ERRING ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION

fatter_disasterIt is awkward fact of life. Whenever we engage in a complex activity, we will make mistakes. When we go to our doctor or dentist, our doctor or dentist will make mistakes. When we buy a home or a car, we will find flaws in that home or car. When we drive, we accept the risk of an accident, one that even we as the driver might make. We may not like the idea, but due to a lapse of attention or circumstances we did not properly anticipate, we could accidentally kill someone. Therefore, when we err, we should try to do so on the side of caution.

The story is in the headlines daily. The key word is “Ebola.” The argument is over whether enough is being done. Some demand that we quarantine those nations where the disease is epidemic. Others have their own ideas.

Here are a couple of stories typical of the day.

  • How the microscopic Ebola virus kills thousands (www.washingtonpost.com) – This story attempts to calm us more panicky souls.  So it begins.

    The fear of Ebola has spread faster in America than the virus itself. Ebola has infected the American psyche, forcing us to do risk analysis of a pathogen we know little about. This is different from the flu scares of recent years, because this virus is novel here, and we have no cultural memory of what we are supposed to do, or think, or believe, when Ebola is on the loose.

  • CHARLES: Ebola: do the math, Mr. President (http://www.washingtontimes.com) – This editorial, on the other hand, urges action. So it begins.

    Big facts and basic math, tell the whole story. We have only begun to see the potential effects of Ebola nationwide. We still have a chance to get this right, but the President needs to get active.

I have spent this last weekend with family, one of my children, her husband, and my grandchildren. I do not wish to experience the horror of seeing them sick with a deadly disease, and I consider myself blessed to live in a nation with the knowledge and the wealth to keep the dangerous diseases that so afflicted our ancestors at bay. Do we have the same ability to control the spread of the Ebola virus? I don’t know, and the experts seem uncertain. Therefore, I am one of those souls feeling the panic and baffled.

Baffled. Why? Here we have an instance where our leaders have clearly not erred on the side of caution. More and more often our leaders have made decisions designed to further their own personal interests instead of the good of our people, but their reaction to the potential spread of the Ebola virus has been especially revealing. What makes them think they will be immune? What makes them think members of their families will not get the disease? Is it pride that keeps them from admitting their humanity and erring on the side of caution? I wish I knew, but I find it difficult to have confidence in leaders who do not exercise sufficient caution with the lives of others.

Meanwhile, our nation continues to slowly unravel.

 

32 thoughts on “ERRING ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION

  1. Hi CT-

    Your word ‘leader’ used several times in the last paragraph got me thinking. What truly defines a leader, and how does one recognize true leading as opposed to somebody ‘doing their job.’

    I think we know the answer, and as your post alludes, there is a deficit in this area. The leaders voice should be loud and clear, to act simply on what is right, and to ignore polls, and just for God’s sake: lead.

    One of my sisters is a flight attendant, and she says there is a silent buzz as to the concern of E. in such a place, and it seems it really could affect peoples perceptions quickly.

    Off topic, but years ago, the reason people found Mr. O appealing, was that he appeared as a leader……………. .

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    1. We are not a serious people. Serious people do not make what they want to believe their reality. They accept reality as it is and then they work for something better.

      Consider some examples. If we were a serious people, we would not:
      1. Have selected a phony as Obama to lead us. Obama made noises like a leader, but he never had done anything that warranted making him our president.
      2. Recognize same-sex “marriage” as marriage. By any sane standard same-sex “marriage” is impossible. Since much of our behavior is learned, it also makes no sense to have two people of the same-sex pretending to be a family and raising a child. Will a child raised by a same-sex couple learn about the roles appropriate to a father and mother? From people who insist the opposite sex is not needed?
      3. Let our government educate our children. Nobody trusts politicians. Nevertheless, these are the people we have running our children’s education and teaching them what is important.

      Given how we were educated and who educated, I suppose I should be grateful we have enough sense to do anything about the Ebola virus.

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  2. What, given what we know about this virus, its origins, its pathology, etc. is “sufficient caution”? How do we determine that such caution has not been exercised? Why do you feel that that reaction to the Virus reflects personal self-interest of our leaders? Why do you think they benefit if they take ineffective measures?

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    1. Hey scout-

      just a thought if I may. ‘Caution?’ Aah, how about a ‘no flights caution,’ from the country at hand for starters? How about sealed borders? And this goes to your second concern re. ‘what benefit.’

