Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

You get up with fleas

Nov 8th, 2014 10:55 am | By

Sam Harris is getting help, or at least psychological support, in his quest for political correctness run amok. Bill Dembski Denyse O’Leary at Uncommon Descent is all sympathy.

Guy made the mistake of actually challenging something serious now.

Like, he could have been a pop sci celeb, with articles like “Ten reasons you go to church that you wish you never knew,” or “Ten reasons you give to charity that have nothing to do with caring,” or “Why the government really does know what is best for you.”

Legacy media editors can’t get enough of that stuff, even if readers are dropping away like fleas off a dead moose.

Instead, unaccountably, the guy decided to take on the

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“Insolence” in Malaysia

Nov 7th, 2014 5:59 pm | By

Last July in Malaysia a fatwa was issued on Sisters in Islam; the New York Times gives some facts:

In July, the official religious council in wealthy and populous Selangor State issued a fatwa, or religious decree, against Sisters in Islam, a Malaysian group that advocates women’s rights.

The fatwa declared Sisters in Islam “deviant” and also denounced “any individual, organization or institution that upholds the belief of liberalism or pluralism in religion.”

The fatwa did not define liberalism or pluralism, but called on the authorities to ban and seize books that promote the ideas and to “censor and block any social website contrary to Islamic teachings.”

Rosli Dahlan, a Malaysian lawyer who has represented clients challenging the power

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Please send links/stories to Sam Harris

Nov 7th, 2014 5:04 pm | By

Sam Harris is looking to set a trend again.

Sam Harris @SamHarrisOrg · 6 hours ago
Looking for examples of political correctness run amok. Please send links/stories here: http://www.samharris.org/contact

That trend has been set already, back around 1985 or so, but Sam was probably too busy studying the biology of gender differences to notice.

So, yay. The atheist movement can throw a big ol’ party with Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins as the hosts and everybody else dressed up as various kinds of political correctness run amok. Hilarity will ensue. And the atheist movement will continue to watch bemusedly as sensible people head for the exits.… Read the rest

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Malleable community standards

Nov 7th, 2014 12:10 pm | By

Remember that excellent, well-argued, informative comment by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on a post by Andrew Brown at CiF yesterday? That I re-published here for your convenience and edification? It’s all the more convenient now, because the wises ones at CiF have deleted it, claiming – absurdly – that it doesn’t meet their community standards. CEMB tweeted the news a few hours ago.

Ex-Muslims Forum @CEMB_forum · 5 hours ago
We wrote this at Guardian about how Exmuslims are silenced http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=27640.0 … … its now been silenced & deleted

Maajid Nawaz asked the wise ones why.

Maajid Nawaz @MaajidNawaz · 18 hours ago
.@Guardian publish http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2014/nov/05/islam-muslims-hate-ideology-racism … then @CEMB_forum comment http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=27640.0 … Enforcing a blasphemy code, Guardian

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Dapper whats?

Nov 7th, 2014 11:18 am | By

So here’s another cultural artifact I wasn’t aware of – this “comedian” who goes by Dapper Laughs, who sounds about as funny as a poke in the eye.

It all kicked off when the website UsVsTh3m tweeted a link to a not-so positive review of the 14 track record.

The album includes songs called A Walk To The Pub…With A Tramp, Cracking On To A Sweetheart and Leaving The Pub…With A Tramp.

Sounds hilarious…

He’s new to Eleanor Margolis at the New Statesman, too.

I’ve also been told that he’s a comedian, although I’m struggling to find any evidence to support this. His brand of, not comedy exactly – more like yelling lists of words – consists almost

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Witchy disobedience

Nov 7th, 2014 10:46 am | By

The Freethinker reports that Yemi Adedeji of the Evangelical Alliance supports the opening of a faith school in Kent by a witchcraft-besotted Nigerian church, and that human rights campaigner Leo Igwe strongly opposes it.

According to this report, Winners’ Chapel International – currently under investigation by the Charity Commission – wants to open the school at its Dartford site, but human rights campaigners such as Igwe, as well as the National Secular Society, are urging the government to turn down the school bid.

The proposed Kingdom Heritage Model School is intended for children aged four to seven.

The church links child “disobedience” to witchcraft.

Uh oh. UH OH. DANGER DANGER.

