Friday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Scientific method.
  2. Some thoughts on the Olympics. And this too, which raises and interesting question … from what cultural change from the Greeks comes our passion for team vs individual sport?
  3. Quiet and clean, the Father’s called it dispassion.
  4. An Obamacare conversation recalled …
  5. and not unrelated, some anticipation of unanticipated consequences.
  6. Let’s see the left thinks voter ID is racist … so, will they admit this is also racism by the same token?
  7. And the destruction of one argument against voter ID succinctly put.
  8. Shape and selection.
  9. Perhaps (as I’ve suggested) to stay in the game TSA needs to move to information tech from search tech. Or more likely a combination of both.
  10. Horrors! Global warming and its consequences.
  11. As usual, lead with a lie ’cause that’s the road to credibility. Seriously, when it’s very cold … that’s weather. When it’s warm … that’s climate. Consistency is king or can any one say “confirmation bias”?
  12. Prototype and what will it cost? Seriously.
  13. Finally, a better response to the “what policy” suggestion best should come from the Aurora shooting … not guns, but better mental health care.
  14. So, riddle me this, how does that fall into the DHS mandate.
  15. Of Syria and intervention.
  16. 25% of Americans make over 250k per year? I didn’t know that.
  17. Talking of horror, the past, and what to make of it.
  18. Worship isn’t about feeling good.
  19. Ephraim!

72 Responses to Friday Highlights

  1. GOP voter fraud. Massive. Dozens, maybe hundreds of votes. Voter ID wouldn’t touch it, of course:

    http://www.usaprogressive.com/2012/08/massachusetts-gop-candidate-aleegedly.html?spref=tw

  2. I think disagree with Mark for the same reason I disagreed with you slightly. Identifying a *potential* mechanism for fraud is not identifying fraud.

    Yes it may be possible to do coordinated hacks of computerized voting machines. But do we have real evidence it has happened?

    Likewise just because it may be possible to steal a vote from a dead person who hasn’t been removed from the rolls doesn’t mean it happens at non-trivial levels. To do it on an organized scale requires dodging detection by poll watchers of both parties as well as after-the-fact checks, both death records and voting rolls are public databases. All it takes is one person discovered to set the ball rolling on using the threat of prosecution to get them to roll over on those running the scam.

    Having worked with different databases before, the one issue that jumps to my mind is that voting rolls and death rolls are almost certainly not linked by a unique identifier. I believe death certificates capture social security numbers, I don’t believe voting records do. YOu clearly can’t use people’s names (there’s probably thousands of Mark Olson’s in the US, probably even more than a few who die each year!). Even using names coupled with birthdates would be problematic….esp. since a person filling out a voter registration form is likely to use a nickname or shortened name (i.e. Matt instead of Mathew, Pat instead of Patrick etc.).

    You could have voting rolls collect social security numbers then hardlink that in with Social Security and the state depts of vital statistics that record deaths. I think that would require overhauling most state election commissions because SSI numbers are the gold passports for identify theft and most state election boards, I suspect, are about as hardcore on IT issues as the local library. I’m also not sure every American has a social security number. It’s not strictly required that you have one by law and a while ago it was quite common for people not to have one until their late teens when they wanted to get their first real jobs. That’s changed a bit since the IRS won’t allow you to claim kids as your dependents unless you have SSI numbers for them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s American citizens who either live relatively ‘off the grid’ or abroad who don’t have SSI numbers and aren’t legally required to have them.

  3. Ed,

    GOP voter fraud. Massive. Dozens, maybe hundreds of votes.

    What’s your point? I have repeatedly said both Democrat and GOP professionals are tarred with the same brush. What point are you making? Do you have some notion I’m in favor of GOP fraud? I’m not. Are you in favor of it when Democrats commit voter fraud? I’ll let you answer that.

    Boonton,

    [dead voting] … the rolls doesn’t mean it happens at non-trivial levels.

    I certainly has in Chicago. Ed might get around to noticing/reminding us all that the Democrats run Chicago.

