Archive for November 2011

Kvetch kvetch

Nov 24th, 2011 12:03 pm | By

The Chief Rabbi (as the Telegraph sycophantically calls him) decided to go off in a brand new direction and talk about the inadequacy of consumerism as a worldview. Gosh you know what – he’s totally right!!

Speaking at an interfaith reception attended by the Queen this week, Lord Sacks said: “People are looking for values other than the values of a consumer society. The values of a consumer society really aren’t ones you can live by for terribly long.

“The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i.

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Most attend their local madrassa

Nov 24th, 2011 10:56 am | By

The BBC is so stupid sometimes – so conformist and reactionary and authoritarian. There’s this piece on UK madrassas “modernizing” for example.

Most mosques have their own madrassa or religious school. Larger mosques can have a number of them, and they all form an integral part of the local community.

In close knit neighbourhoods most Muslim children regularly attend their local madrassa, in part due to peer pressure, as everyone living near the mosque does so.

See what they did there? (I say “they” even though the article has a byline, Sanjiv Buttoo, because the Beeb has a house style and this piece is typical.) See how they dressed up the situation by invoking “the local community” and “close knit … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



BBC says UK madrassas are “modernizing” *

Nov 24th, 2011 | Filed by

“In close knit neighbourhoods most Muslim children regularly attend their local madrassa, in part due to peer pressure, as everyone living near the mosque does so.”… Read the rest



Sabir Hussain jailed for child assaults at Keighley mosque *

Nov 24th, 2011 | Filed by

The madrassa teacher admitted four charges of assaulting boys at the Markazi Jamia
Mosque in Keighley as they learned the Koran.… Read the rest



Chief rabbi: consumerism bad, “faith” and family good *

Nov 24th, 2011 | Filed by

“The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets.” Only Moses is supposed to do that.… Read the rest



Gulnaz on CNN *

Nov 23rd, 2011 | Filed by

Raped and impregnated; imprisoned for being raped; threatened with death; may marry her rapist.… Read the rest



Afghan women have continued to struggle

Nov 23rd, 2011 5:30 pm | By

Grim news from Afghanistan:

A law meant to protect Afghan women from a host of abusive practices, including rape, forced marriage and the trading of women to settle disputes, is being undermined by spotty enforcement, the UN said in a report released Wednesday.

Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was passed in August 2009, raising hopes among women’s rights activists that Afghan women would get to fight back against abuses that had been ignored under Taliban rule.

The law criminalised many abuses for the first time, including domestic violence, child marriage, driving a woman to resort to suicide and the selling and buying of women.

Yet the report found only a small percentage of reported crimes

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Thinking about thinking about thinking

Nov 23rd, 2011 11:18 am | By

More discussion of facts and belief, of Ward and Coyne, of science and philosophy, of evidence and reasons to believe. Jean Kazez did a post a couple of days ago, which I didn’t see until today, and Russell Blackford did one at Talking Philosophy.

I find Jean’s post very interesting because it talks about the same things I talked about in Ward’s brief Comment is Free piece replying to Julian Baggini. Ward’s piece might seem too slight to bear all this examination, but it’s about the place where some fundamental and important disagreements are born, so it’s worth all the close peering.

One interesting item:

So what’s left is Coyne’s puzzlement that atheist philosophers come to the
defense

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



UN report on violence against women in Afghanistan *

Nov 23rd, 2011 | Filed by

A law meant to protect Afghan women from abusive practices such as rape and forced marriage is rarely enforced.… Read the rest



The rules

Nov 22nd, 2011 4:58 pm | By

TLC, the “Yay religion!” channel, has a new show called All-American Muslim. Guess what it’s about! Guess what its take is!

Well in one way its take is fine. Good, show people that Mulims aren’t some weird alien species; excellent; promote fellow-feeling and peace; great. But…

Well I’ve only managed to watch a few minutes of it, a couple of times, because it’s so annoying. It may be more annoying than it needed to be – it may have gone out of its way to be annoying, by seeking out hyper-observant Muslims. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s normal in Dearborn.

