Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

In the post-antibiotic era

Oct 29th, 2013 11:27 am | By

I knew the situation with antibiotics was bad but I didn’t know how bad. It’s really bad. The part I didn’t realize (which was stupid of me, because it’s obvious once it’s pointed out) is how heavily most advances in medical treatment, i.e. surgeries, depend on antibiotics. We’re screwed.

Frontline did a big show on it last week which I haven’t seen yet. It has an interview with Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the CDC on its website.

They really are miracle drugs, and not only have they saved the lives of millions and millions of people … but antibiotics have opened up new frontiers in medicine that would be impossible without them.

Like what?

For example, organ transplantation. One of

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



Actively working

Oct 29th, 2013 11:07 am | By

For awhile the Mormon church tried to appear like less of a malicious hate-driven institution, but now that Romney has not been elected president it’s decided the hell with that, at least in Hawaii. It’s back to the old project of trying to repair the gayness, according to Mother Jones.

This week, the Hawaii state legislature began a special session to consider a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. The church is actively working to kill that measure.

One Sunday in September, local Mormon bishops read a letter from top Hawaii Mormon leadership instructing churchgoers to contact public officials about the same-sex marriage bill.

The letter was not the full-throated call to action the church issued during

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They raped her then threw her into a toilet pit

Oct 29th, 2013 10:49 am | By

Another petition worth flagging up (because worth signing) - about a rape case in Kenya in which the rapists were basically congratulated and sent on their merry way.

["Liz" is not the victim's real name and that's not a picture of her.]

16 year old Liz was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when she was ambushed by six men who took turns raping her and then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit. Their punishment? Police had them mow their station lawn, then let them go free!

Liz’s horror story has sent shockwaves through Kenya and now politicians and the police are under pressure to respond. But women’s groups in Kenya say nothing will truly change unless

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He was having a bad day

Oct 29th, 2013 10:02 am | By

That must have been an exciting day in the Religious Education class.

A religious education teacher has been struck off after telling pupils: “Hitler wasn’t all bad – he killed the Jews, the gays and the disabled”.

David McNally also told pupils at Kilwinning Academy that he would rather have been a child abuser and liked to watch porn on his mobile phone.

The remarks were made to S3 and higher RE classes on 1 November 2012.

First of all he seems to have gone off topic…although I suppose he could have been attempting to explain why Hitler was a good and orthodox Catholic, to start with, and then shifted to explaining why child abuse is totally Catholic and … Read the rest

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That’s a doesn’t follow if I ever saw one

Oct 28th, 2013 3:52 pm | By

Joking aside, though, I really do have profound contempt for this whole “there are bigger issues so shut up about your issues because they’re not the biggest issues” line of patter. It’s even worse because it’s not even serious, or really meant, it’s just a pretext for saying some kind of shit, however desperate. But it wouldn’t be very respectable even if it were meant.

It’s just fucking dumb. The world is a big place, with a lot of people in it, and it’s a good thing that different people work on different things in different ways. It’s not a reason to spend a big chunk of time using social media for the purpose of badmouthing people who work on … Read the rest

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His observations may not be politically correct but

Oct 28th, 2013 3:31 pm | By

Dan Fincke sent me the link to an inspirational discussion on William Lane Craig’s Q and A page.

Dear Dr. Craig,

I have usually found your words to be a source of information and reassurance  in my Christian faith, and have often sought out your writings and videos in  times of doubt or questioning.

So I was really disappointed, almost shocked, when I read your newsletter of  April of this year in which you casually stereotypes men and women, and complain  that the church is becoming increasingly feminized, and has difficulties in  attracting men.

Your compared the audiences at a couple of your speaking engagements to the  audience from a clip of a Downton Abbey Q&A at another location

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One pernicious aspect, you may see a stranger

Oct 28th, 2013 2:52 pm | By

I posted a short excerpt from The Collected Tweets of Someone Very Angry About Something on Facebook, and people couldn’t even figure out what it was supposed to mean, so I thought I’d crowd-source it another way.

