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Category Archives: Social Commentary

Badly done, Jared…

From the Business Insider:

The FBI has subpoenaed an affidavit containing alleged texts between former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle and a former female Subway franchisee in which Fogle says he paid for sex with a 16-year-old girl, according to the former franchisee’s attorney.

On June 19, the lawyer says that Fogle again asked the woman to advertise herself on Craigslist. She responds: “Is this the same website you found that 16 year old girl you that you f*****? …I still can’t believe you only paid $100 for her.”

Fogle responds: “It was amazing!!!!”

She asks: “What part of her ad made you think she was selling sex?”

He says: “U will have to read them to see.”

The age of consent in Indiana, where Fogle resides, is 16 years old.

First place, whenever someone asks you such a leading question — “I’m going to grab some cash at the corner ATM. Is that the same bank that you robbed at gunpoint and used the funds to buy a warehouse full of cocaine, assault rifles, and bootleg Prince records?” — your response should *not* be to willingly incriminate yourself but to borrow from Eric Stoltz in PULP FICTION and shout, “I don’t know you. Who is this? Prank caller! Prank caller!”

Also, if you’re engaged in this type of activity, shouldn’t you have a “no text” policy? Everything’s verbal or you use code words (“Did you tape DOWNTON ABBEY? YES! It was AMAZING! Very satisfying… episode.”) or invest in that MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE technology where everything self-destructs after 60 seconds.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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Facebook “Friend” Requests…

I’ve noticed a Facebook‬ trend where people will post a simple question or request advice and follow that up with a lengthy codicil that basically pleads, “Don’t be an asshole” E.g.: “I’m going to my cousin’s wedding in Tampa. Anyone have any hotel recommendations? Please no comments about how Florida is a cesspool that’s not fit for human habitation.” Or “I’m attending a work conference in Austin, Texas. Any ideas on vegan friendly meal options there? Please no comments on how vegans are patchouli-smoking hippies and I’m wasting my time by going to Texas and not eating a big steak or enjoying the local barbecue.” Or “I have tickets to a Rolling Stones concert. Has anyone gone to a big stadium show before? When’s the best time to arrive? And any tips on parking to avoid the crush when the show lets out? Please no comments on how Mick Jagger is an undead mummy and that the Stones best work was over before I was born and how arena shows are absurdly expensive.” Is this what the Internet has done to us? We can’t just answer someone’s question without unsolicited, meanspirited commentary? Or just not say anything at all? And the requests aren’t paranoid, because we’ve all read the threads where people are, basically, assholes.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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Badly done, South Carolina…

From the Greenville News:

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis released a statement Tuesday saying (Zachary) Hammond died from a gunshot wound to the upper torso, but the statement didn’t indicate if the bullet came from the front or back. He referred questions to SLED, the Seneca Police and the 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Tori Dianna Morton, 23, of Pickens, was in the car with Hammond but wasn’t hurt. She was arrested for possession of marijuana.

Covington said the officer approached the car with his gun drawn, as is common practice in making narcotics arrests.

An undercover officer had arranged a drug buy to lure Morton into the parking lot of Hardee’s restaurant on U.S. 123, according to an incident report.

The report says the officer executed a search warrant and found a bag of marijuana in the car. It makes no mention of the shooting. Covington said the officer will file a statement later.

Dammit.

I have not been to Paranoia Academy, but how often do people run over cops rather than just try to escape? And even if it occurs a great deal, in the time to draw your weapon and fire *point blank* at the person behind the wheel, can’t you just… get out of the way?

What was the worst-case scenario here? An adult would have purchased a drug that is legal in several U.S. states, a drug that cannot be used to mow down 9 people in a church. Yet, resources are wasted on an undercover “sting” of someone buying marijuana. And now a 19-year-old is dead. DEAD. Why? What the the hell is wrong with a state where this kid could have legally bought an assault rifle, even if he had a history of mental problems, but he’s shot dead because he *drove* someone to buy pot.

If Zachary Hammond lived in Washington or Colorado, he’d be alive. South Carolina, you need to explain to the rest of the civilized world how your residents are safer because of the laws that led to this young man’s death.

Dammit.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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Stop Second-Guessing Sandra…

I’m done with the “well-meaning” American liberals who wonder why Sandra Bland‬ “argued” with the cops. It’s the second-cousin of questioning why she “wore that tight dress” or “drank too much” at that party (and the fact that some so-called feminists don’t see this point is its own condemnation and underscores the schism between black women and mainstream feminism). However, if you have never “argued” with a cop, it’s highly possible that a police officer has never intentionally provoked you. I don’t wonder why a battered spouse shoots her abusive husband. “Gee, shucks, my wife and I work out diaper duty in a rational manner. What got into her?”

