Exercising my Right to Vote — and be exercised

Sorry to be so late in posting, but we got up early to go vote on the giant rat Morse recall.  For the Morse recall and in favor of replacing the giant rat, of course.

And because these days if I’m on less than five hours of sleep I get sick to my stomach (no, I don’t know why) I then had to nap an hour or so.

Look, I’m not even going to go in what is fair in recalling a legislator.  ANY legislature that takes power PARTICULARLY if it’s a side that hasn’t been in power in a long time, and sets about corrupting the voting process by doing things like all-mail-in-ballots, no id verification and other squirrely business should be automatically recalled.  There should be a safeguard in place that says in effect “you can’t change the rules so you’re never unelected.”

But, you say, isn’t it the same as changing the rules to require voter ID and voting in person and (though no one is suggesting this, they really should be.  It tightens the screws on the ability to perform fraud) early voting?

Of course it’s not.

Objectively – from a distance as it were – what would you consider more likely to encourage fraud?  Voting in person on the day of the election?  Or voting by mail, with no controls on the other end?  Voting after showing ID, or voting because you walk in and you’re so and so (particularly when you consider that our voters roles aren’t purged?  Only being able to register to vote in advance, after showing proof of citizenship, or the “motor voter” registration, where once a visiting Japanese journalist registered to vote in the US by using his Japanese passport as proof of identity, while getting a temporary permit to drive in the US?

Yes, of course, any of those restrictions will cost someone the opportunity to vote, who should “legitimately” have been able to.  But the opposite creates a chance for people who shouldn’t vote to vote and dilute the vote of people who are legitimately allowed to.

The reverse of the tightening of the ballot that might turn away one or two people who would otherwise vote, is to make the vote of hundreds or thousands worth less.  And don’t tell me there is no fraud. The way the system is instituted it’s IMPOSSIBLE that there is no fraud.  Human nature is such that the only thing we won’t cheat to obtain is that which has no value.  No, I don’t mean you personally, I mean people in general.  In other words, the only way to make people uninterested in cheating in elections and to make fraud INEXISTENT is to make government power so limited that only political animals like me care.  (I’m all for it.)

The second best thing is to make it so difficult to cheat that the fraud is very limited.

Look, if you really trust your fellow man not to cheat to that extent, I invite you to put all your passwords on line.  No?  Then shut up about “there is no fraud.”

Next, let’s take all of these measures that make voting more “inclusive” in order:

Mail in ballots – I mean, we’re all so busy.  So, why make us go in.  Just fill the ballot, drop it at any box.  Surely, it’s secure.  I mean you sign it.

Let’s leave alone for a moment that if you’re too busy to vote, so sad, too bad.  It’s a DUTY not a right.  But let’s leave that aside.

How is it that the part that doesn’t want parents notified their 13 year old girl has been given the morning after pill, or is having an abortion, because they’re afraid the girl’s decision will be influenced is nevertheless PERFECTLY okay with putting everyone’s voting in the hands of everyone else who lives in the same house?  Tyrannical father?  Sure.  He can vote for all his kids.  Crazy mother?  Sure, she can vote for her husband and kid.  Dementia patient?  Sure, caretaker will vote?

Why but the knowledge that this party benefits from most of that skullduggery?

Voting without showing ID – of course makes things much faster – and besides, you know, some people don’t have ID.  Really?  REALLY?  REALLY?  Who doesn’t have ID?  No, seriously.  Who, of legal age lacks any form of picture ID?  And how do they live?  Unless they are essentially dependents on other adults and possibly impaired, and even then I think an ID is needed to cash disability checks.  My bank requires me to show an ID.  Hell, my grocery store requires me to show an ID – but my government doesn’t.

There you have it, gentlemen.  Your right to vote is worth less than a load of groceries.

So – what about the person in a million who doesn’t have ID? – if they can’t be bothered to get one (no, the money is not that much, and besides I suspect anyone pleading hardship will get financed by either the state or private donors) why should they vote?  How much thought did they give it?

And motor voter – oh, the gift that keeps on giving.  Do you know what the rationale is for not asking to see proof of citizenship when you register to vote?  It’s that people are more likely to ask for that to people with an accent or who look “of another race” – read Hispanic.  Okay, then.  I have it on good authority I don’t look Hispanic, though the boys do.  BUT I do have an accent you can cut with a knife.

Would I be offended at being asked for proof of citizenship?  Would the boys?  Oh, hell no.  THEY’re proud to be American, and I worked to become a citizen.  I’m offended NOT to be asked for proof of citizenship, because that means my sons’ birthright is being given away for a pot of message.

YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE OFFENDED.  It’s not on the constitution anywhere.

What about early voting?  This is the one I’m most divided on.  It’s big risk comes from the other loose controls.  Because if they know in advance how many votes they need to fabricate to cheat, then it facilitates it.  If the rest were tight, this might not matter.  And yes, of course, you often can’t vote on the day.

But is there any reason it should be “no questions asked”.  I don’t see why.  Yes, it might be more convenient to vote early or late. BUT it’s not a NEED.  When voting was on the day, employers cut you slack on that day.  They had to vote too.  And early voting required you to do the same things you do to postpone jury duty: show that you wouldn’t be in the country or that you had the sort of job you simply couldn’t take time from.  I voted early once, before all these shenanigans, because we were going to be at World Fantasy and had plane tickets.

Again, voting is a duty, not a right – by which I mean that of course if you have right to vote, but from the moral pov it’s a duty, not something that should be made easy and brought to you, as it were.  It’s like being armed.  We have a duty to defend ourselves, but no one brings you a gun because you happen to be unarmed.  (In fact, I suggest tightening of voting parallels tightening of gun ownership.  Or vice versa.  You want this extremely lose voting, make it easy for everyone to have an arsenal.  Then at least we have redress.)

So, how do I feel about the recall of Rodentus Maximus?  Well… not hopeful.  Why not?  Because even though mail in ballots didn’t go out in time to most people, apparently “students” are dropping backpacks full of ballots at voting places.  And apparently we can’t do anything about it.

You know my view on how you know the fix is in: when the other side isn’t making even a token effort and yet is sure to win.

For instance, nominating Hilary and being sure she’ll win the presidential election is a sign the fix is in.  The fact that Hilary rolled over and played the good soldier for her enemy is a sign that the fix was already in back then.

In the same way, the Morse side has made less than token efforts to campaign.  Mostly some adds paid for by Bloomberg.  And outside the poling place there was only one of the unwashed brigade, with a homemade sign crossed and recrossed with unreadable stuff from which only NRA stood out.

The state party isn’t making an effort, because the fix is in, so why bother.  Also, at the poling place I heard workers say that they were turning away half the people for being outside the district.  Maybe they are.  Or maybe…  Who knows?

But hope springs eternal and sometimes a miracle happens.  So I went and voted for the recall of Ratus Giganticus Morsis.

It’s Quixotic, but sometimes tilting at windmills works and surprises both you and the windmill.  If you’re in the Springs go and vote.

I don’t want to have to move from Colorado.  Vote.  Why should they make US run away?  Vote.

309 responses to “Exercising my Right to Vote — and be exercised

  1. I can imagine a strictly limited government where voting boils down to “should we, collectively, prioritize the societal good of strengthening the east wall of the village to keep the marauders out, or strengthening the west wall of the village to keep the marauders out ?”

    In our society, though, voting boils down to “should we use the threat of force to steal money from citizens and pay for welfare we don’t need, or should we use the threat of force to steal money from citizens and pay for an agressive and overly large military we don’t need ?”

    Voting is a proxy for the initiation of force.

    In theory perhaps voting could roll back the State, but in practice it can not.

    Therefore I find voting an immoral participation in an immoral and inherently corrupt system, and – starting two years ago – I swore off the practice.

    • So we can count on you, having sworn off your voice in the subject, being quiet about it from now on?

      • Rob Crawford, voting is but one (and in these times of questionable voting practices, maybe the least important) of the mechanisms free citizens can use in dealing with their government.

        While I understand TJIC’s point, I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusion and the non-participation. But, so what? It doesn’t follow from there that I want his silence. Far from it. His experiences shape his views, as presumably do yours. If we start calling for silence from those who’ve drawn different conclusions…well, we’re going to miss a big chunk of the data-set and our decisions will be poorer for it.

        • Perhaps my point was too subtle. Those who refuse to “speak” when it has real power should be ashamed to speak in other instances, and the rest of us should feel free to ignore them.

          And HE’S the one who silenced himself, by declaring himself too “pure” to vote. I’m just asking him to be consistent.

          • Well, if we’re talking about subtle points…

            At a time when the efficacy and legitimacy of the vote is highly questionable, in a Representative Republic, with a heterogeneous population, existing in a geographically massive location, where regional and cultural differences abound, and the right to free speech is enshrined you want someone to silence themselves because they decline to participate in one mechanism of accountability?

            That’s a disturbing notion.

            Moreover, I’m afraid the notion that the only time speech has real power is at the ballot box rather misses the philosophical foundations of free speech entirely. A vote is the least subtle, least nuanced and least discriminating mechanism for expressing thought and intent. It should be used sparingly, as in a representative democracy and should never substitute for full and open debate.

            • That’s not a subtle point, that’s projecting a point.

              He’s saying “if you’re going to brag about silencing yourself when it objectively counts, you should be consistent.”

              See also, those who preach destruction of social norms, but choose to live by them and in areas that live by them.

              • I understood his original point, and I understood the ‘subtle’ distinction. I abandoned any subtlety in my reply.

                His argument depends on the contention that ‘vote’ = ‘highest expression of speech.’ I reject that equivalence. The two are not inextricably linked.

                Preaching the destruction of social norms while choosing to live under those norms falls in a different area, entirely. If TJIC advocates blocking others from exercising their right to vote while living within a system bolstered by that vote then I will oppose those activities.

                Please understand, i don’t agree with his conclusion, nor the points of argument that led him there. But calling for silence in political discourse in a representative democracy is disturbing. Following from that it can be argued that you’ve ‘cast your vote and had your say, now shaddup.’ Which is precisely what many people advocate when their ‘side’ wins an election. I believe that is the wrong path.

                • I don’t agree with his conclusion, either, but it’s something that people of a certain stripe tend to go through and I came d*mn close to it 15 years ago. It tends to pass.
                  I simply think that sometimes the only way you have to say “enough” is the ballot box. Also that when no one votes the only way to vote is the cartridge box. Now, some of the founding fathers thought this was fine, but I like things a bit more… peaceful.

                  • Having some notion of the character of a modern civil war in this country, I’m in complete agreement with you.

                  • Also that when no one votes the only way to vote is the cartridge box. Now, some of the founding fathers thought this was fine, but I like things a bit more… peaceful.

