Majorityrights Central > Category: Law

A crisis in the custody suite – part 1

Posted by Guessedworker on Friday, 08 December 2017 18:41.

A cautionary tale for policemen

All morning, John Holly lay sleepless on the thin, blue plastic mattress in his cell. Several times he heard the sounds of activity in the corridor outside, metal doors slamming shut, once some shouting.  But beyond a couple of momentary check-ups through the panel in the door and the arrival of WPC Brook with sweet, weak tea in a plastic cup, no one took any interest in him at all.  It seemed that the Metropolitan Police Service was not used to suspects putting a large spoke in its little procedural wheel.

It had all gone horribly wrong for the Met four long and lonely hours earlier, in Holly’s initial interview, following his arrest at home in the small hours.  The fall guy had been the glotally challenged Detective Sergeant Kevin Boulder, seated across the table from him and the duty solicitor, a Miss Agarwal, in Interview Room 1.

“An ‘ate crime,” Boulder had confidently begun in the approved ex cathedra sing-song of the local comp boy made plod, “is a crime that the victim or any uvver person perceives to be motivated by ‘ostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity.  In this case we are dealin’ wiv ‘ostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race.  If the investigatin’ officer is satisfied that the offence took place as described by the victim ...”

“Prakash Ghosh,” interjected Holly, plainly stating a fact he knew only too well.

Miss Agarwal shifted in her seat.

“I am unable to disclose the victim’s precise identity at interview under caution,” replied Boulder, “That information will only be supplied if, at the conclusion of this investigation, a formal charge is laid.”

“But it was Ghosh,” Holly shot back, “You know it.  I know it.”

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Jez on great form

Posted by Guessedworker on Tuesday, 28 November 2017 07:18.

Great to see Jez Turner, after his latest appearance in a British court, so energised and strong, ripping into the Jewish activist apparatus and the complicity of the British state which, together, seek to silence him and, through him, all of us.

I reproduce below a lengthy comment from the YouTube thread.  There is quite a bit that could be said about whether this whole affair was really necessary for all concerned, even for Messers Falter and Silberman - who of course, may win just by default, despite what looks from the outside like a perilously weak case.  But now is not the time to do that.  Now is the time to praise Jez and wish him success.  If he does succeed and win his freedom it will be interesting to talk to him about the effects of that on our future speech, and we should certainly seek to do that.

From the thread:

Sophie Johnson 12 minutes ago

Superb sight, superb sound: the upright Englishman who declines to be intimidated by the moral dwarves of public and political life. Did Theresa May and Amber Rudd ever pause to think that Jez Turner will respond to the viscious attack on him by their close associates (the unsavoury Gideon Falter and friends of the CAA) as the event that licenses his public exposure of them all?  I doubt it. That cabal of moral zeros thought they had ‘got’ Jez intimidated, and with that, anyone else who might dare raise a voice against them. How wrong they were!

Still, this situation must give us pause: As Jez explains in his habitually firm and clear voice, the justice system in England and Wales has fallen vicitim to Zionist occupation. His own case illustrates this: The DPP and the CPS had decided correctedly that he will not be prosecuted for his criticism of the Shomrim and the associated Zionist behaviours in this country because he had done nothing wrong, despite Gideon Falter’s backroom dealings.

So what is happening? This: The DPP and CPS did not even wait for the outcome of the High Court Judicial Review initiated by Falter and the CAA; instead, they just agreed that Jez has to be prosecuted under Article 17 of the ECHR. So Jez is now before the Crown Court.

But will the DDP also be before the Crown Court to explain her change of mind? She had previously decided unequivocally that Jez Turner had done nothing wrong, so there is no ground on which to prosecute him, and it would not be in the public interest to prosecute him. So why did she change her mind with such alacrity? Will she be called before the Crown Court to explain? No: She will not. Why?

And will Falter the liar who claimed to have heard Jez’s Shomrim speech and been mortally offended by it be before the Crown Court to explain why he and his had lobbied the Executive Government so hard to cause the DPP to change her mind about prosecuting Jez? No: he will not. Why?

So here we have it: The zealous overturners of the judicial system of England and Wales: certain members of the Executive Government, the DPP and the morally faulty Falter of the CAA, have no case to answer. But Jez Turner, who exercised his right to self expression and did nothing wrong, is being tried by the Crwon Court.  Is there not a goodly touch of Alice in Wonderland in this? And is the British public not outraged? Probably not, for the public has not heard about this: our Zionist occupied ‘mainstream media’ is as silent as the tomb.


FCC doubles down on dead-wrong definition of how internet works

Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 26 November 2017 01:33.

Tech Crunch, “FCC doubles down on its dead-wrong definition of how the internet works”, 25 Nov 2017:

In May, when the FCC released an early draft of its plan to undo 2015’s strong net neutrality rules, I pointed out that its case rests almost entirely on a deeply incorrect definition of how the internet works. There can be no mistake now that this misrepresentation is deliberate; the agency has reiterated it in even stronger terms in the final draft of the proposal.

I’m not going to go into great detail on it (my earlier post spells it out) but the basic problem is this: broadband has to be defined as either an information service or telecommunications service. The first is “the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information,” while the second is “the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.”

It’s important because the two things are regulated very differently — the FCC has much greater power over telecommunications services, under the “Title II” authority that internet service providers are so afraid of.

While it’s certainly true that ISPs do in some ways store and generate data on behalf of the user, usually as part of managing their networks, it’s equally certain that their primary purpose is to transmit data between the user and points of his or her choosing. Consequently, broadband should be classified as a telecommunications service.

But don’t take my word for it. The FCC made the argument for me in its 2015 order, citing many sources of its own in support of this fact. This excellent primer produced by the EFF and nearly 200 experts explains basically from first principles how the internet works and why it should be defined as telecommunications. There are big names on the list, but it seems clear that even the garden variety experts understand this much more clearly than the FCC does (or pretends to).

The FCC dismisses these scholars and founding technologists of the internet in a footnote, describing itself as “unpersuaded” that the internet works the way they insist it does. Meanwhile, the proposal repeatedly and unquestioningly cites the comments of ISPs claiming that something as simple as caching data magically exempts them from being telecommunication services:


Just trust them — after all, it’s not like they have a horse in this race.

The FCC’s case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet works”, Tech Crunch 23 May 2017

The resulting definition of broadband as enabling users to generate, store, transform, and process their data is absurd. It is, as the Internet Engineers comment points out, like saying your phone is a pizzeria because you can use it to order a pizza. It is like saying that because you build a road, you are also building all the businesses along that road.

It is edge providers like Wikipedia, Dropbox, and even simple websites like TechCrunch that provide the services users request; it is ISPs that carry that data, with no change in form, between users and those edge providers. The FCC rejects this fundamental idea and substitutes a convenient fiction that upholds its current ambition to reclassify broadband. There is a semblance of plausibility to all this, but only because of precedents set in times when the internet looked very different.

This may be their downfall. Because the entire proposal is predicated on this spurious and outdated definition, to remove it causes the rest to crumble. Without reclassification there is no rollback of net neutrality. There is hope here: the FCC’s argument (which is to say, the broadband industry’s argument) already failed in court and may do so again. Here’s hoping. - Devin Coldewey

        Previously at MR, regarding net neutrality.


