Wednesday, February 25, 2009


the reviews are in — but haven't we seen this movie before?

keith olbermann, rachel maddow and chris matthews on msnbc:

josh marshall @ talkingpointsmemo:

jindal's comments and presentation was just weird and cringy and awful.

david brooks on pbs news hour:

... uh, not so well. you know, i think bobby jindal is a very promising politician, and i oppose the stimulus because i thought it was poorly drafted, but to come up at this moment in history with a stale "government is the problem," "we can't trust the federal government" — it's just a disaster for the republican party. the country is in a panic right now. they may not like the way the democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we're just gonna — that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that — in a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say "government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending," it's just a form of nihilism. it's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. there's an intra-republican debate. some people say the republican party lost its way because they got too moderate. some people say they got too weird or too conservative. he thinks they got too moderate, and so he's making that case. i think it's insane, and i just think it's a disaster for the party. i just think it's unfortunate right now.

andrew sullivan @ the atlantic:

close your eyes and think of kenneth from 30 rock. i can barely count the number of emails making that observation. i'm told olbermann's open mic got it right: jindal's entrance reminded one of mr. burns gamboling toward a table of ointments.

... there was, alas, a slightly high-school debate team feel to the beginning. and there was a patronizing feel to it as well — as if he were talking to kindergartners — that made obama's adult approach so much more striking. and i'm not sure that the best example for private enterprise is responding to a natural calamity that even ron paul believes is a responsibility for the federal government. and really: does a republican seriously want to bring up katrina? as for the biography, it felt like obama-lite. with far less political skill.

... but give him his due: he did in the end concede that the gop currently has a credibility problem on the fiscal issues they are now defining themselves with....

the rest was boilerplate. and tired, exhausted, boilerplate. if the gop believes tax cuts — more tax cuts — are the answer to every problem right now, they are officially out of steam and out of ideas. and remember: this guy is supposed to be the smart one.

kathryn jean lopez @ the national review:

e-mails i’m getting are from disappointed conservatives. they wanted a full-throated response to obama and expected and/or wanted more.

not even fox news is interested in rescuing poor bobby:

brit hume: the speech read a lot better than it sounded. this was not bobby jindal's greatest oratorical moment.
nina easton: the delivery was not exactly terrific.
charles krauthammer: jindal didn't have a chance. he follows obama, who in making speeches, is in a league of his own. he's in a reagan-esque league. ... [jindal] tried the best he could.
juan williams: it came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was sing-songy. he was telling stories that seemed very simplistic and almost childish.

okay, enough with the paid opinions — what are real patriotic god-fearing usurper-hating americans saying?:

back to the drawing board, GOP!!!!

someone needs to teach the GOP about youtube and other networking sites. from what i can tell, there's still no "official" GOP rebuttal video posted.

the first 10 minutes was a disaster. oh wait, the speech was only 10 mins long? well, i was hoping he would do well but did not impress.

we need four things four years from now. personality, can give a speech, conservative, and can raise $500 million.

i think the only person who can do all four is palin. i did not connect with jindal at all tonight and i don’t know if anyone else can raise %500 million.

jindal’s speech was a stinker. to begin with, i’m sick of hearing republicans going on and on about how the election of 0bama was so so historic. jindal’s delivery was poor, and his attempts at personalizing stories kind of fell flat. i’ve heard him speak before, he’s a smart guy, but he’s very dull. if he were to get the nomination in 2012 he’d draw mccain size crowds, maybe a bit bigger. bored, unenthusiastic crowds don’t volunteer, don’t donate, and sometimes don’t even vote. last i heard he’s only rejected $98 million of the stimulus for louisiana, which is just over ten percent. palin has rejected about 50 percent of the $1 billion offered her state. all she’s taking are for construction projects.

we have GREAT candidates but they keep being shown in an awful light. that’s the problem.

i've read about jindal for months now, but this is the first speech i've seen him make. an unmitigated disaster.

... jindal is off my list for potential 2012 nominee. which one.

i heard jindal on the radio earlier today. sounded squishy. a republican should have gone on tonight and said:

why have you spent over a million dollars keeping your birth certificate locked up?

are you a natural-born citizen? are you even a citizen?

since your grandfather, father, mother, and mentor, and all your associates since childhood have been communists—why aren’t you a communist? or are you?

why have you seized control of the census?

why have you given acorn $4 billion? isn’t there enough thuggery and vote fraud to satisfy you?

of course the “stimulus bill” had no earmarks—it was 100% pork from beginning to end. earmarks are pork! if a bill is 100& pork, there’s no need for earmarks.

why is the money supply shooting up like a moon rocket?

and why have you spent over a million dollars keeping your birth certificate locked up? (i know—i want to see this question repeated.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

certifigate: insurrection!

in my daily kos diary, "certifigate: the cancer metastasizes", i noted how the eligibility "scandal", formerly the fevered affliction of only anonymous self-proclaimed internet "constitutionalists", has single-mindedly vectored from right-wing blogs into the congressional houses of three states and, at least for a day, the u.s. senate. today, the epidemic contaminated another important target population — the active duty military:

