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 – 3/8/19
A New Study Indicates Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism
If you understand anything about vaccines, you know that they don’t cause autism. They just don’t. We don’t know what causes autism. But it’s not vaccines.
But here we go – another study is showing that vaccines do not, in fact, cause autism.
So what pisses me off? Why the fuck are we still studying this?
I don’t blame the scientists for doing so. I mean the anti-vaxx movement keeps coming up with bullshit science to link autism and vaccines in the ultimate game of confirmation bias so someone needs to keep doing actual research to counter the constant barrage of bad information.
Anti-vaxxers crawl out of the shadows every time something like this surfaces because they really want to believe big bad pharma is out to kill us all by ensuring we don’t get polio. It is a pretty sinister plot they have uncovered and the only side effects to being wrong are outbreaks of measles and whooping cough.
The other thing that bothers me is this idea that people with autism are somehow more broken than they would have been had they contracted polio. Rather than treating autism as a challenge to be managed and understood, anti-vaxxers want to believe we can just cure it. The implication that being on the spectrum is worse than dying of a preventable disease is about as bad as suggesting we shouldn’t teach blind people how to read braille because what’s the point?
Unlike flat Earthers, who are just stupid, anti-vaxxers are dangerous. They get people killed. And they divert money from studying how to help people live with autism or from determining the actual cause of autism to more studies about how vaccines don’t cause autism.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/1/19
I totally missed last week because I was driving to a show. So I have some items from last week I’ve carried over. Because they still piss me off.
Captain Marvel Being Panned Pre-Release by People Who Haven’t Seen the Film
In the grand and glorious tapestry that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there hasn’t been one film featuring a Woman as the lead character. Until March 8th when Captain Marvel will be released.
Yes, yes, Ant Man & The Wasp technically had The Wasp as a lead/title character but that was a shared lead and Ant Man came first and it was a sequel and it didn’t seem to piss off Men’s Rights douchebags so let’s try to avoid being pedantic for just a moment, OK?
When it comes to pissing off Men’s Rights douchebags, nothing works better than a movie (any movie) about a woman. Mad Max Fury Road was awesome but why did it have to have a woman in it? The worst thing about The Last Jedi was all those girls getting in the way of the story that should be about whiny emo dudes just like them.
Holy shit! That’s why they hate Kylo Ren so much!
“Look at that whiner! He has all the power but he’s still not happy with it so he’s going to take power away from everyone around him who doesn’t have it just so he can feel better about himself even though he still doesn’t. That is so unrealistic!”
The scene is a lot more interesting if you imagine this guy eating Funyuns and crying.
Anyway – the reviews are already pouring in for Captain Marvel and many of them are by guys who haven’t actually seen the film!
That’s right! They are already posting negative reviews with their major complaint being “I don’t like that Marvel has, after three Captain America Movies, three Iron Man movies, a couple of Ant Man movies, and so on, decided to bow to the pressure of Social Justice Warriors by making ONE MOVIE with a girl in the lead!”
Some are even gloating that they are going to kill the box office for Captain Marvel just like they did for The Last Jedi.
Whatever, guys. If you didn’t notice that nearly every woman and person of color was dusted at the end of Infinity War, maybe you need to realize that women have a bigger representation gap than you.
So go back to your meditation chamber, Kylo, and feel sorry for yourself. Because the rest of us don’t.
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 – 11/9/18
Trump Corner: A Press Conference for the Ages
Why bury the lede on this one?
So the day after Democrats managed to take over the House (more on bullshit Gerrymandering later) but not the Senate, Trump decided to refuse to answer reporters questions.
Now I could talk about the way his administration banned a reporter using a doctored video to bolster their unsubstantiated claim the reporter attacked an intern. But they just did that because their base loves it when Trump attacks reporters.
That’s why he consistently refers to the free press as an enemy of the people.
If you hear that and nod your head in agreement, you are creeping me right out. The press is, in fact, the tool by which the people can help keep that fucker honest. Well, they can try. Honesty is not part of his meager skill set.
