damnum absque injuria

November 30, 2008

Alternatives to Bloglines?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:16 pm

Any suggestions? The ideal aggregator for me would be one similar to Bloglines, but one that doesn’t (1) show me a shrugging idiot who’s supposed to be a plumber half the time I try to use it, (2) launch the wrong browser when I click on the notifier, or (3) shove some crappy software like Skweezer down my throat every time I try to access it from my Crackberry. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

November 27, 2008

Question For The Dinosaurs Who Remember “Must See TV”

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:22 pm

What would you call the crap they play Wednesday nights on ABC? Can’t Stand TV? Stay the [word the FCC won't let them say] Away From Your TV TV?

Paranoid Gun Owners

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:46 pm

Hillary Clinton Tamara Dietrich of the Newport News Daily Press pokes fun at gun owners who think Barack Obama is not a friend of gun owners.

A black man gets elected president and half the country dives for the panic room, buying up guns and squirreling away supplies like fatalists awaiting the End of Days. That’s an exaggeration, of course. Barack Obama is biracial, not black.

Lovely of Ms. Dietrich to bring up race in an article on guns, or for that matter, any other topic except … um … race. I know plenty of gun owners who fear new restrictions on their right to own or carry guns. I also know plenty of gunophobes who think guns are icky, can’t imagine why an sane person would want to own one, and would be delighted to see government take everyone else’s guns away. I do not know a single individual, however, who is in favor of having his guns taken away from a white guy, but opposed to having them taken away from a black guy. Do you? Does Dietrich? If not, what the hell point is there in bringing race up?

Further, even if race were a legitimate topic of discussion in this context, the notion that Obama’s white mother precludes him from being “black” is evidence that the infamous “one drop rule” never really went away, it just came full circle. In the days of Jim Crow, one drop of black blood meant you were black. Now, per Ms. Dietrich, one drop of white blood apparently means you can’t be. Query how many American blacks meet Ms. Dietrich’s definition of “black.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know why the average African-American has a lighter complexion than the average African-African. But I digress.

“Hee hee heeeee …” chortles “HG Robinson” in the very first post to reporter Peter Dujardin’s story last week on the local run on weaponry. “Clearly President Obama is looking to ban handguns and close loopholes in the law first chance he can. … You gun nuts better stock up now.”

First, Obama hasn’t said he wants to ban handguns.

His former colleague John Lott begs to differ on that, but just for grits and shins, let’s go Lambert on the guy and assume he’s lying. For all you or I know, maybe Obama never really did say he wanted to ban handguns. He did, however, write that he did, nodded when asked if he did, voted against the law stripping his home town and a few suburbs of their “right” to perosecute homeowners who use otherwise lawfully owned handguns in otherwise lawful self defense, refused to sign the Heller brief supporting a common-senes reading of the Second Amendment (or even the wishy-washy brief offered by the Bush Administration) and appointed Eric Holder, who had signed a different Heller brief advocating the “collective” (read: no) rights interpretation, a view too extreme even for the four dissenting Justices in that case. So pardon me when I refuse to take an ounce of solace from the fact that Obama supposedly never came out and said “I hereby want to ban handguns.” To the extent that actions speak louder than words, he screamed it.
(more…)

Dumb and Dumberer, Errrr….

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:27 am

I thought Alan Keyes’s suit was the stupidest “not a natural born citizen” argument there was against non-President Obama. Apparently, I was wrong. It just keeps getting “better” and “better,” folks.

As a not-completely-unrelated aside, yesterday I donated blood and the nurse asked me my gender to my face without even cracking a smile. Between this and Mark “I’m not a dick, you’re a dick, dick” Fitzgibbons calling me “young lady” last week, I’m beginning to wonder about my own gender identity. I’m pretty sure I’m still a man, but maybe not a “natural born” man? After all, I wasn’t really a man until 18 years after I was born.

Barack Obama Is Not My President

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:15 am

Much to the chagrin of some, it’s true.

November 26, 2008

Guns Not to Buy

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:08 pm

Anything made by H.S. Precision.

Meow Mix

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:49 pm

Katty Parker just doesn’t know when to leave bad enough alone.

