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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Links - 25th May 2018 (3)

The differences in career preferences between genders - "The results were based on a poll of 15,000 university students across the UK and it seems that women are more likely to be driven by ‘serving a greater good’, whereas men want to be seen as technical or functional experts... almost three quarters of women are more likely to apply to a firm with a good benefits package, a third consider the brands commitment to corporate social responsibility, and over half are swayed by the availability of flexible working... men tend to prefer ‘macro’ employers with women favoring medium sized orginisations. And males want to work in companies they perceive to be constantly innovative, offering high levels of responsibility and rapid promotion schemes. Females want to work for organisations with high ethical standards, opportunities for international travel or relocation, respect for their people and a good basis for a future career"
Maybe Damore went back in time to interfere with this study's methodology to justify his sexism and misogyny

What’s Wrong with the New NIH Study on Transgender Kids? - "It’s common practice for federal bureaucrats to design and then publicize biased studies to promote their preferred policy. We outlined this practice in our new book, Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty. The process is simple: (1) issue requests for research proposals slanted in favor of a particular outcome, (2) fund studies that reach the expected conclusions, and (3) cite that research in subsequent studies to claim that a “growing body of evidence” favors the preferred policy. These techniques are now being deployed in a new area: treatment for gender dysphoria. Dr. Quentin Van Meter, an Atlanta pediatric endocrinologist with extensive experience in the science of gender dysphoria who trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital, states flatly that there is “zero point zero zero” evidence that the concepts of gender fluidity and gender identity have any scientific basis. But it takes a courageous physician to risk opprobrium and accusations of insufficient compassion by rejecting the new dogma... What data are there about children who are treated with puberty blockers so that natural puberty, with its likely positive effects on their gender dysphoria, is short-circuited? A study from the Netherlands of seventy such children found that all of them went on to embrace a transgender identity—unlike the vast majority of children not given such treatment. According to the American College of Pediatricians (ACP),
This is a cause for concern...
To have 100 percent of pre-pubertal children choose cross-sex hormones suggests that the protocol itself inevitably leads the individual to identify as transgender. There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging a young child with GD to socially impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression...
Research has also established that administering cross-sex hormones after puberty-suppression creates a multitude of harmful physical effects (some certain, others potential). These hormones will render the patient infertile for life, since they prevent the maturation of gonadal tissue and gametes in both sexes."
Keywords: hormone blockers

Transgender Regret Is Real Even If The Media Says Otherwise - "sex change regret is quite common. One such study commissioned by The Guardian of the UK in 2004 reviewed 100 studies and reported that a whopping 20 percent (one fifth) of transgenders regret changing genders, ten times more than CNN’s Costello reported... Consider the findings of a 2011 Swedish study (not the study Ms. Costello used) published seven years after the 2004 UK review. It looked at mortality and morbidity after gender reassignment surgery and found that people who changed genders had a higher risk of suicide... According to several studies, the majority of transgenders have co-existing disorders that need to be treated. This helps to explain why regret and suicide are prevalent among transgenders. The following studies provide irrefutable evidence that transgenders overwhelmingly suffer from a variety of mental disorders... 41 percent attempt suicide, 90 percent have a “significant form of psychopathology”, 61 percent also have other psychiatric disorders and illnesses, 50 percent had depressive symptoms, 40 percent showed symptoms of anxiety... Every time a transgender ends his or her life, the LGBT will blame society or the victim and push for more laws to “protect” them"'

Optimistic mothers have boys, study says - "Evolutionary biologists call this the Trivers-Willard hypothesis. It suggests that when a mother feels under pressure, from anything ranging from poor health and living conditions to scarce food, it makes biological sense for her to give birth to a girl rather than a boy."

The Hero Nobody Wanted - "'Minorities need me to speak for them! '
The hero nobody wanted. The hero nobody asked for"

Ethnic Chinese and want to live in China? Find out if you qualify for new five-year visa - "Foreigners of Chinese origin will be allowed to apply for visas from this Thursday that permit them to stay in China for five years or enter the country multiple times over that period, provided they meet set criteria. The new policy, which takes effect from February 1, is an improvement on the current one-year multiple-entry visa for this group. Foreigners of Chinese origin with residency will be able to extend the period of their stay from three to five years... a foreigner of Chinese origin refers to a former Chinese citizen who has obtained foreign citizenship, or the offspring of present or former Chinese citizens. The applicant only needs to have one parent, grandparent or ancestor who is or was a Chinese citizen. The authorities specified no limit on the number of generations"

Is organic really better for the environment than conventional agriculture? - "Despite strong public perception of organic agriculture producing better environmental outcomes, we show that conventional agriculture often performs better on environmental measures including land use, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution of water bodies"

The Real Causes Of Depression Have Been Discovered, And They're Not What You Think - "Depression is often measured by scientists using something called the Hamilton Scale. It runs from 0 (where you are dancing in ecstasy) to 59 (where you are suicidal). Improving your sleep patterns gives you a movement on the Hamilton Scale of around 6 points. Chemical antidepressants give you an improvement, on average, of 1.8 points, according to research by professor Irving Kirsch of Harvard University. It’s a real effect – but it’s modest. Of course, the fact it’s an average means some people get a bigger boost. But for huge numbers of people, like me, it’s not enough to lift us out of depression – so I began to see we need to expand the menu of options for depressed and anxious people. I needed to know how. But more than that – I was startled to discover that many leading scientists believe the whole idea that depression is caused by a “chemically imbalanced” brain is wrong. I learned that there are in fact nine major causes of depression and anxiety that are unfolding all around us. Two are biological, and seven are out in here in the world, rather than sealed away inside our skulls in the way my doctor told me. The causes are all quite different, and they play out to different degrees in the lives of depressed and anxious people. I was even more startled to discover this isn’t some fringe position – the World Health Organization has been warning for years that we need to start dealing with the deeper causes of depression in this way"

Swallowing tapeworms, the beauty fad that continues to haunt us. - "The Victorian era, roughly the 1830s to 1900, is notorious for its bizarre notions of beauty and its even more bizarre secrets to attaining it. The ideal of the time was modeled after those afflicted by consumption (tuberculosis). Pale skin, dilated eyes, rosy cheeks, crimson lips, and a meager and fragile figure. From swallowing ammonia to bathing in arsenic—which they knew to be poisonous—to using figure-molding corsets in a never-ending quest for the “perfect” 16-inch waist, there was no limit to what fashionable Victorians would do... What’s scariest about this diet is not that it may have been used by the same people who willingly ingested carbon but that its idea continues to be around. Like air pollution and zombie films, it simply refuses to die. Its presence is evidenced by the numerous online forums dedicated to the question of the diet’s efficiency, and the (fairly dubious) reports of Mexican clinics that will give you the treatment for a couple thousand dollars."

Egos inflating over time: a cross-temporal meta-analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. - "A cross-temporal meta-analysis found that narcissism levels have risen over the generations in 85 samples of American college students who completed the 40-item forced-choice Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) between 1979 and 2006 (total n=16,475). Mean narcissism scores were significantly correlated with year of data collection when weighted by sample size (beta=.53, p<.001). Since 1982, NPI scores have increased 0.33 standard deviation. Thus, almost two-thirds of recent college students are above the mean 1979-1985 narcissism score, a 30% increase. The results complement previous studies finding increases in other individualistic traits such as assertiveness, agency, self-esteem, and extraversion."

Struggling Taiwanese Food Stand Quadruples in Sales After Hiring 小桃子 - "A struggling food stand in Taiwan was able to turn its business around after hiring a miracle worker to tend to their customers just for one night. The owners of the braised meat snack stall located in Beitun District, Taichung City revealed that they recently invited Vivi, aka Little Peach (小桃子), to serve as their “one-day shop manager” to see if she could help draw in more customers."

Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona by John R. Lott - "Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. Unlike other studies, these data do not rely on self-reporting of criminal backgrounds. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens. Yet, there are several reasons that these numbers are likely to underestimate the share of crime committed by undocumented immigrants"
To liberals, immigrants and illegal immigrants are the same thing so maybe this will be used as justification to reduce all immigration

Venezuelan Pirates Rule the Most Lawless Market on Earth - "Venezuela and the island of Trinidad are separated by only 10 miles of water and bound together by the most lawless market on Earth today. Playing out at sea and on the coasts, it is a roiling arbitrage—of food, diapers, weapons, drugs, and women—between the desperate and the profit-minded. Government is absent, bandits are everywhere, and participating can cost you your life"
Anarchist Paradise! I'm sure the anarchists will find some way to blame government still

Malaysia tops in South-East Asia for online child pornography - "Malaysia has the highest number of IP addresses uploading and downloading photographs and visuals of child pornography in South-East Asia"

Freedom versus democracy - "Democracy and freedom are too often confounded. Britain itself did not have anything close to democracy until the Reform Act of 1832. But it had freedom long before that. The fundamentals of freedom -- limited government, separation of powers, an independent judiciary, free speech, jury trials -- existed in Britain for many generations before the franchise was extended to most males. The whole spirit, and many of the phrases, of the Constitution of the United States derive from British law and government. Just as freedom can exist without democracy, so democracy can crush freedom"

