Special Prosecutor

By now, you’ve probably heard that the Deputy AG (((Rosenstein))) has assigned the former FBI director, Robert Mueller (I have no idea if I’m related to him), as a special prosecutor to look into ongoing allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

I’ve been thinking about this. They’ve been “investigating” for months, and haven’t produced a single shred of evidence. Part of me wants to believe if there actually WAS evidence, they would have found it.

When Trump first announced his candidacy, I figured he was just another globalist elite. But as his campaign went on, I started to think he was actually different than the others. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but enough American voters are f’ing sick and tired of being told that we have to subordinate our own interests to the “global community”. We have to import millions of rapists, welfare queens, and terrorists because somehow that shit is “good for our economy”. And we have to send our jobs overseas and be unemployed because that too, is “good for our economy”.

To hell with that.

When I realized that all the “right” people seemed to hate Donald Trump, I started to get on board more. They attacked him incessantly. I figured, like any other politician, his life must be full of scandal. But all they found was the “they let you grab them by the pussy” recording, which I don’t have a problem with. Everything else, like “pissgate”, was made up, and they didn’t do a good job of making it up.

So when, as hard as they attacked him, they couldn’t find a single actual scandal or element of corruption in his past, it blew my mind. Maybe he is the real deal.

Or, and there is plenty of evidence to this, the left is totally incompetent. They have their own scandals. Apparently, the DNC is in a full-on panic mode about their own scandals. /pol/ seems to be a far better intelligence service than our own intelligence organs. They found Shia LaPoof’s silly “He Will Not Divide Us” flag at least 3 times in isolated parts of the globe. The FBI has taken on a reputation lately as the “F’ing Bunch of Idiots”.

So maybe there is actual evidence somewhere for Trump/Russia collusion, but Congress and the media are too incompetent to find it. But I doubt it.

Mark Dice thinks this will be a good thing. The left is absolutely giddy about the special prosecutor, and when he finds NOTHING, they’ll be crushed worse than they were on election night, and will probably start accusing former FBI director Robert Mueller of being a Russian agent himself. So grab some beer and some popcorn and watch the show:

As for President Trump, a lot of people jumped off the “Trump Train” after April 6 when he ordered a bombing in Syria. I figure we still have several more years to get through, so I’ll hold my own decision for a while, although I am disappointed that he hasn’t cleaned out his house. He has too many people he can’t trust in his administration.

WannaCry… Who Should Get The Blame?

I’ve heard Friday’s cyber attack called both “WannaCry” and “WannaCrypt”. I”ll stick with WannaCry for now.

As we know, on Friday, tens of thousands of users in about 150 countries were hit with a cyber attack that encrypted their hard drives and locked them out of their computers unless they pay $300 worth of BitCoin. After a few days, it goes up to $600 BitCoin. (I assume, for larger organizations, that’s $300 PER COMPUTER).

Obviously, governments and cybersecurity “experts” are telling those affected not to pay, and to trust those governments and experts.

My professional opinion? Pay the ransom, learn your lesson, and NEVER let it happen again. I guarantee you, $300 worth of BitCoin will be a LOT cheaper (assuming you take corrective measures) than bringing in experts to recover your systems, and of course the lost business and efficiency.

Biggest Factor

Pardon my French, but this attack was apparently VERY FUCKING EASY to prevent. The #1 factor involved was: outdated versions of Microsoft Windows, mostly Windows XP.

Background

Let’s review: Windows XP was released in 2001. I remember being very excited to get it. About that time, cybersecurity started becoming a big issue, and Microsoft had to devote a TON of resources into beefing up XP’s security rather than develop a new version of Windows. Windows XP Service Pack 2 was released in 2004. This incorporated a firewall and some new security features. Now, Microsoft was able to work on a new version of Windows, and shit out Windows Vista in 2006.

By most accounts, Vista was a flaming piece of crap. I liked it over XP, as it had some neat new productivity features, but it was a gigantic resource hog. It apparently needed 4 GB of RAM to run decently, at a time when most consumer computers came with 256-512MB. Also, Vista had some substantial changes to the system and security architecture that are still causing problems for those too stupid and cheap to upgrade from Windows XP.

