When you can't live without bananas

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Thursday, March 08, 2018

Links - Guns: Gun Laws

Gun utopias? Firearm access and ownership in Israel and Switzerland - "Swiss and Israeli laws limit firearm ownership and require permit renewal 14 times annually. ICVS analysis finds that the US has more firearms per capita and per household than either country. Switzerland and Israel curtail off-duty soldiers firearm access to prevent firearm deaths. Suicide among soldiers decreased by 40% after the Israeli armys 2006 reforms. Compared with the US, Switzerland and Israel have lower gun ownership and stricter gun laws, and their policies discourage personal gun ownership."

Change in suicide rates in Switzerland before and after firearm restriction resulting from the 2003 “Army XXI” reform. - "The authors found a reduction in both the overall suicide rate and the firearm suicide rate after the Army XXI reform. No significant increases were found for other suicide methods overall. An increase in railway suicides was observed. It was estimated that 22% of the reduction in firearm suicides was substituted by other suicide methods. The attenuation of the suicide rate was not compensated for during the follow-up years. Neither of the comparison groups showed statistically significant changes in firearm suicide rate and overall suicide rate.:"
Contrary to what pro-gun people claim, a reduction in gun suicides is not made up for by an increase in other suicides

Israel’s gun control laws can make the US safer, too - "Even those Israelis who pass through extensive hoops to get a firearm permit can only own one gun. And that’s a handgun — not a semi-automatic rifle capable of rapid fire. There are also limits on ammunition... Israel relies on professional members of the military and police force for security, rather than “good guys with guns” or even Civil Guard volunteers... The Israeli government has even restricted firearm access to current Israeli soldiers when off-duty on weekends as part of a successful prevention program that has halved firearm suicide — and 80 percent of the suicide reduction appears to have come from the gun restrictions, rather than counseling."

Does Gun Control Reduce Violent Crime? - "Although a minority of laws seem to show effects, they are as likely to imply violence-increasing effects as violence-decreasing effects. There were, however, a few noteworthy exceptions: requiring a license to possess a gun and bans on purchases of guns by alcoholics appear to reduce rates of both homicide and robbery. Weaker evidence suggests that bans on gun purchases by criminals and on possession by mentally ill persons may reduce assault rates, and that bans on gun purchase by criminals may also reduce robbery rates."

Gun Law Reforms and Firearm Deaths in Australia - "Following enactment of gun law reforms in Australia in 1996, there were no mass firearm killings through May 2016. There was a more rapid decline in firearm deaths between 1997 and 2013 compared with before 1997 but also a decline in total nonfirearm suicide and homicide deaths of a greater magnitude. Because of this, it is not possible to determine whether the change in firearm deaths can be attributed to the gun law reforms."
Yet according to pro-gun people, banning firearms doesn't change the total suicide and murder rate

Violence and mental illness: an overview - "the prevalence of violence among those with a major mental disorder who did not abuse substances was indistinguishable from their non-substance abusing neighbourhood controls. A concurrent substance abuse disorder doubled the risk of violence. Those with schizophrenia had the lowest occurrence of violence over the course of the year (14.8%), compared to those with a bipolar disorder (22.0%) or major depression (28.5%). Delusions were not associated with violence, even 'threatcontrol override' delusions that cause an individual to think that someone is out to harm them or that someone can control their thoughts... mental disorders are neither necessary, nor sufficient causes of violence. The major determinants of violence continue to be socio-demographic and socio-economic factors such as being young, male, and of lower socio-economic status. Second, members of the public undoubtedly exaggerate both the strength of the relationship between major mental disorders and violence, as well as their own personal risk from the severely mentally ill. It is far more likely that people with a serious mental illness will be the victim of violence."
So much for the real problem being mental illness
Why is it okay to stigmatise people with mental illness?

An NRA spokeswoman blamed an ‘insane monster’ for the mass shooting in Florida — here’s the truth about mental illness and guns - "according to the American Psychiatric Association, people with serious mental health problems account for just 3% of all violent crime, though as many as one in five people in the US experience a mental illness every year. Most mentally ill people are never violent. Information from the National Center for Health Statistics similarly shows that fewer than 5% of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the US between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness. Only 1% of discharged psychiatric patients commit violence against strangers using a gun. And the mentally ill also account for less than 3% of all violent acts with guns. Data from American Psychiatric Association suggests Americans are about 15 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a stranger with a mental diagnosis... given that mental health problems are more common among women than men, and just as common in the US as all other highly developed countries, mental health is not a logical explanation for America’s mass shooting problem"

Why Do Firearm Injuries Drop During NRA Conventions? - "The greatest reductions in firearm injuries happened on convention days in these groups: men, people in southern and western U.S. states, people in states within the top one-third for gun-ownership rates and people who lived in the state hosting the convention... The finding overturns the idea that most firearm injuries are caused by inexperienced users, as people of all skills attend the NRA annual meeting, the researchers said. "There is active belief that guns themselves are not inherently unsafe, but that they are only unsafe in the hands of untrained and inexperienced users," Jena noted. Instead, "our results suggest that firearm-safety concerns and risks of injury are relevant even among experienced gun owners""
This is about gun accidents, not gun crime - but still shows they're inherently dangerous

A spike in gun sales after the Sandy Hook massacre led to a tragic increase in accidental deaths — especially among kids - "In the five months after the mass shooting, approximately 3 million more guns were sold than would have been expected based on historical trends... states with the biggest spikes in gun sales also saw the highest spikes in accidental death rates... Researchers have also looked at the impacts of the Lautenberg Amendment to the 1968 Gun Control Act, which disqualified people with a conviction for domestic violence from buying or owning weapons. The policy was challenged in certain states, but data shows the states that did ban domestic abusers from gun ownership reduced gun murders by 17%. Analyses have also been conducted on “right to carry” laws, which require states to issue concealed-carry permits to anyone who is allowed to own guns and can meet minimum conditions (as opposed to holding concealed carry status to stricter standards). According to Cook and Donohue, such laws increase the rate of firearm homicides by 9% when state-by-state homicide rates are compared. Many people have argued that right-to-carry laws deter crime, since there are more armed people around to stop a criminal. That idea was supported by a controversial 1997 analysis, but these newer, more thorough analyses show the opposite effect. That could be because confrontations are more likely to escalate to a shooting, because there are more guns around that can get stolen, or some other factor.
More leads to more gun deaths, unless you're a gun nut, who always have voodoo logic
The number of adhoc hypotheses by pro-gun people makes addressing them all difficult, but this is evidence against claims that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, that potential criminals are deterred by gun availability or visibility (e.g. one being brandished but not shot - since we have clear data that when guns are fired outcomes are worse) or that more guns lead to less crime

4 Laws That Could Stem the Rising Threat of Mass Shootings - "One clear flaw in federal gun laws is that prospective buyers do not get background checks when buying from private sellers, only when buying from licensed dealers. An effective solution would be to require people to apply, in-person, at local law enforcement agencies for gun purchase permits. This approach would “make it harder for bad guys to buy guns,” Wintemute says. These laws are already in place for handgun purchases in 10 states and in Washington, D.C. In a 2009 study involving 53 cities Webster and his colleagues found this approach, which gives law enforcement officials discretion about who they gave permits to, was linked with a 68 percent reduced risk of guns being diverted to criminals post-sale. But after Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase handgun law in 2007, firearm homicide rates increased by 25 percent, a jump that was not seen in neighboring states or the rest of the country, Webster’s team reported. Missouri’s repeal was also linked with a 52 percent increase in handgun murders of law enforcement officers in the line of duty...
Americans with convictions for domestic violence are already banned for life from buying guns (although again, Kelley fell through the cracks). But that is not the case for other violent offenders... California is an illustrative exception: In 1991 the state passed a law preventing individuals with violent convictions from buying guns. And in a study published in JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001 Wintemute and his colleagues studied its effects. Convicts who were allowed to buy guns before the law passed were nearly 30 percent more likely to be arrested later for a gun crime or other violent act compared with convicts who tried, but were unable, to buy guns after the law was passed...
The federal statute preventing domestic violence criminals from having guns has a big loophole: Guns often aren’t taken away unless criminals voluntarily relinquish them to local law enforcement agencies... restrictions based on restraining orders were associated with a 19 percent reduction in the risk for intimate partner homicide in large U.S. cities... intimate partner violence is strongly tied to mass shootings"

Four sheriff’s deputies hid during Florida school shooting - "The school’s armed resource officer, Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, was also outside"
So much for good guys with guns

As a veteran, I'm telling you that allowing teachers to carry weapons is an asinine idea. - "Defending children is a must, but putting a firearm in the hands of even the most trained teacher isn’t the answer. Anyone suggesting this solution has clearly never experienced a situation like the one seen in Parkland because it oversimplifies the complexity of an active shooter situation, especially in close-quarters. It is not as easy as a “good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun.”... The medic, who had spent at least the last year of his life training for this exact moment, could not move... even the best trained members of the military react differently when bullets start flying... And now we are expecting teachers, even with training, to perfectly handle this situation. I say perfectly because anything less could mean even more tragedy and death... “There is barely enough time in the school year to train teachers on basic lesson planning and data use,” a friend who currently works for CMS told me. “So adding weaponry is just so absurd.” Members of the military and police spend hours, days and weeks at a time training with their weapons... According to an FBI study about active shooter situations, police officers who engaged the shooter were wounded or killed in 46.7 percent of the incidents. We’re talking about individuals who are specifically trained to respond to these situations and not teachers trained over the the weekend or during summer break."