One pernicious aspect of identity politics favored by social justice warriors is it tends to subvert any concern with the horrors of poverty

Something about a tricycle is it?… Read the rest

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Bishop Chukwuma

Oct 28th, 2013 12:27 pm | By

Pink News reports a Nigerian bishop raging at the archbishop of Canterbury for not hating teh gaze.

The Most Rev Justin Welby risks allowing the Church of Nigeria to break away from the worldwide Anglican Communion, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma warned during a conversation with journalists at Nigera’s Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

Bishop Chukwuma had returned from Nairobi, where he’d been attending the Global Anglican Future Conference, along with 500 other Nigerian bishops.

He said: “We are not going to compromise. And we have made it quite known even to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the whole Europe and America, that there is no compromise as far as the scripture is concerned. So, if they do not repent, we are

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Greece v Galloway

Oct 28th, 2013 11:18 am | By

One thing I learned (or was nudged into noticing more clearly) at the CFI event is that I should be paying more attention to Greece v Galloway.

Or to put it another way, it’s the Supreme Court, stupid.

Eddie Tabash points out that we are one justice away from being second-class citizens. The “we” in that sentence is atheists and secularists.

As the Center for American Progress puts it,

The Supreme Court’s decision in Greece will serve as the basis for what is and is not permitted when it comes to prayers before official public meetings—guidance that could also be applied in cases involving all aspects of religion in the public sphere.

SCOTUS will hear the case November 6. … Read the rest

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If we want to be good

Oct 28th, 2013 9:44 am | By

I thought it was a great conference, and I know I had a great time there. But there are dissenters registering their dissent.

Sara E. Mayhew @saramayhew

If we want to be good at popularising skepticism, orgs need to cut cheap imitation speakers; Myers, Watson, Benson, Szvan, Skepchick/FTB.

That’s how to popularize skepticism.… Read the rest

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Boop

Oct 27th, 2013 5:20 pm | By

And from the Halloween party last night – the winner of the costume contest – Martin Marvin the Martian, who was hilarious in person, being very tall, so it was like a 10-foot-tall cartoon character.

http://t.co/Im5C11rC0D

Michael DeDora was a convincing Clark Kent.… Read the rest

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Now that is doing something

Oct 27th, 2013 4:59 pm | By

The last talk at the CFI Summit was perhaps the most inspiring of all: it was by Bill Cooke, the Director of International Programs at CFI, telling us what the programs do. They do enormously important things with a very small budget. I was frankly unaware of the International Programs before. I feel a little less embarrassed about that because I’m not the only one; lots of people were exclaiming that they’d had no idea. Bill said he blames himself for not publicizing it more, because he’s not very techy. Well!! Neither am I, but I do happen to have this noisy blog here, lying around not doing anything, so I can use it to give the International Programs a … Read the rest

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Extended lunch hour is over

Oct 27th, 2013 2:53 pm | By

I’m back! So if you’ve been holding any complaints, suggestions, insults, compliments, orders until I had more time to deal with them. you can send them now.

I kid. As if anyone would wait.

But I am back. I had a great time. They’re a great bunch of people.… Read the rest

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Saturday at the CFI Summit

Oct 26th, 2013 6:04 pm | By

Well for the last talk before lunch I could see Bill Nye in profile a couple of tables away listening seriously.

In the afternoon Leonard Mlodinow talked about the unconscious mind. One item I can’t make any sense of, which is that touch increases trust, even (and especially) very slight unobtrusive touch. There was a study in France that involved (of course) a guy going up to a woman and saying “You’re very pretty and I have to go to work now but can I call you later?” The study found that if the guy touched the woman on the shoulder very lightly- he did better. Syd and I looked at each other and shook our heads. Mlodinow said the … Read the rest

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Friday at the CFI Summit

Oct 25th, 2013 1:49 pm | By

Here I am. The panel I was on was this morning, and it was good fun. I went last so I thought I might as well tease everyone by preaching on the sermon “Reason isn’t everything.” Surprisingly, though, no one objected (that I heard, anyway).

