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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Links - 24th January 2018 (2)

WeChat Admits It Gives All Private User Data to the Chinese Government

Tucker to Pro-Antifa Professor: Do You Teach Students That 1st Amendment Rights Don't Apply? - "Mike Isaacson, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and founder of Smash Racism D.C., argued that Antifa activists have the right to respond to violence with violence. Carlson said Isaacson is "blurring the lines" between physical violence and speech with which he disagrees... Following the interview, the NYPD's largest police union noticed a tweet from Isaacson last month, in which the professor called it a "privilege" to "teach future dead cops" at John Jay College."

Scholar declares war on 'too sexy' Roman myths - "Peter Jones, former senior lecturer in classics at Newcastle University, was stunned when a Latin tutor at a US university branded him ‘offensive’ and ‘sexist’ for including scenes from the rape of Lucretia and the tale of three naked goddesses in the latest edition of his renowned textbook, Reading Latin. He said: ‘In order to understand the ancient world, you have to understand the way they thought about things, which is quite different from the way we think. It is hard to see why people who wish to understand the ancient world find material that the ancient world took for granted so unpalatable. Certain universities and students seem unwilling to get inside the head of cultures they don’t understand, and take offence too easily at other cultures.’ The Latin instructor from Ohio State University complained to Jones’s publisher about the inclusion of ‘two stories about rape’ and ‘one of the very few versions of the Judgement of Paris where Paris views Hera, Athena and Aphrodite with their clothes off’... ‘Though deities seldom compete to win golden apples these days, it is not as if rape has vanished from the face of the earth, let alone racism and classism. One might have thought that historical takes on issues of such contemporary importance were the perfect medium to explore them “safely’’.’ Many UK and US universities have banned traditional texts that might ‘trigger’ negative responses and have created ‘safe spaces’ and ‘controversy-free zones’ for students. The Ohio lecturer declined to be interviewed when approached by The Mail on Sunday and asked not to be named."

How Murderous Are Humans? - "Which mammal is most likely to be murdered by its own kind? It’s certainly not humans—not even close. Nor is it a top predator like the grey wolf or lion, although those at least are #11 and #9 in the league table of murdery mammals. No, according to a study led by José María Gómez from the University of Granada, the top spot goes to… the meerkat. These endearing black-masked creatures might be famous for their cooperative ways, but they kill each other at a rate that makes man’s inhumanity to man look meek. Almost one in five meerkats, mostly youngsters, lose their lives at the paws and jaws of their peers. Gómez’s study is the first thorough survey of violence in the mammal world, collating data on more than a thousand species. It clearly shows that we humans are not alone in our capacity to kill each other. Our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, have been known to wage brutal war, but even apparently peaceful creatures take each other’s lives. When ranked according to their rates of lethal violence, ground squirrels, wild horses, gazelle, and deer all feature in the top 50... Gómez’s team calculated that at the origin of Homo sapiens, we were six times more lethally violent than the average mammal, but about as violent as expected for a primate"

The U.S. and North Korea almost went to war over a single poplar tree in the demilitarized zone - "Pak put his wristwatch in his pocket to protect it from being stained or damaged and yelled “kill the bastards” in Korean. The mob of North Korean officers suddenly enveloped the UNC troops with a vicious and bludgeoning assault... the armed forces initiated Operation Paul Bunyan (seriously) on the morning of August 21, 1976. Japan was put on high alert ahead of the mission, and all in the Joint Security Area prepared for possible conflict. North Korea readied itself with 150 to 200 armed troops, and established two-man machine gunning positions. The operation was executed by a team of 110 troops, 64 of whom were Korean tae kwon do experts. A handful came armed with chainsaws and descended upon the poplar. Swarming above and standing at the ready was a garrison of tactical military equipment, including 27 helicopters and farther off, three B-52 bombers."
The best part is the initial cutting had been scheduled with the North Koreans

Tinder Date Ends In Disaster After Woman Gets Stuck In A Window Trying To Retrieve Her Own Poo

10+ Highly Offensive Comics That Will Make You Feel Guilty For Laughing At Them

Sports Media, Stop Wringing Your Hands Over Colin Kaepernick - "everyone should take a step back and look at the facts surrounding Kaepernick. From a pure football perspective, Kaepernick is not a particularly good quarterback. Ever since he led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012, the league adjusted to Kaepernick and he has since regressed immensely; in 2016 Kaepernick ranked 23rd in terms of total QBR... Now let's examine Kaepernick's protests. In the end, what did they accomplish? Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. All it did was turn people away from football. This is something that too many sports writers fail to understand: people don't like it when sports and politics intertwine, especially when Kaepernick is suggesting that America is inherently racist. That is a slap in the face to the good, hard-working Americans in this country, but more importantly, people often turn to sports as a release from life's struggles. Infusing politics into sports ruins that enjoyment since politics is divisive. When you combine Kaepernick's middling football skills with the polarizing nature of his protests, it's easy to see why teams haven't signed him. It's simply not worth it to tailor a team's system to a fringe starter who has teams wondering if he's putting his political agenda above playing football."

