All entries by this author

And in that they were exceedingly successful

Apr 15th, 2015 4:57 pm | By

The Washington Post has the whole text of Garry Trudeau’s speech on receiving the George Polk award, so we can do a thorough job of scowling at the wrongness.

I, and most of my colleagues, have spent a lot of time discussing red lines since the tragedy in Paris. As you know, the Muhammad cartoon controversy began [more than] eight years ago in Denmark, as a protest against “self-censorship,” one editor’s call to arms against what he felt was a suffocating political correctness. The idea behind the original drawings was not to entertain or to enlighten or to challenge authority — his charge to the cartoonists was specifically to provoke, and in that they were exceedingly successful.

Wait. I disagree … Read the rest

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



Well, voilà

Apr 15th, 2015 4:20 pm | By

I started to say I hate to agree with David Frum, but then I paused and decided I don’t, really – I’ve seen or heard him say reasonable things more than once, so it’s fatuous to hate to agree with him just because he’s a conservative.

He wrote about Garry Trudeau v Charlie Hebdo a couple of days ago, starting with a compliment to the Anglo-American liberal instinct to sympathize with the underdog.

This is not a universal human norm. Across much of the modern world, human beings still follow the ancient Roman rule,vae victis—woe to the loser. But the liberal tradition appealingly sees its core task as standing up for the weak against the powerful.

“Hold off,

Read the rest

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



Their imperishable creations live on

Apr 15th, 2015 2:50 pm | By

Garry Trudeau’s awful bilge about Charlie Hebdo is all the more gobsmacking, as brucegee points out, given this beautiful strip in the Washington Post:

So why, why, why?… Read the rest

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



And I’ll get to Scotland afore ye

Apr 15th, 2015 11:52 am | By

The Melby Foundation announces its disassociation from some things.

The Melby Foundation publicly dissociates itself from the harmful and hateful rhetoric of Nugent’s comments section.

The Melby Foundation is publicly dissociating itself from the hurtful and dehumanizing, hateful and violent, unjust and defamatory rhetoric of Nugent’s comments section. The final of many, many straws was its latest smear that if PZ Myers and Alex Gabriel were given power that they would send people to “re-education gulags”, and its subsequent description of the out-group as “a community of personality disordered individuals with high degrees of narcissism”. We are also asking all ethical organizations and individuals to consider how you can help to reverse Nugent’s comments section’s harmful impact on the individuals

Read the rest

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



The useful idiots of the brutal and the powerful

Apr 15th, 2015 10:19 am | By

Ken White also takes on Garry Trudeau, at Popehat.

Last week cartoonist Garry Trudeau received the George Polk award for journalism. It’s an award named in memory of a journalist murdered while covering a war. Trudeau used the opportunity to say that while murdering journalists is sub-optimal, journalists need to rethink offending people:

What free speech absolutists have failed to acknowledge is that because one has the right to offend a group does not mean that one must. Or that that group gives up the right to be outraged. They’re allowed to feel pain. Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility. At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious. It becomes its own kind

Read the rest

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



Punching inwards

Apr 15th, 2015 9:35 am | By

Padraig Reidy has some things to say to Garry Trudeau about his ignorant and illiberal comments about Charlie Hebdo last week.

I thought we’d got somewhere closer to clarity on the Paris massacres by now. But comments made by Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury[,] last week suggest we might have to go through this again. Speaking at Long Island University on 10 April, the veteran cartoonist sought to spread his wisdom on “the tragedy in Paris” (note the oddly neutral word “tragedy”: not “murders”, say).

“As you know,” Trudeau commented, “the Muhammad cartoon controversy began eight years ago in Denmark, as a protest against ‘self-censorship,’ one editor’s call to arms against what she [sic] felt was a suffocating political correctness.”

Read the rest

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



Maajid replies

Apr 14th, 2015 5:43 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz has a public statement on that Daily Mail nonsense.

A planned and sustained attack campaign against reform-minded Muslims. My reply to recent allegations.

“It doesn’t matter if you are in the right. It doesn’t matter if lots of ‘ordinary people’ do the same. In times such as these, the public wants a hero. They do not want an ‘ordinary’ person”. These words were uttered to me by my ever wise wife Rachel, after footage of my stag night in London was vindictively leaked to the press.

