Author Topic: The Biden Presidency  (Read 15083 times)

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #135 on: July 04, 2022, 04:07:28 PM »
I'm trying to wrap my head around how such a law would be enforced.

Welcome to the world the US federal government has built for the rest of the world, for decades now.

The idea that you can't be prosecuted for a felony in the US just because you're from Czechia, are a citizen of that country, have never travelled outside that country, work for a Czech firm, etc. - that idea died a long time ago.  The US expects the entire world to obey its laws, and uses every trick it can to assert jurisdiction.  European countries have been complaining about the "weaponisation" of the US dollar for a long time.  Are you from Spain?  You might want to make sure that old junk you have lying around, that you are planning on selling on eBay, wasn't imported from Iran.  Accepting funds over the SWIFT network may place you in violation of a US embargo, and not having the slightest idea what the SWIFT network is won't get you out of that one.  I expect many Americans would be ready to go to war if they had to fill out declarations asserting their compliance with Chinese tax law whenever they wanted to open a new account at their bank in Duluth, but a community bank manager in Morocco who is not well-versed with US banking and tax laws - well such a manager is living life dangerously.

So now it seems the US states will be doing the same thing to each other.  People from Massachusetts who have never been to Wyoming may have to worry about being prosecuted in Wyoming for performing actions that are perfectly legal in Massachusetts.  Not to worry, the Biden administration seems to be making it clear that, while it fully supports the federal government's efforts to prosecute non-Americans who have never set foot in the US for violations of US laws, it will not tolerate the same sort of activity by US states against each other.  So while a banker who opens an account at the bank in Nigeria for a customer living there who happens to be a US citizen, will be fully liable for any failure to comply with US banking and tax law, knowingly or unknowingly, a doctor in Washington state won't have to worry about being extradited to Alabama to face chargers for performing an abortion on a person from Pennsylvania who happened to spend six weeks living with a relative in Alabama before moving to Washington state.  Any maybe you won't have to ask for receipts if any out-of-state friends or relatives ask to borrow some money.  Well, not until at least January 2025.  Of course, if the doctor from Washington is on an aeroplane flying to Miami that develops a problem, and makes an unscheduled stop in Alabama - oh well, these things happen.

I hope everyone here is checking on a regular basis to make sure that the parliament of the Central African Republic hasn't passed any new laws that may affect them.  Welcome to the modern world.

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #136 on: July 05, 2022, 04:16:08 AM »
You might want to make sure that old junk you have lying around, that you are planning on selling on eBay, wasn't imported from Iran.  Accepting funds over the SWIFT network may place you in violation of a US embargo, and not having the slightest idea what the SWIFT network is won't get you out of that one.

I would love to see a case where the US prosecuted a citizen of a European country (who was still resident in that country) because that citizen sold some "old junk" on eBay that was in contravention of a US embargo. You got any examples?
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #137 on: July 06, 2022, 05:38:07 AM »
I would love to see a case where the US prosecuted a citizen of a European country (who was still resident in that country) because that citizen sold some "old junk" on eBay that was in contravention of a US embargo. You got any examples?

If you'd love to see such a case, give it a try - perhaps you can be the defendant in one!

Now, perhaps a careful reading of the post will reveal to you that I was not citing an actual case, but giving some advice.  Do I have an actual case that matches every specific detail in my hypothetical example?  I don't have one at the ready.  If you think it is wise to ignore the advice on the grounds that no extant case matches every specific and insignificant detail in my example, feel free to give it a try.

But in the meantime, perhaps something to think about - do you think there have been transactions between private individuals in Europe, not resident in the US, who transacted goods that did not transit the US, where the US seized the funds for violating a US embargo, asserting its jurisdiction because those funds were transmitted with the aid of the SWIFT network?

What do you think?  Do you think that actually happened?  Or do you think I'm blowing smoke?  And if you think it might have happened, for bonus points - under which presidential administration?  We'll make it multiple choice.  a) George "don't misunderestimate me" Bush, b) Saint Barack Obama, c) the Orange Meanie, or d) Joe "not a joke, folks!" Biden?

I'll give you a chance to stake out a position on whether this actually happened or not, if you are inclined to do so.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2022, 05:45:30 AM by Luther »

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #138 on: July 06, 2022, 07:29:58 AM »
I would love to see a case where the US prosecuted a citizen of a European country (who was still resident in that country) because that citizen sold some "old junk" on eBay that was in contravention of a US embargo. You got any examples?

If you'd love to see such a case, give it a try - perhaps you can be the defendant in one!

Now, perhaps a careful reading of the post will reveal to you that I was not citing an actual case, but giving some advice.  Do I have an actual case that matches every specific detail in my hypothetical example?  I don't have one at the ready.  If you think it is wise to ignore the advice on the grounds that no extant case matches every specific and insignificant detail in my example, feel free to give it a try.


Ah, right. It was hyperbole.  ::)

"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #139 on: July 06, 2022, 11:35:47 AM »
What I find frustrating is the "why aren't the Democrats doing anything?" rhetoric.  It's been a week and a half and they're hampered in the Senate by Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.  My Senator is open about the fact that she voted for the gun control bill on the "it's better than nothing" principle, which I support as far as it goes.  But when the Democrats say we need to pick up two seats in the Senate at the midterm, it's very much because there are two Democrats who at this point might as well admit that they don't support the principles of the current Democratic Party.
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Offline Peter B

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #140 on: August 06, 2022, 02:55:46 AM »
This story made me happy, especially the size of the margin:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-04/what-does-the-kansas-abortion-vote-mean-for-the-midterms/101298840

Quote
With 95 per cent of votes counted, the abortion-supporting "no" side is safely ahead 59 to 41 per cent.

The tally roughly matches the breakdown of Americans who say they oppose the US Supreme Court's recent decision to topple Roe v Wade.