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"Forgotten" Password Defense

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"Is 'I forget' a valid defense when court orders demand a smartphone password?"

If this judge has his way, the answer is "no".  (Note: I disagree with the analogy of password as providing a physical key to a lockbox, and instead consider it a form of self-incrimination.)
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gangsterofboats
3 hours ago
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Ninja Shortage

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"Japan is suffering from a ninja shortage"
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gangsterofboats
3 hours ago
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The Schulz effect has failed to deliver

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He was the SPD’s new hope. Their chance of taking over in Berlin. Martin Schulz, the 62 year-old former president of the European Parliament, was the one to beat Merkel.  He was a fresh face – he’d never run for parliament in Germany – and had proved to be a witty voice in the Brussels machine of power.  The Social Democrats’ new leader – securing all 605 votes in the leadership election – was a far cry from those usual SPD dull bureaucrats, such as former nominee Peer Steinbrück or Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

But that was in March. By May, they had lost their third state election in a row – this time North-Rhine Westphalia, supposedly the party’s heartland. The SPD is now in a state of shock. The euphoria, after the nomination of Schulz and the surge in the polls – which for an exciting but all-too-short period brought them into line with Merkel’s CDU – has vanished, along with the surge in the polls. And no one, not even the party chairman, has a clue what to do next.

Back in in March, the headlines were all talking about the Schulz effect, as the new leader convinced thousands to join the Social Democrats and seemed to be a convincing challenger to Angela Merkel, who has been leading Germany since 2005.

The Schulz effect seemed to take hold – despite the lack of manifesto or detailed policy. It’s true, the party did gain over 4,000 new members within two weeks of Schulz being elected leader. But, these were probably simply returning members who had fled in despair at the former leader’s lack of charisma – at what you might call the Gabriel effect. And with Sigmar Gabriel gone, those voters flooded back.

Martin Schulz’s nomination gave these anxious Social Democrats hope – the hope that he might be the candidate who could appeal to the centre without giving too much to the far-Left Die Linke, yet appeal to the far-Left without seeming unfit for government. Might this be the man who put the party back on the map after Schröder’s great success. Unfortunately, their hope was short lived.

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Hartz Reforms made considerable changes to the German labour market and shook up welfare. They were unpopular among his party but they helped the Germany weather the adverse economic conditions, with long-term unemployment dropping from 54.6 per cent in 2006 to 45.5 per cent in 2009.

The rate at which the unemployed found jobs, which had been stable before the Hartz Reforms, afterwards “began to increase steadily until the year 2007, at which stage they remained relatively stable at a significantly higher level”.

Schröder faced considerable backlash, as months and years of protests eventually cost him the necessary majority to remain in power. As she took office in 2005, Angela Merkel complimented Schröder on the Agenda 2010, which had the Hartz reforms as its surrounding legislation; she praised the former Chancellor for rising above party politics and unleashing the potential of working Germans.

Schulz is no Gerhard Schröder. He has already called for a reassessment of those Agenda 2010 reforms – reforms that many considered to be against the core principles of the SPD. Lacking Schröder’s charisma and potential, Shulz is known for his sneery and patronising attitude towards various countries as his career picked its way through the Brussels and Strasbourg parliament. He called US President Donald Trump “un-American” and implied that the Irish No-Vote in 2009 “opened the door to fascism”.

He also called Dutch MEP, Daniël van der Stoep, a fascist for asking Mr Barroso, then President of the EU Commission, to publish details of his expenses accounts in 2010. However, outside of a tendency to use profanties in respectable parliament buildings, Schulz has little to offer politically. His years spent in the European Parliament left little mark.

His new role might prove to be as uneventful. Last week, the SPD cancelled a press conference promising to present an outline for the manifesto, only to reorganise it a few hours later.

It transpired the drafting committee hadn’t finished the work, and since many of the areas of interest are still highly controversial within the party, Schulz’s team could only present vague impressions. Those key issues such as retirement or fiscal policy remain completely obscure.

But what is becoming rapidly clear, to voters and observers and party members, is that Schulz’s only real ideological conviction is his absolute support for the European Union. The Schulz effect was invented by journalists and seized on by desperate party functionaries and members, keen to see the renaissance of the SPD and the opportunity to see off Merkel once and for all.

