Election 2016

Today In Useless Polls…

The false precision of arbitrary numbers


Last night I was a little stunned to see this sentence in a Hill story writing up a new poll:

Only 22 percent of Trump supporters believe he will start a nuclear war.

Turns out The Hill misread the results. The poll, which was sponsored by an anti-Trump Republican group called the Lincoln Leadership Initiative, had actually asked people what they thought the chances were that Trump would begin a nuclear war. Donald Trump's supporters thought there was a 22 percent chance; for Americans as a whole, the figure was 46 percent. Want to compare that to how likely Trump voters think is it that Hillary Clinton will use nukes? You can't; the pollsters didn't ask.

Needless to say, telling people to estimate probabilities this way is a pretty useless exercise. If I thought there was a 10 percent chance a candidate was going to launch those missiles, I'd consider that a ridiculously high risk. But I suspect a lot of people would just figure that 10 is a low number and use it to mean "not likely." Picking 20 might mean "probably not." Or maybe it doesn't. Who knows?

Still: If you're curious what arbitrary numeric values Americans assigned to various policies Trump might pursue, you can go here to see the survey data and you can go here to see a write-up that, unlike the Hill piece, represents the results correctly. If you'd like to translate those dry numbers into a metaphor Americans can relate to, like Skittles, our comment thread is open here.

NEXT: America's Other World War II Internment Camps

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  1. Want to compare that to how likely Trump voters think is it that Hillary Clinton will use nukes? You can’t; the pollsters didn’t ask.

    The poll had a function to make Trump look bad. Anything else is beside the point.

    I am rather amused by all the comments I see online about how people are afraid Trump will use nukes. I remember the same hysteria over Reagan.

    1. Yep, this has the same feel as ’79 and will probably have the same outcome.

      Despite all the fawning from the media the average voter was fed up with Carter’s pinko bullshit and the R’s failure to stop it.

      The R’s fought tooth and nail to keep Reagan out and said all of the same things about him. I cant even count the number of times I saw the portrait of Reagan and Bonzo on TV. And yes, he was going to start a nuclear war. And yes he had no foreign policy experience and was going to be trounced by the likes of Gorbachev.

      Trump is no Reagan but the whole circus has that same feel: entrenched powers desperate to keep an outsider from ruining their game.

      Make sure you have plenty of popcorn.

      1. Reagan wasn’t really an outsider. They just thought his unembarrassed promulgation of conservatism was never going to win the general election. They thought it would be like Goldwater. It’s just that Reagan was way more charming and charismatic than Goldwater.

        1. He kind of was an outsider. He was an experienced politician being a former governor of California, but being governor doesn’t make you an insider.

          The beltway types despised Reagan and ‘northeast Rockefeller ‘ Republicans despised him more.

          Reagan just scared the shit out of anti interventionists and Democrats (who used to be much more anti interventionist back when dems could be called ‘liberal’) because he did take a more confrontational approach to the soviets.

    2. Yes, remember the Genesis rock video with marionettes, where a senile Reagan puppet wanted to call for his nurse? And he had two pushbuttons to choose from, one labeled ‘NURSE’ and the other ‘NUKE”? And puppet Reagan was such a moron, he accidentally pushed ‘NUKE’ and started a nuclear war?

      Why can’t we get clever, subtle, Swiftian-level satire like that anymore?

    3. Hell, even if Trump got elected AND used nukes, the real issue might well be where and why. Nuke North Korea because the shot a missile at US forces? Not sure there would be much POLITICAL fallout … other than the ‘anything with the word nuclear in it is the freaking antichrist’ hysterics, and who cares about them.

      Nuclear weapons are just weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were rebuilding before the 1940’s were over.

      Will Trump get us into a war or wars? Maybe. Shrillary is sure to; she’s stupid, arrogant, and following Obama, who apparently never saw amthird world piss-up he didn’t want to meddle in.

    4. I am rather amused by all the comments I see online about how people are afraid Trump will use nukes. I remember the same hysteria over Reagan.

      I remember the same hysteria over Goldwater

    5. “This poll was conducted by partisan hacks. As such, it has a margin of error of +-100%.”

    6. My best friend’s sister makes $89 an hour on the internet . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her check was $14750 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go this website and click tech tab to start your work… Now this website… http://goo.gl/bvaZx7

  2. In my estimation, there’s an 85% chance that Bill Clinton gave Hillary herpes.

  3. She’s probably had herpes since the 70s.

  4. Let’s say the world is a 20 piece box of delicious chicken McNuggets. If Donald Trump were elected president, what would he do with the delicious box of chicken McNuggets? Would he:

    A). Not eat any McNuggets.
    B). Work with Vladmir Putin to split up the nuggets between themselves.
    C). Only eat the McNuggets that have a brownish tint.
    D). Devour all of the McNuggets in one setting, set the empty box on fire, and then piss on the box with his giant man-tackle.

    1. Hey, chicken nuggets taste great!

      1. Clearly you don’t know what they are made of.

        1. If I got too curious about stuff like that, I’d probably become a vegan, which means I’d be even more insufferable than I am now, if that could be imagined.

        2. Soylent Green tastes just like chicken!

        3. I’ll that over the shit than the menu the chefs at Fear Factor dreamed, not to mention the stuff to which Andrew Zimmern routinely subjects his radulised gullet.

          So say nothing of the menus of many Third World and Far East cultures….