Guess Who Thinks Arming Teachers Is A Really, Really Bad Idea? Military Combat Veterans. - "While arming teachers may sound like a good idea, “it increases the chance of kids dying in crossfire, adds to confusion with SWAT teams trying to identify an armed assailant, and greatly increases odds of an accidental shooting” tweeted VoteVets, a progressive veterans group... A growing number of veterans have been speaking out on social media using the hashtag #VetsForGunReform, many of them sharing photos from their deployments."

The People For Bernie Sanders - Posts - "Every time another one of these mass shootings happen - right when the Republicans start telling us that the answer is more guns, guns for everyone, guns for teachers, guns for students - I think about Chris Kyle. Chris Kyle was the American Sniper guy - a highly decorated Navy Seal sniper with 150 confirmed kills in the Iraq War. Whatever else is true about him, he definitely was very good at shooting guns and used to being in combat environments. On February 2nd, 2013, Kyle and a friend took a 25 year old Marine veteran to a shooting range, in the hope of helping him with his PTSD. On the way Kyle realized that the guy was dangerous, and texted his friend as such; the friend replied affirmatively. If this was a movie the 25 year old would have freaked out and drawn a weapon, and Kyle would have shot him or shot the gun out of his hand or held him at gunpoint. But it wasn't a movie. What actually happened was a Navy Seal military sniper and his friend were both shot to death with Kyle's own guns. Both of them were armed, and neither had time to even unholster their weapons."

If You Want to Know How to Stop School Shootings, Ask the Secret Service - "1. “Incidents of targeted violence at school rarely were sudden, impulsive acts.”
2. “Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.”... the notion of “snitching” needed to be reframed to being helpful. Unfortunately, it seems that in the case of the Parkland shooting, multiple people did come forward with concerns. The alleged shooter was on several different radars, but unless he was posing an imminent danger to himself or others, he couldn’t be jailed or forced to receive psychological services. It therefore becomes an issue of individual versus collective rights
3. Along similar lines, most attackers “engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern or indicated a need for help.”
4. While most attackers—96 percent—were male, the report found that there “is no accurate or useful ‘profile’ of students who engaged in targeted school violence.” Three-quarters of the attackers were white; one-quarter of the attackers came from other racial and ethnic backgrounds, including African-American (12 percent), Hispanic (5 percent), Native Alaskan (2 percent), Native American (2 percent) and Asian (2 percent). Most came from intact families, were doing well in school and were not loners, according to the report.
5. “Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover, many had considered or attempted suicide.”
6. “Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted or injured by others prior to the attack.”...
my research on averted school shootings found that schools that prevented a shooting had done some of the things recommended by the Secret Service."

Are Mass Shootings Becoming More Common in the United States? - "while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century... Look at the ways so many schools locked down after Columbine: the increase in inflexible zero-tolerance policies, the speed-up in the school-to-prison pipeline. Those changes made a lot of students less secure, not more"

Right-Wingers' Solution to Movie Theater Shootings: More Guns - "none of the 62 mass shootings in the last 30 years have been stopped by armed civilians. In fact, in two cases in 2005, bystanders who attempted to get involved were wounded and killed, and after the 2011 shooting in Tuscon "an armed citizen admitted to coming within a split second of gunning down the wrong person—one of the bystanders who'd helped tackle and subdue the actual killer." As the magazine reports, "Veteran FBI, ATF, and police officials say that an armed citizen opening fire against an attacker in a panic-stricken movie theater or shopping mall is very likely to make matters worse."... the logical response is not to allow guns everywhere, as the presence of guns increases aggression and the odds of deadly violence"

More guns, more crime: New research debunks a central thesis of the gun rights movement - The Washington Post - "The evidence suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with an 8 percent increase in the incidence of aggravated assault, according to Donohue. He says this number is likely a floor, and that some statistical methods show an increase of 33 percent in aggravated assaults involving a firearm after the passage of right-to-carry laws... Gun rights advocates have undoubtedly placed too much stock in Lott and Mustard's original study, which is now going on 20 years old. The best policy is often informed by good research. And as researchers revisit their data and assumptions, it makes sense for policymakers to do the same."

How U.S. gun deaths compare to other countries - ""Overall, our results show that the U.S., which has the most firearms per capita in the world, suffers disproportionately from firearms compared with other high-income countries," said study author Erin Grinshteyn, an assistant professor at the School of Community Health Science at the University of Nevada-Reno. "These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us"... despite having a similar rate of nonlethal crimes as those countries, the United States has a much higher rate of deadly violence, mostly due to the higher rate of gun-related murders... compared to people in the other high-income nations, Americans are seven times more likely to die from violence and six times more likely to be accidentally killed with a gun... Murder is the second leading cause of death among Americans aged 15 to 24, the study found. The research also showed that murder was the third leading cause of death among those aged 25-34. Compared to those in the same age groups in other wealthy countries, Americans aged 15-24 are 49 times more likely to be the victim of a gun-related murder. For those aged 25-34, that number is 32 times more likely, the research revealed... "Differences in overall suicide rates across cities, states and regions in the United States are best explained not by differences in mental health, suicide ideation, or even suicide attempts, but by availability of firearms"... "Many suicides are impulsive, and the urge to die fades away. Firearms are a swift and lethal method of suicide with a high case-fatality rate""
So much for the claim that without guns people will still kill each other with other weapons

Ambrose: Fatherless homes a factor in mass shootings

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Links - 7th March 2018 (2)

The 100 million killed under Communist regimes matter - "One argument I often get is that they meant well. This is in contrast to the National Socialists in Germany, who were exterminationist. To a first approximation, this seems clear…but as someone who is personally from rural “landlord” background, I doubt they meant well to everyone! The dictatorship of the proletariat was going to overturn the old order, and the losers were not going to be happy about it. Not only were they going to be dispossessed, but they were often targeted and killed. There were class enemies, and it was clear early on that revolutionary Marxists were not going to be gentle with those class enemies. They would liquidate them. But whatever their intent, with Communism we have several repeated instances of massive death counts of the very people that the revolutions were supposed to help. The famine in Ukraine, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cambodian Genocide are clear examples.Then there is the North Korean famine the late 1990s. And the greatest decline in poverty the world has ever seen has occurred after the Chinese Communist state veered away from the regnant Marxist-Leninist economic orthodoxy of the 20th century... the body count issue is interesting because apologists for Communism regularly suggest that these numbers may be exaggerated. Refutations of the statistics for the Chinese famine suggest that it was closer to 10 million, rather than 45 million. This is like saying the Nazi regime has been slandered, because they killed 2 million, as opposed to 6 million, Jews. Quibbling over numbers in a passionate manner like this is the domain of Holocaust deniers, and yet with Communism, I encounter this regularly... The Communist orders were long on rhetoric, but short on actually figuring out a way to change hearts and minds"

Contagion in Mass Killings and School Shootings - "We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past... state prevalence of firearm ownership is significantly associated with the state incidence of mass killings with firearms, school shootings, and mass shootings."

The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981–2010 - "We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides."

Body Positivity is Killing Women - "What do the hashtags #IWontCompromise, #EffYourBeautyStandards, #DareToWear, #AndIGetDressed have in common? They are all ultra intersectional feminist, “body positive,” and have accumulated over 700,000+ tags and counting on Instagram. Oh, and they are also killing women... The way these ladies will twist the truth to make it sound like they’re being victimized by the fashion industry is incredible. Of course reality is not as conspiratorial as these feminists would like you to believe. The majority of the time when a fashion brand uses bigger models for clothes that aren’t exclusively for bigger customers, the campaign loses money. The clothes don’t sell as well as ones that were used on smaller models. And whose fault is that? The consumer. Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy etc. don’t have plus size collections because generally plus size women don’t spend hundreds of pounds on clothing. If these growing numbers of avid hashtag users were so happy with their shape, why isn’t the fashion industry changing? They’re excluding 24.9% of British who are obese from buying their products. Because that 24.9% aren’t buying them... Obesity is not positive. It’s a dangerous plague that is being fueled by disillusioned women convincing themselves that they are happy, while leading a generation into early graves."

Can we make Tolkien “woke”? - "the audience for fantasy literature in the United States and England is going to be mostly white, and white people seem to identify with other white people in fiction whether literary or visual... one of my criticisms of Throne of the Crescent Moon is that it substitutes a Eurocentric white hegemony for a Near Eastern quasi-Islamic hegemony. That is, the world of Throne of the Crescent Moon seems highly derivate of the Abbasid Caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, and reflects the cultural self-confidence of the period for Muslims. It’s certainly not one where oppression is in scarcity. This isn’t necessarily a bug, but Ahmed basically traded swords for scimitars, and deracinated Christianity for quasi-Islam, and called it good. And perhaps it was good. I didn’t have a problem with it fundamentally. And if your problem with “white supremacy” is the “white” part then that is solved. The only issue though is that there was clearly a supremacy left within the story... the regressive and reactionary nature of high fantasy is literally baked into the nature of the genre... Science fiction plays with physics, biology, chemistry, as well as anthropology, economics, and history. In contrast, high fantasy as we understand it is delimited by a vision of anthropology, history, and linguistics. As such the canvas of the stories is necessarily narrower. High fantasy is by definition a genre which looks before the industrial revolution, and so takes as a starting point the norms and expectations of agrarian societies... Remove all inequality and guarantee affluence? In a Malthusian world, this is simply not conceivable. Abundance existed, but only for elites, or in the afterlife. Mitigation and amelioration of injustice and inequality were plausible, and in many religious-ethical systems preferred and meritorious, but there was no expectation or conception that injustice could be totally eliminated... a messy and imperfect world is actually fertile ground for narrative tension. One of the problems with Star Trek as envisioned by Gene Roddenberry was that in the liberal utopia of the future all the dramatic tension had to come from external sources... the current postcolonial fixation with white supremacy elides the reality that the problem is not whiteness, but supremacy"

