The Week’s Quick Takes

News from this past week….California apparently will allow literally anything, cats and dogs living together and all sorts of ‘unnatural things on the Supreme Court and the threat from China.

Welcome to Literally Anyone

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is so radically opposed to deporting anyone that he pardoned two convicted felons who are in detention for deportation, on the hopes that it will lessen the chances of their deportation.

One of the refugees, Hay Hov, was convicted for soliciting to commit murder as well as participating in a criminal street gang. The other, Kang Hen, was convicted in 1999 or grand theft and robbery.

By the laws of this state it is proper that I, as governor of the state of California, give testimony that, by completion of his sentence and good conduct in the community, Mr. Hov merits this pardon,” he said for Hov’s pardon.

One can’t help but wonder what exactly the Governor means by “good conduct in the community”. Solicitation to commit murder apparently isn’t reason enough for Newsom to tell someone they are not welcome.


Supreme Court-‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’, Cats and Dogs….What’s Next?

The most recently appointed Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, wrote a majority opinion that allowed an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple to move forward. The suit charged that Apple, by only allowing Apple apps to be sold on its Apple Store, was restricting commerce and exercising monopoly power.

Apple goes so far as to require that the charge for each app end in “.99”, in effect requiring that no price increase can be less than a dollar.  Isn’t that the exact definition of ‘price fixing’, which is indicative of monopoly power?

Two things make this case notable:  first, the most important that capitalism doesn’t operate without free markets. Anything that distorts those markets hurts the consumers and puts power in the hands of the companies. Allowing a lawsuit to go forward so a court can decide if that is happening is the right thing to do. Capitalism isn’t about allowing companies to do what they want. Capitalism flourishes and consumers benefit when the market operates and people are free to make decisions without restricting those decisions by allowing companies to rig the system.

Secondly, in this case Kavanaugh sided with four ‘liberal justices’. Thinking Man hates even the term, as justice should be what the law says, not a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ view. The fact that a ‘conservative’ wrote an opinion backed by Court ‘liberals’ hopefully means that the justices are trying to do just that and that political views are not what’s important.


Chinese Spying

A former CIA officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for spying for China and making false statements to law enforcement. Kevin Mallory was convicted by a federal jury last June under the Espionage Act for selling classified information to a Chinese intelligence agent for $25,000 during trips to Shanghai in March and April 2017.

The case is the latest in a series of spy trials involving Chinese attempts to steal classified information and, in one case, to learn the identities of US intelligence assets.

Former DIA official Ron Hansen faces 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in March to charges of attempting to sell classified information to the Chinese.

In April, a former diplomat, Candace Marie Claiborne, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about money she received from Chinese intelligence agents in exchange for US documents.

And in the most significant case, on May 1, former CIA Officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee pleaded guilty to spying for China. Lee faces a possible life sentence-although Thinking Man would propose the death penalty-for having provided China with the information it needed to bring down a network of informants in China between 2010-2012. After all, he sold other people’s lives for money and betrayed his country in the process, he should have the same consequences he gave to those whose lives he sold.

And does anyone really think China isn’t a threat?


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