22 Jun Overextended Outrage Fallacy – FT#52
The Overextended Outrage Fallacy is committed when an isolated or infrequent incident is used to demonize a whole group of people.
We started out with this clip of Trump talking about illegal immigrants and crime:
And then we looked at this tweet about the Seattle protests:
Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
Incidentally, this episode was recorded on Friday 19th, before an apparently isolate incident of violence occurred within the Seattle Autonomous Zone.
Mark’s British Politics Corner
Mark talked about Priti Patel’s outrage at the destruction of statues as well as the Mayor of Bristol’s less outraged take on the events.
Fallacy in the Wild
We looked at this clip of X Men:
And we followed that up with this clip from Star Trek: Picard:
Finally in this section we talked about the myth that sharks are all man-eaters, which Peter Benchley feels very guilty about:
Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:
- Sometimes you’ll see a building,, it costs less money than another building that costs more because the one that built… the one that costs more… this one looks better — the one that’s cheaper, it looks better. They say how much more did you spend for that building? Actually we spent less. You can do that. It’s called you have to know what you’re doing
- Well, there’s just a hunger for the rallies. And I enjoy doing them. But they enjoy them, more importantly than me. They enjoy them. It gives energy to everybody. And we have tremendous enthusiasm. If you look at the polls, we’re way ahead of sleepy Joe in terms of enthusiasm.We have enthusiasm like they have never seen before, actually. And Joe has the lowest, I hear, enthusiasm on record.
- Mayor Frey wasn’t in control so I demanded we bring in the National Guard and if you saw, they stopped having problems very quickly. The National Guard arrived at a certain time and within a very short number of hours they dominated and I don’t get the credit for that. I saw that they couldn’t do it and I did it but it doesn’t matter what you do, you can do a great job and that’s not what they talk about.
Click below for the answer
Mark got it wrong this week, so now he’s on 23/52, or 44%.
This week’s sponsor was Hopheads, a subscription box where you get 12 bottles of beer sent straight to your house! Click here to sign up!
The Supreme Court is not a logical fallacy
We talked about the surprising decisions from the Supreme Court last week regarding LGBTQ rights and DACA. You can read more about them here.
The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about
- Well, the protests are working! Not in the sense of actual police reform or any serious plan to address systemic racism, but Nascar have banned Confederate flags, so… Yay? The Marines have also got in on the act, since apparently they were previously OK with displaying the flag of an enemy of the United States and the Army said that they were open to renaming the ten military bases that were named after Confederate soldiers. That’s when Trump stepped in, tweeting that his administration will not even consider renaming the bases, because “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom”. First of all, he weirdly capitalised almost half the words in that sentence, like some kind of racist A.A. Milne, and more importantly, no! The people those bases are named after had a history of losing, loss, and fighting for the exact opposite of freedom.
- Fox News continues to attempt to portray itself as a serious news outlet and continues in abject failure – this week determined to be the ones to show that there were ructions within Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, quoted, out loud, chunks from an apparently serious Reddit post unaware that it was itself a verbatim quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Fox News’ The Story host Martha Macallum read out the post entitled “I didn’t vote for Raz” rapper Raz Simone, is the alleged unofficial leader of CHAZ. Of course those of us brought up on Python who have every word of every sketch innately within us, a bit like Beatles lyrics, could see where anything with “autonomous” in the name was going to go and sure enough the Reddit post, and Martha, went there in the spirit of Dennis the Peasant objecting to the assumptions of the ruling classes – “I thought we had an autonomous collective, An anarcho-syndicalist commune at the least, we should take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.” That was enough for Martha to prove the point that things were not well within CHAZ, but the rest of the Reddit post goes on to mention the sword Excalibur itself – “Raz can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because someone threw a sword at him” Unsurprisingly Fox didn’t get the joke but Twitter did – hey ho, well as Fox News would doubtless say (not!) now that both their arms are off – “It’s only a flesh-wound” and carry on fighting impotently whilst looking ridiculous!
- My 2020 bingo card is getting pretty full up, and I wasn’t expecting the “Senator Matt Gaetz reveals a secret adult Cuban son” square to get checked off, but hey, this year is full of surprises. Punchable bobblehead Gaetz was in a meeting on police reform when a black congressman from Louisiana, Cedric Richmond, pointed out that all the people arguing against reform hadn’t had the experience of worrying about their black children being targeted by police, since none of them were black. Matt got very upset at this and after the meeting tweeted a picture of a man named Nestor Galban, and claimed that although they shared no blood, Nestor was his son, who had come from Cuba six years ago, and turned 19 a few days ago. The internet went into detective mode and discovered images from 2016 and 2014 when Nestor was referred to as a House Page, and by Gaetz as ‘local student Nestor Galban’. In Florida, House pages have to be at least 15, so if he was a page in 2014, he’s not 19 now. Some less charitable twitter folk have questioned the nature of Gaetz’s relationship and right wing voices are acting like there’s nothing weird at all about a single 32 yr old Republican living with, but not adopting, a 12 year old Cuban kid and then lying about who he is and possibly how old he is. I’m definitely not saying there’s something inappropriate going on, but let’s not pretend it all makes sense.
