Filed under: Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, National Security, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Freedom of Speech, ISIS & al-Qaeda, Terrorism
The totalitarians are after your social media use. If the federal authorities have their way, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites will be forced to report users’ activities under a new provision of the 2016 Intelligence Authorization Act.
This is a tricky business. ISIS is clearly using social media as a recruiting tool, and quite successfully, though if you want to see a useless search, ask Google about ISIS recruit numbers. It is clear that many young Muslims are being radicalized through social media. The glamor of going to the Middle East to chop off heads or shoot people for entertainment escapes me, but it is a real problem.
According to the legislation sent to the Senate floor, any online service provider that “obtains actual knowledge of any terrorist activity…shall provide to the appropriate authorities the facts or circumstances of the alleged terrorist activity.” The companies would have to report tweets, videos, posts or other content exchanged online by users.
If you read the ordinary comments on online posts, the language is increasingly crude, comments often designed more to insult than provide intelligent discussion. Everybody’s angry. However, people who are anxious about privacy aren’t going to go for this. But the problem is real, and the dangers real. Someone will have to decide whether a communication is wholly protected political speech, only commentary on current events or — something that should be reported to the government.
Unfortunately, the government’s constant drive for more control and more regulations on the one hand, and more secrecy and lies on the other — means a significant loss of confidence on the part of the public. You won’t find totalitarian governments that are beloved by their people. It ‘s a conundrum. There are still people out there who think Edward Snowden is some kind of hero.
Filed under: Education, Immigration, Intelligence, Progressives | Tags: Diversity, Harvard University, SAT Scores
On the other side of diversity, Harvard University is, according to the Wall Street Journal, looking for legal cover to justify discriminating against Asian-Americans, Sixty-four organizations have alleged that Harvard uses de facto quotas to limit Asian-Americans on campus.
The percentage of Asian-American students at elite universities like Harvard have held steady at around 18% for two decades. But the number of college-age Asian-Americans has increased rapidly. In May the coalition of sixty-four organizations asked the civil-rights arms of the Education and Justice Departments why Asian-Americans, who make up about 5% of the population — but earn an estimated 30% of National Merit semifinalist honors, aren’t accepted to Harvard in numbers that reflect those qualifications.
The Department cited pending litigation as grounds for dismissal, and the only such suit is one against Harvard and the University of North Carolina filed in November by Students for Fair Admissions. This sounds reasonable, but wait. Harvard and UNC’s lawyers this week filed motions to halt the lawsuit until the Supreme Court reconsiders race-based admissions next term in Fisher v. University of Texas. That ruling won’t surface until 2016, and Harvard’s strategy is to drag out inquiries in hopes the Court blesses race-based admissions.
Asian Americans need to score 140 points higher on the SAT than white students to be considered “equal applicants” on paper, and 450 points higher than African-Americans, according to independent research.
The coalition says they will continue to push back against the quota-like conditions at the elite schools. Liberal ideas of diversity have nothing to do with intelligence or accomplishment — only with… but you know the rest.
Interestingly enough, Canada and Australia admit immigrants based on the same kind of qualifications that Harvard and other elite universities use. They want immigrants who can bring some talent or qualifications to the country. Seems like a good idea, We might want to try it.
Diversity points are not about diversity, The issue is never the issue. It’s about voting groups and power for the Left.
Filed under: Intelligence, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Airport Security, Red Team, TSA
It is all falling apart. Incompetence is demonstrably in charge. But there is a bright spot in the gloom. The Transportation Security Administration just demonstrated that even beyond the inconvenience, the personal degradation of humiliating whole-body scans or pat-downs, the efforts of the agency to keep us safe is a total flop. Ninety-five percent of explosives and weapons intentionally sent into the TSA detection apparatus went undetected. TSA has a success rate of a bare 5%! Kevin D. Williamson, who just gets better and better, takes the agency apart in a scathing column today. Do read the whole thing.
