Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trump makes a deal with the devil (not his first) to get a promise for total denuclearization of DPRK


There is plenty of effusive criticism this morning for Trump’s behavior in giving accolades to Kin Jong Un, with all his hyperbole, months after calling him “little rocket man” and being called a “dotard” back.
  
Vox talks about the Senate Republicans waffling on this here
Of course, getting North Korea to get rid of its nukes in a verifiable way would be a tremendous accomplishment for any president.

But this is the kind of behavior that in my own life I find so offensive to engage in personally, like on social media – or to sell to people.  I don’t like to indulge people at all.

Vox has a “Today explained” Podcast on Apple iTunes that would take time to listen to. 
  
The brutal dictatorship continues.  But maybe America is a tad, or even a lot, safer.



Update: June 15

This morning, when Trump was asked why he coddled a vicious dictator at Singapore, Trump answered bluntly (on CNN), "I don't want to see a nuclear war destroy you and your family."
 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sessions nixes gang violence as a credible fear for asylum seekers; Trump's summit seems to have a good first inning


Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that gang violence and domestic violence will no longer be allowed as credible fear reasons for asylum seekers, a measure which would affect asylum seekers mainly from Central America.


The New York Times story by Katie Brenner and Caitlin Dickerson is here. 

It is not likely to affect LGBT asylum seekers particularly.  The legal reasoning seems to be that gang and domestic violence is not caused by government.  But if extended to some countries in Africa, would this reasoning apply to female mutilation? 

Jason Dzubow considers the decision "not so bad" as he explains on The Asylumist here

Trump reports that the Summit with Kim Jong Un is off to a good start (CNN). 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Trump goes ballistic in Canada, on the even of Singapore summit



On the eve of a summit in Singapore, Trump goes wild, partly on Twitter, at a G7 Micro-summit in Canada.

Trump seemed to be saying that he would go along with free trade for everyone, and then blasted an insult at Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau (who is cute). Is the PM “meek and mild” or reneging on a promise?  Not sure.  

How does this make Trump look going into the Summit?  Unclear.

Vox explains in an article by Zeehan Aleem.  
   
There's all the stuff about wanting to re-admit Russia despite Crimea. 
  
Trump says he will send a signal right away in the first moments of the meeting as to go, no-go. 


The meeting is held on a secure island right off the coast of Singapore. The press has been critical of Singapore’s authoritariansism.  For example, Singapore still has a male-only sodomy law (not enforced).  But that’s where many states in the US were until June 2003. More importantly, Singapore doesn’t allow demonstrations.
   
No, I wasn't invited to go. 

 In the meantime, I should apologize to Canadian actor Richard Harmon ("the greatest of all time" as per Timo) for Trump's behavior, as an American wanting to get a movie made. "Blame Canada" indeed. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Summit back on, Kim Jong Un sends Trump "The Manifesto"



Now, the summit back on for June 12.  I don’t know if I would count on it for sure, given the yoyo history of this child's-play diplomacy.

Furthermore, Kim Jong Un wrote a “manifesto” which was delivered to Trump, after the physical package was examined by Secret Service.


Because of a “degrees of separation” process, Trump may vaguely know of my DADT book series and that is has been called “The Manifesto.”  What will pass through his mind now?

Here is the CNN story, by Lindsay Benson. 
   
Maybe Will Ripley should run for president in 2020.  He is old enough (not by much).

Thursday, May 31, 2018

EU's GDPR rules might hamper terror investigations and facilitate some specific kinds of hacking



An important op-ed on p. A19 of the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, May 31, 2018 by Brian E. Finch and Steven P. Farmer, illustrated by Phil Foster, talks about how the EU’s recent GDPR implementation may inadvertently facilitate cycbercrime and hacking, especially domain name theft or takeover, that seems to be happening more.  This could be a major "unintended consequence" for consumers, even outside the EU. 

  
The article is “The E.U.’s Gift to Cybercriminals” explains how locking down WHOIS information can make domain theft more likely, and can hamper anti-terror investigations.
  
A recent story in Medium by Battelle also goes into how GDPR could make it much harder for startups to compete with larger companies in building up subscriber lists because of encouraging consumer reticence, something I notice in my own behavior.  I’ll come back to this later.
Picture: Border station at Pharr, TX: my visit, yesterday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Why are children separated from asylum-seeking parents at the US southern border?



Here is a disturbing narrative from Marian G., an asylum seeker from Hondouras, on CNN as an op-ed
  
The title is eye-catching, “At the border, my son was taken from me”. 

