Y A W N. Only Took Ten Days — And Abbott’s “Driving While Brown” Lawless Executive Order Is… Enjoined, In Texas.

August 4, 2021 - Leave a Response

We said this would occur. Full overnight order here, from the able USDC Judge Kathryn Cardone, in El Paso. See image at right.

It is patently obvious that allowing Texas Rangers / state troopers to stop anyone suspected of being a “migrant” in any car, at any time — on no other probable cause. . . is repugnant to our equal protection clause. Hard to imagine a more clear violation of that notion, by official action.

It would mean (if allowed to go into effect) that it would be unlawful in Texas to “drive, while. . . brown” — or at least give police there loony Gestapo powers.

But even more than that, the matters of immigration and deportation. . . are exclusively under federal jurisdiction, under our Constitutional scheme. Texas is not its own nation. Texas may not try to step in front of a federal mandate or rule here (just as we saw in the young Texas USDC Judge Tipton “Dead Hand on the Tiller” case this Spring).

In sum, sit down Gov. Abbott. Oh. I guess you already. . . got the memo, from USDC Judge Tipton.

In any event, we will track this up to and through the final injunction, in El Paso — and then on up to the Fifth Circuit, and if need be — to the Supremes. Abbott and Paxon really ought to be re-styled — as Abbott and Costello. Out, grinning, though at the feckless wastes Texas voters and taxpayers allow, as publicity stunts — by their Governor.

I genuinely cannot fathom the mindless hate it takes, to come up with these ultimately impotent stunts.

I N S A N E.

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It Has Been At Least Five Decades Since A Union Vote Was Re-Run By An NLRB Order. Will Amazon See One, In Alabama?

August 3, 2021 - Leave a Response

These cases mostly arose in the middle of the last century, or earlier. But they are instructive — and some of Amazon’s alleged labor policies here a half century later — for its Alabama drivers and warehouse workers, in particular. . . harken back to those awful, and oppresive days. [Most of the cases were during a time when civil rights marchers hadn’t yet safely crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge — to Selma, in truth.]

Here is what we know: a preliminary finding suggests that the NLRB staff review will lead to the full NLRB being asked to order a new election — in Alabama, due to Amazon’s open, egregious misconduct (creating a privately-[company]-controlled mail-in ballot box, on site — and capable of being monitored by management, to see who was voting).

.”. . .Throughout the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence how Amazon tried to illegally interfere with and intimidate workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union. We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, in a statement Monday.

In response to Monday’s news, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement: “Our employees had a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all types of voices were weighing into the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a direct connection with their managers and the company. Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens.”

Several of the union’s objections centered on the mailbox that Amazon installed earlier this year in the parking lot and urged employees to use to mail their ballots. While union elections are typically done in-person with NLRB officials present, due to the pandemic the NLRB allowed for voting by mail, over Amazon’s strenuous objections. ​The ballots, which were mailed to the homes of eligible employees, could be cast at any USPS mailbox. The union had cried foul over Amazon’s new mailbox ahead of the results.

According to the recommendation report, the officer said Amazon’s “unilateral decision to create, for all intents and purposes, an onsite collection box for NLRB ballots destroyed the laboratory conditions and justifies a second election. . . .”

We will follow this one — as it is. . . disheartening that here in the second decade of the 21st Century. . . such shenanigans still hold sway. Shame on Mr. Bezos. This is a “tone at the top” problem. Onward, smiling — in spite of myself. . . be excellent to one another. . . .

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The Path To The Future, On Vaccines… Is Almost Certainly Through mRNA Tech: So, Sanofi Buys Translate Bio — For $2.3 Billion, This Morning.

August 3, 2021 - Leave a Response

More power-alley stuff follows here — forgive me:

It seems to happen more frequently — once, about every two decades or so, now [and used to come. . . only about twice a century (a la Marie Curie; Jonas Salk)]: a novel approach yields astonishing results in one field, and becomes the new way of doing. . . everything, in that field. So it is, now with next-gen vaccines: mRNA is that way. [Two decades ago it was the “-previrs” in curing Hep C; and about decade ago, it was the emergence of “-lizumab” — in immuno-oncology. We covered both — just search them.]