Donald Trump authorises reckless airstrikes against the legitimate government of Syria.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Friday, 07 April 2017 12:25.

Flag of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Let’s stand with the legitimate government of Syria

The position of Majorityrights.com is that we have always opposed the Alt-Right and we have always opposed the Presidency of Donald J. Trump. We have been harshly rejecting Donald Trump ever since the moment that he threw his hat into the ring during the GOP primaries, because the Trump phenomenon is a viciously Zionist phenomenon which only serves the apparent interests of the United States, Russia, and Israel.

If you are reading this article, you doubtless are already aware of the events that transpired early this morning. The United States has unilaterally conducted an airstrike against a Syrian airbase. There are even rumours right now of a second airstrike being prepared.

What we know so far:

  • The airstrikes targeted the Shayrat airbase near Homs. The United States has said this is the location from which Syrian forces allegedly launched a sarin nerve gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun on Tuesday morning.  
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  • The Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the warships USS Ross and USS Porter in the eastern Mediterranean sea in the early hours of Friday morning. The strike had a 39% hit rate against the airfield.  
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  • A Syrian official told the Associated Press that at least seven were killed and nine were wounded in the missile attack. Reuters reported that the Syrian state news agency said the strikes killed nine civilians, including four children, in areas near the targeted airbase.  
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  • President Bashar Al-Assad’s office said the strike was “foolish and irresponsible” and that the United States has “revealed its short-sightedness and political and military blindness to reality”. It said the Syrian government would redouble its efforts against rebel groups after the strike, adding: “the disgraceful act of targeting a sovereign state’s airport demonstrates once again that different administrations do not change deeper policies.”  

This article does not intend to offer any information that is not already in the hands of other media organisations. Rather, I intend to start a conversation on what actions need to be explored by activists from a British perspective, in order to undermine American Zionist aggression in Syria.

International armed conflict

The events that we’ve seen transpiring this morning have been deeply disturbing. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the situation in Syria now is officially “an international armed conflict”.

“Any military operation by a state on the territory of another without the consent of the other amounts to an international armed conflict,” ICRC spokeswoman Iolanda Jaquemet has told Reuters in Geneva. “So according to available information – the US attack on Syrian military infrastructure – the situation amounts to an international armed conflict.”

“It’s unclear how US air strikes will make civilians safer”, Lord Wood of Anfield, chair of the United Nations Association UK has said.

In a blog post, Wood wrote: “Unilateral action without broad international backing through the UN, without a clear strategy for safeguarding civilians, and through military escalation risks further deepening and exacerbating an already protracted and horrific conflict, leaving civilians at greater, not lesser, risk of atrocities.”

He added that by circumventing the UN “we reduce both legitimacy and effectiveness, as a course of action that does not have the broad support of regional powers and the international community, channelled through UN systems and processes, can have little chance of success in leading to a more stable Syria.”

Whispers in the backchannels

As far as anyone is aware of what backchannel communications have been taking place, the United States warned Russia of the attack before it took place. Additionally, Russia had signalled yesterday evening that it would not be willing to support the government of Syria under all circumstances. In other words, there are some circumstances under which Russia would undermine the interests of the Syrian government. This was an unsurprising admission, given that it was also Russia who opted to send Sergei Lavrov to barter with John Kerry to induce the Syrian government to surrender their chemical weapons deterrent in the first place.

It is interesting that surrendering their chemical weapons deterrent into the hands of Russia, has not made the Syrian government’s position safer. Rather, it has increased the incentive for America to push for opportunistic aggression against Syria, under the pretext of seizing the very weapons which Syria has already ceased to be in possession of.

It is also interesting to note that the ‘good’ relationship between the Trump administration and the Putin administration – which will probably broadly continue despite all the sternly enunciated words that are issuing forth from Russian officials today – has not led to the position of the Syrian government being any safer. In fact, it is precisely because the United States and the Russian Federation have been on good terms since Trump’s inauguration, that the probability of what has now transpired, happening, had increased.

A scenario in which the United States and Russia arrive at an agreement in which both countries have their geostrategic interests met, is a scenario in which Russia would probably turn against Bashar Al-Assad. With Trump in office, the chances of such a scenario manifesting are actually increased, because Trump has not until today presented himself as an opponent of Russia on anything, to say the least. The chances of them being able to ‘do a deal’, is greater. Russia has specific interests in Syria which do not absolutely necessitate the survival of Bashar Al-Assad’s government. Hypothetically they could be guaranteed in another way. Vladimir Putin himself signalled this yesterday evening just before the American airstrikes took place, when Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, “Unconditional support is not possible in this current world.” 

If the United States were to convincingly guarantee Russia’s specific interests on the Syrian territory – access to the warm-water port, a place in the pipeline consortium, a list of friendly future government figures – in some future arrangement mediated by Turkey, Qatar, UAE and Israel, via some backchannel communication, Russia might proceed to ‘take a deliberate dive to the mat’ diplomatically, and tacitly permit the United States to continue airstrikes against Syria.

People will need to watch for signs of that horrendous scenario continuing to develop.

British diplomacy

One of the central features of British diplomacy and British foreign policy, is ‘hypocrisy’. It is not done in a haphazard way, but rather, it is done with method and purpose. It has evolved over the centuries because Britain’s stated position on any given issue – particularly when it comes to the issue of geopoliticised alleged ‘human rights violations’ – is often the opposite of what its governing instiutions have actually resolved to do, or not do.

Kerry Brown, the director of King’s College London’s Lau China Institute, once wryly referred to this behaviour as “the brilliant complexity of British hypocrisy”.

And brilliant is precisely what it is.

Today is no different. Boilerplate ‘agreement’ messages were offered by Sir Michael Fallon, presumably to stave off the American Communications Operators who would have tried to apply pressure to the British government. Giving them a statement of agreement means that there is nothing for the Americans to snappily quote and criticise in the social media domain. In actual reality, Britain is still bound by the non-intervention vote that was arrived at in parliament in 2013, and thus is not actually in ‘agreement’ with the United States. 

ITV’s Paul Brand reports:

ITV News / Paul Brand, ‘Syria: Will Britain change tack too?’, 07 Apr 2017 (emphasis added):

Downing Street says America’s airstrikes against the Syrian regime are an “appropriate response” – but are they a response that Britain will be making itself?

Speaking to me this morning the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the US had Britain’s full support. But two things were clear: Britain was not asked to participate in the strikes, and Britain does not intend to participate in future.

For the British government, the question remains settled by a vote taken in parliament in 2013, when MPs were asked whether or not the UK should target President Assad’s forces. The then Prime Minister, David Cameron, was famously forced into an embarrassing defeat, as Labour swerved in their support and blocked the strikes under the leadership of Ed Miliband.

Many MPs – Conservative and Labour – still feel angry about that decision, believing that it has allowed the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. But it is a decision which still stands. This morning the Defence Secretary said he has no plans to put the matter to parliament again.

