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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Bye Bye 2018 - Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau skit from the Québec end-of-year show Bye Bye 2018

I may add a transcription later but in the meantime here's a version with an English translation

Links - 16th March 2019

Differences in Intelligence and Creativity between Tattooed and Non-Tattooed Students - "Tattooed students seem to be neither less intelligent nor more creative than other students."

Does Study Really Link Tattoos, Deviant Behavior? - "people who have four or more tats are more likely to report the regular use of marijuana, the occasional use of other illegal drugs and a history of being arrested. To a lesser degree, they were also more likely to binge drink, cheat on college work and be sexually promiscuous... the students who had just one tattoo (the "posers") were no more deviant than their peers."

1,500 private jets expected at Davos, where attendees are discussing ‘safeguarding our planet’ from climate change - "Despite global warming being one of the major issues discussed at Davos every year, some 1,500 private jets are expected this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, according to an estimate from Air Charter Service, up from 1,300 last year. “We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India and the U.S.,” Andy Christie, private jets director at ACS, said in a statement. “No other event has the same global appeal.”"

Cleopatra should be played by a black actor – but not just because it might be more historically accurate - "After the internet collectively groaned at yet another Cleopatra remake, a “whitewashing” debate began to emerge. Should Lady Gaga or Angelina Jolie, both white actors, be playing the Egyptian queen in the first place?... the answer to whether or not Cleopatra should be played by a white woman shouldn’t come from an ethnological examination of ancient Egypt.The casting should be informed by the racial and social dynamics of today... Our obsession with telling the same stories over and over again, as well as our infatuation with traditional period dramas, greatly reduces the number of parts available for BAME actors... Just to be clear; yes, I’m advocating a double standard. I’m saying that white people shouldn’t be given non-white parts, but that people of colour should be able to dramatically portray white-skinned figures."
This reveals that bitching about 'whitewashing' isn't really about violating the integrity of a role by having someone of the wrong race in it - but a cynical way to secure employment for certain demographics through explicit racism

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 213 - Dean Simonton on "The causes of scientific and artistic genius" - "great scientists tend to end up at major universities, working under distinguished mentors.In fact, one of the best predictors of whether or not you'll get a Nobel prize in some scientific field is whether you worked under a previous Nobel laureate. Well, the question is, what's causing what in that?...
Charles Darwin was trying to figure out the source of all these different species on the planet. You know, he saw all the tremendous diversity on the Galapagos Islands and he realized that the islands are very young, that had to happen relatively quickly, so how could you have all these different cinches of stuff there. And he found the solution by reading a book on political economics. A biologist has no buisness reading a book on political economics! It was Malthus's essay on population, in which Malthus argued that the population grows geometrically, whereas the food supply at best grows arithmetically. And so you're gonna end up with competition. You're gonna end up with what Darwin's word was, struggle for existence.As soon as he read that book he realized that was the key. That species produce more offspring that can possibly survive, and so that provides the engine for selection. Only those that are better adapted are gonna survive to produce their own offspring.So the point here is that he was reading something that had no relevance whatsoever to what he was working on... that is kind of antithetical to the view of this 10,000 hours thing — or, sort of, the “drudge theory.” Where you study and study and study and study and focus and focus, focus, and get rid of any superfluous hobbies, and don't play the violin or sail on a boat like Einstein used to do. You know, he used to play the violin, he used to play Mozart violin sonatas.You know, because, that's gonna be a distraction. Well, guess what? It's not. It turns out to be an essential part of being a creative genius is having that kind of breadth, and that means this could take you away from that meticulous, methodical study, study, study...
most people think that the greatest single work of Pablo Picasso is his Guernica, where he depicted the horrors of war, because of the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It's so well known. It's like archetypal. It's like the Sistine Chapel of the twentieth century.Fortunately for us, he actually saved the sketches that he did, as well as he took photographs periodically of the canvas. He actually took six separate photographs in various conditions.What's astonishing about those sketches -- and I've actually published an empirical study on this, where I content-analyzed the sketches -- the amazing thing is that, it doesn't look like he knows what he's doing. He produces ideas, and they end up falling by the wayside"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 207 - Alison Gopnik on “The wrong way to think about parenting, plus the downsides of modernity” - "the general fact of “Do you have a number of warm attentive caregivers?” that makes a difference. But the kinds of things that people think that they can consciously manipulate by, say, reading a parenting book or having certain kinds of techniques or others, there's not very much evidence if that makes much of a difference in the long run...
There's really fascinating work for instance by Eric Turkheimer who's actually a behavioral geneticist working in this field, that shows that the degree of inheritability of various kinds of features, varies depending on socioeconomic status... In a middle class environment, everyone's providing about the same amount of care, everybody's providing resources for the children. Then as I said before, the sort of small differences in parenting technique are not going to show up, and genetic differences are going to be more noticeable... those interventions aren't about “Do you let your baby sleep it out or not? Or does the baby sit in the front of the stroller or in the back of the stroller? Or do you use this parenting technique or do you use that parenting technique?” Those interventions are about “Do you have the basic resources to be able to care for children at all?” Then in those cases, you can really see rather striking long term outcomes"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 205 - Michael Webb on “Are ideas getting harder to find?” - "A kind of classic one we start with is Moore's law. So, Moore's law is this famous law that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months. This is a very well-known fact. It's amazing how straight the line is, if you plot it on a log graph over time.What people perhaps don't know quite so well is the fact that it just takes so many more researchers today to get that same level of growth that it did originally. Compared to 1970s, it takes about 20 times the number of researchers to get that same rate of progress."

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 201 - Ben Buchanan on "The Cybersecurity Dilemma" - "What's also interesting to me is one of the ways in which nations – so, not the cybersecurity research community, but nations -- resolve the attribution question, is they hack each other to see what the other sides are up to. Sometimes, in advance of being hacked themselves.Now, the New York Times reported, for example, that one of the reasons the United States was so certain, so quickly, that North Korea was the one that hacked Sony in 2014 was not just because that forensic evidence was pretty clear, which it was, but that North Korea had suffered an intrusion from the United States. That American intelligence hackers were watching the North Korean networks and watching the North Korean hackers, and saw them carry out the attack on Sony.Now, the challenge there, of course, is that, when you're hacking for attribution purposes, it animates a lot of the same risks that the security dilemma would -- that a nation suffering the intrusion doesn't think that you're hacking just for intelligence collection purposes or defensive purposes. They think you're preparing an attack. So it gets us back to square one, unfortunately, when it comes to the cybersecurity dilemma."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "Now, the Chinese authorities in Canada, they are saying this is a breach of her human rights, her arrest, and they are urging the authorities there to correct their wrong doing"
China talking about human rights hmm...

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "‘A lot of people think that stock markets are still, you know, people in red braces shouting down telephones, but they're not. 85% of all US stock trades are now done by computers. There’s no human involved, apart from the original setting up. Does that exacerbate these big market swings?’
‘I think there's a risk that it does very definitely. Because what you will find is that a lot of these funds are trend following funds. So that if they see the market going up, the algorithm will tell them all to pile in. But if the market starts going down, it will tell those funds that are able to do so either to sell and take cover or even go short and actually try and benefit from share prices going down. So it could make things fall more quickly, just as it's probably helped them rise more quickly’"

I,Hypocrite on Twitter - "No woman nominated for Best Director.
No woman nominated for Cinematography.
No woman nominated for Editing.
No woman nominated for Music.
One woman nominated for Adapted Screenplay.
One woman nominated for Original Screenplay.
My Academy fam, we must do better. #OscarNoms"
Is it possible that maybe women need to do better?"

Anti-Trump Doctor Eugene Gu Faces Allegations Of Sexual Abuse - "Dr. Eugene Gu was among those responsible for one of the most frivolous lawsuits of the year, suing President Donald Trump for blocking him on Twitter... It all started with a Twitter user who began looking into Gu’s criminal record, finding a public arrest record showing charges of false imprisonment by violence and battery of a spouse... an ex-girlfriend from after Gu’s subsequent divorce is coming forward with some allegations of her own, some of them similar... The two returned to his apartment, where she said Gu forced himself on her. Gu, by the way, is public about his support for the anti-sexual harassment “#MeToo” movement. I guess he was overcompensating for some guilt"

Eugene Gu, doctor who sued Trump and won, loses job at Vanderbilt - "A Tennessee doctor who became a social media sensation because of statements on President Donald Trump, racism and Colin Kaepernick - and who later sued the president over First Amendment rights - is losing his job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center."

How to be Happy / Creative

How to Be Happy (Ep. 345) - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"Danes also work fewer hours: on average, 27.6 hours per week, compared to 34.4 in the U.S. To Helen Russell, moving here from Britain, that was a big change.

