Monday, February 25, 2019

Voter ID laws do NOT affect minority turnout

Jeff Jacoby is not comparing like with like below.  Determining minority turnout is easy.  You just have to observe who turns up at the polling places and count them.  And if the turnout is comparable to total population numbers you can say that turnout has not been suppressed.  For instance, if you observe that 30% of the voters are black and 30% of the population is also black, you have a clear proof black voting has not been suppressed overall.  So Jeff gets that right.

But voter fraud is a quite different kettle of fish.  How do you know how much fraud goes on?  People don't declare to all and sundry that "This is the third time I have voted today".  They keep it quiet.  So saying what the effect of ID laws is on fraudulent voting is very difficult and any figures offered about that are just a guess.  So until people start waving a flag declaring that they are voting illegally, we cannot say what Jeff wants to say -- that voter ID has no effect on illegal voting.  We assume that it does reduce illegal voting but nobody can say by how much

DEMOCRATIC AND LIBERAL activists have been railing for the last few years against voter ID laws, under which citizens must produce some form of official identification before they can cast a ballot.

Such laws, claim the activists, amount to voter suppression because they disenfranchise blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities, who are less likely to possess the necessary photo ID. The New York Times last summer listed Alabama's photo identification requirement as its first example of how lawmakers "limit the right to vote." Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who narrowly lost a high-profile race for governor, insists that voter suppression is "the crisis of our day" and described her state's voter ID law as "designed to . . . scare people out of voting." The NAACP recently filed a federal lawsuit in North Carolina, alleging that the state's new law requiring voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot is "a brazen effort" to "legislate voter suppression" and "suppress the votes of people of color."

Yet for all the sound and fury, the campaign to demonize voter ID laws has proved singularly ineffective. There is good reason for that, as a sweeping new study by scholars at Harvard Business School and the University of Bologna confirms.

Opinion polls consistently find strong support across the board for making voters show identification before voting. In a 2016 Pew poll, 77 percent of registered voters — including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents — backed a voter ID prerequisite. A Gallup poll found even broader support: 80 percent of respondents favored ID laws, with nonwhites virtually as strong in their support as whites.

The scaremongers' charge that photo ID laws are racist ploys to suppress Democratic and minority votes have fallen on deaf ears even among most Democratic and minority voters. Why? Perhaps because they know perfectly well that Election Day ID rules haven't suppressed their votes. Far from it.

In last November's midterm elections, exit polls showed that nonwhite voters were 29 percent of the electorate, the highest share ever recorded. "Black Voters Propelled Blue Wave," a Roll Call headline pithily observed — not only did Democrats sweep to a majority in the US House, but the 116th Congress is the most racially diverse in American history. Black turnout has been climbing almost everywhere, including in heavily Republican states. In Georgia, for example, minorities last fall accounted for a record 40 percent of the turnout, belying Abrams's accusation that black voters were suppressed.

In short, minority voting has not been infringed, even as voter ID laws have grown increasingly common. Which is just what researchers Vincent Pons and Enrico Cantoni found when they analyzed the impact, across multiple states and election cycles, of enacting rules requiring citizens to show ID before voting.

The denial of voting rights was once widespread in this country. A major focus of the Civil Rights Movement was the restoration to black Americans of the voting rights they had been systematically denied in Southern states.

The effects of voter ID laws are "mostly null," they conclude in a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. "Strict ID laws have no significant negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any subgroup defined by age, gender, race, or party affiliation. Most importantly, they do not decrease the participation of ethnic minorities relative to whites. The laws' overall effects remain close to zero."

At the same time, Pons and Cantoni found no evidence that voter ID requirements have a significant impact on voter fraud or on public confidence in the integrity of elections. In states where ID laws have been adopted, there has been no increase in either the number of fraud cases or their likelihood of being reported. Nor has there been any perceptible increase in other kinds of political participation.

If these findings are accurate, they suggest that Americans are wise not to give much credence to the accusations of voter suppression flogged by activists on the left. They suggest as well that suspicions of rampant voter fraud pushed by activists on the right are mostly a bugaboo. This isn't to say our democracy is pristine — legitimate problems include "vote harvesting" scams, unbearable lines at polling places, and cyberattacks on state voting systems. But on the whole, American voting is fairer and more open than it has ever been before.

