Friday, November 19, 2021

A (misguided) defense of the election fraud claim

 Here. 

This is a case for the election fraud claims, made by someone getting a degree in apologetics from Trinity Evangelical Theological Seminary. I think very poorly of it, and I think Christians who pursue the MyPillow Delusion are bound to hurt the credibility of both Christianity and the Republican Party. 

I'd rather talk about C. S. Lewis and Bertrand Russell. But this is so harmful. 

169 comments:

Limited Perspective said...

That's it? One college student's paper makes the Republican party and Christianity look bad? One college student? I don't even know how to comment. One college student's paper.

bmiller said...

I suppose as long as there is 1 rogue college student out there Victor's work is never done ;-). He must be very overworked. I started to read the paper but it's pretty long. Maybe that's what drove Victor over the edge. Reading too many rogue student papers.

Regardless, if the only comments he gives for grading a paper an "F", is that it pursues the "MyPillow Delusion" then I bet he has pretty low grades himself on the "Rate My Professor" website. I suppose that helps the credibility of both Christianity and the Democratic Party?

bmiller said...

From that site:

Do NOT take this professor if you believe he does not have similar opinions as you. We had to write and ethics paper of determinism, and I was docked points for using the textbook definition. He said that he didn't believe that definition, even though it was straight from the book he selected. Also, was docked points for a pro-choice abortion paper

Guess I'm getting docked points too.

Victor Reppert said...

No, this is a position that seems to be widely shared. In fact, Republican leaders who sign off on election results and don't support Stop the Steal claims are being targeted for primary attacks.

I didn't actually present a rebuttal here--and I don't grade papers that way. I've given out hundreds of As to papers whose conclusion I disagreed with and plenty of poor grades to people doing a poor job of defending a position I thought correct.
If people think these are good arguments I want you to tell me. The author is working on his doctorate and has a couple of advanced degrees, so dismissing him as a college student is unfair. He's not an idiot, but he's very very wrong.


Again, I want to ask whether this is a position conservatives want to defend. As of August 2021, according to a poll two thirds of Republicans think the election was stolen. If these people are right, then our democratic system of government may be irretrievably broken, and people on one side, or maybe both sides, will look to means other than the ballot box to resolve the issues that divide them. If the Republican party goes over that bridge, it will be a Rubicon they may not be able to uncross, and the implications for future elections will be devastating.

It isn't just the belief that some election was stolen--lots of people, with some justification, thought that about Kennedy and Nixon, for example, and some people thought that about Bush's win over Kerry in 2004 (only it was Diebold, not Dominion, that was the target of the conspiracy theories). It's the idea that actions have to be taken to stop it.

Don McIntosh said...

Dr. Reppert, I realize you don’t regard my argument highly, but I appreciate you posting this regardless.

So what about my thesis do you think is harmful? If it’s questioning election results, well, that’s quickly becoming an American tradition. In that case, Christians both Democrat and Republican have “harmed the credibility of Christianity” and their party.

Yes, I’m a college student of sorts, but I’m 57 years old, working full time and studying not at Trinity Evangelical School of Theology, but via a a low-cost correspondence school in India known as Trinity School of Apologetics and Theology. It’s not accredited, but I can’t afford much else and I’ve learned a lot there so far. That’s where I earned an M.Div. (I got my M.S. at UT Tyler.)

Given all that, my ideas are probably not so harmful. But I take the trouble to exercise my right to argue them precisely so that I can continue to freely discuss other ideas. Otherwise, what’s to prevent someone more powerful than you me deciding that the ideas of C.S. Lewis, for example, are not just intellectually but politically dangerous?

Victor Reppert said...

What I mean is actions like getting Mike Pence to refuse to certify the election, or calling the Georgia Secretary of State to ask for enough votes to overturn the election, or bugging Arizona's Republican governor so much he had to refuse his cell phone calls. You can go to court to make a fraud case. But the Trumpists want to take this a lot further than the courts.

Victor Reppert said...

Don: If we accept your position, how do we preserve democracy? What are the consequences of your position? What is to stop the Democrats from getting Kamala Harris to throw out the results of an election in which Trump defeats Biden in 2024? Anyone who just asserts that they had an election stolen from them can get their own partisans to overturn elections results if they don't like them. If you think someone has been murdered, there is a recourse--it's called the court system. If you can't sell it to the police, the DA, and ultimately a jury who has to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you can't get someone locked up for murder. If you think an election has been stolen, you rightly have to get it through the court system. In basketball, you might think you were fouled but the zebras have to decide whether you were or not. Trump's supporters went to court, but they never presented a real fraud case, and they were shot down consistently by the courts, including Republican judges and even Trump appointees.

I'll go into your arguments in more detail later.

Victor Reppert said...

You have the right to say these things. And I have the right to argue that these ideas are severely mistaken. I'm not suggesting any arena other than open debate to deal with this or any other issue.

bmiller said...

Again, I want to ask whether this is a position conservatives want to defend.

What's to defend? Either the election was stolen or it wasn't. I don't know. I also didn't know if Trump colluded with Russia until I found out that he didn't and that the FBI lied to the FISA court spy on him and everyone assoicated with him. I think that federal agencies attempting to overturn elections may irretrievably break our system of government but others apparently think it is a good thing.

As of August 2021, according to a poll two thirds of Republicans think the election was stolen. If these people are right, then our democratic system of government may be irretrievably broken, and people on one side, or maybe both sides, will look to means other than the ballot box to resolve the issues that divide them.

"If these people are right," then yes, our system may be broken. What are you proposing? That we ignore people stealing elections? Then yes, for sure our system is broken and no one will trust any election going forward. "If these people are right" and the culprits are not brought to justice then yes, disenfranchised people will feel they owe nothing to the system.

But it isn't just Republicans that suspect the election was stolen:

total of 56% of respondents are convinced "it's likely that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election," Rasmussen Reports said. That included 41% who said it was "very likely."

A whopping 84% of Republican voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that cheating affected the outcome of the November election. Unaffiliated voters (54%) and Democrats (32%) were less inclined to think that.

People who seek justice, even if it means a witch hunt, should surely insist on full audits when over half the people think something is rotten in Denmark.

bmiller said...

But the Trumpists want to take this a lot further than the courts.

That's a red herring.

State legislatures have the constitutional duty to ensure the integrity of elections and audits are part of that. That's why a Democratically controlled Congress passed the law that election material must remain availble for audit for 2 years after election day. I've read reports of election material being destroyed or being withheld from the duly authorized authorities.

It's not the job of courts to do the job of state legislatures. It's the job of the courts to support the state legislatures to ensure fair elections.

bmiller said...

Don McIntosh,

Thank you for responding. Your paper was long so I didn't read it in it's entirety.

Did you argue that it was right that a president should:

1) get Mike Pence to refuse to certify the election,
2) call the Georgia Secretary of State to ask for enough votes to overturn the election
3) bug Arizona's Republican governor so much he had to refuse his cell phone calls.

I couldn't find where you made any of those arguments.

Victor Reppert said...

But, what should you do if you think an election was stolen.

Our state legislature got an audit done. But there were severe procedural problems, and then they finally concluded that Biden won by more than the original results said he won by. None of this has stopped the advocates of decertification.

State legislatures are partisan. You end up with a basketball game with zebras committed to either the Bucks or the Suns.

bmiller said...

Victor,

But, what should you do if you think an election was stolen.

The responsible authorities should audit it. According to the Constitution that means the indivdual states.

From what I read, the AZ legislature audit concluded that there were 49,000 questionable ballots in Maricopa county alone and asked the AG to investigate (Biden won by 10,000). Maricopa county also was apparently resisting the audit, withheld election materials from the state and actually destroyed material when subpoenaed. Pima county, where Tuscon is located, also has some anomalies that need explanation. That raises suspicions to ordinary people.

State legislatures are partisan. You end up with a basketball game with zebras committed to either the Bucks or the Suns.

So are you suggesting already that our form of government, the one you have been trying to defend as being under attack, is fatally flawed from the beginning? You have people around you that vote differently than you and elect people who have opinions different than yours. So you think the system is unjust because you are outvoted? Sounds like you do like the American system.

bmiller said...

Sounds like you do not like the American system.

That is.

Victor Reppert said...

Sometimes our system ended up working, but not quite the way that the Founders intended. An example would be the Electoral College. It was supposed to be an independent body who decided the President, people better known to the voters than the candidates themselves. It hasn't turned out that way, and we ended up with a system of pledged electors which contradicts the actual intention of the Founders in creating the college in the first place.

State legislatures have not dreamed of overturning election results because they didn't like them. Until 2020.

https://www.businessinsider.com/arizona-election-audit-reinforced-doubt-about-2020-election-results-2021-11

bmiller said...

Right. So you want to "preserve" the American system just so long as you get the results you want.

State legislatures are attempting to find out exactly what the election results were if they can whether anyone likes it or not. This is made harder due not only to the resistance of election officials, but also the outright destruction of evidence in defiance of federal law

As for the linked article by the junior reporter who graduated just last year. It's biased and I think poorly of it. It undermines trust in government.

Don McIntosh said...

BMiller,

It’s true that I can be longwinded; it’s how I lull an audience into submission. Lol

Seriously, even if you didn’t read the whole paper I appreciate that you read any of what I had to say.

But to answer your question: no, I didn’t advocate taking any specific action. I was just trying to call attention to what for me is an obvious, serious problem of corruption in our political system.

Trump may not have succeeded in draining the swamp, but apparently he did manage to reveal just how deep and dirty it can be.

Don McIntosh said...

Dr. Reppert,

My position is that there is considerable evidence suggesting that the election was indeed stolen, irrespective of any consequences that might arise from accepting that position. Far as I’m concerned it would be irrational (and yes, a danger to democracy) to happily ignore evidence of corruption in the system in order to preserve the integrity of the system.

You mentioned addressing my arguments, on the heels of insinuating that I am “simply asserting” that the election was stolen. But arguments are not assertions. I make my arguments as an expression of free speech, of what I actually believe rather than what you, or Joe Biden, or Merrick Garland, or General Milley, or any number of media personalities and judges presiding over courts might expect me to believe. As a philosopher, you should be able to appreciate that.

bmiller said...

Don,

I don't think you were long-winded. You were thorough and meticulous.

As a matter of fact, I've heard about at least some of the statistical anomalies you point out shortly after the election and I do have the background to understand what is being talked about. Unfortunately, most people posting here don't.

While those anomalies could have an innocent explanation it seems perverse to insist that they not be examined. It's like the old saying "Where there's smoke, there's fire". It seems the only one that wouldn't want to investigate the smoke would be the arsonist.

Limited Perspective said...

I had to scour the internet to find a few secular-liberal college student papers that made atheism and the Democratic party look bad. Once I found a few papers only 87% of them accused people they disagree with being Nazis. I think things are looking up for college students.

bmiller said...

What about the other 13%?

Victor Reppert said...

Don: Let me start in with my problems with your central argument, as promised. Let me start with Biden's so-called sudden popularity. Since his last two election cycles when he was a Presidential candidate, Biden served as Obama's vice president and received the Medal of Freedom from Obama at the end of his administration. In 2016 he Stephen Colbert put him on the show and basically tried to get him to run for President. He went through a unprecedentedly large primary field and came out victorious. Although concern about his mental capacity have been brought up, he has always had a stuttering problem, but in spite of this, he did well enough in the debates to get nominated. He had the firm support of leaders in the African-American community like James Clyburn. After two election cycles with Obama on the ticket, Hillary failed to sustain Obama's level enthusiasm, and that hurt her in key swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. However, Trump comes across as a racist to many African-Americans (I am not arguing here that he is one), and as a result black voters voted in Obama-like numbers in 2020.

2008 was the last previous Biden attempt. In that cycle, the leading candidates were Obama, who is black, and Hillary, who is a woman. The party wanted an exciting candidate, and the Bidens and the Edwardses didn't have much of a chance. Biden came out ahead of of candidates like Warren and Sanders, appealing to Democratic voters who feared that the avowed socialism of Sanders would make it easy for Trump.