    So, as you run various schemes for hardening and stiffening up the system to prevent various abuses … let me know when you come up with one that doesn’t include good identification of the person voting. I can’t imagine how to do it without that. But perhaps it’s just a failure of my imagination.

  4. What’s your point? I have repeatedly said both Democrat and GOP professionals are tarred with the same brush.

    You’ve repeatedly failed to provide evidence. You don’t like Democrats trying to enforce voting rules adopted by Republicans but that’s not the actual absentee fraud detected being done by Republicans.

    I certainly has in Chicago.

    Has? So you have no knowledge or evidence of modern fraud using dead voters.

    So, as you run various schemes for hardening and stiffening up the system to prevent various abuses … let me know when you come up with one that doesn’t include good identification of the person voting.

    Just did, flag people who recently died but do not remove them from the rolls. If Mark Olson, who died two months ago, shows up to vote, arrest him. Or at least search him as you have probable cause.

    Alternatively, photo voters who vote. Send through facial recognition software, somebody shows up ten different times at ten different polling stations on election day voting then his face goes up on the wanted poster with a $10,000 reward.

    The former solves your ‘dead voting’ problem. The latter may not address an improper voter but will address someone casting multiple ballots.

    Or how about this, make a deal. Go along with a set of reforms that make it easy to vote, longer polling hours, more districts so everyone can vote. No special treatment for demographic groups likely to vote for the GOP. At the same time make it an entitlement to get free and easy access to whatever documents are needed to have a photoid. If this means Texas has to open vital stats offices in every district so be it, if they won’t then any poor resident can call a car service and be driven the 86 miles to the nearest office and back with the state being billed for the car and an overnight stay if necessary. On top of that make it clear that photo id is only for proving your identity and have a clear system of rules that doesn’t hang up voters on stupid technicalities (sorry Pat Olson, 86 years ago the doctor who birthed you put Patrick on the birth certificate so you can’t vote unless you go down to the capital and ask to see a judge). Instead make a photo id easy to get and make it automatically register you so there’s no differences or quibbles. Then you have photo id. Happy?

  5. My point is that here is one more case of voter fraud, a case that voter ID helps hide, a case that voter ID cannot discover or prevent. It’s one more case that demonstrates voter ID is not a tool to fight voter fraud, but is instead a tool of racist and agist discrimination against voters.

    You complain when I point out racism. Wouldn’t the proper result be to complain about the racism, and work to end it?

  6. Ed,

    You complain when I point out racism. Wouldn’t the proper result be to complain about the racism, and work to end it?

    You didn’t “point out racism” you made a blanket bigoted statement. I pointed out your bigotry. Remember, bigotry is condemning a group for something on the basis of membership in that group. Your statement that GOP were for voter ID because they were racist is a bigoted statement. The proper result would be an apology and you working on ending your bigotry. If you want to accuse me of racism on the basis of my actions or words that isn’t bigotry … but then it also wouldn’t be supportable by my words and actions I deem.

    …a case that voter ID helps hide…

    Now you’re just making stuff up.

    …It’s one more case that demonstrates voter ID …

    Boonton was just above considering the features and factors that would go into designing a system more resistant to fraud. I asked him how such a better system might exist without voter identity being determined. He has not, as yet, suggested a way. It seems impossible for me to even imagine a fraud resistant voter system that doesn’t have reliable checks on the identity of a voter.

    Boonton,

    So you have no knowledge or evidence of modern fraud using dead voters.

    Yah, I have the resources to backcheck that. I say it happened in the last election in Chicago. Prove me wrong.

    The former solves your ‘dead voting’ problem. The latter may not address an improper voter but will address someone casting multiple ballots.

    Indelible ink on the finger does that cheaper.

    [easier] .. Then you have photo id. Happy?

    Yup. Ed, however is not. He is not (as you note) campaigning for any of those things. He just wants to accuse the GOP of racism … because he is in category 1 (he doesn’t care about principles, just votes for his side). In this case, perceptions of the GOP as racist stir up votes for his side and reduce GOP enthusiasm which is what he really wants.

