The Reading List, 1/4/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Bookstore puts Trump, Carson in ‘Humor’ section“–“‘There are a lot of people, particularly on the other side, who really have a very different philosophy of America,’ Carson said during the interview.”
  • ‘Shut Up, I’m Talking’: Why I Refuse To Educate Bigoted People“–“Here’s my experience: when someone I’ve called ignorant demands I educate them, they don’t want me to be patient—they want me to have infinite patience, to listen to them affably, without anger, however they behave, and to treat anything they say as valuable.”
  • What No One Said about Rey (Star Wars Spoilers!)“–“In the originals, Leia was competent and capable and became a role model for generations of girls, but all three films were filled with hot princess comments.”
  • A Sensitive Subject: On Family and Sincere Insensitivity“–“And there it is, her gift to me on my birthday. The candles are blown out, and the wish is made. Her wish, not mine.”
  • New Chrome App Helps Women Stop Saying ‘Just’ and ‘Sorry’ in Emails“–“Still, part of me always cringes when people tell women that the way they speak or write is wrong. One reason why women have adopted these kinds of speech and writing patterns is because, historically, they’ve gotten pushback for appearing too decisive and demanding (read: just as decisive and demanding as men).”
  • Lost Soles“–“Most were shocked to hear that it had even happened, even though they—like my husband, who didn’t realize I’d disappeared to the bathroom because I’d been horribly hurt, because I didn’t tell anyone, because no one was looking for it—were standing right next to me when it happened.”
  • The Developer Formerly Known as FreeBSDGirl“–“I had talked to someone from the FreeBSD Foundation earlier on the phone about what was happening. During this same conversation, they actually said ‘maybe you should be nicer.'”
  • The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel“–“For twenty years now, there have been those who say that this emperor never had any clothes on in the first place. Given the speed and intensity of his fall, perhaps it’s time to reconsider their case.”
  • A New Year’s Resolution For Science Advocates: Don’t Cry Wolfe“–“Wolfe draws in followers with cute, inspirational, and share-worthy graphics and posts, and then hits them with far less innocuous content.”
  • 3 Keys to Progress the Secular Community Needs in 2016“–“We live in a white-oriented, male-centered, heteronormative culture. Make it a habit to remove yourself from the typical whitewashed, insular narratives you’ve grown accustomed to and immerse yourself in the plight and outlook of others foreign to your background and worldview.”
  • The En-Gendering Of Genius“–“And that is why, in responding to this year’s Edge Question, I first began to write about the icecaps. But perhaps the insignificant measure we assign to the under-estimation of the creative potential of more than half our population is itself a manifestation of the problem.”
The Reading List, 1/4/2015
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The Reading List, 12/31/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 12/31/2015

The Reading List, 12/29/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 12/29/2015

The Reading List, 12/23/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 12/23/2015

The Reading List, 12/20/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “The Problem With ‘Dress Professionally'”
  • “The Story Behind A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens”–“Little did they know that Carol would create not only a gigantic Christmas book market, but change the popular understanding of Christmas forever.”
  • “On Setting The ‘Universal Sex Difference’ Bar Way Too Low”–“Call us sticklers, but we don’t think you can declare human universals because the BBC did an internet survey, where only people who spoke English responded.”
  • “Planting New Farmers for the Future of Food”–“We lost that knowledge transfer. Ninety percent of people in the room at this conference are growers—but 80 to 90 percent of them had no connection to farming before they started.”
  • “Condescension Isn’t Kindness”–“Often, people think this is a kindness, that they know my heart and know that I would never give up my belief—when I didn’t give up anything in the first place.”
  • “Growing Up Arab American in DC After 9/11”–“Like I said, I was always a little weird. Still, no amount of thick skin could prepare me for the type of bullying I faced after 9/11.”
  • “Tennessee Woman Charged With Attempted Murder After Failed Self-Induced Abortion”–“‘Tennessee’s homicide law explicitly doesn’t apply to [Yocca],’ explained Farah Diaz-Tello, senior staff attorney at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, ‘but this arrest tells women that if they try to seek emergency medical assistance, they may end up behind bars. That won’t stop women from having abortions, but it will stop them from getting help.'”