      Its simply ‘we don’t want to hurt anybodys feelings,’ that patronizes the thoughtless. Its catering to the ‘welfare mind’ scout, that lowest common denominator.

      But there certainly is enough blame to go around, but the gist of the post above is about the lack of caution and lack of leadership. If you disagree, then I’ll have to mention the ostrich.

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    2. It’s good to have you here, scout, defending the statist, Obama administration point of view. Your questions all have clear answers.

      What, given what we know about this virus, its origins, its pathology, etc. is “sufficient caution”?

      Our knowledge is a long way from complete, and with the high frequency of mutations this filovirus is famous for, vaccines are very difficult to produce. It requires Level 4 containment, and is classified as a Category A bioterrorism agent, all of which suggest that a very high level of caution is required. Other countries have closed their borders to travelers from the infected countries, and successfully stopped an incipient epidemic. Senegal is a good example of this.

      The “level of caution” evidenced by the Obama administration in this regard would be laughable, were the matter not so serious. We still admit approximately 4,500 passengers a month (that we know of) from the infected countries, or about 150 per day. This means that some 3,000 or so people in the US at any one time are from Ebola-infected countries AND are still within the common incubation period. Each of those has dozens of contacts, putting the number of people at risk in the hundreds of thousands at any one time.

      So far, we think that contact with fresh body fluids are the only transmission mechanism. But this virus is mutating rapidly as it adapts to being a human-centered disease (rather than the usual fruit bats). Happily, we have almost no fruit bats in the US and don’t consume bats as a general thing, so that vector is unlikely.

      But the human-to-human vector mechanism is considered “most likely” rather than “certain,” and we know this virus is changing rapidly.

      So we allow people in, and simply ask them a couple of questions and take their temperatures (which means nothing during the incubation period). Incidentally, that incubation period is “commonly’ 21 days but is known to occasionally be twice that or much less than that number.

      Obama’s approach is evidently based upon a desire to be well-thought-of in Africa. So far, they favor Bush, who did much more for them, and Obama seems ready to sacrifice human lives to buff up his legacy. Hence his orders to leave the entrance open to “Ebolo” carriers (Obama struggles with many words, more so than Bush).

      On top of this is the extremely porous border, which Obama leaves open as another source of support (in his mind) for his legacy.

      How do we determine that such caution has not been exercised?

      Obama’s statements, and observations in the field showing that people are still paying attention to him (the ports and borders are still wide open), are sufficient

      Why do you feel that that reaction to the Virus reflects personal self-interest of our leaders?

      It is not so much “leaders” as Obama himself, though he may be acting on the advice of Jarrett or someone else in his circle of confidantes.

      Why do you think they benefit if they take ineffective measures?

      They keep their jobs. Obama has treated dissent harshly; he has famously enacted harsh punishments and prosecution for those who speak to reporters without his permission, and has tapped the phones and emails of his own people to try to control leaks of his “transparent” administration’s actions.

      You could call Obama paranoid, perhaps, but in his case disclosure of his actions always gives rise to another scandal-fire that the sycophantic media has to tiptoe around. In this instance, they are suggesting that not allowing possible Ebola carriers into the country is “racist” (just like all other opposition, unless it’s tepid criticism from themselves).

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  3. I would think, Keith and Tom, that ineffective measures would cost political leaders their jobs more certainly than effective measures. In other words, I can’t see that self-interest would be a motivator for ineffective response to a viral epidemic. One would think that, even if political leaders acted purely from self-interested motives, their choice of response would run to the effective, rather than the non-effective. This observation applies pretty much across the board – in other words, Obama has no more to gain from an ineffective response than his Secretary of HHS or the heads of CDC and NIH. If a ton of people die in Africa, Keith, why would this burnish Obama’s image? I find this a bit hard to follow. Wouldn’t it be in a politician’s self-interest to make the best possible decisions about controlling a disease?

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    1. As usual, you pretend to ignorance and confusion. No one suggested that Obama’s image would be burnished by the deaths of “a ton of people” in Africa. You know this.

      You also pretend to confusion about elections and their relevance here. I don’t think that Obama is much worried about being re-elected in the US. And you’re suggesting that his self-interest is in controlling the disease. What if that’s not true? What if, like most presidents toward the end of their term, he is primarily interested in preserving his future plans and aspirations?