Serwer Error: Misunderstanding Trump Voters - "In a recent article for Foreign Policy, the neoconservative writer and analyst Max Boot credited Serwer, and these figures specifically, for helping him to finally acknowledge his own ‘white privilege.’ The only problem is that the figures are incorrect. I’ve been studying the reputable American National Election Studies (ANES) 2016 election survey for almost a year now, so this was relatively easy to check... In foregrounding racial resentment, he downplays the importance of other variables that help account for Trump’s election win. First, it should be noted the degree of anti-minority sentiment among Trump voters appears to be overstated. According to the ANES out-group feeling thermometer data (scored along a 0-100 scale), Trump voters, on average, evaluated Blacks (mean=63.8) and Hispanics (mean=64.4) in the ‘warm’ direction. By comparison, the mean ratings for both of these groups among Clinton voters were 75 and 73.9, respectively—warmer, but not as much as one might expect. Second, while Serwer blames Trump’s presidency on racial resentment, one could just as easily point the finger at ‘PC fatigue’. For example, a recent Cato study found that 58 percent of Americans believe “that the political climate today prevents them from saying things they believe.” And whereas 73 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents endorsed this statement, a majority of Democrats (53 percent) did not. As this relates to the election, my own research — which I’ll soon be submitting for publication — finds that even after controlling for various measures of prejudice (sexism, hatred of minorities, racial resentment, etc.), issue-attitudes (economic discontent, immigration, refugees, etc.), and ideological orientations (authoritarianism, social dominance orientation), opposition to political correctness significantly predicts voting for Trump. This finding is consistent with the results of a recent experimental study, which found that priming ‘PC norms’ elicited greater support for Trump (and greater opposition to Clinton) irrespective of political ideology. Likewise, I found that even among Clinton voters, greater opposition to PC linearly coincided with greater positivity (albeit still negative) towards Trump. The ANES data also suggests that anti-immigration attitudes are more informed by cultural and economic anxieties than anything having to do with skin color. For example, support for decreasing immigration was most strongly correlated with assimilationist attitudes (immigrants should learn English, adopt American customs etc.) and the belief that immigrants take away jobs but only weakly correlated with self-reported importance of ‘white identity’ and negativity towards ‘people of color.’... All told, the evidence suggests that Trump’s election had more to do with economic disquiet, the fear that America is trending towards a culturally balkanized identitarian society (i.e. political multiculturalism), and a climate of PC that discourages voicing of concerns about either. We can debate whether these concerns are reasonable. But the hypothesis that they’re simply a guise for white bigotry and the continuance of white supremacy finds no support in the present data. In the end, it’s almost as if Serwer’s explanatory model conveniently includes only those variables that absolve the Left of any culpability in the Trump phenomenon... I worry that these broad-brush ‘whitelash’ interpretations allow the Left to demonize millions of Americans and dismiss their concerns. Should this continue, the appeal of the Democratic Party will forever be confined to cosmopolitan bubble-land."

Effects of physical attractiveness on political beliefs - "Controlling for socioeconomic status, we find that more attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican"
"political efficacy is the citizens' faith and trust in government and their belief that they can understand and influence political affairs. It is commonly measured by surveys and is used as an indicator for the broader health of civil society."

The Fake-News Fallacy - "“No political body must ever, under any circumstances, obtain a monopoly of radio,” she wrote. “The greatest organizers of mass hysterias and the mass delusions today are states using the radio to excite terrors, incite hatreds, inflame masses.”

We Are Truly Fucked: Everyone Is Making AI-Generated Fake Porn Now - "More people are creating fake celebrity porn using machine learning, and the results have become increasingly convincing. Another redditor even created an app specifically designed to allow users without a computer science background to create AI-assisted fake porn. All the tools one needs to make these videos are free, readily available, and accompanied with instructions that walk novices through the process... “Top is original footage from Rogue One with a strange CGI Carrie Fisher. Movie budget: $200m,” derpfake wrote of his creation. “Bottom is a 20 minute fake that could have been done in essentially the same way with a visually similar actress. My budget: $0 and some Fleetwood Mac tunes.”"

In male-dominated subjects, hiring favors women—for teachers in France - "One of the main conclusions of the paper, co-authored by Thomas Breda and Mélina Hillion of the Paris School of Economics, is that in fields as diverse as mathematics, physics, economics, and literature, there is no evidence of discrimination against the underrepresented gender. “We rather find that the gender in minority is increasingly favored” during teacher hiring as the level of underrepresentation in academic faculty positions increases"... The most plausible explanation, they continue, is that examiners were trying to counteract gender stereotypes
Going against stereotypes leads to discrimination

No, feminism is not about choice - "we all critique the notion that “choice” should be the ultimate arbiter of women’s freedom... the choice arguments are fundamentally flawed because they assume a level of unmitigated freedom for women that simply doesn’t exist. Yes, we make choices, but these are shaped and constrained by the unequal conditions in which we live. It would only make sense to uncritically celebrate choice in a post-patriarchal world.
Good to have a feminist admit it, and that they don't support women's choices

On the poverty of the Duluth Model

"One study has shown that if the husband had not previously assaulted the wife but she had assaulted him (however mild the assault), there was a 15% probability that he would seriously assault her the next year-far higher than normal. Furthermore, increases in recidivism among male offenders have been correlated to the actions of their spouses. A recidivism rate of 6% has been reported when the female partner abstained from violence compared with a rate of 23% when the wife used minor violence and 42% when the wife engaged in severe violence (Feld & Straus, 1989).

Research by Michael Johnson (1995, 2000) proposes a typology of violent relationships that accounts at least partially for the impact of a violent family structure on subsequent acts of domestic violence. He believes that there are distinct causes, developmental dynamics, and probable requirements for different types of interventions. His typology of domestic violence is based on the dimensions of physical aggression and coercive control. Intimate terrorism (which he labeled “patriarchal terrorism") is perpetrated by a partner who is the generally violent offender described previously. In contrast, common couple violence is committed by both partners, either or both of whom might be individually violent but neither of whom is controlling. The violence might be a product of the couple's behavioral relationship. Hence, the same offender might not be abusive in a different relationship...

In his research, Johnson (2000) found that only 11% of violence fit the terrorism category"

--- Responding to Domestic Violence: The Integration of Criminal Justice and Human Services / Eve S. Buzawa, Carl G. Buzawa, Evan D. Stark

Keywords: Domestic abuse, reciprocal

Links - 25th May 2018 (2)

Barack Obama's Trumpesque policies - "Extreme vetting of Muslims began in 2008 under a programme dubbed the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Policy, also known as CARRP. Shrouded in secrecy and barely publicised by the media, CARRP authorises special vetting by the FBI of persons thought to pose a terrorism threat. As a practical matter, all of the immigrants subjected to CARRP are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim."

Sex in men's prisons: 'The US system cultivates rape. If you treat people like animals, they behave like it' - ""Early on, the other prisoners told me, 'After so many years you'll start to turn', and I was like, 'No, no, no, I've got a girlfriend'. But, gradually, all my belief systems and conditioning started falling away. Being in prison made me question my own sexuality."... perhaps more striking and surprising than all of the above is the tender, loving relationships he documents. Mostly, couples keep their relationship private, as having anything valuable on display leaves one open to sabotage. But not all."

Shutting Down Conversations About Rape at Harvard Law - "near the time that CNN broadcast the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which focusses on four women who say their schools neglected their claims of sexual assault, I joined eighteen other Harvard Law School professors in signing a statement that criticized the film’s “unfair and misleading” portrayal of one case from several years ago... the filmmakers did more than understandably disagree with criticism of the film, which has been short-listed for the Academy Award for best documentary. They wrote, in a statement to the Harvard Crimson, that “the very public bias these professors have shown in favor of an assailant contributes to a hostile climate at Harvard Law.” The words “hostile climate” contain a serious claim. At Harvard, sexual harassment is “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including verbal conduct that is “sufficiently persistent, pervasive, or severe” so as to create a “hostile environment.” If, as the filmmakers suggest, the professors’ statement about the film has created a hostile environment at the school, then, under Title IX, the professors should be investigated and potentially disciplined.... The dynamics of racially disproportionate impact affect minority men in the pattern of campus sexual-misconduct accusations, which schools, conveniently, do not track, despite all the campus-climate surveys. Administrators and faculty who routinely work on sexual-misconduct cases, including my colleague Janet Halley, tell me that most of the complaints they see are against minorities, and that is consistent with what I have seen at Harvard. The “always believe” credo will aggravate and hide this context, aided by campus confidentiality norms that make any racial pattern difficult to study and expose"

The truth about false rape accusations - "it’s exceedingly rare for a false rape allegation to end in prison time... adult false accusers who persist in pursuing charges have a previous history of bizarre fabrications or criminal fraud... while false accusers often have similar histories, they have various motives. These can be divided into roughly four categories: personal gain, mental illness, revenge, and the need for an alibi."

False rape allegations. - "With the cooperation of the police agency of a small metropolitan community, 45 consecutive, disposed, false rape allegations covering a 9 year period were studied. These false rape allegations constitute 41% the total forcible rape cases (n = 109) reported during this period. These false allegations appear to serve three major functions for the complainants: providing an alibi, seeking revenge, and obtaining sympathy and attention. False rape allegations are not the consequence of a gender-linked aberration, as frequently claimed, but reflect impulsive and desperate efforts to cope with personal and social stress situations."

