All entries by this author

He is young and still learning

Jun 11th, 2016 4:31 pm | By

Mike Skerrit asks his son what it means when she says stop.

My son is three years old. My daughter is five. They play. My son is strong and sometimes he gets the upper hand and giggles as he sits on top of his sister. She says stop. He won’t. He’s laughing so hard he doesn’t hear her. I come running. “What does it mean when she says stop,” I say. Silence. There is no missing my message. He is upset. “It means stop,” he answers ruefully. “When does it mean stop,” I say. “Stop right now.” “It means stop right now. Always. We don’t keep doing it, we don’t ignore her, we don’t make her say it

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Jun 11th, 2016 4:18 pm | By

Peter Walker reports:

Went today to the LaVoy Finicum site on Hwy 395 to see what’s happening. An ongoing source of tension and anger. The memorial has been toned down. William C. Fischer of Idaho and a local friend watch it 24/7 from an adjacent legal (if symbolically problematic…) campsite. They told me they’ll stay until a permanent solution is found. They want the memorial set back off the road with a few parking spaces and a path to access the memorial from the camp. Being set off the road is key: others don’t have to see it. Possibly better than leaving it as a festering source of anger, potential conflict, and recruiting. Would require federal USFS authorization.

They … Read the rest


Jun 11th, 2016 12:34 pm | By

Because of this claim in a comment:

Does Elizabeth Warren actually have any Native American ancestry?

If she claimed in public she did, but in reality didn’t, then she lied, didn’t she?

Here is Vox explaining the non-issue:

Trump’s comment may be racist against Native Americans, but he’s using it here to sarcastically suggest that Warren really isn’t Native American. (Which, oddly enough, proves that Trump can also be racist while trying to insult someone for being white.)

Trump is referring to a controversy Warren faced over her ancestry during her 2012 Senate campaign.

Warren says she grew up being told that she had Cherokee heritage. “Everyone on our mother’s side — aunts, uncles, and grandparents — talked

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Guest post: Withholding food and water from children for 15 hours a day

Jun 11th, 2016 11:26 am | By

Originally a comment by Theo Bromine on Mubarak dehydration month.

I was wondering about the rules for kids, and found the following:

1. Children before the age of seven should be encouraged to fast (without fasting the full day) and to love these acts of worship. They can pretend what it is like to fast for an hour, for example.

2. After seven, it is recommended for the child to fast, but not necessarily for the full day nor everyday. The emphasis on fasting should be increased until the child reaches ten.

3. At ten, the child should be expected to fast.

Other sites quoted scholars saying that a child over 10 “should be made to fast and … Read the rest

Judges remained sympathetic to white male defendants

Jun 11th, 2016 10:22 am | By

Rape-excusing judges in history

In 1911 California voters passed a measure allowing the recall of judges and added an amendment to the state Constitution giving women the right to vote.

Two years later, newly enfranchised women in San Francisco flexed their political muscles by petitioning for the recall of a police court justice, Charles Weller.

Like his colleagues, Judge Weller heard sexual assault cases and typically set bail at under $500, low enough so that several defendants chose to flee rather than stand trial. Judge Weller sometimes dismissed rape charges on technical grounds — as when a 15-year-old, impregnated by the accused, missed court because she was giving birth.

Why that lazy slut.

No one complained until a year

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Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg

Jun 10th, 2016 5:49 pm | By

And then there’s the junior Senator from Georgia, Republican Frank Perdue, at a “Faith and Freedom” conference today.

According to The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, Republican Senator Frank Perdue jokingly told attendees: “We should pray like Psalm 109:8 says: Let his days be few.”

Christians well acquainted with Psalms 108, know that it is not just a wish for Obama to be out of office, but a call for vengeance upon a rival.

According to the American Standard Bible, Psalm 109:7 begins, “When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, And let his prayer become sin.”

Nah, let’s have the King James, instead.

When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let

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In the swamp

Jun 10th, 2016 5:20 pm | By

Trump. He’s not funny, he’s not cute, he’s not a “rebel.” He’s no more cute than Milo Yiannopoulos or the bullies of reddit or Gamergate or any of this trash. Calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” is just trash. He’s trash. He has a trashy mind and mouth and political campaign.

