When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Links - 22nd May 2021

David Olusoga On 'A House Through Time': HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "Bristol is an extremely politically fractious city. It's got a long history of riots right up to 2011. When there was a riot over the opening of a, of a Tesco’s in the city"

Henry Avery: The Legendary 17th-Century Pirate | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "There are kind of three models for making and sharing wealth, that are at the center of the story. We've got this new model of the publicly traded corporation in the East India Company, you've got this very old model of an autocrat in Aurangzeb, in the grand Mughal dynasty. But then, on the pirate ship, there is this very interesting economic system that had developed in the early days of piracy that Avery's gang exemplified as well which is, they, they were effectively a little kind of profit sharing collective. So every pirate ship had articles of agreements that were signed by the pirates. They, they, it was a functioning democracy. You could vote out the captain if you wanted to. It's actually a kind of divided governance system before the American system was developed, because the quartermaster was also a leader but had a different set of powers and he could be voted out as well. And then they had elaborate economic agreements that were probably the most egalitarian economic structure on the face of the earth at this point of time. So when they, if they were lucky enough to come into treasure, they established in advance the ratios that the treasure would be distributed and many pirate ships, it was two to one, like the captain would get two pieces of gold for every one that an ordinary crew member would get. You know, you think about the modern American corporation that the high low wage ratio was like 500 to one right. So these were very egalitarian systems. And in part because of that, the pirates developed a kind of mythology around them as kind of Working Class Heroes, and in part because they had these economically progressive systems, but also because at this moment in time there was, there were very few other avenues to ascend from poverty to relative wealth right?"

Rutger Bregman’s Optimistic History Of The World | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "'The so called Dark Ages, you know, that we always talk about the Greek Dark Ages, for example, or the you know, the Middle Ages are sometimes called the Dark Ages, are for many people actually great. You know, a Dark Age was great, because then you were not being oppressed by some powerful monarch anymore, right. And there was more freedom. And people lived healthier lives as well, because they're, we're not being cramped together as slaves in cities anymore'...
‘Is your argument then that is power but also farming is that right? That causes these kind of downturns in people's fortunes?’
‘Yeah, it really starts with people settling down. So for example, if you look at the archaeology of war, there's hardly any archaeological evidence for warfare before, the moment that we settled down which around 10, 12,000 years ago. There have been 3000 skulls, skeletons have been found that are old enough sort of to, sort of to account for how do you say this, from the state of nature as Thomas Hobbes and Rousseau called it and no evidence of violence or almost none. If you look at cave paintings, for example, and you would expect that if there really was some kind of war of all against all going on, that someone, some artists from the stone age would say, you know what, today I'm going to make a nice painting of this war of all against all. But it has, hasn't been found, right? Even though we've got hundreds of cave paintings of people or hunting deers or bisons or whatever. But then after people settle down, once they became sedentary, you suddenly do find these cave paintings, which is very suggestive, I think. So that was one thing that is wrong. Agriculture makes things even worse, right? Because if you look at people's health, for example, well, the nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle is, is not too bad actually. You get a bit of exercise, you have a varied diet, a bit of fruit, vegetables, a bit of meat, but then you settle down and and you eat the same thing all day. Grain, ,grain grain, and you have to work very hard for it as well. Right? No pain, no grain… And then if you look at infectious diseases, right, I mean, Corona itself, right? COVID-19 that is a very modern civilized disease that we get, because we live too close to our animals, right?'...
‘And given that humans aren't these kind of brutes and these savages who have been saved by civilization, where did that idea come from? And why is it so powerful?’
‘Well, I think it's in the interest of those in power, right?’"
Strange how he ignores the evidence of hunter-gatherer (or chimpanzee - and even bonobo) warfare and violence

Rethinking The Renaissance | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "Christian bankers technically, are not meant to lend money at interest. It's a sin very much like the current Islamic prohibition on lending money at interest. That still applies today. Christians have got rid of it now. But obviously a lot of bankers, in effect did this. And so in order to kind of repent for their sins, they would donate large sums of money to their local churches to pay for artworks in churches, these also incidentally have the ability to have, you know, the side effect of making their family chapels look very wealthy and glamorous, which wasn't a bad thing. And but there is this kind of relationship between art commissioning, particularly of religious works, and repenting for your sin in the way that you've done commerce.'
‘So you think that the the reputation that renascence actually has for being essentially the pinnacle of fine art is, is relatively fair?’
‘Well, it's, I mean, there were some fabulous developments in art that take place gradually over this period. I mean, you know, the difference in the kind of, you know, emotional and human content of 16th century Renaissance art, that kind of level of realism in some of the portraits, is quite dramatically different from what has gone before’"

“Husband Posting Abusive Comments Against Wife On Social Media Is Domestic Violence”: Gujarat Court
Comment elsewhere: "Of course her doing the same gets a “yass Queen” and a “stunning and brave” plaque and cash award from every business on the planet."

Left-wing psychopaths celebrate the death of President Trump’s brother
"Keep in mind that right now, at this very moment, the people in Canada and the United States who are laughing about the death of Trump's brother are the same people who admonished us not to celebrate when Osama bin Laden was killed."
It is bad to kill terrorists. It is good to celebrate the death of white men you don't like (or white men related to them)

Gad Saad on Twitter - "IN ONE GENERATION:The Iraqi Christian population has gone from 1.3 million to under 120,000.Syria’s Christian population has gone from 1.5 million to under 500,000.⠀This IS genocide.@forthemartyrs is working to bring attention to this crisis."
"No, no, no. This can’t be true because where the Noble Faith flourishes, peace flourishes. The Christians disappeared because they left of their volition. They are [redacted]-phobic. Same with the Jews in the Middle East outside of Falasteen."

Where do all those weird stock photos come from? - "To anyone considering a career in stock photography, Dennis stresses that no matter where your skills lie or what you’re most comfortable shooting, it will take a lot more than just a few images of skylines or of retired couples on the beach to be successful. “In today’s ultra visual world, an image maker has to understand the current visual language, the emerging trends, and the way that images are being used.”"

PAGE 1-100 - Posts - "Stop looking at my ass"
*No ass*

From Southern Tradition to Mechanical Marvel: How Fried Chicken Lost its Bones - "American bone-in fried chicken is as old as the Thirteen Colonies, in large part thanks to Scottish immigrants, keen on frying chicken, who settled in the southern colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Southern tradition was perpetuated by African slaves, who "were allowed to own chickens"... slaves "managed [chickens] and sold the eggs back to the slaveholder and other whites in their neighborhoods." When the hens grew too old to lay eggs, slaves would fry the birds in lard.For 200 years, this traditional fried chicken went largely unchanged. Sure, it was subject to all kinds of regional variations, batters, dredges, and spices, but the fundamental recipe was always the same: hack up a chicken, coat it in starch, and fry it in fat. It always had bones... "20 years ago, most chicken was sold whole;" Eric Schlosser wrote in Fast Food Nation in 2001, "today about 90 percent of the chicken sold in the United States has been cut into pieces, cutlets, or nuggets."... [1992] marked the first time Americans consumed more chicken than beef. The numbers would never revert. I asked Mr. Gagliardi why he thinks there is such demand for boneless meat. "Because, let's face it," he started, "Americans are lazy eaters. They don't like to eat fish with bones. They don't like to eat anything with bones.""

2015 SAT test results confirm pattern that’s persisted for 40+ years — high school boys are better at math than girls - "Continuing an uninterrupted trend that dates back to at least 1972, high school boys outperformed girls on the 2015 SAT math test with an average score of 527 points compared to the average score of 496 for females, see chart above. The statistically significant 31-point male advantage this year on the SAT math test is the same as the 31-point difference last year, and just slightly below the 33.9 point difference over the last two decades favoring boys... The statistically significant difference in math test scores in favor of boys is consistent across all ethnic groups... high school girls had superior overall academic high school records compared to boys... High school girls were over-represented in advanced AP/Honors math classes (54%) compared to boys (46%), and also in advanced AP/Honors science classes by 56% to 44%... For those high school students taking four years of high school mathematics, girls were over-represented (55%) compared to boys (45%), and more of the students studying natural sciences for four years were female students (54%) than male (46%)... Despite the persistent, statistically significant differences in math performance by gender on the math SAT test that have continued for generations, we hear statements like this: “There just aren’t gender differences anymore in math performance,” according to University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology professor Janet Hyde... compared to boys, high school girls get better grades on average, and are far more likely to graduate in the top 10% of their high school classes, and are much more likely than boys to attend and graduate from college and go on to graduate schools. By all objective measures, girls have essentially all of the necessary ingredients that should result in greater representation in STEM fields like engineering and computer science except perhaps for one: a huge, statistically significant and persistent 30-point gender gap on the SAT math test in favor of boys that has persisted for more than 40 years. If there are some inherent gender differences for mathematical ability, as the huge and persistent gender differences for the math SAT test suggests, closing the STEM gender degree and job gaps may be a futile attempt in socially engineering an unnatural and unachievable outcome."
The power of "patriarchy"
Of course in feminist theory, "patriarchy" shows no dose-response effect, which is why lower sexism doesn't reduce the alleged "ill effects" of "patriarchy". Alternatively I've seen feminists seriously claim that Sweden isn't less sexist than third world countries, which is why they have even fewer women in STEM

Optical illusion will make you question this quaint scene - "The illustration, titled 'Blue Plate Special,' was created by artist Jeff Lee Johnson as part of a book for the upcoming game 'The Investigators of Arkham Horror.' The game was inspired by the works of famous horror author H.P. Lovecraft, so it comes as no surprise that the illustration has equally creepy undertones."

Renson Seow - Singapore YouTuber Dee Kosh Accused Of Sexual Harassment
"I remember this guy's glee when participating in previous metoos and cancels.Now suddenly listen to the other side, due process and evidence becomes so important. Wonder what changed."

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Links - 18th May 2021 (3) (Indians hiring Indians - IT)

IT worker's lawsuit accuses Tata of discrimination - "An IT worker is accusing Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) of discriminating against American workers and favoring "South Asians" in hiring and promotion. His complaint is being backed up, in part, with numbers.The lawsuit, filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, claims that 95% of the 14,000 people Tata employs in the U.S. are South Asian or mostly Indian. It says this practice has created a "grossly disproportionate workforce."... Heldt said that during his employment with Tata, he shuffled around to jobs that "often involved only menial responsibilities" and experienced "substantial anti-American sentiment" along the way. The lawsuit contends that one top Tata HR manager instructed recruiters to focus on hiring Indians, and that this official "has expressed his dislike for American workers" and "believes Indians were smarter and better qualified than Americans.""
Is this "punching up"?

