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Friday, April 19, 2019

Links - 19th April 2019 (2)

Polytechnic student admits to cheating 16 men by posing online as woman offering sex - "Instead of taking heed of a website advisory warning users against scammers plying purported sexual services and pornographic videos, a polytechnic student took inspiration instead and became such a scammer himself."

Sugar Mummy Singapore - "Get hooked up with a rich Sugar Mummy in Singapore and make SGD 4,500 Daily. Call or WhatsApp Agent Collins now on +6581609821 to get phone numbers of Singaporean Sugar Mummies who would love to meet you... Our Agency offers the best, fastest and most reliable Sugar Mummy Services to all our clients and applicants inside and outside Singapore. We have a wonderful influential network of clients ranging from Government officials, Politicians, Executives, Honourables, Oil Barons, Money-Bag Business Personalities, Hotel Owners, Gold Men & Women and CEOs.We act as agents for a wide range of very influential and connected Sugar Mummies & Sugar Daddies ( straight, gay and lesbians) all over Asia who are willing to spoil you with lots of gifts and money daily."

Why Phone Fraud Starts With A Silent Call - "these robocalls are on the rise because Internet-powered phones make it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world.That initial call you get, with silence on the other end, "[is] essentially the first of the reconnaissance calls that these fraudsters do," Balasubramaniyan says. "They're trying to see: Are they getting a human on the other end? You even cough and it knows you're there."... Company researchers estimate 1 in every 2,200 calls is a fraud attempt. And they've observed an interesting detail about the fraudulent 1-877 numbers. If you call back from your phone — which the criminals dialed — you get the prompt to enter personal data. If you call back from somewhere else, you get "this number has been deactivated." So a regulator or police officer that's trying to crack down will think, incorrectly, it's out of commission."

How To Hide Your Phone Number in Telegram - "The short answer is that there is no way to manually hide your number, and you must have a valid phone number to create and verify your Telegram account.The good news is that you don’t really have to hide your number. Telegram only uses your phone number as verification. A username, which you create when you set up your account, is used for everything else."

Man jailed 19 months for sex with 13-year-old girl and molesting another teen - "Ho brought the girl to the abandoned Brunei Hostel and the two had sex on the top floor. They then hung out at Dhoby Ghaut before heading to Fort Canning Park at night, where they had sex again on a bench.After that day, the girl stopped responding to Ho’s texts as she felt too young to be having sex and regretted the act.The girl’s elder sister also met Ho through Instagram and the two met up to watch a movie. During the outing, Ho told her about his sexual encounter with her younger sister. The girl’s mother came to know of the sexual encounters and made a police report"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Morality of Ends and Means - "I certainly wouldn't say anything other than Saudi regime is extremely repressive and despotic and tyrannical, and so on. But it could be worse in the sense that in Yemen, terrible as it is, the Saudis against Iran, and if it didn't fight Iran, Iran’s power in the region would be immeasurably strengthened. Iran has been responsible for the killing of untold numbers of British and American soldiers. Iran poses a direct threat to us in the way that Saudi doesn't. I wonder why you campaign in Saudi so vociferously for reasons I can understand but I don't hear the same campaigning from you against Iran, against China"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Lest We Forget: the Morality of Remembrance - "What he seemed to object to, particularly was not simply his objection to the motives for the wars, but the fact that we were commemorating our people who died. He seemed to think that was somehow illegitimate and it would be, you know, it was a sort of evidence that this was a sort of morally reprehensible thing that we didn't remember everybody else including the people that we fought against. This is ridiculous, because the whole point of Remembrance Sunday is that we commemorate the people who died for us so that we should live in freedom and live"

My Alliance with Science - Posts - "back in the early days of exploration many travelers would simply draw what they found/saw since the means to study, photograph, further explore it didn't exist yet. Well this is where many of our deep sea monster stories come from,because as it turns out many of these drawings may have depicted large tentacled and alienesque appendages emerging from the water giving belief to something larger and more sinister lurking beneath.... however in many cases it was really just whale dicks. Whales often mate in threes so while one male was busy with the female the other male just pops his dick out of the water while swimming around waiting his turn"

God Emperor Trump on Twitter "2019: Sorry but you’ve been banned from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, PayPal, GoDaddy, and MasterCard because of a racist joke you made in 2007.
Also 2019: Here’s an 11 year old boy in drag dancing for tips in a strip club"

Judith on Twitter - "Canadian feminism is ridiculous. They think they're oppressed by a sexist system that hold women back. While the leader of the country is a proud feminist, who chose a gender balanced cabinet, and who passes feminist theory into law. You aren't oppressed, you are the system!!"

Judith on Twitter - "One thing feminism has done for women, is make it unacceptable to apply a standard of behavior for women. You can't tell a woman to be nice, of behave properly. Like spoiled children, feminists will throw tantrums if they are told to act in the same way they say men should act."

Senator Mehreen Faruqi - Posts - "Solidarity requires a willingness to listen, learn and - crucially - shut up."
Strange, I thought feminism was supposed to be for men too

The Screen - Posts - "In the UK, over half of our Parliament considers themselves to be feminist (53%) yet, according to research from one of the largest feminist organizations in the UK (The Fawcett Society) only 7% of the UK population consider themselves to be feminist. This shows how the feminists are massively over-represented in Parliament (nearly 8 times as much) yet, it is doubtful they will attempt to balance this out for the sake of representation"

ANDREW STARK. Oh, Canada! (New York Review of Books 19.07.18) - "polls show that 80 percent of Canadians value immigration. In fact, those Canadians who most strongly describe themselves as patriotic are also the most supportive of immigration and multiculturalism; in America the opposite is true. And approval of multiculturalism at home is matched by support for multilateralism abroad... It’s the world’s “first post-national state.” There is “no mainstream in Canada.” These starry-eyed utterances diminish the way in which cultural differences strengthen many other countries. They also ignore the fact that Canadian employers often favor job applicants with Canadian work experience, educational credentials, and language skills over candidates with abundant skills and experience acquired in other countries, thus helping to perpetuate an economic, if not a cultural, mainstream that can be difficult for some immigrants to break into... if we are asking why Canada remains uniquely open to immigration and globalization, we must look at a third phenomenon that qualifies as an incomplete conquest, although Russell does not describe it that way. It’s the relationship between Canada’s four western provinces—British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba—and its largest province, Ontario... Canada’s constitutionally enshrined “equalization” system, which ensures that each province has roughly the same fiscal capacity to provide government services, has helped working Canadians stay in their homes and supported communities in troubled economic times. So have a suite of federal agencies dedicated to developing Canada’s poorer regions, along with the country’s much-vaunted public health care system and its well-regulated banking sector, which avoided the American foreclosure crisis... Motivated by its commitment to multicultural pluralism, Canada has long maintained a region-blind approach in deciding whom to admit, and it has reduced its family reunification program. Instead, she observes, Canada selects most of its immigrants on the basis of their labor-market qualifications: their education, training, linguistic abilities, and work experience. That Canada principally admits “people with skills that are thought to contribute to the economy” is, for Bloemraad, a major “reason for…Canadian exceptionalism”... the latest Gallup Global Migrant Acceptance Index confirms that Canada continues to embrace immigration more enthusiastically than either America or Europe (with the exception of Iceland)."

Are Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Better Than Frozen? - "“If you make bread at home, that’s processed,” said Jorg Spieldenner, the head of the public-health nutrition department at Nestlé Research Center. “If you heat something, that’s processed. When you make an egg, that’s processed food. According to the definition.”... In some cases, frozen could be better.Take the example of purchasing a peach in winter in New England, where there are no fresh peaches locally.“I would buy a frozen peach,” said Hugh Acheson, a chef and owner of four restaurants in Georgia. “The problem with the peach that was grown in Chile and then put in a refrigerated system and then put on a ship … is it was grown four months ago.”... “Eat any peach versus no peach at all,” Mozaffarian said. “The main problem with the food supply is bad eating.” If people are eating fruits and vegetables, the health differences in how they’re prepared are “around the margins”... “I’m a cardiologist,” he said, “and I had a patient come in once asking about salmon. He said, ‘I heard there’s PCBs in salmon. Should I be eating wild salmon or farmed salmon?’ I said, ‘Stop smoking.’”"

Skinny genes the 'secret to staying slim' - "Lead researcher Prof Sadaf Farooqi, from the University of Cambridge, called on people to be less judgemental about others' weight."This research shows for the first time that healthy thin people are generally thin because they have a lower burden of genes that increase a person's chances of being overweight and not because they are morally superior, as some people like to suggest," she said."It's easy to rush to judgement and criticise people for their weight but science shows that things are far more complex."We have far less control over our weight than we might wish to think.""

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s - "it’s harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise... First, people are exposed to more chemicals that might be weight-gain inducing. Pesticides, flame retardants, and the substances in food packaging might all be altering our hormonal processes and tweaking the way our bodies put on and maintain weight.Second, the use of prescription drugs has risen dramatically since the ‘70s and ‘80s. Prozac, the first blockbuster SSRI, came out in 1988. Antidepressants are now one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S., and many of them have been linked to weight gain. Finally, Kuk and the other study authors think that the microbiomes of Americans might have somehow changed between the 1980s and now"

Woman who inherited fatal illness to sue doctors in groundbreaking case - "The woman discovered – after giving birth – that her father carried the gene for Huntington’s disease, a degenerative, incurable brain condition. Later she found out she had inherited the gene and that her own daughter, now eight, has a 50% chance of having it.The woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – says she would have had an abortion had she known about her father’s condition, and is suing the doctors who failed to tell her about the risks she and her child faced"

It’s not just a costume: Chinese people who ditched the jeans for ancient robes - "In 2010, a young woman in Chengdu was attacked by a group of college students because she was wearing traditional Chinese robes.The students thought her dress was a Japanese kimono, forced her to take it off, and burned it in public... Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province, has a reputation for being more open and culturally liberal than other parts of the country. Some of the most well-known Chinese hip-hop groups, for example, hail from Chengdu."

