Starchild to Electoral College Members: Please Save Us From Donald Trump!

LNC At Large Member Starchild at change.org:

Last night, to the dismay of half the country and much of the world, Donald Trump came out ahead in the race for U.S. president by a razor-thin margin, and as usual, most of the media prematurely rushed to declare a winner.

Of course the possibility of another President Clinton was equally dismaying to many, and all the candidates other than the nominees of the 2-party cartel were once again shut out of the presidential debates, arguably once again making the election results illegitimate regardless of who ends up in the White House.

Hillary Clinton actually received more votes than Trump did, even though he came out ahead in the Electoral College tally.

But the Electoral College has not actually voted yet, and that vote is what ultimately elects the president. What many people don’t realize is that they could still change who becomes the next president! An ABC News story reports:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/electoral-college-rogue-electors-43323385

As explained in the above article, 21 states do not require their Electors to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged, and indeed one Clinton Elector from Washington has already announced he will not vote for her!

With the votes of 270 Electors needed to make him president, Trump has been reported as having between 279 and 290 pledged, and Clinton between 218 and 228, with 31 still up for grabs as Michigan, New Hampshire, and Arizona were still too close to call.

This means that as few as 10 Electors refusing to vote for Donald Trump could deny him the 270 total and throw the election to the House of Representatives!

With a Republican majority in the House, members would not vote to elect Clinton, but a coalition of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans might choose a less odious Republican, or even the 3rd-place vote-getter, Libertarian candidate (and former Republican governor of New Mexico) Gary Johnson.

Republican Electors, your party has saved us from Hillary Clinton; please have the courage now to stand up and save us from Donald Trump! Do you really want this unstable, thin-skinned man with his finger on the nuclear button!?

In the name of humanity, we the undersigned ask you, Republican Electors, please vote your consciences. Please do not vote to make Donald Trump president of the United States!

444 thoughts on “Starchild to Electoral College Members: Please Save Us From Donald Trump!

  1. George Phillies

    Anyone who thinks “have been called” is of any legal consequence should probably bite their tongue. At this point the outcome in every state is probably known, and Trump has the largest electoral college margin since Dukakis lost. The Constitutional validity of those state laws is open to question; it is Congress that determines which electoral votes are valid, as they did in the Tilden-Hayes election.

    The rest of the proposal does nothing but convince most Americans that Libertarians are unfit to govern, assuming there was much left to convince after our last campaign.

    The Presidential candidate who passed his legitimate town hall questions to his VP candidate, could not handle simple foreign policy questions, convinced an alarmingly large number of Americans whom I knew personally — I tried to convince them that they were wrong — that he was stoned, had his VP candidate make statements that could be misinterpreted as endorsements for Clinton, routinely gave us campaign ads that did zero for the party ,…has already convinced vast numbers of Americans that we are not serious.

  2. George Phillies

    And the idiots of the shiny bauble caucus “look,we are running candidates who were Governors a long time ago” get their share of the blame.

  3. Thomas Knapp

    Personally, I’m fine with the de facto dissolution of the United States and even consider it a likely necessary prelude to the creation of a libertarian society here.

    But make no mistake, the electoral college ignoring the clear and unambiguous results of a presidential election and installing a coup regime or inviting the House to do the same would constitute such a de facto dissolution. The chances of it not resulting in violent popular rebellion and possibly all-out civil war would be effectively zero.

    Play with fire, burn the house down.

  4. Matt

    The popular vote went to Clinton. The electoral college vote is currently on track to go to Trump, but hasn’t happened yet. There are already anti-Trump demonstrations all over the country, but if they turn into riots, they will be put down by the forces of the government. If the electoral college exercises its rights, that will be part of the same constitutional design which allows the loser of the popular vote to be the winner of the electoral vote to begin with. If Trump supporters then engage in uncivil disobedience, they will also be put down by government forces. I suspect the number of Trump supporters who would do that would be relatively few. Then again, I am not very hopeful for anything like this to come from the electoral college, and if it did, I expect the House would vote Trump in. I wish I could be more optimistic about that.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    Gp: has already convinced vast numbers of Americans that we are not serious.

    Me: what else is new? Seriously! When has the LP been taken seriously by vast numbers?

  6. Matt

    Starchild is his legal name, and yes, many of us do take him seriously. He’s currently serving his second terms as a member of the Libertarian National Committee.

  7. Matt

    “Trump has the largest electoral college margin since Dukakis lost. ”

    Incorrect.

    http://www.270towin.com/historical-presidential-elections/

    2012: Obama 332, Romney 206
    2008: Obama 365, Romney 173
    2004: Bush 286, Kerry 251 – the last one that was closer
    2000 was of course a squeaker – Bush by 271-266.
    1996: Clinton by 379-159
    1992: Clinton by 370-168

    Thus, absent any faithless electors, Trump will win by a larger margin than George W. Bush either time, but a lower margin than Bill Clinton either time or Obama either time.

  8. Tony From Long Island

    Jorge: ” . . . . Trump has the largest electoral college margin since Dukakis lost. . . . ”

    Huh? Really?

    1988 —– 426 to 111
    1992 —– 370 to 168
    1996 —– 379 to 159
    2008 —- 365 to 173
    2012 —– 332 to 206

    This year Trump might end up with 306 so I don’t think so.

    Everyone in every state should be supporting the National Popular Vote Initiative. It would allow the winner of the popular vote to win the election – just like pretty much everywhere else in the civilized world.

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

    So this is the second time this century that the person who received the most votes “lost” an election. There is a reason no other democracy has enacted this type of voting system. The way it acts now is contrary to the way it was intended, when those who founded it felt that only a very small segment of white landowners should vote for president. Originally, the electors could vote for whomever they wanted.

    Trump himself thought the electoral college was a “disaster” http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/11/09/trump-called-electoral-college-disaster-2012-tweet/93575326/

    There is no other country where the words “electoral vote” exist. They just call it “the vote.”

  9. Tony From Long Island

    Starchild’s piece is well-written except for:

    ” . . . .With a Republican majority in the House, members would not vote to elect Clinton, but a coalition of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans might choose a less odious Republican, or even the 3rd-place vote-getter, Libertarian candidate (and former Republican governor of New Mexico) Gary Johnson. . . . ”

    This is not accurate. The House would have to choose among the top three finishers in THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. I doubt any of the “rogue electors” (if there actually will be any) would vote for Gov. Johnson.

    This mistake has been stated many many times during the last few months.

    The Twelfth Amendment is what controls this

  10. dL

    Do you really want this unstable, thin-skinned man with his finger on the nuclear button!?

    Don’t want anyone’s finger on the “nuclear button.” Which is why the LP should be steadfast proponent of nuclear button, nuclear WMD and security state abolition. This stands in contrast to pieces like this which may as well just go ahead an advocate a military junta…because that is exactly what would happen if rouge electoral voters threw the election to the congress. There would never be another election again, at least not one under a constitution not rewritten by the US military.

  11. George Phillies

    Not sure what I was thinking, but you can count on the good people here to correct me when I am wrong, as I did.

    The notion that the military would rewrite the Constitution is crazy. The notion that faithless electors would necessarily choose Johnson is bizarre.

    Vast numbers of civilized countries, for example Canada and Britain, use first past the post schemes for parliament, with the same possible outcome as here.

  12. Tony From Long Island

    George, there’s finally something we are on agreement with. I wanted to respond to DL about the military thing, but I thought I’d get jumped on!

    If some crazy scenario happened with the House choosing the president, you can imagine the outrage – from all sides – and it would be long-lasting, but what would eventually happen is the the twelfth amendment would be changed and the popular vote would prevail – the way it should be.

    I thought that type of statement about the military rewriting the constitution would come from someone like Andy.

  13. Thomas Knapp

    The system as it exists can stand a faithless elector now and then. That’s a burp in the system.

    The system cannot survive a wholesale rebellion of the electors against the electorate. That’s a coup against the system.

    As far as switching to national popular vote is concerned, that would transfer executive power entirely to the coasts and Chicagoland, with the rest of the country expected to just do as they are told. Giving orders is one thing; enforcing those orders is another.

  14. Matt

    “So this is the second time this century that the person who received the most votes “lost” an election.”

    Sorry for the nitpicking, but it’s only the first. There was no year 0 in the calendar system we use. It goes from 1 BC to 1 AD, the “first year of our lord,” ending when Jesus supposedly turned one year old. Thus, the first century was from 1 AD to 100 AD, the second century from 101 AD to 200 AD… fast forward to the 20th century (1901-2000) and the 21st (2001-2100).

    Your larger point is nevertheless correct. Two of the four people in this photo won the popular vote but lost the electoral (in one of their cases, still presumably, but with high certainty):

    http://www.ericaricardo.com/blog/131220-clinton-gores.jpg

    “The system cannot survive a wholesale rebellion of the electors against the electorate. That’s a coup against the system.”

    Then why are there individual electors with the ability to cast votes? It’s not a coup; it’s a part of the design.

  15. Matt

    ” The notion that faithless electors would necessarily choose Johnson is bizarre.”

    I don’t think anyone said they would. Starchild’s petition says maybe they might, but even he concedes that it’s more likely they would pick a less odious Republican than Trump. In such a scenario I would expect e.g. Romney to be much more likely to piece together a winning coalition than Johnson. And again, the scenario itself, while it would be much preferable to the coming Trump disaster, is highly unlikely.

  16. Matt

    Starchild: ” . . . .With a Republican majority in the House, members would not vote to elect Clinton, but a coalition of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans might choose a less odious Republican, or even the 3rd-place vote-getter, Libertarian candidate (and former Republican governor of New Mexico) Gary Johnson. . . . ”

    Tony: “This is not accurate. The House would have to choose among the top three finishers in THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. I doubt any of the “rogue electors” (if there actually will be any) would vote for Gov. Johnson.”

    Starchild’s scenario posits that Johnson would be that third place finisher in the electoral college. He concedes it’s more likely to be someone else, but it’s not outside the real of possibility.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    I heard last night that Trump now had more of the popular vote than Clinton, but I can’t remember where I heard it. Apparently, a large percentage of the mail-in ballots being counted are for Trump.

    Will that make the cry-babies stop the civil unrest? Heck no.

  18. 33

    “As far as switching to national popular vote is concerned, that would transfer executive power entirely to the coasts and Chicagoland, with the rest of the country expected to just do as they are told.”

    This idea is complete nonsense. Do the math. Nowhere close to a majority of the population lives in the top-10 urban areas. If you run down the list of cities, you can only get as far as #10 before you’re under a million people, and four of those ten cities aren’t in “the coasts and Chicagoland.”

    And even if they did… so what? There are plenty of states where a rural majority governs an urban minority… why is that OK but vice versa is a problem?

    This notion that rural voters should get special extra power because there’s something wrong with people who live in the cities, is patronizing, arrogant, and absurd. Just because you live further away from your neighbors gives you no special rights to govern me.

  19. Matt

    “I heard last night that Trump now had more of the popular vote than Clinton, but I can’t remember where I heard it.”

    Somewhere that doesn’t get their facts right, apparently. I just checked, and Clinton is still in the popular vote lead according to every news source I see.

    And, see here:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/03/17/if-no-one-else-stops-trump-the-electoral-college-still-can-its-in-the-constitution/

    Given that most state legislatures are majority-Republican, I don’t see relief as likely here, although the proposed remedy calls for another Republican as most likely.

  20. Tony From Long Island

    Matt: ” . . . Sorry for the nitpicking, but it’s only the first. There was no year 0 in the calendar system we use. It goes from 1 BC to 1 AD, the “first year of our lord . . . ”

    Yeah Matt, I can do math too (maybe not as well as I should) . . . I nitpick sometimes too, but this one was unnecessary.

    TK: ” . . . .As far as switching to national popular vote is concerned, that would transfer executive power entirely to the coasts and Chicagoland, with the rest of the country expected to just do as they are told. . . . ”

    Every country (democratic or not) has population centers. That’s just the way it is. Have an “elected leader” who receives less votes than the opponent is (as Spock would say) not logical.

  21. Matt

    Sorry, pet peeve. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people incorrectly claim that the year 2000 was in this century and millenium. I imagine I became rather insufferable with how many times I pointed this out to people around 1999-2001 especially.

  22. dL

    The notion that the military would rewrite the Constitution is crazy.

    If the electoral college electors reversed DJT’s election, I can flatly state that if Glenn Beck could organize a million man march b/c of the election of Barack Obama, the right wing noise machine collectively could organize a 5-10 million man march b/c of the reversed DJT election. And they would not come unarmed. And they would not be alone. There would be a likewise similarly sized counter-protest march at the same time and location. With no one leaving peacefully. OCCUPY DC, with two opposing teams. Everywhere else, the notion of rigged system would be common wisdom, with no one trusting the election system any more: if the result is not acceptable, it will simply be reversed.

    So who would have to step in to enforce the outcome? And once they did, once they put down OCCUPY DC, do you simply they would go back to how things were before? The same role? And it’s not like this kind of thing is unprecedented. When the Turkish military stepped in to reverse Turkey’s 1960 election, the military rewrote the constitution to legitimize its action, restore a working government, and formalize its role as a bulwark against popular excess. Turkey is a NATO member.

    Crazy talk? I think its a bit obtuse to call something that would hardly be outside the expected reaction “crazy talk.”

  23. dL

    Look, I don’t have a problem with sedition as such even though I think this particular seditious goal is kind of stupid.

    Personally, Im down for a permanent OCCUPY DC(a condition where there is no violent revolution,,,but one where no one is able to take executive control)…but once the thing bled into the spring, the pressures of the myriad of multi-lateral military,security,trade, financial arrangements would put the boot down to get it resolved, one way or another…by whatever means necessary. It would not bleed into the summer.

  24. Richard Winger

    I love that cover of Der Spiegel! I hadn’t seen it. IPR does a great job of finding illustrations for posts.

  25. NewFederalist

    I prefer a constitutional republic to a democracy. Minority rights are better protected IMHO.

  26. Matt

    Yeah, I don’t see 5-10 million people, from any side, camping out in DC over the winter. 5-10,000 perhaps, if that, after the first real cold snap. And if they come armed, they will have to hang out on the Virginia side of the Potomac, as the public carry laws in DC and Maryland are far less friendly. I realize I could be wrong, but I think that while a lot of people would grumble, they would come to realize that the constitution calls on state legislators to pick presidential electors by whatever means they choose, and that it only through custom later on became tied to the popular vote; and that electors are not necessarily bound to the popular vote, either. Prior to 2000, I would guess most Americans didn’t actually realize that the loser of the national popular vote could be picked by the electoral college. Making that realization upset a lot of people, but not to the point of revolution, nor of armed encampments in the snow. I expect the media would take the time to explain at great length that faithless electors are legal and constitutional.

  27. Matt

    Did Beck actually get a million people to show up? Even if he did, there’s a huge difference between showing up for one day of protesting on one hand, as opposed to camping out in icy weather for months, which for most people would also entail losing their livelihood and means of supporting their families.

  28. Matt

    There’s a reason why millions of people won’t be showing up for extended protests. They have mortgages or rent to stay on top of, children and elderly or infirm relatives to take care of. Relatively few people have more than a couple of week’s money for housing and groceries set aside. How many people could bring their whole families for months, or be away from them? And where exactly would they be camping? Campgrounds have limited space, and some may have rules about weapons in the park. Do you really expect millions of people to voluntarily live in illegal tent cities, either with their families or away from their families, through a DC winter? Why, because electors in this scenario exercise a right they have under the constitution?

  29. Tony From Long Island

    New Fed: “I prefer a constitutional republic to a democracy. Minority rights are better protected IMHO.”

    We have a representative democracy. I agree that the system helps protect minority rights. However, directly electing the leader of that democracy is not a matter of protecting minority right.

    We have representatives and courts that also add to the protection of minority rights.

  30. Don Wills

    FWIW, the protests are astro-turf, the actions having been initiated by moveon.org.

    And, surprisingly, I agree completely with Thomas Knapp’s points, particularly this paragraph:

    “But make no mistake, the electoral college ignoring the clear and unambiguous results of a presidential election and installing a coup regime or inviting the House to do the same would constitute such a de facto dissolution. The chances of it not resulting in violent popular rebellion and possibly all-out civil war would be effectively zero.”

    Starchild’s post is possibly the most idiotic I’ve read from a person with some authority within the LP organization, and that’s a very high bar to surpass.

    LP: keep electing folks with opinions like Starchild and you will continue to be irrelevant for decades to come.

  31. NewFederalist

    Actually Tony, we HAVE a constitutional republic. Britain has a representative democracy.

  32. Tony From Long Island

    Yes, I got the names wrong, but what I meant is the same. I write these posts while I work.

    We elect representatives who then vote on laws etc,…..the people don’t vote on each and every law. California does something like that and it’s a mess!

    If those representatives encroach on the rights of minorities, there are other checks to curb it.

  33. Bondurant

    I support doing away with the Electoral College but don’t agree with usurping current results. Change should come before an election not immediately following a result the establishment doesn’t like.

    There’s a lot of people now that would be celebrating this system if Trump won the popular vote and Hillary the EC vote.

  34. Thomas Knapp

    Even in 1860 when some people didn’t like the way the presidential election came out, all they did was try to LEAVE. You may remember that a bit of unpleasantless followed.

    But not nearly as much as would likely follow the proposed coup attempt.

    There are already people snorting that the US couldn’t possibly dissolve into that kind of chaos. Even though it has done so before.

    Even though numerous other countries have done so before, some of them in the last decade — Egypt and Ukraine come immediately to mind. Somehow the US is just magically immune to the consequences of actions, even though it never has been before and neither has any other country.

  35. Tony From Long Island

    Bond you are right. It would be difficult and dangerous to change the result, no matter how wrong it was.

    Seems to happen to democrats more often . . . in fact . . . every time

    1824 – Jackson – dem
    1888 – Cleveland – Dem
    2000 – Gore – Dem
    2016 – Clinton – Dem . .

    hmmm

  36. Matt

    Legislators elect electors by whatever means they choose, which may or may not be the popular vote of that state. It could be the national popular vote or a roll of the dice or anything else. Electors are chosen to deliberate and have the right to vote of their own free will. It’s not a coup to exercise a right that is already legal. Faithless electors are not unprecedented. Having so many as to overcome an expected electoral vote would be unprecedented, and probably won’t happen, but it’s no more of a coup than having the electoral college pick someone who lost the national popular vote – which was relatively unprecedented when it happened in 2000 (as in no one alive had been alive the previous time it happened).

  37. Richard Winger

    Many news stories claim that faithless electors have never affected the outcome, but they are wrong. In 1836 the entire Democratic slate from Virginia refused to vote for Richard Johnson for vice-president, even though he was the party’s nominee for vice-president. As a result, no one got a majority in the electoral college for vice-president. So the Senate had to choose the vice-president. The Senate chose Johnson, so the end result was the same.

  38. Tony From Long Island

    And the reason they wouldn’t vote for Johnson . . . his relationship with an “octoroon.” Fun times . . .

    Seems so quaint. . . no one would be judged on who they loved today, right?

    #Progress?

  39. Jill Pyeatt

    Wow, I’ve been feeling so relieved that the election was over. However, apparently, the movement to get the electoral college voters to switch to Clinton is really happening, and seems to have some traction in moving forward.

    I also see nothing but violence happening over this, if Trump really is switched to Hillary. The Trump people won’t take this change easily.

    I was going to try to start a #pardonassangemanningsnowden campaign, but it’s clearly too soon for that.

    I know it’s margarita time somewhere in this country, but it isn’t yet on the west coast. Dang. I have to wait a few hours before I can start drowning my sorrows.

  40. Thomas Knapp

    “Legislators elect electors by whatever means they choose, which may or may not be the popular vote of that state.”

    That’s a strange way of putting it, but yes, the legislature does get to prescribe the manner in which the electors are chosen.

    The legislatures of all 50 states choose electors PLEDGED TO PARTICULAR CANDIDATES and they choose those electors by POPULAR VOTE.

    “Electors are chosen to deliberate”

    No, they’re not. As you yourself point out, the states decide how electors are chosen and the states have chosen to go with PLEDGED electors — and in all states but two, UNANIMOUSLY PLEDGED electors — not with some kind of deliberative scheme.

    Electors who break their pledges for the purpose of overturning the results of the election are insurrectionists attempting to impose a junta. It’s just that simple.

  41. Matt

    “As you yourself point out, the states decide how electors are chosen and the states have chosen to go with PLEDGED electors — and in all states but two, UNANIMOUSLY PLEDGED electors”

    Yes, that’s been the customary choice. But they could choose otherwise, just as individual electors can choose to vote as pledged or otherwise.

    “Electors who break their pledges for the purpose of overturning the results of the election are insurrectionists attempting to impose a junta. It’s just that simple.”

    So then once again, why does the constitution and even today’s law give them the power to do so? It would be much easier to have the vote tabulated automatically; why go through with the charade?

  42. Matt

    “. However, apparently, the movement to get the electoral college voters to switch to Clinton is really happening, and seems to have some traction in moving forward.”

    I doubt that highly. The electors chosen will be Republican. Even if state legislatures decide to choose electors differently than in the past, most state legislatures are controlled by Republicans. So, if anything was to get traction – and it’s highly unlikely that anything would – it would be a movement to get them to choose electors who will choose a different Republican. And even then, they would still most likely at best barely be able to get it to a vote in the House – which would most likely pick Trump.

    “I also see nothing but violence happening over this, if Trump really is switched to Hillary.”

    He wouldn’t be switched to Hillary. And, one may have expected violence over the 2000 election, but it didn’t happen.

  43. Thomas Knapp

    Matt,

    Yes, the states could choose otherwise. But in this election cycle, they didn’t.

    Yes, the pledged electors can choose to vote as pledged, or they can choose to instead engage in insurrection.

    “The electors chosen will be Republican.”

    There is no “will be” about it. The electors were chosen on November 8.

  44. Thomas Knapp

    —–
    “Electors who break their pledges for the purpose of overturning the results of the election are insurrectionists attempting to impose a junta. It’s just that simple.”

    So then once again, why does the constitution and even today’s law give them the power to do so?
    —–

    Feel free to point out where it does. I’ll wait.

  45. Tony From Long Island

    “Electors who break their pledges for the purpose of overturning the results of the election are insurrectionists attempting to impose a junta. It’s just that simple.”

    I remember someone a few weeks ago scolding me about one of my opinions and citing the Federalist Papers. So, I say go read the sections regarding the electoral college

    Electors who break their so-called pledge are doing exactly what the founders and the constitution empowers them to do.

    Having them bound to some pledge makes their purpose purely ceremonial. Therefore, they are useless and the winner of the election should be the candidate with the most votes.

  46. Thomas Knapp

    Tony,

    The Federalist Papers aren’t especially relevant. As Matt points out, the states determine how electors are chosen.

    If the state legislatures wanted to choose their electors by playing games of naked musical chairs, and to instruct those electors to choose who to vote for by casting the I Ching, they could do that.

    Instead, the states have chosen to elect bound pledged electors via popular vote.

    You seem to be under the impression that I prefer Trump to Clinton or that I am opposed to the electors overthrowing the government and installing a junta in place of the elected candidate/administration. I’m not, particularly. I’m just pointing out that that’s what the “choose Clinton instead” movement is asking them to do.

  47. Tony From Long Island

    My comments were not directed toward you particularly. They were all in general, though they might have been replying to a point you made.

    Have a good weekend everyone

  48. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Tony From Long Island

    Seems to happen to democrats more often . . . in fact . . . every time
    1824 – Jackson – dem
    1888 – Cleveland – Dem
    2000 – Gore – Dem
    2016 – Clinton – Dem . .
    hmmm

    There was also Tilden (Democrat) losing in 1876. However, your claim is not exactly true. Andrew Jackson was NOT a Democrat in 1824, and in fact the Democratic Party did not even exist at that point. It’s true he was a Democrat later on, and in fact founded the party, but all that was after the 1824 election. Also, in that election, it was not a case of someone winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote. The electoral college and popular vote aligned for him in that he won the most in either. However, even though he won more than anyone else, he didn’t win a majority in the electoral college (or popular vote), so it went to the House of Representatives who gave the win to Adams instead.

    Even if we discount the 1824 election and claim it was always a Democrat who lost as a result, this doesn’t mean as much as you might think when comparing it to modern times. The Democratic and Republican parties were dramatically different in the 1876 and 1888 elections than they were nowadays, and were in a number of ways the opposite of what they are right now.

    In fact, the political system of the country seemed to be in some kind of (compared to today) bizarro world in the post-Civil War 19th century. Did you know that the southern states were once called the “solid south” because they voted Democrat so reliably? That African Americans voted overwhelmingly Republican? That New York was a swing state?

  49. Richard Winger

    Tom, when Roger MacBride cast his electoral vote in 1972 for John Hospers, was that a junta?

    There have been 179 disobedient electors in history, and every time, Congress recognized the validity of their votes, except for the 3 electors in 1872 who voted for Horace Greeley, who had died. Congress thought an electoral vote for a dead person was not a legitimate vote. But otherwise Congress always accepted the “disobedient” votes.

  50. Seebeck

    Electors are not chosen by state legislators. At least not in Colorado, where they are selected by the political parties. I know this firsthand because I am a Johnson Elector, selected at our state convention.

  51. Thomas Knapp

    Mike,

    The method of choosing electors for the state is set by the state legislature. At present, electors are chosen by the voters as slates pledged to particular candidates.

    You are not a Johnson elector. You are a person pledged to Johnson had the voters chosen you as an elector.

  52. Matt

    “Feel free to point out where it does. I’ll wait.”

    If it didn’t, there would be no such thing as faithless electors. Again, why go through the charade if the electors have no free will?

  53. Thomas Knapp

    It’s not a charade, it’s a function of EXACTLY WHAT YOU POINTED OUT — namely that the state legislatures decide how electors are chosen.

    The state legislatures decided to choose electors by popular vote for pledged slates.

    The states COULD have decided to have electors drawn by lot and who get to do whatever they feel like, but that’s not what the states DID decide to do.

  54. Matt

    They also decided to have no penalties, or very minor penalties, for faithless electors. So again, it’s not a coup.

  55. Thomas Knapp

    “If the penalties for violating the law are light, it’s not really violating the law.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

    Trump won the election.

    I don’t like it. You don’t like it. But that’s what happened. And there will be consequences for any attempt to pretend otherwise.

  56. dL

    “Tom, when Roger MacBride cast his electoral vote in 1972 for John Hospers, was that a junta?”

    In my original response, I said a military junta–as the means to restore political order– a would be the CONSEQUENCE of reversing the election. Can anyone cite an example where a national election was reversed w/o the use of the military to restore political order in the aftermath? In this situation, we are not talking about 270 vs 269, where one rogue elector throws it back into the House of Representatives. In this instance, 37 or more electoral votes would have to be reversed(either throwing it back into the House of Rep or giving it to Hillary Clinton) . It would be viewed as a coordinated conspiracy. I’m a bit mystified to think that anyone on this forum thinks that people would just shrug and say, “Oh, well.”

  57. Matt

    20-something states have NO law against faithless electors so yes, in those states, it literally is not a law. Not just a light penalty – no law at all. And there are other states where electors can rationally choose whether whatever penalty does exist is worth exercising their conscience.