No, UK, you should not have a state school … Read the rest

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Freedom freedom freedom

Nov 7th, 2014 9:45 am | By

Julien Blanc has been forced to leave Australia after his visa was withdrawn. His visa was withdrawn because the government took heed of protests pointing out that Blanc gives lectures on how to assault women.

Controversial US “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc has cut short his Australian tour after having his visa cancelled in the wake of protests against his seminars, which promote dangerous and abusive behaviour towards women.

“We can confirm Julien Blanc left Australia overnight,” Victorian police said on Twitter. “His assistant is also due to leave shortly.” The pair had planned to stay until December.

The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said Blanc’s visa was cancelled Thursday night.

There are cries of free speech and anti-sex. No really, … Read the rest

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Guest post: The enslavement of those who are most in need of freedom

Nov 7th, 2014 6:46 am | By

Originally a comment by Eric MacDonald on A bishop always knows better.

There are several things wrong with the bishop’s objection to Brittany Maynard’s choosing to die. First of all, the term ‘dignity’ is a highly contested one, but Ignacio plays on two completely separate and unrelated meanings of the word. In Roman Catholic theology (and I think this is a new use of the word, though I have not been able to establish this), ‘dignity’ refers simply to the “God-givenness” of life. It does not refer to dignity in the strict sense, which consists in a person’s feeling of respect for herself (given present circumstances), and the respect paid to her by others (as opposed to pity, for … Read the rest

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A bishop always knows better

Nov 6th, 2014 5:25 pm | By

Now that I’ve given you something elevating to contemplate in the ALMA picture of planet formation, we have to bump back down to squalid theocratic bullying again. This time it’s the Vatican’s reaction to Brittany Maynard’s decision to die before reaching the last horrible stages of death by brain tumor. Catholic News Agency reports what an official had to say.

Spanish Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican, explained to ANSA news agency, “We don’t judge people, but the gesture in itself is to be condemned. What happened in her conscience we don’t know.”

Bishop Carrasco de Paula said Maynard decided to take her life “thinking she would die with dignity,

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Planet formation

Nov 6th, 2014 4:35 pm | By

Golly.

Have a snapshot from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), courtesy of a press release from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Astronomers have captured the best image ever of planet formation around an infant star as part of the testing and verification process for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array’s (ALMA) new high-resolution capabilities.

This revolutionary new image reveals in astonishing detail the planet-forming disk surrounding HL Tau, a Sun-like star located approximately 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

ALMA uncovered never-before-seen features in this system, including multiple concentric rings separated by clearly defined gaps. These structures suggest that planet formation is already well underway around this remarkably young star.

A snapshot of planet formation! How cool … Read the rest

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A news release from the UN Human Rights Commission

Nov 6th, 2014 1:40 pm | By

UN human rights experts set out countries’ obligations to tackle harmful practices such as FGM and forced marriage

GENEVA (5 November 2014) – For the first time, two UN human rights expert committees have joined forces to issue a comprehensive interpretation of the obligations of States to prevent and eliminate harmful practices inflicted on women and girls, such as female genital mutilation, crimes committed in the name of so-called honour, forced and child marriage, and polygamy.

“Harmful practices are frequently justified by invoking social or religious customs and values often embedded in patriarchal cultures and traditions. They are deeply rooted in attitudes that regard women and girls as inferior to men and boys. They are also often used as a … Read the rest

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More recognition for Taslima

Nov 6th, 2014 1:32 pm | By

The Swedish Humanists, Humanisterna, have awarded a prize to Taslima. Here’s my edit of Google Translate’s version:

The Hedenius Prize 2014  has been awarded to the writer, commentator and feminist Taslima Nasrin, for her commitment to freedom of thought and equality for women. The prize is awarded annually by the Humanist Association to a Swedish citizen who worked in the spirit of the philosopher Ingemar Hedenius. On Sunday 9 November at 2 p.m.  Taslima Nasrin will accept the award at the ABF building in Stockholm, and give a talk about the need for a new enlightenment and secular renaissance in the world.

Wkipedia on Ingemar Hedenius:

Per Arvid Ingemar Hedenius (April 5, 1908–April 30, 1982) was a Swedish

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Adam Savage on GamerGate

Nov 6th, 2014 1:05 pm | By

Adam Savage talks to Indre Viskontas for Inquiring Minds. In the final segment he talks about GamerGate and what Indre (rightly) calls “so much rage against women in these fields.”

Rebecca Watson tells us that he is a for-real feminist, and one who gives a shit.

