Thunderfoot shocked to learn he can’t harass believers

It’s definitely asshole Saturday.

Thunderfoot has a new video about how feminism is roooning atheism, part 5. Yes seriously, it’s part 5.

I watched almost 5 minutes of it. He gets his facts wrong. He starts by saying American Atheists “just” invited PZ to speak at the next convention, after he went and did that terrible thing by posting the email a woman sent him about Michael Shermer. Wrong. They asked him long before the post. It’s laughably easy to confirm that, because they also announced it before the post. [Read more…]

Ways to screen out the female applicants

A comment by Leslie Brown at Pharyngula on a post about geekbro culture.

First time commenter, this issue really chaps my hide. I was really keen to work in computers when I was in my 20s, way back in 1979. I applied for a place on a government run programming course, and sat an aptitude test along with about 250 others. I found the test quite straightforward, completed it in about half the allotted 2 hours, and was eventually called for an interview. I was told that even though I’d scored exceptionally highly on the aptitude test, they couldn’t offer me one of the 12 places available, as I might have children! [Read more…]

Sheep this way, goats that way

So I see this post of PZ’s, We’re all bad together here…and proud of it.

Zinnia Jones is rightly resentful when a blogger who goes by the name “the atheist asshole” calls her “one of the good ones”. They’re missing the truth: while she’s all straightforward and civil and all that, she’s also one of our top bad-asses on Freethoughtblogs.

Oh, I know who that is – “the atheist asshole” – that’s Anton A Hill, the one who did a forty nineteen* minute video about me because I told him to fuck off on Twitter, and then went on and on and on and on sniping at me about it, for weeks. [Read more…]

An asshole posted

I should just title every post that way, right?

An asshole posted on the Atheist Alliance of America National Convention Facebook page:

Remember gentlemen, if a woman looks at you while you are at this convention, and you think she may be interested in you, she isn’t. She’s most likely reminiscing about the chocolate volcano she enjoyed last night at dessert. Do not approach her, or speak to her for any reason other than to inform her that she is on fire if you happen to see flames flickering from her hair or clothing. Keep your hands to yourselves. Politely decline all handshakes or hugs. Do not under any circumstances attempt to discuss any topic at all, or otherwise engage in interaction that is not first approved by an appointed sexual harassment chaperone. When moving from one fixed point in a room to another, keep your eyes on the floor and your arms tucked tightly to your sides. Before moving to another point, ensure that your destination is devoid of women for a 15 foot radius. Don’t even think about drinking alcohol, and do not as another woman if they’d like to share a drink with you. They do not. If a woman engages you in conversation, slowly back away without speaking, and shaking your head to indicate “no”. Do these things, and everyone will be able to enjoy themselves without incident. Thank you.

Yeah. Thanks. We get it. You want atheism to be like a frat party. We don’t.

Older than her chronological age

Well that’s…disturbing.

A Montana judge has apologized for comments he made about a 14-year-old female rape victim that seemed to take the “blame the victim” approach to a new level. “I don’t know what I was thinking or trying to say,” Judge G. Todd Baugh tells the Billings Gazette. “It was just stupid and wrong.” In ordering a former high school teacher to spend just 30 days in jail for raping a student, Baugh explained on Monday that she was “older than her chronological age” and was “as much in control” as teacher Stacey Rambold. The girl committed suicide with the criminal case pending.

She was as much in control…and yet she committed suicide. That doesn’t sound much like being in control.

The unreliable narrator

Colin McGinn is still writing blog posts.

Here’s one from a couple of weeks ago.

“I could list a great number of these one-sided diminutive romances. Some of them ended in a rich flavor of hell. It happened for instance that from my balcony I would notice a lighted window across the street and what looked like a nymphet in the act of undressing before a cooperative mirror. Thus isolated, thus removed, the vision acquired an especially keen charm that made me race with all speed toward my lone gratification. But abruptly, fiendishly, the tender pattern of nudity I had adored would be transformed into the disgusting lamp-lit bare arm of a man in his underclothes reading his paper by the open window in the hot, damp, hopeless summer night.” Lolita, V. Nabokov, p. 20.

I am that man reading his paper.


Rape culture Friday

It’s rape culture day in the neighborhood.

There’s Alex’s Shouting arson in a crowded theatre: rape, reputations and reasonable suspicion.

The statements we have don’t warrant certainty. They may or may not meet legal standards of proof. But they do meet what standards we need to ask ourselves, ‘Should this person attend our conference?’ or ‘Should we invite them to our group?’ – and to answer these questions reasonably, if provisionally. This does not amount to pitchfork-laden mob rule; it does not amount to vigilantism; and the evidence we have, while many no doubt would welcome legal procedures, should not in my opinion be deemed wholly meaningless in the absence of court action. [Read more…]

Sarah’s leukemia is very treatable

One good thing. Wait, though, no, it’s not really a good thing – it’s just the avoidance of a bad thing. I keep noticing how often a bit of good news I’m pointing out is actually just a bit of bad news reversed or prevented or stepped around. More actual good news that isn’t just the negation of previous bad news would be nice.

One bad thing avoided.

An appeals court has sided with a hospital that wants to force a 10-year-old Amish girl to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.

Yeh that’s a pretty minimal, routine thing to greet as good news. Girl with leukemia continues chemotherapy; wow.

The hospital believes Sarah’s leukemia is very treatable but says she will die without chemotherapy.

The judge in Medina County in northeast Ohio had ruled in July that Sarah’s parents had the right to make medical decisions for her.

If refusing medical treatment for a fatal disease can be called a “medical” decision at all.

Andy Hershberger, the girl’s father, said the family agreed to begin two years of treatments for Sarah last spring but stopped a second round of chemotherapy in June because it was making her extremely sick.

“It put her down for two days. She was not like her normal self,” he said. “We just thought we cannot do this to her.”

Sarah begged her parents to stop the chemotherapy and they agreed after a great deal of prayer, Hershberger said. The family, members of an insular Amish community, shuns many facets of modern life and is deeply religious.

So that could be part of the problem. Perhaps they don’t trust “modern” medical science enough to trust the doctors when they explain that the chemo will make her much sicker in the short term but has an 85% chance of success in curing her in the longer term.

It’s a sad story. Obviously watching a treatment make your child much sicker must be horrible, and the temptation to avoid the short-term misery must be overwhelming. But the Amish don’t equip themselves well to overcome that temptation.

Removal directions

Here we go again

Mariama N, a lesbian from the Gambia, faces a new threat of deportation after she has twice stopped attempts to send her back to anti-gay persecution.

On 24 July Mariama stood her ground, refused to get on the Royal Air Maroc plane at Heathrow, resisted all the threats of the guards, challenged them on the policy and injustice they were implementing, and rejected their warnings of what would happen to her ‘next time’. Another flight on 13 August was cancelled. Now Mariama has been given ‘removal directions’ for Tuesday 3 September, 9.15am on Monarch Airlines flight ZB5394 from Gatwick. [Read more…]