the debts. In return, he promised to take care of her and her father... it was a relationship that "I could not share with my friends". "You know, the photos that we took on our trips? I could show them only to my father," she says softly... "'Watch it. When my father meets another woman who is younger than you, he will dump you. You are not the first and you will not be the last'"... "I am pretty, sexy and definitely still very youthful-looking." Jessie, 35, divorced her husband of four years in China before arriving in Singapore in 2004. She claims she came here with hopes of a better future with her daughter, who was then three years old. She refuses to reveal when or how she became a permanent resident. "I don't think it is anyone's business and I don't want those 'wang ming' (netizens) to start speculating and pass disparaging remarks about me or my daughter," she says... the walk-up apartment they live in now is being paid for by her lover. "That and all our living expenses, of course," she adds. That includes school and tuition fees for her daughter... On top of that, mother and daughter get a total monthly allowance $3,800. And a credit card each with a total limit of $5,000 a month. "It's not much but it's enough for us to survive," she says"
$13,800 in allowance (on top of living expenses) for an adult and a secondary school student is "not much" and just "enough to survive"?!

Serum testosterone levels in healthy young black and white men. - "Mean testosterone levels in blacks were 19% higher than in whites, and free testosterone levels were 21% higher. Both these differences were statistically significant. Adjustment by analysis of covariance for time of sampling, age, weight, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and use of prescription drugs somewhat reduced the differences. After these adjustments were made, blacks had a 15% higher testosterone level and a 13% higher free testosterone level. A 15% difference in circulating testosterone levels could readily explain a twofold difference in prostate cancer risk."

Gabbana responds to Sir Elton's boycott calls - "Sir Elton, who has two children with his husband David Furnish, had a go at the fashion designers for rejecting same-sex families and the use of IVF fertility treatment. On Sunday he wrote on Instagram: "How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic'." "And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. "Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. "I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana." Business partners Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who are both gay and were a couple for 23 years until breaking up in 2005, have rejected same-sex marriage in the past. But in an interview with Italian magazine Panorama this weekend they went further saying they also didn't agree with the idea of gay families. "We oppose gay adoptions," they say, "The only family is the traditional one. "No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed." Domenico Dolce went on to say that having children should be an "act of love". He said: "You are born to a mother and a father - or at least that's how it should be. "I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue." Stefano Gabbana added: "The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging." n an interview in 2006, Gabbana revealed in another Italian magazine that he had approached a woman to be the mother of his baby but said he struggled with the idea. "I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents," he said. "A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.""
Is it insulting to call nylon synthetic?

Tinder user falls for 'robot' woman at SXSW festival - "It is unclear why some companies get away with using Tinder for advertising or promoting their products - while others get shut down."

Law Matters - 26/06/01: Episode 5: Juries - "This ideal, of trial by our peers goes back to the Magna Carta, (great as long as you were a noble). The jury evolved over centuries from a bunch of blamesters, to a group of evidence evaluators supposed to represent the community. Our constitution enshrines this right in. The trial or indictment of any offence against law of the Commonwealth shall be by a jury. Take note - any law of the Commonwealth. So States can fiddle with the right to trial by jury, and they do - by offering defendants a swag of incentives to choose options other than trial by jury. So, it's no surprise that less than half a percent of criminal cases get to a jury and most charges result in guilty pleas or are tried by magistrate. In civil cases, some States have removed or curtailed the jury's role while others give parties a choice... Jury - a group of 12 men who having lied to the judge about their hearing, health and business engagements, have failed to fool him. So, with anyone with a good enough excuse gone you'd have to wonder how representative our juries are. If the justification for the jury is to allow the public to participate in the justice system then it's a pretty small section of the public that's participating. And the burden can be huge."
if jury verdicts can easily be overturned on appeal, is the jury really so important?
The arguments for jury duty are about the same as those for National Service (conscription)

