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February 16, 2018


What statistical answer are you looking for?

back atcha.

what did you find interesting on the igeek page?

what point did you wish to make in citing it?
what question did you wish to raise?

Really, What statistical answer are you looking for?

here's iGeek's final conclusion: In the U.S., removing those laws resulted in lowering of crime rates.

the data doesn't say that. and, he attributes lowering of crime to a single factor, without proving causation. he has nothing to say about, for example lead/crime, or education, or the economy, or anything.

it's BS masquerading as analysis.

Marty, the big problem with the chart you linked to is the arbitrary adjustment for the author's claim about the ONS that "They only count murders where someone is charged with a crime." Which is simply false. There's a detailed account of the methods here. If you scroll down (link) you'll see a bar chart including "no suspect" as one of the bars.

To repeat: the chart you linked to makes a major adjustment for what it claims is a difference in counting methodology which provably does not exist. It's a crock. File it in the round one.

I'll add that these statistics are all for homicides. If you want to count specifically murders, in the UK or in any other country which distinguishes between murder and manslaughter, you have to wait for someone to be convicted of them. Which is why the ONS, like reporting agencies in other countries, focuses on homicide data.

Conflating "murder" with "homicide" in discussing these data is unhelpful.

russell, I actually found it interesting that the rolled up statistics were broken down in different ways to beg the question whether the topics numbers were at all meaningful.

To argue against his point about removing black people commenters here said it would be more reasonable to take out poor people. So is gun violence, or violent crime in general greater in populations of poor people, with or without guns? Rural vs urban poor people?

So how does that effect the overall comparison? By percent are there more poor people in the US?

Does the ONS not count things that are counted here? Is that statistically significant? Is there really less violence when things are counted the same? Why isn't that a valid question?

Underlying all of this is my assertion/opinion that the problem in the US is that we are more violent is questioned in a way that made me consider that I could be wrong.

Some of the facts in the article aren't disputable, deltas between gun and knife violence etc that speak directly counter to my understanding of a cultural difference. So I thought it was interesting.

thanks marty, it's helpful to know the details

Does the ONS not count things that are counted here? Is that statistically significant?


the US doesn't count sexual assault as a violent crime.

I'm not positive, but this might have been counted as a violent crime, as it is a public order offense


The criminal law in respect of public order offences is intended to penalise the use of violence and/or intimidation by individuals or groups.

Maybe they have 'more' "violent" crime because their definition of violence is a lot lower than the US.

Joaquin Oliver

By percent are there more poor people in the US?

That depends on your definition of poverty.

There's been a lot of research into the relationship between poverty and crime. It's not simple. But there are some common-sense observations which seem to hold up:

- people are more likely to commit crime if they have little to lose by being caught. Rich people will flout the law if they think their lawyers will get them off. Poor people will flout the law if they think they'll be not much worse off in prison, and they have no career at stake.

- income inequality encourages theft more than poverty in itself. How could anyone look at Trump and not feel they have just as much right to be rich?

- some sorts of crime are committed only against strangers - muggings for example. So they happen in big cities and not small villages.

- gang violence is a city phenomenon.

Regarding guns: of course you reduce gun violence by making guns harder to come by. In the UK, it's possible for criminals to get guns, but at a price, and with considerable risk. So they are used only in high-yield robberies, or by gangs as a show of bravado.

There's some substitution of knives, but stabbing a person is harder than shooting them. The homicide rate is several times lower in the UK than in the USA.

for wj,

(You'll enjoy the comments, too)

The quickest way to reduce gun violence, and other forms of violence, in the US is to stop the war on drugs. In addition to the direct reductions, doing away with the illegal drug laws along with the laws against other victimless crimes would free up resources to use against crimes with real victims.

OK, so we don't arrest Trayvon Martin for marijuana possession at his school, but deal with in other, better ways, per the example in one your cites yesterday.

But then the writer of the article states THAT leniency is precisely what led to the Florida shootings?

So what gives?

I'm all for overhauling the War on Drugs, now enjoying a revival by our Justice Department.

This was interesting on NPR this morning:


Other countries are smarter than we are.

Also would like to point out that a Florida legislator and other conservatives don't believe gun bans work to reduce gun crime, citing Baltimore, Chicago, Philly, and such, cities that have instituted gun bans.

Well, of course not, because all of those cities are surrounded by gun purveyors who sell to the cityfolks.

Build a wall!

I'll bet most of those gun purveyors are white men.

