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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Links - 12th October 2016

Donald Trump threatens to jail Hillary Clinton in second presidential debate - "Trump, embracing the spirit of the “lock her up” mob chants at his rallies, threatened: “If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation – there has never been so many lies and so much deception,” he threatened. Clinton said it was “awfully good” that someone with the temperament of Trump was not in charge of the law in the country, provoking another Trump jab: “Because you’d be in jail.”"
If saying you want your political opponent to be investigated means you're threatening to put him in jail, perhaps we should make politicians immune from prosecution

On Rape, Liberals Don't 'Believe the Victim' If It's Juanita Broaddrick - "In the wake of the publication of a major interview with Juanita Broaddrick, a lot of left-leaning writers are soberly re-examining her decades' old rape accusation against Bill Clinton—which seems to grow less plausible (or perhaps less important) in their eyes, the more it threatens Hillary Clinton's presidential bid... We need not try to imagine how left-leaning feminist writers would respond if someone else described an alleged rape survivor as sounding "irrational." People like Cathy Young, Richard Bradley, and me have been excoriated by sites like Wonkette, Jezebel, and Feministing for daring to scrutinize self-described victims... "Believe the victims," is the mantra of the feminist-left. It was even Hillary Clinton's position on sexual assault accusations—at least until people pointed out the irony of Hillary vowing to believe all women while very specifically disbelieving those who had accused her husband. Last February, after Broaddrick sent a tweet accusing Hillary of trying to silence her, the Clinton campaign deleted the following sentence from its website: "You have the right to be believed, and we're with you.""

Amused that the Flying Dutchman has separate casts: Asian and International

It is about being respectful to my religion Storm of controversy over sign banning Muslim staff from washing their feet in city office public toilet before their daily prayers - "Paul Culbi from Jamesons, the strata managers of the building, said the cartoon was 'racist, defamatory and a breach of owner corporation guidelines'. 'I would like to say that this racist item is against guidelines and I will be making a report to the owners,' he said. 'Apart from being a breach of guidelines to place anything up like that without owners' permission, it is racist. 'I have questioned the caretaker who doesn't know anything about it.'"

Admit It: These Terrorists Are Muslims - "The atrocious attack in Orlando, Florida, was an act of ISIS-inspired jihadist terrorism that targeted gays. It must concern us all... So far do many of us liberals go in denying the problem, that we’re happy to stigmatize other vulnerable minorities in the process. “He was not a Muslim, he was nothing but a mad lunatic,” we cry in exasperation. As if those with mental health issues are somehow automatically predisposed to murder, or immune to manipulation and exploitation by cynical Islamists and jihadists. Then there’s that other old tactic to try and avoid discussing the Islamist ideology. “He wasn’t from the Muslim community,” we proclaim. “He was acting in isolation, a lone wolf.” Apart from the fact that research highlights how incredibly rare it is for jihadists to act in a vacuum, we need look no further than the Orlando attacker Omar Mateen’s father, who praised the Taliban as “warriors” to realize this avoidance tactic for what it is. Clearly Omar Mateen had moved in an atmosphere that glorified jihadist ideology. “But it must be foreign policy in Afghanistan,” we naively protest... what did gays in the Pulse nightclub have to do with any of that? Or the gays that ISIS regularly throws off the tallest buildings in Syria, for that matter?... In the long run, only reducing the local appeal of this ideology will solve the problem. Whereas Islam today requires reform, the Islamist ideology must be intellectually terminated. To do so requires first acknowledging it exists, isolating it from Muslims, devising a strategy to challenge it, and then backing the voices that do... the danger of not doing so is twofold. Within the Muslim context, it is a betrayal of those liberal reforming Muslims who risk everything daily... we deprive them of the lexicon to deploy against those who are attempting to silence their progressive efforts within their own communities. We surrender their identity of Islam to the extremists. The second danger is in the non-Muslim context. What happens if we don’t name the Islamist ideology and distinguish it from Islam? We leave a void for the vast majority of Americans—who are unaware of the nuances in this debate—to be filled by Donald Trump and the Populist Right"
One claim is that naming the problem will do nothing to solve it. Yet somehow we need to name "white male privilege"

