Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
Politics & Religion / A Modern Day Bill of Attainder
« Last post by Body-by-Guinness on Today at 09:45:31 AM »
The process is (part of) the punishment:

The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

About The Volokh Conspiracy
President Trump's Kafkaesque Civil Trial in New York State
A Stalinist nightmare in New York State

STEVEN CALABRESI | 2.18.2024 3:10 PM
Donald Trump has been ordered to pay a $355 million fine and has been barred from doing business in New York State for three years.  Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay essentially all of his cash reserves of $400 million, which fine if upheld would force Trump to sell some of his real estate holdings to raise cash to live on.  Once interest is added on the total fine will rise to $450 million.  This is all on top of an $83.3 million fine Trump must pay for allegedly defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll.  The fines in total could deprive Trump of between 11% and 13% of his wealth.  Trump's adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric have also been fined, and they are barred from doing business in New York State for two years.  Ivanka or Melania Trump could legally run the Trump businesses for the next two years, but Judge Engoron appointed retired U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones to continue in her role as an "independent monitor" of the Trump business empire but expanded her authority to review financial disclosures before they are submitted to third parties.  Judge Jones can hire an independent director of compliance, and she has the authority to compel Trump to sell some or even all of his businesses down the road.  This is all punishment for Trump allegedly committing fraud by falsely in inflating and deflating the value of his real estate assets to pay lower state taxes and to receive more favorable loans from banks.

The New York State laws used to go after Trump have NEVER  been used in this way, historically, and while Trump may owe some back state taxes, if Judge Engoron is right, not a single bank claimed that it had been defrauded by Trump in the loans it had made to him.  This is truly a victimless crime.

Bankers took the stand at Trump's civil trial testifying that they would have gladly made loans to Donald Trump given his extraordinary success as a businessman.  It must also be noted that the banks that made loans to Trump did not take his assessment of the net worth of his assets at face value but made their own independent assessments of the value of Trump's assets.  This is apparently standard practice in the New York State real estate market where borrowers often overstate the value of their assets.

The bottom line is that a never before used New York State penalty has been twisted into a tool for a grossly excessive fine and more seriously the completely inappropriate appointment of Judge Jones as an "independent monitor" who can micromanage the Trump business, which she is not competent to do, and to even order the dissolution of the Trump Business in New York State.  This outcome was pursued by Letitia James, a politically ambition Democrat, who is the Attorney General of New York State, and who hopes to win a future Democratic primary for Governor of or Senator from New York State.

Ms. James and Judge Engeron have essentially turned a vaguely worded New York State law into a modern day Bill of Attainder targeted at Donald Trump both for political gain and because they despise his political views and desperately want to call his truthfulness into question as he runs for President of the United States inn 2024.  In doing this, the have violated Trump's First Amendment right to freedom of speech and of the press; his Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of liberty or property without due process of law; his Fifth Amendment right not to have property taken away from him except for a pubic use with just compensation being paid; his Eighth Amendment right not to be made to pay an excessive fine; his Article IV, Section 2 right as a citizen of Florida to do make and enforce contracts in New York on the same terms as are other New Yorkers; and his Fourteenth Amendment right to be free to pursue an occupation without unnecessary and burdensome regulation.

The civil fraud judgment against Donald Trump is a travesty and an unjust political act rivaled only in American politics by the killing of former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton by Vice President Aaron Burr.  If the New York State appellate courts do not reverse this judgment, the U.S. Supreme Court MUST grant cert on this case and reverse Judge Engeron's outrageous decisions.   National, presidential politics will be permanently altered if a local State's legal system can be used in this way against candidates for President of the United States.  This case raises a national issue of profound importance and if the New York State appellate courts do not address it, the U.S. Supreme Court MUST!
Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: baseball
« Last post by ccp on Today at 08:27:46 AM »
" Television and camera angle take away the speed the players see at court level."


watching live is an amazingly different experience then on TV.
you are really able to appreciate how fast the ball is hit how fast the players move on the court and reaction time better et.

