Friday, July 3, 2015

comedy or comity?

I'm sure you're aware of the SCOTUS decision in King v Burwell, thanks to your favorite "expert" media source telling you that it's a victory for people everywhere.  This same "expert" media source probably told you that the ACA is historically significant because it helps a lot of Americans deal with health care problems.  The "expert" source probably also assured you that the ACA must survive the King v Burwell challenge as well as the prior challenge heard at the SCOTUS, Nat'l Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius -- also known as "the penaltax decision" in some corners.

If you're like the great majority of people I know from my interactions outside the world of The Law, you probably think the role of the SCOTUS is to be arbiter over touchy-feely Social Issues, and you likely assume the role of the Court is to be "progressive" so that America may embody the kinds of "progress" you hold dear yourself.  I'd even bet you would hasten to cite Obergefell v Hodges or Roe v Wade to bolster your position.

However, if pressed on the bases or principles which let you conclude that the SCOTUS is there to resolve matters concerning social progress, you would not be able to defend the position.  You'd scurry about, looking for a Glenn Greenwald or Nina Totenberg to rescue you, because you don't have the legal acumen to make the jurisprudential argument(s) yourself.  Honestly, I blame the American education system, both K-12 and post-secondary, for your relative naivete here.  It's not your fault, not entirely at least.


The SCOTUS is not a social arbiter.  It is an appellate court, and as such, it hears questions of law.

Not facts.


So when you assume a SCOTUS decision is about people in a tight, awkward social bind that cries out for a progressive resolution, you're mistaking SCOTUS for something like Judge Judy or Judge Wapner or some other television judge who hears disputes between people, disputes about factual resolution.

The SCOTUS docket is not about that kind of dispute.  It's about interpretation of the law(s) in question.  And statutory or constitutional provision interpretation is not done by feelings, by a sense of "social justice", or by reference to what is/is not "progress," socially speaking.  The role of the SCOTUS is not to defend or promote social progress.  It is to maintain sanctity of the law, using jurisprudence as its tool.

If you come at these issues from "the left" and you orient your outlook toward "social progress," you are going to have to re-frame your understanding of the US Constitution and its 3-chambered government.

The body tasked with discerning social problems and creating decisions (via legislation) which perform what you'd like to imagine as "social progress"?  That would be the Congress.

The body charged with implementation of such decisions (made via Congressional legislation) would be the Executive branch.

And the entity whose job it is to resolve questions surrounding the Legislative and Executive acts, and their fidelity to the US Constitution?  Can you guess which body that might be?  HINT:  It's not the Congress, and it's not the Executive.

It's the Judiciary.  Read Article III of the Constitution, in case you were wondering or are inclined to doubt me.


When you think of trial courts handling federal law matters in a Judge Judy setting, that's done by the US District Courts.  It's not done by the SCOTUS.

At the SCOTUS level, a case like King v Burwell is not about the particular plaintiffs David King, Douglas Hurst, Brenda Levy and Rose Luck.  It's not about their grievances from a factual standpoint.  Those personalized gripes were heard at the US District Court level.  Once the matter moved on from the US District Court decision via appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the case was about legal interpretation and not factual complaints.

The questions get even more remote and ethereal when the matter moves from a US Court of Appeals to the SCOTUS.  The Court of Appeals is bound to hear appeals from USDC level decisions.  But once you move from US Court of Appeals to US Supreme Court, you have a filter in place.  The SCOTUS hears only cases that require its unique resolution powers.  A typical reason for SCOTUS to hear a legal question brought from a Court of Appeals decision would be a situation where several different federal courts (either District Courts or Courts of Appeals) have interpreted a federal law in disparate fashion.  The SCOTUS then may accept the case in order to resolve the interpretations of the federal law in question.**


A different kind of mandatory appellate review exists for SCOTUS when the case is one which has made its way through a state court system, exhausting all state court appellate decision power.  For example, in Maryland you could have a case which works its way from Maryland District Court or Maryland Circuit Court (the first level trial court) to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (the first level appellate court) to the Maryland Court of Appeals (the highest appellate court).  Once the MD Court of Appeals has ruled on the question, the only legal appeal left to the litigants is to seek a SCOTUS ruling on the matter.  But such a path was not the way King v Burwell ended up in the SCOTUS docket, so for the sake of clarification let's move on from this digression.


