The danger of precedent

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You’re gonna hear about the Supreme Court a lot in the coming days and weeks. They’re hearing a case that could change the course of human events in the U.S. for a long time to come (or not). It really depends on how the court decides the case it heard yesterday, the one about abortion and limiting it.

One of the ways the court makes it’s decisions is based on precedent. Precedent is used to help guide the court in making decisions related to issues of the past. A court obviously can’t really know if a decision they are making in the current day will be used as precedent, but they certainly know in the present when they are using the precedent set by earlier courts.

One of the things about SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) is that it relies heavily on precedents set by previous courts. This is kind of a nod to the fact that those justices have made a correct ruling based on interpretation of the Constitution, intent of the Founders, etc., etc. Therefore, most decisions coming from the court often don’t step on previous decisions and most often don’t overturn precedent.

But, there have been times where that has taken place and it was no small matter.

The best example of a court reversing it’s own precedent (and really the best one to apply now to abortion) is the 1896 case of Plessy vs. Ferguson. The precedent that was set by the court as a result of that case became known as the “separate but equal” doctrine. Essentially it established that, for all intents and purposes, segregation was legal as long as accommodations were equal for both races. Of course, we know the application of that doctrine didn’t really get applied that way and was the basis for all sorts of discriminatory and racist laws. Over and over there challenges to those racist laws and over and over the court upheld decisions in favor of racism simply because the justification was the precedent of Plessy. That precedent would eventually be overturned by a different and later court, which set a new precedent. The 1954 case of Brown vs. The Board of Education turned Plessy on it’s head by deciding in the case that separate was not equal but inherently unequal. Thus, sanctioned and legal racism was stamped out by a future court righting the wrongs of a previous court. There was a new understanding and interpretation and it was decided that the precedent was wrong, so they fixed it and made it right. It took 58 years to make that morally wrong decision, morally right.

Today, some 43 years after the Roe vs. Wade court decision SCOTUS has a chance to right another wrong. A chance to reverse a precedent that has cost millions and millions of human lives – those of unborn children. A chance to stand on what is morally right, saving the lives of babies, instead of standing on what is morally wrong, killing babies. It doesn’t seem like this should be that tough of a decision. But, apparently it is.

Going against public opinion isn’t an easy thing and I am sure it wasn’t that easy in the Brown decision, but it was the right thing to do. Lots of things have changed in 43 years since Roe was decided. Healthcare, medical knowledge, and technology has gotten a lot better in those years, so denying that life starts at conception is backwards as saying the Sun revolves around the Earth.

The arguments from the liberal side of the bench were a little strange yesterday. Sonia Sotomayor is standing on precedent and arguing for maintaining the status quo simple so the court can take on the appearance of legitimacy? Isn’t it less legitimate if it doesn’t correct precedent and right a wrong? To me that seems like a weird argument to make when talking about morally wrong judgements. Can you imagine if the court argued in 1954’s Brown decision that they needed to keep the Plessy precedent to “survive” and remain legitimate?

Anyone else find that strange?

Anyone else care about this topic? What do you think?

Ultimately, precedent can be a positive way to look at pending cases and it can be used as a guide to current issues, but if precedent can’t ever be corrected (despite public opinion) it’s a dangerous thing to stand on.

Shopping sales

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It seems Black Friday started at the beginning of October this year. I guess we are living, supposedly, in perpetual “Black Friday prices” land for the foreseeable future. Today is Cyber Monday and best I can tell they are just the Black Friday prices recycled. Anyone else feel that’s the way it’s been for the last several years?

Yes, I am paying attention to the sales, though I haven’t yet left the house to go to any…because, why? Why leave home for a sale when you can get the same thing online? “It’s for the experience.” LOL Been there and done that in my younger years. Wasn’t worth it. No one needs that experience. Besides, there isn’t anything that I want that bad.

Oops, did you catch that in the last sentence?

“…anything that I WANT that bad.”

Hence, the problem with shopping the sales this time of year. Anyone else have a hard time not shopping for themselves?

As I look through the various sales, I inevitably find things that I want – either have been looking at in the past and was waiting for a sale or it’s something completely random and I just WANT it.

I typically resist this urge, but at times it is difficult. This time of year sucks because the budget can only handle so much (even with planning) and then all of the sudden I find myself thinking, “It’s on sale? Sweet, just what I have been waiting for!” Half of my browsing is seeing things I want to buy or would buy if I was Christmas shopping.

Anyone else’s shopping dominated by thoughts about just buying stuff for yourself?

It’s a problem and I don’t like it. Not because I don’t have the money, but because my discipline is seriously eroding with each passing moment.

Health frustration

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The body is a mystery. When it comes right down to it, the medical professionals still don’t know as much as they would like you to think they do. Because of this, when there really is a mystery they are pretty much spending your money and playing a guessing game when they have no idea what is really going on.

Many many blood tests. Many doctor’s visits. Multiple meds tried. Multiple xrays done. Specialists seen. MRIs being done. Still, no answers.