- We’ve all done it haven’t we – it’s late, we’ve had too much to drink, we suddenly remember that thing we didn’t buy for someone – like say a thousand million test tubes to be able to implement effective track-and-trace processes for coronavirus, so we hop onto eBay or even better Alibaba, no wait Fillakit LLC, perfect – yes please $7.3 million worth of vials – perfect. ‘Cept of course when they arrive, its not like the blurry jpg picture online at all, what they are are the little polythene bottles that get heat and pressure expanded into 2 litre soda bottles! And it turns out a) they don’t fit the test tube racks d’uh, and b) they’re not sterile, actually c) they’re contaminated, having been as reported by ex-employees – scooped up in snow shovels and thrown into plastic bins and squirted with saline, lab conditions right – nope all outside, makeshift warehouse in Houston, people breathing in and out and everything. FEMA who contracted Fillakit will pay them 10.6 Million if they fulfil the order for 4 million. Whilst they remain completely unusable FEMA has asked health officials in several states to find an alternative use for the unfinished soda bottles. Fill them with piss and mail them to the contracts department at the White House is my advice. And question yourselves as to why you’re not questioning the culture of spending taxpayers money on notoriously corrupt and officially banned business owners – ah sorry answered my own question there – as you were…
- Warmongering Lorax John Bolton is an asshole who refused to tell Congress what he knew about Trump so that he can make money from his book. That’s not news, but it is the reason why this short section is the full extent of the coverage we’ll be giving his book, which Trump is still suing to delay publication on the grounds that it’s all lies, or it’s all classified information, or in some Schrödingian way, it’s all both of those. Anyhoo, the book apparently includes revelations like the fact that Trump didn’t know the UK had nuclear weapons, or that Finland wasn’t part of Russia, and thought it would be cool to invade Venezuela. According to the book, Trump also encouraged President Xi to build concentration camps and asked for China’s help to get re-elected. In a final twist of douchebaggery, Bolton said the Democrats should have tried harder to impeach Trump, since Ukraine was just the tip of the iceberg. Christ, what an asshole.
- CNN released a poll on Monday last showing trailing behind Biden by 14 points, 55%-41%, among registered voters. It also finds the President’s approval rating at 38% the lowest since March 2019 and disapproval at 57% – In a superbly ironic letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker which does its very hardest not to just say “Owaaah it’s not fair stop it stop it stop it” gives a detailed account of how the white house press office actually works! When arguing in the cease and desist letter to Jeff, that the CNN poll is “designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling. It’s a stunt and a phoney poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm”… “and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President,” what they’ve inadvertently done, in coming up against the actual truth, is release a description of how they’ve been running the Trump campaign all this time. Its okay Donny we’re not taken in by CNN it at all – we know you’ve been doing that all along. Truth hurts, truth hurts!
- The Trump campaign finally got too racist for Facebook this week, as the platform took down 88 of the campaign’s identical ads on the grounds that they violated Facebook’s policy against organised hate. Moving swiftly on from the revelation that Facebook is fine with hate so long as it’s chaotic enough, the ads featured an inverted red triangle which the campaign claimed was widely used by Antifa, but is much better known as the symbol the Nazis used to identify political dissidents in their concentration camps. The Antifa angle seems to be based entirely on a single T-shirt on a design-your-own-t-shirt site which used a red triangle as a background behind the word Antifa. The fact that there were 88 ads is probably just a coincidence, but since 88 is white supremacy code for Heil Hitler (since H is the 8th letter of the alphabet) it’s not one of those fun coincidences.
- Okay in a packed week in the UK, riots in Bristol, riots in London and every other major city, a statute gets toppled physically, others get voted to be taken down, people designate themselves as statue protectors and turn up in London only to find the mayor’s got there first and protected them with boards and police and stuff, so the protectors fight the police, Boris tries to start a culture war saying Churchill should not be dismantled when no-one’s said he should be, the mayor’s protected him with boards already. The government fails to get schools safe enough for kids to go back cos they’re too busy making shops safe, and then try to blame everyone in opposition for it. Despite that they all vote to not extend free school meals to children over the summer holiday until a footballer with millions more twitter followers than Boris says they should and they agree with him cos it might mean more votes, Boris decides to paint his plane red white and blue at a cost higher than feeding hungry kids for the summer, thus rendering the structural integrity of the plane, if not the government, slightly suspect. Sometimes you can’t simply paint over the cracks. As Dennis would say “Come and see the violence inherent in the system”
That’s all for this week, thanks for listening, and welcome to our latest Patrons, Amber and Adrian!