German judge removes cross during trial of Afghan migrant, faces backlash - "Klaus-Juergen Schmid, a judge in the Bavarian town of Miesbach, has ordered a crucifix to be removed from the courtroom during the trial of a 21-year-old Afghan asylum-seeker accused of making death threats to another Afghan who converted to Christianity."

National Union of Students LGBT+ campaign accuses Student Pride of being run by 'cis white gay men' as the groups cut ties - "The National Union of Students (NUS) LGBT+ campaign has cut ties with the biggest gay student group, after accusing it of being run by “cis white gay men” and not being inclusive enough."
The left eats itself

Not just about sex: throughout our bodies, thousands of genes act differently in men and women - "beyond just genes on X and Y, a full third of our genome is behaving very differently in men and women... some sex biased genes were involved in brain function, reopening the debate about differences in male and female behaviour. These new findings could explain why men and women are often differently susceptible to diseases, and suggests treatments need to be based on studies of both sexes."

ArtAsiaPacific: Palestinian Museum Opens Despite Management Disputes - "The long-awaited Palestinian Museum, located in the university town of Birzeit just north of Ramallah, opened on May 18 to coincide with the 68th anniversary of Nakba (May 15), the massive exodus of roughly 700,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Palestine War. Unlike most, if not all, museum launches, however, the Palestinian Museum debuted without any exhibitions—the result of disagreements between former director Jack Persekian and members of the museum’s board, which led to the resignation of Persekian in December 2015. The idea for the museum was first conceived in 1997 by the Ramallah-based nonprofit Taawon-Welfare Association, which supports Palestinians locally and abroad, as well as conserves the region’s cultural heritage. The May 18 opening celebrated the completion of the institution’s first phase: a 3,500-square-meter building, designed by Dublin-based architectural firm Heneghan Peng for a grand total of USD 24 million, which includes exhibition spaces, an open-air amphitheater, classrooms and a library"
At least this beats funding terrorism

REPORT: Hillary Clinton Shielded Top Staffer from Accusations of Sexual Misconduct During 2008 Campaign - "on at least two occasions Hillary refused to fire senior advisor Burns Strider in 2008 after he was accused of sexually harassing a female campaign staffer... Clinton tried to capitalize on the “women’s issue” of sexual harassment by denouncing Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, despite her long history of being closely associated with him over the last twenty years... Why it took a decade for this latest Hillary news to come to light is a vexing question for the media, especially coming on the heels of a story revealing a photo of Barack Obama meeting with notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, which was reportedly hidden for 13 years to protect Obama’s political ambitions."

Conservative Blogger's Visit to Google HQ Triggered Security Panic - "Software engineer and political blogger Curtis Yarvin was escorted from Google headquarters by security personnel after his presence triggered an alert... Yarvin was visiting a Google employee for lunch, but his presence at the company’s headquarters triggered a “silent alarm”... Yarvin’s presence on campus triggered an alert because he is on a “blacklist” of conservative figures. Other individuals on the list include Theodore Beale, better known by his pen name “Vox Day,” and InfoWars founder Alex Jones."

Entire class punished for 'microaggressive' comments - "A Columbia University professor recently described how an entire class was punished after some students used “microaggressive” language in an online chat. Matthea Marquart, who teaches online classes for graduate students studying social work, noticed that some students used unspecified “racially microaggressive” language during the live chat of a recent online class... The response, as Marquart indicated, consisted of punishing the entire class with extra work."

Anti-White Transgender Model Munroe Bergdorf Verified on Twitter - "A transgender model who was fired from her job at L’Oreal following a racist rant against white people has been verified on Twitter, despite the platform’s announcement that it would no longer verify people who engage in racism... Bergdorf was fired from L’Oreal last year after she published a Facebook rant calling white people “the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth.”... Bergdorf appeared on the BBC to defend her comments, where she further added that “all white people benefit from racism.” In November, several popular conservative accounts were stripped of their Twitter verification, including anti-Islam activist and author Tommy Robinson and commentator Laura Loomer. Twitter also stripped prominent alt-right accounts of their account verification, including Richard Spencer and James Allsup, and declared that accounts could now lose their verification for “promoting hate,” or “directly attacking” people “on the basis of race.” Days later, the platform announced its intentions to start sanctioning users for their offline behavior too. Though Twitter maintains its claims that account verification is a way to let “people know that an account of public interest is authentic,” prominent individuals such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remain unverified on the platform."

Confronting Habits of Whiteness: A critical forum for addressing anti-blackness in non-black communities of color | Berkeley Law - "Non-black communities of color benefit from white supremacy through both deliberate and unconscious efforts to approximate whiteness, thereby perpetuating anti-blackness. Join Berkeley Law affinity groups and community organizers for an important conversation about recognizing and dismantling anti-blackness in our communities. Dinner will be provided!"
This confirms that whiteness just means success

Teacher Trainer Lays Out Plan To Fill Schools - " Heather Hackman operates Hackman Consulting Group and was formerly a professor of multicultural education at Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University, where she taught future teachers. On Friday, Hackman was given a platform at WPC to deliver a workshop with the lengthy title “No Freedom Unless We Call Out the Wizard Behind The Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education and Professional Development.” The long title masked a simple thesis on Hackman’s part: Modern education is hopelessly tainted by white supremacy and the “white imperial gaze,” and the solution is to train prospective teachers in college to be activists as well as pedagogues. In fact, Hackman argued teachers shouldn’t even bother teaching if they aren’t committed to promoting social justice in school... “The racial narrative of White tends to be like this: Rugged individual, honest, hard-working, disciplined, rigorous, successful,” she said. “And so then, the narrative of U.S. public education: Individual assessments, competition, outcome over process (I care more about your grades than how you’re doing), ‘discipline’ where we care more about your attendance and making sure you’re not tardy than we care about your relationships … proper English must be spoken (which is just assimilation into standard U.S. dialect), hierarchical power structure, and heavy goal orientation.” While the traits listed may simply be regarded as positive traits for success in the modern world, Hackman described them as specific cultural traits chosen and emphasized to favor whites to the detriment of non-white groups, who are forced to assimilate white traits such as good discipline and goal orientation or else be left behind. Hackman’s natural solution, then, is to train teachers to move away from all these aspects of white privilege in education. She routinely touted the benefits of collective assessments (measuring student learning at the class level instead of determining whether each student knows the material), as well as eliminating all school grades entirely. Hackman said when she was a professor, she freely employed these methods with her own students. She once let a student complete an essay assignment as a graphic novel, and allowed students to write in non-standard English or even foreign languages she herself couldn’t read... Hackman acknowledged in the current white supremacist system, there is some expectation that teachers will know conventional English and possess other basic knowledge. As a result, she admitted modern activist teachers should try to learn those things sufficiently to get a job, but only for the purpose of infiltrating schools to change them from within... She predicted her approach will triumph, and the sinister force she dubbed “Super-Whitey” (and compared to the Eye of Sauron) will eventually be swept aside."

Twitch forces black streamer to submit DNA analysis over african cooking show - "Streaming giant Twitch has caused outrage after banning an African-American girl for her Africa-themed cooking show and seeming to accuse her of being a white cultural appropriator. The girl — youtuber Brittany Venti — was then forced into the humiliating position of having to submit an actual DNA analysis to prove her descent"
It looks like most of the outrage is because she is black - not that you need to have black DNA to do a black cooking show'

Haiti: Mud cakes become staple diet as cost of food soars beyond a family's reach - "Brittle and gritty - and as revolting as they sound - these are "mud cakes". For years they have been consumed by impoverished pregnant women seeking calcium, a risky and medically unproven supplement, but now the cakes have become a staple for entire families. It is not for the taste and nutrition - smidgins of salt and margarine do not disguise what is essentially dirt, and the Guardian can testify that the aftertaste lingers - but because they are the cheapest and increasingly only way to fill bellies."

Pakistani humanist denied UK asylum after failing to identify Plato - "The Home Office said Hamza bin Walayat’s failure to identify Plato and Aristotle as humanist philosophers indicated his knowledge of humanism was “rudimentary at best”."

450,000 Fled Deep Blue States In 2017 - "Three Democratic-leaning states hemorrhaged hundreds of thousands of people in 2016 and 2017 as crime, high taxes and, in some cases, crummy weather had residents seeking greener pastures elsewhere... New York’s domestic out-migration during that time period was about the same as it was in the same time 2015 and 2016. Since 2010, the state’s outflow of just over 1 million residents has exceeded that of every other state, both in absolute terms and as a share of population"

WATCH: Ginuwine Accused Of Transphobia For Refusing To Kiss Trans Woman On Live TV - "Tolerance is no longer about tolerating; now it is about engaging in the issue at hand. For example, you're now considered an intolerant transphobe for refusing to make out with a transgender person. Ginuwine found this out first hand. The R&B singer, appearing on the U.K. reality show "Big Brother," is being slammed as a transphobe for refusing to kiss his male-to-female transgender co-star India Willoughby on live TV... You know how the saying goes, "No means no — unless a transgender person is making the advances, then you better comply or you'll be labeled a transphobic bigot."... Last week, male-to-female transgender folks accused cis-men of being insecure and weak for refusing to date them."

Injured UC San Diego Student SUES SCHOOL For Failing To Stop Her From Protesting Trump - "A University of California, San Diego student, Maria Ana Carrola Flores, is suing the school for failing to stop her from protesting President Donald Trump, a decision she says led to her being hit by a car on California's I-5 freeway."

