When you can't live without bananas

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Links - 8th August 2018 (2)

Gender Stereotypes are Mostly Accurate - "there are 11 papers published in peer reviewed journals reporting a total of 16 studies that have directly assessed the accuracy of gender stereotypes. Ellemer’s review did not cite a single one. How is this possible? In addition to the 11 papers published in peer reviewed journals, several reviews of this evidence have appeared in numerous other sources (a list appears at the end of this article). How could Ellemers’ review have just missed all that?... In 2018, Ellemers declares “females were less likely to have their grants funded,” even though in 2015, she acknowledged that her study actually found no significant evidence of bias!... How is it possible that such a large literature on gender stereotype accuracy was ignored or overlooked by so many experts? How is it possible that the editor and reviewers of Ellemer’s PNAS article on grant funding all overlooked Simpson’s Paradox, which has been well-known since at least the 1970s to constitute an alternative explanation to sexist bias for many outcomes? This is impossible to know. We do know, however, that, throughout the social sciences, empirical findings that contest social justice narratives often are systematically ignored, overlooked, denigrated, and dismissed"

Fall asleep in seconds by listening to a soothing voice read the EU’s new GDPR legislation - "Meditation app Calm provides what it calls “bedtime stories for grown-ups” (an eclectic mix of lullabies, fairy tales, and short stories in audiobook form). But it’s now added highlights from the GDPR legislation to its roster, narrated aloud by former BBC radio announcer Peter Jefferson, who is famous in the UK for his readings of the Shipping Forecast — a nightly maritime weather report that’s cherished by non-maritime listeners for its repetitive and ritual qualities"

The terrible truth about your tin of Italian tomatoes - "The gangmaster or “caporalato” system is rife across the Italian agricultural sector where migrants – both legal and illegal – are organised into informal labour groups that are hired by Italian landowners to harvest their crops."

At this Portland Bakery, White Guilt Poisons the Batter - "a small network of agit-activists, diversity educators, and sycophantic progressive white ‘allies’ are trampling over the lives of innocent individuals in pursuit of an “equitable” power redistribution with them at the top... having established that his staff had done nothing wrong did not alter Blomgren’s decision to fire them. “In this situation it doesn’t really matter that the two staff members working are not themselves racist because the call they made to deny Lillian service caused her to feel like she had been discriminated against,” his statement explained. “Sometimes impact outweighs intent and when that happens people do need to be held accountable. Since both Lillian and the clamoring public were demanding that these staff members be fired that it is what we did putting these two young women out of work.” The bakery has since deleted this statement and denies firing the employees to “save face or to appease anyone.” They now insist the women were fired for their “poor customer service decision” and its “racial implications.”... As a newcomer to Portland, Lisa assumed that this incident was a freak occurrence. She was surprised to discover that it’s actually part of an emerging trend... Kali Wilgus and Liz Connelly were accused of culturally appropriating—that is, stealing—Mexican culture by selling burritos from their new food cart. After receiving death threats and sustained protest, they shut down their business, deleted their social media accounts, and went into hiding... calls to action—and the protests that follow them—are seldom organic or spontaneous occurrences. They are usually the work of professional agitators and activists who set the agenda and lead the way. Using “call-out” tactics as an instrument of public humiliation, they shame their targets and sometimes seek to benefit socially and financially from the controversy they hope to ignite... Whitten was also furious that a white man had been employed as the bakery’s PR specialist. He withdrew plans to host an upcoming ‘Reparations Happy Hour’ event at the bakery in protest. “This is the unfortunate danger of working with white people,” Whitten complained during a 48-minute tirade live streamed to his nearly 5,000 Facebook followers on June 2. The video is both fascinating and appalling, and reveals a working relationship hopelessly compromised by his attempts to exploit and manipulate. The hapless Blomgren is denounced as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” for being white, for refusing to obey Whitten or compensate him for his labor... For his gratuitous and public humiliation of a progressive scholar, Whitten was not only afforded a warm reception at the event but he was thanked by his target, who was evidently grateful to have been shamed in this way"