                    This. Also, quite frankly, if it gets to “cartridge box” then the results will not be good. The US is not the same as it was in the late 18th century. The makeup of the people is not the same. The results of any serious attempt at overthrow of the government, whether successful or not, will be tyranny rather than freedom.

                    The American Revolution was very nearly, if not completely, unique in history. I don’t think it’s aftermath is a model that we can expect today.

                  • I doubt that any of our founding fathers thought that voting with the cartidge box was just fine. They did believe that it was sometimes necessary.

                    In regard to refusing to vote: refusing to vote is speech. It is saying that the system (as you have pointed out) and/or the candidates are so corrupt that you refuse to sanction them by participating. You can certainly argue that this is stupid, that voting for the least vile candidate that has a chance to beat the vilest candidate is the rational or responsible thing to do, but don’t claim that it does not express an opinion and is not speech.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      In regard to refusing to vote: refusing to vote is speech.

                      It is neither speech nor expression because it cannot be separated from the noise of people who do not vote because they don’t feel like it.

                      If we had laws requiring voting (like Australia) then not voting makes a point, sort of (because the “noise” is much lower).

                      The best “protest” when it comes to voting is to write in your own name, or to vote for an extreme minority party closest to your views.

                    • Which is what I did when I was in that phase. I voted Libertarian.

                • I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. They’re not the same at all. We have the right to free speech to protect political speech, btw, and there’s a massive difference between losing and opting out.

                  • Respectfully, but where exactly am I wrong? I’m not saying this argumentatively, I simply don’t understand what you reference when you say They’re not the same at all.

                    Yes, clearly the right to free speech is intended to protect political speech. How is advocating that the vote in a corrupt system is force not political speech?

                    There is a difference in losing and opting out, yes. That does not negate the simple fact that using one category to silence political speech invites others to use the other category for the same purpose. It is already being done.

                    • I have no problems with people talking — as long as they’re okay with taking flak from those who disagree.

                    • No issues with flak, here. I’m all for flak in discourse. Taking verbal counter-fire is preferable to the alternative and it gives you some idea where the opposition stands.

                      And many thanks for your tolerance of the diversion from the strict point of your post.

                    • Eamon This blog is more diversion than point,most of the time.

                    • Cats. Herding. Practice.

                    • Cats can be herded by a sufficient number of dogs. About 3 to 1 should do it.

                    • Or food. We get really good results with a shared goal.

                    • I thought the diversions were the point!

                      Apparently I was misinformed.

                    • Nah. this blog perfectly mimmics the way my mind works. Yes, that bad!

                    • I added “point of the post,” rather than “point of the blog.”

                    • Following from that it can be argued that you’ve ‘cast your vote and had your say, now shaddup.’

                      It’s wrong in the same way that the hypothetical argument Sarah pointed to, that tightening ID laws is the same as loosening them, is wrong.

                      Saying “you opted out of the part that has objective value, so we can expect you to opt out of the low-buy-in, right?” is not the same as “you didn’t win, so shut up.”

                    • Foxfier, okay, now I understand. And I agree. They’re not the same, but they are both extensions from the same base. That base being that some actions should legitimize silencing political speech.

                      It follows from the equivalence I made earlier between voting and speech. I think it’s a flawed argument, I don’t present it as my own, but it is an argument that is being made to silence political opposition. There are hints of it in the articles I read on the recall election SAH voted in today.

                      I’m not arguing in defense of TJIC’s decision, I’m arguing in absolute opposition to silencing political speech in any form.

                      SAH, This blog is more diversion than point, most of the time well…okay. I just try to remember the courtesies, as they’re often unnatural to me. 😉

                    • Foxfier, okay, now I understand. And I agree. They’re not the same, but they are both extensions from the same base. That base being that some actions should legitimize silencing political speech.

                      No, it doesn’t, and if the initial case weren’t enough it was elaborated that it’s not about “silencing political speech”- because that implies an OUTSIDE actor, while “shame” is inside.

                      It follows from the equivalence I made earlier between voting and speech. I think it’s a flawed argument, I don’t present it as my own, but it is an argument that is being made to silence political opposition.

                      You’re misrepresenging the equivalence.
                      The equivalence that’s made is voting and speech about the topic of the voting. Basically, “put up or shut up– have you no shame?”

                      I’m not arguing in defense of TJIC’s decision, I’m arguing in absolute opposition to silencing political speech in any form.

                      Problem being that you’re expanding “silence political speech” to include “objecting when those who remove themselves where it counts don’t remove themselves where it’s easy.”

                      Well, root of the problem might be that you’re arguing against an impression you got someplace else while directing it at someone who said nothing of the sort, but I have to go off of what is actually said here…..

                    • Problem being that you’re expanding “silence political speech” to include “objecting when those who remove themselves where it counts don’t remove themselves where it’s easy.”

                      See Orwell on the problem of pacifism.

                      When the discussion is about how to balance protection from voter fraud against protecting access to the polls, an attitude of “I don’t give a fig, the whole system is corrupt” objectively assists fraud. It removes the commenter from any useful contribution to the fundamental concern on the grounds that all such pretense is useless, the entire system is beyond repair.

                      But, as Lord Keynes in one of his few true statements observed, in the long run we are all dead. Therefore all human endeavor, all human morality and ethics, is pointless. There is no reason to not club you over the head and take your pretty burning flower to my cave.

                      Comparing voting for political representatives to mafia bosses may have a superficial validity but it remains facile and juvenile. Once you declare yourself a vegetarian you have no say in how we cook the roast.

                    • Justified excuse!!!!

                    • I suspect we’re seeing this from different points. But I’ll try to clarify.

                      Silencing political speech or the attempt thereto, I define as any activity intended to remove speech from consideration. It does not require force, nor weight of law to represent the attempt to do so. While feeling shame is an internal phenomenon, shaming is an external application.

                      I may be misrepresenting the original equivalence, entirely possible. However, put up or shut up requires that in order to participate in the conversation about voting the opponent must participate in a process he has clearly stated he believes to legitimize an objectionable government. Thus defining his right to denounce with speech the process as dependent upon his participation in the process. You’re asking him to violate his considered principles before he can legitimately decry the process.

                      I’m not expanding silence to objection. I have stated that I believe in and support objecting to the argument. But remove themselves where it counts and remove themselves where it’s easy is the kind of statement that leads me to believe there is an equivalency drawn between speech and voting. You have said this is wrong, but this appears to contradict.

                      Well, root of the problem… I have stated my reading of the argument, and its origins here, in this discussion. Implying that I’m arguing against a separate impression is disingenuous. And, honestly, not helpful. I’m trying to engage in open and honest discourse and clarify my point. I’m perfectly willing to entertain the notion that I am wrong. I’m willing to acknowledge that I may be unclear. I’m not hostile, nor am I intending to present an attack, only a defense. But drawing detrimental conclusions about the potential origins of my argument while then stating you have to go off of what is actually said…that’s both impossible to refute and irrelevant to the points I have tried to make.

                    • using one category to silence political speech invites others to use the other category for the same purpose.

                      It is not “silencing” a person to inform them “Given your position, I have no further interest in your opinions.”

                      Any additional converse on the topic is akin to listening to a teetotaler expound on hangover cures.

                    • RES, agreed. I suspect I lacked clarity in my argument regarding what I objected to. Acknowledging this and in deference to our host I’ve stepped aside.

                      Profound apologies for any animosity generated.

                    • threading and clarity suggestion: if you’re getting emails, respond using the “reply” link; if you’ve got control of your browser settings and use Chrome, I suggest the wordpress addon.

                      Otherwise, you’re doing alright– but it’ll confuse folks in the future horribly!

                    • Yeah, I was trying to reply through email from my phone and it oddly doesn’t include the ‘reply’ link. And so I decided to delay any further replies until I could get back in front of the box. I hate to muddle threads. 😦

                    • *laughs* Yet another reason for me to growl at folks who act shocked that we don’t have “smart” phones!

                    • We don’t have them here either — high five. (With four in the house, we keep our pay-in-advance phone bills to about $40 a quarter.

                    • No Smart Phone either. *grumble Don’t want anyone to look at my spending habits (or travel habits). I didn’t have a real Big Brother, and I don’t want to add a synthetic Big Brother.

                    • Yeah I held on to my dumb flip-phone for 7 years, long past its technological parity. Then I traded it in for a dumber ‘smart’ phone.

                    • “wordpress addon”? Please elaborate. I see several options at the Chrome “store” but suspect I do not need Word Press for Public Relations.

                    • “wordpress.com extension”

                    • ….Since Chrome doesn’t seem to have a more sane link:
                      WordPress.com
                      (424) Blogging from wordpress.com 265,371 users

                    • just type wordpress into the “app shop,” it SHOULD come up.

                    • I did that this afternoon, after your first mention. I am not sure it enhances my WP experience but it doesn’t seem to be causing crashes.

                    • I’m not sure it enhances my experience, but it vastly increases my “respond to folks who are directly responding to me” twitching….

                    • in my experience, cats can be herded with an open can of tuna.

                  • I do have a ‘smart’ phone, but don’t have internet or even texting activated on it. I got a blackberry several years ago because it gets better service than any other phone I have been around except the old analog bag phones, and the battery still lasts most of a week after being used for 5-6 years. I will recommend it, I have dropped it from upstairs down through the stairhole approximately ten feet to the concrete floor and it still works fine, had a puppy chew it up and it has been held together for the last two years with black tape, still works fine. 😉 But have no idea how it would work to surf the net.

                • William O. B'Livion

                  I was thinking “extreme” minority like P&F or Constitution etc., but ok 🙂

            • …you want someone to silence themselves because they decline to participate in one mechanism of accountability?

              Only on the subject where he claims to have silenced himself.

              • I can understand where that expectation comes from, but… if those choosing to abstain from voting are silent, if they do not explain themselves and even advocate for their decisions, how do we formulate arguments against those decisions? How to do we combat what SAH identifies above as a tendency of those of a certain stripe? How can we create compelling counter-arguments is we silence the opposition?

                • It wasn’t “don’t explain why you opt out,” it’s “stop talking about the stuff that you opted out of doing anything about.”

                  IE, if you refuse to vote because the options are Bad or Worse, don’t be expected to be taken seriously when you complain about Worse or even Bad. Is not the same as “don’t talk about how you opted out.”

                  • A person who has rejected their “right” to vote retains the right to speak up — and I retain the right to discount their views based on the judgement displayed.

                    Certainly on the judgement displayed in bragging about their election to not elect. My my my, that speaks worlds, don’ it?

                  • I’m perfectly okay with don’t expect to be taken seriously. I’m perfectly okay with arguing that his refusal to participate in the system contributes to the very corruption he deplores. I’m perfectly okay with saying, that I, personally, believe his decision is wrong and detrimental to the success of the philosophy he pursues.