23 feb 2009

to any and all interested parties,

as an active-duty officer in the united states army, i have grave concerns about the constitutional eligibilty of barack hussein obama to hold the office of president of the united states. he has absolutely refused to provide to the american public his original birth certificate, as well as other documents which may prove or disprove his eligibility. in fact, he has fought every attempt made by concerned citizens in their effort to force him to do so.

until mr. obama releases a “vault copy” of his original birth certificate for public review, i will consider him neither my commander in chief nor my president, but rather, a usurper to the office — an impostor.

my conviction is such that i am compelled to join dr. orly taitz’s lawsuit, as a plaintiff, against mr. obama. as a citizen, it pains me to do this, but as an offficer, my sworn oath to support and defend our constitution requires this action.

i joined the army at age 40, after working in iraq as a contractor with KBR in ‘05/’06. i chose to work with KBR to support my troops and then left that lucrative position when the army raised it’s maximum enlistment age to 40. upon completion of basic training, i entered officer candidate school and commissioned as a 2LT in august 2007. after completing the subsequent basic officer leadership courses, i was assigned to ft. knox and shortly therafter deployed to balad, iraq. i was promoted to 1LT on feb. 2, 2009 and i have approximately five months remaining of our fifteen month deployment.

i implore all service-members and citizens to contact their senators and representatives and demand that they require mr. obama prove his eligibility. our constitution and our great nation must not be allowed to be disgraced.

very respectfull,
scott r. easterling
united states army

easterling is not the first serviceman afflicted with the certifigate bug. retired air force colonel gregory hollister is suing obama in his capacity as a ready reserve officer, "subject to presidential recall for the rest of his life". his case hangs by a fraying thread after having been gutted of its main argument and his advocate philip berg will likely face sanctions for frivolity. retired army colonel harry riley has also been named in a coming lawsuit.

but easterling, as an active serviceman, is the first to openly risk court-martial for his actions. his signed written statement leaves precious little room, if any, for interpretation:

i will consider him neither my commander in chief nor my president, but rather, a usurper to the office — an impostor.

and he declares his duty to be subject to conditions not found in the uniform code of military justice:

until mr. obama releases a “vault copy” of his original birth certificate for public review

ultimately inciting his comrades service-wide to follow him over the hill:

i implore all service-members and citizens to contact their senators and representatives and demand that they require mr. obama prove his eligibility.

if easterling actually consulted a real military legal officer before inscribing his john hancock on the dotted line, he was either poorly served or not listening. from the army manual for courts-martial:

§ 888. art. 88. contempt toward officials

any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, congress, the secretary of defense, the secretary of a military department, the secretary of homeland security, or the governor or legislature of any state, commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

usurper ... imposter ... our constitution and our great nation must not be allowed to be disgraced ...

the potential case against easterling seems quite cut-and-dried to me. but never fear, dr. orly's here!

yes, it's true — lt. easterling has placed his professional career and personal freedom into the hands of none other than an unaccredited part-time dentist-lawyer from california (by way of russia and israel, making her somewhat less than natural-born™, but she more than makes up for it with her special brand of patriotism):

orly taitz's quest for active duty cannon fodder for her fruitless holy war has disturbed even her fellow certifigaters. delusional self-professed paranoid leo donofrio, whose own lawsuits were thrown out by the supreme court, posted this warning to servicemen tempted to enlist in orly's army:


i do not believe the attorney meant to do harm, but the consent form is so incredibly dangerous that i must speak out about it. furthermore, i would counsel the attorney that they may be guilty of inciting sedition. please stop using this form and counseling people with regard thereto.

but most certifigaters, from the comfort of their armchairs, have been emboldened by the news. scott easterling, following in a long line of misguided and expendable patriots throughout the history of war, seems destined to join the dusty pile of bones littering the base of every false idol.

thank you mr. easterling!

wow..BRAVE MAN!! A REAL MAN!! between this and senator shelby today..i am beginning to have hope again. something is up!

(hmmm ... i guess news of shelby's "clarification" hasn't quite sunken in yet ...)

we need to get thousands of officers and enlisted soldiers to join him.

the mark of a soldier is someone who does more than talk, or hope, or pretend, or complain, but actually puts his body and life on the line.

IMO, it appears lt. easterling is putting the constitution and our country ahead of his personal future.

sounds an aweful like those who 'dared' sign a declaration of independence back in 1776.

if lt. easterling is indeed court martialed for this act, it will create a flood of military people standing up in his stead.

lt easterling is a hero, whose neck is further exposed than the patriot legislators in tennessee. rick santelli, another hero, has gotten some press exposure. might some press exposure help easterling? i'm retired military, and can guess that easterling has stirred a hornet's nest in his company. he will now pay whatever price the left can extract. is there some way we can make it worth his sacrifice?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

certifigate: a scorecard

the following chart is reproduced from dr. conspiracy's ongoing obama conspiracy theories docket project, in which he hopes to catalogue all "lawsuits against barack obama or others alleging conspiracies about obama". his list is not exhaustive and i've omitted cases not posing an eligibility challenge.

thus far the the good doctor's eligibility portion of cases is up to 31, with 22 denials or dismissals. and contrary to what patriotic usurper-hating certifigaters want to tell themselves, successfully filing a application doesn't count as a win. they remain ever determined, however, to get their big vindicating victory in the courts, even if they have to roll their own.