The denial of voting rights was once widespread in this country; rampant voter fraud was, too. But citizens today who wish to participate in elections have little trouble doing so. The cynics and alarmists on both sides ought to chill out. There are serious issues worth fighting over. Voter ID laws aren't among them.



Californians Want to Flee Their Socialist 'Paradise'

A majority of residents want to leave the state over problems their own leftist voting record created

The problem with California is Californians — at least that’s what the latest survey data indicates. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, 53% of California residents are considering moving out of state due in part to high housing costs, homelessness, and an overwhelming belief that the state’s best days are behind it. But to whom are Californians looking to solve these problems their own voting for leftists has caused? Well, 53% believe it is the federal government’s job to solve California’s problems. Sorry, wrong answer.

Like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shifting blame to President Donald Trump and the Republicans for ending the federal government subsidizing high SALT deductions in tax heavy states, too many California residents are blaming the feds for the very problems their local politicians have created. As Stacey Lennox, writing for The Resurgent, observes, “Judging by the responses, it is as if citizens of this state by and large see themselves as victims. Like they have completely forgotten they put the yahoos in office who have made the policies that have caused housing prices, homelessness and other problems to skyrocket.”

The other entity Californians believe owes it to the state to contribute more is business — you know, the biggest drivers of the state’s economy. According to 63% of Californians, businesses need to do more to improve the state, not their leftist elected officials. Some 59% believe corporations need to spend more on community issues. An astounding 67% want tech-industry business leaders to do more for the state, and 68% see the tech industry as not regulated enough, with 59% wanting regulations increased.

For all those conservative Californians who suffer under the increasingly socialist nightmare, you have our sincerest sympathy and we lay out the welcome mat to relocate to conservative states where individual freedom and limited government is still prized. But to all you Californians voting Democrat — you made your bed; now lie in it.



Mark Levin: SCOTUS ‘Changed the 1st Amendment,' ‘We Don’t Have a Free Press Today’

During his nationally syndicated radio talk program, “The Mark Levin Show,” on Wednesday night, host, attorney, and constitutional scholar Mark Levin said the Supreme Court of the United States “changed the First Amendment” in 1964 with its decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, and that “we don’t have a free press today.”

“What the Supreme Court did in 1964 is it changed the First Amendment,” said Levin. “It changed the history behind the First Amendment, and it’s – it put its finger on the scale of justice, and it leaned very, very heavily toward media corporations.”

“We don’t have a free press today,” Levin added. “We are pretenders.”

Levin’s comments came after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the 1964 Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan should be revisited. New York Times v. Sullivan established the standards that must be met for a media statement to be considered libel, expanding legal protection for the media.

Below is a transcript of Levin’s remarks from his show on Wednesday.

“What the Supreme Court did in 1964 is it changed the First Amendment. It changed the history behind the First Amendment, and it’s – it put its finger on the scale of justice, and it leaned very, very heavily toward media corporations.

“Now, one might say, ‘Well, then, people would use all these lawsuits to try and put them out of business.’

“You know, that’s the effect that every business has to deal with. CNN is a massive corporation. It’s part of a massive conglomerate. MSNBC is part of a massive conglomerate. We’re talking about tens of billions of dollars, both. The New York Times is owned by the richest man on the face of the earth. The Washington Post is supported by one of the richest men on the face of the earth. [Editor’s note: the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, and The New York Times is owned by The New York Times Company, which is chaired by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.].

“What I’m saying to you is, I don’t encourage fabricated or fallacious lawsuits of any sort, whether you’re suing ExxonMobil, Walmart, Microsoft, Apple, or a media conglomerate. But are we better off because of this decision in... [New York Times v. Sullivan]? You know, our great justice, Clarence Thomas, who understands American history – one of the few who does – John Roberts doesn’t. Kavanaugh doesn’t. He said maybe we ought to re-visit this... [New York Times] v. Sullivan, rather, this... [New York Times] v. Sullivan decision in 1964, and immediately, he’s attacked as doing Donald Trump’s dirty work. How’s he doing Donald Trump’s dirty work? Donald Trump will be out of office – one term, two terms – long after this has significance.

