When you can't live without bananas

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Links - 31st January 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For (especially if it is Hitler) | Scott Adams' Blog - "I’m talking about ordinary people doing ordinary things to turn Trump into an actual Hitler. For example, if protesters start getting violent, you could expect forceful reactions eventually. And that makes Trump look more like Hitler. I can think of dozens of ways the protesters could cause the thing they are trying to prevent. In other words, they can wish it into reality even though it is the very thing they are protesting... If you are looking for the tells that this dangerous situation is developing, notice how excited/happy the Trump critics seem to be – while angry at the same time – that Trump’s immigration ban fits their belief system"

The Persuasion Filter and Immigration | Scott Adams' Blog - "what about Trump’s critics on the far right who want more extreme immigration? Trump needs to negotiate with them too. And he is. He did that by showing them that his temporary offer was so extreme that people took to the streets. The system (America) is actively trying to eject Trump like some sort of cancer cell. And the worse it gets, with protests and whatnot, the more leverage Trump has to tell his far right supporters that he has gone as far as the country will let him go. He needed that. The protests are working in his favor. He couldn’t negotiate with the extreme right without them... On Twitter I am seeing lots of well-meaning liberals tweet charts showing that no one from the banned countries has ever been a terrorist in the United States. But Trump isn’t trying to solve the PAST. He’s trying to reduce risks in the future. And the future has risks that are unlike the past. If you want your president to solve only problems that have already happened in the past, we can ignore any potential climate change issues too... President Obama’s approach was to give a free pass to Islam in general and to any Muslims that were just minding their own business. But the unintended consequence is that Muslims have less incentive to police their own ranks. Trump changed that. Now if you want to stay out of the fight against terrorism it will cost you. So Trump has created a situation – or will soon – in which the peaceful Muslims will either have to do a lot more to help law enforcement find the terrorists in their midst or else live with an increasingly tainted brand"

Outrage Dilution | Scott Adams' Blog - "When you encounter a situation that is working great except for one identifiable problem, you can focus on the problem and try to fix it. But if you have a dozen complaints at the same time, none of them looks special. The whole situation just looks confusing, and you don’t know where to start. So you wait and see what happens. Humans need contrast in order to make solid decisions that turn into action. Trump removed all of your contrast by providing multiple outrages of similar energy."

Is Trump’s Refugee/Immigration Executive Order a ‘Muslim Ban’? Unprecedented? Legal? Useful? Here Are Your Answers. - "Obviously, this policy isn’t a Muslim ban. If it were, there would also be a ban on Muslims from the forty-odd other Muslim majority countries, plus a ban on Muslims living in Europe and Canada... It’s Somewhat Unprecedented, But Not Entirely. There are two oft-cited precedents here: President Obama’s six-month ban on Iraqi refugees in 2011, and President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 ban on Iranian visa-holders... Obama implemented the policy quietly, while Trump did so openly. And it’s worth noting that Obama’s policy did result in the death of at least one refugee waiting to be processed"

Most claims about Trump’s visa Executive Order are false or misleading - "the “ban” is only for four months 90 days while procedures are reviewed, with the exception of Syria for which there is no time limit. There is a logic to the 7 countries. Six are failed states known to have large ISIS activity, and one, Iran, is a sworn enemy of the U.S. and worldwide sponsor of terrorism. And, the 7 countries on the list were not even so-designated by Trump. Rather, they were selected last year by the Obama administration as posing special risks for visa entry, as even CNN concedes in passing... the Obama administration selected those countries — whose names are not mentioned in Trump’s EO... Trump worked off of the Obama administration’s list of particularly risky countries for visa entry. To lay the blame on Trump’s business interests is a lie, or as Frantzman puts it, fake news... The “ban” is not without exceptions. There are categories of visa holders who still may enter even from those 7 countries... There are anecdotal reports of people being detained while trying to enter the U.S., or pulled off planes, or not allowed to board. It’s hard to know whether these reports — if true — are the result of policy or confusion. As with any large bureaucratic endeavor, there seems to be administrative confusion... It is possible to criticize the EO and Trump visa/refugee policy without hyperbole and fakery. That opponents feel the need to make false and misleading accusations is a signal that they fear losing the policy argument on its merits."

3G - Association between gluten intake and satiety Master thesis project opportunity – University of Copenhagen - "Gluten is present in high amounts in western-type diets. However, very little is known of how dietary intake of gluten affects satiety and therefore influences the human body weight regulation."

