If You're Not a Xenophobe, Why Are You So Dumb?

My last post discussed the total lack of skepticism shown by a well-known global warming Skeptic, Jeff Id. His response is fascinating. I had said some sort of racism/xenophobia is the only explanation I could come up with for Jeff Id's deranged commentary on illegal immigrants stealing elections. This seems to have upset him enough to become even more unhinged.

To be clear, the rhetoric Jeff Id uses in his response isn't what I find fascinating. What fascinates me is how bad his arguments are. I can't imagine how anyone could come up with a response as idiotic as his.

Before I begin though, I want to discuss something "wrong" in my previous post which I only discovered because of Jeff Id's response. Here is a screenshot of text I typed for my previous post:

As you can see, there are two separate blockquote elements. The idea was to quote Jeff Id two separate times, with the separate quotes having some amount of material between them. Jeff Id comments on this:

First, my words as quoted by Brandon [he removed my links]:

Technically, I didn't "remove" the links, but Jeff Id's commentary here is justified as I've only just realized the styling on this site no longer gives a colored background for quotations. There used to be a light gray background behind quotations which would have made the separation of the two blockquote elements clear. I don't know when that changed, and it wasn't intentional (it was probably due to some automated update to the site). I'll be trying to change it back. I just wanted to make a note of this since such changes may otherwise impact how people judge Jeff Id's response.

With that out of the way, I want to begin by discussing something I said in that screenshot:

I don't know how anyone could believe something this ridiculous. To be frank, I think some form of racism/xenophobia is the only answer because there is no rational way to reach these conclusions. How can one believe tens of thousands of people were "dumb enough to self identify as illegal aliens!!"? It seems to me the amount of contempt for the people in question can only arise from some form of bigotry.

In my eyes, this is the central issue. Jeff Id said:

You know when mainstream media speaks on political issues, there is a near certainty that you are being misled. Of the 15.8 million registered voters in Texas, how many of those weren’t dumb enough to self identify as illegal aliens!! These are literally the people who admitted to it in a government office!
...
What we have in Texas is evidence of MASSIVE fraud. Even if the number is only double what the idiotic self reporting illegals have listed, we have an enormous voter fraud issue.

According to Jeff Id, this was an example of massive voter fraud where we didn't just have people voting despite not being legal citizens, but tens of thousands of illegal immigrants were voting while being "dumb enough to self identify as illegal aliens!!"

It's difficult to convey how absurd an idea that is. When and where would these illegal immigrants be self-identifying as illegal immigrants to government agencies? Why would they do so? How would there not be tons of stories about it when it happens? Why would the only time we hear about it be when a government agency compared names in various databases?

That's just a sampling. There are so many problems with that claim I couldn't begin to list them all. And the material Jeff Id originally cited does nothing to support it. It didn't claim anyone self-identified as an illegtal immigrant. What it said is people identify as non-citizens, meaning people who said they were in the country legally with something like a work visa or green card. In discussing how absurd the claim was, and how it wasn't supported by any evidence atll, I wrote:

Even if one thinks that level of contempt could somehow be justified, these beliefs contradict every piece of evidence available.

Jeff Id quotes me saying this, but look at the sort of things he says in response:

I need to point out that there has been NO refutation of the original article in the Washington Post, nor has there been any indication that reports of large numbers of illegal votes in this exact case were inaccurate. At no time, did I or anyone else claim every vote on the list was illegal as Brandon’s words falsely imply and with the obfuscation of data by leftist politicians, it would be impossible to expect a perfect result. In fact, the situation now is actually worse than I had ever imagined it would be. As of today, they were only able to identify 25,000 of these 95,000 registered voters as legal voters during the lawsuits that followed this initial report.
...
That is worse than I had imagined. This means that instead of 58,000 potentially invalid votes, it could be much higher. But even if it is not more than 58,000 illegal voters, the whole event proved it is not zero. Non zero illegal voting was the evidence found, and so we are left with tens of thousands of unvetted votes that still appear to be illegal. Tens of thousands of what at this point we could reasonably assume are ‘likely illegal’ votes remain untested, and due to lawsuits by democrats, the investigation of these voters has been effectively blocked. All investigation halted by Democrats apparently equals zero evidence to Brandon.

Pay attention to how Jeff Id changes the subject. Jeff Id originally went on at length about illegal immigrants "dumb enough to self identify as illegal aliens!!" Yet here, Jeff Id only talks about "illegal votes." In fact, in his latest post, Jeff Id refers to illegal votes, illegal voting or illegal voters eight times in his writing, yet the only refers to illegal immigrants once:

In addition, the census as it will be done in 2020 without identifying citizenship, is literally designed to give equal representation in congress to illegal immigrants.

I'm not going to talk about the census issue today as that's a different topic, but the fact it is the only way Jeff Id could come up with to refer to illegal immigrants in his response to me is striking. If people in the country legally who aren't authorized to vote are voting in elections, that's a problem. If people in the country voting are saying, "I'm an illegal immigrant, and I'm dumb enough to tell you that while voting!!" that's a very different problem.