Revealed: How a homesick wife nearly blew it for the British double agent who fooled Hitler - "a tearful Mrs Pujol was taken blindfolded to MI5's Camp 020 interrogation centre near Ham Common, west London, where her husband was brought before her, unshaven and dressed in camp clothing. In an emotional reunion, she swore to him she had never meant to carry out her threat to go to the embassy and had simply wanted her request to to return home to be taken seriously. "She promised that if only he was released from prison, she would help him in every way to continue his work with even greater zeal than before," Mr Harris noted. "She left Camp 020 more composed, but still weeping.""

A Chart That Says the War on Drugs Isn't Working - "while the blue illicit drug addiction rate line has remained relatively steady at about 1.3 percent, the green line for drug control spending has skyrocketed. The increased spending did not correlate to lower addiction rates. "Drug use and abuse exists on a spectrum and as a society we must accept that some portion of the population will be addicted to drugs even if we don’t like it," Groff says."
This supports the theory that drug addiction is due not to the drug but the individual's social circumstances

India police detain pigeon with threatening note addressed to PM Narendra Modi

Sir Neville Marriner obituary - "On the strength of what he had achieved by his early 30s, Sir Neville Marriner, who has died aged 92, would have been remembered as a decent orchestral and chamber music violinist. But at 34 he made a brilliant career move that led to his becoming one of the world’s best-known conductors. His chamber orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, not only inaugurated a fashion for long-winded ensemble titles, but shot straight to the top of its class, beating the Germans and Italians at their own game. To achieve this feat in Britain, a land not noted for its string playing, was extraordinary."

I fell for a Frenchman, but didn’t speak the language - "As I got to know French, I got to know Olivier. I began to appreciate his subtlety, his restraint, his aversion to hyperbole or overpromise. If he’d taken off a pair of gloves, I’d put on prescription glasses"

New churches or temples not allowed - "The couple told us local Christians were allowed to hold low-key Christmas celebrations inside the churches or at homes, but not outdoors or at a shopping mall. Christmas decorations and sending greeting cards are seen as offensive to Muslims and against the country’s law. Non-Muslims are prohibited by law to preach to Muslims or atheists... The Brunei government has also listed 19 terms for the exclusive use of Muslims only, and Christians are not allowed to use the Malay version of the Bible... no permits for the construction of new Chinese temples will be issued by the government. In the meantime, a Bruneian Muslim told Sin Chew Daily they were also not allowed to celebrate Valentine’s Day and many youngsters have the wrong impression that Valentine’s is a Christian festival. In addition, Muslim parents are banned from entrusting their children into the care of non-Muslim families."

Japan sushi chain stung by 'wasabi terrorism' claims - "A Japanese sushi chain is being accused of "wasabi terrorism" after it admitted to heaping excess dollops of the pungent root into foreign customers' food. Osaka-based Ichibazushi issued an apology on its website Sunday (Oct 2), owning up to the charges but denying discrimination was at play... The story was picked up by national media which pointed to comments online complaining of so-called "wasabi terrorism" - and racism. "That is no apology; it's an excuse. What they did was a hate crime," @sakeuchi317 wrote on Twitter."

Archaeologist Finds Ancient Roman Coins in 12th-Century Japanese Castle - "This isn't the first time that ancient Roman artifacts have been found in Japan. As the AFP reported back in 2012, glass jewelry believed to have Roman origins was uncovered in a Japanese tomb."