  7. Remember, bigotry is condemning a group for something on the basis of membership in that group. Your statement that GOP were for voter ID because they were racist is a bigoted statement.

    Actually your definition here doesn’t fit. Ed’s statement would be bigoted if he put forth something like:

    The GOP supports racist policies, Mark is a supporter of the GOP therefore he is a racist. Simply saying a policy is racist or has racist motivation is not bigoted, it’s a statement of fact. Now you may assert that fact is false but in itself it’s not a bigoted statement.

    The facts here are simple enough. The GOP supports the ID law because they hope it will suppress more black votes than non-black votes. Mark’s interest is to defend the GOP no matter what. Voter fraud is what neither the GOP nor Mark really care about, it’s just the red herring because it seems to be bad form here to be explicit about one’s motives.

    Yah, I have the resources to backcheck that. I say it happened in the last election in Chicago. Prove me wrong.

    You lack a computer? voter lists and death records are public records.

    As for ‘prove me wrong’, at this point you’ve lost the argument.

    Indelible ink on the finger does that cheaper.

    Possibly, but I’m not convinced you have an ink that couldn’t be easily washed off if you knew the right chemicals to use and was safe to put on skin (plus I’m sure nerds will work on other games, perhaps an ultra-thin ‘finger condom’ that could be pealed off after existing the booth. Also checking voters for finger ink relies on poll workers not being in on the game….if you have lines out the door and are rushing to get people thru the checks might become very spotty.

    Photographs, though, provide digital records that could be compared by multiple independent sources and could be checked cross polling stations. It also provides excellent evidence for prosecutions.

    Yup. Ed, however is not. He is not (as you note) campaigning for any of those things. He just wants to accuse the GOP of racism

    No you’re not happy. The GOP doesn’t get photoID unless they also do EasyID. Period.

  8. Boonton,

    Ed’s statement would be bigoted if he put forth something like

    Don’t guess. Let’s go to the point. Let’s get to what Mr Darrel said:

    … but instead you and voter ID advocates have an unholy bias against voters — call it political, call it partisan, call it racist, call it agist — all would apply.

    So he’d declared that an entire group “those who support voter ID” are all of these things political, partisan, racist, and agist. So he’s taken an entire block and claimed a single set of motives for them. They are all in group X therefore they match condemnation Y. That is bigotry by definition.

    He has no evidence that any individual (particularly me) are for voter ID for anything by a desire to have registered (only) voters vote (only) once.

    Simply saying a policy is racist or has racist motivation is not bigoted, it’s a statement of fact.

    No. It’s not “fact.” Some policies may be racist if they treat people of different races differently (say a Black counts as 3/5ths of a vote/census for population). Saying “everyone needs photo-ID” is not racist by fact, it may affect racial demographics differently but that doesn’t make it racist per se or that the motives of those are race related. You can have hundreds of possible motives for a policy, any policy has lots of different effects and influences. People weigh them differently. To say all of group X support Y they are Z (and Z being bad) is bigotry by definition.

    There are no public records of who voted in the last election. There are (to my knowledge) no public (network) death records. Where? Link? Where are public voter records made available electronically? Where are death and residence records electronically located?

    The GOP doesn’t get photoID unless they also do EasyID. Period.

    Or on the other hand, if the Democrats wanted fair elections they’d be screaming for “EasyID” everywhere that there was photoID. They aren’t. Period.

    Remember, Democrat and GOP professionals want votes. Democrat and GOP rank/file make statements not based on votes but on principles.

    Mark’s interest is to defend the GOP no matter what.

    Bull. I oppose gerrymandering when its done by either party. That’s just vote fraud by map redraw.

  9. So he’d declared that an entire group “those who support voter ID” are all of these things political, partisan, racist, and agist.

    Damn straight. Now you’re figuring it out.

