Amnesty International Joins Criticism of Apple CEO Tim Cook on China

Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook has received accolades for free speech advocacy by respected institutions such as the Newseum, but the company is being called on the carpet for consigning its data storage services – especially crucial encrypted access keys – to a bunch of communists.

Amnesty International announced Thursday it would initiate a social media campaign against Apple, because the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant caved to the Chinese government and agreed to allow its customers’ data to be housed on servers there.

The effort coincides with a visit by Cook to the China Development Forum, where he is co-chairing an event sponsored by the government in which business leaders meet with public officials in an effort to improve relations.

It also follows only a month after Reuters reported that Apple agreed to store encrypted keys used to access customers’ (or, users’) data storage accounts (such as iCloud).

According … Read More ➡

Can Trump Drain the Swamp at the Bureau of Indian Affairs?

If ever a federal agency was ripe for termination, the Bureau of Indian Affairs should qualify for consideration. The bureau has a justly-earned reputation as a patronage machine for tribal leaders and their cronies. The Trump administration has been emphasizing its intent to reform the agency. Tribal sovereignty, the product of several 19th-century treaties, is a fact of life. But there are ways of “draining the swamp” that would not require abrogating any treaties.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), created in 1824 and housed under the Department of the Interior since 1849, has much to manage with its current $2.5 billion annual budget. There are 567 federally-recognized Indian and Alaska Native tribes representing about two million persons. Many live on reservations comprising 55.7 million acres. Each tribe elects its own sovereign government to oversee such activities as courts, schools, job training, health care, infrastructure and gambling casinos.

This … Read More ➡

Builder Sues NYC Unions for $100M+ Hudson Yards Ripoff

Union corruption long has contributed to cost overruns on urban real estate projects, especially in New York City where developers tend to think big. But area labor leaders now are getting some well-deserved comeuppance. On Monday, March 5, Related Companies, the general contractor of the Hudson Yards mega-development on Manhattan’s West Side, sued the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and its president, Gary LaBarbera, in State Supreme Court for actions that allegedly inflated costs by over $100 million. The defendants, reads the suit, were “condoning, if not actively participating in, various corrupt practices.” Allegations include tortious interference, time sheet fraud and wage fraud, the latter offense highlighted by a scam in which two union members received a wage of over $40 an hour for fetching coffee. Nice work if you can get it.

The Hudson Yards, a mixed-use complex under construction made possible through the … Read More ➡

Apple CEO Tim Cook Yells at Trump But Not His Communist Partners

Later this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook will co-chair something called the China Development Forum, sponsored by Communist Chinese government. It was only in December that Cook keynoted the World Internet Conference, another Chinese government event held to promote a more censored Internet.

Apple’s relationship with Beijing now looks more like a partnership. On February 28, Apple transferred operation of its iCloud data center in mainland China to a state-owned enterprise called Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD).

Apple will continue to market its iCloud services in China and will take care of the billing, but its new partner will possess and manage all the data. Everything that any Apple customer in China puts up to iCloud, which often means anything that is stored on their devices, will be under the ultimate control of their government.

Click here to read the rest of this commentary in the Daily Caller.… Read More ➡

Corporations Paying for Employee Protest: Does the Tail Wag the Dog?

There’s nothing unusual about a corporation offering employees paid leave for vacations, illness or personal emergencies. That’s a fact of the modern workplace. But lately employers have begun to provide paid leave for something far less justifiable: social justice activism. Employees themselves, backed by social media mobs, increasingly are demanding that management take stands on gun control, global warming, immigration and other major issues and that they should be compensated for taking part in protests. And these shakedowns in the future might cost noncomplying executives their jobs. It’s another example of why business should not be a vehicle for political advocacy.

