Saturday: More Trump Administration “Foot Dragging” — This Time, On Flores’ July 30, 2018 Court Orders…

October 20, 2018 - Leave a Response

And. . . all of this came before Trump threatened about 2,000 asylum seeking families — who are now just leaving Guatemala, and entering Mexico — i.e., no present US border breach, to “police“. But he is whipping up his rabidly xenophobic base — with all this odious hate — just weeks before 2018 mid-terms. Blunt his idiocy with your voice — and your votes.

[We are also watching — with a weather eye on the horizon, for a 45 ordered Supreme Court appeal, on the case depicted at right. Another one Trump lost, even on appeal.] In any event, here is some of the salient bit — of the finely argued 24 page ACLU brief, seeking to have an independent monitor full-time “ride herd” — on ICE, ORR, DHS and the Trump Administration.

. . . .This Court’s order of July 30 enjoined ORR from pursuing certain policies and practices that unnecessarily extend class members’ detention. E.g., July 30 Order at 32 (enjoining blanket policy of requiring that post-release services be in place prior to the release of a class member to a sponsor for whom home study was conducted). The evidence indicates that ORR continues to pursue policies and practices that protract children’s detention unnecessarily. An independent monitor would prove helpful to the Court’s adjudicating whether these policies and practices accord with the Settlement. . . .

Obviously, when the threat of arrest and removal [via excessively fingerprinting anyone who seeks to see a child; and ASTONISHINGLY, screening credit score histories of ACLU lawyers — on the cases] succeeds in deterring parents and other potential custodians from coming forward, children suffer longer and longer periods in ORR detention, a result wholly inimical to their welfare and ORR’s statutory obligation to care for children, not turn them into a tool of law enforcement. See generally Flores v. Sessions, 862 F.3d 863, 876 (9th Cir. 2017) (“focus on care and placement — rather than on detention — is evident from the plain text” of the Homeland Security Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act).

Unless Defendants’ information-sharing furthers child safety or securing a child’s appearance, doing so violates the Settlement’s requirement of expeditious release. A special master would assist the Court in determining Defendants’ policy and practice in fact protect children, or merely injure them even more. . . .

Finally, since I’m on a rant this Saturday afternoon — Trump has just deemed “credible the Saudis’ officially preposterous notion that a 60 year old US permanent resident journalist picked a “fist fight” with 15 young men (all at once!), and one was a forensic expert (skilled at rapidly dissecting humans, with a bone saw). . . and in the process of “fist fighting” — the journalist fell repeatedly on the bone saw — until he was decapitated — and cut into sections. And Trump says it is “unfortunate” that this crime has captured the world’s imagination/attention. After all, this is only unfortunate, since Trump (and Jared Kushner) need to keep those GOP donors happy, and keep selling US made arms — to the Saudi prince.

Utterly disgusting. Be sure to vote. . . your conscience. Vote for humanity. Vote for continuing the rule of national — and international — human rights law. . . Me? I’m out knocking on doors, in deep red districts, tomorrow. Onward — ever onward.



Hideously, Trump Is “Foot Dragging” — On An Asylum Settlement He Already Agreed To, In San Diego…

October 19, 2018 - Leave a Response

Trump’s lawyers agreed, in open court on October 3, 2018, that the statutorily REQUIRED “credible fear” interviews should begin immediately, as to the 60 people in ICE detention who had already signed a request for such an interview. [The interviews allow asylum seekers to remain in the US while formal proceedings determine if that particular asylum seeker might reasonably be in danger — if deported.] But as with all L ‘Affairs Trump, when it comes to living up to his word — he chooses political soundbites first.

He knows midterms draw nigh — and he wants to seem “tough” on the border. He wants to do so. . . by continuously and openly violating an existing federal statute, and now a settled case. So, Judge Sabraw just ordered 45 to follow existing law. Here is the five page overnight order (as a PDF file), and a bit:

. . . .Finally, and contrary to Defendants’ assertion at oral argument, there is no prejudice to Defendants in providing notice of the credible fear orientations or the actual credible fear reviews and interviews to the 60 or so class members that are currently in detention and have executed election forms. As Plaintiffs pointed out at oral argument, and as the Court indicated in its order granting the TRO in the M.M.M. case, Defendants have a statutory obligation to provide class members access to asylum procedures. Providing that access now as opposed to later does not prejudice Defendants.

For these reasons, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion to require implementation of the parties’ settlement agreement. Specifically, the Court orders Defendants to begin the asylum process provided for in the agreement to those class members that are in detention and have executed an election form. . . .

Abominable. These Trump-la-dykes are. . . just reprehensible. But we will march. . . forward. Onward. End this GOP disdain (as political expediency against) long settled federal statutory law — by voting, at the ballot box, in under three weeks, now. Nationwide. Out door to door canvassing this weekend, in the South.


[U] New CIO At Merck. Is Mr. Golestani Already… Gone? Answer: Yes.

October 18, 2018 - Leave a Response

We last discussed the Merck CIO role, in December 2012, here. Back then, it was the departure of Mr. Scalet (during the pendency of a federal suit about alleged sexual discrimination and pregnancy discrimination, in the IT world there — being settled), and the elevation of Mr. Golestani.