    First, there is not a shred of evidence of any significant voter fraud based on misuse or non-use of identification in the 224 years we’ve been voting as the United States of America. So, if anyone thinks there is a problem with voter ID, they are hallucinating. I do not venture to guess at the cause of the hallucinations, but let us ponder whether they’d be eligible for welfare if they were drug tested first.

    Second, the sworn testimony and evidence presented at trial in Texas, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania supports the evidence from Florida, Georgia, and Arizona, that the intent of these laws is to suppress voter turnout among African American citizens, Mexican American citizens, older citizens, and younger citizens. This is not conjecture. It’s sworn testimony, under oath, under penalty of perjury. You may prefer to pretend it does not exist — but with the previously-mentioned issue with hallucinations, that may not help your case.

    My pointing out that lynching is damaging more to blacks and browns is not racist. My pointing out that invidious discrimination in voting procedures, contrary to the laws and spirit of the U.S., is also not helpful most to blacks and browns is not racist.

    In short, when I call out the GOP and voter ID advocates for clear racism as demonstrated in court, that does not make ME a racist.

  10. Remember, Democrat and GOP professionals want votes. Democrat and GOP rank/file make statements not based on votes but on principles.

    I’d “remember” that were there a hint of truth to it. But in my experience, in presidental campaigns at the state level, in statewide races in campaigns in three different states over 30 years, in about a decade staffing the Senate and work in the executive branch, in state government, and local government, that’s not true of most people in either party, in either the professional or non-professional ranks. Karl Rove is about the most cynical of those I’ve ever worked with; it may true of him that all he wants is votes. He’s bent more rules than most career politicians ever run into.

    But he’s not typical of people in public service.

  11. Pingback: GOP fraud on voter ID « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub

  12. Ed,

    Damn straight. Now you’re figuring it out.

    What? Figure out that you can’t read? I requoted your allegation as evidence you’re a bigot. And your direct reply to my allegation that you are a bigot is that “I’m figuring it out.” I suspect you are not allowing that I’ve figured out that you’re a bigot and in truth you weren’t reading carefully. But geesh.

    First, there is not a shred of evidence of any significant voter fraud based on misuse or non-use of identification in the 224 years we’ve been voting as the United States of America.

    And how would you know? Sam Snead goes to a voter booth identifies himself as Freddy Kruger (who is registered) and votes. You know this has never happened in 224 years. Nobody has ever ever voted for anyone else. Please, remember the part about not ruining your credibility by outright lies and distortions. See, now I doubt that your sworn testimony comes is even true. After all, the preceding paragraph is unbelievable. Remember the dead voted in Chicago somewhat less than 224 years ago. How’d they do that with without lying about their identity? Hmmm?

    My pointing out that lynching is damaging more to blacks and browns is not racist.

    I thought you were a history teacher. I refer you to the origins of the verb lynch and the circumstances of the use of the same, read Albion’s Seed by noted historian David Hackett Fisher … he recounts that the term “lynch” arose in the Western “pathway” (see the book) because of rampant criminal gang violence and this was a grassroots effort to counter that. Wiki has a little. As a history teacher (US History?) I figure you’ve got Albion’s Seed right on your bookshelf. If you don’t, shame on you. It’s a great book. But from wiki, I’ll pull the relevant piece “”Lynch’s Law”, referring to organized but unauthorized punishment of criminals, became a common phrase, as was used by Charles Lynch to describe his actions as early as 1782. Variations of the term, such as “lynch law”, “judge lynch”, and “lynching”, were standard entries in American and British English dictionaries by the 1850s.” The term arose to mean “organized by unauthorized punishment of criminals” and golly, it wasn’t until much later that the usage changed. So at the start of those 224 years ago, the lynchers and the lynchees were all mostly white colonists. My point is lynching was not always racist and I’m guessing you knew that. And yes, lynching is more damaging to blacks and browns … why? Because when black and brown young men get together and murder and rape non-blacks, it isn’t called a lynching, it’s called gang violence. Yet pointing out that gang violence is mostly committed by blacks and browns is racist. Why is that? ‘splain it to me.

