Saturday, June 13, 2015


The Party of the Smoking Gun

Despite my use of the image in the title, I have never actually seen a smoking gun in real life. The first reason is that nearly everyone uses smokeless powder cartridges now and the powder in the cartridge is truly smokeless. For a second reason, very few people fire enough rounds to heat the barrel to a point where it causes the lubricating oil on the outside surface of the weapon to vaporize. I've seen it on films a few times. But the image comes from a different time when firing a weapon actually caused smoke and if the gun was smoking after discharge, the firing of the weapon was seconds ago. It is the near Platonic ideal of proof of guilt nowadays even though the guns, like most Americans, no longer smoke.

Here is the rather dim liberal Markos Moulitsas (Kos) asserting that there is no voter fraud in America.

If Republicans truly believed they were the national majority, they would fight for expanded voting rights and opportunities. Instead, they have engaged in a persistent nationwide effort to limit the franchise and size of the voting pool. 
Yeah, we're trying to limit the size of the voting pool to those who have a constitutional right to vote (and only to those). Racists! Know Nothings!

But here is the money quote which allows Kos to say the existence of any voter fraud is a lie:

A constitutional law professor at Loyola University in Los Angeles last year found since 2000 in both primary and general elections just 31 incidents of alleged voter fraud — out of over 1 billion votes cast. Even fewer were actually prosecuted. A News21 investigation found just 10 cases of voter impersonation since 2000, and only 159 guilty verdicts in cases involving ineligible voters (like felons or noncitizens illegally voting). 

So few people were caught doing it, goes the lefty reasoning here, that it must not be happening at all. I won't even bother with criticizing the sources he cites. I'm sure the unnamed con law professor at Loyola has his thumb firmly on the pulse of the fight to prevent illegal voting and News21, well, who could imagine that that world famous organization wouldn't get it right?

But the real problem with the lefty logic here, if I can use that word, is that we keep voting secret. There is no publication of who voted and what that person voted for. That makes detecting illegal voting, very, very difficult. So the fact that we don't catch a lot of people doing is not a very good reason to state that no one is doing it.

The idea that we don't receive the radio and TV signals from intelligent alien civilizations, so there must not be any, uses the same sort of logic. The physical facts, that distance attenuates such signals to the point of being undetectable by our technology and that any alien civilization is many light years away, don't matter. Nor does the speculative notion that there is a short time in an advanced, technological civilization between the beginning of strong signals from radio, TV, phone, etc. transmissions (for us it was 1901) and the evolution in that civilization to a interconnection system based primarily on fiberoptic cables, with limited broadcast signal distance and strength, which would necessarily make any signal from Earth undetectable at even close range to even an advanced technology. Alternate explanations for the lack of any detectable signal (or numerous arrest for voter fraud) are ignored as inconvenient when this logic is employed.

Just so does the Clinton political machine, vying for leadership of the Democrat party and the nation, use the "no smoking gun equals no wrongdoing" logic to defend its lengthy record of wrong doing.

I'm not knowledgeable enough about what Kos knows to call him a liar for writing the stupid stuff he did about voter fraud. I'll just continue to think he's rather dumb.


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