  • “Fuck Imposter Syndrome.”–“I asked myself why I’m spending all my time worrying about what other people think of me, instead of focusing on what I feel. What I want. And just like that, this scary meeting transformed into something exciting.”
  • “Trump and the Good Americans who want to be entertained”–“The best show in town. The fucking privilege to be able to imagine that Trump’s campaign is nothing more than a “spectacle” for your consumption—a terrific bit of entertainment to take in with your son, like a revival of Hair, perhaps.”
  • “‘War’ Correspondence: Almost Half Of Americans Say They Prefer Secular Greetings Rather Than ‘Merry Christmas'”–“The poll found that 49 percent prefer retailers say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Season’s Greetings’ to their customers, while 43 percent said they want businesses to wish them ‘Merry Christmas.’ In 2010, only 44 percent said they favored secular tidings while 49 percent wanted to be wished ‘Merry Christmas.'”
  • “No, Trump’s Racist Anti-Muslim Proposal is Very American”–“But the true spirit of American values has always been demonization of the other in the name of ‘democracy.’ Homilies about the U.S. moral uprightness and vaunted democratic freedoms are belied by the staggering reality of epic racial wealth gaps, deepening racial segregation and state violence.”
  • “101 Lies to Tell So You Can Stay Home and Read”–“I tasted vanilla extract and the fact that something that smells so good can taste so bad is making me question everything I know about the world.”
  • “Study: Elite scientists can hold back science”–“All this suggest there’s a ‘goliath’s shadow’ effect. People are either prevented from or afraid of challenging a leading thinker in a field. That or scientific subfields are like grown-up versions of high school cafeteria tables.”
  • “United Nations Working Group: Women in the United States, Texas Face Extreme Barriers to Basic Health Care”–“The Working Group—which visited Washington, D.C. and Texas interviewing various community leaders, elected officials, and individual women—announced their preliminary findings at a press conference in Washington, DC last Friday, noting that the U.S. in general ‘is allowing its women to lag behind international human rights standards.'”
  • “About That Wine Experiment”–“There are two levels to the inaccuracy of the popular story. The first is that several of the details that have been routinely reported are simply incorrect, having been copied from one article to another. So let’s break them down.”
  • “Why Women Don’t Apply For Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified”–“First, it’s likely that due to bias in some work environments, women do need to meet more of the qualifications to be hired than do their male counterparts. For instance, a McKinsey report found that men are often hired or promoted based on their potential, women for their experience and track record.”
  • “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”–“In a report not previously made public, Sgt. Gregg Rinta, a sex crimes supervisor with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, wrote that what happened was ‘nothing short of the victim being coerced into admitting that she lied about the rape.'” (CN: While this article gets to something like justice, the story of injustice is delivered in such a neutral tone that I had some trouble with it.)
  • “Secular Social Justice Conference 2016”–“SSJ focuses on the lived experiences, cultural context, shared struggle and social history of secular humanist people of color and their allies. The event will include panels on economic justice, feminism(s) of color, LGBTQ atheists of color, African American Humanist traditions in hip hop, racial politics and the crisis of New Atheism and much more.”
  • “Online Harassment Insurance Is Useful, But It’s Another Tax On Women For Being Women”–“However, it also falls squarely into a bucket with an infinite array of services, applications, weapons, and products that women have to pay hard-earned money for in order to ‘stay safe.’ It is just one more way that we are expected, and encouraged, to pay for violence we are subject to because we are women.”
  • “Sponsor withdraws Mizzou athlete strike proposal”–“Brattin’s decision to withdraw the legislation came as a surprise Wednesday to co-sponsor Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-O’Fallon. ‘Unfortunately, it’s going to be seen as a coup by those who opposed the bill,’ Bahr told the Post-Dispatch.”
The Reading List, 12/20/2015

The Reading List, 12/16/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • My run-in with hate speech at a Minnesota Vikings game“–“In that moment, I was terrified. But what scared me the most was the silence surrounding me. As I looked around, I didn’t know who was an ally or an enemy. In those hushed whispers, I felt like I was alone, unsafe and surrounded.”
