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particledots
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Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 1529
Location: , United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Tuesday, July 04 2017 @ 11:12 PM CDT

Quote by: Daugrin


Day one. Nothing unusual happened. Maybe you could relax a little? In deference to your stern, heart felt warning, please keep all informed if ya feel something hit.

Daug



https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/04/trump-emvironmental-rollback-epa-scrap-regulations
chikoppi
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Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1967
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 09:54 AM CDT

I promise to not make this type of post a habit, but I thought this perspective was interesting enough to share:

Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/opinion/noam-chomsky-on-trump-and-the-state-of-the-union.html

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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Ed Hannifin
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Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 3459
Location: , MA USA
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 12:23 PM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
I promise to not make this type of post a habit, but I thought this perspective was interesting enough to share:

Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/opinion/noam-chomsky-on-trump-and-the-state-of-the-union.html



Thank you for posting this; I would've missed it. A thoughtful and interesting piece...

"We have to remember...when it's surrender that's called for, it's not surrender of your brains. It's surrender of your ego. It's a different thing." --Bruce Cockburn
MikeRobinson
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Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 718
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 12:56 PM CDT

An amazing number of things are accomplished on a golf course.   It is an engaging game of skill, often involves a fair bit of walking, and also gives you isolation in which to talk privately.   (Alice Cooper refers to it as “an addiction,” and one which saved him from alcohol abuse.)   President Obama loved to play basketball; President Trump loves to play golf.

The “overturned political norms” that I am referring to, link back to what I think is the actual source of our present difficulties:   a thoroughly corrupt Congress, filled by people who have been in power much of their adult lives due to the lack of term limits.   (We also have a corrupt Court system.)   The President can only lead by persuasion:   he has absolute military authority but almost no civil power.   And, the Congress resents him and feels that they have no incentive to listen to him, let alone do what he says.

Both the House and the Senate produced bills that said essentially the same thing.   The only difference was really how much public cash they plan to give away carte blanche to the same for-profit companies who have FAILed us for so very long.   This is not the hallmark of a legislature that is listening to the citizens.

The people spoke very loudly when they resoundingly rejected Hillary Clinton.   (Remember:   the President is elected by the states.)   They clearly want change, and, to get that change, they rejected “the establishment” and instead elected someone with no(!) political experience whatsoever.   However, I also think that the people understand that it’s going to be a long, uphill fight against well-entrenched forces within Washington, DC.

It is also going to be a fight against well-entrenched attitudes, such as the notion that “the President never ‘tweets,’” and, “he will give us a press conference once a day every day, even if he has nothing to say that day.”

I am not saying that this man is a saint, and I did not vote for either one of them.   But, he is, like it or not, the legitimate President, elected by a citizenry which is determined to achieve permament change.
MikeRobinson
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Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 718
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 01:11 PM CDT

While I appreciate Mr. Chomsky’s generally thoughtful writing, I grow tired at the seemingly au fait accompli treatment of “Russian Hacking.”

The underlying issue is a much more basic one, which has been spoken-against by information processing professionals for many decades:   that “paperless” systems are un-auditable.   The “wrong” candidate won the election, and it is impossible to say whether the votes recorded in certain precincts actually reflected the will of the people.   Nothing(!) exists but those database entries, with absolutely no way to know how they got there.

For what should now be obvious reasons, all such election technologies should be illegal.   Although the Federal Government traditionally does not tell the States how to run their elections, in this case I think there should be a Federal law:   all election results must be auditable, by hand if need be.

We can basically disprove the notion that “Russians, acting from half a planet away,” somehow disrupted the election process and thereby caused “the wrong candidate” to win.   (For one thing, most precincts didn’t use paperless technology.)   But, with the way that these systems are designed, we can’t prove that the election results are correct ... with or without “pesky Russians!”

Furthermore, history teaches us plainly that, if a ballot-box can be stuffed, it will be.   Absolutely anyone, anywhere, could have found a way to tamper with the results, at that time or at any time thereafter, undetectably.   Russians, and for that matter “hacking,” is not required.   Adoption of this technology, “beyond a certain critical mass,” would in fact enable an Authoritarian State to “elect” candidates of its own choosing ... and, history again tells us quite plainly that this what would very-promptly occur. Hence, any voting system that cannot be hand-paper audited should be illegal in all States and in all elections.

