Patterico's Pontifications

11/10/2010

Joe Miller Sues to Require Exact Spellings of Murkowski’s Name for Write-In Votes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

Joe Miller’s legal team says if you couldn’t spell it right, it shouldn’t count:

Votes that misspell Lisa Murkowski’s name shouldn’t count as the state today tallies write-in ballots in the U.S. Senate race, Senate candidate Joe Miller said in a federal lawsuit Tuesday.

Miller is asking a judge to stop the state from making a judgment on a voter’s intentions if the voter wrote in something other than “Murkowski” or “Lisa Murkowski.” State law allows no leeway for other spellings, his lawsuit says.

At first glance, this might seem overly formalistic and harsh. Say a voter intends to vote for Lisa Murkowski, but writes in “Lisa Murkowsky.” Miller is saying that shouldn’t count as a vote for Murkowski?

Correct — and it looks to me like he’s right. And should be.

Miller’s legal papers, which you can read here (.pdf), argue that, under Alaska law, a write-in candidate’s name must be written “as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy.” The filing quotes legislative language saying:

The rules set out in this section are mandatory and there are no exceptions to them. A ballot may not be counted unless marked in compliance with these rules.

As the Al Franken recount showed, recounts are messy propositions — and depending on the standard you choose, it can sometimes be quite difficult to interpret a ballot. (A good set of examples from the Franken recount is discussed here.) If the Alaska Legislature chose to set out clear rules to avoid such a situation, I say more power to them.

Miller has another argument that is interesting:

Prior to the election, people commented on radio stations and in the comment sections in blogs and newspaper stories that they would deliberately incorrectly write-in a variation of “Murkowski” as a protest. They did so knowing that Murkowski was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a “spelling bee” campaign, replete with wrist bands, pencils and tattoos, all to educate the voters on proper spelling. Why was this done? Because even Murkowski had read the law and knew that it required proper spelling — “No exceptions.” So protest voters were trying to send a message to the candidate.

In other words, Miller’s lawyers claim that people who misspelled Murkowski’s name on a write-in ballot may have been mocking her, “safe” in the knowledge that their vote would not be counted for her because of the state’s clear laws. At a minimum, this argument throws a monkey wrench at a court trying to ignore the clear language of the law to apply a murky “intent” standard. (See what I did there?) Whether it’s a persuasive monkey wrench is another issue.

I haven’t examined the case law, but the statutory language seems crystal clear. Even if, as I have heard, Alaska applies an “intent of the voter” standard as to your standard ballot markings, I’m not sure the same case law would govern write-in ballots, in the face of such clear rules.

INTENTIONALISM POSTSCRIPT: Note that, under an “intentionalist” argument, when a voter intends to cast a vote for Lisa Murkowski, that is a vote for Lisa Murkowski regardless of what markings appear on the ballot. A voter could write in the words “Joe Miller” and the intentionalists would tell you that the ballot is a vote for Murkowski — as long as the voter subjectively intended to vote for Murkowski. What’s more, they would tell you that any statute mandating otherwise is a “rewriting” of the ballot.

This is yet another illustration of why pure “intentionalism” is unworkable in several legal settings, recounts being one obvious example. What matters is whether the objective evidence of the markings on the paper reflect a vote for a particular candidate, as determined by a reasonable observer. What’s more, if the law says that the ballot is improperly marked, it doesn’t count.

It’s a formalistic approach, to be sure. But a degree of formalism is absolutely essential to making law work.

Sorry, Lisa. Your illiterate voters should not have their votes counted. The Legislature has spoken.

296 Responses to “Joe Miller Sues to Require Exact Spellings of Murkowski’s Name for Write-In Votes”

  1. Not to mention the Alaska courts allowed her to run contrary to the established rules, if I remember correctly. Miller is well within his rights to challenge this illegal run through any method at his disposal.

    ThePaganTemple (b8723c)

  2. Are you really going to argue ‘intentionalism’ ,here, this is tantamount to the circus that we had down here, 10 years ago

    justin cord (82637e)

  3. The ultimate irony would be the voter that intended to write in Murkowski’s intentionally incorrectly but accidentally spelled it correctly.

    Xmas (a633e2)

  4. Don’t think for a second that John Cornyn’s NRSC won’t fight Miller’s attempt to cheat Lisa out of her seat.

    With their last breath they will fight, but they need your help to do it.

    pls send monies

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  5. This is a clearly a case of discrimination against polish americans!

    Chris (0e7ee6)

  6. Hey, I’ve got an idea on how “protest voters” could have sent a message to Murkowsky: They could have voted for her opponent!

    John Stanford (487355)

  7. I originally took the opposite view, but you have persuaded me. The legislature made it crystal clear.

    I think the standard SHOULD be intent of the voter and if Murkowski wins, so be it. But she did lose a primary and to avoid ambiguity, Alaskan law says it has to be written correctly, so there you go.

    Besides, I don’t believe they were going to count any Joe Miller write-ins, which under a voter intent standard, is asinine.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  8. Its not just a discrimination against the Polish, but also against dylsexics, too.

    That’s actually a joke, but I do wonder if she will try to use the ADA against them, or perhaps equal protection for the polish. I’m not saying she should necessarily succeed, I am just wondering if she might try.

    My only concern with Miller’s argument, and i am mostly convinced, is how have the courts interpreted the statute? if they have a track record of interpreting it by voter intent, that could throw a monkey wrench in miller’s argument.

    As for intentionalism, i think you can go for an objective approach to it. as in, if you write Lisa Mirkawski it counts. but Lisa M doesn’t. Now the statute seems clear that they don’t go for that, but i am saying as a matter of policy, you could go with that approach.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  9. They might as well have burned the rule book, all write in candidates, including the one that started
    this thing, have to be notified 24 hrs before the votes are counted, this hasn’t been done either. All we need now, is for them to send Jimmy Carter
    to ratify this fraud

    justin cord (82637e)

  10. john

    yeah, just what i was thinking. what an idiotic way to protest.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. I do not like MooCowskee

    JÐ (d48c3b)

  12. Thanks for reading the law and giving a very good legal analysis. The tragedy is that no news media will dare to get into the legal analysis. They want Sarah Palin and the Tea Party’s nominee to lose.

    DLN (aef013)

  13. “I do not like MooCowskee”

    JD – It is spelled MoreCokeski.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  14. DLN

    You make a good point. And for bonus points, they could claim some vindication in Bush v. Gore.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  15. It’s a good legal analysis, but it omits the constitutional argument — to wit, you are potentially violating someone’s rights if you intentionally discount their vote where the intention of that vote is clear.

    Now, that’s a pretty packed sentence, and can be unpacked in a dozen different ways. My only point is that there’s a constitutional argument here as well. Like it was ten years ago, you’ve got to find the line between rigid “formalism” and touchy-feely “intentionalism” — a line upon which no two people will likely agree.

    FWIW, I don’t buy Miller’s theory that someone would intentionally miswrite Murkowski just to needle her.

    Kman (d25c82)

  16. It’s real simple: Adhere to the letter of the law, and there will be no recourse for the loser. The law is clearly and unambiguously defined, and the Election Board is deciding to ignore it at their peril.

    Smokey Behr (494f41)

  17. Intent on a ballot must be clearly signaled… and the legislature has thus put a clarity test or standard out there.
    I think the State has every right to create a standard since it cannot interview anyone after a secret ballot.
    In this case the court required the state to provide a correctly spelled list or cheat sheet of the write in candidates names in order to facilitate the voters ability to signal clearly… the voter could look down the list for Murkowski and copy the name onto the ballot letter for letter.

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  18. Let’s assume arguendo that Miller is right about his interpretation of Alaska state law. Why is there federal jurisdiction in a US district court to challenge the state officials’ interpretation? Bush v. Gore was a writ of certiorari to the Florida Supreme Court.

    Ted (0a55a7)

  19. The name has been on the ballot in one way or another for thirty years, are they just admitting
    how stupid their voters are beforehand

    justin cord (82637e)

  20. I agree with the legal interpretation.

    I’m not sure I agree with the law, but the law is the law. Voters who screwed up their vote for Miller, somehow, won’t be counted either. That’s harder to do because Miller won a primary he registered for my the deadline.

    The reason Murkowski faces a tougher standard is because she lost a primary and ran a sore-loser campaign, which the law is apparently meant to dissuade.

    I have a hard time believing this protest idea of spelling her name wrong.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  21. I agree the lawsuit is a “winner”, as the plain meaning of the statute applies. Must be written as on this chart – no exceptions is very plain.

    I would not put words in the intentionalists mouth, however. A vote for “Murkowsky” may well be a vote for (or against) ms. Lisa. It does not change what the voter intended if you have a legal framework for determining a valid vote. The vote WAS for or against her or someone else.

    The rules for *accepting* the vote are something else altogether.
    Determining intent is part of Alaska law, but not only does *any* ballot have to be tossed in the case of ambiguity, the write-in votes have statutory language about how to interpret intent.
    If you didn’t, your vote is invalid.

    Determining “intention” is impossible because you cannot clarify

    SarahW (af7312)

  22. Shoot, cut out half my post. Oh well. Perhaps you can determine my intent.

    SarahW (af7312)

  23. “. At a minimum, this argument throws a monkey wrench at a court trying to ignore the clear language of the law to apply a murky “intent” standard.”

    It seems like there’s been a lot of effort at throwing monkey wrenches into voter intents.

    imdw (a5fe7f)

  24. “Note that, under an “intentionalist” argument, when a voter intends to cast a vote for Lisa Murkowski, that is a vote for Lisa Murkowski regardless of what markings appear on the ballot.”

    - Patterico

    To be fair, wouldn’t an intentionalist say that the more important intent to assess, in this case, is the intent of the Legislature in writing the law? Even if the intentionalist would insist that a ballot with the words “Joe Miller” on it was a vote for Murkowski if that was what the Sign-Maker intended, they wouldn’t go so far as to say that such improperly marked ballots should be counted on the mere grounds that the intent of the Sign-Maker was “clear” (to them). They would say that the electoral laws must be obeyed…

    Then they would (perhaps) turn around and interpret “only proper spellings of write-in candidate’s names will be counted” as “We’ll give you a margin of error of +/- seven vowels” – in keeping with the Legislature’s obvious intent! Yay!

    It’s a quibble, I guess. It’s the same problem, but at a different stage in the process. All I’m saying is that I don’t think an intentionalist would argue that such improperly marked ballots ought to count, merely because the ballot-marker meant what he meant. It would depend on the Legislature, who meant what they meant. See?

    Leviticus (81bafc)

  25. Patterico defends democracy!

    or not.

    timb (449046)

  26. I’m sorry, but if someone wrote in “Lisa Ann Murkowsky, the current Alaska Senator to the U.S. Senate” — the intent is clear to me, and the intent is clear to any reasonable person.

    The fact that the name is spelled wrong shouldn’t disenfranchise that one voter.

    Kman (d25c82)

  27. Some things are so self evident, they shouldn’t have to be spelled out, then again we have Sen, Franken, who really validates Kent Brockman’s line
    about democracy not working, and the Python sketch
    about Raymond Luxury Yacht

    justin cord (82637e)

  28. The fact that the name is spelled wrong shouldn’t disenfranchise that one voter.

    Your example is not disenfranchisement. The voter had a legal and valid chance to exercise their franchise. The voter then blew it by not following the ridiculously clear rules for voting. That is not a matter for the court or anyone else to “interpret”. The law, as written, is crystal clear: spell the name correctly or it won’t count.

    Then again, the Alaska courts have already demonstrated that they don’t have a high regard for what election law actually says.

    Jimmie (7b8555)

  29. It seems like there’s been a lot of effort at throwing monkey wrenches into voter intents.

    Comment by imdw

    AKA break the law in order to help the candidate I hope wins!

    Strange how many of these laws were not an affront to civilization until they stood in Lisa’s way. Now, it’s effort at stealing votes against their intent to stand up for the law.

    This is what Alinsky means by making good people live up to their own set of rules. Democrats and corrupt Republicans wouldn’t hesitate to bend the law in either direction, denying votes or permitting invalid votes. They expect good people to be much more wary of enforcing the law strictly if they sob enough how Miller must be striving to thwart voters.

    So we wind up with two different laws. One for the corrupt and one for the reformers.

    The best solution to a bad law is to enforce it until it is repealed. Otherwise, you have given a tool to the corrupt and are toothless to stop it.

    You can see this kind of double standard all the time.

    If someone’s vote failed to follow the law on how to vote, in this case spelling the name wrong, it is an invalid vote. It’s no more valid than if I wrote “Miller” on the electronic machine in magic marker. If the law is no longer acceptable, it should be changed after this election is determined, instead of in another transparent effort to help the corrupt keep money flowing into the state.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. The law is clear that the spelling of the surname must be identical to the name registered with the state. That was the law when the ballots were mailed out to absentee voters.

    Changing the rules after the game starts is the kind of thing a five-year-old does:

    Kid: (checks hand) um… on this hand, red threes and black fives are wild.

    The Monster (b7a424)

  31. “It’s a good legal analysis, but it omits the constitutional argument”

    Kman – Is the constitution intended as a guarantee against voter stupidity? If so, why were not all ballots for Barack Obama invalidated? Your argument fails on facially stupid grounds.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  32. “The fact that the name is spelled wrong shouldn’t disenfranchise that one voter.”

    The time to have that conversation is well before any particular election. The AK legislature enacted a law that requires the surname be spelled as it appears on the registration submitted to the election officials. If you don’t like the law, lobby the legislature to change it.

