It’s Been Going On for a Year

This is what Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, in a series of tweets, said so weakly about antifa on 2 July 2019 after that gang assaulted journalist Andy Ngo and others, putting them in the hospital:

Portland has always been a beacon of free speech. We are proud of that history.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 1, 2019

But in the last couple of years, some have increasingly used their opportunity to exercise their 1st amendment rights, as an opportunity to incite violence.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 1, 2019

Support for the 10th Amendment

From an unexpected quarter. The Supreme Court has ruled against Washington State in its suit regarding faithless electors. The decision was unanimous, and the opinion held in part

Nothing in the Constitution expressly prohibits States from taking away presidential electors’ voting discretion as Washington does[.]

And

The Constitution’s text and the nation’s history both support allowing a state to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee—and the state voters’ choice—for president[.]

That’s a reflection of our Constitution’s 10th Amendment and an affirmation of textualism, and that’s what makes it surprising, coming as it does from the ruling’s author, Justice Elena Kagan.

Disingenuosity

Thy name is TikTok. India has banned TikTok along with a potful of other PRC apps on national security—cybersecurity—grounds. In response, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer said that

Chinese authorities had never requested the data of their Indian users, and even if they had, the company wouldn’t comply.

Right.

“Never requested” is a cynically offered non sequitur. Not having been asked is entirely separate from never will be asked.

It’s more serious than that, though. The People’s Republic of China enacted a law in 2017 that requires all PRC-domiciled companies to comply with PRC intel community requests for information. Not “pretty please,” not “strongly encouraged.” It’s “stand and deliver, stand in violation of law.”

Becoming Happy

It’s what Thomas Jefferson said a while ago:

If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.

If the people become happy, though, they—we—would have little need for so large a government. And that would put a lot of bureaucrats, and most importantly, politicians out of business.

That is what today’s Progressive-Democrats and too many establishment Republicans fear, even above fearing failing our nation—being unnecessary.

An Independent DoJ

Some pundits are complaining about a DoJ run by an Attorney General that is becoming a President Donald Trump ally rather than leading an independent Cabinet facility.

They’re misunderstanding, if not distorting, the situation.

These, for instance:

While those allies [of Attorney General William Barr] believe the attorney general’s actions are justified, they worry he is inviting excessive scrutiny that will undermine his agenda and do nothing to help the Justice Department’s already bruised morale.

Not at all. If the actions are justified, scrutiny—”excessive” or otherwise—is no excuse for not taking them.

Occupation by Remote Control

Details of the People’s Republic of China’s overt takeover of Hong Kong via its new “security” law have been released by the government organ Xinhua News Agency. The high points, summarized by OANN, are these:

  • Hong Kong must establish a “local” national security council to enforce legislation, headed by the city’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam
    • to be supervised and guided by a new PRC commission specially created for the purpose
    • a PRC “adviser” will be a member of the council
  • New local police and prosecution units to be set up to investigate, enforce the new law
    • backed by PRC security and intelligence officers deployed to the new commission

A Judge Makes a Clear Ruling

It’s “only” a Temporary Restraining Order by a county judge—Clay County, Illinois, Judge Michael McHaney—but the judge’s ruling is clear, plain spoken, and he speaks for Americans all across these United States.

The European Union and its Wuhan Virus Situation

In an article about the European Union governance authorities’ effort to use its Wuhan Virus situation to fundamentally transform the bloc, Laurence Norman wrote that the European Commission

set out a $2 trillion coronavirus response plan, including a massive pooling of national financial resources that, if approved, would deepen the bloc’s economic union in a way that even the eurozone debt crisis failed to achieve.
Wednesday’s proposal, composed of a €750 billion ($824 billion) recovery plan and €1.1 trillion budget over the next seven years, aims to lift the region from its economic slump, but must overcome infighting dividing the bloc.
If backed by all 27 member states, the plan would represent a historic step in knitting together national finances across the bloc. The proposal from the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, follows a similar Franco-German plan set out last week and would establish significant new transfers of wealth among members, funded by commonly issued debt.

Limit FISA Surveillance?

Certainly, the process is beset with vast, and serious, problems.

Mr [DoJ Inspector General] Horowitz’s staff reviewed a sample from a recent five-year period, October 2014 to September 2019, during which the eight FBI field offices applied for more than 700 surveillance warrants on US persons. Each of the reviewed files contained errors, inconsistencies and omissions. After reviewing the report, the FISA court’s Chief Judge James E Boasberg issued a rare public order. He told the government to undertake steps to ensure the accuracy of FISA applications. Yet inaccuracy isn’t the only problem. The use of FISA against a US citizen presents a fundamental threat to civil liberties. It essentially suspends the Constitution.

An Expansionist Germany

Not military expansion, but a more insidious one: legal expansion.

The German government must come up with a new law regulating its secret services, after the country’s highest court [Federal Constitutional Court] ruled that the current practice of monitoring telecommunications of foreign citizens at will violates constitutionally-enshrined press freedoms and the privacy of communications.

And:

The key legal question was whether foreign nationals in other countries were covered by Germany’s constitution….

Why, yes, yes they are. Because German sovereignty reaches deep inside other nations’ borders, other nations’ legal and political jurisdictions, overrides those nations’ own sovereignty. Germany’s laws not only apply outside German borders, they apply inside other nations’ borders.