Butterflies and Wheels update

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Ophelia Benson

Nov 19, 2012, 7:33:24 PM11/19/12
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Hello - happy November. There's a November storm going on here; it's rather exciting. Sorry it's been awhile. I went to Los Angeles to do a talk at the Center for Inquiry there a couple of weeks ago; it was fun. I like getting out once in awhile.

New in "Latest News"

Slate: Rebecca Watson on speaking out and rape threats
"It wasn’t until I started talking about feminism to skeptics that I realized I didn’t have a safe space."
Filed: October 24, 2012

LSE student atheist society and ex-Muslims
People of a Muslim background face unique difficulties in abandoning their religion, both in predominantly Muslim countries and in Europe.
Filed: October 24, 2012

Nick Cohen reads Joseph Anton
The honourable left-wing response was then and is now to fight back and support Muslims and ex-Muslims around the world who want to resist theocratic politics.
Filed: October 24, 2012

Two “honor” killings in Pakistan
In one, a brother killed his sister; in the other, an uncle killed his niece. Both were said to have been in an "objectionable situation."
Filed: October 24, 2012

Popehat won’t be taking Mo the Rutabaga to the UK
Don't let your home become a place where the petty and the wicked use "blasphemy" and "offense" as an excuse to silence dissent. Fight back.
Filed: October 24, 2012

Shehrbano Taseer on Malala Yousafzai
A repressive mindset has been allowed to flourish in Pakistan because of the madrassa system set up by power-hungry clerics.
Filed: October 25, 2012

Mass. Supreme Court will hear “under God” pledge case
The plaintiffs claim daily classroom affirmation that the nation is “under God” violates state constitutional prohibitions against religious discrimination.
Filed: October 26, 2012

Malala is speaking; no signs of brain damage
Her parents are now in Birmingham to be with her.
Filed: October 26, 2012

Malala is making great progress
Dr Dave Rosser gives a press conference, and so does her father Ziauddin Yousufzai. "Can she sit her exams?" "Yes, probably."
Filed: October 26, 2012

Malala’s father is optimistic about her future
Doctors at Queen Elizabeth hospital said she was still weak but stood every chance of making a good recovery.
Filed: October 27, 2012

Pessimism on Greece and Golden Dawn
What has depressed much of Greek society - from the liberal centre right to the liberal left - is the rapid rise of Golden Dawn.
Filed: October 27, 2012

The Savile investigation expands
Gary Glitter has been arrested on suspicion of sex offences by police investigating Jimmy Savile abuse claims.
Filed: October 28, 2012

Church bombed in Kaduna, Nigeria
At least seven people have been killed and dozens injured in the suicide bombing in northern Nigeria.
Filed: October 28, 2012

A fragmented approach to eliminating violence against women
As politicians squabble about sexism in modern Australia, action on violence against women must be more visible and better-coordinated.
Filed: October 28, 2012

India: a rape, Dalits, silence, intimidation
Higher-caste men gang-raped a Dalit girl, took pictures and passed them around. Her father saw them and killed himself.
Filed: October 28, 2012

Carl Zimmer in praise of the big old mess of science
When you find yourself captivated by someone talking to you about science in a way that makes you feel everything’s wonderfully simple, go look for the big old mess.
Filed: October 29, 2012

Here comes the hurricane theodicy
Israel. Teh gaze. Abortion. Hard Left Fascism. Teh gaze. Don't forget teh gaze.
Filed: October 30, 2012

Turkish police fire tear gas at secularist march
Thousands of secularists protested at a banned rally in Ankara against what they see as an increasingly authoritarian and Islamist government.
Filed: October 30, 2012

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid on blaming the ideology, part 2
Women were ordered to be killed for conspiring against the religion by their ideological predecessors, so is it entirely the Taliban’s fault for following precedent?
Filed: October 30, 2012

Broadcast journalist’s open letter to Dear Mr Misogynist
''There's a reason why you don't hear women on commercial talkback radio,'' he said. ''No one wants to hear the whiny sound of a female voice. Us blokes get enough nagging at home!''
Filed: October 30, 2012

Poland: bible-tearer may have acquittal overturned
Tearing up a bible at a rock concert is "the crime of offending religious sensibilities."
Filed: October 30, 2012

Samira Shackle talks to Mukhtar Mai
"As long as I live, I will keep fighting for the rights of women. Rape and cruelty happens everywhere, but here there is no justice for women when they fight."
Filed: October 31, 2012

Honda releases a car “for women only”
It's pink.
Filed: October 31, 2012

Egypt: oh noes, a blasphemous film
There's this scene with a belly dancer, see, and the music is a song that mentions Fatima. Blasphemy!
Filed: November 1, 2012

