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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Links - 20th October 2016

Donald and Hillary - I've Had The Time of My Life - YouTube

Gary Johnson: My ignorance on foreign policy could be an asset as president - "For Gary Johnson, ignorance is not only bliss — it might also be a strength of his as commander in chief, the Libertarian presidential nominee said Tuesday. “The fact that somebody can dot the i’s and cross the t’s on a foreign leader or a geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm’s way,” Johnson said in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. The former New Mexico governor’s comments were in response to a question about his inability to name a single foreign leader he admires during a recent MSNBC town hall — a gaffe Johnson himself described as “another Aleppo moment.” That was a reference to yet another MSNBC gaffe: his unfamiliarity with the war-torn Syrian city in a “Morning Joe” interview in early September."

What one of the greatest civilizations in history tells us about Donald Trump - "Plato was a genius political philosopher but a shoddy political scientist, as it turns out. “Plato was a theorist — but he wasn’t much for testing his theories,” says Andrew Hanssen, a political economist at Clemson University in South Carolina, who studies Ancient Greece. “If Plato had been interested in collecting data, he would have found his view to be incorrect.” Were democratic societies in Ancient Greece doomed to degenerate into tyrannies? The evidence, actually, points to the contrary... The most prosperous democracies of the 4th century B.C. tended to have gone through a period of tyranny in the previous century. Moreover, city-states with a history of tyranny were much more likely to later end up as democracies. Fleck and Hanssen believe that tyranny may have been a “bridge to democracy” in Ancient Greece because early tyrants created economic opportunity and strengthened the middle class... There are lessons to be learned from the politics of Plato's time — just not from Plato himself. As Fleck and Hanssen have shown though their study of Ancient Greece, economic forces motivates politics in powerful ways. Societies fall under the sway of demagogues not because they suffer from an excess of democracy but because they suffer from an excess of suffering. In contrast, a healthy middle class was one reason that democratic regimes began to flourish during the 4th century B.C."

Volkswagen’s other speciality: Curry sausage - "He cannot imagine Volkswagen without the sausage, which is even listed as an official VW component with the product code 199 398 500 A... VW also launched a vegetarian version in 2010 and a vegan Currywurst in 2015."

Tricked into porn: Japanese actresses step out of the shadows - "Accusations that women were made to perform in sometimes brutal sex scenes, on film against their will, prompted the industry to issue an unprecedented apology and promise change. The surprise mea culpa followed the June arrest of three Tokyo talent agents accused of forcing a woman to appear in more than 100 pornographic videos... One woman cited in the report had repeated plastic surgeries to escape her past, while another decided told an NGO she planned to hire a lawyer to stop the distribution of movies she appeared in. But she hung herself before pushing on with the case"

This heatmap shows you where all of Singapore's taxis are

We Muslims can’t wait for the next bomb before we speak out - Telegraph - "Many Muslims remain reluctant to think seriously about the vision they have for their lives in Europe. They react to Western foreign policies, geopolitics, sectarian violence, disenfranchisement with corrupt Muslim governments, but they still remain unwilling to accept that nurturing an ethical framework for one’s life requires reflection and a very real commitment to social and intellectual pluralism. These are ethical issues, and they are unsettling. But only that which unsettles us helps us to grow. Our ethics must be based on a generosity towards others. There is no point in talking of human rights when it’s just your own human rights which concern you; there is no depth in talking of piety when your only concern is wearing the hijab; there is no traction in saying Islam is a religion of peace when the evidence for it is shrinking daily."

Judge says man must pay $30K in child support for kid who is not his - "He’d been made dad by default after an ex listed him as father when applying for welfare benefits. According to documents filed with the court, a process server claimed to have given Carnell Alexander, in person, a notice of hearing at a house he once lived at. It is something that wasn’t possible. Carnell wasn’t at that house on the date he was allegedly served. He was incarcerated for a crime he committed as a young man."

A Lunar New Year With a Name That’s a Matter of Opinion - The New York Times - " China said goodbye to the Year of the Horse on Wednesday, and on the first day of the new lunar year revelers welcomed the Year of the Sheep. Or maybe the goat. Or perhaps the ram. For English speakers, it is a can of worms... “In Western culture, things are subdivided into more and more detailed categories, and that’s why Europe has still not been unified after so many years,” he continued. “If you want to say whether it’s goat or sheep, then why not also ask whether it’s a ewe or a ram? But Chinese culture has an inclusive spirit and stresses harmony.”"

Two Kids Have Sex, The Boy Goes to Jail and Becomes a Sex Offender While the Girl Goes Free

'What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn't he know he will be killed?' Shocking hidden camera footage shows Jew being spat at, called a 'dog' and threatened as he walks the streets of Paris - "Posting the video on YouTube, he wrote: 'Welcome to Paris 2015, where soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution, and where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner.'.. tourist attractions were 'relatively calm' - 'but the further from them we walked, the more anxious I became over the hateful stares, the belligerent remarks, and the hostile body language,' he wrote. Boys shouted 'Viva Palestine' and as he passes a group of youths, one remarks: 'I'm joking, the dog will not eat you'... in Paris, Jews 'are barred from entering certain areas'. 'Is this what life is like for Paris' Jews?' he reports. 'Is this what a Jew goes through, day in and day out, while walking to work or using public transportation?'"

It’s not a sheep or a ram - it's the year of the goat, says leading Chinese linguist | South China Morning Post - "Ho said that while sheep had a long history in Chinese society, the country's culinary past suggested the goat as the most likely animal to have been included in the zodiac. "In ancient China, people ate six types of animals - horse, cow, goat, pig, dog and chicken. Goat is therefore included in the zodiac, too," Ho said. Goats also had a higher status among the six animals in Chinese society, as in the past, only rich people and the aristocracy could afford to eat them."

Feminist Mother Publicly Shames Her Teenage Boys—With The Help Of The Media - "That Allard’s boys won’t take up their mother’s fight makes them “part of the problem,” writes Allard. They’ve “dipped their toes into toxic masculinity,” she adds. Toxic masculinity is a favorite feminist term. It means the more masculine a man is, the more vile he is. Nice, huh? Fortunately for Allard’s sons, their mother’s efforts to indoctrinate them has failed. Unfortunately, her response was to publically shame them... One of Allard’s sons, the 16-year-old, is a known suicide risk—known to Allard and known to The Washington Post editors. And still they publically shamed him... She has been married and divorced three times—her exes, of course, were the problem; her biological father abandoned her; she has “divorced” her mother, who she says is “incapable of mothering anyone”; and she’s a victim of sexual abuse. Oh, and she was born with one hand, not two; and her adopted sister, who liked to kill animals, tried to kill her. The list goes on. How many of Allard’s stories are true (save for the physical impairment) as opposed to ploys for attention is anyone’s guess. What is clear is that Jody Allard is unwell. What is also clear is that somewhere along the line, feminism became her lifeline. That’s typically how happens: a childhood goes terribly wrong. As adults, these folks find solace in an ideology rooted in victimhood, one that promises to heal the wounds of the past. Rather than deal with problems on their own, they ban together with others who’ve been hurt and blame men and marriage for all things evil."

