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Nowhere to hide

Mar 19th, 2014 3:16 pm | By

Catherine Briggs of LifeSiteNews (yes, the anti-abortion site) seems to have missed the point of a certain fundraising campaign by a wide margin.

In the world of social media, instant news has become a way of life.  Thanks to Twitter and the diffusion of information at less than a moment’s speed, the DC Abortion Fund’s latest outrage has nowhere to hide.

In a move that can only be described as tasteless and sickening, the DC Abortion Fund has offered a gift of a coat-hanger pendant to anyone who signs up to donate $10 a month or more to their organization.

Far from being a disgusting joke, the DCAF is serious about this reward for their loyal donors.  The organization’s motto

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Non-Muslims may not inherit at all

Mar 19th, 2014 11:25 am | By

From the Lawyers’ Secular Society, a practice note issued by the Law Society.

This practice note provides guidance to lawyers specialising in areas such as wills, succession and inheritance, and in particular how to accommodate the wishes of clients who want to ensure their assets are distributed according to ‘sharia law principles’ on their death.

Uh oh.

But what this guidance does is legitimise discrimination towards women and “illegitimate children” – if that term still has any meaning in English law. In an astonishing few paragraphs the guidance states (at Section 3.6):

“The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only

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For sure

Mar 19th, 2014 9:57 am | By

It’s conventional wisdom. It’s common sense. It’s what everyone knows. It’s for sure. It’s obvious. It’s dangerous for women to walk around alone, especially after dark or especially in places like parks where there aren’t a lot of people around. Imagine how dangerous it is to go into a park where there aren’t a lot of people around after dark!

It’s common sense, and it’s bullshit.

I’ve been treating it like bullshit my whole life, and I’ve been right to do so.

Think about it. Do rapists and thieves hang around in parks hoping someone will fall into their trap? Are parks after dark crawling with hopeful rapists and thieves, wasting their time while all the victims stay away?… Read the rest

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Rooted in stereotype, and applied only to women

Mar 19th, 2014 9:36 am | By

Even Time – never a radical, lefty, groundbreaking, nonconformist magazine – gets it that words do matter, because they say things and people pick up the things and believe them.

So, in an attempt to save you — writers, speakers, humans, journalists — from falling into the gender bias trap unintentionally, we’ve put together this handy guide:

Don’t Call Girls Bossy. Or Grown Women Aggressive.

Seriously, don’t do it. And while you’re at it, don’t call them pushy, angry, brusque, ballbusters, bitchy, careerist, cold, calculating — you get the point. Also: shrill and strident, both of which imply high-pitched and screechy women a la your mother, finger pointed, scolding you to clean your room. Bossy is the subject of

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Equine contributions

Mar 18th, 2014 5:19 pm | By

So now that you know how to conduct yourself if you have the audacity to go out in public, let’s turn our attention to Congress and the pope. Congress has asked the pope to come along and talk to them next time he’s in town, officially.

Congressional leaders have invited Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress during his expected visit to the United States next year.

He’s planning to come over in September for a conference on families. Because that makes sense, right? Having an officially celibate cleric participate in a conference on families? They should invite him to a conference on early childhood development, too; he could explain the benefits of being raped by the … Read the rest

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Avoid isolated areas, don’t carry bags, be aware of your surroundings

Mar 18th, 2014 4:22 pm | By

And then, RAINN has

Avoiding Dangerous Situations

which is kind of them, because otherwise women would just keep seeking out dangerous situations, because women are so stupid that way.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  • Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
  • Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
  • Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags

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Exposed to 18 years of prevention messages

Mar 18th, 2014 3:57 pm | By

The RAINN advice seems to be wrong in another place – page 2 of the pdf:

By the time they reach college, most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention messages, in one form or another. Thanks to repeated messages from parents, religious leaders, teachers, coaches, the media and, yes, the culture at large, the overwhelming majority of these young adults have learned right from wrong, and enter college knowing that rape falls squarely in the latter category.

