It’s Time For Another 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck Update! [Updated!]

Devil on shoulder

1. I find it nearly impossible to believe that the presumed election of Joe Biden can be reversed by now. Moreover, if it were over-turned, the reaction from the Axis of Unethical Conduct—they are the violent ones, after all—would be too frightening to contemplate. Richard Nixon, of all people, looks better and better in the rear view mirror. In one of his few noble and self-less acts, Tricky Dick of all people decided that the consequences of overturning an election because of fraud and illegal voting tricks weren’t even worth winning the White House. Of course, the political differences between Nixon and Kennedy were puny compared to the divide today.

2. However, there is legitimate doubt today whether allowing election manipulation allegations to just fade away without legitimate scrutiny—as they certainly would once the Democrats take over the Executive Branch—wouldn’t be as destructive as what Nixon feared. It Trump concedes, one could argue, he’ll be allowing election fraud to succeed and even to become a “norm.” Finding and punishing election cheats are important even if they didn’t change the result.

3. There is still a lot to be suspicious about, notably the fact that Democrats got clobbered in the House elections, winning every single race rated a “toss-up” and making pollsters look like asses yet again. I haven’t checked, but I think this is the first example in US history where the winner of a Presidential race had no “coat tails” at all, but the loser did. The reason the winner typically brings Senators and Representatives with him to victory is that many voters tend to vote for all the candidates in the party that gets their Presidential vote.

Update: I should have checked! It appears that, ironically or not, it was the 1960 election where the loser had the worst “coat tails,” even more non-existent than Joe’s. Clinton, Bush 2 and Trump in 2016 also didn’t bring along lower ballot candidates, though that’s misleading. The GOP was expecting disastrous losses in 2016 because it assumed that Trump would be wiped out. Clinton never had coat tails because he barely won 40% of the vote. See: https://mehlmancastagnetti.com/wp-content/uploads/2020-Election-Mehlman.pdf (Thank-you to Phlinn)

4. Here’s typical example from the Times of how the news media is pushing the lie that there is no reason for anyone to question what went on on November 3: Trump tries to subvert the election, inviting Michigan G.O.P. lawmakers to the White House.

There is plenty of reason, and one of them is that the AUC is acting like it has something to hide. Remember that this was one of the frequent justifications for pursuing the Russian collusion investigation: the President was acting guilty. Trump-Deranged Harvard Law School legend Larry Tribe said on Fox News Sunday that refusal to accept the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election threatens the country:

“He is undermining democracy because there are millions of people who will believe him even though there is nothing to his arguments and no evidence to back them.”

Kudos to the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway for not letting Tribe get away with this head-exploding hypocrisy (which a prepared and competent Fox News, if there were such a thing, should have had at the ready to make Tribe look ridiculous):

No conspiracy theories of recent vintage have damaged the country as much as the ones Tribe (and many other anti-Trump media figures) trafficked in each and every day of the last four years from prominent perches in politics, media, and the academy. If taking claims to court undermines democracy, how to defend Tribe’s vociferous and repeated claims that Trump stole the election in 2016 with the help of Russia?

Tribe began pushing the Russia collusion theory on July 25, 2016, well after the Hillary Clinton campaign had secretly developed and begun running its “Russia collusion” campaign operation, but before the FBI had started its Crossfire Hurricane investigation. “I’m not into conspiracy,” he wrote, before suggesting Russian oligarchs had compromised Trump with business deals and made him develop a foreign policy that U.S. allies should be responsible for more of their own anti-Russian defense budgets. A follow-up tweet said Trump was hiding his tax returns in order to hide his business relationship with Vladimir Putin.

By July 28, 2016, Tribe was wondering if Trump had committed the capital crime of “treason.” By July 29, 2016, he was proposing wringing Trump on charges of violating the Logan Act. On October 17, 2016, he began suggesting Trump had rigged the election against Clinton.

The rhetoric ramped up after Trump’s election, which Tribe attributed to Russian “meddling.” On November 17, 2016, Tribe promoted a plan to get Electoral College delegates a briefing on the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, in the hopes it would keep them from registering their votes for the duly elected Trump. He pushed the campaign for the next month. In late November, he said Trump would be violating the emoluments clause. On December 10, 2016, Tribe again claimed Trump had rigged the election with Russia’s help.

