Shit that Pissed me Off – 2/23/18
This happened in January so excuse my tardiness.
The new division is the “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” and it has been put in place to help health care providers avoid consequences for failing to treat people with whom they have fundamental religious disagreements. Like – say – gay people.
The division is, ironically, part of the Office for Civil Rights and when the new division was announced, director Roger Severino said, in part:
No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions
No, Roger, they shouldn’t be forced to make that decision. So if they want to be a pharmacist but don’t want to fill prescriptions for birth control, they should be encouraged to find a job where being a judgmental prick doesn’t make it hard to do what they were hired to do.
Medical professionals are supposed to want the job because they want to help people. Not because they want to help some people. And the government certainly shouldn’t be in the business of protecting assholes who don’t want to operate on a gay man because he’s a gay man.
Welcome to the religious freedom crusade. It is the right wing Christianity tantrum that has been started in the wake of legalized same sex marriage. Those who want to push their own moral code on others have been told they don’t get to do that on a grand scale so they figure they would like to make it personal.
Sure, you two gentlemen can get married. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it and to prove it, I’m going to refuse to treat one of you. Or refuse to sell you a wedding cake. Or refuse to give you CPR. And I want to be protected because GOD.
I know it is hard to come up with solutions for what to do in the wake of another school shooting and just last week I was throwing up my hands saying we would, again, do nothing.
Boy was I wrong.
By a vote of 97-10, the Florida House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that will require state schools to place the state motto “In God we Trust” (which is pretty fucking unoriginal) in a “conspicuous place.” They were so proud of themselves, they gave themselves a standing ovation.
And lest you think I’m railing on Republicans, I want to note this bill was introduced by a Democrat and clearly had strong support from both parties.
Putting these words into schools is the pre-emptive equivalent of thoughts and prayers.
I’m sure there will be a legal challenge on this one because it is pretty much state sponsored religion in the school (the argument will be that they don’t specify which god) so that seems like a good use of state funds.
The problem isn’t even the clear illegality of this bill. The problem is the idea that putting “in God we Trust” on the wall is going to help anything. It may help Florida kids learn their state motto, I guess, which seems like it would be super useful in the job market.
These legislators gave themselves a standing ovation. Because they passed a bill to put a sign on school walls.
When they get to Parkland, are they going to use the sign to cover the blood stains?
This bill has bipartisan support so once again, I’m not angry at any political party but rather the entire concept of banning low riders just because you don’t like them.
You know what? I don’t like them either. They look terribly uncomfortable. I can’t understand why someone would want to dress that way. I also can’t understand why someone would want to wear high heels.
I’ve solved this problem by not wearing low riders or high heels. And I definitely never wear them together. That would just look weird.
But if you, dear reader of this weekly column, would like to wear low riders with high heels, I encourage you to go for it! You know why?
Because it’s none of my business what you choose to wear.
Oh, and banning low riders is inherently racist because even though co-sponsor Representative Joe Jefferson says he sees men of “all races” wearing these pants, almost all of them are black. And this is awkward because Joe Jefferson is black. So he probably isn’t racist.
But that doesn’t change the fact he is sponsoring a bill specifically targeting underprivileged youth with fines for wearing clothes.
I’ve been harping on some bad Democratic lawmakers for a little while. Now we’ll shift across the aisle to Representative Claudia Tenney from New York.
In a radio interview about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, she said “It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats, but the media doesn’t talk about that.”
Later, she cried fake news (the political equivalent of crying wolf) and claimed her statement was taken out of context. And you know, context does matter.
However, what is the context that would make it OK for her to claim that, basically, a liberal ideology makes it more likely you will go on a shooting spree? And the last I checked (my more conservative friends bear this out), blaming the media for everything that is reported “improperly” is a constant conservative claim.
So by throwing that claim out there without the slightest bit of proof, a bunch of conservatives already believe it is true. Media could go out and find pages of data showing that political affiliation has nothing to do with who will become a mass shooter but it won’t matter because conservatives have been programmed to believe the media will always lie to favor the “liberal agenda.”
I don’t honestly know the political affiliation of most shooters and my guess is nobody else does either because it doesn’t fucking matter. The media doesn’t report that information because nobody cares. Except a congresswoman from New York who probably doesn’t care either. She just wanted to make Democrats look bad because that’s a better use of her time than solving the fucking problem.
So Donald Trump has been trying to be compassionate this week. It is clearly a strain and he even brought crib notes to remind himself how to do it properly. He met with students and parents from Parkland High School and asked them how they felt about arming teachers.
Later in the week, he suggested that if teachers were willing to arm themselves and get the proper training, they should be paid some sort of bonus. Because if you are going to ask a teacher to be a security guard, they should get a bonus.
Never mind we won’t even give teachers the money to purchase their own school supplies. And the latest tax bill just eliminated their ability to deduct some of their expenses.
But while we won’t give them money to be teachers, we are now talking about giving them money to be bodyguards.
What exactly are we sending our kids to school for?
Here’s the thing – people are trying to figure out what we can do to get guns out of schools and the response seems to be “the best way to get firearms out of schools is to put more firearms into schools.”
This is the pro-gun response to just about everything. More guns. Guns are the solution to everything.
Gaining too much weight? More guns!
Want to quit smoking? More guns!
Too many school shootings? More guns!
And that’s the problem with gun culture. I’m not talking about people legally possessing firearms. I’m talking about the idea that having guns is a solution to everything. Our culture glorifies guns. In fact, I think we fetishize them.
While I don’t want to dismantle the bill of rights, I think the second amendment is toxic. It creates a culture where we pretend that we could rise up against tyranny or be the good guy with a gun who stops the bad guy with a gun. It is a fantasy that means we can’t have a reasonable argument because the only response anyone gets to “I don’t like guns” is “you would if there were more of them!”
The issue, mind you, is not the amendment itself but the way it is turned into a litmus test for freedom. If I say guns should be more tightly controlled, the response is “you are attacking my freedom” and I don’t really have a response because you are going to point to the constitution and say “see?” Then we both get into an argument about what the framers really meant which neither of us know because we weren’t there and even the framers didn’t agree on what they meant and the only thing either of us have managed to do is exercise our first amendment right to speak freely without actually listening.
And let me just say – the people hoarding guns to rise up against the government are not the people I would want taking over my country. I would pick Donald Trump over them.
I can’t believe I just wrote that.