RUSSELL: There’s no stigma to clocking off — people work mainly from 8 until 4 in offices. There’s no stigma to leaving at 4 because you’ve got to go pick up your kids from daycare, you’ve got to go make supper, or you just need to get on with your hobbies...

SACHS: The basic idea of social democracy is to pay attention to social cohesion, to provide ample social goods like healthcare available automatically for all, education at all levels available for all, vacation time available for all.

Jeff Sachs argues this strong social support in the Nordic model contributes to a number of healthy outcomes.

SACHS: The life expectancy is higher. Our obesity epidemic does not exist in those countries. Our opioid epidemic does not exist in those countries.

WIKING: There is also a high level of trust towards the government. And that goes hand in hand with the Nordic countries being at the low end when it comes to corruption, or perceived corruption. We have a different perception of the state... people in the Nordic countries will feel that the state protects us from things. The high level of social security is one element, that there is a notion that if you fall, you will be picked up. So I think we see more the state on our side, and helping us create good conditions for good lives.
Scandinavia also gets high marks on interpersonal social trust... Most people belong to at least a few clubs or community groups; they spend a lot of time on fitness and outdoor activities; and they don’t put too much emphasis on material possessions...

RUSSELL: I’ve just come from an independent coffee bar and there’s an equality there. There is not a difference between the person who is serving me coffee and the person buying the coffee. You can talk as equals, because you know that you are both probably, after tax, taking home around about the same amount. And everybody is having a sort of decent life. On the flip side, there’s not the same service culture. I was just back in the U.K. for work. Oh my goodness, everyone was so nice to me. And when I go to the States, that’s even more so, and I have to remind myself, “Oh, they’re being nice to me because there’s a financial imperative.” And there is more of a service culture in some places than others. In Denmark, that’s not the case...

WIKING: Nine out of ten Danes are happily paying their taxes. There is an acknowledgement that we collectively invest in the public good, and that is fed back to people in terms of quality of life...

DUBNER: the data show that there is a paradox, in that suicide increases with well-being and prosperity, yeah?

WIKING: So, if you look at the U.S. states, the individual states, the higher level of life satisfaction, the higher level of suicide rates.

DUBNER: The most compelling explanation of suicide I’ve ever heard about — discussed with the fellow who promulgates it — because we don’t really know that much about suicide, because it’s taboo, the research is very distant and so on. But he calls it the “no-one-left-to-blame” theory. Which is that if you have problems in life, but you’ve got a toxic environment or a nasty government, you can always imagine that life will get a lot better. But if you’re surrounded by happy, shiny people and you’re not happy and shiny, it can be — so can you talk about that notion in a place that’s so happy?...

RUSSELL: Denmark is one of the biggest exporters of sperm, so there’s a lot of genetically Danish babies that will be coming around the place in the next few years."

How to Be Creative (Ep. 354) - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"SIMONTON: Something about 86 percent of all research in psychology is based on college undergraduates...

There is a correlation between creativity and mental illness. But it depends on the kind of creativity you’re talking about.

SIMONTON: There’s a relationship between how much constraint the creative genius has to operate under, and their tendency towards mental illness. A scientist operates under a lot of constraints. A scientist has to come up with theories that are consistent with the facts. It has to be logically coherent. It has to fit in with what previous scientists have been doing, and so forth. And, in our culture, artists don’t operate that way. Particularly since the Romantic period — anything goes.

But there are times and places where the arts have extremely high constraints imposed on them. Japanese haiku, for example, is a very constrained form. You have a certain number of syllables to work with. You also have a certain number of themes that are considered to be more appropriate for haiku.

So what’s interesting is that as you get into domains that are very very constrained, mental illness tends to be very rare. And then if you go into more and more unconstrained forms of expression, then you also do it at risk of having more mental illness, as well as having all sorts of horrible experiences in childhood or adolescence. And there’s a study published on this, where you can compare Nobel prizes in physics with Nobel Prizes in literature, and they’re not cut from the same cloth at all.

DUBNER: I think if you look at American winners in literature — most of them were alcoholics, right?

SIMONTON: Yeah, alcoholics. They often dropped out of school. They had tremendous ups and downs in their education, if they even finished formal education. Whereas the physicists came from perfect family backgrounds, professional families. Nothing happened. Nobody died...

Simonton looked at the prevalence of mental illness in different types of creative people. Visual artists and writers were on the high end of the scale, with poets the most pronounced: 87 percent of them experience some kind of mental disorder. How does that compare to the general population? According to one widely accepted study, around 46 percent of Americans experience some sort of mental disorder during their lifetimes. So artists and writers are considerably higher than average.

But: Simonton found that scientists have a considerably lower tendency for a mental disorder: only around 28 percent. And if you include all creative types in the tally, Simonton found that they have lower rates of mental illness than non-creative people. Creative behavior is in fact often a marker for good mental health...

ISAACSON: The leadership skills of a Benjamin Franklin came from bringing people together, finding common ground, and being very civil in his discourse when he tried to create compromises necessary to make the Constitution. That was very different from the leadership style of a Steve Jobs, who drove people crazy, but also drove them to do things they didn’t know they’d be able to do.

So I think it’s useful to look at different creative leaders and then, after you have done so, look inside yourself and to say, “I’m better off being more like Ben Franklin, or I’m better off being more like Leonardo da Vinci, trying to mix art and science. Or I’m better off being like Steve Jobs, driving a team crazy but driving them to do things they didn’t know they could do.” And you can understand your own skills by comparing them to what great innovators and creative people have done in the past...

Schiller... had to have the smell of rotten apples. And so... when he felt like being creative, he pulled out a rotten apple...

[On Ai Weiwei] Andy Warhol... would've given his eye, teeth to be arrested by the government for his art. But there's no way this could happen in our system"

Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)? (Ep. 355) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "extrinsic motivation can erode someone’s intrinsic desire to create"
It's not just pay for performance that hurts performance - just paying can do that

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Links - 13th March 2019 (2)

How to change someone’s mind, according to science - The Washington Post - "The researchers analyzed nearly two years of postings on ChangeMyView, a forum on the internet community reddit where posters present an argument and invite people to reason against them... the arguments that end up changing people’s minds have certain dynamics. Numbers are important: The more people that try to persuade the original poster, the greater the likelihood of changing their view. So is timing: Those who write back first to the post first are more likely to persuade the original poster than those who write later... Interestingly, the researchers find that some back-and-forth exchange between participants is a sign of success in convincing someone, but that a lot of it is a sign of failure... the factor most linked with successfully persuading someone is using different words than the original posts do – a sign that commentators are bringing in new points of view. They find that longer replies tend to be more convincing, as do arguments that use calmer language. The research suggests that using specific examples is a big help. Definite articles (“the” rather than “a”) are more present in persuasive arguments, suggesting that it helps to speak in specifics. Successful arguments use the phrases “for example,” “for instance,” and “e.g.” more often. Quotations and question marks don’t appear to help the argument, but including links to supporting material does. Surprisingly, they find that hedging – using language like “it could be the case” – is actually associated with more persuasive arguments. While hedging can signal a weaker point of view, the researchers say that it can also make an argument easier to accept by softening its tone. Finally, they argue that language tells us something about whether the person’s mind can be changed in the first place... remember that convincing someone of your point of view is no easy task. The researchers point out that, even in this reddit forum where people are expressly charged with being open-minded, opinions don’t change in the majority of cases."

The digital-media bubble is bursting. That’s hurting a generation of promising young journalists. - The Washington Post - "That move to video didn’t pay off, not for Mic or the many other similar media companies that took their cues from all-powerful Facebook. The promises of more traffic — which turned out to be based on false interpretations of data — never came to fruition, and as Heidi Moore wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review, “Publishers must acknowledge the pivot to video has failed.”... “the numbers were never really there. Eventually they were always going to disappear as fraudulent traffic and metrics fell apart.”"