      If you’ve followed this, you are aware that the response has been grossly ineffective. This is reflected in the lack of training and preparation provided to hospitals across the country. It is also evident in the belated admission by CDC/DHS leaders, under questioning by the Senate, that they are doing nothing new and that their assurances were all based on hoping that previous protocols were sufficient to handle Ebola. The new additions, poor as they are, are mostly yet to be put in place.

      That Senate hearing testimony was quite interesting, including demonstrating how little these trusted “leaders” knew of what was going on. “I’ll have to get back to you on that, Senator” was a common refrain.

      The primary goal of these bureaucrats is to spend every bit of their budget so they can ask for more. Thus, Homeland Security is chasing “climate change” and “biofuel” for the military and the CDC is pursuing civilian disarmament and bullying in schools. As long as they are following Obama’s directives (as is true here), they have little fear of losing their jobs; bureaucrats are not elected. They are not politicians at all, whereas Obama is merely a poor one with (originally) tremendous backing.

      And “a ton of people,” 5,000 or so as of this writing, have already died from this Ebola outbreak anyway. That’s not the point. Obama evidently thinks that, by leaving the door open to travel from infected countries (contrary to previous standards and practices), he will win favor among Africans. In so doing, he hopes, he will get their affection wrested from the hated George Bush. This is despite Obama’s more-or-less ignoring the AIDS epidemic, perhaps because that assistance was famously a Bush program.

      As it is, US health workers in the stricken countries are being attacked and killed because the people their suspect the US of intentionally spreading the disease. Sad but true; perhaps they got this notion from Obama’s “Fast and Furious” operation. Yet the porous border and promises of amnesty-by-fiat are enough to soothe the memories of hundreds or thousands of Mexicans killed by Obama-supplied weapons.

      None of these people you described as “politicians” are up for election. Many of the ones that are, Democrat and Republican alike, are complaining about his ineffective handling of the Ebola issue and others.

      You suggest that it is “in a politician’s self-interest to make the best possible decisions about controlling a disease” — wouldn’t that be true of all issues, not just disease? But you would hardly claim that all political decisions are “the best possible.”

      Here, while the key players are not politicians up for election, their amazingly poor management (from Obama on down) is a mixture of bad motives and sheer incompetence. It is hard to determine the ratios in each case, and some of these were pretending to more incompetence than was really the case, just to avoid answering uncomfortable questions. Even Obama regularly does this: “I heard it in the news the same time as y’all did” is an amazing statement of incompetence from someone who (in theory) gets the world’s best daily briefings. But he’s used this dodge many times.

      Obama may succeed in the election he really wants: Secretary General of the United Nations. That entity is so full of greed, graft, corruption, and anti-American hostility that Obama would fit right in. But to do so, he must make the key international players happy. If this is at the expense of American lives, so be it.

      He has already demonstrated his position on that goals-versus-lives bargain by providing Fast and Furious “clients” with the traceable weapons to kill Americans, hoping that the backlash would support his lifelong goal of civilian disarmament. That this effort was leaked and caused something of a different backlash does not change his original intent.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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      1. Wow. Pretty strange stuff there, Keith. Fascinating, but very, very strange. What frightens me even more than Ebola would be the possibility that you may not be the only person in the country who thinks like that and that your worldview might be infectious. But, until I see other cases reported, I’ll have to trust that this is an isolated, non-transmittable condition, however fatal its implications might be if it got out into the general population.

        By the way, just to try to engage on an element of your fantasy, I would think that even if one assumes that the current President is acting entirely from a desire to advance his own personal position, he would be just as likely, if not more so, to do well in the future if he leads a government that manages to contain this disease than if he perpetrates an epidemic on the population.

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        1. scout,

          We may or we may not see more cases of Ebola. One thing that has become fairly obvious is that we don’t know enough about how the disease is spread. Hence, the need for caution.

          Whenever we speculate upon the motivations of another person, we must employ our imaginations. So oddly enough, you are correct in one respect. When Keith tries to figure out the motives of our nefarious leader, President Barack Hussein Obama, he must fantasize.

          Generally, because I find what Obama has done so appalling, I don’t speculate very much on Obama’s motives. I would hardly know where to start. Why didn’t Obama support a quarantine of the African nations with the Ebola epidemic. He apparently had no desire whatsoever to restrict immigration. Even without the Ebola epidemic, his policy on immigration is lunatic. Just allowing illegal immigrants to bring all the diseases they were bringing into this country is inexcusable, but Obama wants to transform America, and he apparently thinks we would be better off as a poor and diseased people. But why? I don’t know. I wish I did.

