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2022-11-09 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 938 references Ignore this thread
As Wednesday Dawns....
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It is done.

Now we find out whether politics is indeed the peaceful version of physical war or that barrier is, at least in the United States, gone.

If you think about it for 30 seconds or so (assuming you haven't ruined your ability to do that with Instragram and similar) you will recognize that politicians and indeed the formal political process has long declared, all the way back to the founding of America and likely far longer, that this is in fact true.  

Carl von Clausewitz once said "War is politics by other means" but in fact he had it backwards -- its the other way around.

Politics is war without the killing and physical destruction of the property held by your opponent.

You think not?

  • Let's campaign for this politician or that.

  • I'm going to fight for ($15 minimum wage | green energy | black lives | whatever-handout-du jour)

  • I'm going to defeat my opponent (in office, in political views, etc.)

  • My opponent is going to throw Granny down the stairs (including ads of stick-figures doing so)

  • My opponent will get you nuked, literally ("Daisy" anyone?)

  • My opponent is a {fascist | Nazi | Communist | Socialist | etc} - the implication is that if you vote for the opponent they will kill you, imprison you or destroy and/or confiscate your stuff.  All three are what happens in a war.

Why is it that we have entire nations (e.g. Brazil) where they can count all the ballots within hours of the polls closing but we can't?  There's nothing complicated about running a hard-to-cheat and entirely-fair election that produces irrefutable results within hours when you get down to it.  It simply requires:

  • Everyone votes during a single-day fixed window of time.

  • Everyone who votes dips their finger in indelible ink so you cannot vote twice.

  • Everyone showing up to vote must present reasonable proof of citizenship.  In a nation where close to ten percent of the persons in the nation on a given election day have no lawful right to vote due to being here illegally, a visitor or green-card holder, and ten percent is materially beyond the margin of victory for most races, no balloting is legitimate unless every voter is verified to be eligible to cast their ballot.  Since ballots are secret (they cannot be tied to an individual person by design, otherwise there is no privacy in how you vote) there is no way to cure a ballot cast by an ineligible person after the act.  It therefore it must be proved at the time of ballot issue.  Period.

  • Other than serialization of the ballots issued to a voter and tabulated (so "X" ballots were issued, "Y" were spoiled and retained and therefore "X - Y" must be in the tabulation for said precinct or other voting location and "Y" must be in the spoiled container) no means of tracing which voter got what provably-unique ballot is possible.  Therefore nobody can tie a specific vote to a specific person but it is absolutely proved that "X" people voted, each person who did so only did so once, and "X" ballots are present.

  • All votes are made onto a physical, tamper-evident thing (the easiest and cheapest is paper of a specific type, bond and with security features embedded in it, no matter how tabulated) which is retained and able to be inspected by anyone at any time to verify that the tabulation of votes was "as cast."

  • All votes are tabulated and counted only (1) after the polls close and (2) no results are permitted out of the counting room(s) by any means whatsoever until all counts are complete and the polls books verified as balanced.  This makes impossible determining how a race is going to turn out in advance and thus you can't "find" or change votes after the fact since nobody has any way to know what the count is or will be until the opportunity to add, subtract or modify the votes as cast has been foreclosed.

  • All tabulating, printing and related election software must be open-source including the operating system and all OS/device libraries and drivers, the configuration files that control its operation are signed with a maintained certification chain (as with TLS certificates) the issuing CA keys are under lock and key except when used to issue same, and said media containing same can only be withdrawn and used under direct physical observation of poll watchers by all parties on the ballot.  Any violation of the security of said signing certificates results in their immediate revocation without exception.  No election operations or tabulating machine may have connectivity outside of the physical room it is in by any means whatsoever, no such hardware capable of same (e.g. Wifi, bluetooth or other than physical wired links) may be present in the room, no such equipment may be visible from outside the room by any means (e.g. through windows) that allows its operation or the material fed into it to be observed beyond the four walls, once the polls are closed and tabulation begins nothing may enter or leave until it is complete and any person or entity that violates any section of this provision is subject to summary public execution without exception.  This means anyone can verify that (1) the software has no "back doors" in it, (2) the configuration files (e.g. ballots, where the "marks" have to be, etc.) are as-claimed, (3) the configuration file was in fact issued by who it allegedly was and is valid and (4) nobody has screwed with any of this from outside the place where polling or tabulation occurs and if someone tries it verification fails and said equipment will refuse to operate on said tampered-with file.

