The Reading List, 12/16/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • My run-in with hate speech at a Minnesota Vikings game“–“In that moment, I was terrified. But what scared me the most was the silence surrounding me. As I looked around, I didn’t know who was an ally or an enemy. In those hushed whispers, I felt like I was alone, unsafe and surrounded.”
  • Mock mass shooting changes location after warnings from UT“–“‘It’s a fake mass shooting, and we’ll use fake blood,’ he said. He said gun noises will be blared from bullhorns. Other people will then play the role of rescuers, also armed with cardboard weapons.”
  • Who Are You Calling A Domestic Terrorist?“–“No, Islamic extremism isn’t the face of domestic terrorism. Despite whatever whitewashed ideas popularized by politicians, media, or those we choose to admire, numbers don’t lie. At least not when it comes to statistics involving mass shootings.”
  • Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Atheist Books Suitable for Gift-Giving“–“Here’s a wonderland of atheist books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!”
  • He Called Her a Slut. He Got Fired“–“By giving Ford power—and therefore responsibility—she does not have, justification for targeting her can easily be created and continue, regardless of reality. This is why targets are so frequently viewed as irrelevant but also powerful, by their harassers.”
  • Sam Harris’s Quantum Universe (or, How to Say One Thing While Meaning Another)“–“Note that these paragraphs are not complementary poles of a dialectical argument whose interaction can yield a Hegelian synthesis, a third term that pushes knowledge forward. They are flatly contradictory and incompatible.”
  • Cheap white eggs: Radiolab Dodges All Discussion of Race“–“That was the term that was used. Cheap white eggs. When Tal said this, my jaw dropped, but I held out hope that this incredibly racially charged issue would then be explored a little bit.”
  • Harassment Through Impersonation: The Creation of a Cyber Mob“–“The Photoshopped tweets should have been too ridiculous for anyone to believe. The coldness they displayed in response to Iwata’s death was so clearly designed specifically to make people angry, and the statements were sheer nonsense. (Also, the second tweet is actually 141 characters long.)”
  • Ada Lovelace and the impossible expectations we have of women in STEM“–“But this just highlights the pervasive double standard that places such import on women’s personalities while giving men—particularly high-achieving men—something of a free pass. Would you question if a man’s ‘character’ might prevent him from making a groundbreaking discovery?”
  • Defense of Clergy Pedophilia Persists“–“I wish I had known in advance about the audio guy’s attitude about sex abuse in the Church. What can I say? Live and learn. Luckily, I’ve found another studio for the book taping.”
  • Things we don’t write: K Anis Ahmed on the murdered writers of Bangladesh“–“I took the Rushdie affair as counsel to steer clear of the subject of religion. Apart from one early work, a novella (Forty Steps), I have rarely referred to any Islamic tenets in my fiction, and then too never in a critical manner. But to avoid the topic entirely is frankly impossible.”
  • Thoughts from a #BLACKandSTEM Academic regarding Scalia & Roberts remarks on Dec 9, 2015“–“Black collegians, faculty, and especially #BlackandSTEM shared how hauntingly familiar Roberts and Scalia comments are. Their comments sting so bad because we’ve all heard or been told this about ourselves, the quality of our work or scholarship, and/or our productivity REPEATEDLY since college, heck high school. And IT NEVER ENDS.”
  • Peaceful Savages“–“So we refrain. We act with peace. We may make a fuss, but we don’t go eye for an eye. We can’t go eye for an eye. And you need to understand what a further burden that is.”
  • On Not Taking ‘No’ For an Answer, and Why It Isn’t Jolly Good Fun“–“Resisting social pressure can be extremely difficult, and it’s almost always unpleasant. It puts people in the position of either letting their boundaries be trampled, or repeating their ‘No’ a dozen times and being treated like a party-pooping sourpuss.”
  • Bad Life Decisions: Mary Robinette Kowal Reads Theodore Beale. Sexily.“–“But wait! There’s more! Could this possibly be a DANCE REMIX? I dare say that this is as fine a piece of music as anything that Psychosonik ever released.”
  • Expert on Fascism Sees Telltale Signs Developing“–“Many people think of fascism as an oppressive government, as if some existing administration suddenly is led by a bad guy at the top. Fascism arises from below, from a segment of the populace that has become convinced that there is no hope for the future under the present set of institutions and laws.”
  • 19 Baffling Vintage Holiday Cards“–“Because nothing says Christmas like… a boiled conker man startling an anthropomorphic bird woman.”
  • I am fat, actually.“–“So here’s how these two compliments are actually rooted in fatphobia. They equate fatness with badness.”
  • Details revealed after East Grand Forks man is charged with arson of Somali restaurant“–“Gust does not have a criminal record in Minnesota, but in 2012, he pleaded guilty to charges of terrorizing, simple assault and preventing arrest, all Class C felonies, in Grand Forks County District Court after he threatened staff at Romantix, an adult entertainment store in downtown Grand Forks, and assaulted a police officer in 2011.”