But, do we hear about this?   No.   Nada.   Zilch.   We hear only belly-aching by people who still dream of “Madame Presidente.”
chikoppi
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Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1967
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 02:01 PM CDT

Mike, thanks for a thoughtful response. However, I don't think the evidence bears-out your assumptions.

The presidential election doesn't change congress. If people were really upset with their representatives they would have voted out the incumbents. The opposite is true:

This election cycle, 393 of 435 House representatives, 29 of 34 senators, and five of 12 governors sought reelection (several of the governors were prohibited from seeking another term). Of those, 380 of 393 House members (97%), 27 of 29 senators (93%), and four of five governors (80%) won another term. These members of Congress and governors not only won renomination, but also won in November.

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/incumbent-reelection-rates-higher-than-average-in-2016/

It wasn't a "resounding" election victory either. Trump lost the popular vote, but won geographically (yes, legitimately). Voters from lower-density districts are over-represented in the electoral math:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_jh3oIVYAAfFYm.jpg

As for "changing things," he's appointed family members and industry lobbyists. He's flaunted ethics rules. He's railed against Goldman-Sachs, but has appointed so many Wall Street insiders that the current CEO has publicly stated fears that it looks like cronyism:

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/lloyd-blankfein-so-many-goldman-sachs-alums-trump-admin-inconvenience-n757076

Whatever you thought he was going to accomplish, whatever it is about Washington you thought needed change...it seems he is actively and aggressively doubling down on the opposite.

And again, incompetence is neither a virtue nor an asset. His demonstrated inability to actually broker deals has consequences.

As for Russia, they did wage a massive and highly target/coordinated information campaign. There is evidence they tried to access voter role systems (which would have impacted people's ability to vote key districts). This is their modus operandi and they have conducted similar election interference operations throughout Europe.

Who is responsible for our response to this interference? Trump. What is his reaction? To fire the lead investigator, to return the embassy Russia used for covert operations, to reverse the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration (against the will of congress), and to welcome Vladimir Putin to the White House while praising him in the press.

I don't care that Trump tweets (so did Obama), I care about what he tweets. I don't care about Hillary. I care about Trump and what he is actually doing.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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MikeRobinson
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Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 718
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 10:37 PM CDT

chikoppi ... it is actually difficult, at the moment, to “vote out incumbenets,” due to Gerrymandering and so-forth, but I also happen to think that We, the People should probably consider ourselves to be under no particular political obligation to do so.   “One sea-change is enough.”

The question of “the popular vote” must of course be understood in context:   California possesses almost twice the population of the next two most-populous States, combined.   The population of the state of Wyoming is less than 2%, by comparison.   The situation in the original 13 colonies was much the same:   if population was the only factor, 10 of them would have had no say at all.

Likewise, “election interference.”   The root-cause issue here is not(!) whether “far-away hackers from a far-away state” could have influenced the election, but rather, whether the election could have been influenced ... by anyone, anywhere ... without auditability.

In the 2016 Presidential election, “the Wrong Candidate won.”   And today we find that we cannot(!!) open a warehouse full of paper, hire a couple hundred people, and in a few days “make a conclusive end to it.”   We do not, in fact, possess any(!) non-electronic record of the public’s actions or intentions, should we wish to challenge the electronic results.

And, in the recently-concluded runoff election in the state of Georgia, USA, the essential problem remains the same:   “Where’s the Paper?”

Simple history-lesson here:   if a ballot-box can be stuffed, and/or if an election process can possibly be gamed, then it most-certainly wil(!!)l be.
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1967
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 11:51 PM CDT

Quote by: MikeRobinson
chikoppi ... it is actually difficult, at the moment, to “vote out incumbenets,” due to Gerrymandering and so-forth, but I also happen to think that We, the People should probably consider ourselves to be under no particular political obligation to do so. "One sea-change is enough.”


Take it from someone who has lived in Illinois most of his life. That's not how politics work.