I would imagine if I was on the court trying to receive a professional's serve I would probably have a hard time seeing it let alone actually make contact and return it in bounds.

Politics & Religion / Re: Big Guy Biden & Son (Hunter) and family
« Last post by Crafty_Dog on Today at 07:40:55 AM »
They have been paying this guy big bucks for fourteen years and now, with exquisitely convenient timing , , ,
Interesting stuff ccp on baseball and pitching speeds.

In tennis we call a 90 mph fastball ... a ladies second serve.    ))

Of course there are so many differences, the racquet, the service box and playing it off the bounce, but you still have to train your eyes to track it the whole way.

Speed is of course only one factor. Link includes a short highlight of Roger Federer beating the guy with the fastest serve ever at Wimbledon.

Television and camera angle take away the speed the players see at court level.
Politics & Religion / Zelensky's Leadership Days Numbered?
« Last post by Body-by-Guinness on Today at 05:54:56 AM »
A less than optomistic view of what's in store for Ukraine and Zelensky:

Zelensky May Soon Be Forced Out Thanks to Avdiivka

FEB 19, 2024
Washington has fondly hoped that it could bring about regime change in Russia.  Now it seems even more likely that there will be regime change, but not in Russia --in Kiev.

The catalyst for regime change in Kiev is the bloody and now ended battle over Avdiivka.

Avdiivka is very close to Donetsk city, the capital area of the Donbas region.  Donetsk is about halfway between Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and Luhansk in the north.  Both Donetsk and Luhansk are regions (oblasts) in eastern Ukraine with mostly Russian-speaking populations.  Both Donetsk and Luhansk, along with Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, were annexed by the Russians in September 2022.

Russian soldiers hold annexation documents ready for signature, September 30, 2022 Annexations included Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts
The recent battle over Avdiivka has gone on for four months, but since January the Russians began wearing down the Ukrainian defenders of the city.  The Russian operation included attacks from the north, some of it focused on a huge Coke-making plant; and from the South in multiple thrusts on the city’s flanks.  By the end of the first week of February the Russian armed forces had cut the city into two, and were steadily advancing while pounding the city with artillery and FAB bombs. These are high explosive bombs of different sizes (FAB-500, FAB-1500) where the number is the bomb size in kilograms.

Avdiivka coke plant

Avdiivka was highly fortified and a difficult target for the Russian army.  The Russians focused on flank attacks that eventually squeezed off resupply of weapons and food and made rotation of forces difficult. By the last week of the battle the roads in and out of the city were under Russian fire control.

Zelensky staked his reputation on Avdiivka and wanted it held at all costs.  He fired his overall commander Valerii Zaluzhny, who saw Avdiivka as a lost cause.  Zaluzhny wanted to pull Ukrainian forces back from the existing line of contact and move them into defensible fortifications that could protect Kiev and other important cities.

Zelensky takes a selfie at Avdiivka on December 29, 2023. This area was captured by Russian troops in mid-February, 2024
Enter Syrsky, who had been ground commander under Zaluzhny and was now put in charge of all Ukrainian military forces.  Syrsky is the same guy whose tactics led to the collapse of Bakhmut and very heavy casualties, earning that city the name of "meat grinder."

Syrsky immediately called up three or four brigades to save Avdiivka from collapse.  But his planned rescue operation almost immediately got into serious trouble.

Some of Syrsky's brigades were being assembled and organized in a small town around 15 kilometers from Avdiivka, called Selydove.  The Russians discovered the Ukrainian army operations in Selydove and attacked with Iskander missiles and cluster weapons. According to Russian sources on various blogs (Telegram, X, for example), the Russian attack all but wiped out an entire brigade with heavy Ukrainian casualties.

A destroyed building in Selydove. Was it a hospital or a barracks, or both?

Ukraine's propaganda mill went into high gear, alleging the Russian attack was aimed at a hospital's maternity ward in Selydov.  But the reality was that Ukraine lost around 1,000 to 1,500 soldiers. Most western news sources parroted the Ukrainian line.

