Notes and Comment Blog


“God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties”

May 6th, 2014 10:20 am | By

The BBC has more on the enslavement in Nigeria.

In the video, Abubakar Shekau said the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married.

“God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions,” he said.

Yes that sums it right up, doesn’t it – girls are inferior beings, therefore they should not be in school, they should be enslaved in “marriage” because that’s all that inferior beings are good for.

Meanwhile, a woman who helped organise protests over the abduction was detained and later released.

Naomi Mutah was taken to a police station after a meeting called by First Lady Patience Jonathan.

Mrs Jonathan reportedly felt slighted that the girls’ mothers had sent Ms Mutah to the meeting instead of going themselves.

Mrs Jonathan is seen as a politically powerful figure in Nigeria but has no constitutional power to order arrests.

Ms Mutah, a representative of the Chibok community, organised a protest last week outside parliament in Abuja.

Wow, that’s some heavy-duty self-absorption – for Patience Jonathan to be more worried about her own importance than the issue that Naomi Mutah was there to discuss with her.

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



They said they would

May 6th, 2014 9:15 am | By

As promised, fucking Boko Haram has grabbed more girls.

Of course it has. It’s easy. Soft targets. Villages of ordinary people; it’s dead easy to burst in with guns and grab a bunch of the girls. Anybody could do that at any time. But decent people don’t do that. We’re all soft targets; we don’t all prey on each other just because we can.

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped eight girls aged 12 to 15 from a village near one of their strongholds in northeast Nigeria overnight, police and residents said today.

“They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army colour. They started shooting in our village,” said Lazarus Musa, a resident of Warabe, where the attack happened.

So what could the people of Warabe do? Nothing. So the men with guns were able to grab the girls.

Homo homini lupus.

 

 

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



Magic cat

May 6th, 2014 8:33 am | By

This beautiful cat’s human takes the most beautiful pictures of him – and this one that he posted yesterday (the human, not the cat) I couldn’t stop gazing at. So I got permission to share the pleasure of it with you all.

The cat is Merlyn. The genius with the camera is Dave Richards.

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



It’s not tomorrow

May 6th, 2014 8:22 am | By

Climate change is already here and already messing things up.

Climate change has moved from distant threat to present-day danger and no American will be left unscathed, according to a landmark report due to be unveiled on Tuesday.

The National Climate Assessment, a 1,300-page report compiled by 300 leading scientists and experts, is meant to be the definitive account of the effects of climate change on the US. It will be formally released at a White House event and is expected to drive the remaining two years of Barack Obama’s environmental agenda.

Gary Yohe, an economist at Wesleyan University and vice-chair of the NCA advisory committee, said the US report would be unequivocal that the effects of climate change were occurring in real-time and were evident in every region of the country.

“One major take-home message is that just about every place in the country has observed that the climate has changed,” he told the Guardian. “It is here and happening, and we are not cherrypicking or fearmongering.”

But Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and the entire Republican party will say they are, just the same.

Some changes are already having a measurable effect on food production and public health, the report will say.

John Balbus, senior adviser at the National Institute of Environmenal Health Science and a lead author of the NCA report, said rising temperatures increased the risk of heat stroke and heat-related deaths.

Eugene Takle, convening lead author of the agriculture chapter of the NCA report, and director of the Climate Science programme at Iowa State University, said heatwaves and changes in rainfall had resulted in a levelling off in wheat and corn production and would eventually cause declines.

And elsewhere in the world…the real terror is the melting of Himalayan glaciers and thus the loss of irrigation from the great rivers those glaciers feed and thus famine in much of Asia.

The assessments are the American equivalent of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. This year’s report for the first time looks at what America has done to fight climate change or protect people from its consequences in the future.

Under an act of Congress the reports were supposed to be produced every four years, but no report was produced during George W Bush’s presidency.

Thud.

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



“By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace.”

May 5th, 2014 5:29 pm | By

New news: Boko Haram now says it’s planning to sell the schoolgirls “in the marketplace.”

Abubakar Shekau for the first time also claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction, warning that his group plans to attack more schools and abduct more girls.

“I abducted your girls,” said the leader of Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful.”

