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.
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?
One Very Misleading Map
I’ll get to the map in a minute. First, I’m going to spend a few paragraphs being frustrated that it is going to be nearly fucking impossible to talk about Donald Trump for – well – at least four years. I thought this week I’d try to avoid talking about him. I wanted to find other news items to fill my blog.
Problem is, right now all the news is about Donald Trump. And that pisses me off in itself. I am definitely pissed that his cabinet and staff looks like it’ll be comprised almost entirely of old white dudes. Some of whom are racist. I’m not surprised, mind you. I’m just pissed.
I’m pissed that Trump still sends out late night tweet storms because he’s the same fucking asshole he was before he was elected. And now he feels like he’s been vindicated. He doesn’t have to change who he is at all.
But I’m going to try to avoid talking about Trump for the rest of this week. Let’s focus on this map, OK?
Let’s let this map sink in, as the meme encourages us to do.
I mean, this is all about the tyranny of those 57 bully counties. They are just forcing their will on everyone else and that is horribly unfair!
Never mind that population wise, a lot of people live in those blue counties. And if counties had to have equal populations we should split those 57 blue counties into a number that would, roughly, be the equivalent of those 3084 red ones. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so uneven any longer, does it?
Here’s the other problem – when you make a county all red or all blue, you ignore the fact that there were people who voted for Clinton in those red counties. And people voted for Trump in the blue counties. So anyone in a red county who voted Clinton is basically shit out of luck as their wants/needs/desires are considered to be “red” while the wants/needs/desires of Trump voters in the 57 blue counties are considered to be “blue.”
The reality, of course, is much more nuanced. By using counties as your measuring stick and turning them red if Trump won by even one vote, you turn the electoral map into something that completely ignores the differing needs of our population.
We’ve read endlessly about how rural and urban populations want and need different things from our government. And that’s true. We don’t talk a lot about how rural populations are a lot more socially conservative and a lot more religious, which probably has more to do with all those red counties than the economic policies of a particular party.
This map and the commentary on the map suggests that because there are more rural counties, their wants/needs/desires are more important that the urban counties.
Tyranny of the majority is a phrase people in America like to throw around all the time. Especially when they win. The electoral college is there to stop the tyranny of the majority. Hell, the person who posted this map talked about tyranny of the majority even though their own math suggests that the tyranny is actually coming from the 3084 counties that voted for Trump.
But tyranny of the majority can be determined in a lot of ways. For instance, the majority of Americans are Christians. Almost every elected official is a Christian. That could be interpreted as tyranny of the majority as well, couldn’t it? Because it actually is.
More people like Marvel Movies than DC movies. More people think the original Star Wars trilogy is better than the prequels.
The majority can be tyrannical. It can also be right. And right is typically measured by whatever we already believe to be true.
So this map is not meant to point out that 57 counties are pushing around the rest of the country. It is meant to point out that Donald Trump should have won because look how many counties wanted him to be President.
It is meant to tell everyone annoyed by electoral college math that the math was fair because counties.
The electoral college argument is a complex one that cannot be boiled down to a few simple bullet points. In my lifetime, the electoral college has picked a President over popular opinion twice. It is troubling, to be sure.
Those on the losing side will use a bunch of math to show why the electoral college is unfair. Those on the winning side will use a bunch of math (and misleading maps like this one) to argue that it is fair.
In the end, though, all of this is an effort to simplify something that is extremely complex.
I think the electoral college should be more representative of the popular vote. But this map doesn’t argue for that. It argues that whoever turns more counties a particular color should win. If that’s how we want to solve things, we should just provide both candidates with a whole lot of paint.
Todd Starnes writes opinion pieces for Fox News. I can understand if you don’t want to read this one.
He’s an asshole, by the way. He’s smug and self-satisfied and completely incapable of recognizing his own bias.
Someone says I’m the same way in 3…2..
Anyway…a radio station in Madison, Wisconsin recently dumped their liberal talk show format for something different. Christmas music.
It makes sense, actually. I mean they will probably get more listeners that way.
