Faith in the PRC

The People’s Republic of China is broadening the reach of its religion.

Officials have threatened to close the Early Rain Covenant Church in the central city of Chengdu by the end of the year in keeping with new religious-management regulations, according to several congregants who said they had been waiting for the net to fall. In coordinated raids starting Sunday night, police detained Pastor Wang Yi and more than 100 of the church’s 500 members, said Li Yingqiang, a church leader.

A Conservative’s View….

My latest effort, a pamphlet on the American legal system (because I don’t lack for ego), A Conservative’s View of the American Concept of Law, has been released, and it can be found on amazon.com: https://amzn.to/2L4iVXx .  Links also can be found on my Books page.

Our legal system is explicitly founded on natural law through our Creator’s endowment—the origin and source of our fundamental principles.

Brussels Interferes Again

Now the European Court of Justice has decided to weigh in on Brexit.

The European Court of Justice’s opinion, which requires confirmation in a final court ruling, says the U.K. can unilaterally stop the process of leaving the EU, something that Brussels and the U.K. government had sought to oppose. A final ruling is expected within the next few weeks.

This is yet another cynical effort by Brussels to interfere in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation, this time compounded by Brussels’ insistence on punishing the Brits for their impertinence.

PC Police-ism

In re the matter of Professor Richard Ned Lebow, of King’s College London, and Professor Simona Sharoni, of Merrimack College and a member of the International Studies Association, the ISA’s Executive Committee has spoken.

I demur from the ISA’s politically correct (if ever there were an oxymoron, here is one) position, in particular their Item 7.

7) … Although you explained that your comment was intended as a joking reference to an old, cultural trope, your email was not apologetic and PRR (and eventually ExComm) found that it was marginalizing and trivializing Prof. Sharoni’s reaction to your comment and that it was an attempt to intimidate her….

Justice and Law

An Indian, a Creek, stands accused of murdering a fellow tribesman.  He was arrested on the Creek’s Oklahoma reservation, and with that, he’s demanding that he be tried in Federal court rather than in an Oklahoma State court.  The matter of which court should have jurisdiction, which centers on the existence or absence of the Creek Nation reservation in Oklahoma, now is before the US Supreme Court.

The government’s lawyer, US Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, declaimed

This would be a dramatic change from the way everyone has understood it for the past 100 years[.]

He continued:

Guns and Killings

This, from no less a Liberal outlet than the Chicago Tribune.  John Lott, Jr, Crime Prevention Research Center President, provided some gun-related killings statistics for the Tribune.  He began by defining what constitutes mass killings, a term too often bandied about without definition.  The FBI’s definition is what he used.

  • shootings must claim four or more lives in a public place
  • shootings must be carried out simply with the intention of killing
    • excluded are gang fight killings because they tend to be motivated by battles for drug turf
    • excluded are murders incidental to other crimes

A Judge’s Ruling on Female Genital Mutilation

Charges related to female genital mutilation were dismissed last week against Detroit doctor Jumana Nagarwala, who has a history of performing such “surgeries.”  Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman, of the Eastern District of Michigan, ruled that Congress had overstepped its authority in passing a law banning this FGM.

Sadly, the judge was right.  That law, passed in 1996, was done under our Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce (along with trade with foreign nations and with the Indian Tribes).

However, Friedman wrote,

Mexico Says It’s Not a Safe Country?

President Donald Trump has said that the US and Mexico have reached an agreement—at least in principle (although Trump is his usual more definitive self)—that those seeking asylum in the US will remain in Mexico until their asylum cases have been heard and acted on by the US.  The Washington Post has claimed to quote incoming Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero as saying so, too.

However, Sanchez Cordero says that she said no such thing to WaPo.  In fact, she says that no such deal, no Remain in Mexico program—”of any sort”—exists.  Given that newspaper’s record of honest reporting, I believe Sanchez Cordero.

A Necessary Start

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is on the verge of issuing actual rules (not “guidance” letters) directing the way in which colleges and universities must handle accusations of sexual assault.  These rules will include

  • the right of every survivor to be taken seriously and the right of every person accused to know that guilt is not predetermined
  • both the alleged victim and the accused would be able to inspect and review all evidence
  • All Title IX hearings would include cross-examination, which could occur in-person or by live stream, with campus adjudicators allowed to observe the demeanor of witnesses as they assess credibility

Bullying

You can’t wear the clothes you can afford to buy, that are good quality, and that look nice without being ostentatious (you can’t wear your ostentatious rags, either, come to that).  That’s bullying, don’t you know.

That’s the attitude of the Church of England’s Woodchurch High School in northwestern England (it’s across the Mersey from Liverpool—yes, that Mersey).  They’re pretending to “poverty proof” their school, so they sent a letter to their students’ significant overseers (the institution actually refered to “parents/carers”:

As you are all aware from an email that was sent out yesterday, pupils will not be permitted to bring in Canadian (sic) Goose and Monclair (sic) coats after the Christmas break.