BuzzFeed News in Limbo Land - The New York Times - "The Mueller team’s challenge to the BuzzFeed report is also exposing the flaws of the wider media ecosystem, which is all too ready to spring into action at any sign of the Big One. Within minutes of the article’s publication on Thursday, Twitter was ablaze, and cable panelists were effusive. “This is stunning,” Don Lemon said on CNN. Lawrence O’Donnell spoke of “a Nixonian moment” on MSNBC... The further the disputed report traveled, the more it seemed to help Mr. Trump"

Opinion | The Cruelty of Call-Out Culture - The New York Times - "The guy who called out Emily is named Herbert. He told “Invisibilia” that calling her out gave him a rush of pleasure, like an orgasm. He was asked if he cared about the pain Emily endured. “No, I don’t care,” he replied. “I don’t care because it’s obviously something you deserve, and it’s something that’s been coming. … I literally do not care about what happens to you after the situation. I don’t care if she’s dead, alive, whatever.”... we see something of the maladies that shape our brutal cultural moment. You see how zealotry is often fueled by people working out their psychological wounds. You see that when denunciation is done through social media, you can destroy people without even knowing them. There’s no personal connection that allows apology and forgiveness. You also see how once you adopt a binary tribal mentality — us/them, punk/non-punk, victim/abuser — you’ve immediately depersonalized everything. You’ve reduced complex human beings to simple good versus evil. You’ve eliminated any sense of proportion. Suddenly there’s no distinction between R. Kelly and a high school girl sending a mean emoji. The podcast gives a glimpse of how cycles of abuse get passed down, one to another. It shows what it’s like to live amid a terrifying call-out culture, a vengeful game of moral one-upsmanship in which social annihilation can come any second.I’m older, so all sorts of historical alarm bells were going off — the way students denounced and effectively murdered their elders for incorrect thought during Mao’s Cultural Revolution and in Stalin’s Russia... civilization moves forward when we embrace rule of law, not when we abandon it. I’d say we no longer gather in coliseums to watch people get eaten by lions because clergy members, philosophers and artists have made us less tolerant of cruelty, not more tolerant."

In South Asian Social Castes, a Living Lab for Genetic Disease - The New York Times - "South Asians should be viewed not as a single population but as thousands of distinct groups reinforced by cultural practices that promote marrying within one’s community... Marriage within a limited group, or endogamy, has created millions of people who are susceptible to recessive diseases"

Will China let Belt and Road die quietly? - "Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia has canceled two mega BRI projects, including a $20 billion railway, citing high costs. Pakistan's new government has called for a review of the crown jewel of BRI -- China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to which China has committed more than $60 billion in funding. Myanmar's government has just told Beijing that construction of a suspended China-funded hydropower dam would not be allowed to resume. The Maldives, the tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, is trying to renegotiate down the $3 billion debt -- equal to two thirds of its gross domestic product -- it has borrowed from China to fund BRI projects... beneath the surface there is growing unease in China about BRI. And rightly so. With the country feeling an economic squeeze, fighting a trade war with the U.S. and facing criticism from nations receiving BRI funds, Chinese skeptics, including academics, economists and business people, of BRI are quietly asking if their government is putting its scarce resources to the right use. To be sure, there are no official announcements that Beijing is about to pare back Xi's BRI dreams. Tight censorship has removed any direct criticisms of BRI from the media.Yet, one can detect tantalizing signs that Beijing is already curtailing BRI, at least rhetorically... China's economic slowdown has triggered a capital flight, draining more than $1 trillion from its foreign exchange reserves. If we factor in the trade war's impact on Chinese balance of payments in the future, China will unlikely generate sufficient foreign exchange surpluses to finance BRI on the same scale... On the domestic front, Beijing faces a perfect storm of rising pension costs, slowing economic growth and dwindling tax revenues... BRI has few domestic supporters and taking money away from Chinese pensioners to build a road to nowhere in a distant land will be a tough sell politically."

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Plan in Pakistan Takes a Military Turn - The New York Times - "All those military projects were designated as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a $1 trillion chain of infrastructure development programs stretching across some 70 countries, built and financed by Beijing. Chinese officials have repeatedly said the Belt and Road is purely an economic project with peaceful intent. But with its plan for Pakistan, China is for the first time explicitly tying a Belt and Road proposal to its military ambitions — and confirming the concerns of a host of nations who suspect the infrastructure initiative is really about helping China project armed might."

Opinion | There Is No ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’ - The New York Times - "Most of Israel’s wars haven’t been fought against Palestinians. Since the invasion of five Arab armies at the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948, the Palestinians have made up a small number of the combatants facing the country... Over the decades when Arab nationalism was the region’s dominant ideology, Israeli soldiers faced Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Iraqis. Today Israel’s most potent enemy is the Shiite theocracy in Iran, which is more than 1,000 miles away and isn’t Palestinian (or Arab). The gravest threat to Israel at close range is Hezbollah on our northern border, an army of Lebanese Shiites founded and funded by the Iranians... If you see only an “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict, then nothing that Israelis do makes sense. (That’s why Israel’s enemies prefer this framing.) In this tightly cropped frame, Israelis are stronger, more prosperous and more numerous. The fears affecting big decisions, like what to do about the military occupation in the West Bank, seem unwarranted if Israel is indeed the far more powerful party... Many here believe that an agreement signed by a Western-backed Palestinian leader in the West Bank won’t end the conflict, because it will wind up creating not a state but a power vacuum destined to be filled by intra-Muslim chaos, or Iranian proxies, or some combination of both. That’s exactly what has happened around us in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. One of Israel’s nightmares is that the fragile monarchy in Jordan could follow its neighbors, Syria and Iraq, into dissolution and into Iran’s orbit, which would mean that if Israel doesn’t hold the West Bank, an Iranian tank will be able to drive directly from Tehran to the outskirts of Tel Aviv... The scope of this conflict is hard to grasp in fragmented news reports but easy to see if you pull out a map and look at Israel’s surroundings, from Libya through Syria and Iraq to Yemen.The fault lines have little to do with Israel. They run between dictators and the people they’ve been oppressing for generations; between progressives and medievalists; between Sunni and Shiite; between majority populations and minorities. If our small sub-war were somehow resolved, or even if Israel vanished tonight, the Middle East would remain the same volatile place it is now."

French Diplomatic Driver Smuggled Pistols and Assault Rifles From Gaza to West Bank - "A driver working for the French Consulate in Jerusalem has been arrested for smuggling weapons from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank, using his diplomatic vehicle as cover... Roman Franck, a 24-year-old French national, was detained by Israeli authorities on February 15 while leaving Gaza at the Erez border crossing. In the three preceding months he had reportedly transported 70 factory-made pistols and two assault rifles from the desert enclave to the West Bank"

John Lennon’s utopia is no dream, it’s a nightmare | Comment | The Times - "love requires a hierarchy, an element of discrimination or specialness. That’s why we would protect our nearest and dearest against danger, or look after their interests or welfare, before protecting or looking after anyone else... The pursuit of utopia always produces appalling outcomes. Even though it’s an impossibility, its adherents believe that anyone who opposes the perfection of the world is by definition an enemy of the good and therefore to be crushed... Our culture seeks to eradicate all divisions. There can be no hierarchy of values. Everything is relative. There are no objective truths or lies, only competing narratives. All judgment is wrong, except the judgment that current orthodoxies are wrong; in which case your professional career or social reputation will be destroyed. No culture is better or worse than any other. No group is entitled to define itself as a nation or rule itself on the basis of a shared culture.We were told this a few weeks ago by none other than the German chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that nation states should be willing to surrender their sovereignty. Their peoples were not entitled to object, because the people of a country were merely those who permanently lived there and not “a group that defines them as a people”. For Mrs Merkel, it seems, there is no such thing as “a people”; there are only people."

#MeToo shuts out men, says Keira Knightley | News | The Times - "Keira Knightley fears that the debate triggered by Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual bullying has segued into a hatred of men.The British actress, when asked if she worried that the debate was misandrist, responded “absolutely”, adding that men should be involved in conversations about future behaviour between the sexes... She said that she had never been assaulted by him, adding: “Maybe he just didn’t fancy me.”“I absolutely knew he was a womaniser, because you could see it,” she said. “But I thought that was consensual, and I’d never heard he’d raped anybody. Everyone knew he was a bully because he would scream and shout.”"

Opinion | Donald Trump Did Something Right - The New York Times - "Starting this month, hospitals must publicly reveal the contents of their master price lists — called “chargemasters” — online. These are the prices that most patients never notice because their insurers negotiate them down or they appear buried as line items on hospital bills. What has long been shrouded in darkness is now being thrown into the light... For years, these prices have been a tightly guarded industrial secret. When advocates have tried to wrest them free, hospitals have argued that they are proprietary information. And, hospitals claim, these rates are irrelevant, since — after insurers whittle them down — no one actually pays them."

Trump Is Delivering on Pharma Pricing - "Trump has actually delivered on drug prices— and not by just a little. By a lot. In fact, STAT called Trump’s results “a historic feat.” Really."

