Trump won. Get over it.

I just read in the WSJ that “Mr. Trump won the election with only 46% of the vote, leaving more than half the nation to come to terms with his victory in the electoral college.”

This meme continues to be tiring on many levels, not the least of which being that the popular vote doesn’t elect presidents, and that’s how we’ve done things since the Constitution was ratified.  It’s not my fault that more than half the nation is deficient in their knowledge of American Civics.  (It’s probably the fault of the teachers’ unions and local boards of education, actually.  But I digress.)

So, let’s look at the facts.  Only 58% of the electorate bothered to show up on Election Day and cast a ballot.  42% sat home on their dead asses, or otherwise avoided the voting booth.  But there is no way to know how many of them have come to terms with Mr. Trump’s election and are accepting of him as president, at least partly because the polls are based on false assumptions regarding the electorate (see below).  Indeed, one might quite plausibly make the assumption that the 42% who didn’t vote would have been happy (or at least non-caring) either way — and that’s a reasonable assumption, this election cycle.

If you take the 42% who didn’t vote at all, and the 46% of those who did who voted for Trump, you get about 161,786,941 votes vs. 73,779,367 who voted for Hillary or other candidates.  Huh.  That’s a Trump landslide.

What?  You didn’t vote and you don’t like me calling you wishy-washy, and therefore a Trump supporter by default?  Or you voted for Hillary and still think she should have won because reasons?  Or you just think I’m full of shit?

OK, sure, you got me.  My methodology is just as valid as the methodology of the professional pollsters who had this race safely in Hillary’s pocket until 2AM November 9, 2016 (the same professional pollsters who now claim that a majority of the nation supports the ACA, given that the GOP is in a position now to deep-six it).  In other words, it’s bullshit, but it’s useful bullshit.  The fact is that neither side was able to convince nearly 99 million eligible voters to show up at the polls or even to cast an absentee ballot.  Those 99 million non-votes could have resulted in a landslide either way, so since Trump won, I’m assigning them to him on the assumption that those 99 million people either don’t care at all or are perfectly (or even cautiously) happy with the way the election turned out.*

The bottom line is that continuing to snark about Trump losing the popular vote and bemoaning the Constitutional system that establishes the Electoral College as the way we elect presidents in our Federal system is completely non-productive, makes the left sound like a bunch of fools, and angers people who support the Constitution and the rule of law.

But sure, keep up the moaning and groaning, the posting of snarky anti-Trump memes, and most especially, PLEASE keep up the violent protesting, including blocking freeways and city streets, smashing up and setting fire to cafes and bank offices, and ambushing and shooting cops for no good reason.**

You want more Trump?  Because that’s how you get more Trump.  Every time a protester howls, or a brick flies through a window, or a cop gets shot, a new Trump supporter gets its wings.

Choose the form of your Destructor, indeed.

___________________
* If you didn’t vote and that doesn’t describe you, gee, maybe you should vote next time.

** You do understand sarcasm, right?  Because that entire paragraph was sarcasm.

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Free at last

Our long national nightmare is over.

Godspeed, President Trump.

Boycott, shmoycott.

The 68 or so ‘critters who are “boycotting” the Inaugural are, I suppose, entitled to suddenly find they have something else to do that night — wax the dog, shampoo the cat, make a drug buy, whatever.

But I remember something from my American Diplomatic History classes in college, which were (the way the professor taught) sort of an advanced Civics class on steroids. Not quite Heinlein’s History and Moral Philosophy, but elements thereof.

The prof said that our tradition is that the outgoing President always attends the inauguration of his successor — even if he has to be dragged there kicking and screaming.  Apparently the Secret Service (and their predecessors in that job) see to that.  The story was that Truman absolutely did not want to attend Eisenhower’s inaugural — he and Ike didn’t get along very well — but he manned up (as Truman always did) and soldiered on.*  And I can imagine Hoover probably would have happily given FDR’s first inaugural a miss.  Can you imagine Johnson and Nixon?  Ditto Obama with Trump.  But it just isn’t done.  Why can’t the wayward congresscritters man (or woman) up and do the same?

