The FBI and Backdoors

Recall that the FBI has long wanted government-accessible backdoors into our personal but encrypted communications.  “Trust us,” FBI leadership assures us, “we wouldn’t misuse that access; we’ll only use for ‘criminal’ investigations, and only with government authorization.”  And they’ve claimed in support of that wide-eyed innocence that they can’t break into over 7,000 cell phones in the pursuit of criminal investigations.  Current FBI Director Christopher Wray even put the number at over 7,700.

However.

On Tuesday, the FBI told PCMag that a programming error resulted in a “significant overcounting” of the encrypted devices. “The FBI is currently conducting an in-depth review of how this over-counting previously occurred,” the agency said in a statement.

Believe a Woman

Last weekend, a woman accused a Texas State Trooper of sexually assaulting her during a traffic stop.  Sherita Dixon-Cole

alleged that after she failed a field sobriety test, Hubbard had “suggested she could go home in exchange for sexual favors,” according to [Dixon-Cole’s lawyer Lee] Merritt’s initial press release. Dixon-Cole said that after she refused, she was taken to Hubbard’s police car where she was “forcefully groped, fondled, and vaginally penetrated during a prolonged arrest.”

She went on to say Hubbard continued his sexual advances on the way to the police station, even alleging that he offered to take her to a remote location where she could provide sexual favors in exchange for her release from custody.

Confusion, or….

The NLMSM has its collective panty in a twist over US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s use of her twitter account.

Or they’re manufacturing a paranoia about her use, claiming she’s campaigning for the Presidency by using her personal Twitter account for Official Business.  Here’s what Politico offered as examples of this misuse.

That can’t possibly be a personal opinion shared with her personal followers.  Nope—that’s Official Business.  She’s instructing staff with that expression.

And this:

Yeah, that’s an Official Instruction to…someone…all right.

And this:

Because any expression of sympathy and commiseration and encouragement can only be Official Business.

A Mueller Interrogation

It’s well enough known that Special Counselor Robert Mueller is anxious to interrogate President Donald Trump as part of Mueller’s “investigation” of Russian interference in our 2016 election and of the Trump campaign’s alleged role in colluding with the Russians in that interference.  Trump’s counselor, Rudy Giuliani, says that Trump should not agree to the interrogation unless and until Mueller details the degree of DoJ spying on the Trump campaign, including what the FBI’s planted “informant,” Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper (who may be only one of two or three such plants), was doing and what he passed on to his FBI handlers.

Journalistic Integrity

I got an online newspaper survey (requested by a highly respected paper), and one of the questions opened a text box into which I was asked to enter my thoughts on subjects to be addressed by the paper’s contributors.  This is my list of topics.

  1. ID of “anonymous” sources
  2. Explanation of why [the paper] has walked away from journalistic standard of corroborating “anonymous” sources with at least two on the record sources [Note: this paper is not unique; the standard has been ignored by all news media]
  3. Explanation of why we readers should believe “anonymous” sources actually exist

How Bad is a Vocational Education?

Especially compared with a formal college education?  Oren Cass, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had some thoughts on that in a recent Wall Street Journal piece.

Elevating vocational education, and prioritizing its students, must begin with a substantial reshaping of American high schools. Vocational education will not succeed so long as culture and public policy consign it to second-class status—a dumping ground for students who interfere with what school districts consider their real mission, college prep.

They Shouldn’t Let…

…the door hit them in the fanny on the way out.

About a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the tech giant’s involvement in Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence, Gizmodo reports.

Maven is a DoD project for developing an AI capability to quickly process vast amounts of drone-generated data for human decision-makers.  Such a capability, if successfully developed, would enhance our war-fighting—and especially our war-winning—capability.

These ex-employees should consider their view of citizenship in light of their view that the US should not be allowed to take steps to defend itself.

Offensive

Three dentists in North Carolina dressed up in traditional clothing of an American Indian, a Japanese, and a Scot in order to run an advertisement under the catchphrase “Everyone smiles in the same language!”

Oh, the hoo-raw.  SJWs crawled out through their baseboard holes on this one, proclaiming the ad to be “ignorant and offensive” and racist.

No.  What’s ignorant and offensive is the naked racism of manufacturing a beef where there is none for the sole purpose of supporting the professional victim industry.

Felons and Voting

In general, felons have no voting rights—it’s part of their punishment for having committed their crimes.  There also are growing movements to restore voting rights to felons—they are, after all, US citizens.  (I’m eliding here felons who aren’t citizens; they have no voting rights to restore.)

It’s a debate worth having, but a couple of misunderstandings need to be cleared up first.  These misunderstandings are illustrated in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

As the midterm elections draw closer, Dameon Stackhouse is eager to cast a ballot, but he can’t under New Jersey law because he remains on parole after more than a decade behind bars for second-degree robbery.

It’s Not Your Company

Seattle wants to charge a head tax on businesses operating in the city, a tax whose amount would be just what it sounds like—a tax based on the number of hours worked by each employee the business has on its payroll.

In response to the proposal, Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, paused construction on a 17-story office tower in downtown Seattle.

In response to Amazon, the Left in Seattle, spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union-backed activist gang—Working Washington—wants Amazon charged with a felony.