More Than 1,000 Journalists, Staff Laid Off Across Buzzfeed, AOL, Yahoo, Huffpost - "This is no loss at all given all the fake news produced by a variety of outlets, including the Huffington Post, who shamelessly published a fake news piece by a South African male pretending to be a male-hating feminist that he put together in order to prove the media’s bias. They fell right into his trap because they broadcast the piece on their platform without fact-checking it first. It did, however, blow up in their face and also cost them an editor-in-chief when it was all said and done.But that wasn’t even the first time The Huffington Post was caught in an ethical conundrum. Apart from publishing fake news about #GamerGate, they were also one of the leading outlets exposed for adopting a bias in order to push Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign to help signal boost her prominence within the media sphere, as outlined in leaked documents from Wikileaks."

Journos Meltdown After Being Told 'Learn To Code' In Wake Of Mass Layoffs At HuffPo, Buzzfeed - "Smearing a bunch of children and trying to ruin their lives for smiling is "respectable journalism" -- but making fun of journalists for losing their jobs is just a step too far!"

Here’s Where The ‘Learn To Code’ Meme Originated. Hint: Not 4Chan. - "For days now, journalists on Twitter have been complaining about being harassed by people telling them: “Learn to code.”The phrase started to be used after Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post announced massive layoffs. Laid off reporters started seeing harassment in the meme, and subsequently whined... a Twitter spokesperson told him that “tweeting ‘learn to code’ at any recently laid off journalist will be treated as ‘abusive behavior’ and is a violation of Twitter's Terms of Service.”... With all the fuss surrounding the meme, the question became: Where did “learn to code” come from? The answer? From journalists themselves, during the Obama administration... NPR, Wired, The New York Times and many other outlets ran with these stories, which seemed to some as elite media outlets mocking blue-collar workers for losing their jobs. Now people on Twitter are turning this around on journalists who have lost their jobs, because if it’s so easy for a coal worker to start a new career as a coder, surely the elite, educated, smarter-than-the-rest-of-us journalists and opinion writers can learn it as well.Of course, since “journalists” can’t be expected to do even a modicum of research, they blamed the “harassment” on 4chan, searching for posts celebrating reporters losing their jobs and bragging about telling them to “learn to code.”"

Ex-HuffPost Deputy Opinion Editor Chloe Angyal - "Our goals for this month were: less than 50% white authors (check!), Asian representation that matches or exceeds the US population (check!), more trans and non-binary authors (check, but I want to do better)."
"Like so many talented and lovely journalists, I was laid off today.If you're in the market for an opinion editor with a huge and diverse rolodex, or a columnist with 10 years of writing about gender politics (and a literal PhD in romantic comedies) under her belt, talk to me."
That could be one way to hit their goals...

Beauty and Justice

Mark Steven - Fun fact: According to Greek legend there was a...

"Fun fact: According to Greek legend there was a famous prostitute who managed to avoid a death sentence by showing the judges her boobs and arguing that it would be a crime against the Gods to destroy something so beautiful.

Before you ask, yes there are paintings of this. And yes, they’re amazing.

The courtesan named was named Phryne and she was indeed a renowned beauty, and was indeed was put on trial for a capital crime. And yes, the sum of her defense consisted of her stripping in court (helped by her lover/defendant) and asking the jury (all males) if they were prepared to destroy this.

But this is actually a very interesting case of Values Dissonance - the capital crime she was accused of was blasphemy. In Ancient Greek society, exceptional beauty was a sign of favor from the gods, and they took the idea that beauty indicated goodness with great seriousness. They even called their nobles Kaloi k'Agathoi, “the Beautiful and the Good.”

So by showing off her great physical beauty, Phryne was being very clever indeed, her argument essentially being “How could I possibly commit blasphemy if the gods have given me this body?“

I adore history.
”If these tits are legit, you must acquit.”"

Links - 19th April 2019 (1)

Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited - "Some people are attracted to women; some are attracted to men. And some, if Sigmund Freud, Dr. Alfred Kinsey and millions of self-described bisexuals are to be believed, are drawn to both sexes. But a new study casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men. The study, by a team of psychologists in Chicago and Toronto, lends support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual orientation. People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply closeted. "You're either gay, straight or lying," as some gay men have put it. In the new study, a team of psychologists directly measured genital arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The psychologists found that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by other men. The study is the largest of several small reports suggesting that the estimated 1.7 percent of men who identify themselves as bisexual show physical attraction patterns that differ substantially from their professed desires."

Being Classically Feminine - Posts - "All men are pigs"
"Women are equal to men"

Valar Morghulis - " Her daughter is small for her age, and will probably remain small. This has affected her self-confidence. Earlier this year, my friend decided to tell her daughter a slightly sanitized version of Arya Stark's journey in GoT, to basically demonstrate how a small girl could learn to be badass.Six months go by, and the daughter turns from 5 to 6. Her mom asks her what she wants for her birthday. The daughter says, "I want to learn how to fight." So my friend, who has zero martial arts experience, looks up a place, and they go there.The moment they get there, my friend is thinking, "This may not be the right place." It's a Krav Maga/MMA gym. Lots of burly dudes beating the crap out of each other, basically. Not your kid-friendly karate dojo.But she doesn't want to tell her daughter that they have to leave because the place is filled with intimidating men -- it would pretty much fly in the face of everything she's trying to teach her. So she says, "Okay. I don't know if they have a kid's class here. Why don't you go ask who the teacher is, and then ask them?... The guy looks down at this wee little girl, and he says, "Uh, well, no, we don't really. Maybe I can talk to your mom and suggest some places for you? This isn't really a place for little girls."Her daughter reaches into her jacket pocket, pulls out a nickel, holds it out to the guy and says, "Valar morghulis."The guy takes the nickel, looks at it, then says, totally deadpan: "Valar dohaeris. Of course I can teach you."The mom comes over and says, "I thought you said you didn't have kid's classes?" The guy says, "We do now. Come into the office and we'll work up a training schedule." The mom: "Do you have any idea how much it'll cost?" The guy holds up the nickel. "She's already paid up.""
So basically to be 'badass' you need to be like a man

Vivian Earons on Twitter - "I am amazed by the amount of people who are coming out of the woodwork to defend abysmal grammar."
"Just a reminder: grammar is often classist and furthers white supremacy in its rules, so people having grammar that is outside the definitions of what modern English defines as acceptable, is not wrong and calling it such furthers those narratives"

When moths come to stay, there’s only one solution - "Call in the killer wasps! As a self-trained expert on moth infestation, I’ve been saying it for years – to derision, mainly. Well to all those sneerers: I told you so. The Natural History Museum, surely expert in such matters, has turned to wasps to eradicate the pest that devours the exhibits in its glass cases and our wardrobes alike: the moth... the museum is deploying Trichogramma – tiny parasitic wasps which eat moth larvae – to give the enemy a taste of their own medicine"

Workday Predicts When Employees Will Quit - "Workday's new software, which it hopes to release next year, works by looking at your career progression and comparing it with other employees who have followed a similar path.So if other people in your position have left the company after an average of two years on the job, Workday could send your bosses a note letting them know you might be getting ready to split.The idea is to be able to give its clients recommendations, like "give Jane a promotion," that would allow them to keep their most talented employees."

How To Predict Which Of Your Employees Are About To Quit - "A well-known tech firm that recently worked with my company was losing its precious engineers. Recruiters who spent a lot of time looking for coders on LinkedIn were already in the habit of noticing recently updated “Skills” sections, interpreting that as a sign an engineer might be interested in hearing about new opportunities. So it occurred to the tech company to apply this principle in reverse.The managers realized that their own coders were probably doing the same thing–updating their LinkedIn profiles whenever they were ready to hear from other firms. So the company wrote a simple script to capture the LinkedIn update feed for the profiles of around 2,000 of its top-performing coders. That let managers to react quickly whenever one of those employees added new info. Similar to the call managers, supervisors then swooped in to discuss the career goals and professional-development opportunities with the coders who might be wavering."

The ugly truth hiding behind Canada’s ‘low’ unemployment rate should worry us all - "To properly judge the strength of Canada’s labour markets, it’s crucial to use a more comprehensive measure.We do just that in a recent study comparing the labour-market performance in Canadian provinces and U.S. states from 2015 to 2017. The study calculates an overall score (from zero to 100) for each jurisdiction based on eight indicators including private-sector employment and total employment rates, the unemployment rate, the extent of under-employment (measured as the share of involuntary part-time workers) and worker productivity (measured by the average value of goods and services produced by each worker). Higher-scoring jurisdictions are ranked better.Overall, Canadian provinces significantly underperformed relative to U.S. states, with every Canadian province ranked in the bottom half of the 60 jurisdictions"

This Maths Hack Takes The Pain Out Of Doing Percentages - "x% of y = y% of x"

The Screen - Posts - "Lawrence Summers: Hypothesizes the different availability of aptitude as a cause for the higher proportion of men in high-end science and engineering positions.
Accused of sexism, professors demand apologies, and some call for his termination; ends up resigning."
"Michelle Obama: States outright that "women are smarter than men" at the U.S.-Africa leaders summit.
Audience and the media laugh and applaud."
"It's only ever okay to discuss inherent sex-differences if you use it to say women are naturally superior.
This is your brain on #Progressive politics."