Our IQs have never been higher – but it hasn’t made us smart - "as an adult your genes can predict about 80% of the differences between you and the next person... reading the schematic London Underground map may have been tough for someone in the 1900s who was used to seeing the world more literally, Flynn says. This progression has forced us to think in hierarchies and symbols, to learn how to follow rules and draw analogies – and it is now so widespread that we forget the cognitive leaps it requires... The Flynn Effect seems to predict a country’s rising economic performance... Flynn’s analysis shows that even a few IQ points can determine your path in life. For a fairly bright kid entering university in America, for instance, living in a slightly more academic home could push their score from 500 to 566 on the SAT exams, for instance – the difference between a place at a prestigious or more mediocre college... Despite the gains in IQ, he worries that we aren’t engaging our minds effectively on the issues that matter. “I’m not being gloomy but actually the major intellectual thing that disturbs me is that young people like you are reading less history and less serious novels than you used to”

Beyond the Flynn effect: new myths about race, family and IQ? - "a sentence from his new book is nagging away at me. American blacks, it says, “come from a cognitively restricted subculture”... “It’s whites, not blacks, who complain,” he says. “Blacks know the score. Facts are facts.” On recorded IQ tests, he says, African Americans have persistently lagged behind [pdf] most other ethnicities in America [pdf] (including, according to some commentators, black immigrants from, for example, the Caribbean) and this cannot be explained by the Flynn effect since, as he puts it, “blacks don’t live in a time warp”. He then tells what sounds like a version of those dodgy jokes about the Irishman, the Scotsman and the Englishman. Except this isn’t a joke. “Go to the American suburbs one evening,” says Flynn, “and find three professors. The Chinese professor’s kids immediately do their homework. The Jewish professor’s kids have to be yelled at. The black professor says: ‘Why don’t we go out and shoot a few baskets?’” As I emit a liberal gasp, he continues: “The parenting is worse in black homes, even when you equate them for socio-economic status. In the late 1970s, an experiment took 46 black adoptees and gave half to black professional families and half to white professionals with all the mothers having 16 years of education. When their IQs were tested at eight-and-a-half, the white-raised kids were 13.5 IQ points ahead. The mothers were asked to do problem-solving with their children. Universally, the blacks were impatient, the whites encouraging. Immediate achievement is rewarded in black subculture but not long-term achievement where you have to forgo immediate gratification.” He tells me of research showing that “when American troops occupied Germany at the end of the second world war, black soldiers left behind half-black children and white soldiers left behind all-white. By 11, the two groups had identical average IQs. In Germany, there was no black subculture.”"

Gene Expression: James Watson Tells the Inconvenient Truth: Faces the Consequences - "James Watson implied a belief that the uniquely low intelligence of both continental Africans and African-Americans are probably related to familiar genetic causes. This belief is deemed unacceptable to express in public, even in most academic contexts, or hold in private. This is despite the fact that the research evidence in support of this position is stronger than the research evidence that contradicts it. Thus even top scientists like Watson are punished for holding beliefs that are more scientific and logical, while scientists that hold to less scientific beliefs and illogical arguments are rewarded. This is a rot on the soul of science... Watson was thinking like a scientist. Which is exactly why he was punished. The moral laws of our society dictate that we are not allowed to think scientifically about some issues. Especially not in public."

Man fined 10,000 yuan for illegally reprinting ancient erotic novel 'The Plum in the Golden Vase' - "Thanks to its explicit descriptions of sex, it still remains pretty controversial in China, even after more than 400 years in publication, and has been partially-banned by Beijing. Written during the late Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644 C.E.), first circulated around 1596, under the pseudonym Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (The Scoffing Scholar of Lanling), it can still be bought in its abridged format, published in 1983. Though if you were to buy that version, you would be missing out on over 19,000 characters conveniently removed due to too much sexiness. Despite China easing the ban in 1991, the complete version is only available to scholars and cadres of a certain level."

The Ignorance of "Cultural Appropriation"

William Harvey - Today I met the worst racist of this project....

"Today I met the worst racist of this project.

"People should learn to appreciate their own cultures," the young Latina facilitator at SOAWatch Encuentro at the Border was saying at the other end of the hotel lobby in Nogales, Arizona, just 1 mile from the Mexican border. I hurried up to her to ask what she meant.

"White people need to stick with their own stuff," she said. I cringed at the racist inflection she gave to "white people."

"Organize your own people, don't try to organize us. Learn to appreciate your own culture instead of taking things from our cultures and pretending they're your own," she continued.

"So you're saying white people shouldn't appreciate things from other cultures?" I asked.

