The Spectre of Math

September 4, 2009

Obama must be really sneaky

Filed under: Politics — jlebl @ 4:48 pm

Sorry for the extra bolding here, but I think that’s what seems to not be getting through.

So some school districts will not let the students hear the President of the US (not just some random joe) talk to them about staying in school. I watched the news this morning and there was some guy arguing that this was an unprecedented “unfettered access” to our kids and that shouldn’t be allowed. What is he going to do? Corrupt them? Make them go vote democratic? Come on, he is the President of the US. He is our leader no matter if you like it or not. Just like I didn’t like Bush being president, he did get actually elected (at least once, opinions differ about his first time). So he was the President and I would not mind him telling school kids that they should stay in school and not do drugs, and anything else he might want to say. Think of it as “career day.” I mean there are all kinds of morons that speak to kids in schools. And the schools don’t care.

Anyway, there is a difference between questioning his policies and trying to pretend he is not the President of the US. If Obama was not elected, if he was just some random shmo, then I can understand. I mean if a war starts, he drafts you into the army, are you going to go “I don’t like Obama, so I won’t listen to my commander in chief.”

I remember being yelled at by someone when I went to an anti war rally in ’03. Apparently questioning the president is unpatriotic and a treason. I was supposed to agree with whatever he said simply because he was the president. Same nonsense was on all the cable news networks, FOX most predominantly. I don’t understand. Aren’t you guys now supposed to also agree with the president no matter what he says? Or does that hold only when the president says something that you agree with? Now I can understand that logic, if that’s explicit.

Pretending that Obama is not the president was the same as the people that the first four years of Bush thought that Bush wasn’t president because he didn’t get elected. I mean they just didn’t like the way the system works (I didn’t like the system), but Bush was the president. It wasn’t illegal. It was strange and weird, but it went according to the system. In this electoral system, it is whoever is in power that controls how the elections are run. That might be stupid, but that’s the way it is.

Anyway, it was a good laugh. Though I don’t know why does MSNBC put these morons on TV. I can understand why FOX puts morons on TV. I mean they even give them their own programs. I hate the whole thing with the “republican strategist” or “democratic strategist” or putting loud idiots on TV just because they managed to be really loud somewhere. Just because you find two opposing views doesn’t mean you will get an objective discussion. The distribution of opinions is going to be something like the gaussian curve. To get any meaningful discussion that has anything to do with what the majority is thinking about, you only want to go within one standard deviation from the mean. That way you’ll get 68% of the population. If you take two people, at least one of whom is further than a few standard deviations (a real deviant) then the discussion is going to be 1) funny 2) loud 3) not informative.

Take healhcare: According to polls, for example this one: , americans are overwhelmingly in favour of a public option of some sort (67%). Even half of the republicans are for it (49%). That means that picking a republican voter at random, you have about a 50/50 chance of hitting one who thinks that we need a public option. So in pure number terms it makes no sense that ALL republicans that end up on TV think that a public option will lead to stalinist communism and death panels. It also means that even the moderate republicans in congress are not actually moderate. The distribution of opinion of the elected representatives of the party is to the right of the mean opinion (of republican voters). Moderate republican congressmen are probably ones who are only slightly more right wing than the average republican voter, while the random republican congressman is quite a bit more right wing than the average republican voter.

You could probably pick two republican voters and have a meaningful discussion on the public option. Just pick actual voters and pick sufficiently at random. That is, do not pick loud idiots just because they are loud.

Enough procrastination … off to do work …



  1. The Dems had a similar fit over George HW Bush speaking to schools back in 1991, so this time it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

    Comment by James — September 6, 2009 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

    • Actually I don’t remember any paranoid democrats that thought that Bush I. was trying to create a fascist army by speaking to children. But anyway, whoever was against it that time, was an idiot as well. This is regardless of party. There are many democratic morons, just like there are many republican morons. It is a strange defense: “there were some democrats who did the same thing, so it is OK for us to do it.” That just means you haven’t gotten past the intelligence of a 5-year-old.

      I’m not saying it is wrong to question or disagree with the president. I just think it is childish to deny that he is president. Trying to scream nyah-nyah-nyah, while holding your ears, is not generally the behavior of “responsible adults.” Also trying to suggest that the president is an evil fascist communist wannabe dictator who is trying to hypnotize the population, while you appear to be the only one who seems to be immune … That doesn’t seem like the “responsible adult” either. But do keep your aluminum foil hat on.

      Comment by jlebl — September 6, 2009 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

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