>Feminsts don't hate men, feminists love men >Feminists want to kill men PICK ONE!!! - "Feminist memes: "Amazing how feminists are called man-haters given we are the only group that truly believes in men's capacity to change. We are the only group that argues that men are not born rapists, johns, pimps, batterers, but are socialized into violence via the culture.""
"Feminist memes: *Feminist Steamroller crushing men with feminists onboard cheering* "Wish i had one like this""
">Feminsts don't hate men, feminists love men
>Feminists want to kill men

Feminist campaigner who started #SaggyBoobsMatter campaign sparks furious debate online after - "'Why should I care about male suicide?' Feminist blogger behind the #SaggyBoobsMatter campaign sparks outrage for claiming she has NO concern for men who 'kill themselves because they can't cry'
Londoner Chidera Eggerue, 24, tweeted that she didn't care about men's issues...
Ms Eggerue is known for her Sunday Times Bestseller, What a Time to be Alone: The Slumflower's Guide to Why You Are Already Enough, and was featured on the BBC's 100 Women list last year."

Vida Rz - Women are universally more religious than men, except... - "Women are universally more religious than men, except when it comes to Islam"
Source: "Gender differences in standardized religiousness across groups" from GENDER, RELIGION, AND VALUES: A Cross-National Examination of Moral Justification and Partisanship, a working paper by Landon Schnabel

Hillary Clinton unleashed foul-mouthed tirade in Trump debate prep session - "Hillary Clinton unleashed a “fuck-laced fusillade” on aides in a 2016 debate prep session, according to a new book about the presidential campaign by New York Times journalist Amy Chozick. The candidate was squirming with frustration over lingering concerns about her “authenticity” and racked with loathing for Donald Trump she was determined not to vent in public... Hillary Clinton reportedly “erupted” when Chozick reported in January 2016 that the actress and writer Lena Dunham, a prominent supporter and 29 at the time, told a Manhattan dinner party “she was disturbed by how, in the 1990s, the Clintons and their allies discredited women” who had accused Bill Clinton of misconduct.The former president, meanwhile, was painfully aware of Trump’s potential appeal in territory he thought of as his own, Chozick reports.“By late February,” she writes, “Bill went red in the face on almost daily conference calls trying to warn Brooklyn that Trump had a shrewd understanding of the angst that so many voters – his voters, the white working class whom Clinton brought back to the Democratic party in 1992 – were feeling.” But Hillary Clinton failed to collect many of those voters, skipping their states as she made campaign stops and alienating some with her grouping of certain Trump supporters in a “basket of deplorables”, a line Chozick reports the candidate liked and deployed at big-ticket fundraisers from New York to Los Angeles. “In the Hamptons, Hillary felt loved,” Chozick writes. Clinton, however, grew weary of hearing pollsters report on her lagging favorability."

Sam Harris States the Obvious about Islam, Enrages Ben Affleck - "'Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize white theocracy, they’ll criticize Christians. They’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984. But when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. . . . The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of “Islamophobia,” where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. . . . We have to be able to criticize bad ideas, and Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas... I agree that all condemnation of ISIS [Islamic State] is good. But what do you think would happen if we had burned a copy of the Koran on [that night’s television] show? There would be riots in scores of countries. Embassies would fall. In response to our mistreating a book, millions of Muslims would take to the streets, and we would spend the rest of our lives fending off credible threats of murder. But when ISIS crucifies people, buries children alive, and rapes and tortures women by the thousands—all in the name of Islam—the response [among Muslims] is a few small demonstrations in Europe and a hashtag'"

Segments of Random Thoughts - Posts - "How far right wing does an Asian have to be before its okay to call him a gook and a chink? You cease to be a person when you're a Nazi in my eyes, which is why I don't get upset when uncle toms are called out (cause that's what they are)."
"People ask me why I, a "person of colour", go out of my way to criticise the regressive Left's identity politics and all the white privilege nonsense. This is why. They're driven by their hatred of the West and its enlightenment values such as free speech, private property, sovereignty of the individual etc. That's their primary motivation, NOT empathy for minorities or the oppressed. So as soon as a minority doesn't play ball, they don't hesitate to go after them with vicious attacks. The only thing they truly care about is their anti-West ideology."

Hirsi Ali: “You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom” - "Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali... You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom, because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom. I haven’t. I know there are many things wrong with America, and I know that there are many things wrong with Americans, but I still believe it’s the best nation in the world"

The Cost of Satisfaction: A National Study of Patient Satisfaction, Health Care Utilization, Expenditures, and Mortality - "higher patient satisfaction was associated with less emergency department use but with greater inpatient use, higher overall health care and prescription drug expenditures, and increased mortality"

Christoph Rondeau's answer to Is it better to move to Canada or Australia? - Quora - "Another good thing about Canada is what we’re connected to. We have the US directly under us, which is gigantic and rich and has loads of interesting places to see, and the majority of Canada lives less than 100 miles from the US border. In Australia, if you’re going to another country, it’s either NZ, which is beautiful and amazing, but quite similar to Australia and far smaller, or the next closest stop is Indonesia. For that, its a 12+ hour flight to get to a country that is so extremely different than yours, and much poorer and more dangerous. It actually takes a similar cost and duration to get from Melbourne to Indonesia, as it does to get from Vancouver to England."

Ulzii Nergqui's answer to Is Australia a good country to work and settle? - Quora - "I am cleaning cinemas, where i get paid 26.36$ per hour. However, Asian students work at restaurants getting about 12–13$ per hour. That is like a joke. My Chinese roommate works as web-designer and getting less money than me who is doing vacuuming...
Stop smoking immediately. Here one pack of cigarettes is more than 20$.
Visit dentist in your country. It might ruin your finance if you visit dentist in Australia.
Learn as many things as possible in your country such as driving.
Australians are friendly people. I suggest you to work with Australians...
I would say that never ever hired by someone who was not born in Australia. They will most likely over-exploit you.
Do not stick to your compatriots when you spend thousands of dollars to come here to start a new life."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Links - 18th April 2019 (2)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, John Malkovich: Harvey Weinstein inspired play may 'upset' people - "I'm sure for some people, it would be very painful. In the end that's kind of what theater is for. A lot of great plays done well elicit the question: do I laugh or do I cry, and I think a lot of great comedy exists on this knife's edge."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, How should social media be regulated? - "‘Many people will have seen the video that emerged yesterday of Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Ireland in 2009 before the Irish voted for a second time on the on the Lisbon Treaty saying that, talking about a European Empire of the 21st century, talking about creating one massive great Frankenstein, Europe becoming subservient to the wishes of NATO and the aims of NATO. Are these his true views on the European Union?’
‘I saw that late last night. These are the views of Jeremy when he was on the back benches shaking the tree and challenging the establishment governments in both Ireland and the UK.’
‘Are they still his views now?’
‘No. No, his views now are that of the Shadow Cabinet and the Labour Conference’"
A "good and decent man" indeed

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Trump's State of the Union - "‘He's a counter puncher. Remember, John, he won't punch you unless you punch him first. Remember, the key word is counter puncher and he's been like that for 40 years in the public's eye’
the folks that were, got in trouble like Paul Manafort were for tax evasion... There's nothing to do with the president and or any, or Cohen, Cohen was was indicted for tax evasion and pay to play. It has nothing to do with the president and Russia collusion... look, he's been, they've been searching for two years and they found nothing"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Rob Young - "[On Marie Kondo] What's happened more recently is that people are reacting to the results of a 20 year boom in purchasing. Research that I've done shows that the number of things people have purchased increased dramatically in the 1990s and then well into the 2000s...
Our generation is busier, I think our generation has inherited the stuff that their parents collected or their own stuff...
The simplest explanation is that prices have gone down, particularly the prices of manufactured goods. These fell a lot which led people to buy a lot more of them. Apparel is a great example of this dynamic. You see it a lot in consumer electronics, or in furniture in what I've called the IKEA effect. Suddenly, one can buy really stylish furniture at a fraction of what it costs to buy in the past"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Pre-natal tests & genetics - "There’s an ideology in the private sector that the more the better. And therefore in the NIPT test they offer the whole range of conditions that they screen for, for which we have no data about how effective, if how worthwhile the medical screening is. There are many women that are having these expanded tests that being given information of a high risk for various chromosomal abnormalities. And then they come, they're extremely worried. They end up having an invasive tests, which was the first thing that they wanted to avoid it in the first place. And then of course, the invasive test shows that the results of the NIPT test was wrong...
‘We had a lady a little while ago who had received an email at eight o'clock on a Saturday morning. And by the time we finally caught up with that woman on the Monday, she was actually contemplating a termination without any testing at all. And she had a history of anxiety and depression.’"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Katie Prescott - "If there's a ban on single use plastics, on packaging and water bottles and so on, you just have to ask the question, well, what are you going to put in its place? And, you know, there's a simple, you know, simple story here. If you swap a plastic bottle for for a glass bottle that takes about 80% more energy, and that will be more energy, more carbon emissions, that bottle is a lot heavier. And so it takes an awful lot more energy to, to transport it around. And so the point here is, yes, we should be concerned about plastics. But before we start sort of whacking that mole, we should also worry about where it pops up somewhere else. And that's that was the main point"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Turkey slams China's treatment of Uighurs - "Opposition figures have picked this up, and they are questioning what they call a hypocrisy. They are saying that the government is accusing China of human rights abuses, whereas it commits them here at home. But that kind of rhetoric is not very likely to hurt the government at the moment. Nearly all dissent in Turkey is silenced and strong opposition to government policies, what they call as oppression is at the moment not possible"