Kashmir: parents kill daughter by dousing her with acid
She was 15. They saw her talking to a boy. The father beat her up, and both parents poured acid over her.
Filed: November 1, 2012

Launch of the Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow
Journalist and activist Raheel Raza founded MFT to amplify the liberal Muslim voice.
Filed: November 2, 2012

Egypt: Salafi thugs assault people for “insulting Islam”
By which they mean anything they dislike.
Filed: November 2, 2012

Neighbors quarrel, girl is decapitated
3 boys went next door and cut the head off Farkhana, age 17.
Filed: November 3, 2012

Violence against women in Pakistan
As many as 2,713 cases of violence against women have been reported in southern Punjab since January 2012, a research by the Awaz Foundation Centre for Development states.
Filed: November 3, 2012

Girl child marriage in Pakistan
A blood feud between two tribes was settled by a Jirga that decided to hand over as many as 13 young girls to settle the dispute.
Filed: November 7, 2012

Parents say death by acid was their daughter’s destiny
"There was a boy who came by on a motorcycle. She turned to look at him twice." So they killed her.
Filed: November 7, 2012

Girl, 16, raped? Lower the age of consent!
“In the past, 
especially in Mughal era, people used to marry their daughters early
 to save them from such atrocities."
Filed: November 7, 2012

Malala is grateful for the well-wishers
She has drawn a line with her blood between barbarism and civilization, her father says.
Filed: November 9, 2012

Gillard announces royal commission on child sex abuse
The inquiry will not be confined to the Catholic Church, but extend to all religious organisations and to children in state care, and to other institutions including schools.
Filed: November 12, 2012

ABC on the investigation of institutional child sex abuse
Gillard had been under pressure to act following explosive allegations by DCI Peter Cox that the Catholic Church covered up evidence involving paedophile priests.
Filed: November 12, 2012

Vatican rushes to emphasize its hatred of marriage equality
An article in the Vatican newspaper declared that support for same-sex marriage is "an ideology founded on political correctness which is invading every culture of the world."
Filed: November 12, 2012

Cairo: 2 burqa-wearing women assault Christian woman
They called her an "infidel," forcibly cut off her hair, and pushed her off the train, breaking her arm.
Filed: November 12, 2012

Uganda will pass anti-gay bill this year
Some Christian clerics at a meeting of anti-gay activists asked the speaker of parliament to pass the law as "a Christmas gift."
Filed: November 13, 2012

Shannon Rupp has a modest proposal
The Chilliwack school board should not say no to bible giveaways, they should say yes and charge a fee.
Filed: November 13, 2012

Jessica Ahlquist as an atheist hero at Skepticon
It's tough being an atheist in school. It helps to know there are others.
Filed: November 13, 2012

Ireland: woman denied an abortion dies in hospital
Savita Halappanavar was denied a termination despite asking for one several times following her miscarriage diagnosis because the fetus still had a heartbeat.
Filed: November 14, 2012

Time to put pressure on Irish politicians
Successive governments have steadfastly refused to introduce legislation that would allow women access to life-saving medical abortion.
Filed: November 14, 2012

Sarah Ditum on Ireland’s way with abortion
The Irish government has defied public opinion and enforced an ultra-conservative constitution that places the foetus’ life on an equal footing with the woman’s.
Filed: November 14, 2012

Katha Pollitt on “when pro-life kills”
If you think it couldn’t happen in the United States, you haven’t been paying attention.
Filed: November 15, 2012

Rita Banerji on Diwali as a celebration of misogyny
Sita’s years in exile are paradoxically reflective of the lives of thousands of women in India’s slums and villages today.
Filed: November 15, 2012

Egypt: Islamists want to destroy pyramids and Sphinx
“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” said a jihadist lunatic.
Filed: November 16, 2012

Rallies in Dublin, Galway in memory of Savita Halappanavar
Well not in memory of - in protest at the circumstances of.
Filed: November 17, 2012

Female genital chopping in Indonesia
Far from scaling down, the problem of FGM in Indonesia has escalated sharply.
Filed: November 18, 2012

Athens: producers of “Corpus Christi” charged with blasphemy
Golden Dawn and the Orthodox church unite to repress all the things.
Filed: November 18, 2012

Republicans still say No to Violence Against Women Act
House GOP leaders aren’t yielding to a bipartisan coalition of Senate leaders demanding they extend the protections of the Violence Against Women Act.
Filed: November 18, 2012

New in "Articles"

Paul Kurtz: A Tribute from Africa
By Leo Igwe
We humanists and skeptics in Africa will miss him a lot. However, we will continue to draw strength and inspiration from Kurtz’s writings and publications, from the institutions he founded, and other legacies he left behind for humanists/skeptics, and for humanity at large.
Filed: November 12, 2012

New in "Notes and Comment Blog"

There you go! Until next time.
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