Child Abuse

We have children being separated from their parents as those parents are detained for their illegal crossing of our border, their illegal entry—some might say break-in—into our nation.  Some point out that many of those children, the ones who arrive unaccompanied, were callously separated from their parents by their own parents in their country of origin.  Others point out that many of those allegedly accompanied children are not members of a family unit but are simply pawns of drug and human traffickers being used to facilitate those traffickers’ illegal entry.  There are, though, many children/parent family units that have parents detained for their illegal entry and the children separated from them rather than being locking up, too.

Cynical Union

Recall President Donald Trump’s Executive Order limiting the amount of time public union employees can spend doing union business during their work day.

The American Federation of Government Employees has demurred and gone into court to seek an injunction blocking enforcement of the EO.  AFGE General Counsel David Borer insisted

We will not allow this or any other administration to trample on the Constitutional rights of federal workers[.]

This cynical claim is based on Borer’s insistence that his members’ freedom of association right is violated by the EO.

This, of course, is nonsense.

Heads Up

As the People’s Republic of China responds to President Donald Trump’s tariffs, motivated in part by the PRC’s cyber-theft of American technology and proprietary information and the PRC’s extortion of the same and its demand for backdoors into foreign business’ (including especially American) core software as a condition of doing business in the PRC, buckle up, indeed, as the article at the link above suggests.

The PRC will do far more than this, though, as it attempts to coerce the US in the pursuit of its Warring States strategy.

Non-NATO Defense Spending

President Donald Trump often decries Europe’s NATO nations for their lack of seriousness about their defense, and he zealously insists that they honor their commitment to spend 2% of their national GDP on defense.  It’s arguable that Trump could ease off (a little bit) and acknowledge the progress he’s made in getting Europe’s NATO members to boost their spending.

But only a little bit because those nations don’t appear to be stepping up in any serious way, as these numbers from a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed demonstrate.

Overall inflation-adjusted military spending by every NATO member excluding America grew 1.8% in 2015, 3.1% in 2016, and 4.8% last year.

What Hath Socialism Wrought

This image, from a Deutsche Welle article on Venezuela’s inflation rate—which last month reached 24,571% year-on-year—says it all.

The word drawn on the 100 bolivar note (and yes, it’s a real note, and it’s actually that big) translates to “hungry.”  In the context, it means more broadly, “a widespread, intense, and prolonged shortage of staple foods that a population suffers.”

Hungry indeed, too.  A bit over two pounds of meat cost about 2 million bolivars (or did once, daily inflation is running at 2.4%), or €16.9 or $20, against a surgeon’s monthly salary of not even 6 million bolivars.  Meat, not steak in particular.  That’s some expensive hamburger or shank cut.

Gauntlet Thrown Down

The members of the Group of Seven, just met in Canada last week, were invited to form a tariff-free trade zone by President Donald Trump.

no tariffs, no barriers…and no subsidies.

International trade doesn’t get much freer than that.

Will anyone in the G-7 have the courage to take Trump up on his offer—or to call his bluff, if that’s what they think it is?

Anyone?  Beuller?

Brexit Failure in the Offing?

Great Britain’s Labour Party is about to offer legislation that looks a great deal like it [emphasis added].

It shall be a negotiating objective of Her Majesty’s Government to ensure the United Kingdom has full access to the internal market of the European Union, underpinned by shared institutions and regulations, with no new impediments to trade and common rights, standards and protections as a minimum.

There’s very little difference between this and Remain.  Labour is suggesting Britain’s abject surrender in the Brexit negotiations with the Moghuls of Brussels.

Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Deal

“Senior European officials” are sad because the deal might be in jeopardy.  They even wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, worrying that

their efforts to save the Iranian nuclear accord by maintaining major trade and investment with Tehran are buckling in the face of planned US sanctions.

My heart bleeds.  These worthies shouldn’t be trying to trade with a terrorist-supporting nation bent on getting nuclear weapons.  Especially since Iran will use those weapons to fulfill its long-standing commitment to destroy Israel, and it will sell such weapons to its terrorist clients for them to use…on Europe as well as on us.

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.

Private Enterprise and Social Media

In one of The Wall Street Journal‘s frequent debate articles, this time about whether businesses should allow employees to use social media at work, a couple of comments made by the pro-use debater jumped out at me.

When I first began helping companies use Twitter and Facebook more than a decade ago, every organization started with this question: how can we use social media without compromising our security and privacy obligations?