Argument by Non Sequitur

Kentucky’s State House of Representatives passed, by a large margin (69-20) a bill that would outlaw most abortions, contingent on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade.

If passed by the State’s Senate (expected) and signed by the Governor (also expected), it’ll have legal problems, though.  Major ones will be what constitutes “overturning,” how an actual overturn would be discriminated from serious modification of Roe‘s ruling, and since Roe is medical technology oriented, a restatement of the threshold for viability.

Still, though, the arguments for and against the bill are instructive.

State Congressman James Tipton (R), speaking for the bill, put the matter starkly:

Fines and Negotiations

The FTC and Facebook seem to agree that Facebook messed up with the way it handles user personal and private data; now they’re dickering over the fine to be assessed.

It [that fine, rumored to be in the multiple billions of dollars] would be the largest fine the FTC has ever imposed on a technology company, although the two have yet to settle on the exact number….

What is there to negotiate, though? Assess the fine, and if Facebook wants to negotiate argue the matter, let it do so in open court in an appeal of the fine.  That, unlike these kinds of “negotiations,” will occur in public, in front of customers and potential customers, with all that’s implied by the implications of pre-trial discovery results and public testimony.

Two Examples of Gun Control

In January, a Houston homeowner successfully defended himself and his family against a large, violent home invasion—with a gun.

Authorities say the homeowner defended himself when the suspects entered the home. Following the shooting, the suspects fled from the scene.

At another scene, a vehicle was found about two blocks from the shooting, where a man was found dead in the backseat.
Authorities say that out of five people shot, three of them died. All were suspects in the alleged home invasion.

In Florida this week, another homeowner successfully defended his property—with a gun.

Facebook and Trust

…seem, increasingly, a contradiction in terms.

See this image, from The Sun via Fox News, below.

The girl pictured has a laryngeal cleft, a hole between her larynx and her esophagus, which means she can’t eat normally; food or drink can pass into her airway.  The tube through her nose passes down her esophagus, bypassing that hole; it’s the only way she can take sustenance.

The girl’s mother tried to post the image on Facebook, not to garner sympathy, but to raise general awareness of the hassles and hazards of laryngeal clefts, and to raise money for her daughter’s necessary surgery.

Privacy in a Technological World

In a ruling rejecting an application for a search warrant, Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore, operating in the Northern District of California, had this remark in particular.

Citizens do not contemplate waiving their civil rights when using new technology, and the Supreme Court has concluded that, to find otherwise, would leave individuals “at the mercy of advancing technology.”

Encouragingly, this remark also cited (via the quote in the remark above) a Supreme Court ruling, Carpenter v United States [citations omitted]:

A Magistrate Judge Gets One Right

Of course, the Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore’s ruling can be overturned on appeal by a District judge in the Northern District of California in which she operates, or on appeal on the ruling’s way up the appellate chain.  Nevertheless, her ruling stands, for now.

In its essence Westmore ruled that, even with an otherwise valid search warrant, a person cannot be compelled to unlock a digital device like a cell phone with that person’s biometrics—a fingerprint, a face, or an iris, for example.

California Has Banned Insurance for Car Drivers

As everyone (apparently except the California Insurance Commission members) knows, insurance is the transfer of risk and fiscal responsibility for its realization from one party to another for an agreed fee that’s commensurate with the risk and expected cost being transferred.  The California Insurance Commission has eliminated that for California drivers, mandating that driving coverage be provided independently of the risk transferred.

California has banned auto insurance companies from considering gender when setting insurance rates for private passenger cars.
The Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation went into effect on Jan 1, 2019.

A Judge’s Error

The Trump administration had expanded rules allowing employers to opt out of being required to provide birth control coverage to their employees at no cost to the employees, so long as the opting out was convincingly based on religious or moral grounds.  Federal District Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California has issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the expansion while an underlying lawsuit against the expansion is underway.

Ordinarily, blocking an enforcement while the underlying case proceeds is no big deal, but this one is just plain wrong.  Gilliam based his ruling in significant part on the premise that

Dismantling Great Britain

The EU is pressing its effort to punish Great Britain for the latter’s effrontery in leaving the EU.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has reiterated that the EU finds a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland “unacceptable.” He warned of “serious damage” in the event of a no deal scenario.

Because the EU wants to split Northern Ireland away from Great Britain.

No threat there.

Democrat Obstructionism

Extending their perpetuation of the existing partial government shutdown, now the Progressive-Democrats won’t even allow the Senate to function.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked the chamber from considering bipartisan foreign-policy legislation in a bid to pressure Republicans to reopen the government….

This is of a piece with their “rebuttal” of President Donald Trump’s Oval Office speech calling for negotiations on a border wall and border security generally, wherein the Progressive-Democrats reiterated their refusal to negotiate at all, and they denied the facts presented regarding our border situation while cynically declining to present their own facts.