Tribe alleged that Trump’s first pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was a compromised Russian agent. At the end of December, Tribe was pushing claims about Russia “hacking our democracy.” On January 6, 2017, Tribe was talking about election systems being the “most critical” part of the country’s infrastructure, which was why he was so concerned about Russia’s “attack” on them.

On the same day, he said of the hacking of Democrat National Committee emails that “Russia’s hacking” had significant “impact on 2016 election.” On January 8, 2017, Tribe said that it was an “understatement” to say Trump was a “Russian spy.” On January 18, 2017, Tribe called for a special counsel to “investigate Trump collusion with Putin.”

And this was before the Inauguration!

5. I must admit, my principled position that Republicans and conservatives should resist revenge and tit-for-tat, and try to return the political culture to where it belongs is waning under the barrage of propaganda like Tribe’s. The little devil on my shoulder is becoming more persuasive by the day…

62 thoughts on “It’s Time For Another 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck Update! [Updated!]

  1. We have allowed our elections to be rigged for too long. We have not only highly suspicious voting machine results, ‘glitches’ in the software, election observers being removed just before the trend in the vote count changes radically, and election board members being doxxed and threatened, mail-in ballots being implemented at the last minute, but rejected at record low rates, but we have social media giants and the MSM dictating what the voters will and are ALLOWED to know about the candidates. This has all happened because no one wanted to be the jerk to require and investigation when the ‘little’ fraud was happening. Now, I think this is the last chance we will get. It is being reported that all these ‘interesting’ races were using voting software developed at the behest of Hugo Chavez to steal elections (I don’t know that for sure and what’s worse, I CAN’T know one way or another with the state of our current media).

    Will uncovering this fraud lead to serious consequences? Most definitely. Would it have been better to not sweep this stuff under the rug for the last 50 years until it got this bad? Yes. If it is a choice between the end of democracy and outright civil war, which do you choose?

    • The voting machine issues concern me most.

      Whoever writes the software controls the outcome. It is one thing for Russians to meddle in an election by stirring up the masses; it is quite another to meddle in elections by writing a software program that can inconspicuously shift vote totals in one way or another. THAT truly is meddling and could occur under our noses without any fraud on the part of election officials.

      On a side note, I find it incredibly amusing when people say this is the most secure election that has ever taken place. Usually, it is accompanied by the statement that there is so little evidence of fraud. Well, of course there is no evidence of fraud; if you have no method for identifying whether a vote is fraudulent, you will not find evidence of fraud.

      -Jut

      • Where exactly was the evidence of racism in those high profile shootings of black suspects by police?
        Seems to me we can accuse and convict one side with mere accusation but require a voluntary confession before we proceed beyond probable cause.

    • The voting machine issues concern me most.

      Whoever writes the software controls the outcome. It is one thing for Russians to meddle in an election by stirring up the masses; it is quite another to meddle in elections by writing a software program that can inconspicuously shift vote totals in one way or another. THAT truly is meddling and could occur under our noses without any fraud on the part of election officials.

      On a side note, I find it incredibly amusing when people say this is the most secure election that has ever taken place. Usually, it is accompanied by the statement that there is so little evidence of fraud. Well, of course there is no evidence of fraud; if you have no method for identifying whether a vote is fraudulent, you will not find evidence of fraud.

      -Jut

      • “The most secure election in American history” claimed by a coalition formed after the election, composed of people and organizations that stand to be the most red-faced if they were wrong. Scott Adams likened this to asking prisoners if they were guilty of their convictions and releasing those that claimed innocence.

  2. On #3, perhaps it’s not coincidental that the the Election which Nixon probably lost due to fraud is the most recent predecessor of nonexistent coattails? The power point slide linked from the following article has an interesting graph on page 17. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/11/daily-202-biden-won-with-weakest-coattails-60-years-that-could-make-him-dependent-gop-senators/

    presentation is at https://mehlmancastagnetti.com/wp-content/uploads/2020-Election-Mehlman.pdf if you don’t want to look at the post article

    • Meant to edit that after looking at the graph. Several others recently had negative house changes on their first election, but JFK and Biden are the two worst.

