Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Especially bad decisions

Dec 12th, 2014 3:50 pm | By

Stacey Patton and David J Leonard at the BBC look at why some victims get blamed for being killed by the police.

“You had a 350lb (158.8kg) person who was resisting arrest. The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible,” New York Representative Peter King told the press. “If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died.”

This sort of logic sees Garner’s choices as the reasons for his death. Everything is about what he did. He had a petty criminal record with dozens of arrests, he (allegedly) sold untaxed cigarettes, he resisted arrest and disrespected the officers by not complying.

It’s as if … Read the rest

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



Ruling: the killing of Tamir Rice was a homicide

Dec 12th, 2014 12:40 pm | By

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s report ruled Rice’s death a homicide.

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Grave violation

Dec 12th, 2014 12:21 pm | By

The Malay Mail Online notes that the IHEU report on freedom of thought singled out Malaysia “for trampling on the rights of non-religious sections of society.”

The International Humanist and Ethical Union’s (IHEU) latest edition of the Freedom of Thought Report 2014 gave Malaysia a“grave violation” rating, specifically citing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s speech in Kuantan on May 14 in which he branded “humanism and secularism as well as liberalism” as “deviant”.

Najib went on to describe these elements as a threat to Islam and the country at a national-level Quran Recital Assembly, the report added.

“This country is found to be declining due to alienating rhetoric against “atheists” and “humanists” voiced in 2014 by the prime minister,

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Greenpeace still doesn’t get it

Dec 12th, 2014 11:53 am | By

Greenpeace has apologized to the people of Peru for stomping on the Nazca lines in order to stick a dopy slogan next to them – but it’s a bad, point-missing apology.

Greenpeace has apologized for the action. “Without reservation Greenpeace apologises to the people of Peru for the offence caused by our recent activity laying a message of hope at the site of the historic Nazca Lines,” the organization said in a statement. “We are deeply sorry for this.

“Rather than relay an urgent message of hope and possibility to the leaders gathering at the Lima UN climate talks, we came across as careless and crass.”

No, you dumb fucks. You damaged the site. It’s not about how … Read the rest

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That’s why

Dec 12th, 2014 10:46 am | By

Adam Lee has a post on the “suppression” of Richard Dawkins, based on that interview with Kimberly Winston a few weeks ago. There’s a comment on it that is surprisingly oblivious to something that seems completely obvious to me. (Which just goes to show – what’s obvious to me is not obvious to thee. That’s what all this is about, in the end.)

Adam, your points are as always well thought through and equally well written.
What I don’t understand is the obsession that some in the atheist community have in following Richard Dawkins every word and then proceeding to perform an autopsy on the perceived flaws in his character. He is after all human like the rest of

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He could be facing five years in prison for blasphemy

Dec 12th, 2014 9:53 am | By

You know how we keep being told that Indonesia is an example of a country where Islam is the majority religion but is not oppressive?

Oh really?

The Jakarta Post has defended the publication of a cartoon criticising Islamic State (IS) militants, after its editor was named in a defamation case.

The cartoon shows a flag similar to ones used by IS with the words “there is no God but Allah”, and a skull and crossbones.

That is, the IS flag has the words “there is no God but Allah” and a plain oval; the cartoon made the plain oval a skull and crossbones.

Published on 3 July, the cartoon replaces the oval shape on the original flag with a

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The ISS sends a postcard

Dec 12th, 2014 9:39 am | By

The view from up there – Lake Michigan, Chicago, St Louis, Memphis…

Image Credit: NASA/Barry Wilmore

From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore took this photograph of the Great Lakes and central U.S. on Dec. 7, 2014, and posted it to social media.

Toronto, Buffalo…Columbus…Atlanta…… Read the rest

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Cosby’s attorneys did not respond to Vanity Fair’s requests for comment

Dec 11th, 2014 5:37 pm | By

Another woman has a Bill Cosby story. (No, it’s not a story of how he spotted some guy spiking her drink and gave the guy a damn good talking to. Nope.) Beverly Johnson tells hers in Vanity Fair.

