19 August 2019
Update from the Sunland
12.8.19 – 18.8.19
The follow-up news items:
-- Can you imagine what the world would be like if the BIC was an informed, knowledgeable, deliberative person who was respectful of others? Oh well, it was just a passing thought. The BIC unilaterally laid down additional tariffs  on PRC products only to learn that his actions might adversely impact holiday sales for American companies and shopping for American citizens. A few days later, he walked it back . . . he’ll delay the additional tariffs until after the holidays. I guess he is not as smart as he thinks he is.
-- The Iranian oil tanker MV Grace I, renamed Adrian Darya I, seized by the British off Gibraltar [913, 4.7.2019] has been released by Gibraltar authorities despite efforts by the United States to prevent the release. So, now, the burden falls upon our maritime surveillance assets to track the ship and hopefully stop it before offloading its cargo in defiance of UN sanctions. We shall see.
-- In another surprising reversal, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in the case of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v Barr [9CCA 19-16487 (2019);D.C. No. 3:19-cv-04073-JST)]. The court narrowed the district court’s injunction against the BIC’s asylum restrictions to be applicable to its border jurisdiction, i.e., California and Arizona, rather than nationwide; one set of rules for Texas and New Mexico and a different set of rules for Arizona and California. As of this Update, it is not clear whether the plaintiffs will appeal to the Supreme Court; however, my guess is that they will. Nonetheless, this was at least a partial victory for the BIC from the 9thCircuit—the court frequently maligned by the BIC. Based on past history, the BIC will not wait for the Supreme Court, so we may well have different border enforcement in different states, making our already dysfunctional immigration control system more so.
-- The Jeffrey Epstein  jailhouse suicide exploded multitudinous conspiracy theories from the Clintons did it to the federal government wanted him silenced. You know, it could be Epstein just did not want the humiliation; after all, he had tried to take his life recently. There is not a sliver of doubt in my little pea-brain that the jailers enabled Epstein’s suicide and should be appropriately punished for their complicity.
The situation in Hong Kong continues to tiptoe along the brink of the abyss. The extradition law that sparked the latest protests and violence was a subtle but purposeful attempt to erode the independence and quasi-autonomy of the former British colony. The PRC has made a very public show of force to intimidate the protesters to desist. There is zero doubt the PRC has the means to squash the Hong Kong protests, impose martial law, and end any residual elements of independence. I suspect the marketplace will not take kindly to such an action. It is unfortunate that the Politburo could not leave well enough alone, but hey egos are egos, and we certainly know about rampant egos. The timing of this crisis seems to be far more than coincidence.
Once again, in what have become countless instances, POTUS has chosen to ignore and otherwise disregard the Constitution of the United States. The BIC’s crude, ill-informed (perhaps even ignorant), brutish manner brought him to seek the aid of a foreign country to interfere with representatives of an equal branch of government. The BIC’s tweet:
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!
6:57 AM - 15 Aug 2019
Unfortunately, evidence suggests the BIC has never read the Constitution and certainly has no understanding of what the words mean. The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 6, Clause 1 states:
The Senators and Representatives shall . . . be privileged . . . for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
Meaning, the Executive Branch does not have the constitutional authority to interfere with senators or representatives in the conduct of their congressional duties. The BIC chose to enlist Israel’s complicity in violating the Constitution. Sadly, Israel chose the low road to avoid offending the BIC. Beyond the BIC’s unconstitutional conduct, larger questions abound.
Is our democracy, or any democracy, that frail or fragile that we cannot tolerate dissent or criticism? Is Israel that weak? Are we really that vulnerable? This is not the image of this Grand Republic that I grew up with and have maintained through the decades of my life. The BIC has brought us this sense of fragility. How on God’s little green Earth is this even remotely close to Making America Great Again? If the BIC’s image of MAGA is quashing any form of dissent, I say, no thank you. I reject and indeed condemn his sense of weakness and delicacy. Once again, I must stand with those four women—duly elected representatives of the Congress of the United States.
We have to listen to the BIC’s yammering nonsense. Why shouldn’t his loyal minions have to listen to the critical opinions of the Squad?