Ex-employees file class action lawsuit against Wipro alleging 'hiring discrimination' - "A group of five former employees of Wipro in the United States has filed a class action lawsuit accusing the Indian IT company of "employment discrimination" against individuals who are not South Asian and who are not of Indian origin... The lawsuit filed in a District Court in New Jersey claims that while only about 12 per cent of the United States' IT industry (the industry in which Wipro operates) is South Asian, at least 80 per cent (or more) of Wipro's United States workforce is South Asian (primarily from India)."

Engineer claims bias by Intel leaders of Indian descent - "Hoseong Ryu’s trouble at Intel started even before he began working there, he claimed in a lawsuit... the man told a fellow  interviewer that Intel shouldn’t hire Ryu because he was “Korean, married, and had a child,” and added, “It would be easier to hire a younger, unmarried Indian man,” the suit alleged. Still, Intel hired Ryu onto its system integration team, where he found “the demographics of the worksite and its management have been heavily skewed toward employees from India or people of Indian or south-Asian descent,” the suit claimed.One manager in his team, of Indian origin, “openly favored the hiring and promotion of only employees from India, stating that ‘Indians work hard’ and ‘Indians are harder workers,'” the suit alleged. That manager also encouraged a supervisor to hire only Indian employees, the suit filed Wednesday claimed... In 2018, a new chief of the system integration team was to be appointed, according to the suit. Ryu had been a de facto manager of the team for some 18 months, but the position was awarded to a system debugger originally from India who had “no management experience and had significantly less experience with system integration than Ryu”... Ryu’s suit claimed that Intel’s system integration team management also favored Indians in granting vacation.“Most employees who are not Indian or south-Asian receive only two to three weeks of vacation or leave per year. But employees who are originally from India or of Indian descent typically receive additional leave time and sometimes receive as much as five or six weeks of leave per year”"

H-1B issue: Indian IT firm faces lawsuit for discrimination against non-Indian employees - "The United States administration has accused an Indian IT firm for discrimination against non-Indians in the US. The Bengaluru-headquartered, Happiest Minds is facing a class-action lawsuit for giving preference to South Asian workers for job roles in the US. Even HCL, TCS were accused of discrimination for hiring for US locations"

A former executive is accusing Infosys of racism that favours Indians - "Erin Green, who worked at Infosys’s Texas office from October 2011 to July 2016, has alleged that his former employer tilted the scales too far towards Indians in its 200,000-strong workforce in the US... In 2013, India’s second-largest IT firm took a $34 million hit—the largest ever payment in a visa case—after a Texas court found the behemoth guilty of “systemic visa fraud and abuse.”... A number of companies in the US have come under fire for opting for cheaper Indian talent over equally qualified locals in a bid to cut costs. Earlier this year, Larry Ellison’s $160 billion California-based software giant Oracle was sued (pdf) by the US department of labor for wage violations and hiring bias ”against qualified white, Hispanic, and African-American applicants in favor of Asian applicants, particularly Asian Indians.” In 2015, a former Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) employee accused the company of “anti-American sentiment” and south Asian bias in its hiring practices. Several Quora users have also attested to cronyism among Indian employees at big name companies like Cisco, Qualcomm, Microsoft, HCL, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, and others."

How Indian IT Workers Discriminate Against Non-Indian Workers - "Internationally, Indians have demonstrated a pattern of discriminating against non-Indian workers.
With the growing concentration of Indians in IT, this is a problem for domestic workers worldwide...
even Indians that are not in the right caste or have the right religion from the dominant group receive discrimination. The employment in the US, for instance, of Indians is not from all parts of India. It is very concentrated in specific areas of India and from distinct castes, with Bhraman being the dominant caste. Typically the US anti-discrimination laws are centred on race. First, they are only usually enforced for minority groups against whites. There is virtually no concern for discrimination by minorities against whites or other minorities. Second, Indian discrimination is more complicated than racial discrimination. Indians have a complicated discrimination modality that is sub-race and is a combination of Indians from specific areas and beyond that caste. Indians prefer a type of scenario which they had back in India. So the preference is from Brahmans to be at the top of the organizations. For most outsiders, their divisions are invisible. Each of the groups is seen as “Indian” by Western eyes (or at least all by the most trained). But for Indians, these divisions are highly important. They determine who can be hired into what role, how they relate to others, who have status over others, and so on...
We approached this topic as a research question, and we found damning evidence against Indian employment or workplace discrimination that is only reinforced by what we have seen on many projects. This Indian employment discrimination is not merely limited to the US but is found in Asia and Australia, in Europe and Africa. The standard defense by Indians will naturally be that this is all a racist illusion by a white author. However, Indians are being accused of discrimination worldwide. And they are being charged with discrimination by non-whites. If this is all a giant racist conspiracy, it is not only extremely widely reported, but the same reports are coming in from many different areas"

California Sues Cisco for Bias Based on Indian Caste System – NBC Bay Area - "California regulators have sued Cisco Systems, saying an engineer faced discrimination at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters because he is a Dalit Indian... The Civil Rights Act bans employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The lawsuit notes the employee is Dalit Indian, and that he is darker-complexioned than non-Dalit Indians... Two men who were Cisco supervisors and higher-caste Indians, Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella, are named in the suit for discriminating and harassing the employee... Cisco spokeswoman Helen Saunders declined to say if Iyer and Kompella were still at Cisco, referring a reporter to LinkedIn."
Calling this racial discrimination is a stretch

Who Dares Wins: Britain in the Age of the Falklands

Who Dares Wins: Britain in the Age of the Falklands | History Extra podcast on Acast

"'When Mrs. Thatcher became prime minister, one of the questions that the press often asked her  was, what are you going to wear? Because of course, there had never been a woman Prime Minister and there was no established uniform for a woman leader, as there was for men. In 1980, she gave an interview to the news the world who asked her where she got her underwear. Marks and Spencers, it turns out. Who chose her clothes and all the rest of it? Why don't you wear slacks?, the interviewer asked, I think you'd look super in slacks and Mrs. Thatcher's answer was that she didn't think her cabinet colleagues would like it. And she was probably right.

Resistance to women in trousers is a very good sort of small, but extremely suggestive example of how Britain in the early 80s was poised between past and and future. So in 1978, the headmaster of a comprehensive school, just outside Reading, had to corral nine women teachers in the classroom because they had dared to turn up to teach in trousers. You had to incarcerate them, presumably for the safety of their impressionable charges. They won their case and got to wear trousers, but in 1980, as late as 1983, a crematorium in Mrs. Thatcher's own constituency, Finchley, sacked a female employee because she had turned up to work in a trouser suit. The manager of the crematorium explained that trousers on women were akin to see through blouses and that grieving families would be shocked by them and the tribunal found in the crematorium’s favor. And the, the woman did lose her job. And Mrs. Thatcher herself was well aware of this. She was under intense pressure to an extent that we often forget precisely because she was a woman. As The Sun put it in 1979, who would want a dowdy female fatty for Prime Minister? After all, if a person can't control her weight, doesn't it occur to everybody that she may not be able to control other more important things? And this stuff was absolutely standard. In the first half of the 1980s

Just think about the nicknames that people used about Mrs Thatcher on the floor of the House of Commons. The great she-elephant, Attila the Hen, the Catherine the Great of Finchley, the Maggie Taller, and above all, that bloody woman. And if you think that things have changed, just reflect on the song that was chosen by her critics that was propelled up the charts after she died in 2013. Ding Dong, the witch is dead.'...

‘For many people, this was the age above all of mass unemployment. So when Mrs. Thatcher became Prime Minister, it's a myth that she singlehandedly ended full employment, because when she became Prime Minister, the dole queues were already about one to one and a half million people long. And the unemployment of the 1980s, it's now clear in retrospect, was part of a much greater trend, going back to the 1970s and having its roots in two huge seismic changes.

One of them globalization and the advent of so many products from abroad, and the other the end of heavy industry, the end of steelmaking, coal mining, shipbuilding and so on. The industries on which much of kind of working class Britain had been based for the previous 200 years. The second obvious point to make about all this is that it was much worse in Britain in the early 80s, than it was anywhere else. And a lot of that is to do with Mrs Thatcher's economic policy. She was determined to squeeze inflation out of the system. By doing so, by raising interest rates and by pushing up the value of the pound, she made British exports, exorbitantly expensive, destroying the British export industry. And effectively, in manufacturing terms, we lost about 25% of our manufacturing capacity between 1979 and 1982, a decline that no other western country has ever suffered so quickly.

So, partly because of that, Mrs. Thatcher became a scapegoat for, for this sort of huge, structural change. She cast herself as a scapegoat, of course, because she was so strident. Precisely because she was so confrontational, it was very easy to see her, as Time magazine effectively does here on the right, as the person or the architect of so many job losses. As another dimension to it, I think, many of the jobs that went were in traditionally male-dominated industries. I mentioned steelmaking, coal mining, shipbuilding, carmaking, and so on. These were jobs done by men, and many of the people who lost their jobs were men. And when they looked at Downing Street, they saw a middle class Tory woman who had no real empathy for their way of life, the landscape that they found familiar, the values with which they had grown up, so it was easy for them, to, to blame her personally.

But that's very unusual in a, in a, in an international context. France, for example, has suffered pretty similar levels of unemployment since the beginning of the 1980s when you step back and you look at the last 30 years or so. Indeed, and youth unemployment in France has been far higher than in Britain for the past 20 years. But nobody ever says Jacques Chirac, Francois Hollande, cackle in Elysee Palace as they as they look at the latest unemployment figures. So in this as in so much else,

I think the fact that Mrs. Thatcher was a woman is absolutely central to her reputation. And the third thing to say about it is we know now that this was not uniquely British. But people didn't know that then, because this was, this happened in Britain, Dole Queue Britain, says the Daily Mirror. This happened in Britain before it happened anywhere else. So at the time, people saw it as part of the broader, specifically British disease. They saw it as part of a narrative of a uniquely British falling from grace, of a systemic national failure that had no counterpart and then the other part of the Western world, and it intensified people's sense of declinism, of a country that had fallen from grace since the high point of the Second World War.

