Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Does Trump "victory" mean our systems have collapsed and no longer can be trusted -- and the whole U.S. is about to get a taste of life in SchnauzerWorld?

Trump victory speech
As America wakes this morning to the grim reality that Donald Trump is our president-elect, many probably are wondering if yesterday was just a bad dream. Others are connected enough to reality that they have thought of fleeing to Canada -- in numbers large enough last night to shut down the Web site for the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) service.

Here in Middle America, in what serves as the Schnauzer household for now, two overriding questions come to mind:

(1) Can the election results be trusted, and did Hillary Clinton really lose?

(2) Is the rest of the country about to get a taste of the sort of institutional abuse my wife, Carol, and I have been experiencing for roughly 16 years?

The answer to question No. 1, in my view, is no. Vice News published an article yesterday morning titled "How To Hack An Election: Six Things to Watch for on Election Day." It set the stage for the atmosphere surrounding the 2016 election for months:

Fear of cybersecurity threats has plagued the 2016 presidential election since June when the Democratic National Committee site was hacked, with the U.S. government later determining the culprits were associated with Russian intelligence. Since then, a steady trickle of leaked emails, large-scale attacks, and escalating (if vague) threats of cyberwarfare between the U.S. and Russia have cast a shadow over November 8, and beyond. WikiLeaks dumped more than 8,000 new emails hacked from the DNC Sunday night, less than 48 hours before Election Day.

This is from a late October CNN article titled "Vladimir Putin Is Trying To Hack The Election. What should U.S. Do?"

In a tight race, cyber bad actors don't need to disrupt everything. They just need to hit a few counties in Pennsylvania or Florida, two big battleground states that use electronic voting but in some precincts do not use verifiable paper audit trails to confirm results.

Pennsylvania and Florida are not alone. Thirteen other states lack paper audit trails in either all or some voting locations. . . .

Finally, the US government needs to start attributing election-related breaches as quickly as possible unless there is a compelling intelligence reason not to. For months, the Russian government's election hacking was the worst-kept secret in Washington; everyone knew it, but the White House refused to acknowledge it. This sends all the wrong signals, emboldening bad actors to do more tomorrow than they did today.

Officials at the highest levels in Washington knew Putin and Co. were trying to break into our house -- and we did not have a halfway decent lock on the door.

The Vice News article spells out six prime scenarios for hacking a U.S. election. Maybe it's my journalism background on overdrive, but this one jumps out to me:

Hacking the Associated Press

Remember when the Syrian Electronic Army hacked AP’s Twitter account and claimed the White House was under attack and briefly wiped $140 billion off the S and P 500? Well, now imagine something similar happening on Tuesday.

The Associated Press is the media outlet which all others rely on when calling the election results. Covering over 3,000 county election centers, AP has an unrivaled insight into election results and plays a critical role in the way election results are reported.

But, aside from getting its social media accounts hacked, how else could AP be vulnerable to an attack?

F-Secure’s Sean Sullivan found that AP’s Vote Count website, where clerks enter the numbers reported by stringers, was publicly available and not behind any sort of DDoS mitigation service. With access, hackers could enter false results that could temporarily spread misinformation throughout the country.

Were those accurate numbers that Wolf Blitzer, John King, and the like were reading to you last night? In today's world of digital chicanery, the answer is "not necessarily."

As for question No. 2, it's hard for anyone other than Carol and me to grasp what we've been through during the 16-year legal nightmare described in this blog. But here are some of the realities of Life in SchnauzerWorld:

* The justice system is unreliable, with judges routinely issuing orders that run contrary to law -- and lawyers, who have a professional duty to report such malfeasance, refusing to report it. In other words, the U.S. Constitution means nothing, and rights that supposedly are federally guaranteed are routinely trampled;

* The workplace becomes the site of fear, intimidation, and false charges. Both you and your spouse are cheated out of your jobs, based on allegations that have no connection to reality. Naturally, you have no union, and no coworker is about to stand up for you. Given your age, with a bogus termination on your record, you not only have lost a job, but a career -- with almost no hope of ever gaining comparable employment. And once you have a baseless arrest and conviction on your record, and your credit rating has been ruined, you have almost no chance of landing any job; (See item below.)

