Thursday, March 24, 2022

Back to the Future With Legations and Diplomatic Agents - Yes!


Would a legation offer an alternative in future situations — North Korea, Taliban Afghanistan come to mind — where the U.S. would want to establish more than an “interests section” housed within a foreign embassy, but less than full embassy status with an ambassador?
Now, that (this, in the current Foreign Service Journal) is an exceptionally good idea. 

While some of my betters are currently sweating out a proposal for how the Department might establish smaller and more responsive diplomatic missions in odd places around the globe and do so much, much, faster than would be possible with an Inman-ish Fortress Embassy, the co-authors of FSJ's Time to Bring Back Legations Headed by Diplomatic Agents? have the answer. Legations!

Please read the whole article at the link above. 


p.s. - Don't dismiss the possibility of opening a post in North Korea. There was a time, right after the reunification of Germany when former East German embassies around the world were up for grabs (and USAID got a couple in Africa), that a team from DS and OBO surveyed Pyongyang's vacated DDR embassy for our potential use as a diplomatic post. That could happen again. 

Trump Files Civil Suit Against Hillary and a Couple Dozen Others

Filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Trump v. Hillary Clinton et al, asking for damages with a RICO kicker. 

All those defendants "orchestrated a malicious conspiracy to disseminate patently false and injurious information about Donald J. Trump and his campaign, all in the hopes of destroying his life, his political career and rigging the 2016 Presidential Election in favor of Hillary Clinton" for starters.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Twitter Likened to 1920s Paris

To freely quote Lenin, an ideology that cannot defend itself is worth nothing.

Refusing to Read the Hunter Biden Laptop Story Until Miss Dismal Approves

I'm aware of the New York Times story, of course. But as a responsible citizen I refuse to read it until I know it has been cleared by the trained information cops of Homeland Security. 

Has that information, or narrative as we are instructed to say these days, been sanitized for my protection, like those paper bands on motel toilets used to say? Because it sounds extremely interesting, but then, I remember how just a year or so ago the White House spokesperson roundly debunked and denounced that story as the work of Putin when it was first reported in the New York Post. 

I have to agree this seems just the sort of situation that might be brimming with mis, dis, and even mal information - Miss Dismal! - and therefore not at all something for common citizens, like me, to mess with. 

Hey DHS, c'mon man!©, stop the malarky and tell me whether or not it's safe to read that story.

Investigating Sensitive Matters (Too Sensitive for Rules)

Let me get this straight. The FBI's own internal auditors found out that FBI agents routinely violate the rules when conducting investigations of 'sensitive' matters? Actually, yes. 

Put on your shocked face and then read the internal 2019 audit report here.
FBI agents violated their own rules at least 747 times in 18 months while conducting investigations involving politicians, candidates, religious groups, the news media and others, according to a 2019 FBI audit obtained by The Washington Times.
This rock was turned over report was disclosed in the course of a lawsuit, naturally.

Chronic Appropriations Rider Lights Up DC Weed Advocates

The Hill reported recently on the latest dissapointment to DC wastoids.
A GOP-backed ban on weed sales in Washington, D.C., was preserved in a sprawling government funding bill passed by Congress on Thursday, despite opposition from advocates who say the provision overrides the will of the District’s residents years after they voted to legalize marijuana.

- snip -

While District residents are allowed to grow and consume their own cannabis, they cannot buy or sell it under the Harris rider. Marijuana businesses use a loophole in the law to “gift” weed to customers while bundling it with another product or service, creating a gray market that D.C. cannot tax or regulate.

With that 'gift' loophole, the law doesn't really hinder any DC resident from toking up in the privacy of his own home. 

Weed continues to be illegal for the federal government, however, which I believe accounts for much of the reluctance we see from millenials to seeking, or even accepting offer of, government employment. "I think the private sector is a better fit for me" = my roommates can smoke and it's practically legal, so why should I undergo random drug testing?

Read it here.