All entries by this author

A network of forced-labor camps and slaughterhouses

Sep 18th, 2015 9:22 am | By

Speaking of pope Fluffy – Richard Kreitner asks why the hell he’s canonizing Junípero Serra.

Born in Spain, Serra arrived in Spanish-held Mexico in 1749 and quickly set about working for the Inquisition, citing by name several natives who refused to convert to Christianity; they were guilty, he wrote, of “the most detestable and horrible crimes of sorcery, witchcraft and devil worship.” Serra soon gained control of the missions of Baja California, but he found that the native population had already been nearly extinguished by contact with the Spanish. Looking for fresh converts, he led expeditions up the coast into the present-day state of California, where he settled at Monterey and set up ten new missions to spread the

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Vote for more childhood disease

Sep 18th, 2015 8:38 am | By

Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, wishes people would not talk about vaccines at presidential “debates.”

Questions about vaccines and autism were asked not only of Donald Trump, but also of the two physicians taking part: Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, and Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist. The doctors, at least, should know better.

Here are the facts:

Vaccines aren’t linked to autism.

The number of vaccines children receive is not more concerning than it used to be.

Delaying their administration provides no benefit, while leaving children at risk.

All the childhood vaccines are important.

Then he provides evidence for all four claims. On the second claim –

It’s also not correct to call autism

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They’re the strawberries on the cake

Sep 17th, 2015 1:45 pm | By

Yesterday on Fresh Air a conversation with Paul Vallely, who has written a book about the pope. Vallely puts a lot of emphasis on the pope as “the pope of the poor”:

The Pope is visiting, and he’s addressing many audiences. He’s addressing the Congress and the political elite. He’s seeing the president. He’s seeing the United Nations – world leaders to talk about sustainable development. But he’s also talking to the U.S. bishops. Most importantly, he’s talking to the ordinary people of America. And he’s mindful of a fifth audience, which is that although he’s here in the richest country in the world, he is the pope for the poor. And he’s very aware that the eyes and

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Still suspended

Sep 17th, 2015 11:27 am | By

Here is Ahmed Mohamed talking to Chris Hayes yesterday.

He’s still suspended from school though, and his parents are looking for a new and less ridiculous educational facility for him.

Ahmed was still suspended by school officials. He said Wednesday that his family is looking for a new school for him after he was placed in handcuffs.

“I built the clock to impress my teacher, but when I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her. So it was really sad she took the wrong impression of it,” Ahmed said at the press conference.

School district spokeswoman Lesley Weaver declined to confirm the suspension, citing privacy laws. Weaver insisted school officials were concerned with

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Any minute now

Sep 17th, 2015 10:22 am | By

Oh, so the photo of the all-male group of Famous Late Night TV Hosts was in Vanity Fair. Christina Cauterucci at Slate talks about the reaction and the reaction to the reaction.

The reaction to Monday’s Vanity Fair comedy dudefest was swift and unified. Moments after the magazine published a photo of 10 men to illustrate its article on why late-night TV is “better than ever,” Twitter erupted the way only Twitter knows how.

Good. That photo is a slap in the face.

Whether or not Vanity Fair intended the photo as a jarring critique of the endemic sexism in contemporary comedy and television—let’s go with “not”—it is an effective visual signifier of a bleak reality that can’t

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It is mocking us for what we miss every single day

Sep 16th, 2015 5:38 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz defends Charlie Hebdo at the Daily Beast.

The outrage began when Arab and Turkish newspapers decided that Hebdomust be mocking little Aylan.

But soon, non-Arab media also joined the fray and eventually certain race-equality activists, such as barrister Peter Herbert—chair of the U.K.’s Society of Black Lawyers and former vice chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority—were threatening legal action, stating that ‘Charlie Hebdo is a purely racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt publication that represents the moral decay of France. The Society of Black Lawyers will consider reporting this as incitement to hate crime and persecution before the International Criminal Court.’

Wow. I did not know that. That’s disgusting.

But never

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Inviting Ahmed to NASA

Sep 16th, 2015 3:57 pm | By

This one made me get lachrymose.

