The Ariana Grande Wacky Package sticker

I bought a pack of 2017 Wacky Packages 50th Anniversary stickers today at Target. Don’t judge. I went through them when I got home and when I saw the one featuring pop singer Ariana Grande on Starbucks’ inspired coffee cup, I thought Topps, the publisher of Wacky Packages, probably wishes they could have a do over.

How were they supposed to know that Islamists would use an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England to commit an act of terror?

At the very least, whoever approved this sticker probably wishes the words “More bang bang for your buck” weren’t included on the sticker. Twenty-three people were killed as a result of an improvised bomb detonated by a British-Muslim terrorist.

The sticker is supposed to be a play on the word Grande, the singer’s last name and the word Starbucks insists on using to indicate large cup of coffee.

Islamist terror attack in London kills seven, injures 48

Three Islamists killed seven people and wounded another 48 last night in England’s capital city. The attack involved ramming a fast-moving vehicle into pedestrians on the London Bridge.

The three Islamists then left their vehicle. All three were wearing what turned out to be fake suicide vests. They then began stabbing people in nearby bars and restaurants. Continue reading Islamist terror attack in London kills seven, injures 48

Glenn Greenwald is an idiot

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist made famous for helping Edward Snowden leak top-secret classified documents to the world, went to Twitter and quoted the great Godfrey Elfwick.

The problem is that Godfrey Elfwick is not a real person. It’s a parody account.

I don’t know why Greenwald quoted someone who isn’t real to make a point. I imagine he went to Twitter and grabbed the first tweet that he believed confirmed his opinion. Too bad he didn’t first google “Godfrey Elfwick” before sharing the tweet with his 818,000 Twitter followers. Then again, if they’re following Glenn Greenwald on Twitter, they probably don’t care too much about the truth.

Glenn Greenwald seems to be addicted to misquoting and defaming Sam Harris.

I imagine as soon as Greenwald realizes Godfrey Elfwick is a fake Twitter account, he’ll make a correction to his Twitter feed. Right now, it looks like he’s too busy searching Twitter for people who initially said the attack in Quebec City was Muslim on Muslim violence and have since not made corrections.

The lone terrorist in Quebec City was not Muslim. He was an anti-immigrant white man. This cowardly terrorist murdered six innocent people as they prayed in the mosque.

I’m confident as soon as Glenn Greenwald is done telling people on Twitter to cast the splinter out from their eyes, he’ll remove the plank from his own.

2016 feels like the worst year ever

Planet Earth has finished yet another full lap around the Sun. It’s now the year 2017. The chronological tank of unprocessed sewage known as 2016 is finally over. When people say 2016 was the worst year ever, they’re opening the proverbial bomb bay doors and dropping a 50 megaton truth bomb. I feel like 2016 was the worst year ever. Personally speaking, I was ready to drown 2016 in a bathtub after only a few months.

Historically speaking, I know 2016 was far from the worst year ever, but emotionally speaking, it sure seemed that way.

Presidential election

The 2016 presidential election, both the run-up and the aftermath, had a lot to do with the perception that 2016 was the worst year ever. I believe Donald J. Trump will go down in history as the worst president ever, and that’s saying a lot. Then again, if Hillary Clinton would have won, I believe she too would have gone down as the worst president ever. I think that’s what made the 2016 presidential election such a massive kick to the reproductive organs: both choices were terrible.

I’d be genuinely surprised if Trump finished out a four-year term. If I was a betting man, and I’m not, I’d wager that Trump will quickly grow bored and resign. Being president isn’t the same thing as running for president.

Islamic terror attack at the Pulse nightclub

In June of 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old US citizen born to Afghani parents, went into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida with a SIG MCX assault rifle and killed 49 people and wounded 53. Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and on a 911 call said the attack was “triggered” by a recent airstrike in Iraq that killed an ISIS commander.  Thankfully, police killed Mateen in the nightclub. Mateen’s family buried his body at the Hialeah Gardens graveyard, the only Muslim cemetery in all of South Florida.