And this sense of decline and ungovernability peaked in the summer of 1981. So this is Brixton. You had the riots in Brixton first, and then in Toxteth and Mosside, the most vicious rioting of the 20th century, followed by copycat rioting in towns and cities across the country. There was even a petrol bomb thrown in Cirencester of all places...

And all of this, I think contributed to a wider sense of breakdown, of a kind of society becoming unglued, of a disease that was as much moral, cultural, as it was political and economic. And if you look at the press coverage, I talked in my book a little bit about the the press coverage of the riots of the summer of 1981. This sense of introspection, and almost self loathing is extraordinarily pronounced. What is happening to our country? says the Daily Express. Having been one of the most law abiding countries in the world, a byword for stability, order and decency, are we changing into something else? The Times ran a huge editorial, where are we going? We might no longer have an empire, it says. It's interesting how often this comes up. We may no longer be the workshop of the world, we may even have difficulty in paying our way. But one of the qualities upon which we've been accustomed to pride ourselves as British people, has been the orderliness of our way of life'...

'If you think about it, the Falklands is now almost exactly poised between our present moment in 2019 and the end of the Second World War. And many of the people involved in the Falklands War, vividly remembered the Second World War and they made sense of the war in the Falklands by fitting it into a Second World War narrative. So when Michael Foot, the leader of the Labour Party, was asked by some of his colleagues, why do you so keenly support the Falkands War, which he did? His answer was, he said, I know a fascist when I see one. And the way that the press and the politicians described the Argentine regime was as the heirs to the Nazis. Was as a fascist military regime that murdered its own people and must be resisted, because if you appease dictators, they'll carry on and they'll get away with it.

And in a way, this was a war perfectly designed for a generation that had grown up with the Dambusters and Dad's Army. So the sight of the ships pulling out of Southampton and Portsmouth docks, the great Armada plowing through the South Atlantic towards its destination, the landings at San Carlos with their sort of overtones of D Day, as you see in this sort of another Time Magazine cover, even abroad, this is how people are making sense of the war. And then the images of the little figures with their massive packs, trudging across the green moorland landscape to rescue an island population that have been seized by a fascistic foreign power. It all seems like a, basically a replay of 1940. And that I think, partly explains why this was so extraordinarily popular.

So from the very beginning, about eight out of 10 people strongly approved of the decision to fight for the Falklands. Indeed, four out of 10 people thought the government was too slow to fight, it should have fought straight away. And three out of 10 people wanted Britain to attack mainland Argentina itself, and conceivably invade it, which was something that even Mrs. Thatcher would have thought, a little bit too belligerent.

And it's striking to me how much that debate about the Falklands anticipates the debates that we're very familiar with today. There's a wonderful book, published in the summer of 1982, called authors take sides on the Falklands... Anyone who knows authors will know, authors are the worst people to ask about major political and international events, but they did it anyway. And the authors all respond, what's great about it is the authors respond exactly as you would expect, they would.

Say for example, Kingsley Amos thinks that even being asked the question is a sign of left wing limp wristed bias, on the part of the author, of the compilers of the book, because it's so obvious that we should fight for the Falklands. Whereas let's say Salman Rushdie wrote that the war was “xenophobic militarism, the politics of the Victorian nursery, if somebody pinches you, take your trousers down and thrash them”. So he felt ashamed, ashamed by the response of the British people and it was a sign of how backward and how xenophobic and all the rest of it, they were. And you can see in these sort of debates, Kingsley on one side and Salman Rushdie on the other, the outline of a debate that we're apparently trapped in now and forever...

The Economist, the week after the Argentines surrendered, said that the war had been a cultural revolution, marking the end of the 1960s... Tony Benn wrote in his diary, I feel that some, that was a real turning point in politics. I feel we've come to the end of an era… Enoch Powell put it rather differently. A change has come about in Britain, he wrote in the Sunday Express that weekend, we are ourselves again. And among people who supported the war, of course, that was precisely how they felt…

[Defeat would lead to, in] Mrs Thatcher's own words, that sense of being just another European country would have been intensified, people would have said, well, we know we, we were humiliated at Suez, we've been humiliated again in the South Atlantic, it's perfectly clear now that our days of being a great power are behind us. We are just another European country. And as a result, our future lies squarely in Europe. So I'll leave you with this thought. Perhaps it was here in the spring of 1982, as the task force returned to a tumultuous welcome, that the road to Brexit began'"

Of course, many of the ones who judged Thatcher especially harshly and celebrated her death in 2013 were... feminists

Left wing logic: if someone invades your country and you fight back, you are xenophobic and shameful. And we are still told that liberals don't hate their countries

Links - 18th May 2021 (2)

68 Ways to Be Better at Life (Ep. 419) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "KELLY: In Taiwan, it is a national thing that they do. I haven’t been there in a couple of years, but at least when I was in Taiwan, in the afternoon, everybody in the office had put their head on the desk and was asleep. And the office just closed down... I’m very anti-conspiracy theory, because generally— conspiracies require a lot of coordination and aptitude that most systems and institutions don’t have. So it’s usually incompetence rather than conspiracy. So I’ve had the privilege to talk to C.E.O.’s of Fortune 500 companies, to be in the highest levels of governments and three-letter agencies and other kinds of things. And when you get there, you realize there is no adult supervision. It’s sort of frightening and alarming. There isn’t a “them” trying to do something to “us.” And I think that kind of a stance is actually harmful and is something that would diminish your chances of accomplishing good things, because that kind of us-versus-them stance consumes way too much resources and energy. And if you can be released from that, you’ll be unleashed in a way that’s very powerful."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, China and Africans : A Pandemic of Prejudice - "[On Johannesburg]”This house is not just [Masala Matata’s {sp?}] home. It's also her latest work of performance art, the occupation of an abandoned property that exposes racial injustice in South Africa. Just 7% of urban property belongs to black people who make up nearly 80% of the population. In rural areas, they own just 1% of land. Of course, squatting is nothing new in South Africa. Many of the country's poor and dispossessed have invaded vacant land where they build temporary houses. But Masala says they should be taking white owned property on prime real estate, rather than the barren wasteland, where they usually construct their shacks. We have to reverse the years of dispossession that our people have suffered under colonialism, she says. It's hailing a thick cloud of smoke into an otherwise empty room. The following day, we crawl beneath the rusted fence that marks the perimeter of her property. A guard dog barks ferociously from a neighboring home. It's never seen an African before jokes Masalo. Or it may have just been startled by her neon pink braids and matching tights. We are on our way to Alexandra, one of South Africa's infamous townships. Under apartheid, millions of black people were forcibly evicted from the exclusively white urban centers and moved to these overcrowded townships beyond the city limits... Apartheid may have officially ended 26 years ago, but its physical legacy is still etched across the city. We are there to meet a group of architects who calculate that in Alexandra 750 people live in the same number of square feet, now occupied by Marcello in an area that had been left abandoned by its owner for nearly 20 years. A crowd forms as she starts performing a historical reenactment of black dispossession in the middle of the narrow street. If we want our dignity back then we need our land. To explain to an inquisitive member of the audience. No one is going to give it to us, so we must take it ourselves. Her dream is a mass occupation of white owned property in South Africa. It's unfortunate then, that during my stay last year, Marcello discovered that her village is owned by a black South African who has properties across the country. That evening, shortly after an awkward phone call with her unwilling landlord. Marcello and her fellow occupier Yvan promised to leave the property and continue their project elsewhere. 16 months on and Marcello is still squatting in the property on Linksville Ridge."
This is a great parable of grievance politics

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Black lives in Minnesota - "Whenever I run around Goma on my motorbike, I'm subject to shouts and incredulous stares from other road users. It's not often that you see a woman riding a bike, particularly not a foreign one. Motorcycle taxi drivers overtake me giving me thumbs up signs and yelling courage ma soeur! Courage my sister. To this I tend to reply on est ensemble! We are together. Traffic policeman stationed at roundabouts wave as I go past and phone credit sellers on the pavement holler out greetings. But ever since Coronavirus became a global pandemic, which so far has hit Europe harder than Africa, I've been subject to considerably less friendly shouts. Pausing at a traffic clogged roundabouts, I hear the words, Corona Corona, echoing around me. Men on motorbikes wag fingers at me and shout things in Swahili, another language spoken in eastern Congo. Generally, I understand little of what they're saying, save two words: mizzougou, white person and Corona. At the bank, a cashier asked where I've come from. She looks vaguely reassured to hear that I'm based in Goma and haven't been back to England since Christmas. I don't much like being seen as the walking embodiment of a deadly disease. But locals in Goma are right to worry. So far there are just over 3000 registered cases of Coronavirus in the country. Most of them are in the distant capital Kinshasa."
White privilege! Presumably it is/was wrong for Westerners in western countries to worry about Chinese-looking people

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Indigenous Australians and the police - "Many international borders were closed in Europe during lockdown. But nevermind the regulation. Love, as they say, will find a way. And the destination for some lovers has been a historic hotel in an Alpine village on the Franco Swiss border...
The tiny village of La Cure has a population of just 1900. High in the *something* mountains above Lake Geneva, up a very windy road, it's a remote place nestled among rushing streams and dark forests. La Cure is also cut in half by the border between France and Switzerland. For many years this has made little difference. The two countries are both in the Schengen Area, their populations free to work and play together whenever they like. The border reduced to a mere road sign. No guards, no barriers. Until March that is, when countries across Europe hastily shut their borders amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Farewell to free movement. And for villagers like La Cure, farewell to friends, neighbors and even family members. But in La Cure, there's a curious anomaly to the border closures that no one seems quite sure how to resolve. The hotel Franco-Suisse sits right on the border. It has an entrance in France and an entrance in Switzerland. When I arrive, owner Alexander Peirong ushers me in with a wink. Be careful, he whispers, with a nod to the border guards just metres away. They will see you. In fact, throughout the three month border closure, the guards have been vigilantly patrolling right outside the hotel, but have stopped short of investigating what's going on inside. A tactic, as I soon discovered, with a long history. Once inside, we sit at the same table in the bar. Only I'm in Switzerland, and Alexander is in France. His family has run the hotel for four generations. The building itself has been here since 1863, when a canny villager saw an opportunity once the French and the Swiss finally agreed where the border would lie after years of squabbling. He bought a plot of land on the border says Alexander, and built a shop and a bar. A good move. La Cure at the time was on the main route from Paris to Milan. But there were more nefarious reasons. He was a smuggler says Alexander. His own family took over the business now also a hotel in 1921. And over the years that border position became increasingly useful. In the Second World War, Alexander's grandparents helped Jewish refugees and allied pilots to escape occupied France. They would sneak them through the hotel, often under the noses of German soldiers enjoying a beer, to neutral Switzerland. My grandmother told the Germans that if they crossed the hall, they would be invading Switzerland, says Alexander. They were very obedient. On the wall, there's a certificate signed by Britain's wartime commander Field Marshal Montgomery thanking the family for their service. There's a picture of the late French President Charles de Gaulle as well. In 1961, his team of French diplomats arrived at the hotel to negotiate the Evian Accords, which led to the independence of Algeria. The Algerian team, understandably cautious, arrived from the Swiss side. And over the last three months, true to family tradition, Alexander has been using his hotel’s position to advantage during Europe's lockdown as well. I got a call from a French woman, he says, with a gleam in his eye, she told me she was in love with a Swiss man, and the border guards had stopped her crossing into Switzerland. I said, don't worry, I've got a solution for you. The distraught young woman was ushered into the hotel from the French side. Meanwhile, Alexander welcomed her boyfriend on the Swiss side. I put them in room nine, he explains the border goes right through it. And I told the young man, you'll sleep all night in Switzerland, your girlfriend will sleep all night in France. But you will be in the same bed. They stayed the whole weekend. They loved it. This week, the borders reopen, and there will be no more need for illicit lovers meetings"

