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There Can Be No Doubt That This Is Bush Derangement Syndrome:

"George Bush is a time traveler, conspired with Duke of Normandy at Battle of Hastings 1066 A.D. to pervert the English Dictonary and Law. Admiral / Maritime Jurisdiction is hearing my complaint. The american flag is M.I.A. held hostage at FEMA camps.

"George W. Bush is the grand Iman of voodoo with doctors turning humans to animals, sometimes plants....

"Trading with Enemy Act of October 6th, 1917, yet George W. Bush and Defendants secretly sell inmates DNA on the international stock market including, but not limited to: HITLER'S SOCIALIST PARTY, GUERILLA ASIAN MOVEMENT, and on 3 occations the NIGERIAN JUNJAWEED'S."

To be fair, it's pretty clear that the derangement didn't stem just from Bush. Other defendants include the Queen of England, Kofi Annaan [sic], Tony Danza, Paris Hilton, John Grisham, Charlie Sheen, and many others. How much damage was inflicted? Glad you asked — "Plaintiff seeks 379,111,339,000,000.00 Trillion dollars backed by gold or silver delivered by United Parcel Service 'UPS' to Federal correctional Institution Williamsburg, Salters South Carolina." No word on where the gold or silver needed to back a third of an octillion dollars would come from, or where it would be put.

Thanks to Nate Lowenstein, Dan Lowenstein, and Chris Newman for the pointer.

GV_:
Laughing at things that mentally deranged people do is always fun, isn't it? I mean, they’re not right in the head so they can’t even defend themselves when they say those absurd things! Ha ha!
9.27.2007 3:19pm
Hoosier:
GV--What? Have the voices been teasing you? Again?
9.27.2007 3:24pm
NaG (mail):
It's about time someone nailed that Danza bastard.

Speaking of which, how's that suit against Michael Vick going? It's apparently got him rattled enough to be smoking that sweet, sweet ganja again.
9.27.2007 3:30pm
MacGuffin:
To be fair, it's pretty clear that the derangement didn't stem just from Bush.

So, to be fair, it's pretty clear that you are being unfair in calling it beyond doubt that it is Bush Derangement Syndrome.
9.27.2007 3:31pm
scote (mail):

Laughing at things that mentally deranged people do is always fun, isn't it? I mean, they’re not right in the head so they can’t even defend themselves when they say those absurd things! Ha ha!

Yeah, I try not to be too hard on Charles Krauthammer for that very reason.

Poor, poor Charles Krauthammer has to invent a fictitious syndrome so that he can reflexively dismiss all opinions contrary to his own without having to consider the merits. One wouldn't want Krauthammer to have to deal rationally with his cognitive dissonance when he can just revel in it... So much more fun than reality.
9.27.2007 3:33pm
pjohnson (mail):

the grand Iman of voodoo


(1) Iman is quite grand enough by herself, thank you
(2) What's the evidence that she's involved in voodoo?
9.27.2007 3:35pm
JohnO (mail):
Well, at least the suit Mr. Riches filed against Michael Vick had merit.
9.27.2007 3:35pm
Hoosier:
scote--This is news to me. So Krauthammer coined 'BDS'?
9.27.2007 3:35pm
Hoosier:
Clearly this case has no merit. There WAS no "English Dictionary" until 5 1/2 centuries after Hastings. Even Bush's time machine didn't alter this bit of evidence.

MAN! I shoulda gone to law school! A regular Perry F'in Mason!
9.27.2007 3:38pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Any time I see someone invoke any reference of any sort to "Admiralty Jurisdiction," outside the context of actual litigation over maritime vessels, and I tune right out. It's a 100% accurate sign of a loony-tunes.

When I worked for our governor, I would see letters all the time from folks who were declaring that they were not citizens of America but were citizens of the United States or some such nonsense. They often referred to having copyrighted their name, and declared that any reference to their name (and particularly any debts incurred) of their "old name" (i.e., without the copyright symbol) were null and void. There was obviously a template of some sort floating around in the whacko separatists community for this purpose. There was always some reference to the admiralty courts.
9.27.2007 3:38pm
scote (mail):
You can check the wikipedia entry, which is sourced:

The term BDS refers to a purported tendency by some American liberals to blame President George W. Bush for virtually every ill in the world.[3][4] It also purportedly refers to opposing a position advocated by the President just because he supports it, regardless of the position's merits.[5]
Krauthammer, a former psychiatrist who earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, defined BDS as "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency—nay—the very existence of George W. Bush".[2][6]

Ironically, the invocation of the fallacious BS wingnuts call BDS is used to reflexively ignore the merits of an argument, the very thing conservatives claim the non-existant BDS does. It's all very Rovian. Accuse your opponents of doing what you are actually doing so that you beat them to the punch even though that doesn't make you right. It is sort of like calling "shotgun!"
9.27.2007 3:46pm
rbj:
He's also suing Hugo Chavez, so at least he's an equal opportunity suer, not bound by ideology.

Count 6 is a hoot. But most intriguingly, he's not suing Karl Rove. Hmmm. . .
9.27.2007 3:51pm
Realist Liberal:
Wow, so George Bush and Michael Vick both stole Mr. Riches' identity and swore allegiance to al-Qaeda. I wonder if they were working together when they did it.

