All entries by this author

The grim reminder

May 8th, 2016 12:45 pm | By

Let Us Build Pakistan’s statement on the murder of Khurram Zaki:

We offer our condolences to Pakistani nation on the martyrdom of LUBP blog’s editor and leading human rights activist Khurram Zaki. After Shaheed Irfan Khudi Ali of Quetta, Shaheed Khurram Zaki is the second LUBP editorial team member who has been target killed by Takfiri Deobandi militants.

For the last one year, Shaheed Khurram Zaki was a target of a systematic hate campaign organized by Deobandi fanatic, Shamsuddin Amjad of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in collaboration with the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP aka ASWJ/LeJ).

In particular, hateful and violence inciting posters against Shaheed Khurram Zaki had been published recently by the Mashal Facebook page run by Shamsuddin Amjad, Asad Wasif

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Khurram Zaki

May 8th, 2016 12:27 pm | By

A prominent journalist and human rights activist has been murdered in Karachi.

[Khurram Zaki] was an editor of the website Let us Build Pakistan, which condemns sectarianism and is seen as promoting democratic and progressive values.

The spokesman for a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban has said they were behind the shooting.

He said they killed him because of his recent campaign against a cleric of the Red Mosque in Islamabad.

Mr Zaki and other campaigners had filed a court case charging Abdul Aziz with incitement to hatred and violence against the Shia minority.

The case was brought in response to the cleric’s refusal to condemn attacks such as that on a school in Peshawar in 2014

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May 7th, 2016 5:35 pm | By

A tweet:

Rohan ‏@Chops8592 13 hours ago
It’s barely been a day and already the Queen is wearing a hijab #LondonHasFallen

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Mostly on your knees

May 7th, 2016 4:49 pm | By

On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted 5 to 4 not to sell a downtown city street to a developer to build a potential sports stadium. (How many stadia do we already have in downtown Seattle? Two. How many of those two did voters reject? One.) All 5 voting no were women, and all 4 voting yes were men.

And you can write the rest of the story yourself.

Seattlish has some details:

[In] play were any number of issues—labor, land use, traffic, competition, taxes, the value of public/private partnerships—many of which received quite a bit of consideration in the months leading up to and during the meeting.

But little of that nuance is present in much of the

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Is she ready? Is she ready? Is she ready?

May 7th, 2016 11:01 am | By

Mr Let Them Marry, Vaughn Olman, has scrubbed his website since Vyckie blew the whistle on him. Now it has Answers to Your Questions instead.


In the past our views have been greatly misrepresented, here we attempt to clarify any misunderstanding and put to rest accusations which have been made against us.

Do you support child marriage? No. Marriage is for men and women not boys and girls.

Well that’s a relief.

Oh wait.

At what age do children become men or women? It varies. Every child matures physically at different rates. Mental, emotional and spiritual maturity vary even more.

Oh. So then you do support child marriage, you just claim you don’t, while reserving the right to … Read the rest

That Something she’d seen

May 7th, 2016 10:06 am | By

I’ve always hated “See something, say something.” It’s obvious why that’s such ridiculous (and dangerous) advice. “What do you mean ‘something’?!” Anything could be “something,” and given the fact that lots of people are assholes, if that’s the standard, there will be way too much saying something.

And so it came about yesterday on a flight from Philadelphia to Syracuse.

On Thursday evening, a 40-year-old man — with dark, curly hair, olive skin and an exotic foreign accent — boarded a plane. It was a regional jet making a short, uneventful hop from Philadelphia to nearby Syracuse.

Or so dozens of unsuspecting passengers thought.

The curly-haired man tried to keep to himself, intently if inscrutably scribbling on a notepad

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“Ladies who lunch”

May 6th, 2016 5:44 pm | By

So this is what “White Feminism” is – a guaranteed win in the Oppression Olympics. It’s a piece from last summer by Paris Lees, politely titled Ban Sex Work? Fuck Off, White Feminism.

The title seemed stupid to me, as well as abusive, since Paris Lees is white. But she explains that.

I feel duty bound to break my self-imposed silence – I’m on holiday, fuckers – to speak out on a subject that, like so many important issues in the media, has been discussed almost exclusively by a privileged few who are neither affected by nor particularly informed about their current excuse to grandstand.

