A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Dog and Pony Show

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the open socialist who won a New York congressional seat, is bitching that since she doesn’t start receiving money stolen from taxpayers for another three months, she can’t afford housing in Washington DC:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist and youngest woman ever elected to Congress, can’t afford to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C. before her job starts in January.

“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment?” Ocasio-Cortez, 29, told the New York Times. “We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January.”

She’s full of shit by the way. She’s three months away from receiving a guaranteed $174,000 per year salary (plus other benefits), which means she’ll have no problem whatsoever getting a short term loan from pretty much any bank. Moreover, she managed to raise enough money to run for Congress, which isn’t cheap. If she has enough suckers willing to fund her economic illiteracy all the way to Congress, she can almost certainly sucker them into dumping money into a GoFundMe for three months of housing.

But whining about an inability to afford housing will endear her to her fan base. Since they’re gullible enough to support an open socialist, they’ll buy pretty much any fool thing you tell them.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 9th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Voting Kills

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There are many reasons not to vote. One of the most notable is that voting is ineffective. But perhaps even higher on the list is that voting kills:

An 82-year-old great-grandmother from Texas voted for the first time ever during this year’s midterm elections. Gracie Phillips was battling pneumonia and in hospice care when she voted early Thursday. Sadly, just four days after casting her midterm ballot, Phillips died — but not before she had her voice heard and her opinion counted, her granddaughters told CBS News.

This woman voted for the first time in her life and just a few days later, BAM, dead.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 8th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Politics

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The Best Timeline

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Tuesday’s election resulted in a prisoner, dead pimp, and man with a thing for Bigfoot erotica all winning offices. We truly do live in the best timeline.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 8th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Your Vote Matters

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After the last election the Democrats were throwing a fit over supposed Russian interference with the presidential election (funny how politicians here get bent out of shape when somebody interferes with their elections). Implied in the accusation is that an extremely sophisticated enemy such as a state actor is necessary to interfere with a United States election. However, the security of many election machines and election-related sites is so bad that an 11-year-old can break into them:

An 11-year-old boy on Friday was able to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website and change voting results found there in under 10 minutes during the world’s largest yearly hacking convention, DEFCON 26, organizers of the event said.

Thousands of adult hackers attend the convention annually, while this year a group of children attempted to hack 13 imitation websites linked to voting in presidential battleground states.

The boy, who was identified by DEFCON officials as Emmett Brewer, accessed a replica of the Florida secretary of state’s website. He was one of about 50 children between the ages of 8 and 16 who were taking part in the so-called “DEFCON Voting Machine Hacking Village,” a portion of which allowed kids the chance to manipulate party names, candidate names and vote count totals.

Florida’s website isn’t an isolated incident. The entire infrastructure supporting elections here in the United States is a mess:

Even though most states have moved away from voting equipment that does not produce a paper trail, when experts talk about “voting systems,” that phrase encompasses the entire process of voting: how citizens register, how they find their polling places, how they check in, how they cast their ballots and, ultimately, how they find out who won.

Much of that process is digital.

“This is the problem we always have in computer security — basically nobody has ever built a secure computer. That’s the reality,” Schneier said. “I want to build a robust system that is secure despite the fact that computers have vulnerabilities, rather than pretend that they don’t because no one has found them yet. And people will find them — whether it’s nation-states or teenagers on a weekend.”

And before you think that you’re state is smart for not using voting machines, you should be aware that computers are involved in various steps of any modern voting process. Minnesota, for example, uses paper ballots but they’re fed into an electronic machine. Results from local ballot counts are transmitted electronically. Those results are then eventually transmitted electronically to media sources and from there to the masses.

If you go to cast your ballot today, know that there is no reason to believe that it will matter. There are far too many pieces of the voting infrastructure that are vulnerable to the machinations of 11-year-olds.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Ensuring Your Fellow Cultists Attend Worship Services

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As with any religious cult, the clergy of the state are always coming up with new ways to ensure that their flock are attending worship services. One of the most common tactics religious cults use to ensure worshipers attend services is peer pressure. When one cultist notices that another was absent from service, they will often “check-in” on them. To make this easier, the clergy of the state have made service attendance records publicly available. Some innovative worshipers decided to tie the publicly available attendance records to an app to make it easier for worshipers to chide their fellows who fail to attend services:

It’s easy enough to say you’re going to the polls, but nobody is really tracking whether you cast your ballot — until now. Two new political apps, VoteWithMe and OutVote, will help you see if your friends voted and what their party affiliations are. Both apps were designed to help you encourage your friends and family to vote in the upcoming midterm election, as first reported by The New York Times.

How your friends voted in previous elections remains secret, but their voting histories are not. The two apps take information from public government records and make it more easily accessible. Now, instead of having to look up each of your friends to see if they’ve voted, you only need to sync your phone contacts.

I, of course, will be labeled by an infidel by these apps, which is fine by me.

