From the Heritage Foundation, about as conservative as it gets:
Similarly, the Framers intended the Emoluments Clause to protect the republican character of American political institutions. “One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.” The Federalist No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton). The delegates at the Constitutional Convention specifically designed the clause as an antidote to potentially corrupting foreign practices of a kind that the Framers had observed during the period of the Confederation. Louis XVI had the custom of presenting expensive gifts to departing ministers who had signed treaties with France, including American diplomats. In 1780, the King gave Arthur Lee a portrait of the King set in diamonds above a gold snuff box; and in 1785, he gave Benjamin Franklin a similar miniature portrait, also set in diamonds. Likewise, the King of Spain presented John Jay (during negotiations with Spain) with the gift of a horse. All these gifts were reported to Congress, which in each case accorded permission to the recipients to accept them. Wary, however, of the possibility that such gestures might unduly influence American officials in their dealings with foreign states, the Framers institutionalized the practice of requiring the consent of Congress before one could accept “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from…[a] foreign State.”
Meanwhile I read the news:
(A fun aspect to the Trump deal is: feels like every Joe and Josephine on Twitter is rapidly presenting themselves as a self-taught expert on like intelligence practices and the Ninth Circuit and what “emoluments” means.)
A thing I don’t understand: there must be at least one or two of the 248 Republican congressmen who’ve fantasized since youth about a chance to go full Profiles In Courage.
Here’s your chance bro! Take on your scumbag President, go down for it, live on! Are they all too lame? (Update: a possible candidate)
Anyway. A chance to revisit famous mills of my youth:
If you enjoy Ed Harris in Westworld, as I do, you may be curious to have a look at his role in Walker (1987) in which he plays a similarly attired character:
Harris plays the real life William Walker who went down to Nicaragua with some armed guys and declared himself president there from 1856-1857.
I went down to Nicaragua and visited some of the places Walker shot up.
I tell the story of Walker, and of Nicaragua, and of the troubled film
So glad you enjoy what you find here. We’re on a brief hiatus but look forward to a return.
If you’ve read my book, do send me a picture of it in some cool setting, on your shelf or next to some good coffee or your favorite houseplant. I’ve been collecting and compiling these photos, they’re a joy.
Riches await in the archives, on such topics as:
Adios for now!
People are mad that Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature? Why? Because he does music, which is not the same as literature? What is the difference? More sounds? Instruments are allowed? Hmm.
Anyway, have heard no mention in the convo about the time a literal clown won the Nobel Prize.
OK fine Dario Fo was a playwright but what he did was more than just write words down, right?
Mr. Fo attributed the State Department’s change of heart to the intervention of President Ronald Reagan, a former actor. It was, Mr. Fo said dryly, “the gesture of a colleague.”
Was reminded because heard he died. Dario Fo obituary.
Last month there was a weird and surprising vote in Colombia. I’ve been learning myself about it, and let me share the story as I understand it:Here is messy, mountainous Colombia. For some fifty-two years, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, fought the government. FARC’s origins are Communisty, with their main grievance being rich people have all the best stuff in Colombia. In their war their crimes are many and so are the government’s.
Nasty would be a mild word for this fight.
If you’re new to Colombian history it’s easy to lump this 52 year war in with the period known as La Violencia, but no, La Violencia was a whole separate ten year time, starting in 1948, in which maybe 200,000 people died.
Here’s how we got to the vote. The last president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, was what you might call “aggressive” in his tactics towards FARC.
Makes sense: FARC killed his dad. His efforts severely diminished FARC if not knocked it to the ropes.
Uribe oversaw, for example, Operation Jaque, that freed Ingrid Betancourt from her FARC captors.There’s no doubt the USA has been helping the government on this, by the way. Why shouldn’t we? The Colombians helped us in our Korean War for some reason.
By the time Uribe left office, in 2010, FARC was not what it used to be. Here is Uribe’s successor, Colombia’s current president, Juan Manuel Santos:
Colombia entered the Korean War when Laureano Gómez was elected as President. It was the only Latin American country to join the war in a direct military role as an ally of the United States. Particularly important was the resistance of the Colombian troops at Old Baldy.
First secretly, then publicly, his guys negotiated with FARC in Havana. The two sides reached an agreement that would end what Santos called the last armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere.
The guy leading FARC is called Timochenko:
According to the United States Department of State, Timoleon Jimenez has set the FARC’s cocaine policies directing and controlling the production, manufacture, and distribution of hundreds of tons of cocaine to the United States and the world, including the “taxation” of the illegal drug trade in Colombia to raise funds for the FARC and the murder of hundreds of people who violated or interfered with the FARC’s cocaine policies
Santos and Timochenko shook hands at a meeting in Havana in June.