He described the girls as “slaves” and said, “By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace.” The hourlong video starts with fighters lifting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great.”

ABC News says it’s not clear when the video was made.

In the video, Shekau also said the students “will remain slaves with us.” That appears a reference to the ancient jihadi custom of enslaving women captured in a holy war, who then can be used for sex.

Holy shmoly. It’s an ancient Homeric custom, too, so what? It’s not “holy,” it’s just “we win so we get to take what we want.” It’s might makes right, it’s force majeure, it’s what bullies do.

“They are slaves and I will sell them because I have the market to sell them,” he said, speaking in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria.

And don’t forget: education is forbidden. Murder is not forbidden, kidnapping schoolgirls and selling them into slavery is not forbidden, it’s education that’s forbidden. Bullies forever.

The video was reviewed by The Associated Press, and both the face and the voice of the leader of Boko Haram were recognizable.

Shekau brushed off warnings that the abductions could be an international crime, saying in English, as if to reach his accusers in the international community: “What do you know about human rights? You’re just claiming human rights (abuses), but you don’t know what it is.”

Hmm. Shoe on the other foot, old bean.

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



The Holy See intends to focus

May 5th, 2014 4:36 pm | By

Hey remember the Catholic church? That pretends to be the source of truth and morality and true morality and moral truth? That Catholic church?

It’s been busy at the UN lately. Helping out? Offering assistance to victims of war and earthquakes? Knitting balaclavas for the homeless?

No. Trying to convince the committee against torture that it – the church – doesn’t have to enforce the UN convention against torture because it – the church, or rather the Vatican – has borders, and the convention is outside it.

That’s moral truth and true morality for you.

The Vatican has been given another hostile interrogation by a United Nations committee over its record on clerical sex abuse.

One member after another of the committee against torture brushed aside the Holy See’s argument that its obligation to enforce the UN convention against torture stopped at the boundaries of the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City state.

Pause to give close attention to that item. The “Holy See” is claiming that its obligation to enforce the UN convention against torture stops at the boundaries of the Vatican City state. It is acting like any CEO or Ponzi schemer or Mafia boss while pretending to be close to “God” and the source of all virtue.

The Holy See, which long predates the city state, is a sovereign entity without territory. It is as the Holy See that the Catholic leadership maintains diplomatic relations and signs treaties such as the convention against torture.

And gets to throw its weight around and fuck everything up in the name of its hateful god.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s UN ambassador in Geneva, told the committee: “The Holy See intends to focus exclusively on Vatican City state.”

The American expert on the committee, Felice Gaer, made plain her disagreement. She said the Holy See had to “show us that, as a party to the convention, you have a system in place to prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment when it is acquiesced to by anyone under the effective control of the officials of the Holy See and the institutions that operate in the Vatican City state”.

Talk about eating cake and having it – they want to have all the perks of being a state while also pretending not to be a state whenever being a state means they would have to do something they don’t want to do, like stop their people torturing children.

Gaer, the director of an American-Jewish human rights organisation, the Jacob Blaustein Institute, said the church’s doctrine on abortion was an area of legitimate concern for the committee. She called for the Vatican to comment on allegations that its blanket stigmatisation of abortion had led to nine-year-old girls being required to give birth.

In February, the Vatican reacted with outrage when another UN panel argued that children around the world were suffering from Catholic teachings, including those on abortion and birth control. The Vatican said comments by the committee on the rights of the child constituted an attack on religious freedom.

Ahhh fuck you, Vatican; you’re the bitter enemies of any kind of real freedom there is. You want freedom to do whatever you want to do while coercing everyone else. Priests on top! That’s not freedom, not even religious freedom.

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



Guest post by Salty Current on the “ceremonial” God

May 5th, 2014 4:16 pm | By

Originally a comment on Help keep God’s name in America!!

Apparently, [In God we trust] was named the national motto by Eisenhower in 1956. It was challenged in 1970 and the case made it to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The decision was very similar to today’s – it was fine because “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise….” They quoted an earlier decision: “Short of those expressly proscribed governmental acts there is room for play in the joints productive of a benevolent neutrality which will permit religious exercise to exist without sponsorship and without interference. …”

This is even worse than today’s given that it had been made the motto just 14 years prior (after a couple of centuries of “E pluribus unum” as the unofficial motto) and for what I understand was the express purpose of declaring the US a religious/theistic country in opposition to the godless Communists. That is in no way neutral and has quite a bit to do with the establishment of religion, as these wingnuts recognize.

