When you can't live without bananas

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Links - 29th May 2015

Tory MP Charlotte Leslie targeted by anti-fracking vandals - "Eco-warriors are suspected to be behind an attack on a Conservative candidate’s family which flooded their garden with 1,300 litres of oil... The Environment Agency had to be called in after the domestic heating oil – worth about £500 – saturated the soil and threatened nearby water sources. Miss Leslie said: ‘If this is linked to anyone with an environmental conscience, I will gently suggest that causing an environmental incident is perhaps not the best way to raise concerns about the environment."

My Weekend Confusing People With a Futuristic Credit Card - "It’s Stratos. It’s a single card designed to replace all your credit, debit, loyalty, and membership cards with one piece of plastic. It works with a smartphone app to store and switch between cards, and activates with a single tap. It lights up, you press on the plastic once to pick your card, and it swipes. It’s easy, and it’s going to confuse everyone."

Straits Times - Celebrity Chef Dishes Out Canteen Food - "Emmanuel Stroobant revamps students' menu for healthier and tastier meals. Students at Stamford American International School are now tucking into restaurant-quality dishes created by celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant... The menu is changed on a monthly basis and dishes are not repeated within the month. Students pay for their $9 meals by tapping their wristbands on a sensor"

Woman in Liberia 'caught Ebola after sex with survivor 6 months later'

Women patients feel more pain when with partner, study suggests - "bringing a loved one along for support may not be the best strategy for every patient."

Would you vote for this man? - "He certainly stood out from the other candidates, all of whom went for the standard awkward-school-photo-style approach. On a background of sunbursts and nationalistic designs, only Teruki’s name emblazoned in kanji characters appears to protect his modesty."

You Can Fill This Dildo With The Ashes Of Your Dead Lover

#GamerGate Makes the Left Uncomfortable Because Gamer Gaters Have Adopted the Left’s Tactics - "At the risk of engaging in some questionable psychoanalysis, allow me to suggest that one of the reasons the left is so disturbed by the rise of #GamerGate is that this is the first time in many years that these self-proclaimed Social Justice Warriors have met any sort of organized pushback. And they find it doubly infuriating to see the tools they have used so successfully—the Twitter mob, the email campaign, the claims of grievance—turned against them."

Tiger moms are just signalling to other tiger moms - "High parental investment also isn’t about the children in the proximate sense (though parents sincerely believe that it matters ultimately). Rather, it’s a form of inter-familial status competition. The “best” parents are those who invest the most, and achieve the best outcomes in their offspring."

The students who turn to sex work to make ends meet - "More than 6,750 students from across the UK took part in an online study by Swansea University. It claims nearly 5% of them had actually worked in the sex industry and male students were more likely to become involved than women."

What Happens When Apple Buys a Company You Depend On - "FoundationDB’s story isn’t a new one. Instead, it’s yet another a cautionary tale about putting too much faith in unproven companies offering proprietary software that could go away at any time—especially when a behemoth like Apple swoops in to buy it up. Often, such acquisitions are purely to hire new talent or integrate a startup’s technology into a new or existing product. In FoundationDB’s case, it’s unlikely that Apple wants to get into the business of selling enterprise database software. That leaves companies that depended on that software out of luck. And when startups suffer, so does innovation."

Cleaning with Bleach May Lead to Childhood Infections

You can now buy your cat battle armour

China teen who has undergone extensive plastic surgery's pictures are an internet hit - "China is renowned for its extreme cosmetic procedures. Last year a man reportedly had several procedures to look like Lei Feng, a Chinese soldier who became the face of communist party propaganda in the 1960s."

Girl Goes On Profanity-Laced Rant Over Job Rejection Because Of "Unprofessional" Clothes - "I hate to throw my own generation under the bus, but that status precisely sums up why employers hate hiring millenials. We’re entitled. We’re classless. We’re wholly unprepared for the real life outside of college “safe spaces.” (Oh my god. I sound so old. Where’s my cane?!”) “A woman comes in wearing something mildly sexual and this is somehow indicative of her dedication and work ethic?” How you present yourself matters. It says a lot about you. That might require investing in an outfit a step above Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 to get the job you want. This isn’t patriarchal oppression. If a dude showed up wearing something “mildly sexual” for a job interview, he’d probably be escorted from the building. It just isn’t the time or place for all that... Could it be that the employer sensed that you have “DRAMA!” written all over you? You’re not auditioning for the Real Programmers of Silcoin Valley. “You clearly are too stupid to realize who just turned down.” Right. More like, “Phew. Dodged that bullet.” You told a company in your desired field to go F themselves on social media. I’m sure the calls from prospective employers are just rolling in because YOU’RE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD and they better recognize... You were late to the interview... The job recruiter did you a favor by telling you what you did wrong. You should have used this as a learning experience to improve for next time but it’s so much easier to blame your mistakes on other people."
Keywords: fat, millenial

Darwin's Kids Doodled All Over His "Origin of Species" Manuscript - "Most of the original 600 pages are lost, and of the 45 pages that exist today, many were repurposed by Darwin's brood of 10 children as art supplies."

Jealous man fattens up girlfriend to ward off other men - After two years of over-eating she gained 40 kilograms, the Daily Mail reported. After awakening the food addict in Tai, he asked her to marry him in front of their favourite restaurants. He went down on bended knee and held out a bouquet made of chocolates. Tai said yes to the bizarre proposal, which was in front of their friends, who were each holding up pictures of food. Pan said he would feed Tai even more once she is his wife."

Complex societies evolved without belief in all-powerful deity - "a new analysis of religious systems in Austronesia — the network of small and island states stretching from Madagascar to Easter Island — challenges that theory. In these states, a more general belief in supernatural punishment did tend to precede political complexity, the research finds, but belief in supreme deities emerged after complex cultures have already formed... “I think the ordering of events these authors prefer is what one expects from first principles,” says evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel of the University of Reading, UK. He says that societies became more politically complex as networks of trade and reputation emerged, and that the key to this process was language, not religion. So what are MHGs for? “They are tools of control used by purveyors of religion to cement their grip on power,” says Pagel. “As soon as you have a large society generating lots of goods and services, this wealth can be put to use by someone who can grab the reins of power. The most immediate way to do this is to align yourself with a supreme deity and then make lists of things people can and cannot do, and these become ‘morals’ when applied to our social behaviour.” Anthropologist Hervey Peoples at the University of Cambridge, UK, says that there is good evidence that, even if MHGs do not drive political and social complexity, they can affect and stabilize it. “This study is impressive and innovative, but may be hard to generalize,” she adds."

Iowa police forced to shoot raging driver on college campus - "The driver of a stolen truck who was shot and killed on the Iowa State University campus Mondayhas been identified as 19-year-old Tyler Comstock of Boone. Ames police also have identified the officer who reportedly fired the shots that killed Comstock following a vehicle pursuit through town as Adam McPherson. McPherson has been with the Ames Police Department for more than eight years and is assigned to the day shift patrol division... It is standard procedure to place an officer involved in a shooting on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation... instead of pulling over, Comstock is accused of speeding up and continuing west to Beach Avenue. Comstock, at one point, is accused of stopping the vehicle and reversing, pushing the trailer into the police car and partially onto its hood, according to police. Comstock then sped away again, police reported, running a red light and becoming unhitched from the trailer. McPherson continued to follow the truck around Union Drive and eventually north on Morrill Road -- against one-way traffic in the bike and pedestrian lanes, according to police. Witnesses told police that people were jumping out of the way of the truck, which then jumped the curb onto a grassy area north of the university's Campanile. McPherson unsuccessfully tried to ram the vehicle to get it to stop, police reported."
Stupid Gawker headline: Dad Calls Cops on Son to Teach Him a Lesson, Cops Shoot Son Dead

From Our Prison to Your Dinner Table - "Smith was frank about the strategy of keeping his businesses small, far beyond their production capability. “If I wanted to, I could have my prisoners build every desk and chair in every Wells Fargo in the country,” he told me. “But I don’t want to do that.” Wiser, he said, to stick with sectors that were invisible and niche, just small enough so that no one—not private enterprise, not organized labor, not consumers—would notice. “Prison officials don’t want to get into industries that will cause businesses on the outside to go to the media and raise hell,” says Alex Friedmann. Consumers are uncomfortable feasting on the products of slave labor; furniture companies tend to notice when they lose contracts that involve bidding on the open market; unions tend to protest competition from indentured servants."

Hilarious Twitter campaign against ridiculous food presentations

Bride and prejudice: rare ethnic marriages reflect China tensions

Bride and prejudice: rare ethnic marriages reflect China tensions

It was not until late on her wedding day that Aygul told her parents she was even in a relationship. And they were furious.

A year later, her Uighur father was still so angry she had chosen a Han husband he beat her up in a Beijing train station, stamping on her throat as he hurled insults.

"They hounded me and demanded I choose: my mother and father or my husband," said the 26-year-old website editor. "They told me I had to leave him."

Against a backdrop of prejudice and violence, inter-ethnic marriages between Uighurs, a mostly Muslim minority who speak a Turkic language, and China's ethnic majority Han are extremely rare.

Uighurs in their home region of Xinjiang have long chafed under Beijing's yoke and say they face restrictions on religion, language and culture, with some yearning for independence.

