In This Week’s Show, episode 175, we defend the NRA’s Women’s Day buffet against the NRA’s virtual face punches!
Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while The Morrigan (the 3-part Irish goddesses of war and fate) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying their patience!
Shea’s Life Lesson
This week I learned not to fight Destiny. Because if you try and fight Destiny you’ll have to fight the bouncer and the other strippers too.
Jenn’s Actual Lesson
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, did you know, according to Irish legend, the shamrock became associated with the day bc St. Patrick used the 3 leaves as a metaphor for the holy trinity?
But before we get to all that, It’s gonna be one of those shows!
This Week’s Beer
Rise & Pine – Uinta
From: Mr. Jenn
- BA Link: bit.ly/2BXYI30
- BA Rating: 4/5
- Style: American Black Ale
- ABV: 7.5%
- Aaron: 1
- Jenn: 1
- Shea: 1
- Steve: 1
This Week’s Show
Round Table Discussion
Napkin Pope’s donated DQB tickets.
That’s not an iTunes review…
This is an iTunes review!
|March 4, 2018 by JoelHF from Australia|
|Such an awesome podcast. This awesome group are a Friday afternoon staple for me. I put it on as I head home from work, and love all your segments. Really good commentary on current events and skeptical thinking. I especially love the beer tasting, and it always gets me pumped to try some new beers and gives me some new ones to get my hands on. Such a great group of guys and gal! If there is one fun skeptical podcast you should listen to, Waiting 4 Wrath is it. Love your work Shea, Steve, Aaron, Jenn and Jim!|
Update and follow up: White nationalist teacher Dayanna Volitich has been removed from teaching by the school district while it conducts its investigation. Also, here is part of her ‘explanation’: “None of the statements released about my being a white nationalist or white supremacist have any truth to them, nor are my political beliefs injected into my teaching of social studies curriculum. While operating under the Russian pseudonym ‘Tiana Dalichov’ on social media and the Unapologetic Podcast, I employed political satire and exaggeration, mainly to the end of attracting listeners and followers, and generating conversation about the content discussed between myself and my guests…”
Also, thanks to SingleM4lt on Twitter: sounds like Norway has a mental health loophole that allows increments of additional 5yrs added to sentences in prison indefinitely for severe cases. So hopefully mass murderer Anders Breivik can keep his nationalist ass behind bars. They have really nice prisons, anyway, so maybe move him to Colombia or something.
HL1 – Most Punchable Face
- “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s lawyer said he sometimes wants to hug his client and sometimes wants to punch him in the face, but he told a federal judge at Shkreli’s sentencing hearing Friday that his outspokenness shouldn’t be held against him.
- Attorney Benjamin Brafman wants U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to sentence the former pharmaceutical company CEO known for trolling critics on the internet to 18 months in prison. He was convicted of securities fraud last year for defrauding investors in two failed hedge funds.
- Federal prosecutors say he deserves at least 15 years behind bars for pilfering funds behind his investors’ backs to start the drug company and cover up his fraud.
- Matsumoto ruled earlier this week that Shkreli would have to forfeit more than $7.3 million in a brokerage account and personal assets including his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he boasted he bought for $2 million.
- Shkreli, 34, became notorious for raising the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000% and trolling critics on the internet with his snarky “Pharma Bro” persona.
- “At its core, this case is about Shkreli’s deception of people who trusted him,” they wrote. “Indeed, he compounded the lies with a pattern of corrupt behavior designed to cover up those lies. He lied to get investors’ money, he lied to keep them invested in his funds and he lied once those investors wanted their money back.”
- Even after his arrest in 2015, Shkreli went against his lawyers’ advice to lay low by taunting authorities in Facebook posts. And after his conviction last year, the judge revoked his bail and jailed him when he said he would pay a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could get a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair while the Democrat was on a book tour.
HL2 – NRA Hooray
- While a number of people have made their opinions of the National Rifle Association known in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, some have mistaken another group for the NRA because it shares the same acronym.