It reminds me of the Richard Pryor routine, “Niggers vs. Police”:

“Cops put a hurtin’ on your ass, man. You know, they really degrade you. White folks don’t believe that shit, they don’t believe cops degrade. ‘Ah, come on, those beatings, those people are resisting arrest. I’m tired of this harassment of police officers.’ That’s ’cause the police live in your neighborhood, see, and you be knowin’ ’em as Officer Timpson. ’Hello, Officer Timpson, going bowling tonight? Yes, nice Pinto you have.’ Niggers don’t know them like that. See, white folks get a ticket, they pull over, ‘Hey, Officer, yes, glad to be of help, cheerio!’ A nigger got to be talkin’ ’bout, ’I am reaching into my pocket for my license! ’Cause I don’t wanna be no motherfucking accident!’”

Not much has changed since the year I was born (!). I recall as a kid when a cop forced my barely adult cousin to peel the window tinting from her car while she wept. But you know, at least she’s alive, right? When you advise blacks to not “argue” with cops because they are “edgy” and “who knows?” what might happen, you are conceding that they are not law enforcement officers but gangsters. When a member of Tony Soprano’s crew comes around for his protection money, I probably won’t give him lip. But he doesn’t claim to “protect and serve” and recognize any basic Constitutional rights. Just because you couldn’t hack with the Gambinos doesn’t mean you should put on a badge.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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More about that damn cake…

From US Weekly:

Candace Cameron Bure assumed a seat at The View’s co-host table for the Hot Topics segment on the Tuesday, July 7 episode, and things got typically heated. An ultra-conservative Christian, Cameron Bure couldn’t help but butt heads with co-host Raven-Symone one topic, which discussed an Oregon bakery’s decision to refuse service to a lesbian couple.

“The Oregon law bars businesses from discriminating against sexual orientation, race, disability, age or religion,” Symone argued, “and to me, it’s the same exact thing that they did back in the day saying that black people couldn’t do certain things because it’s my ‘religious belief.'”

Fuller House’s Cameron Bure, 39, quickly accused Symone, a fellow child star, of comparing apples to oranges. “I don’t think this is discrimination at all. This is about freedom of association,” she said. “It’s about constitutional rights. It’s about First Amendment rights. We do have the right to still choose who we associate with.”

Things might have changed since Ms.Bure attended Fake Law School, but the first amendment does not allow owners of “public accommodations” (this includes most businesses) to discriminate against people based on their race, color, religion, or national origin. Gays are not explicitly part of those protected groups but the existence of the groups in the first place would imply that there is a precedent for not allowing blatant discrimination by business owners.
 
(It could also be argued that if a business can’t discriminate against people because of their religion then a business owners shouldn’t be able to discriminate because of their religion. I know that’s an appeal to fairness, and I’m not sure how often that turns up in a sermon these days.)
 
Also, freedom of association is hardly a right you can apply to a job where you serve the public. Cab drivers (theoretically) cannot choose who they pick up and a coffee shop can’t choose who they overcharge for a latte. Again, I appeal perhaps pointlessly to the concept of fairness but what seems less “American”: A citizen being turned away from a business because of who he or she is, or a business owner or employee having to serve a meal to or rent a hotel room to someone whose sexuality, race, or religion they don’t like?
 
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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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But I do recommend San Diego other times of the year…

People are often surprised that I haven’t attended nor do I have any interest in attending Comic-Con. My response is that it’s hard to say what I dislike more: Crowds or waiting in line. (This also explains my aversion to theme parks.) The whole reason I started reading comics or, well, books of any type is because I’m asocial.

But if you’re into crowds and lines, here’s an overview of how to best manage Comic-Con. Meanwhile, I’ll be alone in a dark room somewhere (and thanks to the good folks at Kindle, I can now read in the dark).

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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Good Ole Nonsense…

TV Land has pulled repeats of The Dukes of Hazzard because the protagonists drive around in a car named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The General Lee also has the Confederate flag painted on it. In light of recent events, TV Land thought this was a bit much. It’s not necessarily a political statement. They also pulled repeats of The Cosby Show when allegations surfaced that Bill Cosby drugged and raped women. Although, that’s a little different, as Cosby didn’t commit these offensive acts on the show itself, but still TV Land is not The History Channel. In fact, The History Channel isn’t even The History Channel anymore. TV Land airs mindless TV shows that people put on in the background while making dinner. It’s not in the business of offending people.

