Sunday, March 31, 2019

My Response to Congressman Adam Schiff

Who asked:
“My colleagues might think it’s okay that the Russians offered dirt on a Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s been described as an effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think that’s okay,” he starts, establishing a motif. “You might think it’s okay that when that dirt was offered to the president’s son, who played a pivotal role in the campaign, that the president’s son did not call the FBI or adamantly refuse. No, instead he said he would love it.”
Well, you have every reason to be upset, Congressman Schiff, since that dirt was internal Democratic Party communications that left the party not looking very good.

Toss in that the publication of those messages may have come from an internal Democratic Party leak who was upset about the Democratic Party failing to follow its internal rules. But it wasn't a revelation since most of that was being talked about amongst the Sanders Supporters.

Things like the Media blackout of Sanders and that the Democratic party and the media may have been behind what managed to get Trump into office.

Toss in the Clinton supporters said that these e-mails weren't going to be an issue. Remember that one? I sure do. But, it's really funny how this fuck up has to be atoned for. so find a convenient scapegoat by blaming the Russians.

Toss in the class action suit alleging that the DNC had committed fraud by taking donations in a “rigged” primary battle. Part of the lawsuit claimed that the DNC favoured Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Sanders which was in violation of the DNC charter.

Who was behind AP declaring Hillary Clinton the winner of the California and Several other primaries on the 6th of June, the day BEFORE the primaries?  Was that the Russians? Are you OK with that?

How about these allegations of Democratic misconduct? Are you OK with that? (I've tried to find compilations that show the actions of the DNC in 2016 in regard to suppressing dissent and Bernie Sanders campaign)

The following clip addresses the lack of democracy in the US: Internal forces are doing far more than "Russian Intervention."

Why the fuck didn't the Democrats do something about the Electoral College after the 2000 election? Why the fuck are you trying to get people to ignore that the Electoral College was behind Trump's victory in 2016? Are you OK with that?

Yeah, dude, you've got every reason on the planet to get all upset about the "Russian Collusion" thing because at the core of it all is Democratic Party bungling which you, your party, and the media don't want to take responsibility for. Are you OK with that?

Especially since it meant that your party preferred to lose with Hillary Clinton to an opponent who wasn't supposed to win instead of running with a popular candidate. Are you OK with that?

Yeah, it's a fuck of a lot easier to claim "foreign interference" instead of admitting your side fucked up and we ended up with Trump.

But you might be OK with the fact that YOUR PARTY FUCKED IT, which is why you want to keep the "Russian Interference" charade going on after the Mueller Investigation confirmed what I have been saying all along: That the real misconduct is internal to the US, in particular the DEMOCRATIC PARTY. And that the body that made Trump president was the Electoral College.

So, the congressman doth protest too much, methinks.

Because his party fucked it and he doesn't want that made public.

See also:

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Problem of Analysing the US 2016 Presidential Election

There's a big problem with trying to analyse the US 2016 Presidential Election.


He was elected by the Electoral College, which isn't tied to the popular vote.

As I like to point out, that Hillary Clinton had a significant amount of the popular vote kind of trashes most of the "she was unpopular" analysis. Since she WAS popular: just not where and how it counted.

So, talking about what the Clinton campaign and the Democrats did to lose the election seems wrong. Unless you are doing it in a strategic manner.

The Clinton campaign thought that no one would vote for trump. That led to the assumption that most of the brown states in this map would vote for Clinton. That's why there were all the predictions of a "landslide" for Clinton.

She could have pulled off a win if she had taken Florida and any one of AZ, MI, NC, PA, or WI, but she didn't. But that isn't really about the popular vote as much as it is about the workings of the Electoral College and failing to realise that a "safe" state may not be that safe (e.g., MI, PA, and WI).

I'm going to add that I learned that Andrew Therriault, the former DNC director of data science, reacted, “Irony of her bashing DNC data: our models never had MI/WI/PA looking even close to safe. Her team thought they knew better.””

The real upshot of all this is that what counted were the Electoral College votes and getting enough to get all a states votes: since Clinton probably would have won if the Electoral College votes somehow reflected the popular vote.

