12 May Historical Fallacy – FT#49
The Historical Fallacy is committed when someone assumes the current situation was always inevitable and ignores or denies the context of what led up to it..
We started out with this clip of Tucker Carlson lying about why the curve was flattened:
Mark’s British Politics Corner
Mark stepped right outside his remit of British politics and talked about the Michigan protests, illustrated with a clip from this news story.
And then we talked about these claims of huge success from Boris Johnson, and Keir Starmer’s subsequent response:
Fallacy in the Wild
We looked at this clip from the Nic Cage film Knowing and explained why this man is wrong about Y2K:
And we followed that up with this a discussion about climate change denier Patrick Michaels and why he’s wrong about James Hansen’s 1988 predictions:
Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:
- If I was kind to them I’d be I’d be walked off the stage I mean they come at you with the most horrible, horrendous, biased questions and you see it — 94 or 95% of the press is hostile and yet if you look in Florida today we had hundreds and hundreds of boats going up and down the intercoastal — Trump Trump. We have tremendous support. But the media is — they might as well be in the Democrat Party and why, I don’t know. We fixed our military we fixed the vet — you know if you look at the the VA you take a look at what’s going on with our vets they have choice now.
- Well the supplies haven’t been sporadic, people have said that, but a lot more people have said that we have more than we need, frankly, and in fact now we have so many we’re starting to wonder what we can do with them, so we’re sending them to other countries. It’s incredible the job we’ve done going from nowhere — we had nothing when I took over, and very quickly we have a stockpile like nobody’s ever seen.
- You’re gonna have your job — you’re gonna get another job and you’re gonna get a better job. You’ll get a job where you make more money frankly and I think that’s gonna happen. I think we’re gonna have an incredible following year we’re gonna go into a transition in the third quarter and we’re gonna see things happening that look good. I really believe that. I have a a good feel for this stuff, I’ve done it for a long time.
Click below for the answer
Mark got it right AGAIN this week, so now he’s on 21/49, or 42.8%.
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The London 2012 Olympics was not a logical fallacy
Then we talked about this insane theory about the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony from a nutter who believes in Q-Anon:
You can watch the part of the ceremony she was talking about here:
The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about
- Whether Attorney General Bill Barr is Donald Trump’s personal bitch was never really in question. The only thing we were still wondering is how far he would be prepared to go in destroying the rule of law in the hopes of avoiding the underside of a bus. Well, we just got some new data for that, when the DOJ made a motion to drop the charges against General Mike Flynn, in the case he pleaded guilty to back in December 2017. You remember the one – he admitted – twice, under oath, to lying to the FBI about his illegal conversations with the Russian Ambassador. After agreeing to cooperate with the FBI he was facing a conviction on a single count of lying to the FBI and no recommended jail time and then after Trump started pardoning people, Flynn fired his legal team and started claiming the FBI had set him up. Then he admitted in court, under oath, that he knew it was a crime when he lied to the FBI agents, that he didn’t think his rights were violated and that he didn’t want to challenge the circumstances of his interview. The one glimmer of light in all this is that the judge has to sign off on dropping the charges, and that’s the same judge who told Flynn in 2018 that he sold out his country and asked prosecutors why he wasn’t being tried for treason.
- And if this ever-changing world in which we’re living makes you give up and cry – spare a thought for Ryan working flat out in the Honeywell factory making N95 masks. A spittle-flecked, loose-toothed, heavy breather with a tendency to talk a lot leaned over his shoulder and asked him, with far too much emphasis on the “H” – “How many do you make a day Ryan?” Not so bad cos he’s in a factory making masks, everyone’s wearing them, oh except for the geezer breathing all over them – and worst of all the music’s playing loud so the geezer’s got to shout, and even worst it’s only the President, at the factory promoting the idea of the need for masks, without a mask. And the music blaring, yes the 2020 campaign song “Live and Let Die” the NRA approved Guns and Roses version – brilliant – last night a DJ saved my life!
- As I think we’ve mentioned before, I’m an atheist. But like every good atheist, I’m prepared to have my mind changed if sufficient evidence is presented. And recently, I’ve got to admit, it’s kind of stacking up. First of all, Republicans elected an adulterous, gluttonous, avaricious liar as President, and the Evangelicals treated him like the messiah instead of a very naughty boy. They had the chance to remove him, but they voted to keep him in place, and within a month, there’s global pestilence. The Evangelicals still side with Trump, and now there’s a plague of fucking murder hornets! If the Potomac runs red with blood sometime soon I’m not going to be 100% surprised. In a divine effort to make it a bit closer to home, White House personnel have now started testing positive for coronavirus – first a valet and now the VP’s press secretary Katie Miller. It’s been a rough year for Katie, just three months ago she married spooky racist Stephen Miller, so there’s every chance she’s just trying to get a couple of weeks of self isolation.
