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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Links - 19th March 2018 (2)

Happiness in modern society: Why intelligence and ethnic composition matter - "White Americans had significantly greater life satisfaction than all other ethnic groups in the US and this was largely due to the fact that they were the majority ethnic group; minority Americans who lived in counties where they were the numerical majority had just as much life satisfaction as White Americans did. Further, the association between ethnic composition and life satisfaction was significantly stronger among less intelligent individuals"
Diversity apparently doesn't make people happy

Citi Cyber Tuesdays Terms and Conditions - "“Citibank Customer” means any individual who (i) has an existing banking relationship with Citibank, (ii) has a Citibank Online account or is eligible to register for a Citibank Online account and (iii) is not a U.S. Person"
The US tax code - so complicated that you need to exclude anyone with a connection to the US from your promotions

Jailed for a Facebook post: how US police target critics with arrest and prosecution - "Robert Peralta’s life was derailed by a single Facebook comment. When the San Franciscan saw a well-known local activist had posted about being “choked” and “slammed” by a sheriff’s deputy at city hall, Peralta fired off a short response: “Wow, brother they wanna hit our general. It’s time to strike back. Let’s burn this motherfucker’s house down”... “On Facebook, you comment on so many things in minutes,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t even mean it”... Chris Wahmhoff, a 38-year-old Michigan activist who was convicted of a felony for an oil pipeline protest action, got into trouble last year when he criticized governor Rick Snyder on Facebook amid the Flint water crisis, writing: “So when y’all are ready to march in and take his ass across the street, I have my torch, I got warm socks. I’m waitin on y’all … ” The comment led to a probation violation charge for “threatening behavior”, even though Wahmhoff insisted that he was trying to argue for the governor’s arrest – that he be taken from his office across the street to the police department."
Apparently inciting violence should be protected political speech

Amid Widespread Racial Biases in School Suspensions, Teachers Say No to Federal Ban on ‘Disparate Impact’ Discipline - "In an effort to combat disciplinary bias, the federal government has warned every school district in the country that they face legal action if their discipline policies have a “disparate impact”—“a disproportionate and unjustified effect”—on students of a particular race. Still, despite widespread concern about the “discipline gap,” the recommendation has sparked a good deal of backlash, including from pundits who’ve speculated that children of color will actually be the ones most harmed. The administration’s guidelines “will encourage schools to tolerate disruptive and dangerous behavior lest they have too many students of one race being punished,” wrote the education-law expert Joshua Dunn in a Fordham Institute blog post last year. “The effect will be to punish students who behave and want to learn since their education will be sabotaged by troublemakers. And the disruptive will certainly learn, and learn quickly, that their schools are now tolerating even more disruptive behavior.”... The researchers administered the poll after President Obama made it a priority for teachers to look at these behaviors"
Apparently we need racial quotas for punishment now

How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe - "In Syracuse, meanwhile, teachers complain student behavior has worsened since the school district collapsed discipline structures in favor of restorative justice practices. They say teens are more apt to fight, mouth off to teachers and roam the halls under the more lenient policy. They’re even seeing increasingly violent behavior among elementary school children... After a black high-school boy repeatedly punched his teacher in the face, sending her to the emergency room, the teacher, who is white, was advised by the assistant principal not to press charges. The administrator lectured her about how hard it is for young black men to overcome a criminal record. Worse, she was told she should examine what role she, “as a white woman” holding unconscious racial biases, played in the attack, according to the Willamette (Oregon) Week. A white sixth-grade teacher at a mostly black Washington, DC, school told the US Commission on Civil Rights she had similar “conversations” in which she was told that the bad behavior of black boys is mainly the teacher’s fault... The training sessions, which often run several days, are led by civil-rights activist groups seeking “racial justice.”"

Three Simple Rules Poor Teens Should Follow to Join the Middle Class - "Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: at least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children. Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class (defined as earning around $55,000 or more per year). There are surely influences other than these principles at play, but following them guides a young adult away from poverty and toward the middle class... The recent attacks by Planned Parenthood on Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s mayor, for launching a campaign designed to inform teenagers of the consequences of teen pregnancy provides a good example of how many in our society face the effects of nonmarital births on teen mothers and their children... Along comes Bloomberg with a direct message to get the attention of teenage girls and warn them not to make their situation worse and to think more about their future. If the mother wants to improve her future by continuing her education, being a teenage parent is precisely the wrong way to do it. As for blaming the victim, no one is blaming the baby—yet the baby will also bear long-term consequences."

Violence and Family Breakdown - "An analysis of studies of family structure published by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy found that 90 percent of the change in the violent crime rate between 1973 and 1995 was traceable to the rise of illegitimate births... The concentration of single-parent families can affect even those with two parents. A study of 4,671 8th graders in ten cities found that students who attended school with a large number of fatherless classmates were more likely to commit crimes even if they came from intact families themselves... In The Atlantic Monthly, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead wrote that the “relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature.”"

Dan Quayle Was Right - "No one would claim that two-parent families are free from conflict, violence, or abuse. However, the attempt to discredit the two-parent family can be understood as part of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan has described as a larger effort to accommodate higher levels of social deviance... Fewer than half of all adult Americans today regard the idea of sacrifice for others as a positive moral virtue... Single-mother families are vulnerable not just to poverty but to a particularly debilitating form of poverty: welfare dependency. The dependency takes two forms: First, single mothers, particularly unwed mothers, stay on welfare longer than other welfare recipients. Of those never-married mothers who receive welfare benefits, al most 40 percent remain on the rolls for ten years or longer. Second, welfare dependency tends to be passed on from one generation to the next... in 1971, Wallerstein and her colleagues set out to conduct clinical interviews with 131 children from the San Francisco area, they thought they were embarking on a short-term study. Most experts believed that divorce was like a bad cold. There was a phase of acute discomfort, and then a short recovery phase. According to the conventional wisdom, kids would be back on their feet in no time at all. Yet when Wallerstein met these children for a second interview more than a year later, she was amazed to discover that there had been no miraculous recovery. In fact, the children seemed to be doing worse... Since most children live with their mothers after divorce, one might expect that the mother-child bond would remain unaltered and might even be strengthened. Yet research shows that the mother-child bond is also weakened as the result of divorce... remarriage neither reproduces nor restores the intact family structure, even when it brings more income and a second adult into the household. Quite the contrary. Indeed, children living with stepparents appear to be even more disadvantaged than children living in a stable single-parent family... More than half of the increase in child poverty in the 1980s is attributable to changes in family structure, according to David Eggebeen and Daniel Lichter, of Pennsylvania State University... children of widows tend to do better than children of divorced or unmarried mothers"
The fact that children seem to do worse after divorce (and even worse with remarriage - despite more money [always the prescription] and help) suggests that liberals are wrong when they say divorce is good for children (despite single parent families verifiably leading to worse outcomes for children) since the parents are exiting unhealthy and unhappy marriages

Relationship Between the Welfare State and Crime - "the Maryland NAACP released a report concluding that “the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today”... the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation... a recent study of the impact of Canada’s social-welfare system on family structure concluded that “providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women”... Medicaid programs in 11 states actually provide infertility treatments to single women on welfare... welfare also appears to discourage the mother from marrying in the future. Research by Robert Hutchins of Cornell University shows that a 10 percent increase in AFDC benefits leads to an eight percent decrease in the marriage rate of single mothers... welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family. They are in effect cuckolded by the state. Their role of father and breadwinner is supplanted by the welfare check... boys growing up in mother only families naturally seek male influences. Unfortunately, in many inner city neighborhoods, those male role models may not exist. As George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, has noted, the typical inner-city today is “almost a matriarchy. The women receive all the income, dominate the social-worker classes, and most of the schools.” Thus, the boy in search of male guidance and companionship may end up in the company of gangs or other undesirable influences"
On the link between welfare and single parent families

'Enormous and leafy': Chinese officials flock to tree planted by Xi Jinping - "officials in Henan province decided to express their allegiance by gathering around a Paulownia tree planted by their chief back in April 2009. As the cadres, including the provincial party chief, Xie Fuzhan, gazed up at its branches on the morning of Sunday 5 November, “they were immersed in thought, filled with deep emotions”, a local propaganda report described. “The tree is big, verdant and tall,” the author of the story gushed. “[Locals] warmly call it the Xi Paulownia tree.”"

