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  •  Claification on "Oversampling" (2.62)
    A bit of clarification regarding "oversampling".  Pollsters like Gallup who "oversample" Republicans are simply pre-applying routine sociometric adjustments to correct minor flaws inherent in traditional voter patterns.  

    African-American ballots, for instance, are routinely disqualified at a higher rate than American-American ballots - this is a legal and time-honored form of affirmative action - and "oversampling" Republican simply reflects this purely numeric bias.  Note: this minor imbalance is within what pollsters call the "zone of conceivable statistical possibility", or "ZCSP", and does not reflect any residual bias against the American Negro.  In fact, the voting power of the melanin-privileged underclass today is somewhat better than the 3/5 citizenship bestowed on them under the time-honored (but now quaint) tradition of slavery.  

    Another instance where "oversampling" simply corrects recurrent flaws in voter habits: Democrats just take too darn long to vote.  Example: in 2000, St. Louis polls had long lines of urbanites nonchalantly attempting to vote well past rush hour, when most honest, working Americans are busy putting food on their families.  An activist judge hysterically demanded polling places remain open so these apathetic "citizens" (who could easily have voted on their way to the welfare office that morning) could continue their leisurely ballot-box habits deep into dinnertime.  Fortunately for American democracy, this edict, reminiscent of Stalinism, was overturned by a non-partisan, strict constructionist judge who sacrificed the piping freshness of his foie gras to battle profligate inner-city voting.

    Ordinary citizens should leave complicated math-based issues to the specialists.  "Oversampling" is nothing more than a socio-numerological mechanism for properly quantifying the vote-counting predispositions of validly authorized electoral authorities devoted to responsible, righteous government.  As we embrace the Age of Silicon, these same subtle-yet-vital adjustments are being incorporated into computerized voting; surely no one would argue that computer voting should be morally neutered by slavish devotion to precise numeric accuracy.  

    So please, unless you are an academically credentialated authority on the subject, please leave the oversampling to the oversamplers.  

    Bob Love
    Chair, Dept. of Numerology and Statistical Belief
    Reichstagg University
    Tonkin, TX  

    Mission Misunderestimated

    by Bob Love on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:40:25 AM PDT

    •  What racist bullshit (none)
      I smell a troll munching on my pet goat.
      •  I think you are missing... (none)
        ...some irony.
        •  Reichstagg? Tonkin? (4.00)
          Even I got that.

          "I'm not saying that John Kerry has all the answers, but Bush has none, and he's cheating off of Dick Cheney's paper."-Bill Maher

          by theprogressivemiddle on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:19:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Whether or not it's ironical (none)
            it's racist and should go the way of all such things.  It is inappropriate.

            The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

            by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:22:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I mean (4.00)
              no one calls "African American" people the "American Negro," and to create a comparison between "African Americans" and "American Americans" is utterly contemptuous.  To reference "Reichstag" is to reference the most racist ideology in human history.    I don't know if the guy is a troll, but this stuff does not deserve a place in our strings.

              The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

              by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:25:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nuts (4.00)
                The post is suggesting that the only excuse that Gallup could give for its oversampling of Republicans is that it's anticipating racist voter supression efforts. The poster isn't endorsing that excuse, or the language in which he imagines it would be appropriately delivered. To say that the post is contrasting "African Americans" with "American Americans" is nuts. Fer crying out loud, the post invokes the Reichstag in the course of criticising racist voter supression, and you think it's somehow approving of Nazism?
              •  I thought it was funny (4.00)
                Granted, in these interesting times, it is increasingly difficult to tell even the most over-the-top parody from the sincere beliefs of a freeper or the prepared justification of some Republican's Public Relations office.  

                I mean, last night someone posted, deadpan, that Bush had had a full psychotic collapse in the midst of his debate with Kerry, and had been proclaimed the winner by all media outlets. And my initial reaction was, Oh damn, I missed it, and I hope his bounce isn't too big to overcome.  I was gonna troll-rate the guy for leading me on like that, but my better instincts prevailed.

                But still. That was parody.  It wasn't racist. It was pointing out the unabashed racism of the GOP and their media handmaidens by saying out loud what they are saying to each other.

                We're Democrats. We can deal with nuance, right?

                Gentlemen offline now abed shall think theyself accurs'd they were not here & hold their manhood cheap while any speaks that fought with us upon Election Da

                by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:12:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I usually agree with you (none)
                  but I think that to say, "George Bush wet his pants, and the press called it charming," is one thing.  To make a comparison between African American and American Americans (translate, "white"), tacitly excluding African Americans from "real" Americans, is quite another.  If it is innocent satire, it is still inappropriate.  

                  Moreover, this guy has no track record with us.  He only has 15 comments in his history even though his ID user is lower than mine by several thousand.  I find it suspect.

