Craig Cobb’s got a little black in him

If you’ve never heard of him, this guy’s a real piece of work.

White supremacist and leader of the so-called “Creative Movement”, Craig Cobb was born and raised in Boston. He grew disenchanted with Christianity when his racism was too much even for the more intolerant churches, inherited some money, and moved to Estonia to build a white supremacist movement. There, he founded a white supremacist media sharing website called Podblanc. Then he was deported to Canada after the Estonian government decided he was a hateful asshat; he landed in Vancouver where he was issued a summons to appear in court over Canada’s hate speech laws with respect to his site. He skipped across the border and is wanted in Canada to this day. Cobb is currently trying to remake Leith, North Dakota in his lily-white image.

Only, hilariously, turns out he’s not so lily-white after all. He appeared on The Trisha Goddard show, a UK daytime talk show, agreeing to take a DNA test to prove his white purity. That this was for a daytime talk show should have been a red flag for him, but he plowed ahead anyway.

He has, naturally, since claimed that the DNA test was a sham to build phony controversy.

The interesting thing about science is that it’s replicable. I would pay good money for him to send more DNA samples to other companies, blinded wherever possible. It’s extraordinarily likely that he’s going to have “sub-Saharan African” ancestry in every test, given how humanity has generally evolved, and I’d love for him to have that particular fact so unequivocally proven as to undermine his philosophy for the rest of his days.

You’ve got a little black in you, man. You hate yourself — and every other human being on the planet, ultimately.

The Outrage Brigade

DJ Grothe, not content with his reputation and desperately lacking a communications director through which he can vet his random personal thoughts (any takers on that job?), posted to Facebook a terribly transphobic thought. Or, at least, so we Outrage Brigaders interpreted it!

No hyperbole: I just saw the worst-passing transsexual I’ve ever seen in the lounge here. It was so disruptive that I am forced to believe it was an intentional way to protest against rigid gender binaries. Or so I’d like to think.

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Michael Enright: Atheists, you’re not being silenced, so stop talking about it!

A reader forwarded me this via email as a sort of quick-bloggy bit of material, I suspect at least in part to get me blog just to prove I’m still alive. So, here we are!

Michael Enright, of CBC’s venerable The Sunday Edition, has decided to take on one group that’s really overreaching, that’s already gotten all the attention it deserves, that’s been given all the deference it could want and yet still keeps grasping for more: atheists. Seriously, can you think of another group that’s already won all its campaigns to be allowed to exist in peace and yet keeps, you know, talking about how horrible it is to be them, to have to play second-fiddle to all the overprivileged people in our society? Nope, none, just atheists!

He starts out by electing Richard Dawkins as our pope.

If the atheists of the world could ever organize themselves into a non-religious church, their first Pope would undoubtedly be Richard Dawkins.

Yeah, off to a GREAT start.
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You are free to choose how to use the internet

I’d like remind everyone that you are free to curate your internet experience however you please. When your internet experience starts to suck because people are trying to make your life miserable, you are free to deal with that as you see fit.

You are free to withdraw from a space. You are free to ban and block. You are free to call on friends for help. You are free to dig in and argue with every entitled douchebag who comes along trying to win a war of attrition in order to force you out of that space. You are free to be pseudonymous; you are free to use your real name. You are free to publicly disagree with them, even via a blog post if you so choose; or you can privately disagree with them amongst a small tight-knit circle of friends and allies. You can use any number of block-list services like Akismet, RBL, the A+ Block Bot, or even a whitelist-only setup like making your Twitter account Private. You can engage with everyone who thinks the internet is a debate club, or you can ignore those people, or you can block them.

And be damned anyone who says that this is “fascist”.
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Ask Dawkins to reconsider his evaluation of the harms of “mild pedophilia”

I would very much like it if people stopped treating Dawkins as the Secular Pope. We don’t want any “leaders” in this movement, and yet friends of the secular movement will bow and scrape, and foes will treat him as the King of Atheism whose decrees are handed down from on high for all to internalize. Hell, half the time we can barely decipher what he’s saying. Take Twitter for example. A 140 character limit does the man no justice whatsoever — he does not wear “pithy” well.

His recent misstep is, as I’m sure you’re all aware, less than pithy — he’s been given plenty of time and space to bring this intellectual pursuit to full flower, and this is what he’s come up with: his recent suggestion that being sexually assaulted as a child is less bad than being brought up religious, and that one shouldn’t condemn sexual assault done in another era under different social mores.
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r/MensRights reminds me why I don’t Reddit

L'il Rascals scene: He-Man Woman Haters Club.

