Episode 210 – The One Where We Snatch Donuts From The Hairy Palms Of Free-Bakers

In This Week’s Show, episode 210, we dunk our globe-nut in gravity-goop so gassy cows pray the skunk away.

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Solboni (the god of the dawn for the Buryat people) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that if our ass was split horizontally, it would clap when you ran down the stairs.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Did you know that Freddie Mercury was raised in the Zoroastrian faith? Also, go see Bohemian Rhapsody.

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

This Week’s Beer

German Chocolate Cake from TallGrass Brewing

From: RW

  • BA: 3.78/5
  • Style: English Sweet/Milk Stout
  • ABV: 5%
  • Link: bit.ly/2SLUjpQ
  • Aaron: 8
  • Jenn: 8
  • Shea: 7
  • Steve: 7

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

We Got One! – Welcome patron BilltheBloody

RIP Stan Lee.

Sad news as Stan “the man” Lee has joined Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby.

Listeners know how much we love comics and Marvel in particular but I want to take a moment and talk about the impression Marvel’s left on me. I was lucky to grow up on Lee’s heroes rather

than religious idols. Marvel never shied away from the difficult topics and they never waved them with away with platitudes or excuses. Lee’s heroes planted themselves like the tree of truth and told the world to move. And it did. The original animated X-Men, a not-so-subtle foil for minority rights, toward the end of episode 2 “night of the sentinels” presents the idea clearly, Storm attempts to explain the anti-mutant bigotry often expressed in X-Men the same way we see homophobia now in bakeries and ex-county clerk’s offices, to a young Jubilee. I never forgot her lesson. Now, almost every time I see some homophobic, racist, misogynist, nutcase in the show’s news feed railing against what they just know to be wrong I hear her voice, and through her Stan’s message; don’t succumb to fear of the unknown. Or, from Stand directly, “I wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try and be an anti-bigotry story to show there’s good in every person.”

X-Men “Why Do People Hate Us?” www.youtube.com/watch?v=baFXQiooens

Updates

The Satanic Temple has filed the lawsuit against Netflix over the statue claiming that the “Defendants misappropriated the TST Baphomet Children in ways implying the monument stands for evil. Among other morally repugnant actions, the Sabrina Series’ evil antagonists engage in cannibalism and forced-worship of a patriarchal deity”. The lawsuit seeks $150 million in damages.

Also, the Church of Satan wants to make it abundantly clear that they are separate from TST and have no issue with how Netflix displayed Baphomet.

Amy Kremer, a co-founder of the Women Vote Trump PAC, told MSNBC Sunday she does believe violence has entered into the country’s political discourse, pointing blame solely at liberal activists. She particularly took issue with a Brooklyn bookstore’s repeated rituals where witches have planned to place a “hex” on Kavanaugh. Kremer criticized the event as yet another left-wing attack on conservatives. “It is a scary time right now,” she said. “Now you’ve got witches that are placing a hex on Brett Kavanaugh.” so somehow this is still unfolding. How long until agent orange sets up a hex force?

HotShots

Just Pray For A Rainbow Ok! bit.ly/2TgGr7p

And yes, I am talking about “the gay.” Florida-Doctor-Man, homophobic piece of shit, and – big shocker here – a hypocritical piece of shit, Norman Goldwasser made headlines this week by trying to give men head. The Director of Horizon Psychological Services in Miami Beach has said that homosexuality is comparable to OCD and sexual abuse was discovered on a handful of gay dating apps. So, like any good reporter, Wayne Besen followed up on a tip linking him to Goldwasser’s profile, where Besen signed up and reached out and invited “hotnhairy72” to a hotel date. Once there, Besen said “oh, btw’s I’m a reporter and you’re a hate monger. Thoughts?” Speaking to NBC News, Goldwasser said his outing is “painful” but will be “a catalyst for me seeking the right help for myself. It is sad that despite the fact that I have been able to help many people over the years who have suffered from the effects of child sexual abuse and sexual addiction, I obviously was unable to help myself,” he wrote in an email to NBC. “There is no justification for my personal behavior and I deeply regret the pain I have caused people in my personal life.” You pronounced “no justification needed” wrong dude. And the only help you need is accepting that you’re just gay. And that’s ok. It’s ok to be gay.

