When you can't live without bananas

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Links - 20th March 2018 (2)

Conspiracy Theorists Have a Basic Cognitive Issue, Say Scientists - "the compulsion to find patterns in an observable situation was in fact correlated with irrational beliefs: People who saw patterns in random coin tosses and chaotic, abstract paintings were more likely to believe in conspiratorial and supernatural theories... “Following a manipulation of belief in one conspiracy theory people saw events in the world as more strongly casually connected, which in turn predicted unrelated irrational beliefs”"

FACT CHECK: Was a Woman Attacked on Camera for Wearing a 'Make America Great Again' Hat in Hollywood? - "WHAT'S TRUE
YouTube star Blaire White did get into an altercation over her red "Make America Great Again" hat when she went to an anti-Trump protest on Hollywood Boulevard.
Police said White and her boyfriend initiated the altercation by crossing an LAPD dividing line meant to keep opposing sides separate to prevent violence."
Comments: ""Yeah people beat the shit out of her, but hey she was asking for it by just being there. Verdict: MIXED" Wow, fuck Snopes."
"By this logic, you could say of a woman who was raped upon entering a dark alley at night while wearing provocative clothing that it was only "partly true" that she got raped. This is worse than victim blaming, it's intentionally obscuring the fact that there was a victim in the first place"

Vancouver Island University didn't protect women from student with diaper fetish, complaint alleges - "Is it sexual harassment or a simple misunderstanding of a man’s disability? That’s the issue currently confronting the Vancouver Island University in British Columbia, Canada, after its former director of human rights and workplace safety filed a complaint alleging that the school didn’t do enough to protect women from a student in his 40s with a possible diaper fetish. But the man, who remains unnamed, told CBC that “I am special needs and 3, so I am not in my 40s”... the student engaged in “fetishistic behaviour in and out of the classroom” that included: talking and acting like an infant in classes, following women to isolated areas and leering at them before asking them out on dates, the Journal reported. Roth originally submitted the complaint in July, also alleging that the student included an image of himself wearing nothing but a diaper in a 2015 English essay and asked a nurse practitioner at the university to change his soiled diapers twice
Given trans mania logic...

The Ignorance of Mocking Mormonism - "it’s precisely the pro-social beliefs of Mormons—the eternal nature of families, obligations to the poor and oppressed, accountability to God, the importance of clean living, and the value of self-reliance and personal agency—that result in specific shared behaviors and actions by the likes of Flake and Romney... As much as South Park or Andersen desire to decouple behavior from belief, the reality is that, in the words of the columnist David Brooks, “Vague, uplifting, nondoctrinal religiosity doesn't actually last. The religions that grow, succor and motivate people to perform heroic acts of service are usually theologically rigorous, arduous in practice, and definite in their convictions about what is True and False.”"

The Words Men and Women Use When They Write About Love - The New York Times - "When writing about love, men are more likely to write about sex, and women about marriage. Women write more about feelings, men about actions. Even as gender roles have merged and same-sex romance has become more accepted, men and women still speak different languages when they talk about love — at least, if Modern Love essays submitted to The New York Times are any indication."

Canadian driver fights to keep 'Grabher' registration plate - "A Canadian man whose surname was deemed too offensive for his personalised car registration plate says it is a case of "bureaucratic hypocrisy". Lorne Grabher argues in a recently filed affidavit that there are plenty of potentially offensive signs and place names dotted across Canada. Those include Crotch Lake (in Ontario) and Dildo (in Newfoundland). Mr Grabher's personalised plate was cancelled because it could be seen as a "socially unacceptable slogan"."

Indulgent grandparents 'bad for children's health' - "grandparents are often inclined to treat and overfeed children. The study also found some were smoking in front of their grandchildren and not giving them sufficient exercise.

Thomas Salbey who stood up to Munich shooter facing charge for insulting killer - "Thomas Salbey, 57, saw the shooting happening from his balcony in the Bavarian capital on July 22. In an attempt to stop 18 year old Ali Sonboly from further slaughtering people, he swore at the shooter as he was standing in a car park below... Loner Sonboly had just shot dead nine people, mainly young teenagers he had lured to McDonald’s on the premise of free food. The German-Iranian also injured 16 others during the rampage before he killed himself a kilometre away from the Munich Olympiad shopping centre he carried the shooting out at. Now, in a twist of German justice, Mr Salbey is now facing charges for standing up to the killer who shot himself in the head."

Non-Western Immigrants Consume 59% Of Denmark's Tax Surplus - "A recent study conducted by Denmark’s Ministry of Finance concluded that in 2014, immigrants and their descendants cost Danish taxpayers at net loss of 28 billion Crowns per year. Furthermore, when Western immigrants were removed from the equation, the net cost rose to 33kr billion... Consider that ethnic minorities, who are by definition immigrants to Denmark, represent 84% of all welfare recipients, as of 2016... non-ethnic Danes are 2-3 times more likely to commit crimes than Danes... healthcare costs for immigrants groups are proving significant. For example, 40% of patients in Denmark’s largest mental health hospital have immigrant backgrounds."

Kids for cash scandal - Wikipedia - "The "kids for cash" scandal unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were convicted of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit youth centers for the detention of juveniles, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of residents in the centers"

The Ukrainian famine | Podcast | History Extra - "Activists both from Russia and Ukraine went village by village and went into people's homes and literally confiscated all of their food. So people came into other people's houses, they took all of their food and they took it away. And that's not a normal famine. It wasn't even just grain that they were taking away - they took away corn, and they took away seeds that people were storing, and they took away bread that was in the oven, and they took away soup that was on the stove, and they took away vegetables and they took away carrots and squash and beans so that really people had nothing at all to eat. And then the second thing that was done after that, they essentially closed the borders of Ukraine so they took food out of people's homes, they shut the borders so that people couldn't leave to find food anywhere else and that meant that people stayed inside Ukraine and died and so that, there's really no more direct way to cause a famine than that...
[On the activists] These were people who had been brought up to believe that you know the revolution was all important, revolution was in danger and the biggest threat to the revolution, the sort of thing that was standing in the way of its success and the reason why it wasn't succeeding and remember by the end of the twenties it was clear that it wasn't succeeding, it wasn't bringing people paradise on earth and people were not richer, they were poorer and so on. So why wasn't it succeeding? And problem was the peasants. You know the backwards looking, you know sort of Luddite, anti-Soviet, surly, uneducated peasants were standing in the way of our great revolution and progress and therefore the peasants need to be eliminated. And therefore they are the barrier that's keeping all of us from success and the reason why the workers are hungry is the recalcitrant peasants are preventing them from progressing. And that mentality coupled with a kind of blind faith in the system urged on also by really a decade's worth of kind of fanatical hateful rhetoric about the peasantry and about the so called kulaks or the rich peasants and then also about Ukrainians shaped people's minds. You have to think today of fanatical groups fed on you know hatred who go off and do terrible things. We can all think of modern and twentieth century, other twentieth century powers - that's essentially what this was"

