Thursday, October 8, 2015

Almost Tuesday: The Feline/Gun Solution

Our latest show. It was a last minute change, but in light of the Thursday tragedy, I Came up with a solution that would finally help this glut of guns and unfettered access.
CHRIS: Well, I wanted to talk about Dr. Ben Carson, but as you know, last Thursday, there was another mass shooting, and 10 people died, and 17 were injured.
WOODY: I know. It’s crazy. The year is not over, and we’re up to 294 people murdered by mass shootings, and it’s only October!
CHRIS: In total, gun deaths this year are up to over 8,500. That is 5,000 more than terrorist deaths in the US since 1970. That’s more than how many soldiers died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
WOODY: The sad thing is that no one seems to want to do anything about it. Lawmakers are too scared of the NRA to take any action, and citizens polarize themselves into two buckets:  either “ban all guns and melt them down” or “Have so many guns we’ll make Rambo look like a hippie”.
CHRIS: I have an idea that might get EVERYONE on the same page.
WOODY: That’s impossible! Getting all those groups together is like mixing oil and water and anti-matter! The room would look like one of those cartoon fight clouds with the fists and feet flying.
CHRIS: That’s why this plan needs a little bit of easing into. First, we all have to do the obligatory cycle of throwing the mentally ill under the bus.
WOODY: I think we’re in that cycle now. Everyone is talking about mental illness and ignoring that most gun deaths are done by people who have never been diagnosed with anything. It’s usually domestic violence.
CHRIS: Yes. So the first step is in full effect. The next step is to make a lot of dumb statements like, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
WOODY: Ugh…You know the heroes of most of the mass shootings were unarmed? That statement is ridiculous.
CHRIS: The more ridiculous, the better. Here’s another one: “An armed society is a polite society.”
WOODY: THAT’S EVEN DUMBER! An armed society is a SCARED society, because they’re afraid everyone will shoot them for a minor misunderstanding!
CHRIS: STOP MAKING SENSE, WOODY! This is not how it goes! We need to get these dumb phrases out there, or else people will start thinking critically before the end of the plan!
WOODY: It just sounds like these people would prevent forest fires by setting even more fires.
CHRIS: …Pretty much. But don’t worry. The next step is a little bit better. We need to pretend that the word “control” means “prohibition”. That way, any talk of legislation will be met with unreasonably violent resistance.
WOODY: But then we can’t have a rational conversation about gun control. That doesn’t sound like a good idea.
CHRIS: It’s a TERRIBLE idea, but it’s necessary. Everything else is heavily regulated. You need to take a driving class and have hours of road time logged to get a driving license. You go through 3 background checks and usually get monitored for months before you can adopt a kid, but you can go to a convention center and pick up a semi-automatic with 100-round belt clip in five minutes. We need to keep up that trend for a little bit longer.
WOODY: I really don’t see how this will untie people.
CHRIS: That’s because I didn’t get to the last step. It will require about 20% of the population. We send leather jackets, berets, and AR-15 rifles to every law-abiding black and brown person in the country.
WOODY: Wait, what?
CHRIS: Every day for about a year, they dress in the jackets and berets, rifles strapped to our backs, and just walk in formation down large public streets.
CHRIS: One person can carry a flag with a wild cat, maybe a lynx or and ocelot or something.
WOODY: Um…or maybe a panther?
CHRIS: YES! That’s brilliant, Woody! The first time the NRA and most of the government agreed on stricter gun control, a lot of black guys in major cities were taking advantage of the First and Second Amendment by donning leather jackets,  carrying around assault rifles, and carrying flags with panthers on them.
WOODY: I’m not comfortable with this at all…
CHRIS: See! It’s working already! People are really scared of cats!
WOODY: I don’t think it was the cats…
CHRIS: It’s gotta be the cats! Everyone was on the same page! They ALL wanted to take down all those cat posters and keep tight controls on guns, out of their fear of these armed black people, and their love of large cats! It was so bad, there were fights with authorities. Some of the cat-lovers left the country to live in Cuba and Guinea! We need to recreate what happened in the 1960s. I guarantee that people will unite to start passing comprehensive gun control laws, and the nation will be safer for it.
WOODY: You know what? You might be right. But why would people be so afraid of black and brown people’s love of cats? That doesn’t make much sense.
CHRIS: Does any part of the gun debate make any sense right now?

