Thank Christ. Continue reading “Phew!”
Thank Christ. Continue reading “Phew!”
Don’s Party is a great Australian movie. It is set entirely on the night of the 1969 Federal election, when Gough Whitlam was destined to lead Labor to victory for the first time in twenty years. David Denby wrote,
Don’s Party is derivative of Pinter, Fellini, Antonioni, Albee, and about a dozen others, and it’s a dispiriting, ugly experience, cliche’d rather than illuminating, smarmy rather than funny.
As we said, a great movie. Continue reading “Marty’s Don’s Party Party”
Dear God, yes, we accept that people are stupid. But please don’t let Australians be so, so stupid as to vote back in this loathsome and destructive fraud. And, to everyone who can’t wait to see the demise of the scumbag, you know what to do: vote early and vote often.
We had considered writing this post a week ago, then decided not to bother. Then, after Keith Devlin came up in conversation, we rereconsidered.
We’ve never much liked Devlin. He has written some things we like, including his excellent book on Fibonacci, but Devlin has always seemed loud and self-promoting, and not nearly as smart as he imagines himself to be. Devlin also happily assisted the American government to make their drones work better. One of those occasions when Professor Smarts might have thought a little harder.* Still, we have mostly just tried to ignore The Math Guy.** Continue reading “Keith Devlin Makes an Idiot of Himself”
I really liked Christian Kerr. In the early days of Crikey he was the reason, the only reason, to subscribe. Christian was smart and incisive, and very funny. He skewered whatever, whomever, there was to skewer. I corresponded with him some in those early years, tried to nudge him to be *slightly* less right wing, never with any success. He had and maintained very large blind spots. But my small conversations with him were always friendly and honest and engaging. And, as a writer for Crikey, Christian Kerr was invaluable. We need him now, more than ever.
We’ve been working on a post defending a nazi,* so we may as well warm up with a try on Tudge.**
The first thing to say is that Tudge is an asshole. As we wrote on another occasion, Tudge is a nasty, down-punching, vindictive, glass-jawed, born to rule shithead. He should have ceased to have been a Minister long, long ago. But, for the life of us, we cannot yet see the business between Tudge and Miller as more than the messy aftermath of an ill-advised and tangled but consensual affair between high-intensity adults, between a powerful boss and their hardly-powerless underling. Continue reading “In Defense of Alan Tudge”
Let’s be straight: Christian Porter is loathsome, a poisonous and privileged shithead. He was raised in privileged shitheadedness, the son of a Liberal shithead, and the grandson of a Liberal shithead. Porter is a poster boy for Australia’s grotesque class rule, and he drips in his class’s nastiness and sense of self-worth. Christian Porter is a complete and utter asshole.
Porter is also a sadistically destructive asshole. As Minister for Social Services, he brought in the Turnbull Government’s psychopathic Robodebt scheme. It was evil, and obviously evil, from the start, bringing needless misery to thousands of the most vulnerable and powerless, and prompting God knows how many suicides. And it took four years of the fucking obvious, four years of senate reviews and legal challenges to get rid of the fucking thing. Without an apology. What a
cunt leprous schlong.*
As Attorney-General, as the keeper of Australia’s laws and sense of law, Porter has been destructive and villainous. He’s worked overtime appointing half-wit Liberal mates to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He has absolutely no sense of openness of government or privacy from the State, and clearly considers the AFP to be his personal police force. He’s led the crucification of Benard Collaery and Witness K in a secret and manipulated trial, all to mask and avenge Lord Downer and Co’s fucking-over of East Timor. Of course he has not raised a finger to protect the poor fucked-over refugees at the mercy of Dutton and his Black Shirts. “Rule of Law”? Any suggestion that Porter gives a flying fuck about the rule of law, or even has an inkling of what it means, is vomitously laughable.
That’s enough. It’s a mountain more than enough. But, understandably and unfortunately, people want more.
Is Porter a rapist?
No one knows now – except Porter – and we’re extremely unlikely to find out. What would a review, any review, accomplish? What would it tell us other than, perhaps, something questionable happened 30+ years ago, when the guy was a teenager, merely a trainee sadist. Which we already know.
Why bother? Why not focus on Porter’s much more recent and much more provable awfulness? We know what Christian Porter is, and his disgusting colleagues know what he is. It has been, and still is, up to Morrison and his fellow thugs whether Porter should be in charge of the country’s law. And it’s now up to them if they want a show trial or a cover up. But no one else needs it. No one with an ounce of humanity can believe that Porter should be responsible for a dog, let alone a country.
And what if Morrison and his thugs don’t want an inquiry? Then so be it. Porter can stay, as a dead, festering lizard hanging around the neck of Morrison’s revolting, thoroughly evil government. And if that’s not enough to hang the whole fucking lot of them, then we’re fucked anyway.
Leave the loathsome
cunt leprous schlong alone.*
*) We do our best to keep sanctimonious twats happy.
We’re back, sort of, and we’ll soon get back to mathematics and to needling the VCAA and their goon-clown minions. But, first, there’s a little catching up to do. And, to begin, we must celebrate the decline and fall of the Orange Maniac. It turned out, and this was no gimme, that American society was strong enough to withstand the full on assault by Republican fascists. And now America, and the World, is once again perfect.
Trump, of course, is not the disease but a symptom. True, he’s a disgusting symptom, and he’s a symptom that’ll probably end up killing a couple million Americans; symptoms can indeed be deadly. But the disease is what matters most, and the disease was thriving long before Trump shat on everything, and it is stronger than ever. For decades, Republicans have gleefully engaged in a calculated and vicious denial of reality, eagerly enabled by Murdoch and his rapacious ilk, and their psychopathically soulless henchmen. And the Democrats, and America in general, is not a whole hell of a lot better. The place is pretty fucked.
