We Don’t Get Silicon Valley

That’s what Facebook MFWCI Mark Zuckerberg said in Tuesday’s hearing in front of the Senate.  On the other hand,

Senator Gary Peters (D, MI) asked whether Facebook is using the microphones of users’ phones to listen in to what they are doing and saying—a charge the company has denied repeatedly in recent months.

And given the level of integrity Facebook managers have shown over the years, of course we should believe their denials. Right.  Never mind that that’s an easily done exploit that hackers have done on and off (pardon the pun) for years.  Right along with playing untoward games with the video cameras on our laptops.

A Gordian Knot Solution

Sometimes blunt instruments are the appropriate ones.

DoJ, while the ink was still drying on its promise of transparency and cooperation with Congress regarding the House’s Intelligence Committee investigations, welched on that promise.  Regarding the electronic communication—memo—that launched the counterintelligence investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia,

Chairman Devin Nunes (R, CA) received an official response from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd.

Upon inspection, however, [the response] looks more like an effort to distract attention from Mr Boyd’s refusal even to mention Mr Nunes’ main request of FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“White Privilege”

In an op-ed for Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, Zachary Wood, in the course of decrying “white privilege” as an excuse for not engaging in serious discussions to address racism, made this claim:

Does white privilege exist? Sure. If you’re white and you excel at academic or other cognitively demanding endeavors, for example, the light of your success is never dimmed by speculation about whether you benefited from affirmative action.

While his heart is in the right place, he misunderstands the particulars.  This isn’t white privilege (even assuming such a nonsensical thing could be taken seriously). The stigma attaching here is the result of the racism and sexism inherent in affirmative action programs.

Social Media Censorship

Facebook’s management is making some moves in the name of its version of transparency.

Facebook Inc will soon require that advertisers wanting to run ads on hot-button political issues go through an authorization process first, a move the social network hopes will prevent the spread of misinformation across its platform.

And

In October, Facebook unveiled a similar authorization requirement for election-related ads. The latest move will cover “issue ads”—those that don’t specifically mention a candidate but weigh in on a divisive issue, including during an election campaign.

Somebody Else

Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel, who had originally intended to arm his students with river rocks so they could throw them at intruders and thereby resist a mass shooting, has altered the plan.  He’s decided to add armed—that is, with firearms—security to his district’s protection technique.  Helsel claimed that the publicity driven by social media and the resultant NLMSM’s attention drove him to the change.

This unfortunate circumstance has increased our concern regarding the possibility that something may happen because of the media attention.

Federal Student Loans and State Regulators

The Trump administration has told States to stop regulating companies that service Federal student loans; that’s the Federal government’s job.  The States have demurred.

The whole thing could—and should—be made moot by the Federal government getting out of the student loan business altogether.  The Feds have no business here; it’s a private enterprise arena, and the States should be free to regulate, or not, to their hearts’ contents on intrastate student lending.  The Feds’ only role here should be to regulate Commerce…among the several States and not to compete in that commerce.

Another Leak

The Wall Street Journal reported another leak concerning Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s pseudo-investigation of all things related to supposed collusion by President Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia [emphasis added].

A meeting in the Seychelles weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration between a Russian executive and a top Republican donor close to the Trump transition team has drawn the scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller, who has heard testimony that appears to conflict with an account of the same meeting given earlier to House investigators, according to people familiar with the matter.

Specifically,

A District Judge Gets One Right

Senior Federal District Court Judge for the District of Maryland Roger Titus has ruled that President Donald Trump’s wind-down of DACA was entirely legal and proper.  While that’s an outcome agreeable to me, my interest is in his reasoning for upholding Trump’s withdrawal of the Obama DHS Memorandum creating DACA.

As disheartening or inappropriate as the president’s occasionally disparaging remarks may be, they are not relevant to the larger issues governing the DACA rescission. The DACA Rescission Memo is clear as to its purpose and reasoning, and its decision is rationally supported by the administrative record.

And

A Mayor and Violent Illegal Aliens

Some numbers are in following an ICE raids in northern California last week that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned her illegal alien constituents was coming before the raids went in [emphasis added].

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials announced this week that the four-day raid led to the arrest of 232 illegal immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Of those 232, 180 “were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed” from the country and had come back illegally.

Public Records

The Seattle Times has the shameful story.

…a brazen attempt by [Washington State] lawmakers to exempt themselves from the state’s Public Records Act. These elected officials are evading the ruling of a judge and contradicting Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both of whom said legislators are subject to the law.

And

[SB 6617] tries to permanently ban access to lawmakers’ past emails, text messages and calendars, as well as past disciplinary proceedings and complaints about lawmakers’ conduct.

What are these guys trying to cover up?