Disney Apologises For Inappropriate Moana Costume - "Disney has pulled its Polynesian demigod Maui costume from physical and online stores in the wake of a PR kerfuffle over the outfit a little over a month before Halloween and two months before the film’s release. The costume is a likeness of Dwayne Johnson’s character in the upcoming Disney animated feature “Moana” and consists of a dark skinned, long-sleeved bodysuit of tattoos with a leaf skirt... Disney has reportedly tried hard to ensure the film is diversity-appropriate with almost all of the voice actors playing Polynesians are actually actors of Polynesian descent"
Comments: "I live in Hawaii. Trust me, there's nobody here who gives a crap about this. Some of my native Hawaiian friends think it's pretty funny. This whole thing stems from nothing more than a bunch off PC police cry babies."
"One day I'd like to see a company simply say "we won't be apologising, nothing wrong was said or done." People aren't entitled to always get their way, entitlement is nothing but a delusion built on self centredness and laziness."
If they hadn't produced a Moana costume they'd have been accused of ignoring minorities and only representing white people
You can't win

Ban the Box? An Effort to Stop Discrimination May Actually Increase It - - "When we try to end discrimination without addressing the underlying causes of discriminatory behavior, our efforts may accomplish little — and may even backfire... Lacking the ability to discern criminal history, employers became much less likely to call back any apparently black applicant. They seemed to treat all black applicants now as if they might have a criminal past. These were big and disheartening effects: Banning the box extended discrimination to virtually all black applicants."

Three women accused of having sex with married men then blackmailing them in South Korea as part of 'honeypot' operation - "In each case, the women are said to have enticed the men to have sex, then threatened to report the encounter to police as rape if they failed to pay substantial sums."

Contributory negligence - "where a person suffers damage as a result partly of his own fault and partly the fault of another(s), a claim shall not be defeated by reason of the fault of the person suffering damage. Thus contributory negligence operates as a partial defence...
The burden of proof is on the defendant to demonstrate:
1. The claimant failed to take proper care in the circumstances for their own safety
2. The failure to take care was a contributory cause of the damage suffered...
the failure to take care must be a contributory cause to the damage suffered as oppose to the causing the incident that resulted in damage...
Common examples of what constitutes failing to take care for own safety include:
Failure to wear a seat belt
Failure to wear or fasten a crash helmet on a motorcycle
Exposing oneself to danger
Victim blaming!

80 per cent Singaporeans in Reach survey say the death penalty should be retained - "According to the survey, there is widespread general support for the death penalty system, with 57 per cent outrightly supporting death penalty and 80 per cent of residents generally supporting the notion. In addition, 23 per cent said "it depends" and 13 per cent opposed it. Those with higher education qualifications were more in support for the death penalty."
At this point, the liberals who usually champion education and democracy start making excuses

Blaming the victim again: Toronto once again tells pedestrians to not dress in black, but it's a lost cause
"Don't tell me to look before crossing the road. Tell drivers not to run me down." was meant to be satire. But Poe's Law.

Saudi Arabia's top cleric says Iranians are 'not Muslims' - "Saudi Arabia's top cleric has said Iranians are "not Muslims", a day after Iran's supreme leader denounced its management of the Hajj pilgrimage. Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, the grand mufti, said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's accusations were "not surprising". "They are the sons of the Magi," he said, referring to Zoroastrianism, a religion that once dominated Iran... Ayatollah Khamenei accused Saudis of "murdering" pilgrims caught up in a stampede at last year's Hajj. "The heartless and murderous Saudis locked up the injured with the dead in containers - instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst," he said, without providing evidence. "They murdered them." "The world of Islam, including Muslim governments and peoples, must familiarize themselves with the Saudi rulers and correctly understand their blasphemous, faithless, dependent and materialistic nature. They must not let those rulers escape responsibility for the crimes they have caused throughout the world of Islam," he added."
Saudis aren't Muslims, Iranians aren't Muslims, terrorists aren't Muslims. Who is a Muslim?

Hindi in Independent Singapore

"When Singapore gained independence in 1965, the constitution recognised four official languages — English and three languages representing each of the main 'races' in Singapore (i.e. Mandarin for the Chinese, Malay for the Malays and Tamil for Indians). The inclusion of Tamil and the exclusion of Hindi as the official language representing Indians was the outcome of specific demographic and political factors. Tamil speakers constituted the overwhelming majority of the Indian population in Singapore at the time of independence. Moreover, the politicisation of labour preceding Singapore's independence had also seen stewardship of the Indian community pass into the hands of those associated with Tamil labour and who were exposed to Tamil vernacular education. This "effectively placed community education in the hands of Tamil school masters [who were] fascinated by the Dravidian movement in India."' The popularity of that movement amongst Tamils, with its pro-Tamil and anti-Hindi agenda, also influenced the decision to reject Hindi as the representative language for Indians in Singapore.

The exclusion of Hindi as an official language had repercussions in language education. The bilingual policy, which was adopted in the national curriculum in 1966, required the study of two languages. English was advocated for due to economic reasons, along with one other official language to provide a 'cultural ballast‘ for the different races. However, the notion that the language representing the racial group necessarily provided a ‘cultural ballast‘ was questionable. Most Hindi speakers could not understand, speak or write Tamil. Worse still, the bilingual policy imposed a strain on children from these Hindi-speaking homes, who were now required to learn two Foreign languages. This in turn affected interest in learning their ‘mother tongue’. Glenda Michelle Singh informs us that:

... right up to 1965, Indian students were permitted to offer Hindi at ‘O’ arid ‘A’ level... After Independence in 1965 Hindi could not be offered as a subject in schools. Consequently, interest in studying it declined.”