This time it seems the company has gone outside — and Mr. Scholefield has escaped the rainy, foggy Northwest, for the. . . muggy, sweltering East Jersey-ish environs. Hmmm. . . .

Here is what we see, at

. . . .Jim Scholefield will assume the role of chief information and digital officer for Merck effective Oct. 29 and serve as a member of the Kenilworth-based biopharma’s executive committee, the company said.

Scholefield currently is chief information officer at Nike Inc. and previously was chief technology officer for The Coca-Cola Co.

He has also held leadership roles in information technology at The Northern Trust Co. and Ford Motor Co. . . .

We will keep an eye out to see where Mr. Golestani turns up.

Updated: it appears Mr. Golestani joined Sparta Systems this past summer — leaving Merck in the Spring of 2018. I think he is too young — to be calling it a career. So, Merck was short-handed, in digital, for about six months. Hmmm. . . Onward.

As Settlement Proceeds — Additional Status Dates, And Reports, In San Diego…

October 18, 2018 - Leave a Response

While I was off grid, the able USDC Judge Dana Sabraw held another status call, on the state of the settlement agreement mechanics, and progress toward ultimate resolution, in the Ms. L., et al. cases.

Here is what will be next, or at least, what will next be available — to the public:

. . . .A status conference was held on October 16, 2018. After consulting with counsel and being advised of the status of the case, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

. . .Counsel in both this case and the New York cases shall file further status reports on or before October 25, 2018, and on or before 3:00 p.m. on November 8, 2018. . . .

A further status conference shall be held on November 9, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. The dial-in number for any counsel who wish to listen in only and members of the news media is as follows. . . .

Counsel for the Ms. L. Class shall provide notice of this order to counsel for Plaintiffs in the related cases, 18-cv-1699, 18-cv-1769 and 18-cv-1832. . . .

Now you know — onward to court for TRO defense proceedings. . . . crisply sunny — but chilly, here.


The Situation: Growing More Grave, In Beni — Latest DRC Ebola Outbreak…

October 17, 2018 - Leave a Response

After an emergency WHO meeting today, the only good news is that this outbreak has not yet been declared an emergency of international concern. Not an international pandemic. Yet.

However, the new cases rate continues to rise — many from unknown transmission chains, in Beni — and that is vert disconcerting. Here is the latest from WHO, tonight:

. . . .From 4 May to 15 October 2018, 216 EVD cases were reported, of which 181 are confirmed and 35 are probable; 139 total deaths have occurred, of which 104 are confirmed and 35 are probable. The global case fatality rate stands at 64% overall, and at 57% among confirmed cases.

Nine neighbouring countries have been advised that they are at high risk of spread and have been supported with equipment and personnel. Particular emphasis has been placed on Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan in terms of preparedness activities. . . .

Now you know — seriously sleep deprived, but ready to roll, tomorrow! Smile. . . .


In Which Companies OTHER Than 23AndMe… Lead To ID-ing Cold Crime Suspects… WIRED Story, Tonight.

October 11, 2018 - Leave a Response

The demo- cratization of DNA sequencing is a good thing. Trust me, on this. Arguing against the use of it — in the lawful ways described in the below article — is akin to arguing that it should be unlawful to process a crime scene, for fingerprints. The fact is that millions of fingerprints are now housed worldwide, and in databases — so too (soon will be) “third cousin or better” level DNA swaths.

To be sure, law enforcement will become more adept at identifying “false ID” positives, as more lawsuits are filed when (inevitably) the officers make mistakes. That has already been litigated in several cases, leading to police reforms. [In addition, as the now dated graphic at right indicates, it has led to being able to reunite more than a few of Trump’s kidnapped children with their asylum seeking parents, with certainty. Do consider. . . that.]

Put differently, we would no sooner have ended fingerprinting (in the 1930s), than end DNA sequencing of crime scene bio-collections (here in the 21st century). And if it leads to catching rapists or murderers, from the 1970s and 1980s (or later) — who left behind blood, skin or semen samples. . . well, I am all for that. The minimally intrusive burden of any particular cousin being asked whether s/he has any close relatives in a given metro area, at a given time-frame — especially where the cousin cannot be compelled (that’s the law, folks — know your rights!) to answer (but naturally volunteers, to help solve old crimes) strikes me as not a deep 4th amendment problem. There is simply no right to remain anonymous, if one has left evidence at a crime scene, and when a crime of violence has occured. There just. . . isn’t.

In any event, here it is — from the surprising Wired story, tonight:

. . . .The study found that once a genetic database covers roughly two percent of the adults in a given ethnic population, a match of a third cousin or closer is expected for almost any person of interest. . . . For Americans of European ancestry, who are better represented in genetic and genealogical databases, that threshold could be reached in the next few years if recreational DNA testing continues at its current pace. Two percent is only about four million people, based on the most recent US census data. . . .

Now you know. [This content was auto-generated, by an algorithm I wrote some months ago. It kicks in when I am off-grid. Any errors, or context-type mistakes will be corrected (if any) upon my return.]

