Friday, November 18, 2016

Might some Zillionaire save us? Electoral College gambits and smoking guns.

== Clutching at straws ==

Are any of you out there among the millions signing petitions and praying for salvation via the Electoral College? I’ll offer a cluster of slender straws for you to clutch, in a moment. But first:

Despite volcanic rhetoric, the U.S. is currently in pretty good shape, by most measures, despite having not had a functioning Congress for 20 out of the last 22 years. Lately, we’ve mostly been administered in benign ways, though with almost zero innovation at the national level.

A locked and frozen federal government has fulfilled one Libertarian dream: wildly varied experiments at the state level – from marijuana legalization and investment in science, infrastructure and education… all the way to gerrymandering, voter suppression, bathroom bills and supply side ‘economics’ hothouses like Kansas. Outcomes in most (not all) so-called blue states have ranged from solid to excellent, while most (not all) red states, like Kansas, have seen their lot decay. It's valid experimental data, if we'll look at it.

Out of all the post-mortems from the election (I’ll resume my series of appraisals, shortly), one that I never see mentioned is this distinction between a U.S. federal government that was mostly in caretaker status, under Barack Obama, and the states, where legislation and experimentation have surged.

I have my own impudent hypotheses for why our red-state neighbors feel such wrath. One is that they know they have been very badly governed! But they have been talked into – somewhat naturally – blaming a distant federal government that has done next-to nothing new or different since 2001. (Except Obamacare – which now seems likely to be amended, with many name changes, rather than discarded; go figure.) In fact, Congress has cut funds from the IRS, SEC and other agencies that fight white collar crime, so many of those investigations have shifted to the office of the Attorney General of New York.

It’s said that “all politics is local.” We have red states whose outcomes from radical policy have been stunningly bad, but where citizens would rather not blame their accustomed political party. Not quite yet. Not while there’s a convenient scapegoat further upstairs, in the White House.

(In a hopeful harbinger, the fed-up people of Kansas punished the GOP, this round, for running probably the worst state government in America. And the term “red state” applies to 33 out of 50, where the Republican governor and officials held sway over critical electoral infrastructure, like the voting machines.)

I guess we’ll see if the Confederacy can maintain this effective technique of delusion, as so many things go south, under Donald Trump.  Hope springs eternal… or at least for 2018.

And that brings us – as promised – the Electoral College and other ‘salvations.’

== Straw don’t float for long ==

Long ago I said Donald Trump would “veer to the center” after winning the GOP nomination -- not one of my shining predictive successes. Nor, it seems, will there be any center-ward pivot once he takes office. His parade of extremist appointees lacks even a token nod toward the majority of Americans who voted against him. And thus, I find a silver lining – schadenfreude – in the discomfiture of Glenn Beck, Megyn Kelly, and the Worst Man In America – George F. Will – who issued polysyllabic, grandiose denunciations that “Donald Trump is no Republican.” Silly shill. He's no Yale-Bushite, paying lip service to right wing radicalism. He's the real deal.

(What turned a relatively non-ideological - though pathological - egotist into a frothing, alt-right fanatic?  Simple. The rallies. The roaring crowds rewarded and 'shaped' - by operant conditioning and addiction - a new Donald Trump who is not only amoral, sexist and deceitful, but now an extreme dogmatist, appointing men so extreme that Fox disowns them. It was the rallies, folks. And he seems intent on continuing them.)

Legitimately fearful, many thousands have bent their efforts to petition drives, pleading with members of the Electoral College to cancel the calamity.  For Republican electors to switch their votes to Ms. Clinton. A fantasy made of pure fairy dust… though that has not kept some from harassing Arizona GOP electors, apparently. An unseemly and futile undertaking.

Last time, I linked to a different Electoral College Gambit… persuading enough electors to abstain, in order to: Force House Republicans to Elect Trump.” Paul Ryan’s majority-of-states there would then choose a Republican, and it likely would be Trump. Still, read the value in this alluring essay. Interestingly, this gambit could involve Clinton electors agreeing to pair their abstentions with Trump electors! Anybody get it?

Folks assume that the final moment will be December 10, when members of the Electoral College cast their votes. But that’s not true! Straw clutchers have until January, when the new House will certify each state’s electors’ ballots.  The House still has the power to refuse a state’s Electoral College delegation at that point. If they repudiated both Florida’s and Michigan’s delegations – for reasons of blatant (duh?) cheating -- the House might then seize the choice for themselves. 

That would, naturally, throw things before the High Court. In which case we would see what John Roberts and Samuel Alito are really made of.  Are they the dogmatic servants of rising feudal oligarchy that many now assume? Or adult citizens who have a limit to how much 1930s-Central-Europe style crap we have to take? This question will be asked not just in January, but many times, during a Trump Administration.

Okay, there are your straws! Folks who believe there is one chance in heck, for any of them, aren’t readers of plausible science fiction. They believe in fantasy.

And yet…

== Might a sane billionaire save us?  Summon the Electors! ==

Okay, I’ll bite. I concoct the best scenarios on the planet. This one envisions a patriotic and unafraid billionaire stepping up on our behalf, against not just one mad mogul, but a cabal of dozens. A hero. Our Lafayette. No one else could do this. Certainly not citizen petitions or thrashings by a dying Obama Administration. 

Know a zillionaire with some guts? Here’s one idea (of many):

1) Rent a lavish hotel in Washington DC and invite the Electoral College to actually meet, in session!

They haven’t done this in at least two centuries. It has long been assumed that there’s no point.  They gather in state capitols, sign a document and it is conveyed to the House. BFD: where’s the fun in that? What kind of “college” never meets?

Think on it. Our billionaire rents a hall, hotel rooms, security, catering and air fare… and then backs off! So it's no 'partisan' tactic or trap. The electors are free to deliberate with zero interference, exactly as the Framers of the Constitution envisioned.

Would they come? A free trip and the chance to be an Elector instead of just a signature on a page?  You bet many would show up! Others might come just to argue on Trump’s behalf. Only dig this, they would have it in their power (with a few of them facing token fines) to choose anyone they liked!

Ohio’s John Kasich? Tim Kaine? Someone who might attempt to bridge our differences and govern well, filling our agencies with sane professionals instead of mini-mussolinis. Care to bet that dozens of GOP electors… and many democrats… might at least ponder the idea, while enjoying free catering and a moment in the national spotlight?

At this point. They owe nothing to Hillary and many Trump electors have to be having thoughts.

Is this likely? Naw. But it is the only “Electoral College Scenario” that could possibly have even a snowball’s chance of happening.  And oh!  How memorable!

Moreover it would cost some rich dude maybe ten million dollars, tops. And there is absolutely nothing illegal about it.  Rent the hotel, meals and air… issue invitations… and step back.

== Calling all henchmen! ==

There is a second ingredient needed here. A smoking gun.  Something to convince those more-honorable-than-average Utah and Minnesota electors to stop swallowing their gorge.

I’ve called for this since way back in the last century, illustrating it in The Transparent Society and in novels like Earth. We must unleash whistleblowers on the world. Like Edward Snowden and the Panama Papers revealer, only far more extensively, with protections and rewards that lure secrets out of shadows. 

Basics are already in place – Whistleblower Laws that offer big commissions to tattlers in certain circumstances, for example, but these are far too limited. Expanding such protections and lures could be more important to our planet and civilization than any other matter.

Remember, our kind of society is almost never seriously damaged by revelations or leaks. Spills can be irritating or irksome and even tactically harmful. But we generally find the light bracing and adapt quickly, as our services did, after Snowden. Our deadly enemies, in contrast are all – every last one of them – lethally allergic to light.  

Sure our Protector Caste needs some tactical secrets. Still, there is one and only one long range victory condition. In a world that moves progressively toward light, we win. “We” – enlightenment civilization – just win.

And this applies to the Trump Era? Spectacularly. Like Bushites, he and his team will lay the hammer onto whistleblowers. But some billionaire might solve this.

See how far back  I’ve been making this call.  Especially, asking that rewards be offered to bring out information about electoral fraud.

In the short term… offer a million dollars for anyone who comes forward with solid evidence of electoral tampering, this 2016 cycle. 

After all, Donald Trump proclaimed that “the system is rigged!” (Neglecting to point out that in 33 out of 50 states, the “riggers” would be Republicans.) So? He can’t complain if someone offers such a prize… expanded to ten million dollars or more, if the proof brings notable effects.

There is a time element here. If such henchmen stepped forward with credible and damaging proof - say of hacked voting machines - before December 10… or January’s House certification… it could make all our fantasies about Electoral College finagling moot. The courts would then decide whether to throw out results in one, two or more states. Moreover, do you honestly doubt, at this point, that such proof actually exists? Come on.

In the long term… this matters far more than just the results of one election. Out of a dozen major “suggestions” I have offered, over the years, none is more important than making it harder – ever-harder – for conspirators and would be lords and other elites to trust their own henchmen.  Think on that.

Then ponder how this is not a uniform effect. The Koch brothers offered lavish rewards for scientists who would sell-out, regarding climate change. The tactic worked a bit in the pharmaceuticals and tobacco industries, biasing some reports. But almost never do top researchers accept the bribes. As I said, the forces of enlightenment can withstand light, but not their enemies.

So what I really want - what's needed - is some non-governmental Henchman's Prize. A big reward for whoever reveals "the worst thing" in any given year. Prize competitions are all the thing, right? This one could cost some real money.  But nothing else I can think of would more efficiently and effectively tip the balance in favor of a true... civilization.

== Doing our part? ==

Hey, I know maybe a dozen such good billionaires… and that – plus $3.65 – will get me a small cappuccino. (My dad used to say: “Yeah, that and a nickel will get me a cup of coffee.”) I haven’t broached this with any of them, and you know why. Because their hackles get up when impudent folks push “suggestions.” (Hey, that’s why I forgive H. Clinton for doing the opposite of every single thing I urged!)

Good Billionaires exist and we need their help. But… we mustn’t count on it.

This is our republic, our civilization (use that word!) It is our duty and responsibility, and we must rise to it, the way other generations of Americans did.  As did the heroes of 1775, 1861, 1933 and 1941.  Yes... 1861 especially.

===
===

---- Return to my earlier post-election postings: Part I and Part II


156 comments:

Stefan Jones said...

Reading about teens chanting "white power" in their high school corridors, people telling their hispanic or muslim neighbors to "go home," letters to the editor praising Trump for abolishing political correctness so they are not muzzled, odious graffiti . . . one of the worst things about this horror is the realization that so many people are obnoxious bigots. I wonder how many will flock to join militias to round up Mexicans.

Shamelessness. It gets around every social defense. Donald Trump has it in spades, and I think that might be part of his appeal. A total lack of respect for the truth and the feelings of others makes him a hero to the alienated. The GOP, in supporting his ascendance, have shamelessly abandoned every standard of behavior and ethics. You don't have to care

If Trump died tomorrow, we'd still be in a country where this sort of thing is now acceptable, with the dominant political party *perfectly OK* with a blatant racist advising the president. A country whose people filled stadiums to hear there candidate vow revenge on his opponents and demonize the press.

How can decency, tolerance, and reason make a comeback now that the drug of resentment and hate is so freely available, and tolerated? Where facts are shrugged off in favor every-changing conspiracy theories.

I am rapidly becoming cynical, as a defense for my sanity.

Stefan Jones said...

I am posting this everywhere I can. An excellent, easy to use website for contacting your elected officials:

https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

I read an article by a congressional staffer that CALL TO A LOCAL OFFICE of a senator or representative is the best way of expressing an opinion.

I think it is especially important for people in "red states" to give GOP officials contrary views.

Object to every one of Trump's appointments. Decry Ryan's Medicare plans. Demand financial disclosure. Let them know you're PAYING ATTENTION. Let them know we are more than a nation of irate cranks motivated by hot-button issues.

imisswalter34 said...

I'm a white guy with a beautiful Mexican American wife, step daughter, and 2 beautiful granddaughters. My best friend at work is a Vietnamese woman. I have the will and practical means to defend them, if it comes to that. Remember the 2nd amendment is not just for alt right thugs.

Ilithi Dragon said...

Dr. Brin,

I got your package yesterday (it probably came in earlier, but we didn't get back into port until yesterday). Thank you very much! In this day and age, with tablets and smartphones and laptops, etc., the ship's library doesn't get used nearly as much as it used to, but it does still get used, and the donation is appreciated.

As for anything regarding the results of the election, I must decline from commenting, both on principle, and as a matter of legal obligation under the UCMJ.

I will, however, lament the difficulty of trying to vote when you are not living at your home of record, and don't even have a PO Box set up. It's not impossible, by any measure, but it is extremely inconvenient.

Robert said...

So, Dr. Brin. Do you think the last thing President Obama should do before he leaves office is do a pardon for Snowden? Oh, how the Republicans would shriek and call for Obama's head... and he could leave with a big smile on his face knowing that ultimately anything Republicans did to try and undo his pardon would show how little Republicans care about the Rule of Law.

And let's face it. Snowden isn't the enemy here. His actions did far less harm than did Wikileak's. In short... you have responsible whistleblowing, and then you have Wikileaks, an instrument of foreign governments.

Rob H.

Duncan Cairncross said...

I'm not an American - so I definitely can't help here

But could one of you guys not use one of the "Crowd financing" options to bankroll Dr Brin's henchman prize??

I think that the people who took the UK Prime minister to court over Brexit used crowd financing

Tony Fisk said...

Our resident "Hamilton" quoter (Larry?) is going to love this!

Trump's private Nuremburg parade has been encouraging the locals, with our Immigration Minister Peter 'Potatohead' Dutton criticising the mistakes Malcolm Fraser made in letting Middle East immigrants into Australia in the first place.

re: voting anomalies. I gather the Wisconsin rats are particularly smelly, someone's noted the biggest discrepancy between exit polls and results occur in stations where voting was fully electronic. In case you're wondering why no one has raised this yet, protests can't be lodged until counting is officially complete.

I'd say a pardon for Snowden and Manning (whose present situation puts me firmly in mind of O'Brien's picture of the future: a boot stamping on a human face - forever.) As for Assange, my fantasy is Obama smiling sweetly at the camera and saying. "Well, Julian, I'm leaving it to Mr. Trump to consider your case: he may feel he owes you.".
My other impish fantasy is Obama giving the Catniss salute as he leaves the podium on Jan 21. (C'mon! With two teen daughters, what are the odds?)


