Shit that Pissed me Off 5/3/19
Appeals Court Rules that Bde Mke Ska Name Change was Illegal
I’m not pissed at the court. It is entirely likely that their ruling was fully supported by Minnesota Law and their job is to uphold what is legally right. Not was is morally correct. So they did their job.
The lake currently known as Bde Mke Ska was previously named Lake Calhoun. It was named after the 7th Vice President of the United States, John C Calhoun. Calhoun was not from Minnesota (he was from South Carolina) and was a strong proponent of slavery (as I said – he was from South Carolina).
If you’d like to know what he thought about slavery, this just about sums it up:
Calhoun asserted that slavery, rather than being a “necessary evil,” was a “positive good,” benefiting both slaves and slave owners.
Before the lake was named after Calhoun, it was called Bde Mke Ska. That’s what the locals called it before the locals got told they didn’t live here any more and were told to pack up their things and move to land the people with guns didn’t think was worth anything so they were OK with people they didn’t give a shit about living there. They figured if the land turned out to be worth something, they could make the former locals move again. Because they still had most of the guns.
So the DNR and the City of Minneapolis decided the change the name back to Bde Mke Ska. Their reasoning was the name Lake Calhoun was actually a slap in the face to both black people and native Americans. Which it was. It was also kind of a slap in the face to Minnesotans seeing as Calhoun was, as I mentioned, from South Carolina.
Not everyone was thrilled about this change. And that’s OK because you are totally allowed to not give a fuck about black people or Native Americans or Minnesotans because you’ve called it Lake Calhoun for your entire life and why should you have to change?
So a venture Capitalist asshole named Tom Austin decided he hated being “bullied” by “elites” (because black people and Native Americans have historically been super elite) so he filed a lawsuit to change the name back. And he won. Because the court of appeals determined the Legislature needed to make the name change and not the DNR.
Here’s what pissed me off about Tom Austin and all the people who are thrilled that they won this court case – it didn’t fucking matter to them. If the name had never been Lake Calhoun, they wouldn’t have cared that the name was Bde Mke Ska. They just would have called the lake Bde Mke Ska.
And if someone had decided to change the name to Lake Calhoun, they would have fought that because they don’t like it when names change.
But the name Lake Calhoun was hurtful to people. So the decision was made to change it back to a name that was not. Because we’ve figured some shit out and we’re trying to do better.
Austin wasted taxpayer money on a lawsuit that didn’t fucking matter to him. He was just pissed off because he didn’t want to remember a new name and because he didn’t want to be reminded that white people in America have done some really shitty things. I mean, Tom Austin never owned slaves. And he never forced Native Americans off their lands. Why should he have to learn a new name (actually it was an old name but whatever) when none of that was his fault?
So now it is probably up to the legislature to make things right. And they probably won’t. Let me tell you why!
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 – 2/15/19
The Cleveland Browns Signed Kareem Hunt and Colin Kapaernick Still Doesn’t Have a Job
Hunt was kicked off his former team (the Chiefs) after video of Hunt assaulting a woman became public. They claimed they knew about the incident but that Hunt had “lied” about it to them.
So Hunt was out of Football. At least he might have been were he not so gosh darn talented.
I could point out that Colin Kapaernick is more talented than – well – just about every third string quarterback in the league, probably most of the second string ones and maybe even a few first string ones and he doesn’t have a job in the NFL. Because he didn’t hit a woman on camera. He kneeled during the National Anthem to call attention to systemic racism.
But Kareem Hunt deserves “another chance.”
I’m not even going to argue that he doesn’t deserve another chance. I don’t know. Maybe he really has figured his shit out and is going to make amends and be a decent guy.
What I’m arguing is that a guy who punches women has an easier time getting a job in the NFL than a guy who kneels during the national anthem.
Moreover, the response to the Hunt allegations is muted. People are shocked but immediately say “we don’t really know enough to leap to judgement.” The response to Kapaernick isn’t muted at all. It is angry. Vocal. And filled with people who are telling him that they don’t give a fuck what he says until he says it the way they want to hear it (not that they plan on telling him what would make them listen).
The NFL is a business. And they know full well that in a game as violent as Professional Football, their audience has shown a willingness to accept players who are violent off the field. What they can’t accept is a player who peacefully points out institutional racism and – yes – violence.