berg v obama et alpa eastfdismisseddocuments
3rd circuit appealsffiledbrief fec
brief o dnc
berg v obamadc districtffiledsealed
brockhausen v andradedismissed
broe v reedwashing state supremesdismissedarticle
church of jesus christ christian aryan nations of missouri et al v obama et almo westffiledarticle
cohen v obamadismissed
connerat v browningdismissed
donofrio v wellsnjsdismissed
nj supreme courtsdenied
essek v obamaky eastfdismissedorder
gleeson v mcdonald et alndffiledofficial
hollister v soetorodcffiledarticle
o motion
motion op
hunter v obamadismissed
judy v mccaindismissed
kerchner et al v obama et alnjffiledcomplaint
amend 1
amend 2
keyes v bowensuperior court of casfiledpetition
keyes v lingledismissed
keyes et al v obama et alca centralffiledarticle
lightfoot v bowenscotusfdenied
morrow v obamafl miamiffiledprisoner
neely v obamami eastfdismissedcomplaint
roy v obamahifdismissedcomplaint
schneller v cortespa supreme courtsdeniedsummary
stamper v usdismissed
strunknys 29641-08s
strunknys 29642-08s
strunkny eastfdismissed
strunk2nd circuitfdenied
sullivan v marshalldismissed
terry v handeldenied
welch v mukasey et alnyfdismissed
wrotnowski v bysiewiczctsdismissedorder
"s/f" = state/federal.
"article" = published non-judicial comment.
"official" = plaintiff is suing the president in his official capacity.
"prisoner" = plaintiff is in prison suing the president in his official capacity.
see also the right side of life eligibility lawsuits page. cases with hyperlinks are from this source.
see also free republic list of cases.

Friday, February 20, 2009

life is cheap

... and after the bankrupt ruin of the invasion of iraq, so are neocons.

fred kagan, brainchild of george bush's "surge strategy" escalation gamble, on iraqi indifference:

... the interesting thing is that when we were fighting those battles and doing that damage, on the whole the iraqis were not bitching about collateral damage. you had nothing like the degree of upset about how many civilians were being injured and how much damage was being done to the infrastructure in iraq at a much higher level of destruction than you have in afghanistan at a much lower level of destruction.

i think there's a cultural reason for that: afghans don't fight in their cities. iraqis do. for good or ill, iraqis expect to fight in their cities. that's where the insurgents dug in, saddam hussein planned to dig in to the cities or lure us into an urban fight. it's sort of understood that the battlefield is going to be there, that doesn't mean that they don't complain about it, that doesn't mean that it's not a problem, but it does mean that when the insurgents dig in and we root them out, the iraqis don't on the whole say "darn it, you shouldn't have blown up all of our houses." they sort of accept that. afghans do not.

shorter kagan:

the oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does the westerner. life is cheap in the orient.

— general william westmoreland, “hearts and minds” (1974)

... which is why we shouldn’t feel bad about killin’ lots 'n' lots of ‘em, amirite, freddy boy?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

invitation declined

more fun stuff via p.z. myers @ pharyngula:

dear professor gotelli,

i saw your op-ed in the burlington free press and appreciated your support of free speech at UVM. in light of that, i wonder if you would be open to finding a way to provide a campus forum for a debate about evolutionary science and intelligent design. the discovery institute, where i work, has a local sponsor in burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen. but we need a partner on campus. if not the biology department, then perhaps you can suggest an alternative.

ben stein may not be the best person to single-handedly represent the ID side. as you're aware, he's known mainly as an entertainer. a more appropriate alternative or addition might be our senior fellows david berlinski or stephen meyer, respectively a mathematician and a philosopher of science. i'll copy links to their bios below. wherever one comes down in the darwin debate, i think we can all agree that it is healthy for students to be exposed to different views — in precisely the spirit of inviting controversial speakers to campus, as you write in your op-ed.

i'm hoping that you would be willing to give a critique of ID at such an event, and participate in the debate in whatever role you feel comfortable with.

a good scientific backdrop to the discussion might be dr. meyer's book that comes out in june from harpercollins, "signature in the cell: DNA and the evidence for intelligent design."

on the other hand, dr. belinski may be a good choice since he is a critic of both ID and darwinian theory.

would it be possible for us to talk more about this by phone sometime soon?

with best wishes,
david klinghoffer
discovery institute

dear dr. klinghoffer:

thank you for this interesting and courteous invitation to set up a debate about evolution and creationism (which includes its more recent relabeling as "intelligent design") with a speaker from the discovery institute. your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the discovery institute's website:

however, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists.

academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics need to have a basis in reality. i would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that i would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a holocaust revisionist. these ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars. creationism is in the same category.

instead of spending time on public debates, why aren't members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as science, nature, or the proceedings of the national academy of sciences? if you want to be taken seriously by scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish. academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. that would be nobel prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

"conspiracy" is the predictable response by ben stein and the frustrated creationists. but conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. creationism doesn't live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don't maintain scientific standards.

finally, isn't it sort of pathetic that your large, well-funded institute must scrape around, panhandling for a seminar invitation at a little university in northern new england? practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. if creationists actually published some legitimate science, they would receive such invitations as well.

so, i hope you understand why i am declining your offer. i will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of nature and science. but until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.

in closing, i do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the discovery institute website. as an evolutionary biologist, i can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. my colleagues will be envious.

sincerely yours,

nick gotelli

p.s. i hope you will forgive me if i do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the discovery institute. this has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.

