damnum absque injuria

September 25, 2006

Dueling Idiocies

Today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch offers dueling op-eds on the marriage amendment, with businessman Ken Newsome arguing in favor of the amendment and liberal theologian Jack Spiro against. Or at least, I think that’s which side each is on. Each argument is so comically bad that I have to wonder if both individuals are really Rove-esque moles attempting to work for one side by discrediting the other.

  • Shorter Newsome: Vote yes on the marriage amendment, ‘cuz Massachusetts and Vermont suck, and Virginia rocks.
  • Shorter Spiro: Vote no on the marriage amendment, ‘cuz my Bible has everything crossed out except the parts about love, and besides, I served in the Air Force!

RTWT if you must, but be forewarned that your IQ will drop at least 10 points if you do. I don’t know if this effect is permanent or not, but why take the chance?

Cheap Gas

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:56 am

I just filled up for $1.98* a gallon. How is your day?

*Of course, the signs say $1.97/gallon, due to an odd form of legalized fraud that has predominated in the petroleum industry – and none other that I’m aware of – for longer than I can remember.

September 22, 2006

Boycotting Citgo

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:22 am

I’ve been informally boycotting Citgo for a long time, but have never blogged about it before because I was never really sure it was such a good idea. On the one hand, Patterico thinks it’s a good idea. On the other, so does Michelle Malkin. What to do?

September 21, 2006

Corresponding With Journalists

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:00 pm

Sometimes I find it’s more productive to email MSM journalists directly rather than try and “gotcha” then on your blog. Below is an example of the constructive dialog that may result.

From: “Dana Milbank <DumbAleck@WashingtonPost.com>”
To: xrlq@xrlq.com
Subject: RE: Please help me settle an argument
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 06:43:12 -0700


Happy to oblige. Just direct your fellow bloggers to today’s column. If that won’t do the trick, I tells ya nothing will.


P.S. You are a fine one to talk about crappy names. I mean, seriously, what the hell kind of name is “Xrlq?” Were your parents on crack, or what?

> —– Original Message —–
> From: Xrlq <xrlq @xrlq.com>
> To: dumbaleck@washingtonpost.com
> Subject: Please help me settle an argument
> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006 06:43:12 -0700
> Dear Mr. Milbank:
> Some of my fellow bloggers have given me grief over my “name-calling
> habit,” which consists of calling moron journalists like you … well, morons.
> Could you do me a favor, and write just ONE column that is so transparently
> stupid from top to bottom that I can easily prove, to the satisfaction of
> any remotely fair-minded person, that you are in fact a moron? I don’t
> want the usual, garden-variety moronicity of the typical Milbank piece we’ve
> come to know but not necessarily love. No, I need one, just one, mother-
> of-all-moronities piece to show to my friends. You know, the kind of article
> that’s so stupid bloggers try to fisk it but end up just saying “wow, just
> wow.” That’s the kind of article I need. Just one. Please?
> Love and kisses,
> Xrlq
> P.S. When your parents chose to give you a girl’s name, did they
> somehow know in advance that you’d turn out to be such a girly-man?
> Was it a coincidence, or perhaps an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

September 20, 2006

Question for Death Penalty Opponents

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:54 pm

Please explain why whoever did this should be allowed to live out the rest of his/her/its natural life.

UPDATE: A suspect is in custody. Guilty or no, bonus points to any open borders advocate who can explain why he should have been in the country at all. Extra points to Andrew McCarthy for explaining why he should get a fair trial even though he didn’t give her one.


Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:29 pm

A discussion over at Virginia “Centrist” got me to thinking. Am I the only person in the world who would (and did) vote yes on this:

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in [this State / Commonwealth].

… but would (and will) vote no on this:

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this [State / Commonwealth] and its political subdivisions.

This [State / Commonwealth] and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this [State / Commonwealth] or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

Just call me Mr. Nuance.

Career Gangsters in the Senate?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:34 am

I alluded to this yesterday but it probably merits a separate entry. Thus far, I’ve been inclined to give John McCain the benefit of the doubt in his opposition to the Administration on the post-Hamdan bill. However, after examining more closely the line-up of “Republicans” opposing the President on this issue now, vs. the line-up of the seven “Republicans” who joined the infamous “Gang of 14” last year who torpedoed the nuclear option on judicial filibusters. Let’s refresh our memories as to who those seven were, by name, party, state and class:

Senator Name
Chafee, Lincoln Republican Rhode Island I
Collins, Susan Republican Maine II
DeWine, Mike Republican Ohio I
Graham, Lindsey Republican South Carolina II
McCain, John Republican Arizona III
Snowe, Olympia Republican Maine I
Warner, John Republican Virginia II

Now, let’s take a look at the current Gang of Four, who are resisting the Administration’s efforts to authorize the interrogation program called into question by Hamdan:

Senator Name
Chafee, Lincoln Republican Rhode Island I
Collins, Susan Republican Maine II
DeWine, Mike Republican Ohio I
Graham, Lindsey Republican South Carolina II
McCain, John Republican Arizona III
Snowe, Olympia Republican Maine I
Warner, John Republican Virginia II

One possible explanation for this variation is that judicial filibusters and civil rights for terrorists are so inextricably linked that every single Republican willing to go out on a limb to protect civil rights for terrorists is someone who also supports judicial filibusters. Another possible explanation is that the two issues are closely linked, but just nuanced enough that Senators hailing from such hard-core right wing jurisdictions as Ohio, Rhode Island and the part of Maine in which Olympia Snowe is more popular than Susan Collins come down on the President’s side of the terror issue, while those from more liberal states like Arizona, South Carolina, Virginia and Susan Collins’s half of Maine dissent. I’m not sure that’s the best explanation, though. Can anyone come up with a more plausible explanation?

