Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Differences

Feb 23rd, 2014 12:04 pm | By

A fascinating article with many implications to explore: We Aren’t the World.

In 1995 a young anthropologist tried to do a popular social science experiment with the Machiguenga, an indigenous people who live north of Machu Picchu in the Amazon basin.

When he began to run the game it became immediately clear that Machiguengan behavior was dramatically different from that of the average North American.

The potential implications of the unexpected results were quickly apparent to Henrich. He knew that a vast amount of scholarly literature in the social sciences—particularly in economics and psychology—relied on the ultimatum game and similar experiments. At the heart of most of that research was the implicit assumption that the results revealed evolved

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What’s a little “not” between friends?

Feb 23rd, 2014 10:51 am | By

Jacques Rousseau points out how far Ugandan MPs will go in their efforts to persecute gay people.

the ministerial task team advising the President on the bill “falsified the information contained in the report given by medical and psychological experts, twisting it to show that homosexuality should indeed be further criminalised“.

Let’s follow that link, to Shaun De Waal’s article in the Mail & Guardian.

Under international pressure, President Yoweri Museveni delayed signing the controversial Bill into law, asking for a panel of experts to be convened to advise on whether homosexuality was “learned” behaviour or an inborn condition.

The experts – including academics from Marekere University and officials in the Ugandan ministry of health – said that,

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What is even more bone-chilling

Feb 22nd, 2014 6:04 pm | By

Kausik Datta wrote a post on the Philadelphia parents who let not one but two of their children die while they prayed over them instead of seeking medical care.

Not one, but two, of the sons (aged 2 years and 8 months at death) of this über-religious Pennsylvania couple died, in 2009 and in 2013 respectively, of entirely preventable and treatable bacterial pneumonia, because they would not vaccinate or seek medical help when required, instead choosing to pray over the sick child. After the first child’s death, they were convicted of involuntary manslaughter, receiving probation and a mandate to seek proper professional medical help in case of illness of their children. They did not.

I find it hard to

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You get two tries

Feb 22nd, 2014 5:42 pm | By

There are these parents, Catherine and Herbert Schaible. Their two-year-old son died of treatable pneumonia in 2009 after they “treated” him with prayer instead of medical care. They were under a court order not to do that again (which seems a good deal too generous, frankly). They did do it again, and another child died of pneumonia.

The Schaibles are third-generation members of an insular Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia, where they also taught at the church school. They have seven surviving children.

Judge Benjamin Lerner rejected defense claims that their religious beliefs “clashed” with the 2011 court order to get annual checkups and call a doctor if a child became ill. The order

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Her intention is bad

Feb 22nd, 2014 11:41 am | By

For more insight into the horrible mind of Dinanath Batra, president of Shiksha Bachao Andola and the plaintiff in the ridiculous yet successful lawsuit against Penguin and Wendy Doniger, there’s a little interview he did for Time.

TIME: What are your objections to Wendy Doniger’s book, The Hindus?

Batra: Her intention is bad, the content is anti-national and the language is abusive. Her agenda is to malign Hinduism and hurt the feelings of Hindus.

He doesn’t know that. He’s not a mind-reader. Also, it’s not true – Doniger admires Hinduism.

Why does it matter so much to you about what someone writes about Hinduism?

If someone makes a cartoon of the prophet Mohammad,  Muslims are outraged around the

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YOU NOTICEE

Feb 22nd, 2014 10:58 am | By

So about that lawsuit – check it out.

It starts with “Yo, my client is an educationist, and he happened on your book, and he knows you’ve written other books, yo.”

4.       That my client has read the book authored by you namely the Hindus: An Alternative History. That after reading the book my client found it to be a shallow, distorted and non serious presentation of Hinduism. That it is a haphazard presentation riddled with heresies and factual inaccuracies.

AND THAT IS AGAINST THE LAW HOW DARE YOU.

5.       That after reading the said book my client is of the opinion my client states that the aforesaid book is written with a Christian Missionary Zeal and hidden agenda

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Someone somewhere is sure to feel insulted

Feb 22nd, 2014 10:34 am | By

Martha Nussbaum has written a piece for the Indian Express on the suppression of Wendy Doniger’s book, Penguin’s collapse and capitulation, Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, hate speech, group defamation, threats and more.

