The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yes, Someone Actually Has a Problem With Mother Teresa

With a big hat tip to Hot Air, I learn that our post office is planning to put Mother Theresa on our stamps, and someone actually has a problem with that.  Namely the “Freedom from Religion Foundation.”  I have two big thoughts on this, which will be highlighted in bold.  First:

So, um, all of that is Inconsistent with Atheism?

Now if we go to this story, we are able to read why the US Postal Service wants to put her on a stamp:

"Noted for her compassion toward the poor and suffering, Mother Teresa, a diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years," the Postal Service said in a press release. "Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations."

On the Yoo/Bybee Jihad

We are just learning today that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has basically chosen to clear, in a limited sense, both John Yoo and Jay Bybee.  Lower officials wanted to say that John Yoo’s and Jay Bybee’s advice was so poor that it constituted a breach of professional conduct, which would have led to all kinds of consequences, possibly even endangering their law licenses.  Now they have been overruled and the judgment was downgraded to “poor judgment” which is a reprimand, but not half as bad.

But bluntly, even that is unfair.  And this is something even a non-lawyer is likely to get.  Let’s just take one example: torture.

Torture is banned in 18 U.S.C. §2340A, without defining it.  Then in §2340 (yes, without the “A”) it defines what the term means.  Are you ready for a crystal clear definition that tells us that waterboarding is clearly banned, a regular rosetta stone, giving us a gateway to clarity if not on the moral issue, at least on the law, right?  Right?

Um, not exactly.  Here is what the law says:

Two Stories that Dovetail Together

Miranda Devine at The Sydney Herald says what I long suspected.  The terrorists need to get laid:

Frustration fuels acts of hatred

The 23-year-old Nigerian charged with trying to detonate a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit on Christmas Day was lonely and sexually repressed, according to messages left on an Islamic website.

The Steaming Hypocrisy of the Criminal Approach to War Laid Bare

This morning Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s spokesmodel,* appeared on Cnn’s State of the Union. This is what the New York Daily News reports on the appearance:

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and he’s going to meet his maker," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told John King on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning.

"He's likely to be executed for the heinous crimes he committed," he added.

I’ll try to get the transcript later, just on the principle of trust but verify, but if that is true, it goes to show what a complete sham all of this is.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Birther Movement

Okay, so there are still people going around, saying that Obama’s status as a natural born citizen is in doubt.  As you might remember you have to be a natural born citizen of the United States to be eligible to be president, among other basic requirements.

For instance there are those who claim that he was not actually born in Hawaii.

Or there is a guy I argue with in Althouse’s comments who claims that even if Obama was born in the U.S., because his father was technically a British subject at the time, that meant he was granted British citizenship at birth and thus, simultaneously denied natural born American citizen status. He says that therefore by the operation of another nation’s laws, a person born in America would normally be eligible to be president would be denied that birthright.  I say that’s crap.

But for all that, I get it.  I really get where they are coming from.  Barrack Obama is in my humble opinion the worst president in my lifetime, although to be fair, I was very young when Carter was president and maybe if I remembered Carter better, I would change that ranking some.  But the point is he is bad.  And so what the birther movement is really about, is trying to find a silver bullet that ends his presidency.  Some miracle cure that doesn’t stop cancer, but does stop Obamamania.

But wishing doesn’t make it true.  The fact is that they have found a birth announcement in Hawaii written close to the time.  And you can judge the legal theories of his supposed British citizenship for yourself.

But they make one valid point.  It turns out that when a person becomes president, we don’t even check for this kind of crap.  We don’t ask for their birth certificates, don’t ask for anything to prove they meet the constitutional test of eligibility.  Mind you, of course we shouldn’t only accept birth certificates, but also other forms of evidence and testimony, but the point is you should have to prove you are eligible to be president before you get to be president.  And it’s not about believing anyone isn’t eligible; it’s just that old Reagan mantra: trust but verify.

How’s this for a Pornoriffic Headline?

And here is the picture:

The article itself is boring economic stuff, but wow, doesn’t that get the average male’s attention, at the thought of her unbuttoning her, ahem, titans?

Its both dirty and ingenious.  Well played.

