Patterico's Pontifications


Can We Get a Verification on This Translation? (Update: Verified?)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:19 pm

Update: I wrote to Allah at Hot Air, sharing my concerns and he helped me find this Cnn story which seems to back it up, crazy-hypocritical quotes and all… The Washington Times, too. And a few others, too. I admit I am still incredulous, but I guess it is actually… true?

So next question. Have they made sure that Amadanutjob Ahmadinejad is not suffering from multiple personality disorder? Or perhaps they are really twins and this has been carefully kept secret?

Regardless, we now resume the original post as written.


…Because I am Calling Bull on This.

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

I am going to show you a clip from al Jazeera where Iran’s whackjob President Ahmadinejad condemns Libya for…  killing their own people, not letting people protest freely and so on.  In other words doing everything that he himself did to his people when they revolted.  Stuff like this:

It’s one of those things you have to witness for yourself to believe and here is the video:

So like I said, you have to witness it yourself to believe it.  Except that the problem is you have witnessed nothing.  You have witnessed the leader of Iran talking and a voice over in English claiming that he is saying how horrible he thinks it is for a leader to kill his own people as they protest.  For all we know, he could have been telling us his favorite breakfast foods and this al Jazeera person was making it up.

Now, cognitive dissonance is always possible.  And he could just be full of it, the way Mao urged a hundred flowers to bloom before cutting them off at the stems.  But on the other hand, this is al Jazeera which aired this heap of crazy without challenge.  So I am going to need independent verification.

So this is a full-on bleg.  Can anyone verify this translation?  Or link to anyone who can verify it?

And thanks in advance for your help.

Hat tip: Hot Air.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Reducing Judge Kessler to Absurdity: Why “Commerce” Cannot Be Interpreted To Include Inactivity or “Mental Activity”

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:36 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

This is a follow up to my post yesterday on Judge Kessler’s opinion upholding Obamacare.  Update: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link to my previous post on the subject.


Let me posit a hypothetical.  Imagine a man is born and raised in Japan and never leaves the country.  At the age of eighteen, he seeks to purchase a locally manufactured car.  The car was manufactured solely in the nation of Japan, and he pays for it in Japanese currency.  He proceeds to use it solely in Japan.

Now ask yourself a simple question.  By buying this car, has this man engaged in commerce with the United States?  The answer would seem to be obviously not.

But by the reasoning of Judge Kessler’s opinion and the other opinions upholding Obamacare, it would.  Consider the entire Commerce Clause in context:

The Congress shall have Power…  To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes[.]

So the term “commerce” is the same whether we are talking interstate or international trade.  Now consider how Judge Kessler interprets that term, “commerce” when discussing principles of commerce clause jurisprudence:

Wickard established two basic principles which are particularly applicable to this case. First, the Court held that “even if appellee’s activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce . . . .”…  Wickard therefore signals that the prime focus of the Commerce Clause inquiry is the activity’s effect on interstate commerce, not whether it is local or commercial.

Second, the Court held that the fact “[t]hat appellee’s own contribution to the demand for wheat may be trivial by itself is not enough to remove him from the scope of federal regulation where, as here, his contribution, taken together with that of many others similarly situated, is far from trivial.”…  Put differently, an individual’s activities may fall within the reach of Congress’s Commerce Clause power even if, when considered alone, the effect on interstate commerce is negligible, so long as such activities, in the aggregate, have a substantial effect on such interstate commerce.

Well, what part of that doesn’t apply to the purchase of an Japanese car?  The decision to buy a Japanese car rather than an American car has a substantial economic effect on international commerce, right?  Or at the very least you can admit that even if his effect on the demand for American cars is trivial by itself, his contribution taken together with that of many others similar situated, is far from trivial.

So by the logic of Judge Kessler’s reasoning, Congress could pass a law tomorrow making it unlawful for any person on the planet to purchase any car not manufactured in the U.S. and it would be, if anything, an easier case than Obamacare because you don’t have that pesky “activity/inactivity” concern.  And of course if we determine that the decision not to buy something is economic activity, or alas, “mental activity,” then we can pass a law positively requiring this Japanese citizen who is a complete stranger to this nation, to buy an American car even if he has no need for a car at all.