  • All election materials, including the code, configuration files and physical ballots cast, sans outer envelopes which may contain a signature or return address in the case of absentee ballots, are public domain post-election subject only to reasonable requirements to prevent tampering or destruction.  Any person or entity may examine same at any time and no election materials may be tampered with or destroyed for a period of at least ten years.  Physical ballots shall be made publicly available in high-resolution scanned image form, along with the evidentiary basis behind the poll books to prove they balance against said ballots on a precinct basis, no later than ten (10) days post-election and all configuration files, operating systems and other code on an "as-used" basis shall be publicly available as of the date of certification of results.

That's it.

If you want to argue that there needs to be some exception for people legitimately unable through no fault of their own, and not able to be mitigated by their planning and choice, to vote on the given day (which everyone knows a year or more in advance) then that's fine.  That can be accounted for under this system; all such "absentee" voting must have a verified reason for issue, once issued you are removed from the poll books for the next election used for in-person voting (so you can't show up and request a ballot on election day) and none of the absentee ballots can be inspected in any way including the outer envelope, opened, validated as acceptable (e.g. bearing signature, etc.) or otherwise have their security violated until the polls have closed.  Once the polls have closed then said ballots are treated as any other; they go into the counting facility, their poll book is validated (e.g. there cannot be more absentee ballots in envelopes than there were validated requests) post closure of the polls they are opened and from that point forward are subject to the same rules as an in-person ballot except that a spoiled ballot (is unsigned, not filled out, etc.) is discarded and recorded as such.  The risk of an absentee ballot being spoiled and not redeemable is on the person voting absentee; if you're going to use that path then you are the one with the responsibility to make sure you don't screw it up and spoil your ballot because once-issued to you there is no way to replace or cure it.  There can't be a cure process or its entirely too easy to cheat.

You can't do "early voting" and have all of this work because someone's voter registration and thus their registered party is public.  The SOS will sell lists of same to anyone who asks (and political candidates do ask all the time); this is ordinary election and political work and there's nothing wrong with it.  If I am a candidate where in the district I want to expend my funds is something I can learn from the registration of voters and that's a perfectly-legitimate thing for me to do, and thus all candidates, even third-party candidates, do so.  You can't both allow such records out (and there's no way to maintain them as "secret" if you have "registered" party affiliation) and have early voting without information about likely margins being available, imperfect though it may be, days, weeks or months ahead of the contest date.  For this reason it must be banned.  Convenience does not trump integrity in a free and fair system.

Why am I posting this now?

Because there was no point in doing it ahead of time; nobody was going to change anything in time for it to matter but that this be addressed is utterly critical as the above, at the top of this entry, makes clear.

If trust in said process is lost then Carl von Clausewitz' words threaten to become real.

If I cannot prosecute my "war" when it comes to ideas by political means without bloodshed or breaking people's stuff you leave people with a serious beef against one another in terms of how a city, county, state or nation should be run only one other option to resolve their differences -- physical war.

If you ever destroy the trust of even a few percent of the population in the integrity of the voting process you wildly raise the odds of such a violent outcome.  There will always be a few nuts who claim their election was "stolen" and perhaps it was (Hillary, Abrams, Trump but whether they really believe that or simply are sore losers is easily determined by whether they pick up arms and go seek to prove it.  Funny how none of them have done that here in this country eh, and no, January 6th wasn't that.  Not even those arrested, prosecuted and sitting in prison, except perhaps one or two crazies, truly believed their actions were going to lead to a second Trump term and everyone knows it.

We've all seen plenty of sore losers in our lives and politicians are no exception.  Giving one a second bite at the apple is nuts, but then again a good part of our population is indeed crazy, especially today where you can reach for a pill bottle -- or a phone -- and immerse yourself in whatever brand of crazy you prefer.  But the entire point of an election is that if crazy wins then you deserve crazy, so there you have it.

Those who seek to destroy the integrity of this process must be denied the capacity to do so, and if they will not voluntarily desist then they have chosen the path by which the dispute is resolved.

Make sure they all understand that.

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Vernonb 2k posts, incept 2009-06-03
2022-11-09 07:51:46

Fetterman and the Dems already at it with trying to do same shit trying to "reconcile" mail in ballots.