Symposium: Masterpiece Cakeshop - not as narrow as may first appear - "While Masterpiece was pending in the state adjudication process, a William Jack went to three different bakers and asked for cakes with religious symbols and quotations hostile to same-sex marriage. When the bakers refused to make the cakes, he filed claims of religious discrimination. The commission found no discrimination in these cases, and what it said about these protected bakers was inconsistent with what it said about Masterpiece and its owner, Jack Phillips. The Supreme Court emphasized two such inconsistencies. The commission said that any message from the same-sex wedding cakes would be the customer’s message, not Phillips’; it did not say that with respect to the protected bakers, and the Colorado Court of Appeals clearly implied that the protected bakers could understand themselves as morally responsible for the message on the cakes. The commission said that the protected bakers’ willingness to make other cakes with Christian themes for Christian customers was exonerating, but that Jack Phillips’ willingness to make other cakes for LGBT customers and same-sex couples was irrelevant. More fundamentally, the commission said that refusing to make a cake with a message celebrating same-sex marriage discriminated on the basis of the sexual orientation of the customer requesting that message, but that refusing to make a cake with a religious message opposing same-sex marriage did not discriminate on the basis of the religion of the customer requesting that message... The Supreme Court has announced a powerful ideal. Even when a law has no explicit exceptions, hostile enforcement is unconstitutional. Single-issue agencies that enforce state civil-rights laws must approach claims to religious exemptions with tolerance and respect."

Opinion | What Religion Gives Us (That Science Can’t) - The New York Times - "I do not intend to try to rescue religion as reasonable. It isn’t terribly reasonable. But I do want to argue that its irrationality does not render it unacceptable, valueless or cowardly. Its irrationality may even be the source of its power."

Bruce Pardy: Meet the new ‘human rights’ — where you are forced by law to use ‘reasonable’ pronouns - "the Senate passed Bill C-16, the Liberal government’s legislation that adds “gender identity or expression” to grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Bill C-16 was in part the motivation for Peterson’s video... The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated, in the context of equivalent provisions in the Ontario Human Rights Code, that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity … will likely be discrimination when it takes place in a social area covered by the Code, including employment, housing and services like education.”... Human rights were conceived to liberate. They protected people from an oppressive state. Their purpose was to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and censorship, by placing restraints on government. The state’s capacity to accommodate these “negative rights” was unlimited, since they required only that people be left alone. But freedom from interference is so 20th century. Modern human rights entitle... When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree... When Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, she specifically denied that the bill would force the use of gender-neutral pronouns. There are reasons to doubt her sincerity. First, human rights commissions say otherwise... Second, Senator Donald Plett proposed an amendment to the bill that would have clarified that it was not the bill’s intention to require the use of particular pronouns. The minister flatly rejected it, as did Liberal and most “independent” senators... The question is not whether required speech is “reasonable” speech. If a statute required people to say “hello,” “please” and “thank you,” that statute would be tyrannical, not because “hello,” “please” and “thank you” aren’t reasonable things to say, but because the state has dictated the content of private conversation."

Ex-stripper scores six-figure inheritance from dead customer - "Despite the sister’s accusations, Beckham claimed in a deposition they never had a sexual relationship: “We had more of an everlasting friendship.’’"

