Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Simply Reckless

Aug 5th, 2014 4:38 pm | By

Let’s take a look at the American Enterprise Institute. Let’s see what SourceWatch has to say.

Controversies and Claims

Minimum Wage Hikes “Simply Reckless”

AEI scholars caution against legislation raising the minimum wage “for the sake of low-wage workers,” claiming that mandating a higher wage increases the cost of employment and will therefore leave fewer jobs. In one article, AEI resident scholar Michael R. Strain called Seattle’s initiative to increase the city’s wage requirements “simply reckless.”[16]

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform “Disastrously Wrong Response”

AEI has spoken out against the financial system regulations created under the Dodd-Frank Act. In an article, AEI scholar Peter J. Wallison claimed that the 2008 financial crisis, which led to the legislation, “was not caused by

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Londoners and near-byers

Aug 5th, 2014 2:41 pm | By

Don’t forget this, people in London and vicinity – and Edinburgh and Stockholm if you’re up for making a trip at the last minute – Bernard Hurley’s talk on “How to Make Enemies and Alienate People – the Philosophy of Offensive and Inappropriate Language.”

It’s at the Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross Street, NW1 2HR London.

The growth of social media has given an unprecedented opportunity for those who wish to gratuitously offend to actually do so but it has also given an opportunity for those who wish to take offence at mere criticism to express such offence. It’s clear that someone who uses offensive language is doing more than just conveying information, but what exactly are they doing? The job

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The downfall of a skeptoid

Aug 5th, 2014 11:47 am | By

Rebecca tells us that Brian Dunning has been sentenced at last – 15 months in the slammer.

This is great news for the skeptic community at large, since it may be a long enough sentence for Dunning to fade from memory and stop publicly representing the very people who are supposedly trying to stop people from defrauding others.

It’s not a good look, is it, having a big Name skeptic turn out to have been committing fraud on a large scale.

Meanwhile, this case had brought to light an actual skeptical activist who appears to be smart, hilarious, and actually effective at stopping frauds: Assistant United States Attorney David R. Callaway. In the government’s sentencing recommendation to the court last

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Religious freedom functions like a giant get-out-of-reality-free card

Aug 5th, 2014 11:20 am | By

Katha Pollitt at The Nation says pleasingly harsh things about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

RFRA, which required laws infringing on religious convictions to meet the “strict scrutiny” test, was overkill. There were other ways to protect Native Americans’ right to use peyote in religious ceremonies. The church could have asked the State Legislature for an exemption; after all, during Prohibition, the Catholic Church was allowed to use wine in the Mass. Or—but now I’m really dreaming—workers could have been given legal protection from losing their jobs for minor lawbreaking outside the workplace. I mean, peyote! Come on. But no, for some reason, there had to be a sweeping, feel-good, come-to-Jesus moment uniting left and right.

“The power of

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You can’t “own it” if it’s not yours to begin with

Aug 5th, 2014 10:24 am | By

David Futrelle points out another example of this horrible illegitimate trick of making up nasty quotations and attributing them to The Enemy.

A Voice for Men’s “social media director” Janet Bloomfield is proving to be quite the innovator in the world of public relations. You may recall her cheeky approach to publicizing the recent AVFM conference, which involved awarding herself “whore points” for calling critics of AVFM “whores.”

Now she’s moved on to straight-up libel, making up fake quotes in order to make feminist writer Jessica Valenti look bad, and then bragging about it on her blog.

That. No. That’s wrong; that’s a bad, dishonest, unfair, shitty thing to do.

This whole sordid episode began several days ago when Valenti,

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In a fair world he would get it

Aug 5th, 2014 9:30 am | By

Oh, no. Salon reports:

During an interview published on Friday by Israel HaYom, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israeli daily, public intellectual and author Ayan Hirsi Ali claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for waging the ongoing military campaign by the IDF against Hamas militants in Gaza.

Asked whom she admired, Ali — who once called Islam a “nihilistic cult of death” — included Netanyahu on a list featuring her husband, Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, as well as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Princeton professor Bernard Lewis. Ali said she admired Netanyahu “[b]ecause he is under so much pressure, from so many sources, and yet he does what is best

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A substantial weakening of Catholic identity

Aug 4th, 2014 6:09 pm | By

Another squalid rant from the people behind “The Sycamore Project,” whose one and only concern in life appears to be making everything more and more and more Catholic.

