Archive for August, 2010

Ask, tell, but still be a second class citizen.

Posted in Infuriating on August 18, 2010 by easilyangered

It seems the country is poised on the precipice of overturning the DADT legislation and allowing openly gay people to stop denying who they are and serve without fear of discrimination.  This is pretty much a non-event to a lot of people in the military.  I have served at quite a few places with people who are gay, and really, most people know, or suspect; very few care.  We are surprisingly tolerant of people in the military, contrary to the Neanderthal impression many people have of us.

I had the opportunity to attend a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell brief that was supposed to “feel out” the troops and garner our opinions and such and had really high hopes that I would learn something about coming policy shifts.  I should have known better.  It seemed that no one wanted to ask any meaningful questions, we got the “I’m against it because of my religion, will I be able to not serve with one of dem gay boys?” morons; to which my thought was “You’re serving with them now asshole, what about Jesus’s words on acceptance and not judging?”  Then we got “Will people be offered the opportunity to end their enlistment since they didn’t sign on for this?” ; My opinion is that you signed on to serve, not serve with only people you like, so shut the fuck up, I can’t get out because I have to serve with a dumbass like you, so you can serve with gays and lesbians.

My question was this: “Since there is already a pretty big disparity in the housing allowances for single and married members, and several states are right now preparing to recognize gay civil unions and marriages, how is the military going to treat members who are married in one of those states in regards to family separation pay, housing allowances, and relocation costs?”  I was thrilled to be allowed to ask this question, because in my pie in the sky idealism, I thought the military would do the right thing by these people; unfortunately, the answer was basically that there is a Federal Defense of Marriage act, which would allow the Military to not treat these people as married, and thus allow them to get screwed out of thousands of dollars a year.  YAY Government!

Unfortunately, we ran out of time answering questions from bigoted assholes before I could ask my second question, so I had to catch the presenters afterward to find out this:  “We base our harassment claims on the perception of the person who is offended.  How are we going to protect the religious person’s freedom to express their religious beliefs under the First Amendment, while still avoiding a hostile workplace for someone who may be offended by being told their lifestyle is a sin or one that is unnatural to God?  The answer was a very non-committal “well, uh, we have uh, rules and regs in effect about harassment already, so, uh, we’ll have to follow and see how they go.”

I was totally underwhelmed.

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They’re so FIERCE!

Posted in Irritating on August 18, 2010 by easilyangered

I love Werewolves. They are my favorite movie monsters of all time. I remember the first time I saw a Werewolf show. Well, it wasn’t really ABOUT Werewolves, it was more about a guy living with 2 girls and pretending to be a Werewolf to not look improper. Used to be a day that you couldn’t come right out and say a character was a Werewolf, they had to use mannerisms and styles of dress and whatnot to imply lycanthropy without actually showing the transformation. You’d often be guessing, “Is that guy a Werewolf or just a really snappy dresser?” Then sometime around the late 80’s it was more OK to be in touch with your lupine side so we started getting more shows featuring Werewolves who weren’t afraid to be out in the open, they’d prance around and talk about how they were going to go to the theater, or to a musical. Then along came the show about the Werewolf and his live in roommate who was a totally hot redheaded Jewish chick (no boobs tho) and their incredible friend “just Jack” who was wolfed out all the time!  It was an awesome show!  Then they had the one where 5 Werewolves would show a regular guy how to act, dress, and generally clean up into a modern guy.  And who could forget the movie about the 2 Werewolf cowboys….

Oh, wait, I’m sorry…

I seem to have mistaken homosexuals and Werewolves.

well, at least now maybe now you’ll understand why I have to punch you in the mouth if you say you like vampires and start talking about Twilight.

Why is this an issue?

Posted in Interesting on August 7, 2010 by easilyangered

There is a big stink over a “mosque” being built in NY near the site of the trade centers. This is causing controversy.

Part of the perception on the one side is that the Muslim community as a whole does not denounce these attackers and therefore they support the actions. It doesn’t help when our news media shows people in Muslim countries dancing in the streets after the attacks (NM that the footage was possibly old and unrelated to the attacks, but I’m not a conspiracy nut.) This is where the average American perception that it’s all Muslims come from. Keep in mind, these average morons get their info from the same manipulative news media and can’t tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim either.