Albert Wilson, convicted in Lawrence rape case, could get a new trial - "Wilson, now 24, was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on April 3, 2019, after a jury found him guilty of raping a then-17-year-old girl he met at a bar near the University of Kansas campus... Wilson met the girl at the Jayhawk Cafe, aka the Hawk, late on Sept. 10, 2016. The two started kissing in the club, went together to his nearby home for a few minutes, and then returned to the bar.The all-white and mostly female jury heard drastically different accounts of what happened in those few minutes from the young white girl and from Wilson, who is black. Many of Wilson’s supporters — who have launched a website and social media campaign using the hashtag #FreeAlbertWilson — believe the makeup of the jury was a dooming factor for the defendant... The psychologist also testified about how the girl had withdrawn from her friends and focused extensively on her schoolwork, yet according to Whalen’s motion, exculpatory evidence from her phone showed more than 100 photos of her at a school dance with friends within a week of the reported rape, plus thousands of messages that showed regular interactions with peers... The girl went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination the morning after the reported rape, but Wilson’s DNA was only found on her chest, where he had admitted to kissing her. Though she said he raped her, he said they never had sex. The rape kit found no pubic hair or other bodily secretions; yet, Whalen wrote, Lowry didn’t consult a DNA expert who could have testified that the evidence did not support the elements of rape.Wilson had originally been charged with two counts of rape, but the jury was hung on one of them"
When #MeToo/#BelieveWomen clashes with #BLM

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Lancashire Cotton Famine - "If you ask the question who built America in the 19th century? You could well say the answer is the City of London. America was the preferred destination for investments in, from Britain. The export of British capital in the 19th century, more went to America than anywhere else. It was a very good bet to help build Chicago. So banks and investment houses have an enormous amount invested in the American future, and largely that is the North. And so although we think about Lancashire and its cotton interests, the City of London has great interests as well and their fear, their very considerable fear is that if Britain were to come in on the side of the Confederacy, then the loans would be lost"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Absolute Zero - "Faraday starts playing with crystals of what was called at the time chlorine hydrate. This is a basically ice with chlorine dissolved inside it. And Faraday did some experiments where he put chlorine hydrate in a sealed glass tube and heated it up. Now the problem was, that's quite a dangerous thing to do because the chlorine is released and goes to very high pressure and the glass tubes frequently exploded. So after many of these experiments, Faraday found himself with glass all over his face and had to pick them out of his eyes, the shards. So there was no health and safety of course in those days, so he was allowed to do these experiments... He then wrote in his diary, after two or three days, his eyesight returned to nearly normal. So you can see it didn't seem to bother him at all. What was important was the, was the breakthroughs... what he wanted to do was to raise the pressure inside the glass tube by heating them up. And by putting chlorine at very high pressure, what he actually achieved was, he made a little oily liquid that appeared on the inside of the glass, and this oily liquid was in fact, liquid chlorine, he liquefied chlorine. The way this works, it's the same effect that you get when you go to the top of a mountain and you try and make tea and the tea is awful. And this is because on the top of the mountain the air pressure is lower. He was doing the reverse effect. So, the tea is so awful because you boil the water at a lower temperature when the pressure is reduced"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Zeno's Paradoxes - "‘If you have a heap of grain, let's say 10,000 grains, I take away one grain, it's still a heap, I take away another one, still a heap. A grain doesn't seem to make a difference. But if I take away so many that I am only left with one grain, there's no heap any longer. Is there an exact moment where I can say it's not a heap any longer? Probably not. Philosophers have called this kind of concept vagueness concepts and there's lots of work done because it's also in some sense vague where the vagueness starts, right?… There's two reasons why they are actually very fruitful for philosophers, right. It sounds ironic, because in some sense, was a paradox you had a dead end and you could say, well, okay, now should we not give up? But they are very fruitful for philosophy for two reasons, either, because they show there's something funny about some concepts, like was the bald man right? They show, we are using some concepts that can't be fully determined in the way other concepts can. And that tells us perhaps something either about our concepts, or perhaps even about the world, that some parts of the world are best described like this right? Then paradoxes can also be fruitful in one other way. Namely that in philosophy, a lot of what we do is actually done conceptually, right? So our theories and models and concepts, very often not just falsified or verified by the world outside, right? So how do we figure out whether our models are right or not? Well, paradoxes are very important because they tell us, okay, something has gone wrong here. You have to go back at your concept and look again, whether your assumptions are really as good and true as you thought they are'...
‘The barber who only shaves those [who don’t shave themselves]. I feel that it's just a paradox of language in the sense that this thing cannot exist, right. I suppose that that's the point. You're trying to show that there can't be a barber who only shaves those who don't shave themselves.’
‘The paradox here is the barber.’
‘Yeah, the paradox is resolved by saying this person does not exist. Your hypothesis that there is such a thing’" BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (previously briefly quoted) - "‘The amazing castle that he encounters, and something that *someone* said earlier about the brilliant contrast between outside and inside. This is vital to the romance. In the romance, there are only really two places to be. There's inside the court where you're celebrated and feasted and there is outside the court where you're tested and encounter enemies and obstacles. And the brilliant thing about Bertilak’s castle is that Gawain thinks he's inside, he thinks he can relax. And in fact, this is where he is tested’...
‘She says several very dangerous things. One is she says they're in complete privacy. And the problem is that in a chivalric honor world if something isn't known about it hasn't really happened. It doesn't have consequences.’…
‘This isn't just his Christianity versus his chivalry. These are two aspects of his chivalry. That he has to be loyal to the Lord and he has to be courteous to the lady. So even chivalry itself doesn't help him in this situation.’...
'He's been stitched up... Why shouldn't I use magic he thinks?... if I could use this belt, this magic belt not to be killed, then it would be a noble device. Seems fair enough, the Green Knight used magic'...
‘As far as Gawain is concerned, he's failed miserably. The interesting thing about the poem is that everyone else thinks he's done really well. That includes the Green Knight who pats him on the back and says, well done. Arthur's Court take a similar view.’...
‘Here's the thing though. What's the green Knights moral high ground? He has been operated the whole way through by the evil sorceress Morgan le Fey. What's the court’s moral high ground? They're the people who did nothing when this crisis arose, and then when Gawain rode away said, well, that was stupid, who let that happen? So the court is hypocritical and shallow, and the Green Knight doesn't have the moral high ground. And we don't know the poet's opinion. And we don't know God's opinion. And the poet could have told us either’...
'The round table is comfortable, it's cosseted, it's secure, and the Green Knight comes along from the outside to challenge that.'"

Clement Knox On The History Of Seduction

Clement Knox On The History Of Seduction | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"‘It's a very hard word to define, which is the cause, the root of a lot of our problems with it. I think a really helpful place to start is where the law always defined seduction. And there are, throughout three centuries there's been a legal understanding of what seduction constituted, and it was always held up in contrast to rape. So rape was obviously forceful, without consent, seduction assumed that consent had been granted, but that that consent had somehow been degraded by the methods by which it had been obtained. So this is where we get all this fancy language about, you know, wiles, art, deceit, fraud, and so forth, which was written into the laws to understand why although consent had been given, it shouldn't have been trusted by their, by the, by the person who gave it and nor by the courts or by society...

Another way I like to think about it is if you ignore sex and just think about seduction in other contexts: politics or the marketplace, often we assume that when people, you suggest that someone’s been seduced into voting for someone or seduced into buying a product or something, that that is kind of, somehow an impulsive decision, that someone has been a calculating, somehow calculated, how to make the pitch to prey on peoples who have, you know, passions or instincts or, or to lead them to make a decision that if they were in their hundred percent control of their faculties, they wouldn't do and that's how I kind of try to bring in that whole argument which propels the book, which is that seduction is really about are we creatures of reason or creatures of passion, and how that conflict plays out over time...

We like to think that thinking about sex in terms of power is quite a modern idea... if you date modern times to say the Enlightenment, it's been around for a few hundred years at least’...

'We always forget that James Bond was a product of the sexual revolution. And the kind of the sexual values he embodied were very much those of swinging London and the sexual liberation era. I think again, if you look at James Bond, it's very much that no one, no one's getting hurt in his his his sexual games at least, this is about empowering men and empowered women meeting on terms of parity. Again, if you go back to the Enlightenment, this is the kind of stories that surrounded people like Casanova, people like Voltaire, and I mentioned before, Henry Fielding… in the villainous seduction narrative when there's a male seducer, and a female victim, and you know, again, in that mode, even using the word seduction is quite charged because as we've learned recently, it may be more helpful to see these things in terms of exploitation or abuse or grooming'...

'I do talk about some of the modern sexual heroines like Brigitte Bardot, or the flappers in the F Scott Fitzgerald novels. But you know, this was very much the case in the 18th century. It's just that nowadays, we have a harder time accepting the reality maybe of a female empowerment in the 18th century, just because to our mind, it seems okay. They don't have the vote. There are no legal protections. They're basically confined to domestic roles in the economy. How can we consider people in those situations to be sexually empowered? Nonetheless, they were'...

