From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
A partial victory for free speech: The lesbian mayor of Houston has withdrawn the subpoenas her administration had issued demanding that conservative pastors turn over to the government any sermons or communications which had discussed politics.
I call this a partial victory because the mayor, Annise Parker, is still in office, and was still unapologetic about the subpoenas.
“The goal of the subpoenas is to defend against the lawsuit and not to provoke a public debate,” Parker said. She is ordering the subpoenas removed for the sake of Houston, not because the request were in any way illegal or intended to intrude on religious liberties, Parker said. “I didn’t do this to satisfy them,” Parker said of critics. “I did it because it was not serving Houston.”
She still thinks it was perfectly okay to make this demand against her opponents. Such a person should never be allowed the power of any political office, including dog-catcher.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:
If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
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