Update: And looking through the comments, we have a collection of guys making horny comments and a few people criticizing it.  I think this commenter has a point, when s/he says “Good going, Gillian. Your headline is sexist and demeans women reporters, yourself included.” Gillian refers to the post’s author.

On one hand, the commenter is right.  On the other hand, it’s hard to summon any reaction more than amusement. Its too ham-handed to have any other reaction.

On Ricci v. DeSteffano (a.k.a. the New Haven Firefighters case)

Yeah, yeah, I know this issue is like so 2009.  I mean it came out last April for frick’s sake.  But I felt I had something to contribute and I thought I would do it, now.

We should start by talking about the facts.  You can read the whole opinion, here.  But this is the short version, with me editorializing a little.

Basically in New Haven they decided that it was time to have an examination to determine who should be promoted in the firefighter ranks.  They went to great lengths to ensure that African Americans did well, but when they got the results back, they said, more or less, “oh shit.  Too many white people got the best scores.”  So then they decided to throw out the scores.

So Ricci and most of the other firefighters up for a promotion sued.  The city defended its conduct on the theory that their test had a disparate impact and thus if they didn’t throw it out, they would be sued.

Now, first, let’s dispose of something important.  This was racial discrimination.  They were ready to promote based on this test until they realized that they didn’t like the color of who did best.  That is racial discrimination, pure and simple.  That doesn’t end the inquiry, mind you, because not all racial discrimination is automatically illegal, but let’s get that part right.

Burying the Bullshit Meter’s Needle (or “Fisking Barbara Streisand on Citizens United”)

Or maybe I could call this, “Shooting Fish in a Barrel.”

That’s right folks, Barbara Streisand has written at the Huffington Post.  Admittedly making fun of her is a bit too easy, but really too much fun to miss out.

So he were go:

Barbra Streisand
Posted: January 28, 2010 03:13 PM

Okay, first, do you believe that Babs wrote a word of this?  Yeah, me neither.  Certainly she has had a history of “blogging” by asking an assistant to speak out in her name.  So let’s instead treat her comments as sort of the comments of the business organization headed by Ms. Streisand.  Let’s call that “Babs, Inc.”

“Simply Not True” (Or “Fisking the State of the Union”)

“Simply not true” is supposedly what Justice Samuel Alito mouthed when Barrack Obama’s State of the Union speech turned to the Citizens United litigation.  You can find my opinion on the case here.  I’ll tell the truth, I can’t read lips to save my life, but I figured it was a good enough title for my fisking.  I mean I have to say I was more than a little taken aback by the rank dishonesty the president engaged in.  I mean Bill Clinton was more honest than him, if you can believe that.  And the intellectual blind spots the president had.  Yike.

I think the other thing that struck me was that Obama was really really loose in that speech.  I mean I felt like this was his “game day with the boys” voice, rather than him being president.  In most contexts, I would have found that charming.  In fact, to some degree I was charmed.  But...  it wasn’t particularly presidential.  His “law professor mode” is pretty presidential and frankly he should have stuck to that.

Now I am going to base this on the transcript here.  I don’t think it captured every word, I think it leans more toward his planned remarks.  But its what I have to work with, because its not like I am a court reporter in my spare time.

So let’s read through this together, shall we?

Friday, January 29, 2010


In my last post I said it was impossible for me to learn another language, and then put an asterisk with the word “impossible.”  That is because, well, that is a tiny bit of bullshit.  Let me tell you something about disabled culture.  Sometimes we use that word “impossible” when something is not literally impossible.  Like to give an example, a paraplegic, that is a man who can’t move his legs, might say it is impossible for him to climb stairs.  But that isn’t usually true.  Often they can drag their bodies up using just their arms.  What they really mean, then, is that it is so ridiculously difficult that whatever the reward is couldn’t possibly be worth it.

In that sense I meant it was impossible for me to learn a foreign language.  As in, it is so ridiculously difficult, it can’t be worth it.

Just to clear the air.  So I am not bullshitting you.  At least not for very long.