"No, that's not what I'm saying," she said. Hm, it sure sounded like it. She pointed at my camera bag. "For instance, your bag appropriates Colombian culture."

"I got it in the Philippines," I told her. She was flustered for a second.

"Well, it's important to know the context for it."

"But let's use my bag as an example," I said. "I went to the Philippines. I bought it. I paid a fair price. What more should I have done?" She didn't have an answer for me.

I told her that I'm a classical musician and she brightened. "Yes, white people should listen to classical music." We agreed, but for the wrong reasons. She seems to think that classical music is the *only* music white people can listen to without being racist.

She continued, "But it's wrong to, say, take an orchestra and try to teach African-American communities and tell them that your music is great."

"That's exactly what I do for a living," I said. That made her uncomfortable.

"I'm not saying it's not great, but our music is also great." I wasn't sure who she meant by "our," since she's Latina, not black.

"You don't have to divide people like that," I said. "Classical music can come from anywhere. If by 'our' you mean Latin America, what about Revueltas, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos?"

She must have recognized the names, for she said, "Oh, but they were trained in music that came from Europe." Thus, she denigrated the experience of any "person of color" who happens to value anything a white person created...minutes after saying that "white people should stick to white stuff." Is she advocating that I become a white nationalist?

For the last time: Cultural. Appropriation. Does. Not. Exist. You can put two words together and give them a definition, but that does NOT obligate anyone else to accept your new term as an intellectually valid concept. I can come up with something called "cultural amortization" but that doesn't mean I have a right to expect everyone to believe it is a real thing that exists.

Cultures have learned from and borrowed from one another since the beginning of human civilization. You know what? The reason the racist Latina facilitator confused my bag for a Colombian one is that when both Colombia and the Philippines were part of the Spanish Empire for 3 centuries, there's a chance that cultural exchange took place, and some Filipino artisan saw a Colombian design that he/she liked, or vice versa. To be clear: a person of color may have borrowed from a person of color. It's fine.

White Americans like yoga, and that's a good thing.

Afghans like Schubert, and that's a good thing.

Create something great, no matter your race, and the world will value you. Ask Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Uwem Akpan. There are universal values and objective truths that anyone of any race can uncover, and anyone of any race can marvel at the uncoverer's stunning temerity in revealing the coruscating brilliance of these truths to our frail and timid eyes.

No, I will not "stick to white people stuff." No, I will not become a white nationalist, as today's Social-Justice-Warrior, Regressive-Left "liberals" seem to want. I will continue to value music, art, literature, film, and food from all over the world, and I will continued to believe that we are all human, and there is a spark of divinity in each of us."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On Trump Supporters and Bashers

"It seems that people who constantly bash Trump don't seem to understand that most of the people who support Trump actually acknowledges that Trump has serious personal flaws, in fact his personal flaws are actually part of his strength in his campaign; his supporters don't just see him as a politician, they see him as as one them, the average guy who's not an angel and is just as flawed as everyone else. That's why even when he says dumb and inappropriate things in public, his supporters don't care, because in their minds it's like, "Yeah that sounds kinda dumb, but I know a few friends who'd say that, also I may have said something like that one time or another, so who am I to judge."

Meanwhile, the people who constantly bash Trump for even the pettiest of things look and sound like moral hypocrites; it's one thing to attack Trump on some of his policies and positions, like his idea that global warming is a hoax, or his pro-life stance, those are actually valid criticisms of him, yet 90% of the the time, people attack him for things that are so small and petty, like what he wears, how he eats, what he says to his family and friends, etc. It makes whoever that criticizes him by largely these basis alone look like self-righteous holier-than-thous sitting on a high horse as if they haven't done a single bad thing in their lives. It's made even worse that these people are so critical of Trump in every possible way, yet seem to just give Hillary a pass for her own sins, which is arguably just as bad if not worse, which makes it obvious that their hatred of Trump is largely driven by the constant bombardment of anti-Trump material from the maiinstream media as well as Web 2.0 gatekeepers like Facebook and Reddit and other social networking and aggregation websites."