    If the idea is to not allow electors to be faithless, why have electors? The vote could be automated.

  58. Election Addict

    How awful that people prefer certain war.

    At least in this case, regardless of Trump, the economy will get worse, so other parties all have better chances in a few years. Trump could be Hoover.

    Or he could be anything. But we know what Clinton would be.

  59. Election Addict

    (in any case, yes to national vote. we don’t have slave states to capitulate to, we are not 50 different countries)

  60. Starchild

    Tony from Long Island is correct; I was wrong. I was referring to Gary Johnson receiving the third-highest popular vote total, and had overlooked the Constitutional requirement that the House of Representatives choose among only the three (at most) candidates receiving the greatest number of Elector votes.

    Fortunately, the language of the petition as I drafted it can still be interpreted in accord with that reality, as Matt did in fact interpret it. And I do believe Matt and Richard Winger are correct that the Electors have the legal power to ignore their pledges, except perhaps where states have subsequently made it illegal, since without that power there would have been no reason to create the Electoral College in the first place.

    Thomas Knapp’s prediction that the election being thrown to the House of Representatives and that body choosing someone other than Donald Trump as president would result in a civil war doesn’t seem likely to me. Some violent riots maybe, but Trump and his supporters would know that without the Electoral College, Clinton would already be president by virtue of winning the popular vote. They could not credibly demand that the role of that body be upheld in some particulars but not in others. Live by the EC, die by the EC. I do think, however, that if the House voted for someone other than Trump, any Republican representatives so voting would run a strong risk of being unseated by recall campaigns and/or primary challenges. Hopefully they would have the political courage to cast those votes anyway, for the sake of us all – and given the spineless nature of most politicians, that’s probably asking a lot. But this whole effort is of a “Hail Mary” nature to begin with.

  61. Andy

    I see no chance of the US House picking anyone who is any good even if this unlikely scenario were to happen.

  62. Starchild

    In my defense (for not doing my constitutional homework), I was trying to get the petition started as quickly as possible once the idea occurred to me because of the time-sensitive nature of the whole situation, and so didn’t spend as much time on it as I might have otherwise.

    The notion that this effort if successful would be “reversing the election” is false, though it’s true many people would probably see it that way thanks to the irresponsible media and political establishment acting as if the election results are decided before they actually are. It would be the Electoral College filling precisely the kind of role for which I think it was created – preventing an outcome that came about via a quirk in the popular voting process and which most of the populace recognizes as undesirable. Even most Republican primary voters did not want Donald Trump; he looked good to enough people to win him the requisite 270+ number of pledged Electors on Nov. 8 only because Hillary Clinton was widely (albeit falsely) seen as the sole alternative.

    Oh, and I second Richard WInger’s appreciation for Der Spiegel’s cover art. 🙂

  63. Starchild

    Andy – I think there’s a small chance they could in that eventuality pick Gary Johnson. Other than that, you’re probably right. (And yes, I realize you think Johnson is no good either; we’ll have to disagree on that). But I can’t think who they might pick that I’d consider worse than Donald Trump.

  64. Andy

    “Starchild
    November 12, 2016 at 03:02
    Andy – I think there’s a small chance they could in that eventuality pick Gary Johnson. Other than that, you’re probably right. (And yes, I realize you think Johnson is no good either; we’ll have to disagree on that). But I can’t think who they might pick that I’d consider worse than Donald Trump.”

    Yeah, I don’t trust Johnson, but even if I give him the benefit of the doubt, if Johnson were to somehow end up as President, and if he had Bill Weld as his Vice President, I DAMN SURE DO NOT TRUST BILL WELD (even more than I do not trust Johnson). Weld is an establishment hack, and a neo-con. Remember, Weld is a member of the CFR, and he supported the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq, and he is a crony of the Bush family, the Clinton family, and Mitt Romney. You may say that Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are two different people, but keep in mind that Johnson WANTED to run with Bill Weld as his running mate, he BEGGED the delegates to nominate Weld, he frequently defers to Weld, and he even referred to Weld as being the “original libertarian” (which should strike all libertarians as being an absurd statement, if not an outright lie/distortion of reality).

    Even so, I seriously doubt that the US House would pick Gary Johnson anyway, not being I think that Gary Johnson is necessarily “too good” for them to pick him, I just think that there are other people who are higher up on the political food chain, or who are owed political favors, who’d be picked over Gary Johnson.

    IF they did not pick Donald Trump to be President, I think that they’d be more likely to pick say Mike Pence, or Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Mitt Romney, or maybe even Evan McMullin, than they would be to pick Gary Johnson. Heck, they would probably be more likely to pick William Weld as President than Gary Johnson (because Weld is better connected, and I think that Hillary Clinton owes him a favor for “putting her over” on TV).

    Donald Trump won the election, and that’s all that there is to it. He’s never held office before, so we really do not know what he is going to do until he gets in office.

    Trying to change the result of the election is not only futile, I do not see any good outcome coming from it, because even if this unlikely scenario were to occur, they are NOT going to replace Trump with somebody who libertarians would prefer, they will replace Trump with somebody who is just as bad, or worse. This would also anger Trump supporters, and it would turn Trump into a martyr.

    I think that a bigger issue here that most Libertarians are overlooking, is that the Libertarian Party has gone yet ANOTHER election cycle, without election even one state legislator, or one county Sheriff. Libertarians have gone yet ANOTHER election cycle, without taking over even one local government board/council. Libertarians have gone yet ANOTHER election cycle without raising public awareness of jury nullification of victimless crimes. Libertarians have gone yet ANOTHER election cycle – the third one in a row – without having a strong Libertarian message coming from the top of our ticket.

    Where is the Libertarian outrage over the issues that I just brought up?

  65. Starchild

    Andy – I would prefer any of the people you named over Donald Trump! But remember, it wouldn’t be the House choosing among all of those potential picks. It would be the House choosing among Trump, Clinton, and one other person, whoever got the most Electoral votes after Trump and Clinton (assuming at least one Elector voted for someone else, and one of the Electors pledged to Clinton has already said he will not vote for her). If that third person were someone like Johnson whom most Democrats and some Republicans would presumably prefer over Trump, I think he or she would have a shot at getting their nod.

    Regarding the other issues you bring up, do you have any specific proposals?

  66. Andy

    Here’s an issue that is probably dead, for now anyway, in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, where Gary Johnson is actually WORSE than Donald Trump, and also Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, and Darrell Castle, and I think that even Hillary Clinton got pushed into flip-flopping on this issue (although if she got into office, she’d have likely flip-flopped back into supporting it).

    TPP Is Dead!

  67. Matt

    I agree that the electors, being Republicans, would be much more likely to pick a Republican than to pick Johnson (him being a former Republican notwithstanding). I also agree that the whole scenario is unlikely to begin with. With those stipulations, if they did somehow pick Johnson, they would not pick Weld. The vote on VP is separate, and Pence is not nearly as controversial. So, chances are, even in this low probability scenario, Pence would still be the VP.

    I agree with Starchild – all of the other names Andy mentioned are bad, but none is as bad as Trump. I think the Der Spiegel cover art is quite literally correct. While it’s true that we don’t know what Trump will do, we have a pretty good idea based on his record as a businessman, campaigner, the history of other autocratic personalities and demagogues who have come to power in other countries, and so on. He has made a lot of promises to a lot of people which got him elected. How do you think they will react if he doesn’t try to fulfill them? And if he does, who will stop him? Congress is controlled by his party; they’ll control a majority of the Supreme Court. He’ll have sole authority of the executive branch so if he needs to he can simply ignore congress and the courts. How long before some “Reichstag Fire” event that lets him assume emergency powers?

    Out of the people Andy mentioned, I don’t think the electors or Congress would pick someone who lost in the primaries or McMullin, who got fewer votes than Johnson and likewise did not win any states. Romney or Pence, perhaps.

    I share Andy’s opposition to the particulars of the TPP treaty. Unfortunately, what we will get instead is a trade war with China. That could well turn into a real war with a nuclear power that has over a billion people and an army of millions. But, hey, we will no longer be at war with Eurasia, because we have always been at war with Eastasia, right? Even if it doesn’t turn into a full scale military war with China, it will cause the price of goods on the shelves to go up, which will cause people to buy less, put retail businesses out of business, and cause massive unemployment.

    Speaking of treaties, the Iran nuclear deal is also dead. This means Iran will resume its nuclear program. And that means Israel (or maybe Trump) will also be bombing Iran. Who will bomb Israel and/or the US in return? Well I guess the “good” news is that US troops will already be in that neighborhood, bombing the shit out of ISIS and taking their oil. Since the US will stop allowing Muslims to immigrate to the US and will put those already in the US on a government watch list, and since it will be proudly torturing detainees and killing their families, you can expect a lot of terror attacks on the US. So, in addition to a billion and a half Chinese, the US will be in a war with a billion and a half Muslims (except for a small handful of allies; Assad, Turkey, Saudis?)

    Meanwhile, Joe Arpaio will head up the Border Patrol, or ICE, or the new deportation force that will go around rounding up millions of Latino immigrants and their US citizen family members. I am sure that will go smoothly, right? It will all be very humane. There won’t be any economic impact on the business that rely on them as workers and consumers, or on landlords who rent to them.

    With all of this disruption taking place, there will be lots of riots and antigovernment activity all over the place. Fortunately for Trump, he’ll have Rudy Giuliani heading up the Justice Department or Homeland Security to spy on everyone, crack heads, and fill up the jails and prisons. At least that way, companies will have a replacement for cheap labor from overseas and from undocumented immigrants in the US, by way of slave labor in the prison camps. Also fortunately for Trump, Putin’s regime has now admitted that they have been in close touch with multiple members of the Trump campaign throughout the campaign. So, Trump will be able to rely on expert advice from the Putin team on how to crack down on protesters and journalists and opposition politicians and how to personally skim hundreds of billions for themselves while all this is happening.

    Before anyone says that any of this is farfetched, you have to remember that Trump is not like the politicians we have suffered with in the US before. But he is a lot like people who have come to power in a lot of other countries. He acts like them and talks like them and makes similar promises. So, we do have some idea of what he’s going to do.

  68. George Phillies

    It’s not farfetched. It;s silly.

    Note, by the way, that the VP choice is “top 2” not “top 3”, so it would be Kaine or Pence not Weld, ignoring that in this absurd scenarios the electors are more likely to vote, e.g., Cruz-Pence than Johnson-whatever.

  69. Matt

    Miscommunication there, George Phillies. I agree that it’s highly unlikely that the electoral college will save us from Comet Trump. “Before anyone says that any of this is farfetched…” in my last message refers to extrapolating what Trump will do from his campaign promises. The alternative is that he won’t try to implement the agenda that he got elected on, but then what will all of his fans that fervently think he’s the last chance to save the country by doing exactly what his promised do? Revolutions happen – not as most people think, when things have gotten to be intolerably bad from the perspective of the revolutionaries – but when they are already “winning” and get frustrated with the pace of progress. Given that, we may already be in the oven with the door shut and locked. The prospects of using the electoral college to escape our fate is almost certainly wishful thinking. And, again, if the scenario were to pass, I don’t think it would be Johnson, but I don’t think it would be anyone who lost in the primaries either. Pence or Romney would seem more likely.

  70. Andy

    We’d be no better off with Hillary Clinton or Mike Pence or Mitt Romney. I don’t see this unlikely scenario accomplishing anything productive, and it would make Trump look like a Martyr who got screwed.

  71. Matt

    Gotta disagree with you there. Any of them would have been bad, but Trump will be even worse. And if I had any choice about it I’d rather make Trump a martyr than let him make martyrs out of all of us. But I don’t get a choice.

  72. Andy

    “Matt
    November 12, 2016 at 12:03
    Gotta disagree with you there. Any of them would have been bad, but Trump will be even worse. And if I had any choice about it I’d rather make Trump a martyr than let him make martyrs out of all of us. But I don’t get a choice.”

    We don’t have any way of knowing for sure.

    I find it to be rather disturbing that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, in spite of her blatant record in government of lying, and being corrupt and generally hostile to freedom. Donald Trump MIGHT end up being just as bad, but at least with him we have some mystery.
    .

  73. Bondurant

    The close result indicates to me that voters were against Hillary or Trump and not for Hillary or Trump. The number of voters that failed to vote shows how much people disdained both and chose not to partake in the circus the establishment likes to claim a democracy.

    This is the result of wanton corruption of the American political system.

  74. Richard Winger

    Courts have ruled that recall cannot be applied to members of Congress. Even if a state has a recall law that appears to apply to every elected official, the US Constitution has been interpreted not to allow states to recall members of Congress.

  75. Matt

    “Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, in spite of her blatant record in government of lying, and being corrupt and generally hostile to freedom.”

    That’s true.

    ” Donald Trump MIGHT end up being just as bad, ”

    He’ll be much, much, much worse.

    “but at least with him we have some mystery.”

    Yes… but unfortunately the only mystery is whether any of us will survive his reign of terror.
    .
    “The close result indicates to me that voters were against Hillary or Trump and not for Hillary or Trump. The number of voters that failed to vote shows how much people disdained both and chose not to partake in the circus the establishment likes to claim a democracy.

    This is the result of wanton corruption of the American political system.”

    I agree. Both Clinton and Trump had record disapproval ratings for candidates. The third party and write in vote, for all sorts of different ideologies, was up. Turnout was down. That shows that there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the choices. However, that being said, Trump did have a lot of very intense fans at his Nuremberg style rallies. They were not just against Clinton. Whereas with Clinton, being against Trump was really the only argument. Oh, and her being a woman. Other than that she inspired essentially zero enthusiasm from anyone. The fact that she won the popular vote anyway should tell you something.

  76. dL

    Unfortunately, what we will get instead is a trade war with China. That could well turn into a real war with a nuclear power that has over a billion people and an army of millions.

    Let’s see, If we don’t pass TPP, the consequence will be nuclear war w/ China?? Seriously?? While this forum tries to pretend that Starchild’s proposal would not be an election reversal(and hence trigger all the consequences such a thing typically induces), we get the pleasure of digesting nonsensical asides of imaginary consequences of a Trump presidency.

  77. Jill Pyeatt

    Speaking of treaties, the Iran nuclear deal is also dead. This means Iran will resume its nuclear program.

    The Iran nuclear program did not include building weapons.

  78. Matt

    “Let’s see, If we don’t pass TPP, the consequence will be nuclear war w/ China?? ”

    Reading comprehension would help you. I am against TPP, as I already said. However, Trump is for a trade war with China, far above and beyond his opposition to TPP, and trade wars have often led to actual wars. If it does, China is indeed a nuclear power. And even if it doesn’t, it would have devastating economic consequences.

    “nonsensical asides of imaginary consequences of a Trump presidency.”

    Unfortunately, none of it is imaginary.

    “Starchild’s proposal would not be an election reversal”

    It wouldn’t, as he aptly explained.

    “The Iran nuclear program did not include building weapons.”

    Which doesn’t matter, because everything I said after that still holds. Israel and/or the US will attack Iran regardless of whether it includes building weapons or not. Terrorists will attack the US in response. And so on.

  79. Be Rational

    “As far as switching to national popular vote is concerned, that would transfer executive power entirely to the coasts and Chicagoland, with the rest of the country expected to just do as they are told.” – TK
    *
    “This idea is complete nonsense. Do the math. Nowhere close to a majority of the population lives in the top-10 urban areas. If you run down the list of cities, you can only get as far as #10 before you’re under a million people, and four of those ten cities aren’t in ‘the coasts and Chicagoland.'” – 33

    Metropolitan Statistical Area 2010

    1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 19,006,798
    2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 12,872,808
    3 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 9,569,624
    4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 6,300,006
    5 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 5,838,471
    6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 5,728,143
    7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 5,414,772
    8 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 5,376,285
    9 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 5,358,130
    10 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 4,522,858

    About 80 million in the top 10 metro areas.

    11 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 4,425,110
    12 Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ 4,281,899
    13 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 4,274,531
    14 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4,115,871
    15 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 3,344,813
    16 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 3,229,878
    17 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 3,001,072
    18 St. Louis, MO-IL 2,816,710
    19 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 2,733,761
    20 Baltimore-Towson, MD 2,667,117

    Another 35 million in the next 10.

  80. Be Rational

    All the talk about the “popular vote” is pure nonsense. There is no “popular vote.”

    We had a series of 51 elections to determine electors in the Electoral College. The voters in the states know this. In states that are not going to be close, the voters have much less incentive to vote, so knowing the outcome in advance, they stay home. The campaigns know it as well. They do NOT work to maximize their vote totals. We have no idea what those vote totals would have been had there been a “popular vote” based election. You cannot say that Clinton in 2016 nor anyone else in history, “won the popular vote but lost the election.” It’s a falsehood.

    If the election had been based on an actual nationwide, popular vote total, there would have been an entirely different outcome. Every voter in every state would know that his/her vote matered and there would no longer be a reason to stay home as there is now, based on knowing how a particular state would play out. The campaigns would have had an entirely different campaign strategy, different budgets, different advertising, different rallies, different GOTV. The parties would have chosen different candidates.

    However, lets play the aggregate game for a minute.

    Hillary Clinton recorded a few hundred thousand more votes in the aggregate. But, if we take out California, Donald Trump won by millions of votes.

    That’s right, in 49 states plus DC, Donald Trump has millions more votes in the aggregate than Hillary Clinton.

    In California, the Democrats dominate the state so completely that the Republcian voters and R leaning independents had little reason to vote. Further, thanks to the one-party state created by “Top-two,” there were two Democrats on the ballot for US Senate. In much of the state, R and R leaning voters had no reason to go to the polls. Had there even been a free and competitive election for US Senate in CA, there would have been hundreds of thousands of additional Republican votes, and Clinton would most likely not have a greater nationwide aggregate of votes than Donald Trump.

    Without CA, the number of votes cast for Trump in the aggregate exceeds the number cast for Clinton.
    CA’s vote totals are meaningless since they have no free elections there.

    There is no such thing as “popular vote” for US President at the present time. Nor has there ever been. It’s is a falacy to claim that there is a “popular vote” and to claim what the outcome of any election in the past for POTUS might have been if we had used “popular vote” to determine the winner.

  81. Matt

    “In states that are not going to be close, the voters have much less incentive to vote, so knowing the outcome in advance, they stay home. ”

    1) Is that actually true? Was turnout in non-swing states that much lower than in swing states?

    2) If it is in fact true, that works against Clinton, since she did better in non-swing states in raw numbers. The non-swing Trump states are on average lower in population. Clinton lost primarily in the swing states, but won the popular vote because she ran up the score in high population heavily Democratic states where it didn’t help her in the electoral vote. If you are correct that the vote in those states was depressed because voters know they could not change the outcome, it means that in the absence of this Clinton would have won nationally by an even larger margin.

  82. George Phillies

    ” You cannot say that Clinton in 2016 nor anyone else in history, “won the popular vote but lost the election.” It’s a falsehood.”

    It’s true. The phrasing has a well established meaning. Also,the claim that there is no national vote total is overtly false. The Johnson campaign with its totally phony claim that 5% of the vote meant national ballot status was referring to a number — the number of votes nationally for each candidate — that is legally collected, compiled, and reported to Congress, and that does have a legal consequence.

  83. Be Rational

    If you look at the numbers, the Californina effect alone means the R voters are the ones who stayed home in greater number. Without CA, Trump had millions of votes more than Clinton in the aggregate.

    The point is, however, we can never know.

    There is no such thing as a “popular vote” for President and no one can legitimately point to any number and claim that any candidate “won the popular vote” but lost in the EC.

    They lost the way the election is counted, and that’s all anyone can say.

    But, this year, even that aggregation of votes is meaningless, since “Top-two” has ended free elections in California.

  84. Be Rational

    “The phrasing has a well established meaning.” – GP

    No.
    The phrasing has a well-established misleading connotation that is false.

    That fact that many people do not understand, even if it is the majority, does not preclude the fact that they, including GP, are wrong.

    There is no such thing as the “popular vote in US POTUS elections.”

    Wake up and learn.

  85. Matt

    Interesting hypothesis but I’d like to see some evidence. As I understand it a lot of votes in CA have not been tallied yet. When the results are final, I’d be interested in seeing how turnout in CA compared with other states. My guess is that it was not dramatically different. If it was, I’d like to see a further demographic and geographic breakdown of who did and who did not vote in California to see if you are likely to be correct. I strongly suspect you are not.

    Another complication is that millions of people incorrectly believe they are barred from voting due to past convictions. In many states they can vote once they are out of prison, or off parole, etc. But a lot of people are misled into believing they have permanently lost voting rights, even though in most states it is not true. Even some people who have had misdemeanors and probation only think they lost their right to vote, even though they never did. And, a lot of people are scared to register to vote because they believe it will put them on jury duty, even though states have long since added other databases such as state drivers and ID records to jury pools. All of this distorts the vote quite a bit.

    As well, Republicans have been engaging in wide ranging voter suppression activities. This was the first presidential election since the Supreme Court struck down federal oversight of some states with a history of suppressing minority voting, and some of them resumed a variety of suppression activities.

  86. Be Rational

    All of those voter effects are additional reasons why there is no such thing as the “popular vote.”

    If we ran elections by popular vote everything, including the candidates nominated to run, would be different.

  87. George Phillies

    Your ignorance is is astonishing. One minute of web search shows that you are wrong.

    The official national vote total, one per candidate, are right here. They have legal consequences.
    http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2012/federalelections2012.pdf
    Page 11 of 190
    PRESIDENTIAL POPULAR VOTE SUMMARY
    FOR ALL CANDIDATES LISTED ON AT LEAST ONE STATE BALLOT
    (Updated)
    Candidate (Party Label) Popular Vote Total Percent of Popular Vote
    Barack Obama (Democrat) 65,915,795 51.06%

  88. Be Rational

    Laws with incorrect facts and misunderstandings of reality cannot change the facts or reality.

    When a state legislature passed law changing the value of the number “pi” they did not change the value of that number, they just revealed their stupidity, as would anyone citing such a law.

    Just as you did now.

  89. Gene Berkman

    I agree with Tom Knapp that a mass defection of electors would provoke massive resistance among the tens of millions who voted for Donald Trump and who have been told that Donald Trump won the election.

    Since Hilary Clinton called Trump and conceded before any network had called the election for Trump, and before Trump had been credited with 270 electors, even the Democrat leadership is not challenging this election. I think they are afraid of being seen as dividing the country the way some saw Al Gore dividing the country in 2000.

    Still I am glad people are trying to think of ways to prevent Trump from getting access to the nuclear codes.

    There might be another way to accomplish this.

    A professor who predicted Trump’s victory is now predicting that the Republican Congress will impeach President Trump because they would be more comfortable with President Mike Pence https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/11/prediction-professor-who-called-trumps-big-win-also-made-another-forecast-trump-will-be-impeached/?hpid=hp_hp-banner-low_prediction-professor-130pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

  90. George Phillies

    Gene,

    That’s going to go over just so well with Trump supporters.

    They need a whole pile of Democratic Senators in support.

  91. George Phillies

    Be rational

    No matter how often you chant your name, pi is not rational. And neither are your claims.

  92. William Saturn

    GB: “Still I am glad people are trying to think of ways to prevent Trump from getting access to the nuclear codes . . . A professor who predicted Trump’s victory is now predicting that the Republican Congress will impeach President Trump because they would be more comfortable with President Mike Pence.”

    Let me get this straight. You’d like to see the presidency taken from someone who is not a neocon and hand it over to someone who is a borderline neocon? I guess that explains why the LP nominated two neocons this year.

  93. Richard Winger

    The federal election law making presidential campaigns eligible for general election public funding if they got 5% of the popular vote means that the federal government must have a method for knowing the national popular vote for president. As George says, that is why the FEC published the election returns every time.

  94. Matt

    “LP nominated two neocons this year.”

    I don’t think Johnson is a neocon. Weld can plausibly be called a neocon, perhaps, depending on how narrowly you define the term. I’m not a fan of Johnson, especially as he manifested himself in 2016 as opposed to 2012, and certainly not a fan of Weld. But, neocon as he may be, Pence is less dangerous than Trump, so I would agree with Gene Berkman on that one. Perhaps, better than impeachment, would be if Trump was removed from power by the white house physicians for mental health reasons. He is far too dangerous to be entrusted with the nuclear codes. The prospect of him starting a real war, rather than just a twitter war, next time he is up at 3 am and pissed off, is a far greater danger than any policy differences. And his policy stances are extremely dangerous as well, as detailed above. By comparison, Pence is relatively sane.

  95. dL

    Reading comprehension would help you.

    I do find it helpful. Occasionally, I do misread things…as in the instance with the inclusion of TPP w/ regard to your position.

  96. Election Addict

    Now it’s Pence, someone whose sole and only dissension from Trump was over war with Syria.

    Oh boy.

  97. Matt

    I doubt that is their only policy difference, but it’s a lot more than just policy differences.

  98. Thomas Knapp

    It’s one thing proposing to overturn the results of the election by this method or that.

    It’s too clever by half to pretend that’s not what one is proposing.

    And it’s fucking stupid to believe that everyone else is going to go along with the pretense.

    I’m not altogether against the coup proposal. But I prefer facing reality to making up fairy tales and hoping they come true.

  99. Be Rational

    “The federal election law making presidential campaigns eligible for general election public funding if they got 5% of the popular vote means that the federal government must have a method for knowing the national popular vote for president. As George says, that is why the FEC published the election returns every time.” RW

    *
    Adding up the state by state vote totals and using it as an aggregate to determine the allocation of election welfare dollars does not make that aggregate in any way a representation of the “popular vote.” Nor does the improper use of that term by the government bestow an alternate meaning or change the reality.

    In the US, there is no “popular vote” and there is no way to determine what the popular vote may have been in any election.

    *
    Collecting together piles of cow dung and mixing it with water, then calling it orange juice – even if the US Government called it “orange juice” by statute, would not make it so.
    *

    Even if George Phillies likes drinking the Kool-Aid, or in this case, the orange juice, it doesn’t change a thing.

    There is no popular vote total available for any US election for President and it isn’t possible to compute such a number.

    The fact that GP has his head buried firmly in the sand and refuses to face reality on this and many other political issues is no different than the individuals who refuse to face up to the reality of climate change. It’s an infantile, emotional reaction to a fact that is at odds with one’s fundamental identity and it requires a strong, independent mind to be able to correct, modify or abandon such long-held, religiously held beliefs. GP is no different than the other weak minded elements of society who cannot abandon their childhood religious and mythological teachings in the face of reality.

  100. dL

    There is no popular vote total available for any US election for President and it isn’t possible to compute such a number.

    While, there is no official popular vote that has any bearing on the outcome, it is nonetheless quite possible to compute its value. Further, prior to the current millennium there was a strong correlation between winning the unofficial popular vote and the official electoral college. Of course, given 2000 and 2016, that correlation may not be as strong as it once was.

    many other political issues is no different than the individuals who refuse to face up to the reality of climate change.

    I don’t see any analogy to “climate science,” other than some using it as a justification for a Clinton coup d’etat on the grounds that Trump’s climate change policy(or lack thereof) will cut their lifespans by half. Of course, I generally lump that kind of hysteria in w/ the Christian fundies claim that an atheist in office would result in the Satanic destruction of civilization.

