Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Look, a neck

Aug 15th, 2014 8:22 am | By

Kaveh takes a look at the semiotics of Iran’s media coverage (or lack of coverage) of Maryam Mirzakhani’s winning of the Fields medal.

It’s all about the hijab.

The government paper uses a photo of her from when she was trapped in Iran and had to wear it.

Other papers retouch the photo so that the hijab disappears.

Rouhani used two photos, the one with hijab and another without.

Signs, signs, signs.… Read the rest

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



Amnesty sends a delegation to Ferguson

Aug 14th, 2014 6:36 pm | By

Amnesty International is sending a human rights delegation to Ferguson.

(FERGUSON, MO) – Today, Amnesty International USA announced that it has sent human rights delegation to Ferguson, MO to observe police and protester activity, gather testimony, seek meetings with officials and offer support to the community. The 12-person delegation also includes organizers who will train local activists on methods of non-violent protest.

“Law enforcement, from the FBI to state and local police, are obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities. The U.S. cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most,” said Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins.

“Our delegation will remain in

Read the rest

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



Oh no, not formidable women

Aug 14th, 2014 6:26 pm | By

Andrew Brown has an annoying piece about the Global Humanist Conference that wastes most of its space ruminating about how close the resemblance is between humanism and religion haw haw geddit no god but it’s still like a religion yawn.

The World Humanist Conference in Oxford at the weekend struck me as a completely religious gathering, even though it is predicated on atheism. If it hadn’t been for the words of the sermons, we might have been at any Protestant missionary society.

Part of this was the architecture. The old parts of Oxford University date from the time when there was no clear distinction between religion and society, and most of them now have a faintly sacerdotal air. Part

Read the rest

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



World Taslima

Aug 14th, 2014 5:42 pm | By

Catching up with Taslima’s adventures via Twitter.

Her talk at the Global Humanist Conference, which was the last talk of the event:

Via Humanisterna

A standing ovation for that talk:

Taslima tweeted

World Humanist Congress honored me by standing ovation. I was so moved.

Taslima again:

After my speech Professor Richard Dawkins embraced me. It was a great honor for me.

There’s a picture with wonderful Gulalai Ismail:

And now she’s in Stockholm. Lots more photos on her Twitter.… Read the rest

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



“I just wanted to know if I was going to be gassed again”

Aug 14th, 2014 1:55 pm | By

Missouri state Senator asks the Ferguson cops if they’re going to gas her again. She just wants to know, like.

Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal confronted Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson during a press conference Wednesday, asking why she was tear-gassed during a nonviolent protest.

Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat, said she had been tear-gassed while peacefully protesting the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager shot to death by a police officer on Saturday.

“I just wanted to know if I was going to be gassed again, like I was on Monday night,” Chappelle-Nadal asked. “We couldn’t get out, and we were peacefully sitting. I Just wanted to know if I’m going to be gassed again?”

Jackson said he hoped … Read the rest

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



The Ferguson police chief does a reporter a favor

Aug 14th, 2014 1:11 pm | By

Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery reports on his own arrest in Ferguson.

Reporters were using a MacDonald’s a few blocks from where Michael Brown was shot as a staging area, because it has WiFi and outlets. Lowery was there charging his phone and responding to people on Twitter yesterday when the cops came in. They told Lowery and another reporter to leave. Lowery started recording video on his phone.

An officer with a large weapon came up to me and said, “Stop recording.”

I said, “Officer, do I not have the right to record you?”

He backed off but told me to hurry up. So I gathered my notebook and pens with one hand while recording him with the

Read the rest

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



Here, have a few spare grenade launchers

Aug 14th, 2014 12:45 pm | By

Have you been wondering how it is that Ferguson, Missouri can send such heavily-armed cops into the streets to terrorize the citizens?

It’s thanks to the nauseatingly-named Department of Homeland Security. Alec MacGillis at The New Republic* explains.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the American taxpayer has been providing the funding for an eye-popping influx of money from the Department of Homeland Security to state and local law enforcement agencies.

