Monday, June 17, 2013

Cruising the Web

Shouldn't we be spying on the Russian president? I don't get how this is a surprise or even a bad thing. Another new leak from Snowden is that British spies were spying on allies such as South Africa and Turkey during the 2009 G20 summit meeting. So now Snowden is out to embarrass Britain for spying on other leaders. What does that have to do with his purported concerns about NSA violating people's privacy? In revealing this information, Edward Snowden is not blowing any whistle; he's simply revealing information in order to damage American intelligence gathering. He has no freedom of speech or privacy arguments to make. With each new leak, he's making the argument for everyone that he's a traitor rather than a hero.

Seth Lipsky explains the difficulty under our Constitution of trying someone for treason; however Snowden could be tried for "adhering" to the enemy in times of war. I'd prefer to try him for laws he has clearly broken about revealing top secret information. Of course, any such argument is moot until he might be in American custody and that may never happen.

Mickey Kaus and Byron York point out that the Gang of 8 immigration bill is very loose on its restrictions for letting in immigrants with misdemeanor records. In fact the bill would not stop an illegal immigrant who had been convicted of domestic violence or child abuse. He recommends we ask Joe Biden, the proud author of the Violence Against Women Act, why we wouldn't want to block the legalization of an immigrant convicted of such violence.

Yet another scandal for the State Department as a whistleblower complains that she was forced to resign after she revealed that the US Consul General in Naples, Italy was meeting with hookers and having affairs with subordinates, including one woman to get an abortion and have her tubes tied.

Conn Carroll has a great gotcha story about Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island who thought he had caught a Heritage Foundation scholar, Dr. Salim Furth, in an outright deception of Congress by testifying that European countries had not really tried austerity, but instead had been using tax increases. Sen. Whitehouse flourished a chart showing that European countries had indeed cut more than they'd raised taxes. Liberal minions in the media, including Paul Krugman and the Washington Post, then wrote about the moment accusing Heritage of lying. But it turned out that the data for the Senator's chart came from projections of what countries said they were going to do in the future with their budgets and not what they had actually done. Such are the arguments that the Democrats will use in order to pretend that their sorts of policies are working.

Jim Geraghty details how the IRS meets any allegations of improper conduct by issuing a stock statement that they take the allegation "very seriously."

The Obama administration has a history of pressuring or firing Inspector Generals when they are making findings that displease the Obamanians. Or, when they're not forcing IGs to quit, they're just not filling vacancies for the IG positions at quite a few important agencies.

According the EEOC, it is now racist for an employer to do a criminal background check before it employs someone.
We would have thought that criminal checks discriminate against criminals, regardless of race, creed, gender or anything else. Such criminal checks are legal and have long been part of the hiring process at many companies. You can argue that criminals deserve a second chance in life, or even a third or fourth, but business owners and managers ought to be able to decide if they want to take the risk of hiring felons.

The EEOC suit is part of the Administration's larger effort to redefine racism in America by using statistics, rather than individual intent or evidence. The Justice and Housing Departments have rewritten their rules and punished banks and counties like Westchester, N.Y., based on disparate statistical measures of lending and zoning. The EEOC signaled its plans in April last year when it rewrote its enforcement strategy, declaring that "an employer's evidence of a racially balanced workforce will not be enough to disprove disparate impact."

Mull that one over. Even if a company has a racially diverse workforce, it can still be sued if its applicant pool doesn't meet the EEOC's statistical tests. So a retailer that decides it would rather not have proven thieves manning its cash registers could be guilty of racism if the convicted thieves in its applicant pool are disproportionately minority.

Mark Steyn notes that, while our reach for surveillance increases, we are still being reined in by political correctness.

Don't believe all the blather about how the newly elected president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is a moderate.
In reality, Rouhani is a regime loyalist who has been on Iran’s Supreme National Security Council since 1989 and who served as the nation’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005. In a recent television interview, he boasted that Iran’s strategy during this time was to use the diplomatic process to buy time for the development of the nation’s nuclear program by exploiting a wedge between the U.S. and Europe, thus preventing the United Nations Security Council from taking action. “(America) wanted what we had in nuclear technology not to be completed, and that we surrender what we had already,” he said. “What we aimed to do was to create a space so that this technology is completed.”

For those who oppose Iran becoming a nuclear power, one silver lining of Ahmedinejad’s Holocaust denial and constant bluster toward Israel and America was that such rhetoric helped clarify the true nature of the regime. It made it much easier to argue for the isolation of Iran and to build support for measures to thwart its nuclear ambitions. Now, Rouhani’s election (and the flood of naive stories in the Western press about his moderation) will prompt calls for more engagement with Iran. Meanwhile, the regime will get exactly what it wants – the breathing room it needs to acquire nuclear capability. In this sense Rouhani is much more dangerous than Ahmedinejad.

6 comments:

John A said...

"According the EEOC, it is now racist for an employer to do a criminal background check before it employs someone."

Well... Actually, it would have been difficult for EEOC to include the whites affected. So the agency only mentioned non-whites, not the twenty-odd whites also affected.

Seems one company searches for ANY criminal record up to two years old, and another searches for ANY record BACK TO BIRTH, and will not accept applications if anything is found.

In the second case, a pot bust when you were twenty means they will not hire you when you are fifty-five.

In the BMW case, BMW took over a company they had been doing business with for years - and stipulated all of that company's employees must re-apply. A lot were dropped for years-old criminal records even if they had effectively been working for BMW for five or six years.

Now, I can understand a company not wanting to hire criminals and so doing a background check. But this "zero tolerance" look-alike, one-size-fits-all, is a bit much.

Pat Patterson said...

I think that the charge of treason is not off the table. Pollard, Ames and Aldrich were all charged, among other indictments, treason and it was proved in court.

Rick Caird said...

I don't believe there is any case for treason against Snowden. Frankly, I am glad the scope of the spying on Americans is out in the open. There is no doubt in my mind that this 1984 mindset is unconstitutional. Then we find out today that multiple states are using facial recognition against the driver's license database for police searches. Well, I am sorry. I did not consent to that so I could drive. We really need to set some hard limits on this surveillance. There are too many secret courts and secret snooping on Americans.

I also think it is fair to let foreign leaders know they are being tricked with fake Internet cafes and spied on when they are at official summits. What kind of agreement can come out of a meeting when there is no trust. I believe that is beyond the pale. Britain should be embarrassed. That, too, is not traitorous.

Rick Caird said...

I have a friend who runs a moving company. They will not employ anyone with a criminal background of who cannot pass a drug test. These employees are in people's house and handling their stuff. What kind of liability would they have if they did hire criminals and drug users?

LargeBill said...

John A., Zero tolerance may be a bad idea and may mean a particular employer has higher employee costs and is less able to compete. However an employer should have the right to make that business decision.

As far as Snowden goes, it is a knock on our intelligence services that he is still out there. He should be taking a dirt nap or sitting in a jail, I don't care which.

BMOC H said...

Your post is factually inaccurate. Snowden hasn't made any "new" leaks. He made one leak, and only one, to a handful of journalists. Since then, he hasn't been involved at all in what information is being published. It's the journalists, not Snowden, who are choosing which bits and pieces to leak, and when.

It's highly misleading to say "so now Snowden is out to embarrass Britain," because that implies that he is actively making decisions about what gets leaked, which is not true. Likewise, your sentence "with each new leak, he's making the argument for everyone that he's a traitor rather than a hero" is similarly inaccurate. Again, Snowden hasn't leaked anything new since he initially turned documents over to Glenn Greenwald and others.