So, we add this incident to the mounting list of lies, subterfuge, criminal actions, and unconstitutional conduct. Unfortunately, the list is approaching infinity and essentially uncountable, and worse we are not even close to the end of his presidency.
Who on God’s little green Earth knows what the BIC is really thinking? He floats stuff on Twitter or just flapping his gums like brain-farts ushering forth, so he can always back out with a simple flick of the phrase “I was just kidding,” or “That’s not what I meant.” Whether he is serious, his latest brain-fart was to purchase Greenland from Denmark—not a bad idea, actually. I see more positives than negatives, if the price was reasonable. Unfortunately, Denmark says the island is not for sale. Nice idea! Well, truth be told, it would be a nice if we did not have a US$22T national debt or a federal budget deficit of US$747B, which only adds to the national debt. I would forego an aircraft carrier (US$37B), if that was the price of Greenland. If Denmark did decide to sell, I suspect the price would be much higher, and if so, I am not so sure it would be worth the price.
Commentsand contributions from Update no.917:
Comment to the Blog:
“Yes, China uses unfair trade practices, some of which are violations of international law. It’s appropriate for the USA head of state to address those. However, that calls for emotional maturity and diplomatic knowhow that the Chump and his cronies lack. Chump’s only tool is a hammer and China is not a nail. Iran isn’t even an appropriate target. Then there’s Venezuela . . . This makes me miss Nixon (or Carter or Reagan or even the Bushes).
“We know the pro-firearms lobby’s argument turns on ignoring the phrase ‘a well regulated Militia’ in the Second Amendment and their success on political financing. We’ll continue having high death rates until those issues are addressed.
“Perhaps racism is in the eye of the beholder, but the target’s feelings and results matter.
“Someone needs to fix the broken, crime-ridden White House, but if Chump wants to go back to Trump Tower that’s okay with me. By the way, I got a tip that someone’s trying to rename that stretch of Fifth Avenue after Barack H. Obama. That would be nice.”
My response to the Blog:
I agree, except I would say that most, rather than some, of PRC trade actions are violations of international law. The PRC has never complied with international trade law, except when it benefits them. As I have stated several times previously, I agree with the BIC that we must confront the PRC, and penalize or punish their bad behavior. Just like the Soviets, the PRC chose to steal technology rather than develop it. That said, I still cannot support his methods to achieve the objective. Yes, all of our presidents, including the “criminal” Nixon, are exponentially better than the BIC, who is crude, brutish, ignorant and unsophisticated.
I do not have any new thoughts on your interpretation of the Second Amendment. What I have seen of Governor DeWine’s initiative appears to go farther than the House H.R.8 - Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 bill being stonewalled by ol’ Mitch (since February 2019). All of these suggestions are positive toward the objective and do not violate the Second Amendment to my knowledge and understanding, but I fret about the devil in the details. Like so many morality laws, the consequence depends upon the application by enforcement that really matters. I cannot see those details. I see restrictions, but I do not see protections.
I take a slightly different perspective of the same point, i.e., we cannot see into a man’s thoughts, heart and soul. We only see his actions, his words, and his behavior. I do not know what is in the BIC’s feelings on such things, but I do know what his words mean. He talks like a racist, walks like a racist and looks like a racist—he is a racist, just as he is a misogynist, homophobe and xenophobe. He does not get a pass.
Now that would be really cool; rename a mile or two on both sides of 725 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America—Barack Hussein Obama Way. Great idea! I don’t really care where the BIC goes; I just want him gone, to disappear into the dustbin of history.
“Yes we’re all saddened to hear yet again of your shootings Cap, this insanity most stop. Of course I have to admit we’re not living in a Disney society either. The craziness of stabbings and stolen cars careening into pedestrians seems to be accelerating across our cities. Our new man at the top says it will be sorted but hasn’t as yet told us where the finances are to come from.”
Yes, these tragedies involving innocent, peaceful people are nauseating and disgusting. Public safety will eventually overwhelm individual rights. I just hope that when it ultimately happens that rational exceeds emotional in our response. We must do our best to provide protections along with restrictions. BTW, all politicians say it will be sorted out, however, in our societies, we do not have dictators . . . yet.
My very best wishes to all. Take care of yourselves and each other.