Anyway my point isn’t actually about TLC or the show overall, it’s about the bits that I … Read the rest

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Strolling cop pepper spraying everywhere

Nov 22nd, 2011 3:11 pm | By

Jason collected some photoshopped pepper-spraying cops.

My favorite is

Check them all out. Commenters have more. Don’t miss George W’s.

 … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



No billboard for YOU

Nov 22nd, 2011 2:17 pm | By

Mid Ohio Atheists had a contract with Lind Media Company for two billboards (of the atheist variety, of course). At the last minute Lind Media Company dropped Mid Ohio Atheists a line to say “Oops we changed our minds sorry thx bye.”

No fair.

 Granted, if I were putting up an atheist billboard in Ohio I would start smaller than that. I would start with something it’s easier to defend on a billboard*. But Lind Media Company shouldn’t string them along and then go “ha ha HA ha” at the last second.

 See that one’s much better. Less dogmatic. Easier to defend. Also offering solidarity in place of a scolding or command. Better billboard material. But either way Lind … Read the rest

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A lawyer in Iran writes to Maryam Namazie *

Nov 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

A child born of adultery (non Islamic marriage) shall not belong to the adulterer. (1167. Civil code) Marriage before puberty with the permission of the male Guardian is legal and possible. (1041.Civil code)… Read the rest



The Bombay massacre

Nov 22nd, 2011 10:36 am | By

I haven’t been paying enough attention. (So often the case. There is so much to pay attention to, and it’s very difficult to pay attention to everything – ok it’s not very difficult, it’s impossible – so in paying attention to L, M and N, you miss S, T and U.) I missed David Coleman Headley. I missed the fact that an American

was one of the leading planners of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people over three days at two five-star hotels, a train station and a small Jewish community center.

I missed the fact that

Headley gave specific evidence about the close alliance between the ISI,
Pakistan’s intelligence force, and the Lashkar terrorist

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Sebastian Rotella on the Bombay attacks and the ISI *

Nov 22nd, 2011 | Filed by

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a terrorist chief arrested for the brutal attacks in India, is still using a cell phone while in prison. Watch out.… Read the rest



Where’s the harm?

Nov 21st, 2011 5:28 pm | By

Via Gnu Atheism at Facebook – a new bus ad -

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Another foundation

Nov 21st, 2011 5:10 pm | By

I have another treat for you: R J Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation. It has edu in its url, which is kind of funny. Anyway, it’s Dominionism. I chose an item almost at random – Joy as a Tool of Dominion for the Abused Woman. By Mrs. Gerald (Jennifer) W. Tritle – boy, you don’t see that much any more. Here is my article that I wrote, by Mrs Man’s Name (but you can call me Jennifer). So anyway here’s the Dominionist wisdom about what to do if you’re an abused woman, also why you are an abused woman in the first place. I bet you can guess – it’s because of feminism.

Few greater challenges exist for the Christian

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Take that, rabble

Nov 21st, 2011 11:28 am | By

The UC Davis police chief has been placed on leave after the pepper spraying of students on Friday.

On Sunday, the university said that two police officers had been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation into Friday’s incident. In videos that were widely distributed over the Internet, two police officers in riot gear were seen dousing about a dozen protesters with pepper spray as they sat on a sidewalk with their arms entwined.

Yup. That’s what happened.… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



UC Davis police chief put on leave *

Nov 21st, 2011 | Filed by

After two campus police officers sprayed seated protesters with pepper spray during a demonstration aligned with Occupy Wall Street.… Read the rest



Having to promise

Nov 21st, 2011 10:38 am | By

A new thing for Christianists to worry about.

Girls wanting to become Guides, Brownies or Rainbows currently promise to “love” God when signing up to the 101-year-old organisation.

However, the association is considering reviewing the wording of its affirmation for new members, to remove religious references.

The NSS says the story is bogus, but taking it as true for the moment…What of it? Why should children have to promise to love “God” in order to join a group that does fun things? Why should even children who do in fact love “God” have to do that? Why should even children of “devout” parents have to do that? Why have a requirement of that kind at all? It seems surplus to … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)