Stupid Is As Stupid Arrests – bit.ly/2FpSwEB

I’m not anti-cop at all really, but I do seem to run across a fair number of stories about bad ones, or in this case, really stupid ones. This time we have a Toronto cop who at first just pilfered a small bit of evidence from a crime scene, which frankly, he’d have likely gotten away with… if he hadn’t also been a fucking moron. In this case, even the presiding judge called him a, “complete idiot” for his actions, and, “The conduct here you cannot describe as anything other than stupid.”

What happened is this: Back in January, Toronto constable, Vittorio Dominelli, while involved in a raid on a then-illegal marijuana dispensary, decided to palm a couple of cannabis-oil-infused chocolate bars while leaving the scene to grab some pizza. Had that been it, he’d have likely gotten away with it. Pretty small potatoes and so forth, even though it is tampering with evidence.

Later that evening Dominelli and his partner, Jamie Young, were assigned to surveil an after-hours bar where the pair discussed then-looming MJ legalization and how neither had ever tried cannabis. Well, bring the genius’ they are, they ate all eight squares on one chocolate bar…while still working on the surveillance mission.

As you, dear listener can probably guess that was fucking stupid and after about 20 minutes, they got seriously fucked up. Dominelli, apparently thinking he was going to die, asked Young to radio for help, but she, not being a complete idiot, refused. Dominelli eventually grabbed the radio from his partner, ran up the street and called for help, telling the dispatcher to “send an ambulance.”

Now the really sad part of this farce is that one of the responding officers slipped on ice and suffered a severe head injury and still has “significant difficulties with speech and vision,” and remains off work 10 months later. Further, the seven people charged in the pot-shop raids got their charges dropped due to officer dumb-ass, which I suppose is really good news.

The Crown is proposing a conditional sentence for Dominelli to be served in the community. Young was charged with attempting to obstruct justice and breach of trust in connection with the incident, but this has not been proven in court.

Experior Beef!bit.ly/2TirNwl

The FDA has finally gotten around to the big issues and approved the drug Experior. In what amounts to a tacit admission that farts are causing global warming the FDA proclaimed the new drug both better for people and the environment as it curbs the production of ammonia gasses in… cows. In what I can only assume is the logical conclusion to our own state’s foray into cow-fart-related global warming we’ve finally taken the high ground… the smelly, smelly, high-ground. “These ammonia gasses can come from many sources and can affect the health of people, animals, and the environment,” said Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, continuing in a mostly authentic quote “high concentrations of ammonia can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat in both humans and animals as anyone who’s recorded with someone called ‘wrathful Steve’ can attest to.” After not actually clarifying he was again talking about cows, FDA-Steven concluded of water bodies near ammonia pollution have more “algae blooms, which block sunlight to aquatic plants, and eventually results in the death of aquatic animals due to a lack of oxygen in the water.” But what about the GMO’s you might be screaming, well, the FDA said that “meat tenderness and chewiness was reduced slightly” which is odd because tenderness and chewiness are at entirely different ends of the beef-mouthfeel scale, continuing “these differences were minor and unlikely to be noticed by the average consumer.”

This Week’s Stories

Hey everyone!

And by everyone I mean the public listeners, patreons are likely to get their own special message ;)

You might have noticed this week’s bumper features the fabulous Mrs. Marti Gras plugging WyoAIDS.org and that’s because our favorite (unaffiliated but awfully cosy) charitable event has a date! That’s right this year’s Drag Queen Bingo is April 27th… right, when we would have gone to ReasonCon and, perhaps, when you might have gone to ReasonCon as well. You know, you could come to see us instead. What we lack in being North Carolina we make up for in snow and Drag Queens!

Even if you can’t make it, check out WyoAIDS.org and donate to help people living with HIV/AIDs in Wyoming.

Enjoy the show!
~ Aaron

Patreon Story – Available now at Patreon.com/W4W

Step aside flat Earthers, there’s a new planet-shape in town!

It’s planetary and jelly time!

The flat-Earthers have gained ground in recent years. From the UK Flat Earther conference Skeptics with a K covered, to one planned for near-studio Denver, everyone with a non-globe shaped theory of Earth seems to need to share their “findings.”

And what’s worse, they seem to be finding an audience.

Luckily it’s a divided group – and I don’t just mean between the good and right people on the top of the disk vs. the kangaroo-crazed Morlocks on the dark, dangerous, and venomous-side.

