atheist news feeds
Feminists…in Morris! It’s time for The F-Word Conference again, 21-22 March, right here deep in the rural midwest. I attended last year, and it was very good. This year, I’m looking at the schedule, and thinking it looks even better. Also a bit daring. I hope the locals don’t riot.
I really do like Apple products, but there’s one thing about them that really annoys me: the ever-shifting arrangement of connectors. Every Mac device seems to have a slightly different array of ports, and you need different cables with every one. I’ve got four different video adapters in my travel bag. On my last trip, I brought the charging cable for my iPad…which doesn’t work with my iPhone, so my phone was dead on the second day. I can’t even use the power brick from my wife’s laptop on mine, and vice versa. So I’m always on the lookout for relatively cheap, non-Apple adapters of various sorts.
I like this one, from Nomad. It fits on my keychain! It’s tiny! I’ll have a connector for my iPad everywhere I go! Also, they sent it to me free on trial, so even better.
Of course, now watch: the next time I get a new laptop, it’ll have even more different cables. What I’m going to need is the Swiss Army Knife of cable adapters.
Not Even Wrong: Answering the New Atheism with Better Belief, Not Better ...
Though it may have been coined for a bad physics paper, here I want to adopt Pauli's phrase in connection with a contemporary philosophical and theological problem which often claims scientific warrant: “New Atheism.” To be clear at the outset: there ...
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Atheist student praises CHS speaker's message
LakeExpo.com recently spoke with a CHS sophomore, a self-described atheist who says she benefited from Griffin's talk. That student's name has been withheld considering the sensitive nature of the subject, and is referred to herein as L.W. She ...
Student Bows Out of Starting Atheist Group After 'Numerous Threats,' 'Verbal ...
After fighting to have her secular club recognized at her North Carolina high school with the help of national atheist organizations, teenager Kalei Wilson has pulled out of founding the school club, citing "numerous threats" and "verbal attacks" as ...
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Ukraine is a mess, and Putin is mad. Not angry mad, but George-Bush living-in-militaristic-paranoid-fantasy-land mad.
The Russian occupation of Crimea has challenged Mr. Obama as has no other international crisis, and at its heart, the advice seemed to pose the same question: Is Mr. Obama tough enough to take on the former K.G.B. colonel in the Kremlin? It is no easy task. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.
And now Putin has given a press conference.
Slouching in a fancy chair in front of a dozen reporters, Putin squirmed and rambled. And rambled and rambled. He was a rainbow of emotion: Serious! angry! bemused! flustered! confused! So confused. Victor Yanukovich is still the acting president of Ukraine, but he can’t talk to Ukraine because Ukraine has no president. Ukraine needs elections, but you can’t have elections because there is already a president. And no elections will be valid given that there is terrorism in the streets of Ukraine. And how are you going to let just anyone run for president? What if some nationalist punk just pops out like a jack-in-the-box? An anti-Semite? Look at how peaceful the Crimea is, probably thanks to those guys with guns holding it down. Who are they, by the way? Speaking of instability, did you know that the mayor of Dniepropetrovsk is a thief? He cheated “our oligarch, [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich” of millions. Just pocketed them! Yanukovich has no political future, I’ve told him that. He didn’t fulfill his obligations as leader of the country. I’ve told him that. Mr. Putin, what mistakes did Yanukovich make as president? You know, I can’t answer that. Not because I don’t know the answer, but because it just wouldn’t be right of me to say. Did you know they burned someone alive in Kiev? Just like that? Is that what you call a manifestation of democracy? Mr. Putin, what about the snipers in Kiev who were firing on civilians? Who gave them orders to shoot? Those were provocateurs. Didn’t you read the reports? They were open source reports. So I don’t know what happened there. It’s unclear. But did you see the bullets piercing the shields of the Berkut [special police]. That was obvious. As for who gave the order to shoot, I don’t know. Yanukovich didn’t give that order. He told me. I only know what Yanukovich told me. And I told him, don’t do it. You’ll bring chaos to your city. And he did it, and they toppled him. Look at that bacchanalia. The American political technologists they did their work well. And this isn’t the first time they’ve done this in Ukraine, no. Sometimes, I get the feeling that these people…these people in America. They are sitting there, in their laboratory, and doing experiments, like on rats. You’re not listening to me. I’ve already said, that yesterday, I met with three colleagues. Colleagues, you’re not listening. It’s not that Yanukovich said he’s not going to sign the agreement with Europe. What he said was that, based on the content of the agreement, having examined it, he did not like it. We have problems. We have a lot of problems in Russia. But they’re not as bad as in Ukraine. The Secretary of State. Well. The Secretary of State is not the ultimate authority, is he?
