David Lane

About David Lane

The Credibility Gap

US bars entry of International Criminal Court investigators | WTOP

The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel who try to investigate or prosecute alleged abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere, and may do the same with those who seeking action against Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

The next time the US cries about an international war criminal running free – Julian Assange, Edward Snowden – and asking why they are not being held to account, I am going to point back at this decision.

Words Have Consequences

The white supremacist who livestreamed his Friday rampage at a New Zealand mosque posted a manifesto online that said the attack was partly inspired by Dylann Roof’s 2015 massacre of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina, police said. Washington Post

It is easy to say that these individuals have a screw loose. Or a at least a warped sense of community, but as we continue to suffer under the vitriol spewing forth from arguably one of the most important people on the planet, we continue to see this sort of self-enforcement of views. There are two ways to solve this problem. The first is to realize that the world is changing and that means everything you hold dear (yes, I am being sarcastic) will change with it. The second thing is that using a gun to solve the problem does not actually accomplish anything.

If you are not willing to talk civilly with the person next to you, then say nothing. Just because you disagree does not mean you have to shoot them.

Can I Get The Recipe for That – Scampi

As part of the Italian dinner at the Ristorante Italiano I served last night, we had a lovely Scampi. And for those that liked it, and want to make it themselves, here is the recipe.

Ingredients

4 cloves of garlic, 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Warm crusty bread (for serving)

Directions

  • Whisk grated garlic, salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, toss to coat, and chill, uncovered, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  • Heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the shrimp mixture, being careful not to let shrimp or garlic brown, until shrimp is pink but slightly underdone, about one minute per side. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Add sliced garlic and red pepper to the skillet and cook, tossing, until fragrant, about one minute. Add wine and lemon juice and cook occasionally stirring, until reduced by half, about two minutes. Add butter and cook, stirring and swirling the pan occasionally, until butter is melted and sauce is thickened about five minutes.
  • Scrape shrimp along with any accumulated juices into skillet. Toss to coat and cook until shrimp are fully cooked through, about two minutes. Transfer to a platter, top with parsley, and serve with bread for dipping alongside.

Electric Cars, and the Distance Problem

What automakers aren’t telling you about electric vehicles | WTOP

There are two critical issues in play that are hampering the wide spread adoption of electric cars in the United States. First:

Cold weather can cut range significantly – by even one third…Lithium ion batteries are subject to temperature sensitivity. In California this is not an issue. In polar vortex conditions, these vehicles wouldn’t get far.

Secondly:

It takes nearly 13 hours for the high-voltage battery to get a full-charge when starting at zero percent …We are used to 5 minutes at the pump and going.

The United States is not a small country. When you consider the road network of North America, it is even bigger. Sure, not everyone drives through the hinterland of Pennsylvania every year, but a large number of people do drive more than 200 miles regularly. When you discount the need for temperature issues, you still have the problem of filling the tank. Several cities are starting to install electric charging stations, but they are one or two per jurisdiction, compared to hundreds of gas pumps. Worse, when you consider that the majority of vehicles are driven to and from work, you would expect that some companies would find it in their best interest to install charging stations. Sadly, most companies rent their space, which means that building management needs to install the chargers. And so far, there has not been a hue and cry requesting them, so they are not installed, which means that commuter has to be aware of their distance, their stop and go, and other features, like air conditioning usage, radio, lights, phone charges, etc. All take a toll on the life of the batteries, which means needing more charging.

Electric cars have some advantages, but so far, the negatives outweigh the positives for most people.

After 2000 Years, Nothing Has Changed

In an open letter, Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller say the Church has wrongly blamed the abuse of power by clergy as the main cause of the scandals. Catholic cardinals urge end of ‘homosexual agenda’ – BBC News

The Catholic church is in the center of a scandal of their own making. They continue to hide behind stories, fables, and parables meant to explain what at the time was unexplainable. Written at a time before sanitation, the understanding of germs, and bacteria, and before humans understood genetics, and even how the body functioned. A set of documents, curated to answer the requirements of a government looking to further repress its own people, by a ruler who could have cared less about what was and was not included in the Good Book. Yes, some two thousand years later, they are still bound by these outdated ideas, outmoded ways of thinking, and frankly, perversions of philosophical ideas that were never meant to explain how things worked. And now a group of old, white men are saying that it is not an abuse of power but a pushing of an agenda that is leading the Church astray?

