Regarding the American electoral process, the fix is in. Permanently.

A data breach reveal comes this week that indicates that things could all be over, with regards to fair and democratic elections in the US. And this is far bigger than the Right’s willingness to compromise democratic values in favor of the emotional gratification of simply winning something.

From Business Insider:

“A data analytics firm hired by the Republican National Committee last year to gather political information about US voters accidentally leaked the sensitive personal details of roughly 198 million US citizens earlier this month, as its database was left exposed on the open web for nearly two weeks.”

“This is the mother lode of all leaks…governments are made or broken on this. I don’t even have the words to describe it.”, said Archie Agarwal, founder of the cybersecurity firm ThreatModeler.

“This is what you can use to steal an election at the state and local level. It tells you who you need to advertise to to swing votes.”, said UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery.

This now on top of the fact that Russia hacked voter rolls in 39 states last year.

What does this all mean?

It’s bigger than Trumpgate. It’s bigger than the prospect of a Mueller investigation coming to fruition in 12-18 months that could lead to the impeachment of Trump and prosecution of his inner circle and even Ryan and McConnell.

It’s lasting. It’s enduring. And it will forever change America’s place in the world.

As long as America has it’s short attention span glued to social media and unable to see clearly ahead for more than a week at a time (seriously ask yourself how often that is being done aside from planning a vacation or doing some budget forecasts), the entire country is at the mercy of whoever can manipulate how information is skewed and presented on their phones. Because hostile actors already manipulated voter perspective and belief in 2016 through Facebook targeting with razor-sharp precision.

It won’t even matter if gerrymandering is recalibrated in the courts at state levels.

The fix is perpetually in. Midterm elections, presidential primaries, general elections and even small races on the state level.

This leads one to conclude that Putin’s long game was never about the Rosneft deal. Or destabilizing NATO. It was about permanently knocking the US off of its pedestal. And now all signs indicate that a tailspin is imminent or even underway.

The manipulation of the democratic electoral process is successful in large part due to the Religious Right and Alt-Right having a larger voice than what is truly the case. Contrary to their claims, that voice has not necessarily grown. It’s just that it’s become heavily augmented, such as through a disproportionately-sized megaphone. 25% can now seem like 45%. And it’s not just the oft-mentioned ‘non-college white’ demographic whose beliefs are being bought. It’s anyone with a smartphone and scrolling thumb. It’s the entire electorate body.

Even if the unthinkable happens and people untether their emotions and momentary endorphin releases from social media, the US would still have to deal with the deep-rooted political obstructionism in Washington that is preventing the country to make bold endeavors to maintain its lofty place in the world.

For example, the US has all but ceded leadership of the global green economy to China. Remember all the bitching and complaining about OPEC controlling oil and influence over the past 50 years? Here was the chance to put that era behind them and put global energy influence squarely into the hands of the US. And instead, it chose to leave all that money and power on the table.

Also, thanks to China’s lack of obstructionist governing, the country is on track to not only outspend the US but soon lead the world in scientific and medical research.

Countries have often mused over the idea of what would the world look like if America wasn’t at the forefront and keeping the interests of the global community in mind (despite being viewed through the self-interest lens of the elite and ruling class of the US).

We’re all now at the early stages of the post-America era and the pride and overattachment to the past will only quicken the pace of its onset.

Ronald McDonald will be the Hero of the Next American Civil War


Let there be no mistake. The recent gun attack by a crazed liberal against a GOP baseball game in Virginia is an absolute tragedy. There should be no Democrat who legitimately cares for this country and its citizens who is not sending prayers to Steven Scalise and his family during this difficult time. To anyone not able to take a moment to reflect on how toxic the political atmosphere has gotten where people think nothing of taking lives of those who differ in political belief, you are as complicit as Trump. When given the option, you willingly chose the low road. No one forced you to hold yourself to a lower standard.

If anything, a dignified and respectful response by Dem supporters would have been tactful and showed a sign to all that this kind of violent behavior is truly limited to fringe supporters. But upon reading tweets and comments of the lemmings, the overall tone is ‘well, they had it coming’. Really? The prospect of mass death?

Ok, I get it. These people support an unpopular president and are trying to pass ineffective health care out of spite for the past administration, among other things. But have they forced you out of your home, coerced your employer to fire you, contacted your bank to tank your credit rating and close off bank accounts and held your child hostage at gunpoint while demanding money they feel you owe them? Because if not, why in sweet hell are you wishing for their literal death?

The fact that the ‘civilized’ left can’t take a break for 24 hours to reflect on the Americans and their families who have been shaken from this violent act reveals something much more darker. And it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

Although everyone lives in day-to-day compartments of their lives thanks to the immediacy of social media, few people lift their heads up to look out to the horizon to see where things are headed. It doesn’t take an MIT graduate to conclude that things are not going to end well for Trump at some point. In fact, it’s very feasible to consider that not only Trump, but the GOP itself will be deeply wounded for years to come.

