Q Transmissions

A letter…

Posted in Uncategorized by Heather on October 2, 2008

hellboyedmab@gmail.com wrote:

Listening to your program about atheism and politics.

Firstly, the pan pipes creepy ‘ Hilarious house of Frankenstein ‘ music playing in the background during your preamble really puts a serious, intelligent and thought provoking seaway before and between segments.

Atheist segment –

Why would your guest e mail ‘ all of the religious groups ‘ to get their opinion on the ‘ vandalism ‘.  Baiting a reaction?  Consider the possibility that your guest or his group perpetrated the vandalism to attract attention to his beliefs or to get his issue on TV.  He almost seemed apologetic about the whole incident.

Heather, I wonder if it is possible for you to ask your guest a series of questions that could be more soft boiled?

Pushing the hate crime issue several times during the segment after your guest dismissed the idea is interesting.  Maybe you could provide your guests with cue cards and talking points to help further your apologetic , self effacing approach to being ‘ skeptical ‘.

Micheal, thanks for sitting on the fence dude!  Your non opinion really got a lot of intellectual mileage out of the segment.

Instead of broadening your discussion to a larger, more meaning full issue, say for instance cultural pluralism or even something a little more sexy like secularism in modern culture, IE: 10 Commandments in courthouses, classroom prayer, etc you went for the lowest common denominator.

Politics Segment –

You should have just called it ‘ Palin Melee Segment ‘, there was actually very little talk about politics.

Michael –

Your idea that there are no consequences for misrepresentation of facts during a campaign is interesting.  Do you recall the lambasting that the media gave Hillary Clinton after she claimed she was shot at by a sniper on a visit to Bosnia?  More recently, Joe Biden is now coming under criticism for claiming he was shot at while visiting Iraq.  The media provides a level of scrutiny and a check to much of the politicking that goes on in a campaign.  Candidates accept the notion that the are going to get a certain amount of egg on their face, the question is how much can they live with.

Mike, your assessment on the Republican base and Palin’s appeal to it is wack!

Your summary about the Georgian conflict with Russia has several holes in it.  The Russian military reaction to the Georgian conflict had nothing or very little to do with Georgia.  It had everything to do with Poland, the same week, signing a treaty with the United States to allow the placement of anti missile technology as part of a Western ‘ missile shield ‘ plan.  See Communist News Network link :

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/15/poland.us.shield/index.html

Also it was a reaction from the Kremlin to put pressure on the Ukraine and the Balkan states to not attempt to join NATO.

Heather –

Why are you asking your fellow co hosts questions they do not know the answer to or have an opinion?  The path to nowhere leads to the question that cannot be answered or discussed.

Your question about `who has time to figure out what is true or not ` is asked and answered.  This is what your show is supposed to be about.  Taking an informed opinion from a variety of sources and coming up with your own conclusions is the mandate and prerogative of every intelligent person.  Your complaining about how much work it all is sounds soooo Gen X slacker.

Desiree –

Your point on sexism is bang on.  Why didn’t you talk about the feminist angle with Palin?  Women on women issues is a huge part of this campaign , going back to Hillary getting beat up in the primaries.

Heather replied:

Hellboy wrote:

“Firstly, the pan pipes creepy ‘ Hilarious house of Frankenstein ‘ music playing in the background during your preamble really puts a serious, intelligent and thought provoking seaway before and between segments.”

– It’s a theramin. Since your entire message is dripping w/ sarcasm, I’ll assume this bit is, too. I like the theme music. Yes, it is kind of silly. So what?

“Atheist segment –

Why would your guest e mail ‘ all of the religious groups ‘ to get their opinion on the ‘ vandalism ‘. Baiting a reaction? Consider the possibility that your guest or his group perpetrated the vandalism to attract attention to his beliefs or to get his issue on TV. He almost seemed apologetic about the whole incident.”

– that’s always a possibility. But I don’t always assume the worst about people, unless it’s Sarah Palin.

“Heather, I wonder if it is possible for you to ask your guest a series of questions that could be more soft boiled?