Louvre Abu Dhabi draws crowd as diverse as UAE - "The vast project prides itself ase "the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: A universal museum that focuses on shared human stories across civilisations and cultures"."
It is telling that though the Arabs are so rich, it took till 2017 for them to have a universal museum

Pearson issues apology for publishing racist theories about treating pain in nursing textbook - "Pearson, an education publishing company, apologized for publishing a nursing textbook section that contained racist material about treating patients from different cultural backgrounds who have acute and chronic pain"
It's racist to not account for cultural differences ("ethnocentrism"). But also racist to account for them, apparently

Cultural Influences on Pain Perceptions and Behaviors - "The perception of pain and behaviors associated with pain are influenced by the sociocultural contexts of the individuals experiencing pain. This article provides an overview of the literature on these cultural influences. With the increase in global migration, nurses need to develop increased sensitivity to the influence of culture on pain perceptions and behaviors"

Can My Children Be Friends With White People? - The New York Times - "Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people... White faces are swept together, ominous anxiety behind every chance encounter at the airport or smiling white cashier. If they are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me... Ekow N. Yankah (@ekownyankah) is a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University."
Comments: "This article saddens and sickens me. If your children do not have white friends, they are condemned to live in a segregated society. Ask the Boers how that worked out."
"White liberals you are being hustled. It’s that simple. I can assure you that the vast majority of black people aren’t obsessing over their interactions with whites nor fear that their children interact with them"
"If Liberal American and the Media truly wanted racial harmony, they would do one thing and one thing only. Stop the constant drum beat of manufactured racial discord... What cause the greatest discord are the constant reminders of America's past reaching back 150 years. If you landed here from outer space, you would think that slavery ended last week. To be a minority Black in America means you hear about this history DAILY. Movies, News, NPR, etc. It's non-stop. Were I Black, I know for a fact I'd be angry too."
"you seem to be conflating Trump voters with white people. This is after all the New York Times... They say, liberals can't be trusted, minorities can't be trusted. How is what you are doing any different?"

Game of Thrones's Carice van Houten on death threats from fans: ‘People take it too seriously’ - "When Melisandre orchestrated the burning at the stake of a young girl in season five, Carice received death threats on Twitter. ‘There are people who take it a little bit too seriously,’ she says. Later, Melisandre was shown resurrecting the show’s hero, Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington), and suddenly people were tweeting her marriage proposals instead."

Insulting the Modesty of a Woman - "These are some examples where courts have held to constitute an insult of modesty
1. Flashing one’s private parts to a woman (Ramakrishnan s/p Ramayan)
2. Threatening to spread nude photographs of a woman (Mohammed Liton)
3. Up-skirt video situations (Tay Beng Guan Albert, Soo Ee Hock) – judges held that where up-skirt videos are concerned, a fine would not be a sufficient deterrent and thus, a jail term should be imposed
4. Verbally expressing sexual desires to a woman customer service officer and asking about her sexual preferences in a derogatory manner (Chandran s/o Natesan)"

Man who had sex with 13-year-old girl on first meeting jailed 15 months - "the girl was playing catching with her school mates when the police stopped by and asked the girl if she had anything to tell them in a “completely fortuitous” moment. The prosecution sought 15 months’ jail for Ong, stating that there was a “clear element of exploitation” by Ong, as he had not been in a relationship with the girl. DPP Kavita added that the two engaged in unprotected sex, exposing the girl to the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases... Ong told the court that he has since found a girlfriend who is 20 years old, and the two have been dating for almost a year.
So he would've gotten a lower punishment if he'd used protection?

There Have Been So Many Bad Lefty Free-Speech Takes Lately - "there has emerged a subgenre of left-of-center punditry which, rather than grapple with the complicated ramifications of this reality, instead pretends difficult free-speech questions can be “resolved” by simply swapping them out for a set of different, much less interesting questions. This commentary focuses on questions like “Is Richard Spencer a bigot?” (yes) or “Is bigotry morally acceptable?” (no), and “Does Richard Spencer engage in what could be considered ‘hate speech’?” (yes). But what you never learn from reading these pieces is that none of these questions has any bearing on what a real-life public university should do when real-life Richard Spencer is scheduled to give a real-life talk. Distressingly, even academics who should know better are playing this game. An article that recently ran in Vox headlined “There is no 1st Amendment right to speak on a college campus” is a stunning example. Written by Robert C. Post, a legal scholar (!) at and former dean (!!!) of Yale Law School, the article simply doesn’t acknowledge the very real legal landscape that dictates the terms of this debate, and instead, in a woolly and morally righteous way, takes the reader on a meandering tour of various non sequiturs pertaining to Robert C. Post’s personal values and philosophy and opinions on what universities are — none of these thoughts and opinions having much to do with what a public university in the crosshairs of Spencer and his ilk might actually be able to do... Major outlets are publishing arguments nominally about free speech that don’t even have a coherent point... BLM exercised what is known as a “heckler’s veto” — disrupting an event so much that it cannot go on — and as Zach Greenberg of the campus-free-speech organization the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education explains on a page dedicated to this important concept, the courts have ruled that such vetoes do, in fact, violate the First Amendment, whether the disruption is merely verbal (as it was in this case) or physical"

Wordplay and God

"Suppose that Lauren, a previously professed atheist, lets you know that she’s come around to believing in God. Fortunately, she advises you, this did not require any changes in her world-view, but only a change in her understanding of the referent of ‘God’. What she realized was that God is love, and that she already believes in love—it is the relation that she bears toward her family and her friends. It is natural to think that Lauren still does not believe in God. Since she’s told you what she means by ‘God’, and that it is just love, when Lauren tells you that she believes in God it is natural to interpret her as believing in love. But if she previously believed in love while counting as an atheist, she should not now count as a theist for believing in it.

It is highly plausible that the same would follow no matter what referent Lauren assigns to ‘God’. As long as it is the sort of thing that is acceptable to atheists, she will not count as believing in God after all, even though given her new uses of her terms, she will be able to mimic the claims of theists, and to sincerely utter such sentences as ‘God exists’. She will merely mean something different by such sentences than we do. Traditional theism is plausibly not subject to naturalist-friendly reduction, and couldn’t be...

On any acceptable view about God, God has properties that love does not. God is supposed to be omniscient, but love is just a relation—it doesn’t know anything. God is supposed to be the creator of the universe, but love didn’t do that. And so on. To capture the central claims of theological discourse, it’s not enough to make sense of the thesis that God exists, by assigning ‘God’ a referent. You have to assign ‘God’ a referent which created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, since these are some of the central claims which theological discourse is supposed to capture. So if you don’t really believe that there is a thing such that it created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, then you can’t capture the central claims of theological discourse, no matter what referent you assign to ‘God’...

We consider how a sophisticated reductivist might try to solve these problems, in order to avoid committing to so many local errors about God. For there is room to wiggle. You may start by assigning an interpretation to ‘God’ in the sentence, ‘God exists,’ and then notice that the thing you assigned to it—love, for example, did not actually create the universe, at least in the ordinary sense of ‘create’. But if you’re a clever reductive theorist, you have some tricks to pull out of your sleeve. You can provide ‘created’ a special sense in this context. When theists say that God created the universe, you can posit, what they mean is that God is a relation between creative people and their creations. Assuming that creative people love their creations, ‘God created the universe’ turns out to be true. So in this way, you can capture the central truths of theistic discourse with your reduction.

Or can you? You have a theory on which ‘God created the universe’ comes out to be true, but you haven’t got a theory on which it is true that God created the universe. For by hypothesis, you mean something else by ‘God created the universe’ than that God created the universe. Creation, on your account, is not a unified or interesting phenomenon, as people have always believed, but in fact is fundamentally disjunctive. It can be true that X created Y either if Y did not exist, and then was made to exist through X’s efforts, or else if X is love, and is a relation between creative people and their creations. Your account makes the central claims of theological discourse come out sounding true only because it trades on the ambiguity between these two ways of being created. But theists have always wanted the universe to come out created by God in the same sense as the half-finished matchstick model of 1879 Hall in my living room comes out created by me. So giving a disjunctive or ambiguous account of ‘created’ won’t help you capture the central claims of traditional Christian theism."