But the real bottom line assumption was that there was no way she would lose to Donald Trump.

Boy, we're they WRONG.

See also:

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Remember Whitewater?

I was at some American Bar Association thing during the early Clinton Years where Webb Hubbell attracted a lot of attention since President Clinton has made him an Associate Attorney General. He was one of the many to fall from the investigations into President Clinton.

But one thing that came out of the Whitewater investigation was Hillary Clinton's Cattle Futures Trading:
Guided by her friend Jim Blair, an experienced commodities trader, Hillary began investing in cattle futures, and saw her initial $1,000 investment grow to nearly $100,000 in less than a year. That gain came in for considerable scrutiny during Bill's presidency; one analysis estimated that even under the most generous of assumptions, the odds of a return that large during the period in question are about one in 31 trillion. Hillary was also allowed to buy 10 cattle contracts (normally worth $12,000) with only $1,000 in her trading account, increasing suspicions that she had received favorable treatment because Bill held political office. A later White House investigation into the trades found no evidence Hillary committed any trading violations.
OK, that last part about "no evidence Hillary committed any trading violations" is a fudge: the statute of limitations had tolled. That meant that there is no way that Hillary Clinton could be investigated for insider trading: no matter how slimy this affair appears. So, it's been something of a footnote in Hillary Clinton's career.

Here's 60 Minutes' coverage on this:

On the other hand, REFCO, the financial services company that handled these trades is another thing. Looking into that company's history one finds that it had a long history of shady deals finally collapsing in $430 Million in bad debts.

Anyway, for the people who want to point out all the non-Russian collusion prosecutions that came from the Mueller report: I really wouldn't chortle since Hillary Clinton came out of Whitewater smelling like shit.

Enough that it was one of the many reasons I couldn't vote for her.

Although, the Russiagate thing seems really similar to this in that the Trump supporters see it as a vindication of Trump. The Russiagaters have lost perspective and see the result as something successful even if the prosecutions are in no way related to the issue of Russian influence.

And some of them may never result in charges actually being brought against foreign nationals.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton's supporters have a lot of nerve talking about allegations which will never result in charges when you consider the Cattle Futures trading thing.

See also:

Monday, March 25, 2019

Any serious investigation of "Russian Influence" needed to look at both parties.

I don't think either of the two parties has clean hands in the "foreign influence" and election rigging thing. The Dems were basically caught screwing Bernie and pushing Trump in the e-mails the Russians were alleged to have given to Wikileaks.

There have been non-MSM media coverage which questioned the Russiagate thing.

Consortium News has republished articles originally appearing when they called the entire fiasco into question now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report resulted in no one being accused of “colluding” with Russia to steal the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Consortium’s Bob Parry was in the forefront of Russia-gate scepticism, recognizing its domestic and geopolitical dangers.
An irony of the escalating hysteria about the Trump camp’s contacts with Russians is that one presidential campaign in 2016 did exploit political dirt that supposedly came from the Kremlin and other Russian sources. Friends of that political campaign paid for this anonymous hearsay material, shared it with American journalists and urged them to publish it to gain an electoral advantage. But this campaign was not Donald Trump’s; it was Hillary Clinton’s.
Personally,I think that any investigation of election misconduct in 2016 needs to look at both parties and not focus on one or the other. On the other hand, you have to question whether a candidate who acted as if he wanted to lose the Election, Trump, was in anyway really doing anything wrong.

Anyway, there is a lot wrong, but I don't think Russiagate is the real problem here.

See also:


I feel like a broken record, but the Mueller Report thing vindicated people who were Russiagate Sceptics.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with 65,853,516 (48.5% votes) to Trump's 62,984,825 (46.4% votes), but lost in the electoral college by receiving 232 (43.1%) of the electoral votes to Trump's 306 (56.8%) vote
That fact pretty much refutes the "Russian Influence" bullshit.

While the Electoral College may suck, it does make it hard for external forces to screw up an election. Assuming each state (+ DC) gives all its votes to the Republican or Democrat using the "winner take all system", there There are 2 to the 51st power or 2.25 quadrillion (2,250,000,000,000,000) possible outcomes! Since there are no states with one or two electoral votes, a final total of 1, 2, 536 or 537 is not possible, assuming each state gives all its votes to the popular vote winner of that state.

