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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Links - 24th November 2018 (2) (Kavanaugh)

Looks like there was a lot more even after Links - 30th September 2018 (Kavanaugh) (this links post is longer than usual to finish off what I have in my list that's directly related)

Tomorrow’s Elite Lawyers Disavow Due Process - WSJ - "When the New Yorker published its own uncorroborated account of lewd conduct purportedly committed by Mr. Kavanaugh as a Yale freshman, Yale law-school alumnae organized an open letter supporting “all women who have faced sexual assault, not only at Yale, but across the country.” Thirty-one Yale law professors canceled classes to facilitate student protests against Judge Kavanaugh, both in New Haven and on Capitol Hill. The Office of Student Affairs put out a plate of cookies to let students “know we are thinking of you.”... The Kavanaugh hysteria has provided the country with a crash course in academic victim politics. The tribal denunciations of “privileged white males,” the moral panic over fantastical accounts of sexual predation, the spectacle of Ivy League law students claiming to feel “unsafe,” the assertion that a single uncorroborated outbreak of male teen hormones should cancel a lifetime of achievement in the law—all originate in the anti-Enlightenment ethos of the academy, embodied in critical race studies, feminist legal theory, and the attacks on the Socratic teaching method as anti-female and anti-“survivor.” The #BelieveSurvivors mantra is a cornerstone of the campus grievance industry but inimical to everything that a law school should teach. It’s a religious gesture, not a legal one: Such belief is independent of proof, arising out of a pre-existing commitment to a narrative of ubiquitous female abuse by patriarchal white males. The “survivor” label presupposes the conclusion that evidence should establish: that the accused is guilty of an offense. The fact-finder, if there even is one, regards contradictions or holes in a woman’s story as evidence of “trauma” and thus as further corroboration. According to #BelieveSurvivors logic, the Innocence Project, which exists to vacate wrongful convictions and has a presence at law schools across the country, should be disbanded."

The Presumption of Guilt - WSJ - "“Due process requires cross-examination in circumstances like these because it is ‘the greatest legal engine ever invented’ for uncovering the truth,” wrote Judge Amul Thapar. “Not only does cross-examination allow the accused to identify inconsistencies in the other side’s story, but it also gives the fact-finder an opportunity to assess a witness’s demeanor and determine who can be trusted. So if a university is faced with competing narratives about potential misconduct, the administration must facilitate some form of cross-examination in order to satisfy due process.”... Democrats claim that even asking questions about these facts is somehow an unfair attack on her as a woman. Her lawyer is demanding that Ms. Ford testify after Mr. Kavanaugh, and that only Senators ask questions—no doubt to bar Republicans from having a female special counsel ask those questions. We’re told Ms. Ford even wants to bar any questions about why she waited so long to recall the alleged assault and who she consulted in finally going public this year. Such a process is designed to obscure the truth, not to discover it... the set of facts she currently provides wouldn’t pass even the “preponderance of evidence”—or 50.01% evidence of guilt—test that prevails today on college campuses. If this is the extent of her evidence and it is allowed to defeat a Supreme Court nominee, a charge of sexual assault will become a killer political weapon regardless of facts. And the new American standard of due process will be the presumption of guilt"
Liberals claim that this was only a job interview so due process didn't apply, but if a "minority" had faced this hostile a job interview...

How the Senate Lost Its Decorum - "The Garland Factor. By any objective standard, Brett M. Kavanaugh is highly qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court...
Court Balance... President Trump is replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a pivotal swing vote on the high court for three decades. Democrats are acting as though replacing him with a conservative is the end of democracy as we know it. There’s a certain amount of revisionism here: Justice Kennedy, appointed by President Reagan, was usually on the conservative side of the court’s numerous 5-4 decisions. And as recently as earlier this summer, liberals were complaining about him bitterly... had she won the 2016 election, President Hillary Clinton would have done the same thing in reverse: The Scalia and Kennedy seats would have gone to two progressives expected to show fealty to all the Democratic Party’s sacred cows... such litmus tests are not what the high court is supposed to be about. Those justices are supposed to be legal scholars who adjudge the weighty constitutional questions before them without fear or favor...
Presidential Politics: Two other Judiciary Committee Democrats, both attorneys themselves, have what any good lawyer would recognize as an obvious conflict of interest: They want to be president...
The Trump Factor: That said, it is a fact of life that Kavanaugh is in Democrats’ cross-hairs because of the man who appointed him"

Leland Keyser: Ford's Friend, FBI Agent, Pressured Her to Change Story - "Leland Keyser, a friend of Christine Blasey Ford who Ford claimed was at the party where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, has not only refuted the accuser’s version of the story, but told FBI investigators that Ford’s “allies” tried to pressure her to change the original version."

Woman Who Claimed Justice Kavanaugh Raped Her Now Admits They've Never Even Met - "Grassley referred Judy Munro-Leighton for criminal prosecution and revealed her actions were part of a ploy to take down Kavanaugh’s nomination... Grassley referred Julie Swetnick and her lawyer Michael Avenatti to the Department of Justice for a possible criminal investigation over allegations they made false statements to Congress. Swetnick was the third woman to accuse Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, and she appeared to have invented wild claims of rape trains and parties she and Kavanaugh allegedly attended, despite no proof or evidence supporting the claims, where women were drugged and raped. Swetnick, who is being represented by Michael Avenatti, sent a declaration to the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming that she attended house parties in the early 1980s where she saw Kavanaugh mistreating women and spiking their drinks. But now the pair may be held liable for the apparently false claims."

'Nothing to Gain,' Kavanaugh Accuser Raises Nearly $1 Million - "Some question the necessity of the financial assistance given that much of the costs associated with Ford's testimony – including all of her legal fees plus a polygraph examination – were covered by Democratic attorneys assigned to her by the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, committee sources say; panel Democrats were allotted half of a $1 million committee fund for transportation, security, investigations and other expenses associated with the tumultuous confirmation process. The Senate Sergeant at Arms and Capitol Police also provided "heightened security" for Ford. "Her lawyers said they were representing her on a pro-bono basis. Why does she need all of this money?” said an attorney familiar with the committee's investigation into her allegations, adding that the funds were originally set up to help pay her legal bills... Aside from possible financial incentives, critics say Ford clearly had a political motive to come forward with her unsubstantiated charges against Kavanaugh. They note that she is a registered Democrat who has made contributions earmarked for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also marched against Trump’s stance on climate change and signed a letter speaking out against the Republican president's immigration policies... Some legal analysts worry her crowdfunding windfall sets a dangerous precedent by creating a new incentive for accusers. They fear partisan activists will now offer crowdfunding as a form of bounty on political foes, or to buy witness testimony against political adversaries."

Kavanaugh declines more than $600,000 from GoFundMe campaign

Kavanaugh praises Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court pick, during hearing: 'He's a great judge' - "Cruz claimed the two voted together 93 percent of the time; he also said Garland joined about 96 percent of the published opinions authored by Kavanaugh when they were on the same panel... Of the similarities between the two judges noted by Cruz, Kavanaugh said, “I think we’re trying hard to find common ground.” “As I’ve said before, [Garland is] a great judge – a great chief judge – and he’s very careful and very hardworking, and we work well together and try to read the statute as written, read the precedent as written,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s a judge – like I try to be as well – a judge who’s not trying to impose any personal preferences onto the decision but take the law as written, and that’s what I’ve tried to do in those cases and that probably explains some of that.” “I think it also goes back to – I think judges are distinct from policymakers, and I think that shows up when you dig into the actual details of how courts operate and go about their business,” he continued."
The important difference, of course, being that one is from the wrong side

An0maly - "Christine Blasey Ford has no further plans to pursue her sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, according to her attorneys"
"Weird. Almost like once the political agenda fails it doesn’t actually matter to them. Yes or No?"

