Episode 188 – The One Where Jenn Combs The Desert For Pizza & Justice!

In This Week’s Show, episode 188, we order poisonous homeopathic pizza and get it delivered to NASA’s new sparkly Brewery for 4 More Beers 20!

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Hodor (blind Norse god and son of Odin) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that every time Magic Johnson hugs you he steals a few white blood cells.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Did you know Hodor killed his brother Baldur by shooting him with mistletoe? It wasn’t his fault, really; Loki tricked him into it cuz that’s what he does.

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Saison d’Brett – Funkworks, Ft. Collins, CO

  • Donated by: Tim, Keith, and Anna
  • ABV: 7%
  • Style: Fruit Saison
  • Aaron: 9
  • Jenn: 8
  • Shea: 9
  • Steve: 6

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

We had a tornado.

Shea’s theme song!

Thanks to Mr. Bible Pants for your kind words, we’re alive, no thanks to tornado god McGee.

We’ve got fuck-all otherwise, so a quick reminder that we need iTunes review to feel good about ourselves and patrons to get to ReasonCon next year.

With that, we’re going to give you a preview of the 4 More Beers that we’re about to record for patrons. And if you’re feeling all jelly, you can hear it too at patreon.com/w4w!

Aaron’s Booze!

Spoiler: It was not good, but the booze for 4 More Beers was great, and Jenn drank an assload of it! So that was fun ;)

Hot Shots

Steve – Octopusses galore

Scientists recently discovered a little patch of the wild west in Jervis Bay on the eastern Australia coastline which is the home of around 15 octopuses (not octopi, not really). Under 30-50 feet of water, the town – dubbed Octlantis – has a community of octopuses living together in a complex social behavioral system where they communicate with each other, live together, and guard their homes, chasing away the undesirables, not unlike those seen in vertebrates. This isn’t the first octopus town discovered either. Another, dubbed Octopolis was discovered in 2009. bit.ly/2l7o0SO

Aaron – In I can’t hear you so it’s fake news… this story isn’t about America. The Institution of Homoeopaths in Kerala, apparently watching British homeopaths lose their asses to the NHS and the Merseyside Skeptics Society, have decided to preempt similar revelations in India by appealing to the Indian government to block Wikipedia’s entry on the topic. Citing that the wiki article has insulted AYUSH by calling their treatments, nonsense, quackery, and a sham. So really, there are two takeaways here. One, that’s not how the internet or medicine work India. And two, in a surprising turn of events, go Wikipedia!

bit.ly/2sY4exo

Steve – Incompetence lives on in Florida… again.

For over a year, the Florida staffer of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who was responsible for conducting national background checks for concealed carry permits… didn’t. The Florida Agriculture Commissioner who is responsible for that department did campaign on making the permit process faster, but that’s not even why this important step was not done. The reason? The idiot functionary responsible lost the password to log into the national system. Tens of thousands of applications for concealed carry were approved without even this basic step being done. Nice work Florida.

bit.ly/2law7hl

Aaron – You smell like cabbage and sparkles!

Jillian Epperly, 44, of Ohio is medical miracle worker… Well, a miracle worker. Well… a worker anyway. But who is she working over? Cabbages. Cabbages and bullshit. God’s one true cure all! Epperly’s website, Jilly Juice — and no, that’s not a category on Porn Hub … well… not a popular one anyway — sells fermented cabbage juice. Or as it’s actually known “Oh god why did you make that, it smells like a plague-bear dying of dysentery, oh god, oh god why are you drinking it? It’s not even Kimchi, oh god how is it still that shade of green!?” Epperly claims she can cure all manner of shit, but interestingly, not the shits, ‘cause that’s what you want. She calls them “the waterfalls” like a super mature, totes mcgoats medical professional. You want that sin leaking out of you. The sin of autism, down syndrome, or not having limbs that grow back, and of course gay, “the LGBT lifestyle is a possible mutation of the reproductive system that sends mixed signals to the brain.” And somehow, saltwater fermented cabbage and kale will sort that out…

bit.ly/2sYVze2

Patreon Hotshots are available right now at patreon.com/w4w! So what are you waiting for? You know you wanna hear the ballad of Jesus JoyoftheLord!

Steve – Dumbassery in British Columbia (sorry for picking on B.C. two weeks in a row)

I titled this story dumbassery, but it’s really pretty sad. Basically, there’s a looney religious couple in B.C. who are so, goddamn Jesus-ey that they’ve been kicked out of several churches for attempting to purge them of “evil influences”; they’ve had very unstable working and living arrangements; and then they had a daughter who they refused all medical tests and procedures for at birth and also refused to vaccinate. Well, also with a complaint of violence between the couple, the Ministry of Children and Family Development took the baby away from them. When they went to court, it got even more bizarre when they said that a Jesus was speaking to them through a stuffed lion toy who they communicated with in tongues. Unsurprisingly, the judge decided to keep the baby away from the crazy for the time being.

