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The great polymath Razib Khan put together a fairly conventional Electoral College map prediction on social media that generated a lot of commentary:

In response, Razib noted:

Whether he is voting at all and if so for whom is unknown, but his observation is nevertheless a perspicacious one. The following graph shows who voters expect to win the election by whether they are voting for Trump or for Biden:

Objectivity is becoming impossible. Even when good faith attempts at it are made, they will be received cynically by nearly everyone whose priors they potentially challenge. It’s difficult to see how free speech survives this.

Separation is the way out of this if there is one. Political separation is an aspect of it, but it’s not everything. Virtual separation is becoming a necessity. If Biden/Harris wins, as we–members of the 4%–expect they will, Silicon Valley will own the next administration. Challenges to Section 230 protections aren’t going anywhere in that environment. They want the broad right off their platforms. They’re not going to stop pushing until we’re gone, so why not leave? That the alternatives are currently much weaker is in large part a function of the network effect, but that problem isn’t any easier to overcome by begging to be a second-class members of it.

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Apropos the previous post, the partisan divide regarding the utility of the carceral Covid state has really opened up:

Parenthetically, what a disappointment the Libertarian party is. Could the circumstances have been any more ideal for a third-party putatively priding itself on liberty to have staked out a bold position starkly contrasting itself with the two establishment parties? Instead of echoing BLM, the ticket could have been making the case for allowing the country to open back up in April.

There is no constituency for lukewarm low-tax leftism. Enjoy an utterly forgettable campaign and 2% of the popular vote, I guess.

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Despite an avowed refusal to take a Covid vaccine approved by the Trump administration being a Biden campaign talking point repeated by both people on the ticket, Democrats are considerably less skeptical of it than Republicans are:

Non-black Democrats, anyway. Given the black propensity to believe the US government has explicitly targeted them in a host of horrible ways, that result is not particularly surprising. Never mind, though, Biden wants to shove them to the front of the line, just behind first responders:

Positioning himself as the vaccine guy may not help Trump much electorally. Positioning himself as the reopening guy might, though. It’s frequently said on both the dissident right and the progressive left that the largest bloc of American voters are people who don’t vote. Pitching himself as the person who will reopen the country so people can go back to living their lives again is a plausible, non-ideological way to reach that bloc. Polling suggests the reopeners are in the minority but their numbers are growing and in retrospect I suspect they are going to be vindicated as the ones who got it right.

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology, Science • Tags: Election 2020, Polling, Science 
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No, we’re winning so there’s no upside but there is potential downside. And we don’t want to platform a fascist. And we don’t want people to get Covid:

It has nothing to do with senescence or laptops. Nothing!

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Corruption, Election 2020, Polling 
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Environmentalism is the ideology of the young and the privileged:

Assessing stereotypes is the blog’s raison d’etre, remember.

Parenthetically, YouGov just changed the way it displays cross-tabs. “Others” are gone, and whites are broken down by sex and educational attainment but blacks and Hispanics are not.

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology, Science • Tags: Environment, Polling 
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One issue with Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature is the book’s presumption that popular entertainment may reliably be used as a proxy for cultural sensibilities on the ground. Medieval Europeans did bear baiting and burned cats alive for entertainment. Hardly surprising since their societies were more violent than the most blighted urban areas of modern America. We’re a lot less violent now. We’d never put up with that today.

Okay, but a generation ago baseball was America’s pass time and boxing matches were the events of the year. Today, football dwarfs baseball and the UFC towers over boxing. Our entertainment got more violent while our society became less so.

Or so I thought. It might be time to rethink that critical assessment. Maybe our popular entertainment is a leading indicator and our better angels are in retreat. Violence is ticking up and so is the popular embrace it is receiving by the country’s future. Race is a part of that, but it’s not the whole story. The differences are significantly generational as well:

While stock in the idea of violence is up, there’s not much evidence that an intimate and cultivated relationship with violence has correspondingly increased. The people engaged in and cheering on the violence have little understanding of how to manage it. This is unlikely to end well.

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Net responses to the question of whether the family’s financial situation has gotten better or gotten worse over the last year, by state:

Trump will win all of the net better and net no change states, but he’ll need to win several net worse states as well to be reelected. That’s tough. The campaign strategy is to assume an understanding for the unique economic destructiveness of Covid and position Trump as the way to get back to the top of the economic mountain we tumbled down from last Spring.

