Has justice been done?

Dale and Leilani Neumann killed their eleven year old daugter off by refusing to get her medical attention for diabetes. Instead they prayed and, to no-one’s amazement but their own, the little girl died. They’ve just been sentenced to six months jail and ten years probation, though they’ve apparently not yet grasped just what they were sentenced for. The attorney for the mother argues that “My client has been charged with homicide because she has faith in her creator, ultimate faith.”

No, you idiot. Your client was charged with homicide because she could have saved her child’s life but chose instead to let her suffer and die. So, our question for the day is whether or not the sentence was adequate for the crime. Cast your vote now!


Saturn’s new ring

Take a look at this, fellow science geeks!

No book-burning at UNESCO, hooray!

You may remember that several months back we ran an article on Farouk Hosny, the Egyptian Culture Minister who appeared to be front-runner in the election for the new head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. We didn’t consider Hosny a good choice because of his stated desire to burn “Israeli books in Egyptian libraries”. Bad enough if this was a youthful indiscretion, but he said it just last year. Of course, once the shit hit the fan at election time, the apologies began to roll out, but under the circumstances they appeared hollow.

A book-burner heading up UNESCO? We didn’t like it.

Irina Bokova

Irina Bokova

And neither, it appears, did the states voting. After a sustained opposition by Reporters Without Borders and other organisations, Hosny failed in his bid. It took five rounds of voting, but the new head of UNESCO, and the first woman ever appointed to the task, is Bulgaria’s former Minister for Foreign Relations, Irina Bokova. Bokova has been the Bulgarian delegate to UNESCO since 2005, and one assumes she has never tried to build a bonfire of the books that she has disagreed with.

Hosny, who would have been the first Arab to head UNESCO had he won the position, is not being gracious in defeat. One suspects sour grapes and a distorted view of reality are at the base of his accusations of conspiracy. “The organisation has become politicised,” he said. “The reality is that we waged a fantastic battle. The Egyptian candidate had the newspapers and Zionist pressures against him every day.” He added “The north always has to control the south,” stating that “the American ambassador did everything he could” to prevent his winning.

There you have it. An advocate of book-burning did not succeed to the head of the UN’s cultural department not because of the disgust most intelligent people feel at book-burning, but because of a plot to keep him down. One suspects if he’d only shut up and not shown himself to be a completely inappropriate candidate he would be head of UNESCO today. In retrospect, we can all be grateful that he didn’t have the sense to keep his feet well away from his mouth.

Beacon Library

Hi everyone,

We at Nontheist Nexus are currently in the process of putting together a library of freethought. We’re not interested in sticking just to freethought as regards just religion and atheism, but freethought in general: politics, science, art…

So we’ve started a wiki to get some text-based resources up: classic freethought texts. You can see the start we’ve made here. If there’s something that you think should be up there, please suggest it! We’ll add it as soon as we can. Or, if you’d like to volunteer, we can extend editing privileges so you can help build up the library yourself. In the future we’re also looking to add audio-visual resource sections to NN. This will allow us to showcase freethought in art and music, as well as uploading important freethought speeches. Again, if you’d like to volunteer to help collate or set any of this up, or you’ve got some amazing ideas about what should be done, we’d be happy to hear from you.