Bernie Can’t Govern

Yes, Bernie is the popular bandwagon of the week.  Big deal.  I LIKE Bernie. I do.

A REAL WORLD WAKE UP CALL:

But Bernie is the guy who didn’t see fit to BE a Democrat for at least 2 terms.  Not until he decided to try to hijack the Democratic Party by running for President. He’s like the Tea Party, just on the Left instead of the bat shit crazy Right.

Bernie moved to Vermont in 1968, and he wasn’t there five years before he decided that he was running for the US Senate and governor and NOT as a Democrat.  Apologies to all the Bernie lovers out there, but that makes Bernie a carpetbagger.

After stints – still as an Independent  – as mayor of Burlington and in the US House, he decided to run again for the Senate – as an Independent in 2006, replacing the OTHER Vermont Independent, Jim Jeffords (a true hero of mine).  Bernie chose to run as an Independent, even though there was NO Democrat on the ballot.  IOW, Bernie could have become a Democrat THEN, in 2006, but he thought he was too good for the Democrats.

So, though Bernie has caucused with the Democrats for 9 years now in the Senate, Bernie never decided to BE a Democrat until he decided to run for President, just in 2015.  Democrats weren’t good enough for Bernie.  But when Bernie wants to be President, Bernie  decided to carpetbag it again.  Opportunism, thy name is Bernie. Continue reading

Is Science Difficult?

 

I was “good” at science and math in school, and that ended up helping me to a decent career and fairly prosperous life.  But being “good at science” in school is not why I like science now.  I think the world got off on the wrong foot about science, and I think I know one of the moments when that happened.

Remember the tale of Thomas Edison and him trying something like 2,000 different things before finding something that would work for a filament?

Well, the world was SO enamored of Edison and his wonderful, persevering on the incandescent light, but that was a terrible moment for most people.  It was the PERFECT public face to put on for a certain type of people, about both inventing and science, but not for the rest of us.  They sent – and KEEP sending this message:

BEWARE!  INVENTING IS HARD! SCIENCE IS HARD!  ONLY SPECIAL PEOPLE CAN DO THIS!  Only the astute and clever need apply!  The rest of you shits, go away!

Between you and me and the fly on the wall, I think it is more or less the opposite:

Science is rather accommodating, actually.  Inventing and science are hard for those who have no flexibility of mind and no imagination (yes, such people exist) – the clerks of the world.  PARTS of both inventing and science are FOR the weenies of the world, those who are essentially clerks – the plodders who just want to fill in blansk on forms.  Well science has solitary offices or cubicles in basements for that kind of people, but they should never call them full-fledged scientists.  They are more like science clerks – those who love to do drudge work..  They are the butterfly collectors and stamp collectors and accountants.

But science for some is actually FUN.  That is what underlies the popularity of alternate researchers and their books, people like Graham Hancock and Christopher Dunn.  These individuals wake up in people the idea that science can be FUN.  Discovery IS fun.

Science is discovery.  For each student, science will come to him, ONCE HE SEES THAT THE PUZZLES AND CONUNDRUMS ARE FUN TO THINK ABOUT.

Each one needs to open that discovery door for himself.  No teacher can do it for him.  And when he does – when discovery comes a-knocking – he will to some degree be hooked for life.

Science itself is CONNECTIONS, making connections, both mentally and even in the physical world.  It’s all about seeing connections and making them real.  Learning how to connect CANNOT be taught in a classroom aimed at the average mentality. It can ONLY be taught by a one-on-one mentor or by one’s self. Occasionally a classroom teacher will take a kid under his/her wing and with special attention help this happen.  But normally it’s one-on-one or a self-didact (self-taught person).  Only light bulbs going off in a person’s head can make that happen for him.  Until one discovers how COOL it is to see some connection that was hidden a moment before, a person doesn’t know how much fun science IS.

But it is amazing how much clerical there is in science, as it is formulated today.  So much to bore, so much to repel, so much to fend off the imaginations of the people of the world.  So much to keep it to the ivory tower people who hide behind the “IT’S SO HARD!” smoke screen.