This attack bothered me on many levels. It made me very mad. First of all, I’m tired of gay people being picked on. For too long gay people have been singled out for discrimination and prejudice. I felt like things were finally getting better for gay folks when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples cannot be denied the right to marry. It made me feel proud to be an American. Then, an Islamic terrorist goes into a gay nightclub and slaughters 49 people.

Secondly, it turned out that Omar Mateen had been on a terrorist watch list two different times. We’ve been at war with Islamists since 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked by Al-Qaeda while docked in Yemen. The attack killed 17 sailors and injured another 39. We’ve been at war with these assholes for 16 years, and it doesn’t seem like we’re getting any better at it. The only thing stopping people like Omar Mateen from doing something similar is a lack of will on the part of the terrorist.

And finally, it makes me angry that Mateen was buried on American soil. Once again, an Islamic terrorist who carried out an attack on Americans is laid to rest in a Muslim cemetery in the United States. That shouldn’t happen. If you commit a terrorist attack on Americans, your remains should be handled like the remains of Osama bin Laden, dumped at sea in international waters.

A lot of good people died

It seemed like 2016 was a popular year for good people to die. The people we lost this past year, but not limited to, include:

  • David Bowie
  • Alan Rickman
  • Abe Vigoda
  • Garry Shandling
  • Prince
  • Anton Yelchin
  • Pat Summitt
  • Kenny Baker
  • Gene Wilder
  • Steve Dillon
  • Gwen Ifill
  • Ron Glass
  • John Glenn
  • Alan Thicke
  • Craig Sager
  • George Michael
  • Carrie Fisher

Some of these people passed away after living a long, full life. Others died way too young. The one commonality the people listed above all share is that their passing made me feel sad. That’s a lot of people to feel sad about in one year.

Somali refugee kills one and wounds 11 at Ohio State University

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an 18-year-old Somali refugee, used a car and a butcher knife to attack students at Ohio State University. Artan killed one person and wounded 11 in the attack.

Somali refugee kills one and wounds 11 others at Ohio State University - Bent Corner
American hero Alan Horujko

Artan first used a silver Honda to plow into people, then he got out and began attacking others with a butcher knife. He was then promptly shot and killed by OSU Police Officer Alan Horujko, a genuine American hero.

Artan and his family fled Somali in 2007 for Pakistan. I’m not sure how that’s an upgrade. Somali and Pakistan are both on my list of places I don’t ever want to visit.

Artan then moved to the United States in 2014 and was granted refugee status.

A refugee from what? Somali, a place he hadn’t lived in since he was nine? He came here from Pakistan, a country far more hospitable to his particular religious sensibilities than the United States.

He first attended Columbus State Community College for two years, earning an associate degree, before transferring to Ohio State University. If he was 18, that means he was 16 when he came to the United States and began community college.

This past August, Artan was featured in the OSU student newspaper, the Ohio State Lantern. In it, he complained about not having prayer rooms on campus and how people look at Muslims.

He said:

I just transferred from Columbus State. We had prayer rooms, like actual rooms where we could go pray because we Muslims have to pray five times a day. There’s Fajr, which is early in the morning, at dawn. Then Zuhr during the daytime, then Asr in the evening, like right about now. And then Maghrib, which is like right at sunset and then Isha at night. I wanted to pray Asr. I mean, I’m new here. This is my first day. This place is huge, and I don’t even know where to pray. I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But, I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.

His first day at Ohio State University and he complained about not having special prayer rooms and how the media portrays Muslims.

What an asshole.

It’s not the media that paints an unfair picture of Muslims. Muslims paint their own picture. Whether it’s unfair or not depends greatly on your perspective. I imagine the family members of the person killed yesterday are thinking the negative reputation Islam has is pretty accurate.

Now that he’s dead, it will be interesting to see what happens to his corpse. If his remains are treated like all the other terrorists who’ve killed Americans on American soil, he’ll get a nice burial at a normal, non-radical Muslim cemetery. His body will be buried next to other Muslims. For years, his family and other people will be able to visit his grave and pay their respects.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan deserves no respect. He was a terrorist. There should be a law against the burial of terrorists on U.S. soil. Instead of releasing his body to his family, it should be taken out to international waters and dumped at sea.