To reduce their distress, the state permitted Indian students whose ‘mother tongue’ was not Tamil to study any of the three second languages on offer. Although students from Hindi-speaking homes could take up Malay — considered to be “easier to pick up than Tamil or Mandarin" and useful for inter-ethnic communication — or Mandarin — considered economically more useful than either Tamil or Malay — the policy did not address concerns that the national curriculum did not provide an avenue for these children to learn their own ‘mother tongue‘. Consequently, from the 1960s to the 1980s, children from Hindi-speaking homes could only learn their ‘mother tongue‘ through community-run schools. But there was little motivation to study Hindi given the negligible value of learning their ‘mother tongue‘ For educational and career advancement and the limited communicative domains for the language in Singapore. The only reason for youngsters to learn Hindi was emotional, to converse with monolingual elders in the Hindi-speaking community or for entertainment (i.e. to understand Hindi movies). Most youngsters could sustain such a level of understanding in the ‘mother tongue’ without attending formal classes. Consequently, community-based language institutions saw declining numbers. As early as the 1970s, the Netaji Hindi High School closed due to a lack of interest and support. While the DAV Hindi School persevered, students attending its Hindi class in the 1970s usually numbered less than 40, and attrition rates were high. Classes were run only once a week with a mix of children and adults from the Hindi—speaking community and adults from the Malay community (who had an interest in the language because of the popularity of Hindi cinema}. By the 1980s, Hindi language proficiency in the Hindi-speaking community had depreciated considerably. While statistics specific to Hindi are not available, Gopinathan posits that the percentage of Indians literate in ‘other’ (non-Tamil) Indian languages declined from 5.2% in 1970 to 1.7% in 1980.“ The Hindi language effectively stood at the brink of 'death’ in Singapore by the mid—1980s. Indeed, besides Hindi-speaking homes, the only domains where Hindi was spoken were the few institutions run by northern Indians, such as the Arya Samaj and the DAV School, the North Indian Hindu Association and the Shri Lakshrninarayan Temple.

The 1990s saw a remarkable turnaround in the position of the Hindi language in Singapore. The relaxation of migration controls for educated personnel provided a lifeline. Seen as necessary to maintain and renew Singapore‘s competitive edge following growing out-migration of talented Singaporeans and as an antidote to concerns of an ageing population, the migration of ‘foreign talent‘ was encouraged from the late 1980s. Chinese and Indian professionals were preferred due to the perception that they could easily assimilate with co-ethnic counterparts in Singapore. Consequently, a new group of first-generation Indian migrant professionals emerged. These migrants were, ethno—linguistically, more heterogeneous than the erstwhile Indian diaspora in Singapore, and many were literate in Hindi.

Even more than the migration of professionals, the position of Hindi strengthened because sustained lobbying by the non-Tamil-speaking Indian communities for the inclusion of their ‘mother tongue’ in the educational curriculum succeeded. Their arguments were twofold: a) that studying their ‘mother tongue‘ would enable children from these communities to understand their culture better; and b) that non-Tamil ‘Indian’ students were having difficulty in coping with Tamil, Chinese or Malay as a second language.” It was the latter argument that proved decisive. A high-level task force investigating Indian underachievement in education confirmed the following:

The second language grades obtained by non-Tamil Indian students, who are unable to take their mother tongue for the purpose, have weakened their overall performance in primary school examinations. The Indian pass rate in second language at ‘O’ levels, at 85% in 1990, also falls short of the Chinese pass rate of 94%. This is despite the Indian pass rate in Tamil [TL2] being on par with Chinese students‘ performance, and reflects the special weakness of non-Tamil Indian students in the second language.

In 1990, the Ministry of Education, as part of wider reforms in second language study, recognised five non-Tamil Indian languages (i.e. Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu and Gujarati) at 'O' level, and extended recognition for these subjects in 1991, at 'AO' levels in ‘1992 and at ‘N’ level and at PSLE level in 1994. However, unlike Singapore's official languages, the government provided limited support for education in these languages (i.e. school premises could be used for lessons, but provision for education in these languages would be dependent on financial support and the initiative of the respective communities). Moreover, unlike the four official languages, government campaigns and official media would neither use nor promote these languages.

Since this momentous decision, the number of students learning Hindi in Singapore has risen dramatically. Prior to recognition in the curriculum, less than 50 students were studying the language. By 2000, the number crossed to over 3000 students, and in 2015, the number taking Hindi as part of the national curriculum exceeded 6500 (from K1 to ‘A’ levels). This figure does not include students learning Hindi at International Schools. Indeed, the number of students taking Hindi is now more than double the combined total of all the other non-Tamil Indian language (i.e. Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu and Gujarati) students in Singapore schools. Hindi language is also offered at the tertiary level, and since its introduction, it has drawn more students than any other Indian language offered by the Centre of Language Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Several factors account for the sharp increase in the number of students learning Hindi. This is not just because of migrant professionals from the ‘Hindi heartland’, who comprise a minority of those emigrating from India, but rather due to the dominant position of Hindi in India. This has resulted in a diverse group — not constrained to those who originate from Hindi-speaking regions in India — encouraging their children to learn the language. While it may be that their children have taken up Hindi because their 'mother tongue’ is not available in the curriculum (e.g. Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Malayalee, Telugu, etc), the turn to Hindi is also reflective of their incipient position in Singapore. Since many new migrants view Singapore as a temporary stop, and may consider returning to India, their choice of language is influenced by the position of Hindi in India, where as the federal union official language, it is compulsory to learn Hindi in primary school. Consequently, even when the option of learning their ‘mother tongue’ is available (i.e. Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali and Urdu), many have chosen to learn Hindi as a second language.

Beyond changes in the curriculum, the position of Hindi in Singapore has been buttressed by the popularity of transnational Hindi media. The number of cinemas screening Hindi films has increased, a return to strength after the decline in the 1980s when the advent of video cassette recorders led to the closure of several halls. Their success is intrinsically connected to the tremendous growth of the Indian immigrant population, for whom watching a Hindi movie at the cinema remains a cherished social activity. A Hindi-speaking informant captures the current popularity of Hindi cinema-going in Singapore through a personal anecdote:

ln September 2009, my wife and l decided to watch a Hindi movie at Jade Cineplex. As we nuzzled through the crowd of Indian migrant professionals to buy our tickets, we found that not only was the screening at 8pm fully booked, so was the next show at 11.45. Desperately we tried to locate another cinema hall that was screening that movie and discovered that many others cinema that traditionally never showed [sic.] Hindi movies were screening [the movie]. We managed to get tickets for the midnight show at another Cineplex, but even that show was packed so that by that time of our arrival, we were let! only with front row seats. After another such incident, we have reconciled to paying extra for advance tickets.

