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Messages - Seriati

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General Comments / Re: Trump looses again
« on: May 03, 2023, 11:16:38 PM »
Really guys? Two hundred and twenty five times you need to ask the same question with an equal lack of standing?

Maybe the better question is why no one had standing to enforce a Constitutional requirement.

So my conclusion is no, the parties are not equivalent. I think if Obama would have been the Republican candidate, the Democrats would indeed have raised the question and let it hang there, but it wouldn't have become a fervor.

As a counterpoint, I would suggest you look at the enormous history of the DNC successfully using dirty tricks to remove third party candidates from ballots.  The Obama birther controversy was child's play when you look at the DNC's success in wiping out upstarts.

General Comments / Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« on: May 03, 2023, 07:48:11 PM »
Trump increased the deficit every year he was in office, Biden and Obama did the opposite. Now if you care about deficit spending which party is better to vote for?

I honestly don't know.

What's holding you back? How many years of data do you need? We're pushing largely 40+ years of evidence that suggest the opposite of what Republicans say they care about. Bush largely increased the deficit every year he was in office as well. Clinton the opposite. Reagan skyrocketed the deficit. Which party is for tax cuts that don't have to be offset by anything because "they'll pay for themselves"? Which party usually includes spending offsets or some form of tax increase to pay for their programs in bills?

Maybe logic and actually looking at the relevant numbers is what's holding him back?  Or just honesty.  Is a false claim that Biden has reduced the deficit, he's massively increased it.  The pretend statistic they like to refer to is an imaginary reduction from a projection that never was.  In reality the deficit is massively larger under Biden in both years than deficits run by any prior President.  He smashed the record annual deficits set by the Obama White House.

Dems are in fact responsible because the single most controllable thing for the federal government is spending and they increased federal spending by about 50% in Biden's first year and claim that as the new baseline.  Fifty percent is completely insane.

A conservative talking about the need for  “rational laws”! 🤣

Seems like the most common position among Republicans in my experience, even among Democrats it can be.  In both cases it depends on the particular topic that the law is covering. 

Of course, it's odd to assert that I'm a conservative.

And they say comedy is dead.

Gen Z just isn't funny, comedy is doing fine.

You’re arguing that once someone has snuck across the border we may as well give them a simple pass to citizenship.

Nope.  All I argued was that dehumanizing someone for having a rational position was actually kind of absurd. 

Plenty of people have rational positions about how to handle the border, ranging all the way from enforcing the laws and closing the borders, to allowing virtually unlimited immigration.  I've yet to meet anyone that thinks our policy of illegal immigration is better than actually having a rational legal immigration policy, yet somehow that policy of illegal immigration keeps winning out.

No. I'm pointing out that your overgeneralizations -- particularly when sorting people into intentionally dehumanizing categories so you can then generalize even more about them -- are insulting and unnecessary. If you're offended by the observation that conservatives do not enact rational laws, say so and ask for clarification. If you're not, don't use it as justification for insults of your own.

Why are you pointing out Pete's overgeneralization exactly?  Was pointing out that Pete overgeneralized in his response to Ouija Nightmare's own overgeneralization really the best way to go?  Perhaps you'd have gotten better results if you'd called out the original infraction at the same time?

Of course not doing so really begs the question of what you were actually doing.  Not being balanced, makes it kind of hard to pass it off as a kind hearted public service in correcting poor ole' Pete's mistake.  Looks like was it a way to get in your own little attacks while pretending to have a moral high ground. 

Maybe there was a worse passage in what you were reading?

How exactly is it an unreasonable position to believe that a pregnant 15 year old should be permitted, if she so chooses, to marry the father of the child?

As it looks, under Wyoming law no one under 18 was permitted to have intercourse.  Wyoming doesn't have a Romeo and Juliet exemption, so by default the 15 year old mother could be prosecuted for statutory rape if the father is also under 18.  Wyoming does permit a defense if the person under 18 is married to the other person, but of course this would eliminate that defense, so it's not factually correct to say the mother and the father could cohabitate.  In any such situation the father could be convicted of statutory rape on an ongoing basis and depending on his age so could the mother.

Maybe if Wyoming had a rational law, with a Romeo and Juliet exemption - rather than a puritanical hard line at 18 - this kind of change would be more fair, but without the exemption, this literally just eliminated any exemption that could be available to those under 16. 

So calling them groomers may be fun if you feel like you've been called a groomer, but it doesn't really seem intellectually honest to do so.  Now if they were arguing for taking child brides you'd have been 100% in bounds on the insult.

General Comments / Re: Bragg's Political Prosecution
« on: April 04, 2023, 05:33:25 PM »
Not really a good example of that here, even though it works in his favor.  There never was a federal election law violation related to this.

For Bragg to make his case it has to be Trump's own money, but if it's Trump's own money its not a campaign law violation.

In reality if Trump had used campaign money to make this payment he would have been found guilty by the FEC a long time ago.  No question this would not be a proper campaign expense.  How then is it a campaign law violation not to treat using your own money as a campaign contribution?  If he had done so it still would have violated campaign finance law.  It's not questionable, this was never a permitted campaign expense.

Really, let that sink in.  Bragg's case is nonsensical at a fundamental level.

General Comments / Re: Fox Dominion lawsuit
« on: April 04, 2023, 05:29:41 PM »
I'm saying they do this every day.  Have you ever watched the View?  Joy Reid?  Don Lemon?  They not only fail to push back on false accusations of their guests, they make them themselves.

And how do you know that they firmly believe they are making false accusations?  Or, as Tom put it, malice? ;)

The question as put forth by this court is not whether they "firmly believe" it, since no one at Fox met that standard either.  It's whether they have producers and staff that don't believe the things they are saying are true.  Given some of the lies that get repeated, and heck some of the inside information that got released on CNN's "anti-Trump" strategy, the knowing misreporting, there's more than enough to meet the same standard.

I'll throw 2 quick examples.  Every reporter that repeated the assertion that Trump said there were fine people on both sides with the implication he was talking about the Nazi's and every network and news organization they work for, violated the standard in this case.  Or one that was actually raised in the case, when CNN reported that some of Andrew Cuomo's accusers should not be believed do you really think that no one in CNN's decision making tree really believed that they should not be believed?  It's a catch 22 there.

General Comments / Re: Fox Dominion lawsuit
« on: April 04, 2023, 05:25:10 PM »
are you really claiming that every single person at CNN or the NY Times actually believes everything that they report or print?
No, of course not. As I said, there's an established body of precedent on this.
You can get away with a certain amount of "people are saying X" without failing the test for malice. You cannot get away with an infinite amount of it. 

Crucially, this court observes that "people are saying X" is not a defense against falsity, but rather a defense against malice. And the logic there is sound, as without that distinction there'd be no point in requiring both elements in a defamation suit in the first place.

The point on falsity is two fold.  First, "people are saying x" is not false.  It's also the literal defense that virtually every newspaper, television station and reporter has relied on for the last 100 years when reporting on controversy.  If you want to move that standard, fine, but it'll take down the entire media if honestly applied.  They have not been liable for reporting on what people said in modern history, their liability attaches when they say something is true directly.

Second, and again, Fox never introduced material evidence on the underlying falsity because the first point above - which is consistent with existing law - is what they went to.  They never made a statement about Dominion that was not protected or true.  Why exactly would they have to prove someone else's statements were true?  The court should never have inserted it's own opinion on this point, which is exactly what it did in reaching judgment.  That's lawfare at its finest.

General Comments / Re: Fox Dominion lawsuit
« on: April 04, 2023, 05:19:21 PM »
To be fair, the opposite extreme -- that if Joe Biden were to claim that Donald Trump is a space lizard, Fox News could not report it because they know the claim to be untrue -- is equally problematic. Which is why courts have actually built up a body of precedent on this. This is not new or unexplored territory. The question is whether Fox crossed a line into endorsement or promulgation of a given theory by repeatedly reporting on the theory and uncritically hosting proponents of that theory.

Yes, that's the lawfare question that the court answered.  However, it's not the correct standard of law, and it's standard that every part of the left media would fail.

The court, in its ruling, observes that the actual establishment of falsity does not require that Fox itself be promulgating the claims for the claims to be false. It consequently finds for summary judgement on the topic of falsity, since the claims are provably false, Fox knew them to be false, and Fox did not report them as being false.

It's erroneous - and reversible - that Fox did not need to make the claims itself.  That's repeatedly been established at law.  The summary judgment was also erroneous on this point in that it concluded that Fox could not factually establish the statements were true, Fox argued for a completely different (and correct) standard of what facts they had to prove.  Summary judgement was granted not because it was correct at law (it wasn't), nor because Dominion had carried the factual day (it hadn't), but solely to attempt to preclude Fox from being entitled to discovery on this point in the next stage of the trial.  It was a lawfare decision to protect Dominion from any investigation.

Notably, it did not issue summary judgment for Dominion on the question of malice, on the grounds that this is the open question: could Fox have knowingly reported claims it knew to be false without malice, out of a desire for fairness? It observes that because they need to give every consideration to Fox on that point, malice cannot be assumed and summary judgment was not granted.

It laid out Dominion's "case" on this point lovingly, and in extreme detail, and it laid out the case for Fox News and FC critically and in format most favorable to Dominion.  Reality is that FC was absolutely entitled to summary judgement on this point.  There is zero evidence of actual malice there.  Fox News would be entitled to summary judgement if they were the NY Times or CNN on the exact same facts.  The case for malice is extraordinarily weak, there was no evidence presented at all of actual malice, against a backdrop where reporters and media companies have been protected notwithstanding extensive evidence (in writing) of their hate for parties involved.

This is a lawfare activist opinion.  It sounds reasonable even as it flips the actual law on its head.  That said, the law in this area has always been terrible and unreasonably in favor of the media.  If this case is really opening a door that swings both ways (i.e., it can be used against the left media, not just the right), then I'd be more than willing to have the law change.   But if this is another piece of one-sided nonsense where it only applies to media on the right then no thanks.

The ruling, therefore, finds that Fox repeated lies it knew to be lies about Dominion, but that it did not necessarily do so out of malice. As far as I can tell, this is a correct application of law.

The ruling was incorrect in reaching that conclusion.  As a matter of summary judgement, the judge had no basis to discount or to ignore Fox's claims in their filings.  The idea that a handful of voices in an organization disbelieved something is in no way proof (and uncontrovertible proof to be found on summary judgement) that the underlying facts were false and more importantly that  the organization knew them to be false.  REVERSIBLE ERROR.

(The other two summary judgment issues it was asked to address -- whether Fox News could be assumed to have not had any malice, and therefore should have Dominion's defamation claim summarily dismissed; and whether Fox Corporation is in no way responsible for the behavior of Fox News and should not be financially liable for any judgments against Fox News -- were, I believe, also rightly concluded.

The second was not rightly decided.  FC should have been out of the case on summary judgement.  There's not even a plausible argument for veil piercing of Fox News.  The first was correctly decided, while the actual weight of the law is overwhelmingly on Fox New's side on actual malice, court's should not be dismissing it on summary judgement where the accuser's claims have to be assumed as true.  But even there, Dominion's claims are not really strong enough under existing law and it should have been a close case.

Since the question of malice is in fact the primary open question, it should absolutely go to trial. And since there's ample evidence that Fox Corporation executives had extensive input on Fox News reporting, the independence of Fox News as an entity should not be assumed.)

This is Delaware.  The ground on veil piercing is some of the most established in history.  If this opinion stands - and is not just a one-off get Fox abuse - it will fundamentally shatter Delaware's preeminence as a jurisdiction of choice.  Honestly, find some veil piercing cases that have anything like this level of factual support, there are a thousand that are a thousand times more egregious where Delaware refused to veil pierce.

General Comments / Re: Fox Dominion lawsuit
« on: April 04, 2023, 05:00:35 PM »
Are you arguing, Seriati, that someone could not destroy a person's reputation by allowing an accuser, who they believe is lying, repeated air-time to make their accusations without push-back?  That there is simply no way this would help in libeling a person?

I'm saying they do this every day.  Have you ever watched the View?  Joy Reid?  Don Lemon?  They not only fail to push back on false accusations of their guests, they make them themselves.

Because if so, I got a person who says Trump is actually a space lizard who'd I love to start quoting!  ;D

Go ahead.  No one is getting a libel judgement on that.

General Comments / Re: Fox Dominion lawsuit
« on: April 04, 2023, 04:57:07 PM »
Seriati, the defense you're asserting -- that Fox just reported "other people are saying X", and that this might absolve them of having to actually verify the truth of X -- was undermined substantially by the evidence presented that many of Fox's own pundits did not believe X, complained about the ridiculousness of X, and yet were repeatedly told by management to present X as if it were credible. The latter point in particular is salient, as Fox's representatives frequently stepped beyond simply reporting that some other idiots were making claims and actually engaged in making claims themselves.

None of which actually is relevant.  Personally disbelieving something, even personally being certain it must be false, is not the same as knowing its false.  Fox quite correctly pointed out that very fact in their filings, that for the most part definitive government assertions were not available until long after they had ceased even covering the issues, and that even then the governmental assertions were just that, assertions that gave no access to the underlying records.  In other words, they were not actually definitive.  Fox also pointed out that two of the relevant hosts still believe certain underlying are true, which further undermines that point.

