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The first ever Pharyngula podcast!

This is the inaugural Pharyngula podcast, in which I bring on a few of the commenters on my site to tell me what to think. This time around, I have Audley Darkheart, Brownian, Elly Pemberton, Helen Sotiriadis, and Jonny Scaramanga to carry on the conversation.

Topics to be discussed:

1. The creationist assault on education

Creationists have chalked up a victory in Louisiana; their airhead governor, Bobby Jindal, has implemented a voucher program that will redirect state money intended for public education into support for private schools…and the conservative, fundamentalist Christian schools have cause to celebrate. Jonny Scaramanga has written about this on his blog, Leaving Fundamentalism, so I’m going to let him tell us about this sad turn of events.

In charge: Jonny Scaramanga

A few relevant links:

2. The conservative assault on reproductive rights

Recently, Republicans have been particularly evil, doing their damnedest to invade women’s privacy in the name of blocking all abortions…and they’ve got their sights set on contraception as well. The latest outrage is that the Michigan legislature recently silenced a pair of senators for daring to speak against yet another invasive, abusive, anti-woman bill. I’m going to let Audley Darkheart speak on this one, since apparently women are supposed to shut up elsewhere.

In charge: Audley Darkheart

A few relevant links:

Done! And here it is.

All right, we’ll do this again, but next time, we have to pick at least one subject that is a little lighter and provides some cheerful news.

Comments

  1. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Awesome! – I predict Friday afternoon productivity will hit a new low :)

  2. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Hrm, very curious about all this. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  3. says

    Ah, there we go. It works if you use MG Myers’ link at #8. Thank you for posting that, sir or ma’am, whoever you are. :)

  4. julian says

    I don’t know how useful a trying to convert the Democratic party would be. More practical might be if we worked low key supporting smaller parties. Not necessarily the Green Party but something closer to where we stand on issues.

    Mind you that’s a long road to walk but if yo can focus on winning local victories (school boards, city councilmen, DA’s, judges) we can really shift the landscape.

  5. says

    ?
    that’s teh TW.

    Sorry, I didn’t know that at first and wasn’t sure. Allow me to revise,

    Thank you, Mrs. Trophy Wife. :)

  6. says

    I tried to watch it at work on my mobile, and that didn’t work, saw the hangout but couldn’t connect. Probably failure on this side, I suspect.

  7. Brownian says

    It’s up on YouTube. I can’t watch it, because I hate that the camera only caught my bad side (the front).

  8. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It’s up on YouTube. I can’t watch it, because I hate that the camera only caught my bad side (the front).

    My problem is I’m so damn handsome, I just have nothing intelligent to say.

  9. Tethys says

    That was interesting, and not too bad for a test run.

    Brownian, I would give you my digits just for stomping karl while podcasting.

    Rorschach, please go to the victim blaming thread. Casey needs more stomping on and is posting for you.

    *popcorn time

  10. Tethys says

    I’m working(obviously). Who’s Casey ?

    AFAICT caseygaspari is a victim blaming troll. He/she was also over on Ophelias blog harassing her about TAM.

  11. Brownian says

    BTW, thanks to Audley Darkheart and Jonny Scaramanga for doing all that homework. Made the rest of our jobs that much easier.

  12. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Audley i’m only 3/4 through… I know you were a little nervous, but you kicked ass.

  13. Brownian says

    Yeah, yeah. You just let us do all of the work so you could sit back and gloat about how Canadia is the land of AWESOME!

    Ssh. You’ll spoil the surprise twist at the end!

  14. george3 says

    That was great, thanks to all. Nice to put faces to names, I wonder why that is….4.3oam must bed. Here’s to next time.

  15. ibyea says

    Twenty minutes in. So far, Scaramanga’s info on ACE is very interesting. I am enjoying this.

  16. ibyea says

    Fetus=Lima bean, lol. Personally, I always have thought fetuses were creepy. They look like aliens.

