When you can't live without bananas

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Friday, June 11, 2021

Life in the workhouse: everything you wanted to know

Life in the workhouse: everything you wanted to know - HistoryExtra

"‘The workhouse was always part of what we'd call the welfare system, or in those days that the poor relief system. And that really goes back to the Elizabethan days. Parishes started collecting money from all their householders. And most of that money was actually used as handouts. Pensions even actually even date back to that kind of, that period. And the workhouse kind of grew up within that welfare system.

And it really had two main functions. One, it was a place where people who couldn't even get by with a handout, the elderly, the chronically sick, the mentally ill, orphaned children, those sort of people needed a refuge somewhere that would look after them. And later on, it also took on another function, which was for dealing with what were called the able bodied poor. People, you know, who are quite capable of working, but for some reason, weren't earning any money. And if those people wanted help from the parish, then instead of a handout, they could be offered a place in this institution called the workhouse where they would really have to work in return for their board and lodging.

And in fact, the, the workhouse became a, what's called a test of someone's destitution or need, if they were prepared to go to this place, then that was fine. They were clearly deserving. If it worked, as far as the parish was concerned, it would bring down the cost of looking after the poor. You'd get rid of lots of people who were really deserving of help, by only offering them the workhouse. Probably about one in five, one in six parishes over the years decided to run a workhouse.

But handouts were always the main way of helping the poor. The workhouse, although it's the most kind of visible part of this whole welfare system, was actually in financial terms and in numbers of people who were being held, was a bit of a minor player...

Certainly Oliver Twist and lots of the versions of it that appeared over the years have created this picture that's, that's far from the truth. In Oliver Twist, the boys in the workhouse if I remember rightly, exist on a diet of gruel and an onion on Sundays, and there was never a workhouse where that was the diet. There was never a workhouse where the inmates existed solely on gruel. And in fact, in some work houses, the food was very good. You know, you've got three very square meals a day. It varied enormously though, because each parish could do its own thing and some parishes obviously sort of more generous than others in what they provided. But interestingly, the sort of the negative parts of Oliver Twist, were used to sort of run down the new system... the musical Oliver, there's a song called boy for sale. Workhouses never sold boys. They were offered for apprenticeships, but they, they came with money. Not, you didn't get money from their future employer, you gave some money for him to take them off their hands. So there's lots of sort of distortions...

If you look at Dickens’s more journalistic writings, in the various magazines that he was involved in, he visited a few work houses and related establishments, and was actually sometimes quite either complimentary or sympathetic towards them. So I think, viewing Dickens as a stern critic of the workhouse is probably you know, not, not a fair picture.’...

‘Many of the workhouse buildings are incredibly beautiful, and she says like the factory medical museum in Leeds. People know that one. So why was so much cost put into building them to then be so miserly with the inmates?’...

‘You got paid a percentage of the cost price of the building, if you, if you design a very big building, your 3%, or whatever it was, was actually quite a decent, decent cut. So it's it's kind of an interesting story that goes with that...

It was always an offer, you'll never be put in the workhouse sent, sent to the workhouse, sentenced to the workhouse, it was always an offer. And it's a bit like today, if you're unemployed, there's unemployment assistance, but you're not forced to claim it... There are people who are usually referred to as the ins and outs. They use the workhouse just like a free lodging house. They turn up on a Monday, get checked in, stay a couple of days and then decide they had enough, you know, discharge themselves, go visit Auntie Flo, you know, in the next village, and then she’ll throw you out and are back on the workhouse doorstep a couple days later. There were people who literally check themselves in and out of the workhouse, dozens and dozens of times a year for different amounts that you know, anything between, you know, even just as little as one day, and go in and said, oh, stuff this, and they’ll laugh. In the 1870s the rules were changed slightly so that if you had been in, you know, in the last month, then you couldn't leave within so many days. The longer, the more times you've just been in and out, the longer you had to stay until you could discharge yourself again. So it was, you know, but up till that point, they, these people were the bane of the workhouse staff life, because there was this long admission discharge procedure, even if you left the next day...

The thing about the workhouse infirmary is that really up till the 1860s workhouses were probably the worst place you'd want to get sick in to some degree. Because the nursing was done by elderly female inmates on the whole, and a lot of those, those women couldn't read and write, they couldn't read instructions on bottles or instructions left by the doctor. And they were actually drunk most of the time, you know, they often got a, you know, a ration of beer, volunteering to the job in the first place, and a lot of the things that were dispensed to the sick poor in the workhouse infirmary, you know, were either brandy or Porter or, or, you know, they contained alcohol in some shape or form. And a lot of that stuff didn't always quite make it to the patient. And you literally, you know, I’m being quite serious, a lot of workhouse nurses, you know, were actually the worst for wear, you know, by nine o'clock in the morning...

If you were poor, outside the workhouse, but couldn't afford a doctor, because you had to pay for doctors in those days, then you would increasingly be packed off to the workhouse infirmary, for any treatment that you needed. And as a result of that, in many places, the workhouse infirmary became the local hospital for poor people. And again, because of that increased traffic then the workhouse medical facilities expanded as a reaction and in many workhouse, particularly ones in cities, the workhouse medical facilities outgrew the accommodation for the poor, they basically became large hospitals. When the National Health Service in England and Wales was formed in 1948, you know, it had this culture of free access to all, actually going back 60 years or more. And it inherited a lot of workhouse sites. A big proportion of the NHS real estate in 1948 was former workers infirmaries. In fact, the new system was inaugurated at a workhouse infirmary up in Lancashire’"

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Links - 10th June 2021 (2)

Watch: AI camera mistakes referee’s bald head for ball, follows it through the match

James Lindsay - Posts | Facebook - "Agencies, Contractors Suspend Diversity Training To Avoid Violating Trump Order"
"This is terrible NPR. The executive order bans race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating. Do you support those? If your reporting on this simple thing is this misleading and bad, why should we believe anything you've reported on Donald J. Trumpis true? People really should push NPR on this. Why do they present a case that seems to support the ideas of race and sex scapegoating and stereotyping? Are they racist and sexist or what?"

Cafe shuts after Union Flag breakfasts branded racist - "Carol Brown and her daughter Candy Merrett had been serving the meal with patriotic toothpicks since they opened two years ago.But they were targeted by a barrage of online complaints. And some customers even ordered the meal just so they could throw the flags on the floor.The pair are now so upset and fed up they have decided to close their Station 164 cafe in Hornchurch, east London, for good."
We are still told that liberals don't hate their countries

DJ R-Tistic on Twitter - "America gotta be the only country that when you see someone wearing the flag, your first thought is “they probably racist AF”"

Dems tweet then delete post linking Trump's Mt. Rushmore event to ‘glorifying white supremacy’ - ""Trump has disrespected Native communities time and again," The Democrats wrote. "He's attempted to limit their voting rights and blocked critical pandemic relief. Now he's holding a rally glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore- a region once sacred to tribal communities." Critics pounded the Democrats for the tweet, which has since been deleted."Would be curious to hear @TheDemocrats explain what part of shooting off fireworks at Mt. Rushmore for the 4th of July "glorifies white supremacy". The fireworks? Mt. Rushmore itself? The 4th of July?" GOP pollster Logan Dobson asked. "Like I think I know what they're implying here, and the tweet was obviously designed to tell their base something, but it would be really instructive if they were actually made to answer the question.""

Sargon of Akkad - Posts | Facebook - "The Democrats called planed 4th of July celebrations by Trump "Glorifying white supremacy" and then deleted the tweet when it did not go down well.Saying leftists hate the country is perfectly legitimate."

Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts | Facebook - "Recently a civil war statue was torn down in Colorado that represented a civil war era soldier. Some felt since it was a confederate era statue it glorified the racist Confederacy. Others viewed it as a Union Soldier that helped liberate the Southern slaves. Still others viewed it as representing the troop that committed the Sand Creek massacre — two thirds of the victims were women and children. One icon, three meanings, and an another excellent example of why it’s important to ask others why they chose their symbols and not just assume. This simple step could bridge a world of animosity."

Prof. Kate Antonova on Twitter - "No one should ever publish Andrew Sullivan, David Brooks, Matt Taibbi, Matt Ygesias, Steven Pinker, or Niall Ferguson ever again. Not to "cancel" them but because they have nothing of value to add and never have. They produce vapid, superficial, baseless clickbait."
What a big tent

Facebook - "Objectivity Is a Privilege Afforded to White Journalists"
"Destroying the epistemic authority of objectivity is one of the most harmful manifestations of wokeness. What's left are lived experience and a moral hierarchy that determines whose narratives matter more. Not only is this the death of journalism; it's the death of civilization"

James Lindsay - Posts | Facebook - "How to be an Antiracist, a required text in an engineering course."

SJWCentral - Posts | Facebook - "The Other 98%:
"Dickhead wants unionized Goodyear Tires (60k jobs)to go out of business because they hurt his feelings"
"Have you joined the Goya Foods Boycott yet?""

Thomas Sowell on Twitter - "In my old neighborhood, there was a special contempt for the kind of guy who was always trying to get other guys to fight each other. Today, it's considered a great contribution to society to incite consumers against producers, women against men, and the races against each other."

Video: Dozens of People in New Jersey Stop Their Cars, Mistake Blimp For a UFO - "The object is clearly a blimp and its flashing light can be seen blinking in the video."

Bones Equal Dollars 🦴= on Twitter - "People will say shit like "My Grandpa barely escaped the communists!" as if that's supposed it make me dislike communism instead of making me sorry they didn't catch his ass.
Like damn if they got him there's a chance we wouldn't be having this convo right now."

