Conspiracy Theories, “Travel Bans” and Other Stuff

@Janus: “Cog” is fine with me and doesn’t even start me fretting about the vastness of the machine in which each of us is a tiny part. I apologize for polluting your post about baby food and contraceptives with irrelevancies but trust you’ll understand that I couldn’t hold my water at the time and felt myself at risk of saying unpleasant things to the dogs. Now that I’m duly “author”-ized, of course I’ll do my future drivelationing in a new thread rather than go so terribly off-topic in an existing one.

I’ve recently heard an interesting kind of conspiracy theory, that Trump’s juvenile tweets and other outbursts are actually orchestrated as distractions for the lefties, shiny bits left lying around for them to peck at.

They need distracting – or worse! The “news” media continue to refer to Trump’s Executive Order as a “travel ban.” They, and all others who continue to think of it that way, clearly haven’t bothered to read the actual full text of said Executive Order. It’s not as though the Government has been trying to hide it or anything; they’ve left it out in plain sight:

Anyone willing to go to the additional effort of searching its text for the word “Muslim” will be disappointed to find not a single occurrence. It is all country-targeted and, as some have tried unsuccessfully to point out, comes nowhere close to encompassing all the predominantly Muslim countries on this sad planet. Untangling the reference to “countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)” would take a little more work but Snopes don’t take particular exception to it, nor to its previous use by the Obama administration. Also, anyone willing to actually read the entire document would see that a great deal of it has to do with getting our own house in order, security-wise.

To be fair, implementation of the Executive Order was poorly executed, most likely due to Trump’s apparent continuing unwillingness to consult with those who actually turn the nuts and bolts of Government operations. Still, I suppose it’s easier to stage protests and set fires in the street than it is to check facts.

What I want to do now, as soon as I have more time and more energy, is to ferret out the details of the Court decisions against the Executive Order. I’m more than a little curious as to their rationale.

One thing to which I myself do take exception is Trump’s reference to the “so-called” judge who ruled against the Executive Order. This may well be his most childish Tweet yet. It betrays a lack of respect for, and possibly even ignorance of, the fact that our country rests on three (3) pillars of Government: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. I think I’ll start referring to Trump as our “so-called President,” at least until he grows up. Yes, yes, I know that Janus beat me to saying that. That’s what I get for not signing up sooner. Better, perhaps, if I borrow a phrase from a newspaper columnist, the late Molly Ivins, who, being out of charity with the then-current Administration, used to refer to, “the only President we’ve got.”

Sometime within the past year (or more – I don’t keep a log), even before “fake news” became a “news” item in its own right, there arose the issue of trust in news reporting. We first noted it when on one major network-affiliated station, at the close of each newscast the words, “thank you for trusting KIRO 7 TV News” were uttered. Now, just recently, CNN have started prefacing each segment with, “America’s most trusted newscast.” Why, one wonders, do they feel it necessary to do so?

@Christophertrier: No probs, mate. I learned (or should have learned, as it was just recently brought home to me again in a major way) not to take ANYthing ANYone says at face value. As for putting anyone on a “travel ban” list, I wouldn’t really want to do that except, of course, in the case of travelers from, erm, certain countries referred to in (see above). It seems to me that the trip here can be its own punishment. If being sealed in a metal tube for many hours breathing the recycled/allegedly filtered exhalations of others doesn’t get you, some of the people one can meet while here might well finish the job. Yes, I freely admit that some individuals and some areas within this country can be, erm, “problematic,” even as others are more than pleasant. Some USA locations suffer even more from “PC-itis” than does Canada, although both we and Canada have a long way to go to catch up to the UK. British potatoes, at least those I’ve tried, are better than the very few varieties grown commercially in America. So there!

31 thoughts on “Conspiracy Theories, “Travel Bans” and Other Stuff”

  1. You might well find the following worth reading:

    The Judiciary is independent, but it is at the greatest risk of abusing its powers. After all, the Legislature is under constant threat of being dismissed by voters. It might not even take a general election, more and more senators and representatives are falling in primary elections. The Executive can easily see its funding cut by a peeved House. The president, in theory at least, can be dismissed in primary elections — and can certainly be voted out after four years. The Judiciary is not under any threat of electoral censure. Once appointed and confirmed, there is little brake to their authority. The Kelo vs New London case should have served as a warning.

  2. Cog, as a Brit, I like to think that PC-ism (or -itis, if you will) is a symptom of our national desire to be nice to people who have become the victims of our natural superiority. Let’s face it, we’ve had plenty of practice down the centuries. Droves of bloody shovels and not a spade in sight.

  3. @Christophertrier: Thanks for the link. Strong words but interesting reading for that.

    In my own not-so-humble opinion, the lefties, “Bremainers” et al are, by and large, colossally bad sports. If something doesn’t go their way, they put their petulance on parade and cry, “foul.”