  17. Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa says

    After watching the hour-long discussion, the solution to all America’s problems seems quite simple:

    1) Declare war on Canada;

    2) Immediately announce your unconditional surrender;

    3) Welcome the unwilling victors from the North and demand annexation.

    Then, having solved another of the Greatest Problems of the World, I can add one more tick in my checklist, there, and proceed to the next item. Hmm… Nagorno-Karabakh. Now, this one may be tricky.

    ***

    On a second note, I’d like to thank the participants of the podcast for dispelling my misguided notion that the little avatar images accurately reflect the appearance of the commenter, and for their time spent informing and entertaining us. This was the first podcast I was actually interested enough to watch, I think.

    I just hope that P. Z.’s pessimism in respect to defeating the two-party system can someday be proven wrong, and that the next podcasts can be a little less centered on the U.S.

    PS: If I were Mexican, I’d possibly be less than pleased with P.Z.’s final joke, but I can’t be really sure, as this could be simply the result of sleep deprivation. Good night, and may Zarquon be with you.

  18. ibyea says

    Watched the whole thing. I enjoyed it a lot. I also feel rage at the stupid conservatives. But that is a feeling I have been having for a long time. It will never stop, will it? :(

  19. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    OK. I haven’t watched the whole thing; I’ve only skimmed. Going back now to Watch for Comprehension. But:

    1. YAY Audley! I know you gurrl! I know for rillz!

    2. I’ll be That Guy who says it. Sigh. . . . Brownian, you’re so dreamy. I was crushed out on you before for your awesome wit, but you’re also fucking gorgeous. Please save all your Ghey Secks for me. Thank you.

    Fear not; I will not harass you. I will only pine quietly in my rocking chair overlooking the cold, lonely New England Atlantic coast. . .

  20. otrame says

    That was GREAT. You guys were all amazing. Jonny, thanks for your information. Audley, you rocked (no surprise there, you always do). Brownian, you were…Brownian. At least it has become obvious why the line to have Ghey Secks with you is so long. I loved getting some faces to attach to nyms.

    PZ this was a great idea. Make more of these.

  21. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Even with alternate voting the idiots can do well in the polls. We need education in critical thinking from early childhood so people don’t get so swayed by fear tactics.

    Was really sad for the UK when they retained the first past the post system when they had a chance to change.

  22. NateHevens says

    Noice! This was awesome!

    Great discussion; and while I recognize that it was a little depressing, it’s also a discussion that has to be had.

    I’m done with the Democratic Party, as well. I’m getting sick and tired of the “look at what Obama’s done! He’s done so well!” And all I can think is yeah, well, let me tell you what he hasn’t done, and why I don’t think he’ll ever do it.

    Being a Liberal Libertarian in the US is so fucking annoying, let me tell you.

    For the record, I’m an economic Liberal (don’t trust the market to regulate itself, believe in Universal Health Care, etc) and a social Libertarian (you have the right to do whatever you want to do as long as you do not violate another person’s right to do whatever they want to do). I’m gonna blog about it eventually, once I figure what I want to say and how I want to say it. If you read my blog, you’ll note that I’m really bad at it…

    Finally…

    Can I get in on one of these? How does that work?

  23. heliconia says

    Pretty enlightening and entertaining, folks; I hope there is a second edition!

    Re: “Arizona deciding that your pregancy starts on the last day of your period” at around 33 min.

    I assume Audrey means on the first day of your period. This is how doctors calculate gestational age. Probably because it’s hard to guess when a woman was ovulating, and thus when fertilization occurred. Yes, anti-choicers have been doing some crazy things, but this was not an attempt to redefine when “life” “begins”.

  24. heliconia says

    Arrrg meant Audley, not Audrey. Sorry, Audley. You do have an awesome name.