San Francisco Chronicle CRUSHES Berkeley, Leftists Over Response To Ben Shapiro Speech - "Unless a speaker fully embraces the far-left's views of intersectionality, anti-free speech codes, ubiquitous white supremacy, America as the enemy of all that's good, etc., that speaker is now at risk of feeling the full force of the SJW/Antifa mob. Asimov notes that the cost of law enforcement for the event is a stunning $1.5 million. As The Daily Wire has highlighted, both the university and the police department are implementing extreme measures, including shutting down multiple buildings and parking lots, creating a "concrete wall" around parts of the campus, offering free walking escorts for those who fear they might become victims of (left-wing) violence, and setting up safe spaces and prepping their counselors for anyone who is traumatized by the presence of a conservative with the guts to speak his mind on a college campus in 2017. Why all of these extensive, unorthodox measures for a conservative Orthodox Jew speaker? Because Berkeley has witnessed firsthand what damage the social justice left can do to those they deem "fascists," law enforcement, and public and private property."

UC Berkeley free speech in spotlight over super-tight security plans - "“It doesn’t matter what the guy’s going to say,” said Michael Heaney, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies the sociology of protest movements. “He could talk about the joys of apple-picking. What matters is that the counter-movement is trying to use the energy of the (event) to grow. This is an opportunity for them — and they are likely to seize upon it.”"

CIA head: Bin Laden's porn stash won't be released - "The CIA previously rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for the pornography from the website BroBible in 2015."

The iPhone Is Guaranteed to Last Only One Year, Apple Argues in Court - "When it released its iPhone 7 Environmental Report a year ago, Apple wrote that it "conservatively assumes a three-year period for power use by first owners," which is "based on historical customer use data for similar products"... in court, Apple argues that it is only responsible for ensuring the iPhone lasts one year... We know this because Apple is currently fighting a class-action lawsuit over the widespread premature failure of tens of thousands of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices due to a design flaw that's become known as "touch disease.""

'Can't you use GPS?': A train delay, a bus ride gone south and a day to remember - "SMRT staff told the driver to switch the external display to "Off Service", and to make his way back to Woodlands bus interchange to resume normal duty. He was equally unsure, so I reopened Google Maps and accompanied him on the journey... my one enduring image is what I saw when our shuttle passed three others in the Dhoby Ghaut area: Standing next to each driver, a passenger grasping a mobile phone in one hand while gesturing and giving directions with the other."

Analyst says iPhone X for 'relative rich' who value phone appearance - "The $999 price tag of Apple's iPhone X represents a "substantial increase that seems justifiable only for relatively rich people who care deeply about the appearance of their phone," wrote KeyBanc analyst Andy Hargreaves in a note Tuesday... "The lack of compelling features in the iPhone X also raises longer-term concerns about Apple's pricing power""

Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz shot dead by police - "Police encountered Scout Schultz, 21, outside a campus dormitory in Atlanta after a call about "a person with a knife and a gun" late on Saturday. Video shows Schultz refusing to obey police commands, and advancing on them. A family lawyer said Schultz was holding a closed multi-tool. The student's parents said police should not have used lethal force. "Why did you have to shoot?" the victim's father said at an emotional news conference on Monday. "That's the question, I mean that's the only question that matters right now. Why did you kill my son?" In a video filmed by a fellow student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Schultz is pictured outside the entrance to a parking garage and can be heard saying "Shoot me!" several times while walking towards the officers. "Drop the knife, man, come on," a police officer responds. "Nobody wants to hurt you," another says, before one officer eventually opens fire, hitting Schultz in the chest... Police in the US are permitted - and often required - to use lethal force against any suspect who they believe presents an immediate danger to officers or members of the community... Georgia Tech's campus police do not carry Tasers, but are equipped with pepper spray... Schultz - who identified as intersex and preferred to be referred to by the pronoun "they" - was the president of the Pride Alliance at Georgia Tech, and was politically active in progressive causes... Schultz's mother Lynne said Scout, who was born Scott Schultz, had numerous medical issues, suffered from depression and had attempted suicide two years ago. "Why didn't they [police] use some nonlethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?""
Black Lives Matter!
Why did its father misgender it?