    The reason for creating the Judiciary independent is, of course, to have it free of political influence. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that individual judges won’t carry their own brand of politics into the job and perhaps, one fears, abuse their powers in so doing. Where political influence is part of the selection process, I do find it amusing that politicians exert so much effort trying to secure the installation of a Supreme Court Justice who thinks their way, only to have said individual, once sworn in, proceed to think his/her own way.

    Er. um, uh… do you mean “passport control” such as what I’ve had to endure at Heathrow? Never mind, for my money, getting onto an airplane is even worse than getting off of it. For me, a respectable-looking elderly gentleman of Scandinavian/English/German ancestry, to be irradiated, frisked (lamentably, never by really good-looking female agents), made to remove my shoes (as though they couldn’t tell at a glance that there were no fuses protruding from the heels), etc., etc., usw., is quite – to use the Welsh expression – “beyond.” It’s all nonsense anyway, “eyewash for the masses,” as I’ve heard it called.

    @Janus: Well said. Considering what *nice* people Canadians are, it’s a wonder they haven’t enshrined as much PC garbage in law as has the UK. (Expletive deleted), I reserve the right to say what I think, even if that means that I do have to think occasionally.

  4. I find it’s best to play the elderly gent at borders, seeking advice from subcontinental friskers and demanding time to empty pockets and remove all offending objects from my person. It seems to defuse the tension that the endless round of suspicion clearly generates.

  5. Cog: I’m well familiar with Hellrow and have never had a spot of trouble there. Naturally, it isn’t exactly my favourite airport — regional airports in the UK are usually pleasanter and there are some very civilised airports on the Continent. At the same time, I hold a European passport. I usually recommend travelling first to Dublin and then flying to London City or even Cardiff — far more civilised. Still, I’ve never suffered nearly as much aggro at Heathrow as I have in the US. I’ve grown increasingly underwhelmed by California in recent years, but my last dust-up at SFO left me with no desire to ever put myself through that again.

    The former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is an excellent case-in-point. She was routinely criticised for taking a case-by-case approach to reaching decisions rather than adopting a rigidly fixed judicial ideology. Heavens, to think that individual issues be adjudicated on an issue-to-issue basis is just beyond, innit?

  6. Welcome Cog: I agree with most of what you write regarding the so called “travel ban”. It seems to have been the messy and confused implementation which gave rise to all the challenges in the courts.

    I read it here:

    With regard to the Muslim mention – no it wasn’t stated in the EO, which I also read, but in the above judgment it seems to say that his election campaign statement -““total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” was admissible should it go to a higher court.

  7. Hello SU: Welcome to the Chariot, sorry I cannot manage Cogitationator or it’s derivatives, so the cryptic SU will have to do. With your presence here you have added significantly to the US representation, may your voice be heard.
    I am reminded of a story my old friend John Watson tells, often late at night. When he left Scotland to work in Liverpool his father told him “John it’s a good thing you are doing moving to England, by this single action you have increased the average intelligence of both countries”.

    Travel ban? Ninth Circuit on pretty shaky ground regarding Standing IMHO, but what can one reasonably expect from Washington State? As always I could be wrong (c1995 JM).

  8. LW: There is a reason why the 9th Circuit is often referred to as the “9th Circus”. That its rulings are overturned 80pc of the time on appeal does little to recommend the judicial acumen of its justices. To be fair, it IS based in San Francisco and one really can’t expect much sense from that city.

  9. LW: San Francisco has an inanity uniquely its own. It was once a beautiful, open and vibrant city but has succumbed to leftism of the worst sort since its invasion by the militant left in the 1960s. It’s an absolute echo-chamber with at times over 90pc of the city going to the left.

  10. Sod the politics what about the potatoes?

    N years ago, being dissatisfied with the USA’s attempt at new potatoes, I smuggled in a pound of Jersey royal seed spuds, Grew them dutifully and correctly as I had previously in the UK only to find them utterly and completely tasteless!
    Talk about pissed off and totally disappointed.
    It has taken me years to find a spud worth eating here. I now grow something called a Russian Fingerling,
    A bit like a knobbly Charlotte that come at a vast price of $4.00 per lb in the shops..But of course free to me as I keep back some for seed every year.
    Cog/SU found real new pots in Pembrokeshire to be a bit of a revelation! One of the best things about the UK!

  11. And Idaho, the valley bits! Yukon gold are a fair winter spud but nowhere can produce a new potato here.

  12. CO: There are some marginally palatable new potatoes grown in parts of the San Joaquin Valley, but they’re still inferior to the Old World sort. For some reason food in Yankland never tastes quite right. It’s too much like Spain. Vast quantities of food are grown but little of it is even marginally edible.

    Janus: Have I ever told you any stories about the Viking and potatoes?