'So it's not necessarily that the unequal power dynamic in these relationships is always gendered in terms of male with power, female women without power.'...

'One of the reasons that America has age of consent laws is because of WT Stead, who was an English journalist who never actually, didn't actually go to America until the 1890s, and then, very tragically died on the Titanic, trying to get to America on a later date, but he had enormous influence on the course of British legislation, and consequently, of American legislation. And he was a journalist based in London. He was a socialist, he was a Christian, and he was this avatar of this kind of Victorian muscular Christianity, intensely concerned with social issues, very critical of the elite establishment, which he considered corrupt both morally and sexually.

And he went on a campaign in 1884, 1885, to reveal a trade in British girls and women into the sexual, sexual slavery in the brothels of London, but also of France and Belgium. And he tried to create public interest in this and, and failed, because Victorians were extremely class conscious. And the last thing that people in the House of Commons, in the House of Lords wanted to do was empower working class women with new laws which they could use to basically level the playing field with their male masters and in their minds their male betters.

And so what WT Stead did was he decided to basically go undercover in the seamy world of London brothels to try and get a first person proof that you could buy a virgin in London, and then take her to France to sell into sexual slavery. So he found someone who was willing to sell him her daughter, or so he claimed, and deliver her to an apartment in Regent Street, where he could basically take possession of her and do whatever he wanted. So this is what he did. And WT Stead was a teetotaler like all good Christians, but because he was undercover, he decided to drink champagne to be a convincing rake. So he has his first ever drink of champagne to get drunk, appears in this kind of theatrical outfit in this walkup on Regent Street, takes possession of this kind of terrified 13 year old girl who’d been put under ether to kind of tranquilize her, and then he takes her to France where, you know, having proven this was doable, he delivers her into a rescue home run by the Salvation Army, and then goes public with this story and he calls this kind of series of reports from the London Underworld the Maiden Tribute to Modern Babylon, which as the name suggests, he's kind of drawing upon ancient myth to kind of describe this, what he considers a virgin sacrifice of British female chastity, to the kind of insatiable desires of men.

So, so he's very hard hitting on the subject of gender. There's also the class aspect to this, he actually uses the term 1%, he doesn't pull any punches. And the upshot of all of this is kind of farcical and chaotic, but also very serious, because what he succeeds in doing in the summer of 1885, is passing through House of Commons and the House of Lords and getting a royal signature, a bill called the Criminal Llaw Amendment Act, which changed the age of consent upwards, it introduced new laws to cover sexual assault, to cover things that we would not say is date rape, so we use kind of drugs or alcohol, to knock people out.

And there were other aspects of this as well, it covered, you know, regulation of prostitution, people being procured in prostitution, and even covered homosexuality. This was the law that resulted in Oscar Wilde going to jail. But the twist in the tale was that when he went public, people realized that he had obviously committed a crime, because he had more or less, committed slavery himself, and kidnapping, and so forth. So he ended up going to jail. And he was a very happy prisoner, because for him, it was the best publicity in the world. And for every year afterwards, on the day that he was sentenced, he would get dressed in his old prison uniform, and have a photo taken of him and his admirers loved this…

This is kind of a forgotten aspect of the special relationship that Britain and America enjoy. Is that often, the Americans taking cue from what's going on in England and vice versa. And at this point in America, the age of consent was as low as eight years old. So that was the low, as low as it was. That was in Delaware. On average, it was between 11 and 13. And one consequence of WT Stead’s campaigning was that the WCTU, in America, the Women's Christian Temperance Movement, which was an enormous, enormously influential, early feminist organization, said, this is disgraceful that the English have managed to pass this law, and yet we can't. And within 20 years, every US state had a age of consent, which was 16 or 18'"

Links - 18th May 2021 (1) (Tenants and Landlords)

Ontario COVID-19: Northern Ontario landlords say some tenants are taking advantage during pandemic - "one particular pair of tenants have not paid rent since October 2019."The most stressful part is we're paying for them to live," said McPhee. "I could understand if this happened during COVID, and they lost their jobs. I would be more than willing to say let's work something out, let's decrease the rent. I would have more of an understanding for it. But this is pre-COVID... "This has been stressful, stressful on my wife, stressful on myself," said McPhee. "We feel stuck because we cannot even sell the unit because nobody is going to purchase it. We thought about let's just sell it and take a hit, whatever sort of hit."... "Too many tenants in town are deliberately doing this because they know they can get away with it," said Goulet. "Landlords get desperate. They don’t know what to do. Their hands are tied and they are supporting these tenants who just don't want to pay."... "We've got some cases in town where a tenant hasn't paid -- deliberately hasn't paid -- for 15 months," said Goulet. "Their garbage is out in the back ... They can't even put their garbage out on the street for the city to pick up, that's how bad it is with this tenant. We have other tenants who are trashing another house. This landlord's going to lose his house if he's not careful, he's had to dip into his retirement funds."Goulet said he recommends all landlords do a thorough background check prior to having anything signed... "If we can't find somebody that we're 100 per cent sure about, we're just not going to rent the place," he said. "It's just not worth it because once you get somebody in there, the process to get somebody out is just way too long. You're looking at six months.""
All the Communists still hate landlords regardless. Maybe they should sleep in the streets instead
All these shitty tenants are just screwing other tenants who then find it harder to get a place

Toronto landlord forced to refinance condo as COVID-19 stalls eviction of lawyer owing $16K in rent - "Danish Chagani was excited when the lawyer who lived down the hall from his Toronto condo wanted to rent his unit after Chagani bought a house for his young family.But the first-time landlord says the feeling was short-lived — and about $16,500 in unpaid rent has left him strapped for cash to make his mortgage payments.Within a few months of moving into the fully furnished downtown condo in November 2018, tenant Christopher Roper's cheques started to bounce and come in late... a tenant who knows the system can take advantage of the lengthy process at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to delay eviction, and live rent-free... The lack of rent is particularly frustrating for Chagani since he discovered Roper has had problems with previous landlords, including a condo owner in Chagani's building, just a couple of doors down from his unit."When I heard the stories of the past, I was floored," Chagani said. "It just matched what I was going through perfectly."... The landlords got eviction orders, but then Roper appealed the tribunal decisions to Divisional Court.In one case, the appeal meant that Roper was able to "reside in the property rent-free for another 10 months" because the eviction was ordered in December 2012 and the appeal wasn't heard until October 2013, according to the decision dismissing the appeal... There's an added layer of difficulty in situations where someone might be "gaming the system," FRPO president Tony Irwin says."There is no registry; there's no system for people to go to understand if someone that they want to rent to is this kind of person""

Non-paying tenant tells landlord to buy a smaller house - "Harpreet Kaur rented out the two-bedroom basement apartment in her Mississauga home to a tenant in December of 2019 with rent paid up until September of last year.That’s when things started to fall apart.First the tenant — a WestJet employee who lost his job during COVID — moved in a friend and both refused to pay the $1,700-a-month rent... Sometime in October, when she texted him that she needed the money to pay bills, buy groceries and pay for her daughters’ university education, he texted back: “I’m sorry, times are hard. With all due respect, find a cheaper schooling option and feed them less expensive food.”... The two friends have now ramped up their harassment, smoking weed in a non-smoking unit and playing drums at 11 p.m... She said she went to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) in November but hasn’t got a hearing yet.“I’m getting depressed and angry,” she said, noting she’s the sole breadwinner for her family and they rely on the rent to supplement their household income.She’s had to take money from her credit line to pay her mortgage.Kaur said she cried when she read my front-page story this past Monday about how many tenants are taking advantage of the government’s no-eviction edicts and the pathetically slow pace of the LTB not to pay months and months of rent... Since Monday’s story, I have been inundated with similar horrific stories of landlords being harassed, threatened and intimidated by tenants — some of them seemingly mentally unwell.Another woman, who bought a 110-year-old historical home on Toronto’s Seaton St. in the summer of 2018 with the dream of fixing it up and becoming a small landlord, will be moving out with her 90-year-old mom at the end of March.She’s given up.Jane (not her real name), a civil engineer, decided to sell the house last June after being harassed by two male tenants while she was trying to deal with the impact of throat cancer and a hip replacement."
Tenant-friendly laws which supposedly protect human rights just means it's harder for tenants to find accommodation as landlords screen more intensely and others withdraw from the market (or never enter)

Landlord in New York state spray paints his own property to expose tenants' names and rent debt - "Kevin Nowak Sr. is at his wit’s end.  “We can’t just sit back idle and let this government do what they’re doing,” Nowak Sr. said.  The Lancaster property owner said some tenants have fallen behind on rent and he has no recourse because of the state’s eviction moratorium.  “I know I can’t evict them," he said. "I can’t even take them to small claims court to get $3,000 for, let’s say, an $11,000 claim.” So, he took matters into his own hands and exposed his tenant's debt. He spray painted the roof of one tenant's home with their names and what they owe... According to the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, on average, renters owe $8,150 in unpaid rent. Nowak Sr. believes the problem is a product of a government policy."