Facebook - "I mean, the Japanese were nuked, twice; that is nuked x2, and yet were competing with their nukers after 1 decade or so. To "be held back" by slavery (or colonialism) some 200 years onwards is a total WTF moment to me, to be honest."
Comments: "How about the Jews? In the 1940s, 6 million of them were slaughtered systematically. A few decades later, they were world leaders in technology."
"Same thing about Israel- people literally came out of the gas chambers and built a country. “Some other people” lived here for 2000 years under foreign rule and did pretty much nothing."
"Or take Germany as an example. Whole cities totally destroyed (Hamburg, Cologne more than 80, 90%). Major industries deconstructed as reperation. Tens of thousands of patents robbed. And? Nine years after WWII soccer World Champion in 1954 and no. 1 economic power in Europe 2nd only to the US."

Meme - "How old were you before you realised Casper the Friendly Ghost was just Richie Rich without hair and clothes"

Facebook - "My server said he liked my necklace.... sir....."
"Tf is he supposed to say? ”Hey nice huge fat ass titties, honk honk”??? You weird as fuck"

Facebook - "If you're under 40, your friends are probably much more likely to die by suicide than coronavirus. Be kind to one another.If politics are causing you to be cruel to people, stop talking about politics."

The trouble with dog-whistles - "One of the strange habits of our time is the one in which a self-appointed class roams the land, hands cupped to their ear, hoping to discern something they can identify as a ‘dog-whistle’. I wrote about this habit after Conservative MP Suella Braverman came in for a scolding for using the phrase ‘cultural Marxism’ in a speech.In the aftermath of that outrage, the Board of Deputies of British Jews – among others – expressed their concern that the phrase was in and of itself anti-Semitic. Since then, the Board has met with Ms Braverman and announced that it has discerned that there was in fact nothing “intentionally anti-Semitic” about her comments, and expressed sorrow about any hurt having been caused to the MP (who happens to have a Jewish husband). It is unlikely that any lesson will be learned about claiming to hear things beneath or above the pitch of normal words. Not least because there is now a phalanx of self-appointed bodies and individuals dedicated to this peculiar form of voluntary service.One oddity of the whole business of trying to hear dog-whistles is very basic: if you can hear the whistle, you must surely be the dog... to be able to hear on a whole different aural wave-length to everyone else – to be peculiarly attuned to the tones of the time and to be able to explain to everyone else – is one heck of a power to bestow upon yourself."

Arigonia - "Stan Lee was a bigot.He said Peter Parker could never be gay.So, stop with this Stan Lee worshiping.He not only refused to make spiderman queer, he also stated that Spiderman should never be gay. If you continue to idolize him, then you are just as bad."
"He said Peter Parker shouldn’t be gay because the character wasn’t written with the intention to be queer. There is more to LGBTQ+ inclusion that just queerwashing already established non-queer characters.And also, Peter Parker isn’t the only spider-man.Stan Lee created X-Men to show how we shouldn’t be discriminate or be afraid of people just because they are different. That’s whom you are trying to paint as a bigot."

"Just Because You Did It Doesn't Mean You're Guilty" : law

Hate crime bill: Hate talk in homes ‘must be prosecuted’ | Scotland | The Times - "Conversations over the dinner table that incite hatred must be prosecuted under Scotland’s hate crime law, the justice secretary has said.Journalists and theatre directors should also face the courts if their work is deemed to deliberately stoke up prejudice, Humza Yousaf said.The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill has been condemned by critics including the Scottish Catholic Church, police representatives, academics and artists. It will introduce an offence of stirring-up of hatred against people with protected characteristics, including disability, sexual orientation and age. The bill is loosely based on the Public Order Act 1986, which outlaws threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour but includes a “dwelling defence” that states the threatening language cannot be prosecuted if it is spoken in a private home.Mr Yousaf said that there should be no “dwelling defence” in his bill... Mr Yousaf said theatre directors and journalists should not be exempt from the bill, to prevent activists stoking tensions under the cloak of dramatic licence or freedom of expression"

Erfurt latrine disaster - Wikipedia - "An accident in Erfurt, Duchy of Thuringia, caused the deaths of at least 60 people in 1184. A number of nobles from across the Holy Roman Empire were meeting in a room at the Church of St. Peter, when their combined weight caused the floor to collapse into the latrine beneath the cellar and led to dozens of nobles drowning in liquid excrement"

Education council accuses white member of 'racist behaviour' for holding a black baby on his lap - "District Two, which covers a swath of some of the wealthiest areas of Manhattan, met to discuss an alleged incident of racism that happened during the June 11 council meeting. At that time, council member Thomas Wrocklage had long-standing family friends visiting for the day. He held his friend’s nephew on his lap.Holding the baby while council discussed integration is the alleged incident of racism. Council members who saw a white man holding a black baby while saying that integration was possible were horrified by the “racist” act. Council member Robin Broshi was one of those who was beside herself with humiliation and shame at having witnessed this incident of alleged racism."

Woman cut off her hand with circular saw in $1.2m insurance scam - "Slovenian Julija Adlesic, 22, is accused of using a circular saw to sever herself at the left wrist in early 2019.She had taken out insurance policies with five companies the year before and would have received €1m ($1.2m) in payout.However, the young woman was found guilty of attempted insurance fraud"

Paul Krugman on Twitter - "Starting to look like two possible outcomes: Trump and a number of others end up in jail, or thousands of journalists end up in prison camps"
Sep 2019. Looks like a sure way to earn money is betting against Krugman

Musrat G. Maria's answer to Do you think that Game of Thrones actors felt sad and let down by the low quality of the last seasons, or was it just another paycheck for them? - Quora - "Most actors were upset - not all, but most. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said he almost signed the petition to reshoot the GoT finale, saddened to see how upset fans were over the ending. Kit Harrington, to this day, hasn't seen the GoT finale. Emilia Clarke admitted that, after reading the script, she cried. It took her five hours to recover. Conleth Hill was upset with his GoT ending. I mean, just look at his face; Even Lena Headey said she was disappointed by Cersei's death on GoT.The actors of GoT were very dedicated to their roles and wanted the best ending for their characters. The GoT finale did not live up to their expectations."

Carl Richard Archie's answer to Do you think that Game of Thrones actors felt sad and let down by the low quality of the last seasons, or was it just another paycheck for them? - Quora - "The actors were not pleased. The writing quality had decreased since the fifth season. HBO had given the show runners enormous resources due to the previous successes. HBO had made massive amounts of money off the series and executives wanted more. The actors wanted to move on… but they wanted to finish strong. This was one time when studio interference would have improved the end product.The show had impacted the actors’ careers for five years and they wanted freedom to pursue new opportunities full time but they were in a very successful project; it was unwise to disrupt a winning project.George R.R. Martin had been very concerned with this in the beginning. The original cast, to a large degree, was chosen by him. He thought this group of actors, especially the young ones, were very good, and would eventually feel hemmed in by the show, when their talent began to shine. However, a winning series increases an actor’s value... However, two men wanted to move on more than any others: Showrunners David Benioff And D.B. Weiss, wanted to finish the series. They had several projects waiting but HBO wanted more seasons. D&D were very distracted... With no detailed plot in hand, D&D and their writers, went on to draft increasingly mediocre scripts. More action and CGI, less quality dialogue. The actors noticed, but were being paid well, so they did their jobs.That said, most casual fans misunderstand why the geekdom were upset. They were not upset about the conclusions, they were upset about the rushed storytelling, implausible setups and dumb presentation. It was NOT their imagination; the quality of dialogue had decreased and there was less... There were many Chekhov's guns that were merely left unused, etc. There were story lines that deflated. Dorne, the Golden Company, and the faceless men…Did the big bad, the Others and the Night’s King ride to Winterfell…for nothing? What did he want?"

Alan Mikhail On The Extraordinary Life Of Sultan Selim I

Alan Mikhail On The Extraordinary Life Of Sultan Selim I | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"The way that the harem worked was that Sultans and princes produced their heirs, so their successors from their concubines, rather than their wives, their legal wives. Exactly why that's the case, we still don't really understand, but but historically, that's, that's the way it works. And after a concubine has borne a son, to the Sultan, sexual relations between Sultan and Prince, sexual relations cease. So the phrase that's usually used is, is, is, one woman, one son… once these sons of princes or sons of Sultans reaches certain, a certain age, quite young, often 10 to 15, they, they become governors in, in in various locales. So when these young sons are sent off there, sometimes with their mothers, and they are, you know, they're there, they're teenagers at best.

So it's really the mothers, people like Gulbahar, who are the administrators in these cities, and we can get into where Gulbahar and Selim, go later, but just in terms of understanding, Selim and his parents, it's interesting to note that every Sultan in the 600 year history of the Ottoman Empire is a Christian woman from outside of the cultural space of the Ottoman Empire, almost always, who is brought to the harem as a concubine, converted and raises there, raises their son. So so that's very interesting for understanding the way that the Empire brings in literally other cultures into the the the royal family itself, if we think that that every Sultan has a kind of non Turkish, non Muslim heritage as part of himself...

It does allow some upward mobility for these women, right? They become central administrators in one of the largest empires in the world. They hold real power in in the Ottoman Empire, you know, we might argue much more power than they would have had had they remained in their villages in Albania...