- Sen. Tammy Duckworth took to Twitter in February to inform constituents that a $50 donation she received from an employee at the NRA was from the National Restaurant Association and not the National Rifle Association.
- It is not true that I received a $50 donation from the NRA. I received a donation from an employee of the National RESTAURANT Association, not the National Rifle Association
- “Every once in a while this happens,” said a National Restaurant Association spokeswoman.
- Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq War and double amputee, became the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs in 2006. In 2009, she was appointed to the post of assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by President Barack Obama. She went on to be elected to Congress in 2012. Four years later, she was elected to the Senate. Last year, Duckworth signed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s gun control legislation that would ban a range of guns such as the AR-15 and ban bump stocks.
- “The senator was never confused about which organization supported her,” a spokesman for Tammy for Illinois, the senator’s campaign, told CNBC.
- when your accountant asks why you have a charge to the NRA on your work card… fun fact it also stands for National Restaurant Association
- Got a text from Capital One saying I’d made a 15$ payment to the NRA. Called to complain my account had stolen by some right-wing Whacko. Turns out it was my 17-year-old applying for a yogurt job and had to join the National Restaurant Association.
HL3 – Mary Poppin’ melatonin – Available right now at patreon.com/w4w!
- A Bend daycare owner who had been accused of slipping children melatonin so that she could hit the gym and go tanning was sentenced to 21 years and four months in prison by a Deschutes County judge this week.
- January Neatherlin, 32, had been running an illegal child care operation called Little Giggle for approximately four years and pleaded guilty to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault, according to court records. She had also lied to parents about being a registered nurse, even though she had no such qualifications.
- Bend police, based on tips provided by a former boyfriend and a former roommate, surveilled Neatherlin last March and saw her leave the house twice while she was supposed to be watching seven children.
- She drove her kids to school on the first trip. On the second, police found her at the local Tan Republic. The children who had been left in her care during those excursions had the sleep aid melatonin in their systems, according to a sentencing memo.
- Neatherlin had been telling parents they couldn’t pick up or drop off their kids between 11 am and 2 pm Police checked Cross Fit and Tan Republic records to find that’s when she would leave the house, hours she referred to as “nap time.”
- Since her arrest last March, Neatherlin had approached other inmates and asked them to claim they had worked for her. She also wrote letters to former inmates asking for bail money and promised to pay them from offshore accounts worth “a lot of money,” according to the sentencing memo.
This Week’s Stories
Second Half – Video Games Will Shoot Your Dicks Off! And other lies the GOP want to scare you with.
Aaron’s note: This is one of those things I can talk about for hours… and I damn near tried. The full, much longer, talk is available now http://patreon.com/w4w If anyone wants to know more about game violence, or media in general, I’m happy to have that talk but I would rather talk about what good games can do. Check out Jane McGonigal’s Reality Is Broken. She deals primarily with gamification but this is more of a discussion of how we can improve our lives and society by gaming well. It’s a bigger topic that “Closing the rings on you Apple Watch” or getting kids to do their homework…
The gun debate has gone full jackass.
YouTube is almost blocking Douglas School shooting conspiracy theorist for diverting gun control debates toward accusing the survivors of being paid crisis actors. Florida is being sued by the NRA for only wanting to arm teachers with handguns, while marginally restricting access to the semi-automatic authority sticks we all know we need. And this season of How the fuck did Orange become the New Black, White House edition, has decided that video games cause shootings, not shooty tools. And, one assumes, games have also caused the uptick in kids dawning plumber-raccoon suits and taking flight.
Fortunately, we have someone on staff who can speak competently about these important topics of our era. Me! I studied video games and because it’s the 800-pound blood-soaked gorilla in Lugologies lunchroom, I studied video game violence too. This topic is obviously too large and nuanced to fit into a 20-minute segment so I’m going high-level, beer-angry, defense on this one.
