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  • Kevin Williamson comments on the Left's practice of re-writing laws to suit their changing purposes:

    The matter addressed in Halbig is hardly the Obama administration’s first attempt to circumvent the law as written — see Hobby Lobby, etc. — nor is it the progressives’ only attempt to impose what they imagine to be enlightened ad-hocracy on the American people. The disdain for the letter of the law is complexly intertwined with the progressive managerial imagination: The law, in their view, is not something that limits the ambitions of princes, but something that empowers them to do what they see fit. It is not surprising that conservative concerns about limited government frustrate and befuddle those who see the law in that way. They imagine government to be something like a plasma cutting table, a complex and precise tool that, in the right hands, can reshape the world in desirable, predictable ways. But government is not a complicated tool. It is in fact a simple tool: a bayonet.

    Angelo Codevilla writes about the consequences of this practice, regardless of the perpetrators' political affiliation:

    The demonstration by persons at the top of society that plain words of law—and these happen to be plainer than usual—don’t mean what they say or are superseded by interest and will is scary to the powerless majority for whom the words of laws are the only protection against arbitrary treatment. The words of the law are the ordinary person’s assurance of freedom. The moment people begin to think the system is rigged, the next thought follows: “To hell with the system. They’re looking out for themselves. I’ve got to look out for myself.” That is how nations dissolve.

  • An associate professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Mireille Miller-Young, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of vandalism and battery for assaulting pro-life protestors on campus. Miller-Young will likely be sentenced to a fine, community service, and counseling. She hasn't lost her job, but she isn't teaching any classes, either.

  • Hamas has been using children to build its tunnels. It's likely that at least some of these children did so against their will and against the wishes of their families, which implies Hamas has been using child slaves to build tunnels.

  • The Taliban is over-performing during this summer's offensive, gaining control of territory close to Kabul and inflicting casualties at a rate that Afghanistan's police and military can't sustain. There's speculation they may be able to gain effective control of the country without waiting for the U.S. to withdraw its combat troops.

  • Russia is installing its own people as leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic, replacing the locals from eastern Ukraine. The new “deputy prime minister,” for example, is Vladimir Antyufeyev, who has experience leading insurrections in Transdniestria (which split from Moldova) and South Ossetia/Abkhazia (which split from Georgia with Russian help).

  • A tanker carrying crude oil from the Kurdish region of Iraq arrived in Galveston for offloading. A new pipeline carried the oil from Iraq to Turkey; Iraq's central government (such as it is) considers such shipments to be smuggled. This shipment is worth about $100 million at current prices.

  • Boko Haram kidnapped the wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister.

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