नमस्ते, and. . . 珍道具!

A Truly “Immortal Life”: Groundbreaking, On A New Henrietta Lacks Bioethics Research Building — At Johns Hopkins…

October 10, 2018 - Leave a Response

Once again, one of our longer term — and abiding — interests has re-appeared in the news. This time, it is a new remembrance of the immortal: Ms. Henrietta Lacks — and the HeLa cell line.

This past weekend, jointly with the family, Johns Hopkins announced construction of a new bioethics research building, to be named for her. [Rebecca Skloot wrote lyrically of her life and death — of cancer, in 1951.] And here nearly 70 years on, she will be immortalized in stone — at the university hospital system that so enormously benefitted from her non-consented contribution to cell biology:

. . . .“This building will be a place that stands as an enduring and powerful testament to a woman who not only was the beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to generations of the Lacks family, but the genesis of generations of miraculous discoveries that have changed the landscape of modern medicine and that have benefited, in truth, the much larger family of humanity,” Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said Saturday during the university’s ninth annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial lecture series. . . .

Construction of the new building, which will be adjacent to the university’s Berman Institute of Bioethics’ Deering Hall in East Baltimore, will be the site of further study “to promote research ethics and community engagement,” the university said.. . .

Hers was an unfathomably vast contribution to advancing human health science.

Here, with her grandchildren, and great grandchildren now. . . “it is well“, with these, her progeny — so, it is well. . . well, too — with my soul. Be. . . excellent — be simply. . . excellent.


Forty Ebola Case Contacts Have Been “Lost To Follow Up” — In The DRC As Of October 7, 2018

October 10, 2018 - Leave a Response

In addition, 180 of the known contacts in Beni (a city of over one million) have not been seen — which means they are unvaccinated, as well.

To be clear, here — the more ominous risk is the 40 who are entirely off grid — with new cases appearing in Beni by the day — some without any known relationship to any already known chain(s).

As I said before — that means there are likely completely untracked chains of transmission — on the loose, in a city of over one million souls. Here is the latest, from WHO, and a salient bit:

. . . .As of 7 October 2018, a total of 2115 contacts were being monitored, and on this date, 2013 (91%) were seen. Two hundred and two (202) contacts were not seen, of which 180 (89%) were registered in Beni. A total of 175 new contacts were identified and enrolled in Beni (99), Masereka (65) and Butembo (11). Forty (40) contacts were classified as ‘lost to follow up’, including 37 in Beni, two in Tchomia and one in Komanda. . .

Now you know. This has the real potential to become a frighteningly urban epidemic, with more than a 60 per cent fatality rate, in DRC and neighboring Uganda. We will keep you informed. I’m off, now — until mid next week.


More On Yesterday’s Status Call — Order For Settlement Issued; Final Hearing Next Month: Ms. L Case In San Diego

October 10, 2018 - Leave a Response

Judge Sabraw also accepted the filing by the ACLU (and others, all fine lawyers) of the amended final complaint at law. But I won’t post it, as it is long — and it is now a settled matter.

The able Judge’s orders are quite clear and largely self-executing. Here is the full six pager, out of today’s hearings — and a salient bit:

. . . .The Court finds that: (a) the proposed Settlement, as set forth in the Agreement, is sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to authorize the dissemination of notice of the Settlement to potential members of the Settlement Classes and to schedule a fairness hearing to determine whether to grant final approval of the proposed Settlement under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e); (b) the Agreement was negotiated at arm’s length by experienced counsel acting in good faith; and (c) there has been adequate opportunity for discovery for experienced counsel to evaluate the claims and risks at this stage of the litigation. . . .

The Court finds that preliminary approval is appropriate and hereby grants preliminary approval of the Settlement subject to final determination [in mid-November 2018] following notice and hearing. . . .

Onward — ever onward. Off grid, starting tomorrow night — until mid next week. Fun times in NYC (and before that, down in the deep South), ahead!


They Say Analysis… Causes The Death Of Comedy… So Too It Is, With Irony.

October 9, 2018 - One Response

Even so, I can’t help but marvel at the clever legal quandary created (clearly intentionally) by Banksy’s latest performance art.

I’ve put this in a new post — so as not to kill the fun of the original.

If it is true that the original buyer felt s/he could ignore Banksy’s “no resale at auction” stipulation — (since UK, EU and US law all make out a strong presumption against restrictions on title), and safely resell under those laws (as they did at Southeby’s this last Friday) — then Banksy out maneuvered the entire legal world. He imposed his will on the monied elite who more collect, trade and commoditize his art, than politely appreciate his works.

Moreover, Banksy — in an irony of ironies — has increased the value of the auctioned property (in the view of most reputable art collectors), by this last bit of delayed performance art. That increase in value will not inure to the benefit of the seller who violated Banksy’s “no auction” stipulation. It will belong to the buyer, at auction (since it occured after the gavel fell!), under existing law.

Astonishing, from head to toe — and Banksy’s clever forethought — on copious display here — along with some very good karmic luck — is very likely to make some new case law, in the field of fine art contracting! Delicious.