All entries by this author

Biblical I don’t think so

Jul 12th, 2015 4:10 pm | By

More from the “Biblical” pig at Biblical Gender Roles, this time about whether or not it’s ok for a man to insist on having sex with his wife even if she’s in pain. This guy is so full of shit…and cowardly with it, because he’s anonymous.

Question 1 – Was the husband wrong for having sex with his wife while she was pregnant and in pain?

It depends. Had he just had sex with her in the last few days? Then perhaps he should have put her need to not experience more pain and discomfort ahead of his need for sex. But if she had been in pain for weeks or a month and he finally came to her

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Non-random mass murder

Jul 12th, 2015 11:55 am | By

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. The remembrance didn’t go smoothly. The Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić was chased away by protesters throwing stones.

Mr Vucic is a former radical Serb nationalist who served under Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in the late 1990s.

He is now a pro-Western politician seeking to steer Serbia into the European Union. His government managed to secure support from its ally Russia on Wednesday to veto a UN resolution calling the events in Srebrenica a genocide.

Well that would explain why the Bosnian protesters were pissed off.

It was a genocide. They were killed because they were Bosnian; that’s genocide. “Ethnic cleansing” is genocide.

Tens of thousands of people came to

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How to silence the peasants

Jul 12th, 2015 11:26 am | By

Still at it. Still muddying the waters by saying Tim Hunt was sacked by UCL, when he was never employed by UCL in the first place. Simon Heffer in the Telegraph:

How to silence Sir Tim’s bullies

University College, London is a great institution that has diminished itself by sacking Sir Tim Hunt, the Nobel laureate who made an entirely harmless but silly remark about women.

Except that it didn’t “sack” him.

Also, the claim that “silly” dismissive contemptuous remarks about women are “entirely harmless” is highly debatable. (I think they’re just flat-0ut wrong, but then that’s what I think, and it’s debatable.)

UCL acted after a particularly nasty display of mob rule by denizens of Twitter, where
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What’s up, Doc?

Jul 12th, 2015 10:17 am | By

Oh good grief. Unconscious sexism – it gets in everywhere.

A BBC story about the finding of a medieval ring in Norfolk.

The ring, found by a metal detectorist in South Creake, Norfolk, dates from between 1350 and 1430.

Dr Jonathan Good, author of The Cult of St George, said the ring “attests to the popularity of St George” and may be linked to a guild devoted to the saint.

Dr Good, who is associate professor of history at Reinhardt University, in Georgia in the US, said the ring “could have have owned by a guild member. It could have been a way of them showing their dedication”.

“It is in these pre-reformation times that St George

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Elementary good manners by way of an introductory salutation

Jul 11th, 2015 5:54 pm | By

One from more than three years ago, March 20 2012: I get email:

I got one today from someone who has commented here a few times as nmcc or NMcC, and who commented yesterday to tell me how wrong I am about the word “cunt” and to say “Sarah Palin is a cunt.” I deleted that comment and put him – his email address showed he’s a Nigel – in moderation. The message I got this morning expressed surprise at the deletion of the comment. (It started with “Hi” – this is more significant than you might think.) I replied, brusquely,

Really? You would have thought “Sarah Palin is a cunt” was well within my commenting policy? I’ve been

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A boring job, but somebody has to do it

Jul 11th, 2015 1:10 pm | By

Some words of wisdom from Janet Stemwedel:

Janet D. Stemwedel ‏@docfreeride 3 hours ago
Next time you think you “hear” outrage online, imagine it is being delivered in a bored voice. Pointing out racism, sexism, etc. is BORING.

But even though it’s boring, pointing out words & deeds that harm others is NECESSARY to get folks doing them to notice, care, stop doing it.

Surely it’s outrageous that folks need repeated reminders that saying & doing harmful stuff is harming people, & that harming people is bad…

But sometimes it feels like the “outrage” is coming from folks who want to be able to do & say harmful stuff w/o being called on it.

With “sometimes” defined as “all … Read the rest

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He did say some stupid things which cannot be supported

Jul 11th, 2015 12:57 pm | By

Maybe this will persuade the ragers to shut up at last: Paul Nurse says what Tim Hunt said was not acceptable. Sarah Knapton, science editor at the Telegraph, reports.

