A path to American citizenship for all mankind

Here’s the process:

Go to the nearest US consulate and get the forms; fill them out, pay the fee, wait for approval, then make your way to the US.

Or, simply make your way to the US.

Can’t afford the fare, or don’t know the way? We’ll come and get you.

Don’t want to come? You can still collect benefits and vote absentee. We’ll send a ballot.

Or vote online using our secure voteserver – anonymized for your protection.

Let us know which path you want to follow. If we don’t hear from you by November, we’ll register a vote on your behalf.

Election rigging

Cokie Roberts on the radio the other day was explaining how irresponsible it is to impugn the integrity of the election process. It calls into question the legitimacy of whoever wins, you see. Recalling eight years of “President Select Bush,” this seemed a bit much. So I ask, to what extent is the election rigged?

Well, to what extent does it need to be? It’s not like anyone has thousands of phoney ballots to print up and then stuff into ballot boxes across the country. No vote in my county is going to have any effect on who gets my states’ electoral votes. We’re swamped by the voters in a handful of heavily populated counties.

There are only two or three key states that could go either way. Skew things just a bit in Florida, maybe by double-counting some absentee ballots and “losing” some others. Arrange a bit of electronic manipulation in Ohio; a delay here and there; an “accidental” release of results, or a “mistaken” early report of polling data calculated to increase turn-out in one place, or suppress it in another. At ninety-nine percent of the polling places across the country, no rigging would be necessary.

As to the ethics of the whole business, we saw what Democrats were willing to do to stop Mitt Romney and John McCain. What would be off the table if they were trying to stop Hitler? The theory is that integrity is maintained by Democrats watching Republicans, and vice versa. But how hard is the Republican Party going to fight for Donald Trump? Everybody knows the leaders would rather have Clinton, pro forma endorsements notwithstanding. They don’t need to collude in the rigging, not that they’re above that. All they need to do is fight weakly and ineffectively. Republicans are masters at fighting weakly and ineffectively.

So, I think the election is rigged in favor of Secretary Clinton, just like the Democratic primary was. I don’t think it’s rigged enough to overcome a landslide, but probably enough to give Secretary Clinton a point or two advantage. From a utilitarian point of view, a Clinton victory might not even be the worst outcome. If the country is going to continue its trip to perdition, I’d as soon have the handbasket carried by a Democrat.

Crazy, but not merely crazy

“Elwood P. Dowd not only has his invisible friend, the six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey, but will take you to court unless you shake Harvey’s hand and register Harvey in at the hotel. Harvey must be your friend too, or else. Christian bakers who have retained their hold on reality can tell us what will happen to you if you say, ‘But there is no Harvey here, nor will I pretend that there is.'” — Pronouns, Ordinary People, and the War over Reality, by Anthony Esolen

Senator Gregg speaks

“‘It’s every person for himself or herself right now,’ former senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said.”

Good thing the senator didn’t say “every man for himself,” like men did back in the bad old days. Whatever else happens to the Republican Party, at least they haven’t stooped to micro-aggression. Going forward they’ll need to get a handle on those binary-normative verbal structures, and I’m sure they will; but one step at a time.

Hacked, forged, who knows?

Hackers can break in to systems and leak the documents they find. Hackers can also edit the documents they find, and present those files as authentic.

Maybe ten thousand of the documents are authentic, one is edited to add Joe Biden’s name to a list of attendees at a meeting, and one is a completely made-up document about Huma Abedin’s tax returns.

“Imagine trying to explain to the press, eager to publish the worst of the details in the documents, that everything is accurate except this particular email,” says Bruce Schneier.

Fortunately, he continues, “Major newspapers do their best to verify the authenticity of leaked documents they receive from sources. They only publish the ones they know are authentic. The newspapers consult experts, and pay attention to forensics.”

So at least there’s that.

Scott Adams fake because

Leaving aside the presidential election (and who isn’t keen to leave aside this presidential election), Scott Adams has written an insightful observation on human psychology. Maybe his theory that people need a “fake because” is mistaken, but it is thought-provoking.

The politician and the goats

after The Goatherd and the Wild Goats, because sometimes you just have to spell it out.

A politician, governing his country in the twenty-first century, found some people in the third world, and brought them to his nation to join its existing citizens.

The economy turned bad, so that the politician was hard pressed to find jobs for all the people who needed them. He told the existing citizens to go pound sand because that was how the free market worked, but gave amnesty, welfare, and jobs to the new immigrants, hoping that by doing so they would vote for him.

When the election came, the politician led everybody out to vote, and the new immigrants killed a bunch of the existing citizens and then sued them for hate.* The politician scolded the existing citizens for their ingratitude and xenophobic stupidity, and demanded that they vote for him.

One of the immigrants, turning about, said to the politician: “Allah akbar,” killed a bunch of the politician’s friends, and then killed himself. crying “you’re next!”

The moral of the story is, stay out of gun-free zones.

*The parallelism with the goatherd and the goats kind of breaks down at this point.