    The Monster (b7a424)

  33. I would note that a quick look through Alaska White Pages revealed folk with the last name of:

    - Makowski
    - Markowski
    - Markowsky
    - Mickowski
    - Mikowski
    - Murkowski (with first names other than Lisa)

    In some cases, their first initial was “L”.

    How would one judge that any such write-in vote with one of the above had not been intended for that other Alaska citizen?

    jim2 (6482d8)

  34. Why is it that leftists have such a hard time playing by the rules, as written, when the game started?

    JÐ (109425)

  35. I’m sorry, but if someone wrote in “Lisa Ann Murkowsky, the current Alaska Senator to the U.S. Senate” — the intent is clear to me, and the intent is clear to any reasonable person.

    The fact that the name is spelled wrong shouldn’t disenfranchise that one voter.

    Comment by Kman

    They didn’t vote properly.

    If this law is so unfair, then we should change it… after the election. It is wrong to present voters with a set of rules and then change those rules. This is getting out of hand.

    It’s not a valid vote if I photocopy my ballot or vote with a fake name. It’s not a valid vote if you do not use the actual name of the write-in candidate. They had basically every advantage needed to ensure they voted accurately. I suspect Murkowski will win handily without changing the law to help her gain invalid votes.

    Your argument makes the entire election system impossible, as there are too many ways to vote in an invalid way that someone will think proves their intent. Your extreme example obviously is not such a case, but it was meant to delete the laws on the books.

    Follow the law, to the letter, and the day after the election, you can work to have the law changed. Every voter had the chance to vote, and those who did so incredibly poorly have not had their civil rights hampered whatsoever.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  36. After reading all of the above posts, I can no longer remember how to spell Lisa MurkowskiMurkowsky.

    I’m hoping if I read a few more I’ll completely forget her name.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  37. We all know that enforcing the law is unreasonable. Not gonna happen.

    kansas (7b4374)

  38. Just about anything a liberal thinks is unfair can be called unconstitutional if you stretch one of a few clauses far enough. But this law is not unconstitutional. The government has an interest in running elections fairly. That means some rules will have to exist, and sometimes those rules will make powerful people angry who want the rules changed just this once.

    If you are unable to vote properly, under easy rules, you didn’t vote at all. You have no voter rights beyond the opportunity to vote.

    It certainly is disturbing to consider believing someone wanted to vote for Murkowski and not counting that vote, so we should change the rules. We should simply make it illegal for primary losers to run at all, instead of requiring write ins to be perfect.

    But the real dilemma is that the voters understood that they had to spell the names right, so there probably were some voters who spelled wrong in protest. We can’t change the rules they understood later without stealing their rights. Kman’s constitutionality principle doesn’t make sense unless you are psychic.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  39. Kman’s constitutionality principle doesn’t make sense unless you are psychic.

    BREAKING NEWS: AK Election officials announce John Edward to assist in write-in vote counting.

    </jk>

    The Monster (b7a424)

  40. the monster…

    wait, do you mean the psychic or the former senator who has been cheating on his dying wife?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  41. “Sorry, Lisa. Your illiterate voters should not have their votes counted. The Legislature has spoken.”

    It is kind of amusing how closely the rhetoric sounds like one is cheering for disenfranchising people based on something akin to a literacy test.

    imdw (b3cd6c)

  42. Lo, many years ago, when one of our fellow soldiers had a name with too many consonants, he was always referred to as either “Alphabet” or just plain “Ski”. That way, not even the soldier needed to spell his name correctly.

    Bar Sinister (6b6cc7)

  43. I voted for Zombie Henry David Thoreau for Congress and Wendell Berry for Governor – improperly, no doubt, written over the names of the chumps the D’s and R’s chose to nominate this go-round… but I did spell their names correctly. So there’s that.

    Yeah, you’re welcome Susana Martinez. Enjoy four years of scorn.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  44. “It is kind of amusing how closely the rhetoric sounds like one is cheering for disenfranchising people based on something akin to a literacy test.”

    imdw – Funny, to me it sounds like let’s have an election and then change the rules.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  45. “imdw – Funny, to me it sounds like let’s have an election and then change the rules.”

    Indeed it appears that the rules would be a big problem if people think they function to disenfranchise illiterate voters.

    imdw (ae4d0b)

  46. disenfranchising people based on something akin to a literacy test.

    Comment by imdw

    I know this is over your head, imdw, but yes, a write-in ballot constitutes a literacy test, strictly speaking.

    An Alaskan voter could get assistance if they were unable to read.

    But complaining about democrat poll taxes and voter restrictions from Al Gore Sr doesn’t relate well to very fair rules being enforced until the election is concluded. The voters entered the polling station with certain rules in effect, and I wonder if some made protest votes with misspellings because of their understanding of our rules.

    Changing the rules in an ad hoc way, because a powerful person wants them changed, yet again, is actual disenfranchisement. If someone failed to vote properly on accident, that’s a shame, but their vote doesn’t count.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  47. “If someone failed to vote properly on accident, that’s a shame, but their vote doesn’t count.”

    This rhetoric is more sympathetic than cheering on the disenfranchisement of people you identify as “your illiterate voters.”

    imdw (b3cd6c)

  48. 15. It’s a good legal analysis, but it omits the constitutional argument — to wit, you are potentially violating someone’s rights if you intentionally discount their vote where the intention of that vote is clear.
    Comment by Kman — 11/10/2010 @ 8:27 am

    – By all means, oh wise Constitutional scholar, tell us WHAT right, enumerated in the Constitution, is potentially being violated?

    Icy Texan (219abf)

  49. Dimwit has its meme and will not be dissuaded.

    JÐ (0d2ffc)

  50. Well, I’m so sorry we hurt their feelings, but they are illiterate if they still can’t spell her name. They had to remember it for mere moments, after all.

    I doubt it will be a substantial number of people, and Lisa will be the winner.

    Even dumber than being illiterate is complaining about a literacy test for a write-in vote, though.

    P.S. You sound like an idiot.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  51. imdw’s standard is that there should be no standard, whatsoever.

    Icy Texan (219abf)

  52. Maybe we should require voice recognition software in the polling booth, so that the illiterate may speak their choice instead of trying to write it. Never mind that they ARE allowed to take a literate person into the booth to assist.

    Icy Texan (219abf)

  53. At least Alaskans won’t have to deal with hanging, drooping and pregnant chads. Remembering the photos of the “divining” vote counters in Florida and what a sham that was, makes one even more disgusted with Murkowski for putting Alaskans through this.

    NEW POST:

    “NEW OVERSIGHT CHAIRMAN ISSA (R-CA) VOWS TO TOSS A BA-RACK OF OBAMA DEMS ON THE BARBIE”
    http://heir2freedom.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-house-oversight-chairman-issa-r-ca.html

    heir2freedom (d9456e)

  54. “I know this is over your head, imdw, but yes, a write-in ballot constitutes a literacy test, strictly speaking.”

    Dustin – Take it easy, thinking is hard for imdw.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  55. Sounding like an idiot is easy for such a person.
    It is an idiot!

    AD-RtR/OS! (44d08f)

  56. Icy – it was referring to the absolute Constitutional Right to vote in whatever manner you see fit and f@ck the written clear laws.

    JÐ (0d2ffc)

  57. imdw – If I filled in the box and wrote M on the write-in line, who was I voting for?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  58. How many letters do I need to get right? Who determines whether my phonetic spelling is close enough?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  59. You know, I remember in 2000, when folks had trouble filling out a ballot, and the Democrats thought that they could figure out who the Presidential vote was for, based on other votes.

    Now, that is okay with the Democrats, when it goes there way.

    The only fair way to run this is a situation where both sides are unhappy for the same reason: in this case, that the voter actually bother to spell correctly, or ask for help.

    If that seems racist, I would argue that the criticism itself is racist at its heart.

    But it isn’t. It’s just about getting the person you want to win, to win. That’s all.

    Which is why only counting clear ballots is the way to go. No way to cheat.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  60. would this be close enough to count? “The corrupt one.”

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  61. If I were ileterate or lysdexic or something here’s what I’d do

    1) grasp pen in writing hand
    2) open palm of other hand
    3) carefully write name on palm of said other hand
    4) carefully compare written name to reference newspaper or flyer containing name of intended write-in, alt, have a good friend assist me
    5) go to polling place
    6) write in candidate’s name carefully copying from palm crib sheet

    If voting really matters to you, you can find a way. And why didn’t moocowski publicize the law’s requirements to her supporters?

    chuckR (abd674)

  62. chuckR, to be fair, Lisa did blanket the state with commercials telling them to spell her name correctly.

    You’re right that people who find their vote meaningful will be able to overcome this hurdle. Of course, you can just ask for help if you need help. I’ve never had to, but I would if I did without any shame at all.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  63. Close examination of the relevant Alaska statute reveals a possible (but i think ultimately unpersuasive) counter to the Miller camp’s argument. This is very technical — but courts are often technical in matters of interpretation.  The relevant passage reads as follows:

    (11) A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.

    Now: Miller argues that the phrase “as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy” modifies the phrase “the name … of the candidate or the last name of the candidate.” I agree that is the most natural reading.  However, Murky could argue that it modifies only the phrase “the name … of the candidate.” Meaning there is leeway for the last name only to be misspelled if it appears by itself on the ballot.

    I think this argument is a stretch.  I think it is quite natural to read the phrase as modifying both phrase “the name … of the candidate” and “the last name of the candidate.” Moreover, I can’t see why the legislature would give more leeway to misspell the last name when it appears alone; adding the first name gives even more clarity and certainty, so why allow a misspelling only when the last name appears in isolation?  I think that is another reason Miller’s reading is more natural.

    Patterico (051f9b)

  64. I don’t agree with you, Patterico. The Miller interpretation seems redundant. Why would you talk about the name of the candidate, and then the last name of the candidate? Doesn’t the former cover the latter?

    I think it has something to do with maiden names. Jane Smith declares her candidacy. The following month she marries Tom Jones, and changes her name to Jane Jones. Jane Jones loses her party’s primary, but she runs anyway, hoping for a write-in victory. My reading of that statute says they will accept “Smith” or “Jones”.

    And I don’t think it says anything about spelling.

    Kman (d25c82)

  65. Some people keep talking about disenfranchising people if they’re vote isn’t counted for Murkowski as they intended. The word disenfranchise has to do with the right to vote. Period. As long as they were not hindered from voting, not counting mistaken ballots has nothing to do with disenfranchisement.

    Gerald A (0843ed)

  66. “I think it has something to do with maiden names. Jane Smith declares her candidacy.”

    Kman – I think it has to do with candidates who change their names to mathematical symbols during the course of a campaign. What do you do then?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  67. Kman – I think it has to do with candidates who change their names to mathematical symbols during the course of a campaign. What do you do then?

    Party like it’s 1999?

    Kman (d25c82)

  68. @49 They had to remember it for mere moments, after all.

    Did they? I’ve been voting by mail for several years, but when I voted in person I always took my sample ballot into the booth with me.

    Maybe Alaska should use Soundex rules.

    Murkowski = M620. So any last name with that coding, like Morse or Marx, should count for intent, right? (yeah, I know I’m being ridiculous here)

    malclave (1db6c5)

  69. I was hoping that Joe Miller would win but I think its pretty clear that most voters voted for Lisa Murkowski.

    There is a good legal argument here for spelling the name exactly as written but, let’s be honest, more people voted for her. I’m not even sure if they use a strict spelling standard Joe Miller is going to win.

    Drew (4efc8d)

  70. What is clear is that using “intentionalism” as your principle for interpreting votes is a “fool’s errand.” I saw that concession somewhere today, inside a wall of text designed to obscure it.

    Patterico (051f9b)

  71. What is clear is that using “intentionalism” as your principle for interpreting votes is a “fool’s errand.”

    For every ballot?

    Kman (d25c82)

  72. I was hoping that Joe Miller would win but I think its pretty clear that most voters voted for Lisa Murkowski.

    There is a good legal argument here for spelling the name exactly as written but, let’s be honest, more people voted for her. I’m not even sure if they use a strict spelling standard Joe Miller is going to win.

    Comment by Drew

    You’re 100% right.

    This is extremely unlikely to change the outcome. It seems clear Alaska chose Lisa. Not my preference, but that’s democracy.

    However, the law is the law. If the name isn’t the name on the write-in registration (which is the same as Murkowski’s actual name) then the vote doesn’t count for Murkowski.

    If this law is as awful as some are saying it is, they should enforce it to the letter until it is changed. Playing games with laws you don’t like only allows those laws to persist, and allows the powerful to get preferential treatment.

    To me, it’s a shame if someone doesn’t get their vote counted as they like, and the best way to be fair about it is to make sure the rules are understood before the election and then followed the entire time. It would be a shame to take a protest misspell and count it for Lisa, too.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  73. If this is allowed, intent will be a legal defense in future cases. Your honor, my client did not intend to kill the victim. He was simply trying to get home after a night at the bar.

    Mike (52d229)

  74. I think another angle that would be interesting to examine is the Initiative Petition Process in Alaska.
    http://www.elections.alaska.gov/pbi_ini_gi.php

    Specifically, language of the petition has to be approved and I’m sure the language on each petition must match in order to be counted. Same goes for the signatures of the voters that are reviewed by the Division of Elections.

    One could look back at some Petitions and see how many signatures were thrown out by the Division of Elections. I think it is a buttressing point for Miller’s argument that state law is specific.

