Limit FISA Surveillance?

Certainly, the process is beset with vast, and serious, problems.

Mr [DoJ Inspector General] Horowitz’s staff reviewed a sample from a recent five-year period, October 2014 to September 2019, during which the eight FBI field offices applied for more than 700 surveillance warrants on US persons. Each of the reviewed files contained errors, inconsistencies and omissions. After reviewing the report, the FISA court’s Chief Judge James E Boasberg issued a rare public order. He told the government to undertake steps to ensure the accuracy of FISA applications. Yet inaccuracy isn’t the only problem. The use of FISA against a US citizen presents a fundamental threat to civil liberties. It essentially suspends the Constitution.

An Expansionist Germany

Not military expansion, but a more insidious one: legal expansion.

The German government must come up with a new law regulating its secret services, after the country’s highest court [Federal Constitutional Court] ruled that the current practice of monitoring telecommunications of foreign citizens at will violates constitutionally-enshrined press freedoms and the privacy of communications.

And:

The key legal question was whether foreign nationals in other countries were covered by Germany’s constitution….

Why, yes, yes they are. Because German sovereignty reaches deep inside other nations’ borders, other nations’ legal and political jurisdictions, overrides those nations’ own sovereignty. Germany’s laws not only apply outside German borders, they apply inside other nations’ borders.

Usages

The Associated Press has decided, from the depths of it Politically Correct garbage can, that “mistress” ought not be used anymore. Instead, folks should use “companion” or “lover” instead.

This means, of course, that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, must be a companion to the Dark. Or maybe the Dark Lover.

A woman can no longer be Mistress of Ceremonies. Is it companions or lovers that ceremonies and rites have?

Nor can a woman be Mistress of her own home. No, the lady of the house must be her husband’s companion. Or lover. Either way, she’s no longer…mistress…of her fate, but merely an object for the man of the house.

Time for a New Plan

That’s what Dr Marty Makary, Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says.  Broad lockdowns might have been justified at the outset of the present Wuhan Virus situation, but new information has arisen.

Since that time, we have data that has taught us that this infection is associated with public transit, with density, with mass gatherings, with city-to-city travel and it is associated with climate[.]

And

What we do know, [is that] there are safe ways to conduct activities in society if we use certain precautions and we probably need a targeted approach where we find areas where there is either an outbreak or an ongoing increase in cases, and use some of the more aggressive strategies in that particular location.

Trade Needs

In an article about, among other things, the People’s Republic of China’s attempt to extort Australia into sitting down and shutting up about the PRC’s role in the Wuhan Virus’ spread across Earth, David Thomas, a consultant who for several decades has advised Australian businesses on investing in the PRC, said this:

The world is going to need China’s capital, manufacturing, and consumption power when this is all over.

That’s so wrong it’s foolish. We’re discovering that now, and after the Wuhan Virus situation has been dealt with from medical and economic perspectives, that we can’t afford to be very economically involved in the PRC.

It’s a Start

But it can’t possibly be the final answer; it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has issued the final rule regarding college/university sexual harassment complaints and how colleges/universities must handle them. Along the way, DeVos revoked with finality the Obama DoEd rule that eliminated the rights of the accused.

It allows both the accused and accuser to submit evidence and participate in cross-examination in live proceedings, and both parties can also appeal a school’s ruling. Victims-rights advocates say the provision for cross-examinations could traumatize those alleging misconduct and potentially keep them from filing complaints at all.
It also allows institutions to choose one of two standards of evidence—”clear and convincing,” or the lower “preponderance of the evidence,” which just requires a greater than 50% likelihood of wrongdoing—as long as they apply the standard evenly for all cases

Education Standards

A St Paul, MN, public schools educator helping teachers decried insistence that consistent standards be applied to students and their school performance.

A child living in poverty with a single, working parent, little support, marginal technology, and a spotty Wi-Fi connection cannot be held to the same standard as a child of a well-educated family, whose parents are working from home, with ample technological devices, high-speed connectivity and support.

Of course, he can. The child either has mastered the material and is qualified to move on, or he has not. An honestly assigned grade is an index of the level of mastery.

Judicial Abuse

The Wall Street Journal has laid out the present abuse. DC Circuit nominee Justin Walker is up for confirmation hearings this week.  Now recall how the so-called watchdog of judicial ethics, the Codes of Conduct Committee tried to get potential judges disqualified from their nominations for the apostasy of belonging to the Federalist Society. There was considerable blowback over the Committee’s draft rule that would have affected the bar: 210 appellate and district judges signed a letter to the Committee demurring from the rule.

Control of the Internet

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the American manager of Internet domains and Domain Name Service under contract to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the globally agreed agency responsible for the global Internet. It had been about to sell the Internet domain .org to a private enterprise.

The .org registry is a database of more than ten million websites managed since 2003 by the nonprofit Internet Society. The group decided .org could be better served by a company that could invest returns back into the service.

The sale would have been for $1.1 billion, which ICANN could have put to good use, too.

Micromanagement

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has published a list of activities he deems permissible for Californians to engage in while they’re outdoors.

Specific activities, carefully enumerated. Not principles of (social distancing) behaviors, particular behaviors.

Activities Newsom will allow [scroll down to Outdoor recreation] include

  • badminton—singles, mind you, doubles are too many
  • BMX biking—but not just pedaling around neighborhood
  • gardening—again, singles. Your kids or spouse aren’t allowed to help
  • car-washing—here, too, no spousal or kid help. And if it’s a kid chore, he’s on his own
  • tree climbing—unspecified as to whether a boost up is allowed