Soros to Google and Facebook: 'Your days are numbered' - "Billionaire investor George Soros launched a scathing attack on tech giants at the Davos summit on Thursday (Jan 25), calling them monopolies that could be manipulated by authoritarians to subvert democracy... the investor's traditional Davos predictions do not always pan out. Last year in Switzerland he warned that the stock market rally would end after Trump's election and that China's growth rate was unsustainable. China's growth has continued while US stocks are regularly hitting record highs."
Maybe he prefers to do it himself

Why some Singaporeans want to see the Mahathir Government fail

Donald Low - After my Malayan road trip, I’ve been wondering why...

"After my Malayan road trip, I’ve been wondering why so many pro-Establishment folks in Singapore, including some in the mainstream media, PAP IBs, even some former senior civil servants, seem so keen to see the Mahathir government fail.

The most common reason given is that Mahathir wasn’t very friendly to Singapore when he was PM, and that he’s asked to review projects like the HSR from KL to Singapore. The implication here is that he’s driven, partly as least, by a desire to do Singapore in. So the argument, as far as I can make out, is that we should want him and his government to fail so that they are less able to hurt us.

But that argument is deeply flawed. Surely what’s in our long-term interest is a stable and well-governed Malaysia. Also, it is quite clear that if BN had won, that would almost certainly be bad for our long-term interests. While it is premature to predict that the new government would, or even could, lead Malaysia to a post-racial future (basic differences over whether any race should be given a special privileged position being the main reason Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965), there’s almost no doubt that the only serious alternative—a government formed of an alliance between BN and PAS—would have been a mono-ethnic government. That could be worse for us. Indeed, for many years, we were concerned about the changing demographics in Malaysia leading to ever more racially divisive politics and policies in the country, with spilllover effects to Singapore. This prospect, for now at least, has become less likely. Even if the new PH government does not bring about “systemic change” (which I take to mean Malaysia becoming more meritocratic and “race-blind”), the fact that it’s a multi-ethnic government with at least a post-racial rhetoric (if, not yet, reality) is surely a plus for Singapore.

What about the argument that Najib was friendly to us and Mahathir wasn’t? That’s mostly rubbish and reflects a naive, even childish, ignorance about international relations. As the dictum goes, “in international relations, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.” Our permanent interest is (or should be) to maintain stable, mutually beneficial relations with our closest neighbour. This is far more likely if Malaysia under the new government, is stable and successful. Why in the world should we want the new government to fail? How does it help us if we are nostalgic about Najib as PM or the warm relations we had with him? There’s very little room for sentimentality or nostalgia in IR. Incidentally, on my recent road trip, I found the Najib (and Rosmah) brand to be incredibly toxic, and that this sentiment cut across ethnic lines.

Meanwhile circumspection (and prudence) seems to be completely lacking in the comments made by some of our pro-establishment sites about the new Malaysian government. We should really be quite careful not to antagonise the beast in Mahathir. The best way to understand him is that, in many ways, he’s Malaysia’s LKY—at least insofar as his nationalism and country-above-all-else mindset go. And if that beast is provoked, the intransigent and prickly Mahathir that we fear will indeed be the one we would be dealing with.

Ultimately though, I think the reason many pro-Establishment people want to see the Mahathir government fail is that they seem to be doing everything that our Establishment says cannot or should not be done, eg GST abolition (which I also think is a bad idea; I think it should be reformed not removed), review of repressive laws (like the anti-fake news law that was recently passed, the Printing Presses Act, Sedition Act, etc.), a clearer separation of powers between different branches, etc. In other words, the reason many here would like to see the new Malaysian government fail is that its success would cause them cognitive dissonance and discomfort. So to preserve the coherence and consistency of their worldview, they are willing to put Singapore-Malaysia relations at risk. So who’s being reckless and dangerous now?"

Another reason, I would add, is that Singapore's economic model is based on being an oasis of success and stability in a comparatively poor region, rather than aiming for shared prosperity (and network effects).

This is especially so for Malaysia, given the dependence on Malaysian manpower, extending to poaching Malaysians as Permanent Residents and (ideally) ultimately citizens.

Links - 25th May 2018 (1)

Ugandan president backs 'frank' Trump after 'sh*thole' remark - "Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday hailed Donald Trump for speaking "frankly" to Africans, after the US president unleashed a storm by reportedly describing African nations as "sh*thole countries." "I love Trump because he speaks to Africans frankly. I don't know if he was misquoted or whatever. He talks about Africans' weaknesses frankly"... No stranger to controversy, on Monday he described Uganda as a "pre-industrial society" and said he regretted removing the death sentence, saying the move had been "a recipe for chaos"."

Kickstarter Bans Book On Rape, Immigrants - "Swedish academic Ann Heberlein was booted from American crowdfunding platform Kickstarter Thursday after trying to raise money for a book studying the link between rape and immigration... In Heberlein’s planned book, entitled “Rape and Culture – A survey of group violence in Sweden 2012-2017,” the academic seeks to “perform a statistical analysis of all convictions in group violence targets in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, taking into account the perpetrator’s age and birth.” The Swedish government no longer keeps statistics on the ethnic backgrounds of rape offenders, Heberlein claims, and so this information is desperately needed... Though the book was planned as a simple statistical analysis, Kickstarter banned the project for “hateful or offensive content”"

Avalanche of Donations After Kickstarter Ban on Swedish 'Rape Book' - "Before the ban, Heberlein managed to attract a total of SEK 161,704 ($21,500), still far short of the target of SEK 400,000 ($51,000). "To survey the [Crime Prevention Council]'s statistics is thus 'racist.' Do you understand where we are heading? Freedom of expression is not threatened. It's throttled," a dismayed Ann Heberlein tweeted. Gothenburg PR expert Bobbo Sundgren, who is known for having patented the PR-method called "talk trigging," predicted that Kickstarter's decision to stop the crowd-funding campaign has in fact done a good service to Heberlein. Likewise, Sundgren argued that being blocked on Facebook and hounded by "anti-racist trolls" has also boosted her popular support... the Kickstarter ban, coupled with the media attention, resulted in an avalanche of donations for Heberlein's project. By her own admission, she received over SEK 700,000 ($89,000) in less than two days... Earlier in January, however, the Swedish government tasked the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) with researching the reasons behind the spike in rape cases (such as a 400 percent increase in Stockholm over the past two decades alone). As it is unclear how deep the government investigators are prepared delve into the matter, Heberlein's report is seen as an alternative."

Belgians say their country is being invaded: 74% see Islam as an intolerant religion - "The poll with 4,734 people, indicates that 74% of respondents consider Islam an intolerant religion (against 38% for Judaism and 14% for Catholicism) and 71% judge it incompatible “with the values of Belgian society”. According to the study, 60% of Belgians also see Islam as threat to the identity of the country and two-thirds feel that their country is being increasingly invaded. Only 13% see Islam as a “cultural enrichment factor” for their country."

Where Nassar's Judge Went Wrong - "Subjecting Nassar to a lifetime of rape is not my idea of justice, and fantasizing about it is not my idea of judicial temperament... Some crimes are bad enough that no remedy exists for them in civilized society. I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s famous line that some men are indeed fit only to be slaves, but none is fit to be a master."

Jagmeet Singh: Presumption Of Innocence Is ‘Strictly’ For Courts - "The presumption of innocence is "strictly" a legal construct that shouldn't stop Canadians from believing women who come forward with allegations of assault, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Thursday. While some members of his caucus stood behind him with incredulous looks, Singh told reporters there are "different issues" at play when women step forward with accusations... The NDP leader had called on Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown to resign after a CTV News report Wednesday featured two women alleging inappropriate sexual behaviour
What if women accuse Jagmeet Singh of sexual assault?

New German swimming pool will have a separated area for Muslim women - "Earlier the city already introduced gender-segregated swimming hours, during which only women were allowed. Especially Muslim women were given the opportunity to swim and bath unobserved by men. But now the city has gone a step further with a completely separated basin with a huge curtain that blocks view. Some German media say the city and its swimming pool are now “Shariah ready”. Local politician Werner Hümmrich (FDP) says: “We do not want to exclude a group from using the pool and therefore we meet certain social demands. The swimming pool will be specially designed so that gender-segregated swimming can be offered.” According to Hümmrich, that was a “political requirement”."

Germany hands out swimming pool etiquette guides after sexual harassment reports against migrants

Why IFLScience is Anti-Science - "Have you heard about the coming ice age? You may have seen articles with titles such as “Thanks To Reduced Solar Activity, We Could Be Heading For A Mini Ice Age In 2030.” and “‘Mini Ice Age’ Not a Reason to Ignore Global Warming.” Of course such sensational headlines led to rebuttal articles such as “No, We Aren’t Heading Into A ‘Mini Ice Age’” Once again, a hyped headline is used to drive page views, and which only serves to mislead readers. Hence a follow up article on how “The ‘Mini Ice Age’ Hoopla Is A Giant Failure Of Science Communication.” Here’s the thing, though. All of these articles are from IFLS also known as “I’ll use profanity in my website title so people will think I’m edgy and cool.”... Why correct your “mistakes” when your lies get you nearly 76,000 likes on Facebook?"

