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Shit that Pissed me Off 2/17

Assholes Throwing Their Garbage on the Ground

I actually witnessed this at a McDonald’s drive through this week.  Someone purchased an iced coffee drink (I’ll tell you how I know it was an iced coffee drink in a minute).  Then they drove forward about twenty feet and (I presume) poured the iced coffee into another container.  They stopped, opened the passenger door, and threw the cup on the ground.

Then they drove off.

Now at this particular McDonald’s, there is a trash can just around the corner from the drive through no more than ten feet from where they dumped their cup on the ground.  It is conveniently situated so a driver could roll down their window and throw their trash away.

But that, apparently, was too much work for these folks.

They would probably watch twelve hours of C-Span because they were too lazy to find the remote

They would probably watch twelve hours of C-Span because they were too lazy to find the remote

Such behavior isn’t an accident.  Tossing your cup into the parking lot when there is a trash can mere feet away isn’t something that you do by mistake.  There was a clear intent to make someone else’s life more difficult.  And to make a McDonald’s parking lot somehow more unattractive than it already was.

I don’t know why.  Maybe the person at the drive through was rude.  Maybe they were pissed that their iced coffee tasted a lot like it was made at a McDonald’s and not a Starbucks.  Maybe they think trash on in a parking lot is beautiful. Maybe they were fired from that McDonald’s and felt that throwing a cup on the ground in the parking lot would send a powerful message of defiance to their former manager.

My son, being the helpful sort, pointed out that he would have no trouble picking up the cup and together we cleaned up their mess (which is how I know it was iced coffee).

Which means that manager will never learn a valuable lesson.  I guess that’s a price I was willing to pay.

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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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Shit that Pissed me off – 1/6

Boy Scouts Bar Transgender Boy

Due to a lot of factors, my boys aren’t really involved in scouting any longer.  I am supportive of scouting and even though I’m aware of the larger issues that surround the Scout’s continued public disapproval of LGBTQ kids (and atheist kids for that matter), I’ve seen some attempts by the organization to soften their stance.

The people my kids have worked with are good people and whatever the national chapter of the Scouts may choose to do, our troop is a good troop that, I think, would not engage in this kind of discrimination.  If my kids were still engaged in Scouts, I don’t think I’d pull them over this because I’d be punishing my kids by taking away something they enjoy.

And that makes me kind of crazy.  Because on the one hand, I wouldn’t want to punish my kids for being who they are.  On the other hand, the Boy Scouts just punished a kid for being who they are.

As we move (slowly) towards acceptance of homosexuality in our society (even as some fight to be able to discriminate free from consequence), transgender rights has now become a new arena and I fear this fight will be harder because people don’t get it.

I do not understand why people are transgender and therefore I will hate them for it.

I do not understand why people are transgender and therefore I will hate them for it.

If you’ve spent your entire life being totally comfortable with your gender, you have no way of understanding someone who is identified as a boy because they were born with a penis but has spent their entire life playing the role of a boy.

As an actor, I get to stop being a character I don’t like when I’m done with the performance.  Someone who is pretending to be a gender with which they do not identify never gets the chance to step off stage.  They are constantly pretending.  And it is exhausting.

Giving them the freedom to stop pretending ought to be something we all celebrate.  It ought to be something that makes us happy because we ought to want other people to be happy.

I mean, aside from pedophile priests.  You gotta draw the line somewhere.

But we don’t give a fuck about that because we are more concerned with who is peeing in the stall next to our kid.  Our kid doesn’t care because they just want to get back to the playground.  They probably didn’t even notice the person in the stall next to them.

Our own discomfort with the idea of gender identity is the problem.  If we are cool with the gender identity we were assigned at birth, we can’t understand why anyone else isn’t.

The Boy Scouts should be a place where young men (and by that I mean people who identify as young men) can learn how to be responsible adult men.  Part of that responsibility should be learning to accept that we aren’t all the same.  Their rigidity is disheartening to say the least.