Another just outright distortion is that this church is being built ON GROUND ZERO OMG!!!
When actually it’s a community center and being built a couple blocks away, but all you need is our wonderful news service to mention that for thousands of years building a temple on an area you conquered has been a common practice and the people get worked up into a frothing rage again, at least until the next celebrity sex tape.

What the media would tell you if they were responsible, is that Muslims don’t hate us, in fact the average Iranian citizen loves America, it’s the crazy government that doesn’t. Iraqi nationals would BEG us to come back and help them from Saddam between the original Gulf War and the 2003 one. But, you’ll never hear this on the news, nor will you hear that Ideology doesn’t make people become terrorists, Iran tried for about a quarter century to get people into a murderous frenzy against the US based on Ideology, but was unable to do so. Where did the 911 Hijackers come from? Our “Allies”, Saudi Arabia, a place where we have troops stationed. al-Qaeda discovered a very simple psychological truism in that it is easy to turn someone into a combatant against a foreign invader, much harder to do it because god said so. I would bet that had America not had troops occupying 137 countries around the globe and didn’t automatically jump to Israel’s defense in every conflict, we could very easily be at peace instead of war.

Anyway, my thoughts: Build a mosque, a cathedral and a synagogue (and whatever other type of church there is) RIGHT ON TOP of ground zero, make them share a common entrance to the area to show the religious zealots out there that this is America, we welcome all people, regardless of faith, and their intimidation tactics only reinforce that and make us come together, not tear us apart

You know there’s more than 2 of them right?

Posted in Interesting on August 6, 2010 by easilyangered

It seems to me everyone knows about the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution. They are the only two that ever get any airplay, occasionally you hear about the 5th, but frankly 1 & 2 are the rock stars. I’ve been thinking about the others a lot though lately and how people’s relative unfamiliarity with them might mean that they are giving up a big portion of their personal rights without even realizing it. So I’m going to give my take on the bill of rights.

1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Notice if you will above that the words separation of Church and State do not appear anywhere in this text. In fact you will also note that this pertains to teh Government being unable to deny you the abilities to do these things. You do not have the freedom of speech in a private forum; an internet message board owner can very well deny your “right” to free expression on the servers they are paying for. I do however wonder how states and localities make people get a permit to assemble? Maybe they get around it by the Congress wording up there. I do however think this makes the famous Bush “Free Speech Zones” a very shady practice.

2. A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
There are a few things I’d like to point out about this one. First, the well-regulated militia part that gun control people like to mention: Well regulated meant operating efficiently. People like to point out the well-regulated section to justify their draconian laws, but seem to always overlook the last part: SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. If you look into other documents and essays written at the time, and by the same people who wrote and signed the Constitution, you will find they were very much FOR people having the same weapons as the government should an overthrow be necessary. As for those people who want to claim that all they had were muzzleloaders and didn’t foresee the automatic weapons we have, well, I’ll counter that point with they didn’t see email either, does that mean you can’t practice freedom of speech or the press on the internet?

3. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Don’t even see this one becoming an issue any time soon.

4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. Do you realize that stores can not force you to show your receipt and do a bag check without your consent? If you don’t want to wait in the long assed exit line, just walk right the fuck by! The troubling thing about this is that we submit to searches without probable cause or warrants every time we travel by air. The TSA is terrible. I hate them. I will make another post specifically about these wastes of life and how they make us no safer at a later date.

5. No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
This is another one I like. I’m dead set against eminent domain, I think private property shouldn’t be able to be seized for public use except in case of a needed road or other public service. Seizing in order to sell the land to a facility that will generate more tax revenue is reprehensible. As for the Self Incrimination and testifying against yourself portions, I think this video and this one speak for me.

6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
You have the right to confront your accuser, be represented by counsel, and must be tried speedily and publicly. This is of course if you are a US Citizen, personally I disagree with holding suspected terrorist indefinitely, it isn’t a good practice.

7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Again, I don’t see many issues with this one, except for terror suspects. This is why the importance of classifying civilians as “enemy combatants”.

8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Excessive bail, well I guess the judge is free to decide what is excessive, but I wonder for a minimum wage guy, isn’t $500,000 excessive? Isn’t the purpose of bail to insure you go to trial so as not to lose your money, rather than keeping you locked in? Cruel and unusual punishment; I think getting stuck in a place you are sure to get raped is cruel and unusual, why is prison rape a joke and not something we protect our inmates from?

