A Justice Misunderstands

The Supreme Court heard arguments the other day on an Ohio voter registration law.  That law removes voters from the roll if they haven’t voted over a two-year period and don’t respond to a follow-up notice from Ohio’s Secretary of State.

It’s a partisan case from the Left’s perspective: those opposing the law argue, with some justification, that those who live in urban regions (and who happen to vote Democratic) relocate more frequently than do those who live in the ‘burbs and out in the country (and who happen to vote Republican).  This would seem to put Democrats at a disadvantage in elections since they’re more likely to have not voted over a two-year period and not responded to the follow-up notice.

Privacy Innovation

The FBI’s management says it supports strong encryption, but out of the other side of their mouth they claim that the FBI’s

inability to access data [is] “an urgent public safety issue” that requires “significant innovation.”

Here we go again.  Heads up for FBI Director making plain what he’s now only hinting at: he wants a backdoor into our encryption so Government can enter whenever it takes a notion to.

FBI Director Chris Wray is seeking to reboot the privacy-versus-security debate surrounding law enforcement’s inability to access data on electronic devices protected by powerful encryption.

A Presidential Library

Ex-President Barack Obama (D) plans to build a Presidential library in Chicago, and he’s looking at a non-standard concept for his library.  The folks on the Left don’t like it, as exemplified by the Chicago Tribune‘s Ron Grossman.

It seems the proposed library has a test kitchen in it, in which FLOTUS’ views of proper nutrition can be explored.  There’s also supposedly room for a yoga center; although, that’s not defined in the architectural plans.  The horror.  How unpresidential.  How unlibraryish.  Grossman bleated

President Obama, is that how you want to be remembered? As the healthy-eating and meditation-advocating president?

Censorship

Three Leftist parties in Germany want to change—to “strengthen”—the nation’s online hate speech law: the Free Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the Left Party.  (FDP claims to be a libertarian-leaning, classical liberal party, but with this move, it exposes itself as being Modern Liberal.)

The current law requires social media companies to police themselves regarding posts someone—anyone—flags as offensive.  This is too much free speech, however.

[FDP General Secretary Nicola] Beer said Germany needed a law similar to the one the FDP proposed before Christmas that would give an “appropriately endowed authority” the right to enforce the rule of law online rather than give private companies the right to determine the illegality of flagged content.

The Obama White House, the Obama DoJ, and Hezbollah

Recall the Politico report on how then-President Barack Obama (D) and his Department of Justice killed an investigation into Hezbollah’s drug dealing because Obama was so desperate for a nuclear weapons deal—any nuclear weapons deal—for his legacy.

Now we’re seeing that Derek Maltz, ex-Special Agent-in-Charge of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, had briefed Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, on Hezbollah’s performance and on the depth of their drug empire’s penetration in the US.  Maltz said that Holder was “very alarmed” by the briefing, and Maltz also said that Holder “promised to set up meetings with national security officials and was almost always ‘supportive’ of his investigations”—and nothing happened.  There was no followup.

Facebook Revamp?

Christopher Mims had a piece on this, that Facebook MFWIC Mark Zuckerberg says he’s interested in doing.  Mims opened his article with an important question:

So here’s the multibillion-dollar question: is Mr Zuckerberg willing to sacrifice revenue for the well-being of Facebook’s two billion-plus users?

Unfortunately, his piece centered on the potentially addictive nature of Facebook (among other virtual, interactive social media).  Important as money is to running a business, and important as addiction is to handle, Mims missed a number of larger questions—which bear on addiction, but not exclusively so.

Porch Dogs

Some of you may be aware of the protests in Iran, protests that are growing in size and becoming subject to increasingly violent attempts at suppression by the Iranian government.  “Some of you” because the NLMSM isn’t talking much about the protests.

It turns out that Iranian women are playing a prominent leading role in those protests.

  • a young Iranian woman standing atop a container and shedding her hijab…while simultaneously waving it as a flag
  • a woman confronting security forces and proclaiming “Death to Khamenei” while crowds around her join in

A More Bipartisan Senate?

Senator Doug Jones (D, AL) was sworn in on Wednesday, and he claimed to be “starting fresh” and wanted to be the voice of reason.  Buried in that WSJ piece, though, was this unadorned comment by the piece’s author, Siobhan Hughes, and that is the point of this post:

Democratic leaders started 2017 expressing a desire to find common ground with Mr Trump, and ended the year so alienated from the legislative process….

A Caliphate Has Collapsed?

That’s what Renée Rigdon, Tristan Wyatt, and Karen Leigh would have us believe in their recent Wall Street Journal piece.

It’s true enough that the Daesh—that JV team of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) estimation—ran through the Iraqi “army” a few years ago, exploded through Syrian territory, and wound up controlling a significant fraction of Iraqi and Syrian land.  Their physical expansion was stopped in the immediacy of the situation only by Iraqi Kurds and the confused and fractious condition of Syria.  It’s also true that under President Donald Trump, a US-refurbished Iraqi army allied with those Kurds and local militias, with the support of an unleashed US-led coalition of air forces, recaptured nearly all of Iraqi territory in very short order while that same coalition of air forces supported a US-led coalition of rebels (albeit of at best dubious provenance) have disinfected most of Daesh-held Syria.

The EPA Failed Again

Quite apart from the pseudo-science that the Environmental Protection Agency’s previous Administrator, Gina McCarthy, so cynically used to rationalize her agency’s rules, and the frequent eschewing of the cost effectiveness analysis that’s supposed to underwrite or block Agency rules, the Obama administration personnel in management positions in that facility have routinely and for the duration ignored basic security rules and practices.  According to the EPA’s Inspector General,

Hundreds of contractors holding important information security jobs at the US Environmental Protection Agency have for years been working as high-level operators of its computer systems without the appropriate security background checks—a situation the agency is still scrambling to correct.