She grew up admiring Cosby. She was delighted when he asked her to audition for a bit part on his show. She met with him in his office and thought he was fabulous. She and her young daughter had lunch at his house and she thought he was even more fabulous.

Looking back, that first invite from Cosby to his home seems like part of a perfectly laid out plan, a way to make me feel secure with him at all

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Bad move, Greenpeace

Dec 11th, 2014 1:25 pm | By

Wow. What not to do: make a point about climate change by trampling on a fragile, restricted, ancient artwork.

http://www.ancient-origins.net/

The BBC reports:

Peru says it will sue activists from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace after they placed a banner next to the Nazca Lines heritage site.

The activists entered a restricted area next to the ancient ground markings depicting a hummingbird and laid down letters advocating renewable energy.

Peru is currently hosting the UN climate summit in its capital, Lima.

So Greenpeace rewards Peru by stomping on the Nazca lines, where people are not allowed to walk. What will they do next, have a rave in the Lascaux caves? Build a campfire at Stonehenge? Skateboard all … Read the rest

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There’s international law, and then there’s the United States

Dec 11th, 2014 11:53 am | By

Atul Gawande is horrified at the way medical doctors helped the torturers.

In a series of furious tweets on Wednesday, the New Yorker writer castigated clinicians for their role in helping the CIA carry out torture — and in some cases, effectively doing it themselves.

Reviewing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s newly released report, Gawande points to nearly a dozen individual examples of physicians playing a role in the CIA’s interrogation and treatment of detainees.

For instance, at least five detainees were subjected to forced rectal feeding or rectal rehydration — where CIA torturers infused large amounts of liquids into their rectums — one of the most gruesome parts of the Senate’s report, the Daily Beast‘s Shane Harris

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No, I no Catholic, u Catholic?

Dec 11th, 2014 11:01 am | By

Via a Catholic group on Facebook

Did Jesus feed the hungry as a general thing? I know about the loaves and fishes but that was a one-off, and it was “the hungry” in the sense that a bunch of people were together for awhile and time passed so they got hungry – it wasn’t about feeding the chronically hungry poor.

Did Jesus clothe the naked? Did he care for the ill?

He is reported to have done some good things, like talking to despised people and commending forgiveness, but he wasn’t a social justice warrior. And as for the Catholic church…

Also, notice “the unwanted child”…Subtle, huh?… Read the rest

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Seven every hour

Dec 11th, 2014 10:14 am | By

The BBC reports that jihadist (I would call them Islamist) attacks killed more than 5000 people

in one month.

It has useful graphics. Iraq and IS are much the worst, but Nigeria and Boko Haram get second prize.

The data gathered by the BBC found that 5,042 people were killed in 664 jihadist attacks across 14 countries – a daily average of 168 deaths, or seven every hour.

About 80% of the deaths came in just four countries – Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Afghanistan, according to the study of media and civil society reports.

Iraq was the most dangerous place to be, with 1,770 deaths in 233 attacks, ranging from shootings to suicide bombings.

In Nigeria, 786 people, almost

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Cheney says the report is full of crap

Dec 11th, 2014 10:05 am | By

Good PR for the American Enterprise Institute – an NPR story on Dick Cheney defending the use of torture on prisoners, illustrated with Cheney in his native habitat.

Pro-unregulated market, anti-feminist, pro-torture, anti-climate science, pro-bosses, anti-unions – the friend of all humanity.… Read the rest

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In prison for having a miscarriage

Dec 10th, 2014 5:33 pm | By

17 women are in prison in El Salvador for having miscarriages or abortions. The Center for Reproductive Justice is campaigning to get them freed.

