Archive for September 2010

Halal meat served without label *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

Halal meat is from animals whose throats have been cut while they are conscious. Some people don’t want to eat such meat; they should have the option.… Read the rest



More from pope protest – a bit of Ben Goldacre *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

On the lie about leaky condoms, with help from the crowd.… Read the rest



The “foiled” “plot” to “blow up” the pope *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

There was no plot; just a mix-up between the activities “talking about” and “planning to blow up”.… Read the rest



Atheist says “new atheism” is boring *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

Srsly?… Read the rest



Afghanistan: girls are worthless *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

So they masquerade as boys, because families without boys are the objects of pity and contempt.… Read the rest



Bob Churchill on that naughty extremist protest *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

It was about the Pope and the Vatican, it was not about all the people who call themselves Catholics. Yet protesters were called Catholic-haters.… Read the rest



Cops investigating Vatican bank *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

Italian authorities have historically shied away from investigating the Vatican’s finances, thanks to groveling deference to the church.… Read the rest



“Universal love is such a drag”

Sep 21st, 2010 5:26 pm | By

Karl Giberson says tut tut, religious people aren’t cramming their beliefs down children’s throats. He illustrates this assertion by an example:

In their journals my students are reflecting on their beliefs with a new philosophical rigor. One of them wrote: “The only thing I know with clarity is that I want to love all and do whatever I can to make sure that the life I have been given does not go to waste.” What a terrible thing to have had crammed down one’s throat as a child!

But that’s not an illustration of what it purports to be, because what that student says is not religious. It’s idealistic and admirable, but there’s nothing religious about it. Religious people … Read the rest



We thought we were all alone

Sep 21st, 2010 4:30 pm | By

Did you watch that selection of speeches at the anti-pope protest? It’s a good selection – Geoffrey Robertson, Johann Hari, Maryam Namazie, Dawkins, Peter Tatchell, Andrew Copson. You can see Ben Goldacre to the right of the stage, and Terry Sanderson in the background.

And Barbara Blaine speaks; she is a survivor of priestly sexual abuse. She said this:

When we were children, and the priests were raping us, and sodomizing us, and sexually abusing us, we thought we were all alone – and we felt very alone, guilty, and ashamed. And over these past years, and even more recently over these past months, many of us as victims have found each other, and we have learned that we’re

Read the rest


Republicans block repeal of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

The vote was 56 to 43, so the 43 won. Srsly.… Read the rest



Update on the Save Ashtiani campaign *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

Ahmedinejad blames ‘someone in Germany’ for the uproar surrounding Ashtiani’s case. Mina Ahadi accepts the blame with pride.… Read the rest



Signing letters

Sep 21st, 2010 12:35 pm | By

Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie wrote a letter to the UN.

We are writing to ask that the UN general assembly condemn stoning as a crime against humanity and issue an emergency resolution calling for an end to the medieval and barbaric punishment as well as the immediate release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and others sentenced to death by stoning.

We also ask that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not be allowed to address the general assembly and that his government be boycotted.

The letter has 40 signers. Is that too many, do you suppose? Would Julian Baggini consider that over the maximum for signing a letter whose content he agrees with?

I am glad that people are protesting on the

Read the rest


Stephen Fry on the Daily Mail on Stephen Fry *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

“In the name (it must suppose) of morality, spirituality, goodness, kindness, sweetness and honesty it intentionally, knowingly twists, distorts, misrepresents, smears and calumniates.”… Read the rest



Letter calling on UN to condemn stoning *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

A government that still stones people to death in the 21st century must have no place in the UN or any other international institution or body.… Read the rest



Martin Rundkvist on the Swedish elections *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

Reinfeldt is rumoured to be negotiating a deal with the Greens in order to eliminate any possibility of anti-immigration party shenanigans.… Read the rest



RSA “after new atheism” debate *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

“Expert” commentators Marilynne Robinson, Roger Scruton and Jonathan Rée discuss the future of the God debate; Laurie Taylor chairs.… Read the rest



More speeches from no to pope demo *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

Geoffrey Robertson, Andrew Copson, clerical abuse victim Barbara Blaine. Note Ben Goldacre next to Johann, Terry Sanderson next to Copson.… Read the rest



Johann Hari at “arrest the pope” demonstration *

Sep 21st, 2010 | Filed by

People say the pope didn’t do enough about child rape. He did a lot.Read the rest



Do public workers lose free speech rights? *

Sep 20th, 2010 | Filed by

Including when they’re off duty?… Read the rest



Polly Toynbee on Ratzinger’s social call *

Sep 20th, 2010 | Filed by

The Holy See is not a democracy, nor a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights, and it stands above mere democratic law.… Read the rest