Continued Intransigence

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker makes it clear.

Britain has still not proposed any workable alternatives to the Northern Ireland “backstop” within the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the EU said on Monday.

And

President Juncker underlined the commission’s continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made[.]

Juncker knows full well that the “backstop” is not just a deal-breaker, it’s a non-starter for the British. It demands that a core feature of the Brexit vote three years ago was so that Great Britain gets control of its own borders back, yet the “backstop” requires Great Britain to surrender its Irish border to the EU.  That can only be taken as a first step to dismantling Great Britain.

Personal Responsibility

Business executives lack it. Or at least those who sent a letter to members of the Senate demanding action on gun control.

The letter asks senators to pass legislation requiring background checks on gun sales and said failing to take action on the issue is unacceptable.

With no trace of irony, the letter insists

We are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country[.]

So you have to satisfy our responsibility for us.

Regulatory Capture

America’s automotive companies want ever stricter emissions standards.  Or so says Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund.

This, of course, is nonsense.

If car companies truly want stricter emission standards, they can do so without the cover of a government mandate.  Nothing is stopping them from setting and meeting their own stricter standards.  This is, after all, a (largely) free market economy, and it’s at the heart of a (largely) free nation.  Car companies can make their own decisions without Big Brother’s instruction.

Unions for Socialism

That’s the situation in Oregon, the new front-runner for socialism in the US, surpassing even California.

[T]he Oregon AFL-CIO wants voters to limit self-checkout kiosks in grocery stores.

The State’s Attorney General still has to sign off on the union’s ballot measure, ironically titled the Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act, but that’s a formality in a State that favors Antifa violence over law and order and actual protection of communities.

The union claims—and it’s serious—that

self-service checkouts add “to social isolation and related negative health consequences” for shoppers.

And

…contribute to retail workers feeling devalued….

Trust

Our individual liberty—and liberties—depend on a number of things: sovereignty of us citizens over our government; understanding that our rights and duties are inherent in us as gifts from our Creator and not grants from that government; the tools with which to enforce those rights and duties—free speech and religion, keeping and bearing arms, among others.  And an ability to trust one another.

Laura Ingraham addressed this peripherally.

The Second Amendment be damned. You see liberals don’t really trust regular people. They prefer a system where a small set of elites in Washington make decisions for everybody else. Including on issues of self-defense.

Facebook Agonizes

Facebook says in a public white paper that it’s confronting its commitment to protect user privacy while dealing with “giving” users the right to take their data where they choose—to a competitor social medium platform, for instance. Facebook is treating these two goals as though they conflict with each other, though.

Of course, they do not.

Facebook’s white paper on the matter has this, for instance:

We’ve heard calls—sometimes from the same stakeholder—both to enable greater data portability and to limit people’s ability to share their data with third parties….

Carrie Lam and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she’ll fully and formally withdraw her/People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s extradition bill completely.  She even issued a formal statement claiming that, among other things.  Many are touting this, and the other things, as major concessions to the demonstrators that have been in the streets of Hong Kong in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, for the last several months.

Those protestors have been demanding the bill’s formal and irrevocable withdrawal, Lam’s resignation, and an independent investigation into police misbehaviors during those protest demonstrations, among others things.

Tactically Sound?

Perhaps, but perhaps strategically disastrous.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the queen to prorogue the current parliament, and the queen agreed, in order to block it from blocking him from taking Great Britain out of the European Union on schedule 31 October without a deal in the likely event that the EU continues its intransigence in negotiating.  Prorogation is the formal end of an existing session of Parliament, and normally it’s done just prior to the beginning of the next session, to clear the decks for that session.

In Which the City of New York Might Get One Right

The city’s Department of Social Services, through a subordinate agency, is proposing a rule that would require those homeless residing free of charge in a city facility to save against a future in which they live in their own home.

The rule would mandate that residents deposit 30% of their earned income into a savings account that the city’s Department of Social Services would manage. Shelters residents would have access to the funds when they move into permanent housing.
“Our goal is to assist New Yorkers with saving in order to more effectively help them plan for the future and get back on their feet,” said a spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services….

Red Flag Laws, Again

Now The Wall Street Journal is beating the drum for red flag laws that would authorize seizure of weapons from anyone, and anyone associated with that one, that Government, or a Government-appointed/approved body deems a threat.

Consider one of the three cute anecdotes the WSJ cited via its drumbeat.

Police were tipped off by school officials that a 14-year-old boy had praised mass shootings. He used campus computers to search firearms and terms like “white power.” Taken to a psychiatrist, the student said he was joking.
The boy’s father owned a rifle and a pistol. A short-term red-flag order was obtained, and the two firearms were relinquished. After a hearing a one-year order was issued. [In all three anecdotes cited, the outcome was a “one-year order.”]