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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Precision


People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.
Blaise Pascal, De l'art de persuader


I admit to some amusement.

It’s not funny, of course, but still…

I’ve listened to the press and the pundits and the politicians arguing these last few days over “who won the shutdown.”

Who won the shutdown.

Nancy Pelosi won! Huzzah! Huzzah! Cry the liberals.

No. No. It was Donald Trump! MAGA! MAGA! Shout the conservatives.

As if we had just spent thirty-five days watching a sporting match of some sort. With no consequences. Nobody cares about the war, it’s the victor! That’s what matters. Sure. Like in Man of Steel, when Superman and General Zod battle in the final climatic scene … and utterly destroyed an entire city. The fight between these two killed tens of thousands, wreaking destruction on the scale of a nuclear bomb. And the audience was cheering Supe’s victory. Cheering. Because the destruction didn’t matter. The people who died were nameless extras, irrelevant to the supposed righteousness of the battle, irrelevant to the morality of it.

Deaths off camera don’t count.

And I’m thinking, yeah, congratulations oh Son of Krypton, but a few more wins like that …


I dunno, maybe it’s just me.


I can’t say with any certainty who won this shutdown battle. I can, however, tell you who lost.

We did.

America did.

This failure of government has become the norm.

That’s where we are. Legislation by deadlock. Government by failure. As if we’re stockholders judging the productivity of a company we’re invested in by how often the workforce goes out on strike. And when it’s over and the factory starts clunking along, we don’t care how much business we lost or how much further into debt the battle drove the company, we don’t care about the loss of experience that got sick of it and walked away to find employment with our competitors. No. We only care that Management or Labor (depending on which one is your team) won. Huzzah!

But that’s not what amuses me.

No, the part that makes me laugh are those who seem to think this battle is over. That they “won” and that’s it and that’s all.

The government is starting back up, my team won, and now it’s business as usual.

It’s not the conflict that matters, only the victor.

Until the next battle.

But, of course, it’s not really over.

Is it?

Trump this morning:



Look at that.
"58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID! @Fox&Friends."

58,000 non-citizens, he says.

58,000 thousand fraudulent voters, just in Texas.

That's what he said. And according to Trump, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all over the country, non-citizens voting in our elections. And most especially in, of course, California.

A few minutes later, Trump tweeted this:


"We are not even into February and the cost of illegal immigration so far this year is $18,959,495,168. Cost Friday was $603,331,392. There are at least 25,772,342 illegal aliens, not the 11,000,000 that have been reported for years, in our Country. So ridiculous! DHS"

$18,959,495,168.

That's a VERY specific number.

I mean, he's got it down to the dollar.

The exact dollar. $18,959,495,168. We can't even calculate how much the Pentagon has spent this year to within several orders of magnitude of that precision. But he's got the cost of illegal aliens in America down to the last dollar.

And not just that, he knows the exact number of illegal aliens currently resident in America.

25,772,342 illegal aliens.

Not only does Trump have the cost down to the very last dollar, he got the number of illegal aliens down to very the last individual.

Right?

I mean, that's what he said. He gave those very, very specific numbers.

That’s astounding.

No. No, it’s not the values themselves that are astonishing, but rather the precision.

How is that possible?

No, really, how is that even possible? Like at all?

Where the hell did the President of the United States get this information? That’s incredible. Do you see it? Do you understand the implications of this precision? I mean, where did this information come from? How would you even compile such data with such accuracy? No, don't look away, answer the question: HOW? WHO? WHERE? What even is the methodology for such calculations? I mean, in order to count legal – cooperative – citizens we have to do a census of the entire nation, top to bottom. And that is such a massive undertaking that we only do it every ten years. It takes tens of thousands of census collectors called Enumerators, divided among six geographic regions, and thousands of permanent employees at the Census Bureau (more than 4000 alone at the Bureau's Headquarters in Maryland at the Department of Commerce's Suitland complex). It takes months of knocking on doors and asking questions. And then it takes many more months, years, to compile and process and interpret the data. The last Census was in 2010 and cost nearly $15 billion dollars and we're still processing the data nine years later. Hell, that processing this year alone, 2019, will cost over $4 billion. And with all that money and effort there is a significant margin of error. The US Census Bureau's standard of acceptable accuracy is a 90% confidence level. That's right. 90%. I mean all the assets and effort of the Census bureau can’t get us down to any better than 90%.

