The PRC and Facial Recognition

The People’s Republic of China is moving “beyond” the use of smart phones for making on-the-spot retail payments, starting to supplant that with facial recognition—with personal images tied to personal financial accounts.

Ant Financial Services Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd, rivals that operate, respectively, Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s two largest mobile-payments networks, are competing for dominance in the next stage of China’s cashless society. Each is racing to install its own branded facial-recognition screens at retail points-of-sale all over the country, marketing the screens as a way to speed up sales and improve efficiency.

Green Cow Gas

…or something.  The Wall Street Journal opined Monday on the alleged hypocrisy of California’s Progressive-Democrats on the matter of going carbon-neutral in a shade over a decade.

California has plowed billions of dollars into green energy to wean the state off fossil fuels. But now progressives are complaining that biofuel producers are milking government subsidies intended to help dairy farmers cut emissions. Here is another illustration of the left’s anti-carbon contradictions.

The Editors went on in that vein, describing those Progressive-Democrats’ dismay over two companies thoroughly dominating the cow manure and flatulence emissions carbon credits market, even taking advantage of California’s laws governing those emissions.

Regulatory Capture

…and campaign finance hypocrisy.  Regulatory capture is where companies subject to this or that regulatory body are large enough and financially successful enough to…influence…their regulators and guide the nature and scope of the regulations to which they, and their competitors, are subject.

The most recent presidential campaign filings show that [Senator Elizabeth, D, MA] Warren and [Senator, I, VT (or D, depending on which spin is current] Bernie Sanders—who has called for ramping up antitrust enforcement and taking on the big tech companies—have each attracted large amounts of contributions from people connected to Google and other tech companies.

Flip Flops

The Wall Street Journal concerned itself with Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s flip flop surrender on the question of abortion rights and the Hyde Amendment.  I have some thoughts on that.

Joe Biden’s best claim to the Democratic presidential nomination is that he’s a moderate liberal who can pull centrist votes from Donald Trump.

?? Biden himself has never made this claim during the present campaign. He led off his campaign by saying he was the most Progressive of all his fellow candidates.

That’s a non sequitur [the premise abortion rights are dependent on zip code]. The existence of a right doesn’t assume the government’s obligation to pay for it.

Alphabet Censorship

They’re at it again.  This time, it’s Alphabet’s YouTube, owned through Alphabet’s subsidiary Google that’s inflicting censorship.

YouTube has blocked some British history teachers from its service for uploading archive material related to Adolf Hitler, saying they are breaching new guidelines banning the promotion of hate speech.

Alphabet restored the censored data, but only after it had gotten caught in its censorship and the ensuing uproar got too uncomfortable.

Alphabet’s censorship was because the material consisted of

content that promotes hatred or violence against members of a protected group.

Yeah—the protected group here was Alphabet’s censors.

Rule By Law

The House Progressive-Democrats insist that they, in the words of Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D, MA),

will not allow this president and his administration to turn a blind eye to the rule of law[.]

Current House rules regarding subpoenas issued to Executive Branch personnel that those personnel do not comply with must go to a full House floor vote in order for enforcement in Federal court to be sought.  That’s not fast enough or powerful enough to suit the Progressive-Democrat leadership.  It also exposes Progressive-Democrats from competitive districts to the risk of losing in the 2020 election.

Nicknames

Maybe President Donald Trump has selected the wrong nickname for Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden.  Trump calls him “Sleepy Joe.”

It took the former vice president all of one day before he caved last night on the Hyde Amendment. Never mind that his more liberal rivals were using it to taunt him. Never mind that the press was overwhelmingly relying on critiques from abortion rights advocates and portraying Biden’s stance as a moral failing.
He had taken a stance, the same stance he’s had for decades, as a matter of principle. And then he melted.

Another Reason

…to not have these things in our homes.

According to internal documents seen Wednesday by local media, German interior ministers are considering a proposal that would allow data from speech assistants to be legally permissible as evidence for the prosecution of crimes.

“Speech assistants”—is that what the kids are calling these things?  The speech assistants to which those German interior ministers refer are “smart” home devices like Alexa, Siri, smart TVs, presumably Cortana, and on and on—any device we allow in our naivete into our homes—that listen to our every word, every sound we sigh, and records the most current of them.

Tariffs on Mexico

There is some hue and cry over President Donald Trump’s threatened tariff on Mexico in an effort to get the Mexican government to take seriously its role in the crisis on our common border.

Critics of the tariffs, including those within the administration, have said the ratification of the pact would be threatened by the tariffs.

There’s no threat to ratification of the USMCA from these tariffs. There is a threat from the Progressive-Democrats who hate the treaty separately from this.  However, the lack of threat is illustrated by Mexico; since the tariff threat, that government has said it still intends to ratify the treaty.

Rewriting History

Here is an example of the level of integrity of the men reigning over the People’s Republic of China.

Thirty years ago, a man stood in front of a column of tanks, halting their hulking passage from Tiananmen Square a day after the bloodshed of June 4.

“Tank man” images are ruthlessly excised from Chinese social media, according to monitoring services.

Now the Chinese government is seeking to exert the same sort of control over how China’s history is seen in the rest of the world.