I usually reserve this opening paragraph for ranting and raving about something that happened to me this week. This week, I want to turn your attention to something that has nothing to do with me. As we are all well aware, the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma left many lives in ruins. Houses were destroyed and lives were lost. Rebuilding one’s entire life is a struggle, both emotionally and financially. Thanks to comedian Doug Stanhope, one person’s life will be a little bit easier to recollect. During a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Rebecca Vitsmun was asked several times how thankful she was for God sparing her life. Vitsmun politely informed Blitzer she is an atheist (see the video here). Religious charities and groups are always quick to point out how giving they are and how the power of their religion (i.e. God) is the reason why they are so giving. As a response to this type of mentality, Stanhope decided to start a fund that helps Ms. Vitsmun to point out that religion—and therefore God—has nothing to do with being a charitable person. In fact, he wanted to prove that atheists are just as charitable if not MORE charitable. Well, his point has been made. With an original goal of $50,000, the Indiegogo campaign is now at $109,396! Atheists from all over got together and did something extraordinary, all because of a very unlikely host in Doug Stanhope. With a reputation of being a burnout with no moral compass, Stanhope proved the point he always wanted to make: that everyone—including him—is inheritably good regardless of religion or the lack thereof. In the process of proving his point, someone whom he has never met has benefited greatly. Props to Doug Stanhope and atheists around the world! There is still plenty of time to donate to the fund. Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/atheists-unite to be a part of a wonderful cause. When you are done with that, continue with your moral corruption with THIS WEEK’S ROUNDUP!
Let’s start this week with some extremely shocking news. An original Apple 1 computer from 1976 was sold for $650,000. Signed by Steve Wozniak himself, it is one of only six still in working order and was built in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage. The buyer? Some anonymous guy from Asia. That concludes this week’s shocking news.
It’s no secret that cities and states are in debt. Regardless of what many economists and politicians say, the Great Recession still lingers. So how are local and state governments going about getting out of debt? By fucking over their citizens, of course! Governments are starting to send people with unpaid fines in prison. As a way to motivate people to pay outstanding debts, local and state governments are throwing people in jail for not paying overdue court fees, fines, etc. This is literally debtors’ prison, and we agreed as a GLOBAL society that that is not okay. To start, this targets the poor. If a broke person commits a misdemeanor and cannot pay the $500 court fee, he or she can be thrown in jail, which also goes on their record. This can prevent the person from landing a nice job later in life (criminal records are not expunged until five years after the debt is paid off). But let’s call this out for what it is: a revenue maker. It has nothing to do with upholding the law and making society a better place. It has everything to do with making money. Did these people commit a crime that they owe the taxpayers for since we soaked up the cost they neglected? Yes, absolutely. However, many of these people don’t pay because they can’t, and adding more layers to their criminal record is not going to solve a damn thing. In fact, this will cost us MORE money considering the cost of keeping someone in jail for one day. But who fucking cares, because that’ll keep the government employed! When the government owes you money, they’ll avoid it at all costs (e.g. my poor ass somehow OWED taxes this year!). However, when we owe them money, they are at the top of their game for once. Funny how that works. Rather than extract more money from the poor, how about some cuts within the government to pay for their own debt. Things are getting real sketchy in this country.
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Weekend last weekend. If you’re living in the United States, chances are you had to work or didn’t get paid. The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation. Despite what you thought you knew, any company within the U.S. is not legally obligated to pay you for a day off on a holiday. In fact, employers are not legally obligated to offer you ANY paid time off, including vacation time. Let’s see how we stack up against other developed countries:
Welcome to America! The land of opportunity…assuming you can find time off without getting paid to seek that opportunity. The United States is (well, was) an economic powerhouse, and many will tell you it’s because of hard work and freedom. However, we have reached a point where “hard work” has overridden freedom. What is the point in working hard if you cannot enjoy the money you made? This country is becoming nothing more than a gigantic factory that pumps out products and generates money, but at the expense of the workers (the masses) and for the prosperity of the factory owner (the wealthy). How in the living FUCK can we claim to be the best country with the most freedoms and the greatest quality of life after looking at the above chart? I’d rather drop several spots in the “economic powerhouse” category and enjoy some R&R. Again, take a good look at that chart and tell me we live in the greatest country. If your response is, “If you don’t like it, get the hell out” I say to you “Find me a job in France, then au revoir!”