  25. sundiver says

    It only took a minute or so for Jonny Scaramanga to bring up a creationist lie, that there are no transitional fossils on the human tree. I guess we have to throw out all the stuff the Leakey’s, Johannson, Tim White and all the other paleoanthropologists have found in Africa. Shit, what am I saying, to accommodate the creoturds you have to throw out ALL science. At this rate, we’re gonna have to put instructions on toilet paper by 2050. I could go into a total derail as to how fundamental, undirected research at universities is crucial to our future but I’ll wait for the next TET.

  26. Louis says

    1) Brownian is Canadian. Pahahahahahaahahahaha!

    2) Audley is a very attractive Foetus Incubator. When the Manvolution happens and The Wimminz are returned to their Proper Place, you will be spared and used to brighten up the Imperial Throne Room Of Peepees (because, ya know, all penis decoration gets a little dull).

    3) Okay, okay, serious point, impressively articulate and informed discussion from all quarters. Well done folks.

    4) PZ trimmed his beard. Worrying.

    Louis

  27. says

    Who’s this British wee lad by the way ? It’s not our Walton, that’s for sure. (who incidentally would make an awesome podcast talker, come on !)

  28. Tony... therefore God says

    Audley:
    You rock.
    Between you and Brownian, I nearly spit out my cocktail a few times listening.
    What an enjoyable hour+.
    Can’t wait for the next one.

  29. Tony... therefore God says

    Audley @23 & Brownian #19:
    Our own worst critics, eh?
    I agree with Audley. There’s nothing at all wrong with your front side. It’s rather fetching (I’ve never used that word).
    I wonder if it’s more difficult picking a candidate in a political race if you live in a country with multiple parties than say, the U.S.
    Oh, and Audley, if you were nervous, I couldn’t really tell. Maybe a bit there when you started speaking during the second half, but that faded fast.

    Josh:
    wait, who’s closer to Canada, you or I? Oh, it doesn’t matter, you’ve been here longer, so your place in the line is closer to the front. I’ll just come in through the back door…

  30. Emrysmyrddin says

    Awesome sauce, just finished it.
    What I would request, and I’m sure that it’ll happen with subsequent podcasts, would be to have more commenters from Europe/Asia/the South Americas – jonny did a great job for the UK, but we do hear a lot of North American viewpoints (duh, it’s a US blog) but I’d like the differences :)
    And don’t worry about pauses or talking over each other too much, that’ll evolve with time. Most podcasts are heavily edited post-recording to remove pauses and screwups, and you guys were extremely good for a first podcast with seven(seven!) people contributing.

  31. Louis says

    Tony,

    I’ll just come in through the back door…

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh please tell me that was deliberate!

    Louis

  32. Emrysmyrddin says

    helioconia: I believe this was what Audley was talking about, and she was correct. From the article:

    The bill…states that gestational age should be defined as “the age of the unborn child as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.”

    Rank madness.

  33. Emrysmyrddin says

    Sorry, too-quick reading – I meant Audley was correct about re-defining the start of life but you were correct about the first day of the last period. Not awake yet :)

  34. Emrysmyrddin says

    Brownian:

    It’s up on YouTube. I can’t watch it, because I hate that the camera only caught my bad side (the front).

    OVERLORD Poopyhead (Mr.):

    OK, next time we all turn around and record the backs of our heads.

    Can we vote for inappropriate, empty-eyed masks? Who wants to be Romney this week? Perhaps Brownian can be Lady Thatcher(bless her heart).

  35. Louis says

    I feel a profound need to mock Brownian’s “beard”, but I shall save that for a special occasion.

    Louis

  36. John Morales says

    I tried to watch it, but it didn’t hold my attention.

    Maybe there should be a token troll?

  37. 'Tis Himself says

    I watched the first ten or so minutes last night (I’ll watch the rest when I get home tonight). You guys were good. A couple of quick comments:

    * If Audley was nervous I didn’t notice it.

    * Jonny was well prepared for his segment.

    * Brownian is actually a good looking guy. Tony will be in line for a long time.

