31 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-11-17

  1. Yesterday’s tweet deserves some attention if only for the new subject it introduces: “Lawfare”. It’s the first time I have heard the term, but I find the concept interesting and relevant to both business and government.

    Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump Feb 10

    LAWFARE: “Remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this (the) statute.” A disgraceful decision!


  2. I found Wiki’s discussion stimulating at least for an introduction to the subject. Has anyone else heard the term?

    Whether lawfare is a positive or negative term


    Colonel Charles Dunlap describes lawfare as "a method of warfare where law is used as a means of realizing a military objective".[7] In this sense lawfare may be a more humane substitute for military conflict. Colonel Dunlap considers lawfare overall a "cynical manipulation of the rule of law and the humanitarian values it represents".[7]

    Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesney, and Jack Goldsmith appropriated the word for the Lawfare Blog, which focuses on national security law and which has explored the term and the debate over what lawfare means and whether it should be considered exclusively a pejorative.

    Benjamin Wittes, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, has argued that lawfare should not have only a negative connotation, but that it also refers to the sharply contested legal debates in the U.S. surrounding national security, and national security law. Wittes writes, "The name Lawfare refers both to the use of law as a weapon of conflict and, perhaps more importantly, to the depressing reality that America remains at war with itself over the law governing its warfare with others."[8]


    The Lawfare Project argues lawfare is exclusively negative, defining it as "the abuse of Western laws and judicial systems to achieve strategic military or political ends".[9] From this perspective, lawfare consists of "the negative manipulation of international and national human rights laws to accomplish purposes other than, or contrary to, those for which they were originally enacted".[9]

    In a 2010 speech on the topic, Lawfare Project Director Brooke Goldstein elaborated:

    "… lawfare is about more than just delegitimizing a state's right to defend itself; it is about the abuse of the law and our judicial systems to undermine the very principles they stands for: the rule of law, the sanctity of innocent human life, and the right to free speech. Lawfare is not something in which persons engage in the pursuit of justice; it is a negative undertaking and must be defined as such to have any real meaning. Otherwise, we risk diluting the phenomenon and feeding the inability to distinguish between what is the correct application of the law, on the one hand, and what is lawfare, on the other. Because that is the essence of the issue here, how do we distinguish between that which constitutes a constructive, legitimate legal battle (even if the legal battle is against us and inconvenient) from that which is a counterproductive perversion of the law, which should be allocated no precedent? The delineation is not as simple as some may like to make it; that is, that lawsuits against terrorists are good, and legal actions against the U.S. and Israel are bad. Now, the question is not "who is the target", but "what is the intention" behind the legal action: is it to pursue justice, to apply the law in the interests of freedom and democracy, or is the intent to undermine the system of laws being manipulated?"



  3. Sorry, that quote didn’t turn out so well. :–/

    This statement is the most interesting part to me:

    Now, the question is not “who is the target”, but “what is the intention” behind the legal action: is it to pursue justice, to apply the law in the interests of freedom and democracy, or is the intent to undermine the system of laws being manipulated?”


  4. Yes Ricky, but they’re getting the illegal immigrants too.



    And I doubt Canada wants many of these illegals either. These are the people currently targeted by Trump, as they were by Obama. These are the people ICE is rounding up, and the Democrats are rallying on their behalf.


    “At least 121 killings within a four-year span were carried out by convicted immigrants who were not deported, according to a 2015 U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee document recently reviewed by el Nuevo Herald.

    Every year, federal immigration authorities release foreign nationals convicted of crimes — including murder — both because the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited indefinite detention or because their countries refuse to take them back even after immigration judges have ordered deportation.

    While the release of convicted immigrant criminals has been routine since the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling 15 years ago, the practice is now in the national spotlight because President Donald Trump has made it imperative to deport immigrant convicts as quickly as possible lest they commit more crimes.”

    “Research by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has elicited evidence that could be used to back Trump’s claim. A committee document contains comprehensive information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about the number of immigrant convicts in the United States, their whereabouts, whether immigration authorities have succeeded in deporting them and whether they committed additional crimes after being released.”

