|Trump victory speech|
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.