Australia is not fucked. Yes, we currently have a fifth rate, mini-wit conman motherfucker for a Prime Minister. Yes, this fifth rate mini-wit conman motherfucker leads a government of neanderthals and crooks and born-to-rule twat-snots and full blown sadists. They are trying to fuck up Australia, and they are certainly making it worse. The disease is here as well, and it is getting stronger. But, and in spite of ScoMoFo and his thugocracy, and corruptly compliant media, Australia has held together pretty well.
So, let’s give thanks. Let’s give thanks that we don’t live in a gun-infested, reality-denying lunatic asylum. Let’s give thanks that the dumb fucks in our government are, in particular, pretty inept in their attempts to fuck things up. Let’s give thanks that the disease, although anything but dormant here, has not won here. Yet.
There’s the Republican who, even after the whipping up of a riot, continues to lie through his teeth, to steadfastly deny that Trump is a narcissistic, sadistic, psychopathic cult leader. Then there’s the Republican who pretends to have finally seen the light, who pretends that they didn’t recognise all along that Trump is a narcissistic, sadistic, psychopathic cult leader.
Which is more repulsive? The answer, of course, is “Yes”. Republicans are loathsome fuckers. All of them.
Readers will be aware that Trump and his MAGA goons have been pretending that Joe Biden stole the US election. They’ve been counting on the corruptness of sufficient judges and election officials for their fantasy grievances to gain traction. So far, however, and this was no gimme, the authorities have, in the main, been unwilling to deny reality.
The latest denial of the denial of reality came yesterday, with the Supreme Court telling Texas’s scumbag attorney general, and 17 other scumbag attorneys general, and 126 scumbag congressmen, to go fuck themselves. AG Paxton’s lawsuit, arguing to invalidate the election results in four states, was garbage in every conceivable way, and in a few inconceivable ways. One of those inconceivable ways was mathematical, which is why we are here.
As David Post wrote about here and then here, Paxton’s original motion claimed powerful statistical evidence, giving “substantial reason to doubt the voting results in the Defendant States” (paragraphs 9 – 12). In particular, Paxton claimed that Trump’s early lead in the voting was statistically insurmountable (par 10):
“The probability of former Vice President Biden winning the popular vote in the four Defendant States—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—independently given President Trump’s early lead in those States as of 3 a.m. on November 4, 2020, is less than one in a quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000.”
Similarly, Paxton looked to Trump’s defeat of Clinton in 2016 to argue the unlikelihood of Biden’s win in these states (par 11):
“The same less than one in a quadrillion statistical improbability … exists when Mr. Biden’s performance in each of those Defendant States is compared to former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s performance in the 2016 general election and President Trump’s performance in the 2016 and 2020 general elections.”
On the face of it, these claims are, well, insane. So, what evidence did Paxton produce? It appeared in Paxton’s subsequent motion for expedited consideration, in the form of a Declaration to the Court by “Charles J. Cicchetti, PhD” (pages 20-29). Cicchetti’s Declaration has to be read to be believed.
Cicchetti‘s PhD is in economics, and he is a managing director of a corporate consulting group called Berkeley Research Group. BRG appears to have no role in Paxton’s suit, and Cicchetti doesn’t say how he got involved; he simply writes that he was “asked to analyze some of the validity and credibility of the 2020 presidential election in key battleground states”. Presumably, Paxton was just after the best.
It is excruciating to read Cicchetti’s entire Declaration, but there is also no need. Amongst all the Z-scores and whatnot, Cicchetti’s argument is trivial. Here is the essence of Cicchetti’s support for Paxton’s statements above.
In regard to Trump’s early lead, Cicchetti discusses Georgia, comparing the early vote and late vote distributions (par 15):
“I use a Z-score to test if the votes from the two samples are statistically similar … There is a one in many more than quadrillions of chances that these two tabulation periods are randomly drawn from the same population.
Similarly, in regard to Biden outperforming Clinton in the four states, Cicchetti writes
“I tested the hypothesis that the performance of the two Democrat candidates were statistically similar by comparing Clinton to Biden … [Cicchetti sprinkles some Z-score fairy dust] … I can reject the hypothesis many times more than one in a quadrillion times that the two outcomes were similar.”
And, as David Post has noted, that’s all there is. Cicchetti has demonstrated that the late Georgia votes skewed strongly to Biden, and that Biden outperformed Clinton. Both of which everybody knew was gonna happen and everybody knows did happen.
None of this, of course, supports Paxton’s claims in the slightest. So, was Cicchetti really so stupid as to think he was proving anything? No, Cicchetti may be stupid but he’s not that stupid; Cicchetti briefly addresses the fact that his argument contains no argument. In regard to the late swing in Georgia, Cicchetti writes (par 16)
“I am aware of some anecdotal statements from election night that some Democratic strongholds were yet to be tabulated … [This] could cause the later ballots to be non-randomly different … but I am not aware of any actual [supporting] data …”
Yep, it’s up to others to demonstrate that the late votes went to Biden. Which, you know they kind of did, when they counted the fucking votes. As for Biden outperforming Clinton, Cicchetti writes (par 13),
“There are many possible reasons why people vote for different candidates. However, I find the increase of Biden over Clinto is statistically incredible if the outcomes were based on similar populations of voters …”
Yep, Cicchetti finds it “incredible” that four years of that motherfucker Trump had such an effect on how people voted.
What an asshole.