Note: It was just announced that Kapaernick reached a settlement with the NFL in his collusion case that claimed the NFL colluded to keep him out of a job. Of course the terms are confidential so the NFL doesn’t need to actually admit to doing anything wrong…
Shit that Pissed me Off – 2/8/19
Hello and welcome to 2019! I’ve not been blogging a lot for the last several weeks because I was on vacation and on vacation I shouldn’t have to think about things like the Government shutdown that is (temporarily) over.
I mean, I still did because a bunch of stuff was shut down at Kennedy Space Center because the NASA employees were furloughed. And TSA agents were working without pay so I never knew if my travel plans were going to have a gigantic wrench thrown into them because of a sick out (which I would have been 100% behind but it still would have been annoying).
Oh, and I couldn’t visit a National Park in the Virgin Islands. For which you should not feel bad because I was still in the Virgin Islands.
So I guess I still had to deal with the shutdown a little. And it was annoying because that shit was stupid.
Anyway, I’m back on my bloggy horse. Let’s see what we’ve got!
Road Rage Dude Shoots a School Bus Driver
Here in Minnesota we have had some really shitty weather. This shouldn’t surprise folks because it is February in Minnesota.
Last week we had some really cold weather (I’m going to talk about that more later) and this week we just had stupid little snow storms that fucked up rush hour driving. For three fucking days in a row.
Now that sounds annoying and it is. But it is something we should be used to because we are from Minnesota and it happens ever year.
For Kenneth Lily, however, it was more than he could handle. After a fender bender accident, the security guard (who was a good guy with a gun until he was magically transformed into a bad guy with a gun) got out of his car and proceeded to five five rounds at the driver of a school bus. The driver, a 73 year old man who was clearly a threat, was hit in the arm and grazed in the head. Fortunately, he survived.
So did Lily, who claims he was in fear for his life (sure he was) and who waited for the police to arrive at which point he was arrested without incident.
Yes, he’s white. How did you know?
What have I forgotten?
Oh yeah – there was an eight year old child on the bus.
Lily is also free on bail pending a hearing.
I mean….what the actual fuck?
A white guy shoots an elderly school bus driver and he is free on bail? How do you look at a guy who fires his gun at a school bus and say “yeah – I’m OK with him not being in jail?”
Were the cells too full of marijuana users?
Because if they were, I have an idea…
Shit that Pissed me Off – 1/4/19
I’ve taken a rather long break from Shit that Pissed me off for several reasons. So if you are a regular reader, I’m sorry you had to be pissed off without my help for the last month.
For the next three weeks, I’ll be on vacation. Hopefully, I will get one or two posts up over that time but if I don’t, it’s probably because I’m lazy.
We have a partial Government Shutdown going on right now. If you’d like to understand the impact on actual people, here’s an article written by a friend of mine who is a National Park Ranger.
Let’s explore what this is all about.
The border wall. Turns out that was easier to explain than I thought.
President Trump (goddamn it) wants five billion for his border wall that he has said Mexico is paying for through an unratified trade agreement that won’t actually pay for the wall. He already says the wall hasn’t been started/is already partially built/is basically finished. He just needs five billion dollars. Come on!
House Democrats have, so far, told him he can fuck right off. Senate Republicans have been wishy washy because they probably think his wall idea is fucking stupid (it is) but they are in the same party so they have to kind of support him even if they don’t.
End result, lying, narcissistic, delusional, racist, sexual predator doesn’t have money for his wall yet. So he’s shutting down the government and blaming the Democrats after he said he wouldn’t.
Essentially, Donald Trump is putting people out of work in order to get a border wall built so brown people can’t “steal” the jobs that Trump isn’t letting people do.
And I know that’s a weird analogy because most government employees aren’t picking lettuce in California.
He keeps talking about how much we need the border wall but the evidence is far from clear.
In the end, the party of smaller government is shutting down the government because they want more money for something that probably isn’t worth it. And they are pointing their fingers across the aisle rather than at the white house because they are still afraid to stand up to the bully who is theoretically the head of their party.
Much as I want to see this shutdown end, my hope is House Democrats avoid caving on the issue. I don’t need my tax dollars wasted on a bullshit wall that won’t do what Trump pretends it will.
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 – 9/7/18
Here’s where we ask ourselves the question “why the fuck does the President of the United States keep inserting himself into this shit?”
I mean, that’s what we would ask if it wasn’t becoming so commonplace. But Trump has already made it clear that he is standing up for the American Flag against Kaepernick, who famously chose to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. He has chosen Football as a battleground and Kaepernick as the opposing general.
But let’s back up.
This weekend, Nike released the following image:
I’m going to say something that may be polarizing.
Nobody should have a problem with this.