--- Slaves of the Passions / Mark Schroeder

Footnote: "I take the analogy from a remark of Alvin Plantinga’s, in response to Kit Fine’s suggestion that he is engaged in a reductive project about possibilia: ‘This strikes me a bit like an effort on the part of a genial atheist to offer a ‘‘truth-preserving’’ translation of theistic discourse into discourse committed to only the sorts of entities acceptable to atheists.’ Plantinga [1986: 330–1]."

Links - 19th March 2018 (1)

George Takei Accused of Sexually Assaulting Former Model in 1981 - "THR spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton — Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward — who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago... Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. "Who's going to believe me? It's my word against his," he says. Brunton's reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and specifically when Takei spoke out regarding allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey... Brunton says he found Takei's response infuriating. "I don't want anything from him but an apology," he says. "I am sure he'll disown all this, I don't know, maybe not."

George Takei Tells Howard Stern He Would Grab Men By Their Genitals To "Persuade" Them To Have Sex - "“Did you ever grab anyone by the cock against their will?” Stern asked Takei. Takei remained silent. “Uh oh,” Stern reacted to the non-answer. “You’ve never sexually harassed anyone, have you?” The Star Trek star began awkwardly laughing. “Some people are kind of… umm… skittish,” Takei responded. “Oh maybe… um… afraid and you’re trying to persuade.”... “You mean some guy who was hesitating to have sex with you and then you gave him a gentle squeeze on the balls or something?” “More than a gentle…” Takei laughed. “But it didn’t involve power over the other.”...
Takei often spoke out against sexual assault with Trump. But this clip shows he may not take the subject very seriously with himself."
Apparently sexual assault is okay if there's no "power over the other"

George Takei just blamed Russia for spreading the sexual assault accusation against him

George Takei says he “played the part of a ‘naughty gay grandpa’” on Howard Stern - "Stern brings up the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and asks Takei if he ever “grabbed anybody by the cock against their will.” Takei pauses uncomfortably and laughs, and then describes some “people that are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you’re trying to persuade.” (Even Howard Stern responds, “Do we need to call the police?”)"
Meanwhile, Trump had the good grace to apologise for his locker room talk
Comments: "Wait for his “I was just paying tribute to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”"
"Ah, yes, the naughty gay grandpa archetype, stock character found across European folklore dating all the way back to the ancient era. Who can forget the timeless moral message of Aesop’s “The Fox, the Hen and the Naughty Gay Grandpa”?"
"He is empowering every person who has ever justified gross sexual comments as ‘joking around’ and ‘not reflective of who I am’. This is especially awful given that Stern brought it up in the context of Trump’s own ‘locker room talk’. Ugh."
"So he admitted to grabbing the penises of dudes who “were skiddish” or “needed to be persuaded” but it’s totally fine because he didn’t do it at work guys!"

Turkish Woman Faces Backlash After Posting Blackface Tutorial Video - "When Percem Akin, a makeup artist from Turkey, posted a racially-charged tutorial of herself in Halloween blackface, she was met with consternation from around the globe... Many people who post photos of themselves in blackface don't see themselves as racist. Some think it's funny; others believe it's ironic. But they see it as anything other than what it really is because they don't know, or don't want to know, the history behind it. The very idea of slipping in and out of racially-themed costume for fun smacks of white privilege"
Apparently Turks need to be aware of White Privilege and the history of another country halfway across the world
Top comments, notably from George Takei's Facebook: "I'm a black guy and I once dressed up as a samurai. No one cared about that, and I really don't care about this."
"Fuck the internet! This was NOT done out of malice.
This isn't the 1950's anymore and you people have to stop looking for reasons to get offended when there was no offense intended."
"As an African American/mixed person, I am not offended by this. I see talent not racism. We need to get past what happened in the past. Michael Jackson turned himself white and Black women dye their hair blonde and red which are not natural African hair colors. Is that unacceptable? Come on, 21st century here."
"That was not blackface it was tasteful done and if the Waynes bros can make the worst movie ever wearing white makeup then......"
"From an artistic viewpoint, I think she did it in a respectable way- it’s not slandering anyone if anything it is reproducing beauty. Art should allow such a thing"
"So when my kid put on a Moana costume I suppose I should have been arrested. Get a fucking life people."
"Don't many paler people spend a lot of time tanning themselves and applying spray tanner in order to make themselves darker?"
"This lovely TURKISH woman has amazing skills and turned herself into a beautiful black woman. Whatever happened to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?"
It looks like not everyone has an extremist, unnuanced take on blackface, but unfortunately loud invested minorities have disproportionate power

The Far Right Has Come For The Working Class. How Should The Left Respond? - "There is a curious double standard at play here. Consider two different responses.
Here is the first response. Whenever an act of Islamic terrorism occurs it has tended to trigger a mantra within the media and amongst the political classes (not including, obviously, Donald Trump) that the perpetrators are not representative of the wider Muslim population. Further, that we should be reaching out to those who might be at risk of radicalization to bring them back into the mainstream flock. And even further, that we should be engaging in soul searching to determine whether we, up on our perches of privilege, have contributed in any way to the constellation of events and attitudes within which Islamic terrorism has come to thrive.
No similarly careful approach is taken with the white working class and the continuing rise of the far-right. The second response, the response to this bloc of voters, is very different. When it comes to these voters, making sweeping presumptions about the working class is perfectly fine. They are the political untouchables. To express any kind of sympathy with them, even to attempt to engage with them, would be to guarantee yourself an accusation of being a Nazi-sympathizer. So the politicians stay away from their marches, and refrain from seeking their votes...
The kind of purist moralizing that says “Oh, I don’t engage with anyone who might be perceived as anti-immigrant” or “I don’t engage with working-class people who express disquiet at the ‘Islamic’ in Islamic terrorism” is utterly self-indulgent. The complexities of 2017 politics do not lend themselves to an analysis which perceives only two categories, racists and non-racists. Nor can everything be analyzed in terms of the oppressed and the oppressors. Being a leader in 2017 must necessarily entail embracing the grey areas"

The Football Lads Alliance is a working-class movement – and the political class wants to ignore it - "It was a very rare thing in the 21st century: a march organised by working-class people and attended by working-class people. Thousands of them. Most marches these days are packed with public-sector types, plummy anti-fascists, and Guardian columnists who must maintain their rad cred by occasionally traipsing through the streets with people holding dusty trade-union banners. But the two FLA marches have been different. They have been cries from below. And they’ve been all but ignored. Sure, there has been media coverage, but it has been perfunctory. Despite being big, stirring and novel — people in football shirts gathering in their thousands to confront the ideology of terror! — the demos haven’t trended online or attracted much attention from the ‘voice for the voiceless’ brigade. They don’t want to hear those voices... There’s a presumption among some observers that the people who support FLA, being white and working-class and passionate about football, must be racist scum... it strikes me that this new working-class movement is trying to do something the supposedly intellectual classes have flat-out refused to do: make an issue, a national fuss, of terror. It is defying the post-terror diktat from on high that says we should respond to Islamist attacks sheepishly, by laying a flower, singing ‘Imagine’ and going home again... the political class has so thoroughly abandoned the task of discussing and getting angry about terrorism that footie fans are having to step in and do it for them, and us"

If You're A Woman And You're Bad At Math, Blame the Patriarchy
At first I thought this was satirical, then I saw it was from Buzzfeed

Gender-neutral changing rooms aren't safe — they just appease the trans lobby who won't accept you if don't conform to their views - "Changing gender should not be taken so lightly. If all you have to do to change gender is say so, it takes away ­whatever authenticity trans people can claim. It will base your reassignment on mere thoughts and feelings rather than an accepted screening process. It’s tough enough to go through what we do in society without our sincerity being questioned. Making it easier to legally change gender will inevitably result in a greater number of people doing so — and the flip side will be a larger number of people de-transitioning after deciding they don’t want to be that gender after all. How is that going to help anyone? There is also a campaign to lower the legal age of transition to 16, and that is very dangerous. I believe children have become the collateral damage of transgender rights... The trans community makes out it is very welcoming and accepting, but if you don’t conform with their views then they can make life very difficult."