Students Petition to Ban ‘Offensive’ Evolutionary Psychologist - "More than 4,200 Northwestern University students have signed a petition demanding that administrators ban from campus an evolutionary psychologist whose research they deem “offensive” and “nonsense.”... She also accused Dr. Kanazawa of racism for using the word "minority" in his research articles. “Marginalized is a more encompassing term when talking about the systematic discrimination groups of people face,” said Shoola... Many students and alumni have condemned Kanazawa, writing comments on the petition such as “People like him reinforce the violence of science,” “This makes me feel so unsafe,” and “His presence is a threat to all students on campus."
I guess NWU is not a place where enquiry and research takes place

Mumbai's strictly vegetarian enclave gives flesh-eaters the evil eye - "In a roughly 2-square-mile patch containing some of India's priciest real estate, a firm and sometimes militant vegetarianism prevails. Most residents of this old-money section of South Mumbai are Jains or devout Hindus, and not only do they not eat flesh, but they also don't want it anywhere near them. Eateries serving meat and seafood are all but banned, and stories abound of certain apartment buildings refusing to consider prospective residents who are what Indians call — sometimes with more than a soupcon of judgment — non-vegetarians... A menu by prominent restaurateur Sanjay Narang that included tandoori chicken and lamb curry ticked off neighbors in an apartment building on an exclusive boulevard fronting the Arabian Sea. Narang shuttered his ground-floor establishment in 2005 after residents above reportedly spat on his patrons, dropped nails on them or keyed their cars."

Observations - 13th March 2019

Amused that Visa, Mastercard & JCB charge a certain merchant 4% but American Express only does 1.5%

Apparently River Valley high made students who were dating break up
(Friend from RV: "I don't know about "make" but I heard during my time the disciplinary mistress had called up the parents of two of my ex-classmates
(I was in a different sec 3 class by then) who were dating, to check if the parents knew and approved of their relationship. And both sides were aware and ok with it so no further action was taken, I believe.
my memory is fuzzy and it could be that the disciplinary mistress did try to break them up but ended up with calling parents to rally support for ending the relationship)"

"Star Wars and Star Trek universes collide and stormtroopers are facing a bunch of red shirts. They start firing at each other immmediately, and as usual stormtroopers can't hit anything, but the red shirts collapse and die anyway."

Intrigued by a virtue ethics argument against animal cruelty (that animal cruelty is not wrong because of animal suffering but because cruelty makes you a bad person). But then that would also apply to violent video games and BDSM

"Dad reports that CNY songs are a Northern thing as he doesn't recall any Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hainanese, or Hakka songs from his childhood in the 30s and 40s."

If child porn makes people abuse children, do snuff films make people murder?

"Telling someone they can't be sad because others have it worse is like saying someone can't be happy because others have it better."

"When I was in school I came across an old science textbook from the 80s. I read in it that the scientific consensus was we were going to run out of oil by the year 2000. Lol."

I thought the UK's conditions to retain permanent residence were lax - visiting the country every 2 years. But New Zealand's PR never expires even if you haven't visited the country in forever

"The more you try to justify yourself to people like that, the more it acknowledges that they have the right to question you. It shows you think they get to be your inquisitor, and once you grant someone that sort of power over you, they just push more and more." - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality / Eliezer Yudkowsky

"I think a loss of 'neighborliness' is mostly a good thing. Having a society with excessive cohesion is repressive."
Ahh libertarians. Then again, this explains a lot about their fetish for market fundamentalism

Ironic that Adaware, which is supposed to be "the Internet's security and privacy leader", hijacks my browser and makes itself my default search engine and changes my new tab page - just like malware

How do you distinguish a genuine call for discussion or explanation from an invitation to virtue signal?

"Their favourite thing to do is post images of people holding tiki torches at Charlottesville, not actually doing anything wrong, while saying Antifa is justified."

"The message sent by recalling someone for one too lenient sentence while no judges ever get recalled for handing out 30 year sentences like Halloween candy is apparently something California voters refused to consider" - @notwokieleaks on Twitter on the Aaron Persky (Brock Turner judge) recall

Why were so many people were so upset about Trump's "Gag Order" on the EPA when many other democracies don't allow government employees to communicate directly with the public about their work? (Ireland, Australia, Canada)

"I like the annoy feminists by saying I make it a point not to explain anything to women just in case kenna mansplaining
Reality can explain things to them better when shit goes wrong"
"There was a meme going around, where a feminist asked a guy to explain what is mansplaining"

Links - 13th March 2019 (1)

I,Hypocrite on Twitter - "Feminist: "Stop objectifying me!"
Literally anything: [happens]
Feminist: [removes clothing]"

Doctors Saved Man's Life by Pumping 15 Cans of Beer Into His Body - "The 48-year-old, Nguyen Van Nhat, fell unconscious and was taken to a hospital in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Tri on December 25 where doctors found that levels of methanol—a dangerous form of alcohol—in his body were more than 1,000 times over the recommended limit... Over the course of the day, doctors transfused a total of 15 cans of beer into the man’s body at a rate of about one every hour. This slowed down the rate at which his liver processed the methanol, allowing doctors to save his life... Administering beer—which contains significant quantities of ethanol—to a patient suffering from methanol poisoning can halt the process of formaldehyde being converted into formic acid. This is because the liver always prioritizes breaking down ethanol over methanol. In the case of Nguyen Van Nhat, this gave doctors more time to perform dialysis and remove the alcohol from his system completely"

Women's March Co-Founders Won't Condemn Farrakhan, Revealing the Hollowness of Intersectionality - "Intersectional progressives claim that all sources of oppression are inherently linked, and it isn't enough to just oppose sexism: Allies aren't allies unless they also oppose racism, transphobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and so on. I question whether this is a wise strategy for single-cause advocacy. But if the left is going to insist that only the most strident and consistent enemies of bigotry are welcome in their ranks, one might expect some consistency. Yet for some reason, anti-Semitism got left off the list of approved evils"
Power relations and punching up means anti-Semitism is good

United Nations Discovers Most Human Traffic Perpetrators are Women - "Women are the majority of traffickers in almost a third of the 155 nations the U.N. surveyed. They accounted for more than 60 percent of the human trafficking convictions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia."
Keywords: Human trafficking

Japan’s robot hotel lays off half the robots after they created more work for humans

Cafe in Japan Hires Paralyzed People to Control Robot Servers - "The OriHime-D can also be used by people involved in childcare, nursing care or other activities that prevent them from leaving home or a certain location. “Even those who can’t go out can work through this alter ego and have a role in society”"

Dating agency aims to match single S’porean guys with Japanese women - "This match-making agency specialises exclusively in matching up Japanese women with Singaporean men.Destini IS was founded by a group of Japanese expats who have resided in Singapore for some time... if you do manage to get married, Destini IS also offers two years of free counselling services... they believe that Singaporean men are kind, sincere and slim with nice bodies.They also think Singaporean men are masculine, smart and are well-organised gentlemen."

Japan’s ultimate wagyu beef bento is back, now with a Guinness World Record under its belt - "The Giga Size Tottori Wagyu Beef “Entirely for Yourself” Bento is back again, and this time with a new credential to its name. This bento, made of 4.5 kilograms (9.9 pounds) of 10 different cuts of premium Japanese beef, was created last year to commemorate Tottori Wagyu’s placement as the number one highest quality wagyu beef in the country, and retailed for a whopping 292,929 yen (approximately US$2,500)."

An0maly - Posts - "Bing vs. Google for “Why is the media” suggested searches. Interesting, no?"
Bing: "why is the media so anti-trump/liberal/against trump/anti-white/awful"
Google: "why is the media called the fourth estate/important/called the press"

Accused of promoting pork in magazine, MAS says sorry... but it was actually beef - "Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has apologised after it was accused of publishing an image of a pork dish in its January edition of inflight magazine Going Places. The national carrier said that although it was an international airlines carrying passengers of all backgrounds, it did not mean to offend anyone with the promotion of a restaurant featuring pork on its menu... The statement came after criticism claiming that it was being insensitive by publishing the image of a pork dish."
Even pictures of pork are haram

MAS apologises over 'pork image' in magazine, but says it was beef - "MAS' statement came after several NGOs slammed the national airline for being insensitive by publishing the pork cuisine.Yesterday, Abd Aziz Abdul Rahman, former MAS managing director, was reported as saying such a move was inappropriate as MAS carried the national image."

Stunning images of snowy owl caught by Montreal traffic camera - "The snowy owl has special significance in Canada, where it has legal protection from hunters and is the official symbol of Quebec."

