Pick Wayne's Brain

October 26, 2013

Picking My Brain 10-26-13

Filed under: Brain Pickings — Tags: , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:45 AM

As I sit here writing this, it’s Saturday morning, and this post is way overdue. It’s always difficult for me to pick a topic on which to write. I suppose I need to learn to discipline myself more, but that’s the problem with trying to learn to be disciplined – it takes discipline, and since I clearly lack it, I’m probably going to have a tough time learning it. Sure I was in the Air Force when I was young and wanted to put off paying back my college loans (Note: I’m one of the fourteen Americans who actually did pay back his student loans), and they did try to teach me discipline. But their method was to make me fold my t-shirts and underwear to six inches on each side. And it turns out that once I left Air Force Basic Training (as an Honor Graduate), nobody ever asked me to utilize, or even to show off by demonstrating, the skills I learned in underwear folding ever again. As a result, my self-discipline began to suffer. Then there’s the variety of topics about which to write.

So many things to say and only so much time to waste not picking one out. There’s the great Aasif Mandvi Daily Show interview of Don Yelton, a Republican North Carolina County Executive, that resulted in Mr. Yelton now being a former Republican North Carolina County Executive. At one point Aasif asks him, “But you’re not a racist, are you?”, and Mr. Yelton actually paused and had to think about it a moment before admitting he’s been called a bigot, but he doesn’t think he’s a racist. He then goes into an explanation that brings up two of my favorite parts: One is where Mr. Yelton begins to say, “As a matter of fact…one of my…best friends…(Aasif looks and nods knowingly to the camera, because we’ve all heard it before from racists who don’t know they’re racist, and we know what’s coming)…is…black.” (NOTE: Ellipses are pauses in his words, not things I edited out.) After going on with more examples that supposedly prove he isn’t a racist, Aasif finally utters one of the best responses I’ve heard someone say to a racist espousing his racism, “You do know that we can hear you, right?” After being fired/asked to resign (same diff, right?), Mr. Yelton said in a subsequent interview that his remarks were “taken out of context.” But unless he began his remarks with, “I’d have to be the biggest douchebag racist asshole in the country to say…”, I just don’t see in what context his remarks don;t look and sound racist. Racists simply do not understand why they’re racist, but they do understand why they’re Republicans. Because the Republicans treat them better than the Democrats.

Then there’s the charter school in Houston, TX, which takes taxpayer money and teaches this about the Theory of Evolution:

[Hitler] has written that the Aryan (German) race would be the leader in all human progress. To accomplish that goal, all “lower races” should either be enslaved or eliminated. Apparently the theory of evolution and its “survival of the fittest” philosophy had taken root in Hitler’s warped mind.

Yeah, here’s the thing. Just because an incredibly evil and maniacal person believes in something, it doesn’t automatically follow that whatever that person believes in is also evil. Hitler also believed in having a well-maintained highway infrastructure. Does that mean we have to do away with our Department of Transportation? On the other hand, he did also expand gun ownership rights, and that is pretty evil. Then there’s that whole genocide thing. That’s pretty hard to justify with sane, rational, fact-based arguments as not being evil. Still, it doesn’t mean that everything Hitler believed in was bad. He liked Volkswagens.

Finally, there’s Ken Cuccinelli, the ethics-challenged Virginia Attorney General who’s running for governor. In the final debate with Democratic frontrunner Terry McAuliffe, Cuccinelli said that he was proud of his ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association (or KKK for short). The problem here is that the debate was held at Virginia Tech, the site of a mass shooting six years ago that left 32 people (most of whom were probably not members of the KKK, I mean, the NRA) dead. If Cucinelli manages to somehow win this election, I would have to suspect massive voting machine fraud. The entire state of Virginia can’t be that stupid. The man wants to outlaw oral sex, for Christsakes! How much of a “man of the people” can he possibly be?

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