1516 1517, in which he defeats the Mamluk Empire, which is a massive moment in global history and really one of the centerpieces of Selim’s story. His defeat of the Mamluks, which is completed in 1517, basically, more than doubles the size of the Empire. The Mamluks were based in Cairo. Selim marches to Cairo, and includes now in his empire, basically all of the territory of what we think of as the Middle East. Up to that point, the Ottoman Empire is basically the Balkans and Anatolia. So sort of modern day Turkey, give or take, but Selim in 1517 adds all of the Arab world, much of North Africa, the western coast of what is today Saudi Arabia, so Mecca and Medina, parts of Iraq. And as I said, this is a massive moment in global history. It makes the empire for the first time in its history, a majority Muslim Empire. Up to that point, the bulk of the population was Christian...

Islam plays plays a role in the shaping of the Americas. So for example, John Smith, the first colonial governor of Virginia. Before he goes to Virginia he’s a slave in the Ottoman Empire for a couple years. And this is such a formative experience for him that his his personal seal contains three severed Turkish heads on it. Turbaned heads of Turks that he supposedly killed in battle. And this seal, interestingly enough, is on the first map of Virginia… In debates around the Constitution of the United States, there is a question, a sort of theoretical question about, could a Muslim be President of the United States? Right? This is in the same context of could a Catholic, could a Jew be President of the United States?... The first war that America fights as a as an independent nation is with Barbary pirates in North Africa, of course...

Erdogan, the president of Turkey today sees in Selim, a model for his rule, really more than any other sultan, I would say. And you see this, you know, quite dramatically in the fact that the third Bosphorus Bridge, the third bridge ever built over the Bosphorus strait connecting Asia and Europe. Erdogan chooses to name that bridge after Selim. Could have named it after any other historical figure, names it after Selim. So so what does he see in Selim? He sees in Selim, first a global figure, right? One that that more than doubled the size of the Empire, made the Ottomans a force that bestrided three continents, that put the Ottomans in the Indian Ocean, that made the Ottomans this huge global power. And that speaks to Erdogan’s ambitions for global power, whether economic or political.

He also sees in, in Selim, a strong Muslim leader, right? That as I said before, Selim was the first Ottoman sultan who could, who could correctly claim to be the Caliph. And so the kind of bringing of religion into the politics of his state, which Erdogan does in all kinds of complicated ways. I think he sees in Selim, that kind of model of, of a religious leader in the Muslim world. One that he aspires for himself, that kind of model. Selim is also as we as we spoke before, aggressive. He goes after, you know, he attacked his foreign enemies, the Mamluks and the Safavids.

Something we didn't mention, but it's very important is that he leads one of the largest massacres in Ottoman history of Shiites in Anatolia. So is his own subjects. About 40,000. This is one of the largest massacres until the end of the 19th century. Erdogan is similarly as aggressive in, in pushing out his authority, whether that is going after minority communities, Kurds, Alevis, going after journalists, going after Twitter, whoever, whoever it is. You know, something like this symbolic politics of the Hagia Sophia, that happened quite recently. That is, again, a kind of, symbol of the projection of, you know, Turkish Sunni religiosity into the world… early in the 20th century, Ataturk, the father of, modern, the Turkish Republic, turns [Hagia Sophia] into a museum. So a sign of Turkish secularism, a secular space of learning and education. And Erdogan now has just turned it into a into a mosque, again, you know, that, that politics domestically is very important.

So much of the history of the Turkish Republic after 1923, after the fall of the Empire, and the creation of the Turkish Republic, was about distancing the Ottoman Empire from the Turkish Republic, that there was a break, right? So that the Turkish Republic will be secular, whereas the Empire was religious. The alphabet will be Latin instead of Arabic Persian script, right? We will have a parliament rather than a sultan. All of that, all of that kind of stuff, you know, looking towards Europe rather than the East. Erdogan is really the first leader of the Republic, to embrace the Ottomans. He often speaks of himself as the grandson of the Ottomans, which is interesting in that he, he skips the father's generation, he skips the Republican generation to go back to to the Ottomans. And he’s supported all kinds of you know, construction projects, of refurbishing Ottoman sites, supporting you know, the study of Ottoman history and all kinds of ways. So, you know, the Ottomans and and Selim in particular are very live for Erdogan and serve in the present all kinds of political agendas for him."
The limits of 'mild Islamism'

Links - 10th June 2021 (1)

African American Abolitionists In Britain | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "Just because you were an abolitionist, it did not mean that you're anti racist or that you were free from the white privilege that obviously you bore. So the abolitionists who slandered and ruined and raped his reputation, had no qualms about it. They demonstrated this sort of paternalism over visiting activists. So for example, and another way this manifested itself was that if an individual came over to raise money to purchase their own legal freedom from slavery, or perhaps and their family or brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, you know, children, British abolitionists decided, well, I will look after that money for you, you cannot be trusted to look after that money. So obviously, there's a kind of strand of racism there. And again, there was an element of control as well with certain activists who came over. There, there was a sort of deliberate decision to try and control where they were going, where they shouldn't go, where they should try and publish their narratives, what they should say even on the anti slavery sort of circuit. Again, Frederick Douglass, before he came to the UK, he was told by the abolitionist movement: stick to the facts, we will take care of the philosophy. So what they wanted was Douglass to stand up and share the facts of his enslaved life and to step back down again"

Michael Lewis Discusses Treasure Finds | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "A substantial amount of objects are recorded through the portable antiquity scheme are Roman in date, which might surprise some people actually, and you know, talking about those people from other, other countries to think that almost 50% of the dataset is Roman material is quite, is quite amazing. We are selective in recording post medieval material to be fair, so, you know, that explains some of that but even so, the Romans seemed to be throwing stuff all over the place, you know, I don't know what they were, they were careless, I think, in my opinion, but anyway, one of the things that they did, they do seem to lose in in terrific numbers are these coins and grot really is a very, I suppose, is a pretty crude term to describe these Roman coins, normally, of base metals so copper alloy that that are heavily corroded, and indeed for most people, they look like a disc and nothing more"

Meme - "Know the warning signs of WHITE SUPREMACY
1. Full time employment
2. Literacy
3. Professional or technical degree
4. Regular church/temple attendance
5. Auto insurance
6. Good credit rating
7. No criminal record"

Facebook knew its algorithms divided users, execs killed fixes: report - "One 2016 report found that "64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools," with most people joining at the suggestion of Facebook's "Groups You Should Join" and "Discover" algorithms. "Our recommendation systems grow the problem," the researchers said, according to The Journal.The Journal reported that Facebook teams pitched multiple fixes, including limiting the spread of information from groups' most hyperactive and hyperpartisan users, suggesting a wider variety of groups than users might normally encounter, and creating subgroups for heated debates to prevent them from derailing entire groups."

A Massive Trove Of Over 2,500 MS-DOS Games Now Free To Play - "1991 just called, bringing some presents from a simpler time. Over 2,500 of them, to be exact. If you thought playing Diablo on browser was cool, wait till you get a load of this huge collection of MS-DOS games that are available for free now on the Internet Archive."

From Singapore with love - "At 32, Rana Shikder is waiting for death, but he is content because he is at home.When he does slip off this mortal coil, Rana will have his loved ones beside him instead of being thousands of miles away in a cold, anonymous hospital bed. And he has Cynthia Goh to thank for it... Distraught and devastated, all Rana wanted was to go home to Karaitala, Narayanganj and spend his last days with his loved ones."The image of my mother and son flashed through my mind. There was nothing I wanted more than to be with them in my dying days."In stepped Cynthia Goh, a senior consultant of the Singapore National Cancer Centre... They contacted the Bangladesh embassy, 'but did not get good response from the high commission'."

S'pore taxi driver, 40, jailed 4 months for posting false info in private Facebook group for 15 minutes - "Lai saw a text message in one of his WhatsApp group chats between April 15 and 16 that was a rumour.The message said that “disposable food container can transmit the virus” and “hawker centre and coffeeshop will be closed”.Lai then reposted the information in the Taxiuncle Facebook group, which had 7,478 members, and embellished it with an added claim that he had “intel” from the government that “more measures” will be enforced over the weekend."
Amazing. Perhaps the chilling effect is intended - precisely to make people only trust/share government sources

Britain’s historic ghost villages - "Most of Britain’s ghost towns were abandoned after a previous pandemic – the Black Death – wiped out entire populations from hundreds of villages"

Couple "trapped" in hi-tech keyless car forgot to try the door handle... - "“We were trapped for thirteen hours in our own car” Brian Smith explained to reporters in Alexandra (New Zealand). “and the emergency services told us we’d have died if we’d been there for another half an hour. It’s a keyless car, so when the doors shut and we didn’t have the transponder key, we couldn’t get out. We tried to smash the window with a car jack, and we sounded our horn, but it was Guy Fawkes night and nobody noticed it, due to fireworks. We were trapped.“By morning my wife Mollyjeanne was unconscious and I was struggling to breathe, when neighbours finally rescued us and took us to hospital. I’ve since been shown how I could have opened the car door manually with the door handle, but I didn’t know that then. I thought the doors would only work with the transponder, so I didn’t try the handle. I think all owners of keyless cars need to educate themselves in how to operate their car”"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "‘Why do you think there are so few black people in the city?’
‘Well look at the compli-, this is a complicated question. I think people haven't wanted to talk about this. You know, people don't even like saying the word black. So they will often use the word BAME. But there's a problem with that, I mean, BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. And of course, within that acronym, you've got perhaps the most successful minority demographic in British history. The Asians. The Indian Asians, are slightly simplifying things, but there's no doubt that that's, that's part of the issue. And so when we talk about BAME and people look at their BAME stats, they'll say, look, my BAME stats are fine. But actually, when you look at the numbers, you know, there will almost always be another minority. And people haven't really wanted to talk about the black issue’
Apparently racism in the UK means that Indians do very well, but not other minorities

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "‘Tesla is unlike every other automaker out there, they make their cars, they update their cars via over the air software updates, and they can also sell customers upgrades after they've purchased the car. If those particular features were not available at time of purchase. And this has already got Tesla into trouble in Germany, but fans are lapping it up.’
‘But, some analysts have pointed out to the fact that they only made a profit in this quarter by booking $400 million worth of sale of tax credits to other, to other car makers, so there were not actually from selling cars at all.’...
'One of the reasons why Tesla has a lot of hate aimed at it is because it is so disruptive. It behaves more like a software company than a legacy automaker'
The usual 'people only hate them because they are different' claim. That's what cult members say too

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Katie Prescott - "It's busy and getting busier, but so far the tourists are almost exclusively French. Of the British normally here in numbers even in this early part of the summer, not a sign. Much to the chagrin of *port’s* mayor, *name*.
‘We get a lot of British visitors here, especially the boating crowd. And it's funny they go to places here that only they know about. Places that the French don't even know. No, we really like the Brits and we miss them’ What the British and others are missing is a tourist season that's now very much up and running. What strikes one is how quickly this place seems to have resumed its regular rhythm. Yes, there are the masks. Yes, there are the floor markings and the signs. But other than that, it's hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago, *port*, like the rest of France was in complete lockdown.”

