Election Night in Fountain

He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen.

-Harry Truman, on Eisenhower and the presidency

Just another Wednesday on a blog mostly about video games.

When I got home yesterday afternoon things seemed settled about the house.  My daughter was busy with something, hockey was starting on the TV, which would occupy my wife for a couple of hours, and a ping for a fleet had just come up on Jabber.  I figured it was a sign, and I logged into EVE Online and joined up.

We formed up an armor T3 fleet and by the time I was logging in there were threats that we were not going anywhere until there was more logistics support.  Fortunately that is what I generally fly… I don’t even own a doctrine Proteus or Legion… so it was into my medical white Guardian and into the fleet just in time for us to get going.

Guardians lolling about

Guardians lolling about, cap chain up

We rolled out with a capital fleet bobbling along ahead of us, turned north, passed through that long regional gate jump between ZXB-VC and Y-2ANO, and headed deep into Fountain where we have been fighting sparring with The-Culture off and on for the last couple of months.  It was a passage through history for me yet again, with system names in Fountain more familiar to me from past wars than my own current neighborhood in Delve.  I cannot, for example, go through KVN-36 without thinking about that doomed capital convoy op we ran way back when.

Holdings in the Southwest - Fountain, Delve, and Querious

Holdings in the Southwest – Fountain, Delve, and Querious

Our first destination was an Astrahus citadel of ours that The-Culture had been busy attacking over the past week.  It was coming down to its final timer and there seemed to be some likelihood that they would call in some help from the north to contest it.  A fight seemed possible and there were reports on coms that they had almost 100 people of there own in captials and ready to go.

We tethered up on the Astrahus and waited.  We were there early, so had to run down the timer before the event started, then sit through the whole fifteen minute exposure window.

Hanging off the Astrahus

Caps hanging off the Astrahus

However The-Culture wasn’t able to get a force together to contest the timer, so it ran out and the Astrahus was saved.

That left a couple hundred of us hanging about in Fountain, so the subcaps split off to go shoot a couple of towers The-Culture had in A-HZYL.  This took the evening from some sitting about waiting to a game of whack-a-mole for the logistics wing of the fleet.  Both of the towers had quite a few defense modules.  As nobody was there to direct them, they fired in their random sort of way which meant that people were calling for reps almost constantly as the automated guns changed targets at a maddening rate.

Meanwhile, The-Culture put together a small group of Artillery fit Claw interceptors (example fit from one we popped) who managed to warp in and pick off a few smaller ships (and one Legion) as we did our tower shoot.  I am not sure how they got the Legion, but they were able to alpha small ships (like B33R’s Bifrost) off the field in a single volley.

While The-Culture was big on defensive modules on their towers, they did not bother to put any strontium clathrates in them.  So rather than having to go through the multiple shoot routine of reinforcement mode, we were able to kill them right then and there.

That's right Pee-wee, the secret word is "Unstronted!"

That’s right Pee-wee, the secret word is “Unstronted!”

Fortunately the capital fleet sent us a few dreadnoughts to speed things up so the logi repping madness didn’t last as long as it could have.  We popped one tower and then a second.  After that we had to take the remaining modules offline and cover GSOL as they put up replacement in the place of the ones we just blew up.

A new tower going up!

A new tower going up!, old hardeners still in place

That left us with some time to kill, which we did in the usual way.  The FC, Thomas Lear, had logi start repping one of the fleet members… in this case fellow jacket pal Norrec Lafisques… and then had the rest of the fleet shoot him to see if they could break his tank.

Norrec as the focus while the tower goes online

Norrec as the focus while the tower goes online

However, but that time we had lost some fleet members… we were past the three hour mark… while logi was still strongly represented and all still awake after the tower, so we kept him alive without any fuss.

Once the towers were set, it was time to head home, shepherding the capitals and keeping together to avoid being picked off by the still lurking Claws of The-Culture.  That took a while, but eventually we made it back to the staging Keepstar and were able to call it a night.  We were rewarded with three participation links, which covers 75% of my minimum for the month.

During the whole fleet any discussion of politics was banned.  Politics is generally one of the forbidden topics on fleet ops, but given it was election night it was being strictly enforced.  So there were not any updates while I was playing EVE Online during that gap of time.  Before the fleet started I had looked at Google’s election coverage and the real time live forecast that the New York Times had put together on their web site.  So when I looked as the fleet was kicking off, every indicator said Clinton was going to win.  The needles were all deep in Clinton territory and Trump had faint hope.  When The fleet was done… well… things had changed as indicated by this chart which I clipped from their site.

What a difference a fleet makes

What a difference a fleet makes

I think the fleet actually started about a half hour earlier now that I think about it, but you get the picture.  And while I wasn’t completely news free during the fleet… I checked Twitter and saw a few indicators come up… the radical shift was still a bit of a surprise.

