Et tu, Roberts? Federalism Falls By The Hand Of A Friend

Below is today’s column in USA Today on the health care decision. Though I support President Obama’s effort to establish health care, I have always opposed the individual mandate as a violation of federalism principles. What is fascinating is how some challengers have heralded yesterday’s decision as a victory of federalism. As shown below, I do not take that view.

The Supreme Court’s blockbuster health care ruling caused a spasm of celebration and recrimination around the country Thursday as the Affordable Care Act was upheld on a 5-4 vote. In reality, the case was never really about health care but federalism — the relative authority of the federal government vs. the state.

I support national health care, but I oppose the individual mandate as the wrong means to a worthy end. Indeed, for federalism advocates, the ruling reads like a scene out of Julius Caesar— a principal killed by the unseen hand of a long-trusted friend. Brutus, in this legal tragedy, was played by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The opinion starts out well. Roberts defends federalism by ruling that the administration exceeded its authority under the commerce clause. Just as many readers were exalting in the affirmation of federalism, however, Roberts struck a deadly blow by upholding the individual mandate provision as an exercise of tax authority. Federalism rose and fell so fast it didn’t have time to utter, “Et tu, Roberts?”

Roberts joined the four liberal justices in upholding the law. He clearly believed that the law was constitutional, and he refused to yield to the overwhelming public pressure. Indeed, he must have known that people would view this as a betrayal of states’ rights, but he stuck with his honest view of the Constitution.

None of that will diminish the sense of betrayal. After all, Brutus acted for the best reasons, too. The health care case was viewed as the final stand for federalism. If the top court could make a federal issue out of a young person in Chicago not buying health insurance, it was hard to imagine any act or omission that would not trigger federal authority. Roberts agreed that this was beyond the pale of federalism: “Allowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and — under the government’s theory — empower Congress to make those decisions for him.”

But no sooner had Roberts proclaimed his love for federalism than he effectively killed it. Roberts held that the individual mandate still fell squarely within the taxing authority of Congress. If so, all those “broccoli” questions asked by Roberts and other justices simply move over to the tax side. If Congress can “tax” people for not having health insurance, how about taxes on people who don’t have cellphones (as Roberts asked)? Just as there was no clear limiting principle in the commerce clause debate, there is a lack of such a principle in the tax debate. Instead, Roberts simply says the individual mandate is supported by a “functional approach” that has long allowed federal taxes to “seek to influence conduct” by citizens.

Roberts did rule that states could not be threatened with the loss of Medicaid funds if they didn’t want to be part of the program. That was an unexpected protection for the states facing threats from Congress. But this still leaves citizens of every state subject to the penalties of the federal government for failing to get insurance. Moreover, in mandating the right to opt out, Roberts rewrote the law, precisely what most justices didn’t want to do. Before the law was enacted, Congress refused to add an opt-out provision. After the justices complained in oral arguments that they did not understand the massive law, this judicial amendment could increase health care costs and undermine the uniform national character of the program.

Given such problems, President Obama might have been better off losing before the court than accepting this victory from the hands of Roberts. In the end, the court’s decision could be viewed as a success only to the extent that a crash landing is still considered a landing.

It is hard to see who will be the ultimate winner from this decision. But the biggest loser is federalism. Roberts lifted it up only to make it an exquisite corpse. In that sense, the decision reads like the funeral speech of another character in Julius Caesar. To paraphrase Mark Anthony, Roberts came to bury federalism, not to praise it.

Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.

June 28, 2012

162 thoughts on “Et tu, Roberts? Federalism Falls By The Hand Of A Friend

  1. I’ve now seen

    Conservative Richard Posner at Slate
    Liberal Paul Campos at Salon
    Libertarian Ilya Somin at Volokh Conspiracy
    Liberal Richard Friedman at CBS

    all agree (dogs and cats living together) that it looks as though Roberts changed his position mainly for political reasons, that is to strengthen how the public sees the court, or to make sure his court was not the first in 75 years to throw out a significant piece of legislation. And several believe he was somehow pressured by the Administration to make this change.

    Why should the people have any faith that we are a government of laws, and not of men when the Chief Justice has one thumb on Lady Liberty’s scale and the other unseen under her … steadying her?

  2. “O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with [Federalism],
    And I must pause till it come back to me.”

    – Marc Antony, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Sc. 2, by William Shakespeare

  3. This is a paper written for general consumption and should be judged in the light of that. The expressions employed which might be considered as ones with propagandea effect should be ignored as it was not done as a blog here.

    Having not read any major item on the Professor’s position on federalism, it was particularly interesting.

    As to federalism according to Roberts and JT:

    “Roberts agreed that this was beyond the pale of federalism: “Allowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and — under the government’s theory — empower Congress to make those decisions for him.””

    I found myself exclaiming: “I thought that that was what we already had, Congress making decisions for what toxins I should tolerate, etc. Where does my purvieu end and the public begin?”

    For those who would like to read an extreme expression of federalism, I suggest:
    http://www.sobran.com/articles/tyranny.shtml

    Written by one who felt that we should return to requiring all expansions of powers to requre approval in the form of Constitutional amendment and not simply laws at Congress’ discretion.

    Bu unfamiliar as I am with legal matters, I don’t understand how Roberts can put a abating hand on Congress prerogative to withhold Medicaid monies from states who select to not participate “in the program” (ACA?). I mean simply, how did this come up for a ruling in the first place? Congress is always putting in carrots and sticke in every legislation pertaining to other issues. Was this up for judgement as to being part of the whole law? In which case, OK.

    And a simple question: If this is one expression of federalism, what is the anti-federalist position called in daily speech? I did not find it mentioned here by name.

  4. Here is an observation made by myself at the “Supreme Court upholds….-thread. It is pertinent here also, as we must deal with the possible fallout effects.
    =============================================
    (corrected and revised 2012-06-29)

    Have we not gotten, in effect, a single-payer system for those who have NOT bought health insurance?

    And is it not so that it is a de facto tax, ie government money, which will be paid to the insurance companies in compensation for the coverage?

    Then why does that not give the government, like all contract signers, the privilege to negotiate the terms of the contract? To achieve such things we’d all like to see.
    And also to exert a pressure to call this insurance of a group, and achieve a price——better than most employees/employers can achieve singly.

    One bad point of the present system is that it creates an asymetric situation between the individual covered and the insurance company. ie two unequal parties.

    Can not the new situation result in two improvements:

    One–the government acts as a buffer in the interests of the persons covered.

    Two–the government forced creation of an employer association solely for the purpose of representing themselves as legal parties WRT an insurance counterparts, medical counterparts and pharma couunterparts. The employer association can slso assume a responsibility to work for the interests of their employees in thise matters.

    Then I think we would have a better system.

    The governments power to declare terms, such as in saying that contraception or other women’s care would be borne by the insurance companies are NOT included here as I have no idea how that works

  5. @Idealist: Our government has no interest in representing us; their inability to negotiate on our behalf was intentional. That is the way the insurance companies wanted it. We have to buy their product, they retain the lion’s share of control over price and terms and coverage, all we got are a few caveats, which I believe in time will be allowed, by the purposeful inattention of the government to scheming on the part of the insurance companies, to decay into worthlessness.

    I am quite serious, btw, I do not think any of that is hyperbolic at all.

  6. Do you really believe, Professor Turley, that Congress has no power under the taxing power to impose taxes on individual actions or failures to act? None of the Justices took that position, nor could they: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes…to… provide for the … general Welfare of the United States”. The dissenters only took issue with whether this was, in fact, a “tax”. None of them questioned whether Congress has the power to impose such a tax. As for Roberts’ cellphone question, he asked this solely in the context of the commerce clause (whether there was a “market” for healthcare as well as for emergency services); it had nothing at all to do with the taxing power. And as for federalism, remember that the federal power to collect taxes was one of the crucial powers missing under the Articles of Confederation; this federal taxing power is exactly what our constitutional federalism provides for.

  7. The opinion starts out well. Roberts defends federalism by ruling that the administration exceeded its authority under the commerce clause.”

    There is a proper way to construct and construe opinions.

    One important aspect is to take note of instances of dicta:

    In United States legal terminology, a dictum (plural dicta) is a statement of opinion or belief considered authoritative though not binding, because of the authority of the person making it.

    There are multiple subtypes of dicta, although due to their overlapping nature, legal practitioners in the U.S. colloquially use dicta to refer to any statement by a court that extends beyond the issue before the court. Dicta in this sense are not binding under the principle of stare decisis, but tend to have a strong persuasive effect, either by being in an authoritative decision, stated by an authoritative judge, or both. These subtypes include:

    dictum proprium: A personal or individual dictum that is given by the judge who delivers an opinion but that is not necessarily concurred in by the whole court and is not essential to the disposition.

    gratis dictum: an assertion that a person makes without being obligated to do so, or also a court’s discussion of points or questions not raised by the record or its suggestion of rules not applicable in the case at bar.

    judicial dictum: an opinion by a court on a question that is directly involved, briefed, and argued by counsel, and even passed on by the court, but that is not essential to the decision.

    obiter dictum in Latin means “something said in passing” and is a comment made while delivering a judicial opinion, but it is unnecessary to the decision in the case and therefore not precedential (although it may be considered persuasive).

    simplex dictum: an unproved or dogmatic statement.

    (Wiki, dictum). The issue of the commerce clause as applied to the health care law, it would seem in the present case JT posted about, is:

    judicial dictum: an opinion by a court on a question that is directly involved, briefed, and argued by counsel, and even passed on by the court, but that is not essential to the decision.

    (ibid, bold added). That noted, the case was about those who will not have health care insurance in 2014, when the law takes effect, and what will happen to them at that time.

    They have a choice of whether or not to purchase health case insurance, but should they chose not to, the IRS will tax them to help defray the costs other citizens are paying.

    In the taxes we pay for roads, we do not have that choice, so I don’t see why the mandate is worse than other mandates in the law.

    Mandates that are placed on health care corporations.

    For example, one section requires that insurance companies spend a minimum 80% of their income, from premium payments, exclusively on health care.

    That mandates that only 20% can be used for administration costs and the like, so it is in the direction of health care efficiency.

  8. Health care costs and availability of such care are major NATIONAL crises. Many companies cannot afford the premiums and those in need cannot have access to it. Gone are the days when health care premiums were a insubstantial cost for employers. They now represent a very real challenge to profitability. What are the reasons? For-profit hospitals to be sure and so too doctors seeking to maximize profits by owning testing labs and the like. But it is also true that the availability of more costly tests and procedures have saved more lives than ever before. In this environment something had to be done on a national level lest we see health care reserved only for the rich and the poor left to seek emergency room triage or rely on public programs. Those working poor who don’t qualify for pubic programs are left to fend for themselves and about 25,000 die each year as a result of little or no health care.

    If we had 25000 uniformed citizens (like police, fire, or rescue) dying a year, do you think there would be any call for restraint in addressing the problem on federalism grounds, or any other grounds for that matter? I’ve agreed with OS and others that the commerce clause would provide constitutional sanction for this type of congressional relief but the real point is that this is a problem that needs to be addressed now. While the purists among us may wish for pristine application of principle, the simple fact is that necessity creates modification in law. As has been rightfully said, our constitution is not a suicide-pact and while principle is critically important it must yield to circumstances that involve even more vital issues.

    As I’ve said, Roberts was positively Marshall-esque in trying to preserve the principle of federalism while still permitting a congressionally approved national solution to a national problem. It is hyperbole, in my view, to conclude that both federalism or the nation’s interests were slain by this decision. The simple fact is that it is a false choice to decide between the two and while these bedrocks may have been chipped by the decision, the foundation still stands.

  9. @goldmans: I believe Turley’s point was that if a “tax” can accomplish everything that is not allowed under the Commerce Clause, then what would be the point of the Commerce Clause?

    This is a simple point of logical analysis. The Constitution was not written in a hurry, every line was debated and picked over by the founders. The fact that both the power to lay taxes and power to regulate Commerce are in the Constitution means they thought there was a distinction, and limits on both. If the founders had intended for any power they granted to make the Federal government all-powerful, they would have found phrasing that simply said that.

    They did not, and therefore, it is inappropriate to simply claim that if you can’t do it under the Commerce Clause you can always just do it as a tax.

    As for the cellphone, by Robert’s logic, couldn’t the government say that if you don’t have a cellphone with an unlimited data plan you will be taxed $5000 at the end of each year? How would that not be a “mandate”?

    The problem here is in definitions. Punitive taxation of citizens for failing to buy a product from for-profit companies that have proven time and again and continue to prove every day that they act overwhelmingly in their own profit interest before the public interest does not fall under the definition of “general welfare of the United States.”

  10. Tony C. says exactly what I have been thinking as I mull this decision: “The problem here is in definitions. Punitive taxation of citizens for failing to buy a product from for-profit companies that have proven time and again and continue to prove every day that they act overwhelmingly in their own profit interest before the public interest does not fall under the definition of “general welfare of the United States.”

