The whole world’s goin’ crazy

Yet another rant on the assholes that I’ve been unsuccessful in kicking off my planet.

Have you ever seen one of those potato guns?  They’re big, homemade contraptions that you can load up a potato as the projectile and get some ridiculous distance and damage with them.  Not far from where I live, there’s a place call Pingle’s Farm and they went one step better, vastly increasing the caliber of the barrel so they could stuff pumpkins and other assorted gourds into and blow them across a full acreage of farmland.

My goal is to go one better and increase the barrel size to fit at least one, but, for efficiency’s sake, preferably four or five humans.  The goal would be to accelerate them to escape velocity and fire their asses into deep space where they can’t be heard anymore.

Because we all know, in space, no one can hear you scream.  Or fart.  Or spout bullshit.

Let’s load up the first one, shall we?

Message of tolerance

Meet Jessica Ahlquist, a sixteen-year-old atheist.  I’m going to state right up front that I’m not the most religious person on the planet, nor am I against atheists.  I believe everyone has the right to choose their own religion.  I also believe in the right of free speech.

Apparently Ahlquist disagrees with me.  There’s a banner in her high school that reads

Our Heavenly Father,
Grant us each day the desire to do our best. To grow mentally and morally as well as physically. To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. To be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School.
Amen.

This is a banner that’s hung there for 49 years.  But now Ahlquist has decided, it needs to come down.  It’s not right to read that.  In her own words, that it’s “almost like making a child get a shot even though they don’t want to. It’s for their own good.”

Apparently a judge agrees with her, ruling the banner is “unconstitutional.”  Fantastic.  So now we have sixteen-year-olds deciding what’s good and what’s not for the entire school and judges backing them up.  Thanks, Jessica, thank God…oops, thank Nobody…(don’t take me to court, Jessica) that you came along to save those poor kids who shouldn’t be reading that horrible, awful message that’s destroyed 49 years’ worth of students that came before you.  Oh yeah, and you’re getting $40000 out of it (so far) too.

I get a kick out John Figdor from Harvard University who appears in the video and says, “We’re very proud of the message she’s making, which is a message of tolerance. [emphasis mine]“

This is a message of tolerance?  “I don’t believe in God, so I can’t tolerate the “Our Heavenly Father” and the “Amen” in the banner?  How about not looking at it?

Hopefully Jessica won’t notice the churches strewn through the town and decide that removal of the crosses is for our own good too.  You know, spreading her message of tolerance.

***UPDATE: It’s been (quite rightly) pointed out to me by a couple of people (thanks Gavy and Lisa) that my focus was off on this one.  They were right.  This isn’t about Free Speech.  What pisses me off is the fact that this went to court, that a kid’s profiting from it, when it could have been solved by pulling four words off. and changing it so it reads like a Mission Statement (it only takes the removal of two words and adding three):

We strive each day for the desire to do our best. To grow mentally and morally as well as physically. To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. To be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School.

And here’s the thing…two people didn’t agree with me.  But we all approached it rationally and calmly and made our points.  No judges, no lawyers, no demonstrations.  I was corrected and I learned from it.

What did this sixteen-year-old learn?  What did her classmates learn?

Pedophile preacher can stay, kids get the boot

Sticking with the religion theme for a bit here, meet Darrell Gilyard of the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.  Darrell’s the new pastor at the church.  Fantastic, right?

Well, Darrell’s got a bit of a history.  Turns out, between spreading the Word, Darrell tends to ignore his own preaching.  In 2009, he plead guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls.   Apparently when he was the pastor of another Baptist church, he molested a 15-year-old girl and sent a lewd text message to another.  Just the kind of guy you want acting as your morale and ethical leader, right?

Under the conditions of his plea agreement, Gilyard cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old.”  Hmmm, that kind of poses a problem, considering the line of work he’s in.  So, what did the church decide?  He got out of prison last Dec 28 and was back to preaching by January.  And the church banned children from the services.