November 21, 2008

Stealing the Vote

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:17 pm

Via Patterico (whose jury is now talking back), check out some of the ballots that are at issue in the Minnesota recount (which, depending on the net effect of the Looneytarian Party’s contribution in Georgia, may ultimately prove only slightly less important than the endless recounts in 2000).

Also anecdotal evidence for the proposition that “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat” really means “If It Is Close, Dumbasses Will Carry The Day.”

UPDATE: Chris Lawrence has more.

It’s Going to Be a Long Four (Eight?) Years

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:32 pm

Wednesday’s post on Alan Keyes’s nutty suit has brought attention to something I’d forgotten from the Clinton years: conservatives aren’t necessarily saner than liberals; they just act sane when their party is in power. Seriously, of all the goofy conspiracy theories I’ve heard over the years, the notion that Barack Hussein* Obama II’s birth certificate isn’t really a “birth certificate” because its title reads “Certification of Live Birth” may not be the goofiest, but it’s clearly on the short list. At least 9/11 could have been an inside job. It wasn’t, of course, but it could have been, which is more than I can say for the notion that a “certification of live birth” does not certify a birth, or that it doesn’t tell you where someone was born even though on the face of it, it clearly does.

To their credit, most of the ‘bats of the right at least had the guts to post their comments publicly or forever hold their peace. One notable exception is Mark Fitzgibbons, a crank attorney who works with Richard “Spam King of the Right” Viguerie, and is presumably to blame for Viguerie’s constitutionally illiterate ramblings (Viguerie himself isn’t a lawyer, so I don’t blame him for being clueless on stuff non-lawyers aren’t generally expected to know, if he had the good sense to consult a lawyer, but nevertheless lacked the good sense to distinguish a good lawyer from a crappy one). Lacking the balls to post a public comment, he sent me this insightful email instead:

Given that under HI law it is possible to have a birth certificate on file even if the person wasn’t born there, how do you come to say that the birth certificate says he was born there? Even the HI official who saw his BC didn’t proclaim that. See:

http://hawaii.gov/health/about/pr/2008/08-93.pdf

Remember the “best evidence rule.”

[A side note for the non-lawyers: the best evidence rule is something of a misnomer. It doesn’t actually sort out “good” evidence from “better” evidence; what it says is that a copy of a document will generally be inadmissible into evidence if an original is available (or if it is unavailable because of serious misconduct on the part of the party trying to present the copy). It’s a largely antiquated rule, which made a lot more sense in the bad old days when “copies” of documents were made by hand and prone to errors, or worse, while modern copies, such as photocopies, faxes and scans, have an eerie habit of saying exactly the same thing that the original said. It’s also irrelevant, both because neither the California Evidence Code nor the Federal Rules of Evidence are anywhere near as strict as the common law rule in that regard, and because there’s no reason to doubt that any original produced by the State of Hawaii (if indeed this crazy suit gets far enough along to require one) would say exactly the same thing.]

Having previously linked to Obama’s birth certificate, which expressly states that he was born in the City (or town or location, in case you’re some dumbass who doesn’t know if Honolulu is a city, a town or a location, and are relying on someone’s birth certificate to tell you which) of Honolulu, on the Island of Oahu, in the State of Hawaii on August 4, 1961. In case you’re curious, August 4, 1961 is almost 2 1/2 years after Hawaii became our 50th state, and more than 60 years after it became part of the United States. [So if any of Alan Keyes’s “lawyers” are reading this and thinking of amending your petition to state that Obama isn’t a citizen because he was conceived before Hawaii became a state, fuhgeddaboudit. You might just as well argue that no one born outside the original 13 states is a “natural born citizen,” on the theory that Hawaii was not part of the U.S. at the time the original Constitution was adopted, and therefore cannot be part of the definition of “natural born citizen.” No, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be a dumbass if you said that. It just means you’d be less of a dumbass than you are.]

Against that backdrop, I responded to the crack attorney thusly:

Gee, I wonder what could have made me think that Obama’s birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii, just because his birth certificate states in plain English that he was born in Hawaii. That’s a thinker.