But it also shares the same problem as the Greece decision: If the motto or the prayers are “merely ceremonial” or traditional exercises, the response to people’s reasonable sense of exclusion and their opposition to the practice would be to change or end their use. It would not be “Let’s take this to the highest courts!” The fact that these decisions are being made by high courts itself destroys the claim that we’re talking about mere ceremony or tradition.

 

 

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



Help keep God’s name in America!!

May 5th, 2014 12:01 pm | By

What the hell, let’s just go the whole hog, right? Why not join In God We Trust – America in their wholesome plan to get that “national motto” (whatever the fuck that is) plastered all over every public building in the country.

god

PROGRESS REPORT:

IN GOD WE TRUST~AMERICA continues to make exciting progress:

OUR NEW TOTAL – 349, “Yes Vote” cities and counties across America, now displaying our National Motto.

To view the update list. Click here.

featured1WE NEED YOUR HELP:  

JOIN THIS MISSION – HELP US KEEP GOD’S NAME IN AMERICA:  Is our National Motto displayed in your city and every city in your county??? We are asking Patriots like you, across America, to get involved with IN GOD WE TRUST~AMERICA.

We need volunteers to email our information to elected officials, in every city and county, in every state, in our country.

Yes!!! Let’s get together and force “God” on EVERYONE IN THE COUNTRY.

Or as I said almost three years ago, Who’s “we,” bub?

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



Majority privilege and the Supreme Court

May 5th, 2014 10:44 am | By

Naturally I hastened to Twitter to see what Ron Lindsay has to say about the ruling in Greece v Galloway – because Ron is both a lawyer and a philosopher, and much involved with legal issues to do with secularism. The first thing he had to say was “Damn.” Yes.

He went on to point out that 5 of 6 Christian justices saw no problem with Christian prayers, and added

SCOTUS decision in Town of Greece shows one is unlikely to be sensitive to oppression of majority religion when one is in the majority.

Yes, thought I. Exactly. Then I noticed something, and couldn’t resist saying it.

Those justices should check their privilege. (Both a joke and a bitter truth.)

It’s a rather complicated joke, but still a joke. I understand why many people get tired of slogans like “check your privilege”: slogans do have a strong tendency to be overused and peremptory – that’s what makes them slogans, after all. But all the same, the concept of privilege does point out something real and important, and Ron had just spelled it out.

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



Greece v Galloway

May 5th, 2014 10:20 am | By

So Kennedy sided with the four reactionaries and ruled that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month” who was almost always Christian. Why not? Because the prayers are “merely ceremonial.”

Excuse me, prayers delivered by a chaplain from the majority religion (or, in fact, any other religion, but this case is this case) are not “merely ceremonial.” That’s bullshit of the purest kind – calculated, insulting, unreasonable, unabashed.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in a 5-to-4 decision that divided the court’s more conservative members from its liberal ones, said the prayers were merely ceremonial. They were neither unduly sectarian nor likely to make members of other faiths feel unwelcome.

“Ceremonial prayer,” he wrote, “is but a recognition that, since this nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond that authority of government to alter or define.”

Many Americans can go right ahead and do that; all of us can do that if we so decide; it does not follow that the government should do that, nor is it even a good reason for the government to do that. In fact it’s the opposite: since the putative “precepts” are “far beyond that authority of government to alter or define” that authority of government should just stay the fuck out of it.

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the town’s practices could not be reconciled “with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share of her government.”

And it’s staggeringly insulting and alienating to ignore that fact.

Justice Kennedy said traditions starting with the first Congress supported the constitutionality of ceremonial prayers at the start of legislative sessions. He added that it would be perilous for courts to decide when those prayers crossed a constitutional line and became impermissibly sectarian.

Oh hey, I have a solution to that problem – DON’T HAVE ANY PRAYERS.

“To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian,” he wrote, “would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech, a rule that would involve government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing or approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact.”

