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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Links - 16th December 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese man hid in sewer to film women's underwear

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

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

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

The Failure of Multiculturalism

The Failure of Multiculturalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

A similar historical amnesia plagues discussions surrounding immigration...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Links - 15th December 2015

Man had sex with underage girls, then made them prostitutes - "Some of the girls who applied for a job at his social escort agency were as young as 15 years old. But that didn't stop him from using them to provide sexual services to men. Chew Tiong Wei also had sex with some of them because he wanted to "try" them out before hiring them. A 17-year-old girl whom Chew had sex with went on to make about $20,000 for him in about a year. The university undergraduate slept with about 50 men, charging them $400 to $1,000 each. As with his other girls, Chew took 40 per cent of her takings as his cut. His other "social escorts" were not as lucrative, but Chew still earned $1.047 million from at least 19 prostitutes from 2007 until last year... Within the next year, he made between $20,000 and $30,000, motivating him to improve his business. In 2010, he spent about $24,000 to hire professionals to create a website and a short-messaging service (SMS) database program for his business... The girls would be asked for their personal particulars such as their NRIC and age, relevant sexual experience, preferred age limit of their customers, sexual services they are willing to provide and their minimum price. When it came to recruiting females under 18, Chew would convince them to have sex with him first before hiring them. He would tell them he needed to "try" them out and provide pointers so they could "get used to the whole feel". That was how he convinced a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him in June 2008 before recruiting her to be a prostitute... For the next six months, the girl had paid sex with 76 male customers and gave Chew about $6,770. He also met another 15-year-old girl, who saw his advertisement and asked her 16-year-old female friend along for the interview and photoshoot in a hotel room. After Chew took pictures of them in their lingerie, he said he wanted to test their sexual services and offered to paid them. They agreed and engaged in a threesome with Chew, who paid them $50 each... He told her she would need to talk to a customer first and kiss him if he did not make the first move. They then had sex with a condom, only for her to push him away at some point when she felt pain. He assured her that everything would be fine and they resumed, even having unprotected sex at some point.
Afterwards, he told her not to push the customer away during sex... Chew also filmed himself having sex with his prostitutes in hotel rooms or his Toa Payoh home on 27 occasions. Many of them were unaware they were being filmed"

Pimp who earned S$2.5 million from social escort business pleads guilty - "Chew decided to set up a database system to keep track of clients and their respective bookings. Chew eventually had about six administrative staff helping to attend to clients, to set up meetings with prostitutes and to procure more women for the trade."

Online vice-ring pimp who made $1m in profits over 5 years convicted of vice offences - "A 38-year-old online vice-ring pimp who received nearly $2.6 million in revenue and earned a profit of about $1 million over five years was convicted of various offences... Chew's vice-ring involved at least 22 prostitutes, 11 of whom were below age 18 at the time of the offences. The youngest was 15... He pleaded guilty to evading tax by under-declaring his profit for the year of assessment 2012 in his income tax return. He declared his profit to be $40,166, when it was actually $175,779. The tax undercharged amounted to $15,118.25. He also declared his profit for the year of assessment 2013 to be $20,345, when it was actually $160,417. The tax undercharged amounted to $11,846.40. In April last year, Chew also submitted a Productivity and Innovation Credit cash payout application form for purchasing a $15,000 software. In the form, he declared that he had met the conditions of employing and making CPF contributions for at least three local employees, and provided the particulars of his father, mother and wife. They were never employed by Chew, but he had made CPF contributions into their accounts. Chew later obtained a PIC cash payout of $9,000 and a PIC bonus of $15,000."

