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Bernardo de La Paz

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 34,576

About Me

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there.

Journal Archives

Kelly Koncentration Kamps ... brought to you by Трамп-RubleCon Party aka Grumpy Old People. . . . nt

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Jun 29, 2019, 03:17 PM (0 replies)

OK, looking at it at a little finer detail than I was, reading off a chart, I see that peaks were in

Jan 24, 2018 was 2872,
Sep 20, 2018 was 2941,
Apr 30, 2019 was 2953,
Jun 20, 2019 was 2965.

I don't know about closes, I am eyeballing intraday peaks and rounding last digit. I could be off by one or two and a day. Close enough we can see we are looking at the same basic data.

The point I wish to make is that tRump's stock market is chaotic and just barely eking out new highs before plunging. I do not see it as strong market. It has made four major peaks in his term so far and the latter three are hardly much higher than the first one.

I dug up some S&P500 closes, dates selected just before terms began, accounting for weekend closures:

Close Jan 16, 2009: 850.12
Close Jan 20, 2009: 805.22
Close Jan 19, 2011: 1281.92
51% rise from Jan 16 close

Close Jan 18, 2013: 1485.98
Close Jan 16, 1015: 2022.55
36% rise

Close Jan 19, 2017: 2263.69
Close Jan 19, 2019: 2670.71
18% rise

So we can see that tRump did not beat Obama in either of his first two years of terms. Even if we grant tRump his highest point in his first two years, he still can't beat Obama.

Close Sep 20, 2918: 2930.75
29% rise

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Jun 27, 2019, 07:21 AM (1 replies)

Term derives from the photo, the book, and the movie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ugly_American (book)

"Ugly American" is a term used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home. Although the term is usually associated with or applied to travelers and tourists, it also applies to U.S. corporate businesses in the international arena.

The best-selling, loosely fictional account provided contrasting characters with different approaches to opposing Communist influence in Southeast Asia, and the use of foreign aid in particular. The majority of the Americans exhibit a range of blundering, corrupt, and incompetent behaviors, often concentrating on impractical projects that will serve more to benefit American contractors than the local population. A minority are effective because they employ knowledge of the local language and culture, but most of these are marginalized and some even considered suspect.

A study carried out in 2002 revealed that Hollywood also contributes to the "Ugly American" image. The study found that the more access other countries had to American programs, the higher their negative attitudes toward Americans tended to be.[49]

The movie Sex and the City 2 has been quoted as a typical portrayal of the "ugly American" image, where Samantha, one of four best girlfriends, makes fun of Middle Eastern culture and women in traditional dress.[50]


1948 photo

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Jun 26, 2019, 09:04 AM (0 replies)

Born Free and Equal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born Free and Equal:
The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans Born Free and Equal
Author Ansel Adams
Illustrator Ansel Adams
Country United States
Language English
Subject Internees at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, 1943–4.
Genre Photography books
Publisher U.S. Camera, New York
Publication date 1944
Media type Hardcover
Pages 112 p. illus. (incl. ports.)

Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans is a book by Ansel Adams containing photographs from his 1943–1944 visit to the internment camp then named Manzanar War Relocation Center[1] in Owens Valley, Inyo County, California. The book was published in 1944 by U.S. Camera in New York.

In the summer of 1943, Adams was invited by his friend, newly appointed camp director Ralph Merritt, to photograph life at the camp. The project and the accompanying book and exhibition at the MoMA created a significant amount of controversy, partly owing to the subject matter. World War II was still being fought and the animosity against Americans of Japanese descent was high, especially on the West Coast.

Adams was not the only photographer to take pictures in Manzanar. Before him, Dorothea Lange had visited all eleven Japanese-American internment camps[citation needed] while a staff photographer for the War Relocation Authority. During Lange's visit in 1942, the camp was a less organized state and Lange was driven to portray the injustice of the relocation project, leading to a harsher and less optimistic portrayal of camp life than Adams's. The third photographer was internee Toyo Miyatake, previously a studio photographer in Los Angeles. Miyatake initially took photos with an improvised camera fashioned from parts he smuggled into the camp. His activity was discovered after nine months, but Merritt supported the endeavor and allowed him to have his stored studio equipment shipped to the camp and continue the project (initially a camp guard had to release the shutter for him after Miyatake had positioned the camera). Miyatake and Adams met and befriended each other at the camp, while Lange's and Adams's visits did not overlap.

Adams's goal in the project was twofold: to stress the good American citizenship of the internees, as conveyed in the subtitle of the book, "The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans"; and to show their ability to cope with the situation:

The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment…All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use. (Ansel Adams, 1965.[2])

Adams donated his collection of Manzanar photos to the Library of Congress in 1965.[3] In 2001, Spotted Dog Press published an updated version of Born Free and Equal with a foreword by Archie Miyatake, son of Manzanar photographer Toyo Miyatake.[4] The new version of the book has on the front cover a photo of Joyce Okazaki (née Nakamura), one of the children Adam's photographed.[1]
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Jun 19, 2019, 05:49 PM (1 replies)

Re (breaking it down for you) "I can't legally indict the sitter. You have every right to impeach"

His statement:

Paraphrase: "I can't legally indict the sitter."

under long-standing department policy a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited. The special counsel’s office is part of the department of justice and by regulation it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider.

Thus he says he can't legally indict "while he is in office" (the sitter). Hint, hint, get him out of office (de-elect/impeach-convict).

Paraphrase: "You have every right to impeach"

the opinion says that the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrong doing.

