All entries by this author

Hitting with sticks

Oct 19th, 2016 3:57 pm | By

The Daily Mail shares a group of upsetting photos of a woman being beaten with a stick in Aceh, Indonesia, for “standing too close to her boyfriend.”

Heart-wrenching images show a screaming young woman flogged in front of a jeering crowd for breaking Islamic laws as floggings reportedly spike in Indonesian province.

An unidentified woman screamed out in pain as she was caned 23 times in Indonesia’s Aceh for breaking the province’s strict Islamic law forbidding intimacy between unmarried couples.

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that enforces sharia law and people face floggings for a range of offences, including gambling, drinking alcohol and gay sex.

The evil god strikes again – inspiring fanatics to hit people with sticksRead the rest

Even in the face of death threats

Oct 19th, 2016 3:31 pm | By

Zineb El Rhazoui is still speaking out.

Zineb El Rhazoui was 1,500 miles away, on vacation in Morocco, when gunmen forced their way into the Paris offices of the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, fatally shooting nine people. As the publication’s religion writer, she would ordinarily have also been present at the editorial meeting which was targeted by terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi — motivated, it is thought, by the magazine’s controversial depictions of Muhammad and various Muslim clerics.

For the 20 months since the massacre of her colleagues, El Rhazoui has remained steadfast in her critiques of extremist Islamism, including publishing two books — even in the face of death threats.

She has … Read the rest

That’s a particular pronoun

Oct 19th, 2016 11:07 am | By

Clown car.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined a teleconference last night hosted by the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) to discuss the presidential election, warning the group that if Hillary Clinton is allowed to nominate Supreme Court justices, she could pick “fanatics who want to impose a secular America on the rest of us” and who might even go so far as to require churches to remove the words “our Father” from the Lord’s Prayer.

Mature citizens? Meaning old, or meaning grown-up as opposed to like-Trump?

Anyway – no, she couldn’t, and wouldn’t, and isn’t going to. Sit down and stop being so ludicrous, Newt. Be a Mature American Citizen.

Claiming that recent WikiLeaks emails show that

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Call out ALL the slut shaming

Oct 19th, 2016 10:38 am | By

Asra Nomani and Masih Alinejad (of My Stealthy Freedom) on Nazi Paikidze-Barnes’s boycott of the Women’s World Chess Championship:

To us, Paikidze should not have to boycott the tournament, which an Iranian Woman Grandmaster said would hurt the progress of women’s chess in the country. Instead, Iran should respect her choice, make the headscarf optional and lift its ban on women who choose not to cover their hair.

The 22-year-old U.S. chess champion’s sincere protest is a remarkable checkmate to the government of Iran and other fundamentalist elements in our Muslim societies, who peddle “hijab” as a virtual sixth pillar of Islam for women.

If Allah is so desperate for women to wear hijab, why didn’t he (yes he) … Read the rest

Case dismissed

Oct 19th, 2016 9:16 am | By

A judge threw out the charges against Amy Goodman on Monday.

Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now, was facing riot charges related to a report she filed earlier this month from a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. At a hearing Monday in Mandan, North Dakota, Judge John Grinsteiner ruled there was no probable cause to support the allegations, and he dismissed the case.

The attempted prosecution caused an outcry among environmentalists and free-press advocates. “We are dismayed that a prosecutor has filed charges against Amy Goodman, who was just doing her job by covering protests,” wrote Carlos Lauría of the Committee to Protect Journalists in a statement.

Yet again, this isn’t really a good thing, … Read the rest

Let him leave the country

Oct 19th, 2016 8:20 am | By

From the Raif Badawi Foundation:

As of today, we received from a private source the sad news concerning the fact that the Saudi government will resume the lashing punishment against M. Raif Badawi.

Our source is the same that informed us about the first 50 lashes M. Raif Badawi received in a public place on January 9, 2015. Our understanding of the information is that another series of lashes punishment will take place this time inside the prison.

We kindly ask the Saudi government and we pledge the Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Nayef Al Saoud, first deputy Prime minister and minister of interior and the Prince Mohammed Ben Salmane Al Saoud, second vice premier minister, to stop the inhuman

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Oct 19th, 2016 8:07 am | By

It appears that Saudi Arabia plans to resume flogging Raif Badawi.

