Assuming the allegations are true -- which is always somewhat questionable when you're looking at the initial stages of a lawsuit -- it seems that there are a lot of problems here. It's not reasonable to require that employees install particular software on their privately owned devices. It's not reasonable to track their movements during non-working hours if they choose to do so. And if you're willing to do that, why wouldn't you be willing to access and download phone records, address and contact information, personal email, facebook and other social media, and everything else a modern smartphone can access?
Today's students are being taught to hate and attack those who have opinions different from the approved social consensus as pushed by the media, the education system, and the left in general. The reaction by teachers is interesting and surprising in that it was defending the unpopular opinion.
I do question whether any school intervention was appropriate, but given that the social media activity was apparently happening on school premises, during school hours, and at a school event, there's some room for benefit of the doubt.
I'm also a little disappointed that the school apparently did not anticipate problems from the event:
This sort of thing seems like a perfect time to have a discussion prior to the event about polite disagreement and maintaining respect for an individual even when you disagree with their opinions.
One of the secret details of the trade deal revealed
I have opposed the Obama trade agreement on the grounds that secret agreements are offensive to the principles of a free and self-governing nation, and doubly so because I do not trust Obama with any more power than he already has. But Senator Jeff Sessions gives us a more concrete reason:
This is yet another end-run around the Constitution and the very idea of self-government. How will the representatives from the United States be selected? Not democratically. Will the commission's decisions be subject to Congressional review and consent? Not if they can avoid it. We should reject this agreement on those principles alone.
As far as I am concerned, and given that I do not need to live in DC combined with my knowledge of their track record in court on this issue so far, I am quite happy to let the DC city council help us set gun rights precedent for as long as they want to play the game.
Surveillance compromise legislation loses in the Senate
Letting the provision expire is probably the best possible outcome for privacy-minded folk. The risk is that the NSA will just continue to collect information and ignore the lapse of their legal fig leaf. That's something we will simply have to find a way to deal with when it comes up. For the record, the administration has claimed it has already begun dismantling the surveillance programs, but I don't believe that for a second.
They try this every time they get into power. Every single time.
The genius of the federal system of the United States was that it would be practically impossible for the Left -- or any political faction, really -- to gain permanent control of the government in all the states. With each state controlling its own education locally, there will always be competing narratives.
That's what Common Core is for. In theory, there are some benefits to having a unified ideologically neutral educational system, like being able to test students against a single standard to see what approaches work best and gaining economies of scale. In practice, the virtues of competition and local control produce far superior results than a single unified system. And the local control also provides immunity to poisonous ideological indoctrination.
Jade Helm is a military exercise run by the US military special forces within US territory, and is designed to operate in populated areas rather than dedicated training grounds. The exercise designates Texas and Utah as hostile states, a designation that is uncomfortably close to political opposition to the President. This has raised concerns about the exercise sufficient to prompt the Texas governor to instruct the Texas State Guard to independently monitor the exercise. Hopefully, the concerns will turn out to be groundless and the exercise will run smoothly and conclude without any nefarious plots. However, even if it does, that does not mean that the concerns were necessarily unfounded:
I find it pretty interesting that the Spectator is calling for the search for a villain to be put aside just when the recovery of Lerner emails from the targeting period suggests we may actually get a villain.
So Hillary did have classified material on her email server... sort of
OK, classified information on the server is bad for Hillary. But what's that bit about "has now been"?
So it wasn't classified at the time, but has now been classified in order to justify the redaction. Interesting.
But Hillary is still going to take some political damage:
So, that demonstrates that she knew -- or should have known -- about deteriorating security conditions before the attacks. It also demonstrates that her possession of the information on an unsecured server posed a national security threat if any attackers managed to access her emails on that server.
Just accept that the company can do whatever they bloody well want to with whatever information you are foolish enough to give them and stop paying lawyers to lie to your customers.
Defense Distributed and 2nd Amendment Foundation sue over 3D firearms printing info
What SAF doesn't call out in their press release is that there is already some fairly positive precedent on this issue. There were a number of free speech cases in the 90s related to encryption technology -- software source code that individuals wished to publish. The government regulated such software under the same regulations that covered export of physical armaments. The government lost those cases, though it wasn't a total loss; as I recall it took political pressure to relax the regulations as well as court rulings.
Although I don't know the details of current regulations in this area, with both the 1st and 2nd Amendments to draw upon and the fairly recent encryption precedents already in place, it will be difficult for the administration to maintain a legal ban on publication of 3D printed firearms designs.
House rep requests IRS probe of Clinton Foundation nonprofit status
I suspect this will interact in interesting ways with the ongoing investigation into IRS targeting. Does Koskinen refuse the request and try to claim the moral high ground? Does he accept it and invite charges that Republicans are now seeking to use the IRS to target their political opponents (which would be to his political advantage)?
I think the right answer is that the Clinton Foundation is an unusual case in a number of ways, and credible, specific allegations have been made concerning Hillary's time as Secretary of State and the donations flowing into her foundation; not to mention the very excessive overhead expenses the foundation occurs. We're not dealing with a whole class of political opponents seeking to participate in civic life; we're talking about a single organization that has legitimate questions raised and a close association with a cabinet member to draw additional scrutiny.
Obama continues to push climate change as a national security threat
He's doing it to justify using already scarce military funding to fund various "green" research projects, like growing gasoline from algae. But even the IPCC doesn't claim there is an immediate threat; they foresee serious impacts in about a century, not immediately. It's like Obaam doesn't even understand the words he is using; for him, "immediate" means "important".
Was Blumenthal the source for the Benghazi youtube video blame?
He followed it up the next day with an email saying the "protest" was a cover and the attack had been planned for a month by Al Qaeda, but the White House narrative seems to have been established.
Does this make Hillary look better or worse? Hard to say. After that second email, it sounds like she remained silent while the White House lied to the people about the cause of the attack and put someone in jail for something completely unrelated.
Click through the link above to read the whole thing and decide for yourself.
An explanation of the issues with disclosing Clinton's emails on Benghazi
When you read the whole thing, you should notice a couple things.
First, Clinton has already claimed to have removed any purely personal emails from this collection before turning it over (which should represent a red flag to investigators, but never mind). The State Department is also claiming that part of their process is to remove purely personal emails. This work is being done twice by two separate sets of people with different incentives to remove emails they don't want the public to see, and they will both claim "purely personal" for any such emails they want to remove. Who will double-check the State department in this removal process? (It's impossible to double check Clinton's removal process, which is why you usually don't trust someone to search their own emails and instead make them use the official server).
Second, the State Department is making a big project out of putting the emails in a searchable database. Great, a searchable database is nice, but it's not required for document production. The process is simple. Scan the emails. Publish the images (redacting if necessary). Then OCR the images and release the results in text format. Viola. Searchable. If you want a fancy searchable web thing, do that later.
Third, there are a LOT of hand-processing steps here. In particular, I note that the email header fields (To, From, CC, Subject, etc) are being manually entered for indexing. This process is wide-open to potential errors, and combined with the "searchable database", I suspect emails that have the To or From address incorrectly entered -- manually, remember -- will not be discoverable easily because the search will run on the indexed fields rather than the full content of the emails. Which means that documents with incorrect index information will be effectively invisible, and it's very easy for that manual process to effectively remove emails from the "searchable database" and there appear to be no plans to release the entire archive as a simple text file.
This all adds up to both Hillary and the State Department doing everything they possibly can to make it possible to hide information while pretending not to.