    Terry (27e80c)

  75. In many ways this is similar to Gore v Bush (which the US Sp Court got right for the wrong reason – though I think their hands got tied and were forced to make an equal protection claim – when they should have remanded the case with the instructions to follow florida law. The district court did get the right answer for the right reason – just not as well written)
    The constitution provides:
    “Section 4 – Elections, Meetings
    The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.”
    Fairly or unfairly, the Alaskan state legislature provides that the candidate’s name be spelled correctly. This rule may unfairly disqualify votes reasonably seen as an intended vote for murkuski (see I cant spell the name correctly).

    Had the Bush v Gore ruling been a remand with the specific instructions to follow state law as written, bush would have won and the case could be used as precedent.

    Of course all this is moot if the properly written write – votes are for Lisa M.

    joe (6120a4)

  76. Many are making much hay of the U.S. Constitution vs. the law in Alaska. But I don’t see how the Constitution doesn’t support the current Alaska law:

    Article I, Section 4.

    The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

    The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

    I’m sure the Courts have interpreted it in some other way, but that is what it says.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  77. You know I did not know that Miller had previously argued against a ‘literal’ reading of this law.

    “If this is allowed, intent will be a legal defense in future cases. Your honor, my client did not intend to kill the victim. He was simply trying to get home after a night at the bar.”

    This man is brilliant

    imdw (150cd7)

  78. Justin’s comment relates to the link I posted.

    And he’s right. The person who said 98% appear to be write ins for Murkowsi is some kind of anti Palin activist. What a surprise. A 18 months ago this person was complaining that Palin’s kids playing was an eyesore for Juneau, and this had nothing to do with Palin per se. Now, this person is a democrat operative.

    I guess we should take that report with a grain of salt, but I still am pretty sure all but a small fraction of the write ins will be counted for Murkowski.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  79. It would be a shame to take a “protest misspell” and count it for Murkowski?

    How about it’s a shame that those voters didn’t vote for Miller.

    You’re asking the court to nullify the votes of voters that acted in good faith on the “suspicion” that someone was immature enough to instead of directly voting for Joe Miller instead wanted to make a mockery of the process by voting in bad faith by purposefully spelling her name incorrectly.

    Too clever by half.

    I highly doubt voters did that. They have more respect for the process than that.

    That “defense” what do you call it the anti-Occam’s razor with a double half pike?

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  80. Furthermore, Justin’s link strongly suggests Chip isn’t an honest person. It’s a damn shame he’s an election observer then, even if it’s a partisan observer. The parties should send their most honest people for this type of assignment instead of the most cutthroat trouble-makers.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  81. Oh yes I realized I doubled up on the instead have at that instead…ha!

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  82. Make that I’m calling your defense of voters that take marching orders from shock jocks and thus beclown themselves A Reverse Occam’s Razor with a Half Gainer.

    If Loughanis was a lawyer…he’d be you!

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  83. You’re asking the court to nullify the votes of voters that acted in good faith

    If their vote doesn’t actually have the name of a candidate on it, they didn’t vote correctly. The rules were well known. Alaska was blanketed with ads telling people to spell the name correctly.

    So I’m not asking the court to nullify good faith votes. I’m asking the law to be followed, as understood on election day. I realize that’s no more convenient for Lisa than the agreement she had to endorse the GOP primary winner.

    I highly doubt voters did that. They have more respect for the process than that.

    It’s not your place to say. Some reports say some voters indeed misspelled on purpose in protest. It probably happens. And it’s probably a minority of the misspellings. I’m sure most of those were meant for Lisa. Some of her voters screwed up. I bet some Joe Miller voters screwed up too. We can’t just ignore the rules to favor one candidate, though.

    If you hate this law, have it changed after this election is decided. Make sure the voters understand the new rules (as they did in this election) and enforce your new rules even when they don’t work out for the powerful.

    You’re asking the courts to nullify the protest votes against Murkowski that were misspellings, mocking her ad campaign.

    You can sneer that they should have voted for Miller, but that’s none of your damn business anyway. Some people wanted a none of the above option.

    Stop using your imagination to generalize what everyone did or ought to do. We have rules, they are clear, and everyone knew them on election day. Follow the rules. It won’t change the outcome in this case anyway, but that’s beside the point. If you don’t like the law, enforce it instead of letting the most powerful lawyers get it fuzzied up if you’re able to find the right judge for the right people.

    Write-in ballots that do not actually have the name of a candidate shouldn’t count.

    Remember, it was highly publicized that a Lisa M was running against Lisa Murkowski. Some disappointed with Miller decided to just vote for her as a gesture. I’d bet at least a few. Let’s just follow the rules, OK? It’s not that difficult.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  84. Oh yes! and these same clowns voted secure in their knowledge of Alaska statute subset B paragraph D line 12.

    Crap that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week! Ha!

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  85. Make that I’m calling your defense of voters that take marching orders from shock jocks and thus beclown themselves A Reverse Occam’s Razor with a Half Gainer.

    I just wanted to note that you say I’m defending some category of voter out there. You call them clowns. So what? You mock that they probably listen to that radio personality Murkowski had bullied off the air. So what?

    It’s not for you to say they should be counted for Murkowski. The rules should be followed.

    The best reform would be a sore-loser reform banning primary losers from running at all. Murkowski benefited from one side of a process and then cleverly ran again towards the center. Anyone could do this and short circuit many of the elections in our country.

    It worked in Alaska in this case, and that’s the real shame here. But that’s also the law, and I respect that while calling for reform.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  86. Yes you might have the letter of the law on your side, but the common sense of the Alaska citizens can see through all that.

    Legally you all could have a winner here, politically Joe Miller’s name is going to be Mudd. It doesn’t make political sense-it’s not a long term winner strategically.

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  87. Oh yes! and these same clowns voted secure in their knowledge of Alaska statute subset B paragraph D line 12.

    Crap that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week! Ha!

    Comment by madawaskan

    Are you seriously pretending Murkowski did not blanket Alaska with specific instructions telling voters to spell her name accurately? Are you seriously pretending the media didn’t cover the fact that someone named Lisa M was running against Lisa Murkowski, and thus voters need to spell Murkowski’s name?

    Everyone knew this. You suggesting this was some archaic unknown rule is simply a lie. You know you’re wrong.

    Hidden in your lie is the idea that people who didn’t vote the way you want are stupid. Obviously you have contempt for the entire nature of an election. You don’t really care that this isn’t going to impact the election so much as you care about disenfranchising voters you don’t like.

    You won’t see me demanding that people who followed the rules should have their votes taken away despite the rules. That’s what you’re saying.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  88. I’m not saying that and I was referring to Patterico.

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  89. Althouse is also trying to talk to you guys-maybe you should check it out and answer her without going the full nasty.

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  90. Yes you might have the letter of the law on your side, but the common sense of the Alaska citizens can see through all that.

    Legally you all could have a winner here, politically Joe Miller’s name is going to be Mudd.

    Miller asking for the law to be followed is indeed enough for the corrupt slimeballs to pretend he’s some kind of monster. Alaska seems somewhat receptive to this. If Miller can overcome it, I will be impressed. Alaska is corrupt and only a few are able to beat the system.

    But you’re right. I have the law on my side. I’m not asking for much to say the laws should be followed. If you didn’t like this law last year, you should have changed it. Of course, last year it seemed to benefit incumbents like Murkowski, so no one wanted to change it. Funny how things change, right?

    I really don’t see the big injustice here. It seems like a contrived injustice like asking for a photo ID scaring voters away.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  91. If Althouse wants to comment here, she’s welcome to. I think she’s pretty interesting.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  92. I think not counting Merkowskee as a vote because of the statute makes sense in light of the statute. But if it is decided to count misspellings, then not counting it because a few dumbasses decided to misspell her name is ridiculous.

    So in any write-in election where voter intent is the standard, I could invalidate the supporters of that candidate’s votes by publishing a blog post stating I’m planning on misspelling a candidate’s name, but, “Ha! I don’t really like them or intend to vote for them so there.”

    Christoph (8ec277)

  93. I’m not saying that and I was referring to Patterico.

    Comment by madawaskan

    My (completely understandable) mistake.

    Anyhow, everyone knew the rules. I suspect at least a few people relied on those rules and voted for Lisa M. Prove to me they didn’t go a step further to ‘Lisa murcorruptski’?

    We can’t pretend to know. We have to expect the voters to rely on the rules, follow the rules, and change the rules later if we still want to (they won’t, since after this election, Sen Murkowski will benefit from the rule this way).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  94. Althouse rocks.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  95. And Christoph’s right. If the rule is simply ‘we will vote based on your intent… you do not have to spell the name right’, then that changes the entire issue.

    It means voters will be less prone to obnoxiously misspell, or vote for Lisa M to show support for Fagan, the fired radio blowhard.

    They will rely on this other rule.

    One thing it won’t change is that Senator Murkowski remains Senator Murkowski.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  96. I do think this will all be moot. I think she’ll have enough votes with correct spellings. And I for one have no particular animus toward Alaskans for choosing who they want to represent them.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  97. Well I said you *might*….

    If we’re following the letter of the law-where does it say anything about spelling?

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  98. After reading the statute how do you justify Miller’s wishes for strict adherence to the statute with his concurrent effort to have write-ins for himself counted?

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  99. It would be poetic justice if she loses because her voters couldn’t spell her name.

    She lost the primary and should be vacationing in Malawi right now. But no, poor widdle Lisa wants to stay in power.

    Richard Romano (5cff42)

  100. If we’re following the letter of the law-where does it say anything about spelling?

    Comment by madawaskan

    I think that’s what the law is saying when it asked for the actual name to appear. If it intended to say something else, such as not the name but the intent for the name, it would have said so.

    There are canons of legal interpretation that shouldn’t be overlooked to stretch a rule or two. The laws were written and interpreted with this in mind.

    This is, after all, why the state was blanketed with ads telling voters how to spell, letter by letter.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  101. And I can’t deny #99′s got a great point.

    But let’s look at the law.

    as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.

    So is a vote for Murcorruptski “as it appears” on the write-in declaration or the last name of the candidate?

    No.

    Is a vote for Miller “as it appears” on the write in declaration? Of course not, but it is the last name of the candidate.

    I still think this fails because the entire section refers to a vote for a “write-in” candidate, which Miller is not. But it’s discussing the vote rather than the candidate.

    I don’t think it’s nearly as clear, then, that it matters if Miller is a write in candidate as it matters if he is a candidate and his name actually matches the write in vote.

    But still, madawaskan’s got a fair point. Someone attempting to vote for Miller who didn’t manage to do so properly, with a mark by his name, didn’t vote any more correctly than someone who didn’t manage to get Murkowski’s declared name on their ballot.

    Not quite as cut and dry as madawaskan may think, but I still agree with him or her.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  102. The family has been in power, for thirty years, can they not know how to spell the name,

    justin cord (82637e)

  103. Dustin-

    Her! damn it -her!

    Why online is everyone so surprised when they find that out!

    Never fails.

    I have masculine typing…ha!

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  104. @77 But I don’t see how the Constitution doesn’t support the current Alaska law

    You’re forgetting the Commerce Clause. Sicne votes can be bought and sold, they can be regulated by the federal government as it sees fit (isn’t that the “Obamacare is constitutional” argument?).

    malclave (1db6c5)

  105. Yes the rule if you mispell the name, on a write in ballot it shouldn’t count

    justin cord (82637e)

  106. If I don’t like your canons, I’ll bring my cannons.

    It’s a saying from the Olde French-they’re mostly dead now.

    {okay, okay-I’m out!]

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  107. “Period. As long as they were not hindered from voting, not counting mistaken ballots has nothing to do with disenfranchisement.”

    My god this is dumb.

    imdw (043f60)

  108. Since you folks insisted on every morsel about Christine’s background, let’s put the observer in context, think of it as his Zoom info profile

    ARC OF A THOMA

    Tim Blair
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 03:42am

    1969. The highlight of Alaska resident Chip Thoma’s life: he is given a security job at Woodstock and spends the entire concert next to the stage.

    1970s-80s. Chip is given several drink-driving tests, which he fails four times over ten years. He spends time in prison following a cocaine conviction.

    2009. Chip is given to complaining about a lemonade stand run by Piper Palin, seven-year-old daughter of Alaska’s governor. He spends most days railing against tourists who want to see the governor’s mansion.

    He also promoted the head tax on cruise ships that have decimated Alaskan tourism

    justin cord (82637e)

  109. peace out
    joining levin’s team
    fewer celebrity wannabe’s

    pk (5873e5)

  110. Since you folks insisted on every morsel about Christine’s background

    ?

    What’s wrong with that? She wanted to be a Senator.

    There’s a big difference from legit news, like that radio interview that exposed dishonesty, and the Gawker nastiness.

    I feel bad for O’donnell. It took a lot of guts to run in a blue state and face the storm of hatred. She paid for her sins, in my opinion, and while I still don’t think she’s a good candidate I don’t want to bash her.

    I just see no problem with talking about the news, even when it’s exposing a conservative.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  111. My god this is dumb.

    Yes using a word to mean what it actually means is dumb.

    Gerald A (0843ed)

  112. Personally, I think Murkowski (is that spelled right? Don’t know, don’t care, don’t live in Alaska) was brilliant in her write-in candidacy.

    First, she knew the media would come to her aid. Being establishment does carry weight.

    But the real brilliance was understanding what everyone here is arguing about. She knew if she received enough write-in votes, the vast majority would be granted her based on “intent.”

    She knew she still had a lot of support in Alaska despite Miller’s win.

    She knew that disenfranchisement of the electorate is akin to treason, in modern terms and no election official nor Court would throw out a ballot as long as an “L” or an “M” was legible.

