09 July 2016

Those Damn Emails

Whether you're sick and tired of hearing about her damned emails or can't get enough Clinton dirt (or sick and tired of this damned election, period), this brief (for WIRED) and stale but still valid piece will cut through all the politics as well as the stuff regular people news sensationalizes and/or doesn't know what the hell it's talking about—and do it in plain English. Even if you bail on reading the rest of my own rant, give the link a whack.
Why Clinton’s Private Email Server Was Such a Security Fail
Andy Greenberg/Security

04 March 2015

It's-perfectly-legal-and-others-did-it or not, somebody had to try to tell her what a bad idea it was to run her own mailserver at home. Any IT nerd on staff worth his or her salt that wasn't a brown-nose yes-man to Secretary Clinton would have hit her up with a With all due respect, Madam Secretary, let the record show that I think this is a really, really, bad idea.

There just is no good reason to leave yourself exposed to potential security vulnerabilities when the entity you work for is willing to take on the responsibility, particularly when you are the Secretary of State and that entity is the United States Government. All joking about the USG's own security aside, it would still be the gov'mint's problem if any Clinton email found it's way into the wrong hands. And commingling personal and professional email is just stupid no matter who you are or where you work. My place of employ is watched over by the SEC (for whatever that's worth) and, while there's nothing particularly juicy in there, I'd still rather not give reason to have my Gmail account subpoenaed and inspectors poring over 15,000 personal email messages in search of some Aha! kernel of badness that might be in there.

One need not dip into the fetid bucket of politics for this to go toward making it hard to believe that bad reasons weren't involved. Convenience my ass.

And yes, though even WIRED left out this detail (Microsoft too good a "partner," CondÄ— Nast?), the now infamous Clinton server was running none other than Microsoft Server, IIS, and Exchange. Do we even need to ask if the OS was Windoze and the client Outlook when she wasn't on her mobile?

Both parties from the top down have somehow managed to land at a place where their own candidates are disliked and distrusted by all except a handful of the delusional or the dedicated.

The good news is, I will be saddened and scared, but at least not shocked, should Trump place his tiny hand on the Bible come January. And if it does turn out to be Hillary—your numbers to [insert deity here]'s eyes, FiveThirtyEight—I'll just settle in for another round of pretending everything will be fine while we delay the inevitable.

13 March 2016

A Campaign Gone Insane

On the morning of 04 March I lit up Google News; the first headline I saw:

Donald Trump Makes His Penis a Campaign Issue During Debate

And that's not TMZ, the Onion, or Comedy Central—it's freaking NBC.

I passed on watching the debate that triggered that jewel, but this has truly gotten out of, um, hand.

During another free-for-all that would shame a high school debate team, "Little Marco" [Rubio, the nickname with which the Donald chides him] hopped on board the crazy train and made the now infamous (and possibly shark-jumping) remark about Trump's hands and "what they say about people with small hands."

I'm not asking for [insert deity here] to take me, but I'm still hoping to exit before the defecation starts to really hit the ventilation. I ain't wealthy enough to survive what's coming.

A battle between Trump and Sanders—sociopath versus socialist—would at least be interesting and pit, whatever the outcome, two people's choice candidates against each other. A battle between Trump and Clinton will just be a matter of time. I hope so, anyway, assuming one good thing Secretary Clinton can do is defeat that menace, if only to prove that any "defeat" of Wall Street she may have promised was pure bullshit.

By the laws of overcompensation, including his big swinging Boeing 737 (Gulfstream ain't big enough) and screwing TRUMP in yuuuge gold letters to everything he owns (and some things he doesn't), all indicators point toward the Donald not swinging much pipe. But returning to reality, Ron Jeremy or Adolph Hitler, what's penis size got to do with the qualifications of who occupies the Oval Office? Then again, much of Hitler might be explained by that messed up junk with which we somehow recently discovered he was equipped. Maybe we should ask Trump to lay his shaft of gold out on the table. Hand size may have no correlation to dick size, but dick size may tie into level of psychosis.

Right about here is where a "Nobody has a bigger pair of balls than Hillary" joke would fit in.

As this election run-up keeps proving—If you think this is bad, just wait—it has once again done just that. Violence has finally come to the Trump campaign trail. Not that it comes as a surprise, but it's no less disturbing to see when the powder starts to blow.

The division of these United States keeps chugging along. Booze is no longer an option, but pharmaceuticals do help me cope with watching my country collapse.

06 December 2015

An Hour With Bernie

The YouTube video referenced at the end of this sat in my Watch Later pile for about two weeks. If it took me that long to find an hour of time in my rather uncomplicated life [full disclosure: my wife had to work Saturday; I did not], there is little hope that anything more than a fraction of the population will be exposed to this speech. (And, like most everyone, I can watch YouTube on everything from the Smart TeeVee in the living room to the smartphone in my hand—we may not have time, but we do have options.) 

In my not-so-humble opinion, it was well worth finally viewing. The shame is that the problems so easily recognized and clearly outlined by Senator Sanders are virtually impossible to rectify. Not because it cannot be done—a solution need not be complicated, merely presented and agreed to—but because a handful of very powerful people will do everything it takes within all that power to see to it that it is not done. 

Sanders doesn't have a chance of winning the election, and that may or may not be a good or a bad thing. The bad thing is that, whoever does win the election, and from whichever side, will not bring a single kernel of Bernie's fairness and sensibility to the office. Any similar words you may hear exiting from their mouths while on the campaign trail will be carefully scripted pandering which, in time, will fade away to empty and forgotten promises. Beyond that, only a handful of people will be exposed to this material (and you, Dear Reader, may be one who simply says Oh, I don't think so... to sitting through it), but will be bombarded by hours (in three-minute slices) of everything from meaningless drivel to steaming piles of bullshit about and from the front-runners—one of whom will go on to become the Occupant.

And whichever candidate from whichever side wins, beginning with Inauguration Day and for the next four or eight years, the other side will spend all of its time screaming about what a shitty job the winner is doing. Rinse and repeat. But the more election cycles we allow to pass before enacting change, the more violent bringing change about will be. All while the earth itself is getting just as pissed off with the people who are inhabiting it as the people who are inhabiting it are with each other. 

Rant over. If you're still reading, you may as well watch the damn video. 

Bernie Sanders' Democratic Socialism Speech at Georgetown University
19 November 2015 


We are living in interesting times.