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.

Intelligence Community Refuses

When the House Intelligence Committee called intel community directors—the CIA’s management, for instance—before them to testify about alleged Russian hacks and leaked CIA claims that the hacks were intended to sway the election toward the President-Elect, they refused to appear.  They also refused at the last moment, forcing the committee to cancel an already scheduled hearing into the matter.

Defuse This

Residents of the town of Totolapan in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, have taken a situation into their own hands: in response to a drug cartel’s kidnapping of family members of some of those residents, the residents have kidnapped the mother of the cartel’s leader.  They’re willing to work a trade.

On the other hand,

The government of…Guerrero said Tuesday it dispatched 220 soldiers and police in hopes of defusing the situation….

A better move, one that would more permanently defuse the situation, would be to send those soldiers into the area to eliminate the cartels that infest the town and others like it.

Foreign Investment Risk

The People’s Republic of China seems about to illustrate one form of this risk.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, will soon announce new measures that subject many overseas deals to reviews of “strict control,” according to people with direct knowledge of the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Targeted for particular scrutiny by the pending measure are “extra-large” foreign acquisitions valued at $10 billion or more per deal, property investments by state-owned firms above $1 billion, and investments of $1 billion or more by any Chinese company in an overseas entity unrelated to the investor’s core business.

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.

Emails

How do you get 650,000 State Department emails onto one laptop, even if accumulated over some years?  Especially when it’s a laptop that isn’t routinely used by a State Department employee or confidante of a State employee, but instead is owned by (or at best shared with) a State employee/confidante spouse and dependent?

Separately, might some of these be copies of the emails Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton deleted under the claim that they were personal, centered on wedding planning and yoga?