The most important politician in the country



A polling station at sunrise in Phoenix as voting begins in Arizona’s presidential primary election.

We are about to elect a new President, and tensions are high because the stakes are huge.  The next President will make (or prevent) some stunning changes to our country.  But there is a politician more important than the President.  Who is it?

Boss Tweed is quoted as saying “I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.”

This year we’ve seen in leaks of DNC emails that the DNC colluded to tip the primary scales in favor of Hillary and against Bernie Sanders.  This is, if anything, the opposite of the Boss Tweed quote—controlling the process of who gets nominated.

But do they control the electing?  No.  And Yes.  Let me tell you a story.

Several years back I had a friend who was a city councillor.  She decided to run for mayor and I did some door-to-door canvassing for her.  Her campaign provided me with all of the fliers she wanted distributed, and they gave me, for every neighborhood I visited, a list of all registered voters.

This list was a huge benefit.  Before approaching a house you could know the people’s names and party affiliation, which was usually enough to start a conversation well.

But the list was interesting.  For most houses there was more than a normal number of people registered.  If the people I talked to were a Mr and/or Mrs Smith, there might be 4 to 6 Smiths registered, with children who register before going off to college, and so on.

Then there’d be more names, from perhaps previous owners, again 4 to 6 of them.  Making 10 or more voters registered at every single address.

Now, think about the actual voting process.  In this town, there’s a list of registered voters outside the polling place so you can find your name and know you’re in the right place.  Then you go in, give your name, the poll workers find you on the same list.  They mark off your name, and you vote.

At the end of the voting day, maybe 10% of the names are filled in, even if turnout was maximized.

Got all that:

Campaigns have list of registered voters

Campaigns know which names are current and, therefore, which are reliably out-dated.

Someone wanting to vote under a false name can confirm the name before entering the polling place

The poll workers, at the time, were not allowed to ask for ID.

Who would do such a thing?  <cough> <sputter>  Gosh, is there a particular party that works against voter ID laws at every turn

So, back to the topic.  Who is the most important politician in the country?  It is your local registrar, who decides what names are on the voting rolls.  What new people are added (remember ACORN adding multiple fake registrations to make a quota?).  What new people are rejected.  What old names are purged.

Every time someone talks about stuff like this we are assured that voting is secure and don’t worry.  Yet in the past 4 days we’ve heard that one immigrant killer had voted in last 3 federal elections, and also that 1000s of fake registrations have been found for immigrants in Virginia.

Election fraud is easy, for those willing to do it.

The county registrar is the first line of defense against election fraud and many of them have no interest in taking the steps to do so, possibly because they support a party that benefits regularly from fraud.

Periodic purges are an important first step.

Voter ID is a necessary step.

Purging all non-voting people might be a thought.

Frankly, I’ve been wondering about a process where registering, even on election day, is ridiculously easy, but the voter rolls are entirely purged after every single election.

While you’re busy voting this Nov 8, supporting (or opposing) a particular Presidential candidate.  Look down the ballot a ways and pay some attention to the registrar.


The 12 Steps to Recovery from the Liberal Narrative


A bomb goes off. Or a nightclub is hit with a hail of bullets. You want to know what’s going on. You go to a news channel or a web site, but all they really report is the politicians insisting we will never know the attacker’s true motivations. For years liberals blamed Bush for 9/11 and terrorism in general. They sold a notion that if we would just elect a good liberal, foreigners would like and respect us. So now they are in a position where acknowledging terrorism means admitting they were wrong. So they simply lie.

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.”
From Chapter 5, How It Works, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. (2001). Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition. New York: A.A. World Services.

It’s time to end the addiction to this narrative.  Half measures avail us nothing. We stand at the turning point!   Here are the steps we need to take to make a recovery:

1. Admit the Liberal Narrative makes the United States of America weak and powerless over Islamic terrorism and that our lives have become indefensible.

2. Believe that Islamic terrorism IS about religion and that Judeo Christian principles are the Foundation of our Nation.

3. Vote this November to place our lives under the protection of a strong President who does NOT believe in or speak the deceptive Liberal Narrative.

4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of why members of our Nation believe in all or part of the Liberal Narrative.

5. Admit to God, ourselves, and publicly via media and school curriculum, the exact nature of the wrongs conducted under the influence of the Liberal Narrative.

