Business Models Don’t Create Business Rights

There’s a lot about which to criticize California, but in one case, early though it is, the State appears to be on the right track.  California passed a consumer privacy law, and businesses everywhere are in an uproar over it.  The bill

requires [businesses] to offer consumers options to opt out of sharing personal information, and it gives Californians the right to prohibit the sale of their personal data.

Business’ objections center on their premise that it

risked far-reaching damage to everything from retailers’ customer-loyalty programs to data gathering by Silicon Valley tech giants.

Pick One

Tony James, Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman, thinks his Progressive-Democratic Party needs to become a party of growth and inclusive prosperity.

The problem is that the Party is a Progressive one and becoming a socialist one.  This is not contradictory; the two ideologies are political allies if not siblings, too, and they’re not far apart economically.  The Party’s embrace of the former is demonstrated by Barack Obama’s, Hillary Clinton’s, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D, NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA), Senator Kamala Harris (D, CA), newly ascendant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ (D, NY), and a host of others’ loud and enthusiastic embrace of progressivism.  The Party’s embrace of the latter is demonstrated by the strength of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I, VT) and Ocasio-Cortez’ socialism within Party circles.

A Related Note

I wrote recently about the Court’s ruling on Janus v AFCME Council 31, which eliminated public service unions’ ability to collect “agency fees” from non union members.

The dissent by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by her three cohorts in the Court’s liberal wing is instructive, and it foreshadows the kind of government we can expect from today’s “liberals,” should they succeed in gaining control of one or both Houses of Congress and then of the White House.

The Supremes Get One Right

Resoundingly so.  Janus v AFCME Council 31 is a case originating in Illinois concerning a public service union’s ability to collect a per centage of ordinary union dues—agency fees—from non-union members who work alongside the union’s bargaining unit in for a government agency.  A 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent, Abood v Detroit Board of Education, upheld this ability.

The Court’s opinion (a 5-4 majority) is summarized in the syllabus:

The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment. Abood erred in concluding otherwise, and stare decisis cannot support it. Abood is therefore overruled.

“Freedom”

Here is the freedom the Progressive-Democratic Party and its Leftist supporters will allow.

The Association of Library Service to Children‘s (ALSC) board voted unanimously on Saturday to rename the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” as the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award.”

Why?  Because her books depicted the stereotypes of a bygone age, and so she must be purged.  This is on a par with “liberal” schools purging books by “old, dead, white guys” from their literature curriculum, as though those thoughts, ideas, philosophies had no impact on the evolution of Western Civilization.

The Supremes Get One Right

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that authorities generally need a search warrant before they can obtain broad access to data that shows the location of cellphone users, a decision that sets privacy boundaries in the digital age.
The court, in a 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, cited the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee to be free from unreasonable government searches.

And

We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information[.]

Yewbetcha.

Privacy!?

You ain’t got no privacy.  You don’t need any stinking privacy!

Using facial recognition software in combination with image storage houses like drivers license databases can be highly useful in tracking down criminal suspects.

But the combination can be highly dangerous, too, as this attitude by Joseph Michael, Washington County Deputy State’s Attorney in Maryland, demonstrates:

the expectation of privacy ends when you sit down and smile at the government desk.

Pinellas County (FL) Sheriff Bob Gualtieri argued

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.

Most of What They Wanted

Recall that, in a breathtaking attack on Italy’s democracy, the nation’s President Sergio Mattarella vetoed formation of the coalition government that hard-Left 5Star Movement and hard-Right League, as the two winners of Italy’s elections, had formed because Mattarella didn’t like the coalition’s choice for Economics Minister, Paolo Savona.  Mattarella held Savona personally unacceptable over the latter’s disdain for the euro and for the European Union.

A Concept of Privacy

Personal privacy and protections against warrantless searches got a boost from the Supreme Court earlier this week.

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that police need a warrant to search vehicles parked at private homes, the second time this month the justices rejected government arguments for expanding the “automobile exception” to Fourth Amendment rules against unreasonable searches.

The case at hand involved a stolen motorcycle parked in the driveway of a private residence and protected from the elements (and perhaps (even probably) from being seen by police) by a tarp.  A police officer recognized from Facebook postings the residence, saw the fact of a motorcycle under the tarp, entered the property, lifted the tarp, and looked over the motorcycle—all without a warrant.