China counters it has brought development and raised living standards, blaming sporadic but intensifying violence that killed more than 200 last year on Islamist separatists with overseas connections.

Official media have laboured to showcase Han-Uighur marriages -- with couples singing the praises of the government and Communist Party -- as a symbol of "ethnic unity".

The phrase is common on propaganda posters throughout Xinjiang, but such messages have to contend with centuries of division.

"Since I was 12, my mother always told me: 'Concentrate on your studies and don't find a Han boyfriend'," said Aygul. "But I was educated in a Chinese-language school and most of my classmates and friends were Han."

Her husband Xiaohe, a 30-year-old translator, had already given up pork, prohibited by Islam, and tried to make a good impression on her parents with a three-page handwritten letter in Uighur, without success.

Ming, a Han married to Ahman, a Uighur woman from the oil town of Karamay, got a similar reaction the first time he spoke to her parents.

"Her father told me: 'If you are going to marry my daughter, then I'll disown her'," he said.

His wife -- who was attacked by a group of Uighur classmates as a teenager for having a previous Han boyfriend -- added: "My parents see my marriage to a Han as a loss of face."

- 'Symbolic invasion' -

Uighur-Han marriages are largely confined to wealthier, more educated Uighurs, who often attend Mandarin-language schools and go to university outside Xinjiang, or the very poor, mainly from tight-knit farming communities where Han residents speak Uighur and share customs.

Both sides often cite cultural or religious differences for the divide, but Newcastle University professor Joanne Smith Finley, a Uighur culture expert, said the true but unspoken issue is politics.

"The number one reason for the taboo on inter-ethnic courtship and intermarriage is inter-ethnic conflict," she said, adding that Uighur women married to Han men face the harshest ostracism due to the patriarchal nature of Islamic societies.

"A Han Chinese man taking a Uighur woman as his wife is seen as symbolic invasion," she explained.

"Just as China is taking the oil, natural gas, gold and jade, and has reduced the people to a marginalised, impoverished and disenfranchised section of society in Xinjiang, when a Chinese man takes a Uighur wife, Uighurs view that as the physical embodiment of what China the state is doing to the Uighur homeland."

Uighurs had the lowest intermarriage rate of China's 56 officially recognised ethnic groups at 1 percent, according to Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences researcher Li Xiaoxia, who analysed 2000 census data. That fell to 0.6 percent for Uighur-Han unions.

"There is huge difference between Uighurs and Han in terms of culture and language," she said, adding that more recent data showed little change. "People are prone to look for relationships with someone with the same ethnicity."

Yet the Hui, who like Uighurs are Muslim, have an intermarriage rate about 13 times higher -- although they share a language and many more live in China's heartland cities.

- 'Nothing in common' -

The reaction of Ming's parents was typical of how many Han view Uighurs, informed by stereotypes and casual racism.

"My parents thought all Uighurs were pickpockets or scam artists selling so-called ethnic food for inflated prices," said the 28-year-old, a manager at a state-owned company.

Xiaohe's parents, from the northern province of Hebei, were more positive. "At first my parents thought it was strange, but then they found out she graduated from Peking University" -- an elite school often called the Harvard of China -- he said.

"They said: 'Your grades were never that good and your wife is so smart, this is great'."

The couples who spoke to AFP requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Ahman, Ming, Aygul and Xiaohe are members of a mixed couples' chat group where they swap stories, tips and support. Their unions have only survived because they live in Beijing, they say.

"It would be impossible for us to be married and live in Xinjiang," said Xiaohe. "The social pressures are just too intense."

Some believe authorities in the region -- home to around 10 million Uighurs -- should act to encourage inter-ethnic marriages.

But an almost year-long programme in rural Qiemo county that offered couples as much as 50,000 yuan ($8,000) -- a fortune where average income is less than $3 a day -- had no effect, according to an official.

In neighbouring Hotan, many said cultural differences are insurmountable.

"I would never let my son marry a Han, the only way would be if she converted to Islam," said Uighur restaurateur Mehmet Omar. "Even then, I'd be worried she wouldn't respect our traditions and wouldn't take good care of my grandchildren. She would have to be a very good Muslim before I could accept her."

Taxi driver Xing Yongzhen said pork's central place in Chinese cuisine would be a major issue.

"I would only marry a Han," he said. "If I had a Uighur wife, we'd never be able to eat together. Our lifestyles are completely different, there's nothing in common."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Links - 28th May 2015

China orders Muslim shopkeepers to sell alcohol, cigarettes, to “weaken” Islam - "Chinese authorities have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant owners in a village in its troubled Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and cigarettes, and promote them in “eye-catching displays,” in an attempt to undermine Islam’s hold on local residents... Sulayman said authorities in Xinjiang viewed ethnic Uighurs who did not smoke as adhering to “a form of religious extremism”... in an unrelated incident in neighboring Qinghai province on Friday, an angry crowd of Muslims smashed windows of a supposedly halal store in Xining city, after pork sausages and ham were found in a delivery van"

Musical or Opera? The Fine Line That Divides Them - NYTimes.com - "The differences, though slight, are crucial. So what are they, exactly? To begin with, in no way do I see the matter as a lowbrow-highbrow debate. Opera is not by definition the more elevated form. Few operas are as overwrought as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard.” And there is no bigger crowd pleaser than Leoncavallo’s impassioned “Pagliacci.” Nor is the distinction dependent on musical complexity. Frank Loesser’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” currently enjoying a vibrant revival on Broadway starring a disarming Daniel Radcliffe, is a more musically sophisticated piece than Carlisle Floyd’s affecting opera “Susannah,” the story of a sensual young woman in rural Tennessee who is unfairly branded a temptress by her community. And you cannot argue that operas tell stories only through music, whereas musicals rely heavily on spoken dialogue. Lots of operas, and not just comic works, have spoken dialogue, including “Carmen” and “Fidelio.” Here’s the difference: Both genres seek to combine words and music in dynamic, felicitous and, to invoke that all-purpose term, artistic ways. But in opera, music is the driving force; in musical theater, words come first. This explains why for centuries opera-goers have revered works written in languages they do not speak. Though supertitles have revolutionized the art form, many buffs grew up without this innovation and loved opera anyway. As long as you basically know what is going on and what is more or less being said, you can be swept away by a great opera, not just by music, but by visceral drama."

Luke Savage’s vicious (and misleading) atheist bashing - "Savage’s piece is a vile and splenetic polemic, centered mainly on Hitchens and Sam Harris, and much is made (and distorted) about their views. Certainly Hitchens did support the invasion of Iraq, but he and Harris are made to look as if they crave an all-out war with the Middle East, with the object of finally ridding the world of Muslims. The piece also attacks New Atheism by making the usual assertion that religion isn’t based on truth claims (as the NA’s argue), so we’re all misguided. Nor, says Savage, is religion a monolith, so you simply can’t criticize, say, Islam, as if it were."

The Time the Allies Tried to Disarm Hitler With Female Sex Hormones - "But how to go about making Mr. Hitler more like Mrs. Hitler? By putting female sex hormones in his carrots, of course."


A Sinner in Mecca: gay film-maker on 'a hajj of defiance' - "With poetic simplicity, A Sinner in Mecca explores what it means to believe in the face of religious manipulation and government corruption. Sharma’s bravery is not that he is a gay man in Mecca, but that he is a Muslim questioning and reclaiming his faith from the authorities exporting it as violent conservatism. The voice he gives to the complexities of contemporary Islam remind us never to fall for the simplified narrative, especially one that forces you to look at a quarter of the world’s population through a singular lens...
'At one point, you mention a fellow pilgrim who told you he was glad you can’t film in Mecca, because he doesn’t want the West to see what it really looks like.'"

Do Portuguese women have a lower pitch than other female subjects?

14-year-old suspended from school over brutally honest sex education homework - "'I'd be embarassed to use [a condom].'
'Look at all the fucks I give!'"
You don't have to be vulgar to be "brutally honest". Something many people don't get

Three women kidnap man, rape him and steal his semen in South Africa
What's wrong with South Africa?

Diederik Stapel’s Audacious Academic Fraud - NYTimes.com - "Stapel was an academic star in the Netherlands and abroad, the author of several well-regarded studies on human attitudes and behavior. That spring, he published a widely publicized study in Science about an experiment done at the Utrecht train station showing that a trash-filled environment tended to bring out racist tendencies in individuals. And just days earlier, he received more media attention for a study indicating that eating meat made people selfish and less social... Each case of research fraud that’s uncovered triggers a similar response from scientists. First disbelief, then anger, then a tendency to dismiss the perpetrator as one rotten egg in an otherwise-honest enterprise. But the scientific misconduct that has come to light in recent years suggests at the very least that the number of bad actors in science isn’t as insignificant as many would like to believe. And considered from a more cynical point of view, figures like Hwang and Hauser are not outliers so much as one end on a continuum of dishonest behaviors that extend from the cherry-picking of data to fit a chosen hypothesis — which many researchers admit is commonplace — to outright fabrication. Still, the nature and scale of Stapel’s fraud sets him apart from most other cheating academics. “The extent to which I did it, the longevity of it, makes it extreme,” he told me. “Because it is not one paper or 10 but many more.” Stapel did not deny that his deceit was driven by ambition. But it was more complicated than that, he told me. He insisted that he loved social psychology but had been frustrated by the messiness of experimental data, which rarely led to clear conclusions. His lifelong obsession with elegance and order, he said, led him to concoct sexy results that journals found attractive. “It was a quest for aesthetics, for beauty — instead of the truth,” he said."