Attention name-change brigades: These Canadian things may sound offensive, but aren’t - "Simon Fraser University’s sports teams are known as the Clan, a nod to the Scottish origins of the school’s namesake. But all of that will come to an end if a name-change campaign by philosophy professor Holly Andersen is successful. Andersen understands that there is nothing inherently wrong with the name, but wants it changed solely because it sounds like “Klan” — as in “Ku Klux Klan.”...
A lynching is an extrajudicial hanging carried out by a mob, and is particularly associated with terroristic violence against U.S. black communities. It’s also a common surname to many people who have nothing to do with racialized murder. In a world of David Lynch and Merrill Lynch, this might seem obvious, but tell that to Oregon’s Centennial School Board, which recently scrubbed the name “Lynch” from two of its school buildings. The schools were named for Patrick Lynch, an 1800s philanthropist, but school officials nonetheless deemed the name offensive and racist...
Moby Dick, a fish and chips restaurant in White Rock, was blocked from renting space for an expansion on the grounds that their name was offensive...
An Alberta family was not amused when they popped a bottle of Vitamin Water to find the words “you retard” under the cap. The phrase was the most disastrous outcome imaginable of a promotion that combined random French and English words...
Dildo: Canada’s ranking entry on any online list of curious place names. The name is owed to a 1760s surveying voyage by Captain James Cook. Given the sheer quantity of Newfoundland landscape features that required official names, Cook occasionally assigned monikers based on whatever happened to be in his field of view at the time. Back then, however, a dildo referred to any cylindrical object"

Outcry after Miss South Africa wears gloves to greet black kids - "A beaming Miss South Africa was photographed with children at a soup kitchen in what was supposed to be a feel-good charity event. But she ended up fending off accusations of racism for wearing gloves while interacting with black children... she and other volunteers wore disposable gloves at the event in the Soweto section of Johannesburg because they wanted to be hygienic."

Woman Accuses Taco Bell of Racism After Being Refused Fries

Is motherhood the unfinished work of feminism? | Amy Westervelt - "Most surprising to me, as someone told by women’s magazine editors for years “we don’t cover motherhood”, is the fact that publications like Elle and Marie Claire appear to have lifted their long-standing ban on motherhood. Apparently, it is finally OK to talk about one of the possible outcomes of all that great sex women’s mags have been promising us for years... Feminism and motherhood have a complicated relationship. Radical feminist Shulamith Firestone articulated this most starkly in her argument that women would never truly be free of patriarchy until they were freed from the yoke of reproduction. She imagined wistfully a day when babies could be created in mechanical uteruses, freeing women from the physical subjugation of childbirth... motherhood has once again become a bogeyman for feminists. The topic comes up in fewer than 3% of papers, journal articles, or textbooks on modern gender theory. Discussing it marks one as a “gender essentialist” in academia, a label that can end one’s academic career before it even begins"

Asking America's Police Officers to Explain Abusive Cops - "police and their critics often see the same events very differently. For example, one anecdote concerns a man in the back of a police car who told his arresting officers that he was having trouble breathing. They ignored him. He died. Many who watched the video saw callous cops who placed no value on a human being's life. But police officers who watched the same tape saw two cops who thought that their seemingly healthy arrestee was faking, as so many people fabricate medical conditions to avoid being taken to jail"

The City Where Blacks Suffer Under 'Stop and Frisk on Steroids' - "police in Miami Gardens, Florida briefly made headlines after surveillance video captured their harassment of a black clerk at a convenience store. They stopped and questioned the man, Earl Sampson, a ludicrous 258 times. On 62 occasions, they arrested him for trespassing at his place of employment, a pattern of abuse that confounded his employer, the store's owner... This is the reality of anti-racism in American public discourse. Maximum outrage and urgent demands to do something are marshaled against offensive words. A Princeton student who critiqued the concept of white privilege in the school newspaper made national headlines and inspired numerous essays picking apart his logic. But public employees with guns harassing, intimidating, and humiliating innocent black children, because they're black, every day in their neighborhood? Fusion published that story Thursday morning and almost no one noticed."
Words speak louder than actions

When Government Plays Arts Patron - "perhaps because I've spent nearly 30 years as a freelance writer with no sense of entitlement to public subsidies, (though I struggled financially) I have limited sympathy for people seeking taxpayer support for work that offends taxpayer sensibilities. (My sympathy for movie studios or people with other private funding sources is especially limited.)... Arts patronage (again) is inherently discriminatory; as a practical matter, viewpoint discrimination is unavoidable: or, as O'Connor said, "Any content based generalizations...are a consequence of the nature of arts funding."... as a taxpayer and writer, I have little patience for anti-establishment, avant garde artists who seek establishment support and cry censorship when it's denied"
The Singaporean government giving a grant to modern fairytales on fertility is seen as state oppression. Yet it giving grants to artists who criticise the state is not seen as the state hating itself

