All entries by this author

To fend off challenges from Left

Oct 28th, 2014 3:19 pm | By

Headline on article about the politics of Hillary Clinton:

Clinton copies Warren to fend off challenges from Left

To “fend off”? Why not do it because Warren is right? Or not do it if you don’t think she is right?

I know, that sounds dewy-eyed naïve, but really, if politicians do things solely for tactical reasons, what reason do we have to think they will go on doing said things once they’re elected?

The body of the article:

Hillary Clinton has copied the populist, anti-corporate rhetoric of Sen. Elizabeth Warren partly in the hopes of keeping the Massachusetts Democrat, or any other liberal challenger, out of the 2016 presidential race, some liberal activists say.

There again. If that’s what … Read the rest

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Voting is for solid citizens with plenty of $$

Oct 28th, 2014 2:55 pm | By

More background. The Washington Post in July on how voting has changed since Shelby County v. Holder.

What did Shelby County v Holder do?

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional. Section 4 lays out the formulas for how the Justice Department enforces Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 requires that the states identified with a history of discrimination  obtain approval from the federal government before they can make changes to their election law. Section 4 formulas as of 2013 mandatedthat “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia in their entirety; and parts of California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina,

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No mere historical artifact

Oct 28th, 2014 12:27 pm | By

From October 18, the New York Times story on the stealthy SCOTUS ruling allowing Texas’s Jim Crowesque voter ID law in the next election.

The Supreme Courton Saturday allowed Texas to use its strict voter identification law in the November election. The court’s order,issued just after 5 a.m., was unsigned and contained no reasoning.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a six-page dissent saying the court’s action “risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined the dissent.

It has a history, that kind of thing. It’s not an accident, it’s not just some random idea that occurred to the Texas legislators one day out of the … Read the rest

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When most Texans were sleeping

Oct 27th, 2014 6:09 pm | By

This is a news item I missed, and it’s making steam come out of my ears. An estimated 600,000 Texas voters – the population of a big city! – though registered to vote, won’t be able to because they cannot meet photo-identification requirements set out in the state’s new voter-ID law, SB14 . It’s the strictest voter ID law in the country and you know why those fuckers in Texas passed it.

It was justified by Governor Rick Perry and the Republican chiefs in the state legislature as a means of combatting electoral fraud in a state where in the past 10 years some 20m votes have been cast, yet only two cases of voter impersonation have been prosecuted

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June 11-15, 2015

Oct 27th, 2014 11:14 am | By

CFI has announced its next big (CFI-CSI mashup) conference next June.

Critical thinking is not an end in itself. It is a means to effect positive change, to transform our world for the better. At “Reason for Change,” the Center for Inquiry’s 2015 international conference, we’ll bring the skeptic and humanist communities together to do just that.

Important point. Critical thinking can feel like an end in itself, at least for awhile, because it’s interesting. But in reality? It’s not, just as atheism is not.

And we’ll do it in a place that many consider to be “home” to the skeptic and humanist movements: Western New York and CFI’s headquarters in Buffalo. Fittingly, 2015 will be the 35th anniversary of

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Four players would hold a victim on the floor

Oct 27th, 2014 10:44 am | By

Many of the people in Sayreville – parents and students alike – don’t get it. There’s a lot of “it was just hazing” “it was no big deal” “why do you hate football?” “you ruined everything and we hate you” in response to the fact that reasonable people frown on sexual assault even when it’s football player seniors doing it to freshmen. The BBC takes a rather horrified look.

Four players would hold a victim on the floor while two were on lookout, one parent told NJ.com after their son confided in them. One player would signal the start of the process with a howl, then turn off the lights and assault the freshman.

Two victims interviewed by the

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Ebola nudges malaria out of the frame

Oct 27th, 2014 10:20 am | By

Ebola is terrible but malaria is also terrible. Both are killers. The BBC reports on worries that Ebola might displace efforts to prevent malaria.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, who heads the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, said after visiting west Africa: “Understandably, all the health workers’ attention is on Ebola.”

Children’s wards which used to be full of malaria patients were becoming “ghost areas,” she added.

In 2012, malaria killed 7,000 people in the three countries worst hit by Ebola.

4,000 deaths in Sierra Leone in 2012, around 2,000 deaths in Liberia, circa 1,000 in Guinea.

Now the three countries are wrestling with the Ebola virus and Dr Nafo-Traoré said she feared that recent gains in preventing malaria could be

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Because men punching women is hilarious?

Oct 26th, 2014 5:39 pm | By

The title tells you all you need to know.

For The Love Of God, People, Do Not Dress Up As Ray Rice For Halloween

No, really, don’t.

A Reddit user who asked to remain anonymous posted the following image on Sunday night, explaining that his “friend came to the party as Ray Rice.

” It shows a man with the running back’s jersey dragging a blow up doll on the floor.

Not. fucking. funny.… Read the rest

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Allies

Oct 26th, 2014 5:24 pm | By

Via LGBT Muslims

5 female allies in the Muslim world.

One in Somalia:

In 1998, on a rainy morning in Mogadishu, Halimo Jim’ale was visited by her older sister Hadiyo Jim’ale. When her sister came out to her, it changed her world. Jim’ale threw herself into learning more about human sexuality and how her religion dealt with it, especially the issue of female homosexuality.

Naturally, she was met with a lot of negative information. Well, today she leads a local chapter of Queer Somalis, a support group, teaching young queer people who come to her the information she so desperately needed when her own sister had come out to her. Despite living in a country where homosexuality is legal*,

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One for The Watchers

Oct 26th, 2014 5:18 pm | By

This idea that I’ve done a 180 on postmodernism? Complete bullshit. I don’t know where you get this stuff, unless it’s just a turd drawn up from the bottomless well of loathing. I’ve moved on to other subjects most of the time now, but I haven’t in the least changed my mind. I don’t suddenly disagree with anything I wrote in Why Truth Matters.

