Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Tao of Chicago

If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

-- Lao-tzu
(via  S. Mitchell's translation)

This is a very political blog entry and it's not going to have much sources. I can't deny it sounds pretty crazy, but then again, until recently it was only schizophrenics who believed in wiretapping. What follows is an account of recent events of people responding and interfering to my life that is unsettling.

Simply put, someone is fucking with me. A friend of mine was assaulted and the next day I had a sign flashed at me. On occasion, things will go missing from my house without anyone entering. Things will turn up in my pocket that I didn't put there. I'll hear a car honk, turn around and a dollar will appear in my back pocket. It's been happening to other people as well. My dad's credit card switched to his front pocket, where he never keeps it. One day a large amount of weed was left in my dresser. I'll go to a theater and a pair of eye glasses will disappear from my pocket only to return after the movie is over. There are phishing phone calls and emails to my loved ones, quite distressing.

Some very cold people are operating and it's becoming difficult to cope with day to day life. Left to my own thoughts, it's easy to be overwhelmed by this.

I am not a great man, I'm a disappointing person in the long run, as this blog title suggests. Though I don't exactly pray to a god, I do feel offended that power is wielded with the same insensitivity. It's tempting to guess the motives. What was I doing before these occurrences happened? Am I being punished or rewarded?

It is tempting to flatter myself that I am being bothered due to my political beliefs, or even my occasional drug use, but given the nature of people it is just as likely that someone is doing what they're told, making a paycheck. Ritualized behavior is familiar to me, and it can easily be done out of habit or personal ideal. In the same vein, it would be a relief to be afraid only of myself. I would love to retire into a strange belief in aliens, but I'm too medicated for that kind of delusion.

I'm too sad to learn a subversive lingo and honestly don't think hushed gossip is the kind of thing that stops this. I just want to tell people this is going on.The word fascism creeps to my mind, though I believe the people doing this likely consider themselves revolutionaries.

Without putting it too bluntly, there is a time to remember that we are trying to live with the world as it is, and it becomes difficult to do this when the intimate spaces and people around you are baited and slapped. Being a human being is hard enough.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Winning a terror election



According to researchers there are several effects of terrorism on an election. A 2007 study of the Madrid bombing preceding the 2004 national elections in Spain suggested that "the terrorist attack mobilized citizens who are traditionally less likely to participate in politics as well as center and leftist voters, and encouraged some of these voters to switch to the opposition. Quite critically, the incumbent government's unpopular foreign policies and handling of the attacks had substantial and independent effects on their party's defeat."

Using both subjective data (Twitter posts) and Ballotpedia's collections of polling around two terror attacks in this year, the sampled opinion polling below highlights swings following an attack in Brussels on March 22, 2016, and another attack in Florida on June 12, 2016. Each can be shown benefiting mainly Clinton and Trump, and incidentally these are the two best-polling candidates in the field today.

The picture of the Ballotpedia polling data for the Democratic primary is as follows:

Poll
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders
Unsure or Other
Margin of Error
Sample Size

53.00%
44.00%
3.00%
+/-2.8
1200
03/06/16
ABC/Washington Post
March 3-6, 2016
49.00%
42.00%
9.00%
+/-3.5
1000
03/06/16
Monmouth
March 17-20, 2016
55.00%
37.00%
8.00%
+/-5
391
03/20/16
CBS/New York Times
March 17-20, 2016
50.00%
45.00%
5.00%
+/-6
388
03/20/16
CNN/ORC
March 17-20, 2016
51.00%
44.00%
5.00%
+/-5
397
03/20/16
Quinnipiac
March 16-21, 2016
50.00%
38.00%
12.00%
+/-3.9
635
03/21/16
Fox News
March 20-22, 2016
55.00%
42.00%
3.00%
+/-5
410
03/22/16
Bloomberg
March 19-22, 2016
48.00%
49.00%
48.00%
+/-5.6
311
03/22/16
Public Policy Polling
March 24-26, 2016
54.00%
36.00%
10.00%
+/-4.8
422
03/26/16
Pew Research
March 17-27, 2016
49.00%
43.00%
8.00%
+/-3.8
842
03/27/16
McClatchy/Marist
March 29-31, 2016
47.00%
49.00%
4.00%
+/-4.4
497
03/31/16
Investors Business Daily/TIPP
March 28-April 2, 2016
45.00%
44.00%
11.00%
+/-5.1
383
04/02/16
The Atlantic/PRRI
March 30-April 3, 2016
46.00%
47.00%
7.00%
+/-2.5
788
04/03/16

With the exception of a virtual tie of 48% Hillary to 49% Bernie in a Bloomberg poll testing March 19-22, it seemed to take a week following the attack for Sanders to gain any ground. 

Wasting no time to make a political decision, the lead editor of Mother Jones quipped at 4 AM -- with appropriate Sunday funny-paper profanity-- "Ask yourself who you'd want as president now [b]ecause is sure as &#$^isn't Donald Trump."



More calculated approaches were direct attacks on Sanders from center left,  contrasting his "same ol" approach to guns, seen as too establishment, as well as lacking the necessary vitality to turn fear into toughness on Belgium's enemies.



In the immediate aftermath of the Orlando attack, Trump clearly demonstrated the strongest gain from 29% to 39%, though all candidates seemed to have gained previously unsure voters. (By the time of the Orlando attack, Bernie was not being polled having lost the convention seat to Clinton.)

Poll
Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump
Gary Johnson
Jill Stein
Unsure or Other
Margin of Error
Sample Size
Guardian/Survey USA
June 8, 2016
39.00%
36.00%
6.00%
4.00%
15.00%
+/-2.7
1408
Fox News
June 5-8, 2016
39.00%
36.00%
12.00%
0.00%
13.00%
+/-3
1004
CBS News
June 9-13, 2016
39.00%
32.00%
11.00%
0.00%
18.00%
+/-4
1048
Bloomberg
June 10-13, 2016
49.00%
37.00%
9.00%
0.00%
5.00%
+/-3.6
750
Reuters/Ipsos
June 11-15, 2016
39.00%
29.00%
6.00%
4.00%
22.00%
+/-2.8
1323
CNN/ORC
June 16-19, 2016
42.00%
38.00%
9.00%
7.00%
4.00%
+/-3.5
891
Monmouth
June 15-19, 2016
44.00%
37.00%
9.00%
4.00%
6.00%
+/-3.7
721
Economist/YouGov
June 18-20, 2016
43.00%
39.00%
4.00%
0.00%
14.00%
+/-4.2
1011
Reuters/Ipsos
June 18-22, 2016
43.00%
34.00%
6.00%
5.00%
12.00%
+/-2.8
1339
ABC News/Washington Post
June 20-23, 2016
47.00%
37.00%
7.00%
3.00%
6.00%
+/-4
836
NBC News/Wall St. Journal
June 19-23, 2016
39.00%
38.00%
10.00%
6.00%
7.00%
+/-3.1
1000
Quinnipiac
June 21-27, 2016
39.00%
37.00%
8.00%
4.00%
12.00%
+/-2.4
1610
Public Policy Polling
June 27-28, 2016
45.00%
41.00%
5.00%
2.00%
7.00%
+/-3.2
947
USA Today/Suffolk
June 26-29, 2016
39.00%
35.00%
8.00%
3.00%
15.00%
+/-3
1000
Reuters/Ipsos
June 25-29, 2016
42.00%
31.00%
5.00%
4.00%
18.00%
+/-2.8
1247
IBD/TIPP
June 24-29, 2016
37.00%
36.00%
9.00%
5.00%
13.00%
+/-3.5
837