Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Two dud beacons

Nov 26th, 2014 12:34 pm | By

The US is very far from being a beacon of human rights, and so is China.

Seven university students linked to jailed Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti have reportedly gone on trial in China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang.

Tohti was sentenced to life imprisonment in September for separatism and fanning ethnic tensions.

The students are accused of contributing to a website run by Tohti on Uighurs.

Human rights? Not in evidence.

The BBC’s Celia Hatton in Beijing says the trial is so secret that even the Xinjiang court will not confirm the proceedings.

Tohti’s lawyer, Li Fangping, told the BBC that the students contributed to Uighur Online, a now defunct website run by their teacher that promoted discussion between Uighurs

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

To question America’s credentials as a human rights champion

Nov 26th, 2014 12:00 pm | By

The BBC reports on the global media response to the Ferguson protests and their cause.

There has been enormous headline reaction in the world’s media to the Ferguson protests, and many commentators have taken the opportunity to question America’s credentials as a human rights champion.

European papers highlight inequalities in American society, and a South African commentator sees echoes of his country’s own grim racial history.

Well yes. Of course they do, of course they have – because it’s true. As I’ve pointed out before, the US is an outlier among developed democracies in a whole shocking slew of ways. We suck on universal provision of health care, we imprison a shamefully huge fraction of our population, we have a … Read the rest

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

Ghomeshi has to live with his mother

Nov 26th, 2014 11:33 am | By

Jian Ghomeshi has been arrested. The CBC – his former employer – reports:

Former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi was granted bail today during a court appearance in Toronto to face four sexual assault charges, among the five he faces.

Ghomeshi’s bail was set at $100,000. He must live with his mother and stay in Canada.

The charges come several weeks after he was fired by CBC.

Ghomeshi, 47, surrendered to police on Wednesday morning and was formally charged under the Criminal Code with four counts of sexual assault and one of overcome resistance – choking.

I hope Julien Blanc is paying close attention.

Toronto police Chief Bill Blair said he could not shed any more light on the

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No polio vaccination for you and you and you

Nov 26th, 2014 10:49 am | By

News from Baluchistan Province – yet again men with guns have murdered polio workers in a region where polio is endemic.

Pakistan is one of three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio remains endemic. But even as Nigeria has managed to halt any rise in new cases, the virus has spread at alarming rates in Pakistan, with 260 new cases reported so far this year, compared with 64 at the same point in 2013, according to Global Polio Eradication Initiative statistics.

Two hundred sixty – I didn’t know that. That’s appalling. Polio is a horrible disease.

Immunization workers have repeatedly come under fire by Pakistani militants, and that appeared to be the case again

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

The Most Important Things consultants on the job

Nov 25th, 2014 5:56 pm | By

So Team We Hate Feminism is pleased that Dawkins withdrew his apology for Dear Muslima by telling Kimberly Winston that he gets impatient with American women who talk about things that he considers trivial instead of about women being stoned to death in Iran. Team We Hate Feminism wants more of that kind of thing. Team We Hate Feminism thinks it’s worthwhile to summon other Team Members, or rather Thought Leaders, to chortle over more of that kind of thing. Team We Hate Feminism can’t see a tweet about contempt for women in Turkey without making it a rebuke of feminists who have the gall to talk about sexist culture in STEM fields.

Ryan J Holder ‏@RyanJamesHolder Nov 24

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“That would have been great”

Nov 25th, 2014 5:08 pm | By

A friend on Facebook recommended this segment of The Newsroom and someone else found the link and I see why the friend recommended it.

The Jeff Daniels character interviews an EPA guy, who says it’s too late.

// the rest

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Guest post: A meta-history lesson on states’ rights

Nov 25th, 2014 1:35 pm | By

Originally a comment by freedmenspatrol on Guest post: A history lesson on states’ rights.

Kongstad, you’re dead on about neo-confederates and the actual confederates alike. The level of blatant hypocrisy in period texts about the issue gets pretty extreme.