“But that’s what you can expect from the critics in the media. That’s what they do. They attack. We don’t have a free press today. We are pretenders. And you’ll notice, more and more talk show hosts are talking about this since I’ve been talking about this for years now, in great detail, going through the history, going through the specifics. More and more of them finally have the guts to speak out. It’s fun to watch. Many of our colleagues in talk radio supported comprehensive immigration reform until we took the point of the spear, here, and fought it like hell. Then they joined ranks. The silent coup – they were all hiding, until I spoke out about the silent coup, took the hits, but fought back. That’s free speech. That’s free speech.

“I don’t pretend to be part of the press. But the press does pretend to be part of the press. And the consequences of this, I think, have been very troubling. I don’t think we’re getting news. I don’t think we’re getting objectivity. We’re getting left-wing ideology.”



Jordan Peterson wisdom: Lying hurts the liar; Work hard and accept responsibility

As said during his recent Australian tour

Peterson started his Opera House talk by saying that he had over time tweaked one of his “12 Rules For Life” (that is also the name of his book). It used to be “Tell The Truth” but he’s since added “At Least Don’t Lie”.

He changed it, he said, because human beings, being puny and ­ignorant, don’t always know what is true. We might think we do, but we can’t possibly. The world is so big and everything is corrupted, and so at least don’t lie, which ­Peterson defines as “knowing something is not true, and saying it anyway”.

Why not? Not for the reasons you might think. Yes, it’s unethical to deceive people, but that’s not Peterson’s bag so much as this: “The more you lie to yourself and to others, the more corrupt you become.”

He doesn’t mean in business. He means when you lie, you damage yourself psychologically. You create pathways in your brain that are based on falsehoods, and they in turn become the architecture on which you ­depend in times of trouble. “Is that what you want?” he said. “To have lies in your ­corner?”

Of course you don’t, because if you’re depending on lies to save you, inevitably you’ll end up in a “way worse” position than when you started

From there, Peterson segued into a human being’s need not only for truth, but for forward ­motion. He seemed here to be speaking mainly to young men.

Peterson has on previous occasions acknowledged that women in their late 20s and early 30s have big decisions to make and not much time to make them.

His advice is usually for women to put their careers aside for a bit and have a family, because it’s important as you get older to have a close circle of intimates, by which he means a partner, children and grandchildren. You’re going to live until you’re 90, probably. Careers are fun and friends are good, but the people who knew you when you were young and those who will perhaps help take care of you when you are old? Way better.

Young men are also questioning the way forward: should they still be trying to get married and play the provider role? Because it seems to be going out of fashion.

Peterson says yes.

They should get up and get a job. Marry their girlfriends, take on more responsibility, aim for promotions at work, take them when they come, and generally head in the direction of their potential, because forward motion has a positive psychological effect on people. It directs young men, in particular, away from depression, and suicide.

“And you don’t have to change the world,” Peterson said, “just ­decide on three things that could improve your own life by 6pm today.”

That may be something as simple as picking up your dirty socks and putting them in the wash basket. Now your mum is happy and the household is happier, and you’re responsible, so good for you.

Peterson acknowledged that a lot of people struggle to move forward in life because they are caught up in terrible childhood experiences. “But you are no longer five,” he said. “You can’t fight back at five, but you don’t want to still be fighting those demons at age 58.”

Meaning: yes, your childhood was awful. It’s also over. So, no more excuses. Up you get.

The more people do this — speak truth, confront demons, strive forward — the better the world is for everyone, because what happens when vast numbers of people feel a sense of nihilism, and dismay?

When people get angry and start blaming others for their plight?

You get bullying. You get school shootings. You get acts of terror. You get Nazism, concentration camps, gulags, all of it hell.

“We should be moving away from hell,” said Peterson. “That’s a good thing for all of us to be moving away from hell.”

It wasn’t all super-serious. Towards the end of the show, Peterson took questions from the audience. He was asked about his snappy wardrobe of three-piece suits, and he acknowledged spending “way more that any reasonable person should” on clothes in recent years.

He also talked about cage fighting, and about how many problems have simple solutions, using as an example a client he once had, a young woman, who had complained about being tired and angry all the time. Turns out she was hungry.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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