Ninety percent.

And Trump has the number of illegal aliens in America down to the very last individual?

The cost of illegal immigration down to the very last dollar?

How did he do that?


Who gathered the information?

How did they collect it?

When did they collect it?

Who paid for it? Because there's no entry in the federal budget, I looked.

What agency processed this information with zero margin of error? Because that's a degree of information precision beyond even the best analytical methods currently available.

That’s astounding. Forget illegal immigrants, let’s talk about that precision.

This reminds me of that episode of JAG, "Shadow," where a contractor launches an experimental torpedo from a US submarine during an exercise. Only the torpedo is actually equipped with a live warhead and the contractor threatens to blow up a cruise ship unless the US government pays him some paltry ransom, a couple million dollars, maybe a billion, whatever. And I'm watching this thing, right? And the torpedo is a) controlled via a laptop with no visible means of communication through the steel hull of the submarine and then through miles of water (radio waves of any reasonable frequency can't travel through water, certainly not in any wavelength broadcast via an antenna small enough to fit into a 1990’s laptop. Holy shit! This guy has discovered a whole new principle of physics!) and b) the torpedo is capable of cruising submerged for days following a cruise ship (which averages around 20 knots. Meaning this torpedo must have a power plant capable of sustained endurance at high speed that all fits into a package no bigger than a standard sized US Navy torpedo. That's an energy density beyond ANYTHING I've ever heard of. Even theoretically. Again, holy shit! This contractor has discovered an entirely new principle of physics, chemistry, energy, and a dozen other sciences).

Governments, companies, investors would throw bales of money the size of aircraft carriers at him for that technology.

What the hell is this guy doing with petty extortion? He could go into business and make many millions of times anything he could get blowing up a cruise ship.

Where am I going with this? Beyond a digression into idiotic TV shows about SEAL lawyers who are also Top Gun fighter jocks?

Well, see, this precision Trump displays up above, is this a government capability? Or is it contracted work?

Because if we actually are capable of this kind of precision in the measuring of human populations and the specific costs of the particulars of those same populations, then ... well, GODDAMN! EUREKA! POP OPEN THE CHAMPAGNE! I mean the implications of being able to count and sort people to that degree – especially ones that trying to hide from you – well, you’ll have governments, business, investors, universities lined up twenty deep for access to that kind of data. Because whoever controls that capability could make trillions, far beyond what Trump says illegals cost us every year.

So, where did this information come from? This precision.

Show your work.

And when I say, "show your work" I don't mean a link to Fox & Friends or One America News. I mean show me the raw data from this amazing accredited source, validated by at least one other independent data line.

Well, where is it?

Let's see it.

Oh, but it gets better.

Trump says 58,000 people voted illegally in Texas alone and he says that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Really?

I mean, really?

The president said it so it must be true. Right?

I mean he wouldn’t lie, would he? Would put out bad data, would he?

Never mind that Trump's own Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, run by xenophobic rightwing hardliners Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, couldn't find evidence of even a single case of voter fraud. It must be true. Trump believes it.

And really, Texas? Fucking Texas. Of all states, Texas, right? 58,000 illegal voters voted in Texas elections?

If you say so, Hoss.

And they voted for who?



Illegals vote for Democrats.

In Texas.

58,000 of them. Right?

Okay. Sure. Fair enough. I'm willing to be persuaded. Show me the evidence. Show me 1) proof that illegal immigrants vote, 2) in significant numbers, and 3) that they vote all vote democrat.

Show me validated Texas voting records.

Show me. Let's see the evidence.

Well?

But let's say this was true.

Sure, let's take Trump at his word and say this was actually true and he can prove it.

It’s true and he can prove it to the degree of precision specified in his Tweet this morning.

It's not, but let's say it was.

Well, then the election is invalid.

That's right.

