The issue at play in this case, is the government edicts doctrine, which basically goes like this. Government cannot copyright their fucking laws. Meaning, they can’t pass a law, and then get pissed that someone reprints it verbatim elsewhere, like other copyrights.
The reason for this, is that we are a government by the people and for the people, and all people should have equal access to the laws that govern them. So if government copyrighted something, and you could only get it from government (potentially with some fee attached), you may not have good access to it, where someone else might have given it to you another way.
So, now to this case. Georgia has this thing they call The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). It’s a book of all their laws and shit, with annotations explaining stuff. The annotations aren’t law, but they’re still from Georgia Lawmakers, and then printed and published by a private company.
Public.Resource.Org (PRO), being the nice people they are, try to put out all laws for people to have easy access to them. So they bought the OCGA, scanned that motherfucker, and put it out.
Georgia was like, “Hey motherfucker, you can’t do that. Sure our laws are in there, but there’s a bunch of other shit too. You can’t print that. It’s a copyright violation.”
But PRO was like, “Fuck you, assholes. These are official government documents, both laws, and explanations of the law, and therefore the government edict doctrine mentioned earlier applies. So you can take your cease-and-desist order, and shove it sideways up your whole ass.”
The 11th circuit court of appeals agreed with PRO, and told Georgia to eat a bag of dicks. So Georgia asked for SCOTUS to hook them up, and here we are.
SCOTUS in a non-partisan split decision was unimpressed with the state of Georgia and their shitty argument, siding 5-4 for Public.Resource.org. That the idea the annotations are copyrightable but laws aren’t is fucking stupid, and anyone who interprets it that way are fucking idiots.
So, this shitty ass bank, United Western Bancorp, Inc. (UWBI) had several subsidiaries, including United Western Bank. They apparently sucked at what they did, because they were losing money like they stored it in a toilet that just kept getting flushed.
Anyway, when you own several companies as a parent company, you can file one big ass tax form each year for the parent company instead of a bunch of little forms for each of your subsidiaries, so that’s what these assholes did.
Well, one of their branches United Western Bank (UWB) lost so much damn money, they qualified for a $4,000,000 tax refund. So the parent UWBI was like, “gimme that money, bitches.” Rodriguez, they’re Chapter 7 attorney, and the petitioner here, filed one big ass return for all of UWBI, claiming the losses of UWB, and getting that big ass refund as a result.
However, the FDIC had closed down UWB (the subsidiary), and took them into receivership because they were the shittiest bank that ever banked. Now UWBI (the parent) was told that the FDIC was taking UWBI’s refund, because they argued it went to UWB since they were the source of the loss, and therefore the FDIC would use that money to pay its debtors.
But UWBI was like, “Fuck you, you government pricks. We need that money.” So one court agreed, another court didn’t, as is usual. And eventually, these assholes found their way to SCOTUS.
In 1973, the courts had ruled on a previous case where they decided that a refund of this nature, absent any other agreement, belonged to the parent company. They call this the Bob Richards rule, because that’s the case it was named after in 1973.
But the FDIC is arguing that they did have an agreement between the subsidiary and the parent, and therefore the Bob Richards rule does not apply.
You can read about the case and hear oral arguments here.
So SCOTUS is now being asked whether state law or federal law determine who gets a tax refund. Because state law would mean Rodriguez wins. SCOTUS being keen on state’s rights determined that the state can and should handle this shit, and unanimously decided for Rodriguez, telling the FDIC to go eat a bag of dicks.
So this dude, Dr. Hans Klingemann was doing some work on immunotherapy, and discover what was termed natural killer cells, as an effective method for going after and killing cancer. So he worked with the company NantKwest to patent this shit.
Problem for Doc Lingemann, was this comes form the patient’s own blood, and not necessarily something Klingemann makes himself. So the Patent Office was all like, “You’re joking with this shit, right? Get the fuck out of here.” His Patent claim was denied as “obvious.” You don’t get to patent naturally occurring shit, and try to take credit for mother nature’s work.
Klingemann and NantKwest were persistent fucks, because they appealed, and their dumb asses lost again. So then they appealed to the U.S. District course, and lost the fuck yet again.
You’d think this would be over, but no.
You see, the Patent Office had to pay motherfuckers to justify their position through all these hearings and appeals, and so the USPTO was like, “You cost us $113,000 you motherfucker. We want our money back for you wasting our time.”