  3. PA announcement: Typo in comment 3?

    3. There is still a lot to be suspicious about, notably the fact that Democrats got clobbered in the House elections, winning every single race rated a “toss-up” and making pollsters look like asses yet again.

    “losing” rather than “winning?” I think I read that somewhere in the last day or so.

  4. The President’s lawyers had a one and a half hour press conference today summarizing their evidence of massive vote fraud to steal the election. I checked some of the mainstream news websites:

    NY Times – no coverage
    NY Post – no coverage
    Washington Post – no coverage
    CNN – no coverage
    ABC News – no coverage
    CBS News – no coverage
    MSNBC – Chuck Todd says the press conference was “bonkers” but doesn’t describe and of the claims made or evidence presented
    Fox News – covers the press conference relatively respectfully but doesn’t describe any of the claims or evidence except to say “most of them” “are not new” and there’s “no direct evidence” of fraud. Since the described mountains of evidence including statistical analyses and thousands of affidavits, I assume “no direct evidence” means “no videotaped confessions by Biden insiders.”

    Jack’s concern seems to be that the public has been so deluded by the media that if a court does overturn the election, the riots will be world-shattering. My guess is that the Supreme Court, even faced with the most overwhelming proof, would have the same fear and find excuses to let the fraud stand.

    • The key here would be “described mountains of evidence,” as opposed to evidence. I fail to see why any media company is obliged to show a press conference in which evidence is described rather than revealed. Giuliani and his team may choose not to reveal any evidence ahead of presenting it in court, but then one wonders why they had a press conference at all.

      Fool I, I watched the whole conference, and read the coverage of Rudy’s appearance in court yesterday in which he appeared not to know the meaning of the word “opacity.” If this is the best legal representation the POTUS can arrange, either the conspiracy is so widespread that all capable people are either involved or cowed, or there is no conspiracy. If it’s the former, you’d think such a massive conspiratorial juggernaut would achieve much clearer and cleaner goals than a close Presidential election with no accompanying congressional triumph. If it’s the latter, it would be unethical to give Rudy five more seconds of airtime.

      • Every press conference by Al Gore’s lawyers, even when they were making what turned out to be ridiculous arguments about “butterfly ballots” created by Al’s party, were covered beginning to end. The argument there: our voters got confused by our ballots.

        I can justify showing such conferences or not showing them, but there has to be a single stanadrd that isn’t “if it might help Trump, don’t show it.”

        • The central issue with Bush-Gore is that the margin of victory was so small and so limited that any possible mishandling or tampering would have changed the outcome of the election. There is so such centralized bone of contention here.

          The press conference was a hot mess of unsubstantiated claims and anger at the press. The claims may in fact end up substantiated and the anger may in fact be justified. But there’s no ethical argument to give this team any further airtime until they have something concrete to show.

          • The press conference was a hot mess of unsubstantiated claims

            I’m trying to understand the meaning of “unsubstantiated” in this sentence.

            One of Giuliani’s claims was that thousands of ballots marked only for Biden were produced in Michigan and run through the scanners multiple times to run up Biden’s vote total. He says he has affidavits from 60 witnesses who saw this happen. In the old days (say 4 years ago), that is the sort of statement that would have sent the press into a frenzy of investigation, hunting down and interviewing people who could have confirmed or denied the claim. This year, nothing. I take it that, as regards to this claim, “unsubstantiated” means “we haven’t seen the affidavits yet.? But we all know that when the affidavits are filed with the court, the press won’t read them, will continue to refuse to do any investigation of their own, and will continue to report, baselessly, that the claims are “unsubstantiated.”

            Another claim made by Giuliani was that in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit and Atlanta:

            1. Democrats prevented Republican poll watchers from watching mail-in ballots being opened and counted.
            2. Democrats counted virtually all mail-in ballots, rejecting only an infinitesimal number of them for defects and fraud.
            3. Democrats then destroyed the envelopes that the ballots came in, thereby destroying all evidence of defects and fraud.