    ********************************

    One of the problems is a for-profit health care system which works hand in glove with a for-profit third payer system. When government acts as an enabler and enforcer for the for-profit system by mandating profits, then we have a real problem. As I see it, the only solution is to have a single payer system, and as it is set up right now, even Medicare/Medicaid is not a true non-profit.

    My oldest daughter is on Medicaid due to being disabled. Her Medicaid insurance carrier is one of the worst offenders at being stingy about paying for services. So stingy in fact that many physicians, hospitals and nursing homes refuse to take patients who have her form of Medicaid–they cannot get paid, or if they do, it is only after an extended battle with some beancounter clerk in an office halfway across the country.

    I know that many of the old gobblers in the Congress are old enough to have Medicare. If they had to fight for care and needed medical services like the rest of us, the law would be changed in about a week.

  11. So now they can pick up all the homeless people and take them to court and fine them. And if they can’t pay their fine, throw them in jail. Well, they won’t be homeless anymore.

  12. @Dredd: In the taxes we pay for roads, we do not have that choice, so I don’t see why the mandate is worse than other mandates in the law.

    The taxes you pay for roads are collected by the government, the roads to be built are decided by government employees that have no vested interest in the profits those roads will generate (through reduced transportation costs and/or easier access to markets), and the job itself, even though typically executed by private companies, is overseen by professional government staffers on fixed (modest) salary with a mission of getting the most road for the buck.

    If the government taxed us $5000 a year (that would be the average, but progressively as part of income tax) and used those funds to provide health care through existing hospitals in an operation overseen by government employees, with no conflicts of interest in providing service, then it would be like roads.

    The difference here is that private, for-profit insurance companies have an inherent conflict of interest that cannot be resolved. No matter how you cut it, the more they pay for care, the lower their bottom line, and for-profit companies have to focus on the bottom line. A second difference is that a for-profit company can go bankrupt, and this creates a moral hazard (a situation in which one person’s decisions on risk can cause another person to bear the costs of the risk going bad), because if the company goes under the people it insures are left without the coverage they have been paying for, and are older, and sicker, and their insurance with a new company will cost them more (they have lost the equity of being a decades long customer, typically the young pay more in premiums than their risk profile would warrant, in return for “equity,” meaning lower premiums than their risk profile would warrant when they are aged.)

    Government agencies do not go bankrupt, and they do not need to take risks to stay afloat, and they have no inherent profit motive to pay for as little care as possible.

    The mission of a government agency is to do as much good as possible within their budget and overseen by Congress. That does leave them with making some decisions about the value of care, but they make those decisions objectively without regard to their personal fortunes, because their personal fortunes are not on the line. A decision to end heroic action to save one person’s life is made in the proper currency of the greatest good; heroic action ends when the cost of it is other lives that could have been saved.

    The lack of a profit motive also means government agencies have no built in drive for growth. If you supply water to the community, your “investors” are the citizens. What they want is all the clean water they need at cost. They do not demand you grow your water business to serve more people and provide them a better ROI, or distribute bigger dividends. What they want is for you to be as big as you need to be and no bigger, to spend as much as you have to spend and no more, to charge as little as you can but no less, and to subsidize only those they find worthy, like the poor, schools, charities, and so on.

    That is how health care should be; but no demand for profitability should ever be part of the formula. (That does not apply to doctors, nurses, orderlies, technicians, clerks and all the other staff; they should be paid market rates, meaning whatever it takes to staff the hospitals with qualified voluntary applicants).

  13. TonyC,
    Based on my impression of history, I do not regard any of what you wrote as hyperbolical either.

    Such happens even to well written agency enactments.
    We have seen them with EPA. We will likely see them in the comsumer financial agency, etc.

    My point was to like some others not named paint a picture of ideality.
    The difference in my painting is that it is very near the reality here in Sweden.
    The pension system for all employed blue collar workers works according to this model.

    Until asked I won’t bother taking more time, but this type of system is common here. Sometimes ineffectual, sometimes not.

  14. Are we are being too easy on the decision:

    In a closed door House GOP meeting Thursday, Indiana congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence likened the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to several sources present.

    (Rep. Mike Pence). One wonders if Saudi Arabia is behind some of the ruling?

  15. Tony C. 1, June 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    @Dredd: In the taxes we pay for roads, we do not have that choice, so I don’t see why the mandate is worse than other mandates in the law.

    The difference here is that private, for-profit insurance companies have an inherent conflict of interest that cannot be resolved. No matter how you cut it, the more they pay for care, the lower their bottom line, and for-profit companies have to focus on the bottom line.
    ====================================
    What happened to market factors such as competition between companies for clients and customers based upon better performance.

    Plus, there will be government oversight to make sure 80% of the premium income goes into health care, not stocks and bonds.

    Your argument is fine, and could end up being the reality, it is just that we all have to try to make it work now, and make it work better than it has in the past.

    Those who have insurance are not going to see any tax on them for not acquiring insurance. That is left to the minority who have that issue to deal with. And they have until 2014, as do the insurance companies who want their business.

    We are now like the other industrial nations who have been doing this for quite some time. Maybe the best example out of them is the one to take note of, for clues and guidelines.

  16. I think Roberts changed positions for a larger ideological reason: mainly, to preclude any further arguments for a single-payer system. Mainly, this is the health care reform: a conservative program (Romneycare) that functions as a corporate handout. If it wasn’t in the health care industry’s best interest, it never would have made it out of Congress.

  17. TonyC,

    I have from the beginning been enthusiastic about your idea of regulated commerce and/or public utilities vs profit driven corporations.

    “The mission of a government agency is to do as much good as possible within their budget and overseen by Congress. That does leave them with making some decisions about the value of care, but they make those decisions objectively without regard to their personal fortunes, because their personal fortunes are not on the line.”

    This seems well optimistic and denies what appears to be obvious reality seen every day.

    IE, agencies have the congressional budget gun pointed at the literal heads constantly. THEIR “CEOs” are driven to improve in the form of budget reductions.
    They have to show they are dynamic and always have some re-organization plan on the back-burner. It will be unleashed before the current mess from the previous re-org has been resolved by ex post facto ad hoc fixes.

    Confusion factor will constantly increase. Inefficiency will also.
    AND THE OVERRUN IN COSTS WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE ONLY REMAINING SECTOR—-IE PUBLIC BENEFITS, FOR WHICH THE AGENCY WAS CREATED.

    Please do refute my comment. I prefer your dreams (and obvious greater experience in the field) to my doubts concerning our capability to screw up the best of ideas.

    I could give examples from Sweden, so this is not a criticism of the USA way. It is human nature perhaps.

  18. @Dredd: What happened to market factors such as competition between companies for clients and customers based upon better performance.

    It is FAR easier to compete by monopoly and regulation, so that is what they bribed politicians to get.

    Dredd says: Plus, there will be government oversight to make sure 80% of the premium income goes into health care, not stocks and bonds.

    First, that means 20% less health care than we could otherwise have; and that means specifically 20% more unnecessary death and disability, because those are the big ticket items they do not want to pay for; like cancer treatment. So your position aligns with the sociopaths; it is okay for some people to die or be crippled for life so they can afford a sixty foot yacht and a 20,000 square foot suite for an executive office.

    Second, that 80% is already being undermined by the companies, they are going to qualify as part of the 80% on “health care” the salaries of their employees that deal on the phone with patients, and perhaps other expenses of their company as well, leaving more for their own bonuses and compensation, and the government does not appear to be complaining. The law WILL be undermined, as I said above the caveats (like this 80% rule) will be allowed to decay by the studious inattention of Congress, until they mean nothing. I have no doubt that what counts as “Health Care” for the 80% will be redefined until the distinction is meaningless, and five years from now the insurance companies will be allowed to put whatever they like in that column, even their own massive bonuses, and Congress won’t stop them.

    Third, the issue isn’t putting the profits into stocks and bonds, it is putting it in the hands of the private owners of the insurance company. The issue is the ability to make a personal profit by causing your customers misery. It is an inherent conflict of interest.

  19. Reading JT’s and others arguments that the Health Care Law violated the concept of Federalism and was therefore a further example of the erosion of our Constitution, I was persuaded that there points were valid. Yet those that took the position that Congress had the right to place a penalty on those who refused to purchase also had persuasive elements in their arguments. In truth though I see it all from a different perspective that I think goes beyond this specific legislation and strikes at the heart of what has been wrong with our country in its history and is wrong today.

    All the legal systems that govern nations are the products of years of evolution, the exercise of naked power.and the fruits of political compromise. The U.S. Constitution, as radical a document as it was in its time, was no less influenced by these forces. In our country’s case it was the process that melded together thirteen states, each with ethnically/religiously disparate populations and governed by different economic needs. Each State’s citizens were loyal to their particular State and viewed a “Federal” government with suspicion and the specter of tyranny. Thus the Constitution reflected a compromise that could assure each State a measure of sovereignty to continue in its own direction. The concept behind that was surely that with much to be decided on a local level the freedom of a States citizens was somehow more protected.

    With the perceptive wisdom of hindsight I believe that this initial decision, quite reasonable at the time, has actually been a chief cause of turmoil and tyranny.
    The most obvious dysfunction of States Rights was slavery, which not only led to the Civil War, but whose aftereffects linger today in an undercurrent that still breeds major resentment. However, given the range of local autonomy that each State has under our Federal System we see that an average, individual citizen’s future is dominated to a great extent by the State in which they are born. The educational opportunities for a child of average ability, for instance, are far greater in some States than in others. We have seen that the freedom to vote is now subject to limitations in various States where voter suppression has become a “cause celebre”. Indeed, wasn’t the reality of the stolen election in 2000 the result more of voter suppression/fraud than of actual count of the votes deemed cast?

    Using the 2000 election as a further illustration was the fact that the majority of votes were cast for the losing candidate, but the victory was decided by the Electoral College, which is another relic of the Constitution’s compromise of deferring to the rights of the individual States. We have also the situation caused by giving each State, despite widely varying populations, two Senators.
    This has allowed for States representing minuscule amounts of people to be able to wield power far beyond their.size and extract benefits catering to their own needs, sometimes to the detriment of the entire country. for instance how many unneeded military bases have been kept open simply because their Senators have extracted these local benefits in exchange for their votes.

    While I believe a much more comprehensive and compelling case can be made from this viewpoint, the examples above illustrate my thoughts well enough for agreement or disagreement, with the point I am making. That is that arguments over Federalism ignore the innate dysfunction caused by the compromises that cobbled together the Constitution, as great a document as it is. For the present it is in our interests to support the Rule of Law and thus support upholding the Constitution. however, if we ever want to get to the point where we can truly have a society based on principles of freedom for all, we will have to have some sort of Constitutional Convention that will deal with the flaws that are only dealt with now in patchwork solutions.

    The problem is that a Convention seems almost a chimerical idea and the potential of it making our lives far worse is also great. We are then stuck with defending the flawed document that is our Constitution as best we can. We can at least though, drop the pretense that our founding Fathers created a document flexible enough to take us through the ages as a free nation.

  20. Mespo72,

    “While the purists among us may wish for pristine application of principle, the simple fact is that necessity creates modification in law. As has been rightfully said, our constitution is not a suicide-pact and while principle is critically important it must yield to circumstances that involve even more vital issues.

    As I’ve said, Roberts was positively Marshall-esque in trying to preserve the principle of federalism while still permitting a congressionally approved national solution to a national problem. It is hyperbole, in my view, to conclude that both federalism or the nation’s interests were slain by this decision. The simple fact is that it is a false choice to decide between the two and while these bedrocks may have been chipped by the decision, the foundation still stands.”
    ===================================================

    Inspiring. Inspired? WTF, it was good.
    ====================================================

    Now comes the quip: Do you change pens only, or do you change ink, or tank another compound?

  21. “Roberts did rule that states could not be threatened with the loss of Medicaid funds if they didn’t want to be part of the program. ”
    ——————-
    Bad dentist.

    and gave the bullies back their whip….
    a little socialism would save this country from the fascist surge…and
    I don’t buy all the federalist whining, the laws have been so pathetically enforced, twisted and perverted, and the power of the people so pitifully corrupted, that boohooing about the loss of Federalist principle is just, well, bathos….

  22. @idealist

    I think the dynamic you’re pointing out is this: efficiency is only relevant where resources are scarce. Therefore, budgets are curtailed in order to produce the innovation necessary to increase efficiency.

    There are a number of problems with this, in general. First, organizations might reach some optimal level of efficiency, and further budget cuts only hurt at that point.

    Second, effciciency isn’t an unqualified good. For example, for government to be accountable, it needs to explain its actions at every step. This is inefficient, but the only way we can tell if government is doing what it should. This is not an argument for government waste, only that efficiency is not a supreme good in all contexts.