But think about this more objectively, are you really claiming that every single person at CNN or the NY Times actually believes everything that they report or print?  Are you claiming that if any of them are say cynical and don't believe false things that get reported that they are now liable?  If that's going to be the standard, I'd love it.  The left media lies all the time, they repeat false and debunked statements maliciously all the time, let's move to that standard please.

General Comments / Bragg's Political Prosecution
« on: April 04, 2023, 04:51:36 PM »
Just read the indictment and "statement of facts," and it's literally just a rehashing of the already known stuff.  The indictment is a silly piece of work that effectively separately charges each tiny piece of the same act - so for example, signing off on Cohen's legal invoice for each of the 12 months, putting the bill into the general ledger, signing the check and signing the check stub would be four separate charges under this indictment.  Run that through all 12 months and that's all you got here.  Cohen billed $420k as part of a retainer agreement, which Bragg claims never existed (even though that's both unlikely and impossible to prove), which in any circumstance payments thereunder would be properly recorded as legal fees. The underlying "payoff" was for $125k, which is obviously not the same as $420k.  Cohen reported the $420k as income rather than expense reimbursement, which makes sense given it's got little relation to the expense.

As far as the "facts" it looks like it will be little more than claiming Cohen is telling the truth about everything no matter how many times he contradicts himself.  The underlying "crime" - not a crime, which is problematic.

Statute of limitations definitely expired if this is a misdemeanor, if there is not underlying crime, then it is a misdemeanor with a 2-year statute of limitations.  Even if there were an underlying crime, the statute of limitations would only be 5-years, and the records were made in 2017, which means that it's expired as well.  There's no obvious reason it should have been tolled, the tolling provisions in NY's penal code don't seem to apply.

Short story short, it is a delusional cause of action that relies solely on the hope that a partisan court in a heavily anti-Trump district will craft a crime out of nothing because of animus to President Trump.

General Comments / Re: Fox Dominion lawsuit
« on: April 04, 2023, 03:25:54 PM »
Sure the judge did rule that.  His opinion is questionable in a number of ways, not least of which is that Fox never argued on that point.  Fox, following established legal precedent argued that they accurately and truthfully reported on the allegations of others in respect of Dominion's role in the elections.  The judge decided to ignore that what Fox said was accurate instead inputted the statements of the guests to Fox and then proceeded to rule on the substance of those statements (which was not briefed).  That's a reversible error, which the court seemingly engaged in for the sole purpose of making a political conclusion on the "facts" - big surprise Democratic judge, I know.  If this actually goes to trial on that misstatement of the law, then the true of those statements should be questions of fact for the jury to decide.  More likely, that's overturned and the traditional standard is reimposed, which kills the case.  But hey, honestly, it's okay with me if this ruling sticks because it can absolutely be used against media on the left to win defamation cases that have been stymied for years.  The judge misapplied the publication standard as well, based on existing law.

The judge also engaged in reversible error in not granting FC summary judgment.  It's been virtually impossible to pierce the corporate veil in Delaware historically, even for thinly capitalized shell corporations.  The higher DE courts are not going to let a precedent stand that a makes piercing the veil trivially easy between a subsidiary and a parent.  It literally undermines DE's entire "corporate capital" business plan.

Pretty much a garbage opinion everywhere it granted summary judgement.  If it had denied summary judgement and moved the whole thing to trial it would have been more reasonable, but given what the law has actually been here Fox News should have gotten summary judgement (FC is a no brainer).   Instead, it's a well drafted attempt to move the case forward on a rigged basis.
 It systematically, granted summary judgement where Dominion was weakest and to try and eliminate the strongest defenses available to Fox News (even though, every other media outlet has relied on them). 

I won't even recommend reading it, as I often do, its largely an activist opinion modelled on lawfare principals, in other words, drafted very well even when it misdirects on facts and legal principals.

General Comments / Re: Balloons and Intelligence Assessments
« on: February 07, 2023, 11:25:47 AM »
So from the responses it seems as if logic and deductive reasoning are no longer practiced when you're on team Biden.

So NobleHunter, if this nothing but fearmongering by the right, why did the Biden admin leak the "you should blame Trump" angle?  Wouldn't the correct response have been to just assert that the administration had assessed the situation and decided that there is nothing to be worried about?  Of course, Biden's gravitas and credibility are garbage so it may not have been persuasive, but the angle they actually took seems to undercut the claim.

So Yossarian, if my post is nothing but a floating opinion of outrage and hypocrasy why did I write the fourth and fifth paragraphs in my initial response - the ones where I directly expressed a concern about our strategic gaps.  There is a fundamental difference between our military and strategic capabilities - which this does call into question - and the competence of our civilian leadership.  Biden is incompetent and this exercise just demonstrates that further.  I mean really, the leak boils down to a claim that Biden isn't a failure, because we found - after Trump left office - that maybe balloons were previously over the US - but we're not sure and didn't tell him - and Trump did nothing.  What a defense of Biden - Biden did nothing when he knew about the situation - a situation his own administration had apparently identified as a recurring threat a year ago - but hey look at Trump he also did nothing about a situation that he didn't know about and that we "discovered" after he left office.

So msquared, if 2 was true it was bordering on an act of treason not to inform the civilian leadership for those reasons.  If 1 was true it would have been directly linked, of course its the Biden admin with the links to China but hey why not pretend the other guy is worse.  And it's not just "Trump," it's literally everyone in the civilian government, including many administration officials whose competence and loyalty was never questioned who were not informed.  The real most likely reasons are: (i) we had and still have no evidence a transition occurred (other than opinions); (ii) the military made a threat assessment (potentially incorrectly) that there was no threat and did not escalate it; or (iii) it was not detected real time.  The first would mean the Biden admin is pushing propaganda to make himself look good (which is even more intel the Chinese picked up because they know with certainty whether or not their balloons transited the US.  The second would mean that certain generals need to be admonished or replaced.  The third would reflect a dangerous strategic hole in our capabilities, planning and/or strategic thinking.

Lol at Wayward, there's literally a "never Trump" branch of the Republican party.  But I assume you don't just mean any Republicans you mean what every Republican?  Or do you mean just me?  Cause I have several dozen direct critiques of Trump in the archives here that you could look to if you're being serious.  And I'm not really feeling terribly inclined to accept this nonsense when you're backing a senile Joe Biden who's best skill is to generate propaganda claiming he's doing great.  If any of our strategic  rivals push him I doubt anyone really believes he's up to the task to handle it.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: February 07, 2023, 11:02:07 AM »
jc44, I only cited to one example, if you go looking for FBAR cases you will find an enormous amount of examples.  There are cases where a person would have owed a tax, but even in some of those the FBAR fines exceed the amount of the tax by enormous amounts (sometimes by several factors).  There are enumerable cases where the IRS assessed that it was a willful violation and applied the maximum penalty (50% of assets plus penalties), despite everyone acknowledging that the person in question did not know of the FBAR requirement (as I said it didn't appear on things like Turbotax for years and even many accountants missed it), and made remedial filings as soon as they became aware.

There are also enumerable cases where the egregious fines came from the number of such accounts.  In some jurisdictions when you open even a simple checking account, the banks end up opening multiple "accounts" as a technical/legal matter.  Those accounts may have nothing in them, or tiny minimum balances, or may be purely transitional accounts, yet failure to report them - even on a non-willful basis - lets the IRS impose $10k fines (plus penalties) for each such account.  In many cases the IRS fine equals or exceeds the balances in the accounts, despite that the IRS agrees that the individuals failure to report was not willful. 

That's just one tiny part of an abusive tax regime.  If any of you took the time to actually look into this, it would absolutely disabuse you of the notion that the IRS adding more auditors is going to do anything but focus on those who are the least tax savvy.  They're going to target the middle class - over deductions and technical compliance with obscure requirements.  They're going to target those who get a windfall, it's no mistake that the IRS frequently goes after lottery winners, who are frequently not financially savvy persons, and ends up levying fines and taking big sums from them.  There is zero chance they're going to target or win cases against Soros, the Koch brothers, or anyone else who any of you think needs to "pay their fair share."

General Comments / Re: Balloons and Intelligence Assessments
« on: February 07, 2023, 10:47:43 AM »
I am highly bemused by the idea that the Republican pundit class has decided to die on this particular hill.

Bemused or amused? It doesn't seem so puzzling that they'd want to deny having ignored spy balloons for 4 years.

If that happened, Republicans would be just as mad about it as we are at Biden.  But pretending it happened, if it didn't, just to help provide cover for a terrible President, is beyond insane.

General Comments / Re: Balloons and Intelligence Assessments
« on: February 07, 2023, 10:44:54 AM »

Go back and read your link carefully.  Heck you even cited to the "assessment" concept:

Former President Donald Trump and his former national intelligence director, John Ratcliffe, denied Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's assessment that similar balloons had transited the United States during his presidency.

And pay attention to what they say here as well:

He said balloons had been spotted near Texas and twice near Florida, as well as previously known sightings near Hawaii and Guam.

Near is not over, and the statement that the balloons went over the US is again an "assessment."  In fact, this makes it worse in some ways, if they had definitive sightings "near" Hawaii, Guam, Florida and Texas, why wouldn't they have sightings over those areas? 

Does this reflect that they only caught them after they had transited?  That would be a major failing and strategic weakness.  Or does it mean that the "assessment" is just an opinion that it must have happened at some time being presented as if it were proof?

Everyday this administration releases comments where the wording is set so that the statements can be "true" but the implications completely misleading.  This is one of them.  It's the media's job to nail down what those kinds of words and phrases actually mean and they are completely failing in that to everyone's detriment.

General Comments / Balloons and Intelligence Assessments
« on: February 07, 2023, 09:57:43 AM »
Anyone else notice that the unnamed Biden Administration leakers of the story that the Trump administration missed Chinese spy balloons cite to an intelligence "assessment"?  Multiple references today pin that on an Air Force intelligence, that from "other sources" pieced together that Chinese spy balloons passed near Hawaii and across Florida.  So not to photos, or radar reports, or even eye witness accounts, to an "assessment."   

The media seems - once again - remarkably willing to take off the record information that they believe helps Biden and hurts Trump.  Why does that matter here?  Because this "assessment" should generate about a million questions and not a one of them gets answered by an anonymous source.

So my first question is what is meant by "assessment," cause it sounds to me like what they mean is that they have unconfirmed reports (which would be odd given our radar and satellite coverage), or even that someone just "concluded" that "it must have happened."   Maybe what they have is literally a spy on the ground that's seen Chinese reports.  Maybe, what they have is an analyst in Langely that just decided it must of happened because balloon technology exists and it would be impossible to prove it didn't.  Heck, given the locations cited, maybe all they really have is a "Florida Guy" who saw a balloon while he was drunk in the back of a pickup at a Walmart parking lot.

Depending on what evidence they have to support the claim, it opens up a whole stream of competence questions and even questions about our strategic planning.  It's trivially easy to picture a cheap and effective EMP balloon strike force.  It's trivially easy to picture balloon driven biological or chemical warfare.  Particularly if these balloons are somehow slipping through our passive defenses.

The accounts from those familiar with our defensive Radar systems seem to say it would be impossible for a such a balloon not to be tagged by the radar systems.  If that's true, then it would reflect a fundamental strategic incompetence on the part of the military's high command not to have identified this balloon (and "previous" balloons) as potential threats.  If it's not true that a balloon that is hundreds of feet tall carrying an estimated payload weighing a ton is detected by our systems, then we have an even bigger problem.

In any event, pointing the finger at Trump, makes this administration look even worse.  Biden's claim is that they "caught" this problem missed by Trump (which would actually just be the generals, unless they'd reported it to the civilian leadership) and through Biden's amazing leadership implemented a program to "close the Trump balloon gap" and stop the threat.  And after all of that, including the leaked Air Force assessment which supposedly dates to last year (presumably important to the anonymous account to lend credibility when it "blames" Trump that this isn't just in reaction to current events), Biden's "strategic" pre-planning led to Biden waiting four days after they spotted the balloon (and "coincidentally" just after it was detected by the public) to decide to shoot it down "immediately," which by "immediately" meant roughly four days later after the balloon had fully traversed the US and completed any intelligence gathering mission that it was on. 

So the Biden administration seems to have conclusively established that Trump and his team were never told of a the threat, but that Biden and his team knew about it for over year and were taking it seriously, and that they still managed to be utterly incompetent and indecisive when the threat they knew about and planned for presented itself.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: February 02, 2023, 09:42:19 AM »
I can't remember the case, but there was a similar one where a woman inherited money and wasn't even aware of a filing requirement (the rule didn't come up on turbo tax for many years in which it applied).  The government is trying to take half of her inheritance as a penalty.  Thats even though there is no actual tax liability owed in respect of the inheritance or the account even if it had been reported.

That's the kind of "cheating" they actually go after.

So I found the case I was thinking about - Toth v. United States.  The Supreme Court just denied rehearing it, here's a link the 3 page dissent of that denial

Ms. Toth, who is in her 80's, was left $4.2 million in a Swiss bank account by her father (the dissent explains that he used a Swiss bank account as a safety measure after he fled Germany in the 1930's, which is reasonable).  It also explains why he told her she should keep it there.  Ms. Toth says she didn't know about the FBAR filing requirement and as evidence, we know that the IRS became aware of the account when she made a remedial filing disclosing it.  It's not in the short dissent, but there was no outstanding tax liability on the money (i.e., if she had reported it in a timely manner, she would have owed no taxes on it).