‘The Last Jedi’ failed its Black and Asian characters, reducing them to comic relief and Canto Bight | AFROPUNK - "When not asking where Rey is, Finn’s purpose is as funnyman. Cut to Finn—here’s a joke. Many jokes. Too many jokes. Sometimes speaking only in punchlines, Finn’s screentime too often only served as a vehicle for someone else’s development or Rian Johnson’s personal... Finn’s partner-in-crime in this film is the well-intentioned, but idealistic Rose. Who I loved! Until I didn’t. In comes that godforsaken Canto Bight. To be fair, the way Canto Bight goes down, the heavy-handed political metaphors, and the Fantastic Beast scene, isn’t Roses fault, or actress Kelly Marie Tran, who is a welcome addition to the trilogy. Not only is this the WORST sequence in the film, it’s also one of the most pointless. But what bothered me the most about Finn (and Rose) was their third act. On Crait, facing off against the First Order, our heroes brave a valiant final attempt to save the Resistance. When the mission seems lost and the remaining Rebels fall back, Finn—filled with the spirit of a kamikaze—tries to sacrifice himself by flying into General Hux gigantic blaster. But, like, why? On what planet did Rian Johnson earn that? It’s like Finn just wanted to die. And, hey, sometimes you just wanna die. But this is the same character who, up until this very moment, has been actively running away from this possibility and now he has a death wish? “What about Rey?!?” He don’t care no ‘mo. Where we leave Rose in this film is just as bad, wtf. After saving Finn from himself, Rose professes her love to Finn, utters some self-righteous cliches, kisses him without permission, and passes out. The worst on-screen kiss maybe ever, at that"
Looks like racist sexist shitlords aren't the only ones who hated The Last Jedi

Rape evidence flaws may have put hundreds of innocents in jail - "Hundreds of innocent people could be behind bars for rape and other serious offences because of the failure to disclose crucial evidence, legal experts have said. The warning came after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was forced to drop 47 serious sex assault cases in just six weeks after a review found key material had not been shared with the defence... Isaac Itiary, 25, who was accused of raping an underage girl, walked free from court when phone messages emerged supporting his claim that the girl had claimed to be 19... Tana Adkin QC, a member of the Criminal Bar Association's executive committee, said part of the problem was that the police and prosecutors were now more focused on believing the complainant than on obtaining justice.
What happens when you have a feminist legal system
Interestingly unlike in Singapore underaged sex isn't absolute liability in the UK

Victim culture fosters contempt for defendants, says ex-DPP - "A former Director of Public Prosecutions has blamed the “victim” culture that he says fosters a contempt for defendants and their rights for the recent collapse of trials after non-disclosure of evidence. Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, QC, said that a promotion in recent years of “victims’ rights over defendants’ protections had come home to roost”. It had led to an “openly hostile attitude to suspects that borders on contempt for them and their rights”... Lord Macdonald did not refer to his successors by name but both Sir Keir Starmer, now a Labour MP, and the current DPP, Alison Saunders, have promoted the “victim” rhetoric to which he referred. Since entering parliament Sir Keir, the MP for Holborn and St Pancras, sought to promote a Victims of Crime Bill to create a Victims Commissioner and Victims’ Code. Saunders, who succeeded him, has been criticised for adopting the same terminology, speaking of “rape victims” rather than rape complainants."
Feminists probably can't see the link between feminism/social justice, Saunders's 2015 guidelines reversing the presumption of innocence in rape cases and the avalanche of false convictions

On Child Marriage in Malaysia and Islam

Ayee Mazlan:

""Here’s the thing.

Either you accept the 11y/o marriage as “sunnah”, or you don’t accept it because it is wrong.

