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Bernardo de La Paz

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 18,663

About Me

Lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Left a piece of my heart there.

Journal Archives

As a team, Democrats are still much better than the Republicons. 6 years, 60 votes & they still cant

Six years, 60 votes, and they still can't agree on and pass a coherent health care bill. That's not even considering trying to pass a health care bill that the public will like.

tRump has a team of three: he, himself, and him.

The tRump gang is not much of a team. They are so clueless about governing that Ivanka despairs about the nastiness in Washington and Jared thinks he can solve the 2,500 year old MidEast conundrum by showing up in preppy clothing. They are so amateurish and arrogant they don't even ask for advice from previous Secretaries of State like Kerry and Hillary did.

Steve Bannon is a tool of the Mercers and beholden to his own racist fantasies about minimal government. He thinks he can tear it down from within and rebuild it as pre-Theodore-Roosevelt robber baron white capitalist paradise. He does have some help from the cabinet.

Republican Trump does not have any Republicons on his team. The Party is more & more abandoning him.

Reince Priebus is the only professional there and therefore is the one who says the least. He is there to cover the Republicon Party's collusion from within the WH so that he can cover his ass. He's the most team player inside and outside the WH of all the Republicons.

Ryan can't control his caucus. He's no good as a coach or as a captain or at inspiring. His caucus are running around like mice with their tails chopped off. FOUR CLOSE SHAVES in special elections have got them scared shitless about 2018.

McCONnell has more than Ryan at stake in the Russia collusion treason and coverup. So he's not much of a team player.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jun 25, 2017, 03:32 PM (1 replies)

This is supported by an interesting study of aggregated search data correlated with voting

What Google Searches Reveal about the Human Psyche

Transcript and you can hear the segment. I found some more links, posted at the end of the excerpts.


excerpts of transcript:

my next guest says you shouldn't let social media make you feel bad about your life. In fact he has studied millions of Google searches and gained some surprising insights into people's real lives. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a former Google data scientist. He's a contributing op ed writer for The New York Times and he's the author of Everybody Lies: Big Data New Data And What The Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. And Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is joining us from Atlanta, Georgia. Hello.


AMT: Is this information that Google has that you got or did you go on Google and figure it out?

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: This is data that they aggregate the search data and they give it to searchers.

AMT: Okay. So what did you learn about racism in the U.S. by examining Internet searches?

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Yes. So there is a disturbing element to some of this research. When people are lying, one of the ways people lie is they make themselves look better and they don't admit their racist tendencies. So the comparison on Google is depressing even horrifying, the frequency with which Americans make racist searches, are predominantly looking for jokes mocking African-Americans. And these searches predict very very strongly various political behaviors voting patterns.

AMT: You can make the connection?

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Yeah. So for example places that made these searches in highest numbers, there were most likely to make racist searches where there is almost perfect relationship between the volume of these searches and support for Donald Trump in the Republican primary. So it's really clear in this data that racism played a huge role in Trump's rise even if people wouldn't admit that.

AMT: And you also looked at what people were searching for right after Barack Obama was elected in 2008. What did you find?

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Yes. I mean another one where people you know on TV or in everyday conversation, people are saying whatever they thought of Obama's policies or positions that it was moving that we had an African-American president. But you see it the same period that searches for really really racially charged jokes mocking African-Americans were rising to their highest levels yet. And one in 100 searches on the night that Obama was elected with the word Obama also included the N word or KKK. So really a very very different in the privacy of their own homes, Americans were reacting to this event much differently than they were publicly proclaiming they were reacting.

AMT: And that was rather than using the phraseology like first black president or the like celebratory phrase.

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Exactly. More people are making more searches kind of disturbed by having an African-American president than excited about having an African-American president.

AMT: And so let's get back to what you said about the election of Donald Trump and what you learned about who voted for him. Tell me a little bit more of what you saw.

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Well, I think one thing that happened is you see how people responded when Obama was president. So the racist searches people were also searching for and eventually joining a website called Stormfront which is a white nationalist website. And you see kind of a direct relationship that these people who were antagonized by Obama's election and motivated to join these white nationalist websites or make racist searches then put Trump over the edge in the Republican primary.

AMT: And how do you know that you're making the right conclusion with that data?

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Well, you have to be definitely careful when you're using statistics and data but there are a lot of tools that data scientists have to control for other variables. You can see is there something else about these areas that explain the relationship? Is it because these areas have more elderly people, or more people with fewer years of education or more people own guns or more people who attend church? And you control for all these variables and nothing explains the result. The only thing that really explains the result is the racism.

AMT: You also looked at clues before the election on voter turnout for Hillary Clinton, that are may be down.

