The Drone Filibuster

•March 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

That title sounds almost redundant, eh? This cartoon from Tristan Shoubt may be a tad late, but fun I think. To share, just link to this page or email for permission.


Wow! Vitrual President rocks!

•February 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I have no idea why I never heard of Bill Whittle before, but I’m sure glad I found this!

Save the Horses

•February 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

A whopping second helping of humor for today from Tristan Shoubt. If they could, what would horses do to stay off the menu? As is becoming usual, I ask that if you want to share this with friends just link to this page or else email for permission.

chickin cartoon

Immigration Policy Cartoon

•February 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Oh, boy! Another political cartoon from Tristan Shoubt, this time playing off of Senator Marco Rubio’s comment on Obama’s immigration policy. Again, to share just link to this page, or else email for permission.


State of the Union chuckle

•February 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

After the “You Lie!” outburst at the 2012 State of the Union Address, the situation was ripe for some cartoon fun this time around. To share this, either link to this page or request permission from

Obama confounds opposition at State of the Union Address 2013

Smoking gun stats: GOP election fraud 2008, 2012

•October 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Maybe you’ve seen a statistical analysis of election fraud for one state or another (see my 6/14/12 post below), but the paper linked here convincingly shows GOP fraud in both the 2008 general election (to no ultimate effect) and the 2012 presidential primaries. Exception primaries in 2012 are Utah and Puerto Rico.

Figure 6 shows departures from statistical normality for all candidates

Figure 6 tells the story for this year’s GOP primary elections. Romney apparently benefited from about 70,000 votes missing from Ron Paul’s total, 500,000 from Gingrich’s, and 580,000 from Santorum’s — a total of over 1,200,000 votes beyond what statistically should have ended up in Mitt’s column.

The technique apparently used is called “vote flipping.” Votes for one candidate are simply transferred to another during the recording or counting processes. In this case, the authors say, a single algorithm was apparently programmed into electronic voting machines across the country.

The vote flipping was discovered by a check of how voting behavior seemed to vary from one precinct to another. Surprisingly, it turned out that a bias in favor of Romney or McCain increased with precinct size. Upon consideration, it makes sense that altering votes is less risky in large precincts, where the large number of votes masks the chicanery.

Normal vote totals should follow the baseline;  departures show flipping.

Figure 7 (from an undisclosed state primary; these are not national figures) shows the effect of vote flipping. In a fair election, vote percentages for each candidate in a precinct remain fairly constant regardless of precinct size, but when votes are flipped, one candidate’s percentage of votes increases with precinct size while the percentages for all competitors go down proportionately.

This analysis may come as a surprise to many Ron Paul supporters, who have understandably come to suspect that just about all cheating leading up to the RNC was directed at Paul. It would be difficult to count all the videos on YouTube that describe or document (often with live video) party bylaws and rules violations, subterfuge, physical assault, disinformation, censorship, illegal detention, and blatant election fraud. But this paper makes a strong case that something in the vote recording or tabulation process diverted votes to Romney from all his GOP competitors.

A welcome vindication for many Paulistas is that the statistical analysis shows why a fair election in the notorious Iowa primary may well have given the victory to Ron Paul. As I view the graph, Santorum’s tally would have been so close that his win isn’t statistically unreasonable, but Paul appears to have enjoyed a small lead in the smaller precincts before his accumulative total took a precipitous drop. If extended in a normal “straight line” trajectory, that would have placed him in first place. Romney should have been a distant third. Judge for yourself:

Vote flipping in the GOP Iowa primary, 2012

From these figures it’s hard to estimate what overall damage was done to the Paul campaign. It would be interesting to see how states like Nevada, Maine, and Arizona were affected, for they might have given Paul a CLEAR plurality of support from those states, making it much more difficult to deny him his rightful role at the national convention.

I confess this paper’s conclusion came as quite a surprise to me as well. I have come to view the two parties as two hands serving the same body, and it seems very strange for one of those hands to be so heavily favored.

For those interested in following up on this study, the authors have helpfully shown how to acquire the raw data and how to set up an Excel spreadsheet for the statistical analysis. I should note that other elections can be examined this way

The paper is here:

Most votes for Obama or Romney won’t matter.

•October 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

That’s right. Most voters won’t be able to help either Obama or Romney by voting for them.

Unless you’re in a swing state, where the race between the two is too close to call — only 9 of 50 — a vote for either of them will only add unnecessarily to a huge surplus of votes for the winner in your state, or diminish unnecessarily a huge deficit in votes for the loser. Either way, your vote will effectively be canceled out by someone voting the opposite way from yours.

That means you have a chance to use your vote to send a message to the major parties. By voting for a particular third party or independent (or write-in) candidate you can indicate how you want America to be in the future: more like the candidate you vote for would have it rather than how either R or D candidate promises.

So, when you break out of conventional thinking, whether or not you like Obama or Romney, your vote is probably best used on someone else.

The Chalk Guy

•August 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A sample of The Chalk Guy’s work. See link to video.

Amazing 3-D illustrations done on sidewalks and such with chalk. The effect depends on looking from the right place….

World’s smallest primate — cute!

•August 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment


These are pygmy marmosets, the world’s smallest primates. Gotta love ’em!

DIY security

•July 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment


All the hand-wringing over the helplessness of victims at the Aurora shootings provides an opportunity to reconsider how our culture deals with the need for protection against criminal violence. The received view that we should rely on police to protect us is especially puzzling now that, once again, that approach has proved to be absolutely unworkable. Are we nuts?

I won’t go into the standard arguments for gun rights here. My purpose is to offer what is probably a counter-intuitive idea: Police should have no greater obligation to protect others in an emergency than you or I do. Their special protective role should be in situations where they can establish a presence and intervene as needed. We pay them to take the risks when others aren’t needed for immediate help in an emergency.

The most effective approach to public safety is for everyone to be prepared to protect themselves and others when faced with criminal violence.

After all, when violence strikes there is always a person there to help: the would-be victim herself. Seems a good idea to be prepared for self-defense, because only in the rarest of cases are police available at the critical moment. They do reliably arrive in time to draw chalk lines around the bodies.

But one is very often in the midst of others who, properly prepared, would be able to render assistance. Under those circumstances one is very safe indeed.

Of course, there’s the typical concern that we can’t trust ordinary people to handle guns safely, or to be trained well enough to be effective in an emergency. Do folks trust police to be safe and efficient protectors because they have super-human powers?  According to a number of online sources, the average IQ for police officers is 104 (they don’t specify which IQ test applies).

Don’t assume that your typical officer is a firearms expert, either. There’s a running joke at indoor pistol ranges that the lanes have walls so that police can qualify.

By the same token, ordinary citizens are perfectly capable of learning firearms safety and developing proficiency. I’ve had concealed carry training, and I can tell you it isn’t rocket science. Oversimplified a bit, competence for concealed carry is mostly a matter of being habitually aware of one’s surroundings and of habitually following a few very simple safety rules that must be considered mandatory.

There’s an additional benefit to having near-universal firearms proficiency: the strong sense of responsibility that comes with developing that proficiency with proven methods carries over to other aspects of life. Our culture would experience a welcome general increase in responsibility among us that could go a long way toward solving other cultural problems we face.

I think it’s past time we replaced our unworkable approach to public safety with one that could hardly be improved upon.

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