How-to guide for male supremacists: give women acid baths

Via The Guardian (disturbing photos on the landing page):

Seventeen-year-old Neela Khatunis is one of more than 2,700 victims of acid attacks in Bangladesh over the past 10 years. ‘My husband was angry … because he claimed a dowry but my family couldn’t provide one,’ she says. ‘His plan was to sell me in Saudi Arabia – when I refused he threw acid on me then he fled’

Putting the headline image below the fold because, well, FUCK. More text, too.
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Passports and FtB meetups and waning vacation time, oh my

Right about now, I’m at the Canadian Consulate in Minneapolis, filing paperwork for a one-way passport back to Canada. My passport went through the wash here at the Zvan’s, and the front-and-back blue pages peeled away, and evidently that’s enough to invalidate the passport. I’ve pretty much had to fill out every scrap of paper I originally did doing my real passport, in duplicate, plus a third form (that had to be notarized all official-like) stating that I damaged the original passport and how — in every embarassing detail. Just got done taking, printing, picking up, slicing up and having passport photos signed, all done by none other than world famous photographer Ben Zvan. Luckily my wife Jodi has had a passport for more than five years, and can act as my guarantor. Hopefully I will get my exit papers in the requisite three day waiting period, and will manage to return home safely. I needed to renew my passport before CONvergence next year anyway, so it’s no huge loss. Well, a small loss — I did lose every visa stamp in the old passport when the washer scrubbed every bit of non-printed ink from the pages.

Whether I’m returning home properly on Sunday, or I’m shipped off to Gitmo for being an illegal immigrant or whatever, it appears you’ll have one last chance to see me in person in Minneapolis this Friday. Stephanie, Greg and I are, as of publication, going to Bar Abilene for supper… dinner… whatever you crazy Americans call that meal that happens around 5pm. More details at Stephanie’s, and if any plans change, that’s where you’ll find out.

Less than a week left in Jodi and my vacation. Best do as many epic things as possible! This may include hugs. EPIC HUGS.

Christians laud Haitians’ godliness in face of all their oppression

Religious disaster relief: solar-powered audio Bibles.

Reader Michael Fisher passed along a post by Christian sociologist Margarita A. Mooney of Black, White and Grey (a Patheos blog) lauding Haitians for turning to God in their extreme suffering. It is apparently a repost from her post last Thanksgiving, and it seems to wholly miss the crux of the issue: that being, the more suffering there is, the more a country turns to God to ease that suffering because it seems to be their only recourse.

In other words, once earthly means of support have completely collapsed, you turn to supernatural means of support which probably do not exist, and will therefore probably not provide you a way out of the suffering you face. Religion is, after all, the sigh of oppressed people.
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Some of my closest friends have mental issues

Mental health problems do not preclude genius.

The skeptical and atheist communities overlap significantly with a great many other social causes. The confrontational and the accomodationist have pressed into the northeast and southwest; feminists and male supremacists carved out chunks on each side of a great rift down the center; gun control advocates and self-proclaimed gun nuts both push toward the middle of our communities from opposite sides. Some communities advocating social change overlap ours by default, thanks to shared enemies — the LGBTQ communities are an excellent example. There are a scant few social causes that overlap so significantly with our goals of humanitarianism and evidence-based ethical frameworks that there is no counterpart pushing back against the cause keeping it from taking the community by storm — the only real obstacle to its widespread adoption as a cause amongst our community’s participants is the utter silence about the problem.

The nice thing is, breaking that sort of silence usually only takes one brave soul in a position to speak loudly enough to make their voice heard. Sometimes the conversation doesn’t start immediately, sometimes that tinder must be struck a number of times, but once the conversation that everyone so desperately needs has begun, it will sweep across our community like a wild fire.
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F***ing electricity, how does that work?

My brother-in-law Shannon sent along this image, evidently clipped from a Christian textbook for kids. I suspect it’s been floating around the blogosphere for a bit, though this is the first I’ve seen it. He says he can try to obtain the book from one of the many local religious bookstores. I’ve told him I would gladly pay for it and shipping if he manages to find it — it’s bound to have tons more juicy bits of nonsense like this. Maybe even something about tides going in and out without a miscommunication, if we’re lucky! That particular brain dropping can’t possibly be O’Reilly’s own… can it?

Pic below the fold. Or at the Twitpic link above, your choice. It’s a click either way.
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