The head dude in charge of Vista was fired or put aside, and Microsoft came out with Windows 7 in 2009. Windows 7 is what Vista SHOULD have been in the first place. It actually ran very well without needing a top end computer. Windows 8 followed around 2012, then Windows 10 in 2015.

I liked Windows 8, but I think I was the only person on Planet Earth who did. Most people couldn’t stand it. I’m smart enough to spend the 5 seconds I needed to on Google to figure out how to operate it, and I never had a problem. But Microsoft had to build back in the legacy features from Windows 7 because everybody else but me can’t handle change or 5 seconds on a search engine. (This includes Bill Gates, who allegedly came back to Microsoft part-time, was given a Windows 8 computer, and demanded to go back to Windows 7 because this software genius can’t handle a search engine either).

While all of these versions of Windows were going on, people got so dependent on XP that Microsoft was forced to keep supporting it. They originally intended to end support in 2008, but ended up extending a couple of times until 2013. Many companies had custom applications that were practically hard-coded to only work on XP. I knew a dentist who, in 2010, went to buy some new Windows 7 laptops. He tried to run his dental application, and it wouldn’t work. He called support, and sure enough, they didn’t support Windows 7.

I see a doctor who uses Windows Server 2003 for his application. Every freaking time I go in there, I bring this up. Sever 2k3, like XP, is long since out of support. I ask the doctor “Are you trying to get hacked? Are you trying to get my patient data, and that of all the rest of your patients, stolen?” He keeps telling me he’ll bring it up to the people who provide their IT services, but so far, nothing has happened.

I go to another doctor who does everything by paper. As much as the IT Professional in me cringes at the stacks and stacks of paper and records in his office, I realize there’s no F’ing way he’ll get hacked. Of course, an office fire, a break in, or a misplaced record will have the same effect, so you’re screwed either way. You might as well embrace IT and TAKE REASONABLE MEASURES, and yes expenses, to protect it.

Second Biggest Factor

When it comes to any type of security, your biggest threat comes from inside. It’s your users, your employees, even your family. And it’s not even because they want to be. They’re just people (or sheople) stumbling through life without paying much attention.

For a class I took last year, I had to take a cybersecurity simulation. The set up is, you’re running an IT organization for 4 quarters, and you have a budget. You can only spend so much each quarter to protect your network. You can spend it on appliances (firewall, IDS, IPS, etc.), user training, antivirus for computers, and so on. But it’s a limited budget. And I had to get at least a 95% before I could submit my certificate. I was at it for hours.

I remember one time in particular, several rounds in. I’d somewhat gotten a feel for what areas I had to cover with the limited budget. Like, you can’t just give 5 rounds of user training and forget to install a firewall. So I had two good quarters, and defeated all the cyber attacks. Then, at the end of the 3rd quarter, the simulation hit me with 3 social engineering attacks in a row. All were successful, and I had to play again. I finally got a 96% on one round, saved the certificate to pdf, and emailed it to my instructor. I was not going to try to top the score at that point.

A user can be totally subversive, or a double agent, spy, or whatever form of actively working against you. But you probably have far more to fear from casual carelessness or just not understanding security.

We’ve all had a casual friend with an email account that started throwing off spam. Suddenly you get poorly worded English from them telling you to click a link. I always catch them; most people don’t. I tell the person to change their password. They probably change it from password to password1, and keep sending off spam as soon as the spammer cracks the new password. I just mark them as spam, since I don’t normally correspond with those people by email. But most people get an email with something like “You have GOT to see this!” and they click the link, which brings malware onto your network. And if you’re still stupid enough to be running Windows XP, now you’re infected.

Or, consider this scenario, which I used to explain social engineering to my wife:

<phone rings> “Random hospital, Karen speaking.”

Social Engineer: “Hi, Karen, I’m looking for John Smith.”

Karen: “There’s nobody here by that name.”

Social Engineer: “I’m sorry about that. Must be a wrong number, but I talked to John Smith from Random Hospital. Maybe you can help me, Karen.”

Karen: “Sure, what can I do for you?”

(Most people want to be helpful.)

Social Engineer: “I’m working on a proposal to upgrade Random Hospital’s computers. I’m wondering if you can tell me what operating system you’re running. I want to give you better equipment if I can.”

Karen: “I don’t know much about computers.”

