Category Archives: Anger

Responding to Idiots on Twitter

One of @ChipAphelion‘s early critiques of Twitter had to do with the idea that the character limit inherently stifled your ability to give fully thought out, reasoned analysis and instead reduced your argument to vaguely abbreviated bits.  Obviously, he’s correct (but if his tweet count is an indication, he’s overcome that particular problem).  Anyway, he’s not the idiot I’m referring to in the title.

That idiot is Anthony De Rosa, who describes himself as “Reuters columnist, social media editor, host of Reuters TV Tech Tonic.”  This is the kind of person who calls everyone who reads his twitter profile a “dummy,” so you know the kind of antagonistic-just-for-the-sake-of-being-a-dick-because-I’m-so-edgy-and-real-and-hardcore person we’re dealing with.  The kind I fully believe needs to be ignored.  The kind that responding to on Twitter becomes an exercise in self-aggravation because you’d need 100 tweets just to really flesh out all the arguments against him, and the average Twitter user has an attention span of 1 tweet.  Nevertheless, Dani Klein (someone I have never met in real life despite the fact that we apparently live in the same neighborhood; yay, social networking!) specifically asked for people to respond to De Rosa’s inflammatory tweet:

with this:

So because I don’t want to reduce my argument to a series of sure-to-be-ignored tweets that will get lost in the noise of @ replies he’s getting, I’d rather write it out in full, clearly, for a sure-t0-be-ignored blogpost.

Let’s break this down, bit by anti-Israel, hateful, purposely antagonistic, trolling bit:

If Iron Dome is so successful…

What does “so successful” mean?  The IDF posts daily recaps along the lines of this:

that show that while Iron Dome is extremely successful, it’s not nearly perfect.  So, De Rosa’s premise that implies that Israel’s defense system is working, so really Israel has nothing to be upset about, is flawed, because it’s simply not factual.  It’s actually flawed in another way, too.  Aside from the fact that despite Iron Dome, rockets are still hitting Israel by the dozen, daily, even if Iron Dome WAS perfect, the premise is flawed.  As one response tweeted, if a criminal fired a gun at an NYPD Officer who was wearing a vest, and the vest stopped the bullet and didn’t harm the officer (not fully accurate, but for the sake of the argument, go with it), would you ignore the attempt on the Officer because the defense worked so well?  Of course not.  And you certainly wouldn’t use body armor as an argument to defend the use of firearms by criminals (unless you were a dick and troll, like De Rosa).  “Hey, let all the criminals have guns and shoot indiscriminately at police officers without any sort of repercussions, because they have body armor, so they shouldn’t care.”  Sounds absurd in that context, no?  Well, it’s just as absurd in the rockets from Gaza context, too.

…what’s the purpose of killing so many in retaliation…

Here De Rosa lets his bias show through simply in his choice of language.  You see how he categorizes Israel’s action as retaliation?  He’s attempting to delegitimize the action.  If this is retaliation, then the otherwise ridiculous notion of proportionality and equality of casualty counts come into play.  “You harmed me X, I get to harm you back X, and anything more is unjustified and unfair.”  That’s the basic premise, in De Rosa’s warped thinking, of why Israel is wrong, and he’s shown it by calling it retaliation.  De Rosa wants you to think there should be a natural limit on what Israel can do.  Almost a one-for-one type thing.   (Which, by the way, even if true, is sick in the head).

But it’s NOT retaliation.  What Israel is doing isn’t “getting Hamas back.”  They are trying to destroy a terrorist infrastructure by destroying the rockets that are fired, the launchers that fire them, the warehouses that store them, the tunnels that smuggle them and the terrorists that plan the whole thing. The people that are targeted aren’t innocents, and they are usually not even low-level foot soldiers. Those guys die because they are inevitably near exploding rockets  and targeted infrastructure sites. The guys that are targeted assassinations are higher-level planners, and are as much a part of the terrorist infrastructure as the launchers and rockets.  But, of course, De Rose wilfully ignores this point, and calls the action “retaliation” in an effort to make Israel look like the evil actor here.