She was finally granted asylum and reunited with her son.


But the son was in a “federally” run foster home while she was in detention near the border. I’ve nevezr heard of federally sponsored foster care, or of any quasi-private sponsorship program for asylum seekers and their children;  most of it is grass roots and off the books run by local groups (as with LGBT) and involves some risk taking by the volunteers. 

That should be differentiated from sponsorship for refugees, which exists for small groups in Canada.  In the US, large social service organizations, under DHS, supervise churches and non-profits who assign many volunteers to one refugee family.


Newsweek has a short article explaining that Sessions claims that the measure discourages parents from bringing kids into the country illegally, but it is legal once you ask for asylum!  The Los Angeles Times weighs in with an editorial.

Update: May 31

USA Today offers an op-ed explaining how families can be reunite quickly most of the time, here (with video).  Opposing view by Andrew Arthur.  It will take some care analysis to compare the points and figure all this out,

And Arizona Gannett has a story here.

Update: June 14

Paul Ryan wants the GOP to develop a bill to prevent family separation at the border, as Democrats have proposed already in bills, CNBC story.

The LA Times has a chilling story of what happens inside a Texas youth migrant shelter, here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ebola vaccine used in the Congo (Democratic Republic)



Julia Belluz of Vox explains how the new Ebola vaccine is being used now in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, link here.
  
One wonders, with a vaccine in development and on shelf so long, why it wasn’t usable in 2014.

  
Jack Andraka reported that he’ll go to west Africa for a research project this summer (from Stanford).  It would sound like this vaccine should be mandatory.  While we’re at it, remember that college campuses should insist on both meningitis vaccines (A and B). 

I’m a big believer in prevention.
  
Wikipedia attribution link, photo of quarantine card by Julia Broska, CCSA 4.0.

Monday, May 21, 2018

North Korea summit to be held in Singapore seems to be in trouble; then what? (Oh, "We'll see what happens!")


Trump’s planned summit in Singapore with Kim Jong Un seems to be “going off the rails”, as in this Voix article by Zach Beauchamp, rather like a lab experiment filled with tweets. 
  
Christine Kim at el have a more detailed story on Reuters, over the gulf on what “denuclearization” really means.  South Korea’s Moon may have spun too optimistic a sales pitch.  The UK independent discusses the ‘”talk about the talks” here.
  
Would South Korea accept a much reduced presence of US troops, if there were some sort of international supervision (even from China) to make sure nuclear activity doesn’t continue?
  
  
The press says Trump has bragged about his “accomplishment” before it could come to pass. 

Trump says, "we'll see what happens." 

If the talks fall apart, would North Korea resume testing its missiles?  A bloody nose attack sounds rather unthinkable.  For the US, an EMP threat could linger if the tension remains.   The release of three prisoners however would help release some tensions.
  
But Trump is now said to have been briefed on unconventional attacks like EMP, probably in March.

Update: May 22

Trump says June 12 summit may well not happen. Trump said to want to buy back NK nukes for big bucks, infrastructure assistance to DPRK.

CNN's Will Ripley is on a train to see the beginnings of some denuclearization today, tweet.

Update: May 24

Trump cancels the summit, over displeasure over bellicose statements.  He says he is open to talking later.  Wait and see. Will Ripley comments on the CNN link.

Update: May 25

Well, maybe he can uncancel it.  Trump waffles.  It's impossible for a blog like this to keep up.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Vox explains the stakes in North Korea, and the ambiguity in statements of Pompeo, Bolton; EMP threat hasn't gone away; DPRK threatens to cancel



Vox has an important story on the goals in the negotiations coming up soon in Singapore, by Alex Ward. 

There is some scuttle going on.  Bolton has said that North Korea has to denuclearize pretty much completely to be a “normal nation”.  But Pompeo seems more concerned to make sure North Korea can’t hit the US with a nuclear weapon.

  
Don’t lose sight of the EMP issue.  Free Thought has a major banner story on this today, about declassified Pentagon reports on the subject. 

Breaking:

North Korea threatens to cancel the June 12 summit of US exercises, Yahoo.  Alex Ward on Vox writes that this is likely a bluff, according to "experts".  But Trump seems to have gotten the news about this from the media he hates; he was blindsided. 

There are also reports that Trump wanted to evacuate military families from South Korea before the Winter Olympics. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

North Korea will really destroy its nuclear test site?


