The Absurd Times The Absurd as Official Policy

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on March 24, 2017


Trump’s budget favors the military, so illustrated a way to solve starvation.

"Nonsense and utterly ridiculous" was said by the UK in reference to Trump’s wiretapping claims. It could easily be extended to every single other justification for anything he does. In fact, the Absurd has taken on greater significance since Trump took office.


[BTW: We have just received the transcript of the Franken questioning and will attaché it to the end of this week's edition.]

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the recent hearings on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. It may take a few more words to make this clear, but it is wroth reading to the end, I assure you.

Gorsuch has shown tremendous, almost unmatched creativity, in devising a multitude of ways in which to say absolutely nothing of any value in evaluating him for such a position. Only one Senator, Al Franken, who has no law degree, was able to penetrate this façade of blank badinage.

He asked Gorsuch a simple question, one about a trucker in which he was driving in 17 degree below zero temperatures and the trailer brakes froze. He called the company and was told to wait for the repairs. Three hours later, he had fallen asleep, a victim to hypothermia, and was woken only by a cell phone call from his brother. Since he had called the company several times with the same result and instructions, he detatched the trailer and drove the cab to a source of heat. Upon his return 15 minutes later, he was fired for not following orders. All courts, including the Department of Labor, ruled in his favor except Gorsuch who insisted that "that was the law".

Now it gets interesting. Franken asked him about his dissent. Another reply saying nothing. Franken then said he did not have a law degree, but he had been on this committee for eight years and actually paid attention and was familiar with the doctrine of Absurdity. Now Gorsuch said that the doctrine only applied to "Scrivener’s errors." Ok, so what’s a scrivener? It goes way back to before the invention of typewriters and law clerks, scriveners, hand copied documents and sometimes spelled a word wrong or even skipped a line or put in the wrong date.

Today, it simply means a typo, although I personally encountered one myself when I was treating addicts as patients. Sometimes they were committed by a judge for treatment for mental health reasons and once a judge literally committed herself to the care of my patient (I was one of those troublesome ones who actually read the legal documents). Now, this would be considered a scrivener’s error, even though, since in her case I did argue a case pro se and in retrospect did feel that she was a good candidate for mental treatment. Still, I sent it back for correction.

Now, are you still with me? Well, never mind. Gorsuch was wrong. Here is a definition of the doctrine of Absurdity:

The common sense of man approves the judgment mentioned by Pufendorf[sic. Puffendorf], that the Bolognian law which enacted ‘that whoever drew blood in the streets should be punished with the utmost severity’, did not extend to the surgeon who opened the veinof a person that fell down in the street in a fit. The same common sense accepts the ruling, cited by Plowden, that the statute of 1st Edward II, which enacts that a prisoner who breaks prison shall be guilty of a felony, does not extend to a prisoner who breaks out when the prison is on fire – ‘for he is not to be hanged because he would not stay to be burnt’.

At any rate, Franken attacked by pointing out that he had his prior career in identifying absurdity and pointing it out (as a comedian, or comedy writer), and then attacked, asking he what he would do. Getting no response, Franken said "well, I can tell you what everyone else here would do" and then left the questioning. That was the one bright spot in the entire hearing and it made Franken more popular than all of his work on Saturday Night Live.

That is only one example. However, if Gorsuch cannot tell the difference between a scrivener’s error and the Doctrine of Absurdity, it is the equivalent of a layperson not being able to tell his ass from a hole in the ground.


Conservativism: the belief that human beings are to be treated with as much contempt as possible.


Trumpism: See conservativism.


There was to be more about healthcare and the like, but the transcript is too important to omit as Gorsuch could be with this country for 30 or 40 years:

We feature an extended excerpt of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) grilling Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing about the so-called frozen trucker case of Alphonse Maddin. Gorsuch ruled it was right for Maddin to be fired after he disobeyed a supervisor and abandoned the trailer that he was driving, because he was on the verge of freezing to death. "It is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice of possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving in an unsafe vehicle," says Sen. Franken. "It makes me question your judgment."


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