Election hacking

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/05/the_us_is_unpre.html

Security is never something we actually want. Security is something we need in order to avoid what we don’t want. It’s also more abstract, concerned with hypothetical future possibilities. Of course it’s lower on the priorities list than fundraising and press coverage. They’re more tangible, and they’re more immediate.

~ Bruce Schneier

I think the only thing “protecting” us from someone successfully hacking an election, is the sheer number of polling places. You’ve voted, right? Sure, it’s a busy spot with maybe a dozen machines and hundreds of poeple… but there are thousands and thousands of polling places, and the voting machines are not networked. Yet.

Don’t misunderstand: This is security through obscrurity, is not actually security at all, and is a recipe for disaster.

Fighting authoritarianism: 20 lessons from the 20th century

kottke.org/16/11/fighting-authoritarianism-20-lessons-from-the-20th-century

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

The original of this is a Facebook post… I really wish people would stop doing that. Facebook is a terrible publishing platform. Anyway, above is a link to a web site that has permission to reproduce the entire thing.

Gerrymandering

So how did the People vote (narrowly) for a Democratic Congress but get a Republican one instead? That’s certainly not what the Founders intended: The reason there are more House districts than Senate seats and all congressmen have to go back to the voters every two years is that the House is supposed to closely reflect the will of the People.

Why didn’t that work? Why didn’t the House come out with a slight edge for the Democrats, or something closer to a 50-50 split reflecting a close popular vote?

~ Doug Muder, from How Gerrymandering Painted the House Red

Fish don’t know they are in water

If you know a little history, you might see some of this, and think that today’s culture battles are part of a tradition that goes back to FDR …

If you know a bit more history, you might see that this culture war stems from North Eastern progressive tradition dating back to the US Civil War.

The truth is that our culture war does date to the Civil War. Just not the US Civil War in 1861. It’s the English Civil War in 1640s I’m talking about.

~ by Clark, from Strange Seeds on Distant Shores

What’s really wrong with Congress?

Everybody seems to agree that Congress doesn’t work.

If you’re liberal, you’re appalled that even something like universal background checks for gun purchases (90% public approval!) can’t pass. If you’re conservative, you’re horrified that nothing can be done about the mounting national debt or the projections for exponential growth in entitlement spending.

And even if you care not at all about parties or ideologies, it’s just embarrassing to watch our leaders create one artificial crisis after another. We’re the richest country on the planet, and yet we’re constantly threatening to shut down our government, default on our bonds, mint a trillion-dollar coin, or do some other weird thing that would shame the generalissimo of a banana republic.

Is this any way to run a super power?

~ Doug Muder, from What’s Really Wrong With Congress?

What if there is no spending problem?

Summing up: Liberals and conservatives agree that we have a long-term problem, but they argue about what kind of problem: a government spending problem or a healthcare cost problem.

Recently I ran into a potentially game-changing question: What if there is no problem? In other words, instead of being trapped in the dismal liberal/conservative argument about which apocalypse we’re headed towards, what if we’re actually not headed towards an apocalypse at all?

~ Doug Muder, from What If There Is No Spending Problem?