damnum absque injuria

July 31, 2009

iFought the Law and iWon

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:36 pm

Apparently, many of those cool apps for the iPhone have more unlawful than lawful uses.

July 30, 2009

Birther Apologist: It’s Obama’s Fault the Birthers Are Loony

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:49 pm

Tommy Seno channels Al Gore (remember “I am not raising these questions myself, but others have?”) and seeks to give cover to the birthers while denying being a birther himself. He argues, in effect, that however loony the birthers may be, it’s Obama’s fault that they’re loony, not the loonies’ fault for their own lunacy, and therefore, their lunacy shouldn’t be considered lunacy at all:

Obama can end the “birthers” controversy in one single day by releasing the original documents, but for some inexplicable reason he refuses, and the love-struck media never ask him why…

According to most dictionaries, “inexplicable” means something that no one can explain; it’s not a shorthand for “I don’t understand it.” The reasons are twofold, and very explicable. First and foremost, why the devil would Obama want this silly controversy to go away? It costs him zero support from the base, and neutralizes his opposition by making some of us look like fools, while the rest of us spend more time attacking each other than him. If Obama knows what’s good for him, he’ll do everything he can to keep this controversy alive. Second, even if there were some reason Obama wanted this controversy to die down, what on earth reason is there to believe that people who think the COLB we’ve already seen is fraudulent, will somehow magically believe that the long-form certificate isn’t? It’s not as though one document were any harder to forge than the other.

Of course, like all the other birthers Seno purports not to be one of, Seno completely misses the fact that unless he has proof Ann Dunham was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth, or that she hadn’t lived 5 years in the U.S. and 2 following her 14th birthday, Obama would be a natural-born citizen no matter where he was born.

As an aside, when Obama’s socialized medicine inevitably leads to our kids being born in toilets, how will that affect the kids’ ability to run for President later in life? Can the guy keep some dignity, produce a short form birth certificate that tells us the city, county, state, time and date of birth, which is more information than the Constitution calls for anyway, and leave it at that? Or does he have to present the long-form certificate that identifies the toilet in detail?

On Job Creation

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:28 am

I’ve long been skeptical of any legislation aimed at “creating jobs” rather than merely getting government out of the way so that the market can do its thing. Now it seems that Oregon Democrats (but I repeat myself) have taken the “jobs saved or created” meme to a whole new level, spending only $176 million of your tax dollars to create a whopping 3,236 new jobs. The article doesn’t say whether “creating” the job includes paying the worker’s salary, but at $54,388 a pop, it should. After all, in a state with unemployment as high as 12.4%, there ought to be plenty of Oregonians willing to work for well under $54,000 a year.

Oh wait, did I say “year?” Silly me, I meant “week.” That’s how long these 3,236 newly created jobs last, on average. Slightly less than that, actually; 35 hours to be exact. So if my math is right, Oregon taxpayers are getting a real bargain, hiring workers at the low, low price of $1,553.95 per hour. They should just hire me instead. I’d gladly do whatever useless make-work jobs they do for half that amount.

July 29, 2009

The Birthers Were Right

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:24 am

Looks like I may owe the birthers an apology. While World Nut Daily spams about the DVD Obama doesn’t want would love you to see or better yet, be dumb enough to believe, Robb Allen has the memo, obtained from unimpeachable sources, that B. Hussein O. was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the other memo showing that Article II, Section 1 really says:

No Person except a natural born Citizen who wasn’t born in Kenya . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Meanwhile, Mary K agrees with Andrew Sullivan’s critique of birtherbattery.

This Just In

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:44 am

Looking away from the road while driving is more dangerous than talking to someone while looking at the road and driving. Apparently they needed a study to tell you that.

July 28, 2009

Lost Wages

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:59 pm

Any o’y’all planning to be there during the first week of August?

July 27, 2009

Cell Phones vs. Alcohol

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:35 am

The latest hysteria on driving and cell phones is that talking on a cell phone while driving is supposedly just as dangerous as driving under the influence. This claim is based on a series of recent studies purporting to show that drivers talking on cell phones are four times more likely than the rest of us to cause an accident. Matt Richtel of the New York Times puts it this way:

Extensive research shows the dangers of distracted driving. Studies say that drivers using phones are four times as likely to cause a crash as other drivers, and the likelihood that they will crash is equal to that of someone with a .08 percent blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are generally considered intoxicated.

Note the insidious passive voice. Rather than having the guts to come out and say “I, Matt Richtel, personally consider a driver with a .08 BAC to be intoxicated because X, Y and Z,” he simply dodges the issue and makes “generally considered” by that unknown “them.” No need to back up the allegation; just label it as accepted wisdom and be done with it.

Mr. Richtel have backed up his generally considered accepted wisdom by noting that .08 as a threshold is the law in most states today. However, that’s a fairly development, which was fueled more by aggressive lobbying by neoprohibitionist MADD than by any actual scientific developments. As recently as 20 years ago, .15 was the norm in most states, and a driver with a BAC of only .08 would not have been considered legally drunk in any state (at least, not based on his BAC – if they can prove you’re under the influence, they can charge you on that basis no matter how low your BAC). Then we all went MADD in the 1990s and voilà, now every driver with a .08 BAC is now considered legally “drunk,” whether or not he is, in fact, drunk. And now that every state has followed suit (under intense coercion by the federal government, but never mind that) and some states are talking of twisting the screws even further, it’s now accepted wisdom that everyone with a BAC of .08 is drunk.

Here is where one hysteria fuels another. Now that we’ve redefined “drunk” to include a large segment of drivers who are not in fact drunk, cell phone alarmists can now argue that talking and driving is just as dangerous as driving “drunk.” Which is probably true, in a sense. Some drivers with a BAC of .08 really are drunk; presumably, they are the reason this class of “drunks” causes four times as many accidents as the rest of us. Many more of these de jure drunks are de facto non-drunks; presumably they account for the fact that .08 BAC “drunks” cause only four times more accidents than the rest of us, rather than the much larger differential one might expect if they were all truly impaired. Ditto for cell phone conversations; some of us keep our calls short, avoid topics that are likely to get us deeply engrossed in the conversation, and generally avoid talking on the phone at all when traffic conditions are tough. Others just get on the phone and gab away, paying little attention to surroundings. Guess which group is causing the accidents?

Lastly, the evidence does seem to be clear that hands-free devices, while handy, are useless when it comes to preventing distraction-related accident. The risk isn’t that you’ll see a road hazard and waste too much time ditching your phone. The risk is that you won’t notice the conditions at all until it’s too late. Returning one last time to the tired DUI analogy, states that ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones while allowing them to use hands-free ones makes about as much sense as raising the DUI limit back to its traditional .15 threshold for those who drink fine wine or premium beer, while lowering it to .05 for those who drink Thunderbird or Coors.

July 26, 2009

Ann Coulter is a Liberal

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:56 pm

Isn’t anyone who doesn’t buy into birther nonsense a liberal? I mean, if I am, surely the Coultergeist is, too, right?

Mr. Crowley, What Went On In Your Head?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:21 am

FoxNews reports that Sgt. James Crowley has agreed to meet with the Demagogue in Chief and the a-hole professor who smeared him as a racist and a liar. Too bad. I recommend he send his mama in his place, as she’s the only person Gates was originally willing to talk to.

My Kind of Apology

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:53 am

Via Breitbart, Amazon founder and CEO Xrlq Bezos has apologized for remotely sending Orwell books down the memory hole. Our President could use a lesson or two from Bezos on how proper apologies are done:

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers.


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