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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Links - 28th February 2018 (1)

Europe Wide Poll Shows Growing Distrust for Elites, Pessimism For Future - "Trust in traditional mass media was also low in the survey with only eight percent saying they trusted the mainstream media very much while 45 percent said they didn’t trust it at all. Social media trust was even worse, as 56 percent said they did not trust it at all"

Planned Mosque on Historic Battlefield Invokes Debate on Sweden's 'Rootlessness' - "The mosque slated for construction in Fyllebro outside Halmstad has become a polarizing issue in Sweden, with many cultural figures joining in the debate. Dick Harrison, a professor of history at Lund University, has strongly condemned the municipality for its construction plans, implying they are about to destroy a place of historic significance for the Nordic nation. The reason for his ire is that the land outside Fyllebro is where Swedish troops managed to stop the Danish offensive to Gothenburg in a decisive battle during the Skåne War in 1676, probably the most important in the nation's history, Harrison argued... Harrison added he was ashamed of living in a Sweden without its past... 'Destroying such a historic place by wiping out the cultural layer and sabotaging the perspective of archeological investigations on the former battlefield is from a historical perspective non-defensible'... the Halmstad municipality reportedly sold 7,000 square meters of land intended for a mosque. The decision was railroaded through despite the fact the mosque imam had previously made controversial statements on the internet, comparing homosexuality to a virus"

European Demographic Crisis: Migrants No Solution to Aging Populace & Low Birth Rates - "The primary motivation for Merkel’s decision might have been humanitarian — many of the new arrivals were refugees from conflict in Iraq and Syria — but it was often claimed the move would ultimately revitalize the German economy, too... At the end of 2016, a survey found that a whopping 13 percent of migrants had managed to find work. And while German authorities continue to predict that half of asylum seekers will find work in five years, it turns out that, when unpaid internships and minor employment are put aside, only 21 percent of asylum seekers arriving in 2013 had found employment at the beginning of 2016. Among those who had arrived at the peak of the crisis in 2015, only 5 percent were employed a year later... the vast majority of the 22 percent of companies that hired refugees in 2016 hired them as trainees, support staffers, or interns — only 8 percent hired them as skilled workers. At the same time, the financial costs of handling the influx have proved greater than expected... $48,000 per migrant... In the worst case, the migrants in Germany may end up like the Somali expats who are largely excluded from the British labor force, living in ghettoized communities vulnerable to extremism and highly dependent on government welfare... If Germany wants immigrant labor to shore up its economy — not an insane proposition — it has much better options than letting in everyone who shows up at its border. For instance, it could emulate Canada’s much-vaunted points system, which allocates spots for immigrants based on their skills and qualifications. Or it could pursue something akin to the guest-worker program that bolstered West Germany’s post-war economy, compensating for labor shortages without forcing the state to make provisions for a permanent influx of new citizens"

Imam in Switzerland Urged Burning of Muslims Who Don’t Pray, Prosecutors Say - The New York Times

Influential Sikh youth group associating with far-right EDL founder Tommy Robinson
Does this mean you can't call him a racist who hates non-white people?

No, The Vikings Weren't Muslims - "The New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, and a host of other liberal media outlets have been pushing the story that there were Muslim Vikings, a claim based on a piece of cloth. The claim is baseless, says a professor of Islamic art and architecture... the most obvious issue with Larsson’s methodology was that the Viking textile is dated to the 10th century, while the style of epigraphy in Larsson’s drawing comes from the 15th century."

How the Muslim World Lost the Freedom to Choose – Foreign Policy - "The snapshot depicts Kabul’s urban elite — an elite that was unrepresentative, even back then, of the wider Afghan population. Not everyone was walking around in a skirt before the Taliban imposed the burqa... Pictures of Saudi Arabia from the 1960s and 1970s are also making the rounds these days in the Middle East, showing men and women in bathing suits by the pool and on the jetty of a famous beach resort. Most of those in the pictures look like foreigners — some are airline staff on a break in Jeddah... From 1927, when the British introduced blasphemy laws, to 1985, in modern-day Pakistan, only 10 blasphemy cases were reportedly heard in court. Between 1985 and 2011, more than 4,000 cases were handled"
To some people Kabul = the whole of Afghanistan and Tehran = the whole of Iran
I'm sure some people only blame the British for how blasphemy laws are used in Pakistan today

