Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shut Your Fucking Pie Hole You Dumb Son of a Bitch

Apologies in advanced as this has turned in to a rant. But fuck it. We'll do it live.


There are few things in this world that I have a greater disdain for than Holocaust Denialism.

That's largely a noncontroversial statement. Hopefully that's noncontroversial. It should be noncontroversial.

Holocaust Denial takes on several forms. The two main branches from which the rest flow are:

1. Flat denial. In this model, proponents claim that the Holocaust never happened. This usually manifests itself in the claim that the Allies made up the story to discredit the Nazis after the War.

Other variations on this include:
  • Jewish people were merely expelled from Germany.
  • The Nuremberg testimonies from Germans were extracted by torture and thus fake.
  • Jewish-Zionist faked it for sympathy.
2. Mitigation. In this model proponents claimed (without evidence) that while the Holocaust happened it wasn't 6 million Jewish people who were murdered, it was more likely an elderly couple and a goat.

Other variations on this include:
  • Starvation and disease killed millions rather than a systematic plot.
  • Gas Chambers were delousing station.
  • Other human atrocities were worse. 
While it is not a form of denialism, there is a troubling current of Holocaust Trivialization that has emerged.

For the purposes of this article, I will define Holocaust Trivialization as the following:
  • Wantonly forming poor or false comparison of current events to the Holocaust.
  • Violations of Godwin's law or the argument Reductio ad Hitlerum.
  • Neologism such as "feminazi" or "gaystapo."   
Here is how the ADL has reacted the word "feminazi":
The pejorative “feminazi” mocks activist women and at the same time trivializes the Holocaust. Comparisons to the Nazis may be politically expedient, but in the end they trivialize the Holocaust and are an insult to the memory of six million Jews and the millions of others who perished at the hands of Nazis. This sexist, offensive term has no place in civil discourse or society. 
I would also add the caveat that Feminist were a group persecuted by the Nazis.  See Magnus Hirschfeld.

My large point to all of this rant is that all this shit needs to stop. I know that's not going to happen, but it needs to end. It's fucking disgusting that people in this country and this era have built media empires and accumulated vast hordes of wealth by targeting groups who were victims of Nazi persecution (Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Bryan Fischer, et al.)

When it come to the groups that were assigned a special badge to be worn in concentration camps, more deference needs to be paid when bullshit accusations are being made.

So by now you're probably wondering what the fuck crawled up my ass this morning. The answer lie in the following video from RighWingWatch.Org:

So in case you don't know, that is Rafael Cruz, the father of Ted Cruz. There are two quotes that really stick out to me. 
“If this decision comes against the biblical definition of marriage, the next thing that is going to happen is the government is going to come demanding that churches hire homosexual pastors and churches perform homosexual marriages. It is a very critical time in America.” 
Way to violate the 9th Commandment you sack of shit herpes. You lying pustulant boil on the blotted belly of a rotting carp, have you not read Proverbs 6:16 "There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers."

As pointed out in the Oral Arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges by Justice Kagan, "there are many rabbis that will not conduct marriages between Jews and non-Jews, notwithstanding that we have a constitutional prohibition against religious discrimination. And those rabbis get all the powers and privileges of the State, even if they have that rule, most many, many, many rabbis won't do that."

Everyone fucking knows that. The government doesn't force Pastors to marry people outside of their religion yet interfaith marriage is more than fucking legal.
"Silence is not an option Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Nazi German said 'silence in the face of evil is evil itself.' He also said 'not to speak, is to speak.' See, the silence sends the message loud and clear. We can’t afford to be silent anymore.'
LISTEN UP ASSHOLE, in Nazi German men like me were executed by bigoted assholes. In my lifetime I was liberated by the Supreme Court ruling that my existence is not a crime. I voted in vain to protect my rights as equal citizen when the State I grew up in passed a Constitutional Amendment  stripping my inalienable rights away.

Before you start calling me and mine Nazis you best do your homework. Otherwise it sounds like a call to discrimination. And you know who else discriminated against people...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Liam '15

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stop Voting for Dumb Fucks

This is a call for people to stop electing Government Officials who say stupid shit.  Case in point, Alabama's Chief Justice Roy Moore:

The flurry of stupidity is breath taking, but I will do my best.

"There is no word marriage in the Constitution" 

Well except for Article IV Section 1... whoops. "Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof."

I mean, sure, it does not directly say marriage, but it definitely means marriage. And this Article is definitely germane to the second question of Obergefell v. Hodges.

"The states can also resist... They can define what authority they have."


Article VI says something different, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

"Blah blah blah... 10th amendment argument... blah blah blah"

Honey, we also have a 14th Amendment.
Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Equal protection, due process, life liberty and property, these are all afforded to every citizen of the United States, and no state can take those away without a damn good reason. It is not left up to the individual State to decide; it was federalized by the 14th Amendment.