  • Planned Parenthood Clinic’s Windows Busted Out“–“Kogut says she’s thankful the woman responsible for the act did not hurt anyone and that the center was closed at the time, ‘This year has been one that’s been filled with a lot of hateful and vile rhetoric, and I think that’s creating a violent opposition to Planned Parenthood and to health care providers, and it needs to stop.'”
  • Flannery O’Connor: Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Ayn Rand“–“I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.”
  • What’s on your #scibucketlist?“–“I began to wonder: Am I the only one? Surely there are other science nerds out there who want to dissect a whale, nerd out on the Galapagos, see the Aurora Borealis, and get a bacterium named after themselves. So I asked Twitter. And invented a hashtag: #scibucketlist”
  • California Will Get ‘Bathroom Police’ If ‘Privacy’ Measure Passes, Critics Fear“–“What this would result in, essentially, is bathroom police. There’s a $4,000 bounty on catching someone, so it gives incentives to people to self-monitor bathrooms and accost people who are coming out and allows individuals to make subjective determinations about whether someone looks adequately masculine or feminine.”
  • Threats and Violent Attacks Against Muslims in the U.S., Just From This Week“–“This is just from the last week: it does not include the spate of similar and even worse attacks on Muslims and mosques in the U.S. prior to December 8, such the multiple gunshots fired at a Connecticut mosque in the wake of the November Paris attack, or the bullet-ridden Quran left outside an Islamic store in Anaheim in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings.”

The Reading List, 12/13/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Tone poem for the ‘leave it there’ press“–“Every time you defaulted to ‘will it work?’ when the bigger question was ‘is it so?’ Every dutiful effort you made to ‘get the other side’ without asking if the number of sides was really two. Every time you asked each other ‘what’s the politics of this?’ so you could escape the tedium and complexity of public problem-solving.”
  • Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence“–“Mostly what I remember is the smile that spreads across Monsieur Pierre’s face whenever we call him a sexist. It is not the smile of someone who is ashamed; it is the smile of someone who finds us adorable in our outrage.”
  • For Kamala Khan“–“There are myriad reasons why I love Kamala, many of which I’ve detailed in my reviews. But one of the most important is this: Kamala’s story is her own story; she is the main character in her own life. This may not seem particularly revolutionary or different, but it is for a character from multiple marginalized demographics.”
  • 5 Ways Mental Illness Labels Have Helped Me“–“It’s not like I had no labels before I started to use the label ‘depressed’ to describe myself. I did. The labels people used to describe me included words like ‘over-emotional,’ ‘over-dramatic,’ ‘crazy,’ ‘self-centered,’ ‘aloof,’ ‘bitchy,’ and a whole lot of others that are significantly less flattering than ‘depressed.’
  • “Toxic Workers” (pdf)–“Here, we find that though Self-regarding workers are no different in terms of productivity (i.e., the speed of their work), they are more likely to produce lower quality work: coeficient estimates are negative at the 10% level. Since these workers are also more likely to be terminated for toxic behavior, there is no apparent tradeoff when choosing not to hire Self-regarding workers.”
  • WI Community Takes Matters Into Their Own Hands After School District Cancels Reading Over Legal Threat“–“Although things looked grim, Liberty Counsel won’t have the last word about I Am Jazz. The Mount Horeb community has stood up and scheduled two separate reading events themselves, one at the Mount Horeb High School that will led by the school’s Straight and Gay Alliance and the other at the Mount Horeb Library to be hosted by parent Amy Lyle.”
  • Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Religion Books Suitable for Gift-Giving“–“Here’s a wonderland of atheist books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!”
  • ‘How can I support you?’“–“At the same time, it’s also utterly unsurprising that people so rarely do this. For one thing, we have all these cultural scripts about how this stuff is supposed to go, and one of them is that if you’re really a good friend/partner/family member to the person who’s struggling, you will “just know” what they need and be able to offer it without needing to be told.”
  • Access“–“I do understand feeling defensive when you’re caught out in a mistake. Okay, feel defensive. Complain to your spouse and/or close friends in private, have some ice cream or a hot bath and some tea. And then go to whoever it is you’re working with at the facility for the next event and let them know that you’ll need to accommodate members with mobility issues, and what are the options and how will you make that work?”
  • Most needy don’t attend free online courses“–“Just because a class is free and on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s actually easier to access if you’re not wealthy and well-educated, Emanuel says. To take a MOOC, people need a computer and access to the Internet. Not everyone has that. What’s more, he adds, MOOCs won’t help people without the education to do work at the college level.”
  • Paul Ryan denounces Trump’s plan to ban Muslims… then says he’ll support Trump if he’s the nominee
  • Fire at Grand Forks Somali restaurant follows apparent Nazi symbol vandalism“–“The graffiti included what appears to be an SS in the style of a symbol for Nazi Germany’s Gestapo above the painted words ‘go home.’ Authorities have not determined whether the incidents are related.'”