Kick the baby

update: klinghoffer responds:

what is hypocrisy, after all?

i've been corresponding with nicolas gotelli, a university of vermont biologist. when i received his response to my initial email, i thought it was so ridiculous and hypocritical that i said to myself, wouldn't it be amusing to publish this on ENV? then i reflected disappointedly, no, it's a private correspondence, that would be unethical! i can't do it without his permission and, since he'd have to be pretty thoughtless to allow someone to reprint his hysterically bristling letter, it's not worth asking.

luckily, professor gotelli has solved my problem for me. he promptly and without seeking permission sent our emails off to pz myers, who immediately published them on pharyngula. you can read the correspondence there. thank you, gentlemen.

gotelli is the fellow who wrote an op-ed in the burlington free press expressing the view that it was only proper that uvm should cancel ben stein as graduation speaker because the popular entertainer is also a "notorious advocate of intelligent design" who maintains that darwinian ideas had deadly consequences in the form of nazi racist ideology (only too true). gotelli asserted it was appropriate to invite "controversial" speakers to campus, since "one of the best ways to refute intellectually bankrupt ideas is to expose them to the light of day." but a commencement speaker is someone special, gotelli went on, someone chosen for his peer-reviewed scholarship.

someone, it turns out, like the widely published scholar howard dean, to whom UVM turned next and who will deliver the commencement address. what, as one online reader of gotelli's op-ed plaintively asked, "was daffy duck unavailable?"

prompted by a friend in vermont who wanted to see stein speak at UVM, i wrote to gotelli on the assumption that just possibly he was sincere in his protestations about being for free speech. perhaps he would agree to advise me on finding a forum for a debate about darwinism on the UVM campus, on some occasion other than commencement. i suggested that rather than ben stein, it might be illuminating to put up a scientific darwin critic like stephen meyer or david berlinski against a darwinian advocate like, oh, nick gotelli.

it was a pipe dream of mine. these guys always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about darwin — doubts shared, of course, by most americans. sure enough, gotelli wrote back, all in a huff. first, he was offended by a post on ENV that mildly guffawed at his op-ed and the choice of dean as commencement speaker — thinking i had written the post, which actually i didn't. gotelli had misunderstood the author identification. he called the post "sneering" — which it hardly was — and decried my "two-faced dishonesty" in now writing to him in a courteous tone.

i always try to write to and about people in a courteous tone. not so, gotelli — or pz myers, or most anyone i can think of in the online darwinist community, where venom and vulgarity are the norm. which is interesting in itself. i guess ideas have consequences after all.

after throwing around the scare word "creationism" a number of times and mixing it up with other insults and untruths, gotelli closes by, first, withdrawing his earlier suggestion that stein (or anyone associated with ID) would make an appropriate "controversial" campus speaker, and then childishly warning that if i should try to reply to him, he would not answer me or anyone else from the discovery institute. in other words, "nah nah nah, boo boo!" as my kids would put it.

hypocrisy may be the wrong word for gotelli's about-face on free speech. anyone who fails, out of weakness or temptation, to live up to his own openly professed ideals is a hypocrite. that would include most human beings. the normal feeling that goes with this is embarrassment. a hypocrite wouldn't seek to publicize his hypocrisy.

maybe, then, the right designation for someone like gotelli is a cynic. that's someone who treats ideas as chess pieces. when it suits your purposes, you advance an idea — like "free speech." when it doesn't suit your purpose, the same idea becomes expendable, a useless pawn.

but no, that's not quite it either. a cynic is typically smart enough to try to keep his cynicism a secret. that's part of his game strategy. a cynic wouldn't forward his correspondence to a buddy with a popular website, so that everyone could see how little trouble he takes to consider the words he writes.

the person who would do that isn't a hypocrite or a cynic. he's a fool.

ooh ... pretty!

evolution chart (click for full size):

(hat tip to p.z. myers @ pharyngula)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

certifigate: a grand opening!

hear ye! hear ye! attention all natural-born™ constitution-loving citizens of this free republic!

national grand jurywhen in the course of stalled litigation and disagreeable judgments, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the judicial bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's god entitle them, a decent respect to the injured sensibilities of all usurper-hating patriots and the famished purses of the counselors who succor them requires that they should declare the formation of their own independent judiciary body:

national grand jury declaration
february 15, 2009

pursuant to first amendment (the right of the people peaceably to assemble), the ninth amendment (the enumeration in the constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people), and the tenth amendment to the constitution for the united states of america (the powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people), this national grand jury is convened by natural born citizens of the fifty several states and of the united states of america, seating 50 jurors pursuant to the duties, powers, responsibilities, qualifications as established hereunder for the following purposes:

  • to examine all aspects of the federal government by initiating its own investigations.

  • to serve as ombudsmen for the citizens of the country in respect to constitutional rights. and privileges established under the organic documents of the united states of america, as properly amended from time to time.