    She knew that Miller’s candidacy would be called into question because of Palin’s and the Tea Party’s support. And she probably suspected Miller would misstep in the general election, as he did, with the help of a complicit media.

    I’m not judging her decision or the electorate of Alaska. I’m just saying as a politician, she calculated well. A pair of deuces beats the Ace of Kings.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  113. So — and let me see if I have this straight — anyone who walked into the voting place planning to vote write-in was handed a guide to ALL the write-in candidates. To my understanding, that was unprecedented, and due to lobbying from the Murkowski campaign. They’ve already caught one break, in other words.

    So now voters who want to vote for her have her NAME in their HANDS. And if they still misspell it as “Murkowsky” or “Merkowski” or something, despite it being right there in front of them, where they could painstakingly copy it letter by laborious letter if need be…then we’re supposed to give into their INTENT, in clear violation of a law that requires a candidate’s name to be spelled correctly for the vote to count?

    Dude. SCREW THAT.

    Demosthenes (ca616f)

  114. Then they wonder how we got Franken, who failed to pay taxes in 37 states, felon votes apparently, Begich, the one with the GED, who left his town in debt to 20 million dollars, Who ever was the non entity who replaced Craig,

    justin cord (82637e)

  115. So now voters who want to vote for her have her NAME in their HANDS.

    They weren’t allowed to bring the list into the polling place.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  116. a. I’m just saying as a politician, she calculated well. A pair of deuces beats the Ace of Kings.

    Comment by Ag80

    She certainly made a fool out of me and many others who declared her move a completely pointless DOA failure. I was very, very wrong.

    You’re right. This was a brilliant political move that made history. I can’t stand her and I think the move was disrespectful to her political party and her own word. But it’s still impressive.

    And AG80 is right that the calculation about the system never letting an issue such as the law skew this election (which it won’t) is pure politics and insightful. And I think that’s wrong, but that doesn’t mean anything.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  117. This is yet another trespass, indignity against the constitution, look how many rules were broken, how
    broadcasters were taken off the air, at least briefly, how confidential personnel records were forced out in the open,

    justin cord (82637e)

  118. “They weren’t allowed to bring the list into the polling place.”

    Christoph – The Alaska SC ruled that voters could be provided a list of write-in candidates in the polling place. That’s why 160 candidates signed up.

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  119. “What is clear is that using “intentionalism” as your principle for interpreting votes is a “fool’s errand.” I saw that concession somewhere today, inside a wall of text designed to obscure it.”

    Patterico – If you look really carefully and ignore the whingeing about not understanding things, you see something about the importance of following conventions or some such blather, which is really means, follow the law as written or established precedent in circumstances such as this. All the other crap is just camouflage.

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  120. Christoph – The Alaska SC ruled that voters could be provided a list of write-in candidates in the polling place. That’s why 160 candidates signed up.

    I stand corrected.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  121. EPWJ, I think he probably made a good call.

    Doesn’t improve my impression of Miller, but if you just plain don’t like someone enough that you think it affects your judgment, it’s best to admit it and move on.

    Murkowski is corrupt, BTW.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  122. Patterico – If you look really carefully and ignore the whingeing about not understanding things, you see something about the importance of following conventions or some such blather, which is really means, follow the law as written or established precedent in circumstances such as this. All the other crap is just camouflage.

    Bingo.

    The “fool’s errand” quote concedes my argument.

    The other 500,000 words are a smokescreen designed to hide the concession.

    I saw through it in two seconds flat.

    In other news, it looks like I really hurt Mark Levin’s feelings. Three Facebook posts about me in one day is a record, I think. Apparently someone is rather insecure.

    Patterico (051f9b)

  123. Levin lost 100% of his credibility when he refused to issue a blatantly needed correction. Only a complete idiot would find anything he writes to be reliable.

    I just can’t bother with more of his ranting nonsense when he’s got no credibility with reasonable people.

    I used to find his ranting entertaining… but he’s just another Andrew Sullivan. His actual position is meaningless, and they are otherwise indistinguishable. He’s an elitist who wants to be a bully, but just can’t pull it off unless he can hang up on the person he’s arguing with.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  124. Seriously, daley, I just re-read that entire pile of blather, and putting aside all the personal attacks and huffing and puffing, what I saw was that it is a capital idea to pass a law that ignores the voter’s actual intent in favor of something workable.

    Which, as it happens, is exactly what I said in my post.

    Everything else is blah blah blah blah blah. Thousands of words of intellectually dishonest bullshit, designed to obscure the indisputable fact that intentionalism fails in this context.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  125. Do I dispute that people intended what they intended? Of course not. That would be silly.

    What I have always argued is what deference the law should give to that intent. That the deference should not be absolute in certain contexts.

    It appears, buried in a mound of petty words, that there is finally an admission that I was right. That what is “workable” is more important than intent in certain circumstances — counting votes being one of them.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  126. #41, and what’s wrong with literacy tests? Just because 50 years ago, in one region, the tests were being administered unfairly, how does that invalidate the concept, or make it somehow unconstitutional? The Supreme Court way overstepped itself in that decision, and the consequences for America have been devastating. Many people vote today who shouldn’t be allowed to, and bad laws are made by those they elect. Competency tests for voting should be reinstated immediately, with adequate safeguards to make sure they’re administered in a completely neutral manner.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  127. “oh good grief!”

    Wow that’s a good reason to form a negative opinion of someone.

    imdw (095c5d)

  128. #42, I too have a name with many letters that ends in “-ski”. For all purposes that don’t require government-issued photo ID, I use an easily spelled short form. Until 1996 that included domestic flights; that’s when they started requiring ID, and giving you a hard time if you didn’t have it or the names didn’t match. At work, everyone but the HR department knows me only by the short name.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  129. You know this is the double standard, back in 2000, they threw out the absentee ballots of the rescue team for the USS Cole, while letting felons and dead
    people to vote in Florida, through the Grace family and Friedman and Kimberlin, they tried to delegitimate the results of elections from 2002 onward, with Diebold, the point of sale terminal people as the bogeyman (I spell it out, so there’s no misunderstanding) they used Nikki Diaz, as close
    to the election to sabotage Whitman, to recreate the same circumstances, that befell Huffington

    justin cord (82637e)

  130. #100

    After reading the statute how do you justify Miller’s wishes for strict adherence to the statute with his concurrent effort to have write-ins for himself counted?

    (9) Write-in votes are not invalidated by writing in the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot unless the election board determines, on the basis of other evidence, that the ballot was so marked for the purpose of identifying the ballot.

    That’s how.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  131. 99.

    If we’re following the letter of the law-where does it say anything about spelling?

    …if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.

    That’s where. If it’s not spelt correctly then it’s not as it appears on the declaration. The only exception is that the statute specifically permits the voter to omit the candidate’s first name/s.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  132. “#41, and what’s wrong with literacy tests?”

    I thought the ‘if we let them vote but don’t count their votes they’re not disenfranchised’ line took the cake. But then this comes along.

    imdw (3ac9fb)

  133. Your mendacity never ceases, does it?

    JD (5117ab)

  134. Wait until the guy does the limbo about not counting the votes of overseas armed forces personnel. Because that is okay.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  135. ….‘if we let them vote but don’t count their votes they’re not disenfranchised’….

    That’s not a position anyone here has espoused. I’m not surprised you’re deliberately mischaracterizing the debate.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  136. Is “Joe” really Joe Miller’s legal first name? Or is it Joseph? This could go on and on and on.

    Lizzy (5195cf)

  137. 139.Is “Joe” really Joe Miller’s legal first name? Or is it Joseph?

    That would only matter if Miller were a write-in candidate.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  138. I like this line from the Goldstein post:

    “When a voter intends to cast a vote for Murkowski, she intends to cast a vote for Murkowsi.”

    Simple spelling error? Or MALICIOUS HIJACKING OF VOTER INTENT??????

    Looks like these so-called “intentionalists” have been in the bag for Murkowsi all along…

    Leviticus (7c0224)

  139. Some chump – their concept of disenfranchisement seems to be that one is disenfranchised if they are not allowed to vote when they want, as many times as they want, without identifying themselves, and in whatever manner they deem appropriate.

    JÐ (306f5d)

  140. I thought the ‘if we let them vote but don’t count their votes they’re not disenfranchised’ line took the cake. But then this comes along.

    Umm…first, no one said anything like the first position you espouse. A voter who incorrectly marks a ballot is not disenfranchised — or at least, not by the state — if their vote for that race doesn’t get counted. I suppose it’s arguable whether they disenfranchised themselves.

    And if you’re going to bluster over having a literacy test administered, perhaps you should justify your position a little further. Why, exactly, shouldn’t a voter at least be able to READ THE BALLOT?

    Demosthenes (ca616f)

  141. “When a voter intends to cast a vote for Murkowski, she intends to cast a vote for Murkowsi.”

    Leviticus – Funny thing about those conventions Jeff suggests we need to defer to in this situation. They exist all over the place in the way people evaluate people evaluate speech or how language works. How do we evaluate if a speaker has failed to signal his/her intent? Hey, one novel idea is to think about what conventional usage of the words the speaker used means. ZOMG! But if the speaker worried about how his/her audience would interpret his/her words, that would be somehow wrong. The audience is not allowed to privilege the speakers intent. Some privileged few who understand the passwords and secret handshakes, however, are allowed to determine that the speaker failed to signal his/her intent.

    Paraphrasing Alcee Hastings, the rules, we make them up as we go.

    Now shut up and pass me the pepper, or did I mean salt, you freaking egrets.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  142. Why, exactly, shouldn’t a voter at least be able to READ THE BALLOT?

    They are citizens. Why should a voter who has been so failed by his culture and state not be allowed to vote to change things? By, for example, voting for a candidate that supports literacy training.

    The percentage of voters who can’t read is small. If, however, it isn’t small, then the state has problems it should fix.

    Citizens should be allowed to vote because it is unethical to govern them without their consent: That means they are living under tyranny.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  143. “Looks like these so-called “intentionalists” have been in the bag for Murkowsi all along…”

    Leviticus – You must be misinterpreting the intent of those classical liberal intentionalists. They are clearly more authentic conservatives than you.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  144. For that matter, a stupid person is still a human being. Why should they not have a say in who governs them?

    If you required IQ testing for voting, this would tend to move the electorate to the left.

    Liberals are very often wrong — precisely because their greater intelligence leads them to seek new solutions to old problems. Conservatives, on the other hand, prefer tried and tested old and true solutions to problems … in part, because of their discomfort with the new. Faith, conservatism (keeping with tradition) are thought-conserving strategies.

    These thought-conserving strategies had evolutionary advantages, though, as they allowed a greater percentage of a person’s mental resources to be focused on survival and reproduction rather than trying to understand new things.

    But those with greater intelligence have the surplus resources to make the effort … as scientists, leftists with their grandiose and often wrong (not time-tested) social theories, etc.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  145. imdw – You never answered my question yesterday about how many letters a voter had to get right or whether the phonetic spelling had to be right for a vote to count for Murkowski.

    Where would you set the standards if you had to make the call?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  146. Yeah, liberals are super-intelligent. All the ones I see on welfare and in the criminal courts totally wow me with their smarts.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  147. Murkowsi will make you smart, if you vote for it. Murkowsi is the Future.

    Leviticus (5d7b1d)

  148. There are many exceptions, Patterico. The scientific data (with most scientists being liberals) shows the opposite is true on average.

    “Yeah, liberals are super-intelligent. All the ones I see on welfare and in the criminal courts totally wow me with their smarts.”

    Those aren’t the people leading leftist thought. Any more than your average religious person mindlessly singing platitudes at church about warm and fuzzy lamb Jesus yet overlooking (in the highly unlikely event they’ve even read their entire Holy Text’s) the barbarism, allegedly ordered by God, of Moses and the Jewish warriors and the murder of the Midinaite children and the rape of their young girl virgins, the only allowed to survive.

    Among others.

    I could go on and on and on. It’s ghastly. It’s stupid not least of which because the Bible contradicts itself relentlessly. And it’s not uncommon among traditional Republican conservative voters to worship such a “God” and consider its (thought-conserving) Holy Book the true word of said “God”.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  149. There is a negative relationship between religiosity and intelligence, a positive relationship between conservatism and religiosity.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  150. Christoph, Kanazawa’s paper is a load of hand-waving crap, no less for the fact that the data he relies upon is of testing of adolescents.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  151. “There is a negative relationship between religiosity and intelligence”

    Link please.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  152. “yet overlooking (in the highly unlikely event they’ve even read their entire Holy Text’s) the barbarism, allegedly ordered by God, of Moses and the Jewish warriors”

    Dude – Give it a rest with your religion bashing. We get it that you don’t like religion. Go have a threesome.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  153. Possibly, SPQR. Yet the majority of religious leaders and devout followers are conservative, aren’t they? The majority of scientists serious science students are liberals, aren’t they?

    Now, one could argue who is more intelligent: Religious leaders or scientists. But you already know my opinion on the subject.

    And that’s what I’m doing. Expressing an opinion. My opinion is that conservatives are more often right because they rely on tradition and tradition has stood the test of time. Liberals are, on average, slightly smarter, but are more often wrong for several reasons best explored by neuro-science, but one of those is they pursue novel solutions. And it’s tough to come up with that many new, good solutions.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  154. Rush Limbaugh — while obviously not conceding that conservatives are any less intelligent than liberals — makes the same point about conservatives being more often right because they shun new solutions a lot of the time.

