Shit that Pissed Me Off – 4/19/19
Trump Corner – Twitter
Donald Trump loves Twitter. His followers love him on Twitter. He can say whatever he wants, regardless of actual facts and he can see the love immediately. The likes. The retweets. He lives for that. Every like feeds his ego like krill feed blue whales. And like blue whales, Trump’s ego is one of the largest living things on the planet.
This week, like every week, he’s tweeted some outrageous things but I’d light to highlight a two things on opposite ends of the “fuck this guy” spectrum.
On Friday, he tweeted something that was directly aimed at Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar. Omar, you may recall, has made some comments recently that were inadvertently anti-Semitic (and which she has apologized for more than once). One has to contextualize all of this by recognizing that Omar, a Muslim, is supportive of Palestine (like a lot of Muslims). Her opinions on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will more than likely be influenced by that and anyway, she has made some comments there were less than perfectly worded. I assume that is because she is human.
Trump makes such statements all the time. But his supporters love him for it.
He also has noticed that Omar is someone his supporters inherently dislike because she is a Muslim and they really don’t like Muslims. So on Friday, Trump tweeted “we will never forget” and a video of Omar talking about persecution Muslims have faced since 9/11 and then some shots of the burning buildings.
It was a shocking racist embarrassment by a President whose theme song is “Racist Embarrassment” by Kid Rock.
As a result of that tweet, Omar has stated that the number of death threats she has received have increased. The conservative response, by the way? Quit whining – Donald Trump receives all sorts of death threats.
I mean, of course he does. He’s the President of the United States. Even if he weren’t an insufferable prick he would receive more death threats than almost everyone in the world. Not as many, I’ll bet, as Barack Obama received. But a lot.
Thing is, he regularly makes statements that put other people at risk and he doesn’t give a fuck.
So two takeaways here: Trump is using the fact Omar is a Muslim to fire up his base against Muslims and Ilhan Omar is getting more death threats than she used to. Which means she was already getting them all the time. But Trump made it worse. On purpose.
The second tweet I’m highlighting was after Tiger Woods won the Masters golf tournament on Sunday. Woods, once the greatest golfer in the universe (I feel confident saying that since the principles of evolution suggest there is no way any other intelligent species has developed golf), has been through a lot of challenges over the last ten years. Some (a sex scandal) were his own fault. Others (several back injuries requiring surgery) were not. His return to glory was certainly inspirational to some.
Especially Trump, who loves golf almost more than he loves himself. He tweeted out his congratulations to Woods, whom he has golfed with and would probably claim he is better than, and said as a result of Woods’ accomplishments, he was awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in our country. It is awarded by Presidents to individuals who, history tells us, share their values.
I have no idea if Woods is a Republican. He’s a golfer and most golfers are conservative. He also comes from a very different background than most golfers. I also think he’s more of a pragmatist in the Michael Jordan vein who keeps his politics to himself because people of all political persuasions buy Nike products.
Regardless of his politics, he’s a winner. Again. And Trump likes winners. So even though there is typically a long vetting process for Medal of Freedom winners, Trump just fucking announced he’s giving one to Tiger.
Woods will be one of the youngest people to receive the award (most of the Apollo astronauts were younger).
I can see why Woods, who may be the greatest golfer in history and who has been a pioneer as a person of color in a sport that doesn’t have very many of them, is deserving of recognition.
But I’m not going to deny I’d prefer to see it happen twenty years from now when Woods has retired and, hopefully, used some of those billions he’s earned on philanthropic endeavors. But he’s probably a deserving recipient.
Here’s the thing, though, Trump isn’t giving this award to Woods because of Woods. He is giving it to Woods because in doing so, he gets to share in Woods’ accomplishments. He gets to make Woods’ Masters win, a great individual achievement, about him.
Never forget that this is all about him.
If Woods never won another major golf tournament, Trump wouldn’t have considered giving him the Medal of Freedom. Woods did it while he was President, though, and that means Trump, the President of Golf, gets to recognize him for it.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/12/19
I missed a couple of weeks again! I had really good excuses but never mind that. I’m going to try to hit on a few things that have come to my attention in the last few weeks. Enjoy the rapid fire journey!
South Dakota Schools Required to Display “In God We Trust”
South Dakota lawmakers, in a display of “patriotism” passed a law requiring the national motto “In God We Trust” to be prominently displayed in all public schools.
It may feel like this is a violation of the separation of church and state and no doubt that will be tested. I think it will actually stand because “In God We Trust” is actually our national motto and Donald Trump has been allowed to seat two conservative Christian white dudes on the Supreme Court.
You can argue that “In God We Trust” is a shitty national motto and far worse than the one it replaced (E Pluribus Unim or “Out of Many, One) but it doesn’t matter because it’s still the national motto. You could also argue that the word “God” could be referring to any god and not just the Christian god it clearly refers to.