Nonetheless, the IRS assessed her a civil penalty of $2.1 million (half the account) and added penalties to the $2.1 million of $1 million.  They asserted that her original failure to file was "willful" because they don't accept lack of actual knowledge as a defense.  If you look at the dissent, the SC refused to take up the case even though it violates the Constitution's prohibition on excessive punishments.  The government argued and the first circuit agreed that because this is a "civil" fine and not a "criminal" fine, it is not a penalty that is subject to that Constitutional limit.

In other words, the Founders must have only cared about excessive criminal fines, but were perfectly accepting of the exact same excessive penalty provided the government doesn't label it criminal.

Honestly I'm baffled by this result.  There is a circuit split on this issue, I can only imagine that this is an instance of the court wanted a "better" case to resolve the issue at a future date.  But this is what the IRS thinks is an important use of resources.  Punishing an old lady, not because she didn't pay her taxes, but rather because there is a big fine to be grabbed.

General Comments / Re: A good guy with a gun
« on: January 24, 2023, 04:45:42 PM »
Actually the best case scenario is that an armed potential victim pulls a firearm out and the potential assailant backs off and no one dies.  The studies looking at defense gun usage are not perfect, but have generally found that defensive use is at least as common as offensive use and most of the studies have found that defensive use is more common than offensive use by a multiple. 

When it comes to the mass shooters that make the news, they're virtually only ever stopped by someone with a gun.  Either the police, a bystander or frequently themselves when they commit suicide.

I don't personally believe that people should be both drinking in a bar and armed.  But declaring them no gun zones without taking the steps necessary to ensure that guns are not present is an objectively terrible result.

As to the idea that more and more bystanders will become involved, do you have even a single such example?  It sounds like an ivory tower argument to me.  It's not a video game world and I can't put faith in an argument that seemingly depends on responsible citizens jumping into a shoot out between two other people without any knowledge of what's happening.  The good guy with a gun situations are overwhelming people responding to the actual instigator, generally with first hand knowledge of what's happening.  If anyone were to come along later and act as you seem to fear it would almost certainly be the police.  They've been known on occasion to do exactly what you suggest and shoot or kill the citizen that stopped an attack or subdued an attacker, but even there we have no good way to determine how often that occurs.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: January 12, 2023, 12:38:28 AM »
And would add $118 billion to the deficit. Then they will want to cut SS and othe social programs to offset.

Fully collecting the taxes of the wealthy is probably one of the least painful ways to put a dent in inflation as well. Causes much less harm than raising interest rates to slow the entire economy.

Except that there's actually not that much value in going after the rich.  They mostly pay their taxes in accordance with existing law - which is why the IRS loses those cases and what the accountants are for.  It's the middle class where there are significant errors that can be caught. 

When they go after the rich its often not the truly wealthy but rather those on the fringes of wealth or with newly created wealth.  Those cases are heavily weighted to the government trying to dispute things that were unclear because of the government's own rules.  Read a few actual cases.  I mean heck there's one in front of the court this term related to FBAR filings.  Where the government is trying to collect something like $2.5 million dollars for a failure to report foreign accounts where the taxpayer was confused but ultimately did self-report.  The government's taking the position that the failure was not willful on the taxpayer's part (i.e., they weren't trying to hide the accounts), but that there is no excuse for not understanding the law - which is confusing to everyone.

I can't remember the case, but there was a similar one where a woman inherited money and wasn't even aware of a filing requirement (the rule didn't come up on turbo tax for many years in which it applied).  The government is trying to take half of her inheritance as a penalty.  Thats even though there is no actual tax liability owed in respect of the inheritance or the account even if it had been reported.

That's the kind of "cheating" they actually go after.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: January 12, 2023, 12:19:23 AM »
And if anyone was wondering what Republicans cared most about. Its letting rich people avoid paying taxes. First bill they introduce after getting the speakership resolved was to defund the IRS. Have to make sure the IRS doesn't have enough employees to answer the phones for average people and not enough people to audit rich people with an army of accountants and lawyers.

Sure, that's why the bill only defunded the auditors and not the money to improve response times.  Oh wait that's odd.  The reality is - and anyone applying logic would understand - the auditors were never about targeting the rich, they're about targeting the middle class.  It takes big numbers to squeeze a big population not big numbers to squeeze the rich.  And honestly the Democrats are the party of the rich, they openly favor tax deductions that benefit only the wealthy.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: January 12, 2023, 12:14:07 AM »
Seriati, on what grounds are you asserting that an investigative committee that does not adhere to the standards of a criminal trial is "un-American?"

From the principles that generated the bill of rights. 

Honestly, though it's just a lie to pretend the Jan. 6 committee was engaging in a legitimate function.  Congress has no authority to investigate what they believe are crimes that's a function of the Executive branch.  They structured the committee solely to achieve a goal of spreading political disinformation and controlling a narrative.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: January 12, 2023, 12:10:06 AM »
The full transcripts are being released.  How do you know they were not cross examined?

Because they were denied counsel and legal privileges in their testimony.  You can look this stuff up you know.

Repubilcans had a chance to be on the committe and help make the rules.

No they didn't, that's just a lie.  The Republicans had no say in the rules.  They had no say in the rules in any of Pelosi's anti-constitutional actions.  In many many cases even when they when they participated on committees despite the unfair rules, the Democrats overruled the rules.  The Dems had a majority on every committee and used that majority over and over in blatant ways to simply create exceptions when they didn't like a result.

Not to mention how often the Dems manipulated testimony, manipulated the release of testimony and restricted any ability to disclose testimony by Republicans while leaking whatever they liked themselves.

Honestly, the fact that you're even on here "debating" that the one-sided Democrat controlled committees that refused so many legal protections that witnesses are entitled to at law and under the Constitution were okay is appalling.  NOTHING that came out of the impeachments or the Jan 6 committee represents even the barest of efforts to get at the truth of the situations they purported to cover.  I rate them up their with McCarthy in the books of most significant abuses of power in Congress's history.

They put up some people who were complicit in the event. You do not put Al Capone on the Grand Jury.

What delusion.  I assume you are referring to Jim Jordan.  Do you have some proof that he was "complicit" in something?  No you really don't.  Nor do you have a rationale explanation for the difference between encouraging protected activity - in other words encouraging a protest - and "encouraging" something illegal here.  Nothing about encouraging a protest in DC was remotely an illegal activity and nothing actually shows that any Republican member of Congress did anything remotely more than that. 

What you do have is a seemingly rock-solid belief - without any evidence or proof - that something nefarious was plotted.

We generally call that a conspiracy theory.

This was not a trial. This was an investigation.

This wasn't an investigation.  It was a show.  Investigations aren't afraid of hearing from both sides, investigations don't start with the premise that some facts are off limits, or too risky to explore.  Investigations don't start with an announcement of the guilt of the parties they are supposedly investigating.  There's a reason that trials have protections and its fundamentally a belief that you can't get to truth without someone defending both sides.  That you have to overcome the other position with evidence and facts to get there.  That's something fundamentally American and the last House and the one before that both rejected that principal, because loyalty to party was more important to them than loyalty to the principles of our country.

Maybe you can point me to where you get the idea that a real investigation is ruthlessly avoids hearing both sides of a story?  Or even better, why don't you explain to me exactly how it will be just as legitimate in your mind if the Republicans were to say open up a similar partisan enquiry to investigate the criminal negligence of Nancy Pelosi in respect of her efforts to set the situation up.  Would that investigation that assumes her guilt, denies anyone "complicit" in her guilt from participating, demands secret testimony from thousands of Democrat partisans without allowing them counsel or say allowing them to assert Congressional privilege (which for all the whining about the limits of President privilege, Congressional privilege is a 100 times larger in scope and more absolute), which leaks only the most damning pieces of testimoney and buries anything contrary to the "story" behind Congressional secrecy, and which bars Democrats from access to the records be legit to you as well?  Would you really be on here saying that its conclusions were important or fair? 

And a good number of Republicans knew they were in deep *censored* for what they had done for Truimp. Just check them all asking for pardons.

They didn't ask for pardons because they needed them under a fair application of the law.  They asked for them because there is a two-tiered justice system, and the Federal government, including the DOJ, FBI, CIA and just about every other agency is made up of large majorities of Democrats/leftists.

In investigating many of the great Democrat scandals, including for example the Obama IRS controversy and the Hillary e-mail scandal, the DOJ has made extensive use of immunity deals (for everyone who could have testified against the Democrat principal) without getting any testimony used in courts.  In investigations of Republicans on the other hand, they exclusively use plea bargains, usually for process crimes, and sometimes after blatant overcharges or threats to family members to try and generate testimony against the Republican principles.  Or maybe you can point to the immunity deals for no testimony granted to Republicans that I'm missing?

General Comments / Re: The Trump Papers
« on: January 11, 2023, 11:34:37 PM »
Whose "apologia" exactly would that be?   Feel free to track down these accounts I would supposedly be copying from.  Of course, you'd need to actually make an original contribution of your own there, rather than just repeating left propaganda and relying on left privilege.

In the meantime, feel free to walk through an analysis of what a general warrant is, why they are unconstitutional and how using a warrant to enforce a disputable civil statute in open defiance of all past practice and then taking clearly personal documents from Trump's residence wasn't one.  I'll wait.  Then maybe your "thoughts" on what's comparable or not may be of some interest.

I haven't even raised any number of issues here, like for instance, that Trump didn't pack his own boxes and that members of the GAO would have been the ones that actually did much of the work.  As we know from his trip into the Whitehouse the GAO includes significant amounts of staff hostile to Trump.  It's not even an unreasonable idea even if it is still a conspiracy theory, to think how easy it would be for that staff to pack some files with secrecy labels and to convey that information to partisans at the National Archives.  Some of the relevant officials at the National Archives have hate-ons for Trump.

Or how any honest research into this would have say turned up as part of the controlling law the Bill Clinton case or the circumstances involved in the transfers of files by the Obamas.  It would have turned up that the same partisan administrators that sparked the raid on Trump bent over backwards to facilitate equivalent situations for the Clintons and the Obamas.  That they didn't seem to even consider that Biden may have had records, which by the way would have been transferred more than once to end up in his office at the University.  They then helped delay the story on Biden's issues until after the election.  Which of course is a super-common theme when it's a Democrat scandal, the government endlessly delays it and leaks it in controlled ways to kill the media cycle. 

Compare that to publishing active disinformation from leakers that was anti-Trump.  For example, the rumor that the FBI was looking for information on nuclear capabilities at Trump's residence - where did that come from?  We already know the National Archives was the "source" and that was in the media before anything "official" was released.  Need to justify the unjustifiable?  Just leak disinfo to the compliant media.  Honestly, if you did any honest thinking here, you'd look at the near ubiquitous "leaking" of information, disinformation and misinformation by bureaucrats and government partisans designed to cause maximum harm to Republicans and Trump in particular and designed to prop up Democrats and Biden, and realize it's too good to be true.  It's your confirmation bias - and nothing more - that keeps you from even realizing that there's enough out there to make a conclusive judgement here.

But hey nothing to see here, and even more importantly, nothing to think through with a critical mind.  Of course that part seems to be covered really well these days.

General Comments / Re: The Trump Papers
« on: January 10, 2023, 05:00:56 PM »
It was unprecendented due to the fact that what Trump did was unprecendented.

It wasn't remotely unprecedented.  Before the modern area all the papers were considered the personal property of the President.  Even in the modern area there is a long history of back and forth on this, with Presidents often maintaining possession of records and even disputing that they are required to be turned over.  All of which was handled with maximum deference to the former Presidents.

What is unprecedented is the Biden administrations open hostility to Trump.  For example, removing him from the intelligence briefings that are provided to every former President.  Former Presidents have classified information in their heads, it can't be physically removed.  They traditional receive classified briefings (including in writing delivered to them) after they are out of office.

It's a paranoid fantasy to think there was any real risk here, especially when you don't think there's one in Biden's case where records were found in his office at a University.  Where else would you find records if you treated him like Trump?

He has shown no evidence that he declassified the items. He did not say he had them, in fact he said he did not have them.

He "showed" all the evidence the Constitution would require.

That said, I'm willing to stipulate that he never specifically looked at each page and even thought this is declassified.  Wouldn't make a bit of difference in how unprecedented that raid was.

You guys got your panties in a bunch over a pretend conversation that Trump didn't have in respect of Ukraine because he was "investigating his political rival for political purposes," and do a heck of a lot of water carrying for the truly unprecedented encroachment here that was expressly and deliberately done by the current administration abusing the public trust for the primary purpose of impairing one of Biden's chief political rivals.  An investigation specifically timed to be carried out just before the "pre-election" filing window closed.  Talk about form over substance, from the same group of political hacks that have sat on any real investigation of actual corruption implicating the Biden's for over 2 years.  Including, spreading disinformation to social media that Hunter's laptop was Russian disinfo for the purpose of keeping it out of the public knowledge.

I can't decide if all of your arguments are more 1984, or more the Matrix.  Some people are so dependent on the Matrix that they will defend it.

When Biden's team found the documents they immedialty contacted the correct authorities and turned them over.

