All entries by this author

The witchfinder general

Nov 9th, 2014 1:55 pm | By

The BBC also reported on that proposed independent school in Kent with links to “witch” hunter David Oyedpo.

The church, whose leader Bishop David Oyedpo was filmed accusing a woman of being a witch, declined an interview.

The organisation, which has its headquarters in Nigeria, is known as Living Faith Church Worldwide and also Winners’ Chapel International (WCI).

Bishop Oyedepo, its leader in Nigeria, has been shown on YouTubeslapping a woman and accusing her of being a witch.

His son David Oyedepo Junior is the pastor at WCI’s European headquarters in Dartford, where the church organisation wants to open Kingdom Heritage Model School for children aged four to seven.

That’s what the UK needs more of – churches … Read the rest

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

Naveed could not control his emotions

Nov 9th, 2014 1:38 pm | By

Another one of these. Another murder to defend a long dead “prophet” against another putative insult. There’s a bit of “political correctness” for Sam Harris.

A policeman in Pakistan hacked a man to death for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, police said, just two days after a Christian couple was lynched over blasphemy in the same province.

It’s understandable though. The guy wouldn’t stop.

The man, Tufail Haider, 55, was taken into custody late on Wednesday in the city of Gujrat after a group of people allegedly overheard him making the remarks, beat him up and handed over to police.

“Officer Faraz Naveed brought him to the police station and sent him to lock-up.

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Then for your new friends

Nov 8th, 2014 4:23 pm | By

There’s SPAM ‘n’ Limas.

No don’t interrupt me, I’m laughing too hard.


Boy doesn’t that Spanish sauce sound fabulous? The lard is a nice touch.

I wonder what the white substance you can see around the lima beans is. The recipe doesn’t mention anything like that so is it…some kind of horrid foam we don’t want to think about? Something the lima beans and spam give off as they bake?

 … Read the rest

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So if you’re having “company” over for dinner

Nov 8th, 2014 4:13 pm | By

Here’s how to give them and yourself an evening in hell.

Best Foods / Via

A bologna shell? Wtf? You scoop out a lump of baloney and stick smashed peas mixed with mayonnaise and jello in the hole?

People did this?

Look at those poor sad people in brown uniforms approaching the door, all eager for the treat, not knowing what they’re going to get. Look at those fiends greeting them with cheery waves.… Read the rest

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Damaging the far-right narrative

Nov 8th, 2014 3:53 pm | By

Iram Ramzan interviewed Nazir Afzal for the Oldham Chronicle a few days ago.

Mr Afzal hopes Stockport MP Ann Coffey’s report into child abuse in Greater Manchester won’t deter victims from coming forward. But he doesn’t think the report does enough to highlight the achievements of his service.

Ms Coffey’s report suggested that the perceived attitudes of jurors caused the CPS to fail to charge suspects. She reported that in some cases the CPS highlighted the victim’s clothing, or that members of her own family had been derogatory about her behaviour, and that these facts had persuaded the CPS not to prosecute.

In the last six years 12,879 sexual offences against children were reported to GMP, but only 2,341 defendants

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Which ones are the professionals?

Nov 8th, 2014 12:17 pm | By

There’s a long and informative Storify by A Man In Black on YouTube, Patreon, and the Rise of the Professional Victimizer. There are people who make a very nice living out of cranking out videos that harass particular women – Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian to name two.

AMIB says thunderf00t is the top worst at this.

A Man In Black @a_man_in_black
Phil “thunderf00t” Mason is a scientist and somewhat (in)famous blogger/vlogger from the freethought/atheist community.

thunderf00t makes videos about science and anti-feminism, and has long attacked Anita Sarkeesian.

His videos usually range in the low six digits for views.

He’s cashed in on attacking Anita Sarkeesian, however. He has two videos from last July attacking her, at 500K

Read the rest

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

We’re not allowed to have logical discussions

Nov 8th, 2014 11:29 am | By

Coolio, some people are sending their responses to Sam Harris’s request for examples of Political Correctness run amok publicly, so that we can read them. This fella on Facebook for example.

Sam Harris, remember back when Richard Dawkins “ranked rape”?

Well, he tried to make a point about logic and then everyone said they understood what he meant, but still did the exact opposite of what a person who understood would.

The media wrote about how he ranked rape, even though rape was only a hypothetical example in his argument about logic, not at all the main point of what he said.