Hiding behind patriotism is the dodge that really pisses me off. I mean they have to do that because if they admitted their motivation was to put God on every public school wall because Christianity just isn’t enough places in our lives already, even Brett Kavanagh and Clarence Thomas might need to stop hitting on their clerks long enough to strike the law down. But the transparency of the act is galling. Of course this is about religion.
If you wanted it to be about patriotism, you’d just pass some law about posting the bill of rights in every school.
For the record, I’d be 100% behind that one. Kids should know their rights. Read More…
Shit that Pissed me Off – 9/14/18
Dallas Police Officer Enters the Wrong Apartment and Kills the Black Man Who Lived There
More problematic than the fact she apparently approached the wrong apartment and shot the guy who lived there is the amount of victim blaming that has happened since.
I mean, police officer or not, she is the one who screwed up. Right?
It wasn’t her apartment. The door was ajar so she just walked in unaware she’d entered the wrong apartment. She saw a person and shot him.
Turns out she shot someone in their own home for doing nothing wrong.
I can honestly understand how a woman in this country would freak out if they walked into an apartment they thought was theirs and there was a strange guy in it. I mean, that would scare the shit out of me and I’m not a woman in America.
He wasn’t doing anything wrong. She apparently gave him verbal commands and he didn’t obey them (probably because he was confused since he was in his own house).
So I’ve seen people blame the victim (Botham Jean is his name) for leaving the door ajar. That one started with “I don’t want to victim blame but…”
Then there is the whole “he should have done what she asked” narrative that ignores the fact it was his house. He was probably about as freaked out as she was.
Oh, and now there is a report that he had marijuana in his house! Holy shit! No wonder she accidentally walked into his house and shot him!
The officer is currently charged with manslaughter and I expect the Blue Lives Matter apologists will continue to blame Botham Jean for having the audacity to be a black man in his own home (with WEEEEEED). Even if she is eventually convicted.
Was the officer drunk? We don’t know because the arresting officers didn’t check. Did she issue verbal commands? Witnesses suggest that her story is not 100% accurate. Did she actually wait for him to comply before shooting him? I doubt anyone had a stopwatch.
So another black man is dead. And this time, all he did wrong was go home after work.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 6/29/18
Walgreens Pharmacist Denies a Woman Miscarriage Medication
Walgreens allows their pharmacists to refuse service should they have a moral objection to the prescription being administered. I guess that’s OK because you wouldn’t want anyone…
It isn’t OK. In this case you had a woman who wanted to have a baby and was about to miscarry and the pharmacist basically shamed her by publicly refusing to fill the prescription.
This pharmacist has a job to do. And the bullshit idea that his deeply held religious beliefs should prevent him from doing his job is completely backwards. He still should do his job.
We all have to do shit we don’t want to do all the time. A lot of us don’t like our jobs but we still do them. I don’t like driving when other drivers are on the road because all other drivers are awful. I do it anyway. So pharmacist guy should just do his fucking job and hope god forgives him for doing the job he decided he wanted to do.
I’m sure there is a biblical passage that supports such an act. And there is also one that condemns it. They might be the same passage.
This case is even worse, by the way. He could have gotten another pharmacist to fill her prescription (per company policy). But he didn’t. Because his opportunity to shame her for what he viewed as an immoral choice (even though it wasn’t but it shouldn’t matter if it was) was more important.
And I know that we live in a world where bakers can refuse to make cakes for gay couples because it is OK to be a homophobic bigot as long as you can claim the bible is on your side. And that world means pharmacists can shame women for miscarrying without anything more than some online blowback.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. This shit is not OK.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 5/18/18
White People Are Calling the Police on Black People All Over the Place
Since I missed last week’s column (I was on a trip for my anniversary and we had a lovely time thank you), I didn’t get to write about the white woman who called the cops on a black student who fell asleep at college or the white woman who called the cops on a black family barbecuing. I was also going to write about the two Native American students who were on a campus tour but detained when a white woman called campus security on them.
I was going to write about all three happening in the same week. But then I didn’t write a post last week.
Then this week a Hobby Lobby manager called the police when a black man with proper receipt tried to return something to their store. Shockingly, the manager was a white woman! A white woman also called the police on a black man who was inspecting a property he was planning to buy.
In every one of these cases, the people had done nothing wrong. I mean aside from not being white. In most cases, the individuals reported were at least inconvenienced by the situation. But in all cases, the police acknowledged they had, basically, done nothing wrong.
I suppose all of these people of color should be relieved that they hadn’t raised the concern of a white male because he probably would have shot them and claimed self defense.
I know, not all white women call the cops on people of color. And not all white dudes shoot black people. It seems silly that I have to point out that I’m using hyperbole to make a point but I fear I will bruise fragile white egos if I don’t point out to the white people reading this column that I’m not talking about them specifically.
But then let me as a white dude say this – yes I am.
Because this is our problem. When you put a racist in the White House and you argue that we need to understand both sides of the argument, you are forgetting that sometimes one side is right and the other side is wrong. When a black man can’t return something to a store without the manager calling the cops, the problem isn’t the black man’s behavior.