David Brin said...

Rob H., I expect a final wave of Obama pardons. I'd prefer if he summoned Snowden to confess, plead and then be pardoned
In fact though, Moscow seems a good place for the FSB to stay worried about him.

David Brin said...

Anyone following the Macedonian teens story? How for click profit they poured forth rumor-lies into the alt-right?

Tony Fisk said...

@Jeff B (from last post)
Sure, America has a much longer democratic tradition than central Asian nations. Just bear in mind that Kendzior is an American herself, based in Missouri. She repeatedly states that what she has seen in Uzbekistan is exactly what she's seen in Trump's rise to power so far. Extrapolating from that, she insists that change will come more quickly than you think possible. Perhaps it is overly pessimistic. Personally, I'd rather look like an over-prepared fool than an unprepared one. You could hedge with this simple piece of advice.

As a counter-example to Kendzior, I will offer that the Abbott Government wasted no time in trying to assert its dominance, only to fall in a heap when it met a spirited resistance, both at the administrative and popular levels. On the other hand, Trump will have very little political resistance to his reign.

MMC said...

The problem with the whistleblower scenario is that plenty of nasty stuff has already been divulged and people just didn't care. I'm not sure what you could produce that would work. Even if there was something almost no-one could stomach (with footage to prove it), there's been so much disinformation the usual suspects would all be screaming that it was falsified and just more lies. Trump would be all over it at his rallies, foaming at the mouth about the dishonest media etc.

locumranch said...


Suppose perfect transparency where we can see, not only the social false front that we are expected to show the world, but the actual base impulses that motivate every individual (greed, anger, pride, gluttony, jealousy, lust, sloth, etc), in a way that redefines these once shameful traits as typical, intrinsic and (above all) human. From B for buggery to X for xenophobia, what was once hidden & considered shameful has now been normalised, leading to the elimination of shame & inevitable shamelessness.

Now, consider that our President-Elect is lying, cheating, lustful, greedy, privileged, racist, misogynistic dinosaur. Everybody on this site knows this. He is completely transparent is this regard; he uses his vast financial resources to place himself above the law; he brags about his various moral failings & his pussy-grabbing; and, yet, he appears completely unapologetic and SHAMELESS. Why is that? Because we now know that everybody shares similar impulses & character flaws.

Unacceptable, you say? You think you can shame this sad genie back into the metaphorical bottle by unleashing an army of whistle-blowers like Snowden, Assange & those nefarious Russian hackers? Well, it won't work because (1) nothing is truly secret anymore thanks to transparency and (2) shame has become an outdated moral concept synonymous with bullying.

Shame is dead. Quite inadvertently, you killed it with the 2-punch combination that is transparency coupled with diversity acceptance. Don't like Trump's disruptive behaviour, a homosexual military, Bill Clinton's dalliances, teenage pregnancies, abortion on demand, Breitbart's racial politics, or my arse-less chaps? Too bad, so sad. You are now required to celebrate it because nothing may be considered shame-worthy in our shiny progressive utopia.

Finally, I'd like to end with a few sardonic observations:

(1) If you praise local politics, state rights & nullification of the federal electoral college, then you're a dirty confederate secessionist praising balkanisation; and

(2) If you wish to be saved from adverse political consequences by "a patriotic and unafraid billionaire to step up on our behalf", "A hero. Our Lafayette", to "rent a lavish hotel in Washington DC", replete with "a hall, hotel rooms, security, catering and air fare", in order to wine, dine & influence the Electoral College towards nullification, then (surprise, surprise) your wish for Trump the Billionaire has been granted by the proverbial Monkey Paw of inadvertent consequence.


Enjoy
____
How dare those amateur Macedonian teenagers make stuff up! We prefer to leave that job to professionals in the Enlightened West, especially the MSM & Madison Avenue.

Anonymous said...

About the red state experiments and kicking blame up to Washington, I fear that all the emphasis on THE GOP PRESIDENT ELECT, including the use of his dire name only reinforces his brand. While I am loathe to criticize HIllay Clinton, the Love Trumps Hate thing was silly and just repeated the oppo brand. Similarly, the GOP will get away with murder the next few years and blame it all on THE GOP PRESIDENT. They bought him, let them own him. There is a short piec on the pervert ex-pres of Italy in the NYT on this. As long as you spell his name right, he don't care and the GOP can hide behind the glamour

I have read this story before, something about Benny Cemoli

Anonymous of England said...

So salty!

You keep inciting people to illegal acts and feel no shame. What happens when the shoe is on the other foot? If this sort of thing had played out in 2008 with the names reversed?

As it is, we have the billionaire to save us, and his name is Donald J. Trump. With the results in and the candidate whose policy would have ended up with US and Russian forces in direct conflict over Syria roundly defeated, we've already seen benefits in the reduction of the DEFCON status. You may want war with Russia, but those of us in the middle aren't so happy about the idea.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Salty

Trump is much much more likely to end us up in a shooting war than Hillary would have been
Moving the NATO forces back will just encourage Putin to take that step too far - probably in Latvia
Once the Russian forces invade another European country then all hell will let loose - even if the USA tries to sit it out they won't be able to

Treebeard said...

LOL @ blue reb rhetorical escalations and subversive machinations. Some of you guys sound like you're becoming deranged. It's still mid-November; at this rate you'll be in padded cells by the time Trump takes office. There's a lot of fear-mongering and propaganda flying around, yet the only mob actions of note are happening in blue cities by Trump-haters. It's quite amazing to watch the self-proclaimed smart guys experience such a meltdown, still invoking all manner of phantom menaces but never pointing the finger at themselves.

I suspect Soros and friends are whipping up this hysteria intentionally as part of an American “Color Revolution” scheme, and it appears to be taking its toll on some of you. My advice is to take some deep breaths, unplug from your social media echo chambers and media propaganda receivers and go hang out with squirrels for a while before you go postal.

Tacitus2 said...

If we get nothing else positive out of all this I think it is fair to say that The Fourth Estate will no longer accept as inherently true everything the Administration has to say.

Assuming it is all inherently false is perhaps not ideal, but it is better to have a watch dog that growls and barks too often if the alternative is one who, with a silly grin on his jowly face, rolls over and happily waits for a supine belly scratching.

Tacitus

Jumper said...

This ego-driven meme that "these other fools are driven by propaganda, to which I'm immune, because I'm so wise" is getting old, and it shows things about the person bandying it that they don't seem to be aware they are showing.

LarryHart said...

@Dr Brin,

So far, I haven't read anything but the title of this new post, but whether or not it is possible for some billionaire to save us, the ask seems no less ironic than for evangelicals to ponder whether a serial philanderer can save them.

LarryHart said...

It occurs to me to ask if the "strict constitutionalists"--who want everything interpreted literally as the words were used in 1789--whether they favor abolishing political parties, or at least repealing the amendment that makes the president and vice-president the same ticket. I mean, had this recent election been conducted in 1800, Donald Trump would be the president-elect and Hillary Clinton would be the vice-president-elect.

occam's comic said...

Strict second amendment =
All the hand made flint lock rifles you can get your hands on.

locumranch said...



I love it! The shameless Ideological left tries to shame the evangelical right for being as shameless as the left. Too bad that shame just doesn't work anymore.

Have you read the pro-transparency version of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' ?

While chanting 'You Go Girrrl', a crowd gathers around Hester Prynne to celebrate her reproductive independence & single mommy-hood, awarding her the coveted Scarlet 'A' which entitles her to generous government entitlements so neither Hester nor her daughter Pearl will ever know shame or want.

A quick search of the National ID database identifies the Doctor Chillingworth as Hester's legal spouse. She cites 'emotional neglect', files for immediate divorce & claims half his stuff. The Court then compels Chillingworth to provide Hester & the child Pearl with alimony and child support in perpetuity.

Rapid DNA paternity testing proves that the ultra-religious Reverend Dimmesdale is the biological father. Instead of dying of shame & poisonous secrets, however, he posts the results of the paternity test on Facebuchen, brags about the size of his 'hands' and goes on to win an AVN award for his pornographic role in 'The Second Coming'.

Everyone lives shamelessly ever after, except for Chillingworth who languishes in prison for failing to pay his court-ordered child support (calculated on the basis of his imputed income) of an amount in excess to his actual gross income, even though definitive DNA testing has proven that he is NOT the father of Hester's child.

Dimmesdale fathers other brats with similarly independent women; Hester ends up supporting Dimmesdale, using Chillingworth's money, after the shameless couple finally 'hook up' much later; and the Deadbeat Chillingworth gets shot in the back while trying to escape an outstanding child-support arrest warrant served up by an equally shameless Peace Officer.

The wages of social progress are that 'Everything is permitted if nothing is shameful'.


Best
_____
There's nothing shameful about a Big Gun, the bigger the better. Feel free to polish your limp blue flintlocks if you want, but real men know that size, penetration & rate of fire matter! Wieners Unite! We have nothing to lose but our SHAMES.

Jumper said...

This is about you and your mommie issues, right?

Thomas Day said...

An old friend recently turned me on to your blog and I was amazed and delighted to see that you are still a beacon of sanity in a downright nutty world. I live on the edge of the heart of Midwestern stupidity and self-destructiveness and everyday I'm reminded of Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons." Between Soylent Green and Marching Morons, everything I've expected from constantly downbreeding the dumbshits left behind as all of the smart kids leave rural America and the hopeless idiots stay and reproduce is pretty much in progress today.

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

Our resident "Hamilton" quoter (Larry?) is going to love this!


I also love how Trump is tweeting that the Hamilton cast was being rude. You mean that's a bad thing now?

The Hamilton cast seems to be up for various ad-libs. In Chicago, the night the Cubs won, they did a rendition of the song "Go, Cubs, Go" at the end of the performance.

David Brin said...

Anonymous of England, you slander me. Tell me what illegal acts I have asked for. I look (and spit) you in the eye, sir. Tell me what I have asked for that was not about increasing openness and accountability... the diametric opposite of your billionaire savior. The only true thing that Trump said, in the entire campaign, was "The System is Rigged."

"I suspect that Soros"... you paranoid loonies think that everybody else acts and thinks like your side! Once, even once, I'd like to see someone on the right try to SHOW us any details re how the efforts of George Soros amount to 1% of the propaganda spewed by Rupert Murdoch, or the Kochs or the Saudis.

Has any right wing site or tank ever tabulated the "grants" that supposedly lure all scientists into lemming-conformist panic over climate change? No. You raving imbeciles simply wave that truism around, when it would be utterly trivial to do that tabulation. (Oh, but it would show the opposite, so never mind.)

I've become able to tell when locum is issuing a rant that merits at least the courtesy of a scan... vs just "mommy issues" raving. The skim takes less and less time.

LH... the title is the eye and click draw!

donzelion said...

As for Hamilton, I'm surprised our resident Hamilton fan hasn't posted this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/mike-pence-hamilton.html

Not zillionaires, just some NY performers. But they do have something to say.

The intriguing thing is the filter feeds I have are representing this as if the Hamilton cast 'booed' Pence - despite what they actually said after last night's show:

"You know we have a guest in the audience here this evening, and Vice President-Elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us just a few more moments. There's nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen, nothing to boo here. We're all sharing a story of love. We have a message for you sir and we hope that you will hear us out. And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post because this message is to be spread far and wide, ok?

"Vice-President Elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at 'Hamilton: An American Musical,' we really do. We sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again we truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds, and orientations."

Makes me want to go to NY and watch it all the more.

LarryHart said...

occam's comic:

Strict second amendment =
All the hand made flint lock rifles you can get your hands on.


Actually, the Second Amendment never once specifies firearms. I can't see how the words can be interpreted to mean the right to own and carry "any number of any type of gun" if it doesn't also mean the right to own and carry kinves, swords, grenades, nerve gas, bio-weapons, tactical nuclear devices, and so on.

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

As for Hamilton, I'm surprised our resident Hamilton fan hasn't posted this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/mike-pence-hamilton.html


Because others got to it first.


The intriguing thing is the filter feeds I have are representing this as if the Hamilton cast 'booed' Pence - despite what they actually said after last night's show


I believe that some audience members booed when his entourage, although others had the opposite reaction. I read that Pence was greeted with "a chorus of cheers and boos".

Naturally, this is morphed into "The cast of Hamilton booed Mike Pence."

Makes me want to go to NY and watch it all the more.


It's also playing in Chicago. :)

donzelion said...

LarryHart: a few friends and family of mine are going to get Hamilton soundtrack presents today. Suspect a similar step may be in order. At the end of the day, the metric that will be tracked is sales: if 'Hamilton' discovers that this makes them sell a lot more sound tracks, there will be a lot more statements like this.

As for tix, it'll be in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Pantages in August next year.

David Brin said...

Okay, my idea of having the electors meet in DC SEEMS to run afoul of the 12th.

"The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate."

Only... a meeting of the Electoral College is not *forbidden*, so long as they are back home in their states on December 10. And the meeting could be virtual.

It's still a hugely fun notion, to get all 538 of the electors talking to each other.

Tony Fisk said...

Skype is the College's friend.

As for Hamilton incident, some are wondering whether Pence went so as provoke it, thereby distracting from other news (ie Trump settling a case for $25m). Seems to me it was convenient rather than planned. It does remind me that the London Globe Company have a tradition of satirising the news of the day at the end of each performance.
Get hip-hopping!

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Thomas Day

The problem with the "Marching Morons" is that there has not been enough time!
It takes several - many - generations to have that effect - and about ONE generation ago there was no sign of anything at all
TWO generations ago was the "Greatest Generation" - the WW2

The USA was not in WW2 the way that the UK was but we have people saying the same thing about our poor (especially after things like BREXIT) - talking about generations on the Dole
But back in 1970 we had full employment - and in the 40's the grandfathers of the "morons" fought and won a technological war

Doesn't stop them from being idiots BUT it is NOT anything hereditary

Which is good because it means that we can reach them - they can learn

LarryHart said...

