Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Half the children housed in the institution died in 1925

Jun 24th, 2014 10:52 am | By

Imagine an orphanage where news that the mortality rate for the last year was 19% was good news. That was the mother and baby home in Pelletstown in Dublin in 1930.

While fatalities had undeniably fallen, the fact remained that 66 – or almost one in five – of the 336 children housed in Pelletstown died in the year to March 31st, 1930.

Half the children housed in the institution died in 1925, with a measles epidemic cited as the explanation for the high death rate. The following year, more than a third died. The death rate rose to 42 per cent in 1927 before falling to under 20 per cent in 1930.

Between 1924 and 1930, 662 children

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Inappropriate for viewers

Jun 24th, 2014 9:47 am | By

The anti-abortion fanatics have succeeded in dragging the abortion discussion way the hell over in their direction, so that even in places where you can have one you’re still regarded as scum for doing so. NBC refuses to run an ad that mentions it.

NBC turned down ads for the new movie “Obvious Child” because it deals with abortion, sources tell Page Six.

The A24 Films release stars former “SNL” star Jenny Slate as a Brooklyn comic who gets pregnant after a one-night stand and elects to have an abortion.

Other networks “had no problem airing an ad that included the word ‘abortion’ in it,” a source said, adding the film’s distributor “wasn’t trying to purchase ads during ‘Today’

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At first he was sympathetic

Jun 24th, 2014 9:16 am | By

Still? Still? The same old thing, so the same you could write it in your sleep?

This time it’s in the Irish Times and it’s written by a tutor of philosophy at Trinity College Dublin, Robert Grant.

Have the first three fresh sparkling original paragraphs:

The New Atheists – Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens – have become immensely popular in the past decade through a series of blistering attacks on religion.

While their starting point was the lack of scientific evidence for God’s existence, they quickly expanded their target to argue that religion is the “root of all evil” in the world. Far from being tolerated, religion should be banished. It obstructs the progress of the human race;

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A ferocious attack on media freedom

Jun 23rd, 2014 6:14 pm | By

Amnesty International reports a horrible development.

The conviction today of three Al Jazeera English journalists accused of “falsifying news” and belonging to or assisting the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt is a ferocious attack on media freedom, said Amnesty International.

The three journalists – Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, all considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience – were sentenced to seven years in jail. Baher Mohamed received a further three years on a separate charge of possessing a bullet shell. They have been detained since 29 December 2013.

“This is a devastating verdict for the men and their families, and a dark day for media freedom in Egypt, when journalists

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Unless a parent can show religious reservations

Jun 23rd, 2014 5:48 pm | By

One island of reason in the typhoon of anti-vax nonsense:

In a case weighing the government’s ability to require vaccination against the individual right to refuse it, a federal judge has upheld a New York City policy that bars unimmunized children from public school when another student has a vaccine-preventable disease.

Citing a 109-year-old Supreme Court ruling that gives states broad power in public health matters, Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled against three families who claimed that their right to free exercise of religion was violated when their children were kept from school, sometimes for a month at a time, because of the city’s immunization policies.

I’ve said it before – I hate … Read the rest

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So it turns out that they’re all about us after all

Jun 23rd, 2014 4:46 pm | By

The rest of that video. It’s not as bad as the first 15 minutes, in fact some of it is ok, like the part about the Civil Rights movement and the fact that atheists and socialists were told to sit down and shut up because the movement had to appeal to the mainstream, because strategy is complicated; the result is that they’ve been written out of the history, as have women.

But the part from 14:30 to 15:34 is still on the Dear Muslima, and it’s kack.

What is faced by women and men under Islamicist [sic] is far greater than the discomfort of some inappropriate sexist remark. We have to recognize different adversities. Recognizing these differences does not mean,

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Shut up because Taliban

Jun 23rd, 2014 1:22 pm | By

What is the point of saying things like “What is faced by women and men under Islamicist [sic] is far greater than the discomfort of some inappropriate sexist remark” or “Dear Muslima”?

What can possibly be the point of it other than to tell local feminists to shut up because things are much worse farther away?

That’s why so many people went ballistic over “Dear Muslima” in the first place. That’s where the Deep Rifts started – with that one bullying comment, which may have been written by Cornwell herself.

Cornwell is aware of that. She is aware of the deep rifts. I know this because she wrote to me on the subject via Facebook direct messaging to say so … Read the rest

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“Far greater than the discomfort of some inappropriate sexist remark”

Jun 23rd, 2014 12:47 pm | By

Lordy – I’m surprised again. I’m so easily surprised – I must be very naïve.

In watching the UN video I saw the list of other CFI videos, and in the list I saw the videoof Robin Elisabeth Cornwell’s talk at Women in Secularism 2. I missed that talk because of having to catch a plane, so I’ve started watching it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDwkY7pw3HM

You know, there’s a theory that it’s Cornwell who wrote Dear Muslima, and that Dawkins just posted it so that it would be as if god had posted it (and so it turned out). This video could be Exhibit One for that claim.

At about 11:45 she gets onto the subject of “victimhood.” She talks about pop culture … Read the rest

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Saudi Arabia tries to silence CFI at UNHRC

Jun 23rd, 2014 11:07 am | By

It’s what it says. Center for Inquiry representative Josephine Macintosh tried to read a statement about Raif Badawi and Saudi violations of human rights at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council and the Saudi representative keeps interrupting to try to make her stop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CakI_sn30xgRead the rest

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LA Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group NEXT WEEK

Jun 23rd, 2014 10:44 am | By

The first meeting of the Los Angeles Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group (LAWAAG) is a week from tomorrow at CFI-LA, which I know exactly where it is because I’ve been there. You know where Barnsdall Park is, in East Hollywood? It’s across Hollywood Boulevard from that.