                    I am not okay with “stop talking about the stuff that you opted out of doing anything about.” Silencing the opposition does not eliminate their argument, it only narrows their recourses to making that argument. Bitter silence is not terribly far from violent expression. I’d really rather we kept talking.

                    Instead of telling him to stop talking, how about answering to his core argument?

                    • Silencing the opposition does not eliminate their argument, it only narrows their recourses to making that argument.

                      Someone that removes themselves from the process isn’t the “opposition.” If they were the opposition, they’d be involved.

                    • Funny thing is, you seem to be arguing against forcibly silencing someone… when the entire, original point was a mocking “oh, you removed yourself? So we can expect you to remove yourself from all lesser levels, too, right?” comment.

                      It was reiterated that shame was the route, and then you decided to make a “subtle” point that you later stated abandoned all subtly.

                    • Foxfier, it’s the internet and clarity is often missed, for this I take responsibility. From my read Perhaps I was too subtle was a dig. My rejoinder was never intended to be subtle, I thought belaboring the specifics would make that clear. That it did not is my failure and I’ll own it.

                      That being said, shaming into silence is still silencing.

                      You’ve also said, Someone that removes themselves from the process isn’t the “opposition.” If they were the opposition, they’d be involved. You’re defining the arena as a location he rejects. And you’re discounting the value of any other activity he undertakes in his advocacy. Respectfully, you don’t get to set the terms.

                    • Respectfully, you don’t get to set the terms.

                      That’s rich, from someone trying to set the terms– and redefine them, while at it.

                    • That’s rich, from someone trying to set the terms– and redefine them, while at it.

                      I’m not sure how to answer to these charges. I defined wherein I thought you were setting the terms, and why I thought that conflicted with the notion of free speech.

                      If you could explain where I am trying to redefine terms while trying to set them, perhaps I could better clarify.

                    • Guys — you’re arguing different things from different perspectives and will never meet. More importantly, this is useless, since TJIC can speak for himself. And since I’m not banning him, he’s free to.

                    • Just finished the household chores and threw the towel in before I read this….

                    • sort of got that. I just went grocery shopping. I’m filled with this weird pre-nostalgic sadness. here’s hoping it’s just lack of sleep.

                    • You can borrow two sick little girls to make sure it’s lack of sleep…..

                      Nah, not really– they just are tired and want to snuggle, since the erping is done. Giving thanks that their brother seems to have been passed over, and that daddy and I both got an incredibly weak version of it.

                    • Why?

                      It’s just like arguing with the occasional “Libertarians” we get who argue that in order to secure the freedom of all, they get to decide what agreements between consenting adults aren’t allowed. It’s turtles all the way down.

                    • Can we just say that perhaps we’re arguing two different points and that the motives we’ve attributed to each other may not be the motives we actually possess?

                      Profound apologies for any animosity.

                    • Joy of this place– in spite of sometimes nearly bloody fights, almost everybody is cool.

                      *looks at RES*

                      Otherwise, I’d be mauled by small, fluffy creatures and death by adorable sucks.

                    • SAH, agreed. I’ll lock my obsessive brain away for the nonce and go back to entertaining the staff of a certain diner.

                      Thanks for your forbearance.

          • That argument strikes me as flawed, on two grounds.

            First, it assumes that voting does have real power. Try an exercise: assume a voting district with the population of an average Congressional district, and a typical turnout, and a 50/50 probability that any given citizen will vote A or B. Look up the chance that the split is *exactly* 50/50 and that your vote will thus break the tie. In pure mathematical theory, that probability is extremely low: far less than one chance in a thousand of “real power.” (That ignores the fact that if the vote split was that close, both sides would promptly demand a recount, and whatever votes were found in the recount would decide things.)

            Second, as an argument to illegitimize someone’s complaints, it doesn’t work. You say that X didn’t vote, so X isn’t entitled to complain, because X consented by not voting. But if X votes, and the vote goes the other way, it can be said equally well that X isn’t entitled to complain, because by voting X agreed to accept the outcome (if you raise on an inside straight, you’ve consented to lose your bet, right?). And if the vote goes X’s way, X certainly isn’t entitled to complain. So that sets up an intellectual structure where there is *no meaningful way* to express a refusal of consent: every possible action will be interpreted as consent. I don’t think it’s a good thing to support that kind of intellectual con game.

            That said, I voted in the last election. After all, I had paid enough attention to have opinions about which outcome would be less bad. It doesn’t matter if the game is rigged. . . .

            • Mathematically, if the vote is split exactly 50/50 than every single person on the side you pick is the turning vote….then, you’ve got a 50% chance of being the “turning point.”

              Outside of the movies, it’s not “everybody else counts, and THEN you vote.”

              • Yes, and when you look at your draw poker hand, you have to assume that everyone else is looking at theirs at the same time. But you still analyze it in two steps: “What can I assume they have?” and “What is the right strategy for me to play?” It’s you who are making the decision, and you can decide only what you’re going to do, not what they are going to do, so you treat your action as a distinct step—because it is, *to you*. Everyone else treats their action as a distinct step, too, and each of them is right, for them.

                And the real question is, what’s the probability that the vote IS split exactly fifty/fifty, apart from your specific vote? That probability turns out to be negligible. If you assume that the vote other than you is split 50/50, then you are assuming that you have a 100% chance of being the decisive vote for whichever side you pick—but the probability of that assumption being valid is the question.

                • No, it isn’t.

                  It’s only “the question” for your setup– in reality, the question is, “who gets more votes for the thin on the ballot.”

                  Each and every vote for that thing has exactly the same “chance” of being decisive.

                  • The one thing of which you can be absolutely confident is that if you don’t cast your vote it will not count.

                  • Of course it does, and every single prospective voter can do exactly the same calculation. But for every one of them, the chance of a fifty/fifty split is negligible. And therefore the chance that their vote will be decisive—that they will be able to say, “Had I not voted, the election would have gone the other way”—is negligible.

                    That’s leaving out the much more common case where the probability distribution does not have even odds of A and B—where it is, perhaps, 55% A and 45% B. I’m a Californian; I know all about that kind of election odds. The point of this analysis is that even if you’re really in a swing state, your vote is not going to change the outcome and therefore is not a meaningful exercise of power.

            • I will note that at 18 I had the fact driven home to me that my vote counted, when the local school levy failed by three votes, and a friend of mine’s mother chewed her husband and I out. Because if we had voted for it like she did, instead of against it, it would have passed. The fact that we didn’t want it to pass (that IS why we voted against it) seemed to go completely over her head.

          • Your speech has real power in several situations. Your vote is one of them. Acting as a journalist is another. A third is your petition right. Another time is in the jury room.

            This list is not comprehensive.

      • @Rob Crawford

        So we can count on you, having sworn off your voice in the subject, being quiet about it from now on?

        You’re buying, hook-line-and-sinker, what the leftists teach in their government schools: that voting is some sort of right, and that it’s equivalent to voice.

        Speech is speech.

        Force is force.

        Words aren’t force (despite laws against hate speech), and force (voting) isn’t speech.

        I don’t remotely swear off my voice on the subject; I just won’t fight fire with fire (ESPECIALLY because it doesn’t work).

        • You’re buying, hook-line-and-sinker, the abdication of your role in our government. I’m just asking you to be consistent.

          You can call a vote “force” all you want, it no more makes it “force” than calling a tail a leg gives a dog five legs.

          • @Rob Crawford
            > You’re buying, hook-line-and-sinker, the abdication of your role in our government.

            “Our” government?

            The government does not respect me, does not work with my blessing, and – in fact – exists despite my hostility.

            A “citizen” of the Soviet Union in 1970 has every moral right in the world to note vote, because the mere act of voting serves to put a fig leaf on an abomination, to legitimize the non-legitimizable.

            This is my country, but it is not my government.

            Voting doesn’t work, and I refuse to pretend that it does, and I refuse to pretend that the system is legitimate or just.

            I’d just as soon vote for my favorite mafia don. If you want to castigate me for not being part of “our” organized crime system because I refuse to say that Don Carlilo is better than Don LoRusso, feel free.

            • “Voting doesn’t work, and I refuse to pretend that it does, and I refuse to pretend that the system is legitimate or just.”

              See: Prophecy, Self-fulfilling.

              • I’ve done an A/B test.

                When I voted the government ignored the Constitution and infringed rights willy-nilly.

                When I didn’t vote the government ignored the Constitution and infringed rights willy-nilly.

                The science is settled! 😉

                • Jello Biafra would be so proud.

                  Mew

                • So instead of assuming that your failure was due to unpopularity of your position among the electorate, you assume that the system is rigged and so you remove yourself from the electorate?

                  How again is that not a self-fulfilling prophecy?

            • William O. B'Livion

              Goofball.

              Plonk.

              • @William O. B’Livion

                Goofball.
                Plonk.

                I will forever treasure your well-reasoned rebuttal of my point and respect your intellectual skills for how well you argued.

          • I vote even when I figure they’re all crooks… why? Because the ballot is full of bond and other funding measures. You CAN vote against the confiscation of other people’s money for pet projects. (I don’t vote no on all of them, just 90%.)

            I think a “no” vote is really important on the never ending theft that everyone seems to think they’ve a right to do if they only get a vote to pass it.

            • Also, it’s the only stick we have. If we keep voting for the SMALLEST crook (yes, sometimes you’ll be fooled) they learn that “this far and no more.”

              • William O. B'Livion

                Thing is there’s generally 2 sets of elections, a primary and a general.

                Doesn’t cost a HUGE amount to run in a primary. To *win* a primary, yes. But to run?

  2. John “Let the Cleansing Begin” Morse almost makes me wish I lived on the eastern side of the state, just so I could go and vote against him. Being on the West Slope makes it a bit impractical to visit CO Springs showing intent to live there…

    The scariest part of the whole thing is that Mr. Morse used to be a cop.

    • Don’t forget that True the Vote was one of the orgs targeted for IRS harassment by Obama administration in advance of 2012 election.

      • IRS, BATFEIEIO, OSHA, EPA, etc.

        • First three (non-advertising) items on Google search for “IRS helps black churches”

          Holder, former IRS chief taught black churches how to skirt tax code
          BizPac Review ‎- 1 day ago
          Holder, former IRS chief taught black churches how to skirt tax code … An editorial on IBD.com Friday should help raise the volume again.

          IRS Gave Black Nonprofits Preferential Treatment – Investors.com
          news.investors.com › IBD Editorials › Viewpoint‎
          4 days ago – At the same time the IRS harassed Republican nonprofit groups during the … it selectively advised black churches and other Democrat nonprofits on how far … their tax exemption would be safe if they helped deliver the vote.

          In 2012, IRS & DOJ Aided Pro-Obama Nonprofits – Carol Platt Liebau
          townhall.com/…/09/…/irs-favoritism-for-proobama-nonprofits-n169367…‎
          4 days ago – At the same time the IRS was harassing Tea Partiers and other conservatives, … in briefings designed to help black churches support Obama.