The election is invalid. At least in Texas.

The election must be declared invalid. And thus, the 38 Electoral College votes that went to Trump from Texas are likewise invalid.

Yes, they must be. Even the Texas Attorney General agrees:



Ken Paxton is the Texas Attorney General.

He is personally and constitutionally responsible for voting integrity in Texas.

He says “VOTER FRAUD.” 58,000 illegal voters.

That’s what he said.

That makes any election in Texas, particularly 2016’s General Election invalid.

So, let’s invalidate it. Let’s throw out the votes from Texas. I mean both Texas and Donald Trump agree the vote is tainted. Can’t be trusted.

Invalidate the vote. Throw it out. Along with Texas’s 38 Electoral College votes.

Which would give Trump 268 Electoral College votes instead of 306.

You need 270 Electoral votes to win the Presidency.

Trump himself just said that his own electoral victory is a fraud.

Yes he did.

That is precisely what he just said. And he was quoting the Texas Attorney General, who likewise says his state's election integrity can't be trusted.

That's what they said.

So, throw out the election and let's start over.

I'm hip. Let's take him at his word.

The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.
D.L. Moody

58 comments:

  1. Wouldn't that just be delicious?

    Unfortunately, of course, Trump and his ilk are comfortably united in their disdain for anything resembling a rational, legal consequence for their own bullshit behavior.

    Rules are for the common man. Trump wants to be king.

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  2. Someone in texas needs to file a law suit over this and the '18 election It should be entertaining. I say call their bluff.

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  3. What I see as MAGA, is a Moscow Agent Governing America. it is his goal to destroy our democracy. He and his cronies have created the issues we having. He stated he would shut down the government for years. There would be rioting in the streets, he is a wanna be tyrant from the days of old. his days are number and our courts will lay all his shit bare.

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  4. Great essay, Jim. Trump has lied so much that it would be impossible to tell if he ever issues a truth. His flock, yes flock because they are apparently all sheep, will never question his lies. Even if they know and believe he's lying they can never admit it. They have too much invested in their delusions to ever admit just how wrong they've been. Now the RNC is going to prevent a primary challenge to Trump and his lemmings will follow him to disaster.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not so sure he even has a concept of what "truth" even IS. He strikes me as the kind of huckster who honestly believes that literally everyone is trying to deceive and swindle everybody else, and that the ones we know about were just stupid enough to get caught.

      It's been painfully clear this whole time that this is how his mind works, and yet people voted for him anyway.

      What Republicans wanted: A President who runs the government like a business. Efficient, no wasted money, etc.
      What Republicans got: A President who runs the government the way Donald Trump runs a business. And that's why all of this is so horrifying.

      Be careful what you wish for, GOP.

      Delete
  5. .....but, but, butter emails!!!

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  6. Have you ever read the TVtropes.com website? There's a page there called "Cut Lex Luthor a Check" full of that exact same situation in multiple TV shows and movies. :D

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  7. File these tweets in the drawer with Prayer Rugs Found in Desert and Duct Taped Women in Windowless Coyote Vans.

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  8. I suspect that Trump can not imagine a real American (or anyone else) not liking and approving of him. I mean, he loves himself. Those nice folks at Fox and Friends are great. All of the people that he pays or have put in power are just lovely. If there are people who don't like him, who voted for someone else, they must be unamerican, traitors or in the service of his rivals (who presumably admire him and are just jealous). While the numbers and conclusions do not stand up to rational analysis for a moment, they confirm his beliefs. And he believes in his beliefs. He has the best beliefs and Fox and his direct reports all tell him that so it must be true. I honestly don't think that he knows that he is lying. He believes that he is telling the greater truth and that facts that contradict him are to be disregarded. I can only think that he has lost any reasonable grasp of reality. And he has nuclear weapons. And that is something that keeps me up at night.

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    1. That is the exact same thnking the religious fundamantalists use to back up their "proofs" of god. Anybody who disagrees with them is a jealous enemy or deluded.

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    2. Or the old Soviet Union, come to that. Communism involves faith as much as any religion does.

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    3. Not surprising considering the near identity of the union with the intersection of the two sets.