    And I think he’s right about that, regardless of what their reason is for doing so.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  155. Christoph, I think the most disturbing thing is that you think you’ve proven something.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  156. Wait a minute: Christoph dismisses the number of stupid liberals because they’re “not leading leftist thought” but holds as an example religious conservative voters, who by reflection are also “not leading conservative thought”.

    Nice try, o pompous one.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  157. Christoph repeatedly has unthoughtful ways of attempting to prove someone is somehow horrible.

    I’ve challenged him on it and he gets awfully nasty because, as DRJ noted when I first encountered Christoph, it says a lot more about him than anyone else that he uses rhetoric he’s using.

    Anyway, Milhouse is raising a great point and it’s unfortunate that this guy is going to flame the thread into a completely different direction.

    I think Milhouse wants to show that it’s not really consent to any kind of government for someone who can’t read and has very little information (certainly not reliable information) to somehow attempt to choose our leaders. We can pretend we’ve given the illiterate suffrage, but that’s not really what’s going on when someone who can’t even operate a ballot and a pencil shows up to vote.

    Expanding suffrage, to teenagers, to people who don’t own property, or don’t pay taxes, or never serve in the military… well, I don’t have a problem with this generally. But citizens who vote should have some basic awareness of the world. They absolutely ought to be able to read and write and have a basic education.

    Is that unfair to dumb people? Of course it is. I’m trying to help them, though, just as I am helping a blind person by driving them in a car.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  158. SPQR, I’m advancing an idea for discussion and consideration. Not an idea I would expect conservatives to embrace warmly (that their opponents are, on average, not actually stupid: far from it … and that they may even be smarter).

    I don’t think I’ve proven that idea.

    I would be very interested (and would prefer it) to learn that people on the right of the political spectrum are smarter. I don’t see convincing evidence for my preference though.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  159. Good point, Some Chump.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  160. Christoph, the claim that conservatives are less intelligent is not a novel one. It shows up from time to time based on some hopelessly compromised “social sciences” crap study.

    That you fall for this, and as far as I can tell, based on at best a superficial reading of the paper, does not surprise me.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  161. I find the entire debate somewhat surreal – trying to associate superior intelligence with a particular political philosophy is, to my mind, a species of mindless tribalism.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  162. “The majority of scientists serious science students are liberals, aren’t they?”

    Soft sciences or hard sciences? Soft sciences probably.

    Do you know anything about liberal selection bias in professor hiring decisions Christoph?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  163. Shocker, Christoph hates religion. And it has now sunk to parroting one of nishidiot/wheelers memes. Just wait for yelverton/w/pam to come along with his “science” showing conservatives are genetically inferior.

    Christoph presneted that as a fact , not an opinion as he now claims.

    JÐ (109425)

  164. Wait a minute: Christoph dismisses the number of stupid liberals because they’re “not leading leftist thought” but holds as an example religious conservative voters, who by reflection are also “not leading conservative thought”.

    No. Then I put up the example of religious thinkers vs. scientists. We could go on with economist vs. economist, etc., and I would immediately concede there are many intelligent people on the right and left and bunches of stupid people on either.

    I am saying that there is a certain non-trivial amount of people who are liberals because their brains are made such that they want to find new solutions to things (new in the evolutionary novel sense, not necessarily new as within the last 5 minutes ago or even 50 years) and others lean heavily toward old solutions to things. In general, those preferring new solutions will be — in a “g” or general intelligence sense — more intelligent than those predisposed to traditional solutions. And since conservatism is the embrace of the traditional, these groups will be divided left/right.

    What is the difference that draws some people left and others right?

    There are many. Collectivism vs. individualism, religious vs. less-religious, and many others, including many I haven’t thought of. One of those is novelty-seeking in the evolutionary sense, and this is behavior that comes about because of our evolved high intelligence, surplus to our survival and reproductive needs.

    I would also argue that modern man is, indeed, smarter than anatomically similar man of 10-100,000 years ago (and this has largely lead to our explosion of civilization and technology), but that is a discussion for another day. Grossly simplified, however, increasing population leads to increased intelligence and, as this happens, populations and electorates are generally drifting leftward.

    Slowly, but noticeably, even in America.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  165. “Yet the majority of religious leaders and devout followers are conservative, aren’t they?”

    Christoph – Are predominantly black churches liberal or conservative?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  166. Christoph – Why do you try to inject religion into every thread on this blog?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  167. I find the entire debate somewhat surreal – trying to associate superior intelligence with a particular political philosophy is, to my mind, a species of mindless tribalism.

    Comment by aphrael —

    That’s a great point. It’s a completely irrational topic. It’s not like Christoph could even make the claim generally without contradicting himself (he is stupid, in other words).

    Some people have a need to prove to themselves they are better than other people. Some people even have an uncontrollable urge that leads them to think about this practically all the time.

    And just speaking logically, it’s not relevant. If Paul Krugman can explain a dizzying plan for inflation and debt and building a different economic system, that amazing complexity doesn’t prove he’s right. We shouldn’t really need 150+ IQs for most of our policy positions.

    That’s not to say smart people are wrong… it’s just not a factor that reasonable people consider, unless all they are trying to do is trash talk.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  168. Anyhow, was Milhouse wrong? Is there actually something wrong with requiring voters to be able to read and write? To me it sounds almost like asking if there’s something wrong with requiring voters to be able to vote.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  169. “Slowly, but noticeably, even in America.”

    Cgristoph – Historical polling data I do not believe support this hypothesis.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  170. “Christoph presneted that as a fact , not an opinion as he now claims.”

    I presented it as scientific data. The opinion portion is that, flawed or otherwise, I agree the data is likely true because it makes sense.

    I do agree with Kanazawa’s reasoning including the use of adolescent testing, which is more prevalent and supplies a larger data set. What he is saying is that more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be liberal and vice versa.

    Well, it may suck that the data supports that, but it does.

    I don’t think I’ve proven it, but I think it is likely true. I’m open to contrary evidence based on actual intelligence testing. Adult tests are fine provided the sample is good.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  171. aphrael, indeed. And I would ridicule an attempt to associate “liberalism” with low intelligence too. Its an attempt to delegitimize political opinion.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  172. “Historical polling data I do not believe support this hypothesis.”

    I’m not saying the left/right divide of parties show more people vote left. That goes up and down.

    I’m saying American society as a whole has become more liberal as have most other (non-theocratic) societies. Which drags both parties left, by and large.

    How many Republicans support gay marriage now? For example.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  173. “I would be very interested (and would prefer it) to learn that people on the right of the political spectrum are smarter. I don’t see convincing evidence for my preference though.”

    Funny, I have not seen you present convincing evidence to the contrary. So where are we?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  174. daleyrocks, as you know, he’s pretending that he wins if his argument completely fails. This way, he can make terrible claims, repeatedly, while preserving his unbelievably fragile ego.

    dmac is right… it’s a waste of time to even bother with him.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  175. And look at the Democratic party! It’s obviously a lot more left than it once was. Yet it still commands roughly half the votes.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  176. “I’m not saying the left/right divide of parties show more people vote left.”

    Neither am I. I am saying long-term attitudinal studies do not support your hypothesis.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  177. To that point, I think that reasonable people do consider expertise in the sense of, I’m talking to someone who has worked with and thought about and grappled with these issues, so the odds are that he has some insights about it that I don’t from my more limited experience working with/thinking about/grappling with them … so I should give some weight to what he’s saying because of that.

    That’s not the same thing as intelligence … but even then, I think that reasonable people are more receptive to an argument which shows signs of thought, and which is presented in an articulate fashion, than they would to the same argument coming from a mentally retarded person.

    Which is to say: intelligence is a factor, just not a controlling one – and there’s absolutely no good reason to assume a correlation between political viewpoint and intelligence. At least in part because a lot of political differences boil down to differences in base axioms. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  178. Those aren’t the people leading leftist thought.

    Let’s move the goalposts back to where you originally planted them: on the turf of where the electorate would be if you required intelligence testing to vote.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  179. “Funny, I have not seen you present convincing evidence to the contrary. So where are we?”

    Data showing more intelligent children grow up to be liberals, less intelligent children grow up to be conservatives.

    Analyses of large representative samples, from both the United States and the United Kingdom, confirm this prediction. In both countries, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be liberals than less intelligent children. For example, among the American sample, those who identify themselves as “very liberal” in early adulthood have a mean childhood IQ of 106.4, whereas those who identify themselves as “very conservative” in early adulthood have a mean childhood IQ of 94.8.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  180. “Let’s move the goalposts back to where you originally planted them: on the turf of where the electorate would be if you required intelligence testing to vote.”

    Fair enough. See above.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  181. [W]e commonly speak of the 19th Amendment as giving women the “right to vote,” or the 15th giving slaves the “right to vote” — but we are wrong to do so. The 15th Amendment prevents the Government from depriving citizens of the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The 19th Amendment prevents the Government from depriving citizens of the right to vote “on account of sex.” But nothing in the Constitution prevents the Government from depriving everyone equally of the right to vote. You can read the Constitution as long and hard as you like, but you won’t find a provision anywhere in it that confers upon ordinary citizens something called the “right to vote.”

    This is from Patterico’s latest blog entry. I think it’s very timely for Milhouse’s comments, too.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  182. “Shocker, Christoph hates religion. And it has now sunk to parroting one of nishidiot/wheelers memes.”

    JD – Just so. Although he has denied it before, it is here plain as day. Conservatives are anti-science. Liberals are smarter than conservatives. Most scientists are liberals. Most conservatives are religious. Most religious people are stupid. Conservatives believe in preserving things not change. The world in changing rapidly, especially science. Conservative are anti-science.

    Crock meet Christoph.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  183. Although he has denied it before

    daleyrocks, I haven’t denied that I despise the outright brutal immorality of the Abrahamic religions in particular as taught by their own texts, which I started reading in shock and horror after I let my emotions (and probably quite natural human instinct to religious thinking) convert me.

    Unlike many religious people, I thought I should read my own Holy Books from the beginning to get a sense of it. I started with the Old Testament.

    So what you allege is completely false, daleyrocks.

    What I have said is that as a supporter of individual freedom, I support others’ rights to be religious and practice their religion as long as doing so involves respecting the rights of others (not to enter an arranged marriage, for example). I also love my lovers and friends who are religious, despite often disagreeing — even arguing strongly — about religion with them.

    I also have expressly and repeatedly reserved the right to criticize religion. So for you to say I haven’t is nonsensical. If you don’t retract it, it’s also dishonest,.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  184. Of course, Christoph does not bother to note that there is a rebuttal at the end of the piece, which says that the findings seem “remarkably improbable, most likely the result of a flawed study, and certainly part of a pervasive anti-conservative problem in psychology.” But you just go ahead and keep citing bad studies, Christoph. At the very least, that allows the rest of us to peg YOUR intelligence.

    You can find the rebuttal here. And an in-depth look at why the methodology of the study is flawed may be found here.

    Demosthenes (b04fc5)

  185. My parents never told me my IQ. They said it would be wrong to set a bar for yourself based on something that didn’t really mean anything, once you accounted for other factors – hard work, humility, and an inquisitive disposition, a hunger for knowledge. I still don’t know it, because at some point I saw the wisdom in their decision and stopped asking.

    Leviticus (5d7b1d)

  186. “So what you allege is completely false, daleyrocks.”

    Christoph – What I am saying you have explicitly denied saying before is that conservatives are anti-science. That is one of nishi’s favorite memes. That was the conclusion of my comment. All you really had to do was read and think about it.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  187. Christoph – So in effect what you said before was completely false. You are a liar and have no honor.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  188. Murkowsi will correlate all sorts of things with religion, if you vote for it – and are prone to believing such things.

    Murkowsi is the Future.

    Leviticus (5d7b1d)

  189. “If you don’t retract it, it’s also dishonest,.”

    Christoph – Since you did not read my comment or lack the intellectual capacity to understand it, there will be no retraction.

    I suggest you start your own political party, perhaps the Three Peat Party, PORN, POLYGAMY, and PERSONALITY CULT.

    Let me know how that works out.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  190. Murkowsi supports personality cults, provided that it can establish a personality for itself.

    Leviticus (5d7b1d)

  191. (I’ll stop this fairly soon, but it’s highly amusing to me for some reason – the idea of all sorts of political malfeasance being bundled into and personified by this single term, Murkowsi, just has a certain appeal to me… it seems like the perfect word for it).

    Leviticus (5d7b1d)

  192. Leviticus – You’re on a roll. Go for it.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  193. Leviticus,

    I’m been laughing at the Murkowsi jokes.

    The MYSTERIOUS MURKOWSI is all.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  194. “Shocker, Christoph hates religion. And it has now sunk to parroting one of nishidiot/wheelers memes.”

    JD – Just so. Although he has denied it before, it is here plain as day.

    Yes, well, obviously I thought you were referring to me denying I hate religion, because that is the part you blockquoted and your comment was immediately after that. So this is an example of poor writing on your part.

    Of course I deny saying that conservatives are anti-science. Many conservatives like science and some — a smaller number than political liberals — are even good at it.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  195. Murkowsi demands that all votes for “Murkowski” be relegated unto it, in keeping with the obvious intent of the voters of Alaska to install Murkowsi in an unending and glorious reign. Murkowsi doesn’t like this Joe Miller, and thinks he is an enemy of Progress and Assimilation.

    Leviticus (5d7b1d)

  196. “So this is an example of poor writing on your part.”

    Soi pissant.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  197. “Of course I deny saying that conservatives are anti-science.”

    Then debunk #184.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  198. What a pity. It’s been almost an hour, and I have yet to see Christoph’s take on my #186, responding to his #181 and #182. Then again, how does one respond to being pwned?

