Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bill Maher on The View

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September 30, 2008
From The Huffington Post:
Bill Maher appeared on "The View" Tuesday morning to promote his upcoming film, "Religulous," which comes out Friday. When Maher tried to debunk a basic tenet of Christianity, Sherri Shepherd, whose devout religious beliefs have provided fodder for the show before, asked, "When you did this movie, you talked to a lot of people about God — have you ever just talked to God, and asked God what does he think?"

When Maher asked Sherri if God ever answered her, and she said that he did, Maher said: "Well then we should call Bellevue." Bellevue is a New York hospital known for its psychiatric facilities.

Kirk Cameron Starring in New Christian Movie: Fireproof

September 26, 2008 on the Christian Broadcasting Network
The major theme of the film is to building a "Godly" marriage

Richard Dawkins at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

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August 11, 2008
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Adventures of Ana L'Tech: The Holy Instrument (Commercial)

From Wired Science:
If you liked the witch trial scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this hilarious commercial will be right up your alley.

It tells the story of an Alchemist's apprentice who is accused of witchcraft after showing her amazing thin layer chromatography instrument to a bunch of ignorant locals.

The film gets off to a slow start, but the dry setup leads into a mixture of parody and shameless promotion that makes for some great laughs.

Several lab supply companies have embraced viral ads lately, Analtech has done a great job keeping that trend alive.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Saudi Cleric: Jews Plant Gharqad Trees to Hide Behind When Muslims Come to Kill Them on Judgment Day

September 12, 2008 on Al Aqsa TV
Muhammad Al-Arifi: Studies conducted in Tel Aviv and in the Palestinian lands occupied by the Jews showed that they plant Gharqad trees around their homes, because the Prophet Muhammad said that when the Muslims fight the Jews, each and every stone and tree will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. The only exception is the Gharqad tree, which is one of the trees of the Jews, and if they hide behind it, it will not reveal their presence. According to reports of people who went there and saw it with their own eyes, many Jews plant Gharqad trees around their homes, so that when the fighting begins, they can hide behind them. They are not man enough to stand and fight you.

Submit Your Complaint to the IRS

September 29, 2008 on CNN
From IRS.gov:
IRS Complaint Process For Tax Exempt Organizations

The Internal Revenue Service gives serious consideration to complaints made alleging the abuse of the tax exempt status granted to certain organizations.

When reviewing filed complaints, the IRS carefully follows special procedures designed to assure the public of the IRS’s objectivity in the treatment of tax-exempt organizations. These procedures ensure that the IRS operates in an unbiased and appropriate manner and that its compliance programs are not improperly influenced by outside intervention.

The responsibility for administering these procedures belongs to the Exempt Organizations (EO) function, which is part of the IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities Operating Division.

Complaints (Referrals)

A complaint (also called a referral) is any communication alleging that a tax-exempt organization is in potential noncompliance with the tax law. EO receives complaints from the general public, members of Congress, federal and state government agencies, as well as from other parts of the IRS.

Filing a Complaint

A referral of an exempt organization may be made by submitting Form 13909 (pdf), Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form, downloadable from IRS.gov.

Form 13909 and any supporting documentation may be submitted in a variety of ways. They can be sent via:

Mail to IRS EO Classification, Mail Code 4910DAL, 1100 Commerce St., Dallas, TX 75242-1198,
Fax to 214-413-5415, or
Email to eoclass@irs.gov .
Submission of Form 13909 is voluntary.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Conservative Pastors to Break Law by Endorsing a Candidate

September 26, 2008 on CNN
From NY Times:
Defying a federal tax law they consider unjust, 33 ministers across the country will take to their pulpits this Sunday and publicly endorse a candidate for president.

They plan to then send copies of their sermons to the Internal Revenue Service, hoping to provoke a challenge to a law that bars religious organizations and other nonprofits that accept tax-deductible contributions from involvement in partisan political campaigns. Read more

Debate: Would We Be Better Off Without Religion?

August 19, 2008
St James Ethics Centre - Sydney, Australia
For the motion: Lyn Allison, Richard Ackland, and Vic Stenger
Against the motion: Ian Plimer, Suzanne Rutland, and John Lennox
While the world's religions have inspired stunning acts of creation, they also have been implicated in some of the darkest deeds in human history.

If God cannot be blamed for such moments of evil, His priests and prophets at least have a case to answer.

So what might they say? That religion is unfairly blamed -- and that we should look to other factors? Admit that there are problems but argue that on balance the good outweighs the bad? That there is no alternative; that people need religion like they need air?