6. Be ready to let go of these defects of national character.

7. Humbly ask God to direct our strong Presidential candidate to remove the shortcomings of Liberal Narrative immediately upon obtaining office.

8. Make a list of all those who have been harmed or killed as a result of our belief in the Liberal Narrative and hold accountable all those directly responsible.

9. Make direct amends to such people and their families wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continue to take inventory of false Liberal Narratives and when wrong, promptly admit it.

11. Seek through prayer, meditation, recitation of our Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, to improve our conscious contact with God, our Judeo Christian principles, and our National pride, praying only for His will for us as a Nation, and the power and leadership to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual re-awakening as a result of these steps, carry this message to the next and subsequent generations of Americans and practice these principles in all aspects (rather than affairs, which while permissible under the Liberal Narrative, is in opposition to Judeo Christian principles).

Game Theory: Prioritizing Upgrades


I’m going to take a break from politics for a minute here to talk about a game.  I quite enjoy the game Clash of Clans, mostly because I’m in a very friendly, helpful clan.  We’ve been talking over strategy and tactics for various attack styles and other game philosophies.  I said I’d offer several approaches to prioritizing weapon builds, but as I thought about writing it it was way too long for their little chat bar.  So I’m going to put it here.  Not on any game forum because I want my clan to see it, not all of our opponents.  Enjoy.

Note that this is focused on spending gold on weapons.  Spending elixer on other buildings is a different question.  Also, spending gold on walls is a different calculation.  Depending on which weapon upgrade strategy you use, you may want to delay all wall upgrades until weapons are done.  Or you may want to interrupt weapons upgrades occasionally to do sections of walls.

The simplest approach is Cheapest First.  Basically, every time you have a builder available, find the cheapest upgrade and, if you can afford it, kick it off.  A recent upgrade to the game makes this method easier—when you tap on the builder icon at the top it shows you what builders are doing and the cheapest upgrade waiting to start.

This little gadget is great except that you should never upgrade your spring traps beyond level 2.  So before long the ‘pending cheap’ list is just going to say spring traps forever.

The benefit of this approach is that you’re not holding large amounts of gold prepping for a build until such time as all your cheap upgrades are done.  So when you get raided you’re losing less gold per attack.

The downside is that, early on, you gain the needed gold for a next upgrade long before you have a builder available to do the work.  Gold languishes,builds up, and the benefit you’re supposed to be getting gets eroded.

A variant of this, then, is to select the most expensive upgrade you can afford, when a builder becomes available.  This resolves the conflicting benefit and downside from the previous method and minimizes your stolen gold.

These two methods key on reducing resources stolen, which is fine for general game play.  But it does not optimize your defense abilities, meaning your clan war success won’t advance at the pace it might.

A first option is to extend the higher end upgrades of the previous method to always have one expensive upgrade going.  Then start easy ones while that one goes, stopping to accumulate gold again to have a bundle ready for the next expensive upgrade when the previous one finally completes.  This gets you some of the powerful upgrades early while still advancing the easier things at a reasonable pace.

My next technique for optimizing defense is what I call Invisible First.  In this case, when someone is looking at your base and deciding if they should attack you, they’re going to gauge how built up you are.  But there are things they cannot see, specifically bombs, traps, and Tesla’s. If you build these things up first, you’ll still lure in lower level attackers, on average, and therefore lose a little less over time.  No matter what other strategy you employ for the remainder of builds, I always recommend Invisible First (ok, after getting any new weapons on the table).

The next approach I call Damage Ratio.  I’ve used this one through most levels (I’m Town Hall 9 right now).  It works like this: suppose you could upgrade an archer tower, mortar, or cannon.  Suppose the archer tower will increase damage by 7, and currently does 70 damage per second.  This means for every 10 points of current damage,you’ll get one more, or 10:1.  Meanwhile the cannon might give you 1 more, but currently does 9, meaning a 9:1 ratio.  Finally, the cannon might give an extra 6 points but currently gives you 48 points damage, thus an 8:1 ratio.  In this configuration i would order it cannon then mortar then archer tower.  This seems counter-intuitive, but I figure the weapons are balanced for what they can shoot at, how far they can shoot, and how much damage they do.

Apparently I’m disdaining the associated method of max new damage.  It may work for  others, I’m just not going to use it.  It’s too…obvious.