The advent of cable TV in Singapore has added another layer of Hindi entertainment available in Singapore. Whereas Hindi-speakers from the 1960s to the 1980s could only watch the once-weekly Hindi movie on the national channel dedicated to Indians, viewers can now subscribe to more than 10 Hindi channels via cable TV. A Hindi radio station, Masti 96.3 FM, has, since 2007, been airing at a 3-hour primetime slot on Singapore's dedicated international language radio channel. In the popular culture scene, Singapore has, since the 2000s, been a choice location for Hindi cinema award ceremonies and other Hindi cultural productions, including dramatic performances and musicals, which nearly always draw packed audiences. Hindi songs are now common fayre (sic) in top discotheques. Several estates on the eastern coastline of Singapore now have large Hindi-speaking populations, and these have become domains where the language is heavily utilised. A similar scenario is evident in certain knowledge-based industries, such as the information technology sector. Possibly the most telling reflection of the position of Hindi in contemporary Singapore is the fact that even in shared public spaces — be it at hawker centres, shopping malls, playgrounds or schools — finding Indians conversing in Hindi is no longer cause for surprise."

--- 'Rising from the Ashes': The Development of Hindi in Independent Singapore in 50 Years of Indian Community in Singapore / Rajesh Rai

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Links - 12th October 2016

Donald Trump threatens to jail Hillary Clinton in second presidential debate - "Trump, embracing the spirit of the “lock her up” mob chants at his rallies, threatened: “If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation – there has never been so many lies and so much deception,” he threatened. Clinton said it was “awfully good” that someone with the temperament of Trump was not in charge of the law in the country, provoking another Trump jab: “Because you’d be in jail.”"
If saying you want your political opponent to be investigated means you're threatening to put him in jail, perhaps we should make politicians immune from prosecution

On Rape, Liberals Don't 'Believe the Victim' If It's Juanita Broaddrick - "In the wake of the publication of a major interview with Juanita Broaddrick, a lot of left-leaning writers are soberly re-examining her decades' old rape accusation against Bill Clinton—which seems to grow less plausible (or perhaps less important) in their eyes, the more it threatens Hillary Clinton's presidential bid... We need not try to imagine how left-leaning feminist writers would respond if someone else described an alleged rape survivor as sounding "irrational." People like Cathy Young, Richard Bradley, and me have been excoriated by sites like Wonkette, Jezebel, and Feministing for daring to scrutinize self-described victims... "Believe the victims," is the mantra of the feminist-left. It was even Hillary Clinton's position on sexual assault accusations—at least until people pointed out the irony of Hillary vowing to believe all women while very specifically disbelieving those who had accused her husband. Last February, after Broaddrick sent a tweet accusing Hillary of trying to silence her, the Clinton campaign deleted the following sentence from its website: "You have the right to be believed, and we're with you.""

Amused that the Flying Dutchman has separate casts: Asian and International

It is about being respectful to my religion Storm of controversy over sign banning Muslim staff from washing their feet in city office public toilet before their daily prayers - "Paul Culbi from Jamesons, the strata managers of the building, said the cartoon was 'racist, defamatory and a breach of owner corporation guidelines'. 'I would like to say that this racist item is against guidelines and I will be making a report to the owners,' he said. 'Apart from being a breach of guidelines to place anything up like that without owners' permission, it is racist. 'I have questioned the caretaker who doesn't know anything about it.'"

Admit It: These Terrorists Are Muslims - "The atrocious attack in Orlando, Florida, was an act of ISIS-inspired jihadist terrorism that targeted gays. It must concern us all... So far do many of us liberals go in denying the problem, that we’re happy to stigmatize other vulnerable minorities in the process. “He was not a Muslim, he was nothing but a mad lunatic,” we cry in exasperation. As if those with mental health issues are somehow automatically predisposed to murder, or immune to manipulation and exploitation by cynical Islamists and jihadists. Then there’s that other old tactic to try and avoid discussing the Islamist ideology. “He wasn’t from the Muslim community,” we proclaim. “He was acting in isolation, a lone wolf.” Apart from the fact that research highlights how incredibly rare it is for jihadists to act in a vacuum, we need look no further than the Orlando attacker Omar Mateen’s father, who praised the Taliban as “warriors” to realize this avoidance tactic for what it is. Clearly Omar Mateen had moved in an atmosphere that glorified jihadist ideology. “But it must be foreign policy in Afghanistan,” we naively protest... what did gays in the Pulse nightclub have to do with any of that? Or the gays that ISIS regularly throws off the tallest buildings in Syria, for that matter?... In the long run, only reducing the local appeal of this ideology will solve the problem. Whereas Islam today requires reform, the Islamist ideology must be intellectually terminated. To do so requires first acknowledging it exists, isolating it from Muslims, devising a strategy to challenge it, and then backing the voices that do... the danger of not doing so is twofold. Within the Muslim context, it is a betrayal of those liberal reforming Muslims who risk everything daily... we deprive them of the lexicon to deploy against those who are attempting to silence their progressive efforts within their own communities. We surrender their identity of Islam to the extremists. The second danger is in the non-Muslim context. What happens if we don’t name the Islamist ideology and distinguish it from Islam? We leave a void for the vast majority of Americans—who are unaware of the nuances in this debate—to be filled by Donald Trump and the Populist Right"
One claim is that naming the problem will do nothing to solve it. Yet somehow we need to name "white male privilege"

Revealed: How a homesick wife nearly blew it for the British double agent who fooled Hitler - "a tearful Mrs Pujol was taken blindfolded to MI5's Camp 020 interrogation centre near Ham Common, west London, where her husband was brought before her, unshaven and dressed in camp clothing. In an emotional reunion, she swore to him she had never meant to carry out her threat to go to the embassy and had simply wanted her request to to return home to be taken seriously. "She promised that if only he was released from prison, she would help him in every way to continue his work with even greater zeal than before," Mr Harris noted. "She left Camp 020 more composed, but still weeping.""

A Chart That Says the War on Drugs Isn't Working - "while the blue illicit drug addiction rate line has remained relatively steady at about 1.3 percent, the green line for drug control spending has skyrocketed. The increased spending did not correlate to lower addiction rates. "Drug use and abuse exists on a spectrum and as a society we must accept that some portion of the population will be addicted to drugs even if we don’t like it," Groff says."
This supports the theory that drug addiction is due not to the drug but the individual's social circumstances

India police detain pigeon with threatening note addressed to PM Narendra Modi

Sir Neville Marriner obituary - "On the strength of what he had achieved by his early 30s, Sir Neville Marriner, who has died aged 92, would have been remembered as a decent orchestral and chamber music violinist. But at 34 he made a brilliant career move that led to his becoming one of the world’s best-known conductors. His chamber orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, not only inaugurated a fashion for long-winded ensemble titles, but shot straight to the top of its class, beating the Germans and Italians at their own game. To achieve this feat in Britain, a land not noted for its string playing, was extraordinary."

