Marines Throw Fit About a Piece of Cloth

Here’s a Youtube video of two Marines chasing down a scooter and throwing a temper tantrum because the guy on the scooter was holding a flag upside down during a protest of police brutality in New Mexico. The guys with the flag are lucky they dropped it because there would almost certainly have been violence involved if they hadn’t. Because remember, a piece of colored cloth matters far more than the constitution they swore to uphold and they’re more than happy to be angry thugs in its defense. This is what uber-nationalism creates. Most appalling, one of the Marines screams “we serve our fucking country.” No you don’t. You serve a bizarre, warped idea of nationalism that you confuse with your country.
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El Ghazzali Criticizes Blasphemy Laws at the UN

Kacem El Ghazzali, an atheist blogger from Morocco who now lives in exile in Switzerland because of that country’s authoritarian blasphemy laws, addressed the UN Human Rights Council and strongly criticized the use of blasphemy laws, including by several of the nations that sit on that council. The International Humanist and Ethical Union has the transcript of his brief speech.
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Christian Right Legal Group Invents ‘Free Speech’ Case

There’s an odd situation going on at Purdue University after a family donated $12,500 to the engineering school but wanted a plaque at the facility that honored “those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God’s physical laws.” The school said no, fearing possible litigation over the plaque’s religious message.
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Christians, Muslims Unite for Censorship

The upcoming Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia includes one provocative show called Come Heckle Christ, in which a comedian will portray Jesus and invite people to jeer him. Could be funny, I suppose, depending on how talented the comedian is. But a Catholic archbishop is demanding that the government stop the show from going on.
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Alexander Aan is Released

Alexander Aan, the Indonesian atheist sentenced to 30 months in prison for merely saying that he is an atheist on Facebook, has been released from prison after 18 months. Unfortunately, he now will likely have to remain in hiding because of threats to his life. He was already beaten by an angry mob before going to prison. Michael De Dora reports on what’s going on:
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Agema, Saleem Lawsuit Dismissed

Dave Agema, one of Michigan’s representatives on the Republican National Committee, and Kamal Saleem, one of the many fake “ex-terrorists” making a living scaring the hell out of the Christian right, have had a lawsuit they filed against a Michigan city, People for the American Way and CAIR dismissed by a Bush-appointed federal judge. They were represented by the Thomas More Law Center.
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Olympic Security Forces Arrest Flagholding Protestor

Despite repeated assurances from Vladimir Putin that there is nothing to worry about at the Winter Olympics because of Russia’s totalitarian anti-gay laws, Olympic security personnel arrested a man who did nothing but wave a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch went by.
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Two Pakistani Men Sentenced to Death for ‘Blasphemy’

I continue to be absolutely appalled by the fascist and barbaric use of blasphemy laws to not just punish but murder people who say things the religious authorities in many countries don’t like. In Pakistan, two men have been sentenced to death for claiming they saw God.
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