Election, 2016

I originally posted this to Facebook on November 9, 2016, and I meant every word of it:

I have spent most of the day trying to NOT think about this, and I was largely successful because it was busy at work, and I was training a new guy. Then my shift ended, and the thoughts happened....
I am afraid. I hope to be proven wrong about why, but I am afraid.

Yesterday was the election for President, and several "down-ticket" House and Senate seats. With the Senate and House controlled by the Republicans, it is somewhat amazing that President Barak Obama was able to get as much done to progress this country as he has against the blatant obstructionism of the Republican party.

Yesterday, we as a nation had the chance to elect, if not the best candidate, at least one that would work to continue the path of progress, and flip the Senate and House to a Democrat majority. This did not happen.

Instead, the worst possible candidate was elected President, Donald Trump. The man is a proven liar, swindler, and admitted sexual predator. And we as a nation elected him. The man has shown himself to be a man of no character. He insults everyone who disagrees with him, often vulgarly. He has shown he has no self control, no decorum, and no decency. He is currently under investigation for tax fraud personally, professionally, and his alleged charity. Contrary to the law, he has used his "charitable foundation" that is supposed to help others to pay off his own personal legal bills and buy himself expensive knick-knacks. He is about to go on trial for fraud for swindling hundreds if not thousands of victims of his "Trump University" where people paid him thousands of dollars to learn how to do… nothing. The trial for that is supposed to start this month.

He is the subject of many, many lawsuits from small businesses that he has outright cheated out of contractually agreed on feeds for services rendered, from construction to grounds keeping, to, well, whatever. When sued for rightful money owed, he instead threatens to bury his victims in legal bills unless they agree to a pennies-on-the-dollar settlement, both of which have driven many small businesses out of business.

He had declared business bankruptcy at least four times in the past 20 years and has many more failed high profile businesses.

The Donald has admitted, on tape, to being a sexual predator, saying that he can do it and get away with it because he is rich. He is also accused by more than a dozen women of rape, including one who was 13 at the time of the claimed rape. Last I heard, there is a civil suit Discovery on that scheduled for December.

He had campaigned on an unabashed platform of hate. "Mexico only sends us rapists and murderers". "I will deny all Muslims entry to this country (except for my friends the rich Saudis)". He has openly mocked and insulted a handicapped reporter, body shamed any and every woman who is not anorexically thin. He has called his own daughter a "piece of ass" and stated, publicly, that if she were not his daughter he'd try to have sex with her.

He stands against everything this country was founded to stand for. His campaigning has included stands against a woman's right to choose, against a woman's right to any reproductive health. Against the inalienable equal rights of all people regardless of ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference. Against curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Against financial industry oversight and regulation. Against anything to curb or reign in corporate greed at the expense of the very people the Government is supposed to serve and protect and instead for corporate greed and helping the rich at the expense of the poor or merely not-rich.

The man is blatantly and demonstrably unqualified and unfit to hold any position of any type of power. And we, as a nation, elected him.

I am afraid.

I am afraid that he, with the still-Republican controlled Congress, will roll back all the progress that has been made over the last 50~60 years. Including equal rights for everyone and the progress we have started to make in combating Climate Change. In starting the process to curb the corporate greed that has led to half the problems we were facing before yesterday.
I am afraid for the future. Not only of this once-great country, but of the whole freaking PLANET. All of Humanity will be dealing with the problems this will bring for decades, at the least. Even if he turns out to be a one-term president. Even the Democrats can take control of Congress in two years. Even if he gets removed from office before his term is up (his VP Pence isn't much better).
The way I see it, the only hope to curb what I fear, and I don't think it'll happen, is that enough of the Republican leadership who had previously expressed distaste or disdain of Trump will, out of their own fears, obstruct Trump.

Prototyping for a site

In case anyone is actually monitoring this blog, there will be what looks like random changes and features popping up as I'm experimenting with WordPress to see if it is featurefull enough to run a website for my chorus, the Seacoast Men Of Harmony, a men's chorus in the Barbershop style. We are a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Law: Who controls your cloud data?


This is an interesting situation, and one that I think does need to be addressed in an international forum.   When dealing with data "in the cloud", who controls it?  Does it depend on the country of citizenship of the content owner?  Does it depend on the home country of the service being used?  Or does it depend on the physical location of the server?

Naked Security:  Microsoft: US would be outraged if another nation ransacked its servers

Computer savyness in non-IT users

Many IT professionals bemoan the apparent lack of computer knowledge in the users they support or otherwise provide services for. Not even ten years ago, I agreed with that - users should know more about the equipment they are using.

However, this is no longer ten years ago. This is the age of the $400 laptop PC, the smartphone and tablet. And the "wearable". Computers have transitioned into the status of an appliance, like a TV, refrigerator or car.

Auto mechanics don't expect their customers to be able to service their cars, appliance repair service techs don't expect customers to fix a refrigerator, why should we IT professionals expect our customers to be able to diagnose a system crash or upgrade hardware?  Just like their cars, refrigerators, and microwave ovens, people just expect them to work, and have a professional fix it when it breaks.

Operating one, however, that's a different issue.  Anyone using one definitely should be able to correctly operate a computer.  I don't expect my users to be able to install a printer, but they really should be able to select the printer from the list.