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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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Protest Votes

protesters-1I’ve been reading a bit about how some voters plan to vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein as a “protest vote” and I feel I need to talk about why that term bothers me so much.

I’m not bothered because they are voting for Johnson or Stein.  That is absolutely their right. If someone is voting for either candidate because they honestly believe that candidate will do the best job as President, I’m completely behind their vote.  Cast that fucker and be proud!

The protest vote movement, however, is a movement born of ignorance and – I’m going to get real here – laziness.

It takes virtually no effort to vote for a third-party candidate.  In fact, you don’t even have to tell anyone you’ve done so.  You can walk into a voting booth, check off a candidate so you can stick it to the two major parties, and walk out knowing your vote is completely private and nobody has to know.

Congratulations, welcome to the anonymous minority. Nobody is going to spend more than five minutes thinking about what you just did.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 10/14

Donald Trump Apologists

Last Friday, tape emerged in which Donald Trump said derogatory things about women and the Republican party lost it’s collective shit.  Some of them think this is just the Democrats engaging in character assassination.  Others, like Scott Baio, defended him by saying it wasn’t that bad and telling ladies that guys talk like this “all the time.”

OK, Scott.  Two things.

One:  No they don’t.

Two:  It wouldn’t make it any better if they did.

Locker room talk – as Trump characterizes his comments – is a bullshit excuse.  Not only is it something you don’t find in a lot of locker rooms (as Chris Kluwe so eloquently points out), I just don’t think Trump has been in enough locker rooms to know.  It shouldn’t matter anyway because bragging about being able to sexually assault women shouldn’t happen anywhere.

But what truly upsets me is the shock some members of his party have expressed since the tape was released.  Donald Trump has always struck me as a sleaze.  It didn’t take a presidential campaign to convince me. Learning he said (and allegedly did) the sorts of things that a sleaze says (and does) only reinforced my opinion.  I wasn’t surprised.

But I was disheartened that so many seemed shocked to learn that Donald Trump was precisely the person he has always presented himself to be.

Hi, I'm Donald Trump, and I'm going to tap this.

Hi, I’m Donald Trump, and I’m going to tap this.

In retaliation, some supporters (and Trump himself) have pointed out that Bill Clinton is also a sleaze.  And that may be true.  It is also irrelevant.

Let’s think of it this way – Melania Trump was a nude model (and there is nothing wrong with that).  Would it be fair to judge her husband for choices she made?  I would assume most conservatives would say “no” and yet they have no issue judging Hillary Clinton for the actions of her husband.

Yes, Hillary has stood by her husband.  It could be because she loves him.  It could be for the sake of their daughter.  It could be for political reasons.  I don’t know.  I do know that women stick by their cheating husbands all the time.  Melania Trump does it and nobody seems to view that as an issue.

Finding out that Donald Trump treats women badly is as surprising as finding out that Superman can fly.  We’ve all seen Superman fly.  He does it all the time.  We’ve all seen Donald Trump treat women like objects.  He does it all the time.

Does Trump’s behavior make him unfit to serve as President?  You bet it does.  But his behavior isn’t new.  We aren’t suddenly discovering the body of Jimmy Hoffa in Trump tower.

He was never fit to serve as President.  He was always that guy.

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Shit that Pissed me off 10/7

Trump Gets in Trouble for Something He Didn’t Do

No, I’m not talking about paying his taxes.  Although he also didn’t do that.  Though apparently having enough money to hire a really talented team of tax accountants and lawyers makes him “smart” rather than “rich.”

In this case, though, he is getting some heat for having said that soldiers with PTSD aren’t strong.  Basically, he told soldiers who suffer from mental illness as a result of combat stress that they are complete wimps.


Here’s the problem though – that’s not what he said.  And in context, what he said was clearly not meant to disrespect soldiers with PTSD.  You need to twist his meaning to a dizzying degree to come away thinking he was even accidentally implying that having PTSD made you weak.

Trump says any number of horrible and outrageous things.  It seems to me that those of us who justifiably think he is a buffoon and he should never hold elected office of any kind could stick to the string of stuff he actually said rather than manufacturing controversy where none exists.

Can’t we just hate Trump for who he is?  I mean, that ought to be enough. Read More…

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 – 9/19

Canadian Judge Asked Rape Victim why She Didn’t Just Keep her Knees Together

If your plans in the event of a Donald Trump Presidency include moving to Canada, let me just remind you that there are a few assholes north of the border and at least one of them is a judge.  For now.

Federal Judge Robin Camp is currently in a hearing to determine if he should keep his job.  When you learn a little more about how he has been executing his job, you might wonder why the review is needed.

In addition to asking a nineteen year old rape victim why she didn’t just keep her knees together, he also mused that “Young women want to have sex, particularly if they are drunk.”  He also suggested that sex and pain go together so maybe it isn’t so bad that her rape was painful.  Because, I guess, that’s how sex is supposed to be.  Consensual or not.

In the end, he let the accused walk free and told the rapist he needs to be “more careful.”

The ruling was overturned on appeal.

I wish that these kinds of judicial appeals were heard by Judge Judy.

I wish that these kinds of judicial appeals were heard by Judge Judy.

Which is the only thing about this that makes sense.

I’ll tell you another thing that doesn’t make sense.  This happened two years ago.

Judge Camp is originally from South Africa and his basic argument seems to be “I was really new at criminal law so I blew it because I didn’t really understand how to be a caring human being and a judge.”

I hope the first question they ask him in the hearing is “when you first thought about asking the victim why she had been such a victim, why couldn’t you just hold your lips together?” Read More…

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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