There’s no question about it: the United States of America is a global leader. Scratch that. THE global leader.
When a thing needs doing, we’re the ones that lead the way. Sometimes, we lead from in front. Sometimes from behind. And sometimes, sometimes, we lead alone.
So, when Americans decided that it was time to do something about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, we went all in. We said, “No more beheadings.” We said, “No more rapes and honor killing and everything else that god always commands crazy guys with beards and guns to do.”
Good news, RAM members and other Bandoleered-Americans: Idaho and Utah’s new laws that allow teachers with conceal-carry permits to bring their weapons to school are working! In only two weeks since Labor Day, a teacher in each state was able to successfully fend off a gunman with their own guns in their schools.
And that’s the beauty of the NRA’s “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” position: knowing a good armed person from a bad one can be complicated. But you don’t need to know who’s the good guy and bad guy if they’re both the same person.
(If you didn’t click the links, they shot themselves.)
… in Ferguson, Mo., it’s easy to see why many of us are wondering if we maybe, quite possibly went an eensy-bit overboard in arming and outfitting our police forces over the past 13 years since 9/11. In fact, it makes complete sense to lose our minds when seeing these weapons of war aimed at civilians. It kind of, you know, makes it look like the police think we’re the enemy, and they’re put in power to put us down like mad dogs in the street.
But, you know what’s really weird? That scenes like this …
… and this …
… didn’t inspire the same kind of response.
Yes, the Ferguson Police Department — and many other police departments — are militarized to the point where even Rob Liefeld would throw up his arms and say, “That is way too many ammo pouches, guys. That can’t be proportional to what the human body can carry.”
But, looking at the second pair of photos and the following trends, I’m starting to think that police departments aren’t loaded for manbearpig because they’re police. It might just be because police departments are mostly made up of white males, and white males have gone full-bore Klingon insane. Continue reading →
Look, I get it. Of all the reasons we use social media, it’s not to see the same damn thing over and over again. Today, we’re getting tired of people dumping ice water on themselves. Yesterday, it was everyone’s stupid baby pictures. Back in November, everyone’s terrible facial hair. Last year, Grumpy Cat. The year before, duck face.
Trust me, I understand when viral sh*t gets old and you’d rather see who’s evil for frowning on gay marriage today. Like every other day.
And unlike the other listed annoyances, there’s no way to really block any of that because everyone’s posting their own videos for once instead of just sharing the same viral video.
So — just like when you can’t remove yourself from a group text — you can’t remove yourself from the trend and will have to react. Let’s examine the way that can go when you have a wall full of #icebucketchallenge videos. Continue reading →
Although we live in one of the safest countries in the world, Americans are obsessed with the idea of injecting lead into the ones they love (even though nothing’s really made with lead anymore). We crave convenience and the ability to own dangerous objects, even though they are more likely to kill our children, pets and elderly than a home intruder.
I am, of course, talking about cars.
Despite dozens of news articles every summer (often about the same three cases), America’s infatuation with the automobile leads otherwise reasonable people to leave their friends and loved ones in the car with the safety locked, often while holding up a liquor store for “just a few minutes.” Continue reading →
In a 5-4 decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “closely-held” for-profit businesses, like Hobby Lobby, don’t have to comply with a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide complete medical coverage. Instead, they can select plans that don’t cover certain forms of birth control that their owners believe equal abortion and force the government or insurance companies to pay for it the way that church-run nonprofits can.
And I, for one, am glad that we finally have five supreme justices who understand that, really, there is no difference between, say, the Green family, who owns of Hobby Lobby, and, oh, the Archdiocese of New York.
Because, while some Panicky Penelopes may worry about the decision opening the door to businesses discriminating against those of different faiths or backgrounds, what this really means is that American has finally taken the ultimate step to outright worshiping our only true god: money. Continue reading →
If there was one surprise about the first 15 years of the year 2000, it’s been that science is now more politicized in general than it was during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Which is really surprising when we can finally agree that cigarettes do cause cancer and that tobacco companies and their handful of hired scientists lied to us while the vast consensus of the scientific community agreed that inhaling fire is super bad for you.
However, now there’s an entire political party dedicated to pushing back against science when it comes to climate, human reproduction and the exact age of the Earth. And for their efforts to undermine the scientific progress of the 20th Century, we have rightfully named the Republican Party the “stupid party.” And the worst part is that they’ve taken these positions based on donations from energy companies and megachurches.
But, aren’t pastors and oil and coal magnates considered experts in their respective fields? How is an elected official supposed to know that guys selling purity rings maybe don’t have a sound medical understanding of what the birth control pill does? Or that, when your only tool is a coal-fired pneumatic hammer, then all your problems are solar-resistant nails?
Maybe it’s because, for the myriad of ways that science has shaped and defined the 21st century, we don’t really understand any of it. Oh, sure, we talk a big game based on our high school biology class and the occasional Wikipedia timesink, but can we really blame Republicans being the only ones who fall for faulty — and sometimes fraudulent — pseudoscience?
After all, you can hear both conservatives and liberals (but mostly liberals) complain about the following … Continue reading →
I write on the Internet, so it’s pretty obvious that I am a geek, and that status conveys interest in other geeky topics, like comics, science fiction and wanting Neil deGrasse Tyson to be my friend. (I understand that best friends aren’t made overnight.)
But, one of my other geeky pastimes is pretending to hold a professional license in medicine or law to argue online, especially when it applies to more traditional geek topics like why Wolverine’s forearms and hands are illegal everywhere switchblades are banned.
That’s why I’m more than excited (aroused, really) for the newly announced title for what was previously known as “Batman vs. Superman” (boooooooor-iiiiiiiiiiing!): Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Continue reading →
The Guys aren’t just resolved to fight the War on Animals; we relish it. To us, there’s nothing more exciting than punching a panda, whalloping a walrus or choking a chicken in the name of humanity.
That’s what makes it OK: that we’re humanity, and they ain’t.
But, at lest one nonprofit group, the Nonhuman Rights Project threatens that. They’ve filed several lawsuits that, if they win, would force courts to recognize chimpanzees as “cognitively complex autonomous legal person[s] with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned.” Or, in simpler terms, they think they’re people.
But, while The Guys are worried about what this means for the War on Animals (for instance, no more waterboarding waterfowl), I personally am concerned for a different reason altogether: if we start to treat animals like people, then we will be forced to treat all people like people, including … Continue reading →