Maryam shariatmadari on Twitter - "Maryam Mirzakhani, was the first female winner of the prestigious Fields Medal. She did'nt wear Hijab when receiving the medal, so the IR photoshopped her picture for their own propaganda. Now, @Nike has done the same! After leaving Iran, she never wore Hijab in public. #IWD2019"

The Perils of the Siege Mentality in Singapore - "two things, I realized, have never changed. They seem to be the few constants in Singapore’s history: one is the ruling PAP; the other is the siege mentality it has inspired from day one. Singapore, we are told, is unique. Our circumstances are unique (as if the same cannot be said of just about every other country on earth), and what they have tried to drill into our minds from a very young age, is that we are also uniquely vulnerable... What is surprising is not so much that Singapore spends that much on defense – we already know the government is operating under a siege mentality– but there is hardly any serious public discourse on whether such high expenditures are justified. It is taken almost as an article of faith that Singapore needs a strong defense for survival, so the government is allowed to do whatever it takes to maintain that, no questions asked. After all, national education has ensured that Singaporeans are brought up on the orthodoxy that we constantly need to be on our guard against all imaginable sorts of threats – thus the aggressive campaign for “total defense”. The problem is that everything comes with an opportunity cost... The acute sense of vulnerability and by extension, that Singapore has to do all it takes to avoid failure, also has ripple effects across society. It is at the heart of Singaporean kiasu-ism: the fear of failure is most acute when one believes that any failure at all is a threat to one’s survival... This “national conversation”, however, is bound to be a project with form (semblance and appearance of consensus-forging, public consultation) but no substance as long as the government is resistant to questioning its most fundamental premises of nation-building. To be sure, the government has no intention of doing that, not when the minister leading the conversation believes that the national conversation should seek to “reaffirm, recalibrate and refresh national values and policies”. Clearly they don’t see anything quite wrong with the fundamentals when all they want the national conversation to do is to, simply put, repackage an old good"
It's really no surprise 200 people listening to Watain's death metal music can rip apart Singapore's social fabric, since someone making offensive remarks about religion online can incite racial riots and cause Singapore to sink into the sea like Atlantis. The key issue is not religion or conservatives but Singapore's paranoia (e.g. with National Service/NS). Pascal's Wager is a fallacy, after all

Sydney Watson on Twitter - "Strong women don't have to play the gender card.
We don't try to be men.
We don't want preferential treatment or gender quotas to give us a leg up.
We earn based on merit.
If you're a woman who wants to play the victim, don't drag the rest of us down with you."

“Princess Qajar” and the Problem with Junk History Memes - "Junk history is embodied perfectly in a recent viral meme that portrays a nineteenth-century Persian princess with facial hair alongside the claim that 13 men killed themselves over their unrequited love for her. While it fails miserably at historical accuracy, the meme succeeds at demonstrating how easily viral clickbait obscures and overshadows rich and meaningful stories from the past."

How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting - "Perhaps it’s not digital technology that hindered my handwriting, but the technology that I was holding as I put pen to paper. Fountain pens want to connect letters. Ballpoint pens need to be convinced to write, need to be pushed into the paper rather than merely touch it. The No.2 pencils I used for math notes weren’t much of a break either, requiring pressure similar to that of a ballpoint pen.Moreover, digital technology didn’t really take off until the fountain pen had already begin its decline, and the ballpoint its rise. The ballpoint became popular at roughly the same time as mainframe computers. Articles about the decline of handwriting date back to at least the 1960s—long after the typewriter, but a full decade before the rise of the home computer."

Why is food so expensive in Australia? - "it is partly because shoppers have simply got used to high prices and foodie shows such as MasterChef may also encourage us to pay a premium for food... According to Numbeo, a website where users contribute data from around the world, grocery prices in the US were 24.85 per cent lower than in Australia. In Singapore they were 18.52 per cent lower, in the UK 12.25 per cent lower, France 9.67 per cent lower and Japan 9.47 per cent lower. When it comes to food prices, news.com.au analysis of the EIU’s data found that Sydney was more expensive than London, New York and Hong Kong if you calculated the price of a basket of food including bread, butter, apples, tomatoes, eggs, mince, fresh chicken, cheese, spaghetti and milk.The price of cheese bumped up Sydney’s result considerably, if this is removed from the basket of goods, then New York is the most expensive city out of the four. However, Sydney boasted the highest prices for apples, tomatoes and mince, all foods that are produced in the country... People often point to high wages in Australia and while this can be a factor, this did not explain why prices in other high-wage countries such as France were often cheaper... Senior economist John Ferguson at the Economist Intelligence Unit agreed that Australians had been accepting of high food prices for many years and this was partly due to the strength of the economy... Australia needed more competition as there were only two major supermarkets operating in the country... “Woolworths’s earnings before interest and taxes is 7.6 per cent and this is one of the highest in the supermarket world”... Australia’s smaller population compared to Europe was one of the biggest factors... Australia’s huge land mass is another factor that drives transportation costs... Australian food regulations tended to be more extreme than those overseas and this meant imports of cheaper products from other countries was restricted."

STUDY: Alzheimer's Looks To Be Caused By Gum Disease - "Porphyromonas gingivalis, a key bacteria in chronic gum disease, appears to be the cause of Alzheimer's disease... The finding, says the site, could lead to a vaccine for Alzheimer’s"

Ryan Isaacs's answer to What's wrong with Sydney? - Quora - "Population density there is shockingly low for a city of its size. Even taking out the large areas of parkland, Sydney’s population density is about the same of that of Maidstone, a biggish town in the English county of Kent. Once you leave the innermost suburbs, you’ll find mostly sprawling suburban (almost semi-rural) estates punctuated by the occasional Bunnings. You can literally walk five to ten minutes from Central station and be among houses with backyards."

Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap - "Perhaps, I thought, male bosses undervalue women. But I discovered women without bosses--who own their own businesses-- earn only 49 percent as much as male business owners. Why?When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners with MBAs, they discovered money was the primary motivator for only 29 percent of the women, versus 76 percent of the men. Women prioritized autonomy, flexibility (25 to 35-hour weeks and proximity to home), fulfillment, and safety.These contrasting goals were reflected in contrasting behavior: male business owners working 29 percent more; being in business 51 percent longer; having more employees; and commuting 47 percent farther.To make a fair legal assessment of the value of these differences requires more than saying, for example, that people who work 33 percent more hours should earn that much more pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that people who work 33 percent more hours get about double the pay. For example, people who work 44 hours per week make more than twice the pay of those working 34 hours. (Not at the same job, but, for example, at a job like a national sales representative, that would not even be available to someone who could only work 34 hours per week.)After a decade of research, I discovered 25 differences in men and womens work-life choices. All of them lead to men earning more money; and all lead to women having lives more balanced between work and home. (Since real power is about having a better life, well, once again, the women have outsmarted us!)... Women who have never been married and are without children earn 117 percent of their male counterparts. (The comparison controls for education, hours worked and age.) Why? The decisions of never-married women without children are more like mens (e.g., they work longer hours and dont leave their careers), and never-married mens are more like womens (careers in arts, etc.). The result? The women out-earn the men... dont female executives also make less than male executives? Yes. Discrimination? Lets look. Comparing men and women who are corporate vice presidents camouflages the facts that men more frequently assume financial, sales and other bottom-line responsibilities (vs. human resources or PR); they are vice presidents of national and international (vs. local or regional) firms; with more personnel and revenues; they are more likely executive or senior vice-presidents. They have more experience, relocate more, travel overseas more, and are considerably older when they become executives.Comparing men and women with the same jobs is still often to compare apples and oranges. However, when all 25 choices are the same, the great news for women is that then they make more than men... we miss 80 fields in which women can work, for the most part, fewer hours and fewer years, and still earn more than men. Fields such as financial analyst, speech-language pathologist, radiation therapist, library worker, biological technician, funeral service worker, motion picture projectionist.Thus women focused on discrimination dont know which female engineers make 143 percent of their male counterparts; or why female statisticians earn 135 percent... Employers today often feel in a precarious relationship with their female employees. Will the woman submitting her employment file today be filing a lawsuit tomorrow?"
In other words, the true gender wage gap is that women are paid more than men once you control for relevant variables

Traders boasting about their trades

"Floor traders were a funny breed. The ones who whined about their bad trades were usually the ones who made the most money. The way they spoke made it sound as if they were losing tons of money every day. It was a contest; who got screwed the most on their stock fills? Who lost the most amount of money on options decay while they were away on vacation? It was unspoken bad juju to mention winning trades. If a trader was making great money, they kept a perfect poker face. If someone did happen to mention a winning trade, it was usually because they had so few wins. Their ego wanted the world to know they managed to make at least one. ; To this day I remain skeptical of anyone who brags about their trades or profits."

--- Trading Sardines: Lessons in the Markets by a Lifelong Trader / Linda Bradford Raschke

Links - 18th April 2019 (1)

In Undertale, you can choose to kill monsters — or understand them / Offworld - "Other monsters you encounter are more aggressive, but just as complicated. One is simply depressed, weeping tears that drip down the screen and wound you drop by drop. One is deeply insecure and just wants someone to laugh at its jokes. One lovingly coats you in lava, believing for all the world that its fiery ministrations are healing you. Another, you're told, simply has a hard life"

A Peek Into Singapore's Love for Japanese Adult Video - "According to Amazon’s Alexa, a website ranking and analysis tool, Singapore is number five on the list of top country visitors to the site javfor.me placing us ahead of countries like India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar."