    Third, industry doesn’t innovate all that much. It’s hard to have innovation where outcomes are foreseen. But industry is largely defined by organizational prowess, and functions by planing (that is, shaping market conditions to ensure certain outcomes). The reason a farmer can order fertilizer or pesticide and be certain to have it for the planting season is because of the effectiveness of planning. If a competition is fair, outcomes cannot be foreseen: markets are unpredictable, and it isn’t market forces that deliver us our goods; rather it is planing. Industry is the result of planning.

  23. @Idealist: IE, agencies have the congressional budget gun pointed at the literal heads constantly.

    I won’t refute that, it is how it should be. The congress is the representative of the people, the people should decide how much is spent on public works, and the leaders of the various agencies should be responsible for getting their mission accomplished efficiently and within budget.

    As for re-org and confusion, I disagree. The mission can change as the Congress changes or the budget changes, but I have been a middle manager (a division manager) and you just need to have the courage to do what you think is best with what budget you have, follow your principles, make sure you can defend your actions and perhaps be reprimanded or fired for it.

    I believe in oversight by committee as the final word in management. I dislike unitary executive power as the FINAL word. It is okay and pragmatic for middle management; but for FINAL words and decisions I prefer a flat-topped pyramid and a vote (with a tie-breaking mechanism).

    The mission of an agency should be to do the most good it can within the budget it is given. Both the amount and the judgment of whether it is accomplishing the mission should be up to the people, even if indirectly by way of Congress. Somebody has to look for fraud, waste, abuse, and misdirection or misapplication of funds, somebody has to be looking out for the owners (the people).

  24. Tony C. 1, June 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

    @Dredd: What happened to market factors such as competition between companies for clients and customers based upon better performance.

    It is FAR easier to compete by monopoly and regulation, so that is what they bribed politicians to get.

    Dredd says: Plus, there will be government oversight to make sure 80% of the premium income goes into health care, not stocks and bonds.

    First, that means 20% less health care than we could otherwise have; and that means specifically 20% more unnecessary death and disability, because those are the big ticket items they do not want to pay for; like cancer treatment. So your position aligns with the sociopaths; it is okay for some people to die or be crippled for life so they can afford a sixty foot yacht and a 20,000 square foot suite for an executive office.
    =====================================
    That presumes that less than 20% goes into health care now, not profit, salaries, bonuses, and the like.

    Here is what one study says:

    An analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the majority of insurers with credible claims experienceiii would have met or exceeded the ACA’s MLR rebate standard in 2010 if it had been in effect.iv However, MLR compliance varied substantially by market, with less than half of insurers in the individual market meeting the standard, compared to 70% in the small group market and 77% in the large group market.

    (Kaiser Foundation). These data indicate that an improvement will take place.

    P.S. Tone down the “sociopath” crap, JT has urged civility. So remember the ancient adage “don’t start no sh*t and there won’t be no sh*t.”

    Be good to JT please.

  25. “Bu unfamiliar as I am with legal matters, I don’t understand how Roberts can put a abating hand on Congress prerogative to withhold Medicaid monies from states who select to not participate “in the program” (ACA?).”
    —————————-
    I think this was a backhanded “Let them eat cake”. If you live in a red state that disagrees that the legs of the country have an absolute right to healthcare, then let the vote take care of the problem.

    The ‘win’ was not about ‘healthcare’ per se, it was the limits put on the insurance companies and the closing of the donut hole. There should be a huge upsurge in the fight for single-payer insurance for all.

  26. @Dredd: What happened to market factors such as competition between companies for clients and customers based upon better performance.

    Buying a car can be difficult for a consumer. Buying a car has a thousand choices. A consumer has the ability to research, question and read, to educate themselves. Evaluating performance, gas mileage, guarantees and warranties are easily available. Buyer beware does exist in the car market, but the tools are their to deal with it.

    Dredd, I am not the sharpest tack in the bin, nor the dullest, but evaluating health care is way beyond my abilities. The fog and smog of thousands of pages, thousands of illnesses, different capabilities, practices, etc etc. overwhelm me and I’m sure 90% or more of US. citizens agree.
    I in my ignorance and non capability have to rely on my relationship with my Doctor. My biggest personal choice would be if I don’t trust him I look elsewhere. I want a Doctor that will do what is best for me, not what is best for the bottom line of his corporate masters.
    I’m going with Tony C. on this one. I’m going with promoting the general welfare as the constitutionally correct reason for a universal government oversight health care plan.

  27. Some commentators are not as kind as JT is in his published piece:

    Conservative firebrand Michael Savage is not known to mince words–one of his favorite adjectives is “Islamofascist,” and in 2009 he was banned from entering the United Kingdom on grounds of extremism.

    But on Thursday, the popular radio talk show host’s outspokenness veered into particularly strange territory when he suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts’ epilepsy medication was responsible for his decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law.

    (HuffPo). Sounds to me like Savage lives up to his name and would probably be better off if he took some of that epilepsy medicine.

  28. David Blauw 1, June 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

    @Dredd: What happened to market factors such as competition between companies for clients and customers based upon better performance.

    I’m going with Tony C. on this one. I’m going with promoting the general welfare as the constitutionally correct reason for a universal government oversight health care plan.
    ==============================
    Fair enough, your choice of course.

    I am going with experts, that is why I linked to a report by experts:

    An analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the majority of insurers with credible claims experience would have met or exceeded the ACA’s MLR rebate standard in 2010 if it had been in effect. However, MLR compliance varied substantially by market, with less than half of insurers in the individual market meeting the standard, compared to 70% in the small group market and 77% in the large group market.

    (link up-thread). Those companies who have developed some expertise will be ready in 2014.

    The others who have 70% capability now will have to improve to 80%, those who have 77% capability now will have less improvement to accomplish, but they can all do it.

    If the market dynamics work as theorized then the companies who improve will be rewarded with more clients and customers, and those clients and customers will likewise benefit.

    Those who have health insurance already are making the most noise about this for some reason.

  29. @Dredd: That presumes that less than 20% goes into health care now, not profit, salaries, bonuses, and the like.

    Bullshit. Tone done your illteracy and moon math.

    Dredd says: Tone down the “sociopath” crap, JT has urged civility.

    Civility does not mean political correctness or that your feelings should be spared. If JT wants to reprimand me he is free to do so, and the last thing JT needs is you pretending to be his policeman and asserting his authority.

    I am speaking factually, sociopaths are happy to make money by deciding to let others suffer, that is what you (and other free marketers) advocate, allowing insurance companies the conflict of interest inherent in their decisions about who gets care and who does not. It is sociopathy; that fact that you find that insulting is immaterial.

    A doctor that earns a salary, even if it is high, does not earn a profit by letting people suffer, he earns a profit by relieving suffering.

    The opposite is true for an insurance company; they earn more if they can deny coverage. Denying coverage causes disease to go untreated, and that causes misery, disability, and death. I don’t care what your “theory” is, it does not match the reality we can observe and measure: Insurance companies spend massive amounts of money denying claims and treatments that any reasonable person would have believed were covered. One of the highlighted cases during the debate was a woman that died, because she was denied breast cancer treatment, because the insurance company claimed her failure to inform them of her teenage acne constituted a pre-existing condition and invalidated her health insurance contract.

    For-profit insurance companies are parasites on patients AND on doctors, they divert money that should have helped save lives into their pockets for their own personal greed. They cause suffering for personal profit. That is sociopathic and in my view criminal; if you support that model you are aligned with sociopaths.

  30. Republicans can now hack away at ACA provisions with as much gusto and ferocity as corporate money will buy. Democrats, also thanks to corporate largess, can put up the brilliant and intrepid resistance we have been witness to in so many areas over the last several years, such as Guantanamo, or drones, or rendition, or throwing innocent families out of their houses by the thousands via illegal foreclosures, or extending tax breaks for the rich with control of both houses. But in all this epic struggle, one thing you can be sure of; the Republicans will not touch the individual mandate (except to strengthen it). Given how much they say they hate it, this will be as mystifying as Robert’s holding it to be constitutional as a tax.

    States do not have to comply with the expansion of Medicaid, but individuals do have to comply with the profligacy of insurance behemoths.

  31. I admit my ignorance re federalism although being educated by prof columns and mnay of the comments but the professor said it will be hard to see who will be the ultimate winner. To me the answer is easy: the people.

  32. I with Mespo and OS on this one. I am concerned about the claims that Federalism is being damaged, but I don’t see the damage that others are insistent on. I only see the millions that will be helped by this imperfect improvement to our current health care system. There is no way that the House and Senate would have passed a single payer plan and without the ACA, millions would go uninsured and insurance companies would have even less reason to lower their premiums.
    I agree with Prof. Turley that we can discuss this openly without rancor and in a civil manner. As long as we don’t discuss religion and politics! :)

  33. “Federalism rose and fell so fast it didn’t have time to utter, ‘Et tu, Roberts?'”

    An astute observation that acknowledges the radical position of Roberts opinion.

  34. ID:

    “Now comes the quip: Do you change pens only, or do you change ink, or tank another compound?”

    ****************************

    I have my secretary grind the pigment for me while I hunt down and hand cut the snow goose feathers.

  35. @Brooklin: Exactly.

    Now that their revenue stream is a matter of law, they can turn to the happy task of keeping as much of it as possible by screwing as many people as possible, with Congressman lined up by the dozens willing to sell out their constituents for a little super-PAC help in campaign expenses.

  36. Justice Roberts, nominated by a Republican President (Bush) hinted that the way to overcome this is to change those in Congress. Though cloaked in eloquent judicial verbage, the message was clear : “Congress passed this, IF you don’t like it, then change the Congress”.

    It’s now up to the voters to make their will clear in November.

    Justice Roberts may have been pressured into this ruling, BUT the people can elect representatives who’ll deal with it. We need a better healthcare system, but this is not the answer.

  37. Tony C. 1, June 29, 2012 at 11:24 am


    I am speaking factually, sociopaths are happy to make money by deciding to let others suffer…
    =========================
    Reminds me of the cheering during the Republican primary debates when the statment “let him die” was made.

    The U.S.eh? is the only industrialized nation that did not have health care for all before yesterday’s decision.

    Isn’t catching up to this century cool?

    Your sociopaths now are mad that money will be taken from the military bully worship religious realm:

    The Enemy the Pentagon Should Fear Most: Health Care

    The U.S. military keeps searching the horizon for a peer competitor, the challenger that must be taken seriously. Is it China? What about an oil rich and resurgent Russia?

    But the threat that is most likely to hobble U.S. military capabilities is not a peer competitor, rather it is health care.

    (Supreme Court Decides …). That may not be all sociopathology, because there seems to be some jignoist psychopathology in there too.

    You are the only scientific researcher with an office that I know who eschews citing experts, relying instead on your own ego and opinions.

    That type of presentation is convincing only to the ill informed.

  38. Raff,

    I am sure that this would need to be a Private Chat….. Now if ole Tricky Dick was still there……then, they’d be taped…. hey wait….can’t we get a drone to eaves drop on the conversation…..the hell with Rosemary…..

  39. Tony C., I think the ACA, under the smoke screen of partisan bickering, was designed specifically so as to be highly prone to legislative whittling. This works well with our tribal projections; Republicans can be blamed and Democrats lamented. The thrust of the legislation –of course– is ever toward corporate interest and the fans are ever riveted to their red and blue seats as if something different might happen.

    Had this not been the case, I think we would have seen elements such as the public option that would have truly made the legislation popular, crisper, more sharply defined in intent, and thus more difficult to dismantle.

  40. Raff,

    I am quite sure….. You’re ok in my book….. I agree with you that the ACA was needed in so many ways….. If anyone has ever dealt with Neglect Abuse Cases and Juvenile Deliquencys…..the only way that some of these folks got the treatment that was needed was because it was COURT ORDERED….. other than that…it was pass the buck….no one wanted to pay for it…. In addition so many States have cut funding levels so drastic that most Doctors do not take SSI patients…..even if they get paid something…..

    But as the others have said….we do not know what the full implications are in Roberts decision…. Then again. FDR did pass Social Security…..and It was going to bankrupt the Country….. well, raff, it looks like its the other way around and the Politicians are Bankrupting Social Security….. because of the excesses…..

    WRT to Roberts decision….. he may well have voted the way he did to restore some ligitimacy back to the Court…. Just like Blackman said after heruled against legal Gay Sex….he wished that he hadn’t…. Maybe Roberts has second thoughts about Citizens….. who knows until the candle blows out….. until then I am pleased that the needest folks will have some defree of protection…..that Pre-Existing Conditions cannot be used to deny coverage, exceeding the policy limits and Children are covered until age 26….. There are so many positives to this that at present in my mind it out weighs the negatives…..

  41. Tony C.:
    Roberts’ use of the tax power does not render the commerce power superfluous. Regulation of commerce can involve many rules that are not meant to raise revenue (e.g., regulation of discrimination), but all taxation must involve the raising of revenue. If you choose not to purchase health insurance, you pay a tax, and the government thereby raises revenue.

