Merit?

We don’t need no stinking merit.  That’s what the Progressive-Democratic Party in Pennsylvania says.

In May, two women were elected to the Progressive-Democratic State Committee.  Then the Committee said the election doesn’t matter.  They rejected the women, denied them their places on the committee.  The committee instead

[gave] the positions to men who garnered fewer votes. Believe it or not, Democrats are justifying this decision in the name of gender equity.

If Darrell Clarke and Noam Kugelmass, the two men who were gifted the seats resoundingly won by Judi Golding Baker and Mariel Martin, had a scintilla of grace, of self respect, of integrity, they’d have refused to accept the seats.  But….

A Sanctuary City Success

New York City is a sanctuary city.  There are more than eight million stories in the city. Here is one of them.

Within the three months, from January to mid-April this year, ICE prepared more than 440 detainers against aliens booked by NYPD or NYDOC. Nearly 40 individuals who were released from custody, reoffended and were again arrested for crimes by local law enforcement officers.

That’s a 9% repeat offense rate, and those repeats happen quickly.  Here are some of those releases.

A 43-year old man from China was released in March after being arrested for Criminal Possession Controlled Substance…, then re-arrested for Criminal Possession Controlled Substance…in April.

Offensive, Is It?

Recall that President Donald Trump has decided to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum on national security grounds, and that these tariffs impact Canadian (among other nations’) imports to the US.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds it offensive that Trump considers Canada a security threat to the US.

Really, he said that.

No, what’s offensive is Trudeau’s cynical distortion of the purpose of those tariffs.  The national security threat for us is our inability to produce our own steel and aluminum, not the steel and aluminum we might import.  Whether tariffs are the best way to encourage recovery of that ability can be debated, but it’s clearly self-sufficiency that’s our concern, not imports per se.

Cybersecurity

A quick thought on this threat to our personal financial wellbeing, our companies’ wellbeing, and our collective wellbeing.  The Wall Street Journal ran an article on the subject earlier in the week, and this bit jumped out at me [emphasis added].

To better understand how far we have to go in creating a cybersafe culture, consider this: if you were taking a tour through a nuclear plant, and there was a big red valve with a sign on it that said “Do not touch,” how many of you would turn it? None, I would guess. But in a phishing test conducted at a major financial-services firm, one of the test emails actually said: “This is a Phishing Test. Clicking the link below will cause harm to your computer.” At least one executive clicked it! When asked why, he said, “I was curious to see what it would do.”

Free Speech

…British style.  There is a trial in progress in Leeds (northern England, a bit up the road northeast of Manchester) concerning a

Muslim gang on trial for raping and grooming hundreds of victims, some as young as eleven.

Tommy Robinson, a British activist-journalist, was arrested and hauled off to prison for the heinous crime of reporting information about the defendants—public information, mind you.

British media are forbidden from reporting on certain trials….

The rationalization is that reporting might taint the jury.  Because some juries are more easily tainted than other juries on other trials.  Cue Bill the Cat.

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.

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.

More Mindsets

Iran says that not only are Germany, France, and Great Britain not doing enough to satisfy the demands it’s made as a quid pro quo for staying in the nuclear weapons deal.  All of the EU must pay some vig.  Here’s Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:

With the exit of the United States from the nuclear deal, the expectations of the Iranian public towards the European Union have increased….

That’s one mindset; unfortunately, it’s not unique to Iran: we exist, therefore, you owe.

Here’s another Iranian mindset:

The cascade of decisions by EU companies to end their activities in Iran makes things much more complicated[.]

A Tenth Circuit Speculator

The Institute for Justice summarized a 10th Circuit case regarding a car involved in an immediately prior weapons case, its driver, and a weapon thusly:

Aurora, CO, police run tags on car with broken tail light, discover the car was seized three weeks earlier in weapons-possession case and a man (a known gang member) associated with the car was arrested. They pull it over; the man is in it; they frisk him and find a gun. He’s charged with being a felon in possession. Suppress the evidence? No need, says the 10th Circuit. Though he was calm and compliant, officers were justified in patting him down to ensure their safety.
Dissent: The gov’t is going to use this decision to justify frisks in a much broader variety of circumstances than the ones here.