When a matter like King v Burwell is discussed in the news media, it is always glossed-over with heart-string-pulling language designed to grab your attention.  Media outlets make their money selling advertisement time, and advertisers pay for click counts and "eyes and ears" on the media put into the infotainment stream accessible to newspaper, magazine, television, radio and internet users.

Thus, King v Burwell is presented to you as a matter of the SCOTUS "ruling on Obamacare" as if the questions presented in King v Burwell were as trite as "Justice Sotomayor, should Obamacare be allowed to stand -- or not?"

If the case were presented in the media as it is presented in briefs and oral arguments at the SCOTUS, the great majority of media consumers would experience an excess of intra-cranial pressure (also known as painful amounts of confusion) due their general ignorance of (1) the law generally, (2) how the law is managed by judges, and (3) the intricacies of appellate review as compared to the facts-based trial court style of judging done by Judge Judy or Judge Wapner on television.

Do not feel insulted by this assertion. Appellate matters are poorly understood even by many practicing lawyers.  Many lawyers who do extensive or exclusively trial work avoid appeals like the plague.  Do you know why that is?

I do.

It's because trial litigation is about feelings, and appellate litigation is about logic and reasoning.

In the American judicial system, if you do litigation which seeks "social progress," you are a trial lawyer.  That's where you get to emphasize how a dispute or event made someone feel.  That's the court where emotional attachments are paramount.  Once you move beyond the trial court level, things change.

Once you get to the appellate level, it's an intellectual game, not a feelings-based emotional enticement to rule in your favor.

So, maybe it would behoove you, help you, benefit you, assist you or inform you further to enlighten yourself on just exactly what the SCOTUS is and what it does, before you assume that Chief Justice Roberts rendered a good decision in King v Burwell.  You may come to learn that despite what Mr Roberts opined, the role of the SCOTUS is not to use feelings and emotional enticements toward preserving the sanctity of the ACA and protecting it from criticism.


Perhaps I'll say more on this later.


** For the truly curious sociopolitical/legal geek who hasn't been through law school and/or hasn't taken a Constitutional Law class in undergraduate studies, it helps to understand Article III, Section 2 as setting the boundaries for federal court jurisdiction.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


(standard internet celebrity)

(as it were)

This could easily explain former UNSF blog nemesis Jack Crow, or current sociopolitical snake oil salesman Glenn Greenwald, or Greenwald's alter ego, the faaaaaa-bew-lisssss liar Tarzie.

Click farmers who lie about their "expertise".

Standard Joseph Weil stuff, I guess.

Only literally ironic given their SJW perspectives, eh?

Not hipster ironic, therefore not seen as ironic.

Monday, June 29, 2015

we done tole you, cletus

We sed it befo'.  Themz Pwogwessives think nuthin' wrong wif hatin' Christian folk, 'cuz freedom of RAH-lidgin only sticks to thet six point stah.

But lissenup nah.  Doan bleeve me.  Bleeve one-ah yor'n.

WaPo on ACLU

-- Red Naecker, havin' me a Tea Party!

