Wednesday, January 5

Guilty Until Proven Innocent!

I was listening to Scott Adams the other day. He's the Dlibert creator and does a daily podcast on YouTube and the Locals platform (https://scottadams.locals.com/).

He suggested a "re-frame" that really struck me. It was this show in particular at the 11 minute mark:


He starts off by explaining the standard of "Innocent Until Proven Guilty":

All right. here's the big reframe. When it comes to a citizen of the United States, and let's say that citizen is accused of a crime, do we accept the standard that that citizen is innocent until proven guilty?

Not only do we universally accept that 'innocent until proven guilty' is the best way to have a system, but we also accept as part of that that sometimes we'll get it wrong, meaning that a a guilty person will go free and that we take that explicitly as an acceptable trade-off.

We've all thought about it extensively and we've come to the conclusion that because the government is big and powerful. and a citizen is not. it would be deeply unfair to have it any other way. The citizen needs some advantage against the entity with all the resources, and that is you better damn well prove it or else we're just going to treat you like you're innocent.

Everybody agrees with that standard, right? It's one of the most basic pieces of code that runs in your head. It's like a narrative that's like a piece of programming and we all have it, in the United States anyway.

Yup. I think we all agree with that. The government is so powerful. They can choose whom to prosecute. They have subpoena power. They have vast resources at their disposal. They can bully you into plea bargains. They can basically take your life away even if you are innocent. This is a way of somewhat redressing that disparity.

Scott goes on to explain a problem that arises from the fact our heads are programmed to think that way.

All right so here's the problem. What happens when the citizens are judging the government? What if the citizens collectively or individually are accusing the government of something? Is it the same standard? Is the government innocent until proven guilty? That's a terrible standard!

This is his big point. We've all been programmed to think "innocent until proven guilty" is the standard. And then when the government is suspected of doing something wrong, a government that is supposed to be open, transparent, auditable, for the people and by the people, and all that, that cannot be the standard. The government has the responsibility of being open and transparent and continuously proving to us that it is operating as an honest broker and in our best interests.

A good example is the cops. We want them to wear bodycams so they can continuously prove to us that they are not being abusive. Good system, for the most part. If the bodycam evidence somehow "goes missing", we have an automatic presumption of guilt, right?

He goes on to give us a few examples. The first one he uses, election integrity, is going to trigger a lot of you. So I'll preface this by saying that Scott's view of the 2020 election is that he has no idea if it was "rigged" sufficiently to affect the outcome, and neither do you.

Let me give you some examples. If you have an election system that can't be audited by design -- meaning the electronic parts, you really can't get at them -- if your election system, run by your government, if the citizens by some large number -- and we're in this situation now -- have questions about the fairness of the election, where is the burden of proof? Is the burden of proof on the citizens to prove that the election was fraudulent? That burden of proof doesn't work if your election system can't be audited by design.

The reasonable assumption is that it is fraudulent. That's a reasonable assumption. The burden of proof is on the government to prove it's not. See where I'm going on this? Your government needs to prove the election was fair not the other way around.

Every time your critics tell you that you didn't prove the election was fraudulent in court, tell them they've got the wrong standard. The election needs to prove it's fair to us. We don't need to prove a thing to the government. The government needs to prove to us the election was fair.

Have they done that and can they do that? No, they can't prove it. They won't prove it. The assumption has to be that it was fraudulent.

Now, I don't know that that was true because I lack any evidence that would prove it. But the standard is backwards. It's a backwards standard. The government needs to prove it's a fair election and they don't get the assumption of innocence. They get the assumption of guilt. That's the assumption, and that's the only system that can work, just as the only system that can work when the government is judging an individual is the assumption of 'innocent until proven guilty'. If you're going the other direction it's got to be opposite. You've got to prove you're not screwing us, you've got to prove it and you haven't.

Whether you personally believe the election was fair or not, a large proportion of the voting public does not. According to a Feb 2021 Rasmussen poll, only 57% of likely US voters say Biden won the 2020 election fairly. That is a problem.

Scott's point is that the election system should be designed so that it's easily auditable. That's the government taking on the burden of proving to its citizens that the election is fair. Of course this can be done. It needs to start with some sort of registration to vote and some sort of unique ID for each citizen entitled to vote. Records need to be kept about the decision process in granting and revoking such IDs. In the current election system in the US, in many cases you need no ID at all to vote, and checks, such as signature checks, are very lax in many cases, and no good records are kept.

The once you vote, there should be some sort of immutable blockchain type record of your vote. So that individual citizens can go back and check how they voted. You can use sort of a public-private key sort of thing, so only the citizen can check their own vote, nobody else can tie back the vote to the person. But maybe you can record how many voted, and if a particular person voted or not, but not how they voted.

It's totally doable. In the past, election were more auditable than now, with ID checks and paper ballots. The whole system took a massive crash in auditability in 2020 due to mass mail-in voting, weakened checks, and computerized scanning and tallying.

Scott goes on to give another example. Another deliberately triggering one, Jan. 6:

You want another one? A lot of you have been getting on me for being relatively quiet on the Jan 6th committee and especially the people who are being held longer than we think makes sense.

I've looked at a number of the videos now of the event, and having looked at the video I have come to the following opinion. I don't know if the FBI was complicit, or any other organization, some outside force, in promoting the violence. I don't know that to be true, but if you watch the video, it looks obviously true.

Has anybody watched all the videos of the unindicted co-conspirators? Ray Epps and the people with the bull horns and stuff? Now be careful. Be very careful. Have you ever seen video mislead you? Yeah, yeah, a lot. In fact, video misleading you is the number one thing that makes our news.

So here's my take. I don't know because I can't prove that the FBI or any other organization was behind organizing this thing, but if the videos are telling the true story, and that's a big if, well...

But remember, is it my burden to prove that it wasn't just a bunch of MAGA supporters? Or is it the government's burden to prove that the obvious evidence of FBI complicity is not what it looks like? Again, same standard. Don't tell me to prove that they were not FBI agents. Not my job. If you're the government, and it looks like you're doing something to me, you better prove you didn't. You better prove there wasn't any stuff there.

Now, of course you have the problem that you can't prove a negative, but you can give us an interview with Ray Epps, right? You can find those people on that video and tell us why they're not being investigated or charged. You can do that, right? That's miles away from trying to prove a negative Just just give us the information from the people on the video. How about that? We should not be trying to prove that Jan. 6 was an FBI operation. With all of that video evidence the government needs to prove it wasn't.

The burden of proof is just backwards, and we've been hypnotized into believing that the burden of proof is on us. It's not. The burden of proof is on the government if they're doing something that looks sketchy as hell. They don't get to do that, right? The government doesn't get to be sketchy as hell. It doesn't get to do things that half of the country says 'that looks illegal to me'. It doesn't get to do that. The people are in charge. Flip your standard.

The government's going to need to prove that the crimes that are shown on video are not real crimes. They're going to need to prove why you've got these guys in jail for so long. Has the government proven that they have a good reason to keep the people in jail like that for Jan 6? No they haven't proven that. And they better prove it quickly because our patience is about to run out and we don't want to have to call Dad.

But you know we can, right? I don't have to tell you who Dad is. You know who Dad is. Don't make us call Dad. You want a nice, you know maybe De Santis, presidency? Maybe that's the best you can do if you're a Democrat. You don't want Dad do you?

If you are in the left-wing news bubble you probably don't know much about Ray Epps, or the identically dressed folks in black with identical megaphones spurring the crowd on, or the people who cut the fences in advance, none of whom have been charged. Here's a bit of a breakdown for you with the source videos:


Scott picks of the same theme a couple of days later in this podcast at the 10 minute mark.


Do you remember the theme that I've been trying to persuade you of which is we've all been hypnotized by the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty'? That only applies to citizens because the government's big and powerful and then citizens need some kind of protection. So we have that rule that you've got to really prove it or you can't put us in jail. Makes sense. Basically everybody agrees with that rule. I don't think there's anything in our world that's closer to 100% agreement than 'innocent until proven guilty' as a standard for citizens.

But your government has somehow convinced you that that applies to them. No, it does not apply to a government. A government's the opposite. If the government is hiding information from the public, the presumption has to be guilt. Doesn't mean they're guilty, but the starting presumption has to be guilt because otherwise you don't have a workable system.