Christianity and the classical world | Podcast | History Extra - "There are these people who are so keen to be martyrs that they don't even wait to be killed they just commit suicide. These extraordinary people in North Africa called the Circumcellions who terrify North Africa because they would just do things like set themselves on fire or jump off cliffs or drown themselves... they are promised specifically by one text one hundred times what everyone else will get in heaven. Origen says you're going to get a hundred times the children, one hundred times the oxen, one hundred times everything... you will be lording it over everyone else in heaven it's not a humble thing... they took themselves to Roman governors, they say, they turn up ready chained and say I'm ready to die a martyr...
'Well he doesn't want to kill them. He will kill them, right he's Pliny, he's a Roman. He has a job to do, he has a province to keep quiet but he would really rather not. And you get these amazing martyrdom tales where the Roman governors say things like are you sure you want to kill yourself? Look outside, it's a really sunny day.'
'What about your poor mother?'...
'What a lot of people don't really understand either about persecutions is no ancient Roman governor or Greek governor or Syrian governor under the Roman Empire, whatever, remotely cared what you actually believed inside your head either. They didn't care. It was all a matter of whether or not you attended public city sacrifices... It's a bit like Obama being made sure that he lowers, lowers his head you know during a prayer or something... they would not do this and in fact when they all get into power as well actually interrogating what's deep inside your head. Right, they actually did want to thought control and stop people'...
'Standing up during the National Anthem. Or something like that. It was just doing what you did to be a good citizen'"

Nigerian Youths take lizard dung and gutter water to get "HIGH"

ISIS fighters packing human bodies, kids' toys and fridges with BOMBS as they flee Iraq's towns and cities - "The situation is so grim that one man a day from Iraq’s bomb disposal teams is being killed by the devices.

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Kenya: election rerun exposes chasms - "Many Thais worry that he's got a rather cruel streak to him. There's many rumors that we can't discuss here but things that we know on the public record: we know that when he divorced his third wife a couple of years ago, he then jailed almost all of her family. Including her parents and her three brothers and so on. We know that he operates a private prison in one of his palaces where people who displease him can be punished without really any oversight. And there's been at least five unexplained deaths of people in his inner circle over the last few years which the Thai authorites really struggled to give a proper explanation for"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Lifting of Saudi Arabia driving ban a political distraction? - "This is a long story of dictators engaging with women rights. From Saddam Hussein and Bashar Al-Assad and Bourguiba in Tunisia, we find that they all champion them, women's rights. For a particular reason - they feel that this goods them a good, feel good factor, divert attention from real political reform"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Niall Ferguson on social media and revolution - "I just moved quite recently out to near Silicon Valley, from Harvard to Stanford and I was amazed to find that people there essentially don't care about history at all because they think that history began with the Google IPO or the founding of Facebook... it's not entirely unique what we're seeing today. There have been periods in the past when social networks have been empowered by new technology and have been hugely disruptive of established hierarchical structures... When Martin Luther launched the Reformation. If there had been no printing presses in Germany in fifteen seventeen we'd never have heard of him...
Mark Zuckerberg I think very sincerely believes that if you connect the whole world and he's now got past two billion users on Facebook, you'll create a global community. And the general assumption in Silicon Valley - he's not alone in this - has been really since the nineteen nineties is that everything will be awesome if we are all connected. The bad news from history is that it doesn't work that way. That actually when you connect everybody networks have a tendency to polarize because of something called homophily... Birds of a feather flock together on social networks and what you see is the kind of polarization that happened in the Reformation because not everybody agreed with Luther...
Socialism starts to look attractive when inequality reaches a certain level and one of the interesting things about the network world is that it does actually amplify inequality... young people have no memory of the last great experiments with Socialism that the UK ran in the mid to late twentieth century which went pretty horribly wrong. Old geezers is like me can remember double digit inflation, three day weeks and so on. My kids have absolutely no memory of that and I think from that point of view are tempted by the promises that the Labour Party offers of jam today and jam tomorrow"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Today at 60: How our attitudes to sex have changed - "Allison Webster was to become the last principal Page Three photographer. She lost that job when Rupert Murdoch gave way to the rising chorus of protests and said enough. To this day Ms Webster regrets the passing of Page Three.
'Yeah, everyone's entitled to criticize things. I think banning things is wrong because I think we should all be allowed to do what makes us happy as long it's not hurting anybody else and I don't think physically it was hurting anybody else'
'Weren't the women exploited?'
'I would say not. They would say that they were exploiting the Sun. They worked very little for a fair amount of money and had a great time doing it so where's the exploitation in that?... in America where they create more porn than any other place in the world you're not allowed to sunbathe topless on a beach. I just think it'll go round in a circle and come back to somewhere again'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, John Grisham on new novel and Trump - "I don't like the idea of taking down historical monuments because I don't think it's one generation's right to go, to view history differently. The monuments tell only one side of a conflict. I think there should be other monuments next to the Confederate monuments that tell the rest of the story. To honor the slaves who suffered, the abolitionists who were brave enough to stand up to the slave owners and those people should be studied and honored and memorialized but I just, I have not come to the point where I think the monuments should be removed. But they should be there to, so to tell the entire story"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, How fake news works - "We do know that in the Summer election here in the UK that both, that all of the major political parties used these tricks. So unfortunately this is now a normal part of modern political campaigning, even in democracies'
'So political parties are using computational propaganda. In other words, trying to get the conversation moving their way with false users and robotic accounts'
'Right. And spreading rumours about your opponents'"

Helena Schrader's answer to Why did King Richard I execute the civilian population of Acre after capturing the city during the Third Crusade? - Quora - "To ensure that Saladin upheld his part of the bargain, an estimated 2,500 men (accounts vary) from the garrison were held as hostages. It is important to note that these hostages were not women or children, not innocent civilians, nor were they technically prisoners; they were hostages. According to the rules of war at this time, their lives were forfeit if the terms of the surrender agreement were not met. Saladin, possibly because he had not been consulted about the terms the garrison negotiated, or possibly because he couldn't raise the money or find the hostages or didn't have the True Cross any longer, failed to comply with the terms of the agreement. He asked for first one extension and then a second, but still failed to deliver.;.. To this day, the massacre of hostages at Acre is almost always cited by Richard's detractors as an act of "barbarism." It was far from that, but it was an act of cold-blooded realpolitik in a brutal age."

The Media and Privacy in Japan

Just Bento/Just Hungry - Makiko Itoh on Food and Japanese Culture

"An aspect of the entertainment industry, or how the media deals with all public figures in Japan actually, is that any family members, relatives, partners and so on that are not already publicly known and/or in show biz themselves are not identified by name, and their faces are not shown, unless they indicate it’s ok to do so. In other words if they wish to remain private citizens (called ippanjin 一般人 - “regular person”) their wishes are respected by the media.

This privacy extends to children. Most celebrity parents display family photos with the kids’ faces blanked out, and don’t make their names public. (Non-celebrity parents in Japan tend to do this too, although I’m not quite sure of the thinking behind that. Just copying celebrities?) Some celebrity parent simply don’t show or even mention their kids (except their existence) at all.

Some examples:

- When Tokio member (who’s better known as a TV newscaster these days) Taichi Kokubun got married, his wife was simply identified as an “ippanjin”. This is standard procedure for any celebrity-“ippanjin” marriage or partnership.
- TV personality Hiromi is married to former pop idol Iyo Matsumoto. One son, Ryo’o Kozono, is an actor, but their other son has remained an “ippanjin”. When they show family photos the face of that son is blocked out or pixelated and his name is not mentioned.
- In 2015 an alleged affair between TV personality Becky and Enon Kawatani, the leader of the band Gesu no Kiwami Otome, dominated the gossip headlines for weeks. His wife at the time was an ippanjin, and she was never identified by name, nor was her face shown, even though she was the one who gave (or sold) the story to a gossip magazine."