(The mother applied to change her daughter’s name to Jesus JoyoftheLord and her own first name to Risen Lord Jesus, her middle name to Refinersfire and her last name to Christ (with a hyphenation including her real name.))

bit.ly/2JR8xo1

Aaron – Does anyone remember Good Idea, Bad Idea?

Well I’ve got one for you… Good Idea: Insisting that your makeup line not test on animals, going so far as to not sell in China were animal testing is required. Also, denouncing racists like beauty vlogger Jeffree Star. Bad Idea: Using your celebrity to spread anti-vax horseshit and other woo. Beauty mogul and human canvas Kat Von D is preggers. And, cheers…. I guess. I hope she births a healthy baby … inhuman, because at least then it might have a chance at a healing factor. And hey, if nothing else terrigen mist kills quickly and painlessly (usually, if you want to argue the point you have to send me the relevant comics first so I can do some research, and also have free comics ;) ), unlike MMR, Polio, and smallpox. You know, those fun childhood ailments we commiserate over now and again… Oh, we don’t do that? Ok, it must just be the unvaccinated and the immunocompromised they endanger. Von D for her part is deflecting like a mofo to the vegan portion of her post. Which, whatever, you want to raise a dietarily stunted kid, go for it, it can be done healthfully… what can’t be done healthfully is raising an unvaccinated kid. If nothing else all the screaming during their terrible two’s midlife-crisis is going to terrible for your hearing…

bit.ly/2JR8xV3

This Week’s Stories

Jenn’s PSA: If the story involves a high-level government cover-up of thousands of children sold and held in sex slavery in a shanty town (or a pizza restaurant), it’s probably not real.

I decided to take a page out of Shea’s brief investigative journalist career and share this story as it unfolded for me, with updates from actual news sources.

Because I have yet to wise up and take proper care of my mental health, I was on Facebook this past Saturday morning. I’m a member of several true crime FB groups and I noticed an odd-looking video from cough Veterans on Patrol on one of them. It was touting the discovery of possible human remains and signs of other nefarious activity in some desolate desert landscape. I’m curious and drinking my morning coffee so decide to watch a bit: it features a semi-hysterical, bearded ginger man in camo breathlessly recounting the discovery…or something. He won’t get to the fucking point, so I jump a bit on the video (which apparently live streamed at some point) and see that it’s well over an hour long. So fuck that.

The first few minutes I actually watched discussed that the discovery itself was made “through prayer” and “Facebook has been jamming the signal” to prevent the truth from getting out. Right. As some point, with so much necessary buffering, the guy (plus his intrepid cameraman) paw around at a pile of…stuff. He then holds up an object like a deranged, militant Crocodile Hunter and declares it to be a human skull. And obviously from a child.

Did I mention not properly caring for my mental health? Yeah, so I went and checked the comments on the original video, which were brimming with American flags and thanking god for prayer warriors such as this guy who is willing to risk his life to bring us THE TRUTH. Also, no joke, this was obviously the work of the Clinton’s.

Side note: not that I would actually link this silliness in the show notes, but I did want some screenshots. It’s been taken down (after being viewed more than 700,000 times), so proof of a global conspiracy or FB making good on attempting to rein in the loonies? You decide. If you wish to interact through social media, it’s on Twitter under the hashtag #OperationBackyardBrawl.

Well, I thought I had wasted all the time necessary on this I was going to have to, but I briefly forgot the era we lived in. By Sunday evening my FB feed and news alerts were liberally (HA!) sprinkled with mentions, links, and outrage. But at least I was able to translate what the hell the video was on about.

bit.ly/2sYOCtx

A nicely succinct article from NBC news helps to clarify: Turns out the fellow from the video (who at one point in what I watched of it opened, chugged and crushed a bottle of water, then gasps for a while…it was a thing of beauty) is the group’s leader, Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer. He said he had stumbled upon the encampment after blowing a tire on an interstate highway (so prayers totes work to get yourself a flat). “Meyer, who is not himself a veteran, said his group went searching for homeless veterans in a wooded area of private property on an old cement plant.” Oh yeah, he’s also a frequent guest on Infowars and was a fixture at both the Bundy Ranch and Oregon Wildlife Refuge’s standoffs. (Arthur says he went to Oregon for two reasons: to remove Ryan Payne, one of the pro-Bundy militants in the compound who he claims is mentally unstable, and to liberate women and children in the compound.) He’s practically a false flag flying celebrity!!

From Snopes, here is what Michael Lewis Jingle-Heimer-Schmidt claimed to have uncovered:

When the veteran group reached the site, what they found was truly disturbing. Around the site, the group found trees equipped with restraints. They also found a stroller, a crib, hair dye, and pornographic material.

“The solar lights are what gave it away,” said Lewis Arthur. “If we hadn’t been walking on the right trail we would have never seen it, we would have walked right past it.”

Upon further exploration of the site, the veterans found an underground bunker which they say was used to keep children from escaping. Inside the bunker, they found a dresser and two crates. The area was only big enough for children to fit inside.

