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Ten Days Now: Election, etc Open Thread

Cheeto Jesus
Cheeto Jesus

So it’s ten days until the election now, and I cannot wait until this nightmare is over. Talk about it, or whatever else you want to talk about. No trolls, MRAs, Trumpkins, etc.

439 replies on “Ten Days Now: Election, etc Open Thread”

@Comey

Even Jackass Walsh thinks Comey is a piece of shit. Bloody hell, so much for what I said about this being “Too far into Conspiracy Land for me” back on the first page…

@otherwise

So, who wants to place bets on how many of the new posters defending Gert/Mr Al/Skyboomrooster/etc are Gert/Mr Al/Skyboomrooster/etc?

@joekster

I only have a few minutes here, but I want to caution you when you read early American documents in how you interpret what they meant by “freedom.” Political freedom and economic freedom are linked, but not the same, and sometimes they meant one and sometimes the other. “Economic freedom” can be interpreted as “capitalism” by the way, not the freedom to explore any old economic system. “Political freedom” can be interpreted as “freedom for me and people like me,” not freedom for literally everyone. Read the Federalist Papers with this in mind and you’ll get a somewhat different idea of what Madison et. al. were talking about than if you read them with a modern idea of the meaning of “freedom.”

@Dalilama, PoM: I appear to have allowed my posts to out-run my knowledge base. My apologies.

Truth is, I’ve never been able to really focus on pre-civil war US history. It all seems to focus on slaveholders and various people whose wealth depended on slavery in one way or another, whom I am utterly unable to sympathize with, so my knowledge of the period is mostly based on what I recall from high school and occasional references in my undergrad classes.

I violated one of my primary rules: ‘know what you know, know what you don’t know, and know the difference’.

Thank you for the correction.

Now you’re just lying to yourself. Any scrap of dirt on Drumpfie has been hung out for all to see, relevant or not. I don’t believe you protested the “relevance” of any of that

Because it is relevant, on a basic level, for assessing his suitability for office. A man who would casually laugh about using his status to commit sexual assaults is not likely possess good judgement. A mendacious hypocrite, bare-faced liar and obvious opportunist; all of which matters.

The Podesta emails reveal what we already know about Clinton, her politics, the attitudes of her peers.

At the very worst she may have been involved in soliciting donations [to the Clinton Foundation] from dubious sources in return for who-knows-what. The gist of this was already known to the public.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes for constitutional regent!

You get to wave at the people, ride ponies, and use your pen to symbolically enact the will of the mammoths.

I want to spend a moment talking about polls, and why the polls can seem so bizarre. I’ve seen people mentioning this on other threads but this is the right thread for it, I think.

Your basic scientific poll is done by taking a random sampling of the population, such that every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected as every other member. The results of the poll will be some number, with a margin of error calculated to reflect that the random sample may not have the same number as the actual number seen in the population. It’s generally accepted in social science that a 95% confidence is Good To Go, so the margin of error is usually calculated such that we believe there is a 95% chance that the true number is somewhere between the error bars.

So when we see a poll that shows Clinton with 49% support, plus or minus 3%, what this means is that we are 95% confident that the true number is somewhere between 46% and 51%. There is a 5% chance that the true level of support is outside that range.

HOWEVER

You see immediately the problem: in order to be truly representative, every member of the population has to have an equal chance of being selected for the random sample, which is not the case. Most political polls are telephone polls, which automatically exclude some members of the population. Pollsters are getting better about hitting people with cellphones instead of landlines, but there are people who just don’t have phones, almost all of them poor. The poor lean Democratic, so polls are often weighted somewhat to compensate for the Democrats who aren’t in the polling pool.

FURTHERMORE

We don’t really care about the total population of the US, do we? We only care about voters. Since ~30% to ~60% of people actually vote, a random sample of the entire US is going to sample a lot of people who are outside the population that really interests us. This is where Romney’s polling in 2012 went off the rails, and where a lot of the skew in Fox News polls and some other polls happens. Pollsters are asking themselves, Which of these people we’ve just polled are actually going to vote?

