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Finding the Right Time

TexasOpenCarryWalmart-680x365I have friends who are adamantly pro-gun.  I also have friends who are adamantly anti-gun.

Personally, I don’t like guns.  I don’t like to be around them.  I have never wanted to shoot one.  I don’t want a gun in my house.

I also don’t like the almost sexual obsession we have with guns in America.  The desire to carry our guns out in the open because IT IS OUR RIGHT is just silly.  You don’t need an AK-47 to shop at Wal-Mart.  All you need is a lack of self respect.

My dislike of guns, however, should not be misinterpreted as a desire to take away the rights of responsible gun owners.  At least not all of their rights.  Just a few limitations, maybe.  When I ask questions about gun control, I mean exactly that.

I’m talking about controlling access to guns in some cases. I’m asking how we keep guns out of the hands of people who are truly dangerous.  Because I think that is something we’d all genuinely like to do.  Pro-gun and anti-gun alike, we all want to stop bad guys from shooting up theaters.  Or killing two people in the middle of a news broadcast.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/24

Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients is a Huge Bust

Government needs to be smaller, they tell us.  It isn’t that I disagree with that basic sentiment but I don’t understand why there is a huge push from the right to test welfare recipients for drug use.

I mean, I understand the basic (dumb) argument.  We don’t want people receiving handouts to be using those handouts to fund a drug habit.  Better that they receive zero money and zero treatment and they die in an opium den, I guess.  Or maybe they will just have their legs broken because they can’t pay their dealer.

Anyway, the problem isn’t the rationale so much as the results.  The number of drug users being caught is so low, it doesn’t come close to saving the government the money it is spending on catching the drug users.  Has anyone thought about rebranding the “war on drugs” as a “limited police action” on drugs.

Throw down your pot and put your leaves up! DO IT NOW!

Throw down your pot and put your leaves up! DO IT NOW!

So instead of small government, we have big government looking for evidence of drug abuse and finding comparatively little.  Even if estimates are correct and 8% of welfare recipients are drug abusers, that leaves most welfare recipients in the position of being assumed guilty until a drug test proves otherwise.

Is it legal? Well I’m pretty sure John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia think so.

Which means it may be legal but it is almost certainly a bad idea.

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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 – 6/5

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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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 – 5/8

In Spite of the Insistence of Several Texans, the Pentagon is Not Taking over Texas

The US is engaging in some military exercises in the state of Texas (and several other southern states).  I presume the military does this sort of thing all the time.  Sometimes they do it in Texas.

I also presume if they did this sort of maneuver under President Bush (either one), nobody in Texas gave a shit.  Maybe a few whackadoodle liberals but nobody else.

The conservatives don't have to stage a coup to take over Texas, pal.  They've already won.  You should move.

The conservatives don’t have to stage a coup to take over Texas, pal. They’ve already won. You should move.

This whole thing probably started with some whackadoodle conservatives (like Chuck Norris).  But it rapidly moved up the chain to Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  Abbott has ordered Texas State Guard troops to “monitor” the exercises.  I assume this is because Obama has exhibited a pattern of trying to take over conservative states by force during his first six years in office.

The political saber rattling to appease the stupid, paranoid wing of the Republican party is just dumb.

Tragically, though, the biggest issue is this: Obama isn’t actually trying to take over Texas!  Those folks in Austin can’t hold out forever!

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