Shit that Pissed me Off – 9/2
Now nobody is arguing that Saudi Arabia is a haven for those who value free speech. It is a monarchy that relies on the hardline religious leaders (and oil money) for power. As such, it should surprise no-one that they have draconian laws when it comes to expression.
If you doubt me, please refer to this week when they sentenced a man to 10 years imprisonment and 2000 lashes for Tweeting that he was an atheist.
Please note that in America, a young man just finished serving three months in jail for viciously raping an unconscious woman.
At least he didn’t tweet about it, I guess.
If you think that thought crimes didn’t exist, I give you Saudi Arabia where stating you don’t believe in god has you branded as being a terrorist and put in jail for a decade. If you can’t get behind the Koran after that, well you are just a stubborn asshole.
This Week’s Meme that Pissed me Off
Over the course of the weekend, a professional football player refused to stand for the National Anthem. As is his right. It was Colin Kaepernick so calling him a “professional football player” is not as accurate as it once was.
That gives rise to this week’s meme that pissed me off.
There aren’t many words in this meme so it is amazing how many of them are wrong.
Let’s start with “liberal logic.” What about this, exactly, screams “liberal?”
I mean, most liberals (like most Americans) are Christian. And most Christians have no problem with other Christians publicly expressing their faith. Certainly there aren’t a lot of liberals bitching about the prayer circle that happens at the end of every NFL game.
I know some atheists who find the Tebow prayer thing kind of silly. But they don’t think it is disgusting. Not a single person I know (and I’m a liberal atheist) thinks Tebow shouldn’t be able to do what he did when he was still a professional football player. I don’t think any of them would call it disgusting.
Nor are a whole slew of people calling Kaepernick a “hero,” He has the first amendment right to sit for the National Anthem. Nobody should compel him to stand if he does not feel he should. Honestly, that should be the end of the conversation. And honestly, I’ve seen way many more people describing his behavior as “disgusting” than hailing him as a “first amendment hero.” And my Facebook feed is, unsurprisingly, pretty liberal. So suggesting there are piles of liberals saying such things is simply dishonest.
Basically, I (like most liberals) don’t have any problem with either of these things. Liberal logic is actually better summed up as: Both of these things are fine.
But Let’s Evaluate Some of the Criticisms Leveled at Kaepernick, Shall we?
For one, the amount of money he is making is irrelevant. Donald Trump is rich as fuck (and has been his entire life) and yet all sorts of people think he can speak intelligently about the plight of the middle class. We should evaluate what Kaepernick is saying. Not how much money he makes.
His background (he came from a fairly affluent family) is also irrelevant. Again, we should evaluate what he is saying and not who he is.
His ability as a Football player is irrelevant. While it is true he is not a great NFL quarterback at the moment, I’m willing to bet all sorts of money that he is way fucking better than you. His ability to articulate his opinions on the United States is in no way related to his ability to throw a football. It’s like telling someone they can’t have an opinion about same-sex marriage because they are a shitty cook.
Finally, here’s my really controversial question: When did sitting for the National Anthem specifically become about disrespecting our troops? I could have sworn it was our National anthem, not our military anthem. Kaepernick was specifically showing his disgust with our country and not our troops.
They are not the same thing.
To suggest that sitting for the National Anthem is disrespecting our troops is to simplify what I thought the anthem represented, which is all of us!
He said that all of us have some problems and until we hunker down and do something about it, that anthem holds no meaning for him. How much he makes doesn’t matter. How he was raised doesn’t matter. How well he plays football doesn’t matter. What he has to say matters.
So focus on that. And agree or disagree based on that.
I wrote about this orphanage just last week. After a GoFundMe campaign raised over 20K for this home for at risk youth, they refused all of it because it came from an Atheist organization.
So the donor said fine, he would donate it anonymously so they wouldn’t have to say they got money from an atheist. He’d even have the check hand delivered by a pastor.
The answer was still no.
At every point, this guy has been above board. He could have asked a cousin to write the check and they’d never know or care. They’d just cash it. But he didn’t want to be secretive. He just wanted to give them money.
And they turned him down because their belief in god is stronger than their belief in helping children.
That’s what this is all about, remember? Helping children.
I’d even respect their stance a little bit if it turned out they had enough funds to operate. Of course, they don’t.
Have you heard that joke about god sending a truck, a boat, and a helicopter? These people haven’t.
Trump said they didn’t discuss who would pay for the wall. President Nieto said he told Trump Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall.
So who is telling the truth?
Paradoxically, both of them.
Nieto unquestionably told Trump that Mexico wasn’t going to pay for his stupid ass wall. Trump didn’t give a fuck what Nieto was saying and the only recollection of the meeting he has is whatever he was making up while Nieto was talking. So Trump is telling this truth based on his own point of view and Nieto is telling the truth based on what actually fucking happened.
Trump and his supporters live in a fictional world where everything goes Trump’s way. Even when it doesn’t.
I’m sick and tired of people saying Trump and Clinton are the same. To suggest such a thing is to suggest that a career politician with views you don’t always like is the same as a playground bully who wants to be the principal in order to make life easier for all the other bullies.
The good news for all of us, though, is a latino supporter of Trump has given us the best reason yet to ensure he won’t be President. If Clinton is elected, there will be a taco truck on every corner! Let’s make this happen!
Finally, if you have enjoyed my fiction, I posted part one of a story I presented at the Minnesota Fringe Festival this year. Parts 2 & 3 will be coming in the next two weeks.