Simple Math Reveals CEO Pay Is Not Hurting Workers - "Using the OES data, we find that for all occupations, workers earn an average of $50,620 which totals $7.2 trillion given the 142.5 million workers included in the database. The 210,160 CEOs earned a total of $41.2 billion thanks to their $196,050 average salary. If we do the math, we find that CEOs captured a “whopping” 0.6% of all wages. If we took all salary away from all CEOs in America (not just the highest paid ones), and distributed it among all other workers, we other workers would each receive an additional $46 a year."
It's amazing how many leftists fail at maths

Manchester Arena Inquiry: Security 'did not approach bomber over racism fears' - "A security guard had a "bad feeling" about suicide bomber Salman Abedi but did not approach him for fear of being branded a racist, an inquiry has heard.Kyle Lawler, who was 18 at the time of the Manchester Arena attack, was standing 10 or 15ft away from Abedi.He later told police he was conflicted because he thought something was wrong but could not put his finger on it.About five minutes later, Abedi detonated a bomb... Abedi, 22, dressed all in black and carrying a large rucksack, had been reported to security by a member of the public at 22:15... In his statement to police, Mr Lawler said: "I just had a bad feeling about him but did not have anything to justify that."The witness added that Abedi was "fidgety and sweating"... "It's very difficult to define a terrorist. For all I knew he might well be an innocent Asian male."I did not want people to think I am stereotyping him because of his race."I was scared of being wrong and being branded a racist if I got it wrong and would have got into trouble. It made me hesitant."I wanted to get it right and not mess it up by over-reacting or judging someone by their race.""
Perhaps the clearest example so far of how political correctness kills - in this case 22 innocents. Less graphically, the Ferguson effect has probably killed more blacks in the US than the police ever will

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, China - "‘This is just North Korea with a lot more money when it comes to that kind of psychology of power. Those interests are not necessarily those of the Chinese people. And when you look at Hong Kong, you clearly have a division within the Hong Kong population over what the best future is. It's very difficult to talk about the interest of the Chinese people in that situation. Those people are Chinese citizens. Many of them on the other hand resent the behavior of the Chinese government and some are considering taking up British citizenship. I find it highly ironic that so many people should wish to leave this glorious growing economic superpower to come and join this little backwater called Great Britain. Clearly there's something about us that the human, that human beings yearn for and what it is... is freedom, which actually trumps making money sometimes.’"

We left the UK for Portland expecting a liberal dream. That wasn’t the reality - "Five years ago, when we dreamed up our relocation from London to Portland, it went something like this: we’d land in the city where my husband’s mother lives, and which we knew to be a liberal, laid-back place, full of quirky, outdoorsy people (the Patagonia sort, not hunting).Whenever Portland featured on TV, it was mostly being sent up for its progressive earnestness, aided by the long-running comedy series Portlandia, which skewered the city’s hipster tendencies... The first surprise was the lack of non-white people. I later discovered that the 2010 census found Portland to be the whitest big city in the US. When our daughter started daycare, she came home and said she didn’t like her brown skin; she wanted to be white like the other kids. She was three. I felt like a fool for moving her out of a city where she would have been surrounded by people who look like her. Living in Portland was also the first time I felt noticed for being in a mixed-race marriage... I write all of this as a brown person and a recent transplant. Racism for black people in Portland is far more pervasive and damaging. It’s visible in housing policy, police brutality and who gets to work where... On a micro scale, we’ve made a happy life. What I love most about living in America is the feeling of possibility. Get in your car and you can drive for days through deserts, ghost towns, canyons, glaciers. We’ve spotted brown bears and bald eagles, driven around tornadoes, spent eight straight hours gripped to the wheel on icy snow. And in general, I find people less judgmental and cynical than in the UK."
If there's so much racism in a liberal utopia...

Nabisco builds concrete bunker to protect Oreos from asteroid disaster

Lalo Dagach - "Just watched the first 3 episodes of season 3 of #StarTrekDiscoveryDid anyone else notice how they got rid of all straight white males from the crew? Every main character is now a POC, a woman, or a LGBT white male. This is some epic next-level wokeness. LOLAlso, the show runners must have told Sonequa Martin-Green, “You how when the show started you were a stoic Vulcan-raised character? Well, pretend like that was never a thing, and just get emotional all the the time. Actually, go full-manic whenever possible.”And now the creators are patting themselves on the back for hiring a non-binary actor. yay. That will totally make up for the godawful dialogue, chaotic storylines and messy character development.I really don’t think I’m capable of watching anymore of this junk. It’s too painful."
"And of course, this dumpster fire of a season already has 93% critic approval rating on RT."

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Links - 9th June 2021 (2)

These Cheeky Statuettes Were Part of Edo-Era Japan’s Answer to Pockets - "Sixteenth-century Japan had a wardrobe problem. Citizens of every class all wore kimonos, T-shaped robes wrapped around the body and held in place with sashes called obis. Kimonos are functional and elegant but lack a crucial element rather helpful for everyday life: pockets. People have always needed to carry things, and medieval Japan was no exception. The practical solution to this sartorial problem evolved into netsuke, one of the most distinctive and diminutive art forms in a country known for them.

Archaeology/History Jokes & Puns (Or GTFO!) - "art museums will literally be like "this room is dedicated to one specific artist in one specific french village and only his paintings done with this one brush" "and this room is All of Asia""
The same people who cheer this also demand museums return everything that happened to be found in the geographical area occupied by a present day geopolitical entity to that present day geopolitical entity Museums in Asia are actually a lot less cosmopolitan than those in the west. Usually they don't even have stuff from other parts of Asia
Comments: "A lot of what museums put on display is heavily dependent on what they can physically get their hands on. Sometimes that room is because “oh, some rich donor REALLY liked this old dead dude, so now we can fill some space!”"
"Museums in western countries give more emphasis to western culture. shocking"
"Museum has too little art from Asia: reeeeeeeeeeeee
Museum has too much art from Asia: reeeeeeeeeeeee"
"Clearly you’ve never been a museum in Asia. Crazy right that European museums and nations descended from European culture have a European focus."

Noah Carl on Twitter - "Today, @UWMedicineannounced that it will no longer use race to calculate estimated glomerular filtration rate. This move came in light of concerns raised by UW medical students, including critical conversations facilitated by the Anti-Racism Action Committee. Such a huge win."
"Hi Elizabeth, what is the benefit of discarding potentially useful information? There is discrimination and prejudice based on age in our society. Should we also ignore age when calculating estimated glomerular filtration rate? A study published in March of this year found that the prediction equation for glomerular filtration rate was substantially less accurate when excluding race"
Brilliant. When more minorities die, they can blame "Racism"

Biden’s election will show that the Western alliance is no more - "There are, then, two ways in which a Biden presidency will remove the Europeans’ veil of smug superiority. First, he will follow some Trump-era objectives, because that is what American interests demand, thus showing that Trump was no extremist on China. And second, where he does change approach, he will expose European indifference to the Western Alliance as driven, not by distaste for Trump’s policies, but by Europe’s own cynicism, short-termism and willingness to freeload off US military budgets. In both respects, Biden’s election will reveal Europe’s dirty secret. It was never Donald Trump who stopped the Europeans being their better selves, taking responsibility for the security of their own citizens, and protecting long-term Western interests. It was always Europe itself."

I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person - an American teenager who can’t speak Scots : Scotland - "The Scots language version of Wikipedia is legendarily bad. People embroiled in linguistic debates about Scots often use it as evidence that Scots isn’t a language, and if it was an accurate representation, they’d probably be right. It uses almost no Scots vocabulary, what little it does use is usually incorrect, and the grammar always conforms to standard English, not Scots... This is going to sound incredibly hyperbolic and hysterical but I think this person has possibly done more damage to the Scots language than anyone else in history. They engaged in cultural vandalism on a hitherto unprecedented scale. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world. Potentially tens of millions of people now think that Scots is a horribly mangled rendering of English rather than being a language or dialect of its own, all because they were exposed to a mangled rendering of English being called Scots by this person and by this person alone. They wrote such a massive volume of this pretend Scots that anyone writing in genuine Scots would have their work drowned out by rubbish. Or, even worse, edited to be more in line with said rubbish.Wikipedia could have been an invaluable resource for the struggling language. Instead, it’s just become another source of ammunition for people wanting to disparage and mock it, all because of this one person and their bizarre fixation on Scots, which unfortunately never extended so far as wanting to properly learn it."

