Stranger In An Even Stranger Land - blog by Gurdur


A blog of random jottings on events, science, renfairs, travel, reading, music, humanism, religion, atheism, and even the odd spot of gardening.


The no-platforming of feminists in Britain, on Twitter and elsewhere; or, Why Paul Mason News UK has blocked several feminists, Lady Gaga and President Obama

Posted 17-Feb-2015 at 09:07 PM (21:07) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Feb-2015 at 10:57 PM (22:57) by Gurdur

On Sunday, a letter, protesting in the name of free speech against the no-platforming of feminists, and signed by over a hundred British academics, activists, scientists and others, was published by the Observer. That letter was also signed by the very well-known Prof. Mary Beard (@wmarybeard) and Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell), both of whom came in for sustained attack and harassment on Twitter all Sunday and Monday - and the harassment continues. Prof. Mary Beard wrote a little about the attacks...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 11475 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Weird: John Horgan contra drones.

Posted 30-Oct-2012 at 03:17 PM (15:17) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 30-Oct-2012 at 05:46 PM (17:46) by Gurdur

In a blog post on the renowned Scientific American site, John Horgan (@Horganism) takes aim at drones, but unscientifically so. Right on the eve of the national election for the presidency, his blog post starts off with his stating that a lot of his liberal friends are "disappointed" with President Obama. Then Horgan zeroes in on drones and their use by the USA in Pakistan and the Yemen.

His entire argument is slapdash. He points to problems the Pakistani democracy has with legitimization...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 2696 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

The data & demographics of North Carolina, and of the #AmendmentOne vote

Posted 09-May-2012 at 04:53 PM (16:53) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-May-2012 at 08:16 AM (08:16) by Gurdur

As you know, Amendment One was passed in North Carolina. The resolution was more than what it seemed as a vote to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions; it was hardly necessary, since they weren't legal in the first place in NC. The right seems to have seen an opportunity in making a symbolic crusade; the left seems stuck in a rut of lack of practical, longterm political organizing and outreach, often preferring symbolic fights and worse, many allegedly of the left turning on the left's own people...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 11129 Comments 11 Gurdur is offline

Sweet Home Chicago - short notes from the road, and #Obama2012!

Posted 11-Apr-2012 at 04:11 PM (16:11) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 12-Apr-2012 at 04:32 PM (16:32) by Gurdur

On Monday I flew in from Germany into Chicago O'Hare airport, and hung around for 5 hours there till my next connecting flight onto West Virginia. I can't say I like the airport much; it's not bad as an airport, but it's not good to as a place to hang out waiting, since all the shops are only inside the secure zone, there are no good small places with lots of power-points to go online with, and there's no greenery worth mentioning nearby. Oh well, could be worse. I eventually did find a power-point...
Views 2859 Comments 2 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

The press campaign against Richard Dawkins and atheists is only a cover

Posted 20-Feb-2012 at 04:47 PM (16:47) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 20-Feb-2012 at 05:47 PM (17:47) by Gurdur

You could be forgiven for thinking Richard Dawkins is the AntiChrist, or worse the British Prime Minister, judging by the current fever in some parts of the British press to try damning Dawkins by any means possible, and by extension atheists and secularists too. The fever creates its own momentum, and converts it into a fashion. But what is the original fever all about? The fevermongers claim it's a reaction to Dawkins' outspoken campaign for secularism, but digging below the surface reveals something...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4995 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr., Day today

Posted 16-Jan-2012 at 06:57 PM (18:57) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Today is Martin Luther King Day, celebrating both the accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and also his ideas of service to others.

Martin Luther King and those who worked with him achieved a huge deal. They changed the face of life of the USA, they changed the world, through such things as MLK giving inspiration to others worldwide in the struggle against discrimination, racism, and poverty. Who does MLK belong to? In one way, he belongs to American blacks, those...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1840 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

No, but seriously. If I was a poor black kid? Racism, class, poverty and escape

Posted 22-Dec-2011 at 08:14 PM (20:14) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Dec-2011 at 12:20 AM (00:20) by Gurdur

By now many know Gene Marks wrote an article for Forbes magazine in which he opined on all the things he would do if he was a poor black kid. His article is a mess, and it has been savagely criticized right across the net, but let's look at exactly what is wrong in Gene Marks' thinking. The first thing that strikes the eye is how Marks seems to be admitting all the things he recommends others are things he didn't do himself. His unconscious arrogance was analyzed well by Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisi),...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3299 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline

Poutrage posses, primary-ing Obama, and, of course, atheism

Posted 09-Jul-2011 at 05:58 AM (05:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 09-Jul-2011 at 06:40 AM (06:40) by Gurdur

I came across a great new phrase today - poutrage posse. In relation to some in the USA constantly attacking President Obama, and claiming to be doing it from the left. Let's get a few things straight. President Obama can only accomplish most what Congress allows or helps him to do so. Of what he can do on his own, he's done a hell of a lot already. The bottom line is also he is far better than the alternatives. That goes for USA federal and state elections too; whatever you want, you must persuade...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1616 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

More news on the Pakistan situation after the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti

Posted 03-Mar-2011 at 05:54 PM (17:54) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Mar-2011 at 06:24 PM (18:24) by Gurdur

The situation regarding Bhatti's murder still leaves a lot of big questions open; allegedly, Shahbaz Bhatti had told his security detail to take the time off, but the murderers numbered a well-equipped team of at the very least three (and more likely at least five, including necessary spotters and so on), and they knew exactly where to find Bhatti, and when, and knew when to attack - i.e. when no security were around. So how exactly did they know that? We already know the security around Taseer...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4393 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline

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