Today, I think we may safely say building all sorts of novel vaccines using mRNA will be the “Why wouldn’t we do it?” question rather than the “Hmm. . . maybe we should try. . .” thought bubble. So this morning, Sanofi has plunked down its bet, to be dealt into in these most important of games — of seven card draw, here:

. . .Sanofi has agreed to buy U.S. biotech company Translate Bio — as it bets on next-generation mRNA vaccine technology beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, confirming a Reuters exclusive report.

The French pharmaceuticals firm said it would acquire all outstanding shares of Translate Bio for $38.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of about $3.2 billion.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, and the chief executive of Translate Bio and the U.S. company’s largest shareholder have backed it, Sanofi and Translate Bio said in a joint statement. . . .

We do always cheer the advancing of bio-science — it will literally save millions of lives. But especially this one, all because an immigrant woman bio-scientist named Dr. Kati Kariko refused to take the patriarchy’s dismissive “nopes” for any final answer — on her mRNA discoveries’ very wide applicability. Grinning. . . . onward. Ever, onward.

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Were I A Betting Man, I’d Bet Baxter Is Minimizing The Actual Risks AWS Is Agreeing To Assume Here: US Patient Fatalities From Outages Or Errors…

August 2, 2021 - Leave a Response

For reasons largely unknown, the old power alley topics reached out to chant my name, in an echo. . . this very afternoon. Eight or even nine years on, still there. . . .

So it is, that I offer this series of. . . um, observations.

Mr. José E. Almeida (Baxter’s CEO) is a fine man. Candid, forthright and ethical. But (as is true at many multinationals) many of the same people work under him, as ever did. And they will. . . scratch and claw.

I can say Amazon is a great company, operationally — but in the rush for new IT systems business / cloud support gigs. . . I wonder whether Amazon’s AWS is being sold “a pig in a poke“. That is, Baxter is legendary for excellent inter-company marketing / happy talk, about patient systems (having gilded this same lily three decades ago — with big iron, at old IBM — page 63 of ARS). . . only to leave its “partner” (then IBM) holding the bag for product liability, when errors or outages mean that patients at US hospitals might be injured or die. This is this same cha-cha, only called a “cloud dance” — as opposed to a big iron / mainframes over telephone modems undertaking (of the old IBM days), to my experienced eye.

Before we get to the uber-happy talk from today’s presser, I’d starkly warn AWS to closely read the agreements: they may (along with FDA law and regulations) transfer/fix liability for the ultimate patient consequences of system failures. . . on you. Under US law, that could be an insanely vast exposure. Now, we turn to the corporates’ happy talk:

. . .Sharesource [Baxter’s remote renal monitoring suite] is powered by AWS, which enables Baxter to support daily treatments at scale while also expanding the platform to include new analytics capabilities, among other enhancements. Sharesource is the most widely adopted home dialysis digital health solution, supporting nearly 46% of home dialysis patients in more than 70 countries. Sharesource has been used to manage more than 28 million treatments to date. . . .

The cloud transformation is also supporting Baxter’s DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager, an innovative software solution that reduces preventable medication errors from dose preparation in the pharmacy to delivery at the patient’s bedside. DoseEdge seamlessly integrates with a hospital’s pharmacy information system to automate the process of routing, preparing, inspecting, tracking, and reporting on IV and oral liquid doses. While the technology is already used in more than 500 hospitals across the U.S., Baxter’s cloud transformation creates an opportunity for accelerated expansion into new markets, while meeting local data security and privacy requirements. . . .

I trust that Amazon’s lawyers will really evaluate the additional / excess insurance policies needed to implement this transfer to AWS, and away from. . . Baxter. In any event. . . the category killer here may be Apple, and its watch. . . albeit a few years off.

Keep your eyes open, here young people. Grin. . . . with entirely new topics, starting tomorrow. . . right here.

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37 Years Ago, On Lake Turkana, In Kenya… A Nearly Complete Fossilized Skeleton Of A Boy Was Uncovered…

August 1, 2021 - Leave a Response

And this — this very place, by a lake’s edge — may well be the cradle, that birthed what became. . . us all, some 1.7 to 1.5 million years ago.