The full interview is great, but my favorite part was when Adam weighed in on the issue of #Gamergate and harassment of women online. I know this is an issue he feels passionately about, and I also know that there are a lot of people in his audience who he can help educate and motivate. I hope he gets more opportunities to speak out about it – it’s unfortunate but true that a

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A whipping is the penalty of not being in the field at sunrise

Nov 6th, 2014 11:07 am | By

I’m re-reading Frederic Douglass’s Narrative. It’s available at Project Gutenberg, so it’s easy to share passages for discussion or admiration.

There’s the early paragraph about his relationship with his mother…

I never saw my mother, to know her as such, more than four or five times in my life; and each of these times was very short in duration, and at night. She was hired by a Mr. Stewart, who lived about twelve miles from my home. She made her journeys to see me in the night, travelling the whole distance on foot, after the performance of her day’s work.

She was a field hand, and a whipping is the penalty of not being in the field at

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A visit to the adult table

Nov 5th, 2014 5:50 pm | By

PZ listened to all of that conversation between Stefan Molyneux and Peter Boghossian. I managed only about twenty minutes, because it’s so gross and also so tedious, and I plan to go back to it, but PZ did it in one gulp. He took some notes – not a transcript, because he was doing other work at the time, which is the only way listening to the whole thing could be tolerable – not a transcript but just some notes.

Curiously, Boghossian is having a conversation with Molyneux, who is notorious for his misogynist remarks. Not just the mild, unthinking sexism that so many Atheist Thinky Leaders engage in, but outright contempt for women. This is the guy who

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A kind of proxy blasphemy code

Nov 5th, 2014 5:21 pm | By

The ExMuslims Forum (i.e. someone from the forum, writing under that name) has an excellent comment on a wrong-headed piece by Andrew Brown at Comment is Free. Brown’s claim in his piece is that people who criticize Islam in fact hate Muslims. I saw progressive liberal Muslim friends venting huge irritation with Brown and his article. It’s a myth that liberal Muslims also hold the view that people who criticize Islam in fact hate Muslims; they don’t.

As Exmuslims, we critique Islam because there are many aspects of Islam that need to be critiqued. In particular, we seek to oppose Islam’s apostasy codes, which are oppressive and lead to persecution.

We have found it is quite difficult to

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What magic words?

Nov 5th, 2014 4:30 pm | By

Sometimes laws can be hard to understand. There’s a case in the UK where an underage girl was violently married off and raped, but the judge says he can’t annul the marriage. Sorry for citing the Daily Mail but it’s the only source:

A judge says he cannot nullify the marriage of a teenage mother who says she was forced at ‘gunpoint’ into becoming a bride when she was just 14.

Instead the girl, now 17 and a mother of a one-year-old, must defy her family if she wants the union formally annulled, said Mr Justice Holman at the High Court.

The teenager, who was born in Britain and whose family has lived here for 40 years, says she

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Was it a sincere question?

Nov 5th, 2014 11:55 am | By

Chris Stedman has a post at RNS replying to Peter Boghossian’s “why gay pride?” tweet. He is, you won’t be surprised to hear, much better at being even-tempered about it than I was.

Many atheists, such as LGBTQ atheist author Greta Christina, responded—but Boghossian dug in and continued to defend his statement, tweeting additional statements like “Questioning that one can be proud to be gay is a leftist blasphemy.”

As a queer atheist, I too am perplexed by both Boghossian’s question and his defensive reaction to criticism—especially from someone who lists “reason, rationality, critical thinking” in his Twitter bio.

Quite so – except that I, being so much less even-tempered, am not so much perplexed as irritated. Or, … Read the rest

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Parents raised concerns about her trip to Kenya

Nov 5th, 2014 10:52 am | By

Africa’s a big continent. A very big continent. It can be hard to grasp just how big if you’ve grown up on maps that make it look as if the US dominates the universe. Joan McCarter at Daily Kos provides a nice graphic that shows how easily China, India, Western Europe and the UK, and Argentina all fit into the space Africa takes up, with some to spare.

McCarter does that by way of illustrating the cruel ignorance of this story:

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov 3 (Reuters) – A teacher at a Louisville, Kentucky, Catholic school has resigned rather than take paid leave after parents raised concerns about her trip to Kenya, half a continent away from the Ebola epidemic

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A candid

Nov 5th, 2014 10:16 am | By

What a screenshot of mansplaining looks like.

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