Conventions are workplaces for some people: how to move this conversation forward

Speakers, staff, and even people looking to increase their credibility in a particular field by networking and socializing all have very good reason to consider a convention to be a “workplace environment”. Even if they’re volunteering, even if they’re there only semi-professionally or as a hobbyist, the existence of a solid harassment policy that includes reporting mechanisms and collection of data for future improvement can be nothing but a good thing for their ability to carry out their work.

Conventions are not unique among workplaces — very many workplaces involve the dissemination of ideas, social components where “customers” can interact with one another and with the “employees” alike, and might even have an “overtime” component where people who are otherwise co-workers can fraternize outside of the purview of the actual “workplace environment”, often with those aforementioned “customers”. Most workplaces already have very solid harassment policies, and HR departments to enforce those policies. So why all the pushback against these policies when presented in context of trying to improve the situation for women who have apparently increasingly abandoning certain skeptical events despite leaders’ efforts to improve the situation?

My best guess is, because the people pushing back against these policies are the first ones who will be impacted by them.
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Buy the new iPad from XS4ALL to “upgrade” your lover

Tired of your current bed partner? If you buy an iPad from XS4ALL, you’ll be able to switch her it out for some other model! It’s super easy when human beings are simply-manipulated objects!

Bra-fucking-vo. Slow clap. Marketing a super-expensive computing toy to men who think the women in their lives are replaceable bed-warmers, because they’re the only demographic with disposable income — the misogynist asshat is evidently, after all, the fastest-growing privilege group.

I only wish this was a case of “this ad would never fly in THIS country”. We both know damn well it would probably spike their sales here. And my blood pressure.

Onoes, the religious are being bullied by Gay-Straight Alliances in Canada!!

In Ontario, there’s apparently been a bit of a row over school anti-bullying clubs naming themselves Gay-Straight Alliance, or something similar. The row comes mostly from the Catholic schools — naturally — where the proposed clubs are denied on the basis that they have the word “gay” in them, where these Catholic schools consider homosexuality to be evil, sinful, et cetera. The provincial government is debating amending the education laws surrounding anti-bullying initiatives in such a way to prevent schools from denying these clubs’ existences, so an archbishop threw a shit-fit.

“Why is a piece of provincial legislation being used to micromanage the naming of student clubs?” he said.

On Friday, the Liberal government at Queen’s Park said it would introduce legislation that would require all schools to accept clubs by that name.

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Some sick freak is mailing body parts to the Conservative Party of Canada (Update: and Liberals too!)

I thought about starting this post by saying “look, I hate the CPC as much as the next guy”, but quickly realized that evidently, I don’t. Someone — possibly multiple someones — has sent two body parts to the Conservative Party of Canada headquarters.

Police would not say what the body part was, nor where it was found, though they did say it was not found at the Conservative Party offices on 130 Albert St. where the foot was sent.

Media reports said the second package, containing a human hand, was not addressed to the Tory headquarters. Police said the major crime unit continues to investigate.

Police were called to the building at 11:20 a.m. ET after a suspicious package was delivered there. Police called for the hazardous materials unit after they noticed what appeared to be blood on the package.

It’s interesting that the foot was mailed directly to the Tories but the hand wasn’t. I don’t know what that means yet.

I can envision a few scenarios where this might make sense to some deranged person — in protest of the Tories and Harper’s government’s policies, as a taunt to the police to catch a serial killer, maybe even mailing the body parts of someone they felt was victimized by the government out of revenge. I can only hope that the parts come from the same body, rather than two different ones, and that the person those parts belonged to was not freshly killed for expressly this purpose. Regardless, this story is disturbing on a number of very visceral levels.

Update: Holy shit. Okay, it’s not targeted at the CPC at all. The hand was delivered to the Liberal Party. And they have the rest of the body, and a suspect who’s been known to kill kittens on video, who may or may not have a link to Karla Homolka.

Montreal police are looking for Luka Rocco Magnotta in connection with the delivery of a human left foot to the Conservative Party of Canada headquarters in Ottawa and the discovery of body parts found in Ottawa and Montreal.

Police said Magnotta, 29, also known as Eric Clinton Newman, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant and police are asking for the public’s help to find him.

Police said Magnotta knew the victim whose torso was found in Montreal on Tuesday.

On the “Talibanesque”-ness of harassment policies

The trollitariat have been out in full force recently about the real progress we’ve made recently in finally putting into place structures that will protect women from unwanted sexual advances at atheist/skeptic conventions. They’re getting some help from prominent skeptics like Russell Blackford, who evidently created the meme of the Talibanesquery of this initiative according to some commenters, resulting in wave after wave of sockpuppeting trolls repeating the meme despite being debunked repeatedly.

The trolls are even getting some help from local FtB bloggers who apparently bought that line of argumentation without looking at the policy itself, when actually looking at the policy in question is all it takes to turn the whole issue on its head.
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“Every shred of social science research” bears out the Bible

According to Janet Porter of Faith2Action, anyway.

So, um, yeah. What do you define as social science research? What about the social sciences that say you can’t “repair” homosexuality? What about anthropology and archaeology, both of which support evolution as two of its pillars, when you believe that evolution is somehow diametrically opposed to your holy scriptures?

Fractally wrong.

CISPA goes to a super-quiet senate vote soon

CISPA, the cyber-security bill that passed in the House that would allow companies to “voluntarily” hand over everything the government asks for them about their clients while indemnifying them against any legal action taken by the parties whose privacy they just violated, goes to a vote in the Senate soon. Only nobody seems to know who supports and who opposes the bill. The Senate is collectively playing this one undeniably close to their chests, and the media’s pretty well dead silent on it, AGAIN.
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Supporters fail miserably at defending “gay concentration camps” pastor

Memo to Pastor Worley supporters: prepare to answer tough questions like “do gays really deserve to be put in concentration camps” when you go on a show like Anderson Cooper.

I honestly don’t have a ton of respect for AC’s interview style most times, but I felt a real pang of empathy when he put his chin on his hand halfway through this. He was giving this lady the easiest questions imaginable and she was completely failing to address them. She wasn’t even trying, it seemed. What’s worse is, AC was obviously intentionally going easy on her, ratcheting DOWN the questions as she seemed progressively incapable of answering them, handling her first with kid gloves then padding them in Nerf foam.

I’m curious. Does anyone know of any anti-gay bigotry that ISN’T inspired by rampant and ridiculous levels of religiosity?

Obama’s post-Rapture speech

We’re just going to have to get serious here. Hail Satan.

Comments are disabled on the Youtube video, naturally. So feel free to make your comments here instead!

It’s funny how just anyone can now put words, even grossly libelous ones, into famous people’s mouths, with absolutely no skill or grammar prerequisites. I am very tempted to purchase an account for a month just so I can use the Jesus actor to say “the preceding video is ridiculous, and the person who made it knows nothing of my work.” It would be a decent rebuttal for ridiculous nonsense like this one — you could post it on Youtube as a video response even where comments are disabled.

And another that’s a little more atheistic: “Look, guys, I’m not real. I probably never existed as a real person, and even if I did, I’m sure I’m nothing like the guy you people are worshipping. Furthermore, lying about reality in my name is pretty fucking stupid. So please, cut it the hell out, for Christ’s sake.”

Hat tip to Christian Nightmares.

LOLcats: the later years

The route down which all LOLcats go. So very sad.

(Trigger warning for sexual exploitation — commenters have been triggered, so seriously, this is a real trigger warning. The sexual exploitation, specifically taking pictures of this LOLcat without its consent, with multiple tiers of sexual reference at every stage, in this video. It is graphic and really fucked up.)

Via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Theater.
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