Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

The Adorbs Secular Council

May 23rd, 2014 10:59 am | By

They’re adding stuff, the Top of Their Field geniuses at The Global Secular Council. We get to watch them add stuff.

They’ve added a page for something called The Bella & Stella Foundation, which has a link at the bottom of the Team page. It’s some sweet whimsy-whamsy so that we’ll know they don’t take themselves too seriously. (Right, because a few US/UK white guys declaring themselves a Global Council has no trace of taking themselves too seriously.)

These two furry heathens do not suffer fools lightly, as they are both staunch proponents of the separation of church and state. When lounging in direct sunlight, they have a propensity for summoning the unwitting to their soft stomachs. A

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Your resource center

May 23rd, 2014 8:02 am | By

Also…

Here’s how the left margin of their Twitter account looks.

Oh really? My and our resource center for international policy? Really?

What makes it that? Who says it’s that? How can it possibly be that?

There’s not a trace of internationalism in their lineup. Not a whiff. There’s not one person who’s not pale, when internationally and globally, a lot more people are not pale than are pale. This joke of a “Global” council looks as if some twenty or thirty conceited Yanks and Brits have gotten together to reinvent the East India Company. I suppose Shermer wants to play the John Stuart Mill part, since Mill used to take his trousers off every day when he got to … Read the rest

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Oh so that’s how they cropped it

May 23rd, 2014 7:26 am | By

Oh I see the “Global” Secular Council (populated exclusively by Anglophones from the US and the UK plus one Swedish guy) has a Twitter account. I just replied to its “We’re live!” tweet by asking what makes them “Global”. I don’t suppose they’ll reply but I would really like to know.

But also interesting is that in that tweet they included the original of the front page masthead photo that we’ve been talking about. It’s different, and different in an interesting way.

See there? On the opposite end from the Shermer-Rogers end, there’s Bill Nye – but apparently they like the Shermer grab so much that they feel it’s worth the price of not showing Bill Nye on the masthead. … Read the rest

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The same sort of standards

May 22nd, 2014 5:58 pm | By

Lots of people are talking about Laura Hudson’s article in Wired on how to curb online abuse. I liked this bit in particular:

Really, freedom of speech is beside the point. Facebook and Twitter want to be the locus of communities, but they seem to blanch at the notion that such communities would want to enforce norms—which, of course, are defined by shared values rather than by the outer limits of the law. Social networks could take a strong and meaningful stand against harassment simply by applying the same sort of standards in their online spaces that we already apply in our public and professional lives. That’s not a radical step; indeed, it’s literally a normal one. Wishing rape

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Seemingly innocuous mischief

May 22nd, 2014 5:34 pm | By

Right Wing Watch tells us how the American Center for Law and Justice – which was founded by Pat Robertson to be the opposite of the ACLU – likes religious freedom in the dear US but not so much outside that cozy god-loving gun-toting country.

Both the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) and the Slavic Center for Law and Justice (SCLJ) affiliates voiced support for Russia’s 2013 gag order on gay-rights advocacy. In addition, following the 2012 Pussy Riot protest, the SCLJ called for a law criminalizing religious blasphemy. One of its leading attorneys then helped draft one proposed version of the law. 

Religious freedom for me but not for thee.

Shortly after the feminist punk band

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Why become a patron of blasphemous art?

May 22nd, 2014 5:24 pm | By

Author of Jesus and Mo explains why it’s a good idea to support J and M via Patreon.

Early in 2014, Jesus & Mo began to cost more money than it made. It has never made much money, as that was never the intention – but the sudden increase in the number and intensity of attacks on the website meant that, without financial help, Jesus & Mo would no longer be a viable enterprise. I love making the comic, but I am not willing to pay $250 plus per month just for the privilege of showing it to the world!

The high cost of hosting is largely down to the advanced Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection which is

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Including, not except

May 22nd, 2014 12:25 pm | By

The Catholic church’s rules on abortion, mandated by US bishops via the ERD (Ethical and Religious Directives) are so twisted and vile that even people who are reporting on them can get them wrong.

