All entries by this author

An unlikely source

Nov 3rd, 2016 5:27 pm | By

Melania Trump has returned to campaigning for her owner husband. She’s chosen a theme: bullying. She’s against it.

Melania Trump returned from political exile on Thursday by making a rather eyebrow-raising claim: as first lady, she would combat bullying. That anti-bullying campaign, however, likely wouldn’t extend to her husband.

“Our culture has gotten too mean and too violent,” the wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told a crowd here in the suburbs of Philadelphia. “It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”

If she really thinks … Read the rest

Coming up roses

Nov 3rd, 2016 4:38 pm | By

Marc Fisher at the Washington Post ponders how Trump deals with his failures.

When Donald Trump loses, he lashes out, assigns blame and does whatever it takes to make a defeat look like a win. When that isn’t plausible, he pronounces the system rigged — victory wasn’t possible because someone put in the fix.

It’s what makes him great. I mean terrible. It’s what makes him terrible. I mean it’s one of the many things that make him terrible.

Trump calls defeats “blips.” Losing the race for the most powerful job on the planet is no one’s idea of a blip, and if that happens, Trump is highly unlikely to slip away and accept life as a historical footnote,

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Vigilante voter intimidation

Nov 3rd, 2016 10:25 am | By

Trump people are due in court to answer charges related to voter intimidation.

A federal judge Tuesday ordered representatives from the Donald Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party to appear at a hearing in his courtroom Wednesday afternoon in a lawsuit filed by Nevada Democrats accusing them of the engaging in voter intimidation tactics.

U.S. District Judge Richard Franklin Boulware also ordered the Trump campaign and state party to turn over any training materials they provided to “poll watchers, poll observers, exit pollsters or any other similarly tasked individuals.”

At the hearing, the Trump campaign and the Nevada GOP should be prepared to respond to the motion for a temporary restraining order that the Democrats requested in the lawsuit,

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Vive la laïcité

Nov 3rd, 2016 6:22 am | By

Maryam received a Prix international de la Laïcité yesterday in Paris. She posted her acceptance speech on Facebook:

I am truly honoured to have been awarded the International Secularism (Laïcité) Prize from the Comité Laïcité République in Paris on 2 November. The wonderful Malek Boutih won the National Prix and Étienne-Émile Baulieu the Scientific Prize for 2016. Here is my acceptance speech in English.

Thank you for this wonderful honour. I am so glad to have the support of so many present here, including my husband and son, as well as my Muslim parents.

We live in an age where totalitarianism is masked as divine righteousness, theocrats legitimised, dissent vilified and victims blamed for their own murder.

This is

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No gurlz

Nov 2nd, 2016 6:02 pm | By

So the pope got chatty on the plane back from Sweden, where he’d gone to celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation, so have a good laugh about that before we proceed.

A journalist for the Catholic News Agency was there to catch the pearls of wisdom as he dropped them. The hot news flash is that he said the church isn’t budging its shiny little ass on the question of women priests. That’s still a big No and always will be, the affable theocrat said.

During a press conference Tuesday aboard the papal plane from Sweden to Rome, Pope Francis said the issue of women priests has been clearly decided, while also clarifying the essential role of women in the

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No longer a lock

Nov 2nd, 2016 4:30 pm | By

Jeff Sharlet wrote a powerful public post on Facebook a few hours ago. It’s a “why we have to vote for Trump anyway” post but one that doesn’t minimize the things we dislike about Clinton – on the contrary it goes into some detail on them, via his own investigative journalism.

I’m so tired of Hillary Clinton posts, but I’m going to write one anyway. This is directed at my friends and acquaintances who, like me, are very critical of Clinton’s corporate centrism, cronyism, elitism, and militarism: Please consider voting for her anyway, even if you live in a “safe state.” Clinton is probably going to win, but it’s no longer a lock. Trump has a narrow but real potential

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UN Ambassador Wonder Woman

Nov 2nd, 2016 3:18 pm | By

I was startled by the part where Suzanne Moore said Wonder Woman has been named a UN ambassador so I followed her link.

“This is the most fun the UN has had, I’m pretty sure right?” Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment said at a ceremony appointing Wonder Woman as the United Nations’ honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. The ceremony was meant to honor the fight for gender equality and the 75th anniversary of the character.