Instead, the British government still seeks a ‘political solution’ to the conflict. And it does not appear as if the American President – the head of state who typically exerts the most influence over British foreign policy – is applying any particular pressure on Britain to change tack.

Instead, that pressure comes from the likes of the Liberal Democrats. Not typically a hawkish party, their leader Tim Farron has said “We cannot stand by, we must act.” He wants more strikes, not fewer.

But the chances of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a lifetime peace activist, ever supporting military action are remote to say the least. He’s said the US air strikes only risk escalating the conflict. That means for the government, the numbers probably still don’t stack up, killing off the idea of another vote in parliament.

So while America escalates its action – even if the strikes were a one off – Britain remains stuck in stalemate.

That’s basically how it is.

Standing against Islamic terror

Keeping British aircraft off the Syrian Arab Army’s back and away from its skies entirely, would give the Syrian Arab Army the space that is needed for them to keep fighting against outfits like ISIL, Tahrir Al-Sham, Ahrar Al-Sham, and all of the other Salafist-Jihadist outfits that are operating in Mesopotamia.

Those Islamist outfits are the same reactionary outfits who are constantly seeking ways to send fighters to conduct terrorist attacks across Europe and Asia.

It is better for all of us, that the Islamist reactionaries get killed in Syria at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army, than for them to be constantly free to organise terroristic actions across the world.

Bashar Al-Assad is operating one of the world’s great ideological garbage disposal services. It’s called the Syrian Arab Army. It’s very progressive. The Syrian Arab Army destroys reactionaries and traditionalists, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and it requires no payment for that service. I can’t think of a better deal than that.

One of the best ways to stand against Islamism, is to let Bashar Al-Assad do what needs to be done, without intervening against him.

What can you do to keep Britain safely out of this air-war?

Britain is the most consequential and capable military actor in Western Europe. Britain’s non-participation in airstrikes, not only would ensure that Britain does not end up actively participating on the wrong side of a conflict that never should have happened, it would also have a dampening effect on America’s attempt to form the ‘coalition’ that Rex Tillerson has been talking about since last night. 

The question is, how can you become an active part of keeping British forces out of the air conflict? This is not exactly a difficult task, since it’s a case of simply reinforcing the status quo. The balance of forces in parliament simply needs to be maintained as it is, so that the deadlock on the issue is maintained.

This means that people need to write to their MPs, comment on social media, talk to their union leaders, and – for those who have such access, even at the local government level – engage productively in conversations with key people and keep presenting to them all of the real downsides of what intervention in the Syrian conflict could cause.

Make people aware that sentiments have not changed since 2013, and that no one wants to go to Syria to fight the Syrian Arab Army. The British public were interested in fighting against ISIL and against Tahrir Al-Sham. There is something to be strategically gained from that. There is nothing of any enduring value to Britain that can realistically be gained from fighting against the Syrian Arab Army.

It may also be a good idea to generate a list of any MPs and councillors in potentially vulnerable seats. They should be reminded that the British people have long memories, and that if any of them tries to start a parliamentary insurgency against the non-interventionist result that emerged in 2013’s vote, they should expect to be tarred on social media as being ‘a craven ally of interventionist Trump’. The threat should be formulated in such a way that it makes clear that everything will be done to try to remove those persons from their seats at the next election, if they try to bring this to a vote again. In other words, people need to make appropriate use of the space which liberal-democracy has carved out.

Conclusion

The Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy will not be participating in any airstrikes in Syria.

Let’s do what we can to help ensure that it really stays that way.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


She’ll make it come true, like she always does: Article 50 has been triggered.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:05.

Theresa May
“We all want a country that is fairer so that everyone has the chance to succeed. We all want a nation that is safe and secure for our children and grandchildren. We all want to live in a truly Global Britain that gets out and builds relationships with old friends and new allies around the world.” — Rt Hon Theresa May MP

It’s happening

Today is really a day of vindication. Both the detractors on the Eurofederalist side, and the detractors on the disruptive Alt-Right ‘Big Europe’ Russophile side had said that this day would never come and that the United Kingdom would descend into either chaos on the one hand or compromise on the other. 

But to their manifest displeasure this day has indeed come.

The United Kingdom has formally given the EU notification that it intends to leave the bloc.

Sir Tim Barrow, UK ambassador to the EU, handed the written letter to European Council president Donald Tusk today.

The moment that the letter was accepted, the notification to leave was triggered.

The UK now has two years to negotiate an agreement with the 27 remaining EU countries over its future relationship with the bloc.

Theresa May told the House of Commons: “This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back.”

She made the announcement as Article 50 was formally invoked when the letter Mrs May had signed was received by EU Council President Donald Tusk. She told MPs in the House of Commons this morning that she believes Britain’s “best days lie ahead”.

The Prime Minister said she would work for the “best possible deal” for Britain after Article 50 was formally triggered.

She added: “Now is the time for us to come together to be united across this House and across this country.”

A statement issued by the European Council said the talks would start by focusing on arrangements for an “orderly withdrawal” from the bloc.

The council, pledged to approach the talks constructively and hoped the UK would be a “close partner” after Brexit.

“We regret that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, but we are ready for the process that we now will have to follow.

“Our first priority will be to minimise the uncertainty caused by the decision of the United Kingdom for our citizens, businesses and member states.”

Who will our key negotiators be?

Over the next two years the United Kingdom and the European Union will attempt to negotiate the details of a potential Brexit deal and shape the possible future of UK-European relations.

The main negotiators for the United Kingdom will be:

David Davis

As the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis is responsible for the work of the Government’s Department for Exiting the European Union.

This department is responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing future relations between the UK and the bloc.

Having been appointed to the role in July 2016, Mr Davis helped get the Article 50 Bill through Parliament, which allowed Theresa May to formally trigger Brexit earlier this month.

The Haltemprice and Howden MP will now play a key role in delivering what Britain wants from negotiations.

He will have to work closely with Parliament and the devolved powers across the UK to ensure the Brexit process is as smooth as possible.

Sir Tim ‘Deepstate’ Barrow

Sir Tim Barrow is Britain’s ambassador to the EU and assumes “overall responsibility” for the UK’s departure from the bloc.

He took up the position in January, having replaced Sir Ivan Rogers. Sir Ivan Rogers had been induced to quit after he had committed the cardinal diplomatic sin of publicly criticising what he erroneously viewed as the Government’s “muddled thinking” over Brexit.

As head of the UK’s permanent representation to the EU, it is now Sir Tim Barrow’s role to ensure Britain’s policies are explained to EU member states.

Sir Tim Barrow’s 30-year political career has included two prior terms serving in Brussels, and he will represent the UK in weekly meetings at the European Council in Belgium.

Today, he arrived in the Belgian capital to deliver Britain’s Article 50 letter, signed by Theresa May, to European Council president Donald Tusk.

Sir Tim Barrow is more than prepared for the job that has been assigned to him. Having also been former ambassador to Moscow is something that has given him extensive experience dealing with completely insufferable 1990s-era Adidas tracksuit-wearing swinehounds, and this means that he is prepared for almost anything. Having seen the worst of continental European diplomats already, there is nothing that can now surprise or intimidate him.