My daughter, actually paying close attention to a presidential election for the first time, was disturbed by the apparent outcome.  I had to reassure her that the system is designed to suppress drastic change.  The government is slow and inefficient on purpose.  It is a feature.  Just as Harry Truman noted about Eisenhower I would note about Trump.  Being the President isn’t like the military, or like a business, where you just tell people to do things and they happen.  It is frustrating when you think something should be done.  President Obama couldn’t even close Guantanamo Bay, a 2008 campaign promise, over two terms.  But it pays back when something you don’t want is proposed.

The apocalypse isn’t upon us.  I’ve seen bigger mandates and grander ambitions ground down by the wheels of government.  Even that Republican congress answers to their constituencies first… or maybe it is lobbyists first, I forget… while the President is somewhere way down the list.  And that will all get tossed in the air in again in two years.

We’ll see what happens.  But as Scarlett O’Hara sagely noted, tomorrow is another day.

15 thoughts on “Election Night in Fountain

  1. anon

    As a regular reader, thanks for keeping your blog politics-free during all this time. My home is about 6k km from the southern tip of Florida and this is still some source of contention in our household.


  2. SynCaine

    Trump alone wouldn’t be that big of a problem, as like you said, the gov is designed to be slow and move towards the middle more often than not.

    However, with the Rep controlling basically the whole government, a senate super-majority a possibility in 2018, and with the surprising strength of Pro-Trump voting, I wouldn’t be too sure that Trump won’t accomplish at least a few long-term damaging items. Defunding public programs will get passed, aggressive foreign policy will be set, and the tax code changes aren’t going to do most Trump voters any favors when they take effect.

    Plus he picks the replacement for the Supreme Court, which alone is a huge swing in terms of the direction of the country.

    And there is always the very real chance that abroad, Trump does something so stupid to offend another leader that something drastic happens.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – I think your picture is way too dire. I start with a pretty strong belief that Presidents rarely accomplish what they set out to do. On the supreme court he gets to pick a conservative to replace a conservative, so we’re no worse off than the last decade or so. And, as for a super majority, mid-term elections always go against the sitting president, and if he does what you are predicting, which includes screwing over his base, 2018 will introduce Democratic majorities in both houses. Finally, the guy isn’t a Republican. He could be proposing stuff that congressional constituencies won’t stand for, if he does much at all.

    And when all else fails, filibuster.

    We’ll see starting January 20th.


  4. SynCaine

    Revised opinion: I don’t actually think the guy wants the job, and he certainly doesn’t actually want to do the work, so yea, he won’t get much done and that as a result will hurt the Rep party.

    As for presidents not doing much, Bush did start a war, removed a leader over an oil dispute (and to help our terrorist friends the Saudis), which was basically the reason ISIS was able to form, so yea, they kinda can make a mess of things in the right/wrong situation. Policy takes a long time (Obamacare), bad decisions that shake up the world just takes one bad idea and a few yes-men to sign off.


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Heh, have you ever seen the Robert Redford movie “The Candidate?” Find a copy and watch it. It is worth it. Probably more true to real life than any of the conspiracy theory movies of the 70s, like “The Parallax View.” I am inclined to believe that is what we have here with Trump in the Robert Redford, role at least when it comes to the last line in the movie, if not his start.

    As for W’s wars, you left out the whole 9/11 aspect of it, which got it broad public approval including a vote from the senate on the Iraq invasion, a vote that included a certain Senator Clinton of New York who was not one of the dissenting votes. She was on board. It was only later that people decided it wasn’t a good idea.

    Yes, the US goes to war after events like that, but generally only when a broad consensus has been reached. It doesn’t always need a Pearl Harbor like event, GHWB got approval and broad international support for his war based on just the invasion of Kuwait, but it doesn’t happen because a few guys in the government decided to make it happen.


  6. gevlon

    Oh, SynCain is a Clintonite! That makes this moment even more cherished! Could you write more about your feelings SynCain? Maybe send an editorial to minerbumping.com!

    @Wilhelm: you ignore how much Trump is not a politician, especially not a Republican. This opens him up ways that were unavailable to any other president. They wanted to look presidential and wanted to look powerful even when they were defeated, so they played along.

    Now imagine that Trump wants X and branch/office/agency Y blocks, slows, filibusters or otherwise stops X. Trump will literally take twitter and literally type the words:
    “X that I promised during campaign would be awesome. Absolutely awesome. But the dopey/retarded/loon/traitor/low-energy Joe_the_head_of_Y is stopping it. Unamerican!”

