Election 2018

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WingSounds
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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:15 pm

The more I see of you, the more I like you.

I am a crusty old misanthrope who has feet in two countries, but dreams of home. There is so much out there that I suppose could be considered common cause to give up, but the thing is -

When someone tells you that matters are pointless, when they fight your attempts to do good, when they are sweating and doing everything in their power to prevent you from doing something as simple as pressing ink to a piece of paper...
That is a kind of fear. And if they are so victorious, why are they so afraid..?

It is the civic duty of anyone who lives to fight for what they believe in. Even if I hate people by and large, why wouldn't I want a better world for us; and for the world, itself? And if I can decide that, surely anyone can. For my part, in the last few days I have seen much more engagement and willingness to get involved, especially for those younger than me, and especially amongst those who were previously on the fence... Or even opposed.

This is a war; it does not stop if Democracts take the House, the Senate, and all the governorships they can... Or, if they lose all of those things, through any possible combination of factors. The only way to proceed, and to see just things done is to be constantly engaged, to look at things even if they are 'depressing' or 'tiring' or take time, and to constantly be engaged. In community, in polity, and state.

For me, it's righteousness and indignation that have carried me forward, never hope. But all are important now. And even if we lose this battle, I'll be doing what I can to xericulture and teach others what I know until I can't.

... All that pointless natter aside, I loved your posts about AZ office. It's a state I'm very unfamiliar with, and I had nothing to add to that thread. But it gave me a great deal of information, something I always am thankful for... So!.. Thank you!..

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:26 am

More cheery news!

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is working hard to ensure that the election for governor between Kris Kobach and Laura Kelly is run in a just and impartial manner.
Access to the ballot box in November will be more difficult for some people in Dodge City, where Hispanics now make up 60 percent of its population and have remade an iconic Wild West town that once was the destination of cowboys and buffalo hunters who frequented the Long Branch Saloon.

At a time when many rural towns are slowly dying, the arrival of two massive meatpacking plants boosted Dodge City’s economy and transformed its demographics as immigrants from Mexico and other countries flooded in to fill those jobs.

But the city located 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Wichita has only one polling site for its 27,000 residents. Since 2002, the lone site was at the civic center just blocks from the local country club — in the wealthy, white part of town. For this November’s election, local officials have moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, citing road construction that blocked the previous site.

...

Kansas is not the only state that has closed polling sites. Polling places across the country have also been shuttered since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. A 2016 research report from the civil rights coalition Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights found local officials had shuttered 868 polling places in the three years after the court’s ruling.

https://www.apnews.com/78f02d14245043aab005046ef4063c10

And also:

Slate: Georgia Is Using Amateur Handwriting Analysis to Disenfranchise Minority Voters

<grant> Georgia Is Using ________________ to Disenfranchise Minority Voters
<grant> you could fill in the blank with nearly anything and i wouldn't be particularly surprised
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WingSounds
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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:45 am

Kelly I feel has a good chance of beating Kobach; he's too sloppy.

Kemp, though... Ugh, it's not a great matchup. Worse still is all the downballots potentially affected by people who get turned away. And I'd argue that local races are the wellspring of any strong civil society.

Anyway, let's fire Kemp and Kobach into the sun and let the crown of dawn fix that problem. Failing that, putting them in a glass room with a lever that sorts paper ballots they can't touch or tamper with would be a nice punishment. But while I'm dreaming...

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:29 am

WingSounds wrote:The more I see of you, the more I like you.


Hey, thanks; likewise. Sorry I haven't given you a proper greeting yet, but we get so few new users these days, and most of them are one guy coming back under a new account after being banned. Fortunately it's pretty clear at this point you're not him, so hey, welcome! I don't know why you chose our little community here, but I think it's pretty special and I'm always happy to see it grow a little.