Scout Schultz made 911 call before being fatally shot by cops - "In the 911 call, Shultz described the suspicious person on campus as a white man who was possibly drunk, had long blond hair, a white T-shirt and blue jeans, the GBI said. The man was also carrying a knife and may have had a gun on his hip, the caller said... Three suicide notes were found in Schultz's dorm and a multipurpose tool containing the knife was taken from the scene"

Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz, who was killed by police, made call about suspicious man, investigators say - The Washington Post - "Bill Schultz said recently that Scout had expressed interest in the anti-fascist political movement and frustration with news coverage of police-involved shootings. “I will say this, that recently Scout has been slightly involved with the anti-fascist community and had expressed a number of anti-fascist ideas to me,” he said. “I tend to think that if there was a cause it might have been anger at the police over all the shootings and all the long litany of police shootings.”
Maybe forcing other people to kill you is the ultimate form of activism

Tueller Drill - Wikipedia - "The Tueller Drill is a self-defense training exercise to prepare against a short-range knife attack when armed only with a holstered handgun. Sergeant Dennis Tueller, of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department wondered how quickly an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet (6.4 m), so he timed volunteers as they raced to stab the target. He determined that it could be done in 1.5 seconds... MythBusters covered the drill in the 2012 episode "Duel Dilemmas". At 20 ft (6.1 m), the gun-wielder was able to shoot the charging knife attacker just as he reached the shooter. At shorter distances the knife wielder was always able to stab prior to being shot"
In other words, why police shoot people with knives

Georgia Tech shooting: Cop who pulled trigger joined force in 2016 - "Roughly 20 feet separated them when Beck fired his gun"

Georgia Tech Shooting: Campus vigil turns violent - "protesters who had attended a vigil on the campus set a police car ablaze. Two police officers received minor injures and one of them was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, a Tech spokesman said. Three people were arrested and charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer"

What really happened in 2016, in 7 charts - "What’s most notable beyond that in some ways is all the things that didn’t happen. Trump did not, for example, discover that the white population was deep down yearning for crude racism. Some people were — he won the GOP primary, after all. But Trump got a slightly smaller share of the white vote than the more normal Mitt Romney. Conversely, whatever black and Latino voters hadn’t already abandoned the GOP during the Obama era weren’t driven away by Trump, who did no worse with these groups than Romney had. And while Clinton managed to rally educated white women to her side in a way that previous Democrats had not, she was not broadly more appealing to women than previous Democrats. And, in fact, she did worse with noncollege white women than a black man did four years earlier"
Maybe the explanation for this is that many blacks and latinos were too stupid to realise Trump was racist (while conversely somehow he didn't manage to get more white voters), and many noncollege white women were too sexist to vote for Hilalry
Addendum: "Exit polls indicate that a majority of voters were persuaded by Clinton’s arguments that Trump was unqualified and temperamentally unsuited for the presidency, but a decent swathe of voters who agreed with her about that voted third party rather than for Trump’s opponent — ultimately denying Clinton the victory."

Student On 'Hunger Strike' Until College Fires Professor Cleared Of Sexual Harassment Claims - "Professor Florian Jaege was cleared of the sexual harassment allegations by both an internal and an external investigation. University of Rochester President Joel Seligman has publicly stated that "no violation of the law or University policy was found"... "Until Professor Jaeger is removed from the university, there’s going to be no trust among the student body"... "I fully intend to do this until I’m hospitalized," said the U of R student. "I think what’s of primary importance is the students on this campus feeling safe. And as of right now, they don’t, and they won’t until Professor Jaeger is removed."
Who needs due process when mere accusations are enough?

Professor: Doctors Telling Obese Patients To Lose Weight Is 'Medical Fat-Shaming'

For Casual Anti-White Racism, It’s Just Another Day …. - "'although white Americans are, on average, the “healthiest group,” they are also, on average, far less “resilient” than black Americans. It seems that vulnerability is a cost of privilege, and resilience comes as a result of adversity.'... Though white American men experience fewer stressful life events than everyone else, each stressful event has a greater impact on their lives... being subjected to stressful life events is one thing, but being subjected to stressful life events and being ridiculed and demonized for it rather than being empathized with as a result is another thing entirely... One would expect this effect to be still more pronounced when the discrimination at issue is simply rationalized, ridiculed or flat-out denied. When minorities face even the barest hint of racism, indeed, even implicit bias (nonsense I’ve debunked here), it gets big-time press coverage. But when whites face racism, even of the most bare-faced, explicit variety, it gets ignored and denied... Even while Big Media was hard at work pandering to minorities, poor and less educated white voters of the sort who supported Trump were routinely being branded racists, bigots and the like. Looking even at the precise issue of disparate health outcomes for whites and blacks, we can see how the same publication at issue in today’s article, Salon.com, treated disparate health outcomes when the roles were reversed"
If black Americans are more resilient, does that mean that the obsession with how they are being discriminated against is misplaced?