    Why can’t the government tax your failure to buy a cellphone (or broccolli)? Because some actions by government, state or federal, are so intrusive as to violate your individual liberty(e.g.,abortion). That’s a due process violation, not a federalism problem.

    See Judge Posner’s posts in the ongoing Slate series on the Supreme Court Term:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_breakfast_table/features/2012/_supreme_court_year_in_review/affordable_care_act_upheld_why_the_commerce_clause_should_have_been_enough_.html

  42. Tony,

    Re the agencies charged with implementing so much of what is in this law:

    A great deal of the funding for implementing the Act is already appropriated in the Act so it would seem to me that the GOP must direct their attention to the needlelike range of authorized but unfunded ACA programs if they wish to do damage.

    Also, cuts in the operating budgets of the IRS and HHS that will implement the law making it impossible for them to hire the people they would need in order to spend the funds already appropriated within the law seems like the route the GOP could also follow within the Congress in furthering their 2010 campaign promises to the T-Party that swept them into so many State offices.

    The bulk of the law becomes effective in 2014 so I would expect a great deal of the above mentioned GOP effort in 2013. In fact, the battle is enjoined right now in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  43. mespo,

    ” … while I hunt down and hand cut the snow goose feathers”

    Migratory bird hunting rules are established by the U.S. Wildlife Service but specific hunting regulations for each species are set by the appropriate state agency.

    Federalism.

  44. Blouise,
    If the GOP doesn’t win the White House and/or the Senate in November, the ACA will remain intact. They will continue to use it as their boogeyman to rile up the tea party crowd, but it will survive.

  45. Bad link above concerning:

    The Enemy the Pentagon Should Fear Most: Health Care

    The U.S. military keeps searching the horizon for a peer competitor, the challenger that must be taken seriously. Is it China? What about an oil rich and resurgent Russia?

    But the threat that is most likely to hobble U.S. military capabilities is not a peer competitor, rather it is health care.

    The proper link is here.

  46. […] John Turley today noted that having decided that the ObamaCare individual mandate is outside the authority of the Congress under the Commerce Clause, the Supreme Court found the requisite authority in the congressional authority to tax. But no sooner had Roberts proclaimed his love for federalism than he effectively killed it. Roberts held that the individual mandate still fell squarely within the taxing authority of Congress. If so, all those “broccoli” questions asked by Roberts and other justices simply move over to the tax side. If Congress can “tax” people for not having health insurance, how about taxes on people who don’t have cellphones (as Roberts asked)? Just as there was no clear limiting principle in the commerce clause debate, there is a lack of such a principle in the tax debate. Instead, Roberts simply says the individual mandate is supported by a “functional approach” that has long allowed federal taxes to “seek to influence conduct” by citizens. […]

  47. @Dredd: I comment here casually. I argue here based on my own logic. Contrary to your apparent belief, being an academic is NOT about citing authority for one’s views, citations are about giving credit for ideas or data being employed in an argument where credit is due, but if you had ever been taught to READ an academic paper, you would realize that the point is to focus on what the author has done that is NEW, what their argument is, not the cachet of their references.

    The point of academic work is to make an argument for something NEW, without claiming credit for something you did not do. You have a serious flaw in your thinking in relying upon authoritarian pronouncements, I assume that is why you think academia is just some game of peasants stitching together quotes of great men that cannot be questioned. It isn’t.

    I and my fellow scientists are the PEERS of Einstein, Newton, Bohr, Planck, Maxwell, Darwin, Turing, Hubble and Galileo. We are not their acolytes or subordinates, we do not need their permission for our work, we do not even have to agree with them, we cite them when we use something for which they deserve credit, because it is polite and is what we want others to do if they use our work.

    In fact, I do readers here a favor by NOT using citations and by putting my reasoning directly into my arguments. No lookup or experience is necessary, no tomes or endless blithering blogs must be read. My posts are usually self-contained and I take pride in that.

    I do not cite authority because I do not use their work here, and I do not need any help or anybody to agree with me. I do not require reflected respect or borrowed intelligence, I need no shield for defense, I need no hero for protection, and I do not owe anybody credit for my original ideas.

  48. Just came back from a Texas Longhorn tenderloin, so if I should sound mellow (no chance of that) then you know why.

    I should cssh in my chips and drink another beer. 5 in

    return from one roll. But we know how gamblers are, just one more time.

    No, consideting who’s standing around the table I think I will.

    Just will say that more was returned than invested in what I rolled.

    My little experience in 100,000+ employee international telecom company was seeing who later became the CEO make three prior major mistakes, very publicly. And the only innovations were two: one by myself which wss later adapted by all company divisions, and a new division that had the vision to see a market before anybody else in the industry did.

    Glad to see Rafflaw has a heart. Touching. Empathy is what makes some of us human.

    And some are utopists (BB) but that is nice as it describes one border. Don’t seem to have too many realists now. That’s good, especially on a Friday. We all need hope.

  49. @Blouise: so it would seem to me that the GOP must direct their attention to the needlelike range of authorized but unfunded ACA programs if they wish to do damage.

    I was not concerned with funding, I do not think Congress is really opposed to funding if they can funnel it to their ends. The more taxpayer money in the system, the better off they are.

    If you believe in the Military-Industrial-corporatist model that I do (and others here do), what Congress wants to do is spend more on corporations, and less on citizens. Lower taxes on the rich and corporations, and increase taxes on the middle class. Reduce regulation on the top 1%, and increase it on the bottom 99%, because regulations cost money and that means money for corporations.

    I do not think Congress really looks at the ACA as anything but an opportunity for corruption; they will use their discretion to look the other way, or weaken the demands of the ACA with riders and amendments. A large bill is perfect for that, in return for campaign contributions esoteric changes are made to wording, caveats and conditions and thresholds are added, what looks like innocuous changes will pass without fanfare, objection or media notice. The result will be for insurance companies what happened with the banks: Privatization of profits and the socialization of risk and losses (loaded on the middle class).

    I would be surprised if the GOP really wants to repeal the ACA, they would be throwing away billions in campaign contributions to do it. I think insurance companies like the individual mandate, and the GOP loves lobbyists, and their current opposition is just a show for the rubes and trying to get votes in four months.

  50. Tony,

    ” … their current opposition is just a show for the rubes and trying to get votes in four months.”

    Ah, the proverbial “fig leaf”? :?

  51. Did someone say fig leaf?

    Inspector Olivetti: [on hearing Langdon’s description of Pius IX’s “Great Castration” of Vatican City’s male statues where their genitalia were replaced with plaster fig leaves] Are you anti-Catholic Mr. Langdon?

    Robert Langdon: No. I’m anti-vandalism.

  52. rafflaw

    Blouise,
    If the GOP doesn’t win the White House and/or the Senate in November, the ACA will remain intact. They will continue to use it as their boogeyman to rile up the tea party crowd, but it will survive.

    ————————————————————-

    I have no doubt you are right.

  53. Gene,

    Wasn’t Pius IX the one who decreed “papal infallibility”? (Weird facts like that stick in my head.)

  54. Bloise,

    He’s the one who called the First Vatican Council and they first defined the concept dogmatically, so yeah, that’s they guy.

  55. Blouise,
    After listening and watching the Bad Finger clip, I can’t understand why it was rumored that they were actually the Beatles playing under another name. Or do I have the rumor wrong after all of these years??

  56. @Blouise: Did the Beatles tend to sing sharp? Or play sharp?

    I guess you would have to take their lyric seriously: “What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?”

  57. […] John Turley today noted that having decided that the ObamaCare individual mandate is outside the authority of the Congress under the Commerce Clause, the Supreme Court found the requisite authority in the congressional authority to tax. But no sooner had Roberts proclaimed his love for federalism than he effectively killed it. Roberts held that the individual mandate still fell squarely within the taxing authority of Congress. If so, all those “broccoli” questions asked by Roberts and other justices simply move over to the tax side. If Congress can “tax” people for not having health insurance, how about taxes on people who don’t have cellphones (as Roberts asked)? Just as there was no clear limiting principle in the commerce clause debate, there is a lack of such a principle in the tax debate. Instead, Roberts simply says the individual mandate is supported by a “functional approach” that has long allowed federal taxes to “seek to influence conduct” by citizens. […]

  58. Tony,

    They tended to sharp meaning sing. It’s a common fault amongst untrained vocalists … nerves tend to make one over anxious and thus to sharp. Once the nerves settle down, tonality returns. Also, when the accompaniment is loud, one’s ear can’t easily distinguish the sharping.

    You can find the same thing in those who do public speaking … voice pitch a little higher and quicker as they begin due to nerves (commonly called stage fright) which then settles to a deeper pitch and slower as the nerves wear off.

    Flating, on the other hand, usually results from not being “up” for the performance. Usually if the vocalist is sick or doesn’t really want to be working … they flat.

    Then there is always the vocalist who thinks he can sing but doesn’t have the ear for it and thus can’t adjust because he can’t hear the sharping or flating. Depending on the strength of the voice, such a singer can bring an entire choir off-key.

    Record yourself in the shower to see what I mean. ;)

  59. ah, the Badfinger reminds me of the movie ‘The Magic Christian’, this is from the soundtrack of the Ringo Starr, Peter Sellers cult classic.

  60. I do not believe that federalism allows a nation to draft (enslave) its citizens into the armed forces. Now the notion of taxation without representation has been worked out. Congress can tax. Even tax us to pay for our medical care. Taxing us is not at off the wall as enslaving us to go fight. A federal system of health care is far superior to 50 state solution. What we have with the insurance model and free enterprize is socialize losses and privatize gains. Doctors get rich. We need to control costs. Open the borders to foreign doctors. My state did not graduate enough doctors in the various medical schools to take care of one city much less the whole state.

    Roberts should get some kudos here. Kennedy is becoming an odd duck.

  61. Mr. Turley, Could you write a brief essay describing, for this non-lawyer, what you mean by federalism principles? I’d like to understand your position better. Thanks!

  62. BarkinDog

    I have always believed that the SCOTUS Was only able to rule on what was written in the law and not give their opinion of what the law should be. If they believe that the mandate is a tax then they should have thrown it out and stated that is what congress should have called it and wrote it that way. The court can’t write law and this is exactly what the majority did.

  63. No Jim, the court did not write the law, it only said the law that was already written was constititutional. The court has a precedential responsibility to try to find a constitutional way to accept a law approved by Congress.
    Blouise,
    All I know is that the Beatles looked sharp in their nehru jackets!

  64. @Blouise: I do not get stage fright. But one thing I have noticed, in both business proposals and academic presentations on stage, is that I consistently run about 10% faster on stage than I do in rehearsals. I do not think I am ever nervous, but I always feel focused right before taking the stage, so maybe I am amped up and don’t realize it.

  65. Tony C. 1, June 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    @Dredd: I comment here casually. I argue here based on my own logic. Contrary to your apparent belief, being an academic is NOT about citing authority for one’s views, citations are about giving credit for ideas or data being employed in an argument where credit is due, but if you had ever been taught to READ an academic paper, you would realize that the point is to focus on what the author has done that is NEW, what their argument is, not the cachet of their references.

    The point of academic work is to make an argument for something NEW, without claiming credit for something you did not do. You have a serious flaw in your thinking in relying upon authoritarian pronouncements, I assume that is why you think academia is just some game of peasants stitching together quotes of great men that cannot be questioned. It isn’t.

    I and my fellow scientists are the PEERS of Einstein, Newton, Bohr, Planck, Maxwell, Darwin, Turing, Hubble and Galileo. We are not their acolytes or subordinates, we do not need their permission for our work, we do not even have to agree with them, we cite them when we use something for which they deserve credit, because it is polite and is what we want others to do if they use our work.
    =====================================
    You shouted PEERS which, along with your other falsehoods, indicates a feeling of superiority.

    All the scientific journals I read daily include constant references to the work of others.

    Those others are considered authority, just as a court citing to its own decisions, or decisions of other relevant courts, are considered authority.

    Your assertion:

    I [am] the [PEER] of Einstein, Newton, Bohr, Planck, Maxwell, Darwin, Turing, Hubble and Galileo

    is absurd as an excuse not to city authority.

    A psychological coup d’etat is militant, not scientific, and it is not acceptable.

  66. Roberts was a corporatist yesterday, is a corporatist today and will be a corporatist tomorrow, just like the Obama appointees, Kagan and Sotomayor.

    What explains his decision on the individual mandate, and what provides a coherent framework by which his future decisions on such matters will be perfectly consistent, quite simply, is that he is laying the groundwork for dismantling the New Deal.