With all of that said, one of his claims is actually true. The penitentiary that he is in was definitely built without any UFO defenses. This may be a problem if those aliens attack. Surely that justifies at least 1 trillion dollars in gold and silver.
9.27.2007 3:52pm
John (mail):
Isn't it obvious that the plaintiff IS Karl Rove? (The complaint just helps in the effort to show that Bush's critics are crazy.) Plus (if any further evidence were needed) Rove and Lee have never been seen in the same place at the same time. I rest my case.
9.27.2007 4:01pm
CranstonShenir (mail):
I love the little (c) copyright symbol by his name (even his signature).
9.27.2007 4:01pm
PLR:
I wonder how he intended to effect service of process on the named defendants "Tammany Hall," "Plymouth Rock" and "the Planet (sic) of Pluto."
9.27.2007 4:08pm
James Kabala (mail):
I agree with GV that this is actually more sad than funny.
9.27.2007 4:25pm
Fub:
PatHMV wrote at 9.27.2007 2:38pm:
Any time I see someone invoke any reference of any sort to "Admiralty Jurisdiction," outside the context of actual litigation over maritime vessels, and I tune right out. It's a 100% accurate sign of a loony-tunes.
Hey! If it's not an Admiralty Jurisdiction, then why do they have those gold fringes on the courtroom flags?

Fub © 2007 by Fub
9.27.2007 4:32pm
Anonymouseducator (mail) (www):
Hillary Clinton is listed also.
9.27.2007 4:36pm
GV_:
Hoosier, that was (my not so subtle?) way of saying that I find it despicable that people are laughing at the expense of somebody who is obviously not mentally well. If you saw a retarded person fall in the street because they misjudged a curb, would you laugh? It’s not funny. People like this need help. They don’t need to be ridiculed. Frankly, I think it says a lot about the character of people who find suits like this funny.
9.27.2007 4:43pm
wowzers:
this guy has filed many of these before.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,293268,00.html

www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0816071riches1.html

etc., etc.,
9.27.2007 4:46pm
Hoosier:
GV--You clearly are not a fan of "The Sarah Silverman Show."

I suspect you have more 'character' than I do. But that I have more fun.
9.27.2007 4:51pm
zooba:
I don't see why these complaints keep coming up as news. If you work in a Federal District Court (the crazies love the federal courts for some reason) for any period of time, you realize these things continuously stream in. This is hardly the craziest one I've seen. At least a few district judges now respond to these things (or more particularly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis that always accompanies them) with form orders where they check a box for factually frivolous.
9.27.2007 5:03pm
David Sucher (mail) (www):
I guess I didn't think it was very funny at any level. Just stupid.

Plus, Eugene, I can't understand why anyone would continue to defend GW Bush. Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.
9.27.2007 5:08pm
GetReal (mail):

I can't understand why anyone would continue to defend GW Bush. Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.


Yes, much worse than the Civil War. Thanks for putting it in perspective.
9.27.2007 5:20pm
Brad Ford (mail):
The guy even his has own Wiki site:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Lee_Riches
9.27.2007 5:22pm
AntonK (mail):
Hiliarious! Putting up pro se Complaints should be a regular feature of this and other legal blogs. It's a riot reading the scribblings of these skull ranchers...
9.27.2007 5:24pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Is this some sort of law school final exam or something?

Wow. Things sure have changed a lot since I left law school.
9.27.2007 5:25pm
cmn (mail) (www):
I think the court should have ordered him to flesh out the body of the complaint to account for all the named defendants about whom there are currently no factual allegations, spending at least a paragraph on each. That would keep him busy for a while, and provide us some entertaining reading.

BTW...GV and others may be privy to expertise and facts that I lack, but I don't know why they assume Riches to be mentally unwell. Apparently he's in there for wire fraud, specifically using spam phishing to get personal info from people in whose name he would then order credit cards. Given that his chosen profession was preying on those less informationally savvy than himself, I see little injustice in our deriving entertainment value from his present creative outlet.
9.27.2007 5:29pm
Brad Ford (mail):
-- David Sucher the worst debacle in American history.--

One of the key symptoms of BDS is a total lack of perspective. You might try thinking about things like:
1. Slavery;
2. Segregation;
3. Wiping out the Native Americans;
4. The Great Depression;
5. Pearl Harbor and other WWII related mishap;
6. WWI
7. Letting the Soviets Steal the Bomb.
9.27.2007 5:33pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Plus, Eugene, I can't understand why anyone would continue to defend GW Bush."

Wait a minute. Now I am a sometimes critic of G.W. Bush -- e.g. carbon emissions policies. But I also give credit where credit is due.

1. We need to keep some presence in Iraq to protect the flow of Oil. G.W. is keeping his eye on that need.

2. G.W. has accomplished much in the way of requiring federal agencies to do their business with the public via electronic Internet format, e.g. e-Strategy.gov.

3. G.W. could very simply redirect his carbon emissions policy very simply by pressing either legislation or federal rulemaking to require all States' courts and agencies, etc. to similarly do their business with the public via electronic Internet formats to eliminate emissions associated with paper and pulp mills and hard copy papermaking and tree cuttings, and to reduce unnecessary vehicle trips.

I don't buy into the extermist version of the Guiliani-Romney-Thompson Republican line, but G.W. does have some supporters left on certain points.
9.27.2007 5:34pm
Waldensian (mail):

If you saw a retarded person fall in the street because they misjudged a curb, would you laugh?

Unfortunately, a lot of people would. People who gripe and moan about rampant "political correctness" conveniently ignore the fact that our society's treatment of people with developmental disabilities, for example, is simply appalling.

Really and truly appalling.

I used to laugh at stuff like that. But, it turns out that I was an ass. I've gotten a bit of an education since then.

I implore you to learn from my mistakes, and to generate the perspective and understanding that I lacked before my education. You will be a much better person than I was.
9.27.2007 5:42pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.
By comparison to what? The Civil War?
9.27.2007 5:47pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
In looking over the list of defendants, including Nelson Rockefeller (who may be difficult to serve at this point) and Smith N Wesson--wouldn't it have been simpler to sue everyone and everything, and then list those prominent Americans and corporations not included?