While Trump is a candidate that certainly excited his base voters, he also excited lots of hostility. His campaign did little to win over doubtful voters and was almost entirely devoted to whipping up the MAGA base. His first debate performance was a disaster, as he kept talking over not only Biden but the moderator. This was particularly offputting to women voters. In Arizona, which he lost, he managed to alienate John McCain's widow and former Republican senator Jeff Flake, both of whom endorsed Biden. As a result Trump polled behind downballot Republicans. So Biden may not have been as exciting a candidate as was Obama, but he represented a return to normalcy and an alternative to constant drama under Trump. Trump is polarizing--he brings out his people, but he also brings out his opponents. People who slacked on voting in 2016 because they felt sure Trump had not chance made sure they showed up.

As for rallies and visibility--Democrats were then, and still are, a more COVID-cautious bunch than Republicans. These Trump rallies were panned by Democrats as super-spreader events, so of course they weren't about to hold those sorts of events themselves. As for the percent of counties won, it is well-known the Democratic voters are far more urban the Republican ones, so it's no surprise that Trump won the vast majority of counties. The Democratic base is largely ethnic minority, and minorities are far more concentrated in big city counties than white people. Obama got elected in 2012 with 37% of the white vote. So the number of counties Trump won should be no surprise, and requiring no special explanation.

By the way, Don's paper is as articulate a presentation as I have seen of what a lot of millions of people believe. Although I disagree vehemently, I am glad to have a clear statement of this position in one place. That doesn't change the fact that I consider these views to be both false and harmful.

bmiller said...

Thinking and expressing the view that Dems cheated is harmful.

That sounds like something a totalitarian would say. Certainly they wouldn't send the FBI with battering rams to the doors of people with "harmful" views. Would they?

Don McIntosh said...

Victor,

Thanks for the considered reply and for the opportunity to answer in turn. Seems to me you have at least faced the objections squarely, which is more than I can say for many (most?) of Trump’s detractors.

I should concede from the outset that I’m not as well-versed as you in recent political history. As mentioned in the paper, before last year I had never paid much attention to politics (apart from various complaints about Obama and the Clintons, and a fascination with Trump’s political instincts and work ethic as a lowbrow outsider). In fact my wife usually has to talk me into voting because I’m busy with other things that I believe are more important, namely seeking the kingdom of God and supporting my family. My serious interest in politics began the morning of November 4, 2020, when it became clear to me that something “funny” was going on with our electoral system.

So it is that my argument has little to do with political-historical trends or demographics, but centers on the remarkable conjunction of apparent oddities that produced Biden’s declared win. Keep in mind that my point about Biden’s “sudden popularity” (given the election result was legit) is not that it was impossible or even extremely improbable, but merely unexpected. The more extraordinary fact is that Biden’s unexpectedly overwhelming support coincided with countless other anomalies. I mentioned just a few of the better known and more uncontroversial of these: midnight count stoppage in the swing states with Trump leading solidly; early morning count resumption in the same swing states with Biden leading instead; around 1,000 sworn public allegations of fraudulent activity by volunteer poll workers and other ordinary citizens; and the highly implausible official announcement that the election system, despite widespread official warnings of its weakness and vulnerability to corruption just prior to the election, was – once Biden had been formally certified the winner – actually more secure than at any point in our history.

My contention remains that this conjunction of improbable circumstances exclusively favorable to Biden is better explained, or more probable, given organized fraud than any other hypothesis.

Don McIntosh said...

Some additional concluding remarks:

1. It seems that at issue is whether it’s more important to *believe* that our election system is reliable or to *ensure* that our election system is reliable. While ideally we do both, I don’t think we can rationally trust in the integrity of a system apart from any opportunity to question or audit that system.

2. Most conservatives I know, me included, never seriously doubted presidential election results until 2020. That being the case, the notion that we are trying to simply “overturn any result we don’t like” is patently false. On the premise that conservative populists are a bunch of racist rednecks, we should have rallied at the Capitol in protest and tried to “stop the steal” at least twice before, when Obama won in 2008 and 2012. But nothing like that really happened, probably because the kinds of anomalies mentioned above did not occur (or at least we didn’t know about them).

3. Concerning race and racism. It’s true that lots of people believe Trump is a racist; but lots of people believe the same about Biden, including a growing number of minorities. Prior to the 2020 election Trump had made considerable inroads with both “blacks” and “Hispanics” (I used the scare quotes only because I don’t believe that a fixed number of separate and objectively identifiable races of humans actually exists). I still visit the Rio Grande Valley from time to time, and the self-identified Hispanics there are quickly shifting their support to the Trump movement. In McAllen, for example, where Hispanics or Latinos constitute around 85% of the population, Trump jumped 23 points between 2016 and 2020.

4. Given that the recent push for racial/social diversity has caused political division, diversity is in not fact our greatest strength. But I see it as a powerful testimony to the universal appeal of Jesus that countless conservatives and liberals alike share a devotion to Christ that is undoubtedly sincere (even if in some respects “misguided” as you say). I believe, then, that faith in Christ himself may turn out to be the strongest unifying factor left in our nation (beyond even the Constitution), and therefore possibly our greatest hope for holding it together in the future. As Paul put it: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Martin said...

>While those anomalies could have an innocent explanation it seems perverse to insist that they not be examined

Because it's a bottomless well. It's no different than the stupid Birther conspiracy theories.

"Obama needs to release his birth certificate!"

"Ok, here it is."

"That's not the LONG FORM birth certificate!!!!!"

"Fine. Here's the long form."

"Look at these weird markings. Looks fake to me!!!!!!!!!"

"Ok, here's a newspaper from Hawaii announcing his birth."

"Wait a minute...look at this weird font. Highly suspicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

It's. Never. Enough.

Kevin said...

Biden's "popularity" would be like analyzing a vote between having all puppies and kitties brutally killed vs getting punched in the face, and then exclaiming how popular it apparently is to get punched in the face.

A vote for Biden was a vote against Trump. If there was a mechanism for voting against someone to remove one vote from their count, Trump would have had fewer than zero votes for him. Biden was not popular, is not popular, will never be popular, and yes was excited that Obama was a clean articulate black man, first of his kind in the mainstream. Oops not racist, he's a Democrat.

bmiller said...

Kevin,

Killing puppies and getting punched in the face! LOL!

Reminds me of THIS

bmiller said...

Martin,

No one here brought up Obama's birth status. It's a red herring.

If you have a substantial rebuttal I'll read it.

bmiller said...

If there was a mechanism for voting against someone to remove one vote from their count, Trump would have had fewer than zero votes for him.

I think that would be true only if you counted every 1 Dem vote as 2 and every Rep vote as 1. Maybe in some cities that actually happened ;-)

bmiller said...

Don,

I believe, then, that faith in Christ himself may turn out to be the strongest unifying factor left in our nation (beyond even the Constitution), and therefore possibly our greatest hope for holding it together in the future.

Well said. This is what gives me hope too.

Don McIntosh said...

Bmiller,

Thanks for that last comment...and for all the others. :-)

Martin said...

>No one here brought up Obama's birth status. It's a red herring.

Honestly, what you do here is a version of Sealioning:

http://wondermark.com/1k62/

bmiller said...

That looks just like me!

Where did you get my picture?

Limited Perspective said...

When I read the term “audit” I have two frames of reference: taxes and my wife’s bookkeeping. Mrs. Perspective keeps the books for our church. At our church, a person collects the mail, looks at it, and gives the bills to Mrs. Perspective. Mrs. Perspective takes the bills, makes sure they are all legitimate liabilities, writes a check and then takes the check to two check signers who independently look at the bill, ask questions, and then sign. That is how we pay bills at our church.

Payroll is a little different. She goes through a payroll service to ensure salary, taxes, and withholdings are in accordance with the law and approved budget. The spending is reviewed every month by a Vestry of nine members.

At the end of the year all the bills, copies of checks, bank statements, payroll, and names of check signers are sent to an independent auditor. Every single person in this line is held accountable by the auditor. Of course, in a whole year of financial transactions there is always some concern for missing something. But Mrs. Perspective sleeps well at night and the independent audits after examining all financial transactions have given members of the church assurance that the money they gave were used for the purpose they gave the money.

I have tried to understand the vote audit. It looks opaque compared to audits I’m familiar with. Can Victor explain to me the process whereby they ensure that only legal citizens, over the age of 17, non-felons, voted and only voted once? How does the audit catch non-legal votes, fictious voters, or people who vote twice? Maybe there is a process, but I as an average citizen do not understand it.

I do accept the 2020 vote and I do accept Joseph Biden as my President. I don’t have any of the crazy Russian conspiracy nonsense, the “Hillary would have won if it wasn’t for the Russians,” the “if you don’t agree with me, you are a Nazi” insanity. However, I would like a clear explanation of how a vote audit works.

One Brow said...

Don Miller,

I skimmed over your paper. I found exaggerations, a willingness to ignore known logistical facts, and a couple of truly uneducated uses of probability theory. Probably each of those subjects is in and of itself worthy of a full blog post.

However, the largest and most glaring problem is this: in large conspiracies there are always whistleblowers. Where are those people?

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,

On the premise that conservative populists are a bunch of racist rednecks, we should have rallied at the Capitol in protest and tried to “stop the steal” at least twice before, when Obama won in 2008 and 2012. But nothing like that really happened, probably because the kinds of anomalies mentioned above did not occur (or at least we didn’t know about them).

Anyone who paid attention would have known that large cities take longer to count votes than rural counties, and that this has been true for since the 1980s (when I started paying attention). The reason nothing happened before is that this is the first time we have had a Presidential candidate make extensive, regular, persistent claims of fraud after losing and ginning up his followers to act upon them.

3. Concerning race and racism. It’s true that lots of people believe Trump is a racist; but lots of people believe the same about Biden, including a growing number of minorities.

True. However, despite his racism, the Biden administration has made diversity a priority in his political appointments.

4. Given that the recent push for racial/social diversity has caused political division, diversity is in not fact our greatest strength.

Diversity is only a strength when you goal is to accept/include/sell to/etc. diverse groups of people.

Kevin said...

Diversity is only a strength when you goal is to accept/include/sell to/etc. diverse groups of people.

Which has always indicated to me that they are trying to sell to bigots. I don't need someone to be a white man for me to trust them or be able to relate to them. Apparently many do.

bmiller said...

Apparently many do.

In reality, the vast majority of Americans don't. However there is a minority that is selling the idea that if you're white you're irredeemably racist and can never be cured.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

To blow the whistle on a conspiracy, it’s necessary for the relevant authorities to understand that a conspiracy is possible in the first place. Unfortunately, in this case the relevant authorities dismissed the claims of any number of potential whistleblowers out of hand precisely because they promoted a “conspiracy theory.” And as I have argued, if there was a conspiracy it was not that large, apparently involving a small handful of conspirators in a small handful of “must win” counties.

Thanks for checking out my paper, though. It was not peer reviewed, and I’m not anything like a mathematician or statistician, so I would honestly be surprised if it contained no errors.

That said, I’m here not just to share my opinions but to learn. Please feel free to correct my exaggerations, errors, etc. here, or write up one of those blog posts it deserves and provide a link to it. I would appreciate someone providing good reason for me to believe that Biden won legitimately rather than by cheating (given the set of circumstances I outlined). It would make me feel a lot better about our nation and its future.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

Sure it takes large cities longer to count, but that doesn’t explain why counting stopped in the middle of the night only in the handful of tightly contested battleground states where Biden basically had to outperform Trump in order to win the election. I lived in Houston at the time of the election and from what I recall the vote there went through just fine...but of course Texas was not a highly contested battleground state.

This may have been the first time a presidential candidate made such persistent fraud claims, yes, but also the first time he had such strong grounds for doing so.

bmiller said...

