Friday, August 31, 2007

Podcast #3

You can find the latest episode of Inside the Possum Den here.

Links related to the podcast:


Maggie Rosethorn said...

Just finished listening, Pmomma. You sound pretty good, considering what you have gone through in the past week. I hope you keep feeling better and better.

Just to answer a few things you and Jack brought up: grandmultiparas like Of JimBob are VERY high risk pregnancies. As you pointed out, the uterus IS a muscle and one that pregnancies weakens. She actually is at risk for longer, harder labors, because that tired uterus doesn't work as well, and also for post-partum hemorrhage, again, because that tired muscle can't clamp down and stop bleeding that effectively. Her risk of maternal death increases, even in the US, due to those issues.

I also remember reading, and it may be from the Dugger's site, that they aren't too worried about the girls' education and college, since they don't need to go, anyway. If their oldest son is going to be a lawyer...well...I know ONE lawyer I won't use. They feel the boys can go to college, but the girls are less important in that way.

Can't wait till the next podcast.

skeeter said...

Hi. Like the show. I just wanted to point out that not all homeschoolers are religious. We are atheists and have three kids (8, 5, 0.6). They participate in several activities every week with children of multiple ages as well as adults.

We homeschool so they can learn at their own pace, which appears to be pretty quick. We point them in the direction of things that interest them, teach them how to find the resources they need, and watch them learn.

I find it funny that you would trivialize homeschooling, then comment that your daughter is now being indoctrinated by the public school system and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Anyway, check out the wikipedia pages on Unschooling and John Taylor Gatto.

Thanks for the great show and hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

I didn't trivialize home schooling at all. I made a comment about the School of the Dining Room table and Wisdom Booklets. If you don't use Wisdom Booklets and you're not a Duggar, the criticism doesn't apply.

I think homeschooling can be done rather well. We do a combination of homeschooling and public education. I say do whatever works best to insure the best education for your children. :)

shaun said...

At this point, sex for the Duggars has got to be simply for procreation. I mean, after 17 children, having sex with the Mrs. has got to be like throwing a hotdog down a hallway.

I've yet to listen to this podcast (though I'm excited to hear it because I enjoyed the first two quite a bit). However, I know that because I'm not the best teacher (as far as "subjects" go - like Math, English, etc), I plan on public schooling my children. However, I will try my damnedest to educate my children in the "school of life" at home. (I know - uber-cheesy, but that's what it is!) I want to teach them about the ways of the world, and teach them to be open to different views withough necessarily having to accept them.

Preaching to the choir, I know. But I look forward to hearing from other atheist/freethinking parents on HOW they do this. Being a new dad, the prospect of an ever increasing theological society in the US frightens me and I don't want give undue stress to my children if they don't need it.

Infidel Rooster said...

I'm happy to hear you are back on the podcasts and seem to be feeling better. The only point with which I disagree with you during the podcast is the issue Jack takes (and I assume yourself) with Michael Shermer about the term "militant atheism". The phrase has been used by a great many atheists to describe themselves, from Richard Dawkins on down, so I think to criticize Shermer for using a term that many atheists have adopted to describe themselves is a bit rushed. Here is a talk Dawkins gave at a TED conference where he uses the phrase:
There are a few other instances you can find on the net of this, from Dawkins and others.
I agree that in the way that the phrase was interpreted on the podcast it would not be appropriate to apply it to many of us, but I don't think that Dawkins or others would accept that definition as they themselves use the term.

Hope this doesn't set off a firestorm. Anyway, glad you're back, hope you continue to improve.

Jack Jackal said...


The link you provided got truncated. Repost it and feel free to break it apart if necessary. You're saying that Dawkins embraces "militant" in the video? And you're saying you prefer militant as the adjective of choice in describing your atheism? Do you consider yourself an antitheist?

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I mean, after 17 children, having sex with the Mrs. has got to be like throwing a hotdog down a hallway.

I have never heard that expression before. Nearly wet myself laughing.

Hey PM,

Have not listened to the Podcast yet (saving it for my trip to the land of Steve Irwin).

Godless Geek said...