Our group meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at  The Center For Inquiry, Los Angeles. Along with regular monthly meetups, the group also organizes art, activism and outreach projects and works towards building community and support for women without faith.

In order to foster a safe space that acknowledges and can focus on the specific issues women encounter and deal with in a secular community, we currently only accept members

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Another controversy sparked

Jun 22nd, 2014 5:22 pm | By

Uh oh, scandal in Saudi Arabia – a cleric said it might not be so terrible for women to skip the niqab if they felt like it. The horror! Al Arabiya is on the scene:

A Saudi preacher has sparked controversy on social media after Tweeting that Muslim women are allowed to uncover their faces and not wear the face veil known as the niqab, but that if someone wants to wear it, she is free to do so.

Sheikh Suleiman al-Torifee’s, a member of Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia, based his opinion on what he said were the teachings of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad.

Scary stuff, isn’t it. Tweeters certainly thought so.

“I dare you join your

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Fatuity and freedom

Jun 22nd, 2014 5:04 pm | By

Will we ever get out of kindergarten?

Talking Points Memo has an item from something called the Faith And Freedom Coalition Conference:

Someone placed figurines shaped like President Barack Obama’s head in a men’s restroom at Friday’s Faith And Freedom Coalition Conference.

The Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic, a former TPM editor, spotted the figurines in the urinals:

Nope, I guess we never will get out of kindergarten.… Read the rest

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Travel plans

Jun 22nd, 2014 12:43 pm | By

Anjem Choudary is dreaming wistfully of a better place to live than dreary old London, aka The Great Wen.

(Trivia question: who called London that? Was it

  • William Blake
  • Samuel Johnson
  • William Wordsworth
  • Anne Brontë

Deadline midnight Seattle time.)

Anjem Choudary is considering a new life in Isis-controlled Iraq or Syria – despite the region descending into a bloodbath of executions and beheadings.

The former al-­Muhajiroun leader admits he would “love to live” under the control of the terror group rather than his native Britain.

Well of course he would. He loves violence and death directed at other people, and if he went to Iraq or Syria he would get to watch lashings of it. That treat is much harder … Read the rest

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Pride

Jun 22nd, 2014 12:23 pm | By

From Wikipedia – makes me proud to be Anna Merican.

Not.

The spike started in 1980.

But the good news is, the US is now a paradise of crime-free peace and harmony.

Kidding.… Read the rest

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The withdrawing room

Jun 22nd, 2014 11:25 am | By

It’s a play on The Lounge, geddit?

Never mind.

A derail on another thread made me think maybe we needed a place for general conversation, so that derails can be avoided while still allowing off topic discussion. I doubt it will thrive, because I don’t have PZ’s approximately 10% of the global population commenting on my blog, but I’ll give it a shot.

So – how about that Norway, huh? Got any questions about it you’ve always wanted to ask?

Or characters in Jane Austen novels?

Or pets?

Or gossip?

Travel plans?

This thing you wanted to talk about here but it didn’t seem to fit anywhere and you forgot about it?… Read the rest

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Three hooded strangers

Jun 21st, 2014 5:02 pm | By

Alex considers how seriously vandalism and intimidation should be taken, especially in the case of a group that already faces intimidation.

At Patheos, JT Eberhard writes of a young British couple jailed for a year for harmlessly pranking mosque members with ‘easily removable’ bacon, whose small child will suffer in foster care while the parents ‘rot in jail’ ‘because this building and the people who own it are special’ – a ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ for what was only strictly speaking vandalism.

There’s another story about three hooded white supremacists who trespassed on private religious property to intimidate Muslims, harassed the only man inside as he tried to pray, threw objects around and desecrated the area to cause occupants

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Hey, you over there, fancy an MBE?

Jun 21st, 2014 4:18 pm | By

Oops. Bit of a slip-up, Ma’am.

A consultant surgeon who was appointed an MBE in last week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for “services to patient safety” is a serial fraudster who has harmed patients and was struck off the medical register in 2002 for gross professional misconduct.

Lots of red faces around the Palace or Number 10 or whichever place it is that does the choosing. “I say, Clive, did we really give a gong to this frightful bounder who got himself struck off all that time ago? Time for us to bugger off to Melbourne right about now, don’t you agree?”

It appears the Cabinet Office Honours Committee, which selects candidates for the awards, was unaware of Dr Banerjee’s

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Let Girls Learn

Jun 21st, 2014 3:44 pm | By

The US State Department has a new program to help girls go to and stay in school.

Around the world 62 million girls are not in school. Millions more are fighting to stay there. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1B8n_xqB8g

 … Read the rest

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Shut up and make me a cucumber roll

Jun 21st, 2014 3:30 pm | By

Apparently in Japan the manners aren’t always as good as you might expect.

[Tokyo] City assembly member Ayaka Shiomura, 35, was talking about measures to support child raising and boost fertility during a session on Thursday when male lawmakers interrupted her with cries of “Go and get married” and “Can’t you give birth?”

She later said most of the calls came from the direction of seats where majority assembly members, including those from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, were sitting.

What’s the thinking here? That if you talk about measures to increase something it then becomes your responsibility to increase it yourself, right then and there, or face heckling? Or is it just crude “Hur hur why are … Read the rest

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Slammers for cash

Jun 21st, 2014 11:52 am | By

The ACLU reports (November 2011) on the prison for profit industry.

The imprisonment of human beings at record levels is both a moral failure and an economic one — especially at a time when more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet and when state governments confront enormous fiscal crises. This report finds, however, that mass incarceration provides a gigantic windfall for one special interest group — the private prison industry — even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole. While the nation’s unprecedented rate of imprisonment deprives individuals of freedom, wrests loved ones from their families, and drains the resources of governments, communities, and taxpayers, the private prison industry reaps lucrative rewards. As

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