The alternate researchers have done it right, in spite of themselves.  They simply put interesting facts and surmises on bookshelves (both literal and cyber).  And the readers either get off on it or don’t.  MANY DO.

Schools, by externally demanding memorization, and with comparison testing (kids vs their peers), schools miss the mark.  There IS no demand in science – except the internal demand to discover and wonder.

The scientist in each person wakes up a little bit every time there is a problem at home or in the office with computers or light bulbs or lighting pilot lights or mixing mortar for a small brick wall or building a shed.  All those entail physics or chemistry or electricity, all of which are parts of science.  Solving practical problems around the house or office are all experiments.  And we grow smarter every time we solve one of those.  For good reason we pat ourselves on the backs for having solved those real world problems.

And when you hare about a new puzzle in science, go ahead and think about it, what kind of solution might be out there.   It’s okay to exercise your brain a bit, and when the solution is found later (many are), then you will be able to appreciate the solution all that much more.  The world becomes a little better place when “even” normal people think about these things.

“NATIONAL REVIEW EVISCERATES DONALD TRUMP” open for comments

Over at Electoral-Vote.org, they have the following, which I will comment on and face palm myself many times over…

Some of these are unbelievable if true.  It is self-explanatory.  I take on faith that the summaries are correct.  E-V is not set up for comments.

National Review Eviscerates Donald Trump

The flagship publication of the conservative movement, National Review, which was founded by the late William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1955 (in New York, of all places), came out yesterday with essays by 22 conservative authorspummeling Donald Trump. Here is an executive summary, organized by the main thesis of each essay: Continue reading

Why Have Recent Polls Been So Wrong?… Maybe They Should Try Polling Registered Voters (DUH)

Over at my Go To election campaign coverage website at Electoral-Vote.org there was this yesterday (Jan 13):

Why Have Recent Polls Been So Wrong?
Polls in places as disparate as Israel, the U.K., and Kentucky were way off last year. Pollsters still want to know why. Pew Research Center, which also does polling, has carried out an investigation and come to some conclusions. What it did was look at one of its 2014 polls more closely. In particular, from the polling data, it knows who it selected out as a likely voter and who was labeled an unlikely voter. Then it got the file of people who actually voted and matched it against its own poll to see how well its likely voter screen worked.

It appears that the main source of error in the poll was the likely voter screen. Asking people if they plan to vote turns out not to be a good predictor of whether they will vote or not. In particular, Democrats have a tendency to tell pollsters they will vote and then don’t vote, which leads to “surprising” Republican victories. Also a factor is people who changed their mind after talking to the pollster, but that probably is a smaller factor. Knowing what the problem is doesn’t solve the problem going forward, of course. On the other hand, it is good to know that low response rates and the large number of people who don’t have a landline weren’t the core problems. (V)

The voter screen, the voter screen, the voter screen, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah…

DUH

[First of all, I don’t give a rat’s ass about polling for primaries.  I am talking about polling for Election Day.]

[We all have some curiosity about voting machine reliability, but we also are not talking about THAT today.]

I will simply address the polling non-reliability based on my last post.  In that, the voter turnout for people who were actually citizens AND registered to vote in the last Presidential year, 2012, was 86.81% nationally.  States varied from West Virginia’s 70.26% to the 90.26% in Colorado, a swing state.  The median was 87.75% in Hawaii.

With 7 out of every 8 REGISTERED voters actually casting a ballot in 2012, I cannot see one reason AT ALL why anyone has a problem with polling and getting good results.  You find 1,000 registered voters, sorted only for demographic balance (which no one admits to being their problem) , and of those you can expect 87% to vote come Election Day.  And if 87% vote, your poll is going to be damned close.  With only 1 out of 8 registered voters NOT voting, how can you possibly get it far wrong?

SO, IT IS ONLY NECESSARY TO GO BY REGISTERED VOTER LISTS.  The proper demographics within that population should be a piece of cake – men, women, blacks, Democrats, Republicans, white, Asian, Hispanic – everything but dogs and cats mating in the streets.  Using the latest percentages of each to select which voters to poll – that should be about the easiest thing in the world.