Jeff Id claimed the latter was the problem. I pointed out that was absurd. Jeff Id responded by reidiculing me by talking about the former. Are we to believe Jeff Id didn't recognize the difference? Or did he recognize the difference and intentionally change the subject? One possibility is he's being really stupid, the other is he's being really dishonest. I'm not sure which would be worse, but Jeff Id has a comment that's relevant:

In fact, from the evidence Brandon presents, it appears the problem is even more significant than originally reported because we have greater certainty that the remaining folks are illegally registered to vote — the opposite of Brandon’s false and emotion laden claims. When false statements are made with understanding, we call this lying. I would rather assume it’s just another confused socialist emoting in Brandon’s case. He clearly feels bigotry and we cannot should not rationally argue with a feeling.

In a speech, this is where I'd ause for a moment to let the point sink in. Having done so, we'd then transition to the next topic, Jeff Id's discussion of evidence. Jeff Id says things are " worse than [he] had imagined" because "we have greater certainty" in his previous claims. The reason for this is, according to him:

In fact, the situation now is actually worse than I had ever imagined it would be. As of today, they were only able to identify 25,000 of these 95,000 registered voters as legal voters during the lawsuits that followed this initial report. From Brandon’s own link – which he apparently failed to read or maybe in his adjective-laden waves of emotion he didn’t want you to know the truth (my bold below):

In court, state officials said about a quarter — 25,000 — of the people on the original list for investigation were placed there in error and had already proved their citizenship.

That is worse than I had imagined. This means that instead of 58,000 potentially invalid votes, it could be much higher. But even if it is not more than 58,000 illegal voters, the whole event proved it is not zero. Non zero illegal voting was the evidence found, and so we are left with tens of thousands of unvetted votes that still appear to be illegal. Tens of thousands of what at this point we could reasonably assume are ‘likely illegal’ votes remain untested, and due to lawsuits by democrats, the investigation of these voters has been effectively blocked. All investigation halted by Democrats apparently equals zero evidence to Brandon.

Again, it's worth noting how Jeff Id silently changed the subject from illegal immigrants supposedly being dumb enough to self-identify as illegal immigrants and voting to non-citizens voting unlawfully, That's not the only problem though. Jeff Id ridicules me for supposedly not reading an article I cited which noted of the 98,000 people listed as unlawfully registed to vote, "state officials said about a quarter — 25,000 — of the people on the original list for investigation were placed there in error and had already proved their citizenship." He does so even though I wrote this in my post:

Claims of voter fraud in Texas were horribly flawed.Within a week of them being made, it was already known, and confirmed, tens of thousands of names from the list of 95,000 shouldn't have been listed. Within months, the claims were rescinded because the people who made them acknowledged they were baseless. Yet Jeff Id, a notable Skeptic, not only failed to express any skepticism about the claims, he exaggerated them by falsely claiming they involved illegal immigrants as opposed to non-citizen residents.

I cited the fact Texan officials acknowledged tens of thousands of names were incorrectly included in this list of people who were supposedly unlawfully registered to vote, pointing out that was a reason the Texan Secretary of State's office had to withdraw the list. In fact, the errors were so severe over ten thousand names were included in the list simply because Texan officials ignored evidence they possessed showing those people were in fact citizens:

But even still, 25,000 of the almost 100,000 names have been cleared after state officials realized they shouldn’t have been put on the list in the first place.

DPS had reliable data on those voters' citizenship because those individuals had provided the department with some form of documentation, such as a naturalization certificate or a U.S. passport, to show they had become citizens since first obtaining an ID. But “miscommunication” between DPS and the secretary of state’s office led state election officials to disregard that field in the data based on the erroneous understanding that their citizenship was self-reported and unreliable, according to testimony from Keith Ingram, chief of the secretary of state’s elections division.

Jeff Id claims I ignored this, despite me having written about it, saying this means things were worse than he though because "they were only able to identify 25,000 of these 95,000 registered voters as legal voters during the lawsuits that followed this initial report." In fact, Jeff Id goes so far as to say this means "instead of 58,000 potentially invalid votes, it could be much higher."

The initial claim was 98,000 people were unlawfully registered to vote, with 58,000 of those people having voted. Within days, Texan officials acknowledged 25,000 of the names on the list were erroneous, which we now know to be due to Texan government having simply ignored evidence they possed showing those people were citizens. Most people would think that a reason to doubt the veracity of the original claims. Jeff Id goes the other way. According to him, the fact 25% of the list was acknowledged to be erroneous means we should be more confident in the rest of the list.

As though that wasn't strange enough, Jeff Id goes even further. The list had 98,000 names of people who were, supposedly, unlawfully registered to vote. Of those 98,000 people, 58,000 had supposedly voted. Jeff Id claims Texan officials acknowledging 25% of the names on that list were included erroneously means "instead of 58,000 potentially invalid votes, it could be much higher."

