Mar 292015

The role of Google in liberal politics – especially President Obama’s campaign – is highlighted in this article. Besides providing cash, they provided big infrastructure and small nuances (times millions of searches) to influence consumers of political news and activate voters – at least ones who would produce the right outcomes.

 Posted by at 8:13 am on March 29, 2015
Dec 282014

Stanford law professor Peter Berkowitz describes where political correctness has brought our campuses in America – an unconstitutional and “illiberal fantasy world” in which policies for handling allegations of sexual assault “harms women as well as men”.

What comes across in his article is that academia is building a liberal ‘shadow government’ which takes to itself the role of investigation, prosecution and punishment, but without authorities nor constitutional checks and balances. Is College Park immune? No. All undergraduates this year are required to take and pass an on-line sexual assault training course which teaches that the first step in responding to an assault is not to call 911 or contact police, but contact the appropriate campus office to enable them to take up their extra-legal processes.

The commentary from Berkowitz is especially striking in that it posts at the same time that the debunked one-in-five statistic – the much-cited number of women sexually assault on college campuses – is called out as obviously incorrect: “The rise and fall of the distractingly false claim that “one in five women is sexually assaulted in college” is the biggest math story of the year.”

We will be waiting to see what update to campus training is issued.

 Posted by at 6:49 am on December 28, 2014
Nov 182014

Baltimore police obviously use invasive and sophisticated cell phone tracking technologies – but refuse to reveal them, even to a judge. Quoting the linked article

“You can’t contract out of constitutional disclosure obligations,” Wessler said. “A secret written agreement does not invalidate the Maryland public records law [and] does not invalidate due process requirements of giving information to a criminal defendant.”

 Posted by at 12:16 pm on November 18, 2014
Nov 052014

Previously we noted the concerns over federal funding for study of social networking and internet memes. The concern expressed at that time was simple. Quoting the article:

The Truthy team says this research could be used to “mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”

Federal creation of tools for tracking so-called hate speech or propaganda is the necessary first step to the control of speech and propaganda, and some feel that the government simply should not be playing in that space (though it isn’t like there aren’t many private studies actively moving forward in this area.)

That message obviously struck a nerve, as a collection of top computer science and industry groups quickly rallied to defend the funding of the Truthy project, run by a principle investigator who, in his off-campus personae, comfortably pattern matches as a left wing extremist who is concerned about finding ways to clamp down on hate speech, which by his definition includes conservative commentary.

 Posted by at 1:40 pm on November 5, 2014
Oct 302014

What a splendid bit of data analysis!

A group has discovered by comparison of voter registration records and jury duty statements how many thousands of people in the state are listed as voting yet, elsewhere, having stated they are not citizens. It can’t be both, and the discrepancy illustrates that a federal crime has been committed one way or the other.

 Posted by at 3:12 pm on October 30, 2014
Oct 262014

‘Structuring’ is the act of breaking up a sequence of cash deposits in order to try to keep them under a $10,000 threshold for reporting details to the feds. And when feds think you’ve done this, they simply take the cash. Whether or not it was tied with crime, and independent of any valid reasons for why you came by it.

There is no news here – just more examples of big government abuses.

 Posted by at 10:22 am on October 26, 2014