When Biden's team found documents (before the mid-term election) the news was deliberately buried until well afterwards.   And of course they immediately moved to turn them over to the same political officers that would stab their own mothers in the eye to get Trump.  Big whoop.

maybe that the raid on Trump's house is really without precedent in modern US history and never should have happened
Are you suggesting that an array of highly classified documents should have remained unsecured in Trump's possession after he left office?

I doubt there was even one document in his possession worthy of the label "highly classified document."  But yes, exactly in line with how every former President is in possession of knowledge that is legitimately classified at the highest levels available and the government has worked with them time and again to make sure they can receive and review those files at their homes and offices.

Or do you really believe that say Bill Clinton has never had classified documents at his house inappropriately?  Oh wait, there was that whole server of his wife's with State Department secrets in his basement, but that was also "not the same thing."  Even though that was actually hacked and exposed and then hand over to his wife's lawyers who didn't have security clearances and thereafter destroyed without being seized by the DOJ or the FBI even though at the time she was a former official and he was a former President.


If you want to be believed you need to have a rational basis free from the parties of the people involved.

General Comments / Re: A Good Question.
« on: January 10, 2023, 11:22:08 AM »
This is going to be really hard for conservatives to hear and understand, but: unanimously among liberals, the sentiment is that Martha's Vineyard handled DeSantis' stunt gracefully and effectively, and his continued callous stunting only shames him and his supporters. That, in fact, what he's proving is that illegal immigrants aren't a particular hardship or a whole class of problematically dangerous people, and that even malicious cruelty of the sort he's been displaying can be easily met by a united community.

Easily met by a community, lol.  Martha's Vineyard immediately deported those immigrants - without trial, without hearing their case to stay.  Martha's Vineyard "didn't have the resources" to support 50 immigrants with its population of what 15k people in one of the wealthiest places in the country?  Sure they did.  That's an illegal immigrant burden of about 0.3% of their population.

Meanwhile, TX with a population of around 29M is supposed to "easily support the needs" of somewhere between 2-3M illegal immigrants?  That's somewhere between 8% and 10% of the population of the state. 

So I get it, its "clear" to Democrats and "universal" among progressives (not liberals) that TX supporting illegal immigrants is "easy" because it's not them that has to do it, but the wealthiest Democrats in the country having to be directly involved is cruel and manipulative and evil.  Meanwhile people in TX are robbed, beaten, threatened with gang violence, sometimes killed by gangs, have their property repeatedly invaded, and they're the bad people in your world for getting sick of it.

Biden's immigration policy is flawed, but not for the reasons you think -- and absolutely not because DeSantis has somehow forced his hand.

I know exactly why Biden's immigration policy is flawed.  Biden has systematically refused to fulfill his oath of office to faithfully enforce the law.  I've read the briefs filed by Biden's DOJ and listened to the oral arguments they make at the SC.  They have zero intention of actually enforcing the law, any claim to the contrary is pure sophistry.

General Comments / Re: The Trump Papers
« on: January 10, 2023, 11:01:57 AM »
Or maybe that the raid on Trump's house is really without precedent in modern US history and never should have happened.  Or maybe that a raid on any former President's private offices would be likely to turn up some documents in their files that are marked classified.

Or how about that Trump as president had the authority to declassify any of the documents in his possession and that Biden as vice president did not.

One thing is certain, there is no principled explanation for the raid on Trump, and since you all relied on technicality as a non-sensical basis and that technicality is exactly what just got dramatically undermined, there is no question that you will all fall all over yourself explaining why this is perfectly okay and completely different from the world ending tragedy that was corrected by the Trump raid.  That executing an unConstitutional general warrant on Trump and taking files that had nothing to do with subpeona - including legally privileged documents was "completely okay" but it would be "insane" to enforce the same rule on Democrats.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: January 05, 2023, 07:31:35 PM »
The Republicans had a chance to put people on the committe and when they chose 2 people who were very likely to be the ones investigated, it showed they were not serious.

It backfired on the Republicans and then they had no voice.

Any committee that operates under rules such as the Jan 6 committee.  Rules that take secret testimony but only release portions favorable to the partisan decisions makers, that issues subpoenas for political purposes (e.g., the subpoenas issued to the RNC's email distribution list manager), and that refuses to allow for cross examination of witnesses, is both illegitimate and un-American.

Republicans were right to refuse to participate.  What they should do in the new Congress is censure everyone who participated in those political show trials.

General Comments / Re: McCarthy and the House Speakership
« on: January 05, 2023, 04:42:51 PM »
This is how you might get someone like Liz Cheney. The more moderate Republicans get fed up with the far right and work out a deal with the Dems.

This is not how you get a Liz Cheney.  You get a Liz Cheney when politicians on both sides of the aisle have more invested in the "system" than in doing their actual jobs.  Whatever she claimed about principles, anyone who'd serve on the Jan. 6 committee when it operated under an expanded version of the star chamber rules that were pioneered in the political impeachment inquiries is not someone with principles.  Of course, it's probably quicker and just as accurate to assume that anyone that's intentionally working with Schiff has no principles.

On the speaker race, be interesting to see if anyone caves.  One would think eventually one of the groups has to decide to move things forward.  Be funny if the Dems started adding votes to one side or the other (but not enough to push anyone over the line). 

General Comments / Re: A Good Question.
« on: January 05, 2023, 04:34:29 PM »
So no responses to any of the original questions other than handwaving?

I could answer a few, mostly because the path at law they followed is obvious even if it is corrupt.

General Comments / Re: Who funds the candidates?
« on: November 10, 2022, 06:43:36 PM »
wmLambert, The name of the group you're looking for is, the first letter of each of the following words. Apples Randomly Against Basic Eggs Largely Labelled As Apple Deniers Victorious In Sequence Or Rotating Systems.  The have a bad reputation for suppressing their name. 

They're a clearing house for dark money on the left that takes giant donations and filters them down to a large network of other left dark money groups for deployment.  They're how it's possible for newly formed issue groups to pop into an area with a $20 million war chest.

As far as the specifics in this thread:

Of course Republicans are against disclosure of donors, leftists harass and threaten anyone whose name they can find.  They get them fired, they ruin their businesses, they destroy their lives.  All of which is fundamentally the opposite of free and fair elections.

It makes no sense that we have strict caps on individual contributions to elections that a billionaire can get around with trivial ease.  This isn't because  of Citizens United.  No campaign reform laws passed by politicians ever do anything but stack the deck. 

Despite their protests and pretending to be the good team, the Democrats structural advantages in the dark money space are insurmountable.  One of the fundamental characteristics that pushes people to be a Republican or a Democrat is whether you believe the ends justifies the means.  There is no large group of Republican voters that believes that an equivalent dark money organization on the right would be legitimate to create or use, whereas the refrain from the left is always it worked. 

Spending money to try and get the other party to nominate a worse candidate?  It works, ergo okay. 

The structural advantage of Democrat control of virtually the entire media, dwarfs by a factor of at least a hundred and probably far more every dollar the Republicans could ever spend.  How would the voters ever make an informed decision on the actual issues when the media won't fairly cover (or sometimes cover at all) any issue that makes Republicans look better than Democrats.  I mean, worst administration in history for the border, and the media pretended like it didn't exist for most of the last 2 years.  Inflation?  You have hours of "inflation-denier" coverage, "inflation is transitory" coverage, we aren't in a recession coverage, it's "all actually Trump's fault" coverage, it's "all the Republicans' fault coverage," Democrats passed a "reflation reduction" act that's making a difference, and even, it's Republicans fault that people even know what the word inflation is, to practically zero actually putting the blame where it belongs on decisions of the Biden administration and Democrat single party passed legislation.  If they covered it honestly, how many points does that equate to in an election?  More than enough in most races.

The cash and in-kind contributions by unions to Democrats who then negotiate deals with those unions is both corruption and incalculably valuable.  If Republicans had such a deal with anyone, the left would be screaming corruption at every turn and so would the media.

The fact that Democrats have legally established that they can conduct Lawfare on any number of issues they care about from organizations that are tax exempt and many of which are funded from the public coffers is incalculable.  This causes a massive distortion, where Democrat causes effectively get free, subsidized and virtually unlimited access to the legal system.  Republicans are slowly catching up but still face situations where subsidized Democrat legal activism can bankrupt organizations that try to protect their rights.  There's virtually no consequences when they are caught abusing people.

Bureaucrats overwhelmingly tip the scales on virtually every conceivable grounds to the left in hundreds of thousands of ways that make equal play impossible.

Honestly, given the factors at play in this election cycle, which in fact should have led to a red tidal wave (with the caveat that the SC's abortion decision was real factor in play in the other direction), the results of the actual election demonstrate the level of operational handicap that Republicans are suffering.  Literally, 90% plus of what Americans see is hand picked by pro-Democrat people to either make Dems look good, hide or dismiss problems that would make Dems look bad, make Republicans look terrible, and make non-existent any dialogue on things that make Republicans look good.

For example, I saw someone say Fetterman was so much better than Oz that if they'd switched parties the results would have been the same.  Honestly that's delusional.  If Fetterman had been a Republican, his stroke would have been covered wall to wall and every mishap would have been magnified in every broad cast, a dozen reporters would have been hammering him everyday and he would have tripped up over and over.  His whole incident with chasing an unarmed black man with a gun would have been packaged into a frequently shown bit about how racist he was.  He would have lost by 20 points.  You can see an actual example of something like that from back when Doug Jones got elected to the Senate in deep red Alabama - the media was relentless and it mattered.

Honest to goodness, an unbiased media would probably cost the Democrats 10-15 points nationally.  That's real state of where we are.

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 20, 2022, 03:52:58 PM »
Couldn't just be what I said...
Based on past experience, Seriati, it very rarely is.

Also: if you don't want to do a minimum amount of research, man, you can just say so. You don't need to pretend that you don't understand how correlation works. For example:

I love this one.  You accuse me of not understanding correlation, then use a correlation to make a causation argument.

Presumably, you are referring to the statistical point that "most" crimes are not stopped in progress by police (or anyone else), which is of course a function of the prior point that crimes increase where there is opportunity and low risk of getting caught...
No. I'm referring to the statistical point that increasing the number of police in an area does not increase the number of crimes stopped as a percentage of crimes reported.

Do you understand the mistake you made there?  An observed correlation (i.e., a "statistical point") does not demonstrate that there is causation.  In other words, when you claim that "increasing the number of police...." has a specific result, you've actually made an unproven and potentially false claim. 

There are way too many factors influencing these statistics to make that kind of specific conclusion without a completely different kind of analysis.  There's a reason they don't run that kind of analysis (it's simple really, it doesn't support the claim they want to make).

While obviously there's distortion at both extremes -- having no police and having one policeman per square foot are both going to throw off the numbers a bit -- you'll find that crimes in progress are not actually reduced by increasing the number of police in an area.

I won't actually "find that," at least not based on this fact pattern - again, you'd need a study that establishes causation not correlation to "find that." 

What you would have "found" is that in areas that correlate with higher police presence (which could also correlate with other things like urban density, higher levels of police administrators, greater or lesser levels of wealth, more criminals, greater gang influence, more local strife), also correlate with areas that by percentage have more successful crimes as a percentage of all - what reported? actual? - crimes.  Those areas could also correlate with areas that under-report crimes (as most urban areas do), areas where the population density actually facilitates the ability to commit crimes unobserved (less chance for a successful pick pocket on a country farm than a crowded street), or a million other factors.  And while all that undermines the actual relevance of the two factors you are cherry picking to compare, without any actual scientific basis, there's also the problem that by using a "percentage" you've introduced a ratio, which itself introduces a large number of potential additional factors related to the conversion rate.

Statistics, when selected by advocacy groups, are selected specifically for narrative implications, not because they describe reality.

And, none of this has to to with your claim.

Response times to emergency calls (which make up a small subset of the number of crimes reported) don't even meaningfully improve.  But that's just one of many conclusions that can be drawn from the handful of limited datasets I suggested you look up.

Again, "drawing conclusions" requires causative studies, not statistical correlation.  Emergency call response is far more directly linked to a thousand other factors than those you are choosing to "review," and NO CONCLUSION can be reached that increasing police presence would not increase the response times on a case by case basis from the statistic you are referencing.  Why is that?  Because the situation for each event may be completely changeable by adding a police officer, even if a "similar" situation (defined loosely given how broad your categories are and how much they ignore) at "plus one police officer" in a different location is not already better.   

It takes a real study (and understanding) to make those kinds of conclusions.  Yet you assert them as if they are facts.

Also: what do you think my claim was? Mine was that police do not protect law-abiding citizens.

That's part of what you claimed.   You also claimed that it would be easy to demonstrate with statistics.  Given that first claim is almost certainly false and that it's virtually impossible to "easily" demonstrate that (even if it were true) with statistics, your entire claim is false.  Rather than giving evidence you backed up into the Left Privilege motte and bailey.

To bolster that claim, I pointed out that police have no legal obligation to do so, do not do so reliably, etc.

Did you?  Or did you list about 20 "bullets" that had nothing to do with the claim you made?

As a body, police do a woefully bad job of being protective of the citizenry (although, in their defense, this is because it is not their priority), and we do ourselves and our communities a practical disservice by expecting that of them and lionizing them based on that presumption.