  • to conduct criminal investigations of members of the federal government, and, if the evidence is sufficient, issue criminal indictments.

the national grand jury process

... the national grand jury shall review the officers of the federal government to determine whether they are constitutionally qualified to hold office, and to determine if their actions and behavior are consistent with stated objectives of the declaration of independence, constitution for the united states of america as properly amended, and the criminal law as recognized in any of the several states.

requirements to become a grand juror

national grand juror candidates must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • be a natural born citizen of the united states (born in one of the fifty states of the united states to parents both of whom were u.s citizens and resident in the united states at that time).

  • be at least 18 years old.

  • be a resident of the state that the juror represents for at least one year immediately prior to selection.

  • exhibit intelligence, sound judgment, and good character.

  • cannot have been convicted of malfeasance in office, any felony or other high crime.

  • cannot be serving as a public official.

hmm ... item 1 would disqualify mccain, though i doubt too many freepers would be disappointed. in fact, item 4 would disqualify most if not all freepers and without exception all certifigaters ...

grand jury selection process

there shall be 50 members of the grand jury with 50 alternates. candidates are to be selected from a pool of nominees who shall submit their nomination to the nominating committee. nominees will be appointed by the affirmative vote of the nominating committee, who shall base their nomination on the following criteria expressed in priority:

first - an affidavit of qualification where the nominee asserts that the nominee:

  • is intelligent (demonstrating the ability to read and to write), uses sound judgment (exhibits ability to reason) and is a person of good character (does not engage in misconduct, interpersonal attacks, foul language or disruptive behavior);

  • can and will render decisions according to the rule of law without prejudice or bias

this part probably needs amending:

  • is intelligent (demonstrating the ability to read and to write), uses sound judgment (exhibits ability to reason) and is a person of good character (does not engage in misconduct, interpersonal attacks, foul language or disruptive behavior towards "certifigaters");

  • can and will render decisions according to the rule of law without prejudice or bias against "certifigaters"

there! all fixed! so when do we get started?

the federal grand jury will be held virtually on the internet with a central location to be decided for when physical meetings are required. mr. pidgeon also hints that there will be those who would be willing to enforce any finding that is to come out of a federal grand jury.

it is expected that the federal grand jury’s mission will be completed by the end of summer, 2009, sometime after a continental congress is held. this initiative is expected to be fully spearheaded by mr. pidgeon.

oh most excellent! a cyber jury! with cyber police! agent smith, i can't wait! bring forth the contestants!

the requirements are even stricter than that required of the president!

that said, i could easily qualify for about 99% of them. (i do have a tendency to let a well vocalized “swear word” pass my lips when the occasion calls for it-that might disqualify me.) where do you sign up??!! ; )

exhibit intelligence, sound judgment, and good character.
that excludes all lawyers.

would that include declaration author steve pidgeon, as well as phil berg, orly taitz and the rest of the certifigate brain trust?

... having folks produce their birth certificate along with the birth certificate of their parents should be easy enough to do and for the folks to provide. i can produce mine and those of my parents.

as long as they check out with polarik and techdude, you're in, citizen!

this is either a very cool idea, or someone is feeling extremely self-important. sounds like quasi-government/within-yet-outside-government/cum posse commitatus/extralegal quixotic windmill tilting, and will be perceived as such (if it ever reaches any appreciable levels of public perception at all).

but then, i could be wrong. hope so.

i'm sensing you're not fully on board the love train, citizen. next!

true. that could be the downside. in the wrong hands it could easily turn into a "people’s tribunal" kinda thing. that would be my only reservation about it.

i find your lack of faith in the "people" disturbing, citizen. next!

true. that could be the downside. in the wrong hands it could easily turn into a "people’s tribunal" kinda thing. that would be my only reservation about it.
i think it's about time for one.

ding! ding! ding! i believe we've found our first juror!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

negotiation 101

this should not have been a learning experience:

what has this experience with the stimulus led you to think about when you think about these future challenges?

obama: now, just in terms of the historic record here, the republicans were brought in early and were consulted. and you'll remember that when we initially introduced our framework, they were pleasantly surprised and complimentary about the tax cuts that were presented in that framework. those tax cuts are still in there. i mean, i suppose what i could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that i was going to want some, and then let them take credit for all of them. and maybe that's the lesson i learned.

never open with a compromise. always make your counterpart earn every concession, especially when he isn't bargaining in good faith. your initial generosity won't be acknowledged as a concession to be reciprocated and will be treated as a giveaway, as it predictably was: it won obama zero republican votes. his initial plan might as well have been to nationalize the economy and imprison all the bankers for all the support it got from across the aisle. it would have been at least a better hand to start with.

if nothing else, the gambit for "bipartisanship" helped expose the republicans as the "know-nothings" and "do-nothings" they've devolved into, at little cost to obama's popularity.



seventy-six percent of those questioned in a cnn/opinion research corp. survey released monday gave obama a thumbs-up on how he's performing his duties, while 23 percent disapproved.

