Shit that Pissed me off – 6/26

Writers note: What with landmark Supreme Court rulings in favor of Obamacare and same-sex marriage this week, I contemplated taking a week off.  I mean, why be pissed when two things I strongly support are taking their victory lap?

Sadly, there are still things that piss me off.  Please accept, though, that I am writing this week’s column with a satisfied smile on my face.

What the Fuck is Wrong with Clarence Thomas?

While Antonin Scalia can be counted on for red faced dissenting opinions in which he bemoans the fact that social liberals exist, much less occasionally win, Thomas’ dissent in the same-sex marriage case is positively draconian.

In it, he suggests that slaves in America and the Japanese Americans who were interred during WWII did not lose their dignity.  He reasons (wrongly) that nobody can take away your dignity.

It seems odd that anyone would need to tell a black man how the system of slavery in the south was specifically designed to strip people of their dignity.  It is certainly odd that I, a white guy, seem to be more aware of this fact than him. Calling a person “property” doesn’t feel particularly dignified.

While Scalia is bemoaning the death of our democracy, Thomas seems to be questioning the definition of our humanity.  He wants to believe that we all have a limitless capacity for handling bullshit and the Government has no responsibility to make it stop.

If anyone here felt they lost their dignity, it was their own fucking fault!

If anyone here felt they lost their dignity, it was their own fucking fault!

Government can and has taken away human dignity. Today, it handed a little bit of dignity back.

What really bugs me about Scalia and Thomas is their dissent doesn’t feel like it is about law.  They are personally pissed that they lost and because they are justices on the Supreme Court, they get to write a long dissertation on just how pissed off they are.

Guess what guys? So do I. And a nearly unmeasurable fraction of the people who read yours also read mine!

SUCK ON THAT!!!!

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Shit that Pissed me off – 6/19

NRA Board Member Chooses the Occasion of a Tragic Shooting to Blame the Victims

I could mention a lot of things that piss me off about the latest mass shooting in Charleston.

I’m pissed that in spite of the fact the killer is a self admitted racist, there are lots of people who insist that this wasn’t about race.

I’m pissed because South Carolina still flies the Confederate flag at its state capitol and state leaders continually try to pretend there are no racist connotations that can be associated with that flag.

Flying these two flags together kind of misses the point.

Flying these two flags together kind of misses the point.

And I’m pissed because every time there is a mass shooting, some pro-gun nuts find ways to blame it on the victims because they weren’t carrying a gun.

This dude blames one of the victims because he was a legislator who actively campaigned against allowing guns in churches.  As if that is some sort of crazy far left-wing position that made him some sort of fringe politician.

What kind of whacked out liberal would oppose guns in churches?

The NRA solution to gun violence is always MOAR GUNZ! I guess I understand because that’s their solution to everything.

One wonders, though, if just once they could wait until the bodies are in the ground.

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Shit that Pissed me off – 6/5

There’s a New Kids’ Book About Hell

If you believe in hell, you don’t want your kids to go there.  I understand that on a basic level.

Yet, when someone makes a book that is meant to scare kids into believing in god, I feel as if they need to question their fundamental beliefs.

Actually, this kind of looks like something from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  Maybe it's cooler than I thought.

Actually, this kind of looks like something from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Maybe it’s cooler than I thought.

They make god out to be a weak and petty tyrant.  A tyrant who will punish kids for all eternity because two people ate a fruit they weren’t supposed to eat. Maybe it was an apple.  Maybe it was a pomegranate.  Maybe it was a tomato.  Because tomatoes are a fruit.

Hell is a horror story.  Most kids don’t respond well to horror stories.  This book is intended to create faith through fear.  I guess I feel god shouldn’t need to scare kids into believing.

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What the Fork?

Let’s see if I can make this funny…

I was poking around CNN this morning and I came across this article in which Vince Vaughn outlined his opinions on guns.  He likes them.  A lot.

Now I’m on record as not being a big fan of guns.  I don’t like them in much the way that Vince Vaugh likes them a lot.

I don’t like that we seem to have a love affair with guns in this country.  It feels a little bit creepy.  We wrap our adoration with guns up in a whole bunch of contrived excuses but I think we mostly just like guns a lot.

