Harry’s Place on Hitchens on Westergaard *

Jan 9th, 2010 | Filed by

‘Then you pick up yesterday’s Guardian, and there’s a long article that says Westergaard asked for it.’… Read the rest

BBC World Service on Football and ‘Faith’ *

Jan 9th, 2010 | Filed by

‘A new generation of football players are bringing God back onto the pitch’; isn’t that wonderful.… Read the rest

Reflections on John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty

Jan 9th, 2010 | By Eric B. Litwack

There is a limit to the legitimate interference of political opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.

J.S. Mill, On Liberty, Chapter One.

It can be said of only a very few texts that they are touchstones for important discussions across many generations. John Stuart Mill produced such a text in 1859, and friends of freedom would do well to celebrate the sesquicentennial of On Liberty. At a time when challenges to human rights and freedom of expression continue around the world, the message of this relatively short work remains a clarion-call for liberty and the … Read the rest

It’s my word, you get off it

Jan 8th, 2010 12:01 pm | By

Hooray! More mayhem and violence and carrying-on over ridiculously trivial items. It’s three in one, no, it’s just three. It’s transubstantiation, no it’s taking the biscuit. This is the birthplace of Ram, no it’s the birthplace of Ram’s piano teacher. It’s green, no it’s red, no it’s green. You break an egg at the little end, no you break it at the big end.

There were angry protests at mosques in Malaysia after four arson attacks on Christian churches, apparently provoked by a controversy over the use by Christians of the word Allah. Police were increasing their patrols of areas around churches and Christian communities were hiring security guards, after petrol bombs were thrown at four churches in and around

Read the rest

Malaysia: Arson, Violence Over Who Says ‘Allah’ *

Jan 8th, 2010 | Filed by

Protesters carried posters reading ‘Heresy arises from words wrongly used’ and ‘Allah is only for us.’… Read the rest

Aftenposten Publishes Motoons *

Jan 8th, 2010 | Filed by

The Norweigan newspaper printed small versions of six out of the twelve cartoons.… Read the rest

Julian Baggini on ‘Ethical’ Shopping *

Jan 8th, 2010 | Filed by

Never mind obvious consumerist tat, what about the more insidious stuff?… Read the rest

Sweden: Lars Vilks Threatened for his Motoon *

Jan 8th, 2010 | Filed by

He got a phone call from a man who said that it was his turn next time.… Read the rest

Liberal Muslims Form a Group in Norway *

Jan 8th, 2010 | Filed by

The hegemony of the illiberal Muslims is finally being broken.… Read the rest

The Omniscient Reader Experience *

Jan 7th, 2010 | Filed by

A very droll review.… Read the rest

An Unknown Unknown: Tetrapod Tracks *

Jan 7th, 2010 | Filed by

It’s not only the date that’s got people excited, it’s also the location where these fossils were found. … Read the rest

Russell Blackford on Nancy Graham Holm *

Jan 7th, 2010 | Filed by

What she has written is worth denouncing – soberly, deliberately, and in all seriousness.… Read the rest

Gay Ex-Monk Fears the Pope’s Visit to UK *

Jan 7th, 2010 | Filed by

Because it will be a gift to the secularists…… Read the rest

Sikivu Hutchinson on the Morality of Choice *

Jan 7th, 2010 | Filed by

‘Precious’ is one more in a long line of contemporary US films that ‘omit’ reference to abortion as a viable life option.… Read the rest

This Nonsense Must Stop

Jan 7th, 2010 | By Leo Igwe

On Tuesday January 5, at about 7.00am some police officers and soldiers led by two crime merchants in my community, Edward Uwah and Ethelbert Ugwu stormed my family compound in Mbaise in Imo state in Southern Nigeria. They arrested me and my aging father. We were detained briefly at the local police station in Ahiazu before we were transfered to the zonal police headquarters in Umuahia. The officers threatened to beat us when we asked them to allow us to clean up and change our clothes. One of the soldiers brought out his gun and threatened to shoot my father when he wanted to make phone calls to alert other family members of our arrest. The police held us throughout … Read the rest

Letters for January, 2010

Jan 7th, 2010 | By

Letters for January, 2010.… Read the rest


Jan 6th, 2010 5:34 pm | By

I’ve been engaging in yet another round of trying to challenge the dopy sexism that is so common in internet discussion, as if someone had declared the internet a boys-only domain. This time the dopy sexism was in comments at Richard Dawkins’s site, in a thread on that dreadful article by Nancy Graham Holm. Someone called her a stupid bitch and I said I hate her article as much as anyone but can’t we say how bad it is without resorting to sexist epithets? Stupidly, I always expect elbow-jogs of that kind to be 1) self-evident and 2) sufficient, so I’m always surprised when instead I get a big indignant idiotic argument. I got one this time, … Read the rest

Der Spiegel: the West is Choked by Fear *

Jan 6th, 2010 | Filed by

This time, in contrast to the Rushdie case, few have shown solidarity with the threatened Danish cartoonists.… Read the rest

PaleoTexans Control US Textbooks *

Jan 6th, 2010 | Filed by

California is too broke to buy textbooks, so Texas has more clout than ever. Be afraid.… Read the rest

Life Now for Kurt Westergaard *

Jan 6th, 2010 | Filed by

Defiance helps – it reduces the fear.… Read the rest