However, if you do accept it as “sunnah”, but argue “the practice is no longer relevant in this modern age”, you are basically using the same argument as any anti-hudud proponent.

If you reject the “sunnah” and say it has been wrongly interpreted, you are basically using the same argument as any anti-hadith (or some say quranist) proponents.

Needless to say, if you support the pedo, you are no better than ISIS. Blindly following “sunnah” even though it harms the society.

So for a muslim, this issue is really a catch-22 scenario; you either are anti-hudud, anti-hadith, or pro-ISIS.

That’s the reason why most (if not all) Islamic authorities in Malaysia chose to stay silent on this issue. Paling kuat pun siasat je.

Diluah mati emak, ditelan mati bapak, dikemam matilanak."


- L.A."

Links - 8th August 2018 (1)

Longevity of outstanding sporting achievers: Mind versus muscle - "Elite chess players live longer than the general population and have a similar survival advantage to elite competitors in physical sports."

On Climate Change, a Disconnect Between Attitudes and Behavior - "Participants in a year-long study who doubted the scientific consensus on the issue "opposed policy solutions," but at the same time, they "were most likely to report engaging in individual-level, pro-environmental behaviors"... regarding the concerned but inactive, the psychological phenomenon known as moral licensing is a likely culprit.Previous research has found doing something altruistic—even buying organic foods—gives us license to engage in selfish activity"

Gary Kurtz - Wikipedia - "Kurtz has claimed that he and George Lucas clashed over how to progress the Star Wars series. Kurtz claimed that after Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, Lucas became convinced that audiences no longer cared about the story and were simply there for thrills and entertainment, and began to deviate from the originally planned plotlines for Return of the Jedi, at which point Kurtz quit the series. Kurtz has also claimed that Lucas changed the emphasis from storytelling to prioritizing toy merchandising. In a 2010 interview for the L.A. Times, Kurtz revealed that he had become disillusioned with what he saw as the commercially-driven direction the franchise was taking, as well as the related changes that Lucas made to the plot of the third movie, which was originally much darker, and supposedly included the death of Han Solo
""I could see where things were headed. The toy business began to drive the empire. It's a shame. They make three times as much on toys as they do on films. It's natural to make decisions that protect the toy business but that's not the best thing for making quality films."
Kurtz has expressed his dissatisfaction with Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.[19] Kurtz was particularly displeased with Lucas' decisions in Return of the Jedi to resurrect the Death Star and to change the plot outline from one that ended on a "bittersweet and poignant" note to one having a "euphoric ending where everyone was happy""

Gender at the Gym: How Workout Preferences Vary by Sex, Age - "A 2017 study by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) found that more than 57 million Americans belonged to at least one health club, and while gym memberships were split almost evenly between males and females, the two groups prioritized their gym activities very differently. "Males tend to be equipment-oriented, engaging more in using free weights (dumbbells, hand weights and barbells), weight/resistance machines, rowers and stationary cycles," says Melissa Rodriguez, senior research manager for the IHRSA in an email interview. "Women prefer to participate in group exercise programs, such as Pilates, dance, step, and other choreographed exercise to music, yoga and barre... "This is a combination of social dynamics, men tending to be more solo and women tending to gravitate towards the community, and men thinking the classes themselves are geared towards women and their goals""