Slate.com - Posts - "Newly Engaged Chris Pratt Has Been Getting Super Evangelical and Maybe You Didn’t Even Notice"
"Remember that time Pratt spent Easter weekend erecting an enormous cross on a friend’s ranch in Texas?
Comments: " #Tolerance #YesItMeansForEveryone #EvenChristians"
"How dare he hold spiritual beliefs. The *monster.*"
"Remember that time we elected a Muslim into congress. Totally gross also."
"Articles like this is why Trumpkins are so defensive. Let Chris Pratt be a goof ball for Christ."
"I am a super liberal atheist... And this pisses me off to no end. He seems to be a damned good, genuine guy ---stop trying to make his faith out to be newsworthy or something to be apprehensive about. He's allowed to be religious and it doesn't matter which faith so long as he's not using it as a tool against anyone else to hurt them. Leave him be."
"Yes, it's called freedom of religion. Found in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights."
And they say media bias is a paranoid conspiracy theory

How Big of a Problem Is Overpopulation? - "Unwarranted panic about overpopulation is a big problem that has led to human rights abuses and much pointless suffering... By the 1970s, overpopulation hysteria came fully back into vogue. Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb in 1968, which opened with the lines, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Shortly thereafter, in 1972, the Club of Rome issued a report called The Limits to Growth. It bolstered the old argument that population growth would deplete resources and lead to a collapse of society with evidence from computer simulations based on dubious assumptions. Those jeremiads led to human rights abuses including millions of forced sterilizations in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India, as well as China’s draconian one-child (now two-child) policy. In 1975, officials sterilized 8 million men and women in India alone. Were these human rights abuses necessary? No. Instead of facing widespread starvation and resource shortages, humanity managed to make resources more plentiful by using them more efficiently, increasing the supply and developing substitutes.Today the population is at a record high, and famines have all but vanished outside of war zones. Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the poorest area on the planet, the food supply now exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day. Yet overpopulation fears still exert a powerful hold on the public imagination. Earlier this year, a survey by Negative Population Growth found that “American high school students are very worried about overpopulation.” Many prominent environmentalists — from Johns Hopkins University bioethicist Travis Rieder to entertainer Bill Nye “The Science Guy" — support tax penalties or other state-imposed punishments for having “too many” children. Bowdoin College’s Sarah Conly published a book in 2016 through Oxford University Press advocating a “one-child” policy, claiming it is “morally permissible” for the government to limit family sizes through force to prevent overpopulation."

Street seller cheats death after Buddhist monk stabs him to prove lucky amulets are powerless - "A Thai street seller cheated death after a Buddhist monk stabbed him in the neck to prove that the lucky amulets he was hawking had no supernatural powers."

Why We Should Never Limit Our News Source to One Side - "In one shocking video released, dozens of news stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest owners of local news stations, were revealed to have all been given the exact same script to read on-air about the perils of fake news. Astonishing irony aside, the incident illustrated what many critics of mainstream media news have known for decades - that news outlets, like almost anyone else, have an agenda to push and powerful higher-ups to report to. And furthermore, in 2013, just 7% of journalists identified as Republicans, down from 18% in 2002. And in one analysis of 2016 campaign contributions, the Center for Public Integrity showed that 96% of the journalists who disclosed campaign contributions gave money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign... instances like CNN telling its viewers that it’s illegal for them to read Wikileaks themselves (it’s not), or the Boston Globe reporting that Elizabeth Warren is somewhere between 1/32 and 1/512 Native American (the results ran on South American DNA actually showed between 1/64 and 1/1024 heritage) were obviously, at the very least, mistakes. And while, of course, everyone makes mistakes, the partisan nature of these errors combined with the rather quiet nature of the corrections issued by the networks and publishers should make us question the objectivity of major media outlets, as well as individual reporters... the current focus on trivial stories, while ignoring real issues, in hopes of going viral has unfortunately been detrimental to the public discourse. Whether it’s the President taking two ice cream scoops instead of one, or the debate over whether Melania Trump’s shoes were appropriate, the chase for clicks has meant that more substantive stories, like those relating to the economy or healthcare, have been forgotten. Additionally, misleading and pessimistic narratives about the state of the country have been popularized, like the constant coverage of crime in a society where crime has been on the decrease for decades, or the disproportionate focus on police force against black people (even though police force against white people is much more common)... while the media are profiting off of the sad truth that division and negativity are more popular than progress and unity, the good news is that people seem to be waking up to how many reporters have gone from reporting on narratives to weaving their own. More than seven in ten Americans think the media are “dividing Americans” and spread "hate and misunderstanding" according to a new poll"

Nancy Pelosi is lying about the State of the Union - The Washington Post - "Pelosi is using her faux security concerns as a pretext to do something unprecedented and outrageous: deny a president of the United States the opportunity to come to Congress and deliver his State of the Union address. Never in the history of our Republic has the House speaker invited, and then disinvited, a sitting president from addressing a joint session of Congress. Yet all those who constantly decry Trump for shattering of presidential norms seem to be perfectly fine when Pelosi is doing the norm shattering — and lying about why she is doing it... Right now, Democrats are brimming with confidence because polls show that a majority of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown. But according to a recent Hill-HarrisX poll, 70 percent of Americans want both sides to compromise, including 61 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats. Right now, Trump is the only one talking compromise, while Democrats are demanding unilateral surrender... to add insult to injury, Democratic lawmakers took a junket to Puerto Rico on the very day that federal workers stop receiving their paychecks. They had time to sun themselves on the beach at an exclusive resort with more than 100 lobbyists and executives and hang out with the cast of “Hamilton,” but they could not be bothered to accept Trump’s invitation to meet with him at the White House on Tuesday to find a way out of the crisis."

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Links - 12th March 2019 (Covington)

The Media Wildly Mischaracterized That Video of Covington Catholic Students Confronting a Native American Veteran - "Partial video footage of students from a Catholic high school allegedly harassing a Native American veteran after the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., over the weekend quickly went viral, provoking widespread condemnation of the kids on social media. Various media figures and Twitter users called for them to be doxed, shamed, or otherwise punished, and school administrators said they would consider expulsion.But the rest of the video—nearly two hours of additional footage showing what happened before and after the encounter—adds important context that strongly contradicts the media's narrative. Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby. The BHI has existed since the late 19th century, and is best describes as a black nationalist cult movement; its members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites, and often express condemnation of white people, Christians, and gays. DC-area Black Hebrews are known to spout particularly vile bigotry. Phillips put himself between the teens and the black nationalists, chanting and drumming as he marched straight into the middle of the group of young people. What followed was several minutes of confusion: The teens couldn't quite decide whether Phillips was on their side or not, but tentatively joined in his chanting. It's not at all clear this was intended as an act of mockery rather than solidarity.One student did not get out of Phillips way as he marched, and gave the man a hard stare and a smile that many have described as creepy. This moment received the most media coverage: The teen has been called the product of a "hate factory" and likened to a school shooter, segregation-era racist, and member of the Ku Klux Klan. I have no idea what he was thinking, but portraying this as an example of obvious, racially-motivated hate is a stretch. Maybe he simply had no idea why this man was drumming in his face, and couldn't quite figure out the best response? It bears repeating that Phillips approached him, not the other way around... Phillips enters the picture around the 1:12 mark, but if you skip to that part, you miss an hour of the Black Hebrew Israelites hurling obscenities at the students. They call them crackers, faggots, and pedophiles. At the 1:20 mark (which comes after the Phillips incident) they call one of the few black students the n-word and tell him that his friends are going to murder him and steal his organs. At the 1:25 mark, they complain that "you give faggots rights," which prompted booing from the students. Throughout the video they threaten the kids with violence, and attempt to goad them into attacking first. The students resisted these taunts admirably: They laughed at the hecklers, and they perform a few of their school's sports cheers. It was at this moment that Phillips, who had attended a nearby peace protest led by indigenous peoples, decided to intervene. He would later tell The Detroit Free Press that the teenagers "were in the process of attacking these four black individuals" and he decided to attempt to de-escalate the situation. He seems profoundly mistaken: The video footage taken by the black nationalists shows no evidence the white teenagers had any intention of attacking. Nevertheless, Phillips characterized the kids as "beasts" and the hate-group members as "their prey"... He also claimed that he heard chants of "build the wall." While I cannot rule out the possibility that some of the kids indeed chanted this—those who were wearing MAGA hats are presumably Trump supporters—I did not hear a single utterance of the phrase in the nearly two hours of video footage I watched... The boys are undoubtedly owed an apology from the numerous people who joined this social media pile-on. This is shaping up to be one of the biggest major media misfires in quite some time."
Too bad being white, male and especially wearing a Make America Great Again hat especially means you're the villain and death threats against you are a good thing

Forced to Admit MAGA Teen Did Nothing Wrong, Libs Rage Against ‘Racist’ Smirk - "additional videos and accounts have since made it clear that the Native American man, an activist and Vietnam veteran named Nathan Phillips, initiated the confrontation. Both he and Sandmann said as much, though each insisted his intentions were entirely pure.Sandmann explained in a statement Sunday that his smile was intended only to signal that he “was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation.”Other established facts: A group of hectoring black Israelites helped escalate the situation. And no one got hurt― at worst, the boys made a few insensitive remarks... For Trump nemesis Rosie O’Donnell and many, many others Sandmann triggered traumatic memories of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Nick Martin at Splinter shared how Sandmann’s smile haunted his sleep, and Slate writer Ruth Graham linked “that face” to segregationists, Nazis, and “popular boys.”Nor was Graham alone in reporting having endured the unbearable power of white male smirks in her youth. Gizmodo senior editor Alex Cranz called it a “facial gesture that weaponized their privilege” and could “DEVASTATE.”... As is often the case in the culture wars, some conservatives embraced the liberal caricature of them. The term “assault smile” has been making the rounds."