"Carbon dating doesn't work" - debunked

by Potholer54debunks
Living snails that carbon-date to 2,300 years old, a living seal that was carbon-dated at 1,300 years old, and 8,000-year-old living penguins. Not to mention dinosaur bones that dated to 20,000 years ago. Obviously carbon dating doesn't work, unless you understand it. Here's the explanation that even a 5th-grader can understand.
See also:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Extraordinary People: The Million Dollar Mind Reader - UPDATED

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Aired: September 25, 2008 on Channel 5
Derek Ogilvie says he can read the minds of infants who are too young to communicate verbally. Now he agrees to undergo a series of controlled experiments to test the limits of his alleged abilities. He even faces the ultimate sceptic in the form of James Randi, an investigator of the paranormal who has offered $1million to anyone who can provide evidence of the supernatural.
Dr. Geral Gluck who tested Dereck's brain activity at the end of the documentary, is a "graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing". This is form his profile on Psychology Today:
“The relationship is the key to improvement. I practice using a combination of eclectic psychotherapy, neuroscience and energy healing techniques. The way most of us improve our health is through a combination of body, mind and spiritual growth. Each of us will have a difference mix or emphasis and understanding of these and facilitating this understanding in your life is the goal of our relationship.

Neurofeeddback [sic] treats ADHD, depression, anxiety, seizures, seizures, brain injury. Neurofeedback is biofeedback for brain waves. You retrain your brain into patterns that will support new behaviors, healing. I use Quantitative Electroencephalogram to customize the treatment. I use Biograph, Deymed, HEG, Audio visual entrainment Alpha Stim.

We see you as a whole person, mind, body and spirit. I am a Brennan Science Practitioner and a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing” See more
Thanks (Anon)

If Jesus Ran For President...

by Edward Current

Thursday, September 25, 2008

CWA: If Christians Don't Vote - UPDATED

Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright warns what will happen if Christians don't vote in November.
From Concerned Women for America: A Case Study:
Concerned Women for America, like most new Right institutions, is not one but, at least for tax purposes, two groups: Concerned Women for America Education and Legal Defense Foundation, a federal income-tax exempt 501(c)3 charitable organization confined to non-partisan, non- political grassroots lobbying; and Concerned Women for America, Inc., a 501(c)4 income-tax exempt corporation that can engage in non-partisan lobbying; e.g. in favor or opposition to a particular bill or ballot measure. The major difference between the two sorts of groups is that donations to a 501(c)3 organization are tax deductible, whereas donations to a 501(c)4 are not. Read more
Thanks JerryFLA

Word Play and Reasoning

by Rocketboom

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Egyptian Islamist Explains Why It Is Forbidden To Eat with Your Left Hand: That's What Satan Does

September 6, 2008 on Al Nas TV (Egypt)
From Transcript:
Wagdi Ghneim: Some people eat with their left hand. What's this supposed to be? They say: When you eat, the fork goes in the left hand. Do you eat with your left hand? You do, and then you take a drink. What's this supposed to be? You use your left hand, and yet you claim to hate Satan?! You dare to tell me that you sense the enmity of Satan?! Allah give me the strength to resist Satan... Hold on a sec. The Prophet Muhammad said: "When you eat or drink, do not use your left hand, because Satan eats and drinks with his left hand." Whoever eats and drinks with his left hand follows Satan, and whoever loves the Prophet Muhammad must eat with his right hand. ...Read more

Sarah Palin Gets Protection From Witches

In this new video, available only as of today (September 23, 2008), Sarah Palin is shown accepting a special supernatural protection from witchcraft from Thomas Muthee.
See also:
Thanks to A for the link

Monday, September 22, 2008

FOX: Julie Banderas vs. Evangelist Tony Alamo

September 21, 2008
See also: CNN: Church Child Porn Raid

Iranian Media Photoshop Picture of North Korean Women Soldiers

Thanks to Ali for the link

Climate Change - The Scientific Debate

by Potholer54:
A basic look at how climate scientists infer that man-made carbon gases are changing the climate, and how this view is contradicted by other climate scientists who are skeptics.
I am a former science correspondent with an interest in reporting the facts, not the media hype.
See also:

Southern Baptists pull magazine featuring women pastors

September 22, 2008 on CNN
A chain of bookstores owned by the Southern Baptist Convention has pulled a magazine featuring female pastors from their stores. A spokesman for Lifeway Resources which manages the bookstores said, "Its contrary to what we believe."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Discovery Channel: Before the Dinosaurs (2008)

Episode 1:

Play all videos (5) | Episode 2
Welcome to Earth -- before the dinosaurs. The creatures may look strange, but they mark the beginning of life as we know it. Learn how some of the characteristics that helped them survive millions of years ago make humans what they are today.
Reminder: You can watch videos on Youtube in high quality

CNN: Church Child Porn Raid

September 20, 2008
From CNN:
Federal and state police raided an evangelist's compound in Arkansas late Saturday to investigate whether any children have been physically or sexually abused, officials said.

