The Biskeptical Podcast #27: Comey Spills the Tea

On today’s episode, we talk about James Comey and Jeff Sessions’ recent hearings, and whether or not they will change anything. We talk about the revelations, the non-answers, and the rude interruptions. Get the paper towels out because we spill all the tea!
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Bi Any Means Podcast #102: Embrace the Void with Aaron Rabinowitz

My guest for today is Aaron Rabinowitz, co-host of the new podcast Embrace the Void. Here’s what the official description of the show says: “Welcome friends, to a podcast for a darker timeline. Maybe the darkest of all timelines. Definitely not one of the good timelines. Maybe it’s always been a dark timeline, maybe the Hadron collider screwed us over. Science may never know. What we do know is that we live in the void. The void, a place where a chittering mass of void crabs can infest a person suit and win the presidency. The void, a place where we’re just clever enough to know that climate change is happening, but not quite clever enough to do anything about it. The void seems terrible and cruel, but it loves you, in its own ironic way.” So today we’re going to talk about philosophy, religion, and what it means to embrace the Void.

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Okay, Fine, I’ll Weigh In On The Nazi Punching Debate!

First, let’s define what I mean by “Nazi.” I’m not talking about just your typical run-of-the-mill conservative, or even anyone who disagrees with me. I’m talking specifically about the Alt-Right. Just go to any of their Twitter accounts, and you’ll see things like “Protect white purity,” “White genocide is coming,” and “1488.” If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a Nazi.

Now when it comes to punching Nazis, it’s complicated. As a humanist, I prefer nonviolent resistance. I’d much rather show up to protest, vote the bastards out of office, and write articles that debunk all the Alt-Right stands for. I’m not a dude-bro classical liberal a la Dave Rubin, but I do think one of the best ways to combat hateful speech is with more speech. By that I mean I don’t believe in just letting the magical Free Market of Ideas naturally take care of things; I believe in standing up and screaming, “That’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever heard in my life!” That’s why I write and do my podcasts.

Having said that, though, I know that if a group of Nazi punks come after me and try to beat the shit out of me, a well-thought out argument isn’t gonna save my happy ass. If they start swinging, I’ll swing back. That’s not vigilantism; that’s just self-defense.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, can we actually work on resisting the Trump regime?

The Biskeptical Podcast #26: From Russia with Love

On today’s episode, we talk about Trump’s alleged ties with Russia, and whether or not it’s enough to get his ass impeached. We also discuss the Manchester bombing, a Mississippi representative who wants to lynch people, and why that shitty social construct penis hoax article doesn’t prove the entire gender studies field is bullshit. To top it all off, the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors take a trip to Wootopia and discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #25: There’s No Crying in Fascism!

Today’s episode is a rundown of some of the top news stories of the past couple of weeks. We talk about Comey getting fired from the FBI, the France election, blasphemy laws, and Trumpcare. Also returning to the show today are the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors as they explore a strange alien race called the Nihilistos.

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Why I’m Not Thrilled at Trump’s Supposed Secularism

CN: Donald Trump, Michael Shermer

Skeptics, come get your boy Michael Shermer! For the last couple of weeks, he’s been on a Twitter rant about how the March for Science is supposedly playing identity politics (topping it all off with this lovely gem). Now he’s shifting his focus on Trump’s supposed secularism in this Politico article. Although Shermer doesn’t claim Trump is one of us (he suspects Trump practices “Cafeteria Christianity, where one orders only the most appealing items on the menu”), nor does he praise Trump as a president, he does find Trump’s lack of religiosity as “hugely refreshing.” Shermer writes:

It looks like the U.S. religious reawakening from the 1950s through the 2000s, then, might have been an anomaly. The long-term trend is certainly toward secularization.

The Evangelicals who helped put Trump in the White House would probably dispute that. But they are missing the bigger picture: Trump was elected president despite being the least religious major candidate in the 2016 field. Looked at this way, Trump isn’t the evangelicals’ savior. He’s just another data point in America’s long march away from religion.

Now look, I’m as happy as the next atheist that society is gradually moving away from religion. I long for the day religion becomes either a historical artifact or at least just a social thing people did on Sunday and nothing else. But Trump’s lack of religiosity doesn’t mean a damn thing to me because his  secular values are not humanist values.

Look at the Muslim ban. Look at his transphobic policies. Look at his climate change denial. Does this guy look like he cares deeply about science, reason, and human rights? I think not. Also, if Trump’s such a secularist, why does he pick a far-right anti-abortion anti-LGBTQ conservative Christian like Mike Pence as his running mate? I know secularism doesn’t automatically make you either pro-choice or pro-LGBTQ, but if Trump’s lack of religiosity is such a huge leap forward towards secularism, why do his politics look like the same old Religious Right song and dance?

I also find it interesting that Shermer didn’t mention another largely secular presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, in his article. Throughout his campaign, Sanders exemplified progressive humanist values that emphasized human action over divine intervention. Where’s the article saying his campaign marked a shift in our religious landscape? Where’s the article praising Sander’s humanism, whether it’s religious or secular?