Social Engineer: “That’s OK, it’ll just take a second. I can walk you through it. I really appreciate your help, Karen. Click on Start…”

<walk through of finding OS version, maybe browser version and what antivirus>

Social Engineer: “OK, so Random Hospital runs Windows XP, Internet Explorer 7, and McAfee. Thank you, Karen, I appreciate your help”.

Now, Social Engineer knows Random Hospital is stupid enough to be running an out of date, unsupported operating system with well-documented vulnerabilities. Dis gon be gud!

That’s all it takes. Or digging through a dumpster. Social engineers can get a TON of good information from all the crap users throw away.

And that’s just from an employee who was trying to be helpful, not subversive.

For the record, I don’t tell people shit over the phone. I don’t look up numbers or give names to them unless I know who they are. And it’s not that I don’t want to be helpful or friendly, but because I know how social engineering works. And I’m not going to be the idiot who compromises my organization.

I can do this all night, but I think you get my point. WannaCry could have all been prevented IF the affected organizations were running currently supported operating systems with recent patches and updates applied, which can help mitigate user carelessness.

There’s one final factor we need to look at:

The Deep State, Unaccountable Spying Agencies

Here in America, we have the National Spying Agency and Cocaine Importing Agency. From what I’ve read, the very exploit that caused all of this was built by one of them (I don’t remember which, and it probably doesn’t matter). The recent Vault 7 leaks included some malware developed by one of them and left on an insecure directory that was apparently easy to access from outside.

Heads should roll for this. Both agencies most likely need to be gutted, involving people being fired and/or prosecuted. Proper lines of control need to be drawn and enforced.

Conclusion

I saw some claim today that this is all Microsoft’s fault. They should have left Windows XP in support forever.

Right. Should your car manufacturer be forced to support whatever car you drive indefinitely? Sooner or later, things break down and you need to buy a new one. Even if we all agreed to just freeze technology where it’s at forever, to never again develop newer hardware or software, maintenance still needs to be done. As people develop new exploits, those have to be patched. Sooner or later, the best way to defend against those vulnerabilities is going to be radical changes to the architecture of the operating system and software that runs on it. So no, this is a bad idea. Plus, how are the tech companies supposed to make money if they can’t convince you that you HAVE to buy a new phone every year?

I got into IT because I’m excited by new technology, new features, and new capabilities. I’ve spent most of my career frustrated by the baby boomers and people afraid of change forcing us to keep doing things the old way. I’m convinced that email is pretty much obsolete, but the biggest tool I still use at work is Microsoft Outlook. And I finally got Office 2013 on my work computer. I’ve been running 16 at home since last year.

(I wish I could get into independent consulting, but I don’t appear to be entrepreneurial).

A lot of people in IT need to get out of it. Go find something else to do, and stop holding the rest of us back. Or actually, start learning about it so you can do it effectively. Read some books or magazines, or watch some YouTube videos that don’t cost you anything. Learn and grow.

IT is the ultimate cargo cult. Everybody thinks it should be easy and fun. How often do you hear somebody who can barely charge their phone say “I’d like to get into IT!” My wife was saying that when I met her. I was able to make her head spin enough with my own knowledge of IT to convince her it’s not a good idea. No, of course, I’m willing to help her, but once she realized what was involved in learning it, and how getting in with no experience is a pay cut and a shitty help desk job, she changed her mind.

I guarantee a lot of IT departments need to start firing people over this WannaCry episode. If you run a business and don’t know much about IT, make sure you bring in someone who does. If you contract with a 3rd party to provide your IT support, make sure they have a plan for obsolescence. What are they going to do when Microsoft releases a new version of Windows and discontinues support for the current one? If their answer is “Oh, it’ll be fine…”, DO NOT HIRE THEM!

Arcologies

This is a technical term I didn’t know before today, although I’m familiar with the concept. An arcology refers to a self-contained building. Basically, in dystopian science fiction, it’s where the entire population is crammed into skyscrapers where they also grow their own food.

This guy takes an engineering and mathematical look at it. Very interesting. I’ll be watching more from his channel.

Symbol Appropriation

This is something interesting I’m seeing lately. It started with this meme:

My first reaction was: WTF? I see a mixture of the rainbow, which is associated with gayness. But also the separation of colors, which is associated with nationalism (specifically, white nationalism ((mislabeled as white supremacy)) ). And of course, the swastika, which we all know what to associate that with (although it is an ancient symbol associated with peace and good luck and yes, Hitler knew that).