The raid is part of a two-year investigation into a compound near Texarkana, Arkansas, owned by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, said Bill Sadler of the Arkansas State Police. About 100 agents were on the 10- to 15-acre site late Saturday and met with no resistance, he said. Read more

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Countdown: Palins Pastors "Witch Hunt"

September 19, 2008 on Countdown with Keith Olbermann
From Times Online:
The pastor whose prayer Sarah Palin says helped her to become governor of Alaska founded his ministry with a witchhunt against a Kenyan woman who he accused of causing car accidents through demonic spells. Read more

George Galloway vs. 'Undercover Mosque' Producer on Iran's Press TV

A heated debate between George Galloway and David Henshaw on Iran's english language channel Press TV.
See also:

Friday, September 19, 2008

BBC Horizon: The President's Guide to Science

Aired: September 16, 2008 on BBC 2
Horizon asks some of the biggest names in science to have a quiet word with
the new president, be it Obama or McCain, in the Presidents Guide to
Science. The United States president is quite simply the most powerful man
on earth, but they often know little about science. That's a problem when
the decisions they make will affect every one of us, from nuclear
proliferation to climate change.

To help the new president get to grips with this intimidating responsibility
some of the world's leading scientists, from Dawkins to Watson, share some
crucial words of advice.

Jonathan Haidt: The real difference between liberals and conservatives

Filmed Mar 2008; Posted Sep 2008 Link
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

McCain's Key Demographic

The key to the 2008 U.S. election lies in a neglected land of guns and God.
by Edward Current

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Creationist Junk Debunked #3

by Potholer54debunks

Muslim organization to present resolution in UN outlawing "blasphemous" caricatures and derogatory remarks against religions

From Daily Times (Pakistan):
A resolution against the publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in various countries will be presented in the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), an Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) representative said on Tuesday.

“The resolution will demand legislation against the publication of blasphemous caricatures of revered personalities and derogatory remarks against religions. It will also demand [sacrilegious] actions be declared a crime,” OIC Secretary General’s Special Representative on Kashmir Ezzat Kamel Mufti told a news conference.

Mufti said a particular group in America and the European Union had been launching attacks against Islam. “However, we should not get emotional and resort to any kind of violence, including suicide bombings,” he said. source
Most Muslims don't understand that these actions only make the pictures more popular. Here is a Google image search of Mohammad and Prophet Mohammad.

(via Jihad Watch)

Unmasked: Crop Circles

Discussion between Richard Dawkins and Clive James (Audio)

Link | Download MP3
Duration: 55 min
From RichardDawkins.net

Edited: Wrong info

Charlie Rose: E.O. Wilson & James Watson on Charles Darwin

August 26, 2008
An hour on the life and work of Charles Darwin with James Watson, chancellor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and E.O. Wilson, professor emeritus, Harvard University.
(via Pharyngula)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Center for Inquiry Promo

The Center for Inquiry is a daring new concept. Although modern world civilization is based upon the achievements of science and technology, until this time there has been no authoritative and credible voice defending the scientific outlook in examining religion, human values, and the borderlands of science. If the naturalistic outlook is to supplant the ancient mythological narratives of the past, it needs a new institution devoted to its articulation and dramatization to the public. The Center for Inquiry is that institution.

Family Guy God and Jesus Compilation

(via Friendly Atheist)

FOX News: How Do We Keep Our Faith Up During Hard Times?

September 15, 2008
During the discussion with Father Morris, Neil Cavuto asks if the government has a "religious duty" to help those who are down and out.
See also:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saudi Cleric: Mickey Mouse Should Be Killed

August 27, 2008 on Al Majd TV
Muhammad Al-Munajid: What is the position of Islamic law with regard to mice? The Shari'a refers to the mouse as "little corrupter," and says it is permissible to kill it in all cases. It says that mice set fire to the house, and are steered by Satan. The mouse is one of Satan's soldiers and is steered by him. If a mouse falls into a pot of food – if the food is solid, you should chuck out the mouse and the food touching it, and if it is liquid – you should chuck out the whole thing. Because the mouse is i-m-p-u-r-e!