    • Hell, up here in Washington folks aren’t even shy about voting at both houses.

  3. I’m still shaking my head because I have to show proof of residence for local bond elections (do I live in the town/school district/ water district) but can’t be asked to show it for state and federal elections. Despite what the Supreme Court has already said!

    The regional paper had a letter to the editor a few weeks ago about a gent who went through the steps to get a non-driver state ID. It cost $35 and took an hour, in part because so few people ask for them that the clerks had to look up some additional information to make sure they got everything correct. Other states offer them for free.

    • We had to show ID for this one, but then again, see “dropping off backpacks of votes.”

      • I suspect we’ll see the left suddenly decide to impose all sorts of ballot security measures for in-person voting, while leaving absentee votes subject to bulk manufacture. Their goals seem to be to harass the law-abiding and ease the burdens of the criminal.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Backpacks? Pikers. Truckloads of votes are much more effective.

    • Last year when I went to vote, I found out my driver’s license had expired a few days before. So I used my concealed carry permit to vote — it’s a state-issued photo ID, after all. The poll workers didn’t know how to handle it, and their log books didn’t have space for the much-longer ID# on the permit versus a DL.

      Since then, whenever I hear a pol say something like “it should be as easy to vote as to get a gun” I think that, instead, the requirements for voting should be similar to what I had to do for the concealed carry permit. Twelve hours of class, a test, fingerprinting, and a background check that covered every address I’ve had since age 18. Renewed every five years.

      I imagine, though, that the people who object to ANY ID would object to that…

      • I’ll take the Washington State level– half a day of waiting, a little paperwork, and fingerprinting then the fee.

      • I agree. I think CA residents definitely need to have a ten-day waiting period before voting, a background check, a form checked by the state and federal government, and to show ID including some kind of alternate proof of residence. Then they can vote.

    • And, iirc, under the new Voter ID law, Texas will issue IDs for voting purposes for free. All you have to do is show proof of residency or whatever.

  4. Christopher M. Chupik

    ” . . . the Giant Rat of Colorado, a story for which the world is not yet prepared . . .”

  5. Our freedoms and way of life are based upon 4 boxes, Soap, Ballot, Jury, and Cartridge. The Soap box has been invalidated by monopolies of the main stream media. The Ballot boxes are being stuffed and those who are supposed to oppose it seem to applaud. The Jury box relies upon judges who are honest and true, the evidence shows to the contrary. I would prefer not to open the fourth box but, it is beginning to look like the only way of preserving our nation. Destroying it in hopes that it rises like Phoenix from the ashes. I don’t believe in mythical creatures 😦

    • Re: the jury box. In one of the protracted cases of Internet harassment, the Maryland state attorney general’s office has decided to drop criminal harassment charges against a left-wing… thug… who has spent a year spewing the most vile and abusive rants against those who have dared to expose the background of a convicted terrorist.

      The Maryland courts issued a court order; the thug made a show of violating the order; now the state refuses to enforce the order.

      The whole saga is marked with judges and other state officials who make the oddest decisions. Someone, somewhere, is protecting a pack of thugs.

    • William O. B'Livion

      The Soap box has been invalidated by monopolies of the main stream media.

      Really?

      Then how are you and I communicating?

      Is PJM one of those monopolies?

      Is Drudge?

      • Does most of the population ever get exposed to those outlets? no, not nearly enough.

        • Actually the switchover is a process. First you get surprised by relying on the MSM. For example, Dan Rather is resigning and you don’t understand why because none of your news sources told you the other side of the story, just the CBS corporate line until right before the end. Once that happens enough times, you get embarrassed by being uninformed and you start looking for alternatives. At one point you get mad and you start reading those alternatives in addition to your regulars. Then slowly, over time, one by one you drop your regulars for this or that subject because the alternatives are better and then you only keep an eye on the old style stuff because you want to be able to figure out what those who haven’t made the journey are not hearing. Finally you drop them entirely because you’re indifferent to the old style and those who advertise there.

          The US population mapped onto this process makes a nice bell shaped curve. Some people are further along than others but very few are at either tail. This is not the time to give up hope. We’re winning.

          • This sounds a lot like what’s going on with ebooks, too. And I must be on the e-news end, because we gave up our THREE newspapers six years ago, then WSJ three years ago when they started bleating “summer of recovery”

            • Speaking of eBooks – I read an article yesterday, complaining about some new Amazon thing where they give a huge discount on the eBook copy when you buy the paper book. The author was lamenting the fact that Amazon was, “encouraging people to buy paper books” (because CO2 emissions, you know). Ugh.

              • The author was lamenting the fact that Amazon was, “encouraging people to buy paper books” (because CO2 emissions, you know).

                Did you explain that the trees were planted expressly for the purpose of making paper, that they took CO2 out of the air, which is locked into the paper of the book. And then, once made into paper, more trees are planted to make still more paper, repeating the cycle.

                If one is really worried about “CO2 emissions” one should be encouraging the use of paper, and actively discouraging (if not outright banning) its recycle, but rather burying it in landfills where it will eventually be turned into coal. See? Using paper and throwing it away is “green”!

                • Exactly, books (like wooden houses) are a form of long-term carbon sequester. A tree will only last 20-80 years unless it is really lucky, but a good book or a house can stay around for centuries with proper care.

                • We can reduce our effective CO2 emissions by counting every buried sheet of paper as a carbon sink! brilliant!

            • I finally gave up the Anchorage Daily Socialist when I moved – it had been nice for getting factual news, and semi-factual local news (you had to filter for the Los Anchoragite reporters not understanding a thing about the bush, or flying, or racing, or dogs, or predator control, or….)

              I didn’t get the local big city rag, because it seemed pretty content-free, and not even worth looking through. The small village free paper is better, because it’s focused on things that the neighbors will chide the author in the grocery store if he doesn’t get it right. Now and then I pick up the free “alternate” newspaper at the farmer’s market, just to see what idiocies the moonbats are telling themselves, and what concerts are coming up.

              I wonder how many people continue to subscribe out of habit, and how moving for jobs affects the adoption on the technology curve?

      • You know, we’re not reaching ‘the man on the street” Making a difference, sure, but…

    • The other problem with the Ballot Box is with how much of our actual law is made by bureaucrats who aren’t subject to it, even by firing by politicians who are (if from the opposing party).

      At this point, the only check on them is to convince them that certain decisions will result in Midnight Molotov Delivery.

  6. From an accounting/auditing point of view, absence of effective controls to detect and prevent fraud represents a material weakness and would cause a company to fail an audit. Management would be replaced. Lawsuits would prevail.

    No government that fails to enact reasonable controls on ballot access can pretend to be legitimate.

  7. I’d LOVE to vote to recall this worthless piece of Democrat, but I’m in the wrong district, and I won’t cheat. I’m also all for a tar and feathers party if he wins the recall.

  8. Stephen Michael Kellat

    This is why I am a Precinct Election Officer in my county in Ohio. I hold onto democracy tightly with both hands and help ensure elections in whatever precinct I am assigned to during that election are legal & proper. Precinct Election Officers conducting the polls are the first line for dealing with voter fraud and other issues.

    Which reminds me that I have recertification to do for the upcoming general election on recent changes to Ohio’s laws on Provisional Ballots, access for disabled voters, voter identification requirements, and other fun stuff…

  9. I registered by Motor-Voter once, in North Carolina. Presidential election day, the voting place said I was not registered. Go to your old voting place– no wait, we’ll straighten it out. Did my vote count? I have no idea.
    The best sign for the Morse recall is that the Morse people are behaving the way they say the Republicans behave to discourage voting. An article in the Independent predicted Republican fraud, and actually threatened prison time to any Republican who voted Democrat-style. We’ll be watching you if you vote the wrong way, hey, hey.

  10. The new Democrat strategy: One man (or woman, living, dead, legal, illegal, or imaginary), one vote, one time.

  11. Yes, of course, any of those restrictions will cost someone the opportunity to vote, who should “legitimately” have been able to. But the opposite creates a chance for people who shouldn’t vote to vote and dilute the vote of people who are legitimately allowed to.

    This.

    Is it better to let ten guilty people go free than to convict one innocent person? I tend to think so in principle; I definitely think so in this corrupt time. Is it better to let a hundred guilty people go free than to convict one innocent person? I tend to doubt it.

    Is it better to let ten unqualified people vote than to turn one qualified voter away from the polls? I doubt it.

    There’s a tradeoff. Somebody who denies the existence of a tradeoff is dumb or, if a politician, dishonest. We know which party ignores the existence of a tradeoff in favor of heartrending hypothetical scenarios.

    The right to vote implies a right to have one’s vote counted fairly.

    • It’s not even a trade-off, it’s a self-correcting problem.

      If I’ve been disenfranchised because I failed to meet the requirements to vote I know it. I should also have a pretty good idea what I need to do in order to have my vote counted next time, and a couple of years to do it. In a very few edge cases it might require intensive lobbying and intervention by elected officials. But the entire system is transparent to me.

      If I’ve been disenfranchised because some vile prog voted twice and canceled out my vote I’ll never know. There’s nothing I can do except hope that the fraudsters are so incompetent as to get caught. And given that we have documented cases from the last election of people BRAGGING ON CAMERA about voting multiple times and, as far as I know, they still walk free, I don’t have much hope.

      • Acorn claimed on camera to have “created” 2 million votes for Obama. Now, that might mean GOTV efforts, but that’s not what it sounded like.

        • They registered Mickey Mouse to vote in Vegas. I think they were manufactured all right.

          • There were multiple instances in places like Philly where the actual vote count not only exceeded the registered voter count but also the counted population of the precinct. Prima facie fraud.

      • 1. If you “don’t have much hope”, then the problem is not “self-correcting”.

        2. I meant tradeoff in the sense of quality control: false positives vs false negatives, Type I and Type II errors, etc.

        3. I’ve said this before: fraud in a national election would involve coordination among polls, exit polls, and vote counts. Quite a trick. In the last three Presidential elections, I don’t see it.

        4. If the Democrats take back the House and swing the Supreme Court, I expect them to use fraud to hang on to that majority, but fraud may not be necessary when your opponent is the Stupid Party.

        • I meant that voter ID was self-correcting WRT false negatives (people who were elegible who were denied the opportunity to vote). The current system isn’t self-correcting. It requires an external mechanism to correct it, one which is likely corrupt.

          There wouldn’t necessarily need much coordination at a national scale. Especially since the organizations reporting poll results (both national and exit) are ideologically committed to the side that’s won most of the past close elections. I don’t think anyone is claiming that voter fraud is hiding a massive number of Republican votes, but I think it is more than sufficient to tilt the balance in close races.

          • Thx for the clarification.