Left privilege claim.  As a body, the existence and presence of the police provides significant protections to the body of the people, both by pre-empting crime but also by making sure that the consequences of crime act to dissuade crime.  There is virtually no safety in true anarchy situations. 

As far as doing a bad job?  That's almost complete spin rather than reality.   We can tell because rather than offer an explanation and a plan that actually works better, you offer "doing nothing" and point to statistics that rely on factors like rural communities (i.e., low per capital spending and low per capita crimes) having less crime than urban ones (i.e., high per capita spending, high per capita crime), without any honest effort to find the relevant independent variables that drive crime in either situation. 

You can't really explain how stopping the function of enforcing our democratically agreed laws will lead to less violations of the law, because in reality it does not do so.

Is your objection here that I did not couch it in enough mealy-mouthed exceptions that it's conceivably possible that an idiot might conclude that I meant that no police ever protect any law-abiding citizens?

No, my objection is that you're repeating advocacy propaganda that you barely understand and relying on being on the "correct team" to cover the deficiency in the arguments.

But please do fall back to increasingly absurd strawman and false framing rather than say using the radical approach of actually making a supported argument.

You made a claim that is more likely than not false and virtually impossible to support.  If you can support do so, but the line of argument you're making is exactly why I said this was a Left Privilege claim where you get to make a false assertion in the confidence that it will go unchallenged and ultimately not require proof.  You could retract the false statement, you could defend it, but what you're doing is emphasizing  what I said about the claim.

That if I said bakers do not protect law-abiding citizens, I would be maligning those individual bakers who have in fact historically provided some protective service?

Nope.  But if you said bakers don't want to feed citizens because they charge for the bread it would be of a kind to the nonsense you posted about the police.

Edited to add: I also want to briefly address the point below.
This is true and undermines about 6 of your "claims" above.
I should note that increased foot patrols are a specific outlier.

They aren't an "outlier" they are just such an obvious counter-point that failing to give them credit would cause people to question whether there is any sense in the position. 

It's like relying on the statistic "trick" that a crime prevented doesn't actually show up in the statistics, because there is nothing to report about something that didn't happen.  Yet, you absolutely make claims that rely on ignoring crimes prevented by increased police presence.

Noting that increased foot patrols -- alone of almost all increases in police function -- do indeed seem to reduce crime is not an argument that undermines the overall observation that policing in general is not protective, any more than saying "my kid hates dessert, but will eat apple pie if you put it in front of him" somehow invalidates the first part of the phrase.

No it just reflects how your analysis is completely at the surface level.  You don't comprehend the other police functions and how they relate in greater or lesser parts to public safety as a whole, because it's not "easy" to see, and more significantly, its harder for the other side to explain and demonstrate its worth, ergo it doesn't exist in your model of the world.  But ignoring the difficult to parse literally means you'll always fail to understand what's actually going on and leads to making decisions that appear - at the surface - to create a good result, without any real regard for the true consequences.  After all you can always pretend those consequences are unrelated to your position (i.e., every Democrat on crime increases following they're defund the police policy implementation).

Personally, given that I think one of the big problems with modern policing is an "us vs. them" mentality, I'm inclined to guess that foot patrols break down some of that isolation and perhaps actually inspires some genuinely protective instincts.

Why speculate, there is actual research on these topics.  Get off the advocacy pages and pick up something that is around a hundred pages with a data set, statistical analysis, charts, commentary, the whole works.

But I'm just speculating on that -- unlike the data-based observation that police in general don't actually protect the citizenry.

Not a data based observation.  Just a political position that someone has gone to the trouble of compiling a bunch of misleading correlations to support.

Why don't you go pull a longitudinal study of crime rates in a specific locale based on police funding and tactics.  Even there they're difficult to use for meaningful conclusions of the kind you are drawing out of the blue here, because so many other factors are in motion, but they're not as hopeless as what you're letting influence you now.

(Also, speculation: I think ignoring minor drug offenses probably keeps people who're financially on the brink from falling into a vicious cycle that leads to worse crimes and more incarceration, and available healthcare reduces stressors that actually lead to violent crime.)

You're welcome to your opinion, but I'm not obligate not to try and pop the bubble of your delusions about your opinions somehow being "data-driven" when they are not. 

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 20, 2022, 01:57:29 PM »
That's "all" you have to do?  Mind providing those statistics.
I'll let you find them yourself, so you can trust them.

Lol.  Sure that's "why" you'll let me find them.  Couldn't just be what I said - i.e., that you're entitled as a Left Privilege holder to make unfounded assertions without proof or challenge.

So, what did you say?

The idea that police protect law-abiding citizens is actually one of those pervasive but easily disproven myths. Literally all you have to do is look at the statistics.

And what do you want me to look up?

Specifically, what you'll want to look up is:
1) Per-capita violent crime as a function of per-capita police funding

Even in fantasy land this wouldn't "prove" your case.  It could be helpful to identify areas that are over or under resourced, but it literally has no relationship to your claim on whether police protect law abiding citizens.

2) Per-capita theft as a function of per-capita police funding

Also wouldn't prove your claim.  You seem to think success rates as tied to dollars spent speaks to whether police protect law abiding citizens, but that is correlation where very likely one or both are actually dependent variables.

3) Percentage of theft recovered by police

This would speak to potentially dozens of things, not least of police competence, types of thefts reported, efficiency of criminals, etc.  None of which actually speak directly to your claim.  If you want to make an inference you actually need to draw one and explain away the pieces that don't fit.

4) Percentage of open criminal cases ending in successful conviction

Success rate speaks to you claim in what specific way?

5) Percentage of crimes in progress stopped by police

Which is literally a function of the rate of crime and the density of officers.  Says virtually nothing to support your claim, unless you think you can demonstrate that areas with a high density of police officers ignore crime.  There are some woke jurisdictions where that is true, where officers have been ordered not to interfere with crimes.  The results there are pretty much massive increases in crime and people being unsafe.  So for those jurisdictions you may be able to "prove" your argument.

6) Percentage of police interventions for non-criminal activities that do not end in arrest

So you're asking about the percentage that end in arrest versus those that don't?  Hardly helps your case without giving context.  Unless you're arguing that they are making political arrests in those circumstances?  It could be that you're attempting, poorly, to imply that those are not legitimate arrests, without actually doing any of the work to show that they don't involve legitimate arrests.

7) Police deaths as a function of civilian deaths

Not even clear what you mean, but has zero to do with your claim.

8 ) Police deaths as a function of police funding

Irrelevant to your claim.

9) Civilian deaths as a function of police funding

Sounds a useless statistic.  Is an armed felon a "civilian" firing at police?  Probably, and why would that be a bad result?

What you rapidly discover is:
1) Having more police in an area does not prevent crime

Which has no relevance to your claim - even if it were true.  And I get what you've done, you're blind referencing some advocacy studies that you don't really understand but that say what you want to hear.  There is plenty of evidence that crime increases where there is opportunity and low risk of detection.  Historically, officers on patrol knocked out a big chunk of that part of crime. 

Today, the overwhelming ability of the state to access cameras and tracking data means that far less crime is truly undetectable.  However, it still may appear to be undetectable.  Police in sight will stop more crimes, cameras may catch the perpetrators after the fact.

So again, doesn't speak to your claim.

2) Police overwhelmingly do not stop crimes in progress

They do when they are present and haven't been ordered by woke authority figures not to.  They stop them just by being present, but also they stop them actively.

Presumably, you are referring to the statistical point that "most" crimes are not stopped in progress by police (or anyone else), which is of course a function of the prior point that crimes increase where there is opportunity and low risk of getting caught - both of which describe times when police are not present.  You may also be deluded by the change in those statistics over time that have occurred because of the increase in the surveillance state ability to catch crimes after the fact.

3) Police overwhelmingly do not locate and return stolen property

And?  Still not relevant to your claim (you know that police are don't help law abiding citizens).  Honestly, this point is beyond stupid.  It's a big world and the possibilities to hide even big pieces of property, let alone little ones, are near endless.

4) Police are incredibly bad at de-escalating conflict

Left Privilege claim.  Prove it.  Pretty sure you are near 100% wrong on this. 

5) Giving police more money for better equipment does not save police lives

It can, but much like giving union teachers "more money for the same teachers" doesn't improve educational outcomes, its mostly a function of what the money is used for.  But this also has ZERO relevance to your claim.

6) Giving police more money for better equipment actually increases the number of civilian deaths

Does it?  Maybe you can cite exactly which "better" equipment is responsible for civilian deaths.  And exactly how.  This again is an unexamined Left Privilege claim, there are almost certainly things the police departments buy and don't need that are more dangerous in their hands.  There are almost certainly felons that are included in the "civilians" category you use.

What does reduce violent crime in an area, reliably?

Which - by the way - in case you forgot has ZERO to do with your "easy to prove" claim.  Again, you made a poorly thought through claim, refused to actually provide the "easy" proof of said claim, and now want to change to a completely different argument (that I suspect you cribbed out of some advocacy pieces).

1) Active police foot patrols; this is the one instance where more police is a good thing. If you hire police, make them walk.

This is true and undermines about 6 of your "claims" above.

2) Fewer misdemeanor drug arrests

Wow.  So you can "reduce" violent crime, if you let other crime run rampant.  No chance that what you're actually seeing is flight from the area by the non-drug addicted citizens, less reporting of crimes because the people that are the victims are drug addicts and drug dealers, and generally an overall decline in quality of life and the rule of law.

And again, this has nothing to do with your claim.

3) Availability of quality healthcare

Which is a correlation more likely than a causitive factor.  (And also has nothing to do with your claim).

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 20, 2022, 12:28:37 PM »
It was to stop any tyrant, whether they be domestic or foreign.  You can't even make a rationale claim that the founders had a problem with foreign tyrants but would have been perfectly content with a local one.

Ehhh.  The Constitution as a WHOLE was meant to stop domestic tyrants.  The 2nd Amendment would have been seen as, like, the last ditch effort against domestic tyranny.  Everything else would have to fail first. 

So when it comes to domestic tyranny, it would most likely be some form of illegal and unconstitutional criminal government, or a mob or rebellious faction.  Like the Jan 6 rioters, operating outside the Constitution, that would be seen as a domestic enemy.  Not the actual constitutionally formed federal or state governments or their police forces or militaries.  For the founders, it would have been something like Shay's Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion. 

The entire Constitution was built around several basic concepts, but foremost were the ideas of controlling tyranny and factionalism, through the construction of a government.  Not by arming citizens  ::)  The idea was to combat tyranny through checks and balances and the separation of powers.  The way to combat tyranny wasn't with armed mobs, but with laws, and the rule of law.  The way to combat domestic tyranny was with things like impeachment and the courts system.  Not using an AR-15.

It's a fascinating contra-historical interpretation there.  The founders were clear that the Constitution was to limit the government itself from becoming abusive.  They just revolted against a "legitimate" government in England that had become illegitimate.  It's literal nonsense to assert that they thought the threat of tyranny came from primarily from non-governmental sources.

In fact, the Bill of Rights was literally to double down on constraining the actual government.  That was its direct and intended purpose.  The primary argument against it was that it was unnecessary because the Constitution never granted the government power in those areas in the first place.  Glad that argument lost.

There's no legitimate question about what the second amendment was designed to do.  The founders never even questioned that the populace should be armed, that was a natural law right that predates the concept of a Constitution.  The second amendment was a direct response to their own experiences with abusive and tyrannical government that sought to control the people by disarming them.  So really not a shock that the party of big government tyrants is pro-gun control.

And again, how do you even try to argue that a document that was written by people who literally overthrew a foreign government in an armed revolt was written by people who were rejecting using force to combat tyranny?  "The way to combat tyranny wasn't with armed mobs, but with laws, and the rule of law."  That was the aspiration of creating a better government, not a pledge of some kind of crazy pacificism.  The founders knew better than anyone that corruption undermines the rule of law but leaves the forms in place (a situation then of two-tiered justice in favor of the King, much like the two-tiered system we are heading towards today).   The people that wrote the document understood that when corruption and men overturn fair and neutral application of the law, then justice is no longer possible. 

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 15, 2022, 07:04:39 PM »
Sure they are.  If you're in favor of banning a rifle for a largely imaginary reason then you're actively using sophistry to undermine the civil rights of American citizens.  Ergo you're not patriotic.

Except I never said that.  I said I wanted to make it a bit harder for people to obtain that gun.  Because while most people who want to kill someone will use whatever weapon is available--knife, blunt object, a pistol, even a hunting rifle--those who want to kill multiple scores of people want the most efficient weapon possible for doing so.  And besides, it looks cool, like Rambo or SWAT. :)  Do you think it is just coincidence that the many of the most recent mass shooters--Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Uvalde--chose military rifles for their slaughtering? ;)

I don't think its a coincidence at all that semi-automatic rifles are used in more mass shootings than they have been historically.  The upwards trend started after the massive media coverage of the 2012 mass shooting at the movie theater in Colorado.  Pistols historically outnumber rifles used 3:1 in mass shootings, but those numbers don't tell you what they appear to tell you because of how mass shootings are defined.

In any event, in my opinion, the primary reason that rifle use is increasing and in particular use of AR-15s is the obvious one.  The kinds of mass shootings the media covers with big coverage are perpetrated almost uniformly by damaged individuals who are playing to get that coverage.  It's going to be a no brainer to one of those jackasses to select the weapons that will guaranty they get their fame.  Depending on how you define them, the media ignores upto 10 times the number of mass shootings that they give the wall to wall splash treatment of. 