Maybe it will work. Nationwide, sentiment went from a net worse 9% on election day of 2016 to a net better 19% in January of this year:

Our suspicion is we merely slipped off the summit to a crag a little ways below in March. There is a lot more falling to do to get to the base, and it’s a ride we’re going to be on in the coming years.

• Category: Culture/Society, Economics • Tags: Economics, Election 2020 
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Charles Pewitt on how by playing with the dollar, the powers that be are playing with fire:

Continuity bias is strong in the Upper Middle Class White Boob American and in a lot of other Americans and the only thing holding this thing in the USA together is monetary extremism from the privately-controlled Federal Reserve Bank.

The asset bubbles in stocks and bonds and real estate are what keep these White boob bastards fat and happy and in a zombie state of Continuity Bias Bliss.

When the monetary extremism music is over those sonofabitches are gonna turn out the lights on the dreams of a fat and happy future.

I say raise the federal funds rate to 20 percent like it was in 1981 and pop all these damn asset bubbles in stocks and bonds and real estate.

The TreasureFed knows there is no way out the way it came in. The only option is forward. The official inflation target has been calibrated upwards, the pretense of even considering tightening over the next several years is gone, the Fed is urging fiscal stimulus to pair with monetary stimulus, the institution is staring down an additional infinitely expensive mandate to End Racism, trade deficits are hitting all time records, and the DXY is down 10% over the last few months. If this doesn’t destroy the dollar, nothing will.

Unlike Pewitt though, I say we see if the dollar really is impervious. If it is, or at any rate its destruction is decades down the road as many here maintain, forget raising rates to call in fire on our location. Open up the cash cannons and let them rip. Instead of just the White boob bastards being fat and happy, let’s spread that happiness around. Go big or go home, as the president says. Forget another single shot of $1200, double the amount and make it monthly for everyone. If a $2400 per month UBI is free, why isn’t Congress giving us one?

Either the dollar isn’t strong or the stingy bastards are lying to us (or both). Time to call them on it.

• Category: Culture/Society, Economics, Ideology • Tags: COTW 
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In the recent post reporting on Trump’s electoral enthusiasm advantage over Biden, several astute commenters noted that while enthusiasm for Biden was lukewarm among the former vice president’s supporters, motivation to vote against Trump burns with the passion of one thousand suns inside many of them. Biden voters express more antipathy towards Trump than Trump voters do towards Biden:

Voters who want to vote for someone are still generally considered to be better electoral assets than those who want to vote against someone else are, but this sullies the situation for the president. His long odds remain long indeed.

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Election 2020, Polling 
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Tens of millions of lost jobs, the largest trade deficits in history, the sharpest GDP decline in modern American history–and yet business applications are booming. The figures are staggering:

Nationwide, business applications are up over 82% from the same time last year, with every single state recording double-(or triple-)digit percentage increases. Seems a little strange, doesn’t it? A refresher on the Paycheck Protection Program from the Treasury Department clears up the confusion:

Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—are eligible.

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the enterprising mob bosses, er, citizens who filed the necessary paperwork yesterday to be eligible for the next round of government grants just around the corner. The correlation at the state level between the percentage of the population that is black and the percentage increase in business creation compared to the same quarter last year is a strikingly robust .85, putting to rest the lie that Donald Trump hasn’t done anything for black people–or at least for their racist neighbors!

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It’s hard to find positive indicators regarding Trump’s reelection chances, but voter enthusiasm is one of them:

Most Trump voters are “enthusiastic” about backing the president while a plurality of Biden voters are merely “satisfied, but not enthusiastic” about the former vice president. And while only a handful of Trump voters, 6%, are dissatisfied or upset with him, some 16% of Biden backers feel that way about their guy. These are presumably Sanders voters who feel inclined to “vote blue no matter who”, but just barely. A meaningful ‘stimulus’ payment or promise of universal healthcare wouldn’t only dissuade many from voting, it would flip some to the president.

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Election 2020, Healthcare, Polling 
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Democrats warn that when the election doesn’t go Trump’s way, he and his supporters are going to become #TheResistance. It’s going to be, they admonish, a repeat of 2016 when Trump refused to abide by the results of that election.

To prove how serious they are about the importance of accepting outcomes even when things don’t go your way, their 2016 candidate–who the reader will recall solemnly accepted the results of that election–has urged Joe Biden not to concede defeat on election night under any circumstances!

