All entries by this author

Making a stand

Oct 3rd, 2014 5:26 pm | By

Sarah Khan, director of Inspire, has a short outraged public post on Facebook.

I’m ‪#‎makingastand‬. I will not be celebrating Eid in remembrance of Alan Henning. There is nothing to celebrate. My faith has been hijacked by extremists. Wake up Muslims. Before more innocent people are murdered in the “name of our religion.” Reclaim our faith back from these monsters.

Sad, and right, and inspiring.… Read the rest

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



Sure, and North Korea’s the best at ending famine

Oct 3rd, 2014 5:08 pm | By

At Patheos – on the Catholic Channel – there’s a blog called Headlines from the Catholic World. On that blog there’s a post with the teasing title “Catholic Church the only body ‘effectively acting to eradicate pedophilia’.” There really is; I’m not making it up.

A former Vatican spokesman has written, against the backdrop of the house arrest of a former nuncio being investigated for abuse of minors, that the Church is the only international body acting effectively against pedophilia.

In an op-ed published in the Italian daily “La Repubblica” Sept. 25, Joaquin Navarro-Valls commented on the house arrest in Vatican City of Jozef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic who was laicized earlier this year. He

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Taking medical supplies to a hospital in northwest Syria

Oct 3rd, 2014 4:08 pm | By

The bastards have killed Alan Henning.

Henning, a 47-year-old taxi driver from Salford in northern England, was part of an aid convoy taking medical supplies to a hospital in northwest Syria in December last year when it was stopped by gunmen and he was abducted.

Muslim groups across Britain, including some organizations that are highly critical of British foreign policy and blame Western interference for fanning the recent crisis in Iraq and Syria, had called in vain for his release.

His wife Barbara had called him a “a peaceful, selfless man” and appealed to Islamic State to release him.

But the murderers of Islamic State don’t release people, they butcher them.

Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the Muslim Council

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



The global community of human beings

Oct 3rd, 2014 11:42 am | By

Gina Khan and Maajid Nawaz flagged up this post by Amjad Khan at Left Foot Forward on Facebook. (The post is at LFF, the flagging up was at FB. God language is hard to do.) It argues that it’s not good enough for Muslims to say that groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda don’t represent them.

The first reason is that it doesn’t stop them. Most Nigerians hate Boko Haram, but Boko Haram doesn’t give a shit, and goes right on murdering and enslaving people.

The second point to be made is that statements such ‘they don’t represent me’ are only useful if they are a precursor to a sustained effort to challenge and undermine jihadism. In my experience, this is

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



Let them take a limo

Oct 3rd, 2014 10:30 am | By

Another big win for the Texas Taliban and another big loss for women of childbearing age in Texas.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday allowed Texas to begin enforcing tough new abortion restrictions that will effectively close all but eight abortion facilities in the nation’s second-largest state. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the law is poised to have the most devastating impact on abortion access of any such restriction across the country.

Under the law’s force, which will close 13 clinics, one out of six Texan women seeking an abortion will now live more than 150 miles from the nearest clinic.

Texas is an enormous state. It’s bigger than a lot of countries. It also has a … Read the rest

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



Count the knees

Oct 3rd, 2014 9:58 am | By

Sarah Posner raises an interesting question – is it ok for Tim Tebow to pray on one knee after scoring a touchdown, but not ok for Husain Abdullah to pray on two knees in the same situation?

Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was penalized last night for praying in the end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown. Tim Tebow has similarly prayed — although, apparently, the two prayers aren’t “similar:” one is Christian, and one is Muslim.

The Kansas City Star reports Abdullah is a “devout Muslim” who promised himself that if he scored a touchdown, “I’m going to prostrate before God in the end zone.” Last night, he was penalized for apparently violating Rule 12, Section

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A loosely organized collective that wants to bully women

Oct 2nd, 2014 6:16 pm | By

Amanda Marcotte (I belatedly see) has also written about Intel’s move to obey the anti-social justice campaigners and punish Gamasutra.

[A]ny lingering hope that GamerGate is about bringing integrity back to journalism were dashed this week, when GamerGate participants convinced Intel to pull its advertising from the gaming website Gamasutra in order to punish Gamasutra for publishing on opinion they don’t like, a piece criticizing GamerGate for making gamers look like misogynist idiots.