    Furthermore it’s an odd thing that pointing out that “lynching is damaging more to blacks and browns is not racist”. First pointing out that there is a race asymmetry in victims of violence is racist in many contexts … just not yours apparently. Here’s the thing. That’s not an equivalent statement. You are not passing a blanket judgement on any group by that statement. Your statement is equivalent to “Jews attending synagogue are homophobes” (because Torah contains some verses you interpret as homophobic). Is it true that all Jews attending are homophobes? No. Just as while some voter ID proponents do so to prevent a fraction of some groups voters from voting it is not generically true. The generic claim, declaiming and denouncing a group based on a blanket assumption is bigotry. By definition. You. Are. A. Bigot. Go deal with it and attempt to reform. You may dislike some conservatives but here’s a suggestion. Stop hating us. Stop spreading party based bigotry. We can’t talk if you just spew hatred all the time.

    Ed … Mr Rove may be all the things you pretend. But remember Texas ain’t the world. Here in Chicago we have lots and lots of corrupt politicians … and guess what? They’re Democrats. Don’t pretend that your party is lilly white. It ain’t.

  13. He has no evidence that any individual (particularly me) are for voter ID for anything by a desire to have registered (only) voters vote (only) once.

    Actually by your standard I think you have to prove this is *NOT* the motivation of those who support the ID law.

    There are no public records of who voted in the last election. There are (to my knowledge) no public (network) death records. Where? Link? Where are public voter records made available electronically? Where are death and residence records electronically located?

    Whether or not you voted is a public record, see http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081225102040AAtJWDg, for example. As for ‘where’, don’t be silly. Each state has their own division of elections so you’ll have to follow up there. Here’s Florida, for example, http://election.dos.state.fl.us/voting/public.shtml.

    Likewise you can start learning about searching death records here http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Search-Public-Death-Records-Online&id=916264

    Before you go too crazy, though, remember there are services that hire people to index newly issued death certificates and create private databases that are used by people like marketers. You probably are not going to be able to do the check I suggested by just using google on your lunch break at work. But a journalist looking for a story or a political party seeking to dispute an election should have no problem doing the check I suggested (and in fact they already do assemble databses from the voting records to help make their mailing lists better targetted).

    Or on the other hand, if the Democrats wanted fair elections they’d be screaming for “EasyID” everywhere that there was photoID. They aren’t. Period.

    Since no non-trivial fraud exists fair elections in this sense are not a problem. Since Republicans are in charge here it’s their bill. But for the records liberals have been supportive of combining voterID with EasyID. See, for example, David Weigel’s supportive comments of Georgia in the last paragraph on http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/08/16/three_maps_that_explain_the_artur_davis_switch.html

  14. Boonton,

    Actually by your standard I think you have to prove this is *NOT* the motivation of those who support the ID law.

    No. I think there is some confusion between some and all. It is not my motivation. Ergo, some who support the law do not support it for that reason.

    How is your check going to demonstrate Jane Doe didn’t vote for her aunt.

    Since no non-trivial fraud exists fair elections in this sense are not a problem.

    NBA problem here. No testing, no way of testing ergo no problem is not a valid conclusion.

  15. Voter id is not ‘testing’. Testing could be done by the method I described, look at voter rolls, look at death certificates, flag and investigate votes by supposedly dead people. That’s not rocket science and as I pointed out the voting records are already scrutinized by both parties as well as by election analysts.

  16. Booton,
    How do you test for one person voting for another without ID?

  17. Okay, Mark. I regret you’re not figuring it out. Consequently, you’re still advocating racist policies. Shame on me for missing that.

    On the other hand, I had hoped you understood what you wrote, which I quoted:

    So he’d declared that an entire group “those who support voter ID” are all of these things political, partisan, racist, and agist.

    I declared that, yes. And it’s accurate. You claimed I was a racist for pointing out evidence of racism in others, and that’s absurd. For one brief moment, I thought you were making sense.