Your citizens should be absolutely obsessed with getting information on transparency about your government operations and the government can't hide behind 'well nothing's proven'. No we don't have to prove it. You have to prove you're not hiding bad stuff from us because you have the power to hide things. And if you have that power you can just hide bad stuff and if anybody has the power to hide bad stuff what are the odds that bad stuff will happen? A hundred percent. Over time, you know, not on day one, but if it's a big organization with lots of power over people's lives, lots of money involved, and you can hide people's bad behavior, there's not a question about whether or not bad behavior will emerge. It's guaranteed in the nature of human beings. You couldn't get any other result.
And yet we act like now that's okay, you know we haven't proven it, there's there's no direct evidence. No, that's the wrong standard. The government has to open the books (unless it's a state secret - that is a special case).

Until we get clear of that idea we will be forever in this little prison where the government can do absolutely anything it wants. That basically it's an invitation to really bad abuse.

What did all of the people on the left say when the people who believed that the 2020 election was not legitimate? What did they say when people tried to take their case to the courts (which it turns out were the wrong vehicle for deciding whether an election was accurate). People said, 'hey, you have not given us evidence of anything bad', right, and so the democrats said 'presume innocence if you couldn't prove it in court - I guess we have to presume the election was fair'.

No. No. That is a brainwashing operation. The assumption of guilt is your starting point, not the assumption of innocence. If you start with the assumption of innocence for your government when you can't check you're in big trouble.

We all know that I'm not telling you something you don't know. I'm not telling you something that everyone doesn't know. It's literally the most known thing in the world and we've somehow settled into this zombie-like state where we say, 'well the government says we have no proof that the government rigged the election, therefore I guess we're done here.' No. No, you're not done here. The start is 'where's our damn information'? 'Where's my auditable election?' And who's working on that? Who's making it audible if it wasn't before? Who's working on it now?

We have to be far more brutal as citizens on our government to just get rid of this illusion that the government is innocent until proven guilty. No, no, no, no, and no. They are guilty until proven innocent.

I think that is a really, really good point. If the government is not open and trasparent, and does not give you a specific reason why they are not being open and transparent, absolutely DO NOT give them the benefit of the doubt!

What do you guys think?

151 comments:

  1. Ton degré de perversité est proportiellement inverse à tes capacités réflexives. A croire qu'à force de se faire démonter la chatte, ton cerveau manque d'oxygène!

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    1. Did you know "idiot" is the same in French as in English?

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    2. Es-tu en train de me dire que je suis un idiot ?!:)

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    3. ah ah, petite salope, tu perds rien pour attendre !

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  2. My standard operating procedure is to assume the government is lying and generally up to no good until proven otherwise. Most, if not all, of the issues dividing the nation only exist/remain because differing factions in the government want them to remain there as wedges to maintain their grip on power.

    This was one of the reasons it was of the utmost imperative for Trump to be driven from power. He was the first politician in my lifetime to actually implement the policies he ran on, to the extent he could given a largely hostile Congress (the Congressional GOP pretty much did what THEY wanted, not him, especially in the Senate), a bureaucracy in open revolt from Day 1 and an intelligence apparatus doing all it could to oust him. Whether you believed he was right or wrong to follow the course he wanted, he did exactly what he said he would. This was a grave threat to the empty suits in Washington who have allowed these problems to fester because they provide easy slogans to get re-elected. If a policy was actually implemented to address an issue, then the voters would start asking questions of them and that was utterly unacceptable.

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  3. Here we go again. Elections in our state (Washington)are auditable by definition. Positive ID is required to register to vote. Your signature is captured at that time. When I vote (all voting is by mail here), I have to sign the envelope that contains my ballot. A HUMAN compares my signature on the ballot to the one on file. If there is any discrepancy, the ballot is put aside and the voter notified. It happened to me. My signature got worse and didn't match the one on file. I had to send positive ID (Passport) and a new sample signature that had to match the passport. Then, and only then, was my vote counted.

    Each ballot has a removable stub with instructions on how to check the status of your vote. I went to a website and provided the information needed. I saw the status of my ballot and could also read what my vote was (avoids fraud)).

    It's entirely too easy for people who want to believe that the former president was reelecred to throw around accusations of fraud. REPUBLICAN state legislatures have audited the entire set of ballots and were unable to find any significant evidence of fraud.

    I'm tired of this bullshit. It's Trump who isn't open and transparent. He's been fighting every attempt to learn what he and his henchmen did on January 6 as well as with Russian collusion and tampering with state elections.

    Julie, I have no idea why you believe this stuff. You went to college. You should see through the insane crap that the right is throwing at you.

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    1. I think you missed the whole point of the post... absence of proof is not proof of absence, and we should hold the government to a higher standard.

      Do you think all states and all modes of voting have the same checks and balances you experienced? Do you feel comfortable that it has been satisfactorily demonstrated that a complete and unimpeachable audit trail exists where electronic voting machines were used? Do you feel that all jurisdictions performed full signature checks for mass mail-in voting?

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    2. And this justifies the violence/deaths jan6?

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    3. No deaths other than the one unarmed woman shot by the cop. No others due to the violence (Officer Sicknick definitely not).

      And no, nothing along these lines at all justifies violence or property damage, just as all the BLM protests do not justify the tremendous level of violence (orders of magnitude greater than Jan 6).

      However, it does justify a Jan 6 protest, just like the anti-Trumpers demonstrated on Jan 6 4 years earlier, and just as the BLM protesters did all during the summer.

      Are you confused about the difference between violence and protests?

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    4. I'm confident that most of the "red" states have seriously flawed election processes. My point isn't that we have perfect elections. We don't. Your boy lost by enough votes to satisfy me that fraud couldn't have changed the outcome.

      For the record, I don't support the BLM riots. However, they aren't the same as the attack on the Capital. The BLM riots weren't aimed at overturning the American government. As far as I can tell, they were simply the expression of frustration by people who were stirred up.

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    5. Yes, but my other example, the exact same type of protests in 2016, plus a multi-year conspiracy regarding Russian collusion proven to be completely unfounded, and in fact planted by the opposition, is perfectly fine? No concerns there at all because it was an attempt to undermine democracy against the "other team"? What happened in 2016 was a far, far more serious threat to democracy than a bunch of grannies and yahoos in funny hats wandering around the capital, very possibly goaded by feds.

      At any rate, you continue to miss the point of the post. If 43% of likely voters believe the election was fraudulent (including 11% Dems and 46% unaffiliated persistently believing that mass mail-in voting led to unprecedented levels of fraud), then the lack of faith in the election system is a major issue, clearly. And it's people with attitudes such as yours, not holding the government to account for unauditable elections, that cause that problem to persist.

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    6. A human does NOT compare the signature to the one on file, a computer does and the fact that you think they do shows your ignorance, or blatant partisanship. If there is a discrepancy a human looks at it but only if there is a question.
      The russian collusion hoax has been totally exposed as the lie is was. The fact that you continue to use it as a weapon against Trump shows what a hack you are. It was a lie, the FBI knew it, the media new it, the republicans knew it and it has been exposed lock, stock, and barrel. Remove your head from the collective partisan political ass and try to think clearly.
      And quit calling "right wingers" names. The left claims to despise "bullies" and then act like "bullies". You do it over and over again, just like every lefty with any sort of a platform. You don't know me at all yet have no problem calling me names. What's up with that?
      And just to clarify, the republicans politicians are just as corrupt as the democrats. They are screwing this country over and you and I will be under the same bus if we don't come together as Americans and demand better. The choice isn't D or R, it is freedom or slavery.

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    7. I'm sure lion knows it's computer matched and examined by humans when mismatched. And one of the things they did to accommodate the mass mail-in was to reduce the sensitivity of the computers (fewer "points" compared?) for fear of flooding the humans.

      Yeah, Russian collusion is so done and done. That Democrats are not clear-eyed about the origins of the Steele Dossier as Clinton campaign misinformation and FBI malfeasance, at this point, seems willfully blind.

      And yes re. Ds and Rs. They are both "swamp parties". There are a few characters on both sides who counter that. Folks like Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Donald Trump and many others (many from the Republican "tea party" populist wing) who are not "establishment" types. That is where the new battle lines are being drawn: swamp vs populist right. (and yeah, there's also a non-swamp populist left as well, Bernie, AOC et. al., but they seem to be imploding on their own stupidity, fortunately).

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    8. why is it mostly soy boys that hate Trump? do they feel threatened?

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  4. It's a good point, but not a major revelation: obviously governments and corporations should not be treated as people. It seems self evident that most government is pretty transparent, on a local level and where shit gets done, but gets shrouded as you get higher up. No party wants to broadcast their plans for staying in power or seizing power.

    I must say, after your fantastic Christmas posts this is a disappointing first post of 2022; I was hoping you'd ring in the new year with something much kinkier!

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    1. I blog what comes to mind. You, above others, should understand that impulse!

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    2. Oh, I understand it, and respect it, and would never suggest you shouldn't post about one topic or another, like some of your readers do. I was just hoping for something less salubrious, guess I'll have to keep checking back!