No one wants bad news when it comes to their health.

Headaches, extremities tingling, touch sensitivity, a never ending and persistent cough for seemingly no reason, extreme fatigue…the hope was that the MRI on the head would reveal something that would give the docs a clue as to what is going on. Results? Everything looks normal.

In one sense, that’s great news! But in another sense, that really sucks. Again, no one wants bad news but at least bad news would be something. Now what?

Going into Thanksgiving, we can’t help but be thankful for what and who we have in our lives. We really are blessed. Can’t deny that.

BUT, this has been going on for 2+ months now and there is no answer in sight. Frustrating to say the least. Maybe the MRI of the spine will show something, but likely not. There was really the thought that the head MRI would be the picture that was needed to discover a (some) cause. Not so much.

The frustration continues.

Policies, policies

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I have found myself stuck between two policies at work. The policies have forced me to take a “sick vacation.”

So, this last weekend I was sick again. The second time in two months. Normally I have a pretty good immune system, but apparently the cold/flu season is going to be coming back this year. So, of course, with the cold comes all the congestion, runny nose, cough, a general miserableness. No fever though, thankfully. I was a couple nights of discomfort over the weekend but not too bad.

Yesterday, I was telecommuting (my normal days are Monday, Thursday, and Friday) and mentioned that I hadn’t felt good most of the weekend but was recovering fine. I was considering flipping my telecommute days so that I could stay home a couple more days in a row just to let the symptoms subside a bit more when I was told that I would need to have a negative Covid test before I could go back to work at the office. WTH? I talked with my manager (she isn’t happy about the policy either because it creates a lot of stress for the whole team) and with the telecommute policy limited to 60% of the month and a holiday coming up, switching days just wouldn’t work. Since that is the case, I am forced to take two sick days while I seek out a test and wait for results.

Seek out. Yes, I have to seek out a test. Weird, isn’t it?

Remember “back in the old days” of this whole thing you could go some place, drive thru and be done in 15-20 minutes? Not so much now.

In a world that is entirely consumed with fear about covid and makes irrational policies about what you can and can’t do, you would think that finding a place and opportunity to get a test done would be ample. Not so much! In my community and surrounding area (within about a 20 minute drive) there are roughly 10 places to get a test. More than half of those places require an appointment. At least three of those places are “urgent care” facilities and require long waits (don’t get me started) and a full charge visit to a doctor. Most of those places don’t even do a test for you unless you are “symptomatic.” For all intents and purposes, anyone looking to get a test done would likely have to take time off work to get one done.

Good grief.

All this fear but no one seems to want to make it easy to find out if you have it or not.

All this just to go back to an office I really don’t want to go back to in the first place because I can do my job anywhere with internet.

Friggin’ world is backwards.

Payment plan

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Just curious here…

What do you think of those “Buy me a coffee” buttons?

Are they annoying? Have you considered “buying a coffee”? Have you “bought a coffee” for anyone?

Do people really make money with those things? WordPress is advertising this type of thing again and I am wondering what people think of this?

What kind of content do you think warrants a “donation”?

Truly curious if you have used them (on your site) or if you have thought about it or if you have have used them (on someone else’s site)?

What do you know?

Proof positive

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Proof positive that Biden’s (and Dem’s) policies don’t work. It’s only taken 10 months for him/them to cripple the economy and all those people who supposedly got a raise in pay are now back to seeing no benefit as that boost is eaten up with higher and higher costs.

What more do you need? What evidence does it take to see that the Dems are actually working against the common man to consolidate power and demand reliance on their benevolence? Proof is in the numbers today. All who voted for the career politician have been duped.

The inflation numbers are being (largely) driven by energy costs. Gas/oil prices are up. Natural gas prices are up. I know this will be hard for some to fathom, but do you think cancelling the Keystone Pipeline isn’t a factor in this? You can bet your ass it is. Yet, the Biden administration didn’t see the impact ahead of what that would do financially to every American’s pocketbook?

We aren’t talking about just a certain industry. This is a cost that affects everyone’s buying power – from food, to goods, to major purchases. If American’s aren’t spending money on things, then that costs business profit. Lost business profit means lost jobs. Lost jobs means even less money to spend. You see how that works right? There’s an endless cycle here. That’s how it works.

Oh, but wait! Less money to spend because of higher costs and lost wages…the expectation is that Americans will turn to the government to make up the difference via handouts and social programs. Those get paid for with higher taxes on those who can afford them. Instead of making/helping Americans become more self-sufficient, it is creating more dependent Americans.

UGH! This is so obvious! How are people not seeing this??

Stop electing people into the government who say the government should solve many or all of our problems.

OK. I guess I am done ranting for now. This probably all doesn’t make sense.

Actually, it probably does make sense to people who can see what is going on…but I can almost guarantee that there are a whole lot of blind people that will deny or ignore what is going on. Pathetic.

Plain and simple.

You reap what you sow.

Thanksgiving plans

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Why are holidays so freaking hard to make plans for?