Remember back in high school when you had to take those drug surveys? Of course you don’t, you were probably too high to remember. Well, we did, and it turns out, we didn’t have to. A high school teacher is in trouble for informing his students of their rights. Before handing out the drug surveys—which had the student’s name on it—Mr. Dryden informed his social studies class that per the Fifth Amendment, they did not have to take the self-incriminating survey. People in the administration didn’t like that, and now he faces disciplinary action. Props to this guy for teaching his students a real-life example of our rights. Not only that, but Mr. Dryden also taught them a lesson in questioning authority when it comes to our rights and freedoms. He deserves an award rather than disciplinary action. Considering there is a petition out to clear his name, it looks like credit has been given where credit is due. You see, not all public school teachers are worthless. On a side note, why am I not surprised that Mr. Dryden looks like Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski? The Dude abides!
In last week’s roundup, I mentioned how Facebook is losing teens to Twitter. I’m guessing it’s because teens like rape jokes (which are plentiful on Twitter). Facebook agrees to block sexual assault humor. Due to lobbying from activists (i.e. vocal minorities, i.e. whiny bitches) and advertisers (i.e. not Don Draper), Facebook will change their policies on humorous posts and pictures that will essentially eradicate anything that makes light of rape, domestic abuse, etc. Why? Because fuck free speech, that’s why. Over the years, Facebook has restricted more and more of what is acceptable. I understand it’s a business and they can do whatever they want, but you forget two important things: 1) It’s a social media site 3) WE are the product that is being sold. Social media is supposed to be a way for us to communicate to each other. We get to pick and choose whose feed we want to see. If someone says something misogynistic or racist and you don’t like it, QUIT FOLLOWING THAT PERSON! That’s it! Simple as that! Instead, people feel the need to force their opinions on others. One could say they we are being mind raped with their opinions. In fact, Facebook is raping our freedom of speech. Twitter allows you to say whatever you want, because stifling speech is a slippery slope. Facebook is becoming more like a totalitarian government every day. If you’re not middle-class soccer mom who loves Jesus, come to the dark side (i.e. REALITY) on Twitter. You’ll get to see gems like this:
The next time your boss is breathing down your neck over some stupid shit, call him a terrorist. You will be pretty accurate in your assessment. The AP has acquired internal memos from al-Qaida that read like office memos. Essentially, a letter from a terrorist leader to a subordinate terrorist chastised him because “he didn’t answer his phone when they called, failed to turn in his expense reports, ignored meetings and refused time and again to carry out orders.” Yes, terrorists have expense reports. In other words, a terrorist got yelled at for not turning in his TPS report. Listen, blowing up White Devil Western nations for Allah is serious business. The keyword there is “business.” I bet those office parties are an explosion of excitement. Probably just a suicide vest, though.
JCPenney is a Nazi corporation run by a bunch of Hitler Youths seeking global domination. I’ve been saying that for years. You all have mocked me, but who gets the last laugh now? Check out the tea kettle they are selling and advertising on billboards below. Don’t call this kettle black…unless you like concentration camps.
Support for the death penalty is at an all-time low with 63% in favor of killing killers. While some states are getting rid of capital punishment, other states are doubling down on the death penalty. Florida trying to pass legislation to get people executed within 180 days of the signed death warrant. Meanwhile in North Carolina, legislators are trying to overturn a law allowing death row inmates to challenge a ruling based on said ruling being racially biased…mostly because North Carolina hates black people. Whether or not you agree with the death penalty, I think we can all agree that 1) it’s very costly to keep someone in prison and 2) death row inmates abuse the legal system to appeal as many times as possible…I suppose I would try to prolong my impending death as long as possible as well. Many are against the death penalty because of the possibility of executing an innocent person who was wrongly found guilty. That argument may have been valid 20 years ago, but with CSI: Miami-esque DNA technology, it’s kind of hard to fuck up a guilty verdict in a murder trial. I’m starting to warm up to the idea of abolishing capital punishment, but as long as we have it, let’s save some money and kill a few monsters quickly. Also, Florida…you never disappoint to be on the cutting edge of craziness.