Don’t Write What You Know - "Such a writer’s sole ambition is for the characters and events to represent other and superior—read: actual—characters and events. Meaning, the written story has never been what mattered most. Meaning, the reader is meant to care less about the characters and more about whoever inspired them, and the actions in a story serve to ensure that we track their provenance and regard that material as truer. Meaning, the story is engineered—and expected—to be about something. And aboutness is all but terminal in fiction... writing what you know is knotted up with intention, and intention in fiction is always related to control, to rigidity, and more often than not, a little solipsism. The writer seems to have chosen an event because it illustrates a point or mounts an argument. When a fiction writer has a message to deliver, a residue of smugness is often in the prose, a distressing sense of the story’s being rushed, of the author’s going through the motions, hurrying the characters toward whatever wisdom awaits on the last page. As a reader, I feel pandered to and closed out. Maybe even a little bullied. My involvement in the story, like the characters’, becomes utterly passive. We are there to follow orders, to admire and applaud the author’s supposed insight... if the subject or character is intimidating, then that’s exactly what the writer should be exploring in fiction. My students worry about being invasive or predatory, and few things frighten them more than charges of appropriation and literary trespassing. But I see an altogether more menacing threat: the devaluing of not only imagination, but also compassion. And if empathy is important to fiction, compassion is invaluable. Compassion is empathy on steroids."

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 202 - Bryan Caplan on "The Case Against Education" - "the effect of national education on national income, versus personal education on personal income. And again, this is research where what people want to find is that the effect of a year of national education on national income is as big or bigger than the effect of a year of personal education on personal income. Nobody finds that.So there's a paper that I cite where they go over all eight known data sets at the time. Every single one of them finds a much smaller effect of national education on national income than of personal education on personal income. Which again, totally fits with signaling...
'Philosophy departments, on their, like, 'Why you should be a philosophy major' page on their departmental website… They always cite statistics about how there's a high return to a philosophy major, in terms of the starting salaries you get offered. And they say, "See, this is proof that philosophy majors teach you critical thinking skills."... Which is especially ironic, because they're confusing correlation and causation, which is an example of poor thinking skills.'...
'The philosophers do come in with very high test scores… so it might be that if you just look at raw means, what you're saying is true... But if you go and look at how people who had the same test scores but who majored in something else do, then I think philosophy does pretty poorly. Especially if you're not looking at people who go on to get a law degree or something like that. Those people are probably pulling up the average a lot.'"

Forever 21 Upsets Fans After Using White Model to Promote 'Black Panther' Sweater - "This isn't the first time Black Panther merchandise has gotten some negative attention thanks to what some might term "whitewashing". Earlier this year, Disney came under fire when a collectible Black Panther pin available at Disney theme parks were revealed by The Disney Pin Blog to have a remarkably light-skinned appearance than one might expect for Chadwick Boseman's heroic King T'Challa. In that case, the pin appeared to have some sort color variation possibly due to paint differences or even lightning in photos, though fans were troubled by the pin's lighter-appearing coloring."

Live music at Thaipusam after 42 years - "For 42 years, going back to 1973, the playing of musical instruments on the streets during Thaipusam was banned due to past fights between competing groups, which disrupted the procession.During Thaipusam in February last year, three men were arrested for disorderly behaviour after another group was told to stop the use of traditional drums by organisers... The Thaipusam procession is one of three Hindu festivals exempted from a ban on religious foot processions, introduced in the wake of race riots here in 1964. The other two are the Panguni Uthiram and Thimiti (fire-walking) festivals."

Switching to newest HPV vaccine can save billions in health care costs, study says - "By switching to the latest version of the Gardasil vaccine, which can thwart a virus that leads to cervical cancer, the nation’s health care bill could drop by an estimated $2.7 billion over the next 35 years, according to a new study published on Monday.How so? The newer vaccine is expected to lower the incidence of cervical cancer and death. The current vaccines used to tackle the human papillomavirus reduce the onset of cervical cancer by 63 percent and deaths by 43 percent. But by using Gardasil 9, as the newest version is called, the incidence of cervical cancer would decrease by 73 percent and death by 49 percent, the analysis found."

First cousins in love with each other petition to get legally married in Utah - "Two cousins who say they are in love with each other have created an online petition calling for the state of Utah to allow them to get legally married. "My first cousin and I have been in love with each other our whole lives but we are prohibited from marrying in the state of Utah where we live," Angela Peang writes in the petition. "We believe that the law is outdated and it needs to be changed so that we can socially legitimize our love."... Most do not allow marriage between first cousins, but Inside Edition reports six states do permit it under certain conditions. Some impose age limits or require proof of therapy between the couple. Utah is a state that allows marriage between first cousins only if both are over the age of 65."
Who will stand against this bigotry?

Sadiq Khan fails to control knife crime epidemic - but DOES ban unhealthy food ads from the Tube - "EMBATTLED Sadiq Khan has been slammed for concentrating on banning unhealthy food ads from the Tube - as London continues to spiral into a knife crime epidemic.The Mayor of London has been accused of getting his priorities wrong after he blocked an advert for Farmdrop as it contained bacon, butter, eggs and jam. It comes as the capital continues to be plagued by bloodshed with the number of children admitted to hospital with stab wounds soaring by 93 per cent in five years... Mr Khan's policy prevents products which are high in fat, salt or sugar being advertised on the Tube, and at TfL rail stations and bus stops in a bid to tackle soaring rates of childhood obesity. Farmdrop, an organic food home-delivery firm, said they were advised to crop the photo to obscure food that breaches the ban. They were also told to submit evidence demonstrating the compliance of other items - including shortbread, juice, biscuits, yoghurt and elderflower."

London’s ludicrous junk-food ad ban - "The story gives the lie to the idea that TfL’s ban would only affect ‘junk food’, a category defined by snooty prejudice rather than scientific precision. Since it would almost certainly be illegal for a public authority to ban specific companies – the usual burger, pizza and fried-chicken suspects – a more neutral policy was applied. The ban instead covers ‘all adverts for food and non-alcoholic drinks high in fat, salt and / or sugar and considered “less healthy” under Public Health England guidelines’. The trouble is that lots of foods that normal people would regard as perfectly healthy also fall foul of the guidelines: cheese, nuts, eggs and much more"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 200 - Timothy Lee on "How much should tech companies moderate speech?" - "'One of the interesting things you see on the left is that I really do think you've seen a schism on the left'...
'it's interesting if conservatives are in favor of "free speech," that puts conservatives in the awkward position of supporting regulation of private companies, which is not a typically conservative position. To protect that free speech'...
'certain tech companies, especially Google and Facebook, have become whipping boys for the right'...
'It's interesting that you say they're whipping boys for conservatives, because it also feels to me like they are whipping boys for liberals a lot of the time. Or at least some significant sections of the liberal side. You know, they're now these powerful elites, and liberals are traditionally suspicious of powerful elites.'...
One of the things that was happening was these denial of service attacks, which is people would ... you can go to the internet underworld and contact people that just have lots and lots of server capacity. In some cases it's server capacity, they've hacked into other people's computers and are using stolen bandwidth. But anyway, they would just flood targets with traffic. And so, that is a little bit like mob rule.Think about it in a physical context: if a controversial group is trying to hold a rally, and a bunch of other thugs try to physically shut it down, you do generally expect the police to protect the physical safety of people... if you're providing a kind of basic infrastructure -- if you tried to get the electric company or the water company to shut down somebody's service because they have controversial views -- I think there is a certain layer of the internet where it's kind of like that'

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 198 - Timur Kuran on “Private Truths and Public Lies" - "[On white supremacists being emboldened if there's no preference falsification] 'It is better to know that such views exist and such communities exist, so that we can take measures that will cause those groups to get smaller over time. We need to study what is actually motivating people to adopt those views. We’re not going to know what to study if they’re completely hidden. This is an advantage that needs to be considered'...
In repressive regimes, secret services... collecting information in settings where they give people anonymity and then asking the same things publicly. But they don’t share this information with others. This sort of information becomes public after these regimes have fallen and their archives are opened up to the public... The communist regimes in Eastern Europe were aware of this phenomenon. They wanted to know exactly where preference falsification is taking place, where their support was soft in the sense that people were still supporting the regime but were private in opposition, were waiting for an opportunity to support the opposition.The regimes wanted to know this -- if nothing else, to know which populations had to be bought off, and where they have to do things differently...
Leading up to 1989 which is when the Berlin Wall came down, the proportion of people giving answers to questions concerning the legitimacy of the East German regime -- the performance of communists, the future of communism and so on -- the percentage of people giving answers that alarmed the regime went dramatically up in the years leading up to the revolution. The regime was aware that discontent was building up. Why exactly, they didn't prevent it -- that's, of course, another question in itself."