          So I focus instead on what Obama and the Democrats have done and why it is so harmful. Nevertheless, someone should do it. Someone should delve into what motivates Obama and the Democrats, and Keith does it quite capably. If Obama were loyal to the people of this nation, he would not have done or be doing what he is doing, and that only becomes obvious when we speculate on his motives.

          Try it. Try to explain why Obama wants to transform America. Look at how he is transforming our nation. Why have Democrats supported Obama. Why don’t they support his impeachment? Why don’t you support his impeachment? If you think Obama and the Democrats are doing anything for the good of this country, you have to be delusional, but just as Keith is welcome to post his speculative fantasies here, you are welcome to post your evasive delusions. Perhaps contrasting Keith’s fantasies with your delusions will shock people enough to force them to think.

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        2. I have hardly invented the notion of Obama’s desires for leadership of the UN. This has been discussed for years at the national level, including half a year ago in Investor’s Business Daily.

          It now seems that it is mutating rapidly, and there is no way to predict what form it will have tomorrow. I am referring to Obama’s Ebola policy, of course, which is evolving even faster than the filovirus itself.

          You normally puff and bluster and try to address points that make your fellow look unfavorable with a cloud of words. Here, you’ve given up on that and simply threw a blanket “it’s fantasy!” out there, as if that would look like a defense to a reasonable onlooker. It does not.

          Tell me, what facts do you think I’ve got wrong? I was careful to identify my speculation as such, though that speculation is (to your progressive horror) quite common. Get specific, or get over being on the wrong side as usual.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  4. I’ll tel you what I know, Keith, from reading the papers. I’m probably a good exemplar of a person of average intelligence who reads a lot of news. I don’t have special sources or your access to the inside of President Obama’s head.

    What I know is this: We’ve had two confirmed cases of Ebola contracted in the US. Both were transmitted by Mr. Duncan, who brought the disease with him from Liberia. Both cases were nurses who assisted Duncan in Dallas. Last I looked, both nurses will survive (I haven’t checked on this for more than 24 hours – I hope my last information is correct).

    I suspect that there will be more cases here. It seems impossible to avoid. I have no information that any of these cases are a result of Mr. Obama planning to enhance his standing with the United Nations or to otherwise feather his post-Presidency nest.

    My sense of things is that this is a medical issue. Government officials (some of whom are politicians in the sense that they have to engage in the political process to get elected) will have to make sound decisions about how to address the threat of this disease. I hope when they do so, they will rely heavily on the best science, and the best medical knowledge. I don’t think politics, left or right, Obama or someone else, have much to do with it.

    If your kind of speculation (thank you for acknowledging its quality as speculation) is more common than just you, that’s a separate public health problem threatening the national welfare.

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    1. I have always identified my estimation of Obama’s thinking as speculation. You know this, and yet continue your erroneous sneer:M

      I don’t have special sources or your access to the inside of President Obama’s head.

      despite admitting…

      (thank you for acknowledging its quality as speculation)

      Pure maliciousness … which in your case is substituting for producing facts to refute my argument. At least you couple this with multiple confessions of ignorance:

      I’ll tel you what I know, Keith, from reading the papers. I’m probably a good exemplar of a person of average intelligence who reads a lot of news.

      This qualifies you to have an opinion, and to vote for Obama, just as the millions who thought Sarah Palin said “I can see Russia from my house” were clearly qualified to vote for Obama. But it hardly makes you correct. As you stated, “I have no information… (when referring to Obama’s likely actions), then you propose what you think Obama and other government officials’ likely actions will be based on.

      My sense of things is that this is a medical issue.

      No kidding? Ebola? A medical issue? I wonder how long you pondered that question. But it is not solely a medical issue, or our containment procedures would not have been overruled by people who will never stand for election.

      Government officials (some of whom are politicians in the sense that they have to engage in the political process to get elected) will have to make sound decisions about how to address the threat of this disease. I hope when they do so, they will rely heavily on the best science, and the best medical knowledge. I don’t think politics, left or right, Obama or someone else, have much to do with it.

      Perhaps you don’t think politics had much to do with the IRS maliciously targeting groups and donors who disagree with Obama.

      Perhaps you don’t think politics had much to do with the White House’s decision to allow guns to freely transit to Mexican drug cartels.