                  The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

                  by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:18:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  DCDem, This Is Satire (4.00)
                And damned good satire at that.  Look at how he slips in a famous Bush malapropism:

                [I]n 2000, St. Louis polls had long lines of urbanites nonchalantly attempting to vote well past rush hour, when most honest, working Americans are busy putting food on their families.

                And look at the academic department he claims to head up - "Dept. of Numerology and Statistical Belief."

                You can't write a satire of racist attitudes without using language that could be described as racist.  Please, change the zeros to "4s," this is not trollery!

                Naderite is to America what Kryptonite is to Superman - fatal.

                by JJB on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:44:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wish I could join you guys in your (none)
                  appreciation of this humor, but it is humor based on the premise of the exclusion of an historically marginalized community.  It is satire that is beneath us.  

                  Sigh.

                  The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

                  by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:47:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You still don't understand it (4.00)
                    it is humor based on the premise of the exclusion of an historically marginalized communit

                    No it is not. This is obvious. It is getting increasingly difficult to take you seriously on this. The part of the post you are referring to is calling out racist GOP voter supression. It is not endorsing it. It is not saying that African Americans are not American Americans, it is assuming the reader will recognise that this is a racist view, and will realise that the post is caricaturing a point of view that neither the writer nor the reader hold. It includes language that, used literally, would express a racist point of view. It is doing this to hold the racist point of view up for ridicule, not to advocate it. If you accept that it is satire, I do not understand how you fail to see this.

                    •  Thanks (4.00)
                      I was going to try to say something like that, but your explanation is so good I'll just say "me too!"

                      Having worked at an academic think tank for several years with such right wing luminaries as Robert Kagan and Max Singer, I recognize what the writer is doing.  I mean, just imagine those words coming from the mouth of CNN's pinhead poll analyst William Schneider.  That should help everyone get the point.

                      Naderite is to America what Kryptonite is to Superman - fatal.

                      by JJB on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:03:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I agree with (none)
                        gong, JJB, Joan in Seattle, and AdmiralNaismith that this is satire.  I do not think the writer is a troll or a racist, but I think this satire relies on a racist premise.  Maybe I am wrong.  I will think about your points.

                        The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

                        by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:39:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The premise isn't in the satire. (none)
                          It's in what's BEING satirized.

                          The othering and discrimination and suppression of the vote and so on and so on IS part of the system of how the Repugs think and hate and act.

                          The satire is in dragging it out and paing it big-time so that it's hard NOT to recoil.  That you're recoiling means it works.  It's supposed to offend.

                          O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

                          by ogre on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:55:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I really am striving to find a way to accommodate (4.00)
                            the point that Kossacks whom I respect are making, but I don't know that I can embrace the principle that it's okay to use the language of degradation to degrade the language of degradation.  If I can find a way to accommodate it, I will raise my score.

                            The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

                            by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:02:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I feel your pain. (none)
                            I wince at those words.

                            But being hyperaware of them, studiously never using them, and cringing when they are used... does give them power.

                            There's a conundrum there.

                            We need to bleed them of their force and their sting.

                            O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

                            by ogre on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 03:49:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  DC... (4.00)
                It's Swiftian satire.  Burping up an extreme version of the garbage that's common "whiz-dumb" and implicitly accepted.

                O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

                by ogre on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:50:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I honestly can't tell anymore. (none)
          Because this totally could have come from freeperland.

          sigh

          Maybe it was the four hours of sleep.

      •  Uhh, pretty obviously satire (4.00)
        Whether or not you think it is good satire is another question. But clearly, satire.
        •  Whether or not it is satire, (none)
          it uses racist language.  The guy has only 15 comments.  My personal feeling is that it is inappropriate, but if you guys think this kinds of satire is appropriate for our community, then I defer to wiser heads than mine.

          The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

          by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:09:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I love satire (2.50)
          but this was over the top; it might have been funny a month ago, today it was offensive and as infantile as a "frist" post. We're all on edge and there are a lot of newbies reading these threads, I don't particularly want that post going representing this community, it means too much to me.

          That satire took a lot of time and effort to write; a few seconds of that time to think about the implications would have been well spent. I'm willing to take my knocks for trolling it; Bob Love has to take his for posting it.

          •  Racist satire? (4.00)
             I think that it was satire, pure and simple, from the first time I read it.  I also feel that sometimes satire is the only way to handle it, especially if you are in an area that frequently handles ethnic identity by intimidation and disenfranchisement.

            Some points to consider: Disenfranchisement is not just about "persuading" people not to vote.  It is an ongoing process that excludes political discourse between the dominant and the minority classes.

            Every day, in many ways, African Americans are excluded from dialogue that can effect change in their own communities.  You are only hearing about the voting situation because the news cares to pick it up.