    This is not a reason to vote for Obama, as Hugh, a commenter on not clothed Capitalists, points out:

    I am amused by the Obama apologists on this thread invoking partisan reasons why we should support their transpartisan candidate. I especially like the recycling of talkingpoints like “Vote for Obama because OMG Romney’s Supreme Court choices!” This was tired and discredited when it was trotted out 4 years ago. Since then Obama has put two people on the Supreme Court, both corporatists. The main difference is that Sotomayor is a technician whereas Kagan believes in the doctrine of vast Executive powers. Neither is liberal, neither is even remotely progressive. So we are being told to vote for Obama because he will nominate people to the Supreme Court who don’t represent your views. And this is supposed to induce me to vote for him how exactly?
    Oh yeah, because Romney’s choices will be so much worse. Oh noes! Except for this one little thing or actually 3 things. Democrats hold the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee is composed of 10 Democrats and 8 Republicans. The Democrats could vote down any nominee either in committee or on the Senate floor. Even if they didn’t have majority control, they could still filibuster any nominee. The only way Romney could nominate anyone to the Supreme Court is with the collusion of the Democrats. In other words, if a “terrible” Romney choice made it to the Supreme Court, it would be because Democrats helped him do it. And we all know this is the way it would go down because that’s how all the conservative nutcases currently on the Court got there. So again, this is supposed to make me want to vote for Democrats exactly why?
    Much as I like Matt’s piece, I have to say this could have and should have been written back in say the Fall of 2009. By that point, Obama had already put together an impressive record of selling out those who voted for him and had shown on virtually every issue that he is firmly opposed to any progressive and any progressive idea, bar none.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/06/more-on-aca-decision-a-dark-cloud-on-a-sunny-day.html

  67. @durham girl: You can look Federalism up for yourself.

    I think Turley would add qualifiers to the word if he meant something besides the standard definition; to do otherwise would be misleading, and although he is not always careful with his typing, he is not misleading.

    The short answer is that Federalism (in the USA) means the States are supposed to have most sovereign powers, and the central (“Federal”) government has enough power to unite them. You can think of it as what happens within the States is supposed to be primarily the business of the States, but things that can cross State borders, or are national in nature (like tariffs, foreign policy, immigration, civil rights) need to be regulated by the national government.

    The basic criticism of Federalists is that the Federal Government has gone too far with the commerce clause and tax clauses in usurping the rights of States to make their own law. For example, it is logically ludicrous to claim that a person growing pot for their own consumption on their own property should be a subject for Federal law. States might outlaw that practice, but if the Federal Government can outlaw THAT, on the pretense that maybe someday the person would transport the pot across state lines, then the Federal Government can outlaw ANYTHING on the same pretense, and therefore the States have no real sovereignty at all.

    For an example of something that SHOULD be federalized, consider aircraft safety: It would be equally ludicrous to subject an airline to one set of structural safety laws at breakfast and three others before dinner.

    Federalism is what the founders intended, I personally believe that the competition of States (with a central referee) with the free movement of citizens would help control governmental corruption and over-reach. Even though different laws in different states would create some unfairness in the application of the law to citizens, I do think it would create more equity overall.

  68. @Dredd: You shouted PEERS which, along with your other falsehoods, indicates a feeling of superiority.

    I stressed “peers” to counter your assumption, repeated later in your post, that I do not regard anybody to be my superior, nor do I regard myself to be superior to them. We are equals in intelligence, skill, and comprehension; although I have the advantage of access to work and experiments they did not have.

    As I thought, your subservience to authority pervades your thinking, the idea that the famous are not inherently superior escapes you. Deference is in your nature, and for that, you have my pity.

  69. Tony C. 1, June 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The short answer is that Federalism (in the USA) means the States are supposed to have most sovereign powers, and the central (“Federal”) government has enough power to unite them.

    ====================================
    Quite a casual lure, and will catch casual fish.

    If you cite to Supreme Court authority, binding on all courts in the land, you would catch bigger fish.

  70. Tony C. 1, June 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

    @Dredd: You shouted PEERS which, along with your other falsehoods, indicates a feeling of superiority.

    I stressed “peers” to counter your assumption, repeated later in your post, that I do not regard anybody to be my superior, nor do I regard myself to be superior to them. We are equals in intelligence, skill, and comprehension; although I have the advantage of access to work and experiments they did not have.

    As I thought, your subservience to authority pervades your thinking, the idea that the famous are not inherently superior escapes you. Deference is in your nature, and for that, you have my pity.
    ======================================
    Ok, I get it, now you say:

    I [am] the [EQUAL] of Einstein, Newton, Bohr, Planck, Maxwell, Darwin, Turing, Hubble and Galileo

    As I thought, your subversion of authority pervades your thinking.

    Your conflating of “the famous” and “inherently superior” captures you and drags you to a false notion, and the practice of the scientific methoud escapes you.

    Hyper-ego suppressing decent discourse is in your nature, and for that, you have my pity.

  71. TonyC,

    While at times you wear your constitutional hat with elan, I feel it is askew now. You are overconfident in the profits which could derive from a stronger federalistic system.

    While relatively modest wearing this hat, you do look a bit ridiculous wearing your Napoleonic one with your hand in your vest stroking your scientific credentials.

    You have done so in discussions with me to great waste of our time. Even when I stood on my head to lower it beneath yours, you still screamed at what you saw as attacks, which were of course not ones at all.

    You do go overboard in your battles. Consider that as a friendly opinion.

  72. TonyC

    One more: Ask yourself, at what point do I start looking for attacks and ways to rebut them, and when do I stop therefore looking for facts or contentions claimed to be based on them??
    IMHO, having entered the attack mode then it is difficult to return to the former fact-seeking one.

  73. For the un-Dredd among you; when I say I am equal, I do not mean equal in genius or insight. The meaning is much like equality before the law: I give Einstein no credit or assumption of correctness because he is Einstein. All that matters is the argument. The same goes for Darwin, Newton, Jefferson, and so on. Who made an argument is not material, it is ad hominem. All that matters is the argument itself.

    The Dredd of the world do not get that, they willingly submit to the famous, the rich, the powerful, without argument, because they are star struck.

  74. Tony C. 1, June 30, 2012 at 11:35 am

    For the un-Dredd among you; when I say I am equal, I do not mean equal in genius or insight. The meaning is much like equality before the law: I give Einstein no credit or assumption of correctness because he is Einstein. All that matters is the argument. The same goes for Darwin, Newton, Jefferson, and so on. Who made an argument is not material, it is ad hominem. All that matters is the argument itself.

    The Dredd of the world do not get that, they willingly submit to the famous, the rich, the powerful, without argument, because they are star struck.
    ============================================
    Wrong. That is so Romney: “I didn’t say what I wrote.”

    Now I must confess that I suspect your science and your office are at the Heartland Institute, and the stage you stand upon to render the casual among us star struck, is practicing for the annual neoCon circus CPAC.

  75. Tony C:

    “A decision to end heroic action to save one person’s life is made in the proper currency of the greatest good; heroic action ends when the cost of it is other lives that could have been saved.”

    I thought there werent going to be death panels with national health care.

    The proper way to make an end of life decision is the individual and their family taking all things into account and deciding based on financial and quality of life considerations consistent with their personal values.

    Human beings are not government pets.

  76. rafflaw

    I respectfully disagree. The law known as Obamacare does not state that the mandate is a tax but rather a penalty to protect it under commerce.. Therefore, if the court wants to view it as a tax then they should have struck it down and said re-pass it as a tax.By changing it, they in fact are re-writing legislation.

  77. TonyC,
    Yeah, only the facts. And is this a place where they are presented. Not even you at your best, nor Dredd for that matter.

    Dredd and TonyC,
    You have left the salon and are brawling in the parking lot. Come back to pure evidence presentation or shut up, you’re hogging blog space with ad hominems.

    Thank you from your new self-appointed blawg poleez.

  78. You know raff, I am wondering why folks are getting in a knot for the so called Tax…..Only the top 1% will have to pay it if they do not have health insurance…

  79. Anonymously Yours 1, June 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    You know raff, I am wondering why folks are getting in a knot for the so called Tax…..Only the top 1% will have to pay it if they do not have health insurance…
    ================================
    Why do you say that?

    I like it but is there a reference to the statute.

    It seems you are saying that if people are unable to secure insurance through no fault of their own, the IRS tax will not be administered?

    Anway, as I pointed out up-thread, anything other than the holding of the decision, which is about the operation of taxing authority, is dictum.

    The mandate was upheld on tax law notions, thus “commerce clause” or “necessary and proper clause” notions are about dictum, and therefore would not have the power of full persuasion if cited in a legal brief would they?

  80. idealist707 1, June 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you from your new self-appointed blawg poleez.
    ==============================
    Ok, Mr. Moderator of da blawg, pass this on from Dredd: “I know Einstein Tony C, and you are no Einstein!”

    Thanks.

  81. @Bron: I have always said I have no problem with private healthcare existing alongside socialized healthcare.

    For the state (or any organization) there is a limited budget, and the mission is to do the most good with the money available. That DOES mean terminating STATE care for the terminal at some point. That point should not be arbitrary for anybody, it should be a decision process set in law and followed without exception for rich and poor alike without distinction. But it has to be done, spending ten million dollars to keep one person alive, and not having the money to keep a hundred other people alive, is unfair to the hundred; the value of their lives is equal.

    Now if you and your family want to get together and choose to spend your personal fortunes keeping a terminal case alive for as long as possible, I think that SHOULD be your choice, once the state notifies you that no more heroic measures will be taken to preserve a life (although measures can always be taken to alleviate pain).

    I will also point out that your argument is disingenuous; your oft-stated philosophy is that doctors and hospitals SHOULD be able to discontinue care if they are not being paid, so you have already rejected your supposed concept of families getting together and making a decision; because under your Aynish philosophy the doctors and hospital are free to unilaterally make the decision without even consulting you.

    @Idealist: The argument might sit will with you, but it isn’t realistic. Most people, given control of the vast funds of the state, would drain them in an attempt to save their child or spouse rather than personally make the decision to let them die. It just isn’t going to happen.

    At some point professionals (doctors) have to decide that the expense of heroic efforts to preserve a life are doing harm to others, by expending finite resources (including MD hours of work) that will not, therefore, be expended on others. That is facing reality.

    It isn’t a death panel making individual decisions, but when death is inevitable facts must be faced, and one of those facts is that choices must be made. We are forced to choose, and when forced by a budget to choose between adding 30 quality years to one life with breast cancer screening or adding six months to the life of a brain damaged coma victim, the breast cancer screening program gets the money.

  82. @Dredd: you are no Einstein!

    How would you know? Oh yeah, because as far as you know, I am not famous like Einstein, and the only reason you think Einstein was smart is because people told you Einstein was a genius. You worship labels, Dredd.

    You would be better served if you treated all of the “famous” as if they were the anonymous bloggers of their time, and with an equal amount of disrespect you show me.

    Dredd says: As I thought, your subversion of authority pervades your thinking.

    You are damn straight, skippy. I was raised (by my father) to treat all authority as suspect, even his own. (I was once punished for agreeing with him, without being able to answer the question, “And why do you think that?”) I was taught to think for myself and make my own decisions.

    You, apparently, were taught that your thinking really wasn’t good enough and you better just let other people do your thinking for you.

  83. Tony C. 1, June 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm


    You, apparently, were taught that your thinking really wasn’t good enough and you better just let other people do your thinking for you.
    =============================================
    Another one of your opinions that doesn’t even pass the smell test.

    I disagree with you because you are pathetically unscientific, and if you were a lawyer in court telling the judge “I don’t need no stinking authorities” you would have gavel marks on your forehead.

    You are busted.

  84. Dredd

    The law known as Obamacare does not state that the mandate is a tax but rather a penalty to protect it under commerce.. Therefore, if the court wants to view it as a tax then they should have struck it down and said re-pass it as a tax.By changing it, they in fact are re-writing legislation.

  85. Jim when has re-writing anything ever stopped supposed conservatives who believe money rules?
    They even stole a Presidential election by going against principles they long advocated.

  86. TonyC,
    Thanks for your measured answer.
    BUT, you misunderstand me. Let me begin by citing BRON.
    “The proper way to make an end of life decision is the individual and their family taking all things into account and deciding based on financial and quality of life considerations consistent with their personal values.”

    I interpreted Bron, and did not in my endorsement make

    clear, to mean that it was only private resources at private facilities would be employed to maintin a life despite doctor’s advice on outcome and suffering.

    Having spent two months recuperating at a terminal hospice I was witness to several patients final days. It varied quite a bit. But when the decline begins with loss of consciousness or into delirium, then prolonging is no longer a viable alternative of value to anyone, I feel.

    Personally, I would not support such an expenditure of private money, and certainly not of public funds.
    Privately, I and my wife would and did donate funds to cancer research instead.

    When my wife was admitted to terminal care, after being with her at home until what became her final 36 hours, my only concern was as she expressed her needs: to be respected as a person and to be relieved as much as possible from suffering.

    The doctor greeted me perhaps expecting the usual (I don’t know) and said immediately that nothing would be done to extend the patient’s life. I replied that that was self-evident the only recourse. She could expect no life of value nor miracles at that point.

    Hope this clarifies my position better. It is mine. Bron can speak for himself.

  87. Jim,
    The ACA does consider it a tax. Check the IRS code and in oral arguments, part of the government’s arguments were based on the ability to tax.