- Yesssss, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes! You know that sudden uprush feeling of joy that tickles up from your stomach when you think you detect an inkling that something might signal the return of a long lost friend – well that story of the woman who made sexual assault accusations against Tony Fauci – now says she was paid by Trump supporters to lie – drum roll please cos yipee it was our favourite idiots Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman wot paid her. We thought it had their fingerprints all over it and there they are like “This guy shut the country down. He put 40 million people out of work. In a situation like that, you have to make up whatever you have to make up to stop that train and that’s the way life works, okay? That’s the way it goes.” so natch Diana Andrade recorded the call! So we get to hear Burkman’s “so what if 400,000 die” and “you did a good job and got paid what’s the issue?” as Andrade rightly said to Reason.com “I don’t know how they do all these things and why they do all these things ….I’m like, how is he not in jail?” With you there Diana!
- One of Trump’s favourite claims is that rampant election fraud is going on, and of all the things he says, this one has the most actual evidence to back it up. Unfortunately for him, it’s almost exclusively on the Republican side, just like in Colorado last month. You may remember Congressman Ken Buck – he was the one who got Mueller to say that Trump could be prosecuted after he left office, which was fun. Anyway, Buck also happens to be the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, and they have two Republicans hoping to be on the ballot for the State Senate election. Trouble is, the law says they had to get 30% of the vote at a District assembly, and David Stiver only got 24%. Here’s Ken Buck trying to bully the District Chairman, Eli Bremer, into filing false election results. Of course, since this is all on tape and completely indisputable, Ken Buck will be facing charges of some sort. Either that or nothing will happen at all. Probably that one.
- With a million cases of COVID infection and over 74,000 deaths in the US, Trump is keen to get the economy going again – you can’t Make America Great Still in November’s election if everyone’s dying and no one’s working hey? So how do we do that safely then sir? Not an unreasonable question from the nation’s businesses. And who better to provide the guidance that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention the CDC themselves – the reassurance is right there in the name. But no, the White House task force for getting people back to work without killing them all, well, as few red voters as possible, maybe – my italics – thought it was too prescriptive. The detailed, staged directions for child care centers, schools, camps, restaurants and bars, churches and mass transit providers about how to safely resume operations – a prescription if you will – was too prescriptive. Trump’s spokespeople, perhaps experiencing his fear of too many words written down in one place, felt “many people would argue that it is not the role of the federal government to tell specific entities — whether they be schools or churches or businesses — how they should go about doing things because the nation is so diverse”, er no that’s exactly the role of federal government in an emergency and a school is a school, a mom and pop diner in Tennessee is fundamentally the same as a hipster chocolate shop in L.A.. Way to shirk responsibility and apportion blame you guys!
- Last week Trump announced he would be winding down the White House coronavirus task force – you know because everything’s fine now. Then people pointed out that’s a bit like letting people back in the tower block because the fire on the first floor isn’t as bad as it was. Trump listened to the people, and boldly changed his mind, but wilfully misunderstood why he was doing it, saying “I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday when I started talking about winding it down”. No, you twat, it’s not that it’s popular, it’s just that having people who at least in theory are trying to make things better is preferable to – you know, not doing that. It’s a bit of a moot point now, since at least three members of the task force who actually know something about medicine, and there’s not as many of those as you would hope, are now self isolating thanks to the virus making it inside the White House.
- Boris is a changed man – having survived the virus he looks kindly upon the downtrodden the poorly-paid health workers who he himself voted down a pay rise for, he is no longer the braying chest-thumping chimpanzee king of the baboon chorus howling and throwing their own faeces around hailing his every breath as a success of his stalwart will over the invisible mugger of a virus. Is this cos of his brush with death, his embrace of equality and equanimity? – Gawd bless ya Naaah. It’s cos the House of Commons is obeying lockdown and social distancing and is practically empty with MP’s dialling in over Zoom, so there’s no one there to egg him on, and the silence like that of a courtroom means that his vocal salads of weasel words are perfectly audible, even to Boris himself, who when he makes himself snort with derision at what he’s saying glances around for support finds there’s no one to provide the noise smokescreen to protect him from the friendly, polite, forensically sharp scalpel of Kier Starmer’s legally-trained questioning. On the plus side we no longer have to Stay at Home to save lives we now have to Stay Alert on the lookout for an invisible foe. Except for listeners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who have much more sensible leaders who maintain that you should continue to remain indoors for fear of being infected by the English!
That’s all for this week, thanks for listening, and thanks to our latest Patron, Aya Sakurai!