            I haven’t even heard any Democrat bother to deny that’s exactly what happened. So as to this claim, “unsubstantiated” seems to mean, “Too bad, sucker, we’re going to get away with it.”

            • “Unsubstantiated” means that no verified witnesses or affidavits have been presented. Repeating the claims doesn’t change this. Giuliani and his team are saying that evidence is coming in so quickly that they don’t have time to process it. I would suggest that, instead of having press conferences which you agree are unlikely to be very effective, that they process this evidence and present it to the public to see.

          • Yes, it occurred to me as I watched the whole Giuliani conference yesterday that it was all bluster designed to help Trump save face with his base, prolong the delay in his resignation (to the outcome of the most suspiciously controversial election in my lifetime) and concession to Biden. That’s a terrible hill for a bunch of lawyers to die on, though. So maybe not all is as it seems.

            Speaking of “resignation,” I think it would be a neat trick for Trump to resign his office before Inauguration Day, hand the presidency to Pence for a few weeks, and get out of town without any obligation to even show up at the Inaugural. But I always tend to fantasize the most over-simplified things…

      • I have a pretty good vocabulary and am relatively well-read, including about a thousand or more court opinions. I’ve never used or heard “opacity” in my life, or, if I did, I had to guess at the meaning It’s a needlessly obscure word with many, many clearer synonyms.

        • It comes from “opaque,” but I agree that it’s a rarely-used noun. My understanding is that Rudy was reading from his own documents, or at least the documents from his team.

        • Jack,
          That surprises me. Short of doing a fast case search for “opacity,” I am sure I heard it and I may have even used it, likely incorrectly, but used it nonetheless.

          At the very least, I would have figured you might have misspelled “capacity” in that way at some point in your life.

          -Jut

          • Not to be that guy, but a search for “opacity” on this site reveals two entries–both times quoting from other documents. Just like Rudy did!

            • Yup, and in both cases, the purpose of the quote had nothing to do with what opacity means, or meant. Not knowing the exact meaning didn’t even inconvenience me. My wife accuses me of storing too much trivia in my mental files,but except to use i Scrabble, I paid no attention to “opacity” at all, and hope to continue on that path.

          • Okay, had to do a Fastcase search of cases in the State That Mondale Won and here you go:

            “In Metropolitan, the owner of an office building brought an action to recover damages for defects in spandrel windows which were designed to be opaque but lost their opacity. Id. at 397. The windows had a ten-year warranty. Id. at 399.”

            Oreck v. Harvey Homes, Inc., 602 N.W.2d 424 (Minn. App. 1999).

            Now, “spandrel”? I am pretty sure I have never used that word, misspelled spaniel in that way, or even mispronounced squirrel in that way while sneezing.

            Spandrel: “the almost triangular space between one side of the outer curve of an arch, a wall, and the ceiling or framework.”

            -Jut

          • I didn’t think “opacity” was all that obscure a word, but it may be that more writers come at the idea from the other direction, with phrases like “lack of transparency”..

      • The key here would be “described mountains of evidence,” as opposed to evidence. I fail to see why any media company is obliged to show a press conference in which evidence is described rather than revealed.

        What does that mean? That Giuliani should have presented the press with thousands of pages of documents and left the room without describing what he thought the documents proved? Or do you mean that describing what you intend to prove in court is not newsworthy unless you simultaneously give the press copies of all of the evidence that you’re thinking about introducing?

        Soon, the President’s lawyers will go to court and describe and reveal their evidence? And guess what? The major news organizations won’t cover that either.

        • Giuliani could have presented thousands of pages of evidence AND describe what he thought they proved. Instead he did the latter and ONLY the latter.

          Giuliani was in court yesterday and the court proceedings were covered thoroughly.

  5. Democrats on Twitter are now discussing putting all the Trump supporters in re-education camps. That isn’t very unifying.

    The voting machines COULD have been programmed to do what Sidney Powell claims they did. Whether or not they WERE programmed to do it, I cannot say as I haven’t seen the source code.