  • Catholic Hospital in Redding Denies Two Women Tubal Ligation“–“Redding’s Mercy Medical Center has refused — for the second time in four months — to allow doctors to perform sterilization on two pregnant women. The women requested the procedure be done immediately after they give birth next year. The hospital cited religious reasons.”
  • The story behind Jar’Edo Wens, the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history“–“After more than two months, half of his hoaxes still had not been found — and those included errors on high-profile pages, like ‘Mediterranean climate’ and ‘inflammation.’ (By his estimate, more than 100,000 people have now seen the claim that volcanic rock produced by the human body causes inflammation pain.)”
  • Unsourced, unreliable, and in your face forever: Wikidata, the future of online nonsense“–“For five months in 2014, Wikidata said that Franklin D. Roosevelt was also known as “Adolf Hitler”. What, then, are the chances that more subtle falsehoods and manipulations will be detected before they spread to other sites?”
  • Donald Trump’s no leader — he’s just the voice that the ugliest Americans have been dying for“–“Trump is better understood not as the creator of a movement, but the expression of a popular will, a cipher through which huge numbers of Americans communicate what looks an awful lot like fascist sympathies. He is a symptom of a larger problem, not the cause of it.”
  • Guest Blog by Pamela Sargent“–“Occasionally I would get a sympathetic response from somebody who thought a women’s sf anthology was a splendid idea but basically unsalable, either because the audience for such a book wasn’t there or the editor wouldn’t be able to convince his or her publisher to buy the book.”
  • Trump’s Plan To Ban Muslims Is In Line With The Rest Of The GOP“–“But Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric didn’t come out of nowhere.Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidates have sought to energize conservative voters and shore up their anti-terror credentials by denouncing Muslims.”
  • Drip…drip…drip“–“A coworker says in all seriousness ‘I’d vote for Donald Trump before I’d vote for Bernie Sanders and watch him tax hard working American businesses out of existence.'”
  • It’s Not Foot in Mouth Disease“–“Again, the problem is not that he misspoke. The problem is that the idea that women are not as good is so deeply embedded in the mind of so many people in positions of power, that it is not even recognized.”

The Reading List, 12/9/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Minneapolis Police Seek Help to Solve Death of 30-Year-Old American Indian Woman“–“Police say Anderson was beaten in the early morning hours of September 3, 2015. Police were summoned to East Lake Street and 12th Avenue South where they discovered the badly beaten Anderson, who was unconscious when police arrived.”
  • Who Gives Peace to the Peacemakers?“–“This is the price of being a peacemaker: You end up sacrificing part of your life, while others can go on acting like they always have.
  • Whimsical Gifts (for people you hate), 2015“–“All those inadvertant bad gifts are your camouflage. Adhere to a certain degree of subtlety, and no one needs to know that your goal here was to make your target unhappy with your Simple Sabotage Christmas largesse.”
  • Police cars belong to the public, not to God“–“We all must be able to trust that the police will respond to our needs the same regardless of our religious beliefs, and it’s more difficult to trust that this will happen when the police themselves take a religious position.”
  • Carrie Fisher on Her Return to ‘Star Wars’“–“Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.”
  • “You’re not required to try to understand his issues. You’re not required to forgive him for harassing you because he feels insecure. You’re not required to invest time and energy in trying to make him feel better about himself. ” Read more.
  • Remain Calm: Kissing Bugs Are Not Invading the US“–“I also checked with several Insect Diagnostic Clinics around the US. Everyone agreed: There is no evidence that new infections of Chagas are increasing in the US, or that the insects that transmit the disease have increased or changed their range. The disease itself is extremely rare; fewer than 40 human infections have occurred in the US since 1955.”
  • Drug War’s Impact on Black Women Comes to the Fore in Daniel Holtzclaw Trial“–“By Tuesday evening, which marked day 16 of the trial and saw the 13 accusers taking the stand against Holtzclaw in the Oklahoma County courthouse, a pattern of alleged abuse had emerged that not only highlighted Black women’s vulnerability to police brutality, but also called into question the ways in which the ‘war on drugs’ has disproportionately impacted Black women.”
  • The Profound Emptiness of ‘Resilience’“–“But where ‘’resilience’’ can suggest new avenues for civic infrastructure — admitting that disaster can’t always be diverted and shifting the focus to survival strategies — it is indistinguishable from classic American bootstrap logic when it is applied to individuals, placing all the burden of success and failure on a person’s character.”
  • The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom“–“Howard said that exposure to trauma has a profound impact on cognitive development and academic outcomes, and schools and teachers are woefully unprepared to contend with these realities. Children dealing with traumatic situations should not been seen as pathological, he argued. Instead, educators need to recognize the resilience they are showing already.”