If a law violates any of these principles, and then is ruled unconstitutional, it is no longer law.

If the 10th Amendment superseded the 14th Amendment, then the 14th Amendment would be pointless.

"The Bowers Court says..."

Bowers is no longer precedent. It was over turned on June 26, 2003, with Lawrence v. Texas. It was kind of a big deal. I'm not sure, but  it might have been covered by the newspapers in Alabama.

Why not quote Dred Scott while you're at it?


I'm fucking bored by this. I could go on but too bored. Ennui could be deadly.

How the fuck did this idiot ever get elected the first time around. For fuck sakes I learned this shit in 8th grade. Roy Moore knows less about the law than an 8th Grader. It's fucking embarrassing.

There are a lot of reasons I'm glad I'm not from Alabama and some how Roy Moore nears the top of that list.

Liam '15

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Just an Aside

I have been thinking about this, since I heard the Oral Arguments for Obergefell v. Hodges.

Solicitor Bursch for the Plaintiffs argued about 9 times that the purpose of marriage is to link biological children with their biological parents. I find this to be a particularly specious claim, especially when you examine the historical purpose of marriage (or at the very least a purpose.)

A large portion of marriage that is quickly evaporating is legal concept of the "presumption of legitimacy." To a degree anyway, I mean, it isn't totally disappearing.

Let me back up. Black's Law defines presumption of legitimacy as "the presumption that the husband of a woman who gives birth is the father of the child." In, what I am going to pull out of my ass and say, most cases there is no infidelity in a marriage, so the child's paternity is not in question.

Prior to the advent of modern DNA testing (1983), there was no real way of determining who's the father. Thus marriage. If your wife gave birth, it's yours... Unless you were like my uncle and snipped and then two years later miraculously had another child, but that's another story.

In part marriage links children to their parents, and in may cases that is exactly what gay people want to join in on.

It also highlights that marriage is human and thus constantly evolving to adapt to our ever emerging necessities.

Liam '15

Sunday, May 17, 2015

King v. Burwell

This post has been quite delayed. Around December of last year, I read the question put forward to the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, and I was slightly perplexed as to why (besides for the obvious politics of the ACA) this case was granted certiorari.

On March 4, 2015 the Oral Arguments were made. Without going too deep into it, March was a busy month for me personally, and honestly I missed the whole proceedings.

The main reason I am writing this article now is that my interest was peeked, when I heard speculation that Chief Justice Roberts may either concur or agree with a majority in Obergefell v. Hodges to buy cover for ruling against the Government in King v. Burwell.

I do not like to tea read, particularly when it comes to the Supreme Court. After listening to quite a few oral arguments, I find speculation to be mostly pointless. That is not to say that oral arguments are pointless to listen to.

The Justices are not advocates; thus it is often difficult to ascertain how they will rule based off of the questions they ask. For example some of the most difficult question during the oral arguments for the Plaintiffs in Obergefell came from Justice Breyer, who in all likelihood will rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

Point One

The crux of  case lies with the reading of sections 1311 and 1321 of the ACA. While I understand that I am typically biased towards Justice Breyer, I cannot find an agreement from the Plaintiffs that satisfies his central point:
"If you're going to elaborate on that, I would appreciate your ­­ in your elaboration, I've read that, and this statute is like the tax code more than it's like the Constitution. There are defined terms, and the words you just used concern a defined term.  As I read the definition, there's a section, Definitions, and it says, quote, The term "Exchange" means, quote, an exchange established under 1311.  And 1311 says, An Exchange shall be a government agency, et cetera, that is established by a State.  Those are the definitions.  So then you look to 1321. And 1321 says, if a State does not set up that Exchange, then the Federal, quote, secretary shall establish and operate such Exchange.  So it says, "The Secretary is to establish and operate such Exchange," the only kind of Exchange to which the Act refers, which is an ­­ quote, "an Exchange established by a State under 1311." That's the definition.  So the statute tells the Secretary, set up such Exchange, namely, a 1311 State Exchange.... and there's nothing else in this that's throughout what they're talking about.  So what's the problem?"
After quite a long hypothetical from Justice Kagan, which very bluntly explains what a substitution is, Justice Breyer and the attorney for the Plaintiff get into a bit of a discussion on epistemology:
Mr. Carvin:  We implore you to examine these words in the context of the Act as a whole because our argument becomes stronger for five reasons.  To respond to Justice Breyer's point, he says such Exchange connotes that it's the same person doing it. But look at the provision on territorial Exchanges.  It says, territories can establish such Exchanges and then it says, "and shall be treated as a State."  So-- so-- 
Justice Breyer:  Yes, it does.  But you say connote.  No, it's not a question of connotation; it is a question of denotation.  Now what does that mean?  It means that the Federal government, the Secretary, is establishing a thing for the State.  And what is the thing? The thing that it is establishing for the State is defined as an Exchange established by the State. 
Mr. Carvin:  To ­-- 
Justice Breyer:   Now, that person from Mars, who's literal, which I usually am not, but a literalist, I think would have to read it that way.  But if you-- if you're not a literalist, well, at least you could read it that way.  Now you want to go into the context ­­ if you want to go into the context, at that point it seems to me your argument really is weaker.
Based off of Justice Breyer's statement it would appear that the Government's position is support by a literalist's interpretation, which is bad for the Plaintiff. Once again this was my impression before hearing the Oral Arguments.