Monday, October 10, 2016

Transcript of Opening Remarks at Second Presidential Debate

I couldn't find this anywhere, so I decided to transcribe it myself.

"Good evening, and welcome to Washington University in St Louis.

Long years ago, this nation was founded on the grand promise, later memorialised by President Lincoln. America will create a true government of the people, by the people, for the people.

This great democratic experiment has since spread like wildfire to much of the world, sometimes raging but more often smouldering, including to Singapore, my home.

Today, too many democratic governments are being undermined by those who have a much different vision of the world, of their power, and of their responsibilities to their citizens.

This debate provides a momentous occasion to show that while citizens may disagree on fervently on issues, they agree that it is important to stay engaged in the democratic process if Lincoln's words have any meaning at all.

Come November 8, citizens across this nation will cast their ballots and show the world that democracy is an ideal burnt brightly in the dark.

On behalf of the student body, I am proud of Washington University for hosting this debate and for giving voice to competing ideas at the core of democracy.

Thank You."

--- Singapore student Kenneth Sng, Student Union president of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri

"those who have a much different vision of the world, of their power, and of their responsibilities to their citizens", in contrast to government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Hmm, that sounds really familiar...

Comments on the ST Facebook:

"Wow awesome, now the elephant in the room. Isn't it funny that we celebrate when one of our own gives the speech for the opening remarks for the US presidential debate but at the same time not have any political debates of our own?"

"Eh don't anyhow say later sedition act"

"What happen if a foreign student making a speech for Singapore's political event? I think a lot of netizens will say:huh?why ft ah? They can represent Singapore meh? How come a ft can talk on behalf of Singaporean...blah blah blah. Big country is really different. They can accept foreign talent all over the world"

"Why is a foreigner delivering a speech for something that is not for his own nation? I'd not like a foreigner interfering in our own affairs and vice versa"

"I get a feeling...the Chinese in China are not going to like this..."

Links - 10th October 2016

How being alone may be the key to rest - "Reading came out as the clear winner, followed by being in the natural environment, being on your own, listening to music and doing nothing in particular. What is striking is that all these are activities often done alone."

A bunch of guys had 200 packets of McDonald’s curry sauce so they cooked a pot of curry

Mystery Soda Machine – Seattle, Washington | Atlas Obscura - "A contraption out of time, Seattle's Mystery Soda Machine dispenses cans of sugary pop for just 75 cents, and while no one knows who stocks this aging landmark, the real question is what it will spit out when the "Mystery" button is pressed."
Americans create and then obsess over really interesting things. Probably because there isn't much there otherwise

Want to Raise Successful Daughters? Science Says Nag the Heck Out of Them

How Indonesia Beat Back Terrorism - "The story of the Indonesian government’s campaign against extremism, Tepperman told me, is the story of a nation “getting it right at one particular moment in time,” through luck as much as skill and improvisation as much as strategy—and often merely by taking more steps forward than back. It’s a story, in other words, of imperfect and impermanent fixes."

Malaysian student makes possible breakthrough in war on superbugs - "A 25-year-old Malaysian studying at Melbourne University has made a game-changing discovery in medicine on a possible alternative to antibiotics. Reports said that Shu Lam, who’s a PhD candidate at the Australian varsity, has developed a chain of star-shaped polymer molecules that can kill superbugs, which are bacteria resistant to antibiotics, after three-and-a-half years of research during her thesis work. The chain of star-shaped polymers, which are large molecules, can reportedly kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria without harming healthy cells."

How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting - "The ballpoint’s universal success has changed how most people experience ink. Its thicker ink was less likely to leak than that of its predecessors. For most purposes, this was a win—no more ink-stained shirts, no need for those stereotypically geeky pocket protectors. However, thicker ink also changes the physical experience of writing, not necessarily all for the better."