It has been said that Sir Tim Barrow “knows everyone and everything” and is very well respected and liked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Sir Tim Barrow’s nickname in the Foreign Office is ‘Deepstate’, because he is so well embedded in diplomatic circles.

Crucially, he has a very good relationship with Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Boris Johnson. For those who understand the recent history of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the war of all against all that Boris Johnson has been inciting and waging both before and after his own appointment to that office, the fact that Barrow and Johnson are actually friends with each other is a very good sign. It means that there will be actual coordination and joined-up thinking going on.

Oliver Robbins

Oliver Robbins is the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union and he will work closely with David Davis.

Mr Robbins’ prime responsibility will be to support the department in the negotiations to leave the EU and help establish future relations.

In his role, he will help the Government to examine its options for future relations outside the EU, with Europe, and the rest of the world, as well as responsibility for the wider European and Global Issues Secretariat.

Mr Robbins is a seasoned civil servant.

Article 50 letter

These are the key sections of the Prime Minister’s letter which seem to warrant the most scrutiny:

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

As I have announced already, the Government will bring forward legislation that will repeal the Act of Parliament – the European Communities Act 1972 – that gives effect to EU law in our country. This legislation will, wherever practical and appropriate, in effect convert the body of existing European Union law (the “acquis”) into UK law. This means there will be certainty for UK citizens and for anybody from the European Union who does business in the United Kingdom. The Government will consult on how we design and implement this legislation, and we will publish a White Paper tomorrow. We also intend to bring forward several other pieces of legislation that address specific issues relating to our departure from the European Union, also with a view to ensuring continuity and certainty, in particular for businesses. We will of course continue to fulfil our responsibilities as a member state while we remain a member of the European Union, and the legislation we propose will not come into effect until we leave.

This is what is called colloquially, ‘swallowing the medicine in one gulp’. The acquis communautaire will be repatriated in full into the United Kingdom in one step. After that, it will then be possible for the British parliamentary system to begin to repeal or amend whatever elements of the repatriated acquis communautaire that they feel the need to. It also allows for a smoother exit because the elements of the body of law that do not need to be altered, can be kept in place in the exact way that they are written.

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

From the start and throughout the discussions, we will negotiate as one United Kingdom, taking due account of the specific interests of every nation and region of the UK as we do so. When it comes to the return of powers back to the United Kingdom, we will consult fully on which powers should reside in Westminster and which should be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But it is the expectation of the Government that the outcome of this process will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration.

 In that section, Theresa May is signalling that she intends to move the United Kingdom toward a more federal structure. This is particularly for maintaining stability, as it is known that there are both internal and external pressures that will be brought to bear to try to break up the United Kingdom in this time of both opportunity and vulnerability.

To avert that possibility, offering greater federalism to the four nations of the United Kingdom will enable the central government to neutralise the soft middle in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.

It also supplies a black-and-white text counter argument which can be waved in the face of outside news organisations, for example RT, who have since 2014 been trying to promote Scottish independence in the hopes that they can weaken London. Scottish independence is something that will never be allowed to succeed.

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

The United Kingdom wants to agree with the European Union a deep and special partnership that takes in both economic and security cooperation. To achieve this, we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU. If, however, we leave the European Union without an agreement the default position is that we would have to trade on World Trade Organisation terms. In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened. In this kind of scenario, both the United Kingdom and the European Union would of course cope with the change, but it is not the outcome that either side should seek.

This is a key difference between her strategy and the strategy that had previously been taken by David Cameron. 

Cameron had made the crucial mistake of signalling that he wanted some kind of deal no matter what, and this emboldened the continental European negotiators on the other side of the table.

Theresa May is making no such mistake. Her statement plays game theory correctly. Theresa May is signalling here that while she would not want to leave the negotiations without a deal, she is actually willing to do so. 

In fact, this, coupled with the last few months of ‘hard Brexit’ media coverage and her statements to the media which reinforced this, place her in a perfect position. The fact that very little is publicly known about what goes on in the inner space of her thoughts also makes it more difficult for continental European negotiators to know how to approach her. She is ‘difficult’, as all students of Geography are, and that is a good thing.

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

Since I became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom I have listened carefully to you, to my fellow EU Heads of Government and the Presidents of the European Commission and Parliament. That is why the United Kingdom does not seek membership of the single market: we understand and respect your position that the four freedoms of the single market are indivisible and there can be no “cherry picking”.

The United Kingdom is maintaining that it will not seek membership of the European single market, because to do so would be to accept ‘freedom of movement’, which the precise thing that Brexit is being initated to escape from.

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

Investors, businesses and citizens in both the UK and across the remaining 27 member states – and those from third countries around the world – want to be able to plan. In order to avoid any cliff-edge as we move from our current relationship to our future partnership, people and businesses in both the UK and the EU would benefit from implementation periods to adjust in a smooth and orderly way to new arrangements. It would help both sides to minimise unnecessary disruption if we agree this principle early in the process.

The mention of ‘third countries around the world’ appears in the letter, and is a reference to what Theresa May called ‘the fastest growing export markets’, in her House of Commons statement.

House of Commons statement

The most salient elements of Theresa May’s House of Commons statement I would submit are the following:

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s Commons statement on triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

Because European leaders have said many times that we cannot ‘cherry pick’ and remain members of the single market without accepting the 4 freedoms that are indivisible. We respect that position. And as accepting those freedoms is incompatible with the democratically expressed will of the British people, we will no longer be members of the single market.

We are going to make sure that we can strike trade agreements with countries from outside the European Union too. Because important though our trade with the EU is and will remain, it is clear that the UK needs to increase significantly its trade with the fastest growing export markets in the world.

The ‘fastest growing export markets in the world’ are ASEAN+3 and SAARC in Asia, and the Pacific Alliance in Central and South America.

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s Commons statement on triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

At a time when the growth of global trade is slowing and there are signs that protectionist instincts are on the rise in many parts of the world, Europe has a responsibility to stand up for free trade in the interests of all our citizens.

With Europe’s security more fragile today than at any time since the end of the Cold War, weakening our cooperation and failing to stand up for European values would be a costly mistake.

This is a prelude of things to come. It means that what Theresa May is doing is flipping the script on the continental Europeans. Any hesitancy on their part to reach agreement during the economic element of the negotiations will be cast by the United Kingdom as “the European Union backsliding and regressing into protectionism.” It’s a good way to approach it, and it will be infuriating to the continental Europeans. Extra infuriation can be added by comparing the continental Europeans unfavourably to any of the non-European countries which the United Kingdom will also be trying to negotiate trade deals with.

That kind of talking point would take the form of “This other random country here is so eager to uphold the liberal free trade order which has prevailed since the mid-1970s, why aren’t you as agreeable as they are? Just do what we want you to do!”

Gov.uk, ‘Prime Minister’s Commons statement on triggering Article 50’, 29 Mar 2017:

We all want to see a Britain that is stronger than it is today. We all want a country that is fairer so that everyone has the chance to succeed. We all want a nation that is safe and secure for our children and grandchildren. We all want to live in a truly Global Britain that gets out and builds relationships with old friends and new allies around the world.