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    4. Fair point, well made. In a way, I admire the work of the FSB here. They have effective control over the only real super power without having had to fire a single shot. If those guys are not up for serious bonuses, they should be.

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  9. Grammar nitpicking:
    invalid the election should be invalidate the election
    "very last dollar, he it's got..." should be "but he's got..."

    Excellent job of drilling down, as usual. Thank you for your writings, sir.

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  10. Damn straight I agree with you on this let's have another election for 2016 has been shown invalid by the GOP and Trump! Called consequences for choices just like raising little children.

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  11. I would pay many US dollars to see his reply to you. You aren't holding out on us, are you?

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  12. Oh how I love the twist in the ending of this article. Please, oh please, oh please make that so! (Won't happen will it, though it should.)

    That this govt shutdown can happen at all is extraordinary and wouldn't occur in most other nations where more reasonable governance systems are in place. In most democratic nations a situation like this simply would not be allowed to happen and would trigger very rapidly a new election for President / PM / Congress / Parliament or both as the case may be. For example, in Australia's Whitlam govt supply crisis of 1975, our Governor-General (very controversially but effectively) stepped in and sacked the PM and new elections happened. The fact that this keeps happening and doing enormous damage shows (again for the what-teenth-time already now?) how badly the USA needs a constitutional amendment to prevent this exact govt shutdown scenario.

    The USA also in my (Aussie*) opinion badly needs to scrap the Electoral College because when American citizens in Wyoming have votes that count for more than three and a half times more than the votes of Californians then yeah, that's not Democracy & very much not fair or right either.

    (See William Petrocelli's article titled "Voters In Wyoming Have 3.6 Times The Voting Power That I Have. It’s Time To End The Electoral College" and published online 11/10/2016 04:52 pm ET Updated Nov 11, 2017.)

    The USA also absolutely needs preferential or run off voting too to stop third party spoilers like Nader, that 2016 election libertarian fool whose name I've forgotten and Jill Stein from robbing candidates supposedly on their side of politics from gaining office.

    There are other political reforms that the USA sorely needs - ending gerrymandering and racist voter suppression laws, changing the inconsistent and corrupted voting mechanisms, having a recall provision for when elections are clearly corrupted and dubious, etc .. too but these three :

    Making govt shutdowns trigger new elections, preferential / run off election voting and abolishing the Electoral College and simply equally counting all votes cast are the most obvious and necessary steps to start.

    Please Americans, please can you work on getting these political reforms happening?

    * The whole world is powerfully influenced and affected by what the USA does. Australia more so than most, we're not just allies, not merely a nation that's outsourced its foreign affairs policies pretty much entirely to the US, we're like lambs trotting after a mother sheep as my high school history teacher once put it. The USA and its politics affects me, affects much of the world and so stuff like this, well, if you're going to get to say how other countries are run (Cough, Venezuela currently the latest in long list of others)- and much of the US seems to want just that - then others in other nations should fairly get to suggest some changes to your non-democracy too, yeah?

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    1. As a Canadian, I've been wondering for a while why America doesn't have the vote of non-confidence option? It shouldn't take years and years to end a government that is so obviously not working.

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    2. The problem is that constitutional amendments require a 2/3 vote in Congress and approval by 3/4 of the states. That's a very high bar to meet. The states with below-average populations are not going to approve of an amendment to reduce their electoral clout.

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    3. This Millennial is dismayed at the fact that it's only been 5 years since a government shutdown went from "this has never happened before, it's inconceivable, why would anyone do that" to "business as usual for the GOP."

      When I was a kid they at least bothered to pretend they gave a damn.

      Delete
  13. Live this. Clear, concise, complete and cogent. Truly a gifted writer. Thank you.

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  14. While I get your point and would love a do-over, I have seen these numbers quoted over and over by many people but only once have I seen anyone add the qualifier: "over 22 years." As many as 58,000 illegal votes may have been cast in one or more elections since 1996. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-politics/2019/01/25/texas-top-election-official-since-1996-tens-thousands-non-citizens-voted-state-elections

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    1. And, as if that weren't questionable enough, there's this (from the article): "However, in an advisory to election administrators and voter registrars on Friday, the secretary of state's director of elections said that 95,000 non-citizens with matching voter registrations should be considered "WEAK" matches. The advisory used all capital letters." The AGs office is also refusing to disclose their methodology. Which is usually a bad sign.