The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America

The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America | Cato Institute

"Nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans believe that political correctness has done more to silence important discussions our society needs to have. A little more than a quarter (28%) instead believe that political correctness has done more to help people avoid offending others.

The consequences are personal-58% of Americans believe the political climate today prevents them from saying things they believe. Democrats are unique, however, in that a slim majority (53%) do not feel the need to self-censor. Conversely, strong majorities of Republicans (73%) and independents (58%) say they keep some political beliefs to themselves...

The survey also found Americans willing to censor, regulate, or punish a wide variety of speech and expression they personally find offensive:

51% of strong liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis.
53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.
47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the national anthem.

An overwhelming majority (82%) of Americans agree that it would be difficult to ban hate speech because people can’t agree what speech is hateful and offensive. Indeed, when presented with specific statements and ideas, Americans can’t agree on what speech is hateful, offensive, or simply a political opinion:

59% of liberals say it’s hate speech to say transgender people have a mental disorder, only 17% of conservatives agree.
39% of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist, only 17% of liberals agree.
80% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say illegal immigrants should be deported, only 36% of conservatives agree.
87% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say women shouldn’t fight in military combat roles; 47% of conservatives agree.
90% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say homosexuality is a sin; 47% of conservatives agree...

Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say colleges and universities aren’t doing enough to teach young Americans today about the value of free speech. When asked which is more important, 65% say colleges should “expose students to all types of viewpoints, even if they are offensive or biased against certain groups.” About a third (34%) say colleges should “prohibit offensive speech that is biased against certain groups.”...

More than three-fourths (76%) of Americans say that recent campus protests and cancellations of controversial speakers are part of a “broader pattern” of how college students deal with offensive ideas. About a quarter (22%) think these protests and shutdowns are simply isolated incidents.

However, when asked about specific speakers, about half of Americans with college experience think a wide variety should not be allowed to speak at their college:

A speaker who says the average IQ of whites and Asians is higher than African Americans and Hispanics (48%)
A speaker who says men on average are better at math than women (40%)

Excluding a speaker who would disrespect police, Democrats are about 15 to 30 points more likely than Republicans to say each of these speakers should not be allowed to speak.

Two-thirds (65%) say colleges need to discipline students who disrupt invited speakers and prevent them from speaking...

Many microaggressions that colleges and universities advise faculty and students to avoid aren’t considered offensive by most African Americans and Latinos...

A majority (66%) of Americans have heard of safe spaces, but half or less are familiar with other social justice terms and phrases popular on college campuses today, including: cultural appropriation (50%), trigger warnings (49%), “check your privilege” (48%), microaggressions (43%), and “mansplaining” (41%).

In contrast, strong majorities of current college students and graduate students are familiar with all of these words and phrases: safe spaces (86%), cultural appropriation (76%), trigger warnings (75%), “check your privilege” (77%), microaggressions (66%), and “mansplaining” (69%).

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the public say colleges shouldn’t advise students about offensive Halloween costumes and should instead let students work it out on their own. A third (33%) think it is the responsibility of the university to advise students not to wear costumes that stereotype racial or ethnic groups at off-campus parties...

A slim majority (51%) of Americans oppose, while nearly as many (48%) support, the idea of a confidential reporting system at colleges and universities in which students could report people who make offensive comments about a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability status...

Most Americans believe many major news outlets have a liberal bias, including the New York Times (52%), CNN (50%), and MSNBC (59%)...

Majorities of Democrats believe most major news organizations are balanced in their reporting...

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of Hillary Clinton’s voters agree that it’s “hard” to be friends with Donald Trump’s voters. However, only 34% of Trump’s voters feel the same way about Clinton’s. Instead, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Trump voters don’t think it’s difficult to be friends with Clinton voters...

Current college and graduate students diverge from Americans who have already graduated from college. About half (49%) of current students say government should ban hate speech while the same proportion (49%) say it should not. In contrast, among college graduates, 64% say hate speech should be legal and a third (36%) say it should not.

Using a political typology to identify ideological groups, we find that Libertarians (82%) are the most opposed to hate speech laws, followed by Conservatives (75%) and a slim majority (53%) of Liberals. However, nearly two-thirds of Populists (64%) say government should prevent hate speech in public...

Democrats favor hate speech protections for some groups more than others... In contrast, majorities of Republicans tend to more consistently oppose hate speech laws for all the groups included on the survey...

