Saturday, April 21, 2018

ICE is separating children at the border, possibly creating a need for foster parents??




Emily Dickerson reports in the New York Times that ICE, under the Trump administration, has split up families resulting in at least 700 children in separate detention at the border.

The administration scaled back plans to build further separate detention but obviously wants to use the threat as a deterrent.

NGO’s apparently help run the shelters for the children.
  
Attempts are made to place the kids with relatives or “guardians”.  This would seem to be of major concern to childrens’ charities, like Save the Children, but I have not heard specifically about this.
You would expect drives for foster care or adoptive parents, but this would sound very risky.

Picture: actually, northeast Georgia (mine, recent)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kim Jong Un surprisingly appears ready to talk decnuclearization, and officially ending Korean war


In a surprising turn, Kim Jong Un has given a “nod” to denuclearization, as reported in the New York Times  in a story by Choe Sang-Hun, link here.     

  
A few news sites are starting to announce that North and South Korea are about to end the war officially, with CNBC  and Bloomberg .  Trump will claim credit for his deal on "denuking North Korea."

Mike Pompeo visited Kim Jong Un secretly about two weeks ago, multiple sources report.

Fareed Zakaria warns that North Korea probably will denuclearize only if the US completely quits defending South Korea.

But on April 19, CNN said this is false, and that DPRK will not necessarily expect the US to leave South Korea to denuclearize (according to Moon).

April 21:

North Korea says it has finished its missile testing for now, if the US will deal?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trump announces air and cruise missile strikes against chemical weapons depots in Syria



President Donald Trump, in one of his more appropriate addresses, talked to the nation tonight at 9 PM Friday, an unusual time, where he announced air strikes against chemical weapons sites in Syria, especially near Damascus.


Britain and France participated.
  
Trump talked about the use of chemical weapons in World War I tonight.

The Russians did not fire back. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The insidious creep of Fascism in Hungary and Poland



Roger Cohen writes in the New York Times “How Democracy Became the Enemy: In Hungary and Poland, the liberal West used to be the Promised Land. Not anymore”. 

The article goes into the attack on George Soros, making him a target of Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party, in the Hungarian elections.

On the surface, no one is being rounded up.  But the impression of the “people” is that their civilization has become meaningless, with the sophists leaving out the common people, and with a reduction in the recognition of traditional family relationships in the past.

But no doubt it was the uncontrolled migrant crisis starting in Syria that has aggravated this process. 


I can remember back in 2007, while in Pittsburgh, noticing a news story about anti-gay rhetoric in Poland over the idea that gays took no responsibility for having their own children. 

Hungary and Poland are still in the EU as of now. 
  
The op-ed links to an op-ed from Madeleine Albright April 6 warning that Trump is exacerbating the drive to Fascism, with a dire phrase about recklessness over North Korea.

Monday, April 2, 2018

"The Right Way to Coerce North Korea"



Georgetown University Professor Victor Cha (whom Trump dropped from consideration for Ambassador to South Korea) and Katrin Fraser Katz have a detailed essay in Foreign Affairs (paywall), “The Right Way to Coerce NorthKorea: Ending the Threat Without Going to War”.
  
The authors believe that a “bloody nose” attack (upon failure of diplomacy and future April 27 talks) would not reduce the long term risk of nuclear attack on the U.S., which Chua believes may be possible after a few more tests. 
    
He also believe that severe sanctions alone may be viewed as an act of war and notes the decoupling problem that Kim could pressure the US to abandon South Korean defense. He talks about counterproliferation and deterrence.  He also effectively refers to American civilians, in the Korea-Japan region and possibly on the homeland, as bargaining chips. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Trump v. Kin Jong Un in a road game April 27



Inside Kim Jong Un’s bulletproof train, like in a James Bond Movie – story here 
  
Alex Ward interviews Oriano Skylar Mastro (as Vox explains) on the summit with Trump April 27, on the southern side of the DMZ. '
  
China is not your friend, Trump used to say.  But now there is a snow flurry of diplomacy.

  
But this meeting had better work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

European intelligence on North Korea ups the ante on the nuke threat



The prospect of a helpful meeting with North Korea may have dwindled in the past 48 hours, according to a dim report on Vox by Alex Ward, “The past 48 Hours, in rising US-North Korean relations, explained 
  
German intelligence claims that Kim Jong Un can hit central western Europe with nukes now (not sure about the re-entry or EMP questions).  So the US remains drawn back into that “entangling alliance” (NATO) that Trump wants to drop. The US is going to resume modest exercises off the Korean coasts, and South Korea is going to beef up its conventional artillery defense big=time. 
  
Is this what CBS means by “48 Hours”?   

Monday, March 12, 2018

Erdogan and journlists


The Washington Post notes well in an editorial Monday morning how badly Turkey has deteriorated from a moderate Muslim “democracy” to dictatorship under Tayyip Erdogan, whom Donald Trump admires.  Now journalists are jailed for single tweets.


Erdogan’s crackdown on speech may well be explained by the attempted coup in 2016, which makes the threat to his power seem existential, rather than just a moral theory that says “act, don’t watch”. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

More details on what happens when an asylum seeker loses a case



Jason Dzubow has shared both parts of his detailed discussion of what happens when an (affirmative) asylum case is denied, here
   
Even with all the recent changes wrought by the Trump administration, there are multiple possible steps of appeal and delay after losing a case.  The devil is in the details.
  