Domestic violence against men hits record levels as numbers treble in past decade - "organisations that offer help to male victims are sparse. There are fewer than 100 beds in 20 refuges or safe houses for male victims in the UK, compared with 7,500 for women. One male victim of domestic abuse told The Sun on Sunday that when he was attacked by his girlfriend it was assumed that he was the abuser... “She was screaming and out of control. “Two guys came out of the pub and began attacking me. “I was on the floor telling them that I was the victim but they didn’t stop kicking until she told them that she had hit me." “After that I told her to get help but she refused so I went to the police. “The police were unwilling to help and I eventually dropped charges and ended our relationship.”"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Brexit: Has the government made enough progress? - "If we were to come out on World Trade terms many countries in the world including our principal trading partner the United States... do rather better on world trade terms in respect of their trade with the EU than we did do"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Kurdistan, independence and the fight against IS - "We've experienced a lot of terrorism in the past ten or fifty years in Iraq and I've been in the middle of all of that. Then I think sometimes when I look at the laws in Europe these guys are giving too much room in the mosques to be recruited. So the preachers are given too much space to brainwash these people. If you don't stop them there at the root of course you're going to have the kind of problems you have right now"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Has North Korea changed the rules of nuclear disarmament? - "If he is talking about multilateral disarmament I am actually a member of the, active member on the board of Nuclear Threat Initiative trying to reduce unnecessary nuclear weapons wherever that can be, can be done. But it has to be multilateral. Bruce Kent's spent his life saying we should disarm regardless of what other people are doing and that is absurd. Imagine if Kim Jong Un of North Korea was the, the country that had nuclear weapons and nobody else had. Do you think he is likely to be responsible and sound and believing in the rule of law?"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Turkey's arms deal with Russia - "It's interesting that you say people on these islands are proud of their colonial or former colonial identity. I think a lot of people around the world who look at the empires of old would imagine that most people would be only too happy to get rid of that colonial identity but that's not the case in St Martin, that's not the case in British Virgin Islands, that's not the place in Anguilla'
'It's about money. At the end of the day if you look at all of these dependencies they're better off than many of the other countries which took independence. People don't like talking about it. Every once in a while here in Jamaica the Gleaner newspaper which is one of the oldest in the entire Americas does these surveys which says: would you prefer to remain part of the British Empire and people often say they would because they feel that security would have been better, crime would have been not as big a problem, they would have had more money in their pocket... as someone who is of African descent in these countries you can sometimes feel like a second class citizen... in some of the islands there is a sense of people who are born there who are belongers regardless of their color and they come first"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Catalonia prayers - answered? - "[On Malay sultans] They are also informally the guardians of Malay culture and this is something that many of them take very seriously. And of course bear in mind that Malay culture is rooted very much in sort of like a Hindu-Buddhist culture in the pre-Islamic days and so in its folk culture you still see imagery from the subcontinent from Hinduism and that has been very problematic but they are defenders of the culture and actually this is interesting because part of the definition of Malay is not just being Muslim but it's following Malay custom... Malay society is really quite feudal. If you erode Malay norms then in a way that weakens the position of the Muslims because it breaks down those sort of feudal links, this idea of loyalty which is woven into Malay culture...
'Why is China so secretive about the financial help it gives to developing countries when potentially it could be a good PR for China?'
'Because secrecy is China's way. It has a long list of state secrets: its nuclear arsenal, whether it is a nuclear power. The birthday of its President Xi Jinping is considered to be a state secret. Also I think because so much of this money is wrapped up in commercial loans. This really goes against the ethos of the aid community. So I don't know if it really would be good PR if we knew that China had given a market rate loan to a country that is obviously struggling and is a developing country. Particularly when they're loans to countries that might not be doing very well on the world stage or or might not have such good PR themselves. North Korea is a great example'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "When we launched the five pound note we were unaware of the issue of the animal derived additives... the only alternative the suppliers could identify that had a robust enough supply chain was palm oil. In the consultation there were about three and a half thousand people responded. And 88% of them were against the animal derived additives but about forty eight percent were against palm oil so trying to find something that was going to erm sort of look at all of the protected characteristics, everyone's interests, looking at environmental impact of palm oil and also bearing in mind the additional cost moving would have had an impact on the taxpayer, in the end after a lot of consideration we decided that for the time being we're definitely going to stick with-"
You can't please everyone

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The popularity of Angela Merkel - "She grows on rambling holidays like all kinds of Germans. She knows the price of butter to a cent in a public debate when it's asked unexpectedly"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Does France always turn on its presidents? - "As Macron himself once said the French partly regret killing off their kings. Or that as others believe they are driven to repeat the experience with every leader who looks a little bit like one.
'The French have an historical relationship with the president which is quite strange since they made the Revolution and they killed the king... when someone is elected something happens in France and they still think he's the king. So what they do after he's been elected is that they tried to cut his head off'...
It probably didn't help that the man who invented the modern French presidency after World War II positioned himself above the daily grind of politics - aloof, regal, the voice of France"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Today at 60: How has politics changed? - "[On Trump] When you look at how he's handled North Korea I am not so sure I am very critical. One of his first things very wisely was to talk to the President of China in Florida and China has conducted themselves so far with imagination and some courage... he's obviously a huge narcissist but he's intelligent and he knows how to use the media and he knew how to win the crucial seven rust belt seats away from Hillary Clinton"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Why the robin is the UK's favourite bird - "Robins have been well known for many years since the wonderful scientist David Lack discovered this back in the 1930s but robins are vicious little creatures. They will attack other robins, they will sometimes - not very often - fight them even to the death and it's again it's all part of this territorial imperative and it's one of the reasons why we love robbins is that they're all around us, they're in our gardens. But our gardens are a hot bed of robin sex and violence...
'It used to be called a redbreast'
'That's right. In fact the name robin is a nickname. My nan used to call the birds Jenny Wren and Tom Tit and Robin Redbreast... the funny thing about redbreast of course is of course if you look at a robin it's not red at all, it is orange... the name red breast is older than the use of the word orange in English to describe the color which of course only came on board when we started getting oranges from Spain and Portugal and realized that there was a color which was different from red'"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Cow Candy - "It's junk food, it's full of sugar'
'It is. But once it's mixed with other ingredients it is a good food. It's like a recipe that your mother, your grandmother would do. One ingredient can be bad for you but all mixed together, all cooked together it is a good thing'"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, My Life in Five Dishes: Madhur Jaffrey - "I started out with a kind of love of sweet things. You saw all the grown ups around you eating hot and spicy things and licking their lips and wanting more but my mouth couldn't take it at that time but by the time I was three or four I sort of graduated and could eat very hot and spicy things...
I started writing my cookbooks in the early 80s. The BBC actually hired me to do these programs and they were considered educational programs. Nobody thought anybody was going to really cook with them. And I think they printed thirty thousand books to begin with not thinking they'd sell but they were gone. After the first program all those books were gone so they realized that they had a population that was hungering for Indian food and they were making it themselves. There would be reports that all Manchester ran out of green coriander after I had made chicken with green coriander"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Competitive Eating: The 'Gurgitators' - "In Japan for example we have long competitions for people eat for a very long time to see how much they can eat because in Japan it's considered very almost vulgar or not good to eat fast but in America it's not good to eat a lot so their take on it is to eat a lot but really short time...
[On world hunger] The pools that swimmers swim in that need gallons of water - that water is not going to people who need water"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Competitive Eating: Chewing it Over - "It can help people recover from eating disorders... He was severely anorexic in his teens... People with eating disorders that send me their stories and tell me how much I've helped them... a good amount of people that watch my videos have eating disorders"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Pony Tales - "We collected like 80, 82 samples and five of them had them at least three hundred milligrams of linolenic acid which is an essential omega 3 fatty acid per hundred grams of fresh meat and according to the European regulation if a product passes the three hundred milligram limit it could be labeled as a source of omega three. So the interesting thing of that was that for the first time we found red meat which is rich in omega three... In France horse meat consumption rose in popularity in the late nineteenth century and the country is still the second largest consumer in Europe after Italy but in recent decades appetite has waned"
They produce less methane than cows too. Interestingly tartare is traditionally made from horse

Sleep is More Important than Food - "We continue to live by a remarkably durable myth: sleeping one hour less will give us one more hour of productivity. In reality, the research suggests that even small amounts of sleep deprivation take a significant toll on our health, our mood, our cognitive capacity and our productivity. Many of the effects we suffer are invisible. Insufficient sleep, for example, deeply impairs our ability to consolidate and stabilize learning that occurs during the waking day. In other words, it wreaks havoc on our memory. So how much sleep do you need? When researchers put test subjects in environments without clocks or windows and ask them to sleep any time they feel tired, 95 percent sleep between seven and eight hours out of every 24. Another 2.5 percent sleep more than eight hours. That means just 2.5 percent of us require less than 7 hours of sleep a night to feel fully rested. That’s 1 out of every 40 people... Great performers are an exception. Typically, they sleep significantly more than the rest of us"

Strange Snacks of the World: Japanese Fish Sausage

Radical leftists nearly lynched by Arab mob - "Two women from the radical leftist group Machsom (checkpoint) Watch, which regularly badgers IDF soldiers serving at checkpoints, were in for an unpleasant surprise, after they were nearly lynched by Arabs in a Samarian Arab village. 0404 reported that the incident unfolded when the two arrived at the Samarian village of Azzun to show their support for local Arabs. As one of the women extended her hand to give an object to some of the Arabs, another Arab at the scene snatched a bracelet from her wrist and started to run. The two women chased after him in their car until they came to the neighboring village, where Arabs proceeded to attack them, pelting the vehicle with large rocks. The women managed to escape the premises and, in the meantime, an IDF force rushed to the scene"
Since they protest the IDF so much, the IDF should've left them alone

Observations - 7th March 2018

The most profound form of US exceptionalism is not thinking that the US is best at everything, but that it works on a different logic from the rest of the world (besides gun laws, also:
- Requiring photo ID to vote is racist and anti-democratic, even though many first world liberal democracies like Canada and Australia do
- If the government censors speech in any way that is a slippery slope leading to the state controlling everything you say
- Military parades are only done by totalitarian dictatorships - like France and Canada)
Addendum: If you abolish tipping, service staff will starve
If someone resists arrest and the police officer is forced to subdue him, he is an hero (sic) and a victim of police brutality
Imperial units are superior to metric because ???
Keywords: American Exceptionalism

Snappy soundbites and protest slogans drive polarisation as positions get simplified and collapsed. Then you need to choose one side or the other to avoid being slammed by both. Also one can have ideals while realising the need to work within reality - thus seeming contradictory

"Civil wars take two or more relatively evenly matched sides. Fat blokes with rifles (whether or not semi-automatic) no match for a half decent military"

"If you install an alarm system, it makes it more likely that a burglar will attack the home of a neighbour. That would make it a negative externality."