... three out of four poll respondents said that obama is doing enough to cooperate with republicans in congress, but only 39 percent feel that congressional republicans are cooperating enough with the president.

six out of 10 approved of the way democratic leaders in congress are handling their jobs. but only 44 percent of those questioned approved of the way republican leaders in congress are performing. overall, only 29 percent said they like the way congress is handling its job, with 71 percent disapproving.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

certifigate: calling ken starr

it has the potential of being the trial of the century. winning it, by exposing obama as the charlatan that he is, against all the powers unlawfully at his command, would put the name of even an already accomplished attorney on the biggest pages of history. so where are the darrows and the bryans? after all, no less than the integrity of the constitution and the soul of democracy wait as helpless and as hopeful as a fairytale damsel.

so where are the mighty dragon-slayers of the legal fellowship? surely, the power of vanity alone should make the chance to litigate against the usurper himself, in front of the highest court in the land, all but impossible to resist for even the most hardened of cynics. so where are the dershowitzes and the allreds?

over in the land of the free and the conservative, at our favorite wingnut blog free republic, someone thinks he knows where ...

are you saying that if a "real, non-kook, big time and/or famous lawyer" presented any of these cases, even if the cases were exactly as they are now, they'd have a better chance?

the real, non-kook, big time, famous lawyers love to argue in front of the supreme court— it gives them great prestige, which leads to tons of lucrative work. i used to work for a very large, national firm, and they would do supreme court cases for free, or for a fraction of their usual fees, because of the advertising value of arguing before the court. the fact that none of the "usual suspects" (90% of supreme court appeals are argued by one of maybe 10 or 12 firms) has touched any of these cases is probably seen by the court (rightly or wrongly) as a sign that these are fringe issues.

... by and large, the lawyers who argue before the supreme court are an elite among the elite. i have practiced law for 30 years, and argued dozens of appeals before many federal and state courts of appeals, and i have never argued a case in the supreme court and will in all likelihood never get to do so.

... the elite nature of the supreme court bar is not just a matter of snobbery. the court hears only a tiny percentage of the cases presented to it, and each case it decides is going to set precedent for the whole country. they want to make sure that the lawyers who argue the cases to them are the best of the best, who won’t mess up.

... there are conservative supreme court advocates-- roberts was one before he got on the court, ken starr is another, and there are more. if a case presents an issue that the court may be interested in, these lawyers will call up and practically beg you to let them argue your case (heller for one, and kelo, for another-- kelo didn't come out right, but the homeowners had no trouble finding a top supreme court litigator).

... there are exceptions-- a public defender from oregon that no one had ever heard of before got a case granted by the supreme court a year or two ago, and set a major precedent. but it's rare.

OK you clarified it. if one of these obama suits gets a hearing, the lawyers will come out of the woodwork. the case gets accepted first then the slick lawyers beg second.

no, if the case presents an issue that they think the supreme court will take, the slick lawyers will call when the case gets decided in the lower court, saying "are you going to appeal to the supreme court? we want to help." that they didn't do that in any of the natural born citizen cases means that they didn't see any likelihood that any of them would be accepted by the court.

okay, so with the round table presumably taking a curtsy on slaying this particular dragon, just exactly who are stepping into their boots to take back the country from its alien overlord?

philip berg (pa): the first member of the certifigate brain trust to have been actually heard in federal court and on the merits. that case was dismissed as "frivolous and not worthy of discussion". not a good sign, but this crowd considers merely filing a application to be an achievement. berg is well known as a litigious crank who filed a racketeering suit against bush as a 9/11 co-conspirator. berg has also been found guilty of malpractice and ethics violations. currently suing obama and biden on behalf of a retired ready reserve colonel facing "the possibility of a conflict in his duties". also representing an internecine libel suit against fellow certifigater ed "bugs" hale (see stephen pidgeon, below).

leo donofrio (nj): a.k.a. "jet schizo" a.k.a. "jet wintzer". multi-talented indie rocker, professional poker player and retired lawyer, whose only certifigate winnings have been at the card table. sued presidential candidates obama, mccain and socialist roger calero as ineligible. challenged the authenticity of obama's birth records in a second case. both denied by the supreme court. as of feb. 1, mr. "the homeless are sending black helicopters after me" donofrio has decided to resume his retirement. (i heartily recommend reading his farewell post in its entirety.)
i pass on having anything to do with military suing over POTUS eligibility. i don’t have the resources to guide such a litigation, nor do i see that any court would ever provide true justice after what i’ve experienced with my case and cort’s. i have absolutely NO faith in the US legal system. none. nada. zilch. zippo.

... i will now go on to display power via chess, poker, golf, film, art and music. the power i represent through my art is the boss. there is no other. god is champion of the universe. god is accurate, precise, all knowing, all powerful and prepared to prove that to you with a kiss.

... i am now going to step away from the POTUS eligibility issue and move on with my life.

andy martin (il): self-proclaimed "internet powerhouse" (!) and n.y. times-proclaimed "prodigious filer of lawsuits" who was once blocked from the illinois bar after a psychiatric finding of "moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character." once considered a congressional run to "exterminate jew power". claimed on fox news that obama was "in training for radical overthrow of the government". unsuccessfully sued gov. lingle of hawaii to produce obama's birth certificate.

orly taitz (ca): she'll clean your teeth while you await your next dismissal! this dentist-slash-counselor earned her law degree online from the unaccredited taft university. taitz seems determined to use the power of teh internets to rally flash mobs to badger functionaries up and down the judicial system into listening to her, including u.s. attorney patrick fitzgerald and the chicago fbi, especially after a network hiccup made her supreme court filings temporarily unavailable (obama's fault!). accused the high court of being in league with "a few billionaires, trilateral commission and the bielderberg group". currently demanding records of the jan. 14 ceremonial meeting between the justices and obama, and soliciting military personnel to sue the president. incredibly, taitz's antics are giving heartburn even to her fellow travelers in d'nile.