Links - 20th March 2018 (1)

Japan's mysterious 10 yen vending machines

The working rich are driving income inequality, not the rentiers - "Have passive rentiers replaced the working rich at the top of the U.S. income distribution? Using administrative data linking 10 million firms to their owners, this paper shows that private business owners who actively manage their firms are key for top income inequality. Private business income accounts for most of the rise of top incomes since 2000 and the majority of top earners receive private business income—most of which accrues to active owner-managers of mid-market firms in relatively skill-intensive and unconcentrated industries. Profit falls substantially after premature owner deaths"

What Do You Say to a Roanoke Truther? - "Chris was the boyfriend of Alison Parker, who was shot and killed on live television in August by a mentally ill man who had an invented grudge and easy access to firearms... according to millions of conspiracy theorists online, Chris Hurst is a part of my imagination. In the minds—and YouTube videos—of some conspiracy theorists, Chris is not a news anchor at WDBJ in Virginia. Chris, the videos say, is a “crisis actor" invented less than a month ago by the United States government as part of a false flag operation that will eventually allow the New World Order to take away every American citizen’s guns and force them into a life of subjugation and tyranny... “Conspiracy theorists are, I submit, some of the last believers in an ordered universe,” Pitzer College philosophy professor Brian Keeley wrote in Of Conspiracy Theories. “By supposing that current events are under the control of nefarious agents, conspiracy theories entail that such events are capable of being controlled”... “This happens for every president. It’s not just birthers, with President Obama. In 2001, a building blows up, and some people think George W. Bush did it,” says Uscinski. “In fact, there are the same number of [9/11] truthers as there are birthers.” Uscinski wrote “Conspiracy Theories Are for Losers,” which posits that conspiracy theories pervade amongst members of parties who are out of power and feel helpless in a political tide moving in the opposite direction... On the Internet, everything’s a false flag if you look hard enough"

Writing Invisibility: Conversations on the Hidden City - Why sex workers should be recognised as feminists, and other thought-provoking essays - "when journalists write about slums and the people who happen to inhabit them, there is a tendency to exaggerate and sensationalise, and ‘focus on crisis, poverty and squalor, and on the ever-rising numbers.’ Caroline’s essay offers a refreshing change from all that. In Migrant Nigerian sex workers and feminism, the award-winning novelist Chika Unigwe (author of the novel On Black Sisters Street) examines her own preconceived ideas about prostitutes as victims and the role of poverty in the transatlantic sex trade, and argues for the recognition of sex workers as feminists... Many of the women I spoke to were not working in order to be able to eat three times a day. The motivation was stronger than that. Roegler’s work follows four Nigerian ex-commercial sex workers from Benin City who have been deported from Italy. Even though all the women cite “wanting a better life” as their prime motivation for being voluntarily trafficked, all but one links the “better life” to escaping poverty. Their “better life” has a feminist ideal to it: independence. Far from being passive victims, many of these women are risk takers."

The obscure religion that shaped the West - "The idea of a single god was not the only essentially Zoroastrian tenet to find its way into other major faiths, most notably the ‘big three’: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The concepts of Heaven and Hell, Judgment Day and the final revelation of the world, and angels and demons all originated in the teachings of Zarathustra, as well as the later canon of Zoroastrian literature they inspired. Even the idea of Satan is a fundamentally Zoroastrian one; in fact, the entire faith of Zoroastrianism is predicated on the struggle between God and the forces of goodness and light (represented by the Holy Spirit, Spenta Manyu) and Ahriman, who presides over the forces of darkness and evil. While man has to choose to which side he belongs, the religion teaches that ultimately, God will prevail, and even those condemned to hellfire will enjoy the blessings of Paradise (an Old Persian word)."

PhD thesis: The earth is flat - "a huge scandal rocked the Tunisian and Arab scientific and educational world: a PhD student submitted a thesis declaring Earth to be flat, unmoving, young (only 13,500 years of age), and the centre of the universe."

LKY’s Haram Truths - "Malaysia’s government has said that a book on Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew is “still being studied” despite federal Islamic authorities earlier confirming that it has been placed on a list of books declared “haram”, or forbidden to Muslims."

Can a bald head person can wear a wig ? - "The scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that any medication or treatment which allows ones own hair to re-grow naturally would be permissible; but to place or graft or transplant any other type of hair (real or artificial), which neither forms root nor grows naturally, would be absolutely impermissible."

“Chijo” - "Anyone who has lived for any length of time in Japan and knows a little bit of the language and culture knows the word chikan. The meaning of this word is a molester, but basically refers to a male who is prone to be a Peeping Tom, stealing woman’s underwear from their clothes lines, or even groping woman on the trains, catching a quick feel here and there, or pressing themselves into females. In other words, a pervert!... The female counterpart of chikan is “chijo” and basically has the same meaning, and yes there are some chijo in Japan, but they are rare or hardly reported to the police

Details of 2000 Ramallah Lynch of IDF Soldiers Revealed - "The Yediot Aharonot newspaper revealed Tuesday new details of the brutal murders of reservists Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz (z"l). The soldiers were lynched in Ramallah in October 2000. The soldiers lost their way to their base on October 12, 2000, ending up in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled city of Ramallah by mistake. PA police forces took the two into custody. Word reached local PA residents that undercover Israeli agents were being held in the building; some 1000 rioters reportedly gathered outside. The IDF declined to take action to rescue the soldiers; they were eventually stormed by the rioters... The crowd then dragged the bodies to a central square, beating them further before setting up a victory celebration. PA police forces did not attempt to intervene and in some cases, participated in the barbarism. "
And yet it is Israel that is at fault here

‘Naive’ young jihadis should rejoin society without facing court, says watchdog
Yet tweeting "hate speech" can land you in jail

Satanists Approve Drag-queen Dressed as Demon Reading to Children - "There was a recent event at the Michelle Obama Public Library during which a drag queen dressed as a demon read to small children."

Girl Scouts slam Boy Scouts' decision to accept girls: 'The Boy Scouts' house is on fire' - ""The Boy Scouts' house is on fire," Girl Scouts told ABC News in a statement today. "Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls."
Why do the Girl Scouts hate women?