Shit that Pissed me Off 7/27/18
Parade Announcer Gets Called on Sexist Bullshit by a 12-year-old
This is a great story so before I start with a trademark rant, let me just say how fantastic it is that a 12-year-old girl recognized the sexism at work and said something.
In Russell Township, Ohio, there was a parade. Parades happen in a lot of small towns so this is nothing to be surprised about. Taking part in the parade were the local girl and boy scout troops. Also not much of a surprise. It gets the kids out of the house and engaging in physical activity. I’m all for it.
As they walked by, the parade announcer said the boy scouts were the “future leaders of America.” OK, I guess. Seems kind of presumptuous but OK.
Then the girls walked by and the announcer said they were just there to have fun.
In reference to the Cyndi Lauper song which, though catchy and awesome, sends something of a poor message when it comes to the ambitions of young women.
Julianne Spyer was walking with the Girl Scouts that day and was none to pleased to learn that the boys were future leaders of America and the girls just wanted to have some fun. She wrote a letter to the editor and it went viral.
Everyone is super proud of Julianne for calling out the sexism displayed but I have to wonder – what now? Do you think that we are suddenly going to start doing better because of a 12-year-old in Ohio? Or are we so busy patting the kid on the head that we are going to stop there?
I also wonder, if this letter had been written by someone who was not a twelve year old, would it have gotten any attention at all? Would anyone else have noticed the subtle sexism that the announcer probably didn’t even think about?
I don’t wish to belittle what Julianne did one bit. She noticed something wrong and she spoke up. Her actions end up being irrelevant unless the next local parade announcer doesn’t make the same mistake. Or gets called out when they do.
Let’s celebrate Julianne because she is an awesome little girl and one of the future leaders of America. Even better, let’s celebrate her by actually listening to her message.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/20/18
Trump Corner: The Russia Problem
I don’t usually lead with Donald Trump because he’d pretty much always a problem. Him and the people who blindly accept everything he does as anything other than the actions of a narcissistic racist whose every action is meant to make things better for himself and his family members. And who is also a sexual predator.
This week, Trump had a private meeting with Vladimir Putin and proceeded to throw his own intelligence agencies under the bus in the press conference that followed. What he did was so blatant, even Fox news had to acknowledge it at first. They couldn’t side with Trump until a day later when he basically said that he didn’t mean what he said and also fake news.
Because the news is super fake when it is quoting what Trump said into a microphone.
Now all of this was bad. But I feel as if we lost something while we were all being pissed off at our President for being a clueless asshole.
He had a private meeting with Vladimir Putin and we still don’t know what they talked about.
Putin has even announced he is beginning to work on military agreements reached at that meeting. But we don’t know what those agreements are. It isn’t even clear that our military is aware of what those agreements are.
Understand, our President called the European Union our “foe” last week. He then had a closed door meeting with Putin in which even his staff was not allowed. And he got together with Kim Jong Un earlier this year.
When a President of the United States has nicer things to say about two dictators than he does about democratically elected leaders of state, it should scare the ever loving shit out of you.
This isn’t politics. Stop loving this guy because he’s a Republican. He isn’t. He’s a guy who will do anything and everything to better himself.
I don’t know what he talked about with Putin. And neither do you. Don’t get caught up being pissed at him for insulting the US intelligence community to forget that he was buddying up to an oppressive dictator.
….and so was Putin.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/13/18
Minneapolis Police Detain Two Black Kids Because Someone Reported the Kids had a Gun (They Didn’t)
So I’m just going to start local because I’m from St. Paul.
For those of you who aren’t from Minnesota, St. Paul is the Twin City right next to Minneapolis that you never hear about because Prince wasn’t from here.
Anyway, these kids were hanging out at Minnehaha Falls park and apparently dealing with some harassment from a white teenager who was calling them names. Racist names. Also, he was telling them he had a knife. No word on what happened to the racist white kid, by the way.
The police showed up, guns drawn, because there was a report that the kids had a gun. They didn’t.
Did I mention the kids were between nine and twelve years old?
At least two of them were handcuffed, one of them without his shirt. He was begging for his shirt because he was being bitten by mosquitoes.
The cops didn’t give the kid his shirt because fuck that child for having been the target of a racist attack! Or something.
So you can’t even be a black kid hanging around in a park these days. But you can totally be a white racist.
The incident is “under investigation.” I’m sure the police officers feared for their life (I mean those kids might have had a gun) and the fact they traumatized some pre-teens will result in a firm reminder that you shouldn’t handcuff a fucking nine year old when they’ve done nothing wrong.