SCOTUS: Windbag

I haven’t done a breakdown of a SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) in a while (they were poorly read so I haven’t bothered with the research needed). BUT, I do still sometimes read opinions. And I just have to say Clarence Thomas is a windbag. He isn’t stupid or anything, but I feel like he writes his “concurrent opinions” just too often. And they are too long. This comes up because of the Court Opinion on Quarles v. United States. I mean, in this case Thomas manages to keep his opinion to only two pages – but it is literally 2 pages of “I agree with everyone else.” And since it was (unusually enough) an unanimous opinion – it’s not like he was getting to spar with Ginsburg or something. I just had to say it – it was irksome and I felt the need to vent to the entire internet that Thomas annoys me with his “I

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Politics: GA “Heartbeat” bill

I almost didn’t publish this post. I’m nervous to post anything about this. But if I can’t post this when I am on maternity leave – when can I? I am so ashamed of my state. I am ashamed of every representative who voted for this bill. I am ashamed of every voter who voted for those representatives who voted for this bill. I am embarrassed that someone in my state even mentioned this kind of bill. This has sparked a variety of debates on social media – and I am ashamed how many of my fellow Christians think that imposing their faith on others is somehow appropriate. I have two primary arguments against this bill. The First Argument – Science The first is simple science – medical science does not recognize the heartbeat as the defining element of “alive.” We declare people dead with beating hearts every day. Doctors use a combination of heart, all the other organs, and

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Writing: Fanfiction or Not?

One of the blogs I really love is called QueryShark, an agent who will publicly dissect peoples’ query letters and gives advice. And puts it online to help everyone else see what they did right/wrong in their query letters. I find it very informative! Most of the time there is an idea to be supportive of a writer… Not this time. Seriously – read the query letter, read the blog comments, then read the comments from others at the bottom. In 2-3 years of watching this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a harsh response from either the agent or the comments below. Now – I think there is cause for this. I think copyright is a big deal. So the difference between re-imagining something like Romeo and Juliet and well, anything written after 1924 is like the difference between a goldfish and a blue whale. Yes, size is part of the equation – but you are also talking about

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Politics: Mueller/Barr

Edit: You can read my thoughts below, but honestly I think this blog sums up a lot of my opinion really well: https://www.lawfareblog.com/how-understand-end-mueller-investigation-hint-you-cant-yet (I didn’t read it until AFTER I had written the below) I haven’t had a lot of time to process this yet, but I wanted to get some of my initial thoughts out. Let me start with a few quotes and my initial thoughts: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. ” –THANK GOD. As an American, I am relieved if the president did not obviously conspire with a foreign (and not a particularly friendly foreign) entity. Now, I still think Barr is incredibly biased and I would like to understand the evidence and process Mueller went through so I (and more importantly, people smarter than me) can look over the details of

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Politics: It Isn’t even ABOUT “choice” – it really IS about “life”

I have seen a LOT of posts about abortion lately. News articles about the New York law that passed, constant articles of other states (including GA) trying to prevent access or availability to abortion options…. and people claiming it’s murder of a life. And as someone 7 months pregnant with a much-wanted child…. I don’t want to imagine the pain of a mother who has to make a choice at this point. To me, it goes way beyond the womb. 150 years ago (ok, probably more like 300+ years, but I bet it still happened in the 19th century) if a family had a child they couldn’t take care of, they might take it out and leave it exposed. If you ever read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, there is a point where they have 2-3 kids and when the next one is born during a horrible famine…. it is implied that O-Lan kills her (I read it as “smothered” the

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Politics: AOC’s Plan

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (AOC) has announced a proposal for a tax plan with a top rate of 70% on anything over $10 million. She is nicer than I am. I wrote two posts on the realities of costs & taxation in the 1950’s back in 2017 Part 1Part 2 In my research I found less than 20% of households in America break across the $100,000 mark. HOUSEHOLDS – not individuals. So for better than 80% of people an increase in taxes on over $100k (much less $1M or $10M) – DOES NOT IMPACT THEM AT ALL. I can’t express how confusing I find it that so many people who I am sure are NOT in that top 20% are upset when the taxes are raised on them. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that there is something in their brain saying this: As much as I hope that someday I too am one of those rich people, I

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Politics: Ga Amendment 1, Portion of Revenue from Outdoor Recreation Equipment Sales Tax Dedicated to Land Conservation Fund Amendment (2018)

This is another easy one.  This initiative allows Georgia to use sales tax from sporting goods to be put in a trust fund for conservation.  Honestly, my mind was made up when I saw it was supported by The Conservation Fund, The Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, and The Trust for Public Land.  Several of those organizations I would trust to support this law if they thought it would actually be useful –  not just a squeeze on people to get money for other uses. It also will expire in 10 years and can be extended in 10-year increments.  I like laws that expire.  I think there should be a constitutional amendment for any law to have to be re-written/extended in X time.  Any law older than N should be automatically expired (ie those funny laws from the 1800s that are just weird now).  Now, should that be 5, 10, 50, 100 years? I dunno.  I’d want to hear other

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Politics: Ga Amendment 2, Establish a State Business Court Amendment (2018)

This is an easy one for me.  The gist of this bill is to take businesses from elected judges and allow them to go into a court with appointed judges.  And yes, it has to get passed by the State house & senate.  The GA house is currently 115 R to 64 D; the senate is 37 R to 19 D – so I think unless those get pretty drastically changed we will get a “business court” that leans towards businesses. For me, this bill is 100% about the judges being appointed instead of elected.  I will grant, they only get 5-year “terms” and they have to be approved and blah blah blah.  I am 3-4 steps removed from them and frankly, I’m also kind of pissed the GA wants to build a special place JUST for businesses.  Why not a special court of rapists? Or murders? Or black people? Or women? Or…. it’s bullshit.  If “corporations are people” (grumble grumble grumble)

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Politics:Ga Amendment 3, Forest Land Conservation and Timberland Properties Amendment (2018)

I had no clue how to vote until I looked up what politicians were saying about this particular amendment.  It was so confusingly written (and honestly, that includes the original language they were editing.  UGH). Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to revise provisions related to the subclassification for tax purposes of and the prescribed methodology for establishing the value of forest land conservation use property and related assistance grants, to provide that assistance grants related to forest land conservation use property may be increased by general law for a five-year period and that up to 5 percent of assistance grants may be deducted and retained by the state revenue commissioner to provide for certain state administrative costs, and to provide for the subclassification of qualified timberland property for ad valorem taxation purposes? Who Do What??? Then I read what Governor Nathan Deal said, “Georgia’s working forests generate significant economic investment in our local communities due to the contributions of those

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