Do SAT Scores Really Predict Success? - "Most studies find that the correlation between SAT scores and first-year college grades is not overwhelming, and that only 10 percent to 20 percent of the variation in first-year GPA is explained by SAT scores. This association appears weaker than it is, however, for an interesting, but seldom noted statistical reason: Colleges usually accept students from a fairly narrow swath of the SAT spectrum. The SAT scores of students at elite schools, say, are considerably higher, on average, than those of students at community colleges, yet both sets of students probably have similar college grade distributions at their respective institutions. If both sets of students were admitted to elite schools or both sets attended community colleges, there would be a considerably stronger correlation between SATs and college grades at these schools"

Old Cats Can Get Seizures from Sound - "Sounds such as typing, the crumpling of tin foil or the clinking of glasses or dishware are all just part of the background noise of domestic life, at least for humans. But such sounds can apparently trigger seizures among elderly cats."

Facebook Is Eating the Internet - "• As in previous years, just five companies generate the majority (61 percent) of digital ad revenue: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL.
• Facebook more than doubled digital ad revenue over the course of two years. It made $5 billion in ad money last year. That represents 10 percent of all digital ad revenue.
• Facebook is getting a quarter of all display ad revenue and more than a third (37 percent) of display ads on mobile."

Study Finds Gamers Have Greater Cognitive Function And More Grey Matter

Islamist politics and authorities fuelling Malaysia’s IS appetite, scholar says - "a 2013 Pew Research survey found that up to 39 per cent of Malaysians were either supportive or open to violence as a means of conflict resolution, nearly twice as many as Indonesians who responded similarly... As with the politicians, Malaysia’s religious authorities also display a similar tendency to denounce non-Muslims both at home and abroad in sanctioned messages... The spread of IS support among Malaysians has also forced Putrajaya to backpedal from its once-expressed admiration for the militant group’s “courage”"

Modigliani to Kick off Singapore’s Pinacotheque - "Belgian-born Vandenborre, who is now based in Singapore, said that Singapore was chosen ahead of Hong Kong — Asia's other art hub — for Pinacotheque's first international offshoot because the country has “a museum culture.” "Hong Kong is more drawn to the art market and auctions,” he said, adding that Pinacotheque's focus on top Western art from private collections will fulfill a gap in the current arts landscape in Singapore"
Singapore has "a museum culture"?!

Hotel chain offers human bed warmers - Telegraph

Swallowing Semen - "In a Dutch study of women who engaged in oral sex and swallowed the semen, the researchers found that swallowing semen was associated with a lower risk of preeclampsia. One hypothesis for this is that substances in the semen adapt the mother’s immune system so that it accepts foreign proteins present in sperm, as well as in the placenta and fetus. This maintains the blood pressure at a low level and thereby reduces the preeclampsia risk. Research has also shown that some women are infertile or miscarry due to the presence of antibodies that destroy the proteins or antigens present in their partner’s semen. Having oral sex and swallowing the semen of the partner may help make the pregnancy safer and more successful as the woman is swallowing her partner's antigens. Work carried out by reproductive expert and psychologist Gordon Gallup from SUNY-Albany suggests that swallowing semen could provide a cure for morning sickness. Gordon hypothesizes that pregnant women vomit as a result of their bodies rejecting genetic material in the sperm as a foreign substance, but that by swallowing and ingesting the sperm of the baby’s father, they can build up immunity... Some studies have shown that semen extracted from bulls rejuvenates damaged hair. Semen has been found to contain many proteins that may well complement the protein present in hair molecules."

Teacher quits Muslim school he claimed was riddled with Islamism and anti-Semitism - "Mr Zitouni, writing yesterday, claimed he resigned from Averroès Lycée because it was playing a “double game” with the secular French republic – presenting a positive image and good exam results to secure public funding while “disseminating stealthily and perniciously a conception of Islam that is nothing other than Islamism – an unhealthy and dangerous mix of religion and politics”... Mr Zitouni claimed to have been told by students that he was not orthodox enough in his own belief in Islam, that Darwin’s theory of evolution was wrong and that a veiled female student refused to say the word “sex” or sit next to a boy. “In more than 20 years of my teaching career, I have never heard so many anti-Semitic remarks from the mouths of students,” he wrote. The teacher said he failed to dissuade a student from the theory that “Jews dominate French media” and that a “powerful Jewish lobby” was trying to crush Islam in France, being told that “Jews are the enemies of Muslims”."

Australia's Sex Party stripped of official registration - "the Sex Party will still be able to field candidates but will not be able to put its name on ballot papers or receive federal funding available to registered parties."

Why Singapore needs to Arrest those who Stare at Others

Suppose I am on the MRT and I see an Ah Beng covered in tattoos, which even cover his face. He also has gang tattoos on his face.

I look at his tattoos because I am trying to make out what they are.

He thinks that I am staring at him and beats me up.

I am, of course, to blame for offending him by staring at him. I have caused the assault in which he beats me up by staring at him.

Recall Singapore's long history of secret societies during which there were lots of riots and gang fights resulting in many deaths.

In 1957, the Colonial Office reported that there were 150 gang fights. Yet, the problem of gangs goes back even further than that.

In the early 1840s, the town of Singapore lived in fear from Chinese secret societies which raided the town almost every night. In 1854 there were the Hokkien-Teochew Riots which lasted 10 days and where about 500 people died - these were the worst and most prolonged riots in Singapore's history. This was one of the darkest periods in Singapore’s history. Gang violence has left deep marks in Singapore's history and it is a period in time which we never want to repeat.

Even today, the problem of gangs has not entirely disappeared and we read about gang fights every now and then. In 2010 at Downtown East in Pasir Ris, there was a gang fight (resulting from an allegation of staring) that resulted in one death. In the same year, there was another death from a gang fight outside Orchard Plaza. In 2013 there was a riot in Pasir Ris over a staring incident.

It is important for us to remember the tragic consequences of staring at others.

It is clear that staring at others is a clear and present threat to Singapore's national fabric, and that we should be conscious of the damage that we can do by provoking people by staring at them (who might be gang members, in which case the resulting violence could spiral out of control). Social peace and harmony should never be taken for granted.

When you stare at someone, you are not showing him respect. Respect will always be a potential fault line in Singapore's society.

We must learn lessons from Singapore's history and enact laws that make it illegal to stare at people (or at people with tattoos), and teach children in school that they shouldn't stare at people because staring is a very sensitive action and people could get offended (and be moved to violence, which could tear the country apart, especially if the person they happen to stare at happens to be a gang member).

Indeed, we should arrest people who stare at others - because they risk provoking gang riots which could tear the country apart.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Links - 27th May 2015

South-East Asia migrant crisis: Julie Bishop told by Indonesia most of 7,000 people stranded are illegal labourers, not refugees - "Ms Bishop said she was told only 30 to 40 per cent of the people stuck in camps or on boats in the region are Rohingya asylum seekers. "They (Indonesia) believe there are about 7,000 people at sea [and] they think about 30 to 40 per cent are Rohingya, the rest are Bangladeshi," Ms Bishop said. "They are not, in Indonesia's words, asylum seekers, they are not refugees — they are illegal labourers. They've been promised or are seeking jobs in Malaysia."

Lutfur Rahman: the election scandal made worse by the authorities - Telegraph - "Last year’s Tower Hamlets mayoral election was a scandal – a damning indictment of one man’s ambition. Yesterday, a High Court judge ruled that the result was void and that the “winner”, Lutfur Rahman, would not be able to run again. The only surprising thing about this sound verdict is how long it took to expose the truth. Much of the spadework had to be done by private citizens and The Telegraph’s investigative reporter Andrew Gilligan. Judge Richard Mawrey found Mr Rahman and his supporters had committed a litany of abuses. They were guilty of vote-rigging, seeking to influence the result through imams, wrongly branding rivals as “racist” and allocating local grants in order to buy votes. Mr Mawrey said that while this corruption was not “the consequence of the racial and religious mix of the population”, it is true that Mr Rahman and his supporters played the “race and Islamophobia card”"

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman is sacked for 'corrupt practices' - Telegraph - "Rahman’s supporters registered or cast hundreds of fake postal votes, the judge ruled, and a handwriting expert gave evidence to the court that hundreds of ballot papers may have been completed by the same person. They also lied to voters that his main opponent, Labour’s John Biggs, was a racist and said that voting for Rahman was an “Islamic duty”"
"Azmal Hussein, the Tower Hamlets restaurant owner... told Channel 4 News with a cheery grin: “Voter fraud is endemic in Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities. Because it is our culture.”"

A French Muslim girl was kicked out of class because her skirt was too long - "The student, identified as Sarah, already apparently removed her headscarf before entering the school, in accordance with French law. But her long skirt was deemed a "provocation," and potential act of protest."