No, it’s time to say good’day to a theory that finally explains how the world we live on can be both mostly-flat but also has no edges to fall off of. I present the final frontier in non-globe reasoning: the Donut Earth!

And it’s not even the fun kind you get to save from the Flood!

The theory was posted on a Flat Earth Society discussion board by a pioneering member, Varaug, who said: “I have a theory that the Earth is in fact shaped like a torus (a doughnut shape). However, light is curved so we cannot tell.”

Now, to be fair this was posted as a hypothetical meant to suss out how theories like the obviously incorrect globe model get started. Of course, when trying to conduct a study on the mimetic qualities of epistemological development, it helps to have a focus group that isn’t fuck-nut insane.

The thread quickly devolved into the merits of such a shape complete with justifications of how the gravity-jelly filling works and why we’ve not seen Mother Earths donut hole – and here I was thinking we were just being polite and not trying to look up her equator…

Yes, Steve, I did say “gravity-jelly” and since I know you’re not gonna let that one go, I’m writing in this transition now to address this sweet, strawberry, foundational element of snack-reality works.

Now, as well all know there are four foundational principles of reality to which all natural actors must adhere: Candy, slime, ice, and fire. The first of which binds our universe together with its sticky-relativity as outlined by some German probably. See, inside the pale blue donut “gravity acts as it does in an R.E. model (round earth model… or real earth model), and people are attracted to large masses. Imagine a doughnut. Imagine a jam doughnut. Gravity acts towards the jam,” says Varaug. So… checkmate physicists.

And if one wants to prove this theory, all you need is a flashlight, confusingly known in Britain as a “torch”, a word usually reserved for describing torches, and a world-donut, then one needs only to “lay a torch horizontal on a table and turn it on. Now, get a doughnut and place it on its side, with the hole perpendicular to the torch. The side that is illuminated by the torch is in day,” explains Varaug The Visionary.

This also conveniently explains the non-hole because the jelly-like nature of gravitational forces also explain light. You see (hehe), we’ve never seen the donut hole – presumably otherwise known as the moon – because “light bends and follows the curvature of the torus (doughnut), making the hole ‘unseeable’”, obviously.

So there ya go. The Crispy, creamy, truth that NASA and their pastry-fanatics don’t want you to know. Also, the flat earth societies website is a seemingly never-ending wellspring of insane nonsense that I will surely be revisiting.

Jenn’s Second Half of Terrible

The dangerously stupid: it just gets worse and it’s BREEDING.

I’m beginning to find the GOOP quaint and almost helpful the more I learn about alternatives to alternative medicines. You know, fine, put some potentially harmful shit in your vagina, spend $800 on holistically harvested micro-ingredients to make a smoothie with no flavor, irritate everyone you encounter with your smug self-righteousness and BMI of 17. Just do you. I’m now currently here for it.

So why the slight change of heart? Why have I softened a bit on the GP? Let me explain this latest manure pile of fucking terrible I stumbled into and I think you’ll understand: I’m here to introduce you to the Freebirther movement, and the Free Birth Society specifically.

What exactly is freebirth? Freebirth, or ‘home birth without assistance’, is a still-rare but increasingly popular practice in the U.S. Thanks in large part to social media, the phenomenon has gone from a back-of-the-cab accident to a conscious “lifestyle choice”. In blog posts and viral videos, its adherents extoll the benefits of birthing at home or even …ahem…in the wild. There are entire podcasts dedicated to freebirthing, with women discussing the “ecstatic” experience of giving birth in a snowed-in yurt or on a remote Hawaiian island.

{One quick note: this is NOT about medically supervised home births. Those events can be a safe and positive experience if your into the kind of thing that involves making another person. Per Bruce Young, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the NYU School of Medicine, roughly 80% of home births “go smoothly”, and for the remaining 20% midwives and doulas are on hand, and outside emergency care is sought when needed.}

Back to the Free Birth Society: What is it? It’s an online group of adherents of this frightening nonsense that was started by Emilee Saldaya (a former home-birth midwife’s assistant turned “radical birthkeeping” coach; more on her later). Per her lack-of-historical-health-context and understanding-of-irony website:

“Free Birth Society is a movement of women reclaiming their autonomy during pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. You’re here because you’re an independent thinker and you know there is more to pregnancy and birth than what has been offered to you by the obstetrics and midwifery systems. You’re here because there’s a whisper (or a scream) inside you; a deep knowing that that(sic) there’s more to childbirth than the formulaic, generic, and regulated “care” that has become normalized in contemporary culture….