Teen Girl Posed For 8 Years As Married Man To Write About Baseball And Harass Women
Logic, Empathy, Honesty: "What's interesting here is how drastically different the tone of the article is. This isn't an attack on rape culture and the terrible behaviour of this individual, rather a very sympathetic tale of a struggling writer. This reveals the double standard we've all come to expect. That when a person is harrased, we care more about the identity of the harraser than their actual actions."

We Should Ban Cars From Big Cities. Seriously. - "If we banned cars from every city in the US tomorrow, we would stop vehicular terrorism overnight — and save thousands of lives."
Comments: "I've got friends who have been killed by ILLEGAL ALIENS, yet I don't see Buzzfeed demanding that ILLEGAL ALIENS be banned in this country. "
"it's Buzzfeed which support women playing with their menstrul blood so it's not too absurd"
"Eliminate booze and you eliminate drunk drivers, do you not? Why is she not calling for prohibition?"
"Sunlight can kill millions of people every year via skin cancer. We shuld all just stay inside from now on. Never ever go outside. There's a huge percentage of people who die when they happen to be outside. That's it... Ban the OUTSIDE!"

For elites, politics is driven by ideology. For voters, it’s not. - "One consistent finding in Kinder and Kalmoe’s research is that party identification bests ideological identification. Most people are a Republican or a Democrat before they are a conservative or a liberal. And most people will stick with their party long after they’ve abandoned their ideology."

Sean Parker on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook: ‘You’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology’ - "The man who was reportedly an early inspiration for the young Zuckerberg and co-founded the music file-sharing site Napster in 1999, five years before Facebook, called the social network “a social validation feedback loop.” He added, “It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators, it’s me, it’s Mark... understood this consciously and we did it anyway.”"

Why Glitter Must Be Banned - "They really do get into everything, and despite their tiny size, they can have a devastating impact on humans and non-human animals"

Send scam emails to this chatbot and it’ll waste their time for you - "Another famous chatbot time-waster is “Lenny,” which is designed to waste telemarketers’ time, and does so without any AI or speech recognition component. Instead, Lenny uses just 16 pre-recorded snippets of dialogue, each of which is as vague and ambiguous as possible. Lenny simply waits until there’s a gap in the conversation, then plays one of its bits of dialogue, cycling through all 16 in various patterns."

Joseph Wong - Its been 7 years and I still remembered it like... - "I even saw later that night an article written from the first journalist. She censored my autism, she completely rewrote everything I said. Writing that I wanted to become a doctor and that my inspirations were local heroes such as Tan Tock Seng... when I was in school I was consistently told by the vice principal to NEVER ever talk about video games again. I was a scholar and I should have bigger dreams... I never had a fking god damn say in any of it. And thats why I stopped studying. I hated the school and I knew anything in school that happened onwards for my grades was irrelevant"
This is hardly the first case of the Singaporean media making up quotes

Weather Channel founder calls Bill Nye ‘a pretend scientist in a bow tie’ - "“As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the AMS (American Meteorological Society’s) ‘Meteorologist of the Year’ award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does. And I am rooting for the ‘Climate Hustle’ film to become a huge hit — bigger than ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore,” Coleman said. Coleman also slammed Nye for claiming earlier this month that climate change skeptics should face jail time. “That is the most awful thing since Galileo was jailed for saying the Earth was not the center of the Universe,” Coleman said."

Feminists vs women - "Feminism has long pitched men against women. But increasingly it pitches women against women, too. Women who don’t see men as problematic, who refuse to accept that ‘the patriarchy’ lies at the root of all their difficulties, are alternately pitied for suffering from internalised misogyny and loathed for betrayal. The sexual-harassment panic makes clear that there are some types of women feminists approve of – women who bravely detail their knee-touching allegations in newspaper columns, for example – while other women who refuse to join in with the pity-me stories are shamed for victim-blaming... Yes, she acknowledged, sexual harassment takes place. But she dealt with it through being fearless and fearful, once stubbing out a cigarette on someone, and shouting loudly at others. Leslie argued that feminists today ‘spend their time saying women are traumatised because some silly old drunk in parliament put his hand on her knee or something like that’... wailing over knee-touching makes women appear, frankly, a bit pathetic, and ‘you can’t say women are strong and empowered and then say they’re scared and they’re going to cry and all that sort of thing’. On cue, keyboard feminists took to Twitter to bemoan Channel 4 News for providing a platform for this ‘appalling woman’... Feminism now insists upon an emotional correctness and an adherence to one set of views. Feminists now present women as victims or, at best, survivors of the patriarchy. I prefer the feistiness, idiosyncrasy, ruthless ambition and sheer fun of the now vilified previous generation."

Bullied after refusing boss' sexual advances - "Her former boss made life at work hell for her after Mary, a 28-year-old lawyer, repeatedly rejected his romantic advances... For a year, she cried almost every day, feeling trapped and afraid to go to work. She finally confided in her father, a criminal lawyer, who told her she could go to the police as her boss was harassing her... when she wanted to go to the police, the firm paid her a year's salary in compensation and asked her to leave. In return, she was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement and told that she could not report the matter to the police or talk about it at all."
What sort of lawyer needs to be told that she can go to the police over sexual harassment? And doesn't understand what a non-disclosure agreement is?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Links - 15th March 2018 (2)

Iran: The Shah, Mossadegh, and the CIA - "Mossadegh called a parliamentary election in late 1951. When he realized he was going to lose, he had the election suspended. (That should put to bed the notion that he was an idealistic democrat.)... Mossadegh — in the tradition of all great democrats — persuaded the parliament to grant him emergency powers, which he used to confiscate the Shah’s land, ban him from communicating with foreign countries, and exile his sister. Mossadegh also used his emergency powers to institute collective farming. According to Stephen Kinzer’s book All the Shah’s Men, “Iranians were becoming poorer and unhappier by the day. Mossadegh’s political coalition was fraying.” You may have noticed that, up to this point, the dark and shadowy hand of the CIA has not made an appearance... The U.S. had helped turn Persian public opinion against Mossadegh. However: There was no coup. In 1953, Mossadegh was prime minister of Iran; like many heads of state, the Shah had the legal, constitutional authority to remove his prime minister... The CIA was happy to take credit, exaggerating its involvement in what was, at the time, considered a big success — but a private CIA cable credited Mossadegh’s collapse to the fact that “the flight of the Shah . . . galvanized the people into an irate pro-Shah force.”... Mossadegh was no democrat, and the CIA was not responsible for his ouster; the CIA did not install the Shah in his place, and it did not become involved because of oil... Prison life was drastically worse under the Islamic Republic than under the Pahlavis. One who survived both writes that four months under [the ayatollahs’ warden] took the toll of four years under SAVAK. In the prison literature of the Pahlavi era, the recurring words have been ‘boredom’ and ‘monotony.’ In that of the Islamic Republic, they are ‘fear,’ ‘death,’ ‘terror,’ ‘horror,’ and most frequent of all ‘nightmare.’”
Even Wikipedia agrees that Mossadegh was dictatorial and tried to take over

Hydrocarbon Enema: An Unusual Cause of Chemical Burn. - "we present a 37-year-old female who suffered 6% TBSA partial-thickness burns to her perineum and buttocks, which she claims resulted from diarrhea after ingesting a bottle of lighter fluid. The patient underwent decontamination and medical treatment for her burns and during her inpatient stay, it became apparent that the burns were more likely sustained from an intentional rectal administration of lighter fluid. To our knowledge, this is one of the first reported cases of hydrocarbon enema"

Penn Students Hold Presentation on Environmental Racism - "The Jewish National Fund, an organization that plants trees in Israel, was a major subject of discussion... the presenters looked into the symbolism of “making the desert bloom,” a phrase the students argued connected the forest environment to whiteness, evoked the notion of “a vacuum that the European savior can come nourish,” and ultimately incentivized “artificially making these areas look more like Europe.” The students found a particular problem in the planting of pine trees in Israel and the West Bank, drawing a “connection between pine trees, forestation, and the way they further the colonialist agenda through capitalistic (sic) means of timber production.”... “If we are talking about environmental justice, we have to consider intersectionality,” one of the presenters said. “We have to consider the way that different environmental agendas are being used in order to romanticize and support things that may be in violation of human rights and ancestry rights.” Additionally, the students urged the audience to “look for the complexity in the way that issues are whitewashed.”"

