Thursday, September 27, 2018

Russia invites white farmers from South Africa with expropriated lands to emigrate

Amie-Ferris Rotman of the Washington Post reports that Russia has been inviting white farmers from South Africa to emigrate to southern Russia when their lands are expropriated, link here
The story maintains that this goes along with Putin’s offer of an alt-right political environment to settlers, of old-time white Christian family values – emphasizing large families and procreation. It certainly comports with Russia’s 2013 anti-gay propaganda law. Beyond a military rival, its previous competing ideology of socialism or communism has been replaced by a moral vision rightsizing individuals away from “genderlessness” and “infertility” as sins against the tribe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Trump constricts legal immigration even more with new rule publication, while is UN speech calls for local nationalism everywhere

The Trump administration has officially published its proposed rule denying future immigration benefits (like visa extensions and especially green cards) to legal immigrants deemed likely to become public charges. Dave Bier of the Cato Institute explains in this summary.   Bier points out that the services that immigrants would purport to use are lawful.

The administration statement however appears to encourage use of resources of “family, sponsor or private organizations.”  That’s a bit disingenuous because the US does not have a formal “sponsorship” system for refugees comparable to Canada’s.

Along these lines, Vox has run a few articles about Trump’s UN speech, with some stress on the idea that Trump envisions a world divided into sovereign nations where every citizen of any nation is encouraged to “take care of your own” first.  For example. Jen Kirby described the speech as “America first with patriotic word salad”, using a food metaphor popular back in the 70s.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I encounter street resentment of ICE myself

Yesterday, after parking in the Civic Center and City Hall garage in San Francisco, I walked up Leavenworth Ave right through the old Tenderloin District.

I encountered some signs like “Report ICE” and about community solidarity.

A young man challenged me and threatened to take away my camera when I photographed the sign. He was afraid that I was actually an ICE agent?

The tensions within lower income immigrant communities have never been worse, even in sanctuary cities

Monday, September 17, 2018

Kim Jong Un obey's Trump's version of "don't ask, don't tell"

David Sanger wrote of Kim Jong Un’s post-Singapore policy as “keep making nukes, but quietly”, Monday, September 17, 2018 detailed story here.  
Indeed, this is rather like a country’s using social media with maximum privacy settings. Kim has stopped all the public missile tests and announcements.

Trump acts like this may be good enough, because Kim would never know if his weapons really work. It’s sort of a perversion of “don’t ask don’t tell” as Trump would use it in a "deal".

Friday, September 7, 2018

Kim flips, back to talking denuclearization

Well, we’re back to Kim’s claiming that he wants to “completely ‘denuclearize’”, as in this CNBC-Reuters story

Kim will meet with South Korean president Moon Jae-In in Pyongyang Sept 18-20, despite Pompeo’s recent cancellations. 

South Korea’s wishes (and willingness to sign a peace treaty) seem to be bringing back the possibility of reducing hostility, even though there has been a lot of criticism in recent weeks.

The Washington Times weighs in with some surprising optimism today in a piece by Guy Taylor here.
By Teddy Cross - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Monday, September 3, 2018

Diplomats in Cuba, China injured by microwave weapon that may resemble E1 EMP

An Australian news site has one of the more alarming accounts of the brain injuries to some American diplomats in Cuba (in the US Embassy), and in China, as caused by microwave attacks, link here.  CNN also reports on the possibility of such attacks too. 

The United States does not say if it authorizes these kinds of attacks.  But the US military definitely has microwave weapons to disable ground electronics when deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan (see posting here March 4, 2010). Similar weapons, possibly from drones, have been suggested as a way to stop North Korean nuclear tests if diplomacy fails (as it looks like it might now).
But it would be possible for an enemy to use these weapons on the ground against US civilians or their electronics (similar to E1 level EMP).  They are not known to be in civilian hands at present.