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I have a Facebook page devoted to the candidacy of the Sweet Meteor of Death for president in 2016. I was asked why some 13% of the population would prefer an Extinction Level Event to the presidency of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton (or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, who are also terrible.)  I think […]

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A Vote Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

 

vote-counts-ctsy-wikimedia-commons-public-domain“But I don’t want to waste my vote.” This retort came from both my wife’s mother and my father in separate conversations as they lamented their options served up this year by the Republicans and Democrats but refused to consider a third party candidate.  Even when we pointed out that as former two-term governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are not only more qualified to serve as president, but that their actions more closely match our parents’ values, they resisted on the grounds they won’t win.

Wikipedia defines a “wasted vote” as “any vote which is not for an elected candidate or, more broadly, a vote that does not help to elect a candidate.” I note that no citations are provided for this definition, probably because nobody will admit to writing that a wasted vote is simply a vote for a losing candidate. Strictly by the numbers, every vote has a vanishingly small impact. The average voter in a presidential election has lottery-ish odds of one in 60 million (1/60,000,000) of casting the deciding ballot in a presidential election. Playing the lottery is a waste of money, but surely there is something more to voting than getting your candidate in office.

It can be hard to pick the winning side when one casts a ballot. Right up to the Brexit vote most of the analysts, the polls, and perhaps most credibly, the gamblers, thought that Britain would vote against exiting the European Union. A vote for Harry Truman was a “wasted vote” in 1948. Even Ronald Reagan was behind in the polls for most of the year before the 1980 election.

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So now #VeteransForKaepernick is a thing in the Twittersphere. If you were ever in the military, you always knew that one guy that was sure to let everyone know that he was just there for the college money, and that he didn’t buy into all this Star Spangled <CoC violation describing bovine excrement>, or that enlightened […]

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We departed Rapid City on Saturday morning, heading due south on the Heartland Expressway, a road running between the Black Hills and the Badlands. We planned this as a brief travel day, just a 4 or 5 hour push to get to the middle of Nebraska along US 20 for one last easy camp. My […]

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I wanted to write a quick note about Rob’s pitch, and the pitch in general, for getting new members to join. I wasn’t sure how best to get the message through, so hopefully this gets some upvotes if people agree and the pitch makers get to see it.  The thing that sticks out to me […]

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When most people envision a ‘Prepper’, they’re usually thinking of the Bomb Shelter Dwelling variety. Having enough supplies and ammunition to fight off the zombies, or a scenario involving catastrophic collapse. While I don’t subscribe to an aforementioned dystopia, I’m more worried about a digital media disruption to streaming or cloud-based services. Call me crazy, […]

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With the traditional Labor Day kickoff upon us (though what’s traditional about this year is anyone’s guess), I’ll bring you up to date where we are in my race for the Illinois General Assembly. If you care to learn about my stance on issues, you can go to my website, but this post is about […]

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The title is not an exaggeration–weird considering our theme of Tall Tales.  It’s a tough spot, but let’s get this train through, children are depending on it!  Don’t stay put so you can eat the cookies yourself.  Look, it’s not a perfect analogy, but you get the gist.  Please sign up at this linked conversation. Preview Open

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The final tennis Grand Slam of the year is here: the US Open at Flushing Meadows. The greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer, is out with a knee injury – his streak of 16 consecutive appearances comes to an end. Serena Williams returns and chases Grand Slam title #23, the most in the […]

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Susan Quinn’s recent post on Cyber Threats http://ricochet.com/cyber-warfare-the-russians-are-coming/ prompted me to share the following check list. While many on Ricochet are well prepared, we have many new members and I wanted to share the information I posted on my blog when we had unprecedented local flooding a couple years back: Preview Open

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Ok – so by now, we’ve all heard the sordid tale of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin. And many of us, including me, have been quick to judge and happily revel in Tony’s continued tumble in public ignominy.  After all, Rep. Weiner (I shall try and avoid the temptation for double entendre’s – there are […]

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Cyber Warfare: Bad Actors and Our Electrical Grid

 

Stores are closed. Cell service is failing. Broadband Internet is gone. Hospitals are operating on generators, but rapidly running out of fuel. Garbage is rotting in the streets, and clean water is scarce as people boil water stored in bathtubs to stop the spread of bacteria. And escape? There is none, because planes can’t fly, trains can’t run, and gas stations can’t pump fuel.

That is the potential scenario if the U.S. undergoes a major cyber attack against our electrical grid. We know it’s likely that the Russians have hacked several U.S. companies, both in the public and private sectors. We don’t know, however, how deeply they have penetrated our systems overall.