Yes and No

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) wants to break up Facebook, and in the meantime, she wants Facebook to shut down free speech the speech of those of whom she disapproves—especially political ads posted to Facebook (for a fee charged by Facebook) by Republicans and Conservatives.  Zuckerberg’s response?

Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg wrote that the company does not believe its role is to “prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny.”

In Which Zuckerberg is Right

Attorney General William Barr has taken up ex-FBI Director James Comey’s battle for government backdoors into private citizens’ encrypted private messages.  Apple MFWIC Tim Cook won a similar fight regarding iPhone passwords and a demand that government should be allowed backdoors into those, and Comey’s FBI was shown to have been dissembling about that difficulty by the speed with which a contractor the FBI hired successfully broke into an iPhone the FBI had confiscated.

Now Barr has broadened the fight, demanding Facebook give Government backdoors into Facebook’s planned rollout of encryption for its messaging services.  He wants Facebook, too, to hold off on its rollout until Government is satisfied it has such backdoors.  Barr’s cynically misleading plaint includes this tearjerker:

An Elizabeth Warren Demand

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) has begun issuing her orders to our private business executives.  And she’s not even the Progressive-Democratic Party nominee for the office, much less the President [bold face emphasis added].

I write in regard to the Business Roundtable’s (BRT) new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation issued on August 19, 2019. … I write for information about the tangible actions you intend to take to implement the principles, including whether, to make good on your commitment, you will implement the steps laid out in the Accountable Capitalism Act I plan to reintroduce in the coming weeks.

In Which Alphabet may be Getting One Thing Right

Alphabet’s Google subsidiary is developing a new Internet protocol, and competitors are worried that the protocol would mak[e] it harder for others to access consumer data. Some thoughts on that below.  Congress is concerned, too, and its “antitrust investigators” are looking into the matter.

A Chinese Firewall

…erected by the European Court of Justice.  The ruling is a partial victory for Alphabet’s Google subsidiary in a “right to be forgotten” case brought by Google as it appealed a fine imposed by the French watchdog, the National Commission for Computing and Liberties, which wanted Google to delete all references worldwide to personal data an EU citizen wanted “forgotten.”

The ECJ ruled that the EU’s “right” applied only within the EU—the partial victory.  However, it added that

Continued Intransigence

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker makes it clear.

Britain has still not proposed any workable alternatives to the Northern Ireland “backstop” within the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the EU said on Monday.

And

President Juncker underlined the commission’s continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made[.]

Juncker knows full well that the “backstop” is not just a deal-breaker, it’s a non-starter for the British. It demands that a core feature of the Brexit vote three years ago was so that Great Britain gets control of its own borders back, yet the “backstop” requires Great Britain to surrender its Irish border to the EU.  That can only be taken as a first step to dismantling Great Britain.

Personal Responsibility

Business executives lack it. Or at least those who sent a letter to members of the Senate demanding action on gun control.

The letter asks senators to pass legislation requiring background checks on gun sales and said failing to take action on the issue is unacceptable.

With no trace of irony, the letter insists

We are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country[.]

So you have to satisfy our responsibility for us.

Regulatory Capture

America’s automotive companies want ever stricter emissions standards.  Or so says Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund.

This, of course, is nonsense.

If car companies truly want stricter emission standards, they can do so without the cover of a government mandate.  Nothing is stopping them from setting and meeting their own stricter standards.  This is, after all, a (largely) free market economy, and it’s at the heart of a (largely) free nation.  Car companies can make their own decisions without Big Brother’s instruction.

Unions for Socialism

That’s the situation in Oregon, the new front-runner for socialism in the US, surpassing even California.

[T]he Oregon AFL-CIO wants voters to limit self-checkout kiosks in grocery stores.

The State’s Attorney General still has to sign off on the union’s ballot measure, ironically titled the Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act, but that’s a formality in a State that favors Antifa violence over law and order and actual protection of communities.

The union claims—and it’s serious—that

self-service checkouts add “to social isolation and related negative health consequences” for shoppers.

And

…contribute to retail workers feeling devalued….

Trust

Our individual liberty—and liberties—depend on a number of things: sovereignty of us citizens over our government; understanding that our rights and duties are inherent in us as gifts from our Creator and not grants from that government; the tools with which to enforce those rights and duties—free speech and religion, keeping and bearing arms, among others.  And an ability to trust one another.

Laura Ingraham addressed this peripherally.

The Second Amendment be damned. You see liberals don’t really trust regular people. They prefer a system where a small set of elites in Washington make decisions for everybody else. Including on issues of self-defense.