KFC tracked down the guy who figured out their Twitter gag and sent him something insane - "Mike Edgette, a user with the Twitter handle @edgette22, realised that the KFC official Twitter account follows only 11 users on the social networking site. The five members of the Spice Girls, as well as six random dudes named Herb. 11 Herbs and Spices... The mailman would have then wheeled in a glorious portrait, this glorious portrait. No, your eyes are not deceiving you; that’s a painting of Mike Edgette getting a piggyback from none other than Colonel Sanders himself."

I Reviewed The KFC-Themed Romantic Novella And It's Utterly Insane - "As we speak, Tender Wings of Desire sits in my Kindle library... In real life, Colonel Sanders was a mythical figure of fast food who came across his fried chicken fortune late in life; he once shot a man, developed a notoriety for his sailor-like vocabulary, and when his second wife declared she was no longer into sex for pleasure after three kids, Sanders went on a quest for breasts and thighs of an entirely different kind. This, plus many more nuggets (pun intended) of information, would have made for a much better story than the one we eventually got, where a man and a woman boringly falling in love with the faint smell of the sea in the air. This book actually makes me want to eat KFC less."

Toys Are Taking Vacations and Seeing the World (Without Their Owners) - "Azuma quit her job in Tokyo’s financial industry to start a travel agency—not just any travel agency, but one that caters exclusively to stuffed animals... To date, Unagi Travel Agency has organized trips for more than 100 stuffed animals, many of which have become repeat customers. Prices for trips vary depending on the destination, but standard tours of Tokyo and its surroundings go for around $50. Clients ship their toys to Azuma, and they stay with her for two or three weeks, during which time their adventures are promptly reported back to their owners via social media posts. At the end of the tour, Azuma ships them home"

A Former AP Correspondent Explains How and Why His Colleagues Get Israel So Wrong - "When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted... In all of 2013... the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago... A reporter working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel. If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate. The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters. Corruption, for example, is a pressing concern for many Palestinians under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, but when I and another reporter once suggested an article on the subject, we were informed by the bureau chief that Palestinian corruption was “not the story.” (Israeli corruption was, and we covered it at length.) Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported... During the 2008-2009 Gaza fighting I personally erased a key detail—that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and being counted as civilians in the death toll—because of a threat to our reporter in Gaza. (The policy was then, and remains, not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli)... Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story... The fact that Israelis quite recently elected moderate governments that sought reconciliation with the Palestinians, and which were undermined by the Palestinians, is considered unimportant and rarely mentioned. These lacunae are often not oversights but a matter of policy... it should be clear to everyone that peace is pretty elusive in the Middle East even in places where Jews are absent."
I wonder how many Singaporeans who play down the Hamas charter as symbolic obsess about 377A

LTA removes MRT artwork plaques following online comments - "The Land Transport Authority has removed the accompanying plaques for the mural “Welcome to Jingapore” at stations along the Downtown Line following comments from netizens that the word “Jingapore” was a misspelling... The award-winning artist, who has a series of works which have been exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum, wrote on Facebook that “in the great tradition of Chinese and English linguistics, it’s called a Pun.”"
This is why we can't have nice things

Undoing the Dis-Education of Millennials - "I teach in a law school. For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors. They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison. This year in my Foundations of Law course for first-year law students, I found my students especially impervious to the ancient wisdom of foundational texts, such as Plato’s Crito and the Code of Hammurabi. Many of them were quick to dismiss unfamiliar ideas as “classist” and “racist,” and thus unable to engage with those ideas on the merits... Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky. Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult. Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.” Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful"

Dumbing Down What Students Read Didn't Make Them Any Smarter - "Possessed by the notion that low achievers in certain ethnic groups would be more motivated to read texts about and by people who looked or talked like them, but at the same time believing that poor readers couldn’t read the difficult titles required by College Board exams, educators gradually replaced more difficult works in the secondary English curriculum with weaker books on the grounds that existing works were by dead white males, Eurocentric, or reflective of an oppressive culture. Older, or “canonical,” works (almost anything written before 1970) were regularly discredited and replaced by more contemporary works. The result: it is difficult to find a currently popular contemporary work assigned in high school that is as difficult to read with respect to its vocabulary and syntax as the “canonical” work it may have displaced... To this day, no researcher has found a positive effect on student reading interest from eliminating what were denigrated as “canonical” works. According to Renaissance Learning’s annual reports on what thousands of K-12 students read, the average reading level of the top 25 titles assigned to or read by grade 11 students is at about the grade 6 level. Unsurprisingly, Congress, parents, and the public at large have no idea why all the practices now apparently “justified” by English educators have resulted in average student achievement levels in 2015 that are not very different from those in 1970 on the “Nation’s Report Cards.”"
Presumably this is a prescription for even more diversity to cure the problem

'Diversity': The Major Obstacle in Strengthening Teacher Quality - "As Dan Goldhaber noted in his article in the Spring 2016 issue of Education Next: “Of the characteristics [of teacher quality] that were measured in the still-revered 1966 Coleman report titled Equality of Educational Opportunity, those that bear the highest relationship to pupil achievement are first, the teacher’s score on the verbal skills test, and then his educational background.”... Many students failed a new test in Illinois required before admission to a teacher preparation program (called Test of Academic Proficiency or TAP), and many of those failing the test were black and Hispanic... The issue in Illinois became not why students admitted to a public college failed a basic skills test (an academic issue) but rather the pass/fail score that should be set to enable the right proportion of blacks or Hispanics to be eligible for admission to a teacher preparation program (a political issue)... The bandwagon is already rolling. Licensing teachers is being declared tantamount to excluding “teachers of color.”"

Fury as Cambridge don tells students to stop drinking - "Cambridge students accused a professor of ‘damaging their mental wellbeing’ by asking them to work hard and avoid getting drunk... ‘Nowadays, students are being treated as somewhere between children and psychiatric patients. ‘They need to be looked after, coddled rather than challenged, their wellbeing attended to at all times... Last month it emerged that Cambridge issues ‘trigger warnings’ about ‘upsetting content’ in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus in an effort to protect mental health"
Are universities mental institutions?

Are Iranian Women Overeducated? - "Women have outnumbered men in the entering classes of universities two to one for the last several years, but when they graduate they are one-third less likely to work as men, and even lower when they marry and have children... in universities, as the only co-ed institutions of education, women have an opportunity to meet men in an environment approved by their parents and the society at large, which most find a superior way to choose a spouse than through arranged marriages... if the proportion of men in universities were to drop too far, fewer Iranian women would be willing to spend four years learning skills that they do not intend to use in the labor market... In Iran, a large proportion of women are enrolled in fields such as humanities and social sciences that have low market reward, so men may not necessarily prefer them to work"

Sex worker with over 10K partners reveals what men really want - "Gwyneth Montenegro, 39, from Australia, spent 12 years in the industry and has now written a book revealing the surprising things that men will pay for. In her book, on “being financially successful in the sex industry”, she said “most gentlemen don’t always go for the kinky services.” In fact, in the decade she was in the industry, the most important thing to her clients was “feeling of being needed and wanted. Wanted badly by a horny woman. It is their ultimate fantasy after all.” She said that it is vital, therefore that whatever sex acts you are doing, “you make look like you want him bad and are enjoying him so much (even if you aren’t).”"