Russian airstrikes hit a hospital according to the region’s governor
Zelensky was on his way to the Munich Security Conference where he got a standing ovation. Before he left Kiev he ordered Syrsky to stop the Russians from taking Avdiivka.

Zelensky speaks at Munich Security Conference
Syrsky committed the 3rd Brigade to the fight for the city.  The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade which, in reality is the reformed Azov Brigade.  The Azov brigade is the backbone of Zelensky's ultra nationalist support in Ukraine. If any organization in Ukraine fits Putin's description of Ukrainian Nazis, the 3rd Brigade is the premier example.  Zelensky's political power depends on the Ukrainian military, and in particular the ultra-nationalists.

‘Azov’ far-right activists shout slogans during the march. Thousands of Ukrainian servicemen and volunteers took part in the March of patriots marking the Volunteer Day honouring soldiers who joined the Ukrainian Army during a military conflict in eastern Ukraine. (Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket )

The 3rd Brigade did not perform as advertised.  When its units got into Avdiivka, coming in from the north, they found the situation dire. By that time there were around 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers in the northern parts of the city, mostly holed up in the Coke Plant.  Another 3,500 were in the center of the city verging on the southern town’s districts and an old abandoned airfield.

The 3rd Brigade disobeyed orders and ran out of the town, countermanding Syrsky and Zelensky's explicit orders.  Above all, Zelensky did not want to get embarrassed while he was at the Munich conference exactly while he was running around trying to get more ammunition for "the cause."  Some from the 3rd Brigade surrendered to the Russians.

Ukrainian troops surrendering
This is what triggered Syrsky to signal a retreat and abandon Avdiivka. That retreat was a significant blow to Zelensky's prestige and, apparently, there were angry phone calls from Munich to Syrsky.  But Syrsky had little choice, other than to openly surrender. Instead he announced a "new" strategy, precisely what Zaluzhny had previously recommended.

Syrsky interview by German TV outlet ZDF a few days before he ordered Avdiivka abandoned
The loss of Avdiivka leaves Zelensky in a bad situation.  He has all but lost his most ardent supporters in the Army, has humiliated his former commander Zaluzhny and replaced him with Syrsky who has a reputation as a loser.  He has lost face with the Europeans, and probably with the United States, although it is hard to tell for sure.

Zelensky counters by saying Ukraine will get Avdiivka back “absolutely.”

Washington does not want a deal with the Russians.  All its focus has been on handing Russia multiple defeats, squeezing the Russians dry, and replacing its leader, Putin. Biden's "team" also can't stomach the idea that the Ukrainians might make a deal with Russia and undermine "the policy."

Most of the central elements of Washington's policy have failed.  Excessive sanctions did not break the Russian economy but succeeded in driving the Russians in a wholly new direction, embracing China and India and BRICS. US technology did not turn the tide of war in Ukraine’s favor. Not talking to the Russians helped solidify the Russian view that Washington and NATO were the enemy, intensifying their already stressed view that they had been lied to over the years about NATO expansion.  While the US and Europe either could not, or would not, revitalize their defense industrial base, the Russians did so, with a vengeance. Meanwhile the US and Europe are standing by for the war to end and hundreds of billions are sunk into rebuilding Ukraine, which is less and less likely to happen under US and European auspices.

The bottom line is Zelensky's regime is tottering.  Because of Zelensky's martial law based regime, there will be no elections and no open political process.  But anger in the army is growing, and sooner or later they will choose a leader, most likely Zaluzhny. 

There will be regime change in Kiev, coming soon.
Politics & Religion / Myorkas on Amanpour
« Last post by ccp on Today at 05:31:02 AM »

his total jibberesh is
remarkable and Amanpour nodding her head in agreement, as if he is saying anything substantive or truthful is just so sad as the good example of
our government and media have colluded to deceive us.
Politics & Religion / path to citizenship -> serve in military
« Last post by ccp on Today at 04:57:13 AM »
from above post by CD

so, our armed forces can become a hired army of foreign mercenaries.
as we say, "what could go wrong?"
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10