The poll is then weighted such that likely voters are giving heavier weighting than less likely voters. How do we determine which demographics are more likely to vote than others? There’s some voodoo in this, to be honest. If you assume that Republicans are super-stoked to vote for Trump and will have high turnout, while Democrats are wishy-washy on Clinton and will have low turnout, you can start with a poll that has Clinton winning by 10% and wind up with a weighted poll that has her losing by 5%. That 15% just disappears into the weighting.

So that’s a brief explanation of polling and why Fox polls seem to consistently show Clinton with a slimmer or no lead compared with other polls. The assumptions that go into a poll are, if anything, more important than the data that go into it.

@Policy of Madness
That was the info I was looking for regarding why the polls all of a sudden decided to narrow.

@Oogly

Yes, these instant changes in polls should always make you ask questions. Polls are lagging indicators: they don’t tell you what people think today, but what they thought yesterday. The polls are changing rapidly because the assumptions going into them are changing rapidly, not because the raw numbers coming out are all that different from yesterday’s.

I think this is the most relevant thread to post this in, but I’ve started doing dramatic readings of Owen Ellickson’s Trump Leaks Twitter Saga. I’ve finished two parts and am working on the third.

God, I hate Comey. He knows exactly what he’s doing. How did America get this undemocratic that this is completely overlooked?

That Trump is still going is a disgrace, but the fact that people like Comey have free reign to imply things that are incorrect is even more of one.

7 days to go. What time will the results come through to Britain?

@Scildfreja
W-O-W.

It will be very interesting to see what develops in this worse-than-Watergate issue.

@Scild

… Holy shit. That can’t be a real thing, that’s a plot to a fucking spy thriller.

What the FUCK?

I wonder whether Comey will last until Clinton gets inaugurated. My money is on no. (If Trump wins, Comey likely gets rehired.)

The only thing you suffer from violating the Hatch Act is losing your job, and the other thing to fire Comey for is departing from department policy regarding elections disclosures.

Regarding the “Zionists” thing – you’re right, there are self-identified Zionists, and they’re free to self-identify that way. However, how we use words, and in what situation, is important. You can tell a bit about the sea someone swims in by the words they use. Most people when talking about Israel use the word “Israel” or “Israeli”. There are two groups that use the term “Zionist” frequently enough for it to be the first thing to come to mind when talking about American foreign aide:

1) People who self-identify as Zionists or who frequently associate with those people, or,
2) Racists, neo-nazis, and anti-semites.

Group 2 is much more common to come across than group 1 on the internet. Especially on a website devoted to tracking and mocking a hate group. It’s not at all a far stretch to assume Gert belongs to group 2.- Scildfreja Unnýðnes

Yes, that’s a very good point (Axecalibur makes essentially the same one). Except that I think it highly unlikely Gert is a neo-nazi or (more than most of us, through living in a racist society) anti-black racist (I use the qualifier because antisemitism is a form of racism). Left-wing antisemitism is a thing, as I’ve been aware since reading Steve Cohen’s That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic more than 30 years ago (it’s online, if anyone wants to read it, just google). Gert looks to me like a lefty who’s never grasped that there are issues beyond class and imperialism.

(The word “articulate” is similar when referring to someone of colour. If the first word that jumps to your mind when referring to an intelligent and well-spoken black President of the United States is “articulate”, you swim in dark waters.) – Scildfreja Unnýðnes

Surely referring to Obama as “intelligent and well-spoken” is subject to exactly the same criticism, as an implicit insult to other black people? Unless you’re saying the specific word “articulate” is frequently used in that way in American discourse. But it isn’t in the UK, so Gert may well have been unaware of it. And isn’t using “dark” as a near-synonym for “bad” similarly dubious? It still seems to me that inferring that Gert is more of an anti-black racist than most of us who live in racist societies on the basis of one not overtly disparaging word and a hyperbolic expression of disappointment is a considerable stretch. (Particularly as weirwoodtreehugger points out that the use of “bonobo” was presumably aimed at their nym.)

‘Articulate’ is a dogwhistle. Regardless of what Hairt meant. Don’t say it. Period – Axecalibur

Nonsense: “dogwhistle” implies intent. You can’t accidentally blow a dogwhistle.