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    3. Bingo Tank.

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    4. Bet that's not all that's gonna cum, you mucky bitch!

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    5. Hopefully! Both me and my readers.

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  5. Came for the spanking. Leaving for the politics.

    It saddens me that a Canadian can look on the corrupt news, gerrymandering, patent fabrication and moral depravity of the Republican right and come to the conclusion that it is all a massive left-wing conspiracy.

    But you do you. I certainly won’t be back.

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    1. This comnent is a perfect example of "cognitive dissonance".

      The post only suggests that the government should be held to a higher standard in bearing the onus of transparency and providing explanations when things look fishy (e.g., Epstein"s "suicide" while in govt custody). It literally and carefully took no position on the hot button issues discussed.

      Yet, exactly as I predicted, we have an example of a person completely triggered into a state of cognitive dissonance: the mind desperately defending itself against the chance that his 100% solidly held views of "the truth" might bear some scrutiny.

      Brilliant example. Thank you.

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    2. He doesn't have to comment the way he did for this particular post. Your other posts are clear about where you stand politically.

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    3. Agreed. It's likely someone who makes repeated return visits on all my political posts to repeatedly "quit" with a great flourish 😆. I think I recognize his style.

      And this post was a sort of "cognitive dissonance" test. If you read carefully, you see no position being promoted, only suggestions that the govt has an onus of transparency where a significant proportion of the population has questions.

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    4. The great thing about storming away from a spanking blog is that you don't care if the door hits your ass on the way out!

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    5. We think alike! It was my first thought also.

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  6. Some of the commenters above seemed not to have understood the point. They think him (and by extension you) are arguing that the election was rigged and Jan6 was a setup. I don't read that in there at all. Concerns have been raised, the government is not being transparent, and that, in itself, is the problem, right?

    Miss Julie, may I ask, what are your views on those issues?

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    1. YES! Exactly!

      Personally, I honestly don't know if there was enough fraud to have overturned the election, or if the anti-Trump vote was so strong that it overcame his increased support. I for sure agree that audit checks are not strong, and that courts did not look at anything. So no way to tell. And that's a giant problem, which is a bit unprecedented in US elections. There were certainly illegal procedures used, contrary to State laws, and very suspect use of Zuckerbucks targeted to get out the Democrat vote.

      As to Jan6. I believe there was an organized peaceful but raucus protest about election integrity that was organized by Trump et al, but there is no evidence that they intended and encouraged a "violent insurrection" or even violence, property damage, or trespass. After what we have seen for years from the FBI on entrapment of dumb Muslims, and then saw repeated on entrapment for dump hicks in the Gretchen Whitmer plot, it is certainly not beyond the FBI to have entrapped dumb hicks into rioting at the capital. But if the entrapment happened, I don't believe it was orchestrated on high, rather just supervisors, agents and informants over-zealously doing their jobs, in all likelihood. The rhetoric from the left about "the biggest threat to Democracy since... the civil war!" is patently ridiculous on its surface and is a "tell" for some solid propaganda brainwashing.

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    2. But to clarify, it is also possible Jan6 riot was just a spontaneous show of frustration from disenfranchised Trump supporters, without anybody goading it. There is certainly smoke re the entrapment question, and questions need to be answered by the govt to admit it or rule it out, which is their obligation.

      I marvel at how the left have such convenient amnesia around the exact same behaviour (and much worse) 4 years earlier from their side. But that's what media brainwashing can do.

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    3. The courts did not look at anything - except they did. The trump lawyers waved around affidavits but did not have any witnesses to take the stand. Case dismissed as it should be.

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    4. A case needs to be taken up to be dismissed. The vast majority of the cases brought were not taken up at all, including important and legitimate Supreme Court challenges. I'm not saying it was wrong in all cases to not take them up. In most it was the right call as the court either had no jurisdiction or no reasonable remedy if allegations were proven. It's not a legitimate opinion to say the courts took up the cases, examined the evidence under cross examination, and ruled on it. That's a fake news narrative that anything like that happened.

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    5. Seems like you're not sure either way but have some questions and are willing to go where the evidence takes you as it unfolds. That seems super reasonable.

      Also looking forward to your next kinky post, but this kind is thought-provoking also.

      Thank you.

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    6. When you get corner time is the dunce cap made of tinfoil?

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    7. We reserve the dunce caps for those who are 100% sure of things without evidence.

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    8. Is that why you shipped the dunce cap to Florida?

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    9. Plenty to go around, even up in the UK :-)

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    10. There was no evidence to examine. Evidence = witness on stand. There was no witness on stand = no evidence. Therefore, case dismissed as it should be. It is not the courts job to investigate, only examine the charges and evidence presented.

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    11. No. The witnesses never got to the stand because the courts did not take up the cases. It was not for lack of evidence, it was for lack of jurisdiction or remedy, they did not even consider the evidence is most cases brought.

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    12. It was for lack of evidence in many cases.

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    13. Incorrect. Go find all the cases brought, and count how many were not taken up NOT because of lack of evidence. You'll be surprised as it goes against the narrative you've been fed.

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  7. I don't have anything profound to add, so may I just say I am impressed that you took the time to transcribe parts of Scott's podcast.

    I live in a southern red state where photo ID is required and our sign-in signatures are checked.

    Bogey

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    1. Like a middle-ages priest copying out a religious text! (the transcribe feature in YouTube helped, but still needed a lot of editing). Copying it out made me think about it more.

      You would think the world leader in democracy would invest a bit more in a secure and auditable election system. So much could be improved.

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  8. Well Happy New Year Julie. Seems like you had a pretty good Christmas along with Paula :-)

    Anyway, moving on to this post. I agree that the US voting system is screwed up, seen from my perspective. I agree that there should be some reasonable level of transparency, and it should be somewhat possible to audit things, without compromising the voter's anonymity. But here's the two things that bother me about the US elections, as an outsider.

    1) Why the hell doesn't EVERY SINGLE LEGAL citizen have an automatic right and opportunity to go vote, WITHOUT having to jump through hoops to register? I can not for the death of me understand why the hell every single legit citizen of legal age don't automatically get a piece of paper in the mail that let them go vote at election day, or which can be mailed in, along with their vote, prior to election day.

    2) IMO the electoral system is screwed up IMO. If the majority of the population throughout the entire country votes for president option A, technicalities should not allow president option B to be elected president.

    I totally get why there are people who are strongly opposed to a simple majority vote result spanning every single state, but IMO that's too bad. It's called democracy. I'm currently stuck with one of the most socialist governments in decades here in my country at the moment, and I'm not liking it. But that's how democracy works, and who's in charge here tends to swing back and forth over time. Typically every 2-3 elections.

    Now, I do get Scott's thought that governments should be able to prove to the population that they are not covering things up. And yes, I agree that due to human nature, shit will happen from time to time, if you give people a way to do it. So yes, transparency is a good thing. However...While the expression "where there's smoke, there's usually a fire" is often true, sometimes it's just the smoke alarm going off because someone cremated dinner, or forgot to clean the oven of build up grease.

    Turning the assumption of innocent until proven guilty on its head, when it pertains to governments is IMO problematic. Because while there does need to be transparency and accountability in the system, its IMO not a good idea if society start assuming that the government is automatically up to no good, unless they prove that they are not. It creates a situation of perpetual mistrust both between the people and the government, and between groups within the people themselves. That lays the foundation for us-vs-them situations, and that ultimately shatters the foundation for having a society where people feel as one nation, and instead just becomes a collection of groupings that happen to live in the same geographical region. Such division lays the foundation for aggression, violence, discrimination, civil war etc.

    Now you can argue that the government can eliminate such problems simply by disclosing XYZ and providing evidence of why particular decisions were made and why such and such happened. But everything that happens anywhere can be seen from more than one angle, and if you ask 1.000.000+ people to look at a given event, and tell you what happened, and why, odds are that you are going to get people that believe the "evidence" and explanations, and people that don't. Regardless of whether the person or group behind the event discloses "everything". Somewhere amongst the observers there will ALWAYS be someone that will refuse to believe the "evidence" and explanations. It's how conspiracies start, and it's why I believe that we, as a society, need to apply Occam's Razor and consider human nature. If two people know a secret, it’s not a secret.

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    1. Well put Kyrel

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    2. Julie, came across this earlier. You might want to have a look:

      https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3926381

      Can't comment on the details as I only fast skimmed through the abstract.

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    3. 1 - agree - it's probably an artefact of the past when it was not possible to tie together all the information systems.

      2 - I think that really ignores States rights which was the foundation of the US and is still so vitally important (e.g. Florida going its own way on Covid and proving you can get a better outcome). Senate is pure State-lines. Congress is pretty pure popular vote, Presidency is a compromise.

