Headline: Berkeley Passes Strict Laws For Sidewalks, Homeless

CBS Sf Bay Dec 2 2015

Barkley: Let’s go people, you can’t stay here. You are being relocated.
Homeless Man 6: Hey, you can’t kick us out of here, man.
Sgt. Yates: Oh no? I’m a cop.

South Park Naughty Ninjas 2015

What passes for smart diplomacy these days: Foreign policy deals where the US gives in for nothing in exchange.

I have posted here and at my blog on the easement of sanctions with Cuba, which was preceded by the release of American hostage Alan Gross in exchange for five cuban spies. Gross was on 60 Minutes, and the takeaway from that interview will be lost on the Obama administration, but here it is all the same,

How regimes that coerce concessions are never satisfied. As we’ve seen throughout the year, no matter how many unconditional concessions and impunity President Obama grants the Castro regime, it simply emboldens it to want more. Repression, refugees and rogue activities are on the rise. That is the result of Obama’s coerced policy.

[Emboldened, indeed: Castro Government Orders Demolition of Five Christian Churches in Cuba]

Another deal in Havana, still in the making, is the FARC narco-terrorist group’s so-called peace negotiations with the government of Colombia. The White House’s envoy, Bernard Aronson, appears to be willing to rubber stamp an agreement, regardless of how much political or economic power it cedes to the FARC.

While the Cuban Communist regime and the FARC are emboldened,  both of those deals pale next to the no-deal Iran deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). By lifting sanctions, the U.S. is releasing $100 billion in oil-revenue assets frozen in banks.

To put that $100 billion number in perspective, the World Bank currently estimates Iran’s gross domestic product at $369 billion, down from last year’s $415 billion. The $100 billion is essentially a 27% raise, but Pres. Obama insists,

“We’re not writing Iran a check,” he said. “This is Iran’s money that we were able to block from them having access to.”

Now we find out that there’s nothing in writing:

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter [to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.)].

Instead, it is a set of “political commitments.” Allahpundit looks at the bright side, briefly, of the “not-treaty-or-executive-agreement,”

So we’re lifting $100 billion in sanctions in exchange for a legally binding promise of … nothing. The flip side of that, I guess, is that the deal’s not binding on us either; if the next president or even Obama himself wants to reimpose sanctions on a whim, that’s fair game.

But,

The problem with that logic, though, is that no one believes our European partners, who crave renewed access to Iran’s markets (and vice versa), will reinstate sanctions unless Iran cheats flagrantly and egregiously on the deal, to the point where it would humiliate the EU internationally to look the other way. One of Iran’s core goals in all this, re-opening its trade relationship with Europe, will be achieved whether or not ion deal is binding. And once achieved, it’ll be nearly irreversible.

Guy Benson has more, much more on the deal, and he doesn’t even touch on the repercussions it may have for our hemisphere.

Back in Sam Goldwyn‘s days verbal a contract wasn’t worth the paper it’s written on. In our days of smart diplomacy, it’s worth $100 billion.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Liberal Oregon overwhelmingly voted to deny drivers licenses to illegal immigrants and our liberal friends are not taking this lying down:

A group of Mexican immigrants is suing to reverse a decision by Oregon voters on a 2014 ballot measure that prevents undocumented immigrants from getting Oregon driver cards.

The real comedy here is the basis for this lawsuit (emphasis mine)

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the plaintiffs said the outcome of Measure 88 is unconstitutional because it “arbitrarily” denies driving privileges “to Plaintiffs and others based on their membership in a disfavored minority group.”

A “disfavored minority group” That’s an interesting turn of phrase. The question is they don’t specify what disfavored minority group they claim to be a part of.

Is it Mexicans? Well according to the story the plaintiffs are mexicans but the denial of drivers licences are not based on country of origin.

Perhaps they are talking about race, being mexicans one might assume the plaintiffs are latino, but the denial of drivers licences are not based on race.

Perhaps the some of the plaintiffs might be disabled, although there is nothing in the article that suggests it, but the denial of drivers licences are not based on disability.

Maybe the plaintiffs are LGBT, although there is nothing in the article that suggest it, but the denial of drivers licences are not based on sexual preferences.

It could be some of the plaintiffs are Muslim or Atheist or part of some odd religious cult, but the denial of drivers licences are not based on religion.

There is in fact only one thing that the drivers licences are being denied on…having violated federal law, for being criminals.

Well they certainly have a point that criminals are disfavored, depending on their crime we execute them, or lock them up for periods of time, or make them pay heavy fines, or make them report regularly to authorities, restrict their freedom, restrict the jobs they may hold, deny them voting privileges and on occasion deny them driving privileges deport them, and that’s just the state.

It’s also true that criminals are a minority. The vast majority of the population is not violating federal law or state law. Despite their prominence in the news people who violate the law from murders, to thieves to swindlers, to rapists, to dirty cops and pols etc etc etc are not a majority of the population.

But even among this group they are a distinct minority, they are a group of people violating federal law and are not being arrested or punished for it.

So to sum up: A group of people are claiming unconstitutional federal discrimination on the basis of being a group of criminals who are violating federal law without being punished for it.

In a normal age such a suit would be laughed away, in a normal age the people bringing the suit would be arrested and deported.

But because it is considered a political advantage by some to take this seriously this suit will proceed and may even succeed, yet another reminder of the insanity of our current era.

Closing thought: I think that if this suit manages to succeed the precedent will not be lost on other criminals who may use it for other purposes.

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