Really Now, This Could Be Big
The fact is, the electorate sees things differently a year after the election. That is nowhere more obvious than in Massachusetts, where a Republican just might be elected to the federal Senate. If that happens, it will be a truly seismic event in US politics, and could set off a cascade of change.
Prediction, as TLB has said repeatedly, is not possible. Events seldom unfold in linear progressions, and everything may be tossed into the trash by any number of possible catastrophes, domestic or foreign. That said, what has already happened in Massachusetts is stunningly unprecedented — and will have consequences. The electorate is unsettled, disturbed, and forming new power blocs.
There has already been a shift in the mood of the nation; an anxious distrust is palpable.
Whatever the outcome of this election, the party in power must consider proposing a new, gentler agenda to the nation. The current goals of the administration and Congress have not won and can not win the overwhelming popular support that peaceful radical change always requires. Many voters perceive the administration and its allies as the causes of distress, rather than as leaders who can dismiss it.
The USA Needs Greater Poll Security
The Massachusetts election is two days away as this is written, and Brown (the GOP candidate) is calling for volunteer lawyers to help his people make the election honest. (Complication here, indicating all sorts of messy possibilities and opportunities for the Democrats to sabotage democracy out of partisan zeal.) A recipient of Brown’s plea has this to say:
There will be attempted vote fraud by some Democrats in the Brown/Coakley Senate race. There is a lot at stake. A defeat which takes away Ted Kennedy’s old seat, and loses their super-majority, will be a humiliation and a political disaster for the Democrats. They will have every incentive to use all means available to them to prevent that defeat.
Well, it’s certainly not Ted Kennedy’s old seat, as the Republican candidate has said. And the quote is a jaundiced view. A TLB subscriber has described to this newsletter his awareness of the rigging of voting machines by the GOP in upstate New York.
Both parties do it, and to varying degrees. Perhaps the semi-final elections (primaries) and caucuses are most vulnerable to cheating; Hillary’s supporters reported numerous instances of Obama operatives literally turning them away from caucuses. The very idea of a caucus does seem to this newsletter to be a peculiar and problem-laden permutation of the democratic process.
The greatest threat to honest voting comes from the use of computers and other electronic, electrical and mechanical gadgets. They can all be compromised and set to produce desired results.
Voting, if it is to be kept honest, must be a primitive process. Even poking holes in paper is too complex, and therefore vulnerable. Remember “hanging chads”?
The best ballot will necessarily be marked in pencil. It must be hand-counted, of course, which offends the sensibilities of twenty-first century geeks — and frustrates those who would tamper with the vote. Each count should have at least three people involved: a caller, a recorder, and a watcher. Watchers should be unknown to the caller and recorder, and should be from a variety of backgrounds and political factions. They should be rotated frequently, and two or more could be assigned to each counter/recorder pair. Ballots and records of vote tallies should be under police guard.
And somebody should tell Holder at the DOJ that his federal cops and prosecutors must do their jobs.
Elections can be honest. It is not easy when you have outfits like ACORN doing all they can to deny the will of the people, but it can be done. Of course registration will have to be part of the safeguarded process, as anyone who is familiar with Alice, Texas and the history of “Landslide Lyndon” will tell you. (See this brief article and a longer one here if you are interested.) ACORN did not invent voter registration fraud; it just modernized it.
Finally, and this is a safeguard TLB doubts anybody else has ever thought of, professional stage magicians should be consulted as to how to prevent swapping bad ballots for good. In many cases, a single seemingly insignificant change in procedure or equipment can make trickery impossible.
Yes, this could be a dirty election…because whatever its result, there will be much gnashing of teeth and rending of raiment. That’s a small price to pay for democracy, and much of the world would love to be able to pay it. So the USA should set a good example.
“This Thing Just Works“
Apple computers are good. They are — and this is their greatest benefit — much, much safer on the internet than anything that runs Microsoft products. That’s because the Apple operating system is based on BSD, which is one of the Unix clones. From this (funny) post comes this quote:
So I’m a Mac guy now. Yep, I’m typing up this here disjointed mess on a MacBook. I used to think Apple partisans were a bunch of dumb jerks, but now I see what they’re talking about. This thing just works. At first I felt like a toddler trying to land a space shuttle, but now I never want to go back to a slow, clunky PC. This MacBook is like a part of my own body, only thinner. Thanks, bosses.
Whether he would feel the same about Linux running on a PC notebook, TLB can’t say, as nobody around here has worked on an Apple MacBook. So is this guy’s delight due to the hardware or the software?
He had some trouble at first, even though the Apple and Windows desktops don’t look all that different and do function similarly. Those of you considering Linux, take note: if operating an Apple was as hard for this guy as he implies, Linux just might have sent him limping back to Redmond…carrying his head in a sack (see footnote).