On Cultural Nationalism

I have been vaguely aware of a trend in American culture, which is to try to get in touch with the roots of your so-called ethnic identity.  So you see Americans of Scottish descent, two generations removed from anyone who has even seen the “homeland,” deciding suddenly they like kilts, bagpipe music and haggis.  It can be silly like that, or downright pernicious, telling Latinos that they should keep speaking Spanish, not learn English and not integrate into American society.  Of course the concern that Latinos is doing this are overblown, but I think there is little denying that to a degree far beyond other immigrant groups, Latinos are encouraged not to integrate, thus segregating themselves from our culture.  Its isn’t good when our candidates make one set of ads in English and another in Spanish; it sews distrust that goes along racial lines.

Indeed, how does this work? I am for instance 3/8 German, 1/8 English, 1/4 Scottish and 1/4 Welsh.  So am I supposed to learn all about each distinctive culture, or am I supposed to spend time learning about each culture in proportion to my genetics.  Oh, and if my wife and I have children, those children will be English, German, Scottish, Welsh, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.  Or as I jokingly say, we’ll shorten that to “American.”

And in the end this kind of cultural fetishism is just silly at best.  The fact is just because something is supposedly part of your culture doesn’t mean you have to do it, too.  Just about every culture in the world does at least one thing that makes absolutely no fucking sense and shouldn’t be adopted.  We are in the New World now, where we take all of the world’s culture, bastardize it, put ketchup on it, and eat it; or in the case of the really bad stuff, leave it behind. Be an American and say, “screw tradition. Haggis is nasty.”

Calling Bullshit on Chemerinsky (or “Fisking a Law School Dean”)

Erwin Chemerinsky is a constitutional law professor and the Dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law. And you know, I have been exposed to his teachings twice. First, I purchased a bunch of tapes on the first year curriculum to give me a running start and then if memory serves he was in the Barbri course to help me prepare for the bar exam. Up until now, I considered him liberal, but basically fair.

But his op-ed on Citizens United is crap.

Of course you can read my argument on the subject, here. Or just scroll down, you lazy bastard!

So let’s start reading together, shall we?
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision holding that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money in election campaigns...

Okay stop right there. This is dishonest. The FEC told Citizens United that it could not purchase advertising. So to frame this as being about spending, without noticing that the spending purchases speech is dishonest.

I mean imagine if we passed a law stating that the New York Times was forbidden from buying paper or ink. Would that be a restriction on commerce? Or would that be a restriction on the freedom of the press?

This isn’t a restriction merely on expenditures. This is a restriction on expression. Remember that.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wear Your Hard Hats

I am constructing this blog as we speak. Hopefully nothing will fall on you.

For instance, I have only barely started to put up my links. There are a lot of great sites to link, but it’s a start.

And it’s a good time to tell you something else about this blog. There are blogs that follow the news obsessively. This isn’t going to be one of them. I am going to post maybe once or twice a day, and generally after work. I would say my model is Beldar, but the bastard hasn’t posted in months.

Beldar, I say that with love. Come back to us. We miss you.

So I guess Legal Insurrection is my model. Cool.

Freedom of Expression is for Everyone (Even Those You Don't Like)

On January 23, the New York Times denounced the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. F.E.C., stating that “the court[] ... has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials.” In a twist worthy of Monty Python and the Life of Brian, this editorial was unsigned, representing the voice of the New York Times Co., itself a corporation. It amounted to “this corporation says that no corporation has a right to free expression.”

Next I suppose the entire staff will gather together and chant, in unison, “we are all individuals.”

Sorely missing from most critiques of the case are the facts, probably because they are devastating to their argument. Citizens United made a movie called Hillary: The Movie, allegedly a 90 minute infomercial against Hillary Clinton, who was then seeking to become president. Citizens wanted to advertise for its movie, but the FEC stated that it could not, because they held that the advertisements were tantamount to electioneering by urging against the election of a candidate, and as a corporation Citizens was forbidden from electioneering close to elections.

“So Who the Fuck are You?” (or: “About me”)

Okay, having managed to fight the blogger editor until it let me post, once, I figured it was time to tell you a little more about me.  I will try to backdate it to make it my first post, but I might not be successful.

I am in my 30’s.  Happily married.  I work as a lawyer.  Ah, crap, now you hate me, right?  Well, I will also say that I am not one of those cheesy lawyers who isn’t aware of how his profession can be incredibly corrosive in our society, nor do I make the mistake of thinking every problem has to be solved by lawyers.