The prof also said that no foreign dignitaries are invited to join the official party or to attend the major ceremonies.  This is OUR time.  We owe our independence, wealth, and power to nobody but ourselves. Contrary to a soon-to-be former president’s pronouncement, we DID build this.

Politics aside, when we get done fighting our quadrennial intramurals and actually elect a new president (or re-elect the incumbent**), the nation is supposed to come together, put that all behind us, and acclaim the new president.  None of this “he’s not MY president” shite — at least not until he turns out to be, well, Obama, who was, for at least his second term, hardly representative of anyone right of center’s idea of the direction the country should be taking.

By and large, though, in 2009, the right was willing to give Obama a chance.  He blew that chance, of course, as many of us figured he would, and his lock on Congress with it (which really should have told him something), and then he simply played a six-year game of “I won” and “I have a pen and a phone” to avoid working with Republicans.  At that point, no, he wasn’t my president.  The question, of course, is whether he was anyone’s president after the 2010 midterms.

But the time for divisive politics is over.  Donald Trump says he wants us to unite.  He wants this to be a country we are all a part of and can be proud of.  To him, the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us.**  In truth, it has always been thus, if we are willing to admit it.

The ‘critters who are boycotting the inaugural are, in that tradition, almost committing an indiscretion beyond the pale. They believe in division and are being divisive.  They believe they can force failure on Donald Trump by turning their backs on him and declaring him illegitimate.  And yet…they do not have majorities in Congress, they are losing governors’ mansions and state legislatures left and right, and they control only small slivers and bits of America.  This attitude on their part seems destined to lead to more failure on their part, not failure on Donald Trump’s part, because Trump is not obliged to seek compromise with them.  (I think he will, because that is his nature, but I certainly think they’ve burned most of their bridges with him at this point.)

But let’s think about this for a moment.  According to official results of the 2016 election, 136,628,459 Americans voted for president.  That’s a lot of voters, about 7 million more thain in 2012.  Yet, “[e]stimates show more than 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the 2016 election”.  Folks, that means that 42 percent didn’t think this election was important enough to cast a vote.  That means about 98,937,850 voters went completely untapped for one reason or another.

I don’t know about you, but I suspect that if Trump had spent more money on GOTV efforts in the last couple of months of the campaign, he might have picked up enough votes to landslide Hillary.  They were only separated by a couple of million votes.

Of course, that’s entirely meaningless, since we’re not a democracy — we’re a federal republic, and we have an Electoral College that expresses the democratic will of the states as to who will be the leader of the federal republic.  The states vote in the Electoral College based on whatever manner they have each provided to choose their electors.  In all 50 states that happens to be by holding an election and either handing the winner all of their electors or dividing them up in some way that has been determined by the state legislature.  They could as easily choose them by reading a horoscope or taking the augurs, or by having the elector candidates play Russian roulette.****  But all of the states, one way or another, have chosen to give the people a voice by letting electors be chosen based on a democratic election within the state.*****

The Electoral College is part of the Constitution, and has been from day one, and it’s how we have run our federal elections for president since 1789.  It’s hardly the first time the Electoral College winner hasn’t won the total popular vote, either — but again, that’s completely irrelevant.

And that’s why claims that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate fall flat, and the bad attitude on the part of the 68-odd Democrat congresscritters who’ve found something better to do with their day tomorrow don’t look like they are standing up for principle at all.

They just look like sore losers.  And they are.

__________________

* As I recall the story, Bess and Mamie hit it off famously when the two couples met for the obligatory coffee at the White House before heading up Pennsylvania Avenue, and that was part of what thawed Truman out.

** Or, in Obama’s case, the incompetent.

*** Hmm.  Where have I heard that before? (If you’re not a Scottish Rite Mason in the NMJ, you probably won’t know.)

**** Say…

***** I think they should be chosen by the legislatures.  But I think senators ought to be chosen that way, too, the way God and the Framers intended, and not the way the ridiculous 17th Amendment changed things in 1913.