Don,

You mentioned the Navarro Report
People can read it here.

One Brow said...

Kevin,

Which has always indicated to me that they are trying to sell to bigots. I don't need someone to be a white man for me to trust them or be able to relate to them. Apparently many do.

My only disagreement here4 is that you characte4rizing this as a yes/no, as opposed to percentages. People are more likely to buy from people that they relate to and that can relate to them.

bmiller,

In reality, the vast majority of Americans don't.

History, including recent history, and the studies say otherwise.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,

To blow the whistle on a conspiracy, it’s necessary for the relevant authorities to understand that a conspiracy is possible in the first place.

The press also exists, and is a place where whistle-blowers frequently go. In fact, the highly conservative press exists, and would openly welcome those blowing a whistle on elections conspiracies. There are none.

And as I have argued, if there was a conspiracy it was not that large, apparently involving a small handful of conspirators in a small handful of “must win” counties.

You're still talking about hundreds of people.


That said, I’m here not just to share my opinions but to learn. Please feel free to correct my exaggerations, errors, etc. here, or write up one of those blog posts it deserves and provide a link to it. I would appreciate someone providing good reason for me to believe that Biden won legitimately rather than by cheating (given the set of circumstances I outlined). It would make me feel a lot better about our nation and its future.

Fair enough. I'll not a frequent blogger, but I will think about it.

Sure it takes large cities longer to count, but that doesn’t explain why counting stopped in the middle of the night only in the handful of tightly contested battleground states where Biden basically had to outperform Trump in order to win the election. I lived in Houston at the time of the election and from what I recall the vote there went through just fine...but of course Texas was not a highly contested battleground state.

Perhaps you could point out places where you think counting was stopped, while it continued on in other places in the the same state? For example, was counting stopped in Philadelphia while it continued in Pittsburgh or Harrisburg?

This may have been the first time a presidential candidate made such persistent fraud claims, yes, but also the first time he had such strong grounds for doing so.

Trump made claims about fraud in 2016 before the election, and again in 2020 before the election. What grounds did he have then?

Martin said...

Don,

Counting did not stop in the middle of the night. That is a myth.

As for Trump having strong grounds for making fraud claims, he doesn't. Trump always claims the other side engaged in fraud whenever he loses any contest. He cannot ever admit he loses anything, and he creates a fantasy reality to prop up the fiction that he's great.

Remember when he won in 2016 but lost the popular vote? It wasn't enough to win, for his ego, so what did he say?

"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

He then set up a commission to investigate these supposed millions of illegal votes, which closed down quietly less than a year later without finding any widespread fraud.

What happened when he lost the Iowa Caucus to Ted Cruz?

"Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified."

When a whisky company awarded the Top Scot award to a farmer who refused to sell his land to Trump for his golf course, Trump of course claimed the contest was rigged with illegal votes.

Do you know what happened when Trump's show The Apprentice kept losing the Emmys award? Want to take a guess? That's right, he said the Emmys are rigged.

And before the 2020 election, many, many commentators were warning that there would be an illusion of a red wave early in the night, since Democrats largely voted by mail and Republicans voted in person, and in-person votes would be counted first. And many of these commentators also warned that Trump would use this to claim there was widespread fraud, before he did just that. The man is nothing if not predictable.

This is clearly a Man Who Cried Rigged. Over and over and over. Every time he loses ANYthing. He thinks he's perfect, and so if there is a situation in which he looks like he lost, he'll create a fictional reality in which he really won, and won HUGELY. Remember when he told Alabama to watch out for Hurricane Dorian, and when the NWS said Dorian was never threatening Alabama, he altered the weather map with a sharpie to make it look like he was correct. I mean, this is a child in an adult body.

He has no good reasons to cry "rigged" for the 2020 election. Most of the reasons you suggest are not real. There wasn't any vote stoppage. The supposed eyewitnesses all turned out to be not credible. One for example who thought he saw suspicious ballots being brought in late at night turned out to be photographic equipment. You can read for yourself them being laughed out of court: https://twitter.com/JonathanTCasey/status/1342303141975515136

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

Bear with me, I’m not good with html, so I will put your words in quote marks and paste URL’s in their entirety…

OB: “The press also exists, and is a place where whistle-blowers frequently go. In fact, the highly conservative press exists, and would openly welcome those blowing a whistle on elections conspiracies. There are none.”

I don’t think that’s exactly accurate. Here’s a story from just last week:

“Pa. County Whistleblower: Data Regarding Thousands of Return Ballots Erased.”
https://www.newsmax.com/politics/electionfraud-2020-whistleblower/2021/11/17/id/1045154/

This was the first result to pop up on a search via Duck-Duck-Go for “election 2020 whistleblower.” The next ten or so results report on the same story. Using Google, by contrast, it took me four pages of results to find a result (and then just one) reporting on that story using the same search keywords.

Part of the reason people like you and me have difficulty finding common ground, I think, is that the “conservative” and “liberal-progressive” media report entirely different sets of stories, just as conservative and liberal-progressive search engines decide how easy they are to find. Lol. That’s why I wrote in another paper that “evidence of deep division [in the U.S.] is not hard to find. We now have to consult two entirely separate sets of news sources, for instance, just to get some idea of what’s actually going on in the world…”

OB: “You're still talking about hundreds of people.”

Perhaps, and evidently you’re right that no one has credibly called out a high-profile “ringleader” or “puppeteer” or whatever. But at the lower levels, at least, whistleblower claims do run in the many hundreds. Here’s another relatively recent story, involving a whistleblower who ought to have some credibility, given her previous experience as a civil engineer in Detroit:
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/11/gop_poll_worker_in_detroit_they_treated_me_like_a_criminal_.html

OB: “Perhaps you could point out places where you think counting was stopped, while it continued on in other places in the the same state? For example, was counting stopped in Philadelphia while it continued in Pittsburgh or Harrisburg?”

I’m not sure. Philly was all it took, apparently. But honestly I’m having a hard time verifying just what happened the night of November 3rd in places like Philadelphia.

A Reuters “fact check” has it that the counting never actually stopped:
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-philadelphia/fact-check-philadelphia-did-not-stop-counting-votes-on-the-night-of-november-3-idUSKBN27K1JZ

The only problem per the Reuters account was a failure to “update the results.” But in that case critically important areas of most of the swing states experienced the same failure around the same time.

I remember watching the election returns when the TV pundits basically said there was nothing left to report. At that time Trump was in a solid lead in the majority of the swing states. When I woke up early next morning to see the results, Biden had taken the lead in those same states following the pause in counting, or the pause in updating the results, or whatever it was. I had never seen anything like it before. Even accounting for mail-in ballots, the whole scenario appeared suspect to me then and it does still. And that’s all the more so given the near-universal contempt for Trump among establishment politicians both Republican and Democrat.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

“Trump made claims about fraud in 2016 before the election, and again in 2020 before the election. What grounds did he have then?”

He made claims that fraud was likely to occur, and in that he hedged his bets – along with practically everyone with a vested interest in the results. Virtually the entire Democrat party offered similar warnings, and then spent most of the next two years trying to prove that Trump had personally orchestrated a Russian hack of the 2016 election that put him in the White House. Conspiracy theories are not the sole domain of Trumpists, it seems.

Please note that at no point in my paper did I include Trump’s loud and persistent claims as evidence. The argument I presented, whether sound or fallacious, effective or terrible, was my own, based on my own observations.

bmiller said...

I remember watching the election returns when the TV pundits basically said there was nothing left to report. At that time Trump was in a solid lead in the majority of the swing states. When I woke up early next morning to see the results, Biden had taken the lead in those same states following the pause in counting, or the pause in updating the results, or whatever it was.

I saw it too. It was widely reported at the time that there was a pause in vote count updates. That didn't happen in 2016 in the same states in similar circumstances. Don't let them gaslight you.

Martin said...

I saw it too.

This reminds me of that movie the Ox-Bow Incident. A posse formed to go hang the murderers based on hearsay and rumor.

North Carolina stopped counting because they ran out of votes to count and could not count the mail-in ballots yet, per state law.

A county in Georgia stopped counting because of a burst pipe.

Philadelphia stopped reporting results in the middle of the night, but did not stop counting.

A couple of counties in PA had issues with mail-in ballot counting machines, and paused for a bit.

Michigan never stopped counting. Wisconsin never stopped counting.

Rumors, hearsay, and exaggerations.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,

This was the first result to pop up on a search via Duck-Duck-Go for “election 2020 whistleblower.” The next ten or so results report on the same story. Using Google, by contrast, it took me four pages of results to find a result (and then just one) reporting on that story using the same search keywords.

I'm not surprised. Taking small, highly edited segments out of context and pretending that they represent a cover-up is not reporting, it's trying to create a false narrative.

Part of the reason people like you and me have difficulty finding common ground, I think, is that the “conservative” and “liberal-progressive” media report entirely different sets of stories, just as conservative and liberal-progressive search engines decide how easy they are to find.

Part of it is also that you seem to have trouble telling the difference between discriminating based on agenda and based on upon the quality of the information offered.

But at the lower levels, at least, whistleblower claims do run in the many hundreds.

When presented in court, their stories evaporate into meaninglessness.

Here’s another relatively recent story, involving a whistleblower who ought to have some credibility, given her previous experience as a civil engineer in Detroit:

That story even mentions how the judge found her not credible.

Trump whipped up people to look for fraud. They went looking for it. When they came across the dozens of anomalies that occur in every election, they screamed fraud.

The only problem per the Reuters account was a failure to “update the results.” But in that case critically important areas of most of the swing states experienced the same failure around the same time.

It's possible other places actually stopped counting. There's no reason to think this is coordinated across states. People start getting less ccurate after doing this for 10-12 hours at a time; they need breaks.

I remember watching the election returns when the TV pundits basically said there was nothing left to report. At that time Trump was in a solid lead in the majority of the swing states.

That must have been in 2016, because in 2020 none of the majors networks reported any such thing.

When I woke up early next morning to see the results, Biden had taken the lead in those same states following the pause in counting, or the pause in updating the results, or whatever it was.

This had actually been predicted by those paying attention to who was voting by mail in 2020 (those who were being more carful of covid19 protocols, which were primarily Democratic).

And that’s all the more so given the near-universal contempt for Trump among establishment politicians both Republican and Democrat.

I agree that if any politician could get those groups together in a conspiracy, it would be Trump.

bmiller said...

This reminds me of that movie the Ox-Bow Incident. A posse formed to go hang the murderers based on hearsay and rumor.

Citizens are demanding forensic audits in certain states to ensure the integrity of election results due to anomalies and that sounds like vigilante justice to you? That's pretty weird.

If you really want everyone to think their vote counts when over half the population thinks it doesn't then you should be all for forensic audits. If the audits show there were no shennigans then everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. If the audits show there were shennigans, then we should demand justice be done and fix it so it can't happen again.

This is a win-win for the American electorial system.

BTW. If you don't live in any of the states that are wanting to conduct audits then you have "no standing" as they say in legal circles. Even so, if you live in any state, it shold be reassuring that your elections are forensically audited.

Don McIntosh said...

Bmiller,

“I saw it too.”

Thanks for that! I was pretty sure it wasn’t just my wife and me and the few people we’ve talked with about this. But the gaslighting effort is pretty serious, isn’t it? Even here and now I’m being assured that what I distinctly remember seeing and hearing never actually happened.

In that case we may as well counter that everyone knows Joe Biden died in 2017 and what his blindly gullible cultish followers put on the ballot and voted for was actually his corpse, kept frozen until needed and manipulated with robotics and a deepfake text-to-voice simulator – in a sort of high-tech political “Weekend at Biden’s” scenario. People just *think* they’re seeing a living person named Joe Biden.

bmiller said...

Don,

Ah yes. I see what you mean. The "Green Screen Biden" explains a lot. He even has a fake White House set!

