Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Pulitzer-prize winning author Alice Walker criticised for endorsing 'anti-Semitic' book
Walker included David Icke's And the Truth Shall Set You Free, in which he claims 'alternative information' about the Holocaust is being suppressed, in a list of books currently on her nightstand
    She did not endorse it, she had it or her night stand to read it.     Do we have thought police to tell us what we can and can't read?    What would be the reason for not reading it?  That reading things she does not agree with would damage her soul?

Disney accused of colonialism over 'hakuna matata' trademark
Petition urges company to drop trademark on Swahili phrase before summer release of Lion King remake.
 I see a major problem with somebody registering " no problem" as a trademark.   I don't see any colonialism, except in the people reacting, but allowing this to be registered as a trademark is just stupid and should be above the power of any court.  It's like registering "good morning" as a trademark.

Swedish women-only music festival found guilty of discrimination
The Statement festival was found in breach of gender discrimination law but will not be penalised
 If men want a festival (or a bar or  a sports club) as “a safe space for the people who want to attend without feeling scared for their personal safety”, and have it remain a protected space “until ALL women learn how to behave themselves,” I have no doubt that the lawsuits would be flying.

The next 100 days will define Brexit – it will be our job to find clarity in the mess
Good luck with that, especially when Britain does not know what it wants from Brexit.

Labour Denies Jeremy Corbyn Called Theresa May A 'Stupid Woman' During PMQs
Stupid woman is NOT mysogynistic. It is a descriptor of someone who is stupid and a woman. 
Is "stupid man" mysandrous? If it is not, then the people who say "stupid woman" is misogyinst are being sexist in the extreme.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Workplace Harassment Affects Nearly 1 In 5 Canadian Women, 1 In 8 Men
Does nagging count as verbal abuse, humiliating behaviour or sexual harassment?

Hundreds Of  Tube Adverts Tell Passengers How To Stop People Being Deported On Flights
Absolutely. We don't want people who abide by the law. We like people who break the law. 
Especially if it gets us our 15 minutes of fame.

Freeland Says Feds Couldn't Cut 'Corners' In U.S.'s Request To Arrest Huawei Executive
I agree, it would be bad to cut corners, but keeping her in jail for 10 days is outrageous. That's not cutting corners, it is simply the actions of a police state acting on behalf of a foreign power. I think that's is what the Chinese were saying by detaining two Canadians: when you break Chinese law, you can have it played rough or smooth.

  1. Today I am making good on my promise to defend our Farmers & Ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. I have authorized Secretary Perdue to implement the 2nd round of Market Facilitation Payments. Our economy is stronger than ever–we stand with our Farmers!
  2. Corporate welfare to pay agribusiness government checks, like a good socialist.
    1. Anytime you hear a Democrat saying that you can have good Border Security without a Wall, write them off as just another politician following the party line. Time for us to save billions of dollars a year and have, at the same time, far greater safety and control!
    2. If you want the wall so much, pay for it yourself. You obviously do not have the votes in the house to pass it or you would have done something in the past two years.
  3.   Retweeted
    .: President will not back down until he can ensure the people of this country are protected.
  4. Replying to   and 
    And, sadly, a wall will not protect them, so he is pretty well stuffed.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny
       The decline was caused less by gaping wounds than gaping inequality, and by leaders unable or unwilling to remedy it....
On one side was a class of “superwealthy Romans”, enriched by military conquest and growing financial sophistication. They dined off silver plate, ate imported fish, drank vintage wine and holidayed in extravagant Mediterranean villas. One of the most powerful was Crassus, a man who made his fortune in unscrupulous property deals, then used that money to buy political influence.
       Yet while some Romans swilled from ornate goblets, the majority drank a more bitter draught. They endured a life of backbreaking work and the knowledge that they would almost certainly end up poorer than their parents. Such a situation could hardly last—and didn’t.
“the emergence of a personality-driven, populist politicking.”'
“they came to believe that freedom from oppression could only exist in a polity controlled by one man.” 

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

I’m A Man And It Took Me Years To Recognize I Had Been Sexually Assaulted
Gosh. I hope you reported it to the police.   You forgot to mentioned her name, which we need, as we will want her pilloried in the newspapers, on radio and TV.   There is no reason she should ever work again.

Playing by His Own Rules, Trump Flips the Shutdown Script
If I don't get what I want I will make everybody's Christmas miserable.
Sadly, we all (Democrats, Republican and Libertarians) want border security, but our President is stuck on a wall that won't do the job. It will be expensive, do next to nothing to stop illegal immigration and nothing at all to stop drug trafficking.
Other than making his buddies in the wall building business richer on government contracts, is there any other motivation for this silly wall. Is it that he just wants to live in a gated community.
Anyway, Mexico will pay for the wall, won't they Donnie?

Michael Flynn Asks Judge for Leniency for Lying to F.B.I.
It was a trap. Mike Pence made him lie!
Public behavior has consequences.