Hey, what was that drill we learned in grade school? Duck and cover? That works, right?
Sorry, gang. I thought this music video by Katy Perry was eminently forgettable pop, overproduced and not particularly interesting, but you get to see it anyway.
In case you had too much taste to bother, Katy Perry plays an ancient Egyptian pharoah — you know, pyramids, stilted poses, animal-headed gods, etc. — who disintegrates a series of suitors with magic and takes their treasure. Really, that’s it. Only one of the suitors (at about 1:10 in the video) is wearing a necklace with a squiggle in it that some Muslims claim resembles the name of Allah, so this video is a work of blasphemy. You’ll have to look very closely to even see it (also, it looks like the few frames where the emblem was visible have already been edited out).
I know! Why are Muslims upset? It’s all those followers of Anubis and Bastet and Osiris and so forth who ought to be up in arms! But it’s certain flaky weird Muslims who are posting a petition demanding that the video be taken down. Makes sense; the polytheistic religion of ancient Egypt, founded around 3100 BCE, and monotheistic Islam, founded around 600 CE, are so easily confused.
This is the reason for lodging the petition so that people from different walks of life, different religions and from different parts of the world, agree that the video promotes blasphemy, using the name of God in an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion.
Isn’t it heartwarming that there are people who dedicate their time and effort to protecting the delicate sensibilities of invisible imaginary super-powerful beings?
Anyway, if you think Katy Perry needs some urging to resist the efforts of kooks to suppress her commercially lucrative work, there is a counter-petition. It seems superfluous to me, but OK.
The one question in my mind is why are fanatical Muslims stepping frame by frame through Katy Perry videos anyway?
And that’s just weird. Accounting and finances bore me, but there’s something funny going on with AiG and the Ark Park. I expressed some mild skepticism about Ken Ham’s claim that the debate with Bill Nye brought in enough money to fund their theme park; it just seemed odd that a project that had been languishing in the doldrums for years and was facing imminent cancellation could be so revitalized by a debate that their founder lost. Suddenly AiG has gotten awfully cagey about saying how much they’ve raised, as well.
They still aren’t saying. But I thought this brief statement was suggestive. This is AiG replying to a question about how much was raised to meet the requirements for advancing construction.
Mike Zovath, the Ark project coordinator, said the minimum amount was sold, which constituted most of the bonds, and AiG purchased some. They did not provide exact figures.
They aren’t saying! They aren’t saying anything at all! But that one phrase in there, that AiG purchased some of the bonds, is suggestive: AiG and the Ark Park are supposed to be independent ventures. It looks like maybe someone did some creative accounting and shuffled funds from one enterprise, Answers in Genesis, to another, the Ark Park, to meet minimal requirements for the project.
If that’s the case, it means that their progress towards building their silly theme park may look like a win for them, but what they’re really doing is gambling the whole of Answers in Genesis on its success.
Which is why I would really like to see their financial disclosures. I wouldn’t be surprised if their tax forms for this year reveal a massive loss for AiG.
Florida, you suck. I can’t put it any other way: your state is run by evil thugs. George Zimmerman murdered a black teenager and walked off free; Michael Dunn murdered a black kid for playing his music too loud; and both of those cases were prosecuted by the incompetent Angela Corey, who now wants revenge, so she’s going to take it out on a black woman who didn’t kill anybody. Marissa Alexander was convicted for firing warning shots to dissuade her abusive from attacking her, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. That injustice got temporarily overthrown, and now Angela Corey is retrying the case, announcing that she’s going for three times the penalty.
Marissa Alexander could face a 60-year prison sentence instead of her original 20-year sentence when her aggravated assault case is retried in July.
The Florida Times-Union reports that the Office of State Attorney Angela Corey will try to put Alexander behind bars for 60 years if it is able to convict her for a second time.
Alexander, 33, was convicted in 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 20 years in prison by Circuit Judge James Daniel under Florida’s 10-20-life law. Daniel imposed three separate 20-year sentences but ordered that they be served concurrently, which meant Alexander would get out in 20 years.
What the hell is wrong with you, Florida? Have you no shame at all?
Letters on brick streets, government missteps, Greg and Ted, atheist group
Years ago, when some street renovations were done on Cotton and Center streets, the old brick roadway was torn up and replaced with a new road surface. Castaway bricks were laid in a pile. I asked the construction foreman if I could have a few as ...
