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Sex toys in school?

I think this story tells us volumes about the principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Racine, as well as the pastor and the school board – certainly more than it tells us about the kid implicated in this sordid tale.

Here’s the BLUF.

Kid gets permission to sell water snake wigglies at school.

In case you’re unfamiliar, they’re plastic toys – bags essentially – filled with water and sometimes confetti or glitter that are wiggly and hard to hold. They’re fun little toys. I’m sure at least some of us have played with them in our youth.

Sexually repressed, possibly mentally unstable principal accuses 12-year-old child of selling “sex toys” in school, and apparently yells at her at a basketball game for selling them evil,perverted sex toys.

Child is suspended for three days.

Father goes on a crusade (pun fully intended) to clear his daughter’s name, as well he should.

 

…the principal at Trinity Lutheran School accused the student of selling what she thought were sex toys.

The school’s pastor, David Gehne, said this issue already went before the school board, which sided with the principal.

Seriously, WHAT???

Now, look. I suppose anything can be used as a sex toy these days if you’re ambitious enough. There are enough inventive perverts out there to make hardware stores mean something completely different. Apparently this principal, this pastor, and this school board have some… uh… predilections (alternately, the lot of them is incredibly inexperienced and probably dull as shit in bed), if they’re considering something specifically designed to be difficult to hold on to as a sex toy.

But to ruin a kid’s administrative record with a disciplinary action, because of inexperience, personal perversions, or just plain ignorance? That’s just a no!

The school has also doubled down on the stupid and blamed students for “sexualizing” these toys, claiming this was disruptive to learning.

They claim they tried to shut down the sale of these evil sex toys water wigglies.

They claim the student had no permission to sell these toys.

Oh, and parents complained, because their kids, being kids and all, were snortling childishly at these toys, because PENIS!

So a kid who ostensibly got permission from a teacher to sell these fun little stress-relieving toys was punished because a) 12 year old kids were being 12 year old kids b) some idiot parents were disturbed that their 12 year old kids were being 12 year old kids, and c) because the principal, the pastor, and the school board are closet pervs, who think anything remotely phallus shaped is shameful! Freud would be so proud!

Add this to the zero tolerance extra stupid, I guess. So grateful my kids are all grown up!

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What is this Metro fuckery?

For as long as I can remember, the etiquette on escalators in DC and other metropolitan areas has been to stand on the right and walk on the left. It made sense to me. If I’m in a hurry to catch a train or get to work, I need to be able to pass those who choose to leisurely ride the moving stairs and get to where I’m going. The rule is similar to European driving regulations. You drive on the right and pass on the left. You do not leisurely mosey along in the left lane, with some impatient douche in an Audi riding up on your ass, flashing his high beams, trying to pass you. The douche may be road raging and unsafe, but you will be the one cited. Get the hell out of the way. The left lane is for passing.

This has always pissed me off after getting back to the United States. Rob will attest, I get insanely angry when some jackass blocks the left lane doing the speed limit or even slower. There are usually choice words used, and this is why I no longer drive often. No one needs a stroke.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a rush, running down the escalator, trying to catch a train with some clueless, jibbering tourists clogging up the left side, making me miss my train. Usually a terse “excuse me” is enough to make them move over. Sometimes it’s a lost cause. Why the hell should they take anyone else into consideration?

The unwritten rule is there for a reason. Those of us trying to catch a train home or to work, and who don’t have the time to leisurely gawp at the surrounding concrete walls of the Metro station, need to get where we’re going quickly, lest we miss our train and are forced to wait for the next time, which may or may not get there on time.

But now, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says, “Nope! Don’t walk on the escalators.”

DAFUQ, you say?

The head of Washington’s Metro system said Wednesday that the custom of standing on the right side of a Metro escalator to clear the way for people to walk on the left damages escalators.

“We do not promote, obviously, the walking on the left. These are very sensitive pieces of equipment,” he said as officials unveiled a new escalator at the Bethesda station.

It’s best for escalators when riders stand on both sides of the steps, Wiedefeld said.

Ummmm. I’m sorry, but what? We are now supposed to alter our schedules and possibly miss our trains because you lazy fuckers can’t be bothered to properly maintain your escalators?

