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.

Mao-ist China Returns?

People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping has been consolidating his power and centralizing control of the PRC in his hands for a while.

Now he’s seizing more direct control of the nation’s economy.  Xi has removed Lou Jiwei, the PRC Minister of Finance from office.  Lou was “reform-minded” (read: more open and freely operating domestic markets with a more rational tax régime), but that conflicted with Xi’s demand for more government control over those same domestic markets.  Xi has reassigned Lou to run the nation’s pension fund.  The fund is in a disastrous condition; this is simply a move to set Lou up for failure and removal from government altogether.

Right on the Law

Great Britain’s High Court has ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May may not and can not trigger, on her own initiative, Article 50 and begin negotiations with the European Union about the mechanisms and details of Great Britain’s going out from the EU.  The Parliament must first vote in favor of invoking the Article.

A Couple of Litmus Tests

The two major party Presidential candidates have them.  All Presidents and candidates who wish to nominate Supreme Court Justices have them; some are more or less legitimate than others.

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s wants:

The kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans[.]

Read that again.  Clinton wants Justices who put social agendas ahead of the actual law before them, ahead of the text of the Constitution, ahead of the Justices’ own oaths of office, which swear them to uphold and defend the Constitution, not ignore it, or “reinterpret” it.

What’s the Chinese Term for Aппара́тчик?

Law firms in the People’s Republic of China are about to get them.  In addition to two new Rule by Law directives that prohibit PRC lawyers from criticizing the government on the one hand and that require PRC lawyers to overtly support the Chinese Communist Party on the other, these law firms are required to accept into their organizations

establishment[s] of Communist Party branches[.]

To ensure proper behavior.

Cowed by the PRC?

Canberra confirmed last week that the Australian Navy won’t conduct freedom-of-navigation patrols in the international waters of the South China Sea, giving China’s bid to dominate the strategic area a boost.

And

An international tribunal ruled in July that China’s bid to claim most of the sea violates international law. But the verdict will be rendered moot unless law-abiding states are willing to push back. That would give Beijing effective control over the 60% of Australian trade that transits the sea.

Pay to Play, or Slants

From a Kimberley Strassel column in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal comes this nugget.

…the Associated Press’s extraordinary finding this week that of the 154 outside people Mrs. Clinton met with in the first years of her tenure, more than half were Clinton Foundation donors. Clinton apologists, like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, are claiming that statistic is overblown, because the 154 doesn’t include thousands of meetings held with foreign diplomats and U.S. officials.

Nice try. As the nation’s top diplomat, Mrs Clinton was obliged to meet with diplomats and officials—not with others. Only a blessed few outsiders scored meetings with the harried secretary of state and, surprise, most of the blessed were Clinton Foundation donors.

On an Ohio Early Voting Ruling

The 6th Circuit has ruled on Ohio’s Golden Week of voting, which allowed an extra week of early voting together with same-day voter registration.  Ohio had withdrawn that week in 2014 legislation, leaving 29 days before November’s formal voting day for voter registration and early voting.  The appellate court, in response to Democrats’ suit and win in trial court, overturned the trial court and allowed the removal of Golden Week to stand.  As a result, Ohioans will have those 29 days, instead of 36 days, in which to register to vote and then to vote.

California’s Disdain

…for religion is made manifest by its SB 1146, Equity in Higher Education Act, currently under consideration before the California Senate.

As it currently stands, parochial schools—church schools, religious schools, schools run according to a clearly stated set of religious tenets—are exempt from discrimination laws where such discrimination is centered on religious beliefs.  Schools and their students are free to follow their conscience and to require employees, and students, to adhere to certain basic sets of behaviors.  As Archbishop Jose Gomez and Bishop Charles Blake put it in their piece,

A Judicial Error Regarding the 2nd Amendment

A Federal trial judge in Seattle has ruled that it’s OK for the Federal government, in the form of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to ban ammunition originally “designed” for AK-47 rifles.  The ammunition in question, Russian-manufacutered 7N6 armor-piercing rounds had been imported prior to BATF’s ban, to the tune of 100 million rounds, and as the importer, PW Arms Inc noted in its suit—the one in which the trial judge ruled for BATF—none of those rounds had been misused.  PW Arms noted in its suit

In fact, before ATF banned 7N6, this ammunition was used lawfully by sportsmen as rifle ammunition for target shooting.