Don't know if I believe DPRK will blow up its nuclear test site, until I see it. But here's one story.  The site maybe already be compromised by self-caused earthquakes.

US says it will not stop defense of South Korea.

Pentagon did not look very busy in the wee hours of Sunday morning as I rode home in a cab from the bars.



CNN'w Wolf Blitzer recently visited Cheyenne Mountain NORAD facility in Colorado. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump claims he conceded nothing to get the three prisoners from North Korea back



Donald Trump maintains that he gave no concessions (didn’t “pay”) for the release of three prisoners from North Korea, who came home today. Brett Samules reports for The Hill (conservative). 
The release does take a little pressure off the upcoming Summit, as it is a fait accompli now.  But some observers say that Trump’s reneging on Iran will complicate the summit.
  
The Summit is going to be held on Tuesday June 12, 2018 in Singapore, a moderately authoritarian country.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Trump, as expected, pulls the plug on Iran and may have escalated the risk of war



I was conveniently home when Donald Trump gave his bombastic speech pulling the plug on Obama’s Iran deal.  I thought this sounded like a day in May a year ago when he pulled out of the climate accords.

All the “elitist experts” on CNN say that the international inspections of Iran were working, and that the agreement made it possible to “watch” Iran, which is not possible for North Korea.  But possibly Trump thinks that watching is just staring. Is this Trump’s idea of “No spectatiors” at Burning Man?


“Vox explains” all this about as well as anyone else, here. It’s like a 5-2 loss in a baseball game. 

Facing renewed sanctions, Iran is likely to get belligerent.  Syria is where we would first see the symptoms, and Israel will be so much more on edge.
  
My own sense is that Trump may have complicated things for us and himself with North Korea, after a lot in the past few weeks has sounded quite encouraging.

I remember the days of the Iran Hostage Crisis and the EDS rescue, but I don't think Shiite is as potentially ideologically dangerous as some of the Saudi world.

Barack Obama called Trump's action on JCPOA as "misguided", Facebook post here

Monday, May 7, 2018

Trump's plan to penalize immigrants who use welfare benefits draws rancor and could lead to underground calls for hosting


The Trump administration is proposing a plan to penalize legal immigrants who use public benefits.  An immigrant who takes welfare or food stamps or some other immigration benefit (like after getting asylum or even passing the waiting period, or who came here legally with a visa) would be penalized in getting a green card later. Nick Miroff has the story March 28 in the Washington Post. 

This could lead to situations where there is more social pressure (as from churches) for people to host immigrants and actually support them as dependents.  Right now, asylum seekers (as in the LGBT community) often use publicly funded clinics for health care.  It's important to remember that the US does not have an individualized refugee sponsorship program comparable to Canada's. 


America’s Voice sent out a press release referring to the plan Monday morning. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

TPS removal for Honduran immigrants; more on asylum near the California border



The Trump administration has removed temporary protected status from about 57000 people from Houduras, who could face deportation by 2020.
\   
Generally, people would have had to ask for asylum within a year of arriving.  Being from a country, without TPS, doesn’t qualify for asylum; being a member of a particular social group might, although that is getting harder. 

The New Yorker ran a story about a gay asylum seeker from Honduras in January.

The San Diego Tribune reported that all members of the Caravan are now in the US, link.

However, the migrants themselves chose who would be the first group to apply for asylum, mostly pregnant women or mothers with small children.  But again, to qualify for asylum, the migrants will have to establish more than just the countries they come from.
  
A good question is why more isn’t done about the horrible corruption in some Central American countries.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Malaysia passes and enforces law against fake news even on private citizens




A man was sentenced to a month in jail in Malaysia for posting a falsely critical story of police response on Facebook.


The Verge reports here.  In some parts of the world, governments really are cracking down on “amateur reporting”, whether politically motivated or not.

However some accounts call this the first law against fake news with criminal penalties for citizens.
  
Even Putin tells Russians that he’ll promise them a good life but he doesn’t want them speaking out on their own!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kim Jong Un, Moon start historic summit in South Korea



ABC News has a detailed article with illustrations on the preparations for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and Moon on April 27, here.
   
Joshua Berlinger et al for CNN report that Kim crossed into South Korea and the summit has begun, story.  There probably will be some kind of treaty ending the Korean War officially. 


The New York Times (David Sanger et al) suggests that Trump may meet with Kim in Singapore in June.  No nation that has nuclear weapons have ever given them up.

Picture: Catherine Lee talks about her short film “9 at 38” at NYC Tribeca Film Festival (concerns a 2015 Beethoven 9 concert in the DMZ).