I’m not just talking about the 2018 midterm elections. But if we were, consider that sentiment in even deeply red states has turned against the GOP to where Republican strongholds have shifted to right-leaning or even toss-up. Look at Virginia. Look at how close special elections were in Kansas and Montana which should have been absolute blowouts by any standard in past elections. Almost every district in the country has shifted left by some margin. We’re not just talking about the Dems protecting their seats in 2018 and picking up a few toss-ups. We’re literally talking about any districts previously won by the GOP at margins of +15 or less moving to toss-up or left-leaning.

What this means would be the Dems taking back both chambers of Congress in 2018, all congressional committees being run by Dem chairmen to push the Trump investigations to the fullest of speed and even setting themselves up for a supermajority in 2020. And if it is true that Ryan and McConnell were complicit in supporting the flow of laundered Russian funding into GOP coffers, then we’re also talking about the top brass of the GOP being taken out. Lasting harm to the GOP brand. In fact, the GOP itself would either fracture into 2-3 parties or would have to completely rebrand itself and try to position itself to slightly right of center, in order to win independents back. This is all very real. In fact, rather likely.

But social media lemmings can’t see that far ahead and prefer to live in the fog of present-day. And this is why things are becoming further toxic. On both sides.

And that brewing toxic atmosphere is beginning to see the words ‘civil war’ being whispered out of the lips of pundits or the tweets of those unable to see the forest from the trees.

One thing that is worrisome is when considering Trump’s childish behavior. Look back at last fall when it was apparent that Trump was not only going to lose, but possibly badly. And Trump invoked the notion of violent protests in the event of a ‘fixed election’. Now look ahead and imagine the climactic end to his current administration. Even if it’s not impeachment. Even if it’s just him getting beaten handily by a Dem candidate in 2020. He will not go quietly. That writing was already on the wall in 2016. But it’s different now. Because he’s up to his neck in the prestige of the office. But if you factor in the prospect of him and his family being prosecuted? If he was invoking violent protests from the idea of losing the 2016 election, imagine what he will be invoking to his base if/when it appears that he may have to go to jail for the rest of his life. Don’t think for a second that he won’t be calling for his base to pick up arms.

And while the prospects of that are scary. Let’s keep in mind a few things. If you look beyond the big, angry words being uttered online by supporters, we still have the fact that 65 million people voted for Clinton and just one lunatic from all those voters went far enough to shoot at people. Ok, maybe rioters at some protests, as well. How many is that? 200? Ok, for sake of argument, let’s say 1 million Dem supporters have done something remotely violent when expressing their political sentiment. That’s still 1 out of 65 Dems. You can also make a similar case of those on the right who hung effigies of Obama. We’re talking fringe actors here. Even fringe of the fringe, if you really look at it statistically.

But have a little faith in the average diet of Americans in red states that contributes to their lethargy.

And, yes, it’s important to note that when Trump’s back is truly against the wall, he’ll call out to the base for support. And try to use their potential rage as political leverage to get the courts to rule in his favor. But we’re talking about people sitting on sofas with a smartphone in hand. With some angry thumbs typing away with a snarly look on their faces. And in red states where obesity levels are at the nation’s highest. And fast food restaurants per capita are also predominately red. It’s a lot to ask for to get people headstrong enough to get off the couch, hop in the truck and head off to a rally without pulling over upon catching a whiff of the KFC they are passing by. And then there’s the reality of: Do I want to risk losing my job over this? (munch, munch) Do I want to risk going to jail over this? (slurp, slurp) Do I want to risk not being able to play with my kids anymore? Or worse, not use my smartphone?????

People get cut off in Walmart checkout lines, blow a gasket and forget about it one hour later. The rage over Trump in the rearview mirror would last a week at best. And the strongest reaction will be from the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. And whose resolve gets tested when they pass by a buffet and join back into the herd lifestyle and they see all the other non-fringe lemmings gleefully chowing down on ribs and grits. That’s the resolve. An absolute avalanche of lethargic routine to contend with.

Don’t call that the base for civil war. That’s hardly enough to warrant a domestic dispute.

Trump is Right. Paris Accord Doesn’t Matter. But his Reasoning is Fatal for the US.

The entire climate change debate is a total ruse. On both sides. When looked back on in the future by our grandchildren, they will have no idea why we sweated, fought and clawed at each other over such a massive nothingburger.

Don’t get me wrong. There is ample evidence of climate change being caused or at least influenced by us. I’m sure that we can all lather ourselves up in giant bathtubs full of convincing data or go trekking across ice glaciers with Leo DiCaprio and Al Gore while we scream in agony at the sky. And wax poetic tales of woe of what kind of country we’re going to be passing on to our kids.

That particular aspect is beyond debate, at least for anyone who doesn’t have oil or nonrenewable energy interests or people on the right who are gullible enough to believe false narratives about climate change that have been hatched by oil and nonrenewable lobbyists. That’s a separate issue worth discussing at another time. Maybe a separate post on the mass neglect of the reform needs of the public education system and how much the 1% stands to gain by keeping the 99% undereducated or at least disadvantaged.

The problem with climate change is why such a monumental fuck is being given about it. The spirited, moral grandstanding has fully transcended the issue. Protesters take to the streets equipped with obligatory talking points on the surface issue. But what they lack in knowledge, they make up for it in the crusade to rail about corporate interests and the 1%. And everyone, especially the right, is missing the larger issue which is far more fatal to the long-term interests of the United States than water levels rising a little bit longer than a ruler in 80 years.