I can't begin to convey how absurd that is. Texan officials acknowledged ~25,000 names out of 98,000 were erroneously included. Jeff Id says that means we should be more confident in the ohter ~73,000 names. Texan officials said 58,000 of the 98,000 people on the list voted. Jeff Id says the fact 25,000 names being erroneously included in the list of 98,000 means... the 58,000 people reported to have voted might actually be an underestimate...

On top of all this, Jeff Id claims this all shows things are worse than he though even though he originally said:

What we have in Texas is evidence of MASSIVE fraud. Even if the number is only double what the idiotic self reporting illegals have listed, we have an enormous voter fraud issue.

I don't know how Jeff Id could possibly believe any of his claims in his latest post, as absurd as they are, could be worse than that. As I said before, " think some form of racism/xenophobia is the only answer because there is no rational way to reach these conclusions." Because let's be real, if Jeff Id isn't a xenophobe, then how could be this dumb?

6 comments

  1. BTW, Brandon -

    If you look at Jeff's post about tax cuts, I think his level of due diligence slepticism is even lower than on his immigration posts.

    Pubz' attitudes about national debt may just be the best example I've seen of motivated reasoning. Not to say that I think motivated reasoning is more characteristic of pubz than demz, but I think it is hard to find a better example of how people will twist their reasoning to support their emotional attachments than pubz' collective shift in orientation towards national debt pre- vs. post-Obama.

  2. Joshua, I got burnt out on the nonsense he wrote about voter fraud so I'm not sure I'd even want to read more posts. It wouldn't surprise me if you're right. As far as I can tell, he just doesn't think about anything he writes. Look at this recent comment of his:

    So Brandon is one of the reasons I quit blogging. Not personally him but those like him. Some folks have a tenuous contact with reality and the ability to see an obvious upright image upside down is one of the most frightening characteristics of a personality. If you can’t see real, you can’t make judgements. Brandon has gone around the internet like a bull in a China shop proclaiming his genius and screaming at others. He’s really terrifying at some level. He might not be dysfunctional enough to snap but how would We know. The anger and self righteousness is palpable as is the supremacy of his thought. When self certainty meets with zero humility, I truly do not feel safe. Add his blatantly extreme insecurity to the mix and you have a hot mess.

    I challenge anyone to compare the angry screeds to what I post and tell me the idea he should be terrified of me makes any sense. In the meantime, here's the response I posted, which I wouldn't be surprised to find deleted soon:

    Jeff Id, I wasn’t going to comment here since I figure you wouldn’t want me to, but this is an absurd remark. Leaving aside the trivial things, like how I’ve never gone around claiming to be a genius (and in fact, have often discussed my lack of knowledge/expertise), it is silly to suggest I am a threatening presence. If you don’t feel safe because of things I write, that would be called paranoia.

    I get you may not want to discuss criticisms people post of things you write, but it’s sad to post derogatory screens about people while refusing to even attempt a rational discussion. If all you have are insults and whining, you’ve got nothing.

  3. Somehow I get the feeling that you guys don’t want to know how many votes are stolen. Here in Texas we have long memories of Democrat skulduggery. Recall the Box 99 incident? We have never had a deep investigation into voter fraud, including votes by non-citizens, legal and illegal. Too expensive. But random events give us a sniff of old-time Democrat election fraud.
    Jim B

  4. Jim Brock, I'm not sure if I'm more curious why you get that "feeling" or who you think "you guys" are. You seem to be labeling me a Democrat/liberal, but... I'm not. As for knowing "how many votes are stolen," I'd love if we could. I'd support a competent investigation carried out in a nonpartisan manner. What Texas did was not that.

    At a basic level, we know it was utterly incompetent given Texan officials made rudimentary errors because they didn't understand the nature of their own data. That caused tens of thousands of people to be flagged even though Texan officials had clear evidence they were legal voters. Nobody should support that.

    The simple reality is Texan officials tried to create a voter fraud issue, and they failed miserably. After that failure, they've failed to come up with anything new to justify the hysteria they had created. If there is a voter fraud issue, the people to blame for us not knowing about it are bumbling fools like them. It wasn't Democrats who made the fear-mongers in Texas act in moronic ways. If voter fraud really is a significant issue in Texas, you should blame the Texan officials who failed to find evidence of it, not the Democrats who pointed out those failures.

    I think the question people should ask themselves is this. If voter fraud is a major problem in Texas, why did Texas fail so miserably at finding evidence of it? Why did they screw things up so bad? Democrats had nothing to do with that, they just pointed out the screw ups after the fact.

  5. By the way, I should mention I have no idea what "the Box 99 incident" you refer to is. I tried searching online, but I didn't get any relevant results. That'd seem to suggest most people don't remember whatever it is you're referring to.

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