The furor over Trump’s assaults on the impartiality of a Latino judge had just begun to subside when he lobbed two tweets Friday morning responding to Warren, who had lambasted him as a “thin-skinned, racist bully” in a speech the previous evening.

“Pocahontas is at it again!” Trump wrote in one. “Goofy Elizabeth Warren, one of the least productive U.S. Senators, has a nasty mouth.”

Thus demonstrating that he’s not … Read the rest

Walk on stage, walk on stage, walk on stage

Jun 10th, 2016 11:27 am | By

Have a thought-leader explaining his thought-leader process to a rapt audience of thought-leader appreciators.

Self-proclaimed “thought leader” Pat Kelly gives his talk on “thought leadership” at the annual CBC This Is That Talks in Whistler, B.C.

Note the scare-quotes.

 … Read the rest

Happy fast-defiance!

Jun 10th, 2016 11:04 am | By

Maryam has plans for this matter of forced fasting (and deyhdrating) in Ramadan:


On 24 June, from 17:00-19:00 hours, we will be organising an “eat-in” at the Saudi and Iranian embassies in London in solidarity with those defying fasting rules during Ramadan.

This is hugely important given that there are many people across the globe who are arrested, beaten and fined for eating during the month; many others are pressured into fasting, including in Europe. Join us at the ‘eat-in’ if you can.

Alternately, you can upload photos of yourself eating during fasting times or holding signs with messages of solidarity using hashtag: #IWillNotFast #لن_اص= م #روزه خوارى #Ramadan until the= end

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Evidence on gender stereotyping in ads

Jun 10th, 2016 9:02 am | By

The Advertising Standards Authority puts out a call for evidence on gender stereotypes in advertising.

In recent years, there has been increasing political and public debate on equality issues.  The mocking of women and men in non-stereotypical roles, the reinforcement of stereotyped views of gender roles, and gender-specific marketing to children, as well as concerns regarding objectification, sexualisation and the presentation of an idealised  or unrealistic body image are all issues that have gained considerable public interest.

As a proactive regulator, we want to find out more about these issues and others to ensure we continue to be alive to and in tune with prevailing standards when interpreting and applying the rules. Consequently, we will be doing three things:

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Another mistake

Jun 10th, 2016 7:56 am | By

That thing I said the other day about how humans are a mistake. One branch of that mistakenness is the taste that some humans have for torture and cruelty as a form of entertainment. Take Andrew Picard, former Etonian, for instance.

Andrew Picard, 18, was found to have more than 2,000 pornographic images of children as young as  two years old, including rape and bestiality. The images were found on his computer at [Eton] after Picard, then 17-years-old, shared the illegal material in an online chat room with an undercover police officer, The Daily Mail reports.

Judge Peter Ross said: “This defendant Andrew Picard was a privileged young man. His family are clearly wealthy enough to send

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Guest post: They didn’t even notice

Jun 9th, 2016 6:24 pm | By

Guest post by iknklast.

I have just recently come back from an annual play festival that I’ve attended several times before. I have always enjoyed this festival; it gives me a chance to interact with other playwrights, to attend workshops, and to see new plays that are in the process of development. The coordinators choose the plays from a large pool of submitted work. This year, there were 680 plays submitted, and only 30 were selected. These plays are then given a reading by trained actors, chosen and directed by a trained director, to allow them to hear their works and engage in a conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of the work. Although this is not in one of … Read the rest

Suck it up

Jun 9th, 2016 4:56 pm | By

In Pakistan and a number of other countries, it’s against the law to drink and eat in public (and “in public” means where anyone can see and report you, so I suspect it means at home too if you have windows). IBTimes reported last June:

The death toll from a weeklong heat wave in Karachi, Pakistan, has risen to 1,233, officials told the Associated Press Saturday. Some 65,000 people flooded the city’s hospitals to be treated for heat stroke, and about 1,900 patients were still receiving medical care as the country began to cool off.

Pakistan’s laws forbid people [to drink] and [eat] in public in daylight during Ramadan. As the heat wave has continued — and worsened —

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The hot month

Jun 9th, 2016 4:46 pm | By

I’ve heard from a couple of friends of Muslim background who say the dehydration issue is indeed a problem, and generally ignored.

Deutsche Welle reported a year ago:

More than 1,100 people have already died of dehydration in Pakistan’s scorching temperatures. The risk is made worse because devout Muslims don’t eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan.