Breakthrough device heals organs with a single touch

Should Women Give Up the Power that Comes With Being Objectified? - "As a female friend once aptly put, “It’s amazing how easy and simple-minded men are. You just smile at them and give them a bit of attention and they’ll do whatever you want.”... Whether we dare to admit it, many women put in effort to look sexier than usual, or to appear more coy, because we know the power that comes from turning ourselves into sex objects. Instead of wracking our brains to deliver a witty line or two, we understand that skin is a currency we possess. And so when the opportunity arises, we use it to buy what we want... In most social dynamics, it takes two hands to clap. To claim only one party should do better is reductive and insulting to both. Perhaps when we are willing to accept that both genders share responsibility to stop the objectification of women can we finally have a conversation that doesn’t completely ignore the nuances involved in being female"

Lena Dunham: I Haven’t Had an Abortion, But 'I Wish I Had’
And they say it's a myth that there're pro-abortion people

Google HR Executive: It Doesn't Matter Where Candidates Went to College

ISIS defector reveals why ISIS hostages remain calm before their executions - "hostages are routinely subjected to mock executions and lulled into a false sense of security. Then, when their execution finally does arrive, they mistakenly believe it is just another mock-up... hostages were given Arabic names to make them feel as though they were among friends — such as Japanese photographer Kenji Goto, who was addressed as “Abu Saad”, which Saleh said made Goto “relax”."

3 trans activists wanted for Hyde Park attack on feminist - "Police are hunting for three people wanted over an assault at a transgender rights event in Hyde Park - but have refused to give their gender in case they get it wrong. Maria MacLachlan, 60, was punched in the face and knocked to the ground at Speakers' Corner on September 23 by suspects including one clutching a 'trans misogyny is still misogyny' placard... After the attack ATH's Edinburgh branch sent a series of tweets defending the use of violence. They said: 'Punching terfs is the same as punching Nazis. Fascism must be smashed with the greatest violence to ensure our collective liberation from it'. 'Violence against terfs is always self defence', another tweet read. Elsewhere on social media ATH supporters say 'TERFS must die' and 'burn in a fire, TERF'. Before the meeting, one supporter posted: 'Any idea where this is happening? I want to f*** some TERFs up, they are no better than fash [fascists].'"
We were told there was no harm with the transgender agenda and it was just about "respect" - the problems with beating people up aside you now can't even find the suspects because of sensitivities

Hate or Hoax? When It Comes to Campus Bias Incidents, We Usually Have No Idea - "I emailed all three authors of the BuzzFeed story for clarification on these numbers. They did not respond. That's a shame: If BuzzFeed is going to run the deliberately inflammatory headline "Imagine Being Surrounded By People Who Hate You And Want To See You Dead," its writers should be able to answer questions about whether the data support this nightmarish fantasy. All we know is that some bias incidents—like the one at American University—are true cases of racism, and that some are hoaxes. (Many others are mere accidents.) If BuzzFeed writers inadvertently figured out something useful about the relative likelihood of each, it would be kind of them to spell that out more clearly."

Greek Life retreat cancelled after banana peel found in tree - "“To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred at IMPACT,” Interim Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Alexa Lee Arndt remarked in an email between Greek leaders, according to The Daily Mississippian. “Because of the underlying reality many students of color endure on a daily basis, the conversation manifested into a larger conversation about race relations today at the University of Mississippi.” Apparently, student Ryan Swanson admitted to discarding the banana peel in a tree after he was unable to locate a garbage can... While it is unclear how the university will proceed to handle the incident, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement Katrina Caldwell noted that she will be speaking with fellow leaders to decide “what makes the most sense.” “Right now, we’re just talking to people on campus who have some experience working across diversity to help the students process what happened”"

Doctors warn toilet paper does little to remove feces - "doctors say excessive wiping could cause health problems such as anal fissures and urinary tract infections. Though the suggestion may sound absurd, celebrities such as will.i.am, Will Smith and Terrence Howard have been vouching for baby wipes instead of tissue for years - with Smith even hailing the habit as 'special and incredible'... 90 percent of households in Italy, Spain and Greece have a bidet installed in their bathroom for cleaning"