"Mail ins" are horse shit and this practice must stop for issues of convenience.

"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Ocdawg 383 posts, incept 2019-03-14
2022-11-09 07:51:50

Well said Karl

Observation: instilling all the above still did not prevent BOOBUS AMERICANUS from voting a clearly incapacitated candidate (Fetterman) into office

Buh-bye America...

"I say we take off, nuke the entire site from orbit... it's the only way to be sure"
Statman6 18 posts, incept 2021-04-19
2022-11-09 07:51:55

Another grand slam, Tickerguy. Something like this solution absolutely needs to be put in place before 2024. It makes no sense that results cannot be counted, tabulated and announced within hours of the polls closing. Did you include a stipulation that the counting continues until all votes are tallied?
Wayiwalk 575 posts, incept 2016-11-09
2022-11-09 07:52:01

Sounds good. Unfortunately I think this country is going to go to hell in a handbasket before we see any common sense like this implemented consistently nationwide.

The Lockdowns Will Continue Until the Morale Improves!

I keep thinking, "it can't get any worse" and then it does!
Seektruth 1k posts, incept 2007-09-01
2022-11-09 07:52:06

You can count me in the few percent whose trust in the integrity of the voting process is gone. I have no illusions that Repubs are going to fix the real problems when they have the power, but it's clear we can't even trust the results when we get to pick from a list of losers.

We're not going to have legitimate elections from now on, the corruption is just too entrenched and widespread (not limited to just D's either). The approach outlined in this article is exactly what we need, but who thinks that is ever going to happen? Real war, with blood and violence, is all that's left IMHO. Well, unless we all just roll over and submit I guess. I'd rather die on my feet.

Truth is out of style.
Sapper 29 posts, incept 2022-01-29
2022-11-09 07:52:17

So simple even the Iraqis did it...

We, have become full of Hopium, but only those truly understand realize which hand if filling up, and it's not hope.
Dan_e 98 posts, incept 2009-06-23
2022-11-09 07:52:23

Not saying it's perfect, but I like the system here where every person gets a personalized voting pass that then is checked with photo id and taken in exchange for a ballot form. That way there have to be just as many voting passes as ballot forms in the voting station. Of course you can still add passes and ballots, but if there are more passes than voters in the neighborhood, that gets fishy soon enough. Same if voter turn out differs from previous years by a large margin that isn't reflected in other locations nearby (or even elsewhere).
As for knowing who/what's on the ballot, that info is delivered to each household before the election - with basically the same layout as the official ballot form.
Spanky 201 posts, incept 2011-03-22
2022-11-09 07:52:30

@T, It *appears* that the Democrats got just enough votes in key races to retain control, despite widespread public dissatisfaction with their messaging and results. Timing and content of this article indicates you find this fishy as well. Our are you just saying that things are so fractured that our system must be beyond reproach?
Hobbled 216 posts, incept 2011-02-09
2022-11-09 08:11:49

War it is then??? Looking at one map the red wave should be an inexorable fact. But no, somehow those small islands of blue are like a seawall holding back a tsunami. They pulled it off. There is your Democracy, population centers will govern and dictate to us unwashed deplorables outside their populations centers??????

TG -Is this the first time one party that has trashed an economy has not been literally swept out of the majority? I thought it was the economy -- stupid.

Not saying the Reds would materially change the important things like deficits and medical costs. Granted, My hope for saving our country is not in man or the voting process but Repugs MAY HAVE slowed the destruction temporarily - at least in social matters we are grappling with like transgender, CRT, pronoun and bathroom usage, 2 Amedment etc.
Twainfan2 1k posts, incept 2018-12-04
2022-11-09 08:12:05

I really don't see any such things happening. The push has been all vote by mail and that seems to be expanding. IMO it's because they know they can't be proven to be cheating and can cheat just enough to stay in power whenever and where ever needed. As far as voting goes going forward, I think the best we can hope for is divided govt so little gets done and nothing big gets pushed through. I also don't believe there is a way to reconcile differences especially not via the ballot box. I think we either separate peacefully or we go down the violence path. There seem to be too many people who want Socialism , Marxism or outright Communism (or Fascism). Those of us who are (relatively) sane are vastly outnumbered. So where do we go or what do we do? I can move to a different state but that doesn't get me away from the national crap. I'd move to another country but I'm not sure any would be similar to what I want/believe. Sorry if I'm rambling, didn't get enough sleep last night.

