Stupid things

Anomaly detected

In the first episode of the Netflix crime thriller Ozark, a drug lord tests some of his workers with a little story: His aunt worked in his father’s grocery store and one day his father caught her stealing from him. What should his father do?

The main character responds: “Fire her. It’s not the first time she stole from you. It’s the first time you caught her.”

The Anomalies

I do not claim that any of the issues listed below are smoking guns that in and of themselves prove anything, only that they deserve attention and scrutiny rather than being too quickly dismissed.

Dead people absentee ballots

Someone on Twitter pointed out:

Turns out 118 year old “William Bradley” voted via absentee ballot in Wayne County, Michigan. William Bradley died in 1984.

How long has this been going on?

Try it for yourself:

I indeed checked it for myself and the site did indeed confirm that the dead man received and sent back an absentee ballot. Politifact, which is independent and not biased (we know because they say so), has rated this false because “A city elections official said that no ballot was cast for the now deceased Bradley.” The New York Times assures us that they’re just “run-of-the-mill clerical errors.” Whew! But then, being reassured by the source of your initial distrust (“a city election official”) is hardly compelling. Imagine a murder suspect on trial. Judge: “How do you plead?” Suspect: “Not guilty, Your Honor.” Judge: “Well, that settles that; if you were guilty, you would’ve said so, so the court is adjourned! See you at home, son.” Anyway, the same thing is happening for other names of deceased. At the very least, all deceased names should be double-checked. (And why the heck don’t they, gee I don’t know, purge supercentenarians from their database?)

Software “glitches”

Dozens of Michigan counties used the same software that caused 6,000 votes in one county to switch from Trump to Biden. As a programmer, I’d love to learn how such software “glitches”? I don’t buy it; tabulating software is probably not that complicated. (Keeping the data secure is the more complicated part.) The glitch was either gross human incompetence or voting fraud. Googling around, one can find articles on machine-hacking voter fraud happening before, this from a 2018 election, Beto O’Rourke vs Ted Cruz (was it really that close?):

In essence, security protections in software (operated on voting machines throughout the country) had been purposely disabled or ‘un-activated’; penetration of the machines was possible via online access methods widely understood among reasonably sophisticated IT people; and mismatches in time-stamped dataflows suggest votes were changed.

Again, this isn’t “proof” of fraud, but it does deserve more scrutiny. (Even counties that are “red” and “go to Trump” should be scrutinized; if any totals are artificially manipulated, it would still affect the state’s total.)

Statistical surprises & stuff

Quoting writer Larry Correia here:

The massive turn out alone is a red flag.

But as for doing better…

The late night spikes that were enough to close all the Trump leads are a red flag.

The statistically impossible breakdown of the ratios of these vote dumps is a red flag.

The ratios of these dumps being far better than the percentages in the bluest of blue cities, even though the historical data does not match, red flag.

The ratios of these vote dumps favoring Biden more in these few battlegrounds than the ratio for the rest of the country (even the bluest of the blue) red flag.

Biden outperforming Obama among these few urban vote dumps, even though Trump picked up points in every demographic group in the rest of the country, red flag.

The poll observers being removed. Red flag.

The counters cheering as GOP observers are removed, red flag.

The fact that the dem observers outnumber the GOP observers 3 to 1, red flag (and basis of the first lawsuit filed)

The electioneering at the polls (on video), red flag.

The willful violation of the court order requiring the separation of ballots by type, red flag.

USPS whistleblower reporting to the Inspector General that today they were ordered to backdate ballots to yesterday, red flag.

The video of 2 AM deliveries of what appear to be boxes of ballots with no chain of custody or other observers right before the late night miracle spikes, red flag.

(Edit: Also see There is Undeniable Mathematical Evidence the Election is Being Stolen.)

What’s the major new ingredient of this election? Mail-in ballots. Never before used them at such a scale, but they’re secure and fraud is rare. They said so on the news. (Not back in 2012, but ignore that.)

As Correia says:

I am more offended by how ham fisted, clumsy, and audacious the fraud to elect him is than the idea of Joe Biden being president. I think Joe Biden is a corrupt idiot, however, I think America would survive him like we’ve survived previous idiot administrations. However, what is potentially fatal for America is half the populace believing that their elections are hopelessly rigged and they’re eternally f***ed. And now, however this shakes out in court, that’s exactly what half the country is going to think.

If you’re going to cheat, the best way to do it is slowly and subtly, not blatantly. But that’s why the Ozark quote came to my mind. It’s not a perfect analogy, but the point is to consider what information you might be missing. If you catch someone telling a lie, how many other lies have they told undetected? If you spot one person shoplifting, how many shoplifters have already flown under the radar? If you find even one stolen vote, how many more have slipped through unnoticed?

But I guess if not enough people care (or believe), it doesn’t matter? (“The emperor has no clothes!” said the child, without evidence.)

Problem is, even if you don’t care during this election cycle because it’s the outcome you hoped for, what makes you so sure it won’t be used against you? That is, if the election result is dishonest, all votes are nullified.

So what now?

For now, I guess we can only wait for the courts to weigh in. The biggest problem is that even if the voting is investigated (which is up to the courts I guess?), it’s virtually impossible to know whether or not the final count is honest or if the fraud is just dulled to a less suspicious but otherwise effective level (if at all). What election accountability can be offered to an average citizen? (What you should definitely not do is go rioting or looting, like some people like to do. And anyway, while the presidency and the right to a free and fair election may be dangerous to tamper with (if we ever really had that in the first place), the real disasters are a bit further down the domino line.)

Quick note on abortion

Only tangentially related, but a few months ago some siblings and I were discussing the issue of abortion insofar as voting Democrat vs Republican was concerned, and a quote from Sister Joan Chittister came up:

I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.

This is a sentiment which I’ve heard echoed from several other Catholics, the implication being, as far as I can tell, that the issue of murdering unborn children is really of little political importance because Republicans’ pro-life stance is actually just “pro-birth”; as Chittister implies, Republicans don’t actually care about unborn children. How does she know? Because they disagree with how tax money should be spent.

Two problems with this: 1) It’s an illogical assumption of bad faith, an ad hominem. “You don’t care because you disagree on tax policy!” No, disagreeing on tax policy is not evidence of indifference. 2) Even if it were true that Republicans were indeed “pro-birth” instead of “pro-life”, so what? That still wouldn’t justify killing babies. “Killing unborn babies is wrong.” “Well, you don’t really care… so actually it’s OK.” No; whether murdering unborn babies is right or wrong should not depend on what you think someone else actually thinks.

I’m tempted to go on about how merely throwing tax money at social problems is not necessarily helpful in and of itself, and is hardly representative of the sort of charity that Christianity calls for, but maybe I’ll do that later.

By S P Hannifin, ago