Heh heh. That one guy’s name is SPANKY.

A funny thing happened yesterday. I started seeing hits from Reddit. A *lot* of hits. Fully a fifth of my traffic came from a particular thread on Reddit — despite my being in a slow blogging period, posting my one post I managed very late in the day, and despite the long tail on my bigger posts already waning.

(In other words, by “a lot” of hits, I mean ~400. About what I’ll get from posting a video of a turtle doing something cute.)

So I clicked through to see what I was linked from, Turns out, it was r/MensRights, and they were opining that I’m a terrible human being, a beta mangina, and a sop for the Gynocracy because of this post.
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Maddow: North Carolina voter suppression efforts are succeeding

Rachel Maddow analyzes recent developments in North Carolina, showing without a doubt that the Republican Party is systematically suppressing votes statewide, entrenching themselves politically at the expense of democracy itself.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The most damning thing about all of this is how easy it is for power to entrench itself. And that half of your nation doesn’t even see this cheat-to-win as a trend, with the chaff they keep throwing up about electoral fraud necessitating stricter ID regulations, as though that is actually happening. All you have to do is lie repeatedly about statistical improbabilities to the point of making them into bogeymen and you can get laws in place that undercut democracy itself. Scare the populace into taking extraordinary measures against things that simply aren’t happening, and you get severe miscarriages of justice.

Should Spider-Man be gay?

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching right-wingers lose their shit over people NOT treating homosexuals as eeeevul deviant pre-verts, except perhaps watching an entire media’s fandom lose their shit over an idea for injecting novelty into their favourite franchise that involves, you know, actually changing it. This is one of those rare celestial alignment type coincidences that is probably pretty unlikely to happen again any time soon. We should take careful note, and savour it for all it’s worth.

Andrew Garfield, star of the current iteration of Spider-Man movies — a franchise that, full disclosure, I absolutely love, and for which I found the Sam Raimi movies underwhelming at best — has suggested to the director, then publicly, that he sees no reason that Peter Parker shouldn’t be gay, exploring his sexuality in a rebooted universe where it turns out MJ is a guy.

Right-Wing Watch reports that this has majorly rustled the jimmies of Charisma’s Jennifer LeClaire:

Really? Don’t we have enough gay comic book heroes? About this time last year, DC Comics outed the Green Lantern. When he’s not wearing his neon-green garb and accomplishing superhuman feats, the chiseled Green Lantern enjoys kissing his new boyfriend. As I noted in my column last year, perhaps DC Comics was trying to compete with its rival, Marvel Comics, which announced just days earlier that it would host the first gay wedding in the June 20 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51.

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Listen more, be more charitable, moderate blogs and forums

I pity the poor sod who has to wade through and moderate all the comments over at CFI’s blog. Frankly, they’ve got possibly the worst job in the world right now. However, I’m going to push that fact aside for a moment, mute that in-built empathy for my fellow human being for just long enough to complain that they’re not actually doing that job to any degree one can call reasonable.

I’m not necessarily going to BLAME them, per se, though. The tone has been set in Ron Lindsay’s three blog posts that are about his experience at Women In Secularism 2.

Note that these blog posts are not ABOUT Women In Secularism 2, which was a tightly organized and implemented CFI conference, and which by my understanding, through the rumour mill, is the CFI conference closest to breaking even this year (can we get independent verification of this?). It was by all accounts a success, but by no accounts an unmitigated one. It was bookended by tone-deaf missives about how terrible feminists have been to certain clueless, privileged dudebros in our community. In fact, the first one, by Ron Lindsay, carried with it a heavy dose of shame for daring to invoke the sociological concept of privilege, showing a blatant misunderstanding of the word.

But that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’ll be fisking his post another day — and on that day I’m sure I’ll be called irrational and compared disfavourably to some despotic country. Today, instead, I’m talking about the CFI Open Letter, and how it reflects upon the community what’s being left up in the comments on those blog posts.
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Privilege, Dialogue, Harassment, and the Anti-Availability Heuristic

The Availability Heuristic is a well-known cognitive bias that primes people to more readily believe something when they can easily come up with examples. Of the cognitive biases that I’ve encountered among rationalists in the skeptical and atheist communities, this bias is the one I’m most capable of coming up with examples. I am therefore primed to believe more readily that atheists and skeptics are not immune to this bias — myself included.

But there’s a little-discussed inverse to this bias, where examples are generally filtered out of one’s daily existence because they don’t impact on you directly, and thus, you are less ready to believe someone claiming to experience them. I call this the anti-availability heuristic, though I’m sure there are better names for it.
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