Carl Sagan. That quote.

I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

East Lothian

A couple of places I love spending time in East Lothian. Saltoun Big Woods and Cockenzie House and Gardens. January 2017. Chilly but clear, blue skies and a refreshing frost!

GeoTrust SSL certificates issued by 1and1

I doubt the audience for this post is greater than 1. This is more aide-memoire than Post :-)

I recently had to renew my SSL certificate for the website using 1and1 as the SSL provider (the SSL Certificate is provided with the hosting account).

Try as I might the files generated would not load into the Web Server. There were a couple of things which were required:

  1. The Certificate files seemed to require to be changed from .cer files to .crt files. I do not mean they had to be edited – I mean I simply changed the filetype.
  2. The Private Key file would not install – indeed the logs suggested it could not be found. The issue was that the file had been generated with a password embedded – making it unreadable to the web server process – and the following OpenSSL command line code resolved the issue:

    openssl rsa -in original_file.key -out working_file.key

When this new file (working_file.key) was used in place of the original file the Web Server loaded once again.

And the website was encrypted..!

La Sagrada Familia

So many different things – including a Cathedral.

The structural elements, cranes and scaffolding, are as much a part of it’s artistic impact as the Gaudi design.

Saturday 12th November

The conversations this week have been dominated by the news of Donald Trump winning the election and becoming President Elect of the United States. I mistyped as I added that opening sentence. I wrote the Untied States. Perhaps either would be appropriate.

Following the result there were tears and there was jubilation.

Some of those crying were in shock. Trump was not a man characterised as misogynistic, racist and bullying. He was a man boasting of these characteristics. His policies were – are – an ever changing list which sound as though they were drummed out by some good ol’boys still angry that they had to stand behind black people in queues. His focus was on depicting the great nation – which he loves so well – as weakened. His campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” was designed to appeal to anyone unlucky enough not to have become as rich as him. The nations favourite Donald is no longer a cartoon bird but he does share some characteristics with the spluttering, angry, yellow duck.

The man never seems to be scrutinised. He makes claims we know to be untrue and he is never cross-examined. Not fiercely and profoundly. Not even scantily.

He claims to be a self-made man. Not many who enter the same business as their father and receive millions to get started can make this claim but he does. Yet the lie is often repeated. He states that he so disliked his father that he never considers himself to have been influenced by him. That is the character of the man. He benefits from being part of the elite. He uses bullying business practices based on utilising his contacts among the elite. He characterises non-white, non-male, non-American people as degenerate. Worse than that – he judges these people as less worthy than “his” people. Then he claims to be a rebel. He adopts the attitude of an outsider breaking his way in. He was given the keys to the executive toilets with his first pair of long trousers. He is no outsider to wealth and privilege. He personifies and relies upon privilege.

So who are “his” people. Much facile reaction claimed the “outcasts”. The disenfranchised. The forgotten. Those left behind. Yet this a a curious rebellion. Among his supporters there will be unemployed people and low-paid. He sang to them. He made his gestures. He fed into their suspicions. In the South? Do xenophobic. In the large and suffering car towns – do protectionist. Criticise foreign interests regardless of facts. Attack Mexico for the sin of being the bad neighbour.

Then look at the facts. His supporters are as likely to be concerned about Golf club fees as they are about putting food on the table. Many live in gated communities. They will have insurance and pensions. They will have work and businesses. They basically have good lives. They are blessed in the greater scheme of things. So why such anger as to vote for Donald Trump?

So his rebellion – his people – are atypical of the rebellious. All that defines them as rebels is that they did not behave as expected.

They were expected to vote for the career politician and not the career opportunist. They called Hillary a liar. They chanted “lock her up”. They ignored multiple transgressions of their preferred candidate to complain of email server transgressions. Most have no idea what an email server is or what the transgression was. They said she was malevolent. She did not care about the people in Libya or Iraq. Meanwhile their preferred candidate was making pronouncements about not giving a damn if women and children were blown into oblivion in Syria. The discrepancies were numerous, dumbfounding and disingenuous.

He did say that the rest of the world lives like kings due to the benevolence of the United States. The East is rich due to the purchase of Japanese and Korean cars. Their electronics. Their white goods. Those foreigners made better stuff than us, could afford to ship it half way around the world and still make a better business of it than we could.

That was not due to living like Kings, Donald. That was due to multi-nationals using cheap labour and your friends in commerce making it rich by dealing in their shares. The world is not the way he pretends it is.

But maybe he will insist on American made stickers on everything. Maybe he will make it illegal for federal purchases to be non-American. Maybe he will ban all imports of goods which can be sourced internally.

Know this, however. Donald and Donald’s friends will be making sure they have the shares to the companies which will benefit all safely bought and paid for. They will expect their cut. The elite will get richer and richer. Mark my words. And as they get richer they will expect the workforce to be as docile as the workers in the East. Be grateful.

Just as well they are all living like Kings in the factories out East, really. Isn’t it?

Oh – and don’t complain if he reneges on promises made. It was all just part of getting the deal done. So don’t complain because Donald can do one thing better than almost anyone else. Hold a grudge.

Instead be grateful. Be grateful for a man who openly mocks people with MND. Be grateful your new President will be able to dismiss political opponents if they are women – presumably if they don’t agree with Donald it is due to the menstruation messing with their girlie heads. Be grateful your president will dismiss judicial oversight – the Judge may be from foreign stock. Be grateful because now not only is it safe to espouse all those old-fashioned bigotries – now it is condoned, encouraged.

So know your place. Be white, loud and proud. And if you are a woman – be a good little wife and make sure you dress up nice. Don’t let the side down. There is a lot riding on this deal.