    This would have two effects:
    1) make Trump look like a drooling idiot, for what he gives zero Fs.
    2a): Joe_the_head_of_Y is a Republican elected official or an administration figure who can be fired by elected Republicans. Then he will go after Kelly Ayotte and the other 2 guys who thought it’s a good idea to go against Trump. I can literally imagine PRESIDENT Trump flying to Wyoming District 1 a week before Senate election and hold 10 full house rallies in his MAGA cap telling the Reps NOT to vote for Rep guy running for WY D1 because he was Joe_the_head_of_Y. Republicans will follow Trump, not because of respect, but out of fear. Every elected Republican is one tweet away from career end, and they know it.

    2b) Joe_the_head_of_Y is a Democrat elected official or an administration figure who can be fired by elected Democrats. He instantly becomes a hero of the opposition, a CNN superstar, the “Man who stopped Trump”. This also means “we are under siege” for Reps and while Trump still can’t do X, NO ONE blames him for it, the dems celebrate Joe the hero, reps hate Joe the traitor. This means that Joe_the_head_of_Y has to choose: “do I believe in anti-X enough to put my career on this one issue?” “will district have more anti-X voters than pro-X”


  7. SynCaine

    Always nice to hear from the dregs of the 3rd world (silver V is it, or have you climbed a bit higher in the starter league after 200+ games?).

    Nutcase aside, 9/11 was sponsored by the Saudies remember, who benefited greatly from a destabilized middle east. Plus in that context, right after such an attack and with so little info (and what info we had we later learned wasn’t actually true), its very easy to go along and vote for the war. Anyone who holds that against someone is missing the context of the time, which is why Trump today lying that he was always against the war is so stupid.

    I’ll have to look that movie up though, hopefully its on-demand or netflix has it.


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – I’m not holding that vote against Clinton. I was pointing out that your use of W’s war was a bad example, because at that moment, the country wanted that war. It wasn’t W’s war, it belonged to everybody. Only later, when there was some distance people got perspective again, and it turned out we didn’t have a plan for what to do after defeating the Iraqi military, was the war unpopular.


  9. Matt

    If Syncaine doesn’t want “aggressive foreign policy”, then he surely didn’t want Clinton. The woman never met a war she didn’t like. Not that I expect Trump to be much better in this regard, but let’s be reasonable.


  10. SynCaine

    @Matt – I’m talking more about escalations due to behavior/mistakes rather than policy. See the reaction around the world to Trump, vs what it would have been had it been basically anyone else (not just Clinton, but someone like Cruz or Sanders). Those reactions aren’t unfounded.

    @TAGN – 9/11 lead to going to war against the Taliban and ultimately killing Bin Laden. Iraq war and chasing phantom WMD didn’t start till 2003.


  11. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – And Hillary voted in support of that war because it had broad support at the time. We were going to clean up all the “bad guys” in the Middle-east, for specific a definition of “bad guys.” (i.e. No Saudis, no Assad, no Mubarak) Without 9/11 going back to Iraq was a non-starter.


  12. Gevlon

    @Wilhelm: don’t you think a Senator’s job is NOT to go after the popular idea, but for the right one? Can’t you hold responsible someone EXACTLY for going after easy popularity at the expense of nearly a million dead people?


  13. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Gevlon – Ideally, yes. This why senators used to be appointed by state legislatures, so they would be somewhat shielded by electoral politics. Certainly it is frustrating to see congress rushing to do something, even if it is the wrong thing. Being seen to be doing something is more important that results. But to blame Clinton because she did what 76 other senators did at that time would be to invest to much in her. I expect politicians to choose the expedient option, and it came to haunt her later, just like it did Kerry. Only one of the two alleged Democratic Party senators from my state voted against it. Things like that let you know who is who and what they are about.


  14. gevlon

    I put the blame on Clinton because
    – she ran for president, so – unlike the other 76 – she had the option to repeat her mistake
    – she was the #1 supporter the totally pointless war in Libya
    – in 2011 she came to my country, LITERALLY told my landslide elected leaders how to change our CONSTITUTION and when politely told to f off, her state department started to organize an “orange revolution” which culminated in violent riots in 2014 where the US AMBASSADOR marched with the rioters to siege the governing party HQ. Luckily our nation was much less divided than the poor Ukraine and her plan fizzled. Simply not enough people show up for a “revolution”. But if it was up to her, we’d be in civil war and many of my family dead. No wonder why our PM was the only sitting leader who endorsed Trump (Farrage and Le Pen are not in office, Putin never formally endorsed).


  15. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Gevlon – Which makes my point. Given all the things that she has said and done since January 21, 2001, when her quest for the presidency officially began, that one vote is small potatoes. At worst it shows her as somebody who will do what she thinks is politically expedient. But that pretty much covers her time in the senate.


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