Besides, Trump doesn’t give a shit about us atheists. During his weekly address last Friday, he said, “America is a nation of believers . . . And we pray for the strength and wisdom to achieve a better tomorrow—one where good people of all faiths, Christians and Muslims and Jewish and Hindu, can follow their hearts and worship according to their conscience.” It’s great he gave a shout-out to Muslims, Jews, and Hindus, but what about us atheists? What about us who don’t pray to any god?

If Trump’s lack of religiosity is a sign of our increasingly secular nation, I’ll gladly take our previous liberal Christian president any day of the week.

 

Why the Alt-Right Should Love the Attack on Syria

Welcome to my life: I came home last night after a successful first meeting of a new local LGBTQ group only to find Trump attacked Syria. I’m currently trying to avoid social media posts about it because I know it will depress the hell out of me, and instead going to focus on being productive, including calling my reps.

But I will say one thing; I’m shocked that the alt-right’s mad about the attack on Syria! Richard Spencer, Ann Coulter, and Paul Joseph Watson all condemned Trump on Twitter for getting involved with another country’s problems, something that Trump promised he wouldn’t do. I find that odd because out of all the people in the world, the alt-right should be the most gung-ho about blowing up Syria, and here’s why:

1). Trump’s killing brown people. Since the alt-right’s whole premise is based on racism and white nationalism, they should be happy he’s blowing up more brown people and Muslims, right? Unless the alt-right meant killing brown people here in America rather than over there in the Middle East. Still, blowing up Syria means less terrorists coming here to America, right? Forget accidentally finding a bad Skittle; destroy the entire bag and be done with it!

2). War is politically incorrect. If there’s one thing Republicans love to complain about (besides blacks moving next door to them), it’s that Democrats are way too soft on terrorists and dictators. It doesn’t matter that Obama used drone strikes or Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when we killed Bin Laden, Republicans love to perpetuate the narrative that war is politically incorrect, and that Democrats want to give evil dictators tea and biscuits. And since the alt-right thinks politically correctness is a bigger threat to the First Amendment than Trump’s war on the media, they should be shitting themselves with glee over how the Syrian attack triggered a shitload of snowflakes. Hell, maybe even Dave Rubin will interview Trump and praise him for sticking it to the Left!

3). Meddling in other countries’ affairs is what makes American great. Trump supporters love to talk about bringing America back to the good ol’ days when men were men, and white people didn’t have to shit next to black people. And what’s more American than racism and sexism? Imperialism! It’s not enough that we get to enjoy our freedoms in our little corner of the world; we want to make sure everyone else does, too. That’s what makes America great!

Whether or not the Syrian attack means the end of the Trump presidency, I don’t know. (Probably not because the Trump Tape didn’t ruin his chance of winning the election.) As for now, I’m just gonna enjoy watching the alt-right scramble to find a new führer.

We’re Not Alone in This Fight: My Latest for Splice Today

Besides having anxiety attacks over whether or not people will accept me as a non-binary trans person, I also had them all last week in trying to decide if I should attend a town hall hosted by Republican Rep. Andy Harris (MD-1). On the one hand, this would be a chance to make my voice heard and push for change. On the other, the Eastern Shore doesn’t take kindly to progressive queer trans people, so I was afraid I’d get hurt. I texted my friend Jim—a seventysomething hardcore progressive anti-theist who doesn’t take shit from anyone—to come along with me, and he agreed.

We arrived at Chesapeake College just after five to see a huge line outside. Jim and I chatted with people from Talbot Rising who were holding protest signs, which meant we weren’t able to get seats inside, so we stood in the back of the auditorium. I had a question for Harris written down on a piece of paper, but unfortunately missed the deadline to submit it.

The meeting began with a pastor reciting a Christian prayer (roll of eyes), followed by the Pledge of Allegiance (another eye-roll since it included “Under God”). Then Harris came onstage. He began with a short slideshow to make everyone believe that Obamacare ruined America, but the audience wasn’t having it. They booed, yelled, and demanded Harris skip the slideshow and go straight to the questions. At one point he told one woman in the audience, “Ma’am, if you don’t stop yelling, I’m going to ask you to leave,” but he quickly shut up when we all yelled in unison.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #21: Have You Tried Not Being Poor?

We start today’s episode talking about the new GOP healthcare bill, and how it’s going to screw us all over. Then after we get a history lesson from Ben Carson, we discuss Christina Hoff Sommers’ latest video debunking the gender wage gap, and how it overlooks a lot of social hurtles.

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ICYMI, Three Recent Splice Today Articles I Think You All Will Appreciate

As you may or may not know, I recently started writing for Baltimore-based website Splice Today which covers politics, art, and culture. Here are three recent articles I wrote for them that I think y’all might like:

Fear Builds Walls: How Pink Floyd’s The Wall Predicted Trump

Gender Dysphoria as a Still, Small Voice (It’s pretty emotionally raw, so discretion is advised)

The Failure of Classical Liberalism (Oh boy, this is gonna piss off the Free Speech Warriors!)

So yeah, hope you like them.