You Are Not Ninjas

The “audit” in Arizona has not gone to wingnut plan.

The final report was set to be released Friday, the result of a monthslong partisan review funded partly by taxpayers. The draft circulated Thursday night, showing the results of the review’s chaotic hand-count of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix. The tally in the draft document showed a net gain of 360 votes for Biden over the official results.

The surprising thing here was not that there was no fraud, of course, but that they didn’t decide to find it anyway by making some up. As Discord user Beamrider said,

Not sure how this happened. Were they so convinced by their own propaganda they would find fraud that they forgot to commit fraud?

I think the answer to this is “yes”, but that it is symptomatic of a grater issue, rather than being a particular slip-up here. Consider who was in charge of this audit (text from AP article linked above):

The election review was run by Doug Logan, CEO of a cybersecurity firm called Cyber Ninjas that has never conducted an election audit before. Logan previously worked with attorneys and Trump supporters trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and appeared in a film questioning the results of the contest while the ballot review was ongoing.

Cyber Ninjas. We mock this, deservedly, but why are they called that? What’s the impetus to start a company and meddle in cybersecurity, a VERY technical and expertise-focused field, with no experience, and call it that?

There is a strain of behavior I’ve noticed, and I suspect the ‘Cyber Ninjas’ are exactly this: schoolyard fantasy. The conspiracists seem to be seriously trying to live a life like they’re Jason Bourne, lone ass-kicking hero up against the corrupt establishment, gonna bring it all down in a huge Fight-Club-esque explosion.

It’s a kind of true believer. I think it is likely, practically guaranteed, that they guzzled the kool-aid then mistook themselves for a cross between Erin Brockovich and The Expendables. Like they’re all over-excited teenage boys. The name of the organization rather strongly suggests this.

This is the state of American politics now, and meaning this not as mocking but genuinely as a concern. It’s immature. If we hold up what we expect a privileged, snarky, but typical 15-year-old boy to do and be – one who loves action and hero movies, one who aspires to or even believes he could be the hero – and compare it to the entire Trumpist movement… it’s an awfully close match, isn’t it?

I have been thinking a big reason I don’t blog much is because I made too much of a big deal about it, turning it into articles and essays rather than simpler, shorter observations. I’m going to see if releasing the pressure on myself helps, hence, the above, which was simply an expanded version of something I said on our Discord.


  1. Some Old Programmer says

    Well, I certainly have, on seeing some of the behavior of anti-maskers, muttered to myself “How old are you? Do you need a snack, a nap, or a timeout?

    (welcome back to blogging!)

  2. says

    That’s right – do it like Satan. Although if you wanna be as easy going about it as I am, you’ll hafta lose a few paragraphs. The average comment should be longer than the average post on your blog. That’s the wisdom.

  3. DonDueed says

    The thing about the audit results is, they didn’t really have to find fraud. The whole point was to undermine the credibility of elections. They’re looking ahead to 2022 and 2024, and priming their supporters for claims of fraud in those elections. Already some purple states have passed laws that allow their (Republican) legislature the power to overturn local election results by simple majority vote, based on claims of fraud.

  4. says

    @3 DonDueed

    Yeah, but this works against that. This was, according to the right wing bubble, them pulling out all the stops, because of COURSE there was fraud, we’ll FIND it!

    … and then “all the stops” came back sheepishly with “actually we lost even harder than we thought”.

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