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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 – 4/7

Trump Corner – We Bombed Syria

Look – as someone who has done a lot of improvisational theater in my life, I have a lot of respect for improvisation.

But Donald Trump feels like an improvisational President.  Syrian President Assad uses chemical weapons on his own people and Trump’s first response is “we should do something.”

So everyone responds by saying “yeah – OK – can you be a little more specific?”

And Trump responds by saying “BOOM!  Just bombed a military base!  How do you like that something?”

Well, Donald, you did the second part but I don’t think you really understood the first part.

And everyone is like “?????”

Never mind that Trump pretended to be a dove on the campaign trail and managed to convince far too many people Hillary Clinton would have us in a war with Syria before she finished her inauguration speech.  Never mind that this bombing run did nothing to prevent the next chemical weapons attack on civilians.

In the end, it is military theater.  It makes Trump look tough without actually risking anything.  Nobody really cares about what is going on in Syria anyway.  I mean, we care in the sense that it sounds awful but we don’t care in the sense that it affects our lives in any tangible way.

Kind of like the way that military strike affected the actions of Assad.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/24

Soccer Player who Had his Girlfriend Murdered and Fed to Dogs Gets Out of Jail and Proceeds to Get a Job Playing Soccer

Look, I honestly believe that someone charged with a crime should serve their time but then they should have the chance to live their life.  People make horrible, awful, stupid, mistakes and sometimes we need to be big and forgive them.  Give them a chance to be better people.

We aren’t, generally, interested in such things.  We are interested in placing people into the category of “generally a good person” or “they should be dead.”

So anyway, Bruno Fernandes de Souza was a star goaltender in the Most Popular Sport in Every Country But America (TM) and he had his girlfriend murdered and fed to dogs. He was sentenced to 22 years but after only six years, he was released on a technicality.

So what happened next?  He got a chance to play Soccer again.  Because he’s that good.  Or at least he was.

I am grateful my life has reached a point where I had need of this image.

I might even be able to deal with that if he wasn’t an insufferable jackass.  He basically categorized what he did as “a mistake.”  To be fair, he did say it was “a serious one.”

And here’s the thing – he’s has a skill that is important to a lot of people and that means he will get as many chances so long as he’s still good at it.  And that’s the bullshit message of this story.

You can get away with murder.  As long as you are a celebrity.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/17

Democratic Congressman Makes Me Defend Kellyanne Conway

I was on vacation for the last two weeks and that means I need to play a little bit of catch up.

Now let’s be clear that I think Kellyanne Conway is a tool.  Her job is to go to the press and ignore their questions as a way of obfuscating all the stupid bullshit our rich white President tweets out.  More on that later.

However, the controversy around the following picture is a bunch of bullshit.

Conway is taking a picture of her President surrounded by black people in an attempt to make it look like he has a lot of friends who are black.  I could totally make fun of that because I’m pretty sure Donald Trump knows as much about the black experience in America as Ben Carson.

But instead, people like Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond made fun of conway for being barefoot on a couch.  I suppose the implication is that she slept her way to the top or something while ignoring the fact she was instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected.

I can hate her for that.  But I also have to respect her for that.  And in spite of the bad taste it leaves in my mouth, I have to defend Conway on the grounds that you don’t get to make that kind of joke about her.

Given all the stuff she does that is completely horrible, shouldn’t it be OK to shy away from calling her a slut because she’s taking a picture with her shoes off?  Do we lack so much creativity as a society that when we are presented with a woman we don’t like, we can find no other outlet to criticize her than shaming her for not behaving like we think a woman should behave.

Conway and her President will do and say so many stupid things in the next 24 hours (pick any 24 hour period), it seems like wasted effort to focus on something so unimportant.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 2/23

Bad Headline Theater

Dear liberal friends.  We had a bad election.  We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry.  At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.

Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.

Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”

Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest.  This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.

And let’s be fair – they may be.

The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise.  He turned it down.

Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”

I checked the great seal for the state of Oklahoma and it doesn't say "fuck women" anywhere.  Not even in Latin.

I checked the great seal for the state of Oklahoma and it doesn’t say “fuck women” anywhere. Not even in Latin.

In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible.  It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.

But – and given the headline this is super important –  the law hasn’t passed yet.  Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.

And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again.  And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.

All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue.  In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.

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