      Scott is not talking in absolutes (he almost never does, even when his language implies he is, as he often clarifies). He is arguing for more transparency, especially in light of recent events, where we seem to have gotten away from that as the expectation of the government.

      The paper looks very long and very academic, but one of the opening paragraphs contains so much left wing virtue signalling about "The Big Lie" and stating as fact things that are not known as fact, that it discredits the whole thing for me.

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    4. I read an article a while back, which talked about the US electoral system being a sort of compromise from the founding of the USA, which was sort of intended to guard against the the situation where a majority of uneducated voters could force the election of an unsuited president or something to that effect. Basically it was intended to insure that the people who got to have a say in governing the country, were the "right" kind of people. While there's still a lot of badly educated people around, I believe that our modern interpretation of the concept of Democracy kind of demands that their opinions be heard and given consideration too.

      I realize that the US allows a lot of legal decisions to be made at the State level. However, we are talking about the election of the President of the entire country. So to be honest, I actually fail to see why any individual States should have any say with regards to that particular vote, as it's not a State matter, but a country matter.

      If all Scott is arguing for is better transparency in the government and State decision making processes, I don't have a problem with it. But based on how I read what you cited, I'll stand by my comments on what I would consider the "dangers" of defaulting to an assumption that the government is acting nefariously, unless it proves otherwise.

      The paper's 33 pages, but about half of that are references to sources the paper's based on, so it's actually not too bad. I haven't read it all in detail today, but I have fast read through the first 20 pages or thereabout.
      You may be right that there's some possible "virtue signaling" in the language used, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some valid points within it, if you disregard the specific language used, and look at the points themselves. And if we are going to disregard a paper like this, due to the language of the text including "virtue signaling", then consider that some of the stuff that you write here on your blog, could also be interpreted as similar virtue signaling, just from a different political place. Should all of your researched points similarly be disregarded, by anyone that might disagree with how you've formulated them? And yes, I'm poking you a bit here, but my point is that while I disagree with some of your opinions, and might come to different conclusions than you, when faced with the same "evidence" in a given matter, that does not mean that you do not present some valid points and possible interpretations that I don't benefit from having my own views challenged by. To loosely quote Sun Tzu's Art of War, we should strive to understand both ourselves and out "enemies". (His philosophy was related primarily to the conducting of war, but it contains a lot of more broadly applicable views and ideas, including the one I loosely cite her.)

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    5. Scott argues that if something appears to be fishy, to a large number of citizens, we should presume the government guilty until and unless they prove otherwise, or at least provide some explanation.

      It's not so much the virtue signalling that bothers me, it's the statement of 100% certain facts that are not facts. A very bad thing in an academic paper, and something I assiduously avoid in my blog.

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    6. I agree with Julie here. I am the same way. I always hold the government guilty until proven innocent. In the majority of cases they are neither innocent, nor do they even attempt to prove that they are. They just double down on falsehoods and mislead and manipulate and push narratives that help the ones in power.

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    7. Agreed. Government transparency is something to aspire to. I'll vote for anybody who promises more of that and has a plan to get there. So should we all.

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    8. Kyrel we have 50 separate state elections to decide on 1 President and we are NOT A DEMOCRACY we are a republic with 50 states that each state is won by the popular vote and each state gets electoral votes based on population the founding fathers did not want mob rule where 51% can rule over 49%

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    9. repogregg. Yes, you are supposedly a republic, and yet Americans are citizens of America, not North Dacotans, Californians, or Minnesotans. The US keeps refering to itself as a democracy, and through several wars claimed to promote this means of governing. You are, I believe the saying goes "One nation under God". Etc.

      Anyway, I don't really care either way, and I'm not living in the US, nor do I desire to do so. Increasingly less so, to be honest.

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  9. Who cares? For real, this is a boomer-tier obsession. Democracy doesn't matter very much and we are all held hostage by the idea that we should care about these things. Both sides seem so pushy that we should care, as if something important is at stake.

    It just isn't and you're working yourself up for nothing. Enjoy life instead.

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    1. Wow. Just... wow. I don't think you'd feel the same if you were ever faced with some sort of government injustice that turned out really bad for you. Ask the citizens of the former Soviet Union how a totalitarian government worked out for them. Yeah, democracy will never be perfect, but it beats the next best thing and is worth fighting for.

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    2. Anon is right. In this part of the world, we dont have to worry about Soviet Union type oppression.

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    3. If you start digging through history, it might surprise you just how fragile democracy really is. And at this point in history, we are currently seeing developments in various places that has the potential to be the first steps away from a democratic country, and towards a more authoritarian regime. The US is not exempt from this danger.

      Consider the effects of an increased politization of the US election process. Such a thing could affect the outcome of an election. Change the rules on how you validate a given vote, and you could create a bias within the election system, favoring a particular candidate. Fail to apply a unified standard for counting votes across all of the US States, and you could change the outcome of an election within a State, which could in turn change the outcome of an election.

      Formally speaking both Russia and Turkey are democracies, and in both countries people get to vote on a regular basis. But do you want to tell me that these two countries can be considered as democracies as we think of them in the West?

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    4. Yes, it is fragile and needs to be nurtured.

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    5. Original anon here.

      I just want to say that I am much younger than most of the posters here and the reaction "you should recognize how good the economy is and how good democracy is" is the boomer-tier thinking I'm talking about.

      We don't care about capitalism or democracy not because we're too spoiled to know the difference between the USSR and the luxury of the West; we don't give a shit because the economy is not good for us, and the democracy that is supposed to be responsive to our needs is just a TV show where old people are mad at each other all the time.

      So we're cynical. Many of us basically live like workers with shitty jobs in the communist system anyway. We might work for Amazon instead of some state factory, but it's the same life of no home ownership, no children, no money for fun, etc. People who think that the capitalist democracies of the West are as good as they were in 1991 are just showing their age.

      It's falling apart in real time, before our eyes. And that's fine. We can live happy lives without worrying about politics.

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    6. Improve yourself. Get a less shitty job. Don't squander your money. Move to a more affordable place. Don't be such a victim. In the west you can still do that for the time being. In communist states you were not allowed to.

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    7. Yes I agree with Julie. I was born in a developing country and if I could move to the US and then to Canada and have a 6 figure salary and healthy investments and be debt free, then people born here have no excuse. They have a head start anyway. Failing in school, not getting good grades, dropping out of college etc is on you. Not on a flawed democracy etc

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    8. I have money guys. The issue is that the system hasn’t worked for years. It is just endless culture wars that go nowhere.

      Watch what people younger than you do with the democracy you pretend is so valuable.

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    9. It all started when they banned spanking of kids ;-)

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    10. I dont have much to say about democracy either and I agree that the system sucks in many ways. I was just saying that system can only be blamed to an extent. There are always going to be challenges and nothing is going to be perfect. You just have to make do with what you have without excuses.

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  10. Understanding your point, but on January 6, what happened, shown on TV, and then a Republican said they were just Tourist, an everyday occurrence, Really.
    Yes the government hides a lot, as to why, anybody guess, for our own good, or theirs.
    The point I wish to make, is why not stop voting for those in office and bring in new blood, those more connected with today and not yesterday.
    Jack

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    1. Jan 6 at the Capital building was definitely a violent riot with $1.5M of property damage (and, yes, a lot of tourists wandering around also). Mind you, BLM riots caused > $1B of property damage and resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries. And so one can safely call those vehemently criticizing Jan6 riots, but not EVEN MORE vehemently criticizing the BLM riots total hypocrites and political players.

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  11. Unless you plan on moving to the USA, you should focus your attention on Canada. Let the citizens of the U.S. worry about America.

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    1. As soon as you guys stop exporting all your culture to us.

      US has historically stood, faults and all, as the protector of the democratic world. If democracy falls there, it falls everywhere, and Canada amongst the first, so yeah, I take an interest in it.

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    2. That is a ridiculous overstatement. I come from the largest democratic nation and US democracy/political culture has nothing to do with us. Nor do we care.

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    3. Maybe so, it's a matter of opinion. The US Constitution is a remarkable development, however, and the US certainly did lead the world, arguably still does, as the wealthiest and most powerful nation. Certainly in Canada we are heavily influenced.

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    4. I'm going to have to side with Julie here Anon. A boatload of things that become an issue in the US, ends up spreading throughout most of the Western world, if not further. Just take the Woke movement as a modern example.

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    5. Like I said, the western world maybe influenced by cultural and political changes in the US. The majority of the world lives outside of the west though, and that majority dont really care.

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    6. We'll agree to disagree.

