Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cool clock, Ahmed. Should we cut off your hands?

In this weeks news and hashtags that make my eyes roll, I, like many of you, read a story about a 14 year old boy named Ahmed Mohamed who brought a clock to school and was arrested. That's about all I could gather of the story the first day the news broke. Public figures like Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama invited Ahmed to Facebook and the White House respectively. Companies like Microsoft sent Ahmed thousands of dollars worth of hardware.

And for what exactly I ask. To make good PR?

Then when I looked past just the feel good headlines about the story blowing it up into a race issue I found pictures of the clock.

According to sources, he had it on him the entire day and his sixth hour teacher finally asked Mohamed to put it away. He refused and kept arguing that it's just a clock. He was sent to the principal's office, the police were called, and Ahmed was arrested.

Many liberals are crying "If they thought it was a bomb why wouldn't they evacuate?" Let me get this straight, you think it's profiling for him to be arrested but you'd be fine with the school being evacuated? It sounds like the school and teachers were treating it like a hoax bomb. If someone at an airport made a joke about a bomb they would be detained. The entire airport wouldn't be evacuated over it. "Islamaphobia" has made us second guess every procedure in order to not look racist. The Eiffel Tower was scaled by a few men with duffel bags earlier this week yet authorities hesitated to evacuate the building. Pretty scary, right?

All over public transportation there's signs that say "See something, say something" and provide numbers for local authorities. Really, what that should say is "See something, say something unless that person is a Muslim in which case you're a xenophobic, Islamaphobic, bigoted, racist and you should check your white privilege."

Which brings me to my next question: if you were sitting next to him on a plane and he had this as his carry on but he assured you it was "just a clock" would you be fine with it?

Let's make one thing clear, Ahmed didn't invent anything. Clocks have been around for awhile now so he's a little late to that. There's clear evidence that he took apart an alarm clock from RadioShack and threw it in a pencil case. In one interview Ahmed even says he had it in a bigger case but thought it looked too threatening. Why would he think it looks threatening but then get offended when his teacher and classmates thought the same thing?

Ahmed's father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed is a Sudanese immigrant. You know Sudan, that country we have trade sanctions with because of their involvement in terrorist activities. Yeah! That's the one! He has ran for President in Sudan twice now and failed. While he has been vocal about reforming the country's apostasy laws he still embraces Sharia.

Under Sharia law, if one is found guilty of theft his/her hands (sometimes feet) may be cut off. The Qur'an does permit lying though, especially lying to unbelievers and infidels. But if his fraud involves copyrighted equipment being passed off as something he built himself is he not guilty of theft?

I think Ahmed and his father who most likely came up with this publicity stunt should feel pretty lucky right now to be living in a country where corporations are giddy about giving Ahmed free shit rather than a court system that would grant RadioShack the right to cut off Ahmed's hands.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why the Kardashians are the Worst Family Known to Mankind

Before I begin this rant I'd just first like to say I'm not exaggerating in my title. I truly believe the evil the Kardashian bestows on the world is worse than any other family. If Hilter had children, I might make an exception. Might.

My reasoning is thought out and I don't consider myself someone that's just annoyed by their fame. I actually hate even mentioning them by name because by doing so I'm only one of the billions of people adding to their relevance. Negative attention is still attention.

So let's begin with how they rose to prominence:

In the mid 1990s, a football player named OJ Simpson murdered his ex-wife. The court case People v. Simpson was highly publicized and is somehow one of the most prolific court cases since the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Acting as his lawyers were Johnnie Cochran and his friend Robert Kardashian. Simpson spent several nights at Kardashian's house during the trial. Kardashian garnered national fame as the man seen carrying a mysterious bag belonging to OJ Simpson that many have speculated to have held the murder weapon or bloodied clothes.

As we all know, the court (somehow) found OJ Simpson innocent even though he's now in prison for later committed felonies. So that's what the name Kardashian is known for. A man who is essentially an accomplice to a murder.

Then we have Robert Kardashians kids: Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Robert. You would think it would look a little odd that he named his daughters KKK. I digress.

Robert Kardashian died in 2003. That same year, daughter Kim would go on to become a socialite for her friendship with Paris Hilton and a sex tape with rapper (or something, I don't really know) Ray J.

Like Paris Hilton, I thought Kim would slowly fall out of the public eye as most socialites do. But after her sex tape was released in 2007 the whole family got a reality TV deal all thanks to porn star sister Kim.

After several marriages with NFL and NBA athletes, the family has somehow maintained the fame they started with. All without any actual talent might I add. We're not talking about a family of singers or actors. This is solely a family of decent enough looking women (Bruce included) that people find entertainment from watching.

Recently we've seen Bruce "transform" into Caitlyn sparking national attention and debate. Ze's (that's a gender neutral pronoun) also made headlines for killing someone in a car crash and is facing manslaughter charges. Not too many people seem concerned with the latter part. (Is it manslaughter if it self-identifies as "womanslaughter?")

The youngest daughter Kylie Jenner is known for being in a relationship with a rapper that's 24 while she's 17.

This family has essentially proven you can circumvent any law as long as you have celebrity status and that celebrity status can be obtained easily by getting naked on camera. They're far more dangerous role models than we give them credit for. But you'll still watch them on TV, download their apps, buy magazines with any of them on the cover, follow them on social media, etc.

Even if you're like me, you'll end up complaining about them in a blog only boosting their relevance on the internet. No one's safe and there's no escaping them.

Friday, September 4, 2015

How to Save 5 Million People a Year (and Quit Giving Me Road Rage)

As I write this, I'm boiling with rage from a near accident in a roundabout. The average California driver seems to have slept through that portion of a driver's ed course. In this particular case, it was a group of older women in a Buick considerable in proportion to that of a moderately sized yacht.

I'm reminded of the Calvin and Hobbes quote "You would think the elderly would drive faster since they have less time."

As we dawn on a new industry of self driving cars and other modes of getting around pioneered by Google, Tesla, Uber, and perhaps Apple road safety will drastically improve.

Currently, 17% of all fatal traffic accidents involve someone over the age of 65. This might not seem like a shocking number but keep in mind that those over 65 only make up 16% of the driving population in the U.S.

Most opponents of self-driving cars and new technology are the elderly. They don't want to embrace it mainly because of the tradition of driving themselves around or they just don't trust something they don't understand. I remember when my Grandma saw a sign at Wendy's that said "Free WiFi" and she thought it was a new dessert. (She also pronounced it "Wiffy.")

Because of the initial opposition that most will have against self-driving cars I'd like to propose an incentive plan to put the elderly behind the wheel first. Subsidize the pricing of these cars for those over 65. With each passing year, driving becomes more and more dangerous for the elderly. Yet, there's about the same number of 85+ driving as there are 16 year olds. (A little more by most statistics I found. They're just not driving as many hours.)

A model like a credit of $5,000 for 65-75 and $8,000 for 75-85 year olds would encourage older drivers to buy a car that drives autonomously. It would also create independence and could allow for the elderly to live in retirement they way they planned.

I'm not one for government subsidies but this is something I'd consider in the name of public safety. Every year there's approximately 34 million traffic deaths with 5 million fatalities involving a driver who was over 65.

Just my thoughts,
Pete the Juggler