Monday, 10 December 2018

The Partisan Mind
Here is an interesting article which tells us why we never convince anybody with political arguments.

I do try to have an open mind, but I may be deluding myself.   Standing opposed to tyranny in any form, for equality, free trade and being a fiscal conservative, I suspect I fight these positions, often to the exclusion of  listening to others.
In arguments, I generally favour the little guy but try to be ethical in all of my decisions.
I believe in freedom of religion and freedom from religion – practice your faith on your own time.
I believe in the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, but cannot see why that means that nutters, toddlers, terrorists, police killers and MS-13 should have legal access to guns.
I don’t think the government has any business deciding what people do with their bodies or what they consume.
I am not a Ronald Reagan open-border person, believing in strictly legal immigration, but I understand we cannot deport 12 million people without turning into a police state.
I support Bush Senior’s  “New World Order”
I believe in science, from global warming to the unmitigated benefits of GMO food.
I don’t believe in party over country. becoming an independent once the conservatives left me to become a cult of personality.
I believe that the Trump/Clinton election was an absolute disaster for our country regardless of who won and that Trump is the worst president we have ever had.
I believe that Republicans and Democrats (and Libertarians & Green) are Americans first, albeit with some differing ideas about how to run our country.
If I stand up for any these positions with incivility, please call me on it.

What psychology experiments tell you about why people deny facts
Many of us will pay money to avoid points of view that differ from our own
ECONOMIST Print edition | United States Dec 8th 2018
In 2015, after the Supreme Court had affirmed the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, Jeremy Frimer of the University of Winnipeg asked 200 randomly selected Americans to take part in a simple experiment. Having established who was for and who was against gay marriage, he told them they had been entered into a lottery to win $10. He then asked those in favour to read and respond to eight arguments against their view. They were allowed instead to read and reply to eight arguments in favour, but in that case, the value of their lottery prize would be reduced to $7. Those against same-sex marriage were offered the same trade-off: they could keep their $10 ticket if they read eight arguments in favour, but the prize was lower if they chose to read arguments against. Almost two-thirds (on both sides) gave up the chance of winning a little extra to avoid being exposed to the other point of view. People look for, remember and in this case are willing to forgo money for information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs.

On November 27th President Trump dismissed a 1,650-page National Climate Assessment in which 13 federal agencies gave warning about the costs and dangers of global warming. “People like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence,” he told the Washington Post, modestly, “but we’re not necessarily such believers.” The president is speaking for his core supporters, too. According to the Pew Research Centre, only 15% of conservative Republicans trust scientists to give full and accurate information about the causes of climate change, compared with 70% of liberal Democrats. Most explanations for the extent of climate denial in America focus on the political influence and campaign contributions of energy companies. But as Mr Frimer’s experiment suggests, psychological explanations also suggest that people are willing to dismiss or deny facts and opinions that run counter to their beliefs.

Such behaviour might seem short-sighted and self-defeating. But in a book of 2017, “The Enigma of Reason”, two cognitive scientists, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, argue that reasoning did not evolve “to help individuals achieve greater knowledge and make better decisions”. Rather, they say, it evolved to improve the ability of ancestral hunter-gatherers to co-operate in small groups. As they put it: “What reason does…is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others…and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us.” In other words, a lot of reasoning is devoted to affirming your group’s identity and your position within it.

Several recent studies suggest that what was useful on the plains of Africa is common in contemporary America. A study in 2013 by Dan Kahan of Yale University asked 1,110 people a question about how effective a skin cream was in reducing a rash. The question required some simple mathematics to solve. Unsurprisingly, the most numerate were most likely to solve the problem correctly. Then Mr Kahan gave the group the question in a politicised form, asking how effective banning handguns was in reducing crime (the underlying mathematics was the same). This time, the most numerate people did not necessarily get the right answer. Rather, Republicans who were good at maths were more likely to conclude that banning guns was ineffective, whereas Democrats said the opposite.
They are not necessarily doing this out of bloody-mindedness. It seems that giving consideration to the other sides’ point of view hurts—literally. In another study Mr Frimer asked people who had voted in the 2012 presidential election whether they were interested in hearing why voters had backed the other side. Over a third of Obama voters and more than half of Romney voters compared the experience of listening to the other side’s voters to having a tooth pulled. (Mr Frimer did a related study in Canada before the 2015 election, with similar results, suggesting the findings are not unique to the United States.)

A study in 2016 by Jonas Kaplan of the University of Southern California suggested that such responses are hard-wired in the brain. Mr Kaplan asked 40 liberal voters to get into MRI scanners while they read various statements, including those that supported liberal political orthodoxy (abortion should be legal) and those that challenged it (ten times more people are murdered with kitchen knives each year than are killed by guns). The opinions that challenged liberal positions prompted a greater flow of blood to a part of the brain which is associated with basic beliefs and a sense of personal identity. If this is true, it is not surprising that, when challenged, people are reluctant to admit the other side might have a point.