So DON’T HAVE ANY PRAYERS.

Town officials had tried, [Kennedy] said, to recruit members of various faiths to offer prayers.

In dissent, Justice Kagan said they had not tried hard enough. “So month in and month out for over a decade,” she wrote, “prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits.”

In 1983, in Marsh v. Chambers, the Supreme Court upheld the Nebraska Legislature’s practice of opening its legislative sessions with an invocation from a paid Presbyterian minister, saying that such ceremonies were “deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country.”

Justice Kagan, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, said the case from Greece was different. The prayers at the town board meetings were often explicitly sectarian, they said, and residents were forced to listen to them in order to participate in local government.

“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian – constantly and exclusively so,” she wrote in her dissent in the case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, No. 12-696.

Moreover, she said, the clergy “put some residents to the unenviable choice of either pretending to pray like the majority or declining to join its communal activity, at the very moment of petitioning their elected leaders.”

It’s theocracy. It’s theocracy-lite, certainly, but it’s still theocracy.

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



TentEd

May 5th, 2014 9:21 am | By

Here’s a good cause, in case you were looking for one. It comes recommended by Digital Cuttlefish.

Help raise $27,000 in 60 days!

Contributions will be used quickly to purchase school materials and supplies for the educators and students in Domiz and Gawilan refugee camps. These purchases will be made locally to stimulate the surrounding economy. These seemingly “minor” needs, when left unmet, add up to a significant negative impact on the quality of education that each boy and girl receives. No child should have to go to class without school supplies and no teacher should have to teach students without adequate tools. Based on our experience in the refugee camps and our study of the crisis, we are convinced that there is an urgent need for a small, nimble team that can quickly assess specific education needs in the camps and rapidly meet them. TentEd is that team.

With so many big organizations already doing heroic work on the ground, why contribute to TentEd? Why not just support the big players? After all, they have long track records of success, experienced and dedicated staff, and a strong understanding of the refugee populations and their needs. We could not agree more. But here is one key distinction for you to consider: TentEd is NOT looking to duplicate work that is already being done. Our goal is to complement the efforts of the established organizations and meet a set of narrowly defined needs that are best suited for a small flexible team to address, not a big bureaucracy.

We at TentEd see ourselves as a small but essential part of a larger effort, an effort requiring gears of all sizes to effectively provide real and lasting support to a vital cause. When you donate to TentEd, we guarantee that your generosity goes directly into a classroom. The impact will be immediate.

Plan of Action

Our plan is straightforward. We intend to:

  1. Raise $27,000 over the next 60 days ending on June 10 – with your help!
  1. Visit Domiz and Gawilan refugee camps in northern Iraq in mid-June (regular classes and catch-up classes are ongoing year-round) to interview government officials, aid workers, school principals, students and camp leaders.
  1. Quickly assess and catalog basic education needs such as backpacks, notebooks, teaching aids and minor classroom repairs.
  1. Rapidly purchase the needed supplies locally to increase impact while helping stimulate the surrounding economy.
  1. Immediately distribute the supplies in collaboration with camp officials and leaders to ensure they go to the appropriate students.

- See more at: http://www.epic-usa.org/tented_mission/#sthash.nBD2uYAY.dpuf

There’s a DONATE button at the end.

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



Thank you Lord!

May 5th, 2014 8:45 am | By

Dayum. Why did no one tell me about Mrs Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?

From Mrs Betty Bowers:

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



Nigerian police arrest…a protest leader

May 5th, 2014 8:20 am | By

Yes that’s right. Nigerian police arrest not a kidnapper or an army of kidnappers; not a Boko Haram bigwig; a protest leader. Why? Because the kidnapped girls are not really her daughters. She said they were her daughters! They’re not! Bust her!

A source in the presidency said Naomi Mutah Nyadar had been detained over allegations of falsely claiming to be the mother of one of the missing girls.

Nyadar was arrested on Sunday after a meeting she and other campaigners had held with President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, concerning the girls.

She was taken to Asokoro police station, near the presidential villa, said fellow protester Lawan Abana, whose two nieces are among the abductees.

“Ms Naomi was arrested yesterday evening,” he told Reuters. “We are begging them to save our daughters. Instead of taking steps to rescue them they are jailing us.”