The failure of strata mall owners to coordinate and modernise debunks anarchist/libertarian fantasies of self organisation and mutual aid in the absence of government

"Luck is probability taken personally"

Note to self: When Pocket/Read It Later has the "component returned failure code", "ns_error_malformed_uri" error, logging in and out will clear it

"All employers worth their salt in Denmark actually provide private insurance for employees because the public health care here is notoriously inefficient in spite of being allocated a fuckton of tax money. The Danish state is a leech."

Was polled on my sentiments on various aspects of life, apparently for gahmen. Surveyor said I had a very unique personality

Shame from being held up to other people's standards of machismo is temporary
Death is forever

If someone owes you money, maybe sending him 1 cent a month so it will appear on his bank account and annoy him will guilt him into paying

I can understand non-disclosure agreements. But not non-disclosure agreements that don't allow you to acknowledge their own existence

"Many people are judgemental, yet sensitive. A very bad combination."

The best reason to keep your Facebook private - so you lessen the chances of being reported by idiots and getting zucced

Amused that people imagine that lobbyists from big tech companies push for net neutrality out of the goodness of their hearts. Cui bono?

I miss the days when Google Doodles were rare. And thus actually meant something.

I actually prefer the taste of Coke Zero to Coke

People who are dogmatic about food are even more annoying than religious fundamentalists - because food doesn't have the anti-religious stigma that pervades secular society

I'm sure the first person to put tomatoes on what later became pizza got shouted down as ruining Italian food

Indian guy told me I was the first Chinese person he'd seen eating with his hands. Strike one for racial harmony?

Links - 7th March 2018 (1)

"Profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly" - Spencer W. Kimball


In Hong Kong, Folk Remedies Are Sickening Patients - The New York Times - "Chinese medicinal remedies are gaining popularity worldwide thanks to a perception that they are “natural and safe,” Dr. Mak said. A study of 2,600 proprietary Chinese medicine products in Taiwan found that a quarter were contaminated with synthetic drugs."

A Chinese Threat to Australian Openness - NYTimes.com - "Australians are increasingly concerned about China’s growing influence in the country. Chinese money is being funneled to politicians. Beijing-run media outlets buy ads in Australian newspapers to promote the Communist Party view on local and regional issues. Chinese companies are buying Australian farms and natural resources. The push extends to Australia’s universities. Chinese agents are said to monitor Chinese students and report on those who fail to toe the Communist Party line. And in another troubling trend, many of the 150,000 visiting Chinese students are importing a pro-Beijing approach to the classroom that is stifling debate and openness... They found critical analysis and picking apart expert opinion uncomfortable. This was particularly true for readings and class discussions that could be construed as critical of China. Most students, for example, would reject anything that suggested China had not always been peaceful. The majority of students would react angrily to any reading material implying that Japan was not an inherently aggressive and expansionist country... The minority of students who showed interest in open discussion were shut down by classmates who parroted Beijing’s talking points... When Chinese students self-censor or monitor and report on their peers, it is not necessarily because the Chinese state is bearing down on them. Rather, many Chinese students believe that speaking out against the officially approved view, on any topic, is inappropriate"

How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets - The New York Times - "The Israeli officials who had hacked into Kaspersky’s own network alerted the United States to the broad Russian intrusion, which has not been previously reported, leading to a decision just last month to order Kaspersky software removed from government computers... “Antivirus is the ultimate back door,” Blake Darché, a former N.S.A. operator and co-founder of Area 1 Security. “It provides consistent, reliable and remote access that can be used for any purpose, from launching a destructive attack to conducting espionage on thousands or even millions of users.”"

The Supreme Court Justices Need Fact-Checkers - The New York Times - "the court cited faulty research or introduced its own errors in nearly a third of the 24 cases that relied on such facts... None of the justices has any serious training in statistics, and the clerks who assist them are almost all recent law school graduates, who rarely have any formal statistical background. Empirical facts are central to what the court does, but its members lack expertise."

Is ‘Classical Liberalism’ Conservative? - WSJ - "For centuries, Anglo-American conservatism has favored individual liberty and economic freedom. But as the Oxford historian of conservatism Anthony Quinton emphasized, this tradition is empiricist and regards successful political arrangements as developing through an unceasing process of trial and error. As such, it is deeply skeptical of claims about universal political truths. The most important conservative figures—including John Fortescue, John Selden, Montesquieu, Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton —believed that different political arrangements would be fitting for different nations, each in keeping with the specific conditions it faces and traditions it inherits. What works in one country can’t easily be transplanted... Attempts to transplant Anglo-American political institutions in places such as Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Iraq have collapsed time and again, because the political traditions needed to maintain them did not exist... the liberal tradition descends from Hobbes and Locke, who were not empiricists but rationalists: Their aim was to deduce universally valid political principles from self-evident axioms, as in mathematics... By contrast, Anglo-American conservatism historically has had little interest in putatively self-evident political axioms. Conservatives want to learn from experience what actually holds societies together, benefits them and destroys them"

Justice Holmes’s Free-Speech Lesson - WSJ - "Along with absolute certainty comes the understandable impulse to regulate or ban the speech of your opponent. Why allow evil and ignorant people to infect others with falsehoods and dangerous ideas? Why not take away the licenses of broadcasters whose news departments have the wrong slant? Why not make hate speech illegal? Almost a century ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. , wrestled with similar questions in a pair of Espionage Act cases... Originally published in 1952, the DSM listed homosexuality as a mental disorder of one kind or another until 1987. These days, some psychiatrists are pushing to have “homophobia” listed as a mental illness. If that happens, would the APA be announcing that a majority of its members were mentally ill until 1987? Fifty years ago, the majority of psychiatrists, and the majority of people, were absolutely certain that homosexuality was a mental disorder. If we could go back in time and ask them if gay people should be allowed to argue in public that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, many of them would say no. We already “know” it is a mental illness—even medical doctors and the Supreme Court agree. Holmes’s radical idea was that we are too often wrong."

The Truth Is Catching Up With Tesla - WSJ - "At 67 times 2019’s expected earnings, Tesla stock is valued as though the company can execute on its vision flawlessly. The facts suggest the opposite."

Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage - WSJ - "Young Americans have quickly become wary of marriage. Many economists and sociologists argue that this flight from marriage is about men’s low wages. If they were higher, the argument goes, young men would have the confidence to marry. But recent research doesn’t support this view. A May 2017 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, focusing on regions enriched by the fracking boom, found that increased wages in those places did nothing to boost marriage rates... Another hypothesis blames the decline of marriage on men’s fear of commitment. Maybe they just perceive marriage as a bad deal. But most men, including cads such as Kevin, still expect to marry. They eventually want to fall in love and have children, when their independence becomes less valuable to them. They are waiting longer, however, which is why the median age at marriage for American men has risen steadily and is now approaching 30... The most common experience—reported by 32% of men under 40—was having sex with their current partner before the relationship had begun"

For Peaceable Humans, Don’t Look to Prehistory - WSJ - "These were hunter-gatherers, once thought to be free of war. (The 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, writing of “savages,” cited “the peacefulness of their passions and their ignorance of vice.”) Violence has been detected earlier in the fossil record, but not on this scale. Some archaeologists think that populations reached a critical mass 10,000 years ago, causing violence to spike. Battles began to increase in number and scale. Over the past few decades, archaeologists have begun to question the idea that early humans were peaceable"

SNSD at Hogwarts - Album on Imgur

Is the Singapore LGBT movement discriminating against Tan Eng Hong... again? - "As the years went by and Pink Dot’s numerical turnout grew from strength to strength, beginning last year I started suspecting that something was amiss. How many of those attending really knew what was being fought for? Is it really possible (especially given the huge numbers today) for everyone to feel and be included in what is undoubtedly a much more inclusive environment (at least where sexual orientation is concerned) than day-to-day Singapore society? Was I really part of this “inclusive” community where I was valued and accepted for who I am – or was there a more “acceptable” or “privileged” way to “be yourself”? I had my doubts. And those doubts grew. This year, unfortunately, there wasn’t a shred of doubt left... These are hierarchies within the “LGBT community” and to the extent that they are present, they cast that extent of derision and mockery on the touted claim of promoting inclusivity. Again, these internal hierarchies and accompanying oppression are made abundantly clear precisely because there are two cases which are exactly the same in substance"

I made this to try and raise awareness. - Imgur

Seen outside of a coffee shop near MIT - Imgur

The world's earliest selfies – in pictures

Microsoft bringing sexy back - "Jobs says, “Hey Bill, remember when I died and people started talking about me as if I were some kind of god? And then here’s you, eradicating malaria, providing clean drinking water to people in the Third World, working to improve America’s school systems and pledging to donate 90 percent of your wealth and people are just like, ‘Oh man, Bill Gates, he’s rich’.”... One of Microsoft’s marketing challenges has always been that it doesn’t make gadgets – again, the Xbox is an exception – but software that runs in gadgets. Because of this, it has understandably, if rather naively, left the marketing of those gadgets to the companies that build them. This worked fine until Apple came along and upset the, er apple cart."