The truth about pad Thai - "“The thing with Thai food,” McDang said, “is that many of the dishes have come from the top down. Traders from Europe would turn up centuries ago and introduce an ingredient or dish, but before it got disseminated, the king had to agree. If the king liked it, he was the one who distributed it.” Pad Thai, it turns out, was no different. In the late 1930s, Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram wanted to modernise and unify the country to create a sense of “Thai-ness”. After changing the nation’s name from Siam to Thailand, he sought to create a national dish. There isn’t much documentation on how Phibunsongkhram came upon pad Thai – some historians trace it back to a cooking competition he organised – but suddenly the dish began popping up all over the country.

Why we must not criminalise wolf-whistling - Telegraph - "“Evidentially, I fail to see how wolf-whistling at a person can realistically be made an offence. There would be massive identification issues involved. What happens if there are ten or so men, several storeys up on a high building, and one of them wolf-whistles at a woman and she makes a complaint to the police? How on earth would she identify the culprit? “Would there be a 'wolf-whistling ID parade'? Or are you going to charge them all with the crime by way of joint enterprise if they happened to laugh at it? “What if there is ‘mistaken wolf-whistling’; a woman thinks a man is whistling at her but he’s actually doing it to another woman around the corner, or on the other side of the street (and she isn't bothered about it)?"

Aiseyman! Muslims cannot keep demanding others to accomodate their religious practices lah! | - "Hindus and some Buddhists do not eat beef, but they do not request for exclusive utensils, appliances, or rooms to have their meals. On the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar month, some Buddhists and Taoists have to do special prayers to their Gods but they do not request to knock off early. If they can fulfill their religious obligations quietly without imposing their restrictions on others and encroaching onto others’ space, why can’t us Muslims? Is our threshold for tolerance of other religions so low, or are we just too sensitive about our own? Surely we can find creative and less imposing ways to practice our religion – have a quick lunch so that we can have time to go to the Mosque on Fridays, find a quiet spot in the office to pray, bring our own utensils or pool our own money if we really need a halal microwave."

Welcome to Britain. Thanks for the Hard Work. Now Get Lost - ""This policy came into effect in 2012, and they're applying it retrospectively,'' she said. "It's outrageous, it's an absolute joke. I'm sitting in between these two different laws.'' Reluctant to give up life in Nottingham, she appealed. On top of the 2,400 pounds ($3,600) she'd already spent applying for residency, the appeal cost almost 4,000 pounds. The Home Office was holding her passport and those of her family, so she couldn't travel for work intended to benefit other government departments, and Peter was unable to return to Australia when his uncle died. Still, it seemed worth it when, at the start of December last year, Judge Peter Hollingworth ruled in her favor. Hirono, he said, made a "significant and profound'' contribution to British academic life, and it was unreasonable to ask her to leave. "I was so happy,'' she said. Then, just after Christmas, she learned the Home Office was appealing. "I thought, I can't live like this any more,'' she said. "I decided I have to get out of this country.'' Harvey said this experience was typical, as the government puts up a series of soft barriers to discourage immigrants, such as more complicated application forms and a tendency to fight cases. "The Home Office generally seems to be appealing the overwhelming majority of cases that it loses, regardless of merit'... [In 1964] according to Rob Ford, who teaches politics at Manchester University, many people thought immigration was too high. "The net level of immigration - people arriving minus those leaving - doesn't seem to matter,'' he said... "A lot of political promises are on things people don't care about that much, but the voters who care intensively about immigration link it to everything that's wrong with everything,'' he said. "And when they say they want less immigration, they mean they want the process of cultural change that they don't like reversed.''"

Sex Toys, Winter Coats, And Spanish Flags: The Uselessness Of Post-Disaster Donations - "Jose Holguin-Veras used to have a top-five list of the strangest donated items that inevitably appear in disaster areas once recovery begins: A king-size mattress that weighed 200 pounds, a load of Spanish flags, a case of Viagra, and a carnival-style tiger costume. But then Holguin-Veras, who has studied donations in dozens of post-disaster zones, says he found out about the truckload of sex toys delivered after Hurricane Charley in 2004. "I think that was the winner," he says. Human impulse makes people want to lend a hand after a major disaster like a hurricane or earthquake, says Holguin-Veras, who is the director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "The motivations come from a good place," he says. But sending stuff can lead to its own litany of problems, bottlenecking important donations and wasting the time of aid workers... Hundreds of pounds of pork meat was donated to Muslim earthquake victims in Turkey... So what is the right answer? Don’t send stuff"

Illegal drugs: The wars don’t work | The Economist - "Prohibition suits criminal gangs, which enjoy exclusive control of a global market worth roughly $300 billion annually. It is also convenient for corrupt politicians and officials, who can extract rents for turning a blind eye. Several of those whom Indonesia executed this week claimed that judges offered them clemency in exchange for huge bribes. In the main, though, what drives the new drug warriors is the same conviction that animated the old ones: the sincere, if mistaken, belief that cracking down on traffickers and users will make addiction go away. The lesson of the first war is that it will not... Those preparing to prosecute the next drug war need only look west to see what lies ahead of them: more violence and corruption; more HIV/AIDS; fuller jails—and still the same, unending supply of drugs. Meanwhile, rules meant to stop opioids leaking to the black market have left the innocent to die in avoidable pain. Multiple-sclerosis sufferers and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have been denied the relief that cannabis can bring. Some researchers think that LSD (acid), MDMA (Ecstasy) or psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) might help treat depression. But nobody knows, because drug laws have made trials close to impossible"

PAS high on religion, low in common sense - "Despite the state’s strict adherence to religion, sex and drugs have become an increasingly disturbing feature in the state. The Kelantanese, like most Malay communities, are closed communities. A person cannot do something without the whole village being aware. The house where the rape took place was a known drug den. Why did the community fail the two girls? In the Kelantan gang rape, a father, his sons and nephews were among the alleged rapists. What does that say about the Malay family values?... When asked about the high rates of incest in Malay communities, one villager said, “The non-Malays can afford prostitutes, the Malays can’t; so they use their children instead.”

Indonesian district bans unmarried couples from motorbike rides - "Unmarried people sitting closely together on a motorcycle is clearly against Islamic sharia as it could lead to sinful acts"

Open-door sexuality - "The urban responses (about three-fourths of the survey) reveal "drastic changes in sexual behavior among the younger cohorts," Parish says. Dividing respondents by the year they turned 20, a likely age to engage in sexual behavior, the researchers found that this trend began in the 1980s and accelerated in the 1990s. At this rate China's urban population-30 percent of the country-"will look like Western Europe in 50 years."... Take premarital sex, "one of the most conspicuous markers of the degree of liberalization towards sex." Among older respondents (those who turned 20 before the early 1980s economic changes) about 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women had engaged in premarital sex, most with their future spouses. In the young group (those who turned 20 around 1995) 40 percent of males and 25 percent of females had had premarital sex, the women typically with their future husbands, while young men also reported sex with short-term lovers and prostitutes. Prostitution, in fact, has been on the rise since the 1980s. As more urban men have disposable incomes and rural women remain poor, migrating to cities for work, both the demand and supply in the sex industry continue to grow. Less than 8 percent of older Chinese men reported paying for sex, while more than 20 percent of young men said they had done so. In the United States, conversely, older men have employed prostitutes more often than young men. The 1992 sex survey shows about 33 percent of U.S. men who turned 20 in the 1950s have paid for sex. As the sexual revolution and women's lib arrived in the 1960s, the use of prostitutes began to drop, and by the early 1990s, when casual sex was more readily available, rates reached as low as 5 percent. With most Chinese women not yet sexually liberated, Parish says, young Chinese men "resort to prostitution for their sexual demand.""

Alan Cohen's answer to Should public restrooms become gender-neutral (unisex) or stay gender-segregated? - Quora - "Believe it or not men's bathrooms are roughly one-third the cost of women's bathrooms. Outflow pipes in women's bathrooms usually are larger. A full sit-down toilet is more expensive to put in place than a urinal and sink space generally is larger for women... The standup urinal is the main reason you don't see lines in men's bathrooms, and while there is a device similar to the urinal for women, my bet is that neither gender will use them if the other gender is present."

Observations - 27th May 2015

"I may be fake but my money ain't"

"Changed my name on GrabTaxi [from John] to Daniela. Getting a taxi is now much easier. :)"

"The question we must ask is why every time Muslims are in trouble they don't go to a Muslim majority countries for help? They despise western value but always choose to go west, why?"

"Every single country I have lived in (Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore) that is predominately of East Asian ancestry people are generally pessimistic, unhappy, stressed, overworked, and there is a large population (usually women) seeking to get the hell out by any means necessary. This is generally not true in Western Europe or North America...maybe it is the society these cultures create, generally suck?? Of all of those the happiest people seemed to be Taiwanese....or maybe I should say the most relaxed. In general salaries are low compared to living costs, there is a very thin social safety net, and too much pressure on kids and men to get ahead, it creates a pressure cooker...and when the ultimate goal in life is the attainment of money...my belief is you will never be happy, because there is never enough.."

The flip side of young adults not being fully mature (e.g. the brain only fully developing at 25) is that they should not get all the rights of adults. Should the age of voting, consent, drinking, driving and legal responsibility in general be raised?

"The Richest people seldom say anything publicly.
They have too much to lose. If they offend the wrong people."