    “A committee letter sent to the Department of Justice and the Departments of State and Homeland Security nearly two years ago said that at least 121 homicides “could have been avoided” between 2010 and 2014 had Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under the prior Obama administration, deported immigrant convicts instead of releasing them.

    “This disturbing fact follows ICE’s admission that, of the 36,007 criminal aliens it released from ICE custody in Fiscal Year 2013, 1,000 have been re-convicted of additional crimes in the short time since their release,” according to the letter, dated June 12, 2015.”


  5. And the claims from the media, Facebook, and Twitter that no terrorists came from the countries in Trump’s ban? You know, the reports wrongly sited by the 9th Circuit as a reason to uphold the stay?

    Those would be false.


    “Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

    According to a report out Saturday, at least 17 claimed to be refugees from those nations, three came in as “students,” and 25 eventually became U.S. citizens.”

    The 9th Circuit fell for more “fake news.”


  6. That business is more likely to go North than South. My wife is the only Mexican I know who likes to play with computers.


  7. This article by Andrew Sullivan really shows where we are.


    At the beginning Sullivan does a good job of showing what an outrageous liar Trump is, how the press needs to constantly challenge Trump’s lies, and even how the nature and frequency of those lies may be a type of insanity.

    However, he then makes the ridiculous argument that the lies Trump constantly repeats somehow have taken away our freedom. As crazy as Trump may be, he can always drive the liberals to act even crazier.


  8. As opposed to Kristol, Rich Lowe at National Review is trying to be very open-minded toward Trump. He recently tweeted a link to this article, which argues That America’s Founding Principles, De-Christianized, are Poisonous.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RW: We haven’t liked Cuban in SA ever since he called our state’s largest tourist attraction, the Riverwalk, an “ugly, muddy-watered thing.”

    Btw, that was a really intense game last night – the arena was still rockin’ even with the Thunder down by 20. It was great to see San Antonian Roberson stand up to Durant, and it was a very emotional game for KD.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Last year in the playoffs, Cuban tried to rattle Westbrook by saying that Durant was OKC’s only superstar. After a Thunder win, Durant rebuked him with the famous: “He an idiot!” line. Robertson has had a good year. I think his perimeter defense is as good as Leonard’s, meaning it is as good as anyone in the league.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark Cuban made a very astute observation even prior to the election. He predicted Trump’s brand would diminish in value. Trump’s supporters were not his customers and his election rhetoric would lead to less interest in his products and name. Recent events indicate he is right. Nordstroms and others drop Trump lines. Meanwhile, Melania sues the Daily Mirror because its news story diminishes her name and her ability to monetize her new status. The Trumps know their brand is diminishing and hence Conway, Spice and Trump all defend the brand instead of concentrating on governing. For Trump, the presidency was about making money not losing money, unless of course Putin’s paying him well.


  12. Abstract idealism, in a break from the past, is a dangerous way to govern. The Soviet and French revolutions are good examples as was Mao’s Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward. Interesting, fascism as practised by Franco, Mussolini, the Greek generals, Salazar, etc didn’t have that problem. It was a reactionary ideology opposed to 18th century liberalism (free market, free speech, free…) and claimed to be organic based on culture as opposed to the rational mechanical vision of Locke etc.

    However, the author’s claim that combination of Enlightenment abstraction and the English cultural heritage created the US and to continue without the latter will lead to its decline. The Latin American countries failed to establish stable regimes for various reasons — a class structure of large plantation owners and a small middle class, foreign intervention (the US and Europeans), Catholic authoritarianism, etc. The US succeeded not solely because of an Anglo-Protestant heritage but because in the North there was a large middle class, a yeoman class, with very few large landowners, Enlightenment figures who separate church and state, and a lack of European intervention. Hamilton had a vision of a manufacturing base and an urban middle class. The North’s victory eliminate any idea of a plantation economy and extreme inequalities and thus a more stable nation. All of the above factors contribute to American success.