There is one such process, the only process that fits that bill and that would be impeachment. Notice that Mueller very carefully says (again) "sitting" and "formally" together.

So, that is how he says "You have every right to impeach."

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed May 29, 2019, 02:03 PM (2 replies)

I quoted them above. But here's another quote from his statement today for you to read

Referring to the DoJ's official determination (this DoJ under this AG (and previous AG)):

So that was justice department policy. Those were the principles under which we operated and from them we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s -- that is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president. We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the attorney general. As required by department regulations. [...]

... because, as Mueller explicitly says earlier in his statement, innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Then he explicitly says he makes his own decisions.

Now I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter.

His study of the law and regulations make him feel he is bound. He spends lots of time in his statement saying 'I am bound by this and I am bound by that'. The only way to read that is 'Do your job! I've gone as far as I possibly can!'

Now, you can disagree with him on his reading of law and regulation and you can disagree with him on his conclusions about what to do about them, but you can't say he doesn't operate with integrity.

There has been discussion about an appearance before congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before congress.

He explicitly is not going to get into allegations that a defendant has no defense in court against. Not while testifying, not while at a podium.

He is not going to talk about the pee tape. Sorry.

In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

This could not be clearer! Congress, especially the House, get access to that work product! Do what you are doing now, arguing in court to get access.

Couple this with his mention of the unindicted co-conspirator sitting ( "sitting president" ) in the Office.

Triple this with his part about "the constitution requires [requires][REQUIRES] a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrong doing." That process is impeachment. Mueller says it is required when it is credible to formally accuse "wrong doing".

Mueller chooses his words carefully.

So beyond what I have said here today, and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the justice department or congress. [...]

Sorry, but I trust Mueller's reading of the law and appropriateness (his shorthand for what he feels he is obligated to do/say/not-do/not-say.

I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interference in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American. Thank you.


That means:

Wake up!

Don't fall asleep!

It's not over! My bit is over but it is not over!

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed May 29, 2019, 01:49 PM (1 replies)

Ask not "who'd you like to have a beer with". Ask "who'd you like to provide daycare for a day".nt

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat May 18, 2019, 06:51 AM (0 replies)

Impeachment Lessons: What saved Clinton from Nixon's fate

Pew Research wrote in 2009 (emphasis added):

The Public Saves President Clinton’s Job

Of all the opinions that polls have tracked in the modern era, none has been more remarkable than President Bill Clinton’s approval ratings rising on the news of allegations that he had carried on an affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. A Pew Research Center poll in mid-January 1998 found that 61% of its respondents approved of the way the president was handling his job.11 Two weeks later, Clinton’s ratings spiked to 71%, reflecting public outrage over the way the media had prejudged Clinton’s guilt.12 The same trend was recorded in Gallup and other national surveys. The Pew Research poll analysis found the public more discontented with the president’s accusers in the news media than upset by Clinton’s alleged misbehavior.13

The public’s unexpected rallying to Clinton’s side led to a transformation of the Washington establishment’s judgment of his political viability. Before news of Clinton’s polling boost, political insiders had all but written him off. Public support for the president allowed, if not encouraged, congressional Democrats to rally to his side.

The impact of Clinton’s standing in the polls along with growing antipathy toward the president’s accusers were also potent factors in the impeachment debate and the broader politics of that contentious midterm year. The public stood by Clinton through each chapter of the saga: his grand jury testimony, his admission of lying, the revelations of the Starr report, and ultimately the Republican vote to impeach him. He ended the year with a 71% approval rating. His party actually picked up eight seats in the House of Representatives — an unusual occurrence for a second-term president, let alone one about to be impeached. It is inconceivable to think that public opinion could have had such an impact in an era prior to the emergence of the media polls.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:43 AM (15 replies)

The signal that will and probably should trigger impeachment. Tipping point. It's happened before.

One lesson from Watergate is that public opinion is crucial. When it does events move quickly, as they do when tipping points are reached.

During 1973 and 1974 Nixon's approval rating eroded and stayed low. Public desire for removal from office rose over that time.

1974 (via Pew Research and Wikipedia)

July 20 week: Public opinion crosses 50% in favor of removal from office
July 24: SCotUS rules Nixon must hand over tapes
July 27-30: House Committee recommends 3 articles of impeachment
Aug 5: White House releases unknown "smoking gun" tape
Aug 7: Two R Senators meet Nixon at WH.
Aug 8: Nixon resigns

Senators can sniff the wind.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Apr 22, 2019, 09:47 AM (22 replies)

Mueller mystery: What are the other 12 criminal referrals?

Source: NBC News

Mueller mystery: What are the other 12 criminal referrals?

The Mueller report mentions that he's made criminal referrals in 14 cases. Only two are publicly known.ile
April 18, 2019, 5:55 PM EDT
By Dareh Gregorian

Over the course of its sprawling 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the special counsel's team referred 14 criminal cases to other offices, Mueller's 448-page report revealed.

Only two of those referrals -- one involving former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the other former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig -- are public at this point.

"During the course of the investigation, the Office periodically identified evidence of potential criminal activity that was outside the scope of the Special Counsel's jurisdiction," the report says. "After consultation with the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office referred that evidence to appropriate law enforcement authorities, principally other components of the Department of Justice and the FBI."

Information on the mystery referrals was redacted for potential "harm to (an) ongoing matter," the report said.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/mueller-mystery-what-are-12-criminal-referrals-n996166

Note well: Each referral can lead to multiple indictments and convictions of multiple people.

Also discussion in GD.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Apr 18, 2019, 07:35 PM (7 replies)
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