Bipartisan Report ‏@Bipartisanism 3 hours ago
Members of @NASA have invited Ahmed to visit and for a future job interview. #IStandWithAhmed

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Standing with Ahmed

Sep 16th, 2015 3:36 pm | By

Some #IStandWithAhmed tweets.

@OmarImranTweets 2 hours ago
If thats so, then I guess the British have developed some sort of giant bomb attached to a rocket.

Farhan Khan Virk ‏@FarhanKVirk 1 hour ago Punjab, Pakistan
Breaking: US Soldiers are ready to test the,”Bomb” made by Ahmad on the battle ground. #IStandWithAhmed

laila ! ‏@scriptedsorrow 2 hours ago
Friendly reminder these two photos were captured in Texas.


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Cool clock, Ahmed

Sep 16th, 2015 11:46 am | By

Fabulous. A kid makes a techy creative science project clock and takes it to school and he gets arrested. Brilliant. God bless America.

At a press conference this morning, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said charges won’t be filed against Ahmed Mohamed, the MacArthur High School freshman arrested Monday after bringing what school officials and police described as a “hoax bomb” on campus.

Boyd said the device — confiscated by an English teacher despite the teen’s insistence that it was a clock — was “certainly suspicious in nature.”

Oooooh yeah, and so is the inside of this laptop I’m typing on, and so is the inside of every computer in MacArthur High School, along with all the phones and … Read the rest

Closed questions tend to be unfriendly

Sep 16th, 2015 11:23 am | By

Rebecca Solnit was giving a talk on Virginia Woolf a few years ago, and the audience for some reason wanted to talk about whether Woolf should have had children…as opposed to talking about the thing that makes Woolf of interest: what she wrote.

In the talk I had quoted with approval her description of murdering “the angel of the house,” the inner voice that tells many women to be self-sacrificing handmaidens to domesticity and male vanity. I was surprised that advocating for throttling the spirit of conventional femininity should lead to this conversation.

What I should have said to that crowd was that our interrogation of Woolf’s reproductive status was a soporific and pointless detour from the magnificent questions her

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Othering the other

Sep 16th, 2015 10:50 am | By

Us and them, us and them, us and them.

Jesus and Mo:


The Patreon.… Read the rest

Who said it was ok for you to say futbol?

Sep 15th, 2015 5:55 pm | By

Microagressions at Oberlin. It could be the title of a new sitcom; someone should pitch it.

No but really, Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic gives us a case study.

Last fall at Oberlin College, a talk held as part of Latino Heritage Month was scheduled on the same evening that intramural soccer games were held. As a result, soccer players communicated by email about their respective plans. “Hey, that talk looks pretty great,” a white student wrote to a Hispanic student, “but on the off chance you aren’t going or would rather play futbol instead the club team wants to go!!”

It would help if he hadn’t made it white student / Hispanic student, since white can be Hispanic … Read the rest

The desire to become invisible

Sep 15th, 2015 4:46 pm | By

But at least modesty cultures are very respectful of women.

Just kidding.

Sometimes it is just stares. As I am walking down the street, I see him coming across me. He is several metres when I am already cringing. I lower my stare, or look away.

I want to close my manteau – the medium-length, light jacket worn by some Iranian women instead of chador – to avoid his snooping glare, but it’s too late. As I walk past him, I feel his piercing eyes looking for my breasts under my thick cloak, sizing up my figure with acute intensity. Riveted to my body, they follow me up until I feel them burning my back as he is

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But he warned her

Sep 15th, 2015 2:50 pm | By

But then what about Charlotte Proudman, eh? Humorless feminazi? Tiresome PC pain in the ass? Shrill angry demanding witch?

Barbara Ellen at Comment is Free says no.

With wonderful inevitability, human rights barrister Charlotte Proudman has been accused of overreacting to solicitor Alexander Carter-Silk commenting on her photograph on LinkedIn. For those who aren’t aware, Carter-Silk wrote to Proudman: “I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture”, awarding her best photo he’d seen on LinkedIn (Carter-Silk says he was remarking on the quality of the photo).

