05 March 2016

Politics is Pissing on Paradise

 Politics is Pissing on Paradise:


I do not regard myself as a “political junky.” Politics is frequently boring, even when I see politicians doing or saying bad or stupid things. Life has too many other interests for me, e.g, in alphabetical order, beach, family, fishing, friends, et al.  Here in St. Barths, “Beach” is an absolute.


But recent events have overwhelmed me. I am totally fascinated by the destruction of the Republican party, and this week, for the first time in years, I have watched television in the afternoon.  Lucky for me it was a rainy day when Mitt Romney spoke. Then I got to watch the responses, the extraordinary Republican debate, and in the interim, listen to the talking heads discuss the R’s refusal to consider a replacement for Scalia, the Supremes hearing the argument of the scandalously dishonest Texas anti-abortion legislation, and Apple thumbing its nose at the FBI.


But the sun is shining today, I will NOT turn on the tv this afternoon, and instead will vent my frustrations here and now, so I can hit the sand right after lunch.


First, I am appalled at the R presidential choices offered up for November. While I have no vote on this (or on anything else, for that matter, because the NY electors will certainly vote for the Democratic candidate no matter what I do or say), it is simply inconceivable that any of the three leading R candidates will be President of the United States. And while I disbelieve any current poll that says Cruz or Trump will beat Hillary in the general election, I worry about the next Clinton damaging revelation, be it about Bill, money, emails, another “whitewater”, whatever.  Or even an R “Swiftboat” attack that will be accepted by enough voters to change the result.  Ya can’t hold your breath for eight months! It’s like going into my basement without a flashlight when looking for the fusebox. Who knows what I will stub my toe on, what spider web will plaster itself on my face. Yuch. Only thing I know for sure: these are the Clintons, so the risk is great.


Second, the Texas abortion regulations heard by the eight-person court the other day: The whole thing is so dishonest, I am almost speechless. The alleged justification for the the regulations that will shut down virtually all abortion clinics in the state, i.e,”we are protecting women’s health, (wink, wink) are so transparently false that every politician who utters those words is a flat out liar. Period. And everybody knows it. And the likes of Cruz et al, who support those lies, nevertheless have the gall to attack Donald Trump, because he is a liar? If this is a contest as to which lies are more important,  they ought to say so. How did the Fox interrogators miss this? ( Wink, wink, --a rhetorical question.)  And the judiciary, including the Supremes? The latter either overturn Roe and Casey, and say women no longer have a constitutional right to choose abortion, or they strike the Texas statute. Unanimously. There is no middle ground.  Anything else is simply intellectually dishonest and a vote for the lying Texas pols.


Apple vs. the FBI. It’s getting late, so I will cop out and simply quote here an email I sent to a lawyer friend who asked my opinion on the dispute:
"My own view is that this is a marketing ploy. Cook gets to be a hero and parade his independence from the gov. The legal position, I think, turns on the All Writs Act, a piece of legislation I have never dealt with in my practice, but have learned about recently. Requires cooperation with the subpoena, but within limits. Major Supreme Court case required telephone company to install a pen register, but that was simple chore. I gather Apple does not deny it can write a piece of code to override the auto-destruct feature of the phone.
When it comes to security issues, I am inclined to take a flex position. Privacy and security are sometimes opposite ends of the teeter totter, and neither is entitled to absolute primacy.  Would Apple take the same position if the gov said: 'There is a suitcase nuclear device in downtown Chicago that is scheduled to detonate in 24 hours, and we have an encrypted iphone that will reveal the location?'  If Cook said 'Sorry, I refuse to interfere with our customer's privacy', I would bring on the waterboarding specialists.
(Then I would immediately catch Jetblue and Winair to Paradise.)"


Okay, sun is shining, my lovely assistant has fetched mon jambon et fromage en petit pain. Lunch, then the beach, then cocktail hour. Busy day ahead.

A bientot.

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