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    7. You disagree that the majority of the people in India or China for example are uninterested in US political/cultural narratives?

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    8. I think many are obsessed with it.

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    9. Anon, a lot of people might not particularly care about what happens in the US. But US politics and culture has a tendency to spread around the world in a lot of different ways. Product brands, TV shows, movies, effects of politics, internet blogs, Google, Youtube, language etc. Even if you have never heard of Trump, odds are that you've encountered a McDonalds or similar burger joint. You've probably used Google or debated on a message board in US English. and you might well wear or own some US brand clothing. Yes, the effect is clearly strongest in the West, but few places in the world is entirely free from US influence in some way.

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  12. If 57% of the voting population believe the election was fair, then that is what majority winner take all means. 43% of the population wanted a different outcome, and are constantly being brainwashed by Trump about unfair election. Every claim made has never been proved to be true in a court of law, and many of the places that Trump argued he should have won and were stolen were run by Republican appointed personnel! You will never get 100% thinking the same way, ever.
    As for Canada, Trudeau rules like a dictator, though never elected by 50% of the country. He is now doing some settlement with indigenous people for 40 billion dollars that he does not have. As sad at that past might be, 40 billion would go a long way to solve the health care crisis in Canada.
    Red

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    1. You're not distinguishing who they voted for versus whether they think the election was unfair. In many cases, and in many elections where suspicious shit did not happen, folks are fine to say their candidate lost fair and square and go along with the result. But too many irregularities, unanswered questions, lies, deceptions, lack of audits, and lack of an auditable system, leads to mistrust, as it should, and citizens ignore the faith of the electorate in the system at their peril. Try not to let a partisan mindset interfere with that most important distinction, Red.

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  13. So after 50 years of fighting the government lies about Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, 4o years of nonsense about trickledown economics, I am being lectured by someone who bought into 4 years of lies by a government led by a con man.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Try looking in the mirror.

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    1. Ah, a victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome. I'll play. Pick what you consider to be the worst lie from Trump (not just an exaggeration, an out-and-out falsehood that had a material impact). Just one to make your point.

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  14. He won the election.

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    1. And the other side says it was the "fairest election in history". Neither statement can be proven as there is no transparent, easily accessible, reliable, audit data. So both of those are opinions. Try again.

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    2. Wow. Trunp Derangement Syndrome is continuing to deny reality because he says so. Would you accept that the sun rose in the west if he said so?

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    3. Would you say the Democrats who protested and objected to the 2016 presidential election result were also "denying reality"? Just curious how consistent you are or is it just blind party lines for you?

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    4. A classic false equivalency. What Democrat does not accept that Trump won?

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    5. "According to a C-SPAN recording of the joint session that took place four years ago, the following House Democrats made objections:
      - Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) objected to Alabama's votes.
      - Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) objected to Florida's votes.
      - Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) objected to Georgia's votes.
      - Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) objected to North Carolina's votes.
      - Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) objected to the votes from North Carolina in addition to votes from South Carolina and Wisconsin. She also stood up and objected citing "massive voter suppression" after Mississippi's votes were announced.
      - Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) brought up allegations of Russian interference in the election and malfunctioning voting machines when she objected following the announcement of Michigan's votes.
      - Maxine Waters (D-Calif) rose and said, "I do not wish to debate. I wish to ask 'Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection?'" after the announcement of Wyoming's votes."

      And then there's Hilary Clinton who repeatedly said the election was stolen from her. For instance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77i_pC3lp04.

      And then of course the Hilary Clinton campaign funded the Steele Dossier and started a multi-year investigation into Trump-Russia collusion that proved to be entirely baseless where they tried to get him impeached over it because they were sore they lost.

      But sure, "false equivalency".

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    6. He did lose the popular vote though.

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    7. Of course Hillary postured to safe some face. She blew that election. I don't like her or Trump. However, did she keep sharing a false lie and attempt to subvert our democracy. No, she conceded. You've consumed too much of the Trump Kool-aid.

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    8. Popular vote is unimportant when it's electoral votes that count. Electoral votes count because the US does not want their president picked by only the coastal big city folks. It's supposed to be a compromise between states and popular vote.

      She didn't? Are you blind to her role in the Steele dossier and the Russian collusion hoax?????

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    9. Agreed that Trump won fair and square. I guess "he stole the election from me" has some justification for a narrative in Hillary's case is what I was trying to say (just because she had more popular votes).

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    10. That's not what Hillary meant. She well understands the electoral college system. She was referring to Russian Collusion, which she knew to be fake (because she planted it).

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    11. OMG - more disinformation. What you conveniently leave out is that no democratic senators joined with those house members to actually make an objection. That means there was no meaningful stoppage or debate and the count continued on. You write off the entirety of Russias involvement as a hoax when Mueller did find meaningful evidence of collusion. Also Hillary conceded…period. Trump can’t because his ego is too large. So yes, not the same thing. FYI - The Steele dossier came to the FBI four months after the investigation started and was largely ignored by Mueller. Jesus get your fucking facts straight for once.

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    12. At this point I suspect Mister "Straw man" is a total troll. Perhaps one of my other readers just wanting to let it all hang out with strawman arguments? Exhausting responding so I'll make this the last round with you, strawy. Send me an email if you are real to verify your humanity please. Yes, you are getting a special "I am not a robot" check for me to allow you to continue using up our time.

      If he had found "meaningful evidence" you would have stated what that was instead of this meta statement. As a result it sounds like media programming, not a real point.

      The Steele dossier was a predicate for the FISA warrants to spy on Trump's campaign (that was the testimony under oath, that they could not have gotten the wiretaps without it). The original predicate was a lie about Carter Page and George Papodopoulos from this shady Australian diplomat. The dossier kept it alive when there was nothing else. The lawyer who applied for the FISA warrants was indicted and convicted.

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  15. It's too bad you want to keep bringing up political issues and turning your wonderful blog into a political fight. If you want to fight about political issues, I suggest you create separate blog. You are just feeding division, which is not what will solve the problem.

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    1. I suggest you ignore the political articles. If you're the kind of person who cannot be friends with people who hold an opposing point of view, I feel sorry for you.

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    2. You miss my entire point. I have friends who worship Trump. However, they realize that I feel differently and we quietly agree to disagree. You, on the other hand, like to keep feeding the fire of division in the US. That is not healthy or helpful. For the record, I mostly ignore your political rants. However, there comes a time when truth needs to be spoken ... something we never got from your idol.

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    3. But, but, you're coming here visiting me. You take the trouble to read my article, hopefully follow the links I provide, and then comment, and then scold me for expressing my views? Just skip the political articles, like you ignore your pro-Trump friends' views, and enjoy the kink.

      The divide exists with or without me, and I feel the division is fueled from both sides, but more from the left. Biden promised to heal the divide and then Democrats proceeded to call all Trump supporters terrorists and white supremacists. That's, like, half the country!

      And if you think I uttered some untruth in my post, which it appears you are accusing me of, please point it out, otherwise your criticism is empty political posturing, not truth-seeking.

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  16. What Democrat continued to object to a vote count after an audit and two hand counts (Georgia)? What Democratic state senate brought in a team of whackadoos to find fraud (Arizona)? What Democrat continued to argue that the election was stolen after state audits, his own attorney general found nothing and scores of courts threw out nonsensical claims. What Democratic lawyer was forced to pay court costs because their claims were nonsense.

    Raising objection within the process and/or asking for recounts is normal.

    Continuing to make claims that are unsubstantiated is not normal. Continuing to believe unsubstantiated claims says a lot about the gullibility of Trumpsters

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    1. The "audits" did not audit the things that mattered. The signature checks and the machines. They were sham audits, because the system is unauditable

      It's every candidate's right to challenge the election results (democratically and legally) and believe as they please. I challenge you to find one instance where Trump acted unconstitutionally in pursuing his case (unlike Hilary, who created the Russia collusion hoax to subvert the president illegally)l

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    2. Doing nothing for hours during the riot and therefore delaying a congressional action which is a federal crime. But things don’t have to be illegal to be wrong. It was wrong g for trump to use his position as president to try and bully Rafensperger into “finding him votes”. The Steele dossier was wrong but it wasn’t the cause of the Russia investigation. The investigation started four months before the FBI received the dossier and it was largely ignored by Mueller. The reality is the Mueller did find evidence of collusion just not enough to prove criminal conspiracy. But Paul Manafort as Trumps campaign manager did give a known Russian spy polling and strategy information. Also the Russian disinformation online was mostly pro trump and anti Hillary. Call it a hoax all you want but that doesn’t make it one.