These are the ambitions of this government’s Plan for Britain. Ambitions that unite us, so that we are no longer defined by the vote we cast, but by our determination to make a success of the result.

We are one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future. And now that the decision to leave has been made – and the process is underway – it is time to come together. For this great national moment needs a great national effort. An effort to shape a stronger future for Britain.

So let us do so together. Let us come together and work together. Let us together choose to believe in Britain with optimism and hope. For if we do, we can make the most of the opportunities ahead. We can together make a success of this moment. And we can together build a stronger, fairer, better Britain – a Britain our children and grandchildren are proud to call home.

I commend this statement to the House.

We’ve all been waiting for this moment for so long. Theresa May has always been by our side.

She’ll make it come true, like she always does.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


The daunting task of policing in Sweden.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 11:14.

The YouTube channel N.D.L has put out a new video today, which really captures the sadness of what policing in Sweden must be like now.

Progressive cultural manifestations flourish under the protection of the state, while at the same time the policymakers undermine that same protection by allowing a retrogressive demography to enter and replace the citizens of the country. Additionally, the Anarchist Bloc attacks the police at every turn, exacerbating the instability of the situation.

Sometimes video really does depict it better than text.

The government of Stefan Lofven really has the same kind of haplessness and incompetence that the government of Harold Wilson had. I’m sure that no one truly wishes for this in their heart of hearts—but I think that if the situation should deteriorate to an extent where governance is impossible in Sweden and the electoral system continues to deliver up the wrong result, in such a case I would hope that the Swedish security services have contingency plans on hand to fight the decline in the same way that British services had contingency plans in the 1970s.

Until the last moment.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


US Government to build American ‘competitiveness’ atop socio-economic retrogression and misery.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 12 March 2017 01:52.

Zebra Crossing Aesthetic v2

Before you complain

An American once said to me that whenever they see me post an article about the United States now, they just have to brace for a total assault on their morale, and that “it is almost like seeing something like Tokyo Rose’s work in written form.”

I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or not, since despite her best propaganda efforts, Iva Toguri D’Aquino was ultimately not able to convince the Americans to stop supporting the United States. Perhaps some of the Americans did have pause though, perhaps they did think occasionally, “You know, those things that Tokyo Rose is saying on the radio, could there be something to all that?

But really, it’s not like I have to go out of my way to come up with these socio-economic angles against the ‘Make America Great Again’ concept. They present themselves to the world daily in such a high volume that it’s almost like trying to catch a cup of water from a firehose of negative developments. One has to be very selective about which part of the non-stop blast of negative news one is going to select, interpret, and develop a piece on, on any given day.

Today’s selection is going to really induce a feeling like when you’re sparring with someone and they forget to hold back, and next thing you know their foot is trying to tickle your kidneys or something, and it’s just like, “Oh wow, this pain is real.” It’s pretty bad. I apologise for the pain that you’re going to feel in advance.

True to the tradition I’ll get things started by putting the music on.

How things reached this stage

When Donald Trump was inaugurated on an overcast day about two months ago, he stood in front of the lectern and in a stern voice spoke the words that initiated a miserable new trade war:

TIME, ‘Trump Inauguration: Transcript of Donald Trump Speech’, 20 Jan 2017 (emphasis added):

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

It may seem on the face of it that Donald Trump was saying that all the decisions he would make would be based on whether they will benefit American workers and American families. His mouth said that somewhere in there, but is that what protectionism actually does in the longrun?

We know that it does not benefit ‘workers and families’ in the longrun. 

There is widely understood empirical evidence which shows that in the present era, free trade is what benefits the broad mass of the people, not protectionism. Free trade is what enables wider access to products at a cheaper price. Free trade enables this indirectly by facilitating regional division and specialisation of production to enhance productivity on a planetary basis. 

Broadly speaking, tariff and non-barrier barriers are mostly retrogressive, as it is low income consumers who spend a greater percentage of their income on food, clothing, consumer electronics and vehicles, which tend to be most highly protected under the kind of tariff regime proposed by Donald Trump’s White House and supported by his Alt-Lite and Alt-Right supporters.

So if American ‘workers and families’ do not really stand to benefit, does this mean that I am saying that Donald Trump is not putting America ‘first’? By no means. The misunderstanding that many have is that they conflate rhetoric about a country’s interest with the interest of the broad mass of the people. Trump essentially tailored his speech to exploit that misunderstanding.

In fact, America is indeed being ‘put first’ by Trump, but that is not a positive thing. The policies which he is advocating ensure that those who really stand to benefit are primarily the American financiers and the upper-bourgeoisie stratum of big and middle-sized manufacturers, who feel themselves to be under stiff competition from their counterparts in Europe and Asia. This scenario comes at the end of a long cycle of a widening pattern of global investment during and after the Cold War environment, which had led to the repair and economic rehabilitation of that section of the world that America had razed to the ground in the process of destroying Axis. 

The repair and rehabilitation was possible because the leaders of various European and Asian economies opted to play the longest of long games, accommodating the liberal global order that the American victors had maintained for their own diplomatic and geostrategic benefit (to economically contain their next opponent, the Soviet Union), but which were used by the former Axis countries and other Third World countries to build something again from the ashes of the Second World War and to take advantage of the mutual benefits that came from having the economic vitality and thus the military wherewithall to deter the Soviet Union. 

A hegemon’s dilemma

The flourishing of any world order in which a hegemon has to allow power to devolve into the hands of outsiders, is a world order which will eventually unravel itself as the hegemon will come to fear its own deputies. Much as the Greek Empire unravelled itself when each of the governors, tribes, and exarchates which had been permitted to accrue power so as to encircle common enemies, suddenly realised that they had reached a stage where they could bid for global power in their own right, so too the American liberal world order is coming to a close as this cycle of capital accumulation draws to a close.

The productive capacity which had been offshored from the United States and implanted into the European and Asian periphery so as to reinforce economic containment and encirclement against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, now becomes in 2017 the potential weapon which the American high-bourgeoisie fears will be turned against it in a multipolar world, the first chapter of which is now opening. America’s old Cold War gendarmes of capital, are now gendarmes that are increasingly operating autonomously, and the United States is struggling to chart a course to address that new reality.

The American high-bourgeoisie wants what it views as ‘its wealth’ back. But they are not the actual owners of it. The wealth, limited though it is, and not without imperfection in its distribution, which is presently enjoyed by the peoples of Europe and Asia was re-built through hard years of work by the generation of people who survived the Second World War, and who, seeing their ideals crushed by the Americans, resolved to build their countries again during the Cold War.

The American high-bourgeoisie knows that it cannot fight the world alone, since it is only a small class of people, and therefore it must assert leadership and bind the other American classes to itself. They do this by appealing to a form of populism, where people like Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, knowing that they cannot appeal to a class consciousness, instead appeal to a civic nationalist mantra: “Make America Great Again.”