            What do you think happens the rest of the time?  Think about school boards, local counsel meetings, how about churches?  Do you think African Americans go to the same Churches as the white people do?  

            And how do you think living separately, even maybe going to the same wal-mart, but really not "seeing" the blacks, or the whites, depending on your own ethnicity, plays out?

            So what do you think about a county in say, maybe Mississippi, that would suddenly turn "blue"?  How do you think the white community would react? They know their neighbors, they know how they are going to vote. So really, humor, satire, sarcasm is the only way to deal with it here.  I would chance to say that the post was honest, and while there are many differences in the way people handle the issue, its not really an easy thing to deal with.  I would cut him/her some slack, and recognize wry humor  for what it is.

            •  I read it three times (2.50)
              before I trolled it. I'm a writer; every day I struggle with communicating my meaning clearly and the hidden implications. That's why satire is so difficult to write.

              On the first shot through that piece -- a quick skim through the thread looking for interesting nuggets -- the racial slurs made the biggest impression. So I went back a second and a third time.

              How many readers are going to read it, get that impression, and not bother to question further? It's a brilliant piece of writing, but it's also an offensive piece of writing.

              If offending is the goal, if provoking controversy is the goal, it succeeded. It did not succeed in bringing forth a discussion of the implicit racism of in the Gallup polls.

    •  Fake (2.50)
      Fake university.

      Fake department.

      Fake town.

      Racist BS.

      Troll!

      •  Somewhere in FreeperLand (none)
        ...a Republican who'd had too much beer decided to put on a plastic Michael Moore mask, jump on a table and say, "Look at me, I'm a liberal welfare faggot! I hate the troops! I like Bin Laden! I'm vegetarian! I'm voting for Kerry!"

        And they all dragged him outside, cut off and force-fed him his own genitalia, doused him with gasoline and set him on fire.  One less vote for Bush.

        Because they're freepers, and they take everything literally.

        I'm so glad we're not like that. It must be Hell living in their mindset.

        Gentlemen offline now abed shall think theyself accurs'd they were not here & hold their manhood cheap while any speaks that fought with us upon Election Da

        by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:30:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have I ever heard a funny joke that was (3.00)
          racist, sexist, or homophobic that made you laugh?  Yes. I have.  Did I know it was inappropriate even if it was funny and smart?  Yes, I did.

          The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

          by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:41:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  DCDem, if you can't make the distinction (4.00)
            between laughing at, say,

            A) a satirical piece on voter disenfranchisement in which "KKK Grand Vizier and Volusia County elections supervisor William 'Billy-Club' Whitesheets" is quoted as proudly announcing that, thanks to the new voter database supplied by the Governor, the 2004 Florida black vote "can once again be weighted by a factor of three-fifths, in accordance with our proud Southern tradition"

            and

            B) a straight-up derogatory ethnic joke like "Q: What's the difference between a dead deer and a dead <insert ethnic slur>?  A: Skid marks in front of the deer!"

            then I really don't know what to tell you.  Maybe irony really is dead.  And in an age when The Onion and The Daily Show are the primary relief valves for people who reject the current Republican groupthink, that prospect scares the crap out of me.

    •  You need to identify such posts (3.25)
      with explicit (satire) indicators. Your item is savage, worthy of Mark Twain at his most biting. But this is the internet, and many people are just not able to read for tone. They need a plain marker that tells them when someone is saying the opposite of what he means in such a way as to reveal the idiocy of the assumed position.

      There's also the problem that there are some people on the net who will maintain nearly this untenable a position, for real -- or at least, to get a rise out of others. These people are called trolls. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a genuine right-wing troll taunt and a brilliant lampoon of lockstep rightwingery.

      For these reasons, even though I'm sure it must be  physically painful to mar your composition with a signpost indicating your satiric intention, you should sacrifice your pride and do so, in order to maintain the peace, and allow more people to appreciate your skill.

      If a landslide falls in the bit bucket... was there an election?

      by Canadian Reader on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:03:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's called HUMOR, folks!!! (4.00)
        To all bitching about the original post:

        It's called HUMOR, folks!!!  In the immortal words of the gentleman from Ohio, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, "HELLOOOOOO!!!?!"

        :D

        Some people seriously need to get lives.

      •  Yes (4.00)
        Heaven forfend anyone should try to write with any kind of subtlety or nuance, and that people should have to think about what they're reading and whether it's to be taken at face value.

        Naderite is to America what Kryptonite is to Superman - fatal.

        by JJB on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Gimme a BREAK! (4.00)
        Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a genuine right-wing troll taunt and a brilliant lampoon of lockstep rightwingery.

        Oh, come on!  Bob Love's post was about as subtle as a friggin' heart attack.  Honestly.  And, those who for whatever reason still aren't sure despite careful reading might consider asking for clarification instead of reflexively attacking the poster.  Doing the latter is like castigating a foreign author for daring to write in a language you don't understand.

