March 12, 2012

We're 2 weeks from the big Affordable Care Act oral argument...

... and articles shaping your outlook are beginning to pour out. SCOTUSblog has lots of links and summaries. I've been running across a number of these articles, but I don't blog about them if they seem obvious and predictable... unless they have something wrong with them that I want to blog about. And this includes articles front-paged at the NYT website, even when they have striking pictures of the Chief Justice smiling as it's painful to smile. These mainstream media articles tend to focus on personalities. Want to be reminded who Paul Clement is? Check out the Washington Post. Surprised that Scalia's opinion in the medical marijuana case helps the pro-Obamacare side? There's Forbes. Wait. I'll quote Forbes, not for the law, for the language:
Writing for Forbes, Lawrence Hunter describes the White House’s “campaign to hoist the Court on the petard of conservative justice Antonin Scalia’s words,” based on the Justice’s “expansive view of . . . the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.”  
Let's picture this image. Scalia's words will "hoist" — lift up — the Supreme Court. And his words are — it's a metaphor — a "petard":
The word petard comes from the Middle French peter, to break wind, from pet expulsion of intestinal gas, from Latin peditum, from neuter of peditus, past participle of pedere, to break wind; akin to Greek bdein to break wind. (Merriam-Webster) Petard remains a French word meaning a firecracker today (in French slang, it means a handgun, or a marijuana cigarette).
Did Lawrence Hunter just bumble into that super-apt metaphor? Not only are the words of a Supreme Court Justice equated to farting, but Scalia was farting about marijuana, and a "petard" is both farting and a marijuana cigarette!
The word remains in modern usage in the phrase hoist with one's own petard, which means "to be harmed by one's own plan to harm someone else" or "to fall into one's own trap," literally implying that one could be lifted up (hoist, or blown upward) by one's own bomb.
Or fart, right?

By the way, is anyone arguing that insurance companies should be required to cover the cost of marijuana? People are going to doctors, getting a prescription recommendation. Unlike birth control, the marijuana that is openly purchased in America is for a medical — not recreational — purpose. There's the beauty of medicalizing recreational activities. If it's medical, you shouldn't have to pay for your own supplies. And with marijuana, it's all medical.

Think about it.

And pass the petard.

28 comments:

gerry said...

If I can be blown up by my own farts, I want special super-duper Commerce-Clause colonic coverage since I enjoy farting so much (at least three times a day).

Dose of Sanity said...

"Unlike birth control, the marijuana that is openly purchased in America is for a medical — not recreational — purpose."

Birth control is only purchased for recreational purpose? What?

Tim said...

"By the way, is anyone arguing that insurance companies should be required to cover the cost of marijuana?"

Undoubtedly, it is just a matter of time. If we're fully engaged in cannibalizing the nation's financial future, we might as well expedite matters by degrading the sobriety of its workforce.

caplight45 said...

a petard was a hand held explosive device in an era when such things were notoriously unreliable and unstable. So you could be blown up by your own bomb. Like being gored by your own ox.

Now if it meant smelling your own flatus then that would describe a great deal of liberal policies.

edutcher said...

Very droll, Madame.

The title sounds as if it's another sex post.

And, yes, if SCOTUS allows this monstrosity, we are screwed.

Dose of Sanity said...

Unlike birth control, the marijuana that is openly purchased in America is for a medical — not recreational — purpose.

Birth control is only purchased for recreational purpose? What?


Dose of Salts needs to get out more.

I'll bet Ms Fluck could give hin a few lessons.

Provided he pay for them.

Pogo said...

"Birth control is only purchased for recreational purpose? What?"

Well, sex might be a job for you, but non-procreative sex is recreational sex, yes.

And don't try to confuse this with medically necessary hormonal therapies, which is a completely separate issue.

Stephen A. Meigs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

SCOTUS rules mandates are OK followed by insurance companies file the mother of all takings clause suit when it becomes evident that the ACA is really a single payer and single provider trojan horse.

I suspect it will be ruled unconstitutional on the narrowest possible ground.

roesch/voltaire said...

I think first petard was a military device used to blast open a door, and a dangerous one as sometimes the folks who rammed the charge into the door were also injured. Which door stays open or shut in this case will be interesting because in one case less coverage folks which will cost more, and in the other more coverage for folks, which will cost more.

Rusty said...

since I enjoy farting so much (at least three times a day).


Amateur.

Rusty said...

Stephen A. Meigs

The ex mayor Richard Daley Jr. of Chicago shut down your airport. The asshole.

traditionalguy said...

