Plain Language

When I went to law school, more than twenty years ago, there was a big emphasis on plain language.  Lawyers should write as plainly and clearly as possible.  In the old days, we were told, scriveners, who wrote legal papers for lawyers, were paid by the word and so they laid the words on with a trowel.  This practice led to unplain, exceedingly excessive language, writhing, modifier-laden legalese, language embellished, decorated, complicated and modified, as needed, or sometimes not, according to long custom, by a dozen redundant, recursive, tautologous synonyms encompassing a dozen finely calibrated shades of meaning, foreshadowing, portent, legal significance, modified ambiguity, standard boiler-plate ambiguity, ambiguousness intended and incidental, anything to the contrary notwithstanding.   Reading legalese is generally a huge pain in the ass– take a glance at our Constitution or any on-line contract you must accept before getting web-based services.   “Plain language!” we were told, “the law now requires anything a consumer will be bound by to be written in plain language.”

 That was some precatory, aspirational, academic shit, apparently.  We were also taught to use the female pronoun instead of him and his when speaking of general things.   It was a fairly liberal school, I suppose, even though it had its share of rigid sociopaths on the faculty.   There are, I need not point out, rigid sociopaths on every shade of the political spectrum.    

I am thinking about this because I just got a determination from the New York State of Health appeals unit.  It is seven pages of fairly spare legalese that concludes with the determination that NYSOH must rescind its notice of January 9, 2017 and reconsider my case in accordance with the law.   It does not say, anywhere in its learned pages, anything that someone without a background in the law can understand as a clear, five and a half month belated, reversal of NYSOH’s clear error.   An error, moreover (to use a word beloved of scriveners everywhere) that anyone on the NYSOH website can verify in less than five seconds.  

It was only a four and a half month wait for the appeal and then, a speedy 30 days for the determination to be written up and sent out.  I have only been required to loan a large corporation about $1,250 in that time and I am told it will come back to me some time next year when I file my taxes, since I was entitled to what the decision refers to as the APTC, payable on my behalf towards the monthly premium of the QHP.  The subsidy, in other words.    

Rigid sociopaths are currently dickering about the quickest way to dismantle the conservative think tank-born, health care industry-friendly health insurance plan that bears the hated secret Muslim president’s name.  These are some dangerous, cynical, amoral motherfuckers doing this dickering.   Obamacare is bad in many ways, very bad in some ways, but it is a step forward, although not necessarily in the absolutely right direction since it leaves ravenous foxes to supervise the hen house.  The plan these dickheads are trying to push through will be a disaster for millions.  It has a 12% approval rating among the citizens of this nation of poor bastards, which is why it was initially kept secret and why its advocates are refusing to allow public debate on the punitive details of the new bill.

The Republican plan, in fairness to them, while hurting the poor and lower middle class, will greatly benefit the rich.  Who can blame the rich for trying to get richer?  It’s only natural.  

Like trying to repeal the hated DEATH TAX, another long time dream of America’s greediest.  Check this number out– I don’t know why it is not more widely known.  The so-called DEATH TAX affects the top 0.2% of our great, gullible, lynch-mob republic.   For those of you not good in math, that’s 2 estates out of every 1,000.   I don’t know about you, but that number of people affected by the so-called DEATH TAX, the top 2% of the top 1%, gives me goose bumps.   

Have a groovy fucking day, y’all.


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