Saturday, December 24, 2022

To a covid minimizer

This came out of an unhappy Twitter discussion. I am not sure, even, why I kept on with it as long as I did, but it did get me to organize some of my thoughts about covid and so I’ve saved it and present it here. If you take nothing else away from this rather cranky article, take this: Covid is above all a disabling disease, and it can disable people of all ages, yes, even children.

Living with Covid

Covid Mitigations

So covid is here, perhaps to stay. What do we have to do to control and survive it?

If these steps are undertaken, I believe we could drastically reduce the spread and impact of covid, to the point where we might be able to relax most precautions.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Facist Revolutionaries

When people as rich and powerful as Elon Musk and Peter Thiel support terrorism, it isn't terrorism anymore – it's revolution.

And our leaders still don't seem to understand the danger.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Trial of Donald J. Trump

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founder’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections.” – Donald J. Trump

Now can we try him for treason?

(I know, I know, it would be a risky prosecution, therefore a case probably won't be brought.)

My impression is if he is brought to trial, probably for stealing classified documents, he will lose. It is one thing for him to be a creepy criminal in New York City, where the system is rigged to protect the very wealthy, and another to do so in Federal court, where even his hand-picked justices will think twice about blatant corruption. It would be a huge symbolic victory. HOWEVER…

It is not clear to me that convicting him would destroy or even very much weaken the fascist movement he jumped out in front of. We are still going to have to fight the political battles.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Few Notes on Treason in the USA

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

This I said to a moderately famous defense lawyer (I got chewed out for saying it, too.):

The Framers were tired of the Crown throwing around charges of treason for simple disagreement. Yet is it reasonable to view Trump's secret meeting with Vladimir Putin as anything but treasonous? I think the definition of “Enemies of the United States” needs updating, now that the USA is involved in global multipolar conflicts that seldom turn into declared wars.

The legal current definition, by precedent, of “Enemies of the United States” requires that an enemy be a nation that the USA has declared war upon. The United States has not declared war on Russia, yet Russia has worked to incite violence in the USA, and to turn US elections – at this time, Russia is no friend. Trump carefully insured there would be only one witness to his secret meeting with Putin (mobster!), so that, at least, cannot be directly prosecuted, but he was impeached for doing Putin's will in Ukraine.

The “corruption of blood” and “forfeiture” clauses are intended to ensure that penalties not be placed on a family of a traitor, yet there is little doubt that Trump's children were complicit in his crimes and would be far less destructive were they not so very rich. The Founders did not, I think, look far enough ahead (perhaps no-one could have) in writing those clauses.

Since the Framers so limited the definition of treason we dance around the concept in law, laying charges of sedition and espionage instead. These have become as problematic as charges of treason in the English monarchy. I am very glad to see the leaders of the Oath Keepers be convicted of seditious conspiracy. Yet both the Espionage and Sedition Acts have been abused, and in the same way as treason charges in Britain. I don't have even suggestions as to how to make this better. It is an area where the rigidity of written law meets the complexity of human character – not only of the criminals, but of the judges and juries as well.