      Delete
  15. Thread by @TexasTribune: "1/ You might be seeing headlines or tweets tonight that claim Texas says 58,000 non-citizens have voted in Text is not what the state has said. Here is what we know. bit.ly/2FYc5lQ 2/ The secretary of state' […]" #txlege https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1088961160253267969.html

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  16. Whenever I tell the joke about the husband store, I give a very precise number for how many women have visited the 7th Floor. My wife always thinks that's the funniest part.

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  17. OK, people, enough laughing at Spanky and his supporters over this. Ask yourself: when he declares a state of emergency, won't this be one of the reasons he gives? And what emergency measures do you think he'll take in order to fix it? A wall obviously won't help; these fraudsters are already here and voting. Hmm....what to do.....

    This is no laughing matter. "Illegal aliens" and all their deviltry are shaping up to be our Reichstag Fire.

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    1. This is precisely my fear, and I think it will become reality when the next election is approaching--the timing of the build-up is rigbt for that. Remember--this man reads Mein Kampf. These are the particulars you keep the opposition reeling from, so the big picture of what you are doing gets missed. Look at the larger pattern, too--we are not out of the woods yet (if we are *lucky* we may be in the Ardennes).

      Mr Wright, I appreciate your mind, and am glad you read SF too--it makes visualizing sweeping changes in the world more conceivable, which is part of the power of your words. Thank you for your own precision.

      Delete
  18. I do believe, Sir Jim, that you have proven Trump to be an illegitimate President.

    Typo alerts:
    - Paragraph beginning "58,000 thousand fraudulent voters, ..." - *'thousand' is redundant*
    - Paragraph beginning "Not only does Trump have the cost down ... he it's got the number ..." - *he's got*
    - Paragraph beginning "Where the hell did the President of the United States ... (more than 4000 alone at the Bureau's... - *missing the closed bracket*
    - Paragraph beginning "Because if we actually are capable ...- especially ones that trying to hide... - *are trying to hide*
    - Paragraph beginning "I mean, he wouldn't lie, would he? Would put out bad data ... " *Wouldn't put out bad data*
    - Paragraph/Sentence "And they voted for who?" - *whom* (sorry if this is an irritating correction)
    - Paragraph beginning "Okay. Sure. Fair enough ... 3) that they vote all vote democrat." - *delete extra 'vote'*
    - Paragraph beginning "So let's invalid it. Let's throw it out." - *invalidate*
    - Paragraph/sentence "Invalid the vote. Throw it out." - *invalidate*

    (No need to post comment.)

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  19. I honestly think 45 just puts random numbers together that look good to him. It’s a bit like trying to guess the car prices on The Price Is Right. Everyone knows that MSRPs from automakers end in odd combos like $XX,716.00, never nice round ones like $XX,800.00 or $XX,450.00. I’m sure he thinks making them that random makes them “credible”.

    However, as the daughter of one of Wisconsin’s highest level statisticians until 1980, I know that Mom would be calling bullshit every time he tweeted, if she were still with us. Statistics were her life’s work. I can only imagine what she’d be saying about this buffoon.

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    1. I recall William Safire recounting an incident during his days as Nixon's speechwriter, where they were working on an announcement for something with a $20 million budget. The project had an honest-to-God $20 million price tag, nearly to the penny. He told Nixon they had to change the number because nobody would believe it came out to such an even figure.

      Delete
  20. And the numbers in the first two tweets were complied when? Numbers for the cost of "illegals" in January were crunched by whom, given the shut down? I think you for your work keeping track of bs like this, as teaching middle school is enough of a job for me, I can't keep up with kinderPresident wrangling as well.