The Constitution is a National Government that has the power to stop States from economic rules which regulate inter-state commerce. It creates a common market.

Obama and the destroyers want to make commerce regulation a loophole to repeal the rest of the Constitution.

The SCOTUS can not allow that, unless the Constitution has already died.

AJ Lynch said...

So now SCOTUS cases have become a place for big, expensive PR battles?

cubanbob said...

Tradeguy if the courts come anywhere near to what you said the regulatory state including the various states will have a monster of a rollback. Lets see: a national market for insurance so if for example SD decided to make insurance a major employer it would allow insurance companies to makke and sell tailored made policies accross state lines.
Or allow TN to sue CA for imposing standards on cars beyond the federal requirements thus affecting sales or prices of TN made cars. Or SC to sue the unions and the NLRB for forcing Boeing to maintain plants in Washington State whose production could have gone to SC. The list is rather long.

Obama and the two stooges, Pelosi and Reid might have planted the IED to blow up a large part of the progressive state.

Seeing Red said...

Wine is good for my heart, I want the insurance companies to cover my purchases. Only very expensive wine can do the trick.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Oh, now I see, yes, Prof. Althouse probably knew it was a Hamlet reference since she linked to something saying it was a Hamlet reference. Yes, Rusty, that was too bad for Meigses about the Meigs airport. But the Meigs name is rather illustrious anyway.

John Stodder said...

If the cliche "chink in his armor" is a firing offense for a writer even if he had no racist intent because it's a worthless cliche in a time when no one actually wears armor, what's "hoist by his own petard," which never made sense to English speakers?

Mark O said...

Yes, I copied this, but "hoist' seems to mean blown to Heaven or Hell.

Once the word is known, 'hoist by your own petard' is easy to fathom. It's nice also to have a definitive source - no less than Shakespeare, who gives the line to Hamlet, 1602:

"For tis the sport to have the enginer Hoist with his owne petar".

mariner said...

John Stodder,
...what's "hoist by his own petard," which never made sense to English speakers?

It's WITH his own petard, and it made perfectly good sense to English speakers for over 300 years.

In today's post-literate society not so much.

Sofa King said...

I prefer "hoist by your own Picard." As in, when your own plan turns into a Borg and tries to destroy everything you care about.

Revenant said...

Surprised that Scalia's opinion in the medical marijuana case helps the pro-Obamacare side?

Not in the slightest. Those of us who opposed his ruling predicted it would be used to justify further expansions of government power. Quite honestly, if you take his Raich argument seriously (I don't, but still) it is impossible to see how he could justify ruling against ObamaCare.

Fortunately (?), Scalia has never been one to let intellectual consistency get in the way of results-oriented judicial reasoning.

Rusty said...

Yes it does, Steve. Still. It was one of the finest general aviation airports in the country.
It's too bad general aviation enthusiasts didn't have more political clout.

Peter said...

The Left has been saying for decades that medical care is a human right. And surely Obamacare is premised upon that assumption.

Of course, food and shelter are also rights. And with this conception of "positive rights" (i.e., you don't merely have a right to be left alone, you have a right to free stuff) it follows that others must be obligated to provide you with what you rightfully deserve.

Of course, resources are always limited. And in a democracy we use political means to determine priorities.

Which means, if you don't appear to have enough quality-adjusted life-years remaining then we're not going to pay for your cancer treatment (and we may even prevent you from paying for it yourself). Instead, you'll receive palliative treatment. Or assisted suicide if that's your choice.

Because, we have higher priorities: Whiny thirty-year -ld feminist activists must recieve free contraceptive services- it's a basic human right!

Or, at least a more politically important one.

jimbino said...

Down in Brazil, they think of farting every payday.

Carnifex said...

So you can be smoking a petard, while shooting a petard, and also cutting a petard? And who says the French are a smelly unwashed people.

Pass the petard, and the ammunition, just don't drive while cutting your petard with the window up (bad for the passengers), or down(bad for the stash).

This is good but no where near as useful as the duct tape of the english language..."fuck"

it can be a noun, a pronoun, a verb, and adverb, and an adjective.
(I'm sure there are more but I'm not Lit. literate)

Much like smurf to the smurfs. And that is why Americans are known around the world as fuckers.

Michael K said...

A petard was a bomb with a spike on it to attach it to wooden gates of castles and walls. The spike held the bomb against the door until it went off. Sometimes, it went off as it was spiked.

John Cunningham said...

Free marijuana is nothing. Sandra Fluke, the noble and holy feminist icon, has a law review article out arguing that free sex change operations are a constitutional right.

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