Why I Don't Want To Hear Both Sides Of Rape Cases - "When I read Jackie's story of trauma, institutional betrayal, and survival at the University of Virginia, I was horrified to read the details, but I was not surprised. As a college survivor and advocate for rape-free campuses, I am well acquainted with these kinds of events. Unfortunately, my experience has also made me familiar with another ugly part of sexual assault activism: the rampant minimizing, rape denialism, and victim-blaming that exists in our culture. Yesterday's letter from Rolling Stone backing away from the story is now a part of that. And it is downright dangerous. One of the implications of the letter is that the reporter should have spoken to the alleged assailants to verify whether Jackie was raped.
Fact checking is sexist

Prof frets that female students don't feel oppressed enough - "Cristina Mogro-Wilson, who teaches social work at UConn, surveyed 118 students pursuing a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree and found that the overwhelming majority of respondents—94 percent of whom were women—do not believe that “discrimination and subordination” are “salient issues in women’s lives”... The findings are problematic, Mogro-Wilson contends, because without a sense of their own oppression, students may be disinclined to “embrace the notion of change through unification,” such as in the form of protesting. Worrying about the potential of a “post-feminist standpoint among younger women…who no longer see discrimination against women as being a salient issue,” Mogro-Wilson calls for incorporating more intersectionality into the social work curriculum.
When a woman says no, she means yes
Comments: " Why are they so threatened by women who are happy with their lives? Misery really does love company."
"Um, didn't liberals get angry when bill maher and others wanted to convince muslim women in the middle east that they were oppressed? There was a point a few years ago where i observed liberal logical inconsistency to surpass that of conservatives, but now it's blown way past."
"These well off women who are highly educated disagree with me. Obviously their knowledge on how oppressed they are is lacking, and need reeducation!"

Birth of the Dragon: makers of film about Bruce Lee respond to 'yellowface' row - "Glaring missteps such as Mickey Rooney’s Mr Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be a thing of the past, but Johannson’s casting in Ghost in the Shell, as well as Matt Damon’s “white saviour” character in the Zhang Yimou-directed The Great Wall, have focused attention on claims of more subtle forms of cultural appropriation. Says Chan: “Caucasian actors may no longer don the makeup and the prosthetics but they nonetheless occupy a space on the screen as a stand-in for something/someone else.”... The recent upsurge in activity from China itself – both in terms of box-office clout and willingness to participate and shape Hollywood offerings – is also a factor. The Great Wall, for example, is produced by Hollywood outfit Legendary (best known for the recent Batman trilogy and The Hangover series), who are now owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda. “My own sense,” says Chan, “is that Chinese investment in Hollywood films is less concerned about the politics of representation than about profits. They seem quite happy to pump money into films such as Star Trek Beyond and the Kung Fu Panda franchise. The Chinese in China do not need to justify their cultural identity to western audiences, and are quite happy to sell stereotypes if it means moving merchandise."
Ironically you still have white saviors coming in to tell the Chinese how they are oppressed

The GOP has a feminine face, UCLA study finds - ""Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker's voting record," said lead author Colleen M. Carpinella, a UCLA graduate student in psychology. The researchers also found the opposite to be true: Female politicians with less stereotypically feminine facial features were more likely to be Democrats, and the more liberal their voting record, the greater the distance the politician's appearance strayed from stereotypical gender norms. In fact, the relationship is so strong that politically uninformed undergraduates were able to determine the political affiliation of the representatives with an overall accuracy rate that exceeded chance, and the accuracy of those predications increased in direct relation to the lawmaker's proximity to feminine norms."
This is more evidence that feminists are ugly
Addendum: Also reported as "Republican women prettier than Democrats, study finds". This replicates the finding on feminists being less attractive

Migrant Crime in Germany: Focus on North Africa - "No other group of foreigners has fallen into disrepute in Germany in recent years as much as young men from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. In 2016, only 2.4 percent of asylum seekers came from these North African countries, and yet 11 percent of immigrants suspected of committing a crime are from the Maghreb region. In Cologne, random samples showed that in 2015, more than 40 percent of migrants from the Maghreb committed robbery or theft within the first year of their arrival, says criminal division chief Thomas Schulte, who headed the investigations after the 2015/2016 New Year's Eve assaults on women in Cologne... Many of the criminal migrants are repeat offenders. A 34-year-old Moroccan who allegedly raped a woman in a bathroom in Hamburg's Reeperbahn entertainment district in December had a criminal record, and yet the local authorities felt they were not in a position to deport him. In fact, only 660 Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians were deported in 2016, even though deportation orders had been issued for close to 9,000 of them. In response, the federal government now intends to speed up deportations... there were demonstrations in Tunis against the [Tunisian failed asylum seeker] returnees, with protesters holding up signs in broken German reading: "Angela Merkel, Tunisia is not the garbage of Germany... German authorities faced significant hurdles in deporting rejected asylum seekers to the Maghreb. They often lacked documentation, and the countries of origin were in no hurry to issue replacement passports. Or they simply claimed that the deportees were not their citizens."

This Woman Is Fighting Rape By Allowing Strangers To Touch Her Vagina - "Many people are afraid to express themselves. But Swiss performance artist Milo Moiré? Well, not so much. And recently, the 32-year-old wanted to teach people a thing or two about a hot-button issue: consent."

I Dressed Like an Idiot at London Fashion Week to See How Easy It Is to Get Style Blogged - "people were taking me seriously, despite the fact I was wearing one knee-length golfing sock and holding an alarm clock"

Soon, married Italians might not have to promise to be faithful - "The proposed amendment to Italy's Civil Code would remove the word "fidelity" from Italian marriage contracts. The promise not to cheat is a "cultural legacy from an outdated and obsolete vision of marriage, family, and the rights and duties of spouses", according to the senators who have signed the bill... References to fidelity and faithfulness were removed from Italy's civil unions bill which was passed earlier this year - a change which provoked outcry from some of the LGBT community, who saw this as a failure to acknowledge the parity of same-sex and opposite-sex romantic relationships... Laura Cantini, one of the senators arguing for the fidelity clause to be dropped from heterosexual marriage, said that the wording of the civil unions bill is "a much more advanced model"... A 2013 poll showed that 55 percent of men and one in three women in Italy admitted to cheating on their partners, making them the most likely to be unfaithful in Europe."
The obsessive pursuit of equality can lead everyone to be equally badly off

How to win the war on free speech - "parents need to be involved in what their children are being taught, even before they reach university. As a testament to how entrenched these loopy ideas are, the indoctrination process begins as early as elementary school – take, for instance, social justice lessons in phys-ed class. We can take comfort in knowing that ideologues don't bother to hide their agenda – according to Dr. Peterson, if your child's teacher uses words like "diversity, equity, inclusivity," and "white privilege," these should tip you off that something is amiss... Like many, I believed this would be a passing phase, but instead I now see how ideology has mutated not just policy and education, but scientific inquiry. Studies in the hard sciences – including neuroscience, biology and sexology – now tout findings that are politically driven. Academic researchers actively choose to play along because they know that doing so will be lucrative for them; others are terrified of the public backlash they will endure if they don't."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Links - 19th March 2018 (2)

Happiness in modern society: Why intelligence and ethnic composition matter - "White Americans had significantly greater life satisfaction than all other ethnic groups in the US and this was largely due to the fact that they were the majority ethnic group; minority Americans who lived in counties where they were the numerical majority had just as much life satisfaction as White Americans did. Further, the association between ethnic composition and life satisfaction was significantly stronger among less intelligent individuals"
Diversity apparently doesn't make people happy

Citi Cyber Tuesdays Terms and Conditions - "“Citibank Customer” means any individual who (i) has an existing banking relationship with Citibank, (ii) has a Citibank Online account or is eligible to register for a Citibank Online account and (iii) is not a U.S. Person"
The US tax code - so complicated that you need to exclude anyone with a connection to the US from your promotions

