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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Links - 28th August 2018 (2)

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Toothpaste, Mud Bricks and Sparkling Wine - "Like most Iranians living abroad, I often send presents to my parents back home. Shortbread biscuits, English Breakfast tea, or a box of After Eight Mints. But back in 2012, when I phoned my father what he would like from London, he said toothpaste... Iranian toothpaste didn't taste right. And imported toothpaste was nowhere to be found. Toothpaste quickly became one of their most cherished presents. My parents would buy large packs of it every time they came to London to take back as gifts for my aunts and uncles... the paste itself was a greenish blue and looked a bit dry, but when I put it in my mouth, it was like eating a spoonful of flour. My teeth felt heavy, not clean. As if a layer of dust had settled on them"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, A Boarding School For Boko Haram? - "Pupils often come home with bruised arms or legs. Once one was even beaten. unconscious. Many people, of course, might be aghast that a school teacher of all people would sanction begging in the first place. Yet the practice is part of a holy tradition here. The Madrasah pupils are known as Al Majari [sp?] or followers of the prophet. Giving to them is considered an obligation for any observant Muslim. The problem... is that in the modern day, there are simply far too many Al Majari. The Nigerian government estimates that there may now be more than nine million nationwide, with many madrasahs serving as little more than poorhouses... most Al Majari now are just seen as street urchins...
[On Sri Lanka] In charge of both finance and construction is a subsidiary of a Chinese state enterprise that was black listed by the World Bank after allegations of corruption. It's been granted a 99 year lease like the one Britten used to possess in Hong Kong and the new city within a city will have its own financial and judicial systems like the extra territorial zones that Westerners once had in Shanghai and other Chinese ports. Sri Lanka has been caught in a debt threat and to resolve it has began to hand over its assets... My friend... was... refused entry at a Chinese restaurant in Colombo and told: it's not for locals"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, When Survival Trumps Justice - "About 200 people live in South Korea's freedom village Taesung. Just 500 meters separate the villagers from North Korea. Residency in this farming community is allowed only by marriage. Life in Tatsung comes with high risk and high reward. Despite the decades long threat of nuclear war, security curfews from midnight to 5am and daily military escorts to avoid land mines, those who live here do far better than the average South Korean farmer. Residents are given homes and large plots of land and typically earn 60 to 75000 pounds a year. The village is under the control of the UN command, which comes with other benefits: no federal taxes and no mandatory military service. The land in Taesung and the villages surrounding the DMZ is some of South Korea's most fertile, producing soybeans, ginseng, rice and honey."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Crackdown on high overdraft fees - "They will buy a household appliance and then pay the money back, usually over three years. And the FCA says it's, for example, seen cases where a cooker that you can buy on the high street for 300 pounds, they've ended up because of the charges and the interest, the customers end up paying 1500 pounds"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Wednesday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "99% of votes are 99% in favor of management. Any company which is getting more than 5 or 10% of votes against them at an AGM needs to sit down and have a good long talk with its shareholder"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Don't expect smiles in Russia - "I once got stopped by police, and when I asked them why, they said, because you're smiling, that was suspicious... I take off my smiling face because it would be suspicious and I put on my gloomy face, my aggressive face"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Lionel Shriver's diversity controversy - "'The United States has had a lot of experience with what's called in the US affirmative action, and it has all kinds of negative consequences. And I'm afraid it's actually entrenched racial prejudice in the US, and I don't wanna see that here'...

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Italy threatens to expel Roma people - "'It's pretty well known that in the Roma community, in many of, most of our cities are living off theft, off petty crime, they don't send their children to school. I think that in order to have the rule of law in our country we cannot allow anyone to don't send their children to school, and if they commit any crime and we have a bilateral agreement with the origin country, they might be sent back'...
'Yes, this is how they act. And this absolutely show the racist attitude towards Roma.'
Apparently that is the way Roma act, but to say that is racist?

