Patterico's Pontifications

12/22/2010

Joe Miller Loses Before the Alaska Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 4:55 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Well, it’s another swing and a miss for Joe Miller.  By now regular readers of this blog are familiar with the issues, so I don’t need to add very much that wasn’t said before.  The court’s decision was very similar to the decision issued in the trial court (and thus my critique is the same), only with two differences.

First, the court basically read “as it appears” to be a reference to another part of the law allowing for nicknames to be registered.  So according to this court, you can write Lisa M. and that is good enough.  Yes, really.

Second, the Supreme Court also completely ignored the issue of mootness.  They didn’t say it was moot, but they would consider anyway, as the trial court did.  They didn’t say it was not moot.  They just pretended like it didn’t even exist as an issue.

Now, as you know from a previous post, if Miller is going to keep fighting, he has only one option left: the federal bench.  And he has very little time to fight this.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

The Point of This Post Isn’t to Show You a Crazy Person…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 4:36 pm

…the point of this post is to show you how he is treated.

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

So here we have a video clip from the indispensible Memri featuring an interview with Walid Muhammed Hajj, a former prisoner at Gitmo, allegedly, and he tells a very, um, interesting story of how the Jooooos used witchcraft against the prisoners there, leading him to say at one point he felt a cat that wasn’t there trying to, um…  penetrate him.  No, that doesn’t make any more sense when he says it.  You can read a transcript of the whole crazy thing, here, but here’s the relevant highlight:

Interviewer: Did they ever use witchcraft on you?

Walid Muhammad Hajj: There was one attempt.

Interviewer: How did they do it?

Walid Muhammad Hajj: Once, when I was sleeping – on the floor, not on a bed – I suddenly felt that a cat was trying to penetrate me. It tried to penetrate me again and again. I recited the kursi verse again and again until the cat left.

Interviewer: But there wasn’t really any cat there?

Walid Muhammad Hajj: Absolutely not.

And okay, that is both weird and a little funny.  And really, is it any surprise that we have rounded up some real nuts at Gitmo?  I mean, I am not the kind of person who typically excuses lunatics from their crimes, so I am willing to concede a few of the people in the terrorist movement are just plain nuts, without excusing them from responsibility.

But this isn’t about the state of mind of this mental midget.  Instead, I want you to look at the interviewer.  Look at how he treats his story seriously and with respect.  This was on Al-Jazeera TV, and they are airing this thing like as if it is a truthful expose, and it went out to millions of Muslims all over the world.  Which feeds into a point I made in a previous post:

Some liberals are fond of claiming that terrorism is born out of oppression, that they are just striking back against those who have wronged them.  But one major flaw in that theory is that a lot of people in that part of the world are so paranoid in their anti-Semitism, that they literally will believe their enemies can and will do anything.  Everything is a Jewish conspiracy.  The rats in their sewers.  A few pigeons crapping on their car.  So naturally other things, like the complete state of crap these economies find themselves in is naturally the Jooos fault, right?  Them and the Americans, naturally.  My point is that stories like this demonstrate that their ability to even perceive actual injustice and assign correct blame is seriously compromised by their paranoid hatred of Jews, yet another reason why their violence is a terrible gauge of the justice of their cause.

And this time I will spare you a picture of the most innocent victim of Islamic terrorism, Shalhevet Pass or anything as horrid as that.  But do remember that these animals think it is appropriate to snipe babies, and shoot them in the head, and what that implies of their understanding of human rights.

But exit question…  Walid says that he felt the cat trying to um, penetrate him, but he says he never saw it.  So, um, how does he know it was a cat?  Did he have a certain, um, familiarity with the sensation?  Would he indeed know the difference between a ghost cat and, say, a ghost dog?  Just askin’.

Update: Appropriately, The Daily Caller has a review of Palestinian involvement in the Holocaust.

Update (II): Thomas Joscelyn gives a little background on this idiot, here.  Hat tip to Allahpundit, who was kind enough to link to this post.  Cool.

By the way, my favorite comment in the thread is from Dustin:

Makes you wonder if he is just mentally ill, and pushed into terrorism by people who like to send the crippled to do their dirty work.

Or perhaps he’s just doing his duty to lie for his cause, and he’s hilariously awful at it.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Scattered Idiocy in Our Public Schools (And From Keith Ellison)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:47 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Once again the brilliance of our pubic public schools has been demonstrated by a pair of special stories about the brilliance of our school administrators.  Lord knows, it would be a not good, very bad idea to give kids vouchers that might allow them to escape the sheer competence of our school administrators.

First we have a group of kids who call themselves the Christmas Sweater Club near me in Haymarket, Virginia, who like to sing, spread Christmas cheer and candy canes.

So clearly they are dangerous hoodlums.  And those Candy Canes?  Clearly they are weapons:

Skylar Torbett, also a junior, said administrators told him, “They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them.” He said neither he nor any of their friend did that.