In a statement, the Raif Badawi Foundation said it had received the confirmation from the same source that had notified his family and associates about the first set of 50 lashes, which were served on January 9, 2015. The foundation did not specify who the source was.

In contrast to the first round of punishment, which was performed in a public place, the next lashing was reportedly due to be carried out inside prison. Following injuries after his first flogging, Badawi’s remaining 950 lashes had to be postponed indefinitely.

Our ally, Saudi Arabia.

Badawi received his first 50 lashes in January 2015, sustaining sufficient injuries for the

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He sees it as a geopolitical issue

Oct 18th, 2016 5:47 pm | By

Those trade deals, and the way free trade can overrule all kinds of regulation – environmental, labor, consumer, all of it. The New Republic asked Bernie Sanders about that.

I don’t think that anybody would debate that the gap between Democratic leadership and grassroots America is very, very wide, and that has a lot to do with the fact that over the last 30 to 40 years, Democrats have spent so much time raising money. People are just astounded by the amount of time somebody like Hillary Clinton spends talking to 20 people so she can walk away with a few hundred thousand dollars, rather than relying on ordinary people.

One issue that will affect working people is the

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If you start whining before the game’s even over

Oct 18th, 2016 5:27 pm | By

Obama tells the bully-in-chief to stop whining.

“I’d advise Mr Trump to stop whining and try to make his case to get votes,” Mr Obama said.

“By the way,” he added, “[it] doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you want out of a president, if you start whining before the game’s even over.

“If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”

That’s true in various other ways too – the pussy-grabbing, the bullying, the egomania, the ignorance, the obvious lying, the cheating and fraud, the sexism, the racism…

Mr Obama also addressed the Republican candidate’s

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Look up what happened to Eugene Debs

Oct 18th, 2016 11:42 am | By

Bernie Sanders urges us to keep in mind that change never happens overnight.

I would ask people to take a look at history and to understand that change never, ever, ever comes about in a short period of time. To take a look at the struggles of the civil rights movement, of the women’s movement, of the union movement, of the gay movement, of the environmental movement, and to understand that all of those movements took years and years and are still in play today.

“It’s not gonna happen overnight. You gotta put your shoulder to the wheel and keep going.”

In the campaign, what we did is show the American people that the ideas the establishment had

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Go sit there with your friends

Oct 18th, 2016 11:00 am | By

Talking Points Memo on Trump and voter intimidation.

Civil rights  groups are already gearing up for an especially tense Election Day. Meanwhile, the federal government has been hobbled by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling in its ability to monitor elections in places with histories of voter intimidation. Of particular concern are states with loose open carry laws, where already, some armed Trump supporters have shown an interest in making their presence known at voting sites.

“The idea that people would be standing outside the polls with guns, or even inside the polls with guns, clearly has the potential to turn people away. There’s a long history of this,” said Deuel Ross, an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund,

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With a growing sense of alarm

Oct 18th, 2016 10:31 am | By

The Boston Globe a few days ago on Trump’s paranoia-stoking.

“It’s one big fix,’’ Trump said Friday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C. “This whole election is being rigged.’’

He saved some of his harshest criticism for the media, which he said is in league with Clinton to steal the election.

“The media is indeed sick, and it’s making our country sick, and we’re going to stop it,” he said.

Mainstream Republicans are watching these developments at the top of the ticket with a growing sense of alarm, calling Trump’s latest conspiracy theories of a rigged election irresponsible and dangerous. They also say the impact of voter fraud or errors on the outcome of elections is vastly overblown.

It surprises me … Read the rest

He would “go right up behind them”

Oct 18th, 2016 10:11 am | By

The Times editorial board says Republicans should stop ignoring Trump’s lies about a “rigged” election.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, are the two most powerful Republicans in the country and should be willing to put the national interest above their own. Both know full well that there is no “rigging,” and yet between them they have managed one tepid response to Mr. Trump’s outrageous accusations: “Our democracy relies on confidence in election results,” Mr. Ryan’s spokeswoman said, “and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.”

This is like standing back while an arsonist pours gasoline all over your house, then expressing confidence that the

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If that’s helping…

Oct 17th, 2016 5:14 pm | By

21 of the Chibok girls kidnapped into sex slavery by Boko Haram have been freed.