When South Carolina finally staged the counterrevolution that it had threatened in one form or another for decades, they published a list of reasons for it. The document included this complaint:

The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an

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The pope rebukes Europe for not being hawt

Nov 25th, 2014 1:12 pm | By

Huh. Pope Cuddly went to Strasbourg to scold Europe for being too old and ugly.

Jeez. What about Mesopotamia?! What about the Rift Valley?!! Older and much older, so nyah.

Besides, does Mr Cuddly think he’s another Justin Bieber?

Pope Francis has warned that the world sees Europe as “somewhat elderly and haggard” during a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“Warned”? What does Mr Cuddly expect Europe to do about it? Botox? The knife?

At the European Parliament, he spoke of a need to reinvigorate Europe, describing the continent as a “grandmother, no longer fertile and vibrant” and saying it risked “slowly losing its own soul”.

Ooooooooh, that’s harsh. Why doesn’t he just call Europe a witch … Read the rest

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Where all the homicides are justifiable

Nov 25th, 2014 10:47 am | By

Jamelle Bouie at Slate explains why “the simple fact is that the police can kill for almost any reason with little fear of criminal charges.”

It’s extremely rare for a police officer to face an indictment for a shooting, much less criminal punishment. “The FBI reported 410 justifiable homicides by law enforcement in 2012,” noted Talking Points Memo in an August story following the events in Ferguson, “The number of indictments appear to be minimal after a TPM review of available press reports.” And it’s not just shootings; earlier this year, Georgia police mistakenly raided a home and seriously injured a young child. Prosecutors convened a grand jury, and the grand jury voted against an indictment. “The drug investigation that

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What Frederick Douglass saw

Nov 25th, 2014 10:17 am | By

We read a couple of passages from Frederick Douglass’s Narrative recently. Let’s read some more from Frederick Douglass today.

Mr. Hopkins remained but a short time in the office of overseer. Why his career was so short, I do not know, but suppose he lacked the necessary severity to suit Colonel Lloyd. Mr. Hopkins was succeeded by Mr. Austin Gore, a man possessing, in an eminent degree, all those traits of character indispensable to what is called a first-rate overseer. Mr. Gore had served Colonel Lloyd, in the capacity of overseer, upon one of the out-farms, and had shown himself worthy of the high station of overseer upon the home or Great House Farm.

Mr. Gore was proud, ambitious, and

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Not appropriate to give explicit guidance on how to achieve discrimination

Nov 24th, 2014 6:08 pm | By

The Lawyers’ Secular Society on the Law Society’s withdrawal of its sharia guidance.

The Law Society has sent the LSS a letter which says:

We have reviewed our practice note on Sharia succession principles following your feedback, and that of our members and other stakeholders. Following this review, we have withdrawn the note and it will no longer be available through our website. We have no plans to amend or replace the note.

We are mindful of the criticism we received and we apologise.

You can read the full letter from the Law Society here and you can see their press release here.

Very good.

The sharia guidance contained provisions, at section 3.6, which explicitly discriminated against women,

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Guest post: A history lesson on states’ rights

Nov 24th, 2014 5:48 pm | By

Originally a comment by Al Dente on Locke, Montesquieu and Moses.

The slavery issue was a major part of states rights.

In the decades preceding the civil war the states rights issue hung over the nation like a sword. The doctrine held that certain rights and powers remained as part of the sovereignty of individual states and that the exercise of that sovereignty lay in the will of the states’ citizens. Through elected officials the citizenry bestowed certain powers to the federal government such as conducting diplomacy and declaring war. But the states had powers denied to the federal government.

In the antebellum years authority granted the federal government by the Constitution was held to be vague and differing … Read the rest

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Good-bye sharia wills practice note!

Nov 24th, 2014 5:20 pm | By

Maryam posted a press release – with good news.


One Law for All, Southall Black Sisters, the Centre for Secular Space, Nari Diganta and the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation have welcomed the Law Society’s withdrawal of their sharia wills practice note.

The practice note advised solicitors on how to draw up ‘Sharia-compliant’ wills, stating that

“… illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs … The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir … Non-Muslims may not inherit at all … a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir…” 

The ensuing campaign organised by women’s rights advocates Pragna Patel, Maryam Namazie, Gita Sahgal, Yasmin Rehman, Dianna Nammi, Rumana … Read the rest

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Amid this orgy of self-congratulation

Nov 24th, 2014 4:48 pm | By

Helen Lewis is pessimistic about the culture wars.