Of course, his question is his bias, too.  “What’s the purpose of killing so many?”  Well, killing people ISN’T the purpose, as evidenced by all the actions the IDF takes to avoid it.  Of course, those are ignored by media members like De Rosa (or worse, turned around and criminalized, and called “psychological warfare” and “indimidation” by Hamas and her mouthpieces like Reuters).  But when you frame the question like that, you ignore all that and demonize Israel.

…especially “human shield” casualties?

And here’s the capper.  See how he puts human shield in quotes?  As if every time Israel calls for the world to recognize that Hamas uses it’s civilians as human shields, it’s not really true, it’s just what Israel calls it.

But there’s a deeper, and even worse, implication here.  What De Rosa is suggesting is that Israel should allow Hamas to get away with using civilians as Human Shields!!  What Israel does to minimize unintended civilian deaths (which he, in the same breath, dismisses and ignores) isn’t enough.  Israel should stop the operation completely because there’s just no safe enough way to do it.  Think about it: De Rosa is blaming the death of human shields on the shooter and completely absolving the one who hides behind it!

Worse yet, if he had his way, and Israel called off its military because there’s no perfect way to preserve innocents, what message does that send to Hamas?  It basically tells them that his is a perfect strategy that should be continually employed to protect it’s terrorists and installations.  Keep firing rockets at Israel, you can’t be harmed if you put a child next to you!

Of course, to an Anti-Semite, Jew and Israel hater like De Rosa, that’s exactly the perfect solution.

What Can We Learn?

Obviously, the Paterno/Sandusky news from the Freeh report today was terrible.  The victims can almost feel doubly hurt by the knowledge now that the sicko Sandusky was abetted and helped for so many years.  I’m sure there are many people who will make the connection to the Ultra Orthodox communities and the systemic secrecy at PSU, and hope for a similar type of exposure to the harsh light of day of the many secrets and pedophiles we’ve harbored and helped over the years.

But my particular focus in this post is a little different.  It seems that Nike, the same day as the report was made public, began to remove Joe Paterno’s name from one of it’s buildings (a child development center).  For more, see SB Nation or Deadspin.

Paterno wasn’t tried or convicted, he was just exposed.  And yet, his name is an embarrassment to Nike, so they removed it.

And yet…the names of criminals (tried and convicted and in jail) remain on countless buildings and institutions in our communities.  A criminal is an embarrassment to the entire community, and shames the institutions that bear his or her name, regardless of the crime.  And while people may make a moral relativism argument that Paterno’s crime is worse than some of the financial ones  we are so well known for, I say that’s irrelevant.  The financial crimes had victims, too, and are still a black eye on the community.

Our institutions should have the conviction of action that Nike does, and remove the names of convicted felons from their institutions and buildings.  In an ideal world, our institutions could return the money that was ill-gotten, but that not really a possibility.  But the basic step of disassociation from criminals is, and should be taken.

I Understand The Way She Feels

It’s being called the “greatest voicemail ever,” (you can listen here), and it is marvelous in all the glory the English language has to offer in the “profanity” category.

I can sympathize, because this reminds me of a story that happened to me in college:

During registration for the second semester of my Senior year, I had to register for a lab that I didn’t want to or need to take, but that was a requirement I was lobbying to get waived (it was second semester Chem lab, to ‘complete’ my bio major, even though I had gotten credit for two semesters of chem lecture and one semester of chem lab from AP Chem; essentially, they were forcing me take a random lab without being enrolled for the attendant lecture).  The waiver was coming, but wasn’t finished, so to be safe, I registered for the lab.

I note at this point that my initial registration was completed without a hitch, my tuition and everything else being totally in order.

The next day I got the waiver, so I head back to the registration room (still doing in person registration instead of online) to drop the lab.  Problem, says the registrar: she can’t get into my registration because there’s a financial hold on my account so my registration is blocked.  What? “I don’t understand, I’m paid up; I just registered yesterday, all I want to do is drop the class.”  “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do, see the bursar.”

I head to the bursar to see what’s up: a $120 lab fee was generated on my account as soon as I registered for the lab.  OK, that’s annoying, but why the hold?  Apparently, the fee, being for that semester is generated retroactively to the date of the bill of the rest of the semester’s tuition, which today being unpaid, is now late and therefore a registration hold.