There’s that psychological projection again:

“Not sure” responses are not shown. Majorities of both Trump and Biden supporters who plan to “take to the streets” say they will do so peacefully.

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Election 2020, Polling 
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Among those polled who have already cast a ballot–one-quarter of the voting electorate claim to have done so–Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by a staggering 68%-29% margin.

The left is pushing hard for people to request ballots and send them in immediately. This may negate the seeming election night victory predicted here for Trump, a victory suspected to be ‘overturned’ in the days following.

On the other hand, mail-ins are where mistakes are made. All other things equal, it’s preferable to have your supporters out in person on election day.

• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Election 2020, Polling 
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Are Joe Biden and his corporatist handlers further left than New York City mayor Bill de Blasio? Than Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey? Than Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan? Than Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, whose reelection bid is in real trouble on account of a woman who is challenging him from his left? No, not by a long shot?

Is Biden and company further left than those mayors’ constituencies? No, not by an even longer shot?

Then why the expectation a Biden victory in November will put the unrest to rest? It won’t.

• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Civil unrest, Election 2020 
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The following graph shows the change in Donald Trump’s advantage or disadvantage against his Democrat opponent by various demographics from 2016 to 2020. In 2016, Hillary Clinton had a one-point edge among those aged 45-64. In 2020, Trump has a one-point lead over Joe Biden among that age group. The change is thus represented in the graph as +2:

It should be noted these polls weren’t taken at the exact same point in the election cycle. YouGov switched to the current cross-tab format for its last round of polling in early November of 2016 but not before then. The 2020 poll employed here is from the beginning of October 2020, a month earlier in the cycle than the 2016 poll.

These results are striking. They show Trump improving by a net of 11 points among non-whites but declining by a net of 10 points among whites from 2016 to 2020. Because whites still comprise nearly three-quarters of the voting electorate, this is not a wash for the president. It represents an apparent decline in total support, albeit arrived at in exactly the opposite way the major media Narrative would have us believe. Trump is not doubling down on white men at the expense of everyone else. To the contrary, he’s making inroads with everyone else as he concedes support among white men.

The sex shift is probably at least partly attributable to his having run against Hillary last time and Biden this time.

But the racial dynamic isn’t as easily accounted for. I suspect there is a Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf aspect to this. In the lead up to 2016, people were screaming about how Trump was going to put black people in chains, deport brown people on cattle cars, and throw gays in concentration camps. When none of these things happened, hysteria gave way to something more like moderate disapproval or even begrudging respect.

As for conjecture on the white shift, some must be laid at the feet of the president. He promised a wall, a renaissance in American manufacturing, and an end to foreign wars–and all we got were these lousy tax cuts.

Another aspect, though, is one we’ve emphasized repeatedly here. The reason we keep bringing it up is because it’s a part of the story that has gone largely unremarked upon in coverage and analysis of the election, even among dissidents. That is just how much better a candidate Biden is than Clinton was.

In 2016, when it was one-v-one, Clinton beat Sanders 55%-45%. When it was one-v-one in 2020–after four years of the Vermont senator’s star rising–Biden beat Sanders 65%-35%. While Clinton had to claw and scrape to triumph over Sanders in the Democrat primaries, Biden blew him out of the water once the other boats had docked. And Biden managed to do so while still maintaining a greater appeal to independents than Clinton could manage.

Beyond the big question marks over how mail-in voting, Covid, and civil unrest will influence things, Trump’s one unambiguous improvement from 2016 is found among traditional Republicans. Many 2016 Never Trumpers have since climbed aboard the Trump train. The rock-ribbed conservatives who defended Ted Cruz’s shanking Trump at the Republican National Convention four years ago are now the president’s most ardent supporters. Are they enough to make up for the politically disaffected whites who took a chance on the outsider in 2016 but won’t be reupping this time around?

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Lowe on how the overclass has weaponized wokeism to the detriment of just about everybody else:

Crushing economic progressives under foot is the secret purpose of Wokism. So secret even its strongest adherents don’t realize it, which is good because it means their adherence is sincere.

Wokism is a strategy for power, which has been selected for, because it is the best. It is inculcated in every future elite from an early age, because it is the best.