Pushing the hate crime issue several times during the segment after your guest dismissed the idea is interesting. Maybe you could provide your guests with cue cards and talking points to help further your apologetic , self effacing approach to being ‘ skeptical ‘.”

– no, I didn’t ride our guest very hard. I did ask if the hate crime angle was overly dramatic (I think. Listen to this week’s show where we’ll discuss the fallacy of memory!).

“Micheal, thanks for sitting on the fence dude! Your non opinion really got a lot of intellectual mileage out of the segment.

Instead of broadening your discussion to a larger, more meaning full issue, say for instance cultural pluralism or even something a little more sexy like secularism in modern culture, IE: 10 Commandments in courthouses, classroom prayer, etc you went for the lowest common denominator.”

– Well, it was our first show about politics, and we were talking about politics in a broader sense. I like the suggestions, though. It’s unfortunate your presenting them in such a mean, attacky way, but, hey, at least you do have some constructive criticism in there.

“Politics Segment –

You should have just called it ‘ Palin Melee Segment ‘, there was actually very little talk about politics.”

– I know. I just really think she’s an abomination. Ha! I should’ve written “Obamanation”!

“Michael –

Your idea that there are no consequences for misrepresentation of facts during a campaign is interesting. Do you recall the lambasting that the media gave Hillary Clinton after she claimed she was shot at by a sniper on a visit to Bosnia? More recently, Joe Biden is now coming under criticism for claiming he was shot at while visiting Iraq. The media provides a level of scrutiny and a check to much of the politicking that goes on in a campaign. Candidates accept the notion that the are going to get a certain amount of egg on their face, the question is how much can they live with.”

– true. We were talking more about how legally there is almost zero consequence for lying about another candidate. Thankfully, at least the press, sometimes, if we’re lucky, will catch lies and bring them to light.

“Mike, your assessment on the Republican base and Palin’s appeal to it is wack!”

– you didn’t really give me much to reply to here. Sigh.

“Your summary about the Georgian conflict with Russia has several holes in it. The Russian military reaction to the Georgian conflict had nothing or very little to do with Georgia. It had everything to do with Poland, the same week, signing a treaty with the United States to allow the placement of anti missile technology as part of a Western ‘ missile shield ‘ plan. See Communist News Network link :

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/15/poland.us.shield/index.html

Also it was a reaction from the Kremlin to put pressure on the Ukraine and the Balkan states to not attempt to join NATO.”

– I’ll have to read your links. You may have a point. Or you may not. But you likely do.

“Heather –

Why are you asking your fellow co hosts questions they do not know the answer to or have an opinion? The path to nowhere leads to the question that cannot be answered or discussed.”

– Because we don’t rehearse everything we say. We like to keep it fresh. Also, I have a huge ego, so tripping up my co-hosts is a cheap and easy way for me to sound smart.

“Your question about `who has time to figure out what is true or not ` is asked and answered. This is what your show is supposed to be about. Taking an informed opinion from a variety of sources and coming up with your own conclusions is the mandate and prerogative of every intelligent person. Your complaining about how much work it all is sounds soooo Gen X slacker.”

– I disagree. Most people don’t have time to do the research required to become well-versed in every issue that interests them/affects them. I think that’s reasonable. Ultimately, though, people have to realize it is up to them anyway to do the work required to be informed. (Oh, fuck – am I sitting on the fence? Shit.) It doesn’t help when candidates throw bullshit into the mix that people have to sift through.

“Desiree –

Your point on sexism is bang on. Why didn’t you talk about the feminist angle with Palin? Women on women issues is a huge part of this campaign , going back to Hillary getting beat up in the primaries.”

– Desiree gets one little criticism?!? Not fair! Is it ’cause of her sexy librarian glasses? I bet it is…

Thanks for your thorough message. Truly – no sarcasm. As snarky as it was, it’s obvious you listened to the whole show and really took an interest. I hope in future you call in – it sounds like you’re someone who’ll keep us on our collective toes.