Extra 7: Corrosive Energy Drinks and Peruvian Cat Stew | Tell Me Something I Don't Know - "[On Afro-Caribbean Peruvian Cat] 'Have you eaten the kitty?'
'Oh yeah and actually, there's two things. One, there's a lot more meat than you would think. So it's actually pretty meaty. Two it does not take like chicken at all. It actually tastes like dark meat so that. And three it's absolutely delicious and every time I've eaten it I've always been accompanied with somebody who swears up and down that they will not take this but as soon as you try it, as you smell it they just love it. It's made with a cilantro based sort of you know sauce and it's slow cooked, it's marinated in milk and vinegar overnight. It's absolutely delicious...
They're targeting this particular tradition, which belongs to the Afro-Peruvian community and not other traditions. So they're not targeting guinea pig eating. They're not targeting Llama eating or Alpaca eating. They're targeting the black community because they see them as the most targetable...
With about 15% of energy drinks, they say, we're sorry, your stuff is so corrosive we cannot put it in a can [so they put it in glass]"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Not Welcome Here - "Evans William tells me he sold everything but the kitchen sink to fund his dream to get to Europe. And I mean everything. His bed, his fridge, his tv, his spare clothes and his mobile phone. After borrowing yet more cash, he finally had enough to pay a smuggling gang to take him from Nigeria across the Sahara to Libya. In all it cost him a thousand dollars, but he wasn't worried. Once in Europe, he figured, he could quickly earn enough to pay off his creditors and eventually return home to start a business of his own. It didn't quite work out like that. After six miserable months in Libya where the gang forced him to work for free, he finally boarded a rickety boat to cross the Mediterranean. It got stopped by the Libyan Coastguard who threw him and 104 other passengers into a detention center...
As a percentage of its total area, Surinam is the most tree covered country on earth. According to the World Bank, a staggering 96% of it is forested with 90% being primary forest, which has never been felled or cultivated...
He brought out his war novel, Death of a Hero. Obviously drawing on his own experience, he described the hero's life in pre war England, experimenting with avant garde ideas of sex and marriage before he's sent to fight and numbed and disillusioned ends up walking into enemy bullets in the very last days of the war. The book is a blistering attack not so much on the generals who conducted the war as on the middle class hypocrisies of those at home. It earned Aldington the reputation as his Times obituary later put it of being an angry young man before his time. Certainly in reading him, you see how anti establishment ideas that later became the norm in the 1950s were being pre figured by modernists like him in a much earlier generation.
"no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, La Lucha - "It's dangerous for the French to touch their language. It must be learnt rigorously, by repetition, analysis, construction and deconstruction. So decreed the writer and comedian Claude Dunadin [sp?]. And French children do just that, spending a minimum of three thousand one hundred and eighty obligatory hours poring over it. It's not just a language but a profound identity and a national past time, with a range of fat multivolume dictionaries, popular paperbacks devoted to peculiar linguistic complications and tips on avoiding subtle gramatical pitfalls. There are regular newspaper columns, tv and radio slots all devoted to it. And endless I know more than you do quizzes... [In] the mid seventeenth century when masculine was officially deemed superior to feminine. But before that it would have been the second answer - Louis and Louise were both beautiful and had been for several hundred years because in those days the adjective simply took the gender of the noun nearest to it. Got it? It may be hard to believe but what to many outside Francophone culture may seem like a pedantic piffling gramatical footnote is within France nothing less than a social, cultural and political minefield... Le Francais Inclusif is a written-only form. You couldn't even begin to speak it. If you did you'd probably sound as - a male immortel put it in a tasteless politically incorrect description - like a stuttering epileptic. Indeed the Academy solemnly and unanimously declared that inclusive French places the entire nation's language en péril mortel - in mortal danger with its various full stops used to divide words into all possible masculine, feminine, singular and plural possibilities. Although he heads Macron's government, which professes itself resolutely engaged in reinforcing equality between men and women, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has advised his minister to ban le francais inclusif because it's just too ridiculous and confusing. Meanwhile Frédéric Vitoux, that immortal who was so rude about epileptics, pointed out that inclusive French is impossible in either Braille or sign language... To Alain Rey, a linguist and lexicographer who's a household name in, France the affair of inclusive French is a ridiculous complication to a system that's already for historical reasons unbelievably complex...
[On being pro-democracy and anti-dictatorship in Taiwan] Chiang always claimed to be the legitimate ruler and not just of Taiwan, but all of China. It was a position that suited Beijing because it maintained the official stance, that Taiwan is not a sovereign nation, the so called One China policy. So paradoxically respect for Chiang Kai Shek has become equivalent to respecting the unity of China. Disrespecting him has become synonymous with Taiwanese nationalism and independence... One [statue of him] has been shipped to a Chiang Kai Shek theme park in Mainland China, where Chiang Kai Shek is undergoing something of a revival. He may have fought the communist party, but many mainland Chinese now also acknowledge his role in resisting Japan