WOODY: …Fair point.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Midnight in the Garden of Goodman and Monroe

What. A. Weekend.
There is usually a nice viewing of debauchery when driving up Monroe Avenue at around 1:00 in the morning that makes the drive home from downtown somewhat of an urban safari, so as I drove my friend Mary toward her home, we took in the sights.
Oh look! There’s Bromo Sapien Nauseous, singing the solid song of his people onto the street.
There is a Britnee of barefoot Woo Girls. After midnight, they shed their 4-inch hind hoofs and carry them in their hands.
To the right is a herd of luminous wailing SquadCarus Enforcia; It seems they have cornered a…oh thank goodness. It’s not a brother*.
What is that idiot doing in the middle of the road up the block? That is a terrible way to hail a cab. That’s not even a cab he’s trying to hail! And why is his friend kicking that red bag?...Wait…that’s not a red bag. That’s a human! Those people are getting beat up! That “idiot” was trying to flag down people for help! Why the hell didn’t anyone stop?
So much for the safari; We must do something. In the 5 seconds it took me to park the car and put on hazard lights, the people doing the beating ran down the road into the night. The kid in red got up, slightly shaken, but it took more than 5 seconds for the blond woman to get up. Even when we helped her up, she was barely standing on her own.
Two of us called 911, and explained what happened, and also explained that a block up, there were three squad cars literally 100 feet from us administering a traffic stop, and any one of them could just drive down here and possibly chase down the assailants. Two cars pulled up, and after about five minutes of them trying to determine from our descriptions if the robbers were the same ones they were called about earlier, one decided he should patrol the street where they ran.
This left the officer to ask personal details, (we thought) for a report: names, age, what was taken, have they been drinking…The whole time, the woman (we’ll call her Lu Anne) was barely standing and swaying. She explicitly did not want to go to the hospital, so no one could force her to go. When the officer learned that the four victims were 19 and had been drinking, he found an opportunity to admonish them for breaking the law, especially Lu Anne. How dare they be college age kids and imbibe? You would think that the Long Island iced teas jumped them, knocked them out and left them on the street and ran off with their wallets and purses. Yes, Lu Anne and her friends were drunk, but why punish them instead of the people who took advantage of their hindered state of sobriety. He probably could have caught the assailants in the time it took to admonish them.
We volunteered to take them back to their campus since they were taking a bus. I now know that my car can fit 6 small people, if need be. The ride was only a little bit awkward. The first time was when Lu Anne squeezed my hand in pain, and the other when I noticed she hadn’t moved her other arm the entire time.
Oh, and there was also the fact that every few minutes, she would keep asking who I was, and she did not recognize any of her friends in the back seat. She also thought it was Thursday. We decided she should probably go to the ER. We’d figure out how to convince her of that when we got there, which is difficult, since she couldn’t remember much beyond a few minutes.
She got admitted easily, and Mary accompanied her in the examination area. Later, Mary told me that the doctor asked her a few standard questions: name, age, source of pain, and visible bruises, what does she think her mother would say to her right now about her drinking?
I’m pretty sure her mother would say, “Stop lecturing a child that is not yours and do your fucking job, doctor”, but I’m no expert. She was not in the ER for an overdose or alcohol poisoning. She was in the ER because someone knocked her out while she was minding her business, and she had an extremely short term memory and an immobile arm. Unless she deliberately smashed a glass of Bacardi over her head and robbed herself, there is no need for the victim blaming.
A few hours later, I taxied the people who were well enough to go home back to their campus and then picked up Mary and the other kid who got badly beaten from the ER. Lu Anne had to stay until 10:00am, and she got a ride. We will likely never hear from any of these people again.
I am quite certain that everyone will be fine, save for a little bit of bruised pride and some lost sentimental items in the stolen purse. What bothers me about this night are these things:
1.       Perhaps sometimes it is necessary, but does it always take 3 squad cars to stop one unarmed man? Had the other two been driving around, perhaps the assault and robbery would have never happened.
2.       What kind of asshole doesn’t stop when people obviously need help? The kid in the street flagging down cars was from Manchester, UK. Its nickname is Gunchester. He was as incredulous as I was that no one would stop and help people in distress. That is some serious apathy. This means that people in this town are worse than people in a town called Gunchester…GUNCHESTER.
3.       At what point of a crime report is it okay to admonish the victim of it? Women, gay people, trans people, and black people, and pretty much anyone who isn’t a straight white male will ALWAYS get blamed for crimes that are committed against them, but it was a bit surreal to watch it happen live, especially to a person who was just knocked out and in a lot of pain and likely wasn’t comprehending everything, since she was JUST KNOCKED OUT AND IN A LOT OF PAIN. Perhaps victim blaming is a new obligatory procedure, like you read the accused the Miranda Rights, and you read the victim the “This is partially your fault” rights.
4.       When did ER doctors get into the practice of victim blaming? She had a mother, and she didn’t need another. The time wasted trying to shame her for drinking could have been used prepping the CT Scan, the X-Ray machine, and whatever other equipment one might need to determine the a patient doesn’t have traumatic injuries from being slammed to concrete and out cold for several minutes. I had no idea the Hippocratic oath including a section where you say not only “Do no harm”, but also “You harmed yourself”.
All in all, at least everyone is safe. Best of luck, wherever you are, Lu Anne and friends. Hopefully the world will treat you a little bit better.
…Seriously guys. GUNCHESTER. You’re worse than people from GUNCHESTER. Get your shit together.
*I am quite certain that every time a brown person sees a herd of cop cars stopped on the street, they make a sigh of relief if the person being stopped is a white male.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Almost Tuesday: I Heart Huckabee