Finally, now that I have a weapon where I can change its range and effectiveness (xbow), I’ve become aware of another aspect of  weapon damage.  Weapon damage is displayed as damage per second, even though weapons don’t fire at a 1 second rate.  One may attack every 2 seconds, doing double the advertised damage.  Imagine there were a little widget that popped up during an attack—a progress bar counting down from total HP of troops deployed down to 0, where battle ends whether time is up or not.  When troops are in range of a weapon, it’s shooting, and the progress bar is dropping.  So the longer a weapon is firing, the more it helps. So damage per second, times seconds firing is total contribution to the fight.  But apart from replaying battles over and over examining each weapon and making statistics, how do you capture it?

I’d say a shortcut is this: damage per second times range of the weapon.  So a weapon that does 100 DPS with a range of 7 squares would be worth less than a weapon that does 90 DPS with a range of 8 squares (700 vs 720 total points by this metric).  Note that if a weapon is on the edge of your base, an enemy can walk right up to it and kill it, so it doesn’t really have a range of 7 or 10 squares.  Also, if you want to be a major math nerd, you could note that the map is 2-dimensional and so the range metric should be squared before combining with damage (ie 100 x 7 x 7 in one of the above examples).

In terms of prioritizing upgrades using this metric, I’d take the added damage for the upgrade and multiply by the range (or range squared, or truncated range if on the edge) and rank them from highest to lowest.

i think I’ll use this one for TH 10.  What do you use?  Did I miss any?

Everyone’s A Centrist


A dozen years ago an acquaintance pointed me to a political survey—we each thought the other was a fringe wacko and he was hoping to prove his point to me.  I’m not going to link to the quiz, which still exists, or boast about my results.  But I had some observations I wanted to share.

You’ve probably seen the quiz, it’s called the political compass and ranks you on two scales, first the eternal left vs right scale and then on a scale of authoritarian vs libertarian.  Turned out I was slightly to the right of center and slightly towards libertarian (still am in fact).  I’d come out fairly centrist.  And since many of my friends at the time were liberals, I decided to share the quiz with them.

They didn’t all take the quiz of course, but those that did reported back that they felt it was graded incorrectly because it called them much more liberal than they actually were.  That includes the person in this story, who had flat out told me he was okay with breaking the law to keep republicans out of power.  And he thinks he’s a centrist! I will note that years later I met his sister and discovered why he thinks he’s a centrist—his sister is on a whole other scale of freaky leftists.

This got me to thinking.  Everyone thinks that they are a centrist–their ideas are mainstream and temperate.  This explains, for example, different perceptions of media bias.  Suppose I am at 1 tick to the right of center.  Eric Alterman, author of “What Liberal Media”, might be at 6 to the left (he’s probably further, six is where my aforementioned friend scored).  So if the mainstream media averages out at, for example, 3 on the left, I will see them as liberal while Alterman will see them as conservative.

So if everything is relative, what good is the observation?  Consider this: the perception of extremism can be seen as a distance on the scale from where one person is to where another is.  On the scale in question there’s 21 ticks (10 right … 0 … 10 left).  Let me posit that anyone who is more than, for example, 9 ticks away from you, will seem like an extremist.

By this rule, a true centrist will almost never think of anyone as an extremist, but will be able to see extremists on both sides.  A person more to one side of the scale will never call anyone on their side an extremist but will seem to lob the word freely at a wide range of people on the other side.

In essence, people who use that word, or synonyms, to describe political opponents are simply self-identifying as extremists themselves.  All the time assuring themselves and the world that they are in fact a centrist.

Why Trump SHOULD NOT ATTACK Clinton Every Day From Now Until November


It’s mid-August and there’s panic in the air.  Hillary has a ridiculous political war chest and is spraying ads across Olympics coverage as well as many other television and radio shows.  People frantic for her to lose are stunned that Trump hasn’t collected more money and begun ads to respond.

Trump has shown himself a master of quick-response twitter ripostes.  He picks a moment when he feels a nudge is due, and lets fly with something like a takedown of Hillary’s “I’m With Her” slogan.  Within hours of that attack she debuted a new slogan, “She’s With Us.”  His attacks are simple, effective, and free.