That’s a remarkably disgusting thing to say. What are the implications? That people should … Read the rest

Donga Gali

May 6th, 2016 5:16 pm | By

Via Raquel Evita Saraswati, a new horror in Pakistan

Pakistani police on Thursday arrested 15 members of a tribal council accused of ordering the burning alive of a young girl for helping a couple to elope in a so-called “honor killing”, police said.

Those are the men who had a 16-year-old girl set on fire.

They just look like ordinary men. No doubt they are. Ordinary people can be horrible; it doesn’t take extraordinary talents or qualities.

The 16-year-old girl was set on fire last week in the town of Donga Gali, about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital, Islamabad, on the orders of the council, said district police chief Saeed Wazir.

Police said the honor killing

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Daddy, daddy, you bastard

May 6th, 2016 4:23 pm | By

Amanda Marcotte reports that Mr Forced Marriage Retreat Guy has been trying to backpedal now that he’s getting all this unwelcome attention from The Internet.

Now Ohlman and his Quiverfull crew are feeling the heat. “Note: Contrary to vicious internet rumors we do not support or in any way condone child sexual activity of any sort, child marriage, or any other illegal activity,” his website reads at the top. “Nor do we support or condone forced marriages. We believe that parents should NOT seek a spouse for a child where that child has not actively sought for the parents to do so.”

There is reason to be skeptical of these disclaimers, however. The claim that the child is supposed “actively”

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90,000 people

May 6th, 2016 3:59 pm | By

The people who were trapped north of Fort McMurray are getting out in convoys, the Times reports.

Convoys of cars and trucks made their way gingerly through the wildfire-ravaged community of Fort McMurray, Alberta, on Friday, headed south to safety past the charred ruins of neighborhoods and businesses, after being stranded for days north of town on the area’s main highway.

Bracketed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruisers and preceded by a military helicopter watching for flare-ups near their route, the first convoy got rolling shortly after dawn and others followed at intervals.

They’re hoping to get 15,000 vehicles out in the next few days.

When Fort McMurray was swiftly overtaken by a wildfire on Tuesday and the city

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17 times the size of Manhattan

May 6th, 2016 11:58 am | By

Eric Holthaus at Slate points out that the Fort McMurray fire is just the time to talk about climate change. It’s not as if it’s peripheral, after all.

Friday marks the fourth day of an intense firestorm in Canada’s boreal forest that has engulfed large parts of Fort McMurray, Alberta—a frontier town that serves as the base for the province’s oil sands region. Already, the fires rank as Canada’s costliest natural disaster on record, and the town’s entire population of more than 80,000 people has been evacuated. The area burned, about 250,000 acres, is now 17 times the size of the island of Manhattan. And conditions could still get worse. “The beast is still up. It’s surrounding

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It is a criminal offence when bloggers hurt religious sentiments

May 6th, 2016 8:48 am | By

The government of Bangladesh has drilled down to a new level of horribleness. The Daily Star headline sums it up:

Govt displeased with anti-religion bloggers, their killers: Minister

The government is more angry at the bloggers than at the people who chopped them to death.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said that the government is not pleased with “bloggers who demean religion” and the people who are killing them.

“Bloggers should [refrain] from hurting religious sentiments,” the minister said. It is a criminal offence when bloggers hurt religious sentiments of the public, he added.

If it is a criminal offence, it shouldn’t be.

If it is a criminal offence, it’s a very minor and non-violent one. I would argue … Read the rest

Random man has life advice

May 6th, 2016 8:28 am | By

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They will be providing a bag breakfast

May 5th, 2016 6:13 pm | By

The nice man at Let Them Marry has a nice page for us where we can see the plans for their forced marriage “retreat” in Wichita – now put on hold because of the Salvation Army’s refusal to let them rent its facilities. It’s a mildly amusing read.