i do not believe the attorney meant to do harm, but the consent form is so incredibly dangerous that i must speak out about it. furthermore, i would counsel the attorney that they may be guilty of inciting sedition. please stop using this form and counseling people with regard thereto.

currently trying to pretend that alan keyes is still picking up her phone calls.

alan keyes (ca): unlike his colleagues, keyes comes with a real resume. unfortunately, like his colleagues, keyes also comes with a real defect, of the hardcore christian fundamentalist bent. once a diplomat in reagan's state department, keyes has made a subsequent career as a perennial also-ran, having most recently been denied a seat in the illinois senate by obama, and the republican presidential nomination by mccain. as a political rival, keyes believes he has legal standing to challenge obama's qualifications. his case comes up in march. was a party to andy martin's failed suit against hawaii gov. lingle. currently running away from dr. taitz as quickly as possible.

gary kreep (ca): yep, that's the man's name and he's doing his best to live up to it. hardcore conservative activist. founder and head of the u.s. justice foundation, justice political action committee, the family values coalition, and in 2008, the republican majority campaign, which ran a shady-sounding under-the-radar phone and direct mail campaign against clinton and obama, an effort that, unlike its founder, obviously failed to live up to its name. declared his intention to "file suit to challenge each and every one of obama's actions as president". currently assisting alan keyes with his suit against obama.

stephen pidgeon (wa): conservative christian attorney who demanded washington's secretary of state "set aside the votes cast for senator barack obama, because at the time of the election, senator obama had failed to establish that he was a 'natural born citizen' of the united states, failed to establish that he was an american citizen, and that he was not running under his legal name of barry soetoro". dismissed without comment by both the washington state and u.s. supreme courts. his clients have declined to appeal. currently assisting bigfoot slayer, radio and internet self-promoter ed "bugs" hale empty the pockets of his listeners track down the usurper's elusive kenyan birth certificate.

mario apuzzo (nj): obeying the certifigate universe's law of conservation of litigants, apuzzo is the new kid on the block, stepping into the void left by donofrio. on inauguration day his clients filed a federal suit in new jersey against obama, congress, the senate, cheney and pelosi, seeking "to learn the truth about whether obama is an article ii 'natural born citizen'".

and there you have it, faithful citizens: the sole bulwark against the lawless hordes of the ineligible one. with the blessed constitution on their side, these budding legends will never tire and never quit — at least as long as the laws of conservation hold. the triumph of good over evil depends on it.

but, just in case ... ken starr, the red courtesy phone awaits you.

we're not your classic heros. we're the other guys.

mystery men (1999)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

life is short

life is short
filled with stuff
don't know what for
ain't had enough

the cramps, "new kind of kick" (1981)

when i first heard that verse, i thought they were among the best lines ever written, without qualification. twenty-eight years later, i still do.

the human experience in four lines. so deceptively simple. so compact. sheer haiku.

i'd be surprised if it took more than a minute to actually think up and i'd be doubly surprised if any of the cramps gave it half as much thought as i have.

i wonder if lux had any idea how truly awesome that little verse is.

lux interior, dead at 62.

born erick lee purkhiser, interior started the cramps in 1972 with guitarist poison ivy (born kristy wallace, later his wife) — whom, as legend has it, he picked up as a hitchhiker in california. by 1975, they had moved to new york, where they became an integral part of the burgeoning punk scene surrounding cbgbs.

their music differed from most of the scene's other acts in that it was heavily steeped in camp, with interior's lyrics frequently drawing from schlocky b-movies, sexual kink and deceptively clever puns. (j.h. sasfy's liner notes to their debut ep memorably noted: "the cramps don't pummel and you won't pogo. they ooze; you'll throb.") sonically, the band drew from blues and rockabilly, and a key element of their sound was the trashy, dueling guitars of poison ivy and bryan gregory (and later kid congo powers), played with maximal scuzz and minimal drumming.

because of that — not to mention interior's deranged, iggy pop-inspired onstage antics and deep, sexualized singing voice (which one reviewer described as "the psychosexual werewolf / elvis hybrid from hell") — the cramps are often cited as pioneers of "psychobilly" and "horror rock," and can count bands like the black lips, the jon spencer blues explosion, the reverend horton heat, the horrors and even the white stripes as their musical progeny.

... due to their imagery, obsession with kitsch and dogged dedication to touring — they wrapped up their latest jaunt across europe and the u.s. this past november — the cramps commanded a loyal fanbase, and even earned a spot in the rock and roll hall of fame, in the form of a shattered bass drum that interior had shoved his head through.

interior was widely rumored in 1987 to have died from a heroin overdose, and his wife received flowers and funeral wreaths.