Adjustments per state should, of course,be made, too.  Basically that means that in West Virginia the uncertainty is higher, but other than that, WTF is the problem?

Now, a full 40 million fewer voters voted in the off-year 2014 election, down from 132 million to 92 million nationwide.  That put the natinoal average at 64.89% of REGISTERED voters.  So in off-year elections, the uncertainty gets larger.

But I dare any of the polling firms to come up with more reliable indicators of WHO will actually go to vote.

I mean, WHAT THE HELL? We read that this polling firm prefers phone polls and that one prefers online polls.  HOW can that POSSIBLY be more reliable than building a database of ACTUAL voters from previous elections, adding new registered voters to that database – and then use THAT to select who to poll?

I tells ya, folks, this ain’t perzackly rockit science, ya know?

 

THE BIG LIE ABOUT VOTER TURNOUT (I MEAN IT)

Wow.  If you are like me, you probably think that voter turnout in America is bad.

And I think that a lot of people reading this blog entry are going to think I am really stupid and uninformed.  But bear with me.  I learned something and maybe you will, too.

SO, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT VOTER TURNOUT IN THE USA IS SHIT.

RIGHT?

WRONG.

And SO WRONG we should all be ripping new assholes at every news source in America. IMHO.

What would you say if I told you that voter turnout in the USA in 2012 was 86.81%?

Hmmm. . . I even have it down to two decimal-places, don’t I?   YEP.

Here is the first tidbit, the BIG tidbit, the Big Enchilada:

In the last Presidential Election year, 2012, 71.2% of the population was registered to vote, and of those then eligible to cast a vote on Election Day, 86.81% went to the polls and voted

If I asked you to pull ONE important number out of that sentence, what would it be?

If your brain works like mine does, you’d pick out the 86.81%.

But exactly what does that sentence mean?

First off, it says that of U.S. citizens only 23 out of every 32 (71.2%) registers to vote.  Obviously that says that 9 out of 32 doesn’t register, for whatever reason.

That reason might be that they simply don’t want to participate.  Or that they have forgotten to register.  Or it could mean that they don’t understand about voting.  OR it even could be that someone is suppressing their right to vote, whether through draconian red tape or perhaps by intimidation or misinformation – or, as the GOP has been pushing, a lack of proper identification.  There are certainly other reasons. Continue reading

It Is a Time for Just Watching the Ship Go Down

Over at Campaign for America’s Future, in New Year’s Resolution: Civic Action to Fix Our Democracy, they are arguing for us to use civilized methods to undo the damage of the Republican theft of America.  They in particular want to undo Citizens United.  I wrote:
Citizens United is a special case and WILL be dealt with.
 
In terms of both that being overturned and civic action in general, from what I am seeing, the disintegration of the Republican Party is making the latter almost unnecessary, while also making the tenor of the times TO COME better for doing the former.
 
I just got a belly laugh, thinking of Antonin Scalia rolling over in his future grave when his ghost realizes that so much of what he had so goddamned staunchly twisted, legally, will be undone in the coming 20 years.
 
The real fact is that America’s citizenry does NOT support free-market greed at the expense of the middle class, no matter HOW much CNN and FOX and ABC and CBS have cow-towed to that bogus philosophy.
 
It has been an anomalous time, since 1994, when Newt Gingrich rolled out his welcome mat for the Christian fundamentalists. it was a coalition made in hell, but no one noticed it, because the fundies for most of those 22 years have not opened their eyes at how the business Republicans were using them at election time and not even throwing them SCRAPS in legislation.
 
In fact, one might even argue that the Republican stoppage of all bills through Congress has even bought the business Repugs time. But whatever time they gained, they’ve not been able to forestall the inevitable:
 
The fundies woke UP.  The Tea Party is the result, and since the TP is within the GOP, the Bizrepugs are simply being FORCED to cut off their hands to spit their faces. Or leave, themselves.
 
I saw this coming SO VERY LONG AGO, this wake-up and the repercussions and the rebellion and the hijacking and the gnashing of teeth (which won’t do any good).
 