          Minced factory seconds inoffensively breaded and deep fried same rather tame in comparison.

          1. Jeebus, I hate not having a QWERTY handy.

            “I’ll take that shif over the menu the chefs at Fear Factor dreamed up….”

            “So” == “To”

            “same” == “seems”

            1. Not even on your smartphone? I’ve got access to a Cyrillic keyboard on mine, but it’s the fucking Soviet layout.

              1. The most common keyboard layout was ??????? back in 70ies when I first saw a typewriter, and it’s still the same now. Just that the ideas of how to improve it (ergonomic! scientific! yada-yada) are different.

                1. I, of course, am used to phonetic equivalents of QWERTY when typing Russian.

                  I looked at a ?? keyboard just for the neck of it, and had no real issues since I’d have to hunt and peck regardless of the layout.

      2. *Hey, chicken nuggets taste great!*

        No, less filling!

        1. Make America Filling Again.

    2. How many of those nuggets could be poisoned before you’d refuse to eat one?

      1. It’s like none you have seen this tutorial on successful poisoning. Putin has, literally, been playing chess since he was a youth, and no doubt read The Landsraad’s Handbook for Assassins section on poisons.

        I lament for The Commentariat of Yore and weep, weep for our future. A very Demolition Man future of Taco Bells, Three Seashells, and “Feelz” SJW Booths. I must enhance my calm.

        1. Well, we certainly know what the Russians like to use for chaumurky.

    3. Donald Trump would drive to the ghetto in his limousine and eat the nuggets in front of starving children while pointing at them and laughing and shouting GET A JOB

      1. So he’s a Libertarian then.

        1. A real libertarian (observe the small ‘l’) would go to the ghetto with a truck, and distribute 6 piece boxes of chicken nuggets — once the starving children put their thumbprints on the contract where they sign up for 20 years in the monocle mines.

          1. The nuggets would also be marinated in arsenic, because that’s what food would be like in a world with no raygulayshuns.

    4. None of the McNuggets would be intercepted by warlords?

    5. delicious chicken McNuggets

      Where do you find that kind?

  5. Suppose you really liked Skittles – would you also like someone to toss you a 100 kiloton Skittle?

    It’s hard to hug a child with nuclear Skittles.

    1. Skittles – taste the mushroom cloud.

  6. OT: As a known Soavatarian, I think the reaction is a little over the top, but completely understandable.

    The graffiti included “KKK” in red, white and blue in addition to an offensive phrase containing a racial epithet. It was quickly removed upon discovery.

    The Detroit Free Press reported that on Wednesday another racial slur was found graffitied on a different part of the campus.

    As the Eastern Michigan vs. Wyoming game was going on, students protested around the field and in the stands. Some students were grouped around the field with a line of protestors behind the end zone.

    At the end of the game, after the Eagles beat Wyoming, 27-24, the student protestors made their way onto the field and marched across it. CBS showed the protest on air.

    1. It’s a wonderful world where a kid with a pad of post it notes and a pen can wreak havoc at any school.

      1. I suspect that’s the motivation here. The perps undoubtedly got a big laugh from the (over)reaction. I was born and raised in Ypsilanti (home of EMU). It’s not exactly a hotbed of KKK activity.

        1. not exactly a hotbed of KKK activity.

          For some reason you don’t see any resurgence of KKK-activity at U Alabama, or Ol’ Miss; no, its at Oberlin and in Berkeley… Vassar…. Buffalo…. Central Connecticut State U…..

          1. I’d be willing to bet big money that none of the graffiti at any of these sites were from actual racists — rather all in-house agent provocateurs.

            1. All of the incidents referred to were known hoaxes

              there are lists of them here

              It didn’t include the above-mentioned berkeley hoax, or, say, the Keane U. incident where a protester tweeted ‘racist hate’ to herself, other students, staff, from a fake-account

              To my knowledge, there hasn’t yet been a confirmed example of “actual racist-messaging” anywhere…. unless you count the stuff elevated to “hate crimes”, a la the girls @ UND who put on blackface for Snapchat. Or cornell football players who wear sombreros, etc.

              If you dare suggest we DONT actually live in one of the most racially oppressive times in history, you’re basically saying we should bring back slavery.

              1. Mu favorite was the NYU black female prof who hung a noose on her office door and cried RACISM !!!!

                No only was she a race baiting racist but also a stupid one that she didn’t allow for the security cameras. Of course nothing happened to her and the media swept it under the rug asap.

                I think a lot ( some? too many ? ) of black people just sit around all day thinking about race and think that white people do the same.

                And then some of my customers are black and the nicest people I deal with. I can think of two who I think higher of than any of my other customers. They were appreciative of getting a good job done. White people just take it for granted regardless of how far you may have gone out of you way for them.

                I have one wealthy customer right now who is mad at me because I did exactly what he told me to do. No shit I’m not making this up.

    2. Dollars to donuts that whomever wrote ‘KKK’ in red white & blue was in league w/ the protesters – or at the very least, was themselves trying to make *broad brush accusations* of racism, rather than actually suggest any racist intent

      Its poop-swastikas all the way down

    3. Meh. This and the post-it note debacle and poop swastika are false flags. How many times do they have to get caught doing this shit before that is the first thing everyone thinks?

