Archive | Science! RSS for this section

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed Me Off – 12/2

Donald Trump Doesn’t Like Flag Burners

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.

shutterstock_47429077

Oh fuck! Someone’s burning a flag! Send in the tanks!

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?

Read More…

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.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/26

French Burkini Ban

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.

Even if they want to wear this.

Even if they want to wear this.

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.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/8

I took another week off for CONvergence and oh my did this week get full of all the things.  I kept a few old articles but let’s start by taking a look at what happened this week.

Philando Castile was Murdered by Police

I know there are people who claim we should wait to judge until all the facts come out.  It is interesting to me that every person who has said this to me is white.

I’m not suggesting these people are racist.  I’m suggesting that these people need to listen to the facts that are already there and recognize that magnanimously suggesting that we need to know all of the facts before we “overreact” is part of the problem.

Every person of color I know is already well acquainted with the facts.  They know that the officer who killed Castile will have a reasonable sounding excuse that he feared for his life.  He may face a trial and he may face some public backlash but – and this is really important – no matter how unpleasant those things may be he will still be alive.

This is what he looked like. Just so we all remember that he was a human being.

This is what he looked like. Just so we all remember that he was a human being.

Philando Castile will be vilified by clueless people who will find reasons he deserves to be dead.  They will tell the rest of us that we don’t know what happened at that traffic stop and he probably deserved to be pulled over.

He doesn’t get to defend himself.  He doesn’t get to tell his story.  To anyone waiting for all the facts to come out, please remember that the only person who gets to tell their story is the man who killed him.

And if you believe his race didn’t matter, you really haven’t been paying attention.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/14

Racist Gun Shop Owner Vandalizes Car of Bernie Sanders Supporter

The dude sells bumper stickers that read “MFZ,” which stands for “Muslim Free Zone.” Clever fucker, ain’t he?

So he sees that he doesn’t like that some lady he doesn’t know supports a candidate he doesn’t like.  The obvious solution would be to leave her alone.  Because it’s not his car and therefore he shouldn’t be putting his bumper stickers anywhere but on – you know – his car.

Instead, he puts his stickers on her car and then brags about it on Facebook.

Now what he did is vandalism and that means he really ought to be arrested and at least fined.  That may still happen.

Although it is unlikely there will be any riot gear involved in making the arrest.

Although it is unlikely there will be any riot gear involved in making the arrest.

The other thing that happened is the owner of the car found his post and told him he was an asshole.  Fortunately, he knew a whole bunch of other assholes who leapt to his defense and trolled the shit out of her.

So it’s all a big happy ending, right?

He got to be an asshole.  At the moment, he isn’t going to jail or paying a fine for fucking up her car. And all his asshole friends think he’s awesome.

I’m losing my faith in humanity.

Read More…