15 April 2024

Update no.1161

Update from the Sunland

No.1161

8.4.24 – 14.4.24

Blog version:  http://heartlandupdate.blogspot.com/

 

Arizona made headlines this week and not in a good way. The state Supreme Court rendered its judgment in a 4-2 decision (with another recusal) in the case of Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Mayes [AZ SC No. CV-23-0005-PR (2024)]. The dissenting opinion(s) usually offers a better view of any issue, but in this case neither opinion helps me understand the law as those justices see it. As they all agreed, the case never would have reached them if it had not been for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization [597 U. S. 215 (2022)] [1067, 1068] from the U.S.  Supreme Court. Both opinions dealt with a tangled web of conflicting related laws passed before and after Roe v. Wade [410 U.S. 113 (1973)] [319]. At the bottom line, this decision reinstated a 1864 law prohibiting abortion except to save the pregnant woman’s life—1864! No other exception! No gestational period! The operative law in the court’s opinion was passed by 27 men with little skin pigmentation 48 years before Arizona became a state (1912), and 56 years before women had the right to vote in the state (1920). The court gave the legislature 14 days to do the right thing before their decision took effect. Unfortunately, the Republicans, fBICP, MAGAts in the Arizona House rejected a Democrat bill to repeal the 1864 law and untangle the body of laws created by their predecessors; they failed!

Reading judicial pronouncements like Mayes before and after Roe make me appreciate the wisdom and insightfulness of Roe. The Mayes decision is an excellent negative example of the turmoil, confusion, uncertainty, and trauma caused by a Supreme Court that abandons stare decisis to impose its ideological biases. The Mayes court mentioned nothing about a woman’s rights in any of this. To me, that reality alone is flat and absolutely wrong. The law is not some sterile combination of words. The law sits within a context of human society and culture. The abandonment of women that the Dobbs and Mayes rulings produced shows just how foolish and ridiculous the strict constructionist mentality is. Sending Arizona women back 160 years to satisfy their sense of purity is contemptible in so many ways., but I will not bore you with repeating my opinions on this topic. My perspective has not changed.

 

This article and a one-word query—Thoughts?—prompted my response.

“Need more evidence that RFK Junior is working for Trump? – (as if you needed it)”

by Robert Reich

Published: APR 9 [2024]

https://robertreich.substack.com/p/more-evidence-that-rfk-junior-is

I offered my opinion.

Oh my, I have a ton of thoughts. I'll try to keep it short unless you wish to go farther.

First, I've heard RFK Jr. speak several times so far. I believe he is a quasi-QAnon whack-o. He says and claims things that have no basis in fact, only the conspiracy theories of a weird minority. Second, I cannot verify some of the information in the article, but it sounds consistent with he publicly available facts. Third, virtually all of Jr.'s extended family have disavowed him publicly, much like Paul Gosar's family, but his name recognition is to his advantage in this situation. Lastly, I think the article is correct. Jr. looks like a Democrat because of his name and family, but his political beliefs as publicly stated are virtually identical to Little Fingers. Jr. only has to carve off a few votes here and there in a few critical states to turn to Little Fingers advantage. Thus, I believe Republican money men are sustaining and encouraging RFK Jr.'s candidacy. There will be dissatisfied Democrats who will vote for Jr. for his name alone, but Jr. is about as far away from a Democrat as you can get. The Republicans are so desperate they will try anything; this is one of those things.

 

[the person who shall no longer be named] cannot resist meddling in anything and everything not to his liking. In the latest case, ihr Lieber Anführer ordered his MAGAt followers in the House to block the renewal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). The House MAGAts did as they were ordered. Fortunately, saner minds convinced Little Fingers that his personal grievances and political self-interest were placing the nation and our allies in serious risk. Thankfully, he backed off. On Friday, the House passed H.R.7888 - Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act [House: 273-147-0-11(4)], which renewed and reformed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA): [PL 95-511; 92 Stat. 1783; 25.10.1978]. In a subsequent vote to table a motion to reconsider, the Chair declared the ‘ayes’ have it. However, Representative Anna Paulina Luna, née Mayerhofer, of Florida, a card carrying MAGAt and member of the Freedom Caucus in good standing, demanded a recorded vote. Further action on the question was postponed to an unspecified future date, which means the bill has not been sent to the Senate for consideration. The renewal of FISA remains in limbo, still being held hostage by the MAGAts. They do not have enough votes to stop the passage, but they can throw up more than a few obstacles to make the process more tortuous. This insanity has got to stop!

 

What would we think and more importantly what would we do if another nation fired 170 explosive drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles into the United States?

To me, such an action is the very definition of an act of war.

That is exactly what happened to Israel in the early morning hours of Sunday. The aerial onslaught was launched from the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). What happens next is yet to be determined. Fortunately, Israel’s air defense system did surprisingly well against the swarm of drones, cruise and ballistic missiles fired with the intent of overwhelming the air defense system. The IRI did not succeed, but that did not alter the fact that the IRI carried out an act of war.