perdoneme, senorita, but my chalupa is under-cooked

Ess Ess Dee Dee, bitches!  Got some crackers to blame!
Can't wait to see Scalia's head explode when he realizes I'm right and he's wrong.
Scalia spends a lot of time worrying about what Jeff Popovich thinks about Con Law
Scalia's jealous he can't do PoMoPoetry like me
Have I told you lately how much I hate cracker christers?
My parents wouldn't let me have a gay orgy at age 13 in the rumpus room.
All the brainiac nerds of my peer group wanted to try ass sex, so I was just facilitating.
I wish my parents were dead and never had sex while alive. 
HOLYFUCK!  Then where would I be?  Fine metaphors abound!
I've never done anything myself, but I worship plenty of others!
I am legally partnered and I have female offspring.  So fuck you, former brainiac nerd peer group!
When I was young, I was uber-hip.  I was the top, the tip, the championship.
Now I'm old, and I consider a two mile walk "exercise," because I'm 50 lbs overweight.
I quit athletics when I failed to make the soccer team in 10th grade.
But my fellow pro soccer fans know I'm really knowledgeable about sports.
Statistically speaking.
Isn't it a delicious irony that I'm a chihuahua, but I hate dogs and LOOOOOOOVE me some cats?
Tarzie is a genius!  Send money to Art-for-Silver!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"I'd like a Kale & Quinoa chalupa with extra smug sauce, please."

MY troll is bothering ME again.

He is MY PERSONAL troll.

I've NEVER trolled anyone, despite 10+ years of blog
activity blaming Crackers, Christers, Reactionaries
 for all the pain caused by my ego brittleness

In pure indelible fact, I've NEVER trolled.  I've merely written
 poems and prose. I'm a writer, you see.

OTHER PEOPLE troll.  I simply spread The Good Word -- TRUTH.

That's WAAAAAY different from Christer Crackers who say they spread
The Good Word when they harangue others regarding Jesus.

The blogtag My Complicity excuses My Hypocrisy.

It also converts my 4 decades of teenaged angst into witty observations,
which I offer in the form of accusations regarding others.

If I say it's MY TROLL making me be an asshole,
that's because of MY TROLL,
and not because I'm an asshole.

Please send $$$ to an Internet Construct.

Also, please remember Tarzie is a genius, and you're just jealous of his genius.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I killed my dog, but at least in the process I gained some social media fame

Some people are well-suited to animal companions, others use the animal as a punching bag/kicking target, or as a triangulated way to build a Social Media Brand.

It's totally worth it to destroy your dog's hips & shoulders just to get bragging rights on having the "fastest trail dog."

Totally worth it.  Your 15 warholian seconds of fame definitely trump your animal companion's well being. 

--Karl Franz Ochstradt, who (unlike you) understands that your freedom to do dumb things sometimes affects other living beings.

whom would you crown?

Blogger who does best job of ghost-writing different "people" who "comment" at blogger's blog?

(A) Tarzie
(B) Chris Floyd
(C) John Michael Greer
(D) Michael J. Smith
(E) Tom Feeley

When grading the above candidates, please consider the number of "different personalities" ghost-written, the names chosen for the "different personalities," and the images attached to the respective puppets.

Please also consider which blogger writes under his/her own actual name.  Those who do, those who can be identified in meatspace by the name under which they blog, by an actual physical address for home, and by an actual verifiable background supporting the "wisdom" he/she shares on that blog, should receive greater weight for ersatz authenticity, balancing against their sock puppetry skills.

Negative scoring shall be attached to those bloggers who imagine themselves doing a satire or parody, yet who fail mightily at such striving.

Positive scoring shall be granted to those bloggers who, despite imagined satirical/parodic content, ironically are doing little more than exacerbating the problems about which the blogger pontificates.

Also, please be aware that the true king of sock puppetry is not in the running.  This contest is more about discerning who is the next-best sock Geppetto -- please identify the blogger who, in your view, best emulates the true king's practice.

Finally, please do not confuse this poll's focus with any person's habitual practice on such formats as facebook, twitter or reddit.  Several of the candidates may have a sideline of sock puppetry on one of these non-applicable formats, but such sideline activity does not count in this poll.

Friday, May 22, 2015

youthful merit

Plenty of great CVB songs, but this one's up there in the clouds.

I think Doug Martsch listened to this song over and over while working up Perfect From Now On. Greg Lisher deserves influence credit for that album even though he didn't play on it.

CVB played this song 20 years later, it lacks some bite, Lowery's no longer invigorated by absurdist sarcasm and sounds like he's smoked a few cigarettes and drank a few 750s of whiskey, but really it isn't bad at all:

oh, the prince of fabricators!