The Vagina Monologues controversy was an unmistakable signal that something fundamental had changed within the University.

In a series of open letters several distinguished faculty members have cited the faculty’s determined support of the play, together with Father Jenkins’ consequent change of mind, as evidence of a substantial weakening of Catholic identity.

It is not only the radical clash of the play with Catholic teaching and culture that is implicated, but also the absence of any evident engagement by the University with the Church’s central document on academic freedom in a Catholic

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At last!

Aug 4th, 2014 5:53 pm | By

Oh look! Hiba is here at last! We’ve been waiting for months and months. (It was because the redesign took time, and it made no sense to do the work of adding new blogs only to have to re-do them soon after. It wasn’t any other kind of reason.)

And hello, readers! I’m excited and delighted to be a new Freethought Blogger! Too many wonderful writers I’m too excited to work alongside to count, especially the ex-Muslims. May I say how wonderful and wise it is that the secular community is expanding to give space to valuable ex-Muslim voices. It’s been a long journey to get here. For those of you who know me from the original Between A Veil

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Saving the soul of Notre Dame

Aug 4th, 2014 4:16 pm | By

Wo. There’s a thing called Project Sycamore. Its project is to rescue Notre Dame University from the dreaded

brace yourselves

secularism.

It explains about the project in more detail on the secularization page.

The University should not compromise its academic aspirations in its efforts to maintain its Catholic identity.

Notre Dame Faculty Senate
April 9, 2008

The fading of the Catholic presence on the Notre Dame faculty is the most important issue bearing on the increasing secularization of the school.

Accordingly, we discuss it in detail elsewhere on this web site, where we list the most important sources upon which we base our analysis. Here, we provide a brief overview:

History demonstrates that the secularization of a religious

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Because of Notre Dame’s adherence to Catholic teaching

Aug 4th, 2014 3:27 pm | By

MSNBC considers the future under the shadow of Hobby Lobby.

Laura Grieneisen and Liz Miller have a lot in common. Both are graduate students in biology at the University of Notre Dame, where they share an office, a lab, and a research focus. Their work on bacteria in baboons takes them to Kenya for months on end.

Each wants to prevent pregnancy. Each was told by her doctor that her long stretches in the field would make her an excellent candidate for an intrauterine device, or the IUD.

That’s where their paths diverged.

Grieneisen was able to stay on her parents’ plan under the Affordable Care Act through age 26, so she got her IUD at no extra charge, just

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Never said it

Aug 4th, 2014 12:41 pm | By

And on the other hand, there’s yet more of the fake meme bullshit directed at Dawkins himself. That is not ok.

@RichardDawkins Curious if this is your actual quote as there is a debate among friends as to its accuracy. Thank you

The quotation in the photo reads:

People are brainwashed into believing that human procreation is some kind of altruistic ideal full of love and kindness. When really it is nothing but a selfish, narcissistic urge in a vain and stupid attempt to perpetuate ones [sic] genes.

His reply on Twitter was:

I never said it, or anything like it. I just Googled it and found it on an anonymous FB page. How did it get attached to me?

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What Hitchens said

Aug 4th, 2014 12:28 pm | By

I find myself having to disagree with something Richard Dawkins said on Twitter, again.

In reverse order, so in chronological order:

Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins · 6h
‘If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings, I say, “Well I’m still waiting to hear what your point is”.’ Christopher Hitchens.

‘I’m very depressed how in this country you can be told “That’s offensive” as though those two words constitute an argument.’ C. Hitchens.

@mharrelson79 I have no wish, nor did he have, to hurt people’s feelings. He simply meant feelings don’t constitute a logical argument.

The last tweet, which was in reply to the question “do you, personally, respond with such a disregard of someone’s feelings? Or are you Read the rest

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The impossible dream

Aug 4th, 2014 11:01 am | By

Oh yes, this is a permanent wish / gripe / dissent of mine – Robert Reich’s suggestion that we Just Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society. Well yes. Teachers, farmers, people who clean hospitals and hotels and schools, bus drivers, garbage collectors, as opposed to people who massage money or market harmful shit or sell cigarettes.

What someone is paid has little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society.

Does anyone seriously believe hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the  $2.3 billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a $1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?