According to 35 U.S.C. § 145, “[a]ll the expenses of the proceedings” of these hearings are recoverable by the PTO if they win their judgement. But a district court was like, “Seriously, PTO? It’s bad enough you denied this guy his patent, you want him to pay your legal fees, too? Come on with this bullshit. In this country, you pay your attorneys, and I pay mine. That’s how it fucking works. Now piss off. Your recoverable expenses are paying for expert witnesses and shit, nothing more.” Judgement for NantKwest.
But now the PTO are the persistent fucks, because they’re like, “Fuck you, you lower court motherfuckers, we’re going to SCOTUS. We want our fucking money.”
So, here were are at SCOTUS to determine if the 35 U.S.C. § 145, “[a]ll the expenses of the proceedings” statement trumps all the legal precedent in U.S. history and considers legal fees are part of the expenses or not.
SCOTUS unanimously ruled in favor Nantkwest, telling the USPTO to go fuck themselves. You pay your legal fees, and they pay theirs. Nuff said.
All around piece of shit, James McKinney, had a horrific childhood fraught with abuse. He started drinking and smoking weed by age 11, dropped out of school, ran away from home, shit like that. You kinda feel for the guy, but still, as an adult, he’s a total douchebag.
Anyway, he eventually committed robbery with his half-brother and two people were killed. So McKinney was convicted and sentenced to death.
No one wants to die, including McKinney. So because of the PTSD he suffered as a young kid, he believes that to be a mitigating factor in why he’s such a piece of shit now. Which is maybe true, but so long as you’re not delusional, you fucking know it’s wrong, and that you shouldn’t do it. So I’ve personally got little sympathy.
However that’s not important, I’m not trying this case.
So why are we here at SCOTUS? Well, SCOTUS in Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104 (1982), determined that any mitigating evidence should be considered in a death penalty case, and therefore McKinney thinks his PTSD diagnosis is mitigating, and therefore would like not to be executed, please and thank you.
And also, in Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002), SCOTUS ruled that Death Penalty must be imposed by a jury sentencing hearing, and not by a judge. But Arizona was like, “Fuck you, that ruling happened after this mother fucker was convicted.”
But McKinney’s lawyer is nothing but creative. He wants a resentencing based on Eddings, which he believes must consider McKinney’s PTSD. Then he thinks that resentencing must be held to today’s standard as a result of Rings, that a jury must award the death penalty.
So now SCOTUS must determine whether this prick gets a needle in his arm or not.
The “liberal” justices agreed with McKinney. They make a fairly compelling argument that if SCOTUS makes a constitutional ruling, that the constitution shouldn’t be subject to timing. In other words, if it’s unconstitutional, it was always unconstitutional. It shouldn’t be deemed only unconstitutional after they hand down their ruling. Thus, they believe all such ruling should be retroactive and applied as such, to any relevant case.
However, Ginburg and her merry band of left-leaning cohorts are in the minority. The right-leaning majority decided that an appellate court can decide if they fucking want, and there’s no reason to retroactively change this. Ruling for Arizona, and goodbye McKinney.
On the face of it, this one makes me fucking sick. So apologies in advance for my strong opinions. I can’t find anything humorous to say on this one.
Several Mexican kids were playing near the U.S./Mexico border, jumping back and forth across it. Border agent, Jesus Mesa, rolls up on a bicycle to do his job, and catches one of the kids—detaining him in the U.S.
Before I go on, I want to be clear; I think border enforcement is an important job, and I have nothing against them doing it, as the job description says they should. But this is not that. It’s not even fucking close, IMO.
Another boy, 15-year-old Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca managed to escape back to Mexico with his friends, and thus was not detained. He stood there, watching as his buddy was detained by Mesa.
Mesa alleged the boys, including Hernandez, started throwing rocks (allegedly not confirmed in video of the incident). Now I don’t know how fucking hard 15 year olds can throw a fucking rock, but I’m pretty sure, it’s not deadly. Yet somehow, this cop Mesa shot young Hernandez across the border in the face, killing him.
I’ve tried my best to find any reason whatsoever to defend Mesa’s actions, but I just can’t. If he was getting pummeled with rocks, and since he was on a bike, didn’t have something to protect himself, I can see where he might have panicked and fired to get the kids to stop doing it. He had one of the boys in custody after all, so he was probably trying to not let this kid go, and at the same time, avoiding injury from the rocks.