Before we dive in, I want to share some base info that feels relevant.
- The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that games are protected by the First Amendment. Turns out, it’s art.
- 65% percent of American households are home to regular gamers.
- Gamers age 18 or older represent 72 percent of the video game-playing population, and the average gamer is 35 years old.
- Adult women represent a greater portion of the video game-playing population (31 percent) than boys under age 18 (18 percent).
- Sixty-seven percent of parents play video games with their children at least once a week.
- Seventy-one percent of parents feel video games positively impact their child’s life. – This last one I can support with research I’ve been involved in.
Find out more from the ESA at bit.ly/2pgynq5
So, on Feb. 14, 19-year-old, fuckwhit von not-using-your-name, killed 14 students and three adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He had a history of behavioral problems. He made hateful social media comments about minorities. He was also a keen video game player.
That last bit is fortunate for the Schmuck a la Ronge and his ilk. It means that it wasn’t the guns right? After all, guns don’t kill people, Xboxes kill people!
These claims currently circulating aren’t new.
All of these events have a few things in common. Most follow as a result of some terribly IRL event. And all of them take advantage of whatever the days dirtiest devil-song… I mean game… was, completely ignoring other games, events, topics, and studies.
But what about school shootings specifically?
Of the 100 most deadly school massacres in modern history, 40 took place in the United States. The most deadly took place in 1927, in which 38 elementary school children and six adults were murdered by a frustrated man-child fuck-face who wanted revenge for his failure to secure an elected position – there was no word on Russia’s involvement. A total of seven attacks took place in the era before video games were a part of American life, leaving 33 school shootings between 1980 and 2018, in which more than one person was slain.
On the face, that seems problematic. But it also ignores societies modernization, the improvement of firearms to achieve their goal — distructelating what you point them at, and other widespread problems like drugs, bullying, poverty and institutionalized, generational, bigotry, etc — it’s a long-ass list! Things that, I’m totes sure, have nothing to do with people lashing out.
In four of those 33 mass murders, the perpetrators have been definitely identified as being fans of video games. Famously, douche 1 and douche 2 of the aforementioned Columbine massacre were gamers… the electronic kind that is, scary ones too, with names like DOOOOOOOOOM. Despite bowling being their preferred activity and the only one, they took time to go do before killing 12 students and a teacher.
Clearly a correlation boarding on causation… eh >:-|
Other killers have mistakenly been connected with games, a narrative that has stood despite real facts. In the immediate aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, it was reported that Seung-Hui Cho, the perpetrator who killed 32 people, was an avid fan of multiplayer shooter Counter-Strike. This was later debunked by his roommate, who said he’d never seen Cho play a video game.
A 2004 report from the Secret Service and the Department of Education researched 37 incidents of school violence and found that 24 percent of the attackers expressed an interest in violent books, while 12 percent were interested in games. 37 percent were interested in violence expressed in their own writings “such as poems, essays, or journal entries.” Perhaps we should be policing poetry nights at Starbucks eh?
All the while the NRA was working to expand the gun industry in America. Wayne LaPierre, human filth extraordinary and president of the guns before alive-babies club, took to the stage following Sandy Hook to say “ here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal, there exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bullet Storm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse.”
Clearly putting the recent tragedy a the feet of games. The following week, the NRA released its own video game on iOS that allows you to shoot targets… originally released as acceptable for ages 4+ up, a rating the NRA apparently had no problem with but Apple’s What The Actual Fuck department later changed.
Which brings us to today.
When the White House decided to post a video montage, or whatever you call a montage the editors forgot to put sound into, of extraordinarily violent and graphic clips from games. The creepiest part was that given the video was clearly posted to repulse people with the virtual violence, most of the gun related stuff (as opposed to axes and lightsabers which made up the rest) were directed toward nazis – the clear implication being sympathy for them…
Sorry Drumph, when zombie-nazis from space roll up on me I’mma burn the mother fucker down! End of story.
