Sunday, October 25, 2020

How to Steal An Election

The clip above is from my local congress critter, representing my little piece of Virginia on the outskirts of the capitol city of the most powerful country in the world. It’s a bit sobering to hear someone responsible for creating the laws governing this powerful government joking (I assume he’s joking) about how to disenfranchise voters and “cheat” the democratic process, but that’s the new norm that we find ourselves in.

That kind of leads me to the point of this post. For months now, like I think a lot of the kinds of people who will find and read this post, have been truly amazed at the how out there the body politic and the press have been about their lies and deception. We now have what appears to be an age addled former hack racist as the candidate to become the chief executive of the most powerful country of the world and the leader of the free world. I won’t even begin to talk about his socialist VP pick. The point is, I keep asking myself how do they expect for him to win against the guy who has and ushered in real peace in Mideast,  a thriving economy, and widespread economic stability (at least until the China Flu thing happened)?

The conclusion that I came to is the only way they can expect to win is to cheat. There just isn’t any other explanation. So, if we work on that premise, we must ask ourselves how exactly will they go about that? After all, you can only stuff ballot boxes so much. In most cases you hear about ballot stuffing, it involves less than a few thousand votes. That’s just not enough to result in the kind of hoodwink they need in the next few days. So, the 50-cent question here is how do they expect to do this?

Big G in the clip above gives us a clue. In a low turnout vote, they just need to make sure that it’s their people that show up. How can they systematically do that in such as way as to guarantee the results they want? The answer is of course, the COVID! If they can make it hard for republican districts to get to the polls, while at the same time make it easy for the democratic districts, then the net result will be a democratic win, all districts being about the same number of voters.

How will they go about doing that? Well, in Virginia they have instituted new rules for this upcoming election to protect us voters from the dreaded COVID. First, everyone in line must be 6 feet apart. Let’s do some math on that. The last time I voted in a presidential election, there were probably 100 people in the line at say 2 feet apart. That means that the line should have been about 300 feet long. So, if these restrictions are enforced, we are talking lines 900 feet long, or about the length of 2.5 football fields. If you have to park, walk to the end of the line, then inch your way to the polling door, we are talking anywhere between a quarter to a half mile. For healthy people, that’s not a big deal. For older folks (who tend to vote ‘R’), that’s a big problem. On top of that, they will be minimizing the number of people in the voting area, which will exasperate the wait time. Oh – and everyone will have to wear a mask. They haven’t said it yet, but my impression is no mask, no vote. Or no mask, go home and get one.. longer wait, longer delays, less voters, viola! Low turnout for the ‘R’ voters.

So your thinking, sure – it’ll be hard to vote all over.. so what are you worried about. Again, let’s go to the clip above.. they key here is low turnout with an emphasis on precincts that are ‘Rs. How can they make sure? Well, here in my little county, there is a committee that administers the election. Its ‘bipartisan’ but the majority is made up which ever party holds the governor’s mansion. If they were ensure that their precinct chiefs selectively enforced the new COVID rules, then that would go a long way towards providing the necessary slant. Additionally, in the name of helping the citizens vote, they could open additional voting locations. if those additional locations just happened to all be in democrat precincts, that would also provide the necessary slant.

But surely someone would notice this, right? Well, not necessarily. The polling captains would just be following the rules that they have been given. Each precinct operates on its own, and who’s to tell that the rules are being followed, and the delays are the same all over? Unless the campaigns are organized to ensure that they are watching for this, then it will get missed. I don’t get the impression that is case in my area, as the Trump campaign has not made Virginia a priority.

But you say, what about all those votes by mail or early voting going on now? Anecdotally, a few of my friends and acquaintances have done early voting, but the lines have been horrendous and wait times of 3-5 hours aren’t unheard of. The result is that this falls into a low turnout scenario, and the early voting just doesn’t matter.

I don’t think this is just a Prince William or even a Virginia thing. I think it’s a viable strategy that can (and probably is) being deployed across the country. The COVID ‘lockdowns’ and social distancing ‘rules’ which fly in the face of scientific norms seem to conveniently enable faultless voter suppression. Do we have the will to fight this? Are we willing to stand in line for hours to ensure that we are not low turnout? The Democrats seem to be thinking we won’t. Just watch the clip above again and tell me I’m not crazy.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Whites Need Not Apply

I saw this on facebook...