Anyway, the U.S. for reasons I cannot comprehend, opted not to charge Mesa at all. Not even for a lesser crime than murder. This incident occurred in 2010, so before anyone wishes to argue Trump is to blame for the inaction, this was the Obama DOJ.
Mexico charged Mesa with Murder, but the U.S. refused to extradite Mesa. So this man gets to walk free, when he clearly erred in shooting Hernandez.
Anyway, the parents of the boy, who aren’t Americans, are suing for wrongful death, since they can’t seem to get any other justice for their sun, and SCOTUS needs to decide whether they have cause to do so.
The majority opinion split along left/right lines ultimately decided that congressional authorization must be given to sue the agent who shot Hernandez, because of the international issue which potentially has national security issues at stake if this becomes precedent. But ultimately, that the constitution does not protect non-Americans in a situation which occurs outside America, just because the incident was perpetrated by an American.
So gerrymandering—it’s a thing. Weirdly, every politician says they hate it, and it should be stopped. Yet, every politician quietly does it in their party’s favor. But nonetheless, some people dislike it so much, that they decide to go to court to prevent it, so here we go.
Maryland drew up a map in a district that was traditionally Republican. But because of their redistricting map, a Democrat won the seat. So Republicans were like, “this is some bullshit.”
So they sought injunction against those scumbags who rigged the election legally, and a district court granted it. So now this thing meanders its way to SCOTUS, where the Maryland peeps hoped SCOTUS would tell the lower court they needed to know their fucking role.
SCOTUS on the other hand, decided the lower court was fine. But also, they were looking at another case, and they wanted to wait on the outcome of that shit, which they did.
So after hearing this shit the second time, they were like, “You know what? Fuck it. This is none of our fucking business. Good luck assholes. We care about the Constitution, not your childish fucking political games.”
5:4 Judgement for Lamone, and the courts to stay the fuck out of it. Separation of powers and shit. Good luck. The opinion was given under Rucho v. Common Cause in North Carolina, because there was gerrymandering fucking everywhere, and challenges were coming in like they were half-off on Black Friday.
Unless you’ve sworn off all news media, you’re no doubt aware that self-described Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and other members of the DNC, campaign on the idea that college education should be treated essentially like an extended public high school—paid for via tax dollars, and open to everyone.
I won’t go into the weeds of analyzing Bernie’s “College for All” plan, or how he intends to pay for it. You can click here for a Vox article which goes over his plan, and that of Elizabeth Warren to some extent.
We libertarians are generally against any plan that says person A should pay for goods or services consumed by person B; this is no different. It’s simply immoral, in our view. While I accept “immoral” is a subjective term, please allow me to explain.
If I buy a widget from you, I get a widget (a positive action), and you get the money you asked for (also positive). That’s a net positive (moral) transaction.
If I just give you money (positive) because I’m being charitable, but you don’t offer me a good or service in return (negative), that’s a net neutral transaction. The positive and negative cancel each other out.
But if I take from you by fiat (negative), and you receive something without offering a quid pro quo (also negative), that’s a net negative, or immoral transaction.
But, as was said, the morality issue is subjective, so now let’s talk about a few of the facts that should be considered if you don’t take issue with the morality of it all.
The Need Isn’t There:
This study from Georgetown University estimates that approximately 30% of the jobs next year, will require a college degree, which obviously means that 70% do not.
As such, more than two-thirds of the labor force, if they went to college, would have essentially made a poor investment—they didn’t need it, and won’t be using it.
As such, it’s not logical to argue that the taxpayers should be pilfered to the tune of $2.2 trillion, if Bernie’s math is to be believed. $1.54 trillion of it will be your tax dollars literally wasted.
While I don’t like to personally attack anyone, Bernie’s math, like any politician’s, is often suspect. If he is wrong, and history is any indication, it’ll most assuredly cost more, not less. Coming in under budget is not government’s forte. I’d like to think that $1.54 trillion wasted, is not something critically-thinking voters would pull the lever for.
The Desire Isn’t There:
Bernie’s argument supposes that everyone wants to go to college, when many don’t. The 70% mentioned earlier aren’t just entry level jobs. The “College For All” crowd would have you believe that these jobs are all careers one can’t make a living with. If someone truly wishes to have a career they can support a family on, they’ll need a college degree.
