Archive for April 2008

Time for Chuck to grow up

Apr 18th, 2008 11:50 am | By

Speaking of stupid stuff, the struggle continues to persuade the future king to act like a responsible adult and not endanger the health of his ‘subjects.’

The Prince of Wales is being challenged today to withdraw two guides promoting alternative medicine…The documents, published by the Prince and his Foundation for Integrated Health, misrepresent scientific evidence about therapies such as homoeopathy, acupuncture and reflexology…Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, and Simon Singh, a science writer and broadcaster, call on the Prince to recall the publications, one of which was produced with a £900,000 grant from the Department of Health…Professor Ernst and Dr Singh say the Prince accepted the importance of “rigorous scientific evidence” to alternative medicine,

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Good journalism

Apr 18th, 2008 11:03 am | By

Chris Hedges has a new book out, a really terrible book on the putative ‘new’ atheists. It’s so stupid it’s unreadable. This is a little surprising, since he was a foreign correspondent for the NY Times for several years, and even though the Times is not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, I would expect it to be above the kind of counter-factual drivel Hedges perpetrates in I Don’t Believe in Atheists. Or would I. No on second thought maybe I wouldn’t. Anyway the book is the kind of stupid that makes your jaw drop as you read. You don’t have to wait long, either – only five pages in you find

[The liberal church] accepts along

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Pope Rebukes US for Being Secular *

Apr 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Thinks religion has a monopoly on morality.… Read the rest

Prince’s Guide to Alternative Medicine Inaccurate *

Apr 17th, 2008 | Filed by

‘The nation cannot be served by promoting ineffective and sometimes dangerous alternative treatments.’… Read the rest

‘Moderate’ South Asian Imams to be Invited to UK *

Apr 17th, 2008 | Filed by

‘To ensure imams are firmly rooted in the communities they serve.’ Eh?… Read the rest

The Funding of Islamic Studies *

Apr 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Much of the funding comes from the Saudis; is this a worry?… Read the rest

Khadim Hussain on Special Laws in Tribal Areas *

Apr 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Colonial masters and indigenous elites, have convinced the tribal elite of their ‘distinctive culture’.… Read the rest

Have a nice energy yawn

Apr 16th, 2008 12:00 pm | By

Charlie Brooker saw a ‘Newsnight’ piece on ‘Brain Gym’.

It’s essentially a series of simple exercises lumbered with names that make you want to steer a barbed wire bus into its creator’s face. One manoeuvre, in which you massage the muscles round the jaw, is called the “energy yawn”…Throughout the report I was grinding my teeth and shaking my head – a movement I call a “dismay churn”…because I care about the difference between fantasy and reality…Perhaps the Department for Children, Schools and Families confused fantasy with reality the day it endorsed Brain Gym. Because while Brain Gym’s coochy-coo exercises may well be fun or relaxing, what they’re definitely good at is increasing the flow of bullshit into children’s

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Tehran’s Anti-vice Chief Arrested *

Apr 16th, 2008 | Filed by

He was found with six naked women in a house of prostitution last month.… Read the rest

Corruption in Catholic Church Starts at Top *

Apr 16th, 2008 | Filed by

Victims say pope is protecting some 19 bishops accused of raping children… Read the rest

8-year-old Gets Her Divorce *

Apr 16th, 2008 | Filed by

But her family has to pay compensation to her former ‘husband.’… Read the rest

Manufactured Controversy *

Apr 16th, 2008 | Filed by

When significant disagreement doesn’t exist among scientists, but is invented to achieve political ends. … Read the rest

Virgins for Sale! Be the First to Nail Suli! *

Apr 16th, 2008 | Filed by

If a little girl is really pretty, she can sell for 40,000 rupees. That’s enough for a nice party.… Read the rest

The Pseudoscience of Brain Gym *

Apr 16th, 2008 | Filed by

Coochy-coo exercises may be fun, but they’re definitely good at increasing the flow of bullshit into children’s heads.… Read the rest

Apologetics and the Surrender of the Fourth Estate

Apr 16th, 2008 | By Gil Gaudia

It has been debated whether the term “the Fourth Estate” which refers to journalism or a “free press” was originated by Edmund Burke, who once pointed to the gallery of reporters in the British Parliament and declared them to be the fourth, and most important, element overseeing a triumvirate of governmental power. In my opinion, this was one of the most perceptive descriptions of democracy and its processes, applying equally well to the British Parliament and the Estates General of France (from which the term was derived); the constituents were supposed to be representatives of the society’s main elements— the nobility, the middle class and the clergy. Burke was saying that the influence of a free press was, and should … Read the rest

Joseph Hoffmann on Good Without God *

Apr 15th, 2008 | Filed by

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the first spin doctors, transforming Yahweh into a compassionate conservative.… Read the rest

Texas Sect Women ‘Tell Their Side of the Story” *

Apr 15th, 2008 | Filed by

They’re angry at the government. Sad, but what about all those pregnant young girls?… Read the rest

Child Marriage is Where Religious Freedom Ends *

Apr 15th, 2008 | Filed by

This is where the imperative of protecting the vulnerable collides with freedom of religion. … Read the rest

Costume is Control in Polygamy *

Apr 15th, 2008 | Filed by

‘You don’t want to stand out. You want to be invisible and do what your husband wants.’… Read the rest

Episcopal fluff

Apr 14th, 2008 12:22 pm | By

The Bishop of Oxford seems to be in an irritable mood.

For a Christian it is always too early to give a final verdict, for only at the end of time will all be known, or as Tony Blair put it, it must be “left to God’s judgment”. It is strange how this standard piece of Christian orthodoxy should arouse such ire amongst the cultured despisers of religion just because it came from a Christian prime minister. They should have been worried if it hadn’t.

No it isn’t. It isn’t strange at all. It’s the taking it for granted that is strange. We know it’s a standard piece of Christian orthodoxy, of course, but that’s just it – it’s … Read the rest