    They also could have been hacked. All computers can be hacked. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

    The security of the voting machines, from what I’m reading, is a joke. Whether or not what I am reading has any basis in fact is up for debate. If they really do share SSL certificates on machines between states, and have the ability to update the database from outside the system….I can’t even describe how mind bogglingly stupid someone would have to be to do that. I want to say it isn’t possible, but I have worked with some really stupid programmers who would absolutely do asinine things like that. If they are that insecure it doesn’t even mean that it was done with the intent to enable hacking, it could just be stupidity. I sincerely hope people are making this stuff up.

    The voting should be done with paper ballots. Period. Trusting computers to be safe is like trusting a toddler not to poke a quarter into an electric socket.

    • Are there actually voting machines in some states that record votes without paper ballots? Here in upstate NY we fill out a paper ballot and feed it into the “voting machine”; so, I guess this would be classified as an electronic reader/scanner.

      The picture I get when you say voting machine is something with a touch screen. If this is the case and no paper ballots exist, I image fraud would be difficult to prove unless you can get access to the actual source code installed on said machine on Nov. 3.

      • I voted on a touchscreen. There is a paper ballot associated with it, but it prints out a jumble of unreadable nonsense. Basically, you stick a long blank page in, select your votes on the touchscreen, and then it prints your selections, in coded form, to the paper ballot. You could see the names you picked, but also a jumble of computer generated nonsense. I have absolutely no idea if who I selected on the touchscreen is who my vote actually said I voted for. I was not happy.

      • I am not sure if this is what you are addressing, but, it is what my concern is.

        Let’s say you have a paper ballot that is voting for Trump.

        You feed it into a machine that is designed to tick off Trump votes and Biden votes.

        But, the software says that every tenth vote for Trump should be recorded as a Biden vote (I imagine a pretty simple Turing machine could carry this out). However, so as not to raise suspicions, the machine is also programmed to stop recording Trump votes as Biden votes at the point when Biden votes exceed Trump votes by 2% (or whatever); if a Biden lead drops below that point, it will start switching votes again. But, if Biden is winning in California by a landslide, the votes will tally accurately; if Trump is winning in a landslide, such a discrepancy will go unnoticed. In tight swing states, the program will shift the count enough.

        Only a manual re-count would uncover such a design error. Well, it would not even uncover the design error, only the resulting discrepancy.

        Now, this problem does not address all of the problems with mail-in voting, etc.

        -Jut

  6. I’m really at a crossroads here. I agree that Trump conceding and starting the transition to Biden will be best for the morale of the country. But I come from a country where election fraud was – and is – and everyday occurrence. If I was sure Biden would push for investigations and punishing the wrongdoers I’d endorse the country moving on based on utilitarian grounds; but my fear is that if Biden takes power all of these will be buried and forgotten in less than a week. How then can we ever trust elections in the US again? Maybe the only way out is through, but I don’t even see how “through” happens now.

  7. The main fraud seems to have been very simple and unrelated to voting machines:

    1. Maximize the number of mail-in ballots

    2. Make sure the Republican poll watchers can’t watch you open the ballots

    3. Accept all Biden ballots regardless of evidence of invalidity or fraud

    4. Throw away the envelopes so the ballots can’t be audited

  8. You can actually do it even simpler by just treating the votes as decimal numbers, and assigning Trump votes as only being a fraction of a vote. The more Trump votes there are, the less of a fraction they count as. Use doubles to count the votes, and integers to display them. There are any number of ways to do it. Then, when you get audited, you claim the computer “glitched”.

    Mail in ballots are their own category of fraud. In Nevada it looks like they disabled signature checking by lowering the image quality until everything was just a pixel blur. Blurred pixels all pretty much look the same. Like a blob. There are plenty of non-computer related issues with mail in ballots though.

  9. I’m surprised I haven’t seen anyone bring these up anywhere yet, but xkcd has a couple comics that express extreme apprehension regarding current voting machine technology:

    Voting machines should not be connected to the internet:
    https://xkcd.com/463/

    Software engineering is has far sloppier standards than hardware engineering and we should never trust software that hasn’t seen extensive testing and use without issues. Therefore, we should not move a critical service for the entire country to a new software platform all at once: https://xkcd.com/2030/

    (These comics have mouseover text/alt-text, if you want the full experience.)