Pause to stare in amazement.

How insulting is that? What, because the empowerment of women and girls is so trivial and such a joke that a comic book character might as well be ambassador for it?


Not really … Read the rest

The battle for gender equality can’t be won unless men lead it

Nov 2nd, 2016 2:47 pm | By

Suzanne Moore is delighted that Bono won a Woman of the Year award. Ok maybe delighted isn’t exactly the right word.

Bono’s peers have given him all sorts: from a knighthood (honorary knight commander of the British empire) to a Philadelphia liberty medal, but according to the doublethink of Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, giving awards to actual women at the actual women of the year ceremony “might be an outdated way of looking at things. There are so many men who really are doing wonderful things for women these days.”

Finally, men doing things for women! It’s what the struggle has been all about. Give that man a round of applause for “babysitting” his own children. A medal and

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Not to be mocked

Nov 2nd, 2016 1:05 pm | By

Stephen Evans at the National Secular Society on the punishment of Louis Smith.

The very public castigation of the British gymnast is illustrative of the troubling return of blasphemy. As the former Strictly Come Dancing winner has discovered – and to his immense cost – Britain’s bourgeoning ‘culture of offence’ is ensuring that any action deemed likely to offend religious sensibilities, but particularly Muslim sensibilities, is strictly taboo.

The ‘offending’ footage, published by The Sun, shows him with fellow gymnast Luke Carson drunkenly goofing around yelling “Allahu Akbar” and mocking aspects of Islamic belief.

Condemnation came swiftly from Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation, who asserted “our faith is not to be mocked” and called

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No plans to admit any mistakes

Nov 2nd, 2016 11:47 am | By

PRI, Public Radio International, did a story on the SPLC report yesterday.

The list is primarily meant to be a resource for journalists, says Mark Potok, a senior fellow with the SPLC. He says it is especially intended to help producers who schedule experts for TV appearances.

“There are an awful lot of people out there who present themselves as ‘experts’ on terrorism or on Islam, who really are people who make it their business simply to savage Islam,” Potok says.

That’s true…but Maajid is not one of them, so why is he on that list?

The list is only 15 people after all. With such a small number why include at least two people who don’t belong there? Think … Read the rest

Mandatory respect

Nov 2nd, 2016 11:05 am | By

Tom Harris at the Telegraph is disgusted by the suspension of Louis Smith.

He starts with Roy Hattersley’s submission to Islamist outrage at Salman Rushdie in 1989.

Hattersley, whose constituency of Birmingham Sparkbrook included a large number of Muslims, has revealed that as a consequence of pressure put on him by local Muslim leaders, he proposed a “compromise”: Rushdie’s book should not be issued in paperback, as would normally be the case after the initial marketing of the hardback.

Of course, this was no compromise at all. The Shadow Home Secretary was advocating a surrender to the threat of terrorism. He advocated the compromising of free speech as a route to sating the blood thirst of the leader

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SPLC generic response # 2

Nov 2nd, 2016 9:54 am | By

On Saturday I wrote to the SPLC. Here’s what I said:

Like many people, I’m horrified by the inclusion in the SPLC’s report on “Anti-Muslim extremists” of Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Please don’t send me the stock response from Heidi Beirich, because I’ve already seen it via several people. I want to ask you for more explanation of two items in that response.

First, Heidi Beirich writes:

We respectfully disagree with your assessment that Nawaz is “non-extremist.” Let me cite some examples as to why we came to this conclusion. For starters, his organization sent a letter to a security official, according to The Guardian, that said, “the ideology of non-violent Islamists is broadly the same as that

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Another endorsement

Nov 2nd, 2016 9:20 am | By

Last I heard, only one real newspaper had endorsed Trump. By “real” I mean not a party paper or a free giveaway paper that’s basically real estate ads and nothing else – I mean a “normal” newspaper with a city name in it and a longish history. But there are a few unreal ones. The Washington Post cites one.

Among the small number of American newspapers that have embraced Donald Trump’s campaign, there is one, in particular, that stands out.

It is called the Crusader — and it is one of the most prominent newspapers of the Ku Klux Klan.

