20 March 2017

Update no.796

Update from the Heartland
No.796
13.3.17 – 19.3.17
To all,

            I note with sadness the passing of Charles Edward Anderson ‘Chuck’ Berry.  I had the honor of seeing him perform live at the Fillmore Auditorium in the Haight- Ashbury District of San Francisco, California.  It was an incredible performance.  He went on stage at 22:00 for what was advertised as a two-hour program.  He left the stage once for what was presumably a potty break, but did not complete his performance until 06:00 the next morning.  He never played the same song twice.  Awesome is a grossly inadequate word for what he did that night.  A little side note, the opening band for Berry that night was a little known local band called Big Brother and the Holding Company, with a young female lead singer by the name of Janis Joplin.  May God rest his immortal soul; his music will last for eternity.  What an entertainer!

            Wow!  This was a big week for follow-up news items, so here we go.

            The follow-up news items:
-- Scotland First Minister Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon indicated she intends to seek the approval of Parliament for a second referendum on Scottish independence before the U.K. exits the European Union, expected in early 2019.  The first attempt failed 45-55 [666, 18.September.2014].  I suppose Sturgeon’s intention is understandable given the outcome of the Brexit EU vote [758, 23.June.2016].  As reported, Sturgeon’s will add a further option beyond independence or remaining with the UK – whether to join the EU as a separate state.
-- According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Republican plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [432, 512, 553] would leave 14 million more people without insurance in 2018 compared with the current law, and that number would climb to 24 million by 2026.  The legislation would reduce the federal deficit by US$337B through 2026, in large part because it would lower federal spending for Medicaid and end tax credits now provided to people under the current law.
-- Prime Minister Theresa May gained the authorization by the House of Commons, required by the Court in R v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union {[2017] UKSC 5 on appeals from: [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin) and [2016] NIQB 85}[789], to begin Brexit negotiations with the European Union [758, 777].  The House of Lords dropped its objections late Monday, after having sought a guarantee of more in the eventual shape of the deal.  Mrs. May is expected to move this month to formally trigger what are expected to be two years of negotiations. The two sides publicly remain far apart on central issues, raising the risk of a messy separation, detrimental to both sides.  Add to this, the call by Scotland First Minister Sturgeon (above) for a second separation referendum, the full scope of Brexit could be very messy indeed.
-- Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland added to President Trump’s woes regarding his attempts to imposed travel and immigration restrictions [789, 790] on now six, predominately Muslim countries.  Both judges issued Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) against the President second “watered down” attempt to issue an executive order restricting travel.  Iraq was removed from the list in the version 2.0.  The President has been his own worst enemy with his careless word choice and linkages, and poor staffing of these executive orders.  The President clearly has the constitutional authority to regulate immigration and entry into the United States.  What he does not have the authority to do is apply a religious test for his actions.
-- Regarding President Trump’s wild accusations of wiretapping [794], Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina (Republican) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner of Virginia (Democrat) issued a joint statement, “Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”  The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is scheduled to testify before Congress tomorrow, and based on public statements to date, he is likely to clearly affirm the paucity of ANY evidence to support the President’s statement.  In addition, all of the President’s excuse-makers are trying to explain away the President’s associated Tweets as “air quotes” or generalizations.  According to the decoder ring possessed by the anointed few among us, the term “wiretap” in the President’s unknown language actually means some far broader term of surveillance.  I really wish I could find one of those magical decoder rings.  Nonetheless, Trump is apparently prepared to sacrifice all credibility of the office he holds to feed his ego; this is what rampant narcissism does to a man’s conduct.
-- The supposition surrounding the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (8.March.2014) [638, 691, 711, 716] continues to bubble up, especially with the suspension of undersea search operations in the Indian Ocean [788].  The latest bubble:
“Air Safety: The Fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370—Revisited”
Published: March 15, 2017
I agree with Blackwell.  My opinion remains unchanged to this date.  The physical evidence is hard to see as anything other than an intentional act.  Who or why this event occurred remains unknown and illusive.  With the wreckage and the “black boxes” unrecovered, we are not likely to learn more than we know today.  This event may well go into history as an unresolved incident.

            No comments or contributions from Update no.795 . . . quite understandable, since I did not have much to say last week.  Thank you all for your interest in my Blog.

            My very best wishes to all.  Take care of yourselves and each other.
Cheers,
Cap                        :-)