@Tony Fisk, donzelion, etc. re: "Hamilton",

Have you seen the SNL opening monologue when Lin-Manuel Miranda was the guest host? I think it was the first show this season, maybe the second, and it's easily available on YouTube. His parody of his own song "My Shot" is hilarious if you know the original. And there's a bit in there, sadly ironic now, when he says about Donald Trump, "He's never gonna be president now." Sadly ironic because at the time, right after p***ygate broke, that seemed true.

Point being, it was very clear where his politics are.

Jeff B. said...

Tony Fisk,

I'm all for warnings and preparedness. However, this is not (yet) the time for the U.S. to be threatened. What I said about democratic institutions is an intangible but deep, deep obstacle to any petit-demagogue who seeks to impose their will. One could argue that that tradition is older even than the country, rooted in the same English/Scottish traditions as Australia and New Zealand. The "crisis" that perpetuated Trump's rise was no crisis at all.

So: Weimar had all of 7-9 years of democracy before the Depression hit, and three years of such economic chaos that we're unable to imagine it prior to the dominance of a focused, demon-driven idealogue of the humblest origins catered to their worst instincts, and promised a bright future.

The dissolution of the USSR was nearly as chaotic, at least psychologically; people conditioned to obey authority found authority fragmented, and the economy in turmoil. There was no tradition whatsoever in any, Any element of democratic self-rule, not even to elect a dogcatcher; instead there was an entrenched culture of corruption and cronyism and bribery.

And prior to Soviet annexation Central Asia was a swirl of petty, feudal autocrats, so their past was more of the same. Any brief glimmer of light at the fall of the Soviet government and the launching of independence was totally, completely illusory.

Vs. a nation deeply steeped in democratic traditions (to the point that we do in fact elect dogcatchers and sheriffs and traffic judges); that believes in these democratic traditions; that has a strong tradition of civil disobedience. And is the midst of a period of economic recovery and high employment, despite some minor social unrest. And the president-elect has a remarkably inept grasp of his role and a demonstrated lack of focus or drive for anything other than self-aggrandizement. The comparison shows staggeringly different situations.

I've no doubt as to Kendzior's observations re: Central Asia. Trump's appointees may cause damage, and this might take years to undo, but the foundations will be untouched. Sure, Trumpism might set the stage for something horrible years down the road, but it's not here and not now, not yet.

Jeff B. said...

Tacitus,
If we get nothing else positive out of all this I think it is fair to say that The Fourth Estate will no longer accept as inherently true everything the Administration has to say.

Assuming it is all inherently false is perhaps not ideal, but it is better to have a watch dog that growls and barks too often if the alternative is one who, with a silly grin on his jowly face, rolls over and happily waits for a supine belly scratching.


My fear is that the Fourth Estate is but a hollow shell of its former self, one that cannot for the most part differentiate between "news" and "entertainment". The dollar sign has caused actual investigative reporting to become not quite as rare as hen's teeth, but getting close. It's easier to repeat claims someone (like the president-elect) says than to actually do a bit of footwork to find out what actually happened, and by the time someone else has done that work, it's too late.

Fear#2 is that even if investigative reporting does identify things (the Ford Plant moving, Trump U. settlement and the Hamilton silliness), the people who need to hear it are so far down the in their own reality bubble that the facts will bounce off; I've seen numerous instances where it appears that people are so conditioned to the "alternate truth" that they fill in the blanks on their own now. If we do reach the point of serious or critical discoveries- internment camps, say, or renewed torture programs- that it will not be taken seriously any more.


Jeff B. said...

And I left out the operative clause in my last paragraph to Tony Fisk: "I've no doubt as to Kendzior's observations re: Central Asia", BUT it seems for now to be inapplicable to the U.S..

raito said...

LarryHart,

Maybe 25 years ago, a court in Oregon deemed switchblades legal under the 2nd. I believe that reasoning was that the folding knife was well in use when the 2nd was drafted, and a switchblade is simply a technological extension of it. I probably have that issue of Blade magazine in the basement somewhere. A retired judge would write columns on weapons laws as they pertained to knives. The most hilarious column was on throwing stars, which North Carolina tried to ban. (I think it was) their AG presented as evidence of their danger a watermelon with a star stuck in it. The AG was sent from the magazine(?) a watermelon and a note. The note said we want everything stuck in this watermelon to be banned in NC, as plainly these items were too dangerous. The watermelon was studded with carious items, from credit cards, to ballpoint pens, to drafting triangles.

As for the rest of the 2nd, I know people who are otherwise sane. but who deeply believed that Hillary was going to take their guns, and voted for Trump on that basis alone.

locumranch said...


I love a good joke in bad taste, which is the why of me sharing a modernised Scarlet Letter with you, yet even I doubt the humour if the situation was reversed, especially if VP Pence & other white males stopped a broadway performance to mock & criticise a mixed-race cast of thespians. Feel free to mock the stoopid white conservative males at length, as long as you recall that turnabout is fair play.

Remember the Gadsden Flag.

As Wallace Sayre, Henry Kissinger & my father were so fond of repeating: "Competition in academia is so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small", and that's most certainly the case in the vaunted halls of Climate Science where they back-stab & squabble over pennies, treating their graduate students like serfs, as they strive desperately to publish or perish.

These self-proclaimed climate scientists are prophets rather than engineers, incapable of altering the future they predict, looking to others to save them from the mess that they are complicit in, always hoping for some stoopid white knighting male to come to their rescue, never asking why anyone would bother.


Best

David Brin said...

Pants on fire. Every single thing in his last para was a diametrically-0opposite-to-fact outright lie.

They actually believe that ASSERTIONS effectively counter facts. And yes, that's insane. But it is an insanity that ran every other human country and society before ours and half of those across the sea.

Tony Fisk said...

I hope you're right Jeff B. The real take away is, I think, not to be complacent.

LarryHart said...

raito:

As for the rest of the 2nd, I know people who are otherwise sane. but who deeply believed that Hillary was going to take their guns, and voted for Trump on that basis alone.


Even though Obama hadn't done so (as the right insisted he would) for eight years? Trump, as aspiring fascist dictator, is more likely to actually take their guns away than Hillary would.

If they weren't taking me down with them, I would laugh my ass off at the chumps that Trump will soon make of his voters. How many of them were Tea Partiers wanting the government to keep its hands off their Medicare? Well, they just elected a congress who will eliminate Medicare, and a president who will sign the bill.

Deuxglass said...

By all means send a copy of the musical "Hamilton" to your friends and relatives but I would also recommend giving them a copy of the book upon which the musical is based and that is Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton". They will learn 1000 times more about the man and the other Founders that way.

Deuxglass said...

It's all happened before.

Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War. Book III, chapters 82-3

Chapter 82

[1] So bloody was the march of the revolution, and the impression which it made was the greater as it was one of the first to occur. Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed; struggles being everywhere made by the popular chiefs to bring in the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Lacedaemonians. In peace there would have been neither the pretext nor the wish to make such an invitation; but in war, with an alliance always at the command of either faction for the hurt of their adversaries and their own corresponding advantage, opportunities for bringing in the foreigner were never wanting to the revolutionary parties.

[2] The sufferings which revolution entailed upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, as long as the nature of mankind remains the same; though in a severer or milder form, and varying in their symptoms, according to the variety of the particular cases. In peace and prosperity states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes.

[3] Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals.

Deuxglass said...

continued

[4] Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence, became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence.

[5] The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended,

[6] until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime.

[7] The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence. Revenge also was held of more account than self-preservation. Oaths of reconciliation, being only proffered on either side to meet an immediate difficulty, only held good so long as no other weapon was at hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence. Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are as ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first.

Deuxglass said...

continued

[8] The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy, engaged in the direct excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honor with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape.

Chapter 83

[1] Thus every form of iniquity took root in the Hellenic countries by reason of the troubles. The ancient simplicity into which honor so largely entered was laughed down and disappeared; and society became divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow.

[2] To put an end to this, there was neither promise to be depended upon, nor oath that could command respect; but all parties dwelling rather in their calculation upon the hopelessness of a permanent state of things, were more intent upon self-defence than capable of confidence.

[3] In this contest the blunter wits were most successful. Apprehensive of their own deficiencies and of the cleverness of their antagonists, they feared to be worsted in debate and to be surprised by the combinations of their more versatile opponents, and so at once boldly had recourse to action:

[4] while their adversaries, arrogantly thinking that they should know in time, and that it was unnecessary to secure by action what policy afforded, often fell victims to their want of precaution.

-----

The extremes on both sides want to kill the middle. If you are not on MY side then you must be evil. The ends justify the means. It is not enough to agree on some things and disagree on others, you must agree on all things otherwise you are the enemy. Middle ground does not exist for them. The mind is closed on both sides.

Jumper said...

Only an Apocalypse Can Save Us Now
On the politics of nostalgia
http://harpers.org/archive/2016/09/only-an-apocalypse-can-save-us-now/

With brief musical accompaniment by Elvis Costello
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqIQorTXIkk

"Waiting For The End Of The World"

The man from the television crawled into the train.
I wonder who he's gonna stick it in this time.
Everyone was looking for a little entertainment,
so they'll probably pull his hands off
when they find out his name.
And then they shut down the power all along the line,
and we got stuck in the tunnel where no lights shine.
They got to touching all the girls were to scared to call out.
Nobody was saying anything at all.
We were waiting for the end of the world,
waiting for the end of the world,
waiting for the end of the world.
Dear Lord I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something.

Things got back to normal as the train began to roll again.
We got to the station about twenty minutes later.
The legendary hitchhiker says that he knows where it's at.
Now he'd like to go to Spain or somewhere like that,
with his two-tone Bible and his funny cigarettes,
his suntan lotion and his castanets.

He was waiting for the end of the world,
waiting for the end of the world,
waiting for the end of the world.
Dear Lord I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something.

And then the bride, the groom, the congregation and the priest
all got onto the train when we were three stations east, yeah.
Hiding from a scandal in the national press,
they had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress.
You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach,
but don't throw out the lifeline till they're clean out of reach.

LarryHart said...

A lifetime ago on Guy Fawkes Day (Nov 5), I mentioned a passage from the British graphic novel "V For Vendetta". Trump's election put me in a mood to re-read the thing. The forward by writer Alan Moore, written in 1988, seems a chilling portent of things to come on this side of the pond, especially in light of the Trump-inspired attacks on minorities around the country:


...
Naivete can also be detected in my supposition that it would take something as melodramatic as a near-miss nuclear conflict to nudge England toward fascism. Although in fairness to myself and David [Lloyd, the book's artist] there were no better or more accurate predictions of our country's future available in comic form at that time [1981]. The simple fact that much of the historical background of the story proceeds from a predicted Conservative defeat in the 1982 General Election should tell you how reliable we were as Cassandras.

It's 1988 now. Margaret Thatcher is entering her third term of office and talking confidently of an unbroken Conservative leadership well into the next century. My youngest daughter is seven and the tabloid press are circulating the idea of concentration camps for persons with AIDS. The new riot police wear black visors, as do their horses, and their vans have rotating video cameras mounted on top. The government has expressed a desire to eradicate homosexuality, even as an abstract concept, and one can only speculate as to which minority will be next legislated against. I'm thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. It's cold and it's mean-spirited and I don't like it here anymore.


Actually, I relate this not to be totally depressing, but to contrast it with a more uplifting story of last night, which I will post when I'm back at a computer.

LarryHart said...

From today's www.electoral-vote.com (bolded emphasis is my own) :

Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence decided to enjoy the spoils of office a little bit, taking in the hit Broadway show "Hamilton" on Friday from premium seats near the stage. The crowd booed Pence when he arrived, until being coaxed into stopping by the cast. There were also Pence-directed boos at various points throughout the performance, such as when the line "Immigrants, we get the job done!" was delivered.


So when Trump says that the cast booed Pence, he's being a lying liar. In other news, the sun rose this morning and gravity still works.

LarryHart said...

Ok, my tangentially-related-to-Hamilton local story. The writer/performer who wrote Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, had an earlier musical about the barrio area of New York City he grew up in, called "In The Heights". As it turned out, a high school in my daughter's district (though not her school) was performing "In The Heights" as their fall musical, and my daughter and some friends were hot to attend. I was curious enough that I didn't simply drop the kids off at the school, but attended the play myself (and talked my wife into it as well).

The musical was fantastic, and no, I don't just mean because it was diverse, but it is heartening to see that a piece of entertainment can celebrate both Latin culture and New York City, and also be so uplifting as to leave the audience cheering on their feet. As far as I am aware, those Trump-inspired acts of hateful bullying that I hear about in other areas of the country are not raising their ugly heads here in suburban Chicago.

The best part of the evening, though, came when the drama director interrupted the standing ovation at the end to spring a surprise on the house--that he had just a few hours ago received a call from the University of Illinois, whose representatives had seen this production two days earlier, that this high school production had been chosen to compete at the state level in Champaign-Urbana. The performers on stage were obviously hearing this news for the first time, and the sheer joy that they expressed as they screamed and hugged each other--I'm as glad to have been there for that part as for the play itself.

Life doesn't entirely suck.

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart

I would think we would have more momentous things to discuss, but I know you are a serious Hamilton fan, so, OK.

He may have tweeted further - the man never stops, does he? - but the Tweets I have seen speak of the cast being "very rude" and of "harrassing" Pence.

I have also watched the video. I find is subject to various interpretations. So far as I can tell the mixed boos and cheers do come from the audience. And the speech given by the lead character is as quoted. The tone is.....well, you could call it harrassing and/or rude, telling a VP elect to stop and listed is not ideal manners.

I am on the side of OK on that however. Pres and VP do work for us after all.
A fair situation would have been to invite him to respond but I suspect if he had strode up to the stage that he would not have ready access to a microphone.

You could also read a sub text here if you wished to.

The actor who read the pre-prepared speech had just finished playing the role of Aaron Burr. Burr of course had just killed Hamilton in a duel.

Yes, Brandon Victor Dixon is a mere actor. As was John Wilkes Booth, the central figure of the most extensive assasination plot in US political history. President, Secretary of State, probably U.S. Grant....and the Vice President were all targeted.

Do symbols matter? Sometimes. Otherwise why would the Occupy movement so readily adopt the Guy Fawkes masks?