So, a quick analysis indicates there is one ethnic group not represented here.. who need not apply? WickedPedia notes that in 2010, the population of DC was 38% white, 50% black, 9% Latino, and 3.5% Asian. So, no, this is not a "representative" recruiting poster. Oh for candidates being judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Thanks for making this easy

Names are powerful things. It doesn't really matter when you are first born and your parents lay some pretentious handle on you like Gertrude or Edward. What do you know about power then? You know if you cry someone will fix what is bothering you, be it a soiled diaper or a hunger pain. No, the power of a name comes along a bit later when you get used to answering to it and other people give you power by depending on you linking that name to real things, be it an enlistment contract with the Army, a marriage license, or a loan for a car or home.

For that reason changing a name is kinda a big deal. It says you are no longer that thing you were before but a new person. This is not a new concept. For centuries, when priest are ordained, they usually adopt a new name so they internalize the changed creature they have become. The old id is dead, the new has become something else. I guess that is really what the "cancel culture" is all about now really. Pulling down things, renaming them, so that all that past history can be forgotten and become emptiness. That leaves a mark.

Which brings me to my main point. While reading through the Instapundit this morning I saw where a certain local team will be known as the "Warriors". For the record, I had already decided to stop watching football when I heard Adrian Peterson had decided to bring back the kneeling disrespect to every veteran who had ever served. I felt better about this decision when I read where the NFL had decided to play a made up national anthem in place of the real one.  But the name change? That sealed the deal. The weight of all those old traditions and trappings of history are now cast on the wind and are gone. That good for some, sad for others.

Thus, in my mind, they are no longer playing football. They are doing something else which has no meaning for me. Professional football had a good run though.. 52 years of people cheering for teams they would never see in person just because they happened to represent your town. Now that's over. This name change is the end of the end and there really is no going back. So be it.

Do I have any right to object? Not really. I assume they are making these decisions based on their target market. I am just not in that demographic anymore. I wish them well, but I won't watch it.. just like I don't watch much of what passes for live entertainment anymore. I do appreciate them making this easy for me. Once again I will pursuing those things which I enjoy instead of plopping down in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon or evening. That too can be a good thing. Life is all about change, but mostly about how we adapt to it. I hope that goes well for us.

Monday, July 6, 2020

An alternative look at the numbers

This article puts forth an interesting twist on the observations that I made earlier with something I hadn't considered.. namely:

What if the positive test for the China Flu is an expression of immunity?

From his article:
"So if we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left"

This is a really interesting take because those "spikes" that are being seen in all the young people in TX, AZ, CA, FL that were being interpreted as "asymptomatic" carriers are actually indicators that those people have developed immunity to the virus and are killing its ability to spread. If true, we can and should dispense with lock downs and masks and resume our normal lives and the government can concentrate on protecting the aged and infirm until the virus fades into the woodwork.

Friday, July 3, 2020

I'm sure they are all legal

I saw this on Facebook:

9.5 million people from "around the world" are registered to vote in the US election? Gosh, I hope they are all citizens! No fraud here!

Just Numbers

Greetings any wondering blog readers.. This is my first post after a long hiatus.. no promises but i'll be doing post as often as the spirit hits me.. there's just too much going on in the world, and sometimes I need to vent what i'm feeling. So, yeah, my post here are about me, so proceed with caution..

Today's inspiration is about this article about China Virus in the prison system. I know, by definition people in prison are bad men (and women). But, as humans, they too deserve some dignity and, unless they are sentenced to death, do not deserve to die there. But this post is not about that.. no it's about numbers. Numbers which are easily calculated which the author of this article failed to do in lieu of a click grabbing headline.