  • Mock mass shooting changes location after warnings from UT“–“‘It’s a fake mass shooting, and we’ll use fake blood,’ he said. He said gun noises will be blared from bullhorns. Other people will then play the role of rescuers, also armed with cardboard weapons.”
  • Who Are You Calling A Domestic Terrorist?“–“No, Islamic extremism isn’t the face of domestic terrorism. Despite whatever whitewashed ideas popularized by politicians, media, or those we choose to admire, numbers don’t lie. At least not when it comes to statistics involving mass shootings.”
  • Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Atheist Books Suitable for Gift-Giving“–“Here’s a wonderland of atheist books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!”
  • He Called Her a Slut. He Got Fired“–“By giving Ford power—and therefore responsibility—she does not have, justification for targeting her can easily be created and continue, regardless of reality. This is why targets are so frequently viewed as irrelevant but also powerful, by their harassers.”
  • Sam Harris’s Quantum Universe (or, How to Say One Thing While Meaning Another)“–“Note that these paragraphs are not complementary poles of a dialectical argument whose interaction can yield a Hegelian synthesis, a third term that pushes knowledge forward. They are flatly contradictory and incompatible.”
  • Cheap white eggs: Radiolab Dodges All Discussion of Race“–“That was the term that was used. Cheap white eggs. When Tal said this, my jaw dropped, but I held out hope that this incredibly racially charged issue would then be explored a little bit.”
  • Harassment Through Impersonation: The Creation of a Cyber Mob“–“The Photoshopped tweets should have been too ridiculous for anyone to believe. The coldness they displayed in response to Iwata’s death was so clearly designed specifically to make people angry, and the statements were sheer nonsense. (Also, the second tweet is actually 141 characters long.)”
  • Ada Lovelace and the impossible expectations we have of women in STEM“–“But this just highlights the pervasive double standard that places such import on women’s personalities while giving men—particularly high-achieving men—something of a free pass. Would you question if a man’s ‘character’ might prevent him from making a groundbreaking discovery?”
  • Defense of Clergy Pedophilia Persists“–“I wish I had known in advance about the audio guy’s attitude about sex abuse in the Church. What can I say? Live and learn. Luckily, I’ve found another studio for the book taping.”
  • Things we don’t write: K Anis Ahmed on the murdered writers of Bangladesh“–“I took the Rushdie affair as counsel to steer clear of the subject of religion. Apart from one early work, a novella (Forty Steps), I have rarely referred to any Islamic tenets in my fiction, and then too never in a critical manner. But to avoid the topic entirely is frankly impossible.”
  • Thoughts from a #BLACKandSTEM Academic regarding Scalia & Roberts remarks on Dec 9, 2015“–“Black collegians, faculty, and especially #BlackandSTEM shared how hauntingly familiar Roberts and Scalia comments are. Their comments sting so bad because we’ve all heard or been told this about ourselves, the quality of our work or scholarship, and/or our productivity REPEATEDLY since college, heck high school. And IT NEVER ENDS.”
  • Peaceful Savages“–“So we refrain. We act with peace. We may make a fuss, but we don’t go eye for an eye. We can’t go eye for an eye. And you need to understand what a further burden that is.”
  • On Not Taking ‘No’ For an Answer, and Why It Isn’t Jolly Good Fun“–“Resisting social pressure can be extremely difficult, and it’s almost always unpleasant. It puts people in the position of either letting their boundaries be trampled, or repeating their ‘No’ a dozen times and being treated like a party-pooping sourpuss.”
  • Bad Life Decisions: Mary Robinette Kowal Reads Theodore Beale. Sexily.“–“But wait! There’s more! Could this possibly be a DANCE REMIX? I dare say that this is as fine a piece of music as anything that Psychosonik ever released.”
  • Expert on Fascism Sees Telltale Signs Developing“–“Many people think of fascism as an oppressive government, as if some existing administration suddenly is led by a bad guy at the top. Fascism arises from below, from a segment of the populace that has become convinced that there is no hope for the future under the present set of institutions and laws.”