But then the writer of the article states THAT leniency is precisely what led to the Florida shootings?

The article implies that the Broward County School Board has gone to the opposite extreme of the zero tolerance idiocy.

"The homicide rate is several times lower in the UK than in the USA."

You keep telling yourself that. The homicide rate in vast parts of the US are significantly lower than in the UK. But you jeep leaning on that one statistic to make you feel better.

Homicide rate in London vrs New York

The homicide rate in vast parts of the US are significantly lower than in the UK.


I'm sure the homicide rate in vast parts of the UK is likewise significantly lower than it is in the US.

I'm not sure why we're comparing homicide rates in the US and the UK in the first place, but if we are interested in comparing, then lets at least use comparable things.

the countries as wholes makes sense, -ish.

one country as a whole vs selected "vast areas" doesn't.

there are vast areas of the US with hardly any people in them.

Reminder to self. The comment box is not the search field.


New York still higher than London in homicides per 100,000, despite vast decrease in New York in recent decades.

Russell made my further point regarding "vast areas".

The murder rates in Oxford and Broadchurch, not to mention the Shetland Isles, are roughly 96,785 per 100,000, on account of the genocides depicted on the "Inspector Morse", "Broadchurch", and "Shetland" detective shows.

Generalized crime in London versus New York:


London now more dangerous than New York City, crime stats suggest

I should do a refresh before posting... :}

You keep telling yourself that. The homicide rate in vast parts of the US are significantly lower than in the UK

Marty, I keep telling you that, because you linked to a lying website which claimed the opposite.

For your further information, the homicide rate in every single state of the USA is higher than in the whole of the UK.

Thanks, Bobby, that was interesting.

My suspicion, contra some of the comments there, is that the Republican Party will become sufficiently irrelevant that the Democrats can decide that they can afford to split. Except for the detail of which part of the split remains affiliated with the national Democratic Party -- which matters, if only when it comes to Presidential primaries.

London now more dangerous than New York City, crime stats suggest

that's interesting.

so what? what point are you trying to make?

just chumming?

what i want to know is this:

in London, what are my chances of being bullied into paying $10 to take a selfie with spiderman?


in other news, my wife has an appointment with her opthamologist to run some unnecessary tests, to determine if she has a condition that they both know she has because it was diagnosed 20 years ago, so that she can qualify for coverage for eye medication she's been taking for 20 years, because she has the condition.


because she uses the freaking medication, the tests will (falsely) indicate that she doesn't have the condition.

so the doc is going to mis-report the findings. because otherwise she would have to go off the medication for about a month, so that the condition would manifest itself again.

which would damage her eyes and put her eyesight at risk.

thank god we don't live in a horrible socialist country, where nameless faceless unelected bureaucrats come between us and our medical care providers.

joseph heller couldn't make this stuff up. kafka, maybe.

stupidest nation on earth. certainly, the stupidest wealthy country that is not also a war zone.

I stepped on someone's nationalist pride...

I actually didn't get from the article that I posted that the UK had higher rates, maybe they said that, but what I got was that when the numbers are broken down the delta isn't as big as the headline stats.

All of which makes sense to me. I think very few of the top line statistics that are thrown around are all that meaningful.

The US should change their X law because of this or that stat almost never is a good argument, if for no other reason than every one of them starts with the caveat that different countries report and count different ways.

To draw meaningful conclusions you need to look for underlying statistics that are more ckearly comparable.

This is ased on the few times over the years I have really dug in to understand how the numbers were prepared. So certainly IMO.

The US should change their X law because of this or that stat almost never is a good argument

the US should make it difficult to impossible for people who have a history of violence or making threats of violence, or who have a history of mental illness, to buy firearms.

i don't care what the UK does, although my guess is that they have this covered. that's what we should do.

But Russell, don't you see where that would lead? Obviously there would be a demand for two things. First, that there be no histories kept, either of making (or carrying out) threats of violence or of mental illness. Because that would be a clear threat to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Second, that the term "mental illness" be eliminated, specifically in any document produced by the Federal government.

Can you doubt it? (Of course one might dare to hope such folly would fail. Hope, but on current trends, probably not bet the ranch on it.)

I stepped on someone's nationalist pride..

No you didn't, the UK's homicide rate is nothing to be proud of. You stepped on someone's hatred of people using made-up statistics to tell lies.