Then, this showed up:

And finally, this:

Thanks to “meme magic”, this appears to be an attempt by some in the “alt-right” to appropriate the left’s cherished symbols. Since the left is driven almost totally by the amygdala, they are likely to get triggered and abandon those symbols, which should be interesting.

In North Carolina, Protestors Blocking Traffic Now Have The Same Legal Status As Deer

From Anonymous Conservative.

This is a shift in the zeitgeist I couldn’t have predicted just a few years ago. There’s been a definite “us vs. them” shift in our collective consciousness. I don’t think either side views the other as fully human.

When I watch videos of protestors being hit by cars they were blocking, I don’t feel a sense of horror or anything. I don’t know if I should. I imagine events of late have desensitized me to it.

But I also want to ask them “Didn’t your mothers teach you not to play in traffic?” Then I realize, one of the hallmarks of rabbits is low investment parenting. So, obviously not.

Leftists also can’t seem to connect concepts properly in their minds. None of their protests seem to have anything to do with what they’re protesting about. “I’m pissed off! Let’s burn down our neighborhood!” It makes no sense to me, except through the r/K theory Anonymous Conservative has so brilliantly applied to politics. (r/K has been around for a long time, but AC is the one who took it and ran with it.)

What the hell does stopping traffic have to do with not approving of Donald Trump? I can’t connect it in my mind, but it makes sense to them somehow I guess. And it’s not that I go looking for those videos, but they show up everywhere. I don’t look at pictures of abortions at all. I don’t believe I need to; my mind is already made up that this is a horrific event.

I suppose it makes sense to desensitize yourself to horrific things. If we have an economic collapse or civil war or some other kind of meltdown, we’ll all be surrounded by horrific scenes every day, and we may have to make some very hard choices. And it will probably pay to not become overwhelmed by it all. Think about it; you’re trying to survive, and starving people are begging you for food. If you share, you might not survive. Your family definitely won’t. You have to say no, and be prepared to defend them and your supplies. Can you make those hard choices? I don’t even know if I could.

Android Central: The 5 Worst Things About The Galaxy S8

I have a love/hate relationship with Android. I like to skip around between the various phone platforms so I can maintain knowledge of them. But, Windows Phone is effectively dead, since nobody makes or maintains apps for it and Microsoft just can’t commit to a consumer strategy, and Apple isn’t impressing me lately. All they seem to care about anymore are iMessages and cameras. And jacking up the price point.

My last phone was the Note 5. At one point, I swore it would be my last Android phone. I found it to be buggy and unreliable, but it never blew up, so it had that going for it. The battery life was terrible. My first phone had to be replaced by warranty because the battery would be dead in 3 hours even if I shut everything down and didn’t touch the phone. My replacement didn’t do much better.

Two factors have me locked into Android, and specifically Samsung. Those are:

  1. Lastpass integration
  2. Samsung Pay

We all have so many damned logins and passwords it is impossible to keep track of them all. Everything requires an account. Everything. I have Lastpass pro, which costs $12 a year. On every other device, every time I have to log into an application or website, I have to bring up Lastpass, check my username, copy my password, switch back to the app or website, and paste the password in. On Android (when it works), I just authenticate to Lastpass with my fingerprint and it fills the details in for me. This simplifies life.

I didn’t care much about the mobile payment apps before. Most features the tech companies roll out seem to only matter to people who live in San Francisco or New York. Not so much northern Virginia. I used ApplePay once at Wegman’s when they were running a beta test. Then I found out Samsung pay used a technology called MST, which induces a magnetic field into the credit card reader and works with almost all of them (except gas pumps). So I started using my phone to pay for everything, which is a hell of a lot easier than pulling my wallet out, getting my check card out of its sleeve, swiping, and trying to fit it back into the sleeve. And for now, paying with my phone still blows people’s minds, which is kind of cool.

When it came time to decide what to do about the frustrating and unreliable Note 5, I had a few things to consider. Get an iPhone 6s+ or 7? Wait for the S8? Or get the S7 Edge?

About a month prior to the S8’s release, Samsung started selling the S7 Edge for $200 off to eliminate inventory. I decided to just buy it from them, and did. The S7 Edge had been out for a year and had a proven track record. People I know love them. So I got one.

