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2022-12-09 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 351 references
[Comments enabled]  

No, the story here is not that Congress is attempting to lame-duck a DACA "fix" in legislation.  That's what CNN and the rest of the media would like you to believe.

The story is this:

Most recently, a federal appeals court largely upheld a lower court ruling finding the program unlawful and sent the case back – renewing urgency in addressing the population.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin – an Illinois Democrat and longtime advocate of Dreamers – said he supports the framework from Tillis and Sinema.

“As the author of the original Dream Act more than 20 years ago, I applaud every good faith effort to give these deserving individuals a path to citizenship. I’ve been in touch with my colleagues and will carefully review their proposal,” Durbin said in a statement. “I am determined to do everything in my power to help deliver a Christmas Miracle for Dreamers.”

Dick Durbin couldn't pass the original Dream Act.

So Obama did it anyway, knowing it had no justification in Congressional action, that is, with every expectation it was not lawful.

It was unlawful.

It was done knowing it was unlawful, with near-certainty, and with the intent of forcing codifying said unlawful act retroactively by more than a decade.  There is no means in United States law to redress this and we have repeatedly seen this sort of insult over the last number of years from both Democrat and Republican administrations.

It may well be that the only way to stop that sort of chicanery is for the courts to issue binding, immediate rulings irrespective of how many people get impacted as a means of forcing political retribution upon the members of either Congress, the Executive or both when they do this sort of thing.

Note that it was Trump's CDC that issued the illegal rent moratorium despite having no reason in the law to believe it was lawful; it clearly impacted the "major questions" doctrine and the CDC's authority was limited to quarantining or ordering destroyed things; nowhere was it given power to allocate private property to another person, in this case a rental residence.

In the case of the CDC's moratorium it can be argued monetary damages could be reasonable compensation.  That amount might be much larger than the unpaid rent, since the landlord was compelled to continue with the costs they had to maintain the property (e.g. property taxes, in some cases utilities if they were included in the rent, upkeep and similar) but it can certainly be argued that in the specific case of the CDC's moratorium money damages can remedy the issues in question.

This is not true in a situation like DACA, especially when the administration crafts the policy in such a fashion as to render the harms diffuse and thus destroy standing to bring a suit in the first place.  That is a taxpayer has no standing to sue on the diffuse and non-particular injury that adding such people to the nation, complete with their costs for schooling, health care and similar which may wind up being borne by society at large, imposes.  The same problem applies with so-called "college debt forgiveness" which is no such thing -- it is forcing the taxpayer generally and on a diffuse basis to pay a privately contracted debt many years down the road and for that reason is wildly unconstitutional.

This has to be stopped in some fashion and those politicians who do so are not generally subject to ejection by their constituents since by the time the case becomes ripe they've left office.  This is one of the primary reasons the Executive can act only within the boundaries of the Constitution or specific delegation by Congress, since by the time you can bring the case through the system the President is no longer President -- but in most cases many of the members of the House and/or Senate are still subject to losing their jobs.

There is talk of some sort of "bipartisan" act in this regard.  That's unacceptable, especially in the lame duck, since the courts have ruled that the policy had no legal force in the first place.  Yet here we are a decade down the road and two decades from when Durbin began trying, without success, to pass this through Congress with a President who illegally created a million-person strong cudgel -- without a scintilla of legal authority.

However you might feel about immigration this sort of lawlessness, which is practiced by both sides, must not be rewarded.

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So Biden has commuted the sentence of a notorious arms dealer who got caught by an elaborate sting operation in Bangkok, was extradited, and sitting in prison here for crimes he actually committed.  He sold weapons illicitly all over the place (literally all over the place) that were used to murder people, including Americans.  We went after him, we spent quite a lot of resource doing so, we caught him, tried him and sent him to prison.

Justly so.

Contrast this with Griner, who admitted to intentionally bringing THC-laden vape cartridges into Russia, which she knew was illegal.  She did it anyway.  Drugs are illegal in Russia, she was caught, arrested, tried and sentenced.

Was her sentence for this crime "insane"?  Perhaps.  Go try running drugs, even for "personal use" in Malaysia and you might find yourself on the wrong end of a death sentence.  Yes, I understand that in the United States we think some drugs are not crimes, with THC-containing things being one of them (well, in certain states anyway) even though under federal law the substance is still banned and you can still be busted for it.  Biden, I note, has not taken the steps to de-schedule THC in the United States.

So we, as Americans, have allowed a basketball player who willingly, knowingly and intentionally brought illegal drugs into another country (she admitted to that at her trial) and was prosecuted for doing so to be traded back to us in exchange for a man who dealt weapons that actually killed people in terrorist strikes, including Americans.

Never mind that Griner never met an opportunity to bag on the United States as a "terrible" country that she would not take up and celebrate -- right up until she got busted for breaking the law in Russia, and then of course the US should come save her.

At the very same time, while we did this, we're allegedly "supporting" Ukraine which, I remind you, is fighting those very same Russians.

We are clown world.

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2022-12-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 510 references
[Comments enabled]  
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Neither does Disney, nor many if not most other large corporations.