I actually didn't get from the article that I posted that the UK had higher rates, maybe they said that, but what I got was that when the numbers are broken down the delta isn't as big as the headline stats.

What I got from it is that you don't care about the difference between truth and lies. I'd thought better of you. I've proved that the site is lying, I'd like you to acknowledge that.

Can you doubt it?


i'm only surprised it's not already so.

Well, first, you haven't proven anything. I see that the article I quoted picked and chose the stats they wanted to build a case, whose conclusions I acknowledged long ago were suspect.

But, the underlying statistics were as valid as any you pointed to, even if you don't like them.

You keep saying the article "lies" but you haven't proven that, you've just shown other statistics that argue against their conclusions.

It didn't just pick and chose them. It "adjusted" them, by some unspecified factor, for a wholly spurious reason.

It says "They only count murders where someone is charged with a crime." That would be true of any country if you look at murder numbers, since you don't know if it's murder until then. But the UK numbers it uses are for homicides, which clearly and unambiguously are counted even if there's no suspect. It uses this false claim as an excuse to make a large "adjustment".

Then it compares UK homicides with "adjusted" US homicides by whites. If you think the whites-only approach is valid then you do, but the glaring problem is that it excludes any homicide for which there's no suspect. In other words, it omits data in almost exactly the way it falsely accuses the UK of doing.

These so-called statistics are wholly invalid. Shame on you for being fooled by them.

I'm not fooled by anything. It adjusts the numbers, detailing exactly how and why. That is not a lie, it is the way statistics are evaluated and used all the time. If they adjusted the numbers and didn't spend several paragraphs explaining their logic it would be a lie.

Does the ONS exclude Scotland and Northern Ireland? Well, yes they do. The explanation that their charter is for England and Wales only doesn't make that a lie, it explains why they do it.

You keep explaining why certain things aren't counted, ok, got it. I understand your view that these differences don't make the statistics from the two countries incomparable.

I tend to agree with most of your assessment, but I don't categorize the article as lies.

Oddly you keep focusing on the difference between counting murders and homicides as justification of the way things are counted, but are the numbers that are being compared equivalent?

Just because there is a reason some things aren't counted doesn't mean they are counted.

Sigh. OK, the England and Wales numbers don't include Scotland and Northern Ireland. The latest rate for England and Wales is 1.05 per 100,000 population. The latest number for Scotland is 1.21 per 100,000 and for Northern Ireland 0.88 per 100,000. Including Scotland and Northern Ireland would make almost no difference. iGeek's claim that homicide rates are much higher in Scotland and Northern Ireland is, like almost everything else he says, a lie.

The thing about murders is a distraction, I mentioned it only because your source obfuscates the difference. Homicides are counted in the same way in the UK and in the USA. iGeeks huge "adjustment" to the figures to "correct" for an imaginary difference in methodology is wholly unfounded. Clear now?

So, we've had how many elections since 61 years ago:


Same vermin, same shit.

Fuck elections.

Conservatives hate public school teachers, but want to arm them:


Hat tip to Balloon juice for that 11:52 cite.

Clear, as is this from one of the documents in the references cited.

"5.  Homicide statistics too vary widely. In some developing countries, the statistics are known to be far from complete. Figures for crimes labelled as homicide in various countries are simply not comparable. Since 1967, homicide figures for England and Wales have been adjusted to exclude any cases which do not result in conviction, or where the person is not prosecuted on grounds of self defence or otherwise. This reduces the apparent number of homicides by between 13 per cent and 15 per cent. The adjustment is made only in respect of figures shown in one part of the Annual Criminal Statistics. In another part relating to the use of firearms, no adjustment is made. A table of the number of homicides in which firearms were used in England and Wales will therefore differ according to which section of the annual statistics was used as its base. Similarly in statistics relating to the use of firearms, a homicide will be recorded where the firearm was used as a blunt instrument, but in the specific homicide statistics, that case will be shown under "blunt instrument".

  36.  Many countries, including the United States, do not adjust their statistics down in that way and their figures include cases of self defence, killings by police and justifiable homicides. In Portugal, cases in which the cause of death is unknown are included in the homicide figures, inflating the apparent homicide rate very considerably"

My point, here, being that having read this along with cites that make it clear the US counts all homicides, there may be a legitimate difference on the statistics being compared. It isn't evident to me the igeek adjustment is correct.

But, most important, as I explained in my comment to russell, I didn't have a greater point to make other than it was another view on the relationship between culture, firearm availability and homicide rates that had some interesting statistical breakdowns to consider.