…now, with the withdrawal and pulping of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History, the bullies have scored a major victory. Penguin, after fighting the legal case against Doniger for four years, suddenly folded, saying that it would be difficult to continue defending Doniger without “deliberately placing themselves outside the law” — the law in question being Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which forbids “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class of citizens”.

Penguin’s claim is ridiculous.

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How much dog poop stirred into your cookie batter

Feb 22nd, 2014 9:40 am | By

Uh oh. A state-funded religious education program in Australia has been telling girls they’re sluts.

Parents and teachers have called for an urgent overhaul of religious education in schools after year 6 children were given material claiming girls who wear revealing clothes are inviting sexual assault, and homosexuality, masturbation and sex before marriage are sinful.

Students at Torquay College were presented with “Biblezines” as a graduation present at the end of their Christian education program, run by Access Ministries – the government accredited provider of religious instruction in Victorian schools.

The magazines, Refuel 2 and Revolve 2 – which intersperse the text of the New Testament with dating advice, beauty tips and music reviews – warn girls not to

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Indecent acts

Feb 22nd, 2014 9:11 am | By

An Ethiopian woman says she was gang-raped in Sudan, so naturally she was arrested. There is video of her being sexually assaulted, so naturally she’s been convicted of “indecent acts.”

The woman of 18 was three months’ pregnant at the time of the alleged attack.

She was arrested after video of her allegedly being sexually abused was circulated on social media.

Three men who admitted having sex with the woman and two who distributed the video were reportedly sentenced to being whipped.

The three were each sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery, while two got 40 lashes for distributing indecent material, according to women’s rights group Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA).

Nothing about the rape.… Read the rest

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Ben Baz speaks

Feb 22nd, 2014 8:27 am | By

I asked Ben Baz a few questions.

What was your year in prison like? Were you able to read? Could you get books and other reading materials you wanted? Were other prisoners hostile to you?

Ben Baz: It was like hell, I was too much discriminated against by prisoners, that’s because I committed an unforgivable crime as they think. Islam says that apostasy is an unforgivable sin and deserves beheading.

How can you live a full year with people full of hatred towards you?

I was not able to read because they are afraid to bring undesirable books. Once I pushed them hard to bring any book and the officer persuaded me to read the Quran for a whole month … Read the rest

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The clash

Feb 22nd, 2014 7:30 am | By

Oh the boredom of it. The pointless, stultifying, door-closing boredom of it.

taslima nasreen @taslimanasreen

New study: Ants can lift up to 5,000 times their own body weight.

Defender of Islam @doi1999

@taslimanasreen All praise to Allah. He made them that way.

Don’t think, don’t marvel, don’t wonder. Just praise a cipher, and let it go at that.… Read the rest

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A little-known rule for arguing

Feb 21st, 2014 5:39 pm | By

When you disagree with something, don’t ever say “I happen to believe that…[the opposite of whatever it is you're disagreeing with].” Just say “I think” instead. Saying you “happen to” doesn’t add anything (what would it add?) and it sounds pompous. It sounds pompous because it doesn’t add anything. We know you “happen to” believe whatever it is; how else would you believe it, destiny? We all “happen to” believe what we believe; there’s no need to announce it.

It’s just affectation. Avoid affectation. By the same token avoid affectations like “well played, sir” as if you were Samuel Johnson at a game of rounders. (And speaking of Johnson, don’t call him “Doctor” Johnson.) (And speaking of not calling people … Read the rest

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Guest post: It says right here that you can’t do that

Feb 21st, 2014 4:59 pm | By

Guest post by Your name’s not Bruce? originally a comment on Mandatory prayer.

Aren’t US state legislators required to take an oath to uphold the Constitution rather than subvert it? Aren’t there people who are familiar with how laws work (you know LAWYERS) who can sit these people down and say “No, you’re not allowed to do that. It says so right here. In this document you’ve sworn to uphold, in this document which is one of the foundations upon which all our laws are built and against which all our laws are tested. It says right here that you can’t do that. We won’t even put it into the legislature for a vote. Because it says RIGHT HERE … Read the rest

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Mandatory prayer

Feb 21st, 2014 11:49 am | By

Americans United reports on two – not one but two – bills under discussion in the Alabama legislature proposing a government establishment of religion.