  • 19 Baffling Vintage Holiday Cards“–“Because nothing says Christmas like… a boiled conker man startling an anthropomorphic bird woman.”
  • I am fat, actually.“–“So here’s how these two compliments are actually rooted in fatphobia. They equate fatness with badness.”
  • Details revealed after East Grand Forks man is charged with arson of Somali restaurant“–“Gust does not have a criminal record in Minnesota, but in 2012, he pleaded guilty to charges of terrorizing, simple assault and preventing arrest, all Class C felonies, in Grand Forks County District Court after he threatened staff at Romantix, an adult entertainment store in downtown Grand Forks, and assaulted a police officer in 2011.”
  • Planned Parenthood Clinic’s Windows Busted Out“–“Kogut says she’s thankful the woman responsible for the act did not hurt anyone and that the center was closed at the time, ‘This year has been one that’s been filled with a lot of hateful and vile rhetoric, and I think that’s creating a violent opposition to Planned Parenthood and to health care providers, and it needs to stop.'”
  • Flannery O’Connor: Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Ayn Rand“–“I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.”
  • What’s on your #scibucketlist?“–“I began to wonder: Am I the only one? Surely there are other science nerds out there who want to dissect a whale, nerd out on the Galapagos, see the Aurora Borealis, and get a bacterium named after themselves. So I asked Twitter. And invented a hashtag: #scibucketlist”
  • California Will Get ‘Bathroom Police’ If ‘Privacy’ Measure Passes, Critics Fear“–“What this would result in, essentially, is bathroom police. There’s a $4,000 bounty on catching someone, so it gives incentives to people to self-monitor bathrooms and accost people who are coming out and allows individuals to make subjective determinations about whether someone looks adequately masculine or feminine.”
  • Threats and Violent Attacks Against Muslims in the U.S., Just From This Week“–“This is just from the last week: it does not include the spate of similar and even worse attacks on Muslims and mosques in the U.S. prior to December 8, such the multiple gunshots fired at a Connecticut mosque in the wake of the November Paris attack, or the bullet-ridden Quran left outside an Islamic store in Anaheim in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings.”
The Reading List, 12/16/2015

The Reading List, 12/13/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Tone poem for the ‘leave it there’ press“–“Every time you defaulted to ‘will it work?’ when the bigger question was ‘is it so?’ Every dutiful effort you made to ‘get the other side’ without asking if the number of sides was really two. Every time you asked each other ‘what’s the politics of this?’ so you could escape the tedium and complexity of public problem-solving.”
  • Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence“–“Mostly what I remember is the smile that spreads across Monsieur Pierre’s face whenever we call him a sexist. It is not the smile of someone who is ashamed; it is the smile of someone who finds us adorable in our outrage.”
  • For Kamala Khan“–“There are myriad reasons why I love Kamala, many of which I’ve detailed in my reviews. But one of the most important is this: Kamala’s story is her own story; she is the main character in her own life. This may not seem particularly revolutionary or different, but it is for a character from multiple marginalized demographics.”
  • 5 Ways Mental Illness Labels Have Helped Me“–“It’s not like I had no labels before I started to use the label ‘depressed’ to describe myself. I did. The labels people used to describe me included words like ‘over-emotional,’ ‘over-dramatic,’ ‘crazy,’ ‘self-centered,’ ‘aloof,’ ‘bitchy,’ and a whole lot of others that are significantly less flattering than ‘depressed.’
  • “Toxic Workers” (pdf)–“Here, we find that though Self-regarding workers are no different in terms of productivity (i.e., the speed of their work), they are more likely to produce lower quality work: coeficient estimates are negative at the 10% level. Since these workers are also more likely to be terminated for toxic behavior, there is no apparent tradeoff when choosing not to hire Self-regarding workers.”
  • WI Community Takes Matters Into Their Own Hands After School District Cancels Reading Over Legal Threat“–“Although things looked grim, Liberty Counsel won’t have the last word about I Am Jazz. The Mount Horeb community has stood up and scheduled two separate reading events themselves, one at the Mount Horeb High School that will led by the school’s Straight and Gay Alliance and the other at the Mount Horeb Library to be hosted by parent Amy Lyle.”
  • Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Religion Books Suitable for Gift-Giving“–“Here’s a wonderland of atheist books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!”
  • ‘How can I support you?’“–“At the same time, it’s also utterly unsurprising that people so rarely do this. For one thing, we have all these cultural scripts about how this stuff is supposed to go, and one of them is that if you’re really a good friend/partner/family member to the person who’s struggling, you will “just know” what they need and be able to offer it without needing to be told.”
  • Access“–“I do understand feeling defensive when you’re caught out in a mistake. Okay, feel defensive. Complain to your spouse and/or close friends in private, have some ice cream or a hot bath and some tea. And then go to whoever it is you’re working with at the facility for the next event and let them know that you’ll need to accommodate members with mobility issues, and what are the options and how will you make that work?”
  • Most needy don’t attend free online courses“–“Just because a class is free and on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s actually easier to access if you’re not wealthy and well-educated, Emanuel says. To take a MOOC, people need a computer and access to the Internet. Not everyone has that. What’s more, he adds, MOOCs won’t help people without the education to do work at the college level.”
  • Paul Ryan denounces Trump’s plan to ban Muslims… then says he’ll support Trump if he’s the nominee
  • Fire at Grand Forks Somali restaurant follows apparent Nazi symbol vandalism“–“The graffiti included what appears to be an SS in the style of a symbol for Nazi Germany’s Gestapo above the painted words ‘go home.’ Authorities have not determined whether the incidents are related.'”
  • Catholic Hospital in Redding Denies Two Women Tubal Ligation“–“Redding’s Mercy Medical Center has refused — for the second time in four months — to allow doctors to perform sterilization on two pregnant women. The women requested the procedure be done immediately after they give birth next year. The hospital cited religious reasons.”
  • The story behind Jar’Edo Wens, the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history“–“After more than two months, half of his hoaxes still had not been found — and those included errors on high-profile pages, like ‘Mediterranean climate’ and ‘inflammation.’ (By his estimate, more than 100,000 people have now seen the claim that volcanic rock produced by the human body causes inflammation pain.)”
  • Unsourced, unreliable, and in your face forever: Wikidata, the future of online nonsense“–“For five months in 2014, Wikidata said that Franklin D. Roosevelt was also known as “Adolf Hitler”. What, then, are the chances that more subtle falsehoods and manipulations will be detected before they spread to other sites?”
  • Donald Trump’s no leader — he’s just the voice that the ugliest Americans have been dying for“–“Trump is better understood not as the creator of a movement, but the expression of a popular will, a cipher through which huge numbers of Americans communicate what looks an awful lot like fascist sympathies. He is a symptom of a larger problem, not the cause of it.”
  • Guest Blog by Pamela Sargent“–“Occasionally I would get a sympathetic response from somebody who thought a women’s sf anthology was a splendid idea but basically unsalable, either because the audience for such a book wasn’t there or the editor wouldn’t be able to convince his or her publisher to buy the book.”
  • Trump’s Plan To Ban Muslims Is In Line With The Rest Of The GOP“–“But Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric didn’t come out of nowhere.Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidates have sought to energize conservative voters and shore up their anti-terror credentials by denouncing Muslims.”
  • Drip…drip…drip“–“A coworker says in all seriousness ‘I’d vote for Donald Trump before I’d vote for Bernie Sanders and watch him tax hard working American businesses out of existence.'”
  • It’s Not Foot in Mouth Disease“–“Again, the problem is not that he misspoke. The problem is that the idea that women are not as good is so deeply embedded in the mind of so many people in positions of power, that it is not even recognized.”
The Reading List, 12/13/2015

The Reading List, 12/9/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Minneapolis Police Seek Help to Solve Death of 30-Year-Old American Indian Woman“–“Police say Anderson was beaten in the early morning hours of September 3, 2015. Police were summoned to East Lake Street and 12th Avenue South where they discovered the badly beaten Anderson, who was unconscious when police arrived.”