Bear with me as we first take a look at the good news.

The Paris Accord’s primary aim is to prevent the global temperature from rising 2°C by 2100. That’s not just our kids we are talking about. But their kids and the kids of those kids.

The debate rages on about the welfare of our future generations from the lens of where we are at 2017. With zero consideration on how much tremendous technological change we are going to be facing even in the next 25 years, let alone 80 years.

I’m talking about the coming technological singularity and how every single microcosmic facet of our society stands to change and we’ll have AI transcending the limitations of the intelligence of even our best scientists.

Before going further, read the easy-to-understand intro to the AI revolution that was brilliantly written by Tim Urban. If you can’t stand reading and prefer digesting 140 characters or less, then just read the first few paragraphs. It covers enough to help make my point.

To summarize, take a look at the below picture. This is how we look at the future. The assuming comfort that we can look at it with the same gradual trajectory as we’ve lived in the past. This is also how Paris Accord forecasting has been done.

The next image helps reveal what happens once AI transcends the human capacity to think. And not just one human. But within a relatively short amount of time after exceeding the intelligence of a single human, Moore’s Law estimates that AI will exceed the collective intelligence of all humans in the world. And once we’re at that point, maybe just a few weeks later, AI will exceed the collective intelligence of every single human that ever lived. And that future trajectory looks like below:

Notice how in the first graph that we can’t see that big spike coming?

Take a look at this next graph and see how flawed our personal forecasting is when relying on past growth trends.

Point being, everything around us is on a course for fundamental change. Most futurists estimate that, rather than being frightened by the prospect of a dark and dreary AI future like what we saw in the Terminator, humans will piggyback on the AI explosion by adopting BMI. The crudely named Brain-Machine Interfaces.

Scoff all you want, but you won’t be waking up one day and reading that there are line-ups for a new store offering chip implants or Matrix-like wires coming out of the base of your neck. It’ll be like the principle of how to boil a frog. You start off with the slow burn and warm up over time and then suddenly, we’re in a whole new era. For example, Apple is developing a Deep Learning OS for their iPhone that is so robust that it’ll be able to read your health vitals by simply having a patch on your skin that sends signals to your smartphone. That’s how it starts. Getting technology on us or in us for the betterment of our health. Then things go from there, especially once 3rd party app developers and investors start going in new directions with the technology. Can you imagine living with your pager in our current time of smartphones? Imagine your reaction if you traded up from a pager to a smartphone in 1990. The transformation is palpable. But things are moving far quicker now in terms of innovation.

The most widely praised futurist, Ray Kurzweil, has indicated that we’ll reach the point of Super AI, technological singularity, before 2045. In fact, things have changed since he predicted that. For example, the Asian game of ‘Go’ has been referred to as the final frontier of game mastery for AI. Far more sophisticated than chess. Last year, the handlers of Google’s AlphaGo only expected for the AI to win one out of five games against 18-time world champion, Lee Sedol. Instead, the AI won 4 out of 5 games and the human player was only able to win his game due to what Go experts call a masterful performance that will be studied for the ages. But the bigger story was how much further AlphaGo had developed that it blew away even its developers’ expectations. As a result of that, AI experts remarked that the AI behind AlphaGo was ten years further along than they expected in terms of amassing its own intelligence. And just last month, AlphaGo took on the reigning world champion, China’s Ke Jie, and beat the human player 3 games to none. 

Because of this and other factors, it comes as no surprise that Kurzweil has been re-emphasizing his prediction that AI will attain human levels of intelligence by 2029. Just 12 years away. And then go on to attain a level that exceeds all of the brainpower of mankind by 2045.

Why is this important in a Paris Accord context? Because even us dim-witted humans have already started down the road toward switching cars and commercial vehicles to clean energy, a feat likely to be widely realized in 10 years’ time. And then it won’t take much for that to transition to the shipping and transportation industries. Then you’ve got biotech and nanotech, with the potential to have nanobots released into the atmosphere to help dial back the environment to a pristine, pre-Industrial Revolution state.

And this is all based on human-led innovation. Imagine when the singularity comes and we bootstrap intelligence. Imagine that if Kurzweil is right and this all comes down the pipe in 2045, well before the 2100 goal to bring down global temperatures a smidgen. Even if Kurzweil is way off, 2100 is still a joke in terms of forecasting. If we don’t have the environment receiving a proper spit-and-polish by 2100, we’ve got bigger problems. As in, we’d be all dead due to some cataclysmic event that took place before then (and that won’t happen. Just as we give safe distance to Amazon tribes to evolve without the influence of advanced society, we only intervene when it appears their mass survival is at risk. It’s safe to assume that aliens are also giving us our needed space to evolve but will or even have covertly intervened when we put our civilization at risk of mass extinction).

To sum up, by mid-century, this will all be sorted out. Regardless if the US signs the Paris Accord or not. But there’s a far greater problem related to all this that Trump’s oil lobbyists and everyone else are missing that has crippling consequences for the US. Which I’ll address in my next post.