In Which the New York Times and the BBC Miss Again

It seems the women journalists in the pay of the BBC were being paid significantly less than their male colleagues, to the point that Carrie Gracie, BBC’s China Editor, resigned her position in protest (I’m citing a New York Times report about the BBC.  Why that’s important, rather than citing a BBC report directly, will come clear in a bit).  Gracie has returned to London, still a BBC journalist, but there she’ll be paid the same as her male colleagues.

And how did that equal pay come about, you might ask?

According to “the organization” (presumably a BBC mucky-muck or BBC mucky-muck’s spokesman),

The Supreme Court Gets One Wrong…Maybe

A murderous felon in Alabama was, on conviction in 1994, sentenced to life in prison by his jury, and that sentence was overridden by the presiding judge, who ordered his execution.  The man was scheduled to be executed Thursday, but the Supreme Court has stayed the execution pending its decision on whether to hear the man’s appeal of his execution.

The stay is consistent with the Court’s prior rulings striking State laws that allow judges to overrule juries and to impose death sentences where the juries decided otherwise.  In this regard, I agree: the jury is the proper sentencer where a man’s life is in the balance.

Distraction

Top Democrats are calling on Facebook and Twitter to investigate and release information behind potential Russian-linked accounts pushing for the release of a sealed congressional memo allegedly containing details on US government surveillance abuses.

It couldn’t possibly be that there really is a broad public hue and cry to that information released.  Us uninformed voters, denizens of fly-over country, couldn’t possibly know enough to demand the release on our own.

No, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D, CA), the two “top Democrats” in the quote, are desperate to have a distraction.  Us uninformed might find out too much.

Warrantless Searches of Cell Phone Data

The Supreme Court has a case before it, Carpenter v US (it heard oral argument Wednesday), concerning the 4th Amendment and the personal data of a defendant in the form of his cell phone location data.  The data were obtained from the cell phone company by police without first getting a search warrant.  There is precedent.

The high court reasoned then [in ’70s cases involving business records that banks and landline phone companies maintain about customer transactions and that the Supreme Court then reasoned police could seize without warrants] that individuals had voluntarily revealed their financial transactions or numbers they dialed to a third party—the bank or phone company—and so had forfeited any privacy interest in that information.

German Democracy

Germany’s President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whose position is less than that of the Chancellor’s (the current incumbent is Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union) but currently has a critical role, has let the cat out of the bag regarding the attitude of that nation’s political elite toward democracy and the people of the nation.

PRC Censorship

…is reaching into other nations to deprecate their free speech.

Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Australia’s Charles Sturt University has written a book, Silent Invasion, that details the breadth of influence the People’s Republic of China has achieved within Australia.  His publisher, Allen & Unwin, has decided to “delay” release of the book because the PRC is threatening “defamation action” against the publisher.

What defamation, exactly (and how does a private citizen defame a foreign government, anyway)?  Hamilton says his book is

“very factual, very deeply researched,”…the “first comprehensive national study of Beijing’s program of exerting influence on another nation.”

Free Speech, Left-Style. Again

The UC Berkeley student newspaper, The Daily Californian, accused Alan Dershowitz, in black and white, of having “blood on his hands” and of being “culpable for…Israeli atrocities”—of blood libel.  The Harvard law professor emeritus wanted to respond, but

The Daily Californian “absolutely, categorically” refused to print his reply to the op-ed.

As Dershowitz put it in a Fox & Friends segment,

The Daily Cal, as many college newspapers today, are totally one-sided.  You can say whatever you want about people like me if I’m pro-Israel. I don’t get to respond.

Free speech, indeed.

A Slip of the Mask

When President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was deleted for a few minutes last week, it looked like an isolated mistake by a customer service employee “on his last day at work,” as Twitter, Inc, representatives had it.

Maybe not.  Now, more information is coming to light about that incident.  Seconds thoughts are occurring about the likelihood of a single employee in such a position having the authority to delete an entire account.  There’s more, too.

YGTBSM

Another in the annals of.

The Louisiana court system, all the way up to the State’s Supreme Court, has upheld police denial of a (black) defendant’s demand for a lawyer during a police interrogation.  At one point during the interrogation, the suspect said, quite clearly IMNSHO,

If y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.

The Supreme Court said the suspect’s statement was too ambiguous to constitute a demand for a lawyer.  Justice Scott Chrichton, in concurring, actually wrote in all seriousness,

Mobile Encryption is a Huge Problem

That’s the position of FBI Director Christopher Wray.

To put it mildly, this [mobile device encryption] is a huge, huge problem.  It impacts investigations across the board.

Certainly, consumer-done encryption of our communications devices can temporarily hinder investigations of the criminals who also use this encryption.  But as the FBI demonstrated regarding an encrypted cell phone involved in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, its initial claims notwithstanding, the encryption can be broken without the cooperation of the device’s owner.