I fell for a Frenchman, but didn’t speak the language - "As I got to know French, I got to know Olivier. I began to appreciate his subtlety, his restraint, his aversion to hyperbole or overpromise. If he’d taken off a pair of gloves, I’d put on prescription glasses"

New churches or temples not allowed - "The couple told us local Christians were allowed to hold low-key Christmas celebrations inside the churches or at homes, but not outdoors or at a shopping mall. Christmas decorations and sending greeting cards are seen as offensive to Muslims and against the country’s law. Non-Muslims are prohibited by law to preach to Muslims or atheists... The Brunei government has also listed 19 terms for the exclusive use of Muslims only, and Christians are not allowed to use the Malay version of the Bible... no permits for the construction of new Chinese temples will be issued by the government. In the meantime, a Bruneian Muslim told Sin Chew Daily they were also not allowed to celebrate Valentine’s Day and many youngsters have the wrong impression that Valentine’s is a Christian festival. In addition, Muslim parents are banned from entrusting their children into the care of non-Muslim families."

Japan sushi chain stung by 'wasabi terrorism' claims - "A Japanese sushi chain is being accused of "wasabi terrorism" after it admitted to heaping excess dollops of the pungent root into foreign customers' food. Osaka-based Ichibazushi issued an apology on its website Sunday (Oct 2), owning up to the charges but denying discrimination was at play... The story was picked up by national media which pointed to comments online complaining of so-called "wasabi terrorism" - and racism. "That is no apology; it's an excuse. What they did was a hate crime," @sakeuchi317 wrote on Twitter."

Archaeologist Finds Ancient Roman Coins in 12th-Century Japanese Castle - "This isn't the first time that ancient Roman artifacts have been found in Japan. As the AFP reported back in 2012, glass jewelry believed to have Roman origins was uncovered in a Japanese tomb."

Our IQs have never been higher – but it hasn’t made us smart - "as an adult your genes can predict about 80% of the differences between you and the next person... reading the schematic London Underground map may have been tough for someone in the 1900s who was used to seeing the world more literally, Flynn says. This progression has forced us to think in hierarchies and symbols, to learn how to follow rules and draw analogies – and it is now so widespread that we forget the cognitive leaps it requires... The Flynn Effect seems to predict a country’s rising economic performance... Flynn’s analysis shows that even a few IQ points can determine your path in life. For a fairly bright kid entering university in America, for instance, living in a slightly more academic home could push their score from 500 to 566 on the SAT exams, for instance – the difference between a place at a prestigious or more mediocre college... Despite the gains in IQ, he worries that we aren’t engaging our minds effectively on the issues that matter. “I’m not being gloomy but actually the major intellectual thing that disturbs me is that young people like you are reading less history and less serious novels than you used to”

Beyond the Flynn effect: new myths about race, family and IQ? - "a sentence from his new book is nagging away at me. American blacks, it says, “come from a cognitively restricted subculture”... “It’s whites, not blacks, who complain,” he says. “Blacks know the score. Facts are facts.” On recorded IQ tests, he says, African Americans have persistently lagged behind [pdf] most other ethnicities in America [pdf] (including, according to some commentators, black immigrants from, for example, the Caribbean) and this cannot be explained by the Flynn effect since, as he puts it, “blacks don’t live in a time warp”. He then tells what sounds like a version of those dodgy jokes about the Irishman, the Scotsman and the Englishman. Except this isn’t a joke. “Go to the American suburbs one evening,” says Flynn, “and find three professors. The Chinese professor’s kids immediately do their homework. The Jewish professor’s kids have to be yelled at. The black professor says: ‘Why don’t we go out and shoot a few baskets?’” As I emit a liberal gasp, he continues: “The parenting is worse in black homes, even when you equate them for socio-economic status. In the late 1970s, an experiment took 46 black adoptees and gave half to black professional families and half to white professionals with all the mothers having 16 years of education. When their IQs were tested at eight-and-a-half, the white-raised kids were 13.5 IQ points ahead. The mothers were asked to do problem-solving with their children. Universally, the blacks were impatient, the whites encouraging. Immediate achievement is rewarded in black subculture but not long-term achievement where you have to forgo immediate gratification.” He tells me of research showing that “when American troops occupied Germany at the end of the second world war, black soldiers left behind half-black children and white soldiers left behind all-white. By 11, the two groups had identical average IQs. In Germany, there was no black subculture.”"

Gene Expression: James Watson Tells the Inconvenient Truth: Faces the Consequences - "James Watson implied a belief that the uniquely low intelligence of both continental Africans and African-Americans are probably related to familiar genetic causes. This belief is deemed unacceptable to express in public, even in most academic contexts, or hold in private. This is despite the fact that the research evidence in support of this position is stronger than the research evidence that contradicts it. Thus even top scientists like Watson are punished for holding beliefs that are more scientific and logical, while scientists that hold to less scientific beliefs and illogical arguments are rewarded. This is a rot on the soul of science... Watson was thinking like a scientist. Which is exactly why he was punished. The moral laws of our society dictate that we are not allowed to think scientifically about some issues. Especially not in public."

Man fined 10,000 yuan for illegally reprinting ancient erotic novel 'The Plum in the Golden Vase' - "Thanks to its explicit descriptions of sex, it still remains pretty controversial in China, even after more than 400 years in publication, and has been partially-banned by Beijing. Written during the late Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644 C.E.), first circulated around 1596, under the pseudonym Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (The Scoffing Scholar of Lanling), it can still be bought in its abridged format, published in 1983. Though if you were to buy that version, you would be missing out on over 19,000 characters conveniently removed due to too much sexiness. Despite China easing the ban in 1991, the complete version is only available to scholars and cadres of a certain level."

The Ignorance of "Cultural Appropriation"

William Harvey - Today I met the worst racist of this project....

"Today I met the worst racist of this project.

"People should learn to appreciate their own cultures," the young Latina facilitator at SOAWatch Encuentro at the Border was saying at the other end of the hotel lobby in Nogales, Arizona, just 1 mile from the Mexican border. I hurried up to her to ask what she meant.

"White people need to stick with their own stuff," she said. I cringed at the racist inflection she gave to "white people."

"Organize your own people, don't try to organize us. Learn to appreciate your own culture instead of taking things from our cultures and pretending they're your own," she continued.