  • Should Atheists Celebrate Christmas? The Social Justice Angle“–“Yes, different atheists have different ways of handling religion and its intrusions into everyday life. There are lots of reasons for that. But one of the big ones is: How much do they rely on a social support system that’s structured around religion?”
  • Why the assassination of Fred Hampton matters today“–“In the hallowed American tradition of going after youthful black power and excellence, and stopping them in their tracks, the FBI took out the Black Panthers. And they took out Fred Hampton.”
  • Why ‘Prayer Shaming’ Is a Red Herring“–“I hardly even know what to say to this. I’m not sure that it’s substantively different from the standard refrain of ‘Stop politicizing tragedies,’ but it goes even further: It attempts to blame people who are standing up and saying, ‘To hell with this, enough is enough,’ for the polarization that makes compromise difficult in places like Congress.”
  • Rejected Princesses: Stephanie St. Clair (1897-1969)“–“She attacked and destroyed the storefronts of any business that ran Schultz’s betting operations. She tipped the police off to Schultz’s operations – which led to them raiding his clearing house, arresting 14 employees, and seizing around $2 million. She then bragged about it in the press because she gave somewhere in the neighborhood of zero fucks.”
  • Missouri State Rep Files Bill to Put Gun Sales Under Exact Same Restrictions as Abortions“–“Gun buyers would also have to watch a 30-minute video ‘on fatal firearm injuries’ and verify in writing that he or she viewed the entire video ‘in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer.'”
  • Posner Eviscerates Scalia. Again.“–“‘But who knows? Maybe he’ll now cease voting to strike down statutes under any provision of the Constitution, as otherwise he might be thought of as one of those “unelected lawyers” who so threaten our democracy. Not only an unelected lawyer, but — a patrician.'”
  • HUGE NEWS! Science for the People Joins the Skepchick Fam“–“Now, you’ll get to know Rachelle as she officially joins Skepchick as a regular writer! She’ll be posting articles here along with each new episode of Science for the People (starting with today’s!), giving you a more in-depth look at that week’s topic.”
  • 2nd Amendment Night Before Christmas“–“He ducked his broad head, so I aimed at his belly, but the bullets bounced off like marshmallows off jelly.”
  • End the Gun Epidemic in America“–“But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs.”
  • Obama looks to use executive power to close gun loophole“–“In one of a series of near-party-line procedural votes, the Senate by 54 to 45 blocked a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would have stopped people on the government’s anti-terrorist ‘no fly’ list from buying guns. Republican opponents said that the no-fly list includes too many errors to be used for preventing gun sales.”
  • PayPal, Square and big banking’s war on the sex industry“–“What’s happening to female entrepreneurs in the sex business can no longer be written off as isolated incidents. Weblining’s targeted populations are porn performers, sex workers, independent retailers, erotic writers and the internet’s new generation of online pornographers: business sectors comprised of a disproportionately large number of women and LGBT people.”
  • Liberty University President: ‘If More Good People’ Had Concealed Guns, ‘We Could End Those Muslims’“–“‘I’ve never received more support or a more positive response from anything I have ever said in Convocation before,’ Falwell told Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.”
  • Bi Any Means Podcast #27: Islam, Racism, and Terrorism“–“My guest for today is Kiran Opal. She is one of the co-founders of the Ex-Muslims of North America, and she has written for several websites, including The Ex-Muslim and Ex-Communications. Today we’ll be chatting about her life, her work, and of course, Islam.”

The Reading List, 12/6/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Christianist Republicans Systematically Incited Colorado Clinic Assault“–“Elected Republicans in the states have sought to intimidate women and providers by demanding the release (and even publication) of identifying information and addresses—essentially a target list for perpetrators. They know exactly what they are doing.”
  • When Feminism Is a Brand“–“However, I do not want us to forget that we have seen this behavior before, in environments that have nothing to do with the sex industry, or even with sex at all. Remember Hugo Schwyzer? Or Hart Noecker? Or Kyle Payne?”
  • Vandal of Louisville abortion clinic released from jail, returns to clinic“–“Anne of EMW told IL that despite her attempts to get information from LMPD about Haste’s release and why he is allowed near the clinic, she has been kept in the dark. Additionally, she claims that either an officer or prosecutor who was in court with Haste on Monday asked her for details about the case, indicating that he did not know she had surveillance video of both incidents, which were not collected by the LMPD until Tuesday of this week.”
  • Fiorina: It’s ‘Left-Wing’ To Link Planned Parenthood Attack To Videos“–“‘This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message,’ Fiorina said.”
  • “Now is the time to reiterate how important abortion care is to women’s health and well-being – not just cancer screenings, not just contraception. Abortion. A procedure that saves lives, that offers freedom, bodily integrity, and equality.” Read more.
  • “I worked at a #PlannedParenthood clinic in Kansas for 3 years. My coworkers & I were subjected to the following acts of terrorism:” Read more.