At the least, we should find out why people want an AR-15 instead of more innocuous rifle for self-defense.  And if this makes it a bit harder to obtain one--well, that little inconvenience might just save the life of your kid.

And that's why I said you're actively using sophistry to undermine the civil rights of American citizens.  You don't care at all about why AR-15's are valued for self defense.  There's no such concept of "innocuous" that applies.  There's just a media inspired fear for AR-15 style rifles that doesn't YET exist for other rifles.   But there's no question that if the AR-15 goes, the media will push a new list of "fear" rifles to ban.

The whole point of your sentence is to taint an ordinary person making an ordinary choice about self defense - for which there are dozens if not hundreds of reasons that an AR-15 style rifle might be an excellent choice, with the implication that their is some "scary" or "evil" about the rifles, as must be the case based on the "unprompted" choice of sick people to use it (notwithstanding the billions, if not trillions, of dollars of coverage in the media of those rifles in media pushed formats that would exactly appeal to persons seeking to get media attention).

Here's what actually is a ridiculous claim - that removing 20 million rifles for a zero percent impact on murder rates has no impact on the ability of that population to resist tyranny.  In fact, the argument that 20 million rifles in the hands of the citizens of a country would NOT have an impact on the ability of those citizens to resist tyranny is so far beyond any concept of logic as to be absurd on its face.  You seem to think that owning an AR-15 magically grants the power to kill hundreds of civilians but that what the soldiers of an abusive government would be immune to its bullets?

Incorrect and a strawman argument.

Obviously, since people are killed by AR-15's, the murder rate for them is not zero.

And while AR-15's would be effective in killing soldiers, it is unlikely that they would be effective in overthrowing the government and defeating the military.  As the people of Ukraine are finding out.

It's fascinating to watch you use sophistry in a post claiming you don't, but not surprising I suppose.  You label the absolutely irrefutable argument that 20 million rifles could not possible fail to have an impact where a population is resisting tyranny as "incorrect" and "a strawman."

It's of course neither incorrect, nor a strawman, as it directly speaks to the Left Privilege illogical claim that rifles would be no good against the weapons a government can wield.  So why make those unsupported and unsupportable claims?  So you can ignore logic and skip straight to representing your refuted thesis.

I didn't say the murder rate was zero (which is an actual strawman argument that you are "refuting"). 

And your conclusion is just a counterfactual.  Every war, every single one, every successful and every failed resistance, every successful and failed coup, in the modern era involved people armed with rifles at significant moments.  History is replete with examples.  In fact, if your counterfactual were actually true then what exactly are you complaining about?  AR-15's can't simultaneously be weapons of war not safe in the hands of a civilian and generally useless for fighting a war.  It means that every single reference to calling the AR-15 a military style weapon is itself sophistry. 

First off, Joe Biden isn't suggesting using the military on the civilian population.

Literally he was suggesting civilians fighting the military.  There's no plausible context on his F-15 comment.  I agree he wasn't proposing to actually do it, but it's ridiculous to pretend that could be taken any other way.

He was legally and duly elected President by the people of the United States.

That's not likely true.  He may have won the vote (or he may not have), but there's no question that their were legal improprieties involved.  Confusing the court's unwillingness or inability to grant remedies in the circumstances with their actually having been no improprieties is a very Real Politik way of looking at it.  Essentially, you're endorsing that winning by cheating is valid if you aren't caught, or even if you are caught, there isn't enough clear evidence to be certain you would have lost without the cheating (which latter circumstance is the one that actually occurred).

Why would he need to attack the population unless there was an illegal insurrection?

He's got tyrannical impulses, he's already declared a big part of the populace to be "semi-fascists," and those in his government are even worse, with almost zero respect for the constitution, civil liberties or freedom to disagree.  That's before you factor in the senility.

And if "Sleepy Joe" was going to listen to his liberal supporters, he wouldn't be much of a tyrant, and wouldn't need to be overthrown with AR-15s, would he? ;)

I literally shuddered reading this nonsense.  His progressive supporters are the ones he does listen to and they are terrible people with next to no sense of even the possibility that other viewpoints are valid.  They truly believe that disagreeing with them should be criminal. 

Look, I get it, you're going to defend the regime no matter what.  It's disappointing, you tilted at strawmen when Trump was President and ignore actual erosion of your rights because it's team Biden.  I don't get why you do it, but I do get that team is everything when you are on the left.

The truth is Biden could be the biggest tyrant in history and that insurrection would still be illegal.  That's how laws work, they get made by those in power, they get enforced by those in power, or in the case of the left they get selectively enforced and selectively not enforced to further political goals.  But that's not justice.

Second, why are you limiting the military response to WMD?  There are a variety of weapons--attack helicopters, high-caliber machine guns, tanks, armored personnel vehicles, etc.--that would be very effective against AR-15s and would be far more limited against regular civilians.  Those are the weapons I was talking about.  Ones that wouldn't massacre entire civilian populations.

Because they've been cited over and over again in these discussions, but sure motte and bailey style argument.  Again, history is replete with the inability of armies with high tech weapons and an unwillingness to put boots on the ground failing to achieve sustainable victory against determined populations.  Sure they can kill a bunch of people and keep them oppressed for as long as they want.  Those victories have virtually always involved reduction of the population and the value of the country in which it occurs, which AGAIN is self defeating in a civil war or insurrection context.  You can't deny the enemy resources when the enemy is yourself.

However, remember that there is no legitimate excuse for organized attacks against these law enforcement agents during peace time.

Is that true?  I don't recall you condemning the "mostly peaceful protests."  In fact I seem to remember you defending a crowd determined to storm and burn down a federal court house, a crowd that repeatedly conducted organized attacks against law enforcement agents, or as Pelosi referred to them at the time "Federal Stormtroopers."   Is this again, a situation where the left is virtuous for attacking law enforcement for months in numbers into the tens of thousands, and the right is irredeemable for how many people breaking and entering the capital on a single day and leaving of their own volition?

If these agencies are so corrupt that they can get away with murder, then the entire government is corrupt and must be removed.

Why would the murder people?  STRAWMAN.  They just prosecute their political enemies on the very detailed laws and regulations that no one can avoid breaking in countless tiny ways, subject them to violations of their civil rights, seize their property and files without just cause and hold them without trial even in solitary confinement until they can force them to take a plea or jail them on soft charges.  It all looks very legit for the willing audience of the Left Privilege holders.  Not one bit of concern for the thousands of such detailed laws and regulations those same persons are themselves breaking and that every single holder of Left Privilege routinely breaks in their own daily operations.  Those are "completely" different, after all no charges where brought and those laws were never intended to apply in this context.

When the law becomes a game that is played based on who the defendant is rather that what the crime is, it's corrupt.  That's where the DOJ has been for some time.  Even when Trump appointed the top political officers, the system is rigged to keep the Left Privilege holders in control of the permanent staff that massively overwhelms the political officers and can stymie their every move.

The system is overwhelmingly rigged.

But then, if you have to resort to violence to change the government, you are talking about an armed insurrection and/or a civil war.  Something like that requires a very high bar, one that we have not reached yet, in either in Trump or Biden administrations.

We don't have to have violence so long as the mechanisms to effect change are open.  The Left is working desparately to close them.  They are working to shut down voices that present contrary opinions by coordinated suppression of "misinformation" and "disinformation" which is frequently just information that they disagree with.  They're working to break any ability to verify that elections are fair and that they are not being manipulated.  They're looking to turn enforcement of law openly into a system where a local king or omnipotent (a liberal DA) can change the laws on a whim, corruptly, and ignore their duty to follow the will of the public.  This is the same system that Biden overwhelmingly uses to enact change solely by his own authority (again, completely ignored by the same people - i.e., some of you - that flipped their lids when Trump would exercise actual authority of the President). 

[qutoe]And certainly not from "Intentionally seize attorney client materials and reviewing them deliberately knowing full well they can't use them in a trial but that they can leak them to the media (illegally)..." even if that were true.  ;D

That's literally a violation of the bill of rights.  But sure you really do support the Constitution, at least when you think it applies to you, everyone knows Trump is guilty, you just have to figure out what the crime is.  How better to do that than to just seize his records and ignore the Constitution.  If only you get enough access you'll be able to find the micro-crime that no one can live their life without violating and then count on a friendly media to pretend it is the worse thing in the history of the world, the "hugest" deal.

I mean what else can we expect from the party that impeached a President to hide the evidence of their own candidate's (Biden's) crime.

In fact, that is exactly why normal, patriotic Americans are afraid of the MAGA crowd.  That they will find some lame incident, blow it completely out of proportion, and then use that as an excuse to start killing people "in the name of FREEDOM!!!!!"  ::)  That this overblown rhetoric will make some people feel justified into starting shooting other Americans.  That these lies will enrage a crowd so that they might--I don't know--attack the Capitol and threaten the lives of our duly-elected Congressmen. ;)

We all know that if anyone starts the killing it'll be the anti-fa crowd.  Heck they've already killed people with impunity and even with the left's authority figures protecting them and trying to "make examples" of those that resist them. 

The party that puts out the hate filled rhetoric by a 100:1 ratio is the Democrat party.

AR-15s are a symbol of this sick mind-set of those who believe their beliefs trump our laws and the facts and that they have both the right and power to enforce those beliefs on the rest of America.  They think that having AR-15s gives them the power to do whatever they want, and the Constitution and the Courts be damned.  They think that military rifles are all they need to overthrow our nation.

So like I said.  You've use sophistry to undermine a Constitutional right because they media wants people to think AR-15s are scary.  You've contradicted your own points by claiming that AR-15s are military rifles that wouldn't be useful in a military setting.  And you've laughed off blatant violations of civil rights because "bad" people don't deserve rights.

Biden is just reminding them that they are wrong.

Biden is senile, and he makes a convenient figure head and later a scape goat for the movement to make us all serfs again.

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 15, 2022, 05:57:06 PM »
2A was absolutely designed to fend off an invasion. The militia wasn't there to keep Jefferson in line, it was there to stop King George without maintaining a standing army.

It was to stop any tyrant, whether they be domestic or foreign.  You can't even make a rationale claim that the founders had a problem with foreign tyrants but would have been perfectly content with a local one.

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 15, 2022, 05:55:02 PM »
The idea that police protect law-abiding citizens is actually one of those pervasive but easily disproven myths. Literally all you have to do is look at the statistics.

That's "all" you have to do?  Mind providing those statistics.  This is one of the nonsense claims that get posted here are part of Left Privilege, where posters get to assert the unprovable or even counter-factual and no one challenges them.

However, at the end of the day, I think the costs to society are high enough when you start expecting people to engage in an arms race for self-defense -- especially if the concept of self-defense extends to property -- that I'm willing to concede that an unlimited right to proactive self-defense should not exist

Whew... thank goodness your strawman is not and has never been the actual state of the law on self defense.  You can rest easy, there has never been an "unlimited" right to "proactive" self-defense, even of your person, let alone of your property.

The police don't bother to protect people,...

Which is a Left Privilege lie.

...but that doesn't mean that you get to own a tank and a grenade launcher to protect yourself and your family.

Which rolls into a complete strawman, created solely to pretend you are arguing against people who have absurd views, so you can set yourself up as the voice of reasonableness.

It just means that you have to acknowledge that your safety is never and can never be wholly guaranteed.

Whoop there it is.  I think ever person that carries a firearm already acknowledges that their safety can never be wholly guaranteed.  Its the people who think that ordering "gun free zones" and defunding the police are good policies that refuse to believe that their safety can not be guaranteed (even though the same politicians also frequently have massive armed security details themselves).

In reality, having armed citizens increases my safety on the whole.  Every responsible citizen that obtains a carry permit and who otherwise legally carries a firearm makes me and every other law abiding citizen safer. 

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 15, 2022, 05:46:04 PM »
Or in the riotous mob that tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power on Jan 6 2021.

You specific fiction as if it were fact.  Even in the world of the "best case" version of the "riotous mob" (or, if they were Democrat's, "mostly peaceful protestors"), it was Mike Pence that had the authority to act not "the mob."  Unless you'd care to explain the mechanism by which this group actually could have stopped the transfer of power - and it should be in their own words given the claim about what they "tried" to do.

The claims about the "insurrection" are the best modern example of the Big Lie strategy in practice.  The media went out and created a Big Lie (about Trump's Big Lie) to pre-empt rational thought, and largely it's worked.

Or in the threats by certain politicians if they do not get their way.

Like say, any national Democrat?  Or heck, pretty much all of them?  I mean we've had a constant stream of threats to the judicial branch, of arguments for court packing, of accusations that half the country are fascists and that political disagreement, or heck even just disagreement with school board policies, is tantamount to domestic terrorism. 

There is no truth to an implication that Republicans are somehow the ones making threats, in a world where Democrats feel entitled to make threats and act on them and demonstrate that fact every day.

General Comments / Re: Guns
« on: September 02, 2022, 01:26:33 AM »
Real patriotic Americans are also not against making it a bit harder for violent people to obtain AR-15s, even if it makes it a bit harder for them to get one, too--but that's another topic.  ;D

Sure they are.  If you're in favor of banning a rifle for a largely imaginary reason then you're actively using sophistry to undermine the civil rights of American citizens.  Ergo you're not patriotic. 