Please, it is time the Catholic Church took a good, long look in the mirror and joined the rest of the world in the current century. Their repression of the world at large has come to an end. It is time they recognized this.

Barn Door, Meet Horse

Trump Organization to use E-Verify for worker status checks | WTOP

“We are actively engaged in uniforming this process across our properties and will institute E-verify at any property not currently utilizing this system,” Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said in a statement provided to The Associated Press. “As a company we take this obligation very seriously and when faced with a situation in which an employee has presented false and fraudulent documentation, we will take appropriate action.”

One has to wonder, once the Trump Organization has resolved the situation if they will return to hiring falsely documented personnel or actually hire properly documented personnel. If there is another round of bankruptcies, we will know what they chose. And then how they returned to the old way of doing things.

A Legitimate Reason?

OPM: Unpaid essential personnel must show up or risk AWOL status | WTOP

If an employee has a legitimate reason for the absence, the agency could place the person on furlough, but AWOL employees can face appropriate consequences based on the discretion of the agency.

Gee, what could a federal employee use as a legitimate reason for not reporting to work, when they are being ordered to report and not actually getting paid for coming to work. Hm, let me think, let me think. Oh, I know! How about Amendment 13, Section 1 of the United States Constitution?

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

I guess being essential, working without pay, for the United States Government, in the event of a shutdown is…punishment for a crime?

Failing that, not being able to pay for gas, or transit is also something I would accept. After all, many TSA worksites are not exactly conveniently located to public transit.

And The Stupidity Keeps Coming.

Trump says solution to shutdown impasse ‘so simple’ | WTOP

“I’m not looking to call a national emergency,” Trump said Monday. “This is so simple we shouldn’t have to.”

The President is correct. The solution is quite simple. The Senate needs to vote on the bills already passed by the house. That means the Majority Leader needs to man up and bring them to the floor. Let them stand or fall on their own merit and let the President sign or veto them as he wishes. This will show the country who is really causing 800,000 Federal workers to miss paycheques, put their credit history at risk, and, according to the Bureau of Revenue of Maryland:

The state’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates said Monday in a report that each biweekly payroll those residents are not paid results in about $778 million in lost wages. That results in roughly $57.5 million less in combined state and local income tax withholding and $2.1 million less in sales tax collections. WTOP

And that is just one state’s lost taxes.

Yes, Mr. President, the solution is so simple.

Pot, Meet Kettle

GOP Rep. King loses committee posts over racial remarks | WTOP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced King earlier Monday, saying, “There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind.”

Let us recall statements by the sitting GOP President following the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017:

Mr. Trump defended those gathered in a Charlottesville park to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” he said. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.” NY Times

Now, you can argue that 45 is not supporting racial supremacy, but I can argue even more that he sure is not, by his actions so far, saying there is no place for this sort of ideology. So Mitch, when you are digging a whole, the best way to save yourself is to stop digging.

Say What?

Exclusive: Trump team should be allowed to ‘correct’ final Mueller report, says Giuliani | TheHill

Rudy Giuliani says President Trump’s legal team should be allowed to “correct” special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report before Congress or the American people get the chance to read it.

Just when you think you have heard the most ludicrous statement come out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, someone comes along and says something even more jaw droppingly stupid.

As a prosecutor, how many times did Mr. Giuliani let the defendant correct his indictment before he presented it to the courts? Because that is exactly what the Mueller report will be, an indictment of the current President of the United States. Whether it leads to additional legal or Constitutional charges should be the decision of the bodies best qualified to make them. The President’s lawyer is not one of them.

I certainly hope that the adults in the room prevail.