Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Nostalgia

Apr 8th, 2014 3:35 pm | By

Ahhhhhhh sweet.

Via Facebook.… Read the rest

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



Sockfashionista

Apr 8th, 2014 3:22 pm | By

Baby’s got a new pair of shoooooes I mean socks. Or rather two.

They’re a present from Jen Phillips.… Read the rest

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



Geocentric dalliance

Apr 8th, 2014 12:22 pm | By

Phil Plait watches a silly documentary so that you don’t have to. All right not the documentary itself but the trailer for it. This one is about geocentrism, the idea that the earth is the center of the universe. (That really is silly. I’m the center of the universe.)

The trailer does seem to be making a case for Geocentrism (it’s mentioned specifically), but given the title, I would guess they’re going to try to make a broader point that the Universe itself was made—created, if you will—purposely for us. This idea (broadly speaking) is called the strong anthropic principle (hence the doco title), and as a philosophy it’s not terribly informative. It’s fun to think about in a

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



More circuses

Apr 8th, 2014 11:39 am | By

The Tories want to introduce interest-free loans for students!

Oh no wait, it’s not for all students.

A new system of “Sharia-compliant” student loans is to be launched to allow more Muslim students to go to university, it has been announced.

David Willetts, the Universities Minister, said an alternative financial model was being created to satisfy Islamic law that forbids Muslims taking out loans that make interest.

Under the system, students would apply for taxpayer-backed loans but repay them into a mutual-style fund that would be ring-fenced to provide future finance to other students with the same religious beliefs.

The move will raise concerns over a two-tier system in which Muslim students pay less than other undergraduates.

But the

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You don’t like it? Go back to Atheostan

Apr 7th, 2014 4:32 pm | By

More of the comedy of “politically correct persecution of Christians” from the UK:

Militant atheists should “get over it” and accept that Britain is a Christian country, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

That’s what a “Communities Secretary” is for is it? I wouldn’t know, because we don’t have one in the US, not at the federal level at least. We don’t have one for sport, either, or one for faith. How impoverished we are. Anyway so the job of the Communities Secretary is to piss on people who are part of the wrong kind of “communities”?

“I’ve stopped an attempt by militant atheists to ban councils having prayers at the start of meetings if they wish,” said Mr Pickles.

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What kind of man actually takes parental leave?

Apr 7th, 2014 3:59 pm | By

The earth shakes as the dinosaurs come trudging into view. Wham, wham, wham.

Dave Zirin at The Nation peers at the enormous footprints.

This is not another shooting-fish-in-a-barrel commentary about the antediluvian swinishness of Boomer Esiason and Mike Francesa. This is not another swipe at their comments criticizing the efforts of Mets second basemen Daniel Murphy for missing opening day to be with his wife for the birth of their child. For those who missed it, Esiason opined, “I would have said, ‘C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry, this is what makes our money. This is how we’re going to live our life. This is going to give my child every opportunity

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Guest post on why Scalia really should recuse himself

Apr 7th, 2014 3:25 pm | By

Originally a comment by Pteryxx on Why Justice Scalia should recuse himself from abortion cases.

A spouse’s political views, even views they actively promote and work on, don’t rise to the level of conflict-of-interest that Supreme Court justices have traditionally employed in deciding on recusal.

That’s only because the Supreme Court, specifically, has given itself narrower standards for recusal than federal law applies. That’s all the more reason to challenge them to defend their decisions not to recuse themselves – and recusal motions do get filed.

This article quotes the text of 28 U.S. Code § 455 – Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge (Link to code)

“Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall

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



Compartmentalization

Apr 7th, 2014 2:49 pm | By

We need more of it. The whole Caesar/God division – we need to apply that more broadly.

It’s not difficult. We already know the basic principle – we won’t come into your churches and mosques and tell you how to do the god thing, and you won’t take over hospitals and government and engineering. Ok?

Here’s why. The god thing isn’t relevant to anything except itself. It’s often harmful to things that aren’t itself. Bridges aren’t designed according to faith. Bridges have to be designed according to this world properties of steel and concrete, not according to other world notions of miracles and faith. There has to be a strict division between the two. Otherwise you get a mess.

Geology, … Read the rest

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



Another archbishop heard from

Apr 7th, 2014 11:09 am | By

The archbishop of Canterbury claims Christians in Africa are being massacred because of growing acceptance of gay unions in the West.

From Barry Duke at the Freethinker:

Justin Welby said he had stood by a mass grave in Nigeria of 330 Christians who had been massacred by neighbours who had justified the atrocity by saying:

If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians.

Who are these “neighbours”? Welby didn’t elaborate, simply saying:

I have stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have

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



Firmly prohibited in Catholic hospitals

Apr 7th, 2014 10:33 am | By

This again. The Savita Halappanavar scenario, in the US, in a Catholic hospital. It happens a lot but it seldom gets reported on. This one got reported on because the woman is a nurse. Most women this happens to aren’t nurses or doctors.

Jennifer had been experiencing heavy vaginal bleeding for over a week when she went to her physician’s office. He told her she was miscarrying and discussed her need for a dilation and curettage (D&C) to stop the bleeding and protect her health. A D&C is a procedure to empty the uterus; the same technique is used for both miscarriage management and abortion.

Abortion, unsurprisingly, is firmly prohibited in Catholic hospitals (along with contraception, sterilization, most fertility

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



The crowd guffawed

Apr 6th, 2014 4:30 pm | By

The New York Times has a long piece about the tech industry and women.

Elissa Shevinsky can pinpoint the moment when she felt that she no longer belonged.