Donald Trump will be our next president

People were in shock yesterday to learn that Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States of America.

It seemed even Trump and his people were caught off guard by the news. For a long time now, all the polls pointed to Clinton winning. Then on November 8, the only poll that matters took place and the voters chose Trump over Clinton. Trump garnered 290 electoral votes compared to Clinton’s 232 electoral votes.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to become president.

A lot of people seem to be genuinely upset about this. The Twitter hashtag #NotMyPresident almost immediately began trending. The same thing happened eight years ago when Barack Obama won. I don’t remember if there was a Twitter hashtag dedicated to the feeling, but I know a lot of people were saying it. They were wrong back then, and the people expressing it now are wrong too.

Donald Trump will be everyone’s president.

If he turns out to be a terrible president, then historically speaking, he’ll be in good company. Two of the four presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore thought it was morally acceptable to own other people.

Most of the presidents in my lifetime have been bad. I’m old enough to remember Richard M. Nixon and the crap he put our country through. If we can get through the Nixon years, we can surely get through the Trump years.

Contrary to what anyone says, we don’t know what a Trump presidency will look or feel like. We know he campaigned on things like building a wall on the southern border and deporting over 11 million people who are here illegally. We’ve been told this makes Trump a racist.

Under the Obama administration, over 2.5 million people have been deported. Does this make Obama a racist too?  His administration was enforcing existing federal law, just like the Trump administration would be doing if they deported everyone who is here illegally.

When Trump was running for the Republican nominee for president, his campaign released the following statement after the San Bernardino attack:

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

Many people reacted negatively to this statement. For years now we’ve clung to the narrative that Islam is a religion of peace and the people who practice the faith, Muslims, are just like everyone else.

The problem with that narrative is that it seems to fly in the face of reality. The perpetrators of the San Bernardino attack, Rizwan Farook, and Tashfeen Malik, attended two mosques in southern California, the Islamic Center of Riverside and the Dar-Al-Uloom Al-Islamia mosque located outside San Bernardino. Both of these mosques are descent and respectable places of worship, not radical hotbeds of hate.

After Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people and injured another 24, they were killed by the police.  When authorities released their bodies, they received a traditional Islamic burial at the Wal-Hamdu-Lillah cemetery located in Rosamond, California.

The cemetery is owned by the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley, a mosque located in Palmdale. This mosque is also a decent and respectable place of worship.

How is it that these two murderous terrorists could attend normal, regular American mosques and then receive traditional Islamic burials at a Muslim cemetery operated by a mosque that neither one of the dead terrorists had ever even attended?

Either Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were Muslims in good standing, or they were not true representatives of the Islamic faith. The fact they received traditional Islamic burials by a mosque they had never attended would seem to indicate that they were thought to be good Muslims.

These are the type of problems we face while fighting a war against Islamic terrorists. Even though we’ve been fighting this war since 2000 when the U.S.S. Cole was attacked, killing 17 American soldiers and injuring another 39, we don’t seem to be any better at differentiating the “good” Muslims from the “bad.” Not because of any prejudices we have, but because the “good” Muslims seem more than willing to embrace the “bad,” both before and after a terror attack. It’s one of the many reasons this war has been going on for so long.

Something has to change. 17 years is far too long to be fighting a war. You may not agree with Trump’s idea of banning Muslims from entering the country until we can figure out what’s going on, but at least he tried to find an answer to the problem. Hillary Clinton, the candidate I voted for both in the primary and in the general election, seemed to have difficulty even saying the words “Islam” and “terror” in the same sentence.

Donald Trump will be our next president - Bent CornerContrary to what you might read on Reddit or The Huffington Post, nobody really knows what type of president Trump will turn out to be. The same people who say Trump is just like Hitler were the same people who said Hillary Clinton was going to be our next president. They were wrong about that. Who knows, maybe they’re wrong about Trump too.

I prefer to take a wait and see attitude when it comes to Donald Trump as president. He wasn’t my choice, but he will be my president.