    I’ll have more to say after I’ve watched the entire thing.

  38. Emrysmyrddin says

    Maybe there should be a token troll?

    Perhaps an occasional Devil’s Advocate could be thrown in, with one person putting on a creationist hat, or an anti-choice hat, or a pro-homeopathy-what’s-the-harm hat, and playing the Other Side while the rest of the commenters deconstruct the fallacies and sometimes-plain-inhumanity that comes from these positions.

    (Creationist hat would have to have a decal of Jesus riding a raptor; anti-choice ‘shopped pics of ‘abortions'; I suppose the homeopathy DA could stand in a bucket of water… ;) )

  39. Louis says

    ‘Tis,

    * Brownian is actually a good looking guy.

    Hmmmm with that beard? I beg to differ. I know of no politically correct reference to such a beard. The ones I know from UKian slang are all deeply misogynistic. I’ll have to invent some suitable ones.

    Louis

  40. 'Tis Himself says

    Louis is just jealous because Brownian’s line is so much longer than his. The whining about the beard is merely a red herring. :-&thorne;

  41. Louis says

    Hmmmmm early morning psychoanalysis, I likes it. I likes it a lot.

    Of course I could steal the whole line. Ya know. If I wanted to. I just don’t wanna.*

    Louis

    * Mmmmm breathe in the fresh smell of denial, folks. Ahhhhhh.

  42. Tony... therefore God says

    Louis:
    I can tell no lie.
    I did try to creep around back and sneak in, but could not. It was really tight back there. For a second there, I thought I would be stuck. The situation was getting hairy.

  43. Tony... therefore God says

    Tis:
    * Brownian is actually a good looking guy. Tony will be in line for a long time.
    Perhaps we should stop stroking Brownian’s….ego. He might get a big head.
    Oh, and I can wait. 6 months no sex, 10 years being single…I’m patient.

  44. Louis says

    Tony, #77,

    STOP! STOP! Your penetrating wit is causing me to crack wide open.

    Louis

  45. Don Quijote says

    ¡Yo lo vi! ¡Yo lo vi!

    Thanks for that. It was wonderful to see some of the awesome commenters on Pharyngual from whom? I have learned so much.

    Worrying though that teachers and parents in the USA will teach their children such ignorent nonesense. How will those children ever manage when they leave school?

    Also, why are so many Americans against puplic healthcare. What is so scary about socialism?

  46. says

    While driving into work today, I had An Idea™.

    If anyone wants to get in on one of these here podcasts, but doesn’t have a headset, I would be happy to mail you mine. I just ask that after you’re done, you send them along to someone else who wants to do the podcast.

    Just FYI:
    *It’s a cheap Logitech plug ‘n play headset. According to the package, it is compatible with “most sound cards” and Windows XP and up.

    *Not compatible with Macs! (Sorry!)

    *Only worn once and I was only moderately sweaty. :p (What are you gonna do? It was 100°+ yesterday.)

    You can email me via the address on my blog. Really, the only catch here is that you have to be comfortable giving an internet stranger you name and address, but I promise to use that knowledge only for the power of good!

    (I am assuming that the sound quality wasn’t godawful– I still haven’t watched the vid, so if the headset should just be tossed, please let me know!)

    (Crossposted to TET.)

  47. Moggie says

    If anyone wants to get in on one of these here podcasts, but doesn’t have a headset, I would be happy to mail you mine.

    Cooties! Pretty sure that’s what causes pregnancy.

  48. TGAP Dad says

    Is there an actual podcast URL, which would be recognized by podcatching software like iTunes, or is this not an actual podcast, per se?

  49. Moggie says

    Audley, you lost me with your super-sciencey terminology.

    *googles*

    OH MY WORD!