In fact, every living human today possesses about 1% of his or her DNA, from a line of descent that connects to homo erectus. [About half again that much comes from the Neanderthals — we have learned, from 23AndMe studies of over 5 million separate humans’ genome sequences.] Here is the BBC, on it all, recently:

. . .It was a skeleton of a young boy, discovered at Lake Turkana in the deserts of northern Kenya. He died when he was about eight years old and his bones sank into the sediments of the lake, where they were preserved for 1.5 million years. He was, and is, the most complete early-human fossil ever discovered.

Yet “Turkana Boy” is just one of many early human fossils discovered near the lake. Together they span four million years of human evolution. This one spot has told us a huge amount about where we came from and how our ancestors lived. . . .

The earliest known Acheulean hand-axes were discovered near Lake Turkana in 2011. They are 1.76 million years old and were probably made by H. erectus (of which species, Turkana Boy was a member). . . .

Smiling in the warm August sunshine — with cool lake breezes blowing by, here at the park. . . in sum. . . perfect. It is not at all unlikely, that as a much wetter, less hot climate — 1.5 million years ago — surrounded Kenya, and Lake Turkana. . . the eight year old boy depicted above was doing much the same as my grand-niece, right now. . . . grin.

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Why Does DeSantis Hide His COVID-19 New Cases Data?

August 1, 2021 - Leave a Response

The Governor of Florida, even so far back as when he was playing baseball undergrad at Yale, told friends he wanted to be president one day. He’s always had political aspirations. And in Florida, where denying the realities engendered by a largely broken state health care system, and/or equating a mask, or getting a vaccine to. . . Jim Crow or the Holocaust. . . is considered “smart politics” — it is especially hard to have principled public health conversations.

But leaked official reports out of Florida show that there were over 110,000 new COVID cases last week in Florida — and over 21,600 on Saturday, alone. These variants are not generally as lethal as the original, but they are more easily transmitted. Fully one in five of all new cases, nation wide — were in Florida last week. It is without serious doubt, the new epicenter of the virus.

. . .Over the last seven days, Florida saw a 50% weekly increase in new cases, reporting 110,477 cases from July 23 to July 29, according to the Florida Department of Health. In July, Florida was one of four states that accounted for 40% of the country’s total infections, according to White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients. During that time, the Sunshine State recorded one out of every five of the nation’s new cases, he said. . . .

What did the fool DeSantis do last week? He ran off to… Utah, to wax political on national (not his disastrous local) matters. He’s trying to test the waters — on his 2024 GOP nomination hopes. Moron — your state is going to be the strongest argument for why, on the national stage, we ought NOT trust you to handle. . . much of anything. Onward, grinning. . . .

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This Year’s Western Wildfires Have Burned More Square Mileage Already — Than The Cities Of LA, New York And Chicago — COMBINED.

July 31, 2021 - Leave a Response

As a long ago transplanted boy of the mountain west, seeing these fires (in any size) makes my soul. . . ache. I well-know, having walked ridge-lines cleared by fires ages ago, that takes several decades for the small shoots to regrow to the height that looks “normal” again.

And when the devastation comes on this scale — and includes homes. . . well, it is simply heart breaking. Here’s the latest, from CNN:

. . .America’s two largest active wildfires have burned land nearly the size of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined — as drought and extreme heat continue to make matters worse for those fighting the massive fires in the West.”

There’s no human intervention that can save these forests if we don’t stop climate change,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told CNN on Friday. “All of us want more aerial assets, more bulldozers, more trained personnel, but it’s kind of like if there’s an arsonist at loose, and we have to corral the arsonist. We have to go on the offense. . . .”

Indeed — we need to aggresively re-work water rights management, and reduce climate changing emissions, so that these “fire-nadoes” are far less common. That is, itself, decades of work. But we must begin, somewhere — right away, for our kids, and theirs.

If only we could move the rains from where there is plenty of extra — to where we need them, most. . . right? G’night. . . grinning.


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When Texas Dressed Up Discrimination Against Brown People As… A Non-Existent Public Health Concern.

July 31, 2021 - Leave a Response

Or. . .”In Which Texas Tries To Make Driving While Brown. . . Officially Unlawful. . . It Will Fail.”