Take a look at the recent incident with our "nuclear waste person" allegedly caught stealing a piece of luggage.  You have to be out of your mind to do something like that.  There isn't an "innocent explanation" for it, nor one that meets the basic test of logic.  It has been reported that the person in question didn't even check a bag, so there was no reason for them to be in the claim area to begin with.

Supposedly said person has degrees in the nuclear field from MIT.  Is the degree worth anything and was it actually earned?  30, 40, 50 years ago we wouldn't have a reason to ask that question but today we do because colleges teach classes on "gender studies" and "whiteness as a disease", along with similar rot, and admit people not based on their aptitude but also based on various "diversity" checkboxes, whether it be race or something else.  This was bad back in the 1990s when I was running MCSNet and had people come apply to my firm for a job as students at UofC who couldn't manage to do four-function arithmetic on a piece of paper or write a basic business letter!  The majority failed at both tasks which I required to get an interview; the requirement was put in because if you couldn't do those two things, both of which you should have to demonstrate to graduate from High School you couldn't successfully communicate to a customer that they had to pay their bill to get service restored or make change for a $20 if they came in to pay in person!

We put men on the moon multiple times in rockets designed by men using nothing more than a slide rule, pencil and paper for their calculations and drawings.  Said devices worked.  Today the average college graduate appears to be unable to make change for a $20 without the computerized cash register telling them how much it is!

Bob Iger is back as CEO of Disney, which has seen its stock price collapse.  Meanwhile the price of admission to the parks has skyrocketed.  What are you getting for the money and why is it that ever-increasing cost to the customer hasn't translated into ever-increasing EPS?  That's obvious: The firm is bleeding money out of severed-arterial size holes.  Iger claims he will "quiet down" the culture war controversies.  Uh huh.  Sure he will.  Disney used to be the family-friendly company -- meaning parents with kids -- in all respects: Movies, theme parks, merchandise, etc.  Like it or not 95% of the families are in fact one man and one woman raising some number of children even though in today's world many of those couples do not remain together through that full 18+ year journey.  If you as a corporation cater to the 5% who include the small minority of two dudes with an adopted or foster child you piss off the 95% of the married, heterosexual couples with kids who have no desire to have their children consider that "normal" and trying to force that into said children's minds is going to drive the parents away.  Disney never put such content into its movies and similar production until fairly recently and its not because Disney "hated" said people: Its because they knew damn well that if you start playing "drag queen story hour" with your movies heterosexual married couples with children will think you're nuts, they do not want their children exposed to that and they won't spend money on your products and services where it is present.

Yes, its true that larger numbers of people consider this sort of thing "ok" today compared with 20, 30 or 50 years ago.  It doesn't matter except to a minor degree; you're still going to piss off the majority of the families.

Never mind Disney outsourcing virtually its entire IT department to either overseas locations or firing Americans and replacing them with H1b people, both of which were hired not for competence but rather because they checked a box -- in this case, they were cheaper.  If you allow a firm's employees to "express themselves" in the products and services offered you get whatever you hired and if said people were hired not with the first, second, third and all checkboxes being only competence but because you had some "DIE" goals in mind you now either must ban all such expression by the firm or you will piss off the majority of your potential customers.

Next up: Covid shots.  The legal standard for an "immunization" is that it must be at least 50% effective at preventing contracting said disease.  This is long-standing law in the United States.  The jabs were claimed to be nearly 100% effective, and this was a lie.  Was it an intentional lie or simply "do it fast, who cares if we're lying!" sort of lie?  I don't know but what I do know is that basically every public company and government agency now hires based not on competence only but with its finger on the scale based on the number of checkboxes you can tick, none of which have anything to do with your skill in-field.  Since it is now admitted that the shots are not in compliance with the legally-mandated minimum requirements and very rapidly fall below those minimums for effectiveness has our government forced their withdrawal?  Nope.  Leaving safety issues aside the effectiveness requirements are not suggestions, they are requirements.  So where's the government action to force them off the market and stop jabbing people with them?  Are there any competent individuals at the FDA or were they all hired based on the color of their hair or a "non-binary" gender claim?  And by the way, would you mind explaining how being "gender-queer" factors into whether you can do the statistical math required to figure out whether a serious safety signal exists?  Did we not learn that letting private actors perform these tasks and pinky-promise all was ok was stupid when Boeing did exactly that with MCAS and the result was two lawn-darts?

Twitter is a prime example in the private sector of proved worthless hired staff in size.  Elon Musk buys the company and almost-immediately fires more than half the workforce.  If the people "working" there were actually producing something valuable the firm couldn't have possibly operated for more than a few days.  Its been a month.  Where's the collapse?  That it didn't happen is proof that the majority of Twitter's former employees, perhaps nearly all of them, were hired either without a care in the world whether they could or did produce anything and once hired they were retained even though they in fact produced little or nothing of value, or worse, had negative value.  I couldn't have fired 10 or 20% of the people who worked at MCSNet without having severe and immediate consequences, and the few times I had to fire people for cause as they were disrupting things, a couple of times on a "more than one-off" basis, it was a severely disruptive event that generated my having to work 20 hour days to get through what I voluntarily took on by doing it.  You try like Hell as a CEO to never have to do that but sometimes you must -- and when you do its "all hands on deck" until you can find and acquire competent people to take those places, because you hired people who actually did the job in the first place and cutting them, while it might be necessary, is going to hurt.  THIS DID NOT HURT therefore those people weren't hired for the capability to do whatever their job was, whether its coding, customer support or cleaning the toilets.