All that had to happen to ratify the accord was that Colombia’s people vote on it. Guess what happened?:
Don’t know where CNN got this number, The Economist says 13m people voted. Anyway, low turnout in a country of 47 million, partly because there was a hurricane.
Perhaps many NO voters thought it was bullshit that FARC murderers would get to be in parliament and wouldn’t be punished much for their various cruelties. Says The Economist:
People who live in areas where the FARC has recently been active mostly backed the deal. “We are the ones who’ve had to live with bullets flying around us,” says Freddy Rendón, a cattle rancher in Uribe, a town in Meta, in central Colombia, where Yes won 93.5% of the vote. Those who live in more peaceful parts, including cities, voted No.
After the votes were counted, everybody was apparently surprised and nobody knew what would happen next.
Then, in a funny twist, Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Maybe to give the whole project a peaceward shove from Norway. Some cynics suggested Santos was a little too thirsty for the prize. That’s a little vain perhaps but is it so wrong? There is something funny about how much humans like prizes.What will happen now is unclear. FARC doesn’t seem dying to go back to fighting. Maybe they can’t, in which case Colombian’s voters are, collectively, clever if sneaky negotiators who pulled quite a trick.
Me? I’m rooting for peace in Colombia, a country I very much enjoyed visiting.You can read more about Colombia, what little I know of it, written at about this level, in my book:
Only if you like tales of fun and adventure.
I think you’ll enjoy it.
We have the best correspondents here at Helytimes. Anonymous Soda Lover tips us off to the story of FIZZ vs Glaucus Research.
FIZZ is the stock ticker symbol of National Beverage Company, which makes La Croix, the popular sparkling water, Joe Mande enemy, and indispensable hydration agent at Hollywood writers’ rooms:
Myself, I prefer the Perrier slim can, because it is thin and tall like me:
Plus a smaller amount of fluid to become hot in your hand.
But one way or another: Hollywood and indeed America and the world is full of addicts and compulsives who have to consume something constantly. The beer-like but zero-cal zero sugar La Croix fills that hole. Thus, there is an endless market for La Croix.
And indeed, look at National Beverage’s stock price over the last two years:
I cut out what happened this week, when this news came out:
Shares of National Beverage plunged as much as 15 percent on Wednesday after Glaucus Research revealed a short position in the company.
The short selling firm valued the parent company of LaCroix sparkling water at $16.15 per share, more than 65 percent below the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $46.48.
Glaucus’ note alleges that National Beverage “manipulates its reported earnings” as its “reported financial performance is inexplicable.”
Later on Wednesday, National Beverage issued a statement calling the report “false and defamatory.” The stock recovered its losses and ended the day down 8 percent.
“We believe that this ‘report’ was intended to severely manipulate our stock price downward in support of short sellers, whose short position has dramatically increased over recent weeks,” the company said.
First of all, “Glaucus”? Their name comes from the glaucus. Not the ancient Greek sea god:
But the freakish pelagic gastropod, also known as the blue sea slug:
Glaucus Research, based in Newport Beach, CA, has a rep for bringing the hammer down on fraudulent mid and small-cap Chinese companies. But this week, they dropped a report on FIZZ.
Glaucus alleges all manner of mischief by FIZZ CEO Nick Caporella. At Helytimes we really believe that the first step in evaluating a company is seeing a picture of the CEO. Unfortunately, we can’t find a confirmed pick of Mr. Caporella.
It appears that Nick Caporella personally owns 74% of FIZZ.
We do find this on FIZZ’s website:
Caporella’s letters have been weird before:
This non-English might make more sense when you remember FIZZ also makes Faygo, drink of choice of the Insane Clown Posse:
Now listen. It’s not often that we at Helytimes recommend reading a 56 page report on the finances of a company, but this one is worth a look. For example, have a look at Caporella’s letters to prospective National Beverage Co. buyer Asahi, in which he refers to himself as Nick-San.
Or what about this business about his “little jewel box”?:
Glaucus Research is straight-up about the fact that they are short La Croix and thus benefit if the stock goes way down. From Wiki’s page about the glaucus atlanticus:
The Glaucus atlanticus is able to swallow the venomous nematocysts from siphonophores such as the Portuguese man o’ war, and store them in the extremities of its finger-like cerata.Picking up the animal can result in a painful sting, with symptoms similar to those caused by the Portuguese man o’ war.
You can find the latest on FIZZ here. As of this writing, price is $43.32. Glaucus values it at $16.15.
We’ll be watching this battle with interest, with a refreshing Perrier slim can, made by good ol’ Nestlé, in our hand.