November 30th, 2008


(no subject)

i was at as220 last night with jamie for kyle/derek's show, which was charming. their heads bopped in unison as they sat on the floor playing keyboard nonsense. after that we went to get some food. because jamie knows everyone in providence we were given a pile of free food, but before i had anything at all i suddenly got very sick. kyle drove me home and i curled up in bed, after calling into work and saying i wouldn't be able to come in tomorrow. the on-call lady was very snippy with me - "how am i supposed to fill a shift this late??" - and then i woke up this morning to a voicemail from one of my 900 supervisors asking if i could fill in a shift today. it was, of course, the very same shift i'd called out of. well done, ucp.
i'm feeling much better today, but still a little ominously heavy in the guts.

science fact: i almost never respond to emails. i don't know why. i'll read one and think "i should answer that and say blah blah!" and then i scroll down and never look at it again. or i just won't read it to begin with. i'm a jerk. on the same tip, i have giant piles everywhere of "to do" things that i should be doing.
relatedly, and somewhat explanatively:
* "sometimes i get so overwhelmed with life that i end up doing nothing because it's just so, well, overwhelming. i'm in that boat now and it's sink or swim to shore and i'm not sure that either is an option i want right now. so i sit back, rock the boat, hope it doesn't tip, hope i can bail the water out in time, but mostly just wait until something amazing or awful happens." [opposite day]
* "we spend our lives on the imaginary verge of an enormous change." [bobby burgess]

again relatedly, the co-ops are at a crossroads of sorts. we had a financial crisis (gee, just like ummm everything else everywhere) and a dude from nasco came out to assist us. his diagnosis mainly is that we are a "culture of neglect" and there's nothing to be done for us if we can't repair that ourselves. fucked if i know how this'll work, but let's see what we can do.

thanxgiving ruled. my little cousins are SO CUUUTE i can't handle it. i ate until i died. my family is ridiculous. jonathan was saying how he babysat for rachel (itty cousin) and had to change her diaper and what a travail that was. i mentioned how that morning at work i had changed a 50 yr old man's diaper, and everyone was impressed. or possibly some other thing.
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brainy smurf

hello i am a law you should obey me

I am often asked, “Why do you always assume that the courts are right and the tax protesters are wrong?” Or, “Couldn’t the courts be wrong about what the Constitution means?” Those questions demonstrate that the questioner doesn’t really understand what is meant by “law” or the “rule of law.”
Law is not some kind of abstraction that floats in the air, free from any connection to people or events. “The law” is what legislatures, courts, and governments do, and the real test of what the law “is” shows in how the law is applied in actual cases.
So when lawyers talk about what “the law” is, they are talking about how a judge will rule. Not how the judge should rule, or might rule, but will rule. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once explained, “the only definition of law for a lawyer’s purposes is something which the Court will enforce.” Letter to Sir Frederick Pollock, 7/3/1874. Or, more famously: “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact and nothing more pretentious are what I mean by the law.” The Paths of the Law (1897).
The process of law is also a process of consensus. We have a variety of procedures, some political, some judicial, and some bureaucratic, for determining what the law should be and how it should be applied. If we don’t like the results, we have ways of changing the results and, when there are conflicts, we have ways of resolving conflicts. However, when the courts, the legislatures, and the voters all agree on what the law is, then that is what the law is. The fact that some people believe that the law should be different that what courts have said it is doesn’t mean that the law is different from what the courts have said, but only that they should argue their positions within the political system and attempt to change the results.
In the case of the income tax, there is no conflict. The judicial, executive, and legislative branches of our government, and a majority of the voters, have all agreed for more than 90 years that (1) an income tax is constitutional, (2) it applies to wages, and (3) every citizen and resident of every state is required to file a tax return and pay the tax. That is what the law is. There is no question about it.
So this FAQ states what “the law” is, because a judge will rule against the tax protester arguments described in this FAQ 100% of the time. Not 95% of the time, or even 99.999% of the time. 100.00%.

this is mostly true but kind of frightening. my main argument against is that it took scores of suits before Plessy v Ferguson turned into Brown v Board of Education. after 50 years the supreme court suddenly decided that the law said a different thing than it used to say. i don't know what kind of rule of law you can have when the law changes every time a couple new judges are appointed, and it sounds like 'seperate but equal' to me to say your rights depend on which judicial district you live in.
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