This from an article on the church takeover of healthcare institutions in Washington state:

Sheila Reynertson, advocacy coordinator at MergerWatch, which tracks hospital mergers, called the rapid expansion of Catholic-sponsored or -affiliated health care systems in our state an anomaly. A MergerWatch/ACLU study found that in 2011, one in nine acute-care hospital beds across the country had a Catholic affiliation. At the same time in Washington state, 28 percent of acute-care hospital beds were Catholic. That study is based on the most recent information released

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How to explain

May 22nd, 2014 11:46 am | By

Ken Auletta at the New Yorker explains that Jill Abramson wasn’t fired from the New York Times because of gender, it’s just that she was so difficult. Oh well then.

Sulzberger has been, to say the least, an imperfect steward of the paper; he has presided over some disastrous investments (About.com) and disastrous appointments (Howell Raines). But he was surely smart enough to know that firing Abramson, the first female editor of the paper, would set off nightmarish publicity.

Hmm. Let’s think about this. Is Sulzberger smart? Yes. Must be. Because he’s Sulzberger. So is he smart enough to know that firing the first female editor of the paper would set off nightmarish publicity? Must be. See above. Would Read the rest

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The next morning

May 22nd, 2014 11:27 am | By

This is something I was unaware of. There are some things it’s good to be unaware of. I became aware of this example because of a random headline that made me curious. The thing I was unaware of is “coyote ugly.” Urban dictionary explains:

1. coyote ugly

A situation encountered after a night of consuming alcohol whereby a person, usually male, wakes the next morning in a strange bed with a sexual partner from the previous evening who is completely physically undesirable (see ugly, nasty, two bagger) and sleeping on the man’s arm. The hapless male would rather gnaw off his own arm than wake the woman and have to face the ills of his intoxicated choices the previous … Read the rest

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Oh it’s Nicholas Wade again

May 22nd, 2014 8:28 am | By

I see Nicholas Wade has a new book out. I reviewed a book of his, The Faith Instinct, for Free Inquiry in 2010; I disliked it quite a lot. It was full of windy speculation about the putative evolutionary advantages of religion, which I had zero confidence in because he’s a journalist rather than a biologist and also because his speculation was so speculative. Also his claim didn’t even make much sense – the idea was that religion is good for group cohesion, so people who do religion have an advantage so they win all the wars. Huh. Really? What about the way group cohesion can lead to fights with those outside the group? Maybe they’d all have been … Read the rest

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It’s more of a guy thing

May 21st, 2014 4:38 pm | By

The more I look at that picture, the more I’m just…amazed and repulsed.

This isn’t at a party, or even a banquet or a reception. It’s for a group photo of Very Important People in the Global Secular Conference; it’s for the home page, the front page, of this Important new organization. Six adults and one frat boy. Yeesh.… Read the rest

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10 people in one village, 20 in another

May 21st, 2014 4:24 pm | By

The US is sending support personnel to Chad to help look for the Nigerian schoolgirls.

“These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” [the administration] said in a letter.

“The force will remain in Chad until its support in resolving the kidnapping situation is no longer required.”

Also, the UN angle.

Also Wednesday, Nigeria asked the United Nations to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization as its escalating attacks spread alarm nationwide.

If approved, it will enable countries to impose arms embargoes, travel bans and asset freezes.

A United Nations al Qaeda committee is expected to decide when it meets Thursday. Nigeria’s request lists the terror

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Tasteful witticism

May 21st, 2014 3:46 pm | By

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Global shmobal

May 21st, 2014 11:52 am | By

Oops. There’s a thing called the “Global Secular Council.”

First? It’s not so global. They’re nearly all American or Ukanian, and the whole thing is clearly Anglophone.

Last? Its team of experts – 23 of them. Five women. Five.