The funding is all in the name of preventing “terrorism,” but funds are fungible, and so are heavily-armored vehicles and high-powered weaponry. As the Missouri Department of Homeland Security explains on its own website advertising one of the federal DHS grants it distributes to local agencies: “Activities implemented under

Read the rest

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



Providing those dresses would break God’s law

Aug 14th, 2014 11:36 am | By

You know how the more theocratic of religious types expect to be able to impose their views on everyone else without the converse happening to them? Simon Brown at AU knows how.

W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pa, and the Inne of the Abingtons – they tried to class it up with an extra “e” – in North Abington, Pa., each recently refused to offer their services to same-sex couples.

Victoria Miller, who co-owns W.W. Bridal, cited her religious beliefs to justify this discrimination.

“We feel we have to answer to God for what we do, and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law,” she said.

Ok I just have to stop and interrupt … Read the rest

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



In Edinburgh this evening

Aug 14th, 2014 10:38 am | By

In case you’re in or near Edinburgh and (unlikely) don’t already know, PZ is doing a talk for the Edinburgh skeptics in about an hour and a half.

Thursday 14 August 2014, 7:50 pm – 8:50 pm
At: Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street

What’s it about? Creationism and the rural US, aka the Bible Belt.

The rural United States is a strange place to live, with a citizenry absolutely convinced of their divine favor and destiny, yet still insisting that the silliest ideas must be respected. I’ll be discussing some of the more memorable encounters with creationists, and how I think we must deal with this problem.

Prediction: it’s not by Teaching the Controversy.

 … Read the rest

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



And the Fields medal goes to

Aug 14th, 2014 10:25 am | By

An Iranian mathematician working in the US has won the Fields medal. And the kicker? She’s a woman. Professor  Maryam Mirzakhani was recognized for her work on complex geometry.

In becoming the very first female medallist, Prof Mirzakhani – who teaches at Stanford University in California – ends what has been a long wait for the mathematics community.

Prof Dame Frances Kirwan, a member of the medal selection committee from the University of Oxford, pointed out that despite maths being viewed traditionally as “a male preserve”, women have contributed to mathematics for centuries.

She noted that around 40% of maths undergraduates in the UK are women, but that proportion declines rapidly at PhD level and beyond.

“I hope that

Read the rest

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



An asset to atheism and a supporter of brave infidels

Aug 13th, 2014 6:01 pm | By

Now here’s the Richard Dawkins I consider a major asset to the atheist movement and to other atheists. It’s the Dawkins who has been giving support to Maryam Namazie for years, and continues to do so.

The sound is terrible, but there are titles. Note what Richard does and says at the end.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgMaaL9UgoURead the rest

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



Women don’t matter

Aug 13th, 2014 4:34 pm | By

One might have thought the abortion situation would improve after the tragic, pointless, cruel death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012, but apparently any change at all is going to be tiny, slow, and resisted every step of the way.

The Guardian got its hands on a copy of new guidelines issued to Irish doctors. The guidelines stink.

Pregnant women in Ireland could be blocked from having an abortion even if they are at risk of suicide after conceiving as a result of rape or incest, under new guidelines issued to Irish doctors.

Experts warned that the Guidance Document for Health Professionals, which has yet to be made public but has been obtained by the Guardian, will give power to

Read the rest

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



Taking the empty back roads over the moors

Aug 13th, 2014 4:11 pm | By

Here’s an amusing blog post about PZ’s talk in Hebden Bridge yesterday.

A few days ago I saw that Paul Zachary “PZ” Myers associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota MorrisPharyngula blogger, and sworn enemy of creationist nut-jobbery in all its forms was coming to speak in Hebden.

But he was snowed under and forgot, until he saw a tweet of PZ’s mentioning it was starting in 30 minutes.

Hebden Bridge is about 30 minutes away by car from my house. I found my keys, leapt into the car, forgetting my phone, and hit the road. Taking the empty back roads over the moors I somehow managed to get to the Trades Club with two

Read the rest

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



Manly men drop former manly man Mark Driscoll

Aug 13th, 2014 3:13 pm | By

Manly man Mark Driscoll has been dropped from a Manly Men conference because…well because they don’t like him any more. His jesus is broken.

Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll was scheduled to be a headliner at the upcoming Act Like Men conferences, a nationwide evangelical convention where men get together to talk about Christianity and manhood. Which makes sense: Everyone knows that manhood is Mark Driscoll’s favorite subject. He can’t stop talking about being a man, and how cool it is, and how difficult it is, and how awesome God thinks it is. It’s fair to say, in fact, that Mark Driscoll has men on the brain, all the time. It’s raining men in Driscoll-town!