Remarkable women through history - History Extra - "‘Can you give us maybe an example of one of the women in the book whose story can be explained via textiles?’
‘Well, one of the stories that struck me most forcibly, and it runs counter to the idea that women's voices aren't heard. We know of a woman called Winflad [sp?] who made a will in the 10th century, so Anglo Saxon woman. She's a wealthy woman. And even though we can say that, generally speaking, women have been oppressed by men, elite women were always better off than poor men. This woman Winflad wrote a will in about the year 950, and we have it. And it's an incredible document. It tells us about who was important to her. It tells us what things were important to her. It tells us about how she saw herself in the world and in the afterlife. So first of all, she leaves she has huge estates, she leaves these first to her daughter. Well, that's interesting.’
‘Does she have a son?’
‘She does have a son… He does get stuff but the bulk of the estate goes to her daughter, right. So this idea that women were not independent property owners is simply not true. Especially when, when you think of widowhood. A lot of men are dying younger than women in battle, or from the physical drudgery of their work. And women widows can accumulate property. And a lot of women have been widowed more than once. In fact, some women make a business out of it okay. That's, that's a whole different narrative… she has a whole load of slaves. So okay, the women's narrative we would like to think of is that you know, if we let women rule the world it would be a much nicer place. But you know, the truth is subtle and nuanced and complex...
‘I would militantly defend the right of anybody to write about anything that they thought needed to be written about and I absolutely would defend any woman's right to write her story about men. And I don't think I need to defend myself [writing about women]’...
‘People are gonna be like, oh, you're a man writing women's stories, is that-’
‘I'm a historian writing about history.’
‘I was like, oh, it's a book written by a man about women. But then I was like, actually, it'd be quite nice if more men wrote stories about women’…
‘I think sometimes the way we're taught history is quite partisan. I don't think women should own the suffragette narrative, any more than that men should own any of any of their narratives’"

Love, sex and dating in Georgian times - History Extra - "So much of how we understand love, and so much of how we experience it comes from the particular culture and the particular society that we're living in. The way that you know you're in love is through this particular range of symptoms that are culturally constructed. So in the 18th century, people knew they were experiencing love through symptoms, like blushing, sighing, swooning, crying, fainting...
Fainting, for example, that was kind of the hallmark of the woman in love. But other symptoms of love, like sighing, and like dreaming of a lover. That's something that men could do as well. But you can see the symptoms are very much of their time. So they're not necessarily how we would experience love today...
A lot of historians have argued that there was a massive change in sexual behavior over the 18th century. So over a third of brides were pregnant on their wedding day... the kind of narrative is that there was this movie away from kind of fumbling and kind of above the waist mutual touching and towards full penetration, of procreative sex during the 18th century. So that's why so many brides are pregnant on their wedding day, you've got a rise in illegitimacy rates. So people having sex on a promise of marriage, hoping that a man will then honor his promise if they then fell pregnant...
Notion that kind of men taking advantage of women before marriage, they were kind of impinging on their virtue. And that's something that you could try and recover by suing a man for damages... You'd always hold on to someone's love letters, because then you could potentially use them as evidence in court if you had to sue for breach of promise. So I found 38% of breach of promise cases bought during this period used love letters as evidence...
You could also make gifts for him... things like handkerchiefs woven with your hair. So then you’re literally giving part of your body… literally giving part of yourself. That can be carried around by a lover that lasts forever. You know, the locks of hair that people exchanged during courtship in Georgian England still survive today."

History Extra Podcast: Alan Johnson On Schools Through History - History Extra - "If you get on a Jubilee line at Westminster and travel 7 stops to Canning Town, your life expectancy goes down a year every stop"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Peace hopes for Afghanistan - "What is the Afghan government’s view on this? Because after the Russians pulled out in 1989 the Afghan President Najibullah ended up dead hanging from a pole at a roundabout in Kabul so one assumes that Ashraf Ghani is feeling quite sensitive about what happens next...
It's a very interesting problem for Chinese firms. Because within the current structure of how the Communist Party deals with Chinese companies, or how heavily involved they are, most Chinese companies have a member of the board that is a member of the CCP, most of them have committees made up of Chinese Communist Party members. That's just how business is done in China. And there has been a great deal of emphasis by the international community put on the recent national intelligence law, which came into effect in 2017 that basically says that if you're an individual or an entity in China, and if the government asks you to hand over data, you have to do that. So it's very hard to believe when Chinese companies say that they are independent of the Chinese government there. And I think that's why there's so much skepticism and suspicion of firms like Huawei. Now, in its defense Huawei has said it has never been asked, and it would never hurt its customers, but certainly the conditions that we're seeing under President Xi Jinping’s China with the kinds of laws that have come about and the strength of the Chinese Communist Party, the way that it is dealing with business right now makes that very hard to believe"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, No way through for Venezuelan aid - "[On an Indian book fair] Here authors get the sort of adulation that is normally reserved for film stars and cricketers… The most popular genre are self help books... many parents do not want their children reading Hindi or Bengali books. For them, they have to be in English. So you'll find that rather than reading the Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore in his native Bengali, parents are making their children read his poems in English instead. It is a status symbol, he adds. If you're seen with an English book, it's a sign that you're moving up in the world. So you'll find some people here with an English novel in their hands, even though they cannot speak a word of the language. It's ridiculous he adds. So why are people still in love with books, when in other parts of the world, they're going out of fashion? Author Sandeep Roy says one of the reasons is rising literacy rate. Every year, there are more and more Indians who can read so that means the market is growing and it's gonna grow a lot more. This country's literacy rate is currently 75%, which means that over the next few years, there are still millions of people who’ll be looking to buy their first novel. For many, reading is a new experience so they're still in love with it. Another reason is poor internet penetration… many people in rural India have no choice but to read. Every time they go online it just crashes. She has a big smile on her face as she tells me that because it's great for her business"

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Links - 17th April 2019 (2)

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth - "Unless accompanied by another science-reasoning trait, the capacities associated with science literacy can actually impede public recognition of the best available evidence and deepen pernicious forms of cultural polarization.The supplemental trait needed to make science literacy supportive rather than corrosive of enlightened self-government is science curiosity. Simply put, as ordinary members of the public acquire more scientific knowledge and become more adept at scientific reasoning, they don’t converge on the best evidence relating to controversial policy-relevant facts. Instead they become even more culturally polarized.This is one of the most robust findings associated with the science of science communication... given what positions on climate change have now come to signify about one’s group allegiances, adopting the “wrong” position in interactions with her peers could rupture bonds on which she depends heavily for emotional and material well-being. Under these pathological conditions, she will predictably use her reasoning not to discern the truth but to form and persist in beliefs characteristic of her group, a tendency known as “identity-protective cognition.”... The findings on science curiosity also have implications for the practice of science communication. Merely imparting information is unlikely to be effective—and could even backfire—in a society that has failed to inculcate curiosity in its citizens and that doesn’t engage curiosity when communicating policy-relevant science."

The full story of the sex-crazed tribe cut off from the world for 30,000 years - "The Sentinelese are one of a very few remaining ‘uncontacted peoples’ in the world and they are determined to keep it that way. Which means we know tantalisingly little about their language, their culture, their belief system or even how many of them there are... in 1970, a group of anthropologists approached the island, notebooks and cameras at the ready, and were peppered with arrows and then treated to an energetic beach sex show, described by one observer as a ‘sort of community mating . . . a frenzied dance of desire’... Occasionally, instead of firing weapons, the men wave their penises very angrily and, on rare occasions, would accept the odd coconut before opening fire. But the message has never changed."

Christian missionary's letter to his family before he was killed
Too bad John Chau was not from a favoured minority and/or religion, or liberals wouldn't have celebrated his death

Liberals say immigration enforcement is racist, but the group most likely to benefit from it is black men - "Claims that immigration enforcement equals racism ignore the reality that the group most likely to benefit from a tougher approach to immigration enforcement is young black men, who often compete with recent immigrants for low-skilled jobs... The labor force participation rate for adult black men has declined steadily since the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which ushered in a new era of mass immigration... African Americans tend to be a reliable voting bloc for the Democratic Party, but they have repeatedly indicated in public opinion surveys that they want significantly less immigration.A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that African Americans favor reducing legal immigration more than any other demographic group: 85% want less than the million-plus we allow on an annual basis, and 54% opted for the most stringent choices offered — 250,000 immigrants per year or less, or none at all... In a 2010 study on the social effects of immigration, the Cornell University professor Vernon Briggs concluded: “No racial or ethnic group has benefited less or been harmed more than the nation’s African American community.” The Harvard economist George Borjas has found that, between 1980 and 2000, one-third of the decline in the employment among black male high school dropouts was attributable to immigration. He also reported “a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates.”"

Migrants Make Up 40 Percent of French Unemployed Youth - "Migrant youths make up nearly half of the unemployed youth in France, according to statistics gathered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)... The OECD also released similar figures for other countries including Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden with averages of the rate of NEET individuals being lower for natives than for those with a migration background. Unemployment in Sweden, in particular, has shown to be far higher in recent years among migrants than among natives, with a report from last year by the Swedish Public Employment Service revealing that while overall employment had decreased, there remained a large gap between migrants and native Swedes."
This casts doubts on claim that migration is always good for a country's economy. And this doesn't even focus on illegal immigration

Gender Role Identity and Attitudes Toward Feminism - "For female participants, we found positive relationships among higher masculinity on the PAQ (Personal Attributes Questionnaire), nontraditional attitudes toward gender roles, and the combined SRAI (Sex Role Attitudinal Inventory). A negative correlation was also found between lower scores on the PAQ masculinity–femininity index and the combined SRAI in women. For male participants, we found positive relationships among high femininity on the SIS (Sexual Identity Scale), willingness to consider oneself a feminist, positive attitudes toward the women's movement, and the combined SRAI. We also found a negative relationship between high masculinity on the PAQ and willingness to consider oneself a feminist in men... Mezydlo and Betz (1980) compared feminist and nonfeminist perceptions of ideal men and women. Both feminist and nonfeminist men and women described an ideal man as highly masculine. However, feminists described an ideal woman as possessing masculine characteristics... Burn et al. found that high gender self-esteem in women and low gender self-esteem in men were positively related to support for feminism"
This is interesting in the context of feminists dissing masculinity

Notorious Feminist Site That Smeared Aziz Ansari Goes Tits Up - "Babe.net, the website that published anonymous allegations about comedian Aziz Ansari’s sex with a date, is up for sale... Editor Amanda Ross admitted at the time that the Babe.net gave Ansari just six hours on a holiday weekend to respond to the allegations against him on the Saturday of a holiday weekend, whereas the journalistic standard is at least 24 hours... Jezebel published an article, headlined “Babe, What Are You Doing?” that admonished its fellow feminist site to stick to “fidelity to confirmable facts, thorough arguments, and an abiding lack of sensationalism.” Otherwise, the post warned that reporters could “re-traumatize subjects.”"