    Demosthenes (b04fc5)

  199. My parents never told me my IQ. They said it would be wrong to set a bar for yourself based on something that didn’t really mean anything, once you accounted for other factors – hard work, humility, and an inquisitive disposition, a hunger for knowledge. I still don’t know it, because at some point I saw the wisdom in their decision and stopped asking.

    IQ is bullshit because it takes results from a single test and pretends to extract an immutable characteristic.

    I took two such tests as a child and the results were nine points apart. (77 and 86 are nine points apart, right? :) That’s for the benefit of the h8ers.) I find it hard to believe that I was innately nine points more intelligent at age x vs. age y.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  200. You can find the rebuttal here. And an in-depth look at why the methodology of the study is flawed may be found here.

    Comment by Demosthenes — 11/11/2010 @ 12:16 pm

    Yes, that’s a pretty strong critique: Essentially that the margin of error was too high because of the method used to extrapolate IQ based on another test. This use of proxy data was not highlighted in Kanazawa’s article.

    SPQR’s specific critique of the fact young people’s IQ was tested wasn’t persuasive. IQ at youth correlates strongly with IQ throughout life and also the point of the study was to show smart kids become smart liberal young adults, and the reverse.

    But the quality of the data was cast in doubt. Clearly I can’t use this as sufficient basis as evidence for the hypothesis.

    It might be true. It might not be true. But I don’t have the data to prove it (and I said above I don’t have sufficient data to prove it: that is more true now).

    Since when I take the sundry political tests, I always come out as center-right of the political spectrum, libertarian, I won’t lose any sleep over it if my original idea is falsified.

    I would be very interested (and would prefer it) to learn that people on the right of the political spectrum are smarter. I don’t see convincing evidence for my preference though.

    I see problems with Kanazawa’s methodology now. Thank you for drawing that to my intention.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  201. *attention

    Christoph (8ec277)

  202. What a pity. It’s been almost an hour, and I have yet to see Christoph’s take on my #186, responding to his #181 and #182.

    I was reading.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  203. Hmm. Well, that was less satisfying than I’d hoped. On the bright side, I see you’re open to correction when new evidence is brought to light — which is always a positive.

    Demosthenes (b04fc5)

  204. What I mean is very simple, and was perfectly obvious to everyone until ~50 years ago: people who demonstrably can’t vote intelligently, shouldn’t be allowed to vote at all.

    I also think people who make their living from the taxpayers’ funds should have no say in the raising and disbursement of those funds; in order to vote, a person should be a net tax-payer rather than tax-receiver.

    And those who have no interest in or knowledge of politics, and area therefore not inclined to vote, should not be encouraged to do so, let alone cajoled and told that it’s some sort of civic duty. Their choices are little better than random, and don’t provide useful information on who should govern. Instead of lamenting how low turnout is, we should be happy that more morons don’t turn out. In Australia, where voting is compulsory, about 4% of voters simply number the choices top to bottom; this is called the “donkey vote”. These votes are meaningless, and if it weren’t compulsory they wouldn’t bother.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  205. And Patterico, you’ve posted articles asking why people doubt AGW.

    There are many reasons, but that proxy data, it can come back to bite ya.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  206. On the bright side, I see you’re open to correction when new evidence is brought to light — which is always a positive.

    Thanks.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  207. You should be a little more skeptical of “studies” that come to such ludicrous conclusions, Christoph.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  208. You should be a little more skeptical of “studies” that come to such ludicrous conclusions, Christoph.

    True. However, the reasoning behind the hypothesis makes sense. It’s the data that has too large of a margin of error.

    *The hypothesis being that people who are more intelligent will be more likely to choose solutions that less closely resemble those in our ancestral environment, i.e., that are less conservative.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  209. That’s not a hypothesis, it’s wishful thinking.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  210. I also think people who make their living from the taxpayers’ funds should have no say in the raising and disbursement of those funds

    Does this apply to state employees? How about soldiers?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  211. Christoph – I’m waiting for you to fisk #184, which was based entirely on comments you made on this thread. Why, based on what you have said and just reiterated, is it not logical for people to conclude that you believe conservatives are anti-science?

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  212. #214, yes, it does. Their private interests are contrary to those of the polity, so they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. State employees and their unions are now numerous enough and powerful enough to swing elections, and therefore there are politicians beholden to them, who are happy to act in their interest against that of the public.

    As a matter of practical politics, I’m sure Republicans would gladly give up the military vote in return for Democrats losing the public service, welfare recipient, and contractor votes.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  213. “Why, based on what you have said and just reiterated, is it not logical for people to conclude that you believe conservatives are anti-science?”

    Well they certainly use technology.

    Many of them, including the religious, have adopted evolution as part of their worldview (Catholics, for example) and the big bang (which I disagree with as a scientific theory, as it happens, but was again in part pushed by Monsignor Georges Lemaître and adopted, also, by the Catholic church.

    Which isn’t necessarily the same thing as conservative, but lots are.

    Most, but not all, Christians have adopted some version of evolution, albeit directed or set into motion by God. Those that don’t accept evolution will often reply with “Creation Science”.

    Branches of science like military science are generally conservative. There’s the Austrian school of economics. And there are conservative scientists across a broad swath of disciplines.

    Conservatives seem to show up at Star Wars films (despite the bad CGI).

    Yes, it is true, I am sure, that the percentage of conservatives who dispute at least those branches of science that conflict with their fundamentalists religious doctrines is higher than leftists, who are generally less religious and have less reason to oppose evolution and the big bang (or at least a very old universe which I do believe is true) and such.

    But saying that there’s a certain minority of conservatives that oppose some sciences isn’t the same thing as saying conservatives, in general, are anti-science. And even religious conservatives that don’t believe in evolution (like Mike Huckabee) are obviously okay with the sciences of aeronautics, plasma physics, radio communications, medicine, and on and on and on.

    It would be an unsupportable claim to say that conservatives are “anti-science” and I have not made it.

    Now, the Amish maybe.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  214. I should also say that when I speak of a minority of religious mainly conservatives opposing a branch of science or some sciences, I’m referring to them rejecting certain theories within those sciences. Obviously they’re aware the universe (cosmology) exists and species exist, even if they don’t buy a certain book’s ideas as subsequently developed by generations of scientists about the origins of those species.

    Now I do think it’s fair to say that religious conservatives rely more on faith than science, but even conservative religious scientists will often compartmentalize their faith to certain things. Most people who are religious can be rational in at least some life areas, like the profession they trained in, or making a decision that they should probably augment the healing power of prayer with antibiotics. To that degree, if nothing else, they’re thinking scientifically in those areas.

    And no one is completely free of irrationality either.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  215. “Liberals are very often wrong — precisely because their greater intelligence leads them to seek new solutions to old problems.”

    “But those with greater intelligence have the surplus resources to make the effort … as scientists, leftists with their grandiose and often wrong (not time-tested) social theories, etc.”

    “The majority of scientists serious science students are liberals, aren’t they?”

    Sorry Christoph, your latest comments are a pathetic attempt to wriggle our of what you said earlier. FAIL.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  216. daleyrocks, you are an interesting data point in support of the original hypothesis.

    Which is not that conservatives are anti-science, but but on average are less intelligent so a smaller number of them are good at it.

    Regardless of whether there is anything to the more intelligent people prefer novel solutions and are less conservative (i.e., traditional) idea, which is plausible on its face, there are more liberal scientists than conservative scientists and that becomes more true the higher educated the scientist.

    I have to conclude you’re too stupid to understand the difference between “anti-science” and “not as good at science” or that you’re a liar. I go with both.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  217. Christoph wins a couple of deleted comments, for once again calling a valued commenter a liar and stupid.

    Tell you what, Christoph. I can sort of tell you want to be banned again. I can’t do that for you, but I can make you the second person after imdw to be moderated.

    If you would like to sign up for that honor, here’s how. Make one more comment calling a long-time and valued commenters here a liar or stupid or such, and fail to prove your case (which you will, since people don’t get to be valued commenters by being stupid or liars).

    Easy application process, and you get to wear (partially) the badge of honor you seem to seek so desperately.

    Your call.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  218. Man, I missed a few laughs!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  219. You know what, I think I will restore the comments so it’s clear what I am talking about.

    Christoph is on thin ice in two threads now.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  220. Can I just register how much, as a working PhD scientist, I get tired of people without a science background telling me I can’t be conservative and scientifically literate?

    Eric Blair (ad3ef3)

  221. Eric,

    I’m no scientist, but I have taken quite a few science courses, and I just learned to discuss the science instead of the Iraq war (the issue at the time). Many just assumed I must be a liberal because I was interested in science. It was pretty annoying.

    And that’s over a handful of semesters. I am sure your experiences make mine seem heavenly.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  222. Eric,

    Academics know you can’t be conservative and scientifically literate, proving you’re too smart to be an academic.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  223. “I have to conclude you’re too stupid to understand the difference between “anti-science” and “not as good at science” or that you’re a liar. I go with both.”

    Christoph – Of course you do, because you are not intellectually honest or smart enough to understand the implications of your words. No surprise there, lightweight. Conservative don’t need science under your definition of the term, since all we’re going to do is preserve the status quo, while the smart liberals are undertaking the risky experiments. D’oh!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  224. Ditto, Eric. While I practice law, I earned several degrees prior to my J.D., including a Software Engineering degree with a mathematics concentration. And the smartest friend I have is a more-conservative-than-I Mormon with an astrophysics Ph.D.

    And I was debating against Creationists when Christoph was still filling his diapers.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  225. You were debating against Creationists yesterday???

    Patterico (c218bd)

  226. Oooooo, *snap*

    SPQR (26be8b)

  227. “And I was debating against Creationists when Christoph was still filling his diapers.”

    SPQR – I did not know he had stopped filling them.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  228. I had not seen any reason to deny that conservatives are anti-science by the time daleyrocks first said I denied that conservatives are anti-science for the simple reason I don’t think they are and never said they are.

    Where daleyrocks is lying is by implying I said or implied conservatives are anti-science in the first place.

    More liberals go into TV news, but that doesn’t mean conservatives are against TV news (maybe they are, but it’s not sufficient to make the case) any more than conservatives are anti-Hollywood movies. Most young women are liberal, but I don’t think conservative men are anti-young women. In the same way, I’ve never said conservatives are anti-science and, I reiterate, daleyrocks is flat-out lying to imply I did.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  229. Or too stupid to grasp the above point. That’s the other option I gave. Or both, which is the one I lean toward.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  230. daleyrocks, evidently I made an invalid assumption.

    *Sigh*, it happens.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  231. Christoph:

    In general, those preferring new solutions will be — in a “g” or general intelligence sense — more intelligent than those predisposed to traditional solutions. And since conservatism is the embrace of the traditional, these groups will be divided left/right.

    I think your conclusion is questionable.

    Those who prefer new solutions may be more likely to embrace novel things, but they may also be more likely to take risks and change for the sake of change — even if the change isn’t beneficial. Thus, it’s also possible that such risk-takers are less intelligent than others.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  232. Let us pretend for a second that Kanazawa’s paper was beyond reproach, the margin of error was not too large, and the result had been reproduced in dozens of independent quality studies.

    I acknowledge the above isn’t true and the data to support the hypothesis that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives, on average, does not exist to my knowledge.

    But even if the data fully supported that and that’s why more top scientists tended to be politically liberal (as opposed to absorbing liberal views in academic institutions, for instance) … nothing, nothing about that is equivalent to saying conservatives are anti-science.

    Any more than if I said conservatives are more muscular (don’t laugh: I came across a weightlifting study that claimed just that … and since conservatives serve in the military and police more, not to mention live in more rural ideas where outdoor activity like farming is more prevalent than in N.Y. office towers, perhaps it’s true if for no other reason than physical training and exercise) …

    … this means conservative are anti-jockeys.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  233. Noe I have to dig up Christoph’s IP addresses and such.

    Sigh.

    Where is Stashiu when you need him?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  234. I will unmoderate with a sincere apology.

    This moderation stuff is for the birds.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  235. It’s obvious Cristoph is complaining about anti-science Conservatives. He’s also complaining that Conservatives are so stupid they don’t understand science (clearly the same thing as saying they are anti-science, btw, despite his later weasel words). His reason: his religious bigotry, of course. Religious bigotry that ignores the tremendous massive contributions to science of the religious. His often unstated presumption is that Christianity is just plain wrong, and thus those pursuing truth are handicapped if they are Christian.

    Now, he uses weasel words when he does this. He called this ‘the hypothesis’ he’s just bringing up. Just like his hypo about Murkowski running for president, or the commenters here being happy with that murder in Iraq, he’s trying to say things that aren’t fair without admitting he is the person saying them.

    Anyhow, calling daleyrocks a liar for assuming Christoph means the actual things he’s obviously trying to inject into the discussion is unfair. If Christoph doesn’t want to be associated with unreasonable studies about the intelligence of conservatives, or prejudice against the faithful, all he has to do about it is refrain from saying things like that.

    Try to carry his arguments to their absurd conclusion (a natural tactic) always results in the ‘liar’ accusation, and I think that’s pathetic.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  236. Those who prefer new solutions may be more likely to embrace novel things, but they may also be more likely to take risks and change for the sake of change — even if the change isn’t beneficial. Thus, it’s also possible that such risk-takers are less intelligent than others.

    I said many times above that (just as Rush Limbaugh said in See, I Told You So) conservative solutions work more often in large measure because they’re tried and true and not novel. But that is effectiveness.

    g measures intelligence and this is a different thing.

