Where do Syrian Refugees Belong?

November 27, 2015

In what is reported to be the largest demonstration in Polish history, 170,000 Poles rallied against the “Islamization of Europe.” (source)  (the source is somewhat suspect though).  I don’t need to provide sources to show that there are similar sentiments in the United States.

I am both in support of this xenophobia and against it.

When it comes to the United States and Canada, I believe there is no room for such xenophobia.  We are immigrant nations, and if we are “overwhelmed” with a flood of these strange people, with strange customs, and strange languages, and strange beliefs, so what?   It was not so long ago that the Anglo-Saxon “Americans” felt this way about Italians.  (source)   The President of the United States felt this way about Italian Americans:

“The Italians. We musn’t forget the Italians. Must do something for them. They’re not like us. Difference is, they smell different, look different, act different. After all, you can’t blame them…trouble is, you can’t find one that’s honest.”

That was Richard Nixon, speaking in 1974. Today, The Daygo is trustworthy enough that he holds a grip on two of the nine supreme court seats.  In 40 years, maybe we’ll have a Syrian on the Supreme Court.

This is what America is — it is a place that should welcome immigrants.  To the extent that those immigrants change the character of the nation, so be it.  We are an evolutionary society, and if one day there are muezzins calling the faithful to prayer, in Spanish, to a black-skinned majority, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It might not be the America I would choose for our future, but this is America.  You sit on the roller coaster, and it brings you were it will.

On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with European nations being xenophobic.  In fact, I think Europe should slam down the fences and tell the refugees to go the other way.  For those who would call for “diversity,” as some kind of sacred mission, this should resonate.  Do we really want a Europe that no longer has a distinctive “France,” “Netherlands,” “Italy,” or “Sweden?”  I don’t.  When you consider that there have been efforts to deny both Italy and Poland their nationhood and self-determination, I can see a dose of right-wing xenophobia as a healthy thing.

Finally, it isn’t as if there is nowhere else for them to go.  As mentioned above, America should open her arms to immigrants.  But, what about other middle eastern countries, like the super-rich Gulf States?   They.  Give.  No.  Shits.  In fact, a Kuwaiti official reportedly said that they didn’t fit in there.

Now I realize that there is a difference between a Syrian and a Kuwaiti.  But, at the same time, none of the Gulf states consists of borders drawn around “a people.”  They are all artificial borders drawn to keep the oil from being in the hands of one ruler.  There is no individual heritage, no individual language, no individual culture at risk if all of a sudden, Qatar becomes “overwhelmed” with refugees from a crisis that is partially its damn fault.  (Kettle, meet Black, since I’m American, writing this).

It seems to me that the only people who have a right to close the door are the Europeans.  Meanwhile, they’re the only ones doing anything.   Europe ought to close the gate, and the US and the Gulf should open theirs.

A smart way to deal with online sexual harassment

November 27, 2015

This Australian woman came up with a great way to deal with it — tell the little shits’ mothers! (source)  1) It is effective, 2) the kid is likely to actually learn something from his mother, 3) it doesn’t scream to authority to go and throw someone in jail for his thoughtcrime.

“Kool Aid” is Racist?

November 27, 2015

One of two things is going on here: Either A) I am way out of touch with racist jokes, or B) Huffington Post is full of shit.

See Fox’s Brian Kilmeade Asks Black Co-host If She Makes Kool-Aid.  In this post, there seems to be manufactured outrage at a FOX News host asking about the shitty drink.

A “Fox & Friends” segment on peach cobbler appeared to get uncomfortably tense when anchor Brian Kilmeade asked co-host Harris Faulkner if she serves Kool-Aid with her meals.

I’ll give you that Kilmeade is an idiot, but since when is it a racist thing to ask a black person if they drink Kool Aid?

German Court: Verboten to claim three orgasms per condom

November 27, 2015
Einhorn Condoms

Einhorn’s Package

A German condom manufacturer joked on its packaging that a box of seven condoms could bring as many as 21 orgasms – one for the guy and two for the woman.  Fair Squared GmbH, a competing condom company sued the Berlin based startup, Einhorn Products GmbH for deceptive advertising.

Einhorn’s packaging, in addition to the 21 orgasms joke, has a “calories burned” table, as well as a claim that the condoms contain traces of “fairy dust.”  (source)

The court held that even though consumers would probably realize the claims were attempts at humor, and not real advertising claims, the packaging still violated German standards.  The court held that condoms are “medical devices” as defined by § 3 para 1 (d) of the Medical Devices Act, and in accordance with the ISO standard 4074:. 2002, they are intended for single use only. (source)  The claim could still mislead consumers into thinking that the condoms are multiple-use products, therefore, no more funny stuff.

No source had any indication as to whether Einhorn could continue to claim that its products contain fairy dust.

(See Urt. v. 26.11.2015, Az. 14c O 124/15)

Saudi Arabia and its “Justice System” Can Suck My Ass

November 26, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the Saudi Justice Minister! 

On Friday, Nov. 17, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced the Palestinian poet, Ashraf Fayadh, to death because he renounced his Islamic faith. (source)

Fayadh was investigated for blasphemy, spreading atheism and having an illicit relationship with women, based on pictures found on his phone. After initially being sentenced to 800 lashes and four years in prison, he was retried and on Nov. 17 was sentenced to death. (source)

This predictably drew some criticism.  One twitter user apparently called the sentence “ISIS-like,” and that hurt the Saudi justice ministry’s tiny pink feelings.

