Battle Against Hate Speech?

Bob Pearson, co-author of Countering Hate and CIO of W2O Group says that AI is able to identify hate speech today.

All human beings follow patterns online.  You can see what language, content, channel, and people matter to them. You can see which words trigger information seeking, which language is most associated with hate topics or sites, which people are the most important influencers and you can see a range of behavioral characteristics.

Foolishness of Zero Tolerance

…or of intolerance; the two are interchangeable terms in this context.  This context is the overreaction of school management and local police departments to remarks concerning “threats” to schools.

Gina Gobert’s 12-year-old daughter was detained overnight at a police station in Oakdale, LA, after allegedly talking to schoolmates about a social-media post she said she received that threatened violence against the school.

School management, it seems, decided the girl had received no such threat and turned her over to the police, who decided to charge the child with “terrorizing.”

And this:

“Special Prosecutor”

The 9th Circuit has appointed one to “investigate” President Donald Trump’s pardon of ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio last summer.  This was done in response to the fiction offered the court by the Perkins Coie law firm that the pardon, an explicitly named power of the President under Article II, Section 2, is somehow unconstitutional and a violation of due process.

Never mind that the due process—to the extent this…claim…is relevant to the matter of pardons—was supplied by the prior trial and conviction of Arpaio, a trial without which there would be no pardon to grant.

From the DNC’s Lawsuit

Recall that the Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, the Russian Federation, Wikileaks, and several of their brothers and uncles over the hack of DNC emails and the DNC’s loss of the 2016 elections.

Here, via The Wall Street Journal, is a brief excerpt to the DNC’s filing along with my perhaps rude comments.

V. THE SIGNIFICANT HARM INFLICTED UPON PLAINTIFF

135. The illegal conspiracy inflicted profound damage upon the DNC. The timing and selective release of the stolen materials prevented the DNC from communicating with the electorate on its own terms. These selective releases of stolen material reach a peak immediately before the Democratic National Convention and continued through the general election.

A DNC Lawsuit

The Tom Perez and Keith Ellison-led Democratic National Committee is suing the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks, claiming the three acted to mess with the 2016 elections.

Bring it.

I have two comments on the suit.  One is, admittedly, purely cynical.  The Trump party should refuse any attempt to settle the suit.  Instead, they should force the thing into court and through all appeals brought by the DNC, and they should use every hour of any time periods allowed to produce this or that document, brief, what-have-you for the court.  Use up the DNC’s money.

The Comey Memos

The memos can be read here.  Aside from all the commentary on the memos’ content, a couple of other things jump out at me.

One is the level of classification: SECRET/NOFORN.  Comey noted at their start that he was unsure of the memos’ classification, so he marked them SECRET and invited his addressees to correct that as required.  One or more of them considered NOFORN—nor for foreign viewing, even if otherwise cleared to the level of secrecy; this is an addendum that gets added to unclassified material, too, on occasion—to be a suitable addition.  Reading around the redactions, this seems an obvious need.

A Teachers Union Strike

There have been teachers union strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and now there’s one set to go off later this week in Arizona.  Readers know my disdain for union strikes generally: they’re nothing but legalized extortion—”nice business you got here.  Be too bad if something were to happen to it.  Like, say, it’s destroyed because nobody works here anymore.”  It isn’t possible to negotiate when the other party is sticking a gun in your ear—even if it’s “just” a metaphorical gun.

But it’s especially despicable when it’s a teachers union strike.  These persons are using children as hostages to back up their extortion.  And the Arizona one is all about ego and hurt feelings.

Progressive-Democratic Party Intransigence

Leaving aside Senator Rand Paul’s (R, KY) obstructiveness, the Progressive-Democratic Party Senators are opposing, as a bloc, Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State.  As The Wall Street Journal put it Wednesday,

Their new standard seems to be that any nominee who agrees with the elected President is disqualified.

And

What a message that would send to America’s enemies as President Trump prepares for his North Korea summit, decides on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, and confronts a hostile Russia. Democrats say they don’t trust Mr Trump, but in denying him senior advisers they make it more likely he will govern by himself. Mark it down as one more example that hatred for Mr Trump has caused many of his opponents to abandon rational judgment.

It Still Is

The Supreme Court is hearing a case, South Dakota v Wayfair Inc, wherein South Dakota is looking to overturn a generation-old ruling that exempts out of state retailers from State sales taxes unless the retailers also have a physical presence in the State.  I wrote about one aspect of the matter here among other places.

Here’s another, more critical aspect of the matter [emphasis added].

In a 1992 mail-order catalog case [Quill Corp v North Dakota], the court held that, absent congressional approval, states could impose tax-collection duties only on retailers with a “physical presence” within their borders. Congress, with its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, was the place to balance state revenue needs with burdens on business, the court said at the time.

Nonsense

Germany wants to be excused from American sanctions against Russia, sanctions that were imposed over Russia’s misbehaviors.  The misbehaviors include meddling in our elections, and Russia’s continued efforts to meddle in our upcoming elections.

Germany does a lot of business with Russia. Trade between the two countries rose to €54.5 billion ($67.4 billion) last year from €45 billion in 2016, despite increasingly stringent sanctions, and German companies have invested more than €20 billion in Russia in recent years.