Only Connect star Alan Connor explains the popularity of quiz - "During the Second World War, BBC Radio tried out something new: asking people questions and seeing how many they could answer. The programmes were, of course, part of the war effort – and there was not even the suggestion of prizes. The Air Raid Wardens’ Training Bee tested ARP volunteers on the finer points of sirens and blackouts. Another concept, Sons In France Against Parents In England, offered poignant family reunions, live on air, but was aborted because of the drunkenness of those sons in France – one audibly vomited during the quiz and the others seemed constantly on the verge of giving away their location to the enemy."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Can you build a nation without war? - "People fight. Almost every state you can think of has at some point or other a civil war in their history... Most recently South Sudan, but this country, France, Germany, wherever you name. The sensible peaceful Finns escaped from Russia following the October Revolution in 1917. The same year they had a civil war because the state is up for grabs at that point...
This whole business of state-building, I think we've been deluding ourselves that because states have finally been settled and established relatively undisputed in the West, that we know how to set up new ones or help people set up new ones... I'm coming to the conclusion [that they haven't learned from the West because] that every second generation has to do war because they don't take the lessons of the previous war seriously for themselves. The tendency is to think: we've been there, done that, we're better than that, and if you get the ex-paramilitaries in the Northern Irish campaign, they will say that they can persuade the immediate next generation that violence doesn't work as a politicial tool but not the generation after that. They have to find out for themselves...
War has been as intrinsic to our history as peace. It's not that peace is normal and war is abnormal - it's the combination of the two which is our story"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Does Just a Girl promote trans issues? - "The BBC should not be promoting this unbelievable piece of propaganda targetted at children encouraging them to change their gender. And the three issues were really that it did normalise, trivialise and glamourise what is a very serious life-changing decision. It also played, secondly, to regressive gender stereotyping and thirdly it ignored completely any of the harmful or dangerous impact that either taking puberty blockers would have or indeed completely changing your gender through surgery... The character also talked about her being a famous musician when she would grow up, how she would have future fans. There was this very strong hint at how this would be popular, sort of suggesting that it would give her more attention. And secondly it really did trivialise it...
Puberty is a very difficult time for children and I really tought it played on that and played on people's fears. Puberty blockers can stunt growth and cause infertility. They're serious, it's a serious issue and it shouldn't be trivialised and sold to six year olds"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, How will humans evolve? - "The chance of the average European or American being killed by a terrorist are a 1,000 time less than dying from eating too much. I mean from that perspective, McDonald's and Coca Cola are a much greater threat to the life of the average Brit or the average American than Al-Qaeda...
We are probably one of the last generations of Homo Sapiens. In a century or two we will either destroy ourselves or more likely, upgrade ourselves into something different... the main products of the 21st century will be bodies and brains and minds, not vehicles, not weapons, not tools"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Wednesday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "[On LoopUp] In some of your marketing reps, you say one of the biggest drivers of business for you is frustration. People just get so irritated with conference [calls]"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Panorama programme on child abuse investigations draws criticism - "On my Twitter feed, I had filth of a kind that's indescribable, from people who knew nothing about the case at all, all of whom believed what was said and all of whom accused me of being involved in some way, because I'd spoken out as a friend of Leon's, and when I went to Leon Brittan's memorial service, there was a photograph and they again came back with these filthy statements. All of it of course means that no one can stand up for a friend without recognising that you're going to be hit with stuff you've never even considered or thought about before it happens"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Paul Gambaccini: 'False accusers need to be prosecuted or offered medical attention' - "Not only did I not know these two people, but the police were accusing me of having sex in the decade before I started havivng same-sex relations. So so much for where were you on the night of April 23rd, they were not only in the wrong day, the wrong year, they were in the wrong decade...
It is a tactic of the police to call out and ask if people would like to make accusations, and this was brought to my attention by Liz Kershaw of 6 Music. Two weeks before I was arrested, she told me that Yewtree had called her and asked if she would like to accuse Dave Lee Travis and she said 'No, don't you need evidence?' and they said 'No, we need people who agree', that's the premise
under this mutation of the British justice system has occured from the centuries old, internationally respected, objective evidence based system into the subjective rumour and accusation based system. There can be no evidence, only people who agree"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, What makes a great national anthem? - "The French Marseillaise by common consent, says Alex Marshall, the world’s most powerful national anthem. It’s this ludicrously over-the-top, bellicose, rambunctious tune and once you’ve heard it once you literally can’t get it out of your system. But it’s also flawed. Listen to the words. I think a lot of French people today are more than embarrassed by it. Look at what happened after the Charlie Hebdo tragedy recently, people were singing it, and most of them were doing so with a look of great discomfort knowing this is a song that’s unifying at that moment, but whose chorus is, let impure blood water our fields, it’s hardly the message you want to send out to the Islamic world at that time. Many national anthems are like that, and the surprising thing is how few countries feel they are inappropriate now and should be changed and more reflective of our values today. But some countries have changed their anthems. Nepal’s national anthem used to sound like this, but then the monarchy was overthrown and now they sing this. The Nepalese anthem is probably the world’s bizarrest by quite some way because it sounds like the sort of song you would hear in a south Asian takeaway. It’s this joyous folk tune about how all the different ethnicities in Nepal should unite together as one garland. And it’s a very gentle song, yet it was born of the Maoist Revolution?... There’s a paradox about many anthems, today they are prized by patriots and conservatives, but often they were written by radicals and revolutionaries to boost morale among underdogs. Even Islamic State, Alex Marshall maintains, has a national anthem. There is one song called My Ummah, Dawn Has Appeared, which is all about establishing, you know, the Islamic State has arisen by the blood of the Martyrs, Islamic State has arisen by the jihad of the pious...
lots of countries in the 19th century borrowed God Save The Queen, only Lichtenstein has kept it"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, What My Parents Taught Me - "He showed me the difference between the real world and most people's reality, which is they think that things happen to them for a reason and good things and bad things happen to the because God made it happen. That very well may be but my dad taught me that good or bad, nothing happens to you. They just happen... If you look at it like there is a reason that your mom died and there's a plan for it, that gets very confusing"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'Power doesn't always corrupt. Power can cleanse' - "Robert Moses. He has great dreams for great public works. Parks, highways, housing - everything. When he's young, he's an idealist. And he can't get anything built. So he learns he has to get power. He thinks he's gonna be elected mayor or governor, but his personality is that of a dictator. No one likes him. He can't get elected. So he has to find a way of creating power without getting elected. So he writes these laws that no one understands. But they give him power. And he has more power than any mayor or any governor - anyone who was elected. In fact
he has more power than any mayor or governor combined... Vietnam was Lyndon Johnson's war... they talk about Iraq. 130,000 men. Or Afghanistan. He had 600,000 men. He sent an army to Asia... We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we dropped on Europe in World War II"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 04/09/2015, Syrian mother: "Where do we go?" - "Turkey. We tried to do something in Turkey but the language is too difficult to learn. We don't have any job and houses, rent is too high. And the people, they hate Syrians"
So much for Muslim solidarity

