Thursday, June 29, 2006

Gay: Sin or Not?

I wonder if there are any "seasoned saints" who can answer the following question for me:

If Jesus truly did come to fulfill the law, is it worse to be gay and love Jesus as your lord and savior or is it better to be straight and not recognize Jesus as your lord and savior?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Car Accident

Got read-ended yesterday on I-5. Went to see the adjustor today. I'll probably have repairs started tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Polls are not Votes...

I'm on the "Family Research Council" e-mailing list. The FRC is a whack-job organization that was foaming at the mouth with enthusiasm when Bush threw in his election year support for the gay marriage amendment. I get their emails once per day. Usually they're pretty entertaining. Most of the time they're full of logical contradictions (which most sheeple miss). I credit the philosophy 101 class I took in my senior year of college as well as the inhuman amount of statistics I was compelled to learn, with helping me to be able to pick out the logical inconsistencies in what people say. I used to complain directly to the FRC about the logical inconsistencies in their emails, but I never get a response. Today I'm going to start complaining publicly... I'm Today's FRC "episode" you see the following (with my comments interspersed):

Be leery of public opinion polls on the issue of marriage.

Hmmmm, past FRC "newsletters" love to throw around phrases like "opinion polls consistently show XYZ". Wonder why they're so quick to point out that one should be leery of opinion polls?

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has pointed out how very
different the polls are from the actual votes. Here are
some typical cases showing what the polls said about
protecting marriage in various states prior to the votes
and how the citizens of those states actually voted.
Arkansas: 64.8% (75%); Georgia: 69% (76%); Kansas: 56%
(79%); Kentucky: 71.6% (75%); Louisiana: 62% (78%);
Michigan: 52% (59%); Montana: 61% (67%); Nevada: 43% (67%);
North Dakota: 53% (73%); Ohio: 48% (62%); Oklahoma: 59%
(76%); and Oregon: 50% (57%). Why such a big difference
between pre-vote polls and the actual votes? It's probably
a combination of two major factors.

Using the equation "(1-poll/vote)*100", Let's show the actual percent difference for each poll and vote:

  • Arkansas: 13.6%
  • Georgia: 9.21%
  • Kansas: 29.11%
  • Kentucky: 4.5%
  • Louisiana: 20.51%
  • Michigan: 11.86%
  • Montana: 9%
  • Nevada: 35.8%
  • North Dakota: 27.4%
  • Ohio: 22.58%
  • Oklahoma: 22.37%
  • Oregon: 12.28%
The average difference was 18.2%. They're right, that's a stastically huge difference, even when you take into account a +/- 3% margin of error. Wonder why such a huge difference? 

Having been in politics for a while I've seen how polling questions can be constructed to obtain the desired outcome. The slanted poll questions no doubt account for some of the difference.  

Ah yes, excellent move. Present your "resume" first, then present your opinion as fact! No one's going to realize that you just passed off an unsubstantiated opinion as fact.  

I've seen how polling questions can be constructed to obtain the desired outcome. The slanted poll questions no doubt account for some of the difference. 
Really!?!?! It's great to see that you've finally come around to this. I wonder if this means you won't be wasting time in the future with polls that you find favorable? 

Secondly, and probably more prominent, is the intimidation factor.  

Is that what you're calling it now? In the real world, it's called "sampling error". That means the people who voted weren't the same ones who participated in the polls.  

Unscrupulous politicians like Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)...

I'm sure the typical FRC reader will take this at face value, but for those who actually form their own opinions, it's usually helpful to provide a reference to bolster your hyperbole. 

...rant that protecting marriage is "bigotry, pure and simple." It's no such thing, but Kennedy and company want to intimidate people. Some people are fearful of being labeled a homophobe or bigot so they keep their opinions to themselves until they are in the privacy of the voting booth and then on average over 70% defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  

Again, slipping in opinion as fact. There are no studies indicated to back this up. Let's put together some of the facts and speculate on what might really be going on. The poll values and the vote value difference indicate that there was a sampling error. This jives with past statements by people like Paul Weyrich that indicates that the fewer people who vote, the more ground the conservatives pick up. Its very possible, although I won't pass it off as fact, that the poll/vote discrepancy is because many of those polled weren't fired up enough to vote. In other words, an issue like gay marriage tends to draw a certain type of voter. Since it's difficult to get off your butt and vote, unless you have a motivation, the vast majority probably aren't going to take the time to vote. On the other hand, pollsters work hard to get an even distribution of likely voters to participate in their polls. The discrepancy was probably because the pollsters did *TOO* good of a job getting an even distribution of what people really think.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gay Marriage

Soon the president of the United States is going to announce his support for an anti-gay marriage amendment to the US Constitution. Will anyone connect this with the fact that it is an election year?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Network Chat

Almost 19 years ago to the day was the first time I chatted with someone else over a computer. I was 13 years old. We dialed each other up using those goofy old 300 baud phone coupler modems. I learned all sorts of cool stuff about terminal emulation that way.