  • Sorry, conservatives, but there is nothing surprising about anti-choice terrorism“–“Ever since the Paris attacks, we’ve been hearing from the right how there is no excuse for religious fundamentalists using violence to terrorize people for the making life choices the fundamentalists don’t approve of. I do wish they would take their own advice on this front.”
  • Why It Matters That Both Civilian Victims of the Planned Parenthood Shooting were People of Colour“–“Mass shootings are heartbreaking, but perhaps most upsetting about Friday’s shooting is how it focuses attention specifically on those who are most affected by anti-abortionists’ enduring war on reproductive rights.”
  • How Talking to Undergraduates Changed My Mind“–“Duke students living in a constant state of fear? Was this an exaggeration or a frightening new reality for many? Listening to them speak up one after another, I sadly came to realize it was the latter.”
  • Before Shooting, Cruz Touted Endorsement From Activist Who Called For Execution Of Abortion Doctors“–“In September, Australian officials revoked a visa for Newman over concerns that his presence and rhetoric could ‘lead to threats or the commission of acts of violence against women or medical professionals.’ Newman traveled to Australia anyway but was denied entry into the country and deported.”
  • Dear Conference Organizers: A No-Fooling-Around Note About Diversity“–“Generally speaking, I’m an easy speaker to work with: again, my honorarium is low, my travel requirements are pretty minimal, and I try to be as flexible as possible. But this is an extremely high priority for me. In my opinion, this issue — making our communities more welcoming and more supportive of a wider variety of people than are currently participating — is the most important issue currently facing organized atheism in the United States.”
  • On the Front Lines“–“We’re in Minnesota, the protesters are more annoying than scary.  But it doesn’t have to be a regular, it only needs to be one person.  Can I really do this?”
  • James Deen Was Never a Feminist Idol“–(CN: details of rape accusation) “It’s not that James Deen appeals to women—in the face of extreme erotic scarcity, women molded Deen into someone who appealed to them. For many of them, Deen was little more than just a conduit for expressing their sexuality, or a key to an online erotic world that had previously been closed.”
  • More than Words: Humanists Should Stand for Secular Social Justice“–“While I am very excited to be a part of this event, I’m also a bit puzzled at how many people have questioned the necessity of holding this convention. It’s both frustrating and amusing that, for some, addressing specific social injustices is even remotely controversial, and yet those same naysayers attend any other atheist meeting without hesitation.”
  • Christian Terrorist Robert Dear and the Army of God “–“The Army of God manual is a terrorist manual, and the Army of God is a terrorist organization—and these are people Robert Dear apparently admired and emulated. And the Army of God is no passive group, simply advising terrorist acts.”
  • Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Science Books Suitable for Gift-Giving“–“No list? No problem! I’ve got you covered with a super-awesome, super-gargantuan guide to many books suitable for secular gifting.”
  • Post-Convention Insecurities“–“But I spend conventions trying to be ‘on.’ Trying to be friendly and entertaining and hopefully sound like I know what the heck I’m talking about. Basically, trying to be clever. And I trust most of you are familiar with the failure state of clever?”
  • Hours before San Bernardino shooting, doctors urged Congress to lift funding ban on gun violence research“–“Signed by more than 2,000 physicians around the country, it pleads with lawmakers to lift a restriction that for nearly two decades has essentially blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting research on gun violence.”
  • It’s On Us, Too: An Easy Guide To Contacting Your Elected Representatives About Gun Control“–“PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Take a little bit of time out of your day today and call or email your representatives. Not doing so — staying silent and privately grieving — isn’t enough anymore.

The Reading List, 10/11/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “Bistline wrote that FLDS bishop Lyle Jeffs would use ‘the FLDS Church’s voicemail system to alert families that the harvest would begin.’ A 15-year-old girl wrote that she worked the farm for three years, beginning when she was 10. She testified she was not paid for any of her work.” Read more.
  • “Atheism can motivate terrible crimes, just like religion can. This is a thing we have to get used to.  Atheists are so used to being exceptional, to being smarter and less criminal than other Americans, that the fact that someone was an atheist and did a bad thing seems to be exceedingly difficult for us to understand.” Read more.
  • “The general plot is the playwright’s own, but his characters are the historical figures I unearthed, and snippets of the dialogue they speak appear in the archival evidence presented in my book.” Read more.
  • “Bad reviews of businesses have typically gone viral because those businesses have acted in discriminatory or otherwise unfair ways, but people have gone viral for things as innocuous (and irrelevant to normal people who have shit to do besides stalking people they don’t like) as speaking at a feminist rally, being a bad date, or simply existing.” Read more.
  • “Skepticon strives to create a yearly event that is accessible for as many attendees as possible. This year, we’re hoping to take that mission a step further” Read more.
  • “Charamsa, flanked by his Catalan boyfriend Eduardo and wearing his priest’s collar, told a news conference in Rome he had been compelled to speak out against what he said was the hypocrisy and paranoia that shapes the Church’s attitude to sexual minorities.” Read more.