  101. George Phillies

    There is an official popular vote total. It is constructed by the Federal Election Commission adn reported to Congress.

  102. George Phillies

    “In the US, there is no “popular vote” and there is no way to determine what the popular vote may have been in any election.”

    I’m sorry, what planet are you broadcasting from? Lagado? Loonytoonia?

  103. Just Some Random Guy

    If the election had been based on an actual nationwide, popular vote total, there would have been an entirely different outcome. Every voter in every state would know that his/her vote matered and there would no longer be a reason to stay home as there is now, based on knowing how a particular state would play out. The campaigns would have had an entirely different campaign strategy, different budgets, different advertising, different rallies, different GOTV. The parties would have chosen different candidates.

    Thank you. When people talk about how Hillary would have won if it was decided by popular vote, they ignore all the different things that would have led up to the election itself. It’s not even just about who might vote versus staying hope, the campaign strategies would have been different as well which could affect results. I’ll be fair and say that Hillary had slightly higher odds of winning the popular vote–if all the changes had moved it slightly in her direction she would have won, but it would take moving a little towards Trump for him to win–but it’s still unknown.

    On an unrelated note, I do think the LP needs to try to concentrate more on their lower level races. So much money and effort gets spent on ballot access for the presidential candidate. Now, I don’t have a problem with that. It makes the party look far more authentic and helps with exposure. But I think we really need to be focusing more on the lower level elections. The Republicans and Democrats, according to my understanding, give far more support and funding to the lower races than the LP. Now the LP doesn’t have as many money and resources, but I feel they could try to do more, even if it as only focused on a few particular elections. Right now it seems like you really don’t get much benefit from running as a Libertarian and you’re just sort of left out in the cold. Maybe I’m wrong and there’s more support than I think there is, but to my knowledge there isn’t.

    One thing that I think could help those candidates without much extra money being spent: On the main page of the site, it could allow the visitor to input their location, and then it would tell them which Libertarians were running they could vote for (in fact, as websites can see your location through the IP address, it could do that automatically, with an option to select a different location if it doesn’t get it right). So someone who goes to the site just out of curiosity would be immediately presented with candidates to vote for, preferably with links to their candidate pages, giving them just a little extra exposure. Right now, you have to go to a side page and search through a big list to find candidates.

  104. George Phillies

    The above are fine ideas, though implementing the candidate reporter might be very difficult in general.

  105. Be Rational

    “There is an official popular vote total. It is constructed by the Federal Election Commission adn reported to Congress.” – GP

    *

    However, like a large number of reports made to Congress, this is a big pile of hooey. No one but a fool actually believes it, or gives it any weight.

    There is no such thing as a “popular vote” in US elections. There never has been. Saying that the bible is true because the bible says it is true is the extent of GP’s logical construct.

    “Waaaah, waaaah, of course there’s a Santa Clause, Santa told me so, and of course we have a popular vote because the government told me so and they never lie.” – George Phillies.

  106. Thomas Knapp

    “The national popular vote” is the aggregate of the popular votes in the states, territories and District of Columbia.

    Pointing out that in the existing system that aggregate has no specific bearing on winning the election at this time is true, but pretending that aggregate doesn’t exist is, pardon my French, fucking stupid.

    As a simple mathematical fact, yes, the “national popular vote” does in fact exist.

    As Dr. Phillies points out, it is calculated and reported to Congress by the Federal Elections Commission because, while it does not specifically bear on winning the presidential election, it does in fact bear on other outcomes, e.g. eligibility for federal funding of campaigns.

    Furthermore, it has statutory/legal bearing insofar as it is used as the standard for delivery of electoral votes by the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which has been adopted by 10 states and DC, which together dispose of 165 electoral votes, and which will come into effect once it has been adopted by states disposing of at least 270 electoral votes.

  107. Be Rational

    All fine except that what you’re saying is not true. Mislabeling a lie does not turn the lie into truth. Being fooled by the mislabeled lie does reveal a lack of intelligence.

    It is not the “popular vote.” It does not represent any nationwide will of the people. The meaning of “popular vote” is that as a nation voting for President the person winning the popular vote is the winner and would have been elected if we didn’t have an EC. But this isn’t true at all. We have no clue who would have won a popular election ever for POTUS, because there has never been a nationwide popular vote. Voting behavior changes according to the election system employed. That’s why many people want to change to ranked voting, for example, as it would change voter behavior. Voters would express different preferences and different candidates would win. Campaigns would use different strategies. Different candidates would be chosen.

    If we had a popular election for President, then there would have to be a nationwide popular vote with no EC so that every vote counted, and then we would be able to say what the popular vote was.

    As it is, voting behavior, campaign behavior and the candidates chosen are all different than they would have been if we had a popular vote.

    It is completely illogical and just plain stupid to think that there is a popular vote in the US.

    The government aggregates the votes from the statewide elections, then mislabels them. If you are illiterate and uneducated you may give some credence to this meaningless aggregate number, but no educated, logical human being could be fooled by the government’s misuse of terminology.

    It is a mathematical fact that a “popular vote” for POTUS does NOT and never has existed. Apparently the math is not simple, as TK and GP are both unable to comprehend this, although it may be just the denial of reality that afflicts many who suffer from long-standing fallacious beliefs.

  108. Matt

    It’s true that ranked choice voting can change voter behavior. It’s less true that swing/non-swing state calculations do. If it were true that swing state/non swing state analysis was as prevalent as Be Rational posits, we would see a dramatically higher vote total for non-duopoly candidates in non-swing states, since their supporters would have a lot less to fear in terms of “wasted” votes “spoiling” the election. Is it in fact true that non-duopoly candidates do a lot better in non-swing states? By how much?

    I think the swing/non-swing calculation, while it is a real phenomenon, is not nearly as prevalent as Be Rational is claiming here. That is, most voters are still either unaware or only slightly aware whether their state is a swing state. Either that, or they don’t care. Most people still vote as if we did in fact have a national popular vote that decides the election of the president, and are afraid of “spoiling” the election by voting for a non-duopolist even if they live in a state where the vote is typically 2-1 between the duopoly parties, or in the case of DC, even more lopsided.

    And, to the extent that living in a non-swing state accounts for some people not voting, that goes for both sides of the duopoly. That is, those in e.g. California who support Clinton have just as much reason to not vote, since she doesn’t really need their personal votes to win California’s electoral votes, as Trump supporters in California have to not vote because he can’t win California anyway.

  109. Be Rational

    Voter turnout in swing states was up, but nationwide it was down. You can guess all you want, but you don’t know, because we have no basis to figure the national popular vote. There is none.

    **********

    Voter turnout at 20-year low in 2016

    By Gregory Wallace and Robert Yoon, CNN
    November 12, 2016

    A little more than half of voting-age Americans took part in the general election
    That’s down from the most recent elections

    Voter turnout this year dipped to nearly its lowest point in two decades.

    126 million votes … about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year.

    … the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out.

    … it would take another 18.7 million votes to reach the high point for turnout of 2008, when nearly 64% of voting age citizens cast a ballot.

    BATTLEGROUND STATES:
    Florida, 9.4 million ballots were cast, compared to 8.5 million in 2012.
    Michigan, 4.8 million compared to 4.7 million in 2012
    North Carolina, the 4.7 million ballots compared to 4.5 million in 2012.

    ***
    What would be the percentage turnout and how would they vote if we had a popular election? Other than CA where we know the Republican voters stayed home because of the lack of a Republican US Senate candidate and making no difference for POTUS, we have no clue which candidate’s potential supporters stayed home, and even in CA we don’t know for sure. State by state it could be Clinton voters or Trump voters. We don’t know and we can’t know – and that is the point. We don’t even know who the candidates would have been if we had a nationwide popular vote.

    Who would be the candidates and how would they campaign? There is no way to know. There is no “popular vote” for POTUS and none can be calculated.

  110. Thomas Knapp

    BR,

    There IS an aggregate “national popular vote.” That’s just a fact. You don’t have to like it. It’s a fact whether you like it or not.

    Is the election decided by that “national popular vote?” No.

    Your claim vis a vis the “national popular vote” is the equivalent of saying that there’s no such thing as yardage gained by rushing and passing in football just because points are based on touchdowns and field goals rather than total yardage.

  111. George Phillies

    “we have no basis to figure the national popular vote”

    The basis is called “integer addition”. I agree that it may be beyond you.

    From where are you typing that you do not understand this. New Troll? Trollsylvania? Trollifornia? Trolligan? Perhaps Trollachusetts?

  112. Be Rational

    There IS an aggregate, however it is NOT a “national popular vote.”

    That’s just a fact.
    You don’t have to like it.
    It’s a fact whether you like it or not.

    Fixed it for you.

    *
    GJ, it’s sad. You used to teach science and you are clueless about science and math.
    Just sad.
    I honestly feel sorry for your former students. They were robbed of an education by an incompetent. You have no logic skills at all.

    ***
    The aggregate the US government reports, that many innocent, ignorant people parrot is a meaningless number. It has nothing to do with a nationwide popular vote, nor is it possible that it could. The game is to win in the EC. Nothing else matters and nothing else is determined in the POTUS race.

  113. Just Some Random Guy

    Furthermore, it has statutory/legal bearing insofar as it is used as the standard for delivery of electoral votes by the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which has been adopted by 10 states and DC, which together dispose of 165 electoral votes, and which will come into effect once it has been adopted by states disposing of at least 270 electoral votes.

    It is interesting you say it is legal bearing when the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact appears to actually be unconstitutional. Individual states are free to set their electoral college voters based on the national vote, certainly. However, the way they are attempting to do so–only setting it as such if enough other states agree–appears to be prohibited by the Compact Clause of the Constitution:
    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

    Granted, I am not a constitutional scholar so perhaps I am misinterpreting this, but this does seem to violate it.

  114. Andy

    Here are a couple of issue stances where Donald Trump is actually more libertarian than Gary Johnson, that is on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and carbon taxes (unless of course Trump filip-flops on these issues, but this remains to be seen).

    Trump Delivers: Kills TPP, Moves Against Carbon Taxes, MSM Now Giant Joke

  115. Tony From Long Island

    Andy: ” . . . . .I see no chance of the US House picking anyone who is any good even if this unlikely scenario were to happen. . . . . ”

    “Any good” is the same type of Trumpian generic nonsense we have heard for the past two years. . . and no, they would not have chosen your beloved Mr. Perry.

    Andy: ” . . . Hillary Clinton owes him a favor for “putting her over” on TV). . . . “Putting over?” A wrestling fan? I guess you do have one single redeeming quality.

  116. Tony From Long Island

    Senor Rational: ” . . . .The game is to win in the EC. Nothing else matters and nothing else is determined in the POTUS race. . . . ”

    Just because that IS the game doesn’t mean it SHOULD BE the game. Every other election for every other elected office in this country is determined by who receives the most votes. Perhaps I am wrong. Please let me know if that is the case.

    There is a reason why no other democracy adopted after ours uses this type of system – It is undemocratic.

  117. Matt

    “Here are a couple of issue stances where Donald Trump is actually more libertarian than Gary Johnson, that is on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and carbon taxes (unless of course Trump filip-flops on these issues, but this remains to be seen).”

    Johnson flip-flopped on both of those issues. Trump has not flip-flopped on TPP, but don’t mistake his position for a libertarian one. He’s not just against the bad details of so-called “free” trade agreements, he’s actually against real free trade as well, and wants massive tariffs which along with his crazy immigration views will wreck the economy and quite possibly lead to global war. I have no idea whether Trump has flip-flopped on carbon taxes, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he has or does; he has flip flopped on so many things it’s impossible to keep track.

    I suppose one might hope that he lied in all his crazy campaign promises, and that he will govern somewhat conventionally, with his sole real purpose in getting elected being to steal with both hands and make his family as rich or richer than the Russian oligarchs (his role model, Putin, has allegedly stolen 200 billion for himself and much more for his friends, in a country far less wealthy than the US). However, this too presents a problem, as Trump has mobilized a huge constituency for his insane promises to wreck world trade, round up and deport tens of millions of people, bomb the shit out of the middle east and take their oil, end Muslim immigration and monitor American Muslims, torture detainees and kill their families, etc, etc. What will those people do if Trump utterly fails to satisfy their bloodlust?

  118. Matt

    “Voter turnout this year dipped to nearly its lowest point in two decades.

    126 million votes … about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year.

    … the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out.

    … it would take another 18.7 million votes to reach the high point for turnout of 2008, when nearly 64% of voting age citizens cast a ballot.

    BATTLEGROUND STATES:
    Florida, 9.4 million ballots were cast, compared to 8.5 million in 2012.
    Michigan, 4.8 million compared to 4.7 million in 2012
    North Carolina, the 4.7 million ballots compared to 4.5 million in 2012.”

    Notice that in the battleground states Be Rational relies on absolute numbers, without taking into account that the number of eligible voters has grown. Thus he is not making an apples to apples comparison. As I suspected, there is a slight difference in turnout between battleground and non-battleground states, most of which is accounted for by the massive efforts by the Democratic and Republican turnout machines.

    “Other than CA where we know the Republican voters stayed home because of the lack of a Republican US Senate candidate and making no difference for POTUS”

    You only presume that this had a huge impact on their turnout, without empirical evidence. If turnout in Republican-leaning areas and among Republican-leaning demographics in CA was lower, how much lower was it? However, there were lots of states with no competitive presidential or senatorial elections, and those not voting because they calculated that they couldn’t make a difference in those states were from both sides of the duopoly. It appears that most voters still don’t know or don’t understand how the electoral college works, or disregard and vote to send a message.

  119. Be Rational

    “Notice that in the battleground states Be Rational relies on absolute numbers, without taking into account that the number of eligible voters has grown. Thus he is not making an apples to apples comparison. As I suspected, there is a slight difference in turnout between battleground and non-battleground states, most of which is accounted for by the massive efforts by the Democratic and Republican turnout machines.”

    *
    Notice that I was quoting a news reporter. It’s not my comparison, but it does provide data since you had none.

    Notice that the total number of voters fell nationwide – including the battleground states.
    Notice that the total number of voters in the battleground states went up.

    Apples to apples.

    *
    Nearly all voters DO know that the EC determines the winner and nearly all voters are aware when they are living in a battleground state. Voter behavior is affected. If it wasn’t there would be no movement to change voting systems to IRV or Top-two since they wouldn’t affect voting behavior either.

  120. Thomas Knapp

    “Nearly all voters DO know that the EC determines the winner and nearly all voters are aware when they are living in a battleground state. Voter behavior is affected.”

    But how could this possibly be true? You’re making assertions as to voters and voter behavior while simultaneously asserting that voters don’t exist and don’t behave (“we have no basis to figure the national popular vote”).

  121. Be Rational

    “Just because that IS the game doesn’t mean it SHOULD BE the game.”

    *

    Of course, Tony. You are correct on this point.

    The fact that we have no idea what would have happened in any election for POTUS if we had held a popular vote, and the fact that we cannot compute the popular vote for any past election does not in any way impact on a conversation regarding a change to a popular vote system versus maintaining the EC or changing the EC so that every state is on the Maine/Nebraska system.

    However, many people ignorantly believe the nonsense about who won or lost the popular vote in US POTUS elections when there is no such number available. There are many arguments to make, pro and con, but no one can cite the “popular vote” or insist that Clinton or any other past loser would have won based on the “popular vote” because there is no popular vote and none can be calculated.

  122. Be Rational

    “… voters don’t exist and don’t behave …” TK

    *
    TK, you are the only one who has ever said this. You are, of course, obviously wrong. Voters do exist and they do have behavior which changes according to circumstances and facts.

    *
    “we have no basis to figure the national popular vote”

    Exactly. Since we can’t go down alternate timelines, we can’t rewind the election and find out what voters would have done under a popular vote system. So, we have no way to compute the votes or even to know who the candidates would have been.

  123. Be Rational

    “On average, turnout was unchanged in states that voted for Trump, while it fell by an average of 2.3 percentage points in states that voted for Clinton. ”

    *
    So, in states that where Trump was ahead, all the Clinton voters turned out against the evil Trump, and in states where Clinton was ahead, the Republicans who didn’t much care for Trump stayed home, reducing Trump’s totals in those states.

    Result, unchanged voter turnout in Trump states. Lower turnout in Clinton states.

    *
    “Relatedly, turnout was higher in competitive states — most of which Trump won. In the 14 swing states — those where either the winning party in the presidential race switched from 2012 or where the margin was within 5 percentage points — an average of 65.3 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. In the other 36 states and Washington, D.C., turnout averaged just 56.3 percent.

    *
    This behavior can be explained by the possibility that all Clinton voters turned out to defeat the evil Trump, all the rabid Trump voters turned out, Republicans turned out where it was projected to be close, but in the obvious Clinton states, the Republicans stayed home.

    ****

    Now, you may object to this, but you can’t disprove it.

    That’s because there was no nationwide popular vote in this or any previous POTUS election and none can be computed.

  124. Richard Winger

    I greatly appreciate Donald Trump for having said on 60 Minutes last night that he thinks the president should be chosen by the national popular vote. If I knew how to withdraw my name from the petition asking the electors to choose someone else, I would withdraw my signature.

    Ever since 1974, U.S. federal election law has recognized concept of the national popular vote for president. Parties that poll 25% of the national popular vote for president are entitled to huge amounts of general election campaign funding. Parties that poll 5%, but under 25%, are entitled to partial amounts of public funding. The US Supreme Court upheld this law 7-2. The existence of this law is why the Federal Election Commission goes to the trouble to tabulate the national popular vote for president.

  125. Thomas L. Knapp

    Be Rational,

    Time to stop fucking around and start being rational.

    Your assertion is that since a number X aggregated from known data would be different if some surrounding circumstances were different, that there is not and cannot be a number X aggregated from known data.

    That assertion is not just irrational, it’s fuck-stupid.

    Please stop being fuck-stupid about this.

    Please.

  126. Matt

    “Notice that the total number of voters in the battleground states went up.”

    As a percentage of eligible voters? You provided no such statistics. The raw totals don’t mean much since the number of eligible voters went up.

  127. Matt

    “Nearly all voters DO know that the EC determines the winner and nearly all voters are aware when they are living in a battleground state.”

    I don’t believe you. If this were true, the third party vote in non-battleground states would be a whole lot more different from the third party vote in battleground states.

    ” Voter behavior is affected. If it wasn’t there would be no movement to change voting systems to IRV or Top-two since they wouldn’t affect voting behavior either.”

    That’s an entirely separate issue which impacts voting within a state, regardless of electoral college.

  128. Matt

    “Notice that the total number of voters fell nationwide – including the battleground states.
    Notice that the total number of voters in the battleground states went up.”

    One was a percentage, the other a raw number, thus no, not apples to apples. Furthermore, one comparison was to 2012 and one was to 2008. Also, there are still quite a few votes to be counted; I wonder how your source treated those in their analysis?

  129. Matt

    “So, in states that where Trump was ahead, all the Clinton voters turned out against the evil Trump, and in states where Clinton was ahead, the Republicans who didn’t much care for Trump stayed home, reducing Trump’s totals in those states.”

    From what I have read, turnout was lower among Democratic-leaning voters, including in battleground states. Clinton was just a shitty, uninspiring candidate, and Trump’s groping was eclipsed by the Clinton/FBI saga and by attention deficit (ie old news).

    “Republicans turned out where it was projected to be close, but in the obvious Clinton states, the Republicans stayed home.”

    That’s not reflected in the analyses I have read that broke down who voted and who didn’t by demographic factors, party registration, and so on.

  130. Matt

    “I greatly appreciate Donald Trump for having said on 60 Minutes last night that he thinks the president should be chosen by the national popular vote. If I knew how to withdraw my name from the petition asking the electors to choose someone else, I would withdraw my signature.”

    Not a good reason. All the other things about Trump that make him dangerous remain true.

    ” The existence of this law is why the Federal Election Commission goes to the trouble to tabulate the national popular vote for president.”

    My understanding is that the national popular vote has been tabulated since 1824. Is that not correct?

  131. Tony From Long Island

    Rational: ” . . . .changing the EC so that every state is on the Maine/Nebraska system. . . . ”

    That would be TERRIBLE! You think Gerrymandering is bad now? Just wait . . . .

    Under that system, we would have the same result – Generalissimo Trump wins the e EV and Mrs. Clinton wins the Popular Vote

  132. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    1) We don’t know who won the popular vote yet. We won’t until the votes have all been counted. As of the most recent numbers I’ve seen, Trump and Clinton are separated by less than 1/2 of 1%.

    2) It is not obviously the case that apportioning electoral votes by district (with the winner of each state’s popular vote taking the two “base” votes) would produce the same results. Clinton would certainly have picked up some electoral votes in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Wisconsin and other states this year under such a system. Trump would presumably have picked up some in Virginia, California, etc.

    Is there some particular reason why half a million voters in California should overrule 60 million voters in other states?

  133. Richard Winger

    The concept of the national popular vote was created in the 1840’s, when various almanacs started printing charts adding up the vote for the top vote-getting presidential elector candidate for each party. Then historians gathered data for elections before the 1840’s, and printed that in history books and reference books for elections 1824 on.

    A few years ago, the nation’s leading historian for finding old election returns, Michael J. Dubin, published a book giving the national popular vote for presidential elections before 1824. I would give the title now but it’s up in my bedroom and I don’t want to leave the computer, but if you want to know, e-mail me at richardwinger@yahoo.com

    The federal government started printing the national popular vote for president in a booklet published by the Clerk of the U.S. House, starting in 1920, with a new book published for each election. The title was “Statistics of the Presidential & Congressional Election” in presidential years, and “Statistics of the Congressional Election” in midterm years.

  134. Tony From Long Island

    TK, my original response somehow didn’t post.

    1) The result of picking the EV’s according to congressional district is obvious – the Republicans won the house. Gerrymandering is the worst scourge of American Politics. Districts should be as close as geographically possible to a square, regardless of what democgraphics live within it.

    2) You said ” . . . . We don’t know who won the popular vote yet . . . . ” TK, really? I’m surprised at you. Do you think he is going to make up 600,000 votes when all is said and done? if anything, her lead will grow, making this result even harder to swallow. One half of one percent is a rather large number when you consider 120 million as the total.

  135. 33

    “Metropolitan Statistical Area 2010”

    I was referring to the actual city populations– “MSA”s include a lot of areas that nobody would look at and think of as particularly “urban”. And several of those top-20 aren’t even in the areas TK asserted would be the only ones candidates would care about.

    But, even granting that you can get to near 50% with “urban” voters… so what? Why, exactly, do people have this notion that it’s easier to chase after votes in cities? Why is it a problem if urban voters outnumber rural voters but not vice versa? How is it any more just for cities to be ignored and discounted?

    There are good arguments for the Electoral College. “Candidates will only care about big cities with a popular vote!” isn’t one of them. It’s gibberish. If you actually try to plot out a scenario for how that would work…. it doesn’t.

  136. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    It’s not obvious that just because a congressional district goes Republican for the House, it will go Republican for the presidency or vice versa. Also, you are hopefully aware that just because a party controls a district in one election, it won’t necessarily control it in the next election.

    Personally, I’m not married to the electoral college system, or to any particular way of distributing the electoral votes, because I’m an anarchist. That doesn’t mean it’s not interesting to think of ways in which the system might save itself, or not.

    Converting to national popular vote would probably move up the collapse of the US by at least a decade, so I’m fine with that.

    Apportioning electoral votes by district with the two “base” votes going to the state popular vote winner might extend the survival of the system by a decade, which I’m also fine with.

    The shithouse is coming down one way or another and I don’t see that a decade is so much of a difference that I need to throw a fit over it.

    “Do you think [Trump] is going to make up 600,000 votes when all is said and done?”

    I have no idea. I don’t know how much of the vote remains uncounted, or where/when it comes from. If some of it is absentee/mail vote from the “grab them by the p*ssy” timeframe, it’s likely to increase Clinton’s lead. If some of it is absentee/mail vote from the “we can’t continue completely pretending that we don’t know Clinton is a crook” timeframe, that might get Trump closer.

  137. Be Rational

    Richard,

    The fact that the US government maintains statistics on this is meaningless. The US government maintains a lot of meaningless statistics and others that are intentionally or unintentionally incorrect.

    Although all those statistics have been gathered, they are not what they are labeled to be. They are not a “National Popular Vote.”

    Those are an aggregate of the state by state voting used to determine the Electoral College vote and do not represent in any way the will of the people nationwide.

    No one can change that reality.

    TK, it is sad to see that you do not comprehend math and statistics and you are unable to properly conceptualize what is happening in US elections as a result.

    We have no idea who would have won an election for President in the US in any election based on a national popular vote. We have no idea who the candidates would have been. The parties would likely NOT use a state by state primary, caucus and convention system as they do now. But, who knows?

    It is totally ignorant to claim that one or the other candidate won the popular vote. They didn’t.

    *
    If you add up all the points scored by each team in National League or the American League this year, while that might be interesting, you cannot say that the team with the most points really won the pennant. If winning the most points were important, a team would continue to run up points in the bottom of the ninth inning. The only thing that matters is which team wins each game.

    In the POTUS race, the only thing that matters is who wins each state, not the total votes. There was no benefit in running up the score in the blowout states. We have no idea what the national popular vote might have been, but we do know, with absolute certainty …

    There is no such thing as a “National Popular Vote” in POTUS elections. The statistics that are presented are something completely different, interesting perhaps, but meaningless in discussing the outcome of the election in terms of who might have won only if …

    If we chose our President by a National Popular Vote we would have had different candidates for the nomination, different nominating systems, different nominated candidates, different parties, different choices made by the voters … a completely different timeline.

  138. Tony from Long Island

    TK: Even though you sometimes sounds like Andy, I still like you.

    The only thing right now that could lead to the downfall of this nation is continuing to elect leaders who get us closer to the “idiocracy” reality. This was just the first step

  139. Be Rational

    Matt,

    ” Voter behavior is affected. If it wasn’t there would be no movement to change voting systems to IRV or Top-two since they wouldn’t affect voting behavior either.” BR

    That’s an entirely separate issue which impacts voting within a state, regardless of electoral college. Matt

    *

    No, it is the issue. The fact is that whether it be ranked voting, Top-two, or a National Popular Vote, voting behavior will change and we cannot know what the outcome of any election would have been had we held that past election under one of these alternate systems because of that change in behavior.

    We can aggregate the state numbers together. We can look at those totals. They should be called an “Aggregate of State by State Voting Totals Used in Determining the State by State Allocation of Electoral Votes” if we want an accurate name, and these totals should be recognized as signifying nothing as far as the outcome of the election.

    Such totals are statistically meaningless.

    This is an incontrovertible fact of mathematics.

  140. Thomas L. Knapp

    “TK, it is sad to see that you do not comprehend math and statistics and you are unable to properly conceptualize what is happening in US elections as a result.”

    Well, someone is not comprehending math and statistics here.

    Football stadium, any given Sunday: 40,000 tickets sold at the gate. Partly sunny, high of 75.

    Sure, if it had been rainy and 45 degrees, only 25,000 tickets might have sold.

    And if it had been ladies’ day and every man who bought a ticket got one for a buck for a woman, maybe 50,000 tickets would have been sold.

    You are asserting that because of those latter two potentials, we can’t know how many tickets were actually sold.