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,
Thanks for that! I was pretty sure it wasn’t just my wife and me and the few people we’ve talked with about this.

Perhaps you could link to video of this, then. If it were on the national networks, you could find it all over.

Memory is a moldable thing. You hear/read people you like/trust say something happened, and you create a memory for it. Sometimes it's a middle-aged guy talking about his high-school days, sometimes it's about national elections.

bmiller said...

But the gaslighting effort is pretty serious, isn’t it?

Yes it is. It certainly is.

Martin said...

>Citizens are demanding forensic audits in certain states to ensure the integrity of election results due to anomalies and that sounds like vigilante justice to you?

Rather, it's never enough. It's bottomless. They wanted audits audits audits. So states did audits. "Those are not the RIGHT KIND of audits!" So they had Cyber Ninjas do an audit, which found Biden won by even more votes than thought. So what happened next? Trump of course claimed that the audit had found that he had won.

These are disingenuous desires for audits.

bmiller said...

Martin,

I think you are confusing recounts with audits. A recount just counts the ballots again without determining if the ballots are valid or not.

The AZ audit included a recount, and as you correctly state, and the count was roughly the same as official count. However the audit also found that 49,000 ballots were questionable in a number of ways that could affect the election outcome. Biden only won by 10,000. So if no one can tell if those 49,000 ballots are valid or not, that means there is no way to know who actually won the election.

The auditors could not complete their audit on time due to county resistance to providing procedure manuals, refusal to provide records, ignoring questions by the auditors and the actual destruction of records. Looks like people are trying to hide things.

There are now criminal investigations ongoing. People need to go to jail when they break the law.

The audit went so well, other states are using the AZ audit as a model.

Victor Reppert said...

The AZ audit was so poorly secured that people could wander around the premises without authorization. The sponsors of the audit lied about this, but text messages between a Trump campaign official and an audit insider shows that the security problems were not made up. The audit went so badly it should be a model for no one.

https://www.azfamily.com/news/investigations/cbs_5_investigates/text-messages-on-security-lapses-at-election-audit/article_2d5da36c-0c4d-11ec-9d40-03425458d867.html

Victor Reppert said...

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Finals, and the Atlanta Braves won the World Series. All three of these events were highly improbable before the season. Together, well, all I can say is that such a remarkable confluence of events can only be explained by systemic sports fraud, no doubt designed to benefit certain bettors, who profited from these victories.

Don McIntosh said...

Don't forget the Astros winning the World Series in 2017. :-)

bmiller said...

Victor,

The story you linked to quoted officials as saying the media propped doors open after they were let in. It looks to me that because of the story the security guy thought he needed to make it look like they were adding even more security in the texts. Regardless, the security must have been pretty tight since no one knew what the audit results were until they were presented formally regardless of what biased reporters had to say about it.

I'll listen to your sports theory. Tell me how it works in as much detail as Don did.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

"I agree that if any politician could get those groups together in a conspiracy, it would be Trump."

Then in a sense I guess we agree. If I seriously believed one candidate was the embodiment of all evil, a clear and present danger to democracy itself, a racist/fascist worse than Hitler, etc., I would do all in my power to undermine him, remove him from office and make sure he never regained it. That would include using the press to malign his character, paying for phony opposition research as a pretext to investigate him in the hopes of finding grounds for criminal indictments, and of course, rigging any election in which he was a candidate. Far as I can tell the election fiasco was at least as much the consequence of the “resistance” we heard so much about from the day of his inauguration, as it was a simple matter of delays and confusion over absentee or mail-in ballots.

I will try to answer some of your other points tomorrow.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

If you’re saying that none of the networks simply declared, “Most of the swing states have stopped counting the votes, so that wraps it up for tonight,” well then I would have to concede the point. There’s a difference, after all, between stopping the coverage and stopping (‘pausing”) the vote count itself.

I distinctly remember news coverage stopping at around 1:00 am, as for example on PBS (at around 11:21 on the YouTube video directly below):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WbNBp5mSqg

I also remember various individual area “vote pauses” in various swing states, as in Allegheny county (around 11:24 on the YouTube video below):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mreNn_2-QJ8

And finally, I remember waking up early next day to find Biden leading, and the news offering no explanation whatsoever for coverage stopping, vote counts pausing, or the arrival of mail-in ballots, or really anything else. They seemed to simply be happy about the change in fortune:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlN_BTitdxg

Now to hear self-proclaimed “independent fact checkers” like USA Today and Reuters, there simply were no pauses in the vote count and any further questions about it can only arise from paranoid fringe conspiratorial thinking (or as you suggest, a bad collective memory). But as World Net Daily declared the evening of November 4, the “great pause” indeed took place, as so many of us remember, and it happened exclusively in swing states led by Democrat governors:
https://www.wnd.com/2020/11/great-election-night-pause-vote-counting/

The whole situation prompts honest questions, e.g. why stop the coverage? I get that people can grow tired and need a break, but in that it case it seems that coverage could resume right along with the vote counting. Instead coverage stops with Trump leading and resumes with Biden leading. Why did the swing states in particular take so long to count? If we say it’s because of mail-in ballots or a close race, there were mail-in ballots sent all over the country and lots of tight races that were easily decided before midnight.

Limited Perspective said...

My original sarcasm about a college student's paper has been overturned. Thank you Mr. McIntosh for giving this skeptic's opinion on The Big Lie some information to think about.

Victor Reppert said...

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/nov/04/facebook-posts/battleground-states-did-not-stop-counting-votes-el/

Did these vote pauses only happen in swing states, or were we paying attention only to swing states? Different states had different systems for doing mail-in ballots. Ohio, for example did mail-ins first, so the count there looked good for Biden for a long time, until it didn't. Of course, Democrats were more COVID-cautious and were encouraged to vote early, while Republican were encouraged to vote on Election Day. So, swings in votes were to be expected, and the went both ways. Sometimes there was a Blue Mirage, where it looked like Biden for a long time until Election Day votes came in, and sometimes there was a Red Mirage, where Election Day votes were counted first and the mail-ins came later.

In Arizona in 2018, Kyrsten Sinema was behind Martha McSally for, I think, a couple of days after election day, and only caught up and won later. McSally, however, conceded, as she did two years later in an also-close race with Mark Kelly.

The article you reference from World Net Daily contains implies that COVID was a plot to help remove Trump from the Presidency, and it would magically go away once it was no longer politically needed. We know how that turned out. COVID is still here.

Arizona and Georgia had REPUBLICAN governors who signed off on the election results there. Georgia's Secretary of State is Republican, though he resisted Trump's naked appeal to party loyalty to change his vote count. And he, prior to the election was not a never-Trumper, he was a Trump voter and supporter.

Then there's this, from Republicans in Michigan.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/23/michigan-republicans-no-evidence-voter-fraud-claims-trump

And this fact check on a claim made about Wisconsin.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-wisconsin-more-votes-regist/fact-checkwisconsin-did-not-have-more-votes-than-people-registered-idUSKBN27K2WU

Victor Reppert said...


https://www.ft.com/content/5b5ca6f4-226e-4a4f-9560-504a5c1b561a

Delays in Allegheny county occurred after tens of thousands of incorrect ballots were mailed to voters. Ensuring that recipients did not submit two ballots took time, and the counting of those ballots only began on Friday.

bmiller said...

I don't think it helps Victor's case to keep bringing up Arizona....the only place so far that's had an audit where it showed that there were more invalid ballots than the margin of victory.

This story has links to the official audit results:

Arizona Senate Report on the Maricopa County Election Audit Highlights 49,000 Questionable Votes, Asks AG to Investigate

Here is a breakdown of those 49,718 questionable votes:

23,344 mail-in ballots were counted from individuals who no longer lived at the address to which the mail-in ballot was sent. The audit called these “mail-in ballots voted from prior address” in the voter history phase. (critical impact)
9,041 more ballots returned by voters than received in the voter history phase. (high impact)
5,295 voters that potentially voted in multiple counties in the certified results phase. (high impact)
3,432 more ballots cast than the list of people who show as having cast a vote. The audit called this group of ballots “official results does not match who voted,” in the certified results phase. (medium impact)
2,592 more duplicates than original ballots in the ballot phase. (medium impact)
2,382 in person voters who had moved out of Maricopa County in the certified results phase. (medium impact)
2,081 voters moved out of state during 29 day preceding election in the voter history phase. (medium impact)
1,551 votes counted in excess of voters who voted in the certified results phase. (medium impact)
An additional 3,587 votes were in the “low impact” category across 14 findings.

Victor Reppert said...

You need a lot more than this to invalidate an election result. Look, we need a peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. There has to be a transition. We were more vulnerable to 9/11 because election controversy short-circuited the transition process after the 2000 election. If there is a problem with an election, you need clear and decisive proof. The burden of proof is on the challenger. We can't have interminable audits with the power to change election results, which the Cyber Ninja report would not have been able to do even if they had reported that Trump won the state.

https://www.abc15.com/news/arizona-election-audit/fact-checking-the-maricopa-county-election-audit-37-739-problematic-voters

Victor Reppert said...

Most of the samples were false positives, meaning the person had the same name and birth year, but had a different driver's license and social security number on file.

They said there was no evidence of people voting in multiple counties.

Martin said...

Here is Arizona's explanation of the 23,344 mail-in ballots that were "counted from individuals who no longer lived at the address to which the mail-in ballot was sent":

https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441470631787200514

CLAIM: 23,344 mail-in ballots voted from a prior address.

BOTTOM LINE: Cyber Ninjas still don’t understand this is legal under federal election law. To label it a “critical” concern is either intentionally misleading or staggeringly ignorant. AZ senators should know this too.

EXPLANATION:
1) Military and overseas voters can cast a “federal only ballot” despite living outside the U.S. The address tied to their ballot would be their prior address in AZ.

2) People are allowed to move from one house to another (or even one state to another) in October and November of an election year (yes, shocking!). If the driver’s license address matches the voter registration address, they are still allowed to vote.

3) For the November General Election Maricopa County had 20,933 one-time temporary address requests. In addition, snowbirds and college students tend to have forwarding addresses when they are out of the county.

4) Mail-in ballots are not forwarded to another address.


Breitbart is a fabulist tabloid that needs clicks and revenue, so they spin garbage like this to make it sound dramatic. All so that media owners can make more money so they can have more yachts. Hilariously tragic. I mean, think about that. Destruction of an entire country so that Rupert Murdoch et al can have eleven yachts instead of ten.

With a third of the population of this country unquestioningly believing crap like this, and in fact digging in their heels when presented evidence against it, I really think this country is on its last legs. I mean, this is weaponized ignorance.

My wife may have an ancestral link to Ireland which may allow citizenship...

It was a nice run, I guess...?

Victor Reppert said...

https://www.12news.com/article/news/verify/arizona-audit-57000-ballots-senate-gop/75-a0a98638-f74f-4861-b6e0-e1d53c3eec06

Another debunk the claim that Cyber Ninjas disproved anything.

What bothers me is that stalwart Republicans and conservatives are treated as traitors for resisting this horsecrap. I don't doubt the sincerity of people like Don who believe it, but the evidence, or lack of it, is what it is. Youngkin won in Virginia because he rejected the stolen election nonsense and refused to let Trump campaign with him.

Limited Perspective said...

I'm wondering why the questioning of the election results are referred to as The Big Lie. It's a term to reference white supremacists. There's something fishy about the way they are framing the narrative.

bmiller said...

There's something fishy about the way they are framing the narrative.

I don't think it's fishy at all. You question the leftist narrative, you're a Nazi. Simple as that.

bmiller said...

The Legislature of the State of Arizona, the Constitutionally authorized legal authority to conduct elections, instituted a forensic audit on Maricopa county election process and outcome.

The County officials resisted, refused to answer questions, destroyed evidence, did not turn over records, etc. They did they attempt to counter any claims of the auditors at the hearing that reviewed the audit. They would have had to done that under penalty of perjury. It's interesting that they put out snarky tweets rather than testifying. All of that makes me suspcious.