The presidency source said: “[Nyadar] was arrested because of impersonation. She claimed that she was one of the girls’ mothers, so she’s just being questioned by the police.”

………………………..Why? For what purpose? To what end?

Anyway it’s not even true.

Abana denied Nyadar had made any such claim.

“They are claiming it is a hoax and that her daughter was not abducted. But when we say ‘bring back our daughters’ the campaign means it in the broader sense of ‘daughters of Nigeria’,” Abana said. “They are so clueless.”

I think I see how this works. If the enslaved girls are not your actual literal daughters, then their enslavement is nothing to do with you and none of your business. That means only a few hundred people have any right to reproach the Nigerian government, and a few hundred people can easily be ignored.

Yeah dream on Nigeria. THEY ARE ALL OUR DAUGHTERS. All of them and all of us. They’re all our daughters and sisters. Daughters of Nigeria, sisters of Nigeria, and daughters and sisters of the world.

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



Saratu’s father fainted

May 4th, 2014 4:58 pm | By

I read the Guardian article again (I read it the first time a few days ago when I did a post about it) and I don’t think the Guardian is being euphemistic here. The way the story is set up, the news that the girls “are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants” was taken very hard – the news was worse than they were hoping, not better. I assumed that was because 1. it confirmed they were being raped (but there can’t have been much doubt of that in any case) and 2. it meant they were all the more firmly trapped.

Let’s look at it again.

For two weeks, retired teacher Samson Dawah prayed for news of his niece Saratu, who was among more than 230 schoolgirls snatched by Boko Haram militants in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok. Then on Monday the agonising silence was broken.

When Dawah called together his extended family members to give an update, he asked that the most elderly not attend, fearing they would not be able to cope with what he had to say. “We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants,” Dawah told his relatives.

Saratu’s father fainted; he has since been in hospital. The women of the family have barely eaten. “My wife keeps asking me, why isn’t the government deploying every means to find our children,” Dawah said.

See? The news was so bad he asked the oldest relatives to stay away, lest it break them. Saratu’s father fainted, and was hospitalized. The women aren’t eating. The news that there had been mass marriages was taken very hard. It wasn’t better news than they’d hoped, it was worse. I don’t take the Guardian to be prettying things up here.

Reports of the mass marriage came from a group that meets at dawn each day not far from the charred remains of the school. The ragtag gathering of fathers, uncles, cousins and nephews pool money for fuel before venturing unarmed into the thick forest, or into border towns that the militants have terrorised for months.

Again, I don’t take that to be “they’ve been married” as a euphemism for “they’re being raped” but a report of what has been reported.

On Sunday, the searchers were told that the students had been divided into at least three groups, according to farmers and villagers who had seen truckloads of girls moving around the area. One farmer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the insurgents had paid leaders dowries and fired celebratory gunshots for several minutes after conducting mass wedding ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s unbearable. Our wives have grown bitter and cry all day. The abduction of our children and the news of them being married off is like hearing of the return of the slave trade,” said Yakubu Ubalala, whose 17- and 18-year-old daughters Kulu and Maimuna are among the disappeared.

That’s not prettied up. It’s awful. They’ve been handed out into formal official slavery via marriage. It’s terrible news, and the Guardian presents it as such.

The kidnappings have sparked debate on whether foreign intervention could help stabilise Nigeria. Officials have long ruled out such a move.

The kidnappings, you see, which have resulted in forced unwanted rapey “marriages.” I don’t see the Guardian as saying anything different.

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



Oh sorry, that was about cartoons

May 4th, 2014 11:51 am | By

Maajid Nawaz is furious at the Guardian for the way it worded its reporting on the kidnapped and enslaved Nigerian schoolgirls.

maajidMaajid Nawaz @MaajidNawaz May 1

Typical. @Guardian uses “mass marriage” instead of “rape” describing jihadist enslavement of 230 Nigerian schoolgirls.

The 230 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by jihadist terrorists Boko Haram, forcibly turned into ‘brides’ ie: raped

maajid2

Furious. @guardian cannot even call it enslavement & rape but calls it “mass marriage”? Has our cultural relativity gone that far?