And isn't this fun?

Money quote (from CPAC communications director Ian Walters)

we elected Mike Steele as [Republican National Committee] chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do.
And yet these folks get upset when someone notes that they're racists....

"Since 1967, homicide figures for England and Wales have been adjusted to exclude any cases which do not result in conviction" - that does not apply to the figures iGeek uses.

What does apply is this (from the ONS site) "When the police initially record an offence as a homicide, it remains classified as such unless the police or courts decide that a lesser offence, or no offence, took place. In all, 530 deaths were initially recorded as homicides by the police in the year ending March 2015 and by 13 November 2015, 12 were no longer recorded as homicides, giving a total of 518 offences currently recorded as homicides." So the difference is tiny.

The source you quote claims a reduction 13-15%. The actual numbers show a 2.3% reduction for recent data. iGeek claims, falsely, that "Only between 1/2 and 3/4ths of all [homicides] are counted". He uses a log scale to conceal what he's doing, but it looks as if his "adjustment" removes at least half of his (already undercounted) US white homicides.

It really is disreputable to take anything from this dishonest source.

The source I cited is a report to Parliament linked to in the article.

You keep using words like lie and disreputable, where the sources are perfectly reputable.

You don't believe the adjustment is appropriate based on your review of the various sources, I have said twice now that I don't necessarily disagree with that assessment.

I disagree with your reaction that they are lies or disreputable. They are statistics subject to some level of adjustment as the information is collected, classified and reported differently.

The homicide rate in vast parts of the US are significantly lower than in the UK. But you jeep leaning on that one statistic to make you feel better.

These two sentences were written together with no sense of irony.

Not so

Marty, the differences in methodology you mention make a difference of a few percent. iGeek uses these as an excuse to "adjust" the white homicide rate in the USA, which is about 3 per 100000, down to less than 1 per 100000. If you want to say he's stupid rather than lying, ok.

But "I don't necessarily disagree" is weaselling.

Pro Bono, Well the numbers you used above to calculate that 3 were completely incorrect. You misread the table 3400 is about 200 too high and then overestimated the white population 50 million or so. The 5004 counts more crimes, and includes Hispanics, so your stats were all over the place.

I just interpreted that as you quickly trying to make a point, so I just let it go. Stats are easy to throw around, and I appreciated getting your take and the different input.

wj: And yet these folks get upset when someone notes that they're racists

How-dare-you-call-me-racist-type racists are even more despicable than David-Duke-type racists, IMHO. At least the Duke types don't try to sail under a false flag.

By the same token, the MY-guns-have-nothing-to-do-with-crime-because-I'm-white-and-suburban-type of "responsible" gun owners are pretty goddam despicable. But don't you dare call them racist.


Marty, well I don't mind admitting that the interaction between "race" and "ethnicity" is unclear to me. But breaking the numbers down as best as I can, I get that about 40% of homicides in the US are committed by non-hispanic whites, which makes the rate about 2.5 per 100,000. There's no way on earth any honest analyst could factor that down to less than 1 by allowing for a few percent difference in methodology. But we're not dealing with an honest analyst, are we?

Tony, I don't think I'd got with "more despicable". At least some of them sincerely don't recognize that they have a problem.

For the ones who are just lying to cover up their racism, sure -- despicable. But for the merely self-deluding? Not really -- they've got a problem, but it's not a false flag one.

I'm not going to defile lj's memorial to the dead with my brand of fuck off to those who need to fuck off, but this is the thread:


Seems to me the teachers who will be packing, and who haven't already discharged their weapons into
their own crotches at the first sign of trouble, should be in radio contact at all times, yes, every minute, throughout class, with local law enforcement so everyone gets the coordinates precisely correct when air support is called in.

Hello students, my name is Mrs. Friendlyfire, and I'll be your substitute teacher today.

It takes a stunning lack of imagination not to appreciate the chaos of a school shooting being heightened by arming a bunch of civilians inside the school.

and who is going to pay to arm and train all these teachers?

not the GOP, that's for sure.

Why not the GOP? They can use the money saved by eliminating all those biology textbooks which mention evolution/ ;-)

A simple and elegant solution: teachers on school grounds have to wear a bright court fool* outfit (optionally with sewn-in armor plating) but the same outfit is banned within point blank firing range outside the fence.
So the police can immediately recognize the good guys, and no bad guy can sneak in disguised as a good guy because it will be standing policy that anyone with it in the exclusion zone will be gunned down immediately by the automatic sentry turrets to be installed (even very basic recognition software should be able to distinguish between normal clothing and a fool suit).