Being married to a feminist - "The best advice I get from my husband whenever I get into a fight with anyone is, “Yes, you can do it. Show them who is the boss.” He would never take my side and would gladly let me handle the situation. His undying faith on my abilities, sometimes scares me. I imagine a gory reality when I would be physically attacked by someone and my husband would be shouting from above, “Fight back, honey. You can do it!”
While I can survive everything, it still breaks my heart to see how he takes care of our daughter, a 8-month-old baby, better than me. He never hesitates to change her diaper or wake up in the middle of the night to pacify her. It is difficult to admit but he is a better mother (yes, mother is the right word) than me. And strangely, my daughter too responds to his calls while ignoring mine gladly. It hurts to see that...
Surprisingly, I gradually discovered that it was not possible for me to live according to the textbook definition of feminism. And sadly, the distorted version of feminism that I encountered in everyday life, made me question—what actually is feminism?"

Jazz is dominated by men. So what? - "An outfit called Keychange has convinced more than 100 music festivals to sign up to a ‘50:50 gender balance pledge’ by 2022, including the major UK jazz festivals in Cheltenham, Manchester and London (which ends this weekend). The musical powers that be may prefer to regard this target as an ‘aspiration’, but ‘50:50’ is an arithmetic formulation. It’s a quota... Although female vocalists are common, the saxophonist Issie Barratt calculated in 2016 that women constitute a scant 5 per cent of jazz instrumentalists. At the Birmingham Conservatoire where my husband teaches, only three out of 70 instrumental jazz students are female (all three studying sax). That’s less than 5 per cent... Only one in 20 jazz instrumentalists now being female, how do we get half the performers in festivals to be women virtually overnight without compromising standards? We’ve been here before, and this is just a conspicuously insensible iteration of Equal Everything for Everyone (or EEE — catchy)... The matter of ‘too many’ men in jazz is especially perverse, since there’s little evidence that women have been actively discriminated against. Jazz education has been eager to accept more female students for years"

Women working longer hours more likely to be depressed – study - "Women who work more than 55 hours a week are more likely to suffer from depression than those who work the more standard 35-40 hours, a British study has found. In contrast, men who put in the same hours are no more likely to exhibit signs of the condition... Both men and women who work on most or all weekends are more likely to become depressed than those who only work during the week... Two-thirds of men work at weekends compared with half of women"
More reasons for the gender pay gap

Danish doctor warns: Vegan food may lead to mental retardation - "The problem is that poor food, which for example requires the addition of vitamin B12, can have serious consequences for children. And as a result several children on a vegan diet have been treated at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen."

Scandinavian socialism might be a product of 19th-century U.S. immigration. - "Frederick Jackson Turner had an idea that American democracy was forged on the frontier, in harsh conditions that promoted risk-taking, individualism, and a disregard for old customs and hierarchies. Some modern immigration scholars have a related theory, called “voluntary settlement hypothesis,” which posits that self-selection tends to produce groups of immigrants who are more autonomous, independent, and goal-oriented than their neighbors who stayed behind—whether they’re going to a cabin in the hills or a tenement in the city.That would burnish Turner’s ideas about frontier culture, but it would also suggest that regions that underwent the highest rates of out-migration would be shaped by the opposite effect, having lost their most individualistic members to the lure of a better life. (Kind of like brain drain.)... In a new working paper, the economist Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen took a clever approach: She used uncommon first names as a proxy for individualism... Because migration rates from Scandinavia to the United States were so high—the three countries lost 25 percent of their populations between 1850 and 1920—Knudsen thinks this would have substantially changed the makeup of the three countries, lowering the rates of individualists by 3.7 percentage points in Denmark, 9.4 points in Sweden, and 13.6 points in Norway. Wondering why Scandinavians have such high rates of social cooperation today? Maybe it’s because they sent all their individualists to America 100 years ago... Knudsen used U.S. census data from 1900 and 1910 to see what had become of those people once they crossed the ocean. Sure enough, migrants with uncommon names were more likely to speak English, less likely to have married a compatriot, and less likely to choose a Scandinavian name for their own children"

UN environment chief resigns after frequent flying revelations - "The UN’s environment chief, Erik Solheim, has resigned following severe criticism of his global travels and internal rule-breaking which led some nations to withhold their funding."

MarleneJ on Twitter - "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "I am as powerful as a man" and it drives people "crazy""
"Cleopatra was as powerful as a man. Margaret Thatcher was as powerful as a man. Angela Merkel is as powerful as a man.
I can think of literally dozens of examples and none of these women drove people “crazy”.
I somehow doubt that AOC’s sex is the issue"

Tim Young on Twitter - ""The right is so obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez!" - People whose last 800 tweets were about how they hate Trump"

Imam Tawhidi - Posts - "Extremist Pro-Jihad and 9/11 preacher Omar AbdelKafi banned from entering Australia? Nope, he’s still on tour. Milo got the ban. I disagree with Milo on many, many issues, but this is very wrong. This country is called Australia, not Saudi Arabia."
On Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Oz

Observations - 17th April 2019

"Behind every successful man there is a woman. Because women don't follow unsuccessful men"

If men shouldn't be upset if their supposed child isn't related to them (i.e. cucking), why should women be upset if the hospital hands them the wrong baby?

So apparently some white people in Singapore feel there's double standards because anything they do, they'll get STOMPed, and they get shouted at more. The former is almost certainly true

Amused that in Singapore you can't let mentally defective women have sex with men they're not married to ("Permitting mental defective to use premises for sexual penetration")

The bar for being an unsung hero in Singapore seems much lower than in the rest of the world, which is why road sweepers and hawkers qualify

Meritocracy is the worst form of rewarding people except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time

The heretic is more dangerous than the infidel because he has glimpsed The Truth but still refuses to follow it; at least the infidel's transgressions can be charted up to ignorance.

"When I was in uni had a shared network with a guys college
I've seen some well organized shit
There was one guy super systematic.
1 dick 1 hole. 2 dicks 1 hole, etc etc"

"I'm not sure why you enjoy putting out the names of several books and articles. If you can't bring forth the author's argument on your own and into the context of the discussion, you can't possibly expect the other person to read the entire book then come back to the argument at hand."

Great minds discuss ideas; small minds dismiss facts that come from people or sources they dislike

Amused that the APAC recruitment head of a major tech MNC says Malaysia is the hardest place in SEA to recruit. And they need training on PowerPoint and writing emails

"Actually the religious authorities in malaysia can only raid budget hotels because they have no power to raid 3 star etc hotels"

Links - 17th April 2019 (1)

Woman drifts out to sea in Iceland after posing for photo on 'ice throne' - "A tourist who posed for a photo on an “ice throne” in Iceland had to be rescued after she starting drifting out to sea in freezing temperatures."

After cold, busy month at border, illegal crossings expected to surge again - "It was a surge in the border numbers in March 2018 that infuriated Trump and launched his administration's attempt to deter families by separating children from their parents. Trump stopped the separations six weeks later to quell public outrage. But the controversy the policy generated - and its widely publicized reversal - is now viewed by U.S. agents as the moment that opened the floodgates of family migration even wider, worsening the problem it was meant to fix. While arrests along the border fell in recent years to their lowest levels in half a century, they are now returning to levels not seen since the George W. Bush administration, driven by the record surge in the arrival of Central American families.For U.S. border agents, the strain has grown more acute, as they struggle to care for children using an enforcement infrastructure made in an era when the vast majority of migrants were Mexican adults who could be quickly booked and deported. The Central American families - called "give-ups" because they surrender instead of trying to sneak in - have left frustrated U.S. agents viewing their own role as little more than the facilitators for the last stage of the migrants' journey... U.S. court restrictions on the government's ability to keep children in immigration jails - and the sheer volume of people arriving - have left Homeland Security agencies defaulting increasingly to the overflow model Trump deplores as "catch-and-release."... Across rural Guatemala, Martinez said, word has spread that those who travel with a child can expect to be released from U.S. custody. Smugglers were offering two-for-one pricing, knowing they just needed to deliver clients to the border - not across it - for an easy surrender to U.S. agents."If this continues, I don't think there will be anyone left in Guatemala," Martinez joked. The men from his village near the town of Chiquimula were all leaving, he said, bringing a child with them. Martinez said he used the family home as collateral. He had four months to pay off the $2,500. "I need a way to feed my family, and this is it," he said... a growing portion of those who pass the initial screening never appear in court. They know asylum standards are tightening. Or, like Martinez, they have a prior deportation from the United States that all but disqualifies them from getting asylum.Once released into the U.S. interior, some shed their monitoring bracelets and slip into the shadows to remain in the United States, a country where wages are 10 times higher than in Central America."