The more I think about this ignorant "worst debacle in American history" remark, the more apparent it becomes that the left hates George Bush as passionately as they do because they are profoundly ignorant of history.
9.27.2007 5:50pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Any time I see someone invoke any reference of any sort to "Admiralty Jurisdiction," outside the context of actual litigation over maritime vessels, and I tune right out. It's a 100% accurate sign of a loony-tunes.

You mean it isn't important that judges have flags with gold tassels, thus proving they really are military officers, since flags with such tassels are for the military?
9.27.2007 5:59pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Fub! I forgot all about the gold fringe around the flag bit. Thanks for reminding me!

I see from another commenter that this petitioner actually did put a copyright symbol next to his name. For the record, when I discussed that very issue in my earlier post, I had not even looked at the petition.

I'm going to have to go back and look at my files from back then, the extra copies of the really whacko stuff, and compare it. I seem to recall doing some searching to find out where these forms were coming from. Some of the people were vaguely connected to the Republic of Texas movement, if I recall properly.
9.27.2007 6:00pm
Mac (mail):
Unfortunately, a lot of people would. People who gripe and moan about rampant "political correctness" conveniently ignore the fact that our society's treatment of people with developmental disabilities, for example, is simply appalling.

Waldensian,

You said you used to laugh at stuff like that. I never, ever have and never woould. I fail totally to see any humor in it and was that way from a very young age. I have worked with people with disabilities, doing my best to help them.

I HATE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!!!

Why you would associate people who laugh at persons with disabilities with people who despise the PC crowd is beyond me. The PC types have no problem whatsoever being utterly despicable, rudd and insulting to anyone with whom they disagree. It's one reason I dislike PC and those who practice it so much. Never have I seen a bigger bunch of hypocrits and they have so little self awareness, they don't even know it.
9.27.2007 6:14pm
Hoosier:
Calyton: I think we ought to be able to stipulate that Bush is not even close to Numero Uno when it comes to "He took America to War under False Pretenses in order to Enrich his Bad-Guy Friends":

http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/jp11.html

I find it funny when I hear people say that Bush is the worst, or unique, when it comes to "lying" about the reasons for war. When it comes to this matter, Bush didn't come close to some of his predecessors.
9.27.2007 6:14pm
Mac (mail):
Can anyone tell me how to make my keyboard tighter so I can avoid gaffes such as woould and rudd, above? It is too dang sensitive. It must be PC.
9.27.2007 6:16pm
Ben Gibson (mail):
"Ironically, the invocation of the fallacious BS wingnuts call BDS is used to reflexively ignore the merits of an argument, the very thing conservatives claim the non-existant BDS does. It's all very Rovian." If you can find any merit to this complaint, you win a prize.

Look, for all liberals, its not that the "merits of your argunment" are ignored. They have been considered and have been found lacking. BDS is more an explaination of the methods and means by which many liberals make their arguments, and what happens when someone disagrees with those arguments. Shouting down lecturers, protesting in the streets, making wild claims that the Bush Presidency is the worst ever, Truthers, screaming at folks for the simple act of seeing the world differently than they do, these do not appear to be the acts of sane rational people.

A lot of conservatives just do not get the insanity that liberals exhibit, just as we never got the love exhibited toward Bill Clinton. We have no idea why those who exhibit symptoms of BDS are so upset. Bush may not be the best guy for the job, but he seems like a relatively nice decent guy, trying to do a very tough job at a particularly dangerous time in history. The anamus seems completely and totally out of line with whatever could have possibly caused it.

You act like a nut job, people are going to think you are a nut. You may not like it, and it may make you feel bad, but claiming we are ignoring your arguments is inaccurate. If it is upsetting for you to be thought a lunatic, then maybe you should ask why folks think you are crazy.
9.27.2007 6:17pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

Frankly, I think it says a lot about the character of people who find suits like this funny.


That they have a sense of humor?

I've laughed at people getting hit in the balls/face/etc. numerous times. Don't really know if they were retarded or not.

While America's Funniest Home Videos isn't on my TiVo, I don't think I'm alone in saying that a football in the groin can funny. Hell, Homer Simpson thought it worthy of consideration for first place in a film festival.

FWIW, the people I've encountered with Down's Syndrome or other sources of mental retardation were all treated well. Granted, there's probably a fair amount of selection bias, since the people I encounter aren't the ones warehoused in institutions or locked in their parents' attic.
9.27.2007 6:28pm
Tom Hanna (www):
Hey, I have two ingrown toenails, too. Maybe this should be a class action? I want my part of the 379,111,339,000,000.00 Trillion dollars.
9.27.2007 6:38pm
Mac (mail):
Ben Gibson,

Excellent post.
9.27.2007 6:39pm
GV_:
DeezRightWingNutz, perhaps the problem is your belief that you can equivocate laughing at somebody who is hit in the groin with a ball to laughing at somebody because they have a debilitating condition that will never allow them to live the normal life that most of us take for granted. Perhaps I could laugh at a mentally ill person’s misfortune in the same way I can laugh at somebody’s misfortune in getting hit by a ball if I knew the mentally ill person would be okay with the help of some ice.

If your sense of humor (i.e., the “sense” of what you find funny) allows you to laugh at the incredibly difficult struggles millions of people face every day through no fault of their own, then, like I said, I think that says something about your character.
9.27.2007 7:08pm
PLR:
"Look, for all liberals, its not that the merits of your argunment are ignored. They have been considered and have been found lacking. BDS is more an explaination of the methods and means by which many liberals make their arguments, and what happens when someone disagrees with those arguments. Shouting down lecturers, protesting in the streets, making wild claims that the Bush Presidency is the worst ever, Truthers, screaming at folks for the simple act of seeing the world differently than they do, these do not appear to be the acts of sane rational people."