    And like I said, that’s fuck-stupid.

    Would the national popular vote have come out differently had it been known in advance that that national popular vote would be the determining factor in the outcome? Of course.

    But that does not in any way affect whether or not there is a national popular vote, or how it actually DID come out.

  141. Tony From Long Island

    TK: ” . . . . . Football stadium, any given Sunday: 40,000 tickets sold at the gate. Partly sunny, high of 75.

    Sure, if it had been rainy and 45 degrees, only 25,000 tickets might have sold . . . . ”

    Might have worked with Baseball . . . but not football . . Plus very very few football tickets are sold day of game (at least at the NFL or high NCAA level) . . . yes, sorta off topic, but you picked a bad comparison.

  142. Be Rational

    “Metropolitan Statistical Area 2010”

    “I was referring to the actual city populations– “MSA”s include a lot of areas that nobody would look at and think of as particularly “urban”. And several of those top-20 aren’t even in the areas TK asserted would be the only ones candidates would care about.” – 33

    *
    You mentioned both metropolitan areas and cities. TK mentioned both coasts and Chicago.

    The states along the two US coasts plus the Chicago metro area do have most of the nation’s population. Add in the big cities and they would be able to ignore the rest of America. These are facts.

    Is this the outcome you would like for the US? Is this your best plan for “democracy?” Then fine. That’s your choice. Others have different ideas for the best system. Some want no system at all.

    We can keep the EC system as is.
    We can change the EC system to the ME/NE system.
    We can change the EC system in some other way.
    We can adopt a system of direct election.
    We can abolish the government altogether and eliminate the office of POTUS.
    We can break up the US into a variety of different areas with different systems.
    We can combine the US with other regions, states, provinces or nations with the same or a modified system.
    Choose your fancy.

    Whatever your opinion of what “should” be done, you don’t get to choose alone.

    What are the odds and when will the change occur?

  143. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    OK, if you say so. I don’t follow sports closely enough to pull off that kind of analogy, I guess.

    But I think the point is sound. The fact that a knowable number X might vary given different conditions does not mean that that knowable number X does not exist.

    We don’t know what the national popular vote would have looked like if it decided the presidential election. Campaigns would have been run differently, targeted to different areas and different demographics, and so on. The very nature of the parties would change as they grappled with what they had to do to win that national popular vote instead of 270 electoral votes.

    But we do know what the national popular vote DOES look like under the circumstances that DO prevail. And asserting that we don’t — and that in fact the national popular vote does not exist — because it could conceivably have come out differently is, as I said, fuck-stupid.

  144. Be Rational

    TK, your comment about attendance at the game has nothing to do with the game. You are so far off base that it is obvious to anyone that my assessment of your mathematical reasoning ability was off because I overestimated – you don’t even know what the problem is, let alone how to set up and solve the problem.

    The audience in the stands watching a ballgame is equivalent to the viewers around the world watching the election returns. Neither group is in the game.

  145. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    Well, I tried to explain it to you in terms of yardage existing even though touchdowns, field goals, etc. determine who wins, but you’re apparently too thick to understand that things which can be counted can in fact be counted whether you consider them important or not.

  146. Tony From Long Island

    The only numbers I care about today are the popular vote totals. Sometimes you can over-analyze.

    More people who cared to vote cast their vote for Mrs. Clinton, yet she “lost.”

    I think it’s logical to assume that Mr. Drumph’s voters were much more enthusiastic. My observation is that Republican voters are usually more enthusiastic than Democratic voters – and I am extremely generalizing.

    So, if the huge amount of non-voters were made to vote, where would they go?

  147. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    Republican voters were more enthusiastic than Democratic voters THIS YEAR.

    In 2008 and 2012, Democratic voters were more enthusiastic. Republicans were not especially enthused by Mitt Romney or John McCain.

    In 2004, Democratic voters found John Kerry boring, hypocritical and not worth turning out for while Republican voters believed that the US would be overrun by the Iraqi army if George W. Bush wasn’t re-elected.

    It goes back and forth.

    You still haven’t answered my question: Why should half a million voters in California get to veto the majorities in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, etc.? What makes that handful of voters in California more fit to rule everyone else than everyone else is fit to rule them?

  148. Tony From Long Island

    Your question doesn’t make sense to me.

    Why should anyone’s vote be more important? One person – one vote. This is how it works for every other elected office in this country.

    I don’t agree with the premise of your question. Every country, state, county and town has population centers.

    Do the votes in New York City count more than those in Plattsburgh because more people live there? No.

  149. Be Rational

    “Well, I tried to explain it to you in terms of yardage existing even though touchdowns, field goals, etc. determine who wins, but you’re apparently too thick to understand that things which can be counted can in fact be counted whether you consider them important or not.” – TK

    *
    Every one of your posts demonstrated that you didn’t understand the problem or the math behind it.

    To put it in layman’s terms used for those who don’t comprehend university statistics classes: You’re not just adding apples and oranges – you’re attempting to add 51 kinds of fruit and claiming it’s an ear of corn.

  150. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    Well, that’s the problem with centralization of power.

    More people in California want to be ruled by Hillary Clinton than by Donald Trump.

    More people in Ohio want to be ruled by Donald Trump than by Hillary Clinton.

    Why not have a federal government so weak that nobody really cares THAT much who runs it? Or else so decentralized that people in Ohio and people in California can BOTH have what they want?

    Refusal to come up with some way of accomplishing one of those things is why the US has maybe — MAYBE — 30 years left before it goes the way of Soviet Union.

  151. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    We need to be clear on one thing:

    This is not a question of opinion on which we disagree.

    It is a question of fact on which I am right and you are wrong.

    I’ve done my best to help you extract your cranium from your rectum and stop making yourself look like an idiot in public. At this point, I’m just going to have to admit that my assistance has been ineffectual, presumably because you are hell-bent on continuing to be completely wrong no matter the consequences. So have a nice week.

  152. Tony from Long Island

    TK: ” . . . . . Why not have a federal government so weak that nobody really cares THAT much who runs it? . . . . ” You are channeling Harry Browne I see 🙂

    That is a fun question for another thread. Here, we are trying to decide how to elect the leader of a government “of and for the people.” I would think that the will of the people should make that choice, regardless of where they live.

    Let Republicans try to convince Californians and Democrats convince Alabamans.

    I am going to finish up work and say goodbye for today. I had fun reading your back and forth with Senor Racional

  153. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    According to the numbers currently listed at Wikipedia, 52.25 of those voting did not vote for Hillary Clinton. How does that reflect “the will of the people?”

    And that’s just of those who chose to vote and were allowed to vote. In actuality, Clinton received the votes of less than 1/5th the population of the US. “The will of the people?” No, the will of 18.9% of the people.

  154. Tony From Long Island

    Actually of those eligible around 24.7% voted for her 24.5 voted for him 1.5 voted for Johnson and 49% or so didn’t vote . . . so they really have no gripe. . . at least that the stat I recently saw…

    I am really leaving now! Goodnight.

  155. Be Rational

    TK, it is a matter of fact. It’s a matter of mathematics that is far beyond your comprehension. It is so far beyond you that you are unable to see it at all. You are like a child of two who can’t count looking at Calculus written on a blackboard.

    You are too elderly to learn now, so there is no point in going further with this subject. You would need years of education to get up to this level of understanding.

  156. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    It’s a matter of two of the most fundamental aspects of mathematics:

    1) Counting; and

    2) Sets.

    For some reason or reasons, you don’t like the fact — and it IS a fact — that a particular set can be (and has been) created, so you stomp your foot and insist that it can’t be.

    Denying reality is not a rational method of argumentation.

  157. Be Rational

    Here’s a simple math problem for you. It’s famous. PhD math professors across America got it wrong and to this day cannot fathom the correct answer.

    There are threee curtains. You can choose either A, B, or C to win a prize. One has a grand prize, the others have gag prizes.
    Of course, the odds of picking the grand prize is 1 out of 3.

    You choose curtain A.

    The Host shows you the gag prize behind curtain C.
    There are now two curtains left that have not been revealed to you.
    The Host gives you a choice of keeping curtain A or switching to curtain B.
    Which choice will give you the best odds.

    1) Curtain A has the best odds of winning.
    2) Curtain B has the best odds of winning.
    3) The odds of either A or B winning remain the same, so it doesn’t matter.

    What is the correct answer and why? Include the odds now for curtains A and B.

  158. Be Rational

    It’s not a matter of counting and sets. It’s a matter of mathematical labeling at the outset of a problem. It’s a matter of orininal conditions. You have totally missed the point. You cannot solve higher mathematics until you establish parameters. You haven’t ever done that.

    See if you can solve a simpler problem.

  159. Thomas L. Knapp

    The odds of either A or B winning ARE the same, but they do not REMAIN the same.

    Before C was revealed as a gag prize, the odds for any curtain were 1 in 3. Now the odds are 1 in 2. But changing your pick won’t change those odds.

    None of which has to do with the fact that the votes of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories can in fact be added together to create a set called the “national popular vote” and that that has been done every four years for nearly two centuries.

    You are correct that in the current system, the national popular vote is irrelevant to deciding who wins the election.

    You are correct that if the national popular vote BECAME the standard by which the winner was determined, it would affect voting patterns (so we cannot say with any certainty that e.g. Clinton would have won if that’s how things were done).

    But denying the existence of votes, voters and vote totals is, for the third or fourth time, fuck-stupid.

  160. Be Rational

    I’m sorry, TK. Your answer is incorrect.

    I’ll give anyone else who wishes a chance to do better a few hours before I reveal the correct answer and explaination.

    And yes, this does relate to the 50 state + DC problem which is like 51 curtains with many more variables that will forever elude you.

  161. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    There is no 50 state + DC “problem.”

    People did indeed vote in the 50 states and in DC.

    Their votes can in fact be added together and labeled “national popular vote.”

    Their votes HAVE in fact been added together and labeled “national popular vote.”

    No quantity or quality of egghead bullshit you can come up with will change those FACTS.

  162. Be Rational

    As I said, TK, it’s beyond your level. It was obiously beyond the level of the individual who started adding up these unrelated numbers and thought they meant something and to the individuals who continue to assign a meaning to nonsense. There are no educational or intelligence levels required to be in the media, and it’s doubful any of them comprehend mathematics, so they prattle on foolishly but unaware and unable to comprehend.

    You could measure the weight of each voter and add that up too. It would be interesting, but equally meaningless in talking about the winner of the election.

  163. Thomas L. Knapp

    “equally meaningless in talking about the winner of the election”

    I have at no time asserted that the national popular vote total is meaningful in talking about the winner of the election given the existing system.

    You, however, have asserted that the national popular vote total does not exist. Which is fuck-stupid.

  164. Be Rational

    Yes, there it is again, mathematics appears that way to you, because it is beyond your ability to comprehend.

    Although the media cobbles together a bunch of unrelated numbers and calls them the “national popular vote,” those numbers are not related to each other and cannot properly be added together in that way. You can aggregate any group of unrelated numbers, but what you get is meaningless. This is beyond your level, but it is fact.

    There is no such thing as a “National Popular Vote” in US Presidential elections, nor has there ever been. No such number can even be calculated, the eventts are discrete and incongruent; they represent different things, they cannot be aggregated properly into a meaningful whole.

  165. Thomas L. Knapp

    There you go with the fuck-stupid stuff again.

    No, the votes in the several states are not “unrelated numbers.”

    The voters share common characteristics (e.g. over 18, US citizens, etc.).

    They are voting on the same things: Slates of electors pledged to particular candidates, at least the top two of which are common across all jurisdictions.

    It’s a valid set. Period. End of story.

  166. Be Rational

    From above:
    ****************
    Here’s a simple math problem for you. It’s famous. PhD math professors across America got it wrong and to this day cannot fathom the correct answer.

    There are threee curtains. You can choose either A, B, or C to win a prize. One has a grand prize, the others have gag prizes.
    Of course, the odds of picking the grand prize is 1 out of 3.

    You choose curtain A.

    The Host shows you the gag prize behind curtain C.
    There are now two curtains left that have not been revealed to you.
    The Host gives you a choice of keeping curtain A or switching to curtain B.
    Which choice will give you the best odds.

    1) Curtain A has the best odds of winning.
    2) Curtain B has the best odds of winning.
    3) The odds of either A or B winning remain the same, so it doesn’t matter.

    What is the correct answer and why? Include the odds now for curtains A and B.

    *********************

    The correct answer is “B.” You should change to curtain B. The odds have changed to 2 out of 3 for B, but remain at 1 out of 3 for A.

    The odds for finding the grand prize:
    Curtain A: 1/3
    Curtain B: 2/3

    It’s busy here now. I’ll post the explanation later.

    **********
    Odds are that if you didn’t get this simple problem, you won’t understand the National Popular Vote problem.

  167. George Phillies

    The notion that votes for Trump in Rhode Island and votes for Trump in Massachusetts is astonishingly absurd. It is not clear where Be Irrational came from, but the moderators should give him his own page–inaccessible to sane people– and be done with him.

  168. Be Rational

    So, we can see that both GP and TK do not understand the simple math problem above, and the National Popular Vote problem is beyond them.

  169. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    What he means is that yes, votes for Trump v. Clinton in Rhode Island and votes for Trump v. Clinton in Massachusetts are like entities and can be added to produce a cumulative “popular vote in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.”

    Implicitly, I suspect he’s also making fun of BR’s innumeracy as expressed in his complete inability to understand the implications of the game show problem he himself offered. BR continues to express odds as fractions of three even though the unknowns have been reduced to two.

    BR’s problem of understanding there is very similar his problem with understanding that a national popular vote does and can exist. In the game show example, he fails to understand that if the conditions change, so do the probabilities. In the election example, he fails to understand that quantities can exist which would affect probabilities in different situations, even if those different situations don’t in fact obtain.

  170. Be Rational

    TK, you have been given the correct answers to both problems. You are wrong on both. This simple problem has been proven and explained many times – I solved it decades ago, before it was first published and the nation’s PhD’s made fools of themselves, until the explanation was published and the scurried away, tails between their legs. Separated the men from the boys as it were.

    TK you have no competence in mathematics. You should learn to accept your weaknesses. Apparently George doesn’t either, although he hasn’t actually given an answer to the simple problem, he’s probably afraid of being wrong in public.

    I’ll wait a bit longer for anyone who thinks they understand problem to post their answer.

    (Hint. Yes the answer is in thirds. )

  171. Tony From Long Island

    I am by no means a mathematician (had to take Math 099 just to completely my bachelors), but it seems like a pretty simple concept that you add up all the state totals and – boom – there is the national total.

    In 2012 Trump said the Electoral Vote was a “disaster” (a lovable Trumpism that means nothing) but yesterday he said it was “genius” (shocking).

    He feels if there was only popular vote he would have campaigned in California, etc. . . That may have some merit, but I don’t think the outcome (of the popular vote) would have been different. She would have done the same thing.

    TK, you mentioned that with the EV, the smaller states have a voice, but I think that under the current system, the campaign really only exists in a handful of states. Everyone else is pretty much ignored.

    I will stand by my “one person – one vote.” The Electoral College should have been abandoned long ago.

    p.s. I will admit, though, that if there were only a popular vote, my decision to vote for Gov. Johnson and not Mrs. Clinton may have been different.

  172. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    Yes, I am well aware that I have no competence in mathematics. It took me days to teach myself enough trigonometry to literally reinvent the wheel (the plotting wheel used to generate site deflection data for mortars) as a calculator program.

    Dr. Phillies is a physics professor with a Ph.D., so I suspect he may have run into some math action now and again.

  173. Be Rational

    p.s. I will admit, though, that if there were only a popular vote, my decision to vote for Gov. Johnson and not Mrs. Clinton may have been different. – Tony.

    ******
    Corrrect Tony. Knowledge affects behavior. The vote in each state was affected by knowledge that was different for each state. The votes in each state represent different sets of choices in each state. Ther do not represent the same decision set and are cannot properly be aggregated.

  174. Be Rational

    “I am well aware that I have no competence in mathematics. It took me days to teach myself enough trigonometry to literally reinvent the wheel (the plotting wheel used to generate site deflection data for mortars) as a calculator program.

    Dr. Phillies is a physics professor with a Ph.D., so I suspect he may have run into some math action now and again.” TK

    ******
    …. and yet neither of you can solve a simple math problem and have no clue about the more complex problem involving a “national popular vote.” Sad.

  175. Tony From Long Island

    You can make all sorts of analytical statements or some voodoo math that is way over my head, but the same person would be leading if our system was total vote only – as it should be and is just about everywhere else.

    600,000 votes and counting. Shall we take odds on if it reaches 750,000?

    It is just bewildering to me that I hear some Trump-a-longs saying he has a “mandate.” If you want to use the technical definition of the word, maybe. But he should tread very lightly (which we know is not his style). If his choice of a “senior advisor” is any indication, his is treadling quite heavily. Sad.

  176. George Phillies

    Yes, if we could go back in time and reset things so that the total national popular vote determined the election outcome, , and then returned to the present, we would doubtless find that the national vote total had changed. Probably by a great deal. However, it would still be the national vote total, just as it is now. This point is, however, entirely beyond Be Rational’s claim that no one in the United Sates can perform integer addition.

  177. Tony From Long Island

    Well, a mathematics debate is above my pay grade. So, I will wait for another thread to impart my bounty of knowledge and correct opinions 🙂

  178. dL

    Popular Vote Statistic for Candidate V= ?i(Vi/?jTj)

    where i is summed over the available states, territories. j is summed over the the total ballots cast for each candidate on the ballot in the ith state.

  179. dL

    unfortunately, IPR doesn’t support html code for subscript and unicode for sigma. So the formula above is gibberish

  180. dL

    Btw, I’m not sure what the Monty Hall problem has to do with vote counting. In the Monty Hall problem, if you have choices A,B,C for a prize, you have 1/3 probability of selecting the prize. If it is revealed to you that one of the choices you didn’t select is not the prize, then if you switch your selection you have 1/2 chance of being wrong, which yields 1/2 chance of being right…which beats the 1/3 chance for your original selection.

    Now I suppose one could argue that pre-knowledge, like knowing if you are in a battleground state or not, could affect turnout and votes cast in that state, but this does not effect the ability to count votes. Given that I don’t accept the notion that vote counting reflects “collective will” to begin with, the problem of “pre-knowledge or filtered information” doesn’t really have any bearing at all on the “popular will” problem. The popular will problem is a well known problem in political science…it’s called Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.
    Once again, the popular will problem or the Impossibility Theorem does not affect the accuracy of vote counting…it’s not the “Impossibility to Count Votes” problem.

  181. Be Rational

    I see that DL got the answer wrong as well.
    *******

    From above:
    ****************
    Here’s a simple math problem for you. It’s famous. PhD math professors across America got it wrong and to this day cannot fathom the correct answer.

    There are threee curtains. You can choose either A, B, or C to win a prize. One has a grand prize, the others have gag prizes.
    Of course, the odds of picking the grand prize is 1 out of 3.

    You choose curtain A.

    The Host shows you the gag prize behind curtain C.
    There are now two curtains left that have not been revealed to you.
    The Host gives you a choice of keeping curtain A or switching to curtain B.
    Which choice will give you the best odds.

    1) Curtain A has the best odds of winning.
    2) Curtain B has the best odds of winning.
    3) The odds of either A or B winning remain the same, so it doesn’t matter.

    What is the correct answer and why? Include the odds now for curtains A and B.

    *********************

    The correct answer is “B.” You should change to curtain B. The odds have changed to 2 out of 3 for B, but remain at 1 out of 3 for A.

    The odds for finding the grand prize:
    Curtain A: 1/3
    Curtain B: 2/3

    *

    After the host reveals Curtain C as a gag prize, as stated above, you will have a 1 out of 3 chance of winning if you stay with curtain A but a 2 out of 3 chance if you switch to Curtain B.

    The reason is information in the system. The same reason you cannot properly aggregate the votes cast in the 5O states + DC and call it a “national popular vote.”

    Explanation:
    When you first choose Curtain A, your choice “A” has a 1/3 chance of winning.
    The combined chance for “B” and “C” is 2/3 meaning that 2 out of 3 times either B or C will be the winner, so B and C together have a 2/3 chance.

    Now the host reveals a gag prize behind one of the curtains. We have designated curtain C but it could have been curtain B. The host chose.

    But, there was information in the system. B and C together must always contain at least one gag prize and the host has information. The host knows what’s behind all the doors. This changes his behavior. He will always show a gag prize. So, there is a zero chance he will reveal the grand prize. However, since there was no risk involved, there is no change in the probability.

    If either B or C had contained the grand prize, then that prize will remain behind the curtain not revealed. So, the odds of curtain B having the grand prize in our example are now 2 out of 3, and the odds for curtain A remain 1 out of 3.

    1 out of 3 times the Grand Prize is behind Curtain A

    1 out of 3 times the Grand Prize is behind Curtain B … so the host reveals C
    1 out of 3 times the Grand Prize is behind Curtain C … so the host reveals B

    The odds for B and C combined do not change. But now there is certainty, thanks to the host, as to which one to choose because the other has been revealed.

    If you want the best odds, you should always switch from door A to the remaining door, either B or C.

    *********
    In the electoral process there is information in the system. It not only applies if we re-ran the election as a popular vote election, it applies as the election is run as an EC election. The math is more complex but the information changes what the voting numbers represent in each state. They do no represent the same things and cannot properly be aggregated, even though that is an amuzing exercise, they do not represent a “National Popular Vote.”

  182. Tony From Long Island

    Still at it eh? Getting a bit old . . .

    And the vote margin tops 1 million . . ..

  183. LibertyDave

    Be Rational reminds me of the idiot in junior high school who uses algebra to prove that 1 = 2. In their proof they make the mistake of dividing by zero.

    In the example above Be Rational make a similar logic error when he states that the choice of B has the better odds because when you choose B it is like choosing B and C and by staying with A you are only choosing A. When in reality if choosing B is like choosing B and C on the second choice, then choosing A is like choosing A and C and the odds are the same for A and B which is 50/50.

  184. Chuck Moulton

    Be Rational is right about the Monty Hall problem.

    But the “national popular vote” is a matter of semantics, not math.

    There is an aggregate labeled “national popular vote”. That does exist and it adds up the votes for elector slates in all states. It does not reresent “popular will” or who would have won the election absent the electoral college because changing the rules of the game ex ante would have changed voter, non-voter, candidate, media, etc. behavior, impacting the numbers and possibly the “winner”.

    Perhaps it is deceptively labeled to deceive people into believing the number is a meaningful representation of voter will or a national mandate or who would have won absent the electoral college. This deceptive labeling does not mean the aggregate doesn’t exist.

  185. LibertyDave

    Chuck Moulton you shouldn’t just accept something told to you by an authority figure.

    In the Monty Hall problem above, by revealing C you raise the odds on A and B being the right choice by the same amount which makes the odds on the second choice 50/50 and no amount of word tricks will change this fact.

  186. dL

    I see that DL got the answer wrong as well.

    Consulting wikipedia reminds that I did get it wrong…the accepted solution is to calculate it as a bayesian conditional probability, which would yield 2/3 as the correct answer. But the proposition that The Monty Hall problem is a red herring to calculating a candidate national popular vote statistic still stands. One has nothing to do with the other. The political science theorem that disconnects voting as any representation of popular or collective will is Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. But the impossibility theorem is not an impossibility to calculate the votes theorem.

  187. dL

    choice by the same amount which makes the odds on the second choice 50/50 and no amount of word tricks will change this fact.

    Well, it’s easy to get this one wrong. After consulting wikipedia as a refresher, the key point is that you selected A BEFORE knowing C is a gag prize. Hence, the probability for A is still 1/3 if you don’t CHANGE your selection from A to B after knowing what’s behind C. Given the new information, Prob(C)=0, and given Prob(A)=1/3, hence changing to B AFTER knowing Prob(C)=0 yields Prob(B)=2/3. If we are given Prob(C)=0 before making any selection, then we have our 50/50 between A & B.

  188. Thomas Knapp

    “Hence, the probability for A is still 1/3”

    No, it isn’t. The odds can’t be one in three the number of available choices is not divisible by three. The number of available choices having been reduced to two, the odds are one in two.

    Math trickery isn’t math, it’s trickery.

  189. langa

    The correct answer is to switch. You have to look at it from Monty Hall’s point of view. How does he decide which curtain to reveal? Well, if the car is behind B, he always shows C. That happens 1/3 of the time. If the car is behind C, he always shows B. That also happens 1/3 of the time. However, if the car is behind A (and this is the key point), he randomly opens B half the time, and C the other half the time.

    So, if you play the game 6 times, with the car behind A twice, behind B twice, and behind C twice, he will open B 3 times — twice when the car is behind C and once when the car is behind A. He will also open C 3 times — twice when the car is behind B and once when the car is behind A. Given that, there is a 2 out of 3 chance that he chose to open C because the car is behind B, and only a 1 out of 3 chance that he chose to open C because the car is behind A. Therefore, you should switch from A to B.

  190. Thomas Knapp

    Allan Steve at LewRockwell.com suggests that the Electoral College will not overturn the results of the election because:

    Maybe one or two electors defect and no one bats an eye.

    If more defected, enough to change the outcome of the election, a protest from the right would almost certainly take place. It wouldn’t be about crying on YouTube or knocking over garbage cans. It wouldn’t be about property destruction, melees with police, or Molotov cocktails. It wouldn’t be about pithy slogans, rhythmic drums, or empty threats loosely thrown around.

    No. Nothing like that. No one will see the protest coming from the right when the right stands up. The faithless electors in that situation won’t survive through Christmas.

  191. Matt

    Anyone can suggest whatever they want. Aside from the technicality that the electoral vote isn’t even revealed before Christmas and that LewRockwell.com is full to the brim with Trump bootlickery (to the point where I’ve stopped reading it), it could very well just be the author’s fantasy of what would happen. In other words, he may be thinking wishfully. I have no doubt that had Clinton won, there would have been a great deal of bellyaching from Trump and his Drumpfsticks that it had been rigged, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they would have engaged in an armed revolution, much less a successful one. The same can be said if the electoral college members break their pledges in sufficient numbers to change their results. *Maybe* there would be a coup, and maybe not.

    For that matter, it’s not necessarily a given that the so far mostly peaceful demonstrations against the coming reign of terror of Fuehrer Drumpf will remain mostly peaceful. What has become the Syrian civil war started out as protests along the lines of the Arab Spring and the color revolutions. I’m not saying that will happen here, or that it would be a good idea, and certainly not that I have any knowledge of any such plans on anyone’s part; just that it *could* happen. I think both scenarios have about the same amount of proof or evidence.

  192. Thomas Knapp

    Matt,

    Yes, I know that anyone can suggest anything they want. I wasn’t saying that would be what happened. You write:

    “The same can be said if the electoral college members break their pledges in sufficient numbers to change their results. *Maybe* there would be a coup, and maybe not.”

    The electoral college members breaking their pledges in sufficient numbers to change the results would be a coup. Or at least an attempted coup. It’s not obvious that it would succeed.

    I’m not especially against it in principle, because I don’t support the system anyway.