Of course this approach has one virtue going for it.  It gives us a great way to fix that pesky trade deficit, right?

Naturally, this post has been facetious so far.  I have been engaged in a particular kind of argument, the reductio ad absurdum, or reduction to absurdity. If you can show a proffered interpretation of the law allows for absurd results, then it suggests that this interpretation is wrong.


“Open and Notorious;” Wisconsin Updates

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:31 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

The other day I decided to count all the ways in which those doctors handing out obviously fraudulent sick notes could get in trouble.  First, I confess to failing to notice that their employers might get angry, too, in this case meaning the University of Wisconsin deciding to investigate the doctors in those street clinics who also happened to work for the school.

But I did predict that the state licensing board might be interested and evidently they are starting the investigatory process.  I have to think ordinarily a doctor handing out a few bogus sick notes wouldn’t be a matter of investigation if only because by the principles of triage they had bigger fish to fry.  But there is a phrase we use in law: open and notorious.  And when unethical or unlawful behavior is practiced in an open and notorious fashion, very often officials come down on them, to make the punishment as famous as the infraction itself.  From the article:

Staff at the state Department of Regulation and Licensing have begun to review roughly 300 e-mail complaints about doctors issuing excuse notes for protesters at the state Capitol over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

Complaints that name a specific doctor and the alleged violations of rules covered by their licenses will be forwarded to the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. Letters specifying the complaint will be sent to the doctors at the start of the investigation.

To date, the names of doctors Lou Sanner and James Shropshire have been cited in media reports about the medical excuses dispensed over the weekend. Both are affiliated with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The agency said none of the doctors involved was representing UW Health at the time.

Shropshire has not returned a call seeking comment, and Sanner defended his actions in an interview with The Associated Press. He said the excuses were legitimate because those protesting showed symptoms of stress.

Which seems to be the fig leaf they are trying to use to cover up this lawless behavior: stress!  That kind of defiance makes him a nail that sticks up and is likely to be hammered down.

Meanwhile, for Beldar’s benefit, we have the goodness of Megyn Kelly confronting a Teacher’s Union President over the sick notes issue:

I found her weirdly passive with him, but still she made her point.  He was pretty much condoning fraud. And she managed to show that the guy literally had worked out his script and no matter what she actually said, he would stick to it.

In that clip she also showed footage from this next Fox and Friends clip, where they proved they didn’t need O’Keefe to pose as a pimp to catch people acting lawlessly.  And of course you see the phony stress excuse, again.

And of course Ed Morrissey is right to note that it is specious to claim that patient privacy is implicated.  I don’t believe any court would consider a “street examination” as creating the necessary reasonable expectation of privacy.

What the teachers there are hoping for, I suppose, is a bit of Boston Tea Party ethics.  Allow me to explain what I mean by that.  In the original Tea Party, when they partied like it was 1773, the men who dumped the tea dressed like Native Americans.  No one was fooled by their disguise.  The British knew they were colonists, just not which ones.  And many locals more than likely knew exactly who these men were, but it gave them that fig leaf of plausible deniability when the authorities came asking.  You could imagine them saying, “it’s a crying shame that you lobsterbacks had your tea dumped in the harbor.  And I would gladly tell you who did it, but best I could tell they were Indians.”  The same is happening here.  Everyone knows these doctor’s notes are a fraud.  But they are hoping that they gave themselves just enough plausible deniability to allow authorities to pretend they can’t prove any misconduct.

The difference of course was that the Tea Tax was manifestly unjust as taxation without representation, justifying lawless activity up to and including actual revolution.  In contrast, the teachers’ unions had the chance to vote on the issue, and they are damaging the state because they can’t accept losing.  And that is inexcusable.

Hat tip for the videos to Hot Air and The Blaze.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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