Something to keep in mind is that the audit found 49,000 questionable votes (in Maricopa county alone) along with a bunch of problems with security, chain of custody issues, and evidence tampering. The questionable vote issues could be resolved by canvassing voters and that is what the audit recommended and what the Senate wants to do. Who could oppose that?

Martin said...

Limited Perspective,

The "Big Lie" is a reference to the Goebbels concept that if you just tell a lie over and over again, the masses will accept it as the truth. It's Marketing 101.

And modern politics has born this out with flying colors. Trump repeated over and over again "nocollusion nocollusion," literally using it as a greeting to reporters instead of "good morning." And now, people consistently refer to the Russian scandal as a "hoax." Despite the fact that the Republican-headed follow up to the Mueller report found that, indeed, the Trump administration welcomed and accepted Russia's help to win back political power. Trump himself has admitted that if he just says things over and over again his followers will believe it.

Similarly, there is not a shred of evidence in favor of any widespread (but not zero) fraud in the 2020 election, but since Trump repeats this Big Lie over and over again ad nauseum, his followers accept it as reality without question. Every day my extended family posts nonsense about a "stolen election" on their Facebook feeds.

Quite frankly, the past few years have convinced me that the human race is an incredibly stupid animal species. Part of me thinks we will likely go extinct within a few hundred years, and that we deserve it.

bmiller said...

Oh and BTW.

I notice when I linked to Breitbart, leftists told me they thought it was slanted. I get that, which is why I mentioned that the story had links to the actual report. I didn't expect leftists to believe a Breitbart story since they think it's biased.

By the same token. Don't post links to ABC or 12news and expect me to swallow any of that.

If you have quotes from people who may get in trouble for perjury then I may think it's credible. But even then, some people can lie under oath and get away with it and others can't.

Limited Perspective said...

Martin,

Part of me agrees with your pessimism of human nature.

Limited Perspective said...

It's the humans made in the image of God part that keeps me from despair.

bmiller said...

It's the part where Jesus showed us the way out that keeps me from despair.

Limited Perspective said...

Amen brother Miller.

Martin said...

...my...60% theism + 40% agnosticism...keeps me...from despair...?

Martin said...

>By the same token. Don't post links to ABC or 12news and expect me to swallow any of that.


This is so weird to me.

Breitbart, OAN, Newsmax, and Fox are all roughly equivalent to Huffington Post, Mother Jones, etc. I would never link to these latter for any kind of credibility, either.

But I don't think ABC, MSNBC etc are anywhere close to these, even if they are a bit biased. Back in my day, all we had was ABC, CBS, and NBC with Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw. No such thing as cable or online news.

Honestly I think the closest to those old glory days of non-biased-ISH news these days are, IMO, going to be Reuters and Associated Press.

Limited Perspective said...

Thanks Matin. I have a percentage in various theological, political and philosophical categories as well. The resurrection of Jesus is probably the one I have some confidence in. I'm probably 73.45% on that theological and historical fact.

Limited Perspective said...

The existence of the God of Jews and Christians, probably 85%. Everything else I say I believe in is between 51% and 70%.

Limited Perspective said...

The current topic: Was the 2020 presidential election stolen. I'm at about 35% belief.

bmiller said...

But I don't think ABC, MSNBC etc are anywhere close to these, even if they are a bit biased. Back in my day, all we had was ABC, CBS, and NBC with Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw. No such thing as cable or online news.

Martin,

I don't care if you think your sources are unbiased. I think they are. I consider all sources for the same reasons that Kevin gave. They all have their biases and it's gotten dramatically worse. For instance, Victor's stories quote "Melissa Data" and some supposedly "non-partisan" and "bi-partisan" sources. I have no reason to think any of the reporters are reporting accurately much less without an agenda. The only way you can have enough info to think critically is to consider all sources and bounce them against each other.

I'm really rather tired of making the effort to quote only from sources that leftists will not condemn out of hand when they do that anyway. So I when I found a story that had links to the actual report and it was Breitbart I stopped looking and told you that it had links to the report. Predictably you complained about Breitbart rather than reading the report.

Why didn't I find any leftist publications that had the actual report, like ABC or MSNBC? Don't answer. Now you know why I read sources other than those and why I don't necessarily trust everything they say. Which is a step above the way leftists think about non-leftist sources.

Kevin said...

I find it hard to believe that anyone could question the slant of MSNBC. They make Fox look fair and balanced.

Not really, but they are definitely two sides of the same coin.

bmiller said...

Not really, but they are definitely two sides of the same coin.

Well then I suppose you're a Nazi. All non-Nazis understand that only one side is prints the truth and that is the side that opposes Nazi's like you (that think otherwise). Heads I win, tails you lose.

One Brow said...

I agree that MSNBC has a liberal slant, while I see ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN as having a corporatist slant. The attempt to label them as liberal is merely an attempt to move the Overton window.

Don McIntosh,
I remember watching the election returns when the TV pundits basically said there was nothing left to report. At that time Trump was in a solid lead in the majority of the swing states.

I don't really want to watch over 22 hours of video. Can you point to the time where these reports said there was nothing left to report on the election, while Trump had a solid lead in the swing states? If not, perhaps your memory misled you.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
Well then I suppose you're a Nazi. All non-Nazis understand that only one side is prints the truth and that is the side that opposes Nazi's like you (that think otherwise). Heads I win, tails you lose.

You keep saying this, in the absence of anyone in here referring to people as Nazis. Where is all this pain coming from?

Limited Perspective said...

Hey One Brow. I'm waiting for the kids and their spouses to show up for Thanksgiving dinner. I do love this day and the smell of food roasting in the oven. It's always a barrel of monkeys when everyone is here.

There is a reason the legacy media frequently refers to questions about voter fraud as The Big Lie. It's a Nazi reference (look it up). There are also terms thrown out by Victor and the good folks at the Democratic party such as "white supremacist" and "white nationalist," these are pejoratives trying to associate people with the Nazis.

If you ask what was wrong with the Nazi party, you will come up with a list of evil things they had done and believed. When you look at the list of things they believed you will find the Democratic party accuses those they disagree with with the same list of beliefs of the Nazis.

Kevin said...

I think most of us can agree that Nazi comparisons are way overblown. I hear someone being compared to a Nation, I typically tune out the accuser.

Kevin said...

Lovely autocorrect. Nazi, not Nation.

bmiller said...

I hear someone being compared to a Nazi, I typically tune out the accuser.

I doubt a person can do that and still be informed about leftist talking points as Limited points out.

But then again, there is a population of leftists that will gaslight you and tell you you're imagining things. I find it facinating when you let these types know you're on to them and they just double down. It's like a real life enactment of The Emperor's New Clothes

Victor Reppert said...

I've run into self-avowed White Nationalists. I even had to ban one from this site because of anti-semitic comments. Using the term is not just a way of calling someone a Nazi.

One Brow said...

Limited Perspective,
There is a reason the legacy media frequently refers to questions about voter fraud as The Big Lie. It's a Nazi reference (look it up).

The term was first used by the Nazis, but it has been in use regularly every since, without the Nazi connotation.

From 2018: https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/402754-the-myth-of-nixons-southern-strategy

From 2016: https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=d3835538-b011-d685-0e2a-51f3b9672931&forceDialog=0

From 1992: https://www.firstthings.com/article/1992/03/the-big-economic-lie

The notion that the use of "big lie" refers to Nazis is just another attempt to manipulate the dialogue, pretend to claim offense, and distract from the actual lie.

There are also terms thrown out by Victor and the good folks at the Democratic party such as "white supremacist" and "white nationalist," these are pejoratives trying to associate people with the Nazis.

No one thinks the Confederacy were Nazis, pretty much everyone agrees they were white supremacists. Nazis are a subgroup of the white supremacists.

When you look at the list of things they believed you will find the Democratic party accuses those they disagree with with the same list of beliefs of the Nazis.

Could you name one prominent politician who thinks that there is any threat of rounding up people into death camps? If not, then I don't see what basis you have for this claim, unless this is a "Hitler ate sugar".

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

“I don't really want to watch over 22 hours of video. Can you point to the time where these reports said there was nothing left to report on the election, while Trump had a solid lead in the swing states? If not, perhaps your memory misled you.”

I directed you to the relevant parts of the videos which would reduce the viewing time from over 22 hours to around five minutes.

And again I will happily concede that I wasn’t quoting the reporters verbatim (and to this point I thought it was common knowledge that Trump had the lead in the majority of swing states when their reporting stopped). They just kind of said good night without any explanation why they put a stop to their coverage – as in the PBS video I shared once already. That’s where my skepticism about the whole process began, a skepticism that grew much stronger when I woke up the next morning to the news that Biden had either taken the lead or gained considerable ground in the majority of those states.

Now if you don’t want to watch hours and hours of video, imagine how I feel. Given the premise that my memory (but not yours?) should be presumed faulty unless proven reliable, I have to scour through potentially hundreds of hours of video to find the relevant clips – where Google hasn’t already been scrubbed them – and post them here, or else assume that I, along with millions of other people, hallucinated or something.

I’m not willing to do that, so instead will direct my arguments to those who remember the events in question more or less as I do but have drawn different conclusions.

Don McIntosh said...

For what it’s worth: I did manage to find a video of ABC reporting around 1:00 am Texas time. The video cuts off before ABC signs off for the night, which seems a little strange, but we saw in another video where PBS had signed off around 1:00 am with no explanation for doing so. In the ABC video updates for the key states begins at about 7:54:15:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU2Q6_7fZD0

So at 1:00 am ABC had Trump leading in the following swing states:
GA Trump 51% Biden 48%
MI Trump 53% Biden 46%
NC Trump 50% Biden 49%
PA Trump 56% Biden 43%
WI Trump 51% Biden 47%

Of these the only state where Trump wasn’t leading by at least 3 points was NC, which he won.

So while most of the states in the country were already called, Trump was leading in five of the most important swing states when the networks went dark. Biden somehow came back to win four out of five, in the same areas where so many voters complained about intimidation and so forth.

I do see where my claim in the paper about Trump leading “five of the six swing states” and then Biden leading them the next morning may have been overstated. If so I will edit accordingly.

Don McIntosh said...

Limited Perspective,

“Thank you Mr. McIntosh for giving this skeptic's opinion on The Big Lie some information to think about.”

I almost forgot to answer you. It’s my pleasure to encourage thought that doesn’t simply reflect the official statist narrative. Thanks in turn for reading and offering your feedback.

Limited Perspective said...

Thanks Victor and One Brow for your counter arguments. The Confederacy is a good argument for white supremacists that are not Nazis. Good information for me to consider.

I'm curious Victor, it's really a question without a lead. You wrote you banned an anti-Semitic person from your site. Out of curiosity, how many people have you banned and for what reason? I don't have a blog so I don't know how and why people get banned.

Victor Reppert said...

I banned a couple of people who pushed the New Atheist line to such an extent that the whole blog was starting to become out their viewpoint. And I banned one person for anti-Semitism. But I am famously slow to ban people. I hate the idea, personally.

Victor Reppert said...

At one point in Don's essay he attributes to Trump's opponents that he is worse than Hitler. I think VERY poorly of Trump, but the murder of six million Jews is way beyond anything Trump has done or even contemplated doing. So I would never say that about him. What I do think is that he rejects some of the basic principles underlying our democratic system, and that his narcissism is extremely dangerous in a leader, and yes it does go beyond what other American leaders have been guilty of. Hitler is someone who is an object lesson for what Americans ought to avoid, so the similarities were disturbing to me. But worse than Hitler? I would NEVER say that.

bmiller said...

It's a bit slippery to say it's OK to call people "white nationalists" (even when they're Jewish) but, Heavens, that doesn't mean I'm calling them Nazis.

Regardless, Clyburn and Nadler did compare Trump to Hitler.