We’re not allowed to have logical discussions about anything that’s emotionally sensitive, or even use it

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You get up with fleas

Nov 8th, 2014 10:55 am | By

Sam Harris is getting help, or at least psychological support, in his quest for political correctness run amok. Bill Dembski Denyse O’Leary at Uncommon Descent is all sympathy.

Guy made the mistake of actually challenging something serious now.

Like, he could have been a pop sci celeb, with articles like “Ten reasons you go to church that you wish you never knew,” or “Ten reasons you give to charity that have nothing to do with caring,” or “Why the government really does know what is best for you.”

Legacy media editors can’t get enough of that stuff, even if readers are dropping away like fleas off a dead moose.

Instead, unaccountably, the guy decided to take on the

Read the rest

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“Insolence” in Malaysia

Nov 7th, 2014 5:59 pm | By

Last July in Malaysia a fatwa was issued on Sisters in Islam; the New York Times gives some facts:

In July, the official religious council in wealthy and populous Selangor State issued a fatwa, or religious decree, against Sisters in Islam, a Malaysian group that advocates women’s rights.

The fatwa declared Sisters in Islam “deviant” and also denounced “any individual, organization or institution that upholds the belief of liberalism or pluralism in religion.”

The fatwa did not define liberalism or pluralism, but called on the authorities to ban and seize books that promote the ideas and to “censor and block any social website contrary to Islamic teachings.”

Rosli Dahlan, a Malaysian lawyer who has represented clients challenging the power

Read the rest

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Please send links/stories to Sam Harris

Nov 7th, 2014 5:04 pm | By

Sam Harris is looking to set a trend again.

Sam Harris @SamHarrisOrg · 6 hours ago
Looking for examples of political correctness run amok. Please send links/stories here:

That trend has been set already, back around 1985 or so, but Sam was probably too busy studying the biology of gender differences to notice.

So, yay. The atheist movement can throw a big ol’ party with Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins as the hosts and everybody else dressed up as various kinds of political correctness run amok. Hilarity will ensue. And the atheist movement will continue to watch bemusedly as sensible people head for the exits.… Read the rest

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

Malleable community standards

Nov 7th, 2014 12:10 pm | By

Remember that excellent, well-argued, informative comment by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on a post by Andrew Brown at CiF yesterday? That I re-published here for your convenience and edification? It’s all the more convenient now, because the wises ones at CiF have deleted it, claiming – absurdly – that it doesn’t meet their community standards. CEMB tweeted the news a few hours ago.

Ex-Muslims Forum @CEMB_forum · 5 hours ago
We wrote this at Guardian about how Exmuslims are silenced … … its now been silenced & deleted

Maajid Nawaz asked the wise ones why.

Maajid Nawaz @MaajidNawaz · 18 hours ago
.@Guardian publish … then @CEMB_forum comment … Enforcing a blasphemy code, Guardian

Read the rest

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Dapper whats?

Nov 7th, 2014 11:18 am | By

So here’s another cultural artifact I wasn’t aware of – this “comedian” who goes by Dapper Laughs, who sounds about as funny as a poke in the eye.

It all kicked off when the website UsVsTh3m tweeted a link to a not-so positive review of the 14 track record.

The album includes songs called A Walk To The Pub…With A Tramp, Cracking On To A Sweetheart and Leaving The Pub…With A Tramp.

Sounds hilarious…

He’s new to Eleanor Margolis at the New Statesman, too.

I’ve also been told that he’s a comedian, although I’m struggling to find any evidence to support this. His brand of, not comedy exactly – more like yelling lists of words – consists almost

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Witchy disobedience

Nov 7th, 2014 10:46 am | By

The Freethinker reports that Yemi Adedeji of the Evangelical Alliance supports the opening of a faith school in Kent by a witchcraft-besotted Nigerian church, and that human rights campaigner Leo Igwe strongly opposes it.

According to this report, Winners’ Chapel International – currently under investigation by the Charity Commission – wants to open the school at its Dartford site, but human rights campaigners such as Igwe, as well as the National Secular Society, are urging the government to turn down the school bid.

The proposed Kingdom Heritage Model School is intended for children aged four to seven.

The church links child “disobedience” to witchcraft.


No, UK, you should not have a state school … Read the rest

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

Freedom freedom freedom

Nov 7th, 2014 9:45 am | By

Julien Blanc has been forced to leave Australia after his visa was withdrawn. His visa was withdrawn because the government took heed of protests pointing out that Blanc gives lectures on how to assault women.