[Read more…]

The Reading List, 10/8/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “With more and more women brought up to believe that sports can be their space, too, it’s natural for them to expect a seat at the table when sports come up in conversation. And yet, 40 years after Robin Herman became the first female reporter to enter an NFL locker room, women are still fighting a war against rampant sexism in the industry, with Twitter and Facebook serving as the new frontlines.” Read more.
  • “Particularly on television, reporters used visual as well as verbal content to shape the meaning of feminism for public consumption. Negative coverage used extreme close-ups to make radical feminists appear wild-eyed and eccentric, and other stories featured multiple images of women protesting while never interviewing them on camera, making feminism into a kind of visual spectacle.” Read more.
  • “But alongside that genetic understanding, an old and pernicious assumption has crept back into the American conversation, in which aptitudes are supposedly inherited by race: certain peoples are thought to have rhythm, or intellect, or speed or charm. That’s a fast track toward the old 19th- and early 20th-century problem of ‘scientific’ racism.” Read more.
  • “Georgina sat on the bed and sang a song about being kidnapped and the home and family she feared she would never see again.  Across the hall George laid on bed his listening to her sing, and he hummed along because he couldn’t understand the words.” Read more.
  • “I voted to authorize a strike because our employers in the games industry refuse to negotiate with us at all about some very, very important issues surrounding our working conditions.” Read more.
  • “This has led some people to regard [Justice Kennedy] as a ‘moderate’ or ‘swing vote’ on these matters. Since then, however, he has yet to come across an abortion restriction he finds unconstitutional, and his opinions drip with paternalism and moral condemnation of a pregnant person in need of an abortion.” Read more.
  • “There is allegedly another employee still working at DC who allegedly assaulted a woman multiple times in his office. The woman concerned reported him multiple times to management at DC and the person who hired her, but didn’t receive the support she needed and eventually left DC altogether.” Read more.
  • “And of course, as a feminist atheist, the reproductive war against women is one of our biggest challenges. FFRF began right after Roe v. Wade, and we’ve lost so much ground since then.” Read more.
  • “So while CBO estimates that cutting off federal funds to Planned Parenthood would reduce spending by $520 million 10 ten years, it would also increase spending by $650 million over that period. The net effect is an increase in spending of $130 million. ” Read more.
  • “And you need to put time and effort into your culture, and into making sure that everyone feels someone has their back, they have someone they can go to. I think startups gloss over that. They think, ‘We can do that later, that’s a big-company kind of thing.’ And what I’ve learned is we should have done that from the very beginning.” Read more.
  • “‘Patients must be able to make fully informed decisions about their health care,’ said Amanda Knief, national legal and public policy director for American Atheists, and author of the bill. ‘This legislation would help patients get the information they need to navigate the increasingly complicated—and increasingly religious—health care marketplace.'” Read more.
  • “There are a lot of other factors that can be overlaid here to add some gray space: preventability, trends, definitions. Regardless, it’s clear that terrorism holds an outsized role in political debate for the demonstrated threat it poses to American citizens.” Read more.
  • “Joking about ‘Bitey the Clown’ internally, however, does not seem to follow these guidelines. A company culture where someone’s ongoing misbehavior and sexual harassment habits becomes a joke is not one where employers have made the seriousness of harassment obvious, despite their statement.” Read more.
  • “But put these two things together — Voter ID and 28 counties without a place where you can get a driver’s license — and Voter ID becomes what the Democrats always said it was. A civil rights lawsuit isn’t a probability. It’s a certainty.” Read more.
  • “Amidst conservative outrage over abortion practices and the distribution of fetal tissue at Planned Parenthood clinics — and an aggressive Congressional hearing with the organization’s president Cecile Richards this week — an alleged act of arson took place at the Thousand Oaks, California location Wednesday night.” Read more.

The Reading List, 10/4/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “Other people’s opinions can act as a reality check. And that doesn’t just happen through the exchange of information and analysis. It also happens by emotional demonstration. In fact, a show of anger, insult, revulsion, is an exchange of information — the information that the idea being expressed is considered morally bankrupt.” Read more.
  • “Sexual activity probably doesn’t trigger many heart attacks, scientists report September 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In fact, the study’s authors say, the benefits seem to outweigh the risk.” Read more.
  • “And, best of all, a science fact fulfills that need to respond without engaging, and sends a message that trolling is neither affective nor acceptable (especially if others get involved) without you having to expend much effort or use up precious emotional bandwith.” Read more.
  • “There are no standards for law enforcement officials or judges to follow: Is the presence of drugs in the mother’s body cause for charges if the baby tests clean? What test results are appropriate for medical providers to report and when? Should a mother face charges even when she was using a prescription drug under a doctor’s supervision? Local prosecutors and courts have wide discretion.” Read more.
  • “It was a big room — did I mention that this was a plenary session? — but managed to achieve pretty good coverage before a staffer noticed what was happening. We discreetly tucked away our remaining bingo cards and sat down to watch the panel.” Read more.
