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Reply #91: Febble, one thing you can NOT do, given a bias toward careful [View All]

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-18-05 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #90
91. Febble, one thing you can NOT do, given a bias toward careful
approach that you and others insist upon here, is say that the NH recount "confirms" an accurate election.

Why? Because there are numerous types of error that are not recount-detectable. One easy example is spoilage, another is voter suppression, a third is ballot loss or destruction.... there are more.

My belief is that there would be far fewer charges of freeping if the following two conditions were altered:

1. Those who think the situation here is urgent with regard to something as important as democracy, will be hard pressed to understand the good faith of someone who wants to slow down and raise every minute objection. How understanding would Romans be of Nero fiddling while Rome is burning? "Fiddling" = sophistry and academic debates over non-major points.
2. I've been on many legal teams all building toward accomplishment of an objective, up to and including million dollar fraud causes and a death penalty defense. YES, you do anticipate weaknesses and prepare for them, but you do so privately, and always with the express purpose of making the case stronger, and you never outright tell your lead counsel (much less publicly) that he has no credibility (or somesuch).

If these conditions of open debate among people that are supposed to be on the same team, I expect suspicions and charges regarding motive to come up.

Let's say for the sake of argument that your counterarguments have apparent validity, and that it "coulda been" low interview rates that contributed to all (or part) of the exit poll discrepancy. You know, even in the death penalty case, we had what we thought were great arguments at every turn, yet our client was convicted, but not sentenced to death. (This was a victory under the circumstances, I was third chair on this team). The existence of counterarguments SIMPLY DOES NOT MEAN there is insufficient evidence even to execute someone!

Good faith team playing from my point of view would seem to require an overall reflection and affirmation of a conclusion on your part such as the one that follows here (but only if you agree of course)

1. While substantial evidence and argument suggests otherwise, the preponderance (51%) of the publicly available evidence favors inaccurate presidential election returns in 2004 such that Bush did not win by the 3 million vote margin indicated.

The above is not attempting to fairly summarize your views, or mine. But I think regular "reminders" of what the strongest possible defensible statements are in support of inaccurate or fraudulent election results would be helpful in showing continuing good faith (I think most people other than trained lawyers and academics do this naturally as they tend to be agreeable and diplomatic). However, the habit here seems to emphasize disagreement.

So if I were the mediator or facilitator here (I think some interesting things could come out of this debate here if it were moderated) I would advise you febble, otoh, foobar and mgr to

(1) state the pro-fraud case in the strongest defensible terms you can justify, identifying the standard of proof you are applying, and
(2) expressly deal with the issue of urgency; i.e. just how much time do we have to perfect arguments prior to further action and what burden of proof needs to be met prior to action.

On this last issue #2, I previously raised the metaphor of seeing a sign on a Mountain Road that says "bridge out ahead" and raised the issue of what amount of information, proof, and certainty is necessary before taking corrective action in the face of possibilities or counterarguments that the sign could be old, out of place, a joke, the road could have an easy detour available, etc.

There are (arguably ambiguous) signs on the election road that say "fraudulent elections ahead". What is the standard of proof necessary for someone who believes in democracy to take action?

I am saying that under conditions of urgency (a topic not directly discussed here but which I think has validity) some technical scientific objections really have no validity in terms of stopping the efforts toward corrective action. There are ALWAYS decent arguments on the other side, if one can hear them.

But what is the WEIGHT of the evidence favoring???

Under conditions of data and analytical secrecy that violate the rules of free inquiry and thus of science itself, how can you or anyone else insist that all the requirements of solid science be met IN THE FIRST PLACE when that task is inherently made impossible?

As a legal matter, the spoliatory inference (in most jurisdictions) is a jury instruction that tells the jury they are entitled to infer that missing data would be unfavorable to the parties that have the data but fail to produce it for public court. The public interest in election integrity trumps everything else, if there is even a true conflict.

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