Yeah, how about no? Screw you!

China has implemented similar recommendations this year, also claiming that walking on the escalators damages machinery. Of course, one Chinese subway official proposed a very simple solution to the so-called “problem.”

A spokesman for the Beijing metro system was quoted as saying that proper maintenance could solve the problem of wear and people walking on the left posed no safety risk.

“Routine maintenance can keep escalators in a good condition and no accident happened before because someone was walking to the left,” the official said.

In other words, if you properly maintain your system, you shouldn’t have problems.

But apparently Mr. Wiedefeld and his crew have decided that further inconveniencing their customers is preferable to properly maintaining the machinery in the transit system. After all, screw you, if you have to be somewhere! Our escalators are more important than anywhere you have to be. It is wholly unsurprising that this lazy, incompetent band of shit weasels is vying to ensure their barely literate, ass goblin employees expend as little effort as possible to maintain the capital region’s transportation system! After all, this is the same agency that wants to cut service, while at the same time raising rates, and has been falsifying track inspection records for as long as three years! Oh, and let’s not forget their assery actually resulted in a fatality in 2015.

Yeah, I can totally see how WMATA deserves more money, while cutting service! /sarc

Unfortunately, the federal government incentivizes this nonsense by offering a transit benefit to federal employees. While it’s a great benefit to have, given that the Metro fares are among the highest in the country, it also allows Metro to continue its dysfunctional, negligent, sometimes fatal system with impunity, secure in the knowledge they are guaranteed at the very least 317,000 federal workers boarding their buses and trains every day. Because, why not? The government gives them this benefit, the roads are clogged on a daily basis, parking is barely available in the city, and what lots do exist, rape their customers to the tune of $25 per day. Meanwhile, taxi and Uber rates are insane during rush hour. I’ve paid anywhere from $25 to $30 for the 6-mile trip to or from work.

Metro knows it has a secure customer set in federal employees, so why would it bother doing anything but the bare minimum to improve the second largest public transportation system in the nation?

I was riding the Metro home the other night, when the driver made an announcement to the crowded train that he was delayed requested everyone essentially have their shit all ready and quickly get off the train, so he can make up time. So, because of continued Metro incompetence, the passengers had to hurry the hell up, since it’s their fault he was running off schedule in the first place. I mean, come on! If he didn’t have to stop every few minutes to pick up and drop you peons off, I’m sure he’d be running on time! /sarc

This is the same kind of attitude that precipitates the “you should stand on both sides of the escalator” request. Since they can’t be bothered to actually maintain the system properly and run their trains on time, the onus falls on you – the customer – to inconvenience yourself in order to make the Metro run smoothly. And while you’re inconveniencing yourself, you will pay more for an already substandard service to be even more substandard!

So I will continue to run up and down the escalators as I see fit to suit my needs, because I refuse to help Metro do as little as possible to fix its systemic issues. It’s a small part, but I will do it.

Internet habits

There’s no question that the Internet has changed us. We’re much braver from behind our keyboards, challenging one another in sometimes contentious ways, relishing in the anonymity the Internet provides. While we would never barge into someone’s living room – even if the front door is open – put our feet on the furniture, light up a cigarette, and proceed to berate the homeowner about their social/political/religious views, we are certainly brave keyboard warriors when it comes to barging into someone’s website, criticizing their views, and even threatening and showering them with invective. No problem. No one will find us, right?

While in our real lives and jobs we would be circumspect about how we analyze information, ensuring that our product is of the highest quality – whatever our job may be. On the Internet, we don’t care. We share clickbait. We fail to analyze. We believe every report – even the most questionable ones – as long as they confirm our biases. We don’t mind losing our shit over said reports. Going unhinged on social media has become the norm – without so much as a fact check.

While in our real jobs we would never use political memes as part of any presentation (unless the presentation is about political memes, of course), these days, we seem to get the majority of our information from these irritating, many times badly-written, shittily-researched graphics.