Freedom of Speech. We are both big fans. But at best this incident was a political stunt. I don't think harrassement is too far off target.

Tacitus

locumranch said...


Apparently, I'm a liar with 'pants on fire' because I tend to accurately describe the unpleasant world which I observe, rather than observe the pleasantness of an unreal world that 'should be', even though I have been one of the few on this site to accurately describe (politically; socially; economically) what has come to pass. In the eyes of the faithful, I must therefore be considered 'ignorant' as all unbelievers are.

I cannot see what the faithful claim to see, though at times I wish I could. Anymore than I can convince myself that Climate Science is an engineering subspecialty, I cannot convince myself that Climate Science has created anything more than prophecy, presumptive modeling & perhaps a few lines of computer code. And, most certainly, I cannot convince myself that Climate Scientists possess the wherewithal to intervene on any significant basis, so they caterwaul & demand our assistance instead.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38034171

"I say to the American people", pleads Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama @ the UN Global Climate talks, "you came to save us then, and it is time for you to help save us now."

From individuals, nations, cooperatives & identity groups, we hear this same plea over & over, "Save Us, Feed Us, Heal Us, Protect Us", yet never do they promise to remit anything in return beyond falsity, nor do they ever accept any responsibility for their personal complicity. Instead, they bite the hands which try to feed them, treat us like fools & serfs, sue us for our less than perfect medical interventions, mock us for our generosity, protest against their demand for our military presence, marginalise us in popular music & celebrate our pending genetic irrelevance, even when there is literally nothing in it for us besides short-term virtue signaling & 'good feelz'.

The world can go to 'Hell in a Handbasket', as far as I'm concerned, until they can tell me "What's in it for me?"

Merkel is doomed, btw: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38042937 The Nationalists will sweep over the EU like a wave because they alone, unlike the self-abnegating progressives, promise their supporters anything like relevance in return.


Best

Jumper said...

I got your prediction right here, from February.
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-education-situation.html

TCB said...

Quote from article: Was the 2004 Election Stolen?



"In its official postmortem report issued two months after the election, Edison/Mitofsky was unable to identify any flaw in its methodology -- so the pollsters, in essence, invented one for the electorate. According to Mitofsky, Bush partisans were simply disinclined to talk to exit pollsters on November 2nd(34) -- displaying a heretofore unknown and undocumented aversion that skewed the polls in Kerry's favor by a margin of 6.5 percent nationwide.(35)

"Industry peers didn't buy it. John Zogby, one of the nation's leading pollsters, told me that Mitofsky's ''reluctant responder'' hypothesis is ''preposterous.''(36) Even Mitofsky, in his official report, underscored the hollowness of his theory: ''It is difficult to pinpoint precisely the reasons that, in general, Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.''(37)"

--------

Now, the discrepancies in 2004 Ohio look a whole lot like the discrepancies in WIS, PA, NC, and FLA in 2016. But look more closely:

"But in the battle for Ohio, Republicans had a distinct advantage: The man in charge of the counting was Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of President Bush's re-election committee.(43) As Ohio's secretary of state, Blackwell had broad powers to interpret and implement state and federal election laws -- setting standards for everything from the processing of voter registration to the conduct of official recounts.(44) And as Bush's re-election chair in Ohio, he had a powerful motivation to rig the rules for his candidate. Blackwell, in fact, served as the ''principal electoral system adviser'' for Bush during the 2000 recount in Florida,(45) where he witnessed firsthand the success of his counterpart Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state who co-chaired Bush's campaign there.(46)"

Ken Blackwell. In 2004 he is the eye of the Ohio hurricane, buying voting machines from Diebold (whose CEO Wally O'Dell had commited in a letter “to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President." Long lines, disenfranchisement, funny exit poling results... all in a state Bush could not be re-elected without.

And now it's 2016. Donald Trump wins states that, according to exit polls, he should lose. Yes, there are the embittered blue collar workers; yes, there are arguably errors and weakness in the Clinton campaign. But once again ALL the lucky breaks go for the GOP candidate. If this were a Wild West poker game, pistols would have been drawn by now, with cries of "Cheater!"

Ken Blackwell. Haven't heard his name in a few years. Where is he now? Ohhh yes.

Trump taps former Ohio official Ken Blackwell to lead domestic transition team

To my thinking, this is not just smoke. This is a goddam fire alarm.

I think Blackwell was Trumps election-rigging consigliere. He used tried-and-true tricks.

Why don't Democratic congresses investigate things like this when they can? Why, why, why? God only knows what a Benghazi-level investigation would have turned up.

They stole it. Again.

Anonymous said...

A summary of the circumstantial evidence is here:
http://www.palmerreport.com/opinion/youre-not-just-imagining-it-the-hillary-clinton-vs-donald-trump-vote-totals-do-look-rigged/104/

TCB said...

Looked at that link from palmerreport.com, and yeah, I'll quote the last paragraph:

"In order to believe that the official vote tallies are legitimate, you have to accept that all of the above legitimately happened: African-Americans in the south went from turning out in droves for Hillary Clinton in the primary to not caring if she won the general election. Donald Trump got sixty-something percent of the same-day voting in Florida. The polling averages were wrong for the first time in modern history. Trump beat his poll numbers despite having spent the primary season tending to fall below them. Clinton fell below her poll numbers despite having spent the primary season tending to beat them. In every state where Trump pulled off a shocking upset victory, he just happened to do it with one percent of the vote. And in an election that everyone cared particularly deeply about, no one really turned out to vote at all. I can accept any one of the above things happening as an isolated fluke. I cannot accept all the above happening. And so for once in my evidence-driven career, I’m left to believe that the conspiracy theorists are right: the vote tallies are rigged."

And I'll add one more thing: Trump's get-out-the-vote organization was pretty shit. The Dems had a very good one in most places I know of. And yet, on top of all the above, the Dem GOTV wasn't good enough?

And with the exception of Pennsylvania, the states with fishy results all have GOP governors and therefore Republicans running the elections.

donzelion said...

TCB: "To my thinking, this is not just smoke. This is a goddam fire alarm."

To my thinking, this is a gasoline depot next to a bonfire, BUT we'll never actually hear any 'fire alarm' because the beneficiaries of the system will always defend it's integrity while the losers will always attack it.

That requires a very specific fact-finding process - and efforts to put a record in place that can be used in that process. This is legal work, in a nutshell, where one side benefits and another is hurt by any ambiguity and uncertainty, and the game is all about developing contested evidence.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I would think we would have more momentous things to discuss, but I know you are a serious Hamilton fan, so, OK.


I've been a fan of the musical "Hamilton" since my daughter introduced me to the music over the summer. After seeing the writer/performer on SNL, and seeing his earlier musical "In The Heights", and yes seeing the political stances he is not afraid to take, I'm becoming more of a Lin-Manuel Miranda fan. "Hamilton" is incredibly popular, and more people are exposed to it every day. If it becomes a sort of central symbol of the resistance, I am so there!


I have also watched the video. I find is subject to various interpretations. So far as I can tell the mixed boos and cheers do come from the audience. And the speech given by the lead character is as quoted. The tone is.....well, you could call it harrassing and/or rude, telling a VP elect to stop and liste[n] is not ideal manners.

On the other hand, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so the cast could be seen to be flattering the Republicans.

But seriously, they said he could leave, of course, but they hoped he would stay and listen. Is a respectful attempt at dialogue from an opposing position--one that expresses the will of more than 50% of the voters after all--now considered bad manners? The way it was during the Bush administration? Somehow, I don't expect you'd coddle the feelings of Presidents Clinton or Obama with the same insistence on "political correctness". Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it.*


I am on the side of OK on that however. Pres and VP do work for us after all.
A fair situation would have been to invite him to respond but I suspect if he had strode up to the stage that he would not have ready access to a microphone.


And I think they would have welcomed the chance at a dialogue like that. In a similar situation, I could well imagine President Obama taking the mike and explaining his position while searching for common ground. Pence would not have done such a thing, though, because the attitude of Republicans toward those who disagree with them is that they--the disagreers--are beneath their dignity to take note of.


You could also read a sub text here if you wished to.

The actor who read the pre-prepared speech had just finished playing the role of Aaron Burr. Burr of course had just killed Hamilton in a duel.

Yes, Brandon Victor Dixon is a mere actor. As was John Wilkes Booth, the central figure of the most extensive assasination plot in US political history. President, Secretary of State, probably U.S. Grant....and the Vice President were all targeted.


What are you suggesting here? That the actor was challenging Pence to a duel? Mind you, I wish someone would, but...I'm getting as worried about your sensibility here as you are about our host's.

Do symbols matter? Sometimes. Otherwise why would the Occupy movement so readily adopt the Guy Fawkes masks?


Probably because of "V For Vendetta". Small world.

Freedom of Speech. We are both big fans. But at best this incident was a political stunt. I don't think harrassement is too far off target.


I don't think the angry voters who put Trump and Pence in office expected them to be such hot-house flowers who wilt at a whif of disagreement. I suspect they'll find other, better reasons to rue the day over the next four years.

* "Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it!" is a line from you-know-which musical.


LarryHart said...

locumranch:

The world can go to 'Hell in a Handbasket', as far as I'm concerned, until they can tell me "What's in it for me?"


Likewise. The alt-white can go to Hell as far as I'm concerned until you can tell me what's in it for me to help put their jackboot on my upturned face.




Tacitus2 said...

Ah, Larry, don't worry about my sensibilities. Or was it my sense? What I was alluding to was that maybe Pence's security detail got a little antsy. That whole actor shoots Lincoln, jumps onto the stage sayig "Sic Semper Tyranus" and all.

I thought I made clear at the onset that I considered this a silly issue and was mentioning it only because I know you like Hamilton.

Hmmm, how many of the Occupy folks actually know the history of Guy (alternately Guido) Faukes? I suspect most just know the movie.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

TCB thanks for that link and excerpt about how spectacularly right Donald Trump was, in his most-cogent statement… that the election was “rigged.” We all know it happened in 2000. But this article shows in excruciatingly painful detail how the election of 2004 was, as well. And how the Republican Party retains control of Congress, despite a majority of citizens always voting against them.

Locum’s latest wail (I skim and pluck, nowadays) includes: “I cannot convince myself that Climate Science…” and other “I cannot convince myself that…” phrases.

Liar. You make no effort to see or to know. Facts are enemies and fact users are folks you would put against a wall.

The things that you madly hallucinate we are doing to you are what you would relish doing to us, physically and eagerly. That is WHY you hallucinate being oppressed. To justify fantasies of revenge. Like Steve Bannon still raging that Harvard and Goldman Sachs vampire riches, none of them got him into bed with supermodels.

Oh poor flower. So abused by a society that has coddled him at every turn, with a cushier life than any and all of his ancestors and opportunities they never dreamed of.
Ingrate.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass’s quotations from Thucydides is appreciated. Though let’s keep it in context. Like Plato, Thucydides was a member of the oligarchic party. You can see it in his use of “moderate aristocrats.” He goes on and on about the florid excesses of democratic demagogues… and he was doubtless right… without much more than glancingly alluding to the despotic nastiness of unaccountable oligarchs.

And yet, Thucydides was essentially fair in many ways. He brings us Pericles' Funeral Oration, the brilliant moment when a truly modern mind made the case for a society of openness, equality and fair debate. We see the irony of it all, that Athenians were too crude to handle the stresses and complexities and nuances of democracy, except while a leader like Pericles was around, to coax and guide them. When he died, it all fell into the patterns Thucydides describes.

Plato was, of course, much worse. A complete, lying bastard.

Does Thucydides apply to our time? Are we, too, unready or ill-equipped to manage the challenges of democracy? Our Enlightenment Experiment has been vastly more productive of wealth, creativity, freedom, art, justice and happiness — with its positive sum markets, politics, science etc — than all other human societies _combined. Yet, we can be flighty, temperamental, easily misled. I do fret.

------------
Tacitus (our other ancient historian): “But at best this incident was a political stunt.”

Hmmm… “At best?” Seriously? A majority of voters voted against a fate that has a majority of Americans… and nearly all of those in fact-professions, terrified out of their wits. A politician uses his new status to cadge tickets. And AFTER the last curtain call the cast issue a courteous appeal for an inclusive administration, giving voice to what 150 million of us feel…

…and “But at best this incident was a political stunt.”??

What political end was served? It will be forgotten by 2018. And given that Republicans create crafted perceptual bubbles around themselves, echo chambers that reject dissonant inputs, when else will anyone get a chance to say these things to Mr. Pence?

locumranch said...


The thing is, Larry_H, the Red States are NOT asking for your help to either save the planet or create a progressive paradise to come. You're asking for their help, and you're not asking very nicely, I might add.

To destroy all of your blue progressive pipe dreams, all we reds have to say is no: No, we won't work for a pittance. No, we won't give up our country. No, we won't allow ourselves to be mocked. No, we won't help you marginalise us. And, no, we won't go quietly into that final global good-night of yours. Beyond refusing to cooperate, we don't have to do anything.

If we were the kind of dumbasses you took us for (and, we are, for the most part), then you could have had your progressive heart's desires by expressing GRATITUDE. By thanking us & allowing us to feel good about ourselves for giving you what you want, we would have given & you would have received everything you asked for & more, including a greener world, alternative energies & even a viable space program.

But, then again, you progressives are exactly the kind of self-indulgent, spoiled, ungrateful dumbasses that we took you for. You mocked us for giving you what you asked; you scorned us for working ourselves to death in tedious & unfulfilling jobs; you dismissed us as backwards, selfish & uncaring yokels when we went into debt to provide you with better lives, futures & educations; you bullied us with the insanity of political correctness; and you called us gullible & stupid for exhibiting generosity towards you.

Since you progressives are the ones who are up at arms, making ultimatums, rioting & smashing windows, I now realise that the Blue State progressives are suffering from a massive case of projection. They are the ones hoping for Nazis in jack-boots to come stomping in, to restore order & justify their pathetic progressive temper tantrums as 'freedom fighting', so they will not have to admit how badly they have screwed things up.

Ingrates, they are, who deny that they stand on the red shoulders of giants.


Best
_______
Great prediction, Jumper, and very succinct, as 'No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public'.

