Tangible Object

I know I feel better. Until today, I actually believed that Supreme Court rulings could reasonably be understood by the typical citizen; you know, like me. Sure, there have been a ba-zillion cases decided by SCOTUS that I have no knowledge of; but I had always thought that, if I really tried, I could understand at least the high points, even if the minutiae remained well outside my grasp.

Not anymore. I just read that when Justice Samuel Alito “hears the term ‘tangible object,’ a fish does not spring to mind – nor does an antelope, a colonial farmhouse, a hydrofoil, or an oil derrick.”

Silly me. Those are EXACTLY what comes to my mind when I think of “tangible object.” From before my memory (yes, long before breakfast), I learned that something I could touch is tangible. And much later: something I couldn’t touch was intangible. I guess I should go confront my mommy about the misinformation? I’m having a hard time trying to understand that something I can hold in my hand (like a fish), or run into (like a farmhouse) is not tangible.

Maybe I should cancel my car and house insurance? I can hear my insurance company refusing a claim against a dent in my car or a fire in my house on the grounds that those objects are not tangible.

Now, if SCOTUS wants to define objects as tangible so that “the disposal of records, documents, and other items that preserve information” doesn’t cause a repeat of the Enron fiasco (sorry, “accounting fraud”), who am I to argue? In this age of electronic records, I get only as close as my keyboard and mouse – two objects that I can think of in no other way than, well, tangible. The stuff inside the computer is still pretty tangible. The stuff inside the stuff is undeniably intangible. And internet and cloud? That stuff is well beyond my ken (and fingers).

But, how they can make the leap from zeros and ones that eventually spell “crook” to some guy disposing of illegal fish is, I find, unreasonable. I mean, beyond reason. Yeah, I think that’s what unreasonable means; or at least, it did yesterday.

On the other hand, did Justice Kagan really cite Dr. Seuss? I guess I shouldn’t have any problem with a SCOTUS justice referring to a book written under the pseudonym of someone who wrote “Horton Hears a Who!” But, I do. (On the other hand, having served in the military, I know from personal experience that green eggs are real, and quite tangible).

As to the effect of this ruling on Obamacare (the point of the story in Bloomberg), I agree that the guy in the White House really intended on screwing everybody, not just a select few.

Oh wait: this is the same “group” that redefined “person” and “marriage” isn’t it?  I put “group” in quotes because I’m not sure what SCOTUS is.  Sure, they wear really retro robes (how’s that for alliteration?), but I’m thinking they are more like a cult, like Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple.  I wonder if SCOTUS serves Kool-Aid at lunch?  I think the ol’ 40-watt appliance lightbulb is starting to glow….

Paul Barrett. “Obamacare’s Survival Comes Down to … Fish?” Bloomberg. 2015 February 27. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-27/obamacare-s-survival-comes-down-to-fish-

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