Survivorship Bias - "a brilliant statistician named Abraham Wald saved countless lives by preventing a group of military commanders from committing a common human error, a mistake that you probably make every single day... How, the Army Air Force asked, could they improve the odds of a bomber making it home? Military engineers explained to the statistician that they already knew the allied bombers needed more armor, but the ground crews couldn’t just cover the planes like tanks, not if they wanted them to take off. The operational commanders asked for help figuring out the best places to add what little protection they could... The military looked at the bombers that had returned from enemy territory. They recorded where those planes had taken the most damage. Over and over again, they saw that the bullet holes tended to accumulate along the wings, around the tail gunner, and down the center of the body. Wings. Body. Tail gunner. Considering this information, where would you put the extra armor? Naturally, the commanders wanted to put the thicker protection where they could clearly see the most damage, where the holes clustered. But Wald said no, that would be precisely the wrong decision. Putting the armor there wouldn’t improve their chances at all... the holes showed where the planes were strongest. The holes showed where a bomber could be shot and still survive the flight home... If you are thinking about opening a restaurant because there are so many successful restaurants in your hometown, you are ignoring the fact that only successful restaurants survive to become examples. Maybe on average 90 percent of restaurants in your city fail in the first year. You can’t see all those failures because when they fail they also disappear from view... Survivorship bias pulls you toward bestselling diet gurus, celebrity CEOs, and superstar athletes... In short, the advice business is a monopoly run by survivors. As the psychologist Daniel Kahneman writes in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, “A stupid decision that works out well becomes a brilliant decision in hindsight.”... success boils down to serially avoiding catastrophic failure while routinely absorbing manageable damage

Are modern cars less problematic? - "the general consensus seems to be that modern cars don't break down as often as older ones. When the U.S. government offered the "Cash for Clunkers" program in 2009, it was intended to stimulate the economy and improve the fuel efficiency of the American cars on the road. It also served as a tacit confirmation that newer cars are better. That might be a controversial claim, but the numbers don't lie: The car with the record for the most miles driven was a 1989 Saab 900SPG, owned by a Wisconsin traveling salesman who logged 1,001,385 miles in 17 years before retiring it [source: AP]. The decline of car maintenance costs also shows that modern cars are becoming increasingly less problematic"

I'm a sex worker in a legal brothel – here are the biggest misconceptions about what I do - "I've been working in Nevada's legal brothels for almost a year and a half now. In this time I've learned a lot about sexuality, psychology and relationships. My job is a mix of customer service and fantasy fulfillment, and I love it. It suits my needs and allows me financial stability I never had access to before... Sex work is a physically intimate therapy session for most of our clients... You'd be surprised at the range of people who walk through our doors. We entertain middle-aged couples looking to spice up their love life. Young military veterans visit struggling to transition back into civilian life and dating. Respectable business men, lawyers, doctors, and professionals who are overworked without time for dating. Men with Asperger's who find navigating traditional social relationships challenging and confusing. For many, seeing a sex worker is more than just the act of sex. We provide a safe space to be comfortable with sexuality and physical intimacy. Clients are able to let their barriers down and have a connection with a near stranger and it is often highly therapeutic for them. We're also teachers, guiding our virgin clients through sex and intimacy for the first time. Our clients treat us with respect and adoration, and are as kind to us as we are to them. Shaming our clients demonises their sexuality, which is repressive and judgmental... Our work is deeply personal and intimate. We see people at their most vulnerable, when they're naked and expressing their inner most desires. These desires may have been hidden away for years, decades. The relationships I develop with my clients are genuine and I'm happy to see them leave basking in a glow, relaxed and relieved. Making people feel good about themselves brings me a profound sense of happiness."

Cameron didn't have 'bromance' with Obama and thought he was a narcissist, claims former adviser - "“My old boss, former British prime minister David Cameron, thought Obama was one of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed people he’d ever dealt with,” Mr Hilton said on his Fox News show. “Obama never listened to anyone, always thought he was smarter than every expert in the room, and treated every meeting as an opportunity to lecture everyone else. This led to real-world disasters, like Syria and the rise of Isis.” He said for the world’s elites, such problems were not an issue as they existed within their own bubble... “For them, it’s all about style and tone, not substance and results. Donald Trump offends the elites aesthetically, like a piece of art that’s not to their taste”"

Women's rights group sue Trump's Education Department for 'discriminating against victims of campus sexual assault' - "A consortium of women’s rights groups have sued the Trump administration for implementing policies they say violate the rights of campus sexual assault survivors. The Victims Rights Law Centre, Equal Rights Advocates, and SurvJustice – a not-for-profit that provides legal help to survivors – filed suit against the Department of Education over its new gender discrimination policy... Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the changes to the Title IX policy in September. She vowed to end a "failed" Obama-era system and replace it with a new one offering more protections for the accused. The move was heralded by activists who felt the government had become overzealous in its crackdown on campus sexual assault."
Losing gulag powers sure hurts. But what is given by executive action can be taken away by executive action

It’s time we started celebrating masculinity - "Alpha males are the product of high levels of testosterone, which increases aggression. This, contrary to popular opinion, is a useful trait: it makes people brave, reactive and better in battle. Testosterone has been known to make people territorial too. Scientists have found that footballers demonstrate a substantial rise in the stuff before playing a home game. It even has important organisational structures in the male brain, and can help with spatial ability, which proves useful in combat and many other jobs. All in all, it is great to be macho. And I wish our society celebrated, and encouraged, masculinity – instead of sneering at its expression... When I walked through a fight several years ago, never was I more grateful to see four macho coppers burst onto the scene; I'll never forget the man who protected me from another on a walk through Oxford Street last year. With such atrocities taking place all the time, I thank my lucky stars for the brave souls who want to stop it."

Pingtjin Thum - A well meaning statement by the Worker's Party,... - "A well meaning statement by the Worker's Party, but one that draws incomplete conclusions from #Brexit. Immigration was the precipitating factor, but not the fundamental cause. The underlying issue with Brexit was the nature of the European Union. It is an intrinsically anti-democratic institution. The laws and policies of the European Union are worked out behind closed doors, at meetings between ministers and civil servants from the member states. The discussions between them are kept almost entirely secret. Once a decision has been made, it is then presented to voters as fait accompli. In this way, politicians seeking to evade political accountability for unpopular decisions can blame European diktat. I believe that the more relevant interpretation of Brexit for Singapore is to ask what happens when a comfortable and complacent political class loses touch with the voters and retreats into the state and other elite institutions; when unaccountable governments continually impose unpopular policies on an electorate, while evading responsibility for its decisions; and when voters become disenchanted, frustrated, and angry but have no recourse or alternatives"

Men, women & the secrets of skin colour - "men of all races are subconsciously attracted to fairer-skinned women, while women are more drawn to dark-complexioned men... Men are subconsciously attracted to fairer skin because of its association with innocence, purity, modesty, virginity, vulnerability and goodness, according to researchers at the University of Toronto. Women are attracted to men with darker complexions because these are associated with sex, virility, mystery, villainy and danger... When they analysed adverts featuring white women only, they found that women with the darkest complexions were more likely to be in an advanced state of undress. They were also more likely to have a bared midriff, and only they are shown with bared feet or are implied to be totally nude."

Young American liberals are losing the ability to argue | Down with campus censorship! - "Duke University professor Jerry Hough commented on a New York Times article, which blamed the Baltimore rioting on racism (or, as the NYT itself described it, ‘the century-long assault that Baltimore’s blacks have endured at the hands of local, state and federal policymakers’). Hough’s most controversial statements centred on why, in his words, ‘Asians who were oppressed [as much as blacks] did so well and are integrating so well, and the blacks are not doing so well’. Hough continued: ‘[Asians] didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard… Every Asian student has a very simple, old American first name that symbolises their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolises their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous [and] black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.’ Duke University responded: ‘The comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse.’... The liberal establishment dismisses Hough’s comments as the racist ramblings of an old white fool. Perhaps that’s right. But here’s the problem: if no one confronts such ideas, they will not go away. ‘[N]o one has said I was wrong, just racist’, Hough writes. Another Duke professor, Michael Munger, argues that universities educate conservative students by challenging them, while liberal students get a pass. As the chair of indignation studies (whatever that is) told Munger, ‘I don’t really need to spend much time with the liberal students because they already have it right. I spend most of my time arguing with the conservative students.’ Derision, rather than refutation, seems to be the norm of discourse in mainstream politics as well. Accordingly, opposing views are seen as a sign of some moral defect, not genuine disagreement. Earlier this year, for example, a prominent Democrat compared delaying the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general (she’s the first African-American woman to be given the role) to Jim Crow segregation. Elsewhere, questioning certain sexual-assault statistics makes one a ‘rape apologist’; proponents of traditional marriage are dismissed as ‘bigots’; and even President Obama is called sexist for arguing with Senator Elizabeth Warren about a trade bill (he called her ‘Elizabeth’). Progressives think their vitriolic name-calling undermines their opponents. But Munger has it right: ‘The absence of [dissent] is harmful, not so much to those who would agree with the dissenting voice, but to those who are thus denied the chance to collide with error.’"

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Links - 24th May 2018 (2)

Mother of Child Who Modeled ‘Monkey’ Hoodie for H&M Doesn’t See What the Problem Is - "H&M may be in boiling hot water for their ad that featured a black boy wearing a sweatshirt saying, "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle," but appears that the boy’s mother, Terry Mango, is cool with it. She took to social media to fully endorse the ad... "This is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled... stop crying Wolf all the time, unnecessary issue.""