What is America that anyone should want to make it ‘great’ again? That is the most astounding development in this whole sequence, particularly in the context of the Alt-Right and other nationalist opinion-formers such as David Duke, who largely made themselves responsible for having enabled all of this. For example, Hunter Wallace at Altright.com said late last month: 

Hunter Wallace / Altright.com, ‘We Are The Vanguard’, 24 Feb 2017 (emphasis added):

[...]

The primary reason the media is so interested in us is because it is our ideas that have entered the political mainstream. For years now, we have been the ones calling for an America First trade policy, an America First foreign policy, an American First immigration policy, rapprochement with Russia, scrapping the refugee resettlement program, stressing our interests as opposed to liberal ideology, strong borders and a crackdown on immigration, assaulting political correctness, making peace with the labor movement, etc., etc. [...] Now, we are living in the digital world of social media and young people are watching us on YouTube and Periscope. They are interacting with us on Twitter. We don’t need the “mainstream” to network or spread our ideas.

[...]

We are the vanguard now. The world has changed, the “mainstream” is dead and the media is trying to catch up with the times. Rich Lowry’s National Review and Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard are at the nadir of their influence over the Right. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if flyover country conservatives are familiar with Richard Spencer and the Alt-Right. If our ideas are triumphing over David Frum’s ideas and Bill Kristol’s ideas, it doesn’t matter. If our discourse triumphs over and displaces “mainstream” discourse, then we are having a massive impact whether the “mainstream” cartel acknowledges it or not.

The same kind of people who for years had operated under the suspicion that the United States was possibly falling under a ‘Zionist Occupation Government’, are now the very same kind of people who are actually trying in these days and hours to fight as hard as they can to attempt to defend and perpetuate the global reach of the United States government and its centrality as a manufacturing centre now that it is  transparently going into openly-verifiable overdrive in that regard. Now that the ‘occupation’ is openly parading itself in their faces from the White House in verifiable statements that have been reproduced in mainstream media outlets, they suddenly and magically cannot seem to see it.

Perhaps it may be that it is difficult to understand why that contradiction exists until you look at the socio-economic class dimension. Perhaps they choose not to notice the Zionism issue now, because it’s the case that it is inconvenient for them financially, given that most Trump voters are middle class and may believe that they stand to gain from the Trump administration’s budgetary, financial and economic policy direction. Or perhaps it is the case that they are just really bad at politics and aren’t paying attention to what is happening, and are more interested in identitarian form and signalling, than in actual policy. Or maybe it is the case that there is a kind of ongoing entryism which is usually not visible to the public but which only is revealed in short glimpses, such as, for example, when it emerged that Heritage Foundation analyst Jason Richwine had actually been writing for the old AlternativeRight.com website in 2010. Or it could be some combination of all of these things.

Whatever the case happens to be, for all those who ever believed in anything that those people previously said, these present developments can only be seen as a betrayal. If they are ‘the vanguard’ and this is what they have produced, then they have a considerable amount of explaining to do.

Unfortunately with the situation as it is, I am not expecting that an explanation will be coming from them, but I am expecting that the Alt-Right and Alt-Lite opinion-formers will continue to act as a kind of grassroots support for the Trump administration, one which will have a high resilience and effectiveness because it couples a tacit support with a consistent pseudo-denial of actually being on the same side as the administration. We hear on the one hand the Alt-Right continually saying that they are ‘not Trump’, but then on the other hand they like the specific actions the administration is doing and its overall direction which they see as a ‘stepping stone’ (to where?), they just wish that that those actions would be done with more intensity.

The effective function of the Alt-Right internet presence is basically that they remain engaged on social media as a ‘grassroots’ presence which continually presents narratives and arguments that serve to socially legitimate Trump administration spokespersons, supporters and key cabinet figures and their policy preferences in a way that is completely independent of the state, as it is done at arms length, behind a veil of denial and disavowal by the White House itself. The bonus that the White House receives in all of this is that there is no-one who has to be paid or instructed to do this for them. The Alt-Right doesn’t need to be paid, they do it for free.

Introduction

Dossier Begins

Getting started: This article is about one facet in the process of the Trump administration making its programme operational. The first operational step that the American high-bourgeoisie are taking is that they are seeking to enhance their structural power, or to turn a phrase, they are seeking to make themselves great again, by weakening the efficacy of checks or dissents against their power domestically. This would place them in the best command position imaginable, which would allow them the ability to then turn their focus to foreign policy and trade policy as their second step, with minimal interference at home. That second step is outside the scope of this article and will be covered at a later date. The first step is what will now be described here today.

Enhanced dictatorship of the high-bourgeoisie

There are four major actions that the Trump administration is carrying out right now which would allow the American high-bourgeoisie to enhance their structural power domestically. These actions are as follows:

1. H.R.985 - Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017.
2. H.R.720 - Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act.
3. The appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.
4. The elimination of all federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

Let’s go through them in the order I’ve listed them. And in case you are trying to guess what the four items have in common, yes, what all of these things have in common is that they pertain to the ability to form a class so as to bring a class action lawsuit against companies or government agencies, and to raise funds to carry out that endeavour.

H.R.985

When people are facing systemic abuse from companies or from government agencies, class action lawsuits are a vital tool that is used to bring a halt to their behaviour. By bringing about a class action lawsuit, a few people can stand in for a larger number of people in a lawsuit against a perpetrator and seek either injunctive relief (where the perpetrator must cease a bad practice) or compensation (monetary damages).

The bill, H.R.985 which passed in the US House of Representatives by recorded vote 220 - 201 on Thursday 09 March 2017, and will next be placed before the US Senate, is a bill that makes it more difficult for people to bring class action lawsuits.

Bill H.R.985 makes it harder for people to form a ‘class’ by further restricting and constraining the criteria under which people may come together to bring a case, and placing various hurdles in the way of the collection of lawyers’ fees, thus decreasing the incentive for lawyers to take on class action lawsuits.

The net effect of this is that it will sharply reduce the ability of people to seek injunctive relief or compensation in any scenario where they are being harmed by a company or a government agency.

The architects of the bill and its proponents, such as Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), have tried to mask their intentions by presenting it to the media as a bill that is designed to prevent supposedly-existent ‘lawyer-driven litigation’, by which they mean a kind of ‘trolling’ litigation which is designed to enrich lawyers rather than address any actual grievance of the plaintiffs. By masking their intentions with such a cover story, the lawmakers have sought to conceal the actual reality of the attack which they themselves are conducting against working people and families.

The factor which exposes their cover story as a lie, is the simple fact that if they really thought that they needed to write a bill to prevent ‘lawyer-driven litigation’, then they wouldn’t have written a bill that attacks people’s ability to seek injunctive relief, in which money is not awarded but practices are changed, as well as compensation. However, that is precisely what they have done, and in doing so, their motive was revealed along with the effect.

On the issue of the hurdles placed in the way of the collection of lawyers’ fees, the bill deliberately limits lawyers’ fees in injunctive relief cases to “a reasonable percentage of the value” of the relief. This of course makes no sense, by design, because it is quite impossible for a court to determine what the monetary worth of a non-monetary action is, so as to calculate such a percentage. The effect is that lawyers would be disincentivised from taking the risk of bringing an injunctive class action case.

