damnum absque injuria

March 31, 2008

Victimless Crime?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:27 am

There’s no evidence the picnic table resisted, but it seems that in Ohio, picnic tables aren’t capable of consent. Who knew? Apparently, this one’s a felony since the guy’s own friggin’ house is close to a school, and letting him off with a slap on the … um … wrist might send the wrong message to other young, impressionable picnic tables. Or something like that.

March 30, 2008

Professor, Lecturer, Grad Student Teaching a College Class – What’s the Diff?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 4:34 pm

Beldar is visibly upset about Barack Obama’s frequent misrepresentation of himself as a professor. Tim Lambert, not so much.

Out, Out, Damn Gnome

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 4:17 pm

Can anyone think of a single business – on the web or anywhere else – where the phrase “Good Buy” is a warning rather than a selling point?

March 24, 2008

“Absolute” Horse Crap

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:45 pm

Legal Blog Watch confirms what I’ve suspected ever since a group of linguists filed that embarassingly silly brief in Heller, namely, that someone would over-interpret their reference to the justification clause of the Second Amendment as an “absolute.” Almost on cue, John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun writes:

The opening phrase of the amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” is, as Dennis Baron points out, an absolute, a phrase governing the rest of the sentence. Or so Mr. Madison would have understood it. The right to bear arms therefore has a direct connection to the establishment of a militia.

[Link in original.]

So, if the militia clause is an “absolute,” that must end the eternal debate right there! Right? Well, maybe not. As Bill Clinton knows all too well, it all depends on what the meaning of “is” (or, in this case, its participial form “being”) is. “Absolute” may be a strong sounding word to most people, but to a linguist, all it means is that the verb of a clause takes the form of a participle (or, in some cases, is omitted altogether) rather than being declined to agree with its grammatical subject. In other words, if the main verb of a clause is “being,” it’s an absolute clause. If the main verb is “is,” it isn’t. Does anyone, including the “absolutists” espousing this theory, honestly believe that this:

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

would, should or even could be construed any differently from this:

Given that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


This Just In: Perjury is a Crime

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:22 am

Of course we all knew, non-perjury non-traps aside, that perjury was generally a crime. What you may not have known, however, is that there is no “it was all about sex” defense, at least not unless you’re the President. Who knew?

March 23, 2008

And the Kmiec Shall Inherit the Dearth

Of accolades from Patterico, Powerline, and anyone else who is either committed to victory in Iraq, or at least not so strongly committed to defeat that they’ll sacrifice every other issue under the sun for a promise we can lose the war rather than win. That’s OK, I’m sure that what he loses in support among conservatives, he’ll make up in newfound adulation from Andrew Sullivan types who aren’t conservatives themselves, but love to lecture conservatives on what “real” conservatism supposedly is.

Me, I’m mildly disappointed but not terribly surprised. I gave up on the guy a long time ago.

UPDATE: Beldar has more.

March 21, 2008

On the Relative Value of Pictures vs. Words

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:36 pm

Presented without further comment.

Obama: My Privacy Can Lick Your Privacy

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:34 pm

Three Presidential candidates all had their passport files breached. One whines about it loudly and publicly, while the other two accept the reality that sh’appens. Yeah, that’s the guy we want in the Oval Office.

And We Blow Out Our Minds With Your Truth

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:20 am

A few months back, I told you that everything with “truth” in its name is actually a lie. In that connection, I present to you Exhibit A.

‘Hat tip: DRJ chez Patterico.

March 20, 2008

Socialized Medicine

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:03 pm

If a German surgeon ever pisses you off, don’t rip him a new one or he just might return the favor.


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