Ian piped in:

<blockquote>Why would your guest e mail ‘all of the religious groups’ to get their opinion on the ‘vandalism’. Baiting a reaction? Consider the possibility that your guest or his group perpetrated the vandalism to attract attention to his beliefs or to get his issue on TV. He almost seemed apologetic about the whole incident.</blockquote>

Hi ‘Hellboy’,

I’m the President of the ‘<a href=”http://www.ualberta.ca/~atheists/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>UofA Atheists and Agnostics</a>’. Perhaps I can answer some of your ‘questions.’

But first I’ll ask my own, why is ‘vandalism’ in scare-quotes? I mean we ‘all’ have ‘fun’ using quotes now and then, but ‘really’? Was it not vandalism to you?

Second, I can assure you that I don’t know who did the act – hence why I reported it to Campus Security Services (CSS) before anyone else. Really, a group with an annual budget of ~$1000 (total) can’t really afford to go damaging it’s own large banners and then remaking them. If it was someone in my group I’d turn them into Campus Security.

Next, I asked for a response from the religious (specifically Christian groups, because it was likely a Christian attack) groups since I wanted to know which groups would back my group up and stand up for us, also if they had information about the incident to get them to pass that along to CSS. If Campus for Christ or Outreach’s poster was damaged, we’d condemn it, especially if we were asked to.

And Ryan’s ‘apologetic’ tone was mainly in response to the fact a large number of atheists blasted me for using the phrase hate-crime on my blog. I later <a href=”http://terahertzatheist.ca/2008/09/23/i-called-it-what-it-was/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>explained</a> the use of such language.

If you have questions about the incident for me that aren’t ‘softboiled’, send me an email at thzatheist [at] gmail.com. And next time, if the hosts aren’t asking what you want, call in.

Des cried:

Hi Hellboy,

Especially on the show, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain a balance between objectivity and subjectivity. When we’re trying to be objective, we may look like we’re fence-sitting. If we posit our own opinion on things, we better be damn sure that opinion is supported by evidence; otherwise our fellow skeptics have every right to call us out on our logical flaws.

On the sexism/Palin/Clinton issue, I agree completely. I pulled back from pursuing that line of dialogue specifically to avoid the kind of situation that you pointed out, where one host is asking questions of other hosts that they won’t have a response to, leading to dead air and substantial lameness. However, if a listener decided to call in with a question about that topic…

Expect us to do a whole episode on the sexism/gender divide issue in February.

Thanks for the critique!

Lumpy trumpeted:

I’d like to start by saying the word on the street is that the Grammar Police have this entire post under surveillance. Felonious quote abuse (and use of terms like scare-quotes) is a serious offence, so everyone just remember that overuse of punctuation is a privilege, not a right.

Hellboy, I fully concur with your take on the Hilarious House of Freightenstein theme music, though by getting the show name wrong you have made a powerful enemy in the ghost of Vincent Price.

My main point about the atheist segment is this – you are on a university campus. Campuses are full of what? That’s right – drunken frat boys. While it is entirely possible that it was a religious group of some sort causing the trouble, it is just as likely that some loaded buffoons decided to trash something on a lark. As for the removal of your website address off of the banner, usually people like a trophy for their vandalous exploits. Again, since there are no witnesses, there can’t be a right or wrong answer, but it would not surprise me if your URL is adorning some gits’ dorm room as he listens to bad hip hop and flexes in front of a mirror uttering something to the effect of how he is the man. Hopefully it is something that harmless, though if it was a religious group you could take it as a compliment as people generally only attack things they are threatened by. And what is with emailing groups you were suspect of? Does no one use a phone or personal contact anymore? If something important to me were attacked/defaced, I would at least make the effort to contact my possible friends or enemies in person. You would have a much better chance of finding those responsible, and if you are no good at reading people then at least delegate that task to someone who is. Plus it would send a message that you are serious about your beliefs and perhaps that would gain you some respect among those causing trouble for you. Sitting behind a keyboard and fishing for leads is weak, and it casts a similar light on your group.

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