“Il fait frette!”

Recovery from our ethereal and ephemeral sojourn upon the languid bohemian Florida Keys several days ago was further protracted today, retarded perhaps by a sudden blast of cold air from the west. Like a hibernating bear I withdrew only reluctantly this morning from beneath the billowing duvet. My initial objective was to enlarge my knowledge of Things Universal for which purpose I pointedly began with the sharpest focus as I thought might be afforded by FOX NEWS. But I was disappointed in the gamble as I revealed with but a scratch of the surface the predictable party line. It’s like watching TV shows, always the same entertainment, repeated with the sole purpose of attracting base and urgent sentiment. At this horizon so-called news is merely retail. I thus disbanded my central purpose and disintegrated instead within the scope of my own common habits and preferences.

Increasingly I am satisfied to pursue that which pleases me, not so much as evidence of discovery and improvement but rather as pure contentment. I acknowledge the smugness of the enterprise, the narrowness of the ambition and the qualified result of navel gazing at the expense of a wider view. Accepting this quotidian bent, I attempted however once again to broaden my compass by referring instead to Adam Serwer, “a staff writer at The Atlantic where he covers politics“. Today’s insight was one of particular interest to me because constitutional law was the course at which I most excelled at law school. Mr. Serwer’s opinions of the matter concerning the authority of the federal government to mandate vaccines in private companies began convincingly enough.

If you read the legal language in the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to act in an emergency capacity when workers face “grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards,” and when “such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger,” you might think that the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate stood a good chance of surviving the Supreme Court’s review.

Like a well-bred judicial mind, Mr. Serwer hinted from the outset at his conclusion before illustrating his subordinate reasoning. His final comment was however the coup de grâce upon the reputed intelligence of the superior court:

One of the stranger elements of the Trump administration was that the presidendt would spend much of his day watching Fox News and issue executive orders or policies based simply on his reaction to what he saw. Understanding why and what the president was doing required knowledge of Fox News’ daily programming. It seemed like a comical absurdity: the most powerful nation in the world being run by a guy screaming at his television from the couch. And yet, it’s not clear that the honorable justices of the Supreme Court are all that different.

Paradoxically, in my search for depth and insight, it appears that my intended source (in this case Mr. Serwer) was as reluctantly bound to confess the inadequacy and appeal of one’s own prior convictions and trifling wisdom. Plus ça change! Why I am either shocked or disappointed in this result I do not know. It is always a bit of a dismay to learn that no one has all the answers, that each of us is but a slave to our elemental persuasion and choice. The admission is as uninviting as a beach on a cold day.