  • Who Gives Peace to the Peacemakers?“–“This is the price of being a peacemaker: You end up sacrificing part of your life, while others can go on acting like they always have.
  • Whimsical Gifts (for people you hate), 2015“–“All those inadvertant bad gifts are your camouflage. Adhere to a certain degree of subtlety, and no one needs to know that your goal here was to make your target unhappy with your Simple Sabotage Christmas largesse.”
  • Police cars belong to the public, not to God“–“We all must be able to trust that the police will respond to our needs the same regardless of our religious beliefs, and it’s more difficult to trust that this will happen when the police themselves take a religious position.”
  • Carrie Fisher on Her Return to ‘Star Wars’“–“Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.”
  • “You’re not required to try to understand his issues. You’re not required to forgive him for harassing you because he feels insecure. You’re not required to invest time and energy in trying to make him feel better about himself. ” Read more.
  • Remain Calm: Kissing Bugs Are Not Invading the US“–“I also checked with several Insect Diagnostic Clinics around the US. Everyone agreed: There is no evidence that new infections of Chagas are increasing in the US, or that the insects that transmit the disease have increased or changed their range. The disease itself is extremely rare; fewer than 40 human infections have occurred in the US since 1955.”
  • Drug War’s Impact on Black Women Comes to the Fore in Daniel Holtzclaw Trial“–“By Tuesday evening, which marked day 16 of the trial and saw the 13 accusers taking the stand against Holtzclaw in the Oklahoma County courthouse, a pattern of alleged abuse had emerged that not only highlighted Black women’s vulnerability to police brutality, but also called into question the ways in which the ‘war on drugs’ has disproportionately impacted Black women.”
  • The Profound Emptiness of ‘Resilience’“–“But where ‘’resilience’’ can suggest new avenues for civic infrastructure — admitting that disaster can’t always be diverted and shifting the focus to survival strategies — it is indistinguishable from classic American bootstrap logic when it is applied to individuals, placing all the burden of success and failure on a person’s character.”
  • The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom“–“Howard said that exposure to trauma has a profound impact on cognitive development and academic outcomes, and schools and teachers are woefully unprepared to contend with these realities. Children dealing with traumatic situations should not been seen as pathological, he argued. Instead, educators need to recognize the resilience they are showing already.”
  • Should Atheists Celebrate Christmas? The Social Justice Angle“–“Yes, different atheists have different ways of handling religion and its intrusions into everyday life. There are lots of reasons for that. But one of the big ones is: How much do they rely on a social support system that’s structured around religion?”
  • Why the assassination of Fred Hampton matters today“–“In the hallowed American tradition of going after youthful black power and excellence, and stopping them in their tracks, the FBI took out the Black Panthers. And they took out Fred Hampton.”
  • Why ‘Prayer Shaming’ Is a Red Herring“–“I hardly even know what to say to this. I’m not sure that it’s substantively different from the standard refrain of ‘Stop politicizing tragedies,’ but it goes even further: It attempts to blame people who are standing up and saying, ‘To hell with this, enough is enough,’ for the polarization that makes compromise difficult in places like Congress.”
  • Rejected Princesses: Stephanie St. Clair (1897-1969)“–“She attacked and destroyed the storefronts of any business that ran Schultz’s betting operations. She tipped the police off to Schultz’s operations – which led to them raiding his clearing house, arresting 14 employees, and seizing around $2 million. She then bragged about it in the press because she gave somewhere in the neighborhood of zero fucks.”
  • Missouri State Rep Files Bill to Put Gun Sales Under Exact Same Restrictions as Abortions“–“Gun buyers would also have to watch a 30-minute video ‘on fatal firearm injuries’ and verify in writing that he or she viewed the entire video ‘in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer.'”
  • Posner Eviscerates Scalia. Again.“–“‘But who knows? Maybe he’ll now cease voting to strike down statutes under any provision of the Constitution, as otherwise he might be thought of as one of those “unelected lawyers” who so threaten our democracy. Not only an unelected lawyer, but — a patrician.'”
  • HUGE NEWS! Science for the People Joins the Skepchick Fam“–“Now, you’ll get to know Rachelle as she officially joins Skepchick as a regular writer! She’ll be posting articles here along with each new episode of Science for the People (starting with today’s!), giving you a more in-depth look at that week’s topic.”