The Left always has been resourceful in building cadres. And the workplace has become a new political frontier. Not that many companies aren’t already on board with this. At Luxe, a San Francisco-based valet parking smart phone app, founder and CEO Curtis Lee, angered over President Trump’s … Read More ➡

Corporate Cowards Abandon NRA in Wake of Parkland Shooting

The horrific shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. – other than the obvious evil present in killer Nikolas Cruz – have been the result of a massive breakdown of government institutions – from deputies who didn’t enter the school, to the many warnings about Cruz that were ignored by authorities, to the failure of federal, state and local lawmakers to fortify their schools with armed security to protect students and faculty after too many incidents already.

Nonetheless the pressure groups of the Left and the legacy media, in the immediate days following the incident, trained their sights on the National Rifle Association, its millions of members, its finances, its influence, and its corporate partners.

Never ones to let a good crisis go to waste, countless organizations and media enterprises made it their mission to outline how much NRA money supported various Congress members. … Read More ➡

NYC-Area Teamster Council Is Now a ‘Sanctuary Union’; Defies Immigration Law

It’s official: The Teamsters are involved in organized crime. No, it’s not the Old School variety, where the union farms out its dirty work to the Mafia. It’s the kind where the union subverts immigration law and calls it social justice. And it might succeed. Earlier this month, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16, representing about 120,000 workers mainly in the New York City area, sponsored a series of seminars on how to thwart Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workplace raids for the purpose of arresting unauthorized immigrants. The campaign, supported by the AFL-CIO, follows a council resolution of last September. Council President George Miranda stated then: “Our members can be confident that we stand behind them 100 percent regardless of where they were born or what kinds of papers they have.”

For years, labor unions in this country have been trying to rewrite immigration law. Back in April … Read More ➡

May America Live Long and PROSPER: Reining in Student Debt

The federal government is currently on the hook for over $1.35 trillion in higher education loans, over half of which has accumulated since 2009. A number of Capitol Hill lawmakers have come up with legislation to reduce public exposure in the event of a calamity: the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform Act, or PROSPER. The House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the bill in mid-December in a 23-17 party-line vote; the Senate now is taking up its own measure. The context underscores the unsoundness of the Obama-inspired higher education overhaul of 2010 that has played no small role in bringing about this situation.

Taking on debt to attend college or graduate school is a way of life. According to a quarterly Federal Reserve Board data base, fully 42.6 million U.S. adults by the close of 2017 owed an outstanding $1,366.9 trillion in federal student loan … Read More ➡

The EB-5 Employment Visa: Mend It or End It

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last Tuesday night offered some sensible recommendations for immigration reform. Unfortunately, he omitted a few things – such as the need to fix the EB-5 visa program. The EB-5, authorized by the Immigration Act of 1990, allows persons from abroad who invest in a U.S. startup business to become lawful permanent residents. All too often, it is an invitation to fraud and self-dealing.

The EB-5 visa, intended to spur business development, offers a green card for immigrant small venture capitalists. The visa holder must invest at least $1 million in a “new commercial enterprise” or at least $500,000 if the enterprise is located in a designated Targeted Employment Area. Upon approval of a petition, the investor and dependent family members may obtain a green card. The investor must show that the investment has created or preserved at least 10 permanent domestic … Read More ➡

Time to Take John Muir’s Name Off His Trail?

The San Jose, California city council has voted to remove the city’s Christopher Columbus statue, becoming only the latest jurisdiction to join the assault on Columbus, George Washington and Confederate generals. I’m worried the mob will run out of targets, so I offer some more.

What about naturalist John Muir?

Born in Scotland in 1838, Muir founded the Sierra Club and was an early advocate for the preservation of American wilderness. Known as the “Father of the National Parks,” Muir’s legacy and writings continue to inspire modern-day environmentalists and anyone who loves the outdoors.

In 1867, Muir actually walked from his home in Indiana to Florida. He had no real purpose beyond studying the countryside, wildlife and plants. He chronicled this adventure in a fascinating, journal-styled book titled A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf.

While wandering through the river country of Georgia, Muir notes on September 25thRead More ➡