I am a trainer in the Army. - "My team and I train officer cadets in physical fitness and warfighting competencies almost every day. Unlike the contributor here, I welcome the introduction of the hybrid uniform wholeheartedly. If there were a constant across all militaries, it would be that each generation scoffs at the later generations, call them soft, and reminisce about the hardcore days of yore when men ate bullets for breakfast, used diesel for mouthwash, and pooped nails. I think we simply don't give our current soldiers enough credit. Our Army has advanced tremendously, and with those advancements, the demands placed upon our soldiers have also increased. When I was a cadet, we used the Armbrust LAW as our section anti-armour weapon. Today, my cadets carry the more lethal and thereby heavier MATADOR. For my gear, I used to carry them in an extremely skeletal SBO (fondly known as the Sotong). Soldiers today have better protection with their integrated load bearing vests, but that also means that more of their bodies are covered and can't cool as fast. Climate change isn't helping either as five of Singapore's "Top 10 Hottest Years" (since 1948) occurred in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, our operating environment has grown in complexity. Our soldiers today train and prepare for a much broader spectrum of operations with no corresponding increase in training time. Qualitatively, our soldiers are not worse than previous generations. They just grew up in a different world with different complexities and demands. Part of the Army's duty to its servicemen is to give them the best equipment it can afford. We provide our soldiers with protective gear so that we can train them harder without breaking them. What is the point of qualifying soldiers if we break them in the process? If we know that heat will continue to be a problem, would it not be the Army's duty to provide cooler uniforms when the technology becomes available? National Service is a duty and a sacrifice. Rather than call them names, let's be more constructive and show our soldiers some support."

Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion - "In this 12-month weight loss diet study, there was no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet, and neither genotype pattern nor baseline insulin secretion was associated with the dietary effects on weight loss. In the context of these 2 common weight loss diet approaches, neither of the 2 hypothesized predisposing factors was helpful in identifying which diet was better for whom."
Apparently 30% of your calories from carbohydrates is considered a low carb diet. How do people come up with such nonsense?

Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men. - "The isocaloric KD was not accompanied by increased body fat loss but was associated with relatively small increases in EE that were near the limits of detection with the use of state-of-the-art technology"
This is a good test of the insulin-carbohydrate hypothesis (31g of carbs a day, of which 12g fibre) and is evidence it doesn't hold

Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity.
Even though this was 140g of carbohydrates a day on the reduced carbohydrate diet, the fact that reduced fat was 352g is evidence that the insulin-carbohydrate hypothesis doesn't hold

Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis - "Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased mortality, with minimal risk observed at 50–55% carbohydrate intake. Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality."

Is promoting vegetarianism a form of colonialism? - "Taber argues that the assumption that vegetarianism is always more sustainable comes from a Euro-centric perspective, where limited land and surplus water makes it relatively easy to grow food crops and less sensical to dedicate vast tracts of land to graze cows. In other parts of the world, however, the opposite is true. For example, as Taber calculates it, in the Chihuahua desert of Western Texas and Northern Mexico, “it would takes a thousand times more water to grow an acre of crops for human consumption, than it takes to grow an acre of cow on wild range.”"

Here Are The World's Most Dangerous Countries For Women Right Now - "The Thomson Reuters Foundation this week published its results of a survey of 550 global experts on women’s issues conducted between March 26 and May 4. The experts took into account the countries that have high rates of violence against women, a lack of economic resources, health care issues and traditions that perpetuate strict gender roles... The only Western country to make the list was the United States at No. 10. According to Reuters, the U.S. appears on the list because of the rampant sexual violence American women face, such as “rape, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and a lack of access to justice in rape cases.”"
What happens when you let mass hysteria get out of hand and survey experts instead of looking at data

Peter Alexander boys will be boys top pulled from shelves parents complain Facebook - "A boys' pyjama top has been pulled from shelves after parents claimed it was offensive and sexist. Made by Australian brand Peter Alexander, the grey top is printed with the slogan: "Boys will be boys"... "This is ridiculous. Are we starting to strip the innocence away from children? The shirt is just saying kids will be kids," TODAY Show viewer Sophie Cannell posted. Fellow viewer Phillip Bryant said: "What’s more offensive to me is that the company succumbed to the opinions of just a few parents.""
Maybe boys will be girls - ergo trans mania

Ryde hit by 2,000 phantom bookings from 300 fake accounts, IP address points to ‘Grabtaxi Pte Ltd’ - "This has caused disruption to drivers and the resulting loss of income borne by them has exceeded S$50,000... Ryde has lodged a police report on June 26 against the attacks. It has also notified the relevant authorities, such as the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA)."