The group found an encampment with tarps tied to trees amid general debris and clothing, as well as children’s items and an underground portion of the camp — an old tank that had been partially buried — that Meyer said was evidence that children were being held, prisoner. Meyer also pointed to straps on trees as evidence that they had found a “rape tree.”

Good news, this isn’t true. None of it. Per Tucson Police, the group stumbled onto private property and uncovered the remains of an abandoned homeless shelter. “Tucson Police Department officers, detectives, and command staff conducted a thorough inspection of the site, spoke to the reporting parties, and collected evidence. Based on the department’s investigation to this point, there is no indication this camp is being used for any type of criminal activity, including human trafficking. Yesterday, an unsubstantiated assertion was made that a body might be buried at the site. A cadaver dog was used to check the area with negative results.”

When asked about the social media response to Meyer’s videos, a spokesman for the Tucson police literally sighed on camera. “We were trying to avoid all that,” he said. “We said we can only do so much. Obviously, if there were signs of a crime, we’d love to arrest pedophiles or criminals.”

Now for the bad news: As we are dealing with people who refuse to listen to reason and let a ridiculous story go, many ultra-conservative and conspiracy-obsessed web lurkers have latched on. Subsequent livestreams following the so-called search operation have garnered over 2.5 million views. Hundreds of original videos from supporters have been uploaded to Youtube. According to the NBC news article, “An article on InfoWArs that tried to connect the dots between the owners of the camp property and the Clintons has been taken down. The Gateway Pundit, a fringe news website that has promoted a variety of conspiracy theories, also has an article credulously repeating Meyer’s claims and connecting the land to the Clintons.”

So to no one’s surprise, the fact that authorities found no evidence to support Meyer’s claims have not slowed him down. Meyer contends in his videos that local law enforcement has destroyed evidence of child sex trafficking at the camp, but can still generally be trusted. The federal government, however, described on the group’s Facebook page as “corrupt,” could be hiding something nefarious at the camp, Meyer suggests.

“This isn’t some standoff, it’s a search and rescue,” he asserts confusingly. “And we want to do it independently because of what the government just did to that child sex camp that was a child sex camp.”

No direct word from Meyer to a real journalist, though: Reached by phone from NBC, Meyer hung up without answering any questions. When asked in a text why he hung up, Meyer responded: “Reporters must live with us for one week and not release anything without authorization until their volunteer service is up.”

On Facebook, Meyer continued to request reinforcements and supplies (tents and flashlights, as well as prayers) and said that people had come from California, Colorado, and Illinois to check out the operation and “offer intel.” He said more were on the way.

Awesome.

Patreon Story

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Jesus finally took the wheel!

bit.ly/2JR8yIB

It turns out Jesus really does save. Just not for the reasons Christians keep telling us.

In Hamilton, Ontario, a truck that was unable to stop at an intersection swerved onto a sidewalk to avoid hitting pedestrians and crashed into a bench with a statue of “Homeless Jesus” bit.ly/2LRFo9C on it. (Those statues, created by an Ontario artist, are on display in cities around the world.)

It’s a good thing the driver took that action:

Investigators say if the truck had continued, it would have headed into oncoming westbound traffic and pedestrians.

No one was injured… except for Jesus, who was once again sacrificed for the greater good. But don’t worry. I assume the statue will return in three days.

Homeless Jesus, also known as Jesus the Homeless, is a bronze sculpture by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz that depicts Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench. The original sculpture was installed at Regis College, University of Toronto, Toronto in early 2013.

Next Week’s Beer

Episode 189

Sad Panda – Horse & Dragon Brewery

From Shea

  • BA Link: bit.ly/2JPuOCH
  • BA Rating: 4.19/5
  • Style: American Stout
  • ABV: 6.8%

Faith In Humanity Restored

The stupid, it burns…

bit.ly/2JVI3lh

And then we burn the ashes.

Om the face of an onslaught of overwhelming evidence Trump’s NASA Chief has changed his mind on global warming.

In 2013, then-congressman Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, stepped onto the floor of the House of Representatives and said these words:

“During the Medieval Warm Period, from 800 to 1300 AD, long before cars, power plants, or the Industrial Revolution, temperatures were warmer than today. During the Little Ice Age, from 1300 to 1900 AD, temperatures were cooler. Neither of these periods were caused by any human activity.”

 

But now, just six weeks into his tenure as NASA administrator, Bridenstine stated that he has “evolved” on climate change.

“I don’t deny the consensus,” Bridenstine said at a NASA town hall meeting. “I believe fully in climate change and that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way.”

When asked why he changed his mind, Bridenstine told The Washington Post, “I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot. I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, that we’ve put a lot of it into the atmosphere, and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we’ve seen.”

Jim Bridenstine’s public acknowledgment of manmade climate change is a stirring example of how science transcends ideology. His actions should be celebrated and replicated.

Bonus Cat Video

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