      1. Well, everyone except the media.

  7. The fact that people flip out about “THE NUKES!!!!!!!!” really only shows how utterly ignorant they are of American nuclear policy or nuclear weapons use in the context of the modern world. They are, and will remain, primarily diplomatic tools (particularly in regards to nations becoming nuclear powers at an attempt at regional dominance) rather than offensive weapons platforms.

    1. They also flip out because they don’t realize, or pretend not to realize, that Trump is a loudmouthed New Yorker. They insist on taking him literally all the time to justify their pearl-clutching.

        1. NoK nukes is gook nukes.

      1. We haven’t seen Trump. We have only seen the character that Trump plays.

        1. You think there’s any “real” Trump left after all these years?

          1. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil?

            1. No, more satire and spare tire than man, convoluted and farcical. And guilded.

              1. Did you mean gilded or gelded, by any chance?

                1. Did you mean gilded or gelded, by any chance?

                  Gilded, thanks.-) But, based on a recent portrait, gelded (in a choad sort of way) could easily apply.

      2. Except I don’t even remember Trump literally saying anything like “There’s a 46% chance I’ll nuke the bad guys!”

      3. Meanwhile these same people ignore hyperbolic inflammatory language when spoken by Iran.

      4. “They also flip out because they don’t realize, or pretend not to realize, that Trump is a loudmouthed New Yorker. They insist on taking him literally all the time to justify their pearl-clutching.”

        E.g. all the Reazun staff, many of the Reazun commentariat.

        It’s like y’all haven’t been to NYC

      5. They only want to take him literally when he says the bad things, because all the good things and ONLY those are just lies, dontchaknow. Similarly, his supporters think anything they like is absolutely 110% the truth, and anything else can be dismissed automatically.

    2. They also don’t realize that the President’s ability to *unilaterally* fire off any of the nation’s nuclear warheads is non-existent.

      Even in the midst of an incoming decapitation strike he has to call up the Secretary of Defense and the NCA and get concurrence from them.

      In the past (not anymore – at least for US commanders, Brits still can) it has literally been easier for the people manning the ground silos and boomers to launch their payloads on a whim than for the President to order them to do so.

      1. Here’s my debate question for both candidates:
        Two years into your administration, North Korea finishes testing ballistic missiles that in theory could reach any U.S. city west of the Mississippi river. North Korea announces that its nuclear weapons program is now complete, and demands that all sanctions be lifted within 30 days “or else”. What do you do?
        Follow-up question:
        30 days pass without all sanctions being lifted. North Korea launches an unarmed missile that lands harmlessly in the Nevada desert, and demands that all sanctions be lifted within 7 days “or else”. China urges restraint. What do you do?
        Final follow-up:
        7 days pass without all sanctions being lifted. North Korea nukes Las Vegas. Vows to destroy more cities if counter attacked by nuclear or conventional forces. Demands all sanctions be lifted. China announces that any radiation fallout crossing its border will be considered a direct attack against them. What do you do?

        1. None of those scenarios are realistic after the first one.

          A: Wait for China to bring its retarded cousin to heel before he ruins China’s cash cow.

          1. All of these scenarios are ridiculous because they assume North Korea is capable of trans-Pacific rocket launches within two years.

            1. First of all, I’d lift the damn sanctions, which are not working anyway.

          1. Kill the hostages. It’s the only way to be sure.

            Or something…

        2. Lift sanctions.

          The whole point of sanctions is to prevent the capability of nuking California.

          In this scenario they serve no further purpose.

        3. None of your scenarios are applicable because within the first two years of my administration all US troops would have been removed from Korea and trade relations normalized. Because it’s none of our fucking business.

          (Yes, I know it would take longer than 2 years in reality…but in principle)

          1. Ditto, but I’d give the South the opportunity to buy some nukes from us, on the condition that when we verified that NorK was nuke-free, we would want them back.

            The ChiComs would have a stroke, to which I say, good. Fuck those guys.

            1. I’d likely back out of it slowly, giving the Sorks the ability to grow their own defenses over a 5-10 year period. Sell them hardware, definitely.

              And the same with NATO. Not my job to pay for your defense. Now, if you’d like to contract it out, I’ve got a business proposition for you…

        4. 1. Ignore them. Maybe laugh then ignore them.

          2. Bomb the shit out of all their known and suspected launch sites and nuke Pongyang. In for a penny, in for a pound. And its about time someone reminded the Kim’s who the biggest bully on the block really is.

          3. There don’t get to #3.

      2. Even in the midst of an incoming decapitation strike he has to call up the Secretary of Defense and the NCA and get concurrence from them.

        The way I understand it (accepting the shortcommings of that citation), it’s not concurrence. The Sec Def is needed to confirm the message but has no veto authority.

        The NCA isn’t a separate group. The NCA consists of the President and the Sec Def.

        1. If the button doesn’t get pushed unless the SecDef says “Yeppers”, I think he has a veto.

          1. In the same way I had veto power in not dropping my bombs. Both the Sec Def and I would be prosecuted for failure to follow the lawful order. It’s the President’s decision.

            1. The NCA colloquially includes communication with the commanders of the UCC’s.

              The SecDef can be fired if he refuses to verify (I don’t see anything about prosecuted) and his deputy moves up and the President could continue to fire SecDefs until either he got his verification or someone invokes Section 4.

              And the rest of the guys could also simply refuse to carry out the order even if the SecDef verified it.

