Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Return of Spam and Birds on the Feeder

I saw this article on Slate today.  The subject hasn't gotten much attention in the press, actually this is the only reference I've seen to it. Basically, the Supreme Court appears to want to limit restrictions on spam phone calls.  Yup, they seek to enhance our lives by allowing MORE SPAM.  Below are three paragraphs.  The article is not long and is worth reading because it sheds light on the convoluted wrong-headed thinking we're going to be stuck with for the next few decades.

The case in question is relatively sleepy, with no protesting crowds or eager reporters waiting in the wings. Facebook v. Duguid asks whether a 29-year-old law, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, applies to all telemarketing calls or only governs calls made using technology that was available in 1991 when the law was originally passed. This seemingly small point carries widespread consequences. If Facebook prevails, telemarketers everywhere will be freed from the TCPA’s most effective restrictions, which ban live calls to your cellphone. This means more spam calls (and you thought it was bad already).

But perhaps more relevant to the future of the court is the ideological battle raging beneath the surface in Duguid. Everyone involved agrees that the operative sentence in the TCPA was poorly drafted and is open to multiple interpretations. It says the law applies only to telemarketing devices that can “store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator.” As one judge concluded after struggling with this language, “Clarity, we lament, does not leap off this page of the U.S. Code.” If you prefer to look solely at the grammar of the sentence (what could be called the grammatical view of textualism), the TCPA would restrict only devices that produce or store numbers using a random number generator. But that makes no sense—how can a number generator “store” anything? Meanwhile, if you choose to read the sentence in context (the contextual view of textualism), the law would apply both to devices that produce numbers using a random number generator and ones that store numbers generally.

Six months later, it appears very likely that many of the justices who endorsed the contextual approach in Bostock will flip to a strict grammatical view in Duguid. The appearance that policy preferences may be driving that migration undermines one of the principal rationales Scalia theorized for textualism: that it offered a neutral benchmark for judicial decision-making. What we saw taking hold on Tuesday looks far more like a regressive variant of judicial activism. If so, the TCPA’s junk call provisions may be the first of many cherished protections whose reach is diminished under this new flag of textualism.

So, there you go.

I have spent the better part of the afternoon in my recliner throwing my socks at the window blinds.  Why, you wonder?  There is a Verdin attempting to feed from the hummingbird feeder. The male, very territorial, hummer comes and buzzes him, but the Verdin will not leave.  So I throw the socks to rattle the blinds and he flies off, but he comes back.  After the level of the sugar water goes down a little he can't drink, but until then he'll return. 

We don't have the Annas hummingbirds that we did at the Rincon RV park.  We have Black Chins.  They're sort of a drab looking hummingbird.  The male is hysterical.  If we walk out the front door he buzzes us.  He flies around my head.  We walked across the street to get the mail, and on our way back he flew at us in the driveway.  I guess this is his house and we're merely here to feed him.  Here he is in the palm tree protecting his territory.

It did rain starting last night, through the night and off and on all day.  It's cold, too.  OK, it's 57, but it feels cold because of the cloud cover.  Rain is good, we need more.

This is from Nextdoor.  This person is not the only one to hold this view.  It's disheartening.

So, the US enrolled 30,000 people in stage three trials, and they all died, and nobody noticed?  It's an amazing statement here.


  1. Wow, no words for the stupidity that abounds on this planet.

    I love hummingbirds, although I might not like being dive bombed by one:)

  2. What Lily cedar said- yes. The stupids are taking over I fear. Let them die of covid...Sadly that is not how it works though is it? The orange blarb still walks among us.

  3. WOW! Our planet is doomed if these people keep reproducing.

  4. How exactly would that person know everyone died? Weren't in the trials (obviously or'd be dead). Peeked in the window? The world is a weird and scary place these days.

  5. people in this country are stupid. mainstream news is lying to us but every whackadoodle conspiracy site out there is telling the truth.

    as for the spam, I just don't answer unless the caller is in my contact list. if it's legit, they can leave a message and I'll call them back.

  6. Scary times on all fronts.....we're in Lake Havasu City sitting quietly beside the water. All is well until we leave the park to perhaps grocery shop. Then we're confronted with screaming "F CK BIDEN" signs everywhere we go! Is no where civilized anymore?

    Perhaps just put less sugar water in the feeder so the poor Verdin can't reach it. Voila! Socks stay where they belong! OR you could let the little guy have some food, he surely can't drink much!

  7. Interesting, I think a Verdin is a bird I've never heard of. He's a cute little fellow but should stick to seeds and insects and leave your hummingbird's feeder alone. My mother used to call the dominant male h-bird at their feeders "Atilla the Hum", because he always dive-bombed her and any other unsuspecting h-birds who dared to approach the feeder. They eventually ended up with four feeders so all who wanted to drink, could. Atilla still held court, but others were able to sneak in and feed. He could only do so much!