  50. Emrysmyrddin says

    Moggie: You’ll love the latest social media fail on the part of FemFresh if you hadn’t heard those Super Science Genital Names then. Check out the latest three or four posts and their comments. There’s a reason that ‘douche*’ is the best go-to insult there is…

  51. says

    But, but, Audley…you’ll be back, won’t you? I’d like to get more people involved, but that doesn’t mean you only get one shot at it and then you’re done forever.

  52. says

    Also, I had a thought to increase the humor value: what if the next one (I’m thinking of doing it on Saturday, 30 June, sometime in the morning so it’s easier for Europeans and Australians to join in) is a bunch of us talking about the most ridiculous creationist claims we know of? A kind of conversational FSTDT?

    If you’d like to join in that, let me know.

  53. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    is a bunch of us talking about the most ridiculous creationist claims we know of? A kind of conversational FSTDT?

    Would be even funnier if the participants had to argue for the creationist claims. . .sort of like a debate team. With character voices, of course.

  54. says

    I’m with #85 TGAP Dad …

    I hope you set up the RSS feed so we can subscribe to this like a normal podcast! (And an audio-only version would be great.)

  55. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    With reference to an important point that came up:

    Goddists slowly getting onto school boards and the like.

    This is an old tack. It is one that has been applied many times by the (especially Stalinist) communists. Slowly take up positions of power within the administration of the organs of state. Don’t make a big show of it, but just slowly and carefully worm your way in there.

    Slowly slowly catchy monkey… Interminably boring meetings scare away those who realise we have but one life and wish to make the most of it. For a goddist (which may in principle even want to sacrifice its life for GAWD) such a “sacrifice” … sitting in on interminable, dull school meetings … is actually a plus. What could be better than suffering, patiently on the behalf of one’s deity? The end result is pretty much the same in both the above cases. They to eventually steer, because they have their acolytes deeply woven into the reigns.

    @ Audley

    OK. I want to vote for you! (It doesn’t matter that I’m not ‘Merkin. We can do that thing with zip codes ‘n stuff. 90210 is Beverley Hills right?)

    @ Brownian

    That shoutout for TZT at the end … and the reference to apocolytic landscapes outside your door. Soooo cool!

    @ Josh

    argue for the creationist claims

    This should be a hoot. (Actually, I could probably do some of the more serious arguments for religion respectably well.)

  56. Brownian says

    Awe, thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    Yes, thanks!

    (Especially since I know you’re all riffing on The Queue meme as Jonny is clearly and undeniably the hawtest man in that ‘cast. Sorry PZ.)

  57. says

    @ericpaulsen

    Thank you for the audio only file. I am looking forward to listening to this during my various commutes.

    Will there be any effort to create a regular audio only version or will we just need to use the work arounds suggested above?

    This is my first comment, but for what it is worth I would like to have an audio version available for download on iTunes.

  58. Emrysmyrddin says

    I’ll second the iTunes vote, you can even post both audio and video; it’d be convenient to get it at the same time as all my other podcasts. Don’t make me give up my ‘Lazy’ achievement.

  59. EnoNomi says

    @ericpaulsen – Thank you for the audio only file. I listen to podcasts while I’m doing everything. I hope you – or someone – will provide this on a regular basis.

  60. says

    Yes, yes, please iTunes, both video and audio. I am a HUGE consumer of audio podcasts, and would very much appreciate an automatic feed. An iTunes podcast doesn’t need to be updated regularly, even – many of the ones I catch are only intermittent. But it would be SO much easier to listen to, and you’d get an even wider audience for them.

  61. NateHevens says

    PZ Myers at #89

    Also, I had a thought to increase the humor value: what if the next one (I’m thinking of doing it on Saturday, 30 June, sometime in the morning so it’s easier for Europeans and Australians to join in) is a bunch of us talking about the most ridiculous creationist claims we know of? A kind of conversational FSTDT?

    If you’d like to join in that, let me know.