  • 2nd Amendment Night Before Christmas“–“He ducked his broad head, so I aimed at his belly, but the bullets bounced off like marshmallows off jelly.”
  • End the Gun Epidemic in America“–“But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs.”
  • Obama looks to use executive power to close gun loophole“–“In one of a series of near-party-line procedural votes, the Senate by 54 to 45 blocked a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would have stopped people on the government’s anti-terrorist ‘no fly’ list from buying guns. Republican opponents said that the no-fly list includes too many errors to be used for preventing gun sales.”
  • PayPal, Square and big banking’s war on the sex industry“–“What’s happening to female entrepreneurs in the sex business can no longer be written off as isolated incidents. Weblining’s targeted populations are porn performers, sex workers, independent retailers, erotic writers and the internet’s new generation of online pornographers: business sectors comprised of a disproportionately large number of women and LGBT people.”
  • Liberty University President: ‘If More Good People’ Had Concealed Guns, ‘We Could End Those Muslims’“–“‘I’ve never received more support or a more positive response from anything I have ever said in Convocation before,’ Falwell told Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.”
  • Bi Any Means Podcast #27: Islam, Racism, and Terrorism“–“My guest for today is Kiran Opal. She is one of the co-founders of the Ex-Muslims of North America, and she has written for several websites, including The Ex-Muslim and Ex-Communications. Today we’ll be chatting about her life, her work, and of course, Islam.”
The Reading List, 12/9/2015

The Reading List, 12/6/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Christianist Republicans Systematically Incited Colorado Clinic Assault“–“Elected Republicans in the states have sought to intimidate women and providers by demanding the release (and even publication) of identifying information and addresses—essentially a target list for perpetrators. They know exactly what they are doing.”
  • When Feminism Is a Brand“–“However, I do not want us to forget that we have seen this behavior before, in environments that have nothing to do with the sex industry, or even with sex at all. Remember Hugo Schwyzer? Or Hart Noecker? Or Kyle Payne?”
  • Vandal of Louisville abortion clinic released from jail, returns to clinic“–“Anne of EMW told IL that despite her attempts to get information from LMPD about Haste’s release and why he is allowed near the clinic, she has been kept in the dark. Additionally, she claims that either an officer or prosecutor who was in court with Haste on Monday asked her for details about the case, indicating that he did not know she had surveillance video of both incidents, which were not collected by the LMPD until Tuesday of this week.”
  • Fiorina: It’s ‘Left-Wing’ To Link Planned Parenthood Attack To Videos“–“‘This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message,’ Fiorina said.”
  • “Now is the time to reiterate how important abortion care is to women’s health and well-being – not just cancer screenings, not just contraception. Abortion. A procedure that saves lives, that offers freedom, bodily integrity, and equality.” Read more.
  • “I worked at a #PlannedParenthood clinic in Kansas for 3 years. My coworkers & I were subjected to the following acts of terrorism:” Read more.
  • Sorry, conservatives, but there is nothing surprising about anti-choice terrorism“–“Ever since the Paris attacks, we’ve been hearing from the right how there is no excuse for religious fundamentalists using violence to terrorize people for the making life choices the fundamentalists don’t approve of. I do wish they would take their own advice on this front.”
  • Why It Matters That Both Civilian Victims of the Planned Parenthood Shooting were People of Colour“–“Mass shootings are heartbreaking, but perhaps most upsetting about Friday’s shooting is how it focuses attention specifically on those who are most affected by anti-abortionists’ enduring war on reproductive rights.”
  • How Talking to Undergraduates Changed My Mind“–“Duke students living in a constant state of fear? Was this an exaggeration or a frightening new reality for many? Listening to them speak up one after another, I sadly came to realize it was the latter.”
  • Before Shooting, Cruz Touted Endorsement From Activist Who Called For Execution Of Abortion Doctors“–“In September, Australian officials revoked a visa for Newman over concerns that his presence and rhetoric could ‘lead to threats or the commission of acts of violence against women or medical professionals.’ Newman traveled to Australia anyway but was denied entry into the country and deported.”