  • Everything we want to talk about in terms of the rampant violence and insidious mechanics of subjugation and control in Muslim communities is obscured and blocked off the most by our progressive allies.Read more.
  • “Beyond the ways in which personal-experience-as-the-road-to-empathy can dangerously reinforce the myths of shared experience, it also places a disproportionate burden on survivors to do the work of support, care, and advocacy.” Read more.
  • Person B: ‘Wait, I understood you. I just disagree‘” Read more.
  • “But the social media battles have shown that Sanders’s supporters also have become a major hurdle for the candidate in building a positive image with the black electorate.” Read more.
  • “Some people (mostly young white men) get really grumpy when their precious identity is besmirched in some way by the presence of somebody whom they find unworthy. But last weekend while I was in Portland, I ran into a sort of gatekeeping I never expected.” Read more.
  • “Yes, there are people who regret having abortions, and whose hearts will always be a little broken by their decisions. There are also people- although it’s even harder for them to share their story- who know that the decision to have children was a mistake.” Read more.
  • “Lo and behold, a year or so later she got pregnant. She asked me again what I wanted to do.” Read more.
  • He wrote it, but he didn’t realise it was offensive. (So why are you taking offence?)Read more.
  • “The ability to produce sperm and ova is simply that, but the political and social ramifications of having one’s person socially associated with certain modes of gametes production go far beyond any medical considerations.” Read more.
  • “They found absolutely nothing. But they found nothing in a useful way.” Read more.
  • “Even after the luncheon was over and the news spread like wildfire that Kitt had ‘made the First Lady cry,’ the pinnacle of class and grace that was Madame Eartha was not sorry.” Read more.
  • “In the case of the L’Oréal Foundation survey, both the questions and the interpretation seemed geared to making the problem of sexist attitudes look impossibly bad.” Read more.

The Reading List, 9/22/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “All in all, this growing community of atheists and secularists in the Caribbean that we have seen has led to the emergence of more activists, not only in atheism but in related areas such as LGBT rights.” Read more.
  • “That’s something for therapy, perhaps, not for you, or anyone else who isn’t getting paid by the session.” Read more.
  • “But you’ve lost. And you’re going to have to face up to the fact you’ve lost. There are no do-overs. There are no more games.” Read more.
  • “Leaving aside the substance of these points, which are deeply disingenuous and perhaps even offensive to nonbelievers, look at the words being used: Virus. Infect. Course of treatment. Spiritual health.Read more.
  • “A study of the 2005 General Election in the UK found that in the Conservative party, men were selected to contest seats that were easier to win, while women were selected to contest seats that were unwinnable.” Read more.
  • “That already-low number drops off precipitously when it comes to black children: Only 21 percent were given opioids, versus 43 percent of white patients. Overall, the researchers found that black kids with acute appendicitis only have a 12.2-percent chance of receiving proper pain management. ” Read more.
  • “The stigma of public morality, fueled by white supremacy and patriarchy, has always come down more heavily on black women. Religious right policies gutting reproductive health care disproportionately affect poor and working class black women.” Read more.
  • “If you take nothing else from this post, take this: if you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to legal issues like this, don’t offer ‘friendly’ advice. You’re just going to make the aforementioned psychological cost that much worse.” Read more.
  • “‘There was a rule in place, for whatever reason, that girls couldn’t wear leggings,’ Brockett recalls. ‘We found ourselves fighting the leggings without any of us knowing why.'” Read more.
  • “It was disorienting to spend our class discussing the ethics of mourning and the application of Holocaust, postcolonial and trauma theories to 9/11, only to return to my office to find dozens of emails accusing me of sympathizing with terrorists, calling for the deportation or extermination of all Muslims or telling me to’“go back where I came from.'” Read more.
  • “Indeed, whether in sports, politics or business, the best leaders are usually humble — and whether through nature or nurture, humility is a much more common feature in women than men.” Read more.
  • “When I was a little younger than Ahmed Mohamed is now, I invented the distance formula for Cartesian coordinates.” Read more.

The Reading List, 9/18/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

 

  • “I did not feel I could sink any lower. I did not believe I had anything left to lose.  I walked into a Directors Guild of America Women’s Steering Committee meeting asking questions and demanding answers.” Read more.
  • “That’s important because Universal had argued that fair use has to be considered an ‘affirmative defense’ of otherwise unlawful conduct. The panel of judges dismantled that idea.” Read more.
  • “But Ben and Kepner didn’t just save their activist writing for Vice Versa and ONE. Their science fiction writing was full of their desires for a more equal world.” Read more.
  • “Don’t be like Bill.” Read more.
  • “This video is a telling bit of MRA ephemera. I almost admire the efficiency of it. Why go through the process of hitting on women, getting rejected, and doing the pathetic ‘I didn’t want you anyway, you smelly bitch!’ rationalization dance, when you can skip directly to the last step?” Read more.