"It's a lot more fun giving your money away than it is making it and I just feel very sorry sometimes for the people who haven't yet discovered what will become the greatest joy in their life. And I might say that the thing that gave me greatest pleasure looking at the rich list yesterday was the remarkable Richard Ross having an asterisk against his name saying no longer on the rich list because he's given it all away" - Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Chair of The Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship (BBC Best of Today podcast: Monday's Business with Simon Jack, 27th April 2015)

"I think the idea of "opposing for the sake of opposing" is far too often used by those who disagree with the opposing viewpoint but do not want to deal with the arguments made."

"The objective of online debate isn't to convince afterall, but to shatter the other side convincingly in a forum of neutral heavy observers"

"The whole idea of using "offence" as a criterion for arrests is stupid. People who know less about their beliefs (hence are unable to defend it intellectually when criticised) are the ones most likely to react viscerally, by being "offended". In other words, the criterion for "preserving" racial and religious harmony is that of how the least informed and / or least thoughtful segments of the society reacts to criticism."

Which is a more sacred sacred cow in Singapore? "Racial Harmony" or "Meritocracy"? What happens if they conflict?

"pinkdot, a.k.a. let's-embrace-the-stereotypes-and-exclude-people-who-don't-conform-to-themdot"

"intellectually dishonest LGBT activists and crazy allies are the reason why many gay people don't give a damn about activism and prefer to live their lives outside of the LGBT activist bubble"

"One thing the genteel young lady must always remember about men is that a hard cock has no conscience"

Am told American boob jobs look fake since natural looking ones are more complicated and open surgeons to malpractice suits (i.e. expensive)

"When she later realised that [I had pranked her], her first reaction was to hit me. Now, she did not use a lot of force to hit me as well, but I was struck at how instinctive it was for her. I wonder if it's a female SE Asian thing. It's certainly happened to me before in Singapore (and only by female Singaporeans), but never in England. And while many may think that it's harmless horseplay, it's still really an instinct to violence."

"He uses statistics as a Singaporean girl uses bras - for padding rather than for support"

Not sure why having served NS gives one infallibility on military matters or strategy

If National Service were so good in correcting young men, why do so many post-NS men still cause trouble?

It's good to "derail" "conversations". Because railroads can only go in two directions. And they might not be ones that everyone wants to go to.

If we use a definition of relative poverty, there's an easy way to end poverty - impoverish the rich

"she was whining that she couldn't find a job cos she's indian and female and fat
and someone said oh yeah it has nothing to do with the fact that you have a masters in history
or sociology or gender studies, one of those i can't remember"

"Social Justice Avengers: Earth's Most Self - Righteous Heroes: Age of Tumblr"

"Can we get a trigger warning when something is so fucking stupid that it'll give you PTSD?"

Saying you're feminist because of the wonderful things the First/Second Wave gave us: like saying you're Republican because they ended Slavery

RT @Nero Amazed at the people moaning about Game of Thrones. If there’s a fictional rape to be angry about surely it’s the one in Rolling Stone.

If feminism should be defined by its dictionary definition (i.e. that feminism is *simply* believing in sexual equality), so should harassment. So most feminist 'harassment', isn't

In Singapore, the Foreign Maid Levy and Grandparent Caregiver Relief give working women tax relief - but not men. Of course AWARE is silent on this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Why on earth does my forgiveness hurt you?"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 24/04/2015, Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor on why she hugged former Nazi in court:

"They called me a traitor.

And when I talked to survivors and I said, "Why on earth does my forgiveness hurt you?", and they have no answers.

I guess victims like to have more victims. And the bigger the crowd the better and I don't understand it.

I found forgiveness has zero to do with the perpetrator. If they benefit from it, so be it.

But the victims, 70 years after liberation, I was in Auschwitz with 300 other survivors and they were all talking about their experimental, falling apart. Poor me, what they had done to me.

Well, I don't forget what was done to me, but I am not a poor person: I am a victorious human being who has been able to rise above the pain, forgive the Nazis - not because they deserve it but because I deserve it.

And as long as we understand my forgiveness, that the victim has a right to be free, and you cannot be free from what was done to you unless you remove it from your shoulder as a daily burden of pain and anger."

Links - 26th May 2015

Clearing of Tanglin Halt ‘hangout’ upsets activists - "The recent clearance of items from State land near Tanglin Halt by the authorities has upset some community activists, who have been trying to revive its use for farming and as a hangout spot."
No wonder the kampong spirit is dead

Why Are So Many Vietnamese People Named Nguyen? - "Nguyen is the most common surname in Vietnam -- an estimated 40 percent of people in the country (and the Vietnamese diaspora) carry the name, according to Vietnam's Tuoi Tre News... The overwhelming prevalence of Nguyen -- on a percentage basis -- even surpasses the popularity of "Kim" and "Park" in Korea, "Singh" and "Patel" in India; and "Smith" and "Jones" in the Anglo-Saxon countries... Given the proliferation of Nguyens in Vietnamese society, one might conclude that this would create much confusion and chaos in daily discourse. However, this scenario is largely avoided by the Vietnamese custom -- adopted from the Chinese -- of addressing people by their last name (that is, what is considered the 'first' or personal name in western society). Most Vietnamese have three names -- the surname (or clan name), followed by a middle name, ending with the personal name. For example, with respect to the aforementioned Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, his family surname is "Nguyen," his middle name is "Tan," and his personal name is "Dung." Unlike western custom, the Prime Minister is usually referred to as 'Dung' (or 'Mr. Dung') in the media and even in formal occasions. In some cases, he may be referred to as 'Tan-Dung.' (Also, some Vietnamese use dual surnames to further alleviate any confusion)."

CDPHE: State women’s wellness center now serving transgenders - "state-run women’s wellness program now provides breast and cervical cancer screenings for transgender women, announced the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Wednesday."
Why would you provide cervical cancer screening for people who don't have cervixes?!

Bruce Jenner's Republican Revelation Draws Anger, Praise - "Former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner did more than come out as a transgender woman in his 20/20 interview Friday night — he came out as a Republican, a party affiliation shared by a minority of LGBT people... Sawyer also inquired as to whether he’d be willing to ask Congress’s top Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to back LGBT causes. “In a heartbeat, why not?” Jenner said. “And I think they’d be very receptive to it.” He said he realized his transgender identity may bother some conservative Republicans, but added that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a monopoly on “understanding.” Jenner’s revelation of his political position resulted in some angry tweets. Some quoted by The Blaze, a conservative site, include “Bruce Jenner is so gross … he’s a freaking Republican” and “Bruce Jenner comes out … as a Republican. Now THAT’s offensive. This country is going to hell in a hand basket.”"
"Diversity" means everyone thinking identically

Obama speaks out against censorship and "I'm offended by that" culture. - YouTube

Blood transfusion to cleanse blood tainted by Cadbury products? - "While some of our Muslim brothers and sisters had accepted the matter as something that is beyond their control, there are those who have come out with ridiculous solutions to the matter. One such ridiculous demand was put up by the Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs (ACCIN) during a recent press conference, asking Cabdury Malaysia to pay for “blood cleansing” procedure . Yes, that’s pumping out contaminated blood and putting in new one, for every Muslim in the country who had consumed the tainted chocolates... Other Muslim groups have also called for “Jihad” against Cadbury, while there are some who have threatened to burn down the confectionery. Such responses did not sit well with the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) president Amidi Abd Manan, who dismissed it as extremist and not representing Islam. He said although the discovery of porcine DNA in the products was a serious matter, the suggestions were emotional and irrational and would only embarrass Muslims. “Such calls only show the superficial thinking of the individual about Islam”... He also pointed out that people hardly make noise about practices like corruption, gambling and abuse of public funds, which are deemed “haram” in Islam. “It is funny that this is the case because the sins accumulated by these practices are bigger than that of consuming pork,” Mohd Asri said."

Accounts manager 46th man convicted of paid sex with minor in online vice ring - "An accounts manager was jailed for four weeks on Tuesday in relation to a long-running online vice ring scandal involving an underage girl. Singapore permanent resident Atet Kardjono Sianandar, 42, is the 48th man to be dealt with and 46th to be convicted among 51 men first hauled to court three years ago. His jail sentence is the lowest to date as he had tried to verify the minor's age and asked for her identity card. He admitted to paying $750 for the 17-year-old's sexual services at Elizabeth Hotel on Nov 20, 2010. In his text messages to the social escort's pimp, Tang Boon Thiew, Atet had asked whether the minor was over 18. Tang assured him that she was. Before the girl turned up at the hotel room, Atet had told Tang that he would like to check the minor's identity card but Tang told him she did not bring it along. Atet, who was represented by Mr Anand Nalachandran, could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined."

Orland Park man credits hot sauce with saving his life - "An Orland Park man is enjoying more than a year's supply of free hot sauce, which he credits with triggering a seizure that may have helped save his life. Randy Schmitz, 30, said that after sampling Flashbang hot sauce on a toothpick last August at the Pepper Place in Myrtle Beach, S.C., while on vacation, he fell to the ground in convulsions, prompting emergency medical treatment — and, ultimately, an MRI scan of his brain that detected a cancerous tumor in its early stages."