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    3. The Raffensberger thing is out of context fake news. If you listen to the entire call in context, Trump was asking for investigations into irregularities. He thought there were 10s of 1000s of potential irregularities to be investigated, but that he only needed to investigate a few thousand of those to impact the result.

      See my response to your comment above countering you mueller and Steele claims. Please try not to repeat points.

      Giving polling info to somebody is only a crime in your fevered imagination. Manafort was a total scumbag cheat (equally as bad as Podesta on the other side) but no "Russian collusion!"

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  17. Julie, there is a bit of a difference between a handful of senators objecting to some voting results form individual states, and a President starting a campaign months before an election, first claiming that there is no way that he can loose a fair election, despite what the polls suggested, then launched an attack on the legitimacy of mail-in votes (during a pandemic), and then folloving the election, kept on saying that he won, tried every damned trick he appeared to be able to pull off, in order to reverse the official result, and despite pursuing every legal way of contesting the result, getting recounts etc., he still failed to produce any proven evidence of fraud that could have had an extend that could have affected the outcome of the election.

    There is a difference. Though I'm 110% certain that you can dig up something you are convinced justifies your belief in Trump's narrative.

    As for the investigation into the allegation of collusion with the Russians, I recall the result as saying that there was insufficient evidence to prove collusion and build a case on. That's not quite the same as a pure aquittal. It's more like saying "we found traces of smoke, but could not locate a source for it."

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    1. The reason many objected to mass mail-in was the opportunity for fraud it opens up. These things were illegally pushed through without state legislative approvals who were objecting because of this very issue and not having the right checks and balances in place.

      He believes he did win and there was fraud. That's his right to believe that. So long as he does not act illegally or unconstitutionally, he and his supporters can believe anything they want.

      For the record, I don't believe that, nor do I believe it's verifiably fair. There are giant holes in the safeguards, especially in 2020, that means Trump could be correct, though it is impossible to prove or disprove. And there were very suspicious late night vote swings in key precincts in key states breaking near 100% for Biden, so that's "smoke" as you like to say.

      But the lack of being able to prove it either way was the whole point of this blog post, that the government is failing by not having an election system that is auditable and thus trustable.

      To quote from the Mueller report, "the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election."

      In other words, they looked very hard, with a massive budget, and with full access to all documents and spying results, in an environment where every conversation and exchange us documented, and a lot of pressure exerted on a lot of people to "flip", and came up with nada. That's a pretty solid conclusion that there's nothing there. No smoke, no nothing.

      Plus, subsequently it came out that the entire predicate for the investigation into collusion was based on the Steele dossier, which has now been shown to have been a complete fabrication (with the prime source of it now indicted for lying to the FBI about it).

      No, if you still think there's "smoke" there, you haven't been paying attention, Kyrel.

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  18. Julie Stop! Just Stop. There is not a shed of credible evidence that the election was stolen. None. Even in the Arizona case where they set out to specifically prove it, hired a reviewer that was run by a Trump supporter, they failed. The other fallacy is that the system can’t be reviewed. Again completely false. It can. There are paper records that back this stuff up. Heck, there were pictures of people counting them and comparing them to the machine record in Georgia and Arizona and Michigan.

    There is a principal in the world of subversion that if you keep saying something people will assume it is true regardless of whether it is. The Big Lie. The election was stolen is following that pattern. Has been since 2016 actually. Seriously. You are smarter than this.

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    1. Your use of the propaganda term "Big Lie" shows how effective the media brainwashing is against you. You should feel bad about that.

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  19. Very nice persuasion technique but still BS! You start with an undeniable premise that government should be transparent as possible (you know like Trump giving up official documents from Jan. 6th) and we shouldn’t trust that they are doing the right thing just because they say they are. Of course you are correct on that point as the government is simply a set of laws carried out by people who could put their own interest above the countries (like Trump lying about the election to soothe his poor little ego). You simply go to far when you think the government should stoop down to your level of stupidity to prove they aren’t rigging elections. Let’s take your vote by mail fear mongering. Vote by mail is safe and secure and there are several checks built into the system. First of all, in order to get a ballot or have it counted it has to be connected to someone in the voter rolls. That list is PUBLIC and maintained for accuracy. Are they perfect? No, nothing ever is (except your ideas of course) but they are tended to regularly and not simply left to become inaccurate and bloated over decades. That means each ballot is attached to an actual human being. If it wasn’t that would show up in the counts, as you would have many many more ballots than people registered. So let’s say the machines sensitivity is turned down and it is relatively easy to forge someone’s signature. Who is going around stealing peoples ballots and forging their signatures. If this is being done often enough to rig an election why aren’t thousands of people (or really over 7 million people nationwide) wondering why someone voted for them? The fact that the ballots that are counted are attached to a human (yes that can be audited with our current system) eliminates bamboo ballots from China, or ballots being ran through multiple times to increase votes. The reason why Trump was laughed out of court is because his claims are just that… laughable. What really bothers conservatives is they are not the silent majority, they are the loud minority. Voting by mail actually allows more people to vote because you don’t need to stand in line to do it. Democrats aren’t afraid of the voters, conservatives are. Red states are passing laws that make it harder to vote while democrats are trying to pass voting rights laws to make it easier. That would be like wanting the government to fix a road because people think it’s bad when in reality they just drive shitty cars. And stop projecting already! Your entire post is simply mental acrobatic to justify your belief in a set of debunked conspiracy theories because you don’t want to admit Trump lost (AKA cognitive dissonance). BTW - I don’t think your evil, just wrong. Trump fans have shown who the real snowflakes are. I don’t want to trigger you or anything but the capital riot was nothing more than a bunch of white folks throwing a tantrum because they are scared of losing the privilege their skin affords them in the United States. OK - you can now soothe your cognitive dissonance by calling this a word salad or saying that wasn’t the point of your post…

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    1. Actually, a relatively small number of votes need to be changed, in key precincts of key states, to affect the outcome, not the 7 million popular vote differential. And then there are illegal procedure changes and illegal contributions in kind. You need to be blind (which I believe you are) not to see any problems.

      As I said repeatedly, I don't know if the election was fair or not, because, contrary to all your statements (without backing), there is no good way to audit. There have been severe flaws with all the attempted audits.

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  20. Fine, at least 12,671 people in Geaorgia had their ballots stolen and no one noticed. Got it. It is Republicans in charge of Georgia elections that still swear the election was legitimate (cue the swamp vs establishment retort to create distance from republicans). A procedural change, regardless of its legality, is not proof of fraud. You can change a procedure without corrupting the outcome. This is especially true in a once in a lifetime pandemic. You have said repeatedly that you don’t know if the election was fair and yet you think we should completely change how elections are run because it’s not your version of transparency. Try explaining blockchain to an 80 year old and how
    It’s going to make their vote more secure. They would want to stick with pencil and paper and I’d be right with them. As far as being blind I’m not on the side of the party of wishful thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if global warming wasn’t real? Wouldn’t it be nice if lowering taxes raised revenue? Wouldn’t it be nice if systematic racism wasn’t real? You get the idea.

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    1. The reason it should be changed is that about 100,000,000 Americans have no faith in it, and for good reason.
      - global warming is real and most likely largely due to natural causes.
      - lowering taxes encourages business which grows the economy, yes.
      - "systematic racism" no longer exists in our laws and institutions, and personal racist thought is the lowest it's ever been in North America, and far better than most other countries. Yes, people historically discriminated against are starting from further behind, and if you define "systematic racism" as that, then sure.

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  21. Losing an election and being lied to is the reason they feel that way, not facts or evidence. Like I said, they’re driving shitty cars. That is why it is such a dangerous lie. It’s simply praying on peoples hopes and fears to hold onto power. If you don’t believe in systematic racism then you must believe that people of color are inferior as they have lower outcomes, even in today’s a America, in health, home ownership, pay, education, and more. So if the playing field is level it must be their fault. Those numbers don’t change when poverty is taken out of the equation. I’m sorry I don’t have a YouTuber to quote to back up my claims. The warming/cooling of the planet has never occurred at this rate in geological history. It’s just more wishful thinking to say it’s natural. Cutting taxes when the top rate was in the 90 percentile in half will make a meaningful increase in business for sure but that can’t be replicated with the small (in comparison) decreases that have happened since, it just increases the debt that Republicans only care about when Democrats are in charge. No one talks about the record government spending during Reagan, just the tax cuts. Sorry, I used to find you sexy, but unfortunately I don’t have an autocracy fetish.

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    1. There are no facts and evidence, either way. Just sketchy shit where the onus is on the govt to explain.

      Your reading comprehension is poor. If you start from further back you won't be doing as well, we agree. Though nothing is holding back people of colour, and a lot is accelerating them forward. If you ask me, the teachers union is what's holding back poor people the most, ensuring they get a crappy education.