Controversial US “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc has cut short his Australian tour after having his visa cancelled in the wake of protests against his seminars, which promote dangerous and abusive behaviour towards women.

“We can confirm Julien Blanc left Australia overnight,” Victorian police said on Twitter. “His assistant is also due to leave shortly.” The pair had planned to stay until December.

The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said Blanc’s visa was cancelled Thursday night.

There are cries of free speech and anti-sex. No really, … Read the rest

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

Guest post: The enslavement of those who are most in need of freedom

Nov 7th, 2014 6:46 am | By

Originally a comment by Eric MacDonald on A bishop always knows better.

There are several things wrong with the bishop’s objection to Brittany Maynard’s choosing to die. First of all, the term ‘dignity’ is a highly contested one, but Ignacio plays on two completely separate and unrelated meanings of the word. In Roman Catholic theology (and I think this is a new use of the word, though I have not been able to establish this), ‘dignity’ refers simply to the “God-givenness” of life. It does not refer to dignity in the strict sense, which consists in a person’s feeling of respect for herself (given present circumstances), and the respect paid to her by others (as opposed to pity, for … Read the rest

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

A bishop always knows better

Nov 6th, 2014 5:25 pm | By

Now that I’ve given you something elevating to contemplate in the ALMA picture of planet formation, we have to bump back down to squalid theocratic bullying again. This time it’s the Vatican’s reaction to Brittany Maynard’s decision to die before reaching the last horrible stages of death by brain tumor. Catholic News Agency reports what an official had to say.

Spanish Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican, explained to ANSA news agency, “We don’t judge people, but the gesture in itself is to be condemned. What happened in her conscience we don’t know.”

Bishop Carrasco de Paula said Maynard decided to take her life “thinking she would die with dignity,

Read the rest

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Planet formation

Nov 6th, 2014 4:35 pm | By


Have a snapshot from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), courtesy of a press release from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Astronomers have captured the best image ever of planet formation around an infant star as part of the testing and verification process for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array’s (ALMA) new high-resolution capabilities.

This revolutionary new image reveals in astonishing detail the planet-forming disk surrounding HL Tau, a Sun-like star located approximately 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

ALMA uncovered never-before-seen features in this system, including multiple concentric rings separated by clearly defined gaps. These structures suggest that planet formation is already well underway around this remarkably young star.

A snapshot of planet formation! How cool … Read the rest

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A news release from the UN Human Rights Commission

Nov 6th, 2014 1:40 pm | By

UN human rights experts set out countries’ obligations to tackle harmful practices such as FGM and forced marriage

GENEVA (5 November 2014) – For the first time, two UN human rights expert committees have joined forces to issue a comprehensive interpretation of the obligations of States to prevent and eliminate harmful practices inflicted on women and girls, such as female genital mutilation, crimes committed in the name of so-called honour, forced and child marriage, and polygamy.

“Harmful practices are frequently justified by invoking social or religious customs and values often embedded in patriarchal cultures and traditions. They are deeply rooted in attitudes that regard women and girls as inferior to men and boys. They are also often used as a … Read the rest

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More recognition for Taslima

Nov 6th, 2014 1:32 pm | By

The Swedish Humanists, Humanisterna, have awarded a prize to Taslima. Here’s my edit of Google Translate’s version:

The Hedenius Prize 2014  has been awarded to the writer, commentator and feminist Taslima Nasrin, for her commitment to freedom of thought and equality for women. The prize is awarded annually by the Humanist Association to a Swedish citizen who worked in the spirit of the philosopher Ingemar Hedenius. On Sunday 9 November at 2 p.m.  Taslima Nasrin will accept the award at the ABF building in Stockholm, and give a talk about the need for a new enlightenment and secular renaissance in the world.

Wkipedia on Ingemar Hedenius:

Per Arvid Ingemar Hedenius (April 5, 1908–April 30, 1982) was a Swedish

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Adam Savage on GamerGate

Nov 6th, 2014 1:05 pm | By

Adam Savage talks to Indre Viskontas for Inquiring Minds. In the final segment he talks about GamerGate and what Indre (rightly) calls “so much rage against women in these fields.”

Rebecca Watson tells us that he is a for-real feminist, and one who gives a shit.

The full interview is great, but my favorite part was when Adam weighed in on the issue of #Gamergate and harassment of women online. I know this is an issue he feels passionately about, and I also know that there are a lot of people in his audience who he can help educate and motivate. I hope he gets more opportunities to speak out about it – it’s unfortunate but true that a

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