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Legacies are more lasting than holidays.

I just ran across a discussion regarding how the rednecks down in the holler don’t care much for MLK Day and the person who started the discussion believes they’d get violent if it were called that, so they call it a teachers’ in-service day instead.

And I nearly posted this:

Dr. King’s legacy is all around us. The day itself is basically unimportant so long as we understand and apply the principles that he taught. Becoming upset over a small number of small minds who choose to ignore that doesn’t advance his legacy at all.

After some thought, I decided they’d just tell me to check my white privilege, so I said fuck it.

But this is why we still have racism — on both sides.  Dr. King would be sad.  If I can say so without having to check my fucking privilege.

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15 years

Dad’s been gone 15 years tonight.

That’s a long damn time.  Hard to believe.

I still miss the old man, but not in the I-can’t-breathe way it used to hit me.  We do move on; but we are still the sum of those who brought us into the world and taught us the way to go.

Ave atque vale, pater meus, requiescat in pace.

 

A thought

Have you noticed that the only presidential assassins and would-be assassins in our history have been men (or women) of the Left?

I frankly held my breath for eight years waiting for some idiot to take a shot at Obama.  That no one did is strongly indicative of the patience and maturity of the Right — or at the very least, the sure and certain knowledge that something like that would have been the end of the Second Amendment, and the beginning of the Third War for American Independence.*  Or the Second Civil War, anyway.

The joke was that Biden was Obama’s insurance against impeachment or assassination.  I don’t think so.  For the former, it would never have flown to impeach him.  For the latter, the Right wasn’t about to give the Left that opening — because anyone with any sense knew that would be the end of the Republic.**

Personally, I don’t expect the Left to keep its powder dry for the next four years.  I hope like hell I’m wrong.

_______________________

* The Second, of course, being the War of 1812.

** Which may be over anyway, but one can always hope for a Constitutional Renaissance.

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Thank you, Dennis D. Oklak

Even though I have no idea who you are, or particularly care, you have made my day.

Some bunch of commie progs sent me this card, I have no idea why; I’m clearly marked as a Republican in the primary books and haven’t voted for a Democrat in thirty years or more.

“One party will control all three branches of government thanks to Republican donors like Dennis D. Oklak.”

Yep.  Works for me.  What’s your point?  Beats another four years of failed Democrat policies.

“Oklak is a wealthy Indianapolis corporate executive who has donated over $93,000 to Republican candidates and committees.”

Go, Mr. Oklak!

“What kind of people has he supported?”

Looks like three great folks to me.

Todd Young, “The science is not settled.”  Well, fuck you, assholes, it isn’t settled.  It’s not in the green proggie academic interest for it ever to be settled, to be honest; if it were settled, all their grants and freebies from the .gov would run out and they’d actually have to work for a living.

Mike Pence, “Smoking doesn’t kill.”  Jesus, that’s the best you could do?  Nothing about how he allegedly hates fags?*

Richard Mourdock, “Something that God intended to happen.”  Well, sure, if you take a certain religious view of the world and free will.  I don’t agree with Mourdock per se, but on the other hand, he’d have been a lot better Senator than Joe “Lick Obama’s Boots” Donnelly.

But the best part of this card is where it came from.

As if I give a particular fucking damn about anything anyone in Hawaii has to say about Indiana politicians.  Their proggie racist state government is a poster child for how not to run a railroad.

ETA:  I happened to look at the postmark and kind of snorted to think that some poor bastard had to sit at a meter machine and run all these cards through it (yeah, I know, it’s automated, but somebody has to fill it, watch it run, and collect the cards after they’re franked).  And I noticed the originating ZIP code: 10001.

ZIP code 10001 is roughly Hudson Yards/Midtown Manhattan.  Looking closer, there is a union stamp on the postcard that reads (in tiny print) “OPEIU 153”.  That would be the Office & Professional Employees International Union, Local 153 — IN NEW YORK CITY.

