All entries by this author

Back you go

Apr 24th, 2014 6:04 pm | By

It’s possible that Sri Lanka is doing Buddhism wrong. It’s also possible that I have a naïve view of Buddhism, and that non-attachment is entirely compatible with being petty and obsessive about things that don’t matter. You be the judge.

A British tourist is to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a Buddha tattoo on her arm.

Naomi Coleman was arrested as she arrived at the airport in the capital Colombo after authorities spotted the tattoo on her right arm.

A police spokesman said the 37-year-old from Coventry was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings”.

Ms Coleman is being held at an immigration detention camp after a magistrate ordered her deportation.

She was going to the Maldives next and … Read the rest

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



He’s often wondered

Apr 24th, 2014 5:30 pm | By

Cliven Bundy has more bad ideas he wants everyone to know about.

Bundy is attempting to use his newfound fame to spread more than just his views on grazing rights, telling the Times he planned to hold a daily news conference.

Remember Joe the Plumber? I think what we have here is another such populist hero – Cliven the Cowboy perhaps.

During Saturday’s conference, Bunday shared his views on “the Negro”:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there

Read the rest

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



The sad fact is

Apr 24th, 2014 5:18 pm | By

Soraya Chemaly has a piece on the ubiquity and invisibility of everyday sexism.

A point she makes at the end should be a post-it on everyone’s forehead for a few years.

The sad fact is that while it is polite to express sexist ideas, confronting them is considered the height of rudeness and humorlessness. When a man at a neighborhood cocktail party comments rudely on my breasts or when another in a meeting interrupts me incessantly while trying to talk to other men, it is me, not them, who is considered hostile and unpleasant for saying, “My face is up here,” or “Would you please stop interrupting me?” When my children’s school fails, year after year, to teach my

Read the rest

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



Guest post on why secularism matters

Apr 24th, 2014 11:29 am | By

Originally a comment by jesse on Built on Christian values.

Well, unlike the US, England (and the UK as I understand it) still has an established church, as do many other European countries, which may be part of the problem. In the US at least we can be more explicit about secularism, even though there has been a LOT of pushback.

The thing is, I’ve noticed that many westerners have no problem with secularism — until they run into religions and people who are “other.” Then, all of a sudden, it’s a bad idea. The connection between what looks like secularism and entrenched privilege for largely western cultural norms (which can be just as negative and arbitrary as … Read the rest

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



Real enough?

Apr 24th, 2014 10:57 am | By

For the people who think cyberbullying is trivial or unreal or harmless or totally incapable of being traumatic – have a little collection of case studies.

Megan Meier, a 13-year-old Missouri native, started messaging a boy she had never met via MySpace. The comments posted by someone using the account name of “Josh Evans” began friendly but eventually turned aggressive and derogatory. These comments were public and other classmates could read and comment on them. As a result of the cyberbullying on MySpace, Megan hanged herself in her closet. The user “Josh Evans” was later found to have been created by a parent of [one of] Meier’s classmates.

Or how about this one?

Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old new girl

Read the rest

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



Cameron’s subtext

Apr 24th, 2014 10:22 am | By

The sociologist Abbie Day, who is Reader in Race, Faith and Culture, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, has an article on Cameron’s recent issuing of religious instructions.

She notes the low church attendance and census decline but says they’re not all that matters.

…it’s easy to get distracted by numbers, which are themselves never neutral but are instead collected and presented, often anecdotally, to fulfil specific goals and make certain points. What is counted is what is perceived (by certain actors) to count. A group that is small numerically can be a majority in terms of power and voice – which is exactly what we are seeing with Cameron’s assertion and the response.

One-third of primary schools

Read the rest

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



Just put up with it, dearie

Apr 23rd, 2014 5:31 pm | By

Have some bad advice.

It’s given by someone called Penelope Trunk, who is the founder of something called Brazen Careerist, which is “a social network for young professionals.” She gives “career advice” at her website, penelopetrunk.com. I wouldn’t look to her for advice if I were you.

CBS News disagrees with me though, and offers her advice to a trusting world.

Of course, sexual harassment is ubiquitous. It is so prevalent on the job that girls can expect to encounter workplace harassment the first summer they work during high school. And it continues for a long time.

But don’t report it. That would be most unwise.

 In fact, smart women don’t file formal complaints against ordinary harassment. They either

Read the rest

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



Can he say that on the air? Hell yes.

Apr 23rd, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Sexism? What sexism? I don’t see any sexism. You must be imagining things.

Conservative “pundit” and contributor to Fox “News” Eric Erickson is pissed at the thought that Hillary Clinton might run for president in a couple of years, because she’s so ugly.

“She’s going to be old!” Erickson noted. “I don’t know how far back they can pull her face!” he added.

“Can I say that on the air? I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t,” Erickson continued. “You know what I mean, though!” he added.

No, dude, go right ahead. Don’t be inhibited. Say what’s in your heart. Be authentic. If you’re grossed out by the thought of a woman who isn’t 18 and hot, be sure to … Read the rest

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



Clever corvidae

Apr 23rd, 2014 10:35 am | By

A very cool Nova episode about animal minds.

If you want a particular highlight start at 8:50 to watch the New Caledonia crow faced with a novel problem it takes 8 steps to solve. The crow has done each step separately before, but never seen them combined. It’s pretty damn fascinating.… Read the rest

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



Hoping and bobing and singing this sawng

Apr 23rd, 2014 10:00 am | By

The Donald does Twitter.

What does he do when he does Twitter? He says Obama goes down the stairs of the plane wrong. He should be doing it slowly and ponderously so that we will all be overawed and a little abject, instead of running down them because dude they’re stairs, you go down them, you don’t savor them and luxuriate in them.