'Why should we make foreigners rich?': Taxi drivers are taking on Uber and Grab in Bali, and some are turning to violence - "Taxi drivers have repeatedly threatened, attacked, and harassed ride-sharing drivers, who they feel are violating Bali’s unwritten traditional laws and profiting off their communities... A taxi driver at the stand quoted me a price of 200,000 rupiah ($14) for the ride back. I tried to bargain with the self-righteousness of a western traveler used to being treated like a money tree. The driver refused to budge, pointing angrilyto a wall-size board on the back of the hut printed with locations and prices. As I walked away, a driver called out, “I guess you’ll be walking home tonight.” I didn’t. I walked until I was out of their line of sight, ordered a Grab – the Southeast Asian equivalent of Uber – and paid a tenth of the fare... in Bali, the resistance from taxi drivers has been uniquely tenacious, frequently exploding into violent confrontations, as happened last year when an Uber driver was beaten to a pulpby four taxi drivers. Harassment and threats from the so-called “taxi mafia” are a common occurrence for both drivers and the tourists who use the apps... The Batu Balongbanjar, to which Tono and his drivers belong, dictate that drivers net only 70% of each fare, with the rest going back to the community: 10% for road maintenance, 10% for religious ceremonies, and 10% for thepecalang, or Balinese traditional police who handle issues the official police won’t deal with – basically everything except serious crimes. Another 10% goes to the taxi co-op that all the drivers belong to, money which is used for lawyers, car insurance, and loans for drivers in need. If there is a profit, drivers are paid out at the end of the year. No wonder a ride through Grab or Uber is a tenth of the price... The most brutal incident in Bali came last year when an Uber driver was beaten and his car smashed for trying to pick up a passenger in south Bali... Everything I’d heard about the taxi drivers was true, I thought. They were just looking to price-gouge tourists; the price I’d been quoted was more than double what my Balinese host told me he was usually charged."
Bali's unwritten traditional law: it's your God-given right to rip off foreign tourists as much as possible
If needing to pay other people were really the reason for higher taxi fares, taxi fares would only be 43% more expensive - not 900%
Go-Jek is Indonesian, but the taxi drivers protest it too

2 girls, 1 Cockroach, and a Lot of Motivation Not to Suck

This seems to be AKB48 girls blowing a cicada

Links - 28th August 2018 (1)

Islamic school's gender segregation is unlawful, court of appeal rules - "Schools in Britain will no longer be able to substantially segregate boys and girls, after the court of appeal ruled that a co-educational faith school in Birmingham had caused unlawful discrimination by separating the two sexes. The court overturned a ruling by the high court last year involving Al-Hijrah school, a voluntary-aided mixed-sex state school that had been strongly criticised by Ofsted school inspectors for failing to uphold British values. On appeal, Ofsted argued that the school had breached the 2010 Equalities Act by strictly segregating pupils from the age of nine, teaching them in different classrooms and making them use separate corridors and play areas. The segregation policy was also applied to clubs and school trips... The National Secular Society welcomed the court ruling as “an important blow” for gender equality. Stephen Evans, its campaign director, said: “Our society is often too slow to condemn discrimination when it comes cloaked in religion, particularly Islam. But gender apartheid is an assault on women’s rights and dignity.”

Ofsted chief receives threats over private faith school criticism - "The head of Ofsted has received threats and abuse after accusing private faith schools run by religious conservatives of deliberately resisting British values and equalities law. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, said she had received some “pretty venomous stuff” from what she believed to be a “mixture of Islamic extremists and the hard left”... inspectors had found texts that encouraged domestic violence, the subjugation of women and homophobia at schools run religious conservatives.
Strange that she didn't hear from the "far right"

Ethnic differences in Singapore's dementia prevalence: the stroke, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and dementia in Singapore study. - "Logistic regression (adjusted for age, sex, education) showed that Malays had twice the risk for AD as Chinese, and Indians had more than twice the risk for AD and VD than Chinese. Singapore's dementia prevalence, primarily influenced by its Chinese majority, is lower than seen in the West. The striking interethnic differences suggest a need for a dementia incidence study and further investigation of underlying genetic and cultural differences between the three ethnic groups in relation to dementia risk."
Given that Indians in Singapore are richer than Chinese, this is unlikely to be explained by SES