According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature. How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry? Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice. Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.
See also:
Muhammad Al-Munajid: Nothing Makes Satan Happier Than the "Bikini" Olympics

ABC: Pentecostalism is "evangelical experience on steroids"

September 14, 2008 on ABC's World News
Dan Harris takes a look at Sarah Palins Assemblies of God church in Alaska.

Values Voter Summit: Actor Stephen Baldwin Condemns "Evil" Hollywood

September 13, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Values Voter Summit: Star Parker Brings The Crazy

September 12, 2008
Star Parker explains that "social justice" does not mean mean that parents are required to send their kids "to these cesspools we call schools so that they can be indoctrinated by anti-Christian worldviews"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pastors Want the Right to Pick a Party and Keep Tax-Exempt Status

September 13, 2008 on CNN

The View: John McCain on Church and State

September 12, 2008 on ABC's The View
John McCain on Church and State and Being A POW
See also:
(via Cynical-C Blog)

Sarah Palin on "Task from God" Comments

September 11, 2008 on ABC News
See also:
Palin's Speach at Wassila Assembly of God Church

Hell House (2001)

Hell Houses are a distinctly American phenomenon which began in 1990 just outside of Dallas, at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. The original Hell House was conceived as a modern-day fire-and-brimstone sermon. Today, this religious ceremony of sorts is replete with actors, extensive lighting equipment and full audio-visual tech crews. Inside the Hell House, tour guides dressed as demons take visitors from room to room to view depictions of school massacres, date rape, AIDS-related deaths, fatal drunk driving crashes, and botched abortions. Hell Houses have now spread to hundreds of churches worldwide. With full access to the behind-the-scenes action, HELL HOUSE follows the process from the first script meeting until the last of the 10,000 visitors passes through the Hell House doors. The movie gives a verite window into the whole process of creating this over-the-top sermon, while showing an intimate portrait of the people who fervently believe its message.
(via Skepticat)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ABC investigates Sarah Palin's book censorship

September 10, 2008 on ABC's Good Morning America
ABC's Brian Ross investigated a controversy surrounding Sarah Palin asking about books being removed from the Wasilla library. Rev. Howard Bess a pastor at a local church. Hess said, "She wasn't just using the religious right to get elected. She was one of them."

Ross' investigation uncovered video of a recent sermon at the church Palin attended in Wasilla. The current pastor said, "Everybody in the world has a guilty conscious. That's why homosexuals want laws of the land to justify their sickness. They have a guilty conscious."
(via Cynical-C Blog and Raw Story)

Israel: Computer Store Under Siege By Ultra-Orthodox Jews

September 8, 2008 on France 24
On the outskirts of Mea Shearim, an ultra-orthodox Jewish neighbourhood in Jerusalem - a computer store, is literally under siege from religious extremists. For weeks now, a dozen protesters, tracts in hand, have been hunting for the MP-4 device that downloads videos, an activity banned by ultra-Orthodox rabbis. “They are extremists. They’re trying to take control of the entire neighbourhood”, claims Yosef Shalom, a brother of a salesman who works at the store.

Their hats and their long overcoats are signs that they belong to the Satmar community, an ultra-orthodox Hassidic movement. Some people believe that they have formed brigades, which have gone out of control. The accused find it pointless to respond to such charges. The one person who consented to speak with us described himself as a “haredim, who is trying to carry out God’s will”. He continues, “they are corrupting our children with these videos”. Read more
*New tag: France 24 (4 posts)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stephen Hawking on Creation Myths and Vatican

(via Doctor E)

Stephen Hawking: Large Hadron Collider vital for humanity

*Update: Stephen Hawking does not appear in this video, read the article.

From Telegraph:
Prof Hawking said the £4.4bn machine, in which scientists are about to recreate conditions just after the Big Bang, is "vital if the human race is not to stultify and eventually die out."

And he sought to ease fears that the machine could have apocalyptic effects. "The world will not come to an end when the LHC turns on," Prof Hawking said, adding: "The LHC is absolutely safe."