              Its not like Trump is going to be able to order a launch out of the blue – sitting at DefCon 5 and the call to launch comes in, these people are going to jump to ‘the President’s gone off his/her rocker’ unless someone got inbound missiles/bombers on radar.

  8. Hillary is millions of times more likely to start a nuclear war than Trump and near to infinity more times likely to start more conventional wars. I can base that on the fact that Hillary is a well known war monger and has already caused thousands or 10s of thousands of deaths by her meddling in Syrian and Libya, and she’s made no suggestions at all that she plans to stop that policy. Expect her to double down on it. OTOH, Trump seems dovish in comparison if you actually listen to what he says. I mean it’s pretty much comparing a brash talker to a mass murderer.

    1. Hillary is millions of times more likely to start a nuclear war than Trump

      Clinton is more likely to intentionally start one. Trump is significantly more likely to stumble into one because he’s an ignorant megalomaniac.

      1. MISTRESS: “Hey, Trumpy-poo, you were great, but now I’m hungry. And you say that your hotel has the best food…”

        TRUMP: “That’s right, baby. Here, let me just press the button for room service…oops…tell you what honey, my hotels also have the best underground bunkers, you’re gonna love ’em.”

      2. No concern at all about Hillary’s apparent neurological disorder(s)? What if she seizes up and falls on the button and no one is there to catch her?

        1. If that happened, starving Jezebel writers, while waiting for the zombies to come and eat them, would be carving articles in tree bark about how indignant they are at Republicans and sexists using this fake scandal against the First Woman President.

          1. The sad part is that this scenario is entirely plausible considering who you’re talking about.

    2. Sure, as long as you drag the standards down so that Trump and Clinton are on the same plane of sanity, Hillary “the warmonger” is likely to start a nuclear war, because she’s a “warmonger,” even though as a foreign policy establishment member (at worst), she would of course never consider such radical action. Then of course we must also pretend like Donald Trump hasn’t endorsed both the use of nuclear weapons and the deliberate killing of civilians. Then if you pour a cocktail of tequila and battery acid on your brain and pound it a few times with a rubber mallet, your point kind of makes sense.

      1. In other words, if you compare what Clinton has actually done to the fever dream of what Trump might do, there’s not exactly a wide chasm of distance between them.

        1. Yeah, Trump’s never having held public office before is not a point in his favor.

          1. Trump’s non-membership in the political class is actually a big point in his favor.

            Unless, of course, you crave being a subject ruled by an unaccountable crypto-aristocracy. Which, in your case, I totally get, Tony.

            1. What are some other extremely important jobs for which you think no relevant experience is a plus?

              1. He has plenty of relevant experience, he’s a god damned crony capitalist.

                1. He has plenty of relevant experience, he’s a god damned crony capitalist.

                  Unfortunately, this.

                  He’s just the leader we need to see us through our national bankruptcy and restructuring.

              2. Yours. From what I understand, being a TEAM fluffer only requires decent lungs, a functioning oris, and a pulse.

                Taste buds are plus, but not a pre-req.

              3. “What are some other extremely important jobs for which you think no relevant experience is a plus?”

                Hillary could stop bullets or turn pepsi into coke. It doesn’t matter. She has disqualified herself from ever again holding a civil service position. End of story.

          2. It was good enough for Obama.

          3. Eisenhower had never held public office either and did did pretty well.

            Clinton has held public office, yes, but her performance has been poor.

            Gary Johnson has held public office and has an excellent track record, but I’m sure you think he’s totally unqualified.

            1. Eisenhower is known as a good president because of all the public money he spent building shit like a filthy socialist.
              Trump didn’t win WWII either. Let’s not make silly correlations.

              1. Eisenhower is known as a good president because he was a good president. He had a lot of accomplishments. Way to ignore them, but I expect your level of dishonesty every time you show up. He paid for the interstate system with a usage tax (gasoline taxes), just like a good little libertarian would advocate. So even your point turns out to be an exercise in stupidity, just like I’d expect from you.

                But you’re going to push your agenda regardless, so chew on this: some of the worst presidents we’ve ever had have had loads of “qualifications”. Nixon was all kinds of qualified. He just had a track record of being a low down, shifty individual, just like your candidate.

                1. You’re not wrong that experience isn’t sufficient to make a great president. On the other hand Trump is a mentally ill racist buffoon with fascist tendencies. I suggest we treat him as the anomaly he is.

                  1. Yes he is. And Hillary is a mentally ill buffoon who supports racist policies. I suggest we treat both of them with their deserved contempt.

                    1. Idiotic false-equivalence braindead nonsense.

                      It could happen, right here in the USA, that the Republicans offer a buffoon while the Democrats offer a serious person. I don’t have much sympathy, though, for those of you who can’t figure out what to do in this circumstance. It’s an easier choice than picking out a cantaloupe at the store.

                      An especially thoughtful conservative or libertarian might wonder, if Trump could become the standard-bearer for their end of the political spectrum, if perhaps his own beliefs might be stupid and fucked up having led to this outcome.

                    2. Piss off with the dead thread-fucking, toenail vs. 9.0

  9. Speaking of nukes, I had an idea of a book that could be written by the more scientific and literary commenters here: Mad Max Medicine.
    There could be chapters covering first aid and such. Also old time herbal remedies and surgery.
    Chapter title: My Man Went to Barter Town and All He Brought Me Was This Lousy Syphilis

    1. That’s a pretty easy book to write.

      Broken leg – basic instructions to set the leg, make the patient comfortable because he’s probably going to die.