On the other hand,

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The withdrawing room 2

Aug 4th, 2014 10:35 am | By

Time explains today’s Google doodle celebrating the 180th birthday of John Venn.

Correlation has never looked this cute. Google created an interactive illustration in honor of the 180th birthday of logician and philosopher John Venn — best known, of course, for inventing the circles known as the Venn diagram. The doodle allows you to choose from five different subjects (mammals and sea life, for example) along with five descriptors (thrives in cold, has wings, etc.) and then see the resulting correlation. 

I’ve been playing with it, with much amusement.

Venn’s 180th.Read the rest

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An increase of 158 in 4 days

Aug 4th, 2014 10:20 am | By

The WHO reports new numbers on the Ebola outbreak.

The World Health Organization says the death toll from the worst outbreak of Ebola on record has reached 887.

That’s an increase of 158 since the global health body released figures on July 31.

WHO said in a statement on Monday that there now have been more than 1,600 cases of Ebola since the disease emerged in Guinea earlier this year.

According to WHO, there now have been a total of 358 deaths in Guinea, 255 deaths in Liberia, 273 deaths in Sierra Leone and one in Nigeria.

The news comes as Nigeria announced Monday that it now had confirmed a second case in Africa’s most populous nation. Health Minister

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To the closeted atheists, you are not alone

Aug 3rd, 2014 6:21 pm | By

The BBC has discovered American Atheists.

Atheists in the US are rallying together, launching a new TV programme and providing support for those who go public with their beliefs.

“Sometimes things need to be said, and fights need to be fought even if they are unpopular. To the closeted atheists, you are not alone, and you deserve equality.”

So goes the rousing speech from the American Atheists president, David Silverman, in the opening moments of the first US television broadcaster dedicated to those who do not believe in God, Atheist TV.

A series of testimonies from prominent atheists then follows.

“It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life and I completely advocate people ‘coming out’,”

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Some tortoise

Aug 3rd, 2014 5:39 pm | By

The cops in Alhambra, California nabbed a tortoise yesterday. They told us about it on their Facebook page, in hopes of reuniting tortoise with human or humans.

It wasn’t your dime-store tortoise.

It has a sweet face. As tortoises do.

It’s back with its people now, and we know its name.

* * * Turtleman Update 08/03/14* * *

The tortoise is actually named “Dirk.” He has been reunited with his human family who actually live in Alhambra. According to 21310 of the Penal Code, it is illegal to possess a “dirk.” We enjoy keeping families together, so an exception was made in this case.
* * * We stand corrected and have edited this post at 4:30 pm*

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As the stag calms down

Aug 3rd, 2014 5:14 pm | By

Interesting.

Aug. 1, 2014 – A study of 1,400 ancient and modern human skulls suggests that a reduction in testosterone hormone levels accompanied the development of cooperation, complex communication and modern culture some 50,000 years ago.

The research, published in today’s issue of the journal Current Anthropology, “uses craniofacial evidence to propose that lowered testosterone levels could explain the relatively sudden origin of modern behavior about 50,000 years ago,” says University of Utah biology graduate student Robert Cieri.

The idea being – to put it as crudely as possible – that lower testosterone would lead to less bashing over the head and more dialogue.

“Humans are uniquely able to communicate complex thoughts and cooperate even with strangers,” Cieri says.

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More brawling

Aug 3rd, 2014 4:27 pm | By

It’s good to see that everyone sees the point of the joint statement and has decided to avoid the more childish ways of responding to disagreements like attacks on appearance and photoshops and caricatures and similar. Well maybe not quite everyone…

Haw haw.… Read the rest

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Lifestyles of the rich archbishops

Aug 3rd, 2014 12:46 pm | By

CNN notes that being a big noise in the Catholic church provides some pretty comfortable lodgings.

There’s Timothy Dolan’s cottage on Madison Avenue, for instance.

From Google

It’s 15,000 square feet. He squeezes into it with three other priests. Not too shabby, is it.

The one in Chicago for Cardinal Francis George is even nicer.

This mansion has 19 chimneys and sits on 1.7 acres of prime real estate in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood. It’s worth $14.3 million “as is,” but the property could fetch far more, appraisers told CNN.

George, whose private quarters occupy the mansion’s top two floors, according to the archdiocese, shares the residence with two bishops and a priest.

Three nuns who care for

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