After Covington Catholic controversy, Nathan Phillips rally attempted to disrupt basilica Mass - "While chanting and playing ceremonial drums, a group of Native American rights activists reportedly led by Nathan Phillips attempted Jan. 19 to enter Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during a Saturday evening Mass. The group of 20 demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass... Covington Catholic High School was closed Jan. 22, following threats against students and staff in the wake of media coverage of Friday’s incident."
Presumably it was racist and white supremacy that they weren't let in

Nathan Phillips Lied. The Media Bought It. - "Phillips has on at least one other occasion gotten himself into what he says was a racist altercation with a group of youths. This one, four years ago, also involved him approaching others, in this case a group of college students. (“Why did Phillips go over to the fence? Why not just walk away?” wondered a reporter. “For me just to walk by and have a blind eye to it,” Phillips said. “Something just didn’t allow me to do it.”) Friday he waded into a group of Covington students, evidently hoping to troll a response out of them suitable for a viral video. According to the Washington Post, Phillips, 64, said that he felt threatened by the teens and that they swarmed around him as he and other activists were wrapping up the march and preparing to leave. This is a lie. They didn’t swarm around him. He strolled right into the middle of their group. Phillips then pivoted to a completely different version of his story with the Detroit Free Press, in which he admitted that he approached the students, not the other way around. His interviews and the various videos of the incident paint a picture of him saying he is a) terrified of the Catholic students yet b) walking right up to and into their group; a) doing his best to leave yet b) pressing forward insistently; a) trying to go up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yet b) not noticing that there is a clear path up those steps approximately ten feet to his right... naturally, when you see a group of individuals “attacking” another group in a public place where there are lots of police, the proper response when you’re a 64-year-old man is not to inform a cop but to take charge of the situation yourself. Go up to the “attackers,” stand toe to toe with one of them and start loudly banging a drum in his face. This is a known mollification technique and it absolutely can never fail to defuse tensions. However, if it does fail, what you should do is move the drum even closer to the other person’s face, so it’s just a few inches from the guy’s ears, and keep banging away for several more minutes."

Truth and Disfavored Identities - "In every video of the incident that I have watched, the boys’ behaviour is arguably rowdy and insensitive, but I have yet to see any evidence that supports the far more egregious charge of racism. That is, unless we are prepared to accept that any confrontation between a Native American and a white youth is ipso facto racist, no matter who instigated it or why. Even then, the specific accusations made about the boys’ behavior seem to be false... even though the video footage now corroborates the (truthful) account that the boys gave to the media in the wake of this incident, the Diocese has apologized and some of the boys now face expulsion... This disgraceful affair is further evidence of America’s spiralling polarization and of group hatreds being used to justify sanctimonious mobbing and violence"

You’ll never guess which behavior the media deemed inappropriate for society : The_Donald - "*10-Year-Old Boy 'Drag Kid' Photographed With Naked Adult Drag Queen*
*Wearing red MAGA hat smiling in the face of intimidation*"

/pol/ - >be some little high school kid >go with your clas - Politically Incorrect - 4chan - ">be some little high school kid
>go with your class to a school trip to some kind of pro life event
>you go there and everyone is acting like high school students
>all of the sudden some indian dude comes up to you and sings you the song of his people while beating on a drum
>you think its pretty cool but dont know what to make of the whole situation so you just stand there while smiling nervously
>after a minute or two you just walk away
>tfw you're the face of racism in america and everyone wants to punch you
how is it possible to become the most hated kid in a country by just standing in place and smiling?"

Imam Tawhidi - Posts - "If those students were from an Islamic school and men approached them with a drum, yelling in their faces and telling them to go back to where they came from, every human rights org + the media will be onto those men, indigenous or not. They’ll be labelled bullies, named and shamed"
"Power relations" means double standards are good

A post by I,Hypocrite - refollow on Today - ""Just because she's dressed this way, doesn't mean she's asking for it"
*MAGA Hat*
"He was asking for it!!!"

Dave Rubin on Twitter - ""He is a deplorable. Some ppl can also be punched in the face."
"Just @CNN employee @Bakari_Sellers fantasizing about punching a 15-year-old in the face."
"This is precisely what I started talking about 5 years ago. The Left traded in reasoned arguments in favor of calling everyone a racist, a bigot and then a Nazi. Then they said it was OK to punch a Nazi. Now they’ve moved it to punching kids. What’s next? Sadly we’ll find out"

Blowback Begins Over Covington Catholic 'Blackface' Accusation - "many have since pointed out, rather than showing high schoolers in "blackface" (wearing black makeup in order to imitate in a derogatory manner an African American), the photo clearly shows students in a "blackout" event... 'The kids are all wearing black because the fans of sports teams often will come to games all in the same color. Oftentimes fans will wear black as part of a "blackout." Other times they'll white as part of a "whiteout." Or sometimes they'll wear blue or red or any other color. This is standard operating procedure in American sports, especially scholastic sports.Why are they screaming at the opposing player? Well, because he is the opposing player and that's what the home fans do and have done in every basketball game or football game ever played anywhere on Earth. Why is the opposing player black? Well, because that just happens to be his race. If he was white, they would be just as unwelcoming. This is part of the pageantry of sports.'"

Twitter Allows 'Verified' Calls for Violence Against Conservative High School Kids - "Twitter has spent years assuring the public that it will crack down on trolling, harassment, and violent threats. It’s also pledged to tackle “misinformation” and “unhealthy conversation,” using these loaded terms as excuses to ban a wide range of anti-progressive dissidents from the platform.But when innocent conservative high school kids are flooded with violent threats, targeted harassment and doxing on the basis of media-promoted misinformation, Jack Dorsey and his staff seem to do nothing — it even briefly promoted the smears.Over the past 48 hours, an angry mob of Twitter users — many of them with blue checkmarks next to their name, signaling endorsement of their messages by the company — have flooded the platform with disgusting abuse, violent threats, and calls to harass innocent students of the Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky...
'Giving a shit-eating grin to a Native American's face isn't legally violence. But he is smiling *about* the violence. He is saying, "my people hurt you, and you can't touch me even while I gloat about it." It is fascism. And you should punch fascists.'"

Ilhan Omar on Twitter: "-The boys were protesting a woman's right to choose & yelled “it’s not rape if you enjoy it”
-They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants
-Sandmann’s family hired a right wing PR firm to write his non-apology 🤦🏽‍♀️"
So much for "stereotypes"
Luckily the top replies are all calling out her bullshit (from 23 Jan when the fake news had already been debunked)

Liberal, Not Lefty - "So let me get this straight. The kids who made -- and continue to make -- international news for yelling "build the wall" in the face of a Vietnam veteran:
- did not approach the Vitenam vet at all
- did not ever yell "build the wall" , at any time
- The "Vietnam war veteran" is NOT EVEN A VIETNAM VETERAN
- the actual racists and homophobes in the video -- the Black Israelite hate group members who yelled obscenities & racial slurs at the black Covington student for having white friends -- haven't been talked about at all.
And there are people who pretend the only reason to distrust mainstream media must be a right wing populist agenda or bigotry. K."