In an emotional ceremony in the capital Abuja, one of the girls said they had survived for 40 days without food and narrowly escaped death at least once.

It is unclear how the release was negotiated, but an official says talks are under way to free some more girls.

Of the 276 students kidnapped in April 2014, 197 are still missing.

197, two and a half years into their enslavement.

Many of the kidnapped students were Christian but had been forcibly converted to Islam during captivity.

Another girl said: “We never imagined that we would see this day but, with the help of God,

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Cut off

Oct 17th, 2016 4:17 pm | By

Ecuador has cut off Julian Assange’s internet. The poor guy. He’s had to hide out in Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012 on account of how he didn’t feel like answering to a rape charge.

“We have activated the appropriate contingency plans,” added the Twitter message on Monday. People close to WikiLeaks say that Assange himself is the principal operator of the website’s Twitter feed.

Over the last two weeks, Democratic Party officials and U.S. government agencies have accused the Russian government, including the country’s “senior-most officials,” of pursuing a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

WikiLeaks has been one of the most prominent internet outlets to post and

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He never spoke to her

Oct 17th, 2016 11:42 am | By

The facts of the retrial and acquittal of Ched Evans don’t make it any easier to understand how it happened.

The appeal court judgment – which was made before the retrial, but can only now be reported – allowed new evidence from two witnesses who gave testimony about the complainant’s sexual preferences and the language she used during sex. It led to her being questioned in detail in open court about intimate details of her sex life.

Evans, who has played for Wales and Sheffield United and was a member of the Manchester City youth setup, spent two and a half years in prison after being convicted in 2012 of raping the young woman following a drunken night out

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His life

Oct 17th, 2016 11:10 am | By

Ched Evans put out a “statement” on his acquittal. It is, of course, disgusting.

In the early hours of 30th May 2011 an incident occurred in North Wales that was to change my life and the lives of others for ever. That incident did not involve the commission of a criminal offence and today I am overwhelmed with relief that the Jury agreed.

“An incident occurred” – by which he means his friends found a falling down drunk woman outside a kebab shop and brought her to a hotel room, where he fucked her. But it sounds so much nicer if you call it an incident and say it occurred.

Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish

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He called some men

Oct 17th, 2016 10:47 am | By

The Independent on the Ched Evans retrial.

A former solicitor general has condemned the way the Ched Evans rape trial was conducted.

Vera Baird told the BBC details of the woman’s sexual past should not have been heard in court and the case could discourage people who are sexually assaulted from reporting it to police.

The 27-year-old footballer was cleared on Friday of raping a woman in a hotel room in 2011, only after her sexual history was scrutinised before a jury. Evans was initially found guilty of the rape in 2012.

And you think that might deter women from reporting rape? Just a little?

While he was in prison, Evans’ family and friends offered £50,000 for information that

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It became so commonplace that she stopped noticing it

Oct 17th, 2016 9:54 am | By

More bro culture and its hostility to women, from Gemma Clarke.

Football has a problem with women. It was there every day, in every training ground, every stadium and every press box I entered. The five years I spent working as a football journalist were so steadily and fiercely degrading, they very nearly destroyed me.

A good day meant being belittled, having my knowledge questioned, or my attire, or being complimented on the quality of the pastries at half-time because I stood too close to the catering table. A bad day meant being harassed, phoning a player for an interview to be told he was naked and intending to discuss a very different kind of performance.

I could try

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One of the ways boys become men

Oct 17th, 2016 8:42 am | By

Peggy Orenstein looks at Trump the pussy-grabber as one bead in the necklace of temporary outrage.

In each case, by the time it’s over, we turn away from the broader implications toward a more comforting narrative: The perpetrators are exceptions, monsters whom we can isolate, eliminate and occasionally even prosecute.

Certainly, such behavior is not representative of men, not by a long shot. Yet neither is it entirely atypical. Sexual coercion, in one form or another, is as American as that baseball metaphor — a metaphor that sees girls’ limits as a challenge boys should overcome.

And this isn’t anything new. Those struggles in the back seats of cars have been a staple of movies and sitcoms since…well maybe since … Read the rest