Bali nine: Why I won't be lighting a candle for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan - "Sukumaran and Chan knew the penalty if they were caught. You cannot arrive anywhere in Indonesia without signs explicitly stating the consequences of importing and exporting drugs on Indonesian soil. It is Indonesian law... the Bali nine controversy is equally about sovereign rights and the penalties imposed on those who decide to flout them. If that eight kilograms of heroin had made it back to Australia, had been cut and filtered before being distributed on the streets of Sydney's suburbs, it would have fetched millions of dollars for the drug ring's architects... Light a candle for their families, by all means. Light a candle for the loss of two human lives that could have ended so differently. But don't light a candle for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan simply because they are about to be put to death by a sovereign nation following its law. They took their chances and they lost."
If you deserve your sentence if you knowingly break the law, do apostates in Saudi Arabia deserve death?
Should we sentence tobacco and alcohol merchants to death?

College girls banned from whistling at builders - Telegraph - ""It has come to the attention of the college that some female students have been making comments to, or whistling at, the builders both whilst on site and as they walk around the campus"... Meanwhile new laws could see wolf-whistling builders placed on the sex offenders register. The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill will create a new offence of "communicating indecently", punishable by up to 10 years in jail"

This is why we must stop personal attacks in politics - "It is the PAP's rhetoric, often bordering on incitement, that provides the substratum for mistrust and hate. For example, Mr Tang Liang Hong was accused of being an anti-Islam, anti-Christian Chinese chauvinist. The incendiary labels stoked vicious threats against Mr Tang so much so that immediately following the elections in 1997, he fled the country. In a similar vein, Mr Francis Seow was accused of being a stooge of the US Government colluding with the CIA. For effect, the NTUC even staged a theatrical protest outside the US embassy. An over-emotional PAP supporter given to delusions could have easily acted in a very regrettable manner against Mr Seow The late J B Jeyaretnam was likened to a “mangy dog”, and his political challenge became analogous to a scenario involving cul-de-sacs and weapons. I have been called a gangster, a traitor who opposes Singapore and even diagnosed a psychopath. When you top this off with a call to “annihilate” me, you set up a scenario laced with poisonous tension, tempting individuals to perpetrate acts of malice and aggression. It happened on several occasions to my family and I. For present purposes, I will cite only two: The first was that my German Shepherd dog was poisoned, the cause of death was confirmed by the vet. The second involved the repeated slashing of my car tyres. Both episodes happened in the late 1990s at the height of the PAP's vitriol against me."

The dirty little secret no one wants to admit about Baltimore - "The population of Baltimore is 622,000 and 63 percent of its population is black. The mayor, state’s attorney, police chief and city council president are black, as is 48 percent of the police force"

Baltimore Is a Democrat Problem, Not America's Problem - "Contrary to the emotional blackmail some leftists are attempting to peddle, Baltimore is not America’s problem or shame. That failed city is solely and completely a Democrat problem. Like many failed cities, Detroit comes to mind, and every city besieged recently by rioting, Democrats and their union pals have had carte blanche to inflict their ideas and policies on Baltimore since 1967, the last time there was a Republican Mayor... Where I currently reside here in Watauga County, North Carolina, the poverty level is 31.3%. Median income is only $34,293. In both of those areas we are much worse off than Baltimore, that has a poverty rate of only 23.8% and a median income of $41,385. Despite all that, we don’t riot here in Watauga County"

The price that Ed Miliband is prepared to pay to win the Muslim vote - Telegraph - "Take Ed Miliband, who told Muslim News last week that a future Labour government would outlaw Islamophobia, making it an aggravated crime... If Miliband’s definition of Islamophobia includes shouting until one’s last breath against the disgusting chauvinists who prey on young girls and treat women as second-class citizens, then please do count me in. I’d gladly go to jail for that. The alternative, you see, is throroughly contemptible in the moral sense. "

Nerdcore › Friend-pretending Selfie-Arm

It's lucky the Bali bombers didn't have drugs on them - "By 2010, just 13 of the 70 JI terrorists convicted for their involvement in the Bali bombings and 2004 attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta were still in prison. By May 2014, just five men from the two Bali attacks remained ­in jail."

The Partisan Brain: How Dissonant Science Messages Lead Conservatives and Liberals to (Dis)Trust Science - "Our results suggest liberals and conservatives alike react negatively to dissonant science communication, resulting in diminished trust of the scientific community"

Eradication of "deviants": the dark side of the Swedish Model

Eradication of "deviants": the dark side of the Swedish Model." | Independent Living Institute

"The world was shocked by the recent news of a skeleton in Sweden's closet, the country's forced sterilization policy of disabled people and others who were not found to be worthy to have children...

It is an established fact that Sweden and other Nordic countries had friendly relations with Nazi Germany up until and even after the outbreak of WW II. Many of the nationalistic and racist thoughts and programs that Hitler Germany stood for were also popular in Sweden. For example, it was at the request of Swedish immigration authorities that German authorities stamped the letter "J" (for Jew) in the passports of Jews. Some historians claim that the Swedish Medical Association lobbied for a reduction of Jewish immigration in this way, fearing competition from the influx of Jewish immigrants many of whom were professionals including medical doctors.

Already in the 1920s Sweden established the State Institute for Race Biology that was to operate until the 1950s. State institutions, such as this institute, party ideologists and leading politicians formulated the sterilization programs in an attempt to improve the nation's genetic material by insuring that citizens who were considered to be "insufficient", "imbecil", "deviant" and "a burden to society" would not have children. The legal base to this practice was passed by parliament in true democratic fashion.

While eugenic motives played a role in the sterilizations, economic aspects were also important. When child allowances - monthly payments to families for each child, administered by the tax-funded national social insurance scheme - were introduced in the 1950s, the number of forced sterilizations of the "undesirable" part of the population doubled. The Swedish concept of the "people's home", formulated in the 1930s and the most influential vision in Swedish politics, was based on the ideal of a closely-knit, homogenous society - similar to a family - where all members would support each other. Each one would contribute according to one's abilities and would receive according to one's needs. The folkhem - as the concept is called in Swedish - was to become the foundation of decades of peaceful labor relations, far-reaching social reforms and unprecedented economic growth.

The dark side to this model was the harsh demand for conformity. People who did not correspond to the ideal of this new society were not welcome. For example, a recent newspaper article reported the case of a girl in her late teens who in the late 1940s was sterilized against her will. The justification given in her journal was the comment that she had often been seen hanging around the town's dancing hall.

Another contributing factor why these "legal" human rights violations were tolerated and supported by so many for so long - 60,000 persons were sterilized in roughly half a century when Sweden¥s average population was about 6 million - was probably the absence of a court to investigate the constitutionality of new laws. Sweden has never had a revolution and the state and its administration have enjoyed a trust that many foreign observers find astounding. There were no perceived reasons for the necessity of an elaborate system of checks and balances as in other countries. Thus, in a country with a relative homgeneous population, without separation of State and Church, with strong traditions of collectivism and consensus decisions, majority rule in parliament has been considered to be a sufficient guarantee to pass laws in the nation's best interest...

In Sweden more persons were sterilized, on a per capita basis, than in other countries"

Monday, May 25, 2015

Chinese Privilege, Gender and Intersectionality in Singapore: A Conversation between Adeline Koh and Sangeetha Thanapal

Note: This was excerpted from Links - 25th May 2015 in order to classify it under the label "sangeetha"

Chinese Privilege, Gender and Intersectionality in Singapore: A Conversation between Adeline Koh and Sangeetha Thanapal | boundary 2 - "In this interview, I speak with Sangeetha Thanapal, an Indian Singaporean woman who first introduced the controversial concept of ‘Chinese privilege’ in Singapore... Indian men who date Chinese women are desperate to assimilate. They instinctively realize the privilege of being Chinese, and unable to access it any other way, aspire to marry a Chinese woman. They do not have to experience racism as much when their wives’ Chinese privilege protects them, and it gives them access to opportunities that are usually reserved for Chinese people. They are effectively deracializing themselves... Chinese men gain nothing and lose everything by marrying an Indian girl, while Indian men gain access to racial privilege and Chinese women to class privilege by marrying rich Indian men"

Links - 25th May 2015

Europe's migrant security crisis swells - "The so-called "Arab Spring" was largely interpreted in the West through a media prism which focused on the middle-class Twitter generation in the Arab world. It was believed that a democratic society could be constructed from the ruins of brutal authoritarianism in a matter of months rather than decades. Such hopes proved an illusion."

Cyclist scolds deaf woman for not hearing him - "SHE was almost knocked down by a cyclist riding on the pavement two weeks ago. The cyclist had frantically rung his bell as he approached Noor Faezah Abdullah from behind, and swerved his bicycle at the last minute to avoid her. He then shouted at the visibly stunned 37-year-old and rode off. The experience left her angry and frustrated... Deaf people have been injured in collisions when they did not hear such bicycles approaching or the warning bell, said Alvan Yap, deputy director of the Singapore Association for the Deaf."

Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does | The Onion - America's Finest News Source - "Klein said that clothes-shopping, once considered a mundane act with few sociopolitical implications, is now a bold feminist statement. "Shopping for shoes has emerged as a powerful means by which women assert their autonomy," Klein said. "Owning and wearing dozens of pairs of shoes is a compelling way for a woman to announce that she is strong and independent, and can shoe herself without the help of a man. She's saying, 'Look out, male-dominated world, here comes me and my shoes'"... Whereas early feminists campaigned tirelessly for improved health care and safe, legal access to abortion, often against a backdrop of public indifference or hostility, today's feminist asserts control over her biological destiny by wearing a baby-doll T-shirt with the word "Hoochie" spelled in glitter... The study also cites the act of pumping one's raised fist in a gesture of female solidarity against the oppressive forces of air pressure... Perhaps most remarkably, the mere act of weight gain is now regarded as a feminist act. Though some women express reservations about the negative impact of obesity on one's health, overweight women display a level of assertiveness, or "sassitude," that thinner women lack."

When Must we be Tolerant and When is Someone Asking too much? - "A year later, my friend noticed that there is clearly a separation in the company. There are different utensils and also washing items for Muslims. At one point of time, the Muslims workers even asked if they could have a separate pantry which by now, my friend openly rejected the idea. The workers explained that they felt their religion was not respected by others as they were using the common table cloth to clean the table after eating pork and the taps were oily (presumably lard) when they were using it. They asked if the management could stop other workers from bringing in pork/lard into the pantry and they are okay with other non-Halal food. Now my friend is in a dilemma. While he respect the Muslim's religious obligation, he does not want to impose other's religious restriction and deprived other of their rights. He is wondering where should he stop?"
Addendum: URL changed from http://therealsingapore.com/content/when-must-we-be-tolerant-and-when-someone-asking-too-much as The Real Singapore has shut down

Teen Suspended For Bomb-Themed 'Promposal' Calls Punishment 'Racist' - "A Washington state high school student was suspended this week for wearing a fake bomb in the cafeteria to help him ask a girl to prom, and he believes the punishment he received was unjust"

Michelin-starred Sushi Mizutani rejects booking by Chinese journalist - "A top notch Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in Tokyo on Monday defended its special reservation rules for foreigners after a report in Japan it had refused to accept a booking from a Chinese customer. Sushi Mizutani, which has two of the coveted Michelin stars, told AFP it has an "across-the-board policy" of not accepting bookings by non-Japanese customers - unless they are made through a hotel concierge or a credit card company. "(Non-Japanese) customers may not show up for their reservations," a member of staff at the restaurant said, adding employees do not have the foreign language proficiency to explain requirements to patrons... Mo, a resident of Japan for 30 years who is fluent in Japanese, intended to host three guests at the high-end restaurant, where prices start at 20,000 yen ($168) per person, the Nikkan Gendai tabloid reported. The magazine said that as soon as his secretary - a Japanese woman - told the restaurant Mo's name and contact number, the person taking the booking suddenly changed his attitude and said "some arrangements were necessary" - indicating the reservation was not acceptable... Despite decades of exposure to non-Japanese tourists, many facilities, even in cosmopolitan Tokyo, have difficulties dealing with people who they assume cannot speak the language."
It's not racism if it's... "Japanese cultural practices"

Who Said It: Anita Sarkeesian or Infamous Game Hater Jack Thompson? - "But surely a trendy, cutting-edge third-wave feminist YouTuber who claims to be a life-long lover of gaming can have nothing truly in common with a fusty old religious reactionary who wouldn’t know a controller from his elbow? Surely you need only inspect their published statements to tell them apart? We’ve assembled a short quiz to find out. Can you tell the difference between the Feminist Frequency presenter’s doom-mongering about video games and the hysterical, fact-free rantings of born-again Thompson? Let us know your score."

Gender effects on Internet, catalogue and store shopping - "women have much more positive attitudes toward shopping in general. Women's ratings of catalogue and store shopping were significantly more positive and less negative than men's ratings. The opposite was true for Internet shopping. Women obtain more satisfaction from shopping and are likely to respond positively toward any enhancements to the shopping experience."
In other words, women prefer shopping than men - except internet shopping. Perhaps this is why men buy and women shop

Six PEN Members Decline Gala After Award for Charlie Hebdo - NYTimes.com - "The decision by PEN American Center to give its annual Freedom of Expression Courage award to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has prompted six writers to withdraw as literary hosts at the group’s annual gala on May 5, adding a new twist to the continuing debate over the publication’s status as a martyr for free speech... Mr. Carey, in an email interview yesterday, said the award stepped beyond the group’s traditional role of protecting freedom of expression against government oppression. “A hideous crime was committed, but was it a freedom-of-speech issue for PEN America to be self-righteous about?” he wrote. He added, “All this is complicated by PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population”... “There is courage in refusing the very idea of forbidden statements, an urgent brilliance in saying what you have been told not to say in order to make it sayable”... the group’s statement in support of Charlie Hebdo in the immediate aftermath of the attacks had led to a surge in new memberships.“We heard from people who said they had been meaning to join PEN for a few years, and the tragedy was a catalyst”... Salman Rushdie, a former PEN president who lived in hiding for years after a fatwa in response to his novel “The Satanic Verses,” said the issues were perfectly clear. Mr. Ondaatje and Mr. Carey were old friends of his, he said, but they are “horribly wrong.” “If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name,” Mr. Rushdie said. “What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them.”"

Is Criticizing Affirmative Action Illegal in Chicago? - " Is it illegal to criticize affirmative action in public places in Chicago? The Chicago City Colleges' Board of Trustees thinks so — and it has sued a teachers' union for allowing such "hate speech" (the Board's words) in its newsletter... there's a reason why the Constitution protects even nasty speech: Censorship, once started, acquires its own momentum. It starts with slurs. Then it moves to bans of so-called "hate speech." Then it progresses to speech that "attack[s] affirmative action [and] the concept of diversity itself." All done by well- intentioned public servants, who only have people's "comfort" in mind."
"Hate speech" - what someone else doesn't like

International Dimensions of Domestic Criminal Law: Extraterritoriality and Extradition (PRB 01-17E) - "There are a number of forms of jurisdiction. The most common and universally recognized of these is the territorial principle of jurisdiction, in which every state assumes jurisdiction over the prosecution and punishment of crimes committed within its borders. In addition, under the nationality principle of jurisdiction, states generally assert some extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction over at least certain of their nationals when they commit crimes abroad. States’ global criminal jurisdiction over their military personnel is a common example of this. Some states – particularly, many continental European states – exercise general extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction over all their citizens. More rarely, states may exercise jurisdiction over matters that have a deleterious effect on the state, known as the protective principle of jurisdiction. Offences that fall into this category are treason and espionage. Finally, states may attempt to assert extraterritorial jurisdiction in cases where one of its nationals is the victim of a crime. This is called the passive personality principle of jurisdiction. However, this jurisdiction is even less commonly practised than the other jurisdictional principles."

Island village in Japan will pay for your dates, give you a cow if you moo-ve there - "Mishima also has something in store for eligible bachelors, though. As part of its Bride Searching Project, the city is willing to foot the bill for a portion of your dates, and has led to two marriages among its eight recipients so far. Of course, maybe you’ve already got a romantic partner. But do you have a cow?... It’s a clever plan to reverse some of the town’s outward population flow, not least of all because giving someone a calf instead of a full-grown cow encourages them to stay put for a few years (veal isn’t particularly popular in Japan)."

The Australian Soldier in WWI

Gallipoli and famine | Podcast | History Extra

Peter FitzSimons:

"Others joined for adventure, and still others joined - and this was not an insignificant reason - 6 shillings a day, mate. It wasn't bad pay. I mean, the British soldier was getting paid 1 shilling a day. The Australian soldier was the highest paid soldier there.

You may note in my account, one of the parts that I loved is the Australians go absolutely crazy in the red light district in Cairo. And our Australian soldiers were very well known in Cairo, because all of the ladies of the night wanted an Australian soldier because they had 6 shillings in their pocket every day. So they were the first ones, and a lot of them - very tragic - got VD and were sent home in disgrace.

I don't think I put in the book but basically a dishonourable discharge for having dishonourable discharges. And when they were sent to the Dardenelles there was the Battle of the Water which took place on Good Friday. I think was April 1st or April 2st and they burnt down several brothels before they went. I mean, they were, our blokes were fairly wild men."

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Operation Foxley: The Assassination of Hitler

1804 Operation Foxley: The Assassination of Hitler | The History Network:

"Part of the reason why things had been going so badly for the German Army was perceived to be down to be Hitler himself.

Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Thornley, the Head of Section X and SOE was a staunch opponent for the assassination. He reasoned,

"As a strategist, Hitler has been of the greatest possible assistance to the British war effort. Although the military situation has been temporarily stabilised on the Western Front, Hitler is still in a position to override completely the soundest of military appreciations and thereby help the Allied cause enormously."

As can be seen from this quote, there was a considerable support for the idea that not assassinating Hitler might be a better option than doing so. Removing Hitler from the scene may well result in someone far more effective militarily taking over, perpetuating the war immeasurably...

The potential boost to morale resulting from the Martyrdom of the Fuhrer could be enough to rally the troops and civilian population to new levels of resistance. Many therefore saw it as far better to defeat Germany in the field rather than resort to other more underhand methods of winning.

It would be better in the long run for Germany to witness the decline and inevitable defeat of their leader as he blundered from one catastrophe to another than to have him cut down now. Were this to happen it could give rise to future resentment and the question as to whether Germany would've been victorious if Hitler had lived."