* Law enforcement becomes your enemy, arresting a journalist (me) for the "crime" of blogging and sending me to jail for five months, even attempting multiple times to arrest my wife. Evidence shows I was the one being beaten up by cops, but I am charged with "resisting arrest" and convicted. The law says you can't be convicted for "resisting" an arrest that was unlawful in the first place, but the law doesn't apply in this new reality;

* Law enforcement becomes a physical menace -- beating you up inside your own home and dousing you with pepper spray, all with no sign or mention of a warrant, no criminal charge of any kind. This happens in one state (which went for Trump yesterday), then later in another state (which also went for Trump) officers burst into your apartment for an "eviction," which by law was stayed because we had timely filed a Notice of Appeal, and you and your wife have multiple assault weapons and pistols pointed at you. Ultimately, three officers surround your wife, slam her violently to the ground, yank on her arms, put her in handcuffs, and take her to jail -- where someone notices her arms are purple; she is taken to a nearby hospital, where X-rays show her left arm has been snapped in two so severely that it will require trauma surgery; and

* Financial systems become riddled with corruption, featuring bogus foreclosures, where your home of 25 years can be stolen out from underneath you for political reasons. Is your financial information available to prying eyes? Probably, yes.

In a Trump presidency -- given the obvious signs that he is a sociopath, a narcissist, and a hypersensitive blowhard -- life likely will be much like this for an alarming number of Americans. In fact, U.S. life in general might become worse than anything we've experienced.

No wonder some folks are looking for the first train to Canada.


Anonymous said...

No doubt these results are sketchy. Are we supposed to think the Obama DOJ might actually try to investigate? Hah!

Anonymous said...

"Well, we live in the land of Putin

Old times there are not forgotten

Look away, look away, look away, Putin Land."

John said...

Roger, you and other Americans can't just move to Canada. You're welcome to visit us for six months, but you can't just get a job while you're here. Becoming a permanent resident is not easy or cheap. You can't just show up and demand an igloo. Sorry.

As a Canadian I can tell you that the idea is also a bit insulting to us. We're not Disney World. Canadians face terrible hurdles moving full-time to the US. Your supposedly leaky immigration system makes it nearly impossible.

Not that anyone here would want to move to the US now. Your public health care already sucks, and Trump is going to dismantle what's left of it. Your crime rate is a lot higher, people are generally pretty rude, employment benefits and vacations generally suck, and, as we just saw, about half the population are batshit crazy rightists and racists. Sad.

I suggest you and the rest you you who are too frightened to work for change in your own country flee to somewhere else, like Costa Rica.


Anonymous said...

Hillary is not presidential material. She might make a good president, but you've got to win the race first, and she always finds a way to screw it up.

legalschnauzer said...

You nailed it, John. All good points, well stated. If I were in Canada, I wouldn't want a bunch of Americans up there either. We're going downhill for a reason -- lots of selfish, ignorant citizens. As George Carlin said, "Garbage in, garbage out." We don't even make decent rock 'n roll anymore.

Anonymous said...

Silver lining for you: Kallon nomination is now toast.

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, great point, @1:00 -- and that had not crossed my mind. Nice to know something positive comes out of such a mess.

Anonymous said...

That part about the Associated Press is pretty darned interesting. Let's see, all of the numbers come from one source, and its vote-counting Web site apparently had zero protection. Gee, I wonder if this might attract a hacker's attention.

Anonymous said...

Getting a little tired of the Hillary bashing today. If I remember correctly, she ran in the primaries against three pretty capable challengers, and she got more votes than they did. In the revisionist history I'm reading today, she simply was anointed because she was next in line. It's as if there was not primary campaign, no primary debates, no primary election.

If Putin did hack the election machinery, and I don't deny that's a possibility, then it wouldn't have mattered who the Dems ran. The key is will anybody investigate this?

Anonymous said...

Given Comey's strange behavior prior to election, you have to wonder if FBI was involved in allowing election hack to happen.