Some Japanese whiskies aren't from Japan. Some aren't even whiskey. - "unlike most whiskey-producing countries, Japan has few rules about what constitutes whiskey, let alone what makes it Japanese. Companies can buy spirits in bulk from abroad, bottle and label it "Japanese whiskey," and ship it back out. They can export aged shochu made from grains, like rice or barley, for sale in America as whiskey. Some so-called distilleries do not even do any distilling; they import the whiskey in bulk and contract another company to bottle it."

A comparative study of restaurant sonic environments in Singapore, Macao SAR, and Hong Kong SAR - "restaurants in Singapore had a higher noise level than those in Macao SAR and Hong Kong SAR. Additionally, noise from services negatively affected sonic environment and diners’ subjective responses. Service employees’ behaviors, foods and beverage, and diners’ subjective responses to restaurant noise affected diners’ overall satisfaction and word of mouth communication."
Guess the stereotype about Cantonese people being loud and noisy isn't accurate

The Square Comics - "Then: "MOMMY, I WANT A PUPPY!!"

The .50-Caliber Mousetrap Patent Probably Seemed Like a Smart Idea at the Time - "In 1882, James A. Williams of Fredonia, Texas, wanted to make a new kind of trap "by which animals which burrow in the ground can be destroyed." He took inspiration from 19th Century "burglar-alarms" that involved jury-rigging a pistol and lever contraption "so as to kill any person or thing opening the door or window to which it is attached.""

Should Children Do More Enrichment Activities? Leveraging Bunching to Correct for Endogeneity - "We study the effects of enrichment activities such as reading, homework, and extracurricular lessons on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills. We take into consideration that children forgo alternative activities, such as play and socializing, in order to spend time on enrichment. Our study controls for selection on unobservables using a novel approach which leverages the fact that many children spend zero hours per week on enrichment activities. At zero enrichment, confounders vary but enrichment does not, which gives us direct information about the effect of confounders on skills. Using time diary data available in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), we find that the net effect of enrichment is zero for cognitive skills and negative for non-cognitive skills, which suggests that enrichment may be crowding out more productive activities on the margin. The negative effects on non-cognitive skills are concentrated in higher-income students in high school, consistent with elevated academic competition related to college admissions"
Of course, this won't stop liberals demanding more enrichment for poor kids to "level the playing the field", then using unequal outcomes to claim structural inequality

[Tip] Send alarm sound only via connected headphones so that others don't wake up : androidapps - "By default, alarm tone plays from the phone's speaker and headphones/earphones as well. below are methods to force it to play through headphones/earphones only instead of both. this can be especially helpful if you want to wake up in the oddest hour of night for some reason, or you're travelling etc without waking up everyone in the house."

The Real Reason China Banned 'The Big Bang Theory' - "China's powerful state broadcaster CCTV covets the young, educated audiences that watch U.S. shows on online video sites, as well as the small but fast-growing sums of ad money they bring in. And CCTV -- a bastion of traditional, state-approved fare -- might be hoping to edge out the private Internet companies and broadcast more foreign fare itself."

Welshman charged for treatment in English hospital as he was 'classed as foreigner'
Some grievance monger claimed that it was racist for the NHS to charge foreigners because non-white people get screwed by the system. Strange how in many other countries you need to show a health card to get treated by universal healthcare and that isn't "racist"

NHS is owed £150,000,000 in unpaid bills by overseas patients - "The total value of unpaid bills owed by foreign patients could be a lot higher, with over 60 hospital trusts failing to provide details"
Regardless, some British people proclaim that they are happy to pay more in taxes to treat any foreigners who need medical treatment

Nero: Rome’s Antichrist? | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "‘Nero, one of the reasons why he's thought of as one of, like you say, the most notorious Roman Emperor, I think, is because of the wide range of charges against him. You know, Caligula murdered people, you know, that sort of thing, senators, and had some incestuous relationships with his sisters. But Nero really does kind of, you know, expand the remit of what you can do. He had 14 years. He ruled till AD68 compared to Caligula’s four. So, that sort of suggests, you know, maybe he did do some things right. Well, but he is accused of right from the very early part of his reign, killing his stepbrother Britannicus because he, you know, might have threatened, you know, Nero’s rule when he got a bit older, particularly. And also other family members. So in AD59, five years into his reign he is, you know, we're told he concocted this vastly elaborate plot to kill his mother that included a sinking ship and all sorts of things. And then also he's implicated in kind of the murder of other family members like his aunt and you know, other people who might, in theory threaten his, any, his legitimacy to reign. So that's the one side of it kind of the killing. His wife as well. Sorry, I should mention Octavia and then Poppea, 2 wives. He is accused of killing or having a hand in killing but then also you get other things that are crimes of Nero’s that, you know, aren't in that same sort of category that we now think of as crimes. So, for example, he loved to act on the stage. He was a performer. You know, we’re told in his heart, it's what he always wanted to do. And when he decides to start doing that, acting in public in the 60s, sort of mid 60s AD, he is, you know, severely criticized for this, because this is not something that an Emperor should be doing while they are also trying to, you know, conduct their affairs in Rome. And in fact, in AD66 to 67. He leaves Rome and he goes to Greece to take part in a tour of the games there. And the person who leaves in charge at Rome is a freedman, which is someone who was formerly a slave. His name is Helios. So that kind of action as well, where, perhaps in a modern context, we don't think of them as crimes, were very much up there with the crimes of the Neronian periods. In addition to another sort of, another couple of things that he is very well known for is his love of luxury. So, after Rome is, a large part of Rome is destroyed by a fire in AD 64, he gets to rebuild, and one of the things he does is built himself a new palace. I mean, you know, maybe you would, if anyone would in that situation. But it's called the Domus Aurea, which means the golden house, he builds a very, very luxurious, huge palace in Rome, you know, for himself, but possibly also, you know, partly, part, part of it was open to the public as well. The gardens for example. But that love of luxury is something that has really pervaded the way that we understand Nero today. So the other thing that is repercussion of the fire of Rome that happened in 64 AD is that Nero needed someone to blame for it. He had enacted a building program after it that saw him be able to rebuild Rome, build his, his palace, and he seemed to be taking a little bit too much joy in that process. So rumors started flying, that maybe he started the fire himself so that he would be able to rebuild Rome, in his image, as it were. And so in order to quell or squash those rumors, he decided to blame a group that were already known as a little bit anti social in Rome. You know, we're talking about the 60s AD at this point, which was the Christians’"
A clear illustration of how morals are not objective

Everything You Wanted To Know About Medieval Queens | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "‘Who was the most beautiful medieval queen?’...
‘It’s obviously a difficult one to answer, but it really speaks nicely to the ideals of Queenship or the expectations of medieval queens and I always summarize them as the four goods and the three P's. So basically, Queens were expected to be kind of the ultimate good woman, and a model of kind of virtuous behavior. They're expected to be good wives and mothers and good rulers, but they're also expected to be pious, peacemakers and pretty... Queens were meant to kind of represent, you know, kind of contemporary ideals of beauty. But again, as I was talking about with clothing, Queens were often portrayed and kind of described in an idealistic manner. So they were often referred to as kind of beautiful or fair, even if they weren't necessarily attractive. I mean, again, you don't want to kind of say that the Queen wasn't, you know, wasn't a looker’"

A History Of Magic | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "Anthropology, say in the 19th century, thought that human intellectual history went from a belief in magic to a belief in religion to a belief in science, and you gave up the previous one, as you became more rational and more enlightened. But I don't think that's true. I think throughout a lot of human history, at least, people have believed in a mixture of the three. And there's no reason why one should choose one or two or, or, you know, over the, all three of them and I think they do different, different things. So, religion is obviously a belief in a single God or lots of gods and gives us a sense of something beyond the human, a sense of awe, a sense of something to be taken account of worshipped, whatever. Science gives you a much more objective view of the world, you try and stand back and you appreciate the forces of the of the universe in a way that you can render in terms of mathematics or whatever. Whereas magic, as I say, gives you a much more sort of, you know, it connects you to the universe in a way where you feel like you're part of the broader universe. And I think all of us at different times feel a bit of each of those things in our lives"

China and viewing Westerners as Barbarians

"Viewing China (Hua) as the centre of the world, or “Middle Kingdom," differentiated from the cultural or ethnic barbarians (Yi), Sino-centrism—or the so-called “Sino-barbarian dichotomy" (Hua-Yi zhi bian, the dis tinction between Hua and Yi)—took root as the fundamental worldview and diplomatic mentality of imperial China. According to the “Royal Regulations” (Wangzhi) of The Book of Rites (Liji), the Chinese territory occupied the heart of civilization; while the peripheral tribes and nations from four directions, Eastern Yi, Western Rong, Southern Man and Northern Di, were viewed as less civilized, if not barbarians. While emperors of China were heralded as the “Sons of Heaven" in the “Celestial Empire" (Tianchao), other nations were relegated to tributaries. This mentality was exhibited in the Qing Qianlong Emperor’s (1711—99) cold-shouldered response to George Macartney (1737—1806), the British envoy to China in 1793 for the claimed establishment of free trade and equal diplomatic relationship.