One egregious bill, HB 318, would require public school teachers to recite prayers each morning at the beginning of school. Proponents of this bill have tried to create the illusion of constitutionality by specifying that the prayers must be the same ones recited by the United States Congress.

That’s quite a massive step up – from allowing to requiring.

HB 281 claims to allow religious student expression in public school classrooms, but actually is unnecessary and potentially harmful. Students can already observe their religion as long as it isn’t coercive or disrupt the school’s educational

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Chekhov’s preferences

Feb 21st, 2014 10:46 am | By

James Lasdun wrote a tribute to Chekhov in the Guardian in 2010.

Have a striking passage from it:

His father, Paul, ran a grocery-cum-general store where Taganrog society congregated to purchase rice, coffee, paraffin, mousetraps, ammonia, penknives and vodka, and were duly cheated by the proprietor. Family lore records an occasion where a drowned rat was found in a cask of cooking oil. Instead of throwing out the oil, Paul had it “sanctified” by a priest, and continued selling it – an ur-Chekhovian episode, complete with a climax that is at once a non-event (business going on as usual), and a pitiless illumination of the father’s character. A bullying, fanatically religious man as well as a total failure (he went

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The right kind of child rape

Feb 21st, 2014 10:04 am | By

A good thing from last May – Stephen Fry chatting with Craig Ferguson about homophobia. In particular, he reports meeting with the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Integrity. Progressive Secular Humanist has a transcript.

I actually got a Ugandan Minister to say on camera- he’s the Minister for Ethics and Integrity, it’s the only such ministry in the world. I said to him… there’s so much more to worry about in your country than the odd gay person going to bed with the other gay person. For example, you have almost an epidemic of child rape in this country, which is just frightening.

And he said “Ah, but it is the right kind of child rape.”

[Ferguson reacts.]

I

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Veto that bill

Feb 21st, 2014 9:07 am | By

So, yeah, the Arizona House passed that bill last night. The New Civil Rights Movement reports.

The full Arizona House just passed a religious freedom license to discriminate bill that will allow anyone, for any reason, refuse to provide services to anyone if they claim it violates their religious beliefs. The Arizona Senate passed their version of the bill, SB 1062, just yesterday.

The legislation is now headed to Republican Governor Jan Brewer for her signature or veto.

After several hours of debate, the Republican-led Arizona House in an unrecorded voice vote sent HB 2153, an Act Relating To The Free Exercise Of Religion to the full House for a vote. That vote happened only minutes later. The

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Nicely done, Rocco’s

Feb 21st, 2014 8:36 am | By

Hats off to Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson, Arizona – yes that’s ARIZONA, where the Senate and then last night the House passed a bill allowing people to refuse service to anyone provided they could claim it’s an expression of their sincerely-held religious beliefs. Hats off to Rocco’s for its reply on its Facebook page.

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Selective secularism

Feb 20th, 2014 6:09 pm | By

An Indian site reports on an interview with Taslima in which she says Indian secularism is too selective. It has video of that part of the interview (which is in English) and a transcript.

Sagarika Ghose:Do you believe secularists in India are selective?

Taslima Nasrin: I think secularists in India are selective. I don’t think they are true secularists. I criticise Muslim fundamentalism as well as Hindu fundamentalism. Indian secularists defend those people who are attacked by Hindu fundamentalists but they do not defend writers and authors, filmmakers and people who are attacked by Muslim fundamentalists. This is very alarming.

Taslima has a much more extended version of her thoughts on her blog, which is right next door here.… Read the rest

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All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment

Feb 20th, 2014 5:34 pm | By

Now that you mention it, let’s just take a look at the 1964 Civil Rights Act, shall we? Let’s take a look at the law that says no, actually, you may not discriminate or segregate on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin. It does not say “sexual orientation” in that short list, nor does it say “gender.” Both should be added. But the fundamental point is clear: you don’t get to discriminate or segregate for bad reasons.

Title II is INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN PLACES OF .PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION.

SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any

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