Gov. Abbott (and TX AG Paxson) apparently have decided that they need racism. . . to guide all Texas troopers — in stop and frisk operations — by motor vehicle. This insults all good officers, there. And just one (other) problem: Texas lacks that authority, under our Constitution (even if it can meet the exceedingly high burden of proving that the stops are NOT mere pretexts for invidious discrimination). And these are pretextual, to a certainty. But the law of the land grants exclusive jurisdiction on immigration matters to the federal government — so, Texas lacks even an arguable basis to stop, where it claims immigration status is “driving” the stop.

This Abbott executive order is manifestly lawless, and unenforceable. It will be enjoined. Even in the trial courts, in Texas — where it is now. Stay tuned, but here is the DoJ’s suit against Texas, tonight — and a bit:

. . .The Constitution affords Congress the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” U.S. Const., art. I § 8, cl. 4. It also affords the President of the United States the authority to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” U.S. Const., art. II § 3. Congress has exercised its authority over immigration to make laws governing the entry, admission, presence, status, and removal of noncitizens within the United States by enacting the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq., and other laws regulating immigration. These laws codify the Executive Branch’s authority to inspect, investigate, arrest, detain, and remove noncitizens who are suspected of being, or found to be, unlawfully in the United States. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1228, 1231, 1357. Federal law also creates criminal sanctions for those who facilitate the unlawful entry, residence, or transportation of noncitizens within the United States. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1323, 1324, 1327, 1328. The States and their political subdivisions cannot obstruct or discriminate against the execution of federal immigration laws. See Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. 387, 394-95 (2012). . . .

Federal law also explicitly recognizes the authority of the United States to “arrange for appropriate places of detention for aliens detained pending removal or a decision on removal[.]” 8 U.S.C. § 1231(g)(1); accord 8 U.S.C. § 1103(a)(11). The INA further vests the United States with broad discretion to release noncitizens seeking admission to the United States from custody through various mechanisms including, inter alia, parole under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5) and conditional release from custody under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a)(2)(B). See also 8 U.S.C. § 1229c (authorizing the federal government to release removable noncitizens for as long as 120 days, in exchange for the non-citizen’s commitment to depart voluntarily). Noncitizens subject to removal proceedings are provided a written Notice to Appear. 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(1)(G)(i). That Notice to Appear must be filed with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and provide “[t]he time and place at which the proceedings will be held.” 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Noncitizens may also be subject to a process known as expedited removal. 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1). . . .

“. . .[S]tates have no power. . . to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by [C]ongress to carry into effect the powers vested in the national government.” M’Culloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316, 317 (1819). . . .

[Remedies; Prayer for Relief:] A declaratory judgment stating that the executive order violates the Supremacy Clause and the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity, and therefore is invalid, null, and void [and]

Preliminary and permanent injunctions against the State of Texas, and its officers, agents and employees, from enforcing the executive order. . . [among other things.]

It seems that Abbott wants to “Out-Costello” the old Tangerine. We will be happy to meet him in court, and disabuse him of his hateful, lawless overreach — as well those of his ever-slimy AG, Paxson. Onward — but still smiling — I just cannot. . . help myself. Heh.

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The Federal Suit That Resulted From Baby T. Trying To Ban WeChat And TikTok… Will Now Result In US Paying The Companies’ Legal Fees — Government Position Was Taken In “Bad Faith”.

July 30, 2021 - Leave a Response

Or, “more clean up — in Aisle 45. . . it’s a sticky broken orange-ish jar — of jello-and-anchovy paste. . . .”

Well, we, the US taxpayers will continue to cover the bar tab (in this, and dozens of other suits), from Tangerine’s lawless actions. That’s what our statutes provide, to protect innocent parties from malicious prosecution by federal government agents. Due to how unquestionably wrong these executive orders were, this is money we should never have had to. . . waste.

You see, in this case, the “actor” was the occupant of the Oval Office — and it was as clear as day that he was acting beyond the scope of his power (banning free speech apps among US citizens), all in impotently trying to punish the social media apps, for embarrassing him, at his sparsely attended Tulsa COVID super-spreader rally (where the GOP gad-fly Herman Cain caught — and a few days later, died from — the virus). Here’s the latest, on settlement of the action — from a filing in California, overnight:

. . .During the week of August 2, 2021, Plaintiffs intend to present Defendants with a demand for attorneys’ fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act, for fees and costs incurred in both the district court and Ninth Circuit. The parties jointly request that this Court continue the Case Management Conference presently set for August 5, 2021 until September 16, 2021, or the Court’s next availability, with an updated statement due one week in advance of the Case Management Conference. . . .