      You're pretty ignorant about climate change. Go read my previous blog post about it and come back with a cogent argument backed by fact.

      Excessive corporate tax rates mean corporations move their HQs out of that country and the government loses all the tax revenue and the economy the associated jobs. Likewise for wealthy individuals.

      Sorry you get so angry and emotional discussing politics. You should work on that.

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    2. Don’t worry about me I’m good. If you don’t have any passion about saving your countries democracy then you must be Canadian. But don’t worry, I won’t get as emotional and angry and the rioters at the capitol. Those people and people who think like them are bat shit crazy.

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    3. You're not an honest broker if you say I believe the election was stolen or if you say I thought attacking the capital was a good thing. Please keep your comments sensible and on point.

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    4. The reality is if you defend Trump and help spread his misinformation than you are part of the problem. You speak against the riot from one side of your mouth while praising the man who incited it. If you don’t think he incited the violence fine. He undeniably did nothing about it for hours but watch it happen on tv.

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    5. Trump called for a protest, yes. But he specifically asked for them to make their voices heard "peacefully and patriotically". The most lame criticism possible is that something good was not done "soon enough". You have a very bad case of TDS, strawman!

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  22. I will never understand the Trump hating radical liberals on here. It might help if they will give 3 policy items that the Biden/Pelosi/Shumer controlled US Government have implemented that they strongly agree with, rather than generic hate for previous President talking points.

    But then again as a very large majority of American voters know, all that Democrats have to run on for the 22 midterms are, a fake Jan. 6 incident, and more Covid 19 fear, they got nothing else. And yep, there was enough vote fraud and cheating in enough states to improperly alter the last presidential election, and since the USA has less secure voter integrity procedures than Canada, Mexico and 47 of 48 European countries, its possible the next presidential election will be unfairly decided also.

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    1. Yes. The Trump policy record is so much stronger. The only not dumb things Biden has done is going back to Trump policies.

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    2. Nope - try child tax credits, voting rights, paid maternity leave, Medicare expansion, student loan forgiveness. All costing less than the stupid wars republicans got us into and actually helping the American people instead of fucking them over with a tax cut for the wealthy and hoping they get trickled on.

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    3. I have a post a while back that references a page with Trumps policy achievements. Go have a read of that as you seem ignorant on that count.

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    4. Sorry, I was responding to what policies democrats should run on not trumps record. I’m sure you liked many of the things he did.

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  23. What Scott Adams said really made a lot of sense to me. People should have the presumption of innocence and the government should have the presumption of guilt [since they have a ridiculous amount of resources and power].

    https://ballotpedia.org/Election_results,_2020:_Analysis_of_rejected_ballots
    So, the number of mail-in ballots skyrockets by under COVID protocols. That makes sense. But somehow the rejection rate is only .8% (vs. 1.4% in 2018 without a presidential election and vs. 1.0% in 2016)? There's no way that more people than that were voting ballots of dead family members or voting twice or stole others' ballots or whatever than in the prior 2 elections. Everyone knew that 2020 was going to be close, so more incentive to cheat. And less likely to be caught, since it was over half of it was done via snail mail, rather than a single person punching a single card's worth of votes for the candidates.

    https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx
    Check in the section titled "Recent State Actions." Lots more people voted in 2020 than in 2016. How much of that was the population of felons in the USA? Are they likely to vote for the party of "law and order," and of "lock them up and throw away the key," or are they likely to vote for the party that will give them handouts since they have trouble getting jobs, and for the party where the district attorneys routinely release dangerous felons [with many prior convictions] without bail?

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/where-did-all-the-bellwether-counties-go/
    "From 1980 to 2016, 19 counties voted for the winner of the presidential election every single time."
    "But in 2020, 18 of these 19 “bellwether counties” voted for former President Donald Trump. Just one — Clallam County, Washington — voted for President Joe Biden."


    Basically, how I read it is that allowing the felons to vote and allowing mail-in voting skewed the electorate to those who were a lot more willing to buy the mainstream media attempts (just how much free advertising was all that coverage to Joe Biden anyway?) to portray Trump as an idiot in building the wall and dealing with COVID and dealing with our allies.
    In truth, the wall is a necessity as the US has been invaded by 10 million or more persons from south of our border over the past years, and they aren't bringing daisies; in great quantities, the coyotes are bringing drugs as the same time they are bringing in persons illegally.
    Biden hasn't solved anything with regard to COVID; more people will have died under Biden than under Trump, despite him acting before the election like he could solve the whole thing. The vaccines were developed under Trump.
    Our allies should have been shelling out a lot more money and troops to support NATO; the US should not have been shouldering this burden largely alone since WWII.

    And on and on.

    I don't even like Trump. But at least he knew he was President. How many times has Joe declared Kamala Harris to be the President or referred to his current time as a Senator? Just mainstream media cover-up of that guy's senility.

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    1. Yes because trump never misspoke, stumbled, or slurred his words while giving a speech. We all know the original patriots took over all the airports. Joe Biden gave a hell of a speech about defending our democracy and he didn’t start a riot at the capitol when it was over. I’d say that’s a great job.

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    2. Ok, pretty sure you are trolling.
      The funny thing is you're almost indistinguishable from an actual lefty. 😂
      As I said, if you're not trolling for laughs please send me an email to introduce yourself as a real person. Thanks.

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  24. Nope not a troll just a former right wing nut like you who left the cult and has been living in reality for the last 15 years or so. I just wish you would apply your own logic to Trump. The government is the laws we have and the people who make and enforce them. As leader of the government his actions as president should be considered guilty until proven innocent. He should have to prove to us that he did not collude with Russia, not obstruct and sabotage investigations. He should prove to us that he did not try to use his power as president to get a foreign country to smear Joe Biden during an election. He should prove to us he didn’t incite a riot. You think government should be transparent but just like everything else it doesn’t apply to Trump. Call me a troll and deranged all you want if it makes you feel better,

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    1. I am applying logic to Trump, and everything else. The things he was accused of were patently ridiculous with zero evidence (if you knew of good evidence, you would present it, not imply there was). The "investigations" were political hit jobs to generate fake news headlines. Good he did not cooperate. As the laptop revealed, Bidens were doing very shifty stuff in Ukraine with Burisma. Messages captured on the laptop (verified) and eye witness testimony from Bobulinski is the evidence there. Suggest you read "Laptop from Hell" by Miranda Devine of the New York Post for all the evidence you need of that family's corruption, based on verified evidence revealed from that laptop.

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  25. Evidence like his campaign manager sharing poll data and strategy with a known Russian spy. That’s not evidence of anything. It’s almost like you believed Bill Barr when he announced the Mueller report echo erased Trump. You should probably read the report yourself as well as the 93 page rebuttal to the Cyberninja bullshit. A recorded phone call where the president tells the leader of Ukraine he needs to open an investigation into his political opponent if he wants support from the US that Congress has already promised. Eye witness testimony that Trump watched the riot at the capital gleefully and refused to tweet to stay peaceful and did nothing for hours. These are actual pieces of evidence that show what Trump did to abuse his power as president. If you want to compare family corruption you should check out the Pulitzer Prize winning (not a hack job) article on the Trump family with multigenerational corruption. This evidence is sooo much stronger than the circumstantial evidence that you keep pointing to about the election. You have absolutely zero actual evidence about a corrupt election that isn’t circumstantial and more wishful thinking than anything. You just can’t deal with the fact that millions more Americans realized that Trump was unfit for office then fell for his con.

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    1. You think Manafort bragging about how well Trump was doing to a Ukrainian is some kind is "smoking gun"? Connect the dots for me. How is that related to a crime?

      I read the Mueller report. Part 1 was all about investigating Russian collusion. They found nothing.

      Listen to the call transcript. Trump wanted Ukraine to look into Burisma corruption involving the Bidens. There was nothing offered in return. The corruption was very real, documented by the evidence you refuse to acknowledge.

      Trump did not encourage, or "gleefully watch" violence and vandalism. It clearly was not in his best interests, so you sort of need to be deranged to believe it.

      Yup. Manhattan real estate is rough and tumble, no doubt. Now what crimes was he convicted of? His tax returns were audited extensively every year. What tax crimes was he convicted of? What crimes did he commit as President? None. Versus Biden getting rich odd influence peddling, well documented.

      Election procedures were changed without state legislatures approving it. That is not in question. 1000s of ballots without addresses. That is illegal. Unusually high signature check percentages. Batches breaking 100% for Biden. Veritas video-documented ballot harvesting in Minnesota. There was lots of sketchy stuff going on. Open your eyes. Don't swallow the narrative. I honestly don't know if there was fraud or enough of it to affect the outcome. You are so how "100% positive". That's a foolish position.