    • Software engineering, in general, has no standards. Most companies theoretically set standards, but I have never seen one follow them consistently.

      • Never worked on biomedical devices, nuclear weapon controls or spaceflight avionics, have you?

        In the commercial domain, getting product to market first is paramount, bugs are accepted. Standards don’t just cost $$$, they cost time, and reliability is not paramount.

        When the cost of failure exceeds the cost of development by orders of magnitude, if only in meritless litigation, the ability to show development was in accordance with best practice is crucial.

        Just ask Boeing and the FAA when they let standards slip on the 737-Max.

        Or look at the F-35 development program, where commercial standards were used in software development, but Milspec standards were used for testing and acceptance.

        • No, I haven’t worked on biomedical software or nuclear weapons or space flight avionics. People have tried to recruit me for those jobs, and I have always declined. I don’t want to work on missile software due to the ethical implications of their use.

          I have and do work on systems that process billions of dollars worth of money every day, though, and those systems have no standards. Bugs can cost a lot of $$$ in software that cannot kill you. Standards would be a lot cheaper than the cost of those bugs.

          • I don’t want to work on missile software due to the ethical implications of their use.

            Not that I have any right to judge, but I thoroughly approve.

            No one should work on such systems unless they are willing to accept the guilt if they are used. The creators are just as responsible as those giving the orders or turning the launch key.

            On the other hand, if you believe a military is a regrettable necessity, it is evading responsibility to not get your hands equally dirty.

            Regardless of whether it is principled opposition, or moral squeamishness, anyone who has objections should never work on such systems. Nor should they be condemned, but rather praised, for walking away.

            I have and do work on systems that process billions of dollars worth of money every day, though, and those systems have no standards

            Now *that* doesn’t exactly give me warm fuzzies. When dealing with numbers that large, indirect consequences can kill.

  10. Standing by a hacked election is like using a stripper pole at the end of a long line of other strippers. You’ll get the job done, but your most precious areas will be disgusting.

    In other words, pardon my utopianism, but a rigged election will not make/keep our society free.

  11. There are three things going on here:

    First, there are the statistical anomalies, which seem to be real enough. The thing is, while they’re certainly suspicious, they’re not actual evidence of any specific wrongdoing – like the guy in the cube van who buys 5lbs of candy, duct tape, and condoms.

    Second, there’s the media campaign by Trump and his supporters going on and on about all this evidence they have, so much it’s like a firehose.

    Third, there are the actual legal actions on behalf of the Trump campaign – which by all rights ought to be the real meat and potatoes of the whole affair. That’s what they ought to be. Instead, they are a complete clown show. The complaints have varied in quality from “what hack lawyer wrote this” to “vexatious pro-se litigant” to “space gerbils stole my soup”.

    Bottom line: scrutinize all you want. Let me know if and when you find evidence that will hold up in court, not just a press conference. Until then, don’t waste my time.

  12. As a mere Australian …. I read EA simply to try to understand what frequently seem very strange points of view which I don’t generally share. But now I’m stumped. Why are so many contributors so miserable? Assuming the Republicans win the Senate seats in Georgia, which seems most likely, isn’t this overall a strong (small ‘c’) Conservative result? The electorate rejects the norm busting Trump, and refuses to put in power the progressive lefties? For interested observers key issues will surely be : Can Biden reestablish decency and honour in the Presidency? And can the Republican party reassert their traditional backing for sound money, small government, personal resilience etc?

    I hope the famous Winston Churchill quote applies :

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

    • It is a lot more complicated than that. For one thing, I don’t trust the Georgia senate races to be conducted fairly. Democrat elites are already urging people to move to Georgia just to vote in the Georgia senate runoffs, which is a felony. The Democrats don’t seem to think the law applies to them, and from what we have witnessed over the last four years, they are correct.

      For another thing, the Democrats have been violating the norms in outrageous ways for the last four years. Violating norms only seems to be a problem when it is not them doing it.