Personally, I don't scream. But my assessment of Bush Jr. as the worst president ever is actually based entirely on facts, both as to Bush's presidency and, to the extent I can get reliable historical information, previous presidents.

Furthermore, I am not wrong when I say he is the worst, nor are you wrong when you say he isn't. Whether he is really at the very bottom is quite obviously a matter of opinion, because it depends on the "bad" value we assign to each set of facts. I might say that Reagan 1 was bad because of Iran-Contra, but if you have an abiding hatred of Sandinistas and ascribe little weight to obeying acts of Congress, then you might say Reagan 1 was not so bad.

True, other notable presidents have received poor reviews. Bush Jr. is detached, but so were Polk and Reagan. Bush Jr. is not very competent, but neither was Harding. Bush Jr. has spent a lot of money, run up a lot of debt and gotten little in return, but so did Bush Sr. Bush Jr. has ignored Congress and the Constitution whenever it suits him, but so did Jackson. On and on. My assessment is based entirely on the Big Picture.

I am not consumed with hatred for Bush by any means, and I freely admit the next president could be worse (though that seems unlikely to me unless Hunter or Brownback pulls a stunning upset). We'll see.
9.27.2007 7:16pm
Elmer (mail):
This certainly answers the question of why Weird Al is depicted on the Bayeux tapestry.
9.27.2007 7:31pm
cmn (mail) (www):
GV:

What evidence do you have that Riches suffers from "a debilitating condition that will never allow them to live the normal life that most of us take for granted"? The fact that he has decided to kill the ample time he has on his hands by writing nonsensical legal documents?
9.27.2007 7:56pm
Public_Defender (mail):
I see a few wacky pro se letters and pleadings, and they are frequently incoherent. But every once and awhile, one of these guys has a legitimate cause of action. I admire the judges and clerks who actually read these pleadings every day just in case the prisoner has stated a claim. Unfortunately, many prosecutors, AG's and judges dismiss pro se claims even when they are valid.

Here's one example.

I took over a pro se case on appeal once. He had initially filed the wrong action. It was dismissed for three reasons, one of which was that it was the wrong action. On appeal, the higher court expressly said he was right about two of those three reasons, but affirmed the dismissal because it was still the wrong action.

So he goes back to the trial court and files the right action, again pro se. The attorney general's office filed a motion to dismiss citing the two reasons that the higher court had rejected. The AG even cited the lower court opinion that said the AG should win on those points without citing the contrary higher court opinion (which had the AG's name on it).

I took over the appeal. All of a sudden, his absolutely correct claim was taken seriously. At oral argument, the judges were not at all amused with the AG. The guy finally won, but he had spent a significant amount of time in prison that he shouldn't have.

Every now and then, pro se ramblings correctly state a claim. Judges, clerks, prosecutors, AG's and defense attorneys have to pay attention to each one.
9.27.2007 8:03pm
Guest231:
cmn, I was attempting to address the broader issue (hence my use of the word "them" in the blurb you quoted).

But you're right. I don't know for sure whether this particular inmate is mentally ill, although I suspect his writings are strong evidence of that. (As the wikipedia entry on the inmate notes, “While his actual mental health status is not publicly known, the recurring conspiratorial paranoia reflected in his frivolous lawsuits are consistent with an individual with paranoid schizophrenia who has stopped taking their medication.”) What's your point? Until we know beyond any reasonable doubt the person is mentally ill, we should feel free to point and laugh? Moreover, if the person is just trying to get free publicity, then the rationale for not pointing and laughing is just as strong: why give publicity to somebody who is just wasting public resources in an effort to gain publicity?
9.27.2007 8:09pm
Fub:
PatHMV wrote at 9.27.2007 5:00pm:
I forgot all about the gold fringe around the flag bit. Thanks for reminding me!
You're welcome. These screwy legal theories are fascinating, but if you research them too thoroughly you might come to hate me for reminding you.
I'm going to have to go back and look at my files from back then, the extra copies of the really whacko stuff, and compare it. I seem to recall doing some searching to find out where these forms were coming from. Some of the people were vaguely connected to the Republic of Texas movement, if I recall properly.
Several years ago, before the intarweb tubes brought us blog entertainment, I read a bunch of pamphlets, pleadings and other law-related writings in this genre. Based on that limited material I found at least three distinct legal theoretical bases that categorized the theories fairly well. Unfortunately I don't recall the citations to statutes and case law, but they were hilarious.

One is the Admiralty Court / fringed flag theory. The gist is that the in pro per defendant (usually contesting a traffic ticket) argues that because the presence of a fringed flag in the courtroom means it is an Admiralty Court, it has no jurisdiction to hear the case. I think this theory relied heavily on some section of the US Code regarding flags.

Second is the "UCC has replaced the Constitution" theory. The gist is that the UCC is ruling law in all cases now, not the Constitution. For traffic tickets the argument seems to be that if you write "under protest" by your signature on the ticket, then somehow the UCC has provisions which invalidate the ticket. I recall the gist of one citation to an actual case, but I don't recall the case, except it was a fairly ordinary contracts case. The opinion had some wry dicta to the effect that the UCC was becoming a universally applicable basis of law, to an even greater extent than the Constitution. The UCC theorists seized upon this as a ruling case for their proposition that the UCC applied to all cases and that writing "under protest" invalidated traffic tickets.

Third were the "common law courts" theories. These were the scariest. The theory seemed to be that citizens could form "common law courts", hear cases, and enforce judgments. Apparently some groups regularly held "common law court sessions" in which they tried and convicted various people (usually government officials) of various crimes, all in absentia. The scary part was when they tried to enforce their "common law court" judgments. I think some of these groups made news a decade or so ago.