And when I read things like this, I’m glad I did. I haven’t really heard anything good about the S8. Sure, it’s all pretty and stuff, but like most technology, it’s going backwards. They make a nice design and add a few new features (most of which are pointless), but other than a slightly newer processor, there’s nothing earth-shattering.

The video describes Bixby as a 2012 era Google Now. I’ve never had much use for Google Now. I guess it’s good if you live in San Francisco, take public transportation, care about sports, and can afford to eat at expensive, reservation requiring restaurants.

It supposedly has some feature (powered by Pinterest!) where you can use the camera to get it to show you images similar to what you’re looking at. But it doesn’t look that useful. This is another case of technology going backwards. Back in 2014, I had a Nokia 920. It came with an augmented reality app that was very useful. I don’t remember what it was called, but you could take the phone out, power it up, and scan around. Through the camera, it would give you information about your surroundings, and what was behind them with clickable links that opened in the appropriate app. I haven’t come across anything like it since. I’ve had Google Goggles on my last two phones, and it’s nowhere near as useful as that app on the Nokia 920 was three years ago.

The fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone looks like a serious pain in the ass. I’m fine with scanning my thumb on the front of the phone. It’s convenient, and I don’t have to turn the phone over to do it.

Another backwards feature: say you invite me over. You text me your address. 3 years ago, on the Nokia 920, I could click the address, it would ask me which app to open it in, and I could select Waze. Now, it automatically opens in Google Maps. So I have to manually copy the address, open Waze, and paste it in there so I can navigate over (Google Maps sucks for navigation, and it doesn’t show you where the cops are.)

I’d love to see technology start moving forward again. I’d love to see some truly revolutionary stuff. New ways of rendering the Human/Computer Interface. Augmented reality. But it seems like all we’re getting right now are dual cameras and messaging platforms. And mindless games.

Speaking of which, does anybody remember ICQ from the late 90’s? We had all these IM platforms like AIM, Yahoo, etc., and ICQ tied them all together into a single application. We don’t have that now. iMessages is about the closest thing I’m aware of, but it only works on a complete Apple platform. I’d love to be able to text from my computer and pick the conversation up on my phone, whether I’m using SMS, Signal, Telegram, or whatever.

Has Microsoft Learned Nothing From Windows RT?

Remember the launch of the Microsoft Surface in 2012? They can in two versions: the Surface RT and the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro ran a full version of Windows 8.

The Surface RT ran a version of Windows 8 that was designed for an ARM processor, and could only run apps from the Windows Store.

The Surface 2 was the last RT version. The Surface 3 ran a full version of Windows. Why? The RT wasn’t selling well, because of its tie-in to the Windows Store.

There has never been a point in time when the Windows Store didn’t suck. There are a few good apps on there like Wunderlist and Evernote, but for the most part, nobody supports Windows apps. Facebook recently pulled their app (I didn’t know it had lasted that long, but recently saw somebody complaining about it on Facebook).

Now, Microsoft is back with Windows S. It sounds great on the surface. It’s stripped down and agile. Sounds cool, right? What could go wrong?

From Microsoft’s own site:

Microsoft-verified security

Your applications are delivered via the Windows Store ensuring Microsoft-verified security and integrity. Microsoft Edge is your default browser since it’s more secure than Chrome or Firefox.1Windows Defender and all ongoing security features of Windows 10 are included.

Yep, it will once again, only run apps from the Windows Store. The same Windows Store that Microsoft just can’t encourage ANYBODY to develop for, or maintain apps they dip their feet in the water with.

Not that you need a lot of apps. Early in the days of app stores, most of us were constantly downloading and trying out new ones. For the most part, we’ve figured out what works for us, and since all they’re doing anymore are messaging apps, there’s no point in looking for new ones, unless you like mindless games.

I don’t mind Edge. I have a cheap, Windows 10 tablet that I got to play with. I only use Edge on it. Since they came out with extensions for Edge, I have the functionality I need (Lastpass, Pocket, etc). Internet Explorer 11 sucked balls. It still sucks balls. I have to use it at work, although I finally got Firefox installed on my work computer, so I only use IE for work related sites. Edge isn’t bad. I still use Chrome on my Mac because Safari sucks and Brave isn’t close to prime time yet.

