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Shit that Pissed me Off – 5/19

Note – I was out-of-town last week so I have two weeks of stupid shit piled up.  I probably won’t get to all of it so I apologize if your favorite annoying thing didn’t make the cut.

A Creationist Scientist is Suing the Grand Canyon

Andrew Snelling is a Geologist who is also a creationist.  This in itself makes no sense because in order to be both, you need to basically ignore all the evidence that would make you a credible geologist.  But he’s got a PhD so we have to accept that he knows stuff about Geology even if he doesn’t actually believe any of it.

So he wanted to do some research, including collecting samples, in the Grand Canyon.  Such things are allowed but you have to apply to do so and his application was rejected.

So he’s suing for religious discrimination.  You know, because Christians have it so hard in our country.

Heh.  Geologist.  So hard.  Get it?

Anyway, his claim was rejected because it was presumed he would use the samples to “disprove” existing science about the Grand Canyon and since the Grand Canyon is, you know, a protected landmark, they don’t want people taking rock samples to do bad science.  Sounds like his application didn’t really say what he was going to use the samples for, either.

Which is probably because he knew he couldn’t say “I’m going to use the samples to prove the Grand Canyon is no more than 6000 years old even though recorded human history goes back further than that and I’m a fucking idiot.”

So he basically asked to take samples without really telling anyone why and they said “no – you can’t just take samples because you have a degree in Geology.  You have to have a reason.”

And he’s responding “you hate me because I’m a Christian!  I’m going to sue.”

We don’t hate him because he’s a Christian.  We hate him because he uses his Christianity as an excuse to be a bad scientist.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/28

San Antonio Mayor Implies Atheism Causes Poverty

Actually, that’s not what she said.  A lot of Atheists are kind of up in arms and the thing is, I think what she said is worse than if she just targeted atheists.

Asked what causes poverty, she responded:

To me, it’s broken people. People not being in a relationship with their Creator, and therefore, not being in good relationship with their families and their communities, and not being productive members of society. I think that’s the ultimate answer.

So yeah, she could be talking about atheists.  But let’s assume, for a moment, that what she meant was broader.  She meant that people are poor because they don’t have a good relationship with god.  God literally looks down from heaven (or up from heaven given that Earth is a sphere and we don’t actually know where heaven is located) and says “those people don’t go to church enough.  I’m going to make them poor.”

I guess that makes sense if the god we are talking about is Loki.

It suggests that the only people who are productive members of society are people who have a good relationship with their creator. That would obviously exclude people like Bill Gates, who is an open atheist.  He’s clearly not being productive.

It would also include people who call themselves Christians but don’t really go to church or do much to support their faith.

Basically, she’s blaming poverty on a lack of belief in god.

It seems silly to me given that Jesus was poor and I thought his relationship with god was supposed to be pretty solid.  Poverty is not caused by god.  It is caused by people.  People who, like San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, treat poverty as some sort of punishment which people deserve.

They suggest that if we just get poor people to church, god will fix them.  Never mind that the poorest states in our nation are some of the most faithful.  Faith has nothing to do with poverty.  Belief in god doesn’t make you rich or poor any more than atheism makes you rich or poor.

Her answer is insulting to poor people.  And atheists.  And people of faith.  When it comes to hitting a tone-deaf home run, she killed it.

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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 – 4/14

United Airlines Fails Spectacularly at Customer Service

United Airlines had a fully booked flight but also had several employees who needed transport to where they would be working the next day.  They asked passengers to give up their seats for an $800 travel voucher.  Nobody volunteered.

Maybe because it was a Sunday night and they all had work the next day.  And their boss wasn’t going to pay them for the day off.  What a bunch of selfish pricks.

Anyway, rather than upping the offer (which they totally could have done), the airline opted to pick people at random.  And one guy didn’t want to go.  So they had security drag him off the airline in front of a bunch of cell phone cameras.

As you might imagine, it has been a bad week for United.

I’m not the only person who remembers when this was United’s ad slogan, right?

But it has also been a bad week for the passenger who was dragged off the plane.  As soon as his name became public, news organizations began to dig into his past and it turns out he’s not a perfect person.

I’m shocked to discover that as everyone else I’ve ever met is completely perfect.

His past transgressions have nothing to do with not wanted to be forced to take a different flight after he paid for his ticket and the airline made some poor planning decisions.

The response from a few corners of the internet have been, basically, he deserved it.

Um…no.  The guy was violently removed from the plane.  Not removed from the plane. Violently removed from the plane.

You can argue all you like how three other people voluntarily left after being randomly selected.  Doesn’t matter. Beating people up just isn’t something you should be doing unless they are a Nazi.