Mr Schulz’s light burned bright for a while, but is fast being extinguished in ballot after ballot. And given the socialist policies that Germany might suffer a return to under Mr Schulz, that might not be such a bad thing.

The post The Schulz effect has failed to deliver appeared first on CapX.

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gangsterofboats
3 hours ago
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THE ATLANTIC REVIEWS BEN SASSE’S NEW BOOK: The Disappearance of Virtue From American Politics. It…

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THE ATLANTIC REVIEWS BEN SASSE’S NEW BOOK: The Disappearance of Virtue From American Politics.

It’s not a bad review, and Sasse’s book sounds quite interesting. However, not surprisingly, there appears to be zero self-awareness in the author or her editors in the role the Atlantic itself played in the disappearance of virtue in American politics when its Website was home to Andrew Sullivan, the Hercule Poirot of World-Class Uterus Detectives.

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gangsterofboats
8 hours ago
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Portland Tries to Stamp Out Free Speech

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(John Hinderaker)

The mayor of Portland, Oregon, Ted Wheeler, is trying to block a free speech rally in his city:

The mayor of Portland, Oregon, on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a “Trump Free Speech Rally” and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

Free speech is dangerous! Of course, it is only dangerous if exercised in support of a Republican.

It comes amid a wider debate in the U.S. about the First Amendment, often in liberal cities like Portland and Berkeley, California, and on college campuses, where violent protests between far-right and far-left protesters have derailed appearances by contentious figures.

That isn’t even coherent: “violent protests between far-right and far-left protesters”? Actually, the violence has been perpetrated by far-left criminals. There are no instances of “far right” protesters trying to prevent a liberal from giving a speech.

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53, were killed Friday as they tried to stop Jeremy Joseph Christian from harassing the women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, authorities say. Another who stepped in was seriously injured.

Christian’s social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence. He is accused of aggravated murder, intimidation — the state equivalent of a hate crime — and being a felon in possession of a weapon and is scheduled to be in court Tuesday.

The AP chooses not to mention it, but Jeremy Christian is a left-winger who supported Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. He is also an anti-circumcision fanatic, a long-time criminal and, mostly, a nut. But what does he have to do with a pro-President Trump free speech rally?

The mayor says his main concern was participants “coming to peddle a message of hatred,” saying hate speech is not protected by the Constitution.

Hate speech most certainly is protected by the Constitution. Does the mayor of Portland seriously not know this? And you can’t shut down a public gathering because you think speakers might “peddle a message of hatred.”

A Facebook page for the event says there would be speakers and live music in “one of the most liberal areas on the West Coast.” It says it will feature Kyle Chapman, who describes himself as an American nationalist and ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.

The event’s Facebook page indicates that it is sponsored by Patriot Prayer, which is run by a man named Joey Gibson. There is no suggestion that the gathering might be violent, although it is always possible that any expression of support for President Trump may be met with violence perpetrated by liberals.

The rest of the AP story is devoted to Jeremy Christian, as though there were some connection between him and the upcoming pro-free speech, pro-Donald Trump rally. Here is a quick primer on the First Amendment for Associated Press reporters and Democratic Party mayors: the amendment doesn’t protect stabbings or other forms of murder. It does protect speech. Do you see the distinction? It is subtle, I know.

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gangsterofboats
8 hours ago
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Net neutrality isn’t as big a deal as you might think

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That is an unpopular point — with both sides — but it might just well be true.  Here is a newly published study by Robert W. Crandall:

More than a year after a court invalidated its “net neutrality” rules on broadband Internet service providers (ISPs), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to extend public-utility (Title II) regulation on broadband services. This paper uses traditional event analysis of the movements in the values of major communications and media companies’ equities at key moments in the FCC’s path to this decision to estimate the financial market’s assessment of the likely effects of regulation on ISPs, traditional media companies, and new digital media companies. The results are surprising: the markets penalized only three large cable companies to any extent, and even these effects appear to have been short-lived. The media companies, arguably the intended beneficiaries of the regulations, were unaffected.

That is via the excellent Kevin Lewis.

The post Net neutrality isn’t as big a deal as you might think appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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gangsterofboats
17 hours ago
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