*that's what movement conservatives think of teachers anyway, isn't it?

We're collectively like the frog in a pot of gradually heated water, having been brought over the course of years to where we're actually spending brain cells and precious moments of our lives ("we" including me) commenting on the notion that we should turn our schools into theaters of war. As if there's even enough of a shred of sanity in the idea to make it worth responding to.

What is it a smokescreen for this time, anyhow?

Not to knock anyone here for snarking about it, I'm doing it myself, obviously. But I'm just so fed up with it, and so thankful for these kids in Florida who, as I have probably already said, I hope are the pebble that starts the avalanche.

and who is going to pay to arm and train all these teachers?

not the GOP, that's for sure.

And who's going to pay them?

not the GOP, that's for sure.

The Moderate frog is always in a bind. He always has to acknowledge both sides of the temperature question, and avoid ascribing bad motives to the hand on the burner knob. To be truly Moderate, the frog must even denounce the troublemaking alarmists on his left.

The Voice of Moderation is the polite croak of a dying frog.


The Voice of Moderation is the polite croak of a dying frog.

If this is truly your opinion (see the banner at the top of the page), why are you here? A fondness for dying frogs, perhaps?

As if there's even enough of a shred of sanity in the idea to make it worth responding to...

That is the conundrum - how effectively to respond to the constant stream of pernicious nonsense emanating from the White House.
Trump is the high fructose corn syrup of political life: poisonous but addictive...

wj: If this is truly your opinion ... why are you here?

Same reasons you're in the GOP: habit, sentiment, loyalty, that sort of thing.

Plus the (possibly forlorn) hope that I can help redefine "moderation" to mean something closer to "sanity", of course.


Think of the tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars saved on impeaching the criminal traitor lout if he HAD run in there and tried to fend off semi-automatic gunfire with his small soft hands.

Aaaah, but he'd tell Pence to run in there unarmed first, and good riddance to that pig too.

No? OK, Kellyann, you go in first and shake your tits at the shooter to distract him.

Matt Bevin, Chief Executioner in Kentucky, who murders by other means, can run interference for the two of the them.

Thing is, then we'd have to erect monuments to shooter Cruz in townsquares across the country for accidentally saving the country from this infestation of republican filth.

Well, we've honored more lethal motherfuckers in the past.

This observation by lj struck me:

"I googled for lists and saw that Good Housekeeping has published one. How's that for normalization?"

Further normalization of mass murder by Second Amendment fetishists I expect to see:

Martha Stewart and Dana Loesch teaming up to recommend proper etiquette during middle school gunfights between teachers and shooters, leading off with the shooter must raise his or her and receive the teacher's permission to shoot first.

Also, separate lounges for the live teachers and the dead teachers. Teacher of the Year Awards will now include a category called "body counts".

Kimberly Strassel, always a fraught name to my ears, like Melody Boorman, or Tricksy Eichmann, or Aspen Himmler, or Heidi Hitler, suggests keeping flash grenades handy in teacher arsenals.

That one I didn't have to make up, and thus it's the funniest, like a live toaster thrown into a kiddie wading pool.

The NRA suggested shopping list for the back to school season for teachers, all of which they must pay for, as usual from reduced paychecks, especially after the Supreme Court fucks their unions:

Smiley Face Stickers and Gold Stars

Printer Paper

Subscription to Highlights Magazine

The Glock Model 19 Gen4 standard in a 9x19mm round and fully loaded 15-round magazine capacity

Revolving Globe of the World sans shitholes

Seltzer Bottle

White Board Erasers

Three boxes of Glock 19 plinker ammo

Smocks for fingerpainting

Anatomical accurate model of Abraham Lincoln's head for target practice

American flag

North Korean flag


50lb bags of lime

Jump ropes for recess

Trip wires

Full-color posters of beautiful natural settings and the changing seasons to relax the students

Live therapy bunny rabbit in cage for petting, to relax the kids

Bullet-proof jacket for bunny

Live crocodile chained to one leg of the teacher's desk, within swallowing distance of the bunny cage, so the kids don't get too relaxed for learning


Does anyone else note the awful self-orbiting twin death-planets of cops who gun down unarmed black kids in hails of gunfire without provocation and cops who can't pull the trigger when all Hell breaks loose as unarmed kids are being mowed down like crabgrass?