Point B

When it comes to what Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy said during the proceedings, it was fairly brief.  Neither asked that many questions.  Justice Kennedy asked more questions, but due to how he ruled in the previous decision, it will be interesting to see how he will rule in this case.

When discussing the Plaintiffs position Justice Kennedy raises a very interesting conclusion for the Plaintiffs reading of  the Statute:
"Let me say that from the standpoint of the dynamics of Federalism, it does seem to me that there is something very powerful to the point that if your argument is accepted, the States are being told either create your own Exchange, or we'll send your insurance market into a death spiral.  We'll have people pay mandated taxes which will not get any credit on ­­ on the subsidies.  The cost of insurance will be sky­high, but this is not coercion.  It seems to me that under your argument, perhaps you will prevail in the plain words of the statute, there's a serious constitutional problem if we adopt your argument."
Once again I do not do tea leaf readings, but based on this quote, if Justice Kennedy were to accept the Plaintiffs argument, then he would have to rule that the Federal Exchanges are unconstitutional as promulgated.

And as with Bond v. United States, 572 U.S. (2014) in ambiguity, the Court must read a statute in a way where it does not impinge on the basic Federal-­State relationship.

When it comes to Chief Justice Roberts, once again, besides for procedural issues he was mostly silent.  Perhaps the most interesting question he raised was "If you're right ­­if you're right about Chevron, that would indicate that a subsequent administration could change that interpretation?"

In other words, if the Court does not agree with Justice Breyer, in that the governments reading is not based on ambiguity, and agrees with with government because of the statute being ambiguous, the next administration could take away healthcare for millions of Americans.

Point III

This section actually agrees in part with something Justice Scalia said. Quelle horreur, I know! Justice Scalia raise a very good point about the whole situation:
"What about ­­ what about Congress?  You really think Congress is just going to sit there while ­­ while all of these disastrous consequences ensue.  I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the ­­ you know, the bankruptcy court decision?  Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that ­­ that takes care of the problem.  It happens all the time.  Why is that not going to happen here?"
In this context, Justice Scalia is referring to a circumstance where the Court rules in favor of the Plaintiff. but it also begs the why hasn't Congress clarified the situation. Well, other than the fact that the lower courts have ruled in favor of the Government. Congress could easily have fix this problem and made this case moot and also secured health care for 8-9 million Americans.

It's the legislature's job to fix legislation when it is broken or too unclear (when it's beyond Chevron Deference.)  This is a similar argument to when a statute is declared unconstitutional. It is up to the legislature to strike it from the books. It's why Texas still has anti-sodomy laws on their books. It's also the reason why the Voting Rights Act remains disassembled after Shelby County.

It drives me crazy when these situations arise, because they are often times so easy to fix. And yet they seem to never get done.

Liam '15

Friday, May 8, 2015

Not Even Wrong

On Friday morning instead of work (shh), I read this article that was linked to SCOTUSblog:

Correcting Six Mistakes from the Same-Sex Marriage Oral Arguments Last Week by  James Phillips at the Witherspoon Institute.

I thought it was going to be interesting and soon discovered that it was in fact interesting, but for the wrong reasons.

To get the discussion going in the right direction I want to lay out some terms. Before I dissect this article, I want to quote Black's Law Dictionary on marriage: "The essentials of a valid marriage are (1) parties legally capable of contracting marriage, (2) mutual consent or agreement, and (3) an actual contracting in the form prescribed by law."

Section 1. "Error Number One: Massachusetts Marriage Rates Have Stayed the Same"

Alright, let's do this. Whatcha got:
"During the questioning of Michigan’s attorney, John Bursch, Justice Sotomayor commented that 'In Massachusetts, we’ve got data that it’s—the rates have remained constant since they changed their laws...' Justice Sotomayor is only correct if Massachusetts includes same-sex marriages in that number."
Sorry that's not an error. What she said was factual.
"The marriage scholars were also able to obtain data on opposite-sex marriage rates from three other states that have legalized same-sex marriage, and they likewise have seen declines: Vermont (-5.1 percent), Connecticut (-7.3 percent), and Iowa (-9.2 percent)."
Over the same period of time based on CDC figures the average change in marriage rate for states that did not allow same-sex marriage is -13.07 percent. Even assuming all of these numbers are correct, the declining marriage rate is still slower in the pro-gay states. Has same-sex marriage led to the appreciation of marriage among heterosexuals? No, there is no mechanism for this to occur. If you want to understand long term marriage trends look to anthropology and economics for the answer.