I'm sure there are even more bizarre theories roaming around, but those are three I recall.
9.27.2007 8:13pm
TerrencePhilip:
GV, you need to lighten up.

zooba wrote:

I don't see why these complaints keep coming up as news. If you work in a Federal District Court (the crazies love the federal courts for some reason) for any period of time, you realize these things continuously stream in. This is hardly the craziest one I've seen. At least a few district judges now respond to these things (or more particularly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis that always accompanies them) with form orders where they check a box for factually frivolous.


I agree wholeheartedly- why are these news? The first one I ever saw in law school was hilarious. The second, third, and now umpteenth, have yielded diminishing returns and I am no longer actually amused by them. What makes me laugh now is when a lawyer or judge says something stupid in a court document.
9.27.2007 8:25pm
DeezRightWingNutz:
Guest231, GV, and likeminded others:

A few weeks ago, someone let out a loud fart during church. I thought it was funny. If the fart-letter was batshit crazy, mentally retarded, or otherwise unable to understand that farting in church is inappropriate, was it wrong to laugh? Can you use the fart as the subject of the joke (e.g., "To tell you the truth, I didn't think much of the sermon either."), but not laugh at the fart/farter?

Is there a difference between pointing out something you find humorous and ridiculing someone? Is so, is it just a question of degree?
9.27.2007 8:28pm
cmn (mail) (www):

As the wikipedia entry on the inmate notes, “While his actual mental health status is not publicly known, the recurring conspiratorial paranoia reflected in his frivolous lawsuits are consistent with an individual with paranoid schizophrenia who has stopped taking their medication.

Wow. On these grounds we can probably diagnose half the people leaving comments on sites throughout the internet.

What's your point? Until we know beyond any reasonable doubt the person is mentally ill, we should feel free to point and laugh?

Is this a new version of the precautionary principle? We may not laugh at anything amusing anyone does until we know beyond reasonable doubt that they are not mentally ill? Maybe you missed my first post above, but we do know beyond a reasonable doubt that this guy was mentally capable enough to defraud other people over the internet. I would never laugh at the good faith effort of a disadvantaged prisoner to raise serious legal claims, whatever errors he might make. I don't see this as remotely near that category.

Moreover, if the person is just trying to get free publicity, then the rationale for not pointing and laughing is just as strong: why give publicity to somebody who is just wasting public resources in an effort to gain publicity?

Simple answer. Because he succeeded in amusing me, which is more than I can say for most expenditures of public resources. I'm sure that after seeing enough of these they would lose their value as they have for those other commenters. I for one haven't seen many that were quite this creative.
9.27.2007 8:42pm
Steve P. (mail):
Bush may not be the best guy for the job, but he seems like a relatively nice decent guy, trying to do a very tough job at a particularly dangerous time in history.

Seriously? This is the President of the United States, not the head of the homeowners association.

That said, I also find it interesting that you can easily see BDS (which definitely exists), but never once noticed CDS. That's Clinton Derangement Syndrome, with all the same requirements. I used to see it all the time in the 90's, and I know that there are still commenters that will hold that the problems occurring now are a direct result of Clinton. Now, it could be that BDS is more prevalent than CDS was, I'm not sure, it's hard to gauge.

I have a question: if BDS is more prevalent, would that mean that liberals are crazier, or that Bush did a worse job? Or is there a third option (like all of the above)?
9.27.2007 9:20pm
Toby:
THe verifiable existence of CDS does not invalidate the existance of BDS - and vice versa.

Even in 2000, the local college democrats gaffitied much of the town with a single phrase "Fear Bush" It appears that many of them have not advanced in their nuance since then.
9.27.2007 9:46pm
Michael B (mail):
"Bush may not be the best guy for the job, but he seems like a relatively nice decent guy, trying to do a very tough job at a particularly dangerous time in history."
Seriously? This is the President of the United States, not the head of the homeowners association.
Firstly, it might be noted that when you simply retort with a smarmy and deflecting "Seriously?," you're not being terribly serious yourself. It's essentially the ploy of school yard one-upmanship, somewhere around middle school level, if that. Same with the follow-up concerning the sneer about the HOA - it's vacuous, it's all empty of thought and low octane smarm, reminiscent of (all too literally) laugh-track sounding audiences who respond to Bill Maher and other, similar stand-ups who feed pabulum to their audiences and recieve (again, quite literally) Pavlovian responses in return. (E.g., here and here for a recent example of the - once again, literally - moronic Left, or Pavlovian Left, or whatever the better ascription might be.) And these are folks who keep telling us how nuanced and thoughtful they are (in fact BDS is, in part, symptomatic of their thoughtlessness - hence their Pavlovian characteristics - which is one reason why they fall into the trap of BDS in the first place: they are vaguely conscious of their own intellectual weakness and to bolster their presumptive pride of place they sneer at Pres. Bush, among others such as former Prime Minister Blair).

Secondly, the notion CDS is more prevalent than BDS is risible, and this despite the fact Hillary Clinton is presently running for president, so it's hardly an irrelevant topic. BDS, even at forums such as VC, can be seen daily, if not at the exaggerated levels of other blogs that are far more partisan, even sectarian in their political affiliations. By contrast, to even criticize Clinton on sound and cogently argued grounds, one is often dismissed tout court, which fact is arguably the obverse side of the coin of BDS. Likewise, while BDS can be observed almost daily at middle of the road forums such as VC, criticisms of Clinton are, in relative terms, few and far between.

A few C-notes, virtually understood, says for every instance of CDS you can link to here at VC (reflecting some level of "derangement," reasonably understood), I can find ten to twenty instances of BDS, using the same proximate criteria.
9.27.2007 11:33pm
Groucho Marxism:
Michael B, Clinton has been out of office for nearly seven years and Bush is the prez now, so of course there's going to be a lot more talk about Bush than Clinton since Bush actually holds power. If you're trying to do some comparison of personal attacks, do you remember the "Clinton is a murderous rapist" nonsense from the late-90s? Are you trying to argue that people who said Clinton is a murderous rapist are somehow more logical in their arguments than people who reflexively hate Bush?

