« August 2016 »

Memo to American health care paradoxes, French beach crazies, and Donald Trump: YOU ARE DUMB.

Today's edition of SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY spans the globe, from the United States to exotic foreign lands with peculiar customs like France and Florida. Grab your passport and your TSA pre-check and, um, alligator spray? Is that a thing?

In feel-good news that's only really feel-good if you don't extrapolate from it, Florida hospitals will be writing off the costs of billing the victims of the Orlando shooting for the care they received as a result of a shooting. And that's great. I think we all agree that the victims of that tragedy shouldn't be responsible for the medical bills incurred as the result of that tragedy. Just, you know. Don't extrapolate.

Because every single day, people incur massive medical bills due to tragedies that aren't their fault. Other mass shootings. Other regular shootings. Drunk drivers. Assaults. Hate crimes. Natural disasters. All things as bad as what happened to many of the wounded in Orlando. Do they deserve their medical bills? Extrapolate it out, and it becomes a clear argument for single-payer. Or, you know, we could just look at the $304 EpiPen.

Lest you think that I spend too much time on American stupidity, and that other countries are all way better than us, let's take a moment to look at the current French insanity over the "burkini", a piece of body-covering swimwear favored by some Muslim women that France has decided to ban because, well, their terrorist attacks have made some of them bugfuck insane with fear. We remember how that goes, right?

Basically, in the name of secularism, a bunch of cops in a bunch of French beach towns are harassing women, in at least one case ordering them to partially disrobe, because they are wearing something that they think might be a burkini, but might just be clothes and a headscarf worn near a beach. This is a recipe for disaster. Luckily, the French courts are looking into the legality of the ban, but until then, crazy people who have no idea whether people are covering themselves because they want to or because they have to or because they're chilly are going to have a xenophobic fucking field day. Sounds like liberté to me.

And finally, in less than 24 hours, Donald Trump decried Hillary Clinton's charges of racism as a blanket claim, devoid of meaning, hurled by politically correct liberals at anyone they disagree with even when those people, like Trump, are the least racist people in the world... and called Hillary Clinton a bigot.

This is, in many ways, the Holy Grail of far-right racial politics. Trump's new campaign "CEO" probably came in his pants when it happened. The combination is not unfamiliar to anyone who's spent any time in any comments section of any news story on any website that's even tangentially related to race, but I believe it's the first time that particular brand of cognitive dissonance and willful ignorance has ever sprung forth in a presidential campaign. If there's one thing racists have in common. besides hating people who aren't white, it's that they hate being called racist, and will do anything to keep people from calling them racists up to, but not including, no longer hating people who aren't white.