Ryan Fournier on Twitter - "Christine Ford apparently has several book offers lined up. What is she going to write about if she can’t remember anything. "

Democrats Play Against Brett Kavanaugh Backfired Big Time - "In his unprecedented speech following Ford’s testimony, Kavanaugh not only blasted the process but made no pretense when it came to those who had manipulated it—liberal groups, people angry with Donald Trump, people wanting to take revenge for the Clintons. The speech electrified the right. There is no other word for it... The idea he was attempting to convey was that the career-destroying and reputation-destroying forces that had been activated against him were singing from an old hymnal. They were seeking to ruin him in order to deny the views he might have shared with conservative Republicans their place on the Court. They wished to invalidate conservative views through any means necessary, including the deployment of a horrific charge made without any supporting evidence. For Republicans and conservatives with a long memory, this was not just about Kavanaugh. It was about Bob Bork, and the near destruction of Clarence Thomas, and the illegitimate prosecution of Reagan Labor Secretary Ray Donovan, who was left to ask how he could get his reputation back when a garbage case against him fell apart. It was about the criminalization of policy differences... It was about the politics of personal destruction. Republicans and conservatives could see the same enemies arrayed against Kavanaugh they had seen over the past 35 years: liberal interest groups and the Democratic politicians whose staffs help populate those groups, working hand in hand with a pliable and credulous media to create the impression of guilt and evil where there are no facts to back up that impression... We don’t destroy people when someone says “trust me, he’s bad.” We don’t … unless we want to destroy him anyway and are willing to use any piece of evidence to hand... you cannot ask a man to allow himself to be ruined to preserve a set of behaviors that have already been rendered passe by the deployment of charges of sexual assault and gang rape. I mean, you can ask, but only a fool would take you up on it. Kavanaugh saved himself. The staggering turnabout in polls in different races in different parts of the country makes that clear. Privately, Republican campaigns report they have never seen a sleeping body politic jolt awake in this way. You don’t like the politics of it? For those otherwise sympathetic to Kavanaugh’s plight who think he took it too far, you simply have to understand that had he not done so, he would have been known forever as the gang rapist who lost his Supreme Court gig."

On the Fallibility of Memory and the Importance of Evidence - "memories are not concrete, nor do they simply deteriorate with age. They are malleable, changeable, and easily influenced by suggestion. These changes are incorporated into the original memory to a degree that they seem every bit as real as its truest aspects. As Yale researchers Marcia K. Johnson and Carol L. Raye noted, “All experience is constructed in that people use their general knowledge of the world to fill in ‘missing elements.’” For this reason, memories are subject to what is known as the Misinformation Effect... A flashbulb memory is a memory encoded in a time of intense psychological stress that is supposedly extraordinarily vivid and accurate... flashbulb memories use the same neural mechanisms, decay at the same rate, and are no more nor less accurate than typical memories overall. The only notable difference seems to be the confidence with which people speak about their flashbulb memories... many researchers argue that flashbulb memories are less accurate... Memory Rehearsal Increases Forgetting... each retrieval of a memory leaves it susceptible to alteration. Thus, memories that are called upon quite frequently—as traumatic memories often are—will decrease in accuracy at a more rapid pace than those that are retrieved less often. Over a long enough period of time, this can lead to a memory that’s virtually unrecognizable when compared to the original event... In 1992, the Innocence Project was founded in response to the large number of falsely incriminated individuals that were being exonerated due to advancements in DNA testing and analyses in criminal investigations... By far, the leading cause of false imprisonment in these cases was eyewitness misidentification, which played a role in 70 percent of the convictions. Nearly half of those misidentifications (46 percent) involved multiple eyewitnesses “identifying” the same, innocent person. Separate findings noted in the case of Perry vs. New Hampshire suggest that as many as one out of every three eyewitness identifications are incorrect... eyewitness testimonies of victims are far more likely to play a role in wrongful convictions than those of bystanders... our recognition of casual acquaintances—people we may see quite often but with whom we rarely interact—is often no better than chance..
activists routinely point to data that shows the rate of false claims is only about 5.9 percent. However, they invariably neglect to mention that this figure only covers those cases that were unequivocally proven to be false by authorities. It does not include cases dropped due to insufficient evidence or otherwise left unresolved because the victim withdrew from the process, or was unable to identify the perpetrator, or mislabeled an incident that does not fit the legal definition of sexual assault. The number of cases that fall into one or more of these categories is 44.9 percent, not including the 5.9 percent figure, above. It’s therefore impossible to tell what the true percentage of false accusations is, but even a 6 percent (or one in 17) chance that an innocent person may be convicted ought to be too great a risk... it is better to risk a guilty man’s reputation remaining untarnished than to risk ruining the life and career of an innocent one."
So much for #believewomen
Almost no "job interviews" are on the public record

Matthew Yglesias on Twitter - "My Uber driver this morning is a black guy who backed Bernie in the primaries then Hillary in the general but is now warming to Trump because the Kavanaugh thing shows that “feminists are out of control.” Could get like a dozen columns out of this."
Eric Spencer on Twitter - "And precisely none of them will say, "Maybe we should dial back the crazy before we completely destroy the Democratic Party."

Colbert show writer: "Whatever happens, I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life." : The_Donald
Ariel Dumas

Bret Weinstein on Twitter - "My position on the #Kavanaugh confirmation: Both outcomes are completely unacceptable.
Kavanaugh was clearly, at the very least, an entitled punk through college. Nothing suggests a radical shift in mindset. He appears to be the kind of adult that entitled punks grow into.
Putting someone on the court who is likely to view the world through those narrow eyes is a betrayal of the most elemental American values. All the worse that the nomination came from another entitled punk. It's a divisive finger-in-the-eye-for-life to patriots of all stripes.
Imagine this court has to intervene in an election, or confront one of the difficult issues that divides the nation. Kavanaugh's involvement will undermine the legitimacy of any decision in which he votes along expected lines.
On the other hand, we can't have a republic with veto-by-accusation, even if most accusations are true. The incentive to weaponize accusation will drag such a system quickly into an accusation-arms-race in which cooperation becomes impossible, and true victims are ignored.
This lose/lose situation is the same position we had on election night, 2016. It's telling. Our system has gone into a phase in which we are regularly forced to choose between unacceptable options. Normal tools won't save us. To survive we must embrace the new and unknown. Let's"
Someone: "If his temperament is such a problem shouldn’t we have a lot of evidence from his decade on the bench that it’s interfered with his work? How widely do you want to apply this notion that assholes aren’t credible?"
"You know Bret, for a “punk kid” he sure does have an amazing history of working hard, serving this country and working in the highest level of our government. Ill take that “punk” anyday! Besides, Id like a something a little more objective than this standard.. its a mans life!"

Lindsey Graham To Protester: Let's Dunk Kavanaugh In Water, See If He Floats - "“If he would [take] a polygraph, this would all be over, Senator Graham,” the protester said. Graham responded by saying, “You’ve humiliated this guy enough and there seems to be no bottom for some of you,” before attempting to address a reporter. When the protester continued to talk, Graham made the “dunk him in water” remark."
Ironically the Kanin study on false rape accusations is dismissed by feminists because of the use of polygraph tests

What the Black Men Who Identify With Brett Kavanaugh Miss - "Black men have every right to be frustrated by the lack of due process and the inevitable rush to judgment they often face in sexual-assault cases. But that’s not because they’ve so often been treated like Kavanaugh—it’s because they so rarely have."
The story seems to be that if Kavanaugh were black, all the accusations and violation of due process would've been unacceptable and racist, but because he is white they're alright. So racial double standards which punish white people are a good thing

Some of the Greatest Justices Were Nasty and Partisan, Actually - "several of the greatest Supreme Court justices had disastrously bad, highly unjudicial temperaments. Collectively and individually, Justices Hugo Black, Robert Jackson, William O. Douglas and Felix Frankfurter were nasty, vindictive, backbiting, ambitious and partisan. A contemporary observer referred to the court on which they sat as “nine scorpions in a bottle.” Scorpions aren’t known for their courtesy or judiciousness. Yet these four justices all made historically significant contributions to constitutional law and the court. Without them, our living Constitution would be considerably poorer and weaker."

'Kavanaugh Doesn't Have The Right Temperament!' Screams Protester Lobbing Grenade Outside Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg blasts Brett Kavanaugh hearings as 'highly partisan show' - "Justice Ginsburg was confirmed to the bench by a U.S. Senate vote of 96-3, two months after she was nominated by then-President Bill Clinton. The liberal justice said Wednesday that the “atmosphere” back then was “truly bipartisan.”"

Poll: 60% Want Kavanaugh Confirmed if FBI Dismisses Allegations - "once those polled were informed “that the named witnesses deny any knowledge of the allegation, this shifts to 57 percent who favor confirmation.” In other words, once voters know the full truth (the truth the establishment media are hiding from them), they overwhelmingly side with Kavanaugh — those who call for his confirmation jump from 37 percent to 57 percent. There are other numbers bubbling beneath the surface inconvenient to the false reality manufactured by the media. To begin with “69 percent agree with Kavanaugh’s pronouncement and Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) statement that the proceedings have been a national disgrace.” Secondly, the poll found that a whopping 75 percent believe Sen. Dianne Feinstein “should have turned over Ford’s letter months earlier so that this debacle might have been avoided.” A full 63 percent believe Kavanaugh will eventually be cleared and confirmed.""

