Gerrymandering and Voting Districts

Further on the Supreme Court’s considering a Wisconsin gerrymandering case, and that dredges up some thoughts in my pea brain.

Taking the Federal government as my canonical example, I suggest the following to saucer and blow the whole gerrymandering question.  Each State should be divided into squares having substantially equal numbers of citizens resident.  Then, starting with four squares sharing a common corner that is at the geographic center of the State, add squares around the four, building outward in that fashion to the State’s borders, deviating from the square and the square’s straight-line sides only at those borders.

Gerrymandering and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has taken up a Wisconsin gerrymandering case, Whitford v Gill, in which some Liberal plaintiffs claim the State’s Republican legislature went too far in gerrymandering the State’s state legislature districts.  The plaintiffs are centering their beef on the idea that Republicans are overrepresented in the State’s legislature compared to State-wide voting tallies; Democrats didn’t get their “fair share” of the seats.

The plaintiffs are targeting Justice Anthony Kennedy in what is likely to be a sharply divided court, and some of Kennedy’s remarks at oral argument are, indeed, troubling.

A Referendum

Catalonia is trying to have one (had one as you read this) on whether the Autonomous Community should completely separate from Spain.  It’s turning violent as the Spanish military organization with police duties, the Guardia Civil, and the more civilian Policía Nacional, are using hammers and other such tools to break into locked buildings within which voting is occurring and truncheons and rubber bullets to try to block Catalans from entering and voting.

Nearly 850 civilian casualties had been inflicted by late Sunday, Dallas time.

On Catalonia’s Drive for Independence

The Wall Street Journal argued against it Wednesday.  I disagree ( a surprise, I know).

Nor is such a referendum permitted by international law….

This is a domestic Spanish affair; dragging international law into the matter is just cynical.

…they [Catalonians] fail to acknowledge the price all Spain pays for the national defense and diplomacy that keep Catalonia secure.

This is a cost that Spain no longer would have to bear if Catalonia succeeds in secession. As the Spanish, Catalonians, and Tunku Varadarajan, who wrote the piece at the link, well know.

Good for Her

Danish Immigration, Integration and Housing Minister Inger Stojberg has posted on her Facebook page a repeat of an image widely posted several years ago by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten.  What occasioned her post is the timidity of the Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, Denmark.

The museum is running an exhibition about blasphemy since the Reformation, but it has chosen to omit a classic example of blasphemy: images of Islam’s prophet Muhammed.  As Stojberg noted, it’s the museum’s right to do this under Danish free speech law, but it’s excessively timid of the museum, and it’s the right of other Dames—including Stojberg—to decry the museum for its decision.

Due Process and Colleges/Universities

Recall the Department of Education’s 2011 egregious and cynically biased Dear Colleague Letter and its attack on due process and equal protection under law.  Things are being restored to legitimacy under the  Betsy DeVos DoEd via interim guidance just issued.

Colleges can now apply a higher standard of proof when determining guilt in sexual misconduct cases and must offer equal opportunity for the accused and accuser to have legal advisers participate in their hearings, according to interim recommendations issued by the US Department of Education on Friday.

Because

The Education Department on Friday formally rescinded guidelines issued by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2014….

Discrimination

Now FEMA is doing it, and it’s religious discrimination.  Churches, bastions of succor in times of disaster—like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma—suffer their own damages in those disasters, as they did in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  However, unlike other charitable organizations in similar straits, churches are being denied FEMA assistance to recover.

Law on this is not clear because separation of church and state, New York University Law Professor Burt Neuborne is claiming.

The difficulty is that the Constitution has two provisions in it. It has a freedom of religion, but it also has kind of a freedom from religion which prevents government money from being used for religious purposes, worship purposes.

Hypocrisy

Planned Parenthood has it.  On the matter of DACA and President Donald Trump giving Congress six months to fix the thing—including codifying its current structure in law, but do the law, not Executive Order—Planned Parenthood, through its CEO Cecile Richards had this to say:

Here at Planned Parenthood, we firmly believe that every person has the right to live, work, and raise a family freely and without the threat of deportation or separation[.]

Every person but babies, apparently.  Far too often, they’re just inconveniences to be aborted and either thrown away or their body parts peddled to…researchers.  These inconvenient babies are not to be permitted to live, work, and raise a family freely.

The Left and the Left’s Police

And the misrepresentation of the NLMSM.

A hundred members of Left-wing hate groups, including Antifa—hooded, no less, and armed with clubs—”broke through” police lines in Berkeley Sunday to attack the leader of a Conservative group, Patriot Prayer, which the NLMSM claims is “right-wing” rather than Conservative, and a separate group of four.

Notice that.  The Left’s hate groups are hooded and carrying weapons; their targets are unarmed with faces bare, not looking for trouble and unafraid of being identified.

There’s more:

Was I Right to Pull the Plug on a Nazi Website?

That’s the title of a tortured op-ed in a recent Wall Street Journal by Matthew Prince, Co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare.  Recall that he and his Cloudflare helped kick a group of neo-Nazis off the internet last week, including the Daily Stormer Web site.  He bragged at the time about having done that, and as despicable as neo-Nazi and Nazi wannabe thugs are, that’s an easy brag.

In this op-ed, though, Prince is claiming to be having second thoughts.

However.