A First Amendment Beef

This one, I think, is a bad beef.  A Columbia University club known as the Knight First Amendment Institute, styling themselves a First Amendment advocate organization, has taken notice of the fact that President Donald Trump has blocked some folks from his personal twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, an account he’s had since well before the campaign and his election.  The Director of the Institute, Jameel Jaffer, wrote a letter to “the Trump administration” claiming that the Constitution “requires” those accounts to be unblocked.

Really!?

The CTL-Left Mayor of Portland, OR, is at it now.  He wants the Feds and organizers of a couple of Trump rallies to shut down those rallies.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Monday that the “alt-right demonstrations” would only fuel hatred and fear during a time of tragedy.

Never mind that these are pro-Trump rallies that have nothing to do with the NLMSM’s imaginary alt-right.

Never mind that Wheeler clearly wants to impose his concept of free speech: feel free to speak what Wheeler personally approves.  And no other word.

Wheeler is claiming

EU and Brexit

The European Union is either demonstrating its lack of understanding of a main motivator for the people of Great Britain’s decision to quit the EU, or it’s intent on making the departure onerous pour encourager les autres, or some combination of the two.  Michel Barnier, the EU’s “Brexit negotiator,” has laid out the terms of his initial position.

One such term is

ensuring that EU citizens in the UK keep their welfare benefits and residency rights for their lifetimes.

Never mind that EU citizens drawing welfare benefits should have those benefits paid for by the EU or those citizens’ home country—which do not today pay the generous rates that the British government does.

Dismembering Government?

If the advance word leaks about President Donald Trump’s upcoming budget proposal can be believed, it would appear that his swamp-draining and Government downsizing are about to get start.  And “news” outlets like CNN are getting their panties bunched over the prospect.  This is from this outlet’s piece, tellingly headlined Trump’s plan to dismember government:

It would codify an assault on regulatory regimes over the environment, business and education bequeathed by former President Barack Obama, and attempt to halt decades of steadily growing government reach.

And this:

A Circular Judge-Made “Law”

A jury can’t deliberate impartially and independently if its deliberations are going to be overseen by the presiding judge or any other government representative.  Such government oversight smacks of Bushel.  Yet that’s what the Supreme Court has decided must be in certain cases.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled courts must review typically secret jury deliberations when a juror relies on racial or ethnic stereotypes to convict a defendant.

The 5-3 opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy found the Constitution’s call for a colorblind justice system outweighed traditional interests in promoting robust jury deliberations and protecting verdicts from challenge.

Constitutional Carry

That’s the term currently in vogue for the permitless carrying of handguns, whether openly or concealed; it’s the concept that the 2nd Amendment is all the permit an American citizen needs to carry his handgun.

New Hampshire has become the 12th State eliminate the need for a State-issued permit for concealed carry; it already had permitless open carry.  With the bill signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu, a New Hampshire citizen is allowed

the unlicensed transport or carry of a firearm in a vehicle, or on or about one’s person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded…if that individual is not otherwise prohibited by statute from possessing a firearm in the state of New Hampshire.

Free Speech for Me; You Shut Up

University of Chicago pupils (I can’t call them even students in the scale of pupil-student-scholar) are objecting to non-Left speakers being allowed on “their” campus.

The [pupils] objected to the school’s Institute of Politics’ invitation to former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. They claim that allowing him to speak “normalizes bigotry” and provides a platform for fascism.

These precious ones are actively ducking away from a clear opportunity to “denormalize bigotry” by running away from him.

The coalition of students from U of C Resists, Graduate Students United, Students Working Against Prisons, and UChicago Socialists claim that the school’s “commitment to free expression doesn’t require the institution to host him….

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.