  88. Dredd,
    If I understood your earlier comment, the ACA also assists low income people obtain insurance.
    Based on income, the ACA provides tax credits to help low income people obtain insurance.

  89. Cross post now that this one shows life again.

    Just read a bit of Paul Krugman’s OpEd at the NYT. He generally praises ACA as it benefits the people at one-quarter the costs of the unfinanced tax cuts promised by Romney. BTW, ACA is fully financed he says, by taxes and cuts elsewhere. He has his caveats.
    He says:

    “It’s not perfect, by a long shot — it is, after all, originally a Republican plan, devised long ago as a way to forestall the obvious alternative of extending Medicare to cover everyone. As a result, it’s an awkward hybrid of public and private insurance that isn’t the way anyone would have designed a system from scratch.”

    Could this be one of the reasons it was passed or did the Repubs renege on their own plan and were united in their partisan opposition?

  90. How many here regard themselves as liberals. Most of those here?

    How many follow Krugman?
    Obviously those who comment him have mostly a liberal bias.

    So for myself, it is a pleasure to read the comments there following his OpEds.

    One made an argument which I have not seen anywhere, not even here, thus worth mentioning:

    ACA is not welfare, it is not a safety net.

    It is a system which effects ALL citizens. It makes ALL a part of a system which provides guarantees.

    Such as that that a cancer patient who had forgot to mention their childhood acne as a pre-existing condition can NOT be denied in certain states treatment for their cancer by the insurance company. It also gives coverage guarantee to the working who lose their jobs, who want to change jobs, who want to start private businesses, etc, etc.

    In short it is a system guaranteeing health care to the WHOLE NATION—excluding those already covered by Medicare, VA etc.

    The liberals missed this point, and pointed only to the 30 million new persons covered, etc.
    They missed that it helps ALL, both the current haves who have also a risk of denial by an insurance company under previous law, AND those who don’t have any coverage.

    The liberal in me heartily agrees.

  91. My understanding of the ‘death panels” (what a lie) was that counseling about end of life issues was covered.
    As for with vast money from the state available” most people, given control of the vast funds of the state, would drain them in an attempt to save their child or spouse rather than personally make the decision to let them die. It just isn’t going to happen”
    In theory that is probably the case. I do not knoiw if you have had to deal with this situation personally but most people, in my experience, and I have had a few, do not fight to keep someone alive when they are suffering regardless of the fund available.
    Hospice has been one of the best things to come along, hospitals often fighting to keep someone alive even when the family did not want it, because of personal belief, lawsuit possibility, etc. Hospitals have also been “killing” people for a long time ‘snowing” them when the pain becomes unbearable, increasing the dosage of morphine or other pain med until the patient is essentially overdosed. It has been a long kept (not much of a) secret.

  92. I’ll end with this:

    Before ACA it was you, your partner, your kids versus the insurance company, the medical providers, and big pharma.

    After ACA, it is you and yours together with ACA against the others. You have ACA as a partner, as a leverage point, and a base to lobby from with your congressman. It’s not just you alone anymore. And it will get better.

    That is a vast improvement as I see it.

    Krugman and those comenters I read did not mention this, nor have I seen the WH do so. So will say that no backers on this, that I knnow of.

  93. Leejcarrol,

    As for the ´”secret”, it was none to me after my wife’s demise. I might to some degree have participated by asking them to increase the sedative dose as she was obviously experiencing unease tossing from one side to another, in a new phase.
    I left her on another short errand in the hospital and returned minutes after her demise. The hours one way or another meant nothing to her, and only started the next stage of my sorrow. It was inevitable too.

    Thanks for your revealing how other patients relatives take it there in the USA. Those of the hospice patients where I lay recuperating were the same.

  94. Idealist I am so sorry both of you had to go through that.
    (When my friend was in the hospital with cancer everywhere they could only give her morphine every 4 hours regardless of the level of her pain. I said to a nurse why won;t you give her a shot already? We are only ‘allowed’ to give it this way. I told her I have trigeminal neuralgia and out on the street I am taking sometimes 3 and 4 codeine pills an hour (prescribed is1 every 4 hours)She sai that is not in the hospital. sorry.
    Once she got to hospice I asked a nurse if they were going to ‘snow’ her. She said “No.” while shaking her head ‘yes.”)

  95. Jim 1, June 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Dredd

    The law known as Obamacare does not state that the mandate is a tax but rather a penalty to protect it under commerce.. Therefore, if the court wants to view it as a tax then they should have struck it down and said re-pass it as a tax.By changing it, they in fact are re-writing legislation.
    =================================
    I prefer that you quote from the opinions of the Court (I linked to them) rather than your own opinions if you please.

    I don’t like trusting people in government or out of government who do not refer to anything other than their own opinion, eschewing authority.

    It makes me wonder if you have read the opinion or are gossiping about what someone else said.

    As an example, here is what I would have said:

    The Act provides that this “penalty” will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service with an individual’s taxes, and “shall be assessed and collected in the same manner” as tax penalties. §§5000A(c), (g)(1).

    (NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS ET AL. v. SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES). That is the case we are talking about.

    You see, your use of “commerce” is a resort to dictum, which has no force nor effect as precedent, as law, as what was decided.

    It is useful only as history, which is not law.

    Those who think this tax issue has no force nor effect as law will join the ideology of the tax protesters who say the same thing about income tax.

    As you can see by that quote of Chief Justice Roberts, the decision has nothing to do with the commerce clause except in dictum.

  96. LJC,

    I return the sympathy. It was all professional but not pointed at anything other than relieving patient suffering.

    We trust our medical system, even though we have issues with it. We do not sue them. So avoiding overdose issues is no problem here in Sweden.

    I chose the other alternative, the hospice, and got a bingo lot. The most outstanding human treatment possible, more than I imagined. And I was delirious and unable to stand when admitted. Fed two weeks on white IV. Discussion is meaningless as I was a party to it. Just one testimony among many.

    Hope your neuralgia is better. I believe it is one of the worse pains one can experience, if I remember right.

  97. Idealist707
    Would that the point always to be to relieve suffering.
    Here sadly even suing does not always result in the changes that should be made.
    It is unusual, here at least, to see those 2 words togther, recuperating and hospice. Here you usually have to prove (as best as possible) you only have 6 months left.
    I am very glad you came home from there. I am not sure if you ‘merely’ a party to the discussion or able to be a part of it. It is one reason why they now ask when you go into the hospital if you have a living will.
    Thanks for asking. Actually my brain implant just failed a few months ago. Thankfully the worst part of it, inability to tolerate any touch to the affected area, ended years ago so I am only with eye usage and eye movement pain, better off then so many of my tn colleagues; but the implant was 100% experimental (13th in the world to have it) so for now told “the end of the line” but said many times and thena doc says “Oh, I have an idea….” so I am waiting for the next ‘idea’.
    (It was the first to be called ‘the worst pain known to man’ and the suicide disease’ but CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome) has now also taken on that sobriquet.)

  98. rafflaw

    It does not matter what was stated in oral arguments. It is what the law actually says that matters. I will only read the entire law after Nancy Pelosi does.

  99. LeeJCarrol,

    After living and takiing care of myself, and traveling into the acute hospital for radiation therapy M-F for 7 weeks, I felt an impending collapse, called a cab and got admitted.

    My condition deteriorated and I was semi-conscious when they after the radiation was complete, 5 days later, wanted to get rid of me (too few acute ward places) for the long recuperatation that seemed indicated. I had meanwhile gotten a return of urine blockage and was too weak to stand. I negotiated that i would receive prophylactic antibiotica against urinary infection and decided myself to not choose the hospital where my wife had expired. I have no memory of this except the decision on hospital choice. I was paranoid to the point that I accused them of wanting to cast me out on the street now that the radiation was done.

    The medical judgement was such that a usual recuperation or “long term” facility was not sufficient to handle my problems. So it became the hospice.

    I write to enlighten, not show my scar(s).

  100. “Authority” is construed by some as an empty populist notion not unlike worshiping movie stars.

    In more knowledgeable circles “authority” has a more useful meaning:

    Primary authority is a term used in legal research to refer to statements of law that are binding upon the courts, government, and individuals. It may consist of the verbatim text of statutes, regulations, court orders, and court decisions. Primary authority may be generated by legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies. It is distinguished from secondary authority, such as commentary, that doesn’t have a legally binding effect.

    Primary authority is a law that is used to support a proposition or persuade a court or other authority to be in favor of one’s position. It is important to cite primary authority (law) in a motion or brief. In the legislative branch, primary authority takes the form of statutes. In the judicial branch, primary authority takes the form of cases, and in the executive branch, regulations which are the product of administrative agencies are primary authority.

    Secondary authority, by contrast, offers explanation and commentary on the law by scholars and practitioners. Secondary authority helps to explain the application of the law to a specific problem. Secondary authority is non-law. Anything that can be quoted, but is not law, is secondary authority. Reference works, such as a Restatement of Law, are not primary authority in a case, unless they are cited and followed by a court as authority for its holding or reasoning.

    (Authority). Someone who asserts his or her own authority is saying to the court “you must listen to me” because I am an equal authority to you and everyone else.

    Not a wise idea.

  101. In scientific papers there is a similar structure to legal briefs, that is, acknowledging you are not the only person in the universe, not the first person to do science, and the like:

    You should acknowledge a source any time (and every time) you use a fact or an idea that you obtained from that source. Thus, clearly, you need to cite sources for all direct quotations. But you also need to cite sources from which you paraphrase or summarize facts or ideas — whether you’ve put the fact or idea into your own words or not, you got the fact or idea from somebody else and you need to give them proper acknowledgement (even if an idea might be considered “common knowledge,” but you didn’t know it until you found it in a particular source).

    Sources that need to be acknowledged are not limited to books and journal articles, but include internet sites, computer software, written and e-mail correspondence, even verbal conversations with other people (in person or by telephone). All different kinds of sources must be acknowledged. Furthermore, if you use figures, illustrations, or graphical material, either directly or in modified form, that you did not yourself create or design, you need to acknowledge the sources of those figures.

    (Citing References In Science …). Thus, a paper that says “e=mc\2″ (me), “e=hv” (me), and “the sky is blue” (me) might impress sycophants but it is likely to be ridiculed by those in command of their mental faculties.

  102. A thought just came to me.

    Being taught to challenge authority, can lead to one regarding oneself as an authority.

    Both positions lead to useless conflict.

    I said that.

  103. idealist:

    great thought, it is sort of like being of French and German ancestry: you dont know whether to kiss ass or kick ass.

  104. @Dredd: Your use of “authority” is proof “because the Big Daddy says so.”

    That is laughable, and you are pathetic for believing it. Einstein did not rise from obscurity (a second-rate student, working in a job that had nothing to do with his training in physics) to world fame by citing authority. He couldn’t even FIND an academic job for two years, that is how he ended up in the patent office.

    Einstein began his rise to fame by inventing something new; explanations for the photoelectric effect and an explanation of Brownian motion. His fame was sealed by something entirely new, a proof of the equivalence of matter and energy.

    There was no existing authority for him to cite in order to show this stuff, and in his publications, accepted by editors and reviewers because of the logic of his explanation, he was calling the existing explanations promoted by various Big Names in those fields wrong.

    Science does not advance by recombinations of dogma, which is what you seem to believe in. Great leaps in science overturn dogma, that has been true in genetics, physics, geology, cosmology, virtually everything.

    I could say the same thing for Darwin (in my view an even greater scientist than Einstein). he was also overturning dogma.

    An even better (and recent) example is Wegener, who first described continental drift in 1915, and was vehemently opposed by Jeffreys and Schuchert, the pre-eminent Authorities in Geology at the time. In fact, the influence of several Big Names was largely responsible for a four decade delay in the acceptance of plate tectonics, despite compelling evidence for it from geologists themselves. Several of the Big Names had to literally die off before Wegener was accepted.

    What stands in our way is often what we are certain of that just isn’t true, and the premier proponents of what we are certain of are almost always the “authorities” on the topic. They have a lot of career and prestige invested in the false certainty, and have often developed key elements of it.

    When you claim that you believe something because a Big Name said it, you betray yourself and you betray science. You have removed yourself from the debate, because you are just an imperfect and blurred reflection of a true actor in the debate, the Big Name, who may be wrong, and drastically so.

    Einstein and Darwin and Wegener did not become famous by choosing the right guys to follow, they became famous by following nobody, and leading the way into new territory, despite their anonymity, despite their relatively common and unremarkable roots, despite their routine credentials and lack of any significant station.

    They were not right because they were famous, they became famous because they were right. The same is true for Newton: Not right because he is famous, but famous because he was right.

    What you get backwards is assuming people are right because they are famous, as if once right, always right. You engage in a form of extremist thinking by investing people that become famous for the merit of their reasoning with something close to infallibility. When you do that you join a cult of personality.

