Decisions

Hong Kong’s 34,000 policemen and the force as a whole are approaching a decision point—or perhaps, the People’s Republic of China’s President Xi Jinping is about to force a decision on them.

With Hong Kong’s summer of unrest escalating, its police are in a bind. The local population increasingly accuses them of inflaming protester rage by using excessive force, while mainland Chinese authorities are exhorting them to get tougher to resolve the crisis.

Violence? With the Hong Kong police, it’s becoming fairly routine to use tear gas and truncheons. Protestor-originated violence has remained isolated and rare.

Red Flag Gun Laws

In which I disagree with Ben Shapiro and others who support red flag gun laws.  There are a number of reasons for my disagreement; here are some, in no particular order. They are, each of them individually, must less collectively, deal breakers.

There’s considerable concern—legitimately so—about going through due process to protect the rights of the individual being “accused” of mental instability or of being dangerous otherwise to folks with whom he might come in contact (home, shopping mall,…). If the man truly is that dangerous, though, the court process cannot act quickly enough to mitigate the situation in the real time during which the danger supposedly exists.

There’s Surveillance

…and there’s surveillance.

The FBI is looking at ways to scan Facebook (and Twitter, et al.) postings with a view to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests.

In late 2016, following an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union into social-media monitoring done by outside developers on behalf of law enforcement, Facebook and Twitter cracked down on those services and explicitly banned the use of their data for surveillance purposes….
Facebook’s ban allowed law-enforcement agencies to look at public profiles manually but not use software designed for large-scale collection and analysis of user data.

Guns and Gun Violence

A couple of instructive graphs, via Mark Perry at Carpe Diem AEI.

Yet, Progressive-Democrats—especially those competing to become our President—insist on disarming us.

Why is that, I wonder?

The People’s Republic of China Threatens

Now they’re getting overt regarding the protests in Hong Kong against the local pseudo-autonomous government’s misbehaviors.

…those who play with fire will perish by it.

That’s pretty stark considering the overtly peaceful nature of the protests.  Yang Guang, speaking for the PRC’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of State Council:

[PRC] central government has “immense strength” and that punishment for those behind the demonstrations is “only a matter of time.”

“Don’t ever misjudge the situation and mistake our restraint for weakness.”

Nice Things

President Xi Jinping and his cronies in the People’s Republic of China government look like they’re settling in for a long trade war with us. The claim, too, is that deteriorating relations with us, and allowing them to deteriorate further, are a sign of Xi’s strength as a leader of the government and of the Communist Party of China.

This misunderstands, though: those deteriorating relations are a good illustration of Xi’s weakness as a leader, not his strength. It takes strength, mind you, to be willing to change course when the chosen one proves…inopportune.

Guns and Deaths

Here are some actual data—facts that the Progressive-Democrats running for President are pleased to ignore—as produced by Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra):

Average # of deaths per day in US:Abortion: 1,778
Heart disease: 1,773
Cancer: 1,641
Medical error: 685
Accidents: 401
Stroke: 401
Alzheimer’s: 332
Diabetes: 228
Flu: 150
Suicide: 128
Opioids: 115
Drunk driving: 28
Underage drinking: 11
Teen texting-and-driving: 8
All Rifles: 1

His sources:

Abortion: (link: https://nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf )
Heart disease/cancer/accidents/stroke/alzheimers/flu/suicide: (link: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm )
Medical error: (link: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html )
Opioids: (link: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html )
Drunk driving: (link: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html )

Yet those Progressive-Democrat politicians want to control rifles, ultimately to take away all of our weapons.

Lies of Progressive-Democrats

Here’s another.  Recall Congressman Joaquin Castro’s (D, TX, and brother of Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Julian Castro) doxing of donors to a Trump campaign organization.

[T]he Texas congressman’s original tweet included a list of San Antonio residents who had donated large amounts to the Trump campaign, along with the names of their employers. …
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro tweeted, along with the Twitter handles of several owners of local businesses who apparently donated to Trump. …
The list—titled “WHO’S FUNDING TRUMP?”—had 44 names of donors and their employers.

Suicide Pact

Now The Wall Street Journal has joined the bandwagon.

Gun rights need to be protected, but the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.

Indeed, they do, and it is not. But violating the Second Amendment as a matter of routine, or gutting it as the Progressive-Democrats want to do (background checks? Where would the Progressive-Democrats stop? They refuse to say, they refuse to articulate their limiting principle) certainly would be national suicide.

…those in the gun lobby who claim that denying access to guns from those with a history of mental illness violates individual rights.

Overreactive “Professional” Investors

Some folks think Fed President Jerome Powell is “in over his head” in terms of communicating Federal Reserve Bank policies to the general public (read: to “professionals”).

Here’s Krishna Memani, OppenheimerFunds Inc’s Vice Chairman of Investments:

As a central banker, you don’t want to give people the opportunity to interpret things how they want to[.]

This is backwards. The Central Banker—Powell—says what he says, and he does so clearly in today’s improved environment over the last century’s deliberate obfuscation in that era’s misguided attempt to avoid confusion.  It’s on “people”—professional investors—to take Powell at his words and not interpret things “how they want to,” or desperately over-parse them, or look for meanings hidden in backward-playing recordings of his statements