I’ve seen a few headlines that if you buy one of those new Surface laptops, you can get a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. You probably should. The Windows Store is about useless.

Are You So Stupid That You Need An App To Keep You From Screwing With Your Phone While Driving?

Samsung is going to release a new app for idiots who can’t just pull the damn car over to check a text. Or wait until they’re stopped.

Samsung Netherlands has created a new app called In-Traffic Reply which is going to help drivers keep their attention on the road and not on their phones. Using your phone while you’re behind the wheel can be very dangerous. You might think that it’ll only take a few seconds to check that message or read what your friend just tweeted, but those few seconds can quickly prove to be fatal if you take your eyes off the road.

PanelWizard conducted a survey which found that one-third of the road users in the Netherlands have used their smartphone behind the wheel. In most situations, they felt social pressure to answer calls and reply to messages immediately. Samsung wants to bring down this statistic.

And it’s fine that this exists, and people want to download it and use it. I’m sure that’ll make us all safer. I don’t know what to make of people who lack both the common sense and discipline not to use their phones when driving. And I don’t want to live in a world where an app like this is mandatory.

I’m not saying I never use mine, but I have a few rules. First, since my truck doesn’t have a fancy BlueTooth system, I got a Go Groove BlueGate CTR. This thing is great. It’s a BlueTooth receiver with a microphone. It plugs into my aux port. I have the receiver mounted on my dashboard near my steering wheel. If I get a call, I just press the button and I can talk to the caller. I ignore most calls though unless it’s my wife or somebody from work. Otherwise, that’s why God gave me Google Voice. My Go Groove also has buttons for forward and back, so I can skip commercials on a podcast or skip to the next song. I never listen to the radio. Only content on my phone.

Second, I keep my phone on a windshield mount. It’s right there in my field of vision. I use Waze most of the time when I’m driving. I can see what’s ahead of me, and send reports for cops and hazards.

Third, other than minor interaction with Waze, I do not touch my freaking phone at highway speeds. I have never gotten a text or Facebook comment that was worth my life. Even if I got a notification that @realdonaldtrump followed me on Twitter, I’d wait until I’m stopped to make sure it’s not a joke.

OK, if traffic is below about 20 MPH, maybe I’ll clear notifications, but I don’t read anything unless I’m at a complete stop. And with my phone in the windshield mount, I know when the light turns green or when traffic is moving. Here in Northern Virginia, traffic gets so bad, I’ve read books in my Kindle app while sitting on the highway, not moving.

If you get a notification that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO READ RIGHT THE HELL NOW!, you won’t hit a SINGLE traffic light. It’s the best condition to be in. As soon as you check it, they’re all going to turn red, and you’ll hit every last one.

This goes back to something I said all the time several years ago when I read blog posts about families going to extremes, like burying their phones in the yard during dinner so nobody used them. Do you own your phone, or does your phone own you? Who is the boss? In my case, if I don’t want my phone bothering me, I’ll shut it off or put it in Do Not Disturb.

I’ve never understood why other people have so much trouble with that.

United’s Customer Service

I’ve been hearing about the United incident over the last couple of days. The details I got came in slowly, until I finally had enough of a picture to come to a conclusion.

I’ll leave the actual analysis to Davis Aurini. He did a great job.

There’s the “way the world ought to be”, and the world we actually live in. We’ll never get to the way the world ought to be, and most of us have different definitions of what it should be. My ideal world involves no commercials, and violent beatings for people who drive too slow, and are screwing with their phones when the light turns green. I doubt I’d ever get that approved on a ballot, and even if we did vote on it, some court would overturn it.

Another focus of my ideal world is, the hospitality industry would have to charge the same price to everybody. Sure, they can factor in the market. But they won’t be selling one plane ticket to somebody for $1000, and the person sitting next to them gets to buy a ticket for $100.

(A great meme I saw yesterday goes “United: we put the hospital in hospitality!”)

For the most part, we do not have the rights we think we do. Apparently, if a cop pulls you over for speeding, you are legally and constitutionally correct by refusing to provide your license and registration under the 5th amendment, because the information you provide can and will be used against you in a court of law. But go ahead and give it a try. Let me know in the comments how well it worked for you.

