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Diamonds in the rough [was Test Bed]



[NB -- this was originally an unpublished draft, but was viewable by the Administrator, who rightfully thought it was a normal entry in the blog. I publish it now since it contains some interesting and challenging feedback on my opinions. The draft was taken from the Rigging thread.]

On 8/6/2016 at 1:28 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Maybe your overkill is due to the fact that you sense the persuasion power behind a gazillion women like that coming forward

Overkill.  Gotcha. Gazillions! 

Maybe, as you say. Maybe not.

I hope that reports and suspicions of irregularities and vulnerabilities are taken seriously by any American concerned about the integrity of the election system.  I hope folks use their noggins to separate out the schmutz from the real beef. I hope they investigate and report.

On 8/6/2016 at 1:28 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Is your thirst for gotcha so great you have to do a fake gotcha?

Fake Gotcha William. Oh, we know him well, don't we? He is so fecking thirsty for that gotcha, innit?  

But anyway, what you refer to as overkill is due to the preceding fact, right? Overkill for me meaning spelling out the specifics I am concerned about, and the difficult work involved in separating fear, fact and fiction on the subject of this thread's topic.  Now, the overkill-maybe-fact. The fact maybe that I sense gazillions of Milkshake Ladies coming forward.

How are you approaching discussion here, Michael? Are we not more-or-less trusted by the other, in the same rational-thinking, reasoning League?  Sometimes, when you seize a statement and subject it to the label-gun, I think of the larger content passed by.  My sunny heart tells me that you may be archly dismissive of the truncquoat, but we are otherwise shoulder to shoulder in our pursuit of Reality, and that you generally agree with the broad strokes and summary of my argument. That at any rate, is one impression I take away, or a hope, one might say. 


I can't explain it otherwise since you are not prone to misunderstanding something so elementary.

You can indeed explain it otherwise. Please read my commentary again, with a touch more Charity perhaps. Try to see through that beyond the black labels of Gotcha Thirst and Overkill.   We are on the same cognitive team over-all, even if we differ in our assessments of GOP candidate vulnerabilities. I expect you be stumping one hundred percent of the time, while in that role on the hustings. But not always.  Sometimes you will disagree with Trump campaign actions and statements and focus.  Even if we don't hear about it.

Anyhow, perhaps we can re-orient the discussion to our shared concern: the reality, the danger, the perceived-reality of serious problems in the integrity of the election November 8th.  I had my fun with anecdotal Angry Milkshake Ladies. We have set the stage for further discussion.


So, setting aside that which presumably unites us in reason, and overlooking the Label-Gun, I will go back to the "Riggy" Business: what are your main fears, if any?  Where is the most damage likely to occur? How can this looming possibility of vote-rigging be averted?  What should be the focus of attempts to prevent attacks on the integrity of your elections?

In the Hoopla of the big media and all the subsidiary media, there are some good hard-nosed discussions going on about the probabilities of 'rigging.' There is a to-and-fro, point-counterpoint to such discussions. They cannot be decided in the sense of a capitulation; there are differences of informed opinion.  

One current of discussion gets stuck on asking what Mr Trump is doing on the practical level, and what he is doing on the rhetorical level. So far, I see nothing from the campaign itself trying to sell the Riggy Blob.  It's just vague alarm and ghost-storiy agit-prop so far. I expect this to get more pointed and less rhetorical over time.

If you take off your Trump Red Hat for a bit, Michael, and see where you share common ground. I have no intentions of going to The Lake to join Steve, Robert, Stephen, Roger, Peter and Jerry and the other vacationers, but I do understand a tired reluctance to get into it with you that might have played a part in the departures.  If it ever were down to only one Dissenter on Trump subjects, would  label-gunning arguments be useful?

Forgive all that. Disagreements are where diamonds are made. Here's my main question informed by the Riggyness:   will Mr Trump denounce the November results if they do not favour him?

What makes this a vexing question is that if you accept that the election is likely to be stolen -- then there is no real point to voting. It is this kind of exhaustion of hope that I find is the biggest danger of all.  


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Odd, I can't quote you here.

Anyway, you wrote: "You can indeed explain it otherwise. Please read my commentary again, with a touch more Charity perhaps."

Maybe it would help if you see what I read from my head and not from yours. So here's what I saw.

ME: Here's an indication of something that portends the future. It's not proof of anything (meaning there is no proof, i.e., documentation), but the story makes it stand out enough to be noticeable. I expect lot more of this stuff on that way. And some of it will get quite serious. (Link to Milkshake Lady.)

YOU: Milkshake Lady? Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee... Hahahahahaha! Woo hoo, Howdy Doody, folks! By the way, did the Milkshake Lady prove this? Did the Milkshake Lady prove that? Did the Milkshake Lady prove here? Did the Milkshake Lady prove there? Did the Milkshake Lady do magic with her milkshakes? Har har har har har...

ME: (Silence about her. But posting about stories to come.) 

YOU: And don't forget that the Milkshake Lady doesn't have any documentation. None. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. No way, José. Zip, scratch and void. Now if the Milkshake Lady did have documentation, that would be something (snigger snigger). But she doesn't. No documentation. See? The documentation ain't there. No docmentation. You want to know why? She doesn't make documentation. She makes milkshakes and now she's a Frawdbustah!... Hahahahaha...

ME: (sigh, then explaining that the purpose of the story was not to prove anything gotcha-wise.)

YOU: Whaaaat the fuck?


