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Friday, December 15, 2017

Voter ID and Crime Prevention

On voter ID fraud:

Let's, for the sake of argument, assume that there is no evidence readily available for truly massive voter ID fraud, likely because voter ID lists are not public.

But it's very easy to see how a system with NO voter ID requirements could be abused.

As with anything else, including cybersecurity, if you know of a vulnerability, why not patch it up, before bad guys take advantage of it and a crime is committed? What is the argument for opposing crime prevention?

Net Neutrality Discussion Fail

I have yet to see a single net neutrality advocate in good faith explain to me how my life as an individual user was seriously affected before 2015 (because the only issue in discussion right now is Obama's order), and why the world will suddenly change to substantially worse than pre-2015 with the current repeal. The arguments by Net Neutralians that have been presented so far have nothing to do with the specifics of the actual regulation being repealed, but are rather theoretical worst-case scenario of the early days of discussion on net neutrality in academic settings. Republicans, by the way, as usual did a terrible job, by and large, presenting a public argument of how the repeal is limited to a very narrow regulation, which had very little with the larger argument of net neutrality to begin with.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Taking One For the Team

In a year fraught with sex scandals, sophomoric election jokes about "pulling it off" and "pulling it out", just write themselves...

That's why I will never be anyone serious in politics.

Alabama: Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close

Alabama: An extremely close race is now called for Doug Jones (D).

It takes real effort for a Republican to lose Alabama, but doggone it, Roy Moore managed this difficult task.

Doug Jones is no better than Moore and I'm not celebrating.

I think it's a loss over all that the state was stuck with two such horrific candidates, and one of them is going to a US senator for the next two years, impeding any good that the Republicans may try to accomplish. And he's a rabid pro-abortion advocate, so in my view, also a deeply immoral person.
The only good news here is that the GOP is not stuck with the extremely awkward choice of what to do with Roy Moore, and will not have that legacy hanging over its head two years from now.
Let's hope Republicans learn a lesson from this and will nominate people who are not so repulsive that they turn off more than half of their own party in the deepest of deep red states.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Why anti-Jerusalem statement protests around the world are fake news

Interestingly, governments in the countries where there are massive protests going on, as well as physical attacks on Jewish sites (here's looking at you, Sweden), have not issued any statements calling for peace and dialogue. That's because such protests against an uncontrollable course of events related to people they have absolutely nothing to do with and living far away, is in the interests of those governments. Rather than refocusing on the needs of their people, they are far happier having the attention diverted elsewhere = as has been the case for decades. Same people who are now protesting over the alleged violation of rights for Palestinians by the mere statement of recognition of an already Jewish portion of Jerusalem with Israeli government in it would not grant Palestinians full citizenship in their own land. (AHEM, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, etc.) So let's see what's really going on:

1. Either this is not about Trump's statement (because Trump did not explicitly recognize any particular Jerusalem borders), and it's all about Israel not having a right to exist, even including specifically Jewish sites)

or

2. No one actually cares about it just as no one cares about the Palestinians, and people just want to let out their generalized rage at life, but they don't have the freedom to protest their own government, so to make themselves feel better, they pretend to be outraged about some distant cause to which they have little connection. Also, when was the last time Palestinians stood up for their rights to anything? Have Palestinians picked up the human rights issue in Egypt? Have they protested against al-Assad in Syria? Taken an issue with Hizbullah's corruption and control in Lebanon? No? And yet all these people are rioting on their behalf.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Symbolism and The Peace Plan

My concern, unlike the many people paranoid about Palestinians or Saudis acting up, has been with the potential poison pill of the two-state language included in the text. Although President Trump has made it clear, that he will support a mutual decision by the parties involved, that language leaves room for future pressure on Israel by this administration or future others. As was pointed out elsewhere, George W. would make great speeches on Israel, then push for the creation of the Palestinian state. I do believe that the administration will try to make even this small, largely symbolic step with no timeline for a physical follow through (YUGE red flag in my book), which is a repetition of what Bill Clinton has already done by signing the original law, in order to exert pressure on Israel towards Jared Kushner's peace plan. In fact, Kushner's own comments as late as Sunday, signified as much.

So What of the Waiver?

Trump publicly signing the embassy waiver right after his speech is a political move, not a security move.

As I have stated repeatedly in the past, and have yet to be proven wrong, Trump intends to delay the process for the sake of keeping his base, and in particular, funders, and to ensure they will back him against any primary challengers in 2020.

If anything, prolonging this situation will probably result in more security threats. It would be easier to get everything over with at once, and just move the building, get all the riots out of the system and move on. Making this an endless process with an unclear due date will ensure some level of dissatisfaction from everyone concern, and possibly additional riots or other problems whenever the building IS moved.