    But people like the aforementioned Jefferys and Schuchert, famously wrong about continental drift, also became leaders in geology through the merit of being very much right much earlier in their careers. That disproves your idea that once right, always right.

    When a science undergoes a paradigm shift, it is quite often rejecting and overturning the Authorities in the field. Advances are made without respect or deference to what the big names think, and often in opposition to them.

    That does not mean anybody should have a knee-jerk disbelief in authority, anymore than a knee-jerk acceptance of it. What it means is that they should be neutral, and instead of taking lazy shortcuts in your thinking and just taking somebody’s word for something because they are a Big Name, if you are making a decision you care about you should understand the various arguments from the ground up and make your own decisions.

    I do that, for this blog with philosophy and politics, and that is why I need no citations to support my view. Even my link above is ancillary, an easy source of data for those unfamiliar with Wegener’s science, but my statements stand without the link, and readers can Google Wegener, Einstein, or Darwin without my help.

    My arguments are self-contained, and if they are not, I invented them and if somebody has questions I can justify them back to what are to me self-evident axioms.

    Like Einstein, Darwin, and millions of other scientists before me, I do not want people to believe me because of my authority or credentials, that is an empty and shallow belief devoid of understanding. My goal is to make others understand, to pass along a framework for thinking that produces results they can replicate. That is success, that is adding value to the lives of others, that is helping people avoid mistakes and think correctly.

    Your speculations are worthless. Because of your subservience to authority, because of your lack of independence from authority, your arguments will all devolve to the assertion that “somebody famous said so,” as if fame or stature or antiquity magically conferred infallibility.

    It doesn’t. What matters is the argument, and within my capabilities I try to present arguments whole and in their entirety, for accessibility to the widest audience. You feel free to write as pompously and with as much self-promotion and bullshit references as you can muster. I think, after seeing your writing, anybody looking at a link you provide should assume you are misquoting and misinterpreting what the author said, or presume it is a self-promotional link to more of your derivative bluster.

    Whether I am successful in my attempts, or you are in yours, I will leave to readers. I would not be surprised if some join you in your uncritical worship of fame, but that is fine: People that think like you and rely on fame or prestige as a proxy for solid argument are already ruined, their minds cannot be changed by any argument, they would not have believed the likes of unknowns like Darwin, Einstein or Wegener when they were unknowns. It is people like you, with an unhealthy reverence for Authority, that stand in the way of progress, and you are welcome to them, because I am not trying to reach them anyway.

  105. Tony C. 1, July 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @Dredd: Your use of “authority” is proof “because the Big Daddy says so.”

    That is laughable, and you are pathetic for believing it. Einstein did not rise from obscurity (a second-rate student, working in a job that had nothing to do with his training in physics) to world fame by citing authority.
    ===============================================
    au contraire.

    It is obvious you are no Einstein, no matter what you think you think.

  106. jeez, and I who thought it was universal, but the problem is greater in Germany. Only those who attended les Grands Academies in France feel this way, I believe.

    Thanks.

  107. “Heed your own advice” seems appropriate.

    The problem with those who advocate the stereo view of evolution is precisely the same problem with those who subscribe to the genetic determinism view with ardent fervor. Both are extremist points of view that the facts simply don’t back. On the stereo side, you have those who favor nurture – that external forces dominate evolution. On the genetic determinism side, you have those that favor nature – that genes determine all. Both sides miss the point of natural selection. Neither nature nor nurture have dominance in evolutionary processes. They are independent inputs to the process of natural selection and while in specific instances one input may be a greater influence than the other, neither is dominate in the process as a whole. Natural selection is the result of a confluence of factors – including random chance which can influence both genetics and environment. It is misunderstanding the idea of natural selection that can lead both camps astray and into either the fineries of academic argument or to simply reach wrong conclusions based on lack of understanding of fundamental principles. You know, like the ridiculous idea that microbes practice either religion or science and, ergo, that Darwin was somehow wrong and that genetics is somehow wrong. A proper understanding of natural selection shows both camps to be in error in asserting dominance of their pet theories and a problem that often arises in academics as elsewhere – a tendency toward tribalism instead of a purist approach to the scientific method. It is letting theories inform observation, not observation informing theory. It is a form of backward reasoning that in counter to the scientific method and it invites error rather than striving to minimize error.

    Tony is correct. Darwin isn’t right or famous because he was Darwin. He was right because he was right and his being right made him famous.

  108. @Idealist: Being taught to challenge authority, can lead to one regarding oneself as an authority.

    A metaphor for you: It is said that men become crooked the same way rivers become crooked, by always taking the easiest path, and not caring where it leads. But one also becomes crooked by always taking the hardest path. The key observation is that the straight line is indepedent of the landscape, it crosses both difficult and easy terrain and does not bend to either.

    I use that metaphor to teach that challenging authority (taking the difficult path) is not a virtue in its own right, nor is accepting authority (taking the easy path). One challenges authority when their own carefully considered conclusions leave them no choice but to disagree, and one accepts authority when their own carefully considered arguments lead to the same conclusions as the authority.

    Regarding one’s self as an authority is not inherently wrong either. Was Newton wrong to believe he was right when everybody else was wrong? Was Darwin? Was Einstein? Was Wegener? Was Bohr? Was Locke, or Paine?

    No. Humans DO become authorities, often by inventing something new, and when your conclusions are grounded in reality and evidence, there is no virtue in being humble or pretending otherwise, it is in fact misleading to do so.

    When one regards one’s self as the expert, it is just important to believe, at the core of one’s being, that you are not infallible. That does not mean you have to entertain every fool as being potentially right, what it means is that if somebody presents an argument as to why you are wrong, and they reason correctly from axioms that you agree with, you are obligated to either find the hole in their logic that refutes their conclusion, or find the hole in your own and admit you were wrong and they were right.

  109. (Ideallist, I don;t know what would happen here in that circumstance (ACA or not). Hospice is covered if can ascertain only 6 mths left for terminal patient. – and maybe your paranoia was well placed.
    You have been to hell and back,.

  110. Tony,

    I agree in general with your points vis. authority. One of yhe big problems with science as practiced today is that some scientists build profitable careers in a certain field and the reject any new thinking that comes along that may contradict their beliefs. Those rejecting plate tectonics no doubt were thinking of their careers rather than advancing sgience.

  111. @Mike: Yes, absolutely. The influence of money in science is similar to the influence of money in politics.

    Resistance is not just about contradicting their beliefs (although that is part of it), it is also about diminishing their prestige, their ability to publish (due to their approach becoming obsolete), their authority as journal editors, their invitations to leadership positions at meetings, conferences, councils and so on. Successful attacks on the dogma they helped create really can diminish their social capital in the scientific community.

    Plus I imagine it can be disconcerting to watch from a distance, near the end of your career when you HAVE power, as some newby dismantles an edifice you helped build and renders your legacy of scientific contribution a quaint relic of what we used to think.

  112. the problem with science today is that it is funded a good deal by government. It bows to the god of the purse of those who are in power.

  113. You won’t get funding to study a hypothesis that could do harm to the folks holding the purse strings. Ever.

  114. Tony,

    I agree with your expansion of my thoughts. My first real sense of it I saw in Archaeology, which is a love of mine. There the establishment is quite entrenched and it is about ego more than money.
    The guy named Howath controls all of Egyptian archaeology and is more a government bureaucrat glorifying Egyptian history rather than allowing studies of things the government doesn’t approve of.

  115. “Albert Einstein wrote his first scientific essay in the summer of 1895; he was only 16 years old. This essay Über die Untersuchung des Ätherzustandes im magnetischen Felde (On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field) was sent to his uncle Caesar Koch (1854-1941) for an expert’s opinion.” (Einstein).

    Good scientists develop because they work with and understand the work of other scientists.

    They do not elevate their own egos above others, rather they recognize the work of others, of experts.

    Einstein had learned that by 16 years of age, thus he went on to become a master.

    Those who don’t know the ways of science work in little offices at the Heartland Institute or pop science magazines, if they are lucky.

  116. Most of Einstein’s original scientific work appeared as journal articles. In 1901 he wrote an erroneous paper concerning intermolecular forces. It was the first of two incorrect papers wherein he discussed the interations between molecules. He later called these two papers worthless. His third paper, Annalen der Physik he quoted Planck and Blotzmann, recognizing them as authority. Ditto for his 5th paper a year later. In his sixth paper in 1905 he referred to the work of Giuseppe Belluzzo. Ditto for his 8th paper in 1905 citing the works of William McFadden Orr, his 9th citing George Hartley Bryan, his tenth citing Nikolay Nikolayevich Schiller, his 11th citing Jakob Johann Weyrauch. And so forth. In his 34th paper he cites to Planck to confirm Planck’s e=hv as equivalent to his own E=mc² and other acknowledgements. (Wikipedia, List of Einstein Publications). And on and on it goes in his published papers.

    He knew how to write papers, rely on the work of others, and cite them all through his career.

    He understood that you must understand the current science by reading papers in journals concerning issues, before you have standing to improve upon them, disprove them, or prove them.

    To think he was someone who vainly and recklessly exalted his opinion in unprofessional ad hoc bloviating, disregarding the work of others, is pure hooey done by those who have no published papers to cite to.

    Very lame.

  117. The most famous “scientist” from Heartland Institute:

    Dr. Nobel Price is an inventor whose only inventions are either of no use or have already been invented. He first appeared on Sesame Street around 1979 and remained on the show until about 1988.

    He often appeared in Sesame Street News Flash segments, showing off his latest inventions to Kermit the Frog. These were always remotes from Dr. Price’s “far-off island laboratory,” which may explain why he kept inventing items that already existed, or discovering known creatures such as rabbits. His ineptitude was further emphasized by his constant tripping, due to a very long labcoat (as in a 1983 episode where he “discovers” Snuffleupaguses).

    Eventually, Dr. Price became a regular in street scenes, where he usually created complicated machines or conducted ridiculous experiments. The only known time that Dr. Price invented something original that actually works came in a 1986 episode, where he combined various items to create an invention that can dry towels, scratch a dog’s ears, holds flowers, plays music, and gives one a place to sit down.

    (Dr. Nobel Price, Sesame Street). He was always reinventing things that already exist or discovering things that have already been discovered, like gravity, because he did not read published papers and lived in his own dream world of fantasy science.

  118. @Bron: the problem with science today is that it is funded a good deal by government. It bows to the god of the purse of those who are in power.

    There is actually a lot of truth in that, as you have said it. For what its worth, there is even greater problem when science is funded by industry, where I have worked. At least government does fund a significant amount of fundamental research, like the space telescopes, the LHC, and thousands of smaller projects. Industry dislikes fundamentals; they seldom lead to commercial success. No business, or consortium of them, is going to spend billions of dollars on a space telescope.

    The problem is really in the second part of the equation you state; the government deciding what it will fund based upon the internal requirements of the government; their weapons and eavesdropping and other war and security initiatives, instead of on the merits of the science.

    The problem is government corruption. Money that should be coming out of a military budget (or no budget because it is intended to help a private company) is instead coming out of a science budget that is supposed to be independent of military influence but clearly is not.

  119. Case 1: A Scientific Research Team says it has found the Higgs Boson:

    As soon as scientists at Cern revealed that they would host a seminar on 4 July to announce the latest results from its two main Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments, Atlas and CMS, physicists and bloggers started guessing. Would they announce the long-awaited discovery of the Higgs boson, a find that would be sure to trigger a raft of Nobel prizes and launch a new era of physics?

    (Reuters). How would you determine whether or not to believe them, to consider the results of the research part of your “knowledge” from now on?

    Decide it on your own opinion?

    Or read up on it so you can make the case?

    Case 2: Or in the supreme court case at hand where Roberts wrote:

    Congress may also “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 1. Put simply, Congress may tax and spend. This grant gives the Federal Government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate. The Federal Government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid, or otherwise control. See, e.g., License Tax Cases, 5 Wall. 462, 471 (1867).

    He cited to authority going back to the License Tax Cases of 1867, 145 years ago.

    Some science is that old too.

    Shall we construct our brains with our exalted opinions (because “the government is corrupt” and we are not), or shall we follow the norm and cite relevant and valid authority?

  120. @Dredd: Your idiotic subservience to authority prevents you from understanding anything on your own. You reveal that in your posts.

    I have no doubt you will have to take the Higgs statistics on faith; and in fact they will not claim they FOUND it, they will claim they have evidence of it, and that is a difference you will probably never comprehend.

    As for Roberts, he may have cited some case from 1867; which he should do if his opinion was informed by it and he believes his argument is identical to theirs. However, how was THAT case decided? If Roberts is citing it, as opposed to something earlier, then he is using an original argument from the 1867 case that he believes applies to the ACA.

    However, somebody in 1867 obviously DID something original themselves.

    You really are too ignorant to bother with, Dredd, you are incapable of actually understanding what everybody knows: There is no citation for what is original, and originality does not render a conclusion invalid, in fact originality is what makes it citation-worthy in the first place.