The truth is the enemy of the Trump camp and most reporters have a pesky way of trying to find out the truth. Best way to deal with that tendency is to discredit most of them. That way the reporters who are biased to report what you want them to report are the only ones your legions will listen to.
So that was awful. But maybe you missed when our President who, if you recall, has always been a wealthy white man, lectured a black woman on racism.
Not only did Trump lecture the reporter, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, on racism. He wouldn’t even let her ask a question.
I mean, I know he’s the President. He can talk over whoever he wants.
But that doesn’t mean he should. Alcindor was asking him if his rhetoric emboldened white nationalists (it does). He could have answered the question but the answer wouldn’t have been very good. So knowing he couldn’t really address it, he just blamed the reporter – a black woman – for bringing up racism.
He claimed his poll numbers were better with African Americans then they’ve ever been (which is technically kind of true based on one poll that is historically biased towards Republicans but also really not the point).
What he didn’t do was address the question of white nationalism. He could have spoken out against white nationalism. But he didn’t. He just told a black woman she was racist.
PS: that (skewed) Rasmussen poll he cherry picked showed that he has a 50% approval rating. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY???? Read More…
Shit that Pissed me Off – 10/5/18
Buckle your seat belts, y’all. This week. Holy shit this week.
Also, possible trigger warning because I do talk about sexual assault in very general terms.
Let’s just start here with our shitbag of a President. What has he done recently?
Well, he mocked a sexual assault victim, he said it is a scary time for young men in America, and he said the King of Saudi Arabia wouldn’t last two weeks without American military support.
That last one might actually be true but what a way to undermine one of America’s strongest allies. And yeah – the rulers of Saudi Arabia are awful and I could get behind any President who had the courage to say so but that’s not what Trump was doing.
I’m really done being polite about this asshole. He is a sexual predator (no those women did not make their stories up). He’s a bully. He’s a racist.
And in spite of all of it, there’s a possibility the Democrats won’t win this fall because…hell I don’t know why.
Because people enjoy supporting a man child who delights in punching down at women, minorities, and the poor (who vote for him anyway)? Because they are such evangelical zombies that they will follow any man who claims to be the same (unless he’s a Democrat)?
I don’t know. Everyone of every political persuasion (with the exception of white supremacists) should hate this man. They should hate everything about him.
And yet they don’t. They go to his rallies. They laugh with him at victims of violent sexual assault. They show up at the polls to vote for whomever he tells them to vote for.
If the rest of us aren’t willing to show up at the polls and fight back this November, I’m out of ideas, folks. Because Trump and the rabble who blindly follow him into the abyss of humanity need to lose. Badly. And often.
There are more of us who are against him, aren’t there? There have to be.
So listen to me: if you think he is a good man, you are wrong. If you think he gives a flying fuck about you and your problems, you are wrong. He is interested in making money for himself. That’s what this Presidency is about. It isn’t about making America Great Again. It is about making Trump richer than he already was.
And he doesn’t give a shit who he hurts a long the way. This week it’s Christine Blasey Ford. Next week it might be you. And there will be stadiums full of people laughing right along with him.
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.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 6/22/18
Apologies for missing the last couple of weeks. I was on vacation.
Let’s Just Talk About the Children
The last few installments of STPMO have been focused on a single issue and this week is likely to do the same thing because holy shit is this country fucked up.
I mean, we are fucked up in a lot of ways. But when we are having a debate over whether or not it is OK to forcibly separate children from their parents for months or years, I don’t even know who we are any more. We seem overly concerned with the fact these are immigrant children as if that somehow makes it a different conversation than if these were anyone’s kids.
Never mind whether or not it is legal. I mean, it kind of is but it kind of isn’t and I try to keep this blog to about 1500 words or less so there’s no way we have that kind of time. We shouldn’t be asking if it is legal. We should be asking if it is ethical.