Jumper said...

Except rural America is about to rot from pustules of their own voluntarily acquired disease. Ignorance mixed with nihilism is not a plan. You have achieved a Pyrrhic victory.

Tony Fisk said...

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall..."

David Brin said...

Every single assertion is a fact-free utter lie. It is redders who have spewed venom at "decadent and corrupt and immoral city folks" for generations... while behaving per capita far more immorally in every category, from STDs and teen sex/birth, divorce and so on.

It is STATE governments that do more deciding re our lives. And red states are so badly governed that KANSAS just slapped the GOP hard. Except for Utah, they do worse on almost every scale. Watch our fellow citizens realize this, once they no longer can strawman-blame Obama for their messes.

GIVING us? What? Your best sons and daughters? And volunteers for the military. And we pay for those and the crops. And help that pulled farm country out of poverty and net flows of tax dollars TO red America. Yet ingrates holler about ingratitude.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

The thing is, Larry_H, the Red States are NOT asking for your help to either save the planet or create a progressive paradise to come. You're asking for their help, and you're not asking very nicely, I might add.


No, see, I'm not asking for anything from you. If I'm "not-asking very nicely", then thank you for the compliment. Remember Gene Hackman in the original "Poseidon Adventure" when the steam pipe ruptures blocking their final path to the keel? "Lord, I'm not asking for your help, but don't work against us." But like John Galt, you and your ilk profess to recuse yourself from solving problems while in actuality, you're spending time and effort throwing monkey wrenches into the works, and then going, "See? You need our help to not have that happen!"

You therefore misunderstand--willfully in my opinion--that rather than asking for a "progressive paradise", all we're asking is that you fulfill your threats to leave us to our own devices. Had Hillary been elected, I would not have expected sweeping reforms, especially with you Confederates still in control of the House. What I'd expect is a holding action--that Democrats would not destroy the Constitution and the environment for long enough that the young millennials would outnumber the crotchety old men. Now, that won't happen. Your red-state compatriots will not simply "not work for" us, but will actively destroy everything good about the country and Earth itself.

I only hope you live long enough to regret what you have wrought.


If we were the kind of dumbasses you took us for (and, we are, for the most part), ...


Hey, a stopped clock is right twice a day.

The rest of your frothing rant is just as Dr Brin describes--projection, even as your project your own projection onto us. We're rubber and you're glue. I know you are but what am I? "This sentence is a lie."

LarryHart said...

@Tacitus2,

Sorry, I thought you were suggesting that the Hamilton cast was being disingenuous by not allowing Pence to hypothetically take the stage. If you meant that his own security detail would not have allowed it, you might be right. I'd then rejoin that that says more about the unpopularity of the candidate than it does about the crowd.

During WWII, the Nazis asked why the King of Denmark went out freely with no bodyguard, and he is said to have replied that "All of Denmark is my bodyguard." It's sad how far we've fallen that US officials from president on down can't operate so openly.


You could also read a sub text here if you wished to.

The actor who read the pre-prepared speech had just finished playing the role of Aaron Burr. Burr of course had just killed Hamilton in a duel.


Burr had also been elected Vice President. So maybe it was more of a peer-to-peer thing than we've been crediting.

But at best this incident was a political stunt. I don't think harrassement is too far off target.


I'm willing to have fun with the topic just as you are. But this final statement is what really bothered me. Didn't your Lord and Savior say something about comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable? Does an attempt at breaking through the confirmation-bias bubble of the powerful really count as "harassment" now? With all the s### that the right give us about emphasizing hurt feelings and safe spaces and political correctness, one would think that that side would at least walk their own talk.

Jonathan Sills said...

Tacitus, Pence tweeted about the incident too.

He felt that the cast had been very respectful, and was not offended by the speech at all. He also felt that while the booing from the audience may have been a tad beyond the pale, it was nothing to get all bent out of shape about.

Donnie just has the temperament of a spoiled toddler. The very best spoiled toddler, I'm sure - but if this kind of thing gets under his skin that badly, that's a poor portent of his reactions when things get serious next January...

Tacitus2 said...

I will take Pence at his word. As I said earlier, it was from the video an ambiguous situation. If he was not offended nobody else should be. I can stretch my imagination to Joe Biden accepting a little finger pointing and admonition.

And as I also said, I consider this a trivial matter.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

Truly, I worry about DT in ways you'll not see. I worry that his feral intelligence is very very narrow. That rumors might be true, that he cannot read. That in fact he is very very dim and easily manipulated. That the scene from NETWORK - in which Howard Beale is crushed into conforming to the oligarchy by Ned Beatty's mogul character has already happened.

This is not an autonomous, vivid person we are seeing, but a kid who leaped upon and stole a stallion, and is now terrified as they bolt across the desert. He has a laser cannon and can blast obstacles . But can he steer?

Paul SB said...

I haven't had a chance to read over all of this, but I will venture the suggestion that Donald Grope will likely be about as bad as Dubbya was, which was quite bad. Look at the millions dead in the Middle East, thanks to his family vendetta and selfish profiteering. All those fools who thought Trump would bring change are mostly too foolish to see that most of the cronies he has surrounded himself with are Bush-era cronies. Who will be steering this horse? Not him!

I did see little loci's pathetic attempt to equate the Grope with a hero of ancient legend. I thought it was a strange coincidence that I just happened to have started listening to my CD version of "The King Must Die" a few days ago. The thing about myths and legends, of course, is that most people realize they often contain a grain or two of truth, but the rest of it is just revisionist pasture patty. Remember the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at W? If I knew his secret location, I would aim my Intercontinental Ballistic Sandal at his noggin.

Alfred Differ said...

Jeff B has a good point about the resilience of our institutions. We've shown this before and will do so again. For people who don't believe this who actually live here, get thee to a history class.

I have my blue kepi now and have begun to notice how few of us know the difference between blue and gray. The symbol may confuse more than it motivates.

David Brin said...

Alfred it will confuse UNTIL it motivates.

Alfred Differ said...

Heh. Okay. My wife has her safety pin, but she donated her rocket pin for the kepi. I've launched more of those than I've ever used a gun, so I didn't get the infantry rifles pin.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

I have my blue kepi now and have begun to notice how few of us know the difference between blue and gray.


Unfortunately, wearing any kind of cap might be taken as a sign of support for Trump.

Just as the slogan "LOVE TRUMPS HATE" is taken to mean "[I] LOVE TRUMP'S HATE"

To misquote a line from "Hamilton" :


While we were all watching, he got the symbolism in his pocket.


LarryHart said...

The entire stanza with that line from above is as follows, not updated for the present day. We report--you decide who it describes and who is doing the describing.

And "Washington" is not the city, but General George.


Every action has its equal, opposite reactions.
Thanks to Hamilton, our cabinet’s fractured into factions.
Try not to crack under the stress. We’re breaking down like fractions.
We smack each other in the press, and we don’t print retractions.
I get no satisfaction witnessing his fits of passion,
The way he primps and preens and dresses like the pits of fashion.
Our poorest citizens, our farmers, live ration to ration,
As Wall Street robs 'em blind in search of chips to cash in.
This prick is askin’ for someone to bring him to task.
Somebody gimme some dirt on this vacuous mass so we can at last unmask him.
I’ll pull the trigger on him; someone load the gun and cock it.
While we were all watching, he got Washington in his pocket.

matthew said...

As a metallurgist, of course I have the crossed cannons for my blue kepi.

Tacitus2 said...

Confusingly in the early stages of the Civil War you had regiments from both sides dressed all kinds of different ways. Blue, Grey, lead attracting bright red....

Tacitus

Instant Karma said...

Hi David,

I am not sure why you keep alluding to Red states as being worse governed than Blue states. Obviously the determination of quality is somewhat subjective, and we are each free to have our own opinions and weights on the matter, but I don't think this idea of yours holds up well to serious scrutiny as some kind of "objective fact."

Red states tend to have higher economic recent growth rates, lower unemployment, lower taxes, lower costs of living, higher incomes when adjusted for Local PPP (a must when comparing the highest cost of living places with the lowest). Most importantly, net migration is overwhelmingly from Blue to Red. IOW, people are voting with their feet and what they are saying is THEY PREFER Blue States.

Personally I live in Illinois, and wish I could move to California for the weather and beaches, but I am having trouble affording it. But, I think a balanced view of the actual economic and demographic trends is that people seem to prefer and to be gravitating to the Red model.


Stefan Jones said...

Nate DiMeo's podcast "The Memory Palace" is one of my favorites. There are three that I would suggest everyone here listen to:

"Shore Leave:" WWII Sailors deal with a burning ammunition ship in NY Harbor. There is a term, "driveway moment," for a piece on the radio which keeps you in your car until it is over. Something like that happened when I first heard this, only I was walking and had to pause to breath and keep from weeping:
https://t.co/rOONV68ipe

"The Wheel" Slaves steal a supply ship from the Confederacy. A tale of cunning and bravery that deserves to be a movie:
http://thememorypalace.us/2016/02/the-wheel/

And most of all:

"Notes on an Imagined Plaque." DiMeo's tone is calm, almost lighthearted here, but the words convey his fury over the idolization of a monster:

https://t.co/pI14GyQCMO

Paul SB said...

Karma,

I'm a little confused. First you said: "IOW, people are voting with their feet and what they are saying is THEY PREFER Blue States."

But then you said: "But, I think a balanced view of the actual economic and demographic trends is that people seem to prefer and to be gravitating to the Red model."

This is a contradiction, no?

As to where people are moving, the trend has generally been toward wherever the jobs are. This predominantly means from rural to urban, but more often than not remains within state boundaries, mainly because of simple proximity, but also because of the severe restriction placed by in-state vs. out-of-state tuition.

Paul SB said...

BTW, as a person who made a similar migration, it's a bit of a catch-22 moving from the center of the country (very red Colorado, in my case) to the much more expensive coast. If you have marketable skills, you will probably fare better on the coasts, but if you have little education (or some useless college major like mine) you might be okay in a low-cost-of-living hinterland. It's mainly an issue of scale, though. Bigger cities mean more opportunities. In Colorado I was lucky to get a job at all, and the jobs payed a hell of a lot less. Though there cost of living is higher in coastal regions, your chances of getting a job that can pay those bills is usually much higher than in places where the expenses are lower.

As to the rest, don't believe what everybody says. My friends in Colorado told me that when I got to California it would be sunny every day, I would meet all sorts of movie stars, and there would be a drive-by shooting on every corner. I've been here since 2000 and seen all sorts of clouds, not a single movie star, and only one drive-by. Even the reputation for crazy liberals isn't quite right, since I have been assaulted (metaphorically speaking) by as many right-wingers here as I was where I came from.

Anonymous said...

I totally think the chance for an Electoral College revolt against Trump is near impossible, and unlikely. BUT if such an unprecedented thing were ever to happen, now seems the time. Its already been a crazy election season, Something like this would certainly be one more unexpected think to happen.

Instant Karma said...

Hi Paul,

My bad, I meant migration patterns reveal a strong preference for RED states.

I have lived across the country, including stints in Colorado, Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois and even a short time in Mississippi (the worst IMO). I also depend a lot of time in Hawaii (about a month a year)

I am a California native and avid surfer, so that plays into why I want to return there if I can ever afford it. Property taxes are much lower, but property prices, cost of living and retiree income taxes are much higher than in Illinois. From a government standpoint I think both are governed atrociously.

Obviously in a country with 300 million plus people and fifty states there are a lot of stories. But the overall pattern is:
Higher growth rates in jobs and income
Better living standards adjusted by local PPP
Lower taxes
Lower rates of unemployment
Higher rates of job growth
And substantially higher net migration into
RED STATES

LarryHart said...

Instant Karma:

But the overall pattern is:
Higher growth rates in jobs and income
Better living standards adjusted by local PPP
Lower taxes
Lower rates of unemployment
Higher rates of job growth
And substantially higher net migration into
RED STATES


If life is so wonderful in RED STATES, then what is locumranch so angry about, and why are they so livid that they'd nominate a buffoon rather than a more true conservative such as Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush or an evangelical like Ted Cruz?

When you talk about red states, do you mean those who voted Republican in the presidential election, or those whose state governments are in Republican hands? There's a difference, and that might cause some confusion. Until this month, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were "blue states" in that their electoral votes went for Democrats, but their state governments have been dominated by Republicans. Are those the states people are moving to or from?

Our own Illinois is a reliably blue state in presidential elections, and the legislature is mostly Democratic, but you may recall that in the 1990s, the governors were all Republicans and the legislature was more Republican as well (I believe there were two years when both houses had GOP majorities). Some of the current financial woes which are blamed on Democrats began during that era.

Of course, Illinois's population is weighted toward Chicago, but the state itself is huge, and much of the land area is rural and prime farmland.

I guess I'm not so much arguing against you as asking for further clarification on what you're describing. Is the living situation better in Republican-governed states, or are people migrating south for the weather? Are people from Illinois moving to Indiana for lower taxes while still working in Chicago, or are they flooding into places like Kansas?


locumranch said...


No worries, Karma. David likes to do a lot of statistical 'berry-picking' in order to prove the inherent superiority of Blue State progressivism.

For instance, he quotes studies showing higher STD rates in red states that specifically exclude HIV (with up to a 10X higher rate of infection in blue rather than red states) & HPV (which affects up to 70% of all red & blue sexually active adults).

Similarly, teenage pregnancy rates tend to be higher in areas of extreme poverty & high minority penetration, including many Southeastern US states that are predominantly 'blue'. Also, red state families tend to have 2x more children than below-replacement-rate blue state families, logically implying that a 2x higher birth rate will also affect teenager births to a lesser degree.

Statistics on economic wealth are the easiest to fudge because, uniformly, they tend to utilise assumed paper value wherein a 1-bedroom walk-up apartment in Urban NYC is evaluated as 10X more valuable than a 3 bedroom house with a 2-car garage in the reddish suburbs because highly-concentrated urban dwellers desire (and over-value) urban locations.

Blue urbanities also believe themselves 'wealthier' because they make higher salaries even though they are compelled to spend significantly more on food, clothing, dining & living expenses than red state dwellers, so they delude themselves into believing that blue state parking with a $25/hour price tag is somehow better than free red state parking.