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Blood And Tears - "So popular is he that Pram has recently become the self proclaimed president of India's Union of Unregistered Doctors... the entire time we talk he's surrounded by an entourage of fellow quacks nodding their heads and chipping in with affirmations. And as we leave the village his parting plea is that the government should train him and others like him. We are after all, he says, the saviors of India's poorest...
It was just after breakfast and I was heading back to my hotel room, one of the nicer ones in what was a pretty cheap guest house in a remote corner of Sierra Leone. I'd seeing my neighbor the day before, an elegant soberly dressed woman in her 30s. Outside her room in the half light I found her composing a text message. Conversation between us was brief, faltering. Where you're from, what's your name and that kind of thing. Faith was her name. She spoke pidgin English. I didn't. So I'm not sure either of us entirely grasped much of what the other was saying. Anyway, after pleasantries, I disappeared into my room and started cleaning my teeth. There was a knock on the door. I couldn't speak, I had toothpaste in my mouth, so I gurgled as she strolled in and deposited a piece of paper on my bed. It was her phone number. A moment later, she was back asking me for my number. Then this time rather more furtively she skipped towards me and planted an enormous, firm, and I have to say quite passionate kiss on my mouth. You'll be glad to know that by now I had spat out the toothpaste. I love you, she declared. Now, I don't claim to be an expert on love, but I reckon she probably didn't mean that. We had really only just met. More likely, I reasoned, this was a linguistic compression. As in, I will love you in return for a fixed fee... I was astonished by what had happened. The striking thing was how she looked, to me anyway, nothing like a sex worker. I told the story to a freelance journalist I knew in Freetown the next day I thought he'd laugh, but actually he didn't think my experience was half as remarkable as I did. You have to remember just how poor these people are he said. Everyone's trading something and women here are bottom of the pile. What else do they have to trade with but sex? Half the young women at the universities are selling their bodies to a sugar daddy or someone to pay their college fees. Now this seemed to me like an extravagant claim. I knew it happened, but half of them, really?... the Oxfam charity scandal broke just a few days after this...
She also described doing business with foreign aid workers. One World Bank official, for example, who she said had recently paid her handsomely for a two week escorting job. After we ran our story, the World Bank got in touch with the BBC, pledging to investigate, asking for her account in detail, but when contacted, she refused to speak further. The World Bank guy had been her best customer. Why would she report him? That was part of a more general impressio. I got - the Westerners who paid for sex usually paid the best. So how would punishing them help the women? Just the opposite"

Fake fire alarm backfires at campus event critical of bias response teams - "The sheet contained information on the university’s Bias Response Team, detailing what bias is and how to be aware of it. It included information from “A Progressive’s Style Guide,” distributed by the anti-corporate community SumOfUs, about words that “decolonization activists” use and avoid/question. Among the words that should not be used, according to the guide: Eskimo, folklore, both full and half-blooded, part-native/Indian/aboriginal, magic, sorcery and myth... 'I think that’s exactly what we need more of, people going to “the other side.” I sincerely hope everybody treated her with kindness. And that’s why I had her explain “this is my event, there is where it is, this is what it’s doing.” I have no monopoly on these things and if someone comes up and brings a reasonable argument, I want to hear the argument.'"

If Miss America contestants want to be judged on brains they should go and study neuroscience - "Today’s announcement that Miss America will no longer be based on actual beauty is the final radical feminist nail in the coffin of the once much beloved practice of admiring a woman for how she looks."

Demi Lovato Apologizes For Prank Trivializing Sexual Assault - "her response to one follower asking about “funniest prank” she’s ever pulled sparked immediate backlash against the “Tell Me You Love Me” singer for trivializing sexual assault. In a now-deleted tweet, the former Disney star explained that she once hired a “lady of the night” while staying in Vegas to surprise her bodyguard Max."