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Shit that Pissed Me off – 12/30

A Couple of Assholes Tried to Guilt the US Bank Stadium Into Sheltering Homeless People by Creating a Fake News Story

Most people who read my column are, like me, from Minnesota.  If you aren’t from Minnesota, you probably know that the weather this last week was – in the language of the locals – “chilly.”

A couple of guys decided it would be extremely nice if US Bank Stadium would allow homeless people to take shelter there because football stadiums are huge and the weather was deadly.

And they were right.  It would have been extremely nice.

So what they did was start a rumor that US Bank Stadium was going to do exactly that.  They tweeted how the Vikings were totally willing to open up the stadium and the city just needed to approve it.  Essentially, they wanted to force the city and the Vikings to do what they wanted by trying to make everyone look like assholes if it didn’t happen.

I'm sure they totally had several thousand cots just lying around for such a situation.

I’m sure they totally had several thousand cots just lying around for such a situation.

The city and the Vikings basically said “uh – no – that rumor is false and we can’t really do that” for all sorts of reasons including the fact there was a football game in the stadium at noon the next day and the stadium is not set up or staffed to be a homeless shelter.

Now it’s easy to say that they should have let folks in anyway but then you have to figure out how to get them out in the morning before the football fans started to show up at 10:00 AM.  It just isn’t something that can be done without – you know – planning.

However, because this fake news story was picked up as being a real news story, some homeless people made their way to the stadium for shelter.  Shelter the stadium was not equipped to provide.

And when the rumor mongers were called on their bullshit ploy, they basically said “why are you angry with us when the stadium was the one who didn’t provide shelter?”

Guess what assholes? Neither did you.

You were pissed about public funds paying for the stadium (I am too) and you decided that the Stadium should do something that was important to you.  Not important enough to, you know, open your house to a homeless family or work at an existing shelter.  No, it was just important enough for you to create a fake story and then act like a whiny toddler when it didn’t work.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 12/9

Mall of America Hires a Black Santa Claus and Racists Lose their Shit

For four days, US Army Veteran Larry Jefferson was the official Santa Claus at the Mall of America.  He was also black.  The result was a whole lot of black kids got to sit on the lap of a Santa who looked like them.  Sounds awful.

It sure was to these racists who believe that white characters should stay white no matter how mythological those figures might be.

A black santa is as outrageous as a female President!

A black santa is as outrageous as a female President!

The racists spouting their hatred for the concept of a Santa that wasn’t pasty white got so out of hand, the Star Tribune had to shut down comments on the article.

Now I will admit that the legends that gave rise to Santa Claus would certainly suggest a white Santa Claus is more accurate than – say – a white Jesus.  However, it would seem to me that if we can embrace the idea of Billy Bob Thornton as (a drunk) Santa Claus, the idea of a black Santa shouldn’t result in anyone – what’s the phrase I’m looking for – giving a shit.

So in the giving spirit of the season, let’s give ourselves some time to reflect that a black Santa Claus is a good thing.  And remember that every time someone uses the term alt-right, what they really mean is “racist doucebag.”

 

Speaking of Alt-Right, How about This Asshole Who Called out a Trans Student on Stage?

Milo Yiannopoulos, whose name is a pain to spell and is so much of a creepy fuck that I’m not even going to try, was invited to speak at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He’s well known as an outspoken racist and anti-GLBTQ crusader.  As you might expect, a lot of students were upset he was coming.

Free speech is a tricky thing.  I mean, does the guy have a right to say what he says?

Unfortunately, yes.  Should he be given a paid platform to say these things?

I don’t think he should.  I think he should be swept out the door with the other insects we don’t want to kill but also don’t want in our homes.  But I understand that Universities have a responsibility to expose students to all perspectives.

Now I will argue that if they want to expose kids to thinking from the right, people like Condoleeza Rice might represent a better option than Milo Yo-yoasaurus. I don’t agree with her on a lot of things but she’s not a racist.