The other day, some random shit weasel sent me a message request on Facebook, which I immediately deleted. In said message, he derped something about me upsetting his friends (we had no friends in common – I checked), and how I’m a “terrible person,” who should tickle his taint or something. He appeared to be a sub-millennial douche flake with a badly-groomed, patchy wannabe beard and a snively, pussy hat wearing demeanor.  Would we ever say something like this to a living, breathing stranger, who was standing in front of us? Probably not.

The message didn’t upset me, mind you. I chuckled and deleted it, as any intelligent person would. But it does point out some interesting trends I see, as I travel the World Wide Web of Stupid. In addition to the increased boldness and visceral reactions above, I’ve noted a few other things that I either observe with dispassionate interest, or am disgusted by on a regular basis.

One is failure to read. Whether it’s sharing dated news stories and failing to identify them as old, or sharing a new story based on what often is a misleading title, this particular habit makes me crazy! Knowing how quickly things can propagate via social media, one shared old news story can quickly turn into 500 or more. That’s how celebrity death stories from 2012 continue to dominate our social media feeds. And if you’re going to share 5-year-old news stories, at least let us know it’s old news and why you see it fit to share it now, so you don’t look like a fucking moron for derping over old news.

And speaking of fucking… Has anyone noticed this weird tendency to criticize people’s language? I can’t tell you how many pedantic assholes have come over here gently chiding me for my language, or outright discounting facts, because they were offended by a bad word! I have provided plenty of warning about my use of invective on this site, and the bottom line is I don’t give a rollerblading fuck about your delicate sensibilities. If you can’t get over a couple of appropriately placed F-bombs in order to read an otherwise factual blog post, I cordially invite you to fuck a rabid hedgehog and to not allow the virtual door hit you in your virtual hedgehog-sodomizing arse.

Knee-jerking seems to happen a lot more often on the Internet than it does in real life. Am I crazy? I’ve been guilty of this myself. I read something without actually READING it, and I go into DERP! mode, immediately wanting to blast it out to an email distro or my social media contacts. There have been several instances where I’ve had to physically pull away from my computer to prevent myself from hitting the “send” button. Stopping and thinking seems to be out of style these days, because it is so easy to press that “send” button! It’s easy to hit the “share” button; I mean they’re provided in nearly every news site, blog, or information site, convenient for sharing. What isn’t convenient is stepping back and examining with a critical eye what you’re about to send. Would we do that in real life? Would we stick a letter that contains false information in an envelope, and drop it in the mail? Probably not. Convenience and our desire for quick gratification is breeding a whole lot of rude, false, misleading, and outrageous information being pushed out into society without thought.

I also think we’re getting quite inured to horror and bloodshed. This conditioning is breeding callous indifference to others’ suffering. I’ve noticed this trend is on the rise in the past several years. I remember in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, a friend on the left making a comment about hoping that it was a white Christian, rather than a Muslim, so Muslims don’t get painted with that broad terrorist brush. I also see gleeful references to Muslim terrorism in the wake of any incident, as if my friends on the right are rubbing their hands in malicious glee, awaiting the inevitable “Islamic terrorist attacks” narrative. You know what’s ultimately missing? Kind thoughts about the victims. Horrified reactions about the deaths of innocent people. There was an attack in London today. I shared the latest story I could find on this topic – a story that changes as more information becomes available – and most reactions were political. They weren’t kind. They didn’t hold victims in their thoughts or prayers, even. They were just cold.

“Oh, they’re making it sound like the assailant had a gun! Guns are banned in Britain!”

“Oh, they banned guns in Britain, so now terrorists use cars and knives.”

“Oh, must be another attack by the disgruntled Amish.”

“Oh, they’re trying to hide the fact that he was Muslim.”

I consider myself quite a bitch, and there are few out there who are more dedicated to our gun rights and our national security than I am, but my first thought when an incident occurs is never, “Oh, I bet it was a Muslim, because POLITICS!” or “Look at the attack in a gun-free zone!”

My first thought is always, “I really hope everyone is OK.” And I’m not saying this to paint myself as some kind of concern troll. I’m saying this because I’m genuinely baffled at the fact that we’re so conditioned to immediately glom onto anything that provides confirmation bias to our political beliefs

For the record, if anyone gives a shit, one person is reported dead, and at least 10 people were injured. British authorities are treating this as a terrorist attack, which, by the way, occurred on the first anniversary of the terrorist bombings in Brussels that killed 32 people.