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Links - 16th May 2021 (2)

Surprise! Your Beer And Tea Are Actually Transgenic GMOs - "Even though no one has found any evidence that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are harmful, anti-GMO activists have campaigned against them for years, with considerable success. As of this writing, 19 out of 28 countries in the European Union have voted to ban or severely restrict genetically modified plants, and many other countries impose similar bans.But all of these restrictions may be in vain, because nature got there first. It turns out that many common foods have already been genetically modified, by a bacterium called Agrobacterium... in news that should be even more frightening to the anti-GMO crowd, these foods are transgenic: they contain genetic material from completely different species. Frankenfoods!... Scientifically, claiming that GMOs are bad for you is nonsensical–it depends entirely on what the genetic modification is. Whether a food scientist modifies a tomato to taste better by traditional breeding or by using GM technology, you still end up with a tomato that has different genetic content. The only difference is that with traditional breeding, you have no idea what exactly you changed in the plant's DNA. And humans have already consumed billions of servings of GM foods with no ill effects. The GM foods we eat today are perfectly safe... every cultivated variety of sweet potato has "foreign" DNA integrated into its genome, from a bacterium called (appropriately) Agrobacterium... all the sweet potatoes we eat are GMOs, although it happened naturally... here are the natural GMO foods, all of them transgenic, with the common name followed by the formal species name in italics:
bananas (Musa acuminata)
beer (hops) (Humulus lupulus)
cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
date-plum (Diospyros lotus)
guava (Psidium guajava)
peanuts (Arachis hypogaea)
pomelo fruit (Citrus maxima)
Suriname cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
sweet potatoes (Ipomoea species)
tea (Camellia sinensis, which is used for most teas)
walnuts (Juglans species)
yams (Dioscorea alata)
That's right, beer and tea are GMOs–even if they are labelled as "organic." Keep in mind that this list is undoubtedly incomplete"

Robert De Niro’s Restaurant Chain Nobu Took Up To $28 Million In Taxpayer Loans - "The chain, which includes 46 restaurants and 13 luxury hotels across the world, was co-founded by actor Robert De Niro, celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, and film producer Meir Teper. Nobu took 14 loans totaling as much as $27.7 million... The PPP fund totals hundreds of billions of dollars and was intended to help small businesses survive the loss of revenue as COVID-19 swept the nation. But a firestorm erupted in April when it was revealed that large corporations received billions, prompting many to return the loans."
This might explain the virtue signalling

transaksi indomie - Derri Hutomo Rahmadhi - "I was living in a hostel in singapore with few students from infonesia, malaysia, china and korea. Knowing that we came from indonesia, one korean friend day visited in room bringing packages of shin ramyeon. Then, like in those drug transaction scenes gangster movies, he put all those ramyeons on my desk. "I know you brought some indomies indonesia. Heres the deal. I'll give you 2 packages of ramyeon for each package of your indomie. Deal?" I said, "ok". Then he came out happily with some indomies in his hands.'"

Meme - "My friends sister got her fiancé to tattoo a spider on her asshole so when he cums in her ass it looks like the spider is making silk for a web"

COMMENT: PAP should clarify on what it means by 'strong mandate' - "I think we can all agree that in GE2011, the PAP was not given a strong mandate. It took 60.1 per cent of the votes and 81 out of 87 seats in Parliament. (Note that this is uniquely Singapore, as political parties elsewhere would probably kill for that kind of election result.)What happened post-GE2011? The PAP became a lot more consultative. It started the Our Singapore Conversation, moved unpopular ministers to the backbench, slowed down the inflow of foreign workers and ramped up the building of HDB flats.In GE2015, we can all agree that the PAP was given a strong mandate, with 69.9 per cent of the vote. And what did it do with that mandate?Of course, the PAP continued to govern. It was also confident enough to suggest constitutional changes right from the beginning of the term of Parliament in 2016.The Prime Minister called for voting rights to be given to non-constituency MPs and a re-look of the qualifications and types of checks on an elected president. Half-way through its term, it broached the need for a law to prevent online falsehoods... Now, we can see the effects of POFMA, when we have trouble figuring out what some of the “falsehoods’’ which have been POFMAed are about.Then you have the PAP-dominant Parliament voting to give their non-elected counterparts the right to vote in Parliament. I was astounded. They have no pride in their role or what? The next time I see a PAP candidate who tries to convince me to vote PAP because got NCMP, I will reply: “So you will be my glorified contractor ah?’’ The constituency political broadcasts seem to confirm this “contractor’’ role of an MP. Except for a few opposition candidates, no PAP candidate seeking re-election saw it fit to talk about his or her contribution to lawmaking. Instead, we hear about fitness parks and covered linkways... Is the PAP saying that all its legislation is fully justified and full/fool-proof? That all soundings have been taken behind closed-doors? That Parliament cannot improve on Bills, because it isn’t as smart as the executive? That second and third readings of the Bill are simply stages of a legislative process that has been a parliamentary tradition?... over the years, with the exception of a few, PAP MPs have become more and more subdued"

Tom Woods on Twitter - "Next time we're told the universities need more money, let's get this trending: #defundthethoughtpolice"

What is the BBC playing at? - "The BBC is losing the plot. Last week it announced a cull of local radio and regional television staff – sacking one in six people working on regional programmes in England. This week, there has been huge speculation that the BBC will scrap Politics Live, one of its flagship political shows... The cuts to regional programmes are projected to save around £25million. But the week before that, the BBC pledged £100million on a new diversity initiative in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. But as I explained on spiked at the time, the BBC does not even have an ethnic-diversity problem. The proportion of both on-screen contributors to BBC programmes and BBC staff who are BAME is actually higher than the BAME population in the country as a whole. At the same time, the kinds of shows that have been targeted for the axe are the embodiment of public-service broadcasting... Programming like this enhances democratic life, and arguably offers something the private sector would not. And yet this is not what the BBC seems to value.Clearly, what the BBC values above all else is the cult of wokeness – even if it alienates the vast majority of its audience."

Virginia Woolf OnlyFans on Twitter - "Harry Potter had a massive amount of inherited wealth, never redistributed it to his ridiculously poor friend’s family, and then became a magic cop."
You either die a liberal or live long enough to see yourself become a bigot

‘Feminist geography’ professor argues tall buildings are sexist - "‘Upward-thrusting buildings ejaculating light into the night sky’... Ever see a professor accuse a building of “toxic masculinity”?That is precisely Leslie Kern’s specialty, and you can get a good sense of the Mount Allison University professor’s reasoning in a recent Guardian essay on the sexism in … city architecture.It’s not the first article from a “feminist geography” perspective – indeed, there’s an entire academic journal, Gender, Place & Culture, devoted to the subject... even the height and shape of a building reflects “patterns of gender-based discrimination,” she says, citing a female architecture professor who described skyscrapers as “rape” in 1977... One of her solutions is, oddly, sex segregation: Kern praises women-only carriages on Tokyo trains. But she wouldn’t be an intersectional scholar if she didn’t jump on the defund-the-police bandwagon"

Atheists Are Sometimes More Religious Than Christians - "“American ‘nones’ are as religious as—or even more religious than—Christians in several European countries, including France, Germany, and the U.K.”... whereas only 23 percent of European Christians say they believe in God with absolute certainty, 27 percent of American nones say this. America is a country so suffused with faith that religious attributes abound even among the secular. Consider the rise of “atheist churches,” which cater to Americans who have lost faith in supernatural deities but still crave community, enjoy singing with others, and want to think deeply about morality. It’s religion, minus all the God stuff... In April 2018, almost 1,000 people streamed into a church in San Francisco for an unprecedented event billed as “Beyoncé Mass.” Most were people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. Many were secular. They used Queen Bey’s songs, which are replete with religious symbolism, as the basis for a communal celebration—one that had all the trappings of a religious service. That seemed completely fitting to some, including one reverend who said, “Beyoncé is a better theologian than many of the pastors and priests in our church today.”... although most Western Europeans still identify as Christians, for many of them, Christianity is a cultural or ethnic identity rather than a religious one. Sahgal calls them “post-Christian Christians,” though that label may be a bit misleading: The tendency to conceptualize Christianity as an ethnic marker is at least as old as the Crusades, when non-Christian North Africans and Middle Easterners were imagined as “others” relative to white, Christian Europeans. The survey also found that 11 percent of Western Europeans now call themselves “spiritual but not religious.”... Most Western Europeans still believe in the idea of the soul... The U.S. hasn’t secularized as profoundly as Europe has, and its history is crucial to understanding why. Joseph Blankholm, a professor at UC Santa Barbara who focuses on atheism and secularism, told me the Cold War was a particularly important inflection point. “The 1950s were the most religious America has ever been,” he said. “‘In God We Trust’ becomes the official national motto. ‘Under God’ is entered into the pledge of allegiance. That identity is being consciously formed by specific actors like Truman and Eisenhower, who are promoting a Christian identity at home and abroad, over against a godless communism. It’s the Christianization of America—as a Cold War tool.”... 27 percent of Americans call themselves “spiritual but not religious.” Even though they’ve left organized religion behind, many still pray regularly and believe in God. This raises an issue for researchers, because it suggests their traditional measures of religiosity can no longer be trusted to accurately identify religious people"

Alex R Dell on Twitter - "Sources: The NBPA currently is working with the NBA and Nike to give players the option of replacing their last name on their jersey with a statement on social justice. More details to come soon."
"A child in a Nike sweatshop stitching SJW slogans into a single-use shirt worn by a millionaire is the epitome of American activism"
For all that Marxists like to go on about 'late capitalism', this sort of indulgent leftist nonsense is a far better symptom of 'late capitalism' - life is too good so you need to virtue signal and try to destroy society with your pointless 'activism', while collaborating with big corporations

Fr. John Whiteford on Twitter - "Instead of questioning whether you should be ashamed of your ancestors, consider whether your ancestors would be ashamed of you."

'I ride bike not submarine': Grab apologises to rider who was tasked to deliver food to Seletar Island - "Unless he chartered a boat ride or kayaked to the offshore island, there was no way he would be able to complete the job. Funnily enough, Ruzzy (@rxzhael) shared on Twitter yesterday (July 26) how a Grab Delivery Partner Support agent requested him to make the delivery nonetheless... The customer who made the Seletar Island order never responded to Grab’s attempts to get in touch, so there’s that."

Xiaomi Japan apologizes for using nuclear bomb in ad - "Xiaomi Japan issued a public apology today after it received backlash for a recent advertisement. The ad in question promotes the speed of the Redmi Note 9 Pro using nuclear bomb imagery as well as a “fat man” that looks like a white balloon.“Fat Man” was the codename used for the nuclear bomb dropped by the United States on the Japanese city of Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II. Black and white imagery of the bomb itself make it look like a huge white balloon."

TikTok's Jenna Phillips Says She Makes 6 Figures as OnlyFans Puppy - "A Texas woman who reportedly said she has “always acted like a puppy” is now garnering more than hundreds of thousands per month through her performance on OnlyFans, after quitting her career as an optician. Jenna Phillips from Austin, Texas, now pretends to be a dog on OnlyFans, an adult content subscription website, where she runs around fetching balls, rolls around, and takes dog treats... The 21-year-old has said that she likes to “roll around, play fetch, get head scratches, run around and play,” according to LADBible, because she always felt like a puppy at heart.Her monthly income is now 100 times more than her previous income, and she makes six figures... “I have always acted like a puppy, but not in a sexual way at first. I used to pretend I was a puppy when I was growing up,” she said. “I really love praise. I love hearing ‘good girl.’ It makes my heart melt every time.”When she started her OnlyFans account, the content was “vanilla,” but after almost two years, she began posting as “thatpuppygirl” which is what turned around her business. She said there’s a been “surge” in her following ever since.She said what made her change her mind about doing vanilla content was that there wasn’t a market for “female puppies” on OnlyFans."