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Morality of the Public Sector - "There's no doubt the pay cap which has been in place since 2011 has eroded the living standards of millions of public sector workers. In fact, as the Institute of Fiscal Studies pointed out in May, they are still paid on average more than similarly qualified workers in the private sector and often have superior pensions, but the gap is narrowing, and the interesting argument is how the comparisons should be made. Is there something special about working in the public sector or is the idea of an ethos, a self serving myth? What should our attitude be towards those who work for the state and for us?"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Morality of Fake News - "Joseph Pulitzer whose legacy funds the greatest prize in high minded journalism actually invented the yellow press and his sensational semi lies it's said were responsible for America going to war with Spain...
For years I was one of those defenders of objectivity in the mainstream media in the pursuit of truth and to be honest I was ridiculed by academics and media professionals who thought I was naive or elitist. There's something rather, I'm rather suspicious at the moment the only reason this has come up is to basically say all these stupid ignorant voters were sold fake news stories and voted the wrong way so now we're going to believe in truth and objectivity, so I started to not trust the mainstream media ideals that I once espoused...
Fake news in Britain is something approaching a moral panic. The real risk is dubious news. Highly exaggerated stuff, the traditional yellow journalism which has taken on a new life on Facebook is taking all out of control and that is largely result of exaggeration rather than complete fakery...
'Part of what I think is argued by those who would try to defend the blurring of this line is that it's impossible to draw the line between fact and opinion and that anyone who says you can is either a liar or a humbug.'
'No, something either happened or it didn't'...
The level of trust in the media, according to public opinion polls, I think on both sides of the Atlantic, the level of trust is lower for journalists than it is for politicians"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Virtue Signalling - "I think virtue signaling is actually anti morality. It's all about fundamentally demonizing people with a range of views so that the demonizer can demonstrate his or her own virtue. It's a way of spreading hatred and shutting down dissent and it's only found on the left...
'Our first witness, the writer and columnist James Bartolomew who if he didn't actually invent the term, certainly popularized it in a magazine article two years ago from whence it has taken off. What do you mean by it?'
'I mean, I mean saying things in order to make yourself, convince yourself or convince other people that you are virtuous without actually doing anything virtuous. Often by expressing hatred, especially in Britain where people will say I hate the Daily Mail, indicating that they're open minded and liberal or I hate UKIP, indicating they're not racist. So they are using words to attribute virtue, good feelings, good, good attitude to themselves without ever having, having to go to the bother of doing anything good'...
When I was in Singapore I saw in a school a sign saying: being virtuous is doing the right thing when other people can't see you. And I wish that kind of idea was used more in British schools where I fear that they are led to believe that being virtuous consists of having the right attitudes about feminism, gays, racialism...
Sometimes somebody will be trying to portray themselves as virtuous without doing anything. I'm sure that as a Christian you are against pride, the sin of pride and the people describing themselves as virtuous without being virtuous is inherently a bad thing"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Meritocracy Of Grammar Schools - "'I'm perplexed by this endless discussion about moving people out of a particular class and social mobility and what kind of jobs they get and so on and so forth. Is that what you think education's for?'
'I think what we think social mobility is about is ensuring that we get a better mix of people running this country, we got a better mix of people who are in positions of power'...
'So it's not an educational aim at all. So you're actually interested in the types, you're doing a social engineering project of your own and you're using schools as a vehicle so you are actually indifferent to whether young people are receiving the great knowledge passed on'...
Government and academics and commentators look at outcomes and they see quite rightly that middle class kids by large outperform on average outperform working class kids in entry to grammar school and in entry to universities, to top universities and jump to the conclusion from that, that it must be that the selection procedures are therefore in some way biased and unfair and therefore they start adjusting the selection procedures with things like positive discrimination. My research over 20, 25 years suggests that while social background factors do have some influence on children's performance in education - obviously, they do - by far the biggest influence is ability. And what's missing in this whole debate is any recognition of different distributions of ability between the different classes... What we've got is is this absurd position now, if we look at the pressure that's been put in the last four, five years on our top universities to lower entry grades for children from certain kinds of backgrounds, the IFS, the Institute of Fiscal Studies produced a report just a few years ago that showed that universities recruit meticulously on meritocratic principles. There is no element of anything other than a concern with the academic performance of that child on which universities base their selection. So we have a meritocratic process of selection for university and the government is now coming and trampled all over it by saying to universities, you've got to stop that because it doesn't look meritocratic in terms of its outcome. We've got have equal outcomes between the children, different classes. We end up destroying meritocracy in the name of trying to advance it...
The university where I was at pioneered positive discrimination in favor of children from certain inner London comprehensives. Now I used to participate in the open day for those kids who would come down, have a look at the university. And the idea was we'll show you what a university looks like. And it was all very well intentioned. And one day I made the mistake of actually telling one of these youngsters: this, of course, is what we call Scheme B entry. So you don't have to get as good an A level as all the other kids have to get in order to get into this university, because we recognize that you're up against all these problems. And she was, rightly in my view, outraged. And she said to me, in that case, I'm not coming to this university...
Michael Young felt meritocracy was a bad idea precisely because he recognized that there is heritability to some extent of ability"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Nationalism - "All forms of European Nationalism, they all start off being nice. But the problem is when they're put under pressure - effectively Scottish nationalism is almost value free at the moment because there's no actual ruling in an absolute sense. There's no crisis, which they have to respond to. There's no sense of who's, who belongs, who doesn't belong. And across Europe all we can see is the same pattern. It starts off with folk dancing and ends up with barbed wire"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Morality of the Green Belt - "That doesn't actually have anything to do with the intrinsic value of nature. It is a planning policy for the containment of urban areas. And in fact, I suspect that debate would have been very different if all this time instead of being called Green Belt it had been called Urban Containment Zones or something kinda technical, as most planning policies are... unfortunately, this debate gets tied up with the debate around the intrinsic value of nature which actually green belts have nothing to do with. There are bits of green belt land, which are in the inner city... a derelict petrol station next to a tube station and a main road. But technically it is green belt land. And then an affordable housing provider cannot build affordable housing there, because that is green belt. Equally there are huge amounts of the green belts surrounding our cities which are actually of extremely low environmental value often because they're kinda agri desert, very very low bio diversity, far lower biodiversity than the urban areas in the inner city often are. And also things like golf courses. We use more land in England for golf than we do for homes...
The planning system I think does have strong tools for protecting nature, things like national parks, areas of outstanding national beauty, these are all excellent policies for protecting the really, really valuable bits of nature. I just don't think that the Green Belt per se, is a particularly effective way protecting nature. And in many ways, it's quite damaging. Millions of people commute every day across the Green Belt. Twice. That is adding hugely to the carbon impact on the economy because they cannot live close to where the jobs are, because Green Bbelt policies insist we build homes. often on greenfield sites beyond the Green Belt and then demand that people commute 30 miles into town to work"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The morality of generational voting - "[On the young] Are they just another grasping interest group with invented grievances, falling for electroral bribes and keen to get others to pay for what they want? Is youthful idealism an unqualified good? From the French Revolution to the Hitler Youth and Mao's Red Guards, it's caused more than it's fair share of human misery after all. Is it wrong to pit young against old in a competition for resources? Should democracy be more than competing selfishness?...
Even 18 year olds grow up eventually... students nowadays are paying university tuition fees, and lots of them quite rightly don't like to them to pay the university tuition fees, but what they forget is that in their parents' generation not many of them had the opportunity to go to university in the first place...
What we're actually against is the extremes. He then defined extremes in such a way as to make, well how many people voted for President Trump? 63 million? 63 million extremists in America. And how many millions voted for Brexit? N million Britons are extreme? They happen to be the majority of the electorate. This is ridiculous. This is not extremism. He is defining as extremism things that he doesn't like."