He’s also furious about comparative outrage.

maajid3Maajid Nawaz @MaajidNawaz May 3

Kidnapping,enslavement&mass rape of 230 Nigerian schoolgirls by jihadist Boko Haram led to worldwide riots..oh sorry,that was about cartoons

Zing. Yeah.

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



Labels at a distance

May 4th, 2014 11:00 am | By

Proshant at Nirmukta talks about the label “hate hag” currently trendy in India.

The term ‘hate hag’, used to describe “women supporters of Narendra Modi” in an Outlook Magazine article recently gained currency, especially on social media…

In this essay I critique the term ‘hate hag’ through three broad arguments: first, I argue the term ‘hate hag’ is inherently sexist and misogynistic, and in using the term to ‘shame’ women because of their political ideology, we reinstate another form of a the medieval witch-hunt. Second, I look at the irreconcilable contradictions in the ‘women’s question’ and the Political Right, especially in light of the Janus-faced patriarchy that the BJP and the Sangh Parivaar represent. Here I underscore the role played by real, symbolic and semiotic violence that is directed against women’s bodies and ‘honour’. Finally, I present the idea that the term ‘hate hag’ conforms to the same form of semiotic violence that the Political Right and conservatives use to ‘shame’ women to reaffirm a patriarchal politics. This, I argue, is creates the Orwellian Woman as the ‘other’—that is, the notion that “some women are more equal than other women”, when it comes to being objects of such attacks.

It’s a loaded word. “Hag” is just one of the many many many words used to work up hatred of women.

By underscoring the ‘internal/external’ ugliness (of women), people who support the term are supporting a perverted logic that assigns ‘value’ on womanhood based on a notion of beauty/ugliness and purity/pollution. This underscores an important point about the insidious function of discipline/punish that’s embedded in the notion of shame and honour (I will discuss this point in detail in the concluding segment).

Then there’s a tweet quoted -

And the term hate hag is not about external ugliness of these women. It is about their internal ugliness.

Of course it is; that’s a standard reply. “I called you ugly because you’re ugly inside.” Uh huh.

Misogynistic labels are global; what a cheerful thought.

 

 

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



Finally paying attention

May 4th, 2014 10:01 am | By

Nick Cohen points out – as I’ve been pointing out – that the Nigerian schoolgirls haven’t been kidnapped but enslaved. They weren’t just yanked away to be hostages or bargining chips or shields, but to be sexual slaves and, no doubt, labor slaves as well.

A desire for sexual supremacy accompanies their loathing of knowledge. They take 220 schoolgirls as slaves and force them to convert to their version of Islam. They either rape them or sell them on for £10 or so to new masters. The girls are the victims of slavery, child abuse and forced marriage. Their captors are by extension slavers and rapists.

As you can see, English does not lack plain words to describe the foulness of the crimes in Nigeria, and no doubt they would be used in the highly improbable event of western soldiers seizing and selling women.

And now, according to AFP, Goodluck Jonathan is finally doing more than handwaving. Global pressure works, people!

Anger at the government’s ineffectual response has fuelled protests at home and abroad, including in New York where dozens of Nigerians staged a protest march on Saturday demanding action to free the children.

Mr Jonathan held closed-door talks with military and security service chiefs as well as senior officials, Borno state’s governor and police chief, and the head of the school in Chibok where the girls were seized, Reuben Abati told reporters.

Under pressure over the mass abduction, it was the first time the Nigerian leader brought together all key players involved in the search.

“The president has given very clear directives that everything must be done to ensure that these girls must be brought back to safety,” Mr Abati said.

Until now Mr Jonathan had only conferred with his security chiefs.

Good; now hurry up.

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



Late night, alcoholism, punching down

May 4th, 2014 8:54 am | By

It’s bad news for insomniacs, you know, Craig Ferguson’s divorce from The Late Late Show. I’ve never watched any of the other – the normal – late shows, but if I had an attack of the wide-awakes then Craig Ferguson was just the ticket.

