Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the "you are receiving this letter because..." edition

Hi. It's Tuesday. Against my desires, I'm in a bad mood today. I wanted to be in a good mood. I was in a good mood. Then people on the internet made me stabby.

Let's do this thing.

High fives self for remembering to use the logo! Go me!

The Substantial Burden Religious Exemption Opt Out ACA Birth Control Letter

I just got this. Yesterday.

I knew it was coming. Here's the quick and dirty on what you need to know.

1) ACA (aka Obamacare) mandates birth control coverage under all insurance plans starting now.
2) Religious organizations are fighting the mandate, stating that it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
3) Government says but what about beliefs of your employees, which may be different than yours?
4) Religious orgs file lawsuit.
5) ACA loophole created. Now religious orgs don't have to offer BC coverage directly, but do have to alert subscribers that there are other plans that will cover BC at no charge to them.
6) Religious orgs still pissed because they think that notifying us is a substantial burden on them, trying to get out of it entirely.
7) In the meantime, religious orgs send out letters like this one.
8) Now, burden on subscribers to sign up for supplemental FREE coverage to have BC paid for that is supposed to already be covered but isn't.

I stopped taking the pill....so this doesn't actually affect me now. But seriously? Them sending me a letter is a bigger burden than me having to go through the process of applying for supplemental coverage, getting a separate ID card, jumping through hoops and proclaiming to the world for all to hear that I'm flipping the bird to the religion's restrictions on my tingly parts?

Hey church....wanna know a secret???  I'm going to whisper this so that all these people can't hear it.

You know how you offer classes on, teach methods and encourage natural family planning as birth control in lieu of the pill or condoms or IUDs or whatever else??? Same deal. You're still condoning a way to avoid getting pregnant. Just instead of shaming women and calling them sinners like you do with the pill, you're saying it's totally legitimate.

Riddle me that.

Bullying - and not the kids in school kind
So Chris Christie shut down a bridge to retaliate against an entire city because he was honked off about the fact that the Democrat sitting in the mayor's office on the other side of the bridge didn't vocally support him. NBD right?

Sure. no big deal.

Unless you were one of the people who called 911 and the responders were delayed on the way to save your life.

Then, maybe, possibly...might be a big deal.

It's not just this though. I'm seeing it play out online every.goddamn.day anymore. People take things personally, even if it was not about them in the first place, then send other people out to take down whoever the offender was. Not just that person, but everyone associated. People can't just disagree, people can't just accept the fact that not everything is about them, people can't wrap their heads around the possibility that others are stirring the pot on purpose just to generate more hatred and animosity.

Slow your roll, people.

Step away from the keyboard.

Stop assuming that whatever other people write online is about you....because chances are that it isn't.

And for the love, stop accusing other people of bullying when you are doing the same damn thing.

What's a state got to do to get some press around here????
Did you know that like half the state of West Virginia's water is contaminated right now? For almost a week, people there have been told not just to avoid drinking the water, but to avoid bathing in it or cooking with it as well.

What the hell could be in it that it's that unsafe?

Chemicals used to wash coal, that's what.

The restrictions are being lifted now, but not after the people living in the area have been forced to use bottled water for everything for days on end. It wasn't really picked up as a major news story, and chances are that some of you reading this right now may not have even heard about it.

Now that the water has been deemed safe again, the story will quickly fade into the background.....but it shouldn't. No way in hell.

Think about it.

If there are chemicals being used that are THIS dangerous THIS close to water sources THIS close to large populations of people, isn't that a problem? Does that strike anyone as problematic?

Nah, we'll just go on like nothing happened because the energy corporation is the one who brings jobs to the area.

***bangs head on wall***

Why The Kelly Thomas Case Matters
Kelly Thomas was a man beaten to death by police, the entire event being captured on surveillance cameras. He was also a very disturbed, homeless, mentally ill person.

The officers involved were fired, charged with his death and acquitted yesterday. They may still be facing federal charges.

Here's why this case matters.

- The media is picking up on this one....why??? I'd make the argument that there's a very obvious reason, and it has nothing to do with Thomas' mental conditions....it has to do with his race. He was white. People of color have had to deal with profiling by the police for a very long time and have had cases like this one go to trial...but have had many more not even pursued. Then a white guy with a violent history who ran from the police was beaten to death and everyone stopped and listened.

- Thomas was homeless for a few reasons, most of which probably center on the fact that he struggled with mental illness. We do an atrociously bad job of caring for people with mental illness who have insurance and the means to seek help. What we do for those without insurance and who lack the ability to seek help is downright shameful. They fall through the cracks, end up on the street, end up in jail. The criminal justice system is not equipped to manage mental health patients, but it has essentially become society's dumping ground for them...assuming they make it into custody without dying.

- The authorities absolutely need to be trained better to deal with people like him. They need to be educated on signs and symptoms of different mental conditions, be taught how to deal with potential suspects who may have those problems and be taught safe ways to diffuse threats that don't involve putting on gloves and just telling the guy you're going to fuck him up (his words, not mine), then being shocked when he gets scared and runs, so you chase him down and he dies.

- Should they have been acquitted? I don't know. I'm not on the jury. I'm not privy to all the evidence in this case. Anymore, any case with shred of public interest is spun by any news media that picks it up, so it is virtually impossible to know what actually happened. Here, there is a video, though, and it certainly seems to have been a level of force both unnecessary and unreasonable. Having said that, I'm not about to make assumptions about whether the verdict here was the right one or wrong one. All I know is that this situation should have never existed in the first place. Thomas should never have been on the street in the first place. They should have been better equipped to deal with him. He should be alive and we shouldn't be talking about this. It is absolutely a tragedy, no argument there.

My cynical heart holds out hope that at some point we will do the right thing for the mental health crisis in this country. Either that or things like this will keep on happening.


  1. I'm rather pissed off at these things as well.

  2. yep, all of that, and then some retired cop shoots and kills a man in the movie theatre for texting. I might be done with the 'greatest nation on earth'

  3. I am getting marathon style exhausted with the "people disagree with me so I'm a victim" reaction. "Step away from the keyboard" is the perfect response. It makes having an intelligent conversation impossible. I love your piss me offs. They always broaden my horizons.


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