Oh, it's culture alright.

Things are bad in the GOP ..

How bad are they, Johnny?

Funny you should ask, Doc.

(Swivels stiffly and smooths his tie)

Things are so bad in the GOP that the last time wj went to a republican causus meetup, Mona Charen had to escort him afterwards to his car in the parking lot.

Forgot one normalization feature by early next year:

FOX News' new mid-day cooking show, featuring the favorite recipes of school mass shooters.

Featured chef: Ted Nugent preparing his twice shot border wetback studded with buckshot.

Next week: Dana Loesch's Eat Me Tips for Children's Parties

I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate that Dana Loesch didn't reprise her earlier hits and deliver a Golden Shower on the corpses of those school kids, telling them "Have a great day, buddy".


Should that vermin piece of garbage become Governor, Delta Airlines should move their operations out of that Confederate territory and refuse boarding to all republicans and/or NRA members on their aircraft.

Count, you do realize, I trust, that this is great news. Because Delta just happens to have a few dollars that it could decide to donate to whoever runs against the current Georgia Lt. Governor. For anyone who wants to turn more of the South blue, that's got to be a plus.


I'm looking forward to being told how elitist Delta and these other companies are for not hanging around and being told who they give discounts to...

when we give teachers gun, will they stop assaulting students ?

“The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he.”

Karl Kraus

Maybe I'm just completely unprecedentedly turning into a cock-eyed optimist, but like Krugman in today's New York Times, I think that there may be stirrings of hope.....

On the other hand, the first comment after that article is hard to disagree with, particularly the last sentence:

"If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy." - David Frum

We Progressives shouldn't be over-confident a landslide vote against GOP'ers will register like we hope, even though we pray Ted Cruz is right (for once) when he tells GOP'ers that Progressives will "crawl over broken glass in November to vote":


Predictably, GOP'ers and their house propaganda organ, Faux Noise Machina will claim any landslide for Dems in November is due to illegal voters and/or corrupted voter files - Bone Spur Donny will rouse his rabble by again proclaiming any defeat of him/GOP'ers is ipso facto proof the results are 'rigged'.

Not only do Progressives have the wickedly egregious GOP'er gerrymandering to deal with - which Dr. K. mentions - we can't fool ourselves that only a little more than half the country supports Progressive ideas, and polls show GOP'ers are perfectly fine with His Unhinged Unraveling Unfitness calling off the 2020 election if he wants:


Progressives should vote in 2018 like it's the last time we'll ever have a chance to see the inside of a voting booth.

What seem s like a very sensible method for fair redistricting:


thanks for that, Nigel.

I think that's fairly close to wj's suggestion from a few days back. To me, it seems remarkably fair at a practical level - it not only accounts for everyone trying to game the situation, it leverages that to drive the process.

Everybody gets a turn to be greedy.

The only issue I have with it is that it assumes two and only two parties. Which appears to be where we (the US) always land anyway, so maybe we should just learn to live with it.

Twenty-odd years ago, Page and Brin had the remarkable insight that a simple(ish) way to figure out which web pages were most relevant was to measure how many people looked at them.

No need to do elaborate computational analyses of page content. Humans already know what they're interested in. Just let them tell you.

The algorithmic approaches to districting are really attractive because they are, or at least attempt to be, neutral. Maybe that's not the way to do it.

Partisans already know which ways of carving up the body politic are in their interest. Just let them tell you. As long as all (really, both) of them get an equal shot, the result will likely approximate real-world fairness.

The "I cut, you choose" algorithm wj introduced to this forum, *might* be extensible to more than 2 participants.

For example, going round-robin; or with some order randomization to make collusion harder.

Grist for Game Theory papers, if they haven't already covered that topic extensively.

The problem with 'moderates' is that their 'position' isn't a position at all and their stance is by definition devoid of principles.

"don't rock the boat, i'm having a nice cruise" is a principle.

The problem with 'moderates' is that their 'position' isn't a position at all and their stance is by definition devoid of principles.

You are assuming, incorrectly, that "moderate" is synonymous with "take both sides and split the difference -- no matter how extreme either or both of those sides are."

It is entirely possible, today in the US, to be a moderate and far far closer to the center of the Democratic Party than to the center of the Republican Party. In fact, it's not just possible, it's pretty much required for a moderate.

