All entries by this author


Mar 21st, 2019 10:18 am | By

I don’t know…I see why they had this impulse, but I’m not sure it was a good idea. A university in Calgary canceled a talk by an ex-Muslim, though it said it would welcome him at a later time.

Armin Navabi, who lives in British Columbia, was being brought in by the Atheist Society of Calgary to share his journey and discuss the reasons he doesn’t believe the Islamic faith can be reformed.

But now he says he’s disappointed he won’t get a chance to engage in some passionate discussions with staff and students, including those who still practice Islam, because of MRU’s last-minute decision.

But it’s not even a week yet. Emotions are raw. I get that. I … Read the rest

What I tell you three times is true

Mar 21st, 2019 9:41 am | By

Trump says the same damn thing three times in the first 23 seconds of this clip: he uses Twitter to get the word out because the news media are fake. Three times.

I didn’t listen to the rest of the seconds, which are Fox News.

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What’s a little throat-punch among friends?

Mar 21st, 2019 8:38 am | By

Now here’s a surprise: for once it’s the violence-threatener who has backed out.

The headline act of a transgender event in Dundee has pulled out after calling on people to “throat-punch” radical feminists.

Peyton Rose, a transgender singer-songwriter from Edinburgh who was to top the bill at the Trans Pride Scotland event in Dundee next week, posted the tweet last Friday.

Above an image of a leaflet distributed last summer by For Women Scotland, a women’s rights group, she wrote: “If you catch one of these assholes in the act, please undo their work or throat-punch them.”

She deactivated her Twitter account afterwards and has since withdrawn from performing at the event.

A spokeswoman at For Women Scotland said

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The fingerprints of divine providence

Mar 21st, 2019 8:16 am | By

If the Smithsonian declines to display your enormous lurid ugly painting, do you have a legal case against it for declining? My guess would be no, because there is no obligation in law to display all paintings that are offered. Just think what art museums and galleries would be like if there were.

An artist called Julian Raven thinks otherwise.

A Trump portraitist whose lawsuit against the Smithsonian Institution and National Portrait Gallery director Kim Sajet was thrown out in December is appealing the district court’s decision, arguing that his work deserves to be shown in the hallowed institution.

Yeah see I don’t think that’s something you can argue in a legal sense. I don’t think that’s a legal … Read the rest

Nixon has not, to this day, paid a cent

Mar 20th, 2019 4:47 pm | By

Julie Bindel on why abused women need women-only shelters:

My first ever volunteer post was back in 1980, at a Women’s Aid refuge for victims of domestic violence. I will never forget the sight of those women coming in through the doors, crying with desperate relief at having escaped abusive husbands; finding comfort in the company of other women who had experienced the same.

Those services saved many lives, Julie says, but now, between the Right defunding them and the Left forcing them to serve trans women, they’re in peril.

This is not actually [a] new problem. It may be a new front in the transgender turf wars in the UK. But Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR) a

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How do you know when it’s malicious?

Mar 20th, 2019 4:23 pm | By

Some are more equal than others:

Green and other activists for transgender rights view it as deeply offensive to deliberately use the wrong pronoun for a trans person. Doing so could be an offence under the Malicious Communications Act, which makes it a crime to send messages that are indecent or grossly offensive, threatening, or contain information which is false or believed to be false, if the purpose for sending it is to cause distress or anxiety.

People can view anything as anything; that doesn’t make it true. People can “view” something as deeply offensive when it isn’t, or when reasonable people would agree it isn’t, or when reasonable people would disagree over whether it is or isn’t, … Read the rest

You think he should just take that sitting down?

Mar 20th, 2019 12:39 pm | By

Now that’s funny – Kellyanne Conway is defending Trump’s insults aimed at George Conway.

Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s attacks on her husband George Conway saying he’s “a counterpuncher” and asserting that the president is free to respond when he’s accused of having a mental illness.

“He left it alone for months out of respect for me,” Conway, a senior Trump aide, told POLITICO in a brief telephone interview. “But you think he shouldn’t respond when somebody, a non-medical professional, accuses him of having a mental disorder? You think he should just take that sitting down?”

Oh no, definitely not, he should definitely get on Twitter and call him Mister Wife’s Name and a loser and … Read the rest

Alexander Pope, eat your heart out

Mar 20th, 2019 12:11 pm | By

New level achieved:

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Some of the language was extraordinarily overheated

Mar 20th, 2019 11:42 am | By

Meanwhile in another part of the forest

The Open University was forced to cancel a conference on prison reform following threats from the transgender lobby, it has emerged.

Is there really such a thing as the transgender lobby? Not exactly, but there is a mandatory orthodoxy and a large group of people eager to enforce it, so maybe that’s an okay label for it.

The CCJS, an educational charity, has been accused of “transphobia” for its stance that transgender female prisoners should be incarcerated separately from female prisoners.

“The Open University faced quite significant pressure from transgender activists. They received a number of emails where some of the language was extraordinarily overheated,” a source told The Telegraph.

It’s odd … Read the rest

An abnormal moral context

Mar 20th, 2019 11:13 am | By

Justin Weinberg at Daily Nous, part 2:

There did not appear to be many such calls to pull the interview, though. This is not to suggest that a certain number of such calls, itself, is sufficient reason to pull an interview, but it does speak, perhaps, to concerns editor and owner Andrew Gallix might have about the survival of his publication.

Besides the feedback on social media, four of the magazine’s editorial board members resigned in protest of the publication of the interview. [Update: they are Eley Williams, David Winters, Hestia Peppe, and Joanna Walsh; for those curious, none of the four is an academic philosopher.]