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).

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Trump administration announces sanctions on smuggling for North Korea at sea Friday (before Olympics end)



Trump has announced new sanctions against North Korea, even before the Olympics end, targeting illegal transfer of raw materials amount intermediary ships, and possibly sanction the nations these ships fly under.


Al Jazeera says that the sanctions could undermine China’s cooperation, story

Trump has said “we’ll see” after the Olympics on military action, like a teacher counseling a student if he will pass.


  
He has suggested that dangerous military action could be coming soon.
  
The Treasury secretary in the video above mentioned that there are classified and unclassified measures of how sanctions work. He added that sanctions against Russia are pending.

He also mentioned the possibility of a federal Internet sales tax.
  
He said that assets of US businesses who helped violate a sanction could have assets seized. For most companies this is unlikely to arise as a risk.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Post-Communist, post-one-child China seems to be moving toward eugenics



I’ve noticed some articles (and tweets pointing to them) about China in its post one-child world, as playing eugenics with its sub ethnic groups, probably beyond the notice of westerners.


One such article is in BioEdge, link here. And here’s a shocking piece by Didi Tatlow from Dec, 2016 in the New York Times about eugenics in choosing children for bands.  
  
Communism seems as preoccupied with improving the “stock” of future generations as was Nazism. This also feeds the population demographics controversy, "the right babies". And eugenics was a popular subject in the United States in the early 20th Century. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DC attorney traces what happens now when asylum cases are denied (under Trump with LIFO processing)



Jason Dzubow is starting a series of two posts explaining what happens when an asylum case is denied, link.
  
Usually you can “appeal” and there is a lot of technical discussion of what “in status” means.
  
This could be of importance to anyone hosting asylum seekers as to their potential legal responsibilities.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hungary considers bill to place heavy legal liabilities on those who assist asylum seekers



Human Rights Watch reports on a bill in Hungary that would place heavy legal liabilities on those who help asylum seekers, link here
   
You wonder if Trump could try to set something like this up here.
  
In 2016 I looked at the possibility of hosting asylum seeker(s) before selling my house and taking myself out of the controversy, and I found it very hard to pin down the legal labilities hosts would face.  Even attorneys were very reluctant to talk about it. 
  
Wikipedia attribution link for map by Peyerk, CCSA 3.0 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Senate drops the ball on DACA today; important legal blog post on LGBT asylum seekers today



The Senate has rejected (falling short on the 60 votes needed) the bipartisan immigration plan, and Trump’s also, as in the Yahoo! story here
  
  
Dreamers have some reassurance right now in a recent stay of Trump’s March 5 deadline by a Brooklyn NY federal judge.  But the uncertainty over their future remains as Congress is unable to do its job. 
   
Also, today, Richard Kelly (the DC Center) and Jason Dzubow wrote an important blog post “The One Year Bar and LGBT Asylum Claims”, here. I don’t see that on the DC Center Global Facebook page yet.  I posted this on my own timeline, and then tried to refer to it with a comment on another post on their page and Facebook rejected the comment as spam! (Main blog, Feb. 12).  This post seems very critical and we’ll hear a lot more about it. (Sometimes there are technical problems seeing all the recent posts on a Facebook page;  it might actually be there.)

Finally, the Cato Institute has a major paper today noting that the GOP immigration plan would give citizenship opportunities only to half of the 1.8 possible legal immigrants (and that number is cut, too). 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

South Korea wants to soften the tone of US "diplomacy"; tech industry quietly beefs up homeland security



Some news outlets are again reporting Sunday that Seoul is seeking to ease US tensions with North Korea over possession and development of missiles and nuclear weapons. 

Seoul (President Moon), however, wants the “right” conditions before talks happen. Mike Pence has still remained uncompromising in its remarks.  And over the weekend, Vox media upped the ante with discussion of the “decoupling” idea in Cold War domino theory.

  
It would be nice if Rippon and Pence can meet after the Olympics and talk about peace, and not just about the wounds of the past in gay rights.
  
In the meantime, my own little field trips seem to show that utilities and server farms in northern Virginia are quietly adding new layers of security, both from cyberattacks and possibly microwave devices.  I’ll get into that again later.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

North Korea holds its fake parade as Winter Olympics start; Cato scholar calls DPRK a "communist monarchy"



Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute writes “What I Learned inNorth Korea”, based on his visit in June, 2017 (which I thought had been banned then).  Bandow characterizes North Korea as a “communist monarchy”, maybe the only one in the world. But surprisingly the quasi-elite do have some actual businesses in Pyongyang, and there is some customer service in the hotel.