Let me start out this with some basic math. Say Johnny has  barrel of 100 apples. Why is he keeping his apples in a barrel? I'm guessing they all did something to deserve to be in that barrel, like knifing other apples, selling flavor enhancing drugs to other apples, or general thuggery. Like most of God's creations, they are mostly good apples who did bad things. However, there are a few of them that, when tested, may have a disease that may result in them rotting and dying. Let's say there are 10 of them in this barrel that have tested positive. That means:

               10 bad apples / 100 good apples = 10% possible bad apples

Note in the above I say "possible". That's because in this scenario, the test used to determine that they are bad actually just test for pieces of the virus that just happens to be the same pieces of some viruses that are benign and don't cause horrific death so if the same test were run against Sally's barrel from the same orchard, the test might have said she had no infection. In fact, in a barrel completely filled actual dead and rotting bad apples, there a chance that there a significant portion which the test will indicate they are negative, despite their actual dying and rotting appearance. To know if they actually have the virus a real doctor would have to look at them and say they had it. Whoops! I've strayed from talking about basic math and delved into the fallacies of using a statistical assay method (PCR) for diagnosing diseases. My apologies.

Now that we understand the basic math, lets look at the calculations the author should have done for the noted article. First lets pull some actual "facts" from the article (*note "facts" are in quotes because the basic assumption that a positive test means the prisoner has the China Flu is flawed).

  1. There are 1.5 million prisoners in the prison system (1,500,000)
  2. the number of cases (*) of prisoners who have the China Flu will soon hit 50,000
  3. the number of recovered cases (*) is 27,715
  4. the number of prisoners who have died from the China Flu  (*) is 585
Ok - let's do some math.. taking the numbers from the above we have:

            50,000 cases / 1,500,000 = 3.33%

Even though that means 96.6% of the prisoners have no chance of getting sick, still that's not great. Of course if I had a 96.6% chance of hitting red every time at the casino roulette wheel, I would bet on red every time and all the casino's money would soon be mine! However, we are not talking money here (or maybe we are, but that sinister idea would put me in crazy land so i'm not going to go there.. yet), but human life. So let's talk about how this effects those very real human lives.

Let's look at item 3 instead and do the math on that:

           27,715 got sick an recovered / 1,500,000 = 1.84%

Because item 3 represents prisoners who recovered from the China Flu (assuming they were sick, then were tested for the antibodies which actually proves they had it.. a big assumption) well that's a better number. That means 98.15% of the prison population is safe from this. Well except for the 585 dead. Let's do the math on that:

          585 deaths / 1,500,000 = 0.039%

I don't have any experience with the prison system, but I am thinking that with this low percentage, an inmate has a better chance of slipping on a bar of soap in the shower and dying from the head injury than dying from the China Flu. In fact, i'd guess that the China Flu is probably the least deadly thing in the prison, which admittedly is a shamefully deadly place. Note that this assumes that these deaths are directly attributable to the China Flu and not incidental to some other illness that caused the death (like shivs, choking, or gang rape). Actually, given the poor nutritional content of most prisoners diet, it's very likely that these prisoners were in bad health or compromised in some other way.

One final Math thing before I sign off here:

          50,000 cases - 27,715 recovered = 22,285 somethings

See, as I understand it, the prison system is real good about counting the people they have. I mean they are constantly counting them.. in their cells every night, in and out of the exercise areas, before and after every meal, lots and lots of counting. So the question is, what happened to the 22,285 prisoners who tested positive but didn't get sick and recovered? If they had escaped, I'm sure I we would have heard about it. I guess a certain small part of them could have been released before they developed symptoms, but how irresponsible would it have been for the prison system to release known infected inmates into the general public?

I will assume that isn't happening. Instead, let's do some happy math:

          22,285 tested positive but didn't get sick / 50,000 positive test = 44% asymptomatic

Asymptomatic means your snot has pieces of something that may look like the virus, but it doesn't make you sick. That number is frightening large, but if test are only administered to people that may be sick (again 3.33% of the overall population), then its good news that almost half of them don't have something that might develop into something that might, in a very few people, result in death.

But these are just numbers.. If this is what is happening in an environment where people have to live, eat, and poop in very close proximity to their fellow man (or woman), perhaps those of us who occasionally pass a neighbor in a grocery aisle or on a mountain bike trail can take a deep breath and know it'll actually be ok.. i'm looking at you stupid governors who are closing parks for the 4th of July! Be Safe!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Knee Thing

When Mr. Kapernapunk first did his knee thing, it accomplished what I think he wanted. What I think he was seeking was to slap us in the face with our own white privilege and make a statement about his view of society. While such a viewpoint of society doesn’t quite match up to my perception of reality, I respect that he has a different viewpoint, and he can express that viewpoint however he feels is appropriate. I have that same freedom, as does virtually every physical object occupying space in the universe. 