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  26. Well there you have it. I guess it’s stunning to see how we can look at the same evidence and see it so differently. But I see your shtick - Sounding reasonable and hedging your bets when you talk about the capital attack and election fraud, but you are most definitely a true believe which comes out in your comments. I see no point in continuing this as neither of us will budge from our positions. It’s been fun debating and I don’t cancel people because of there you political beliefs. Have fun riding the MAGA train.

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    1. The difference is that my points are responsive to yours. However when I give a solid rebuttal, or ask you to explain, you move onto other topics (or run away, as with this comment). To me it feels as if you are unwilling to truly engage in a back and forth. You wish to make your hit and run comments, but then desperately protect yourself for fear you cannot back them up, and blame it on me. You need to question your own beliefs a lot more.

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    2. Well I guess we can’t even see this conversation the same way. You asked for evidence I gave it you refuted the evidence with your views. Our views of the same evidence is vastly different. I’m not running away, simply refusing to bang my head against the same wall. If you look through our conversation you will see both of us have changes the subject at times and asserted things without evidence. The reality is this is a microcosm of our national divide. We essentially live in two different worlds and I’m sure that’s because of where we get our information from. I don’t need protection and I do question my beliefs on a regular basis. I do think you are being less than honest when you claim that your just asking questions, that no one knows for sure what happened and yet in the comments respond with the most right wing evidence available. I mean project Veristas??? I prefer media outlets who aren’t part of stealing a presidential candidates daughters diary.

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    3. There you go again. The Veritas video is just a video that absolutely has evidence of election fraud. No question. Watch it and tell me what you think. This particular smoking gun was not the presidential election, but it shows the mindset of cheaters. https://www.projectveritas.com/news/ilhan-omar-connected-cash-for-ballots-voter-fraud-scheme-corrupts-elections/

      You have your facts WRONG on the diary. More evidence how swayed you are by your left-leaning news source. Veritas was brought the diary (they did not steal it) and they immediately attempted to return it and then handed it over to the FBI. They were not charged. Yes they were raided by the FBI, and privileged attourney-client communications so-collected were leaked to the NYT who published it! Lawsuit is proceeding. NYT has had the order upheld to destroy all copies and cease and desist. Gosh you are blind!

      This is not left/right. This is just UNDERSTANDING what happened.

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    4. P.S. Veritas has a very long history of accurate reporting. They even have had whole fraudulent govt agencies shut down based on their reporting. There have been multiple false stories about them, every one of which they got retracted. Hundreds of lawsuits, never lost one. Smarten up.

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    5. And I know all about the ACORN bullshit as well.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/03/08/james-okeefe-pays-100000-to-acorn-employee-he-smeared-conservative-media-yawns/amp/

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    6. ACORN was brought down because of that undercover work.

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    7. Tragically you are correct about ACORN being shut down. Quality reporting doesn’t require $100,000 lawsuit settlements. Making manipulative propaganda does. It is unfortunate that ACORN would be shut down before the truth came out about the ACORN employees calling the police after the incident. It was all deception which is why Veritas is only respected by right wing nuts that want desperately for their narrative to be true. ACORN wasn’t a government agency, it was an association of community organizations that received funding from the government to help people register to vote, get housing, healthcare and more. These were not evil people. But truth doesn’t matter to the right, just their narrative that poor people are lazy and greedy and just want handouts because they refuse to work hard. Also if there is no systematic racism why is this a thing? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/smartphone-data-show-voters-in-black-neighborhoods-wait-longer1/

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    8. It was not "manipulative propaganda". They posed as a whore and a pimp, got all sorts of assistance illegally, and filmed it all. It's called investigative journalism, something no longer done by mainstream media as they do not seek truth, only peddle propaganda. That was the nail in ACORN's dishonest coffin.

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  27. The thing that gets me about the claim that voting by mail somehow makes it easier to do fraud. You think just because you put it in a box at a pooling station it's any safer? It's still got to pass through multiple hands to be counted. There have been electronic voting machines for years that could change your vote using an algorithm in real-time, showing you your actual choice and inputting into the system the person that the owner of the machine wants to win. But because a vastly unpopular president inspired a huge amount of people to come out and vote against him and he knew it was going to happen, he said for months that if he lost, it's rigged. Anybody can say that if they know they're going to lose. All it does is weaken democracy and sew the seeds for events like January 6th. People accept that narrative because it aligns with their own values and paranoia. It's manipulation from big brother, plain and simple, and the plain and simple cried "freedom" and did a treason because of it. They were almost as much a victim as the people they would have lynched if they'd gotten hold of them, but they still need to be held accountable for their actions.

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    1. The system is subject to fraud regardless, but whole new categories of fraud open up with mass mail-in the way it was done. And the computerized scanning and counting adds in whole other categories for unauditable fraud. It seems both those systems were dramatically expanded in 2020 without adequate thought put into election security and auditability, and bypassing the state legislatures responsible for deliberations and approvals of such things. Had the system been more trustworthy, we would not have 43% of the US electorate believing the election was definitely or likely rigged.

      Plus, you have to admit that the winning margin (in terms of strategically placed vote swings required to reverse the result) was exceptionally narrow, and there were some pretty sketch looking late breaking swings of statistically improbable >95% breaks for Biden in exactly those most strategic places.

      No, none of that is evidence of fraud, but it does raise questions that need to be answered. It does not help that Democrats and the mainstream media immediately started saying things like "The Big Lie" to demonize folks asking those questions. That has the appearance of a propaganda campaign designed to hide the truth.

      So that's the other point of view. It's not partisan or paranoid. It's prudent. As Scott says, the only truly dumb views re the election is if you're 100% sure it was rigged, or 100% sure it was not.

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    2. P.S. There is zero evidence anybody intended to "lynch" anybody. Nobody has been charged with anything remotely like that. The much ballyhooed "gallows" was a prop and a long way away and nobody who brought that prop was charged (just like people who hung Trump in effigy for 4 years were not charged - free speech).

      If you have any reasonable evidence at all. Such as a conspiracy with testimony, or documents, or communications, or overheard conversations, please produce it.

      Otherwise, realize you are falling for a fake news narrative and smarten up.

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  28. Wow that’s a lot of BS in one video. Project Veritas isn’t known for breaking the law, they are known for deceptive editing and making what they capture on hidden cameras look different than they really are which unfortunately isn’t a crime. But I guess the three years probation O’keefe got for an earlier stunt doesn’t count as breaking the law. I do love your high bar for choosing media outlets to trust, they just can’t break the law. If Omar was connected to a scheme to pay people to vote for a particular candidate or mishandled collected ballots it would be a federal crime and she would be in prison. We know this because a Republican was caught doing that in North Carolina. And I’m sure with the high number of xenophobic right wing nuts out there Omar would be caught too. I’m sure if Veritas had actual evidence of wrongdoing they would turn it over to the authorities and see their profile rise because of it. Once again you present evidence that is absurd on its face. You are the one falling for fake news and propaganda. The conspiracy you see as mainstream media is ignorant as well. You love to tell people they are falling for medias narrative. Everything the media says is a lie… So all of the major media outlets conspire together to tell a story that only helps democrats and works against republicans. The southerners said the same thing before the civil war and yet all that was being reported was the reality of slavery. Not a good side to be on. As I said before we will never agree on what the facts are (especially if this is the garbage you rely on for your news) so this conversation is pointless.

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    1. So what part about their video is edited out of context? This is the shortcoming of all your comments. Instead of actually addressing the point, and saying the specific thing you think is wrong, you make sweeping generalizations without any specifics at all. That does not fly here. You will be called out on it, every single time.

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  29. This is why these groups are successful. I can’t tell you what is taken out of context without seeing what was left out. That’s why a media outlets reputation is important. O’Keefe had to release the raw footage of his ACORN debacle as part of his $100,000 settlement which showed the techniques he used to deceive his viewers. I assumed you knew how to Google, this information isn’t hard to find. I used Google to find the source you used to falsely imply that mail in voting makes our election system more insecure than other countries. If not addressing the point doesn’t fly here then based on your last reply…you’re grounded.

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    1. Well, if you know it was taken out of context, you must have seen the 'full context", of ACORN or anything else. So please tell us, specifically, how he mislead with missing context. Examples please. You must have them as you are 100% sure of yourself.

      If you used Google, yet aren't presenting what you found, you are a dishonest broker. More of the same. Vague generalities without any concrete arguments. Summarize what your source says, say why it proves your point, and then give the link. I won't wait up.

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  30. Shutting down comments on this post as it's getting circular - straw man, if you wish to continue the discussion, please email.

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