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from Petterico’s Pontifications, King v. Burwell: Intentionalism Trumps Textualism, and the Rule of Law Dies:


This reminds me of a hypothetical I offered in 2010:

Assume you make $50,000 a year. The legislature passes a law imposing a hefty tax on “people making over $100,000 per year.” Since the law does not apply to you, by its plain terms, you do not pay the tax. However, you are convicted after a judge finds irrefutable contemporaneous evidence showing that all legislators who voted for the tax intended to impose it on people making over $10,000 a year. The judge, an “intentionalist,” finds that the intent of the legislature controls, regardless of the plain meaning of the law.

Under the plain language of the law, the tax does not apply to you. Applying the intent of the legislators, it does. Which is the better interpretation?

My view was that the law would not apply to you, because “$100,000″ means “$100,000.” Legislators can say all day long that they meant to say $10,000 — but if they didn’t include that extra zero in the law that was duly passed and signed, the text simply means what it means.

To me, $100,000 means $100,000 — not $10,000. To me, this is as simple as saying “established by the state” means “established by the state” and not “established by the state or the Secretary of Health and Human Services.” You don’t need to get into the legislators’ heads — and it is foolish and indeed dangerous to even try to do so.

But then, I am not an elite lawyer who went to Harvard or Yale and then went on to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. And I am certainly not an “intentionalist.” I do not ascribe to statutory language mysterious secret meanings that signify the opposite of the common understanding of the public.


When talking about high court decisions there is much more to be concerned with than the outcome, or its desirability.  That too easily becomes a mere partisan fight.

One’s ire should not be raised at the decision to uphold a shitty law.  That anger is best reserved for Congress and one should vote accordingly.  It can be changed the same way it was enacted.

A legitimate case can be made to the degree that their tortured rationale intrudes into the legislative function,  Its implication goes far beyond the issue at hand in King vs Burwell.

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PR for a Free Market

“So what are we to make of this unexpected persistence of capitalism? John Kenneth Galbraith once observed, with respect to American capitalism, that “in principle the economy pleased no one; in practice it satisfied most.”2 Behind this observation is the familiar story of economic growth and diminished material scarcity. People didn’t like the concept of a market economy, but they had to admit that it did a good job of putting bread on the table. Yet the unease and suspicion have never gone away. A recent study by moral psychologists showed that a solid majority of Americans think it is immoral for businesses to raise prices in response to scarcity (say, charging more for shovels after a big snowstorm).3 But since having prices that will go up in response to scarcity is the single most important advantage of having a capitalist economic system, this moral intuition reveals something of a public relations problem for fans of the free market.”

Excerpt From: Joseph Heath. “Economics Without Illusions.” iBooks.

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Sharing Fords

Ford to Launch Car-Sharing Program in Six U.S. Cities, London
9:34 AM ET 6/24/15 | Dow Jones

Associated Press

Ford Motor Co. is launching a car-sharing program in six U.S. cities and London.

The auto maker said late Tuesday the pilot program will be available to customers that finance their vehicles through Ford Motor Credit. Customers will be able to rent their vehicle to prescreened drivers for short-term use, helping to defray some vehicle costs.

Ford said that 14,000 customers in the U.S. will be invited to participate, along with 12,000 in London. U.S. customers will partake through ride-share company Getaround, while London customers will use easyCar Club.

The program runs through November.

Ford’s announcement comes as auto makers are trying to contend with people being less reliant on vehicle ownership. Services like Zipcar, Uber and Lyft have made it easier for individuals to get around without owning a car.

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Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church


Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Dead


Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41

daniel simmons

Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74

cynthia hurd

Cynthia Hurd, 54


Sharonda Singleton,45


Myra Thompson, 59,

Tywanza Sanders, 26

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49

Susie Jackson, 87

Ethel Lance,70

The Killer

I refuse to show his picture or state his name.


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from The Wall Street Journal, Schadenfreude Is in the Zeitgeist, but Is There an Opposite Term?

Others, like schadenfreude, cross continents in mysterious ways. It is an old German word whose usage in English dates to the 1850s, spiking in American publications after World War II but then fading, according to Google data. It returned nearly a half-century later, some linguists say, because of a 1991 episode of “The Simpsons.”

“Part of the credit has to go to the Germans for coming up with an awesome word,” said “Simpsons” writer Jon Vitti.

The plot of his episode centers on a store for left-handed people, owned by Homer Simpson’s neighbor Ned Flanders, that goes out of business. Homer is overjoyed at Flanders’ failure until his daughter Lisa explains what he is feeling. Schadenfreude, she says, is “shameful joy—taking pleasure in the suffering of others.”

“Oh, come on, Lisa,” he says. “I’m just glad to see him fall flat on his butt. He’s usually all happy and comfortable and surrounded by loved ones. And it makes me feel—what’s the opposite of that shameful joy thing of yours?”

“Sour grapes.”

“Boy, those Germans have a word for everything,” Homer says.

Dr. Smith, of Kentucky, was already aware of the word at the time. He even mentioned it in the last line of his 2013 book about schadenfreude. “When the desired misfortunes fail to happen, we simply feel secret disappointment,” he wrote. “A recently coined word for this feeling is gluckschmerz—but that is another story.”