And in spite of all the muckraking our media has done over this fellow, they have not been able to turn up any evidence that the guy is a Nazi.  So I’m going to say the beating was entirely unjustified.

He didn’t deserve it.  That’s the problem with this whole “let’s wait for all the facts to come out” mentality.  It doesn’t matter what type of guy he was.  It doesn’t matter if he was a little bit belligerent when told he’d have to leave the plane after buying a ticket.

He was violently removed from the plane.  He didn’t deserve it.  That is the only fact that matters.

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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 – 2/3

I’m sorry I took the last two weeks off.  Life intrudes sometimes.

We all know that we are entering week three of the Trump Presidency.  I am trying to figure out how to write my blog so it isn’t just a weekly rant on all the horrible things Trump says and does.  But I’m two weeks behind and he has been busy.  

There is a lot of other stuff going on that pisses me off.  It’s just that Trump is so fucking noisy.


Donald Trump Didn’t Threaten to Invade Mexico

Look, we all know that I don’t like our current President very much.  I think I have very good reasons for believing he will go down as the worst person ever to run our country.

But I’m feeling like I need to stick with stuff he’s actually done.  And therein lies the problem.

Earlier this week, Trump had a phone call with the Mexican president.  Shortly after the call, news organizations reported that Trump had threatened to send American troops across the border to deal with some “bad hombres.”

“Bad Hombres” is the name of my Los Lobos cover band.

A few hours later, it was reported that such a threat never happened.

Days later, however, a bunch of my liberal friends are still talking about Trump invading Mexico.

In a world where Trump is openly hostile to any news organization that doesn’t kiss his ass, the press actually has a responsibility to make sure what they report is accurate.  Trump is doing all sorts of shady shit.  Hell, this week he said this during remarks about Black History Month

Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. It turned out that that was fake news. Fake news. The statue is cherished, it’s one of the favorite things in the—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Martin Luther King. But they said the statue, the bust of Martin Luther King, was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is. Very unfortunate.

If you read the transcript of the speech, it was almost entirely about him.  This isn’t made up.  It’s something he actually said.

And what was he talking about?  The way the press keeps reporting shit that didn’t happen. In this case, of course, it was a mistake the reporter in question corrected almost immediately.

The press has to do better.  In the rush to break stories these days, they don’t take the time to verify what they are reporting.  And that allows Trump and his minions to do all sorts of horrible stuff because they can point to the small number of erroneous reports as a reason why nobody should believe anything the press says.

And to all my liberal friends out there: please let’s all make sure we know what the fuck we are talking about.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 1/13

Note: I didn’t write about the work the Senate made to begin the repeal of the Affordable Care Act this week because, while it really does piss me off, it is also an extremely complex maneuver and I’m not sure any of us completely understand what is going on.  Least of all the Senators who voted for it.

Let me just say before I proceed, however, that anyone who can, with good conscience, vote to re-establish a pre-existing condition clause, is a complete waste of a human being.  It may well be true that they won’t end up re-establishing that clause.  A vote still exists in which Senators are going on record supporting just that.

Vaccination Safety Committee To be Headed by Anti-Vaxxer

At least this is the claim made by anti vax proponent Robert Kennedy.  We’ll see if it really happens.

Look, I know vaccinations are controversial.  And I try to be sympathetic.

Then I remember I have two vaccinated children on the autism spectrum and that every single study about vaccines has concluded vaccines do not cause autism or any of the other things anti-vaxxers claim they cause.  And I read quotes like this, which could be referring to my family:

I employed the term [holocaust] during an impromptu speech as I struggled to find an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families

And I stop being sympathetic because this fucker is talking about my kids.  My kids who have full lives and are wonderful human beings and whose existence has shattered my family not one single bit.  Autism is a hurdle my kids have to jump over.  Most of us have hurdles they need to get over.  To suggest their hurdle has shattered my family is the sort of thing someone who doesn’t even have the basic understanding of the autism spectrum would suggest because they are an ignorant jackass.

Yeah – this kind of thing gets me pretty worked up.

Anti-vaxxers may make me just a little bit crazy.

Anti-vaxxers may make me just a little bit crazy.

It is bothersome enough that our President-Elect (fuuuuuuuuck) denies climate change.  That he also seems to jump into bed with anti vaxxers suggests that the American People elected someone pretty much willing to believe any crazy conspiracy theory pops up so long as it doesn’t involve him.

You have to give him credit for being equal opportunity when it comes to denial of scientific data.  Climate Change denial comes from the right and anti vaxxers typically come from the left.  Donald, however, has a big tent and there is room for everyone who thinks scientists reach conclusions just to fuck with the rest of us.

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