This show describes my love for Mike Huckabee!!!

CHRIS: Today, I would like to discuss the danger of Mike Huckabee.
WOODY: Danger? He might be a little old fashioned, but seems like a charming fellow. Have you seen his debates on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart?
CHRIS: Oh yes. They were always very congenial. Not like other guests.
WOODY: Yeah, even his voice sounds like honey in a southern iced tea, sitting on a porch in a rocking chair.
CHRIS: Yeah…It is too bad that when you listen to what he says, it will make your face melt.
WOODY: Oh come on! He once said, “Inside every human being there are treasures to unlock.”
CHRIS: But he also compared pro-choice supporters to slavery advocates and then spent time raising funds for “legitimate rape” Todd Akin after his statements went public. What treasure is there in equating people to advocates for slavery, or taking up for a man who obviously failed biology?
WOODY: What about when he said, “I wish we would all remember that being American is not just about the freedom we have; it is about those who gave it to us”?
CHRIS: Well, he doesn’t seem to think that 15% of the population is free. He thinks that the Dred Scott Case is still the law of the land. Basic grade school history would tell you that Dred Scott was null and void after the ratification of the 13th and 14th Amendment.
WOODY: Well, in his defense, he is from Arkansas. They’re 45th in education. That’s lower than Mississippi!
CHRIS: OK, I’ll give you that. Maybe that’s why he thought that the latest Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage was unlawful. But he also mapped out a plan to disobey the order, and then he hoisted Kim Davis as a “martyr” for religious rights when she decided to not do her job.
WOODY: He seems concerned about children. Didn’t he raise concern over kids listening to offensive music?
CHRIS: Yes. He called Beyonce’s music poison, and claimed that her husband, Jay-Z was her pimp. All this, yet he had no problem playing with Ted Nugent while he sang “Cat Scratch Fever”.
WOODY: GROSS! OK, well people always try to blame music. That’s common.
CHRIS: He also defended Josh Duggar, who admitted to molesting children.
WOODY: OK, that’s pretty bad.
CHRIS: He also said that he would have forced a 10 year old rape victim to carry her baby to term.
WOODY: That’s outrageous.

CHRIS: He also claimed that women who wanted access to birth control were children who couldn’t control their libidos, and used the term “Uncle Sugar”, which sounds like the name of the sleaziest supervillain ever. He said that he would put the National Guard troops on front of abortion clinics to prevent women from getting abortions. He’s so pro-life, he is willing to kill every pregnant woman in America!
WOODY:OK, I get it, but how can someone who sounds so nice say such horrible things?
CHRIS: I have a theory...In 1955, There were reports of David Duke entering a hotel room, where a Care Bear was already residing. Nine months later, Mike Huckabee was born.
WOODY: Wait, you’re saying…
CHRIS: Yes. Mike Huckabee is the spawn of David Duke and a Care bear. That’s why he can sound so sweet but say the most despicable things.
WOODY: But David Duke was only 5 in 1955, and Care Bears were created in 1981!


WOODY: This might explain Scott Walker’s resemblance to a Ken Doll.

CHRIS: Yes, and Ted Cruz’s likeness to one of the mutants from Thundercats.

WOODY: This is pretty outrageous!

CHRIS: Bottom Line is, there is no way Mike Huckabee is human. He’s half at most. And we need to stop David Duke before he gets his hands on He-Man and She-Ra.

Almost Tuesday: Sciencing While Brown

Ever what happens when you science while brown?