Covington students, Nathan Phillips viral video: Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy - "Twitter suspended an account on Monday afternoon that helped spread a controversial encounter between a Native American elder and a group of high school students wearing Make America Great Again hats.The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it... McDonagh said he found the account suspicious due to its "high follower count, highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging, the unusually high rate of tweets, and the use of someone else's image in the profile photo."Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher who saw the tweet and shared it herself on Saturday, said she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video. Speaking about the nature of fake accounts on social media, McKew told CNN Business, "This is the new landscape: where bad actors monitor us and appropriate content that fits their needs. They know how to get it where they need to go so it amplifies naturally. And at this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in specific ways. And we all did.""
For all the dismissal of contrary opinions as coming from Russian bots, liberals are incredibly easily manipulated

1984: MAGA Kid Was Persecuted For Committing “Facecrime” - "In victimizing Sandmann over a facial expression, leftists are mimicking Big Brother’s treatment of dissidents who committed “facecrime” in Orwell’s fictional dystopian classic.
Orwell writes about facecrime in Part 1, Chapter 5 of 1984;
“The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.”...
innumerable leftists also had Twitter meltdowns over Sandmann’s expression alone, claiming that it represented bigotry and white privilege."
We don't need Big Brother when we have anti-racists

Fact-Check Update: Video Shows Nathan Phillips Saying He's A 'Vietnam Vet,' Was 'In Theater' - "Early reports describing Native American protester Nathan Phillips as a "Vietnam veteran" have since received updates clarifying that Phillips described himself as a "Vietnam-era vet"; he was not deployed in the conflict, as it would have been impossible due to the years of his service. But newly surfaced video shows Phillips unequivocally describing himself as a Vietnam veteran, and even adding that his honorable discharge papers prove that he was "in theater."... The only offensive recorded actions of any of the boys was a few briefly doing a tomahawk chop in response to Phillips' initially confusing "protest," which included banging his drum in the face of one high school junior, Nick Sandmann."

Gruntworks - Posts - "“We have his DD-214. here is the truth...
Nathan Phillips aka Nathan Stanard was a refrigerator mechanic in the Marine Corps Reserves who went AWOL twice, and was confined to the brig and kicked out of the Marines as an E1 - Private in El Toro, CA after spending most of his USMC Reserve service in Lincoln, NE, and never left the States.
He was NOT a Recon Ranger (whatever the f*ck that is) which he is directly quoted as claiming. He also never went to Vietnam, even though he never corrected multiple major news outlets when they inferred that from his statements, and subsequently reported that he fought in Vietnam.
Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Don Shipley already has records.”

Liberal Comedian Offers Oral Sex to Anyone Who Punches ‘MAGA’ Teen in the Face - "Sarah Beattie, a vulgar feminist comedian and Twitter activist, declared in a since-deleted tweet: “I will blow whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face.”"
Being a sex object is good as long as it's for progressive causes

Investigation finds no evidence of ‘racist or offensive statements’ in Mall incident - The Washington Post - "A report released Wednesday about an encounter between Kentucky high school students and Native American activists at the Lincoln Memorial found “no evidence” that the students made “offensive or racist statements,” either in response to the Black Hebrew Israelites who shouted slurs at them or to a drum-beating Native American... The firm, Greater Cincinnati Investigation Inc., said four licensed investigators spent approximately 240 hours interviewing witnesses and reviewing about 50 hours of Internet activity, including posts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and video from major networks... one of the chaperones told students that if “they engaged in a verbal exchange with the Black Hebrew Israelites, they would receive detention.”... The report did include a section about the hats, saying that most of the boys bought the headgear in Washington, where they had traveled to participate in the annual March for Life, an antiabortion demonstration. The report notes that, in previous years, some students bought “Hope” hats in support of then-President Barack Obama — and that such behavior violates no rules... The report concluded that Phillips’s public comments about the incident “contain some inconsistencies” that could not be resolved because the investigators could not contact him"
Naturally the liberal response was just to allege a coverup. Or that they were already guilty by wearing the hats and being at such a march and the school was reprehensible for bringing them to a political event (presumably wearing a 'Hope' hat is brave and stunning since it supports the Right ideology)

Covington Pile-On Will Destroy the Left - "How strange to treat a smirking teen’s face, something known to every parent and schoolteacher in the world, as an emblem of “tactics of genocide”—as though the root of ethnic cleansing were adolescent insolence... Treating a smirking teenager as a stand-in for the wanton slaughter of indigenous people, the brutal abomination of chattel slavery, the persecution of anti-war activists, the racial terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, the exclusion of Chinese immigrants, or the internment of Japanese Americans utterly trivializes bygone atrocities. Did these commentators swallow the trendy notion that microaggressions are “violence,” and apply it backwards in history?... Many who are sympathetic to the blue coalition’s concerns are baffled that a large faction within it spends so much energy on culture-war pile-ons, even opining that children are punchable or irredeemable or deserving of doxing. It’s the bizarre focus on these boys as what ails America, rather than on any of the many powerful people doing identifiable harm, or on any of the things that might end family separations, avert assaults, increase wages, reduce poverty, reform police, or increase access to medical care, that’s going to do in the left."

If You Still Think Nick Sandmann’s Smile Is Proof of Racism, You’re Seeing What You Want to See - "The Native American man says, "Go back to Europe where you came from. This is not your land, you have been here two, three generations compared to us. We've been here a million fucking years." The MAGA teen responds, "That's not true. Let's go all the way back to Africa," and proceeds to tell the story of the land bridge that once connected Asia to North America, which allowed humans to settle these lands some thousands of years ago. (His opponent counters that this a "bullshit theory.")Keep in mind, the teen saying that all human beings originally came from Africa is a member of the group of young people initially described by countless pundits as obviously, undeniably racist... Surely if Sandmann's objective had been to harass the Native Americans and sow racial discord, he would not have attempted to defuse the situation. In fact, this gesture supports the claim he made in his official statement that he "motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions"... I have drawn parallels to the Rolling Stone/University of Virginia gang rape hoax of 2014, which provides a powerful example of mainstream media getting a story very wrong in ways that permanently damaged the magazine's reputation.But in the less insane media world of 2014, at least the Rolling Stone debunking was accepted by pretty much everyone. When friends of "Jackie," the alleged rape victim, came forward to help clarify that her alleged attacker did not exist, and was in fact a persona she had invented in order to catfish them, I don't remember many major pundits sticking their fingers in their ears and pretending not to hear this.The ongoing effort to pretend that videos of boys doing pep rally type cheers in opposition to a hate group is in fact evidence of deep-seated racism makes me wonder whether Rolling Stone truther-ism would have been much more common had the story come out in 2019."

Opinion | How We Destroy Lives Today - The New York Times - "The man, Nathan Phillips, told two different versions of what happened. He told The Washington Post that he was singing a traditional song when the teenagers swarmed around him, some chanting, “Build that wall, build that wall.” He decided the right thing to do was to get away. “I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation.”He told The Detroit Free Press that the incident started when the boys started attacking four African-Americans. So he decided to intervene. “There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey. These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey.” Many news organizations ran one of these accounts. Before you judge the reporters too harshly, it’s important to remember that these days the social media tail wags the mainstream media dog. If you want your story to be well placed and if you want to be professionally rewarded, you have to generate page views — you have to incite social media. The way to do that is to reinforce the prejudices of your readers. In this one episode, you had a gentle, 64-year-old Native American man being swarmed by white (boo!), male (boo!), preppy (double boo!) Trump supporters (infinite boo!). If you are trying to rub the pleasure centers of a liberal audience, this is truly a story too good to check."

Brett MacDonald on Twitter - "When vibrant inner-city youths kidnapped that white boy with autism and tortured him on Facebook live there was less commotion, concern, and media coverage than when a white boy smirked. Remember that and never forget it."

Advancing urban educational policy: Insights from research on Dunbar High School

Advancing urban educational policy: Insights from research on Dunbar High School

"For a period of 85 years, the M Street/Dunbar High School was an academically elite, allblack public high school in Washington, D.C. As far back as 1899, its students came in first in citywide tests given in both black and white schools. Over this 85-year span, approximately 80 percent of M Street/Dunbar's graduates went on to college, even though most Americans, white or black, did not attend college at all. Faculty and students were mutually respectful to one another and disruptions in the classroom were not tolerated. Yet, in this era of best practices, this public high school has received virtually no attention in the literature or in policy considerations for inner-city education. The Dunbar High School, of today, with its new building and athletic facilities is just another ghetto school with abysmal standards and low test score results despite the District of Columbia's record of having some of the country's highest levels of money spent per pupil. The purpose of this study is to explore the history of a high school that was successful in teaching black children from low-income families and to determine if the learning model employed there could be successful in a modern inner-city public education environment...

The M Street/Dunbar High School was an academically elite, all-black public high school in Washington, D.C., from 1870 to 1955. As far back as 1899, its students came in first in citywide tests given in both black and white schools. Over this 85-year span, most of M Street/Dunbar's graduates went on to college, even though most Americans, white or black, did not attend college at all. In their careers, as in their academic work, M Street/Dunbar graduates excelled. The first black general (Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.), the first black federal judge (William H. Hastie), the first black Cabinet member (Robert C. Weaver), the discoverer of blood plasma (Charles Drew), and the first black Senator since Reconstruction (Edward W. Brooke), were all M Street/Dunbar graduates. During World War II, M Street/Dunbar graduates in the Army included "nearly a score of majors, nine colonels and lieutenant colonels, and one brigadier general," and a substantial percentage of the total number of high-ranking black officers at that time (Hundley, p. 145).