      Gunshot or stabbing – amputation, Make the patient comfortable because he’s probably going to die. If it can’t be amputated without killing the patient, the patient is definitely going to die.

      Cut self shaving. Make the patient comfortable because he’s probably going to die.

      Food poisoning. Make the patient comfortable because he’s probably going to die.

      Seriously though – go check out some prepper sites. Almost guaranteed they have something equivalent already just without the Mad Max references.

      1. After a recent encounter with an unruly trout and a hook, I had to get a tetanus shot for the first time in 20 years. So I’m good to go on the shaving bit for a while.

        That shot really took the piss out of me for a couple of days though.

        1. Not tetanus, staph infection. Max didn’t wash his face very often.

      2. Yeah, you’re right about there being a lot of stuff out there now. I think some of these people could make a more informative and readable book though. They could explore making sulpha drugs and all sorts of things.

        1. I think the problem with linking to Mad Max is similar to the problem with ‘The Zombie Survival Guide’ – the movie and pop culture bullshit becomes the most important element of the book (because that’s what’s getting the punters to take a second look at the cover) and the actually useful information . . . well, if its incomplete, misleading, just flat out dangerously wrong? hey, its just entertainment.

          Like the ‘Anarchists Cookbook’ If you have enough knowledge to know what’s wrong in that book, you have enough knowledge to not need the book in the first place. Anyone else’ll likely kill themselves.

  10. Interesting I haven’t seen anything from Clinton’s camp yet regarding the shootings. Will she stick with her gun control mantra or play it safe?

    1. They are holding their breath and crossing all of their fingers and toes hoping and praying that it was a crazed TEA partier. If it turns out to be…you know who…they are fucked.

      And double fucked if it happens again before November, which it probably will.

  11. If you think your candidate is 22% likely to start a nuclear war, you must *really* be scared of the other candidate.

    1. Except, those 22% are the ones who *want* Trump to start a nuclear war, starting with nuking Mecca.

  12. Here’s a poll: Who would be tempted to see this movie when it comes out?

    “Jim Gaffigan and Olivia Thirlby have rounded out the cast of “Chappaquiddick” starring Jason Clarke as Sen. Ted Kennedy….

    “Gaffigan will play District Attorney Paul Markham and Thirlby will portray a member of the so called “boiler room girls” ? a group of single women who attended the party preceding the accident on Chappaquiddick Island.”

    1. If they could make a good movie about the Profumo scandal, it should be possible to make a good movie about Chappaquiddick. I can’t imagine Hollywood actually making that good movie, however.

      1. “Nobody Drowned in Christine Keeler” – bumper sticker

        1. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

          1. I see what you did there.

            1. It was, of course, Mandy Rice-Davies who spoke that line, not Keeler.

              1. Sure, but they were all part of the same scandal.

                A lot of English people loved that line, it was such an inversion of traditional social hierarchies.

      2. +1 Joanne Whalley

    2. If Thirlby dyes her hair blonde and puts on armor – yes.

    3. How many of the creepy, glassy eyed ‘I pledge to support Obama/Clinton’ crowd are associated with the movie? If they are I expect a drunk Mary Jo Kopechne to be driving the car over a sober Ted’s objections.

      1. It’ll be a political version of Conrad’s Lord Jim. Where Teddy fails to save the girl in a moment of cowardice and later spends the rest of the movie atoning through his good political works.

        Because of Mary Jo were alive today she’d be proud of all the work Teddy and the Democrats have done.

      2. over a sober Ted’s objections

        That, right there, would never pass the Smell Test. The man had scotch, gin, and whiskey for blood, with his legendary tippling.

        1. it’ll be portrayed as his guilt at letting her drive haunted him and the drinking (and good works) were his way of coping.

    4. There was already a TV show on the subject: the pilot episode of Smallville.

  13. “…Want to compare that to how likely Trump voters think is it that Hillary Clinton will use nukes? You can’t; the pollsters didn’t ask….”

    Hence, when the party holding the other phone says “We’re conducting…”, I hang up.

    1. I usually respond with something like:

      “Mr. Genes isn’t here right now. He’s at the local clinic gettin’ his pills for da’ aids.”

      1. “This call is being recorded for quality purposes. Please identify yourself”

  14. OT: Someone want to explain this Palmer Luckey thing to me? All I see on Twitter is utter hysteria but when I actually found the guy’s Facebook statement it seemed pretty innocuous? I’m seeing references to hate speech, but the only meme I can see that’s confirmed associated with him is “Too Big For Prison,” which is hilarious and definitely not hate speech ffs; and I’m seeing GamerGaters flipping their shit about Insomniac pulling stuff from the Oculus for political reasons when all I’ve been able to find from THEM has been a standard disclaimer of, “Hey man, just because we develop with Oculus doesn’t mean we support hateful memes. We’re cool and so are the people we’ve worked with at Oculus.” Which, yeah, is mealy-mouthed, but isn’t really the huge political statement GG is making it out to be.

    Either way, I’m having trouble finding any kind of synopsis of this that isn’t being written by hysterical Clinton fanatics who think that everyone who mocks their queen is a fascist. So, commentariat: educate me.