Can't you just find both ideas loony and leave it at that? What's the point in arguing that one crazy idea is better than another crazy idea?
9.27.2007 11:58pm
peter jackson (mail) (www):

I think BDS is derivative of CDS. It wouldn't have mattered who the next republican president would have been, he was dead meat from the get-go.

Utterly beside themselves with rage over what they perceived to be the constant, baseless attacks on Clinton by Ken Starr and the media, culminating in Clinton's impeachment, a large number of folks on the left conflated the mainstream partisan struggle with truly fringe Vince Foster-Mena-Arkacide conspiracy mongers and became convinced of the existence of a vast right-wing conspiracy against which the ends really do justify the means—any means.

GWB is such a white-bread church guy that BDS took a little while to manifest itself, and 9/11 delayed it, but manifest it did. The only question left is whether these folks can ever be expected to regain their wits and return to the forum in good faith. Personally, I'm not very optimistic.

yours/
peter.
9.28.2007 1:19am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.


I didn’t realize he was your biological father but I think you might be being a bit too hard on yourself.
9.28.2007 1:28am
Michael B (mail):
Groucho,

That's one way of conceding the point. (And yes, Mr. Clinton has been out of office for nearly seven years, but Mrs. Clinton is presently running for the same office. Both Clintons alluded to her at times, and not in ironic tones, as the co-president during that previous administration - e.g., the attempt to coopt 1/7 of the U.S. economy with her health plan foray.)

Too, the thing is, there were exceedingly few on the right (personally, I never met one lone such accuser) who accused Clinton of murder (I assume you're referring to Foster's suicide) and there were certainly no such fringe elements who were coopting the center-right, the mainstream right, to advocate for that same fringe belief, or conspiracy theory. For example, in contrast to F911, there was no mockumentary produced and acclaimed on the right, e.g., receiving plaudits from central players on the right.

As to the rape of Juanita Broaddrick, that's an entirely different, in fact an entirely viable charge (personally, I have talked with others who agree, all of sound mind) and it - Broaddrick's charge - did reflect the discovery issues involved in the on-going investigation(s?), so to conflate the absurdity of the murder charge with the far more viable charge of a violent rape, vis-a-vis Broaddrick, is not a terribly serious assessment.

As to "leave it at that," I was addressing the subject in the thread and responding to a specific commentor. I'm commenting on a blog, not suggesting a Constitutional amendment. But no, I don't believe your attempt at equivocation is viable, it serves to dismiss too much that is unhealthy in the political and social arena and that reflects, among Kosified and like-minded Dems, an intellectually and morally regressive sensibility that is coopting a sizeable portion of the Democratic Party, including sizeable numbers among central actors. E.g., recall Michael Moore's F911 and the leading Democrats - including congressmen/women and Senators and central Democratic Party players - who touted that particular mockumentary. Recall Gore's genuinely demagogic ravings in his appeal to the Kos crowd, Howard Dean's similar demagogic ravings and forays. Recall the scientists whom global warming ideologues and religionists, with the approbation of vast segments of the Left and Left/Dems, are attempting to silence and caricaturize rather than address in a more transparent and intellectually forthright manner. Recall the profoundly mendacious John Kerry.

(That doesn't mean there are not more important things in the world today, of course there are, such as whether or not the Rockies are going to win their eleventh game in a row tonight, sweep the Dodgers and continue to vie for the wild card spot, or better, in the N.L. But that's not the subject of the original post.)
9.28.2007 1:33am
Can't find a good name:
PLR: It should be noted that Riches' lawsuit which named the "Planet of Pluto" as a defendant was filed before Pluto was removed from the planet category by the International Astronomical Union.
9.28.2007 2:03am
Can't find a good name:
Also, one of Riches' other lawsuits was filed against Cindy Sheehan and Nancy Pelosi, which tends to rule out a diagnosis of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
9.28.2007 2:06am
Happyshooter:
Does anyone remember Bush Sr/ Reagan Syndrome? That got really bad.

The fringe dems tried to float a story that Bush Sr flew to Iran in a space suit in the back of a SR-71 hypersonic space plane to arrange to screw Jimmy Carter. They were saying that with a stright face.
9.28.2007 7:48am
Falafalafocus (mail):
I have to agree with the above posters who are concerned that this litigant may need treatment. What reasonable litigant would sue Condi Rice when count 7 alleges that she is a NASA experiment? It seems to me that her participation on the "Elisabeth Smarts" kidnapping would be excused as a result.
9.28.2007 9:37am
Hoosier:
Re: Laughing at people--Well then, GV, why don't you juist NOT TELL THEM that bad guys like me are laughing at them? I will certainly keep mum about it. And then who's the worse for it?

ZThink about it this way: is there really any problem with, say, making jokes about the Amish on the internet? I mean, who is it going to offend?
9.28.2007 10:37am
Michael B (mail):
"Does anyone remember Bush Sr/Reagan Syndrome?"

In fact, that's a perceptive reminder.

Kos-styled Dems, the Left and Left/Dems who have coopted so much of what was once a decidedly center and center-left orientation (Scoop Jackson, et al.), like to pretend the "derangement" factor began during Clinton's tenure and in fact use that as one of their justifications for BDS.

Conveniently. Short. Memories.

It began during Reagan's tenure. After Watergate (and the supposed end of Vietnam ***) people were exercising notable restraint in terms of overly leveraged criticisms of the pres. When Reagan hit office brutal rhetorical forays ensued almost immediately and virtually without letup for eight years (e.g., Pat Schroeder's "teflon" label; Reagan's overarching strategy against the Soviet Union was excoriated remorselessly by a wide range of presumptives, ranging from MSM types to academe and on to major players among the Left and Left/Dems).