    What’s the best way to let you know? I’m not sure of the quality, because I’m on an emachine Netbook, but I’d like to take part if possible, [i]especially[/i] if we’re making fun of ludicrous Creationist claims…

    Just let us know which claims so i can do some research… :D

    I need to go learn how to use Google Hangouts, now…

    :P

  62. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Seriously, you all rocked out. Great, great discussion.

    Audley you shouldn’t be nervous; you’re a natural at this kind of conversation and you didn’t give off even a hint of anxiety.

    Y’all, I know the Darkhearts in meatspace and can have Audley’s good, good talkin’ right at my own kitchen table. So suck it.

    :)

  63. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Excellent! Thanks everyone, that was awesome. You were all fabulous.

  64. Rawnaeris says

    Will there be a way for those of us who still need to protect our anonymity to participate? I just had a prsomal episode of FSTDT occur at work.

  65. Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa says

    Will there be a way for those of us who still need to protect our anonymity to participate?

    Star Wars stormtrooper helmets? Guy Fawkes masks? I don’t know if that’s feasible, but, as I imagine it, it could be fun.

  66. says

    You can get a google+ account with a pseudonym: Brownian did. Just make it sound like a real name, and it will sail through.

    You don’t need a mask. Turn off the camera, or put a piece of tape over it.

  67. unclefrogy says

    not being very aware of the whole pod cast spectrum I will have to say that it was very good, I like the more informal way it was handled so as not to appear like a slick TV panel show show of talking heads will be fun to see how it grows over time.

    I have been concerned for a long time with how the political argument has been going and the drifting and drifting away from reason and democratic principles.
    On a personal level when I get into arguments with the “conservative” the only way I can see to proceed is to get them to tell me what they really think, where they are really coming from. They are well practiced in speaking in nice sounding language, platitudes and the words of freedom double speak. They like the creationist never actually use reason they just talk like they do it is all based on belief and veiled self interest. So they want to run the dialog let them but force them to do it openly out loud in public where all can hear it. Let them all reveal themselves like Rush did here recently. Who cares if the “true believers” wont be convinced or not I want to hear it up front just who they are no soft pedaling the truth no pussy footin around. If we are going to go down the drain lets do it in the full light of day in the public square.
    I have a trust which may be misplaced in “We The People” that when we are given all the facts and all the arguments and all the underpinnings we will make good decisions. The debate so far for as long as I have been aware of it has been mostly by the distortion of advertising. The moderate left has been so far too fearful of offending anyone of being seen as the conservative paints them as to just go along always on the defensive and repeatedly failing to follow through on what they purport to believe as to make no difference in the end.

    we are slipping into darkness.
    uncle frogy

  68. Brownian says

    You can get a google+ account with a pseudonym: Brownian did. Just make it sound like a real name, and it will sail through.

    Here’s what I did. I had an old email account (actually, a persistent email redirecting service, from back in the days before gmail and hotmail, when most of us luddites had email addresses with the domain name of our ISPs) that I used to create a new google account. With that google account I got a gmail and Google+ account. Of course, Google+ wouldn’t accept ‘Brownian’ as a valid name, so I had to be a little creative.

  69. says

    Josh:

    Y’all, I know the Darkhearts in meatspace and can have Audley’s good, good talkin’ right at my own kitchen table. So suck it.

    :D

    Speaking of, we should get together before I officially reach the size of a houseboat.

    theophontes:

    Interminably boring meetings scare away those who realise we have but one life and wish to make the most of it.

    Holy crap, this. My mom* spent a few years on the local school board and it was boring and stressful all at the same time. Which is why I never considered it myself.

    OK. I want to vote for you! (It doesn’t matter that I’m not ‘Merkin. We can do that thing with zip codes ‘n stuff. 90210 is Beverley Hills right?)

    It might be a little difficult, considering I’m all the way in New York. We can find a way to make it work, though. :p

    *Not a Goddist.

  70. says

    Yes, Audley, you SHOULD get together with Josh, and I should be there!!