9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
now it gets interesting again. People misunderstand the Bill of Rights all the time. They think that it list what rights you have, when in fact, it actually puts limits on what the government can do to you. Also note that it states that because a right is NOT listed here, that does not mean you don’t have that right. The rights belong to the people, not to the government to grant to you. Stand up for your rights.

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Notice here that it says if the Constitution does not SPECIFICALLY grant a power to the Federal Government, that power resides in the states or to the people. This clearly states that the powers rest with the people or the state, not the centralized Government. States should be free to make their own laws, the Fed should stop running roughshod over people’s lives and trying to rule us. that makes us subjects, not Citizens, and HERE is where we get problems.

Party like it’s 1984

Posted in Infuriating on August 3, 2010 by easilyangered

Read this article, I’ll wait.

Done reading? Good.

This scares me to death. This is a very immoral if not illegal activity that is a direct violatio nof your right to privacy. Just think if I decided I would put together a group of “volunteers” to go through your mail and report to the federal Government anything I thought you might be doing wrong. The fact that these people believe they are right is horrifying. I find it funny that the Government is all about “whistleblower protection” until you blow the whistle on them. This soldier who gave the information to wikileaks is a hero, and should not be punished for exposing the abuses of our trust by those in power.

To make matters worse, this Semi-Secret Volunteer organization is spying on its fellow citizens, using the convuluted legalese of a EULA (end user license agreement) as their justification, a justification that has been shown to be nebulous at best.

Stop being sheep people, you are led by wolves.

YOU’RE an asshole if you can’t properly use YOUR Apostrophes.

Posted in Infuriating, Irksome, Irritating on August 2, 2010 by easilyangered

I hate third grade grammar mistakes. I can’t take you seriously if you can’t write your opinion in proper English. I’m willing to overlook dumb ones like using “I” before the verb and “me” after, and always putting your own personal pronoun at the end (ex: “Bill and I went to the store.” No one’s here but Josie and me”), because the vernacular changes over time, and honestly, who cares whether you think you deserve top billing in your own sentence?

Where I really get angry is the abuse the poor apostrophe () gets. That’s the first thing that irritates me. I mean, did you people not attend thrid grade? How hard is this:

It’s: A contraction of IT IS
Its: belonging to IT

Your: belonging to you
You’re: A contraction of YOU ARE

See how the simple rule there is that the apostrophe denotes a contraction? I can understand the confusion, I mean, after all when talking about a specific person the apostrophe denotes ownership: Bill’s truck. But then when using a pronoun, the apostrophe means a contraction again: He’s going = HE IS going. However, just because I understand where confusion can arise, doesn’t mean I will forgive it, since this is stuff covered in elementary school.

A real big one that burns my balls is when a company fucks it up in advertising. I have a subscription to a computer magazine that had an ad in it for Custom Built PC’s for about 5 months. After the 5th month I guess someone in their ad department realized that an apostrophe is unneccessary when describing multiples of an item that is abbreviated, in this case the proper use is PCs. You see there? the lowercase “s” denoted that it is not part of the abbreviation PC. I vowed I will never buy anything from a company that abuses so thoroughly the English language on an advertisement. It seems if they can’t follow that simply elementary grammar rule, what others will they forget about?

Another thing, THERE are too many people idiots out THERE misusing the word I’ve capitalized in THEIR writing. Now I can understand again the whole I before E rule, because this is one of those fucked up exceptions, but THERE is no reason THEY’RE using it wrong in every one of THEIR sentences. Have I been clear enough?

They’re: Contraction; THEY ARE
Their: ownership; belonging to them
There: a place; over THERE

In conclusion, I have to say it truly makes me so angry I want to kick a baby into a brick wall when I have to decipher your rant on the evils of Capitalism like I’m Indiana Jones trying to figure out from hieroglyphs where the lost fucking ark is because you can’t remember these simple rules. The thing that makes me even madder is that to point out you write like an inbred 4-year-old Mongoloid somehow makes ME the one losing the argument, as if because I insist on legible coherent counterpoints, I am now grasping at straws to defend my position. All in all, I hope that if you write like this you get run over by a bookmobile.