The danger for Trump is in launching such attacks too often.  Remember that Hillary takes Olympic gold in jumping into the victim role.  She first unveiled this skill when Bill’s infidelities came out during his first term as President.  She sat with friendly interviewers and claimed the attacks were all untrue, part of “a vast right-wing conspiracy.”  There was no evidence, but die-hard Democrats didn’t care, they just wanted an excuse for it to be okay to continue supporting Bill.  This defense was so effective that to this day a significant portion of the Democrat base will dismiss out of hand anything said against the Clintons.  Unfortunately, most of the media outlets covering presidential politics also fall into this group.

Another medal-winning victim role event came during her run for Senate in 2000.  Her opponent was Rick Lazio, a man of superior skill but with no hope of competing against the friendly media machine at Hillary’s beck and call.  He tried an unusual maneuver, he offered to her that they pledge  to run an attack-free campaign.  He needed this offer to be public, so he laid it out during their debate.  He pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and offered it to her to sign.  Now, of course she would never sign it.  But not signing it made her look bad.  So her story coming out of there was that Lazio, as an insensitive macho man, had invaded her personal space and intimidated her.  Have you seen Rick Lazio?  Macho and intimidating he is not.  But Hillary’s protectors ran with the meme and discredited him. It’s always like this.  A short period when Hillary is knocked back on her heels followed by a deflective manuever from herself or a protector posing her as the victim of an unfair, completely misconstrued, personal attack.  If you’re lucky, there’s a day or two in between.

There are about 90 days until election day.  Imagine this attack and defense cycle repeating every 2 days!  There’s certainly enough material to launch a different attack 45 times, but by the end, the electorate will be numbed by the negativity.

Trump needs to inflame distrust of Hillary without the turnout-reduction that usually follows negative attacks.  He will do better to lunch a handful of multi-pronged attacks on Hillary spaced out over the 90 day window.  The attacks need to embroil her media accomplices and embarrass them into covering some of the real content of each attack. If he does it well, and he is certainly capable, each attack will peel away a few percent of her voters and shift another few percent into a nervous uncertainty, making them the group to peel away in the next attack.

I know: Trump isn’t going to do what any of us are eagerly telling him to do.  He’s going to do it his way.  And if the primaries are any indication, his way is very effective.

How To Read Political Polls

'No, I'm not going to stop back when you have an opinion.'

You’re on some web site looking at a screaming headline about the latest political poll. It might be trumpeting a double digit lead, or a narrow margin, or even a shift—all for or away from your preferred candidate. You get a bit tense. You want your guy* to win, of course. And you’d like the comfort of knowing right now that he will. You click on the link and are bombarded with numbers. Before you give up, and before you get buried, here’s what you need to know to understand such polls.

First, skip the headlines, the tables, and graphs. Start by looking for a text description of how the poll was taken. This is usually buried in the very last paragraph or even the footnotes. Sometimes, when a web site is summarizing someone elses poll, it isn’t even in the article and you have to follow a link to the original poll report. It will tell you how many people were surveyed, how the survey was conducted (online, cell phone, land line phone, in person), and what level of responder was included (likely voter, registered voter, adult)

Take, for example, the punchline from this NBC poll. The footnote reads:

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll was conducted online May 30 through June 5, 2016 among a national sample of 10,520 adults aged 18 and over, including 9,240 who say they are registered to vote. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. For full results and methodology for this weekly tracking poll, please click here

So this is 10000+ people (a big sample) of adults, who are mostly registered to vote. So what’s with that last bit?

When a survey like this is taken, the first few questions go like this:
How old are you?
Are you registered to vote?
Did you vote in the last election?
How likely are you to vote in the next election?

To be a ‘likely’ voter you have to answer yes to question 3 and give one of the more positive answers to question 4 (i.e very or somewhat likely). When a poll is of registered voters, they answered yes to question 2, but not 3 and 4. When a person is just ‘Adult’, they answered no to question 2 and gave an age old enough to vote.

Now, why would you believe that the opinion of someone who is not going to vote is an accurate reflection of those that are? They aren’t, and polls of just registered voters are notoriously inaccurate. They will tell you they have a margin of error of some small percent. This is based on the number of people polled and reflects the accuracy for comparing to an equivalent sample (i.e. people who likely won’t vote). The polling agency is happy for you to misunderstand the margin of error as meaning its relation to how the election will turn out, but the two are unrelated. My rule of thumb: for polls of registered voters, take the margin of error and multiply by 5. That’s how much the result could really swing by.