            We’re probably not on the same paragraph but we might be on the same page and are almost certainly on the same chapter.

        • QUITE A TRICK? Look, GS, truly, no big trick. The polls are cooked — then the votes are adjusted to meet the polls. It’s done at every single banana republic. Why do you think it’s that difficult?
          Far more difficult to coordinate media coverage, and we KNOW they do that.

          • 1. It’s done at every single banana republic. Why do you think it’s that difficult?

            The USA is not yet a banana republic. There are many pollsters and many pollwatchers. And still some checks and balances.

            2. Look, GS, truly, no big trick.

            How do you know this? How are the three conspiracies—polls, exit polls, vote tabulation—carried out, let alone coordinated? Why have there been no whistleblowers? Where are the Ellsbergs, Mannings, and Snowdens when election security is much weaker than military security?

            3. Congratulations on success with Morse and maybe the other bozette too.

            • It’ s like “how did the IRS coordinate going after conservative groups?” You don’t need “conspiracy” as such, just a lockstep culture.

            • How are the three conspiracies—polls, exit polls, vote tabulation—carried out, let alone coordinated?

              They don’t have to be specifically coordinated. These people are fellow travelers. They do these things because it’s what they think is right, because The Right is EEEEVVVIIIILLLLL.

              Why have there been no whistleblowers?

              There HAVE been, but you don’t hear about them unless you follow the few conservative outlets who have been able to get the information. There was a black woman a year or two ago who actually got a whole group of people together to do a video about how they lost their infatuation with Obama and talked about the things that they were encouraged to do, but the MSM didn’t cover the story, so it died on the vine, just like all the other ones did (Voter intimidation in Pennsylvania, Republican Poll Watchers thrown out of polling places, where the vote totals came up WAY out of the norm for the rest of the area, a woman in Cincinnati talking on camera who was proud of voting for Obama FIVE TIMES, plus Sarah’s own account of 1/3 of voters at the polling place where she was a poll watcher being told they had voted absentee). What more do you want?

              • He wants to be right. He wants it to be impossible. I confess if I hadn’t SEEN it, I’d not have believed it.
                To add to that, I’m SURE that Romney’s election apparatus, hired out to consulting firms was… er… penetrated by the other side. Which validates “stupid party” — but it has nothing to do with positions, just… they play by Marquess de Fantail (Pratchett. I can’t remember the real one) rules, while the other side fights bare knuckles.

            • Hi GS… to answer some of your questions
              1. USA is not yet a banana republic– okay that was a statement. I have lived in a banana republic and the US is so close to that place that I don’t recognize it as the country where I was rased.

              2. Exit polls are done by the press– liberal much? In my home state the voting is done on a voting machine. Here there were a lot of people who saw the machine select the popular vote and wouldn’t let them vote their candidate. Plus in the case of a member of my family, the machine quit working and the pollsters wouldn’t let him vote on another machine. Plus have you seen what happens to the whistleblowers?

              3. Also in several states, military votes weren’t counted. (This particular sin has happened to me when I was in the Navy). Florida was the State that finally told the big secret. Also both parties are cheating– example… Buses loaded with homeless, Alzheimer patients, and other types of people and were helped to vote by volunteers of Acorn. Dead people voted liberal. The other party (Reps) in 2008 locked up most of the ballots and hid them (this was for a presidential primary) so that the candidate that the main party wanted would get this swing State who then lost to the current Pres. If that is not fraud… and deliberate fraud. I just don’t know.

              4. Ask around about how in the last election that 100 percent of the voters voted for one candidate… happened in Colorado and other places.

              Yes, it is rigged. I am voting… I am very discouraged and have been discouraged since Clinton. So yes, whoever makes and programs the digital voting machines (and or hack them) own our votes. I would rather go back to the paper ballots.

              BTW Sarah– congrats on the recall. Now if you can recall the legislation

              • 4- oops. I meant 100 percent of the voters in one district voted for the same candidate… definitely fraud. You’d think at least one person would have voted for the opposition.

                If this happened in a banana republic with a UN watcher, it would be on the news. Here it is oh-hum

              • re: Point #3
                Nothing so encourages voter fraud and ballot cheating as the belief that the other side is doing so. It fundamentally delegitimizes elections.

            • There are precincts where ballots cast exceed registered voters — heck, exceed voting age adults. These precincts typically have no poll watchers from one of the parties (typically GOP) for a variety of reasons, such as those on display in Center City Philadelphia in 2008. Further, in certain precincts in my home state of NC I recall protests in “Black” neighborhoods over “white” GOP poll watchers being intimidating because of Jim Crow’s lingering effects (never mind that Jim Crow was enacted and maintained by Democrats.)

              Even in a very large state a statewide election can be turned on a few tens of thousands of votes. That many are easily manufacturable in Chicago, NYC, Philadelphia. Fabricate a thousand votes in a hundred precincts and you’ve got a landslide. Block some opposition voters, such as serving military, hold a few rallies for early voting and bus the voters to the poll, register a hundred thousand people who don’t exist and vote them absentee — it all adds up. And if they don’t add up to quite enough there is always the carefully controlled recount (see Gov. Gregoire or Sen. Franken.)

              If you are seriously interested, I recommend John Fund’s Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy:

              John Fund explores the real divide the country faces with the looming election. Through wary thoughts on voting integrity, he shows how eletions can be decided by the votes of dead people, illegal felon voters, and absentee voters that simply don’t exist. If nothing is done to address the growing cynicism about vote counting, rest assured that another close presidential election that descends into bitter partisan wrangling is just around the corner.

              or Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk, co-written with civil rights attorney Hans von Spakovsky. You can guage how good these are by the hysterical negative reviews denouncing Fund and von Spakovsky as partisan hacks.

        • William O. B'Livion

          3. I’ve said this before: fraud in a national election would involve coordination among polls, exit polls, and vote counts. Quite a trick. In the last three Presidential elections, I don’t see it.

          Nope. Just careful analysis of where the swing states are, and a mix of ballot stuffing and ballot invalidating.

          But national elections aren’t where the real problem starts–it’s the local elections that are MUCH easier to fix. Local offices are the sand lots of state offices, which are the bush leagues of the Federal. If you can get “your” people in at the local level you can identify the good candidates to “bring up”. You can also stuff the other side with either folks who mostly agree with you, or with buffoons.

          At least that’s how I’d do it if I were an Evil Overlord.

          • The time to pull dandelions is before they’ve established their tap roots. That means not letting an Al D’Amato loss to Chuck Schumer or a Jim Ryan/Alan Keyes loss to Barack Obama.

            The TEA Party missed a few opportunities in 2010 (although I don’t think Nevada was winnable — Harry Reid had that fixed) but there are blown chances for both parties almost every election. All politicians will disappoint you at one time or another, but some of them will take your calls and listen sympathetically, which is about the best you can realistically hope.

            The ship of state is a freaking scow of a barge and doesn’t turn easily; as Milton Friedman said, the secret does not lie in electing the “right” people, it lies in pushing the system so that even Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be forced to do the right things. The Progs have spent over a century getting their hands on the controls, why would anybody expect to change the course in a couple elections? We’re in a war of attrition and they win if they defeat us or simply convince us what we do doesn’t matter.

          • If I was an Evil Overlord, I would not spend money on big races — not presidential and darn few Senatorial (at least, not until they figure out how to gerrymander a state) because you get very little bang for your buck. I would spend a bit on marginal House districts, places where a million can make the difference, and possibly on a few long shots, such as taking out Paul Ryan or at least force him to defend his seat instead of pumping up other candidates.

            Governorships, especially in less populated states and states critically placed in the election cycle (e.g., Iowa, New Hampshire) are probably good value, especially when you can run false flag candidates (either Progs who can play moderate or Libertarian/”Far Right” who can split the conservative vote and allow a Wilson to slip through.)

            Secretaries of State are probably your best investment. Quite cheap and they can ensure other of your candidates get elected (and ballot measures defeated) by their ability to affect election regulations (writing & enforcement), ballot wording and recount/challenge rulings.

          • Nope. Just careful analysis of where the swing states are, and a mix of ballot stuffing and ballot invalidating.

            1. Polls, exit polls, and tabulations are metrics. Show an obvious discrepancy among them and there will be hell to pay.

            2. Careful analysis is not easy. Disguising ballot hijinks to be undetected is not easy. Falsifying metrics is not easy..

            3. In fact, I gather that a big part of Obama’s reelection was cutting-edge data mining to support GOTV.

            4. Gone are the days when Republicans, instead of whining, accepted that they had to win beyond the margin of fraud—and did so.

            5. People who think the Democrats are winning by fraud ain’t seen nothin’ yet. More election cycles with business as usual from the Stupid Party and the Democrats will make their fraud all but permanent.

            • Stats and damn stats. You can make numbers lie btw. (or metrics) If you are damn good with numbers.

              • Charlie is a mathematician and frankly a genius. He deconstructed what they were doing with polls.

              • Hi, Cyn.

                Statistics is hard to do correctly. It’s even harder (psychologically) when you’re at personal risk if you’re wrong. It’s harder still when you desire an outcome but don’t stand to lose if you’re wrong; unfortunately, treacherously, in this case it can seem easy.

                And even if you do everything right, for your pains you may wind up learning that no robust conclusions can be drawn.

                • You are adhering to the scientific method. That is only half of the human experience. You need to start with the anecdotes. I have said this before– a person w/o a degree pulls together a cross-section of stories, it is called anecdotes. When a liberal or researcher pulls together stories, it is called research. 😉

                  I don’t consider myself with an ability to do statistics; however, I have had enough schooling and background in some types of research to distrust statistics until I see the underpinnings.

            • Twaddle. The only time Hell gets raised over such “metrics” is when Democrats get surprised (see: Ohio, 2004.)

              Pre-election polls are weighted by expected turnout. That is why they generally prove so inaccurate. Choosing the right voter mix is an art, not a science. Predicting turnout in off-year elections is especially hard. The main purpose of published pre-election polling is to depress opposition voters and goose the morale of the favored party’s voters.

              Exit polls are routinely gamed these days. It has been shown that Democrat voters are much more eager to approach pollsters and announce how they’ve voted while Republican voters are far more inclined to growl “Go to blazes” at intrusive questions. Campaigns have been known to make deliberate effort to identify and steer their voters to exit pollsters, especially in the vitally important hours before mid-afternoon.

              Tabulations? you mean by computerized electronic voting machines with insecure data retrieval? Care to guess how many reports there were in 2012 of people “pulling the lever” for candidate A and seeing candidate B get their vote? Care to guess how many people don’t notice? Do you not recall the 2000 Florida election’s infamous “Butterfly Ballot”?

              • Twaddle.

                This reminds me of how deferential I was to a certain online ‘savant’…until he contemptuously dismissed disagreement about an issue I had professional experience with.