When someone tells you that matters are pointless, when they fight your attempts to do good, when they are sweating and doing everything in their power to prevent you from doing something as simple as pressing ink to a piece of paper...
That is a kind of fear. And if they are so victorious, why are they so afraid..?


Fear and anger are the brand. They're the easiest emotions to exploit.

If I want to get deep and philosophical about it: we're still domesticated plains apes. As complex as our brains are, they haven't evolved past the simplest survival instincts. We have trouble seeing the big picture; we have trouble wrapping our brains around the idea that our tribe has 7 billion people in it. And even those at the top, the people who are set for life, are still operating on the rote behavior of trying to acquire more -- because their brains have evolved to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and, much as they pride themselves on rationality, they're still driven by those base instincts.

If I'm to go with a much sillier reference to illustrate: one of my all-time favorite single comic book pages is at the end of Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks. Uncle Scrooge expresses worry that all his money will be stolen by the Beagle Boys and then he'll be, as the title says, "only a poor old man." Donald, incredulous, responds, "You are a poor old man!" because even though Scrooge has everything in the world, he still spends his life worrying about losing his wealth.

I think Barks was on to something.

Though it could be that my "plains ape brain" theory is full of shit and greed is the result of nurture rather than nature. Certainly there have been gift cultures throughout history; exploitative hierarchical systems may not be any kind of "natural order" at all, merely something that assholes have cooked up to justify their place.

... All that pointless natter aside, I loved your posts about AZ office. It's a state I'm very unfamiliar with, and I had nothing to add to that thread. But it gave me a great deal of information, something I always am thankful for... So!.. Thank you!..


Thanks. I know it's probably not much use to anybody else (we've got one other Arizonan here, so parts of my posts may be useful to him, but he's in a different county so the Maricopa/Tempe bits are pretty much just for me), but I'm writing down all that shit anyway, so I may as well share it.

WingSounds wrote:Kemp, though... Ugh, it's not a great matchup. Worse still is all the downballots potentially affected by people who get turned away.


It bears adding that, if you are refused a ballot based on questionable reasons, you have a legal right to demand a provisional ballot.

There are two problems with this: one is that, while the right to a provisional ballot is federal, the requirements for actually counting provisional ballots vary wildly by state. You can fill one out and there's still a pretty good chance it'll just get tossed.

The other problem is, since when have people disenfranchsing minority voters ever cared what the law says?

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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:07 am

Thad wrote:Hey, thanks; likewise.


No need for an official welcome... I'm the sort of person who prefers a kind of cosy atmosphere. Which is why I'm here... I was searching for LPs, and then I started browsing threads here and somewhat fell in love, from the backdrop to the conversation (serious and silly!)... So I'll probably be loitering for the foreseeable future! Just let me know if I need to post a bit less...

Thad wrote:If I want to get deep and philosophical about it: we're still domesticated plains apes. (For my own reference; the adventures of Scrooge, societal thoughts, and so on.)


Ahaha, I couldn't agree more about the idea that we're still just animals, at the end of the day. To assume we're better than other animals has always been one of the things that brings out my innermost gloom. Thank goodness it doesn't bring out my innermost... Glomgold? Alas, I can't claim full familiarity. My dear comix friend has been awol for a bit, but going through Barks' run is on my to-do list, what with so many people I admire pointing out how philosophical it was.

For what it's worth, my theory is similar, but focuses more on the spiritual as opposed to the material. Mankind is innately unlovable and of bad moral character BUT, it is relatively easy to be a good person... And that small, easy-to-surmount distance is still too much for the laziness of humanity, so, most people are awful. When people look to inward faith, they choose a consumptive void over a welcoming light, and that corresponding emptiness encourages them to trump (oho) their own rationality and focus on material things.

I would say your theory is probably more likely to be true on a societal scale, though; I'm a weird one. Oh, waitwaiwait... An odd duck!.. Sorry, sorry, I'm not sorry at all...

Thad wrote:Thanks. I know it's probably not much use to anybody else...