    Voter ID laws are racist in intent and effect. They are designed to discourage black and brown voters, AND senior citizens, AND youth — and they do that.

    It’s ugly. It’s immoral. It’s unAmerican — but my pointing that out doesn’t make me a racist. I’m calling attention to racism that needs to be fixed. That’s no more racism than Jesus’s pointing out sin makes him the sinner.

    No, I didn’t compare myself to Jesus.

  18. Because when black and brown young men get together and murder and rape non-blacks, it isn’t called a lynching, it’s called gang violence. Yet pointing out that gang violence is mostly committed by blacks and browns is racist. Why is that? ‘splain it to me.

    I can’t explain what you imagine. I was unaware that serious discussion of black-on-white violence is considered racist.

    But I must remind you that you’re not suggesting blacks or browns or senior citizens or younger voters are committing voter fraud here. You haven’t offered a shred of evidence. Most of the voter fraud we’ve discussed was committed by white Republicans (maybe all of it).

    It’s racist to design a law that targets blacks and browns. It’s doubly so when there is no allegation of wrongdoing on the parts of those voting citizens.

    Lynching of blacks and browns was almost always racist — often wholly without justification, often on justifications that turned out to be wholly false (see chapter 1 of Life is So Good by George Dawson, for a first-person account of relevant history).

    Voter ID laws are racist, New Jim Crow, Nuevo Diego Cuervo, blots on American history and society.

    Your equating voting by blacks and browns to rape and murder is unexcusable. If that’s not what you intended, it was way out of place and wholly irrelevant, but still unexcusable. There are no allegations of voter fraud by the people targeted by the voter ID laws.

  19. How do you test for one person voting for another without ID?

    Ask them for one thing. Did you vote last year? No, well it says you showed up at the precinct and signed in as voting. Who voted using your name? Let’s go to the video tape and see whose showing up.

    Another thing, how did that person know you either hadn’t shown up to vote already or were going to show up to vote right after they voted for you? Clearly they must know something about you and if the operation was taking place on a non-trivial scale more must be going on.

  20. Ed,

    Okay, Mark. I regret you’re not figuring it out. Consequently, you’re still advocating racist policies. Shame on me for missing that.

    I submit you are the racist. You’ve decided a policy which affects the poor equally is racist because … you see things with a racially tinted glass, I guess (which in some lights makes you a racist yourself). You do realize that policies requiring any action or effort by the state affects the poor more than those with means. That doesn’t a priori make them racist policies. And equating the poor with the “black and brown” is in fact a racist slur.

    You claimed I was a racist for pointing out evidence of racism in others, and that’s absurd.

    Read more carefully. I had not call you a racist before. However, in that last exchange you stepped in that turd as well. What I had claimed was that you were a bigot because your were condemning a group for a individual trait. Bigot!=racist. You can be bigotted about matters not involving race.

    Here’s where I think we are. The primary thing that makes ethics a thing to study and discuss is that people weigh the criteria affecting decision differently. The allegedly multi-cultural socially open left has determined the canonical weighting for criteria. They have determined, in many cases (abortion is another for example), the ethical ordering of criteria is fixed and cannot vary between right thinking individuals. This they claim at the same time that they claim the opposite, that they, not the other side, are flexible in their thinking, that they can see alternative equally valid viewpoints. One of these claims is false. They are either open minded. Or not. It seems to me here, you are not. And by claiming (blindly) that anyone who disagrees, because they must be judging with the same ordered set of criteria as you do, that they must therefore be racist to warp the highest principles in that way.

    You tread on thin ice comparing yourself to Jesus in this way … odd, he had a different parable that fits a little better. Remember the story about “the log in your own eye, ahead of the splinter in your neighbors” … examine your own hatred and bigotry. Please.

  21. Ed,

    Lynching of blacks and browns was almost always racist.

    I didn’t dispute that. I merely pointed out the origin of the word was not in race history so your blanket labeling of lynching qua lynching as a racist act was fallacious.

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