Saturday, June 23

Earth-shaking cleavage

An amusing story with loads of spinoffs but just one point that I will raise besides the issue of idiot religious leaders banging on about women. Pretty much all organised religions have an unhealthy respect for women and what they do, say, think, wear etc. so don't listen those idiots. 

But On the other hand, be mindful of over emphasis on physical attributes. Cleavage, tanned skin, long hair, etc etc on both males and females is a common sight. Which is fine. But use this fact, over emphasis on physical attributes over mental attributes is a signal that you must learn to identify and the make use of. Nothing wrong in this, don't get me wrong but it's a means of communication. He or she is telling you something and as with every communication, there is something said and unsaid about it. 

Till then laugh at these idiots » Tabsir Redux: Earth-shaking cleavage

Sun 16 Oct 2011

Tabsir Redux: Earth-shaking cleavage

Posted by tabsir under Gender and Sexuality , Iran , Journalism and Media


Violence, scandal and sex: the media feed us a daily diet and we lap it up like faithful mutts willing to chase any sensationalized bone thrown our way. So when an Iranian cleric says something ludicrous to our sectarian ears, it is all the more newsworthy because it is so entertaining. But after the recent loss of life in Haiti, Chile and China, is it really a laughing matter when a far-off cleric blames natural disasters on God’s wrath over human behavior? Consider an AP story which broke on April 19 and was submitted, ironically, by a reporter with the first name of Scheherezade (her namesake could spin a tale almost to death). Here is the bait:

Iranian cleric: Promiscuous women cause quakes


BEIRUT — A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

Wednesday, June 20

Such a long journey


Indians are frequently called as a model minority. Here is one example of how Indians fared in Trinidad. 

Fascinating story. I wonder what you will tell your daughter about how your father immigrated from India to the uk? Dadu immigrated from Bangladesh. You don't hear much from me on that but one day we will go there :)



Such a long journey


By Namit Arora

How and why 145,000 people migrated to a small Caribbean island.

Image: Carey L Biron

I recently visited the Indian Caribbean Museum near the town of Chaguanas in Trinidad. Set in a large hall, the museum did not have other visitors at the time. Its friendly curator, 69-year-old Saisbhan Jokhan, came out to greet me and quickly proved to be a trove of information. The museum commemorates the history of a million Indo-Caribbeans, whose ancestors came as indentured labourers from the Subcontinent between 1838 and 1917. Graphic panels at the museum include details on immigrant ships, copies of girmits (indenture agreements) and rare archival photos of life on Caribbean sugarcane plantations. Evocative objects abound: an improvised sarangi, a pair of wood slippers, a rotary sugarcane press like the ones still used in mofussil India, even a life-size model of an indentured worker’s hut. Other displays show milestones in the life of the community, such as a 1970 photo of the first ‘Indo-Trini’ policewoman; a panel on Alice Jan, the first lady of Indo-Trini culture; and Indo-Trinis winning the right to build their own schools in 1952, allowing them to replace Christian with Hindu teaching.

Tuesday, June 19

An economist looks at veiling

I suppose it had to happen, lol. I quote

Veiling among Muslim women is modeled as a commitment mechanism that limits temptation to deviate from religious norms of behavior. Our analysis suggests that veiling is a strategy for integration, enabling women to take up outside economic opportunities while preserving their reputation within the community. This accounts for puzzling features of the new veiling movement
since the 1970s. Veiling also has surprising effects on the intergenerational transmission of values. Compulsory veiling laws can lead to a decline in religiosity. Bans on veiling can inhibit social integration and increase religiosity

Veiling has been on the increase pretty much over the past few years. But the authors actually draw up an econometric model, very interesting and amusing. But here’s an interesting paragraph

In recent work, Meyersson (2010) uses a regression discontinuity design, to compare the economic outcomes of elections where an Islamic party won or lost municipal mayor seats by a narrow margin.
He finds that rule by an Islamic party leads to higher female (secular) education, particularly in poorer and more religious areas. Islamic rule also leads to greater female labor
24force participation and shifts in female employment from agriculture to services. Meyersson provides evidence that ruling Islamic parties increased provision of religious “add
ons” such as Qur’anic study centers, prayer rooms and dormitories where the headscarf
could be worn, creating a more religious educational environment that induced conservative Muslims to send their daughters to state schools, where the headscarf is banned.
This suggests that one’s choice of veiling and one’s general environment are substitutes.