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    1. WHAT!! You did not know that the government pays for individual persons outside each poling place and grocery store in every town to interview and ask people if they are illegal and how they are voting and what groceries they are buying?? This is all entered into a satalite system and sent to the computer on trump's desk in the oval office so that he can hourly monitor the numbers and alert the American people!! The remarkable part is that 2,346,811 people keep this secret as they gather this information.

      Delete
  21. I voted in Texas in the last election. We had problems with the voting machines...but only for Dems. During early voting (at least), anyone who voted a straight Dem ticket didn't have their vote counted for the Senate. Remember how close it was...how few votes Beto lost by? Yeah, there's some funny business in Texas elections, but it has nothing to do with illegal voters.

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  22. 28,300,000 texans. 58.000 of them "illegals." ratio = 0.002, i.e. 1/5s of one percent of the population... granted, that's not the voting population, but STILL... so 15.6 million registered voters. 56,000 = 0.0037... ok 3/10ths of a percent of all voters. Trump won Texas by a 9% margin over Hilary... how would that .37% of the vote alter THAT???

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  23. Somebody on Twitter noticed that President Trump got all of his stories about prayer rugs, duct tape and super powerful Mexican cars from the movie Sicaro

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  24. RE the Ken Paxton VOTER FRAUD ALERT!!!!!! <--- (Screamers added by me, 'cuz nobody can see that he's actually set his hair on fire to 'lend verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.'**

    **Pooh Bah, The Mikado, WS Sullivan, dramatist

    The DPS statistics he's citing cover a period of 20 years or so. They do not include verification that those legal Non-US Citizens with Diver Licenses and Voter Registrations granted within that full period, with or without any record of voting during the period, may have achieved naturalization, and thus become eligible to vote.

    Gawd bless our TX Attorney General; best of luck with his efforts to resolve his tangled legal issues, including standing charges for those three pesky felony offenses.

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  25. Good Sir - Thank you for all you do.

    Just a bit of attention is needed on the quoted graf. Are should be added to 'ones that trying to hide' - and add a first line indent needs to be added to the next graf:

    "Because if we actually are capable of this kind of precision in the measuring of human populations and the specific costs of the particulars of those same populations, then ... well, GODDAMN! EUREKA! POP OPEN THE CHAMPAGNE! I mean the implications of being able to count and sort people to that degree – especially ones that trying to hide from you – well, you’ll have governments, business, investors, universities lined up twenty deep for access to that kind of data. Because whoever controls that capability could make trillions, far beyond what Trump says illegals cost us every year.
    So, where did this information come from? This precision. "

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  26. Assuming that YTD cost was ever accurate, discounting the fact that it probably will be, at some future date, in the time it took to type "$18,959,495,168" would already be inaccurate.

    Let's say that a super-genius like him can enter those 16 characters in one second. Oh, wait. That was for fast, but mortal data entry - I forgot to factor in the super-genius quotient. OK...in half a second, then. In that half second, the cost rose by over $4000.

    I'm less confident in the accuracy of his claim than I was when I first read it, I'm afraid.

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  27. Yup, Trump lying again. I'm a PhD psychologist, and have been trained in the scientific method and scientific research involving human behavior. I've done such research. And all my training and experience says that such precision as he declares in the areas of voter fraud, numbers and costs of illegal immigrants, etc, is a giant red flag. It is clear indication that those numbers are not believable, not reliable, not accurate -- they could easily be made up out of thin (hot) air. Or, similarly, they can be "garbage in, garbage out" numbers. In any case, Trump is speaking/ writing without any regard for truth, as usual for him. He is communicating misinformation for effect -- propaganda.

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  28. So, here's what fascinated me the most about the precision of the numbers. How did he know that Friday was so much cheaper than the rest of the days so far this year? WHAT DID WE DO on Friday to save us $102,674,907???

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  29. So now it makes some sense. A Tweet from Yuma County Sheriff's Office made the news in the Friday cycle here about the cost of illegal immigrants in Yuma County this past year.

    Part of the data gathering is my guess. I'll post a link if you'd like...

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  30. So far, Trump has lied, bigly -- 9,391 times since September 2013. Liars love numbers.
    Thanks again, Jim.

