• "Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason." -Isaac Asimov
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RNC – Local News from the Street

By all accounts day one of the RNC, though scaled way back and void of political rhetoric, went off without serious incident. Of the 15,000 some-odd estimated protesters in attendance (i’ve seen estimates as high as 20k and low as 10k so I’m saying 15k) the county’s final tally on arrests and charges for the days was:

– 284 total arrests
– 130 felony charges
– 51 gross misdemeanors
– 103 misdemeanors.

I question that total being as there are reports of some people being detained without charges (still) and people being released shortly after arrest. Even if this number is incorrect by a significant margin it hardly represents a large percentage of those in attendance. That aside, the day wasn’t totally without significant incident.

The major news networks painted a fairly low-key picture of the goings on but those of us privy to local independant media outlets saw something very different; liberal use of pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and even one report of flashbangs (someone even said ‘concussion grenades’, which I’m VERY skeptical of). Independant [neutral, non-aggressive] media and legal representatives have been arrested for merely being near the crowds, crowds of people gathered in parks being surrounded and searched, even walking down the street was apparently enough to warrant a search by whatever agency happened to pass you by.

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Episode 1.04 and last minute change of plans

It’s funny sometimes how quickly things can change. I recorded this show this afternoon with plans to go out later in the evening. I got behind schedule, became subject to an impromptu dog-sitting, had to scrap my plans and found out that John McCain had all but canceled the RNC activites for Monday…all in the course of about 3 hours.

Take this episode as you will. Being as my RNC plans have changed (see above link) since recording it earlier this afternoon it’s only about 2/3 relevant. I’m leaving it as is and providing all links as usual. The police and FBI round-up of protesters and self declared anarchists has been swift and frightening over the past 48 hours and I’ve provided a bit of info and local links on that situation.

I’ll be doing a few 10-15 minute shows this week as well. No politics, I promise!

Stream, download link and relevant links below.

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Amazing! – Krupp “Bagger 288”

Last week I started the “Amazing!” series off with one of the tiniest beasties nature has to offer so it seemed fair that I give this week to one of most impressive and gigantic mechanical monsters mankind has imposed on our little blue-green marble.

Pictures of this machine has been floating around the net for years and often gets written off as a well made Photoshop creation. The sheer scale and massive “saw” blade on the arm do make it look like a work of mechanical fantasy but it is quite real. It’s not a one of a kind either as the ‘288’ is part of a fleet of 21 such excavators operated by RWE Germany. The ‘288’ is the largest but several smaller versions are quite common in the industry.

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News and an update on ep. 1.04

Due to annoying social constraints and a nasty case of brain fry I didn’t have a show up last week (nor has this weeks “Amazing!” post made it up yet…It will tonight). Life sucks and we move forward, right?

This weeks episode, which will exist, I’m going to be talking about a few things that have popped up in the news recently that have splintered themselves firmly into my mind.

Firstly the issue of religious morals vs. workplace ethics. There’s a contingent in California whom seem to think their religious views are on trial because they’re being ‘forced’ to do things against what they hold spiritually sacred. Most of them are doctors whom work in family planning¬† type clinics…so you can see where that ones headed.

Secondly the general state of politics in America. I made a blog post a while back condemning the DNC for ignoring the godless vote and I have a little more to say on the issue. Sarah Palin has been named the GOP veep nominee so I’ll be giving my two-cents worth on that, what it means for the McCaininites and the country overall, among other things.

I’ve got a few shorter bits as well but those will likely be the meat and potatoes.

In other news…

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When a Poe isn’t.

I stated very early on that it wasn’t my sole intent to make this blog a constant source of fundamentalist ridicule. I hold to that (see my post on Tardigrades) but being as the bigfoot scandal is over, the raelians are quiet and scientologists haven’t tried to kill anyone in a while…I’m at a loss. Some fairly interesting stuff happened in the Olympics this week but I imagine you’re just as sick of hearing about Phelps (not fred) as I am. That aside, and in my own defense, some of this stuff is just impossible to ignore.

Before I jump head-first into the merde de jour I feel the need to make sure we’re all familiar with the term “Poe’s Law” and what it means when someone ‘calls a Poe’.

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Seeya later Dems

RiP Democratic PartyA while back it was announced that the Democratic National Convention will be kicked off with what’s being called the “first-ever Democratic National Convention interfaith gathering“. The polarization among loyal democrats seemed nearly instant, some seeing it as a line in the sand and others writing it off as nothing but a show to win votes. The latter was my initial reaction; it just seemed to surreal. The overall weirdness of the ordeal never left my mind but I’ve been able to mentally write it off as a song and dance maneuver to get the fence-sitters until very recently. The Saddleback church event happened, my mind exploded and I saw things a little differently. It wasn’t just an issue of the DNCC alienating atheists, humanists and other generally godless folk anymore, it was all out assault on secular politics.

Keep in mind the difference between being an atheist and believing in a secular government. One is a political view while the other is a world view. You can be of any faith, worship any god you like and still believe in a secular form of government. I only point this out because there seems to be a common juxtaposition of the terms.

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If there is no god…ohnoes!

Fundamentalists news websites, how I love thee, especially WorldNutDaily. WND never ceases to provide amusement in the form of fundie logic and wacky advertisements. Claiming itself as a ‘news source’ this beyond right-wing rag makes Fox news look like the Disney Channel. I used to get pissed at the B.S. they sling but I’ve come to embrace it for what it really is; satirical humor. Some people can take this stuff with a grain of salt and some can’t, so steer clear if you’re easily¬† aggravated by ignorant bible thumping and rhetorical, fallicious logic. If you can stomach it ignore the ‘news’ links and head straight for the commentary pages. With scathing insights from the likes of Anne Coulter, Pat Boone, Hal Lindsey and Chuck Norris (yes, that Chuck Norris…sorry kids, he’s a hardcore creo-bot) you know you’re in for a treat.

In all fairness, there are a small handful of decent commentaries to be found if you really work for it. They have to print a few things that aren’t completely batshit crazy if they want to call themselves “credible”.

Tonight this little gem caught my eye: If there is no God.

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