Any chance this is going to show up on the iTunes store anytime soon?

Infidel Rooster said...

Hello Jack,
sorry for the technical mishap. Here is the repost (hopefully) of that video.
If I messed this up again, you can go to and there will be an option near the top of the page to choose speakers. They are listed alphabetically, Dawkins has two talks on the second page. When you get to his page, the talks are defined pretty obviously. It lasts a total of twenty something minutes. Let me know if this helps.

As for me, I would have to admit that my attitude changes about this. There are times when I think that it is appropriate in the climate we have today to be aggressive. Militant, not in the guns and bombs sense, but aggressively antitheist. I also have a number of friends and family who I love and respect that do not share my explanation of the universe. That is, they believe in a god. I believe that like a great many things in life, each experience I have has to be judged on it's own. There are times when I am "militant", times when I am easy going, and other times when I just keep my mouth shut. Granted, I am not known for keeping my mouth shut all that much, but it has happened on occasion.
I just wanted to point out that in the past, some of the people Shermer was referring to have used the term militant about themselves. While I may have some issue with his letter, that wasn't one of the points I would take. Just curious what you think.
Thanks and sorry for the long-winded reply.

milukfrog said...

You know one of the things I find rather funny about 'quiverfullers' like the Duggars is they base all this - or justify it all - on one little unHoly Babble verse - in Psalms IIRC. Amazing one little verse could spawn (haha) so much madness.

Jack Jackal said...


I watched the TED video and at about the 5 minute mark he stated “What I want to urge upon you is militant atheism.” This was immediately followed by a loud roar of laughter from the audience. Why the laughter? Because he led up to the comment with several bits of sarcasm/irony and this comment was made in the same vein. After he got the reaction he was looking for (laughs), he offered the reality of “But that’s putting it too negatively.” Other than that, he never refers to himself as a militant atheist. More importantly, this video is from 2002. Over the past 5 years, Dawkins has refined his approach and if you go to his website, you can find several current video and audio programs wherein he pooh-poohs the label of militant/fundamentalist atheist as applied to him.

Between friends, this is no more than an exercise in semantics. But when this label is put forth by those who despise us, they do it for more than just the secondary, adjective meaning of the word. They realize that using this adjective (as opposed to impassioned, fervent or even zealous) let’s them play into the bogus fear that atheists want and intend to “take over,” by force if necessary. I see no reason to play into their hand, especially in light of the fact that there are better, more accurate descriptors. I suspect there are some true militant atheists out there. I’ve never met one, but I respect your right to refer to yourself as one.

Dawkins video concludes with “Let’s all stop being so damn respectful (to theists).” I’m all for that. Asking that theists take the kid gloves off religion is a long way from pursuing some type of action that rises to the level of militancy. For example, I’m not looking to strip, by force or otherwise, theists of any rights. For those who have such an attitude, I have no problem calling them “militant.”

Respectfully submitted.

Infidel Rooster said...

I agree, it is just a matter of semantics among friends. And I guess what I was driving at is that Michael Shermer is one of those friends. I don't know, but would suspect that for the most part, he is still friends with most of the people he was writing the letter to. I've seen video of him with these people, and though this might be a huge point of contention, I suspect that it is a point of contention among friends. One of the things I find refreshing about most atheists I know. They are able to discuss, argue, disagree, convince, etc. without rancor.
Anyway, I agree with your point about the term being used as a misapplied label by those who despise us, and therefore it must be considered carefully.
It was just something to think about.
Thanks for responding and taking the time to watch that video. There are some other interesting vids on that site if you're interested. It takes some digging to find the good ones, but they're there.

Infidel Rooster said...

I think part of my comment didn't post. Basically I was just driving at the fact that I don't think Shermer meant guns and knives when he said militant. I would bet he meant it in the manner that many of us think when we hear the word--aggressive, forceful and persistent. Never violent.
I may have just misunderstood your words as somehow thinking Shermer believed that Dawkins & Co. were violently militant, rather than needing to be careful about giving ammunition to a group of people who love to zealously misinterpret anything said or written by an atheist.