New Hampshire towns can legally misrepresent election results

As I previously reported, the website for the town of Kingston, NH falsified the town’s vote totals, concealing the existence of any votes for candidates other than Democrats and Republicans. I sent a written complaint to the Attorney General’s office over a month ago. Today I finally got a response from Assistant Attorney General Brian Buonamano. It says, in part:

While I recognize your frustration in not seeing your chosen candidates on the document displayed by the town, there is no New Hampshire law that prohibits a town from posting additional, informal, or partial reports of election results. Given that the full results were publicly reported consistent with New Hampshire law, I do not share your conclusion that the Town of Kingston has sought to deceive members of the public.

Reporting some votes and concealing others on an official website is deception by any standard I can think of. According to the Attorney General’s office, though, they can legally get away with it, as long as the correct results are reported somewhere else. From what Buonamano says, it would appear they can report just one party’s votes, or just the votes for their favorite candidates, if they feel like it.

Is it any wonder that so many people don’t trust the election process?

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Why I won’t attend the NH Liberty Forum

I would have liked to register for the New Hampshire Liberty Forum this coming February. They always have interesting speakers, and I run into people I haven’t seen in a long time. Unfortunately, the Free State Project, which is organizing the event, has made it an unreasonable choice to take. They require all attendees to waive all claims of liability against FSP, even if its negligence kills people.
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Catching my own errors

I tweet links to news stories. Sometimes these stories turn out to be wrong. A while ago, I read this account of a Muslim woman’s report that she had been assaulted and called a “terrorist” in a New York subway station because she was wearing a hijab.

More recent reports say that she made up the story and has been arrested for making a false report.

Which account is true? I don’t actually know. The woman has reportedly “supplied verbal and written confessions to the police,” but police have been known to bully confessions out of people. Certainly the recent news casts serious doubt on her story, and anyone evaluating it ought to know about the recent events.

So I may have reported an event that didn’t happen. This isn’t what I’d call “fake news”; I reported a legitimate news story and checked more than one source to confirm it. Any of us can discover we’ve conveyed inaccurate information; the important thing is to follow up with a correction.

It’s a bit like computer security. You can’t always stop every piece of malware from getting through, so you have to check what may have gotten past your defenses and take corrective action.

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Welcome to the doctor’s. Please remove your wallet.

I’m gradually getting convinced that the entire medical business is a scam. At my last visit to the doctor, at a practice affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, I got a flu shot and a pneumococcus shot, in addition to the normal cursory examination. Since then I’ve received a bill which informed me that those two jabs ran up a cost of $737, of which over $100 isn’t covered by insurance. Normal, honest businesses tell you before you spend sums in that range.

The description was very vague, with amounts for “professional services,” “vaccine,” and “pharmacy.” Nothing said which shot contributed to how much to the costs. I called the doctor’s office, which directed me to the central billing office, which directed me to the St. Joseph Hospital office. I called and had to leave my number because “all our agents are currently unavailable.” They didn’t call me back. I called an hour later and reached someone.
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A disturbing collaboration against “extremist” speech

The Guardian reports that “Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft have pledged to work together to identify and remove extremist content on their platforms through an information-sharing initiative.” This amounts to high-tech blacklisting, and it could be very bad for people trying to convey unpopular ideas.

The article freely conflates “extremist” and “terrorist” content, as if anyone who advocates an extreme position must intend to support it with violence. Does this include extreme pacifists, I wonder? Perhaps even extreme programming?
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Reflections on the “resentful” stalker mindset

As some of you know, a loony has occasionally made my life “interesting” off and on through the past two decades with various harassment attempts, with a recent uptick. A number of websites describe the “resentful stalker,” and they fit this person perfectly:

Resentful stalkers intend to frighten and distress the victim. Many have paranoid personalities or delusional disorders. They may pursue a vendetta against a specific victim or feel generally aggrieved and randomly choose a victim. They often feel persecuted and may go about stalking with an attitude of righteous indignation.

Resentful stalkers who suffer from mental illness generally require court-ordered psychiatric treatment but are difficult to engage in therapy. Legal sanctions may inflame this type of stalker.

Gollum fits the picture. He resents not having the Ring, and this turns into a fixation on Frodo. Without the Ring, he’s nothing. You can almost feel sorry for him, but if you extend a hand to him, he’ll bite your finger off. Some resentful stalkers, such as John Lennon’s murderer, turn violent.

A page on how to stop resentful stalkers basically says not to react to them. They want attention of any kind, and discussion with them is useless. They believe lying gives them power, so it’s impossible to communicate with them. However, being ignored increases their resentment. There aren’t a lot of useful options.

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