    On the other hand, if the electors attempt a coup, dangerous things could happen. I’m not especially convinced that the LRC guy is right, but I’d place the probability pretty high that Trump and his supporters would contest the result, that there would be twin inauguration attempts, and that ultimately the decision would rest where it shouldn’t: That is, the US armed forces would have to decide whether or not to intervene on behalf of one claimant or the other.

    That’s a jar you can’t put the lid back on. Even if they don’t do it, the mere fact that they were looked to as having the option of doing so or not would constitute an irrevocable change in the system. It would impact future elections because many people would cast their votes on the premise of keeping the military happy.

  193. dL

    No, it isn’t. The odds can’t be one in three the number of available choices is not divisible by three. The number of available choices having been reduced to two, the odds are one in two.

    In a bayesian calculation, it is still 1/3. That is, Pr(A=grand prize|C is then shown to be gag)=1/3.
    The formula is P(A|C)=(P(C|A) * P(A))/P(C).

    It’s not trickery. Prob and Stats are things that are often counter-intuitive. I’m not sure how we even got off on the tangent of Bayesian probability calculations, but debating the validity of that methodology on this forum is going way off the reservation.

  194. Thomas Knapp

    dL,

    Bayesian probability theory is about knowledge/belief. So I will concede that it is entirely possible for someone to believe that a probability of 50% is actually a probability of 33.333 …% or of 66.666 …%

    Nonetheless, a probability of 50% is actually a probability of 50%.

  195. dL

    Allan Steve at LewRockwell.com suggests that the Electoral College will not overturn the results of the election because:

    LOL

    but Donald Trump won – the outsider who made it his daily hobby to poke at virtually every powerful establishment institution on the globe – from the State Department to the European Union to the Soros family.

    Oh, the gauntlet of “powerful institutions” extends a bit more beyond the swathe of the State Dept to George Soros. We should probably include the military, the police, the intelligence organs, the state security organs in that gauntlet. Nary a drop of criticism from Dear Leader re: those guys. Indeed, nothing but praise for those guys.

    Lew Rockwell…hates socialism, loves the stasi.

  196. dL

    Bayesian probability theory is about knowledge/belief.

    The knowledge/belief refers to previous or prior states in deriving a posterior result or quantifying a future event. P(A|B) reads the probability of A given B. Knowledge/belief applies to event “B”, not the calculated probability of A. Bayesian methods are used in insurance,gambling, financial hedging(i.e, where real money is on the line. Just to note, in a former life, I did pass a number of SOA/CAS actuarial exams. I’m not being a “google” expert here).

    In the Monty Hall problem, the knowledge/belief refers to C being shown to be a gag prize. In this case, this prior knowledge when given the opportunity to switch the choice would not be subjective or subject to dispute/misinterpretation. If someone thinks that having the knowledge of C would not mean better odds if they switched to B, they would be wrong, objectively wrong.And the Bayesian calculation is objectively correct given C=gag is not disputable.

    I will say that according to wikipedia, some mathematicians objected to the Monty Hall problem being solved by Bayesian methods. However, computer simulation apparently verifies the Bayesian approach. So, I’m not going to dispute it.

  197. dL

    So what you’re saying is that the Bayesian method is bullshit.

    The odds of it being A or B, once C is excluded, are 50%. Period.

    No, that’s not what I’m saying.

    Yes, I am well aware that I have no competence in mathematics. It took me days to teach myself enough trigonometry to literally reinvent the wheel (the plotting wheel used to generate site deflection data for mortars) as a calculator program.

    I’m not sure why you insist on going off the red herring reservation here and challenge a topic you admittedly have no knowledge of. Baye’s Theorem is a core theorem in the field of prob & stats. It’s taught in every textbook in every university.

  198. Thomas Knapp

    dL,

    If every university is teaching that 50% odds are actually 33.3x% or 66.6% odds, I need to find some of the graduates so that I can fleece them at betting.

  199. langa

    There is no need to get into whether Bayes’ theorem is generally sound (though I believe it is). In this case, the Monty Hall problem is simple enough that one can iterate every possible outcome, and count them up. Specifically, as I said above, if it is stipulated that the contestant always chooses A, there are only 6 possible outcomes. Only 3 of these 6 outcomes involve Monty Hall opening C. And in 2 of those 3 outcomes, the car is behind B. If anyone still doesn’t understand this, perhaps this diagram will make it more obvious:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem#/media/File:Monty_tree_door1.svg

  200. dL

    In this case, the Monty Hall problem is simple enough that one can iterate every possible outcome.

    Actually, I think the problem is much easier to intuitively grasp if you extend the game to a large number of doors, say 1000. You pick a door, say door #89. Monty Hall opens up 998 doors showing gags, with one remaining door, say #537, closed. Would anyone possibly think that the odds between door #89 and door #537 are 50/50? It’s intuitively obvious now that the probability that the car is behind door #537 is 99.9%.

  201. Thomas Knapp

    dL,

    Ceteris paribus, it’s 50/50 between door #89 and door #537.

    All other things may NOT be equal, but that’s not been a stated condition of the problem in either form.

  202. paulie Post author

    https://medium.com/equal-citizens/richard-briffault-the-faithless-elector-ba7b50fc8ba1#.jxhi8qck0

    There is no doubt that the electors were supposed to speak for “the people themselves.” But popular opinion was supposed to be refined through the medium of the electors. As Hamilton put it, they would be:

    men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station [of president], and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements, which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to so complicated an investigation.

    Most scholarly opinion agrees that as envisioned by the Framers the electors were supposed to exercise their independent judgment, albeit perhaps with some attention to the will of the people.

  203. paulie Post author

    From the same article:

    The eminent scholar Charles Black argued that the electors are bound as a matter of contract law under a theory of express or implied estoppel. Having presented themselves to the voters as committed to a candidate, they should be held to their promise. Others have presented arguments based on public duty, breach of trust, or the rights of the voters. These arguments have received little judicial recognition, let alone acceptance.

    21 states have no law at all against faithless electors, and according to the article none of the states that do have laws against faithless electors have ever enforced them.

  204. dL

    Ceteris paribus, it’s 50/50 between door #89 and door #537.

    No, it’s obviously not. You do realize that Monty Hall knows which door the car is behind. Every week the game show contest repeats with Hall opening up 998 doors that he knows do not have the car. If you didn’t pick the car, the other door remaining has the car. If you did happen to pick the car(for a 1000 doors, it would be a very unlikely event, 1/1000), the remaining door is going to be a gag door. So it should be obvious that switching gives you a 99.9% of winning.

    NOTE: If Monty didn’t know ,and in the unlikely event he managed to open 998 gag doors without picking the car, the probability of winning by switching would still be 99.9%. Monty’s foreknowledge doesn’t affect the odds. It just allows him to run a repeatable game show contest every week without him picking the car and ruining it.

  205. dL

    ” But popular opinion was supposed to be refined through the medium of the electors. As Hamilton put it, they would be:

    Irrelevant what Alexander Hamilton thought about the role of electors 220 years ago. I can tell you what would happen today….This isn’t about what they ought or ought not do..it’s about the easily predictable consequences if they were to do it.

  206. Thomas Knapp

    “You do realize that Monty Hall knows which door the car is behind.”

    No, I don’t. That was not one of the stated conditions.

    The probability is 50%. You don’t have to like it. I don’t have to like it. BR doesn’t have to like it. Bayes and Laplace don’t have to like it. The probability is 50% whether any of us like it or not.

  207. paulie Post author

    Irrelevant what Alexander Hamilton thought about the role of electors 220 years ago.

    Not irrelevant, because if electors choose to exercise their discretion, there could be a media education effort about the fact that this is constitutional (as well as legal today in most states), as there was about the fact that the electoral vote victor may be different than the popular vote in 2000. In the cases more recently where courts have ruled, they have not established that electors have to be bound by their pledges. And if we did all decide that electors have to be bound by their pledges, with today’s technology, there’s no need to have human electors at all. Perhaps automated electors would be judged constitutional even if the votes to actually amend the constitution can’t be russled up. In the meantime, it’s only speculation about the consequences.

  208. paulie Post author

    In addition to various precedents from the courts and the writings of the framers, the article mentions that in 1969 congress voted on an objection to a faithless elector vote. The objection was rejected 170–228 in the House and 33–58 in the Senate.

  209. Thomas Knapp

    “And if we did all decide that electors have to be bound by their pledges”

    “Bound” is what “pledge” means.

    The voters selected electors bound to particular candidates. Those electors not supporting those candidates are engaged in an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States.

    Which is fine by me, but probably not with everybody, and it’s bullshit to pretend that it’s not what it is.

  210. paulie Post author

    “Bound” is what “pledge” means.

    Honor bound is one thing, legally bound is another.

    an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States.

    The framers, the courts in the cases referenced above, and congress in the only time it voted on the issue disagreed. State legislatures apparently also disagree, since most of them have passed no law against faithless electors and the rest have never enforced it. Apparently, according to the article I linked a bit earlier, even the few states that in theory would replace faithless electors have never done so, and it is questionable whether they would prevail in the courts if they did.

  211. Thomas Knapp

    “congress in the only time it voted on the issue”

    I’m not aware of any “only time” it voted on the issue. You mention a time in 1969. Congress also intervened to designate elector slates in 1877. So there are at least two.

  212. Thomas Knapp

    As far as “passing laws against faithless electors” is concerned, every state has done so — the state laws all have electors designated as bound to candidates. By definition, electors who do not act according to that law are breaking that law.

  213. paulie Post author

    Perhaps I missed something in the article I read, or it didn’t go back to the 1800s. In any case, the point still stands that there are multiple legal and legislative precedents that faithless electors are within the system. And if that’s the case, if they did change the outcome, it would still be legal. It may be that the military, or someone else, would respond with violence and override the electoral college if that was to happen, but I don’t see any proof or even evidence they would do so, and tend to think it’s more likely than not that they wouldn’t. I agree that the electoral college is most likely to vote mostly as pledged and elect Trump. If they don’t, the next most likely event is that they will send it to Congress, and Congress will elect Trump. But if either the electoral college or congress ends up voting in someone other than Trump, my guess is that the most likely outcome of that is that whoever they pick would assume office. I would say that it’s highly unlikely that they would choose Clinton or any Democrat, so it would most likely be a moderate Republican who is somewhat of a “consensus” choice. And that this person would most likely be sworn in. If anyone tries to change that with force, I think the most likely result would be that it wouldn’t work, and the person elected by the electors or by Congress would become president. And, that this would be legal and therefore not a coup.

  214. paulie Post author

    As far as “passing laws against faithless electors” is concerned, every state has done so — the state laws all have electors designated as bound to candidates. By definition, electors who do not act according to that law are breaking that law.

    Most states have no penalty against faithless electors, and the ones that do have not enforced it. The law you reference specify that slates of electors who are pledged to a certain ticket – or in some cases unbound – are placed on the ballot. They don’t say in most cases that it’s illegal for individual electors to change their mind and vote for someone else. And in the cases where they do, those laws have been ignored. If they did get enforced, in most cases it would only be in the form of a fine against the faithless elector, and their faithless electoral vote would still count. And even in the very few states that purport to have laws that say that faithless electoral votes would not be counted it’s not clear based on precedents whether such laws would survive a constitutional challenge. See the article I linked earlier for details.

  215. dL

    The probability is 50%. You don’t have to like it. I don’t have to like it. BR doesn’t have to like it. Bayes and Laplace don’t have to like it. The probability is 50% whether any of us like it or not.

    it is not not matter of accepting someone’s assertion one or way or the other. Anyone can run their own simulation here to verify that it is not 50/50…

    http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/SimpleMontyHall/

  216. dL

    In the meantime, it’s only speculation about the consequences.

    Uh, not really…I don’t think it takes much imagination to speculate on the reaction to Hillary Clinton’s “Alexander Hamilton” speech claiming the “filtering will” of the electors.

  217. paulie Post author

    Yes, really. Despite the insistence of some here, there’s no way to know whether an attempt to install someone against the pick of a faithless electoral college vote, or of the Congress as the result of such a vote, would prevail.

    Again, it wouldn’t be Clinton or any Democrat, and most likely not any Republican who lost to Trump in the primaries. Thus, reaction to Clinton speech is a red herring. And even if it was somehow Hillary Clinton, she could say that she won both the popular and actual electoral votes, and lost only a theoretical electoral vote that didn’t actually happen. So, while I would expect a strong reaction by many, it’s still not clear that it would involve armed action or that Trump would ultimately prevail if that were to happen. In other words, yes a lot of people would be very unhappy, but it’s still entirely possible she would assume office. But, again, we are almost certainly talking about a Republican, not about Clinton, in the unlikely event this were to happen at all.

  218. Thomas Knapp

    Jesus fucking Christ, Paulie. If the law says X shall do Y, X doing not-Y is against the law. It’s not complicated.

    I don’t know if I’m right, but I’m THINKING neither you nor I particularly give a shit if the electors do not-Y.

    The difference between us seems to be that you only think it’s OK for the electors to do not-x if we pretend that not-Y isn’t what they’re doing. Which is a different way of saying that you don’t REALLY think it’s OK, but that you merely hope they can get away with it.

  219. paulie Post author

    If the law says X shall do Y

    It doesn’t. See above. It just says that people who are pledged to vote a certain way will be selected by the method chosen by the legislature – currently either popular vote by state or popular vote statewide combined with some by congressional district, depending on the state. In most states, it doesn’t say what happens if those people violate their pledge, so we revert to the constitutional design which says their votes count, confirmed by congressional and court decisions more recently which reaffirm this is still the case. In the states where it does say there would be penalties against faithless electors, it hasn’t been enforced. In most of those states, even if they paid a fine, their votes would still count. In the few remaining states, based on current case law, trying to overturn their votes may well not hold up in court.

    Both history and logic dictate that if we are to have actual human beings as electors, they have the power to break their pledge and have those votes count. We know that actual faithless electoral votes have been cast and counted. And if we allow faithless electors, logic dictates that there could be any number of them, and that they could overturn expected results – and that it would be legal and counted.

    Lots of other people are also elected to a wide variety of offices on the basis of pledges and promises, and routinely break them. Nothing is illegal about it, and it happens all the time. Some of those people may be not reelected, or even recalled, for their broken promises, but as far as I know no one is suggesting that they are breaking the law when they break their promises.

  220. George Phillies

    The scheme n this thread is less credible than the neocons trying to find and put on the ballot a candidate, say after Trump won the Republican nomination.

  221. langa

    NOTE: If Monty didn’t know ,and in the unlikely event he managed to open 998 gag doors without picking the car, the probability of winning by switching would still be 99.9%. Monty’s foreknowledge doesn’t affect the odds. It just allows him to run a repeatable game show contest every week without him picking the car and ruining it.

    This is incorrect. It very much matters whether the host knows the location of the car. Bayesian logic relies on making an initial probability estimate, and then revising that estimate based on new information. But in this case, the new information that is gained is much different, depending on whether the host knows which door the car is behind.

    In the case where the host knows where the car is located, the information comes entirely from the host’s decision about which door to open. The actual opening of the door is anticlimactic, since there will always be a goat behind the door that is chosen. But the fact that the host chose that particular door increases the chance of the car being behind each of the other doors that he did not select. Of course, his decision does not change the chance of the car being behind the door the contestant chose, since the host will never consider opening that door, no matter what’s behind it.

    However, in the case where the host does not know the location of the car, the situation is reversed. In that case, the host’s decision about which door to open tells us nothing, since he is simply making a completely random choice among all the doors (besides the one the contestant chose). He has no information to give us. Rather, in this case, it is the actual opening of the door that reveals the information, since in this case, there is a very real possibility of the car being behind the door that the host chooses. Given that, if the host happens to choose a door that contains a goat, that increases the likelihood of the car being behind each of the other doors — including the one that the contestant chose — by an equal amount. Thus, in this case, there is no benefit to switching doors.

  222. Chuck Moulton

    I used to look forward to new stories and learning new information and perspectives from comments, but I am slowly resigning myself to the new reality of this being the only active thread on IPR for the rest of my life with the same points repeated over and over again like Groundhog’s Day.

    I think the IPR editors have decided not to post any new articles until we reach consensus on the Monty Hall problem, so it is very important that we all band together and teach Tom Knapp some math.

    On another note: If anyone is interested in seriously lobbying a few of those electors to vote for Gary Johnson, please email me. I have a few ideas and would like collaborators.

  223. paulie Post author

    I used to look forward to new stories and learning new information and perspectives from comments, but I am slowly resigning myself to the new reality of this being the only active thread on IPR for the rest of my life with the same points repeated over and over again like Groundhog’s Day.

    I’ve got a long list of stories I want to post but I’m trying to do some other things. I’ve signed up a bunch of people to post articles here so it kind of sucks that they aren’t doing it. I can sign up other people if they’re interested. I want to be able to leave IPR again and know it’s chugging along fine. Participating in comments here raises my already high blood pressure dangerously and ends up being way more time consuming than I intend, so I would prefer to go away again but haven’t yet been able to force myself to do it. I initially tried to post articles and not comments but wasn’t able to last long doing that.

    Speaking of which, Chuck, you are still signed up to post articles any time you feel like it. I can even give you a list of article suggestions. If you would rather bemoan a situation that you have the power to change, that’s up to you. I can do the same thing too.

    I think the IPR editors have decided not to post any new articles until we reach consensus on the Monty Hall problem, so it is very important that we all band together and teach Tom Knapp some math.

    Nope. I just tend to do things in spurts. It’s hard for me to start things, and hard to stop. Right now I’m on the hard to start end of things when it comes to posting articles and the hard to stop end when it comes to posting comments. I’d rather it be the other way around, and am not happy with my lack of self-control. I have no idea what’s going on with everyone else, but I do know that I don’t want IPR to rely mainly on me for the article content, as I am not always up to it or up for it or in a position to help, for a variety of reasons.

    On another note: If anyone is interested in seriously lobbying a few of those electors to vote for Gary Johnson, please email me. I have a few ideas and would like collaborators.

    I’m interested in what ideas you have. Not sure if I’ll be up for helping but I may get inspired. Also, dunno if Starchild is still following these comments but I’d recommend emailing him your ideas as well.

  224. dL

    This is incorrect.

    Yeah, no shit..

    BAYESIAN SOLUTIONS TO THE STANDARD AND RANDOM MONTY HALL 3-DOOR PROBLEMS

    Bayes Theorem: P(A/B) = P(B/A)*P(A) / P(B)

    Let C1,C2,C3 ==the events that the car is behind door i.
    Let D1,D2,D3 ==the events that Monty opens door i.

    (A) Standard Monty Hall Problem(Monty knows which door the car is behind):
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    P(C1)=P(C2)=P(C3)=1/3

    Find:
    P(C1|D3)
    P(C2|D3)

    Prob(opening door 3| given the car is behind door 1)=P(D3|C1) = 1/2
    Prob(opening door 3 | given the car is behind door 3)=P(D3|C3) = 0
    Prob(opening door 3 | given the car is behind door 2)= P(D3|C2) = 1

    P(D3)=(P(C1)P(D3|C1) + P(C2)P(D3|C2) + P(C3)P(D3|C3)) = 1/3*1/2 + 1/3*1 + 1/3*0 = 1/2

    P(C1|D3)= P(D3|C1) * P(C1) / P(D3) =(1/2*1/3)/ (1/2) = 1/3
    P(C2|D3)= P(D3|C2) * P(C2) / P(D3) =(1 * 1/3)/ (1/2) = 2/3

    ***Hence, if you select C1, and Monty shows Door 3 with gag, you should switch to C2***

    (B) Random Monty Hall Problem(Monty doesn’t know which door the car is behind)
    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    P(C1)=P(C2)=P(C3)=1/3

    Find:
    P(C1|D3)
    P(C2|D3)

    Prob(opening door 3| given the car is behind door 1)=P(D3|C1) = 1/2
    Prob(opening door 3 | given the car is behind door 3)=P(D3|C3) = 0
    Prob(opening door 3 | given the car is behind door 2)= P(D3|C2) = 1/2

    P(D3)=(P(C1)P(D3|C1) + P(C2)P(D3|C2) + P(C3)P(D3|C3)) = 1/3*1/2 + 1/3*1/2 + 1/3*0 = 1/3

    P(C1|D3)= P(D3|C1) * P(C1) / P(D3) =(1/2 * 1/3) / (1/3) = 1/2
    p(C2|D3)= P(D3|C2) * P(C2) / P(D3) =(1/2 * 1/3) / (1/3) = 1/2

    ***Hence, if you select C1, and Monty shows Door 3 with gag, it makes no difference to switch to C2.***

    Henceforth, the Monty Hall problem vis a vis Bates Theorem should be considered demonstrated.

    Further Note: The Monty Hall problem, standard or random, has not a goddamned thing to do with calculating the popular vote statistic.

  225. Thomas Knapp

    Chuck,

    I suspect that there will be plenty of new stories on IPR when and if there’s news to report. My Google alerts aren’t sending me much of the stuff I’d normally expect to see turn into an IPR story.

    Vis a vis math: Conditions matter.

  226. Chuck Moulton

    Paulie wrote:

    I’m interested in what ideas you have. Not sure if I’ll be up for helping but I may get inspired. Also, dunno if Starchild is still following these comments but I’d recommend emailing him your ideas as well.

    In this context I’m interested in getting shit done, not talking about whether to do things or bouncing ideas around or revealing strategy to the public. If anyone out there wants to get shit done, email me.

  227. paulie Post author

    I suspect that there will be plenty of new stories on IPR when and if there’s news to report.

    If anyone wants stuff to post I can give you plenty of them. Any day of any week. I’m just trying to find motivation to post them. Maybe I’ll find it, maybe not.

  228. paulie Post author

    In this context I’m interested in getting shit done, not talking about whether to do things or bouncing ideas around or revealing strategy to the public. If anyone out there wants to get shit done, email me.

    I wouldn’t reveal strategy to the public. I’m interested in what your ideas are and if I am inspired I may help. Right now I’m in kind of a black hole, no paying work, gets dark at 5 pm, staying at other people’s places that aren’t very thrilled to have me there most nights, feeling like a massive shitstorm is headed our way as far as the world at large goes (as in the illustration I found for this post). So finding motivation to do anything is not easy. But sometimes I still find some. If you want to copy me on your plan, the best thing that will happen is that I will find some glimmer of hope again and join you in your efforts, and the worst thing that will happen is that I will do nothing at all with it. If you don’t copy me on it, oh well, I’ve already pretty much unhappily accepted that my life, all human freedom, and most likely the whole human species and all or most terrestrial life will come to some unpleasant end within the next few months or years. It’s still theoretically possible that this could be averted, but seems extremely unlikely.

  229. NewFederalist

    “I’ve already pretty much unhappily accepted that my life, all human freedom, and most likely the whole human species and all or most terrestrial life will come to some unpleasant end within the next few months or years. It’s still theoretically possible that this could be averted, but seems extremely unlikely.” – paulie

    Geez… is it REALLY that bad?

  230. robert capozzi

    pf, your concerns for life on this planet are noted. Do you fear specific scenarios? Or is your concern more general regarding a DJT presidency? Something else?

    Please elaborate.

  231. Jill Pyeatt

    Someone I know on Facebook consistently predicted that Trump would win. He never wavered, even when everyone made fun of him. Well, he’s into numerology and a few other things and says that something of a cataclysmic nature will happen on the 26th of November. He believes all our power will go out, and we’ll all be dark for an extended period of time.

    Please don’t make the dumb tin foil hat comments. I certainly don’t believe this will happen. I admit that I’ll be happy when the 26th comes and goes without many problems, though, since he was correct about who was elected.

    Many people see only strife ahead for our country. I kind of agree with that, actually.

  232. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m sorry you’re having a bad time personally, Paulie. My mother is quite ill, so we’re not happy at our house, either. I just think this is a very tough time for many people. Uncertainly about our country just makes everything worse.

  233. langa

    …I’ve already pretty much unhappily accepted that my life, all human freedom, and most likely the whole human species and all or most terrestrial life will come to some unpleasant end within the next few months or years. It’s still theoretically possible that this could be averted, but seems extremely unlikely.

    Personally, I’ve been very pessimistic about the future for the last several years, although I’m not so much worried about some cataclysmic event that will wipe out all life on Earth. Rather, I worry that the quality of life will keep getting gradually worse and worse, until we would probably be better off if we were all dead.

  234. Andy

    Some people are predicting that we are on the verge of getting hit with an EMP blast that will knock out the power grid in the USA. Chaos will ensue with the government declaring martial law. Not long after this there will be a nuke exchange between Russia and the USA. Other countries like China may be involved. All hell breaks loose and millions (or billions) die. The elite go hide out in bunkers/underground cities.

    I would like to think that this does not happen any time soon, if ever. Time will tell.

  235. dL

    probably gulags first.

    Gulags are Big Brother and are reserved for the politicos. America is Uncle Exceptional, and Uncle Exceptional is a rent-seeking prison industrial complex for the proles. And we have had that for some time.

    The State is the organization of plunder but acts as a firm that maximizes discretionary power. I don’t foresee N. Korea(after all, N. Korea wouldn’t last 5 seconds w/o China and the US propping it up). I foresee more of more of the same. A type of global totalitarian nexus of govt and business that excludes no private transaction from its prying eyes and excludes not a single square inch on the planet from its jurisdiction. Literally, nowhere to run.

    Pervasive surveillance introduces an incentive incompatibility problem into market exchange, hence destroying the liberal social theory of market exchange as mutually beneficial. You simply don’t know who to trust. Another consequence of ubiquitous surveillance is that everyone becomes like clinton..everyone will come to have a public position and private position…on most everything. The generational effects of a permeating surveillance apparatus is to rot private optimism for civil society, though officially the organs of the Pravda, Inc doubleThink a perpetual optimism and a perpetual fear.

    Orwell himself thought that both socialism and capitalism terminated at the same thing. Nineteen Eighty Four is the socialist version. We are living out the capitalist version. In the socialist version, you must have an official organ like “The Ministry of Truth” to control and rewrite history. In the capitalist version there is no need for such an official bureaucratic organ. The spontaneous order of the polity is the “ministry of truth.”

    In many ways, the entire thing can be explained as simply the self-preservation of the American century(20th century) into the 21st century digital political economy. Opinions vary on how long such a thing can last. That, no one can really predict.

  236. dL

    Some people are predicting that we are on the verge of getting hit with an EMP blast

    Yeah, generally by people who are trying to fear-monger and rent-seek a “federal smart grid” as national infrastructure. Then you will have the pleasure of living in a world where all of your household appliances will be spying on you…

  237. langa

    I’m thinking nuclear winter, but yes, probably gulags first.

    I’m envisioning something more like what dL is describing. I see society becoming more and more like a big, invisible prison cell — you can’t see the bars, but you know they’re there, and you dare not touch them, because if you do, you’ll receive a terrible shock. And you can’t complain about them, because the people running the prison will just deny that they even exist.

    More broadly, I worry about the increasing hostility toward disagreement. Not so long ago, I remember when you used to hear people say things like, “Let’s agree to disagree” or “You go your way, and I’ll go mine.” Now, that sort of sentiment seems to have all but disappeared. Many (most?) people today seem to insist that everyone must agree with them about everything, and anyone who doesn’t is some kind of monster, who must be nagged, criticized, attacked, harangued, mocked, ridiculed, ostracized, humiliated and excoriated relentlessly. This is a thoroughly authoritarian mindset that will inevitably manifest itself through increasingly authoritarian policies that will eventually turn the concept of free speech into little more than an empty platitude.