Once we correct for cost-of-living, the supposed economic superiority of blue urbanity evaporates like the mirage it is.

Ultimately, Blue State dwellers look down & discriminate against Red State dwellers because it makes them feel better about their own rather shabby lives, much in the same way that poor racists tend to discriminate other equally impoverished minorities.

That's why I'm livid, bucko, but now it is the blue states turn to take their place at the back of the federal bus.


Best

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Blue urbanities also believe themselves 'wealthier' because they make higher salaries even though they are compelled to spend significantly more on food, clothing, dining & living expenses than red state dwellers, so they delude themselves into believing that blue state parking with a $25/hour price tag is somehow better than free red state parking.


I was trying to make the point to Mr Karma that states are big places, and that even though a "blue state" sends all of its electoral votes to one candidate, in other ways, there are differences within the boundaries.

My Illinois suburb has plenty of free parking, thank you very much.


That's why I'm livid, bucko,


I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are the sorest winners I have ever seen. Your life is so much better than ours, but we're not sufficiently upset about that fact, so you'll soon get even! Seriously?


but now it is the blue states turn to take their place at the back of the federal bus.


It has been ever thus, and we're used to it. I can't wait to see you cry like a baby when Donald Trump screws you over "big league".

Best!




David Brin said...

Instant Karma can you prove any of your assertions about Red State growth rates etc with actual statistics? That remove fluctuations like the oil fracking boom?


What I see are lots of assertions and no backing any of them up.

Sure there's bee migration of aging boomers southward. Been going on for a very long time. And a few reds like Texas and N. Carolina have invested heavily in their universities... making them bluer.

Now compare entrepreneurship and business startups.

Robert said...

After having a friend and Trump supporter out-and-out insist that most of the reported hate crimes going on are being faked, I have to wonder if we need to start babying Trump voters. Something along the lines of "I know you're not racist and you don't condone these actions, but it seems racists and bigots have come out in a huge swarm, feeling justified by the election of Trump..."

Seriously. We have recorded video footage of a big white guy threatening black motorists with a wrench and a bat, and people are saying "this was all staged obviously." We have widescale hate crimes, swastikas on children's schools, chanting "build the wall" by white kids, an asian girl charged with assault after she defended herself from a white male aggressor who found out short asian girls often DO know martial arts and far better than he did... because his buddies all were witnesses claiming SHE attacked HIM and the cops believed them... and it's all faked obviously.

I almost wonder. Was this how it was for the people who voted in the Nazis in Germany? They hear reports of people being rounded up, of people being beaten in the streets, and they say "oh, that's faked. People aren't being hurt! That's foolishness!"

This democracy could be in dire danger... with the bigots and the racists coming out and going after minorities... and "nice people" who voted Trump are closing their eyes and ears and going to say "this isn't happening, this is just sour grapes by the minorities!"

If worse came to worse... and this democracy did fall, Trump takes control, we end up with death camps... will they afterward claim "we never heard anything about this! We wouldn't have let this happen!" when in fact they just closed their eyes and ears?

Rob H., who is going to be one of the first ones up against the wall

Paul SB said...

Rob,

I doubt I will even make it to that wall. Most likely I'll get shot in the back before it even goes that far. Right now I am watching over "The Tin Drum" based on the old G√ľnter Grass novel, after reading about the fascist swine who are moving into the White House (taking the term in a different way). And our usual trolls offer their usual obfuscations, dodges, fallacious reasoning, untested assumptions, barely-concealed racism rationalized by pseudo-scientific, pseudo-historical, pseudo-mythological solipsism. The usual, just like 1932.

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/20/502719871/energized-by-trumps-win-white-nationalists-gather-to-change-the-world

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tin_Drum

Erin Schram said...

David Brin asked,
Instant Karma can you prove any of your assertions about Red State growth rates etc with actual statistics? That remove fluctuations like the oil fracking boom?

Interstate migration statistics are available from the Census Bureau, but I haven't yet loaded the tools to crunch those numbers onto my new laptop, so I found some combined statistics at http://www.governing.com/gov-data/census/state-migration-rates-annual-net-migration-by-state.html.

Fluctuations like the oil fracking boon cannot be isolated from the data without a serious sociological model. And models are theoretical and require testing for accuracy. We also have the problem that LarryHart described: which states are red states? The most informative summary to me is to list the top ten states in interstate immigration and emigration.

Top Ten and Rates of Gain
1. Florida +1.65%
2. North Dakota +1.57%
3. Nevada +1.30%
4. Colorado +1.25%
5. District of Columbia +1.24%
6. South Carolina +1.08%
7. Oregon +1.07%
8. Texas +1.00%
9. Washington +0.97%
10. Arizona +0.93%

That rate is incoming migration minus outgoing migration per capita. If we look at net mogration rather than per capita, the lerger states rise to the top. The order in net migration is Florida, Texas, California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Oregon.

Bottom Ten and Rates of Loss
42. Michigan -0.15%
43. West Virginia -0.18%
44. Kansas -0.20%
45. Vermont -0.21%
46. Wyoming -0.21%
47. Connecticut -0.25%
48. Mississippi -0.31%
49. New Mexico -0.47%
50. Illinois -0.52%
51. Alaska -0.69%

Once again that is per capita and incoming minus outgoing. In net migration the order is Kansas, Wiconsin, New Jersey, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Michigan, New York, and Illinois, where Illinois has the highest net emigration.

LarryHart asked,
Until this month, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were "blue states" in that their electoral votes went for Democrats, but their state governments have been dominated by Republicans. Are those the states people are moving to or from?

For all three of those the answer is "from." I am originally from Michigan myself and my home state has been losing people for decades.

LarryHart said...

@Rob H,

As someone who heard tales of 1930s Europe from first-hand observers, I share your concern. Hey, I've lived a long, happy life, and if I have to die rather than live through all that again, I'm content to do so, but first I do whatever it takes to get my family to safety.

I'm not sure where you personally live, but it sounds like you'd be safer in California or here in the sanctuary city of Chicago. And as Rick Blaine warned Major Strasser, "There are some parts of New York I'd advise you not to try to invade."

Tangential to your post, I think the whole #NotMyPresident meme misses the point. That sounds like the same sort of sour grapes that anti-Obama and anti-Bush and anti-Clinton and probably anti-Jefferson partisans have engaged in in past elections. Donald Trump is something qualitatively different. The man who has been tentatively elected to head the American government is anti-American. He does not share American values. What is is is #NotAmerica'sPresident .

His supporters who were conned into thinking Trump would make their lives great again deserve a certain amount of pity, although the complicity they share in our demise mitigates the ration of sympathy I have to spare for them. But Trump's supporters who knowingly put him into office so that he'd destroy our country are traitors who hate America, and despite what they say, we are not now suddenly mimicking their threat to secede from the union. By their traitorous actions, they are seceding from America, and the 13 or so states who believe in democracy and the Constitution are the American Taiwan to their People's Republic.

Sigh--yes, I know I'm riding an indignation high. We need something to keep us motivated, right?

LarryHart said...

Instant Karma:

LarryHart asked,
Until this month, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were "blue states" in that their electoral votes went for Democrats, but their state governments have been dominated by Republicans. Are those the states people are moving to or from?

For all three of those the answer is "from." I am originally from Michigan myself and my home state has been losing people for decades.


But that's the point I was making. Michigan has been a blue state in the presidential elections, but its government has been Republican-dominated for years now. So what is it that people are fleeing from when they leave Michigan? Democratic policies or Republican policies?

I'm not going to re-copy your long list of states, but I don't see that the figures support your assertion that people are fleeing Blue States for a better life in Red States. Florida is a retirement destination as is Arizona, where warm weather is the main draw. California has weather and jobs to offer, and seems to be one of the big destination states, blue as it is. North Dakota has oil and Colorado has marijuana, both of which have made economic booms irrespective of politics. In your list of net in-migrations, the only one I'd consider to be due to politics is Texas--people move there because they'd rather pay low taxes than have any kind of social services.

Kansas is the archetype of the Supply Side experiment that Trump wants to do (yet again) with the entire country, and that's on your list of out-migration states. So where's the Red State love you were talking about? I just don't see it in your own figures.


Paul SB said...

Erin,

The data you supply here look like a mixed bag that doesn't really support the contention that either Red or Blue states are attracting more people. As usual, life is more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker.

And now for something completely different! I came across an audio file discussing a way to use computer power to track the evolution of ideas. It's at an early stage right now, but has some interesting potential.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/how-myths-evolve-over-time-and-migrations/?WT.mc_id=SA_EVO_20161121

Anonymous said...

Going back to the question of whether presidential elections might be rigged, I came across this.
http://madisonvoices.com/pdffiles/2008_2012_ElectionsResultsAnomaliesAndAnalysis_V1.5.pdf

Paul SB said...

More food for thought,

Here are three articles on ScienceDaily's main page today. The first one is about how being manly leads to much higher risk for mental health problems. The second is about how human males are not reaping the benefit of lifespan increases nearly as much as either human females or other primates of both sexes. It suggests two possible explanations. One is the Y chromosome itself, but this explanation is bogus since all mammals share that chromosome structure, so you wouldn't be seeing equal increases in lifespan among male non-human primates. The other explanation is that stereotypical "manly" behavior that involves foolish risk taking is what is behind the failure among human males to benefit equally from increases in lifespan. The third article is about the decline in dementia cases, noting that more intelligent/educated people are the greatest beneficiaries. Big surprise, smartypants!

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161121130641.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161121175850.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161121130959.htm

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: Most everyone seems to understand I'm making a political statement so far, but I've begun to notice another confusion that probably applied in the early Civil War days too. Who is actually fighting to preserve our civilization? By the time SC seceded, it was clear who fought for preservation of our union, but both sides could claim they were defending civilization. 8)

When I find an 'atom' pin of the right size, I'll probably add it. 8)

David Brin said...

Let's correct those people flow stats for retirees heading for the sun-belt, hm? And the attractor effects of low cost of living. And correct for the anomaly of the fracking boom.

Erin Schram said...

Paul SB said,
The data you supply here look like a mixed bag that doesn't really support the contention that either Red or Blue states are attracting more people. As usual, life is more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker.

I agree. For most of the high-immigration states, we can name obvious reasons why people are moving there that have nothing to do with the state's political culture.

LarryHart said,
But that's the point I was making. Michigan has been a blue state in the presidential elections, but its government has been Republican-dominated for years now. So what is it that people are fleeing from when they leave Michigan? Democratic policies or Republican policies?

None of the above. When I was a youngster in Michigan, the auto industry was failing and that was our third largest industry. People were leaving because of that. When the American auto industry had an upswing again, the companies built new factories in other states rather than expand again in Michigan, possibly due to a weak Michigan infrastructure from the years of decline. Agriculture is Michigan's largest industry and it has been stable.

Historically, the strength of Michigan has been its natural resources and the easy transportation provided by its waterways. Nowadays, those are not as important. The opportunties are better in other states. We could argue that politics had a role in Michigan not preparing for modern times, but neither party displayed that level of foresight back in the 1970s. Today, the Republican party is much more shortsighted than the Democratic party, and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is an example of this.

My personal stand on the rural red vs. urban blue divide is that people are people. I have an unusual example around me, living in the self-proclaimed most liberal county in New York, yet most of the land is agricultural. The heart of the liberalism, Cornell University, strives hard to improve agriculture and has good standing with the farming community. The political differences are less than the common ground.

Anonymous said...

There's some interesting numbers coming out of Wisconsin at the precinct level. Outagamie County's largest precinct is the only one using paper ballots and that went strongly for Clinton. All the remaining more rural precincts went for Trump. Not necessarily surprising yet, but

1) each and every of those rural precincts used electronic ballots.
2) in 4 precincts more people voted than were registered in the precinct (Bear Creek, Hortonville, Cicero, Grand Chute).

Those 4 precincts in a single county showed a total of 1,612 more votes for President than registered voters.

It doesn't take that many precincts with a few extra ballots added to the totals to move a state that was as close as Wisconsin was.

Vote rigging is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary supporting evidence - which does not exist yet. But this threat should not be dismissed off hand. Particularly with previously demonstrated efforts by a foreign state to interfere and with an unprecedented discrepancy between the popular vote winner (Clinton, already at 1.7, will end up with somewhere between 2 and 2.5 million more votes) and the EC winner.

Anonymous said...

Even more suspicious, some of those precincts recorded more votes cast for President than ballots received!

https://twitter.com/ryanisbrief/status/800935231121330176

LarryHart said...

@Erin Schram,

Sorry for confusing your post with Instant Karma's. Because of that, my reply might have been confusing.

locumranch said...



Really, now. Your lot lost the claim to reason the moment you chose to invoke Godwin's Law. You sound like a load of 8 year olds protesting an early bedtime. "Go to bed; school tomorrow', I'd say. 'You're HITLER', they'd exclaim.

The worst thing is, your lot now have NO rejoinder if things really do start to go sideways as far as constitutional rights are concerned. By beating us to death with Hitlerism over trivialities, you've now exhausted your primary shame-based extortive weapons.

Your accusations of anti-scientism, racism, sexism & toxic masculinity have fallen on ears deafened by frequent & unjustified accusative repetition. Appeasement just didn't work: You became more & more demanding the more we tried to please you, so we're done trying to apologise or placate you & your delicate sensibilities.

We're not going to deny your accusations either; it's a waste of breathe; and, a few of us may even use the labels you've given us as license to treat you even worse than you've imagined. Why shouldn't we treat you horribly if you're going to treat us AS IF we are horrible?

Likewise, PaulSB's claims of 'toxic masculinity' are some of the most baseless anti-science claptrap ever to spewed out of the mouths of ignorami, especially when all of the toxic consequences of masculinity appear to be caused by the progressive pogrom upon masculinity, leading to an literal explosion of all types of mental illness (Anxiety, BPD, gender dysphoria, etc) among the general population, including a suicide epidemic affecting the most vilified of the EVIL male identity group (who have been literally shamed into self-destruction).

Oh we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh we're not gonna take it anymore

Oh you're so condescending
Your gall is never ending
We don't want nothin', not a thing from you


Best

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Really, now. Your lot lost the claim to reason the moment you chose to invoke Godwin's Law.