Ceiling Fans Have Switches For Hot And Cold Air - "Ceiling fans spin counterclockwise to push cool air downward. But, some fans have a switch that spins the blades in the opposite direction to pull air upward and push the warm air that naturally rises back down. In short, your fan should spin counterclockwise if you want cool air and clockwise if you want warm air. You're welcome!"

If You Are Looking For Casual Sex, Tinder Will Not Help, Study Says - "When seeking casual sex, why go to a bar to get rejected when you can use an app to get rejected from the comfort of your own home? A study just published in Personality and Individual Differences suggests that people on Tinder and other such picture-based dating apps are not really doing much better at getting casual sex than those who don't use the apps. In other words, swiping left and right doesn't mean that you are "hooking up" left and right... not everyone is trying to use Tinder and similar apps as a vending machine for casual sex. The study did find that Tinder tended to be first and foremost a diversion for both men and women, something to use when they were bored and had nothing else to do. Moreover, in a finding that may shock many men in the dating world, women were more likely to use the apps to simply confirm that they are attractive rather than actually trying to find a partner, short or long-term. In a press release, Bendixen explained, "Women use dating apps to feel better about themselves more than men do.""

The American Civil War: Everything You Wanted To Know

The American Civil War: Everything You Wanted To Know | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"‘What caused the American Civil War?’

‘We could definitely talk about that for 45 minutes. But I'll tell you what, if you want I can do it in one word... slavery... if you imagine a hypothetical universe in which there had been no human enslavement in the United States, so somehow rather it had been abolished in the late 18th century, when the United States came into being there would not have been a civil war. You know, it is rare that you can make a claim about an alternative history as absolutely as that but I would absolutely make that claim. There would not have been a civil war without slavery. There might have been another kind of civil war, I suppose. There might have been a civil war between the west and the east, which was one of the things that the founding generation worried about, but there would not have been a civil war between the southern states and the northern states in the way that happened in the mid 19th century…

Up until very recently, opinion polls say, most people think slavery isn't the cause of the Civil War. And if you ask them, why not? They would say, if they give you an answer, they would say, because most Northerners were not abolitionists, which is true. And most southerners did not own slaves. Most white Southerners did not own enslaved people. And that's also true. So therefore, they say, well it can’t have been about slavery? Well, that doesn't demonstrate it wasn't about slavery. What that might demonstrate is that it wasn't a war in any straightforward sense between radical abolitionists and slaveholders. But if you take slavery out of the picture, nothing can be satisfactorily explained. And if you read the ordinances of secession, so that's to say the documents issued by the southern states as they left the Union in 1861, they make this very explicit that the reason why they're leaving the union is because they can no longer guarantee the preservation of their property, their human property... Southerners themselves said that they were leaving the union in order to preserve their slave property. Now, you might think, well, why would they do that if most Northerners weren't abolitionists?

But the answer to that question very simply, is that although most Northerners were not radical abolitionists, would not describe themselves as abolitionists, they were in a broad sense, anti slavery that is, if you were to have done an opinion poll in the north in 1860, 61, and you would say, do you think slavery is right or wrong? The vast majority of people, including people who didn't vote for Abraham Lincoln, who weren't radicals, weren't Republicans, vast majority would have said slavery is wrong...

[Lincoln’s] whole campaign was predicated on preventing the expansion of slavery and on stigmatizing it as antithetical to American values, as, more than that, as a danger to the Republic, as a danger to the freedom for white people. That's the thing we've got to struggle to get our heads around. It wasn't that Lincoln or the Republican Party were campaigning on the horrific treatment of enslaved people, some of them were. But mostly what they were saying was that the institution of slavery itself is corrupting of Republican liberty. For white people. We've got to get rid of it because it's endangering the Republic, or at least we've got to contain it, because it's endangering the Republic, and that it, in and of itself was enough, was threatening enough to the south to compel them to secede...

‘By and large though, and compared to other civil wars such as the English Civil War, for example, this was actually not a war of brother against brother, relatively speaking. It was a war in which geography determined loyalty in in most cases’...

‘The union in the words of Abraham Lincoln was the last best hope earth. If what was at stake in the war was the survive of government of the people, by the people for the people. It was, if the Union was destroyed, if it was broken up, if the Confederacy was allowed to survive as a separate independent republic, then the possibility of People's Government would be eliminated forever from the whole world. I mean, it's an extraordinary thing to put it like that, but that is in terms what Northerners believed. It wasn't just Americans in fairness who said that at that time. British observers, radicals, people watching what’s happening, the great conflagration in North America watching from, from Britain and France and Germany and other places also shared that sense that there was, there were global issues at stake here. There was huge, that what would happen on the battlefields of Virginia and Pennsylvania and Mississippi and Louisiana would determine whether or not democracy, the rights of ordinary working men, would succeed, in Europe and in the rest of the world, or whether autocracy and monarchy would continue to, to dominate’...

‘How many black competence fought on both sides?’

‘It's a long standing issue, this, and the American right. The claim that there were black soldiers fighting for the Confederacy. Actually, what happened was that throughout the second half of the war, from 1863 onwards, there were increasing voices within the Confederacy saying, always in a minority, but saying, and from within the army as well, saying we should arm slaves. We're bit, we're outmanned, we're outnumbered, we're outgunned on the battlefields. We have to make use of this Human Resource. And in the very dying days of the Confederacy, when the writing was on the wall, the Confederate Congress finally, finally passed a bill, which if the Confederacy had lasted longer, would have drafted some enslaved men on the promise of their eventual emancipation. So the notion that there were large numbers of African Americans fighting for the Confederacy, or that there are any African Americans fighting for the Confederacy, in, in the full sense, in uniform, is wrong. What is true is that there were tens and tens of thousands of enslaved African American people who were in various support roles for the Confederate Army and were accompanying the army throughout the war from the beginning right to the end.’

Strange how the question of whether any blacks fought for the South suddenly becomes whether any black slaves fought for the South, as if there were no free blacks in the South - when there were more free blacks in the South than in the North. And when even The Root acknowledges that some blacks - even free ones - fought for the South...

Links - 16th May 2021 (1)

The Left is Now the Right - "In August, 2005, Rolling Stone sent me to cover a freak show. In a small Pennsylvania town called Dover, residents contrived to insert a sentence about teaching “intelligent design” into the curriculum, and fought for its right to do so in an extravagantly-covered trial in the “big city” capital of Harrisburg... Especially in 2005, which felt like the dawn of a new thousand-year reign of Bushian conservatism, liberal audiences jumped at any opportunity to re-create the magic of one of their foundational knowledge-over-superstition parables, the Scopes Monkey Trial.Fifteen years later, America is a thousand Dovers, and the press response is silence. This time it’s not a few Podunk school boards under assault by junk science and crackpot theologies, but Princeton University, the New York Times, the Smithsonian, and a hundred other institutions.When the absurdity factor rocketed past Dover levels this week, the nation’s leading press organs barely commented, much less laughed. Doing so would have meant opening the floodgates on a story most everyone in media sees but no one is allowed to comment upon: that the political right and left in America have traded villainous cultural pathologies. Things we once despised about the right have been amplified a thousand-fold on the flip. Conservatives once tried to legislate what went on in your bedroom; now it’s the left that obsesses over sexual codicils, not just for the bedroom but everywhere. Right-wingers from time to time made headlines campaigning against everything from The Last Temptation of Christ to “Fuck the Police”... Today Matt Yglesias signing a group letter with Noam Chomsky is considered threatening. Moreover a lot less than booking a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit can get you in the soup – a headline, a retweet, even likes are costing people jobs. Imagine how many movies Milos Forman would have had to make if Jerry Falwell had been able to get people fired this easily.  This is separate from the Democratic Party “moving right,” or in the case of issues like war, financial deregulation, and surveillance, having always been in lockstep with the right. This is about a change in the personality profile of the party’s most animated, engaged followers.Many who marched against Dick Cheney’s spy state in the early 2000s lost interest once Donald Trump became a target, then became full converts to the possibilities of centralized speech control after Russiagate, Charlottesville, and the de-platforming of Alex Jones, with even the ACLU wobbling. (Some of the only left media figures to be consistent on this issue work at the World Socialist Web Site, which has gone after woke icons like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Internet censorship). Support for the “radical transparency” concept that made Wikileaks famous receded in favor of a referendum on the political and sexual iniquity of Julian Assange: many activists today are more concerned with who than what and find nuance, contradiction, and double-meaning repulsive. Bad person = bad idea!... the definitions of “whiteness” sound suspiciously like lazy suburban white stereotypes about Black America, only in reverse... Once, the right couldn’t see or comment upon its own absurdities, and instead spent most of its time whining about being frozen out of the media at the exact moment its messaging was becoming hegemonic, e.g. when we weren’t even able to watch a football game without someone trying to shove Rush Limbaugh or Dennis Miller onscreen. Now the left has adopted the same traits (the NBA restart played on a “Black Lives Matter”-emblazoned court is going to make those old Monday Night Football broadcasts seem chill), with a major difference: it has the bureaucratic juice to shut down mass media efforts to ridicule its thinking. These are the same pontificating, stereotyping busybodies Republicans used to be, only this time, they’re winning the culture war."