Transgender lessons for 2-year-olds - "Drag queens are being brought into taxpayer-funded nursery schools so that children as young as two can learn about transgender issues. The cross-dressers are reading nursery rhymes and singing specially adapted songs ‘to teach children about LGBT tolerance’... The ‘performances’ are the brainchild of Thomas Canham, a Bristol University law graduate and part-time cross-dresser who dismisses traditional notions of masculinity as ‘meaningless’. But critics last night said the sessions could ‘blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence’. Leading child psychotherapist Dilys Daws, co-author of the book Finding Your Way With Your Baby, feared they could sow the seeds of confusion in young children about their own sexual identity, with long-term consequences. She said: ‘There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an “ordinary situation”. It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender, when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them... ‘They can include, for example, drag queen references within songs. So if you’re doing something like Wheels On The Bus, you can sing, “The skirt on the drag queen goes swish, swish, swish.”"
This doesn't help dispel fears about the gay agenda

Marxist Prof: Perhaps Art Classes Should Be Used To ‘Help Our Kids Turn Out Queer’ - "In the same paper arguing that young students need to be taught about gay sex, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago recently suggested art classes need to be used to turn children “queer” in an effort to fight “heteronormative realities.”"

Teacher suspended for praising pupil using wrong gender - "A teacher has been suspended and could face the sack after he ‘accidentally’ called a transgender pupil a ‘girl’ in class when the student identifies as a boy. Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, who teaches maths at a state secondary school in Oxfordshire, said ‘Well done girls’ to the teenager and a friend when he spotted them working hard. He apologised when corrected by the pupil, but six weeks later he was suspended from teaching after the pupil’s mother lodged a complaint.Following an investigation, he has been summoned to a formal disciplinary hearing this week to face misconduct charges for ‘misgendering’. According to documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, he also faces claims that he is breaching equality policies by referring to the pupil by name rather than as ‘he’ or ‘him’."
So much for it about just being decent to trans people

12-Year-Old Boy 'Transitions' To Female. Then This Happens Just Two Years Later. - "With guidance from medical professionals and his own mother, a 12-year-old Australian boy suffering from gender confusion began to transition into a "female." Just two years later, the young man told his mom he felt like his born sex again, and is now in the painful process of transitioning back, which includes surgery. Patrick Mitchell was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age 12"

Does Evolutionary Psychology Promote Transphobia? - "Should academics no longer design surveys wherein a participant’s biological sex is measured as a binary variable? Would this be “transphobic systemic violence” since it perpetuates “fixed binaries and biological essentialism”?... Should evolutionists no longer explain how sexual selection works, namely the fundamental process by which sex differences evolve? This mechanism recognizes two sexes and hence it might “disenfranchise” those who reject “fixed binaries and biological essentialism.” Bottom line: Foundational tenets of evolution might be construed as legal transgressions under Bill C-16. Ongoing governmental efforts are pushing for a gender-neutral society to cater to an extraordinarily small number of non-binary or non-gendered people who feel marginalized at having to provide their biological sex as part of their profiles. This is the tyranny of the minority. 99% of the population should acquiesce to having a default feature of their personhood erased because a few individuals might be inconvenienced by it... I am weary of the ethos of victimhood that has parasitized our culture. The operative motto is not “I think therefore I am” but “I’m a victim therefore I am.” I refer to this condition as Collective Munchausen, namely the pathological quest for sympathy and empathy by proclaiming victim status using identity politics and intersectionality. People have the right to live as equal citizens under the law. They do not have the right to demand that their identities be coddled and celebrated lest they might otherwise get offended. Thank you.”
Bill C-16 was eventually passed."

First grader sent to office for 'misgendering' fellow student - "A first grader at a California charter school was sent to the principal’s office this week after she accidentally “misgendered” a classmate in what’s being called a “pronoun mishap.” The incident occurred at Rocklin Academy, a school roiled by controversy after a kindergarten teacher led an in-class discussion on transgenderism that included a “gender reveal” for a little boy who was transitioning to a little girl"

Conservatism and Ideology

"This small book is a defense of prudential politics, as opposed to ideological politics. The author hopes to persuade the rising generation to set their faces against political fanaticism and Utopian schemes, by which the world has been much afflicted since 1914. “Politics is the art of the possible,” the conservative says: he thinks of political policies as intended to preserve order, justice, and freedom.

The ideologue, on the contrary, thinks of politics as a revolutionary instrument for transforming society and even transforming human nature. In his march toward Utopia, the ideologue is merciless.

Ever since the end of the Second World War, the tendency of American public opinion has been more or less conservative. But there exists some danger that conservatives themselves might slip into a narrow ideology or quasi—ideology—even though, as H. Stuart Hughes wrote some forty years ago, “Conservatism is the negation of ideology.”...

The concept of ideology was altered considerably in the middle of the nineteenth century, by Karl Marx and his school. Ideas, Marx argued, are nothing better than expressions of class interests, as related to economic production. Ideology, the alleged science of ideas, thus becomes a systematic apology for the claims of a class- nothing more.

Or, to put this argument in Marx's own blunt and malicious terms, what has been called political philosophy is merely a mask for the economic self—seeking of oppressors—so the Marxists declared. Ruling ideas and norms constitute a delusory mask upon the face of the dominant class, shown to the exploited “as a standard of conduct, partly to Varnish, partly to provide moral support for, domination.” So Marx wrote to Engels.

Yet the exploited too, Marx says, develop systems of ideas to advance their revolutionary designs. So what we call Marxism is an ideology intended to achieve revolution, the triumph of the proletariat, and eventually communism. To the consistent Marxist, ideas have no value in themselves: they, like all art, are worthwhile only as a means to achieve equality of condition and economic satisfaction. While deriding the ideologies of all other persuasions, the Marxist builds with patient cunning his own ideology.

Although it has been the most powerful of ideologies, Marxism —very recently diminished in strength—has competitors: various forms of nationalism, negritude, feminism, fascism (a quasi- ideology never fully fleshed out in Italy), naziism (an ideology in embryo, Hannah Arendt wrote), syndicalism, anarchism, social democracy, and Lord knows what all. Doubtless yet more forms of ideology will be concocted during the twenty-first century...

To summarize the analysis of ideology undertaken by such scholars as Minogue, Aron, J. L. Talmon, Thomas Molnar, Lewis Feuer, and Hans Barth, this word ideology, since the Second World War, usually has signified a dogmatic political theory which is an endeavor to substitute secular goals and doctrines for religious goals and doctrines; and which promises to overthrow present dominations so that the oppressed may be liberated. Ideology's promises are what Talmon calls “political messianism”. The ideologue promises salvation in this world, hotly declaring that there exists no other realm of being. Eric Voegelin, Gerhart Niemeyer, and other writers have emphasized that ideologues “immanentize the symbols of transcendence”—that is, corrupt the vision of salvation through grace in death into false promises of complete happiness in this mundane realm.

Ideology, in short, is a political formula that promises mankind an earthly paradise; but in cruel fact what ideology has created is a series of terrestrial hells. I set down below some of the vices of ideology.

1) Ideology is inverted religion, denying the Christian doctrine of salvation through grace in death, and substituting collective salvation here on earth through violent revolution. Ideology inherits the fanaticism that sometimes has afflicted religious faith, and applies that intolerant belief to concerns secular.

2) Ideology makes political compromise impossible: the ideologue will accept no deviation from the Absolute Truth of his secular revelation. This narrow vision brings about civil war, extirpation of “reactionaries”, and the destruction of beneficial functioning social institutions.

3) Ideologues vie one with another in fancied fidelity to their Absolute Truth; and they are quick to denounce deviationists or defectors from their party orthodoxy. Thus fierce factions are raised up among the ideologues themselves, and they war mercilessly and endlessly upon one another, as did Trotskyites and Stalinists.

The evidence of ideological ruin lies all about us. How then can it be that the allurements of ideology retain great power in much of the world?

The answer to that question is given in part by this observation from Raymond Aron: “When the intellectual feels no longer attached either to the community or the religion of his forebears, he looks to progressive ideology to fill the vacuum. The main difference between the progressivism of the disciple of Harold Laski or Bertrand Russell and the Communism of the disciple of Lenin concerns not so much the content as the style of the ideologies and the allegiance they demand.”