County Sheriffs Take Sanctuary City Playbook To Defy Gun Control - "The Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration led many cities across the country to pass resolutions resolving not to defend current U.S. Immigration Law. Anti-gun control organizers have started to use the same tactic"

U.S. City Declares Itself A 'Sanctuary City For The Unborn' - "Members of the Roswell, New Mexico City Council voted Thursday to make their jurisdiction a de facto "sanctuary city for the unborn."... The resolution expressly “honors the rights of healthcare providers to object on moral grounds to performing abortions and opposes any regulation or law seeking to violate that right.”... Citizen Molly Boyles also spoke in support of the resolution. “Here in the United States, we have severe penalties for destroying eagle eggs or turtle eggs, but human children in the womb, with a heartbeat with feelings are being dismembered and killed”"

Amy Klobuchar's Anger - "As dawn must follow dusk, any unpleasant revelation about a successful woman must be immediately plumbed for any possible hint of sexism, and so it has been with the Klobuchar news. If a man threw a binder at his employees, he’d be appointed president for life, is the thinking. An American city would be renamed for him; women would compete to bear him sons; his picture would be printed on currency. Certainly a kind of sexism has accompanied the incident, and the proof is that Klobuchar seems to be surviving these reports, while a man never would... Nothing more exemplifies the relative powerlessness of women than the way we regard a story about a woman throwing something. When an angry man starts throwing things, people know that real danger is afoot. A man who is not in control of his ability to do physical violence isn’t fit for most things, and certainly not for governance. There was a time, perhaps, when this was different. But that time is long past.But when an angry woman throws something—whether it’s Scarlett O’Hara hurling a vase across the library at Twelve Oaks; or Hillary Clinton, in the rumor that will not die, heaving a lamp at Bill in the White House; or now Amy Klobuchar, supposedly throwing a binder across her office—the gesture is understood as puny, perhaps even comical... The inevitable impulse to characterize this bad behavior as some kind of feminist badassery has already begun. “Being a bad bitch is a good thing,” Meghan McCain said on The View; “For me, it’s like you’re tough and you’re strong and you’re going to get things done.”... Trying to sell cruelty and pathological behavior as a feminist victory is yet another reason that so many women who care deeply about equality don’t identify themselves as feminists."
Since feminism is about a puerile inversion of stereotypes, bad behavior in women is a good thing

Report: Facebook Used Sheryl Sandberg's Feminist Memoir to Win Support from Female EU Regulators - "Facebook reportedly lobbied George Osborne, the U.K.’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer, to influence the European Union’s data protection laws in the social network’s favor. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also reportedly used her feminist memoir Lean In to win over female E.U. legislators."

The Secret Life Of The Mala Xiang Guo - "the story of MLXG is undeniably a story about migration. It is about the Sichuan chefs who migrated to make money in other parts of China. It is a story of migrants who came to work and set up businesses in Singapore.Likewise, it is also the story of BreadTalk Group’s reverse migration into the China market, without which the MLXG might never have arrived in Singapore at all."

Bicycle helmets reduce risk of serious head injury by nearly 70%, study finds - "A major study of bike helmet use around the world from more than 64,000 cyclists has found helmets reduce the risks of a serious head injury by nearly 70%. The study also found neck injuries are not associated with helmet use... The compulsory wearing of bike helmets in Australia has long been a source of frustration for some cyclists, who argue it reduces participation rates. Previous studies have indicated helmet use encourages risk-taking behaviour or does not reduce serious injury to the brain... “Helmet use is associated with odds reductions of 51% for head injury, 69% for serious head injury, 33% for face injury and 65% for fatal head injury""

How male victims of domestic abuse often end up getting arrested themselves - "Male victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to report attacks because they are often subjected to false accusations themselves... Abuse charities also claim they are finding an increasing number of male victims coming to them to seek advice after becoming the subject false accusations... One male victim who took part in the study, but did not want to be named described how he had been arrested on three separate occasions following false allegations by his wife.He said: “In the latest incident I made the initial complaint to police as my wife assaulted me. But when they arrived, they showed little concern and instead arrested me because my wife made a counter allegation"

Why kids who watched Sesame Street did better in school - "access to the show was associated with improved elementary school performance in “the generation of children who experienced their preschool years when Sesame Street was introduced in areas with greater broadcast coverage.” In the 1980 Census cohort, for example, kids who had access to Sesame Street were “1.5 to 2 percentage points more likely to be at the grade level appropriate for their age.” The study also found that boys, kids who grew up in poor counties, and black children were particularly impacted by access to Sesame Street. However, the researchers found little to no effect on longer-term factors like college attendance and employment, save for “some small long-term labor market improvements.”"

Birmingham school stops LGBT lessons after parents protest - "A primary school that taught pupils about homosexuality as part of a programme to challenge homophobia has stopped the lessons after hundreds of children were withdrawn by parents in protest... about 600 Muslim children, aged between four and 11, were withdrawn from the school for the day, parents said... the assistant headteacher of the school was forced to defend the lessons after 400 predominantly Muslim parents signed a petition calling for them to be dropped from the curriculum... The issue was first raised by Fatima Shah, who pulled her 10-year-old daughter out of the school, saying children were too young to be learning about same-sex marriages and LGBT rights in the classroom.“We are not a bunch of homophobic mothers,” she said. “We just feel that some of these lessons are inappropriate. Some of the themes being discussed are very adult and complex and the children are getting confused.“They need to be allowed to be children rather than having to constantly think about equalities and rights.”"
What happens when diversity threatens diversity?

Birmingham Muslim parents withdraw 600 children from Parkfield Community School over LGBT lessons - "The children involved in the mass exodus represent about 80 per cent of the school's entire enrolment.The Alum Community Rock Forum told Birmingham Live the pupils were pulled out of the classroom, because the school was 'undermining parental rights and aggressively promoting homosexuality'... Some Muslim demonstrators said they would rather leave the UK than allow their children to continue attending Parkfield Community School.Some joined in with the chants and held placards reading: 'Education not indoctrination.'... 98 per cent of the 750 pupils are said to be from an Islamic background... 'A family who live near me have already returned to Pakistan because of it.'Some of the parents said Islam did not accept homosexuality, while others said they were not against it, but accused the teacher of promoting 'personal beliefs'."

Councillor backs Muslim mums who accused school of 'promoting homosexuality' - "Labour councillor Mohammed Idrees - who represents Alum Rock - has told Parkfield Community School it must listen to concerns being raised... "I cannot comment on what's being taught in the classroom but the school and teachers must be sensitive to Muslim parents and Islam."The school has to bare in mind it is a predominantly Muslim school.""

LGBT lessons row: More Birmingham schools stop classes - ""Leigh Trust said it was halting the lessons until after Ramadan"... "Morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have. It's not about being homophobic... that's like saying, if you don't believe in Islam, you're Islamophobic.""

Plea for emergency help as 45,000 new migrants settle in Birmingham - "More than 45,000 migrants have settled in Birmingham in three years, putting huge pressure on schools, the NHS and housing services across the cash-strapped city"

Portland, Maine 'Struggling' as African Mass Immigration Overwhelms City - "The city of Portland, Maine is “struggling” due to mass legal immigration primarily from Africa being driven to the region as public resources and the state’s social safety net are strained. A new Wall Street Journal report details how Portland — a city of fewer than 67,000 residents — is being overwhelmed by mass legal immigration to the state. The resettlement of thousands of immigrants in the area has strained public services so much that local officials are warning that they cannot handle any more influxes of immigrants...
'Asylum seekers, who are primarily from African countries, now make up 90% of the people living in Portland’s city-run family shelter and overflow shelter, where new arrivals sleep on mats'"

Egypt's president decries migrants heading to Europe and refusing to integrate - "Egypt's President has told his people they should not expect the West to 'open their doors' to migrants who refuse to integrate.Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that 'every country has the right to protect its people and their interests.'Speaking at a World Youth Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, the country's leader told guests they had to 'completely abide by the laws, customs, traditions and culture' of a country they moved to... 'Instead of asking me why countries [in the West] close their gates to us, you should ask yourself why the people of Afghanistan don't take better care of their own country.'Why have they been killing one another for 40 years? This happens in other countries as well – in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, and in Somalia.'We fight amongst ourselves in our own countries, and then we expect countries that work day and night to achieve progress to protect their people and to maintain a certain standard of living for them – we demand that they let us in so we can have part of their [success].'Sisi, 64, told the audience that the leaders of 'Germany, England, Italy or any other European country' would protect their borders 'in order to protect the achievements of many long years'.He said: 'Do you expect them to open their doors so that we can go there demanding to keep our own culture?"

Neil deGrasse Tyson likens Albert Einstein to migrant caravan population, promptly roasted - "Neil deGrasse Tyson’s latest foray into the nation’s immigration debate ended with a social-media roasting this weekend when he compared a migrant caravan from Central America to Nobel physicist Albert Einstein. The astrophysicist and “StarTalk Radio” host was mocked on Twitter Sunday when he rhetorically paired the man behind the famous equation E = mc2 to rock-throwing migrants trying to force their way through a U.S. port of entry in San Ysidro, California... Mr. Tyson’s Twitter feed was soon filled with chastisements over his decision to equate Mr. Einstein’s orderly and legal entrance into the U.S. with men throwing projectiles at border agents.“He was a legal immigrant who fully embraced the ideals and mores of his adoptive country,” one user wrote, the social-media aggregator website Twitchy reported. “I don’t think he stormed a fence and threw rocks.”"

Migrant groups march to U.S. consulate in Tijuana demanding reparations - "Two groups of Central American migrants made separate marches on the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana Tuesday, demanding that they be processed through the asylum system more quickly and in greater numbers, that deportations be halted and that President Trump either let them into the country or pay them $50,000 each to go home... When asked how the group came up with the $50,000 figure, organizer Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa of Honduras, said they chose that number as a group.“It may seem like a lot of money to you,” Ulloa said. “But it is a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras.”The group’s letter criticized American intervention in Central America. They gave the U.S. Consulate 72 hours to respond. They said they had not decided what to do if their demands were not met."... Their letter also asked the U.S. to remove Orlando Hernandez from office.Getting $55,000 for each of the caravan members, Ulloa said, might allow them to go back home and start a small business."
Free money is always good

MS-13 gang member caught traveling with migrant caravan: Border Patrol - "Border Patrol agents announced Wednesday they nabbed an MS-13 gang member traveling with the thousands of Central American migrants hoping to seek asylum in the US."
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