    Incidentally, y’all mentioned local campaigns. Well, I am working a campaign for local office (county executive, if you must know) and I am learning A LOT! Also, I am having fun! I suppose it will be less fun if the candidate loses, but still. Anyway, I hope to apply this knowledge to future campaigns, perhaps mine, perhaps someone else’s. Just sayin’.

  71. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    crossposted from G+

    The only useful suggestion I have is to perhaps explicitly poll all the participants as to their opinions on a topic every so often. I think the way the noise suppression software works and the way that the speaker’s face goes to center screen might inhibit the natural process of people jumping in when they have something to say.

    This might require that someone be designated as a moderator, or it could just be understood that the person presenting the topic has the responsibility of making sure everyone has the chance to speak to that topic.

    This time around there was much discussion of American politics so it’s not surprising that the non-Yanks didn’t talk much. But I, as an ex-pat Canadian from Brownian’s home town now living in Australia, would have liked to see if the foreigners saw these issues in the same way I do.

  72. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I somehow ended up with an account under Fossil Fishy. I did it just after G+ stopped requiring a current user to nominate you so maybe they’ve toughened up the requirements since then.

  73. says

    I don’t know how useful a trying to convert the Democratic party would be. More practical might be if we worked low key supporting smaller parties. Not necessarily the Green Party but something closer to where we stand on issues.

    Pretty sure that, to really get something that fits that definition, we would need a whole new party, and some clear criteria on what level of borderline odd we are willing to put up with, from candidates, or leadership, in it.

  74. pwillow1 says

    Some legislators in Louisiana objected to state money going to fund a particular private school which had applied to participate in the voucher program. You guessed it: it was the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans.

    Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, objected to including the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans in a list of schools approved by the education department to accept as many as 38 voucher students. Havard said he wouldn’t support any spending plan that “will fund Islamic teaching.”

    “I won’t go back home and explain to my people that I supported this,” he said.

    “It’ll be the Church of Scientology next year,” said Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin.

    Carter, R-Baton Rouge, said the Islamic school withdrew its request to participate in the voucher program.

    “They’re not interested. The system works,” he said.

    Hear that? The voucher system works because public money is funding only Christian schools.

    http://www.necn.com/06/04/12/34B-school-funding-plan-gets-final-passa/landing_politics.html?&apID=c16282929d234e9fb66cbb7ae2165e6e

  75. Minnie The Finn, qui devient bientôt vierge says

    That was awesome, entertaining and instructive, all wrapped up in serious general haawtness!

    Brownian: was that black wrought iron looking thing behind you your bedpost? It looked great! Do you think it is sturdy enough for all that steaming hot Ghey Secks once the line starts moving?

    And if you want a more uplifting podcast about victories, may I suggest an European edition* in which we can all gloat about how much better so many things are here than in the US? I could also take you on a short walkthru on the grounds of the future Pharygula community (Finnish chapter). If the weather is nice.

    *Topics could cover,in example, Finnish educational system (and why it’s so excellent), the rise of fundamental Islam in Europe, and the modern history (say, the past 40 years or so) of feminist movement etc.

  76. A. R says

    Hmmm, I’d like to participate at some point in time, so it’s great to see that there’s a way to preserve anonymity. Unfortunately, I feel that I may not be as intellectually witty as the other commentors here, so hearing me talk about anything but viruses might not be that interesting.

  77. Muz says

    Incidentally, this was really great. For a first go it was damn near miraculous.
    Don’t worry about doom and gloom. If the personalities are good it’s all that matters.

  78. opposablethumbs says

    Way way late, as is my wont, but I finally got a chance to sit down and listen to the podcast – I think it was excellent, and I really look forward to more. Everyone did a bang-up job, and I’m betting it’s not easy AT ALL to talk on camera like that with no editing.
    .
    It’ll be great to “meet” more of the Horde!
    .
    Damn. I’ve just realised how much I would love to meet and chat with the Horders of Pharyngula irl, which will probably never happen :-(

  79. Tony... therefore God says

    Brownian:

    (Especially since I know you’re all riffing on The Queue meme as Jonny is clearly and undeniably the hawtest man in that ‘cast. Sorry PZ.)