Under the banner “Make America Great Again,” the entire front page of the paper’s current issue is devoted to

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A crude and ignorant response

Nov 1st, 2016 5:51 pm | By

Another bad thing. Pragna Patel of Southall Black Sisters writes:

Just had a horrible, bruising experience on BBC Asia Network whilst debating the problem of religious arbitration bodies, especially Sharia Councils, and their rulings on family and personal matters.

I was pitted against two Islamic ‘judges’ who call themselves ‘scholars’ who defended the existence of Sharia ‘Courts’: They argued that these bodies were set up for women and run on principles of compassion and justice. (Try telling that to the many Muslim women and women of other faiths who approach SBS on a daily basis with horrific stories of domestic violence and religious abuse of power; including those who contacted us today as a result of the debate on

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Sid Miller for Texas

Nov 1st, 2016 5:33 pm | By

Of course. The people in the crowd have been doing it all along, of course a Trump honcho would call Clinton a cunt on Twitter. It’s a wonder Trump didn’t call her that in the debates.

Sid Miller @MillerForTexas



Cunt 43

Go Trump go!

The Governor of Texas said no true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way.

Riiiight.… Read the rest

According to the Guardian

Nov 1st, 2016 5:08 pm | By

More detail on the SPLC’s blacklisting of Maajid Nawaz.

Their report cited the Guardian in this passage:

But major elements of his story have been disputed by former friends, members of his family, fellow jihadists and journalists, and the evidence suggests that Nawaz is far more interested in self-promotion and money than in any particular ideological dispute. He told several different versions of his story, emphasizing that he was deradicalized while in Egypt — even though he in fact continued his Islamist agitation for months after returning. After starting the Quilliam Foundation, which he describes as an anti-extremism think tank, Nawaz sent a secret list to a top British security official that accused “peaceful Muslim groups, politicians, a television channel

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Nov 1st, 2016 3:51 pm | By

The New York Times put out a call on Twitter for Saudi women to talk about their lives. They got a huge response.

Most of the responses focused on frustration over guardianship rules that force women to get permission from a male relative — a husband, father, brother or even son — to do things like attend college, travel abroad, marry the partner of their choice or seek medical attention. Some women talked about the pride they had in their culture and expressed great distrust of outsiders. But many of them shared a deep desire for change and echoed Juju19’s hopelessness.

A Life Restricted

“I got into an accident once in a taxi, and the ambulance refused to take me

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Guest post: Neither burqa nor porn culture

Nov 1st, 2016 3:19 pm | By

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug on Potok was not about to let facts change his mind.

A significant faction on the left hates them for upholding the values they have forgotten

How did a significant faction on the left become apologists for a far-right movement that they would be the first to condemn if it were dominated by white people? Some random thoughts on how this might have happened.

I suspect that most leftists have a notion that it is legitimate to criticize what other people think or do, but not what they are as individuals, which is fine to a certain point. But language is flexible. You can always invent a name for “The kind of … Read the rest

An outdated way of looking at things

Nov 1st, 2016 2:54 pm | By


Bono Becomes The First Man To Make Glamour’s Women Of The Year List

Because…there just aren’t enough women good enough to win it?

Glamour’s annual Women of the Year list always takes in a lot of territory, from noteworthy fashionistas and sports heroes to social justice activists and business leaders.

Enter Bono: The first Man of the Year among the magazine’s Women of the Year, all to be honored at a Nov. 14 ceremony in Los Angeles.

“We’ve talked for years about whether to honor a man at Women of the Year and we’ve always kind of put the kabash on it. You know, men get a lot of awards and aren’t exactly hurting in the celebration and honors

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Are we not allowed to mock religions?

Nov 1st, 2016 12:02 pm | By

And speaking of non-violent Isamism, and the clueless non-Muslims who enforce it on the rest of us – the Guardian reports that the British gymnast Louis Smith has been suspended from British Gymnastics for two months for making jokes about Islam.

Louis Smith has been banned for two months after a video emerged in which he and fellow gymnast Luke Carson were appeared to mock Islam.

Smith, who won a silver medal for Great Britain on the pommel horse in Rio, was filmed with Carson shouting “Allahu Akbar” and mimicking a praying pose. Carson has been given a reprimand by British Gymnastics which will stay on his record for two years.

Did this happen at a public event where he … Read the rest