When Democratic leaders loudly proclaim that Hitler is in power, as Don points out, why wouldn't people who believed them pull out all the stops to make sure he is gone?

bmiller said...

Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.

Who used "stormtroopers" again?

bmiller said...

But it wasn't only Pelosi who compared Trump to Hitler. But Biden too in his campaign ad.

I know people who only listen to the MSM still think Trump endorsed "white supremacists", "white nationalists", "neo-Nazis" or whatever at Charlottesville, but I bet they never saw the entire exchange or didn't care.
HERE

Trump:
It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay?

Victor Reppert said...

I didn't say that Democrats don't make Hitler comparisons, what I said was that they don't say that Trump is worse than Hitler. Many people think that Trump engaged in conduct that is similar to that of fascist dictators like Hitler.

But worse than Hitler? He's going to need a much bigger death toll to beat Hitler.

He's also been called a socialist.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/373700-j-c-planas-donald-trump-is-the-socialist/

Limited Perspective said...

Biden did say he was running because President Trump called neoNazis "fine people." It is true that Biden's reason for running was based on a lie.

You can bash Trump for his lies. He did lie. But the reasons he gave for running were legitimate concerns for many Americans:
1. Trade deals that hurt Americans and helped a despotic Chinese government.
2. Unlawful immigration
3. Foreign wars that hurt Americans
4. The denigration of people who say they love being American from a conservative point of view.

You can argue it was all a show and hit all the right buttons for a segment (not white supremacists) of America. But unlike Biden, he didn't base his whole campaign on a single lie.

bmiller said...

Victor,

I didn't say that Democrats don't make Hitler comparisons, what I said was that they don't say that Trump is worse than Hitler.

LOL!!

What a concession! Certainly no one should think that they are justified in committing crimes unless they are convinced that they are doing so in the cause of fighting against someone "worse that Hitler". If they are convinced by Democratic leaders that Trump was only "equal to Hitler", then there is no moral obligation to break the law.

BTW. As a reminder. Nazi's were socialists (National Socialists). So you should have voted for Trump if you think he's a socialist, right?

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,
Now if you don’t want to watch hours and hours of video, imagine how I feel. Given the premise that my memory (but not yours?) should be presumed faulty unless proven reliable, I have to scour through potentially hundreds of hours of video to find the relevant clips – where Google hasn’t already been scrubbed them – and post them here, or else assume that I, along with millions of other people, hallucinated or something.

I agree that would be unfair. What I assumed is that, considering the enormous amount of protest, such clips would be all over the internet, if they existed.

So while most of the states in the country were already called, Trump was leading in five of the most important swing states when the networks went dark. Biden somehow came back to win four out of five, in the same areas where so many voters complained about intimidation and so forth.

This was pretty much what I expected. Sites like 538 had been discussing the red mirage for a couple of months before the election. I didn't know if Trump was going to win (although Biden was something like a 95% likelihood on 538, much better than Clinton's 65%), but I knew the gaps would narrow.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
It's a bit slippery to say it's OK to call people "white nationalists" (even when they're Jewish) but, Heavens, that doesn't mean I'm calling them Nazis.

There's nothing about being Jewish, or any other ancestry, that's incompatible with white nationalism, which is an ideology. Also, you're bright enough to know that an A can be a C, and a B can be a C, without an A being a B.

Regardless, Clyburn and Nadler did compare Trump to Hitler.

Nope. They compared the erosion of democratic norms to what happened under the Nazis, which is still overblown, but not the same. Clyburn deliberately compared Trump to Mussolini.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/20/politics/james-clyburn-trump-hitler-comparison/index.html
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/02/clyburn-trump-mussolini-390500

bmiller,
Who used "stormtroopers" again?

That tweet didn't mention Trump, and putting "Trump" in the link text was a lie.

bmiller said...

I did make a mistake with an earlier link.

It should have been to the CNN story where Clyburn and Nadler compare Trump to Hitler.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/20/politics/james-clyburn-trump-hitler-comparison/index.html

As for accusations of me lying, Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped. is literally the last line in the Pelosi tweet.

Limited Perspective said...

One Brow,

Here's the quote (multiple sources) from James Clyburn on CNN November 10, 2020: "'I’m beginning to see what happened in Germany back in the 1930s. I never thought that could happen in this country.'

'How do you elect a person president, then all of a sudden you’re going to give him the authority to be dictator?' He continued. 'That’s what Hitler did in Germany.'”

bmiller said...

Limited,

The CNN reporter titled the article:
Top House Democrats compare Trump’s rise to Hitler’s

CNN even titled the link "james-clyburn-trump-hitler-comparison".

Did the author think Clyburn was comparing to Trump? Looks pretty clear to me.

Limited Perspective said...

Clyburn was comparing Trump to Hitler.

Limited Perspective said...

Some accusations in our society are very damaging. You can be accused of being a “leftist” all day long and you will have no consequences. Being accused of racism or white supremacy can cost you your job, your safety, your reputation. Once accused, it is almost impossible to clear your name. Take our President accusing Kyle Rittenhouse of being a white supremacist, it’s sickening.

On a personal note, I have two very close black friends. By close I mean my wife and I have been to family functions and holidays where her and I are the only white people in the room. I always felt we were accepted into their culture and family, and they would talk about things I’m not sure they would say in front of a group of white people. I’ve noticed a language and conversation shift in a room full of black folks and when they are few in a room full of whites.

One of the things I wondered about is how different it feels to be in room of people celebrating a family birthday, or such thing, and be the only white couple in the room. I asked them how it felt to often be the only black person in a room of white people. The other thing I asked is, “if someone accused me of being a racist, how would I defend myself? One said, “I know you’re not that way.” I replied, “Yeah, but I would I clear my name?” He just shrugged. The other said, “well, you are married to blonde Swede, so you have no chance.” Literally, those were the two answers I was given. One answer was serious but unhelpful, the other was a joke but illustrated how these kinds of accusations work. It’s about pretending to be a mind reader and it is sickening.

If you make an accusation against someone from which there is no defense, it is like being Hitler (irony intended).

Kevin said...

One political party has defined the other political party as being white supremacists. So even when the other party enthusiastically elects black people, they are dismissed as "black faces of white supremacy".

There is no defense against an accusation which by definition is unfalsifiable. Thus the proper response is mockery and dismissal. You can't convince people who hate you by denying what they already believe, but perhaps by convincing rational people around them they might grudgingly be dragged into seeing the truth indirectly.

bmiller said...

You can't convince people who hate you by denying what they already believe,

I doubt they really believe their own rhetoric. That's just a means to their end.
But they do hate you because you oppose their ends.

bmiller said...

Limited,

It was probably unfair to pose those questions to your friends. They know you're not racist, but they also aren't responsible for any false accusations. So your question may have put them in an awkard position. Plus, no one knows where one goes to get their reputation back after a false accusation.

One Brow said...

Limited Perspective,

Here's the quote (multiple sources) from James Clyburn on CNN November 10, 2020

Uou may not have noticed I included a link to the CNN report, bmiller seems to have missed it.

"'I’m beginning to see what happened in Germany back in the 1930s. I never thought that could happen in this country.'

Which I agreed was overblown, but is not a comparison to Hitler.

'How do you elect a person president, then all of a sudden you’re going to give him the authority to be dictator?' He continued. 'That’s what Hitler did in Germany.'”

Is that a factually inaccurate statement? Again, I agreed that was a bad comparison.

One Brow said...

Limited Perspective,
Some accusations in our society are very damaging. You can be accused of being a “leftist” all day long and you will have no consequences. Being accused of racism or white supremacy can cost you your job, your safety, your reputation.

This is such a lie. If you call the police on a man in the park asking you to put your dog on his leash, that might happen. If you tackle a kid while trying to take his cell phone, maybe. Even then, you'll find plenty of sympathetic people who will hire you for another job. No one loses their job on empty accusations of racism.

Take our President accusing Kyle Rittenhouse of being a white supremacist, it’s sickening.

Rittenhouse has been offered a chance to intern with two US Representatives. He's not losing anything.

The other thing I asked is, “if someone accused me of being a racist, how would I defend myself?

You let black people do it for you. For a very public example, look at Howard Cosell. More generally, if you offended someone accidentally, you listen to them, apologize, and make the effort to not do it again, like any decent human being.

Most likely, neither person took your request too seriously because they know too many racists who never got into trouble for it.

It’s about pretending to be a mind reader and it is sickening.

You might have more trouble finding examples of racist people fired for no reason than you think.

Limited Perspective said...

It may have been an unfair question, but that's the way my friendships work. Questions go both ways. At the time of the question I had been friends with one for about 30 years, with the other (completely different social circle) about 7 years. We have a level of trust that comes from years of helping each other, talking about important topics, hospital visits and weddings, funerals, ect. A lot of history.

I asked because I have seen people accused of racism and everything they say in their defense is mocked: some of my best friends are black, I spent time helping a black student with his homework.... RACIST!

It seems the only way to not be accused is to have the right politics (which I don't) and not how you live your life and treat other people.

Victor Reppert said...

Just a note of something I forgot. The links I included documenting difficulties with the Cyber Ninjas' Arizona audit didn't come from national news sources, but from local TV stations. I don't think these local TV stations are great bastions of leftism. MSNBC or CNN, I can understand. News from channels 5, 12, and 15, I don't think so. And I live in Arizona. There are plenty of Republicans here, like the County Recorder and the speaker of the House, that want nothing to do with the audit, and I think even the Senate President, who ordered it, called it "botched." Not much of a model for anybody.

Kevin said...

No one loses their job on empty accusations of racism.

Emmanuel Cafferty says hello.

bmiller said...

Victor,

I don't think these local TV stations are great bastions of leftism. MSNBC or CNN, I can understand. News from channels 5, 12, and 15, I don't think so. And I live in Arizona.

Kari Lake was a top-rated news anchor in AZ. She should know and she disagrees:

What many people don’t see, and you can’t see it unless you’ve worked in local television news, is that leftism permeates many of these corporate-owned and supposedly community newsrooms. Anchors and reporters are overwhelmingly liberal.

The most ardently leftist of these people generally seem to be the show producers — the people who organize the programs, decide what the news is and then write or co-write the news copy that anchors read off the teleprompter.


One of your "local" articles spoke of "false allegations" in the AZ audit. There were simply no allegations in the report. There were anomalies that the county could not, did not and still has not cleared up. That article did not quote anyone from the audit team at all regarding the challanges. So it was not only one-sided but also false.

The other article, regarding security, actually reported that they had been caught propping doors open in order to breech security and then reporting on the "security breech" they intentionally caused. Is that even legal?

I don't know why anyone would think that local franchises of the MSM would contradict their corporate bosses. That's what is called a "career limiting decision".

Limited Perspective said...

One Brow,

I try not to lie. Lying doesn't set well with the Lord. It's also not good for the things I most value: marriage, fatherhood, friendships. Lying is pretty bad also for being a long time member of a church and (at least in my case) long time business relationships. It's something I try not to do.

Perhaps you are missing the distinction about writing an opinion. As a fact you can lose your job for being a racist. As an opinion, people should be careful about calling someone a racist because that could be bearing false witness against someone who might have unjust consequences from the accusation.

Limited Perspective said...

Perhaps having a false internet name is lying. My reasoning for the false name is I've seen (read about) enough people ruined by something they wrote online that fired up a particular mob.

bmiller said...

Limited,

Remaining anonymous is not lying. Victor does not require that people use their real names.

Also don't be concerned about leftists making false accusations about you on this forum. It comes with the territory of disagreeing with leftists.

Victor Reppert said...

And everyone is a leftist who disagrees with you?

Kari Lake is running for governor of Arizona with a pro-Trump campaign. Is a right-wing bias better than a left-wing bias?

Are there only left-wing facts and right-wing facts? So, the question of whether Trump got a better inauguration turnout than Obama is determined, not by whether there were in fact more people at the Obama inauguration than at the Trump inauguration, but by whether or not you are a leftist?

bmiller said...