I have already mentioned that this was a stag night before my marriage. However, even if it were after my marriage, Rachel had already known about it. As a liberal, what

Read the rest

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



The lesser of two who cares

Apr 14th, 2015 4:35 pm | By

The whole scene is great, but the reason I went looking for it starts at 3:30 minutes in.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNsbssYc8gcRead the rest

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



Then the baked apples came home

Apr 14th, 2015 3:44 pm | By

And then there’s Hetty Bates, by her own admission a talker. For instance in chapter IX of Emma, via Project Gutenberg:

Voices approached the shop—or rather one voice and two ladies: Mrs. Weston and Miss Bates met them at the door.

“My dear Miss Woodhouse,” said the latter, “I am just run across to entreat the favour of you to come and sit down with us a little while, and give us your opinion of our new instrument; you and Miss Smith. How do you do, Miss Smith?—Very well I thank you.—And I begged Mrs. Weston to come with me, that I might be sure of succeeding.”

“I hope Mrs. Bates and Miss Fairfax are—”

“Very well, I am … Read the rest

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



Guest post: My vote is just that: my vote

Apr 14th, 2015 3:08 pm | By

Originally a comment by Captaintripps on “But you’re wrong that you’re free to vote third party.”

This line of reasoning is so screwy, though I understand where it comes from. My vote is just that: my vote. It wasn’t Al Gore’s and it wasn’t the string of third party candidates I voted for, nor was it Obama’s. It was my vote. When I voted third party I didn’t screw you over.

I think getting screwed over is beside the point, but if we’re going to put that terminology to use, people voting first party and second party are the ones doing the screwing for the rest of us. After Obama broke most of his campaign promises around civil liberties and … Read the rest

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



Tolerance is only good for solving little problems

Apr 14th, 2015 11:59 am | By

There’s an excellent comment on Greta’s post about the Secular Policy Club yesterday that I got permission to quote. The author is Llewelly.

Some of us still have quite vivid memories of how once there was quite a bit of agreement between PZ and most of these folks about the need to generate controversy together. We didn’t end up on different sides because some people sought to create artificial infighting. We ended up on different sides, because, a very serious problem was discovered, and some people suffer from it, while others benefit.

There’s anger and controversy because the issue at hand is a problem that causes a fair amount of harm, and so there’s no way to talk about it

Read the rest

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



“But you’re wrong that you’re free to vote third party”

Apr 14th, 2015 11:30 am | By

Another source of this “You have to vote for Hillary Clinton” bullshit is William Hamby in a string of public posts on Facebook. You’d think he was James Carville on speed.

A comment on one of his own posts a couple of hours ago for instance:

William Hamby In 2000, 3% of American voters took a vote from Al Gore and gave it to Ralph Nader. Because Al Gore, who would have solar panels on the White House and carbon emissions cut by a third, wasn’t progressive enough.

George W. Bush was “appointed” based on a difference of several hundred votes. Those left defectors elected George Bush. End of story. Noble goals mean shit in politics. Voters must think long

Read the rest

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



In the minds of ideologues and children

Apr 14th, 2015 10:34 am | By

Oy, it’s starting already, the angry shouting from people outraged by the scandalous fact that some people are not excited about Hillary Clinton as a candidate for president and are talking about not voting for her when and if the time comes. It’s the 2000 campaign all over again.

The shout goes like this: the Democratic Party candidate is all there is. You can’t vote for someone to the left of that candidate, because that is taking your vote from the Democratic Party candidate and giving it to that outsider person. That’s reality. You have to submit to it.

There’s one example at Addicting Info:

Unsurprisingly, Hillary Clinton’s announcement on Sunday was met with laments from the left

Read the rest

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



Guest post: Does this multi-faceted rabble want a formal leadership?

Apr 14th, 2015 9:41 am | By

Originally a comment by Maureen Brian on Be ever tranquil and mild.

What Dawkins et al do, which by my standards – yes, folks, I’m a socialist feminist atheist who uses “rude words” and I have standards! – is worse is that they demand to be treated as leaders because they say they are leaders. A useless project anyway but more damaging than any amount of boisterous argument among intelligent people who are trying to thrash out a number of important questions.

Among the matters they refuse to address are – does this multi-faceted rabble want a formal leadership? does it need one? if it does then is the market driven hierarchical one best suited to the task? have … Read the rest

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



All sides

Apr 13th, 2015 6:36 pm | By

Sarah Khan has an excellent public post on Facebook saying it comes from all sides.