One of the shows dropped to make way for endless renditions of The Little Drummer Boy was a show called “Freethought Radio” by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The show is still out there, by the way, it just isn’t being carried by that station.
Starnes wrote an opinion piece that is basically making fun of atheists for losing their radio show in Madison and it is basically the tone of the piece that is infuriating. He says things like:
Let’s be honest – would you rather listen to Rush [Limbaugh] and Sean [Hannity] or a gaggle of man-hating feminists in Birkenstocks warbling about the virtues of organic gardening.
Can I ask what it is about Birkenstocks that is so fucking liberal? I mean, don’t conservatives like comfortable sandals? Help me out, here.
And I don’t think he understand atheists very well since most of us are skeptics who are, in fact, pro GMO.
Anyway…Starnes is smugly reveling in the victory of Christmas music over a one hour atheist talk show. I mean Rush and Sean are a lot more popular anyway and they have been for a long time. They will continue to be well into the future.
So who cares if one atheist show is pushed out of one market because a radio station wants to be more profitable?
Todd Starnes does.
His side won this year. And they have been winning for a while. So why not just keep kicking the other side to remind them who is on top? Talk about the tyranny of the majority.
President Elect Trump
Well yeah, I kind of had to lead with this, didn’t I?
For the last several weeks, I’d been hopeful that come election day, I wouldn’t have to write about Donald Trump any longer. Maybe one more column about how much of a sore loser he was, as we all expected. Instead, he is going to be our President for at least four years.
As a comedian, I should be happy. Hillary isn’t nearly as easy a target as Donald Trump and the parade of people he is going to include in his cabinet. They will say and do things worthy of ridicule on a nearly daily and certainly weekly basis.
I’m a little bit worried, though, that while I’m making jokes about Trump and his cabinet, they will be working on ways to take rights away from same-sex couples in the name of “religious freedom.” I’m a lot worried that they will be creating a country in which Hispanics and muslims are treated with mistrust and hostility simply because of their race and/or faith. I’m a lot worried that my transgender friends will face a supreme court openly hostile to their identity.
But let me tell you what has me super worried – that people who are upset with this outcome will throw up their hands and say they can do nothing because the DNC screwed them out of the candidate they wanted. They will blame others for the fact this happened.
We are all to blame. When almost 50% of eligible voters stay home rather than vote for anyone, we are to blame. When we allow people to say “they are both terrible” when one of those two people is President because he spouted a racist and xenophobic agenda, we are to blame. When we whine because our perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot instead of recognizing that 75% of what we want is far better than 10% (if that) of what we want, we are to blame.
When we angrily shake our fists at a system in which we refuse to take part because all we ever do is vote once every four years, we are to blame.
Donald Trump won because people who have never been excited about voting got off their asses and turned up. I don’t care why they turned up. The fact is they turned up.
If you read my blog, you probably voted. Odds are you didn’t vote for Trump. Some of your might have voted Stein or Johnson but you didn’t vote Trump. You are as upset as I am right now, I would imagine.
So once you stop being angry, you have to ask yourself, what am I going to do now?
I’m probably just including this story because given how many words I have devoted to my distaste for Donald Trump, I want it to be known that at least one dude dislikes him more than me.
But seriously, asshole, vandalism isn’t the answer. It makes people who support Trump look more reasonable than those of us who know he’s a bigoted, misogynistic, narcissist, who would probably be the worst President in the history of our country. Which is saying a lot since Buchanan set the bar pretty low, not even George W. Bush was able to limbo under it.
I’ve read people likening it to the destruction of statues of Lenin or Hussein but the thing is: Trump hasn’t been elected yet. And hopefully he’s not going to be. Does it make sense that we should destroy a statue of John McCain simply because we don’t like his stance on using the Senate to blockade the Supreme Court?
Or destroy a statue of George W. Bush because he was a terrible President?
I don’t think there is justification for this kind of behavior. If you think it would be wrong for someone to destroy something that says Hillary Clinton (or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein), it is just as wrong to destroy something that says Donald Trump.
If you’ve got a problem with Trump, how about you work your ass off to make sure he doesn’t get elected? Read More…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…