Victor,

You claimed local news was not left-wing biased. I offered a counter claim. Kari Lake was the highest rated anchor on the local scene so is in a better position to judge than you or I. She claims it is left-wing biased but that shouldn't be surprising since all the surveys I've read indicate that >80% of journalists are left wing. Do you dimiss her statement because she has a right-wing bias? Then you've proved that you only accept "left-wing" facts.

But facts are neither left-wing nor right-wing. However the people who report make choices on what they report on, what they don't and what facts to include in their story (and in lots of cases what to make up). That ends up making the story either left-wing or right-wing. If all you listen too all day long is one or the other, you will be missing some facts and end up believing falsehoods because you never get to hear the other side.

From what I can tell, more people showed up at Obama's inauguration in person than Trump's.
I'm sure you can provide other instances where Trump stretched the truth, exaggerated or lied. And I can provide a long list of lies from Obama. The lies Biden tells are in another (bizarre) class than those 2 though. The lies from Obama and Biden never seem to bother most of the MSM though.

One Brow said...

Kevin,
Emmanuel Cafferty says hello.

Did he deliberately copy another person's hand gesture without knowing what it was? His later story is that he was just fidgeting. I didn't see where he was still unemployed, so someone seems to have him, as I said would happen.

Still, you may have found one person in a country of 350 million. That doesn't exactly make Limited Perspective fears rational.

One Brow said...

Limited Perspective,
I asked because I have seen people accused of racism and everything they say in their defense is mocked: some of my best friends are black, I spent time helping a black student with his homework.... RACIST!

You do realize the "black best friend" answer has been mocked for decades, right? It's a sign the person doesn't really understand the accusation.

Kevin said...

You do realize the "black best friend" answer has been mocked for decades, right?

I'm unaware of any answer that is accepted. The accusation is the guilty verdict.

Limited Perspective said...

One Brow,

It's not really a fear but a curiosity. Having worked with hundreds of businesses over the years, lawsuits and accusations regarding race are far more common than whatever is in the current news. If you are interested I can give you some observations from experience.

Yes, I know that having a close black friend is not going to prove your innocence of racism. My question is, perhaps you have the answer, what will clear someone from the accusation of racism? All I'm asking is how can you defend yourself from this accusation? It's not a trick or leading question it's an honest question.

As a note, I was one time accused of racism by someone who thought they should have been promoted instead of me. The system for deciding promotions was also accused of racism. It made the promotion I felt good about turn to one of me asking, "what did I do wrong?"

Kevin said...

It made the promotion I felt good about turn to one of me asking, "what did I do wrong?"

The other person should have been asking that of him or herself, not you.

Limited Perspective said...

Hundreds of businesses is an exaggeration. I've probably had long-term relationships with about 180 businesses.

Limited Perspective said...

From what I could find, there was 64,448 cases filed in 2020 for work place discrimination. That's only about one in 5,400 residents of the U.S. Maybe not a lot, but more than the one in 350,000,000.

Limited Perspective said...

Thanks Kevin. I'm self-employed now so I don't pay a lot of attention to corporate politics. I don't care for most corporations. I guess I have that in common with progressives.

I do know that the corporation I used to work for would just pay off people who threaten to file discrimination lawsuits. Usually it was between $10,000 and $30,000. It kept their name out of the news. I thought most of the accusations were bogus, but they had the money to pay and it was better than having a bad reputation.

bmiller said...

That sounds like extortion

Don McIntosh said...

Kevin,

"The accusation is the guilty verdict."

Exactly right...err, correct. :-)

There’s technically no way to falsify a charge of racism, as it would mean proving a psychological negative (that one is not in fact a racist).

However, there is a politically approved method of racial cleansing (or should that be “a racially approved method of political cleansing”?), which involves basically declaring oneself an “antiracist” and then accusing anyone in opposition a racist. Antifascism works the same way as antiracism. I simply announce to the world that I am antifascist, at which point (given that the announcement confirms that my position and personality are indeed purely opposed to fascism) it becomes clear that anyone who opposes me must be a fascist.

It’s a perversion of the logic of double negation. Just as A is logically equivalent to ~~A (not not-A), politically or socially undesirable characteristic X is deemed equivalent to ~~X. So a person who minds his own business and refuses to constantly march in the streets against X and denounce supporters of X is a proponent of X by default. In many circles it’s seriously thought impossible to simply be NON-X without being at the same time vociferously and obnoxiously ANTI-X.

Similar mechanisms have been used throughout history, including again quite recent American history, to identify those loyal to the state and those who are traitorous or seditious. With Bush it was, “Either you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.” Now it’s “Either you’re with us or you’re with the violent insurrectionists (domestic terrorists, racists, fascists, homophobes, etc.).”

One Brow said...

Kevin,
I'm unaware of any answer that is accepted. The accusation is the guilty verdict.

Except, it isn't a trial, and it's not a matter of guilt or innocence. It's a matter of understanding and empathy. Some people get so wrapped up in defending themself they forget to ask why they, in particular, have been called out.

One Brow said...

Limited Perspective,
My question is, perhaps you have the answer, what will clear someone from the accusation of racism? All I'm asking is how can you defend yourself from this accusation? It's not a trick or leading question it's an honest question.

My honest advice is to treat it as a call to improve, instead of an accusation to defend. Ask the person what they feel you have done, get their feedback, and think seriously about how to improve. Use empathy instead of self-righteousness.

Every acts in a racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. manner from time to time. It's part of our culture. We saw it in our news broadcasts, movies, cartoons, books, newspapers, etc. We all can improve. No one expects you to be perfect.

As a note, I was one time accused of racism by someone who thought they should have been promoted instead of me. The system for deciding promotions was also accused of racism. It made the promotion I felt good about turn to one of me asking, "what did I do wrong?"

I definitely got a couple of awards and a few jobs over other candidates based at least in part on my whiteness. I didn't ask for it, and I can't change that. Sometimes I had the chance to acknowledge it, other times I had the chance to try to make up for it, sometimes I just had to live with it.

Unless you specifically asked to be promoted based on your skin color, you didn't do anything wrong; possibly no one did. It could very well be that the system was racist. When that's true, you try to change the system.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,
However, there is a politically approved method of racial cleansing (or should that be “a racially approved method of political cleansing”?), which involves basically declaring oneself an “antiracist” and then accusing anyone in opposition a racist. Antifascism works the same way as antiracism.

How can I tell you I don't understand without saying that I don't understand?

You don't get what "antiracist" means, which is fine, and you're using it as a fear-inducing word, which is perverse.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

‘You don't get what "antiracist" means, which is fine, and you're using it as a fear-inducing word, which is perverse.’

Maybe we simply disagree about what antiracism means, or should mean. What does it mean to you?

I am merely suggesting that as commonly promoted in political contexts, “antiracism” is itself perverse (we can agree that the word “perverse” is not fear-inducing?).

To me and others here the word that really strikes fear in the heart is “racist.” When society is boiled down to people identified as either “racists” or “antiracists,” and the “racists” routinely lose their reputations and their livelihoods, failure to actively identify with the “antiracists” can become a fearful thing.

It’s become an ideological purity test, like in the old Soviet Union. Fear of state authority was such that anyone who wasn’t busy denouncing his neighbors for treason was suspected of treason himself.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2020/june/ibram-x-kendi-definition-of-antiracist.html

An antiracist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. By policy, I mean written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people.

To me and others here the word that really strikes fear in the heart is “racist.”

I have no fear of that at all. Nor should any person trying to learn and empathize, as opposed to trying to defend.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

“I have no fear of that at all. Nor should any person trying to learn and empathize, as opposed to trying to defend.”

Okay, let’s go ahead and assume that we can reduce the population to learning empaths and defenders. Let’s further suppose that you are a learning empath and I am a defender. Now consider the same line of thought aimed in a different direction:

“I have no fear of being profiled by the police or wrongly incarcerated as a result. Nor should anyone who obeys the law, as opposed to breaking it.”

That’s a sentiment I actually share at least in principle, and many members of racial minority groups would agree (again in principle). Yet the fact is that certain people in certain areas or situations have rational grounds for disagreeing – for fearing mistreatment on the basis of their race.

My point here is simply that not all of those people are minorities. It’s possible to obey the law and still get harassed and thrown in jail, just as it’s possible to be empathetic and still get branded a racist.

Kevin said...

It's a matter of understanding and empathy. Some people get so wrapped up in defending themself they forget to ask why they, in particular, have been called out.

My honest advice is to treat it as a call to improve, instead of an accusation to defend.

When the accused knows the accusation is baseless, the responsibility is then on the accuser to improve and stop making baseless accusations.

I agree that accidents can occur and so when and if an accusation is made, it is important to ask what happened. But if the accused disagrees that the reason is valid, then he or she has no reason to improve, as there was no wrongdoing.

Being offended is not the same as being right. Seen too many baseless accusations of racism to see it any other way.

Limited Perspective said...

One Brow,

I know the difference between an accusation and criticism. I'm not sure it's best to describe personal experience rather than a pointed argument. But, I'll go with experience on this one.


I know criticism. I played sports when I was young and had hard-nosed coaches. I joined the military, NCOs and officers are not afraid to criticize. I went to the university when professors didn't mind ripping into you. I've had blue collar and white collar managers. I've been in business with clients who are blunt about telling you what you're doing wrong. I have long-term friendships with people who speak their mind. I've been married for 33 years, no shortage of my faults being pointed out. I've had my share of criticisms that directs me towards improvement.

A false accusation is different. It's not given for self-improvement, its given for harm.

Kevin said...

A false accusation is different. It's not given for self-improvement, its given for harm.

Not necessarily. Someone can honestly believe you or a system that benefits you to be racist, and simply be wrong.

bmiller said...

I think Limited has a point.

Whether the accuser is right or wrong an accusation is made not to improve the accused but to seek to punish him. A criticism is made so the object of criticism can improve.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,

Okay, let’s go ahead and assume that we can reduce the population to learning empaths and defenders.

I can think of few things less productive.

“I have no fear of being profiled by the police or wrongly incarcerated as a result. Nor should anyone who obeys the law, as opposed to breaking it.”

That’s a sentiment I actually share at least in principle, and many members of racial minority groups would agree (again in principle). Yet the fact is that certain people in certain areas or situations have rational grounds for disagreeing – for fearing mistreatment on the basis of their race.


You're comparing the consequences for a false accusation of racism (typically a short-term inconvenience) to the accusations of a false prosecution (prison and all the associated sufferings).

My point here is simply that not all of those people are minorities. It’s possible to obey the law and still get harassed and thrown in jail, just as it’s possible to be empathetic and still get branded a racist.

Sure. I was responding to how you should deal with an accusation, not how to prevent one.

One Brow said...

Kevin,
When the accused knows the accusation is baseless, the responsibility is then on the accuser to improve and stop making baseless accusations.

How can you possibly know that an accusation is baseless unless you hear the person out and do some self-examination?

I agree that accidents can occur and so when and if an accusation is made, it is important to ask what happened. But if the accused disagrees that the reason is valid, then he or she has no reason to improve, as there was no wrongdoing.

Being offended is not the same as being right. Seen too many baseless accusations of racism to see it any other way.


I don't understand why you would not care about whether or not you continue offending people. That doesn't sound like you, typically.

One Brow said...

Limited Perspective,
I know criticism. ... A false accusation is different. It's not given for self-improvement, its given for harm.

There are a few people in the world who love to give out pain for no reason than it pleases them to see pain. Some of them even make false accusations. However, most of the time I see someone claim something is a false accusation, when they mean is 'I wasn't trying to be hateful', which is very different from 'I didn't cause you any pain'. I'm sure you understand that people can cause pain intentionally, and that if you are causing pain, intentionally or otherwise, wouldn't you like to be informed of that?

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow,

“I can think of few things less productive.”