      Perhaps you don’t think politics had much to do with “rescuing” known traitor Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban friends, at the cost of five high-ranking strategic enemies of the US as well as a yet undermined amount of cash, while leaving another US soldier to rot in a Mexican jail for making a wrong turn.

      And perhaps you don’t think politics has much to do with Obama’s decisions to delay legally mandated Obamacare “features” until after the election.

      Or to delay his multi-million-Mexican march of amnesty until after the election.

      Or in his delaying the release of the re-investigation of Bowe Bergdahl until after the election. (Note that Bergdahl’s guilt was determined in the original investigation years ago; the new “investigation” is being accomplished without interviewing key witnesses. But he can’t release it now, as if it admits he’s a traitor (as they knew years ago) it will tarnish Obama, and if it does NOT admit he’s a traitor it will be clearly perceived as a cave to the White House.

      If your kind of speculation (thank you for acknowledging its quality as speculation) is more common than just you, that’s a separate public health problem threatening the national welfare.

      Just for information, Google [Obama “next secretary general] (614,000 hits) and [Obama “next UN secretary general”) (207,000 hits). Among these are sources on the Left rooting for Obama in this regard, and over the past year or so fretting that his troubles with Russia may cause them to veto his appointment.

      I don’t read the papers, do not watch television, and my investigations start with clipping services and strategic information services I subscribe to. It’s okay for you to be uninformed; it is no sin. But it seems ill-advised to attempt to argue (or in your case, simply throw rather silly ad hominem attacks around) in such a state, not to mention bragging about your poor level of knowledge.

      But that’s okay; I’ve gotten quite used to your style. Your “arguments” are somewhat like sprocket-feed computer paper; they’re mildly entertaining to shred.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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      1. @ keith d

        Just as a park bench watcher in this recent interplay above, this latest post to SC___T is rather compelling.Kinda hard to argue against, laid out so well; terse, tart, and true.

        ‘Mildly entertaining to shr__d.’
        well played.

        nice to meetcha

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        1. Thank you.

          I am normally quite patient with people, and I have regular readers with vehemently different political opinions. At least they are honest about it; we can present and evaluate arguments, and I have been successful in changing minds. This is good for me. While I maintain exposure to leftist media (and often listen to a local communist radio station while traveling), I am always ready to research arguments new to me. There aren’t all that many, these days.

          But “scout” has a long history of pretending to be a conservative. If you press him on this, you discover that he’s using his own private definition of the word, while pretending that it is the “classical” definition of the word. It’s rather like Saul Alinsky pretending to be a champion of the middle class that he planned to destroy. Such dishonesty is irritating to me.

          This “scout” or “novascout” uses primarily the technique of grasping at a minor aspect of his opponent and then intentionally misunderstanding it. The pretend-confusion is evidently intended to waste time and draw attention away from the issue itself. He has used this technique dozens of times in his attempts to overcome the arguments of Constitutional conservatives.

          Frequently, he will protest that he is really one of us. When pressed, he will suggest that he’s the real conservative, and we are not. In fact, famously conservative folks like Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin disturb and scare him, as he’s admitted, and his idea of a very noble Republican is Colin Powell, another Obama supporter pretending to be a Republican.

          I disagree with “scout” on his notions of the role of government, and many other related topics. But it is his constant deception that I find most troubling.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        2. Keith and Colorstorm,

          Thank you again for your comments.

          I must admit I don’t entirely agree with Keith’s assessment of scout, but that is because I don’t know how much of scout’s behavior is pretense and how much is self-delusion.

          Here is how I would put the question. Is scout’s political posture a deliberate deception, or is he carried away by his own wishful thinking? I suppose that sound absurd, but I think we give each other far more credit than we deserve. Consider your neighbors and what we hear from around the world. Why do we do some of the things we do?

          Because we are all sinners, to some extent we all deceive ourselves. It is part of why we sin. => http://familyallianceonline.org/2013/10/03/doubt-denial-deception-and-disobediance/

          What makes self-deception sinful, however, is the extent to which it is willful. => https://citizentom.com/2008/07/07/i-stand-corrected/

          Since none of us reads minds, only God knows the extent to which our ignorance is willful. Nevertheless, as someone who has reached old age and begun to thoughtfully contemplate his life, I am happy God gives each of us a chance to repent.

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        3. You asked: “Is scout’s political posture a deliberate deception, or is he carried away by his own wishful thinking?

