Archive for the 'Accidental' category

A Helpful Hint for Orly Taitz:

Nov 13 2009 Published by under Accidental

When attempting to score cheap political points on the backs of dead American soldiers in your legal filings, it is generally considered to be a good idea to take the time to get at least one or two of the basic factual details correct. Like maybe the number killed in the incident you are referring to. Or their ages. Or their gender. This type of thing just doesn't cut it:

If someone were to have common sense, brains and strength of character to challenge allegiance of Nidal Malik Hasan in court, after he made numerous anti-American and antimilitary statements, maybe 12 young boys wouldn't be 6 feet under today, maybe 12 mothers and 12 fathers wouldn't had their hearts ripped out of their chests and torn apart.

It might also be a good idea to try to remember that making "anti-American" and/or "antimilitary" statements isn't actually a crime in the US, and that there is actually no way that I know of for someone to challenge the "allegiance" or citizenship of an American-born US citizen in court. Unfortunately, that requires far more ability to comprehend the Constitution than Taitz has ever been able to demonstrate.

13 responses so far

Orly Taitz Sanctioned For Frivolous Filings With $20K Fine

Oct 13 2009 Published by under Accidental

As some of you might recall, I've been keeping tabs on some of the continuing court antics of Dentist/Lawyer Orly Taitz, High Priestess of the Birther Movement. Her frivolous court filings - which start out at chiropteran excrement insane and go downhill from there - have been providing me with a great deal of entertainment lately. Of course, that's at least partially because I don't actually have to waste time and effort responding to them, and can stop reading them anytime I want (really, I can).

Apparently, not everyone has been as amused by Taitz's apparent inability to grasp subtle nuances of legal procedure (such as the inadvisability of responding to a contempt citation by accusing the judge of treason). Judge Clay Land, of the US District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, has just weighed in on her conduct, and he certainly doesn't seem to be as amused as I am.

If you've been keeping score, you might remember that Land recently ordered Taitz to show cause as to why he should not fine her $10,000. I suppose you could say that she succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations, because Land declined to fine her the $10K. She's on the hook for $20,000 instead. Land justifies this decision in a 43-page ruling that certainly pulls no punches.

I've pulled some of the more remarkable quotes from the ruling for your enlightenment and entertainment. It looks to me like the man certainly has a good grasp of the situation.

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15 responses so far

An interesting parallel between Intelligent Design and Birtherism

Oct 05 2009 Published by under Accidental, Humor, Intelligent Design

As I wrote that title, I realized that it's probably insufficiently informative - there are, after all, multiple parallels between Intelligent Design proponents and the crackpots dedicated defenders of the Constitution who continue to insist that Barack Obama is not eligible to be the President. Both groups, for example, have a blind devotion to a concept that has no actual basis in reality. Both appear to be remarkably skeptical toward the enormous amounts of evidence challenging their views while simultaneously demonstrating a remarkable credulity toward any evidence that might possibly be remotely construed as supporting their views, and both demand that they be proven wrong beyond an unreasonable doubt.

As obvious as the parallels between the two groups are concerned, I was actually struck more by their use of a similar tactic. Earlier today, I was watching the insane train wreck that is Orly Taitz reading through court documents in some of the not-yet-laughed-out-of-court still pending birther suits. One paragraph from one of the many motions filed caught my eye:

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15 responses so far

Steele's "Weak Reviews"

Apr 28 2009 Published by under Accidental

I'm still trying to fully digest the implications of Specter's Switch, but there was something in one of the Politico articles on the defection that I can't resist commenting on now:

In 2001, Republicans still had the House and the White House. Now they have neither. Instead, they have a Republican National Committee chairman who is drawing weak reviews for gaffes...

What? Are they kidding? Steele's gaffes get great reviews. There's nobody in American politics today who can manage to jump, stuff both feet in his mouth, and land flat on his ass in front of the camera the way Michael Steele does. It's spectacular. And he does it almost every time.

One response so far

Swine Flu, Cultural Sensitivity, and a slight lack thereof:

Apr 28 2009 Published by under Accidental

The BBC is reporting that some people are not thrilled about calling the influenza virus that's currently causing alarm around the world "swine flu". Unfortunately, there's a slight possibility that the alternative suggestion wasn't entirely well thought out.