Jailed for a Facebook post: how US police target critics with arrest and prosecution - "Robert Peralta’s life was derailed by a single Facebook comment. When the San Franciscan saw a well-known local activist had posted about being “choked” and “slammed” by a sheriff’s deputy at city hall, Peralta fired off a short response: “Wow, brother they wanna hit our general. It’s time to strike back. Let’s burn this motherfucker’s house down”... “On Facebook, you comment on so many things in minutes,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t even mean it”... Chris Wahmhoff, a 38-year-old Michigan activist who was convicted of a felony for an oil pipeline protest action, got into trouble last year when he criticized governor Rick Snyder on Facebook amid the Flint water crisis, writing: “So when y’all are ready to march in and take his ass across the street, I have my torch, I got warm socks. I’m waitin on y’all … ” The comment led to a probation violation charge for “threatening behavior”, even though Wahmhoff insisted that he was trying to argue for the governor’s arrest – that he be taken from his office across the street to the police department."
Apparently inciting violence should be protected political speech

Amid Widespread Racial Biases in School Suspensions, Teachers Say No to Federal Ban on ‘Disparate Impact’ Discipline - "In an effort to combat disciplinary bias, the federal government has warned every school district in the country that they face legal action if their discipline policies have a “disparate impact”—“a disproportionate and unjustified effect”—on students of a particular race. Still, despite widespread concern about the “discipline gap,” the recommendation has sparked a good deal of backlash, including from pundits who’ve speculated that children of color will actually be the ones most harmed. The administration’s guidelines “will encourage schools to tolerate disruptive and dangerous behavior lest they have too many students of one race being punished,” wrote the education-law expert Joshua Dunn in a Fordham Institute blog post last year. “The effect will be to punish students who behave and want to learn since their education will be sabotaged by troublemakers. And the disruptive will certainly learn, and learn quickly, that their schools are now tolerating even more disruptive behavior.”... The researchers administered the poll after President Obama made it a priority for teachers to look at these behaviors"
Apparently we need racial quotas for punishment now

How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe - "In Syracuse, meanwhile, teachers complain student behavior has worsened since the school district collapsed discipline structures in favor of restorative justice practices. They say teens are more apt to fight, mouth off to teachers and roam the halls under the more lenient policy. They’re even seeing increasingly violent behavior among elementary school children... After a black high-school boy repeatedly punched his teacher in the face, sending her to the emergency room, the teacher, who is white, was advised by the assistant principal not to press charges. The administrator lectured her about how hard it is for young black men to overcome a criminal record. Worse, she was told she should examine what role she, “as a white woman” holding unconscious racial biases, played in the attack, according to the Willamette (Oregon) Week. A white sixth-grade teacher at a mostly black Washington, DC, school told the US Commission on Civil Rights she had similar “conversations” in which she was told that the bad behavior of black boys is mainly the teacher’s fault... The training sessions, which often run several days, are led by civil-rights activist groups seeking “racial justice.”"

Three Simple Rules Poor Teens Should Follow to Join the Middle Class - "Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: at least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children. Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class (defined as earning around $55,000 or more per year). There are surely influences other than these principles at play, but following them guides a young adult away from poverty and toward the middle class... The recent attacks by Planned Parenthood on Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s mayor, for launching a campaign designed to inform teenagers of the consequences of teen pregnancy provides a good example of how many in our society face the effects of nonmarital births on teen mothers and their children... Along comes Bloomberg with a direct message to get the attention of teenage girls and warn them not to make their situation worse and to think more about their future. If the mother wants to improve her future by continuing her education, being a teenage parent is precisely the wrong way to do it. As for blaming the victim, no one is blaming the baby—yet the baby will also bear long-term consequences."

Violence and Family Breakdown - "An analysis of studies of family structure published by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy found that 90 percent of the change in the violent crime rate between 1973 and 1995 was traceable to the rise of illegitimate births... The concentration of single-parent families can affect even those with two parents. A study of 4,671 8th graders in ten cities found that students who attended school with a large number of fatherless classmates were more likely to commit crimes even if they came from intact families themselves... In The Atlantic Monthly, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead wrote that the “relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature.”"

Dan Quayle Was Right - "No one would claim that two-parent families are free from conflict, violence, or abuse. However, the attempt to discredit the two-parent family can be understood as part of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan has described as a larger effort to accommodate higher levels of social deviance... Fewer than half of all adult Americans today regard the idea of sacrifice for others as a positive moral virtue... Single-mother families are vulnerable not just to poverty but to a particularly debilitating form of poverty: welfare dependency. The dependency takes two forms: First, single mothers, particularly unwed mothers, stay on welfare longer than other welfare recipients. Of those never-married mothers who receive welfare benefits, al most 40 percent remain on the rolls for ten years or longer. Second, welfare dependency tends to be passed on from one generation to the next... in 1971, Wallerstein and her colleagues set out to conduct clinical interviews with 131 children from the San Francisco area, they thought they were embarking on a short-term study. Most experts believed that divorce was like a bad cold. There was a phase of acute discomfort, and then a short recovery phase. According to the conventional wisdom, kids would be back on their feet in no time at all. Yet when Wallerstein met these children for a second interview more than a year later, she was amazed to discover that there had been no miraculous recovery. In fact, the children seemed to be doing worse... Since most children live with their mothers after divorce, one might expect that the mother-child bond would remain unaltered and might even be strengthened. Yet research shows that the mother-child bond is also weakened as the result of divorce... remarriage neither reproduces nor restores the intact family structure, even when it brings more income and a second adult into the household. Quite the contrary. Indeed, children living with stepparents appear to be even more disadvantaged than children living in a stable single-parent family... More than half of the increase in child poverty in the 1980s is attributable to changes in family structure, according to David Eggebeen and Daniel Lichter, of Pennsylvania State University... children of widows tend to do better than children of divorced or unmarried mothers"
The fact that children seem to do worse after divorce (and even worse with remarriage - despite more money [always the prescription] and help) suggests that liberals are wrong when they say divorce is good for children (despite single parent families verifiably leading to worse outcomes for children) since the parents are exiting unhealthy and unhappy marriages

Relationship Between the Welfare State and Crime - "the Maryland NAACP released a report concluding that “the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today”... the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation... a recent study of the impact of Canada’s social-welfare system on family structure concluded that “providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women”... Medicaid programs in 11 states actually provide infertility treatments to single women on welfare... welfare also appears to discourage the mother from marrying in the future. Research by Robert Hutchins of Cornell University shows that a 10 percent increase in AFDC benefits leads to an eight percent decrease in the marriage rate of single mothers... welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family. They are in effect cuckolded by the state. Their role of father and breadwinner is supplanted by the welfare check... boys growing up in mother only families naturally seek male influences. Unfortunately, in many inner city neighborhoods, those male role models may not exist. As George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, has noted, the typical inner-city today is “almost a matriarchy. The women receive all the income, dominate the social-worker classes, and most of the schools.” Thus, the boy in search of male guidance and companionship may end up in the company of gangs or other undesirable influences"
On the link between welfare and single parent families

'Enormous and leafy': Chinese officials flock to tree planted by Xi Jinping - "officials in Henan province decided to express their allegiance by gathering around a Paulownia tree planted by their chief back in April 2009. As the cadres, including the provincial party chief, Xie Fuzhan, gazed up at its branches on the morning of Sunday 5 November, “they were immersed in thought, filled with deep emotions”, a local propaganda report described. “The tree is big, verdant and tall,” the author of the story gushed. “[Locals] warmly call it the Xi Paulownia tree.”"

