All entries by this author

Maclean’s Wins ‘Hate Speech’ Case *

Oct 11th, 2008 | Filed by

BC rights tribunal dismissed the case as did Ontario and Canadian HRC.… Read the rest

Responses to Sam Fleischacker’s Series *

Oct 11th, 2008 | Filed by

‘The alternative to ethnic nationalism is civic nationalism and a regime of equal rights for all citizens.’… Read the rest

Anthony Appiah at Philosophy Bites *

Oct 11th, 2008 | Filed by

One on experiments in ethics, another on cosmopolitanism.… Read the rest

Stephen Law’s ‘The God Delusion’ Book Club *

Oct 11th, 2008 | Filed by

Dawkins marshals empirical work on the evolutionary roots of morality to defend godless morality.… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo Solve the Problem of Evil *

Oct 11th, 2008 | Filed by

Free will; appreciation; character formation; mystery. My shout.… Read the rest

Christians, Buddhist ‘Offended’ by Cartoon *

Oct 11th, 2008 | Filed by

Cartoon seen as mockery of Pentecostals. (And Palin, and McCain, and God.)… Read the rest

Reiki “cannot do harm” – or can it?

Oct 11th, 2008 | By Christopher A. Moyer

What would it be like to have world-class athletic ability, and to spend years of intensive training honing that ability, only to suddenly lose it all in the instant it takes your physician to utter a few words?

Hayden Roulston, a professional cyclist from New Zealand, has experienced this. After several seasons competing for the top-flight professional teams Cofidis and United States Postal Service, Roulston was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), a rare and incurable heart disease known to cause sudden death in athletes. Notably, the prognosis is good for ARVD patients who refrain from exercise early in the course of the disease, which is why medical experts advise ARVD patients that they “should not do vigorous exercise.”[1] … Read the rest

Sudan to Chair Millennium Development Program *

Oct 10th, 2008 | Filed by

With support of Group of 77, China, and the OIC, Sudan government is chosen to head anti-poverty program.… Read the rest

Vatican Rejects Proposed French Ambassador *

Oct 10th, 2008 | Filed by

He’s gay. Previous candidate refused because he was divorced. Is France teasing Ratzinger?… Read the rest

Lead Prosecutor on Ayers and Obama *

Oct 10th, 2008 | Filed by

Amazed and outraged that Obama is being linked to Ayers’s actions; pleased that Ayers is a good citizen.… Read the rest

Malalai Joya Receives Human Rights Award *

Oct 10th, 2008 | Filed by

She publicly denounces war criminals, stands up for women’s rights, campaigns on behalf of rape victims.… Read the rest

Sarah Palin and Conservative ‘Feminism’ *

Oct 10th, 2008 | Filed by

Feminists are being challenged by national organizations that are antifeminist but claim to represent women’s interests. … Read the rest

Rolling Stone on the Make-believe Maverick *

Oct 10th, 2008 | Filed by

‘McCain has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to taking whatever position will advance his own career.’… Read the rest


Oct 10th, 2008 11:51 am | By

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve been posting more parochial US-political stuff than usual, lately, and you may (or may not) have wondered why. I mostly ignored the subject in 2004, and during the endlessly long primary process from 2006 on; why have I stopped ignoring it now?

Well, partly, frankly, just because I find Obama more interesting – more worth paying attention to – than any Dem candidate in decades. I think Obama is better than McCain on several dimensions – a better human being, a better candidate, a better potential president. A lot better. To that extent my posting could just reflect plain old political bias. But another part has to do with the flagrant … Read the rest

Christian ‘Boot Camp’ That ‘Cures’ Homosexuality *

Oct 9th, 2008 | Filed by

‘It makes more sense to listen to the God who created the Universe than to my puny human emotions.’… Read the rest

‘Culture’ Minister: Libraries Should be Noisier *

Oct 9th, 2008 | Filed by

Libraries not places for reading and thinking, libraries places ‘for families and joy and chatter.’… Read the rest


Oct 9th, 2008 10:56 am | By

And another thing. That disdainful remark that ‘The word chatter might strike fear into the heart of traditionalists’ is worthy of Sarah Palin. It strikes fear into our hearts because we think libraries should be places where we can read and think and study. We think that is what they are for, and that that ability is and always has been a good thing. We don’t think removing it is doing anyone a favour. We think there should be places where people can play and make noise and places where they can be quiet and think. We don’t think all places should be like libraries, we just think libraries should be like libraries. Why do people like Burnham think … Read the rest

More noise please

Oct 9th, 2008 10:44 am | By

Libraries are ‘out of touch’.

Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, will today launch a consultation on changing the face of libraries which he believes are out of touch…Noise bans will also be reviewed…”The popular public image of libraries as solemn and sombre places, patrolled by fearsome and formidable staff is decades out of date, but is nonetheless taken for granted by too many people,” he will say, adding that the sector would have to “think radical” to modernise.

Too many for what? Why should the sector modernize? Why does Burnham (apparently) think it’s a bad thing that libraries are out of touch?

If you ‘save’ or ‘preserve’ or ‘rescue’ libraries (or anything else) by turning them … Read the rest

Local gossip

Oct 8th, 2008 4:04 pm | By

So didja watch the debate? I’m not a huge fan of ‘debates’ (they’re not real debates, of course), but I watched some of Biden-Palin (enough to see that she was doing much better than I’d expected or wanted) and I watched most of last night’s. I thought McCain was godawful. Awkward, stumbling, unconvincing, unimpressive – and nasty with it. ‘That one’ – it’s all over the place now, but why shouldn’t it be? His hostility and contempt are creepy. Of course, this is the guy who called his (second) wife a cunt in front of a reporter.

Anyway – this ‘Not Presidential’ thing really makes me sick. What is that supposed to mean? Too smart? Too poised? Too calm? Too … Read the rest

Freedom to believe or not to believe

Oct 8th, 2008 3:04 pm | By

The pope and Sarkozy have been dissing secularism lately. Agnès Poirier defends it.

To speak of positive secularism is to imply that there are two kinds of secularism, one good, the other bad. The supposedly good one, put forward by the Pope and his acolyte Nicolas Sar kozy, is a secularism that would allow politics to mingle with religions. One which would, for instance, turn a blind eye to sects and their actions, one which would accept that people be treated differently according to their faiths, one which would blur the frontiers between the public and private spheres…What the Pope and president pretend not to know is that there is no positive or negative secularism (laïcité in French).

Read the rest