Really? These students have heard, in those 18 years, nothing but “rape is wrong”? They’ve been exposed to no repeated messages that pull the other way?

Of course they have. They’ve been exposed to countless repeated messages to the effect … Read the rest

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



“Rape is caused not by cultural factors”

Mar 18th, 2014 12:38 pm | By

RAINN,  the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, wrote a letter to a new White House task force charged with creating a plan to reduce rape on college campuses. The letter includes what seems to me to be a strikingly bad piece of advice.

In 16 pages of recommendations, RAINN urged the task focus to remain focused on the true cause of the problem. “In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural

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Taking it a little too far

Mar 18th, 2014 11:51 am | By

Ah the ever-popular response of busy school administrations to a bullying problem – they tell the person being bullied to stop doing whatever it is the bullies think is bad.

There’s a fundamental mistake being made here. The mistake is taking advice on what’s “bad” from people who think bullying is permissible and suitable.

In this case it’s a nine-year-old boy who wore a “My Little Pony” backpack to school.

Grayson Bruce said other students picked on him and bullied him because the backpack was “girly.” His mother, Noreen Bruce, said her son was punched, pushed down and called names over the fuzzy blue pony bag with ears.

“They’re taking it a little too far with you know, punching

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God loves poverty, ignorance and death

Mar 18th, 2014 11:07 am | By

So Boko Haram has won – Nigeria has closed down 85 schools in north-eastern Borno, affecting nearly 120,000 students, because of the danger of more murderous attacks by the Islamist thugs.

Islamic militants have burned down scores of schools in attacks that have killed hundreds of students. Other schools fearful of attacks have closed in Yobe and Adamawa states.

“We have run out of excuses for our failure to live up to our responsibility to protect our innocent defenceless children from gratuitous violence,” the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, told legislators at a special session last week to mourn the latest victims – 59 students killed at a boarding school in neighbouring Yobe state on

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Taking Mel Brooks literally

Mar 17th, 2014 6:21 pm | By

David Salmanson has a beautiful takedown of Christina Hoff Sommers’s piece in Time bashing feminism and “Free to be You and Me.”

So let’s look at how Sommers misreads the context of Free To Be.  First there is the assertion that Free to Be’s main goal was to create gender-free children.  For evidence, she points to a dialogue between two babies wherein the boy wants to be a cocktail waitress and the girl a fireman.  Except she neglects to mention that the babies are voiced by Mel Brooks and Marlo Thomas and the skit is clearly played for laughs.   (Watch it here if you don’t believe me).   She also targets Ladies First, which is not about destroying concepts femininity

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A remnant

Mar 17th, 2014 5:37 pm | By

Hmm. I’d seen some comments about finding a bible in the Harlem explosion, and I was going to say something erm challenging about it, but I avoided Fox and the Daily News and chose the CNN version, and…well given the story CNN tells, I really don’t feel like looking down my nose at it.

On the third day of a grueling recovery effort from the three-story pile of rubble, firefighters early Saturday pulled a large waterlogged Bible from the ashes and ruins of the Spanish Christian Church, which occupied the basement and first floor of one of the two destroyed buildings.

“One of our members found a Bible, the original book they tell me of the founders of the

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Fixing feminism one tweet at a time

Mar 17th, 2014 4:45 pm | By

If you want to make yourself pissed off – and who doesn’t?? – you could do worse than checking on the Twitter account of Christina Hoff Sommers now and then. Here’s my crop from a quick scroll through just now:

Sexual McCarthyism in military is result of phony study.Sex assault genuine problem;but won’t be solved by fake data.

General Sinclair broke rules by having affair:Bad.But military pursued rape charge it knew not true:Horrifying. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/us/how-a-military-sexual-assault-case-foundered.html

Wow!Pentagon pursued sex assault case even though it knew accuser lying.Sexual McCarthyism no longer just on campus. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/us/judge-in-generals-assault-case-weighs-claim-that-prosecution-was-tainted.html

Wait a minute. I thought women were supposed to be the cooperative sex. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/03/hierarchical-differences/ …

Iraq just legalized spousal rape. American feminists organize to “Ban Bossy.”

