The 18th Brumaire of Samuel Alito, et al.

Economy, Justice, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Religion, War and Politics
  1.  As usual, the problem in the broadest possible view is the existence of men.
  2. Since I haven’t got a quick fix for that, a few thoughts on the Hobby Lobby, the ACA, (the) God(s), and the Supreme Court, in no particular order.
  3. Short of a divine program/pogrom to eliminate men via the rapid evolution of some kind of viable mammalian parthenogenesis (Are you there, God? It’s me, Jacob), the problem is less the historical animosity of the major religions to sexual freedom in general and women’s sexual freedom in particular—more about these below—than it is the specifically American weirdness of crafting a broad national policy in which the healthcare of most working-age adults and their children is provided by those adults’ employers through contracts with rent-taking private health “insurance” companies.
  4. Of course, the US does have a public healthcare provision for the elderly and (some) of the (very) poor. Medicare and Medicaid broadly undercompensate hospital systems and providers, who in turn vastly inflate the billed costs of services, which are subsequently “negotiated” down by private “insurers”, who in turn mark back up their own costs to the companies and occasional individuals who contract with them. These so-called insurance companies are really more brokers than insurers. Hilariously, most companies actually hire 3rd-(4th?)-party brokers to negotiate rates with these very insurance companies. Along the way, any number of other con men, from vastly overpaid doctors to millionaire health system administrators to big pharma firms dip into this huge pool of sloshing money to extract their share of the racket. It is the stupidest system of public provision ever dreamed up in the mind of man; it makes the most corrupt developing-world griftopia look like a paradise of reasonable governance. At least when you bribe a policeman for a bogus traffic stop, you know exactly what it costs and what you’ve got out of it. Can you say the same for your latest hospital bill or “statement of benefits”?
  5. No, duh.
  6. The Hobby Lobby decision itself is a good bit narrower than the more dire reactions would have you believe, and it does appear that the ACA’s existing mechanism for allowing religious non-profits to opt out of certain coverages for moral reasons by effectively shifting the cost back to the government provides a reasonable mechanism for continuing to subsidize the contraceptive coverage for women whose private, for-profit employers opt out.
  7. Naturally—this being America!—the deranged result here is another row of dominos in the Goldberg device: the federal government mandates a private business purchase a marked-up employee health coverage plan from a different private entity with the proviso that some of the mandated coverages are actually optional and the business may direct its insurer not to include such coverages, in which case the government will step back in to pay for them semi-directly. Does that sentence make sense? No, not really. Yes, exactly.
  8. Obviously, this expensive, stupid system would best be replaced by a national, single-payer system, like all the other good ones in the world.
  9. “We woulda, if it wasn’t for those evil ReTHUGlicans intent on opposing anything that President Obama wanted to do.” –Liberals
  10. Yeah, who’s the superstitious religious nutsos who believe based on faith in the absence of evidence here? A historical note: the ACA passed with no support from the opposition party. The reason the Democrats did not pass single payer is that the Democrats did not pass single payer.
  11. Returning to the Supreme Court for a moment: has ever any cryptomasonic gaggle of semi-intellectuals in the history of human society labored so conspicuously to cloak their inevitable arrival at their own obvious a priori conclusions in an evidentiary process? Again, you wanna talk religion? How about the belief that nine concurrent lifetime Popes operating under a principle of practical infallibility that makes the claims of the actual Vatican seem positively modest by comparison are going to utilize some marvelous hybrid of inductive and deductive reasoning to protect the holy principles of democracy, whatever those are. Of course this was going to be the outcome. Hey, I cheered too when Anthony Kennedy laid down the unassailable mandate (pun intended) that we gays can marry, but I ask you, is the system/institution that put that question beyond appeal a good one, now that the worm turned and the same old codger decided that, while gay marriage is good, ladies having too much sex is bad?
  12. As for the Hobby Lobby, I’ve got an MBA and shit, and I cannot come up with a definition of a “closely held company.” Or, rather, I can come up with any number of definitions, all of them perfectly reasonable, which I could very easily apply to almost any company on earth, from the corner store to Exxon/Mobil.
  13. Now, in general, I have more sympathy for religious peculiarity than your average American liberal; I am the sort of person who looks upon the word Balkanization with something less than total horror. I think that the conservative/orthodox religious opposition to contraception is wrong and incoherent, but I’m almost as skeptical of the use of the coercive power of the government to force them into moderating those views as I am of the notion that drone strikes in Pakistan will free women from the burqa. Are the Hobby Lobby owners hypocrites, investing in birth control on one hand while forbidding it on the other? Yes, they are human. But let’s take the Hobby Lobby owners at their incoherent but nevertheless sincere word: they believe God doesn’t want them to pay for their employees to use (certain) forms of female contraception.
  14. Is this sexist, odious, and inequitable? Yes. But.
  15. If the US had a functioning labor market that didn’t force so many people, especially women, to work for whatever checkout line would deign to hire them, this would all be much less critical. We could go on believing that corporations were voluntary associations rather than effectively feudal fiefdoms and that those who don’t agree with Ma and Pa Hobby Lobby could just vote with their feet.
  16. Of course, we all know that that’s not the case. Labor is unfree. People are stuck in these shitty jobs. The Hobby Lobby is actually a good one in that it pays better wages than your average WalMart. A person’s access to healthcare should not be subordinate to the crackpot morality of their bosses. But here is the thing. It shouldn’t be subordinate to the perfectly rational desire of their bosses to save money on the health plan either. And here we are, back at single payer as the only equitable solution.
  17. Just as a side note, the Court’s other opinion, Harris v. Quinn, regarding the mandatory payment of union dues, also made liberals mad. Hey, remember earlier this month when President Obama busted the Philly Transit strike? Yeah, I thought so.
  18. The way to protect individuals from the whims of their employers is to provide everyone—everyone­—with a basic provision of food, shelter, clothing, medical care. Forget the “employer mandate.” Give everyone healthcare. Forget the minimum wage. Give everyone a guaranteed minimum income. Scarcity, by and large, is a scam.