Read the Transcript of Susan Collins Speech on Kavanaugh - "Opponents frequently cite then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to nominate only judges who would overturn Roe. The Republican platform for all presidential campaigns has included this pledge since at least 1980. During this time, Republican presidents have appointed Justices O’Connor, Souter, and Kennedy to the Supreme Court. These are the very three justices—Republican president appointed justices—who authored the Casey decision, which reaffirmed Roe. Furthermore, pro-choice groups vigorously opposed each of these justices’ nominations. Incredibly, they even circulated buttons with the slogan “Stop Souter Or Women Will Die!” Just two years later, Justice Souter coauthored the Casey opinion, reaffirming a woman’s right to choose. Suffice it to say, prominent advocacy organizations have been wrong... Judge Kavanaugh has received rave reviews for his 12-year track record as a judge, including for his judicial temperament. The American Bar Association (ABA) gave him its highest possible rating. Its Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary conducted an extraordinarily thorough assessment, soliciting input from almost 500 people, including his judicial colleagues. The ABA concluded that “his integrity, judicial temperament, and professional competence met the highest standard.” Lisa Blatt, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other woman in history, testified: “By any objective measure, Judge Kavanaugh is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.”... This debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. But certain fundamental legal principles—about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness—do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them... the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred; none of the individuals Professor Ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of that night."

On Twitter: Teacher Solicits Murder Of Kavanaugh In Enviornment Of Intent, Young Feminist Throws Life Away - "a public school teacher posted a solicitation for the murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in an atmosphere of intent to harm and destroy America foundations. Twitter users were quick to grab screenshots, of her postings on Facebook and Twitter before she deleted both accounts and report her to the FBI. “Who will take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?” posted Samantha Ness."

Scott Kelly Apologizes to Angry Woke Mob for Quoting Winston Churchill - "Retired Astronaut Scott Kelly apologized Sunday after quoting social justice thought criminal Winston Churchill — even though he was attacking Republicans celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh... Not everyone agreed with Kelly kowtowing to the Twitter trolls. AEI resident scholar Christina Sommer told Kelly, despite Churchill’s shortcomings, there was no need to apologize. “Please don’t apologize. Winston Churchill, like all of us, had serious human failings,” Sommers said. “But unlike most of us—he possessed genuine greatness. And that greatness may have saved freedom & democracy. Ask the Twitter scolds to name a hero or heroine who didn’t have serious flaws.”"

George Soros’s March on Washington - WSJ - "while most demonstrators are not paid for their efforts, the protests at the Capitol Saturday, and the ones that have included stalking lawmakers inside and outside their offices, are organized by groups of which Mr. Soros is an important patron. I started following the money for the “resistance” when it was born, hours after Election Day 2016. I have organized my findings in a spreadsheet I have made public. At least 50 of the largest organizations that participated as “partners” in the Jan. 21, 2017, Women’s March had received grants from Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundations or similar funds in the “House of Soros,” as his philanthropic empire was once called internally. The number of Soros-backed partners has grown to at least 80. At least 20 of the largest groups that led the Saturday anti-Kavanaugh protests have been Open Society grantees. On Saturday I also studied the fine print on the signs as protesters waved them defiantly at the Capitol and the high court. They came from a familiar list of Democratic interest groups that have received millions from Mr. Soros: the American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Center for Popular Democracy, Human Rights Campaign and on and on. MoveOn.org, a Democratic organizing and lobbying group founded with Soros money, sent its army of partisan followers regular missives that led them to a Google form to ask for train tickets and places to stay. Under a ginkgo tree on the East Lawn of the Capitol, Center for Popular Democracy field marshals put protesters through a “training” Saturday morning. “Are you ready to be arrested?” she asks. “Yes!” the crowd shouts, although one woman asks quietly: “For what?”... Rethink Media created a “social media strategy sheet” back in August for anti-Kavanaugh protesters. One talking point: “Kavanaugh was hand-picked by dark money groups and their billionaire backers.” Rethink Media is itself a Soros grantee, and Saturday’s protests and unlawful disruptions were part of a well-funded, orchestrated network that books buses, hotel rooms and churches for such agitation... What I have pieced together is an open secret but one that journalists tend to avoid. Many (including me) sympathize with the liberal causes Open Society champions. Some have been paid Open Society Fellows or grantees"
It's only bad when the Koch brothers do it

Building a Snowman

It had been snowing all night - So ......................:

8:00am I made a snowman.

8:10am A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn't make a snow woman.

8:15am So, I made a snow woman.

8:17am My feminist neighbour complained about the snow woman's voluptuous chest saying it objectified snow women everywhere.

8:20am The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.

8:22am The transgender ma..wom...person asked why I didn't just make one snow person with detachable parts.

8:25am The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.

8:28am I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white.

8:31am The Muslim gent across the road demands the snow woman wear a burqa.

8:40am The Police arrive saying someone has been offended.

8:42am The feminist neighbour complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needs to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.

8:43am The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction.

8:45am TV news crew from the ABC shows up. I am asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, "Snowballs" and am now called a sexist.

9:00am I'm on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.

9:10am I am asked if I have any accomplices. My children are taken by social services.

9:29am Far left protesters offended by everything are marching down the street demanding for me to be beheaded.

Moral: There is no moral to this story.

It's just the world in which we live today and it is going to get worse.

Links - 24th November 2018 (1)

Increased responsibility could lead to decreased sexual activity among women - "In Sub-Saharan Africa, women who are empowered to make household decisions tend to have sex less often"
So much for telling men to support feminism to improve their sex lives

Can’t Enter Uni Because of Daddy’s Bad Social Credit - The Blacklist Story That’s Got Weibo Talking

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Institution of Marriage - "‘If you have a contract, one party can't unilaterally walk away from that contract unless there are terms in the contract which allow that person to do so, without incurring a penalty. Why should that be different with marriage?... ‘A marriage that's already died’... Isn't it a matter of simple justice that the side that wants to basically break that solemn and permanent binding commitment must give good cause... basically desertion, unreasonable behavior, or adultery’...
'If you have children, before you have children, you should make a commitment and you should regard that commitment as the most important commitment in your life, and you shouldn't break it unless there is a very good reason for doing so… your responsibilities to yourself, I'm afraid, have to be put miles further down the list... if you don't take responsibility for them, who does? We do. The rest of us pick up the tab and the tab currently for family breakdown is running at 48 billion pounds a year'...
‘The idea of fault has actually been eatier [?] lately. It has become from that point quote easier. And yet we are hearing there is so much distress it has to be made even easier. This is a ratchet. This is a ratchet by family lawyers who have gone back for decades to basically remove meaning from marriage so everyone will level playing field.’"

There’s No Perfect Transcription App, But Otter Is Getting There - "The free app, which launched on iOS, Android, and the web in February, records audio and converts speech to text on the fly using voice recognition algorithms. It also synchronizes the audio with the text during playback, so you can tap on any word to hear exactly what was being said at the time"
Otter is awesome

Why Does Having a Son Reduce the Likelihood of Divorce? - "violent men and sexually promiscuous people are more likely to have sons... a man’s mate value is largely determined by his wealth, status, and power, whereas a woman’s mate value is largely determined by her youth and physical attractiveness. This means that the father has to make sure that his son will inherit his wealth, status, and power, regardless of how much or how little of these resources he has"

Why Is eHarmony So Successful? - "they select their members very carefully, and only admit those who are very committed (or desperate; if anyone who chooses to join eHarmony is truly desperate to get married, then it can potentially and partially explain why it produces such a high proportion of all marriages in the US). If Postrel is right, then it means that eHarmony is successful for exactly the same reasons that strict, conservative churches and college fraternities and sororities are successful – extremely high initial cost of membership."

Why Strict Churches Are Strong on JSTOR - "Strictness makes organizations stronger an more attractive because it reduces free riding. It screens out members who lack commitment and and stimulates participation among those who remain. Rational choice theory thus explains the success of sect, cults, and conservative denominations without recourse to assumptions of irrationality, abnormality, or misinformation. The theory also predicts differences between strict and lenient groups, distinguishes between effective and counterproductive demands, and demonstrates the need to adapt strict demands in response to social change."