It’s hot in Pakistan. Over the last few days, it’s been as hot as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade and thousands of people are being treated in hospitals. Most of the more than 1,100 casualties have been recorded in the port city of Karachi, Pakistani health authorities report. Military and civilian aid organizations have set

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The ashes were delivered by courier

Jun 9th, 2016 12:31 pm | By

In news from the UN

A woman in Ireland who was forced to choose between carrying her foetus to term, knowing it would not survive, or seeking an abortion abroad was subjected to discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as a result of Ireland’s legal prohibition of abortion, United Nations experts have found.

The independent experts, from the Geneva-based Human Rights Committee, issued their findings after considering a complaint by the woman, AM, who was told in November 2011 when she was in the 21st week of pregnancy that her foetus had congenital defects, which meant it would die in the womb or shortly after birth.

This meant she had to choose “between continuing her non-viable pregnancy or

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An extra challenge

Jun 9th, 2016 11:28 am | By

The CBC also has advice about how to do a healthy Ramadan. It too fails to make it clear that going without water is not just unpleasant, it’s unsafe.

Ala’a Eideh, a PhD student in nutrition at the University of Manitoba, mainly recommends consuming anything that will not aggravate thirst throughout the day.

“The main things that should be avoided are spices, caffeine and sodium to prevent thirst to prevent fluid loss from the body,” she said.

But of course that day is 17 hours long, or longer (this is Canada we’re talking about). There’s no way to prevent thirst over 17+ hours with no water or any other liquid. Thirst=dehydration. This isn’t an issue of mere discomfort, it’s … Read the rest

Mubarak dehydration month

Jun 9th, 2016 10:41 am | By

Ramadan is certainly happening at the worst possible time this year, maximizing the number of hours people feel religiously required to go without water. That’s unhealthy at best and dangerous at worst – especially dangerous for people who do physical work in the heat.

The Independent takes a wrongheaded approach:

As the world’s one billion-plus Muslims gear up to fast over the next month during Ramadan – one of the five pillars of Islam – there is some concern this year may be particularly challenging with followers required to go without any food and water for some 17 hours a day as a test of personal strength and communication with Allah.

However, if done right – and if Muslims

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Guest post: The sense of entitlement to a “good job”

Jun 8th, 2016 5:34 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on Now he faces of lifetime of struggling for decent work.

Reading the references to Turner “struggling for decent work” and saying “Goodbye to becoming an orthopedic surgeon” reminds me of something else that really irks me: the sense of entitlement to a “good job,” i.e. well-paying, white-collar, high-status.

If I may quote a different judge, Caddyshack’s Judge Smails, “the world needs ditchdiggers, too.” Smails, of course, was being an asshole snob to the working-class caddie Danny Noonan, in response to Danny’s concern about not being able to afford college without the caddie scholarship that Smails controlled.

But the world does need “ditchdiggers” — well, maybe not literally ditchdiggers, but people who do … Read the rest

Archbishop says talk more about his special subject

Jun 8th, 2016 4:35 pm | By

Another religious mouthpiece tells us that religion must be taken more seriously, by law, and that it must be forced on everyone whether they like it or not.

The BBC should be legally required to treat religion on a par with politics, sport or drama, the Archbishop of Canterbury is to say.

I thought it already did treat it that way, but if it doesn’t, so what? I can think of a lot of reasons the BBC might prefer to keep its distance from religion, and I don’t see why it should be legally required to take it as seriously as politics.

A recent Government White Paper includes calls for the BBC to be required to reflect the

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Now he faces of lifetime of struggling for decent work

Jun 8th, 2016 11:47 am | By

The Guardian publishes samples of the many many letters urging Judge Persky not to sentence Brock Turner to prison.

The father’s letter, however, is just one of dozens of testimonials that Turner’s supporters sent to Persky – letters that the judge said he seriously considered in his decision to allow the former swimmer to avoid the minimum prison time of two years prescribed by law.

The Guardian has obtained copies of all the letters Persky received – statements that defend Turner’s actions, blame the victim for being assaulted, and decry the consequences the swimmer has faced while ignoring the suffering of the 23-year-old woman. The letters, along with Turner’s own statement, provide a window into a culture that critics

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