Trump needs to go away (preferably to prison) and his MAGA bs needs a stake driven through it's heart and doused in holy water then shoved out in the sunlight for good measure.

Perhaps a real, serious economic screwing is what it will take to wake the idiots up. Or perhaps the clottery (or jabbery) will help out. Either way, I just want to be left alone and my taxes as low as possible.
Neal 236 posts, incept 2014-01-09
2022-11-09 08:12:13

You think that the same jerks who block voter ID as racist will not use every tactic they can to block your suggestions?
Indelible ink is racist they will claim. Its just like the branding on slaves. Plus the ink contains chemicals like silver nitrate and it is a chemical that many are allergic to. Think they wont claim that some group of colour has a higher level of allergy to whatever chemical selected and as such its use is racist. Think with the billions at stake in elections that the DNC, Soros or similar wont fund research in how to remove the ink or how to make a skin lotion that prevents the finger from staining?
Themortgagedude 12k posts, incept 2007-12-17
2022-11-09 08:15:53

I'm even good with giving two consecutive days to vote so as not to inconvenience people. But so much of what you point out is needed. The Republicans will never win again with the current system of ballot harvesting. Pennsylvania Democrats have it figured out.

I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Dingleberry 566 posts, incept 2011-11-06
2022-11-09 08:37:41

I 100% agree with TG, we have been voting for a couple centuries, but somehow regressing.....hmm?

I'm afraid that since elections are state-level, those suggestions will fall on deaf ears, certainly for the blue ones.

We cannot even get the left to agree to show IDs to vote because it's wayciss. Apparently millions of adults of certain demographics are assumed not to be able to get one. Ok.

Once the left gets power, the dem machine takes over. If you have ever lived around it, you know what I mean. Now that cancer has spread thanks to women, minorities and millennials. There is no escaping the trend. Only delay. And forget about the courts helping.......that "standing" thingie always seems to crop up.

Where I live, to vote is akin to going to the bank and trying to cash a check. High levels of scrutiny and security. Oh, and the votes got counted by end of the night, and there were millions upon millions to count. But for some states....I guess maff is just too hard.

The good news for me is my state is still very red (if not redder), and as far as politics goes....I got another 2 years of relative political tranquility. To those in blue zoos, enjoy your abortions, your murder, your mayhem and your pedo grooming in your skoolz, etc. Don't bitch, it's what you wanted.

I take politics two years at a time, as I know what it certain to come. This nation tapped slightly on the breaks into marxism-fascism last night, that's all that happened.

The ride into marxist-fascist hell will continue. The voting tendencies of those I mentioned may change at the fringes, and the parties also change to fit an increasingly leftist culture. Today Repub is really yesterday's Dem. This will continue.

So enjoy life, and watch the shit show while you still can, hopefully from afar.

You cannot help a people more than they want to help themselves.

Welcome to the Balkans.

Msbeaty 4 posts, incept 2022-10-01
2022-11-09 08:38:11

Just like with most computer problems, the operator is typically the issue. I live in TN so was voting on the 4 ballot issue that were previously discussed here. I will be the first to admit, that the ballot language is intentionally cryptic and hard to understand, even for someone who has done some research. I had a revelation while waiting in line to vote. All of the people in front of me were spending at least 5-8 minutes in front of the voting machine. Undoubtedly they were trying to read the ballot issues and understand them at the booth. The sad part is a sample ballot had been posted on the election commission website for months, but it was obvious that none of these individuals thought it was with the time to seek out and try to understand. It is scarry, but the decisions likely came down to feelings at the moment rather than any real thought.

Until the people and our attitude to voting ands its responsibility changes, I don't see any way our country begins to improve for the long term.
Kcforreal 29 posts, incept 2021-09-27
2022-11-09 08:38:19

I don't know what's a worse reality, that the elections are permanently rigged or that so many people are so fucking stupid, ignorant, bought off and/or corrupted.

It's sickening. How in hell do you elect brain-damaged Fuckerman in PA after seeing what hell that the brain-damaged 'president' has wrought, not to mention nursing-home genocide-causing Hochul???