All information is useful, even if it doesn't seem that way. At the very least, it has given me a greater perspective with which to weigh my own actions and goals for the year's end, and knowing people care (also raw vitriol) keep me going.

On that note!

Thad wrote:When have people disenfranchsing minority voters ever cared what the law says?


This actually is, and has always been a plus for us!.. Now, I have zero faith in law (or democracy in general), but I will defend both beyond my life - because the more faith people have in them, the better they both function. Similarly, when people believe they are above the law, their actions get sloppy - and in the past, it has been that sloppiness that hurts them, even when the law does not. (I'll source this later, if I remember.)

Of course, we'll have to be pragmatic and wait for opportunities as they come, but -

I would say that even in some of the more rural places I've lived, society is not the same. Better, no. But the values the handlers cherish are not the same as their charges, and that may yet be helpful for us.
Well, ahaha, I could also be talking out of my ass... So, we'll carry on, and do what we can so that all is well.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:59 pm

WingSounds wrote:Just let me know if I need to post a bit less...


I'm the unofficial yardstick for posting too much, so as long as you're posting less often than I am, you're at least in the right ballpark. >__>
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Re: Election 2018

Postby hngkong » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:32 pm

WingSounds wrote:
So I'll probably be loitering for the foreseeable future! Just let me know if I need to post a bit less...



While I have no official say in anything, it's nice seeing the boards get some new life going, don't worry about it at all.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:17 am

hngkong wrote:While I have no official say


Your avatar is kirby, and if you don't have an official say, humanity is lost. Kirby is...
Anyway, the dearest ever friend I've ever had loved kirby about as much as I do. Kirby is great. Like a happiness charm!..

Mongrel wrote:I'm the unofficial yardstick for posting too much, so as long as you're posting less often than I am, you're at least in the right ballpark. >__>


IS THAT A CHALLENGE and I waggle my eyebrows. Let's do this. Ahahahaha...

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:39 am

WingSounds wrote:Kirby is great. Like a happiness charm!..

And yet there are those who would say he sucks.

WingSounds wrote:IS THAT A CHALLENGE and I waggle my eyebrows. Let's do this. Ahahahaha...

Well... you could take it as a challenge... I'm just not sure you'd like the prize.
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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:05 pm

The prize... Is friendship!
Really, what more reason is required?
But leave the pink puffball alone or I'll... Well, post more election info...

Tennesseans continue feverish early voting pace

These are some very heartening numbers, though of curse they mean nothing until the last vote is counted.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:19 pm

On posting too often: If people start to feel like you're sucking all the oxygen out of the room, they will not be shy about telling you so.

You're posting quite a bit, but you're contributing to existing conversations in meaningful ways, so AFAIC it's all good. (As the #2 most frequent poster after Mongrel, my standards may be biased.)

The other guy (the one who keeps getting banned) had a tendency to start a shitload of new threads, try to redirect conversations toward himself, his projects, his interests, his Twitter feed, and his (often alarming, homophobic) views. When people didn't respond, he'd get angry. When people responded in the negative, he'd get passive-aggressive and declare that he didn't want to talk about the subject anymore, even though he'd brought it up.

You're not doing any of those things. So that's good.

At any rate, if people think you're posting too much, they'll tell you. So far, nobody has. So feel free to keep doing what you're doing.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:11 am

I shall, thank you!..

Though it's not news exactly, I found this (older) piece on polling from the AP very interesting.
One thing I've often had to fight off is the persistent belief that polls were wrong. In many cases, statewide, they were off - though part of that was due to midterms disengagement... Among other potential factors.