  238. Darcy G Richardson

    Great comment by langa. Civility, at least in political discourse, is increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

  239. robert capozzi

    L: Many (most?) people today seem to insist that everyone must agree with them about everything, and anyone who doesn’t is some kind of monster, who must be nagged, criticized, attacked, harangued, mocked, ridiculed, ostracized, humiliated and excoriated relentlessly. This is a thoroughly authoritarian mindset that will inevitably manifest itself through increasingly authoritarian policies that will eventually turn the concept of free speech into little more than an empty platitude.

    me: I found that authoritarian mindset intra-LP. NAPsterism or the highway.

    I really don’t find the authoritarian mindset in the wider world. Can you give us some examples, L?

  240. langa

    I really don’t find the authoritarian mindset in the wider world. Can you give us some examples, L?

    You’ve got to be kidding. How about the extreme vitriol piled on the so-called “anti-vaxxers” (who, of course, aren’t trying to keep any of the “pro-vaxxers” from being vaccinated)? How about the vicious epithets hurled at anyone who dares to espouse any sort of “conspiracy theory”? How about the claim that anyone who opposes war is a traitor, or even a secret agent of another country? How about the idea that you yourself constantly propagate, that anyone who opposes forced association is a “hater”? How about suing a bakery for refusing to do business with you, even though dozens of other bakeries would gladly do so, on the grounds that the bakery must be “taught a lesson”? How about insisting that the indisputably true and totally innocuous claim that “all lives matter” is a sign of bigotry and hatred? How about the SPLC labeling anyone who opposes big government as a “domestic terrorist” or “hate group”? How about a feminist and former rape victim like Wendy McElroy being banned from college campuses for daring to challenge the “rape culture” narrative? How about the NFL fining players for celebrating a touchdown by shooting an imaginary arrow because it “encourages violence” while the league constantly celebrates and glorifies the military, which commits actual, rather than imaginary, violence? Is that enough examples for you? If not, I could name literally hundreds more.

    By contrast, the LP asks you to agree with one simple principle (the NAP). Do you also refer to a church that rejects atheists as a “my way or the highway” group? Perhaps if you would put aside your myopic obsession with “NAPsterism” you would realize that there’s a huge difference between a private group devoted to peacefully persuading people to accept a single principle, as opposed to an entire society that demands intellectual conformity, and uses harassment, intimidation and even legal sanctions to bully anyone who dares to dissent into silence.

  241. Robert Capozzi

    L, nope, not kidding. Sounds like you might have VERY thin skin.

    I certainly don’t hate the extreme right of association-ists. Prior to my recovery from Randian-Rothbardianism, I held your view. And I would suggest that there are gray areas on that and many other issues.

    Few get super agitated by those taking eccentric positions, in my experience. Perhaps you run in different crowds.

  242. NewFederalist

    I want to just make one point about the impending Trump presidency. While most people are expecting the worst there SHOULD be one major protection we haven’t seen in a while. The Fourth Estate may just return to doing its’ job. Since very few members of the media were openly in favor of Trump we can hope that this administration will be more transparent than the last if for no other reason than the lost art of investigative journalism may return to the mainstream media. Woodward and Bernstein where are you now?

  243. George Phillies

    ” How about insisting that the indisputably true and totally innocuous claim that “all lives matter” is a sign of bigotry and hatred?”

    Because it was.

    It was meant as an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement.

  244. Andy

    Being critical of some of the things that Black Lives Matter has done does not automatically make one a bigot.

  245. paulie Post author

    Being critical of some of the things that Black Lives Matter has done does not automatically make one a bigot.

    Saying “all lives matter” in response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying “black lives don’t matter,” since the point or contention of black lives matter is not and never has been that non-black lives don’t matter, but that black lives also matter, specifically in the context of the vastly disproportionate impact of the epidemic of police violence on the black community.

  246. paulie Post author

    I want to just make one point about the impending Trump presidency. While most people are expecting the worst there SHOULD be one major protection we haven’t seen in a while. The Fourth Estate may just return to doing its’ job. Since very few members of the media were openly in favor of Trump we can hope that this administration will be more transparent than the last if for no other reason than the lost art of investigative journalism may return to the mainstream media. Woodward and Bernstein where are you now?

    Expect journalism to fall in line behind the Trump regime, like what has happened in its role model, Putin’s Russia. There was an independent press there at the beginning of the Putin era. Now not so much. Various form of retribution against journalists, including trumped up charges and assassinations, have beaten and bullied the press into compliance. And with friendship with the regime being a major tie-in to financial success (wealthy individuals who don’t side with the regime have been jailed or have fled the country), competing media outlets are just simply bought off. The same will happen in the US now.

    Woodward and Bernstein where are you now?

    In the Nixon era journalists such as Woodward and Bernstein were sustained with a large base of newspaper subscribers. But now that base is in freefall. News articles are available without a subscription on the internet, and the “fake news” stories – often written from overseas with headlines such as “Pope endorses Trump” and other factually erroneous material – are more widely shared than actual news stories, particularly by and to Trump supporters. With no financial support and the threat of jail, murder, beatings, rape, etc. against dissident journalists, my guess is that we won’t see much of any. And to the extent they will exist, they will see their distribution channels attacked or drowned out by pro-regime sycophant media.

  247. paulie Post author

    I’m envisioning something more like what dL is describing. I see society becoming more and more like a big, invisible prison cell — you can’t see the bars, but you know they’re there, and you dare not touch them, because if you do, you’ll receive a terrible shock. And you can’t complain about them, because the people running the prison will just deny that they even exist.

    I think with Trump, those prison bars will become a lot more visible, even if they will be secret prisons. At the very least, the robocops who are cracking heads and dragging people off to these secret prisons will be quite visible.

  248. paulie Post author

    As I wrote in Aug 2015

    https://amthirdpartyreport.com/2015/08/10/trump-in-giant-letters-made-of-nuclear-bomb-craters-on-the-side-of-planet-earth-to-be-prominently-viewable-from-outer-space/

    (Trump) could actually win. And that would be really, really bad. With his itchy trigger finger on the nuclear button, the temptation will prove just too great for Trump to spell TRUMP in giant letters made of nuclear bomb craters on the side of Planet Earth to be prominently viewable from outer space after the first time some foreign leader pushes his buttons.

    My opinion, of course, hasn’t changed.

  249. paulie Post author

    Gulags are Big Brother and are reserved for the politicos

    Not exactly. Gulags had an aggregate population of many millions, including eventually everyone accused by jealous or rancorous neighbors, a la witch trials. People swept up into the gulags included common criminals, farmers and workers who performed below quotas, people truthfully or falsely accused of badmouthing the regime, romantic rivals of snitches, soldiers who surrendered or retreated in wartime, entire ethnic groups…. the whole thing snowballed.

    Once the Trump regime wrecks international trade, and wrecks the productivity of the US economy with mass roundups and deportations, it will need a replacement source of reliable cheap labor for US corporations. Prison camps will probably provide the answer, sweeping up those of us speaking out against the Trump regime, undocumented workers and their family members, those who do business with them such as landlords and employers, employees of sanctuary cities that don’t cooperate with the roundups, employers who don’t use e-Verify, people dealing or using “illegal” drugs, those protesting against police brutality, and so on.

  250. dL

    Once the Trump regime wrecks international trade, and wrecks the productivity of the US economy with mass roundups and deportations, it will need a replacement source of reliable cheap labor for US corporations. Prison camps will probably provide the answer, sweeping up those of us speaking out against the Trump regime, undocumented workers and their family members, those who do business with them such as landlords and employers, employees of sanctuary cities that don’t cooperate with the roundups, employers who don’t use e-Verify, people dealing or using “illegal” drugs, those protesting against police brutality, and so on.

    Well, that’s the Stalinist gulag scenario. I suppose the proposition that seat belt laws eventually lead to the Stalinist gulag could never again be dismissed as libertarian exaggeration…

  251. dL

    I don’t think seat belt laws have that much to do with it.

    Of course, that’s not what I’m actually saying…Opposition to statist laws has often been parodied as fear-mongering the soviet gulag, as in: “why are they opposed to seat belt laws…up next, the soviet gulag. hahahaha!!” But if we go by your scenario, by golly, the soviet gulag is what’s up next…

  252. dL

    I’m far from the only one who thinks so.

    And what I wrote wasn’t meant to be taken as a comment on your assessment/prediction…

  253. Andy

    It is a documented fact that many members of the ruling establishment elite, in both the USA and abroad, are into the occult and engage in bizarre rituals. It sounds “crazy” to a lot of people, but look at the recent revelations about Hillary Clinton campaign staffers being involved in “Spirit Cooking”, and look at The Order of Skull and Bones (which the male Bush family members belong to, as does John Kerry, as does Steve Mnuchin, who was the Donald Trump campaign’s chief finance chair (and who is also a former Goldman Sachs banker). Look at The Bohemian Grove, a club in northern California where a lot of the ruling establishment go every summer and engage in bizarre rituals (which includes staging a mock human sacrifice in front of an Owl god statute they call Moloch). Look at the symbols on the back of the dollar bill.

    One aspect of the occult that many of the ruling elite are into is numerology. Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but this is true. The numbers 9 and 11 are big in occult numerology (as is 33, 777, and 969). George HW Bush gave his (in)famous speech where he called for a New World Order on 9/11/91, and 11 years later, the 9/11/01 attack happened. Coincidence?

    Anyway, there are lots of signs in the news that bad things are coming (just look at all of the prep work the government has been doing building up the domestic police state over the last several years). There are also signs that bad things are coming if you look into occult numerology.

    I am going to post some video links here that delve into this topic, just for informational purposes. I HAVE NO IDEA IF THESE NUMEROLOGY BASED PREDICTIONS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN OR NOT. I HOPE THAT THEY DO NOT HAPPEN. IT IS A DOCUMENTED FACT THAT THE RULING ELITE ARE INTO THE OCCULT, WHICH INCLUDES BEING INTO NUMEROLOGY AND SYMBOLISM, BUT I DO NOT KNOW IF THE PEOPLE MAKING THESE NUMEROLOGY BASED PREDICTIONS ARE CORRECTLY INTERPRETING THINGS IN THESE CASES OR NOT.

    NUCLEAR WAR ,THE NEW WORLD ORDER, WW3, AND SATURN WORSHIP

  254. Andy

    THE GEORGIA GUIDE STONES, SKULL AND BONES, WW3 AND THE COMING NUCLEAR EXCHANGE OF WW3 DATE REVEALED

  255. Andy

    “paulie Post author
    November 19, 2016 at 13:52
    ‘Being critical of some of the things that Black Lives Matter has done does not automatically make one a bigot.’

    Saying ‘all lives matter’ in response to ‘black lives matter’ is essentially saying ‘black lives don’t matter,”’since the point or contention of black lives matter is not and never has been that non-black lives don’t matter, but that black lives also matter, specifically in the context of the vastly disproportionate impact of the epidemic of police violence on the black community.”

    Saying “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter” means exactly what it says it means, and that is that All Lives Matter. I imagine that there are people who just do not like black people that have criticized Black Lives Matter, but I do not think that this includes everyone who has said All Lives Matter, nor does it include everyone who has made any critical remark about Black Lives Matter (and I am starting to hear some black people criticize Black Lives Matter).

    I think that Black Lives Matter began out of something good, as in as a protest against the growing police state in this country, but unfortunately, like a lot of things, it has strayed off in some negative directions, and has been co-opted by those with an agenda that has little or nothing to do with individual rights. Black Lives Matter has received lots of funding from George Soros and from the Ford Foundation. They are using Black Lives Matter to sow discontent and push a Marxist agenda. I think that they are actually adding fuel to the fire to increase the police state, and to create racial strife.

    Similar things happened with The TEA Party movement and to Occupy Wall Street. It is a documented fact that the government and the Republican and Democratic parties sent infiltrators into these groups and that they co-opted them, thus rendering them to be counterproductive to the causes for which they originally formed. I see the same thing happening to Black Lives Matter.

  256. Andy

    “NewFederalist
    November 19, 2016 at 21:30
    Geez guys! What a major downer!”

    It is a downer, and I hope that these things do not happen, or at least if they do happen, I hope that they do not happen any time soon so we can all have more time to enjoy life, and to prepare for when the shit does hit the fan.

    It is very spooky how those occult numbers keep coming up.

  257. dL

    It is a documented fact that many members of the ruling establishment elite, in both the USA and abroad, are into the occult and engage in bizarre rituals.

    Yeah, the cult of the omnipotent state…the only one i’m concerned about. The other stuff, the illuminati, the Rothschild’s, the Rockefeller’s, the Free Mason’s, blah, blah, I don’t need to resort to that type of conspiracy theory to explain anything. The rational conspiratorial pattern of the state(to preserve itself) would be the same whether these conspiracies exist or not.

  258. paulie Post author

    Some of the “all lives matter” response does come from people who misunderstand what “black lives matter” means, as if it means “only black lives matter,” but a lot of it comes from people who fully understand that “black lives matter” really means “black lives matter too” and are just saying “all lives matter” in exactly the same way that responses is perceived, which is “no, black lives don’t matter.”

  259. Andy

    “paulie Post author
    November 19, 2016 at 21:49
    Some of the ‘all lives matter’ response does come from people who misunderstand what ‘black lives matter’ means, as if it means ‘only black lives matter,’ but a lot of it comes from people who fully understand that ‘black lives matter’ really means ‘black lives matter too’ and are just saying ‘all lives matter’ in exactly the same way that responses is perceived, which is ‘no, black lives don’t matter.'”

    Yeah, SOME people may well mean this, but other people really do mean that All Lives Matter, including black lives.

  260. paulie Post author

    I started out by acknowledging that in the very statement you quoted. Now with that stipulated read the rest of it. Misunderstanding is the most charitable thing that can be said about that response.

  261. Andy

    “dL
    November 19, 2016 at 21:46
    ‘It is a documented fact that many members of the ruling establishment elite, in both the USA and abroad, are into the occult and engage in bizarre rituals.’
    Yeah, the cult of the omnipotent state…the only one i’m concerned about. The other stuff, the illuminati, the Rothschild’s, the Rockefeller’s, the Free Mason’s, blah, blah, I don’t need to resort to that type of conspiracy theory to explain anything. The rational conspiratorial pattern of the state(to preserve itself) would be the same whether these conspiracies exist or not.”

    It is this attitude that holds libertarians back, and I believe is one of the reasons that the Libertarian Party has strayed off in too many of the wrong directions. Anyone who knows anything about “conspiracy theories” (or more accurately, conspiracy facts) would never have nominated CIA Bob Barr, neo-con Zionist Wayne Root, or CFR Bill Weld.

    I watched a video recently from Mark Passio (who is an anarcho-capitalist / voluntaryist libertarian) where he expressed his frustration with people in the freedom movement who refuse to look into any “conspiracy theories” or the occult beliefs/practices of many of those who are a part of the ruling class.

  262. dL

    Saying “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter” means exactly what it says it means

    Yeah, in principle. But in context it is an expression generally used by people who practice their own form of identity/cultural politics and have a knee-jerk support of the police and authoritarian policies. Further, they tend to see the victims of police brutality as deserving of what they got.

    Black Lives Matter has received lots of funding from George Soros and from the Ford Foundation. They are using Black Lives Matter to sow discontent and push a Marxist agenda.

    Lol…George Soros is not a marxist. Being aware of both George Soros and the Koch brothers long before either became caricatures in the politicized culture, it is both amusing and frustrating that people can’t spend 5 minutes of their time to independently debunk nonsense conspiracy theories. That being said, each’s involvement in partisan politics has deeply compromised each’s idealized visions of the good society.

  263. paulie Post author

    in context it is an expression generally used by people who practice their own form of identity/cultural politics and have a knee-jerk support of the police and authoritarian policies. Further, they tend to see the victims of police brutality as deserving of what they got.

    Exactly.

    That being said, each’s involvement in partisan politics has deeply compromised each’s idealized visions of the good society.

    Another good point…

  264. dL

    Hillary Clinton “Spirit Cooking” Satanic Ritual

    Frankly, I wish we had more followers of Satan in politics(I would speculate their numbers in politics would stand currently at zero). The world would be a better place. Satan gets a bad rap. If life indeed was a test, a passing grade would likely entail figuring out that Satan is actually the good guy.

  265. Andy

    “. Anyone who knows anything about ‘conspiracy theories’ (or more accurately, conspiracy facts) would never have nominated CIA Bob Barr, neo-con Zionist Wayne Root, or CFR Bill Weld.”

    I don’t think that Gary Johnson or Jim Gray were good candidates for for the party either, but the red flags with the other three should have been more obvious as to why they never should have been nominated for anything.

    I had thought that anyone who still had blinders on when it came to Gary Johnson would have taken those blinders off as soon as he said that he wanted Council On Foreign Relations member Bill Weld to be his running mate, especially after they heard anything about his record that was going around prior to and during the national convention, but apparently not. I just wonder how many of their supporters were government plants and/or Republican plants, or were just gullible Libertarians.

    There are some people in the party who I like and respect who supported Gary Johnson. I think that these people are either uniformed, or they just could not take their blinders off. I recently had a conversation with one of these people who acknowledged that Bill Weld was a bad candidate and should never have been on the ticket, but they just could not go as far as saying this about Gary Johnson, and they were acting as though Johnson actively opposed Weld’s numerous deviations from the Libertarian platform rather than Johnson having willingly gone along with these gross deviations. I am not going to mention this person’s name, but this is somebody I like and respect and would rank among my favorite people in the party, but I think that this person is not seeing the entire picture, and I think that they took part in a bad strategy by supporting Johnson. This is a person whom I usually agree with and whom I consider to be an asset to the party and movement, even though I disagree with them on this issue (at least this person had the good sense to not support Barr/Root).

  266. Andy

    “dL
    November 19, 2016 at 22:11
    Hillary Clinton ‘Spirit Cooking’ Satanic Ritual
    Frankly, I wish we had more followers of Satan in politics(I would speculate their numbers in politics would stand currently at zero). ”

    If only this were true that there are not any of these screwed up, psychotic, power hungry people involved in politics.

    I would suggest that you do a little more homework on this issue, and to be careful for what you wish.

  267. dL

    where he expressed his frustration with people in the freedom movement who refuse to look into any “conspiracy theories” or the occult beliefs/practices of many of those who are a part of the ruling class.

    Personally, I consider the peddling of the dangers of the “occult and satanism” to be a branch of crackpot christianity. Anyone who professes any allegiance to “Satan” is an atheist and at the very least, a hardcore civili libertarian. Frankly, I find Anton LaVey’s “Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” to be pretty damn close to the libertarian ethic.

    http://www.churchofsatan.com/eleven-rules-of-earth.php

  268. Andy

    Mark Passio: 2016 – Trump, Order Followers, Pedophilia, Satanism, Control Matrix, AI & Ascension

  269. dL

    I would suggest that you do a little more homework on this issue, and to be careful for what you wish.

    Oh, the politicians always give thanks to God after every speech and invoke the power of his blessing. I think America has had enough of “god’s blessing.” My personal wish is for the day when the politicians will give a “hail satan” shoutout. Then you will know liberty has finally come to america 🙂

  270. Andy

    “Personally, I consider the peddling of the dangers of the “occult and satanism” to be a branch of crackpot christianity. Anyone who professes any allegiance to “Satan” is an atheist and at the very least, a hardcore civili libertarian. Frankly, I find Anton LaVey’s “Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” to be pretty damn close to the libertarian ethic.”

    First all, I do not take part in or advocate any religion, unless you consider advocating individual freedom and personal responsibility to be a religion.

    Second of all, it does not matter if you believe in the occult or not, it matters what the ruling elite believe and do in regard to this. Also, if you really believe that Satanism has something to do with libertarian ethic, you are not very well informed and it sounds like you have some flaws in your philosophy.

    I say this as a person who thinks that all religion is bullshit.

  271. Andy

    Kind of weird how 9/11 and Illiminati symbols (like the all seeing eye, found on the back of the dollar bill) seem to keep popping up in movies and TV shows. Coincidence?

    9-11 Illuminati Symbols in Movies [New World Order]. Wake up……

  272. Andy

    Paul said: “Lol…George Soros is not a marxist. Being aware of both George Soros and the Koch brothers long before either became caricatures in the politicized culture, it is both amusing and frustrating that people can’t spend 5 minutes of their time to independently debunk nonsense conspiracy theories. That being said, each’s involvement in partisan politics has deeply compromised each’s idealized visions of the good society.”

    Whether or not George Soros fits your definition of a Marxist or not is not relevant here. Were the banksters who funded the communist revolution in Russia Marxists? Heck, were the top communists themselves really Marxist, or was this just a line of bullshit that they spewed to the masses into conning them into accepting their own enslavement?

    I’d bet that Soros does not really give a rat’s ass about Black Lives Matter beyond using them as political pawns.

  273. Andy

    This video was posted to YouTube on April 8th, 2016. I do not know if that date has any significance, I’m just pointing this out because it was well before Trump was elected.

    Hey, funny the video refers to Donald Trump as the Saturn candidate for President. Don’t we have a certain Saturn that posts here who is also a Trump supporter? Coincidence? I don’t know.

    DONALD TRUMP EXPOSED, SATURN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, NWO SHILL

  274. robert capozzi

    dL: I find Anton LaVey’s “Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” to be pretty damn close to the libertarian ethic.

    me: Some of those “rules” sound pretty good to me, others not so much.

    Perhaps you can elaborate on why these rules line up with your sense of a L ethic.

  275. Andy

    I guess so. LOL!

    If you watch the video links I posted above in regard to occult numerology and politically connected events you will find that it is pretty freaky how those occult numbers keep popping up. I just hope that the predictions turn out to be wrong, or that the doom and gloom can at least be postponed, hopefully for a long time.

  276. dL

    Perhaps you can elaborate on why these rules line up with your sense of a L ethic.

    or perhaps I won’t…I’m not an evangelist for the church of satan, and I typically post “hail satan” stuff merely as a mocking device. If you don’t like LaVey’s 11 rules, then don’t live by them.

  277. Thomas Knapp

    Andy,

    I know this won’t get through to you since you are gullible and, once gulled, 1000% committed to sticking to what you mistakenly believe you’ve “discovered,” but:

    The “occult/numerology significance” of virtually any one or two digit number is easy to “prove,” because there’s so much “occult/numerology” literature out there to cherry pick any numbers you want from.

    There’s about as much to this crap as there is to the 3 hour and 20 minute collapse of WTC7 having occurred at “freefall speed.” Which is to say nothing at all.

    Yes, I know I’m going to get a lecture on how I’m a FOOL for not falling for the same horseshit you fall for every time. Let’er rip. Just please stay away from skilled cold readers. They’ll leave your wallet empty and you believing that you wanted to give them the money. You have the word “MARK” on your forehead in neon lights.

  278. langa

    Sounds like you might have VERY thin skin.

    As usual, you have it exactly backwards. It is the people I reference above — the “perpetually offended” types, with their trigger warnings and safe spaces — that have the thin skin. Their whiny tantrums wouldn’t bother me at all, except that they are symptomatic of a “dissent is unacceptable” mentality that, as I said, will eventually manifest itself in tyrannical policies, just as it has already begun to do on college campuses.

  279. langa

    It was meant as an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement.

    This is exactly what I am talking about. The statement of a simple and undeniable truth is interpreted as an attack, for which apologies are then demanded. The idea that people should be expected to apologize for merely telling the truth is absolutely Orwellian.

  280. langa

    …the point or contention of black lives matter is not and never has been that non-black lives don’t matter, but that black lives also matter…

    Bullshit. If that were the point, then why not say “black lives also matter”?

    The real point of the “black lives matter” slogan is to deflect attention from the real cause of police brutality, which is a system in which the law gives cops exorbitant amounts of power, and then provides them with almost total immunity when they inevitably abuse that power. Of course, pointing this out would be tantamount to admitting that we live in a police state, and that is a point that cannot be raised. So, instead, they come up with a divisive, adversarial slogan that makes it look like just another “black vs. white” thing, as opposed to the institutionalized tyranny that it really is.

  281. langa

    in context [“all lives matter”] is an expression generally used by people who practice their own form of identity/cultural politics and have a knee-jerk support of the police and authoritarian policies. Further, they tend to see the victims of police brutality as deserving of what they got.

    This is pure argument by ad hominem. The statement “all lives matter” is no less true, simply because it may have been said by people with impure motives. Similarly, I’m sure a lot of people who have criticized Obama have been racists who dislike him because he’s black. Does that mean that every criticism of Obama should therefore be dismissed as a mere product of bigotry?

  282. paulie Post author

    If that were the point, then why not say “black lives also matter”?

    Because that A) implies that black lives matter less B) there’s no question e.g. that “white” lives matter; the whole point was that the actions of the police indicate that they believe black lives don’t matter, and the problem being ignored more broadly culminated in a need to point it out.

    If the slogan had been “blacks are human” would you have taken it is an indication that non-blacks aren’t human, or would it have needed a qualifier e.g. “blacks are human too”?

    divisive, adversarial

    It’s in response to what many people in the black community perceive to be divisive, adversarial treatment by the police that is reflected in disproportionate confrontations with, arrests by, and yes, shootings by law enforcement personnel.

  283. paulie Post author

    will eventually manifest itself in tyrannical policies, just as it has already begun to do on college campuses.

    There are much more immediate concerns on the tyranny front.

  284. langa

    Because that A) implies that black lives matter less

    No more so than the current slogan implies that black lives matter more.

    B) there’s no question e.g. that “white” lives matter; the whole point was that the actions of the police indicate that they believe black lives don’t matter

    This claim rests on the obviously false idea that all victims of police violence are black. In fact, the police attitude is not that black lives don’t matter, but rather that “civilian” lives don’t matter. That could have been well reflected by adopting a slogan like “Murder by a cop is still murder” or “A badge isn’t a license to kill” or some other slogan that kept the focus on the actual problem, rather than going off on a red herring about race. But again, that red herring was exactly the point. It’s so much easier and more convenient to blame it on “racism” than it is to address the institutional factors I mentioned above. It also prevents real solutions, by making people think that if they would just fire the racist cops and hire some “more enlightened” ones, the problem would be solved.

    It’s in response to what many people in the black community perceive to be divisive, adversarial treatment by the police that is reflected in disproportionate confrontations with, arrests by, and yes, shootings by law enforcement personnel.

    The “disproportionality” isn’t the problem. Rather, it’s just a symptom of the real problem, which is the fact that we live in a police state. Do you really think that if the cops killed the same number of people, but the racial breakdown of their victims was the same as that of the general population, that would be an improvement? Focusing on the racial component is missing the forest for the trees, which again, is exactly what the TPTB want.

  285. langa

    There are much more immediate concerns on the tyranny front.

    An entire generation (the same generation that will soon be in charge of the government) is being taught that when you hear something you disagree with, the proper response is to simply silence it. If you don’t think that’s a big enough problem to worry about, maybe you don’t understand libertarianism as well as I thought you did.

  286. langa

    If the slogan had been “blacks are human” would you have taken it is an indication that non-blacks aren’t human, or would it have needed a qualifier e.g. “blacks are human too”?