By that logic, a pencil is a weapon…  Wait, maybe I shouldn’t say that.  They might ban pencils, too.

Of course you can watch a short video report on the story, here:

And if you watch the video you will hear that the administration also argued that not everyone wants the Christmas spirit spread around, that suicide rates go up this time of year and so on.  So then you realize we have a true rarity here: a collision between gun free school stupidity and anti-Christmas politically correct stupidity.   A two-fer!

Meanwhile, apparently in Brookline, Massachusetts, they hadn’t been saying the pledge of allegiance in their schools, so they chose to bring it back in the most ham-handed way possible:

A Brookline public school is bringing back the Pledge of Allegiance next month — and the principal is asking parents to fill out permission slips before their children participate….

On Monday, Devotion Principal Gerardo J. Martinez sent a letter to parents telling them that the school would begin weekly recitations next month of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag that he’d lead over the public address system.

He said teachers and students can’t be mandated to participate in the pledge under the Constitution, and called it a personal choice to participate.

“I urge you to have a conversation as a family to help your children understand why I will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and to support them in feeling comfortable and confident in the decision on whether or not to participate,” Martinez said in the letter.

(more…)

Treasures in Heaven (Updated with More Blegging!)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:45 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

One of my constitutional heroes is a little known figure named Thaddeus Stevens, whom Fawn Brodie correctly called the Father of the Fourteenth Amendment.  And one story I read in one of his many biographies told of how once he was playing cards with man about to be married the next day.  It wasn’t poker, but like in poker gambling was involved and Stevens cleaned the young man out by several hundred dollars.  After the man left, Stevens then went and found the bride-to-be, and gave the money to her, instructing her not to tell him he had given her the money—to make up some story on how she happened to find the same amount—figuring that it would be best if the young groom took this incident as a cautionary tale.  The fact we know this story at all is proof she broke that promise of confidentiality.

The other night I was watching O’Reilly when Ann Coulter declared that conservatives were more charitable than liberals.  And this morning I learned that Lawrence O’Donnell issued a challenge to see who could donate more to a given charity—conservatives or liberals.  And I thought I would take a moment to remind people of something that Jesus once said.  From Mathews 6:1-4 in the “God’s Word” translation:

1Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you. 2So when you give to the poor, don’t announce it with trumpet fanfare. This is what hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets in order to be praised by people. I can guarantee this truth: That will be their only reward. 3When you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4Give your contributions privately. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.

Now, of course not everyone reading this is a Christian.  I am not even sure O’Donnell himself is one.  But let’s talk about it as philosophy, and not necessarily the Word of God.  Isn’t what he is saying making some sort of sense?  If you are really being selfless about something, than making a public display of it takes away from that. I mean for several years now you hear of “Santa Claus” types giving away massive amounts of money and no one even knowing who they are.  The latest version of that is a man who left $100,000 in a Salvation Army Kettle, and no one knows who did this.  These people understand that principle that Jesus spoke of better than Ann Coulter does, who takes her charity as an in-your-face achievement.

Now, in that Biblical passage, Jesus is not saying it is a sin, per se, but merely that when it comes to visible acts of charity, what you gain on this Earth is all you get.  In one translation (I forgot which one), Jesus says you will gain no treasure in Heaven from this, hence the title of this post.  So if everyone thinks you are the most wonderful person on Earth, there is your reward.  But don’t expect anything from God.

Not that Coulter is unique.  When you donate to charity, for instance, do you declare it on your taxes?  I know from having set up at least one charity as part of my job (long story) how vital it is to set up the ability to deduct taxes.  Isn’t that the same thing?  And yes, even publicly asking people to donate to a worthy cause probably counts too, so that makes me a violator of this rule, as well.  And like I said, none of this is sinful, but perhaps before you make a display of your charity, you need to ask yourself why you are doing it.  Would you be better justified in keeping it to yourself?

So on one hand, I think Coulter didn’t represent herself or conservatism very well by turning charity into a cheap bragging point.  By comparison, O’Donnell and O’Reilly (with his famous charitable work) are defensible in their conduct because by doing what they do, they are doing concrete good in the world.  I don’t think that it suddenly means that you will be building “treasure in heaven” but you can be satisfied you are helping others, justifying your departure from Jesus’ well reasoned dictum.

Update: Here I will depart from the rule again and say, hey, if you like what you read here, or even lament “When Patterico will be back to blog on a regular basis and send this idiot Aaron Worthing packing?!” why not click on the right hand column and donate to our host?  And let me quote this from his bleg way back when:

This is important: if you’re going to use a PayPal account funded by cash, you can use the top button. That is best because I get every cent. If you are going to make a one-time payment that is funded in any way by a credit card, you have to use the second button. PayPal takes a small amount off the top, but that’s the nature of the beast. I can’t accept credit card donations made using the top button.