If today’s tech giants can be said to have an ideology, it is the promotion of unfettered free speech. Social media companies trumpet how pro-democracy protesters use their networks to oppose repressive governments. Celebrities are warned of the “Streisand effect” of trying to suppress unflattering information about them, and creating more publicity in the process. Twitter’s former general counsel once described the company as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party”.

But amid this orgy of self-congratulation, there is one rarely mentioned fact: one person’s free speech can come at the cost of another’s. This is the kernel at the heart of so many harassment cases: the stalker will insist, with

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Too young to survive as an orphan

Nov 24th, 2014 4:07 pm | By

Here is Enkikwe’s rescue.

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Saving Enkikwe

Nov 24th, 2014 3:56 pm | By

I came home and found a mysterious stiff envelope in the mail.

It’s a surprise from Jen Phillips.


It’s from Terra Dreams, who donates half the proceeds from her art to Elephants Without Borders and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

What a beautiful thing.

Jen and the other people who have bought the art have fostered three orphan elephant calves. One is Enkikwei.

A young approximately 20 year old female elephant mother was sighted on the 22nd of September and appeared healthy while happily playing with her two calves near Enkikwei an area in the Mara North Conservancy. The older of her two calves was approximately seven years old and male while the younger baby was

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Another sad zoo story

Nov 24th, 2014 12:11 pm | By

Aw, damn.

The gorilla born at the Como Zoo to first-time mother Alice on Wednesday has died, the zoo announced Monday.

The “preliminary hypothesis” is there was difficulty with the newborn’s feeding that led to the death Sunday, the zoo said in a statement.

The statement added that zoo leadership was making the announcement “with a very heavy heart.” This was first gorilla birth in the 55 years that Como has housed the large primates. Another gorilla birth at the zoo is anticipated for December or January.

Crap. That’s so sad. Gorilla births are a big deal.

Since the birth, the baby and Alice were under zookeeper watch and care around the clock, the zoo statement noted. The baby had

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Locke, Montesquieu and Moses

Nov 24th, 2014 11:25 am | By

The Texas State Board of Education voted on a new set of social studies materials on Friday. NPR reports:

That includes some 89 textbooks, workbooks and other classroom materials. The vote matters because, with about 5 million students, the state has a big impact on the national textbook market.

Well it also matters because 5 million students are a lot of students, and they need good textbooks too.

We know how the Texas Board of Ed is. It’s been colonized by Christian Nationalists, who want to teach Christian Nationalist things to captive students.

Consider one high school government textbook. It lists four thinkers who influenced the Founding Fathers.

“Three of those on the list make a lot of sense:

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After killing their daughter…

Nov 24th, 2014 10:04 am | By

From India, another item for the annals of “honor” killing.

In a suspected case of honour killing, a 21-year-old Delhi University student was strangled by her parents, who later allegedly set her body on fire, just three days after her marriage to her friend against their wishes. The accused were arrested on Tuesday and sent to judicial custody by a Delhi court.

Strangling. It’s so intimate. It’s hard to get your head around the thought of strangling one’s own child.

Bhavna Yadav was allegedly killed on the intervening night of November 15-16 by her father Jagmohan Yadav and mother Savitri Yadav at her house in south-west Delhi’s Dwarka North. After killing their daughter, the parents took her body to

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Brendan O’Neill attacked by Stepford students horror

Nov 23rd, 2014 12:45 pm | By

There was supposed to be a debate on abortion last Tuesday at Christ Church, Oxford. Brendan O’Neill and Timothy Stanley were the scheduled debaters.

That fact by itself fills me with a great cloud of weary irritation. If you want to stage a debate on abortion, why the fuck ask two men to do it? What is the point? Why is it of more interest or significance to hear what two men have to say on the subject than it is to hear what two women have to say? Why just always ignore and jump over women as if they weren’t there, even when talking about things that affect women directly in a way they don’t affect men? Why do … Read the rest

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