Muz-Ban 2.0: Still Buggy

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Saudis lick Trump’s golf balls, stay off Muslim ban list

Trump is having a hell of a time with his Muslim travel ban order. And as with everything Trump touches, much of the turbulence has been self-inflicted by a man who can’t seem to control himself.

After his first attempt to block Muslims from selected countries via Executive Order 13769, federal courts intervened to halt the implementation on the basis of its flagrant unconstitutionality. When courts take such actions they outline their reasoning and usually supply a roadmap on what alterations it would take to pass Constitutional muster. Rather than take a hint, master deal-maker Trump would prefer to double down, auger in deeper and further imperil his big “national security” initiative.

Much has been written about Trump’s dysfunction on this topic: his feral tweets that contradict his administration’s messaging, his attacks on the Justice Department as if they’re a fourth arm of the government not under his control, his insistence on making statements that only fuel his opponents case just as the issue is about to come before the Supreme Court.

We at Major Terata are more interested in exploring the makeup of the countries subjected to the ban. Trump’s “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” calls for the suspension of entry of certain aliens from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. All are shady countries to be sure; besides Iran, each is a near-anarchic entity hosting a hotbed of brewing terrorism.

But what about Iraq? Why aren’t they on the list? After all, here’s what the order says about that dysfunctional land: “Portions of Iraq remain active combat zones. Since 2014, ISIS has had dominant influence over significant territory in northern and central Iraq. The ongoing conflict has impacted the Iraqi government’s capacity to secure its borders and to identify fraudulent travel documents.”

A top harborer of ISIS, and yet Iraq’s swarthy citizens can just waltz right onto American soil, zipping right thru Customs while their comrades from Syria endure cavity searches executed by gerbils in TSA uniforms before being sent back. I imagine those unmolested Iraqis then renting a penthouse in Trump’s DC hotel and slaughtering a camel in the lobby bar while making clandestine deals with flaks from the Flynn Intel Group.

Remember an event called “9/11”? Nineteen terrorists hijacked four planes and used them to kill more than 3,000 people in the worst terrorist attack in modern history. Here’s where they came from: Saudi Arabia (15), United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1), and Lebanon (1). None of these proven exporters of terrorism is affected by the ban.

Omar Mateen who shot and killed dozens of party-goers at an Orlando nightclub was born in Hyde Park, NY to parents who came from Afghanistan, a lawless country under partial control of the evil Taliban – and one that is not on Trump’s travel ban.

And what about husband and wife team of Syed Farook and the pig-faced Tashfeen Malik, the perpetrators of the San Bernardino massacre in 2015 that took the lives of 14 people? Farook was born in Chicago and has roots in Pakistan where Malik was born. Pakistan, which aids the Taliban and gave quarter to Bin Laden is conspicuously absent from Trump’s lists of baddies.

And the other day, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen ganged up against Qatar as a sponsor of terrorism. Trump quickly took credit for the action against the tiny Persian Gulf country, but said nothing about Qatar’s absence from his ban. Perhaps the presence of a huge U.S. Army base outside of Doha influenced Trump’s genius deal-making brain against blacklisting both a sponsor of terrorism AND a good American buddy.

Worth noting: since the Sept. 11 attacks, no one has been killed in the United States in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from or whose parents emigrated from any of the nations on the Muslim ban list.

Prohibition Distillery

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Roscoe, NY on the bucolic upper branch of the Delaware River has long been known for two things: top-notch fly-fishing and the Roscoe Diner. Situated about halfway between IBM’s one-time biggest NY-computer development labs – Poughkeepsie & Endicott – the Diner became the go-to compromise location for engineers and managers from the two plants in the 1980s to meet and plot world domination.

Things have changed . . . for the better. Roscoe is now host to a fabulous distillery called Prohibition Distillery that produces some very nice bourbons, gins and vodkas.

On a boring drive along New York’s Southern Tier Expressway (aka. Route 17, I86, and the Quickway), I stopped into sleepy Roscoe to gas up and go. The next thing I knew I was sampling some really fine spirits and enjoying a tour of the liquor works. I walked out with bottles of their top-end bourbon and an amber-colored gin that had spent some time curing in used whiskey barrels.

The word “hand-crafted” gets thrown around a lot, but the booze produced by this micro distillery definitely captures the original intent.

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