                A little learning is a dangerous thing;
                Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
                There shallow drafts intoxicate the brain,
                And drinking largely, sobers us again.

                • How curious. I notice no counter-argument, no refutation of the points made, no challenge to assertions presented, merely reminiscence about past (presumed) glories.

                  Had you offered any but the broadest, most general support for your statements they would be less easily dismissed.

                  Happily for the peace of my mind, I have as yet noticed (nor sought) any deference from you toward those who comment here, so I am certain there was no parallel implied.

                  • I notice no counter-argument, no refutation of the points made, no challenge to assertions presented…

                    True.

                    …merely reminiscence about past (presumed) glories.

                    It should suffice to point this phrase out.

                    Ever since the election, Newt Gingrich has been explaining and warning:

                    Gingrich saw things differently. “The technology problem is a culture problem,” he said, noting that Democrats “were using the most advanced decision processes in the country.” They “were trying to figure out, how do you talk to 311 million people and do so in a way that you can survive 8 percent unemployment and get re-elected.”

                    And it worked.

                    “They are a Super Bowl team that we ought to respect deeply, and we are currently a mid-level college team floundering around,” Gingrich observed. “This is a fundamental re-thinking on how you relate to the American people.”

                    The embedded film clip was worth viewing, and the NYT link was worth reading.

                    But the Democrats cheeeeat!!

                    Jeezis.

                    • Such a demonstration of obtuseness seems almost deliberate. The issue, the complaint is not “But the Democrats cheeeeat!!”

                      The problem is that our electoral processes are operating under internal security protocols which render them invalid. I (and I suspect most others here) would equally object to Republican cheating. Just as few of us want a media as biased toward conservatism as it currently tilts toward progressivism.

                      The demand for a valid voter ID process, for meaningful controls over ballot security are not partisan complaints about Democrat cheating. No more than criticisms about fiat money are complaints about devaluation of our savings.

                      BTW: citing Newt Gingrich as an authority of the problems afflicting the Republican Party ignores the fact that he has been a major problem afflicting the Republican Party.

                    • Ever since the election, Newt Gingrich has been explaining and warning:

                      and

                      But the Democrats cheeeeat!!

                      Do you make the mistake of thinking the two positions are mutually exclusive? On the one hand the Democrat media machine, the “blame everyone but us” approach, and their hammering on talking points, changing “truth” as it suits them, has been a “successful” strategy. (Whether it’s enough, by itself, to win is open to question.)

                      They also cheat. (Whether _that’s_ enough, by itself, to win is also open to question.)

                      It’s a dessert topping and a floor wax.

                    • thewriterinblack | September 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

                      Do you make the mistake of thinking the two positions are mutually exclusive?

                      I don’t think I do. My concern is with the overemphasis, in too many places on the Right, on Democrat cheating.

                      I presume the Democrats cheated in 2012. They’re Democrats, after all.

                      They also did some things brilliantly. I suspect that their technical brilliance would have been insufficient without GOP incompetence. Unfortunately, both were present and Obama handily won an election he should have lost decisively. (In the names of all the gods at once, how could the Republicans manage to lose the Asian-American vote by 3 to1?!)

                      Until/unless Republicans regain a governing majority, they can only play defense wrt Democrat cheating. The grassroots’ overemphasis on cheating serves as a distraction from things the Right may be able to change. Worse, the overemphasis can become overexaggeration and a form of denial.

                    • My concern is with the overemphasis, in too many places on the Right, on Democrat cheating.

                      Implicit presumption there is that because people are discussing the one here at the moment (and in other venues) that the other is not also being discussed.

                      Yet you cited one case of someone on the “right” discussing just that tactic.

                      Personally, I don’t think the problem is either. I think it’s that the decision comes down to one “side” demanding that you stand, while the other (most Democrats and more than a few Republicans) only asking that you kneel–but if you kneel, they’ll give you presents. One side offers nothing but “blood and toil and sweat and tears” while the other promises goodies that other people pay for. And the majority of the American people have made their choice.

                      There has been a bit of a backlash against that in the last few years but I am . . . skeptical . . . that there are enough to really change things on the national scale. The main difference between the Democrats and entirely too many Republican voters is more one of degree than of kind.

                      But I could be wrong. I hope I am. I don’t think so, but I proceed on the presumption that I am because, frankly, there’s little to be gained otherwise. If I’m not wrong, then we’re doomed regardless of anything I might do. But if I am, then making an effort to change the course just might manage it.

                      In military terms that’s called a “forlorn hope.”

                    • 1. My posts in this thread reflect my overall impression of the Right blogosphere since the election.

                      2. I think it’s that the decision comes down to one “side” demanding that you stand, while the other (most Democrats and more than a few Republicans) only asking that you kneel–but if you kneel, they’ll give you presents. One side offers nothing but “blood and toil and sweat and tears” while the other promises goodies that other people pay for.

                      True. Also, IMHO, swing voters distrust both parties wrt hidden agendas. That being so, they understandably vote for the party that offers them free stuff.

                      3. There has been a bit of a backlash against that in the last few years but I am . . . skeptical . . . that there are enough to really change things on the national scale. The main difference between the Democrats and entirely too many Republican voters is more one of degree than of kind.

                      Agreed. In fact, I may have posted something very like your last sentence elsewhere. (Presumably you’ve seen Angelo Codevilla’s thoughts on the US ruling class, but I’d be happy to dig up a link.)

                      However, I try to respect the distinction between I see no hope and There is no hope. In the 1970s the future looked bleak too….

                    • However, you seem to be saying that there is no point in bringing up the vote fraud, because Republicans are stupid. When there may have been millions of votes cast fraudulently, it’s something that needs to be brought up.

                    • Afaic the topic of vote fraud is beguilingly dangerous to the Right because it tends to divert our attention from critical deficiencies on our side.

                    • If it’s allowed to remain at the staggeringly high levels it appears to be, correcting the deficiencies may very well not be enough.

                    • Afaic the topic of vote fraud is beguilingly dangerous to the Right because it tends to divert our attention from critical deficiencies on our side.

                      Implicit in that is an either/or assumption. It’s not. Attention paid to vote fraud does not necessarily imply a lack of attention to “critical deficiencies” elsewhere.

                    • When a ship is leaking you patch every hole.

                      It is fallacious to conflate concern over ballot integrity with whining about losing. It is dishonest to fail to acknowledge that ballot integrity is fundamental to democracy. It is credulous to accept that because a system with no controls to detect fraud fails to detect fraud, therefore no fraud occurs.

                      One could as well dismiss complaints about disenfranchisement due to poll taxes and literacy tests as being sore loser complaints resulting from poorly managed campaigns.

                    • The Left is more than willing to tell us our critical deficiencies… so yes, you have a real mote that says we are deficient when the problem is quite different. Most people have been propagandized in the school system– so they have no idea what real freedom is… Ten plus years of constant degradation against conservatives is finally reaping the fruit of said degradation. Republican party’s ruling class is more liberal than the little folk. IMHO they have been hiding their stripes for years. Plus peer pressure is a real problem when any of our congressmen (women) have gone to Congress. Or for that matter the RULING CLASS is more liberal (not classically liberal… socialist liberal) than us in the trenches.

                      The critical deficiency is that we have not been able to tout what makes our ideology better for all of us. Or maybe some commenters from past blogs are right that certain folks don’t mind having their thinking done for them and are of the serf class.

                      However, we are not like that… Optimism and the can do spirit is a better pushing force than criticism. I know from personal experience that I will do more with the carrot than with the stick.

                    • 1. Wayne, it’s true that things may have gotten to the point that a visit from the Copybook Gods is inevitable. Or maybe not.

                      For reasons I’ve indicated above, I am far from convinced that cheating was the difference in the last three Presidential elections. Others disagree and that’s their prerogative.

                      2. thewriterinblack, you say:

                      Implicit in that is an either/or assumption. It’s not. Attention paid to vote fraud does not necessarily imply a lack of attention to “critical deficiencies” elsewhere.

                      IMHO it’s a matter of how to best set priorities and allocate finite time and energy.

                    • State implementation of simple de minimis controls to ensure ballot integrity is a very easy and inexpensive matter, one enjoying public approval at something like the 80% level. Neither difficult, expensive nor burdensome, it is the voting equivalent of installing a double-cylinder lock, chain and peephole in your front door or counting the till at the end of a shift.

                      It is justifiable without regard to whether anyone is cheating. If it diverts excessive attention from more substantial efforts it is only because somebody has an active interest in not having those controls in place. If somebody has such an interest it would seem to make such controls all the more desirable.

                      A basic rule of test taking is to read the whole thing and snatch the easy problems first, making sure you collect those before tackling the more difficult ones. Voter ID is about as easy a problem as spelling your name correctly on the exam.

                    • er… I spelled my name the Almeida instead of de Almeida in all my tests after a year in the US. Good thing they didn’t take points out.

  12. Sarah, thank you for voting for the recall of thaat obnoxious horrible man who pointedly ignored both polling AND the testimony of his constituents.

    I know that in a representative government, we elect people who we trust to perform the job based on their knowledge and understanding, and that we do not expect them to be slaves to polling, since if that were the case we would have a direct democracy. It’s the legislator’s job to take the time to study a subject more than I have the time to and form a good opinion on my behalf. Morris, however, didn’t do that. He simply was bought and paid for by an outside billionaire.

  13. For those of you who are sick to death of the stupidity and corruption, and want to see real democracy in action, there is a new kickstarter campaign for you to support.

    Help Kickstart World War III

    Help Kickstart World War III

    Remember do it for Obama.

    • What are the stretch goals?

      • Well they did mention anything specific but they did suggest they would be for starting world war IV and V or waging war on the moon.

        The gift of a piece of rubble from the middle east looked pretty good. But 10 million for a senator seems kinda steep. I’m pretty sure you can rent one for about 50 grand.

        • Freakigg spelling! Meant to say “Well they didn’t mention anything specific.”

        • Buying a senator is rather like buying the Brooklyn Bridge. It is hard to assert title, they are both awkward to use elsewhere and these days the senators rarely stay bought. Why, they’ve gotten to the point it is impossible (with the Dems, at least) to defend title even once you’ve gotten pictures of them in bed with a live boy and a dead girl.

          I noticed the National Enquirer in the check-out line the other day, proclaiming to have discovered video of Hillary Clinton enjoying a “steamy romp” with another woman. I was forced to seriously ponder the implications and probable truth value of the claim, which I assess as higher than if it was on the front page of the NY Times.

          • Oh, come on, RES– “rule of ridiculous” should apply with anything that has “Hillary” and “steamy romp” involved.

            (of course, I’d have the same objection with the Mister. I don’t care how many folks tell me he’s got an “amazing presence” in person, he creeps me out.)

            • An outhouse steams on a summer day.