CHRIS:  Remember going to kid science fairs?
WOODY: I loved science fairs! There was always a kid who had a pet gerbil or hamster in a maze.
CHRIS:  Someone would have something about photosynthesis with a pretty flower and a sickly looking pea pod.
WOODY: One super nerd would make a clock or a robot.
CHRIS: My favorite was the model volcano. Who doesn’t love that? There’s ooze and food colouring and a little explosion.  Well, it seems now that science experiments can get you in jail.
WOODY: Whaaaaat?
CHRIS: Last week, future tech CEO Ahmed Mohamed was arrested. He built a digital clock and was excited to show it to his engineering teacher.
WOODY: Well, how’s that going to get him trouble? That sounds like a bright kid!
CHRIS: Well, another teacher turned him in, and he was grilled by police without presence his parents (which is illegal) and put in cuffs. No one apologized. Both the Irving, TX School Board and the Irving Police said that he shouldn’t have brought his project to school. So in other words, don’t be excited about science when you’re brown! This is where kids trying to have fun runs up against “zero tolerance” policies and good ole’ fashion American racism. Irving is famous for being extra anti-Islam; its mayor has been fighting a war against the Muslim invasion of her city since 2011.
WOODY: But they’re like 2% of the 230,000 people there. How is that an invasion.
CHRIS: Woody. It’s Texas.
WOODY: Oh, yeah.
CHRIS: So now we have a “zero tolerance” policy running up against people who are suspicious of a brown kid who loves science. This is not the first time a kid was arrested in the name of science. In 2013, Kiera Wilmot made one of those volcanos, and she was arrested for possession of a weapon, because it made an explosion, which is WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. The charges were dropped, but she still has a felony arrest on her record for 5 more years.
WOODY: You know, zero tolerance doesn’t just affect kids who love science. A kid wrote her love of her best friends on a desk and was cuffed and taken to a police station. And Kids who hug too long are getting suspended. A kid in Maryland was arrested for sexual assault for kissing a girl.
CHRIS: Yeah zero tolerance basically requires that everyone act like they are inmates, not students. It’s pre-prison. It’s messed up, because kids love things that blow up. They love slime and gross things, and they love robots. Punishing them for trying to recreate this stuff is like witch hunting.
WOODY: They’ll have to be careful at the next science fair. If you have a hamster maze, you might get arrested for germ warfare.
CHRIS: Your photosynthesis plant project will land you in trouble for disseminating a bio weapon.
WOODY: If you make a Mentos/Diet Coke rocket, you might get arrested for having an improvised explosive device.
CHRIS: Your potato battery is nothing but a detonator for a bomb.
WOODY: Don’t even THINK about building nuclear reactor in your garage.
CHRIS: Oh no, you can do that. Just be white.
WOODY: Oh, right.
CHRIS: The bottom line is this: If you claim you want more brown kids and girls to embrace science, then don’t arrest them for doing science and then wonder why they are afraid to embrace STEM fields!

Almost Tuesday: The War on the War on Women

Another segment on "Almost Tuesday". THis one is about the War on the War on Women.

I had a conversation with someone the other day about women’s rights. He thinks that the “War On Women” is a fabricated narrative that is used to make certain candidates look bad. I looked into this, and I have good news: The candidates already look bad, because they ARE bad!

Trump has a reputation for using unkind words when talking to and about women. It’s caught most fo the news’s attention. But no one seems to want to talk about any of the other candidates statements and campaign promises.

Jeb Bush famously said that we likely spend too much money on women’s health, even though women’s health programs have been steadily de-funded since 2005. He’s always been in the pro-life camp, but he also once tried to appoint a legal guardian for the unborn fetus of a disabled woman who was raped in a state facility. He also has a problem with single mothers. He thinks that publicly shaming them is a good way to reduce out-of-wedlock births. He must have been the only person to enjoy reading The Scarlet Letter in high school.

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz all voted against the Violence Against Women Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. Chris Christie cut $7.5 million from Planned Parenthood, and he feared that development of a “viagra pill” for women would create more lesbians. John Hagee thinks that women should be prosecuted when they use the Lord’s name in vain during sex. Ben Carson blamed the #BlackLivesMatter protests on the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and thinks that domestic abusers should not be demonized (He’s still all for discriminate against gay people though). Scott Walker and John Kasich signed a law that would require anyone considering getting an abortion to get a transvaginal ultrasound. THis is a shame, because the term ‘Transvaginal Ultrasound” would have been an awesome name for an all female psychedelic punk band, but now it’s ruined by Walker. Walker stepped up his hate game by omitting exceptions for rape and incest in a proposed anti-abortion bill, which was already pretty atrocious.

Mike Huckabee is likely the worst. He has always been a pro-life crusader and anti-contraception. He is big into shaming women for wanting birth control, and worst of all, he performed “Cat Scratch Fever” with Ted Nugent once. He also famously said that he would not rule out using federal troops or FBI agents to block people from accessing abortion clinics. THat’s right. In order to save lives, Mike Huckabee is willing to kill every woman in America!

You can claim many things, but you cannot claim that there is no war on women when you say YOU’LL USE AN ARMY TO BLOCK THEM.

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