There is a scientific principle that applies here. Specifically an old guy named Newton postulated that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Basically that means that for every interaction there are a pair of forces, and the size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object when they interact. You hit a nail with a hammer it tries to go into a block of wood or your finger. You push a ball, it rolls away.

Obviously old man Newton knew nothing about football or a black guy with pigs on his socks doing inappropriate things while a band played an old song written by a white guy who probably walked by a slave market every day without a thought about the evilness of that institution. No, Newton was an apple lover who probably had his slaves pick apples or maybe knew someone who had slaves that picked apples. It’s safe to say that he knew nothing about football or kneeling. Mostly. He probably knew quite a lot about the physics involved in a football’s flight through the air or the force necessary to propel the football through a goalpost when kicked by a foot. He was knighted by the Queen in 1705. I’m sure he had to kneel for that, so I’d say he also had a passing familiarity with kneeling. A black guy with pigs on his socks? Not so much.

Regardless, it is my own conjecture that this scientific principle leads to the conclusion that actions, no matter how tiny or stupid, always have consequences. For my proof I point to the plethora of videos of cats caught doing stupid things on the internet. They almost always start with the cat doing something, then that something causing something else to happen, which is inevitably either disastrous, funny, cute, or all three.  So yes, Mr. Kapernapunk and the kneeling NFL have a lot to learn from cat videos and Newton.

I say all that to say that when it happened, I really could have cared less what happened to Mr. Kapernapunk when he did his kneeling thing. I thought that when he was effectively benched and blackballed that was a just outcome. He was just suffering the consequences of his bad judgment: the fact that he was a marginal quarterback may also have played into woes. I know from what I speak. I have watched marginal quarterbacks do their marginal thing for years while rooting for the Redskins. I strongly suspect that since the NFL has become a theater for the absurd, his little protest was most probably an attempt to draw attention away from his marginal capabilities and keep that sweet NFL money flowing into his pocket. I’m not sure how well that worked out for him.

The kicker here is what happened this year. Mr. Kapernapunk’s little stunt went mainstream. The thugs and punks who are now seem to make up the majority of the gentleman who play the game professionally decided that Mr. Kapernapunk protest made sense to them. They decided that they too needed to push back against what they perceived as injustice in the same manner. I respect that they have a viewpoint, and, as noted above, they certainly can take any action. It is the nature of the universe that things take action. It is also the nature of the universe that there are reactions.

For me as a veteran this action was perhaps one of the most offensive things they could have done. Allow me to quantify that. If they had all dropped trowel and collectively mooned the stadiums they play act in with ‘COPS SUCK’ painted on their derrieres in day glow colors it would have been less offensive. I understand they don’t get my way of thinking. Most of the time I don’t believe that most people get how I think. It does appear that a great many people who used to watch football and buy stuff the advertisers advertise on any given Sunday have feelings similar to me. It’s not a statement that just means ‘cops are unfair’ to us. It’s a statement that this country, this beacon of freedom to the world, is a crappy place and everything I personally have done to try to make it a great place to live in is an absurd endeavor. 

My reaction to this goes deeper than just the sting of a momentary slap in the face. They actually accomplished what they intended with me. I did some long thinking about the thing they were trying to say. I tried to understand because I really like watching football and I didn’t want to give it up just because I couldn’t see and agree with the way they protested. This is an admittedly selfish reason. So I pondered it, and the conclusion was a bit unexpected.

My conclusion was that not only did I disagree with their flawed premise, not only did I find their protest personally hurtful and demeaning, but for them to take such action, their ethos and egos were such that I literally have nothing in common with them. To wit, they threw me off their team. I no longer feel like I, by accident or geography or family experience, share a common goal or purpose with them. I have no motivation to watch what they do on the gridiron every Sunday. It would be like an American watching a cricket match: intellectually interesting but not as entertaining as catching up on Game of Thrones on Netfix. 

Thus, for me, and I think I lot of former fans, they have killed the idea of professional football for the masses. That really is a sad thing. Even the Europeans have their football where the masses identify with a team – say Manchester United or Chelsea to name a couple of British teams. I am not worldly enough to know more than that, but you get my gist. 