    1. You wrote a bunch of English words in an apparently grammatical sequence, but I don’t know what they mean.

      1. That’s basically how I’ve been feeling trying to figure out what’s going on. Palmer Luckey is the inventor of the Oculus Rift VR headset. He did something that made lefties mad? I can’t figure out what he did, though. Now everyone on Twitter is calling him a nazi and GamerGate is jumping all over a game developer who may or may not have pulled out of making games for the Oculus because of Luckey. But since the entire narrative is being controlled by shrieking hordes, I can’t figure out what’s going on.

        Luckey said in his Facebook statement that he’s a Gary Johnson supporter, so this seemed like the most likely place to get an answer that doesn’t involve “Palmer Luckey is Hitler,” which is why I asked here, lol.

        1. Well, some commenters here actually *are* knowledgeable about nerd gamer crap, so good luck…

        2. Gamer nerd here. They’re mad at Palmer for selling out to the great Satan, Facebook. I don’t much blame the lefties for that sentiment.

          Anyway, if you want to get in on VR in it’s infancy, I would suggest going with HTC Vive. Myself, I’m waiting for gen 2 sets to come out so that most of the bugs will be worked out and the price will fall a little more into alignment. Also, HTC Vive isn’t owned by da Debil.

          1. But… a lot of the lefties are pissed because Oculus was a kickstarter project and some of them are backers. So because Palmer got 2 billion for Oculus, they feel that they are owed some of this money, even though no one ever gets money from kickstarter backing. They get a product that they wanted. But, lefties will be lefties and so the narrative goes something like ‘Palmer Luckey is now a rich one percenter after taking our money and running with it!’.

            1. Super late, but I bet this is the core of the problem. He got his initial money from Kickstarter and now is using it (even though at this point it’sactually Facebook’s money, probably, but you get the idea) to fund a pro-Trump group. I suspect unless Luckey’s being totally duplicitous in his Facebook statement that his interest in the group was less about it being pro-Trump and more about it being anti-Hillary, but to the duopoly that’s ~the same thing~. People on Twitter have been screaming about this group posting hate speech, but I don’t know enough about it to know if that’s true or not. The only thing I actually saw, the “Too Big For Prison” billboard with a caricature of Hillary with a big head, is so incredibly tame that I don’t see how even the most delicate sensibilities could consider it hate speech. But, I mean, it’s Twitter, so you never know.

              Thanks for the help, guys!

        3. Palmer Luckey is the inventor of the Oculus Rift VR headset. He did something that made lefties mad?

          I believe he donated money to trump or something.

          According to this, not quite = he donated to a pro-trump group, which is not quite the same thing, but for the sake of Internet Outrage, is more or less the same thing

          I don’t really give a shit and think ‘people being outraged’ is just a fashion-statement for peers. I don’t do twitter so i have no idea what you’re talking about, specifically.

          1. They were already pissed at him because of his selling out to Facebook and getting 2 billions dollars in the deal. To witness a great deal of that sort of mentality, go read Steam forums after any new AAA game release. The amount of ‘games should be free!’ is nauseating. You cannot tell the morons that if games are free there will be no games.

        4. “On Thursday, it was revealed that Palmer Luckey, the creator of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, had funded the efforts of Nimble America, a pro-Donald Trump nonprofit.

          That’s why.

          1. It’s not all of it, but that would definitely bring on a new round of pants shitting from the free shit brigade.

        5. Palmer Luckey apparently at one point expressed support for Trump and is now (IIRC) supporting Johnson.

          So, of course, he’s the devil.

    2. Remember the days when kids loved un-PC heroes who put their finger in the establishment’s eye and bit off the heads of chickens on stage? Mad Magazine? Alice Cooper? Saturday Night Live (original cast)? The more insulting it was the more they loved it. There wasn’t a snowflake in sight.

      1. Yes, I very fondly remember that. That was before ‘liberals’ starting to identify as ‘the left’ and ‘progressives’. IOW, the good old days, or better maybe, the BD (before derp).

      2. I wonder if SJWs even know that Ozzy, the dearest doddering lovably mumbling old fart that he is now, actually, really bit the the head off of a bat.

        In the world of the SJW (and to a lesser extent the Soavetarian), ignorance of whether or not the bat was real is irrelevant to the greater crime against Nature and Gaia’s flying mice.

      3. “Remember the days when kids loved un-PC heroes who put their finger in the establishment’s eye and bit off the heads of chickens on stage? ”

        Where have you gone, National Lampoon? Our commentariat turns it’s lonely eyes to you.

  15. So… guesses on Obama’s e-mail pseudonym?

      1. What, what? I just meant he spies on people.

      1. The OTHER part of the truth (Martin threw away the sword and the pistol by his side, before he died, and the cops never found it, bumbling fools that they were), but here is the REAL truth:
        Martin went a fartin’,
        And he did ride,
        With a sword and a pistol
        By his side,
        Lookin’ for a “creepy ass cracker”
        To help him eat his skittles,
        So when he couldn’t find his spittoon,
        He spit instead in his shittooon,
        And shit instead in his spittoon,
        While the cow jumped over the moon,
        And the dish snorted coke with a spoon,
        And we’ll all know the truth real soon!

    1. THE One we have been Waiting For

    2. “The Grande Mufti”.

    3. I suppose I should throw my own answer into the ring.

      The Marlboro Man.

    4. Wasn’t that about the time Obumbles made the pathetic, embarrassing attempt to get people to call him ‘The Gipper’? He tried several times to associate himself with Reagan and even his lickspittle sycophants in the media didn’t bite.