Hispanic (51%) and black (40%) Americans are also more likely than white Americans (32%) to support making it illegal to say offensive or disrespectful things about the police. This is surprising given that surveys have long shown that African Americans and Latinos view the police more negatively. The data reveal that both groups tend to more consistently support laws that restrict offensive public speech about any group, not just some groups...

Liberals are also more likely than conservatives to view a variety of political opinions and speech as either offensive or hateful.

Liberals are more than 40 points more likely than conservatives to think it is offensive or hateful for a person to say that... illegal immigrants should be deported (80% vs. 36%), or Islam is taking over Europe (79% vs. 33%). Not even a majority of conservatives find these statements to be offensive or hateful. Notice that two of these, women fighting in combat roles and deporting illegal immigrants, are policy positions that a substantial number of Americans hold. Yet, to merely express these as political positions would also be viewed as highly offensive to a large share of the population...

Strong liberals’ approval of Nazi-punching is not representative of Democrats as a whole. A majority (56%) of Democrats believe it is not morally acceptable to punch a Nazi. Thus, tolerance of violence as a response to offensive speech and ideas is found primarily on the far Left of the Democratic Party.

Approval for punching Nazis also varies with age and race. Millennials (42%) are nearly twice as likely as people over 55 (24%) to say violence is morally justified. African Americans (45%) are also 17 points more likely than whites (28%) and 10 points more likely than Latinos (35%) to say punching Nazis is morally acceptable. Nevertheless, majorities of each of these groups say physical force is not justified, even against a Nazi...

While Democrats are more supportive of censorship when it comes to hate speech, Republicans disdain criticizing patriotic symbols like the American flag...

Most Democrats (53%) also believe supporting a racist’s free speech rights is as bad as holding racist views...

Strong majorities of white Americans (74%), African Americans (64%), and Latinos (58%) agree that political correctness has silenced necessary conversations. Overwhelming majorities of Republicans (89%) and independents (80%) also agree...

Why are Republicans more afraid than Democrats to share their views in this “political climate” given that Republicans currently control both Congress and the White House? Perhaps political power does not solely determine the political climate. Cultural sources of power, such as media, academia, and entertainment may matter more. The survey found that Americans believe most large media outlets, like the New York Times (52%) and CNN (50%), have a liberal bent. A plurality (45%) also believe college faculties are mostly liberal. These institutions may shape the political environment such that liberals feel more comfortable sharing their political views.

But perhaps, one might argue, liberals feel more comfortable sharing their political opinions because their views are less offensive. However, the survey found several instances where conservatives are more offended than liberals by political views more commonly held among liberals...

Notably, liberals also self-censored conventionally conservative sentiments. These included: indifference to identity politics, a belief that racial minorities receive favoritism, support for free speech, and opposition to “PC culture” and removing Confederate statues...

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of Americans believe that “people often call others racist or sexist to avoid having to debate with them.”...

A slim majority (51%) of Democrats believe that calling out racism or sexism is typically justified and not an avoidance tactic. In sharp contrast, about three-fourths (76%) of Republicans and two-thirds (65%) of independents believe it’s primarily used as a tool to stifle debate...

Major differences emerge between Democrats and Republicans in their willingness to allow controversial and offensive speakers speak on campus. Even on issues in which one might expect Republicans to be more offended, they were less likely than Democrats to support cancelling the speaker...

How College Students Would Handle a Racist Campus Speaker

Democratic and Republican students say they’d handle the situation differently. Democratic students are more likely than Republicans to say they’d hold a counter-event in a different location (50% vs. 33%), protest outside (38% vs. 15%), or sign a petition beforehand to get the speech canceled (48% vs. 22%). On the other hand, Republican students are somewhat more likely to say they’d attend the speech and ask tough questions (53% vs. 44%) or simply attend the speech (25% vs. 15%)...

African Americans and Latinos Say Student Newspapers Should Get Approval before Printing Controversial News Stories

Nearly two-thirds of men (63%) do not believe controversial news stories in student papers should need approval while 51% of women think they should...

A slim majority (53%) of Americans say that business employers should not discipline their employees for posting controversial or offensive opinions on social media accounts like Facebook. Forty-six percent (46%) think businesses should.

Democrats stand out with 58% who say businesses should discipline their employees for offensive Facebook posts...

A slim majority (52%) of Democrats say the national news media is doing a good or even excellent job “holding government accountable.” In contrast, only 24% of independents and 16% of Republicans agree... The more a person identifies as liberal the more likely they are to say the media is doing a good job...

Americans make a distinction between requiring businesses with religious objections to serve gay and lesbian people and providing custom services to same-sex weddings."