Louvre Abu Dhabi draws crowd as diverse as UAE - "The vast project prides itself ase "the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: A universal museum that focuses on shared human stories across civilisations and cultures"."
It is telling that though the Arabs are so rich, it took till 2017 for them to have a universal museum

Pearson issues apology for publishing racist theories about treating pain in nursing textbook - "Pearson, an education publishing company, apologized for publishing a nursing textbook section that contained racist material about treating patients from different cultural backgrounds who have acute and chronic pain"
It's racist to not account for cultural differences ("ethnocentrism"). But also racist to account for them, apparently

Cultural Influences on Pain Perceptions and Behaviors - "The perception of pain and behaviors associated with pain are influenced by the sociocultural contexts of the individuals experiencing pain. This article provides an overview of the literature on these cultural influences. With the increase in global migration, nurses need to develop increased sensitivity to the influence of culture on pain perceptions and behaviors"

Can My Children Be Friends With White People? - The New York Times - "Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people... White faces are swept together, ominous anxiety behind every chance encounter at the airport or smiling white cashier. If they are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me... Ekow N. Yankah (@ekownyankah) is a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University."
Comments: "This article saddens and sickens me. If your children do not have white friends, they are condemned to live in a segregated society. Ask the Boers how that worked out."
"White liberals you are being hustled. It’s that simple. I can assure you that the vast majority of black people aren’t obsessing over their interactions with whites nor fear that their children interact with them"
"If Liberal American and the Media truly wanted racial harmony, they would do one thing and one thing only. Stop the constant drum beat of manufactured racial discord... What cause the greatest discord are the constant reminders of America's past reaching back 150 years. If you landed here from outer space, you would think that slavery ended last week. To be a minority Black in America means you hear about this history DAILY. Movies, News, NPR, etc. It's non-stop. Were I Black, I know for a fact I'd be angry too."
"you seem to be conflating Trump voters with white people. This is after all the New York Times... They say, liberals can't be trusted, minorities can't be trusted. How is what you are doing any different?"

Game of Thrones's Carice van Houten on death threats from fans: ‘People take it too seriously’ - "When Melisandre orchestrated the burning at the stake of a young girl in season five, Carice received death threats on Twitter. ‘There are people who take it a little bit too seriously,’ she says. Later, Melisandre was shown resurrecting the show’s hero, Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington), and suddenly people were tweeting her marriage proposals instead."

Insulting the Modesty of a Woman - "These are some examples where courts have held to constitute an insult of modesty
1. Flashing one’s private parts to a woman (Ramakrishnan s/p Ramayan)
2. Threatening to spread nude photographs of a woman (Mohammed Liton)
3. Up-skirt video situations (Tay Beng Guan Albert, Soo Ee Hock) – judges held that where up-skirt videos are concerned, a fine would not be a sufficient deterrent and thus, a jail term should be imposed
4. Verbally expressing sexual desires to a woman customer service officer and asking about her sexual preferences in a derogatory manner (Chandran s/o Natesan)"

Man who had sex with 13-year-old girl on first meeting jailed 15 months - "the girl was playing catching with her school mates when the police stopped by and asked the girl if she had anything to tell them in a “completely fortuitous” moment. The prosecution sought 15 months’ jail for Ong, stating that there was a “clear element of exploitation” by Ong, as he had not been in a relationship with the girl. DPP Kavita added that the two engaged in unprotected sex, exposing the girl to the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases... Ong told the court that he has since found a girlfriend who is 20 years old, and the two have been dating for almost a year.
So he would've gotten a lower punishment if he'd used protection?

There Have Been So Many Bad Lefty Free-Speech Takes Lately - "there has emerged a subgenre of left-of-center punditry which, rather than grapple with the complicated ramifications of this reality, instead pretends difficult free-speech questions can be “resolved” by simply swapping them out for a set of different, much less interesting questions. This commentary focuses on questions like “Is Richard Spencer a bigot?” (yes) or “Is bigotry morally acceptable?” (no), and “Does Richard Spencer engage in what could be considered ‘hate speech’?” (yes). But what you never learn from reading these pieces is that none of these questions has any bearing on what a real-life public university should do when real-life Richard Spencer is scheduled to give a real-life talk. Distressingly, even academics who should know better are playing this game. An article that recently ran in Vox headlined “There is no 1st Amendment right to speak on a college campus” is a stunning example. Written by Robert C. Post, a legal scholar (!) at and former dean (!!!) of Yale Law School, the article simply doesn’t acknowledge the very real legal landscape that dictates the terms of this debate, and instead, in a woolly and morally righteous way, takes the reader on a meandering tour of various non sequiturs pertaining to Robert C. Post’s personal values and philosophy and opinions on what universities are — none of these thoughts and opinions having much to do with what a public university in the crosshairs of Spencer and his ilk might actually be able to do... Major outlets are publishing arguments nominally about free speech that don’t even have a coherent point... BLM exercised what is known as a “heckler’s veto” — disrupting an event so much that it cannot go on — and as Zach Greenberg of the campus-free-speech organization the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education explains on a page dedicated to this important concept, the courts have ruled that such vetoes do, in fact, violate the First Amendment, whether the disruption is merely verbal (as it was in this case) or physical"

Wordplay and God

"Suppose that Lauren, a previously professed atheist, lets you know that she’s come around to believing in God. Fortunately, she advises you, this did not require any changes in her world-view, but only a change in her understanding of the referent of ‘God’. What she realized was that God is love, and that she already believes in love—it is the relation that she bears toward her family and her friends. It is natural to think that Lauren still does not believe in God. Since she’s told you what she means by ‘God’, and that it is just love, when Lauren tells you that she believes in God it is natural to interpret her as believing in love. But if she previously believed in love while counting as an atheist, she should not now count as a theist for believing in it.

It is highly plausible that the same would follow no matter what referent Lauren assigns to ‘God’. As long as it is the sort of thing that is acceptable to atheists, she will not count as believing in God after all, even though given her new uses of her terms, she will be able to mimic the claims of theists, and to sincerely utter such sentences as ‘God exists’. She will merely mean something different by such sentences than we do. Traditional theism is plausibly not subject to naturalist-friendly reduction, and couldn’t be...

On any acceptable view about God, God has properties that love does not. God is supposed to be omniscient, but love is just a relation—it doesn’t know anything. God is supposed to be the creator of the universe, but love didn’t do that. And so on. To capture the central claims of theological discourse, it’s not enough to make sense of the thesis that God exists, by assigning ‘God’ a referent. You have to assign ‘God’ a referent which created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, since these are some of the central claims which theological discourse is supposed to capture. So if you don’t really believe that there is a thing such that it created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, then you can’t capture the central claims of theological discourse, no matter what referent you assign to ‘God’...

We consider how a sophisticated reductivist might try to solve these problems, in order to avoid committing to so many local errors about God. For there is room to wiggle. You may start by assigning an interpretation to ‘God’ in the sentence, ‘God exists,’ and then notice that the thing you assigned to it—love, for example, did not actually create the universe, at least in the ordinary sense of ‘create’. But if you’re a clever reductive theorist, you have some tricks to pull out of your sleeve. You can provide ‘created’ a special sense in this context. When theists say that God created the universe, you can posit, what they mean is that God is a relation between creative people and their creations. Assuming that creative people love their creations, ‘God created the universe’ turns out to be true. So in this way, you can capture the central truths of theistic discourse with your reduction.

