Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 26 February 2018.
Congress is headed back to work today and setting their sights on two things: either enacting gun controls or blocking them. Several suggestions have been floated; two with the most support are raising the age limit to purchase rifles and fixing the NICS background check process. There are several others — including bringing back the “assault” weapons ban, but it likely lacks enough support to pass.
President Trump said recently that the U.S. has the legal authority to keep forces in Iraq and Syria indefinitely. This comes as the Syrian civil war ends, but a new proxy war continues which pits the U.S., Israel, and an Arab coalition against Iran and Russia. The administration’s desire to ‘win’ and beat the Russians and Iran in Syria means that we’re unlikely to see an end anytime soon. And when we add the growing likelihood of war between Israel and Iran, where Syria is scheduled to be a major battlefield, there’s the possibility of getting dragged into an expanded and prolonged conflict there.
Expected to inflame this conflict is the Trump administration’s decision to accelerate the timeline of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As early as May, State Department officials will begin moving the embassy in phases. But there’s some confusion about when, exactly, the embassy will open: according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, they’re about three years out and according to Vice President Mike Pence the embassy “will open before the end of next year”.
A documentary is receiving media attention over its portrayal of how some in the Silicon Valley are preparing for their top threat: social unrest. “Silicon Valley’s Doomsday: Prepping for An Economic Apocalypse” originally came out in 2017, but is making its rounds on the Internet again and it’s probably worth the view. A former vice president for Yahoo is apparently prominently featured; he fears that changes in the economy and energy industry so much that he quit his job and now runs a preparedness consulting business for Silicon Valley tech elites. Other tech pioneers are worried about the effects of automation on the job market, and the myriad social problems that’s going to create. The author of an article appearing at Intellectual Takeout asks: “If the executives who create this automation are so worried that they are preparing for massive civil unrest by prepping with shelters, food stocks and guns, lots of guns, perhaps these job loss estimates are too conservative. What do they know that we don’t?” [source]
Continuing a pattern of California leaders tipping off citizens and illegal immigrants about ICE raids, the mayor of Oakland just became the latest leak. On Saturday, she issued a press release, announcing that ICE “is preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours.” The overall trend is that some Californian officials are helping illegal immigrants — including some of whom are convicted criminals — continue games of cat and mouse with ICE. [source]