Is this the world's most modern family? Man who used to be a woman gives birth to a baby by woman who used to be a man - "They initially announced the news of their pregnancy online, having conceived naturally as either of them have undergone lower-body surgery"
It's amazing what you can do when you redefine words

Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them - "If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated. These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989... His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been... Trump is that quintessentially American figure, hated by intellectuals on both sides of the aisle and on the other side of the Atlantic, who doesn’t start with a “plan,” but rather gets himself in the thick of things and then moves outward to a workable idea—not a “principled” one—that can address the problem at hand, but which goes no further. That’s what American businessmen and women do. (And, if popular culture is a reliable guide to America, it is what Han Solo always does in Star Wars movies.) We would do well not to forget that the only school of philosophy developed in America has been Pragmatism. This second meaning of being an anti-ideas candidate is consonant with it."

Trudeau Government's First Months Were Least Productive In Decades - "“For a government that really talks about real change, and high ambition ... there hasn’t been much change. They haven’t done a heck of a lot,” said Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, who flagged the trend to The Huffington Post Canada. The Liberals’ “grandiose” electoral promises regarding climate change, health care, and the national security bill, C-51, have been delayed or sent off for further consultations, the Ontario MP noted. Decisions on Canada Post home delivery, defence spending, and the National Energy Board have also been put off. “We have a prime minister who is almost obsessed with constant engagement with media but very disinterested with the nitty gritty of governing,” said O’Toole, a probable Conservative leadership contender."
Less PR, more governing

Arizona child sexual abuse law guts due process for parents and caregivers. - "The Arizona Supreme Court issued a stunning and horrifying decision on Tuesday, interpreting a state law to criminalize any contact between an adult and a child’s genitals. According to the court, the law’s sweep encompasses wholly innocent conduct, such as changing a diaper or bathing a baby. As the stinging dissent notes, “parents and other caregivers” in the state are now considered to be “child molesters or sex abusers under Arizona law.” Those convicted under the statute may be imprisoned for five years."

Sichuan cuisine and the red hot secret about globalisation - "Many cuisines we think of as “traditional” are actually modern inventions. Toro sushi, a delicacy consumed by millions around the world, is another case in point. Toro – the choicest cuts from bluefin tuna – is often the most prized piece on a sushi platter. But before the invention of the refrigerator – first designed to store butter – tuna was avoided by discerning diners. By the time fishing boats returned from days-long voyages, their red-fleshed tuna were starting to go off. Japanese at the time preferred delicate white-flesh snappers and breams for their sweetness and freshness... We are what we eat, so goes the saying. People tend to think of globalisation as something that happened in our lifetime. The truth is we have been living in a globalised world for the past 500 years. Take away tomato, potato, maize, chilli, coffee and all things “foreign” from your menu; you probably would struggle to find an “authentic” local dish in your neighbourhood. From Beijing to Berlin, there is a backlash against globalisation. Revering tradition is in vogue. This is understandable but take it with a pinch of salt. Look around, everything you hold dear – the food you love, the music you enjoy or the book you read – bears the mark of globalisation. We need a better form of globalisation. But nobody can put the genie back."

Man arrested for speeding in DeLorean at 88mph - "Nigel Mills, 55, who paid £22,000 for his cult vehicle, denied that he had been attempting to break the space-time continuum in his efforts"

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was the myth we needed to save our oceans. - "

How we frame a problem colors how we think about solving it. (Or how not to solve it: If the Great Pacific Garbage Patch really were something like a floating landfill, then we might be wise to leave it where it lies. Would it really make sense to haul that garbage back to terra firma, just so we can dump it in a different concentrated landfill?) But a shift from plastic soup to plastic smog also undermines the metaphor that made the garbage patch compelling. If it’s just another form of invisible pollution, like the stuff that leads to global warming, then the problem starts to seem blurry and intractable."
The Noble Lie is okay?