It was also commonplace for the official documents and correspondences to address the Westerners as “barbarians” or “foreign barbarians.” Deng Tingzhen (1776—1846), governor of Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, reported the movements of British ships in his 1837 memorial to the throne that there were designated sites for the ships of “foreign barbarians” (waiyi) to drop anchor. The “foreign barbarians" were frequently further degraded as the “red-haired” (hongmao) or “foreign devils" (fangui)... In 1755 the provincial authorities of Zhejiang recommended to the Qing court that the ships of the British merchant James Flint should be received “with compassion" as the ships of the “Red Hair,” the nickname for the English and the Dutch. Against the context of anti-Christian incidents in Guangdong Province in the 1890s, Zheng Xianchen, while commenting on the Westerners’ vicious activities, made the denunciation that “the foreign devils have sent accomplices to China to drop poison.

The above deep-rooted Chinese worldview and Western image, specifically toward the British, are manifested in Right and Wrong and Great Britain. The former novel reveals its basic tone by the opening remarks of Li Jinbing, a non-Christian character, who calls Britain a place of the “red-haired foreign devils” (hongmao fangui) (p. 2); while in that novel foreigners are perceived by Chinese officials as “barbarians" (yiren) possessing “deceitful and eccentric traits" (qiqing guijue) (p. 5). Similarly in Great Britain, Li Quande, a non-Christian character, looks down upon the British by asserting that “[t]he red-haired are barbarians,” and that they are merely “beast-like," (you qinshou) “godless," (wu shen) “kingless,” (wu jun) and “ignorant of the five cardinal human relationships” (feizhi wulun zhi li) (Ch. 1, p. 3). These comments reflected the negative image of the British people as “barbarians," “foreign devils," and “red-haired" commonly held among contemporary Chinese people, and the Qing court was accused as the main culprit for intensifying such a despicable and xenophobic attitude...

During the early nineteenth century, both the Qing court and most common people embraced an entrenched Sinocentric worldview of the “Celestial Empire" and a perception of “barbarians" and “foreign devils.”"

--- Literary Representations of Christianity in Late Qing and Republican China/ John T. P. Lai

Oddly, this guy claimed that Michael Petraeus talking about how torture of Westerners caused the coalition to burn down the Summer Palace and the Chinese viewing non-Chinese as barbarians were proof that he was a White Supremacist.

Links - 9th June 2021 (1)

BangBros Sends Mia Khalifa A Cease And Desist Notice - "Amid millions of calls for Mia Khalifa’s pornographic videos to be taken down, BangBros has sent her a cease and desist notice outlining her ‘defamatory’ claims.More than 1.5 million people have signed a Change.org petition campaigning for Mia’s domain names to be returned and her videos to be removed from sites like Pornhub and BangBros, which she worked with for three months when she was 21.The 27-year-old has frequently discussed her regret over working in the adult entertainment industry, while condemning BangBros for ‘promoting her six-year-old videos like they’re new’. As #JusticeForMia gains traction, the website has responded."
Odd how they don't outline her lies

Mia Khalifa Facts - "Although Mia makes many false statements, innuendos, and accusations, we have tried to stay silent and allow Mia to have her publicity stunt without responding. Mia has taken our silence as an "all clear" to not only continue but ramp up her false statements. We, therefore have no choice but to respond to the most glaring, objectively false statements. The following are facts over Mia’s fiction.
Claim: Mia has repeatedly stated she “only” made $12,000 in the adult industry.
The Facts: Mia received in excess of $178,000.00 from BangBros and its affiliated entities alone. We have no idea how much she made with the other 3 Adult Brands that she performed for BEFORE she performed for BangBros.
Claim: Mia has repeatedly stated she was only in the adult industry for 3 months.
The Facts: Mia performed with the adult Film and Cam industry from mid-late 2014 through July 2017. 2 years and 9 months to be exact...
Claim: Mia has recently claimed 6 years later that she was manipulated into her Bangbros contract Source
The Facts: Mia Khalifa was never manipulated into signing her contract. In fact, she renewed her contract for more years and negotiated different terms into it. She actually, was quite excited to be on contract as you can see here. She also admitted in an interview with BBC published in Sept 2019 that she said "It's not that I had a terrible contract" and seemed to quite understand at the time "that is how porn contracts work."
Claim: Mia has repeatedly suggested the famous "hijab scene" was her second scene and she has suggested she only ever filmed for BangBros. She also claims during her time in the adult industry she filmed a total of 12 scenes.
The Facts: Mia performed for 3 other studios under the stage name "Mia Callista", before shooting for BangBros and using the name "Mia Khalifa". For what it's worth, the "hijab scene" wasn't even her second video for BangBros. You can see a list of her full adult filmography here (Hint: It's a lot more than 12 scenes)
Claim: Mia has stated she owns the trademark to “Mia Khalifa”
The Facts: Mia's registration of the Trademark was obtained by her making a sworn statement to the United States Patent & Trademark Office that no other party had the right to use the term "Mia Khalifa" in connection with adult entertainment. She made this representation despite having assigned to Bangbros the exclusive right to her stage name in connection with adult content in which Mia appeared...
 Ya know, if we were cynical, we might think that the reason she wants this press (and her prior content removed) is because it will make her adult photo business more valuable. All while using the popularity and name recognition from her video content. We're sure she'd never do anything that calculated though.To be very blunt and honest, no one at BangBros felt that the relationship was full of ill will or that she harbored these resentments that she has spoken about suddenly the last 6 months."

Antisemite of the Week: Mia Khalifa - Paid to Hate - "After Instagram removed a fake photo Khalifa posted of an alleged Israeli soldier pointing a gun at a Palestinian child she reposted the same photo on Twitter implying that the removal of her Instagram post was because Jews and the State of Israel control America and social media through funding... When Israeli-American Hollywood star Gal Gadot took to Instagram and posted a message condemning the violent conflict initiated by Hamas and calling for peace Khalifa took to Twitter calling Gadot 'Genocide Barbie', falsely insinuating that Jews are committing genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. Shortly thereafter Khalifa once again took to social media posting a photo of herself drinking Nazi era champagne from 1943 with the caption 'My wine is older than your apartheid "state"', in an obvious attempt to delegitimize the Jewish Nation. In a response to a user who accurately commented that "Israel is the only country in the Middle East where [she] wouldn’t be stoned to death in the street" in reference to her porn career, Khalifa once again demonstrated that her pro-Palestinian activism is just a disguise for her antisemitism by providing the uneducated reply "I’ll take my chances in Saudi and Syria". So how did this failed porn star turned into a pro-Palestinian activist overnight? One of Khalifa's anti-Israel tweets might shed some light on the matter - in a post criticizing President Biden for supporting Israel, Khalifa forgot to remove the words 'Send tweet' indicating that she was given an instruction to post the tweet and most likely was paid to promote this hateful content. This is not the first time Khalifa is involved in such an obscene paid campaign. She previously participated in a social media push against India allegedly sponsored by Khalistani terrorists."

Sheng Siong staff quietly contributes S$200 to funeral money box on instruction of management - "his management had told him to look around the estate for wakes during the circuit breaker period and make a financial contribution... This apparently wasn't the first time Sheng Siong has done something like this"

Clement Chio - "One of the little things I did during the past CB was delivering food to Migrant Workers.⁣⁣⁣⁣During the deliveries, I’d try to have a little chat with the migrant worker who I’m supposed to pass food to.⁣⁣⁣⁣And am always surprised and humbled by what I hear from the ground voices.⁣⁣"
"My name is Mahfouz. I work in Singapore, 12 years. In my life experience, l have seen Singapore as such a country of humanity. l have never seen a country like this in my short life. Singaporeans have shown what humanity is. This is the only country in which there is no problem with eating, living or treating a man in this (covid 19). Even the government of this country and every citizen has done their best and have done their best to do so. So on my behalf, ,all Singaporeans are saluted and humbled. ' (MAHAFUZ)"
Don't tell the activists

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Kaepernick protests: 'I think it's dumb and disrespectful' - "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, never shy to weigh in on the controversies of the day, said she thinks "it's really dumb" for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others to refuse to stand for the national anthem."
When will the left cancel their erstwhile heroine for supporting "white supremacy"?

Meme - Steve Irwin: "A real environmentalists
Never blocked a road
Never protested
Never forced his opinion on anyone
Had everyone’s love and respect. Earned NOT demanded."

Subcutaneous Mercury Injection by a Child: A Histopathology Case Report - "This revealed intentional subcutaneous injection of mercury at least thrice, obtained after breaking a thermometer and a sphygmomanometer. The patient was inspired by the movie X-Man Wolverine and wanted to simulate a character called “Mercury.” Interestingly, he had a past history of multiple bites by spiders to simulate Spiderman. Surprisingly, he had no other psychiatric problems and had a normal IQ."
Time to ban sci-fi!

Vancouver air-duct cleaners, owner ordered to pay $10 million in civil penalties - "The state Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday that two Vancouver air-duct cleaning companies, owned by the same man, have been ordered to pay $10 million in civil penalties for engaging in deceptive advertising and unfair sales practices.The companies, US Air Ducts & Sky Builders Inc. and DLM Services, made over 13 million robocalls within the state from 2017 to 2019, including calling more than 500 individual Washington residents over 100 times... the companies and Mornel violated the Consumer Protection Act in numerous ways, including robocalling state residents without permission, misleading people about who was calling and posting fake Google reviews to falsely build their brand... The judge’s order permanently barred the companies and Mornel from making robocalls or deceptively marketing these services in the future... The lawsuit alleged that over at least two years, the companies made thousands of robocalls per day to more than 1 million people, and “spoofed” their caller IDs to mislead them about who was calling. The companies sent tens of millions of deceptive mailed advertisements that promoted “limited time offers” at reduced pricing and misled consumers of a “VIP membership” that had little or no value."