Even worse are those who classify as ‘Adults’. So they aren’t registered and didn’t vote last time. They may run out and get registered…or may not. These tend to be younger, less interested, and more liberal people, so their presence usually skews a poll towards whatever liberal candidate or issue is being considered

Now take a look at this poll. The headline screams that Hillary is up 7. The final paragraph reads:

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted July 9-12, 2016, by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among a sample of 601 Virginia registered voters selected from a statewide voter file and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points for the total sample.

But this item is in paragraph 3:

The good news for Trump is that among just those voters “extremely” interested, he’s up by three (45-42 percent). That’s driven by the fact that more Republicans (43 percent) than Democrats (38 percent) say they are extremely interested in the presidential election.

Okay, got that? Headline insists Hillary is up by 7, but for folks really double dog dare ya likely to vote, trump is up 3. But that can’t be the headline because it’s a subset of an already small sample size (survey was 600 people, remember). Good thing they didn’t ask more people.

As I was writing this, a battleground poll came out showing Trump up in Florida. It was a poll of likely voters and gave the first indication of what numbers are like when the simple deceits are not used. But there is still a nasty trick polling companies can use to skew the results of a poll of likely voters. I’ll use some silly numbers to make the point clearly:

suppose the poll included 100 likely voters, 20 of whom are democrats, 10 independents and 70 republicans. Their preferences go like this
Dems go 19 to 1 for Hillary
Independents go 7 to 3 for Hillary
Republicans got 60 to 10 for Trump

So if you put all those together, Trump is ahead 68 to 32. But of course that’s not how the election will turn out because those arent the demographics of the entire electorate or, more accurately, of the actual voters on that single election day. To fix the, the Polling agency has to predict what the composition of the election day turnout will be.

If they select 40%D, 20% I, 40% R, then scale the answers from those groups, the new poll result is Hillary 58 (38+14+6) and Trump 42 (2+6+34). Or they could wiggle their selection to anything they want and can make sound reasonable until they answers say what they (or their employers) think they should say.

In essence, the result of such a poll can still be faked, though the level of fakery is limited compared to other polls, assuming the fakery is to go unnoticed. You may, over time, find some polls that don’t do much fakery of this sort and trust them outright, but you must always consider each individually

So how do you know what the poll results really say? It’s actually quite simple. The candidates pay for unpublished polls that actually tell them the truth. The candidate who looks tense, angry and defensive, or who just changed their campaign strategy? They’re behind in the polls.

*using ‘guy’ for its familiar tone and simplicity, replace with gender-specific term of your choice, if you need to

Let’s Do The Math On Hillary’s Emails


In announcing the FBI would not indict Hillary Clinton, James Comey said her actions lacked intent.  This included her deletion of emails before delivering some emails to authorities.  So let’s do the math on that.
Hillary delivered about 65000 pages of emails in paper form.  This in itself was intentional resistance to the investigation, but never mind that.  No word on how many emails were on those 65000 pages, but given email chains include grand sequences of replies, it wold be a generous estimation to say only about 2 pages per email,  So let’s round it off to approximately 30000 emails delivered in paper form.
Comey says they found an additional 30000 emails, which included 110 classified emails.  So she basically delivered half of the known (thus far) emails.  Which means that there’s a 50% chance any given email would be deleted or delivered.  A coin toss.  1 chance in 2.
Now, there were 110 classified emails and every single one was deleted.  That is a series of coin tosses Rosencrantz and Guildenstern could not match.  The chances of coming up heads on 110 consecutive coin tosses is 1 in 2 to the 110th power…well let’s simplify a little:
2 to the 10th is 1024 (AKA one K in computer speak).
2 to the 20th is 1024K or 1 Million and change (One M in computer speak)
and so on
2 to the 110th is approximately 1 decillion
In other words, it is more likely that the DNA test randomly matched OJ Simpson than that Hillary’s deletion of 100% of the classified emails was random.
And if it was not random, it was….
Go ahead, I’ll wait.  It’s a 4 syllable word.  Take all the time you need.
That’s right, “Intentional” is the word of the day.
By the way, remember the Iowa caucases where 6 districts had a precise tie and had to be settled by coin tosses?  And Hillary won all 6 over Bernie Sanders?  The odds of that are 1 in 64.  Child’s play to someone who works on Hillary’s scale of ‘luck’.