  • Cillizza and Berman are right about the perceptions. It seems worth pointing out, however, that no woman has the option of this kind of candor.” Read more.
  • “That all would be traumatizing enough, but these campaigns are structured so the damage is permanent — all of that information is compiled on sites, wikis, defamatory tabloid style blogs, and Youtube videos. The message is clear: this is forever. It’s never going away.” Read more.
  • “Oatmeal is generally considered a no-no on the modern paleo diet, but the original paleo eaters were definitely grinding oats and other grains for dinner, according to new research.” Read more.
  • “It follows a letter from education minister Hakuban Shimomura sent to all of Japan’s 86 national universities, which called on them to take ‘active steps to abolish [social science and humanities] organisations or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs’.” Read more.
  • “But it appears that the solution is a simple one: diverse creators and producers lead to diverse crews.” Read more.
  • “A 28-year-old programmer I spoke to mentioned that she too had ‘aged out’ of the recruiter tables. Every discussion I attended that involved older women (and there weren’t many) emphasized that we were there to mentor, preferably from managerial roles that we had achieved by ‘leaning in.'” Read more.
  • “Now, the Superman office allegedly employs no women, and a cursory glance over the mastheads of several Superman titles and Wonder Woman seems to confirm that allegation. The reason, I’ve been told by several people who work or used to work at DC, is because one of the most senior editors is a sexual harasser with multiple incidents on his HR file.” Read more.

 

The Reading List, 9/16/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “All Paul Elam and company are doing is making seeking treatment even harder by portraying mental health professionals as man-haters who must ‘[accept] that men have problems vs. the default assumption that men are the problem.’ I’ve never had any professional, ever, tell me that what happened to me or that my mental conditions were my fault. I have, however, had MRAs repeatedly attack me and mock me.” Read more.
  • “We need police to value the lives of everyone in the community – yes, even the criminal ones. We need to imbue our police with a social service mentality rather than a siege one.” Read more.
  • “I’d thought this would be obvious, but perhaps it’s not: When I say ‘leader,’ I don’t mean ‘person you never oppose.’ I don’t mean ‘person who tells you what to believe.’ I don’t mean ‘enforcer of a dictated belief system.’ I don’t mean ‘dictator’; I don’t mean ‘demagogue’; I don’t mean ‘pope.'” Read more.
  • “Fans may be concerned about the lack of details whenever allegations about creators emerge– frequently through the inherently untrustworthy platform of social media– but if you’re a journalist, that frustration is amplified to a huge extent because you can’t speak for fear of endangering sources, who won’t speak themselves for fear of ruining their careers, while publishers are well aware of the bad behavior of their employees and choose to either do nothing about it or in some cases even encourage it.” Read more.
  • “And after a year and a half, while I absolutely believe Edmondson’s an asshole and did what he’s accused of, as a journalist who believes in checking sources and facts, I have not had enough to run a story I felt I could defend in court. Because, I’ve been warned numerous times, if I ran it I should expect to be sued.” Read more.
  • “‘Kevin far exceeded institutional requirements in reporting potential conflicts of interest,’ wrote Dr. Payne. ‘His disclosures were not merely filled out and summarily buried in an electronic filing cabinet, Dr. Folta broadcast Monsanto’s support for his outreach efforts by thanking the company publicly and disclosing its contributions at the beginning of his outreach talks.'” Read more.
  • “The very fact that genderbending is a thing draws attention to standards of dress and the depiction of gender in fiction. However, its done as a celebration of a character rather so it doesn’t end up being grumpy. Its fun and often funny, and comedy is often the best form of commentary.” Read more.
  • “I would have walked away without a second thought, as this kind of harassment is usually written off as a joke by men who have spent too much time offshore away from their wives. I wouldn’t have bothered to even report the problem once I had plugged the hole myself — why create drama and give the men another reason to complain about allowing women on the ship?” Read more.
  • “Ok, but what happens if someone registers to vote and none of your friends knows that person personally? Do you just reject them out of hand? Does that mean that they’re not actually a science fiction and/or fantasy fan? Yeah, I’m being facetious.” Read more.
  • “Where is Adam Lambert’s line for Gap Kids, promoted with an upbeat commercial of young boys playing with dolls and doing ballet while wearing shiny sparkly glam clothes and lipgloss while Diamond Rings serenades us all?” Read more.
  • “The voters (well, some) find the choosing amusing;
    It’s theatre, played on the world’s grandest stage!
    It’s comedy, tragedy, mystery, history,
    Farce, at a level defining an age!” Read more.
  • “The people raising religious objections to same-sex marriage take pains to try and distance themselves from earlier generations of people who objected to mixed-race marriages on religious grounds but the parallels are just too close to make that effort successful. North Carolina has a particularly ugly history with this kind of marriage bigotry and one case demonstrates that this is just a new version of an old story.” Read more.