The question that leads our mission is, ‘What would the world look like, if mothers and babies were born powerfully, into a circle of peace, love and respect?’ ( I’ll tell you what it’ll look like–less populated.) We have seen the results of ecstatic birth first-hand: primally attached, healthy and happy babies, joyful mothers, and connected kids.

The website offers ‘The Complete Guide to Free Birth’ online course…for the bargain price of $600. Or for $899 you can have the ‘Ultimate Freebirth Support Package’, which promises “a complete immersion in everything you need to know about in order to optimize your freebirth.” There’re coaching packages, a link to podcasts they create or endorse, plus a section of testimonials I didn’t have the strength to read through.

From a 2017 interview on mothering.com, when asked to define Freebirth, Saldaya responded:

“Free Birth is really just birth; birth as it’s been for forever until quite recently. But since we are currently living in a society in which childbirth has been co-opted by the patriarchy and birth has become monopolized by the medical model, we have to call natural birth “Free Birth.” It’s like having to call food organic because the default food available is actually not natural at all.

Free Birth means choosing not to opt into the medical model of obstetrics and to instead be your own authority, allowing labor to spontaneously unfold at home. It also means that the woman is choosing to not hire a medical professional to manage her pregnancy and birth, and instead takes full responsibility for her experience. She does her own prenatal care and assembles a team of her choosing to support her in her birth at home.”

The online community of the Free Birthers had been keeping in contact through a private Facebook group (6,200 members strong), that appears to have been deleted. (I was able to access public posts from it a few days before recording, but as of Nov. 10th it apparently has been shut down.) When members went into labor they spent much of the time online with ‘their sisters’, receiving encouragement (yay, no medical expertise!) and assurance that the women were doing the right thing.

Obviously, it’s no great logical leap that tragedies can occur from this sort of willfully reckless disregard of medical care for what has been historically one of the most dangerous physical feats a woman could endure and until quite recently a leading cause of death. Sad to say, yep, a terrible and 100% avoidable event took place last month that has brought the group under intense and needed scrutiny.

A so far unnamed 29 yr old mother (going by the pseudonym Lisa) stumbled upon an Instagram post by the Free Birth Society and decided that having a baby outside of a hospital with no medical intervention or know-how sounded like a great idea! The Californian describes herself as “free-spirited, natural, minimalistic, and health-conscious,”, (leading me to the conclusion she is greatly misinformed on what being health-conscious actually means). She knew this was how she had to give birth—just her and her husband, alone in their desert home, away from “harsh hospital lighting and strangers’ gloved hands.” They felt excited and powerful, she said.

Lisa became a member and began sharing with the group in the middle of her pregnancy.

One of her enthusiastic messages was screenshot:

It gives some insight into her naivete and the wretched state of our educational system.

Lisa went into labor at about 42 weeks, approx 2 weeks late, on October 2nd. She began to share with the group her experiences with horrific back pain, vomiting, and debilitating contractions. Unknown to her (bc, oh yeah, she avoided all prenatal exams and not using doctors can cause you to miss valuable information), she was in the throes of ‘back labor’ where the baby is either facing up toward the abdomen, or they are laying sideways in the birthing canal.

Throughout the first few days of labor, Lisa took to the Free Birth Society FB page to write about her pain, as well as her doubts. Fellow group members cheered her on, “calling her a ‘warrior woman’ and urging her to ‘trust the process.’ But, most crucially, the group “subscribed to a strict code of conduct: Comments encouraging other members to seek treatment, or questioning a women’s autonomy in any way, would quickly be deleted.”

Three days into labor, Lisa wrote, “Thought I was in transition”—the final labor phase—“at 11:30 pm but nows its 3am and it’s intensely painful…like I just want to lie down and for the pain to stop for just a second.” In response, a group member wrote, “My little one was born 4 days ago and she took over 3 days of nonstop contractions. You’re a legend. It will happen.” Instead of the group telling her to seek help, they provided her tips on how to position the baby. People shared links on how to spin the baby. Others said back labor was a regular part of childbirth.