Ideology provides sham religion and sham philosophy, comforting in its way to those who have lost or never have known genuine religious faith, and to those not sufficiently intelligent to apprehend real philosophy. The fundamental reason why we must set our faces against ideology—so wrote the wise Swiss editor Hans Barth—is that ideology is opposed to truth: it denies the possibility of truth in politics or in anything else, substituting economic motive and class interest for abiding norms. Ideology even denies human consciousness and power of choice. In Barth‘s words, “The disastrous effect of ideological thinking in its radical form is not only to cast doubt on the quality and structure of the mind that constitute man's distinguishing characteristic but also to undermine the foundation of his social life.”

ldeology may attract the bored man of the Knowledge Class who has cut himself off from religion and community, and who desires to exercise power. Ideology may enchant young people, wretchedly schooled, who in their loneliness stand ready to cast their latent enthusiasm into any exciting and violent cause. And ideologues’ promises may win a following among social groups that feel pushed to the wall—even though such recruits may not understand much of anything about the ideologues’ doctrines. The early composition of the Nazi party is sufficient illustration of an ideology's power to attract disparate elements of this sort...

I am not of the opinion that it would be well to pour the heady wine of a new ideology down the throats of the American young. If one summons spirits from the vasty deep, can they be conjured back again? What we need to impart is political prudence, not political belligerence. Ideology is the disease, not the cure. All ideologies, including the ideology of vox populi vox dei, are hostile to enduring order and justice and freedom. For ideology is the politics of passionate unreason...

Principles of the politics of prudence:

1) As I put it earlier, ideology is inverted religion. But the prudential politician knows that “Utopia” means “Nowhere”; that we cannot march to an earthly Zion; that human nature and human institutions are imperfectible; that aggressive “righteousness” in politics ends in slaughter. True religion is a discipline for the soul, not for the state.

2) Ideology makes political compromise impossible, I pointed out. The prudential politician, au contraire, is well aware that the primary purpose of the state is to keep the peace. This can be achieved only by maintaining a tolerable balance among great interests in society. Parties, interests, and social classes and groups must arrive at compromises, if bowie~knives are to be kept from throats. When ideological fanaticism rejects any compromise, the weak go to the wall. The ideological atrocities of the “Third World” in recent decades illustrate this point: the political massacres of the Congo, Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Cambodia, Uganda, Yemen, Salvator, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Prudential politics strives for conciliation, not extirpation.

3) Ideologies are plagued by ferocious factionalism, on the principle of brotherhood—or death. Revolutions devour their children. But prudential politicians, rejecting the illusion of an Absolute Political Truth before which every citizen must abase himself, understand that political and economic structures are not mere products of theory, to be erected one day and demolished the next; rather, social institutions develop over centuries, almost as if they were organic. The radical reformer, proclaiming himself omniscient, strikes down every rival, to arrive at the Terrestrial Paradise more swiftly. Conservatives, in striking contrast, have the habit of dining with the opposition.

In the preceding sentence, I employed deliberately the word conservative as synonymous, virtually, with the expression “prudential politician”. For it is the conservative leader who, setting his face against all ideologies, is guided by what Patrick Henry called “the lamp of experience”. In this twentieth century, it has been the body of opinion generally called “conservative” that has defended the Permanent Things from ideologues’ assaults.

Ever since the end of the Second World War, the American public has looked with increasing favor upon the term Conservative. Public—opinion polls suggest that in politics, the majority of Voters regard themselves as conservatives. Whether they well understand conservatives’ political principles may be another matter...

The triumph of ideology would be the triumph of what Edmund Burke called “the antagonist world”—the world of disorder; while what the conservative seeks to conserve is the world of order that we have inherited, if in a damaged condition, from our ancestors. The conservative mind and the ideological mind stand at opposite poles. And the contest between those two mentalities may be no less strenuous in the twenty—first century than it has been during the twentieth. Possibly this book of mine may be of help to those of the rising generation who have the courage to oppose ideological zealots."

--- The Politics of Prudence / Russell Kirk

Links - 15th March 2018 (1)

When Intersectionality Silences Women - "“People call you a bigot and a Nazi. To your face. People who actually like you tell you that it is dangerous to speak about those things. That you could lose everything very fast. They plead with you to shut up. Not actively expressing one’s views isn’t enough anymore, though. There is a new thing: Some students are no longer happy with people completely avoiding issues. They raise tricky topics indirectly and expect you to virtue signal back. If you stay neutral they become visibly upset and keep virtue signalling until they realise that you will not signal back. Then, they start whispering among themselves: ‘She is a Nazi.’”
“I’ve already been shunned from most of my old friends after they found out I was no longer into social justice. On my campus, kids with similar views to mine have been slandered by Antifa, they’ve had threatening posters made with their faces/full names on them. I’m afraid that if word spreads about my views, it could happen to me as well.”..
A German physicist and engineer reported finding her work constrained by an expectation that she must relate to STEM as a woman rather than as a scientist.
“The university often has special ‘women only’ seminars, scholarships, support services, etc, which I find completely abhorrent, collectivist, and counterproductive to the scientific work I’m involved in. I feel like I’m not valued as an individual, but as a particular set of genitals.”...
A German psychologist said that she could not include controversial findings in her work even though these could be addressed without prejudiced assumptions:
“Difficult findings must be talked about: A recent study with a very large sample (around 11,000 children) found that children who grow up in same-sex parent households have a significantly higher risk of mental health problems, among other things. I am pro same sex partnerships but if children are being negatively affected that must be addressed. If I spoke about those findings I would be ostracized for being a bigot. Data on migrants (crime, illiteracy, infectious diseases, costs to the tax payer) must not ever be mentioned. But we cannot plan ahead or fix issues if we don’t speak about them.”
Another social scientist found she was unable to look at gender and economics because of objections to the division by gender. ...
Five women reported being shouted at or facing verbal abuse and hostility for their views"
Modern feminism silences women who don't agree with it

The Next Wave of Extremists Will Be Green – Foreign Policy - "Radicals of all types share certain characteristics. According to Peter Neumann, the director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) and author of Der Terror ist unter uns (“The Terror Is Among Us”), people who become radicalized typically have a “sense of grievance” — sometimes real, sometimes perceived — and a belief that legitimate channels for redress are shut off, inaccessible, or ineffective. There is also usually a social element, in the form of a charismatic preacher or ideology, that spurs people to seek emotional fulfillment through otherwise forbidden methods for redemption... A recent report from the Department of Homeland Security warned of attacks from eco-terrorists who “believe violence is justified”"

Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making - "“We discovered that people using a foreign language were not any more concerned with maximizing the greater good,” said lead author Sayuri Hayakawa, a UChicago doctoral student in psychology. “But rather, were less averse to violating the taboos that can interfere with making utility-maximizing choices.” The researchers, including Albert Costa and Joanna Corey from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, propose that using a foreign language gives people some emotional distance and that allowed them to take the more utilitarian action.""

What College Graduates Regret - "a third of college graduates who majored in social science, liberal arts or education regretted their decision. (In comparison, 24 percent of people with science and engineering degrees wish they'd studied something else.) But overall, when asked what they wish they'd done differently in college, "choosing a different major" wasn't the top answer. The most popular answer, given by half of all respondents, was "gaining more work experience." Choosing a different major was the fourth most popular response, after "studying harder" and "looking for work sooner.""
For all the eloquent defences of why you should take a humanities education, the numbers are interesting. If broken down by major they would likely be even more interesting

The Doom Loop of Liberalism - "Rich countries tend to redistribute wealth from the rich few to the less-rich multitude. But when that multitude suddenly includes minorities who are seen as outsiders, the white majority can turn resentful and take back their egalitarian promises. Take, for example, the Twin Cities of Minnesota. They were once revered for their liberal local policies—like corporate-tax redistribution from rich areas to poor neighborhoods and low-income housing construction near business districts. But since the 1980s, as the metro area attracted more nonwhite immigrants, the metro has become deeply segregated by income and race and affordable-housing construction has backtracked. Or take Finland, that renowned “Santa Claus State” of cradle-to-grave social services, where the welfare state is being “systematically dismantled.” The far right has emerged in the last few decades, just as foreign-born population has suddenly grown... cultural heterogeneity and egalitarianism often cut against each other. Pluralist social democracy is stuck in a finger trap of math and bigotry, where to pull on one end (support for diversity) seems to naturally strain the other (support for equality)."