No, that H&M ad isn’t racist - "Children of all backgrounds are referred to as ‘monkeys’ by their parents. The only people connecting the old anti-black slur to this little boy were the hypersensitive people are so offended by this advert. And H&M has endowed its critics with a legitimacy they do not deserve by withdrawing the ad and apologising for it... This borderline pathological tendency to racialise everything, to find racism where it simply doesn’t exist, is discrediting anti-racism as a progressive cause. Worse, it trivialises the thankfully increasingly rare kind of racism that does real damage to ethnic minorities"
Maybe the moral of the story is to not use minorities - people will take offence regardless but you might as well save yourself some trouble

South African protesters ransack H&M stores over 'racist' ad - "The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protesters targeted six H&M stores in the Gauteng province, where South Africa’s economic hub of Johannesburg is located, tearing down shop displays and throwing clothes around... Protests over perceived corporate wrongdoing have a history of turning violent in South Africa, where some drivers for ride-hailing service Uber have had their vehicles torched over the past year by regular taxi operators."
Great way to dispel stereotypes

Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down? - "Consider the effect smartphones have on our ability to focus. In 2015, Microsoft Canada published a report indicating that the average human attention span had shrunk from 12 to eight seconds between 2000 and 2013. The finding was widely reported at the time and elicited some shock – for about eight seconds... Prof. Ratey has noticed a convergence between his ADD patients and the rest of the world. The symptoms of people with ADD and people with smartphones are "absolutely the same," he said. A recent study of Chinese middle schoolers found something similar. Among more than 7,000 students, mobile phone ownership was found to be "significantly associated" with levels of inattention seen in people with attention-deficit disorder... Workers at a British company who multitasked on electronic media – a decent proxy for frequent smartphone use – were found in a 2014 study to lose about the same quantity of IQ as people who had smoked cannabis or lost a night's sleep. Even people who are disciplined about their smartphone use feel the effect. The devices exert such a magnetic pull on our minds that just the effort of resisting the temptation to look at them seems to take a toll on our mental performance."
8 seconds is less than a goldfish

Doron Zeilberger's 158h Opinion - "The American Mathematical Society (henceforth AMS) has recently created the position of Diversity Officer, a full-time position, womanned by a prominent female mathematician. That's a good thing! Women and minorities should be encouraged. But it went too far when it proposed, effective Jan. 2019, to prohibit the use of the traditional names of the numerous programs (e.g. Erlangen, Langlands, ...), theories (e.g. Galois, Iwasawa, and dozens of others), theorems (e.g. Pythagoras, Lagrange, and thousands of others), polynomials (e.g. Legendre, Jacobi, and hundreds of other), conjectures (e.g. Riemann and many others), inequalities (e.g. Cauchy-Schwartz, Holder, and dozens of others), groups (e.g. Conway, O' Nan, Lyons, Sims, Thompson, ...), algorithms (e.g. Dijkstra, Buchberger, Robinson-Schenstead-Knuth, and thousands of others) etc. etc... In two years, you would open-up an AMS journal, and read an abstract that looks like this:
"Using Theory T1014, and Theorems Th100154, Th54135, and Th87651, as well as inequalities In54312, and In34567, we prove Conjecture C84231."
Please! Mathematics papers are hard enough to read the way they are written now, and this new policy would make reading them so much harder."

Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Dick Durbin called Trump racist for wanting to end chain migration. Here's a video of Dick Durbin calling for an end to chain migration"

China’s Young Children Are Overheating in the Middle of Winter - "Children have high metabolisms and lots of energy, which means they tolerate the cold better than adults. Medical studies have revealed that keeping children too warm and staying too long in an excessively hot or stuffy atmosphere can lead to a lack of oxygen, high fever, heavy sweating, and dehydration. These are potentially life-threatening conditions, and stories of overheated children have occasionally attracted the attention of Chinese media. Yet the compulsion to block out the cold runs deep in Chinese tradition; indeed, wrapping kids up in extra layers is similar to the custom of zuo yuezi, or postnatal recuperation, whereby new mothers stay in bed for several weeks following childbirth. Some women have even suffered from heatstroke after well-meaning but misguided family members piled on too many heavy blankets."

How campus politics hijacked American politics - The Boston Globe - "For now, the First Amendment seems safe. But the campus-bred identitarian left is leaving its mark on society in other ways, especially in areas directly connected to culture: media, publishing, and entertainment, which in turn help shape the social climate. Dissident progressive Phoebe Maltz Bovy notes in her recent book, “The Perils of Privilege,” that mainstream-media culture criticism is now heavily fixated on identity politics: Films, shows and entertainers are routinely discussed in terms of their treatment of race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality and often sternly reprimanded for taking an incorrect approach. (The recent backlash against the Golden Globe-winning movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” for its alleged blind spot on race is a case in point.)... after an outcry against “culinary white supremacy” in the online press and social media in Portland, Ore. — two women (one white, one part Chinese) felt obliged to shut down the burrito shop they had started after a trip to Mexico. Their handmade tortillas, it seems, were too oppressive. How do ideas like “culinary white supremacy” make it off university grounds? Partly, it’s because professors who marinate in campus politics enjoy intellectual authority in the outside world, and their opinions appear in the national media. Partly, it’s also because a huge generation of students who have absorbed the “social justice” creed of the campus left, often promoted not only in class but in mandatory workshops, take that outlook with them when they graduate."

Sullivan: The Gay Rights Movement Is Undoing Its Best Work - "A new report out from GLAAD suggests that there has been something of a retrenchment in comfort with gay equality... “In 2014, for example, 27 percent of non-LGBT Americans said they would be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ uncomfortable looking at a wedding picture on an LGBT co-worker’s desk. The following year, that figure dipped to 25 percent. Now, it has returned to 27 percent.”... no one seems to notice the profound shift in the tone and substance of advocacy for gay equality in recent years, and the radicalization of the movement’s ideology and rhetoric... since Obergefell? As many of us saw our goals largely completed and moved on, the far left filled the void. The movement is now rhetorically as much about race and gender as it is about sexual orientation (“intersectionality”), prefers alternatives to marriage to marriage equality, sees white men as “problematic,” masculinity as toxic, gender as fluid, and race as fundamental. They have no desire to seem “virtually normal”; they are contemptuous of “respectability politics” — which means most politics outside the left. Above all, they have advocated transgenderism, an ideology that goes far beyond recognizing the dignity and humanity and civil equality of trans people into a critique of gender, masculinity, femininity, and heterosexuality. “Live and let live” became: “If you don’t believe gender is nonbinary, you’re a bigot.” I would be shocked if this sudden lurch in the message didn’t in some way negatively affect some straight people’s views of gays. The left’s indifference to religious freedom — see the question of Masterpiece Cakeshop — has also taken a toll. So have the PC bromides of the LGBTQRSTUV reformulation... The Trump era is, I fear, not just about this hideous embarrassment of a president. It’s also fueled by a reaction of many ordinary people to the excesses of the social-justice left — on immigration, race, gender, and sexual orientation. If the gay-rights movement decides to throw in with this new leftism, and abandon the moderation and integrationism of the recent past, they risk turning gay equality from being about a win-win process for gays and straights into a war between “LGBT” people and the rest"

Advertised Waist-to-Hip Ratios of Online Female Escorts: An Evolutionary Perspective - "The Web’s global reach provides evolutionary behavioral scientists unique opportunities to investigate human universals steeped in a common and evolved human nature. In the current article, it is argued that many forms of online sexual communication are indicative of our evolved mating minds, including the manner by which female escorts are “advertised” online. It is demonstrated that online advertisers provide a restricted set of morphological cues whilst advertising female escorts, these being congruent with men’s evolved aesthetic preferences. Specifically, it is shown that irrespective of cultural setting, online escorts advertise waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) that are in line with the near-universal male preference for women that possess WHRs of 0.70."

Study Suggests Society's View of Males Has Soured - "The likelihood of being an elementary school teacher was rated 64 for a woman and 36 for a man, nearly the same as in 1983; the likelihood of being a firefighter, 61 for a man and 18 for a woman... the Women’s Health website caustically summed up the study as reflecting the belief that men should be responsible for “bringing home the bacon and fixing the car” and women for “raising the kids, cooking, and cleaning,” the respondents were not expressing prescriptive opinions but estimating actual probabilities. If anything, their ratings underestimated gender disparities in many jobs: in reality, a woman is four times more likely than a man to be an elementary school teacher, while the ratio of male to female firefighters is a staggering 24:1. Where things get interesting is in ratings on perceived personality traits and related roles... Men are still given a slight edge on “makes decisions easily” (61 points versus 57 for women), but that’s down from a 14-point gap in 1983; again, the change is due to a sharp drop in male scores and a small increase in female ones... Contrary to the “nothing has changed” tenor of many reports, the new survey shows a dramatic decline in the male-provider norm. In the 1983 survey, the likelihood of being a “financial provider” was scored at 83 for a man, 46 for a woman; the 2014 numbers were 72 and 58. What’s more, men and women in 2014 were seen as equally likely to “assume financial obligations,” while in 1983 the score for men on this item was 22 points higher. And here’s another fascinating nugget. In 1983, men and women were rated equally likely to “plan for the future,” with median scores around 75 for both. In 2014, the score for women remained unchanged — but the score for men dropped below 62. Bizarrely, the New York report specifically cited this item as one of the categories in which “gender stereotypes stayed consistent when compared to the 1983 study.”... the trend toward a more jaundiced view of males seems unmistakable —particularly among women... Recent research, such as the work of political scientists Deborah Jordan Brooks, Jennifer Lawless and Danny Hayes, suggests that today gender is more an asset than an obstacle for female politicians... there are also times when the tendency to stereotype men as less understanding, warm, and capable of providing emotional support can result in unfairness to men. And some of that stereotyping is likely due not to patriarchy or lack of feminist progress, but do the direction feminism has taken in the last thirty years."