    Apples to oranges. Being human is a biological fact, while “what matters” is a value judgment.

  287. robert capozzi

    L: As usual, you have it exactly backwards. It is the people I reference above — the “perpetually offended” types, with their trigger warnings and safe spaces — that have the thin skin.

    Me: Backwards? Just because others may have thin skin doesn’t preclude YOU from having thin skin as well, correct?

    Indeed, it’s quite common that the accuser accuses others of some similar dysfunction as his or her own. Could it be that you are thin skinned in a certain way, so when you see others have thin skin in another way, you lash out at them? If so, that’s classic psychological projection.

    Another way to go is to have compassion for the perpetually offended and the thin-skinned. And, if it feels appropriate, offer them a mirror so they can reconsider and adjust onto a more positive path.

  288. robert capozzi

    L: Apples to oranges. Being human is a biological fact, while “what matters” is a value judgment.

    me: True, as far as it goes. Bigots and racists, however, seem to deny the biological facts, and they treat blacks as less than human. Haters are confused, and all too often they act on their confusion, in the extreme killing blacks because of their skin color.

  289. Thomas Knapp

    The root of the argument here seems to be the neither langa nor Paulie are treating people as individuals.

    “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” are both slogans, the former describing a very broad and only loosely organized movement and the latter a scattered reaction to it. What any given person means by throwing down with any one of those slogans may be very different from what the last person meant or the next person will mean.

    Most of the BLM people I’ve met are of the “Black Lives Matter TOO” persuasion. They’re saying what they’re saying because they perceive inequity, disparity, etc. in the concern for people’s lives based on race. And there have certainly been plenty of “ONLY Black Lives Matter” agitators trying — sadly, with far too much success — to hijack the slogan and the demonstrations around that. The campus brownshirt movement of the last few years has been an aggravating factor.

    The proper analog to to the fascist tendencies within Black Lives Matter isn’t All Lives Matter, it’s Blue Lives Matter. Sure, some racists use All Lives Matter for cover, but Black/Blue Lives Matter are inherently collectivist identity politics and far more vulnerable to capture by that kind of evil.

  290. Tony from Long Island

    Anyone who responds to BLM with mumbo jumbo like “blue lives matter” or “all lives matter” are just stubbornly blinding themselves to the reality that black citizens in this country have lived with since its founding. They also reveal their biases. They have every right to express their frustration in any way possible without the (sadly expected) backlash from republicans and social conservatives.

    My new quote of the day comes from Padme Amidala: ” So this is how liberty dies – with thunderous applause.”`

  291. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    I’m neither a conservative nor a Republican. I’m as far left as it’s humanly possible to get.

    Identity politics is where freedom movements go to die.

  292. Tony From Long Island

    Andy: ” . . . . SKULL AND BONES, 322, THE THREE WORLD WARS, ILLUMINATI FREEMASONRY SYMBOLSIM. . . . . ”

    Are you frickin serious? You’ve topped yourself in your tin-hattedness. Just when you think you’ve gotten the “full crazy” from him . . . .

  293. Tony From Long Island

    TK: My quick reading of your last post on BLM was that you had a lassaiz faire attitude toward it . . . like “whatever, it is what it is . . . ” which, to me, seems pretty proper – and – quite libertarian. They can say whatever they wish to express their frustration without the “all lives matter” racist nonsense.

    You are “as far left as it’s humanly possible to get?” Even on economic matters?

  294. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    “All lives matter” is not racist — at least not inherently so, any more than “Black lives matter” is.

    Yes, I am at the extreme left end of the political spectrum — libertarianism, specifically market anarchism.

  295. Tony From Long Island

    “All lives matter” by itself is not racist. But as an unnecessary response to “Black Lives Matter” from some smarmy white guy it is.

    ———————————

    Maybe my understanding of the “political spectrum” needs to be revised.

  296. Robert Capozzi

    Tony, nah, market anarchism Knapp style is not left by most people’s def. TK’s def is an outlier.

  297. paulie Post author

    If you don’t think that’s a big enough problem to worry about,

    You must have missed what I said completely. I said there are more immediate things to worry about on the tyranny front, as in the next four years or less, not in a generation from now. That doesn’t mean that if we somehow survive this coming administration, and have not turned into a full blown totalitarian dystopia by that time, that the issues you are talking about aren’t something to worry about in a few decades. But we have more immediate tyranny issues to worry about right now.

  298. paulie Post author

    No more so than the current slogan implies that black lives matter more.

    Nonsense. It’s a response to police, media and politicians acting as if black lives don’t matter. No one said or implied that other lives don’t matter if they aren’t black.

    This claim rests on the obviously false idea that all victims of police violence are black.

    No, it doesn’t. Disproportionate, yes. All, no. But that disproportionality matters.

    The “disproportionality” isn’t the problem.

    It is if you live in the communities that are disproportionately targeted and feel unsafe when you walk or drive down the street, or even in your own home.

    Do you really think that if the cops killed the same number of people, but the racial breakdown of their victims was the same as that of the general population, that would be an improvement?

    No more than it would have been if Hitler’s victims had been more diverse, to take an extreme example.

  299. paulie Post author

    Apples to oranges. Being human is a biological fact, while “what matters” is a value judgment.

    You missed the point. We should all be able to agree here that blacks are human and that black lives matter. That in no way implies that non-blacks aren’t human or that non-black lives don’t matter. I think you can see that a slogan like “blacks are human too” implies that they are somehow less human or secondary, which is why a slogan like “blacks are human too” or “black lives matter too” would not have flown. Biological fact or value judgement is beside the point here.

  300. paulie Post author

    The root of the argument here seems to be the neither langa nor Paulie are treating people as individuals.

    I would say I am, and I haven’t seen where langa isn’t either.

    “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” are both slogans, the former describing a very broad and only loosely organized movement and the latter a scattered reaction to it. What any given person means by throwing down with any one of those slogans may be very different from what the last person meant or the next person will mean.

    Correct.

    Most of the BLM people I’ve met are of the “Black Lives Matter TOO” persuasion. They’re saying what they’re saying because they perceive inequity, disparity, etc. in the concern for people’s lives based on race.

    Also correct.

    And there have certainly been plenty of “ONLY Black Lives Matter” agitators trying — sadly, with far too much success — to hijack the slogan and the demonstrations around that. The campus brownshirt movement of the last few years has been an aggravating factor.

    There are plenty of agitators, trouble makers, profiteers and would-be authoritarians involved with the demonstrations, mostly in a parasitic way. But honestly, I don’t get the sense that even many of them believe only black lives matter. There must be some of those, but I’ve never gotten the sense that it’s any kind of large percentage.

    The proper analog to to the fascist tendencies within Black Lives Matter isn’t All Lives Matter, it’s Blue Lives Matter.

    I’d have to disagree. “Blue Lives Matter” is in and of itself full blown fascist. The “war on cops” amounts to statistically the safest time on record to be a cop in American history, and also the most dangerous time to be a civilian who comes into contact with cops, especially (but not only) if you “fit the profile.” The goal of “blue lives matter” is apparently to silence all criticism of cops through intimidation, make it a felony to resist arrest (and anyone can be charged with resisting whether they did or not, with police testimony usually being all the proof required to convict), and make cops even more above the law than they already are. “All lives matter” is a fine slogan on its surface, and some people do mean exactly what it says, but I think a non-trivial percentage – quite possibly a majority – of the people who say it fully realize and intend it the way it is perceived by those saying black lives matter – as “all lives matter, except yours.

    Sure, some racists use All Lives Matter for cover, but Black/Blue Lives Matter are inherently collectivist identity politics and far more vulnerable to capture by that kind of evil.

    I don’t think they are properly analogous. The fear that people who have been disproportionately targeted and intimidated have towards the police is much more real and justified than the paranoia of the privileged enforcer class that there is a “war” against them when the evidence is strong that the only war is their war on civilians (and on some kinds of civilians more than others).

  301. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    A reasonable analysis. I disagree a bit with some points, but that’s kind of natural.

    I do believe that a “war on police” is finally beginning to brew after decades of provocation. If so, there are three plausible outcomes:

    1) The police and their masters decide to capitulate to reasonable reform; or

    2) Police increasingly find themselves hunted down and exterminated like rabid dogs until no one is willing to take the job; or

    3) There’s a massive permanent crackdown that makes American cities look even more like Pyongyang than they already do.

    If I had to bet, I would put my money on #3.

  302. Tony From Long Island

    As you all know, I was incarcerated for quite a stretch . . . . well, when I came home and went back into New York City, it was like another world. I’d never seen an assault rifle in my life. Now, they were everywhere.

    It was like a bad Sylvester Stallone movie.

    Yes, I realize 9/11 happened in the interim (which I sadly saw from my window on Rikers Island) but the level of militarization of the police is a major concern to me.

  303. paulie Post author

    well, when I came home and went back into New York City, it was like another world. I’d never seen an assault rifle in my life. Now, they were everywhere.

    It’s because you’re from Long Island. When I lived in Washington Heights in the mid and late 1980s they were very common.

    But yeah, on the overall point, exactly.

  304. Tony From Long Island

    It is true that I never ventured into Washington Heights in my youth.

    But I do have a funny memory of driving through Harlem during college around 1993. I was with two friends who were not from anywhere near NYC. We were on our way to an elementary school to observe a music teacher for the day. At a red light, a black guy got pushed onto my hood and cuffed by some NYPD.

    I was non-plussed but my friends were quite frightened.

  305. dL

    The real point of the “black lives matter” slogan is to deflect attention from the real cause of police brutality,

    There are certainly those in BLM that advocate abolition of the police. May not be a majority…probably not anymore. But I don’t judge the merit of the BLM movement by the standard of its identity politics element in the same way I don’t judge the merits of libertarianism by the standard of the identity politics elements that now predominate it.

  306. dL

    3) There’s a massive permanent crackdown that makes American cities look even more like Pyongyang than they already do.

    yep…

  307. dL

    Tony, nah, market anarchism Knapp style is not left by most people’s def. TK’s def is an outlier.

    No, it’s not…not in the historical tradition. And to be honest, many who use the term “anarcho-capitalist” in the United States today are not “market anarchists.” To the extent they are followers of Hans Hoppe, they are actually anarcho-propertarians who have expropriated the term libertarian. Hoppe’s social theory–a theory relies on socializing fraud and crime as means to limit population movements–would allow for only a very limited type of marketplace. No trading with strangers. More or less akin to an amish-like social order… a primary difference being that the Hoppeans would revive the medieval tradition of moats.

  308. Andy

    “Thomas Knapp
    November 20, 2016 at 20:52
    Andy,

    I know this won’t get through to you since you are gullible and, once gulled, 1000% committed to sticking to what you mistakenly believe you’ve “discovered,” but:

    The “occult/numerology significance” of virtually any one or two digit number is easy to “prove,” because there’s so much “occult/numerology” literature out there to cherry pick any numbers you want from.”

    Everyone keep in mind that the above was posted by a guy who spent months railing against Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, BUT WHO THEN WENT OUT AND VOTED FOR THEM BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT THEY ARE SOMEHOW CLOSE TO HIS VIEWS, OR THAT HE IS SOMEHOW SUPPORTING HIS TEAM, THEREFORE GIVING JOHNSON/WELD AND THEIR SUPPORTERS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED, SO THEY CAN POUND ON THEIR CHESTS (AS THEY ARE NOW) AND BRAG ABOUT HOW MANY VOTES THEY RECEIVED, AND THEN USE THIS AS A TALKING POINT IN FAVOR OF NOMINATING MORE CANDIDATES LIKE JOHNSON AND WELD IN THE FUTURE, WHICH IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT TOM CLAIMS THAT HE WANTS.

    This was gullible and irrational.

    I am far from gullible. If you go back and actually READ WHAT I SAID ABOVE, I SAID THAT I POSTED THOSE VIDEOS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND THAT I DID NOT NECESSARILY AGREE WITH THEIR CONTENT.

    If anything, I AM THE FURTHEST THING FROM BEING GULLIBLE FROM ANYONE WHO POSTS HERE.

    Remember, I was against Gary Johnson from the beginning. I was also against Bob Barr and Wayne Root from the beginning.

    If you go back and follow through things I’ve said over they years, a lot of what I have said has come true, and I’ve had other people in the LP even get in touch with me and ADMIT that I’ve been right about a lot of things, long before anyone else said it, as in, “Hey, you were right about ______________ (fill in the blank).”

    Yes, there is a ruling establishment, and yes, they are into the occult, and yes, numerology is a part of it. This is not an opinion, this is a FACT.

    Don’t believe it? Look at The Order of Skull and Bones. Look at the Bohemian Grove. Look at the back of the freaking dollar bill. Look at the layout of Washington DC. Look at the “Spirit Cooking” thing revealed in the recent Wikileaks release.

    There’s some weird shit going on and this is not a theory, it is a fact.

    Are the interpretations discussed in the videos that i posted above correct? I DON’T KNOW, AND IF YOU’D BOTHER TO SCROLL UP, YOU’D SEE WHERE I SAID THAT BEFORE I POSTED IT.

    If I think that something is true, I will say so, and if I think that something is speculation, I will say that as well. I do not pretend to have all of the answers, and I do not necessarily agree with everything that anyone says.

    As for 9/11, I have posted so much evidence here that clearly illustrates that the official government story about 9/11 is a lie, and that 9/11 was an inside job, that anyone who has been visiting this site for a while and seen my posts, yet still believes the official government story is either willfully ignorant, or they are an idiot.

    I put out the challenge right here on IPR (and on the websites where some of the posters here used to frequent before IPR, like the old ThirdPartyWatch) multiple times to have a debate on 9/11 at a Libertarian Party convention, which would be put on video and posted to YouTube. I even talked to some “heavy hitters” in the 9/11 Truth Movement (both inside and outside the LP) and I asked them if they would be willing to participate in such a debate, and they said yes, but every time I put this challenge out MY DETRACTORS WERE TOO CHICKEN TO ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE.

    I do not respect INTELLECTUAL COWARDS.

  309. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If I think that something is true, I will say so, and if I think that something is speculation, I will say that as well”

    Cool — thinking anything at all would be a good start. Not as easy as pressing the Caps Lock key and displaying your gullibility and irrationality in its full glory, but definitely different.

  310. Andy

    “dL
    November 19, 2016 at 22:37
    I would suggest that you do a little more homework on this issue, and to be careful for what you wish.
    Oh, the politicians always give thanks to God after every speech and invoke the power of his blessing. I think America has had enough of “god’s blessing.” My personal wish is for the day when the politicians will give a “hail satan” shoutout. Then you will know liberty has finally come to america ?”

    The politicians who wave around their religion and give thanks to God and proclaim his blessing have about as much to do with Christianity as Bill Weld has to do with libertarianism. All they are doing is trying to get gullible people to vote for them. They use religion as a shield to cover up their wrong doing. If one of these politicians shouted out “Hail Satan!” it would be a moment of honesty more than anything else.

  311. Tony From Long Island

    Andy bloviated: ” . . . .I am far from gullible . . . ”

    Thanks. It had been a stressful few days. I needed to laugh.

    Got any more conspiracy theories for us today? I should have expected the dollar bill one. You needed to freshen up your stupidity. You are an embarrassment to the LP (and to human beings in general).

  312. Tony From Long Island

    Andy: ” . . . . . If one of these politicians shouted out “Hail Satan!” it would be a moment of honesty more than anything else. . . . ”

    Really? That’s honesty? You think they actually worship Satan?

    Maybe if they said “I am an atheist.” That would be honesty.
    ————————————————————————————-

    Andy also said: ” . . . The politicians who wave around their religion and give thanks to God and proclaim his blessing . . . are [just] trying to get gullible people to vote for them . . . .”

    Are very very rare moment when Andy and I agree on something. He’s still a nutcase

  313. Andy

    Black Lives Matter cashes in with $100 million from liberal foundations

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/16/black-lives-matter-cashes-100-million-liberal-foun/

    From the article: “For all its talk of being a street uprising, Black Lives Matter is increasingly awash in cash, raking in pledges of more than $100 million from liberal foundations and others eager to contribute to what has become the grant-making cause du jour.

    The Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy recently announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund [BLMF], a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition.

    That funding comes in addition to more than $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement from top Democratic Party donor George Soros through his Open Society Foundations, as well as grant-making from the Center for American Progress.”

  314. robert capozzi

    dL: No, it’s not…not in the historical tradition… Hoppeans would revive the medieval tradition of moats.

    me: Thanks for the qualifications. “Left” in contemporary America means, among other things, government control of the economy for most.

    For moat builders, HHH, dL, and TK, market anarchism is “left.” A lack of government control tends to mean “right” for most in the wider world.

    Words are symbols of symbols, and sometimes the meaning of words do evolve. Liberal is such a word, for ex.

    Contemporary moat builders may be starting a linguistic trend.

  315. paulie Post author

    It’s pretty much a rule that when there’s an organic movement, someone will jump in front of the parade and create an organization or several that claims to represent that movement. Organizations need funding, so they will probably seek out funding from someone like Soros or the Kochs. People like Soros and the Kochs seek to help shape popular movements and direct them towards their own ends, so they will help fund them. They may also agree that the grievance being addressed has some merit. Why would it be a surprise if Soros, who saw the effects of racism/bigotry and fascist police states in Europe as a child, be concerned with the rise of a racist police state in the US? Regardless of how pure or impure Soros’ motivations are in funding some organization or organizations that purport to represent Black Lives Matter, that funding is used by propagandists who oppose Black Lives Matter to try to make the case or more accurately plant the suspicion without even trying to make a case, that BLM (or insert movement name here) is just a front for these funders, even though it isn’t, and even though it pre-existed their involvement.

  316. paulie Post author

    For moat builders, HHH, dL, and TK, market anarchism is “left.”

    I’ll agree with that taxonomy. It’s still fairly common in some countries.

  317. Andy

    I don’t believe that Soros and the Ford Foundation are donating money to Black Lives Matter because they really give a rat’s ass about black lives. They are donating to create racial strife and to push a Marxist agenda.

  318. Tony from Long Island

    I thought this site . . . and this thread were reality based. Why does IPR allow posts about the “illuminati” and other conspiracy garbage?

  319. Andy

    Instead of Black Lives Matter, wouldn’t it be better to have an organization that just opposes the police state in general for everyone? It could be called Americans Against the Police State or something like that.

  320. Andy

    “Tony from Long Island
    November 21, 2016 at 13:56
    I thought this site . . . and this thread were reality based. Why does IPR allow posts about the ‘illuminati’ and other conspiracy garbage?”

    Conspiracies are a part of reality. You should try living in reality sometime.

  321. Tony From Long Island

    I guess you are the only person who lives in reality . . . . well your own reality.

    Why do you have a problem with Black Lives Matter? How do they have any effect on you?

    Start your “Americans Against the Police State” if you want one to exist . . .

  322. Tony From Long Island

    TK: Crazier than me? That must be every single commenter then! I am fully sane. I told myself this morning and I agreed, so it must be true.

  323. paulie Post author

    They are donating to create racial strife and to push a Marxist agenda.

    Even if that’s true, they are still donating to some organization that jumped in front of a parade.

    Why does IPR allow posts about the “illuminati” and other conspiracy garbage?

    There are very, very few people that we have kicked out, and it’s only been based on persistent patterns of behavior after many warnings over months or years, not based on viewpoints per se. If you happen to find those viewpoints sufficiently ridiculous, feel free to ridicule them or ignore them and not read them at all; I’ve taken both approaches with certain people here at times. If you find yourself unable to stand them or coexist with them, you have other options to exercise as well. Personally, sometimes I like to take a few weeks or months and not read IPR when people here start getting to me.

  324. paulie Post author

    Crazier than me? That must be every single commenter then! I am fully sane. I told myself this morning and I agreed, so it must be true.

    Dammit! Is that you, Mr. President-elect?

  325. paulie Post author

    Instead of Black Lives Matter, wouldn’t it be better to have an organization that just opposes the police state in general for everyone? It could be called Americans Against the Police State or something like that.

    There’s lots of organizations such as CopBlock and CopWatch, as well as more general purpose organizations such as the ACLU that sometimes deal with police violence issues. “Black Lives Matter” just happens to have struck a chord because there is a large population of people who feel unsafe vis a vis the police and are tired of having this fact being ignored.

  326. paulie Post author

    If you feel like you can do a better job of starting a new organization than other people who have tried, go for it. If you have any success, sooner or later you’ll be offered funding from someone like Soros or Kochs. Organizations are perpetually short of funds and needing more so they can do more, so if and when you get to that point, will you turn down their money?

  327. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . Dammit! Is that you, Mr. President-elect? . . . . ”

    Yes, I am tremendous and fabulous. I know all the best words . . . . and I also have no frickin clue what I am doing right now.

    #DeerInHeadlights

  328. dL

    A lack of government control tends to mean “right” for most in the wider world.

    There is not a right-wing political movement in the world today that self-identifies as laissez faire. Laissez-faire is used exclusively in the political discourse as an accusation by political opponents. Any association of american conservatism with “laissez faire” died last century…shot and left for dead by Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.” Finally buried for good by Trump’s “Make America great again.” It’s 2016, not 1976. And the only reason there was any association of the latter with the former to begin with was largely because of the rhetoric of Karl Hess(Goldwater’s Shakespeare) who, of course, defected from conservatism in the mid 1960s and went on to become a champion of left-wing market anarchism(frankly of the type that would be more “left-wing” than the type I would subscribe to).

    The reality is that Democrats are the party associated with “deregulation.” In deed/practice. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The republicans economically in practice are supply-siders. Supply-side tax cuts…huge deficits. Certainly not laissez faire. Not even “deregulation.”

    Now you may respond that reality may be reality but perception is perception…and you prefer to operate in the overton window of perception. Well, there is no perception of the american right as laissez faire. By anyone(well, other than you, apparently). No one is freaking out over Trump because of the haunted specter that he is going to leave too many people alone or take an axe to the regulatory/bureaucratic state. They are freaking out over the specter of a harsh gestapo zeitgeist to the national security state. That is the perception, now.That is the perception of the right globally…right=cultural identity tied to a traditional, romanticized nationalist identity.

  329. langa

    Just because others may have thin skin doesn’t preclude YOU from having thin skin as well, correct?

    If it makes you happy to think that I have thin skin, go ahead. It’s irrelevant to my point, which is that if I hear something I don’t like, I either ignore it or rebut it. On the other hand, the people I was criticizing above aren’t content to ignore or rebut. Instead, they attempt to silence. That’s my problem with them.

  330. langa

    Haters are confused, and all too often they act on their confusion, in the extreme killing blacks because of their skin color.

    You are assuming that the reason cops kill is because they are bigots. I would argue that it is actually (in most cases) because they are bullies who enjoy exercising power, and enjoy punishing (and even killing) those who dare to disobey them. That’s the same pathological mindset that motivates many politicians.

  331. langa

    The root of the argument here seems to be the neither langa nor Paulie are treating people as individuals.

    TK, I agree with most of your comment, but this part confuses me. I’m not trying to defend everyone who is part of the “all lives matter” crowd, or everyone who has ever used that phrase. I’m simply defending the phrase itself. It is both true and expresses a benevolent sentiment, and I see no reason why anyone should be expected to apologize for using it. If they go on to say other bad things (like defending the cops), then criticize them for that. But don’t criticize them for simply speaking the truth by saying, “All lives matter.”

  332. langa

    …the “all lives matter” racist nonsense.

    Do you guys even listen to yourselves? Words have meanings.

    All: every one (of), or the complete amount or number (of), or the whole (of)

    Life: the period between birth and death, or the experience or state of being alive

    Matter: to be important, or to affect what happens

    Combine it: Every experience of being alive is important.

    To classify that sentiment as “racist nonsense” is to go full-blown Orwell.

  333. langa

    I said there are more immediate things to worry about on the tyranny front, as in the next four years or less, not in a generation from now.

    Yes, I know, you think that on January 21, Trump is going to start hauling off people to the concentration camps. I disagree, not because I don’t think he’s evil enough to do that (most politicians have a seemingly limitless capacity for evil), but because I don’t think he’s dumb enough to do that. Trump, as a former casino owner, understands that it’s better to boil the frog slowly. (Most casino bets have a house edge of 1-2%, and almost none have a house edge of more than 5%, so he understands subtlety more than some of his rhetoric might indicate. Meanwhile, I imagine that Trump will take a little more of our freedom than Obama did, just like Obama took a little more than Dubya did, and Dubya took a little more than Slick Willie did, and so on. But no, I don’t agree that he is going to go full-blown Hitler.

    That doesn’t mean that if we somehow survive this coming administration, and have not turned into a full blown totalitarian dystopia by that time, that the issues you are talking about aren’t something to worry about in a few decades.

    I don’t think it will take that long, but in any case, by the time it happens, it will be too late to stop it. An entire generation (or two) will have been thoroughly brainwashed into believing that “dangerous” ideas (including the ones from those “anti-government extremists” like you and me) must be silenced. Period.

  334. langa

    It’s a response to police, media and politicians acting as if black lives don’t matter.

    No one is acting as if black lives don’t matter. You really think that if a rich, powerful black person (like Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Oprah Winfrey, etc.) gets pulled over, they are in more danger of being killed than the average person? On the contrary, they are much less likely. As I said above, cops are bullies, and they will pick on whomever they think they can get away with picking on.

    …disproportionality matters.

    Why? If I hear that a thousand people have been killed, I could care less if they’re all white, all black, or 50/50. It’s equally tragic, regardless.

    No more than it would have been if Hitler’s victims had been more diverse, to take an extreme example.

    I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not, but you’re actually making my point for me. The Holocaust was a terrible thing, not because 6 million Jews were murdered, but because 6 million people were murdered. It would have been exactly as bad (no better, no worse) if none of them had been Jews.

  335. langa

    You missed the point. We should all be able to agree here that blacks are human and that black lives matter. That in no way implies that non-blacks aren’t human or that non-black lives don’t matter. I think you can see that a slogan like “blacks are human too” implies that they are somehow less human or secondary, which is why a slogan like “blacks are human too” or “black lives matter too” would not have flown. Biological fact or value judgement is beside the point here.

    This whole twisting of language is beyond bizarre. As I pointed out to tony above, “all lives matter” means exactly what it says. Imagine if someone were talking about how they think lobster sucks, and I said, “Shrimp sucks, too.” Would that “imply” that I thought shrimp sucks less than lobster? What if I said, “All seafood sucks.” Would you interpret that as, “All seafood sucks, except lobster“?

  336. langa

    “Blue Lives Matter” is in and of itself full blown fascist. The “war on cops” amounts to statistically the safest time on record to be a cop in American history, and also the most dangerous time to be a civilian who comes into contact with cops, especially (but not only) if you “fit the profile.” The goal of “blue lives matter” is apparently to silence all criticism of cops through intimidation, make it a felony to resist arrest (and anyone can be charged with resisting whether they did or not, with police testimony usually being all the proof required to convict), and make cops even more above the law than they already are.

    Yes! Finally, you’re making sense here. I completely agree, and this police state, where cops are above the law, is the root cause of police violence. This is what people (especially libertarians) should be focused on trying to address, instead of getting distracted by irrelevant nonsense, like the demographic characteristics of the criminals (by which, of course, I mean the cops) and their victims.

