Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

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

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



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



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

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



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



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

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



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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Frivolous interlude

Jun 21st, 2014 11:02 am | By

There’s a big apartments plus shops complex being built in the middle of the main shopping eating gathering street of my neighborhood. It’s getting the finishing touches now; a few weeks ago the decorative bits in front were installed. One such bit is Boomer.

Boomer is the work of Georgia Gerber. Boomer absolutely cracks me up because look.

That’s Cooper age 9 weeks. Do admit.… Read the rest

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Millions for selling children into slavery

Jun 21st, 2014 8:53 am | By

Kuwait has a form of slavery, but then so does the US. A 2013 New York Times book review gives details:

In “Kids for Cash,” the investigative reporter William Ecenbarger tells the story behind a corruption scandal so brazen and cruel it defies imagination. Between 2003 and 2008, two Pennsylvania judges accepted millions of dollars in kickbacks from a private juvenile detention facility in exchange for sending children — girls and boys, some as young as 11 — to jail.

It is a harrowing tale, lucidly told by a journalist with a good eye for detail. The children’s stories continue to unsettle long after the book ends: the 13-year-old incarcerated forthrowing a piece of steak at his mother’s boyfriend; the

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Or that makes our gathering toxic

Jun 20th, 2014 6:16 pm | By

This is almost funny, but really – it’s not, it’s disgusting. Paul Elam warning his posse not to talk violent threatening crap at their shiny conference because someone might hear them. David Futrelle at We hunted the mammoth has the story:

Well, you probably shouldn’t post a public announcement warning the raving misogynists who will be attending your conference to refrain from launching into violent anti-woman rants at the drop of a hat because someone might hear them. Because the fact that you feel it necessary to issue such a warning is kind of a giant clue that a significant number of the conference attendees are raving misogynists given to launching into anti-woman rants at the drop of a hat.

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



How they josh each other at Eton

Jun 20th, 2014 6:03 pm | By

Meanwhile, among Britain’s political elite…a Tory MP says publicly that he’d like to punch Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the throat to shut her up.

She was on a tv chat show with the vile (and misogynist) Rod Liddle, and she told him she loathed him.

Fabricant, who has his profile picture on Twitter as ice skater Jimmy MacElroy from Blades Of Glory, chipped in.

I could never appear on a discussion prog with @y_alibhai I would either end up with a brain haemorrhage or by punching her in the throat

He then retweeted someone who called for Alibhai-Brown to be deported.

Then later he said he was just out of the dentist and anybody who knows him will know … Read the rest

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All 30 girls in one class

Jun 20th, 2014 5:48 pm | By

Meanwhile in Norrköping in eastern Sweden, there’s a lot of FGM going on.

Some 60 cases of genital mutilation have been discovered in Norrköping in eastern Sweden since March with all 30 girls in one school class found to have undergone the procedure.

Of the 30, some 28 of the girls were found to have been subjected to the most severe form of genital mutilation, when the clitoris and labia are completely cut away and the genital area sewn together except for a small opening.

Infibulation, in other words. What volumes that speaks of the horror of women. Why not just seal the whole thing off with a few inches of concrete? That would be fatal of course, but … Read the rest

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Fugitive slaves in Kuwait

Jun 20th, 2014 5:37 pm | By

One of those times when the jaw actually drops in astonishment. Al Jazeera reports:

Kuwaiti domestic workers are being named and shamed on an Instagram (link is external) account called Mn7asha, or “runaway”.

The account description reads, “An account to display pictures of servants fleeing in Kuwait, together to put an end to this phenomenon.” The account lists a number to send photos to via the mobile messenger Whatsapp and says, “Hand in hand we can make a difference, even a small one.”

“Runaways” are “fleeing” – quite as if slavery were legal.

The Kuwait Society for Human Rights estimates(link is external) 600,000 domestic workers contribute to the country’s migrant labour force. Foreigners make up the vast majority

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Some huge blinders

Jun 20th, 2014 4:45 pm | By

Penn Jillette’s assholeness goes way back. (I wasn’t paying attention to him then. I can’t pay attention to everything. I’m a nerd. Quit looking at me like that.) Massimo Pigliucci was pointing it out way back in 2009.

…as we have learned recently from the Atheist Alliance / Dawkins Foundation / Bill Maher fiasco, “skepticism” is sometimes too broad a label, as someone can be properly skeptical in politics but not about pseudoscience (Maher), while someone else may be great at debunking astrology and magnetic therapy, and yet also unable to shed some huge blinders when it comes to politically charged issues. The latter is, unfortunately, P&T’s case, as made excruciatingly clear by the 2008 (season 6) episode “Being

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A libertarian feminist interviews Marwa Berro

Jun 20th, 2014 3:55 pm | By

Oh yes, there are such people as libertarian feminists. No not Christina Hoff Sommers, but there are such people.

Marwa is there to talk about her Ex-hijabi fashion blog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ItL4XJ_OfsRead the rest

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