    Anyway, it’s a good point you make, but I think you’re confusing likelihood of being effective with intelligence.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  237. Just like his hypo about Murkowski running for president

    You are ridiculous, Justin. What does my outlining a scenario where Senator Murkowski could possibly run for President possibly have to do with anything here? It isn’t like anything here at all.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  238. and thus those pursuing truth are handicapped if they are Christian.

    Of course the enormous irony is that the Christian is the Christian precisely because he seeks the truth, or should I say Truth …which has absolutely nothing to do with a high i.q. and impressive intelligence, but everything to do with a powerful humility.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  239. It’s obvious Cristoph is complaining about anti-science Conservatives.

    No.

    He’s also complaining that Conservatives are so stupid they don’t understand science

    Possibly in some cases, but that isn’t the same thing any more than my not knowing how women thought prevented me from liking them when I was a teenager.

    Just by way of illustration.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  240. Christoph is now moderated.

    As I am working with an iPad by my side, he should not have to wait long for comments to be approved.

    During the work week it will be a different story.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  241. I reject the notion that Liberals are more open to new solutions than Conservatives (capitalized for a reason).

    That’s the poli-sci 101 definition, and it’s designed with Christoph’s conclusions in mind. Dumbing down the discourse on our world to where conservatives are status quo morons thumping their own foreheads with bibles they don’t read (another of his points) is basically just silly.

    On a host of issues, the ‘conservative’ position is one of change. And, of course, for a conservative to actually want change is characterized as some kind of mental disorder, AKA “reactionary”.

    You can’t leap from this to the rest of the ‘hypothesis’ proposed.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  242. It’s obvious Cristoph is complaining about anti-science Conservatives.

    I stand by that, Christoph. As I say, you attempt to weasel around what you’re saying. I actually think your argument would be much easier to discuss if you simply didn’t do that. You say this group of people you are complaining about are stupid, reject theories they shouldn’t, can’t propose change, etc. These people are anti-science.

    It’s not even bad that you call them that. There are anti-science people in the world. I think your mistake is conflating them with a political movement.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  243. Patterico, I made my case about how daleyrocks lied. If I’m moderated for showing this, fuck it and fuck you.

    And good luck to you. Publishing your address was awful. I wouldn’t do it. I wish you well in your work and family life.

    But you tolerate lies among your regular trusted commenters who you are friends with and do not allow them to be called on it … without a huge amount of bias in their favor in my opinion.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  244. You’re just moderated, not banned.

    That last comment actually deserved to be deleted, but it amuses me to publish it, to reinforce the reason for your moderation.

    Fuck you too. And good luck to you too.

    But mostly fuck you.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  245. And your comments will continue to be published.

    When I get around to it.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  246. And when they are appropriate for publication.

    Insults and unfounded accusations of dishonesty, as a reminder, are not appropriate for publication.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  247. By the way, both imdw and Christoph can get out of moderation with a sincere apology.

    I am not a fan of this moderation. I must be driven to it.

    It causes hard feelings and I don’t like that.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  248. “Where daleyrocks is lying is by implying I said or implied conservatives are anti-science in the first place.”

    “I’ve never said conservatives are anti-science and, I reiterate, daleyrocks is flat-out lying to imply I did.”

    Christoph – To claim I said that you said conservatives were anti-science is just another lie on your part. In fact I specifically noted above that you denied it on another thread. You need to lose the habit of lying about what other people say. It reflects poorly on what little intelligence you have.

    What I did say is that your comments in this thread contradict your denials in the other thread and in fact they do. Your pathetic attempt to wriggle out of your own words is just digging the hole deeper. Own your bigotry and own your words. Weaselling out really demonstrates your complete lack of honor.

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  249. If someone tries to pull your comments together and explain why they are wrong, that isn’t lying.

    It’s clear Daleyrocks has a valid case. Even if he (and I) are completely mistaken about you, either because you are communicating poorly or because we are as stupid as you think we are, that’s not dishonesty.

    You can see why your comments are honestly able to be construed the way they are, Christoph. Either that or you use weasel words by habit.

    Maybe a better way out of this is to start your argument over, being a little more clear. Just to be frank, I agree with a large portion of your ideas but even I find a lot of the ways you communicate them to be so inflammatory I point out some of the problems I see in them.

    It’s actually a great intellectual exercise, but it gets so old seeing inflammatory crap about how stupid or evil some group is.

    If your case was simply that conservatives are poorly represented in the academy, I don’t think you even need to bother, btw.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  250. “Patterico, I made my case about how daleyrocks lied.”

    Christoph – I’m not seeing a lot of people convinced. Your high opinion of yourself does not carry that much weight. Why not have a few of your many girlfriend sign on if they’ll support your position, mkay?

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  251. Dustin – Thanks. Notice how Christoph has not even attempted to fisk the comment to which I pointed him.

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  252. There are no hard feelings, Patterico.

    Just thoughts. Thoughts that would be the same regardless of any passion or lack: I believe you are unfairly biased. I believe daleyrocks dishonsestly distorted my position. I do not expect he will apologize nor do I expect you will ask him to.

    I will not. I sincerely believe he’s a liar. Any apology I made would be insincere. It’s fun to debate — but it isn’t worth sacrificing my integrity. An apology for calling a liar a liar would be such a sacrifice.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  253. Christoph:

    I think you’re confusing likelihood of being effective with intelligence.

    I don’t understand your distinction. How can you can call it intelligent to do something that is unlikely to be effective? Taking a risk can be intelligent if it includes a reasonable analysis of risk vs reward, but taking a risk just to take a risk is not intelligent. It sounds like you are confusing intelligence with the benefits of risktaking.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  254. Christoph,

    I continue to amuse myself by publishing comments of yours that violate my minimal rules.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  255. Christoph,

    I could not live with myself and would be completely lacking in integrity if I did not immediately set forth in painstaking detail what I think of you.

    Hey, wait! It turns out I am able to restrain myself and still maintain my integrity! All I have to do is consciously choose not to be a self-righteous and priggish asshole.

    Who knew???

    Patterico (c218bd)

  256. Christoph,

    I think you’re confusing intelligence with what you have displayed tonight.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  257. “I sincerely believe he’s a liar.”

    It is too bad you have been unable to identify any of my lies, big guy.

    “It’s fun to debate — but it isn’t worth sacrificing my integrity.”

    In my world, calling somebody stupid and a liar and then being unable to back it up demonstrates a complete lack of integrity and honor. Maybe in Canada things they have different standards or wherever you were brought up.

    I pity you.

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  258. Hey, some genuine death threats going on at one of our favorite web sites, daley.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  259. By the way, Canadians feel the same way about their assholes as we do about ours.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  260. Dustin,

    What do you think of Miller’s insistence on the exact letter of the Law on the write in – coupled with his problems with the employment of his wife?

    The facts in his wife’s employment to me, have not been presented any further than, he failed to follow the exact letter of the law that had been well established.

    In Miller’s defense he said he had permission – but – if he (Miller) insisted on the exact letter of the law standard – he would know there was no situation where he could employ his wife and also legally claim unemployment benefits for her as well.

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  261. Money quote from our favorite intentionalist:

    If I ever meet up with you, ST, I swear to god I’ll fucking kill you.

    Remember that.

    To be fair, the commenter in question appears to have been a complete asshole.

    Whether that justifies a death threat is a different question.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  262. Pat,

    Where are there death threats and against who? I’m lost

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  263. sorry, didnt see your posted comment before….

    Last time I cornered Jeff on what he meant he changed my posts

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  264. EPWJ, I recently learned of that issue (I suspect I didn’t follow this race closely enough to justify by confidence in Miller).

    I’m very disappointed in that. I would never hire my wife on the government dime.

    I think you’re right. It would be nice if we vet our candidates much earlier. I still like Miller, but he’s not the white knight I thought he was. He’s a very smart and straightforward guy, who has proven a good measure of devotion to his country, but that’s not the whole story.

    No question, Murkowski is drastically worse. Even on nepotism. I think hiring a wife as assistant could just be meant for practicality and is relatively minor. The replacement of US Senator with a completely unqualified daughter is pure power collection. I guess Alaska doesn’t agree with me on that.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  265. Eric,

    It’s just Jeff Goldstein, threatening to kill one of his commenters.

    In fairness, as I said, the victim of the death threat in question was being a compete asshole.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  266. sorry, didnt see your posted comment before….

    Last time I cornered Jeff on what he meant he changed my posts

    Fairly common tactic of his. He has altered dozens of Yelverton’s.

    In fairness, Yelverton has behaved like a complete asshole over there.

    Of course, many people behave like assholes here. Rather than altering their posts, or threatening to kill them, I tend to moderate their comments.

    I guess we all deal with trolls differently. Moderate, issue death threats, potato, potahto.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  267. “Hey, some genuine death threats going on at one of our favorite web sites, daley.”

    Everyone needs a change of pace from ankle snapping once in a while.

    daleyrocks (9896ff)

  268. Dustin,

    I was aware of it and this is why I was negative about Miller, the democrats certainly would have used this against him had he won, which also I felt he would not this being some weeks ago.

    Miller could have prevented this by publishing any correspondence showing his claims about being granted a unique exception by someone in authority – but choose instead not to.

    But I’m not going to make the claim he is corrupt, he has not had his day in court, either officially or in the “court” of public opinion

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  269. “Hey, some genuine death threats going on at one of our favorite web sites, daley.”

    Everyone needs a change of pace from ankle snapping once in a while.

    Every person I ever prosecuted for death threats was positive they were justified in issuing them.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  270. Jeff’s family has had a bullseye painted over his family by crazy lefties for a long time and I totally understand him reacting like that.

    I’d probably be even worse than he’s being.

    I realize, in troll logic, this troll feels like he’s hitting jackpot, and a cooler head would just delete the nonsense. But I’m glad I don’t have lefty trolls pushing this particulate button on my blog (I don’t have a blog).

    I did chuckle at the ‘CC: Patterico.’

    “Miller could have prevented this by publishing any correspondence showing his claims about being granted a unique exception by someone in authority – but choose instead not to.”

    Reading between the lines I think Miller is trying to protect someone, and he’s probably doing the right thing there.

    I think Murkowski’s corruption is a huge mess for our society, btw. I don’t think she’s convicted, nor will she be, but that’s not my point.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  271. This is a generalization, I admit, but my impression is that Western states (including Alaska) are addicted to government, even though it’s antithetical to the notion of rugged individualism cultivated by residents of those states. I think it stems in large part from the fact that vast lands and the underlying minerals in Western states are owned by the federal (or state) government. As a result, much of the wealth in Western states is dependent on the government and its politicians. It’s a corrupting influence and I’m glad Texas escaped it, even though it was pure luck.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  272. Dustin,

    Can you detail – ANY – of this corruption?

    I understand she was offered land at 70K which an ethics complaint said was worth much more, but further analysis was that if had failed to sell earlier at a higer price. The land also today probably might not be sold for the price she paid.

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  273. Dustin,

    Can you detail – ANY – of this corruption?

    I understand she was offered land at 70K which an ethics complaint said was worth much more, but further analysis was that it had failed to sell earlier at a higher price. The land also today probably might not be sold for the price she paid.

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  274. DRJ,

    In his latest book, Gene Weingarten has an amazing story about the residents of Savoonga, Alaska. The story deals in part with the corrupting influence the federal government has had on their previously fiercely independent way of life.

    One generation of dependence can kill a longstanding history of independence.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  275. Hey sorry for the multiple posts – trying to edit and must have submitted accidentally

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  276. Remember, P, we Texans don’t read books. No fair talking about books you’ve read …

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  277. Especially Texans from West Texas. Y’all never come within a hunnert miles of a book, have you?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  278. Hell, EPWJ, if you’re pointing to nepotism against Miller as a problem, I think you understand why people associate the entire Murkowski clan as corrupt.

    We had a ton of ads in Alaska by third parties noting the wealth she will siphon from the country. We’re talking about corruption by lawmaking, so it’s silly to wait for a conviction. I’m not talking about her stealing pens.

    This was an opportunity to vote goodies out of the treasury by picking an entrenched aristocrat. The entire concept of Murkowski is corrupt.

    Oh, and she was on the grassy knoll.
    Now, there are a lot of scandals associated with this terrible Republican, too, but I can’t prove a lot of that. We are talking about someone who ran in the Republican primary, agreed to (and would rely on) a mutual promise to support the winner of that primary, and then broke faith with the entire political party.

    She’s completely corrupt, in my book.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  279. Dustin,

    Murkowski appointed a person who was going to have to run against the wildly successful Tony Knowles.

    Frank interviewed 26 candidates and had to appoint his daughter – if he was concerned about keeping the seat in the “r” column. Lisa was the only one who could raise the millions to run against a moderate and win

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  280. What Miller did was illegal what Frank did WAS legal

    That is also a difference,

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  281. Hey! I’m in West Texas, and I have 400 books in my home!

    Of course I’m not actually reading any of them; but . . . well, you know –

    Icy Texan (57b84c)

  282. These are interesting articles.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  283. Someone needs to relearn the definition of the word “interesting”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  284. By the way, Canadians feel the same way about their assholes as we do about ours.

    And yet, the hotel toilet paper in Montreal was no softer than here …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  285. I have come to the conclusion my application of my philosophy was in error in a deep and fundamental way. I give special credit to Patterico for prodding me to reexamine it when he said:

    Christoph,

    I could not live with myself and would be completely lacking in integrity if I did not immediately set forth in painstaking detail what I think of you.

    Hey, wait! It turns out I am able to restrain myself and still maintain my integrity! All I have to do is consciously choose not to be a self-righteous and priggish asshole.

