Associated Press censors itself

Apparently, right-wing pressure has caused the Associated Press to remove a picture from its library. Read Conservative values: opportunism and cowardice. Because we mustn’t offend anyone! The picture is a work of art exploring the edges of sacrilege. Sorry, people, this is the real world. You do not have a right to remain comfortably unchallenged at all times.

So in case you’re wondering what it looks like, the golden image of Immersion (Piss Christ) is here.

A crucifix with Christ on the cross in a golden glow from the urine he's submerged in

Piss Christ by Andres Serrano (1987)

The image is from Wikipedia, which has a discussion of the picture and its provocative title.

Feminism 101

Here is a good new resource about feminist issues in the high-tech field: Finally, a Feminism 101 blog.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson puts Bill O’Reilly in his place

This is the source of a beautiful quote that I’ve seen going around the Web. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains what should be obvious, that science explains a lot of things that we thought were divine and we do know what causes tides.

Man burns woman to death in elevator

Hello, Richard Dawkins! Let’s hear you be sarcastic about this as you convey that Muslim women have it worse so the problem doesn’t exist. Let’s hear you explain how safe elevators are because a woman can always press the stop button if she wants to get away from someone: Man burns Dolores Gillespie to death in elevator. He waited on her floor and then stepped into the elevator when she tried to get off.

The woman, who had grocery bags in her arms, turned about 180 degrees and then crouched in an attempted to protect herself, he said. But the man sprayed her directly in the face and continued to spray her “sort of methodically” over her head and parts of her body as the bags draped off her arms. She turned around and retreated to the back of the elevator….

Neighbors reported a fire in the building, unaware that the woman, whom police declined to identify, was burning to death in the elevator.

Old Testament allows divorce

Some wackaloon in the U.S. is harassing and threatening his brother for getting a divorce, which is against the laws of God. It’s an open question whether religious certainty fed the insanity or religion is just a peg on which the insanity is hung. However, as usual, the harmful brother is picking and choosing his Bible verses:

Deuteronomy 24:1-2—When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

Dennis Markuze wrap-up

From Tim Farley’s History of Mabus:

Phil Plait gave a report to a sheriff by telephone. Michael Shermer told me he obtained a restraining order to ensure Mabus would stay clear of him. Canadian skeptic Steve Thoms and blogger Greg Laden also filed reports. There are no doubt others.

On February 10, 2011 I was finally able to get a copy of my report from yet another Atlanta Police office across town. I quickly took it to a local print shop and faxed it to the Montreal Police.

And nothing happened. For me or for anyone else.”

PZ Myers filed a complaint (Time to Institutionalize Dennis Markuze).

After many complaints during which the police did nothing, an e-mail petition finally got the Montreal Police off their duffs.

Kyle VanderBeek, a skeptic who works for in San Francisco. Kyle saw those tweets with the emails in them, and knew he had a potential tool right at his fingertips. He created a petition titled “Montreal Police: Take “Mabus” death threats seriously” and configured it to send responses directly to the SPVM public email addres.”

While I’m waiting to hear the results of the 30-day psychiatric evaluation of Dennis Markuze, AKA David Mabus, to see if he’s too crazy to stand trial, here is a list of Dennis Markuze summaries:

“Mabus” isn’t the only Crazy Canadian by any means.

And now I’m waiting to hear about Makuze’s next appearance in court.

Rogue party

John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:

“Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

See “Goodbye to all that: reflections of a GOP operative who left the cult.”

Religious hate speech isn’t OK after all

Extreme Christian and probable madman Dennis Markuze was hit with another fourteen counts of criminal harassment and uttering death threats against atheists and skeptics, bringing the total to sixteen charges. I’m sure that’s just a preliminary look at the most obvious crimes. He did not get bail. He has been sent to a psychiatric hospital for thirty days of psychological examination. And that’s a good thing: the threats appearing to come from his busy fingers included death, decapitation, and torture for skeptics, their families, and anyone they talked to.

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