 

Comments and contributions from Update no.1160:

Comment to the Blog:

“The legal and logistical complications of the Baltimore bridge collapse ought to be interesting. Also, a great deal of infrastructure maintenance has been neglected in the United States.

“Little Fingers’ civil fraud case continues. It’s not looking good for him.

“Remember that only a rabid minority of voters became MAGAts. Even in red states like Kansas and Ohio, their most extreme maneuvers have been soundly defeated.”

My response to the Blog:

Quite so all the way around on that one. I expect the execution of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act[PL 117-058; 135 Stat. 429; 15.11.2021] [1036] to make good progress in upgrading and repairing of our infrastructure. I will note here that the design, construction, and opening of the Key Bridge occurred nearly 50 years ago. I will argue that the design was fundamentally flawed at the outset because it did not include fender structures to protect those critical pylons from just such a collision. I suppose the designers placed too much faith in modern ship design. I hope and expect correction of that basic design flaw will be corrected with the rebuild process.

Quite so, again. I await the ruling of the appeals court in the civil fraud case. I will also note that Little Fingers’ criminal fraud case is scheduled to begin next Monday with jury selection; this is the first time he will face prison time upon conviction.

I remain convinced the majority of Republicans remain good, loyal, American citizens. Unfortunately, far too many are intimidated by the aggressive, vociferous antics of the MAGAts, and even more unfortunately, they subvert their loyalty to the republic in their thrust to retain what power they have. Dobbs was bad enough; Republicans trying desperately to constrain the ability of the people in states to override the social conservatives and defend a woman’s fundamental right to privacy and freedom of choice is far worse to my thinking.

 . . . follow-up comment:

“Based on what little I know of bridge engineering, your point about the Key Bridge not having fenders seems critically important. That still leaves plenty of liability for the ship operators.

“I’m feeling hopeful schadenfreude about Little Fingers’ troubles. However, I’m holding back on celebrating. That villain is more cunning than he seems.

“The other issue about Republicans as well as Democrats is that the national discussion has been dragged far to the right by Christian Nationalists and other radical factions financed by the oligarchs ever since Reagan. We’ve reached a point where the likes of Schumer and Pelosi are seen as centrists rather than corporate conservatives; and Lindsey Graham, Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott aren’t having their sanity questioned.”

 . . . along with my follow-up response:

I am not defending the ship owners / operators. There are serious questions not least of which is the critical timing of the power loss (which might well become a serious design flaw in the MV Dali). I do not like coincidences. As I stated previously, those total power failures 15 minutes earlier or later and the outcome would have been drastically different. Regardless of the ship’s potential flaws or operating failure, proper fenders would have deflected the errant ship and protected those pylons, even a ship of the mass of the MV Dali. I will add here that given such an unprotected criticality in the Key Bridge design, tugs should have accompanied the vessel (and other vessels) until it was clear of the bridge; that is a fault in harbor procedures. Bottom line: there is a lot wrong with what happened early that morning.

I underestimated the Republicans that sustained Little Fingers in 2016. I will not make that mistake again. Little Fingers loves chaos; it is to his advantage. He is doing it all again. Different words, same process. Point of fact, Little Fingers did not become the grifter conman he is by not being cunning and crafty. I give him credit for that. People believe his cons; that’s dangerous.

 

Another contribution:

“Will read now. Before things generate into chaos supreme. Have had great grandson, just left. Born on St Georges day- I have my own opinion of him as he must be nuclear powered or I need new batteries!

“Well done with your latest book.”

My reply:

Chaos remains a reality as long as Little Fingers remains a factor in American politics. He creates and sustains uncertainty and instability everywhere, even far beyond our shores. His antics encourage our adversaries. His first criminal trials starts next Monday with jury selection. There is hope.

Oh my, I know about the boundless energy of grandchildren. We do not have any ‘great’s just yet. They are a treasure, but they come with stress and strain. At least you get a break for now.

Thank you, mate. I keep writing and will continue to do so as long as I am able.

 . . . follow-up comment:

“Cap good day to you. There are concerns being reported here in some newspapers that your favourite man is planning to indulge, interfere, with our next national election November 24.”

 . . . my follow-up reply:

To be frank and blunt, there are a gazillion reasons to be concerned and worried about the chaos Little Fingers intentionally creates around him. If the United States was some marginal third world backwater, it would not be so serious, but alas, that is not so (at least not yet). I would not put it past Little Fingers and his MAGAt believers to interfere with the UK elections. He wants world leaders he can con, and short of that, that he can intimidate or otherwise bully one way or another. Little Fingers is not a good human being, and his malignancy is quite destructive. I would encourage everyone to remain vigilant and critical of evolving events.

My apologies for being so dark, but that is how I see things.

 

My very best wishes to all.  Take care of yourselves and each other.

Cheers,

Cap                  :-)