Mostly it’s about the money. Actually it’s almost all about the money. The pricing is complicated enough that there are examples, so that we can understand:

The Smith family want to come to the conference with their five children. Their oldest child, George Smith, is seeking a wife. The Smiths want a bit of comfort so they sign up for our ‘Cottage Family’ package. They heard about our conference a bit late,

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A lack of consent is a choice of disobedience

May 5th, 2016 5:04 pm | By

Vyckie Garrison reports on another Quiverfull plan: get a bunch of grownups together for the purpose of arranging marriages among each other’s children. Don’t bother about what the children want.

A group of ultra-conservative Christian men are planning to meet up in Kansas later this year to arrange marriages for their pubescent daughters … and they don’t believe their daughters’ consent is actually necessary.

Quiverfull patriarch, Vaughn Ohlman, who runs a website promoting early, “fruitful” marriage for Truly True Christian™ children, has announced plans for a “Get Them Married!” retreat where fundamentalist fathers will find, and TAKE, suitably submissive young brides to bear many babies for their adolescent sons.

And this will be good, because all those babies will … Read the rest

Bangladesh: Freethinkers vs. Assassins

May 5th, 2016 | By Tasneem Khalil

He reached into his rucksack and said with a smile, “I have something for you.” I extended my hand and took the gift. A small book, 96 pages – a Bengali translation of Am I a Monkey?: Six Big Questions About Evolution by the Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher Fransico J Ayala. I looked at the illustration on the cover: a sad ape evolving into a human.

One of the translators of the book, Ananta Bijoy Das, was hacked to death by machete-wielding assassins in May 2015, outside his home in Sylhet, north-eastern Bangladesh. The other translator, Siddhartha Dhar, was standing in front of me, somewhere in Stockholm. A few months after the murder of his friend and mentor, Siddhartha … Read the rest

Being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar

May 5th, 2016 12:53 pm | By

The Governor of Wisconsin is really terrible. The worst. He likes to inflict harm on people who lack money.

Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday, May 4th approved a rule requiring certain Wisconsinites receiving unemployment insurance benefits to pass a drug test.

“This new rule brings us one step closer to moving Wisconsinites from government dependence to true independence,” Governor Walker said in a statement issued to FOX6 News.

Insurance is not dependence. Unemployment insurance is funded by workers and employers, and it’s insurance, so there shouldn’t be pointless bullying hurdles to getting it. Scott Walker is a bad man.

According to Governor Walker’s office, by being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar and fighting fraud and abuse, Wisconsin

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The Lord said get in the truck and leave

May 5th, 2016 12:08 pm | By

A pretty incident by the side of the road in South Carolina.

A tow truck driver refused to a help a customer stranded on Interstate 26 in Asheville on Monday.

“Something came over me, I think the Lord came to me, and he just said get in the truck and leave,” said Ken Shupe of Shupee Max Towing in Traveler’s Rest, S.C.. “And when I got in my truck, you know, I was so proud, because I felt like I finally drew a line in the sand and stood up for what I believed.”

Huh. It takes some hard thinking to come up with a reason for leaving someone stranded on a freeway that could make a person proud. … Read the rest

Guest post: If it made some effort to actually tie it back to women

May 5th, 2016 11:48 am | By

Originally a comment by Freemage on This toxic cloud is called.

The odd thing is, to me, that this would be easier to take seriously if it didn’t try to be quite so dramatic about the situation, and it might fit in a site called Everyday Feminism if it made some effort to actually tie it back to women specifically.

The constant push for fictional characters to end up in monogamous relationships with their ‘one true love’ is annoying to folks who have no desire for such a relationship; this annoyance rises to the level of a micro-aggression when it’s accompanied by ‘proof’ in the narrative that anyone who claims to be happy alone (say, because their career is … Read the rest

Jump a little higher

May 5th, 2016 11:20 am | By

This is where the public ownership of women’s reproductive capacities gets you: a girl of 12 in Queensland had to jump through hoops for weeks to get the abortion she wanted all along. If she hadn’t jumped correctly apparently they would have said no – and a girl of 12 would have been forced to push out a baby she didn’t want to push out.

A 12-year-old Australian girl with a history of suicide attempts was forced to seek a judge’s approval to end an unwanted pregnancy under strict abortion laws.

The girl gained a Queensland supreme court order allowing her to have an abortion after a month dealing with a string of medical, mental health and child safety professionals,

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