President-Elect Trump (fuuuuuuuuck) tweeted this week that flag burners should go to jail for a year or lose their citizenship. Nothing about how burning the flag is a constitutionally protected right and he just doesn’t like it. No – he thinks people should lose their citizenship if they burn the flag.
While Trump fills his cabinet with individuals who will repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (which is sure as fuck going to affect me and my family), we talk about flag burning.
OK, so let’s talk about it. And let’s ditch the “flag burning is a reprehensible act but it is protected” part of the conversation. It’s as if we all need to hold up our hands and protest that we don’t like something because so many people are bothered by it.
And that is what pisses me off. Who gives an actual fuck? Has anyone ever been harmed by the burning of a flag? I mean besides the person burning the flag who might have, you know, gotten a burn because they were holding a burning piece of cloth?
Why have we, as Americans, decided that burning the flag is a despicable act? It’s a flag! A piece of cloth. It is not our country.
That the flag has become a sacred relic is embarrassing. So let me step up and say I don’t have an issue with anyone burning a flag. I’m reasonably certain that a country with enough nuclear capability to turn every other continent into a pile of atomic slag is strong enough to handle a few flags on fire.
I’m sick of the feeling that before we say something (flag burning, abortion, Hillary Clinton) is OK, we have to acknowledge how awful it is.
There is nothing awful about burning a flag. Our freedoms are not irreparably damaged when a flag is set on fire. In fact, our freedoms are enhanced. Burning a flag is an act of defiance but it is also an act of celebration.
It celebrates our right as citizens to openly criticize our government. Have we forgotten how many places on Earth that is not allowed? Is that really what we want here?
If it isn’t, then nobody should say “flag burning is a horrible act.” We should, instead, say “flag burning is a celebration of our constitution.”
And the thing is – this is all a distraction. Flags don’t get burned a lot. In fact, they hardly ever get burned at all. The fact we are talking about something that almost never happens is a ridiculous waste of time.
Our response should be “huh. Someone burned a flag. I wouldn’t even know about this if it weren’t for the 24 hour news cycle.”
Now who the fuck is in Trump’s cabinet again?
One Very Misleading Map
I’ll get to the map in a minute. First, I’m going to spend a few paragraphs being frustrated that it is going to be nearly fucking impossible to talk about Donald Trump for – well – at least four years. I thought this week I’d try to avoid talking about him. I wanted to find other news items to fill my blog.
Problem is, right now all the news is about Donald Trump. And that pisses me off in itself. I am definitely pissed that his cabinet and staff looks like it’ll be comprised almost entirely of old white dudes. Some of whom are racist. I’m not surprised, mind you. I’m just pissed.
I’m pissed that Trump still sends out late night tweet storms because he’s the same fucking asshole he was before he was elected. And now he feels like he’s been vindicated. He doesn’t have to change who he is at all.
But I’m going to try to avoid talking about Trump for the rest of this week. Let’s focus on this map, OK?
Let’s let this map sink in, as the meme encourages us to do.
I mean, this is all about the tyranny of those 57 bully counties. They are just forcing their will on everyone else and that is horribly unfair!
Never mind that population wise, a lot of people live in those blue counties. And if counties had to have equal populations we should split those 57 blue counties into a number that would, roughly, be the equivalent of those 3084 red ones. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so uneven any longer, does it?
Here’s the other problem – when you make a county all red or all blue, you ignore the fact that there were people who voted for Clinton in those red counties. And people voted for Trump in the blue counties. So anyone in a red county who voted Clinton is basically shit out of luck as their wants/needs/desires are considered to be “red” while the wants/needs/desires of Trump voters in the 57 blue counties are considered to be “blue.”
The reality, of course, is much more nuanced. By using counties as your measuring stick and turning them red if Trump won by even one vote, you turn the electoral map into something that completely ignores the differing needs of our population.
We’ve read endlessly about how rural and urban populations want and need different things from our government. And that’s true. We don’t talk a lot about how rural populations are a lot more socially conservative and a lot more religious, which probably has more to do with all those red counties than the economic policies of a particular party.
This map and the commentary on the map suggests that because there are more rural counties, their wants/needs/desires are more important that the urban counties.
Tyranny of the majority is a phrase people in America like to throw around all the time. Especially when they win. The electoral college is there to stop the tyranny of the majority. Hell, the person who posted this map talked about tyranny of the majority even though their own math suggests that the tyranny is actually coming from the 3084 counties that voted for Trump.
But tyranny of the majority can be determined in a lot of ways. For instance, the majority of Americans are Christians. Almost every elected official is a Christian. That could be interpreted as tyranny of the majority as well, couldn’t it? Because it actually is.
More people like Marvel Movies than DC movies. More people think the original Star Wars trilogy is better than the prequels.
The majority can be tyrannical. It can also be right. And right is typically measured by whatever we already believe to be true.
So this map is not meant to point out that 57 counties are pushing around the rest of the country. It is meant to point out that Donald Trump should have won because look how many counties wanted him to be President.