Academics say research is being hindered by universities' fear of online backlash - "Academics say they have been forced to leave the country to pursue their research interests as British universities are accused of blocking studies over fears of backlash on social media... a critical analysis she published of Vanity Fair magazine’s visual representation of the transgendering of Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner had been pulled after complaints were made."
How SJWing is harming academic freedom

The Empire Slinks Back - The New York Times - "The British Empire has had a pretty lousy press from a generation of ''postcolonial'' historians anachronistically affronted by its racism. But the reality is that the British were significantly more successful at establishing market economies, the rule of law and the transition to representative government than the majority of postcolonial governments have been. The policy ''mix'' favored by Victorian imperialists reads like something just published by the International Monetary Fund, if not the World Bank: free trade, balanced budgets, sound money, the common law, incorrupt administration and investment in infrastructure financed by international loans... The British regarded long-term occupation as an inherent part of their self-appointed ''civilizing mission.'' This did not mean forever. The assumption was that British rule would end once a country had been sufficiently ''civilized'' -- read: anglicized -- to ensure the continued rule of law and operation of free markets (not to mention the playing of cricket). But that clearly meant decades, not days; when the British intervened in a country like Iraq, they simply didn't have an exit strategy. The only issue was whether to rule directly -- installing a British governor -- or indirectly, with a British ''secretary'' offering ''advice'' to a local puppet like Faisal... The imperial impulse arose from a complex of emotions: racial superiority, yes, but also evangelical zeal; profit, perhaps, but also a sincere belief that spreading ''commerce, Christianity and civilization'' was not just in Britain's interest but in the interests of her colonial subjects too.The contrast with today's ''wannabe'' imperialists in the United States -- call them ''nation-builders'' if you prefer euphemism -- could scarcely be more stark... Until there are more Americans not just willing but eager to shoulder the ''nation-builder's burden,'' adventures like the current occupation of Iraq will lack a vital ingredient. For the lesson of Britain's imperial experience is clear: you simply cannot have an empire without imperialists -- out there, on the spot -- to run it."

Hard Evidence: do we become more conservative with age? - "By taking the average of seven different groups of several thousand people each over time – covering most periods between general elections since the 1960s – we found that the maximum possible ageing effect averages out at a 0.38% increase in Conservative voters per year. The minimum possible ageing effect was only somewhat lower, at 0.32% per year. This may not sound like a massive effect, but over the course of a lifetime these increments do add up. Even if only the minimum estimate is correct, the difference between 20 and 80-year-olds is nearly 20 percentage points. This means that our estimate of ageing effects precisely explains the 19-point difference between the percentage of 20 and 80-year-olds who voted Conservative in the 1997 election."

University apologizes to janitor over KKK book - "A janitor whom a university official had accused of racial harassment for reading a historical book about the Ku Klux Klan on his break has gotten an apology — months later — from the school... a co-worker complained after seeing him reading a book titled "Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan."... "You used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your black co-workers," Lillian Charleston wrote in a letter to Sampson. Civil liberties groups and bloggers who took up his cause said Sampson had been wrongly cited for reading a book that is carried by the school's library."
Presumably white people must not only educate themselves - they must do it in private

Why are they Replacing All the Concrete Roads with Asphalt? Ask an Engineer! - "Concrete roads are highly durable and more environmentally friendly as compared to asphalt roads. However asphalt paving costs far less than concrete paving. Also, asphalt road provides a little better safety of the vehicle against snow and skidding."

13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) - Wikipedia - "The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS "Handschar" (1st Croatian) was a mountain infantry division of the Waffen-SS, an armed branch of the German Nazi Party that served alongside but was never formally part of the Wehrmacht during World War II. From March to December 1944, it fought a counter-insurgency campaign against communist-led Yugoslav Partisan resistance forces in the Independent State of Croatia, a fascist puppet state of Germany that encompassed almost all of modern-day Croatia, all of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as parts of Serbia. It was given the title Handschar after a local fighting knife or sword carried by Ottoman policemen during the centuries that the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. It was the first non-Germanic Waffen-SS division, and its formation marked the expansion of the Waffen-SS into a multi-ethnic military force. Composed of Bosnian Muslims (ethnic Bosniaks) with some Catholic Croat soldiers and mostly German and Yugoslav Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) officers and non-commissioned officers, it took an oath of allegiance to both Adolf Hitler and the Croatian leader Ante Pavelić."
Since people bitched about Dunkirk not featuring the handful of non-white soldiers who were there, presumably they will complain about there being no Muslim Nazis portrayed in popular media

Muslimahs For Circumcision

Kubra Jawher - Kubra Jawher is with Annisah Sakanda and 90 others.

"Why Female Circumcision Is a Must in Islam!

Did you know there are more ahadeeth specific to female circumcision than male circumcision?

1) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “When the (male) circumcised part meets the (female) circumcised part, bath becomes obligatory” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

2) Abdullah Ibn Umar states that the Prophet (PBUH) instructed some Ansar (Medinan) women visiting him to ‘be circumcised’ (Mukhtassar zawaid musnad al bazzar, Ibn Hajar).

3) The Prophet (PBUH) told Umm Atiyyah Al Ansariyyah, a lady who circumcised girls in Medina: “When you circumcise, cut plainly and do not cut severely, for it is beauty for the face and desirable for the husband” (Abu Dawud, Al Awsat of Tabarani and Tarikh Baghdad).

4) Umm Al Muhajir said: “I was captured with some girls from Byzantium. (Caliph) Uthman offered us Islam, but only myself and one other girl accepted Islam. Uthman said: ‘Go and circumcise them and purify them” (Adab al Mufrad of Bukhari)

5) Umm Alqamah says that when the nieces of Ayisha’s brother were circumcised, ‘A’isha was asked: “Shall we call someone to amuse them?” “Yes” she replied (Adab Al Mufrad)

It is clear that female circumcision is obligatory in Islam. That's why Hazrat Ayisha have her nieces circumcised and Caliph Uthman ordered women who had embraced Islam to be circumcised.

Our best scholars including Imam Shafi, Imam Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah and Sheikh Jaddul Haqq all declared female circumcision to be obligatory for women.

A good Muslimah follows the fitra of circumcising!"

WWRAS? (What Would Reza Aslan Say?_

Links - 24th May 2018 (1)

Intolerance at Cornell: After my Fox News appearance, bullying and threats began. It got so bad I sought counseling. - "“Being a conservative, or even being a moderate, is a very difficult lifestyle here,” I added, explaining that I was stepping down as an RA because my superiors bristled at my right-leaning politics and my insistence that RA meetings present students with both sides of any issue... Some peers called me “hateful” for being critical of the course, even though I never attacked the professor’s character. Others suggested I was bigoted, even though they had never met me. One threat I received was over Facebook messenger, where someone said that they wanted to hurt me. Considering that Cornell University’s College Republicans president had been physically assaulted right after Trump was elected — shoved to the ground and called a “racist bitch” — threats around here are no joke."

Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History - The New York Times - "A smaller share of the world’s people were hungry, impoverished or illiterate than at any time before. A smaller proportion of children died than ever before. The proportion disfigured by leprosy, blinded by diseases like trachoma or suffering from other ailments also fell.
Nassim Taleb would say that 2017 is worse than ever because of black swan risks, because potential problems (no matter how unlikely) are as bad as real ones

If Aziz Ansari were a college student, he would likely be expelled - "an affirmative consent rule is offensive to longstanding notions of how we ought to respond to allegations of wrongdoing. Affirmative consent policies shift who has to prove what in ways that we would reject in connection with any other allegation. If affirmative consent is the rule, the accuser does not have to prove that a sexual assault occurred; the accused must demonstrate that consent was obtained. A foundational belief of our legal system is that you don’t have to prove your innocence. The entity accusing you has to prove your guilt... If a man removes a woman’s clothes while they’re talking and kissing as she mumbles and pulls away, and they continue to kiss, and perform oral sex on each other, that’s not a crime that would be prosecuted in any courtroom in America. Yet in universities, it can be considered assault worthy of expulsion... even if we agree that affirmative consent is the ideal, there are massive challenges in enforcing it. Whose perspective matters — a reasonable person in the initiator’s position or the subjective reaction of the specific person being pursued? If a man reasonably believes that a woman wants him to go forward, but she’s only acting that way because she feels pressured, is that consent? At what stage in a long-term, solidly sexual relationship, if ever, can some of these rules be relaxed? (A federal judge had a pretty good point when he rejected Brandeis University’s conclusion that a person in a two-year relationship committed sexual assault by kissing his boyfriend awake instead of using an alarm.)"