"So you're saying white people shouldn't appreciate things from other cultures?" I asked.

"No, that's not what I'm saying," she said. Hm, it sure sounded like it. She pointed at my camera bag. "For instance, your bag appropriates Colombian culture."

"I got it in the Philippines," I told her. She was flustered for a second.

"Well, it's important to know the context for it."

"But let's use my bag as an example," I said. "I went to the Philippines. I bought it. I paid a fair price. What more should I have done?" She didn't have an answer for me.

I told her that I'm a classical musician and she brightened. "Yes, white people should listen to classical music." We agreed, but for the wrong reasons. She seems to think that classical music is the *only* music white people can listen to without being racist.

She continued, "But it's wrong to, say, take an orchestra and try to teach African-American communities and tell them that your music is great."

"That's exactly what I do for a living," I said. That made her uncomfortable.

"I'm not saying it's not great, but our music is also great." I wasn't sure who she meant by "our," since she's Latina, not black.

"You don't have to divide people like that," I said. "Classical music can come from anywhere. If by 'our' you mean Latin America, what about Revueltas, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos?"

She must have recognized the names, for she said, "Oh, but they were trained in music that came from Europe." Thus, she denigrated the experience of any "person of color" who happens to value anything a white person created...minutes after saying that "white people should stick to white stuff." Is she advocating that I become a white nationalist?

For the last time: Cultural. Appropriation. Does. Not. Exist. You can put two words together and give them a definition, but that does NOT obligate anyone else to accept your new term as an intellectually valid concept. I can come up with something called "cultural amortization" but that doesn't mean I have a right to expect everyone to believe it is a real thing that exists.

Cultures have learned from and borrowed from one another since the beginning of human civilization. You know what? The reason the racist Latina facilitator confused my bag for a Colombian one is that when both Colombia and the Philippines were part of the Spanish Empire for 3 centuries, there's a chance that cultural exchange took place, and some Filipino artisan saw a Colombian design that he/she liked, or vice versa. To be clear: a person of color may have borrowed from a person of color. It's fine.

White Americans like yoga, and that's a good thing.

Afghans like Schubert, and that's a good thing.

Create something great, no matter your race, and the world will value you. Ask Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Uwem Akpan. There are universal values and objective truths that anyone of any race can uncover, and anyone of any race can marvel at the uncoverer's stunning temerity in revealing the coruscating brilliance of these truths to our frail and timid eyes.

No, I will not "stick to white people stuff." No, I will not become a white nationalist, as today's Social-Justice-Warrior, Regressive-Left "liberals" seem to want. I will continue to value music, art, literature, film, and food from all over the world, and I will continued to believe that we are all human, and there is a spark of divinity in each of us."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On Trump Supporters and Bashers

"It seems that people who constantly bash Trump don't seem to understand that most of the people who support Trump actually acknowledges that Trump has serious personal flaws, in fact his personal flaws are actually part of his strength in his campaign; his supporters don't just see him as a politician, they see him as as one them, the average guy who's not an angel and is just as flawed as everyone else. That's why even when he says dumb and inappropriate things in public, his supporters don't care, because in their minds it's like, "Yeah that sounds kinda dumb, but I know a few friends who'd say that, also I may have said something like that one time or another, so who am I to judge."

Meanwhile, the people who constantly bash Trump for even the pettiest of things look and sound like moral hypocrites; it's one thing to attack Trump on some of his policies and positions, like his idea that global warming is a hoax, or his pro-life stance, those are actually valid criticisms of him, yet 90% of the the time, people attack him for things that are so small and petty, like what he wears, how he eats, what he says to his family and friends, etc. It makes whoever that criticizes him by largely these basis alone look like self-righteous holier-than-thous sitting on a high horse as if they haven't done a single bad thing in their lives. It's made even worse that these people are so critical of Trump in every possible way, yet seem to just give Hillary a pass for her own sins, which is arguably just as bad if not worse, which makes it obvious that their hatred of Trump is largely driven by the constant bombardment of anti-Trump material from the maiinstream media as well as Web 2.0 gatekeepers like Facebook and Reddit and other social networking and aggregation websites."


Monday, October 10, 2016

Transcript of Opening Remarks at Second Presidential Debate

I couldn't find this anywhere, so I decided to transcribe it myself.

"Good evening, and welcome to Washington University in St Louis.

Long years ago, this nation was founded on the grand promise, later memorialised by President Lincoln. America will create a true government of the people, by the people, for the people.

This great democratic experiment has since spread like wildfire to much of the world, sometimes raging but more often smouldering, including to Singapore, my home.

Today, too many democratic governments are being undermined by those who have a much different vision of the world, of their power, and of their responsibilities to their citizens.

This debate provides a momentous occasion to show that while citizens may disagree on fervently on issues, they agree that it is important to stay engaged in the democratic process if Lincoln's words have any meaning at all.

Come November 8, citizens across this nation will cast their ballots and show the world that democracy is an ideal burnt brightly in the dark.

On behalf of the student body, I am proud of Washington University for hosting this debate and for giving voice to competing ideas at the core of democracy.

Thank You."

--- Singapore student Kenneth Sng, Student Union president of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri

"those who have a much different vision of the world, of their power, and of their responsibilities to their citizens", in contrast to government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Hmm, that sounds really familiar...

Comments on the ST Facebook:

"Wow awesome, now the elephant in the room. Isn't it funny that we celebrate when one of our own gives the speech for the opening remarks for the US presidential debate but at the same time not have any political debates of our own?"

"Eh don't anyhow say later sedition act"

"What happen if a foreign student making a speech for Singapore's political event? I think a lot of netizens will say:huh?why ft ah? They can represent Singapore meh? How come a ft can talk on behalf of Singaporean...blah blah blah. Big country is really different. They can accept foreign talent all over the world"

"Why is a foreigner delivering a speech for something that is not for his own nation? I'd not like a foreigner interfering in our own affairs and vice versa"

"I get a feeling...the Chinese in China are not going to like this..."

Links - 10th October 2016

How being alone may be the key to rest - "Reading came out as the clear winner, followed by being in the natural environment, being on your own, listening to music and doing nothing in particular. What is striking is that all these are activities often done alone."