And so this has

Read the rest

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



He lives there because the taxes are higher

Aug 13th, 2014 3:00 pm | By

From The Talks, an interview with the actor Stellan Skarsgård. People have good sense in Sweden.

Mr. Skarsgård, where do you live?

I live in Sweden because the taxes are higher, nobody is starving, good health care, free schools and universities. It’s a civilized country and I like that.

You prefer paying higher taxes?

Of course. If you make a lot of money like I do you should pay higher taxes. Everybody should have the possibility to go to school, and university, and have good healthcare.

Goodness. How reasonable, and how rare.

 

Read the rest

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



At Conway Hall on Monday

Aug 13th, 2014 2:29 pm | By

This happened on Monday:

Talks & Lectures

Witchcraft belief: Murder and Misogyny in the 21st Century

Mon 11 Aug 2014, 19:00

London Black Atheists, Central London Humanist Group and the Nigerian human rights activist, Mr Leo Igwe present

Witchcraft belief: Murder and Misogyny in the 21st Century

Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe explores the toxic mix of religion, superstition, misogyny, cruelty, mental instability and sheer greed that are factors in the accusation of mainly women and children of witchcraft and offers solutions on combating this modern day scourge of the world.

London Black Atheists, Central London Humanist Group and the Nigerian human rights activist, Mr Leo Igwe, a renowned campaigner against witchcraft accusations and winner of the National

Read the rest

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



The NSS says No to witch-hunters

Aug 13th, 2014 10:31 am | By

The National Secular Society has called on the Home Secretary to deny David Oyedepo entry into the UK.

David Oyedepo Jnr is due to address a Winners Chapel International convention in Dartford on 13-16 August. In a letter to the Home Secretary the National Secular Society argued that preventing Mr Oyedepo from entering the country is a necessary step to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief.

In 2011 Mr Oyedepo was captured on video assaulting a young girl at one of his ministration events in Nigeria. After [he accuses] the girl of being a witch, she can be heard saying she is a “witch for Jesus”. Mr Oyedepo then slaps her around the face and denounces her as

Read the rest

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



Managing disagreement

Aug 13th, 2014 9:33 am | By

Robert Reich has a public post on Facebook that says essentially the same thing as the joint statement that Richard Dawkins and I signed. It says we are going to disagree, that’s inevitable, so we have to do it in a reasonable way.

This is the summer of our discontent. Almost everyone I know is angry — with politics, with government, with the media, with their work, with their employer, with people who hold different views. Why? Not since the 1930s have so many Americans been on a downward escalator economically and faced so much financial insecurity. That we’re supposed to be in an economic recovery makes it all the worse. I think this the root of our anger,

Read the rest

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



It’s not always code for something else

Aug 13th, 2014 9:04 am | By

James Bloodworth ponders the difficulty of explaining fanaticism and the fact that sophisticated people are often very bad at it.

Back in the 1930s, attempts to explain fascism famously tripped up many leading intellectuals of the time. Hitler’s demands to expand the Third Reich were taken by many otherwise sophisticated people as code for something else. Was it not true, after all, that the Treaty of Versailles had imposed punitive and unreasonable conditions on Germany? As Paul Berman noted in his book, Terror and Liberalism, despite the SS repeatedly reaffirming at its death camps that “here there is no why”, for much of the left there was always a “why”.

Many people seem to miss the fact (or to … Read the rest

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



Guest post: This isn’t the loophole

Aug 13th, 2014 8:46 am | By

Originally a comment by gormanator on When self-ownership applies.

This business of trying to noodle out the morality of suicide in a framework of “rights” seems unlikely to result in any sort of useful moral clarity. It reminds me of the standard libertarian argument: “no one has a right to coerce another human to do anything” (sounds reasonable enough, if you don’t think too hard for counterexamples), ergo I can’t prevent you from owning a machine gun because that would be coercive. That’s just a shitty way to frame a political philosophy. The world is just… more complicated than that.

When I was twelve, I got to watch my mom try to kill herself. (Thankfully, she survived, but … Read the rest

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