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Grenfell Tower Fire - "It's perfectly legitimate to be angry about those issues that led to the fire. The problem comes when you then get people marching into the streets with socialist worker badges and saying Tories out and so on. And we've discussed already there have been tragedies of this kind in flats in Labour areas. There is a whole history of disasters in this country that have come about as negligence, which have hurt the rich more... It's a disgrace that their cries for help, their complaints were not addressed in the right way. But you will find that same kind of dispute between landlord and tenant, leaseholder and freeholder in some of the wealthiest blocks in London...
I think it's an act of terrible, cynical disrespect to the people who have suffered so grievously in the particular tragedy, because it's exploiting them. It's instrumentalizing them, weaponising them against the government."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Mixed Societies - "The Prime Minister is on the warpath, threatening his opponents with unspecified retribution after the election, a settling of accounts morally, politically and legally, if he wins. For their part opposition parties set up mock prison cells for the Prime Minister and his family. This is probably the dirtiest election campaign I've witnessed in more than three decades in the region. Almost every poster seems to be defaced. Opposition papers print shocking, if vague allegations of corruption every day against governing party MPs. Civil Activists have been tricked into conversations with Israeli or Russian gentlemen, allegedly seeking dirt on the Hungarian born financier George Soros, the arch enemy of Fidez...
As a result of the flourishing trade, whether from Congo or Nigeria, a lot of Africans living in Africa itself wear so called traditional clothes designed and made right here in China...
An article in Indonesian with the headline, The Girl in the Red Dress causing you to lose your focus, above the picture of a woman who looked like me. My stomach dropped... There were cameras everywhere, but I thought I'd kept well out of anyone else's shot, but I hadn't. There I was doing my piece to camera stopping, fixing my hair, and then I put my hands on my head and stretched, arching my back. This is the moment when the viral video takes on a life of its own. It zooms in on that shot and slows down, zeroing in closer and closer on my armpits... I remember from my university days in Jogjakarta, that in traditional Javanese culture showing the souls of your feet to anyone was very impolite... Armpts... are sexy. Google pamer ketiak, he said. That translates as show off your armpits... soft porn...
I was in the remote province of Papua, a region that has been closed to foreign journalist for decades. There's a low level separatist conflict there. Indonesian military and security forces are accused by human rights groups of committing gross abuses there as they try to suppress dissent... within a day of our arrival, the military escorted me out. They said I had hurt the military's feelings with some tweets about the nature of the aid going in and the conduct of some of the officers."

Monday, August 27, 2018

Links - 27th August 2018

From Muhammad Syed - "While fact-checkers and establishing the truth is incredibly value, the method for doing so is susceptible to hijacking. The methodology used is seeking out experts on any specific issue, usually from academia and getting their opinion on the issue under discussion. What happens, if academia itself becomes trapped with political motivations - portraying Islam in a positive light due to the current political climate or religious motivations - dishonest scholars that are motivated by Islam rather than the truth? Both of the top two have put out false articles about Islam. Politifact on FGM and Snopes on slavery by Mohammed. I've reached out to both in the past with data / citations on their error with no retractions issued. Sadly, by refusing to use the truth as the ultimate benchmark they poison the discourse at large, opening a gateway to those looking to dispute reality itself. Not only must #exMuslims and other honest academics work to persuade fact-checkers but also reclaim the space within academia increasingly occupied by charlatans.
Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/indiana-muslims-muhammads-deeds/
Politifact: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/oct/02/reza-aslan/fact-checking-reza-aslans-retort-bill-maher/"
Of course in the original post everyone is just getting off on bashing conservatives and Republicans as ignorant

Toronto faces having to close community centres, cancel programs to house migrant tide from U.S. - "Tory called on the federal government Tuesday to take more responsibility for the tangible consequences of its refugee policies."

Of Superheroes and Humans: Kimberley Motley's Fight for Human Rights in Afghanistan - "“No woman in Afghanistan will come to court to say she was raped,” says Motley. “If Gulnaz hadn’t been in prison, she almost certainly would have been killed. Her family and brothers wanted to kill her.”... “In a country where over eighty-five percent of women are victims of some type of abuse, don’t tell me wearing a headscarf makes people any more respectful of women. You’d best believe one hundred percent of the women abused were wearing a headscarf.” She follows this up with choice words for the hypocrisy of some to cherry-pick, flouting only that which they deem inconvenient: “I’ve had Western women say to me that I should be wearing it out of respect for the culture. I ask them, ‘Do you drink? Do you have male friends or a boyfriend? Don’t try to be the Rosa Parks of Islam and pick the parts of it that are cool for you.”... For someone who has seen what she has, the trivialities of our culture wars are an affront to the horrors that plague women in Afghanistan. “Feminism,” she says, “is being diluted. The fact that women here can protest anything at all is miles ahead of what women elsewhere can even fathom doing. We need to move past our myopic approach”."
In other words, feminism is basically #firstworldproblems

The left loses its cool - "In the Donald Trump era, the left is as aggressively confrontational as at any time in recent memory... there’s a bipartisan sense that this election season marks another inflection point in the collapse of civil political discourse... "If you see anybody from that Cabinet — in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station — you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” implored California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters... “When you’re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, there’s something wrong,” she said. “The next people are going to come with guns. That’s what’s going to happen.” According to Bondi, she and a friend were confronted at least four times — while buying tickets, entering the theater, standing in line at the concession stand and then on their way out — and that activists were aggressive in each instance, with one yelling so loudly at her that he spit in her hair, either unintentionally or because he meant to expectorate on her. She said they also taunted her friend as “blue eyes” and asked him in a threatening manner if he was going to protect her, as though they wanted to fight... The public shaming of party officials is more closely associated with Latin American politics... White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was told by the co-owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, to leave. The owner did not want Sanders there in part because she works for an "inhumane and unethical” administration. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who became the face of her boss’ “zero tolerance” immigration policy, was interrupted at dinner at a Mexican restaurant in downtown Washington several days earlier by protesters who shouted "Shame" and "If kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace." Demonstrators also chanted outside her northern Virginia townhouse... “It seems that when these groups realize they can’t win an argument in a civil discussion of the issues, they believe it is perfectly acceptable to turn to bullying.” Presidential historian Michael Beschloss lamented that the flare-ups are “a new disheartening sign of a country that is becoming more divided by the hour. It is almost beginning to sound like some of the things that happened before the Civil War. It’s a polarized country. But it is an extremely polarizing president.”... Republicans contend the confrontational politics will inspire a backlash among a silent majority that is watching the left grow unhinged. “There’s not more energy on the left. There’s more hatred,” said Toledo, the Tampa Republican who said her kids were bothered in a coffee shop. “I signed up for this. But my kids? I thought kids were off limits. Family is off limits. And it backfires when you attack families.”"
It's good to know that the left is following the same logic as abortion clinic bombers

Poll: 59% fear violence from Trump haters, 31% predict civil war - "The new polling evidence of fear in the country over political division follows the harassment of three top Trump aides, including spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, ordered out of a southern Virginia restaurant, and senior adviser Stephen Miller whose condo drew protests from liberals. It also follows a call by liberal California Rep. Maxine Waters to bring pressure to Trump officials when in public and urgings from legal experts for Trump aides to apply for concealed carry permits and buy guns."

Maxine Waters does not speak for Democrats or liberals - "Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) recently told her supporters to hound President Trump’s Cabinet members wherever they find them... Waters does not speak for all Democrats or liberals. Nor do those who threw Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of the Red Hen restaurant. Neither do those who have harassed other members of the Trump administration. But these rude extremists are a symptom of the times. The divisions have gotten so bad that many on both sides refuse to speak or listen to those on the other side. Either you are for Trump or against him, and that is all some people need to know to make judgments about you. I know this because I have experienced this firsthand on Martha’s Vineyard... I have defended Trump’s civil liberties, along with those of all Americans, just as I would have defended Hillary Clinton’s civil liberties had she been elected and subjected to efforts of impeachment tor prosecution. My book, “The Case Against Impeaching Trump,” could just as easily have been the case against impeaching Hillary Clinton. Indeed, I wrote such a book about Bill Clinton, “Sexual McCarthyism: Clinton, Starr, and the Emerging Constitutional Crisis.” I am opposed to appointing a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and I was against it for Trump. I am a liberal Democrat in politics, but a neutral civil libertarian when it comes to the Constitution. But that is not good enough for some of my old friends on Martha’s Vineyard. For them, it is enough that what I have said about the Constitution might help Trump. So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Martha’s Vineyard. One of them, an academic at a distinguished university, has told people that he would not attend any dinner or party to which I was invited. He and others have demanded “trigger warnings” so that they can be assured of having “safe spaces” in which they will not encounter me or my ideas. Others have said they will discontinue contributions to organizations that sponsor my talks. This is all familiar to me, since I lived through McCarthyism in the 1950s, when lawyers who represented alleged communists on civil libertarian grounds were shunned. Some of these lawyers and victims of McCarthyism lived on Martha’s Vineyard. I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Martha’s Vineyard, but I have. I wonder if the professor who refuses to listen to anything I have to say also treats his students similarly. Would he listen to a student who actively supported Trump? What about one who simply supported his civil liberties? These childish efforts to shun me because I refused to change my position on civil liberties that I have kept for half a century discourages vibrant debate and may dissuade other civil libertarians from applying their neutral principles to a president of whom they disapprove. But one good thing is that being shunned by some “old friends” on Martha’s Vineyard has taught me who my real friends are and who my fairweather friends were. From a personal point of view, I could not care less about being shunned by people whose views regarding dialogue I do not respect."
Alan M. Dershowitz joins the ranks of the Nazis

TPUSA Activists Hounded Out of a Philly Restaurant by Antifa Mob - "An angry antifa mob hounded Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens out of a Philadelphia restaurant where they were attempting to eat breakfast Monday morning... The all-white mob also howled, "F*** white supremacy!" at Owens, TPUSA's outspoken communications director. The irony of this didn't escape conservatives on Twitter: "I haven't seen this many white Democrats kick a black woman out of a diner since the 1950s"... "If a angry conservative mob formed while two young liberals, one white guy and a black woman, were eating breakfast, and the mob hurled horrific insults, threw objects and assaulted them, the left would call it a “hate crime” and every major outlet would be demanding condemnation""
I'm sure those who jutified Sarah Huckabee being hounded will cheer this as well

