A Hidden Thought from the Republic of China

Buried at the bottom of a Japan Times piece on the history of the Island of Taiwan that purports to recount the politics since 1947 of the island and then of the nation on the island was this bit:

On May 20, 2016, Tsai Ing-wen, the chair of the Democratic Progressive Party, was inaugurated as president of Taiwan. During her inauguration speech she said that the “goal of transitional justice is to pursue true social reconciliation, so that all Taiwanese can take to heart the mistakes of that era.”

A Large Misunderstanding

A Wall Street Journal article about Breitbart writer and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos and his impact on college campus views of free speech opened with a widespread misunderstanding.

The tour by Milo Yiannopoulos is sparking reaction from more groups than any recent speaker has on college campuses, heightening tensions between free speech and public safety.

There is no tension between free speech and public safety, though: there is no public safety without free speech.  The relationship between free speech and public safety is not only—not even primarily—concerned with people whose feelings get hurt, or people legitimately insulted, and who then act out emotionally and dangerously.  The relationship is centered on Government’s ability to control what will be spoken or done and the threat that those abilities represent to public safety.

“How Barack Obama rescued the US economy”

That’s the headline on a recent Financial Times piece (sorry, the FT has a paywall) by Martin Wolf.  It’s a silly headline, for a silly article.

How should we assess the economic success or failure of Barack Obama’s presidency?

This is a difficult question to answer.

Failure of Hate Laws

The failure stems from an inability to define hate, but mostly it fails from the irrelevance of hate as anything other than a motivator for committing a crime.  Motive, though, belongs solely in the jury box during the punishment phase given a conviction of a crime; it should not be foreordained by a Government’s attempt to define the hate or by Government’s more evident attempts to discriminate among groups of Americans and single some out for favorable treatment at the expense of other groups of Americans.

Snowflake as Murderer

Dylann Roof has been convicted of the murders of nine good men and women, people he butchered in his rampage through a Baptist church.

Now he’s crying over the…unfairness…of the penalty phase of his trial.  At the risk of repeating things known to those of you following along at home, Roof is defending himself during this phase, and he’s chosen to offer neither witnesses nor mitigating evidence during this phase.

Gerrymandering, Politics, and Race

The (eight Justice) Supreme Court is going to take up the question of gerrymandering and Congressional districts in Virginia and North Carolina.  In fact, the case the Court is hearing is narrower than that:

drawing legislative districts based on race.

Never mind that the Democrats’ Voting Rights Act of 1965 mandates race-based districting: the VRA

generally prohibits reducing minority-voting power through redistricting[]

which, of course, explicitly requires race-based districting in order to “protect” that “power.”

Four Pillars of a Health Care System?

The Wall Street Journal posited this in a Wednesday op-ed.

1. Provide a path to catastrophic health insurance for all Americans.

The WSJ then supports this with old saws: being covered generally leads to better medical results, health insurance is good for the wallet, and so on.  Then they want a government solution—while they carefully avoid saying how they would pay for it:

The ObamaCare replacement should make it possible for all people to get health insurance that provides coverage for basic prevention, like vaccines, and expensive medical care that exceeds, perhaps, $5,000 for individuals.

There’s Speculation and There’s Speculation

Kansas has a law that requires voters to prove they’re citizens—and so eligible to vote—before they’re allowed actually to vote.  A Federal trial judge issued an injunction barring enforcement of the law, and the 10th Circuit Appeals Court upheld the injunction.

After Kansas had shown that in a single county,

eleven noncitizens successfully registered to vote; and after it went into effect another fourteen were prevented from registering. These 25 cases are just the tip of the iceberg in Sedgwick County[,]

Judge Jerome Holmes, for the 10th Circuit, wrote

Freedom’s Just Another Word

…as far as the PRC is concerned.

The good citizens of Hong Kong had elections for their representatives in the city-state’s Legislative Council, and two folks who participated in protests two years ago against PRC intrusion into Hong Kong government affairs were elected.

Never mind the voice of the people.  They have none wherever the PRC can reach.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress said people elected to the city’s legislature cannot retake their oaths of office if their first attempt was invalidated for being insincere, not solemn, or deliberately misread.

A Measure of Justice

Recall Rolling Stone‘s article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely that accused a fraternity at the University of Virginia and the university at large of fostering a climate of rape.  The article went on explicitly to accuse the fraternity’s members of participating in the gang rape of a particular woman—a woman whose rape never occurred—and it smeared (now ex-; she’s still employed by UVA, but in a different and lesser capacity) Dean of Students Nicole Eramo as being indifferent to the purported victim’s plight.