The purported concern of GamerGate is to end gaming journalism’s “increasing corruption by money and hype,” as Auerbach explained. If that’s true, it’s awfully fishy that GamerGate’s first major victory is to threaten journalists with lost revenue for writing about their honestly held views. That

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



The bullies spoke and Intel listened

Oct 2nd, 2014 5:36 pm | By

UH OH – some people think it would be a good idea to have better gender representation in video games, on account of how the human species isn’t actually 90% male, and we all know what a crazy and destructive thought that is to think. Here’s a bit of news from that battlefront:

Intel has pulled an advertising campaign from video gaming website Gamasutra after it reportedly received a number of complaints from self-identified gamers upset that the site was championing fair gender representation in video games. The decision by the world’s largest chipmaker to remove its advertising from the site comes as a result of a coordinated campaign called Operation Disrespectful Nod, apparently orchestrated by supporters of

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With a candy ass he keeps glued to National Public Radio

Oct 2nd, 2014 4:38 pm | By

Josh Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, wonders whether the funeral procession really needs to be treated as something untouchably sacred like football or pumpkin pie or monster-large cars.

Bill Mayeroff is a blogger at ChicagoNow.com who wrote a post questioning the practice of funeral processions. It was picked up by the funeral-industry news aggregator site, ConnectingDirectors.com. All comments [sic].

“Let me guess, Bill Mayeroff is: 1. A baby boomer 2. A narcissist 3. An idiot.”

“I think this blogger should have this discussion face to face with the thousands of people who mourned and processed with any number of our fallen soldiers.”

“Although the article is so sophmoric that it doesnt earn the time of

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That’s a savior?

Oct 2nd, 2014 11:52 am | By

El Salvador is not a safe country for women. The secretary general of Amnesty International reports:

Beneath the surface of apparent peace in El Salvador, a hidden war is being waged. It is a war that does not involve guns or troops but one that has resulted in the imprisonment and unnecessary deaths and disability of thousands.

It is a war against women and girls that is documented in Amnesty International’s newreport, On the Brink of Death: Violence against Women and the Abortion Ban in El Salvador.

The report illustrates how a change in the law 16 years ago criminalized abortion in all circumstances, making it one of the strictest abortion laws in the world. Women and

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



It’s a witch! It’s an angel! It’s superfly!

Oct 2nd, 2014 10:44 am | By

Richard Bartholomew debunks a photo of a purported “witch” used to fuel hysteria about witches.

Nigerian sceptic Leo Igwe has drawn attention to a Facebook post by a certain Pastor I.C. Ezeugwu, in which Ezeugwu describes an event he held in “a remote village in Edo State”:

I titled the crusade “Operation Kill the Witches”. This title was necessitated as a result of the activities of witches in that village which included destroying the destinies of young people.

I took a look at that Facebook post – it dates from August 2013, well over a year ago, yet people are commenting every few seconds to say…”Amen.” It’s rather frightening.

Bartholomew tracked down the image and found that it has nothing … Read the rest

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If you’re all sad in your pants

Oct 1st, 2014 5:29 pm | By

A new version of Tim Minchin’s Pope Song.

It ends with

But if you build your movement on intellectual authority
And believe it is to benefit others in society
Then you, you motherfucker, can expect some talking back
When people get assaulted and you never fucking act!

So fuck these motherfuckers, and fuck you motherfucker
If you call yourself a fucking skeptic
Then you cover for each slimey motherfucker who says something sexist
Fuck you, your apologetics really are pathetic

And if you look into your motherfucking heart and tell me true
If the good name of atheism is that important to you
With its problems with harassment, abuse, and also fucking RAPE
If you’re all sad in your pants

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



Keep it on the downlow

Oct 1st, 2014 11:35 am | By

Dana has a post about my report that Dawkins asked me to tell people not to spread the “libellous allegation that Michael Shermer is a rapist or a sexual predator.”

Keep in mind, this was about a year after various unconnected sources came forward and said that Shermer had harassed and/or assaulted them. And he’s still busy covering Shermer’s ass.

Even after so many women have come forward under their own names, he still won’t admit there may be something to this. And the little hyperskeptic lickspittles he’s got crowded round his feet are happy to help out, demanding evidence well beyond what they’d require to denounce a homeopath.