This callousness bothers me more than most other annoying Internet habits. It’s a complete disregard for the human experience. It’s indifference to the suffering of innocents. It’s cruel. No matter how much bloodshed we see, our first reaction is to wonder whether or not this incident comports with our political views. It’s on our screens, and even though those screens show unspeakable horrors, we are no longer bothered by them, because we’re so far removed and the information is so readily available, that we merely observe detached as bloodied victims and terrified families start to process their grief.

I don’t say this to shame my friends or to elicit some type of reaction I would feel appropriate in situations such as these. I say this as a not-so-detached observer, because having grown up without an Internet, I’m seeing stark differences in how people react to what goes around them.

The Internet, as anything else, brings with it both good and bad. It’s quick. It’s convenient. It can keep us informed. It can bring us vital news in the blink of an eye. We can do research, watch movies, watch cat videos, or write a blog.

But in this deluge of information and entertainment, I wonder if we’re forgetting basic customs, courtesies, and human decency.

Just some food for thought.

Here’s a “Revelation”

Chelsea Handler is a moron.

I didn’t even know who this daft bint was until she saw it fit to rudely ridicule Melania Trump’s foreign accent in January. Handler, you see, doesn’t like 45 too much, and even helped lead a women’s march in Utah after his inauguration. OK, he’s not for everyone. I get that.

But this dried up hag went a step further when asked if she would ever have the First Lady on her show.  “To talk about what? She can barely speak English.”

For the record, Melania Trump was born in Slovenia, and speaks Slovenian, English, French, Serbian and German. I wonder how many languages Chelsea Handler can speak – other than retard.

Apparently, only English, and even that is lacking, judging from her tweet about Eric Trump’s announcement that he and his wife are expecting their first baby.

Those jeans! Those terrible jeans! Let’s hope they’re not the mom jeans with the plastic panels on the knees, because those are horrible!

I shouldn’t be surprised at the ignorance of this screeching slag, I suppose. It does bother me, as an immigrant, as someone who speaks multiple languages, and someone who obviously has better command of the English language than this Handler knobgobbler, that she would stoop so low as to ridicule someone whose first language is something other than English, and who obviously is more educated and accomplished than this sow, as something less than literate.

My mom has an engineering degree. She speaks Russian, English, and Ukrainian. She does have an accent, and she is embarrassed by it – so much, that she will still ask me to make phone calls for her when I’m around, even though she’s lived in this country since 1980, and even though her English is just fine. My dad has two Masters degrees in engineering, and has spent his life working his way up after coming to this country with practically no English. He also speaks Russian, Polish, Yiddish, some French, some German, and Ukrainian. Handler has a high school diploma, sucked copious amounts of cock to get where she is, and is now using her significant soapbox to malign immigrants who happen to be married to a President she doesn’t like and said President’s children. People like Handler are part of the reason why making a simple phone call stresses my mom out. I find Handler’s comments particularly galling, given the fact that her own mother was a German immigrant.

As a kid, I was particularly scared to go to school each day, because I was the only Russian-speaking immigrant in the class, because my English was crap, and because my classmates knew very little about the Cold War other than “Russia is bad.” I couldn’t communicate with them. They didn’t understand why I wore the same clothes every day, why I brought only a meager lunch to school with me, why we couldn’t afford the candy and chips they all gobbled at lunchtime, and why the teacher, for the most part, ignored me, even when I knew the answer to a question she posed, mostly by muscling through the work and trying to understand it through context.

To make matters worse after tweeting about Eric Trump’s jeans, and proving herself to be not quite as dumb as a box of hammers and not nearly as useful, the nitwit doubled down on showing just how much of an imbecile she is by blaming her apparent drug use for the spelling error.

Apparently correct language usage goes out the window when what’s left of one’s grey matter is addled by the wacky tobacky, as does one’s sense of decency.

Weed is apparently not a new thing for Handler, who a year or so ago got stoned for her Netflix documentary series “Chelsea Does.” Because apparently drugs are just “fun to do,” says the celebutard bimbo. “I want to show people what happens when you get fucked ed-up.”