One Monday, Israel's deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, who belongs to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, said the outbreak should be renamed "Mexican flu" in deference to Jewish and Muslim sensitivities over pork.

Anyone else just facepalm?

11 responses so far

Quote of the Day - 23 April 2009

Apr 23 2009 Published by under Accidental

After my earlier antics, this seemed apropos. Particularly given the conversation that took place after my wife found the directions I hadn't read.

Jill: I thought you said it was a technical problem!

Tim: Technically, I was the problem.

Home Improvement

Episode 1.09 Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

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Rep. Joe Barton: Not Smarter Than A 6th Grader

Apr 22 2009 Published by under Accidental

Representative Joe Barton is feeling very good about himself right now. He's convinced that he "baffled" a Nobel Laureate with a "basic question." During a congressional hearing earlier today, he asked Energy Secretary Stephen Chu how the oil got to Alaska. Here's the YouTube clip of the exchange. For your convenience, I've done a quick transcript.

Barton: Dr. Chu, I don't wanna leave you out, you're our... you're our scientist. I have one simple question for you in the last six seconds. How did all the oil and gas get to Alaska and under the Arctic Ocean?

Chu: [Nervous-sounding laughter] This is... this is a complicated story, but, but oil and gas is the result of hundreds of millions of years of geology, and in that time also the plates have moved around, and so it's the combination of where the sources of the oil and gas are...

Barton (interrupting): Well, I mean, isn't it obvious that at one time it was a lot warmer in Alaska and on the north pole? It wasn't a big pipeline that we created in Texas and shipped it up there and put it underground so we could now pump it out and ship it back.

Chu: No. There are... there's continental plates that have been drifting around throughout the geological ages...

Barton (interrupting): So it just drifted up there?

Chu: That's certainly what happened. And so it's the result of things like that.

Here's what Rep Barton took from that exchange, as eloquently expressed in his two Tweets:

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14 responses so far

Picture of the Day - 22 April 2009

Apr 22 2009 Published by under Accidental

There are two pictures in today's installment. Both were taken just a few minutes ago. The second is a close-up of the area circled in red in the first picture.


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Picture of the Day - 16 April 2009

Apr 16 2009 Published by under Accidental

This one falls into the "silly-looking things we do in the name of science" category:


This picture was taken when I was helping a fellow grad student out with her project. She was banding and taking a blood sample from the Laysan Albatross that had been sitting on that nest. My job was to stand still and cast enough of a shadow to keep direct sunlight from overheating the egg until the bird was back on the nest.

2 responses so far

Questionable Classic: Boy Was That Stupid

Apr 07 2009 Published by under Accidental

Since I'm currently out of town, original content is going to be in short supply for a few days. Fortunately, there are a few things I've written over the years that I think people might still enjoy (or at least tolerate). Since they didn't get read much when I first posted them, I thought I'd give them another chance. This one threatens to get a bit recursive - it's a trip down memory lane to look at another trip down memory lane. It was originally posted at the old blog on 6 September 2005.

Just when I had begun to think that we had pretty much scraped the bottom of the barrel of stupidity as far as Katrina goes, former First Lady and current First Mommy Barbara Bush proved once again that there is no bottom to that barrel. From the Independent Online:

Barbara: 'Victims poor anyway'

Barbara Bush, the former first lady, courted controversy by pointing out that many of the people forced out of their homes by Hurricane Katrina "were underprivileged anyway". Mrs Bush, who joined her husband, George, on a tour of the Houston Astrodome, said: "And so many of the people in the arena here were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them. What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."

Wow. I mean, really. Wow. For a minute there, I thought I'd actually never seen that level of painfully stupid ignorance. But after a minute, it picked the scab off of some old memories. Once, a long time ago, I actually ran into that level of cluelessness.

It was back in the early nineties. David Dinkins was the major in New York, and I had a summer internship at the Mayor's Action Center, where I worked on a consituent complaints hotline. It was kind of fun. We had a primitive call-routing voicemail system - "Push one for welfare issues, push two for parking violations" type thing. I was usually on button six - "For all other complaints". Some of the issues were legitimate. Others involved reassuring people that we had nothing to do with the CIA and their mind rays.

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