That is because there are two possible outcomes (blue or red) for each state and DC, this is the same as flipping a coin 51 times and recording, in order, the outcome of each.

Anyway, there are a lot of ways that Clinton could have won the Electoral vote, but she didn't for whatever reason. But I am pretty sure that those reasons were domestic, and came from the Democratic Party: NOT FOREIGN.

So, the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote should have been the end of the Russian Influence shit.

But that would mean that people would have to look at what is wrong with US Elections.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Imagine this actually happening at the US Constitutional Convention.

The Good News: Catherine the Great has promised to give us a Donkey Show if we create an Electoral College.
The Bad News: It won't be for another 230 years or so.

Next, Let's ensure that we will have gun mayhem and mass shootings in the future.
Oh, cake!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Are you reallly sure you want a gun in the house?

Gun deaths rising among white kids as more families own handguns

Hey, they aren't my kids.

But if you really care about your kids are you sure you want to risk it? Remember that dead is hard to cure if you are willing to chance it.

Still, feel free to collect your Darwin Awards! No, I can't be sympathetic since your kind has shown you don't care about other people's children.

Why should we give a fuck about yours?

Talk about counterproductive though.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Judith Collins tells US lobby group NRA to 'bugger off' over New Zealand gun reform

OK, the correct Originalist intepretation of the Second Amendment should make it clear that it relates to the Common Defence.

Also, the Second Amendment means fuck all outside the US. Only a few other countries in the world recognise gun rights: mostly third world. A country that wants to somehow see itself as "Great" shouldn't go for a misinterpretation of its founding document.

That said, National Party MP and former police minister Judith Collins has told the National Rifle Association to "bugger off" out of New Zealand's affairs as it prepares to introduce sweeping gun law reforms following the deaths of 50 people in an attack on two Christchurch mosques.
"They talked about how we were trying to take away their Second Amendment rights to own guns. We don't have a right to bear arms. To own a gun in New Zealand is absolutely a privilege and not a right," she said.
Likewise, if owning a gun doesn't contribute to the common defence, then it is a privilege not a right according to a proper originalist interpretation of the Second Amendment.

If the founders had intended on people using guns for self-defence, killing their kids, or mass murder they would have said it clearly in the text.

It's not in the Second Amendment, only words that connote the common defence, a goal mentioned in the preamble, exist in the text.

Now, bugger off because the revisionist interpretation of the Second Amendment is contrary to what the founders intended in so many ways.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Grasping at Straws (or the Pro-gun side really has a problem)

I was trying to find the study that demonstrated using a gun for self-defence is usually counterproductive. Instead of finding that data, I was bombarded with this "Secret CDC Study" that "confirms" The 2-3 Million annual DGU number. It doesn't which is why I am publishing it in full.
Defensive Use of Guns

Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.

A different issue is whether defensive uses of guns, however numerous or rare they may be, are effective in preventing injury to the gun-wielding crime victim. Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies (Kleck, 1988; Kleck and DeLone, 1993; Southwick, 2000; Tark and Kleck, 2004). Effectiveness of defensive tactics, however, is likely to vary across types of victims, types of offenders, and circumstances of the crime, so further research is needed both to explore these contingencies and to confirm or discount earlier findings.

Even when defensive use of guns is effective in averting death or injury for the gun user in cases of crime, it is still possible that keeping a gun in the home or carrying a gun in public—concealed or open carry—may have a different net effect on the rate of injury. For example, if gun ownership raises the risk of suicide, homicide, or the use of weapons by those who invade the homes of gun owners, this could cancel or outweigh the beneficial effects of defensive gun use (Kellermann et al., 1992, 1993, 1995). Although some early studies were published that relate to this issue, they were not conclusive, and this is a sufficiently important question that it merits additional, careful exploration.
Odd that most of the people who want to use this fail to quote the title: Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence

The reason I call this post what I do is that any person who says this somehow "confirms" the 2-3 million annual DGUs is either dishonest as fuck or illiterate.