How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 53 Countries - "We present results from the first large-scale international survey on time preference, conducted in 53 countries. All countries exhibit hyperbolic discounting patterns, i.e., the immediate future is discounted more than far future. We also observe higher heterogeneity for shorter time horizons, consistent with the pattern reviewed by Frederick, Loewenstein, and O’Donoghue (2002). Cultural factors as captured by the Hofstede cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 1991) contribute significantly to the variation of time discounting, even after controlling for economic factors, such as GDP, inflation rate and growth rate. In particular, higher levels of Uncertainty Avoidance are associated with stronger hyperbolic discounting, whereas higher degrees of Individualism and Long Term Orientation predict stronger tendency to wait for larger payoffs. We also find the waiting tendency is correlated with innovation, environmental protection, crediting rating, and body mass index at country level after controlling for county wealth. These results help us to enhance the understanding of differences across financial markets and economic behavior worldwide."
Not all cultures are the same

The today and tomorrow of kids: Time preferences and educational outcomes of children - "boys are more impatient than girls and black children are more impatient than white children. Black boys have the highest discount rates of all groups. Most importantly, we show that impatience has a direct correlation with behavior that is predictive of economic success. An increase of one standard deviation in the discount rate is associated with an increase in the number of disciplinary referrals that a child has the following school year by 14%. Our results suggest that impatience might play an important role in determining the success of performance incentive programs for school children."
Of course, one could just blame racism (but somehow not sexism)

Che Guevara and the West - "The 100 million victims of communism deserve better... His image is ubiquitous in the West — adorning the shirts and bags of an affluent but historically illiterate generation. Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, was spotted wearing a Che t-shirt few years ago. This year’s “Icons” collection by Belstaff (an Italian clothing company) contains a “Che Guevara replica jacket.” Che Guevara, as Alvaro Vargas Llosa shows in The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, was a megalomaniac and a murderer. Embarrassingly for the young idealists sporting his image, he was also a racist, a homophobe and an anti-Semite... Communism has so far escaped an appropriate degree of moral opprobrium for several reasons... The complicity of the current governing and intellectual elites in most of Central and Eastern Europe in the perpetuation of communism... Some, like the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, were Soviet spies. Others, like the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, were ordinary communist party members. While the degree of their complicity with communism varies, these men (and women) have been morally compromised. Absolute condemnation of communism, in other words, would amount to condemnation of their past behavior. Few people have the courage publicly to admit their mistakes. Most prefer to justify their actions or to forget them. Unfortunately, many of the Western intellectuals who promoted communist ideas and minimized communist crimes have never recanted. Driven by naïve idealism and loathing of Western imperfections, they embraced a utopian vision of a society free of inequities between classes, races and genders; a society free of profit, greed and war. The more Western democracies tried to overcome their shortcomings, the more did the Western idealists trust the empty rhetoric of communism. In the end, the only equality that communism achieved was that of a breadline and that of a mass grave. Che Guevara symbolizes communism like no other. His image, like his beliefs, belongs in the dustbin of history."

When I ordered a 42-INCH TV I wasn't expecting a DWARF TRANSVESTITE - "I thought Raoul was a brand name. So I filled in the form and paid my money. When the doorbell rang the next day I was excited but it was a tiny wee bloke in a dress who said he was Raoul and I could do anything I wanted to him. He wasn't even a good tranny - he had a beard and hairy legs. I phoned trading standards but they didn't believe me so I thought I'd get my money's worth and we did some hand stuff"

Helicopter jailbreak gangster captured in France after 3-month hunt - "A gangster who made a Hollywood-style helicopter prison break was arrested in northern France early Wednesday after three months on the run, at times hiding under a burqa to get around... He has cited movie baddies such as Tony Montana in "Scarface" as an inspiration and said he discovered his "calling" at the age of 12."

Researchers Identify Hundreds of 'Selfie Deaths' From Media Reports - "between October 2011 and November 2017 there were English-language media reports of at least 259 separate “selfie deaths” in 137 separate incidents. The leading cause of death identified from the reports was drowning, but there were also numerous incidents involving transportation (including being struck by trains), falls, and fires. Less common causes of selfie-related deaths included electrocution, firearms, and animals... The vast majority of the deaths involved those aged 10-29. It also noted that roughly three-fourths of the incidents involved males, whose tendency towards stereotypically masculine risky behavior is well-documented... India had the highest number of deaths, followed by Russia, the United States, and Pakistan."

Twitter Blacklists Popular 'Wired Sources' News Account - "Wired Sources, a popular conservative news aggregation account whose slogan is “They ignore it? We report it,” has been banned from Twitter. The last tweet Wired Sources made before the ban was a video of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) admitting that the Democrat Party’s call for an FBI investigation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh was an “opening” to block him from the Supreme Court... “News outlets are being banned on Twitter in broad daylight, but at least we can rest assure that CNN will track down the guy who made the CNN gif because mocking CNN is a threat to the ‘Free Press’”... Twitter’s actions, in this case, do not follow the promise of CEO Jack Dorsey to Sean Hannity to be more transparent."

Talyors Hill riot: Victoria Police under fire for making no arrests of Sudanese rioters in Melbourne - "The community terrorised by warring Sudanese gangs has reacted with fury amid revelations police 'tactically' chose not to arrest the rampaging perpetrators... The riot squad broke up the two groups, who bragged police 'can't touch us', abused locals as 'white trash' and threatened to ransack their homes. Metro Commander Tim Hansen said arresting the youths was never the priority of police, even when officers were pelted with rocks... Victoria Police has come under fire from locals and the wider Melbourne community for not making any arrests, with many arguing officers are 'running scared of African gangs'."
Maybe this is why they show up in the crime statistics less than the "racist" "far right" thinks

Unemployment rate falls to 49-year low
So much for Trump bringing about the end of the world

Friday, November 23, 2018

Links - 23rd November 2018 (2)

Primary teachers disproportionately white, Irish and Catholic - "The majority of trainee primary school teachers are white, Irish and Catholic and do not reflect our diverse population, new research has found. Dr Manuela Heinz and Dr Elaine Keane, from the school of education in NUI Galway, have carried out the first comprehensive and nationwide study in Ireland which explores the socio-demographic backgrounds of entrants to primary teacher education programmes. According to the Central Statistics Office, 11.6 per cent of the population identify as non-Irish, while 82.2 per cent of the population identify as white Irish. However, some 99 per cent of trainee teachers identified as white Irish and 100 per cent of them said English or Irish was their first language. The research found trainee teachers claiming Irish nationality only are “significantly overrepresented”compared to the general population. The top 10 non-Irish nationalities in the State in 2016 were people from Poland, the UK, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France and Germany."
How come no one complains they are disproportionately female?
Apparently they want more Poles teaching in English even though it's not their native language

Conventional Farms Are Better for Environment than Organic Farms - "Organic food isn't tastier or healthier than conventional food. And no matter what Mom and Pop say, organic farms use pesticides. Lots of them. And now, a new study in Nature Sustainability says that gigantic, high-yield "corporate" farms are better for the environment than Mom and Pop's organic one."

US ends diplomatic visas for UN same-sex partners - "The US has announced it will deny diplomatic visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations employees. The change went into effect on Monday, giving partners currently in the US until 31 December to leave, get married or otherwise change their visa... the US Mission to the UN lauded the change as a step towards equality, saying "same-sex spouses of US diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses", US media report. But critics have called the move unfair to homosexual partners, given a large number of countries do not recognise same-sex marriage... "Couples already inside of the United States could go to city hall and get married. But they could potentially be exposed to prosecution if they return to a country that criminalises homosexuality or same-sex marriages.""
So much for wanting equality

The Rise of Netflix Competitors Has Pushed Consumers Back Toward Piracy - "after years of declines, BitTorrent usage and piracy is on the rise again. The culprit: an increase in exclusivity deals that force subscribers to hunt and peck among a myriad of streaming services to actually find the content they’re looking for."
Competition isn't always good

Koreas begin clearing landmines from heavily fortified border - "When the work is completed, guard posts and weapons will also be removed, leaving unarmed troops stationed in the area as part of measures to manage tensions along the border... According to South Korean officials, the number of North Korean defectors to the South has fallen since Mr Kim came to power seven years ago. Relations between the North and the South - who are still technically at war despite the end of the Korean War in 1953 - have markedly improved in recent months."
Trump haters can't continue to claim that there hasn't been any improvement at all, so they will just claim that Trump didn't contribute to any positive changes (while continuing to blame him for any bad things)

Parents worried about their teens getting tattoos: Study - "According to a poll conducted in USA, 78% of parents had a clear answer when asked how they would react if their own teen wanted a tattoo- absolutely not. However, another 1 in 10 parents thought a tattoo would be okay as a reward, to mark a special occasion or if the tattoo could be hidden... Roughly half of the parents said that they were very concerned about negative health effects, such as infection, scarring or transmission of diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV, through unsanitary needles. Some of them were also very concerned that employers might judge or stereotype their teen unfavorably if they had a tattoo, while 24 percent were very concerned that a tattoo would reflect badly on the parents themselves. The most common concern among 68 percent of parents was future regret... 32% of parents had a tattoo themselves... parents polled strongly in support of state laws requiring parental consent for tattoos for children under 18 years."

Parliament's statue of Cromwell becomes latest memorial hit by 'rewriting history' row - "A bitter row has broken out between historians after calls for the statue of Oliver Cromwell in front of the Houses of Parliament to be taken down. Jeremy Crick, a social historian from Staffordshire, compared Crowell- who led the Parliamentary forces against the King in the English Civil War - to the Taliban in Afghanistan for his anti-religious zeal and said there should be no place for him outside the Palace of Westminster. His call follows numerous campaigns to remove and replace statues of figures with problematic pasts, notably by students at Oxford to have a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College taken down for his part in the white colonisation and exploitation of southern Africa."
First they came for the Confederate statues

Women will only be jailed for serious crimes, Justice Secretary reveals - "Women should no longer be sent to prison unless they have committed a serious crime, the Justice Secretary says today, as he unveils a "step change" in the way the justice system deals with female offenders."
Equality means men go to prison, but not women
Addendum: Male privilege!

Costa Coffee advert banned for criticising avocado breakfasts - "An advert for Costa Coffee has been banned for urging customers to buy a bacon roll rather than avocados... Two listeners complained that the ad, which aired in June, discouraged people from opting for fresh fruit... Costa said its ad played on the "frustration and unpredictability of the avocado"."
The UK!

Final Boss Form — This is by far the greatest thing I’ve found in a... - "This is by far the greatest thing I’ve found in a junkyard... SOMEONE ACTUALLY GOT SHOT WHILE DRIVING THEIR DORA THE EXPLORER CAR IN CLARKSVILLE TENNESSEE!"

A Penthouse Made for Instagram - The New York Times - "The 2,400-square-foot space — which rents for $15,000 a month — was designed as a backdrop for Instagram stars... There is also the “rah-rah-Instagram-slash-feminist-wall,” an area filled with photographs of Instagram influencers and messages of female empowerment."

What every business manager should know about algorithm audits - "since those algorithms is dependent on a training data set generated by a human team, they could potentially amplify bias and discrimination, instead of correcting for it. AI is only as good as the data that powers it. If biased data is fed into an algorithm - discriminatory results will follow... The idea behind audit, including algorithm audit, is relatively simple: to examine the inputs, outputs and outcomes in a relatively scientific way. The purpose is to ensure that they are consistent with each other, and with the intention behind the system. In practice, of course, this may be harder to achieve. Some algorithms are relatively easy to audit, like for instance algorithms that use decision trees or logistic regression techniques. Their weights and input variables can easily be observed. and auditing this type of algorithms will include examining the data flows, reviewing assumptions and model weights, where possible, and checking outcomes. Many machine learning algorithms, like for instance deep neural networks are black-boxes by nature, and much harder to audit. It is extremely difficult to look inside those algorithms to establish why a certain result was returned. To address this issue, researchers are exploring ways to make these systems give some approximation of their workings to engineers and end users, and business managers may need to decide whether the usefulness of the algorithm outweighs the concerns about explaining its decisions when necessary."

Girl’s racist poem sparks row in southwestern Germany - "Fourteen-year-old Ida Marie Müller, daughter of Nicole Höchst, performed a poem widely condemned as racist in front of an audience of 100 spectators in Speyer, southwestern Germany. The poem included a reference to a stabbing carried out by an immigrant. Despite the girl receiving the loudest applause, organisers disqualified her... The competition was part of an anti-racism initiative for teenagers hosted by the Speyer Youth Council, reports the Junge Freiheit newspaper. When another participant was announced the winner, some members of the audience responded with loud jeers... Her mother posted messages of support for her daughter on social media, but also shared pictures of the outside of her house, which has been sprayed with anti-AfD graffiti. "Modern Nazis smear other people's houses," she wrote.
The 14-year old's poem included lyrics such as:
"From far away the man fell into the hands of traffickers, with no passport and a mobile phone. He arrived in our hallowed German land. Because he can't get a lady, he helped himself to one with a knife.""
Maybe if she had stuck to condemning German people, she would've won

Is It O.K. to Press Your Spouse to Have a Vasectomy Before You Ditch Him? - The New York Times - "she was planning to leave her husband but was waiting for him to get a vasectomy. She said she knew she’d have to hold his hand through it to make sure it happened. Once the procedure was done, she planned to break the news that she was going to end the marriage. I was dumbfounded and told her that I was concerned that she had chosen to pressure her husband to have a vasectomy before letting him know that she was ending the marriage. She said that she had been warning him for years that she was planning to leave and so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Furthermore, she felt that he could barely manage to parent the children they had and that she didn’t want him to be distracted by more kids. She later reported that when she told her husband of her decision to end the marriage for good, he told her that he was upset to learn this after having had the vasectomy and that he believed it would hurt his chances of finding a new partner. Her response was that she was pretty sure that women weren’t going to be interested in having children with someone his age anyway (he’s middle-aged). This woman is employed by an organization dedicated to reproductive choice and plans to work as a counselor. I have been troubled about what she told me for months and have considered disclosing the information to the organization...
What she did is not just immoral but also in contravention of her employer’s mission. You might worry that her failure to respect the reproductive autonomy of her husband derives from a generalized contempt for the reproductive autonomy of others. But there’s a significant body of research in social psychology suggesting that our conduct in one type of situation often doesn’t generalize to others. You can be an honest broker and a dishonest husband. That someone has done something awful in the context of a difficult marriage, then, doesn’t prove her to be an awful person in every other respect; and it certainly doesn’t establish that she’d be unable to discharge her professional obligations"
So presumably liberals can't use the 'he said something vaguely related to his job, so that shows he can't do his job properly' (e.g. he once made an off-colour joke about women, therefore he can't be a family court judge) argument anymore to take down people they don't like

China Censors Bad Economic News Amid Signs of Slower Growth - The New York Times - "China has long made it clear that reporting on politics, civil society and sensitive historical events is forbidden. Increasingly, it wants to keep negative news about the economy under control, too... The scrutiny over economic news adds to a broader pattern of the tightening of control over media since President Xi Jinping came into power in 2012. Particularly online, the Chinese government has centralized and beefed up regulatory agencies that monitor content. Recently, the agencies have come down harder on entertainment news and celebrity gossip, in addition to political and social issues."

Scandal school guarded by barbed wire

Google Translated from the Swedish Taggtråd och grindar vaktar hela Värnhemsskolan (Skandalskolan som vaktas av taggtråd):

Addendum: Summarised as: "Swedish School That Received “Peace Prize” For Accepting Most Refugees – Now a War Zone Surrounded by Barbed Wire"

Scandal school guarded by barbed wire
6 Feb 2017

Criminals trying to recruit students. Drug dealing. Violence between different groups of people.
Värnhemsskolan in central Malmö has suffered so much problems that order guards and barbed wire were put in.
Welcome to the school that was first closed off for fights and then the King served the Nobel Prize.

2015, the Värnhemsskolan will receive a peace prize for receiving most newly arrived students in Malmö.

A year later, the school is forced to close acute for two days due to a major failure between students.

What was wrong?

On Friday, November 18, last year, a boy is cursed in the Värnhemsskolan dining room. He is angry that some guys of other nationality looked at his girlfriend. He confrontes them and soon breaks out chaos and fights between newly arrived students from the Middle East and Afghanistan whose relationship at school has long been tense. More rushes up the stairs to the dining room to participate in the noise. The strike is also spread outside the school, where a student is hunted by several people and is so cruelly accused that the ambulance must later drive him to the hospital.

In total, three fights break out at different times that afternoon. In the end, the school management decides in consultation with the police that the school should be closed.

About two thousand students are forced to go home. The education administration goes one step further and decides that the Värnhems school will be closed on monday as well. Teachers must take back the check to ensure student safety.

Rector Barbro Willners will be surprised. She thinks the school should be open on Monday.

"It really belongs to the unusual closure of the school, I have never been involved," she says.

Guards are entered. But the unrest continues anyway.

Barbed wire and order guards

On January 11 this year, two orderkeepers pushed the assault alarm since sixteen years old and an eighteen-year-old pushed them and threatened with violence inside the school. When the police arrive, students will resist. The youngest of them measures a blow to one of the police.

Throughout the last year - and until a few weeks ago - about thirty police reports were made about events that occurred on or just outside of school. Everything from theft of reading plates to abuse. As late as January 19, the school's guards watched an electric gun brought by a seventeen-year-old student.

After all, teachers now get an alarm on the mobile as soon as fights are detected. A text message is sent to a large number of teachers who jump to the reception to find out where the battle occurs.

Barbed wire, order guards and an aura of facility.

Here's what the future's school looks like, think several teachers we meet. But already today it's reality at Värnhemsskolan. One of the teachers tells colleagues at a nearby elementary school also want orderkeepers and locked school to create some kind of security.

Pupils played IS execution

As we speak, Barbro Willner comes out in his car. She brakes and looks. The editor does not like us at school, where we interviewed her the day before. "It's not interesting," she says the first time we tell us to write about what's happening at school.

- What are you doing here again? she is spreading now.

Barbro Willners does not want bad publicity.

Värnhemsskolen is of course not alone in having problems. In 2016, a primary school in Malmö was reported when students played IS execution and took a grip on a girl.

Parents at another Malmö school complained about sexually sexually harassed sex workers.

The lack of security is many schools' sake. While Sweden is discussing Pisa's results, Skolinspektionen has received record recordings throughout the country. Primarily for violations. Over nineteen percent more notifications than 2015, shows figures that the Authority will publish in late February, but as we have already learned. The number is almost twice as many as five years ago. It can of course be because more and more people know that it is possible to make reports.

However, the majority of criticisms against schools where the School Inspectorate carries out supervision in the municipalities is about lack of security. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why school has been about immigration as the most important electoral question, according to Novus measurements.

Not proud of what he sees

At Värnhemsskolan's restaurant line, for example, the star chef Tareq Taylor plugged, students prepare to serve lunch. Today a company of about thirty guests have already booked a table. For lunch, pancake with fried onion, fried egg, ice cream and boiled potatoes is served. For dessert pavlova or churros with chocolate sauce.

Most of the students in this program have grown up in Sweden. Almost everyone gets jobs. This is the school's flagship. The part of the school that the management wants us to stick to. The day after our visit, the three-step students will help the finalists in the industry's big competition, Chef of the Year. The twins will put the cutlery and carry the food to the jury, including Prince Carl Philip.

We leave the restaurant section and go for a walk inside the school. Everyone who walks here has a tag that opens doors to only the school parts where the student has his lessons. On the way to the library are pictures of the MFF legendaries Zlatan and Bosse Larsson.

At the new school entrance your students were referred to, since the main entrance closed because of all the fuss, the student Ali Lazem looks at the barbed wire and the guards. He points out that he is not proud of what he sees.

"It is up to you"

The Nineteen, who is chairman of the school's student union, believes that it is up to the students themselves if they want to succeed or not.

- The students are welcome to Värnhemsskolan, no one is forcing them here. That's what you want to achieve that's important. You have all the possibilities. You can serve on Nobel. Would you like to do that, would you like to serve Nobel and have good grades? It is up to you.

When Ali Lazem talks about Nobel, it is about how he and several classmates on the restaurant program served on the Nobel dinner in December. It was only a week after the school closed because of the big noise in the dining room. He himself had to serve the king on the honorary table.

"We went from nothing to anything in a week. It is great to serve at the Nobel Peace and to be so close to the royal family. In addition, I was one of the few immigrants there, he says.

However, although Ali Lazem has immigrant backgrounds, there are major differences between the situation of his newly arrived students.

In a short period of time, Värnhemsskolan grows from eight to 35 classes for students who have recently come to Sweden.

Internally it becomes clear that the school is not involved. Several teachers report that they are worried about an increased polarization. In addition, criminals have gone to school to recruit students. Both staff and students testify that criminals have come to new arrivals on a number of occasions and tried to lure them to commit crimes, such as storing and longing dangers.

In November 2016, the school's management will contact the Malmö City Security Department.

Too late, it turns out.

"Thought that we were guarding was the solution to everything"

Several students who lived in Sweden for just a few years report that the noise at Värnhemsskolen escalated after the tougher asylum rules were introduced this summer. Including time-limited residence permits, reduced family reunification and an agreement with Afghanistan to enforce thousands of unaccompanied people. Students' insecurity increased when they saw how one by one of the friends got a refusal. Many did not feel well and did not manage the school.

Teacher Fredrik Björkman, who is also the Ombudsman for the Teachers' Union, agrees.

"There was a large group who did not know if they were going to stay. They lived in limbo and would work with others who also lived in limbo. It's hard to teach someone who's traumatized and not getting help, acting out or locking.

Fredrik Björkman's work has become increasingly difficult. His job has been transformed - from learning what he is educated for - to doing the work of curators and doctors.

- Schools should soon recognize that this is difficult, we need help and can not do it ourselves. But school is a competitive activity, you need to have new students in school and the system encourages not to fully tell about the problems and needs that exist.

Even a man who has been a guardian at school before the management switched to order guards with greater powers, said the school leadership had not checked.

"The management thought we were guarding the solution to everything. But it provoked only some students more.

Religious conflicts at school

Both he and several students we talk to tell us that the noise has had many different causes. Sometimes there have been settlements, trouble about money money. Religious conflicts are not uncommon but fights between different peoples are mainly due to "we and them" -mentality that occurs when many belong to their own group.

Fredrik Björkman wants the school to get money based on the social problems that exist. Not just what programs the school has.

"Money is not enough when social problems arise. The problem with the free choice of school is that if the municipality raises money to Värnhemsskolan, they must also raise the student money to independent schools. Schools can apply for extras but it takes a lot of time. Therefore, resource allocation is skewing today, he says.

Värnhemsskolan is a proud and attractive vocational school. Malmo's oldest. After the high school 2011, vocational programs fell into attractiveness. Then the school lost a lot of students. At the same time, more and more young new arrivals came to Sweden. The school decided to build a starting school from where new arrivals later could be passed on to other schools and programs.

But the number of classes grew and other schools did not take responsibility.

"We have taken great responsibility. We are happy to do that too, but it has meant that we have not been able to introduce everyone correctly, "says Rector Barbro Willners.

The teachers disappeared

Instead of returning quickly to programs and other schools, many have remained at Värnhemsskolan. Today, half the school is starting school, with young people who have traveled throughout Europe.

In the autumn of 2015, the upper secondary school had difficulty in retaining teachers who taught Swedish as a second language when independent teachers and others invited each other. Värnhemsskolans Swedish as second language teachers could receive fifty thousand kronor more if they went to a primary school. The teachers disappeared and it became chaotic.

For example, pupils were placed in other municipalities without the Malmö school being told something.

Below the barbed wire at the entrance to the school is a student unable to enter through a high swing gate with a card lock.

- What are you reading? asks a uniformed guard on the other side.

The pupil, who has a pass card in his hand, does not seem to speak Swedish and has difficulty understanding.

- Swedish? Language? trying the guard. Are you sure you're coming into this gate?

It turns out she went in and out again a few minutes ago. In order for students not to let in unauthorized persons, it takes a few minutes for the card to be used again. She can stand out there for a while.

Links - 23rd November 2018 (1)

Zahid says other races prejudiced against Malays, will not open up Umno - "Zahid pointed out, however, this did not mean that Umno was "racist, biased, prejudice," nor a threat to other races. "Malays do not oppress or sideline other races, nor do we forcibly take the rights of other races. "Instead, we have proven that we act on 'Malay wisdom' and base our moral compass on fairness and goodwill," he said. However, Zahid said it was other ethnic groups that were biased and prejudiced towards Malays. "Malays are accused of being stupid, supposedly lazy and being too reliant on subsidy and government aid. "More saddening is when our race is described as a beggar race, and those who are in the government today are willing to see their own race being insulted," he said. The Umno president added that as a result of this prejudice, Malays find it hard to find work in private companies owned by non-Malays. "Malays still fail to control the economy due to discrimination""
Given that even Malay companies prefer Chinese workers...
Perhaps 'discrimination' exists for reasons beyond mere prejudice

Woman who does not understand rape blasted on Imgur - "'I've had consensual sex & regretted it later. I thought I wanted to do it. Made a mistake. Wasn't rape at all,' the woman named Leann tweeted in 2015. However, a woman known as Jesse boldly disagreed with her, responding: 'No, if you regret it then you did not fully 100 per cent consent and that is rape.' She continued: 'You may not want to admit you were raped because it's very traumatic but you were raped.' Unsurprisingly, the woman's skewed logic received plenty of backlash, especially when Leann made it clear that her experience with sexual regret was not rape... 'As a woman who was legitimately raped, I hope that woman is banished to the darkest, cruelest depths of hell,' CrazyMrowLady wrote"

Why the UK has such cheap food - "in relative terms, the British grocery shop remains one of the cheapest in the world. Britons spend an average of 8% of their total household expenditure on food to eat at home. This is less than any other country apart from the US and Singapore, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor... The proportion of household income spent on food has more than halved over the past 60 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), while spending on housing costs and leisure activities has doubled"

Who are the children hoping to earn £24 an hour?
Bangladeshi 25 year old men with degrees earn more than white ones. Black African and Indian 25 year old women earn more than white ones

What British people think about Brexit now - "Before last year's general election, polls that asked people how they would vote if the referendum question was asked again often found a small majority in favour of Leave. But since then, nearly every poll has found a small majority saying that they would vote Remain. However, there is no consistent evidence suggesting that support for Remain has subsequently increased further"

Erdogan's Turkey - "The polarisation deepened as Erdogan was shaken by leaks of phone conversations later in 2013 that appeared to implicate him and his inner circle in corruption allegations, which he fiercely denied. He stoked the old Ottoman-era mentality of a Turkey under siege from its enemies, illustrated by the old adage “the only friend of a Turk is a Turk”. There was a new conspiracy theory every week as the prime minister increasingly turned to arch-loyalists, while expelling or sidelining members of his own party who dared to dissent. Freedom of expression was heavily squeezed. The progress of Erdogan's early years receded, as critical journalists, writers or artists were tarnished as “traitors”. Turkey regained its record as the world's leading jailer of journalists... journalists have been variously charged with “terrorism propaganda” or “insulting the president”... After the coup of 1971, she was forced to flee the country with her husband, facing imprisonment and possible torture for being leftists. “That time was still better than now,” she says, “because there was a judiciary you could trust and civil courts you could rely on. Now they are all under pressure and there's no separation of powers as there should be in a democracy. I really fear for the future of my country.”... In the last week of the campaign, the governors of Istanbul and Ankara banned two large “no” rallies, claiming they couldn’t guarantee security. “Yes” rallies, however, went ahead – and free buses were provided to transport those who wanted to come... In some places “no” campaigners have been attacked and some people have been sacked for publicising their opposition... “Democracy is like a train, Erdogan once famously said. “You get off once you have reached your destination.”"

How Recep Tayyip Erdogan Made Turkey Authoritarian Again - "Erdogan’s widening purge and crackdown are just the logical conclusion of a story that has been unfolding for the better part of a decade. Turkey’s democracy has not been lost—there was no democracy for it to lose."

My experience of intimate partner violence, trapped in Turkey | Lacy MacAuley - "I am a radical activist based in Washington DC. I fell in love with an energetic, charismatic activist... I decided to return to Turkey with the promise of love driving me forward. I couldn’t have known things would turn sour. I thought that even if this were not going to develop into a deeper relationship, it would be an opportunity to learn more about this Muslim country during an interesting political moment, and I could do some work around refugees... Then came our first fight. I had wanted to interview a local woman for an article on Syrian refugees. He did not approve. He knew the woman and did not like her, so he strictly forbade me from speaking with her. After I questioned his rationale, he yelled and stormed out of the room to go smoke a cigarette. I just stood in the middle of the room not knowing what to do. Of course, as a Western woman, no one had ever forbidden me from speaking with anyone else... Unwanted sex? Rape? All the time. He did not stop to determine whether I consented to sex. Several times, he turned off my wifi and lied about it, a modern-day form of gaslighting. He verbally criticized me for using social media, my main link to the rest of my life back in the US, and tried to discourage me from using it. He forced me to unfriend one Turkish man on Facebook, and wanted me to unfriend many more... He would look at my social media profiles and rebuke me for my commentary. At first, I genuinely questioned my perspective, and wondered if I should take his words into account. After all, he is Turkish and I am not. But I soon realized that I did not share his opinions on Turkey’s domestic or foreign policy. I stood my ground on my right to free speech... I couldn’t have guessed that this man, who said he cared about women’s rights, who spoke of how many activist friends that he had, who had participated in many protests in the past, would turn on me, and that he would become so angry and irrational. One-third of men surveyed in Turkey in 2013 stated that it is “occasionally necessary” to commit acts of violence against women, and 28 percent stated that violence could be used to “discipline women.”... I honestly think that one of the reasons that I have been silent about this for two months has been that I did not want to feed into the narrative of Muslim men being aggressive. I didn’t want to fuel hatred or racism. But silence breeds complicity, and am now telling this story in order to heal... How can a radical activist and a feminist find herself in a relationship like this?... about 42 percent of women in Turkey report intimate partner violence... I tried to post this article on a blog for Personal Domestic Violence Stories, but the story was not accepted, perhaps because of political content"

Effective vs. Pathological Altruism - "Certain kinds of aid to poor countries can have tangible benefits in the short run, but long run costs, such as an expanding population in poor countries that is more likely to suffer the ravages of famine, pestilence, and war. Unless we take a sufficiently long-run view of the effects of alternative institutions, altruism can become pathological."

Foreign Aid, Fertility and Population Growth:Evidence from Africa - "This article investigates the relationship between foreign aid and population growth in sub-Saharan Africa. The work considers population growth rate and a directly related to fertility demographic indicator – total fertility rate. Using a panel of 43 African countries over the last four decades of the 20th century, it demonstrates the positive association between foreign aid and population growth and suggests that foreign aid affects population growth primarily through its effect on fertility. These findings suggest that the appreciation of the demographic effect of foreign aid can have important implications for the design of policies regarding to foreign aid for presently developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa."
Foreign aid creates the need for more foreign aid

US Food Aid and Civil Conflict - "We study the effect of U.S. food aid on conflict in recipient countries. Our analysis exploits time variation in food aid shipments due to changes in U.S. wheat production and cross-sectional variation in a country's tendency to receive any U.S. food aid. According to our estimates, an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence and duration of civil conflicts, but has no robust effect on inter-state conflicts or the onset of civil conflicts. We also provide suggestive evidence that the effects are most pronounced in countries with a recent history of civil conflict."
If food aid increases civil conflicts, is the right thing to do not to give it?

The Science Is In: Greater Equality Makes Societies Healthier and Richer - "there is a very strong tendency for ill health and social problems to occur less frequently in the more equal countries... To emphasize that the prevalence of poor health and social problems in rich countries really is related to inequality rather than to average living standards, we show in Figure 2 the same Index of Health and Social Problems, but this time in relation to average incomes (national income per person). It shows that there is no clear trend toward better outcomes in richer countries. The evidence from the United States confirms the international picture. Across states, health and social problems are related to income inequality, but not to average income levels... Across whole populations, rates of mental illness are three times as high in the most unequal societies compared with the least unequal societies. Similarly, in more unequal societies, people are almost ten times as likely to be imprisoned and two or three times as likely to be clinically obese, and murder rates may be many times higher. The reason why these differences are so big is, quite simply, because the effects of inequality are not confined just to the least well-off: instead, they affect the vast majority of the population... in the data there is also a clear warning for those who want low public expenditure and taxation: if you fail to avoid high inequality, you will need more prisons and more police. You will have to deal with higher rates of mental illness, drug abuse, and every other kind of problem. If keeping taxes and benefits down leads to wider income differences, the ensuing social ills may force you to raise public expenditure to cope."

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Links - 22nd November 2018 (2)

Association of Cannabis With Cognitive Functioning in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. - "Associations between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in cross-sectional studies of adolescents and young adults are small and may be of questionable clinical importance for most individuals. Furthermore, abstinence of longer than 72 hours diminishes cognitive deficits associated with cannabis use. Although other outcomes (eg, psychosis) were not examined in the included studies, results indicate that previous studies of cannabis in youth may have overstated the magnitude and persistence of cognitive deficits associated with use. Reported deficits may reflect residual effects from acute use or withdrawal."
In other words, the harms of pot have been exaggerated

4 in 5 Singaporeans confident in spotting fake news but 90 per cent wrong when put to the test: Survey - "Four in five Singaporeans say that they can confidently spot fake news, but when put to the test, about 90 per cent mistakenly identified at least one out of five fake headlines as being real."
Interestingly, a gang of rabid, brainless anti-PAP folks didn't like this article and dismissed Ipsos as non-credible (maybe because OP was skeptical about it so they followed his lead, or maybe because it was the Straits Times and so had to be wrong). I was expecting them to agree and slam "sinkies" since they were dumb enough to vote PAP (or 70% of them, at least)

Why American transit is not improving - "The most common myth on why Americans doesn’t have great mass transit is that the country is too spread out, but a look at Canada quickly unravels this theory. Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver all have buses, rapid transit, and commuter rails. Though sprawling, Canada still manages to have adequate transport in all its major cities. According to the aforementioned study, Canada ridership grew significantly between 2012 and 2017"

Why Does The U.S. Hate Public Transportation? - "Republicans have aligned themselves with the perceived personal freedom of the automobile, says Scott, whereas public transport is seen as a socialist concern. Thus, right-leaning politicians vote against it, even though public transport is good for the economy... The fourth and final factor is a malaise that affects more than just U.S. public transport. We have “lost faith in the public realm,” and we no longer trust government to run public services. Individualism is the driving force behind everything, with, says Scott, the private car as its embodiment. “This thinking has made our cities less about shared experiences, and more a place of different lives and separated spaces.”"

The real reason American public transportation is such a disaster - "we pay more for transit and get far less — basically the worst of all worlds... "Compare, say, Portland to Vancouver, or Salt Lake to Edmonton, or Des Moines to Winnipeg. Culturally and economically, they're very similar cities, but in each case the Canadian city has two to five times as much transit service per capita, so there's correspondingly more ridership per capita."... Most American policymakers — and voters — see transit as a social welfare program... even some of the country's existing big cities — which had been laid out well before the car — willfully destroyed their existing transit systems, ripping out streetcar lines and building highways to speed commutes from the suburbs... there's a huge downside to viewing public transportation as welfare — it prevents local agencies from charging high enough fares to provide efficient service, effectively limiting transit to those who are too poor to drive... "In attracting riders to transit, frequency is the biggest thing, followed very closely by reliability," says King. "If you don't have those, people won't trust the system."... bus stops in the US are spaced very closely together, compared to elsewhere. Spreading them out would increase bus speed and frequency, but can be politically difficult because it's seen as harming seniors and disabled riders"

The Many Ways Europe's City-Dwellers Get to Work

Even desert city Dubai imports its sand. This is why - "While researching beach erosion in Negril, Jamaica about six years ago, scientist Pascal Peduzzi’s conversation with residents in a fishing village left him astounded. Despite the high-tech geospatial modelling and remote sensing tools he was using to survey the damage, he’d never have surmised one reason for erosion on the country’s western coastline. Locals told him about the local mafias — armed men who came to the beach in the middle of night, hauled away bags of sand and sold them for the construction of beachfront developments... Even the United Arab Emirates imported $456m worth of sand, stone and gravel in 2014, according to the UN. Despite being in the heart of the desert, imported sand built Dubai, according to Pascal. Wind-formed desert sand is too smooth for construction."

'Mate, what just happened?' Seal slaps kayaker in face with octopus

Outrage clickbait: Its Internet dominance is about to fade. - "We’ll say goodbye to this model because it will no longer be good business. The culprit? The declining effectiveness of traditional Internet advertising, for starters, and the increasingly cozy relationship, spatial and otherwise, between digital advertising and digital journalism, which will slowly but inevitably leave less room for viral outrage."
From 2015. 3 years later...

A cashless supermarket, a bunch of grapes and the growing digital divide in China’s economy - "Checkout workers rejected the money and insisted that he use his phone to pay via either WeChat Pay or Alipay, prompting the argument... Concerns about the gap in access to service in an economy of expanding e-payments prompted the central bank to issue a directive in July stating that the yuan was the country’s legal currency and no units or individuals should refuse payment by cash."

Gender differences in individual variation in academic grades fail to fit expected patterns for STEM | Nature Communications - "Fewer women than men pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), despite girls outperforming boys at school in the relevant subjects. According to the ‘variability hypothesis’, this over-representation of males is driven by gender differences in variance; greater male variability leads to greater numbers of men who exceed the performance threshold. Here, we use recent meta-analytic advances to compare gender differences in academic grades from over 1.6 million students. In line with previous studies we find strong evidence for lower variation among girls than boys, and of higher average grades for girls. However, the gender differences in both mean and variance of grades are smaller in STEM than non-STEM subjects, suggesting that greater variability is insufficient to explain male over-representation in STEM. Simulations of these differences suggest the top 10% of a class contains equal numbers of girls and boys in STEM, but more girls in non-STEM subjects."
Of course, this assumes that differences in aptitude are the only reason explaining female under-representation

Math performance in the US: boys and girls have same mean, different variance - "The present study also indicated that the variance ratio for boys and girls is inverted for Asian American students — the girls have higher variance. Thus, higher variance in boys is not always a robust finding."
I looked up the cited paper for this apparently puzzling finding - in the paper supposedly showing Asian American girls have higher variance than Asian American boys, you find that the sample size is 219 and that more males scored above the 95th percentile than females (6.27% vs 5.71%) - it is the 99th percentile where 1.37% of girls fell and 1.25% of boys did. To call this robust...

Malaysia enters race to become first in Asia to legalise medical marijuana

How Singapore’s Formula One fling with sugar daddies turned sour - "Singapore hosted an array of concerts, after-parties and events for race aficionados and revellers alike during the Formula One weekend last week. But one controversial gathering almost stole the show from the annual sporting event. A sugar daddy convention, dubbed “The Fast Lane” and supported by Malaysian “sugar dating” app Sugarbook, was held during the five-day F1-themed Sky Grande Prix promotional event at the Grand Hyatt hotel. The party brought together sugar baby and sugar daddy wannabes from the city state and from as far afield as the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and even New York."

The Conservative Myth of a Social Safety Net Built on Charity - "Over the past 30 years the public role in social insurance has taken a backseat to the idea that private institutions will expand to cover these risks. Yet our current system of workplace private insurance is rapidly falling apart... As President Hoover said in 1931, much like conservatives do today, any response to the economic crisis must “maintain the spirit of charity and mutual self-help through voluntary giving” in order for him to support it.Noble as that goal may be, it failed. The more Hoover leaned on private agencies, the more resistance he found... the Great Recession offers the perfect case study in why the voluntary sector can’t solve these problems. If people like Mike Lee are correct, then the start of the Great Recession would have been precisely the moment when private charity would have stepped up. But in fact, private giving fell as the Great Recession started. Overall giving fell 7 percent in 2008, with another 6.2 percent drop in 2009. There was only a small uptick in 2010 and 2011, even though unemployment remained very high. Giving also fell as a percentage of GDP (even as GDP shrank), from 2.1 percent in 2008 to 2.0 percent in 2009 through 2011. (The high point was 2.3 percent in 2005.)As research by Robert Reich and Christopher Wimer showed, the decline occurred with all sources and hit almost all types of nonprofits... Why didn’t this sting as badly as it could have? Because of the role the federal government played. “Automatic stabilizers,” a key policy innovation of the welfare state, were there to pick up the slack... During 2009, while private charity collapsed, automatic stabilizers expanded rapidly, from 0.1 percent of GDP to 2.2 percent of GDP—or a number roughly akin to all charitable giving in the United States... Private charity has a tendency to focus only on specific groups, particularly groups that are considered either “deserving” or similar in-groups. Indeed, in one telling, this is the entire point of private charity... Using very generous assumptions, Indiana University’s Center for Philanthropy finds that only one-third of charitable giving actually goes to the poor. Almost by definition, there will be people who need access to social insurance who will be left out of such targeted giving... a charitable foundation “is a completely irresponsible institution, answerable to nobody” that closely resembles a hereditary monarchy. Why would we put our entire society’s ability to manage the deadly risks we face in the hands of such a creature?... The public’s role in combating the Four Horsemen by providing for social insurance doesn’t kill private charity. It allows it to fully thrive"
Addendum: Someone proclaimed that he didn't trust "left leaning" sources, so here is a chart from Giving USA 2018's highlights report that shows charitable giving from 1977 to 2017, with a clear dip in total giving due to the 2001 and 2008-9 recessions - which substantiates the Atlantic's claim about recession leading to a fall in charitable giving (the opposite of what conservative/libertarian logic claims):

Estonia Backs Pro-Wall Orbán as Pope Demands Baltics Open the Borders - "Anvelt pointed to the situation regarding this summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia, which shares a border with Estonia, noting thousands of ticket holders for the event who travelled from third world nations have reportedly since made their way to Europe. “Russia itself officially said for the first time that they have lost at least 10,000 people,” Estonian Public Broadcasting reported the minister saying. “These were the exact same economic migrants from Bangladesh, [from] somewhere in Senegal and so on that were moving toward Europe.”

California becomes first state to require women on corporate boards - "The new policy will be difficult for companies to implement and violates constitutional prohibitions against discrimination"
Great way to hurt the standing of women on boards

BBC says 1 in 6 stars 'must be gay or lesbian or disabled' by 2020 - "One in six of all on-screen BBC roles must go to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or disabled people by 2020, the corporation's new diversity targets state... Fifty per cent of all on-screen and broadcasting roles will go to women, who already make up 48.5 per cent of the BBC's total workforce"

The first “social network” of brains lets three people transmit thoughts to each other’s heads

Sunderland stepdad explains Islam homework complaint - "A stepfather who slammed his 12-year-old's school for making her write a letter about 'converting to Islam' has been called a 'racist bigot' and is terrified of violent repercussions. Mark McLachlan, 43, complained to Kepier School in Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland when he found the homework task in his stepdaughter's planner. He refused to let her finish the 'letter to my family about converting to Islam', claiming it was 'brainwashing' her about the religion and did not see what it would achieve... 'My stepdaughter is coming home talking about the Prophet Muhammad and halal meat saying Islam is the religion of peace."
Of course, if the homework had been to write a letter about converting to Christianity, it would've been the teacher who would be the 'racist bigot'
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