"I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand
Takewhatyoucan64 85 posts, incept 2022-08-30
2022-11-09 08:38:26

Fetterman will soon step aside and his crazy ass wife will be appointed by the governor to finish out his term/

I think my wish will come true in the next 2 years. Its all gonna come down. Its gonna be Biblical

We have 2 years worth of food and liquor........but all my ammo could be gone in a day if it really went to shit.

Shadowmask 4k posts, incept 2021-05-24
2022-11-09 08:38:39

All excellent, logical, and well thought out suggestions.

The only counter is, "Y U not want people to vote, raaaaacissss?" Because yes, Boobus Americanus is that stupid.
Shadowmask 4k posts, incept 2021-05-24
2022-11-09 08:43:36

On Pennsylvania electing a potato: like repukes wouldn't vote for a senile turnip. People are Pavlovian dogs voting for R or D.
Boredfree 924 posts, incept 2021-09-15
2022-11-09 08:52:17

What we really need to add to our ballots is a 'none of the above' as a choice.

If voters choose 'none of the above' than the election needs a redo with new candidates.

I'm tired of being given the choice between my ass and my mouth when the PTB have an election. What if I don't want to be raped at all? How do I choose between terrible choices?

We shouldn't need to hold our nose to vote. If the political machines can't produce a decent candidate I shouldn't be forced to decide on which pile of shit to vote for.

I'm over it. Fuck'em all with a hot molten cock.

The problem is most people want to point a finger rather than their thumb when dealing with challenges.
Winston2020 441 posts, incept 2020-03-29
2022-11-09 08:52:33

An unusual number of flaws addressed in this update. Of course, once a machine is compromised by one of them, closing the door after the exploit is successfully conducted doesn't do much good:

Microsoft November 2022 Patch Tuesday fixes 6 exploited zero-days, 68 flaws
November 8, 2022

Today is Microsofts November 2022 Patch Tuesday, and with it comes fixes for six actively exploited Windows vulnerabilities and a total of 68 flaws. Eleven of the 68 vulnerabilities fixed in todays update are classified as Critical as they allow privilege elevation, spoofing, or remote code execution, one of the most severe types of vulnerabilities.
Captainkidd 2k posts, incept 2010-05-25
2022-11-09 08:52:59

We have 2 years worth of food and liquor........but all my ammo could be gone in a day if it really went to shit.

Not quite up to the 2 years worth of food and liquor, but if all my ammo is gone in one day you can bet I've transformed a bunch into good commies, or I was killed and it carried away....

A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. --Mario Puzo

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did,
Winston2020 441 posts, incept 2020-03-29
2022-11-09 08:53:11

Plumbing the Depths
How the Gears Turn
(This first appeared in shorter form in The American Conservative)


Common delusions notwithstanding, the United States, I submit, is not a democracyby which is meant a system in which the will of the people prevails. Rather it is a curious mechanism artfully designed to circumvent the will of the people while appearing to be democratic. Several mechanisms accomplish this. [he details nine of them; an excellent column, BTW - W]


Follow the science!

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens [Princeton University, 2014]


A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not ruleat least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.

When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system [that describes the overwhelming influence of the administrative state and lobbyists - W], even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

To be sure, this does not mean that ordinary citizens always lose out; they fairly often get the policies they favor, but only because those policies happen also to be preferred by the economically-elite citizens who wield the actual influence.
Rporth 106 posts, incept 2016-09-28
2022-11-09 08:53:24

I guess we are 'racist' in North Dakota - In my county you could only vote with your ID - drivers license or state issued ID (we have a special needs kid who cannot drive - yet - has an ID). I work for the county - talked with the auditor's office about voting - once they scan your ID it is in a state Database immediately marked as 'voted'.

Greenacr 693 posts, incept 2016-03-15
2022-11-09 09:08:27

I believe this is my 666th post. I do it in honor of DeSatan!

@Twainfan "Perhaps a real, serious economic screwing is what it will take to wake the idiots up"

Totally agree. Bring on the pain. It is our only remaining hope to turn this country short of violence and chaos.

That we are near evenly split politically as a country clearly favors an environment for cheating. I believe that in places like Philly, Cobb County, Mariocopa County that there is targeted cheating. Just slow the vote count and determine how many ghost votes you need to generate for the win
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