All entries by this author

Outside the embassy

Feb 26th, 2015 5:29 pm | By

In Vienna today:

Read the rest

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



Guest post: For all three luminaries

Feb 26th, 2015 5:22 pm | By

Originally a comment by Gem Newman on Follow, peasants.

They’re still pestering our group to join. The group’s organizer finally got fed up and said that we wouldn’t, because a lot of these guys were “gross”. That prompted this response from them:

Gross thoughts? I don’t understand.

Is there anyone else in your group I could speak with?

I’ll put it this way. In the last month I’ve traded more than 400 emails with group leaders.

They don’t normally have this much unexplained anger.

I mean, come on, really. How can you be a serious person and have so much hate for all three luminaries? Keep it to one, please!

I’d had enough at this point, so I had … Read the rest

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



Fascinating, tell me more

Feb 26th, 2015 5:03 pm | By

It’s been a busy day. I’m hoping to help make something happen.

Meanwhile, I got an email from an acquaintance who believes every bit of Republican propaganda he ever hears or reads, no matter how outlandish it may be.

This is today’s consignment of Republican propaganda shameless bullshit:

The word “Dhimmitude” is found in the new health care bill; so what does it mean?

Thought this was interesting and worth passing on.

Obama used it in the health care bill.
Now isn’t this interesting?
It is also included in the health care law.

Dhimmitude — I had never heard the word until now. I typed it into Google and started reading. Pretty interesting. It’s on page 107 of the healthcare … Read the rest

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



Meet Avijit Roy

Feb 26th, 2015 12:06 pm | By

A 2007 interview with three members of Mukto-Mona, one of them being Avijit Roy, who was murdered in Dhaka yesterday. His wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya was badly injured.

Ahmede Hussain

How has Mukto-Mona evolved? Can you please explain the idea behind Mukto-Mona for our readers?

Avijit Roy: Mukto-Mona came into being in the year 2000, with the intention of debating and promoting critical issues that are of the utmost importance in building a progressive, rational and secular society, but usually are ignored in the mainstream Bangladeshi and South Asian media. On 26th May, 2001, I created a Yahoo group under the name Mukto-Mona. A year later, it was developed into a complete web site (www.mukto-mona.com), which, to the best

Read the rest

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



More of us killed

Feb 26th, 2015 10:17 am | By

This is baaaaaaaaaaaaaad

Blogger and writer Avijit Roy has been killed and his wife, blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonna, severely injured when unidentified miscreants hacked them at TSC of Dhaka University on Thursday night.

Avijit, son of former DU teacher Dr Ajay Roy and also the founder of Mukto-mona Blog, and his wife have been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in critical condition immediately after the attack.

Later, he died while undergoing treatment around 10:30pm, said Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam.

This is horrifying.

They’ll kill us all.

DU Proctor Amjad Ali said: “I came to know the writer had been receiving threats from militants because of his anti-communal activism.”

Among the teachers of Dhaka University who rushed

Read the rest

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



Guns keep you safe!

Feb 26th, 2015 9:51 am | By

Except of course when you accidentally shoot yourself with them and die.

A Michigan woman who fatally shot herself in [the] eye was adjusting her bra holster, police said Wednesday.

The shooting happened at the home of Christina Bond, 55, on New Year’s Day.

“She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to. She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon,” St. Joseph Public Safety Director Mark Clapp told the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Well, that’s a shame. But up until that point, she was way extra safe because of that gun! So it balances out in the gun’s favor.… Read the rest

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



“That’s good fathering,” he says

Feb 26th, 2015 9:08 am | By

David Futrelle does some high spot notification on Jeff Sharlet’s report on the Voice for Men conference last year. I find this useful because I find Sharlet’s piece tough going – too much story-telling detail cluttering up and obscuring the interesting substantive parts. I have the same problem with his book The Family. Both are too much like fiction – presented too much as stories, with the usual familiar atmospheric detail of most contemporary literary fiction, which I tend to get very impatient with.