Scientists at the CERN research centre in Switzerland are aiming to use the machine to gain a better understanding of the birth and structure of the universe, and to fill gaps in our knowledge of physics. Read more
(via Skepchick)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Greece: Fireworks Battle Between Two Churches

Easter on the small Greek island of Chios means one thing - a massive firework battle, with over 50,000 rockets raining down on two small towns.
*Updated with Youtube copy via Cynical-C

Palin's Church: Alaska "Refuge" for Armageddon

September 7, 2008
CNN's Jessica Yellin reported on the Pentecostal Church where Sarah Palin attended.
(via Raw Story)

Lost Horizons: The Big Bang

Aired: September 4, 2008 on BBC 4
To coincide with the switch-on on Wednesday of the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator complex, Professor Jim Al Khalili delves into over 50 years of the BBC science archive to tell the story behind the emergence of one of the greatest theories of modern science, the Big Bang. Using curious horn-shaped antennas, U-2 spy planes, satellites and particle accelerators, scientists have pieced together the cosmological jigsaw, and this documentary charts the evidence for a universe created from nothing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

FOX News: Sarah Palin's Faith Is A Plus

September 7, 2008 on FOX & Friends

Brian Cox: The Big Bang Machine

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Aired: September 4, 2008 on BBC 4
Professor Brian Cox visits Geneva to take a look around Cern's Large Hadron Collider before this vast, 27km long machine is sealed-off and the experiment to create the simulation of a black hole begins. When it's up and running, it will be capable of creating the conditions that existed just a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Brian joins the scientists who hope that the LHC will change our understanding of the early universe and solve some of its mysteries. And not suck the planet into oblivion, naturally. How would they publish their results and make money out of the chat show circuit if that happened?
Thanks to Sydenham Infidel for the link.
*Will soon be available on Google video.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Al Jazeera: Religion in the US

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September 5, 2008 on Al Jazeera's "We the People"
How do US communities today balance their religious beliefs with their political pursuits?

Filmmaker Ilan Ziv spent much of the last year observing and documenting life in Anderson, South Carolina, a place where 90 percent of the residents go to church. This small town is a snapshot of how America balances Church and State.

Ziv's perspective is unique. He fled his homeland, Israel, in order to escape the volatile mix of religion and politics there. He wanted to build a life in a country where he felt religion was not always uppermost in people's minds. But as he reveals in this episode of We the People, religious fervor in the US is alive and well.

DJ Holy Ghost: Church Rave

DJ Holy Ghost and special guest appearance from MC David Rodigan!
Original video

Thursday, September 4, 2008

CBS: Cindy McCain On Abortion, Creationism

September 3, 2008 with CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric
From Transcript:
Couric: How do you feel about creationism? Do you think it should be taught in schools?

McCain: I think both sides should be taught in schools. I think the more children have a frame of reference and an opportunity to read and know and make better decisions and judgments when they are adults. So, I think you know I don't have any problem with education of any kind.

BBC: God on Trial (TV Film)

Play all videos (9) | Also available on BBC iPlayer (UK Only)
Aired: September 3, 2008 on BBC 2
Awaiting their fate in a sombre blockhouse in Auschwitz, a group of men – including a physicist, a glove-maker, two rabbis, a professor of law and at least one criminal – struggle desperately not only to survive, but to make sense of their existence.

As they wait to discover whether they have been selected for the gas chambers, these prisoners, driven to the limit by the cruelty of the Nazis, demand to know the answer to the question: What is the nature of a God that can allow so much suffering?

From award-winning writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and starring a stellar international cast, God On Trial is the extraordinary tale of how these men attempt to settle their dispute by putting God in the dock, charged with breaking his covenant to protect his people. Read more
Thanks to The Sydenham Infidel for the link
Note: Embedding disabled by uploader

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Paul Rothemund: The astonishing promise of DNA folding

Filmed Feb 2008; Posted Sep 2008 Link
In 2007, Paul Rothemund gave TED a short summary of his specialty, DNA folding. Now he lays out in clear, adundant detail the immense promise of this field -- to create tiny machines that assemble themselves.

ScienCentral: Organ Repair

August 29, 2008
For the first time, researchers have prevented the typical age-related decline in a whole organ, allowing old mice to have livers that keep working like when they were young. This ScienCentral News video reports on a strategy that researchers think could lead to treatments for age-related decline in other organs, such as the brain.

Interviewee: Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine
by ScienCentral

Gov. Sarah Palin at Wassila Assembly of God Church

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June 6 2008
The Huffington Post:
Three months before she was thrust into the national political spotlight, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked to handle a much smaller task: addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God.

Her speech in June provides as much insight into her policy leanings as anything uncovered since she was asked to be John McCain's running mate.

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord. Read more
See also:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dispatches: Undercover Mosque - The Return

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Aired: September 1, 2008 on Channel 4
In a follow-up to the initial investigation, a female Dispatches reporter goes undercover again to see whether extremist beliefs are still being promoted in certain British Muslim institutions. The documentary also looks at the role of the Saudi Arabian religious establishment in spreading a hardline Islamic ideology in the UK.
See also:

Afghani Sentenced to Death for Downloading Article on Women and Islam

September 2, 2008 on BBC News

Monday, September 1, 2008