What does it say that African Americans and Hispanics are skeptical of free speech, if freedom of speech is an American value?

If sizeable minorities with college experience think people who state facts should not be allowed to speak at their college, what does it say about Truth and the attitude towards it of those who mock Trump's approach to it?

Presumably Clinton voters thinking it's hard to be friends with Trump voters but not vice versa just shows the latter are deplorable.

This provides more evidence that liberals are anti-free speech - since Republicans are generally friendlier to speech they disagree with.

Links - 24th January 2018 (1)

COMMENT: Singapore presidency with an asterisk and a government that was blindsided - "Many Malays have questioned the very basis of this election. In the first place, they didn’t feel the need to have a Malay President and even if they felt the need they would have preferred one who contested on equal terms, not on a preferential basis. By putting such a high bar — experience of managing a company with $500 million shareholder equity in the last three years for private-sector candidates — the government must have known that getting qualified Malays to contest would have been an impossible task. Even if there were individuals who would have qualified, not many would have wanted to fight the government’s unofficial candidate. PM Lee said confidently when he was asked if there were Malays who would qualify, “There are qualified Malays, there are qualified Singaporeans.” Today those words are being ridiculed. Worse, there was so much scrutiny on the Malayness of the three contestants that forced many Malays to ask themselves whether there was a true-blue Malay among themselves. This debate is something PM and his team had never expected and it shows how the government had been totally blindsided by an electorate that would chuck the official narrative aside and let their counter narrative prevail. The implications are huge as the government’s control of its message will be muddied and muddled by a population that will use social media to press their points of view. If there is one political lesson to be learnt by the government from this badly-thought-out exercise it is this: Don’t take Singaporeans for granted."
PAP supporters were bashing Kirsten Han's article(s) on this. I wonder if they can dismiss P N Balji as easily

PE2017: Salleh Marican's three bugbears about the PE - "“I identify myself as a person belonging to the Malay community. I was raised with Malay cultural values and tradition… I often watch Malay Suria channel. At home my family and I enjoy home cooked Malay food prepared by my wife,” he had written in his response to the Malay Community sub-committee. “To me, it’s quite funny ah,” he said, with a short laugh. He wondered if he should write his answers in Malay, but decided to do so in the working language, English. He wasn’t sure, he said, if all six members of the Malay community sub-committee could read Malay. Then he went to a Commissioner of Oaths to make a statutory declaration on the truth of his words... the principal activities of Second Chance were “those of an investment holding company, retailing of garments, holding of property as investment for rental income, investing in equities, and trading in bonds and equities”. This was why “the committee was unable to satisfy itself” that Mr Salleh’s ability and experience was comparable to that of the “experience and ability of a person who had served as a chief executive of a typical company of at least S$500 million shareholder equity”... Mr Salleh was convinced that he would clear the PEC because a founder of a start-up should not be assessed in the same way as an executive parachuted into a big, successful company. He had also been heartened by a statement made by Law and Home Affairs minister K Shanmugam at The Straits Times roundtable on the elected presidency in September last year. Mr Shanmugam had said: “If you can persuade the PEC that you have this kind of qualities and you have run a smaller company but your company made all these sorts of advances and changes and it’s demonstrative of your ability, if you can persuade the PEC that you have comparable experience, then you can still succeed.” As far as he could tell, the number of Malays who could have automatically qualified under the private sector rules was “zero”. There were a couple who came close, said Mr Salleh, but they either did not hold the job for at least the requisite three years or were helming companies with volatile profitability records. “If let’s say I or Farid doesn’t go in… the non-Malay communities will have that (perception) that this community cannot even come up with one candidate,” he said... People supported his move, until former Parliament Speaker Madam Halimah Yacob threw in her tudung. That was when he found some of his supporters looking the other way, worried that any association with him would bring problems to themselves or their organisations. However non-partisan the Presidential Election was going to be, some people, especially members of the Establishment, evidently did not see it that way, turning down his request for references, testimonials or to have their names down as assentors on Nomination Day."

Commentary: Why Did Malay Candidates Who Qualified Refused To Challenge Halimah Yacob? – Rilek1Corner.com - "there were high profile business persons who automatically qualified like Bank Of Singapore CEO Bahren Shaari and the CEO of PT Trans Retail Shafie Shamsuddin. Why did they not stand up and be counted for our Malay community and stop this farce of an election walkover?"