    The norm is not to cite authority, the norm is to cite the original work. In the culture of law, some original work is honored as binding, that is called “stare decisis”, but it isn’t always honored; it is possible for a court to decide an earlier case was decided wrongly and decide differently (and originally).

    So the earlier case does NOT have “Authority” unless the new court decides that it does. Which means it NEVER had authority, it was cited as the original source of an argument with which the later court agreed.

    The same thing is true for science: We cite original work when we believe the original arguments are valid and we want to use that conclusion. It is not that they are an authority we dare not go against, we are including their work by reference (citation) as shorthand because their conclusion is a necessary component of our larger conclusion.

    We are not BOUND by original work, if we do our own original work we do not have to cite anything, readers can judge for themselves whether they agree with our argument or not.

    You are simply ignorant, Dredd. Citations in science are not about invoking authority, it is about including by reference arguments the author agrees with, and often expects readers agree with as well. Just because Newton said it does not make it true, or Einstein could not have supplanted Newton. Just because Einstein said it does not make it true, and just because Bohr said it does not make it true. No person in science is indisputable, because reality trumps them all.

  121. Tony C. 1, July 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    @Dredd: Your idiotic subservience to authority prevents you from understanding anything on your own.

    The norm is not to cite authority, the norm is to cite the original work. In the culture of law, some original work is honored as binding, that is called “stare decisis”, but it isn’t always honored; it is possible for a court to decide an earlier case was decided wrongly and decide differently (and originally).
    ===================================
    Gosh, that ad hominem falderal really clears things up Dr. Price.

    It shows you have no clue about what authority is, either in science or in law.

    The original BS artist.

  122. Bron,

    You may want to read this article from Discover magazine. It indicates your take on the funding situation in re science and government is the inverse of what is really happening.

  123. Appeal to Authority can fail and turn from cite to fallacy quite easily.

    The strength of such arguments relies upon whether the authority is a legitimate expert on the subject, is there a consensus exists among legitimate experts on the matter under discussion, does the speaker properly understand and/or represent the argument of the authority and is that authority improper and/or biased in any way (for example does an authority fall into an extremist camp in the nature/nurture debate). Also arguing to authority is a form of inductive reasoning and as such is constrained by that form, i.e. while such an argument may have probabilistic merit it is not necessary logically that the conclusion must be true. In this manner, inductive reasoning fails because it is allowing the theory – backed by authority – to inform the evidence instead of allowing the evidence – on its inherent evidentiary merit – to inform the theory. Consider the most likely outcome of the Higgs boson research. They will probably not announce they have conclusively found the Higgs boson. They will probably announce they have evidence for a particle that may be the Higgs boson but that further research is necessary to determine if it is the Higgs boson as described by the standard model or if it is a different creature altogether.

  124. Gene H. 1, July 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Appeal to Authority can fail and turn from cite to fallacy quite easily.

    The strength of such arguments relies upon whether the authority is a legitimate expert on the subject, is there a consensus exists among legitimate experts on the matter under discussion, does the speaker properly understand and/or represent the argument of the authority and is that authority improper and/or biased in any way (for example does an authority fall into an extremist camp in the nature/nurture debate). Also arguing to authority is a form of inductive reasoning and as such is constrained by that form, i.e. while such an argument may have probabilistic merit it is not necessary logically that the conclusion must be true. In this manner, inductive reasoning fails because it is allowing the theory – backed by authority – to inform the evidence instead of allowing the evidence – on its inherent evidentiary merit – to inform the theory. Consider the most likely outcome of the Higgs boson research. They will probably not announce they have conclusively found the Higgs boson. They will probably announce they have evidence for a particle that may be the Higgs boson but that further research is necessary to determine if it is the Higgs boson as described by the standard model or if it is a different creature altogether.
    ========================================
    Science has a way of mediating the tendency to make a faith out of science, and a science out of faith.

    A way to separate fact from opinion, a way to allow the real expert to stand up, in a way more advanced than the legal profession has devised.

    As an example, Einstein, to illustrate one of his hypotheses predicted that a star, which was by straight line sight, to be behind another astral body at a specific time when observed from a specific point on the Earth.

    This was not controversial.

    However, to comply with the prerequisite for converting a hypothesis into a theory, he predicted that in fact the star would be visible at that specific point on the Earth.

    This was controversial.

    This assertion was revolutionary because Einstein explained that light does not travel in a “straight line” when it is in a gravitational field associated with an astral body, rather, space is curved there, so the light will in fact curve around that body as it travels through that curved space.

    His prediction was correct.

    Thus, these CERN scientists need to make a prediction, so that their assertions may be reproduced, repeated, that is tested, by anyone anywhere under the same conditions of their experimental research.

    No faith, no trust allowed, just the facts please.

    Then the Higgs hypothesis may be elevated to theory status if enough authorities agree, and reach consensus, following experimental verification.

    I doubt that Dr. Nobel Price will have any effect one way or the other.

  125. “As an example, Einstein, to illustrate one of his hypotheses predicted that a star, which was by straight line sight, to be behind another astral body at a specific time when observed from a specific point on the Earth.”

    should be …

    “As an example, Einstein, to illustrate one of his hypotheses made a prediction concerning a star, which was by straight line sight, to be behind another astral body at a specific time when observed from a specific point on the Earth.”

  126. once more please …

    “As an example, Einstein, to illustrate one of his hypotheses made a prediction concerning a star, which was by straight line sight, to be behind another astral body at a specific time when observed from a specific point on the Earth.”

    should be …

    “As an example, Einstein, to illustrate one of his hypotheses made a prediction concerning a star, which was by straight line sight, was to be behind another astral body at a specific time when observed from a specific point on the Earth.”

  127. Dredd,

    I didn’t say they weren’t going to make a prediction, in fact, that is precisely what I said they’d do: make a statement they have evidence of a candidate particle. Unless they have verification on their data, they are not going to say in terms certain they have discovered the Higgs Boson. What I said had nothing to do with legal standards of proof and everything to do with proper application of the scientific method – which is something you regularly bypass in appealing to the authority of the fringe elements of the genetic determinism/stereo evolution debate. They are not right just because you consider them experts and perpetually making statements of the truth of their wilder assertions isn’t looking at the evidence on its intrinsic merit, but appealing to their perceived authority to say they are correct. At either end of the spectrum of that debate, there is insufficient evidence for genetics or environment being dominate in natural selection, only evidence that both processes are inputs to natural selection (something that is manifest anyway if you properly understand natural selection in the first place – a process that is not in doubt as it is readily observable and repeatedly testable).

  128. Will Repeal Only Take 51 Votes?

    Because of the filibuster, it now often takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate.

    But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that he thinks it will only take 51 to repeal the health care law.

    Citing the Supreme Court’s ruling, McConnell said he thinks the individual mandate to buy health insurance is a tax, meaning it could be repealed using a process known as budget reconciliation.

    That would make it dramatically easier to repeal the health care law if Republicans win the presidency and take narrow control of the Senate.

    http://www.congress.org/news/mcconnell-gop-only-needs-51-votes/

  129. @Dredd: Well, I did not expect you to comprehend anything, as I said. I posted so others could see why I think you are a fool. Mission accomplished, I think.

    In both science and law, precedent stops being authority the minute somebody makes a compelling case for why it was imperfect. Such compelling cases are virtually always an original argument, meaning it has NOT been made before (or it would have been compelling then) and that means it appeals to NO authority for its validity, it appeals only to logic and observation that were either unavailable when the precedent was formed, or were ignored when the precedent was formed.

    Original work does not require a precedent or citation, period. It is accepted (or rejected) on its own logic, period. If it is good logic, it can be traced back to self-evident axioms.

    I apologize to other readers for having to repeat myself, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of citations and precedent in science. They are shorthand for “the argument those guys made that we agree was sound.”

    There is no role for authority in science, in most journal articles the authors do not even list their credentials or degrees, anywhere, and in blind review the “peers” do not even know who the authors are, at all. That is because we don’t care who wrote it, all we care about is the validity of their argument.

    Citations won’t help them: Their argument has to be original, you don’t get to publish a paper repeating somebody else’s original argument. Their argument has to add something new to the field, with research or logic or data, restating something we already know is also not worth publishing (with the exception of “survey” papers that add organizational coherence).

    What makes publications worthwhile is the part of the paper that is a new destination, not the part that describes the known territory that led them to the new destination. It is not the citations, it is the innovation.

  130. Gene H:

    thanks for the link. I am against private funding of science for political reasons as well. It is just as bad. I believe science should be pursued without regard to politics or one’s personal philosophy. You dont use science to confirm your bias.

    Companies which do this harm themselves. If I was CEO of a large company I would allocate a large portion of R&D to theoretical research with no guarantee of short term gains. I would be rewarded 10 fold over a life time.

    I dont know why a company would focus on short term gains or crappy science, it will do nothing for their bottom line in the long term. Find brilliant men and women and let them be free to fail. In fact all organizations should embrace failure and not look at it as a bad thing. It is how we evolve and learn.

    Show me a company where the people are afraid to fail and I will show you a company that is on its way out.

  131. Bron,

    The sad fact of the matter is (and I’m sure Tony will back me up on this) is that very little theoretical research is paid for by the private sector. Most work of that nature is paid for government. Business has become all about short term gains for the most part. That’s reflected in their R&D budgets. Take Big Pharma as your prime example. To quote Chris Rock (because he’s right) “There’s no money in the cure! The money is in the medicine.” The reality is that without governmental funding, pure research would practically grind to a halt. But this is a problem that cannot be solved. Science is a cost, an investment, and the money has to come from somewhere. Government and industry are pretty much the only players on that funding field. You won’t find GoldSachs ponying up any money for experiments that might pay off in 50 years or maybe not at all in and of themselves.

  132. @Gene: Back you up, I will. :-)

    In the past, when so little was known, research and true discovery could be done by individuals, using equipment they built themselves with a few weeks or months worth of income. Real science was well within the range of “enthusiasts.” That was true of electricity, chemists, biologists and botanists, geneticists, mechanics, machinists and astronomers.

    In most sciences the low-hanging fruit has been long picked, and the problems now are far more daunting. The fact that they are still unsolved shows they are highly resistant to a white board solution, and the equipment needed (like electron microscopy, vapor deposition, hard vacuum engineering, etc) is for deep pockets.

    The alternative is what I would call developmental, like trying to link a disease or disorder to a genetic variance and understanding what is going wrong biologically. That kind of work can still be done cheaply, by one person, perhaps with some grad students. I do not want to diminish that kind of work in any way, it saves lives and is important, but if your goal is “headline” science, that usually takes bigger teams and bigger bucks.

    Unless you are doing some kind of field work in paleontology or archeology or something that cannot be done in a laboratory, there is a lot to be discovered there just because discovery is a physically daunting challenge on the human scale, and just doesn’t scale well.

  133. @Bron: The problem is fundamental research may not pay off at all, ever. For exampe we know how the ribosome works (to translate a gene into a protein), and that has been very important in understanding the genetic code, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, etc. But how do you profit from that? What you have is a description of an existing process, it is like understanding how granite is formed, it just isn’t easy to commercialize an understanding.

    You cannot patent it, or get royalties from people that use that knowledge. Fundamental research changes our understanding and how we see something. It is important to dispel mystery, but it isn’t always clearcut how that will produce a profit, or if it will.

    That argues for the public funding of such discovery; and making the results free to the public, to advance knowledge. Hopefully the market benefits, and when the fundamental advances reach a tipping point then risk takers can put them together and fail or succeed with profitable products. The computer industry followed that model, the first computers were funded as government projects and the technology was patent-free.

    The Internet followed that model, the original communications protocols and software were built by university professors and students and made freely available, supported by government funding, and then later commercialized.

    Genetic science is following that model. Publicly funded research is made freely available and can be pursued commercially.

  134. @Bron: I have read something recently about a private asteroid mining venture; that might be the first, but I do not really know the typical chemical makeup of asteroids. My assumption would be they are like Earth or the Moon or Mars itself, basically silica and other stuff we find plentiful on Earth already. So I do not know what they hope to find, but they probably know more than I do about asteroids.

    My first pick for a commercial venture would have been zero-G alloy manufacturing using solar furnaces (parabolic mirror focused sunlight). In space the mirrors can be enormous, and in zero-G it is possible to mix elements that normally would separate in a gravitational field.

    I think a factory like that could be entirely controlled robotically, and really would not have to be that large, the size of a room or so.

    Although I have nothing specific in mind, some of those products would undoubtedly be commercially valuable, both in space and on Earth. Or maybe the point of the asteroid mining is to provide the raw materials for a venture like that, instead of lifting them from Earth or the Moon.

    Personally, I do not think there will be a manned Mars mission until we have the technology to live in inter-planetary space safely and indefinitely; we need the protective equivalent of the Earth’s magnetosphere to deflect the hard radiation of the solar wind, both en route and on Mars (unlike Earth, Mars is weakly magnetized and has no magnetosphere).

  135. Thanks for every other great article. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

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