Be Careful Who You Call a 'White Supremacist' - "The term was popularized by academic race theory, where it seems to have largely replaced previous terms of art like “institutional racism” or “systemic racism.” Now it is migrating out of the ivory tower and into everyday discourse, puzzling the millions of Americans who are used to an older, narrower meaning... The redefinition of “white supremacy” is part of a broader tendency to take words with narrow meanings and a highly negative connotation, and redeploy them in much broader ways. Take the use of the word “misogyny.” The word literally means “hatred of women”; politics transformed it into “someone who believes that women are not men’s social and intellectual equals.” But recently, that definition has broadened to include, for example, people who do not support the right to an abortion, people who do not think that women should serve in combat, or Google engineers who think that maybe fewer women than men are interested in high-level STEM careers. If you strongly disapprove of these political views, it’s tempting to conflate them with hatred of women. Unfortunately, when you use “misogyny” in this way, you do not get people to take lesser forms of sexism more seriously. In fact, you run the risk that people might stop taking actual misogyny so seriously. It’s the inverse of what Steven Pinker has dubbed “the euphemism treadmill”... imagine that activists are successful at conflating white supremacy with racism, and misogyny with sexism. We may find that the result is not a stronger distaste for the diffuse structural bias in our society, but a weaker distaste for the intentional, more dangerous forms of discrimination.It only makes sense to redefine words in this way if you believe that there is literally no difference between David Duke and Mitt Romney, between the Jim Crow South and modern America... During the 2016 presidential campaign, I found myself confronted by a curious problem: Many of my readers simply didn’t take it seriously when I pointed out that Donald Trump was, if not an outright racist himself, at least happily pandering to people who were. “The media calls every Republican racist,” my conservative readers replied. “They said it about Mitt Romney, they said it about George Bush, so what’s different about Trump?”... Indeed, it seems to me that critical race theorists have gone to “white supremacy” precisely because the increasingly broad uses of the word “racism” have made it less effective than it used to be at rallying moral outrage"
If someone who doesn't believe in affirmative action is racist, there are going to be a lot of people proud to call themselves racist

Halifax music festival apologizes for ‘overt racism’ after volunteer refuses to give spot near stage to women of colour - "“We are sorry that one of our volunteers interrupted your art, your show, and your audience by being aggressive and racist,” reads a Facebook post signed by vice-chairman Georgie Dudka. The Halifax festival says the incident involved a white volunteer photographer and several white audience members who reacted negatively when Pimienta invited “brown girls to the front”... The outspoken singer, who took home the Polaris Prize for her album “La Papessa” last month, frequently asks her audience to welcome people of colour to the front of the stage. In turn, she requests that white people move back... O’Manique says the problems started when the volunteer female photographer refused to step away from her spot near the front. It led to a clash with nearby audience members who became angered over her insistence on remaining near the stage to take photos... the volunteer was removed from the show and ultimately chose to sever ties with the festival.
Treating people of different races the same = racism

Japan teen 'forced to dye hair black' for school - "The girl says she was told she would have to leave the high school near Osaka if she did not comply with a rule requiring students' hair to be black. It is being reported that she says the dye damaged her hair and her scalp... The school's instruction to the girl to dye her hair was reportedly despite her mother telling the school that she was born with brownish hair... Many Japanese schools have strict rules about appearance, including hair colour, the use of make up and the length of skirts. Earlier this year a survey by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper found that nearly 60% of high schools in the capital Tokyo asked students with light-coloured hair for proof that this was natural, for example by providing photographs of them as infants."

School uniforms: A history of 'rebellion and conformity'

Study Says Marijuana Users Have More Sex

Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress - "her parents have also stopped speaking to her because of her career choice... Khalifa suggested the uproar is a sign of bigger issues surrounding freedom and women's rights in Lebanon. She told the Post: "Women's rights in Lebanon are a long way from being taken seriously if a Lebanese-American porn star that no longer resides there can cause such an uproar. “What I once boasted to people as being the most Westernized-nation in the Middle East, I now see as devastatingly archaic and oppressed.”"

Woman who married herself gives in to temptation and cheats on herself - "a mere two years after Sophie vowed to love and honour herself ’til death do her part, she has cheated on herself."
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