I shan’t bother to respond to the various personal attacks on me. Think what you like, as long as I’m not banned, or asked by David not to comment, I’ll continue to do so when I think I have something to say that needs saying.

Gert looks to me like a lefty who’s never grasped that there are issues beyond class and imperialism.

I mean, yeah. He’s a brocialist, and he throws a big ol tantrum whenever someone points out how he’s perpetuating oppression along other axes. Is this an argument against his ban?

Articulate’ is a dogwhistle. Regardless of what Hairt meant. Don’t say it. Period – Axecalibur

Nonsense: “dogwhistle” implies intent. You can’t accidentally blow a dogwhistle.

No, but you can hear that word often used as a “compliment” towards black men that you like; you know, The Good Ones. The ones who speak the way you think maybe all black men should speak. And then you might repeat those words, without ever considering the racism that underlies your thinking. And if you do that, and you’re hostile to correction, then you’re a racist and you can find somewhere else to hang out online.

I shan’t bother to respond to the various personal attacks on me. Think what you like, as long as I’m not banned, or asked by David not to comment, I’ll continue to do so when I think I have something to say that needs saying.

Here’s the thing: people have pointed out that they think you’re being problematic. You can either listen to their criticism and evaluate yourself and your actions and determine if you think you need to adjust your behavior, or you can whine about how unfair they’re being since you didn’t break any of the blog rules.

“I can be an asshole as long as David doesn’t ban me” is exactly the line of reasoning Gert used to justify his behavior and it’s what eventually got him banned. Why defending a brocialist troll is the hill Nick wants to die on, I don’t know but I am going to think of him as a troll from now on because of this.

I find it notable that on a feminist oriented site, we have men who insist that they shall only defer to the white male authority and refuse to listen to anybody else.

@Nick

Gert looks to me like a lefty who’s never grasped that there are issues beyond class and imperialism

Yeah, which is exactly the kind of person that (unintentionally I’m sure) says and does racist shit. He’s exactly the Berniebro I mentioned earlier, who was mad at ‘low information voters’ in the South during the primary. Ya don’t get a pass, cos you didn’t know or didn’t mean it

And isn’t using “dark” as a near-synonym for “bad” similarly dubious?

Yes

inferring that Gert is more of an anti-black racist than most of us…

The path to casting off (or as best as possible) racist tendencies is to confront them and learn from them. Gert refused to do so. So, yeah, I’m more than comfortable calling him a racist

“dogwhistle” implies intent. You can’t accidentally blow a dogwhistle

Stop focusing on the person. The sound of the dogwhistle is the important thing. ‘Articulate’ and ‘zionist’ are dogwhistles in the sound they make. And there’s a difference between ‘accidental’ and ‘unintentional’. Benefit of doubt, Gert didn’t mean to be antisemitic, but he did consciously insist on saying ‘zionist’. He blew the whistle of his own accord. At best, he didn’t know what noise it’d make

Yes, that’s a very good point (Axecalibur makes essentially the same one). Except that I think it highly unlikely Gert is a neo-nazi or (more than most of us, through living in a racist society) anti-black racist (I use the qualifier because antisemitism is a form of racism). Left-wing antisemitism is a thing, as I’ve been aware since reading Steve Cohen’s That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic more than 30 years ago (it’s online, if anyone wants to read it, just google). Gert looks to me like a lefty who’s never grasped that there are issues beyond class and imperialism.

Sure? I mean, yes, Gert could be left or right leaning, we don’t really have much to go on either way. We know that he doesn’t like corruption, and we know that he thinks Clinton is extraordinarily corrupt; we also know he doesn’t like Trump, since he said he’d vote Clinton just to keep Trump out. So he seems more interested in opposing corruption than anything.

I’m just not sure why you’re expanding this out, because I didn’t say he was necessarily a neo-nazi or right wing. Just that he belong to the group of { racists, neo-nazis, anti-semites }.

Surely referring to Obama as “intelligent and well-spoken” is subject to exactly the same criticism, as an implicit insult to other black people? Unless you’re saying the specific word “articulate” is frequently used in that way in American discourse. But it isn’t in the UK, so Gert may well have been unaware of it.