Furthermore, the bill also places a condition on the timing of the payment of lawyers’ fees to the date of full monetary recovery. This could even sometimes deny lawyers the ability to be paid their fees altogether, since some cases have a term of settlement that is longer than the remaining lifespan of the lawyers who are working on the case. For example, in a case where full settlement is expected to take fifty years, it would mean that the lawyers would not be paid until the end of those fifty years. Even with that potentially disastrous scenario aside, with regards to the duration of the litigation itself, the condition incentivises defendants to drag out and prolong litigation.

The possibility of never receiving lawyers’ fees or having to wait years to receive them, will act as an enormous deterrent for any law firm that absolutely requires those fees to pay their staff and keep their business running.

H.R.720

H.R.720 the so-called ‘Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act’ is a cunningly named bill which will actually require all federal judges to penalise any lawyer who brings what they consider to be a ‘frivolous lawsuit’. Up until now, it has up to the judge’s discretion to decide whether to do this.

The interesting thing about this is that for a lawsuit to actually make it to the point where it has come before a jury, it means that a judge clearly already considers it to be a valid lawsuit. Legislation like H.R.720, simply incentivises the behaviour where a defendant can continually protest that everything that is happening is ‘frivolous’, and it disincentivises lawyers from trying to bring a lawsuit to find out how it will be regarded.

In practice, this means that the legislative and executive branches of US government are seeking to attack lawyers for trying to help people to seek relief or compensation through the court system. After all, a corporate defendant would likely start out from the stance that any lawsuit brought against their esteemed selves is definitely ‘frivolous’.

The appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the SCOTUS

An ‘originalist’ Judge Neil Gorsuch, having previously been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by George W. Bush on 08 August 2006, has been nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Donald J. Trump. A decent summary of his background has been written at FiveThirtyEight.

Beltway conservatives immediately feted him as having come out of the mold of another now late ‘originalist’ Judge Antonin Scalia, or at least something close to that. Evangelicals celebrated Gorsuch’s statements about his belief in the ‘pro-life’ stance, as that is a pet issue of maximal all-consuming importance to them. 

The Alt-Lite and Alt-Right’s reaction to the nomination was in a sense no more sophisticated or diligent than that of any of the other groups. Hunter Wallace published a very strange article at Alt-Right.com which referred to Gorsuch as a “real American”, as though this were a reason for why he wanted to see Gorsuch nominated in and of itself. Richard Spencer produced an article which had a similarly strange central thrust, referring to Gorsuch as “America’s wise, WASPy dad—an avatar of the ruling class of days gone by.” Spencer’s view was echoed by James Edwards on the Political Cesspool, which carried Spencer’s article verbatim. 

In my view none of this matters anyway, but while ‘Gorsuch’ may be an old Anglo-Saxon name, the man himself is ancestrally Irish. Additionally, Gorsuch was raised as a Catholic, and then he converted to Episcopalianism later, so he is not a ‘WASP’. He’s also not America’s ‘dad’, he’s a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States, for goodness sake.

Unfortunately no real analysis of Gorsuch’s views on class action lawsuits has been done by anyone in the nationalist sphere. If anyone had chosen to do so, then some extremely meaningful patterns, all of which are negative, would have emerged into view immediately.

SCOTUSblog gives us an interesting look in with the summary containing this excerpt:

Amy Howe / SCOTUSblog, ‘A closer look at Judge Neil Gorsuch and class actions’, 08 Mar 2017 (emphasis added):

[...]

Covering the Wal-Mart decision for this blog, Lyle Denniston described Scalia as the court’s “most dedicated skeptic about the class-action approach to litigation.” Whether Gorsuch, if confirmed, would follow in Scalia’s footsteps remains to be seen. During his decade on the bench, Gorsuch has participated in relatively few class action cases. In the cases involving class action issues in which he has participated, he has generally, but not always, ruled for the defense. Notably, both in cases in which he has ruled for the defense and those in which he has ruled for the plaintiffs, Gorsuch has emphasized the need for courts to stay in their lane, so to speak – that is, not to exceed their authority, particularly when it comes to decisions that are in his view best left to Congress.

[...]

The Bazelon Center has a review which also contains some example of cases that were not class action lawsuits, but seem to give some idea of how Gorsuch interprets civil rights law in general:

Bazelon Center, ‘Review of Disability Cases Involving Judge Neil Gorsuch’, 17 Feb 2017:

In Hwang v. Kansas State University, 753 F.3d 1159 (10th Cir. 2014), Judge Gorsuch wrote an opinion ruling against a longtime professor at a state university who had taken a six-month leave of absence to recover from her cancer treatment. At the end of that period, she requested a short period of additional leave at the advice of her doctor in order to avoid a severe flu outbreak on campus that could endanger her already compromised immune system. The university refused to grant additional leave. Judge Gorsuch began his analysis of Professor Hwang’s claim by asking: “Must an employer allow employees more than six months’ sick leave or face liability under the Rehabilitation Act? Unsurprisingly, the answer is almost always no.” Although the ADA and Rehabilitation Act say nothing about the length of leaves granted by employers and specifically require that that such accommodation requests be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, Judge Gorsuch held that a leave of absence as long as six months would “turn employers into safety net providers for those who cannot work.” He also described Professor Hwang as “a problem other forms of social security aim to address”—even though the professor was willing and able to resume her duties through online classes immediately, or through in-class teaching after the additional short leave. Judge Gorsuch also rejected her argument that the university’s inflexible six-month leave policy was discriminatory, instead reasoning that applying the same leave policies to all employees, without providing reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with a disability, would protect employees with disabilities from being “secretly singled out for discriminatory treatment.” Judge Gorsuch thus concluded that the six-month leave policy was “more than sufficient to comply” with the Rehabilitation Act. [...]

I’m sure everyone can guess where these examples are going. Here’s another:

Bazelon Center, ‘Review of Disability Cases Involving Judge Neil Gorsuch’, 17 Feb 2017:

In Wehrley v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 513 F. App’x 733 (10th Cir. 2013), a panel including Judge Gorsuch found that the plaintiff had not established that he had a disability that entitled him to the ADA’s protections. Wehrley, an insurance field claim adjuster, injured his knee and back in a workplace accident, and his employer fired him because of his inability to work on claims that involved going onto roofs. At trial, Wehrley introduced evidence of significant limitations in major life activities, including a medical report stating that he could not walk or stand for prolonged periods, that his pain disrupted his sleep, and that he had to change positions every 30 minutes while sitting. Judge Gorsuch and the panel concluded, however, that Wehrley had not shown that these impairments were substantial because the report did not say that he was unable to “walk or stand in the ordinary course of a day,” nor did it describe the extent or severity of the disruption to his sleep. Without sufficient evidence of a substantial impairment in a major life activity, the panel found that he did not meet the definition of a person with a disability.