Or can you? You have a theory on which ‘God created the universe’ comes out to be true, but you haven’t got a theory on which it is true that God created the universe. For by hypothesis, you mean something else by ‘God created the universe’ than that God created the universe. Creation, on your account, is not a unified or interesting phenomenon, as people have always believed, but in fact is fundamentally disjunctive. It can be true that X created Y either if Y did not exist, and then was made to exist through X’s efforts, or else if X is love, and is a relation between creative people and their creations. Your account makes the central claims of theological discourse come out sounding true only because it trades on the ambiguity between these two ways of being created. But theists have always wanted the universe to come out created by God in the same sense as the half-finished matchstick model of 1879 Hall in my living room comes out created by me. So giving a disjunctive or ambiguous account of ‘created’ won’t help you capture the central claims of traditional Christian theism."

--- Slaves of the Passions / Mark Schroeder

Footnote: "I take the analogy from a remark of Alvin Plantinga’s, in response to Kit Fine’s suggestion that he is engaged in a reductive project about possibilia: ‘This strikes me a bit like an effort on the part of a genial atheist to offer a ‘‘truth-preserving’’ translation of theistic discourse into discourse committed to only the sorts of entities acceptable to atheists.’ Plantinga [1986: 330–1]."

Links - 19th March 2018 (1)

George Takei Accused of Sexually Assaulting Former Model in 1981 - "THR spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton — Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward — who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago... Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. "Who's going to believe me? It's my word against his," he says. Brunton's reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and specifically when Takei spoke out regarding allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey... Brunton says he found Takei's response infuriating. "I don't want anything from him but an apology," he says. "I am sure he'll disown all this, I don't know, maybe not."

George Takei Tells Howard Stern He Would Grab Men By Their Genitals To "Persuade" Them To Have Sex - "“Did you ever grab anyone by the cock against their will?” Stern asked Takei. Takei remained silent. “Uh oh,” Stern reacted to the non-answer. “You’ve never sexually harassed anyone, have you?” The Star Trek star began awkwardly laughing. “Some people are kind of… umm… skittish,” Takei responded. “Oh maybe… um… afraid and you’re trying to persuade.”... “You mean some guy who was hesitating to have sex with you and then you gave him a gentle squeeze on the balls or something?” “More than a gentle…” Takei laughed. “But it didn’t involve power over the other.”...
Takei often spoke out against sexual assault with Trump. But this clip shows he may not take the subject very seriously with himself."
Apparently sexual assault is okay if there's no "power over the other"

George Takei just blamed Russia for spreading the sexual assault accusation against him

George Takei says he “played the part of a ‘naughty gay grandpa’” on Howard Stern - "Stern brings up the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and asks Takei if he ever “grabbed anybody by the cock against their will.” Takei pauses uncomfortably and laughs, and then describes some “people that are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you’re trying to persuade.” (Even Howard Stern responds, “Do we need to call the police?”)"
Meanwhile, Trump had the good grace to apologise for his locker room talk
Comments: "Wait for his “I was just paying tribute to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”"
"Ah, yes, the naughty gay grandpa archetype, stock character found across European folklore dating all the way back to the ancient era. Who can forget the timeless moral message of Aesop’s “The Fox, the Hen and the Naughty Gay Grandpa”?"
"He is empowering every person who has ever justified gross sexual comments as ‘joking around’ and ‘not reflective of who I am’. This is especially awful given that Stern brought it up in the context of Trump’s own ‘locker room talk’. Ugh."
"So he admitted to grabbing the penises of dudes who “were skiddish” or “needed to be persuaded” but it’s totally fine because he didn’t do it at work guys!"

Turkish Woman Faces Backlash After Posting Blackface Tutorial Video - "When Percem Akin, a makeup artist from Turkey, posted a racially-charged tutorial of herself in Halloween blackface, she was met with consternation from around the globe... Many people who post photos of themselves in blackface don't see themselves as racist. Some think it's funny; others believe it's ironic. But they see it as anything other than what it really is because they don't know, or don't want to know, the history behind it. The very idea of slipping in and out of racially-themed costume for fun smacks of white privilege"
Apparently Turks need to be aware of White Privilege and the history of another country halfway across the world
Top comments, notably from George Takei's Facebook: "I'm a black guy and I once dressed up as a samurai. No one cared about that, and I really don't care about this."
"Fuck the internet! This was NOT done out of malice.
This isn't the 1950's anymore and you people have to stop looking for reasons to get offended when there was no offense intended."
"As an African American/mixed person, I am not offended by this. I see talent not racism. We need to get past what happened in the past. Michael Jackson turned himself white and Black women dye their hair blonde and red which are not natural African hair colors. Is that unacceptable? Come on, 21st century here."
"That was not blackface it was tasteful done and if the Waynes bros can make the worst movie ever wearing white makeup then......"
"From an artistic viewpoint, I think she did it in a respectable way- it’s not slandering anyone if anything it is reproducing beauty. Art should allow such a thing"
"So when my kid put on a Moana costume I suppose I should have been arrested. Get a fucking life people."
"Don't many paler people spend a lot of time tanning themselves and applying spray tanner in order to make themselves darker?"
"This lovely TURKISH woman has amazing skills and turned herself into a beautiful black woman. Whatever happened to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?"
It looks like not everyone has an extremist, unnuanced take on blackface, but unfortunately loud invested minorities have disproportionate power

The Far Right Has Come For The Working Class. How Should The Left Respond? - "There is a curious double standard at play here. Consider two different responses.
Here is the first response. Whenever an act of Islamic terrorism occurs it has tended to trigger a mantra within the media and amongst the political classes (not including, obviously, Donald Trump) that the perpetrators are not representative of the wider Muslim population. Further, that we should be reaching out to those who might be at risk of radicalization to bring them back into the mainstream flock. And even further, that we should be engaging in soul searching to determine whether we, up on our perches of privilege, have contributed in any way to the constellation of events and attitudes within which Islamic terrorism has come to thrive.
No similarly careful approach is taken with the white working class and the continuing rise of the far-right. The second response, the response to this bloc of voters, is very different. When it comes to these voters, making sweeping presumptions about the working class is perfectly fine. They are the political untouchables. To express any kind of sympathy with them, even to attempt to engage with them, would be to guarantee yourself an accusation of being a Nazi-sympathizer. So the politicians stay away from their marches, and refrain from seeking their votes...
The kind of purist moralizing that says “Oh, I don’t engage with anyone who might be perceived as anti-immigrant” or “I don’t engage with working-class people who express disquiet at the ‘Islamic’ in Islamic terrorism” is utterly self-indulgent. The complexities of 2017 politics do not lend themselves to an analysis which perceives only two categories, racists and non-racists. Nor can everything be analyzed in terms of the oppressed and the oppressors. Being a leader in 2017 must necessarily entail embracing the grey areas"