“The enemy of my enemy is not only NOT my friend, but the bastard WILL stab me in the back some day.”
 
That time approaches, and there is nothing anyone outside it can do. And nothing the BizRepugs can do, either. The parting of the ways is almost upon us, and like WWI and Hitler, the ones controlling how it goes are all bat shit crazy. So, don’t expect anything less than a Reagan-ian Apocalypse. All that Reagan and his handlers have tried to do in the last 35 years is coming to naught, taken down by the very allies that allowed them to extend Reaganomics, that silly voodoo that you do, so well, St Ronnie.
 
So, the plantation owners who’ve been living in the mansion are being overrun by their sharecroppers. The Trailer Trash Coalition (I can say that since I am from the edge of the Ozarks myself) is coming apart at the seams, and all good civics students for the time being need only sit by and watch – and look sane.
 
Looking sane in the coming months will make the Dems so VERY attractive to not only Hispanics and blacks and women, but also to all those true independents. Garnering THEM will give Hillary (or Bernie) coattails of Rooseveltian proportions. She/he already has the Blue Wall and 75% of the swing states. There simply aren’t enough crazies and stupids in those states. The Republican effort to en-stupid America didn’t quite happen fast enough. Anyone not bat shit crazy will vote Democrat in November.
 
AFTER the slaughter – THAT is the time to assess when to undo Citizens United, to re-start the regulatory agencies, and to take back America. The future looks so rosy, and no one seems to see it. SCOTUS changed, due to a Dem Senate and Dem President – probably for the nest 16 years, if not 32. THAT is where Citizens United will be changed. There is precedence, I understand, for undoing SCOTUS decisions (Japanese internment camps).
 
Stop thinking of the GOP as business and Tea Party. The divorce is just around the corner. They each hate each other now more than they hate Democrats. And their Big Tent – who is going to get the Big Tent? When they split, it won’t matter. When there are three parties – and there will be – the Dems will win elections with 43% (like Bill did) when 43% used to be a loser number. Think of a HUGE majority in the Senate. And the House will not be far behind. 2020 is a re-apportionment and re-districting election. Gerrymandering is being attacked on all sides. In 5-6 years we might even have fairly normal House districts, even. THAT needs civic action, yes!
 
But the big Kahuna – the split in the GOP – that is up to the Hitler Tea Party and the rich guys who will never have enough voters to control Congress again in my lifetime or yours. Who really votes for parasitic aristocrats? Newt pulled and end around, but it is coming back to stab them in the back.
 
And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of parasites and trailer trash.
 
Hahahaha – who would EVER have thought they could find someone DUMBER than Dubya? And then DUMBER even than Palin?
 
Trailer trash has no business even THINKING about being in the White House.

Continue reading

No Duh… We Are in the Midst of Seeing a Party Get Hijacked

See my blog posts at

The Simple Fix for the Republican Party, vis-a-vis the Tea Party (OCT 2013),

THE GOP and Their Trailer Trash Problem (DEC 2013),

Strange Thoughts on Politics – Is the GOP Screwed (DEC 2015)?

Let’s begin now…

Electoral-vote.org  today has a short article titled “Could the Republican Party Split?

That links to  this NY Times article:  For Republicans, Mounting Fears of Lasting Split.  If the NYT is finally covering it, it must be almost the final showdown.

This is exactly what I’ve been telling people at least since Mitt Romney’s loss 3 years ago, and maybe all the way back to 2010 when the Tea Party exploded onto the scene. I wold have told people before that, but I had no confidence that the trailer trash people would ever wake up to what the GOP was doing with them.  I always saw the question plain as day:

How can these people keep on voting against their own self interest???!

I don’t think it takes a Nostradamus to have seen the handwriting on the wall. Since Newt Gingrich’s 1994 coup in garnering the allegiance of the Christian fundamentalists, it seemed only a matter of time before some of the trailer trash folks realized that they were being used every election cycle for their votes but ignored when it came time to composing bills in Congress. Continue reading