Beware the Emerging Field of 'Trump Studies' - "not only are white Republican voters less authoritarian than they have been in previous cycles, it seems as though they’re less racist too. This is truly a newsworthy and provocative finding about Trump voters that would have certainly served as the springboard for rich discussion and further research. Unfortunately, Dr. Wood never even addresses this phenomenon. He ignores Republican voters’ longitudinal trend and instead focuses on the gap between Democrats and Republicans on his chart—in the service of a conclusion his data does not support... Dr. Wood’s data suggest that racist sentiment among Democrats actually increased in 2008, and more-or-less held at that higher level in 2012... social researchers overwhelmingly identify with the Left. They usually think of opposition to the political establishment or status quo as positive traits, and claim to champion those disdained by the rich and powerful. Therefore testing these omitted variables would require openness to the possibility that the very people progressives seem to despise most of all (Trump voters) might actually be motivated by–or outright embody–some trait they deeply admire."

The Fantasy of Trump’s Skills-Based Immigration Proposal - "Immigrants to Canada in their first ten years are more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population, according to government statistics. That applies even when the immigrants are college-educated, compared to those native born with only a high-school diploma. Among those who have jobs, only a quarter of Canada’s immigrants are working in the fields they trained in, compared to more than sixty per cent for native-born citizens... While a shortage of health-care workers continues to plague rural Canadian communities, more than half the foreign-born doctors living in Canada are not practicing medicine"

Harvard study shows women are more likely to divorce men who don't have breadwinner status - "the prospect of the woman being financially stable after a divorce doesn't seem to raise the odds of the marriage ending. This suggests that the psychological strain of a man not working a 40-hour week is more important than any financial pressure that might come with it. Professor Killewald said: 'While contemporary wives need not embrace the traditional homemaker role to stay married, contemporary husbands face a higher risk of divorce when they do not fulfil the stereotypical breadwinner role by being employed fulltime. 'Often when scholars or the media talk about work-family policies or work-family balance, they focus mostly on the experiences of women. 'Although much of the responsibility for negotiating that balance falls to women, my results suggest one way that expectations about gender and family roles and responsibilities affect men's lives, too: men who aren't able to sustain full-time work face heightened risk of divorce."
Paper: "Money, Work, and Marital Stability: Assessing Change in the Gendered Determinants of Divorce"

Why Coming Home Causes the Sudden Urge to Use the Bathroom - "“We are essentially automata responding to environmental cues,” Gilbert says. “I’m pretty sure I can train you as a human being to pee when you smell peppermint. That’s an example of how much of an automaton you are. It would be technically possible to do that.”"

Gad Saad - Posts - "Since 9/11, 31,000+ terror attacks have been committed in the name of one religion in nearly 70 countries. Every conceivable means of killing and maiming has been used in the commission of this relentless carnage... We must enact 30,000,000 other security measures, each of which serve to further erode our freedoms and liberties. One thing that we will absolutely NOT do is examine the religion because that would be bigoted. Furthermore, we will refrain from having an honest discussion about immigration policies because that would be racist. If anything, we should increase the immigration numbers of those who belong to said religion because this will show that we are progressive."

Jeremy Corbyn attended event held by Muslim group accused of hosting preachers with extremist views - "Mr Corbyn reportedly addressed the Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) event on Wednesday evening with a handful of Labour MPs also believed to have attended... Mr Corbyn’s appearance at the event came after it was also reported that he has refused to attend an official dinner on Thursday evening with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 British statement that helped pave the way for the creation of Israel."

Michelle Obama says men feel entitled and rely on women
Looks like she didn't learn from Hillary's experience

Experts warn that there are some downsides to meditation - "some meditators experience anxiety and panic during meditation sessions, as it brings traumatic memories to the forefront of their minds."

Manchester grammar school pupil cleared of raping student - "A trainee accountant accused of raping a college student during a night out has been cleared of wrongdoing after it was revealed his accuser told her friends: 'I was only raped - chill the f*** out.'... 'I could tell she wanted it just as much as me, she was the one who initiated it. I know now that I was a stupid 18 year old and it was one of the worst decisions of my life."

Pedophiles are more likely to have physical deformities and be left-handed - "'Evidence is steadily accumulating to support a neurodevelopmental basis of pedophilia,' said Fiona Dyshniku of the University of Windsor in Canada."

Mike Huemer - What’s killing us? I made the following graph. I... - "The top causes of death almost never appear in political discourse or discussions of social problems. They’re almost all diseases, and there is almost no debate about what should be done about them. This is despite that they are killing vastly more people than even the most destructive of the social problems that we do talk about. (Illegal drugs account for 0.7% of the death rate; murder, about 0.6%.)... *Some* diseases are treated as political issues, such that there are activists campaigning for more attention and more money to cure them. There are AIDS activists, but there aren’t any nephritis activists. There are breast cancer walks, but there aren’t any colon cancer walks.
Hypothesis: We don’t much care about the good of society. Refinement: Love of the social good is not the main motivation for (i) political action, and (ii) political discourse. We don’t talk about what’s good for society because we want to help our fellow humans. We talk about society because we want to align ourselves with a chosen group, to signal that alignment to others, and to tell a story about who we are. There are AIDS activists because there are people who want to express sympathy for gays, to align themselves against conservatives, and thereby to express “who they are”. There are no nephritis activists, because there’s no salient group you align yourself with (kidney disease sufferers?) by advocating for nephritis research, there’s no group you thereby align yourself *against*, and you don’t tell any story about what kind of person you are... by the way, the smaller problems that we actually pay attention to probably won’t be solved either, because all our ‘solutions’ will be designed to flatter us and express our ideologies, rather than to actually solve the problems."

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Links - 6th March 2018 (3)

"In Italy there are two types of fascists: fascists and anti-fascists." - Ennio Flaiano


Karen Gillan Reveals Whether She Shaved Her Whole Head For Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 - "In the original, she had to completely shave her head for the role of Nebula, Gamora's sister. The good news for Gillan is that for the sequel the team has discovered a way to lessen the impact on her locks... “I shaved half of my head this time, but they took away the butt — like, the underneath-half of my hair, and then left the top part. That was the best gift ever”"

The Study That Said Female Doctors Are Better Than Male Doctors - "maybe hospitals that are more likely to recruit and retain female doctors have other characteristics that lead to better care, such as more resources, better-trained staff, more enlightened leadership and less hostile environments"
Maybe more women drop out of medicine, so those who remain are better

EU censors own film on Afghan women prisoners - "The European Union has blocked the release of a documentary on Afghan women who are in jail for so-called "moral crimes"... Half of Afghanistan's women prisoners are inmates for "zina" or moral crimes... Some of the women convicted of "zina" are guilty of nothing more than running away from forced marriages or violent husbands... "You hear the story again and again of women going to the police and asking for help and ending up in prison instead"... "It's very important that people understand that there are these horrific stories that are happening now - 10 years after the fall of the Taliban government, 10 years after what was supposed to be a new dawn for Afghan women.""
This suggests that it's not just the Taliban that were bad for Afghan women but a deeper factor

Muslim Council ends Holocaust memorial day boycott - "Britain's largest Muslim body has voted to end its boycott of Holocaust memorial day, the Guardian has learned. The Muslim Council of Britain voted this weekend to end its six-year protest, which had angered the government and Jewish groups... Those supporting the boycott believe the memorial day is too narrowly focused on Jewish suffering and ignores recent genocides such as that in Rwanda and of Muslims in Srebrenica"

Yep, Now Even 'No-Shave November' Is Under Attack - "Feminists, the reason why we can’t have nice things. Whenever we get a good thing going, be it Bear Grylls’ show ‘The Island’ or No-Shave November, SJWs have to swoop in to save us from our own misogyny... The tradition had a good run, but now, suddenly, No-Shave November (also known as Movember) is apparently problematic. Social-justice warriors worldwide have rushed to point out how the month-long event, regardless of its good intentions, is too gendered. In a nearly unintelligible run-on sentence published by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph this month, one critic wrote: “It’s disappointing that what could’ve served as a much-needed dialogue about the many ways in which men, trans men included, can express their masculinity without resorting to chauvinist caricatures is in danger of devolving into at best a pissing contest between bros about who can grow the most facial hair to prove their manliness and at worst an implicit endorsement of 1950s-style gender norms, complete with transphobia.”"

Coin stash that puts new spin on China’s 100 years of humiliation - "The devaluation of China’s currency through the course of the 19th century is a known cause of the weakness that led to dynastic collapse and the cession of Hong Kong to the British. However, before Burger, the mechanics behind the devaluation were unclear. The old cliché, that the British trade in opium depleted the Qing treasury of silver, leading to its downfall, is not true, Burger says. It was instead mismanagement of the monetary system, with roots long before the mid-19th century... Burger was 13 when a teacher took him to a visiting exhibition of Chinese paintings. Frustrated that “nobody could read the bloody text”, he decided to study China. “The more I knew, the more interesting it became, and the more excited I was,” he says. “I wanted to study Chinese and I wanted to marry a Chinese woman”... “It was the largest disaster of the Qing dynasty,” Burger says. “All because they didn’t take care of the money. The officials had only studied the Confucian classics and had no idea about money... “What one can learn from how the Qing dynasty ran its show is that, although they were good book keepers – much better than the British or the Germans – they did a lousy job of making a system of their economy. The Europeans very soon had Adam Smith and, by writing down the theory and challenging it, slowly they had the economy in their grip. The Chinese never did. They had no theory.”"