          I made the same allowances early on. It was after observing him over a period of time (here and on other sites, where he has posted over years) that the evidence accumulated that his ignorance and confusion were part of an intentional pose. He continues to demonstrate this, it seems to me.

          Incidentally, this fellow E. M. Smith (“Chiefio”) I have much respect for; he’s something of a polymath. Here he talks about Ebola, and he’s rather annoyed. Worth thinking about. It was posted shortly after my conversation with “scout” on the “medical issue.”

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        4. Keith,

          I am confident you are at least partly right about scout, but proving such a thing is a distraction, one which you recognize and for the most part have avoided. But there are others who might read these words.

          Here are the issues.

          1. As you have observed, scout can be a distraction. I think the effort we make (you in particular) to shred scout arguments more useful than anything we might have to say about him personally.

          2. Do scout’s arguments and deceptions (perhaps self-deceptions) need to be countered? Yes, and you do that better than anyone else, but we need not make it about him. It just feeds his ego.

          Ever wondered why an ugly woman would wear a bikini bathing suit? The answer, I think, lies in this observation. When either an attractive woman or a ugly woman walk around without any clothes, both get attention. Don’t we too much love attention? Don’t some of us crave attention of any kind?

          3. We cannot fix scout. We cannot convince someone to be different. We can shame someone, but we cannot make them feel ashamed. We can speak to another, but we cannot make them listen and take our words to heart. We can only reflect back their words and behavior with some commentary.

          Over the years, I have learned that my wife looks upon me as a renovation project, and I find that annoying. Sometimes I allow that annoyance to express itself, and every time I do I come back with the same thought. “I wish I had not said that.” I am afraid my wife loves me too much to give up her renovation plans. So complaining just uselessly upsets her.

          What we learn from each other is often not what the “teacher” intended, but that we only begin to appreciate in retrospect. Thus, I have learned too much of my own commentary is ill-considered, usually the angrier portions. What happens when I argue with my lady? She confines me to the dog house and spends the rest of the day fuming.

          Therefore, I am learning from hard experience that I have a choice between two proverbs.

          Proverbs 15:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

          15 A soft answer turns away wrath,
          But a harsh word stirs up anger.

          Proverbs 21:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

          9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
          Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

          My corner of a housetop is a musty basement.

          BTW. Thanks for the links. http://chiefio.wordpress.com/ looks like a great blog.

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      2. I didn’t vote for Obama, so I think (as often happens) you’re confusing me with someone else. Let me fill you in on my speculation about Obama’s post-presidency plans. It’s a little hazy to me, but I think it has something to do with Dancing with the Stars. I’ll let you know more when I know more.

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        1. A bandwidth-waster, containing one unprovable assertion followed by inane puffery, and absolutely nothing addressing the points made. In other words, a standard-issue “scout” response.

          In the meantime, you’ve seen additional ebola cases, not to mention TB and other diseases, and the arrest of 10+ ISS

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  5. … (ISIS) fighters at the southern border, with no way to tell how many have been missed. And Obama’s plans to “legalize” (illegally) up to 34 million immigrants, 9 million between now and next September. Plus further delays and exposed lies on Obamacare. These are perhaps your notion of “good decisions” but they are not mine.

    I apologize for the typos; I am losing function rapidly in my hands. Perhaps you’ll be rid of me soon enough.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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    1. I hope we don’t find you missing any time soon. I enjoy reading your comments.

      Anyway, I know you don’t believe in such things, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  6. Oh, and the “non-existent” vote fraud you’ve made assertions about? By now, you’ve seen the study providing evidence that it not only exists, but is large enough to have changed outcomes. Those were your criteria, scout. Ready to do something about this?

    No, of course not. It would be harmful to the Democrats’ cause.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  7. I assume that some degree of voter fraud or irregularity always exists, Keith. I’ve never contended otherwise. My contention has always been that I am unaware of it ever being outcome determinative in national elections, and, perhaps more to the point, that it doesn’t take the form of people pretending to be someone else (i.e., the kind of thing at which most of the so-called voter fraud /ID measures seem to be directed). More to the point, I have never seen any of the more vociferous advocates of “anti-voter fraud” measures devote any concomitant effort or resources to ensuring that every current lawful voter retain his right to vote. Finally (and, as a Republican, this really annoys me), it seems that everyone advocating these measures tends to be a Republican who assumes that the impact on the vote count will be to eliminate voters from the other side.