So four members of the editorial board resigned in protest of the not-silencing … Read the rest

Step back from the well

Mar 20th, 2019 10:29 am | By

Justin Weinberg of Daily Nous was on it promptly:

Richard Marshall, who has conducted astonishingly rich interviews with hundreds of philosophers for 3:AM Magazine, has resigned from the publication over its editor’s decision to remove one of his interviews from public view.

He quotes Leiter then shares some tweets by the deeply unpleasant Christa Peterson (which poisons the well a good deal, in my view). Then:

There were also a handful of calls for the interview to be deleted, ranging from the thread that begins with

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Whatever right-thinking zealots in our little corner of the universe agree on

Mar 20th, 2019 9:53 am | By

More of the same:

Leiter Reports:

3AM Magazine’s radical chic motto–“whatever it is, we’re against it”–turns out to be bollocks

Their real motto is “whatever right-thinking zealots in our little corner of the universe agree on, we’re for it.” The magazine has withdrawn Richard Marshall’s interview with philosopher Holly Lawford-Smith (Melbourne) because in the course of the interview she denied that trans women are women, and expressed

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The reality distortion field

Mar 19th, 2019 5:33 pm | By

Michelle Goldberg asks a very good question: why don’t Princess Ivanka and Prince Jared have impostor syndrome when they are in fact impostors? Why indeed?

According to “Kushner, Inc.,” Gary Cohn, former director of the National Economic Council, has told people that Ivanka Trump thinks she could someday be president. “Her father’s reign in Washington, D.C., is, she believes, the beginning of a great American dynasty,” writes Ward. Kushner, whose pre-White House experience included owning a boutique newspaper and helming a catastrophically ill-timed real estate deal, has arrogated to himself substantial parts of American foreign policy. According to Ward, shortly after Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state, Kushner told him “to leave Mexico to him because he’d

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De gustibus

Mar 19th, 2019 4:31 pm | By

Aww Trump has a new twin.

President Trump hosted Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, at the White House on Tuesday, and it was something like looking in the mirror.

Like other authoritarian leaders that Mr. Trump has embraced since taking office, Mr. Bolsonaro is an echo of the American president: a brash nationalist whose populist appeal comes partly from his use of Twitter and his history of making crude statements about women, gay people and indigenous groups.

Isn’t that sweet? They’re simpatico.

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has repeatedly confronted and challenged the United States’ closest democratic allies, including the leaders of Canada, Germany and France, while speaking with glowing admiration of America’s adversaries.

At the top of Mr.

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That well is empty

Mar 19th, 2019 11:55 am | By

Oh, gawd, here’s a book no one needs: The Four Horsemen: The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution.

Noooooooooo no no no please no.

But it’s too late, it already exists.

This meandering, unmoderated discussion among Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett, a group dubbed the New Atheists, presents their unique positions in provocative but underdeveloped arguments. Composed mainly of transcriptions of a conversation among the four that was posted to YouTube in 2007, the book opens with introductory essays highlighting key points from the three surviving thinkers (Hitchens died in 2011).

I saw it via a tweet from CFI.

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Something no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life

Mar 19th, 2019 10:05 am | By

Devin Nunes is suing, suing I tell you!

Stung by obscene and pointed criticism, Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, has sued Twitter and three users for defamation, claiming the users smeared him and the platform allowed it to happen because of a political agenda.

Poor man. Has no one ever told him that politicians have to expect a lot of harsh criticism?

Though absorbing criticism comes with the territory for politicians, the complaint described the objectionable tweets from the three users as something “that no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life.”

Welllll, Dev, you kind of signed up for it.

To make his case, he cited a wide variety of

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Morgane gloats

Mar 19th, 2019 9:24 am | By

Morgane Oger continues to peak trans anyone who is paying attention.

The replies are universally hostile.

Wait, not quite, one trans woman is on Team Oger.

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A ravenous appetite for risk

Mar 19th, 2019 8:18 am | By

The NY Times dropped a big article on Deutsche Bank and Trump late yesterday, which Everyone Is Talking About.

Before Trump stole the presidency he and DB had a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s obvious how he benefited; how they did, not so much.

Mr. Trump used loans from Deutsche Bank to finance skyscrapers and other high-end properties, and repeatedly cited his relationship with the bank to deflect political attacks on his business acumen. Deutsche Bank used Mr. Trump’s projects to build its investment-banking business, reaped fees from the assets he put in its custody[,] and leveraged his celebrity to lure clients.

I’m not sure what it means to “build” an investment-banking business via bad loans to a cheat, but maybe … Read the rest

So Ridiculous

Mar 18th, 2019 5:06 pm | By

This one in particular…

What a filthy human being he is. He couldn’t possibly care less, could he. All he cares about is what people say about him.

It’s not ridiculous. Race hatred is race hatred; xenophobia is xenophobia. Trump holds frequent rallies at which he spews both at a screaming audience, and that stuff is not inert. Trump absolutely is encouraging and fostering racist xenophobic rage, and that has effects. That doesn’t make the Christchurch slaughter all his fault, of course, … Read the rest


Mar 18th, 2019 4:32 pm | By

Oh my I bet Trump is really jealous of Volodya now.

This week, Russian lawmakers advanced a package of new legislation aimed at curtailing internet freedom. Among the laws awaiting the president’s eventual signature is a measure that would allow authorities to jail individuals for insulting government officials online.

Yeah. That’s what Trump would like to see.

Russia is not China, and the country still has a relatively boisterous online culture. But the proposed laws would widen the definition of restricted speech, calling for penalties of up to 15 days in administrative detention for those found guilty of posting information that shows “disrespect for society, the state, (and) state symbols of the Russian Federation,” — including, presumably,

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