NYPD monitored jihad murderer Saipov’s mosque until Linda Sarsour convinced them to stop - "Back in 2014 the New York Police Department dropped a program that monitored potential suspects of Islamic extremism... the Demographics Unit would no longer exist. They didn’t make this decision on their own. They were pressed into the move by a feminist Sharia Law advocate & liberal activist named Linda Sarour [sic]. You might remember Linda from the Women’s March in DC earlier this year. She’s part of the Arab American Association of New York. She also called for a Jihad against President Trump [her words, not mine]. And she really dislikes Israel [the only Jewish state on Earth]... Fast-forward to October 31, 2017. That’s when New York City terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov allegedly rented a truck from Home Depot and used it to kill 8 people and injure 11 as he mowed down pedestrians... The Omar Mosque in Paterson, N.J., located near the suspect’s home, is one of the many mosques in the New York metro area that was previously being studied by the NYPD. The location was believed by investigators to be a possible destination for, “budding terrorist conspiracies.” And it turns out those investigators were right. In fact, the mosque was being monitored by the NYPD going back as far as at least 2006. They knew about this place and the possibility that it might be the hang out destination for a potentially lethal terror suspect. Detectives believed someone at this mosque was capable of infiltrating a terror attack [and they were right]."

Mark Latham criticises lack of English speakers in Sydney - "Political commentator Mark Latham has slammed multiculturalism in Australia as a 'disgrace' claiming it isn't working because so many people can't speak English. The former Labor leader travelled to the diverse suburb on Fairfield in Sydney's south-west this week, to determine whether Australia's multicultural communities were integrating. 'What I want to find out is, have we got general multiculturalism in Australia, or just ethnic enclaves?'... Mr Latham shows various people telling him they can't speak to him because they didn't speak English."

How to End Screen Time Without A Struggle - "Whenever you decide that screen-time should come to an end, take a moment to sit down next to your child and enter his world. Watch TV with him, or sit with him while he plays his game massacring aliens on the screen. This doesn’t have to be long, half a minute is enough. Just share his experience. Then, ask him a question about it."

Amazon And Ebay Opened Pandora's Box Of Chinese Counterfeits And Now Don't Know What To Do - "the team behind the Blooming Bath discovered that the source of many of the counterfeits was China and Hong Kong — the origin of 60% of the world’s knock-offs, according to the OECD... The versatility of grassroots Chinese manufacturing is something that is truly awesome. I’ve been in relatively small, "mom and pop" Shenzhen factories which made everything from cooling fans to wires for speakers to sex toys all in the same place. What they make on any given day is often a crap shoot — the workers come in, are handed photocopied instructions of whatever it is they will be making, and then they go and make it... The real problems arise when shanzhai goes global. When manufacturers who don’t need to abide by IP laws, labor regulations, or safety standards are given a platform to sell toe-to-toe against the original producers of the products they rip off -- when they can compete directly against original producers who need to pay for research and development, patents, trademarks, workman’s comp, health and safety tests, etc. In this scenario, there is often no competition on price points: shanzhai wins. And as Chinese counterfeiters often use the exact same photos and descriptions or even list on the same page as the original product, it is often impossible for the end consumer to tell the difference between a real and a fake before buying (and sometimes even after they never know)... E-commerce platforms like Amazon have opened up Pandora's box by actively encouraging Chinese manufacturers to enter their marketplace, and now seem to have little idea how to close it."

Brexit Latest: Students SHAMED for being ‘PROUD’ Brexiteers - "Undergraduates admitted they have suffered abuse on university campuses. One student said that she finished a lecture and heard someone say “I just wanted to punch that Brexit b***h in the face”"

CosmopoTamian Ali's answer to What are the best activities to do with children when visiting Baghdad, Iraq? - Quora - "Best activity you do there is to immediately buy a return ticket and go back wherever you came from, without reconsidering it even once... It’s a hell hole and has no natural beauty and almost nothing interesting at all, at least relative to any sub par destination any budget traveler might ever think of."

FLASHBACK: Harvey Weinstein Joins The Women's March At Sundance - "Trump had been accused of sexual impropriety, and that the nation had elected a man who once referred to "grabbing" women "by the pussy."... it is interesting to note how readily women's rights activists embraced Weinstein, even though rumors of his bizarre and sexually aggressive behavior have persisted for decades — and how willing some organizations, like Planned Parenthood, were willing to ignore those same rumors so long as Weinstein's checks kept clearing... as Ronan Farrow was seeking out Weinstein victims and pitching his investigation to NBC News, Weinstein dropped $100,000 at a Planned Parenthood gala in honor of the abortion promoter's 100th anniversary. As a reward, he got to sit next to another champion for women's rights, who also ignored the sexual abuse allegations until the absolute last minute: Hillary Clinton."
Ahh, male feminists. The lady doth protest too much, methinks

How NBC ‘Killed’ Ronan Farrow’s Weinstein Exposé

Ex-NYT Reporter Claims Damon Helped Kill a Weinstein Story

Rose McGowan Condemns Ben Affleck's Denial About Weinstein: 'You Lie' - "Actress Rose McGowan, who people might remember as Tatum in Scream, blasted actor Ben Affleck for claiming ignorance regarding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and rape of women in the film industry. According to McGowan, who also accused Weinstein of sexual harassment before settling a lawsuit against him back in the late-90s, said Ben Affleck knew all about Weinstein's behavior despite his statement to the contrary."

Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck Know How Important Feminism Is, Thanks to Their Two Little Girls - "What's so exciting about their approach is that they're parents who are making feminism a meaningful part of how their children grow up"

Ben Affleck's reportedly sexist attitude may have ruined his marriage - "A source close to the couple revealed that Affleck's attitude toward gender roles in marriage veered so far into the "traditional" category that they could be deemed sexist — and that could help explain why Garner's once red-hot career slowed down considerably when the couple started having children."

Ben Affleck apologises for 'groping' MTV host Hilarie Burton - "Affleck made his apology a day after posting a message giving his views on Hollywood producer Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and assaults. "I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades," he said. "The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. "This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. "We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.""

Dear Hollywood: Your Reaction to Weinstein Proves You’re Disgusting, Amoral Hypocrites… - "you titans of morality did not rush to your iPhones to peck out virtue signaling screeds. Jimmy Kimmel hasn’t shed a solitary tear. Meryl Streep says she “had no idea” the man she called a “god” had ever taken advantage of his power as a studio behemoth to act as a real life Jabba the Hutt. Jennifer Lawerence and Emma Watson? As of this posting, have said absolutely nothing."

Jane Fonda: I Knew Harvey Weinstein Was Awful And Said Nothing - "Fortunately, Fonda cleared her name later in the interview by saying she is actively "resisting" Donald Trump, so clearly she's doing her part to oppose male hegemony, and need not be called on to take any responsibility for Hollywood's pile of filth."

Flashback Video: Barbara Walters Scolds Corey Feldman For Calling Out Hollywood Pedophilia - "What he is saying, or at least trying to explain, to Barbara Walters is that he and his best friend Corey Haim, another famous '80s child star, were both sexually abused by powerful men in Hollywood. Feldman believes that the abuse was a factor in Haim's drug addiction and untimely death in 2010... After Feldman advises parents who want to put their children in show business to not go into it with naivety, Walters, with clear disdain in her voice, cuts him off by saying, "You're damaging an entire industry!""

Miramax Insider's Scathing Facebook Post To Hollywood Elite Goes Viral - "Producer and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, famous for penning the Nicolas Cage action hits Con Air and Gone In Sixty Seconds, as well as critical successes such as High Fidelity and Beautiful Girls, aired out his guilt and grievances with how Hollywood's elite are spewing "sanctimonious denial and condemnation" with regard to Harvey Wienstein and his criminally predatory ways. In his Facebook post, Rosenberg says repeatedly that "everybody f-ing knew" what Weinstein was doing to these women but nobody wanted to take a stand because Harvey was their "Golden Goose.""

Let’s Not Start A Witch Hunt Over Harvey Weinstein - "It started with a leap from indicting Weinstein to a general indictment of all men... People were rightly dismayed when Tablet magazine ran an essay suggesting there was something “specifically Jewy” about Weinstein’s “perviness” (the author later posted a brief apology). Yet there was no such condemnation of sweeping claims about men and male predation. Indeed, one critique of the Tablet piece argued that it scapegoated Jews “to let men in general off the hook.” One could argue that such statements are meant to apply only to men who behave badly. Not for Slate columnist Christina Cauterucci, who asserted on Twitter that “v[ery] few [are] totally innocent” since “harassment exists on a spectrum” — presumably, from rape to dirty jokes... while Weinstein did sexually harass and assault only women, his behavior toward men was also atrocious. Do they, too, have the privilege necessary to be condemned across the board?... Many of the people he mistreated and abused — though not sexually — were men. And some of those complicit in his abuses were women... Ironically, as one Twitter user pointed out, actress Rose McGowan, who says she was raped by Weinstein and has denounced his enablers, spoke warmly a few years ago of film director Victor Salva, a child molester convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy actor in 1988... Paradoxically, at the same time, modern feminism promotes assertive female sexuality; its icons are women like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer, who display their bodies and discuss their sex lives in the raunchiest of terms. Yet men can be vilified if their response crosses a subjective and shifting line... McCarthyism was not a good response to the real problem of communist espionage and infiltration. Sexual McCarthyism — to use a phrase coined by attorney Alan Dershowitz in the 1990s — is not a good response to the real problem of sexual predators."

