Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Debate round out

A few remarks, in no particular order of importance.

- Attacking Trump for working to reduce his income tax bill to the lowest level possible is despicable demagoguery.

Yes, she gave millions to the Clinton Foundation she controls. That is of course a blatant way of reclassifying her income so she doesn't have to pay taxes on it while simultaneously allowing her to claim charitable contributions that she is able to use, akin to me taking income from my career and putting it into the Audacious Epigone Foundation so I don't have to pay taxes on it and then using that foundation to pay my mortgage.

But that's merely an illustration of hypocrisy. The demagoguery comes about because everyone in the country does the exact same thing, from people making $10,000 a year to people making $10,000,000,000 a year. Ever used H&R Block or TurboTax, to pick at random two leading providers of personal income tax filings? Guess what--they, like every other income tax filing provider in existence, market their services by promising to lower their customers' tax bills as much as is legally possible.

- The number of missed opportunities is depressing to think about (Tom Woods and Lew Rockwell do a thorough job going through them point by point if you're interested).

The "basket of deplorables" is the single biggest piece of low-hanging fruit and though a little rotted from time, it will still be hanging there when the next debate takes place.

Hillary's rape-enabling and mafia-style intimidation of Bill's victims for the sake of their mutual political benefit is a close second. In one of the subsequent debates Trump needs to ask it as a "do you still beat your wife?" question. "Hillary, how many of the women Bill has abused have you threatened if they ever said anything publicly about it?"

If that isn't the impetus for a coughing fit or a seizure, Hillary's "I have never done that" response will be futile. Trump can respond with something like, "Sure, Hillary, sure. So you're calling all these women--Paula Jone, Juanita Broaddrick, Gennifer Flowers--liars? All these cases going on for twenty years, all made up. Sure, Hillary, sure. You defended the most powerful man in the world from the helpless women he victimized."

- Hillary's best moment:

- The Cathedral made some unforced errors. Lester Holt, an affirmative action midwit, favoritism was too over-the-top for Hillary's own good. Until the end of the debate, when both sides began clapping raucously, the audience broke into applause twice for Trump and five times for Hillary. They also laughed at Trump's expense a couple of times. Yet Holt only admonished the crowd for clapping for Trump!

Holt interrupted Trump far more often then he interrupted Hillary.

He grilled Trump about his alleged support for the Iraq war but didn't ask Hillary--who actually voted for it--anything about it at all. Trump was non-committal before the war--certainly no visionary like Pat Buchanan--but he was one of the few prominent 'mainstream' Republican voices to break ranks and turn against it. Crucially, he did so before the 2004 presidential election, which was in large part a referendum on the Iraq invasion before it became universally unpopular.

In fact, Hillary didn't face a single tough question, they were all directed at Trump or were neutral policy questions. Trump had to bring up the email scandal up himself.

I talked to several people today and every single one of them, even Hillary supporters, said Holt's bias was glaring.

Ted Cruz is offering to help Trump with debate prep. Trump could use it.

- Finally, my favorite image to come out of the debate. It's a pathetically self-indulgent one, but it's too fitting to pass up. Intellectually I fall somewhere between these two and I'm a faceless extra who happened to momentarily be caught on screen with two of the leads:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Deplorable omission

Trump missed a huge opportunity with the "basket of deplorables" comment. Of course the house slave Lester Holt--who doesn't want to end up as dead as Ron Brown--wasn't going to ask Hillary Clinton any challenging questions, but Trump should've known ahead of time that he had to take the initiative.

"You said half my supporters were a 'basket of deplorables'. Are you saying a quarter of the country you're prepared to lead is deplorable?"

It was so easy. There is no possible answer she could've given that would've lessened the damage that question would've wrought.

Nothing on immigration, Benghazi, Hillary's rape enabling, and only a veiled reference to her health issues with "stamina". Tons of missed opportunities.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gennifer Flowers


As search volumes indicate, there were a lot of Americans who had no idea who Gennifer Flowers was until Trump mentioned her yesterday. She was the subject of three times as many searches as Mark Cuban:

I'm in my early thirties and just vaguely remember the sordid history of Bill Clinton's sexual predation and the mafia tactics Hillary Clinton used to enable that sexual predation. The under-30 crowd has virtually no idea, and yet the Clintons' crimes look even worse in the current zeitgeist than they did a couple of decades ago, especially to millennials--an important part of Obama's electoral success but one that is markedly cooler towards Hillary than they were towards him.

Blowing up the Hillary-as-feminist-hero conception that Team Clinton has put forward and hoped would hang around without serious scrutiny through November is something Trump should start doing now.

"Crooked Hillary's no protector of women, believe me. She persecutes women. Many, many people will tell you so. Paula Jones, Kathleen Wiley, Connie Hamzy, Juanita Broaddrick. Gennifer Flowers, this a brave woman--a successful woman--who has been persecuted by Hillary. Hillary has stepped on women--and done much worse to them, let me tell you--to get power."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Roughtly 1-in-30,000,000 police stops of blacks result in unjustified killings

Another small bridge connecting the races together was burned in the virtual world last week. A black guy I went to high school with, Brandon, wrote the following in response to the Charlotte shooting:
I was thinking last night as I drove home.

I live in LA.

Not afraid of gangs, muggings, car jackings, or black on black crime.

Not afraid of domestic terrorists, Al Qaeda, or ISIS.

The only thing in this world that truly scares me are police.