Reuters reports the Saudi justice ministry “plans to sue” that Twitter user.  (source)

    “The justice ministry will sue the person who described … the sentencing of a man to death for apostasy as being `ISIS-like’,” the newspaper Al-Riyadh quoted a source in the justice ministry as saying.

This is the same country that threw a blogger in jail for 10 years for daring to stand up for freedom of expression.  Blogger Raif Badawi got 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes  for publishing a free speech blog called the Saudi Free Liberals Forum.  The Saudis are apparently giving him the 1,000 lashes in 50 lash helpings.  (source)

It sickens me that this trash is what we call an “ally” in the Middle East.

I’m not sure where or how the Saudi justice ministry plans to sue this Twitter user.  First, they’ll have to find the Twitter user — which means, they’ll have to serve a subpoena in California.  Good luck with that one.

But, lets make this easy for them.  I hereby take responsibility for that tweet. I’ll affirm it right here, right now, the Saudi justice system is ISIS-like.  I also think the entire Saudi justice system is made of camel feces, and that system, as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is made of the filth that collects in a camel’s foreskin after aforementioned camel has spent the evening copulating with his father’s corpse.

There, insulting enough for you?

Come at me, bro.  No need to send a subpoena to find out who I am.

Then, go shove a cactus up your gilded asses.

I encourage others to provide their thoughts, positive or negative or otherwise.  You can sign your name, so we can all be co-defendants together.  Or, use a proxy server if you want to remain anonymous.

The Presidential “Turkey Pardon” is not only stupid…

November 25, 2015

It is stupid, a lie that it is a “timeless tradition,” and it is one of the most incredible acts of senseless cruelty that I’ve ever read about.

It’s a sad truth. Because pardoned turkeys are bred to be robust showmen, they often live incredibly short lives. They are stuffed with a mineral-enhanced diet of corn and soybeans, and their complications are not unlike those of obese humans: heart disease, joint damage, respiratory failure, organ failure. 

The turkeys we eat are bred to be obese freaks of nature, and they are miserable enough.  But, the turkeys that wind up on TV with POTUS?  They’re bred to be even fatter, even less healthy, all to look good on camera.  They’re literally raised from birth to be the “pardoned turkey.”

Though celebrated as a kind-hearted gesture, the Presidential turkey pardon seems to be something of a Hunger Games-esque nightmare for the fowls involved, where even the “winners” aren’t really winners at all.

Read Priceonomics, The Miserable Life of the Presidential Turkey. (source)  It talks all about the history of the “tradition,” and has more information about this issue than I would have imagined would even exist.


Police Bust Mahjong Game – and I actually have a relevant publication!

November 25, 2015
Condo Casino.png

FINALLY, something I wrote is relevant!

There are just so many angles to this story.  Its got bumbling cops, feisty old Jewish ladies, mahjong, and all of a sudden, one of my oldest publications is relevant!  Condo Casino!  (c’mon, click it and download it, get my SSRN rankings up!)

So first the story, then the law stuff.

Lee Delnick, Bernice Diamond, Helen Greenspan and Zelda King do what any self-respecting foursome of Jewish women in Florida would do… they get together regularly for a friendly game of mahjong in the Escondido Condominium clubhouse. (source)

Then some busybody in Building 11 called the police reporting that there was a gambling ring operating at Escondido.  This being Flori-duh, did the cops “take a report” and just move on to other things?  No, they actually decided to open an investigation.  “The police closed the clubhouse.” (source)

Then, the condo board got involved:

The condominium management sent the ladies a certified letter stating that until further notice there would be no mahjong, bingo or poker played in the Clubhouse. Several times later that week, the police came by to make sure the ladies weren’t in there playing their beloved game. (source)

Ultimately, the police relented, but the clubhouse is still closed.  Some news outlets are reporting that while gambling is illegal in Florida, there are some exceptions.  Well, yes, there are!  See Randazza, Marc J.,  Condo Casino! Gambling Law and the Florida Community Association, 79 Fla. Bar J. 8 (2005).

While gambling is prohibited, and Condo Associations can be held liable if their clubhouses turn into dens of iniquity, there is a “safe harbor” for “penny ante” card games in Fla. Stat. §849.085.

A penny-ante game is defined as a game or series of games of poker, pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mah-jongg in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value. Fla. Stat. §§849.085(2)(a) and 849.086(8)(b); PPI, Inc. v. Dep’t of Bus. and Prof. Reg., 698 So. 2d 306 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1997).  Everyone has to be over 18, and you can’t charge admission or any fee to play.  Further, any debts incurred in these games are not legally enforceable.  Fla. Stat. §849.085(4).  Legally enforceable or not, if you think I would welch on a debt to Zelda, you’re out of your mind.

Now this penny ante solution requires that the game has to be conducted in a “dwelling.”  But, that doesn’t mean that our four heroes had to play in their apartments.  The law expands the plain meaning of the word “dwelling” to encompass common areas of a condominium, cooperative, residential subdivision (or homeowners’ association), or mobile home park as long as a participant is a unit owner in the community. Fla. Stat. §849.085(2)(b).

So, Altamonte Springs police and the busybodies at the Condo Board, leave Lee, Bernice, Helen, and Zelda alone!

If you want to read more about gambling in Florida Condos than you ever cared to imagine, download  Condo Casino!.  Its free.  Its only 7 pages.  And, if you download it, it cranks up my SSRN rankings.  I don’t know what the hell that does for me, but it might be fun.


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