Ron Lindsay just did an excellent talk on the 10 Commandments. He said just what I think, so naturally it was excellent.

Michael DeDora and I had a chat about movements and allies and rifts and working together.… Read the rest

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Skepticism v denialism

Oct 24th, 2013 12:11 pm | By

And another item, from the ever-valuable David Robert Grimes: Climate change is real, ignore the denialists in the Irish Times.

…climate change has been scientifically beyond doubt for a long time. Yet despite virtually all climatologists and researchers confirming this with vast swathes of supporting evidence, there are still loud voices doing their utmost to persuade us that the issue is still somehow open for debate.

In the US roughly half of media reports on climate change have doubted its existence. Publications like the Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal and numerous Murdoch press give editorial support to these views.

Cynical and insulting

Such contrarian writers and broadcasters paint themselves as climate “sceptics”, but this is a calculated misnomer.

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Two sides of the same counterfeit coin

Oct 24th, 2013 12:00 pm | By

I have to leave for Tacoma and the CFI Summit soon, so I’ll just point to an item or two for your reading pleasure, and possible discussion later.

There’s Jaclyn Friedman in The American Prospect on the “Men’s Rights” movement.

What makes the MRAs particularly insidious is their canny co-optation of social-justice lingo. While Pick Up Artists are perfectly plain that all they care about is using women for sex, MRAs claim to be a movement for positive change, with the stated aim of getting men recognized as an oppressed class—and women, especially but not exclusively feminists, as men’s oppressors. It’s a narrative effective enough to snow the mainstream media: Just this past weekend, The Daily Beast ran a profile

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Anarchism at Fox News

Oct 24th, 2013 11:08 am | By

Amanda Marcotte is just a little surprised to find Fox News pundits saying “You can’t legislate behavior.” Huh, yeah, I’m surprised by that too. You can’t legislate behavior? So there are no laws against murder, theft, assault, fraud, rape, kidnapping, extortion? Or are we to understand that murder, theft, assault, fraud, rape, kidnapping, extortion are something other than behavior?

And whatever happened to the old law&order brand of conservatism? Did it get washed away in the flood of tea, or what?

Anyone who has ever subjected herself to right-wing talk radio or Bill O’Reilly’s show knows that conservatives have an affinity for a good, old-fashioned bully. Even so, it was a bit surprising to see Shannon Bream on Fox News

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Guest post: Compare and contrast

Oct 24th, 2013 9:48 am | By

Guest post by Stacy Kennedy.

The Men’s Rights Movement emerged in the early 1970s. If we set the beginning of American Second Wave feminism at the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique in 1963, the two movements are approximately ten years apart.

Inspired by the recent mini-surge of interest in the MRM from 20/20 and The Daily Beast, I decided to compare and contrast the two.

CULTURAL PRESENCE/VISIBILITY

WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

  •  By 1971, eight years after The Feminine Mystique, everybody in the United States had heard of the Women’s Movement (aka “Women’s Lib”). Everybody was talking about it. Everybody was arguing about it. Numerous books on the subject had been published. Movies, television, theater, fiction, and magazines reflected the movement
  • Read the rest

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Bangladesh’s only Nobel prize winner

Oct 24th, 2013 9:26 am | By

The first duty of a desperately impoverished nation most of which is under water is to find somebody or something that is unIslamic and pitch a fit.

After being accused of “sucking blood” from the poor, Bangladesh’s only Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus faces a new state-backed hate campaign seeking to paint him as un-Islamic and a spreader of homosexuality.

Following years of attempts to discredit his legacy as a pioneer of micro-finance – since copied the world over as a development tool – the hounding has turned more personal and dangerous.

The perceived crime of the 73-year-old was to sign a joint statement along with three other Nobel laureates in April 2012 criticising the prosecution of gay people in

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