53 thoughts on “The 18th Brumaire of Samuel Alito, et al.

  1. …with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present Gross National Product within say, twenty years.

    1. “I was under the impression that I was the only one in authority to order the use of religious exemptions.”

      “That’s right, sir, you are the only person authorized to do so. And although I, uh, hate to judge before all the facts are in, it’s beginning to look like, uh, the Supreme Court exceeded its authority.”

  2. lloyd: women: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
    jack: words of wisdom lloyd, words of wisdom.
    one caveat j.b.: are doctors, generally speaking, overpaid? for the crap they go thru, i don’t know. your GP’s and such? our society shits all over people who provide basic essential services (farmers, mothers, teachers, etc.). i tend to see your average doctor/nurse/PA, etc. in a similar boat.

    1. Yeah, my friend’s in his fourth year as a surgical resident. He’s going to come out of that half decade having lived on about a fourth the amount of sleep most of us get, having spent minimal time with his wife and two children, and managing $250,000 in medical school debt. After all of that, I’d want to make, as he puts it, “doctor bucks.”

      1. I suppose one could go crazy and suggest that the system for training doctors is also unjust, and both their education and remuneration should be adjusted.

  3. And here we are, back at single payer as the only equitable solution.

    No. I should think that the equitability problem of me paying for your health care would be obvious. The equitable solution is that people should pay for their own damn health care.

    Notice how we do the same thing with food, and nobody starves. One can only imagine how ObamaEat would work, but I guarantee you it would suck.

    Note how neatly liberty solves all kinds of problems. I.e.: you want to work for a Catholic organization, but also slut it up. No problem! Work and fucking are separate things. They pay you money. You take their money and buy the Pill.

    Or say you want insurance, by which I mean actual insurance. But your boss does not want to buy you insurance. And neither does Bill Gates. Or your mom, me, the Pope, or really, anyone at all. Problem? No problem! You buy insurance for yourself! Radical. Of course, nobody will insure you against a preexisting condition. Just as nobody will bet you $1000 that you won’t say “ha ha I win you lose”.

    But say that you want “insurance”, by which you mean belonging to a patient group that you expect to get better deals from. No problem! You’re free to join any group you want and negotiate any deal you can.

    1. “One can only imagine how ObamaEat would work, but I guarantee you it would suck.” When your imagination ends at “anything the guy I don’t like could ever dream up with will suck” you might want to consider that you don’t have much imagination.

  4. oh my … the Jacob I came to have a many times huge human crush on … shining out from those lonely meditations which ‘mark’ those who actually care about others ……

    ♫Ahhm sunnnin mahself♫

    (and listening to Chaka Khan’s Eye to Eye …. )


    1. (On a side note dear, add “https : / / www . “ after deleting the empty spaces, to the following: (a true AICMU COCK (“adik”))

      (not all reults will pertain to the same ‘person’ in some cases, but it will be fairly intuitive to sort them out))

      1. (“results” (not a stupid MOTHER FUCKING MURKY fucking acronym) not “reults” ….siiiiighhhh ….. )

        :0) … :0( ….;0(

      2. (Was referring to:
        Adam A. I. Kramer FaceFiend/DOD
        Cameron Marlow (now quietly ‘moved on’ from Face Fiend Stanford Research Park/DOD to Stanford Itself/DOD as his ‘home base’)
        James H. Farlow UCSD/DOD
        Nicholas A Christakis Yale/DOD )

      3. Adam is otherwise noted as “Adam D. I. Kramer”, “Adam Kramer”, “Adam D. Kramer”, and “adik”

        APT feature request – Proxy – Highlight
        To: Subject: APT feature request? From: Adam D I Kramer

        Welp, I mean really, one deserves no anonymity when when they dont’ respect anyone else’s presumed anonymity, let alone conducting non human experiments on it while attempting to make sure (with DOD’s assistance?) they aren’t tracked like a squashable insect.