  13. @Araminta: Thank’ee, Ma’am. I’ve downloaded the Appellate Court decision (all 29 pages of it) and mean to finish reading it at some as yet unknown future time. For now, another afternoon of errands lies ahead. Yesterday I went to two different places for dog food (the little girl dog needs an expensive hypoallergenic formula), the County toxic waste dump, the bank, a supermarket and I forget where else. Now what’s in store for today?

    As things have been reported here, there appears little doubt that Trump’s original wish was indeed to “keep the (expletive deleted) ragheads out.” Even he knew that that would never fly and so he asked Rudolph Giuliani (who was Mayor of NYC on 9/11 and showed himself a highly effective leader) to “make it legal.” The published Executive Order was the result. Even so, I can’t see how something anyone in politics says at one time can be admitted in a court case at another time. Isn’t it every elected official’s right to blow with the wind (i.e., to knife his constituents in the back once he’s elected)?

  14. Food grown locally and eaten locally always tastes just fine, its the travelling that does the damage.
    I used to have tractors parked in the street outside my shop in Neyland, offloading sacks of spuds several times a week, I had the most remendous trade in spuds, many families took them by the 56lb sack and shared them round the family, all fresh off the farms with greens and roots too. Tesco couldn’t touch me for freshness or price! Fruit was a different matter, it didn’t grow locally!
    I take it your mum doesn’t have a veg garden Christopher?

  15. CO: “Just fine” — but not quite the same. The female-type parent was too busy working so the male-type parent did the gardening. The tomatoes were fairly decent, as were the onions and the fruits. I’d make a point of popping in at farm stands to by fruit and vegetables in-season in Clements or Lockeford. The soil is some of the best in the word and it was almost always picked the same day in the fields just behind the stands/shops. The problem seems to be the varieties. Strawberries in Hunland, the UK and Scandinavia are smaller than those in California, but they taste far better. They California variety aren’t terrible, but they’re not the same. Apples are similarly far better in Germany, Scandinavia or the UK than in the US. To this point I’ve never had apples as good as I’ve had them in England. The notable difference is cherries. California cherries are rather good.

  16. Christina – your comment re US potatoes left me seriously perplexed. I thought the darn things originated there – so I went on a little researching expedition. Very interesting – apparently not the US, but more specifically Peru – albeit some few millennia ago. Clearly they have changed greatly over that time!

    Your comments re New Potatoes also intrigued me. Ozzies have no idea what Real New Tatties are like. As far as I can make out all potatoes under a certain size are take away and put into tins… 🙂

  17. Boadicea: What I would call “heritage” potatoes are occasionally available at retail here, imported from Peru. The fingerlings that Mrs. O. mentioned are I think a variety of these. All are small and oddly shaped and they come in a variety of alarming colors, some purple, some blue, some a bright orange color (think D. Trump’s hair). Despite the colors they taste just like potatoes IE not much..

    I agree that British spuds win the taste test hands down. Yukon Gold and Red Bliss are edible but the workaday Idaho varieties are bland in the extreme.

  18. The Peruvian purple spuds are quite disgusting in flavour, musky and earthy, yukk!
    I have never been quite able to prove this spud business as to why they are so tasteless,elsewhere, especially when there are strong climatic similarities. I can only think it may be the ph of the soil. Spuds like acid soil. There are very few soils that have agricutural use that are that acid, ie below ph5. (Most acid soils are too far north or forest) Parts of Pembrokeshire and Cornwall are definitely so and produce brilliant flavoured new potatoes.

    America does not grow the varieties that make new pots, their idea is just harvest main crops early!! Seems similar to Australia then. These bizarre Russian fingerlings are the tastiest I have found on my taste tests, but a real bugger to scrape with the bobbly bits.

    I seriously miss real spuds!

  19. Boadicea: Peru and Bolivia. There are a number of varieties grown there that aren’t grown elsewhere. I’ve had the opportunity to try the original sorts in Spain and found them interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily want to eat them every day, but they didn’t hurt me in the least.

  20. Come come Christopher, I too have tried them as imports here, they are pretty bloody grim compared with a Jersey Royal! Maybe as yet you have never tried them, they have a very short season in the UK, if you are ever there in the UK in spring you must try them.
    I don’t think they are exported, maybe to Northern France but they don’t travel well and they can sell all they want in the UK. 17 years ago the first crop was getting 2.00 sterling/lb compared with 10p/lb for main crop, ie 20x the price for a spud and even at that price they flew out of the shop, couldn’t keep them in stock hardly!

  21. Sorry, done it again! Start off with deportation and end up with spuds!
    Well you can’t eat immigrants, well you’re not supposed to……………

  22. CO: I didn’t say I tried the same varieties you did! Peru and Bolivia have a number of varieties of potatoes. Some are more edible than others. I’ve started planning for an autumn move to the UK, Waitrose co-operating I should be able to procure some. If not, I’ll see what I can find.

  23. Jersey Royals have a three week season late Spring, will definitely NOT be available in the Autumn anywhere.

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