Free Speech

So long as the government determines what’s free to be said.

There’s this American rock band, all of whose members are of Asian heritage, who call themselves The Slants. When they tried to trademark their name, the US Patent Office refused, claiming the name is “disparaging.” The matter is now before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is the appellate court that hears such cases. The Court is hearing the matter en banc, or the whole court is handling the appeal instead of the usual three-judge panel.

The government is censoring naming. At oral argument,

Mass Shooting and Gun “Control”

President Barack Obama, in his crocodile tears speech after the Oregon shooting, called for some statistics on gun control and gun deaths. Here’s one under a surprisingly misleading headline by The Wall Street Journal.

The researchers counted 23 mass shootings in 13 European nations plus Russia from 2000 to 2014, with a total of 203 deaths. During that time, the US saw 133 shootings and 487 dead….

Twenty-three mass shootings averaged almost nine deaths per mass shooting. In the US, the 133 mass shootings averaged a bit over three and a half.

Of Course Not

David Cameron, British Prime Minister, has added his lack of understanding regarding Russia and Syria to President Barack Obama’s. He chimed in with this:

It’s absolutely clear that Russia is not discriminating between ISIL and the legitimate Syrian opposition groups. As a result they are actually backing the butcher Assad and helping him.

NSS. He is indeed not interested in killing terrorists. He really is in Syria to prop up his client Bashar al Assad.

And there’s the usual timidity of these two “leaders:”

Who Else?

President Obama, addressing Russian intervention in Syria at a White House press conference, said Tuesday Iran and Syria President Bashar Assad represented Russia’s entire coalition “and the rest of the world makes up ours.”

He had this bit, too:

This is not a contest between the US and Russia. We’re not going to make Syria a proxy war between Russia and the United States. Our battle is with ISIL.

Putin is using it as part of the contest between Russia and us; he’s using Syria as one front of his proxy war with us.

Obamacare Strikes Again

The Obamacare law set up “risk corridors” for insurers in an effort to smooth the transition from quasi- (albeit very quasi) free markets for health insurance coverage to Obamacare’s government mandated health welfare coverage. Health plan providers that did relatively well in the transition were supposed to pay a taste of their profits into a pool—the risk corridor—from which health plan providers struggling with the transition were supposed to be able to draw to ease their losses.

There’s this snippet in Anna Wilde Mathews’ and Stephanie Armour’s piece in The Wall Street Journal on these risk corridors [emphasis added].

This Is Why

A letter from Tom McClintock (R, CA), late of the House Freedom Caucus, the right-side group of Republican Congressmen in the House. The man is as Conservative as it gets, nevertheless, it’s come to this.

September 16, 2015

Congressman Jim Jordan

Chairman, House Freedom Caucus

1524 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Jim:

When the House Freedom Caucus formed in January, I fervently hoped that it would provide responsible and effective leadership to advance conservative principles in the House of Representatives.

Government Responsibility

At least one charity is figuring out the impediment that is government involvement in what is, at bottom, an individual responsibility.

Andrea Koppel, Mercy Corps’ Vice President of Global Engagement and Strategy, wants the UN’s involvement in the current Middle East refugee crisis severely downsized. Her focus is on the UN as a quasi-government, but she’s also moving further and wanting sovereign government roles downsized, too.

Hypocrisy of the Left

Sanctuary City San Francisco has

proposed new city regulations, which could only be aimed at High Bridge Arms, would have required the shop to take and preserve video of all transactions and turn customers’ personal data over to police on a weekly basis.

There was only one gun shop left in San Fran at the time these new rules were proposed. That shop already had 17 cameras installed and turned video over to the police on their request. However, as the shop’s General Manager said,

it’s the idea of filming our customers taking delivery of items after they already completed waiting periods[.]

Democratic Party Policy Regarding New-borns

The House recently passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act which requires that babies who survive an abortion attempt are to be cared for as though they’d been born more normally. The Act opens with these two paragraphs:

Sec. 2. Findings

Congress finds as follows:

(1) If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.

A Two-Faced Move

PRC President Xi Jinping is moving to revive Confucius and his philosophical tradition. Xi wants to “inoculate Chinese people against the spread of Western political ideals of individual freedom and democracy.” He’s “seeking a fresh source of legitimacy by reinventing the party as inheritor and savior of a 5,000-year-old civilization.”

Renew reverence for authority—with the Communist Party of China the authority.

And, tellingly, one of Xi Jinping’s favorite Confucius sayings is this:

No calamity greater than to be discontented with one’s lot; no fault greater than the wish to be getting.