      4. (Adam ? [?] Kramer is otherwise known as “Adam D.I. Kramer” as regards Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks among other versions of his AICMU, et al, “tag”, which include: “adik.”

  5. You know, being that you’re no spry young spring chicken any more, you shouldn’t let the news get you going like this. Who knows what kind of TIA it might bring on?

    So, my advice is to let the fluffy white kitten deal with matter such as these.

    I was about to say that she has always done so mich better than you, but it occurred to me that I don’t know whether “she” is appropriate.

    I mean, what gender fluffy white kitten would a gay fellow typically have, do you think?

  6. “Scarcity, by and large, is a scam.”

    OK, but since it’s a scam perpetrated by God or evolutionary biology (however your preference inclines), we might as well get used to it.

    1. In a post cheap energy era and eight billion people and a contaminated ecosystem, I question whether scacity is a scam. At least for people wanting to live industrial era “middle class” lives.

      Luckily, Leonard has the solution: a vast pool of impoverished peasants serving the superior job creators! The peasants won’t require helath care….they are expendable and replaceable. Leonard, of course, being a job creator, will live in deserved luxury and I imagine his incisive mind will be transferred into an AI device after The Singularity.

      1. scarcity at this moment and possibly since the dawn of industrialization, or shortly thereafter, is a scam. ecological collapse will of course alter that, radically depending on who/where you are, but i don’t think j.b. has ever advocated we all live industrial era middle class lives.

    1. some of uz yinzers did not ‘take’ French! (yes I do wish I had). I ‘took’ Russian ….then far , far later ….Coptic Egyptian Taught Arabic …and a tad of [Peruvian taught] Spanish ….. Does that mean: the Red of the Night?

    2. (ants in mah pants, sorry if duplicate)

      some of uz yinzers did not ‘take’ French! (yes I do wish I had). I ‘took’ Russian ….then far , far later ….Coptic Egyptian Taught Arabic …and a tad of [Peruvian taught] Spanish ….. Does that mean: the Red of the Night?

      1. as such other languages yearning human – ….no surprise, since I’ve never been considered a Thought Leader – I lost my blouse in 2009, no liveable ‘wage’ jawb be be attained, sans sucking cum from a continual FAUCET FIREHOSE, …after all, my ‘white male’ ‘sout’ pekin IL[L], born from parents living in a discarded boxcar, dad ….was FUCKED, despite his, post life, retrospective bronze medal in SLY Con Valley, when my bro forced/provided irrefutable truth.

        In other words, it has always been a rigged game, and Capitalism has always thrived on guilting well meaning humans into giving it their all for a thoroughly corrupt and DEAD entity of soul suckers.

        Talk about fucking nihilism.

      2. but then what should anyone expect from a system, Capitlaism, which required millions of human slaves to come into being?

  7. I’m curious if you consider this stance a change in your views. When I first started reading you, you often called yourself an anarchist. I have a hard time imagining a system in which everyone is given stipends to cover basic human needs that would be considered an anarchy.

  8. (interesting note, both the Egyptian Arabic (the “P” and the “G”, for one), and Spanish teachers were certified as Lawyers (I found this out, after the fact), in their respective countries; though both found: persuing being a Lawyer, in the US, totally formidable.

    For fucks sake mastering the ancient Arabic (and I’m sure, the similiar, Hebrew, strangely hard to find any courses in) languages and Spanish should certainly qualify a person to practice The Law in this mother fucker.)

    1. (welp, I guess it worked for Chomsky, at MIT, …. or maybe, in his most personal of nightmares, it did not, at all.)

      1. (oh dear … forgrot and forgot that you set up GMT as the time zooooone of posts, …it’s the FOURTH IN LONDON, INC!… where’s Green Walled and Snow Den? …as we witness the ROCKET’S RED GALRE also GLARE!)

      2. (sorry for the acronym for those whose lives never encompassed being able to travel to any safe place, let alone learning which ZONES were the ones ya’ll: Should Have Migrated To [as if ya’ll could’ve] If You’d only been Wearing Those Responsibility Shoes!™:

        GMT= GRAND MERIDIAN TIME, where time has been proclaimed to begin and end.