Why Panera’s experiment with pay-what-you-want dining failed - "In 2010, Panera’s nonprofit arm launched a new experiment: It opened a cafe in St. Louis that looked exactly like the company’s other restaurants, but customers could pay what they wanted for the items on the menu, or not pay at all. Ron Shaich, Panera’s founder and CEO at the time, had volunteered at food banks and wanted to offer a better experience for people who were struggling to eat. The new nonprofit restaurant, called Panera Cares, was designed to sustain itself by nudging middle-class consumers to pay a little extra for their meals.“In many ways, this whole experiment is ultimately a test of humanity,” Shaich said in a TEDx talk later that year. “Would people pay for it? Would people come in and value it?”In January 2018, the St. Louis location closed. A location in Dearborn, Michigan, which also opened in 2010, closed in 2016. Locations in Portland, Oregon, and Chicago also failed. Only one cafe, in Boston, is left. Though the concept was designed to be self-sustaining, the restaurant operated at a loss... many consumers didn’t want to eat next to homeless people, and complained about the atmosphere. People who were food insecure also didn’t like it... Conscious capitalism–a philosophy that Shaich and many other business leaders subscribe to–suggests that consumers will do good if given the opportunity. But that’s an unproven theory, Dobscha says, and it wasn’t borne out at the cafes. At the door, greeters explained the nonprofit concept; some consumers said they felt pressured into making donations. Others admitted that they used the restaurant to underpay even though they could afford more... Some similar restaurants have survived... Dobscha suggests that it makes sense for companies to focus on solving the social problems they directly create–Facebook should work on data privacy, for example, and the carbon footprint of its servers, among other things–but perhaps not attempt to work on peripheral social problems. “To me, it’s misplaced resources,” she says. “It’s probably not going to get you the results you want, and it lets governments off the hook, too.”"
And the last outlet has closed too

Lentil As Anything in trouble as cheapskates take advantage of restaurant’s charity - "LENTIL As Anything’s future is under threat from cheapskates taking advantage of the Newtown restaurant’s charity by paying less than $3 a meal.Since opening two years ago, the vegetarian restaurant has invited customers to pay what they can to enjoy a delicious meal, have a chat and listen to some music in a warm, safe space."
I guess the reason Annalakshmi survives isn't due to the fact that people who eat vegetarian food won't be the ones who'd stiff you

China restaurant's pay-what-you-want policy backfires as some customers pay as low as 1 yuan for meals - "A newly opened restaurant in China racked up losses of 100,000 yuan (S$20,600) during its first week of operation, after its policy of allowing customers to pay what they wanted for their meals backfired spectacularly.The music-themed eatery in Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou province, had introduced a pay-what-you-want promotion to mark its opening on Oct 2... Some diners reportedly paid only 10 per cent of the bill, while others had no qualms leaving just 1 yuan (20 Singapore cents) on the table after eating... Mr Liu's relationship with the restaurant's two other owners have since gone sour after they argued over the decision to "believe in the inherent goodness of human beings".He added that they had been banking on the majority of diners to do the right thing and pay what was fair."
This in a country where people steal toilet paper from public toilets

Thomas Chatterton Williams on Twitter - "This is a new form of ad hominem criticism for me. This person (named Bari Williams of all things! Hello, are we in a simulation or what!?) states explicitly—not by the usual implication—that since my views are not hers they quite literally erase my ancestry and *make me white.*"
Apparently if you're not politically black, you're not black

Woman creates fake Tinder profile as a man and assumes it will be 'easy' to get dates - "An 18-year-old woman created a fake profile to go undercover on Tinder to see what it's really like for men on dating apps — and she was shocked to discover that it was not as easy as she imagined.YouTuber Alexander Grace teamed up with his friend Sada for the social experiment, providing her with photos of himself to use for her fake Tinder profile.  Sada admitted that she thought it would be 'easy peasy' to get matches with Alex's pictures, and assumed she'd be lining up dates in no time — but she was discouraged to get fewer matches than she thought, and even more frustrated to be met with radio silence when she would initiate conversation... In addition to not getting as many matches as she imagined, she was annoyed that women wouldn't reply to her messages, or they'd stop replying after one or two responses... 'If I compared the experience that a woman has on a dating app and that a man has on a dating app, it's much different. And it's weird that I struggled so much. And if I changed my picture to a woman, I don't struggle at all.'This is not very healthy,' she said. 'I'm [feeling] down now and it's not even my damn picture.'... she has rethought what it's like for guys on dating apps. 'I just feel sorry for guys and stuff. I don't think this is good for anyone, really.She added that she thought it would be especially easy for her because she herself is a woman... Men commenting on the video and on Reddit are less confused.'Yeah dating apps are probably the most depressing experience an average guy can have'... 'She kept pointing out that he is actually attractive and educated... Imagine what "average" guys experience'... 'I'm a a straight dude who has used and often been excessively frustrated with dating apps. Despite that, I completely understand why the women ghost or don't replay: They're inundated with messages and options,' wrote one, explaining that there's simply not enough time to reply to everyone"
Female privilege illustrated

Liberalism made the Western world, but now it is destroying it - "The pursuit of the common good has little place in liberalism, for liberalism is principally concerned with the maximisation of individual freedom... Also to blame is the misplaced universalism of liberalism. Partly because much of liberal thought starts with a misconceived "model" of human nature and political organisation, liberals underestimate the cultural and institutional context and history of communities and countries.They assume we are all rational freedom-seekers, the same the world over. This leads liberals to all sorts of flawed judgments about foreign policy (think Iraq), democracy (think European Union) and immigration.Viewing countries as little more than a platform, upon which anybody from anywhere in the world can live and work with only minimal obligations towards others, liberals support mass immigration.In fact, they are often maniacally in favour of it, because for many of them, borders are a restraint on freedom, and culturally diverse countries are more likely to put irrational attachments to majority culture and identity behind them.But study after academic study shows that the more diverse a society becomes, the less trust and reciprocity there is, and less willingness to pay taxes to fund universal public services and welfare systems.Liberalism attacks the institutions and traditions that bring us together, in part because they are seen as hindrances in the pursuit of freedom. But this destructiveness is also down to the problematic relationship liberalism has with the idea of inevitable progress. Because some liberal thinkers justify pluralism and tolerance on the basis that they create trial and error that leads to an increasingly perfect society, liberalism can become illiberal and intolerant: conservatives who worry that change can bring loss and not just gain, institutions and traditions that ask us to put others first, and beliefs that seek to achieve the common good are mocked, undermined and attacked.The irony is, the more we see the full extent of the crisis of Western society, it becomes clearer that liberalism has always depended on those very institutions and traditions and ways of life it attacks.Perhaps liberalism can survive without Christian virtues and stable national identities, but we cannot yet know that for sure."

An0maly - Posts - "If you vote for Donald Trump, you are a racist. You have no wiggle room"
"Blindly labeling 62,984,828 Americans as racist is everything that's wrong with contemporary political discourse."

Edward C. Yong - "Take The Cake: Do Smaller Fat People Have Privilege?"
"the loons on the left are eating their own!
tldr version: mildly overweight woman joins a forum for fat women and is made to feel privileged cos she can get sex more easily than the morbidly obese ones."

Why the silence over the Reading attack? - "It’s been five days since the Reading attack. Five days since suspected Islamist terrorist Khairi Saadallah killed three people and seriously injured three more, as they enjoyed drinks and sun with friends in a park on Saturday evening. The killer stabbed people in the neck, under the arms, and one in the eye, according to reports. He lunged at people seemingly indiscriminately. Such was his barbarism. And yet, five days later, we’re barely talking about it... conversation has quickly turned to pubs reopening and that twat who flew a ‘White Lives Matter’ banner over Burnley.Now imagine the Reading attack had been committed not by someone like Saadallah, who is suspected, it seems, of having Islamist sympathies, but by a Tommy Robinson supporter, or a fully fledged white supremacist. Five days later, we’d be talking about nothing else – and rightly so. It would have been the bloodiest far-right attack on British soil in recent memory. By contrast, Saadallah’s alleged crimes have been treated, as suspected terrorism of this kind often is, like a horrible accident – something we briefly mourn before moving on. This enthusiasm gap was glaring on Twitter in the wake of the attack. The opinion-forming set seemed more keen to express their solidarity not with the families and friends of the three slain men, who incidentally all seem to have been gay, but with TV pundit Ash Sarkar. After she posted a photo on Saturday of her eating an ice lolly, far-right trolls, ludicrously suggesting she was mocking the attack, sent her death threats. It was appalling, of course. But that the condemnation of racist tweets seemed to outweigh that of actual murders tells us something about some people’s priorities. This is all the more strange given that the threat of Islamist violence far outweighs that of far-right violence. In the past five years, excluding Reading, 37 people have been killed in Britain in Islamist attacks, while two have been killed in far-right attacks. That’s without mentioning the Parsons Green bombing in 2017, the stabbing attack at a Manchester shopping centre last year, and the stabbing attack in Streatham, south London, in February – all Islamist attacks which inflicted awful injuries but failed to claim lives... While Islamist attacks range in sophistication, there are networks and groups, both national and international, that would-be terrorists are able to access. By comparison, as Dr Paul Stott has argued, the British far right has been ‘historically too weak to sustain an enduring terrorist group’, and the threat it poses is predominantly from lone-wolf actors... Many on the liberal-left seem to care more about their pre-fashioned narratives than the bloody reality. This is why claims that the murderous far right is on the march, ginned up by Boris Johnson and tabloid newspapers, trundle on in spite of the facts. This is why they have a tendency to ignore or downplay Islamist terror – because it raises awkward questions about integration, multiculturalism and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism that they have no answer for"

laka on Twitter - "Stop adding pineapple to food and calling it “Hawaiian”. Pineapple is not from Hawaii. My grandfather worked in the pineapple fields as a child. Pineapple and it’s ties to Hawaii is a direct result from Hawaii’s colonization. Please stop perpetuating my culture’s oppression.
In many ways, capitalism and colonization worked perfectly on Hawaii. Now, when you think pineapple you think Hawaii. The whole fucking world sees a huge pineapple next to the word “Hawaii”. Educate yourself and others about multigenerational microagressions...
SO when you think about things with pineapple, and you associate that with Hawaii or anything Hawaiian, you are directly perpetuating the history of colonization and capitalism. So stop making that connection. Pineapple is NOT Hawaiian or even from Hawaii."

Officer Fired Over Facebook Post About 'Privilege' - "Critics alleged that now-former Savannah Police Department (SPD) Officer Edwin Myrick’s post was racist... “What is privilege?….Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job,” the post read. “Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance. Privilege is having a Smartphone with a Data plan which you receive no bill for.” “Privilege is living in public subsidized housing where you don’t have a water bill, where rising property taxes and rents and energy costs have absolutely no effect on the amount of food you can put on your table,” the post continued. “Privilege is the ability to go march against, and protest anything that triggers you, without worrying about calling out of work and the consequences that accompany such behavior.”“Privilege is having as many children as you want, regardless of your employment status, and be able to send them off to daycare or school you don’t pay for,” the message read. “Privilege is sending your kids to school early for the before school programs and breakfast, and then keeping there for the after school program…all at no cost to you….paid for by the people who DO HAVE TO DEAL WITH RISING TAXES AND COSTS!…you know, us so called ‘PRIVILEGED’ the ones who pay while you TAKE TAKE TAKE!”"
If you see this as racist, given that it doesn't mention race, you're the racist one

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