A bunch of guys had 200 packets of McDonald’s curry sauce so they cooked a pot of curry

Mystery Soda Machine – Seattle, Washington | Atlas Obscura - "A contraption out of time, Seattle's Mystery Soda Machine dispenses cans of sugary pop for just 75 cents, and while no one knows who stocks this aging landmark, the real question is what it will spit out when the "Mystery" button is pressed."
Americans create and then obsess over really interesting things. Probably because there isn't much there otherwise

Want to Raise Successful Daughters? Science Says Nag the Heck Out of Them

How Indonesia Beat Back Terrorism - "The story of the Indonesian government’s campaign against extremism, Tepperman told me, is the story of a nation “getting it right at one particular moment in time,” through luck as much as skill and improvisation as much as strategy—and often merely by taking more steps forward than back. It’s a story, in other words, of imperfect and impermanent fixes."

Malaysian student makes possible breakthrough in war on superbugs - "A 25-year-old Malaysian studying at Melbourne University has made a game-changing discovery in medicine on a possible alternative to antibiotics. Reports said that Shu Lam, who’s a PhD candidate at the Australian varsity, has developed a chain of star-shaped polymer molecules that can kill superbugs, which are bacteria resistant to antibiotics, after three-and-a-half years of research during her thesis work. The chain of star-shaped polymers, which are large molecules, can reportedly kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria without harming healthy cells."

How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting - "The ballpoint’s universal success has changed how most people experience ink. Its thicker ink was less likely to leak than that of its predecessors. For most purposes, this was a win—no more ink-stained shirts, no need for those stereotypically geeky pocket protectors. However, thicker ink also changes the physical experience of writing, not necessarily all for the better."

Is this the world's most modern family? Man who used to be a woman gives birth to a baby by woman who used to be a man - "They initially announced the news of their pregnancy online, having conceived naturally as either of them have undergone lower-body surgery"
It's amazing what you can do when you redefine words

Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them - "If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated. These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989... His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been... Trump is that quintessentially American figure, hated by intellectuals on both sides of the aisle and on the other side of the Atlantic, who doesn’t start with a “plan,” but rather gets himself in the thick of things and then moves outward to a workable idea—not a “principled” one—that can address the problem at hand, but which goes no further. That’s what American businessmen and women do. (And, if popular culture is a reliable guide to America, it is what Han Solo always does in Star Wars movies.) We would do well not to forget that the only school of philosophy developed in America has been Pragmatism. This second meaning of being an anti-ideas candidate is consonant with it."

Trudeau Government's First Months Were Least Productive In Decades - "“For a government that really talks about real change, and high ambition ... there hasn’t been much change. They haven’t done a heck of a lot,” said Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, who flagged the trend to The Huffington Post Canada. The Liberals’ “grandiose” electoral promises regarding climate change, health care, and the national security bill, C-51, have been delayed or sent off for further consultations, the Ontario MP noted. Decisions on Canada Post home delivery, defence spending, and the National Energy Board have also been put off. “We have a prime minister who is almost obsessed with constant engagement with media but very disinterested with the nitty gritty of governing,” said O’Toole, a probable Conservative leadership contender."
Less PR, more governing

Arizona child sexual abuse law guts due process for parents and caregivers. - "The Arizona Supreme Court issued a stunning and horrifying decision on Tuesday, interpreting a state law to criminalize any contact between an adult and a child’s genitals. According to the court, the law’s sweep encompasses wholly innocent conduct, such as changing a diaper or bathing a baby. As the stinging dissent notes, “parents and other caregivers” in the state are now considered to be “child molesters or sex abusers under Arizona law.” Those convicted under the statute may be imprisoned for five years."

Sichuan cuisine and the red hot secret about globalisation - "Many cuisines we think of as “traditional” are actually modern inventions. Toro sushi, a delicacy consumed by millions around the world, is another case in point. Toro – the choicest cuts from bluefin tuna – is often the most prized piece on a sushi platter. But before the invention of the refrigerator – first designed to store butter – tuna was avoided by discerning diners. By the time fishing boats returned from days-long voyages, their red-fleshed tuna were starting to go off. Japanese at the time preferred delicate white-flesh snappers and breams for their sweetness and freshness... We are what we eat, so goes the saying. People tend to think of globalisation as something that happened in our lifetime. The truth is we have been living in a globalised world for the past 500 years. Take away tomato, potato, maize, chilli, coffee and all things “foreign” from your menu; you probably would struggle to find an “authentic” local dish in your neighbourhood. From Beijing to Berlin, there is a backlash against globalisation. Revering tradition is in vogue. This is understandable but take it with a pinch of salt. Look around, everything you hold dear – the food you love, the music you enjoy or the book you read – bears the mark of globalisation. We need a better form of globalisation. But nobody can put the genie back."

Man arrested for speeding in DeLorean at 88mph - "Nigel Mills, 55, who paid £22,000 for his cult vehicle, denied that he had been attempting to break the space-time continuum in his efforts"

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was the myth we needed to save our oceans. - "

How we frame a problem colors how we think about solving it. (Or how not to solve it: If the Great Pacific Garbage Patch really were something like a floating landfill, then we might be wise to leave it where it lies. Would it really make sense to haul that garbage back to terra firma, just so we can dump it in a different concentrated landfill?) But a shift from plastic soup to plastic smog also undermines the metaphor that made the garbage patch compelling. If it’s just another form of invisible pollution, like the stuff that leads to global warming, then the problem starts to seem blurry and intractable."
The Noble Lie is okay?

Grand Strategy 1337–1338 - Trial by Battle: The Hundred Years War - "In April 1337, as the main protagonists were exchanging declarations of war, Benedict told Philip VI plainly that the mood in Germany was one of ‘irritation approaching desperation’ and that an overt alliance between the Empire and England was likely to follow. The English King’s preferred course would have been an alliance with Flanders. The county, with its long coastline on the North Sea and along the great north European estuaries, and its open border with France, was ideally situated for his purposes. Moreover, as one of his advisers put it, Flanders was to France what Scotland was to England"

Daniel Drew - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Daniel Drew left a controversial legacy behind. At the zenith of his career as a financier, when his personal fortune was estimated at $13 million and he was respectfully called "Uncle Daniel" on Wall Street, he was treated with admiration. After his fortunes changed, he was vilified by newspapers, which wrote that Drew "has been one of the curses of the market for years past. If he has now received such a blow as will result in his being driven from the Street altogether, no one will be sorry for him," and "he holds the honest people of the world to be a pack of fools."

Bride-to-be fined RM25k for providing unregistered dental service - "Nurul Nadzirah admitted to offering the service, despite not having any qualification or professional training in dental medicine. She said she learned how to perform the procedure to fix the braces by watching YouTube and through friends."
Malaysia Boleh!

Italy's Supreme Court rules public masturbation not a crime - "Italy's highest court has ruled that masturbation in public is not a crime, as long as it is not conducted in the presence of minors"

SJW Historian Triggered by 'Imperialist' M&S Pie - "An empire pie is a well-established, Indian-themed variant of shepherd’s pie, which includes spices and mango chutney instead of gravy."