I have asked him and other attorneys about the potential responsibilities of hosts, and no one seems t have an answer.  It is pretty much “don’t ask don’t tell”.  Just like a landlord normally doesn’t have to continually check on immigration status.  However, if deportation proceedings have started, it would sound plausible that a host could be held for succoring an undocumented person if the host knew, US 1324.

Update: March 14

CNN has a brief report on church members that shelter undocumented immigrants facing deportation, and a pastor is asked about violating the law and risking prosecution himself.  ICE quotes the statute but says it does not enter places of faith, 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Suddenly Kom Jong Un offers to meet with Trump



I’ve already reported this on Wordpress today, but “Vox explains” Kim Jong Un’s brunch invitation to Donald Trump, made through South Korea, by May, here
  
The sanctions stay and it sounds like they area serious about denuclearization of “the peninsula”.

  
American presence and some exercises continue, until the talks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Seoul brokers talks with North Korea where DPRK might blink a little on nukes



Maybe private brinkmanship in coffee shops and even gay bars actually works. 

Seoul has indicated that North Korea is willing to talk to the US and at least suspend nuclear weapons and missile tests during the talks.  Has North Korea blinked? 

Will Ripley, the attractive young correspondent who made a film for CNN “Inside the Secret State” where he very personably talked to many North Koreans, is still skeptical in his commentary in the video at this link. North Korea is likely to demand that the US substantially reduce its military presence in the Korea area as the price of backing off on nuclear weapons, putting Trump into a psychologically difficult position. 

  
Of course, there is still the question about how ethnic Korean unification (which Amy Chua has hinted at) makes sense, given the expropriation that would happen.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Trump's admiration of virility in office (sorry. president for life Xi Jingping is 'thmooth')



Libertarians used to work for US Term Limits twenty years ago.  So what do we make of Xi Jinping’s declaring himself president of China for life? And head of the Communist (really peope’s capitalist) party for life?
  
Is it Machiavellin?  Rather like that of a cat watching a household?  The National Interest weighs in here
  
China, as I noted on another blog, is trying to go after criticism published outside its borders. 
  
China is also developing a social credit scoring system for all citizens, based on the idea of “personal rightsizing”.
  
China, as Wikipedia notes, is indeed a very unary state.
  
And will China really help us with North Korea? China is not your friend, as Trump used to say. Yet Trump seemed to admire what Jingping just did.  He has a fetish for “strongmen”.  Maybe it’s erotic to see them brought low later.
  
Wikipedia attribution link for China picture of Shanghai-Lujiazui, apparently CCSA 3.0 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Pompeo of CIA seems to be warning US civilians about North Korea in CNN prompts today -- you could be at personal risk in a few more months



CNN ran banners today regarding the latest intelligence on North Korea.  North Korea continues to improve all its nuclear technology components and could present a personal nuclear threat to American civilians in the homeland in a matter of months.  The closest story to this effect seems to be Independent UK on Jan. 30, link.
  
Trump’s relationship with his own intelligence services has been controversial.
 
Pompeo has also talked about the domino or decoupling theories saying that Un could use US civilians as pawns in blackmailing the US out of protecting South Korea, and that he may not get credible intelligence from his own advisors..  The idea of an arsenal of missiles is scary.  And there is EMP also.
      
The biggest test could come if North Korea launches a long range missile test into the Pacific to see if the US will shoot it down.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Putin announces some new super weapons and missiles that can evade missile defenses



In anticipation of an election that Putin expects to win easily, Putin announced the perfection of some weapons:  a supersonic missile that nothing can shoot down, new submarine launch capabilities, and a dirty bomb capability that can contaminate whole countries for generations. BBC has a typical story

Pundits say that Putin is motivated to say this by the election.


But the obvious danger is that some of this could fall into the hands of a North Korea.
During the Cold War, the Soviets did develop thermonuclear weapons larger than the US had, may have tested one or two of them in Siberia. 

Putin might have felt motivated to announce the missiles partly by the insistence by conservative bloggers (including me) that the Trump administration focus more on missile defense as part of his North Korea strategy.
  
There are other reports that North Korea has helped the Assad regime with chemical weapons supplies, as there has been new carnage in Syria in recent days.  North Korea is also said to be cheating the newest sanctions somewhat with bitcoin.
  
And Trump is said to be a “Wuss” on Russia. 

But at a press briefing today, Sarah Sanders, why acknowledging the report, denied that the US couldn't defend itself. 

Update:

Will Ripley shares this CNN report on Twitter was to where Trump will draw a red line.  There is talk of whether the sacrifice of civilian lives is "worth it" but later the article becomes less threatening in tone. Mattis does not believe that the Nov. 28 H-15 test proved as much as the DPRK claims.  But, if you connect the dots, you can see a credible risk that North Korea could launch an E-1 level EMP on parts of the US before it is capable of a nuclear strike on the ground.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

South Korea reports that DPRK suddenly open to talks as Olympics end and new sanctions start; US weapons sold on jihadist underground websites



Today, the media is reporting that South Korea says that North Korea is suddenly open to starting talks with the US, two days after new sanctions were announced, typical story on NPR here

The report came from the South Korean “Blue House” and the talks need to start as soon as possible.


There was no direct mention of whether North Korea is willing to budge on possession of nuclear weapons. 

In another matter, there are reports of American AR-15’s winding up in Syria and for sale on jihadist dark web forums (on Telegram).