Links - 24th May 2015

Feminist conference says clapping 'triggers anxiety,' asks attendees to use 'jazz hands' instead - "A U.K. student feminism conference is asking attendees to refrain from clapping and use “jazz hands” instead so as to not trigger anxiety in others. The National Union of Students (NUS) Women’s Campaign announced the clapping “ban” at the West Midlands conference on Twitter Tuesday, shortly after receiving a request from the Oxford University Women’s Campaign... NUS sent out a similar tweet earlier in the day that also discouraged “whooping.” “Whooping is fun for some, but can be super inaccessible for others, so please try not to whoop! Jazz hands work just as well #nuswomen15,” they said."

‘Need a shirt to iron?’ Gal goes looking for ‘feminist support,’ gets razzed instead - "You telling me I'm not funny or cool is a micro-aggression and it will not stand. IT WILL NOT STAND. *jazz hands*"
"if somebody in the self-care room offers to care for another, can that be construed as a "micro-aggression"?"
"I'm sorry, @sarahgillborn, but blocking is triggering."
"These people are supposed to be strong women and they need "self-care" and "safe space" rooms?"
"Hey, be nice. @sarahgillborn very bravely blocked me after one tweet. That takes some serious backbone."

N.Y. feminists protest 'sexist' billboard advertising kitchen: 'I prefer an office' - “A vast majority of Teakwood’s clients are women. Frequently they are the decision makers about major expenditures. This billboard — and the entire ‘Your wife wants me’ campaign — is good-natured, tongue in cheek fun meant to appeal to women who have a sense of humor, a sense of history and healthy self-esteem. We applaud the students involved in the protest for their excitement about their cause. And we thank them for drawing attention to the gorgeous Teakwood kitchen on the billboard.”

Couple furious after police allow gypsies to live in their stolen caravan - "Kathleen McClelland and partner Michael Curry now have only one option to get their mobile home back – through expensive civil proceedings. The pair spent their retirement savings and a further £10,000 kitting the vehicle out before it was stolen in 2011. Eighteen months later police said it had been discovered less than 10 miles away in Hook, Hampshire. But, amazingly, officers said they had “no lawful powers” to retrieve the 26ft-long Bailey Louisiana camper. Ms McClelland said: “They’ve told us social services would have to be involved to get the family accommodation before they could seize it. “Otherwise they said it could breach their human rights. We’re devastated. It was all we had."

'Sharia compliant' sex shop to open in Mecca selling halal sex toys for Muslims - "Its website describes all products as “Sharia compliant” and claims they can “provide a deeper meaning to sexuality, sensuality and even spirituality”.

5 Arguments Against The Ban On Pornography - Jeraldine Phneah Singapore Gen Y Blogger: Personal Growth, Sociopolitical Issues, Travel

Self-perceived effects of pornography consumption. - "The self-perceived effects of "hardcore" pornography consumption were studied in a large representative sample of young adult Danish men and women aged 18-30. Using a survey that included the newly developed Pornography Consumption Effect Scale, we assessed participants' reports of how pornography has affected them personally in various areas, including their sexual knowledge, attitudes toward sex, attitudes toward and perception of the opposite sex, sex life, and general quality of life. Across all areas investigated, participants reported only small, if any, negative effects with men reporting slightly more negative effects than women. In contrast, moderate positive effects were generally reported by both men and women, with men reporting significantly more positive effects than women. For both sexes, sexual background factors were found to significantly predict both positive and negative effects of pornography consumption. Although the proportion of variance in positive effects accounted for by sexual background factors was substantial, it was small for negative effects. We discuss how the findings may be interpreted differently by supporters and opponents of pornography due to the reliance in this study on reported self-perceptions of effects. Nonetheless, we conclude that the overall findings suggest that many young Danish adults believe that pornography has had primarily a positive effect on various aspects of their lives."

Legend of The Red Dragon at lord.stabs.org - About LORD - "LORD (Legend of the Red Dragon) is a simplified text based RPG (Role Playing Game). It was created during the BBS (Bulletin Board System) era by a popular fellow named Seth Robinson. LORD takes the whole story line of a typical MUD, and breaks it down into a text based role playing game where you can play your turn within several minutes. You can play every day, or once every other week, and still maintain an active role in the game."
I played this in Secondary School!

Exercise Can't Save Us: Our Sugar Intake Is The Real Culprit, Say Experts

State-funded LGBT-organization put on a wetsex show for 15 year old students - "The state funded organization RFSL (“The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights”) arranged, together with a few students, a “Pride Week” at Kungsholmen Gymnasium (Kungsholmen High School). The week was supposed to “spread a sense of openness and love in the school”. The Pride Week ended with a “happening” in the schools auditorium where a few people put on a show. But this was no Shakespeare; it was the “love” and “openness” of the LBGT-lobby. A woman on stage undressed herself, got beaten by a man and after she fell to the ground, the man started… peeing on her."

Buddhist temple singles parties: The enlightened way to find a romantic partner

Chess Grandmaster Says There Is Gender Inequality In The Game Because Men And Women Are 'Hard-Wired Very Differently' - ""It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact," he added. Short defended his comments in an interview with Sky News on Monday. "Men have brains which are 10 percent larger," he said. "They also have considerably more gray matter. Women have very, very much more white matter." He acknowledged sexism is a probably an issue in chess, but maintained that there are inherent differences between the sexes. Short is right that there are some differences between men's and women's brains, said Jordan Gaines Lewis, a doctoral candidate in neuroscience at the Penn State College of Medicine, but the chess player seems to have overstated their influence while downplaying possible societal issues."
Comment: "Isn't it funny, that every time feminism discusses leadership qualities, they reference women's superior "emotional intelligence" as a huge plus and one of the best arguments for women in leadership positions, but all of a sudden we should now doubt that emotional intelligence even exists, because in this case it might work against female chess players and their qualities?"

Touring 'Hamlet' gets a standing ovation at UN - "For all the good feeling at the United Nations, Paratene, who plays Polonius, Claudius or the Ghost, had no illusions about the power of art going up against long-held international beliefs. "It would be foolish of us to go in thinking that we could get the diplomats to operate better," he said. "All we can do is tell the story and if they glean from that something that makes the Israeli representative go to the other side of the room and sit next to the Palestinian representative and maybe kiss each other on the cheek and talk and listen, that would be very nice. But that's not what we're here to do. We're here to tell a story.""

The Sunny Side of Smut - "In 2007 Alan McKee, a cultural studies expert at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, designed a questionnaire to assess sexist tendencies. He enclosed his survey in shipments of pornographic material distributed by a mail-order company and also posted it online. Responses from 1,023 pornography users indicated that the amount of pornography the subjects consumed did not predict whether they would hold negative attitudes toward women... But the questionnaire may have missed a key nuance. In a study published in 2004 in the Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, researchers at Texas Tech University administered a different survey to male and female college students and found that although consumers of pornography did not display more negative attitudes toward women, they were more likely than other respondents to believe that women should be protected from harm—what the investigators call “benevolent sexism”... What if it turns out that ­pornography use actually reduces the desire to rape? It is a controversial idea, but some studies support it. Work in the 1960s and 1970s reported that sexual criminals tend to be exposed to pornographic materials at a later age than noncriminals. In 1992 Richard Green, a psychiatrist at Imperial College London, disclosed in his book Sexual Science and the Law that patients requesting treatment in clinics for sex offenders commonly say that pornography helps them keep their abnormal sexuality within the confines of their imagination. “Pornography seems to be protective,” Diamond says, perhaps because exposure correlates with lower levels of sexual repression, a potential rape risk factor... What mattered most, Twohig found, was whether the subjects tried to control their sexual thoughts and desires. The more they tried to clamp down on their urge for sex or porn, the more likely they were to consider their own pornography use a problem. The findings suggest that suppressing the desire to view pornography, for example, for moral or religious reasons, might actually strengthen the urge for it and exacerbate sexual problems"

Stricter rules in Geylang and Little India as alcohol laws kick in - "Under the Act, those found guilty of drinking after 10.30pm in a public place will face a fine of up to $1,000. A repeat offender may be jailed for up to three months. A shop which sells alcohol after permitted hours may get a fine not exceeding $10,000. But MHA stressed that the police will take a "calibrated and even-handed" approach in enforcing the law. If a person is caught drinking illegally, police will take down his particulars in the first instance and ask him to dispose of the alcohol. If there is public annoyance, police can also ask the person to leave the place. If he complies, no further action will be taken."
Prosecutorial and police discretion apply everywhere. Indeed they are even necessary, since the law cannot be phrased so as to cover every single possibility

Incident might have been a mistake - "The incident, which has prompted Cagadoc to file a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission today, all started when Luc told her at the dinner table that he was ashamed to eat in the Filipino tradition - breaking up food with a fork and then pushing it into a spoon. Earlier that day, Luc Cagadoc, a lean, bespectacled Grade 2 student at Ecole Lalande, had been reprimanded and forced to eat at a table alone by the school's daycare lunch monitor, who told his mother Luc ''eats like a pig.'' Allegations that Luc had been punished for his culinary traditions rocked the Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys, a French schoolboard with an increasingly diverse student body."
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