  
North Korea, by the way, held its parade today (JoshuaBerlinger, CNN) . Were some or most of the missiles fake?
  
The Matt Bai writes in Yahoo! that President Trump is bringing back a Cold War, McCarthyism mentality from 1953, about the time of Eisenenhower (who believed in UFO’s, after Roswell). But some of my writing (about the Vietnam era draft) reflects that attitude.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Pro football player's traffic death from undocumented reckless driver feeds fake "build that wall" debate


An Indianapolis Colts pro football player, Edwin Jackson, and an Uber driver transporting him were killed when struck by a hit-run driver who turned out to be an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, deported twice. The Q13 Fox story is here
  
The accident seems to have been gruesome, with some accounts saying the player had become ill and the car had stopped, and that the impact threw him into the center of the highway.


It’s pretty obvious that this incident can feed the Trump narrative for “Build that Wall” and put even more pressure on Democrats in Congress in the unconvincing DACA negotiations. But this is like giving everybody detention for the sins of one in middle school. There’s no question, DACA people have to deal with scapegoating of their group. Statistical studies from Cato and other places show that Trump’s demands on the Wall and on chain migration will do little in practice to make Americans safer from unpredictable random incidents. A good Cato article now is Alex Nowrasteh's on a John R. Lott's study of illegal immigrant crime in Arizona. 
 
Today, John Kelly (White House COS) made a snarky remark about "Dreamers not on DACA"(after Obama) as "too lazy or too afraid" to file papers, and likely not to be included in a deal on DACA (per CNN).   Dara Lind weighed in on this on Vox and noted that many Dreamers would lose work permits and become dependent on others (like LGBT asylum seekers are now) even if not deported. 

Kenneth Jost, author of the Supreme Court Yearbook, has a recent blog posting “On Immigration, Trump lies, panders to base”, here

Thursday, February 1, 2018

US changes rules for asylum seeker hearings


Apparently CIS has announced a new policy for scheduling asylum seeker hearings, essentially “last in, first out”.

The policy change is said to reduce the chances of asylum fraud.  But it’s pretty obvious that some asylum seekers would never get hearings at all.

  
Attorney Jason Dzubow has a long analysis of the problem on his professional blog here.   He notes that the Trump administration seems to view most asylum as “fraudulent”.
I’ll be covering this in more detail later on Wordpress.  It would obviously impact LGBT asylum seekers, and Center Global says the problem will be taken up soon at a Stakeholder’s Meeting.  I’ll have more on the LGBT blog when there is some detail. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Trump talks about the evil North Korea regime in SOTU but fails to talk about homeland defense


For much of the late afternoon, we heard speculation that Trump’s SOTU remarks on North Korea would be eye-openers and front page news. 

Look at the remarks by Ezra Klein on Vox and my reply, here

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) talked about Trump’s touting out amputee defector Ji Seong-ho, as well as the tragedy of Otto Warmbier (the parents were there). All of that underscores the repulsiveness of the regime.  
    
True, the Congress needs to fund the military (and not threaten the paychecks with shutdowns) and keep its missile deterrent.  But Trump did not mention the need to upgrade missile defense, or to secure American homeland against EMP/Cyber.  I wish he had. 

The Hill has a sobering report on warning time to defend a DPRK missile.

Vox also has a disturbing article by Zach Beauchamp arguing that Ttump's talk about North Korea resembles Bush against Saddam Hussein before going to war, here

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wired reports big-time on China's social credit system


Here's another story, a long one, in Wired, on China's evolving "social credit system", in a culture not used to credit cards.  It's in Wired, by Mara Hvistendahl, Dec. 14, 2017, "China's Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking", aka "In China a three digit score can dictate your place in society."
The article gets into the history of Ant Financial and then Zhima Credit.

The score would invoke the idea of paying your dues as well as paying your bills. Social credit could include helping the poor (and pimping the fact publicly) or taking care of elderly parents.  It could subsume what we call "community engagement".  If it took hold in the US, one can imagine how non-profits could monitor volunteers and control them for the social credits they need to have their own websites some day. Is this the Soviet New Man?

I fed this fire a couple times, as with this legacy piece in 2005 that says people could be scored and well-ordered because of the mathematical nature of real numbers, here.  This could have figured into a major incident when I worked as a substitute teacher.