damnum absque injuria

January 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:25 pm

“Si tratta con tutta probabilità di una bufala, e anche vecchiotta. L’originale era su www.ananova.com, ma non è più online, per una disamina vedi http://xrlq.com/2004/05/17/ananova-to-blogosphere-youve-been-punkd/”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

On the Tebow Ad

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:03 pm

I’m not sure why this (h/t: Sister Toldjah) is even controversial. By all accounts, the ad is not going to argue that women have no right to abort; it will merely urge them to choose not to. Which, one might think, would be A-O-K by all those self-described “pro-choicers” who steadfastly deny being pro-abortion. Well, if pregnant women are really such helpless, delicate flowers that one single, solitary ad urging them to choose Option A over Option B will compromise their ability to choose on their own, the obvious remedy would be for the pro-choicers to cough up a few mill of their own and run a competing ad urging women to abort. With the “choose life” ad focusingon one Heisman winner who clearly should not have been aborted (though this fact was anything but clear to doctors at the time), perhaps the “choose death” ad could focus on a somewhat less worthy Heisman winner, O.J. Simpson, or perhaps a more recent Heisman wannabe like Michael Vick.

January 30, 2010

Shocka of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:55 pm

Via Anwyn, a new study shows that laws prohibiting drivers from talking on hand-held cell phones, but not hands-free devices, have not reduced auto accidents in the four jurisdictions studied. On a wholly unrelated note, another study concluded that laws forbidding drivers to drive under the influence of scotch, but not bourbon, have failed to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents appreciably.

Socialized Alcoholism

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:41 pm

Via Instapundit, universal boozecare in Virginia may soon give way to the free market:

May its neighbor to the south follow suit.

ZOMG! Blogger Confuses Confusing Reference to Constitution With Someone Else Confusing Constitution With Declaration of Independence!!!! Eleventy

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 2:33 pm

If there is one thing more American than apple pie, it’s the Constitution, but if there’s one thing even more American than that, it’s the Declaration of Independence. If we were all still British subjects, we could have drawn up the best Constitution in the world and it wouldn’t have done anyone a lick of good; it would be the Constitution of Nowhere. So harping on the idea of someone mixing up one with the other is, in my view, only marginally less lame than harping on someone confusing one article of the Constitution with another. The only thing even lamer than that is to harp on someone supposedly confusing the two when they actually didn’t. Leave it to Greg Hengler and Jim Hoft, Modern Conservative, Ed Lasky and Lord knows how many others, who proudly pounced on this alleged yawner during the STFU speech, in which The One said:

Abroad, America’s greatest source of strength has always been our ideas. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we’re all created equal, but no matter who you are and what you look like, if you abide by the law, you should be protected by the law. If you adhere to our common values, you should be treated no different from anyone else. We must continually renew this promise.

Which Hoft and the rest helpfully dowdified down to:

We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal….

to imply that Obama had only talked about the premise that we were created equal and notabout the fact that we enjoy the equal proteciton of laws as a result. They proceeded to gloat about the non-fact that The One had supposedly confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence. In fact, as the word “notion” should have made clear to anyone listening for comprehension rather than for gotcha, he wasn’t quoting anything. The “notion” in question underlies both documents, but only the Constitution – not the Declaration of Independence – provides for equal protection of laws as a result. If The One had said exactly what he said, only citing “the promise enshrined in our Declaration of Independence” instead, Hoft et al. could just as easily have pounced on the reference to equal protection and accused Obama of having made the same screw-up in reverse. Only this one, unlike the technical foul alleged by Hoft and the gang, would actually have been substantively stupid. While it’s moderately neato that the Declaration of Independence talked of the principle that all men are created equal, it didn’t do a f’ing thing to guarantee anyone equality before the law. Anyone who doubts this should travel back in time to any point between 1776 and 1865, when the Declaration of Independence was in effect but the 14th Amendment was not, and ask the slaves how their “equal protection of laws” thing was working out.

January 26, 2010

Light Offense of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:17 pm

Patterico lays out the distinction between “Donald Trump astroturfing,” where a person spams his wit and wisdom (or otherwise) all over the universe in his own name while claiming an implausibly large number of home addresses, and “David Axelrod astroturfing,” where a person spams with multiple identities. The latter is a potentially serious offense in my book, but not always. The latter is truly a yawner. Here’s why.