To which he convincingly replied that:

I can see that neither laws nor evidentiary rules cloud your judgment.

Prompting this response:

Just keep drinking that Kool-Aid. The certificate is on the web for all to see. If you have evidence that it’s a forgery, let’s see it. Otherwise, the fact that a HI official can’t certify to its contents to the world for *privacy* reasons is not a reasonable basis for questioning its authenticity. If this frivolous suit is allowed to go forward, obtaining a fresh certificate from HI will not be a problem, and surprise of all surprises, the original will end up saying exactly what the widely-circulated copy says. [And that's assuming the copy itself isn't admissible, which would be a slam dunk under the traditional best evidence rule, which contemplated manual copying rather than photostats, but is far from clear under Section 1550 et seq. of the California Evidence Code today.]

Since you have convinced yourelf [sic, my bad] that *I* am the one being sloppy on the law, perhaps you’d care to enlighten me as to what part of the Hawaii Revised Statutes allows a person who was not born in Hawaii to obtain a “certification of live birth” from the state falsely stating that he was. You’d think a law that screwy would have gotten a bit more publicity by now.

Rather than responding to the substance of my reply, which he obviously couldn’t, Mr. Fitzgibbons had this to say, instead:

Nice try. Why doesn’t he just disclose the vault copy? You seem to have temper issues, young lady.

The last quip is an understandable mistake, Xrlq being a common name for women in Mombasa, on Mars, or wherever the hell else he thinks Obama was born. I did feel the need to set the record straight, however:

“Nice try.”
Would that be a “nice try” for pointing out the law that actually applies in California rather than the antiquated rule of evidence you lazily assumed did, even while smugly accusing me of not knowing the law? Or “nice try” in demanding actual evidence that the certificate in question is false, rather than just assuming it must be false because a few cranks would really like it to be?

“Why doesn’t he just disclose the vault copy?”
The same reason Sarah Palin hasn’t faxed copies of her medical records to every crank who accused her of faking a pregnancy, which in turn is the same reason the federal government doesn’t send mountains of documentation to every nut who claims 9/11 was an inside job. There’s nothing to be gained by feeding the trolls.

“You seem to have temper issues, young lady.”
I have no temper issues. I do, however, have a rather low tolerance level for morons of all stripes, as evidenced by the large number of subcategories I’ve devoted to morons on my blog. And with all due respect, anyone who can ask me how I came to say that Barack Obama’s birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii just because Barack Obama’s birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii, definitely qualifies as a moron. That you continued that streak by incorrectly guessing both my age and my sex is just icing on the cake.

But hey, what’s the point of making a fool of yourself in a one-on-one discussion? Better you should share your pearls of wisdom in the comments are for all to see. No need for me to have all the fun.

In response, Marky-Mark wrote:

Oh crap. I don’t know where I got the idea you were female, but boy do I feel like a dumbass now. Sorry.

Just kidding. That’s what a normal person might have written under the circumstances, but then again, a normal person probably wouldn’t have written that goofy crap in the first place. What the Fitzmeister wrote instead was:

No, you definitely have temper issues, and your condescension shows you have insecurity issues as well, with all due respect, young lady.

Your analogies aren’t reasons, and your logic is flawed. Deflecting the question doesn’t answer it. That tells me a lot.

So flawed, of course, that I’m unable to discern the flaws he found too obvious to identify with any specificity. By this time I was thinking, damn, this thread would have been great on a blog entry devoted to Non-Liberal Morons! It’s too bad I never got this ‘tard’s permission to post his drivel! I know, since the guy is stuck on the theory that I have a temper, maybe I should really tell him off, and also tell him that anything he chooses to send to me from now on is apt to be published! The dolt won’t be able to resist the opportunity to say “see, I told you so,” and I’ll be good to go. In that spirit, I wrote:

No, you are definitely an idiot, and an asshole to boot. Who but an asshole uses a condescending phrase like “young lady” to anyone, let alone to someone he *knows* is neither particularly young nor a lady? Fuck you.

Apart from being a world-class prick, you are now one other thing, as well: on notice that any emails you send me from this point forward may, and probably will, end up on the net. You’ve been warned.