            • I wouldn’t know. My mind runs into “Hillary” and “romp” in a sentence and essentially reboots. The imagery that loads tends to be the sort which involves Disney villainesses and I’ve seen little enough of that since the Daughtorial Unit lost interest after Little Mermaid.

              Back when Billy Jeff was first elected a friend of mine accidentally met him. He was in DC, standing on the corner minding his own business when a Secret Service agent came up to him and said the president would shortly be jogging by and would my friend like to have a picture taken with him? Said friend was a fellow accountant and no big fan of Clinton’s agenda but said the man had amazing charisma.

              • William O. B'Livion

                …Clinton’s agenda but said the man had amazing charisma.

                Presidents and sociopaths usually do.

  14. The irony is that — given the day off work, a sufficiently large budget for airfare and rental cars, and sufficient time to plan the optimal itinerary — I’m pretty sure that at every single national election, I could cast 11 ballots in districts I don’t live in anymore, but would still have to plan really really carefully to cast one in the district I actually do live in (where the polls close at 6pm, requiring that I either take the day off, or else rely on prayer to make it all the way to the polling place through traffic in time). And that’s just with registrations that were, at the time they went onto the books, legitimate and factual.

    Worth noting that my present district is also the only one I’ve ever lived in as an adult where showing identification is required.

  15. Sigh, I used to live on North Garo Ave when I was in the AF. Wish I was back there for the

  16. For those who may not know, to vote to expel “Rodentus Maximus” you have to vote “YES” on the ballot. So what are the Morse supporters doing? They have printed adhesive stickers they are placing on the Recall Morse signs, changing “Vote YES” to “Vote NO”. I wonder how many voters who want to get rid of the rat were fooled into voting for him?

    • Who knows? I read the question…

      • Yes, but you read. There are all too many who would rather watch a video clip than read more than a headline. I am the other way around. I would much rather get my information by reading than watching a video clip. The other day my wife and I got different things out of the same news story on the Internet. I had read the text (which had not accurately conveyed the information in the video) while she had watched the video.

  17. Voting should not be easy or convenient, which isn’t to say that it should be hard or inconvenient. But everyone has to make some sacrifice to make government by the people work. A system cannot work if those who receive the benefit don’t pay the price. Some had to storm Omaha Beach. You have to stand in a line.

    • What pisses me off is that we’re pretty systematically avoiding those willing to offer their lives, while aiding those who won’t stand in line.

      I, er, managed to vote at my home address the entire time I was in the Navy, including while we were in “support of Iraqi Freedom” and otherwise had a big target on our hull, even though each and every time I jumped through every blessed hoop to have the ballot show up on the ship.

      Not a single time did it make it.

      But after I moved to Spokane, and actually called up to be removed from the voting list (they selected me for jury duty while I was counties away), they still sent my ballot to my folks’ place.

      Not sure if they’ve sent it to the last two places I’ve lived since then. Pretty sure they have, since apparently they sent the traffic ticket info there, too… (in spite of mail forwarding. Probably Spokane isn’t sending it, though, they changed my delivery address to the other side of the state when I got a new license……)

      • I wouldn’t have much problem with not letting active duty, or anyone who draws a check from the government, vote. But it has to be consistent. If we’re going to move heaven and earth to make sure Mary Q. Obamaphone can have a say in the government you need to do the same to get G. I. Joe’s opinion.

  18. “Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants. So every 90 years or so you’ll have to kill a bunch of Democrats.”

    Stuff Jefferson Said, Vol. 5

  19. The increasing corruption of elections in America, in particular the use of ballot-stuffing and suppression, is extremely dangerous. Elections are basically alternatives to civil wars: since the victor in a civil war is in any case likely to be the side with the majority of supporters, why not skip the death and destruction of the civil war and instead elect the candidate favored by the majority?

    Once this deal is widely accepted, civil war becomes unlikely, because legitimacy is conferred on the party who won the election, not on whoever happens to have a military force occupying the capital. In America, this has essentially abolished coups, since the would be makers of coups are aware that “success” would simply mean that they had the whole rest of the country as their enemies in a very one-sided civil war which would end in the death or exile of the persons who made the coups. Hence, they don’t even try to launch coups.

    However, if the majority is directly blocked from electing its candidate, if it becomes impossible to “throw the rascals out” through peaceful processes, eventually the majority will realize it. And at this point, the party in power loses legitimacy, and a successful coup plotter, rebel or revolutionary may very well be seen as legitimate if he can win the necessary armed struggle.

    The ironic thing is that it is the Democrats who are engaging in this massive voter fraud, even though they are the party with the least support among military, security, police and other people who are capable of weilding weapons competently. They are starting a fight they can’t win if the other side decides to start fighting, and they are banking on the other side continuing to play by the rules long after the Democrats themselves have stopped doing so.

    They are sawing off the branch on which they are standing.

    And no, if it needs saying, I don’t want to see America become the sort of country in which violent excursions from the Constitution become just another part of the political system. I know my history, I know what happened the last time we did this (1861-65, which come to think of it was also the fault of the Democrats) and I don’t want to see millions (given modern technology, possibly tens of millions to more than a hundred million) Americans dead over this, and our Republic for ever crippled.

    We need to stop this now, while there’s still time.

    • The increasing corruption of elections in America, in particular the use of ballot-stuffing and suppression, is extremely dangerous. Elections are basically alternatives to civil wars: since the victor in a civil war is in any case likely to be the side with the majority of supporters, why not skip the death and destruction of the civil war and instead elect the candidate favored by the majority?

      Quibble: we’re not strictly by majority, but a balance of majority and regional interests– your vote counts “less” if there are a whole crudton of folks around you, preventing population centers having outsized say and the “two wolves and a sheep” issue. (Also makes it so that population inflation is less rewarding– I’m not sure which was the real point.)

      • Simply put: if you want your vote to “count” more, move to Wyoming or similar low population state.

        Make sure you participate in local elections, at least to the extent of knowing the candidates to support. School board, city council, county commissioners — think of these as the farm teams of national politics. They are also where you can find candidates willing and able to listen to your voice.

        It has been mentioned around these parts before now, but remains the case: find your local party office and volunteer. Get to know them and get them to know you. The GOP almost always has openings for local party representatives since they don’t sell those roles to the unions. (N.B. – these positions often come with open bar.)

        Note to Sarah: since there are people at PJM who read emails from you, Scott Ott might do a series of videos or posts explaining how to plant yourself in the grass roots. I suspect an appalling number of people don’t know how to involve themselves effectively and (last I knew) Heinlein’s manual was out of print (although I believe Baen had plans to publish it.)

  20. “Unless they are essentially dependents on other adults and possibly impaired,”

    Folks like this are no doubt using plenty of medical services … for which you have to have photo ID. Also elderly nuns and all the suchlike … are they NEVER seeing a doctor … REALLY? Pshaw!

    • Y’know, this is one of those things that if the people on “that side” of the debate would spend their money on providing valid IDs, the problem would be solved at about a third the cost of fighting the requirement through the courts.

      (Same thing with government funded birth control: just pay for them with your own dang $$s instead of trying to make taxpayers fund it and we’d all be wealthier and happier.)

      • True, unless you count the cost required to defraud the voter ID system (all systems can be broken, it’s just a matter of resources) or the cost in political power of fair elections. Then opposing honest elections by any means becomes the rational economic choice.

        And with birth control, to the vile prog mind being able to force those bitter clingers to pay for something they may be morally opposed to is a pearl without price.

  21. Speaking of exercising . . . A hundred words or so, a mile walked and a 30 minute weight workout (my pecs will hate me tomorrow), and revisions done. AND shook loose the problem with the novel sequel that was fighting me (didn’t know the main character. Once that got taken care of, everything fell into place.) No luck with cover art locating, though. Just how do you do a cover for a story about family court, polygamous alien reptile style, anyway? My initial idea went thud.

    • Yesterday three miles and 2k words. Today nada. I feel… dead. I hate waking up on 5 hours sleep. Even if I nap afterwards, it’s not right.

    • Make the cover look like The Brady Bunch, alien reptile style?

      And please tell me you’re calling it The Scales of Justice.

      • Sorry, Banshee, at the moment the title is “Feudal Dues.” Because Rada really, really hates having to act as family court judge on her estates. And the two cases in the story are, well, difficult, but not in the usual sense. She’s having a major cultural disconnect between what she thinks is right and what the Azdhagi think is right.

  22. I leave it to George Carlin to categorically refute the notion that Voting Matters:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeMGqTwWA6U [NSFW]

    A large part of the problem is: The voting is being wasted on the Wrong Part Of The Process. Voters have to vote for People, and then Hope (there’s that word again) the Person who gets elected comes across on all those fancy promises he made. Quick illustration of why this doesn’t work: Look at the newspaper headlines on the day of GW Bush’s first inauguration — what do they talk about? Now, move forward twelve months — what do they talk about? Status changes, folks.

    In a sensible system, it wouldn’t matter who was in charge — the People would instead first write the laws they wanted; then the bills would be run past the Judiciary, to make sure they don’t violate the Constitution (which would knock out 99.8% of the problem right there); then vote to see whether the bill becomes law. (Oregon *almost* has it right — the petition process means the citizens make the laws; they still haven’t twigged to running the bills past the judges first.) Then it doesn’t matter who’s in charge — it’s a simple question: “Is this guy doing what the Voters are telling him to do?” So long as he does, he stays in office — if he starts screwing around, he gets fired. You know — kind of like an employee at a business: Customer Service Matters. >:)

    • Well voting doesn’t matter if you only look at the promises made by a politician. But you can avoid the problems arising from a changing world by looking at how a politician’s mind works (or, in the case of Democrats, how it doesn’t) and what assumptions underpin their worldview.

    • Quick illustration of why this doesn’t work: Look at the newspaper headlines on the day of GW Bush’s first inauguration — what do they talk about? Now, move forward twelve months — what do they talk about?

      Why the *bleep* would I care about a glorified version of gossip, especially as a measure of “does voting matter”?

      9/11 would’ve happened either way– and judges aren’t supposed to have the kind of power they’ve aquired to rewrite constitutional amendments and such.

    • What happens when the judiciary doesn’t twig to its being unconstitutional until it gets applied?

      One also notes that the process of insisting that an issue be “ripe” before it comes before the judiciary is one of such long standing that one should be wary of dismissing it. The gods of the Copybook Headings alert us to the fact that such things are seldom random.

      In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

      This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

      — G.K. Chesterton

  23. If you didn’t vote you can’t complain is only true if you believe the vote offered has power and is a real choice. All possibility of having somebody who would serve you has been removed. It’s like the joke of – You hang them with a new rope and still they complain. It ignores the reality of what is important and pretends the game isn’t crooked to the core with lobbying and gerrymandering. If you vote you are saying the process and choice are legitimate. Perhaps you really believe that. I don’t. You can spend your whole life and energies trying to change politics at the city of county level and one corporation can flush all that effort down the toilet with a single check.