As much as TLB loves the power, flexibility, and many options of cost-free Linux — none of which Apple or Microsoft can match — Apple is the option for most Windows users. Internet security is great with OS X (pronounced “Oh-ess ten,” not “Oh-ess Ecks”), the Apple machines are beautifully made, and nothing equals Apple products for graphics, nothing. A word to the wise.
Footnote: yes, it can be that bad. For example, there was on the internet (it seems to have been mercifully taken down) a hilarious “review” in which the reviewer confessed that the task of installing Linux was so difficult that he never did manage it. He wrote the review anyway….
Do newspapers give balanced — or objective, or complete — coverage to all candidates? Consider the Los Angeles Times and how it has reported the election in Massachusetts that will decide whether a Democrat or a Republican goes to the federal senate. (As this is written, the election has not been held.)
From TLB’s What if Nixon had had these resources? file: When threatened by exposure, make the embryonic scandal as complex as possible, so the voters won’t understand it. The smelly proles who make up the electorate aren’t very bright, after all, so just drown them in slogans, details, and bullshit. Then get Glenn Greenwald to explain it to them, heh, heh. Mission accomplished! — Huh? You say Greenwald did not perform as expected, and even he thinks The One & Co. are in the wrong here? Well, er, ah, there must be some misunderstanding….
The myth of the quality and cost of government health care in France: a will o’ the wisp for US collectivists.
Attention, Obama supporters: if you want to prevent your man from becoming the next Jimmy Carter, you need to read, understand, take to heart and use the information provided for your benefit by Peggy Noonan. It’s here. And here is a quote to give you an idea of how painful this experience will be for you: “There is a disconnect, a detachment, a distance between the president’s preoccupations and the concerns of his people. There’s a disconnect between his policy proposals and Americans’ sense, as expressed in polls, of what the immediate problems are.”
As the critical Massachusetts election approaches, there will be more of this sort of dirty trick played to sway the voters at the last minute. It’s standard procedure. The political parties and news media think it works every time. Ask Mad Mary Mapes and Dan Rather — they’ll endorse it in principle, even though it cost them dearly.
Double standard? What double standard? Didn’t the WaPo allow this blistering commentary to appear? Sure, and this is the very last you will ever hear of the official’s misbehavior and the utter lack of press reaction to it, but….it did appear once, and if you missed it, well, that’s your fault. (Which is why TLB dredges up stuff like this and throws it at you. Click on the link, Pilgrims, and ponder the hypocrisy of the bicoastal elite and its lap dog press. You know they would never cut a Republican this kind of slack, and you know the rascals can’t point to a single opinion piece in a single newspaper to prove balance and objectivity.)
The Cape Cod Times endorses Brown with a thoughtful and, as the elitists say, “nuanced” editorial. Hell is about to freeze over.
Mark Steyn is one of this newsletter’s favorite wordsmiths, and this essay on the Massachusetts election is lethally hilarious. Democrats and Obamaniacs beware — it will destroy your digestive processes.
Wow: a political organization holds a convention and bars all the news media except one. Unfair! Well, take a closer look, and learn the full story.
AGW-related — this is not exactly a news flash, as it was covered in TLB 120, but here it is again for you devotees of Madame Blavatsky who are scurrying to get to the Himalayas to commune with the gods before India is destroyed. Well, you can relax, Seekers. There’s no hurry; it turns out India will be there whenever you have sold enough ganja to finance your heilix Pilgerfahrt. The Himalayan glaciers arenot melting. Like, you know, wow, right? — Oh, by the way, the linked report calls the original alarmist story a “total fraud.” Mercy! Why ever would anybody say that?
US Army artillery in Afghanistan: words and photos from Michael Yon. “There is no exaggeration saying that an Excalibur round could destroy a parked car twenty miles away on the first shot.”
Madness: a “progressive” weblog calls for the defeat of the Democrat in Massachusetts. They are eating their young….
Haiti: some private citizens try to do the next-to-impossible.
Oh, great! This will help: “Alain Joyandet, French co-operation minister, told reporters at the airport he had protested to Washington via the US ambassador about the US military’s management of the airport where he said a French medical aid flight had been turned away.” Remember Vichy!
Related: Old Europe and the UN lead the rescue efforts in Haiti. Read all of this news report.
Got him! Brown (running in Massachusetts for the federal senate, remember?) called Obama a bastard! Wahoo and whoo-ee, that sinkshim! And…what? What’s that? You say there’s more to the story? Hey, don’t pester people with the damn facts at a time like this! The election is, like, real close, and….