Also, the 2016 statistics show historically high support for down ticket incumbents. That is in context of other recent elections with (in most all cases) exactly the same districting.

I still see no evidence that Trump isn't guilty of all the same abuses that he was supposedly elected to address. I'm assessing his actions while in office.

Quote by: MikeRobinson
The question of “the popular vote” must of course be understood in context:   California possesses almost twice the population of the next two most-populous States, combined.   The population of the state of Wyoming is less than 2%, by comparison.   The situation in the original 13 colonies was much the same:   if population was the only factor, 10 of them would have had no say at all.


I agree. As I said, Trump lost the popular vote, but won the electoral college because the fewer people who voted for him lived is less dense areas. It doesn't mean the victory was in any way illegitimate, but it was hardly "resounding."

Quote by: MikeRobinson
Likewise, “election interference.”   The root-cause issue here is not(!) whether “far-away hackers from a far-away state” could have influenced the election, but rather, whether the election could have been influenced ... by anyone, anywhere ... without auditability.


It isn't a question of "could haves." We know what they did. "Hacking" voting systems isn't the only way to interfere in an election.

...Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing on foreign cyberthreats to the United States: “Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation.”

Last month McCain told Ukrainian TV Russia's actions were “an act of war.” He repeated those comments Thursday, but added: It “doesn’t mean you go to war and start shooting.”


https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/russian-hacking-trump/510689/

What is Trump doing about it, other than rewarding Putin?

Quote by: MikeRobinson
In the 2016 Presidential election, “the Wrong Candidate won.”   And today we find that we cannot(!!) open a warehouse full of paper, hire a couple hundred people, and in a few days “make a conclusive end to it.”   We do not, in fact, possess any(!) non-electronic record of the public’s actions or intentions, should we wish to challenge the electronic results.


I think you misunderstand the extent of Russia's involvement and the evidence against them. The charge is not that they changed vote totals (not that there isn't evidence they tried to access voter roles), but that they colluded in highly targeted and widespread espionage to influence the election.


“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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particledots
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 1529
Location: , United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Friday, July 07 2017 @ 12:05 AM CDT

Quote by: Daugrin


Day one. Nothing unusual happened. Maybe you could relax a little? In deference to your stern, heart felt warning, please keep all informed if ya feel something hit.

Daug



https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/business/dealbook/massachusetts-betsy-devos-lawsuit.html
 
MikeRobinson
Forum Full Member


Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 718
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Friday, July 07 2017 @ 04:50 PM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi

...Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing on foreign cyberthreats to the United States: “Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation.” Last month McCain told Ukrainian TV Russia's actions were “an act of war.” He repeated those comments Thursday, but added: It “doesn’t mean you go to war and start shooting.”


Senator McCain is a very, very dangerous war-hawk.

Quote by:chikoppi

I think you misunderstand the extent of Russia's involvement and the evidence against them. The charge is not that they changed vote totals (not that there isn't evidence they tried to access voter rolls), but that they colluded in highly targeted and widespread espionage to influence the election.


Once again, I'm not at all persuaded that they could have “influenced the election,” let alone from half-a-planet away.   Like any nation, they are always engaged in espionage.   But the USA is a damned big place, comprised of fifty states all of whom self-manage their election process.   Good luck “influencing” that from Moscow.

I personally think that, in the last election, the established political order was dealt a stinging and unexpected slap in the face.   The American people did what these people simply could not bring themselves to believe that they might do.   First, the political order assumed that it was some kind of mistake, and vainly hoped that the Electoral College would “fix it.”   When that didn’t happen, they looked for someone to blame it on, and, if America wants to blame something on anyone in the world, “Russia™” is probably going to be the stock bogeyman that gets picked.   All of which is considerably easier than facing the fact that the American public rejected you.

When I said that the results were “resounding,” I am simply looking at the election results map.   That thing is a sea of red.   The People did what they did ... did something that had never been done before in the entire history of our Republic ... and they did it on purpose.

This was not a “hack.”   Neither was this the result of outside international-or-otherwise influence.   This was a conscious decision.