      I am gonna go with ‘Ronny’.

    5. Block Yomomma because he has a sense of humor and no one knew it?

    6. password@whitehouse.gov

      Because he wanted his password to be ‘password’ but couldn’t figure out where to type it.

  16. OK, just one more Civil War link, then I’ll leave you alone for a little while

    “The Friends of the Elmira [NY] Civil War Prison Camp have re-constructed a Civil War-era building which is more than 150 years old. On Friday, they revealed their progress to the public.

    “”Wow. OK, I mean, 20, 25 years hoping this day would come, [it] was quite an exciting point for me,” said Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp Vice President John Trice.

    “The building was re-constructed using all of the parts from the original structure. It was used in the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, but historians aren’t exactly sure what it was.

    “They’ve theorized that it may have been a commissary building, a pharmacy or a death house.”

    1. One of the great things about Mayan ruins in the Yucatan is that they’re easy to build.

      If there isn’t a Mayan ruin near a tourist center for some reason, that’s not a problem. With the benefit of modern machinery, authentic ancient Mayan ruins are much easier to build than they were centuries ago. You can even tear them down and rebuild them in a better location if you like . . .

      “Reconstruct” them, I mean. Mayan ruins are easily reconstructed.

      Maybe you’re building a development of beachside homes for sale to American retirees. How much better would they sell if there were an authentic, cheap to build Mayan ruin right in the middle of the development. Why, you might even be able to incorporate it into the golf course and the clubhouse swimming pool.

  17. If you’d like to translate those dry numbers into a metaphor Americans can relate to, like Skittles, our comment thread is open here.

    Did he think we would have trouble finding it?

  18. A 22% chance sounds about accurate.

  19. Wisdom of crowds and all that.

    1. Don’t you have to have at least one superlative quality of some value before you can be such a flaming elitist?

      1. Just a belief in such suffices I would think.

        1. Fair enough. I bet you are a legend, in your own mind.

    2. Wisdom of crowds


      1. Klansmen don’t go lynchin alone!

  20. Today in paranoia…just to show you how I’m not digesting television programming as I should:

    The other day I watched the pilot episode of the ‘The Good Place’ and five minutes in I was annoyed.

    As the person played by Ted Danson is explaining what constitutes bad deeds (ie commit genocide) and what are good.

    I noticed in the background of what the show considered “good”:

    -Hosted refugee family (5 people/Syria/Three years)

    -Eat vegan

    -Installed solar panels (house, arid environments)

    -Brought own bags to grocery store

    Anyone else crazy enough to have noticed this?

    1. For a network show I found it to be fairly good.

      Now PITCH on the other hand. What a crock of shit. Forget the predictable and ridiculous Jackie Robinson parallels they try to draw and the whole feminist element they spin in as well. It’s clear as day that the people who wrote it don’t know a single thing about baseball.

      Case in point; the main character’s secret weapon pitch is supposed to be a screwball. They even have a scene where she’s shown how to throw it, with the proper grip and everything. Problem is, it’s a circle changeup, not a screwball. They couldn’t even bother to figure that out.

      I suppose I knew it was gonna suck, but I subjected myself to the pilot anyway.

      1. I didn’t bother to watch at all. Why would an N.L. team want her? Even if she could pitch, she’s going to be a bigger hole in the batting order than a normal pitcher.

        I could see an A.L team taking her, though. If her VORP was good enough. It could be a little lower than a male pitcher if the team expected to sell more tickets or merchandise to make up for the difference.

        1. “she’s going to be a bigger hole in the batting order than a normal pitcher”


      2. Case in point; the main character’s secret weapon pitch is supposed to be a screwball. They even have a scene where she’s shown how to throw it, with the proper grip and everything. Problem is, it’s a circle changeup, not a screwball. They couldn’t even bother to figure that out.

        Haven’t watched but her changeup and/or screwball would only be effective if she also had a decent fastball, right? So how hard can she throw? That actress is 5’8 according to IMDB, she should be throwing knuckleballs if she has any prayer of lasting in the Majors.

        1. Agreed completely about the knuckleball. Especially when you see her throw. She throws like a girl. But that would actually be perfect for a knuckleball since those pitchers throw like weirdos anyway.

          Her fastball is about 85 MPH.

      3. Pitch is a completely ridiculous premise. I won’t even bother.

        1. Women are catchers by their nature. Amirite?

      4. And the Jackie Robinson comparison isn’t just stupid, it’s downright offensive and insulting to the generations of the Negro League players that could have easily played in the Majors if racism hadn’t robbed them of the opportunity.

        There certainly aren’t Ladies’ Only Leagues filled with talented players being kept out of the big leagues by sexism.

        1. You obviously don’t realize that the focus of patriarchal-capitalism is to marginalize women and keep them out of the Sphere of Achievement by denying them the holistically needed resources required to grow the WomanSpace.

      5. How do you know that wasn’t a deliberate “error” to get a laugh from those who know pitching?

        1. There was another scene where they showed the catcher putting down four fingers to call for the “screwball.” But four fingers is a changeup.

    2. Well now I know what not to watch. Oh, wait…I knew already; television.

    3. “I noticed in the background of what the show considered “good”:”

      Using their own wastes for fertilizer?
      Drinking their own urine?
      Walking everywhere?

      No? Just signaling.

      1. Peeing on a compost pile is actually really good for it.

    4. I noticed in the background of what the show considered “good”:

      -Eat vegan

      Good. Reduce their number.

