I’m sure you’ve read about Ahmed Mohamed this week. He built his own clock and made the mistake of bringing it to school and showing his teachers. He was proud of himself because he made something cool.
His teachers were concerned he’d built a bomb.
Because, you know, most kids who want to blow up their school show the bomb off to their teachers first.
So this kid was cuffed and interrogated by police and then suspended for three days. Because he built a clock.
Now if Ahmed had been white, I somehow think this situation would have turned out differently. Strange given that most of the school shooters I know of were white. Maybe school bombers are different.
As of right now, two important things have happened. On the positive side, President Obama invited Ahmed to the White House, MIT invited him to their campus, and about five dozen tech companies already want to hire him. Because fuck the people who got scared by a Muslim kid with mechanical skills.
On the negative side, he says he has learned his lesson and he won’t bring his inventions to school any longer.
Which is precisely the lesson he shouldn’t have been taught.
So, OK. I see what they are trying to do. They are trying to help poor people eat healthier.
I mean, it’s great that we want to spend a lot of time
convincing forcing poor kids to eat brussels sprouts but isn’t being poor bitter enough?
It seems like we are punishing poor kids and single moms for being poor kids and single moms. If they are getting a little government assistance (and food stamps are a little government assistance), why not let ’em use it to buy ketchup if they want some?
No, poor kids! If you want to eat some french fries, the most you can put on them is a little bit of salt!
Also, they need to be sweet potato fries because we aren’t going to let you buy potatoes.
Kim Davis, a clerk in Kentucky, has been on a religious crusade for a while now. Steadfastly refusing to issue marriage licenses because her conscience (and the Bible) won’t allow her to “condone” same-sex marriage, she has been fighting for her
right to discriminate against people she doesn’t approve of religious freedom in the courts.
And she has lost. Time and again the courts have told her “this is the law. You have a sworn duty to uphold it even if you don’t agree with it.”
This week, after once again refusing to do her legal duty, she has been jailed for contempt of court.
There are so many things that bother me about all of this.
First of all, she is abusing the court system. There has never been a time when she would have abided by the court decision if she lost. Never. Sure, she probably believed she would win but so what? If you are going to use the court system and you lose, lose with some dignity.
Second, if she can’t do her job for moral reasons, she needs to quit. Instead of using her religion as an excuse to deny people a legal right with which she doesn’t agree, she needs to accept that she can’t fulfill the function of her office. Because she
Third, can you imagine the issues should the court eventually side with her? Devout Muslims could refuse to issue drivers licenses to women. Devout Jews could refuse to serve McRibs at a McDonalds. Devout Buddhists could ruin a concert by clapping with only one hand.
Fourth, this isn’t about her personal beliefs being under fire. She isn’t doing this so she personally doesn’t have to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Told she would be released from jail if she allowed her deputies to sign same-sex licenses, she said she would not. In other words, even though she would not be issuing the license, she won’t allow one to be issued by anyone in her office. That means she is enforcing her own belief on those who work with her. Which is exactly what she claims to be fighting against.
Finally, I have a real problem with Christians who are casting stones. Because Jesus was pretty clear on this point:
Kim Davis cheated on her first husband with her third husband. Which is adultery and one of those commandments fundamentalist Christians are so anxious to put in courthouses.
I’m not judging her for that. She screwed up. People screw up all the time. I’m judging her for the fact she has the temerity to deny a legal right to others when she, by her own religious beliefs, has no right to judge them.
The protests to mark the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder (my bias may be showing in my selection of words) were mostly peaceful. And then some asshole shot at the police.
Now this idiot was not a protestor. He was an extremist who wanted to hurt someone and used the protests as an opportunity to do it. Even if he claims he was angry at the police for documented racism, there were a lot of people angry at the police for documented racism who didn’t bring a gun.
When one guy does something stupid, though, it is as if all the other people who weren’t doing anything wrong become co-conspirators. What they have to say is no longer considered important because of that one dude who tried to shoot the police.
So please, everyone, can we stop bringing guns to word fights?
The Arizona Cardinals became the first team in NFL history to add a woman to their coaching staff when Jen Welter was hired as a pre-season intern working with the inside linebackers.
Don’t care about sports? That’s fine. The breaking of the gender barrier is still important even if she is not a permanent member of the coaching staff. If she does a decent job, one can assume she will open the door for as many as two or three other women to have temporary coaching jobs in the NFL.
The article linked above is in Welter’s own words and mostly she is talking about how excited she is by the opportunity.
Later, though, she talks about friends in women’s football being called up to do interviews with ESPN because of her. And she says this:
I won four championships and two gold medals and I was never asked to go on ESPN. None of us were.
Got that? She was an accomplished athlete before she temporarily joined the Cardinals coaching staff and nobody on a 24-hour sports station wanted to talk to her. Or anyone else involved in women’s football. Until now.
Have no fear, gentlemen (including the brilliant guy who commented on the article by saying women will never be equal to men until they have to sign up for the draft). The glass ceiling is still very much intact.
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.
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.
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!!!!
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.”
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?