My favorite part is Futrelle’s intro –

A few days before alleged “men’s human rights” website A Voice for Men held its first convention last summer, the site’s founder and head boy Paul Elam

Read the rest

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



The real caliphate

Feb 25th, 2015 5:44 pm | By

That Atlantic piece by Graeme Wood about what ISIS really is – it’s worth reading.

Here’s the deal: it’s not just Islamism (which is bad enough), it’s the caliphate. That’s why it’s so attractive to so many people, and that in turn of course is why it’s so scary.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the

Read the rest

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



Stop executing “apostates” and “blasphemers”

Feb 25th, 2015 4:43 pm | By

A press release of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain:

Stop executing “apostates” and “blasphemers” and release them now!

On 22 February 2015, a Saudi court sentenced a man in his twenties to death by beheading for apostasy.  The identity of the man has not been made public but, according to Al-Shabaka, he was arrested last year and is charged with becoming an atheist and insulting Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, on social media.

This heinous ruling comes against the backdrop of the recent attacks on freedom of expression in Paris and Copenhagen.  Whilst the Saudi government hypocritically condemned the Paris massacre as a “cowardly terrorist attack that was rejected by the true Islamic religion”, it condemned a man to … Read the rest

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



Everyone agreed that she was an extremely disobedient woman

Feb 25th, 2015 4:23 pm | By

Update: This is not an actual report. Taslima’s head is on her neck where it belongs.

Taslima reports on her beheading at the hands of Islamist terrorists yesterday.

Bengali writer Taslima Nasreen was beheaded yesterday by Islamist terrorists at her home in New Delhi where she had been living in exile. A video of the decapitation was posted on social media sites this morning.

It was inevitable. Author of 41 books of poetry, essays, and novels, Ms Nasreen, known for her powerful feminist writings against the injustices and inequalities of religions, had to live under a succession of death fatwas.

They can’t behead her 41 books. Poor dears, that must be so frustrating for them.

Despite repeated bans

Read the rest

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



The Voldemort effect

Feb 25th, 2015 12:15 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz has some ideas on what to do about spreading Islamism in the UK.

For years, Islamists and other extremists have taken advantage of grievances of Muslims in Britain, and have successfully identified ways to integrate them under one “Islamic” banner. Sensitive issues such as Palestine, Kashmir, and Iraq have been used to bring together Muslim communities under unified goals. As a result, separate Muslim education programmes have increased among these communities, and inter-marriages between Muslims of different cultural backgrounds has become the norm. Through this, extremists hoped to create a religious “Islamic” identity that transcends, and grows on, ethnic and cultural differences.

It appears to be working. Half of British Muslims interviewed stated that prejudice against Islam

Read the rest

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



Until modern times

Feb 25th, 2015 11:40 am | By

A Tory MP says astrology could have “a role to play in healthcare”. The Guardian has the risible details.

David Tredinnick said astrology, along with complementary medicine, could take pressure off NHS doctors, but acknowledged that any attempt to spend taxpayers’ money on consulting the stars would cause “a huge row”.

And why would it cause a huge row? Because it’s bullshit, and medicine is supposed to be non-bullshit. The only way astrology could “take pressure off NHS doctors” would be by diverting patients into the Bullshit Department, which defeats the purpose of having a health service at all. I mean you could take the pressure of NHS doctors by deporting all their patients, too, or by executing them, … Read the rest

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



Mosul library

Feb 25th, 2015 10:53 am | By

It had been thought that ISIS burned 8000 manuscripts and documents from the Mosul library. Now, the Independent reports, there’s a corrected estimate.

AL RAI’s chief international correspondent Elijah J. Magnier told The Independent that a Mosul library official believes as many as 112, 709 manuscripts and books, some of which were registered on a UNESCO rarities list, are among those lost.

Mosul Public Library’s director Ghanim al-Ta’an said Isis militants then demolished the building using explosive devices.