This will send the people who think about women’s rights into a bit of a conniption. Can you imagine the dilemma? Veiling allows women to get more educated?

Monday, June 18

Is The World Just?

Here is an ethical dilemma son. And I have to admit that I also find it difficult to express sympathy towards prisoners and their mistreatment. You will infrequently hear stories of how prisoners are pampered, have great facilities etc etc. recently there was a big controversy about how the British government does not want the prisoners to have the vote. I disagree with this. A vote is an essential part of being a citizen. And the vote keeps the state in check. Somewhat. So the very idea that the state can take away your right to vote is anathema for me. But that said, would I react in the same manner for man who gets raped in a prison compared to a man or woman who gets raped in an alleyway in London? No. 

This is wrong on my part. A crime is a crime, even if it's been committed on a criminal. 

Something to think about son. This is why I'm pushing you to do some charitable work. You will find it improves your viewpoint and makes you a better person hugely. You will see when you meet people. Other things being equal, a person who is a good Samaritan is a better person to be with compared to somebody who isn't. They are warmer, they are better people to spend time with, they are more empathetic, make better friends, enjoy more happiness and are simply good. Have a think son, try to do something starting these holidays :)



Is The World Just? | Wired Science |

In many American prisons, the treatment of prisoners is a national disgrace. Numerous reports have documented widespread prisoner abuse, prison rape, medical neglect and severe overcrowding. In recent weeks, for instance, there have been a number of important articles describing abuse in the Los Angeles County Jails. Here’s a sampling of headlines from the LA Times: “LA County Deputy Says He Was Forced To Beat Mentally Ill Inmate,” “Inmate Dies Two Days After Being Punched In The Head By Deputy,” “Ex-Deputy Says He Routinely Used Improper Force,” and “Report Cites Widespread Abuse At County Jails.” The horrific details stem from a new report released by the ACLU, which includes testimony from prison chaplains:

Juan Pablo Reyes was punched by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies over and over again in the ribs, mouth and eyes, breaking his eye socket and leaving his body badly bruised. After falling to the ground, the deputies continued to kick Reyes, an inmate at the Los Angeles County Jail, with their steel-toed boots, ignoring his cries.

And the deputies didn’t stop there.

They ordered Reyes to strip and forced him to walk naked up and down the hallway of a housing module, in full view of other inmates. One deputy yelled, “Gay boy walking.” Reyes began to cry, but the deputies just looked on and laughed. They then put him in a cell where he was beaten and sexually assaulted by other inmates. He desperately pled for help and to be removed from the cell, but to no avail.

Let’s be clear: the overwhelming majority of these prisoners have committed crimes. Many of them have committed serious violent crimes. They are serving their time. They deserve to be punished. But that doesn’t begin to explain the awfulness of their living conditions.

Sunday, June 17

If young Americans knew what was good for them, they would all be in the Tea Party.

This great lecture, at end of the day, will come and go, and the moron Politicians and the even more idiotic public will simply ignore it. People do not realise that they are spending money which belongs to our children and our grand children. Did you know that the current conservative government has taken on more debt in 4 years than the entire Labour government in the last time over 13 years? What the hell is happening?

Some extracts

The heart of the matter is the way public debt allows the current generation of voters to live at the expense of those as yet too young to vote or as yet unborn. These mind-boggling numbers represent nothing less than a vast claim by the generation currently retired or about to retire on their children and grandchildren, who are obligated by current law to find the money in the future, by submitting either to substantial increases in taxation or to drastic cuts in other forms of public expenditure.

If young Americans knew what was good for them, they would all be in the Tea Party.

The present system is, to put it bluntly, fraudulent. There are no regularly published and accurate official balance sheets. Huge liabilities are simply hidden from view.

Not even the current income and expenditure statements can be relied upon in some countries. No legitimate business could possible carry on in this fashion.

Western democracies are going to carry on in their current feckless fashion until, one after another, they follow Greece and the other Mediterranean economies into the fiscal death spiral that begins with a loss of credibility, continues with a rise in borrowing costs, and ends as governments are forced to impose spending cuts and higher taxes at the worst possible moment.

In this scenario, the endgame involves some combination of default and inflation. We all end up as Argentina.