*** It wasn't simply the Vietnamese and Cambodians who suffered enormously after April, 1975 (despite Kerry's and others' assurances to the contrary). Soviet imperial interests gained momentum and prestige among third world nations and other points around the globe, hence Benin, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Congo, Afghanistan, etc. Even Iran's revolution, which Carter rationalized and abetted, reflected something of a bandwagon effect - post-April, 1975 - as analysts such as Michael Lind have noted.
9.28.2007 12:20pm
David Sucher (mail) (www):
Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.

"By comparison to what? The Civil War?"

You think the Civil War a debacle? I don't see it that way. It was an essential if painful evolution of the United States; and based on Southern intransigence it could not be avoided. Do you think the South would have negotiated-away slavery? Ha. It's inapt to compare Bush's pointless Iraq War with the necessary Civil War.
9.28.2007 12:48pm
Ben Gibson (mail):
"Furthermore, I am not wrong when I say he is the worst, nor are you wrong when you say he isn't. Whether he is really at the very bottom is quite obviously a matter of opinion, because it depends on the "bad" value we assign to each set of facts."

Perhaps it is just the way my life turned out, and my job, but I have to strongly disagree with you here. You need objective standards by which to judge these things, or else terms such as "right" and "wrong" become meaningless. If you remove those terms to the subjective or personal realm, then you lose the ability to use them in any this discussion, or most any others.

In my job, I test equipment. It either operates according to the design specifications or it does not. Either this voltage is within normal parameters, as measured by a calibrated multimeter, or it is not. If not, it is "bad" and needs fixing. If it does, it is "good". It is not some floating in the air opinion, it is based on objective fact, test and measurements, proceedures which are doable by most anyone. (At least in theory, and of course dependent on proper training)

Opinions are based on perceptions of our enviroment, via our senses. As well as some standards we establish to judge things as "good" or "bad". Shooting me would be bad, its painful and could end my life. I am sure you feel the same way about being shot yourself. Our judgement allows us to take actions which in turn have real world consequences. Such as, avoid people who might shoot us. Those consequences are either benefitical to our continued existence, overall, and life style, or not. If those consquences, that result from our actions, and in turn is based on our judgement are flawed, we get unexpected and likely, damaging consequences. And I believe we can agree that would be "bad".

Saying its all "a matter of opinion" is ignoring how those judgements and opinions are formed, nor the tremendous effect those judgements have on our daily lives. It is not an argument, it is a refusal to engage in debate. It dodges and prevents you from forming a judgement and taking action based on that judgement. Well, not exactly. One can form an opinion based on no fact at all. But then the opinion is disconnected from reality, and the likely consequences become completely unpredictable, and potentially damaging.
9.28.2007 12:51pm
Ben Gibson (mail):
As for a comparison of Clinton Derangment Syndrome and BDS, I do think there are clear differences. CDS has a basis in the many scandals and finger wagging from Clinton's actions. As well as the actions of his supporters. Between the Whitewater land deal, the whole Monica Lewinsky "I never had sex with that woman" episode, fund raising questions, and missing documents from the federal archive concerning Bill's pre 9-11 actions, it is a cause for concern.

Except for the war in Iraq, and the fact Bush won a very narrow electoral victory, what exactly is the left upset at Bush for? He disagrees? Disagreeing does not make you evil, no matter what the ayatollah at netroots say. How you handle someone who disagrees, that can expose a evidence of a problem.

And if you include the war in Iraq, then for many of us in opposition, we see this as a key struggle for existence of our way of life, if not our lives itself. That if the bad guys win, we will get killed, or force converted to a very different world view and way of doing things. A world view we strongly believe is a lie (and hence detrimental to our continued existence). We also listen to what the left claims to believe, then note that they side with folks like A-jad, who is opposed to everything the left claims to believe. This does not make rational sense to many of us, nor are we getting any kind of counter argument from the left. We are told "its all opinion" or screamed at. Neither of these are valid arguments.

One last thing: Comparing Bush to Hitler, publically, insulting the man without repercussions, proves Bush is NOT Hitler. If he were as bad as some appear to think, they would have been disappeared long ago, and no one would make such comparisons out of fear for their lives. The very act of saying this (and living) proves that it is untrue. Yet many on the left fail to see the irony of such claims.
9.28.2007 1:16pm
Virginian:
My favorite feature of BDS is that is necessitates that you simulateously believe that Bush is a blithering idiot and an evil genius capable of deceiving the incredibly smart and nuanced Dems (who all said the exact same things about S. Hussein and Iraq before it become politically expedient to say the exact opposite things (and deny ever agreed with Bush in this first place)).
9.28.2007 1:57pm
Brad Ford (mail):
David Sucher (mail) (www):
Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.

"By comparison to what? The Civil War?"

"You think the Civil War a debacle?" Absolutely. The death and destruction caused by the war was enormous. In terms of the conduct of the war, the "mistakes" Lincoln made were enormous and led to massive, unncessary slaughter.
9.28.2007 2:20pm
abb3w:
At current prices, that chunk of change needs a mass of gold with a mass around 0.2% of the whole Earth.