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Yes exactly. So if you ask people in a survey: “Are you going to vote in an election?”, just about everybody says yes but then only about 55 percent of Americans actually turn out to vote. So you can't really know from a survey who is going to be in the 55 percent who vote and who is going to be in the 45 percent who don't vote. But you can see on Google. People make searches in the weeks leading up to Election Day. They search for how to vote or where to vote or polling places, and these searches predict very very strongly how high turnout will be. And what we saw in this previous election, in the 2016 election, is that in cities with large African-American populations were 90 or 95 percent of the population is black, there was a large drop in searches for voting information, searches for how to vote or where to vote. So it was very clear from the search data that black turnout was going to be substantially down compared to previous elections. And since African-Americans support Democrats 85 or 90 percent of the time, this was a terrible sign for Hillary Clinton and one of the reasons she did so much worse than polls predicted.

AMT: Because that that did carry out during the election, right?

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: Exactly. The black turnout was way down.

AMT: If her people had been looking at the data you were looking at they would have seen that coming.

SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ: They would have seen that coming and maybe put more energy into getting black turnout up.



NPR Transcript of another interview:

Persuasive proof that America is full of racist and selfish people - Vox
Jun 13, 2017 - “Google is a digital truth serum,” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of ... that suggested Trump was far more serious than many supposed.

Vox Calls Americans 'Racist' Over Google Searches | The Daily Caller {Right Wing reaction}
Jun 13, 2017 - Stephens-Davidowitz research shows “searches containing racist ... and equates the search data as “clues” Trump was a “serious” contender.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Jun 24, 2017, 12:27 PM (0 replies)

Concern trolling is one technique. Pairwise scuffling is another. Propagating fake new too.

Look for DU members with high post rates after joining in 2016 from June leading up to the election and joining after Trump's Inauguration. Caution: most members with such characteristics are good solid Democrats / progressives / liberals. We can be suspicious, but it takes a lot to make a case to pass MIRT scrutiny.

Concern trolling is where a member / bot / tweeter / FBer will say something like "I worry that Pelosi is ineffective after four losses in a row. Republicans like having her around to kick around." (Again, caution, well-meaning members might sincerely make a statement like that.)

Pairwise scuffling is where two bots gin up an argument in an effort to draw in other members and drive wedges between them. It is divisive and destablizing and it uses up time and energy members / tweeters / FBers could use to get real news out and organize resistance.

Propagating fake news (in many guises some not so obvious) uses up members time and energy knocking it down and arguing about it.

There are undoubtedly many other techniques. It would be interesting to see a compendium of them. Here's an ancient one I bookmarked from 2002: http://www.hyphenologist.co.uk/killfile/anti_troll_faq.htm

Finding some:

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:42 PM (3 replies)

Refusing to use sexist speech that bashes women is an EASY way to bring MORE JUSTICE.

Do you think we will ever see Mr. Harriot call America a gigolo or rent-boy?

Sure, he didn't INTEND to bash women, but if he truly is interested in EQUALITY and JUSTICE he will purge his speech and thought of figures and patterns that HAVE THE EFFECT OF BASHING WOMEN.

Now, if not sooner. It's past due.

Walking the walk of making social justice happen requires self-discipline.

He can do it, if he wants to.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Jun 17, 2017, 10:08 PM (1 replies)

Good. Keep tying them to Republican President Trump. It's working. They own him.

Republican President tRump is the culmination of 40 years of Republicon propaganda, stupefaction, gerrymandering, framing the debate, polarization, and fake news.

They ran 17 candidates and they chose him.

They had numerous chances to condemn him. They endorsed him.

Democrats predicted this disaster if he was elected. Republicons could see it too but kept quiet and prayed while they colluded with the Russians to steal the Electoral College.

They own him. They must pay in 2018 by losing seats.

The only way to redeem the Republicon brand now is to impeach both tRump & Pence simultaneously and use Article II, Clause 6 to restore the presidency to the Majority Vote winner, Hillary Clinton. Unlikely, but really the only way.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Jun 9, 2017, 09:58 AM (0 replies)

Actually, there are at least three.

They all depend on the Republicons realizing just how toxic Trump is becoming for 2018 and 2020. This will be advanced by Democrats unifying the Trump and Republican brands, which is right as it should be. He is the Republican President Trump and they are Trump's Republican Party.

When Republican Pres. Trump becomes toxic enough, the three remedies are:

1) Impeachment

2) The Republican controlled Congress can declare Republican Pres. Trump unable to competently carry out his duties due to ill-health or dementia or similar excuses (which will have substantial truth).

3) By Article II, Clause 6 of the Constitution, the Congress can make a law for succession by other means and on other grounds.


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Jun 5, 2017, 06:12 PM (1 replies)

Whatever you do, call tRump the REPUBLICAN President. 40 years of GOP & Trump is who Rs chose.

Republican and tRump brands are bound together and everybody in the public must have this fact cemented in their minds by constant framing of language and repeatedly calling him what he is: Republican President Trump.

2018 and 2020 depend on it.

Start now.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jun 4, 2017, 02:59 PM (0 replies)

One thing deliberately forgotten by people saying gubmnt should be run like a business

They deliberately do not say that one of the main principles of business it that you make money by spending money.