But the “bright spot”? The bright spot is that in an increasingly incompetent government, there is a “Red Team” testing the efficiency and efficacy of an agency tasked with keeping the nation safe. There was no cover-up. On Monday, the acting chief of the TSA, Melvin Carraway, was transferred to Homeland Security’s office of state and local law enforcement. It’s only a small bright spot, for Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security could not summon the gumption to just fire Carraway, but Carraway was reassigned. It is possible to embarrass the Obama administration.
Kevin Williamson also offers up the solution: Make the airlines corporately responsible for their own security, and put the airlines themselves in charge of screening. No one has a deeper concern about flight security.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Humor, Intelligence, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Can't Wait for The Campaign, Hunting Political Scandal, The Silly Season
We have one declared candidate for President of the United States, but the media cannot wait. They want the contest on now, because campaigns always make for better opportunities for stories, and that’s easier than trying to understand the ups and downs of daily policies and events.
This time it’s PolitiFact, and whatever it is they are going to fact check it! Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker said in January, before a New Hampshire audience, that he paid just $1 for his sweater at Kohl’s. He said there was a time when the word “thrift” was not in his vocabulary. He said he had bought something at the price on the tag, and his wife couldn’t believe he didn’t understand the concept of bargain hunting. He learned his lesson.
Now, we grant this is not the most important topic in politics today. But we decided to fact check it for two reasons,” PolitiFact’s James B. Nelson wrote. “First, we heard from readers from around the country who thought it was an unbelievable story — as in, literally impossible to believe. Second, it goes to what has been a major theme of Walker’s visits to some of the early primary states — that he is just an average guy.”
PolitiFact, a division of the Tampa Bay Times, noted that Walker’s reputation for being a regular Joe contrasts nicely with the more “well-heeled” GOP 2016 hopefuls, particularly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
They called the Kohl’s in Hooksett, NH, and an employee in menswear said all of their Henley sweaters were on the clearance racks. Based on photos of Walker in the sweater, it appeared to be a “Chaps twisted button Mock Sweater” in ‘walnut twist.’ Unable to find it on the Kohl’s’ website they went to the local store and found plenty of Chaps sweaters marked between 80 and 90 percent off, even more than Walker had claimed. Some were originally priced at $70 and marked down to $7, but Walker said he used his “Kohl’s Cash” a store discount card based on previous purchases.
Politifact was forced to hand Gov. Walker a “true” rating for his claim. Dang! No big story there. But you see what I mean.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Islam, Israel, National Security, The United States | Tags: A Media Frenzy, Ordered Up?, Truth or Propaganda?
What was going on yesterday? A media frenzy so focused on the possibility that someone might be offended that it wiped all other news off the page? A full-throated attack by the Big Gay Hate Machine to discourage anyone from objecting to their choices? Oddly enough, the RFRA laws that were passed did not even mention sex, Gays, intolerance, or anything else related to discrimination, but merely said that religious beliefs needed to receive consideration.
Or was this media frenzy called out by the White House to take media attention off the nuclear discussions in Switzerland? Was it a mere coincidence that Senator Menendez (D-CT) (who was a sponsor of two different bills, one putting the sanctions back on Iran if they didn’t fully allow inspections, and the other forcing any agreement to come to the Senate for confirmation) was suddenly indicted for supposed corruption just when his bills might come to the attention of the public?
See how suspicious I’m becoming? Obama is a fierce competitor. The Republicans may have won control of Congress, but Obama has no intention of changing his strategy from doing exactly what he chooses by executive orders— to consulting and cooperating with Republicans to try to accomplish something. Obama believes the ends justify the means. Obama wants to be in control of his situation. Obama is dogmatic in his essential positions and does not change his mind.
We are told that Mr. Obama only sees his closest associates. That he requires from his czars and advisers a short list of 3 choices from which he will choose. That sounds like that he does not have the skill set he needs to deal with the complex problems he wants to address.
There is no Iran deal yet, but Obama was speaking of a pact in the past tense, as if it was a done deal. “He claims ‘It has succeeded exactly as intended’—pretty much what he says about ObamaCare.”
You will notice that today, the media frenzy of yesterday has virtually disappeared. Obama has made his big statement for domestic purposes, and, as Investors says, “Nothing, apparently, will stop Obama from accepting the inevitability of a nuclear Iran and absurdly claiming that it makes the world safer.”