Here’s Funbags McDumbass with Snoop Dogg, tokin up like a beast.

Well, here’s what happens. You get stoned, you get the munchies, you can’t find any stale Doritos in your pad, you grab some kitty litter and eat that, washing it down with some cheap vodka, and then you tweet at the President’s son, while mangling the English language, while conveniently forgetting that you denigrated the First Lady – an immigrant, which is a class of people whom you ostensibly support, and which includes your own mom – for her apparently poor English skills, and you get ridiculed.

A lot.

In case you were wondering…

NO, Germany doesn’t “owe” NATO a red cent.

And perhaps if President TwitterFingers spent more time studying and understanding the alliance, instead of tweeting about it, he would have known this as well, instead of going on one of his infamous Twitter seizures on the heels of that “great meeting” he had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week.

I had honed in on this previously during the campaign, slamming Trump’s claim at the time that somehow we pay 73 percent of NATO, whatever the hell that means.

So, in case you were wondering how the alliance funding works, lemme ‘splain.

No, the United States does not spend 73 percent of NATO. That number refers to our defense budget compared to those of other NATO allies. Given the fact that we’re YUUUUGE, and they’re small, it makes sense that our total defense spending – even at a reasonable 3.6 percent of GDP will be much higher than theirs.

In other words: The United States defense budget ($664.1 billion) / the sum total of all NATO allies’ defense budgets, including the United States ($918.3 billion) = .72. The United States defense budget comprises 72 percent of the sum total of defense budgets of all NATO allies. OK?

Each country decides how much it will spend on its own defense.

NATO recommends that member nations spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on their own defense. It has other recommendations, vis-a-vis defense budget breakdowns, but none of these benchmarks are requirements. Nations decide for themselves how much to spend on their defenses.

Currently, maybe 5-6 NATO allies meet that standard, including the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia. A number of other countries have committed to increasing their defense spending – not because Trump demanded it, but because they see the resurgent, aggressive Russia as an increasing threat, and since that’s why NATO was created in the first place, it’s a pretty logical turn of events.

NATO members do contribute some funds to common funding projects via direct contributions. This is where NATO members’ costs are assessed by the alliance based on nations’ GDP. The United States, being the biggest, baddest, and strongest member of the alliance pays roughly 22 percent of that figure. The UK pays about 9.8 percent, France pays 10.6 percent, and Germany pays 14.6 percent.

NATO is a treaty obligation for us, but members are not required to participate in all NATO operations. For NATO missions, each member decides how much they will contribute, if at all. The only exception is when NATO engages in an Article 5 collective defense operation, which requires the participation of all alliance members. Know how many times NATO invoked Article 5? Once. Know when? After the September 11 attacks on the United States. So yes, after terrorists attacked the United States, NATO members stood together and declared that an attack on the United States was an attack on all of NATO. But once again, there’s no size requirement. Allies contributed as much or as little as they assessed they could.

And no, we don’t provide defense to Germany, or any other NATO ally. We are NATO’s biggest partner, and we’re the leader of the alliance, but that doesn’t mean we give other NATO allies a penny, and that certainly doesn’t mean they owe us, considering the only time the Article 5 collective security guarantee was invoked was after an attack on US.

There are varying opinions about whether or not NATO is even needed today. Hardcore Libertarians (read: those who have no comprehension of how the alliance – or really human nature – works, and who will immediately call you ignorant and unaware of America’s oh-so-evil history of interfering in other nations’ affairs, blah, blah, blah) are screeching the alliance should be disbanded, as it’s no longer needed. I’m not even going to get into the vast numbers of conspiracy theories out there spewed by some of these nutjobs! Use your Google-fu, if you really are that interested in the crazy.

Suffice it to say, I disagree with the derpapotomi, given Russian aggression over the past several years, but that’s not what this post is about.

I would submit that the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, who ostensibly is ultimately in charge of all matters concerning our military and foreign policy, should at the very least know how America’s most significant alliance works!

And instead of once again using injudicious language on Twitter, perhaps he should spend more time studying that about which he tweets, so he doesn’t make us look like utter jackasses.

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