OK, that’s very odd, I tell the Bursar, but nonetheless, I am actually not taking that class, I just need to drop.  “I can’t take off the hold, it’s on the account,” says the bursar.  What?  Look, I am not paying a lab fee for a lab I am about to drop.  The fee will disappear in 30 seconds if you just let me drop it, I plead.  Finally, I get the Bursar, not to remove the hold, but to lift it for one day.  “Tomorrow, it’s going back on!” she threatens me.  “Do your worst” I think to myself as I mutter thanks, “I am dropping the damn class.”  I head back to the registrar, and drop the lab.

Given all this, I should really not have been surprised when my initial application for graduation was denied because I hadn’t completed all of the requirements of my major.  “What am I missing?!” I ask incredulously. “Second semester Chem Lab” says the registrar apparently unable to read the  waiver letter in my file (that I can see there in the file, plain as day) that says I was exempted.  I point out the letter, he says “Oh, ok you’re good.”  “So can I graduate?” “You need to fill out a new application; once it’s rejected, we can’t do anything about it.”

Lost Convenience

I just got my firm’s benefits enrollment package for next year, and there was one change that really stuck out to me as ridiculous:

Starting January 1, 2011, in order to use FSA dollars to purchase over the counter medicine, you will need a prescription.

Think of the look your doctor will give you the first time you ask for a prescription for Tylenol.

This is completely ridiculous.  (Just to be clear, I am not blaming my firm, this is not their decision.  It’s either statutory or imposed by the benefits adminsitrating company).

How is this going to be administered?  Will the teenage idiot behind the counter have to ask everyone that buys Tylenol if they have a ‘scrip in order to use FSA dollars?  Will the purchaser have to send a copy of the scrip into the company to verify each purchase?  Does the perscription have to specify an amount?  Can I keep reusing the same perscription?

Who came up with this utter stupidity, and what functional purpose could it possibly serve?!

Spam

Every once in a while, I get an annoying email from a car dealer near me, purporting to be a statement of my rewards dollars or whatever.  I have no account with them, my balance is always 0, I have never bought a car from them, and I have no idea how they got my email address.

What really bugs me is that I scrolled to the bottom of the page to unsubscribe, and I had to register for an account in order to set my email preferences to get no emails!  What the F*ck?!?! That is NOT COOL.

That kind of bullshit should be illegal.  I have half a mind to call this stupid dealership and threaten to report them to some consumer protection something if they don’t take me off their email and snail mail lists (yeah, I get snail mail from them also).

God, they are SO ANNOYING!

Redskins

Being a Cowboy fan, I hate the Redskins as much as anyone.

And I’m sure that whoever is writing these briefs for these appellate suits obviously deals with whatever first amendment case law as applies, so this isn’t so much going to be a legal post as a common sense one.

SHUT UP ALREADY!!

Just, just….stop it.  Stop wasting the time of the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest and most important court in the land that ‘s there to decide matter of critical constitutional importance with trivial bullshit just beause you’re offended.

Just SHUT UP!

(Context: here)

Oh, I Hate Brett Favre

Obviously, I’m not reporting news about Favre coming back, again, un-re-un-re-re-retiring, but goddamn do I hate him something fierce.

Take, for instance, this quote in today’s NY Post:

“This is not about revenge, or anything like that, believe me,” Favre said. “I think it’s great for football. I can’t see how you wouldn’t think it would be.”

Holy F-ing Damn!!  He’s not doing this for himself, he’s coming back to play for the Vikings for the good of the game.  He really thinks he’s God’s gift to football, that sitting out would be bad for the game and he has a responsibility to play (just not to go to training camp or put any work in).  It’s not about him, no, it’s great for FOOTBALL.  As if football desperately needs him.  He can’t even see how this entire shitshow wouldn’t be good for football!!

What a f-ing narcisistic piece of shit douchebag.  Ugh, I HATE HIM.

Right now, I can only hope that some defensive lineman is planning on rolling through his knee.  Please, GOD, let that happen.