"at first i thought it was kind of funny," he told the los angeles times at the time. "but then it started to give me a creepy feeling."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

specialists wanted

to date, just two filings in the ongoing effort to uncover the truth about barry "the usurper" hussein soetoro-obama have been actually discussed on the merits. all have been summarily dismissed. when a constitution-loving natural-born™ citizen cannot be heard against an all-but-proven illegal alien, then something is very very wrong with our legal system.

well, enough is enough! thanks to registered voter and vermont patriot cris ericson (bless her freeper heart!), today the system gets fixed and the remedy is so glaringly simple:

class action lawsuit against president barack h.obama for fraudulent concealment of facts

OTHER LAWSUITS HAVE FAILED, BUT THIS ONE WON'T! the worst part about the american judicial system is when judges dismiss claims based on lack of standing or lack of jurisdiction. claims that are not in the correct court or which do not have the correct cause of action, should be re-directed, not dismissed!

that's right — all we need is a system in which a breed of specialists, trained and practiced in unraveling the tangled skeins of the law and the courts, could ensure that every claim entering the system would be directed unerringly to its proper venue:

other lawsuits seeking barack hussein obama's original long form birth certificate were either filed in the wrong court or filed with the wrong cause of action; that didn't mean there was no valid claim.

there are divorce courts, and family courts and probate courts and tax courts and criminal courts and civil courts and county courts and state courts and federal courts; how is a person to know which court to go to? getting the right cause of action is just as tricky as getting the right court.

there needs to be a new system, file one claim in one court, then let court specialists sift it out to the right jurisdiction and for the right legal cause of action for standing. that would make a lot of new jobs, and save a lot of wasted money filing in the wrong jurisdiction for the wrong cause of action resulting in loss of standing.

what a wonderful idea! these "court specialists" could remove from plaintiffs' burdensome care the baffling responsibility of navigating our byzantine and broken court system, and could guarantee all ordinary plainspoken folks their constitutionally mandated day in court without having their grievances cruelly and contemptuously dismissed on a technicality or as an inconvenience to some self-important jurist!

imagine what it would be like if lay people could first consult one of these "court specialists" and be properly directed to the proper jurisdiction without going through the whole embarrassing rigmarole of dismissals and re-filings. these specialists would certainly relieve the entire court system, from the least of plaintiffs to the highest of judges, of a lot of wasted time and effort and money. it would be the kind of system that the founding fathers must have only dreamt of.

imagine what kind of everyday heroes these specialists would be, saving the little guy, the everyman, john and jane q. public, the nation entire, from the tedious chains holding down a system that no longer responds to the needs of the very people who empowered it! such heroes deserve a name, perhaps even a privileged place in our overtaxed system, given the invaluable service they could provide us.

why, we could name them ... "lawyers."

now if we could just find us one ... preferably for free:

ms. ericson is hoping to find an attorney licensed to practice law in federal courts to file a class action lawsuit, PRO BONO, on behalf of herself and other registered voters who want to know, and who need to know, and who allegedly have a legal right to know if the legal notice is based on material facts that would reveal that president barack hussein obama is not a natural born citizen, and may reveal that president barack hussein obama is a naturalized citizen. ms. cris ericson believes that the material facts that the legal notice represents may provide legal cause of action to allegedly prove continuing fraud in a fiduciary capacity against taxpayers and voters by president barack hussein obama, former vice president dick cheney, and each and every member of the united states congress.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

office politics

you're a manager.

you supervise a group of subordinates.

when you were hired, the human resources department, eager to hire you, reduced your benefits package in order to qualify you for the position and bring you aboard. this move was fully explained in the company newsletter.

a subordinate insists that he can no longer do his job because, due to the aforementioned technicality in the firm's hiring policies, you shouldn't be a manager.

the h.r. dept. is happy with its decision. you are happy to work there. your subordinate is not.

who wins? who walks?

lawsuit challenges clinton eligibility

a state department employee has filed a lawsuit today in federal court against newly sworn-in secretary of state hillary clinton claiming she is constitutionally ineligible to serve.

judicial watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it is pursuing the complaint in u.s. district court in washington, d.c, on behalf of u.s. foreign service officer and state department employee david c. rodearmel.

rodearmel, a resident of virginia, maintains clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as secretary of state and that he cannot serve under her because doing so would go against the oath he took as a foreign service officer in 1991 to "support and defend" and "bear true faith and allegiance" to the constitution of the united states.

... the constitutional quandary arises from a clause that forbids members of the senate from being appointed to civil office, such as the secretary of state, if the "emoluments," or salary and benefits, of the office were increased during the senator's term.

... according to the lawsuit, the "emoluments" of the office of secretary of state increased as many as three times since clinton began her second, six-year senate term in january 2007. on jan. 1, 2007, the secretary of state's salary increased to $186,600. in 2008, it increased to $191,300, and on jan. 1, 2009, it increased again to $196,700.

... the lawsuit acknowledges that congress tried to shirk the constitutional exclusion with a "saxbe fix," reducing the clinton's salary to the level in effect before jan. 1, [2007] but it states that the legislation "does not and cannot change the historical fact that the 'compensation and other emoluments' of the office of the u.s. secretary of state increased during defendant clinton's tenure in the u.s. senate. ..."

ianal, but i say you win and the subordinate walks (or just learns to suck it up). the subordinate is not in a position to contest the h.r. dept.'s efforts to comply with its own policies. that is between the h.r. dept. and you. nor can the subordinate demonstrate material harm from your hiring in itself. perhaps if the subordinate was in fact a rival for your position ...