Grand Strategy 1337–1338 - Trial by Battle: The Hundred Years War - "In April 1337, as the main protagonists were exchanging declarations of war, Benedict told Philip VI plainly that the mood in Germany was one of ‘irritation approaching desperation’ and that an overt alliance between the Empire and England was likely to follow. The English King’s preferred course would have been an alliance with Flanders. The county, with its long coastline on the North Sea and along the great north European estuaries, and its open border with France, was ideally situated for his purposes. Moreover, as one of his advisers put it, Flanders was to France what Scotland was to England"

Daniel Drew - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Daniel Drew left a controversial legacy behind. At the zenith of his career as a financier, when his personal fortune was estimated at $13 million and he was respectfully called "Uncle Daniel" on Wall Street, he was treated with admiration. After his fortunes changed, he was vilified by newspapers, which wrote that Drew "has been one of the curses of the market for years past. If he has now received such a blow as will result in his being driven from the Street altogether, no one will be sorry for him," and "he holds the honest people of the world to be a pack of fools."

Bride-to-be fined RM25k for providing unregistered dental service - "Nurul Nadzirah admitted to offering the service, despite not having any qualification or professional training in dental medicine. She said she learned how to perform the procedure to fix the braces by watching YouTube and through friends."
Malaysia Boleh!

Italy's Supreme Court rules public masturbation not a crime - "Italy's highest court has ruled that masturbation in public is not a crime, as long as it is not conducted in the presence of minors"

SJW Historian Triggered by 'Imperialist' M&S Pie - "An empire pie is a well-established, Indian-themed variant of shepherd’s pie, which includes spices and mango chutney instead of gravy."

The lure of the disaster movie - "Audience anxieties may fuel demand for disaster pictures but film industry economics have played a role in bringing about the current glut. With Hollywood’s focus on the overseas market, studio executives are constantly looking for films that are easy to export. Disaster films neatly fit the bill – they’re visual spectacles understandable in any language"

Gawker - Timeline - "The Jungle Book is just as drenched with racism and colonialism as anything else Kipling wrote on the subject."
Comments: "Yeah fuck Kipling for not having enough trans pansexual disabled characters. It's like he was writing this shit during the height of English Imperialism or something."
"I was looking for the connection between Kipling's racism and the actual content of the Jungle Book. Missed it."
"Uh Mowgli is superior to the animals uh that's a parallel to Britain and the rest of the world, obviously."
"Why must we cast aside great works of literature that endure to this day for not inhabiting a subjective modern consciousness?"
"Yeah, lets burn his books like every other progressive society in history has dealt with problematic literature...The Nazis...The Inquisition....oh, wait...."
"Of course it can't possibly measure up to the amazing literature being produced at Gawker. One day historians will study only three things: Shakespeare, the Bible, and Gawker."

The Human Journey: 1493, How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth - "there was another New World product that helped feed the growing masses of industrial Europe, guano, the excrement of birds. For millions of years the cold sea currents along the west coast of South America had brought up nutrients from the bottom that fed vast shoals of fish. Great flocks of seabirds swooped on them and bred on islands near the coast; the Chincha islands they are called. Bare islands where no people lived, for their vast cliffs are made of pure guano."

Why they Put Potatoes on Frederick the Great’s Grave - "In addition to a militaristic bent, Frederick Wilhelm also aimed to inject a decent work ethic into Prussia. He used to wander around Berlin with a cane beating people he thought were acting lazy. He would deliver his rallying cry, “Prussia needs you– now!” along with a sharp whack to the head. Then lecture the aggrieved about how they ought to be knitting, or that young men should be marching or taking guns apart and putting them back together instead of sitting around playing cards. If a minister spent more than an hour preaching on Sunday it was considered excessive and the preacher was fined. On one occasion a peasant saw him and ran the opposite direction, so Frederick Wilhelm chased him down and asked why he had run away. When the man replied he was afraid of the king, Frederick Wilhelm shouted “You should love me!” and proceeded to beat him senseless with a cane. On top of his belief that the whole of Prussia should be in a constant state of workaholism, Frederick Wilhelm was immensely frugal to the point of selling the royal yacht and firing all of his court musicians. Sometimes, if he thought a woman was dressed too extravagantly on the street, he would rip off her clothing. For kicks he wrote a manual for literally every single civil servant in Prussia, detailing what their exact duties were. Fun guy."

screensaver - How can I prevent a policy-enforced screen lock in Windows 7? - Super User - "If Windows Media Player is still installed, you can play a video on loop and minimize it (the sample "Wildlife" videos work fine for this). By default, as long as a video is playing, the screen won't lock."