    My view of the correct, patriotic, pro-democratic (small D, mind you) stance for my Party (i.e, the GOP – not sure where you fit in) is to advocate strong voter registration drives to ensure that the turnout percentages are very high. I don’t really care if we go to universal, total bio-metric voter ID card controls at the polling place so long as we go into a full court press to ensure that no one is dis-enfranchised by new requirements (I am driving 1,000 miles this weekend to deal with my elderly Republican mother’s disenfranchisement by new “Voter ID” requirements), and that we vote for funding measures to take the new IDs into every nook and cranny of American society, whether we suspect they are with us or agin’ us, to ensure that we are the Party of maximum democratic participation at the polls.

    I haven’t seen this attitude yet among the advocates of Voter ID measures and I have seen and heard plenty to make me think that those most vocal about it assume that it will diminish, not increase, the votes of the opposing Party. That makes me question motives. I have seen and heard enough to convince me that voter suppression is a major motivation of these efforts. I don’t want that anti-democratic, anti-Republican, base motive associated with the Party of Lincoln.

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    1. Willfully ignorant? I think so.

      My contention has always been that I am unaware of it ever being outcome determinative in national elections, and, perhaps more to the point, that it doesn’t take the form of people pretending to be someone else (i.e., the kind of thing at which most of the so-called voter fraud /ID measures seem to be directed).

      Would you operate a business, particularly something like a bank, without making any effort to prevent embezzlement? Well, our government collects and spends huge sums of money, and it issues all kinds of expensive regulations and tax loopholes. No business even come close in the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse. And how do we control our government? We elect the officials who run it. And half the people we elect don’t believe election fraud is even a potential problem? And you think there is nothing to worry about?

      I worry about you. I really do.

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    2. I am not inclined to assume that you are a malicious, lying troll. But I will note for the record what is abundantly clear from your own writings here:
      • You do maliciously impugn our host, constantly attacking his intelligence and reading comprehension. That this is evidently done to distract attention from your own mendacity does not help you.
      • You are prone to falsehoods, most frequently in the form of asserting that an opponent has said something they did not say. I will not impugn your reading comprehension; I think that this deception is quite intentional on your own part. Your lie here is of a different nature, and I will get to it shortly.
      • Your primary activity here is to engage in distraction, to redirect the conversation into spin-off absurdities of your own manufacture, interfering with the consideration of our host’s point in writing the post. Though you are more articulate than most trolls, your behavior is certainly troll-like to an extent.

      Nevertheless, let’s look at this most recent falsehood, a comparatively mild one. You wrote:

      My contention has always been that I am unaware of it ever being outcome determinative in national elections, and, perhaps more to the point, that it doesn’t take the form of people pretending to be someone else (i.e., the kind of thing at which most of the so-called voter fraud /ID measures seem to be directed).

      This is false. First, your contention has not “always” been limited to national elections. An example otherwise is here, in which you include state elections:

      Fortunately, there is no evidence (at least none that I have seen, and I have asked over and over again for people who may know otherwise to present it) that ID fraud at the polling place has ever affected the outcome of a state or federal election in the United States.

      I remembered this, but you have decided not to. Perhaps this is due to the recently published study suggesting that voter fraud likely DID influence at least one recent state election and changed its outcome.

      But I will note, also, that this very nearly happened in Florida in 2000, an election debacle that I played a small role in as a negotiator with officials there concerning the voter rolls. And it evidently DID happen in the Kennedy-Nixon race in 1960.

      My own local precinct in California set things up to make it easy for me to vote twice, though they were less excited about this when it became evident that I was a registered Republican. In the news recently are voting machines in multiple states simply ignoring the Republican input and voting Democrat instead, a different kind of voter fraud.

      But it is not only pitifully easy to cast a fraudulent vote, it is also an activity that the current Department of Justice encourages and protects. And you would continue to leave your mother disenfranchised because her current vote is mooted by a fraudulent vote, and you’ve asserted many times that you want the federal government to spend taxpayer money to address every single individual, despite being told (and you should have been already aware) that the thousands of organizations involved in “get out the vote” drives would naturally do this. Some would be highly motivated to act, as they were perpetrators of the current fraud.

      In any event, you can no longer honestly use the “I am not aware of any evidence” line, not that your use of it was honest to begin with. I don’t expect this to stop you, of course.