The number of murder victims killed by AR-15s is small.  More people are murdered by people wielding blunt objects - (bats and hammers, for example) every year than are murdered by all rifles (of which AR-15s are only part).  50-100% more people are murdered by physical attacks with fists and other body parts.

When you consider that there are estimated to be over 20 million AR-15s in America the idea that you're doing anything but virtue signaling or trying to open a slippery slope to ban all guns with this demand is provably false.  Eliminating every AR-15 will have effectively a zero percent change on the murder rate, yet will remove a weapon that 20 million people (minus what 20 or less in an average year) reasonably own.

What Biden was pointing out is the ridiculous claim that AR-15's could be used to fight against, and defeat, the U.S. government if it became a tyranny.

No, he's just lying to try and convince low-information voters that it's a ridiculous claim.  Here's what actually is a ridiculous claim - that removing 20 million rifles for a zero percent impact on murder rates has no impact on the ability of that population to resist tyranny.  In fact, the argument that 20 million rifles in the hands of the citizens of a country would NOT have an impact on the ability of those citizens to resist tyranny is so far beyond any concept of logic as to be absurd on its face.  You seem to think that owning an AR-15 magically grants the power to kill hundreds of civilians but that what the soldiers of an abusive government would be immune to its bullets?

If our government really wanted to suppress it's people, it could use all sorts or military equipment (F-15s, 50-calibre machine guns, attack helicopters, napalm, nerve gas, etc.) that would make the difference between having an AR-15 or a single-shot hunting rifle negligible.

Lol.  If our government wanted to massacre its citizens (which generally doesn't bode well for its ability to continue to produce things) you are correct that it has access to mass casualty weapons and even weapons of mass destruction.  Of course in many cases they'd be destroying their own communities, making them toxic or radioactive and generally wiping out their own family and friends.  But sure they could do it.

If Sleepy Joe decides to take out the Ultra-Magas exactly how effective is it going to be to use weapons of mass destruction?  Are there really enough progressive crazies in NY to let Joe nuke Florida without repercussions?  Seriously doubt even you believe that.  His own supporters are going to limit the abuses and atrocities he can commit because they believe they are the good guys.

Whatever sleepy Joe says, he knows that if he actually gave that order it would mean street by street fighting, and there's nothing wrong with any firearm in that situation.

Stocking up on AR-15s won't change the tide if the U.S. government was determined to suppress the population and willing to use all of it's military arsenal against us.  So making sure that everyone has quick and easy access to AR-15s is negligible to protecting our freedom, too. :(

Sure, and the full might of the US government means exactly nothing if the Empire sends a Death Star to kill us either, so we should throw out all of our country level weapons.  As any person of logic understands, there are hundreds of thousands of scenarios that don't rise to the government choosing to massacre its entire civilian population and in virtually all of them, 20 million AR-15s would have a significant impact. 

I do not believe he was suggesting that he would use F-15s against our population.  If he did so, I would call for his immediate impeachment.

Don't believe you.  He's crossed more lines than you specifically said Trump was crossing and you haven't called for impeachment.  Nope, you'd be on here explaining how the F-15 bombing run was the only reasonable response to the situation and it was really those that were killed that were at fault.

Fortunately, I can't think of any recent President that ever called for the use of the U.S. military against our citizens--except maybe one?  :-\

Sort of true, President Obama expressly ordered military drone strikes despite having full knowledge that US citizens were likely to be killed in the strikes (and in fact were so killed).

And you played the progressive trick of limiting the argument just to the one part of the government - the military - when we have multiple agencies that have been militarized in whole or in part.  Both Biden and Obama deliberately weaponized multiple governmental agencies to act in military style engagements against political opponents. There's no legitimate excuse for the way in which those agencies are conducting themselves today.  I mean seriously, raids with heavily armed agents, in overwhelming numbers, in dawn assaults, including with frogmen against primarily senior citizens that just happen to be political opponents of the regime but that pose zero threat.  Intentionally seize attorney client materials and reviewing them deliberately knowing full well they can't use them in a trial but that they can leak them to the media (illegally) and will never "identify the culprit"? 

Every abuse by this government is on the Democrat voters who delude themselves into thinking its evil Republican bogey men trying to take their rights, when its actually autocratic and fascist Democrats they voted for that do so.

Truth is the progressive left hates that Americans have actual rights and their number one goal is to eliminate actual rights in favor of "created" rights that in reality are limitations and weapons to oppress others.  Pretending to do good while doing it is just a lie progressives tell themselves to relieve cognitive dissonance.

General Comments / Re: Election Results
« on: July 21, 2022, 07:04:36 PM »
By "shenanigans," you mean election fraud that disqualified two primary candidates? I mean, yeah, I'm concerned by it, and glad they were disqualified as a consequence.

In Michigan it was five candidates.  There's absolutely no indication that anyone involved thinks the Republican candidates were anything but unsuspecting victims.   

The best case for the disqualification being a miscarriage was probably Perry Johnson.  Michigan requires 15k signatures.  Perry turned in over 23k, generally well beyond the margin for signatures that are likely to be disqualified.  The Board determined that 13.8k were valid, and threw out 9.4k (of which 6.9k were from the fraudulent actors). That's clearly a candidate that had groundswell support and likely only stopped collecting legitimate signatures because of the deliberate actions of the fraudster.  The fraudsters (in each case) made sure that they "collected" more than enough signatures to completely blow through the standard safety margins - that's quite literally an intentional and deliberate decision that's designed for no other purpose than to ensure the signature verification process will fail if challenged.

The DNC did challenge the signatures.  The four member Board split on party lines 2:2 on whether to allow the candidates (who no one legitimately questioned were the victims, unlike your snarky and baseless inferences) onto the ballot.  With the tie the candidates were off the ballot.  So literally, the Democrats on the board eliminated these candidates from the ballot.  It's hard to me to see the justice, at least in Perry's case, of that decision where you had actual knowledge of the campaign being defrauded and clear evidence they had received significant groundswell support (to the tune of 13.8k signatures) and that "but for" the fraud they would have continued to collect signatures and likely hit the goal prior to the submission deadline. 

James Craig was the front runner, and he ended up with 10.2k accepted signatures and 11.1k that were rejected (of his 21.3k submitted, 9.8k were from the fraudulent actors).

The MI courts (at the lower levels) effectively ruled that the Board didn't have to verify each signatures before it was rejected and in fact, part of the complaint was that the Board threw out entire sheets based on who the canvasser's were.  The case was appealed to the MI Supreme Court and the relief requested was an order putting the candidate's name on the ballot.  The MI SC rejected the case on technical grounds, effectively saying that the relief was the "wrong" relief - he couldn't require the court to require the Board to put his name on the ballot, but they also said that he may have been entitled to have required the board to comply with the law on specific verification of the names.  In any event, it was too late for him to do so (because the hard coded ballot submission timeline would lapse).

So you have a candidate that any reasonable observer would believe that "but for" being defrauded would have gotten the signatures, who very likely could have gotten replacement signatures if the Board had communicated that it was considering rejecting the signatures in a timely manner, kept off a ballot for election based on the decision of 2 members of the opposite political party.  Does that really serve the interests of the electorate?  Remember getting on the ballot does not mean that you win the nomination, and if the candidate did win the nomination, wouldn't that mean that it was the correct answer?  It's been the historical practice of the federal courts to err on the side of including such a candidate on the ballot rather than excluding them, since the election itself would cure any possible risk on this issue.

What interest does excluding a defrauded candidate on a technicality serve, where the electorate could have directly weighed-in? 

Let's charitably ignore your attempt to draw a false equivalence between actual forgery and technical inconsistency, and instead focus on your assertion that we should be angry at Democrats because some Republicans were caught engaging in shenanigans, which of course they would not have done. I mean, no one's asking for signed confessions, here; they were actually asking William for any evidence at all to suggest that the firms paid by piece to collect signatures did not, for their own benefit or the benefit of their client, generate fake signatures.

Why?  Seriously, why on earth would we presume guilt of the victims?  Do you not seriously understand how messed up that demand is?

Not to mention there is no serious account of this that's consistent with your spurious insinuations.  The former police chief withdrew as soon as he found out - he wanted no association with the fraudsters.  Yet here you are demanding "proof" before you'll actually consider fairness?

It's literally the truth that the DNC filed the challenges (no evidence that this was coordinated, but also none that it wasn't - based on your theory can you "prove" that they did so in good faith - discounting any statements they or apparently any neutral observers made on the situation).  It's literally the truth that decision of the 2 Democrats on the Board kept them off the ballot and it's hard to see how that serves the interests of a fair election absent a demonstration that the candidates caused the fraud (all neutral accounts seem to agree they were not aware of the fraud - not least in part because they would have had the opportunity and incentive to correct it if they had been). 

Instead, we should jump at the contra-logical interpretation that the candidates themselves went out of their way to make sure that they had enough obviously fraudulent petitions to eliminate the standard safety margins in their signature collection efforts.

These are suspicious times and WM hasn't carried the burden that the DNC or any material chunk of Democrats caused this as part of a deliberate plan, but there is zero question that the bad actors in fact did engage in a deliberate strategy that ensured each of these candidates  would both belief they had an adequate safety margin and also not in fact have an adequate safety margin. 

General Comments / Re: Election Results
« on: July 21, 2022, 04:13:28 PM »
So let me get this straight, you guys have been arguing "with a straight face" that ballots that are received and that don't comply with the technical election laws must be counted because "every vote must count" and also "with a straight face" are somehow not concerned by Shenigans that literally disqualify candidates from the election.  Candidates, given their front runner status, that would have no trouble meeting the signature requirements legitimately but who fail to do so solely because of bad actors.

And then, despite that such actions are expressly targeted only at certain candidates, who "coincidentally" are the candidates most likely to be able to defeat the Democrats in a general election, demand extraordinary proof (that you know will not exist) of their specific intentions before you'll believe that the whole thing is a deliberate and targeted strategy? 

Aren't you the same people that claim voter IDs (a policy favored by virtually every demographic) that are available to all citizens are somehow a nefarious plot to discriminate based on race?  Notwithstanding you've never actually found the kind of evidence you seem to be demanding of the same?

Honestly, what would your reaction be if "bad actors" were out there "registering voters for voter IDs" and it was all a scam to cause said voters to miss the actual registration?  You'd flip your lids and demand that the "ineligible" voters be made eligible because it was not their fault they were deliberately mislead.  You could have a signed confession in your hands from the persons that did it that they had some economic motivation and not a political one and NOTHING ON EARTH would actually cause you to believe that there was no political motivation.

This country can not function if partisans insist on such ridiculously one sided views of how things should work and stick their fingers in their ears whenever evidence of something that is clearly wrong is presented to them.  The fact that this was even possible should have every citizen outraged, both the bad actors and the state's insistence on not allowing a cure of the problem, have taken away the voting rights of people in an entire state, and you're quibbling with WM about whether he can produce signed confessions?

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 04:03:11 PM »
By the way LetterRip, excellent find on the Ars Technica link.  The fact that McCormick has ordered specific performance in a merger before is definitely relevant to the probability she'd do so again. 

I note though, in the article, it points out how this is uncommon ("one of the few judges..") and that the order also resolved all factual questions in favor of the seller.  I suspect that Musk's efforts on the side of getting access to the information and basis for terminating the deal are far less easily shown to be pre-textual than was the case in the prior deal.  I don't think anyone following this, honestly believes that Musk wasn't concerned with SpamBots.  And while a reasonable case can be made that Musk knew (or should have known) that Spambots were more prevalent than Twitter claimed, that doesn't resolve that getting the actual number would be material to the lending, nor that such a finding would cause Twitter to have breached it's representations on the point.

There's also a general concept that prohibits specific performance where the party requesting it has "unclean hands."  If Twitter did make an erroneous claim to the SEC and particularly if that can be demonstrated to have been willful or a result of willful blindness its very hard to see how they would have the clean hands necessary to get that remedy.  Take a look at the article, its hard to imagine that the seller in that case had done anything wrong.

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 03:34:54 PM »
My laymans (and possibly flawed) understanding is that normally you write an offer letter that goes something along the line of "we offer X billion $ for the company subject to due diligence not showing anything unexpected", Musk wrote one that went "I offer Y billion $ for the company and I want it so much/quickly that I'll skip due diligence". The due diligence process does entitle you to poke through the books at a deeper level that the public normally gets to see and would have got him to the current point where he could pull out without having made any unfortunate commitments.

I think in this case, it's more like Musk understood that the Board was actively hostile to his acquisition of the Company and that they would never have provided him with the due diligence in advance of the agreement.  So instead, he signed a deal saying that he would close on the transaction - if Twitter's public statements were accurate - and that provided him with certain rights to Twitter's information to verify those statements.  His lawyers repeatedly cited the relevant provisions in their letters demanding the information from Twitter.

So instead of saying, I want to see the merchandise before we sign the deal.  Signing the deal saying that payment of the purchase price is subject to your claims about the merchandise being demonstrated. 

Granted, I'm stating that in the light most favorable to Musk, and that may not be the way it actually is drafted or plays out in court.  Certainly Twitter's Board disputes that its a condition of closing the deal, but they may not be correct in how they are interpreting it. 