Misogyny, objectification & hypocrisy about women on ALL sides. Maajid Nawaz by going to a strip club is happy to pay for women’s objectification for his sexual purposes. If you believe in women’s dignity and rights, you don’t just challenge Islamists’ abuse of women; you challenge all those capitalist corporations and services which seek to make huge profits on the exploitation of women’s bodies and for sex. (I believe in the rights and dignity of sex workers by the way who are regularly abused and denigrated.) You challenge unequal pay. You challenge all the inequalities that continue to exist between men and women in our

Read the rest

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



Be ever tranquil and mild

Apr 13th, 2015 5:41 pm | By

Since the core of our Maximum Critic’s case is that we’re too angry and rude and obnoxious, and also unfair to Our Leaders, especially Richard Dawkins, I thought I would take a squiz at RD’s Twitter feed to see how placid and polite and pleasant he is being in contrast to angry rude obnoxious us.

One

Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins 20 hours ago
.@iconoclasmrules @pennjillette This, from Penn, strikes me as philosophically spot on. What flaw has your great philosophical mind found?

Two

Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins 18 hours ago
@impossiblebones @pennjillette Oh for heaven’s sake, how is such crass misunderstanding possible? Impossible bones? Impossibly ridiculous.

Three

Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins · Apr 12
@1Bblthmpr You’ve obviously never read a biology textbook or

Read the rest

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



The diarrhea is a good thing if it’s “detox diarrhea”

Apr 13th, 2015 4:06 pm | By

For more on this MMS “treatment” one post of many by Orac on the subject:

Let’s recap. MMS is bleach. Specifically, it is a 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water that generates chlorine dioxide when diluted with citric acid-containing or other acid-containing foods, as instructed. This is a chemical used for water purification that a quack—yes, quack—named Jim Humble has touted as a miracle cure for just about everything from cancer to AIDS to a wide variety of conditions, serious and not-so-serious. There is no currently known valid medical reason to give this chemical to anyone to treat anything. None of this is (or should be) in serious dispute from a strictly scientific, medical, or ethical standpoint.

The next

Read the rest

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



American personnel are rarely disciplined under the local legal systems

Apr 13th, 2015 12:22 pm | By

Chris Allbritton at the Daily Beast has much more on that Colombian report.

U.S. soldiers and military contractors stationed in Colombia allegedly sexually assaulted as many as 54 Colombian children between 2003 and 2007, according to a report commissioned by the Colombian government and the FARC leftist rebel group. But none of the Americans have been prosecuted because of bilateral agreements and diplomatic immunity, the report alleges.

Spokespeople for the U.S. Army told The Daily Beast that they’ve seen no evidence of such crimes.

How astonishing! When things were set up so that responsible officials wouldn’t see evidence of such crimes, how astonishing to learn that they haven’t seen any.

The section detailing American involvement in the conflict was

Read the rest

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



“Your daughter is a little whore; nothing has happened here”

Apr 13th, 2015 11:42 am | By

Speaking of rape, and denial, and cover-ups…the International Business Times reports:

The U.S. Army has pledged to investigate recently resurfaced allegations that American soldiers and contractors sexually abused more than 50 Colombian minors in the mid-2000s, weeks after the accusations appeared in a report on the Colombian government’s battle against rebel militias.

Colombia’s Historical Commission on Conflict released a landmark 800-page report in February detailing the government’s fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla group that engaged in a 50-year conflict with state forces. One section of the report focused on the U.S. military’s assistance to Colombia’s government in its efforts and noted harrowing accounts of rape and sexual abuse against underage Colombian girls.

Read the rest

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



Galloway, in a position of power, can make these comments

Apr 13th, 2015 11:20 am | By

Huma Munshi responds to George Galloway’s contemptible denial of Naz Shah’s forced marriage.

I cannot believe that Galloway is so ignorant as to allege that because Shah’s mother was present, the marriage was not forced. Galloway was an MP in Bethnal Green and Bow and now represents Bradford West, which both have large Asian communities. While forced marriage is not exclusive to south Asian cultures, he has, no doubt learned about the practice from his constituents.

Well maybe he listens only to his male constituents. I can’t see how he could make such a claim otherwise.

My family were present at my Muslim wedding ceremony in India 10 years ago, along with 500 other guests at a huge reception.

Read the rest

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