But skilled trades such as plumbers, mechanics, ot electricians, are crucial jobs that can pay six-figure salaries with enough effort. Lucrative sales jobs, aren’t all that uncommon, either.
But even entry level jobs can become careers to the right person. Every simple call center or food service job has a supervisor or manager; most of which were promoted from within.
Based on the amount of time spent partying, cutting class, and even dropping out voluntarily for non-financial reasons, it’s obvious many of these students are simply not interested in their chosen education. They would be better off, and happier, following a career path they actually wanted.
It’s a cliche that a young adult is forced to go to college when all he/she wanted to do, was be an artist, pursue a skilled trade, or some other alternate career path. So we know many of them don’t want the education when their parents opt to pay for it (free college for them). So why would they want it, if government is paying instead?
Sadly, the issue with such children isn’t their career choices, we need people doing those skilled trades. A world without people to fix all the things we break every day, would fall to its knees. The problem is parents who refuse to believe their child is anything other than the next great doctor or lawyer, and behave as if they’d be ashamed of their child if they chose what they believe is a menial career.
We should support people’s dreams for themselves, not the dreams others have for them—even well-meaning parents.
Not Everyone Needs a Career
One of the poorest assumptions is that everyone needs a career they can support a family with.
However, some people will go to their grave never getting married, and never having children.
Some others will get married, and their spouse will be the main income for their family, while they work a smaller job that pays less, just to add to the overall income of the household.
Some will also choose to cohabitate. They’re not getting married or having children, but they share a home with a roommate, and therefore household costs are split.
All of these options dictate that a high-salary career needing a college degree, simply isn’t necessary for them. And while some of us think that such a life sounds unrewarding, there’s little to no evidence such people are universally more unhappy, and people working a higher-salaried career are more happy. As such, there’s certainly no argument to make we should force others to pay for an education to get them out of that lifestyle.
The cost of higher education is largely fixed. You have to pay the professors, and build the infrastructure. This is why it costs so much to go in the first place. But if you try to make nearly every child go, then you’re going to need more colleges and professors.
Do you trust that Bernie has factored in the additional costs for all that? Or do you assume like me, that he’s simply making the assumption that the colleges that exist can take all the extra students?
The Devaluation Problem
It also devalues the college degree itself, if everyone has one. This is simple supply and demand.
If I’m an employer who’s hiring, I might have a job that doesn’t require a degree. But that doesn’t mean certain degrees might not be helpful, if for no other reason than to show me this person chose to educate themselves further versus another candidate.
But if everyone has that degree, then the person who would have went to college if it weren’t free, and thus was more motivated and possibly the person I’d prefer, won’t be known to me. They’ll simply look the same on a resume as the others, and I’ll have no inherent reason to believe they’re the better candidate now, making their degree inherently less valuable.
More Bad Economics
We often talk about the problems with Social Security, and misleading unemployment stats by citing the drop in the labor participation rates. As people decide not to work anymore, such as a spouse relying on a working partner, or people retiring after a successful career, we know that this results in less “producers” for the economy making it work.
But if we remove a significant chunk of the 18-24+ year old crowd from the labor force, when they’re at their most energetic, healthy, and strongest, we reduce the labor participation rate significantly of the most able-bodied people. Most people work from 18-65 (47 years), and it’s been estimated that kids are taking nearly 6 years on average to get their degree. So six years off of 47 total years for 70% of the population could add up to an 8-9% loss in labor participation, which is already a problem, when compared to other nations who are out-producing the United States increasingly more as time goes on.
Even More Bad Economics
As more students enter college, you’re seeing more courses, and even majors, with little to no employers in need of those holding such degrees. While philosophy for instance, helps with general critical thinking, other than being a professor teaching philosophy, the want ads aren’t exactly littered with people looking for a full-time philosopher. The liberal arts in general, are notorious for having few career paths after college related to such a degree.
There are several reports like this one from Simple Dollar showing degrees that are proving to be incredibly poor investments, even for those who were truly motivated to get them. But if you hand out educations freely, you can bet the number of useless degrees will not only grow commensurately, the people who didn’t want them, and didn’t learn much getting them, will grow, too.
While we libertarians always support people wanting to better themselves, the logic of providing free education is dubious at best. The morality of it, is highly questionable as well.
Instead, free markets should be left to do what they do best, providing the best education at the best price for the people who want it.
log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action