        Yes, it is insane… stunningly deadly and vicious, DEATH CULT, spirited: GMT= GRAND MERIDIAN TIME, where time has been proclaimed to begin and end. )

  9. hmmm, as the sun roze ……. over the eastern sea board. …..Perhaps, The Fourth will be renamed Bankers, and Their Heirs Day, in hiz honor … welll, at least it would be more truthful …..

    sure wish that had been a double header …. but the pulseless seem impervious to eternal sleep.

    anywho, one RICH[ard] DICK doing permanent nap time. A toast!

    meanwhile, speaking of Obscene and Punitive Wealth and POWER: hearing the news and gettin a tad long in the tooth himself, Kurzweil frets deeply about mortality, along with Gates, Ellison, Page, Brin, Thiel, Perkins, et al …. where’s that linen hanky?

    1. listenin to maurice white … … love, …truth … is written in the stone, … i can’t let go ….


      1. watchin ethan hawke (sp?) and denzel wahington, in Training Day! I think it’s kind of truthful (other than ethan’s part not ending up dead as as a Door Nail) about how the PoPo/Police operate (those who don’t, get to be Serpico, and Paul Newman’s ‘part’ in Fort Apache the Bronx) in this mother fucker, on Independence Day[!].

  10. BLUE STATE Lynn Cullen called you a weirdo? That’s absolutely fucking hilarious, I remember her slobbering over the 100% VALIDITY RATE OF ACADEMIA HISTORIANS (the same ilk which excused slavery and other multitudes of human transgressions against their own species) when some one slammed old Herbert Walker Bush, ….on KDKA ….durring THE FALL ….of Spring 2003 …when we bombed the fuck out of the citizens of Iraq.

    And waz up with that avatar Lynn …that is not actually how you look …is it? …. Are you letting young females know they always have to put on a FAKE FACE? to be considered as valid?

    1. (and wasn’t Lynn born in that near thoroughly white, homogenized cheese state of Wisconsin? ….. She’s the female voice of the city where a male, Mr. Rogers, was proclaimed the mother of everyone?)

      1. (at any rate, as I recollect, Lynn was not born in Pitt’s Berg … and, her daddy was some someBODY. So, how could she posibbly (fuck the spelling, ya’ll get it …don’t cha?) be The Voice of Pittburgh, most particularly, the female voice of Pitt’s berg?.)

      2. (oops, it may not have been KDKA, now that I think on that ghastly period, it might have been some other competing Pitt’s berg radio station talk show, I’m not sure. )

      3. (not to say that I am not glad that she is not homeless …just to say that she is only speaking to keep her own head afloat, she has no familiarity whatsoever with those countless and voiceless biological females who are being repeatedly mowed over, such as that black woman who walked into the frigid Alleghheny river with her children … in springish 2003 .. in Pitt’s berg ….

  11. I think that competing [“We Care” …trace and Record] talk show was proclaimed The Point! …still can’t remember the call letters of that, only AM [Libewal [REPUBLICAN]!] Radio Station (that I recollect, and I seriously checked out that ‘dial’), ‘competing,’ – trace and record – station though.

    loved your book review …would try to read it …. but still have not recovered from those, more recent – ﺬﺳﺭ square, et al, …. massacres …..

    I’m so very glad you have a younger and stronger constitution ….. stay as strong as you are able to! …….. I love you honey.

    (Chaka was singing China Town ….. as I wrote)

    1. (oopser doopsety! …sorry for the italics fuck up ….:0) ..too many tannins ? (call that SLY CON VALLEY URBAN SHIELD POPO RAGHT NAWWW!) .. ;0) … And waz up, little Billy Gates and Mulleneg, et al can’t cough up that ancient letter “N” when it’s correctly entered?)


      1. “N” as in ‘Nisoor’ Square Massacre …. that letter ‘nooon’ which perhaps might be quite similar in the Hebrew (might be helpful if the Hebrew.language was commonly offered as a study, in the UZ ..waz up with that? I imagine there are thousands and thousands of ‘jew’/semites who are OUTRAGED at that SCAPE GOATING …but “ya’ll” know that …don’t cha?)…. attempting again: “ﺫ”

    2. (for those not from Pitt’s berg, The Point has quite the double meaning there. The main confluence, in Pitt’s berg, of those major river waterways, before feeding into that Ohio River … then on to the Mississippi River ….. which made Pitt’s berg so historically ‘VITAL’ to the ‘ monied powers that be – is titled: The Point.)

      1. (not at all to let KDKA off the hook, I vividly recall its CEO (as I recollect) proclaiming how he might (paraphrasing here) accidentally run his SUV into protesters against bombing the fuck out of the inhabitants of Iraq if they didn’t get the fuck out of his way.)

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