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Derp Roundup: Your Weekly Compendium Of Contemptible Contretemps
Happy Saturday, you slugabeds! As you blearily try to shake off the residue of last night's revelries, pour yourself another cuppa joe and treat yourself to a serving of our weekly concatenation of clinking, clanking, caligenous junk from the interwebs that was too stoopid to ignore altogether but that didn't quite merit a full-length post. And we'll even start your descent into hell gently, with a bad-news story that's got a Nice Times kicker. By now, you've probably heard that Guido Barilla, the chairman of Italy's Barilla pasta proudly joined the asshat brigade last week with his vow that the company's ads would never feature same-sex families:
"I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role ...
In the interview, Barilla said he opposed adoption by gay parents, but was in favour of allowing gay marriage, which is not legal in Italy. ...
If gays "like our pasta and our advertising, they'll eat our pasta, if they don't like it then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand," he said.
Pretty impressive how he manages to dismiss both gays and women in a single statement there. The inevitable agita and talk of boycotts ensued, and Barilla issued one of those "sorry if anyone was offended" not-pologies. So there's that.
And now the nice time: One of Barilla's biggest competitors, Bertolli, rushed to emphasize that its pasta just lurves families of all configurations; as in this ad on Bertolli Germany's MyFaceSpace page:
We especially like the multiracial bowtie pasta couple and their rigatoni baby -- think it's from a previous marriage, adopted, or from a gluten donor?
Your other Derpage for the week:
A Goodwill thrift shop in Collier County, Florida, pressed felony theft charges Tuesday against a 19-year-old cashier who tried to help out the poors by charging them less than the marked price on donated goods they purchased:
Andrew Anderson, 19, was heartbroken by some of the people who came in to the store "wearing all of the clothes they had," so he would give the neediest shoppers discounts of up to 50 percent on the necessities they bought. But when store officials learned what Anderson was doing, their small hearts didn't exactly grow three sizes: They fired him and reported him to sheriff's deputies, who arrested him for grand theft.
A spokesperson initially said "Our stores are not around to give a handout — they're around to give people a hand up by providing funding...In incidents like this, we always prosecute." However, once news of the story started circulating and the Internet Was Not Pleased, Goodwill reversed course on Friday and announced that it had "discovered" that Anderson was not personally benefitting from the discounts, and so they generously dropped the charges.
Congresswildebeest Darrell Issa went on a "fact-finding" trip to Libya so he could find pieces of the True Cross that Barack Obama crucified a diplomatic team on, but the Daily Caller fretted that poor Darrell had been "targeted by terrorists" after Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (and a constant thorn in Issa's scaly hide), publicly criticized Issa for going on a partisan fishing expedition and excluding any Democrats on the committee from going as well. As proof, the Daily Caller cited a State Department email quoting a "Libyan national" who warned that Issa might be in danger if he came to Benghazi, and that “the people who would harm Rep. Issa are the same people who conducted the Benghazi attacks.” Because if a Libyan national emails the State Department about something, that's a high-level threat. Despite this unconscionable security breach that revealed his sekrit mission, Issa returned unharmed. Unless butthurt counts, which it almost certainly does.
The ACLU highlighted the case of a Sikh truck driver, Jageet Singh, who was arrested by the Mississippi Highway Patrol after they pulled him over in January for a flat tire on his big rig. The officers called Singh a "terrorist," mocked his turban, and demanded that he surrender his ceremonial dagger, or kirpan, contending (incorrectly) that it was an illegal weapon:
When Mr. Singh explained that he was a Sikh and that the kirpan was a sacred religious article, the officers laughed at him and mocked his religious beliefs. One officer declared that all Sikhs are "depraved" and "terrorists." They continued to taunt him, and forced Mr. Singh to circle his truck with his hands on his turban while they searched the vehicle. Finally, not content with this humiliation, they arrested him, claiming that Mr. Singh had refused to obey an officer's lawful command.
And then when Singh returned to Mississippi in March for his court date, Judge Aubrey Rimes instructed officers to expel Singh and his attorney from the courtroom because the judge did not like Singh's scary terroristy turban. In a meeting in his chambers, Judge Rimes told the attorney
that Mr. Singh would not be allowed to re-enter the courtroom unless he removed "that rag" from his head and threatened to call Mr. Singh last on the docket if he continued to wear the religious headdress.
In response to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, the Pike County Board of Supervisors has "revised the County's harassment and non-discrimination policy to explain that religious discrimination includes 'requiring an individual to remove a head covering'" or refusing someone access to county buildings or services because of religious garb. The ACLU is also filing a complaint with the Mississippi Judicial Commission, asking them to investigate Judge Rimes' behavior and impose sanctions as needed. Cue the stories of Political Correctness Running Amok.
On Fox & Friends Friday, Steve Doocy mocked the pathetic performance of the Affordable Care Act in expanding coverage for uninsured Americans, pointing out that while 15% to 20% of Americans lack health insurance, only "One percent of the country now has insurance because of the Affordable Care Act."
As you politics junkies are all shouting at your monitors right now, Doocy neglected to mention that there's a pretty darn good reason that "only" 1% of Americans have expanded coverage because of Obamacare: The main part of the program hasn't actually gone into effect yet. With all the stories about the start-up of the state exchanges on October 1, he might have considered mentioning it. The whole shebang begins operation January 1, 2014.
Incidentally, Yr Doktor Zoom will have a writeup sometime next week of his own encounter with the Idaho exchange, which of course had to be bodged together at the last minute because state lawmakers were so certain the ACA would be declared unconstitutional that they didn't bother preparing to comply with the law.
Bill O'Reilly has "written" a book about Jesus . He's pretty sure that Jesus was one heck of a lot like Bill O'Reilly: A no-nonsense guy who kicked the moneychangers out of the Temple because he wanted to “[interrupt] the flow of funds from the Temple to Rome.” Needless to say, O'Reilly doesn't mention Jesus's socialist provision of MessiahCare to the sick (no fees? What was the guy thinking?) or his insistence that to follow him, the rich would have to give up all their worldly possessions. No mention, either, of whether he thinks Jesus liked falafel.
And finally, we'll close with a tale of Derp Reversal: Last week, we told you how the Randolph County Board of Education in North Carolina kicked off Banned Books Week by pulling copies of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man from the district's libraries because a parent objected to it as "filthy."
The Internet Was Not Pleased, and the school board was widely ridiculed. Vintage Books donated 100 copies of the book to a local bookstore to distribute free to students, and public library copies had long waiting lists. Happily, in a special meeting held Wednesday, the school board voted to return Invisible Man to the libraries. Now Invisible Man can return to the usual status of a classic, which Mark Twain defined as "a book which people praise and don't read."