Don’t Fuck Anybody Who Wants to Get Your Consent Uploaded to the Blockchain - "LegalFling claims its contracts are “live documents” inside the app that can be appended with more information if consent is later withdrawn, the initial blockchain entry confirming consent will still be there, even if it’s just a hash value... the LegalFling app is “intended to be a tech implementation of” a proposed Swedish law that would reportedly require explicit consent before sex"
If you keep calling for affirmative, ongoing consent to specific sexual acts (e.g. that consent to oral sex doesn't mean consent to penetration), that anything other than that is rape - and then say that an objective way of verifying that is a bad thing, that suggests that what you really want is a Sword of Damocles hanging over men's heads

How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms - "Confucius Institutes teach a very particular, Beijing-approved version of Chinese culture and history: one that ignores concerns over human rights, for example, and teaches that Taiwan and Tibet indisputably belong to Mainland China. Take it from the aforementioned Li, who also said in 2009 that Confucius Institutes are an “important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.” Critics also charge that the centers have led to a climate of self-censorship on campuses that play host to them... That so many universities have welcomed the Confucius Institute with open arms points to another disturbing trend in American higher education: an alarming willingness to accept money at the expense of principles that universities are ostensibly devoted to upholding. At a time when universities are as willing as ever to shield their charges from controversial viewpoints, some nonetheless welcome foreign, communist propaganda—if the price is right"

What I Learned in the Peace Corps in Africa: Trump Is Right - "Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town. Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health. That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, "a fecalized environment." In plain English: s--- is everywhere... Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a few decades later, liberals would be pushing the lie that Western civilization is no better than a third-world country. Or would teach two generations of our kids that loving your own culture and wanting to preserve it are racism... Family was a few hundred people, extending out to second and third cousins. All the men in one generation were called "father." Senegalese are Muslim, with up to four wives. Girls had their clitorises cut off at puberty. (I witnessed this, at what I thought was going to be a nice coming-of-age ceremony, like a bat mitzvah or confirmation.) Sex, I was told, did not include kissing. Love and friendship in marriage were Western ideas. Fidelity was not a thing. Married women would have sex for a few cents to have cash for the market... The Ten Commandments were not disobeyed – they were unknown. The value system was the exact opposite. You were supposed to steal everything you can to give to your own relatives. There are some Westernized Africans who try to rebel against the system. They fail. We hear a lot about the kleptocratic elites of Africa. The kleptocracy extends through the whole society. My town had a medical clinic donated by international agencies. The medicine was stolen by the medical workers and sold to the local store. If you were sick and didn't have money, drop dead. That was normal... We think the Protestant work ethic is universal. It's not. My town was full of young men doing nothing. They were waiting for a government job. There was no private enterprise. Private business was not illegal, just impossible, given the nightmare of a third-world bureaucratic kleptocracy. It is also incompatible with Senegalese insistence on taking care of relatives. All the little stores in Senegal were owned by Mauritanians. If a Senegalese wanted to run a little store, he'd go to another country. The reason? Your friends and relatives would ask you for stuff for free, and you would have to say yes. End of your business. You are not allowed to be a selfish individual and say no to relatives. The result: Everyone has nothing. The more I worked there and visited government officials doing absolutely nothing, the more I realized that no one in Senegal had the idea that a job means work. A job is something given to you by a relative. It provides the place where you steal everything to give back to your family."

'Roe v. Wade for Men' Case Illustrates Family Law System's Inequities - "The contrast between child support enforcement and the enforcement of visitation and parenting time also illustrates this inequity. Over $5 billion a year is spent nationwide on enforcing child support, and large enforcement bureaucracies exist in all states. Each year 100,000 men are jailed for alleged non-payment of child support, and many others lose their driver's licenses, passports and business licenses. This is despite the fact that Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement data reveal that nationwide 70% of those behind on payments earn poverty level wages, and less than 5% earn $40,000 a year. Fathers who want to share in parenting their children face many obstacles. In a study conducted by Arizona State University psychology professor Sanford Braver and published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 40% of divorced mothers admitted that they had interfered with their ex-husband's access or visitation, and that their motives were punitive in nature and not due to safety considerations. A study of adult children of divorce conducted by Glynnis Walker, author of Solomon's Children: Exploding the Myths of Divorce, found that 42% of children who lived solely with their mothers reported that their mothers had tried to prevent them from seeing their fathers after the divorce. Despite this, state and federal governments spend almost nothing on enforcing visitation and parenting time... prosecutions of mothers who violate visitation orders are almost nonexistent"

Georgetown Advisor Wishes Sexual Assault upon Conservative Commentator Allie Stuckey - "“Wishing you a #metoo moment,” Georgetown advisor Jeff Bernstein said in a tweet to conservative commentator Allie Stuckey over the weekend. “Maybe then you won’t be so insensitive.”"

The World's Longest-Burning Light Bulb Has Shone for 110 Years - "The Shelby bulb was never the brightest—it started at 60 watts and has since faded to 4 watts. But what it lacks in lumens it makes up for in design. Mastermind electrician Adolphe A. Chaillet designed the bulb, and his Shelby Electric Company manufactured it. The carbon filament was the defining feature, allowing the bulb to burn longer and at a lower temperature than tungsten-based Edison bulbs. Still, Shelby built the bulb for only a year. The conspiracy-minded say it was planned obsolescence that doomed the Shelby bulb. The more rational-minded say it was because the carbon filament within was too expensive."

The Abercrombie & Fitch Effect: The Impact of Physical Dominance on Male Customers’ Status-Signaling Consumption - "male customers spend more money and purchase more expensive products than their female counterparts in the presence (vs. absence) of a physically dominant male employee. This effect has a more powerful impact on male customers who lack bodily markers of dominance (shorter stature or measures linked to lower levels of testosterone). When confronted with other physically dominant (vs. nondominant) men, these male customers are particularly prone to signal status through price or logo size. Their elevated feelings of intrasexual (male-to-male) competitiveness drive them to spend more money on status-signaling, but not functional, products and to prefer and draw larger brand logos"

CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work - "This year’s electronics expo promised a ‘better life’ and ‘better world.’ It instead offered a folding machine that can’t fold sweatshirts."

Police forced to review dog handler fitness test after female PC wins £15,000 damages - "The tribunal, which lasted for four days between October and November last year found that the test had a more demanding physical challenge for women and therefore suggested sexual discrimination. The judge said: ‘Where a standard test had negative impacts on members of a protected group, here women, then it either needs to be changed or objectively justified.’"
Maybe someone can sue if an incompetent dog handler causes harm. But by then there'll be real harm caused

The unkindest cut - Female genital cutting - "The latest row is about a paper published earlier this year in the Journal of Medical Ethics. The authors, gynaecologists Kavita Arora and Allan Jacobs, argue that some types of cutting, such as those common in Indonesia, do not harm physical functioning and should not be described as “mutilation”. Some, they say, are less invasive than male circumcision, which is near-ubiquitous in America (see article); others, though more severe, resemble labiaplasty, a surgical reduction of the vaginal lips that some Western women undergo for cosmetic reasons. Applying the “yuk factor” to all pricks and cuts is unhelpful, says Dr Arora. If even a few parents switched from major to minor forms of cutting, great suffering would be averted."

Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America? - "Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That's according to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income. Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it's worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%). It's not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty... The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse... It's as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives. Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault... Further contributing to the poverty problem is California's housing crisis... shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies... The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development... Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor... A Harvard University study found evidence that "higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants" in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. "Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating)," the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers. Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on "remaking the world." The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to "resist" Trump's agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a "sanctuary state" for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to "California values." All this only reinforces the rest of America's perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state's poor residents."

The fat in a perfect croissant: Physics Today: Vol 71, No 1

Scholars claim that statistics 'serve white racial interests' - "In the postmodern tradition, Gillborn and his team also argue that racism can be reinforced through numbers because they are social constructs."
The numbers showing that minorities are disadvantaged are also social constructs, and can be ignored

Asian students guilty of 'colorblind racism,' prof claims - "despite such efforts at integration, many international Asian students preferred to spend time with classmates of their own nationality, and that most didn’t express concern over the matter. While international students responded that self-segregation was a “preference,” Kwon was troubled by the notion, casting doubt over whether their choices are based on “past historical injustices” and “contemporary racism under normative whiteness.” In other words, Kwon’s theory suggests that “normative whiteness” in America actually causes Asian students to self-segregate... The fact that international Asian students didn’t see self-segregation as a problem was troubling for Kwon, who argued that their passivity can serve to “reinforce colorblind racism.”"

Islamic militant groups' recruits likely to be well educated, study finds - "Recruits to Islamic militant groups are likely to be well educated and relatively wealthy, with those aspiring to be suicide bombers among the best off, a study by the World Bank has found. The research, based on internal records from the Islamic State group, will reinforce the growing conclusion among specialists that there is no obvious link between poverty or educational levels and radicalisation... a report into Boko Haram, the Isis-affiliated Islamist group in Nigeria, found that female members of the brutal organisation were almost as likely as men to be deployed as fighters, challenging a widespread perception that women are mainly used as cooks, sex slaves and suicide bombers... Boko Haram had recruited young entrepreneurs and business owners by providing or promising capital and loans to boost their businesses"

Virgin’s decision to ban the Daily Mail on its trains is a PR disaster - "why stop at the Daily Mail? At present Virgin’s West Coast trains stock alternative titles, but presumably, if they step out of line they too will be struck off. Or next, Virgin’s cabin attendants and ticket inspectors disapprove of what we’re reading on our screens and we’re ordered to switch sites or to turn them off completely."
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