So a political postcard allegedly sent out by a union local in Hawaii was printed and mailed by a completely different union local in New York.  Talk about taking food out of Hawaiian workers’ mouths, Local 5.  Good job!

___________________

* See what I did there?

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*#&^*(*)!

I’m retaking Boy Scout and Venture leader Youth Protection Training.  My Boy Scout training expired last August, and I’m tired of having one expire one year and the other the next, so I’m retaking the Venture training, too.

I fucking hate this.

First of all, the Boy Scout side of the training just makes me squirm.  Adults who pull the kind of shit that gets talked about ought to be taken out and shot, not just reported and kicked off the premises.  But at least it only takes 20 minutes and it’s mostly a video training with a few “stop and answer these questions” sections, then voila, you’re done.

Second, the fucking Venture side is more like a child psychology course, because Venturing goes from age 14 to 21, and we all know that 14 year olds are not the same either body-wise or mind-wise as 21 year olds.  So they break that into “young teens” and “older teens” and spend most of the training explaining the difference, which should be obvious to anyone who lived through their teen years and/or brought up teenage children.  And, bonus, it’s all “animated”, and you have to click to go from slide to slide — sometimes multiple times when the damn thing ought to just advance on its own.  It’s obvious that the Boy Scout training was made by professionals back when I was still actively involved (it could be used either as a group training or a single-user training), whereas the Venture one was put together by introverted millenials who thought millions of clicks were a good thing.  Oh, and also?  The Venture training was clearly made for leaders in their 20’s or 30’s.  The fucking fonts are so goddamn small I can barely read them.  But don’t take my word for it:

(If you right-click that and use the “View Image” or equivalent in your browser controls, you’ll get the full size version.  Not that it’s much bigger.)

But besides all that, the Venture version is kind of a waste, because it spends the bulk of its time talking about developmental issues rather than actual youth protection issues.  The set of scenarios where you’re supposed to identify the appropriate YPT action seems like it was added on as an afterthought to a training that was originally just about how to deal with teenage youth.  I would have liked to have seen something a little more in depth like the scenarios found in the Boy Scout YPT.

Bottom line, because of these shortcomings, I think it’s probably necessary to have both certifications if you want to be a Venture leader.  The Boy Scout YPT talks a lot more about what to actually do in situations a leader may encounter.  But I’m told that if you only do Venture, you need only take the Venture training (which is completely different from what I was originally told, that we had to take ALL FOUR YPT trainings — Cub, Boy, Venture, and Explorer — because our crew was going to interface with all four types of units).

But the whole thing is just annoying.  It’s as bad as taking “diversity” training and sexual harassment training at work every time we turn around.  When that shit started back in the late ’80s, we used to ask why we needed to take it every year when we had already taken it before.  Never got a good answer, but I think I know what the answer is:  Gotta keep that phoney-baloney parasite industry funded somehow.

Maybe under Trump, this PC culture will go to hell where it belongs, and we can stop wasting time and treasure on shit that ought to be common sense and bloody obvious.

(This isn’t going to Facebook because I’m just ranting.)

 

Insecurity by design

Bobbi makes a good point here.

The only real way to make the internet safe would be to go back and start from first principles, designing security in from the get-go.  Nothing about the underlying infrastructure was originally designed to be secure; security has always been a kludge draped on top of it by afterthought.  Simply encrypting the data portion of a TCP/IP packet isn’t sufficient; virtual private networks aren’t sufficient; longer and longer encryption keys aren’t the answer.  The network itself — which was probably perfectly secure when it was just the ARPANET and access (via leased lines) was limited to the military, academia, and a few corporations with a reason to be there (like BBN) — is simply not sufficiently secure for today’s all-access world, and isn’t going to be without a first-principles revamp.