      Left wing domestic terrorist groups have spent the last 6 months burning cities to the ground without any consequences whatsoever.

      On top of that, our news media is no longer producing news. It is producing propaganda. They think the left wing terrorist groups burning cities to the ground are laudable. They fawn over them.

      Meanwhile, the Democrat elites are talking about re-education camps for everyone who doesn’t agree with them, eliminating free speech, seizing our guns, and destroying anyone and everyone who supported the current President.

      Also, the election is statistically….implausible. That doesn’t prove anything, but it provokes questions that the media, social media, and politicians are trying to censor out of existence. They have no interest in proving the election was conducted free and fairly. Which indicates that maybe it wasn’t.

      Finally, Biden is not going to bring peace, or return norms. He isn’t even going to remain in office. He is senile. Kamala Harris will replace him shortly after the inauguration. She is a communist. She wants to tear down our institutions, not make them run smoothly.

      The entire atmosphere in the United States is explosive right now. People are not going to meekly give up their rights in this country. They will fight to the death to keep them. That currently seems likely to be what the future holds.

  13. “I must admit, my principled position that Republicans and conservatives should resist revenge and tit-for-tat, and try to return the political culture to where it belongs is waning under the barrage of propaganda like Tribe’s. ”

    You voted for Trump, right?

    Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll come up with a good pretext for getting your retaliation in first.

    As probably the only person here who’s had anything to do with making election software, I was thinking of writing an essay on it. But what would be the point?

    The US constitutionally mandated voting systems, where each state, and each county within each state, all have subtle or not so subtle ways of doing things makes largescale fraud that is not totally obvious nigh impossible, but smallscale anomalies, frauds and miscounts utterly inevitable.

    The evidence is that the 2020 election was the most secure US election ever held.

    The evidence is also that it was infested with error at all levels. If the new standard for validity is 100% error free, rather than “acceptably accurate”, then under the current constitution, no US election can be, or *ever has been*, valid.

    So by all means have a genuine inquisition into the issues of this election, and correct errors. Courts are not appropriate venues for this, they will only pick up the most obvious and amateurish deceit, and often not even that. They must follow the law, and when the law is ridiculous, so are their rulings.

    As for electronic voting – see http://conferences.oreillynet.com/cs/os2004/view/e_sess/5512

    Disclaimer; I did the architecture for the general purpose real time executable/translatable unified modelling language compiler for eVacs, and the state machine object prioritised queued messaging run time environment it generates.

    The xt/UML code itself was generated by the independant electoral commission, and behind a Chinese Wall.

    • “The evidence is that the 2020 election was the most secure US election ever held.”

      That’s a demonstrably ridiculous statement, ZB. Why would you say that? Mail-in votes are inherently non-secure. The mail here fails to deliver things sent to me or my business constantly. The chain of custody problems would rule out such ballots as evidence in court. Software is the least of the problem.

      And it is grossly unfair to accuse me of using a pretext to vote for the President. I was desperately looking for a pretext not to.

      • Before even mail in ballot’s lack of security, how many states (which consistently seem to never lose their Democrat edge), flat out don’t require any proof you are eligible to vote, any proof you are who you say you are, and any controls on the possibility that you’ve voted before in a different locale?

        2020 makes me question elections going back several cycles now.

          • That’s the Left wing media talking point.

            My guess it is remotely rooted in the likely truth that security and intelligence agencies, acting on the overblown case that foreign elements interfered in 2016, attempted to go above and beyond “securing” the election from the supposed or actual foreign “interference” that was experienced before.

            Based on those agencies’ claims a few weeks ago that this election was the most secure ever, it has become the go to left wing talking point that there’s no way *internal* nefarious conduct occured.

            It’s ultimately a hasty generalization.

            • I’m still waiting to see if my theory holds true. That one of these unexpected GOP flips in the House was something Democrats considered an ok temporary loss, but threw a bunch of questionable ballots in there to the benefit of the Republican. That if Trump’s pursuit of questionable results in some places starts to gain traction, they’ll let the other shoe drop and completely discredit all questions of fraud.