Multiple families, adult children, preferences, and schedules are so damn hard to make any definitive plans for. It is an irritating task every year, punctuated with the fact that trying to accommodate everyone is a real pain.

Why can’t it be more simple?

My parents & sibs, her parents and sibs, our children, their children…its chaos on the day but chaos and headaches leading up to it as well.

I think we’ve hear just about every excuse why something won’t work for somebody. Never can everyone ever cooperate with trying to make the plans or participate.

“I don’t like big groups.”

“We don’t know them that well and would be uncomfortable.”

“There is too much planning involved.”

“That isn’t our tradition.”

“We have to try to make it work for everyone so no one is left out.”

“I don’t want to do it that early.”

“There won’t be anything I can eat because of my diet.”

UGH!

It can’t just be, “We are doing lunch/dinner at XX:XX and if you would like to participate let us know. Here is what we are providing and here is what we still need: _________.”

No, that would be too easy.

It isn’t just this holiday either…Christmas, Easter, 4th of July…ugh.

Tiring. Irritating.

There is something to be said for being alone…just saying…

Hey, kid

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Your momma warned you back in the day. Don’t take candy from strangers, especially the guy that rolls up in a creepy looking van and entices a kid to get in by offering them a piece of candy. You remember that ol’, “Hey, kid, want a piece of candy?” thing, right?

Well, it seems the Democrats in New York essentially have become “that guy in the van.” This is beyond creepy.

Now that the shot is approved for kids 5-11, NY has taken to bribing children to get the shot. Right now, at least according to the article, it can happen at school with parent permission. I can only imagine that when not enough get vaccinated that way the Dems will find a way to remove the parental permission and just let kids decide for themselves. I mean, parental rights have been removed for other healthcare things so why stop for a shot?

Man, this just makes you feel dirty when you think about how the government is going after our kids.

Sure, there is some need for shots and there have been great advances but do you think this is going a little overboard? Actually bribing kids and making it attractive to get a shot when they can’t (in most cases) or won’t even brush their teeth, take a shower, brush their hair, or even wear deodorant?

Oh, but let’s just add one more thing for kids to bully, tease, and harass other students about. I can hear it now…”I got my shot. Did you get yours?”…”So and so doesn’t have the shot! Ewww, you’re do dirty!”…”I bought such and such with my shot money. What did you get?”…

The peer pressure will be immense and you know, without a doubt, that kids will be forging their parents’ names to get the $100.

Sorry, but this is almost criminal when you start thinking of the implications.

Really, really disturbing the Dems have done this route. But maybe I really shouldn’t be surprised, they are already bullying and threatening adults who don’t get the shot, so this is the next logical step.

The slippery slope is no longer a slope.

Remember, remember…

“Remember, remember, the 5th of November…”

Is it weird to celebrate a graphic novel and iconic movie today?

I mean, after all, at one time the dystopian tale of government created viruses, large numbers of deaths, protests, government crackdowns, citizen demands for safety over freedom, increased government surveillance, and finally forced obedience/compliance to a national party/religion seemed like a tale that would never happen in real life. Right? Clearly no one would ever fall into that story or scenario. Right? Has “V for Vendetta” become prophetic?

Well, here we are. I am left thinking that the students I used to show this film to and the way we analyzed it would keep them from doing exactly what I see some of them doing, and actually advocating for the very thing they thought was over-the-top when they watched the film.

How short their memories are…

Maybe we haven’t gotten that far in the U.S., yet. But it may be coming sooner than we think or would like. Maybe they have gotten there in Australia, or New Zealand. It’s weird to watch it on a screen and then watch it from what feels like a world away. Yet, it also feels like we are watching it inch closer and closer in the U.S. Almost as though it is an out-of-body experience. You can watch the events from afar and you can see what is going to happen before it happens, but you can’t do anything about it or you are unable to influence the outcome.

It’s weird, right?

Anyone else see the eerie similarities or is it just me?

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OK, good to know I am not alone in this…

Where’s your line? The government is coming for you and your job. Blind compliance out of fear? Where’s your line? Safety over freedom? What are you begging for? Does the government have to grant it to you? Where’s your line?

Gonna stand up and be counted, or sit down and be quiet?

Poll dancing

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Prognostication. I hate it. I especially hate it when it comes to elections.

I seriously dislike the whole idea that the media thinks we need to know how voting is going before voting is done. Even worse, telling us how voting is going before it has even started.

How did election polling become such a big business?

The number of polls about politics has become a plague. Each of them trying to get a pulse on what will happen before it happens, all so they can get the scoop and make the news first. (yes, you read that right – MAKE the news.)

I honestly believe that polls actually discourage people from voting and I actually believe that they actually affect the outcome of an election. Polling is corrupting the processes of an election. In essence, they create undue influence on an election. Interference. I think this is especially probable when it comes to a liberal media who has a vested interest in getting liberal candidates elected.

So, today, go vote. Don’t answer any questions about who or what you voted for. Don’t give the pollsters any info. Period.

Oh, and while you’re at it, stop electing career politicians and idiots.

Thank you.