A Million First Dates - "“You could say online dating allows people to get into relationships, learn things, and ultimately make a better selection,” says Gonzaga. “But you could also easily see a world in which online dating leads to people leaving relationships the moment they’re not working—an overall weakening of commitment.”... subjects who selected a chocolate from an array of six options believed it tasted better than those who selected the same chocolate from an array of 30."

Why Education is a Limited Determinant of Mobility - "increasing skills and educational attainment are often insufficient for disrupting economic trajectories"

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s - "it’s harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise... The fact that the body weights of Americans today are influenced by factors beyond their control is a sign, Kuk says, that society should be kinder to people of all body types."

Why I Hope to Die at 75 - "living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic... over recent decades, increases in longevity seem to have been accompanied by increases in disability—not decreases... There was an “increase in the life expectancy with disease and a decrease in the years without disease. The same is true for functioning loss, an increase in expected years unable to function”... creativity rises rapidly as a career commences, peaks about 20 years into the career, at about age 40 or 45, and then enters a slow, age-related decline. There are some, but not huge, variations among disciplines. Currently, the average age at which Nobel Prize–winning physicists make their discovery—not get the prize—is 48. Theoretical chemists and physicists make their major contribution slightly earlier than empirical researchers do. Similarly, poets tend to peak earlier than novelists do. Simonton’s own study of classical composers shows that the typical composer writes his first major work at age 26, peaks at about age 40 with both his best work and maximum output, and then declines, writing his last significant musical composition at 52"

The Medieval Knight With a Chinese Sword, Who Was Once A Bridge

A Graphic Guide to Cemetery Symbolism

Twitter just doubled the character limit for tweets to 280 - "About 9 percent of all tweets today are exactly 140 characters, Twitter says. It’s tough to do that on accident, suggesting that users frequently have to edit their initial thoughts to get them under the limit..The average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters, and only 0.4 percent of tweets hit the 140-character limit"

When Did The Star Wars Prequels Become Cool? - "Nostalgia belongs to those with the defining culture voice. On the internet, that voice is fractured and twisted but typically comes from those aged 25-35. Today, on the lower extremity of that, you have those who were children when the prequels came out and possibly first experienced the galaxy far, far away with Anakin, rather than Luke. So, just as ten years ago the likes of Ghostbusters and Back to the Future – films that in 2017 are still universally accepted as greats but not readily raised touchstones – were the peak of throwback culture, now it’s shifting to The Matrix and, yes, Star Wars... They introduce a completely opposed galactic backdrop – a crumbling, corrupted Republic instead of a binary civil war – have a litany of fresh, sleek designs (before slowly evolving into the ships and planets we know), and for all the narrative parallels (as George famously said “it’s like poetry, they rhyme”) they’re telling a fresh story. Above all, they’re tonally separate. Anakin’s fall is a dark companion to Luke’s arc, yet it comes alongside Palpatine’s Machiavellian rise and dogmatic politics."

Palm Springs Council now entirely made up of LGBT members
Does this mean they're no longer "diverse"?

Married Pakistani doctor molested Muslim student nurse - "'Shortly afterwards Miss A was in the ward kitchen when he entered the room and closed the door behind him. He asked whether she had a thyroid problem before feeling her neck. 'She was backed into the corner when the registrant touched her chest at the top where her breasts start. She said he put his fingers there for a few seconds before she pushed them away. 'Miss A says she held her hand up to signal for him to move away and told him he was a disgrace. He asked for a hug and she refused but he did it anyway. 'Then he grabbed her right breast for a few seconds. Miss A said he was laughing and trying to make light if the situation and then became aggressive and said that friends do what he was trying to do.'... Qureshi was sentenced at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court to a 12-month community order with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement after he was convicted by a jury of sexual assault."
Looks like the UK doesn't punish molest like Singapore does

NHS appeal for black blood donors 'drops straight knowledge' - "Using a string of references from Sinbad, to Ellen DeGeneres, to Bill Nye, the GiveBlood social media team explained the universality of blood, the exceptional need for different blood groups, and the prevalence of different groups in different races. Particularly, black people are more likely to have the rare Ro blood subtype, which only one in 50 people have, and which is used in the management of sickle cell disesase."
I thought race didn't exist

A black student wrote those racist messages that shook the Air Force Academy, school says - The Washington Post - "The person responsible for the racist messages, the academy said, was, in fact, one of the cadet candidates who reported being targeted by them... The announcement thrust the Air Force Academy Preparatory School onto a growing list of recent “hate crime hoaxes” — instances in which acts of racism or anti-Semitism were later found to be committed by someone in the targeted minority group. On Monday, police in Riley County, Kansas, revealed that a 21-year-old black man, Dauntarius Williams, admitted to defacing his car with racist graffiti as a “Halloween prank that got out of hand.” Scrawled in washable paint were racist messages telling blacks to “Go Home,” “Date your own kind,” and “Die.”... Officials decided not to file criminal charges against Williams for filing a false report, saying it “would not be in the best interests” of citizens of the Manhattan, Kan., community... There is even a website — — committed to listing hate crime hoaxes... BuzzFeed News found 154 total incidents of hate speech at more than 120 college campuses nationwide... authorities caught fewer than 5 percent of perpetrators in cases of vandalism or threats. In at least three instances, college officials determined the incident was a hoax"
Assuming hoaxers are equally likely to get caught, this means that at least half of reported hate crimes are hoaxes

Remember When Eastern Michigan University Erupted In Protest Over Racist Graffiti? It Was A Hoax. - "Eastern Michigan University erupted in protests after racist graffiti — red, white, and blue spray-painted "KKK" and "leave n*****s" — was discovered on school property on three different occasions. According to university police, the racist incidents appear to have been a hoax, allegedly perpetrated by a 29-year-old black man named Eddie Curlin... Protests instantly erupted over the incidents, gaining national attention and building a post-Trump racism-in-America narrative... "EMU even created a website to track updates regarding the vandalism. Those updates included holding a day-long teach-on on racism, diversity, and inclusion; creating the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion; another day-long teach-in called 'Know Justice, Know Peace'; promoting a campus-wide unity rally; providing psychological and counseling services to students affected by the vandalism and more.""

Working at Google seemed like a dream job. The reality has been a tedious, pointless nightmare. - The Washington Post - "In some ways, my experience is not so different than that of other twenty-somethings in corporate America. Yet Google’s low-level HR employees are barraged by higher-ups about Passion! and how we are Changing People’s Lives!... I began to wonder if I was crazy, eating alone in the cafeteria and wearing ear plugs so I wouldn’t have to overhear one more random Googler claim, without irony or visible self-consciousness, to have held “a mini-pow-wow on 360 wellness,” or to be “a product expert across a myriad of domains hoping to sync and gain best practices.” I can’t tell who believes themselves and who is just acting, because everyone participates. Every email has an exclamation mark, or ten. Google HR is a special type of hell ruled by the tyranny of positivity. It’s a privileged hell, for sure, but it’s hell, and its primary trait is hollowness."

The blue state depression - "Of the 10 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins — California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut — every single one of them lost domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years (2004-14). Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states. They are the loser states. They are all progressive. High taxes rates. High welfare benefits. Heavy regulation. Environmental extremism. Super minimum wages. Most outlaw energy drilling. The whole left-wing playbook is on display in the Hillary states. And people are leaving in droves. Day after day, they are being bled to death. So much for liberalism creating a worker’s paradise... pretty much the same pattern holds true for jobs"

Subjective Well‐Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? - "Deaton (2008) and Stevenson and Wolfers (2008) find that the well-being–income relationship is roughly a linear-log relationship, such that, while each additional dollar of income yields a greater increment to measured happiness for the poor than for the rich, there is no satiation point... we find no evidence of a satiation point. The income–well-being link that one finds when examining only the poor, is similar to that found when examining only the rich. We show that this finding is robust across a variety of datasets, for various measures of subjective well-being, at various thresholds, and that it holds in roughly equal measure when making cross-national comparisons between rich and poor countries as when making comparisons between rich and poor people within a country."
Data complicating the Easterlin Paradox
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