In the interim, the parties anticipate meeting and conferring to see if they can resolve the remaining issues without motion practice. In the event the parties do resolve the issue of attorneys’ fees and costs, the parties anticipate filing a stipulation of dismissal. The parties will notify the Court in the event the parties are unable to resolve the issue of attorneys’ fees and costs, at which time they will seek to confirm a briefing schedule for Plaintiffs’ fees motion. . . .

Who knew being a malevolent, feckless crack pot wanna be dictator would be so. . . expensive for the US taxpayers? We did, of course. Onward — to better days ahead.



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An Update, On The Portland “Free Press Corps” Case, From The Time Of Tangerine — Summer Of ’20…

July 29, 2021 - Leave a Response

We very closely covered the deplorable use of federal goon squads, by Barr and Tangerine, to quell lawful dissent after George Floyd’s murder. Specifically, last summer, we covered the goon squads deployed in Portland that arrested, harassed and even fired rubber bullets at clearly marked members of the press (lawfully present to document the protests) — in shocking violations of now over 100 years of well settled First Amendment jurisprudence. [To see all the backgrounders I’ve written on it, search “Portland” or “Good Trouble” in the upper left box, in the toolbar. There are more than 20.]

Of course, at both the trial and appellate court levels, the press won. An injunction was issued, and affirmed. Then, as Tangerine was leaving office, the federal government sought an “indicative opinion” from the trial court that the case ought to be dismissed as moot (and the injunction dissolved), since the protests “had ended”. Poppycock.

Overnight, the ACLU and many others filed their answer to that nonsense. It will prevail. The need for this injunction, against beating members of the press for doing their jobs, last summer — may have been an all time low, in the actions of a craven thrall of officers, caught up in the night-sweats, of a tin-pot dictator (the likes of which were last seen at the Chicago Democratic Convention protests, almost 50 years ago):

. . .This case seeks to protect the First Amendment right of journalists and legal observers to document the government’s use of force to break up protests. This Court protected that right in a 61-page Injunction that was based on over a month of intense hearings and voluminous evidence. The Ninth Circuit upheld that injunction in a 70-page published opinion, which found that the federal agents are unlikely to prevail on their argument that they are free to disperse or arrest journalists and legal observers who pose no legitimate threat to law enforcement.

The federal agents now seek an advisory opinion that the Court would dissolve its Injunction if the Ninth Circuit remands the case for that purpose. But their argument is at war with itself. They claim that the Court’s injunction is “moot,” but at the same time assert that abiding by its terms is somehow causing them irreparable injury. Neither is true. Nor are the federal agents any more correct on the law than they were when this Court issued its Injunction or when the Ninth Circuit upheld it. Under these circumstances, the Court need not, and should not, undertake the “extraordinary” task of preparing an advisory opinion. . . .

In their motion, the federal agents admit that they have not changed their policy and want to be free to return to using force on journalists and legal observers simply for trying to do their jobs. The thrust of their position is that because there are now fewer opportunities to violate the constitutional rights of journalists and legal observers, and because a change in administration occurred, the Court should simply trust the government to use its power more judiciously.

But that is not how constitutional protections or the doctrine of mootness operate. Nor is this argument grounded in fact. Despite the new administration’s public posture in favor of freedom of the press and the right to assembly, it has privately supported the misguided policies of former President Trump — from defending the government’s attacks on protesters at Lafayette Square to seeking to preserve its ability to monopolize the marketplace of ideas by violently dispelling journalists and legal observers here. . . .

Onward — smiling, as the new day has indeed dawned (and if you have the means, please donate to your local ACLU). . . .

Tangerine endorsed a candidate (the widow of a Texas GOP legislator who died of COVID, after refusing a vaccine) who just lost a runoff election to a more normal GOP candidate — one backed by the Bushes. naturally. I don’t care, except for to note that Trump blames the people in his camp who recommended her, over the historical GOP’s party line. And to note his influence may very well be. . . fading — even over his supposedly rabid base (it seems more than half of GOP registered voters just stayed home on Tuesday, there). Good news, that.

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