Sir Paul Nurse, a joint-Nobel Prize winner and friend of Sir Tim, told the Telegraph the embattled professor’s “chauvinist” comments had “damaged science”.

He added that since Sir Tim stood down last month, Sir Paul has been sent hundreds of vicious letters. Some argue that the Royal Society has not gone far enough in its condemnation of the Noble Laureate, while others criticise the 350-year-old institution for not backing the beleaguered scientist.

“Some have threatened to do things to my body parts,” said Sir Paul, in a weary tone.

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The foundation of your personality

Jul 11th, 2015 11:08 am | By

Want to take a goofy online quiz? Here’s one that claims to be asking What Is Your Gender Identity? Only, that’s odd, because I answered the questions as truthfully as I could (as usual with goofy quizzes, many questions offered zero replies that really fit) and I got “you are Cis-Male.” Well, no, that’s not right.*

But the questions are fatuous anyway, because they’re mostly about superficialities. To be accurate my replies to several of them would have had to be “I don’t care one way or the other.”

But then it’s understandable that the questions are fatuous, because the opening claim is fatuous squared:

Your gender is the foundation of your personality and indicates how you choose to express

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Guest post: A choice by a feminist is not necessarily a feminist choice

Jul 10th, 2015 6:22 pm | By

Originally a comment by sambarge on Only when it is nothing more than a personal choice.

When the practice of hijab becomes nothing more than a personal choice, only then may it be considered a feminist statement.

I would argue, even then, that the choice to wear a hijab would be feminist neutral. There is nothing inherently feminist in the choice to wear a hijab and its history (whatever it may develop into in the future) is rooted in oppression.

A choice by a feminist is not necessarily a feminist choice. Allow me to give a non-veiling example:

25 yrs ago, I was an under-grad, thinking about grad school and my unwieldy last name. My parents were Italian immigrants … Read the rest

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Nothing is perfect

Jul 10th, 2015 5:47 pm | By

Dr Amy Tuteur says breastfeeding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and trying to force it to be can be dangerous.

The scientific literature contains new and disturbing reports of infant deaths due to hypernatremic dehydration as a result of inadequate breast milk consumption, deaths from falling out of mothers’ hospital beds as a result of pressure to room-in to promote breastfeeding, and, most recently, reports of hyponatremia due to dilution of breastmilk with water. It’s only a matter of time before there are illnesses and deaths from contaminated breastmilk bought and traded on the internet.

Why are these babies dying? They’re dying because lactivists are lying, exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding far, far beyond anything in the

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Very defiant

Jul 10th, 2015 4:03 pm | By

Via Ken White at Popehat, a horrible story of a judge abusing her power over children in a bad divorce case.

Judge Lisa Gorcyca, a judge in Oakland County, Michigan, is getting quite a lot of press this week for sending three kids to juvenile detention.

Judge Gorcyca doesn’t preside in criminal court. She doesn’t rule on delinquency petitions in juvenile court. She’s a judge in the Family Division. And she sent three kids to juvenile detention — and specifically ordered them separated — because they didn’t obey her orders to cultivate a warm relationship with their estranged father.

You can read about it here, or here, or here, or here, or at Reason.

She what??

My god, who … Read the rest

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How did he manage it?

Jul 10th, 2015 2:33 pm | By

How do you rise? You work very hard and you get yourself noticed. Science has an account of doing that by Eleftherios P. Diamandis.

Here’s how it worked for me. I arrived at the University of Toronto in 1982 as a postdoctoral diploma candidate in clinical biochemistry. Coming from a rather poor country—Greece—was a disadvantage, so I did all I could to adapt to the new environment, fill in my knowledge gaps, and make a good impression with hard work and dedication. When I finished the diploma training in 1984, the chair of the department showed interest in finding a job for me. But I had to go back to Greece first to complete my medical degree. I finished

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Equality toons

Jul 10th, 2015 12:17 pm | By

There was a comic competition on gender equality.

UN Women together with the European Commission, the Belgian Development Cooperation, and UNRIC organized a Comic and Cartoon Competition on Gender Equality in 2015. The competition invited young European comic and cartoon artists and art students, aged 18 to 28 years, to picture their understanding of women’s rights and gender equality through cartoons and comics. The comics and cartoons had to be without words. Finalists were selected by a jury composed of professional comic artists, gender equality experts and communication experts. Below are the winners and semi-finalists!