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  31. "Okay. Sure. Fair enough. I'm willing to be persuaded. Show me the evidence. Show me 1) proof that illegal immigrants vote, 2) in significant numbers, and 3) that they vote all vote democrat."

    Just out of curiosity, why would an illegal alien ever vote Republican?

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    Replies
    1. If there were illegal aliens voting, which I doubt, of course they would vote Republican. They don't want anyone following them, as one of my legal immigrant friends told me.

      Delete
  32. I've grown so numb, that I don't even hear the idiocy of his statements. Speaking of statistics, The Washington Post has his lies at 8,158.

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  33. Trump shouting numbers reminds me of "The Manchurian Candidate" when Senator Iselin keeps changing the number of communists. He'll change the number next week, and the week after that, and, to alter the words of Mrs. Iselin:

    "Who are MAGA people writing about all over this country and what are they saying? Are they saying: 'ARE there any illegal voters?' No, of course not, they're saying: 'HOW MANY illegal voters are there?'"

    I keep wondering who Trump's "Mrs. Iselin" is.

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  34. Numbers don't lie; people lie about numbers. And liars lie about their lying and hire other liars who lie about both their lies. Lying about numbers is basic to the corrupt especially.

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  35. Speaking as a Texan, Ken Paxton has a looser relationship with the truth than even Caudillo Trump has. But you can't blame illegal voting for Ken Paxton's victory. The only people there are to blame for that debacle are the dumber than a box of rocks conservative majority of voting Texans. The solution to that problem is to get more smart people to move here. On second thought, the problem may not be fixable.

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  36. Damn Jim. Here I was wondering when you'd post something new (I know I'm a hypocrite about that, but I also don't claim to be a professional writer), and you go and throw up two incredible posts. Inspires me to get back on it

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  37. Maybe Professor Xavier reprogrammed Cerebrospinal to track illegal immigrants these days. It could happen... I saw that technology on the TV somewhere too.

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  38. Dear Jim
    I found this link on a Quora post
    and I am AMAZED
    this is absolutely brilliant
    and suffice it to say you have benefited with a new follower
    and i have benefited from a new source of knowledge
    thank you.

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  39. From the Lone Star Project newsletter:

    "Since the release of the Secretary of State’s report, local election officials have exposed it as badly flawed and inaccurate. In McClennan County (Waco) the list is 100 percent wrong. All 366 of the names listed as non-citizen voters are citizens and eligible to vote. Yet, the Secretary of State has refused to correct or recall the faulty report, instead letting it circulate and amplify false fears."

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  40. I'm good with your final analysis
    "Trump himself just said that his own electoral victory is a fraud.
    Yes he did.
    That is precisely what he just said. And he was quoting the Texas Attorney General, who likewise says his state's election integrity can't be trusted.
    That's what they said.
    So, throw out the election and let's start over.
    I'm hip. Let's take him at his word."

    If it helps, ON Man Of Steel? Amazon is full of comments where the people are expounding on the exact problem you mention; the many in the city who took the hardest hits.

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  41. I posit that the H stick is so crooked it made the T stick look straight. Seriously ... Hillary?

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  42. Been working on a way to say this and make it relevant to the essay, and I *think* I've hit on it.

    The point of that huge, city-wrecking fight scene in Man of Steel *was* the cost. The director as good as said it. All the collateral that had to happen, the sheer horror of that much loss of life, it was meant to be in there. This is reconfirmed in the opening of Batman versus Superman, where the audience has to see that fight scene from the perspective of the poor bastards on the ground.

    What happened was the audience missed it. Even when BvS highlighted it, everybody missed the point so hard it may as well have not been there at all. Hell, even when the fight itself ended in something that, by the standards of the character, couldn't be called a victory in anything but the barest sense, people still *missed* it.

    So you could say, in a way, that's the problem. Show people a catastrophe of that scale, and the most they can come up with is a vague feeling of dislike for what they're seeing, coupled with a surety that they somehow have noticed something that the director failed on. When that point was intentionally there all along.

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  43. I'm from Canada(just so it's clear I'm a worthless outsider) and agree with everything that's been written herein.

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