Archive for July 2011

ALEC’s agenda *

Jul 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

Any force in civil society that contests the right of business to grab all social surplus and to treat people like roadkill should be crushed.… Read the rest

To write business-friendly legislation

Jul 22nd, 2011 3:58 pm | By

How cozy.

ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics…ALEC’s model legislation reflects long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful to account. Corporate donors retain veto power over the language, which is developed by the secretive task forces. The task forces cover issues from education to health policy. ALEC’s priorities for the 2011 session included bills to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws and more.

Corporations “helping” state legislators to craft legislation, in short. What a fantastic arrangement.

“Dozens of corporations are investing millions of dollars a

Read the rest

Atheist Presses Obama on Faith-Based Policies During Live Town Hall Meeting

Jul 22nd, 2011 | By Mike Meno

CONTACT: Mike Meno, SCA communications manager: 202-299-1091, 443-927-6400 or

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a live-televised town hall meeting in College Park, Maryland, today, President Barack Obama gave the first question opportunity to Amanda Knief of the Secular Coalition for America, who asked the president why he has still not fulfilled the campaign promise he made three years ago to end the Bush-era policies that allow federally funded religious organizations to discriminate in hiring and employment on the basis of belief.

Knief, an atheist and the government relations manager for the Secular Coalition for America, pressed the president on a campaign promise he made in Zanesville, Ohio, on July 1, 2008, when he pledged to ensure that federal grant recipients … Read the rest

ALEC exposed *

Jul 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

How corporations help legislators make new laws that benefit…corporations.… Read the rest

Egypt: women work to protect rights from Islamists *

Jul 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

With the Muslim Brotherhood targeting a big score in a parliamentary election, Saadawi says women must move fast to secure their rights.… Read the rest

BBC live on attacks in Norway *

Jul 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

Norwegian police say seven killed and two badly wounded in Oslo; unconfirmed reports of 20 killed at youth camp.… Read the rest

al-Shabab maintain aid ban and deny famine *

Jul 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

They say UN reports of famine are “sheer propaganda”.… Read the rest

Ireland wakes up

Jul 21st, 2011 4:36 pm | By

The Taoiseach lets fly:

…for the first time in this country a report on child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.  In doing so the report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day.  The rape and torture of children were down-played or managed to uphold the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation.  Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St. Benedict’s “ear of the heart”, the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a Canon lawyer.

Read the rest

Ireland pulls the scab off *

Jul 21st, 2011 | Filed by

“Clericalism has rendered some of Ireland’s brightest and most privileged and powerful men either unwilling or unable to address the horrors.”… Read the rest

Another bad idea

Jul 21st, 2011 4:09 pm | By

A couple of prominent rabbis were briefly held for questioning in Jerusalem recently.

Rabbis Dov Lior and Yacob Yousef had endorsed a highly controversial book, the King’s Torah – written by two lesser-known settler rabbis. It justifies killing non-Jews, including those not involved in violence, under certain circumstances.

The fifth chapter, entitled “Murder of non-Jews in a time of war” has been widely quoted in the Israeli media. The summary states that “you can kill those who are not supporting or encouraging murder in order to save the lives of Jews”.

At one point it suggests that babies can justifiably be killed if it is clear they will grow up to pose a threat.

How would that be “clear,” one … Read the rest

Archbish Diarmuid Martin shunned by colleagues *

Jul 21st, 2011 | Filed by

Irish bishops complain that Archbishop Martin has become “obsessed” about child abuse; he should be indifferent like them.… Read the rest

King’s Torah justifies killing non-Jews *

Jul 21st, 2011 | Filed by

The fifth chapter, entitled “Murder of non-Jews in a time of war” has been widely quoted in the Israeli media.… Read the rest

Dutch parliament bans religious slaughter *

Jul 21st, 2011 | Filed by

Bans any form of slaughter where animals are not stunned prior to killing; Jewish and Muslim “community leaders” squawk “discrimination.”… Read the rest

Faith and the Big Society debate at House of Commons *

Jul 21st, 2011 | Filed by

Expert witnesses: the “chief Rabbi,” the bishop of Leicester, PR guy from the Catholic Archbishop’s office, and Andrew Copson of the BHA.… Read the rest

Grothe makes diversity a priority

Jul 20th, 2011 6:19 pm | By

This is funny/interesting. From Jennifer Ouellette’s piece on the cold climate for women among atheists and skeptics:

Foster top-down change. Leadership, especially male leadership, needs to set the tone for what is and is not acceptable in a community…

JREF president DJ Grothe did just that when, a few days before TAM9, he openly addressed the rift caused by “Elevatorgate” and made it clear that unwanted sexual advances or other harassing behavior were unacceptable, and grounds for being ejected from the conference. Grothe also deserves credit for making diversity a priority in his selection of speakers and topic. That’s the mark of a true leader, and the JREF is lucky to have him.

What’s funny/interesting about that is that … Read the rest

Jennifer Ouellette on a cold climate for women *

Jul 20th, 2011 | Filed by

“You’re going to go through life thinking girls don’t like you cuz you’re a nerd, when really it’s because you’re an asshole.”… Read the rest

What was that we were saying about sexist epithets? Five years ago?

Jul 20th, 2011 5:11 pm | By

Dear oh dear. The slow-motion train wreck lumbers on its way, tumbling down the slope uprooting trees and squashing goats.

Apparently this move has been in the works for a long time, with Camp Quest.  Apparently before Twatson fell down and threw a temper tantrum and demanded everyone kiss her invisible boo-boo.

If you search for “twatson” on that post there are currently 58 matches, with the number of comments at 519. Including

How could I think that this was in the works for a while, AND think that this was in response to Twatson and the Bitch Brigade?

Oy.… Read the rest

Maryam Namazie’s sharia speech at House of Commons *

Jul 20th, 2011 | Filed by

Sharia’s family code is a pillar of women’s oppression in countries under Islamic laws.… Read the rest

Irish PM tells the truth about the Vatican *

Jul 20th, 2011 | Filed by

“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’.” … Read the rest

Sharia as “legal pluralism” in Australia *

Jul 20th, 2011 | Filed by

“They have a right to enjoy their own culture and the culture of people who share their culture.” Srsly. … Read the rest