Demi Lovato Slams Time For Honoring Trump As Person Of The Year Runner-Up - "“Time mag highlights brave women coming forward against sexual assault on the cover but names a man with sexual assault allegations against him runner up to person of the year,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #hypocrites."

England's Top Family Judge: Society Should 'Welcome and Applaud' Decline of the Nuclear Family

The more valuable your work is to society, the less you’ll be paid for it - "the most socially valuable workers whose contributions could be calculated are medical researchers, who add $9 of overall value to society for every $1 they are paid. The least valuable were those who worked in the financial sector, who, on average, subtract a net $1.80 in value from society for every $1 of compensation"
Remuneration isn't purely monetary

FACT CHECK: Are 80% Of Migrant Women Raped On Their Journey To The US? - "The source of the statistic is a 2014 investigative report by Fusion. “Before they can reach the American Dream, many migrant women have to survive a Mexican nightmare,” reads the report. “A staggering 80 percent of Central American girls and women crossing Mexico en route to the United States are raped along the way, according to directors of migrant shelters interviewed by Fusion.” Trump cited the same report back in 2015, two weeks after announcing his candidacy for president. After drawing sharp criticism for calling some Mexicans “rapists,” he stood by his remarks during an interview on CNN. “Well, if you look at the statistics, our people come – I didn’t say about Mexicans. I say the illegal immigrants. If you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country, they’re mind boggling,” said Trump. “If you go to Fusion, you will see a story about 80 percent of the women coming in, I mean, you have to take a look at these stories. And you know who owns Fusion? Univision.” CNN host Don Lemon pointed out that the Fusion report was about women being raped while passing through Mexico and not about criminals entering the country. “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don,” Trump replied. “Well, who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”"

Over 75 percent of Japanese women say they’ve slept with a male coworker in survey - "Close to half say they weren’t in a relationship with the guy at the time."

Anti-Extremist Muslim Imam Tawhidi Banned From Facebook After Mocking Hamas
Apparently mocking terrorists is Islamophobic

Oxfordshire school bans shorts in summer in favour of 'gender neutral' uniform policy - "The Army has installed gender-neutral toilets at its headquarters, it emerged yesterday. Two ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ signs were removed at its £44million HQ in Andover, Hampshire, and changed to unisex ones as part of an equality drive across the military and government. Chiefs have warned officers promotions will be blocked unless they improve the ‘inclusiveness and diversity’ of units, according to the Sun on Sunday. It comes after the Home Office spent £36,963 installing gender neutral toilets at its London offices so ‘all staff feel comfortable at work’, it was reported."

The world loves our grammar school system – so why don’t we? - "What’s the highest performing country on all international tests? Singapore, of course. What do the educational experts and the BBC put this down to? They invest more in their teachers, of course. No one mentions the feature of the Singaporean education system that cries out to be noticed: it’s highly selective. What’s more, it’s explicitly modelled on the erstwhile grammar-school system of England and Wales that Mrs May is attempting to revitalise here... Educational experts condemn selection as leading to less equitable education systems. That’s simply not true. Andreas Schleicher, head of education at OECD (which produces the international assessments that Singapore excels on) praises that country as being not only the most successful education system in the world but also claims that it achieves ‘excellence without wide differences between children from wealthy and disadvantaged families’. There is plenty of data which shows precisely that. On indicators of fairness to children from lower socioeconomic status, Singapore is as fair as, or fairer than, countries which don’t have selection. Singapore compares very favourably with Japan for instance, which doesn’t have selection until age 15. One measure looks at ‘resilient students’, those of low socioeconomic status who do better than expected compared to others. The higher this figure the better. Looking at the figures for science in Singapore (and other subjects are similar), 49 per cent of students are resilient, compared to the OECD average of only 29 per cent. In non-selective Japan the figure is identical. Selective Germany is almost identical to non-selective UK (34 per cent and 35 per cent respectively), while non-selective France has a very poor 27 per cent."
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