On the use of the history (and use) of the term "Political Correctness"

"Historical development of the terms Political Correctness and Political Correct (sic)

According to Cameron (Greil 1998:7) the term political correctness as a noun first appeared in the eighties in the course of the debate about Political Correctness in the USA, especially on the American Universities. Until then the adjective politically correct was mainly used. The distinction of those terms is of importance since it reveals the development of an adjective that expresses and judges the behaviour of an individual or a group to a noun that refers to an existing phenomenon. Political Correctness is perceived by the American public as a movement and a social phenomenon located on university campuses and political or cultural institutions such as feminist, racist or leftist organizations.

The term “politically incorrect" was suggested to have derived from Marxist- Leninist vocabulary in order to describe the appropriate party line commonly referred to as the “correct line”. According to Perry (Cameron 1995: 126) the phrase was adopted from the translation of Mao Tse —Tung's Red Book. Regardless of the different sources the term politically correct can in this context be understood as conformity to official policy.

In the late sixties and seventies the term was taken up again in the course of reform and Civil Rights movements by American New Left activists, Afro-Americans and feminist groups. It was also understood as insider expression with the function to satirize the group’s own tendency towards humourless, rigid and orthodox Right party line. The term was therefore often used with a sarcastic and an ironic meaning by Lefts while conservative opponents of PC used it with a pejorative connotation.

During the late eighties, the term political correctness and his keywords have according to Cameron (1995) underlain a discursive drift meaning that it begins to drift away from its earlier meaning since it has been taken up in the mass media. At the beginning debate in the USA around 1987 the term was used in connection with particular issues concerning university curricula, speech codes and affirmative actions. However, it was brought up in the media rather detached from its present context and thus the public developed a very general idea of the term political correctness. While those political groups who were directly engaged in the debate related concrete ideas, objectives and measures like speech regulations to the issue, large parts of the public who were not actively involved in the debate related the term rather to the creation of neologisms whose meaning has to be concluded from the context.

Consequently, the term has due to the process of discursive drift and the massive public perception of the phenomenon developed to a catchword or slogan attracting public and media attention and which can be used in nearly every context.


It is nearly impossible to give an exact definition of the terms “political correctness" and its adjective “politically correct” since they were and are still used in many different contexts and as it had been already explained in the previous chapter it had been subject to discursive drift.

However, there is no doubt that political correctness refers to the political movement and phenomenon, which began in the USA, with the aim to enforce a set of ideologies and views on gender, race and other minorities. Political correctness refers to language and ideas that may cause offence to some identity groups like women and aims at giving preferential treatment to members of those social groups in schools and universities. The reformation of language is within the political correctness debate the central topic with the aim to undermine sexist or racist expressions either by speech codes or by replacing words, which are on the index, by new ones.

Consequently, a number of neologisms have developed that are simply grotesque or have the aim to provoke. By changing the term history into herstory feminists try to draw attention to the under -representation of women in the history (Schenz 1994:25). Another purpose of the movement is the construction of educational curricula, in which the traditional idea of cultural heritage being determined by “dead white males” is replaced by putting the emphasis on non- western, non-white and female contribution. In addition, these curricula recommend the kind of language which is appropriate to use when talking about gender and racial differences.

Political Correctness has above all the aim to regulate language and behaviour in order to prevent minorities from discrimination, to reduce prejudices and take the cultural diversity and heterogeneity of the American society into consideration."

--- Political Correctness in the English Language (Seminar Paper) / Thuy Nguyen

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Point of Information: Museo de la Coca y Costumbres, Puno

Contrary to the third party information online (as of the time of this blog post), the Museo de la Coca y Costumbres (Coca and Costumes Museum) in Puno, Peru is no longer located at Deza St. 301, but at Ilave St. 581 (behind the cathedral).

This comes from personal experience retracing my steps halfway across central Puno.


(Museo de la Coca. Coca Museum. Museo de Costumbres. Costums Museum. Museo de la Coca y Costumbres. Coca and Costumes Museum.)
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