Naked Slavic Women Take To Russian Streets In Support Of Harvey Weinstein - "One likely reason the women participating in this campaign aren’t choosing to be overly sympathetic to Harvey’s alleged “victims” is that modern Russian culture doesn’t really view these women as victims in the first place. As more and more information confirms that Harvey’s actions were a well-known occurrence behind the scenes in Hollywood. It’s obvious that any woman who got involved with the man likely knew on some level what to expect, and the likely price to be paid in return for him helping launch their careers. To the average Russian woman, these famous rich celebrity “victims” are just spoiled Western brats. Girls who used their bodies to get money or fame and now are complaining about the price they once chose to pay for it... no one is really accusing Harvey of assault. Instead just that he allegedly used his power and influence to encourage sexual favors... isn’t the Russian attitude towards Harvey, actually the stronger Feminist stance? As it holds women accountable for their own actions, as independent equal adults. As powerful women responsible for their own choices, and not some lesser creature so easily manipulated by a man"

Sweden's Sexual Assault Crisis Presents a Feminist Paradox - "while Swedish women rank among the most equal in the world, they increasingly fear for their physical safety on the streets. Reported sex crimes increased by 61 percent between 2007 and 2016. Meanwhile a rise in gang violence among men–the number of victims injured by gunshots increased by 50 percent between 2004 and 2016–indirectly affects the safety of women. Police admit that rape cases are piling up without being investigated because resources are being drained by gang violence and shootings... For more than a decade, the prevailing perception in Sweden has been that rapes and other sex crimes have not become more frequent in spite of data that suggest the contrary. Instead, rising numbers of reported rapes have been dismissed as an effect of a broadened legal definition in 2005 and 2013, and an increased propensity among women to report crimes. Paradoxically, growing rape numbers have thus been used as proof of Swedish gender equality. There are, however, reasons to think that there may indeed be a real increase in sex crime. While precise numbers are hard to come by, surveys of victims indicate that the share of women in Sweden stating that they have been victims of sex crime has grown rapidly... Previous studies (by now more than a decade old) have shown a large overrepresentation of immigrants, particularly from patriarchal societies in the Middle East and North Africa, among the suspects of sex crimes in Sweden... In total, 53 percent of rape suspects were either first or second generation immigrants... the exact link between sex crimes and immigration is not known, since the Swedish government will not update its statistics, and the data, which are still being collected, have not been made available to the public... What we do know from a recent police report is that there is a significant overrepresentation of immigrants when it comes to a growing phenomenon of group harassment of women in public spaces, such as music festivals and public swimming pools... While certain types of crime, such as manslaughter and car theft, have declined over time, recent studies show that Sweden has four to five times as many fatal gun crimes as Norway and Germany. Between 2014 and 2016, police authorities handled more than 100 cases involving hand grenades, an astonishing figure that makes Sweden stand out among countries not at war."

Unintended Consequences of Sexual Harassment Scandals - The New York Times - "building genuine relationships with senior people is perhaps the most important contributor to career advancement. In some offices it’s known as having a rabbi; researchers call it sponsorship. Unlike mentors, who give advice and are often formally assigned, sponsors know and respect people enough that they are willing to find opportunities for them, and advocate and fight for them. But women are less likely to build such relationships, in part because both senior men and junior women worry that a relationship will be misread by others... men have begun avoiding solo interactions with women altogether... Nearly two-thirds of men and women say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work, and about a quarter think private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate... The effect on women’s careers is quantifiable"

"Gender doesn't matter. Content does"

Ex Machina, Terminator, Alien vs, Ghostbusters 2016, Mass Effect Andromeda, Star Trek Discovery

"They get around that by arguing that the popular classic female characters are just examples of the sexist “man with boobs” trope."

It is instructive to compare reactions to Ghostbusters 2016/The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman/Rogue One. Somehow shitlords hate women/diversity when it comes to the former - but not the latter

Links - 6th March 2018 (2)

Bangkok Literally Sinking in Sex as Brothels Steal Groundwater - "these brothels resort to groundwater because of their massive water needs, which would rack up enormous utility bills."

Men With Facial Hair Tend To Value Traditional Gender Roles - "women are, at best, ambivalent about facial hair. Some studies find men with facial hair are rated more attractive than men without, while other studies find the opposite pattern or no overall difference. It is most widely believed that facial hair evolved to signal dominance between males, like a silverback gorilla’s coat. Research across cultures, from the hills of Papua New Guinea to the streets of New York, confirms that a beard makes a man appear older, more masculine, stronger and more aggressive."

The Right on Twitter: "When a white person commits a terrorist attack vs when a Muslim commits a terrorist attack... - "If you are white and not speaking out against this, you part of the problem. It is your obligation to stand against this. #Charlottesville" - 12th August 2017
"We must destroy white supremacy in all forms. These cowards are a cancer and a curse on our country. #Charlottesville" - 12th August 2017
"Disgusted at Trump supporters exploiting the violence in Lower Manhattan by turning it into propaganda against Muslim Americans and Islam." - 31st October 2017
"These people don’t give a single damn about New Yorkers. They’re bloodsucking leeches looking to exploit a tragedy to justify their racism." - 31st October 2017

NY Police: Man Threw 'Burning' Liquid In 13-Year-Old Girl's Face: 'This Is For You, White B****' - "a black man in Queens, New York threw an unknown "burning" substance into the face of a 13-year-old white girl as he yelled, "This is for you, white b****!""
Saying white people are evil doesn't have any consequences

Trump reveals New York suspect brought in 23 relatives
Immigration reform is racist

Terror Tunnel: The Media's Selective Omission - "a terror tunnel leading from Gaza under the border into Israel was destroyed by the IDF. As a result seven Palestinians – Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists – were killed and another twelve wounded...
'Israel was at pains to point out that its action against the tunnel was carried out on its own side of the border'...
Israel is regularly and falsely portrayed as an aggressor, particularly when responding to Gazan terrorist threats. In this case, Israel did not mount any actions within Gazan territory... The Washington Post, BBC and The Guardian all fail to mention that the tunnel had been destroyed from the Israeli side of the border. Instead, references to the 2014 Gaza conflict, which took place, in the main, within the Gaza Strip itself, do nothing to dispel the impression that that the IDF has once again taken action against Palestinian territory... Ultimately, this incident clearly shows that Palestinian terrorists are still working towards carrying out acts of violence and terror against Israelis"
And people complain about concrete being blocked from entering Gaza

Sauna Bathing and Mortality - " Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD, CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality

New Data Reveals Fat Women Don’t Like Fat Men And They Demand You Be OK With It - "Plus size women online want you to know how rough they have it. Whether it’s finding someone who will embrace their “fat pride” or even just the struggles of being queer and fat. It would seem the internet is full of these body positive keyboard warriors. Their latest struggle? Overcoming the “stigma” fat women apparently face when they refuse to settle for overweight men. With modern feminist logic dictating that even the largest ladies should still be able to score themselves a true hottie of a man. In fact there is an increasing amount of real scientific data to prove the concept that women are far pickier and more unrealistic in terms of rating the physical attractiveness of potential partners... females online continue to rage over every example of a fit male not wanting to be a chubby chaser"

Why Bureaucrats Don't Seem to Care - "the routine of everyday work at the front lines of public service is not quite what it seems from the outside. It is neither as simple, repetitive, nor rule-governed as one might believe. If frontline work is soul-sucking, it is less because bureaucrats must mechanically apply rules than because they must shoulder, day in and day out, the weight of difficult discretionary decisions which most people have the luxury to ignore... Bureaucrats end up appearing indifferent not because they are uncaring, but as an adaptive response to the fact that they do, or at least at some point did, care."

Was the fall of Rome a biological phenomenon? - "The most devastating enemy the Romans ever faced was Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague and that has been the agent of three historic pandemics, including the medieval Black Death. The first pandemic interrupted a remarkable renaissance of Roman power under the energetic leadership of the emperor Justinian"
But for most people, the Byzantines weren't Roman

The head of MI5 has lost the plot. Britain is safer than ever in its history | Simon Jenkins
Comments: "Yes Simon - you definitely know more about the current threat level than the head of The Security Service."
"He's had enough of experts."
"It's funny how the same liberals being vocal about the 'epidemic' of hate crime 'attacks' (often just nasty words) and the 'rise' of the 'far right', are out of the other side of their mouths playing down this low grade insurgency we have going on by religious fanatics. if it was the far right blowing up kids outside of pop concerts I wonder if the rhetoric would be as moderate?"
"It is entirely possible for there to be the highest risk of a terror attack in years, whilst also having less overall killings than during the IRA years because of a combination of factors (e.g. the amount of attacks being thwarted, proximity to the enemy, etc). It is also utterly vacuous to pretend that this is somehow fear-mongering regarding Islam. It is a fact that there are Islamic groups who want to commit terror attacks... an ex-MI5 agent gave an interview on the BBC where he described a terrorist plot to hijack two school buses on a trip to France. It was apparently foiled within hours of being executed. How many such attacks do you think have been foiled without being public knowledge?"
"ISIS released a statement in 2015 which explicity stated that even if we were to stop waging war in the Middle East, their primary reason for killing us (which is that we are not all muslims) would still be in place, so they would continue trying to eradicate or convert us all."