Facing unbearable heat, Qatar has begun to air condition the outdoors - "Qatar, the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, may be able to cool its stadiums, but it cannot cool the entire country. Fears that the hundreds of thousands of soccer fans might wilt or even die while shuttling between stadiums and metros and hotels in the unforgiving summer heat prompted the decision to delay the World Cup by five months. It is now scheduled for November, during Qatar’s milder winter...   The danger is acute in Qatar because of the Persian Gulf humidity. The human body cools off when its sweat evaporates. But when humidity is very high, evaporation slows or stops. “If it’s hot and humid and the relative humidity is close to 100 percent, you can die from the heat you produce yourself”... That became abundantly clear in late September, as Doha hosted the 2019 World Athletics Championships. It moved the start time for the women’s marathon to midnight Sept. 28. Water stations handed out sponges dipped in ice-cold water. First-aid responders outnumbered the contestants. But temperatures hovered around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) and 28 of the 68 starters failed to finish, some taken off in wheelchairs... 200 of 571 fatal cardiac problems among Nepalese migrants working there were caused by “severe heat stress” and could have been avoided... “I often get asked: ‘Can we reverse whatever is happening in the climate?’ ” Mannai said in an email. “I ask: Can you turn off air conditioning and refrigeration and stop using cars? Nobody will say yes.”"

Japanese Man Develops Bird Poop Sticker To Combat Bicycle Theft Problem - "one bike is being stolen every 15 minutes. Of the 35,395 stolen bikes in 2018, 42% of them were locked properly"

Research In UK Indicates Playing Video Games Stimulates Better Reading & Mental Health - "Remember when World Health Organisation declared video games as Public Enemy No. 1 back in 2019 by recognising gaming disorder as a mental illness? How times have changed just one year later, after the same folks also famously started a movement earlier this year to encourage folks stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic to play more video games... 2 in 3 (65%) of young people believe that playing video games “helps them imagine being someone else” in the sense that they are able to put themselves in the shoes of others. This ties in somewhat to the 2011 indie game This War of Mine being inculcated into the high school education system in Poland due to how it helps simulate trauma and PTSD by letting players go through what people in wartime and postwar go through."

Chinese man's big belly saves him from falling down a well

Man blows up part of house while chasing fly

The Honey Badger Radio official Facebook group - "Sex workers have historically funneled money from rich white men who run everything, back into their communitie. Anyone who says "sex worker are enemies of the working class" is a fucking idiot with little life experience, LARPing as a leftist"

About Removeddit - "Display removed (by mods) and deleted (by users) comments/threads from Reddit."

Percentage of people who live in the metropolitan area of the capital city : MapPorn (Europe)

Facebook - "Worth Sharing: The only bird that dares to peck at an eagle is the crow. He sits on his back and bites his neck. However, the eagle does not respond, nor fight with the crow; it doesn't waste time or energy on the crow! It simply opens its wings and begins to rise higher in the heavens. The higher the flight, the harder it is for the crow to breathe and then the crow falls due to lack of oxygen. Stop wasting your time with the crows.Just take them to your heights and they'll fade"
Amazing - eagles don't breathe oxygen!

autohagiography - *Pyramids in Mexico, Egypt and Indonesia*
"What does this mean?"
"It means that this is one of the best ways to pile up rocks and not have them fall down for a long time."
"omg, it’s almost like 3 separate cultures figured out physics."

Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter - "Reminder : @TulsiGabbardwas 1 of 7 candidates that earned delegates during the Presidential primary. It has been a tradition that spanned decades for any candidate who earned a delegate to be offered a speaking slot at the convention.Tulsi was not invited."
"You're correct - I was not invited to participate in any way."

What you hear about lobsters, and what's true - "There are oft-told stories that long ago lobsters were food fit only for the poor, that the prisoners at the Maine State Penitentiary (and apprentices in Boston) refused to eat them more than twice a week, and that they were so plentiful and poorly regarded that farmers used them for fertilizer. I’ll bet almost anything that you have heard these stories, and probably even read them, too, in books written by very smart people. These facts are what everyone knows about lobster. Alas, they just aren’t true."

How one couple has lived for 29 years on an island they built themselves - "Ten miles north of Tofino, British Columbia, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, Catherine King and Wayne Adams live on a sustainable, floating compound. It's called "Freedom Cove," a labor of love, hand-built using recycled and salvaged materials. It's been their home for the past 29 years."

Selfies Don’t Kill People - "it seems as if the social-media outrage cycle has come full circle. Now, rather than being mad at a dentist who shot a lion or a zoo that killed a gorilla, everyone is outraged at social media itself... so-called selfie deaths aren’t anything new. There’s not been any sort of increase in the frequency of accidental deaths since the advent of Instagram or Snapchat; people have always managed to find stupid ways to die. Smartphones could stop working tomorrow, and a teenage boy will still find a way to put his life at risk in order to impress a girl, even if he can’t snap a photo in the process. The biggest change would just be that the rest of us wouldn’t see a photo of the shenanigans and would never get the chance to get outraged about it."

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Links - 8th June 2021 (2)

Politically Incorrect - Posts - "Recognize the crazy fads, and refuse to play. Laugh, if need be, but do not play.
Via Stephen W. Browne
Learn now Steve's Four Rules of Power
Demonstrate your power over others by:
1) Making them constantly afraid of giving offense unintentionally.
2) Making them give up cherished customs, symbols, pastimes.
3) Making them pay lip service to ideas of breathtaking absurdity.
4) Making them do things that disgust and repel them.
Corollary: Give a nonentity a taste of power and he will never let it go."

Perma Banned - Posts - "lotheriel: I‘d like to address the attention I've received regarding my Princess Yue cosplay. I‘m a huge Avatar fan, and was excited when the show was being offered again on Netflix, so I rushed to bring back my Yue cosplay. That being said, I want to make it clear that not one character from ATLA is white. I can recognize how - as a white person - choosing to cosplay an indigenous character was insensitive and distasteful, regardless of the manner of how it was done. I want to apologize for making that choice. As a cosplayer I've seen how POC cosplayers, and especially Black cosplayers, are constantly treated. Any criticism I've experienced is nothing in comparison to the trauma they have to face daily. Cosplay is a transformative hobby that should foster inclusivity, not one that should be based around excluding or ridiculing anyone for the color of their skin. I'll continue to share and uplift Black and POC cosplayers through my stories to help bring them the love their hard work deserves."
"*non-white person cosplays white character*
“She can cosplay as whoever she wants!” -白左
*white person cosplays non-white character*
Did I ever say that Westerner Leftists Arbitrary Moral Police are a joke throughout the world? Can’t even so much as do something harmless that you enjoy without a bunch of overprivileged and overcomfortable worry-free children making a fucking scene and turning everything political. Fucking clowns"

WATCH: Vancouver Police to investigate tire marks on LGBT crosswalk as 'gesture of hate' - "The poor West Vancouver Police are having to waste their time on a report of tire marks "tarnishing" the new Pride crosswalk in West Vancouver... "You'll see the tire marks in the photo. The suspect accelerated at a high rate of speed, leaving tire skid marks across the pedestrian crosswalk as well as along Esquimalt Ave. We are hoping that someone will recognize the vehicle and contact us.""
Guess they can't defund the police after all

'Proud to be Canadian': BCCDC 'glory holes' sex tip makes international headlines - "The BC Centre for Disease Control has released a number of safe sex tips in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has some rather surprising suggestions.For one, the centre notes that the positions best suited for sex during the pandemic are those with "minimal face-to-face contact." They also note that it is best to use barriers when possible.And what exactly constitutes a barrier?Walls, such as glory holes, that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact... New York City also suggested intercourse through walls in June. That said, the article highlights that the city, "did not outright call them glory holes … sorry, NYC, Canada is holier than thou!"... The news has also reached the Vice President of YouPorn, Charlie Hughes, who has stated that the company will offer a $100,000 grant to support the construction of glory holes B.C.-wide."

Meme - "Feminist mother forces child to be naked to protest, the embarrassed child tries to hide the body with her hands."
"And welcome to feminist parenting 101."

Lucas Lynch - "This Supreme Court Case in Oklahoma is just bizarre.People who know nothing about it are celebrating half of Oklahoma being declared Native American territory, not realizing the reason this happened was to overturn a conviction of a child rapist, serving a life sentence for raping a 4-year-old child.This doesn't necessarily let him off the hook, as now only Federal authorities can try crimes within these territories. Just a bizarre way to this conclusion and a bizarre reaction"

Check mate feminists : dankmemes - "Some say Rey is the strongest female character. Others say it is Carol Denvers. But deep down we all know it's The T-Rex from Jurrasic Park""

Omar: 'We Must Dismantle The Oppressive System That Allowed A Refugee To Get Elected To The Highest Legislative Body In The Land' | The Babylon Bee - "During a press conference earlier this week, Representative Ilhan Omar called on the nation to dismantle the oppressive, racist system that allowed a Somalian refugee to become a citizen and get elected to the highest legislative body in the land... "The whole thing is racist -- dismantle it all," she added before heading to a dinner party for elites in Washington."

Matt Walsh on Twitter - "This country gave Ilhan Omar everything. She came here for refuge and received it. And then was quickly given power and prestige beyond the imagining of most natural born citizens. She should live every day in gratitude but instead she despises America and most of its citizens."