This song is reputed to be a foreshadowing of "Edward Snowden" and his Modern Genius conduit, much like Gaddis's JR foreshadowed Milken, Boesky, Icahn.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

chuck'll along shortly to comment on Super Sock Puppeteer's latest duck-and-dodge-by-accusing-others-of-what-self-does, but in the mean time, have you ever noticed that it's really typical for the ziophile to excuse himself and his ideological and action-oriented fellow travellers by anticipatory strike rhetoric? 

It's a little like having a step-brother you don't like and who was forced upon you by your parent's remarriage to a new spouse you dislike worse than the new step-brother.  You may try passive-aggressions if you're of a certain weak-willed and spineless temperament. 

Let's call new step-brother "Hymie." 

One day, you come home from school and are hungry.  You look in the refrigerator and you see nothing that appeals to your adolescent sugar cravings.  In one of the cabinets is a large box of cookies that your mother is saving for a dinner party two days from now.  You like those cookies and start thinking that the two-days-off dinner party can go without, you want them now.  You raid the cabinet, taking the cookies down to your room, shutting the door behind you and chomping away.

Several hours later, your mother returns.  She begins her dinner fixing and in the process notes the cookies are missing from the cabinet.  Since she knows you like that kind of cookie, she heads straight to your room.

"Jonny, do you know what happened to that box of cookies in the cabinet?  I was saving them for the dinner party two days from now.  I don't have time to go to the grocery between now and then, and now I'm without cookies for the dinner party.  Do you know anything about this?"

You resist the temptation to beam ear-to-ear with personal pride in your clever chicanery, and offer your mother a look of compassionate concern.  "Have you looked in Hymie's room?  I think I saw a cookie box on his bed."

Your mother heads to step-brother Hymie's room and finds a cookie box empty of all but a few crumbs, and maybe another quarter-cup of crumbs is scattered on the bed coverings.  "Oooooooooooh.  That Hymie!" you hear your mother say. 

That ear-to-ear grin previously stifled now appears mysteriously on your face.  Victory is yours, once again!  And gained solely through deception! 

There are big things in store for you when you get older.  Aren't there, Jonny?

This household fable brought to you by Paul Behrer, your friendly neighborhood atomizer of reality

Monday, May 18, 2015

hoe pan chain djinn

The progressives assured us it was a major step forward, levelling the playing field, making health care more affordable.

Some people here at UNSF contested those assertions, saying this was a windfall for insurers, TPAs, and other financial vectors (including the health care providers themselves -- i.e. MDs, RNs, hospitals, etc).

Perhaps the progressives were correct, and the real improvements are hiding, waiting for their moment to shine.  Meanwhile, we get this.

This interim development sure makes UNSF look prescient.  Thus, there must be some lurking benefits waiting for something like October 2016 to reveal themselves.

free bee

(not a drone)

Systems analysis seems beyond most people.  Most try to split hairs already split 1000s of times, in order to carve out a tiny niche of expertise.  This pushes people into narrow views.  Holism is dead, long live the infinitesimal niche, over which one is Absolute Lord.

Apparently people think this is useful.  Everyone an expert, and a proper gathering of experts leads to a meritocratically wise consensus. 

Using an automotive analogy, can you imagine this being good/wise/respectable?  Instead of being able to take your ailing vehicle to a single garage/mechanic, you have to go to an infinite number of them.  One for your braking system.  One for your exhaust system.  One for your transmission.  One for your differential.  One for your driveshaft.  One for your clutch.  One for your steering assembly.  One for your intake system.  One for your camshaft.  One for your valves.  One for your carburetor/injection system.  One for your ignition system. 

No mechanic could possibly do all those things!  Not as an expert!  IMPOSSIBLE!

