damnum absque injuria

April 29, 2010


Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:45 pm

Much to the chagrin of the “too pro gun” dunderheads who opposed it, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has signed Senate File 2379 into law, making Iowa a right to carry state effective 1/1/11, and bringing the number of may-issue states in the Central Time Zone (and, perhaps not coincidentally, the number of may-issue states that aren’t really “fuhgeddaboudit” states) down to 1.

April 26, 2010

One Man’s Sunshine is an Invasion of Another’s Privacy

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:22 am

Michael Kinsley has a brilliant piece on journalists who think they own FOIA and the First Amendment. Money quote:

These risks [of corporations running amok in politics following Citizens United] are real. Unfortunately, we are stuck with these few unhappy consequences of the First Amendment, just as we are stuck with the many unhappy consequences of the Second Amendment. And we should take the Constitution seriously – especially the parts we don’t like. Money is speech. The Supreme Court has always allowed limits on contributions to political campaigns, reasoning in part that the purpose of a contribution is not fundamentally to send a message. But the purpose of an independent expenditure of your own money to promote a candidate or cause is to send a message. And it’s axiomatic that the government can’t limit a message based on its content. It can limit the use of loudspeakers in the park after 10 p.m. so that neighbors can sleep, but it can’t limit the use of loudspeakers by Republicans because it doesn’t like what they have to say, and it can’t limit the use of loudspeakers by pols in order to prevent the messages of people with bigger loudspeakers from enjoying an unfair advantage.

As Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion points out, the overturned law forbidding corporate expenditures had an exemption for media corporations. If it hadn’t had one, the government would have been allowed to pass a law, say, limiting the amount a corporation could spend putting out a newspaper, in order to “level the playing field” between newspapers of differing points of view. A Republican Congress, for example, could decide that The Washington Post is too influential compared with The Washington Times, and require The Post to cut its budget (a superfluous requirement these days, perhaps). Most journalists would have no trouble correctly finding that in this case, money is speech after all.

I could have done without the gratuitous dig at the Second Amendment, but never mind that. RTWT.

April 25, 2010

On Clinton’s Demogoguery

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:22 pm

I’ve criticized Radley Balko in the past, but time to give credit where credit is due. When he’s right, he’s right. RTWT.

Hat tip: Sebastian.

April 24, 2010

I Like This Alot.

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:26 pm

And if bad spelling and grammar annoy you half as much as they do me, you will too.

Memo to Ex-GEICO-Dude

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:40 am

Fifteen minutes saved me 0% on auto insurance, and your fifteen minutes are over.

April 23, 2010

SpamFail of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:12 pm

Someone posted comment spam today linking to a casino splog on blogspot. I won’t link to the splog, of course, but thought you might enjoy the content of the spam itself:

Your description is so {attractive|appealing|magnetic|fascinating|taking|engaging}. I wish you {all|totally|completely|entirely} the {best|greatest|optimum} for your {venture|embark}. I {hope|trust} you have the {facility|readiness|adeptness} to {provide|offer|allow|supply} service on 24/7 {basis|base} which makes patrons more {comfortable|cozy|comforted},ThankYou

April 17, 2010

And Then There Were Three

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:22 am

As of today, approximately 1.3 million Americans may carry a concealed handgun without a permit. By Labor Day,* 6.6 million Americans (h/t: Kevin Baker) will enjoy that right as well. This leaves two distinct but symbiotic breeds of sad panda:

  1. Gun-grabbers like Paul Helmke dba Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. Depending on whether you count Vermont as a win or a loss for either side (I don’t, as their law hasn’t changed in either direction for a long, long time) the score is either 3-0 or 2-0 against him … er … I mean, “them.”
  2. “Too pro-gun” knuckleheads like Iowa State Rep. Kent Sorenson, who refused to support Iowa’s long overdue shall-issue reform because “you shouldn’t have to beg permission from the gummit, blah blah and friggin’ blah.” The score is now 2-0 against these sad pandas, as well, as both states that ultimately enacted the very reforms these Pro-Gunner-Than-Thous claim to want, did so by ignoring their idiotic advice and going shall-issue first, improving their shall-issue laws later, and only seriously considering going permit-optional long after the basic concept of right to carry had ceased to be controversial.

Makes me a feel a tinge of guilt for missing last year’s NRA convention last year in Arizona. I shan’t miss this year’s though. Like Tina Fey’s version of Sarah Palin, I can see Charlotte from my house!

UPDATE: USA Today (h/t: Glenn Reynolds) claims it is “now” legal to carry without a permit in Arizona. Um, no, it’s not. Will be soon, but isn’t yet. Rely on USA Today at your own peril.

UPDATE x2: Sebastian has more.

*Probably a little sooner, as SB 1108 will take effect 90 days after adjournment, which is expected to occur on 5/26.

April 11, 2010

Moby Alert

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:49 pm

Next time some douchebag gloats over “teabonics,” know the source.

April 9, 2010

On the Gay Jesus Play

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:29 pm

Memo to John Otte: the first W in WWJD does not stand for “who.”

April 6, 2010

To Anonymize or Not to Anonymize

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:17 am

This article on the evils of pornography (h/t: Dan Riehl and Dr. Helen) is, in my opinion, a prime example of what should NOT be published anonymously. When I blogged anonymously, my posts contained a tacit promise that my identity was irrelevant to what I was saying. Mostly I commented on political issues that do not concern me any more (or less) than the next guy. My arguments stood or fell on their own; knowing my identity would not make them any stronger or weaker. Sure, I worked for Countrywide when all those shady deals were being made with politicians; however, I didn’t know anything about those deals, didn’t even work in that division (I worked for a small insurance company owned by Countrywide, not the lending company itself) and I sure as hell did not blog about Countrywide. Ditto for CannedAmerica; I don’t think I blogged even once about title insurance while with them. It was only in my current job, working for what was then a wholly-owned subsidiary of GMAC and a partially owned subsidiary of GM, that anonymity really got in the way of my being able to discuss the national issues I cared about. So I outed myself.

Now compare and contrast. If Ms. Anonymous had been content to rely on the well-respected national polling organization known as An Online Statistics Firm and silly stats about cheating spouses being more likely to view porn than non-cheating spouses, that people who view porn are more likely to cheat and vice-versa since both activities require you to be alive, or any of the other goofy stats she throws out, this would have been just one more uncommonly silly and fiskworthy article. Instead, she heavily on her own experiences (her side only, natch), to explain how porn supposedly caused her own marriage to fail. Without knowing who she is, the reader has no way of assessing the credibility of her claims. How do we know if her account was true? That she even is a psychologist or had a husband? That her husband really did blame his so-called “sex addiction” on having looked at porno mags when he was 10? Or whether his new girlfriend really looks like a porn star, or whether … oh, I dunno, MEOW???!!!! And even if we assume every other detail Ms. Anonymous recounts is correct, without knowing her ex’s identity how are we to know if he is living out some adolescent fantasy fueled by porn, whether he’s living out an adolescent fantasy fueled by not having gotten enough of the real thing in his adolescence, or by something else? The answer is, we can’t. We can’t know the real story because none of the key (or even minor) players in the story will identify themselves or allow their credibility to be examined in any way.

Far be it from me to condemn anonymous writing, but please. If you’re not going to identify yourself when reporting the story, then don’t be the story.


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