What’s Behind Baltimore’s Record-Setting Rise in Homicides - "Since the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black Baltimore resident who died in police custody on April 19, the balance of power between police and citizens in the city appears to have tilted on its axis. Protests following Gray’s death, which at first experienced little police pushback, have led to elevated levels of violence around the city by criminals who some experts say appear emboldened. There were 43 homicides in May, the most in any month since December 1971—when the city was almost one-third bigger than it is today. According to numbers compiled by the Baltimore Sun and the FBI, the average number of monthly murders in May from 2009 to 2014 was 21... Since six officers were indicted in Gray’s death on May 1, police officers’ concerns over potential prosecution for improper use of force now appear to be holding many of them back from arresting suspects altogether. When they do, they’re surrounded by smartphone-wielding citizens. It’s as if the police are no longer patrolling Baltimore the way they once did; instead, the citizens are patrolling them. “The cops I’ve spoken to say it’s different now,” said Peter Moskos, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and former Baltimore City police officer. “Cops are saying, If we’re going to get in trouble for well-intentioned mistakes, then f— it, I’m not working”... The number of murders has doubled while shootings are up more than 80%, and most experts say that it’s at least partly linked to a reluctance by police to actively do their jobs... Many on-duty officers are also being pulled away from their normal beats to back up other officers during a stop or an arrest because of the groups of people who gather to record their actions. Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has described situations in which “30 to 50 people” are surrounding officers on duty. “They’re still doing their jobs, but now these stops takes four officers instead of two because they’re surrounded by people filming them,” Moskos said. Baltimore also appears to be at least a short-term test case for how much of an effect policing has on crime. Moskos said some experts don’t accept the notion that policing is linked to crime rates and that crime can only be lessened by tackling root causes like poverty or poor education, rather than boosting a police force."
Presumably it's better for 10 people to be killed in crime than for 1 person to be killed by a police officer

US tackles crowdfunding man who spent money on himself - "In 2012, Erik Chevalier raised more than $122,000 (£79,000) to make a board game called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said much of the money raised went on rent, personal equipment and moving expenses. In a settlement, Mr Chevalier agreed to honour refunds and to be honest in any future crowdfunding projects. The legal action is believed to be the first against someone who misrepresented crowdfunding projects or misappropriated funds."

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Wall in the Head - "We stole some motorbikes but got caught on the Bavarian border. One shot by the border police and that would've been the end of us. It was a completely stupid thing to do, but thank god they just arrested us and we were locked up. And because I was a political prisoner, I've now got a better pension. Back then I never though I was providing for the future"

Hanged on a comma: drafting can be a matter of life and death - "Sir Roger was an Irish nationalist activist. He was tried under the Treason Act 1351 – text here. A full description of the trial appears here. For reasons that are discussed below, he was famously said to have been “hanged on a comma”... Sir Roger’s counsel argued that acts performed outside the UK could not amount to treason within the UK. This argument was based on interpreting the wording of the statute. Or rather, interpreting the English version of the statute, for the original was written in Norman French... At one point during the appeal hearing, the discussion descends to whether a mark on the original roll indicates a comma, a bracket or just a centuries-old fold in the paper!"

Back to the issue of Singaporeans and their accent - "You should always put the client's needs before yours, you are not as important as the client, you should be humble and treat the client as a VIP. If the client wants to speak the Queen's English, then you jolly well stuff your Singlish where the sun don't shine and you speak proper English. And by the same token, if the client wants to speak Hokkien (which was the case when I dealt with a Taiwanese client in London who was thrilled to meet a fellow Hokkien person), then I stuffed my Queen's English where the sun don't shine and spoke to him in Hokkien (his Taiwanese Hokkien wasn't easy to understand). Either way, you let the other party decide what kind of language they want to speak, you don't impose your preferences on them... I cringe at the way Singlish has evolved in the last 20 years. I no longer recognize it and when I try to speak Singlish to Singaporeans these days, they do not understand me. This is because when I learnt Singlish back in the 1980s, it was such a rich mix of English infused with Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Malay and Tamil - it was beautiful to listen to and a joy to speak. Nowadays, Singaporean-Chinese people tend to speak only Mandarin and English, so the moment I use a loanword from any other of those Chinese dialects, Malay or Tamil, I am met with blank stares"

“For the Avoidance of Doubt” - "Never use for the avoidance of doubt. Sometimes a drafter will use this phrase in a contract to introduce language that seeks to clarify preceding language, usually by indicating that something either falls within or is excluded from the scope of the preceding language. In this context, for the avoidance of doubt says, in effect, “excuse us if we state the obvious.”"