I may not be a fan of guns but I understand that the second amendment gives us a right to bear arms. I’m not questioning Vince Vaughn’s right to carry a gun any more than he should question my right to not carry one.  Since I’ve clearly stated that I don’t want Vince’s guns, let’s get down to my issue.

In his steadfast opinion that we’d all be a lot more safe if everyone carried guns, Vaughn makes the following statement about banning guns:

Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat

Um…ok.  That’s a cute analogy that was probably pulled right of an NRA brochure but it really isn’t the same thing at all.  See, people don’t need a fork to get fat.  In fact, they can down a few bags of Cheetos without any utensils at all.

Maybe that’s what Vaughn means.  If people don’t have guns to kill people, they will just use a different tool.  Just as a gluten sensitive overweight person will use their hands to eat Cheetos if a fork isn’t legal, so too will a crazed lunatic use a knife if a gun isn’t legal.

The difference being that a fat person can eat a lot more Cheetos with their hands but a crazy person can’t kill as many people as quickly with a knife.

Who needs a fork anyway?  You can eat Cheetos with chopsticks!

Who needs a fork anyway? You can eat Cheetos with chopsticks!

The basic argument that we should arm school teachers to prevent school shootings sounds logical until we consider that instead of one shooter, we now have multiple shooters.  No matter the intent of all those people with guns, the fact is there are more bullets flying around and it really seems like that is a recipe for more people getting hurt.

But what if it isn’t?  What if the single best idea for safer schools is an arsenal in every classroom?

Even if allowing teachers to carry guns is a great idea (until a teacher goes crazy and starts shooting up their school – but that would never happen because teachers never go crazy), I don’t honestly think Vaughn or people like him want their guns because of school shootings.

Earlier in the article, Vaughn says this:

We have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government.

A-ha!  The problem isn’t really school shootings, it is our right to rise up and resist the government!

First off, Vince, if we are going to rise up and resist the corrupt government, I think you should have a look at one of these:

It's a tank

It’s a tank

Our government has a lot of these.  Not these specifically.  This is a model and I think it’s British.  Our government has great big American tanks.  A lot of them.

I don’t know what kind of gun you have, Vince, but I don’t think it’ll do much to stop a tank.  In fact, if you stood in front of a tank and fired a gun and I stood in front of a tank and didn’t fire at it with my not gun, we’d both still be crushed when it ran us over.

If our government really wants to put you down, Vince, your guns won’t be able to stop them.  You know that, right?

But let’s explore the likelihood of our government putting us down.  When Clevon Bundy engaged in armed resistance of the government back in 2015 (because he refused to leave land that didn’t belong to him), how many people got killed?  Did the government opress the shit out of Bundy or is he still on the land that doesn’t belong to him?

I know that someone will bring up Waco as an example of the government oppressing people with guns and yes, that was a tragedy.  Let’s keep in mind that the people following David Koresh were also crazy.

In fact, most abuses of government power are police officers shooting unarmed people who are, frequently, black men.  So how do you think the scales will be tipped if those black men were all given guns?  It’s their constitutional right!

Will more or less black men die?  How about more or less police officers?

Let’s assume that Trayvon Martin had a gun the night he was killed.  Let’s further assume it was a firearm he was legally allowed to carry.  Let’s further assume that George Zimmerman approached Martin in a threatening manner and Martin shot him in what he believed to be self defense.

My hunch is nobody would be talking about Martin as a champion of the right to bear arms.

What if we armed everyone at the protests in Ferguson last year?  Would that have prevented deadly violence?  And if a bunch of police, who are representatives of an “oppressive government,” got killed, would we all be talking about how those brave protestors were “taking back our country?”

Honestly, I question how oppressed movie star Vince Vaughn is anyway.  I mean, when he talks oppression, I’m assuming he means taxes.

Because he can definitely say anything he wants.  He can go virtually anywhere he wants.  I guess one could argue being prevented from entering certain rooms in the Pentagon due to national security issues is oppression but how often do movie stars need to do that?