    The so-called Saxon heritage is its own abstract myth. The English revolutionary era ended in the Glorious Revolution and the beginning of the modern UK era. In establishing a constitutional monarchy, the English discard the extreme versions of Saxon history as proclaimed by the Levellers and Diggers. Furthermore, the Church of England also discarded fringe groups including the Fifth Monarchists and some Puritan groups. The Saxon myth continued and was brought to the New World but its not part of the US constitution or any other part of the founding — this was Lockean liberalism and a constitutional monarchy without a monarch. Anything more radical then this was put down (Shay’s Rebellion) or shipped to France (Thomas Paine). Thus, similar to England, the US discarded extreme versions of Saxon history.

    As for the role of Protestantism, that too is an abstract myth. Protestantism did change the nature of governance and the culture of various societies but its not an existential part of the US. Protestantism had a predominant influence in the founding of the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations yet they’ve succeeded far more in a post-Christian era. Similarly, its possible for the US to evolve into a post-Christian nation without losing its stability and success.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. AJ — the Democrats and the court claim the EO is too drastic for the threat it proposes to eliminate. There have been no acts of terror in the US by persons from the seven nations listed. There may have been terrorist related offences — probably fundraising or other forms of support to terror elsewhere — but no terrorist acts.

    The EO was crudely written and badly implemented. The president may have broad powers in foreign policy and protecting the US but he has to use these powers competently and with forethought. The arbitrariness and incompetence displayed needs the judiciary to slap the executive into shape.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. HRW, I agree with much of what you said at 6:41. However, if the success of the US was based on the Northern middle class and yeoman class, how do you explain the success of the South until 1861. The South governed itself just as well and spread west just as quickly as the North. In fact the successful war with Mexico was primarily a Southern effort opposed by Northerners such as Lincoln.

    The Old South had an upper class, a middle class and a lower class, but there was a great deal of social mobility. Nathan Bedford Forrest went from lower class to upper class in just a few years. So did Pat Cleburne. Stonewall Jackson worked his way up to middle class before the War. In fact, there were a number of free black slaveholders who climbed the social ladder before the War. In his History of the English Speaking People, Churchill displays his admiration for antebellum and wartime Southerners as some of the finest examples of English speakers in the New World.

    It was generally Southerners who rejected the worst of the Enlightenment. Most 19th Century American heresies (and there were many, such as theological liberalism, perfectionism and Mormonism) arose in the North and were largely rejected in the South. When Thomas Payne went off the deep end and attacked George Washington as a traitor, it was a Southerner (Lighthorse Harry Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee) who opposed him in print, famously referring to Payne as “that infamous sot and infidel”.


  15. DJ, I hope that you and your people will start covering those crowds that are following the President around, cheering him on.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Churchill was an old school Tory — an admirer of aristocracy and an agrarian society, he was never really comfortable with middle class Britain and manufacturing. Similarly the US South was chiefly agrarian with little secondary and tertiary industries and very little social mobility. Exactly the type of world Churchill would be comfortable with.

    The US South wasn’t very successful before the Civil War — based on plantations and primary industries mostly agriculture; it was far behind the North in manufacturing, railroads, cities, labour mobility, etc. Its defeat was almost certain if the war became an endurance as it did. The South featured almost exactly the same economy and social history as the Latin American nations. Its Anglo-Saxon Protestant would not have made a difference, if independent it would have a similar unstable gov’t as Latin America. (You have to read “White Trash” for its description of the social composition of pre-civil war south — not for those with nostalgic ideas of the antebellum South)

    Interestingly, Mormonism incorporated part of the Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism myth especially the British Israelite legend.


  17. I think he’s confusing protestors with supporters. He did the same with North Dakota DAPL protesters. Either he’s lying or he’s delusional or both.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. HRW, You are right about Churchill. He loved The South and The South loved him. No doubt Lee and Churchill both thought a great deal about what might have been had The South not participated in The American Revolution.


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