And I want to point out that third button, which is my favorite. It is a subscription button, which allows you to set up a recurring monthly payment of $9, which I am calling a “subscription.” I’ll take any donation, but I’d really encourage people to “subscribe,” as that would give me some idea of the resources available to me on a monthly basis that I could hopefully use to keep the site up through an Instapundit link, just once! A couple of you have already become “subscribers” without my mentioning it, and I really appreciate it. (I can also accept recurring payments funded by credit card at the third button.)

Patterico has been giving to you for years, asking very little in return, which strikes me as a form of “in-kind” charity.  You might consider returning the favor with the cash version.

And no, Patterico didn’t ask me to say this.  In fact he feels like he doesn’t deserve it, an opinion I respectfully disagree with.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

ALF: Racist? Or Just Speciesist?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:03 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Via Ace, we get this video of sitcom puppet ALF cursing and dropping the N-word, starting especially around 4:40.  They’re all from outtakes.  Ace explains that the part where he starts using the N-word was a parody of a then-recent episode of LA Law about Tourette’s syndrome, which makes sense in context.  And did I hear some of these child actors cursing, too?

Of course, if you are offended by this, you will probably be gratified that the show ended with ALF being tortured and dissected. Yes, really.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Arlen Specter: Damn This Democracy That Cost Me My Job

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:00 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

So on one hand we have “Allahpundit” over at Hot Air mocking Arlen Specter’s farewell speech where he whines about the primaries and Allah quoting a website that we are boycotting:

Referring to primary challenges as a form of “sophisticated cannibalism,” Specter called out to his moderate colleagues and would-be senators of this cycle: Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah, who lost his nomination at the party convention because activists thought he was too centrist, as well as Murkowski, who lost her primary earlier this year but will likely be certified the winner as a write-in candidate.

“Congressman Mike Castle was rejected in Delaware’s Republican primary in favor of a candidate who thought it necessary to defend herself as not being a witch,” said Specter. “The spectacular reelection of Sen. Lisa Murkowski on a write-in vote in the Alaska general election and the defeat of other tea party candidates may show the way to counter right-wing extremists.”

You can even watch video of him saying that, here.  Get your hankies because it is a sad one.

And meanwhile Althouse tears him apart in a different section of the speech, first quoting him as saying:

“The Supreme Court has been eating Congress’ lunch by invalidating legislation with judicial activism after nominees commit under oath in confirmation proceedings to respect congressional fact finding and precedents…

“Ignoring a massive congressional record and reversing recent decisions, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito repudiated their confirmation testimony given under oath and provided the key votes to permit corporations and unions to secretly pay for political advertising — thus effectively undermining the basic Democratic principle of the power of one person, one vote…  Chief Justice Roberts promised to just call balls and strikes and then he moved the bases.”

And Althouse appropriately responds:

Bleh. You just disagree with the call.  I hate this sort of political posturing. It’s not the massiveness of the congressional record that makes a statute constitutional. It’s fitting within the Constitution.

Specter is acting as if the question at the confirmation hearing was: If we put a really, really huge number of words into the record, do you promise to let us do anything we want? And the answer was: Yes, of course. When I see a lot of pages, I always think, wow, that must be true.

Which is all a valid criticism of Specter, but notice of course the common thread between Specter’s two complaints.  Specter is whining on one hand that the people have chosen to primary incumbents who are not following their will.  And then he is bleating that certain speakers will be able to engage in speech he doesn’t like.  I mean let’s remember what Citizens United was about, apart from his spin, because no one who attacks this decision wants to talk about the facts.  A documentary film company wanted to make a movie against Hillary Clinton and to advertise for it, and the FEC shut it down.  That is political speech at its purist and apparently Specter is sad that it wasn’t suppressed.

And that is a big deal.  As I wrote a few months ago in the context of a politician saying he disagrees with the constitution:

Freedom of expression goes directly to the heart of whether this is a republic or not.  A nation that has no freedom of expression is not a republic or a democracy, even if you have the right to vote.  I mean the syllogism is pretty direct.  The right to make a choice implies the right to make an informed choice.  The right to make an informed choice requires me to hear lots of information regarding that choice.  That means in terms of speech, that people and yes, even corporations, must feel free to express themselves so that you can get the maximum amount of information about that choice, so you can make an informed choice.  Thus the right to choose between two candidates is meaningless without the right to speak freely about them.

So disagreeing with the constitution is not per se bad, but disagreeing with free expression is.  Put simply, the right to debate should not be up for debate.

And that is what Specter is opposed to.  So I suppose that Specter felt he should be Senator because, well… darnit, he should be!  And if rejecting that kind of entitlement is “cannibalism” then I only have one thing to say: can we fit him into a turkey fryer?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Official

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:41 am

Obama just signed the bill.


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