Tolerance is only good for solving little problems

There’s an excellent comment on Greta’s post about the Secular Policy Club yesterday that I got permission to quote. The author is Llewelly.

Some of us still have quite vivid memories of how once there was quite a bit of agreement between PZ and most of these folks about the need to generate controversy together. We didn’t end up on different sides because some people sought to create artificial infighting. We ended up on different sides, because, a very serious problem was discovered, and some people suffer from it, while others benefit.

There’s anger and controversy because the issue at hand is a problem that causes a fair amount of harm, and so there’s no way to talk about it accurately without upsetting people … especially those who benefit from the current situation. [Read more…]

“But you’re wrong that you’re free to vote third party”

Another source of this “You have to vote for Hillary Clinton” bullshit is William Hamby in a string of public posts on Facebook. You’d think he was James Carville on speed.

A comment on one of his own posts a couple of hours ago for instance:

William Hamby In 2000, 3% of American voters took a vote from Al Gore and gave it to Ralph Nader. Because Al Gore, who would have solar panels on the White House and carbon emissions cut by a third, wasn’t progressive enough.

George W. Bush was “appointed” based on a difference of several hundred votes. Those left defectors elected George Bush. End of story. Noble goals mean shit in politics. Voters must think long term.

No, we didn’t “take” a vote from Al Gore. It wasn’t Al Gore’s vote! Nobody owns all the votes. The Democratic party doesn’t own the votes of all people to the left of the Republicans. Nobody stole a vote from Al Gore and gave it to Ralph Nader, because that’s not the arrangement. [Read more…]

In the minds of ideologues and children

Oy, it’s starting already, the angry shouting from people outraged by the scandalous fact that some people are not excited about Hillary Clinton as a candidate for president and are talking about not voting for her when and if the time comes. It’s the 2000 campaign all over again.

The shout goes like this: the Democratic Party candidate is all there is. You can’t vote for someone to the left of that candidate, because that is taking your vote from the Democratic Party candidate and giving it to that outsider person. That’s reality. You have to submit to it. [Read more…]

Guest post: Does this multi-faceted rabble want a formal leadership?

Originally a comment by Maureen Brian on Be ever tranquil and mild.

What Dawkins et al do, which by my standards – yes, folks, I’m a socialist feminist atheist who uses “rude words” and I have standards! – is worse is that they demand to be treated as leaders because they say they are leaders. A useless project anyway but more damaging than any amount of boisterous argument among intelligent people who are trying to thrash out a number of important questions.

Among the matters they refuse to address are – does this multi-faceted rabble want a formal leadership? does it need one? if it does then is the market driven hierarchical one best suited to the task? have they asked any other atheists? does trying to set up an authoritarian regime before you have secured the territory make sense? does it matter who they’re prepared to get in bed* with to further their hegemony? why go forward with this when even an averagely bright Christian can spot that there are so many questions unaddressed? why choose this particular set of averagely flawed people above any other? what are they getting out of it and is that fair to the rest of us? And so forth. [Read more…]

All sides

Sarah Khan has an excellent public post on Facebook saying it comes from all sides.

Misogyny, objectification & hypocrisy about women on ALL sides. Maajid Nawaz by going to a strip club is happy to pay for women’s objectification for his sexual purposes. If you believe in women’s dignity and rights, you don’t just challenge Islamists’ abuse of women; you challenge all those capitalist corporations and services which seek to make huge profits on the exploitation of women’s bodies and for sex. (I believe in the rights and dignity of sex workers by the way who are regularly abused and denigrated.) You challenge unequal pay. You challenge all the inequalities that continue to exist between men and women in our country.

I suppose most of you have seen the story about Maajid? The Daily Mail reported it last week and he added some points afterward. He went to a strip club, it was his “stag night” (silly expression, and idea); his future wife was fine with it. [Read more…]

Be ever tranquil and mild

Since the core of our Maximum Critic’s case is that we’re too angry and rude and obnoxious, and also unfair to Our Leaders, especially Richard Dawkins, I thought I would take a squiz at RD’s Twitter feed to see how placid and polite and pleasant he is being in contrast to angry rude obnoxious us.


Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins 20 hours ago
.@iconoclasmrules @pennjillette This, from Penn, strikes me as philosophically spot on. What flaw has your great philosophical mind found?

[Read more…]

The diarrhea is a good thing if it’s “detox diarrhea”

For more on this MMS “treatment” one post of many by Orac on the subject:

Let’s recap. MMS is bleach. Specifically, it is a 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water that generates chlorine dioxide when diluted with citric acid-containing or other acid-containing foods, as instructed. This is a chemical used for water purification that a quack—yes, quack—named Jim Humble has touted as a miracle cure for just about everything from cancer to AIDS to a wide variety of conditions, serious and not-so-serious. There is no currently known valid medical reason to give this chemical to anyone to treat anything. None of this is (or should be) in serious dispute from a strictly scientific, medical, or ethical standpoint. [Read more…]

American personnel are rarely disciplined under the local legal systems

Chris Allbritton at the Daily Beast has much more on that Colombian report.

U.S. soldiers and military contractors stationed in Colombia allegedly sexually assaulted as many as 54 Colombian children between 2003 and 2007, according to a report commissioned by the Colombian government and the FARC leftist rebel group. But none of the Americans have been prosecuted because of bilateral agreements and diplomatic immunity, the report alleges.

Spokespeople for the U.S. Army told The Daily Beast that they’ve seen no evidence of such crimes.

How astonishing! When things were set up so that responsible officials wouldn’t see evidence of such crimes, how astonishing to learn that they haven’t seen any. [Read more…]

“Your daughter is a little whore; nothing has happened here”

Speaking of rape, and denial, and cover-ups…the International Business Times reports:

The U.S. Army has pledged to investigate recently resurfaced allegations that American soldiers and contractors sexually abused more than 50 Colombian minors in the mid-2000s, weeks after the accusations appeared in a report on the Colombian government’s battle against rebel militias.

Colombia’s Historical Commission on Conflict released a landmark 800-page report in February detailing the government’s fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla group that engaged in a 50-year conflict with state forces. One section of the report focused on the U.S. military’s assistance to Colombia’s government in its efforts and noted harrowing accounts of rape and sexual abuse against underage Colombian girls.

[Read more…]

Galloway, in a position of power, can make these comments

Huma Munshi responds to George Galloway’s contemptible denial of Naz Shah’s forced marriage.

I cannot believe that Galloway is so ignorant as to allege that because Shah’s mother was present, the marriage was not forced. Galloway was an MP in Bethnal Green and Bow and now represents Bradford West, which both have large Asian communities. While forced marriage is not exclusive to south Asian cultures, he has, no doubt learned about the practice from his constituents.

[Read more…]