Slate says some of why (although much of my why is somewhat different):

Still, this is bad news for fans of late night television. It’s even bad news for haters of late night television: Ferguson was an irreverent genius, a consistent and consistently surprising comic who took the genre’s tiresome format and threw it out the window. He had no in-house band. He had no in-house announcer. His co-host was a robot. His monologues eschewed weak and easy one-liners, focusing instead on anecdotal digressions and slice-of-life observations. Above all, his Late Late Show was informed by a unique kindness, vulnerability, and sense of perspective. Never was that more evident than in one of his best openings, when he refused to skewer Britney Spears and other embattled celebrities given his own struggles with alcoholism and depression.

Ok so I watched the clip, all 12 minutes of it, which dates from February 20 2007, before I was aware of him. (He’s lost a lot of the accent since then.) It’s pretty damn good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGLzpt3caHw

 

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



A printing error by an external company

May 4th, 2014 8:10 am | By

The University of East London’s Islamic Society is attempting the “you are victimizing us” ploy, after UEL canceled a gender-segregated Isoc event in mid-April, according to the Newham Recorder.

The University of East London’s Isoc claimed the segregation, which would have meant separate seating for men and women, was advertised by mistake due to a printing error by an external company.

However, it defended the policy on its Twitter feed with the hashtag “SegregationIsNotHate”, and said the hastily re-arranged April 17 dinner went ahead in a North London mosque with segregated seating.

An Isoc spokesman said: “We are very disappointed that the university did a U-turn less than 24 hours prior to the event.

“They listened to external right-wing groups rather then listen to their own students.”

Right-wing? Really? Peter Tatchell?

In any case what’s Isoc doing complaining of right-wing groups? Isoc is right-wing itself. Islamism is right-wing; gender segregation is right-wing; theocracy is right-wing.

He added: “It’s a sad day when a university with one of the highest proportion of Muslim students begins to victimise them.”

That assumes that all Muslim students are Islamists, which is very unlikely to be the case. The two words are not interchangeable.

Dusty Amroliwala, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UEL, said: “I reject any idea that we are ‘victimising’ or ‘unfairly scrutinising’ the Society. UEL has a proud record of defending democracy, promoting free speech and intellectual curiosity.

“But we cannot allow enforced segregation at lectures, nor can we offer a public platform to speakers who are known to preach extreme messages that could constitute a hate crime.”

He added: “We would have come to the same conclusion had this been any another society, religious or otherwise, where the circumstances had been the same.”

UEL was also concerned about speaker Murtaza Khan, who has been filmed referring to “filthy non-Muslim doctors”, but approved his attendance after he apologised for the remarks, which he called “damaging to community relations”.

Oh shut up. Drop the bureaucratic waffle and tell the truth – talking about people that way is a blatant attempt to foment hatred and ultimately violence. Imagine a Christianist ranting about “filthy Muslim doctors” and maybe the point will become clearer. “Damaging to community relations” is a grotesque understatement.

However, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell alerted UEL to another video that shows Mr Khan saying homosexuals should be killed.

Mr Amroliwala said: “The suggestion that certain groups of people should be thrown off a mountain or stoned is language that incites hatred and cannot be condoned.

“The only reasonable and appropriate decision was to withdraw the university’s facilities from being used to support this event.”

In other words, it’s not UEL doing the victimizing here.

 

 

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



Did he get his law degree at Walmart?

May 3rd, 2014 6:31 pm | By

The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore – a guy you would expect to know something about the Constitution, given his job – says the First Amendment protects only Christians.

Speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us.

“They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship,” he continued. “Let’s get real, let’s go back and learn our history. Let’s stop playing games.”

Games? What games would those be? The First Amendment says what it says, not something else. I didn’t make that up. I’m not playing games.

Roy Moore? Meet the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

See there? It doesn’t say Christian or Christianity. It says “of religion.” That would include Buddhism and Islam, whatever Roy Moore may choose to tell the fetus-huggers of Mississippi.

e then noted that he loves talking to lawyers, because he is a lawyer who went to “a secular law school,” so he knows that “in the law, [talking about God] just isn’t politically correct.” He claimed that this is why America has “lost its way,” and that he would be publishing a pamphlet “this week, maybe next” that contained copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, thereby proving that all the people “who found this nation — black, white, all people, all religions, all faiths” knew that America was “about God.”

All religions, all faiths? But you just said – oh never mind.

 

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