Finally, on day six!!, per The Daily Beast:

She got out of bed that morning to find smelly, odd-colored liquid streaming down her legs. Her stomach was aching and her bladder distended from being unable to urinate for days. At that point, despite her deepest wishes, she decided it was time to seek medical help.

A little disgusting but interesting biological tidbit: what she was leaking was meconium fluid. Now, what may that be? It’s the earliest stool of a mammalian infant. It’s not the same as feces that develop later as it’s mainly composed of amniotic fluid, sloughed cells, and bile, but still can present a serious health concern if aspirated or swallowed. Also, crucially, it’s indicative that the fetus’ delivery is imminent and basically needs to get the fuck out immediately before things get really bad. This is NOT ‘water-breaking’, which is amniotic fluid and is colorless and odorless.

Tragically, when she got to the hospital, there was no heartbeat. Again from the Daily Beast:

Then she remembers pain. The doctors told her to start pushing right away, and she did—for three hours, with no progress. The doctor came back with a vacuum and ordered her to push, then called for an anesthesiologist to knock her out.

The memories become fuzzier from there, but she can still recall hearing herself screaming and not being able to stop. She remembers her husband saying the baby’s head was coming out, and then more pain. Then she blacked out.

“When I woke up I was covered in blood and so was everyone else,” she said. “And it was so quiet in there.”

The baby, named…sigh…Journey Moon, was stillborn. The mother blamed the death on “a massive urinary tract infection I had”, which is infuriating. She kept the baby by her side for two days until posting on the Society’s page “Life is made up of meetings and partings; that is the way of it. I am sure we shall never forget Journey Moon, or this first parting that there was among us.”

What the doctors actually discovered was a massive infection in her uterus, probably caused from the meconium fluid left inside for days. Additionally, the baby was positioned with her shoulders sideways. She could not clear the vaginal opening because she was stuck on the pubic bone. While wedged, she died from the infection in the uterus.

So yeah, that’s all terrible and, even worse, apparently nothing was learned. However, there is a somewhat positive note to end on at least. The Free Birth Society’s founder, Emilee Saldaya has found herself under fire and serious scrutiny, which has the potential to have legal repercussions. Yes, please.

Almost immediately after word of the stillbirth Saldaya began to try to distance herself from the situation, claiming she knew little about it and had only exchanged a few texts with the mother. She took to their FB page to offer a lengthy rebuttal of accusations, but thankfully the internet never forgets. It did end with an unapologetic, almost rallying cry: “This is not the time to run, hide or be silenced. It is a time to become more steadfast, more powerful and more protected in this radical work of healing the deepest wounds on this earth,” she wrote. “I stand and will always stand for women’s reproductive autonomy, our bodily authority, and our freedom to make our own decisions surrounding our health, pregnancies and births.”

So fuck her. The most egregious statement, in my opinion, was “I did not tell this woman not to go to the hospital. I did not offer her directives of any kind. I was not involved in her birth, nor in any choices she made around her birth.” Per a patheos article, a now former member has come forward to share screenshots of her conversations with Saldaya, who she approached when she became concerned with the difficult labor. They include:

The good news is this has caused some of the women in the group to leave and speak out against Saldaya, and hopefully, a measure of accountability can be taken. It’s also bringing some necessary publicity to a dangerous preggo cult. It’s an ongoing story that I plan to keep following.

As of recording, Emilee Saldaya has created a new online home for the society that is strictly private and requires an application, multiple references, an essay, as well as a non-refundable $108 application fee. Once that is submitted, the final step is a formal phone interview.

To finish this up on all of our favorite things, cold hard facts, I bring a few statistics.

From the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine:

In the early 1900’s maternal death rates were nearly 1,000 per 100,000 births, when “free birth” was still commonplace.

Those numbers dipped under 700 per 100,000 around the 1930’s when prenatal care began to become standard.

Between 1935 and 1940, between 85% to 90% of births were now conducted in hospitals taking the death rate down to around 400:100,000.

In the late 40’s, blood transfusions were available for birthing women, and the death rate continued to drop. Currently, maternal deaths are less than 200:100,000.

Next Week’s Beer

Michigan Amber from Big Lake Brewing

From: Steve E, (this is Aaron’s beer)

Faith In Humanity Restored

Customers buy out doughnut shop early every day so the owner can be with ailing wife

bit.ly/2Thpj1d

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