Proudman responded that his remarks were “unacceptable and misogynistic”, then shared their interaction on Twitter, remarking that men were using LinkedIn like Tinder. For this, she

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The choice is clear

Sep 15th, 2015 2:20 pm | By

An ad for a real estate company in a suburb of Seattle:

Who ya gonna hire? Huh? Some dumb broad with a buncha kids who tie her up? Or two manly men who are professionals? Some sloppy part-time female “agent” in jeans or two well-groomed full time PROFESSIONALS who stand up straight and aren’t surrounded by children?

The choice is yours.

The company apologized for the ad once people pointed out the subtle hard-to-see problems with it.… Read the rest

The sad guys in Paul Elam’s living room

Sep 15th, 2015 11:44 am | By

Amanda Marcotte notices some online misogyny so that we don’t have to.

David Futrelle of We Hunted the Mammoth alerts me to the fact that some drunk MRAs recorded their bizarre sexual fantasies about myself and Jessica Valenti and, for some reason, felt it appropriate to put it on the internet:

I watched the video. It’s even more pathetic than it sounds from Amanda’s description. It’s just some highly unpleasant guys making a big point of how unpleasant they are. There’s some laughter but it sounds forced. The “humor” is that they tell Jessica Valenti that no, she can’t give them a blow job. Ha ha…ha? Why is that funny? When she obviously wouldn’t want to and never said … Read the rest

So a handshake is a sexual relationship

Sep 14th, 2015 5:47 pm | By

They have got to be kidding.

Iran. The Independent reports:

An Iranian artist currently serving more than 12 years in prison for criticising the government now faces further charges of “indecency” for allegedly shaking her male lawyer’s hand.

Amnesty International reports that Atena Farghadani, 29, who was jailed after she depicted Iranian government officials as monkeys and goats in a satirical cartoon, may face a longer sentence amid claims over the handshake.

Charges of an “illegitimate sexual relationship short of adultery” have been brought against Farghadani and her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi amid allegations he visited her in jail and shook her hand – which is illegal in Iran.

Seriously? Seriously? A longer sentence for shaking a man’s hand??

What … Read the rest

A damning indictment on our anti-refugee sentiment

Sep 14th, 2015 4:49 pm | By

Maajid also defended Charlie Hebdo against new accusations of “Islamophobia” in a public Facebook post:

New Charlie Hebdo cartoons about Aylan Kurdi are causing online “Islamophobia” outrage:

Fellow Muslims, please, if you don’t get satire just *ask* someone before assuming an intelligent left-wing satirical magazine isn’t … satire.

Taste is always in the eye of the beholder. But these cartoons are a damning indictment on our anti-refugee sentiment.

The McDonald’s image is a searing critique of heartless European consumerism in the face of one of the worst human tragedies of our times.

The image about Christians walking on water while Muslims drown is (so obviously) critiquing hypocritical European Christian “love”.

Fellow Muslims, not everything and everyone are against us,

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Twitter pratfall

Sep 14th, 2015 4:27 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz has been extracting the Michael from Max Blumenthal on Twitter:

maajid nawaz ‏@MaajidNawaz Sep 13
maajid nawaz retweeted Max Blumenthal
A non-Muslim regressive-lefty calling me (a Muslim) an Islamophobe. But… isn’t that ‘cultural appropriation’?

Max Blumenthal ‏@MaxBlumenthal
.@HarvardIOP is hosting two of the most belligerent Islamophobes for a panel on “Islam & the future of tolerance”

Seriously. What is Max Blumenthal doing calling Maajid Nawaz – who is a Muslim! – an “Islamophobe”? Maajid is a liberal critic of reactionary Islamists; that hardly makes him a hater of Islam. Does Blumenthal think the only authentic Muslim is a murderous (male) reactionary misogynist theocrat? If so, he’s much more of an Islam-hater than Maajid is.… Read the rest

So much in common

Sep 14th, 2015 3:18 pm | By

Via Scott Benson (no relation) on Twitter:

Quite striking, isn’t it.

 … Read the rest