“People tried to prevent the terrorist group elements from burning the library, but failed,” a local source told IraqiNews.com.

Other reports indicated that Isis militants later broke into the library and constructed a huge pyre of scientific and cultural

Read the rest

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



Underappreciated

Feb 25th, 2015 10:01 am | By

A public Facebook post by Valerie Tarico

 … Read the rest

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



He has a stable of luxury cars and a Beverly Hills mansion

Feb 24th, 2015 6:10 pm | By

Uh oh – another celebrity star famous guy brought down by multiple accusations of rape.

This one’s a famous star yoga guy.

He has a stable of luxury cars and a Beverly Hills mansion. During trainings for hopeful yoga teachers, he paces a stage in a black Speedo and holds forth on life, sex and the transformative power of his brand of hot yoga.

Not to mention his black Speedo.

But a day of legal reckoning is drawing closer for the guru, Bikram Choudhury.

He is facing six civil lawsuits from women accusing him of rape or assault.The most recent was filed on Feb. 13 by a Canadian yogi, Jill Lawler, who said Mr. Choudhury raped her during

Read the rest

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



The Geneva Summit 2

Feb 24th, 2015 5:35 pm | By

Also at the Geneva Summit today

[T]he 2015 summit’s “Women’s Rights Award” was given to Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, the creator of a Facebook page titled “My Stealthy Freedom,” which shows pictures of Iranian women without hijabs. The page now has nearly 770,000 Facebook likes.

Addressing summit attendees before the awards ceremony, Alinejad said she was forced to wear a headscarf from the time she started going to school, aged seven. She explained that, to her, a headscarf is not just a small issue and it is not “just a piece of cloth,” but a way of quietening her voice and the voices of other Iranian women.

“Every time when I was running or walking in a free country

Read the rest

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



The Geneva Summit

Feb 24th, 2015 5:25 pm | By

Today’s news from Geneva is that Raif Badawi was given the Geneva Summit’s “Courage Award.” Sally Hayden reports at VICE:

Badawi is the 2015 recipient of the Geneva Summit’s “Courage Award” — sponsored by a coalition of 20 human rights NGOs from around the world.

Dr. Elham Manea, a spokesperson for Badawi, told VICE News that Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, is “delighted” at the news of the award, and that his children “are thrilled that their father is being recognized and also honored with such a prize from such a human rights summit. It means a lot.”

Manea talked to VICE News while on the train to Geneva, where she accepted the award on Badawi’s behalf. Haidar is

Read the rest

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



Without fuss

Feb 24th, 2015 4:30 pm | By

They do these things better in Denmark. Jesus and Mo Author was impressed. He tweeted about it, twice.

AuthorJ&M @JandMo · 6h
So impressed with Danish press + TV. All J&M reviews + interviews incl images without fuss. Miles ahead of UK

Go Denmark!… Read the rest

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



The pope tries his hand at a simile

Feb 24th, 2015 12:01 pm | By

Pope Fuzzy explains how people who mess around with the god-given nature of gender are like nuclear weapons. (Spoiler: they both wreck everything.)

The Pope has compared the threat of transgender people to nuclear weapons.

The head of the Catholic Church made the claims, that have come to light this week,  in an interview for a book last year.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, he said: “Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings.

“Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

And there you have it. They … Read the rest

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



Kiran’s report

Feb 24th, 2015 11:23 am | By

Kiran Opal’s report on the International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights last October in London is now available.

A few months ago, I was privileged to participate in, and speak at, an historic conference, the two-day International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights held in London, UK on 11th-12th October 2014. At the conference, I got to meet and speak with some of the world’s most interesting activists who work tirelessly to promote human rights and secularism, and I presented a talk on The Human and the Kafir: How Fear of Apostasy Fuels Islamist Power.

Then Atheist Alliance International asked her to write a report on the conference, and with help … Read the rest

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