But there's no reason to believe that either form of that agreement is less effect or to disparage the rights provided in the second form (contract, then verify to close) over the first (verify then contract).  In fact, generally speaking, there is almost always a continuing due diligence component after the signing of an agreement and prior to the closing (though sometimes it just impacts the price ultimately paid).

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 03:24:58 PM »
My layperson take on this is this.

This is why rational investors perform due diligence. By waiving it, Musk was basically saying "I trust the numbers you've given me."

It's really not clear that this is correct, or rather that its the whole story.  Read the termination notice that LetterRip linked to.  Musk's team is arguing that they included a right to rely on the accuracy of Twitter's public filings for the execution (which is in lieu of conducting diligence before hand, but is premised on those filings being accurate), and that they included information rights in the merger contract to allow them to verify those filings.  Musk claimed - before Twitter brought suit - that Twitter had breached the agreement, if that's true, then this is a breach of contract action and the Board's argument about due diligence is an irrelevant red herring.

Now he's trying to run an audit to prove it was a stolen acquisition. But he has no proof that the bot count isn't exactly what they said it was.

It's also not clear that the latter statement is true.  Again, in Musk's public filing on the termination, they pretty much state that even though Twitter has delayed at every turn and failed to turn over complete data sets, that the initial indications of Musk's data scientists are that Twitter's bot count could be "wildly" erroneous.

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 02:51:29 PM »
The WSJ opinion is from individuals without expertise in the relevant law, neither of them practice in M&A, nor does Professor M. Todd Henderson teach law that overlaps with M&A (either presently or in the past).

I' wouldn't give their opinions any more weight than any other lawyer talking outside their area of expertise and in this case they are both way outside their areas of expertise.

I didn't ask you to give their opinions weight.  I said they make a convincing case, and notwithstanding your dismissal of their credentials, I'm perfectly capable of evaluating what they said based on the merits.  Reality is that a court has a lot of discretion in how they apply remedies, but it would be unlikely to successfully order this deal competed by specific performance (unless that's what Musk secretly wants). 

I don't think it is particularly complex, as deals and contracts go this one doesn't seem that high on the complexity - just lots of money.

Lol.  Honestly, I'm really laughing about this.  There is no such thing as a "non-complex" acquisition of a multi-billion dollar company.  There are thousands of points to still be negotiated and agreed, and thousands (if not millions) of relationships and contracts that have to be evaluated and assigned.  Is the court going to sit in and order resolution of every single thing that's outstanding?  There is almost certainly thousands of hours of legal work to be done here, and at least 3-5 times as much non-legal work.  For context, the last M&A I saw the details on (a fairly friendly one), had more than 15 attorneys on one side (with 2 different firms), plus in-house attorneys and the "othersides" inhouse and outside counsel.     Of those 15 at least 8 had over 200 hours billed on the deal, and for the 3 primary in-house attorneys it was effective their full time job for more than a month and part time for several other months.

All of that work is guided by the business judgements of the parties.

Is the court going to babysit that and put a thumb on the scale?  How exactly are they going to do it?

Nope, specific performance is for discrete actions that the court can manage, not for an order to work on a transaction of this magnitude.  The correct answer here is breach of contract, and Twitter's recovery will be limited to damages.  Unless they can establish a harm (which is debatable), and that the harm can not be made whole with money but only by the acquisition of the company, they really have no chance of specific performance.  Even if they could establish such a harm, the inclusion of a liquidated damages provision undercuts the argument that only specific performance will cure that harm (that provision is a literal admission of the parties both that the contract can be breached and that money damages can be adequate recompense).

I personally think the WSJ's argument on the non-enforcement of the liquidated damages' clause was too dismissive.  While it's arguable that Twitter can't show material damages, there are enough nebulous things outstanding that could be damage that there will be a hook to defend the liquidated damages.

Musk's statements are strongly indicative that he is looking for a pretextual way to exit the deal and he suddenly developed cold feet after his Tesla stock valuation crashed.

Are they really "strongly indicative"?  I think that's your own view.  Musk's comments also seem to reflect his honest opinion that spam bots comprise a much higher percentage of the accounts in question than Twitter reports.  Or do you somehow disbelieve him on that point?

Maybe phrase it another way, what percentage of Spambots would allow Musk out of the deal?  It can't be that it's immaterial where there is a representation made by Twitter in it's Securities Law filings (which are public) and that representation (along with all others) was incorporated by reference into the agreements.  Honestly, if you can't set that point you're not being rational, and if you can set it, you're admitting that Musk could have a valid objection.

Now it could be that Musk is wrong about the rate of Spambots, but neither you nor I are remotely in a position to make that conclusion.

My point is you missed the point.  Corporate compliance is not designed to be an academic study.  There's virtually no chance that it doesn't have material issues in design and implementation that make the conclusions suspect and that invalidate the degree of certainty.

Sure, but material adverse effect in Delaware courts is an absurdly high bar.  I don't think it will be possible for him to clear that bar.

That's a cogent argument and you probably have a point.  Though the most likely remedy is still damages not specific performance.

I get the basic principal there but the devil is in the details.  If it's a daily sample, then it's really a sample size of 100 repeated 90 times.

No it is an aggregated sample.  As I described to Tom they could get the exact same sample all at once.  If they are using 9000 samples for the analysis, then the sample size is 9000.  The fact that they have stratified them over time is immaterial to the analysis.  There isn't a good reason to not do uniform sampling over time, and may well be a benefit.  The other major benefit to doing it daily is that they appear to use labor intensive analysis for each sample, so they can assign one or two analysts and have them work daily; rather than putting 180 analysts on it at the end of each quarter; or do the pull on the last quarters data and have each report be lagged by an additional quarter.

I'm bored with arguing this irrelevancy.  Whether you agree or not, do you understand that Twitter could have in fact presented this to Musk in their meetings as a sample of roughly 100 accounts pulled each day?

It literally doesn't matter if you're 100% correct about how the study is run, a court is not going punish Musk for citing to samples of 100 if that's approximately the size of the daily sample.  They'd have to argue in court that he didn't provide enough context to make it clear that the 9000 samples were run quarterly (which by the way is almost certainly not the way it actually occurs - I guarantee you there is a daily statistic generated, whether just for that day or on some kind of rolling basis, is immaterial) for the 5% reporting threshold.  But then, Musk could point out that they didn't in fact disclose this in their 10Q.   

Here's what they said in the most recent 10Q:

We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.

So just looking at what they said, is it still absolutely certain in your mind that it's a 9000 data point sample run quarterly?  They flat out say that the 5% number is based on the "average ... in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter."  That implies not only that each quarter is actually 3 monthly periods, but also based on the reference to the average in a monthly period that each month is actually an aggregation of some sub-unit being tested.  So quite literally, what Musk said could actually be true and this language would not be inconsistent with that, however, what you think the Twitter board is saying about a quarterly study would actually be inconsistent with the claims they made here.

General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 20, 2022, 01:57:04 PM »
I think it's funny how when you guys are faced with fact based arguments that you don't like, you resort to platitudes and progressive alter calls rather than rebuttals.

How about you explain in detail the principles of the economy that are going to work differently?

It's amazing how after progressive policies generate the exact terrible results that you're told they will in advance, you are all shocked by the totally "unpredictable" outcomes and go out looking to pin the blame on something else.  Failing to learn from reality dooms, in this case, all of the rest of us to have it repeated upon us.

And Wayward, there's exactly zero reason to believe that wages agreed between consenting adults are not reasonable.  Government interference in that -absent an abusive situation, which doesn't exist here- literally by definition results in excessive wages.  With 100% certainty that causes transactions that both parties would find mutually beneficial not to occur and that is a net loss to society.

General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:53:36 PM »
You haven't seen a single study that shows how the poor have been priced out of affordable childcare?  Seriously, where did you look?

Or did you just mean that you didn't see a study that attributes this to having to pay excess wages to childcare providers?

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:51:52 PM »
He agreed to specific performance, which is what they are asking for.  Rumors are that it will be the head judge of chancery court, a judge which previously has enforced specific performance.

There's a good treatment of this in the WSJ.  I have no dog in the fight, but they make a convincing argument that it's unlikely the court will order specific performance.  It's effectively unenforceable if they do order it (assuming this isn't want Musk actually wants).  Courts never want to issue orders that can be ignored.

They aren't asking for damages, they are asking for specific performance, which Musk agreed to as a term of the deal.

So what?  Specific performance appears in the vast majority of deals, still an extremely rare remedy and almost never provided for something this complex. 

Did you read the contract?

Yes, and I've read expert opinions on it.  I wouldn't count on my personal interpretation since I'm well aware I can overlook things.

That's helpful to know, thanks.

Lol, you ignored the point.  There's no way that its a "winner" to claim that Musk misrepresented what they are doing if they are in fact randomly sampling 100 accounts a day.  They may have more success pushing that it was a violation of the NDA to disclose it.

It is a material misrepresentation and a breach of contract.

Not sure what you mean.  There's no way its material under any legal theory of materiality.  It could be a breach of an NDA obligation or a non-disparagement clause (but not both at once), but that's about it.

It's also funny to argue that it's a material misrepresentation in a case that may turn on whether Twitter's 5% claim is a material misrepresentation.  The claim about 100 accounts is light years away in magnitude from the 5% claim, and it's very likely the court would hold that the 5% isn't material even if it turns out to be very wrong (and possibly even if the Twitter board had reason to know it was wrong).

They do if this was a simple and well constructed study.  They may or may not in reality have anything with any real validity at all (even assuming they get good data out of the reviews).  The fact that you express so much certainty means you're either repeating their claims (which have not been independently verified) or misrepresenting your own knowledge.  Can you confirm which it is that you're doing?

I'm assuming they have competent people.  It may be they have incompetent or corrupt individuals.  My point was mostly that 100 per day is plenty to get accurate and meaningful results, when they are aggregating the 100 daily samples  into a 9000 sample for a quarterly result.

My point is you missed the point.  Corporate compliance is not designed to be an academic study.  There's virtually no chance that it doesn't have material issues in design and implementation that make the conclusions suspect and that invalidate the degree of certainty.

I wasn't even including the risks associated with corruption.  In reality though there's a real possibility that the "manual process," which this part is (as opposed to the automatic process that Twitter claims scrubs over a million accounts a day), generates bad date before it even feeds into the model.  Please don't forget how often individuals falsify results (sometimes for nefarious reasons, sometimes because they don't want to do the work), misinterpret conclusions or just do a poor job.  These compliance officers are paid to generate a confirmation of the 5% claim, not to rock the boat, and there are certainly strong incentives on them to get the "right" answer.

It isn't sophistry - it is a very important distinction.  Sample size of 100 would have a large variance, sample size of 9000 has very little variance.

I get the basic principal there but the devil is in the details.  If it's a daily sample, then it's really a sample size of 100 repeated 90 times.  Depending on how the sample is drawn, like for example from all active accounts versus newly created accounts, it could introduce or hide a whole lot issues.  If it's pulling all 9000 at once (which seems unlikely) then how it's doing it is still a question.

It really doesn't matter though, the point is not whether there's enough of a sample being taken (the sample size is adequate for a study - the real questions are more likely to be about whether the data is valid), the point is whether referring to the sample as 100 - assuming for the moment that they actually take 90 samples of 100 - is incorrect.  There's no way that it would be and honestly there's no way that a judge would conclude it was.

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:21:25 PM »
He had a complete month of firehose data (every tweet, like, share, etc. for every user for a particular month),by default the query number is limited for all users, and he was given the standard enterprise limit.  When he complained they immediately raised the limit.  Musk's team must have been doing something weird though because the basic enterprise query limit is quite high.

High for an advertiser, low for a buyer.  In a standard deal he would have had unlimited "Twitter" insider, type access.  Not third party client access.

General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:19:40 PM »
Wouldn't this skew the argument in Musk's favor? If he agreed with Twitter to look at a random sampling to satisfy his demand to know the % of bots, a mere 100 accounts in a given day could be way off the statistical average if that day's sampling is all they showed him in detail.

Musk's claim was that he'd look at 100 because that was what Twitter did when it calculated it's statistics.  It wouldn't shock me at all to find that in explaining how they grabbed their "9000 per quarter" for study if they didn't actually take 100 per day and if they didn't tell him that during the meeting where they explained it to him.  Honestly, if the process is ongoing, and it has to be for compliance purposes, it almost certainly has been run as investigations of 100 (or so) samples a day and then the results are aggregated at the end of the quarter (and probably real time on a weekly or monthly basis as well).

My point is that it was presented in the complaint in a manner that's not going to hold up in court.  It's a sign of the document focusing on the public rather than the lawsuit.

His accessing of the firehouse data has nothing to do with this issue.  That was a different part of the complaint.  Effectively, Twitter didn't send him the data, they set him up as an advertiser and let him run the queries that an advertiser would have been able to run (by the way, that's either completely scary that anyone paying for access can get this data or completely undercuts the claim that they granted him detailed access).  Advertisers are capped on the queries they can run, which makes sense because the queries are for them to better develop targeted ads and better engagement, not for them to do compliance checks or diligence checks on Twitter.

Again though, that's the kind of thing that will not fool a court.  They'll actually hear arguments about whether the data access was really open or had material limits that impaired the ability to use it for the purpose it was purported to be shared.

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