That shut him up for the rest of the day. Today he responded:

You’re right. It was stupid and presumptuous of me to call you “young lady” without even knowing your age or your sex, and I was a complete and total jackass to repeat the name after having had it pointed out to me that you were neither. I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.

Psyche! Here’s what he actually said, in an email that included the entire exchange below:

Well, you definitely aren’t a man, because anyone who sends email with that churlish tone, but who doesn’t sign his name, doesn’t have a pair of balls.

Have you tried therapy?

“Mark” my words: if anyone associated with the Obama Administration should die between now and 2013, or if any well-known critic of the Obama Administration does, some dumbass is going to claim it was because Barack killed him with his own bare hands.

*If Obama ever strays from the plantation** and becomes persona non grata among the left, watch for an equally silly theory that BHO’s birth certificate doesn’t count because it includes his prohibited middle name.

**No, Oliver-Willis-Ass, I will not give you a cotton pickin’ apology for using an expression loosely connected with slavery, at least not when discussing some boy*** whose ancestors may well have owned slaves (either as a trader on his father’s side or as an owner on his mother’s) but were certainly never slaves themselves.

***And I thoroughly reject the notion that there is anything racist or otherwise objectionable about the word “boy.” If in doubt, here’s an experiment: form a cover band, practice “Johnny B. Goode,” and perform it to the best of your ability before a predominantly black crowd on a Friday night. Then, the following night, perform the song again, but replace the b-word with its alleged synonym:

Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boyn****r named Johnny B. Goode

If you manage to finish the song in one piece, post a comment here and tell us how it went. And if you didn’t, hey, it was for science.

November 19, 2008

All I Am Saying Is We Already Gave Keyes a Chance

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:20 pm

Alan Keyes is suing to prevent Barack Obama from being elected President (technically, that hasn’t happened yet since the Electoral College has yet to vote) on the theory that Obama is not a natural born citizen qualified for the Presidency. I’m tempted to call the suit frivolous but doing so would be an insult to frivolity. The most obvious objections:

  1. A birth certificate from the State of Hawaii says Obama was born there. The suit was brought in state court in California. Even if there were evidence that the State of Hawaii was wrong in this determination (which there isn’t), it wouldn’t be the prerogative of a sister state to second-guess it.
  2. Obama’s mother, the daughter of the typical white woman who raised him, was a U.S. citizen all along. So even if Obama was born in Kenya, in Albania or on Mars, he’s still a natural born citizen.
  3. One word: standing. Suppose, hypothetically, that there really is a legitimate, non-frivolous debate as to whether or not Obama was a natural born citizen. How on earth is Alan Keyes injured by that?! He wasn’t a candidate in the race, nor is he a pledged elector for anybody in California, so even if there were a real case here, he would not be the proper party to bring it.

This case is probably moronic on other levels, as well, but at this point my brain hurts too much to think about it any more. Free advice for this would-be has-been who is better described as a never-really-was: don’t go away mad. Or do go away mad, I don’t care. Just go away.

God, I’m courageous. Not quite as courageous as Courageous George, mind you, but courageous nonetheless.

UPDATE: According to some commenters, #2 is not right because in 1961, his mother was not old enough for him to become a natural born citizen based on her citizenship alone. Some other commenters point out that Alan Keyes technically was a presidential candidate this year, which complicates my standing argument somewhat. I say “somewhat” because candidacy or no, it’s tough to imagine Keyes winning a single electoral vote if Obama had been disqualified.

UPDATE x2: The discussion gets progressively truthier, with several commenters arguing (apparently with a straight face, though this being the Internet, it’s impossible to know) that there is a difference between a “birth certificate” and a “certification of live birth.” Well, yeah, there is a difference between a “birth” and a “live birth.” Presumably if the kid had been born dead, he’d get some form of a birth certificate other than one certifying he was born alive. I don’t think anyone is seriously arguing that Obama can’t be President because he was stillborn. Yet. Give it time, though. Obama hasn’t even been sworn in yet, and we’re well on our way to matching the 9-11 truthers already.

 

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