Record-straightening time

Update: A helpful informant got curious and did a little digging on Vacula’s timeline and came up with…quite a lot of Vacual prodding me to go on his podcast, just since March 3 – less than two months. To wit:

Mar 3, 6:35 PM Vacula: “Ophelia, you should be guest on future show”

Mar 3, 6:38 PM Porter: “we would love to have your humor @OpheliaBenson and TY for all the promotion.”

Mar 4, 2:18 PM Benson: “And no, I’m not calling in to your stupid podcast.”

Mar 4, 2:20 PM Vacula: “You wouldn’t want to have a candid productive conversation outside of Twitter? :(”

Mar 23, 7:27 PM Vacula: “45 chatters – too bad Ophelia Benson won’t call in, but she was a great promoter of our show!(Zvan, too, irrc)”

Mar 31, 6:20 PM Vacula: “Apparently, it’s OK to have a “Fuck the Pope” sign at #aacon13 – What if the sign said “Fuck Ophelia Benson?””

Apr 5, 4:35 PM Vacula: “Happy to have discussion w picking up the phone – @opheliabenson too – Ophelia has my cell#”

Apr 5, 4:37 PM Vacula: “I’d be happy to talk – Ophelia refuses, though, invited her on podcast in July of 2012”

Apr 5, 4:39 PM Vacula: “When i was appointed to SCA position all of the haters had my cell# from press release (1/2)”

Apr 5, 4:40 PM Vacula: “Not one of the #ftbullies bothered to ask me questions, pick up the phone (2/2)”

Apr 5, 4:45 PM Vacula: “Hopefully people will want to have civil discussion @ #WIScfi -Really excited for convention”

Apr 27, 2:47 PM Vacula: “@opheliabenson – Your blog post mentioning @karla_porter gave me a good giggle. Tune in to #BraveHero Radio tonight and consider calling!”

Apr 27, 2:56 PM Porter: “Seriously, please call in @opheliabenson.”

Apr 27, 5:14 PM Vacula: “@opheliabenson We’d love to have her on the show. Too bad she’s unwilling to have discussion – but she is welcome regardless”

Apr 28, 12:59 PM Vacula: “Too bad Ophelia won’t come on #BraveHero but we appreciate early promo. Maybe she will chat at #wiscfi ?”

I saw some of those, and ones before March 3, and that is why that “Maybe she will chat at #wiscfi?” made me think he really did have a plan to get up in my face at WiS2 and try to force me to “chat” with him. I do not want that, so I attempted to pre-empt him by telling him not to.

Who, exactly, is “witch-hunting” here? Which of us, exactly, is harassing the other? Which of us is it who refuses to leave the other alone?

Vacula commenting on his own post:

It’s been quiet for the last two weeks or so, I think, but now PZ and Ophelia are fanning the flames once again. Along with their commenters, a threat narrative and an attempt to ban me from Women in Secularism 2/kick me out of the conference is being mounted. I’m not going to stand by and ignore what’s going on.

That’s staggeringly dishonest. This, again, is what started the “flames.” [Read more…]

A blessing to the babies

An Iowa anti-abortion fanatic muses aloud on YouTube that it would be quite a good thing if someone killed the people who recently reopened a Kansas abortion clinic.

[Dave] Leach posted the comments this month on YouTube. His posting includes a recorded phone conversation he had with another man, whom Leach identifies as abortion opponent Scott Roeder. Roeder is serving a life prison sentence for the 2009 shooting death of the Wichita clinic’s then-owner, Dr. George Tiller. [Read more…]

Ireland to Marie Fleming: you HAVE to stay alive and suffer

She’s allowed to commit suicide, because suicide was decriminalized in Ireland in 1993. But she has MS, so she can’t commit suicide, and what the state won’t allow is help from someone else.

That’s exactly the situation Eric MacDonald’s wife Elizabeth was in. It’s a bad situation. Knowing you’re going to become ever more disabled, and that the more disabled you are the more suicide becomes physically impossible – it’s terrifying. It could happen to any of us, and it’s terrifying.

Ms Fleming, a former lecturer from County Wicklow, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. [Read more…]

Annals of horror

Update: Notice (as I didn’t until prodded) that the date on the item is August 24, 2011. Still worth knowing about.

One for the Jaw Dropped in Horror files. A Pennsylvania judge sent children to prison in exchange for money.

Accused of perpetrating a “profound evil,” former Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for illegally accepting money from a juvenile-prison developer while he spent years incarcerating thousands of young people.

Prosecutors said Ciavarella sent juveniles to jail as part of a “kids for cash” scheme involving Robert Mericle, builder of the PA and Western PA Child Care juvenile detention centers. [Read more…]

Mehdi Hasan challenges the bigots, fanatics and reactionaries of the Islamic world

Fair’s fair. I looked around for more by Mehdi Hasan, and found a piece he did for Huffington Post UK last August, telling off the “blasphemy” laws in Pakistan. It’s much more liberal than what he’s been saying on Twitter for the past three days.

I, for one, am fed up with politicians, mullahs and mobs using my religion to further their own vicious and sectarian agendas. So here’s my own very simple message to the bigots, fanatics and reactionaries of the Islamic world: [Read more…]

Cracks? What cracks?

One of the owners of the factory building that collapsed in Dhaka has been arrested; he’d been in hiding ever since the building fell down.

There has been widespread anger at the disaster and six people, including three factory owners and two engineers, have now been arrested. The building housed several garment factories.

By Sunday evening the confirmed death toll had reached 377, but hundreds more are still missing. [Read more…]

Stuff and Nonsense on the track record of the anti-vax movement

Have a useful post listing times the anti-vaccination movement has been wrong.

Anti-vaccinationists have made a wide range of claims about the dangers of vaccines. In spite of the fact that they have generally had neither data nor a plausible mechanism for the claimed effect, several of their claims have been investigated by researchers.

As it turns out, the anti-vaccinationists are remarkably consistent. Time and time again, they are shown to be wrong. I’m not sure how many times a group needs to be wrong before people stop seeing them as credible. Perhaps people need to be reminded of how many times this group has been wrong?

So there are some reminders.

It won’t be Dartmouth

Oh, how familiar. Via Stephanie – at Dartmouth,

some students at Dartmouth College interrupted an evening of entertainment for prospective students with a brief protest against racism, homophobia, sexism, and rape culture on campus. This protest was met by additional racism, homophobia, sexism, and rape culture in comments posted online. The college cancelled classes for a day to address the problem.

And how are they addressing the problem? By blaming both parties – the people making anonymous threats and racist sexist comments, and the people protesting that kind of thing. [Read more…]