And one more:

Bazelon Center, ‘Review of Disability Cases Involving Judge Neil Gorsuch’, 17 Feb 2017:

In Adair v. City of Muskogee, 823 F.3d 1297 (10th Cir. 2016), Judge Gorsuch joined an opinion affirming summary judgment against the plaintiff after finding that he was unable to perform an essential function of his position. The plaintiff, a firefighter who held the position of HazMat Director, injured his back during a training exercise. The city required that he complete a functional-capacity evaluation, which showed that he had some restrictions on his lifting ability. He sued the city under the ADA for disability discrimination, alleging that he was constructively discharged when the city encouraged him to retire rather than be terminated because it regarded him as disabled. The plaintiff argued that he was capable of performing the essential functions of the HazMat Director position even with the lifting restrictions, testifying that he did not need to lift in his position and had never performed regular firefighter duties during his four years as HazMat Director. However, Judge Gorsuch and the panel discounted the plaintiff’s testimony and instead deferred to a state law listing the ability to lift up to 200 pounds as an essential function for all firefighters, regardless of specialized roles. Since the plaintiff suggested no potential accommodations other than being relieved of the lifting duty, the panel concluded that he was not a qualified individual under the ADA.

Being an ‘originalist’ and a ‘textualist’ seems to involve being deliberately absurd in ways that happen to be generally convenient for the defence. The addition of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States meshes with the thrust of the pieces of legislation, H.R.985 and H.R.720, which were described earlier and which are presently making their way though the US Congress, in a way that enhances their effect.

The addition of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court returns it to the balance that existed when Judge Antonin Scalia was still alive. It is not beyond possibility that sometime in the next four years another judge will be replaced, and at that point Donald Trump may even be able to appoint an additional ‘originalist’ and ‘textualist’ to the court, such as for example Judge William Pryor.

But it is sad that no one is paying any attention to these developments. Choices made during the Trump administration will shape the character of the American system for a generation or longer.

The elimination of all federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation

They suggested that it was going to happen, and now they are moving toward doing it. See here:

New York Times, ‘Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget’, 17 Feb 2017 (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON — The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

Work on the first Trump administration budget has been delayed as the budget office awaited Senate confirmation of former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, as budget director. Now that he is in place, his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate, an opening salvo in the Trump administration’s effort to reorder the government and increase spending on defense and infrastructure.

[...]

Eliminating all funding for the Legal Services Corporation is the same thing as abolishing it. Some people may be wondering what it does, and such people would now be wondering about that at a time when it is too late to make a difference. Although the United States Constitution contains language that promises equality in the provision of justice, the language is operationally meaningless unless it can also be said that all people have the ability to access legal services and legal remedies.

Defendants in criminal cases are guaranteed the right to have a lawyer because of the outcome of the United States Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), but the same right to a lawyer does not actually exist for civil cases.

The beginning of the United States government’s effort to provide legal assistance Americans with low-income for civil cases, emerged during Lyndon B. Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty’, which gave rise to the creation of the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1964. In 1965, the office created the Legal Services Program, which provided assistance all over the United States.

However, the Legal Services Program was up for White House review in 1969, and the Office of Economic Opportunity itself was in existence because of the Economic Opportunity Act which was scheduled to expire in 1970.

President Richard M. Nixon, who took office in January 1969, asked the US Congress in February 1969 to extend appropriations for the Office of Economic Opportunity. The Ash Commission, headed by former United States Army Air Corps Captain Roy Ash, found “virtual unanimity that organizational improvement of the Executive Office of the President is needed.” Among the recommendations made on this issue, the Ash Commission advocated that Nixon ought to create an independent corporation which would receive funds from the US Congress to disburse to local legal aid organisations.

Nixon made the memo public in February 1971 and in May 1971 he sent a special message to the US Congress proposing the establishment of the Legal Services Corporation.

On 25 July 1974, Richard M. Nixon signed the Legal Services Corporation Act.

The Legal Services Corporation has not been without controversy during its existence, and several unsuccessful attempts to abolish it have been attempted over the years. The most recent unsuccessful attempt to abolish it was in 2005:

TexasLawyersHelp.org, ‘Eliminate LSC and Other Programs, Says Republican Study Committee in “Operation Offset” Budget Report’, 30 Sep 2005 (emphasis added):

A recent report issued by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a group of nearly 100 conservative House members, calls for the elimination of all federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation. U.S. Representatives Mike Pence (R-IN), RSC’s chairman, and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), RSC’s budget and spending task force chairman, issued the 23-page report on September 21, 2005. The report—called “Operation Offset: RSC Budget Options 2005”—urges Congress and the President to eliminate federal expenditures as far-ranging as Medicaid and Medicare, graduate school student loan subsidies, foreign aid, the National Endowment for the Arts, matching grants for presidential candidates, and LSC. [...]

Yes, that is the same Mike Pence who is presently the Vice-President of the United States. It’s interesting how that has happened to work out.

Another interesting fact is that the Heritage Foundation which submitted the list from which Donald Trump selected Judge Neil Gorsuch’s name to nominate him to the United States Supreme Court, is also visibly active in crafting and giving legitimation to the budget which will abolish the Legal Services Corporation:

New York Times, ‘Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget’, 17 Feb 2017:

[...]

Stephen Moore, another Heritage Foundation economist who advised Mr. Trump during his campaign, acknowledged that powerful constituencies were behind many of the programs that are on the chopping block. But he said now that Republicans are finally in control of the government, they must make a valiant effort to fulfill the promises they have been making to voters for years.

“I think it’s an important endeavor to try to get rid of things that are unnecessary,” Mr. Moore said. “The American public has a lot of contempt for how government is run in Washington, in no small part because there is so much waste.”

If you know anyone who seriously believes that the Heritage Foundation along with all the other personalities I’ve mentioned here are just innocently trying to ‘get rid of things that are unnecessary’, send that person to me, because I have a bridge to sell them — and it’s on the moon.

Conclusion

Particular factions among the American ruling class are seeking to enhance their structural power, or to turn a phrase, they are seeking to make themselves great again, by weakening the efficacy of checks or dissents against their power domestically in an environment in which they have total power over all branches of the government and are receiving virtually no criticism from their own constituency on any economic issues. This would place them in the best command position imaginable, which would allow them the ability to then turn their focus to foreign policy and trade policy.

Everything that the American ruling class is doing to pacify and constrict the power of their own constituents at home, is a preparation and a prerequisite for them being able to efficiently conduct a trade war against European, Asian, and Latin American states.

Enacting a tariff regime as a necessary centre-piece of the trade war is an action which will raise the cost of inputs for all American manufacturers. One of the ways that they will offset that cost will be to enable American companies to act in cost-cutting ways that disregard the interests of American workers and families without having to worry about being subjected to lawsuits brought by those workers and families.

Passing H.R.985 and H.R.720, as well as appointing Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court and abolishing the Legal Services Corporation, are four key actions that are part of the process of them ‘moving the ball down the playing field’ in that regard.

Evidence has been presented here which illustrates that the entire edifice of ‘Make America Great Again’ is going to be constructed atop a foundation of socio-economic retrogression and misery.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


Jez Turner being persecuted for saying what Alan Dershowitz says that Jews should be proud of.

Posted by DanielS on Friday, 10 March 2017 11:59.

        Jeremy Bedford-Turner’s case will be re-examined following a 13-month campaign against him.

READ MORE...


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