Kids These Days

Seriously, what is it about air travel that makes people check their brains the moment they step through security? I meant to post this when it happened — at the end of June — but I forgot. This happened on a STL-BNA flight. The “artist” was a four- or five-year-old kid accompanied by his(?) mother, who had to have noticed what was going on:

Clown face drawn on inside of window shade in row 8

(Click to enlarge.)

That’s crayon. Here’s a tip: crayon doesn’t come off airplane interior paneling any more easily than it comes off your walls at home.

posted on 17 August 2009 at 2201aviation0 commentstrackback

Constitution and Editor Fail

From The New York Times:

Orly Taitz, a California dentist and lawyer who is among the leading voices in the anti-Obama movement, made her case in a combative interview on MSNBC.

Obama is completely illegitimate as a U.S. president for two reasons not only because he did not provide the place of his birth, but also because both parents have to be U.S. citizens, Ms. Taitz said.

Ms. — and I use that term loosely — Taitz is, of course, completely wrong. Not only was Mr. Obama born in Hawaii, but parentage has nothing to do with it (and if it did, a large number of our Presidents would have been ineligible!).

The Constitution states, in Article II, Section 1:

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

“Natural-born citizen” introduces (possibly deliberately) some ambiguity that was clarified by the Fourteenth Amendment:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

It’s quite clear, then, that one’s parentage has absolutely nothing to do with one’s eligibility for either United States citizenship or for the office of President of the United States. So why would the Times dignify Taitz’s completely specious argument by using the entire quote?

While I understand that the ellipsis can be — and often is — deliberately intended to mislead (see any number of movie review snippets used by studios desperate for some sort of positive spin on a terrible film), and given the requirement that at least some of Taitz’s remarks be used, I probably would have edited it to read as follows:

“Obama is completely illegitimate as a U.S. president … because he did not provide the place of his birth, Ms. Taitz said. His father was never a U.S. citizen. He was in the United States on a student visa.

Everything after the first sentence could be dropped if the Times editors were concerned about making Taitz “look bad” (although, really, including the entire quote made her look much kookier) without simultaneously dragging down the credibility of the newspaper by dignifying such a ridiculous argument.

posted on 04 August 2009 at 1259politix0 commentstrackback

Quote of the Year So Far

Bill Maher on the so-called “Birthers” movement:

Why, in this country, is it always the religious right that won’t take anything on faith?

(via thepunkguy)

posted on 03 August 2009 at 1319politix0 commentstrackback

The Poultry Are Rising Up

Despite my earlier promise to remove WWMT from my RSS feeds due to their continued incompetence in the “actually communicating things in English” department, I haven’t yet gotten around to it, and so this morning, I — along with their four other feed readers — was treated to this gem:

Learn the ins and outs of chicken coups

Just don’t run the hen house as too much of a democracy, or Chè the Hen will lead a coup against you and the chickens will run their own hen house, thankyouverymuch.

Further adding to the confusion (or humour value, depending on whether you find this endlessly frustrating or hilarious) is the fact that they got the word “coop” correct later in the article.

posted on 03 August 2009 at 1258general0 commentstrackback