Rep. Maxine Waters owed an apology from top Dems for not protecting her against 'unwarranted' Trump verbal attacks, nearly 200 black female leaders say - "Black female leaders and allies are blasting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for what they see as their “failure” to protect Rep. Maxine Waters from “unwarranted attacks from the Trump administration and others in the GOP.” ... “Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and Black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford: that it does not respect Black women’s leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters,” the women wrote... Waters defiantly said to those who want to harm her that they had better “shoot straight because there’s nothing like a wounded animal.”... The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, said those who "daily promote diversity, I would call upon them to respect diversity of opinion." “I think we all know that words matter,” Hensarling said. “I also lament, as I look back, that there was a time in America’s history where you could be denied service at a restaurant based on the color of your skin. Now apparently, it’s the color of your voter registration card,” Hensarling said, in a reference to the incident involving Sanders getting kicked out of a Virginia restaurant last month."
If someone shoots and kills her, can we blame her for literally asking for it?

Trump takes aim at Maxine Waters after she calls for public harassment of his Cabinet - The Washington Post - "Her call to drive Trump officials from public life has made her a hero to many on the left — and has disturbed not only Trump supporters but some moderates and Democrats who accuse her of hastening the country's descent from centuries-old civic standards... “The people who claim tolerance seem to be the most intolerant in this process,” McCarthy said. “We need civility in this country.”... “We’re kind of back to the Colonial era in terms of public shaming, with virtual and symbolic stocks in the public square rather than literal ones,” U.S. historian Jon Meacham told The Washington Post's Mary Jordan. He called this a perhaps uniquely “tribal moment” in the country's history. Without mentioning Waters, David Axelrod, former president Barack Obama's onetime chief strategist, wrote he was “kind of amazed and appalled by the number of folks on the Left who applauded” Sanders's expulsion from a restaurant."

Muna Mire on Twitter - "Civility is also white anglo culture. I have never met a polite African or a Jew that insisted on manners over urgency so. Stop forcing WASP culture on us lmao"
Basically she's saying that coloured people are rude. White supremacists would probably agree with her

SJW Paradox anti-sjw - Posts - "#SJWParadox: Maxine Waters did not cause dead animal carcas to appear at the home of opposition staffers! (nope) But she did call upon people to harass them! (yup) vs. When Trump said media were the enemy, he CAUSED someone (who had an ongoing law suit against a conservative paper since 2011) to SHOOT them. CALLING them the enemy is the SAME as DIRECTING people to harass... or some other action....But Obama did not incite people to kill anyone when recalled the political opposition the enemy... Suggesting so would be RACIST!"

The 'Resistance' Is Turning into a National Lynch Mob - "Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried to eat at a Mexican restaurant, only to face a mob of protestors inside the eatery screaming “Shame” amidst profanities and insults. Florida Attorney General (and frequent defender of President Trump on Fox News) Pam Bondi was identified, harassed, and spat on when she tried to watch the new Mr. Rogers movie... Rosie O’ Donnell called for a military coup to prevent Trump’s inauguration. Madonna spoke of “blowing up the White House.” Kathy Griffin posed like an ISIS terrorist, holding a wax version of the president’s bloodied head. One-time actor Peter Fonda opined that Trump’s young son Barron ought to be thrown in a cell and gang-raped... We’ve seen this kind of rhetoric just once before since America was founded -- in the build-up to our Civil War... Cynthia Nixon, candidate for governor in New York, is calling for ICE to be disbanded. That federal agency’s offices were occupied by an Antifa mob in Portland, Oregon—and authorities had to sneak in by night to secure federal property. A professor at NYU has exposed the personal information of thousands of ICE employees, putting their lives in danger. (Remember that ICE contends daily against human smugglers linked to violent drug cartels.) An official of the Department of Homeland Security came home last week to find the burned, decapitated corpse of an animal on his front porch. That’s the kind of threat that Mexican drug gangs often use against their enemies... When one political faction decides that losing an election is the same as enduring Nazi occupation, and every means of sabotage and persecution is legitimate… well, that’s how you end up in a state of civil war. Come November, voters should remember which side is trying to provoke that."
"When they go low, we go lower"

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