So now we are going to lose that, as least in professional football, which filled a unique niche. Let me break that down. For grouping masses of people together professional football is unique. What other venues are available to Americans for fandom? Well, first you start out with high school football. This is still a thing for a lot of small towns where the whole town turns out on crisp fall Friday nights to watch ‘their boys’ do battle with the guys from down the road. That works for small towns. For larger suburbs and cities, not so much. Busing to enforce an equality of education experience pretty much destroyed the high school team experience in the 80’s suburbs, or at least it did where I grew up. High schools in the cities and suburbs were populated with strangers and the sense of community that enjoined beyond the school house doors was also destroyed. When everywhere was the village, there were no more villages.

The next level is the college teams. Unfortunately, not everyone goes to college. In fact, only about 40% of Americans have a 2 year college degree, and about 70% of Americans don’t have the 4 year experience to align them to a particular college. In cities or suburbs with one or two major colleges there is of course the chance to be geographically attracted to a particular team. I don’t think that most people create that kind of bond. Most rabid college fans are 4 year folks who tend to be a bit older who were active in their college life back in the day. So of the 30%, I’d say that fewer than 10% of those of developed into lifelong college football fan.

You might think that veterans would gravitate towards those academy teams associated with their respective branches. My experience is that while there is some affinity, it generally rarely reaches the point of real fandom. I say this with some authority as the one time painter of the fence surrounding the Army mule retirement pen at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Despite this, I never developed much an affinity for the Army team as the gap between officers and enlisted is necessarily wide.The few academy graduates (ring knockers) I knew, tended to be just a little crazy and, if possible, avoided by the enlisted folks. I can’t say that was true for all services (cough – Marines are special – cough), but for me and my corner of the Army, that was the case. 

Then there is baseball. I was never any good at baseball. It takes quite a bit of work to be really good at it, and thus possibly develop an affinity for watching it and becoming a fan. For a lot of millennials, baseball is a game for old guys to watch. It’s the kind of thing you would expect fat Uncle Willard to fall asleep watching from his easy chair. So, for an active fan, baseball just doesn’t inspire fan development – unless you have a team that gets to the World Series, then it’s exciting. Being a Nat’s fan, I have no practical knowledge of that. 

Finally there are the other (American, or seriously engaged in in America) sports that in my opinion just don’t quite make it. Here’s my not so comprehensive list:

  • Hockey: a northern sport at best since there is no ice in the south.
  • Golf: rich men’s game – good to watch when you need to get a nap
  • Fishing: dumb to watch – also good for napping
  • Racing (NASCAR and other vehicles): not a sport: i.e. not physical – the athletes are sitting down, fun to watch for crashes.
  • Skiing: rich man’s sport, fun to watch, mostly to see people crash
  • Horse Racing: again, rich man thing, only interesting if you can bet on it. Crashes are really scary and depressing.
  • WWF: fake – not a real sport
  • Boxing: definitely a sport, but singular – not a team thing.. no one really says ‘we knocked him out’
  • TV Endurance things like ‘American Ninja’: See Boxing above
  • Rugby: definitely a sport, and cool to watch. No professional teams, so the whole geography thing doesn’t work
  • Beach Volleyball: It’s a sport, but that’s not why men watch it

My larger point here is nothing fills the niche that professional football filled. Its demise is the destruction of a bond that pulls us together. That more than anything makes its loss a truly tragic thing.

So how can they fix this? I’m not sure they can. I suppose if every player that took a knee publicly apologized for his actions and appeared remorseful, I would reconsider. The chances of the bloated egos now playing in the NFL doing that are slim and none. I also suppose that the owners could categorically fire or suspend for a few years all those players that kneeled. That would do it, but again, those same owners allowed this happen and universally have shown a lack spine. There is very little chance they will do anything like that.

Finally, there is the very real possibility that once the players get this out of their system, they will go back to standing and everyone will just pretend that it didn’t happen. I think that is both the most likely and the most depressing option. That means that the kind of behavior they engaged in is nothing to the majority of fans. It would say a lot about the demise of our culture and out sense of ourselves. I don’t think I’ll ever watch another game. That’s my knee to the groin of these professional babies: an opposite and equal reaction.