This doesn't confirm anything other than gun violence research is not being properly carried out. The fact that the progun side is using this to back up their claims shows that they are really desperate to prove their claim.

Which this doesn't do.

Sorry, but the reason for the research ban was that the facts were against the "pro-gun" side. And it doesn't seem that is going to change looking at how they are using something like this to back up their claims.

The progunners would be better off letting the research happen and let if fall where it may

See also:

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Third Party Mindset.

OK, this blog post is from a Libertarian site. It's not Green, but it shows the mindset of people who voted for the third parties. Switch "Jill Stein" for \"gary Johnson" and this could be taken from a Green Party site:

I’m so tired of hearing this nonsense from both sides: "A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hillary.  A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Trump."

For Heaven’s sake, ENOUGH of that broken record!  Remember the Electoral College?  That institution that guarantees one party will take all the state’s electoral votes in the presidential election?  Unless you live in 1 of 9 or 10 battleground states, the Electoral College guarantees your vote doesn’t matter.
Yep. There was a lot of talk about whether one was in a safe state or not. But the real bottom line was this:
5% in the general election will get us federal funds, automatic ballot access in all states, and inclusion in the national polls and the debates.  Gary Johnson has polled in the 20-30% range between last week and today.
The real issue for a lot of third party voters was to get the 5% ballot access since we knew winning was impossible. On the other hand, the 5% share of the vote for a third party seemed possible.

Maybe we could have done something to change the way elections are run in the US.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

More proof that the Election Rigging is Internal, not External.

Exhibit No 1: The US Presidential Debates.

Here is a quote from one of the many articles I found when I went looking for the statement from the League of Women Voters about why they stopped hosting the Presidential debates (do a search on "League of Women Voters Presidential debates" for some interesting reading).
The Commission on Presidential Debates, a non-profit institution, is organizing the debates this year, as it has since its founding in 1987. Led by a board of high ranking members of the two major parties, the Commission largely operates behind closed doors, where it pre-screens questions and vets moderators. Though opaque, this week audiences caught a glimpse into how the body makes decisions. Its chief, Janet Brown, said it was the duty of the candidates, not of the moderator, to fact check each other.
Here is the video I was looking for:

The takeaway line from the speech is:
The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.
The League made sure that the debates were run in a truly impartial manner before the two parties created The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which is a non-profit corporation established in 1987 under the joint sponsorship of the Democratic and Republican political parties in the United States.

If that doesn't stink to you, then you probably should go back to believing the Russians rigged the election. This commenter pretty much sums up what the debates have become:
Instead of any substantive exploration of the candidates' proposals, we will be treated to a mélange of showmanship and complaining, obstinacy and irrelevance, petty quibbles, grandstanding, pandering, half-truths, and punchlines. The candidates will be rehearsed, the moderators timid, the questions calculated, and the answers at once too short and too long. We will learn little to nothing that could not be discovered at this very moment by any Google user of modest skill. And inevitably, we will drink — a shot for every boast, a chug for every lie — because drinking games have become as guaranteed a fixture of our presidential debates as the candidates themselves. Is it any wonder debate viewership has been on a steady decline for decades?

The bottom line is that the CPD has made it hard for third parties to get involved in the debates. Toss in that the debates have no real substance. That's because they are a pointless exercise in duopoly PR.

There is a reason that Climate Change got short shrift  no attention whatsoever in the 2016 debates. It is impossible for third parties to get the 15% share of the voting public without any publicity.

The CPD is one of many examples of how the US elections are not "free and fair".

On the other hand, isn't having a president who wasn't popularly elected enough to persuade you of that?

See Also:

Sunday, March 10, 2019

I don't get why Russiagate is a thing.

OK, the Mueller report is out: where are the indictments? For that matter why isn't everybody talking about it?

crickets chirp.

Let's toss in that James Clapper is alleged to be a perjurer. But like Hillary Clinton and the insider trading thing we can't talk about it since the statute of limitations has tolled. No matter how much both of those things stink.

Anyway, lots of talk about nothing which resulted in all the same issues still being around to cause trouble.

I am betting that Trump gets a second term because of the failure to address the problems that plagued the 2016 election.  His victory will be from a failure to learn from those mistakes.

See also: