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Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/21

For Easter, Someone Decided to Vandalize an Atheist’s Truck

In Crookston, Minnesota, there aren’t a lot of atheists, I’ll wager.  I would go so far as to guess even fewer are out about it.

Jeff Carter had a couple of magnetic bumper stickers on his truck that made it clear he’s an atheist.  That’s cool, right?  I mean, one truck with a few atheist slogans is hardly a problem when there are probably dozens (or hundreds – I didn’t bother to look up the population of Crookston*) of vehicles with Christian bumper stickers in the same town.

Apparently flaunting your atheism in Crookston is not cool, though.  At least not cool to the (I assume) Christians who vandalized Carter’s truck.

Jesus rose from the dead! Praise god! Let’s go write some Christian shit on an atheist’s truck!

How do we know they are Christians?  Because they wrote phrases like “Jesus is Great” and “God is Life” on his truck.  Now I suppose it is possible that a couple of Crookston Jews pissed off at Carter’s atheism but decided they should frame some Christians but that might stretch the imagination a bit too far.

And look – I know these assholes are not indicative of almost every other Christian in the country.  Even the ones who voted for Donald Trump.  They are outliers.

They serve as a reminder, though.  The next time a Christian complains about how they are being oppressed by modern society, remember that there aren’t a lot of atheists going around vandalizing cars with Christian bumper stickers.

I assume because they aren’t really sure what to write on the car.  “Science is great?”  “I totally came from a monkey (even though I didn’t – monkeys and I share a common ancestor)?” “Atheists make better cookies (citation needed)?”

*I lied – It’s 7,904

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/24

Soccer Player who Had his Girlfriend Murdered and Fed to Dogs Gets Out of Jail and Proceeds to Get a Job Playing Soccer

Look, I honestly believe that someone charged with a crime should serve their time but then they should have the chance to live their life.  People make horrible, awful, stupid, mistakes and sometimes we need to be big and forgive them.  Give them a chance to be better people.

We aren’t, generally, interested in such things.  We are interested in placing people into the category of “generally a good person” or “they should be dead.”

So anyway, Bruno Fernandes de Souza was a star goaltender in the Most Popular Sport in Every Country But America (TM) and he had his girlfriend murdered and fed to dogs. He was sentenced to 22 years but after only six years, he was released on a technicality.

So what happened next?  He got a chance to play Soccer again.  Because he’s that good.  Or at least he was.

I am grateful my life has reached a point where I had need of this image.

I might even be able to deal with that if he wasn’t an insufferable jackass.  He basically categorized what he did as “a mistake.”  To be fair, he did say it was “a serious one.”

And here’s the thing – he’s has a skill that is important to a lot of people and that means he will get as many chances so long as he’s still good at it.  And that’s the bullshit message of this story.

You can get away with murder.  As long as you are a celebrity.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/17

Democratic Congressman Makes Me Defend Kellyanne Conway

I was on vacation for the last two weeks and that means I need to play a little bit of catch up.

Now let’s be clear that I think Kellyanne Conway is a tool.  Her job is to go to the press and ignore their questions as a way of obfuscating all the stupid bullshit our rich white President tweets out.  More on that later.

However, the controversy around the following picture is a bunch of bullshit.

Conway is taking a picture of her President surrounded by black people in an attempt to make it look like he has a lot of friends who are black.  I could totally make fun of that because I’m pretty sure Donald Trump knows as much about the black experience in America as Ben Carson.

But instead, people like Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond made fun of conway for being barefoot on a couch.  I suppose the implication is that she slept her way to the top or something while ignoring the fact she was instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected.

I can hate her for that.  But I also have to respect her for that.  And in spite of the bad taste it leaves in my mouth, I have to defend Conway on the grounds that you don’t get to make that kind of joke about her.

Given all the stuff she does that is completely horrible, shouldn’t it be OK to shy away from calling her a slut because she’s taking a picture with her shoes off?  Do we lack so much creativity as a society that when we are presented with a woman we don’t like, we can find no other outlet to criticize her than shaming her for not behaving like we think a woman should behave.

Conway and her President will do and say so many stupid things in the next 24 hours (pick any 24 hour period), it seems like wasted effort to focus on something so unimportant.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 2/10

Senate Silences Elizabeth Warren

Prior to the Senate vote in which Jeff Sessions was expected to be confirmed as Attorney General, Elizabeth Warren was reading a few remarks about Sessions penned by Coretta Scott King.  They pointed out that Sessions didn’t have the best record when it came to protecting the rights of his black constituents.

As is the case when this sort of thing is happening, the Senate floor was mostly empty.  Senators like to talk but they aren’t particularly interested in listening.

This is a non-partisan issue.

Anyway, because she said some bad things about now former Senator Sessions, the Republicans chose to censure her.  You just don’t say bad things about senators, you see.  That’s the rules.

Warren, of course, has become a hero of the left and she’s fine.

This T-shirt slogan was written by Mitch McConnell. Well done, Mitch.

This T-shirt slogan was written by Mitch McConnell. Well done, Mitch.

The problem here is the fact the Republicans have basically served notice that they don’t give a flying fuck what the other side says and if they are tired of it, they will just force the other side to shut up.  I mean, this isn’t much of a shock but frankly, all they needed to do was let her talk.

It didn’t fucking matter.  Sessions was going to be AG and the words Warren was reading were already out there.  It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone on the Senate floor.

What took place was the Republicans reminding Senate Democrats (as well as the rest of the country) that they don’t matter.  When they tire of Democrats chatter, they can shut them up.

I don’t like that precedent.  And neither should anyone else.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 10/21

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Criticizes Colin Kaepernick

I missed this one last week so I’m making up for it now.

This makes me sad because I love RBG in almost all things.  However, here is what she had to say about Kaepernick’s decision to kneel for the National Anthem:

I think it’s really dumb of them. Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful.

Ginsburg has a right to her opinion.  And she certainly agrees he has a right to act as he had.  However, I’m really unpleased she chose the word “dumb” to describe her reaction to his act.  Disrespectful?  Sure. OK.  I mean that’s kind of the point.

But dumb?

I'll tell you what's dumb, Colin.  Throwing interceptions.  That's dumb.

I’ll tell you what’s dumb, Colin. Throwing interceptions. That’s dumb.

To her credit, she walked back her comments later in the week.  I’m still concerned she chose to make them in the first place.

I guess the problem is idol worship.  Ginsburg is by far my favorite Supreme Court justice.  As such, it saddens me when she says something with which I don’t agree.  It’s like my brain has delivered a thought that completely disagrees with everything else I thought my brain believed.

Which is, I guess, unfair to Ginsburg.  She gets to have bad opinions every now and again.  At least she is pretty good at recognizing when she should keep those opinions to herself.

So we’re cool, RBG.  Unless Donald Trump gets elected and you retire or die when he’s President.  We won’t be able to get past that.

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Shit that Pissed me off – 9/23

Tulsa Police Officer Shoots an Unarmed Black Man with Car Trouble

I mean holy shit.  The guy has car trouble and he is clearly standing with his hands up talking to the cops.  He goes back to his car for some reason (arms still up) and they shoot him.

He’s dead.

Now, the good news is that this is being treated like a criminal investigation because the officers murdered someone.  The bad news is the inevitable backlash that will come as people say things like “well, he shouldn’t have been walking back towards the car” or “I wasn’t there so even though there is video, there is no way for me to really understand happened” or, of course “I’m going to withhold judgement until we have all the facts.”

We do have all the facts.  He was unarmed. He had car trouble.  He was black.

And now he’s dead.

Gene Wilder is also dead.  But that is where the similarities end.

Gene Wilder is also dead. But that is where the similarities end.

Oh yeah, and people have dredged up his criminal record that does not include any capital offenses as a means to justify the fact he was sentenced to death without benefit of a judge or jury.

How many more times does this need to happen until people stop trotting out the same bullshit arguments instead of acknowledging that there is a systemic problem?

This is not about that police officer friend or relative of yours who is a great person.  They probably are.  This is about a clear problem with the training of police officers when it comes to escalation and a problem with how our justice system is set up to excuse this kind of behavior when it occurs.

It isn’t that police officers are sometimes exonerated.  It is that they are almost never charged and even when they are charged, they are almost never convicted of doing anything wrong.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 9/9

Gossip Columnist Attacks News Anchor for her Jeans

Jana Shortal has written about the fashion expectations surrounding women in news so it seems strange that Star Tribune gossip columnist C.J. chose to spend several paragraphs lambasting Shortal for the clothing she chose to wear while reporting on the discovery of Jacob Wetterling’s remains.

CJ’s fashion sense is, of course, her own and her column is not a hard hitting section of the paper.  She has been quick to point out she is a columnist and not a journalist.

Seems to me that it shouldn’t matter.  If you are an insensitive jackass, you can give yourself any label you want and you’ll still be an insensitive jackass.

Fun Fact: Google "insensitive jackass" and the first pictures that come up are of Roger Ebert!

Fun Fact: Google “insensitive jackass” and the first pictures that come up are of Roger Ebert!

Now CJ has since issued a notpology for her column that confirms she is, indeed, an insensitive jackass. She claims she was so upset by the Wetterling news that she was just thinking about the family’s feelings when she commented on Shortal’s fashion choices.

Her tweets immediately following the posting of the original article would suggest something entirely different but hey – if Donald Trump can change what he means every time he opens his mouth, so can the rest of us.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 9/2

Saudi Arabia Sentences Man to Prison For Being A Terrorist Atheist

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.

fowl-storm

One of these things is not like the other

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.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/19

Donald Trump Says the Only Way Hillary Clinton Can Win Pennsylvania is if she Cheats

Trump says alarming things and then smugly points out that everyone is talking about him.

He’s right.  But the good news, for now, is that it doesn’t seem to be working.  Trailing in every national poll, Trump has shaken up his campaign leadership again.  Maybe this time it will work.  I expect not because no matter how many smart people he has around him, he is still going to keep saying alarming things.

I'm betting I could convince these yahoos that Denny's makes better food than Perkins!

I’m betting I could convince these yahoos that Denny’s makes better food than Perkins!

In this case, there seems to be some sort of suggestion that even though voter fraud of the level Trump is suggestion is basically impossible, Hillary could pull it off.

Now voter fraud is no joking matter but if Clinton could pull off fraud at that level, she deserves to be President because her organizational skills are fucking amazing.

Although, one has to wonder how she could be so organized as to steal an entire state from Donald Trump but not organized enough to manage her e-mails properly.

If Clinton wins this election, she won’t have to cheat.  At this point, it would seem that all she needs to do is shut up and let Donald do most of the talking.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/12

Donald Trump Makes a Joke (It Wasn’t Really a Joke) or Maybe he was Misunderstood (He Wasn’t) or Maybe Both (Huh?)

Some may ask why I keep writing about all the stupid shit Donald Trump does.  Simple – there is a remote possibility that I will convince one person to change their vote.  I don’t care if they vote for Clinton.  Maybe they will vote for Johnson.  Maybe they will just not vote for President.  I don’t care.  I just want Trump to get creamed.

Because if Trump does OK or, fuck me, actually wins, he’s the kind of candidate we will start to see all the time.  I can’t figure out why any of us would want that.

Here’s what he said this week:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Now there are three possible explanations for what he meant.

  1.  He actually was suggesting that someone should assassinate Hillary Clinton to ensure she doesn’t get to appoint Supreme Court Justices.
  2. He was just saying they were a powerful voting bloc and everyone is over-reacting.
  3. He was making a joke

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If we examine the ramifications of each statement we come up with these possible conclusions:

  1. HOLY FUCK!
  2. So, in other words, he was too stupid to realize that what he said could easily be interpreted as a veiled threat against his opponent.  By association, his followers were too stupid to realize that his rhetoric is dangerous and could incite violence.
  3. So it can’t be both 2 & 3 even though various folks from the Trump camp have indeed claimed both 2 & 3.  If it is a joke, then it means he was well aware of what he was saying.  In which case: HOLY FUCK!  Making a joke about killing your opponent isn’t any better!

None of these scenarios look good for Trump.  They look worse for people who continue to make excuses for him.

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