  337. langa

    …I don’t judge the merit of the BLM movement by the standard of its identity politics element in the same way I don’t judge the merits of libertarianism by the standard of the identity politics elements that now predominate it.

    I would like to see both the anti-police movement and the broader freedom movement distance themselves from identity politics. As I said above, I agree with TK that if you want freedom, hitching your wagon to identity politics is a sure way to ensure failure.

  338. langa

    Instead of Black Lives Matter, wouldn’t it be better to have an organization that just opposes the police state in general for everyone? It could be called Americans Against the Police State or something like that.

    I totally agree. But the problem is that the people pulling BLM’s strings have absolutely no interest in opposing the police state? On the contrary, they are determined to prevent any opposition to the police state, which is why they are trying so hard to get people focused on race. It’s a classic red herring.

  339. Andy

    langa said: “I totally agree. But the problem is that the people pulling BLM’s strings have absolutely no interest in opposing the police state”

    BINGO!

  340. robert capozzi

    dL: Now you may respond that reality may be reality but perception is perception…and you prefer to operate in the overton window of perception. Well, there is no perception of the american right as laissez faire. By anyone(well, other than you, apparently). No one is freaking out over Trump because of the haunted specter that he is going to leave too many people alone or take an axe to the regulatory/bureaucratic state.

    Me: I’m not hearing the term “laissez faire” much these days. I did hear it a fair amount in the 80s, associating the term with the Reagan Administration. Despite the fact that that administration had Ls in fairly high places, you are correct that it too wasn’t “laissez faire.” It was, and yes contemporary American conservatism, IS perceived as wanting to shrink government control over the economy.

    RP1 certainly wanted to, and he often used the term “constitutional conservative” to describe himself. Even people like Cruz use similar terms and express similar desires. Milton Friedman is still highly influential among people who call themselves “conservatives,” and he certainly wanted a lot less government control over the economy.

    You can keep fighting a rearguard battle over the perception and definition of words. I did so, too, when I was a Randian/Rothbardian.

    I don’t see the point, now. So far, it’s been 50 years of such battles, and I see that approach making no headway. Left still means more government control over the economy, right — less.

    I say deal with it.

  341. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa,

    You write:

    “Trump, as a former casino owner, understands that it’s better to boil the frog slowly.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about thait. Remember, he managed to go bankrupt no fewer than four times operating casinos.

    Black Lives Matter, being an informal decentralized movement, doesn’t have any “strings” to “pull.” That’s one of its strengths.

    On the other hand, Black Lives Matter, being an informal decentralized movement, doesn’t have any way to prevent its name from being co-opted and exploited. That’s one of its weaknesses, and that weakness means there’s eventually going to be a hard split between the good guys (Black Lives Matter Too, a subsidiary of All Lives Matter, LLC) and the bad guys (Only Black Lives Matter, a subsidiary of What Can We Scam Out of This Movement We Didn’t Create?, Inc.).

  342. Andy

    langa said: “I would like to see both the anti-police movement and the broader freedom movement distance themselves from identity politics. As I said above, I agree with TK that if you want freedom, hitching your wagon to identity politics is a sure way to ensure failure.”

    Some of the black people I know from the world of petitioning think that when they get harassed by the police, security, and venue managers, while they are out gathering signatures, that they are being hassled because they are black, and some of them have actually thought that this does not happen to white petition circulators. I let them know that this also happens to white petitioners all the time. I told them about myself going to jail twice for petitioning (the first time I got maced by the police, and the 2nd occasion I spent about 2 days in jail, and I likely would have been in longer if I did not have the money to bail myself out).

    Now I don’t doubt that there are some occasions when black people do get harassed more by the police, and that the police are in the wrong in far too many of these situations, but the fact of the matter is that there is a growing police state in this country, AND EVERYONE CAN BE A VICTIM OF IT.

    Heck, I’ve had my rights violated by black cops. I’ve had my rights violated by whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and probably some other groups I am not thinking of right now.

  343. robert capozzi

    L: You are assuming that the reason cops kill is because they are bigots. I would argue that it is actually (in most cases) because they are bullies who enjoy exercising power, and enjoy punishing (and even killing) those who dare to disobey them.

    ME: Once again, can’t they be BOTH bigots and bullies?

  344. Krzysztof Lesiak

    For the record, I have a lot of respect for the Mount Prospect, Illinois police department which has arrested me well over a dozen times, or half of that, or something like that.

    I got arrested for “criminal trespass to state lands” whatever that means LOL!!! For the first time at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois on March 20th, 2015.

    My friend at Prospect, whose name was also Chris, got a 36 on his ACT, but the administration of the school really hated him.

    The moral of the story: question the state, and question the New Babylon that we live in .

    Thankfully, Jehovah has shown us that the New Babylon will fall soon because we are living in the last days 🙂 🙂 🙂

  345. Krzysztof Lesiak

    I am politically neutral = Kingdom interests first!!!

    However, I would like to see Maine Governor Paul LePage run for office in Maine as a Republican, or a Libertarian, in 2018, I believe there is a Senate election there at that time?

    Why?

    Because Governor LePage has the guts to tell the truth like NO other governor in America! Take a listen! Families in white middle class America FOR THE MOST PART love their police departments and treat their police officers with RESPECT!!!!

  346. Tony From Long Island

    Gov. LaPage? What the hell is going on? That guy was (until last Tuesday) the most embarrassing elected official in the United States.

    Tell the Truth? Like that black people come up to Maine to impregnate white girls?

    Might as well give him a job in the next administration. He’d fit right in.

  347. Tony From Long Island

    Langa: ” . . . .…the “all lives matter” racist nonsense. . . . . Do you guys even listen to yourselves? Words have meanings. . . . ”

    Unlike robots, humans also have the ability to understand the INTENT of the words spoken, the tone of voice, and other types of communication.

    Those who respond to BLM with “all lives matter” are not making a comparison of the value of a non-black life to a black life or vice versa. They are not speaking with only the actual dictionary definition of words.

    If that were always the case, our lexicon would be quite different.

  348. Tony From Long Island

    Langa: ” . . . . No one is acting as if black lives don’t matter. You really think that if a rich, powerful black person (like Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Oprah Winfrey, etc.) gets pulled over, they are in more danger of being killed than the average person? On the contrary . . . . ”

    Why don’t you ask them? I can guarantee you that they have dealt with some sort of treatment that you or I, as white people have not. Black lives Matter is not only about non-white people being KILLED by police (though that may have been the impetus). You are unable to see the world without your Caucasian-colored glasses.

  349. Tony From Long Island

    Langa: ” . . . . .You are assuming that the reason cops kill is because they are bigots. I would argue that it is actually (in most cases) because they are bullies who enjoy exercising power . . . ”

    It’s always good to find something we can agree on. But they are also generally much quicker to initiate violence to stop a situation that does not yet warrant it than the average citizen. Much of that may have to do with fear.

    As someone who had to deal with correction officers day in and day out for quite a while, I can tell you that this mentality is MUCH worse with correction officer than police officers. However, much of their frustration has to do with the fact that they couldn’t get jobs as police officers. That is not hyperbole.

  350. paulie Post author

    You are assuming that the reason cops kill is because they are bigots.

    Yes, that’s one of the reasons cops kill.

    Are you assuming it isn’t?

    I would argue that it is actually (in most cases) because they are bullies who enjoy exercising power, and enjoy punishing (and even killing) those who dare to disobey them. That’s the same pathological mindset that motivates many politicians.

    Also true.

  351. paulie Post author

    Yes, I know, you think that on January 21, Trump is going to start hauling off people to the concentration camps.

    Maybe, but probably not. Hitler had a buildup phase, too.

    Trump, as a former casino owner, understands that it’s better to boil the frog slowly.

    As Knapp points out, he went belly up in the casino business a few times and at one point was only rescued by his father buying several million dollars worth of chips that he never intended to play. It may have happened other times when they did not get caught.

    Meanwhile, I imagine that Trump will take a little more of our freedom than Obama did, just like Obama took a little more than Dubya did, and Dubya took a little more than Slick Willie did, and so on. But no, I don’t agree that he is going to go full-blown Hitler.

    I think he’ll be worse than Hitler.

  352. Thomas L. Knapp

    “As Knapp points out, he went belly up in the casino business a few times and at one point was only rescued by his father buying several million dollars worth of chips that he never intended to play.”

    Not exactly.

    New Jersey law requires that for every chip in play on the casino floor, the cash be available to cover that chip — if everyone in the casino suddenly decides to cash in their chips and go home, the casino must be able to buy back all those chips.

    It’s been decades since I read the story, but it went something like this:

    Like most casino owners, Trump aggressively courted “high rollers” — very wealthy people who would show up and lose — or, occasionally, win — lots and lots of money.

    One night, one of these “high rollers” was winning (possibly in some game where cash rather than chips were being played) and got ahead of the casino by several million dollars, such that there was insufficient cash on hand to cover all chips in play on the floor. At that point, Trump was supposed to shut down. Instead, he called daddy, who sent a pallet of cash over ASAP.

  353. paulie Post author

    No one is acting as if black lives don’t matter. You really think that if a rich, powerful black person (like Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Oprah Winfrey, etc.) gets pulled over, they are in more danger of being killed than the average person? On the contrary, they are much less likely.

    Maybe if they’re famous? Being rich isn’t necessarily enough, in and of itself.

    The Holocaust was a terrible thing, not because 6 million Jews were murdered, but because 6 million people were murdered.

    A lot more than 6 million people were murdered, but it does matter that 6 million Jews were among them, because an entire ethnicity and culture was targeted for extinction. The same was true of the Romany (gypsies) who were also targeted as well. The term genocide has a specific meaning, which is different from just killing millions of people. Obviously, killing millions of any kind of people is horrible, but yes, the disparity matters.

    Have you ever walked down the street and felt unsafe because of your ethnicity (or perceived ethnicity) or because of your sexuality (or perceived sexuality) or something like that? It’s worse when the people you feel unsafe from are the law enforcers. Then you really feel afraid, because they can get away with what they want.

  354. paulie Post author

    This whole twisting of language is beyond bizarre. As I pointed out to tony above, “all lives matter” means exactly what it says. Imagine if someone were talking about how they think lobster sucks, and I said, “Shrimp sucks, too.” Would that “imply” that I thought shrimp sucks less than lobster? What if I said, “All seafood sucks.” Would you interpret that as, “All seafood sucks, except lobster“?

    You’d have to understand the context. Those conversations don’t take place in a vacuum.

  355. paulie Post author

    Yes! Finally, you’re making sense here. I completely agree, and this police state, where cops are above the law, is the root cause of police violence. This is what people (especially libertarians) should be focused on trying to address, instead of getting distracted by irrelevant nonsense, like the demographic characteristics of the criminals (by which, of course, I mean the cops) and their victims.

    They’re not separate phenomenon, and as they grow in the age of Trump they will continue to be intertwined.

  356. paulie Post author

    I totally agree. But the problem is that the people pulling BLM’s strings have absolutely no interest in opposing the police state

    As I pointed out earlier there are already plenty of groups that address police violence in a non-racial way, and plenty of room for new ones if you think you can do a better job. Peaceful Streets Project is another one I did not mention earlier. As for strings, a few donations to an organization or several that claim to speak on a movement’s behalf is not the same thing as the whole movement having some kind of strings that pull it.

  357. Jill Pyeatt

    Jill said she doesn’t agree with Jehovah Witnesses or anything they stand for?

    I don’t remember saying that, or in what context, although I’ll take your word for it that I did. My main problem with them is the cult-like feel of those I know who belong to Jehovah’s Witness. I’m suspicious of anything that resembles a cult.

  358. Jill Pyeatt

    One of the issues I’m most passionate about is the behavior of many in the police forces today. Shooting, executing, beating people, and the killing of family pets, shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone, ever, unless the cop’s life or someone else’s is imminently in danger. It seems that instead of noble servants, many police forces have hired a bunch of cowards.

    We have a terrible police chase problem here in So CA, that I seem to be the only one screaming about it. Cops will chase anyone in their car, even if they only suspect they have some minor traffic infraction. In an area as crowded as ours, that’s utterly indefensible, in my view. Cops have a choice whether to chase someone, thereby endangering innocent people. Even when they have someone’s license plate number, they chase. But that’s a little off topic.

    It’s undeniable that the black community is targeted much more, based on the smaller percent of African-Americans versus non-blacks. I read somewhere that the percentage of Native Americans on the wrong one of one of these bullies is even higher, but I haven’t verified that. Black Lives Matter as a movement began as a truly spontaneous force, I think, that I completely supported. I backed away from verbally supporting it, though, when The Most Evil One–George Soros–started funding the protests, as he is funding the anti-Trump demonstrators today.

    Soros wants to see us divided in this country. I refuse to play along.

  359. paulie Post author

    Left still means more government control over the economy, right — less.

    Not in terms of objective results, and even the perception will probably change as Trump with a Republican congress and courts in tow takes big government and makes it UUUUUUUGE.

  360. paulie Post author

    Black Lives Matter, being an informal decentralized movement, doesn’t have any “strings” to “pull.” That’s one of its strengths.

    On the other hand, Black Lives Matter, being an informal decentralized movement, doesn’t have any way to prevent its name from being co-opted and exploited. That’s one of its weaknesses

    Exactly.

  361. Tony From Long Island

    Jill: ” . . . . One of the issues I’m most passionate about is the behavior of many in the police forces today. Shooting, executing, beating people, and the killing of family pets, shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone, ever, unless the cop’s life or someone else’s is imminently in danger. It seems that instead of noble servants, many police forces have hired a bunch of cowards. . . . . ”

    Jill this is a noble issue and one that I am with you. However, in the same post, you criticize “Soros.” This issue is one of Mr. Soros’s top issues. Sometimes I think that your strong disdain for the left makes you unable to see small places where you have similarities.

  362. Tony From Long Island

    Jill also said: ” . . . .. My main problem with them is the cult-like feel of those I know who belong to Jehovah’s Witness. I’m suspicious of anything that resembles a cult. . . . ”

    Then you should be suspicious of the LP because many of it’s members exhibit cult-like behavior.

    Of course, I think every religion can, in some ways, be classified as a cult.

  363. paulie Post author

    However, I would like to see Maine Governor Paul LePage run for office in Maine as a Republican, or a Libertarian, in 2018,

    Why not as an Authoritarian? He has said we need authoritarianism.

    Families in white middle class America FOR THE MOST PART love their police departments and

    you’ve somehow mixed up this authoritarian attitude with its opposite, libertarianism?

  364. Jill Pyeatt

    Sometimes I think that your strong disdain for the left makes you unable to see small places where you have similarities.

    That’s a curious comment, especially when many people accuse me of being too far left on many issues.

    My issues with Hillary have little to do with right or left, especially since many of her views have been far more closely aligned with the right. My issue with George Soros is that he’s paying for much of the civil unrest that’s going on now. As a person who abhors violence, I have issues with that. Protesting is certainly appropriate sometimes, but funding it as a full-time job with benefits seems to have an agenda I can’t agree with. Again, I see Soros as purposefully keeping us divided in this country.

  365. paulie Post author

    Tell the Truth? Like that black people come up to Maine to impregnate white girls?

    Might as well give him a job in the next administration. He’d fit right in.

    It may well happen. And then we’ll have the Trump apologists here either saying how it’s a good thing or not so bad or whatever.

  366. dL

    when I was a Randian/Rothbardian

    My condolences….But perhaps the only thing more annoying than a Randian is a Randian 12-stepper.

    Left still means more government control over the economy, right — less.
    I say deal with it.

    No, the Right IS and IS PERCEIVED as cultural identity politics tied to a traditional, romanticized nationalism. Domestically and internationally.The 1980s are long gone. Milton Friedman is dead.
    That’s the way it is. Physician, heal thyself.

  367. dL

    Families in white middle class America FOR THE MOST PART love their police departments and treat their police officers with RESPECT!!!!

    Perhaps…then again, that’s perhaps why I would concur w/ the devil…Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven…

  368. Robert Capozzi

    PF: I’ll agree with that taxonomy. It’s still fairly common in some countries.

    Me: IN SOME COUNTRIES, yes, true. But I sense a deflection here. In THIS country, the US, what is your perception of what “left” means in economic matters?

    TK’s “market anarchism”?

  369. Thomas Knapp

    Well, I do admit that I am a paleo-leftist.

    The left/right taxonomy goes back to pre-revolutionary France. When the king convened the Estates General the 1st and 2nd estates (nobility and clergy) sat on the right and the 3rd estate (peasants, farmers, tradesmen, merchants, etc.) sat on the left. The general outlines of that division continued after the revolution — Thomas Paine sat on the left in the assembly.

    A little bit later, Comte and Dunoyer codified the divide as libertarian class theory — the political class (1st and 2nd estates) versus the productive class (3rd estate).

    The first major right-deviationist from original leftism — now known as libertarianism — was Karl Marx. He warped libertarian class theory into labor versus capital. He acknowledged, as the early leftists, now known as libertarians did, that “the state is the executive committee of the ruling class.” But Marx’s solution to that situation wasn’t to directly dismantle the state — it was to overthrow the political ruling class (which backed capital) and replace it with a productive ruling class (made up of labor). We’ve learned through experience that new ruling classes quickly become political classes instead of, as Marx would have it, “withering away.”

    Obviously significant parts of the left have drifted rightward into Marxist or other varieties of state socialism economically, even at the expense of also doing so with respect to civil liberties as well. But to the extent that the left/right divide has any value, libertarians must at some point understand that we represent the far left and that the right are not our friends even if their “conservatism” occasionally produces a temporary libertarian impulse.

  370. robert capozzi

    tk, OK, paleo-leftist seems accurate to me. It may be picked up like my lessarchism/morearchism terminology.

  371. dL

    IN SOME COUNTRIES, yes, true. But I sense a deflection here. In THIS country, the US, what is your perception of what “left” means in economic matters?

    I will concede that “left” is popularly associated w/ economic central planning(and/or sympathetic to government regulation). However, I will not concede that “right” is popularly associated with the counter -position of “laissez faire.” Perhaps it was to some extent in the latter half of the last century. But certainly not anymore. Just as the left no longer retains its popular 19th century meaning, the right no longer retains its popular latter half of the 20th century meaning. To the extent left/right paradigm makes sense, I would argue it is much more coherent to try to revive the leftist association w/ libertarianism. Leftist meaning anti-authoritarian, cosmopolitan, socially progressive/tolerant, opposed to the conservative bureaucratic caste.

  372. dL

    “the state is the executive committee of the ruling class.” But Marx’s solution to that situation wasn’t to directly dismantle the state — it was to overthrow the political ruling class (which backed capital) and replace it with a productive ruling class (made up of labor). We’ve learned through experience that new ruling classes quickly become political classes instead of, as Marx would have it, “withering away.”

    Just to Note: Benjamin Tucker, in his postscript to “State Socialism and Anarchism,” made a similar conclusion re: the need of redistributive, revolutionary vanguard phase.

  373. robert capozzi

    dL: However, I will not concede that “right” is popularly associated with the counter -position of “laissez faire.” Perhaps it was to some extent in the latter half of the last century. But certainly not anymore. Just as the left no longer retains its popular 19th century meaning, the right no longer retains its popular latter half of the 20th century meaning.

    Me: OK, then what IS “right” popularly associated with? I’d say someone like Ted Cruz would be representative of a “right” pol, and my sense is that he would be popularly associated with moving the political economy in a smaller government direction. This is NOT to say that that’s true, only that it’s the widely held perception.

    dL: To the extent left/right paradigm makes sense, I would argue it is much more coherent to try to revive the leftist association w/ libertarianism. Leftist meaning anti-authoritarian, cosmopolitan, socially progressive/tolerant, opposed to the conservative bureaucratic caste.

    Me: Oh, you want to MAKE SENSE! That’s a whole different animal!

    Few things in this world make sense, including politics. My observation is that most of life is a triage operation.

    So, I certainly agree that the left/right paradigm in current use is largely incoherent. I rarely use it here on IPR, but I prefer a maximize-peace/minimize-force paradigm,

  374. dL

    Ted Cruz would be representative of a “right” pol, my sense is that he would be popularly associated with moving the political economy in a smaller government direction.

    Ted Cruz is not the name synonymous with the political right. When one talks about the right or rise of right internationally, one is not referring to the rise of Ted Cruz and his ilk. Instead, one is referring to Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, etc… anti-immigrant, anti-muslim romantic nationalism. Ted Cruz was crushed by Trump in the GOP primaries. You are living in the last century in terms of popular political identification. That’s history.

    Oh, you want to MAKE SENSE!

    No, politics is doublethink. I’m under no illusions RE: that. And if political change required convincing a majority of people to think coherently according to X, it would thus be an utterly hopeless endeavor. However, collective action is dominated by the minority. Coherently associating libertarianism w/ the old school left is a strategic calculation..it’s not an effort at existential sense-making. With the revival of the early 20th century nationalist romantic right, I think hitching a horse to countermand revival of an old school left is not stupid strategy, particularly if you are thinking more than one move ahead.

    My observation is that most of life is a triage operation.

    I wouldn’t put that in the campaign literature nor in the platform. If competition is merely the absence of oppression, then lack of competition is evidence of oppression. Governments are in the business of oppressing the people. Regardless of whatever dour philosophy of life one may have, Humans CAN throw off the chains of oppression. And I would put THAT in the campaign literature.

  375. robert capozzi

    dL: Ted Cruz is not the name synonymous with the political right. When one talks about the right or rise of right internationally, one is not referring to the rise of Ted Cruz and his ilk. Instead, one is referring to Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, etc… anti-immigrant, anti-muslim romantic nationalism. Ted Cruz was crushed by Trump in the GOP primaries. You are living in the last century in terms of popular political identification. That’s history.

    Me: Thank “one” 😉 I’m not sure that you meant Boris, or Nigel. My sense is that, with DJT, it’s too soon to say what his ideological views are identified with, or even what they are. I’ll stick with my pick of Cruz as being in the center of American conservatism. The apparent rise of nationalism in Europe seems less relevant to me.

    dL: Coherently associating libertarianism w/ the old school left is a strategic calculation..it’s not an effort at existential sense-making. With the revival of the early 20th century nationalist romantic right, I think hitching a horse to countermand revival of an old school left is not stupid strategy, particularly if you are thinking more than one move ahead.

    Me: Hope that works out for you. In concept, a third way or neither right nor left seem like better positioning, particularly because it’s true. I’m big on truth. I’m not big on obscure, archaic references. I note that MNR was an advocate of claiming that L-ism is “left” decades ago, and I’d say that didn’t work. However, IMO, it didn’t work mostly because his simplistic, deontological worldview didn’t work, mostly. It was untrue, except in his mind.

    dL: I wouldn’t put that in the campaign literature nor in the platform. If competition is merely the absence of oppression, then lack of competition is evidence of oppression. Governments are in the business of oppressing the people. Regardless of whatever dour philosophy of life one may have, Humans CAN throw off the chains of oppression. And I would put THAT in the campaign literature.

    Me: Yes, the truth of triage is a concept few want to hear, and politics is a numbers game, so the concept would not be in any brochure I might write.

    At a deeper level, oppression is a state of mind. Transcend that state, and the oppression perception falls away. Politics then becomes a clean-up operation, and for me a matter of maximizing peace for those who feel oppressed, and to undo state force and other dysfunctions, preferably with wisdom.

  376. Thomas Knapp

    dL,

    Never forget that Bob is a utopian fantasist. He’ll put on a fair show of being a realpolitik type for periods, but sooner or later his teapot always starts whistling nonsense about “domestic tranquility,” “reduced net aggression” and other Big Rock Candy Mountain stories.

  377. robert capozzi

    dL, like Thoreau, I do see much wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita. And even MNR noted that Lao Tzu was the first libertarian. My sense is that MNR didn’t really “get” the Tao, though, as he dismissed it as “quietism.”

    Neither of those books are “utopian,” and I don’t buy TK’s label for me. I would — in theory — like to see our politics on an asymptotic path toward statelessness. Whether complete statelessness can maintain a civil order is an open question in my mind, but I don’t have enough information to hazard a guess.

  378. robert capozzi

    dL, btw, I have no investment in Cruz being the center of American conservatism. Could be Ryan or Rubio or someone else.

    You seem to think it’s somehow Trump. I’d suggest it’s far too soon to suggest that. Recall that many conservative pols and wonks rejected Trump and whatever Trumpism is early in the nominating process.

  379. Andy

    Are we about to be screwed? I sure hope not.

    This was posted on YouTube on October 14th of 2014.

    Food for thought.

    FALSE FLAG APOCALYPSE 11/26/2016

  380. dL

    DL, the Gita is not “yoga,” no.

    lol…the bhagavad gita is interfering w/ your sarcasm meter, brah, assuming, of course, that lesserarchists under the influence of the divine lord krishna ever had one to begin with…

  381. robert capozzi

    dL, oh, I’d not heard that sarcasm can be measured! 😉

    I’ve definitely noticed that Randian/Rothbardians have a tendency toward closed mindedness, particularly toward Eastern philosophy. This despite the fact that “approved” thinkers like Thoreau and even MNR himself cite the Gita or Tao as insightful and inspiring.

  382. Thomas Knapp

    “I’ve definitely noticed that Randian/Rothbardians have a tendency toward closed mindedness, particularly toward Eastern philosophy.”

    You say that without naming any, and cite Rothbard himself as being open-minded to it. Any examples of those close-minded types?

    “Eastern philosophy” is a pretty broad category. I’ve been fascinated by Buddhism and Hinduism (especially Hinduism’s popular western offshoot, ISKCON) for all of my adult life. Taoism not so much.

  383. Thomas Knapp

    “the Gita is not ‘yoga'”

    Yes, it is. In fact, it’s pretty much ENTIRELY yoga. Each of its 18 chapters addresses a different specific variety of yoga across three broad categories (karma, bhakti and jnana).

  384. Robert Capozzi

    TK, cool, although most Americans in my experience use the word “yoga” to mean poses, stretches, and such. There’s also Kriya, btw, among others.

    I’ve seen a lot of sniffs about “New Age” concepts from the Rockwell crowd over the years.

    As I said, MNR did recognize Lao Tzu as the first L, but he then dismissed him as a quietest. Lao Tzu’s more peaceful approach didn’t square with MNR’s angry-tarian style, it seems to me. And that set the modern LM on its self-destructive path, I suggest.

  385. dL

    I’ve definitely noticed that Randian/Rothbardians have a tendency toward closed mindedness

    The yoga reference was a joke/sarcasm, as in Capozzi would be the only person on planet earth who could manage to turn a menage a trois into a discussion about Murray Rothbard. The again, I’m not sure I would actually be joking re: that. You need to get out more often…

  386. robert capozzi

    dL, thanks for the feedback. I actually don’t see any associations between threesomes and MNR. 😉

    I’m not sure you have a career in writing jokes, but then again the Kardassians have a TV show, so I would say anything’s possible.

  387. dL

    I’m not sure you have a career in writing jokes

    Me either…then again, if the audience had your sense of humor, George Carlin would have had to sell insurance…

  388. robert capozzi

    dL, charming. Most I suspect would describe me as having a very good sense of humor, but perhaps that just doesn’t come across on IPR. I guess I need to work on that. Thanks for the feedback.

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