Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekend web readin'

From Rationalist International, Sanal Edamarku under attack for exposing Catholic "miracle"
Money quote:
On 10th March, Sanal Edamaruku flew to Mumbai. The TV channel TV-9 had invited him to investigate a “miracle” that caused local excitement. He went with the TV team to Irla in Vile Parle to inspect the crucifix standing there in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni. This crucifix had become the centre of attraction for an ever growing crowd of believers coming from far and wide. The news of the miracle spread like wild fire. For some days, there were little droplets of water trickling from Jesus’ feet. Hundreds of people came every day to pray and collect some of the “holy water” in bottles and vessels. Irla was about to become a pilgrimage centre. 
But Sanal Edamaruku spoilt this prospect. Within minutes, he clearly identified the source of the water (a drainage near a washing room) and the mechanism how it reached Jesus feet (capillary action). The local church leaders, present during his investigation, were far from pleased.
From Casaubon's Book, The Eggs are Yummy and Definitely Worth It!
Money quote:
Anyone who doesn't know that factory egg and poultry production is a nightmare - a nightmare of cruelty to chickens, contamination of your food, a nightmare of manure and dead animal disposal issues that threaten human health is not paying attention. Eating commercial chicken or eggs is an act of willful blindness, and the investigation into Kreider farms is just par for the course. 
This information has been available to everyone in the US for a decade and more, and promulgated in media, film, etc... Anyone who cares even a tiny bit about what they eat knows this. Most people who do not are actively choosing not to know.
From Greta Christina's Blog, Prostitution Is Not Sex Slavery 
Money quote:
Yes. Prostitution is often abusive and exploitative. So is the garment industry. So is the chocolate industry. In fact, abuses in both the garment and the chocolate industry are so widespread as to be endemic. It does not follow, however, that wearing clothes and eating chocolate are inherently and by their very nature abusive and exploitative, that nobody ever freely chooses to enter these industries, and that anyone who participates them is either an abuser or a victim. If we’re going to work to stop abuses and exploitation in the garment and chocolate industries, shaming and marginalizing people who wear clothes and eat chocolate — or who make clothes and pick cocoa beans, or who work in clothing stores and chocolate shops — is not a good place to start. 
Yes. Prostitution is often abusive and exploitative. I absolutely stand with you against any form of prostitution that is enslaving, patriarchal oppression, violent, not freely chosen, abusive, or in any way harmful. I am eager to find solutions to the all-too-common abuse and exploitation of prostitutes. But these solutions need to be based in reality. They cannot be based in the denial of the real experience of thousands upon thousands of people.
From Pandagon, The general election has started and the stupid levels are already off the charts
Money quote:
Oh boy, Rick Santorum is out of the race for five minutes and already there's stupid and disingenuous media outrages stemming from the general election. Buzz Feed has the story. It started when Mitt Romney started saying he understands the concerns of working women because he's married to one of those lady-things. This, of course, is part of his larger plan to appeal to female voters, which goes like this: 
1) Act like the only woman he's met in his life is his wife. She is All Women.
2) .......
3) Win the female vote.  
Hillary Rosen sensibly goes on TV and points out that this claim doesn't even make sense, since Ann Romney is hardly the expert, being a lifelong housewife married to an incredibly rich man who doesn't know the first thing about what it's like to try to live off a paycheck. 
But Romney has a secret weapon up her sleeve: Housewife Romanticization. She knows the feminine mystique still runs strong in this country, and that there's a strong tradition of idiotic platitudes about the greatness of housewives that exist to conceal very real concerns about inequality and female dependency, concerns that were raised in the 60s and haven't ever been completely killed off despite heavy use of meaningless platitudes.

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