Sometimes people refuse point-blank to admit awkward facts, as with climate change. And sometimes they may concede and dismiss them. Brendan Nyhan of the University of Michigan and Ethan Porter of George Washington University ran an online study during America’s presidential debates in 2016, asking 1,500 people to rate the candidates’ statements for accuracy. In some cases, when Mr Trump made a misleading claim, they sent out corrections to it, but only to half the group. Those who got the correction lowered their opinion of Mr Trump’s accuracy, compared with those who did not. But this made no difference to their opinions overall. Mr Trump had the same favourability ratings among those who got the corrections as among those who did not. Alas, dear Economist readers, accurate information does not always seem to have much of an effect (but we will keep trying anyway).

“Liberals and Conservatives are Similarly Motivated to Avoid Exposure to One Another’s Opinions”. By Jeremy Frimer, Linda J. Skitka and Matt Motyl. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 72, 1-12 (2017)
The Enigma of Reason. By Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber. Allen Lane, £25, Harvard University Press, $29.95. 416 pages
“Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government”. By Dan M. Kahan, Ellen Peters, Erica Dawson and Paul Slovic. Behavioural Public Policy, 1, 54-86 (2013). Also available as Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 307
“The Polarising Ompact of Science Literacy and Numeracy on Perceived Climate Change Risks”. By Dan M. Kahan, Ellen Peters, Maggie Witlin, Paul Slovic, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, Donald Braman and Gregory Mandel. Nature Climate Change 2, 732-735 (2012)
“Neural Correlates of Maintaining One’s Political Beliefs in the Face of Counterevidence”. Jonas T. Kaplan, Sarah I. Gimbell and Sam Harris, Nature Scientific Reports, December 2016
“Taking Corrections Literally But Not Seriously? The Effects of Information on Factual Beliefs and Candidate Favorability”. By Brendan Nyhan, Jason Reifler, Ethan Porter and Thomas J. Wood

Avoiding Women At Work Is A Childish, Cowardly Response To Me Too
It may be cowardly and childish, but it is a very good insurance policy.
I refer you to the Pony Club rules, both in the UK and USA, which tell volunteers not to be in a closed room with a child.   
"seem to reflect men’s distrust of their own ability to do something pretty simple: share a meal with a young woman without harassing her"
Or, a distrust of women who may find that anything is "harassment" in the age of the #metoo movement
" who choose this take-my-ball-and-go-home approach are robbing women of mentorship and professional development opportunities."
And that flies in the face of "I want to have my cake and eat it too," so that any mentorship or professional development opportunities is fraught with danger for only one party: the male.

Friday, 7 December 2018

NYT: CBS Paid $5 Million In Settlement Over ‘60 Minutes’ Creator’s Alleged Sexual Assault
Well, you can't libel the dead and he is not around to defend himself.
I'm expecting sexual allegations against Roosevelt and Washington next.

Elite Schools Send More Students To Oxbridge Than 2,900 Schools Combined
Gosh. You mean a meritocracy works? Can't have that, can we.

At ‘60 Minutes,’ Independence Led to Trouble, Investigators Say
This is a beat up. The story does not support the headline.

‘Contempt’ of parliament: aren't we all guilty of that?
"Indeed, if holding parliament and its antics in revulsion, repugnance, odium, and execration were really illegal, few of us would escape conviction."

Police to stop passing on immigration status of crime victims
New measures include ban on officers checking computer to see if someone has leave to remain in UK
Indeed.  Why should police know if someone has committed a crime.  It's none of their business.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

It's pretty clear: there IS no integrity to our elections anymore.

'Alarming' Numbers Of Brits Don't Know What Constitutes Rape, Study Finds
"If a woman is very drunk or asleep when a man has sex with her..."
If a man is very drunk or asleep, is it rape to have sex with him?

This Professor Teaches Journalism At A Top UK University. He’s Also A 9/11 Truther
Gosh! You mean this gay has a different opinion from other people? Well that is certainly an excuse for firing him. If he doesn't believe what other people believe, he should be pilloried. We believe in group think!

At the president’s New Jersey golf course, an undocumented immigrant has worked as a maid since 2013   “We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money...”

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's Arrest In Vancouver Sends Global Markets Roiling
It is clear that Canada is complicit in this! Arresting people at the behest of a foreign power for something that is not illegal in Canada.

Trump says he doesn't care about predicted national debt explosion because ‘I won't be here
Donald Trump is reportedly refusing to tackle the US’s spiralling national debt because he will not be in office by the time the situation is expected to reach a crisis point.

  1. Without the phony Russia Witch Hunt, and with all that we have accomplished in the last almost two years (Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judge’s, Military, Vets, etc.) my approval rating would be at 75% rather than the 50% just reported by Rasmussen. It’s called Presidential Harassment!
  2. If you can't take the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. Maybe you should have thought of this before you colluded with the Russians to steal our election.