  21. That new museum for negroes in D.C. looks like a stack of serving trays. Coincidence?

    1. It looks like shit on the outside, but it’s pretty nice on the inside. I got a sneak peak last weekend.

      But I overheard lots of people talking about how they LOVE the design of the building. It’s terrible.

    2. museum for negroes

      I think its terrible that they nail them on the walls like that.

      1. Yo, afro-rents, don’t name your kid Art!

    3. Still better than the Palestinian National History Museum. Which is completely empty. Literally. George Carlin couldn’t write that joke.

  22. This ties in to a recent Scott Horton interview with Todd Gitlin. They have this inane back and forth where Gitlin keeps trying to convince Horton that Hillary is more sane than Trump when it comes to nukes and Horton is like, yeah, prove it.


    1. I remember the exact same rhetoric about Reagan before he took office. I also remember the instant Reagan was elected the hostages in Iran were on a flight home.

      I asked an Iranian about that a few years after that happened. “Why did Iran suddenly release the hostages when Reagan was elected?”

      He looked at me like I was stupid and after a pause he said “Boom” and made the universal sign for an explosion with both hands.

      1. “I also remember the instant Reagan was elected the hostages in Iran were on a flight home.”

        No. It was when he was inaugurated.


  23. After WIRED endorsed Hillary, they let Gary Johnson publish a response.

    1. Ugh.

      “The US still has an alarming tendency to try to solve complex foreign policy problems with flying killer robots”

      Does the average person understand that ‘drones’ are actually piloted by a living, breathing person and not HAL, right??!

    2. Johnson writes a hell of a lot better than he speaks.

      I suppose he has people for that.

      1. GayJay had one he’ll of a ghostwriter. The LP should have ran THAT guy for president.

    3. Seen in the comments =

      ” I refuse to support the Left Nut or the Right Nut; I’m supporting the Johnson!”

      1. “I guarantee you there’s no problem.”

      2. I believe the official LP slogan for the ‘let Gary debate’ controversy is: Nobody wants to look at two nuts without a Johnson.

  24. Donald Trump Will Seat Gennifer Flowers in the Front Row at Monday’s Debate

    Gennifer Flowers, who revealed a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton in the 1990s, will reportedly accept Donald Trump’s invitation to attend the first presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Flowers’s assistant confirmed the decision to BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski Saturday afternoon.

    The decision was the latest play in a bizarre bit of gamesmanship between the Clinton and Trump campaigns over the debate. Clinton’s camp confirmed this week that they would invite billionaire mogul Mark Cuban, a Trump antagonist, to the debate.

    I would have picked some of the next of kin of the Benghazi victims if I were Trump.

    1. I like your idea better. Better yet, why not the director of the film, “the innocence of muslims”. Or is he still in jail?

        1. Always good to be reminded what a despicable human being she is.

        2. His story would make a great documentary to be broadcast in late October. Maybe Trump should run it as an infomercial, or at least a campaign ad.

          1. Probably not. The guy did have some prior fraud convictions, and may have been involved in cooking meth or something. I was sort of kidding.

            1. Voice: “Remember when Hildog fraudently told us a movie caused the attack that killed Ambassador X in Libya?” And recall that that poor guy was immediately jailed. And then, of course, the truth came out that 4 brave Americans died because Hildog wouldn’t acknowledge that Islamic terrorists attacked.

              Well that poor guy is homeless now after spending a few months in jail for being nrelates fraud he committed.

              Why isn’t Hildog paying for the fraud she committed? And the neglect and incompetence that killed 4 Americans?

              She belongs in the big house, not the White House.

              Trump 2016

              (With appropriate video during each section)

              1. *unrelated fraud *

                Auto correct is the worst.

    2. So he’s actually doing that?


      1. It really is a stupid move. If you’re going to go that route there’s Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones or Kathleen Willey, women Bill sexually abused (allegedly).

        1. And Broaddrick is the one claiming Hillary knew and abetted this. With Flowers and others, Hillary comes off as another victim of her husband’s infidelity. Hillary didn’t cheat or make Bill do this; it’s not her responsibility. This move will likely make Clinton look more sympathetic in some viewers’ eyes.

          Benghazi is her responsibility.

          1. Monica for the win!!

            1. In The Blue Dress!

        2. They are interchangeable former bimbos that Bill used to dick. Those people who can distinguish among these women are already certain who they will vote for.

    3. I think it’s perfect, down to the timing as a riposte to Hillary bringing in Trump antagonist Cuban.

    4. Yes, that would have been the much better move. But for whatever reason, the Donald must believe that the ho is more likely to bring on a seizure.

      1. Might be he expects it to be more personally antagonizing to Hillary to have one of her husbands open affairs sitting on the front row than things she could call a fling.

  25. Zuckerberg: Oops

    Specifically, Facebook said it had only included video views of 3 seconds or longer when calculating the average length of a video views it showed to advertisers, leaving out shorter times that would have brought down the averages.

    Facebook initially disclosed the problem on an obscure Web page for advertisers several weeks ago.

    “They tried to bury it in a blog,” Reichgut said. “That’s not how you announce something of this magnitude.”

    Advertisers learn what “me today, you tomorrow” looks like in high-def.

  26. Are cocktail parties in high swing recently or are all the Reason writers busy stumping for Hillary?

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