Uh-oh! The

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Isn’t it amazing what the teacher asked

Mar 17th, 2014 4:03 pm | By

Remember that schoolteacher who bullied the Buddhist kid for not “correctly” answering the question she asked on a test:

“ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

when the “correct” answer was supposed to be “the Lord”? Remember that?

Well a judge has said that’s a no-no.

6th grade science teacher Rita Roark taught students that the Bible is “100 percent true.” She told them God created the Earth 6,000 years ago and called evolution a “stupid theory made up by stupid people who don’t want to believe in God.” What follows is a test question she gives to students.

“ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The answer Roark looked for was “The Lord.” But “C.C.,” a

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Look for the Chopped-Off Alien Fetus Pods

Mar 17th, 2014 2:29 pm | By

I don’t know what this is, but it’s making me laugh until I have to get up and walk around the room to regain my composure.

Lileks Institute: Knudsen’s, the Very Best.

Excuse me, I have to blow my nose again.

 … Read the rest

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Inalienable

Mar 17th, 2014 11:40 am | By

There’s an issue here; a crux, an aporia, a conundrum, a fork.

On the one hand, yes, of course, you have to ground all your claims in something. Reasons don’t just fall out of the sky; we have to think about them, and criticize them, and back them up.

On the other hand, you don’t want all questions to be permanently open. That would lead to a war of all against all.

How do you reconcile those two items?

Beats the hell out of me.

I’m seeing some philosophy types who are annoyed by this idea that some questions should be treated as closed, because hey, there are arguments for abortion rights, and it’s philosophy types who can make them.… Read the rest

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What prompted this reaction?

Mar 17th, 2014 9:46 am | By

Philip Roth did an interview for Svenska Dagbladet and the NY Times Book Review a couple of weeks ago. There was one interesting question.

In some quarters it is almost a cliché to mention the word “misogyny” in relation to your books. What, do you think, prompted this reaction initially, and what is your response to those who still try to label your work in that way?

Misogyny, a hatred of women, provides my work with neither a structure, a meaning, a motive, a message, a conviction, a perspective, or a guiding principle. This is contrary, say, to how another noxious form of psychopathic abhorrence — and misogyny’s equivalent in the sweeping inclusiveness of its pervasive malice — anti-Semitism, a

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Guest post: The Myth of the Consistent Skeptic

Mar 16th, 2014 5:24 pm | By

Originally a comment by Blanche Quizno on Another bad model.

Let’s not fall into the trap sometimes described as the “Myth of the Consistent Skeptic.” Albert Einstein was an huge and outspoken admirer of the Soviet Union’s government system, holding onto his positive view even as negative information poured in:

Einstein held a wide range of beliefs beyond his contributions to science and outside his area of expertise. For example, in 1933, Einstein (we believe correctly) voiced his opinion about political liberty in Germany, “As long as I have any choice, I will only stay in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule. Political liberty implies liberty to

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Another bad model

Mar 16th, 2014 2:37 pm | By

So Heidegger was even worse than everyone thought. They thought he was a little anti-Semitic, yes, but not…you know…all the way anti-Semitic.

This week’s publication of the “black notebooks” (a kind of philosophical diary that Heidegger asked to be held back until the end of his complete work), challenges this view. In France the revelations have been debated vigorously since passages were leaked to the media last December, with some Heidegger scholars even trying to stop the notebooks’ publication.

In Germany, one critic has argued that it would be “hard to defend” Heidegger’s thinking after the publication of the notebooks, while another has already called the revelations a “debacle” for modern continental philosophy – even though the complete

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The least edgy thing you can do

Mar 16th, 2014 10:31 am | By

Precisely.

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