With one of the world’s most extreme abortion bans, El Salvador prohibits women from receiving an abortion under any circumstance—not in cases of rape or incest, not even to save their lives. Since 1998, dozens of women have been wrongfully criminalized and imprisoned under this law—even when the pregnancy ended due to natural causes. Take action today to pressure the Salvadoran government to release Las 17 in time to go home to their families for the holidays.

It shares some of their stories.

Twenty-nine-year-old Teresa worked in a sweatshop in San Salvador and lived in

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The cunning plan was successful

Dec 10th, 2014 5:01 pm | By

So James Watson’s little trick worked. The rich guy who bought his Nobel medal did indeed buy it to give it back to him.

Russia’s richest man has revealed that he bought US scientist James Watson’s Nobel Prize gold medal, and intends to return it to him.

Steel and telecoms tycoon Alisher Usmanov said Mr Watson “deserved” the medal, and that he was “distressed” the scientist had felt forced to sell it.

The medal, awarded in 1962 for the discovery of the structure of DNA, sold for $4.8m (£3m) at auction.

The medal was the first Nobel Prize to be put on sale by a living recipient.

Cool way to make 5 million bucks. Dignified, too.

In an interview

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When you are raised to believe you have no choice in anything you do

Dec 10th, 2014 4:34 pm | By

Shaheen Hashmat did an interview for the Scottish Sunday Mail ten days ago, and she has the article on her blog.

This is the transcript of an article by journalist Jenny Morrison featuring the most in-depth interview about my experiences that I’ve done to date. It took me a while to agree to do this, as it would a mean a lot more detailed exposure closer to home and my fear of a backlash was greater. But the imbalance of efforts to raise awareness and provide support throughout the UK is too significant to dismiss an opportunity to at least try and address this. Please note the minor clarifications I’ve included below the transcript.

She’s brave.

She was just

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Thoughts on proportion

Dec 10th, 2014 3:32 pm | By

Not to flog the deceased equine too much or anything but there’s an interesting little point in here. Slate has a pre-apology piece about the law and consumers and redress, and it reminds me of a larger issue.

Summary: Edelman was wrong about the law, too: “treble damages” isn’t mandatory but at the discretion of the judge, and anyway there’s a $25 minimum.

MGL 93a(9)(3) requires that before bringing suit the plaintiff send a demand letter to the business asking for rectification of the unfair or deceptive act or practice. That gives the business a chance to settle things for something like actual damages. The whole purpose of the demand provision is to encourage settlement and to act as

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Ben Edelman has apologized

Dec 10th, 2014 3:13 pm | By

Fair’s fair. I pointed at him for being a poopyhead so it’s only right to point out that he’s agreed he was a poopyhead and apologized for being it.

Here is Edelman’s newest statement, via his personal website:

Many people have seen my emails with Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden restaurant in Brookline.

Having reflected on my interaction with Ran, including what I said and how I said it, it’s clear that I was very much out of line. I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation. Clearly I failed to do so. I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future.

I have reached

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Free the 17

Dec 10th, 2014 2:43 pm | By

Via Center for Reproductive Rights on Facebook:

Today is International Human Rights Day! There’s no better day to tell Secretary of State John Kerry to stand up for the fundamental rights of El Salvador’s #Las17. SIGN the petition now to bring them home: http://bit.ly/Las17-Petition

 … Read the rest

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Guest post: One millionth of what it will cost in a few years

Dec 10th, 2014 11:48 am | By

Originally a comment by quixote on The gulf is rising.

I was a grad student at Tulane in the late 1980s and took many field trips out to the Gulf swamps. Some of them were to help a researcher studying sedimentation rates. Biologists knew then that what is happening now was going to happen. Even then, it would have been expensive to do anything about it, but about one hundredth or one thousandth what it costs now. And one millionth of what it will cost in a few years.

There are two main causes of the problem. Levees along the Mississippi push all the sediment out at one spot near Venice ( and make Gulf dead zones) instead of … Read the rest

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