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Links With Your Coffee - Sunday


  • 'The Tony Blair Foundation' by Richard Dawkins -
    “We are focusing on five main projects initially, working with partners in the six main faiths”

    Yes I know, I know, it’s a pity we had to limit ourselves to six. But we do have boundless respect for other faiths, all of which, in their colourful variety, enrich human lives.

    In a very real sense, we have much to learn from Zoroastrianism and Jainism. And from Mormonism, though Cherie says we need to go easy on the polygamy and the sacred underpants!! Then again, we mustn’t forget the ancient and rich Olympian and Norse traditions – although our modern blue-skies thinking out of the box has pushed the envelope on shock-and-awe tactics, and put Zeus’s thunderbolts and Thor’s hammer in the shade!!! We hope, in Phase 2 of our Five-Year Plan, to embrace Scientology and Druidic Mistletoe Worship, which, in a very real sense, have something to teach us all. In Phase 3, our firm commitment to Diversity will lead us to source new networking partnership opportunities with the many hundreds of African tribal religions. Sacrificing goats may present problems with the RSPCA, but we hope to persuade them to adjust their priorities to take proper account of religious sensibilities.

  • Watch your language! | Salon Books

  • Norm Loserman
    I am always hostile to those who say that candidates must concede elections before they have been decided. (I'm especially hostile to those who say that candidates should concede elections before people have even voted, but that's another story.)I believe in democracy and I think people should vote, that all their votes should be counted and that if there is a dispute it should be decided in a fair and dispassionate way. I don't believe that these things should be decided by media spin or political pressure.

    But this is getting ridiculous. Norm Coleman has lost his election. Everyone knows it. It's been six months. He's just dragging things out to keep the seat empty and in the vague hope that somewhere along the line he'll get a favorable ruling from a partisan court or muddle public opinion enough that the voters will call for a re-vote. None of it is democratic, mature or responsible. But that's nothing new. That's how they roll.

  • Mark Goulston, M.D.: Susan Boyle's Got Talent and Us Eating Out of Her Hands

  • The Satirical Political Report - An Offbeat Look at the Hot-Button Issues of the Day » U.S. Tea Association Sues GOP for Product Defamation

  • Pharyngula: Dare to Stand…against tolerance

  • BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Cult author JG Ballard dies at 78

  • Humanists rejoice! BBC will consult them on religion - TV & Radio, Media - The Independent



I find this story about Susan Boyle horrifying. I would think people would have a bit more shame about their shock that yes ugly people can have value as human beings.

This has irked me as well, in part because of society's confusion of glamour - and skeletal bodies - with beauty. Add this to confusing (perceived) looks with ability and the road for a stupid story in our 24 hour news cycle is paved with on-ramps from every direction.

Of course, the filming of the event, with people sneering and such as she walked out on stage is testament to the shallow media culture present in our culture. Then they get all teary-eyed as they realize the error of their ways, yadda yadda yadda.

I saw a clip from an interview with Boyle that was done a day or 2 after the talent episode that catapulted her into the spotlight. Susan Boyle was sporting a more polished look, with straightened hair and more stylish clothes and just seemed like a pleasantly plump woman who can sing quite well - which she is and has been for years. Put her on stage with costume and full make-up, and noone will remember her look from the audition.

To be fair to the story, Boyle's back story of never being kissed, living with her cat, living as the good church goer doesn't help - this is a recipe for spinsterhood like none other: 45 year-old Virgin anyone?

At least she' more on the side of Paul Potts and not William Huang: actual goods for the stage. Best wishes to her.


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