If my metaphor continues in the same way I've watched other dimensions of American culture continue, soon that list of individual mechanical specialty experts will be expanded.  Exhaust expert fractions into exhaust manifold experts, exhaust tubing experts, catalytic converter experts, muffler experts, tailpipe experts.  Then further into specific expertise:  not just an exhaust tubing expert, but a Ford exhaust tubing expert.  HE KNOWS NOTHING OF CHEVROLET EXHAUST TUBING! says sideline fanboy/shadetree pseudo-mechanic on the internet.FN

It's all pathetic at best, lampoonable on average, and puke-inducingly destructive at worst.

What could you possibly know about any of this, Redweld?  You're an internet construct and your C.V. is not posted, and even if it were, you couldn't possibly hold prestigious degrees in every subject you have addressed since assuming control over this blog!  I bet you don't even have a degree, let alone several, much less as many as needed to be a Real Expert and True Genius of Everything!

I hear you, random internet idiot.  Loud and clear. 

But it sounds mostly like static.


I would suggest you spend some time looking into this guy's overblown areas of wisdom.  Nobody could know what he knows.  He hasn't properly specialized in a microscopic niche!


FN - Shadetree know-nothing doesn't realize exhaust tubing doesn't care whether it gets connected to a Fiat, a Lada, a Yugo, a Cadillac, a Ferrari, a Bentley, or a Lamborghini. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

not true until authorities say it's true

The 99% Are Ignorant, But We Can Educate Them
by Chris Hedges
Disinformation Clearing House
May 15, 2015

Currency valuation rigging?  By banks?  Or currency traders?  NEVER!  They are merit-ful people who gained their stations through prestige parchment and immense native talents of the sort you'd never hold, let alone develop adequately. 

The finest people work hard to achieve positions of worth.  If someone is an executive making decisions for a financial entity, rest assured he or she knows more about financial affairs than you.  Otherwise it would be you making those decisions!

People in positions of decisive power deserve to be there.  And in those positions, they exercise great care and rely upon preternatural talents to make far-reaching decisions for the benefit of all.  They would never make decisions which benefit only a small percentage of humanity.  If they were that imbalanced and overselfish, they would be you, sitting on the sidelines, complaining about the decisions. 

Everyone rises to their appropriate station.  The system we have in place circa 2015 ensures that merit, and not graft or favoritism or old-boy-networks, determines who gets to climb the ladder.  It's most probable that if you see a decision which appears to be corrupted by powerful influences, you just don't know enough about the subject or applicable landscape to understand the decision and its holistic impulses.

As a journalist who spent 20+ years covering global matters for The New York Times, I am familiar with those Americans who toil in the corner offices spread throughout the financial world.  I did occasionally encounter someone whose abilities or agenda were in some minor way questionable and perhaps untoward.  Yet in every case where I found such a person, the system prevented him from advancing further.

The system we have works well.  It relies upon merit and talent.  To prove this, I got arrested at Occupy: Wall Street, where I was protesting about one of the few financial executives (a Republican, of course) who wasn't in his position because of merit or talent.  He was installed there by GOP cronyism, and I wanted Wall Street to know that I knew this.  Basically I was threatening Wall Street with my journalistic exposure of the GOP crony.  As a result, Cornel West and I were arrested, mostly because NYPD is run by GOP operatives. 

As you can see, the real problem is the GOP.  It's not our financial system, which is 99% pure in motive and noble in purpose.  And I beg of you to notice that this fallacious story was run by The New York Times after my tenure there ended, so it is of marginal importance and questionable veracity at best.  I would urge all good progressives like myself to be skeptical of such GOP propaganda.  The once-honorable NYT has been in an embarrassing backslide since my days working there.  We can count on Elizabeth Warren to change those reactionary regressions in our media, and to spot and expose chicanery wherever it arises on the financial landscape.

Remember, I'm for the little guy.  And you can trust me when I tell you that Wall Street is, for the most part, also in favor of helping the little guy, the average American.  As a regular guy yourself, you should know that I'm sincere when I say this, because I was arrested when trying to help the 99% avoid the nefarious cronyism worked by the GOP's one-percenters.