Father’s Day is not that far away, and do I EVER have the best gift idea imaginable. A mother/daughter porn duo is seeking a father/son duo to co-star in films with. Before you ask, yes, Jessica Sexxxton, 56, and her daughter, Monica, 22 (I’m assuming that’s their Christian last name) perform in the same scenes together. You see, the share the same partner but not at the same time nor with each other, because—you know—THAT would be weird. After trying to cast unrelated actors for the father/son role, the Sexxxton’s were unimpressed. Their solution: open role call for all REAL father/son duos! Again, no touching or sharing at the same time, so that makes it okay. Right? Right. Applicants should be “somewhat good-looking and not fat.” This is good for me, since my dad is in pretty good shape. We’ll have to rock/paper/scissors who gets to tell my stepmom about the best Father’s Day present ever. IT’S JUST SHOW BUSINESS, SHERRI! THE SEX IS ART, NOT LOVE OR ANYTHING ELSE! To be honest, I’m kind of leaning towards the mom in this duo, which will add a much unneeded twist to this film. Also, guess which state these two are from. Here’s a hint: it looks like a penis.
Drugs are dangerous, folks. Ironically, the war on drugs is even more dangerous to our health. The global war on drugs is fuelling a hepatitis C pandemic. Due to drugs injected with needles (I’m guessing smoking weed out of bong isn’t the problem here), hepatitis C is making a huge comeback. In fact, “of 16 million people worldwide who inject drugs, 10 million are living with hepatitis C.” So what do we do? The Global Commission on Drug Policy is suggestion that we decriminalize drug use and provide clean needles to users. What kind of burnouts are in the Global Commission? Seven former presidents, ex-UN chief Kofi Annan and other world leaders. In other words, some of the most powerful political figures in the worlds want to legalize drugs! Unfortunately, the Global Commission has no lawmaking authority. They merely suggest policies based on the logic and empirical evidence of some of the most powerful people in the world. This means that nothing will come of this…at least here in the United States. We’re pretty good at giving zero fucks about what the world has agreed on (e.g. the metric system). American law is rarely based on logic. For example, it is illegal in Kansas City to leave your car running unattended, including during the winter when we warm up our cars. Our laws are based on driving in revenue. Keeping drugs illegal is a huge business. Without it, entire sections of our law enforcement would be out of a job. Prison populations will plummet. Tripping on acid will cease to be edgy. ANARCHY! Don’t worry. We will continue to live in civilized society where having fun on your birthday can land you in prison and get you hepatitis C. Awesome.
New York City: The Hipster Mecca of the World. Even the sports fans are obnoxious (see: Yankees). Once a year, the world’s best* photographers convene in Manhattan on 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th streets for what is known as Manhattanhenge. This is when the Earth is perfectly aligned to where the sun sets right in between buildings from a street view (see below). Every goddamn year, the Ansel Adams of the world get right in the middle of the fucking street for an insanely unoriginal, uninspired piece of shit snapshot that thousands of people before them have created. With cellphone cameras, Instagram, and cheap digital cameras to our disposable, everyone with a pulse has turned into a master of photography. Guess what? You’re not artistic, you’re not special, you’re not anything but an uncreative hack. Put down the camera and do something with integrity and inspiration…or get run over by a cab driver. I’m 100% fine with both options.
* Every asshole with a cellphone and/or Nokia
For more news and commentary from an atheist, listen to Soundtrack of the Week on www.soundtrackoftheweek.com, iTunes, and on your smartphone via Stitcher Radio (Twitter page at @SOTWpodcast). Also follow Ty on Twitter at @TySOTW. If you don’t, your fake god will rain hell fire on you.