Anyone got change for... hm, Pluto?
9.28.2007 3:39pm
Elliot Reed:
Ben Gibson - I think you have it backwards. Where Clinton Derangement Syndrome was based on fabricated "scandals" like "Travelgate" (can you believe how much energy the Right wasted on this non-scandal?), left-wing hatred of Bush is based on a stolen election (aided and abetted by some very creative readings of the Fourteenth Amendment by the "conservatives" on the Supreme Court), lies to get us into an unnecessary war, and royalistic declarations of absolute authority to throw anyone in prison without so much as a kangaroo court based on nothing but his say-so.
9.28.2007 4:58pm
Groucho Marxism:
Michael B, thanks for proving my point by jumping in whole-hog into "Clinton's a rapist." Your entire post was filled with bizarre irony: Kerry "profoundly mendacious"? How long have you been paying attention to politics? Of course to you there's no equivalent between Bush and Clinton Derangement Syndromes--because, to you, Democrats are not only people with whom you disagree politically, but they're bad people. There is no difference between believing this and the beliefs you ascribe to people like Michael Moore except the party labels are switched, and if you seriously think there is something particularly evil or dishonest about what is going on in Democratic politics right now, you are very naive. "First remove the beam from your own eye" comes to mind.

And no, the Right didn't have a fat, popular documentarian when Clinton was in power, but they had a fat, popular radio host and later their own news channel, which is the most-watched among cable networks. The victimology is stunning.
9.28.2007 6:01pm
Le Messurier (mail):
To Ben Gibson re Elliot Reed.

Ben, you might as well forget about it. Elliot HAS BDS and though it's sad, we can still laugh at him just as some laugh at the mentally derranged even though GV finds it despicable. And Elliot, if you want to know what BDS is just re-read your post of 3:58.
9.28.2007 6:08pm
David Sucher (mail) (www):
Making a joke about BDS can't change the the fact that he has brought on the worst debacle in American history.

"By comparison to what? The Civil War?"

"You think the Civil War a debacle?"

Absolutely. The death and destruction caused by the war was enormous. In terms of the conduct of the war, the "mistakes" Lincoln made were enormous and led to massive, unncessary slaughter.

I think we are talking at cross-purposes. By that standard every hard-fought war is a "debacle." What I meant is that Bush got us into a war which
1. was needless, pointless
2. we are losing.

It's a harsh world and leaders are judge by whether they succeed. The worst thing I can say about GW Bush is that he is a bad war leader and has endangered the nation by bringing us into a war and losing. That's debacle.
9.28.2007 11:57pm
Michael B (mail):
David Sucher,

Much could be said, but suffice to say we are "losing" in much the same sense we were losing, in 1968 and subsequently, in Vietnam. Your opinion and beliefs, masked and offered up as certitude, is only that, in addition to very likely being motivated by BDS. Problem is and in direct contrast to Vietnam - which resulted in massive tragedy and a debacle for the South Vietnamese only (400,000 to 800,000 or more dead, not to mention lives variously destroyed and lived under totalitarian repressions) - within our contemporary global situation there is the potential for ramifications, for a real debacle, on the home front should we make the wrong decisions presently - the long view of things is even more important now than it was during a previous era. This brief OpinionJournal piece, especially in the latter half of it, serves to reflect upon the very different global situation today, strategically and ideologically understood.

BDS is more significant than some are willing to admit in substantial part because it is causing too many to indulge in foreshortened views and summary judgements that have the potential, should they gain even more traction, for an all too real debacle. The long view of things matters.

As to opinion being passed off as certitude, if only via analogy this example can nonetheless be instructive.

Grouch,

You're right in noting there is much irony in my prior comment; you're wrong in your assessment of where the irony lies.

E.g., I'm well aware that the 'profound mendacity of John Kerry' would appear, to put it mildly, as something of an outlier within that short list of examples. But as pertains to Kerry's "Winter Soldier" testimony and as pertains to his ultimately malevolent - as well as mendacious - assurances about the relative safety of the South Vietnamese following our decision to forsake our promises of material and financial support to the South Vietnamese (after our troops had left the theater, the countery), "profoundly mendacious" is the kindest thing that can be said. It's a different set of dynamics, but it would be similar to arguing against forceful interventions (not necessarily military) via-a-vis Darfur on the basis of mendacious arguments. It's one thing to forward pro and contra arguments concerning such situations that command so much gravity, it's another thing entirely forwarding primary deceits due to the presumptive "rightness" of one's motives, inclinations and instincts - ideologically, politically, etc.

Likewise, your self-assured and patronizing "how long have you been around" response is but one reflection of just how thoroughly you are not attuned to the irony invested in that prior post, even while you believe you perceive the "real" irony; it reflects a naive self-regard and a decided lack of depth of comprehensions.
9.29.2007 4:26pm
Michael B (mail):
As to perceptions of Iraq, due to the global and complex nature of it all and due to the short and long term risks involved, it should be obvious that there are many viable and even forceful arguments that might be forwarded, for example at the Atlantic Community, Europeans Want America to Stay in Iraq. What is not viable are absurdly foreshortened views resulting from BDS and similar corruptions. One indicator of the phenomenon is the deranged quality manifested by BDS when issues of enormous global and national consequence are summed up for the sake of partisan naysaying and affirming one's animus.
9.29.2007 6:11pm
faux facsimile:
Tee-hee. Anybody know what the Nixon-era equivalent of BDS was? The closest I can come up with is 'nattering nabobs of negativity' but it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Face it: Plenty of people didn't like Clinton because of who he was. Plenty of people don't like Bush because of who he is. Neither means that there aren't many perfectly legitimate political reasons to despise Clinton and Bush.
9.30.2007 9:40pm
Brad Ford (mail):
David Sucher, "The worst thing I can say about GW Bush is that he is a bad war leader and has endangered the nation by bringing us into a war and losing. That's debacle."

Even if it is a "debacle," it is far from the "worst debacle in American history." All wars are debacles, people die (lots of them) and mistakes are made (even by the best generals and leaders - FDR, Lincoln, Churchill).

The biggest mistake Bush made was failing to convince the American public the price would be high. Ever since the first days of the war, the entire Democratic establishment has been wanting to declare the war lost and to go home.
10.2.2007 9:58am