    Nope. None of us are riffing on that.
    In fact, maybe a future podcast can cast you as The Bachelor, selecting from a pool of Pharyngulites (of both sexes to keep things spicy) to find the one you’re destined to spend eternity with.

  80. Tony... therefore God says

    John:
    I tried to watch it, but it didn’t hold my attention.

    Maybe there should be a token troll?

    A Pharyngula Podcast TZT special? Anyone have a good castle with a dungeon for rent?

  81. says

    Audley Darkheart said:

    Having seen,… um,… you know, a seven week old fetus,… it looks like a lima bean. Like,… seriously,… unless you knew what you were looking at you don’t know. And I would also like to point out that a veal calf,… also very cute,… but very delicious….

    Great! Just what we need, someone reinforcing baby eating atheist stereotypes not once but twice in just three sentences! :-(

    Which reminds me, I need to make a visit to the neighborhood butcher.

  82. Brownian says

    Brownian: was that black wrought iron looking thing behind you your bedpost? It looked great!

    It was, but I don’t have the frame that fits it, so it’s just taking up space in my office/spare room until I do.

    Do you think it is sturdy enough for all that steaming hot Ghey Secks once the line starts moving?

    From experience, no.

  83. lpetrich says

    As to changes in election laws to preference voting and proportional representation, that’s easier than one might at first think.

    For Congress, one can elect the House using state-by-state proportional representation by changing appropriate state and Federal election laws — and without amending *any* of the US Constitution. One will need to amend it for changing the election of the US to (say) nationwide proportional representation, or the election of the US President to some system that abolishes the Electoral College.

    It would also be desirable to do this at the local and state level, and here also, it would be relatively easy to change appropriate election laws. It may be necessary to amend some state constitutions, but some of them at least are relatively easy to amend.

    But it’s been possible to amend the US Constitution, despite the difficulty of doing so. The original system of electing Presidents was that the second-biggest winner becomes the Vice President. Anyone for an Obama-McCain Presidency? That was changed to its current system in 1804. Senators were originally chosen by state legislatures, but that was changed to the current system in 1913.

    In fact, there have been some bursts of Constitutional amendment: in the 1860’s, in the 1910’s and in the 1960’s.

    These are in some of the liberal/progressive eras identified by historians Arthur Schlesingers I and II. They propose that US politics goes in cycles between liberal and conservative eras.

    L: Revolution and Constitution, C: Hamiltonian federalism, L: Jeffersonianism, C: aftermath of 1812 War, L: Jacksonian populism, C: Slaveowner dominance, L: Civil War and abolition of slavery, C: Gilded Age, L: Progressive Era, C: Republican restoration (Roaring Twenties), L: The New Deal, C: Eisenhower Era, L: Sixties Radicalism, C: Gilded Age II, as I call it. So we are overdue for another era of major reforms.

    Curiously, unlike reformers before and since, the New Dealers never made much of an effort to codify the New Deal into the Constitution.

  84. lpetrich says

    Also interesting is variation by space. Colin Woodard has written an excellent history, “American Nations”, about how North America’s divisions into regional subcultures and how they’ve made and broken alliances with each other and fought each other. Since the early 19th cy., the most antagonistic regional subcultures have been Yankeedom and the Deep South, and they’ve made and broken various alliances. Much of Appalachia sided with the North in the Civil War, because they didn’t want to fight for plantation owners, but after it, they sided with those owners’ successors because they hated black people too much.

    At the present time, the alliances are: The Northern Aliiance: Yankeedom, New Netherland, Left Coast; The Dixie Bloc: The Deep South, Tidewater, Appalachia, the Far West. The Midlands is neutral.