Carrie Lam and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she’ll fully and formally withdraw her/People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s extradition bill completely.  She even issued a formal statement claiming that, among other things.  Many are touting this, and the other things, as major concessions to the demonstrators that have been in the streets of Hong Kong in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, for the last several months.

Those protestors have been demanding the bill’s formal and irrevocable withdrawal, Lam’s resignation, and an independent investigation into police misbehaviors during those protest demonstrations, among others things.

Tactically Sound?

Perhaps, but perhaps strategically disastrous.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the queen to prorogue the current parliament, and the queen agreed, in order to block it from blocking him from taking Great Britain out of the European Union on schedule 31 October without a deal in the likely event that the EU continues its intransigence in negotiating.  Prorogation is the formal end of an existing session of Parliament, and normally it’s done just prior to the beginning of the next session, to clear the decks for that session.

In Which the City of New York Might Get One Right

The city’s Department of Social Services, through a subordinate agency, is proposing a rule that would require those homeless residing free of charge in a city facility to save against a future in which they live in their own home.

The rule would mandate that residents deposit 30% of their earned income into a savings account that the city’s Department of Social Services would manage. Shelters residents would have access to the funds when they move into permanent housing.
“Our goal is to assist New Yorkers with saving in order to more effectively help them plan for the future and get back on their feet,” said a spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services….

Red Flag Laws, Again

Now The Wall Street Journal is beating the drum for red flag laws that would authorize seizure of weapons from anyone, and anyone associated with that one, that Government, or a Government-appointed/approved body deems a threat.

Consider one of the three cute anecdotes the WSJ cited via its drumbeat.

Police were tipped off by school officials that a 14-year-old boy had praised mass shootings. He used campus computers to search firearms and terms like “white power.” Taken to a psychiatrist, the student said he was joking.
The boy’s father owned a rifle and a pistol. A short-term red-flag order was obtained, and the two firearms were relinquished. After a hearing a one-year order was issued. [In all three anecdotes cited, the outcome was a “one-year order.”]

Gun “Control”

The Wall Street Journal‘s student-written Future View column turned to gun control recently, and Rasmus Haure-Peterson, a philosophy and economics major at the University of Oxford, had a thought in his letter.  He wrote, in part,

Given the spree of mass shootings, some targeted gun-control measures are needed for the sake of a safer America, even if they curb some people’s rights on the margins. But gun-rights advocates won’t make that concession unless they know that giving an inch won’t cost them a mile.

There’s Surveillance

…and there’s surveillance.

The FBI is looking at ways to scan Facebook (and Twitter, et al.) postings with a view to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests.

In late 2016, following an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union into social-media monitoring done by outside developers on behalf of law enforcement, Facebook and Twitter cracked down on those services and explicitly banned the use of their data for surveillance purposes….
Facebook’s ban allowed law-enforcement agencies to look at public profiles manually but not use software designed for large-scale collection and analysis of user data.

Suicide Pact

Now The Wall Street Journal has joined the bandwagon.

Gun rights need to be protected, but the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.

Indeed, they do, and it is not. But violating the Second Amendment as a matter of routine, or gutting it as the Progressive-Democrats want to do (background checks? Where would the Progressive-Democrats stop? They refuse to say, they refuse to articulate their limiting principle) certainly would be national suicide.

…those in the gun lobby who claim that denying access to guns from those with a history of mental illness violates individual rights.

Better is the Enemy of Good Enough

In the aftermath of Boeing’s failure with its 737MAX, the FAA—and foreign jurisdictions—are on the verge of entering that larger failure regime.

As Boeing Co and safety regulators push to complete long-awaited fixes for 737 MAX jets, testing has expanded to cover increasingly unlikely emergencies including potential computer failures pinpointed by overseas authorities, according to US government officials briefed on the details.
The broader risk analyses and simulator scenarios, some details of which haven’t been reported before, show the lengths to which leaders of the Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with their foreign counterparts, are going to verify the safety of the MAX fleet before allowing the planes to fly again.

A Brief Question

…briefly answered.  Greg Ip, in his column on a putative currency war inflicted on us by the EU asked it.  He opened his piece with this:

When Federal Reserve policy makers gather in Washington this week [a couple days ago] to weigh cutting interest rates, a big part of their decision will already have been made—in Frankfurt.

Then he asked

How should the US protect its economy against possible threats from European economies?

Gun Registration (Control)

The New Zealand government, enthusiastically led in this by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, intends to create a law requiring New Zealanders to register with the government the gun licenses they have and the guns they have.  This new…law…also is intended to make it harder to get, and keep, a gun license.

Other provisions of the thing include

  • establishment of new licensing for around 260 shooting clubs and ranges
  • expansion police authority to confiscate weapons if an individual shows (government defined) warning signs
  • require a separate license to purchase ammunition