Snarky Toddler

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:50 am

A recent dialog with Xrlq 2.0:

X 1.0: Hey 2.0, what does the kitty say?
X 2.0: Meow.

September 19, 2006

Military Tribunals

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:25 pm

William C. Kuebler, a defense attorney for Judge Advocate General’s Corps, has an interesting piece on why he thinks the military tribunals created by the Bush Administration prior to Hamdan should not be exhumed by statute. Kuebler makes a number of arguments, the strongest of which, in my opinion, is that whatever we think of the (alleged) jihadists, we still need a fair trial to determine that they are jihadists. I don’t doubt that Andrew McCarthy agrees with that basic premise, but he does himself and his cause no favors when he spews idiocy like this:

So, no, we don’t owe jihadists the same trial rights we owe any honorable combatants, much less our own troops. The very notion is an insult to those putting their lives on the line in our defense.

By that reasoning, McCarthy could just as easily have written this:

So, no, we don’t owe first-degree murderers the same trial rights we owe any honorable individiuals, much less law abiding U.S. citizens. The very notion is an insult to the men in blue who work tirelessly every day to keep our streets safe. No one in his right mind thinks a first-degree murderer would give you or me a fair trial, so why the hell should we offer him one, at taxpayer expense, no less? Only innocent people deserve fair trials.

Which, I might add, would be 100% true; only innocent people do deserve fair trials, to the extent they deserve to be put on trial at all (which they don’t, since they’re innocent). So if we really know in advance who is guillty and who is innocent, why bother with trials at all?

Nevertheless, despite his verbal blustering I do think McCarthy has the better argument. McCarthy himself seems to think that a mere accusation of terrorism ought to be enough to dispense with such procedural niceties as fair notice of the charges, representation by counsel, a right to conduct discovery or even … horror of all horrors … a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but fortunately, the Administration doesn’t. What the Administration does want to do is to prevent alleged terrorists (and let’s face it, many if not most of those alleged terrorists are terrorists) from getting their hands on sensitive classified information they can’t be trusted to “forget” once they cease to be alleged terrorists and in most cases start being convicted terrorists – and in some cases, wrongly acquitted ones. Nor does it want to set up the next Lynne Stewart to accidentally-on-purpose share classified information with the client, so instead, the Administration allows all information used against the client to be seen and used by his military lawyer. When dealing with highly sensitive classified information, that’s probably the best we can do.

Note however the absurdity that would result if we were to enter into a new McCarthy era, and alleged terrorists were not entitled to a presumption of innocence or to representation by counsel. That system would be a real bummer for any poor schmoe who ended up in custody and was unable to pay the going rate for a military lawyer. He could represent himself at trial, but he couldn’t see (or therefore rebut) any of the key evidence against him. He could engage any attorney willing to represent him for free, but that attorney woudln’t be allowed to see (or therefore rebut) any of the evidence against him, either. Thus, my tentative views are as follows:

  1. In Washington, the Gang of Four (who, by no small coincidence, consist of all four Gang of Fourteen “Republicans” who are not up for re-election this fall) are neither leading nor following, and should therefore get out of the way.
  2. At NRO, Andrew McCarthy isn’t leading or following, and should therefore get out of the way.

Allen v. Webb, Round Two

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:07 pm

Jon Henke liveblogged yesterday’s debate, which I missed, and has posted several interesting comments since. Also interesting is that Webb appears to be behind Sen. Allen’s efforts to require states to recognize each other’s concealed carry permits. Cool. It’s nice not having that issue to worry about anymore. If the Allen/Webb initiative ever passes, I may make a trip to Frisco just to pack heat using my Virginia permit just to piss the locals off. They also have an editorial about Sunday morning’s debate, which left McKenzie et al. underwhelmed.

Somewhat less interesting are the comments of blogger Wlady at the American Spectator, who defines lying down by accusing Webb of lying in yesterday’s debate when he truthfully noted that his September 4, 2002 editorial on Iraq objected to the invasion of Iraq for reasons unrelated to WMD. Webb’s “lie” consists of saying in yesterday’s debate that he had written a piece in the Washington Post six months in advance of the invasion “laying out in my view this was not about WMDs, it was about our troops being turned into terrorist targets, and that there was not an exit strategy because the people in this administration who were doing this did not intend to leave,” when in fact the article in question was not about WMDs, but rather, it was about our troops being turned into terrorist targets, and that there was not an exit strategy because, in Webb’s view, the people in the administration did not intend to leave. Liar!

Ironically, Wlady concedes that the article in question made some valid points, but nevertheless ends with this lie wrapped in a non sequitur:

But nowhere — nowhere — in the op-ed did he utter a word about Saddam’s WMDs, let alone cast doubt as to their existence. So why the clumsy lie yesterday?

Oh wait, I think I know this one. Could it be because … he never claimed to have coast doubt on the WMDs’ existence?! Nah, it couldn’t be that. So why the clumsy lie today?

Finally, returning to the interesting stuff, Northern “Virginia” reporter Peggy Fox made herself the news by asking this blatantly racist provocative question:

It has been reported your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended? Nah, scratch that, let’s cut to the chase. Are you now, or have you ever been, a Joo?

According to her bio, Fox “has a unique perspective for a Washington television newsperson.” I’d say so. Attempting to out a suspected closeted homosexual is old school, but attempting to out a suspected closeted Jew? That’s pretty damned unique.


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