It is meant to tell everyone annoyed by electoral college math that the math was fair because counties.
The electoral college argument is a complex one that cannot be boiled down to a few simple bullet points. In my lifetime, the electoral college has picked a President over popular opinion twice. It is troubling, to be sure.
Those on the losing side will use a bunch of math to show why the electoral college is unfair. Those on the winning side will use a bunch of math (and misleading maps like this one) to argue that it is fair.
In the end, though, all of this is an effort to simplify something that is extremely complex.
I think the electoral college should be more representative of the popular vote. But this map doesn’t argue for that. It argues that whoever turns more counties a particular color should win. If that’s how we want to solve things, we should just provide both candidates with a whole lot of paint.
Todd Starnes writes opinion pieces for Fox News. I can understand if you don’t want to read this one.
He’s an asshole, by the way. He’s smug and self-satisfied and completely incapable of recognizing his own bias.
Someone says I’m the same way in 3…2..
Anyway…a radio station in Madison, Wisconsin recently dumped their liberal talk show format for something different. Christmas music.
It makes sense, actually. I mean they will probably get more listeners that way.
One of the shows dropped to make way for endless renditions of The Little Drummer Boy was a show called “Freethought Radio” by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The show is still out there, by the way, it just isn’t being carried by that station.
Starnes wrote an opinion piece that is basically making fun of atheists for losing their radio show in Madison and it is basically the tone of the piece that is infuriating. He says things like:
Let’s be honest – would you rather listen to Rush [Limbaugh] and Sean [Hannity] or a gaggle of man-hating feminists in Birkenstocks warbling about the virtues of organic gardening.
Can I ask what it is about Birkenstocks that is so fucking liberal? I mean, don’t conservatives like comfortable sandals? Help me out, here.
And I don’t think he understand atheists very well since most of us are skeptics who are, in fact, pro GMO.
Anyway…Starnes is smugly reveling in the victory of Christmas music over a one hour atheist talk show. I mean Rush and Sean are a lot more popular anyway and they have been for a long time. They will continue to be well into the future.
So who cares if one atheist show is pushed out of one market because a radio station wants to be more profitable?
Todd Starnes does.
His side won this year. And they have been winning for a while. So why not just keep kicking the other side to remind them who is on top? Talk about the tyranny of the majority.
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.
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.
In another move meant to remind us how important control of the Supreme Court has become, Oklahoma appears poised to test exactly how far you can go in the control of women’s health decisions.
The state governor has not yet decided whether or not to sign this bill, which goes so far as to tell the state medical board which doctors they can certify.
Rather than targeting the mothers, this law rewards doctors who perform abortions with felony charges. Even if the abortion is required to save the life of the mother.
More and more, it becomes clear that lawmakers on one side of the issue are far more concerned about the next generation than the current one. Unless we are talking about global climate change. Or overpopulation. Or pollution.
Then the needs (or wants) of this generation are far more important.
Unless, of course, they need to go to the bathroom.
This was posted back in March but I only found it this week. I’m sorry – I was slacking.
Basically, this is a crazy religious screed about why Rey is a terrible character because women are weaker than men (the Bible says so) and any time a woman kicks some ass (especially superior male ass), it’s lazy storytelling. It happens all the time. Except for nearly every fucking movie ever made.
He doesn’t just have a problem with Rey, mind you. He’s also got problems with Furiosa, Ripley, and pretty much every other female character who wasn’t in need of rescuing by a man.
When he is talking about the obvious physical differences between most men and most women, you could almost give him a pass. Then he says this:
It’s not just a matter of small bodies versus big bodies. Women are the weaker sex because they’re more timid and emotionally vulnerable and tender-hearted than men. God made them that way.
Oh, I get it. You suddenly got a degree in psychology by reading the Bible. Women are more timid? How can they be when they have to put up with bullshit like this every day?
I’m sick of the “God created women to be this way don’t blame me it’s in the Bible/Koran/whatever the fuck religious book I happen to read” argument. Talk about lazy storytelling.
So Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear came out with an expansion and it includes a transgender character. Which is cool.
No word on what bathrooms the character is allowed to use. I suppose it depends on the state…
Anyway, a bunch of dickweed gamers are apparently pissed because the writer of the game had the audacity to introduce her social opinions into a video game! They are dropping one star reviews in the gamer equivalent of carpet bombing. With Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
Amber Scott, who wrote the game, has this to say:
As I’ve said before (and I won’t say much more on this subject other than to get my perspective out there): I’m the writer and creator. I get to make decisions about who I write about and why. I don’t like writing about straight/white/cis people all the time. It’s not reflective of the real world, it sets up s/w/c as the “normal” baseline from which “other” characters must be added, and it’s boring.
So that seems pretty logical. Nobody should give a shit.
But apparently including a transgender character in a fictional world that has ogres and goblins is just to unrealistic for some gamers. The best solution, of course, is to shut up and complain about the gameplay.