I still puzzle about that. These are real people, not … Read the rest

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



Show the world

Oct 1st, 2014 10:51 am | By

What do you do when your stepmother throws acid in your face while you’re asleep? You go ahead and fulfill your ambition of being a fashion designer, and you get other survivors of acid attacks to join you in modeling the clothes. You show the world what it is to woman up.

Rupa suffered extensive injuries when her stepmother threw acid in her face while she was sleeping in 2008.

She was allegedly left without any medical aid for six hours before her uncle found her and transported her to hospital, where she underwent eleven operations and spent three months being cared for.

Her uncle had to borrow on the house they lived in to pay for her medical

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



Maybe it’s the mountain air

Oct 1st, 2014 9:44 am | By

The BBC has had a team living next to the University of Colorado at Boulder campus for a month.

The issue of sexual assaults at US colleges was raised repeatedly by students we met.

It is a national problem, with studies suggesting one in five women will be victims during their time at university.

And it is a serious problem at CU-Boulder too. The college is on the White House’s list of schools suspected of Title IX violations – that’s a law guaranteeing that women in federally-funded universities won’t face discrimination due to their gender.

More than 70 schools including CU-Boulder are accused of having improperly dealt with sexual assault cases, and are now the target of a federal investigation.

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



Guest post: He called it “Ask First”

Oct 1st, 2014 9:13 am | By

Originally a comment by Hj Hornbeck on Salt.

I’m one of the lucky few who’ve heard Shermer talk about his system of morality in person.

He called it “Ask First:” before doing some action, ask the people effected what they think. It has a Rawlsian quality to it, but unlike the Veil it’s much easier to game. Jails and safe injection sites will never be built, because the surrounding populace will never agree to them. Ever heard of Hobo Fights, where assholes pay two homeless people to beat the crap out of one another? Permitted by “Ask First,” banned by the Veil. Thinking of cutting carbon emissions? Don’t ask the experts, do an opinion poll!

Shermer was peppered with … Read the rest

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Salt

Oct 1st, 2014 7:30 am | By

So, there’s this. JREF promoting a talk on science and morality at TAM 2013 by that expert on morality Michael Shermer. Nine hours ago. A good many days after the publication of Mark Oppenheimer’s article, the one that quoted James Randi saying he was well aware of Shermer’s frolicsome ways with the laydeez and that if he got many more reports about them he would ask him to limit his attendance at TAM.

Randi Foundation @jref ·  9 hours ago
Science and Morality: Michael Shermer TAM 2013: http://youtu.be/kjT1lkmKVhs

Hey, isn’t it about time for Roman Polanski to return to Hollywood?… Read the rest

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



How not to stage an intervention

Sep 30th, 2014 5:32 pm | By

Doubting Tom wrote a Dubito Ergo Sum post ten days ago, on Michael Nugent, Vice Principal of Atheism. (Good title. Nugent does carry on as if he’s somehow been appointed to scold some people into obedience while protecting others from unwelcome attention to their more appalling behaviors. Nugent hasn’t been appointed to do that.) This post, I was saying, is worth catching up with.

DT starts by summarizing Nugent’s previous work in this vein, then describes a pattern:

Nugent demonstrated a pattern of behavior that he has since escalated: butt in to an issue that doesn’t involve you, adopt the pretense of mature authority, treat the issue as an academic subject to be studied or hashed out in formal

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



“Females” destroying all the fraternities

Sep 30th, 2014 12:03 pm | By

Fraternities, eh. They’re going to hell in a handbasket, and you know whose fault that is? Drunk women! That’s who! All these drunk women keep forcing their way into the place and they’re ruining everything. Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel has the story.

If you blinked at all, even for a second yesterday, you may have missed a doozy of a story that Forbes ran and very quickly deleted. Which is a shame, since the headline was “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat to Fraternities,” and the only thing more hilariously evil than much of the piece that followed was the Satan-y byline photo that accompanied the piece.

Unfortunately, Bill Frezza isn’t a character made up by stoned

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How dare you

Sep 30th, 2014 11:19 am | By

No. Just no. Not ever. Not under any circumstances. Just don’t even. Dear god what are you thinking. No.

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