She was at a friend’s house last Sept. 8, watching the live stream of the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon on her laptop and iPhone. Entrepreneurs were showing off their products, and two young Australian men, David Boulton and Jethro Batts, stood behind the podium to give their presentation. “Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits,” Mr. Boulton began, as photographs of women’s chests on a cellphone flashed on the screen behind him.

After some banter, Mr. Batts concluded, “This is the breast hack ever.”

The crowd

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Lobbying for specialness

Apr 6th, 2014 3:34 pm | By

Religions teaming up to demand special status for religion, again.

Churches and faith groups are calling for the role of religion to be recognised in any written constitution for Scotland.

They plan to hold an interfaith conference on the subject in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, in July.

The call follows an interfaith meeting convened by the Church of Scotland.

Why? Why are they doing that? Why can’t they just do what they do without trying to make it mandatory and part of the government and official and something that everyone has to defer to?

And what role is it that they want to be recognised in any written constitution for Scotland? Religion’s role in making stupid arbitrary rules that stunt … Read the rest

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



Born with a vagina and pattern matching

Apr 6th, 2014 12:46 pm | By

Lea Verou is (via the New York Times) an incoming Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering and computer science at M.I.T. She wrote a much-read essay on Women in Technology initiatives, which she thinks mostly do more harm than good. Near the beginning she says this:

I want to be invited for my skills as a developer and a speaker, not because I happened to be born with a vagina.

On female role models

I’m tired of being told I will be a good “role model” for other female web developers at a conference. If somebody is a good role model, they’re a good role model for everyone, regardless of gender. I never cared if my role models had

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



Why Justice Scalia should recuse himself from abortion cases

Apr 6th, 2014 12:05 pm | By

Why should Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia recuse himself from abortion rights cases and related cases like McCullen v. Coakley? Because he’s married to an anti-abortion rights campaigner. See her page at the anti-abortion Nurturing Network:

Maureen Scalia
Crisis Pregnancy Counselor
Pro-Life Advocate

“I have been moved by the courage of so many who in their loneliness struggle to protect the life they nurture within.  Serving on the Board of the Nurturing Network is the culmination of my experience in working to protect and defend life.”

That is a big honkin conflict of interest.

The Nurturing Network is a response to the legalization of abortion – there was no such network before Roe v Wade. Its purpose is Read the rest

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



Rayhaneh Jabbari could be hanged at any moment

Apr 6th, 2014 9:59 am | By

Rayhaneh Jabbari is sentenced to hang for killing her rapist in self defense in Iran. There is a petition to get this stopped.

Reyhaneh Jabbari is at risk of imminent execution for having killed a member of the Iranian intelligence services, Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a physician, who was attempting to rape her. Her execution verdict has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Rayhaneh Jabbari is a 26 six year old woman who has been in prison for the last 7 years and is awaiting imminent execution[ by hanging].

Rayhaneh, an interior designer, was speaking on the phone about her work in a coffee shop, a conversation which was coincidentally overheard by Morteza who approached her for professional advice about renovating

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



Falangism in Ireland

Apr 6th, 2014 9:51 am | By

Behold, the entanglement of church and state in Ireland. The very police forces brandish bibles at their graduation ceremony. The Irish Times has the photographic record:

Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

That’s a truly frightening picture. These are police officers, agents of state power. They’re not supposed to work for any church.… Read the rest

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



Guest post: There is a fundamental difference

Apr 6th, 2014 9:42 am | By

Originally a comment by Gordon Willis on How different?

The major point is that the desire to learn about the world as it is in itself is not and cannot be the same as the desire to understand god’s creation. There is a fundamental difference which the words “learn more about the world around us” conceals. The one leads to knowledge regardless of any desire for human or personal “significance”, the other has as its goal an interpretation of the world related only to personal meaning (whatever “meaning” means). There is a search for knowledge and a search for meaning, and although these seem to go together there is a point at which the ways divide. Stedman seems to be … Read the rest

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



She only wants to talk to women

Apr 5th, 2014 5:36 pm | By

Is there a First Amendment right to bother strangers in the street? I sure as hell hope not.

By the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court will have decided one of the most contentious topics facing abortion clinics and their patients today: at what point does a protester’s First Amendment rights interfere with a clinic patient’s right to seek medical care without nonconsensual proselytizing? That is the issue in McCullen v. Coakley, and a 35-foot buffer zone surrounding women’s reproductive healthcare facilities in Massachusetts. Mark Rienzi, on behalf of the anti-abortion activists who are challenging the state’s law, argued that being made to stand outside of a buffer zone inhibits his clients’ opportunities to speak with patients,

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



Some mirror

Apr 5th, 2014 1:46 pm | By

Google Earth street view from a road along a fjord on Austvågøy island which is one of the Lofoten islands in Norway (way up in Norway).

Click on it to get the full effect.

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



How different?

Apr 5th, 2014 12:45 pm | By

Chris Stedman asks at Religion News what misconceptions people have about atheists. There are lots of them, he notes, and that’s probably because most people don’t know many atheists, or don’t realize they do.

But when people meet atheists, they have an opportunity to revise their ideas about who we are and what we believe.

In that spirit, the Yale Humanist Community is cosponsoring an “Ask an Atheist” panel with Hartford Faith & Values—Connecticut’s nonsectarian, nonprofit religion news website and an affiliate of Religion News Service—this Monday, April 7 as the kickoff event for our first ever Humanism at Yale Week.

Great idea. He gets the other panelists to give some misconceptions, then he adds one.

I

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