Florida looting crackdown is 'white supremacy,' claims author Sarah Jaffe - ""They have prisons, crime, and private property in Nigeria too," one user wrote. "And Egypt. And India. Nothing to do with white supremacy. Poverty/inequality." "So you'd be ok with someone breaking into your house and stealing all your stuff to avoid a 'carceral state'?" another asked. Someone replying to Jaffe said, "You're saying non-whites can't help but steal, so they shouldn't be punished? Seriously? Keep your racist opinions to yourself. #ShameOnYou."... Her online bio lists her as "an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture." Later Monday, Jaffe tweeted that "every now and then I check replies on my tweets and confirm why I have the quality filter on: that s---'s full of nazis.""
Only Nazis are against looting by People of Colour

Hillary Clinton Literally Compares Herself to Game of Thrones Villainess Cersei Lannister in Her Book
Shame! Shame!

It Keeps Happening - "One of the former Democratic presidential candidate’s most renowned weaknesses has always been her tendency to reward loyalty over competence, with the effect of saddling her with ineffectual staffers like the disastrous Mark Penn or the data-worshipping Robby Mook. And as Shattered, the behind-the-scenes tell-all about Clinton’s 2016 campaign, argued, her campaign staff was too afraid of missing out on cushy White House jobs to criticize her. All of which brings us to the present moment, where Clinton has made the baffling decision to not just attack Bernie Sanders in her new book, but to double down on her attacks in subsequent interviews... Clinton was guilty of the exact thing she’s now blaming Sanders for, only with an added, racist twist... prominent Democrats have already understandably expressed their unhappiness with Clinton’s decision to very publicly relitigate the primary fight. One donor wishes she would “just zip it.” But it’s too late now. Clinton is too preoccupied to hear, fighting a war long over, clinging desperately to a party and public that has long since left her behind."
At least this shows why she shouldn't have gotten it (though doubtless her supporters won't care

Why Most Star Wars Ships Are Poorly Designed - "since there is no top or bottom in space, building ships that are not perfectly symmetrical is a serious design flaw... One also wonders why there is still such a desire for the First Order to show they're military superiority through bigger and bigger ships. We don't even do that on Earth anymore, as World War II showed us that small aircraft can easily defeat massive battleships. Also, in the galaxy far, far away, there was a small matter of a Death Star and small one-manned fighters. Twice. Also, Starkiller Base. Of course, for the most part, this is never an issue because space battles in Star Wars rarely take advantage of the freedom that space offers. They fight on a more or less two-dimensional plane and it seems that everybody in the fight has somehow come to an agreement about which way is up."

Cape Town pupil named as Africa's top young mathematician - "Sangeun Lee‚ a pupil at St George’s Grammar School in Mowbray‚ came top out of 45 participants in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad in Senegal. She also won the girls competition for the second successive year."
It must be racism!

Falooda - Wikipedia - "a cold dessert popular in the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally it is made from mixing rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil (sabza/takmaria) seeds, and pieces of jellywith milk, often topped off with a scoop of ice cream"

Wonder Woman Movie Clio Sex Joke Amazon Lesbians - "BuzzFeed reports that Prince's answer — she mentions that she's well-versed in the 12 volumes of "Clio's treatises on bodily pleasure" — doesn't necessarily draw on real-life history. What exactly is in those treatises? Well, according to Prince, Clio "came to the conclusion that men are essential for procreation but when it comes to pleasure, unnecessary." That's where things in the movie world start to deviate from history... Clio is a fictional DC character that also lived on Themyscira as a scholar and scribe, so that little Easter egg was a real deep dive from the movie's writing team"

Teenager Murders Mayor Outside Cemetery in Belgian Revenge Killing - "Alfred Gadenne, the 71-year-old mayor of Mouscron, a town of 57,000 near the French city of Lille, was found by his wife on Monday. Public broadcaster RTBF reported that a Belgian teenager, an 18-year-old who is yet to be formally identified, had handed himself in and had now been arrested. It said that the teenager blamed the mayor for his father's suicide after he was fired from his job at the local town hall."
How is this a 'revenge killing'?

Hepmil Media Group - "Mak and Ang cofounded SGAG, a content distribution platform reaching 1.9 million young Singaporeans every month, in 2014. SGAG has become an integral part of Singapore's internet culture and its combination of memes, videos and listicles reach over 3 million readers weekly across six contents. "
Limpeh say...

Physical Attractiveness Can Be Harmful to a Relationship

Good News: People Don’t Get Paid More Because They Are Prettier - "While it appears that more beautiful workers earn more, very unattractive respondents always earned significantly more than unattractive respondents, sometimes more than average-looking or attractive respondents (study authors called this a potential “ugliness premium”). The findings show that the opposite ends of the beauty spectrum — very unattractive and very attractive — fared best in the salary department. So, it can’t be beauty that pays off. The study authors found that good-looking people make more not because they are beautiful, but because they are healthier and more intelligent and have better (more conscientious and extroverted, and less neurotic) personalities. And the same can be said for the “very unattractive” people — they weren’t getting pity pay, but were being rewarded for health, intelligence, and personality."