In real life, the cop will probably yank you out of your car and charge you with some form of obstruction. You’ll be dragged to jail. Sure, if you can afford a lawyer, and all the money and time, you’ll probably win the lawsuit. But do you really have the money for that? Better to just hand the documents over, be polite and cooperative, and hope the officer lets you off with a warning for being so nice. (It actually has worked for me a couple of times. One cop was so surprised I didn’t try to bullshit him that he got a blank stare for a few seconds).

Besides, do you honestly believe you can come up with an excuse the cop hasn’t heard? Everybody lies to him. Everybody has to take a leak. The cop knows you just passed a rest stop. Everybody yells at him “You work for me, asshole! Aren’t there pedophiles and Wall Street Bankers you should be going after? I’m just trying to get to work!” They hear that from everybody; what makes you think YOU can actually pull it off?

Same thing at the airport. The TSA screeners don’t give a shit that I’m a veteran. There’s no sense in bringing it up. I just do what I have to do to get through screening and not do anything to make myself memorable to them. They don’t want to hear about radiation from the naked body scanners. They always examine my laptop like it’s an alien artifact even though they encounter thousands of them a day; they probably don’t know what radiation is.

So with the United thing, we ended up with a very bad confluence of several factors that boiled over. Everybody was right and everybody was wrong, and nobody won. Maybe United won, at least in this round. But the hit to their PR will last forever. “Fly United and get your ass beat!” I’m sure people will be saying that for a while. But all airlines suck. Name one that doesn’t.

Also, don’t count on the r selected animals around you to do anything to help you. They’ll be glad to take out their phones and record the whole thing, then post it on Twitter. But they don’t give any more of a crap about you than United does.

United overbooked, as they always do. Except this time, they ran out of no-shows. Then they had to transport some mechanics to the next airport at the last minute, so they had to kick people off the plane. Of the four, three took the vouchers. Hell, Louisville isn’t that far from Chicago. For $800, I’d rent a luxury car and drive it. This Doctor Dao said he had to be at his next destination. But why would United care? Everybody has to be at their next destination. He won the anti-lottery; get off my plane. (There are reports that Dr. Dao is into some serious deviancy, but I don’t see how any of it is relevant to his ass beating by United and the cops they called in).

If it happens to you, the best thing you can do is roll with it. Take what they’re offering. Milk them for all you can get: money, hotel, rental car, whatever. Don’t fly on a tight deadline. Better yet, don’t fly. The airlines hate you and want to ruin your personal life. I only fly for work, when they’re paying for it and have no choice but to live with schedule delays. And I always fly first thing in the morning the day before, to allow for delays. Or to get checked into my hotel early and relax, or go out and get the lay of the land.

Looking at it again, I think the only winners in this United scuffle were the people that weren’t involved. And our prize is memes. Here are a couple I came across:

Friendly Fire?

There appears to be a war between two factions I support.

This morning, President Trump posted a tweet critical of the House Freedom Caucus:

Breitbart posted an article about it this afternoon, quoting my Congressman, Dave Brat, a member of the caucus.

“I don’t know who has his ear,” said Brat, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and was part of the HFC team negotiating with the White House and the House Republican leadership to amend the Ryancare bill.

“I don’t think he is hearing that we are trying to serve him a victory–right?–Right now, this bill is at 17 percent in the polls, and that’s not a winner.”

The RyanCare bill sucked. Not as bad as the Unafforable Care Act (Obamessiah Care), but not much better. Would you rather pay $10,000 in taxes, or $9500? It still sucks.

I had Rob Andrews as a Congressman when I lived in the People’s Republic of New Jersey. Dave Brat is refreshing. This is my first real disappointment with President Trump. I don’t expect the man to be perfect, obviously. I hope he’s playing a long game, but I’m with Dave Brat and the House Freedom Caucus on this one.

One last comment: do liberals have no memory? When President Trump repealed The Obamessiah’s EPA regulations, they act like we’re all going to die. Were we all choking on our atmosphere 8 years ago? No, but it was a little easier to start a small business, cars were cheaper, and we could buy mid-sized and small trucks, and diesel Volkswagens. Most of those are gone.

Was everybody freaking stupid before the Department of Education came into being during the Carter administration? Oh, NOBODY ever had an EDUCATION before that?

Liberals have no historical memory.