Did Belle Delphine Get Arrested? - "Perhaps part of the reason people seem so willing to believe absurd rumors about Dalphine’s bathwater is that she’s fooled her fans before. In June, she posted a picture of herself to Instagram in fishnet stockings and “F*ck Me!” pasties, and told followers that if the photo got 1 million likes, she’d make a PornHub account. “The time has officially come.”The picture got over 1 million likes, and Delphine kept her word. Sort of. She uploaded 12 videos which included, “Belle Delphine gets SCISSORED,” a video of her cutting up paper with scissors, and “Belle Delphine plays with her PUSSY,” a video of her petting two stuffed cats."

Michael Brendan Dougherty on Twitter - "If I had known Bari Weiss was also breathing air, I would have asphyxiated myself earlier. Please accept my strangulated corpse as evidence of my commitment to “do the work.” I’m trying to do better."

Meme - "I'm sorry Daddy. I've been a bad girl"
For the last time... It's "Forgive me Father for I have sinned""

A Tesla YouTuber Wants a Gas Car and Now YouTube Keeps Taking Down His Video - "Rich Benoit announced to his over 700,000 YouTube subscribers that he was selling his latest Tesla project in favor of purchasing a gas powered vehicle. Within hours the video was taken down for violating Community Guidelines... Benoit pointed to the high dislike ratio on his video within the first 15 minutes as the reason why he suspects it was in fact die hard fans of electric vehicles who flagged his video... after submitting an appeal, he received a message from YouTube stating the video had not violated Community Guidelines and had been reinstated. Motherboard also watched the video and it doesn’t appear to violate any of YouTube’s Community Guidelines... After reuploading the video it was once again flagged and taken down.“I have given up yes,” Benoit said when asked if he would try uploading again. “It's not worth it me trying for a third time.”" The Cult of Elon strikes again

DC Wants to Fix Superman. Here's What They Could Learn from Marvel's Success with Captain America. - "“DC Films still doesn’t know what to do with Superman, the studio reportedly is unsure how to make the character ‘relevant to modern audiences,’” said Forbes’s tweet of Di Placido’s article. Why is Superman failing to connect? Di Placido posited that Superman’s “godlike powers and righteous attitude” are “too alienating for modern audiences.”That has long been the prevailing theory: that Superman is a problematic character because he is too powerful and too good. This charge has been made on multiple grounds.One common claim is that it leads to boring stories. Good stories, it is said, need challenges and perils for the hero to overcome. A hero who is unstoppable and invulnerable to harm therefore is boring. And morally righteous heroes are also boring, because they have no internal demons to overcome, and thus no room for growth.But Di Placido didn’t say “boring.” She said “alienating.” Why would power and goodness serve to alienate?Maybe it’s because mere mortal readers have trouble identifying with such a perfect character.But I think it’s more than that. After all, audiences in 1938 and 1978 were just as mortal as audiences today. Why would “modern audiences” be “alienated” by power and goodness when past audiences were not?Maybe it’s the way we have been taught to regard “being super.”According to a common worldview, many forms of “being super” are often considered, not admirable, but suspect. Not worthy of emulation, but of resentment. Not a source of inspiration, but of envy.Entrepreneurs who achieve super-success in business are regarded as villains, even by those who benefit greatly from their products and services. People with high-functioning virtues like industry and frugality who dare to encourage others to work and save are denounced for “poverty shaming.”Even fit people who promote healthy habits in others are bashed for “fat shaming.”With such an attitude, it’s no surprise that some might find Superman alienating. Superman, as traditionally conceived, is a Platonic ideal of human excellence: of health, vitality, self-discipline, and heroism.If you look at excellence in others as something to envy, resent, and attack, then a symbolic figure like Superman will be a standing insult that only makes you feel worse about yourself.But if you look at human excellence in others as something to admire, celebrate, emulate, and aspire to, then you will more likely see Superman as inspiring and uplifting. You know you can never achieve his superhuman perfection, but you embrace the fantasy as a symbolic ideal, a guiding star. That being said, I think it’s the filmmakers, not the audiences, who are to blame for not appreciating what Superman has to offer.Superman’s copyright-holding custodians have long bought into the theory that classic Superman is too powerful and good, and so they’ve tried to remedy that by giving “modern” Superman feet of clay. They have powered him down and made him vulnerable to getting knocked around, even beaten to death.But more perniciously, they have weakened him morally. Over and over again, they have depicted Superman as a morally compromised government stooge or a power-mad would-be dictator. Zak Snyder’s Superman is a mopey, tormented figure whose inner conflict and hesitancy lead to catastrophic failure and mass casualties.The more pertinent question is: why is that version of Superman failing to inspire audiences? My guess is that they are not intimidated by his strength, but bored and even disgusted by his weakness.A testament to that interpretation is the enormous and enthusiastic popularity of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe... Captain America’s popularity is a hopeful sign that, in spite of envy and cynicism toward virtue being drilled into us by media, academia, politicians, and activists, a core part of the human spirit will always be drawn to, and be able to learn from, stories that inspire us to become better versions of ourselves. And this inner core is as impervious to deconstruction as Superman is to bullets."

Meme - "The penis of a virgin. Penis is still large and healthy. It hasn't been crushed inside dozens of vaginas and will one day make the right woman a very happy wife.
The penis of a man who has had multiple sexual partners. Penis has shriveled down to less than 1/3 of its original size due to vaginal pressure and will no longer be able to pleasure any woman""

Jedi is not a religion, Charity Commission rules - "The commission rejected an application to grant charitable status to The Temple of the Jedi Order.It said Jediism did not "promote moral or ethical improvement" for charity law purposes in England and Wales. In the 2011 census, 177,000 people declared themselves Jedi under the religion section, making it the seventh most popular religion...  others took the message from the Star Wars films further, aiming to build a belief system and religious code inspired by the franchise. In its ruling the Charity Commission said Jediism "lacked the necessary spiritual or non-secular element" it was looking for in a religion.  It said there was insufficient evidence that "moral improvement" was central to the beliefs and practices of Jediism and did not have the "cogency, cohesion, or seriousness" to truly be a belief system. The commission said to be classed as a religion it must also have a positive beneficial impact on society in general and raised concerns that Jediism may, in part, have an "inward focus" on its members... Jediism has more adherents than Rastafarians and Jains, according to the 2011 census."

Census: 'Jedi knights' and 'man traps' - "While "Jedi knight" was a popular choice of religion in the last census, equally frivolous answers were recorded in the 19th Century.A baker, for example, was registered as "master of the rolls and burn crust"... Knowingly giving inaccurate information on the 2011 census can result in a fine, but a 19th Century minister had no such worries when he filled in records for the parishioners of Middleton, in Norfolk.The Very Reverend Dr Peter Scrimshire Wood registered a butcher as a "cut throat of pigs" and a greengrocer as a "cabbage gelder".He also listed mothers of illegitimate children as "whore and man trap".Whether he was doing this for his own amusement, or his records reflected his low opinion of the villagers, is unclear... Ministers such as Dr Wood, together with local farmers and employers, were charged with filling in details for the first censuses because the population in the early 19th Century was largely illiterate."

Lucas Lynch - Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque "It is only in the free, cosmopolitain west that we have morally evolved to know that our former conquests were unjustifiable.Other regions of the world have no such self reflection or embarrassment over their equivalent behaviors.That there is no wringing of hands from the self-appointed warriors for the oppressed over this harkening back to Turkey's undeniable imperialist roots shows that their concern was disingenuous to begin with. It has always been selective, political, and for an end that is not to the benefit of those on whose behalf they claim concern.When the Temple Mount was controlled by Jordan, no Jews were allowed to pray there. By contrast, as long as Israel has controlled the site, they have affirmed and protected the right of Muslims to pray there, even though the presence of a mosque at the site is an equivalent testament to conquest and violence towards the indigenous populations.This is why the moral progress made by the west is still worthy of examination and defense. It is only in the bosom of the Enlightenment that a cosmopolitain future of tolerance and freedom is to be found, where we move forward together as one human family."

Converting Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque is a Violation of Islamic Law - "In Islam, there are stringent and sophisticated rules for the establishment of a Mosque. A building cannot simply be converted into a Mosque by a President or a High Court decision. That is a violation of Islamic Jurisprudence and Sharia Law. Prophet Mohammad said: “Whoever usurps the land of somebody unjustly, his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths (on the Day of Resurrection).” For a Mosque to be lawfully established in accordance with Islamic laws, the property in which prayers will be held needs to be transferred to Muslims appropriately, through either a donation or lawful purchase. It cannot be occupied by force, as is the case with Hagia Sophia. Secondly, we Muslims require permission to pray on any land that is not considered public property. The water we use to purify ourselves for the washing ritual before prayers (Wudhu), needs to either be owned by us, or from a public source (such as a public tap, fountain or a river) or used by the permission of its rightful owner. Without the consent of the land’s owner(s), Muslims cannot pray on that land, and prayer on it will be considered void. Imam Abu Hamed al-Ghazali, one of Islam’s most prominent jurists, states that: “In regard to the Mosque, if it is constructed in an illegally usurped land, or with wood that is illegally usurped from another mosque or property, it is impermissible to enter it, even to offer Friday prayer.” — Lawful and Unlawful, Page 196. Grand Ayatollah Sistani rules that: “Usurpation is when a person unjustly takes control over the property or right of someone else. It is something that the intellect, Qur’an, and traditions all rule to be unlawful.” The Church in Turkey would be considered the rightful owner of Hagia Sophia, and without their permission, an Islamic prayer within the venue would be void. Ironically, the Islamic Laws issued by Erdogan’s good friend, the “Supreme Leader” Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, require that a Mosque is established on “ownerless land” and for the sole purpose of it being a Mosque."

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