  14. You said:
    “The US constitutionally mandated voting systems, where each state, and each county within each state, all have subtle or not so subtle ways of doing things makes largescale fraud that is not totally obvious nigh impossible, but small scale anomalies, frauds and miscounts utterly inevitable.”

    This means that large scale fraud can be hidden much more easily as each state decides how elections will be conducted . The President is elected by the states not the popular vote so bumping up the absolute vote count is unnecessary. All that is necessary is for a state controlled by one party to make rules favoring that party which allows for a state to be tipped in favor of a given candidate. Fraud is detected through patterns of behavior. Having different techniques to through results in one direction or another obfuscates any fraud that might take place across the entire election.

    For example the the PA supreme court is comprised of 5 elected Democrats and two Republicans the Governor and Secretary of State arbitrarily changed the rules without legislative actions which is required by Article 2 if the US Constitution. Their elected Supreme Court voted 5 to 2 against Trump when he argued that point. Additionally the PA court went further than that desired by Gov. Wolfe making all mailed in ballots presumptively valid and the challenger would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they were to be disqualified.

    Why did vote counting suddenly stop in the 4 states Trump was leading but then apparently lost when voting was restarted? I don’t want to hear that large cities take longer because Florida has more cities and a larger population and got the counts in on time.

    To suggest that any widespread fraud cannot take place because of disparate systems in each state is itself a delusion when 30 states use Dominion software and where all the most egregious or questionable activities took place appear to use this particular software. You do not need a formal conspiracy to rig an election you just need conscious parallel action.

    Let this go to the courts and shine the light of day on all of the claims and counterclaims. We will be better off if 74 million people feel they got their day in court.

    Your disclaimer is interesting but unless you worked on the development of the Dominion software in question I really see no relevance other than the disclaimer being an appeal to your authority. I am questioning the credibility of your work I am simply pointing out that a potentially corrupt piece of election software is not made valid by virtue of all the other secure products on the market.

    • Since I was an employee of a commercial rival of Dominion, I was careful to keep my own opinions of them to myself.

      I am on record as stating on numerous occasions that any system that involves any one of proprietary hardware, proprietary software, or remote access capability, let alone all three, is unacceptable.

      Please read the pdf from Clive Boughton for a reasoned discussion of the issues.

      • Since I was an employee of a commercial rival of Dominion, I was careful to keep my own opinions of them to myself.

        I will say that the Georgia hand recount getting approximately(+/- 10) the same numbers as the Dominion machines reported, after adjustment for the 3000 odd votes from a Republican district that the district didn’t report due to human error certainly boosts confidence.

  15. The little devil on my shoulder is becoming more persuasive by the day…

    I perfectly understand why.

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2020/08/01/ethics-quote-of-the-month-andrew-mccarthy-and-the-integrity-test-it-presents/

    Of course, this presents yet another integrity test for Ethics Alarms exiles from the left of the political spectrum. This blog recognized what was going on in general , if not all its specifics: hence the stuffed 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, still crazy after all these years. I knew the FBI and the deep state ein the Justice Department were part of the plot, as well as the Clinton campaign. I did not suspect that Barack Obama himself was involved until recently—Biden too, of course. That was my confirmation bias: much as I believe Obama was a destructive and wrongfully admired POTUS, I do not want to think holders of the highest office in the land actively work to pervert democracy.

    Finally, this is one more opportunity for your Facebook friends and others among the Deranged to admit that Trump’s presidency has been under unconstitutional attack. I don’t have much hope for them, either. For all the abuse Trump has taken for joking that his supporters would vote for him if he shot someone in Times Square, the “resistance” stalwarts will support Biden and Obama even with evidence that they engaged in Watergate-level abuse of power.

    Payback with interest sounds tempting.

  16. One more thing.

    If even 50% (let alone 70%) of Republican voters believe election tabulation is significantly fraudulent, that is not my problem.

    Sure, if I encounter a comment claiming a fraudulent election, I will ask the commenter to make their case, but that is it. I will not further challenge the commenter, even if commenter’s case is much weaker than the case Tariq Nasheed made.

    Let those like Larry Tribe and the Axis of Unethical Conduct challenge these claims.

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