Anyway, the video is just freaking murder porn, right?
They didn’t even include text in the video or underneath a video in the dialog box area. It’s the freakin White House, one expects there to be a narrative to follow or a press release to accompany a production, but it was obviously just posted as for reuse by Infowars and Fox.
But the truth is that things aren’t that bad. Despite some truly awful events of late, the world is not going to Hell in a handbasket. In fact, 2011 marks the lowest murder rate since stats have been kept, beginning in 1960. The highest being 1980 – years before video games would be widely available.
A 2010 Harvard study highlights that “Much of the research on violent video game use relies on measures to assess aggression that don’t correlate with real-world violence. Some studies are observational and don’t prove cause and effect.”
Federal crime statistics suggest that serious violent crimes among youths have decreased since 1996, even as video game sales have soared.
Studies since have done a great job of both vilifying and rebuking. Unfortunately, like porn, for every well-done study, there are 50 slapped together but assholes on a crusade unburdened by things like evidence. Features looked upon favorably by the current administration.
So, do games cause violence? No, not really. Could they inspire violence in an already unstable person? Yeah, potentially. But if we’re going to ban entire avenues of human expression for their potential to induce violence in the credulous, we should probably start by giving Jesus that ESRB rating he’s always needed… R.
In the end, it’s the same verse, worst than the first. Politicians in the pockets of the NRA will blame anything that can provide an exculpatory answer to mass shootings. Oddly, the direction this has taken is sought to censure the entertainment market, rather than take the one, direct, action available to them: cancel the development of America’s Army*, the Armed forces developed and distributed, ultra-violent, first-person shooter propaganda game.
*I had actually forgotten about America’s Army until I saw it in one of the linked articles. Hypocritical? Yep! But it’s actually not a terrible game. I mean, it’s no Far Cry 5 I’m sure, but .. meh. Speaking of Fary Cry 5, you’ll notice I’ve linked them to Amazon products. That’s because right now through the end of the month when you designate Wyoming AIDS Assistance as your Amazon Smile charity of choice, they’ll donate 3 TIMES the amount to WyoAIDS! So go, stick it to the man and do real good by buying a video game!
Next Week’s Beer
Stringbender – Black Shirt Brewing
- BA Rating: 3.81/5
- Style: Saison
- ABV: 7.5%
Faith In Humanity Restored
This past week was International Women’s Day, so I wanted to talk quickly about a real hero of mine, Sally Yates. She was serving as acting Attorney General when our current SCROTUS took office and was one of the last bastions of sanity until he promptly fired her for standing on her convictions. She had nearly 30yrs of service with Justice Department, as a federal prosecutor in Georgia before being named a U.S. Attorney and then the Deputy Attorney General by President Obama. She’s from Georgia and is brilliant and I love her.
As a quick refresher, she refused to back the Dumpster’s travel ban which halted admission to refugees and as well as immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Many elected officials attempted to shame her for refusing to follow what she considered illegal and unconstitutional orders. She remained the epitome of grace under fire and withstood their questions, coming out looking stronger than ever. I believe she probably made Ted Cruz cry, and after demolishing his attempt to corner her, he stopped coming to the questioning sessions.
But my very favorite moment came when she was addressed by Sen. John Cornyn. He obviously tries to shame her, but…
For this she was nominated last year for the John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
We’ve spent the last year since with practically no one willing to stand up to this lunatic, but this brave woman did. And it feels like a million years ago. She faced serious consequences, but that didn’t stop her. She helped to restore my faith and we need more people, men and women, like her. There’s a link in the show notes to a New Yorker profile on her that I suggest checking out. NewYorker
Bonus Cat Video
Sally putting Ted in his place: Sorry Ted
The Universe and Beyond, with Stephen Hawking – YouTube
Only Slightly Exaggerated | Travel Oregon – YouTube
Should We Live On Venus BEFORE Mars? – YouTube
Third Thumb Changes the Prosthetics Game – YouTube
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