The lure of the disaster movie - "Audience anxieties may fuel demand for disaster pictures but film industry economics have played a role in bringing about the current glut. With Hollywood’s focus on the overseas market, studio executives are constantly looking for films that are easy to export. Disaster films neatly fit the bill – they’re visual spectacles understandable in any language"

Gawker - Timeline - "The Jungle Book is just as drenched with racism and colonialism as anything else Kipling wrote on the subject."
Comments: "Yeah fuck Kipling for not having enough trans pansexual disabled characters. It's like he was writing this shit during the height of English Imperialism or something."
"I was looking for the connection between Kipling's racism and the actual content of the Jungle Book. Missed it."
"Uh Mowgli is superior to the animals uh that's a parallel to Britain and the rest of the world, obviously."
"Why must we cast aside great works of literature that endure to this day for not inhabiting a subjective modern consciousness?"
"Yeah, lets burn his books like every other progressive society in history has dealt with problematic literature...The Nazis...The Inquisition....oh, wait...."
"Of course it can't possibly measure up to the amazing literature being produced at Gawker. One day historians will study only three things: Shakespeare, the Bible, and Gawker."

The Human Journey: 1493, How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth - "there was another New World product that helped feed the growing masses of industrial Europe, guano, the excrement of birds. For millions of years the cold sea currents along the west coast of South America had brought up nutrients from the bottom that fed vast shoals of fish. Great flocks of seabirds swooped on them and bred on islands near the coast; the Chincha islands they are called. Bare islands where no people lived, for their vast cliffs are made of pure guano."

Why they Put Potatoes on Frederick the Great’s Grave - "In addition to a militaristic bent, Frederick Wilhelm also aimed to inject a decent work ethic into Prussia. He used to wander around Berlin with a cane beating people he thought were acting lazy. He would deliver his rallying cry, “Prussia needs you– now!” along with a sharp whack to the head. Then lecture the aggrieved about how they ought to be knitting, or that young men should be marching or taking guns apart and putting them back together instead of sitting around playing cards. If a minister spent more than an hour preaching on Sunday it was considered excessive and the preacher was fined. On one occasion a peasant saw him and ran the opposite direction, so Frederick Wilhelm chased him down and asked why he had run away. When the man replied he was afraid of the king, Frederick Wilhelm shouted “You should love me!” and proceeded to beat him senseless with a cane. On top of his belief that the whole of Prussia should be in a constant state of workaholism, Frederick Wilhelm was immensely frugal to the point of selling the royal yacht and firing all of his court musicians. Sometimes, if he thought a woman was dressed too extravagantly on the street, he would rip off her clothing. For kicks he wrote a manual for literally every single civil servant in Prussia, detailing what their exact duties were. Fun guy."

screensaver - How can I prevent a policy-enforced screen lock in Windows 7? - Super User - "If Windows Media Player is still installed, you can play a video on loop and minimize it (the sample "Wildlife" videos work fine for this). By default, as long as a video is playing, the screen won't lock."

On the use of the history (and use) of the term "Political Correctness"

"Historical development of the terms Political Correctness and Political Correct (sic)

According to Cameron (Greil 1998:7) the term political correctness as a noun first appeared in the eighties in the course of the debate about Political Correctness in the USA, especially on the American Universities. Until then the adjective politically correct was mainly used. The distinction of those terms is of importance since it reveals the development of an adjective that expresses and judges the behaviour of an individual or a group to a noun that refers to an existing phenomenon. Political Correctness is perceived by the American public as a movement and a social phenomenon located on university campuses and political or cultural institutions such as feminist, racist or leftist organizations.

The term “politically incorrect" was suggested to have derived from Marxist- Leninist vocabulary in order to describe the appropriate party line commonly referred to as the “correct line”. According to Perry (Cameron 1995: 126) the phrase was adopted from the translation of Mao Tse —Tung's Red Book. Regardless of the different sources the term politically correct can in this context be understood as conformity to official policy.

In the late sixties and seventies the term was taken up again in the course of reform and Civil Rights movements by American New Left activists, Afro-Americans and feminist groups. It was also understood as insider expression with the function to satirize the group’s own tendency towards humourless, rigid and orthodox Right party line. The term was therefore often used with a sarcastic and an ironic meaning by Lefts while conservative opponents of PC used it with a pejorative connotation.

During the late eighties, the term political correctness and his keywords have according to Cameron (1995) underlain a discursive drift meaning that it begins to drift away from its earlier meaning since it has been taken up in the mass media. At the beginning debate in the USA around 1987 the term was used in connection with particular issues concerning university curricula, speech codes and affirmative actions. However, it was brought up in the media rather detached from its present context and thus the public developed a very general idea of the term political correctness. While those political groups who were directly engaged in the debate related concrete ideas, objectives and measures like speech regulations to the issue, large parts of the public who were not actively involved in the debate related the term rather to the creation of neologisms whose meaning has to be concluded from the context.

Consequently, the term has due to the process of discursive drift and the massive public perception of the phenomenon developed to a catchword or slogan attracting public and media attention and which can be used in nearly every context.


It is nearly impossible to give an exact definition of the terms “political correctness" and its adjective “politically correct” since they were and are still used in many different contexts and as it had been already explained in the previous chapter it had been subject to discursive drift.

However, there is no doubt that political correctness refers to the political movement and phenomenon, which began in the USA, with the aim to enforce a set of ideologies and views on gender, race and other minorities. Political correctness refers to language and ideas that may cause offence to some identity groups like women and aims at giving preferential treatment to members of those social groups in schools and universities. The reformation of language is within the political correctness debate the central topic with the aim to undermine sexist or racist expressions either by speech codes or by replacing words, which are on the index, by new ones.

Consequently, a number of neologisms have developed that are simply grotesque or have the aim to provoke. By changing the term history into herstory feminists try to draw attention to the under -representation of women in the history (Schenz 1994:25). Another purpose of the movement is the construction of educational curricula, in which the traditional idea of cultural heritage being determined by “dead white males” is replaced by putting the emphasis on non- western, non-white and female contribution. In addition, these curricula recommend the kind of language which is appropriate to use when talking about gender and racial differences.

Political Correctness has above all the aim to regulate language and behaviour in order to prevent minorities from discrimination, to reduce prejudices and take the cultural diversity and heterogeneity of the American society into consideration."

--- Political Correctness in the English Language (Seminar Paper) / Thuy Nguyen
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