Privacy

Cross-posted from my comment on the matter at Grim’s Hall and based on a CNN article.

From Comey’s quote as provided by CNN:

There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America….

That’s his (cynically offered, because I don’t agree he’s either as stupid or as ignorant as he’d have to be otherwise) straw man; he’ll have to play with his dolly without me.

He also has distorted (deliberately, if not from his lack of understanding, coming from Government’s perspective as he does) what the Founders wrought:

Who Works for Whom?

John Curtice, writing in The Guardian, in the land where John Locke was borne, seems confused on the question.  His proximate piece is his missive on the nature of referenda in Great Britain.  He began that piece with a false premise of very large proportion, and that—as false premises are wont to do—set the tone for the rest of his op-ed.

In the Commons debates on Brexit during the last fortnight, many MPs have found themselves voting for something they do not believe in. Instead of being their constituents’ “representative”, they now appear to be no more than the people’s “delegate”.

Definitely Not the People

The British Supreme Court has thrown a monkey wrench into Great Britain’s going out from the European Union, but in the process, it has thrown a double handful of sand into the gears of liberty in the birthplace of John Locke.

The Court has ruled (by an 8-3 margin; it certainly wasn’t wishy-washy in its attitude) that Parliament must agree to invoke Article 50 and trigger negotiation over terms of separation from the EU.  David Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, reading the judgment:

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.