The Donald is kind of a troll.… Read the rest

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



Feminist art

Apr 23rd, 2014 9:39 am | By

Rebecca does rewards for her Patreon thingy, where people can request items they want. Secular Woman requested a drawing about the current state of the secular movement, so she obliged.

I’ve never done a political cartoon before so this was very exciting. I decided to draw a picture of something that from what I understand actually happened at the recent American Atheist Conference Art Show:http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2014/04/its-more-of-a-guy-thing-in-paintings/

She deserves a reciprocal reward for that!… Read the rest

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



Built on Christian values

Apr 23rd, 2014 9:28 am | By

I guess Labour people are panicking about the Forcible Christianity Gap, and rushing to catch up with David “we are a Christian country” Cameron.

Jack Straw says that the way to deal with Islamist takeovers of state schools is to do a Christianist takeover instead. I take it he’s never heard of secularism?

Muslims must accept that Britain is built on Christian values, a former Home Secretary has said, in the wake of mounting evidence that a group of schools have been taken over in a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by radical Islamists.

It is “inevitable” that many Muslim communities will not integrate with the rest of British society but it must be made clear that attempts to isolate Muslim

Read the rest

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



If you close your eyes, you will disappear

Apr 23rd, 2014 8:00 am | By

One quick bit of stupid to smack because I just saw it so it’s fresh in my mind – Dan Fincke has a (public) mini-essay on Facebook making the point that it’s not very humanist or reasonable or compassionate to respond to a woman who says she has PTSD from verbal abuse by assailing her with more verbal abuse. Predictably but annoyingly there’s a guy who keeps saying all she has to do is stay off social media, and problem solved.

It’s not victim blaming if there is a 100% effective way to avoid being a victim. Even doing nothing would prevent becoming a victim in this context. A victim in this instance would have to willfully participate in their

Read the rest

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



“Get the hell out of my race”

Apr 22nd, 2014 4:23 pm | By

A story told by “A Mighty Girl” (which is a group) on the eponymous Facebook page.

In celebration of today’s Boston Marathon, we’re sharing the dramatic story of the first woman to officially run the historic race. Kathrine Switzer’s experience is a revealing illustration of the barriers that trailblazing women athletes had to overcome and of how far girls and women in sports have come in only a few decades.

In 1967, Switzer was a 20-year-old college student at Syracuse University when she registered for the race using her initials, K.V. Switzer. Not realizing that she was a woman, who were barred from participating in the Boston Marathon for over 70 years, race officials issued her an entry number.

During

Read the rest

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



More than any other means

Apr 22nd, 2014 3:40 pm | By

Governor Chafee’s declaration of May 1 as Reason Day is really very cool.

Governor Chafee has proclaimed May 1 as “A Day of Reason’’ in Rhode Island.

His proclamation begins: “Whereas, the application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival upon Earth by cultivating intelligent, moral and ethical interactions among people and their among people and their environments….’’

“I, Lincoln D. Chafee, governor of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2014 as Day of Reason in Rhode Island and encourage all state residents to join me [in] recognizing the importance of this day.’’

Well yay. How nice to hear that.

The Humanists of RI a

Read the rest

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



My favorite cat

Apr 22nd, 2014 3:26 pm | By

Read the rest

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



Pleasantries

Apr 22nd, 2014 3:11 pm | By

God’s fans are up in arms, of course.

Kenniston Vogel
If you don’t believe in god, that’s fine…burn in hell….but when you start missing with my country and falsifying facts. That’s where I have a problem. You need to get your few thousand followers and get the hell out of my country. I have a few friends that would be more than happy to help you..here let me name a few. The Lacs, Moccasin Creek, the US U.S. Army, The U.S. Marines, NRA. The Jawga Boyz. This is just to name a few fokes that I know would love to help you GET THE HELL OUT OF MY UNITED STATES. Amen

God loves a hater, I guess.… Read the rest

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



Under god

Apr 22nd, 2014 2:58 pm | By

The AHA press release:

Contact:

Merrill Miller, merrillmiller@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105
David Niose, dniose@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 ext.119

 

(Washington, DC—April 21, 2014)—A lawsuit was filed against a school district in New Jersey on behalf of a local family that objects to their child’s school conducting regular Pledge of Allegiance recitation with the words “under God.”

The case was filed by the American Humanist Association (AHA) on behalf of a Monmouth County family who wish to remain anonymous. It claims that daily school-sponsored recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance—declaring to students that the nation is “under God”—is discriminatory toward atheist children and their families. The American Humanist Association originally sent a letter of complaint to the superintendent of schools … Read the rest

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



For ALL

Apr 22nd, 2014 2:56 pm | By

Hey look at that – via the American Humanist Association -

Notice the huge emphasis on “ALL” – in the 1940s, when racism and sexism and homophobia were barely on anyone’s radar, even the people oppressed by one or all of them.

But also notice the pre-McCarthy absence of that deity guy.… Read the rest

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



Meow mix

Apr 22nd, 2014 12:41 pm | By

Did you notice the shout-out to cat lovers in the ManBoobz post? I’ll replay it for you in case you didn’t.

Men’s Rights blogger The Native Canadian put it this way:

PTSD from being a feminist on the internet? Yeah I bet she wakes up screaming at night because of all the mean words! Must be hard going day to day with flash backs of your friends being called “femnazi’s” right in front of you! How ever do you handle life? Fucking disgraceful b****. Let’s see her tell that to someone who really knows what living with PTSD is like. …

I’m sorry but I am totally shocked, I don’t know what else to say, other than, is

Read the rest

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