One one side you have a guy just trying to get on with his day and on the other, you have a racist.
So maybe you aren’t specifically calling the cops on black people. Or shooting black people. Next time it happens, though, maybe you should stop trying to see the “other side” because if you are white, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to know someone might call the cops on you for existing.
Shit that Pissed Me Off – 4/13/18
Black Teenager Asks for Directions and Almost Gets Shot
Post racist America is alive and well in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
14-year-old Brennan Walker (yes – you read that right – he’s fourteen) missed his bus and he got lost. Sounds pretty scary, right? Not compared to what happened next.
Next, he rang a doorbell to ask directions. The woman who answered the door freaked out and said he was trying to rob them. Because most robbers ring the doorbell.
Her husband grabbed a gun and that’s when Brennan ran. As he was running away, the dude shot at him. Fortunately, he missed or Brennan would be a statistic and his murderers would be claiming they were in fear for their lives to avoid going to jail.
And they probably were.
Because they are racist fucks who freaked out when a black kid came to their door. The guy who shot at Brennan (who was convinced he was a “good guy with a gun”) is facing charges but we all know he’s probably going to get away with it. Because a fourteen year old kid asking for directions was a credible threat.
What’s sad is Brennan’s mom told him this could happen. She warned him that people would be afraid of him because he’s young and black. The warning probably saved his life because he ran away from the murdering racists before they could murder him.
Isn’t it great, though, that the mothers of black young men need to prepare them for situations like this? Because they actually happen?
Shit that Pissed me off – 4/6/18
Anti Vaxxer asks Why Vaccines Aren’t the Bible
I think we all know that I find the anti vaccination movement one of the worst things in the world today. It’s hard that I can rank anything above our President but as of yet, he has done less real harm. He still has three more years, though (fuuuuuuck).
This particular anti vax kook has an argument that really puts her on the fringe of the movement since she has managed to combine being a naturopathic nut with being a complete right-wing Christian crazy person. It’s a neat trick!
She argues that vaccines can’t be good because god didn’t mention them in the Bible. Which, I must admit, is true.
What’s odd here is that right-wing Christians would freak out if I asked them why god didn’t mention cars in the Bible. Or airplanes.
Because it’s stupid. Whether or not god wrote the Bible, smart people can agree he didn’t bring up stuff like vaccines and cars because it wouldn’t make any sense to the people who were reading it when it was written.
If god had written “Thou shalt yield to the driver on the right when stopping at a four way stop sign,” the hebrews would have said “what the fuck are you talking about god?”
And god would have said “It’ll make sense in a few thousand years.”
And they would have said “can we focus on getting out of this desert right now and then figure out what you mean by four-way stop sign?”
A similar conversation would have happened had Jesus said “How blessed are the unvaccinated for they shall have a lower risk of autism.”
But hopefully it would have involved a fact checker to tell Jesus that the study he was citing had been discredited. Read More…
Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/30/18
Rick Santorum Suggests Students Should Learn CPR to Deal with School Shooters
It continues to baffle me that Santorum is considered the kind of person who should be taken seriously. A day after students took it upon themselves to stage a massive demonstration against guns in schools, he appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and suggested that the kids should stop asking other people to solve their problems.
Instead of asking politicians to do their fucking job, he said maybe these kids should take classes on how to deal with an active shooter or maybe learn CPR.
He backed off his initial statement by saying he didn’t mean CPR. I’m not sure what he meant instead. Santorum has always struck me as particularly dumb and that means he might not have understood what he was saying when he said “CPR.”
I mean he clearly didn’t understand what he was saying when he chastised kids for asking politicians to do their jobs. Because the best thing an adult should do is tell kids that they should stop asking adults to keep them safe because the adults aren’t going to do it.
Even if, when he said it, he was accidentally telling the truth.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/9/18
Utah State House Makes The Worst Rap Video Ever
Mostly this is so bad it’s funny but you have to be a little upset at the fact they made this horrible and cluelessly racist video that uses the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (and titled “The Fresh Prints of Bill Here” – I’m not kidding) to educate children in a way Schoolhouse Rock did much better back in the 70’s at all.
The mostly Republican and all white cast put together for the express purpose of teaching kids how legislation works while simultaneously setting poetry back several thousand years is hypnotically painful. Barely ten seconds in, there is a remarkable effort to make the word “chamber” rhyme with the word “there.”
And while I’m sure whoever produced this video will argue that it is about how a Utah State Bill becomes law, it really is exactly the same process covered by a certain bill sitting there on Capitol hill. That video also didn’t feature a bunch of white people unironically trying to dance like black rappers.
The legislators featured in the video can almost be excused for their clueless behavior because it probably wasn’t their idea. But someone thought this up. And shot it. And edited it together. And at no point did it occur to them that what they were doing was going to be a spectacular failure.