~puts on dork glasses~

Words associate with other words in a loose association network. My networks are influenced by the networks of other people by the words I hear as they communicate. In this way, concepts carry a certain cultural significance when a certain proportion of people hold the same associations. With the prevalence of mass media, this is becoming global, at least within language barriers.

There’s an American association between “articulate”, “African-American” and “unintelligent”. The word “articulate” is a relatively rare one, and the combination of “articulate” and “African-American” even moreso. So there’s a good probability that, given A and B, it’s likely C was a co-traveller with the memeplex.

~takes off dork glasses~

And you’re right – he could very much not be aware of the association. It’s more about his reaction to the suggestion that he might be propagating something that’s racist. Case in point….

And isn’t using “dark” as a near-synonym for “bad” similarly dubious?

Not really? I mean, you’re right. There is a connection between “dark” and “dark-skinned”, but there’s also a connection between “dark” and “shadow”, “dark” and “night-time”. The commonness of the term “dark” makes it incredibly difficult to tell whether it has racism as a fellow traveller, too.

In the end, the important thing is to listen. If people tell you that it’s racist – not just one person, but the community – then you respect that community by not using the term. By and large the African American community dislike the term “articulate” and decry its racism, so to respect them, we don’t use it to refer to them. Easy-peasey.

EDIT: Just read Axe’s reply. I’ll avoid using the term “dark!” Thanks for pointing it out. I wasn’t sure about that one. I’ll leave my original comment in there for context.

It still seems to me that inferring that Gert is more of an anti-black racist than most of us who live in racist societies on the basis of one not overtly disparaging word and a hyperbolic expression of disappointment is a considerable stretch. (Particularly as weirwoodtreehugger points out that the use of “bonobo” was presumably aimed at their nym.)

My original comment still stands, I think. Normal people – i.e. people who live in racist societies but dislike racism, even if they don’t understand its pervasiveness – don’t use the word “Zionist” outside of very specific circumstances. They certainly don’t use it as a replacement for “Israeli” or “Jewish”. This plus use of the word “articulate” in reference to President Obama paints a fairly clear inference.

Nonsense: “dogwhistle” implies intent. You can’t accidentally blow a dogwhistle.

I agree with you. Viscaria explained the issue better.

He blew the whistle of his own accord. At best, he didn’t know what noise it’d make

I disagree. We had already talked to him about his use of the term Zionist. He knew exactly what he was saying and exactly what it communicated to us. He chose to use it because he disagrees with us that it shouldn’t be used and doesn’t care how that makes us feel. And after this meltdown where he tried as hard as he could to hurt us by calling us names I’d argue he did it specifically because he knew how we felt about it, but was confident he could get away with it.

@Scildfreja
You’re cool. ‘Dark’ is fine 99% of the time, tho dogwhistlers can have a field day due to its ubiquity. If there’s something to avoid, it’s ‘black’ as a synonym for evil. That’s just not right… ever

@kupo
Oh, absolutely! In the best case, Hairt’s profoundly ignorant. In the worst, he’s a antisemitic asshole who gets his jollies from shocking our delicate sensibilities. *waves fan, faints*
We know he falls squarely into the latter category, but, even if you’re keen to defend Hairt for some reason and assume the best, he’s still a dismissive shit. So, yeah, totally agree. Sorry I wasn’t clear, my B 🙂

@Axe
You did say ‘at best’ so we’re actually in agreement. I just hadn’t had my coffee yet.

I mean, this isn’t a social justice 101 kind of community. If you’re not aware that misogynistic slurs and racist and anti-Semitic dogwhistles aren’t acceptable, you’ll either learn fast or your reception will be poor. This is a mocking misogyny site, not an issues that affect white men are the only important issues site. I’m honestly getting more and more annoyed at the notion that we have to hold brocialists to low standards and coddle them simply because they claim to be on the left.

White dudes are so mad they don’t get to be the kings of progressivism anymore, aren’t they?

@ Nick G,

Unless you’re saying the specific word “articulate” is frequently used in that way in American discourse. But it isn’t in the UK, so Gert may well have been unaware of it.

