Locke, Montesquieu and Moses

The Texas State Board of Education voted on a new set of social studies materials on Friday. NPR reports:

That includes some 89 textbooks, workbooks and other classroom materials. The vote matters because, with about 5 million students, the state has a big impact on the national textbook market.

Well it also matters because 5 million students are a lot of students, and they need good textbooks too.

We know how the Texas Board of Ed is. It’s been colonized by Christian Nationalists, who want to teach Christian Nationalist things to captive students. [Read more…]

Brendan O’Neill attacked by Stepford students horror

There was supposed to be a debate on abortion last Tuesday at Christ Church, Oxford. Brendan O’Neill and Timothy Stanley were the scheduled debaters.

That fact by itself fills me with a great cloud of weary irritation. If you want to stage a debate on abortion, why the fuck ask two men to do it? What is the point? Why is it of more interest or significance to hear what two men have to say on the subject than it is to hear what two women have to say? Why just always ignore and jump over women as if they weren’t there, even when talking about things that affect women directly in a way they don’t affect men? Why do that? It’s not as if Brendan O’Neill is such a brilliant thinker or so original or reflective that no one else will do. On the contrary, he’s shallow and highly predictable.

People protested, the debate was canceled, O’Neill is now preening himself on being a martyr for free speech. (What I said – predictable.) [Read more…]

A bus to Nairobi

What’s new in Kenya: al-Shabaab murdered 28 people on a bus at dawn on Saturday.

The bus travelling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked about 50 kilometres from the town of Mandera near Kenya’s border with Somalia, said two police officers who insisted on anonymity because they were ordered not to speak to the press.

The attackers first tried to wave the bus down but it didn’t stop so the gunmen sprayed it with bullets, said the police. When that didn’t work they shot a rocket propelled grenade at it, the officers said. [Read more…]

Who is most popular?

Elsewhere in tvworld, the Duggars are getting some pushback.

A petition on Change.org urging TLC to cancel the family’s reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” is gaining momentum.

“End LGBTQ fear mongering by the Duggars,” a letter posted on petition page reads. “The Duggars have been using their fame to promote discrimination, hate, and fear-mongering against gays and transgendered people. You need to take a stand on the side of justice and cancel their show.”

The petition currently has over 78,000 signatures.

Not terribly impressive when you note that they have 400,000 likes on their Facebook page, but it’s a start.

Last week, the couple posted a Facebook photo of them kissing and encouraged other married couples to share their own. The caption read, “God designed marriage to be a loving, dynamic relationship between a husband and wife for a lifetime. God loves marriage and it is supposed to be full of love, joy, fun and romance,” it said. “We challenge all married couples to take a happily married picture and post it here.”

John Becker, of LGBT blog “The Bilerico Project,” posted a photo of him kissing his husband. He says his photo was later taken down and that he was banned from the Duggars’ page, according to E! News.

Well it’s like this. God doesn’t want human lips to make contact with other lips except when one of the humans is a man and the other human is a woman and the two of them are married to each other. Any other lip-to-lip contact is haram and sin and bad. Don’t even talk about tongues.

An adoring audience

How sweet, CBS reports that Bill Cosby did a show last night and everybody forgot all about those pesky rape allegations and just had a damn good time laughing at his jokes. How warm and cuddly.

“I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos,” the comedian told Florida Today. “People should fact check. People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.”

After giving the backstage interview, Cosby regained the revered status he long enjoyed, for 90 minutes at least.

The show in Melbourne, Florida, might have seemed destined for disaster for the comedian. What he got, though, was an adoring audience that laughed so hard they slapped their knees, shouted love at the stage and rose to their feet as he came and went.

“I think people went in there with him as Bill Cosby from the TV show,” said Travis Weberling, 40, of Melbourne, “not the guy they heard about on the news.”

[Read more…]

Guest post: The problems of American Women are fast becoming the problem of Global Women

Originally a comment by Hj Hornbeck on Yes, there should be rivalry in victimhood.

[Trigger Warning: Domestic and Sexual Assault. Also, BIG comment with many a footnote.]

Here’s an angle I haven’t seen mentioned yet: there’s more than some hidden racism in Dawkin’s focus on Islam, which he exploits to distract from real global problems. The quoted portion in the OP is my starting point:

The greatest threats to women, in his view, are Islamism and jihadism — and his concern over that sometimes leads him to speak off-the-cuff.

“I concentrate my attention on that menace and I confess I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something which I think is, by comparison, relatively trivial,” he said.[1]

That’s demonstrably false. Consider, for instance, a 2006 WHO study on domestic violence.[2] It surveyed fifteen sites worldwide, and found that the highest lifetime rate of physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner was 71% in the Ethiopian countryside and 69% in the Peruvian… both of which are Catholic-majority states. Third place is rural Muslim Bangladesh (62%), fourth is rural half Christian, half Muslim Tanzania (56%), fifth was urban Muslim Bangladesh (53%), and so on. [Read more…]