      I was amused at your weasel-wording about your mother’s voting. You spewed words implying that she leaned Republican, by saying that she “generally” voted in a way “consistent” with being part of a significant Republican family. One could say exactly the same thing about Ron Reagan, who is also part of a notable Republican family despite being an ardent leftist. So we are left with your vague word-weaving, and must weigh this against your constant habit of falsehoods. No one would have likely inquired as to how your mother voted, but your ink cloud around her caught my attention. It was almost, in your own misguided and obfuscated way, a moment of honesty.

      It is perhaps fortunate for you that many readers here consider you to be dishonest. The alternative would be to accept that you are as abominably stupid as you portray yourself to be. I chuckled when Citizen Tom referred to “my past and my siblings” and you pretended to have no idea whose siblings he was talking about.

      As Wall•E said in that good conservative movie warning about the rise of the nanny state: “Pathetic.” It was the most complex word that the simple soul uttered during the film. But you have lots of words in your vocabulary, scout — you just lack his honesty and sincerity.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  8. I should hope so, Tom. I really hope that I worry you. I try as best I can. I think it important that people like me worry people like you. Otherwise we will lose our Republic to fear, loose thinking, human weakness, and Henny-Penny electoral politics that does nothing to bring truly capable leaders to office. I have very little tolerance for the kind of boogey-man, sky-is-falling world view that you find so fascinating and seductive. One of my formative heroes, conservative scholar Russell Kirk, once described politicians as actors who read a script written by their audience. Your view of the world rewards that sort of phony, cartoonish politician. You are vulnerable to being played by purveyors of buzzwords. That does us no good when we live in complex times.

    The voting process has to be respected and perceived to be one of integrity. In my previous comment, I made clear that I have no problem with rigourous ID at the polls, despite the fact that I find negligible evidence that any major election has ever turned on people who are ineligible to vote pretending to be people who are eligible to vote. (this kind of fictional “fraud” is numerically indiscernible and lasts about as long as it takes for the real voter to turn up to vote). We can do a lot to clear voter rolls of the dead and folks who have moved to other jurisdictions. We certainly should do that. I’m all for fingerprints, iris scans, photos, whatever. However, I also made clear that new requirements have to be implemented in a way that does not result in a single previously lawful voter from voting. I keep coming back to my mother as an example. She is 92 and will have to file a provisional ballot this year because of changes in voter ID laws. The sincerity of concern for voter ID is measured directly by the amount of effort to reach out to provide, at no cost or inconvenience, every current legal voter with new credentials. It isn’t happening anywhere, as far as I can discern. That means that the “voter ID” movement is, indeed, a voter suppression movement. The hope is that people who could not otherwise win a majority of the citizens’ votes, can win if the deck is re-configured to cast out a lot of people who used to vote.

    My concern about not disenfranchising anyone strikes me as a baseline position for those of us who respect the ballot. That kind of meticulous concern for the citizens is not apparent in the current discussion in changes of Voter ID and related measures.

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    1. I cannot top Keith’s dissection of your comments. So I will just observe the net effect. You said:

      I have very little tolerance for the kind of boogey-man, sky-is-falling world view that you find so fascinating and seductive.

      And I must admit you don’t. You are too busy creating one of your own.

      What is the net effect of your words? In order to do anything that might prevent voter fraud, we have to satisfy an impossible requirement.

      However, I also made clear that new requirements have to be implemented in a way that does not result in a single previously lawful voter from voting.

      Not a single one? There is no such thing as a perfect system created by human beings, and security of any sort always creates some inconveniences. Just the locks we put on our houses, cars, bicycles, gym lockers, fences and so forth create huge nuisance. And that is just the beginning. Hence, Keith chuckled over “your weasel-wording about your mother’s voting.” You are spewing nonsense. Unfortunately, you are just repeating what a bunch of Democrat politicians have said.

      Because we are imperfect, we can only optimize any system we create. Thus, we drive cars at 50 – 70 miles per hour, not the speed of light. But charlatans like Obama would have us believe he can create a faster than light political system. We just have to give him all the power he wants.

      We can create a secure polling system that gives everyone who wants to an opportunity to vote, but everyone is still going to have to make an effort, and some people, like your elderly mother, may need a little help. If the politicians she supports can’t help her — if you can’t help her — then it is probably too costly for our government to help her. But if the government helps her then government pays the bill. So I suppose that makes it okay?

      Anyway, if you think we can actually do what you have purposed, then you must believe politicians are miracle workers. Yeah, you must really believe Obama can lower those sea-levels.

      I still cannot believe we were dumb enough to elect him twice.

      Like

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