Gays, trans, blacks, and other misfits make for perfect footsoldiers for elites, because they can never stop being misfits. They are forced to be loyal. They will never stop shouting down progressive bourgeois and worker types who want universal healthcare, good jobs, whatever.

Thinkers of the past conjectured that democracy would fail because voters would vote themselves the money of the rich. Actually, poor demographics and the ideological preeminence of Bioleninism mean voters can’t even vote themselves a $1200 payment! Contrast that with the rich, who have voted themselves infinite money through the central bank.

Wokism as practiced by our managerialist over-class, is not only the Hegelian synthesis of Marxism with capitalism… it is the brute Neitzchean triumph of the white/Jewish/Asian overman over the mass of the people.

Some do realize it. But there is little they can do with that realization. They are arguably even more susceptible to Wokeist attacks than those on the right are. There are only so many Dave Rubins and Michael Rectenwalds who are able to land on their feet after being tossed out by the Wokeists.

Chrisnonymous on the sentiment among a growing number of people that Covid is going to do it’s thing no matter what we do, so we might as well do our thing. Know your risk profile and act accordingly:

“Controlling” the virus would not prevent us from having to deal with it in the future. Only stopping it from ever being able to enter our population in the future would prevent us from having to deal with it, and the only way to do that is by wiping out the virus completely, which was not something in our power at any time since the pandemic started.

You can point to countries like New Zealand or Taiwan, but they are only gambling that no one will introduce it again. If they open their borders again, they will either have to (a) deal with it in the future or (b) suffer continuous recurrent lockdowns forever (which is its own way of learning to deal with it).

People don’t seem to understand that there are qualitative differences between diseases like HIV, which it is entirely possible to stop transmission of and force to die out, and widespread, highly infectious respiratory diseases arising from animal populations, which it is not realistic to stop or eradicate.

If you think eradication was a viable strategy, you have to ask yourself why we haven’t eradicated influenza or the common cold.

The only chance the world had was at the very beginning of the outbreak, but since the virus wasn’t even recognized by the Chinese as a novel pathogen until it had already spread widely, that was probably not a realistic possibility either.

Haruto Rat on how violent crime in America really is wildly disproportionately black-on-black in nature:

As a quick thought experiment, what would the numbers look like if all races were equally violent and chose their victims at random:

It’s black-on-black murder that in reality occurs 21x as often. (Other-on-other is within margin of error, I also dropped ‘unknown’ from the table.)

The boomercon meme about BLM needing to focus on the south side of Chicago first is hard to argue with if black lives really are the movement’s driving concern.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: COTW 
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In Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman describe how the Establishment creates a softly coercive consensus using the combined power of corporate media, DC think tanks, and the military-industrial complex. By laundering information through this vast network, the system is able to fabricate perceived realities at odds with reality itself. Future president Kamala Harris is the personification of this process:

When you want to talk about who is the current commander in chief, and what they care about and what they don’t care about. Public reporting that Russia had bounties on the heads of American soldiers, and you know what a bounty is? Somebody puts a price on your head, and they will pay it if you are killed. And Donald Trump has talked at least six times to Vladmir Putin, and never brought up the subject. Joe Biden would never do that. Joe Biden – Joe Biden would hold Russia to account for any threat to our nation’s security or to our troops who are sacrificing their lives for the sake of our democracy and our safety.

Trump didn’t bring that up with Vladimir Putin because the story is bullshit. It’s allegedly based on an anonymous source from somewhere in the intelligence community. It was initially reported by the New York Times, followed by the Washington Post, and then by the rest of the less prestigious boot-licking and ring-kissing media outlets. Consequently, an internet search result for “Russia bounty American soldiers” turns up pages and pages of links to different media organizations covering the story, all based on the same dubious and unnamed source. Everybody is reporting on it so it must be true!

Except it’s not. Some spook fed it, without a shred of corroborating evidence, to one of his NYT contacts. A year later the country’s next vice president is referring to it as though it’s a well-established fact. This is how they lied us into Iraq, it’s how they tried to lie us into Syria, and it’s how a Biden/Harris administration will lie us into our next nation-building imperialist boondoggles. It’s how we get three years of the Russia collusion hoax. The heads of the FBI and CIA actively participated in an attempted coup against a duly elected president of the United States because that president was seen as insufficiently committed to manufacturing consent.

In Harris, the neo-liberal Establishment has an impervious front woman. Criticizing her is inherently racist and sexist.