I’ll speak for what I know personally — the email business.  Simple Mail Transport Protocol, first described in RFC821 in 1982 — 35 years ago! — was never a secure protocol, which is how it gets abused these days by spammers.*  All the attempts over the past 20+ years** to graft security on top of it either have been abject failures, have required major investment in poorly-thought-out SMTP firewall appliances, or have not received sufficient buy-in from major players.*** To wit:

  • DomainKeys is essentially being abandoned by its biggest proponent (and original creator), Yahoo.
  • DKIM is a joke, because the major players keep changing the rules.
  • SenderID and SPF are difficult to configure and require constant oversight as networks grow.
  • Blacklist and greylist maintainers are primarily reactive rather than proactive, and the rate of spurious blacklisting is unacceptably high.
  • Anti-spam packages like SpamAssassin are horribly complex, with rulesets you could spend a lifetime tweaking and still throw too many false positives.
  • Some firewall packages/appliances take it upon themselves to click every link in an email to check it for malicious content, which causes legitimate single-use links to fail (or worse, to cause things to actually happen that the recipient might not want to happen, like approving queued messages on a moderated mailing list) when the recipient receives the message. (Yes, Palo Alto Networks, I’m looking at YOU.)

I’ve been in the email business for close to a quarter-century, and I honestly don’t see how the spamming problem can truly be fixed short of building a completely new, secure-by-design infrastructure paralleling SMTP, and then demanding that everyone switch to it within a defined time frame or be cut off from the mail network.  And yes, using it will probably have to cost money, because the real way to hit spammers in the feels is to stop letting them use the mail system for free.

None of this actually solves the underlying problem of a creaking infrastructure that wasn’t designed to be secure in the first place, by the way. So the same is probably true of the whole TCP/IP network.  Eventually someone (probably the military, although I think they are already there with their combat systems) will get the bright idea to create a secure-by-design packet-switched network and the insecure one we have will go away.

_______________

* I include phishers and other email abusers in that designation for simplicity’s sake.

** Since the original “Green Card Spam” that got BITNET users up in arms when it leaked through USENET cross-connects into LISTSERV® mailing lists running on IBM mainframes worldwide.

*** AOL, Google, Yahoo!, TimeWarner, Comcast, Microsoft, etc. And more than not providing buy-in for various secure email schemes, these companies constantly make unilateral, unannounced, and incompatible changes to their anti-spam suites that violate existing protocol, meaning if you get your mail through one of them, you’re likely losing some mail that you’d probably prefer to be receiving.  Imagine being in my shoes and having to deal on Monday morning with thousands of legitimate emails bouncing back from, say, AOL after they break, er, change their filtering on Friday night.  And people wonder why I’m talking about retiring at 62.

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Doesn’t matter how many advanced degrees you have

Once a prick, always a prick.

This is the kind of thing that, if it had been done to Michelle Obama and the children during the transition period (or, hell, any time during the last eight years), would have earned the perpetrators universal condemnation.  The left would have screamed treason (actually they would have meant lèse majesté, but most of them aren’t smart enough to know the difference), and the right would have shaken their heads and pitied the poor misguided jerks.  Actually most of us would have done the latter; the number of people who are going fucking apeshit in this country today over Donald Trump is, relatively, pretty damned small.*

It makes no sense to continue to be assholish about the Trumps.  It certainly seems meaningless to take it out on Ivanka; it’s her father who ran for President and won, not her.  Moreover, apparently the main jerk in the drama was planning to raise hell with her as soon as he spotted her in the terminal.  His “husband”, another jerk with too many degrees for his own good, tweeted about it from the get-go and then (reportedly) hastily deleted his Twitter account after they were booted off the plane and word got around.

But that’s not the only Ivanka news out there.

Here are more deluded idiots, ordering Ivanka to take their art off of her walls.  You mean art that she paid for and for which you gladly and greedily accepted her filthy lucre?  And framing it as “we’re embarrassed because of your father and we think you should be, too”?  I’ll tell you what Ivanka is too gracious to tell you:  Fuck off and die, assholes.