It’s a little awkward that the first four winners are male, but oh well. (I’m assuming they judged them blind and so didn’t … Read the rest

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Guest post: Only when it is nothing more than a personal choice

Jul 10th, 2015 11:58 am | By

Originally a comment by Saad on An entire way of dressing, behaving and believing.

I wonder how many progressive never-Muslims find this convincing and are tricked into thinking the hijab (and other such Islamic coverings) are some neutral thing that are only bad when the Taliban or ISIL enforces them. This is what my issue with people like Yusuf is. They’re doing a disservice by calling the concept and practice of hijab a way to avoid sexual exploitation or some sort of statement on behalf of women.

Also, let’s be very clear here that advocating for the right of hijabi women to feel safe in non-Muslim societies is not the same as defending the notion of hijab. She does … Read the rest

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Nomenclature

Jul 10th, 2015 11:40 am | By

A commenter asked why I used the name “Burma” instead of “Myanmar.” The BBC gave a useful explanation in 2007.

The ruling military junta changed its name from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, a year after thousands were killed in the suppression of a popular uprising. Rangoon also became Yangon.

The change was recognised by the United Nations, and by countries such as France and Japan, but not by the United States and the UK.

A statement by the Foreign Office says: “Burma’s democracy movement prefers the form ‘Burma’ because they do not accept the legitimacy of the unelected military regime to change the official name of the country. Internationally, both names are recognised.”

That’s why. I prefer the … Read the rest

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Holistic starvation

Jul 10th, 2015 11:17 am | By

“Naturopathy” nearly claims another life.

 

A Sydney naturopath who allegedly told a mother to stop medicating her eight-month-old boy, leaving him close to death, has been arrested.

NSW Police said Marilyn Bodnar, a 59-year-old registered nurse and midwife who also practises naturopathy, had been consulted by the mother of the young boy seeking an alternative health treatment for the baby’s eczema.

Officers allege the naturopath advised the mother to stop the child’s medical and dermatological treatments.

Because eczema is natural and holistic and should be treated with love and sympathy rather than harsh artificial chemicals full of toxic GMO toxins?

The baby was admitted to Westmead Hospital in May suffering from malnourishment and developmental issues.

Police said the

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Climate change? What’s that?

Jul 9th, 2015 5:57 pm | By

Oh well, it’s only the planet.

ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

Well, look at it from their point of view. The climate would be ok for their lifetimes, so why should they pay any attention to climate change when they could make good money flogging oil instead?

From that angle it makes perfect sense.

In the email Bernstein, a chemical engineer and climate expert who spent 30 years at Exxon and Mobil and

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A collective of senior Buddhist abbots and influential monks

Jul 9th, 2015 5:25 pm | By

Human Rights Watch on Burma’s new “Buddhist women can’t marry out” bill.

Burma’s President Thein Sein should refuse to sign into law the discriminatory interfaith marriage bill passed by parliament on July 7, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill targets Buddhist women who marry – or seek to marry – non-Buddhist men and introduces vaguely defined acts against Buddhism as grounds for divorce, forfeiture of custody and matrimonial property, and potential criminal penalties.

The Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Law was passed by a vote of 524 to 44, with 8 abstentions, by Burma’s two houses of parliament sitting in a joint session. The final version of the bill has not been made public. The legislation now

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Citoyen Raif

Jul 9th, 2015 4:44 pm | By

A nice thing today – the mayor of Sherbrooke made Raif Badawi a citoyen de Sherbrooke.

That of course is Ensaf; this news and these photos are via her.… Read the rest

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Burma’s Protection of Race and Religion Laws

Jul 9th, 2015 4:34 pm | By

Burma’s parliament has passed a bill limiting the right of Buddhist women to marry non-Buddhists.

The Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Bill passed Tuesday is one of four known as the Protection of Race and Religion Laws, which have been criticized as discriminatory by rights groups. It mandates that Buddhist women register their intent to marry outside their faith and allows them to be stopped if there are objections.

I guess the government of Burma owns all the uteruses.

President Thein Sein has 14 days from when the bill was passed to sign it or return it with suggested changes.

“It’s shocking that Burma’s Parliament has passed yet another incredibly dangerous law, this time legislating clearly discriminatory provisions targeting the

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