    • “Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet you can’t win.”

      Sitting outside complaining gets you even less than playing the game, although it does leave you with a sanctimonious taste in your mouth.

      • And there’s always voting for a third party, or a write in. Or register your own self as a candidate.
        You want the news to pick it up, convince all your friends to vote third party. Get a little precinct somewhere going 80% Libertarian and someone’s gonna notice. At least to scream ‘Vote Fraud!’

        • The way our voting system works there won’t ever be a third major US party. In the entire history of the Republic there have either been one or two parties, with the two party periods arising from the splitting of the single dominant party. Pretty much every time a third party has risen above statistical noise the result has been the election of Democrats. As a result the Republican party has shifted positions to co-opt the upstart party.

          There might be room for a coalition however, with Republicans supporting Libertarians in places like California or Boulder while Libertarians pledge to support Republicans in Alabama or Pueblo. But that would mean both Libertarians and Republicans would have to “compromise their principles” in order to work together. Far better to curse the darkness than light a candle.

  24. So you’re in favor of putting in a new giant rat?

  25. Josh A. Kruschke

    Health like any other problem needs to be dealt with at the roote cause.

    Sarah,

    I don’t know what your diet(as in what you eat on a regular bases) is like, but the simptoms sound like an inflamation/autoimmune response.

    On inflamation/autoimmune:

    Robb Wolf:

    Long, but worth watching all of it.

    • Er… good heavens. I cut carbs because they exacerbate my eczema. Other than that meat and veg.
      What I actually have is, yes, autoimmune, mostly relating to having been born seriously premature.
      I’ve always had them, I always will. I don’t have the time or head space for any other crazy diet.
      The other issue I’m dealing with is that our HVAC is EFFED up and the company still hasn’t fixed it. As in, they put an intake valve in basement seven years ago. Basement is NOT finished. It’s a Victorian. With OLD walls and a dirt crawlspace. They did this over our processes as “the only thing” they could do to keep the system working after putting in a real powerful system.
      So… I don’t think we need to look to my diet for sinus infections. And eczema and asthma have ALWAYS been with me. Cutting carbs just keeps me from having eczema all over my body. That’s all.

    • As for getting sick to my stomach — this happens if I don’t sleep. It’s not a condition. It’s a symptom I slept less than five hours.

  26. Oh, no, no one around here would ever try to solve problems we read about. 😉

  27. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/343301.php

    CAC at the AOSHQDD says Morse is cooked.

    Mew

  28. Morse conceded so that’s almost a done deal and looking good in Pueblo. A too big to steal margin.

    Colorado College on Tuesday afternoon shuttled students to-and-from a downtown polling location so that they could cast ballots. A majority of the students were Democrats and voting against the recall.

    Not a factor at Colorado College but I’d be interested in a rule that voters pay instate tuition where applicable.

  29. He LOST!!!

    • I know. I have whiskey. If you lived closer, I’d share. There’s life in my state yet. (Sorry, but I’m close to being as big a Colorado Patriot as I am a USA patriot. What they’ve been doing to my home shouldn’t be allowed!)

      • Conceding that fast means he knew that the extra votes from the College students weren’t enough. Good voting Sarah I wish I could have voted but a couple hundred yards is still a hundred yords outside the district.

  30. Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron both lost their jobs in an election seen as a national measure of popular support for gun legislation.

    Giron gained towards the end but the margin was indeed too big to steal. Wonder what follows?

    • Oh, whining, tantrums and screaming. Maybe all those people determined to turn us blue will go back to CA? Nah. too much to hope.

      • What, back to where taxes are higher, regulations are stifling, and the scenery is covered by poor immigrants drawn to the generous welfare handouts? Why would the liberals of borg do that?

        I presume you are familiar with “The Blueprint” ? If so, then .. the other point is they may have invested too much to call it a loss .. yet.

        Mew

        • They have invested a lot. My job is to make sure they lose it — mine and others, of course, since my work is small.

          • How to put this .. Every little bit counts, and if you need a cautionary example of what happens if you lose any bits due to apathy or in-fighting .. Illinois.

            Mew
            (from the shadow of Chicago)

      • Today, noises about “voter suppression” are starting to build. Funny how they never seem to understand how they could have possibly lost.

    • Ritual denunciation of bitter clingers, inbred cretins and extra-chromosome voters. Along with wide-spread criticisms of the winners’ “politics of fear and divisiveness.”

  31. I mean… we won!

    Okay, I know I’m not in Colorado, but I’m still really glad, not just for the message about gun rights but I saw a video just a day or so ago that said it was just as much about him refusing to listen or allow pro-gun people to so much as speak. Normally I figure just wait until the next election because it costs so much money for the state to manage a recall election, but not allowing the other side to give testimony is a different level of unacceptable than just passing laws people don’t like.

    • Synova, you would not believe the arrogant, sneering contempt that was openly expressed at the state legislature hearings for the massive turnout of people opposing the legislation back in February and March.

      • Yeah. Those of us out of state were too distracted by “the large capacity magazines will get used up” and “if someone is trying to rape you, pee on him” to really notice that part.

    • See: Colorado Women for the Recall: ‘This Is a Women’s Issue’

      For Katherine Whitney, a law student on Colorado University’s Boulder campus, it was a tragedy that put her firmly behind today’s recall effort. Not too long before a handful of Democrats introduced a bill to remove all concealed-carry rights from college campuses in the state, Whitney had sat through the murder trial of a fellow college student. “Some guy decided he wanted to kill someone,” she tells me. “One day, he went out ‘hunting,’ and killed the first person he saw — a student here. It was straight-up evil. After the trial was over, I thought, ‘what would I do?’”

      Whitney got a concealed-carry license. But when the state legislature started talking about removing her right to carry on campus, Whitney became worried. She went to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Denver and testified. “But before long, I started to feel the effects of Senator Morse’s leadership,” she explains. “He had clearly made his mind up early on, and told others ‘don’t engage.’ I couldn’t get anyone to return my phone calls or e-mails.”

      Kimberly Weeks, who also testified in Denver, felt the same way as Whitney. She described the way she was treated by the Senate as “most alarming.” “This isn’t just about rights,” Weeks tells me, “I’m an assault survivor, so protecting myself is extremely important.” Weeks was raped when a stalker who had been looking for her roommate came into her room as she slept. “It was very difficult to talk about,” she remembers. “And I was stunned at the response that I got. Their minds were made up. One senator on the committee didn’t even look at me.”
      [SNIP]
      Katherine Whitney tells me that she has been told by opponents that she should just “buy a can of Mace.” “I’m 5 foot 4!” she exclaims. “That suggestion doesn’t work. I’m just not comfortable with Mace being my last line of defense.” In response to what she regards as a threat to her safety, Whitney has set up her own group, Women for Concealed Carry.

      I ask how her advocacy has gone down in Boulder. “The professors in my law school are very respectful. I don’t get support, but there’s no harassment. One professor sometimes asks if I’m carrying, but I won’t tell him. I smile and say, ‘maybe I am, maybe I’m not; how is your wife doing?’”

  32. Zaklog the Great

    There’s way too much discussion here for me to jump into the middle of it now. I did want to say congratulations for kicking out Morse (or whatever his name is). I hope your state government genuinely takes a turn for the better.

  33. Sorry i can´t agree with you. Voting is a right not a duty. I´m from Czech republic and till 1989 the Comunist Party made it duty to vote (the average attendance was 99,9%). On top of it the vote was not anonymous. So as i see it voting system based on duty can be made a great tool for big brother.

    • I didn’t mean a duty that way. I meant a duty if we want to keep the republic. If it’s a duty and you don’t want to/don’t feel up to fulfilling it, fine. See what I mean? I didn’t mean it was a legally enforced duty.
      ANYTHING can make a good tool for big brother. Our “right” is a great tool to make our votes count for nothing. Patriots shouldn’t sleep.

      • Possibly because I’ve a low sense of humour, but I tend to think of voting as a doodie — like wiping your bum after emptying your lower intestine. It is a matter of civic hygiene. It would explain why those elected so often prove to be little …

  34. Completely off-topic, but I thought some of you may appreciate it.

    Today at work one of my cow-orkers said that Romeo and Juliet was a comedy. “People at the time were rolling, because they couldn’t believe that two kids would defy their families like that.”

    Just roll that around in your head for a bit.

    This is why I drink.

  35. I grew up in a state that is now strictly vote by mail, it wasn’t at the time I lived there, but it was easy to register for absentee ballots and receive them in the mail. My mother always filled out my dad’s ballot, then when he got home from work he would sign it, I’m sure he would have voted for the same people as my mother, but I do see the problem with such policies.
    On the other hand I am a fan of early voting, because I can only recall being in town for one election my whole life. It must be regulated though, I like the way it is done here where you show up at the court house, show your picture ID, receive a ballot and use the voting booth just like on election day.

    • I have long thought there to be a value in the civic rite of voting. The idea that across America we come together on a single day to weigh the options and make our collective choice strikes me as a unifying ritual of our democratic republic. The casualness of receiving a ballot in the mail, ticking off the selections and sending it back seems to reduce voting to an act equivalent to paying the water bill.

      While I recognize that same day voting has its problems (trade-offs? In America??) it seems to me good that as many as possible at the very least go into that booth and use the same (undoubtedly rigged) voting machines as their fellow citizens.

    • The biggest issue I have with early voting is that b/c, except in extreme circumstances, people use it for convenience rather than being absent from the district or some other pressing emergency(as it was intended for). I have to ask – at what point does SOME of the burden for voting fall on the citizen?

      • I understand your point, but will point out that it is considerably less inconvenient for those on welfare and such to get off their couch and toodle down to the polling place on election day than it is for those who work for a living and likely have to take time if not the whole day off in order to cast their ballot. For myself a Tuesday in the first half of November seems to enviriably mean that I am working out of town that week and in order to vote would have to not only take the day off, but travel a few hundred miles to vote and back. Also if someone is working with me it would likely mean depriving them of a days wages also.

        I don’t see a problem with early voting if done in a polling place such as the courthouse, where there is oversight and it is done under the same rules as election day. ie ID required, no consulting with anyone else while filling out your ballot, etc. Vote by mail effectively negates all of these, and while I used to do it when I lived in Washington (at that time mail-in ballots were absentee and they still had polling places on election day) I don’t agree with it.

        Of course I live in a state that is so red that fraud would be ineffective in state or national elections (my county runs very purple, with most county elections getting decided by less than 100, many times less than 50 votes).

        • Our early voting is at the courthouse, which I use. Since it is not a good thing for me to be around a large group of people (say over 50… really over ten), going to the courthouse when only two or three voters are waiting in line is a god-send.

  36. “Cow-orkers” is from Scott Adams, creator of “Dilbert”.