The sad thing is, these people probably don’t reflect the vast majority of Americans, regardless of which side they supported.  The radical frothingmouths who are getting all the air and press time are a small, tiny fraction of the electorate, acting out in an immature, outré fashion in order to attract the cameras and make it appear that everyone hates the Trumps.  Joe and Jane Regular American, meanwhile, sit at home and cluck-cluck over the fuss — if that; they probably turn the news off and go back to binge-watching The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.  Even if they supported and voted for Hillary, even if they were Never Trumpers, they’re probably sick and tired of the bullshit just like those who did vote for Trump.  Because that’s quintessentially American behavior after an election, not spastic childish asininity and petulant cries of indignation that the other guy won and he’s not our president or some shit.  Hell’s bells, people, if it were otherwise, we’d have had civil wars in this country continuously for the past 200 years, and in the last 20 for damn sure.  People came to America tired of all that crap in the old country, and in general successfully inoculated their children and grandchildren against radical bullshit behavior.  Yeah, they joined unions, but our unions (bad as they are) are not the same as European unions.  And that resistance to rocking the political boat is still ingrained into most of us.  How many conservatives hit the streets and organized mass protests against the Obama administration?

Not as many as railed against Bush 43, but again, we’re talking about a small subset of the proggy commie Left, here, not half the country as people (particularly journalists with an agenda) are trying to make us believe.

There’s that great quote from the preface to P.J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores (written after the Bush 41 win in 1988) that says so much about why proggies always have shit fits in Republican adminstrations:

Not long after Andy [Ferguson] and I met, we were driving down Pennsylvania Avenue and encountered some or another noisy pinko demonstration. “How come,” I asked Andy, “whenever something upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American flag?”

“We have jobs,” said Andy.

And Rush Limbaugh has long observed that liberals are much funnier out of power than they are when they’re in power.  But that’s beside the point.  Who actually has the time and personal wealth to sit out and protest or march up and down day after day protesting the powers that be?  Look at that fucking mess up in North Dakota, over something like half a mile of pipeline out of 1,172 miles total that is, to all intents and purposes, complete.  Yet there are people up there camping and protesting.  Don’t these people have jobs and families?

The answer is that these are all tiny movements punching way above their weight class, paid for lock-stock-and-barrel by people like George Soros, Tom Steyer, and their ilk.  Commie assholes who would rather spend their money destroying this country than building it up.  Soros in particular is a massive prick who has zero love for his adopted country and would rather see it turned into the 50 Soviet Socialist Republics of America, probably with himself in control of the Politburo, than for it to be rich and free, a shining city on a hill and a beacon of freedom for all.  Steyer is just an asshole who’s managed to make a bunch of money and wants to lord it over the rest of us.

Fuck those guys, and fuck their billions of dollars.  It’s good to see a lot of it was wasted on the late campaign for Queen Bitch.

But the point is, the prickishness displayed this afternoon on Jet Blue toward Ivanka Trump is not just an isolated incident, nor is the group of artists trying to tell her what to do with their art that she paid for fair and square.  The insanity is fostered at high levels with lots of left-wing money.  Luckily, out of the 300 million people who live in this country, the total number of the deranged is quite small.

If we could get the news media to stop reporting on this crap, it would stop.

But that’s like trying to stop a force of nature, in this country.  Sadly, the media have cast off the idea that along with freedom of the press comes great responsibility.  And they’re just as bad as anyone else in the camp of the deranged.  The prickishness and the derangement will continue, it appears, until someone with sufficient authority can put a stop to it, or (more likely) until the pricks and the deranged finally realize that nobody fucking cares about their little tantrums.  And by “nobody,” I mean “nobody on either fucking side.

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump will just keep smiling and ignoring you.  Just like all the hot girls and hot boys did back in school when you acted like a fucking idiot, which was probably most of the time.

__________________

* I can state this with some authority, because I don’t see the left and right coasts seceding.  The clowns in California who want to break away, well, they’re just clowns…and not particularly funny ones.  If literally half of the country was up in arms about Donald Trump, there would be an actual, hot civil war going on right now.  The fact is that it wouldn’t even take half of the country — but it would take a number of highly-placed politicians, none of whom are interested in a repeat of the late unpleasantness of the 1860’s and would like to keep their phoney-baloney jobs at just about any cost.  That goes for you, too, Texas.

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