Are you thinking that feminism is somehow postmodernist? Again, complete bullshit. There are postmodernism-flavored brands of feminism, but I’m no more a fan of them than I ever was. I haven’t morphed into a fan of Sandra Harding or “women’s ways of knowing.”

You don’t know what you’re talking about.… Read the rest

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



More on the homeopaths rushing to help

Oct 26th, 2014 5:04 pm | By

Pepijn van Erp has an informative post about the “heroic” homeopaths getting in the way of helping doctors and nurses dealing with the Ebola outbreak.

Now there seem to be at least four who are trying to put their illusionary treatments to work in Western Africa. On the website ‘Spirit, Science & Healing’ homeopath and Huffington Post columnist Larry Malerba wrote a message on 21 october: ‘Update: Team in Liberia Using Homeopathy for Ebola.’

Of course this astonishing news was picked up on Twitter and Facebook, resulting in many reactions of disbelief. The message was removed soon after. But to make things disappear from the Web is quite hard. Further digging into this story learns that we probably

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



GamerGate doesn’t represent us

Oct 26th, 2014 3:40 pm | By

Another petition – this one telling advertisers that GamerGate doesn’t represent us and please don’t let it steamroll you.

Gamergate Does Not Represent Us – Support Media Outlets Against Coordinated Silencing Efforts

Petition by
Gamer Geeks for Diversity in Arts Through Feminism

Dear advertisers,

Recently, a group of people associated with “gamergate” have targeted news and media outlets by contacting advertisers en mass. Despite this group’s insistence that their focus is journalistic ethics, the outlets that have been named in their campaign have been named due to publishing articles discussing sexism and harassment within the gaming community.

We, as people who buy and play games, are not offended or afraid of having a discussion within our community concerning sexism and

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The homeopaths are on the ground

Oct 26th, 2014 12:40 pm | By

I wish this were a parody, but it isn’t – it comes from the real actual National Center for Homeopathy - which is at least a website indistinguishable from a real website devoted to homeopathy. It wants to tell us about homeopathy and Ebola. Yes really, Ebola. It’s here to help.

The Ebola epidemic raging through West Africa has become a humanitarian crisis of great proportion. Homeopaths worldwide have been mobilizing their efforts toward gaining entrance in those countries affected, in order to provide homeopathic medical intervention to those individuals stricken with Ebola.

The overriding goal is to investigate Ebola firsthand, and thereby determine which remedy or remedies are best for treating this disease.

There is already investigation of … Read the rest

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It’s actually about ethics

Oct 26th, 2014 11:34 am | By

A couple more of those.

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More billions for the Waltons

Oct 25th, 2014 6:07 pm | By

Maek you think.

Jobs With JusticeRead the rest

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Erdoğan canceled the concert

Oct 25th, 2014 5:43 pm | By

Fazil Say has written an open letter to Turkey’s President Erdoğan about his government’s oppression of the arts and artists.

Mr President, Culture Minister and other authorities,

I am writing this letter to you from Peking. I have a concert in China tonight. I have my own pieces in the programme. My three pieces were removed from the programme in Ankara and it was criticized severely, I heard.

It is just not nice.

I have a few words to tell you. I hope you read this and try to understand this man.

Do you know when you can be powerful? When you present east and west, and their combination at its best.

This is why the Istanbul Symphony you cancelled

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Actually it’s about ethics

Oct 25th, 2014 5:19 pm | By

It’s always a good idea to see what Scalzi has been tweeting and retweeting lately.

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Guest post: What advertising is really selling

Oct 25th, 2014 4:37 pm | By

Originally a comment by latsot on Floating above the ugly fray of politics.

The world of advertising is a strange one. Ah fuck it, I’m going to pull a made-up law out of my arse. Let’s call it Fortran’s Law: any sufficiently long-lived advertising campaign will forget what it’s actually advertising and why it even exists in the first place.

Here in the UK we have animated meerkats selling insurance.

It started as a pun (compare the market/compare the meerkat) but turned into a sort of soap opera about the lives and loves of these fucking meerkats. At the end, the TV ad says “oh, and you might want to buy some insurance or something.” The campaign has somehow … Read the rest

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Not all footballers are homophobic

Oct 25th, 2014 4:10 pm | By

Arsenal did the right thing.

FA Cup winners Arsenal, Paddy Power, Stonewall and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network have again teamed up to help tackle one of the toughest challenges in sport: homophobia in football.

Rainbow coloured boot laces have been dispatched to every single professional player in the UK, including youth and women’s teams, alongside deliveries to all MPs and leading political figures. And we are urging them to show their support by lacing up over the 13th/ 14th September – Rainbow Lace weekend. Fans and grass-root players will also be asked to tweet their support using the official hashtag: #RainbowLaces.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_2QzUvLNDIRead the rest

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14 times more

Oct 25th, 2014 4:05 pm | By

Newsweek did an analysis of GamerGate to determine whether it was really about a perceived lack of ethics among video games journalists, or a campaign of harassment against women who make, write about and enjoy video games, masquerading as a movement of gamers upset about a perceived lack of ethics among games journalists. Newsweek concluded it’s the latter.

The claim that GamerGate is not a campaign to harass women—but rather advocacy for better journalism—has had some pull. This claim was used to harass Intel into pulling ads from popular gaming website Gamasutra after journalist Leigh Alexander wrote an essay there critiquing the gaming world. “‘Game culture’ as we know it is kind of embarrassing—it’s not even culture,” Alexander wrote

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