I think there are basically two types of atheists. There are those who were never hot on religion or never acquired religion in their lives. They are sort of relaxed and laid back and just couldn't be bothered by the religious debate. Then there are ...
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Because my name is not Piotr Noses.
In the expected counterattack from sexists defending Ben Radford’s obtuse sexism, there are now demented dingbats accusing me of being a veritable MRA and implying that I’m some kind of hypocrite, because I have in the past been subject to an abortive false accusation. I mentioned this in a comment four years ago (some people are obsessive in following my every word, and I should be flattered, I suppose — I must be very interesting). Here’s the dry account of the event that I gave then:
I won’t meet privately with students either — I always keep my office door wide open, and when I’m working with students in the lab, I find excuses to move out and let them work on their own if it turns into a one-on-one event. I just can’t afford the risk.
I was also subject to accusations of harassment, once upon a time. A female student came into my lab when I was alone, unhappy about an exam grade, and openly threatened me — by going public with a story about a completely nonexistent sexual encounter right there.
Zoom, I was right out the door at that instant; asked a female grad student in the lab next door to sit with the student for a bit, and went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation. I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.
I was in a total panic, knowing full well how damaging that kind of accusation can be. Fortunately, I’d done the right thing by blowing it all wide open at the first hint of a threat, and getting witnesses on the spot.
There is nothing inconsistent about this. False accusations do happen, and they can have extremely damaging consequences (which I said previously: “Yes, they happen…rarely. They’re important to detect.”) Obviously, I had just explained that I certainly do know of at least one case in which a desperate student tried to cheat her way to a better grade with an accusation. It happens.
How I responded to that instance is just part of a protocol for how people should work together. Here’s what I do:
I don’t harass women, or anyone for that matter.
I maintain complete transparency. Not only do I not harass women, but any accusation that I do founders on the implausibility of the circumstance.
I deal with any potential situation by defusing it immediately. Not arguing, not protesting my innocence, not begging the person to refrain from hurting my reputation, but going straight to departmental authorities and explaining the situation. Again, transparency: the slander isn’t going to stick.
I bring in witnesses, preferably women too, who can testify to my innocence. And I don’t just mean people who will say I’m a nice guy, but witnesses to the incident who can describe all the details of the event.
I keep myself protected against false claims, which also means that I’m keeping my students protected from any harm. We all work just fine together, with nothing to hide.
I don’t sexually harass my students or colleagues. Period.
Not only is my reputation spotless, and honestly so, but there’s no way to even realistically bring such a charge against me. And of course the great majority of my interactions with students bear no risk of any such problems — we can trust each other.
But then, there are always people like those slimy ones, that minority of nasty untrustworthy liars commenting on Radford’s thread, who are happy to distort and make false accusations, and I deal with them in the same way that I did that earlier incident: with transparency and honesty and frank admission of what actually happened. I don’t deny that such unpleasant people exist, especially when so many of them are already populating that thread and the existence of contemptible liars is so apparent. But when one has no interest in harassing people, it turns out to be relatively easy to maintain one’s integrity — I don’t have years of stalkerish behavior and complaints and administrative disciplinary actions to make excuses for, unlike some people.
Mathew McConaughey Irks Atheists, Delights the Devout
But it was his reference to God, science, and gratitude that set the (what I, along with others, call) fundamentalist atheist community into a dither and the fundamentalist Christian Fox News followers into paroxysms of delight. For those who can't or ...
How George Herbert's poetry converted an atheist
I throw out opinions on all kinds of topics, but my real area of expertise is 17th Century English literature. To drill down to an even more specific field, as we English professors have to do, I have a specialty in George Herbert, the great Christian ...
Gulf atheism in the age of social media
It is therefore ironic that the godfather of modern Gulf atheists was brought up in present-day Saudi Arabia and turned Salafist before embracing atheism. Abdullah al-Qasemi was born in 1907 in Najd, central Arabia, to a conservative family and a ...
Brent and Kilburn Times
Gay vicar from Kilburn to defy church leaders by marrying atheist partner
Brent and Kilburn Times
Fr Andrew Cain from St Mary's with All Souls, revealed his engagement to fiancé Stephen Foreshew, an atheist, on Valentine's Day. He stated firmly that he planned to ignore edicts sent down from his own church leaders that described marriage as only a ...
London: Gay vicar vows to defy Church marriage ban and marry partnerPinkNews.co.uk
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