    Who knew???

    Comment by Patterico — 11/12/2010 @ 8:46 pm

    While I have never liked the personality cult that grew up around her and I have taken pains to learn from many other philosophers (including my own conclusions) and thinkers aside from her, I have been heavily influence (mostly to my benefit in terms of happiness because of my love of pursuing truth regardless of popular opinion) by Ayn Rand and Objectivism. On the topic of moral condemnation, I had been applying the same same standard and methodology as advanced by her student, Dr. Leonard Peikoff. He applied it very similarly to Ayn Rand herself and I have frequently used that application — whether by emulating her example or because it matched my method before being exposed to her work at an early age, I cannot say.

    (By the way, I am not saying I have the same intellect or understanding as Rand, simply that my way of forming moral judgement and deciding to morally censure to was essentially simlar to how herself and Peikoff did.)

    The error I made and have been making for years is especially well set out here by David Kelley, an Objectivist philosopher (and founder and senior fellow of the Atlas Society) who was banished from the Ayn Rand Institute by Peikoff after making an argument similar to the one below:

    A moral judgment, to be objective, must rest on a large body of evidence, and it normally takes a substantial investment of time and energy to gather the necessary evidence. Peikoff’s view that facts wear their value significance on their face, that the moral status of an action or person is revealed in a way that allows us to judge every fact, is a form of epistemological intrinsicism. And his view that we have a duty to judge, without regard to the purpose of judgment, without asking whether it is worth our time and effort to gather the evidence, is a form of moral intrinsicism. In support of these conclusions, I will discuss the nature of the evidence required for judgment (Section I), as well as the implications for action, specifically the nature and proper standards of moral sanction (Section II).

    The most important single issue in this debate concerns the distinction I drew between error and evil. In “A Question of Sanction,” I observed that “Truth or falsity is the essential property of an idea,” a property it has inherently in virtue of its content. An idea can be evaluated good or evil only in relation to some action: either its consequence, the action it leads someone to take; or its cause, the mental action that produced the idea. In regard to the consequences, I will argue in Section III that Peikoff seems to espouse an Hegelian view that ideas enact themselves, that individuals are passive conduits for intellectual forces. In regard to the mental actions that produce ideas, I will show that a philosophical conclusion rests on an enormously complex process of thought in which honest errors are possible at many points. In holding that most positions at variance with Objectivism are inherently dishonest, Peikoff is, once again, giving voice to intrinsicism—a belief that the truth is revealed and that error reflects a willful refusal to see. In light of the objectivity of knowledge and the distinction between error and evil, I will show in Section IV that tolerance is the proper attitude toward people we disagree with, unless and until we have evidence of their irrationality.

    One major difference between Peikoff and Kelley’s interpretation of Objectivism (and I have never identified myself as an Objectivist, eschewing lablels) is that Peikoff believes Objectivism is a closed system of thought whereas Peikoff believes Objectivism is an open system of thought. Since I refuse to label myself as a strict follower any one philosophy precisely because I don’t like closed systems of thought, it is ironic that I was, in practice, closely following Peikoff’s strategy regarding truth and quickly making moral judgments and sanctions based on the ideas of others without adequate regard to either actions that prove evil or sufficient reason to believe that any mistakes they made were not, in fact, mistakes rather than intellectual dishonesty and evading of truth.

    Leonard Peikoff then published an article, “Fact and Value,” in which he took issue with most of the points I had made. (2) He charged that I repudiated fundamental principles of Objectivism, including the objectivity of values and the necessity of moral judgment. In most cases, he claimed, false ideas are evil, and so are the people who hold them. He added that Objectivism is a closed system, and that the movement should be closed along with it. In effect, he invited those who agree with me to leave town.

    I will address this issue in Section V. As a philosophy of reason, Objectivism must be an open system of thought, where inquiry and debate may take place within the framework of the essential principles that define the system. Peikoff’s intrinsicism, by contrast, is reflected in his view of the philosophy as a closed system, defined by certain authorized texts. I will also comment on the kind of movement proper to a philosophy of reason, and on the ways in which the Objectivist movement has fallen short of this standard. The movement has been characterized by a kind of tribalism that we must put behind us if we are to make any progress.

    My primary purpose in writing this essay was to elaborate the position I took in “A Question of Sanction.” In the course of my work, I found that I had to extend the principles of Objectivism to new areas, and address various questions that have never been raised before. In this respect, the essay is a contribution to Objectivist thought. I would not have written at such length for a purely polemical end. As the foregoing summary indicates, however, I have also undertaken to refute the major claims of my opponents. My remarks will be intelligible to those who have not read the essays by Schwartz and Peikoff, but it should go without saying that those who have not done so will not be in a position to judge the accuracy and fairness of my critique.

    I was previously unaware of the difference between these two men’s views on this because I had read Rand directly and generally learned from people influenced by her, but didn’t want to study from her students rather than herself.

    Just like Aristotle was a better (more rational and logical) philosopher than his teacher, Plato, I must now conclude that on this subject Kelley is a better philosopher than Rand. I thank Chris Wolf and Jeff, whoever Jeff is, of Jefferson Technology Press for publishing this article by Wolf that brought to my attention Kelley’s improvements in applying Objectivism in the real world with actual, living, complex, and, like yours truly, imperfect humans.

    Anyone who thinks I actually believe the majority of conservatives are anti-science is wrong.

    I sincerely apologize to daleyrocks for saying he implied that I believe this. While I still believe this is what he was implying, I can’t say I have enough knowledge about his thinking to know whether he was intentionally misstating my points in this and many areas or whether he didn’t understand the points I was trying to make for whatever reason.

    I also apologize to Dustin for one of the two times I called him a liar. That was on the Falcon Lake Murder Update thread where he first accused me of lying based on his ability to read my mind on why I didn’t criticize one of two points he made. (This is the first time I have ever been accused of lying even in part based on my decision not to criticize someone’s argument.)

    He said I didn’t criticize it because it was strong. Actually, I thought it was extraordinarily weak and I chose instead to take issue with the more tangible of his two points. When Justin said I lied about why I didn’t criticize his other argument (because I felt it was weak), I then immediately proceeded to show how weak I felt it was and why it wasn’t worth addressing. I asked Dustin to retract his accusation that I’m a liar because he had no way to know my motive for not addressing that argument and I felt, by subsequently addressing it and showing just how weak (Utopian) it was, that this should be sufficient information for him to realize I wasn’t lying and to retract his charge.

    I then accused Dustin of lying because of his continuing to accuse me of lying after I had fully explained why I hadn’t addressed his weaker, Utopian point and instead focussed on his stronger, tangible one. It was my belief that at this point he could not possibly, in good faith, still continue to believe I had lied about that.

    I now realize, although I know for a fact he was wrong, that Dustin could have remained convinced I was lying about why I didn’t initially dispute his other argument. I’m not convinced that’s the case, but in light of Kelley’s thoughts, I believe it’s possible.

    Regardless of our disagreements with and opinions of each other, a sincere thank you to daleyrocks, Dustin, and others for forcing me to confront this longstanding mistake in my personal application of philosophy.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  286. * Peikoff believes Objectivism is a closed system of thought whereas Peikoff Kelley believes Objectivism is an open system of thought

    Christoph (8ec277)

  287. * When Justin Dustin said I lied about why I didn’t criticize his other argument (because I felt it was weak), I then immediately proceeded to show how weak I felt it was and why it wasn’t worth addressing.

    Damn I hate typos.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  288. Especially Texans from West Texas. Y’all never come within a hunnert miles of a book, have you?

    Apparently so.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  289. Well, they’ll still have the WalMart at 5610 San Bernardo Ave, or the SuperCenters at 2320 Bob Bullock Loop and 4401 Highway 83 South.
    But, of course, if there’s no demand for the books B&N were pushing, then they probably won’t be offered at WallyWorld, and that lack of demand is why the bookstore couldn’t make it either.

    And, is Laredo actually considered part of “West Texas”?

    AD-RtR/OS! (747679)

  290. Christoph,
    since this thread is pretty much done am going to respond to your last post and I hope you’re the only one watching it (you are watching it, I know). It’s possible you’ll get angry w/ me but that’s OK; I think you’re worth the effort and worth any blowback I may get — hopefully you’ll think about it even if you get angry w/ me now.

    How to say this the shortest way: was very glad to see your choosing that comment of Patterico’s as the one to consider because when IMO that one most succinctly nailed the root of your difficulties with other posters here. Sometimes it seems as though you just want a fight but I could be wrong: in any case, withholding comment isn’t a lack of integrity, as Patterico said, and many times it’ll preserve the hearing you (and we all) want from our fellow posters.

    You may have noticed that people do tend to shut down when made the object of “liar” or “stupid” or “fuck you.” I made an example of you a few months ago as the poster boy of “honest but no one listens to them” because they think they need to say everything that passes through their minds.

    It was good of you to apologize to those you insulted. You’re an intelligent fellow and likely already realize how much trouble you could have saved yourself (when this all started) very simply by not assuming the bad faith of others in the first place. No one needs to know about the details of the evolution of your philosophy in order to appreciate your apology and (you’re a direct guy so I’ll be horribly blunt) they really couldn’t care less and BTW don’t want to be thanked for their contributions to your personal intellectual development. (And when you’re apologizing, leaving out completely unnecessary clauses like “although I know for a fact [you were] wrong” sometimes makes the apology a bit more effective.)

    All people want to hear is “I’m sorry I treated you badly and I’ll watch myself in the future”. It’s a shame that your good apology got buried in all that.

    I hope my initial impression of your apparent pugnaciousness — that you somehow like to start fights with people and disparage their intelligence relative to yours to feel better about yourself — is completely wrong. And if so, I can guarantee that you’ll get a better hearing for the good points you want to make, on this and other blogs, by simply showing more respect to other’ POVs. (To that end I highly recommend this book.)

    Sorry for the long post but I thought your post deserved some sort of reply, and as I said I think you’re worth it. Would like to see you continue to make your points on issues and actually get listened to respectfully, if that’s your goal.

    no one you know (72db9b)

  291. no one you know:

    How to say this the shortest way: was very glad to see your choosing that comment of Patterico’s as the one to consider because when IMO that one most succinctly nailed the root of your difficulties with other posters here. Sometimes it seems as though you just want a fight but I could be wrong: in any case, withholding comment isn’t a lack of integrity, as Patterico said

    I agree.

    No one needs to know about the details of the evolution of your philosophy in order to appreciate your apology and (you’re a direct guy so I’ll be horribly blunt) they really couldn’t care less and BTW don’t want to be thanked for their contributions to your personal intellectual development.

    I wrote that for myself, mainly to clarify and crystalize my thinking on this point.

    The other reason I linked the two articles I mentioned is I believe they were eye-opening and important to anyone who had gone down the wrong path to chastizing people prematurely and too frequently using either the example of Ayn Rand’s behavior or Dr. Peikoff’s actual teachings … or indeed those of others doing likewise. I saw so much of myself in this:

    Concerning the question of judging the intellectual honesty of others, Peikoff and Kelley give two very different answers. Peikoff puts forth his position in his essay, “Fact and Value”. According to Peikoff:

    “Just as every ‘is’ implies an ‘ought,’ so every identification of an idea’s truth or falsehood implies a moral evaluation of the idea and of its advocates.”

    In other words, according to Peikoff, as soon as we identify an idea as true or false, this immediately implies a moral judgment of the person who is advocating the idea. In this context, ‘moral judgment’ means we are trying to determine if this person is being honest, or dishonest. If the idea is true, we assume that he has sought the truth. However if the idea is false, then we must decide if he has committed an honest error, or has engaged in evasion. In other words, we must determine the person’s state of mind. Peikoff offers a simple test to make this determination:

    “The general principle here is: truth implies as its cause a virtuous mental process; falsehood, beyond a certain point, implies a process of vice.”

    In other words, if your idea is false, and the falsehood goes beyond a ‘certain point,’ then you cannot simply be guilty of an honest error in your thinking. Rather, you must have engaged in evasion, which is the root of all evil.

    The articles continue with excellent insights.

    While I was the person who was most in need of and had the most to gain from such insights, I’m not certain than I am the only one (it did, apparently, lead to what is currently the biggest schism in major Objectivist schools of thought). I posted all of that here also in case it may be of interest and benefit to anyone else who has the same problem or is communicating with someone else who does.

    And when you’re apologizing, leaving out completely unnecessary clauses like “although I know for a fact [you were] wrong” sometimes makes the apology a bit more effective.

    Touché.

    I was aware of that when I wrote it and by all social norms when it comes to apologizing, I agree with you. However, this is a bit of a special case in my mind — a time where I was accused of lying for the reason I gave for not criticizing someone’s argument. I could and possibly should have refrained from adding that, but I will add I do know for a fact what my reasoning was for not criticizing Dustin’s other point; his other point was this: “But no solution works unless it addresses Mexico’s economic problems. If Mexicans had a decent government, could get great jobs, live good lives, a lot of these problems start to evaporate.”

    That is obviously true so I didn’t address it. It’s also, I believe, Utopian and applies to all people everywhere so I didn’t address it initially.

    I’ll just say no one else in the world does or could know what my thinking was for not commenting on those two sentences of Dustin’s aside from myself. Anyhow, that’s as far as I’ll go in “re-litigating” that.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It didn’t make me angry. I have added your recommended book to my purchase list.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  292. Patterico, I apologize for swearing at you.

    I also thank you for making the comment no one you know and I referred to. It was reasonable, it was stark, and it caused me to think.

    Christoph (8ec277)


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