Well, yeah.  Makes total sense to me.  Give the dude with the short eyes the break and screw over the kids.  Because, you know, once you do some time in jail, those tendencies just fall away.  You never want to do them again.  Oh, wait, maybe you do, because they don’t want him near anyone under the age of 18.

And I can see this occurring everywhere.  You know, if you have, say, a teacher that is convicted of lewd conduct and lewd molestation of underaged boys or girls, you can still bring him back to teach.  Just ban the kids from attending his classes, right?

And before anyone busts me about hating on the Baptists…I don’t.  I hate on morons, whatever the race, colour, religion or sexual orientation, okay?

PayPal looks out for you…doesn’t that make you feel better?

Oh those wacky guys at PayPal with their crazy policies, huh?  On Saturday February 18, PayPal brought down the moral hammer on indie book publishers and distributors, threatening them with immediate deactivation of their accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes.  What themes?  Sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of, that’s what themes.

Let’s get specific, cuz sexual fantasies cover a wide range, don’t they?

Now granted, shit like child porn?  Yeah, you know what, let’s stay away from that crap, and PayPal includes a bunch of subjects that many would consider offensive or disturbing in real life.  Not sure where you come down on BDSM (Bondage, Submission, Sadism and Masochism).  It ain’t my cup of tea, but that’s just me.  Most of it is not illegal in North America.  Again, not judging here.  I mean, we have areas in North America where what two homosexuals would do when engaging in sex would be considered illegal.  So it’s a big stupid mess, but that’s not my point.  Here’s what is.

One of the things PayPal included was non-human fantasy creatures.  That means PayPal is demanding the removal of paranormal romance stories that include shape-shifters – if the shape-shifters were to have sex in their non-human forms.

Huh.  First of all, what happened to Free Speech?

Second, does that mean we have to recall all those Twilight books?  Yes, when Edward and Bella get it on, technically he’s in human form.  But technically, he’s also dead.  So that’s necrophilia, right?  That’s illegal.

Okay, so maybe there is and upside to this.

I’m kidding.  Seriously, what’s with everyone trying to spy on us and tell us what we can and cannot do in our own homes lately?

And speaking of spying on us…

Happiness is not a plastic gun

Meet Jessie Sansone, the poor bastard.  Jessie, unlike everyone else above, didn’t do anything wrong.  But just because he’s got a plastic dart gun in the house and a four-year-old daughter with some creativity, he went through hell.

His daughter drew a picture in school of her father with a gun and she told a teacher he was fighting the “monsters and bad guys.”  She’s four, folks.  Kids do that kind of thing.  This apparently “triggered fears that the family home contained a weapon that was a threat to the children.”

Let’s remember a couple of things here.  This is in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.  It’s perfectly legal to own a gun here.  Let’s also remember that the picture did not show the gun pointed at kids.  The girl did not in any way indicate that her father was threatening her or anyone else in her family.  Only bad guys and monsters.

So, the girl’s teacher at Forest Hill Public School was “concerned” by the drawing and called Family and Children’s Services, who assessed the case and called police. No one called the home.  No one talked to Jessie.  Instead, he went to pick up his kid from school and was met by three cops.  After being interviewed by police at the school, Sansone was handcuffed and taken to the police station in a cruiser, where he was strip-searched (because he might have hidden a gun up his ass before picking his daughter up) and held while the rest of his family was dragged to the station for questioning.

They also searched his house.  Without a warrant.  Then, then found the gun.  This one:

Pretty dangerous, huh?

God knows what they would have done to my mother when, in the span of two weeks when I was about six or seven, I draped a perfectly knotted hangman’s noose off our third floor balcony and, as a school project, built both a hangman’s platform with noose and trapdoor made out of twine and popsicle sticks, as well as a working guillotine with a razor blade as the cutting device and an stolen thimble as the basket for the head to fall into.

Has all sense become lost to us as a society?