Agreed!

“You're comparing the consequences for a false accusation of racism (typically a short-term inconvenience) to the accusations of a false prosecution (prison and all the associated sufferings).”

Right, that’s because for me the main issue is whether there is anything to substantiate the accusation, not what the consequences may or may not be. But now that you mention it, an accusation of racism these days is no longer a short-term convenience; it’s often grounds enough to get someone fired, harassed, physically assaulted, and even investigated by the FBI.

Calling attention to actual wrongdoing doesn’t bother me. But there are millions of people who would be inclined to think me a racist on no other grounds than my supporting Trump or watching Fox News. If and when those people are my neighbors and coworkers, there’s potential, at least, for false accusations and the associated consequences.

“I was responding to how you should deal with an accusation, not how to prevent one.”

Fair enough. I do agree that we should take the high ground and try to patiently defuse misunderstanding as much as reason permits.

Kevin said...

I don't understand why you would not care about whether or not you continue offending people.

If I make a mistake, of course I care. But it doesn't take much Google digging to find utterly absurd things that people have gotten offended over and called racist or sexist or whatever-ist or phobic. The fact that I do not vote Democrat as a straight white man is cause enough for some of them to label me a white supremacist..

These people are the ones I'm talking about, the ones ever searching for the next transgression. I will expend no energy trying to placate someone with that mindset.

Let them stay offended.

Limited Perspective said...

Kevin,

"Not necessarily. Someone can honestly believe you or a system that benefits you to be racist, and simply be wrong."

I think this is a good insight. Thanks.

bmiller said...

These people are the ones I'm talking about, the ones ever searching for the next transgression.

If you think everyone is out to get you, then you can see things that aren't really there. You can also actually create tensions where there was none before by making false accusations. It seems a lot of people are advocating conflict rather than understanding and in so doing actually work to bring about the conditions they imagine exist.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,

But now that you mention it, an accusation of racism these days is no longer a short-term convenience; it’s often grounds enough to get someone fired, harassed, physically assaulted, and even investigated by the FBI.

Please. People who call the police falsely get fired, people who go out of their way to insult others get harassed, counter-protesters getting physical are physically assaulted, and people who join groups supporting violence get investigated. Are you in any of those categories?

If and when those people are my neighbors and coworkers, there’s potential, at least, for false accusations and the associated consequences.

You're taking the consequences for the extreme cases and assuming they will apply to you. Are you extreme?

One Brow said...

Kevin,
The fact that I do not vote Democrat as a straight white man is cause enough for some of them to label me a white supremacist..

To be fair, black woman who votes only Democratic, and doesn't push for greater change, is also considered a white supremacist. In a country founded on white supremacy, supporting the status quo is supporting white supremacy.

Let them stay offended.

As you wish.

bmiller said...

You see Kevin, to leftists if you don't applaud them you're the enemy. But even that's not enough. “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

This is what happens when they get in power.

Kevin said...

In a country founded on white supremacy, supporting the status quo is supporting white supremacy.

Disagreeing with their proposed solutions is not supporting white supremacy.

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow:

“Please. People who call the police falsely get fired, people who go out of their way to insult others get harassed, counter-protesters getting physical are physically assaulted, and people who join groups supporting violence get investigated. Are you in any of those categories?”

No, but I don’t need to actually be in any of those categories to experience adverse effects of a false accusation. That’s precisely the problem people like me are trying to address here.

People who attack the police tend to get shot by the police, but sometimes people get shot who do not belong to that category. In a few cases they’re completely unarmed. Injustice occurs when innocent people of any racial designation are accused, abused, imprisoned or killed by people in authority.

“You're taking the consequences for the extreme cases and assuming they will apply to you. Are you extreme?”

No, I’m assuming that in the present political environment there’s nothing to prevent them from applying to me.

Am I extreme? That depends on who you ask. For lots of apparently serious-minded people, my being “white,” Christian, conservative, owning a gun and reading Breitbart is sufficient evidence of my extremism. Again the problem is that there’s nothing to stop someone from accusing me of extremism, along with racism and all the rest. As Kevin mentioned, at that point the accusation becomes de facto evidence of guilt, and it becomes my burden to somehow prove myself innocent of the charges.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
You see Kevin, to leftists if you don't applaud them you're the enemy.

On the contrary, Kevin didn't set up the system. No person is the enemy. However, I appreciate your attempt to try to focus on blaming people, instead of where it belongs.

One Brow said...

Kevin ,
Disagreeing with their proposed solutions is not supporting white supremacy.

Certainly not. However, denying that there are solutions, or claiming that the best solution is the current system, is. What solutions do you prefer.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,
No, but I don’t need to actually be in any of those categories to experience adverse effects of a false accusation. That’s precisely the problem people like me are trying to address here.

You keep saying that, but acknowledge you haven't faced any ill effects. What the problem? Having monsters under the bed was not enough?

People who attack the police tend to get shot by the police, but sometimes people get shot who do not belong to that category. In a few cases they’re completely unarmed. Injustice occurs when innocent people of any racial designation are accused, abused, imprisoned or killed by people in authority.

There's a sizable, measurable disparity in the likelihood of being shot while unarmed (or legally carrying) when your skin is brown.

No, I’m assuming that in the present political environment there’s nothing to prevent them from applying to me.

That's just paranoia. You're white, living in a system built on white supremacy, and white people still have most of the power and make most of the decisions.

Am I extreme? That depends on who you ask. For lots of apparently serious-minded people, my being “white,” Christian, conservative, owning a gun and reading Breitbart is sufficient evidence of my extremism.

Well, if Breitbart is your preferred source of news, that's fairly indicative.

Again the problem is that there’s nothing to stop someone from accusing me of extremism, along with racism and all the rest.

After which, what happens to you? Nothing, except you get even more entrenched in your opinions.

As Kevin mentioned, at that point the accusation becomes de facto evidence of guilt, and it becomes my burden to somehow prove myself innocent of the charges.

Why do you feel the need to prove your innocence?

Don McIntosh said...

One Brow:

“You keep saying that, but acknowledge you haven't faced any ill effects. What the problem? Having monsters under the bed was not enough?”

Ha! Good one. But seriously, I’m increasingly hearing and reading about *other* people facing ill effects. That’s why I mentioned “people like me” and not just me. Remember, it’s all about empathy and understanding for everyone, not just your favorite political identity groups...

Besides, ill effects of discriminatory policies tend to grow incrementally; no nation loses its freedoms overnight. Totalitarians generally start burning books well before they start incinerating people.


“There's a sizable, measurable disparity in the likelihood of being shot while unarmed (or legally carrying) when your skin is brown.”

Yes, very good! Now consider that there’s also a considerably higher likelihood of being thrown in prison for hate crimes and domestic terrorism for anyone who has been racially pigeonholed as a “white” person. That likelihood spikes further still when the white person is found to be an evangelical Christian with an appreciation for the Constitution.


“That's just paranoia. You're white, living in a system built on white supremacy, and white people still have most of the power and make most of the decisions.”

Much the same could have been said of German leftists not long before Hitler’s rise to power, or Russian intellectuals before Stalin’s purges. Influential journalists and government officials continually lamenting the scourge of “white privilege,” “white supremacy,” “white nationalism,” “white rage,” “white tears,” and white who-knows-what-else, but referring only to conservatives (of all races!), would be a sign of trouble for any free society. Taking note of such developments is not paranoia.


“Well, if Breitbart is your preferred source of news, that's fairly indicative.”

It’s one of many sources I read. And apparently I’m not the only one here who reads it. How otherwise could you know it’s indicative of anything?

This is the kind of mindless double standard that’s becoming commonplace: If a minority or a progressive reads Breitbart, it’s for dispassionate critical analysis; but if a conservative reads Breitbart, the purpose can only be to learn how to be a more dangerous extremist.


“After which, what happens to you? Nothing, except you get even more entrenched in your opinions.”

That’s been the case for me so far, yes. The only reason you’re reading this is that I still have freedom of speech in certain public platforms. I prefer not to wait until the feds are at my doorstep to say something.


“Why do you feel the need to prove your innocence?”

I don’t. But if the day ever comes when I must, I could not do so even in principle. That should concern not just me, but you.

bmiller said...

Don,

I'm glad now that Victor called attention to the "harmful" apologetics student.

You have a lot of poise and grace as well as a good way of expressing yourself. Thanks for sharing here.

Don McIntosh said...

Bmiller,

You’re too kind... but I’ll take it! :-)

Really, thanks for that. We’re in it together, though, and I think it’s only fair to point out that you seem to have a gift for saying much with relatively few words. Can’t say I know what that’s like. Lol

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,
But seriously, I’m increasingly hearing and reading about *other* people facing ill effects.

I hear about that, as well. However, when I look into it more, almost always the story is a little deeper than some random remark.

That’s why I mentioned “people like me” and not just me. Remember, it’s all about empathy and understanding for everyone, not just your favorite political identity groups...

True. Honestly, I do understand why you feel this way. We're moving from a time where being white opened a lot of doors and excused a lot of behaviors, and we just don't get that sort of free pass anymore. I can appreciate the feeling of loss there. The thing is, most of the people that feel this loss the most strongly are afraid to acknowledge it, because that would mean the critics are correct.

Besides, ill effects of discriminatory policies tend to grow incrementally; no nation loses its freedoms overnight. Totalitarians generally start burning books well before they start incinerating people.

Very true. Which side in this conflict is suppressing more types of reading?

Yes, very good! Now consider that there’s also a considerably higher likelihood of being thrown in prison for hate crimes and domestic terrorism for anyone who has been racially pigeonholed as a “white” person.

I find "hate crimes" to be a curiously narrow category. There's a very much higher chance of being thrown into prison for any sort of action if you have brown skin (whether of the Asian, Native, Latin, or African ancestry), whether such action is smoking pot or engaging in a fistfight. White people are just more likely to be yelling or brandishing hate symbols when committing such crimes.

That likelihood spikes further still when the white person is found to be an evangelical Christian with an appreciation for the Constitution.

They notion that you equate conservatism and hate speech with "an appreciation for the Constitution" show that you have more animus generally than you are letting on. Progressives also have a lot of appreciation for the Constitution.

Much the same could have been said of German leftists not long before Hitler’s rise to power, or Russian intellectuals before Stalin’s purges.

Pre-Hitlerian Germany was not a place where leftists held all the power and wealth. At no time in Russia did the intellectuals hold significant political power.

One Brow said...

Don McIntosh,
Influential journalists and government officials continually lamenting the scourge of “white privilege,” “white supremacy,” “white nationalism,” “white rage,” “white tears,” and white who-knows-what-else, but referring only to conservatives (of all races!), would be a sign of trouble for any free society. Taking note of such developments is not paranoia.

Is conservatism inherently tied to supporting white privilege/nationalism/etc.? Is the Republican party? If not, why does every single white nationalist group support the Republican party? Taking note of that development. What about your party makes it so attractive to white nationalists? Until you reckon with that, your note-taking will be insufficient.

It’s one of many sources I read. And apparently I’m not the only one here who reads it. How otherwise could you know it’s indicative of anything?

I have read it from time to time, but don't rely on it for news.

This is the kind of mindless double standard that’s becoming commonplace: If a minority or a progressive reads Breitbart, it’s for dispassionate critical analysis; but if a conservative reads Breitbart, the purpose can only be to learn how to be a more dangerous extremist.

You can read something without it becoming your preferred source for news. I was hoping you could do better than misrepresent what I said.

That’s been the case for me so far, yes. The only reason you’re reading this is that I still have freedom of speech in certain public platforms. I prefer not to wait until the feds are at my doorstep to say something.

No one is coming to your doorstep, unless you are engaging in more than you claim to be. That's the paranoia your being fed from right-wing news sources.

I don’t. But if the day ever comes when I must, I could not do so even in principle. That should concern not just me, but you.

You never "must". That day never comes. Being a racist isn't illegal.