Yes, several people in a position to know have said the word is frequently used that way in the US.
Are you absolutely sure it isn’t in the UK?

I’m from Australia, and have not previously been aware of it being used that way here. Despite my love of the word, I’ve now put a moratorium on using it myself, until I know for sure. Because in retrospect it seems really fucking likely that it is being used here to superficially praise high achieving, tertiary educated, high public profile ATSI people, while damning the groups they come from.

I’m honestly getting more and more annoyed at the notion that we have to hold brocialists to low standards and coddle them simply because they claim to be on the left.

White dudes are so mad they don’t get to be the kings of progressivism anymore, aren’t they?

This. Absolutely this.

Nick, you are cut from the same cloth as Gert. People tell you things and your inclination is to argue about them. Someone points out problematic behavior, and you want to excuse it by speculating about motives. You are taking nothing on board whatsoever.

You haven’t called anyone a gendered slur yet, but that doesn’t make you better than Gert. It’s no wonder you’re defending the hell out of Gert: you see yourself in Gert’s reflection.

Gert was a troll so you consciously hitching your wagon to Gert’s makes me think that maybe you’re a troll, too. FYI, although I don’t expect you to take that on board any more than you’re taking anything else.

@PoM

Thank you for that. I’ve been looking around for this exact explanation of poll building for a few days now. The ABC/WaPo 12 point swing had completely bewildered me.

Another thing of note with polls was an article I read a few days ago about the fact that polls are typically conducted in English which can cause lower response from eligible voters for whom English is a second language. This can cause a skew due to lacking data on those groups.

@kupo

I agree. That person showed a lot of signs of resisting the idea that a word they’ve gotten used to using is a slur. “I don’t use it to mean that, so it’s not a slur,” “I know people who this would apply to who use it on themselves, so it’s not slur,” and, of course, “It’s not my fault for being offensive, it’s your fault for being offended.” I’ve seen this a lot with two specific words, and this person shows all the signs of continuing to be a shit about it, mostly in doubling down and trying to harm anyone with the audacity to correct him.

@Scildfreja

I just want to say it is fascinating to listen to you talk about rhetoric. I hope to get to that level one day.

@Number Sequence

There are a lot of things that can confound telephone polls. Back in the day of landlines, polls wound up being answered mainly by retired people and middle-class housewives. Today many people with cellphones just don’t answer if they don’t recognize the number. Spanish language support is actually sometimes done, but getting people (especially young people) to pick up the phone at all is a major problem.

@Axe,

You’re cool. ‘Dark’ is fine 99% of the time, tho dogwhistlers can have a field day due to its ubiquity. If there’s something to avoid, it’s ‘black’ as a synonym for evil. That’s just not right… ever

I avoid “Dark” sometimes. Like, seeing people talk about “the dark heart of the jungle” makes me upset, ’cause that’s very deeply tied to racist colonial ideas. I’m lookin at you King Leopold. But, thank you!

@Number Sequence, aw, thanks :3 I found that my ability to sound-smart about all sorts of things really exploded when I started digging into AI and cognitive neuroscience for serious. (Note, that don’t mean I am smart). Working in the research lab has also been super helpful.

@WWTH

I’ve heard from more than one black person that black people usually don’t answer the phone

^Not to generalize, but we really don’t

I read that third party voters will take away 5% of the vote. The race is too close, it can cause Trump to win!

And then I saw someone post a meme that implied that was the point, so that third parties might have a chance next election.

That is not a smart thing to do and it’s really got me on edge. I want the election to be over, bit what happens once it is??? Things WILL get worse if Trump wins. Immediately, it will be a disgrace to my country, long term, I have no idea but nothing good can come out of it.

All this ignorance and irresponsibility on a national scale is really scary and upsetting.

Since nobody seems to have brought it up in this thread, or indeed anywhere on this site, I just wanted to express my continued amazement at apparently being the only person to have noticed that Donald Trump is apparently trying to be (or become) a Chuwero. He has an asshole face, obviously, and I would not be surprised to learn that he participates in the coprophagic and coprolagnic practices of that imaginal ethnicity.

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