The M Street/Dunbar High School prepared graduating students for the challenges of college education and for the workforce. The literature on creating high-performing high schools identifies a particular set of components that are remarkably consistent for effecting high school transformation. Among both educators and educational researchers, a new consensus, similar to what M Street/Dunbar provided in the past, is emerging today. This consensus implies that effective school improvement requires:

• A high set of expectations and a rigorous curriculum,
• A repertoire of instructional strategies that engage students in real-world applications,
• An environment that fosters academic and personal relationships between staff and students,
• A vested leadership, and
• A professional community of partnership that focuses on improving teaching and learning for every child (National High Alliance, March 2005).

If nothing else, history shows what can be achieved, even in the face of adversity. Today, black people are achieving less in an era of greater material abundance and greater social opportunities. Yet, a subculture of poverty has become institutionalized through welfare assistance and government dependency. Can the education model of the “old Dunbar” be replicated in these modern times?...

In 1954, when the Supreme Court struck down school segregation (Kelly, 1987), Dunbar was an academic school, drawing the brightest black youngsters from throughout the city and sending about 80 per cent of them on to college. After that decision, it became a neighborhood high school, drawing its students from some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city with difficult problems of discipline, absenteeism and low academic achievement that beset schools in inner-city slums throughout the country...

The historical approach to the 1977 building’s new design signified a rejection of the 1916 building’s past and a focus on contemporary and future needs. It revealed a strong disconnect between past accomplishments of the old Dunbar and the academically unproductive state of the institution in the 1960s and 1970s. Instead of the values and culture of middle-class America, it embraced the social phenomena in economics and sociology under which povertystricken individuals exhibit a tendency to remain poor throughout their lifespan and, in many cases, across generations (Lewis, 1966). In this culture, higher education and higher level professional, managerial, and technology careers are not priorities. The young black adult, especially the male, is forced to base his self-esteem on a stereotyped picture of sexual impulsiveness, irresponsibility, verbal bombast, posturing, and compensatory achievement in entertainment and athletics (Morris, 2007)...

Black families in the early 20th century exhibited the typical values characteristic of the middle class even when they did not have the financial means to obtain this lifestyle. Typical values associated with a black middle class lifestyle included a tendency to plan ahead that foresaw retirement, a desire to be in control of their future, respect for and abidance of the law, and a desire for a good education for themselves and their children. The way to move forward in socio-economic status was through a good education and hard work. The values consistent with this life style included a desire to protect their families from various hardships such as health issues, financial difficulties, and crime (Myrdal, 1944, p. 134)...

[A survey of alumni from the time when it was a good school found that] The Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) was not the major means of parental involvement in the M Street/Dunbar High School setting. Parental involvement was particularly important in black schools, for the black culture was not a permissive culture. If black kids misbehave, it is because their parents do not know or do not care. M Street/Dunbar students’ parents did not tolerate any philosophy allowing black youths to "do their own thing." Where black parents have become involved in a school, they have sometimes urged a stricter discipline than the school was prepared to impose. Moreover, parental involvement did not mean taking "community control" through either an ideological dogma or a public relations ploy. Where a community has a high rate of residential turnover, "community control" can mean the unchallenged dominance of a handful of activists who are not accountable to any lasting constituency. At M Street/Dunbar, it was important to have the widespread involvement of individual parents and the support of the church (Hutchinson, pp. 57-58)...

M Street/Dunbar was allowed to use corporal punishment to discipline students, and the parents supported this. Many of the male students, especially, remember the large paddle in the administrative offices at Dunbar. When a principal in a black school is given the authority to administer corporal punishment at the insistence of the parents, there is clearly more here than meets the eye. The important question was not whether corporal punishment was good or bad, any more than the important question about Dunbar students really needing Latin. The point is that certain human relations are essential to the educational process. When these conditions are met, then education can go forward regardless of methods, educational philosophy, or physical plant (Sowell, Spring 1976, pp. 51-52)...

From the time the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth was established by a group headed by William Syphax, a freedman and civil rights activist, black parents sent their children to school with a respect for learning and a readiness to work. Consequently, the M Street/Dunbar High School, run by a 100 percent black staff and faculty and populated by a 100 percent black student body, was a high-performing educational institution. When asked if they thought the educational and cultural atmosphere of the pre-1960 M Street/Dunbar High School model could be replicated in the environment of today, 51 percent of the respondents said no, 22 percent said yes, and 27 percent were ambivalent.

The reasons survey respondents gave to indicate why they thought replication of the M Street/Dunbar High School education model could or could not occur, were culture, students, and teachers. Culturally, 49 percent of the respondents indicated it would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the high performance environment of M Street and Dunbar because the factor of segregation was the major hindrance for the black community. Education during the “old Dunbar” period was seen as the way to get ahead and compete with white people in the larger society. The middle class values of God, country, and family were critical to black aspirations. During the period of 1920 to 1955, black neighborhoods were socio-economically diverse and children were likely to see adults in a variety of positive roles. There was a strong sense of community where parents trusted and supported teachers as true professionals and leaders. Today, the dominant value system of black culture is primarily one of entitlement and the feeling that one is owed a good life.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents felt that black students nowadays are less prepared academically in the elementary and middle schools due to various sociological reasons; i.e., more single parent families, less discipline, more incarceration of black males, and low expectations. Furthermore, the students do not have family support for education, lack self-discipline and a desire to learn, and have too many nonacademic distractions. It was also felt by 22 percent that many of our current teachers are not as well-educated and dedicated as faculty was during the respondents’ time at M Street/Dunbar. Highly educated black professionals currently have economic options beyond that of teaching, while, for earlier M Street/Dunbar faculty with doctorates, master’s, and professional degrees, there were rare opportunities for other work in their fields of expertise.

A new-found freedom from slavery inspired the formation of M Street/Dunbar High School and the black community’s appreciation for education. Segregation dominated the value system of mainstream American society and contributed mightily to the hindrance of black racial progress. Religion and family were the underpinnings of the black community. This combination of historical circumstances that created Dunbar High School can never be recreated. Some of the essential circumstances should not be recreated; for example, the racial barriers, which led a scholar, like Carter G. Woodson, to teach at Dunbar High School, when he should have been conducting graduate seminars at a major university. Such historical experiences contain important lessons for the present...

One can argue that parents may be more educated and more sophisticated today than they were in the past. However, it is not clear that their political activism or community involvement in schools and education has been a net benefit in the black community. At the very least, history shows that their involvement beyond the concerns of their individual children has never been essential. Today, education is politics and, politically, failure becomes a reason to demand more money, smaller classes, and more trendy courses and programs, ranging from “black English” to bilingualism and “self-esteem” (Sowell, 2001, p. 91).

The old M Street/Dunbar did not seek "grass-roots" teachers who could "relate" to "disadvantaged" students, even though a substantial part of its students were the children of maids, messengers, and clerks. They sought the best teachers and M Street/Dunbar faculty included many "overqualified" people, in today's parlance. Almost all of its principals during its 85-year ascendancy held degrees from the leading colleges and universities in the country instead of teacher's college degrees or education degrees from other institutions. They had been trained in hard intellectual fields and had been held to rigid standards. Their discipline was reflected in the atmosphere and standards of M Street and Dunbar High Schools (Sowell, Spring 1976, pp. 54-55). While Dunbar promoted racial pride, it was pride in the achievements of outstanding black persons as measured by universal standards, not special "black" achievements or special "black" standards (Sowell, Spring 1976, p. 48)...

Black neighborhoods are no longer socio-economically diverse and children are not likely to see adults in a variety of positive roles. Today, the dominant value system of black culture is one of low expectations dominated by more single parent families, less discipline, and more incarceration of black males. Consequently, black students are less prepared academically in the elementary and middle schools for entrance into high school. Entering students do not have family support for education, lack self-discipline, and have little desire to learn. Finally, teachers are not as well qualified and committed as the past M Street/Dunbar faculty and good teachers have economic alternatives to teaching. To match that academic environment, a minimum requirement for teaching in a comparable education institution today would be a master’s degree in the field a faculty member is teaching, with preference given to a doctorate or A.B.D. (all but dissertation).

The subculture of poverty is becoming institutionalized through expanded welfare assistance and government dependency. The new entitlement beneficiaries do not work and, instead, receive Food Stamps, welfare checks, Section 8 vouchers, and Medicaid. In this age of neo-slavery, the old M Street/Dunbar is passé"
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