The problem with 'moderates' is that their 'position' isn't a position at all and their stance is by definition devoid of principles.

There are a few Buddhists, among others, who might disagree with that....

You are all f$cking insane is the moderate position today.

So yeah, there is a principle involved. Calling half the country names and teaching your kids to hate them is pretty much a shared position of everyone that isn't a moderate today.

I don't teach my kids to hate anyone, and I don't consider myself to be a (political) moderate.

Calling half the country names and teaching your kids to hate them is pretty much a shared position of everyone that isn't a moderate today.

Who you talking about, Marty?

Who you talking about, Marty?

he must've just discovered "conservative" talk radio.

been there. it makes for a bleak day.

Every accusation is a confession, part the infinity?

I'm not teaching anybody to hate anybody else, but I am trying to figure out how to think about people I know and in some cases am related to, who are avid Trump supporters.

I'm actually at a loss. It's like having friends or family that were avid McCarthy-ites, or fanatic Birchers, or maybe Klan members, or thought the fascists weren't completely wrong about the Jews.

Some of which I actually have, or have had.

So I'd actually like to know what, and how, I'm supposed to think about them. I don't call them names, I don't hate them nor do I encourage anyone else to do so. I just don't know what the etiquette is supposed to be.

Mostly I just ignore it, and we just talk about other stuff.

Every accusation is a confession, part the infinity?

I don't find this to be true in Marty's case.

Mostly I just ignore it, and we just talk about other stuff.

Likewise. The biggest challenge, I find, is conspiracy theory enthusiasts. If only because they seem to be able to work their enthusiasm into almost any topic.

Ahh, normality.

Novakant (god, that name cracks me up) asserts a categorical imperative and a bunch of people say well, it is useful to try and be moderate and then Marty pops up and says ha! you are all a bunch of hypocrites because some fevered swamp dream of indoctrination (of our children!). I can't teach my kids to pick up their shit, how am I going to convince them to hate people who toss out bullshit stats?

Speaking about moderation, I'm from the south, so my facebook feed has a lot of really really dubious things. A lot. Should I call them out? I wonder, but they I realize how little impact it would have (He's in Japan, he just doesn't understand) and I give it a pass. But a lot of these people seem to realize how idiotic the notion of arming teachers is, and are posting stuff that surprises me, in a good way. That's the thing about tipping points, you only see them in retrospect. Though I'm sure we'll be told that this all happened because moderates demonized conservatives.

russell, I find, found, myself with a fb feed full of people who just pull up the latest article mocking or threatening the other side and posting it. Then the comment thread. I can mentally have this argument, both sides, in my sleep. The names and threats just getting harsher.

I find there is no one to talk to, otherwise a comment now and then here.

I follow 16 people on fb0 now.

should,I call the out ?

Probably not.
Indeed if you don't ignore the trolls, you might likely be actively subsidising them:
An important lesson.

Nigel, as much as I admire Buddhism, I'm not sure if its teachings can easily be translated into the sphere of politics.

It's arguably difficult to translate any deep principles 'into the sphere of politics' - but I was taking exception to your comment their stance is by definition devoid of principles and presenting a fairly straightforward example of a principled 'middle way'.

I find, found, myself with a fb feed full of people who just pull up the latest article mocking or threatening the other side and posting it.

2 points. First, I don't think that anyone here is on your FB friends list. Second, the thing all those people have in common is you.

I suppose an argument could be made that FB is showing us what people really think. But to me, what drives FB is that it feels like 'your' space, which I think is why people react so strongly when confronted with opinions they don't care for. If you hear someone taking the opposite side of an issue on the bus or a couple of tables down at a restaurant, you can shrug it off, if that person suddenly appears in your living room and starts saying that, you might react. I think that is what drives that kind of online interaction.

"everybody is so mean" is the new GOP talking point.

why they all chose this week to feel bad about this stuff is beyond me. they didn't seem to give a shit about it two years ago.

Not exactly on point, but sort of. Fake news!!!


Filed under "entertainment."

they didn't seem to give a shit about it two years ago.

Hilary's "deplorables" comment famously solidified Trump's support.

We'll see what that T-shirt does in November.

my my, such a swamp drainer


You know, I'm pretty sure North Korea thinks it can win a nuclear war against mp and his crime family.


Conservative principles spreading throughout government like a rapist's sperm through a roofied, underaged virgin's vagina.


Firing squads going 24 hours a day for years to execute the republican menace.

Dig a pit.

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