Yale dishwasher who smashed racist window gets a 'second chance' to work there - "A former worker at Yale University, arrested after breaking a stained-glass window that depicted slaves carrying bales of cotton, has been granted a second chance to work at the Ivy League institution... Menafee became an unexpected hero for his act, which some believe was justified. Supporters gathered for his courthouse appearance, and a GoFundMe campaign to help Menafee so far has raised approximately $24,705... Yale University has informed Menafee’s attorney, Patricia Kane, that it’s giving him a job back, should he want it, according to a Yale statement emailed to USA TODAY College. It has also asked the State’s Attorney to drop all charges."
Anti-racism means destruction of property is okay

Critics of the 'Microaggressions' Framework Are Skeptical - "When a person is engaged in objectionable behavior, publicly shaming rather than engaging them causes them to become defensive or hostile in turn. (Is it ever more difficult to admit to a mistake than when lots of people are angrily confronting you about it?) Shaming is often carried out by mobs with no mechanism to make the punishment proportionate to the offense. And public shaming targets some people who did nothing wrong (friendly criticism is better for fallible critics)... An Hispanic student at Oberlin was able to viciously attack a fellow student in a curated public space largely for having used the Spanish word “fútbol” despite being white. There is, however, nothing inherently objectionable about a white person using a non-English word... if status accrues to people based on expressing grievance and demonstrating victimhood, the incentives to exaggerate both will be strong, especially among immature people in their late teens and early twenties... at this point even the New Yorker magazine’s liberal humor section is mocking its excesses... As when French Revolutionaries were put to the guillotine, purity tests always turn inward... The conceit that white students, or at least white men, cannot be subject to “microaggressions” by definition is wrongheaded too... “I'm south Asian,” he writes. “But, whether it's my goatee or gelled hair, I'm usually mistaken for being Hispanic––typically Mexican. Hispanics inevitably always speak to me in Spanish, and even other south Asians often don't realize I'm one of them… Because of a non-profit I help run, I get asked ‘Where are you from?’ on a weekly basis...Victimhood culture tells me this is a ‘microaggression’ based on racism that should offend me. But it's not. We live in a multicultural society, and it's not always clear what someone's background is. I don't assume they're racist just because they're curious about my background. But victimhood culture tells me I should.”"

Politically Correct “Lord of the Flies” | The New Yorker - "“Are you the boys who need to be rescued?” an officer shouted.
“Why is he screaming at us?” Percival cried. “I feel very unsafe!”
“Some of us identify as gender-questioning,” Jack called back to the officer. “And we reject your Eurocentric imposition of the jungle-rescue narrative.”
“No, please! Save us!” Ralph yelled, rushing to the officer. “Save us!”
“Er, see, here’s the thing,” the officer said, backing away. “I’m going to have to radio back to my supervisors to make sure I’m following the proper protocols for dealing with self-identified indigenous populations before I can do anything.”
They stared at him. He shrugged. “Or else we’ll just get killed on Twitter.”"

Vox Popoli: A review of SJWADD - "The thing you have to bear in mind about modern-day Social Justice Warriors is that they have their own version of ‘The White Man’s Burden.’ And the unintended consequences are pretty much the same... The essential difference between a person who is genuinely concerned and a full-fledged SJW is that the former has essentially limited goals, while the latter’s objectives are nebulous, wide-ranging ... and permanent. The former will identify a problem - and it is often a very real problem - and propose practical solutions, then retire gracefully when victory has been achieved. The latter will not retire, even when he gets what he says he wants. He’ll just come up with newer demands, which will be harder to resist because one has already conceded the earlier set of demands. It is, in short, about power and appearances rather than practicalities. Somewhere along the way, the idea that one is trying to solve a single very specific problem is lost... They will never declare victory for the simple reason that declaring victory means giving up their power... A further, more fundamental, difference between the genuinely concerned and the SJW is that the latter believes so deeply in his cause that he finds it impossible to comprehend that someone might have a reasonable reason to disagree. No, anyone who disagrees must be evil. This has a great deal in common with a number of religious groups... the SJW always doubles down and attacks anyone who dares to question him. Thus, for example, anyone who points out Hillary Clinton’s massive failings as a candidate for President is a sexist, as far as the SJWs are concerned. This allows them to comfortably dismiss anything that runs contrary to their narrative... What’s wrong with social justice? Why should well-meaning SJWs be opposed at all costs. There are essentially three answers to that question. First, SJWs have no concept of individuality. A person is defined by their identity... Second, SJWs have made us less empathic - not more."

The Most Important Book Of 2015: SJWs Always Lie - "The 3 Immutable Laws Of SJWism
1. They always lie
2. They always double down when confronted with their lies
3. They always project...
The easiest way to stop this attack cycle is to gather support from allies and not apologize. The apology plays into their hands and makes the situation worse, which is why Vox implores his readers to never apologize to SJWs:
Look at Hunt. Look at Eich. Look at everyone in your personal experience who has come under attack by SJWs. Did apologizing do them any good at all? Did apologizing reduce the intensity of the attacks on them, or did the SJWs keep attacking? An apology is not going to relieve the pressure on you, it is only going to increase it."

Tamania @TXMAJ33D - "White America must apologize for the Las Vegas shooter. If you don't, you're a fucking Nazi like the rest of them"
"One asshole Muslim doesn't mean we condemn a whole fucking people. Get it through your sick head."
Tellingly her Twitter was empty as of the time of writing, but Google records show she had some old tweets

Medical graduate put on sex offenders' register after grabbing Tinder date's breasts during sex - "A medical graduate's career is in ruins after he was convicted of indecently assaulting a woman he met on Tinder by grabbing her breasts during consensual sex. Philip Queree, 37, was taken to court for repeatedly grabbing the woman's breasts hard and pulling her hair while the couple had intercourse. Despite consenting to having sex with Queree, the victim told him she did not want her breasts touched and accused him of using "excessive force"... "Irrespective of her consent to other sexual conduct, I am sure that the touching was in circumstances of indecency and thus Queree is guilty of indecent assault.""
If someone you're having sex with doesn't want to be kissed and you do it, is it sexual assault?

How do countries get their names? - "the majority of country names fall into just four categories:
a directional description of the country
a feature of the land
a tribe name
an important person, most likely a man...
Nauru, an island northeast of Australia, is perhaps the most delightful, reportedly named after the indigenous word “anáoero,” “I go to the beach.”"

“Youths” Kick Man to Death on Crowded Antwerp Bus - "Guido Demoor, a father of two, intervened when six “youths” got on bus 23 in Antwerp and began to intimidate passengers. There were some forty people on the bus. Demoor asked the “youths” to calm down, whereupon they turned on him, savagely beating and kicking the man. At the next stop thirty passengers fled the bus. The thugs kept beating Demoor. They then pulled the emergency brake and jumped from the bus leaving their victim to die. Three Moroccans, two of whom are minors, were arrested today. The website of the Dutch paper De Stentor reports tonight that a fourth suspect, believed to be the ringleader, fled into a shop as the police were poised to arrest him. He managed to escape from the shop when dozens of “youths” came to his rescue. Witnesses had described the culprits as immigrant youths of between 18 and 21 years of age. During the weekend the police had called for witnesses as only four people had come forward. The police offered the witnesses absolute confidentiality and promised not to reveal their identities. “Obviously people fear reprisals”... “You see what happens if you intervene,” one of Guido Demoor’s colleagues at Belgian Rail is quoted in the newspaper De Morgen today. “If Guido had not opened his mouth he would still be alive. [...] He was a good man. I would not have dared to do what Guido did. I was beaten up once and since then I have become very careful”... An Antwerp bus driver told De Morgen: “These youths can be very aggressive. If you say one wrong word they throw themselves on you. I do not dare to say anything. I keep my mouth shut.” Public transport passengers declared: “They call you names in a language you do not understand, shouting and abusing you. What can you do? Who can you call for help? I do not know.”... Problems occur not only in major Belgian cities, such as Antwerp and Brussels, but also in provincial towns, such as Sint-Niklaas. Last week bus drivers in Sint-Niklaas refused to drive out in protest against the aggressive behaviour of immigrant youths on the buses. In today’s De Morgen drivers, who have all asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, relate experiences of “buses being demolished while en route” and of “youths harassing girls, who beg the driver to protect them.” One of the drivers said: “If they refuse to buy a ticket I leave it. I do not want to be beaten up for one and a half euros.”"

The future belongs to Islam - "One of the most obvious refutations of Francis Fukuyama’s famous thesis The End Of History — written at the victory of liberal pluralist democracy over Soviet Communism — is that the victors didn’t see it as such. Americans — or at least non-Democrat-voting Americans — may talk about “winning” the Cold War but the French and the Belgians and Germans and Canadians don’t... there was no sense on the Continent that our Big Idea had beaten their Big Idea. With the best will in the world, it’s hard to credit the citizens of France or Italy as having made any serious contribution to the defeat of Communism. Au contraire, millions of them voted for it, year in, year out. And, with the end of the Soviet existential threat, the enervation of the West only accelerated... In 2005, Tomy began marketing a new doll called Yumel — a baby boy with a range of 1,200 phrases designed to serve as companions for the elderly. He says not just the usual things — “I wuv you” — but also asks the questions your grandchildren would ask if you had any: “Why do elephants have long noses?” Yumel joins his friend, the Snuggling Ifbot, a toy designed to have the conversation of a five-year old child which its makers, with the usual Japanese efficiency, have determined is just enough chit-chat to prevent the old folks going senile. It seems an appropriate final comment on the social democratic state: in a childish infantilized self-absorbed society where adults have been stripped of all responsibility, you need never stop playing with toys. We are the children we never had."
This is one of the more poignant/convincing pieces I've read on having children
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