Look at the glam picture at the top of the front page – what do you see? Four men and three women – not parity, not more women than men, but close to parity. Funny how the conspicuous glam photo on the front page looks as if there are almost as many women as men when in fact, there are not.

That’s not all you see, but I won’t go into that.

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Reading the Pennsylvania decision

May 21st, 2014 11:35 am | By

The decision is here.

Page 17

The parties to this action certainly do not dispute that the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees individuals the fundamental right
to marry. They stridently part company, however, over whether the fundamental
right to marry encompasses the right to marry a person of the same sex. Plaintiffs
contend that the fundamental right to marry belongs to the individual and protects
each individual’s choice of whom to marry. In stark contrast, Defendants contend
that, because “[t]he United States Supreme Court has never recognized that the
fundamental right to marry includes the right to marry a person of one’s choice,”
the Marriage Laws do not violate Plaintiffs’ due process rights. (Doc. 117, p. 20)

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Quick, impeach someone!

May 21st, 2014 11:02 am | By

The American Family Association’s Diane Gramley wants Congress to impeach John Jones because hey FAMILY.

Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania tells OneNewsNow she’s looking to Congress to take action against judges like John Jones. 

“Congress has the ability in the U.S. Constitution to begin impeachment proceedings,” she explains. “When you look at these judges – not only Judge Jones here in Pennsylvania, but other federal judges who are handing down these decisions – their actions are unconstitutional.”

I have doubts about her constitutional scholarship.

The AFA of Pennsylvania put out a press statement on the decision yesterday. Of course it did. It says right in the title that the ruling is wrong.

Judge John Jones’ decision

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Being born female is a manifestation of bad karma

May 21st, 2014 10:25 am | By

At Songdhammakalyani monastery in Thailand

The unassuming monastery in Nakhon Pathom, an hour west of Bangkok, is the only temple in Thailand exclusively devoted to female monks, known as Bhikkhunis. In 2003, its abbess, the Venerable Dhammananda became the first Thai woman to ordain as a Bhikkhuni in Theravada Buddhism – defying tradition by travelling to Sri Lanka for the ceremony. Her decision sent shockwaves through the deeply conservative Thai Sangha Council, which explicitly banned the ordination of women in 1928.

But now it’s all ok? No. The Sangha continues to be against it.

According to the abbess, the challenges reflect decades of institutionalised patriarchy, rooted in the belief that being born female is a manifestation of bad karma

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Islam teaches us shame

May 21st, 2014 9:38 am | By

One of the ExMuslim blogs at EXMNA is Chista’s Contemplation. Her most recent post is A Conversation With My Mother.

Chista’s mother dragged her to visit a shrine, to pay respects to an “Islamic Saint” buried there. And then they got to the mosque…

I observed how the Male Prayer Hall was opulently decorated with grand chandeliers and exquisite furnishing. I observed how elaborately designed curtains were hung before the Mihrab and how the intricately decorated prayer rugs were generously spread around. Most importantly, I observed how ventilated the Hall was. Doors were unbolted. Window panels were unlatched. There was a beautiful blend of sunlight and chandelier light throughout the grand hall.

And then, there was a Female

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Jesus and Mo and Patreon

May 21st, 2014 9:23 am | By

Jesus and Mo is now on Patreon.

This was my idea. [smug]

So if you want to help Jesus and Mo thrive and prosper, and get a reward, you can do that.

Here is the new Jesus and Mo:

 … Read the rest

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They call it human rightism

May 20th, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Well, that puts it out there – concern with human rights is a “deviation” that gets in the way of religious rules and demands and childish petty meddling with everybody’s happiness. The PM of Malaysia is against it.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Islam and its followers are now being tested by new threats under the guise of humanism, secularism, liberalism and human rights.

He said this mindset appeared to be becoming a new form of religion which was fast expanding locally and abroad.

“They call it human rightism, where the core beliefs are based on humanism and secularism as well as liberalism.

“It’s deviationist in that it glorifies the desires of man alone and rejects

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