I say this not to create animus. I say it because its true. I would literally jump out of an airplane again before I called 911 for anything other than a fire. You cannot understand or empathize with what you fear. You fear me because of the sins of your ancestors. You fear my strength and promise. You fear my potential. You fear my forgiveness as much as you fear my vengeance.
The line about "the sins of your ancestors" is particularly remarkable because if whites ever lose the religiously-tinged sense of racism as Original Sin, it's game over for blacks. Without the white guilt life vest most blacks would drown in WEIRDO societies.

Blacks need whites. Whites don't need blacks. To the contrary, fewer blacks means fewer problems. That assertion is true almost irrespective of what the metric is--criminality, intelligence, health, family stability, innovation, financial viability, violence, longevity, poverty, infant mortality, time preference, on and on and on.

At some level it's easy to sympathize with Brandon. He's modestly intelligent for a black guy, affable in person, and proud of who he is. He almost has to rationalize here because ratiocination would lead him to human biodiversity, and human biodiversity to the rather obvious conclusion that people of sub-Saharan African descent need to live in societies predominantly populated by, managed by, and maintained by Asians or Europeans unless they want to have a standard of living and quality of life that is on par with what's on offer in Detroit, Haiti, Baltimore, Zimbabwe, or Ferguson.

I responded:
The fear may be true because you're experiencing it. That's subjective and consequently not something anyone else can evaluate.

What we can evaluate, though, is that your fear is irrational. Black-on-black crime kills 2000% more blacks than police shootings do. Between this police shooting and the next one that takes a black life, hundreds of blacks will kill other blacks.

And avoiding being killed by cops is easier than avoiding being killed by other blacks (or whites or any other group for that matter)--simply follow police instructions to the letter and you'll virtually always be fine. It may be humiliating, it may constitute a miscarriage of justice, it may even mean subjugating yourself to the whims of a racist, but if you follow instructions you won't end up dead. That's not necessarily the case when it comes to an armed robbery, a carjacking, or an assault.

This isn't to pick on you for experiencing a visceral reaction. Humans are more rationalizing creatures than they are rational creatures. I'm more apprehensive about lightning than I am about driving my car. You may be more scared of spiders than you are of driving your car. We are both, of course, far more likely to be killed in our cars than we are to be killed by lightning or spiders.

That said, if reconciliation is so unattainable, if these feelings are so embedded, so incorrigible, that we're effectively stuck with them forever, why don't we separate from one another? Secession is the political equivalent of divorce.

Why not? This country of 330 million has so many major fault lines of disunity--economic, political, religious, racial, linguistic, cultural, geographic, ethnic--that it's crazy to think that the tensions and the acrimony are going to do anything other than continue to get worse until we reach a breaking point, one that will likely be more violent and less civil than any of us would prefer.
He immediately deleted the response and unfriended me.

An ally, Kaoswear, crunched the numbers to figure out what the actual likelihood of a black being fatally shot during a police stop actually is and sent me this (slightly edited):
172 Blacks shot by police in 2016 (15 unarmed). Projecting that forward to the end of the calendar year gives us 229 (17 unarmed).
Roughly 1,100,000 sworn officers in the US. Realistically the number on the street is probably closer to 700,000. 
If we give the police absolutely no benefit of the doubt whatsoever and assume that every single black that was shot by the police was shot unjustly (armed or not), that means over the course of the year 0.03271% of cops--1 in 3,075--have unjustly killed a black person. 
If we eliminate the armed suspects, that is 0.00243% of cops--1 in 41,176--shooting unarmed blacks. 
Cops stop 3-4 people per shift. With 700,000 cops who work 50 weeks a year and five shifts per week, that is 875 stops a year per cop, for a total of 612,500,000 stops. If 40% of those stops involve blacks, that gives us 245,000,000 blacks stopped per year. 
If 100% of all blacks shot by police are unjustified, we're at fewer than 1 in 1,000,000 black stops resulting in the shooting death of the suspect. If, again, we only consider unarmed black suspects, we're at nearly 1 in 15,000,000.
The odds of winning the state lottery are several times greater than the odds an unarmed black will be killed by a cop.

If we allow that sometimes cops get it right and the suspect complies with with the commands he's given (which by definition does not occur in the case of armed shootings), the likelihood drops to some fraction of those unarmed figures.

For simplicity's sake let's say it's half the time the unarmed shootings are justified. That suggests a black being stopped by a cop has a 1 in 30,000,000 chance of unjustifiably being killed in the encounter.

Be ready to raise the drawbridges. The path to war is becoming inexorable. The Alt-Right arrived on the scene not a moment too soon.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reuters-Ipsos oversamples those with college degrees, undersamples those without

The poll has come under criticism for oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans and independents. That suggests Trump will outperform Reuters-Ipsos' expectations.

In response to a reader's inquiry, I looked at the respondent polls from August 1st through September 23rd to see about the educational distribution. The poll has drawn 53% of its responses from those with at least a four year college degree and 47% of its responses from those without a degree. In 2012, exit polling showed those two figures swapped, with just 47% of the vote coming from those with a degree and 53% from those without.

That seems highly suspect given the strength of Trump's appeal among working-class whites--period, but even more especially so relative to Romney's appeal. And to a lesser extent, that also seems suspect given Hillary's appeal relative to Obama the SWPL wet dream's appeal.

If the Democrat primaries and caucuses are any indication, black turnout will be down from 2012 but that won't be enough to overcome Trump's middle American blue collar appeal by six points. It probably won't even be a wash. I suspect it'll be something like 55% without, 45% with.

In other words, the Reuters-Ipsos poll sample is more Democrat and has higher levels of educational attainment than the electorate will in November and the poll only has him down by 4 points.