        Also, blatantly self-satirizing "racist language" is clearly not racist in intent (as others on this increasingly unfortunate thread have suggested) but rather quite the opposite (cf. Operations "Human Shield" and "Get Behind the Darkies" in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut).  

        Please check your irony detectors...there have been many reported cases of overload and burnout attributed to the current WH administration!

        "People who speak in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch!" -- Melvin Udall

        •  Er, yes. (none)
          My comment was, in fact -- as I'm sure you could tell -- directed towards all those people who were so wildly missing the point, not to Bob Love.

          ...as is yours, I daresay.

          If a landslide falls in the bit bucket... was there an election?

          by Canadian Reader on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:14:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Partly... (none)
            I realize that you "got" it.  I also realize you were attempting to point out the real-world consequences of subtlety, so amply evidenced by this thread's indignant turn.  I just don't agree that Bob's post, with its numerous red flags, was subtle enough for careful readers to misinterpret.  I also think that applying a big red label ("WARNING: IRONY AHEAD!") pretty much spoils the effect for anyone with the capacity to comprehend such humor in the first place.  
        •  Using South Park (none)
          As an example of "innoffensive" satire is a sad statement on the moribund state of American political humor.

          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

          by galiel on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:36:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes... (4.00)
            ..."National Brotherhood Week" would probably have been better.
            •  Tom Lehrer!!!! YESSSSS (none)
              Sadly, he said recently (in the first interview he'd given in decades) that he is far too enraged at the idiots in charge to be able to manage mere satire.

              Still, when they were talking about North Korea and Iran, all I could think about was "Whose Next?"

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 08:36:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think... (none)
                ...my first post to legacy kos was a link to that interview. A great read, here, if you don't have the link.

                I'm not tempted to write a song about George W.Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them.

                Hmm, I smell a sig line coming on.

          •  Where did I say "inoffensive"? (none)
            Offense is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.  In any case, I think you're using the general perception of South Park as a whole (that it's profane and scatological) to indict a couple of specific sentences.  I mean, it's not like I quoted "Uncle Fucker" to make my point, or compared Trey Parker to Jonathan Swift.

            Army General:  .....the all important, first attack wave, which we will call "Operation Human Shield"
            Chef:  Hey, wait a minute!
            Army General:  Now keep in mind, Operation Human Shield will suffer heavy losses!  Battalion 14?  (Everyone raises hand)  Right, you are "Operation Get behind the darkies!"  You will follow Batallion 5 here and try not to get killed, for God's sake!

            Raw? Yes.  But offensive?  It's mocking something deeply offensive, but I'm not offended by that.

    •  So Many Zeros (4.00)
      So unjustly doled out.

      Bob Love, forgive them, they know not what they do.

      As I mentioned below, I worked at a think tank for a few years, so I appreciate your ability to skewer Hackademic Prose:

      Ordinary citizens should leave complicated math-based issues to the specialists.  "Oversampling" is nothing more than a socio-numerological mechanism for properly quantifying the vote-counting predispositions of validly authorized electoral authorities devoted to responsible, righteous government.  As we embrace the Age of Silicon, these same subtle-yet-vital adjustments are being incorporated into computerized voting; surely no one would argue that computer voting should be morally neutered by slavish devotion to precise numeric accuracy.

      I have typed up far too many passages that sounded exactly like that.

      And "academically credentialated"?  That's really good Dim Son-ese.

      Naderite is to America what Kryptonite is to Superman - fatal.

      by JJB on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:11:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I gave everyone in this string 4s (3.33)
        I stand by my position; I think that Bob Love's post crossed the line.

        But I love the folks on this site for their passionate defense of what they believe is right and wrong.  With folks like you on his side, how can John Kerry fail to carry the day on November 2.

        I am proud to be in your company.

        The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

        by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:59:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I dunno what's funnier (4.00)
      Bob Love, your original satire or the indignant responses to it.

      Well done.

      "Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

      by reef the dog on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:17:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My apologies (4.00)
      My apologies to anyone who was offended.  In the future, I'll be more circumspect.  I simply thought, given that Democratic votes tend to vanish during the vote-count, that it might be humorous to attribute Gallup's oversampling of Republican voters to a desire to measure voter fraud before the election instead of after.  

      Like everyone here, I am sickened by the systematic effort to exclude African-American voters.  Like many here, I'm old enough to remember when Civil Rights was euphemized as "The Negro Question".  That I (and my African-American friends) find such language laughable today does not, I see, mean that others will laugh so readily.  

      I thought the satire was obvious; I was mistaken.  Again, my apologies.  

      Interesting discussion, though, and my thanks to those who got it.  Now back to the main event.

      Mission Misunderestimated

      by Bob Love on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 04:46:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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