  • Dear Conference Organizers: A No-Fooling-Around Note About Diversity“–“Generally speaking, I’m an easy speaker to work with: again, my honorarium is low, my travel requirements are pretty minimal, and I try to be as flexible as possible. But this is an extremely high priority for me. In my opinion, this issue — making our communities more welcoming and more supportive of a wider variety of people than are currently participating — is the most important issue currently facing organized atheism in the United States.”
  • On the Front Lines“–“We’re in Minnesota, the protesters are more annoying than scary.  But it doesn’t have to be a regular, it only needs to be one person.  Can I really do this?”
  • James Deen Was Never a Feminist Idol“–(CN: details of rape accusation) “It’s not that James Deen appeals to women—in the face of extreme erotic scarcity, women molded Deen into someone who appealed to them. For many of them, Deen was little more than just a conduit for expressing their sexuality, or a key to an online erotic world that had previously been closed.”
  • More than Words: Humanists Should Stand for Secular Social Justice“–“While I am very excited to be a part of this event, I’m also a bit puzzled at how many people have questioned the necessity of holding this convention. It’s both frustrating and amusing that, for some, addressing specific social injustices is even remotely controversial, and yet those same naysayers attend any other atheist meeting without hesitation.”
  • Christian Terrorist Robert Dear and the Army of God “–“The Army of God manual is a terrorist manual, and the Army of God is a terrorist organization—and these are people Robert Dear apparently admired and emulated. And the Army of God is no passive group, simply advising terrorist acts.”
  • Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Science Books Suitable for Gift-Giving“–“No list? No problem! I’ve got you covered with a super-awesome, super-gargantuan guide to many books suitable for secular gifting.”
  • Post-Convention Insecurities“–“But I spend conventions trying to be ‘on.’ Trying to be friendly and entertaining and hopefully sound like I know what the heck I’m talking about. Basically, trying to be clever. And I trust most of you are familiar with the failure state of clever?”
  • Hours before San Bernardino shooting, doctors urged Congress to lift funding ban on gun violence research“–“Signed by more than 2,000 physicians around the country, it pleads with lawmakers to lift a restriction that for nearly two decades has essentially blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting research on gun violence.”
  • It’s On Us, Too: An Easy Guide To Contacting Your Elected Representatives About Gun Control“–“PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Take a little bit of time out of your day today and call or email your representatives. Not doing so — staying silent and privately grieving — isn’t enough anymore.
The Reading List, 12/6/2015

The Reading List, 10/11/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “Bistline wrote that FLDS bishop Lyle Jeffs would use ‘the FLDS Church’s voicemail system to alert families that the harvest would begin.’ A 15-year-old girl wrote that she worked the farm for three years, beginning when she was 10. She testified she was not paid for any of her work.” Read more.
  • “Atheism can motivate terrible crimes, just like religion can. This is a thing we have to get used to.  Atheists are so used to being exceptional, to being smarter and less criminal than other Americans, that the fact that someone was an atheist and did a bad thing seems to be exceedingly difficult for us to understand.” Read more.
  • “The general plot is the playwright’s own, but his characters are the historical figures I unearthed, and snippets of the dialogue they speak appear in the archival evidence presented in my book.” Read more.
  • “Bad reviews of businesses have typically gone viral because those businesses have acted in discriminatory or otherwise unfair ways, but people have gone viral for things as innocuous (and irrelevant to normal people who have shit to do besides stalking people they don’t like) as speaking at a feminist rally, being a bad date, or simply existing.” Read more.
  • “Skepticon strives to create a yearly event that is accessible for as many attendees as possible. This year, we’re hoping to take that mission a step further” Read more.
  • “Charamsa, flanked by his Catalan boyfriend Eduardo and wearing his priest’s collar, told a news conference in Rome he had been compelled to speak out against what he said was the hypocrisy and paranoia that shapes the Church’s attitude to sexual minorities.” Read more.

Continue reading “The Reading List, 10/11/2015”

The Reading List, 10/11/2015