You seem confused about what it means to "invoke Godwin's Law" Godwin's Law suggests not going the Hitler comparison route, as that is generally a losing debate strategy. What you're saying we do is "a different thing. In fact, the oppposite thing."

You sound like a load of 8 year olds protesting an early bedtime. "Go to bed; school tomorrow', I'd say. 'You're HITLER', they'd exclaim.


Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it. Your side is the one who has displayed images of Obama with a Hitler mustache for eight years. We, on the other hand, tend to mention Hitler when your side actually does things that...whatayacall...suggest Hitler. Like using a terrorist attack to extract extraordinary executive power for oneself. Or say things like "One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem."

Actually, I don't see why you don't just go ahead and proudly own the Hitler comparison. Your candidate's transition team seems to be doing just that.


The worst thing is, your lot now have NO rejoinder if things really do start to go sideways as far as constitutional rights are concerned. By beating us to death with Hitlerism over trivialities, you've now exhausted your primary shame-based extortive weapons.


Again, who was it who compared Obama to Hitler for trivialities such as "Germany had universal health coverage"?

Your accusations of anti-scientism, racism, sexism & toxic masculinity have fallen on ears deafened by frequent & unjustified accusative repetition. Appeasement just didn't work: You became more & more demanding the more we tried to please you, so we're done trying to apologise or placate you & your delicate sensibilities.


I know you are, but what am I, Mr. "All you had to do was make us feel good about being the Master Race and we would have let you be."


We're not going to deny your accusations either; it's a waste of breathe; and, a few of us may even use the labels you've given us as license to treat you even worse than you've imagined. Why shouldn't we treat you horribly if you're going to treat us AS IF we are horrible?


Likewise.


Oh we're not gonna take it


But you will, because...

We don't want nothin', not a thing from you


But you absolutely do. You want us to validate you. Like the sister of an old girlfriend of mine, you just can't stand1984, the Party had to make their enemies love them before administering the coup de grace, but your ilk are neither that patient nor that self-aware. You'll send us to the concentration camps and gas chambers, but because we'll curse your name as we die instead of going "Great race the Romans" like that guy in "Life of Brian", the opprobrium of the dead will gnaw at your petulant souls until you tear your hair out in infantile frustration.

Best!

LarryHart said...

Not sure what happened there. That last bit should have read:

But you absolutely do. You want us to validate you. Like the sister of an old girlfriend of mine, you just can't stand the fact that someone, somewhere out there doesn't see your wonderfulness for what it is. In 1984, the Party had to make their enemies love them before administering the coup de grace, but your ilk are neither that patient nor that self-aware. You'll send us to the concentration camps and gas chambers, but because we'll curse your name as we die instead of going "Great race the Romans" like that guy in "Life of Brian", the opprobrium of the dead will gnaw at your petulant souls until you tear your hair out in infantile frustration.

greg byshenk said...

A response to raito from the previous page:

I chose those places (Bloomington, Athens, etc) because they don't fit the pattern of 'blue city-states'. Yes, they tend to vote Democratic in presidential elections, but this seems mostly a result of the Republican war on thinking that our host has pointed out. And they are plainly not major "city-states", but small-ish cities in mostly rural regions, and further are merely stopping points for the migration actually to the cities (the vast majority of students at these universities move on immediately after completing their studies).

occam's comic said...

This is an interesting finding about young blood/ old blood and aging.

"The most telling data was found when researchers tested blood's impact on new neuron production in the area of the brain where memory and learning are formed. In these experiments, older mice showed no significant improvement in brain neuron stem cells after receiving younger blood, but younger mice that received older blood saw a more than twofold drop in brain cell development compared to normal young mice. The researchers think that many benefits seen in old mice after receiving young blood might be due to the young blood diluting the concentration of inhibitors in the old blood.

"Under no circumstances did young blood improve brain neurogenesis in our experiments," Conboy said. "Old blood appears to have inhibitors of brain cell health and growth, which we need to identify and remove if we want to improve memory.""

LarryHart said...

@locumranch,

Seriously, dude, I know this is one of those "two types of people in the world" things and that you and I are opposite types, but if I were on the winning side, I would so not be calling attention to that fact in ways that make you crave revenge. I'd be keeping a low profile, quietly counting my winnings, and appearing to all outside evidence as just another neighbor minding his own business. Winning the game and or the prize would be sufficient reward--I wouldn't need the misery of the opponent to validate my victory. In fact, in the best of all worlds, I'd want you to think that you had won, so you'd be somewhat contented to let things run their course.

Kinda as if...but then, that would be telling. :)

Best!

matthew said...

Keep an eye on this case.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/11/22/wisconsin_partisan_gerrymander_the_supreme_court_could_take_the_case.html

It could end up giving a mathematical formula to identify gerrymandering that disenfranchises voters.

Tacitus? This is your home turf that just got called out for gerrymandering in such a way as to permanently keep the Republicans in power. What are your thoughts?

matthew said...

Pertinent to the main post:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/democrats-electoral-college-faithless-trump-231731

Democratic electors who are attempting to find republican partners for a "faithless elector" bid to make Mitt or Kaisich president instead of Trump.

Carl M. said...

Some points that need correction:

* The House gets to pick from the top three vote getters. You need more than abstentions; you need a faithless elector who picks someone that the House prefers to Trump to get the House to vote for someone other than Trump.

* The entertainment and software industries benefit from free trade agreements.

* The areas that voted for Trump are those where the working class must compete against Third World labor.

* One industry where Red States still produce a product at a competitive price to the world price is fossil fuel energy. Calls to ban their jobs make them unhappy. Entertainment industry types are likewise unhappy where there are calls to ban entertainment which promotes immorality.

* I read that things are pretty crappy in blue collar California as well. Oakland, anyone?

* Donald Trump was running from the economic center from the beginning. He didn't need to move. That's what you do not get, even though you recognized that our working class was paying a steep price for our Cold War economic policies in blog posts prior to Trump running. (As you have written about Hitler, the Center can go crazy too.)

Instant Karma said...

David,

First, let me clarify a few things. I am not a Republican or a Trump voter. I am just making observations on general trends which I have read over the years. Second, this category is pretty imprecise as various sources can sort the states in different ways. For example, if sorted by governor, Illinois is (amazingly) currently a Red state. Third, though I will attempt to (very) imperfectly back up my claim, note that my claim is at its broadest a counter to your also unsubstantiated claim that "they know they have been very badly governed!" In other words, even if I can't convince you that Red states are better governed, I would settle for my original comment that it is subjective and on the whole people don't seem to agree that they are governed worse in Red states.

I assume there is a limit of links per comment, so I will split this up.

Here is a link of business climate composite scores by state. Note that the larger Red states are toward the top and the larger Blue states are toward the bottom.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/24/americas-top-states-for-business.html



Here is a link on tax rates. This one is pretty dramatic, with the top takers strongly weighted to the Blue side and vice versa for the Red.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Taxes-101/States-with-the-Highest-and-Lowest-Taxes/INF23232.html


I remember reading that unemployment and job recovery was stronger for Red states after the recession. This was all I could find though.


http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/314351/unemployment-red-and-blue-ramesh-ponnuru

Instant Karma said...

David,

Part two.

Here is an article on net migration between the Red and Blue states.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemoore/2015/09/25/bleeding-blue-states-dry/#46a0808c43a9

To argue my own point though, here is a countering view. He actually suggests it is the "tweeners" (purple) states that are truly gaining but that the reasons are lower taxes, less regulatory bloat and NOT weather. It's a good article. And we all know which party preaches low taxes and regulation (whether serious or not)

Finally, here is a graphic showing adjusted for cost of living median income by state. California and NY take it in the shorts due to high cost of living and home prices (another significant factor in where people prefer to live and one affected by environmental and regulatory barriers supported by the Blue team)

https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2016/10/17/median-household-purchasing-power-for-the-50-states-and-dc

Instant Karma said...

Part 3

Here is a different take on the issue, which evaluates it based upon the classic right to work V closed shop distinction. Again, the Red right to work states are seeing more job growth and stronger economies for obvious reasons familiar to economists.

http://www.nera.com/content/dam/nera/publications/2015/PUB_Right_to_Work_Laws_0615.pdf

Another view on jobs from CNBC

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/13/are-red-or-blue-states-better-job-creators.html


donzelion said...

In 'honor' of Twisted Sister, whom Locum selectively invokes, and as a sort of anti-Thanksgiving clarion call -

Oh we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh we're not gonna take it anymore

We've got the right to choose it
There ain't no way that we'll lose it
This is our life, this is our song

We'll fight the powers that be just
Don't pick our destiny 'cause
You don't know us, you don't belong"


I find it hilarious that he would invoke the song - that whole 'you don't belong' thing may illustrate a popular view of the minority in America that actually won the election. The even greater irony is the extent to which the people taking such a view have elected officials from whom they've been 'taking it' for decades: they voted for the party that has held the majority in both houses, on the Supreme Court how many of the last 24 years?

Obviously, they're gonna 'take it' straight up the wherever, and they'll even like it - as long as it's a strong manly man sticking it to them. But it is sort of ironic to feel so empowered by aligning with someone who made his money by "taking it" from them, and who promises more of the same in years to come.

Tacitus2 said...

Matthew

Regards the recent court ruling. I am not qualified to comment on it as law. I suggest the Althouse blog: http://althouse.blogspot.com/
She is a law professor and will actually be able to speak to the quality of the decision making process.

I'm not a particular fan of gerrymandering but it is not a black and white issue. With the reality of highly concentrated Democratic voters you can slice and dice things all sorts of ways. Some are less fair than others.


Tacitus

David Brin said...

I.K. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and offering facts and statistics in defense of red states, instead of aggrieved and counterfactual wails. I am very busy right now.

But in fact, we have had 150 years since the Civil War for these states to catch up and modernize and run clean, open administrations. A few have. Most have not. They wallow in sullen, seething almost-poverty, with rates of every turpitude, from STDs and teen sex/pregnancy to divorce, gambling, dropouts... on a par with the worst ghettos.

they elect a party that has driven away every knowledge caste, especially science. party that gerries and cheats. Not one red state has see a voter revolt against gerrymandering, while a dozen blue states have.

CA attracts so many migrants that it causes problems, raising homelessness rates. But they come in hope. And our well-educated population thinks we're very well governed.

Tony Fisk said...

While a useful gauge of bad arguments, these days I regard Godwin's Rule as a safe room for nazis.

As in:
"Are Jews really people?"
"That's something Hitler would have said..."
"AHA! Gotcha! I win."

...really?

David Brin said...


“As recently as last year, Breitbart published an op-ed article urging that “every tree, every rooftop, every picket fence, every telegraph pole in the South should be festooned with the Confederate battle flag.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us/alt-right-salutes-donald-trump.html?_r=1

Jumper said...

I suppose I should point out all the undercutting of state taxes used to lure jobs to states.
A while back I got interested in the National Governors' Association. There's a group, I reasoned, that could use some solidarity to stop the hemorrhage of taxes in this dubious pursuit: stand together and say "Read our lips - no more tax breaks!"
Not only was this the furthest thing from their minds, they announced solidarity to keep doing it!

David Brin said...

Jumper, yeah. It's monstrous. Treaties between states would be the natural way to get around a federal government that has been deliberately crippled. But so have state governments.

Anonymous said...

Another useless garbage Communist post. You really are pathetic.

Jumper said...

The Constitution disallows interstate treaties.

LarryHart said...

White supremacist Richard Spencer has to actually try to defend his positions to Roland Martin, "a black man who can read" :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27RXiA0qkrM

It's actually a pretty fair discussion, mostly sticking to the issues instead of just shouting over each other. Spencer tries to fudge back and forth on whether "Americans" refers to all citizens or just white people, but his argument is mostly logical if you accept his premise--that every advancement in civilization was designed by white Europeans. Martin calls him and presses him on his inconsistencies, such as why it's bad for whites to be underrepresented in some areas, but not bad for whites to be overrepresented in others.

The final minute or so of the interview is worth the price of admission.

LarryHart said...

Jumper:

The Constitution disallows interstate treaties.


Are you talking about this clause in Article I Section 10? :


No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation;


Because I read that to mean that states can't individually make treaties or join unions with foreign countries. That California can't (for example) join the TPP; not that Illinois can't join the compact of Great Lakes states or the agreement to assign electoral votes to the popular winner.

Paul SB said...

Loci, as usual, has to resort to argument by assertion and false dichotomy where science fails to uphold his assumptions, and yet still claims scientific authority for himself. Here's another example of science shooting down conservative assumptions I heard on the radio as I was driving my daughter to school. It is a study of the cognitive effects of having money on the elderly. It is a natural experiment, in which a glitch at the Social Security Administration in the 1970's resulted in a cohort of seniors were given more money than previous or later cohorts. People compared their rates of cognitive disorders to those of other cohorts and found that the cohort that got more money had fewer cognitive disorders. The conservative, meritocratic assumption is that people who have more money are smarter than people who have less money, so they are less likely to suffer from cognitive disorders. But this study shows exactly the opposite. Having more money is what makes the difference. While they don't go into how, likely more money means better diet and access to better healthcare, as well as lower stress.

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/23/503108939/senior-citizens-study-how-money-makes-for-better-brain-functioning

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

this study shows exactly the opposite. Having more money is what makes the difference. While they don't go into how, likely more money means better diet and access to better healthcare, as well as lower stress.


I would find that truth to be self-evident.

Tacitus2 said...

The study mentioned above sounds interesting. But I can't access it without signing up for NPR updates. How much difference in money? Starting at what age? Any other co-factors (did one part of the country, or one segment of the population get the windfall? Smoking, alcohol intake, etc?)

Many of the things that were thought to stave off Alzheimers have been at best ambiguous. I don't think diet alone would do it. Better healthcare access might, but you would have to tease out subgroups of dementia such as that associated with multiple strokes (which would make sense).

Food for thought.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

From today's www.electoral-vote.com, without further comment:

A supporter of abolishing the electoral college is....Donald Trump. In 2011, he called it a disaster for democracy. In 2012, when he thought Mitt Romney won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College, he urged people to March on Washington to protest the results

Paul SB said...