That's the emotional undertow I get from your style. Sorry I misspelled frawdbustah. I wanted to spell it like you wrote it, but apparently you have deleted it.

My reaction is not hostile. But if I perceive whoop-'n-holler while entirely missing my point as your response--and even insistence on the merriment when I don't comment further, I'm going to say what I think in my normal colorful, entertaining, intelligent, perceptive and erudite manner. :) 

Do you want to do spirit of charity? Fine. I'm always game for that. But it has to start by making an attempt to correctly understand the other. It's a two-way street, too. You and me, not just me.

Mock if you will, but at least acknowledge the point. Then I can get in a charitable mood. :) 


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You further wrote:

"Here's my main question informed by the Riggyness:   will Mr Trump denounce the November results if they do not favour him?

What makes this a vexing question is that if you accept that the election is likely to be stolen -- then there is no real point to voting. It is this kind of exhaustion of hope that I find is the biggest danger of all."

What makes you fear that so much? Look at Trump's past and you will see he always accepts the rules. He lost the first round in Iowa. He didn't like it and he hated the switcheroonie and lying Ted Cruz did to alter the results, so he bitched, but he accepted the results.

Action-wise, I am far more fearful of the people who set booby-traps with that initial pledge to sign, then didn't honor their pledges when they lost.

I don't know why you fear a reaction you imagine Trump will make, but don't fear the sleazy dirty tricks that those asshole sore losers are doing right in front of you. They are the ones who promote war for profit, not Trump.

That means dead bodies for real. Reality-level blood and death. People you and I might know who go and don't come back. This is something that people need to think about and take seriously--because life and death is as serious as it gets--instead of the lack of culture of some goddam Milkshake Lady.

I believe wisdom comes with learning what the correct thing to fear is regardless of what it looks like...


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Lightly edited for clarity and the usual suspects.

On 8/6/2016 at 5:58 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

You further wrote:

"Here's my main question informed by the Riggyness:   will Mr Trump denounce the November results if they do not favour him?

What makes this a vexing question is that if you accept that the election is likely to be stolen -- then there is no real point to voting. It is this kind of exhaustion of hope that I find is the biggest danger of all."

What makes you fear that so much?

Because it tends to depress public participation and further depresses trust in institutions of the republic.


I had alluded to Americans' mistrust in the electoral system.  I believe that on average a US citizen is much more likely to mistrust the integrity of the election system/s compared to a Canadian. Whether or not the trust/mistrust is correlated to actual integrity does not matter. It is a 'background hum' or radiation or graven image in the American Mind.  I can direct you to PEW and some electoral integrity perception studies that add to my metaphorical 'hum.'

It will -- all things being equal -- tend to depress voter participation. The system 'sum' then is going to miss out all those people who are eligible to vote but do not do so -- because of their abandonment of participation. (a side-issue is of course the billions-word-count point/issue "what your vote means")

It will, in a tautology, "prove" itself.   Even if there is a gap between perceptions and reality, a perceived unfair or unrepresentative 'system' is a mental reality.  The perception can be general (it's all fixed) or specific (My city is Democratic. My vote means almost fuck all), it can be very well-supported or poorly supported.  

If I can use a metaphor unwisely, mistrust is a corrosive on the body politic, a bit of an acid or oxidizer. It tends to destroy something, or rather deepens the fissures already graven between the Trusting and the Not.

That's off the top of my head, without revision, so excuse the wild metaphor. Any further questions I will be happy to answer.  

That is meant to set the scene that is in my mind.  And then the question.  Most presidential elections have that 'hum' and some elections seem to produce harmonics and feedback and more noise associated with the hum. And in the meantime (between elections) the system/s at county/state level move a little bit or a lot as the complicated machinery of a presidential balloting evolves.

So, that sets the stage and populates the preceding history in my mind, and hopefully tells you what prompted the question taken in isolation.

Now, that might make this sentence fragment more meaningful: that I believe an exhaustion of hope is the biggest danger.  

The hope:  that Mr Trump will win (win big, win clean, win a landslide, win by a whisker).

The mental reality: the electoral (vote-counting) system is rigged against Mr Trump

The exhaustion:  this election can't be won by normal means -- the Democrats are going to steal it. My vote actually means nothing.

The danger:  FURTHER Mistrust of the entire electoral process/A sense that the 'official' winner will take office due to fraud. The official numbers are themselves fraudulent.

The question that we cannot yet answer:   Will Mr Trump himself accept the 'official' count and congratulate the other candidate -- thus legitimizing her victory?  This is what Romney did and each other preceding loser (even Gore, once the votes were finally in).


When I suggest you re-read my items, it is to aid you understanding my larger argument. I often do not recognize myself or my argument or my motives in your paraphrases or 'in other words' or other summations. And ... it should go without saying that the labels stuck on me Overkill Gotcha kind of itch. 

Please give me four paragraphs or so or something in answering the question I find personally vexing: "will Mr Trump denounce the November results if they do not favour him?"

Normally,  national balloting (President) is contested everywhere and anywhere. Every vote is a hard fight. Getting 'your' voters to the precinct is the last step in the Get Out The Vote drives by state/region/county/precinct by each 'side'.

It is a real and kind of majestic exercise in democracy that day in November -- far more meaningful than any other election on earth. The world is often spellbound by these contests where they would not care a whit for the more majestic Indian national parliamentary elections.  

At 90 days out, (here I repeat all my broilerplate about what I hope for in homework diligence and intelligence in re 'hinky') I have a question.  I don't have an answer.

Edited by william.scherk
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