As a Navy SEAL Sniper, my ruck was routinely 120... - Craig "Sawman" Sawyer - "As a Navy SEAL Sniper, my ruck was routinely 120 pounds. My second line was another 50-60 pounds. My main weapon, if carrying the Tac 50 was another 30 pounds. I'm 6 ft, 220 pounds with a 33 inch waist. There were many times I could barely stand up with my own equipment on my back. I had to jump that gear from airplanes in the dark, lock it out of submarines and swim it into hostile countries, hump it through jungles, deserts and mountains for further than I'm allowed to disclose. I can tell you from sacrificing my health in that capacity for my country, that's a brutally physical job, no matter how you slice it. It takes a brute to get those tools into a foreign country, not to mention actually WINNING the fight against their country's fiercest Special Forces Units. Less than 1% of the fittest and baddest males are capable of making the grade. What if your 275 pound teammate goes down in a firefight? I can barely drag him out of there using all the strength and insane determination I have. The fact is, nobody less physically capable could get him to the helo to get him off target and back home. Does he deserve to have teammates he can save, but who could not save him?... I must say, though, that until women are directly and routinely competing with monsters like Mike Tyson for the world heavyweight boxing championship, UFC championships, competing very effectively with the NFL Superbowl champs, and competing directly with male heavyweight powerlifting champions, putting them in front line Spec Ops units that require they beat the most capable foreign Special Forces Units to death, even if hand-to-hand combat is required (and it has ALWAYS boiled down to that historically) within a primal and necessarily physical profession, for our national security is…misguided. That's the nicest term I can place upon such a supremely foolish development. This is a classic example of decisions being made by those who have ZERO concept of what it really takes to win a fight with no rules, in the dark of night, halfway around the globe, when our nation's security is at risk and successful force is required to save the day, at all cost. Failure is not an option. When this kind of politics is involved, the standards are changed to fit the narrative, every time. In practical application in the real world, whether or not it is admitted to the public, the standards are forced down to accommodate the story. This ends up putting people in harm's way who are not prepared. Catastrophe follows. U.S. Army Col. David Hackworth wrote about this using the example of the mom who wrote her Congressman demanding her son make it through Special Forces training, then after political pressure was applied and standards were dropped to get her son through so he could have his fancy title, her son died in combat because he was in over his head. He didn't have what it took. The standards would have handled that, if only allowed. What's worse is he likely got some of his more capable teammates killed because they were counting on him to cover their backs as they had for him. The standards are NEVER kept when politics gets forced into the matter. This brand of interference is expensive in the cost of lives, morale and unit effectiveness"

Furries from A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism) - "Th is study explored the furry identity. Furries are humans interested in anthropomorphic art and cartoons. Some furries have zoomorphic tendencies. Furries often identify with, and/or assume, characteristics of a special/totem species of nonhuman animal. Th is research surveyed both fur-ries (n = 217) and non-furry individuals (n = 29) attending a furry convention and a comparison group of college students (n = 68). Furries commonly indicated dragons and various canine and feline species as their alternate-species identity; none reported a nonhuman-primate identity. Dichotomous responses ("yes" or "no") to two key furry-identity questions ("do you consider yourself to be less than 100% human" and "if you could become 0% human, would you") pro-duced a two-by-two furry typology. Th ese two independent dimensions are self-perception (undistorted versus distorted) and species identity (attained versus unattained). One-quarter of the furry sample answered "yes" to both questions, placing them in the "Distorted Unattained" quadrant. Th is type of furry has certain characteristics paralleling gender-identity disorder. To explore this parallel, the furry typology, and the proposed construct of "Species Identity Disorder" needs further research."

What is HD? The difference between 720p, 1080i and 1080p

Descriptivism vs Prescriptivism

KING FUCKO — gollyplot: flittering-sylph: Man I hate it...

flittering-sylph: Man I hate it when people use the pronoun “you” as a singular pronoun in an informal setting. “You” is plural, unless thou dost speak to an unfamiliar person. The correct singular second person pronoun is “thou” in most cases. Grammar never changes. Pronouns must always stay one way until the end of time. Learn thy proper English. *sigh* Kids these days.

gollyplot: If thou this mistake shouldst make on thine own blog, then know, villain, that thou art a dirty descriptivist, and no friend of mine. Ne'er should language itself alter, it doth remain fixèd as such, untouch’d by change. Wouldst thou, vile descriptivist, that we forget the heritage of our great tongue? Nay, say I. Thou art but a dickhead who sayest so.

kingfucko: stynt ðy clappe! beoð ðo writerris be wetleas knafen. ðy langag o engelond diffoulened be, ille usenid bi sclaundrous novelri.
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