Archive for May 2009

Don’t Mention the Pope’s Hitler Youth Past *

May 13th, 2009 | Filed by

‘The Pope was never in the Hitler Youth, never, never, never,’ spokesman told a press conference.… Read the rest

Frontline Interviews Journalist on the SEC *

May 13th, 2009 | Filed by

‘A thesis emerged within the agency that it was too much of a burden on the American economy.’… Read the rest

Frontline on Madoff *

May 13th, 2009 | Filed by

The world’s first global ponzi scheme; how did he do it, why didn’t the SEC act?… Read the rest

Pakistan: BBC Map Shows Spread of Taliban *

May 13th, 2009 | Filed by

Map shows the Taleban strengthening their hold across the north-west. Zardari rejects the findings.… Read the rest

Barbara Forrest Responds to Francis Beckwith *

May 13th, 2009 | Filed by

Forrest called Beckwith a supporter of ID in her paper ‘The Non-epistemology of Intelligent Design.’… Read the rest

Radical orthodoxy meets progressive conservatism

May 13th, 2009 9:46 am | By

Meet theologian-social theorist John Milbank.

Militant atheism or “scientism” is expanding to fill the gap left by the “exhaustion” of secular ideologies such as capitalism, communism and humanism, he suggests. “What’s left to turn into an ideology except for natural science itself?”

That’s a false choice. It assumes that everyone wants an ideology and that the putative exhaustion of his list of putative secular ideologies leaves a ‘gap’ and that the ‘gap’ is something that people want to fill. Some people are attracted to ideologies, but not all people are, and even some people who are attracted to them can learn to outgrow the attraction. He is perhaps extrapolating from himself, perhaps for reasons of self-protection: he is dependent … Read the rest

The feathers on elephants

May 12th, 2009 4:42 pm | By

Now…about PZ’s elephant allegory. It all depends exactly what it is that Eagletosh is getting up to with those wings and iridescent feathers of many hues. That final question, in particular –

Where do you find meaning and joy and richness and beauty, O Reader? In elephants, or elephants’ wings?

In both. Both, both, both. (Gee, that’s a silly word if you say it more than once.) Absolutely in both. There’s no way I’m going to pick one over the other, or repudiate the elephants’ wings. Always assuming, that is, that Eagletosh is doing what we can loosely call poetry, and not religion. He’s doing some of each in the allegory, so that’s why I say it depends. But … Read the rest

Taken into custody

May 12th, 2009 1:27 pm | By

Last February four female journalists in Sierra Leone were attacked, forced to strip and marched through a town by a pro-FGM group.

Witnesses said the four were accused of reporting on an anti-FGM campaign last Friday, which marked the international day of zero tolerance to female circumcision. The women were allegedly abducted by a pro-FGM group in the eastern city of Kenema, then stripped naked and marched through the streets before police and human rights organisations intervened to set them free.

The significance of their being stripped and marched through the streets is of course obvious – it’s the pinching and spitting and shouts of ‘Kintirlee!‘ all over again. The point was to say ‘Look at these disgusting … Read the rest

Michelle Goldberg on relativism and FGM

May 12th, 2009 1:02 pm | By

‘On Feb. 6, 2007, two women, both of whom had been circumcised in Africa , met in the conference room of a small foundation on Fifth Avenue in New York City for a highly unusual debate. It was the fourth annual International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation, an occasion for events across the globe dedicated to abolishing the practice.’ One was Fuambai Ahmadu, the American-born daughter of a Sierra Leonean family, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics; the other was Grace Mose, who grew up in an Abagusii village in southwestern Kenya. Mose was there as an active opponent of FGM, and Ahmadu was there as … Read the rest

Normblog Writer’s Choice: Russell Blackford *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

Stranger in a Strange Land has some of the characteristics of a monomyth, some of those of an encyclopaedia.… Read the rest

The Demjanjuk Case *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

The German judiciary is making the point that no one is immune from justice – even sixty years later.… Read the rest

AIRRA Update on Swat *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

The ongoing militancy in Swat and the military operation has caused huge hardships for the population of the area. … Read the rest

Hans Holzer, Ghost Scholar *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

The Other Side is run by a bureaucracy; spirits must ask permission and list their motives to contact mediums.… Read the rest

Let’s Ask God What To Do *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

Lisbon Treaty will secure a stronger consultative role for European religions in EU policy making.… Read the rest

UAE: Torture Sheikh Arrested *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

Video showed the sheik torturing a grain dealer with whips, cattle prods, and a plank with protruding nails.… Read the rest

Girls Punished for Being Born Female *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

Five girls went briefly into comas, nearly 100 were taken to hospital after a gas attack on their school.… Read the rest

Afghanistan: 84 Schoolgirls Gassed *

May 12th, 2009 | Filed by

A new way to keep girls from going to school: gas them.… Read the rest

O Who Hath Seen the Elephant’s Wings? *

May 11th, 2009 | Filed by

No one, but no matter, the sapient amongst us know they are there, hidden away inside the quantum.… Read the rest

Jeddah Judge Approves Woman-hitting *

May 11th, 2009 | Filed by

If a person gives money to his wife and she spends some on an abaya and he slaps her, she deserves it.… Read the rest

Salman Rushdie’s New Story ‘In the South’ *

May 11th, 2009 | Filed by

Abundance gave the ascetically inclined Senior a permanent low-level headache.… Read the rest