The Football Lads Alliance is a working-class movement – and the political class wants to ignore it - "It was a very rare thing in the 21st century: a march organised by working-class people and attended by working-class people. Thousands of them. Most marches these days are packed with public-sector types, plummy anti-fascists, and Guardian columnists who must maintain their rad cred by occasionally traipsing through the streets with people holding dusty trade-union banners. But the two FLA marches have been different. They have been cries from below. And they’ve been all but ignored. Sure, there has been media coverage, but it has been perfunctory. Despite being big, stirring and novel — people in football shirts gathering in their thousands to confront the ideology of terror! — the demos haven’t trended online or attracted much attention from the ‘voice for the voiceless’ brigade. They don’t want to hear those voices... There’s a presumption among some observers that the people who support FLA, being white and working-class and passionate about football, must be racist scum... it strikes me that this new working-class movement is trying to do something the supposedly intellectual classes have flat-out refused to do: make an issue, a national fuss, of terror. It is defying the post-terror diktat from on high that says we should respond to Islamist attacks sheepishly, by laying a flower, singing ‘Imagine’ and going home again... the political class has so thoroughly abandoned the task of discussing and getting angry about terrorism that footie fans are having to step in and do it for them, and us"

If You're A Woman And You're Bad At Math, Blame the Patriarchy
At first I thought this was satirical, then I saw it was from Buzzfeed

Gender-neutral changing rooms aren't safe — they just appease the trans lobby who won't accept you if don't conform to their views - "Changing gender should not be taken so lightly. If all you have to do to change gender is say so, it takes away ­whatever authenticity trans people can claim. It will base your reassignment on mere thoughts and feelings rather than an accepted screening process. It’s tough enough to go through what we do in society without our sincerity being questioned. Making it easier to legally change gender will inevitably result in a greater number of people doing so — and the flip side will be a larger number of people de-transitioning after deciding they don’t want to be that gender after all. How is that going to help anyone? There is also a campaign to lower the legal age of transition to 16, and that is very dangerous. I believe children have become the collateral damage of transgender rights... The trans community makes out it is very welcoming and accepting, but if you don’t conform with their views then they can make life very difficult."

Teen Girl Posed For 8 Years As Married Man To Write About Baseball And Harass Women
Logic, Empathy, Honesty: "What's interesting here is how drastically different the tone of the article is. This isn't an attack on rape culture and the terrible behaviour of this individual, rather a very sympathetic tale of a struggling writer. This reveals the double standard we've all come to expect. That when a person is harrased, we care more about the identity of the harraser than their actual actions."

We Should Ban Cars From Big Cities. Seriously. - "If we banned cars from every city in the US tomorrow, we would stop vehicular terrorism overnight — and save thousands of lives."
Comments: "I've got friends who have been killed by ILLEGAL ALIENS, yet I don't see Buzzfeed demanding that ILLEGAL ALIENS be banned in this country. "
"it's Buzzfeed which support women playing with their menstrul blood so it's not too absurd"
"Eliminate booze and you eliminate drunk drivers, do you not? Why is she not calling for prohibition?"
"Sunlight can kill millions of people every year via skin cancer. We shuld all just stay inside from now on. Never ever go outside. There's a huge percentage of people who die when they happen to be outside. That's it... Ban the OUTSIDE!"

For elites, politics is driven by ideology. For voters, it’s not. - "One consistent finding in Kinder and Kalmoe’s research is that party identification bests ideological identification. Most people are a Republican or a Democrat before they are a conservative or a liberal. And most people will stick with their party long after they’ve abandoned their ideology."

Sean Parker on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook: ‘You’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology’ - "The man who was reportedly an early inspiration for the young Zuckerberg and co-founded the music file-sharing site Napster in 1999, five years before Facebook, called the social network “a social validation feedback loop.” He added, “It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators, it’s me, it’s Mark... understood this consciously and we did it anyway.”"

Why Glitter Must Be Banned - "They really do get into everything, and despite their tiny size, they can have a devastating impact on humans and non-human animals"

Send scam emails to this chatbot and it’ll waste their time for you - "Another famous chatbot time-waster is “Lenny,” which is designed to waste telemarketers’ time, and does so without any AI or speech recognition component. Instead, Lenny uses just 16 pre-recorded snippets of dialogue, each of which is as vague and ambiguous as possible. Lenny simply waits until there’s a gap in the conversation, then plays one of its bits of dialogue, cycling through all 16 in various patterns."

Joseph Wong - Its been 7 years and I still remembered it like... - "I even saw later that night an article written from the first journalist. She censored my autism, she completely rewrote everything I said. Writing that I wanted to become a doctor and that my inspirations were local heroes such as Tan Tock Seng... when I was in school I was consistently told by the vice principal to NEVER ever talk about video games again. I was a scholar and I should have bigger dreams... I never had a fking god damn say in any of it. And thats why I stopped studying. I hated the school and I knew anything in school that happened onwards for my grades was irrelevant"
This is hardly the first case of the Singaporean media making up quotes

Weather Channel founder calls Bill Nye ‘a pretend scientist in a bow tie’ - "“As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the AMS (American Meteorological Society’s) ‘Meteorologist of the Year’ award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does. And I am rooting for the ‘Climate Hustle’ film to become a huge hit — bigger than ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore,” Coleman said. Coleman also slammed Nye for claiming earlier this month that climate change skeptics should face jail time. “That is the most awful thing since Galileo was jailed for saying the Earth was not the center of the Universe,” Coleman said."

Feminists vs women - "Feminism has long pitched men against women. But increasingly it pitches women against women, too. Women who don’t see men as problematic, who refuse to accept that ‘the patriarchy’ lies at the root of all their difficulties, are alternately pitied for suffering from internalised misogyny and loathed for betrayal. The sexual-harassment panic makes clear that there are some types of women feminists approve of – women who bravely detail their knee-touching allegations in newspaper columns, for example – while other women who refuse to join in with the pity-me stories are shamed for victim-blaming... Yes, she acknowledged, sexual harassment takes place. But she dealt with it through being fearless and fearful, once stubbing out a cigarette on someone, and shouting loudly at others. Leslie argued that feminists today ‘spend their time saying women are traumatised because some silly old drunk in parliament put his hand on her knee or something like that’... wailing over knee-touching makes women appear, frankly, a bit pathetic, and ‘you can’t say women are strong and empowered and then say they’re scared and they’re going to cry and all that sort of thing’. On cue, keyboard feminists took to Twitter to bemoan Channel 4 News for providing a platform for this ‘appalling woman’... Feminism now insists upon an emotional correctness and an adherence to one set of views. Feminists now present women as victims or, at best, survivors of the patriarchy. I prefer the feistiness, idiosyncrasy, ruthless ambition and sheer fun of the now vilified previous generation."

Bullied after refusing boss' sexual advances - "Her former boss made life at work hell for her after Mary, a 28-year-old lawyer, repeatedly rejected his romantic advances... For a year, she cried almost every day, feeling trapped and afraid to go to work. She finally confided in her father, a criminal lawyer, who told her she could go to the police as her boss was harassing her... when she wanted to go to the police, the firm paid her a year's salary in compensation and asked her to leave. In return, she was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement and told that she could not report the matter to the police or talk about it at all."
What sort of lawyer needs to be told that she can go to the police over sexual harassment? And doesn't understand what a non-disclosure agreement is?
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