The machine focused on the latter after the VP debate because Harris’ primary electoral objective is to cause defections from among Trump’s white female supporters, but both -ists will be used to attack anyone who dissents from the Establishment’s manufactured consensus:

Thus criticizing any aspect of the manufactured consensus is racist and sexist. And since nothing is worse than being racist and sexist, nothing is worse than criticizing the Establishment line. See what a neat trick that is? The Establishment has fully harnessed the power of Wokeness to crush underfoot dissent from right, left, and center.

For progressives, a day of reckoning is at hand. The Biden/Harris ticket has no respect for you. They gave John Kasich more speaking time at the DNC than they gave AOC. Harris is quite happy to boast about the legion of death merchants assembled behind her:

Of course we have the support of Democrats, but also independents and Republicans, in fact, seven members of President George W Bush’s cabinet are supporting our ticket. We have the support of Colin Powell, Cindy McCain, John Kasich, over 500 generals, retired generals, and former national security experts and advisors are supporting our campaign.

Bernie Sanders is the grandfatherly spiritual leader of progressives and yet he received only a single mention–a derogatory one from Mike Pence, at that–over the course of the nearly two hour affair. Harris didn’t see fit to say a word about him or about the Squad he is passing the progressive baton to.

The moderator marionette didn’t bring any of it up, either. A tough but fair question to Harris would’ve been along the lines of “Senator, you and your colleague, Senator Bernie Sanders, both ran for your party’s nomination this election cycle. Sanders received a lot more support from primary voters than you did, yet you’re the vice presidential nominee and he’s stuck in the Senate. What do you say to progressives and Democratic Socialists who feel like their voices aren’t being heard by this composition of this ticket?”

The Establishment takes progressives for granted because progressives are beholden to Wokeism. Challenge the corporatist neo-liberals who call the shots, progressives, and you’ll be buried under a barrage of -ists and -isms yourself:

If progressives aren’t able to find a way to push back against Wokeness, they’re going to perpetually be pushed into the ground by it.

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Extrapolating from these poll results, well over 100 million Americans do not expect the Trump administration to go gently into that good night after Joe Biden is declared the president-elect:

The 12% of respondents who answered “not sure” are included in these results of the residuals that are not shown. Among those with an opinion, half express an expectation of violence.

This is risible. Outside officially sanctioned government channels, the American right doesn’t get violent about anything. The corporate media is still going on about a single fatality three years ago in Charlottesville. Meanwhile left wing civil unrest costing dozens of lives, hundreds or thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in property damage across several major cities over the last several months goes largely unmentioned. An argument that the violence is justified can be made, and many on the left have made it. But the violence can’t justifiably be ignored. It is occurring and must be reckoned with.

Parenthetically, a feather in the cap of the intelligentsia on this one. We often ridicule the silly pedantism of the highly educated, but they have their feet more firmly planted on the ground in this case.

Or is this assessment missing the mark? One-in-three Republicans say they expect violence. Do they think other Republicans will be the ones perpetrating it, or do they plan to get kinetic if things don’t go their way in November? Really?

Rather inexplicably–because that’s how gaslighting goes–YouGov doesn’t ask respondents whether or not they expect a peaceful acceptance of another four-year term for Donald Trump if he wins re-election. One suspects that while the distribution would be a bit different demographically, well north of 100 million Americans wouldn’t expect that sequence of events to be pacific, either.

In the minds of many Americans, then, there will be war. God help us if it comes to that.

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The Democrats are increasingly the party of the rich and poor, Republicans of the middle and those at risk of sliding out of it:

Like other demographic trends–racial, educational, religious, marital–this bodes well for Democrat electoral prospects in the future. The ranks of the top are growing a little, the ranks of the bottom are growing a lot. The middle is hollowing out.

• Category: Culture/Society, Economics • Tags: Class, Election 2020, Polling 
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Section 230 protections should not apply:

Twitter hides this tweet from the president’s timeline with the following explanation:

This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.

The word “most” would more fairly be rendered as “some”–the young, those without co-morbidities, etc–and the word “far” probably shouldn’t be in there at all. But the points are all worthy of consideration. There are lots of influenza vaccinations. Their effectiveness varies and is never anything close to perfectly effective. Consequently, humans have learned to live with the flu just as we’ve learned to live with other coronaviruses.

• Category: Ideology, Science • Tags: Health, Social Media