A well run government spends taxpayer money to support taxpayers so they can be productive and earn greater prosperity and enjoy life more. Good government spends on:

* Education so people have skills and wisdom (understanding) to be really productive.
* Health care so that illness is prevented, alleviated quickly, and people can spend more time gaining prosperity.
* Environment so that people are not debilitated by pollution.
* Consumer protection so that people don't have their life savings taken by crooks.
* Productive infrastructure such as public transportation for efficient movement of goods and services and people.

When you invest in the well-being of the People of the USA, the country remains competitive and a great place to live.

Raise taxes and lower spending when the economy is good.
Lower taxes and raise spending when the economy is bad and needs stimulus.

Democrats know this, but Republicons are aways on about lowering taxes no matter what, so they therefore spend up huge deficits.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat May 13, 2017, 11:08 AM (2 replies)

Do not think pop radio music is representative now any more than it was in the 1970s-80s.

See "They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To", 2015, at the end of this post. That could have been made years ago, but it wasn't because there is something about it that has been influenced by music right up to the point it was recorded.

Yes you are old. I may be older than you. The first hit song I heard when it was current was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". The first three albums I listened to over and over were Led Zep III, Grand Funk Railroad (red album, very heavy, very bluesy), and CSN&Y Four Way Street. I feel there is wonderful music available all around, partly because I make a point of listening to alternative sources and following up with some stuff. Even so I am out of touch because I'm constantly discovering new gems I've never heard before. There is so much good music available!

Album Oriented Rock was a radio format in 1975. Now you don't even hear that on campus radio stations. It doesn't mean that kind of music disappeared or evaporated.

Case in point:

Here are the top 10 Billboard hits for 1975. They are pleasant enough but not great, except for "Fame".

1 "Love Will Keep Us Together" Captain & Tennille
2 "Rhinestone Cowboy" Glen Campbell
3 "Philadelphia Freedom" Elton John
4 "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" Freddy Fender
5 "My Eyes Adored You" Frankie Valli
6 "Shining Star" Earth, Wind & Fire
7 "Fame" David Bowie
8 "Laughter in the Rain" Neil Sedaka
9 "One of These Nights" Eagles
10 "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" John Denver

Lots of stuff not on the top 100, but pieces further down are much better than most of the chart toppers. Note the positions:

19 "At Seventeen" Janis Ian
25 "Boogie On Reggae Woman" Stevie Wonder
68 "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" James Taylor

Most of the rest of the chart is dreck. "Bron Y Aur" and "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin not in sight. "Wish You Were Here" song and album by Pink Floyd? Invisible. Same with "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" song and album by Joni Mitchell.

Same thing for 1985:

1 "Careless Whisper" Wham! featuring George Michael
2 "Like a Virgin" Madonna
3 "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" Wham!
4 "I Want to Know What Love Is" Foreigner
5 "I Feel for You" Chaka Khan
6 "Out of Touch" Hall & Oates
7 "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Tears for Fears
8 "Money for Nothing" Dire Straits
9 "Crazy for You" Madonna
10 "Take on Me" a-ha

2015 is no different:

1 "Uptown Funk" Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
2 "Thinking Out Loud" Ed Sheeran
3 "See You Again" Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
4 "Trap Queen" Fetty Wap
5 "Sugar" Maroon 5
6 "Shut Up and Dance" Walk the Moon
7 "Blank Space" Taylor Swift
8 "Watch Me" Silentó
9 "Earned It" The Weeknd
10 "The Hills" The Weeknd

12 "Can't Feel My Face" The Weeknd
Hotline Bling came in at only #30 (#24 the next year)
30 "Hotline Bling" Drake

In the 2010s there are many great singer-songwriters that just don't make the charts and great electronic/house/trance. I have so much gorgeous music to listen to including gobs of classical that I don't listen as much to fresh music as I maybe should, though I still make a point of it from time to time. One of my favorite pieces of music is Mozetich "Affairs of the Heart", 1997, 23 minutes. It stopped me in the driveway and I couldn't get out of the car until the piece finished.


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon May 1, 2017, 11:23 PM (0 replies)

Gerrymandering has large impact on Presidential Elections. 2024 depends on 2021 depends on 2020/2018

Gerrymandering --> Republicon state majorities --> Voter Suppression laws --> Electoral College swings --> Trump-Putin-Bannon-Jarvanka

The 2020 census is the lead-in to the 2021 redistricting that will have a large impact on voter suppression laws that could have a big impact on the 2024 election, just as it has had in the past.

A swing of only 3 Electoral College votes would have elected President Al Gore in 2000.
A swing of only 18 Electoral College votes would have elected President John Kerry in 2004.
A swing of only 70,000 votes in 3 states would have elected President Hillary Clinton in 2016.
  Michigan, 0.23%
  Pennsylvania, 0.72%
  Wisconsin, 0.76%

Republicons know this. You should too.

The Democratic Party needs to win state legislatures each one individually in 2018 and 2020. All Democratic state legislatures need to lock redistricting into permanent independent commissions that work according to rational principles for the most democratic (small d) representation possible.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon May 1, 2017, 10:50 AM (3 replies)
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