Tacitus,

I just clicked the play button so I can hear it, without the site making any such demands. It is, however, a short blurb. I would be very interested in seeing an actual write-up of the full study to get at meta-data, so we can look into the factors you brought up. It has been years since I dealt with things like this in any detail, but I think I remember enough relevant factors to hunt down confounding variables to judge the soundness of the conclusions. Blurbs on the radio - even coming from stations that have a good reputation - never give as much detail as an actual scientist would need to evaluate it. They're written for the general public. However, at the NPR website they usually update stories the day after they are broadcast on the air with transcripts. That can be really helpful, as they often give names of researchers or institutions that can be looked up - as opposed to having to guess how they are spelled.

When I have had the time and interest to follow up, I have never been disappointed with the particular science correspondent on this story, a fellow named Shankar Vedantam. Sometimes I just type his name in the search box and find a lot of interesting stuff. He has also showed up as a talking head on a few Brain Games episodes, which is great fun for non-experts. Check your local library if you want to try the show out without sinking any money into it.

Paul SB said...

Oh, I forgot, there was one question you asked that they gave a figure for on the radio. The difference between the cohorts was $1900 per year. While they did't say if that was adjusted for inflation in any way, it sounds like enough to upgrade an insurance policy.

The biggest factor is likely to be stress, which has huge impacts on both physical and mental health, and is equally affected by financial security. Stress sis something that most people don't quite get. Culturally we think of it as something voluntary, something you can just chose to "get over" - so we tend to go the old-fashioned blame the victim route where it come stop stress-related health issues. But stress is a series of biochemical reactions that you really can't just wish away. I can probably show this best by example. Once i was in a traffic accident. There were no injuries, but it was pretty financially messy. There was no time in the ordeal that I felt especially panicked, never raised my voice, bugged out my eyes, any of that. but the next morning when I tried to dial phone numbers, my hands were shaking so badly that I kept missing the buttons. In my mind I was perfectly calm and rational, but the stress hormones were doing what they do regardless of how I felt about it. A person who is under constant financial stress is being bathed in these hormones almost constantly, and they have huge effects on health, especially as we age.

locumranch said...


As there's no attempt to differentiate TYPES of dementia in this study, these results mostly likely reveal a correlation between depression (aka 'pseudo-dementia') and greater relative wealth (money woes being a prime stressor in human relationships).

PaulSB's take on this study shows typical progressive magical thinking -- that more social spending can cure all of our physical ills -- leading one to conclude that a lack social spending may have also caused his fender bender-related anxiety attack (because 'stress hormones' equal science, don't you know).

Let's push 50 cc's of US currency STAT.


Best

Jonathan Sills said...

Point of order: Godwin's law states simply that as an argument on the internet goes on, the chances of one side comparing the other to Hitler approach unity.

It does not state the the comparison is necessarily invalid, nor that the side making such a comparison automatically loses; that's cruft that's accumulated on as so often the comparison has been unfair.

However, when one side start throwing their arms in the air and chanting, "Hail victory! Hail Trump!", well, when the proverbial shoe fits...

LarryHart said...

@Jonathan Sills,

I think the popular conception of Godwin's Law (even though it's not the original intent) is true to the extent that when you compare a political opponent to Hitler, the signal to noise ration is low because anyone and everyone says that their opponents are like Hitler. That's why I stopped making such comparisons until now. Trump, his rallies, and his followers are recreating 1930s history so accurately that the comparison is self-evident, and can't be ignored, no matter how much the political incorrectness hurts the feelings of the white supremacists.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

PaulSB's take on this study shows typical progressive magical thinking


No it doesn't.


-- that more social spending can cure all of our physical ills --


No, just pointing out that income inequality has negative consequences, so it might make more financial sense to spend some money on mitigating the inequality rather than spending more money on treating the societal symptoms.

It's Gene Hackman in "The Poseidon Adventure" again. We're not asking for government help, just for the government to not work against us.


leading one to conclude that a lack social spending may have also caused his fender bender-related anxiety attack (because 'stress hormones' equal science, don't you know).


What are you smoking, dude? This isn't even one of your own better efforts at ironic use of language.





TCB said...

Incidentally, I've been wondering about the geopolitical implications of Trump/Heritage Foundation style let-it-burn climate policies; specifically, what are the leaders thinking in Russia and China right now.

Although Putin supports Trump, Putin is not so foolish as to think climate change is a 'Chinese hoax.' If I had to guess, I'd say Putin thinks it's going to benefit Russia. That nation already claims much of the Arctic seabed; and blue-water access has been, ahem, a wet dream for Russian leaders since Peter the Great.

And China? God knows what they're thinking right now. They know it's for real and I suspect they believe their scientists when they say it could be apocalyptically bad.. Which raises the question: could Chinese generals right now be arguing in private about whether a general nuclear war with US and Russia actually be the less unthinkable option?

Let business as usual create a potential runaway greenhouse and kill just about everyone? OR let the missiles fly, kill just about everyone (and thus stop them creating CO2 output), buy some time with a nuclear winter, and perhaps re-emerge from the ashes to establish a Chinese hegemony over what remains?

I find that, if I can think of a thing, someone in China has thought of it first...

Alfred Differ said...

Jumper,
The Constitution disallows interstate treaties

If so, it is being ignored. There is a long standing one regarding UCC regulations where the states deal with how property is registered when it is used as collateral, liens are registered against people and corporations, and how searches against the data is managed. This is rightly called interstate commerce regulations and could be considered an intrusion by Congress, yet it persists.

(I used to work for the CA Secretary of State’s office in their UCC division. I believe most states hand off the duties of this ‘treaty’ to their SoS’s.)

Marino said...

Dude,here in Italy we have "Communists for Trump".
Congrats make KGB great again

Paul SB said...

Larry,

"What are you smoking, dude?"

- He's really just smoking his own untested assumptions, but that is nothing new, is it? The most obvious of these is his false dichotomy between his (red) tribe and my (purportedly blue) tribe, which leads to the assumption that I advocate indiscriminate "handout" spending - something I have often ridiculed the DNP for. In the story, Vedantam made the point that increased spending on Social Security might take away from spending on other things, like research to find cures for Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia. As short as the story was, there's no simple-minded assumptions being made.

Likewise the story about the traffic accident was in no way a demand for money, it was merely an illustration to get the point across that stress is biochemical, not something people can simply shrug off by force of will.

And his claim that there is no attempt to differentiate types of dementia is a complete non sequitur. This is a 3-minute radio summary of someone's research, so there is no reason to assume those kinds of details would be discussed. Not knowing how to spell the names of the researchers involved, I haven't tried to look up the original research (been busy with laundry, playing daddy-taxi, etc, anyway). Once again, his criticisms are knee-jerk and his rhetorical technique not especially honest.

An honest person, whether a scientist or otherwise, would have to look at something like this and entertain a number of possibilities, as well as ask a number of questions about it. If we assume that the research itself is sound - that there is neither dishonesty nor mistakes in the research design - then we would want to know if this is a surprising conclusion or if it fits with other research results. The answer to that one is that it fits with countless studies that have dramatically weakened the assumptions behind the meritocratic paradigm, both in terms of disproving genetic determinism and demonstrating the fluidity of intelligence. Another question is, what are the effect sizes? The story said they were clinically significant, which is important, but to what extent? Would it be possible to get more data that could differentiate how the extra $1900/year was spent? If the money went directly into health insurance, that has very different implications than if it went to debt relief or personal enjoyment spending.

A 3-minute blurb can raise a lot of questions, can't it? Well, if you are honest enough to look at it as a source of information and not simply grist for partisan accusation hurling and name calling.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

Well, if you are honest enough to look at it as a source of information and not simply grist for partisan accusation hurling and name calling.


Those are kinds of information, your honor.

:)

locumranch said...


That's the question. Paul: Why do you "assume that the research itself is sound"?

You make this assumption because it fits your preferred progressive narrative "that countless studies that have dramatically weakened the assumptions behind the meritocratic paradigm, both in terms of disproving genetic determinism and demonstrating the fluidity of intelligence".

That's where the magical thinking comes in, along with your assumption of validity in the absence of documented reproducibility, because you DESIRE a quick & easy fix to a complex problem.

By current estimates, up to 70% of all psychological & social science experiments are NOT reproducible, and I know from personal experience that medical studies can be just as bad (but not as bad as 'Earth & Environmental Science' according to the source cited below), especially when many of these studies are designed to 'prove' a predetermined assumption or sell an expensive medication.

http://www.nature.com/news/1-500-scientists-lift-the-lid-on-reproducibility-1.19970

Dementia is a waste-basket diagnosis with multiple causes, Alzheimer's being only one of them; and, aside from a new blood test discovered May 2016 that is neither proven nor in common usage, the only test that can distinguish Alzheimer-type dementia from all the others is a brain tissue biopsy which is usually done post-mortem.

"I just don't know why we have to tell the people what they need to hear', says Anchorman Ron Burgundy, "Why can't we just tell them what they want to hear?" And, as you have just proven, this truism also goes for Science in spades.


Best

Alfred Differ said...

Wow. That's a much better version of locumranch. One doesn't have to agree with his experience and sources regarding reproducibility, but he states them in a clear way this time. Neat.

Regarding reproducibility, there is a problem in some fields of study. Not only do some studies fail reproduction tests, some can't be reproduced, and some fail to interest other researchers enough to generate reproduction experiments. Not all fields of study are the kinds of science that enable easy reproduction and I'm guessing locumranch doesn't understand or appreciate what we do to compensate in those fields, but when researchers fail to check each other, one can reasonably question the incentive structure.

"I just don't know why we have to tell the people what they need to hear', says Anchorman Ron Burgundy, "Why can't we just tell them what they want to hear?" And, as you have just proven, this truism also goes for Science in spades.

As for this, it is way too broad, makes assumptions about the people involved, and equates them with 'Science'. Bullshit. He was doing fine with reproducibility concerns and then strayed off into the pasture drawn by what appeared to be large cookies.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

"I just don't know why we have to tell the people what they need to hear', says Anchorman Ron Burgundy, "Why can't we just tell them what they want to hear?" And, as you have just proven, this truism also goes for Science in spades.

As for this, it is way too broad, makes assumptions about the people involved, and equates them with 'Science'. Bullshit. He was doing fine with reproducibility concerns and then strayed off into the pasture drawn by what appeared to be large cookies.


Actually, that was back to more typical locumranch--describing essentially the anti-science FOX News business model as somehow characteristic of science.

Paul SB said...

Which is to say, his usual straw man and false dichotomy techniques.

"Why do you "assume that the research itself is sound"?"
- Simply by saying "If you assume..." it should be clear that I was making no such assumption, only examining the ramifications if it turns out to be sound. Once again, the jury is out until we can get our hands on a more detailed description of the study than a 3-minute blurb on the radio, as I have said. Obviously if the study turns out to be flawed, the conclusions themselves are suspect.

So is this an example of loci misconstruing meaning - one that is fairly conventional - or more deliberate chicanery?

Jerry Emanuelson said...

If anyone wants to see the original article referred to in the NPR blurb, it is behind a paywall on the internet (although less expensive than most research articles), but probably rather easily available for free in many libraries. See:

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/AJHE_a_00058

The complete citation is:

The Impact of Social Security Income on Cognitive Function at Older Ages
Padmaja Ayyagari and David Frisvold
American Journal of Health Economics, Fall 2016, Vol. 2, No. 4 , Pages 463-488
(doi: 10.1162/AJHE_a_00058)

Alfred Differ said...

Larry & Paul: Yah. Hence pasture pastries.

When someone offers up full citations to sources being potentially mangled by journalists (as Jerry has), I'm inclined to believe they know what can and can't be reproduced and might even be aware of current issues regarding incentive structures. Locumranch is close to knowing something useful, but then diverts into the FOX pasture.

Whether NPR mangled anything isn't the point, though. One can always start with skepticism and go look at the source. I used to do this at another site regarding climate articles and show the social graph one can make from the references. Add on to that the other side of the graph showing who references the author's other papers and one learns something useful about incentives to reproduce results. Social bubbles happen even in science, but one can see them, detect when they collide, and document the reproduction attempts if they happen.

Perhaps locumranch is too busy to do this. I would understand if he was. Some of us aren't, though, and don't like the vast oversimplification the FOX people peddle to us.

David Brin said...

TCB Putin sees the melted Arctic as the best thing ever for Russia... unaware that the entire eastern half of his nation is in the sights of his southern neighbor.

onward

onward

Anonymous said...

WHY DON'T YOU COVER SATANIC CULT CALLED HILLARY CLINTON? PIZZAGATE. CHILD PEDOPHILES OF DC. WORSHIPING DEVIL AND KILLING CHILDREN. ARE YOU PART OF THAT CHILD ABUSING CULT?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-23/reddit-bans-pizzagate-we-dont-want-witchhunts-our-site

David Brin said...

One teensy difference, "anonymous." Your anger is directed at crimes that you ASSEERT to be true, based on zero overlap with what is called Objective Reality.

Show us proof of any of the allegations against HC, ever, once. after 24 years and $100million of the most intense probing ever experienced by any politician in history.  You got nuthin' ever.  Ever. Nada. Zip, after all that wasted, taxpayer-funded witch hunting?  All you've got is magical assertions that make you feel good.

We, on the other hand, have absolute proof that the GOP is packed, top to bottom, with sexual predators and perverts. Lik Dennis Hastert, who was the leader of the Republican Party for 6 years. And here's a list! Oh, and the fellow you elected, with wide open eyes to his faults.

But put aside sex. It is the general difference between us... that your cult has driven away every knowledge profession and wages war on science. Because we have these things called facts... and they are the things you hate and fear most.

onward

onward

David Brin said...

OOOps, here is the link: http://www.alternet.org/story/140933/rating_the_greatest_gop_sex_scandals_of_the_past_20_years

onward

David Brin said...

Oh another list.
http://www.911review.org/Alex/Republican_Pedophiles.html
And another.
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/october172007/repub_scandals_10_17_07.php

onward

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Republican. There are both parties involved.

http://pizzagate.com/

Anonymous said...

American is a sick Country. MAy God have pity on your soul.

Anonymous said...

http://robertreich.org/post/153488182530

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