Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/26
I’m not going to pretend I don’t have issues with any religion (or interpretation of religion) that tells women they must keep their bodies covered. It is an act of body shaming and subtle oppression meant to make women feel ashamed of their own identity.
However, women also get to make their own choices regarding what they want to wear. And if they want to wear a head scarf at the beach, that ought to be completely fine. It’s their fucking head and their fucking scarf. You shouldn’t be handing out tickets (she was given a fucking ticket) based on the fact they have put on too much clothing.
That this is being done in the name of secularism (her ticket was for failing to wear “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”) is equally disgusting. There is nothing about secularism that suggests anyone should be judged for what they choose to wear.
French courts seem to agree so far as they have struck down the ban on burkinis in the last few days.
You can understand the concern about terrorism in France given recent horrific attacks. It makes a lot more sense than the concern in other countries like, say, the United States.
However, swimwear is not a sign of terroristic intent. It is a sign of someone who believes that they have a right to cover their bodies because it is their fucking body.
It is ironic that France has many topless (and even nude) beaches implying that you can’t wear too little at the beach, you can only wear too much.
Trump did pretty well this week. He’s got a new campaign staff and in the past, he’s managed to not be a total dick for one to two weeks every time he gets a new staff in place.
He did say that he thinks Clinton is a racist, though, because her policies are bad for “blacks and hispanics.” Pressed if he felt her policies are racist or if she is racist, he doubled down (as he always does) by saying that she is racist and that the policies of the Obama administration have been terrible for African-Americans.
Putting aside the fact that African-Americans are doing slightly better than they were when Obama took office, the next question should be “what policies?”
I mean, given that Obama has spent most of his term with a Republican House that refuses to pass most of his policies, I’m wondering which ones he got through that clearly had Republican support were bad for African-American communities?
Trump is good using the tu quoque fallacy as a distraction method. He is clearly and demonstrably racist. So instead of recognizing and fixing his own racism (which he can’t do because he’s attracted a shit ton of racists to his campaign), he accuses Clinton of racism.
It’s the political equivalent of “I’m rubber and you’re glue.” So far it isn’t working. I can only hope that trend continues.
In Oklahoma, a man tried to donate $100 to a local children’s home in the name of his atheist organization. That should have been cool.
Nope. It sure wasn’t! His donation was rejected because it went against “everything they believe in.”
Apparently, they don’t believe that anyone can help at risk children. Just Christians.
So things got nuts from there. Through gofundme, over $28,000 was raised to help these kids. It, too, was rejected.
I mean, you have to respect these folks for sticking to their conviction that these needy kids aren’t so needy that they can use money that publicly comes from atheists (not all of the money pledged in the gofundme campaign came from atheists). In the end, most of the money will go to Camp Quest (which is a good cause) and $5000 will be anonymously donated to the original charity.
But what the fuck is wrong with these people? Is there anything even remotely Christian about rejecting a charitable gift because of who is giving it? They (of course) used a bible verse to justify their rejection of the money but it didn’t make any sense.
The giver didn’t care if you were sending these kids to church on Sundays. They didn’t care if you hand them Chick tracts when they come through the door. They just wanted to help some kids who were in a shitty situation.
And you told them to fuck right off and help some other kids.
It’s a shameful response. But some other kids got helped.
And these kids too. At least I assume there won’t be an issue with accepting money from an anonymous donor. Even though that donation could be Richard Dawkins.
I believe racism is problem in America. But don’t take my word for it, I’m a white guy.
I mean that. The best I can hope to do is understand the black experience. I certainly can’t live it. So I firmly believe all of us white people need to listen to voices of color because we genuinely don’t get it.
Sam Harris doesn’t think racism is a problem in America. To his credit (I guess), he realizes he’s a white guy. So he found a black man to agree with him.
Now when I say we should listen to voices of color, I mean we should listen to all of them. There are those who firmly believe that Black Lives Matter is a harmful movement. I think they are wrong but I think they are wrong because I have listened to voices of color from both sides and drawn a conclusion.
When Harris wants to say the same thing, he finds a voice of color that agrees with him and then he feels like he has the right to speak with authority.
That isn’t the only voice of color, though. And if all you are doing is finding someone who agrees with you, you are exercising some monumental confirmation bias. Which is sad because confirmation bias is something Sam Harris knows a lot about.
Harris dismisses opposing voices in black America by calling it identity politics. He says the only identity that should matter is “homo sapien,” which sounds suspiciously like “all lives matter,” doesn’t it?
For the record, Tyson laid the smackdown on the clown. For the moment though, let’s consider what got Neal Larson so upset.
Tyson pointed out that if you go by the number of athletes at the Olympic Games compared to the number of golds won, Hungary totally kicked the ass of the United States.
In other words, we have more resources, more people, and more interest so of course we won more gold medals.
You can be proud of that fact all you want. It doesn’t change the math.
Neal Larson didn’t like the math so he launched into a tirade about how awful Tyson was for pointing it out. I suppose if he wanted to complain that Tyson was harshing his squee, he would have an argument I’d respect.
Instead, he brought out a bunch of tired conservative bullshit about how scientists are “smug” when they are doing things like sharing the facts.
Then he accused Tyson of ridiculing a kid who wanted to live on Jupiter. Which Tyson “smugly” pointed out didn’t happen.
This is the constant battle science faces. When a scientist presents us with facts, we say they are smug or elite. Basically “fuck you and your liberal education, I’m going to go on believing what I believe even though you can prove I’m wrong. Proof is the work of the devil. Fuck Black Sabbath.”
Or some other stupid shit.
Look, Tyson can take care of himself. In fact, he already did. This is about more than Tyson, though. It is about a public resistance from the left (anti vaxxers) and the right (climate change denial).
It seems the majority of us really hate science because sometimes it forces us to confront uncomfortable truths. I hate science because I can’t travel faster than light. That hatred is completely reasonable.
To finish – I have written a new short story this week. It is a silly little piece about bureaucracy in space. I am concerned the Trump campaign will steal it to paint a picture of Hillary’s America. If that happens, I owe the Clinton campaign a big apology.