Tragic note left by Eleanor de Freitas - "A young woman charged with making false rape claims said she had ‘no way out’ and killed herself days before standing trial... Eleanor de Freitas, 23, was ‘utterly devastated’ when the man she accused of sexual assault launched a private prosecution against her for allegedly lying to police... Miss de Freitas accused wealthy Chelsea financier Alexander Economou, 35, of raping her just before Christmas 2012, but detectives decided that gaps in the evidence meant they would not be able to secure a conviction. He then spent a reported £200,000 bringing a private prosecution against her for perverting the course of justice and the Crown Prosecution Service later took over the case... CPS chief Alison Saunders last year defended the decision to prosecute. Following an internal investigation, she said: 'The evidence was strong and having considered it in light of all of our knowledge and guidance on prosecuting sexual offences and allegedly false rape claims, it is clear there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for perverting the course of justice. 'This was evidence including text messages and CCTV footage that directly contradicted the account Miss de Freitas gave to the police. I am satisfied that the decision-making in this case was correct'... Mr Thomas said the CPS 'clearly' had a responsibility to Miss de Freitas under Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights - the right to life... 'For several months she has been under increased psychological stress as she has been charged with perverting the course of justice and was due to further appear in court three days after her death'"
Moral of the story: don't make false rape claims
Somehow I doubt Article Two would stop the prosecution of a rape suspect
Comment: "If she was unstable shouldn't the authorities been more sypathetic to her condition and tried to stop her from dragging this poors mans name through the mud? He was left with no choice other than to clear his name and this is the terrible result. RIP"

Why pick on super-skinny models when the rest of us are overweight? - Telegraph - "Polly Vernon, author of the forthcoming book Hot Feminist, believes the French measures are a self-serving sop. “Obviously, any agent who encourages an anorexic to work, without simultaneously encouraging them to seek help, is deeply reprehensible,” she says. “But I’m not quite sure how anyone legislates for that. BMI is no definitive indicator of anorexia, which is an incredibly complex emotional issue. The broad strokes of a BMI-related law cannot possibly allow for all the nuances of an eating disorder. I speak as someone who self-identifies as skinny by choice, and who has regularly been accused, dismissed and written off as having an eating disorder, when, in fact, I don’t.” We should not assume, moreover, that girls and women are such feeble-minded creatures “we only have to look at a picture of a skinny model before deciding that we, too, must be that thin”, she adds. “We are not that daft, vulnerable, or easily influenced. There’s a growing tendency to demonise thin women - to expose them as either mentally ill or dangerous - which is dodgy as hell”... Why pick on the super-thin minority without addressing our collective slide into the realms of the super-fat? The average BMI for French women is 23.9, while for Brits it is 26.9 – technically overweight - making us one of the fattest nations in Europe. The body beautiful is neither fat nor thin, but nourished. It is time to act upon our cultural body dysmorphia at both ends of the spectrum."
Perhaps the rage against the thin and the discouraging of obesity arise more from activists' own insecurities than from concern for the relatively tiny minority of sufferers of eating disorder

What's Wrong With The Princess Who Loves Pink? | Eros Coaching

When Liberals Blew It - NYTimes.com - "Fifty years ago this month, Democrats made a historic mistake. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, at the time a federal official, wrote a famous report in March 1965 on family breakdown among African-Americans. He argued presciently and powerfully that the rise of single-parent households would make poverty more intractable... Liberals brutally denounced Moynihan as a racist. He himself had grown up in a single-mother household and worked as a shoeshine boy at the corner of Broadway and 43rd Street in Manhattan, yet he was accused of being aloof and patronizing, and of “blaming the victim.” “My major criticism of the report is that it assumes that middle-class American values are the correct values for everyone in America,” protested Floyd McKissick, then a prominent African-American civil rights leader... The taboo on careful research on family structure and poverty was broken by William Julius Wilson, an eminent black sociologist. He has praised Moynihan’s report as “a prophetic document,” for evidence is now overwhelming that family structure matters a great deal for low-income children of any color. In 2013, 71 percent of black children in America were born to an unwed mother, as were 53 percent of Hispanic children and 36 percent of white children... growing up with just one biological parent reduces the chance that a child will graduate from high school by 40 percent, according to an essay by Sara McLanahan of Princeton and Christopher Jencks of Harvard. They point to the likely mechanism: “A father’s absence increases antisocial behavior, such as aggression, rule-breaking, delinquency and illegal drug use.” These effects are greater on boys than on girls."
The Moynihan Report is probably the best example of how spurious claims of racism/discrimination/oppression hurt people
Comments: "I personally believe that a lot of the feminism of the last 40 years is going to wind up hurting women overall. with no changes, I see a future of single female households, where women work long hours to support their children with no help from any man. remember"a women needs a man like a fish need a bicycle." Most women do not want to marry down, and as they get more successful will have a lot of trouble finding men to marry that they find acceptable. Unless a lot of female lawyers want to marry male truck drivers, I think you are looking at a lot of single female lawyers. Boosting men and boys will help women and girls."
"even in Scandinavian families with their excellent and sensible safety nets in place, kids STILL do better with 2 parents. This is based on one salient fact no one has mentioned: there are only 24 hours in a day. If there are 2 parents, the children receive more attention. End of story."
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