Call me old fashioned, but I believe that at least your first point should be valid, particularly when you are calling people out for being "wrong."

Section 2. "Error Number Two: Because Some Men Leave Their Wives and Children, Marriage Does Not Help Keep Fathers Around"

True, Justice Sotomayor makes a logical fallacy; however a logical fallacy does not make an assertion incorrect. For example the non-sequitur statement "if there are 2 apples and 2 oranges, and ass-fucking is fun, then there are 4 pieces of fruit" does not discount the truth of 2+2=4.

My point being prove the correlation or shut the fuck up.It doesn't matter that Justice Sotomayor made a logical fallacy, since the base statement wasn't proven to begin with.

Further, this section is pointless as it has little bearing on anything. It would possibly have meaning if the first section were correct, because if same-sex marriage caused a decrease in straight marriage, and marriage "keeps fathers around"... I would dig up some facts to find out the truth of the assertion made by Michigan, but it is absolutely pointless. So, I'm moving on.

Section 3."Error Number Three: The Purpose of States’ Recognizing and Regulating Marriage is to Bestow Dignity on Couples"

I actually agree with this entire section:
"Justice Kennedy expressed surprise when Mr. Bursch argued that the states are not in the marriage business to bestow dignity. Justice Kennedy responded: 'I don’t understand this is not dignity bestowing. I thought that was the whole purpose of marriage. It bestows dignity on both man and woman in a traditional marriage. It’s dignity bestowing, and these parties say they want to have that—that same ennoblement. Or am I missing your point?'Yes, Justice Kennedy was missing the point. He was confusing the reason that a couple may desire to be married with the reason that a state would want to recognize and regulate marriage. Those are distinct.
The funny thing is that this bit undercuts pretty much every argument against same-sex marriage.If marriage doesn't bestow dignity, then it's a bundle of rights and obligations.

And what constitutional basis would the government have to deny a class of people rights and obligations?

See where I'm going with this. Good. If marriage bestows dignity the government cannot take it away, and if it is an institution that bestows rights and obligations the government cannot take it away.

Section 4."Error Number Four: The Only Harm to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Making Marriage More Adult-Centered"

Another laughable section. Even the title is funny as no one argued this.

The rest of the section is conservative butthurt over changing social mores. To paraphrase Heraclitus, go suck a dick change is the only constant.

Get fucking over it.

Also, way to be total fucking dick bags towards adoption.

And thirdly, no-fault divorce is a problem? Nice can o' worms ya got there.

PS. This is section is largely opinion... not really a subject to error.

Section 5. "Error Number Five: There Is a Parallel between Brown/Loving and Lawrence/Obergefell"

Yes, yes there is a definite parallel between civil rights cases.
"At the time of Loving, state prohibitions on inter-racial marriages had been in existence in only some of the states, and then at most for about 300 years if we go back to colonial times in Virginia and Maryland. But man-woman marriage has been the law in every state since the birth of the nation—and in every Western nation for millennia."
Umm... so gays have it had it historically worse and this proves that it's not discrimination? I'm not following your point. Not really even a point I guess. Further more the parallel was established and the article only affirms it.

Section 6. "Error Number Six: Age Restrictions on Marriage Are Equivalent to the Definitional Element of One Man and One Woman"

This is another dumb one to argue. Age restrictions are constitutional; by disassociating age restriction from the definition you're only hurting your position. But that's just the title.

Let's look further:
"Several of the justices questioned whether there was a difference between recognizing exceptions to age restrictions and recognizing same-sex marriages.In short: yes, there is. Not all exceptions are equal. Age has never been a part of the definition of marriage."
Umm... consent isn't apart of the definition of marriage... funny. It's like a someone said something contradictory earlier... like in the actual definition of marriage...

The main reason age is a restriction to marriage is because of consent. The concept of consent makes the restriction rational.


To sum up the article, ignore every economic reason for a falling rate of marriage to pin it on Griswald, Loving, Roe California adopting No-Fault Divorce, queers getting hitched. It also unquestioningly assumes that a declining marriage rate is bad. It ignores human history and the constant flux of morality.In short the article is sloppy, ignorant, and fails to make a coherent point.

Ok I'm bored now.

Check out the other article linked to SCOTUSblog, which is Lisa Keen's article on Obergefell v. Hodges.

Laim '15