In addition to streamlining peer pressure, these apps will also streamline the upcoming ideological purge by making party affiliation publicly available. No longer will you have to wonder whether your fellow cultist voted the right way. If they’re affiliated with the wrong sect, you can demonstrate your devotion to your sect through some good old fashioned propaganda of the deed!

Written by Christopher Burg

November 6th, 2018 at 10:30 am

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Remember, Remember! The Fifth of November!

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Remember, remember! The fifth of November… and the fact that a Catholic theocracy seems like a pretty sane alternative to the choices with which this nation’s suckers, err, voters will be presented tomorrow.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 5th, 2018 at 10:30 am

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Rule Are for Thee, Not for Me

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Senator Ron Wyden has had enough of consumers’ privacy being violated and has decided to do something:

The Senator’s proposal would dramatically beef up Federal Trade Commission authority and funding to crack down on privacy violations, let consumers opt out of having their sensitive personal data collected and sold, and impose harsh new penalties on a massive data monetization industry that has for years claimed that self-regulation is all that’s necessary to protect consumer privacy.

Wyden’s bill proposes that companies whose revenue exceeds $1 billion per year—or warehouse data on more than 50 million consumers or consumer devices—submit “annual data protection reports” to the government detailing all steps taken to protect the security and privacy of consumers’ personal information.

The proposed legislation would also levy penalties up to 20 years in prison and $5 million in fines for executives who knowingly mislead the FTC in these reports. The FTC’s authority over such matters is currently limited—one of the reasons telecom giants have been eager to move oversight of their industry from the Federal Communications Commission to the FTC.

I read through his proposal [PDF]. Strangely enough the proposal doesn’t mention any punishments or penalties for politicians or other government agents who violate people’s privacy.

Rules are for thee, not for me, ya fuckin’ plebs.

When it comes to surveillance my primary concern is government surveillance. The main reason I’m concerned about private surveillance is because it can turn into government surveillance (either by payment or by a subpoena). If that weren’t the case, I’d be far less concerned because, unlike government surveillance, I can opt out of private surveillance. Moreover, if private surveillance couldn’t turn into government surveillance, a company seeing me do something it didn’t like wouldn’t result in men with guns busting down my door at oh dark thirty to either kidnap or murder me. So any legislation that doesn’t curtail government surveillance is, in my opinion, worthless.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 2nd, 2018 at 11:30 am

The Arbitrary Decrees Called Law

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The United States is often advertised as a land where “the law reigns supreme.” The upside about this is that if you don’t like what is currently reigning supreme, you just need to wait 15 minutes for it to change:

U.S. President Donald Trump said he plans to sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil, according to excerpts of an interview released Tuesday.

Arbitrary laws changing arbitrarily.

This executive order is more interesting than most because it is attempting to nullify the Fourteenth Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Fortunately for Trump, there is a great deal of precedence for politicians nullifying the clauses of the Constitution. Every single gun restriction law is a demonstration of the fact that the Constitution is toothless and therefore irrelevant. Perhaps some members of Congress or the judiciary will find their spine and declare Trump’s executive order irrelevant but I wouldn’t hold my breath. After all, if Congress or the judiciary had a spine, executive orders wouldn’t be a thing.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 31st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Everybody, Regardless of Personal Political Beliefs, Should Vote!

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There are a lot of people who plea for everybody, regardless of personal political beliefs, to go out and vote. Because they add the part “regardless of personal political beliefs” their plea appears magnanimous and unbiased because it doesn’t appear to be pushing their political agenda (They want everybody’s voice to be heard!).

But whether they’re conscious of the fact or not, if everybody who heard or read their plea complied, it would skew the vote in their political favor. Why? Because most people surround themselves primarily with like-minded individuals. So the majority of the people hearing or reading their plea will likely align politically with them.

Thus what appears to be magnanimous and unbiased is really personal agenda pushing.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 26th, 2018 at 11:00 am

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The Government Giveth, the Government Taketh Away

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The problem with basing federal civil rights laws on government defined groups is that the government can at any time redefine or remove group definitions. One moment you might be a member of a protected group as defined by the federal government, the next moment you might not:

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

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Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

Libertarianism, being an individualistic philosophy, argues that all should be equal under the law. This article demonstrates why. The principle that all are equal under the law is meant to take away the government’s ability to give and take protections willy nilly.

Of course it’s impossible for everybody to be equal under the law as soon as a government is established because members of a government by definition have privileges that people outside of the government lack (one of those privileges being the ability to define what protections exist). But I digress.

As soon as any individual is made unequal under the law the door is open for making other individuals unequal under the law. Title IX was meant to guard against gender-based discrimination in federally financed educational programs and activities. However, this law only came into existence because all were not already equal under the law. Instead of fixing the root of the problem, a group of politicians decided that two legally defined groups, men and women, should enjoy the same privileges from federally financed educational programs and activities. These protections were later expanded to transgender individuals by the previous administration. Now the current administration is proposing to redefine the applicable groups in such a way that transgender individuals lose Title IX protections.

Debates like this are inevitable when legal protections are granted collectively to legally defined groups instead of equally to every individual.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 24th, 2018 at 11:00 am