In any case, Milo Yog-Sothoth was given the platform to speak and he was a racist and homophobic fuck, which shouldn’t have surprised anyone.  However, he went so far as to show a picture of a trans student and use her dead name.

That, my friends, is bordering on a violent act.  The trans community already faces challenges that are unparalleled.  What Yorkshire Puddingpolos did to this student is unconscionable.

Fortunately, Yip-yip dogapus doesn’t have a conscience.  So he’ll keep saying this shit.  And people will keep paying him to say it.  In the name of “fairness.”

Crazy Ass Dude Almost Shoots up a Pizza Joint Because of a Conspiracy Theory

In an act that isn’t being labelled terrorism because the perpetrator was white and nobody ended up being killed, a dude walked into a pizzeria in Washington D.C. to “investigate” a bullshit conspiracy theory that the restaurant was a front for a child prostitution ring run by the Clintons.

That’s fucked up.  Even more fucked up, the son of incoming National Security Advisor Lt. General Michel Flynn tweeted his support for the conspiracy theory (but just barely avoided tweeting support for the gunman).  Essentially he said, “until you prove the theory is false, we will keep talking about it.”

Even former President George W Bush doesn't understand your logic.

Even former President George W Bush doesn’t understand your logic.

The problem with conspiracy theories is you can’t prove them false. The people who believe them will constantly find new reasons to support the idea it is a conspiracy and all your proof to the contrary is just more evidence of a cover up.

In the meantime, it is doing real and demonstrable harm to actual human beings and to an actual business.  If Donald Trump gave two shits about anyone but himself, he would use Twitter to debunk this kind of nonsense rather than using it to whine about how Saturday Night Live is making fun of him.

Business Pre-Emptively Sues State Over Being Forced to Video Same-Sex Marriages

Carl and Angel Larson, who are “good Christians,” are concerned their wedding video business might be sullied should they be forced by anti-discrimination laws to video a same sex couple getting married.

So concerned are they that their religious right to discriminate might be infringed, they are suing the state of Minnesota to ensure they don’t find themselves in that situation.  The lawsuit, in effect, says that anti-discrimination laws are unconstitutional.

Look, given that our President-elected by Russia is likely to appoint justices friendly to this kind of religious freedom bullshit, it is probably best for same-sex couples to stay away from businesses like this one because the resulting lawsuit might have extremely dubious consequences.  But what do you do when the businesses pre-emptively go to court?

And I’m left to wonder, is this what Jesus meant when he said “turn the other cheek?”  I mean, these people aren’t being asked to shoot pornography.  They are being asked shoot video featuring a couple of guys (or girls) who love each other getting married while surrounded by their friends and family.  Kinky.

Oh wait – they aren’t being asked to do that. Yet. They just don’t want anyone to ask them because if they say no, they are going to look like assholes.

Too late.

North Carolina GOP lost the Governor’s Office So They are Going to Hamstring the New Governor

Sore losers like the North Carolina Assembly are quite possibly worse than sore winners (Donald Trump).  In this case, the NC Assembly is so upset the people of their state elected a Democrat to the Governor’s mansion, they called an emergency special session to limit his powers.

Of course, they claim they were going to do that anyway. They just feel they need to do it faster because of who the people elected.

The legislation was passed to limit appointments made by the Governor and to also create road blocks between plaintiffs and the State Supreme Court are so blatantly partisan, the lawmakers passing them should be embarrassed.  Elections have consequences.  Parties lose.

Well...maybe parties lose in the United States.

Well…maybe parties lose in the United States.

The Democrats are already well aware of this fact.

When a party loses, the worst thing they can do is this kind of scorched earth legislation.  Their own constituents should be telling them to stop being assholes and accept that a Democratic governor should be able to do the same fucking stuff a Republican governor was able to do.

I try to convince myself that the Republican party wants what is best for people and they just disagree with me on ideology.  When they engage in this kind of sore loser bullshit, however, it is hard for me to think of their party as anything but a party unwilling to share power with anyone.