In terms of raw numbers, however, we've seen accuracy increase yearly. It'll be interesting to see how this goes, especially with an apparent surge in early voters - myself amongst them.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:34 am

Right, that's a good point. Nate Silver's covered this a couple of times:

The Media Has A Probability Problem
The Polls are All Right

Some important state polls were way off, and of course the way our elections work is that some states are much more important in determining the outcome of a presidential election than others. But overall, the polls were as accurate as ever.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned here. One is, I wish people understood probability better. FiveThirtyEight gave Trump a 30% chance of winning (and there were media outlets at the time pillorying them for giving him that high of a chance), based mostly on polling data. If the weather forecast says there's a 30% chance of rain, and then it rains, that doesn't mean the weather forecast was wrong.

But there are, of course, other points to consider, and reasons why 2018 is not 2016. Chiefly: polling agencies are built for national polls. The smaller and more local a race is, the less likely its polls are to be accurate. I'm not saying we shouldn't look to the polls to determine the probability of a given outcome, but I'm absolutely saying that we shouldn't use them to determine whether we should vote (we should) or who we should vote for (your answers will vary; I've shared mine over in the Arizona thread).

Yes, polls are showing Democrats have very high odds of taking the House, and very low odds of taking the Senate. You should still vote, and you should still vote Democratic. (I am not a fan of Kyrsten Sinema, but I'm damn-well voting for her. I'm not the kind of guy who typically votes a straight-Democratic ticket, but 2018 is not a typical year.)

States like Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas are all in play this year. Even if they're longshots, that's got major implications, well beyond the Senate.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:02 am

My own political journey was pretty hilarious, and might make for a funny tale elsewhere. But now, this is all hands on deck. I know a lot of people, so I've been pulling in favours to get people to vote straight democratic, and democratic-leaning nonpartisans where races are nonpartisan. I'm dead serious when (in the Canada thread) I mentioned Alaska's governorship + the removal of Don Young as being things that could happen. And if we're fighting in every race, it means more ground we can afford to lose... And more we can potentially win.

I also need to thank you for reminding me that .538 exists. I get frustrated with their punditry, but their poll aggregating is quite useful! Anyway, one thing that hasn't changed since I was a silver-tongued(?) Dubya apologist...

Every. Election. Matters.
I have lived in communities where elections have been decided by handfuls of votes, I think the lowest I know of was eight. Eight votes! That's one or two families!

Some of those races were in areas that were so deep into one party that it was unbelievable they'd ever be competitive - until, suddenly, they were. So we might as well fight until the dawn claims us... And roll the dice.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:43 pm

Yeah, Silver is great at number-crunching and lousy as a pundit (he was flogging his "Susan Collins is going to become a Democrat" hot take right up until her vote to confirm Kavanaugh).

I'll cop to drinking his "Trump can't win the primary, it's going to be Jeb or Rubio" Kool-Aid in '16. It's true that primary polls aren't always accurate (just ask Dean and Giuliani), but they were that time.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby WingSounds » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:14 pm

Nothing to be ashamed of from mistakes, or even just misestimates. I'd much rather be wrong and grow from it then 'perfectly correct;' and I am always wary of anyone who sells themselves as such.

Don't know if it's directly related to the election, might be better in 'Our Collapsing Civilisation' but - apparently, explosive devices were intended for Soros, the Clintons, and Obama. Possibly CNN as well.
Hoo...

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:48 pm

Yeah, saw the Soros story last night and woke up to find it was a lot more than just him.
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Yoji » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:13 pm

And the worst part of the Twitterpit is happy with it all, of course.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I often wonder what these people's mothers would think if they saw them acting like that.
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Re: Election 2018

Postby François » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:28 pm

I see people being somewhat surprised at Republicans condemning those responsible, but all it really reveals is that the big pipe bomb lobby hasn't gotten to them yet.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Brentai » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:03 pm

It is surprising because we're conditioned to expect the trashiest response possible from Trump and Co., but it's not really confusing. Implicating even slightly that it's open season on political enemies is one of the few things that might actually lead to direct and painful consequences in their suddenly-shortened lifetimes.

There's a vague hope that this situation might possibly put what the fuck they've all done to this nation's mindset into terms they can relate to, buuut I'm not confident.
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