However, this decision has offended fans of The Dukes of Hazzard, including its star John Schneider .

“The Dukes of Hazzard was and is no more a show seated in racism than Breaking Bad was a show seated in reality,” Schneider told the Hollywood Reporter.

He said the show’s residual royalties “have never been much to write home about,” and then he said more.

“I am saddened that one angry and misguided individual can cause one of the most beloved television shows in the history of the medium to suddenly be seen in this light,” Schneider said. “Are people who grew up watching the show now suddenly racists? Will they have to go through a detox and a 12-step program to kick their Dukes habit? ‘Hi … My name is John. I’m a Dukesoholic.’”

I should first point out that after 9/11, almost all images of the World Trade Center were removed from TV shows or movies that aired on cable. It is not an assault from the Thought Police but just an attempt at sensitivity.

Schneider also tweeted a link to a photo of alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof wearing a Gold’s Gym T-shirt. “Is the Golds Gym logo to be considered a symbol of racism as well now?” he asked.

Jeez. Look, a Gold Gym’s tee-shirt is not the symbol of racial oppression and the attempt to preserve slavery. This is like the people who say, “Well, the KKK wears sheets. Should I not sleep on sheets?”

“It amazes me that anyone could take offense to the General Lee,” Schneider said… “… If there was ever a non-racist family, it was the Dukes of Hazzard.”

I haven’t watched the show in a while, so I might not recall the episodes where the Duke brothers worked to desegregate Hazzard diners or let O.J. Simpson crash at their place when his car broke down on the way to Atlanta. However, most Southern black people aren’t in a rush to hang out with people who wave around the Confederate flag and name their cars after Confederate generals. In fairness, we probably never said anything, because you usually don’t want to engage in a heated political discussion with white guys who drive around in cars named after Confederate generals that have the “Rebel” flag on it.

Maybe that’s the problem. Southerners grow up hearing about the “Rebels” fighting the “Union” and just assume that the Civil War was like Star Wars. However, the Rebel Alliance wasn’t fighting to preserve slavery — not simply out of altruism but more practicality, as there was only the one black guy in the galaxy.

Schneider is not the only “Dukes” cast member to defend the show in recent days. In a Facebook post, Ben Jones — a former Democratic congressman from Georgia who played mechanic Cooter on the show and runs three“Hazzard”-themed museums — rallied round the flag.

“I THINK ALL OF HAZZARD NATION UNDERSTANDS THAT THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG IS THE SYMBOL THAT REPRESENTS THE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE WHICH KEEPS US ‘MAKIN’ OUR WAY THE ONLY WAY WE KNOW HOW,’” wrote Jones — in all caps. “THAT FLAG ON TOP OF THE GENERAL LEE MADE A STATEMENT THAT THE VALUES OF THE RURAL SOUTH WERE THE VALUES OF COURAGE AND FAMILY AND GOOD TIMES.”

Huh? The Confederate flag somehow represents “independence,” when the leaders not only wanted to preserve slavery but spread it further?  The Declaration of Independence details countless acts of British tyranny, from which the colonies wanted to free themselves. The primary grievance that led to Southern succession was the right to continue keeping people in bondage. And it’s not like Lincoln was elected and issued the Emancipation Proclamation at his inaugural. The South bolted simply because it feared what Lincoln might do.

Oh, well, I’m sure Mr. Jones can’t say anything dumber.

He added: “WE ARE NOT RACISTS. WE DESPISE RACISM AND BIGOTRY. AND WE THINK THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CREATING THIS ‘CULTURAL CLEANSING’ ARE THE REAL BIGOTS IN THIS STORY.”

Huh, so black people inform you that your racist flag is racist, so you then double down behind faulty history as justification (you might as well claim that the Civil War started because Jefferson Davis wouldn’t chop down a cherry tree), and we’re the racists?

The sad thing is that many black kids and non-racist white kids loved The Dukes of Hazzard and dreamed of riding around in the General Lee. What was racist was that they weren’t taught history and were permitted to function in ignorance about the past. I loved the visual image of Captain America’s arch-enemy the Red Skull, but I knew enough history to know that the swastika on his costume wasn’t just a cool emblem. Fortunately, no American Jew or gentile grew up in a society where the crimes of the Nazis were so easily forgotten.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Social Commentary

 

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