Let’s start by stipulating to Patterico’s observation that Ellie Light is a liar. Of course she is, having falsely claimed to live in too many places to count. People lie all the time; so what? Let’s further stipulate that she didn’t just lie on a lark, but she lied in order to get something she otherwise would not have gotten, making her lie not just a garden variety lie but a species of fraud. So now she’s a liar and a fraud. Bully for her. The question is, on whom did she commit that fraud, to what end, and why should I care? Was it a fraud on the newspapers, her fellow letter-writers, or the public at large? That matters to me, as I’m not a newspaper or competing letter-writer, but I am a member of the public at large. Traditional sock puppetry, or “David Axelrod astroturfing” is frequently, though not always, a fraud on the public at large. When Thomas Ellers, Rick Ellensburg and the gang rushed to the defense of Dan Douchewald, they didn’t just make up their phony identities “just because,” akin to me telling a Starbucks barista that my name is Fred. No, they … um, I mean, he … made up those names to make it look as though at least four other individuals had independently reached the same conclusions His Douchitude wanted the rest of us to reach, when in reality, all we were really witnessing was the late (early?) Festivus miracle of the Douchemeister agreeing with himself. Ditto for Mikekoshi, Nofanofcablecos and Mary Rosh, each of which lamely attempted to portray the views of one as though they were the views of many. That is David Axelrod astroturfing, in essence.

By contrast, bloggers, commenters or letter writers may adopt a fake name for other, less nefarious reasons. Some use assumed names for privacy, which is a non-issue in my book unless either the true identity or the false one is material to the point being made. If a letter decrying the evils of Issue X purports to have been written by an inconsequential Joe Schmoe, but was really authored by an equally inconsequential Richard Cabeza, who cares? Other than the nosy neighbors and/or colleagues Mr. Cabeza was trying to avoid, probably no one. If, on the other hand, the same letter was actually penned by a well-known figure with a dog in that fight, who knew that his true identity would cause readers to take his views with an appropriate grain of salt, then that’s another matter entirely. Still other letter writers, particularly veterans, may rotate either fake names or names of real people they know in order to circumvent a newspaper’s policy of only running letters by a particular author so often. The Whizz-Urinal, for example, limits you to one every 30 days. But if a letter ends up getting published that way, as surely happens all the time, does that give the reader any reason to attach more credence to the letter that is due, solely because it purports to be from Guy I’ve Never Heard Of In My Life when it was really authored by Guy I’d Never Heard Of In My Life Until I Skimmed Last Week’s Letters To The Editor? And if not, I submit that this was merely a fraud on the newspaper, and not a fraud on the reader. The newspaper wants letters from different people to keep things interesting; that rule has nothing to do with the credibility of the letters or their authors.

I submit that what Ellie Light has done is no different. She hasn’t invented a slew of identities to all conveniently “agree” with each other and create a faux consensus. All she did was make up fake addresses to improve her chances of getting her letter published all over the globe. That’s a fraud on regional papers, who prefer to run mediocre letters from locals rather than potentially better ones from faraway places. It’s arguably a mini-fraud against other letter-writers, whose chances of seeing their own letters in print were diminished accordingly. But on the reader? Hardly. If any reader of the Myrtle Beach Sun actually believed lame talking points from Ellie Light of Myrtle Beach but would not have believed the same talking points coming from Ellie Light of Huntington Beach, then with all due respect to that reader, he’s dumber than a box of retards and shouldn’t be allowed to read at all, let alone vote. And query why the N&O is even on the list, seeing as they didn’t publish any representation at all as to where she supposedly lived. Ellie’s lie bought her ill-gotten access, not credibility.

Yes, it was really, really naughty of Ms. Light to lie about her residence. No, it’s not a huge deal worth getting worked up over. It’s not as though we don’t have bigger problems to deal with right now. Seriously.

January 24, 2010

On Feline Jurors

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:26 pm

I don’t see what the big deal is here. If a Senator can vote “not proved” and a President can vote “present,” why can’t a juror vote “meow?”

So-Called Tort Law

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:24 pm

So sayeth the Los Angeles Times. Dumbasses … er … I mean, “bless their hearts.”

This Just In…

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:16 pm

Never mind guilt vs. shame; if you watch Avatar, you will die.

Ya Think?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:50 pm

A recent poll indicates that Americans are more than twice as likely to express prejudice against Muslims than Christians, Jews or Buddhists. In a startling coincidence, recent statistics also indicate that Muslims are more than twice as likely as Christians, Jews or Buddhists to hijack planes, crash them into large buildings, strap bombs on their chests to murder large numbers of suspected non-Christians, non-Jews or non-Buddhists, or murder individuals suspected of insulting Christ, Moses or Buddha.


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