Vince and I can both agree there are things we’d prefer our government didn’t do.  We might disagree on what those are but I just don’t feel the boot of the government on my neck.  In fact, most Americans don’t.  Most Americans spend most of their lives barely dealing with the government.

So I have to assume he is talking about taxes.

Taxes suck.  I’d love it if they were lower.  We could lower them a ton by slashing the military budget in this country.  It would result in fewer tanks, which would make resistance a little bit easier.

All of this is ridiculous.

That’s my point.  The pro gun stance is nothing more than a bunch of people who really like guns trying to make excuses for why they like those guns.

So why not just say “I want to have my guns because I really like guns?” And why not admit that when you are talking about everyone’s right to bear arms, you are really talking about your own right to bear arms?

People in most third world countries would laugh at the concept that our government is oppressive.  You want to understand oppression?  Here’s another picture of a tank.

1_0

So stop with the paranoid rhetoric about how we have to be prepared to resist a government that forces us to drive sober and stop at red lights.

Go to the range and shoot your guns.  Have fun!  And stop making excuses.

Shit that Pissed me off – 5/29

Catholic Church Says Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in The Republic of Ireland is a “Defeat for Humanity”

Cardinal Raymond Burke was featured here just last week.  I think it is fair to say that he has a big problem with homosexuals.

He also seems to have an even bigger problem with people who feel homosexuals have a right to exist without feeling ashamed of themselves.  While even the Pope seems a bit wishy-washy regarding church dogma on this particular topic, Burke is not.

He even went as far as to say “Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage.”

If I say a complete non sequitor, maybe nobody will notice I'm an intolerant asshole!

If I say a complete non sequitur, maybe nobody will notice I’m an intolerant asshole!

Whoa, dude! You know you owe the pagans a lot, right?

If it weren’t for the pagans, we wouldn’t know when Jesus was born.  Or when he died.  We wouldn’t have an entire holiday devoted to drinking if St. Patrick hadn’t needed to drive those pesky pagans snakes out of Ireland.

So disrespect the gays, my friend.  It seems like the only way to get ahead in your particular line of work.

But leave the pagans out of this.  What have they ever done to you?

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 5/22

Jeb Bush Criticizes Intellectual Arrogance in Climate Change Debate

Bush is looking to raise money so he can be the third member of his family to be President.  To do so, he has to pander to the extreme right wing of his own party and that means his personal opinion on global Climate Change is irrelevant.

The evidence shows that our climate is changing so the right is now simply suggesting that it may or may not be caused by human beings.  Who knows? Aside from almost all of the scientists studying the phenomena.  Most of them seem pretty certain.

I'm going to be working in hostile environments and paying off student loans until I'm 50 just so people can call me "intellectually arrogant."

I’m going to be working in hostile environments and paying off student loans until I’m 50 just so people can call me “intellectually arrogant.”

Anyway, Bush goes so far as to say believing the scientific community amounts to intellectual arrogance.

It’s all so cynical because Bush is saying these things to raise money.  Solving a potential global crisis doesn’t matter to him or the people giving him money.  They genuinely don’t give a fuck if climate change is caused by humans or not.

Because no matter what is causing it, they don’t want to do anything about it.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 5/15

Men’s Rights Idiots are Upset About Fury Road Even Though They Haven’t Seen it Yet

I haven’t seen the film yet.  I’m very much looking forward to the film and I have to admit, the fact a bunch of Men’s Rights jackasses are upset about the film makes me want to buy two tickets just to piss them off a little bit more.

The basic issue seems to be the idea the film has a woman who is, apparently, pretty badass.  This, apparently, takes away from the badassness of Max because a dude cannot be badass if there is a badass woman around.

Here's Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator 2.  The one with the bad ass version of Sarah Connor.  See how emasculated he looks?

Here’s Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator 2. The one with the bad ass version of Sarah Connor. See how emasculated he looks?

I can see how this would ruin a movie for someone who has no interest in anything more than watching dudes blow stuff up.

Should that be their primary interest, I think they would be happier with the Expendables franchise.  Or the Die Hard franchise.  Or any number of other films that are all about dudes blowing shit up.

What I really want to do is buy an extra ticket and send it to one of these guys. Then I can tell them their boycott of the film failed because I bought a ticket for them.

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