This is not in "one department" or "one company" across America -- its everywhere.  People pulling down salaries not based on their competence and work ethic but rather because they check some number of boxes that have nothing to do with job performance.

How much of our economy is predicated on this nonsense?  How many people does your local hospital actually need to perform the task of removing a bullet from you after being shot and sewing up the damage and how many people does it employ who have as their greatest "asset" whether they check one or more of those boxes?  Certainly you need people in any firm that perform all manner of tasks but are you paying them in return for the actual task performed in a competent manner or are you paying them because they claim to be a woman yet they in fact have a sausage and two peanuts between their legs?

At MCSNet I did not care what race, color, creed, origin, sexual preference or any other box you might check.  I hired, fired and promoted based on personal competence to perform the job and nothing else.  No other factor went on the scale -- ever.  But if you brought any of that into the workplace and tried to express it as part of the "corporate culture" you were going to get fired -- every time, no matter what it was, and if you tried to organize that crap within the workforce everyone involved got fired.

MCSNet operated for the express purpose of providing Internet Services.  That's it.  We didn't care if you were black, white, brown, gray or Martian.  I didn't care who you slept with or what ever else you might do on your own time but that was not part of the firm's purpose and promoting any of it, no matter how mainstream or otherwise it might be, wasn't part of the company's mission statement and thus I never let it happen.

Why not?

Because doing so both diluted the effectiveness of the people who were working, which would drop directly to the bottom line, and in addition was guaranteed to piss off some subset of the customer base at the same time it appealed to some other subset.  It seemed that every few weeks some pressure group of this sort or that wanted something and every single one of them got the same answer: NO.

We're in a lot of trouble in this country folks, and a huge part of why is found right here.

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2022-12-05 17:48 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 330 references

train home, that is...


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2022-12-05 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 2681 references
[Comments enabled]  
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Read this carefully folks....

Municipality and county officials “have formed a plan for the night and the next few nights that we may be out of power. It’s a very serious situation,” Fields said. “So we’ve come to an agreement to best protect our citizens and to protect the businesses of our county, we’re going to implement a curfew tonight.”

The power outage in Moore County is being investigated as a “criminal occurrence” after crews found signs of potential vandalism at several locations, CNN previously reported.

Two substations taken out with (presumed) small-arms rifle fire (e.g. bog-standard hunting rifles) from what obviously were a very small group of people, perhaps one or two at each location pissed off about who-knows-what.

Question: Why couldn't this be immediately fixed?

Answer: They don't have spares for the parts that were damaged.

It's a gun folks, not a large blast that destroyed the land around the area.  Equipment was damaged.  Ok, so replace it and turn the power back on.

That only works if you have the replacements, which they obviously do not.  There is nowhere in this nation where you can't drive a truck full of equipment across a single county in a couple of hours.  Doing so requires you have the replacements.

Why do they not have the spares?

Because we sent our supply lines overseas, we made no provisions to have spares, and the regulators at the state and federal level sat on their hands and played with themselves instead of requiring that providers of critical services, such as electricity, had a sufficient stock of spares to cover both routine failures and those caused by weather or low-grade assaults perpetrated by small numbers of people.

This is the gross incompetence we have throughout our society.  It is the manifestation of "oh nothing bad will ever happen so we don't have to be prepared for it" that has shown up in all manner of other places, such as the cars that are completed except for chips in their engine computers without which they will not run, and thus they're sitting in a field unsold.

Rather than insist that such critical items be produced here in the United States, including all precursor components over the last couple of decades we did nothing of the sort.  We allowed the nickel to be "saved" and then pocketed by the shareholders, directors and officers while offshoring supply to China and other places which have no duty to US citizens.

We then went further in our official malfeasance and performed no audits or forced corrective action when the spares were not available and resupply looked possibly challenged, to the point that vehicles are stacked up and can't be sold for want of a chip and now power is out in an entire county because the switchgear and transformers in two bog-standard substations that feed the area were damaged and the power company has no spares available to immediately replace them.

What you should learn from this is that this sort of disruption is tiny compared to what ever one hundred dedicated men, uncorrelated and thus unable to be interdicted in advance could do any time they decided to.

Further, while I'm sure they'll find the parts somewhere in the US and restore power if the damage was to fifty counties instead of one the odds are high that said parts would not exist at all in the United States and might not be available in sufficient quantity to actually restore service to everyone for months or even longer.

"Oh, that could never happen", says you?

We have a secure border and a group of a couple hundred gang-banger terrorists that want to screw America couldn't get in along with all those "migrants" undetected and do this all over the place right?

What if you're wrong?

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