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Naija Sexual Desires - "'Most guys just all about themselves. People are not, they don't take sex as an intimate thing anymore. It's more like a drive-by'
'It used to be so hard to get some-'
'To get a girl to sleep with you'
'Yes, basically'
'Now they are the ones who they want?'
'So girls initiate sex'
'You all *something* to say sex don't you?'
'I always use condom, yeah, cos you can't ever be too sure'
'So how can any young woman negotiate what makes her happy if she's with a young man that describes sexual intercourse as a drive by?'"

BBC Radio 4 - Moving Pictures, Scenes in and around Kyoto - "A nordan [sp?] or a kind of advertising curtain that depicts a centipede and the idea is that you have a 100 different legs or 100 different feet coming into your shop, so it's very auspicious although they're kind of nasty creatures"

On the US subsidising the rest of the world

I think few people have noticed another funny... - Michael Petraeus

"I think few people have noticed another funny thing - how easily the attention seeking left is being manipulated into doing things others want. In this case - of course, it's Donald Trump.

Trump takes funding away from organizations promoting abortions abroad. Reactions on the left:
Day 1. Outrage! What a despicable human being, pushing us back to the Middle Ages!
Day 2. Netherlands starts an international abortion fund to replace funds taken by the US.

Ah, so it turns out American taxpayer doesn't have to fund them after all! It took just a little nudge and look! Money was found!

Temporary ban on travelers from selected unstable Middle Eastern countries. Reactions on the left:
Day 1. Outrage! They are like Jews fleeing Nazi persecution! Trump is a hateful bastard going against American ideals! What will these people do now?!
Day 2. Justin Trudeau: Canada will take refugees banned by the US.

So this time it turns out USA is not the only country you can go to. So it's not like it has any 'obligation' to take in everyone just because some folks think that's the "right" thing to do.

Trump said 'no' twice - and lefties rebelled for a second and then did things themselves. We have to praise the new American president for so skillful management of the underutilized human and financial resources on the political left!

All it took to get them to actually do something was to be, for once, assertive. And just look! If there's a will, there's a way.

The funny thing is - the more they do it, the more they reinforce original narrative Trump presented. That America is used by others for their own benefit, that American taxpayers are paying for things they never really wanted to pay for. Take away the funds and all of a sudden it turns out that money is somehow found elsewhere! Magic!

PS. Notice how he also floated the same idea around NATO. If some countries don't fulfill their commitments why should US come to their aid? A bit of outrage - and now everybody is scrambling for money. There's even renewed talk of a possible EU army and closer European defense cooperation.

Well whaddaya know..."


"Look how much US taxpayers are spending on the world - military and economic aid via the UN or directly across ME and Africa. Billions in aid to Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt etc. Not to mention massive expenses on securing global trade routes, for which US is not compensated by anybody.

And yet, it is widely hated, ridiculed and disrespected. Even by Europeans, who consider Americans simpletons - even though US practically bankrolls NATO's existence."

Comment seen elsewhere: "Seems the whole world runs into a problem when America stops acting as the charity fund for all humanity."
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