The Best Part of Having An ‘Average’ Face - "the closer an image was to the “typical” face in the middle of the spectrum, the more trustworthy the women rated it. Attractiveness, on the other hand, had nothing to do with typicality. As expected, moving beyond the central image and up the spectrum, the participants rated each face as more and more attractive."

Why Beautiful Women Marry Less Attractive Men - "Overall, wives and husbands behaved more positively when the woman was better looking. The finding "seems very reasonable," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management. "Men are very sensitive to women's attractiveness. Women seem to be sensitive to men's height and salary," said Ariely, who was not involved in the recent study. In couples with more attractive husbands, both partners were less supportive of one another"
Replication by another researcher: Beyond initial attraction: physical attractiveness in newlywed marriage.

Why Women Don't Want Macho Men - WSJ - "In countries where poor health is particularly a threat to survival, women leaned toward "manlier" men. That is, they preferred their males to have shorter, broader faces and stronger eyebrows, cheekbones and jaw lines... 29 women were asked to look at photos of men and rate their masculinity and fondness for infants. (The men had already been tested for child-friendliness and testosterone levels.) The men who were rated as the most masculine generally had higher testosterone levels; the women also were generally accurate in assessing child-friendliness. In another study of 2,100 Air Force veterans, men with testosterone levels one standard deviation above the mean were 43% more likely to get divorced than men with normal levels, 31% more likely to leave home because of marital problems, 38% more likely to cheat on their wives, and 13% more likely to admit that they hit or hurled things at them... a nation's health index explained more of the variation in women's masculinity preferences than did many culture-specific female norms identified in previous studies."

Epic Privacy Browser, a secure chromium-based web browser that protects your privacy and browsing history | a free VPN privacy browser - "We believe what you browse & search online should always be private. In incognito mode, you're still being tracked.
Join over one million users who've chosen privacy. For Mac & PC"

Cannibalism Quells Contagion among Caterpillars - "Generally speaking, it’s nutritious to eat the same species, because they have all the nutrients that are already inside you, so it’s an easy-to-process meal... chemicals produced by plants can ward off caterpillars, by inducing the caterpillars to eat each other instead of the plants."

Disrupting Trump's Inauguration - "#DisruptJ20 had a stated goal of disrupting the inauguration, which we did using Direct Action. The checkpoint blockades were the centerpiece of the disruption, and we managed to permanently shut down 7 out of the 12 that were blockaded."
No wonder the Justice Department wants information on visitors

Kmart is renames 'plus-size' section 'Fabulously Sized'
Somehow discouraging fat shaming has become glorifying obesity

20 Fat Versions of Celebrities That Are Normally Thin - "Artist David Lopera, Xmasterdavid on DeviantArt, reimagines what the biggest celebrities in the world would look like if they were a bit, well... bigger! Lopera's fat versions of celebrities celebrate the female body in the largest ways possible. The fat actresses, models, and socialites usually come dressed in revealing outfits as well, accentuating their figures and sensuality in ways many people do find sexy. In fact, morphs of celebrities as fatter or pregnant selves is a kink that falls under the umbrella of fat fetishism, explored on DeviantArt pages such Heavy Hollywood. Like other fetishes, curvy celebrities morphs often go for the extreme, and Lopera never hesitates to think as big as possible. His BBWs, or big beautiful women, are curvy in ways most people never consider finding sexy, or at least they're are afraid of admitting so. But BBW versions of Game of Thrones characters, K-pop idols, and Academy Award winners will make you reconsider the big picture. If you can enjoy fat characters in your fictional lives, you definitely can make some room for fatter morphs of celebrities."
Anyone who criticises this will definitely be accused of fat shaming - even though it involves real life women who didn't give their consent

Gabrielle Deydier: what it’s like to be fat in France - "In France, she says (and all the facts of her experience seem to bear this out), being fat is considered to be a grotesque self-inflicted disability. At any given time, 80% of Frenchwomen are thought to be on a diet. In the south of the country, there’s a lively gastric-band industry (50,000 operations a year). There’s currently a vegan craze sweeping the land – a way for some people to cover up eating disorders. “Frenchwomen,” says Gabrielle, “pride themselves as being the most feminine in Europe. There is this feeling that women have to be perfect in every way.”"
There're reasons they have a low obesity rate. Is it possible to discourage a negative outcome without stigmatising it? Perhaps not
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