22 Dec Argument from Consequences – FT#65
The Argument from Consequences occurs when someone makes a truth claim based on how good (or bad) things would be if the claim was in fact true.
We started out by talking about Trump being unable to accept the results of the election because if the numbers are true that would mean people don’t like him.
The we talked about one of Trump’s objections to taking climate change seriously being the fact that if it’s true it will cost a lot of money to deal with.
Mark’s British Politics Corner
Mark is having to take a few weeks off from the podcast due to work, so Jim talked about this clip of Boris Johnson claiming we wouldn’t end up without a Brexit Deal:
Fallacy in the Wild
We talked about this clip from 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (video sadly blocked in the UK and Ireland):
We followed that up with this clip from Contact:
The we talked about this comment from Lord Denning, the judge who dismissed the wrongfully convicted Birmingham 6’s civil claim:
“Just consider the course of events if their action were to proceed to trial… If the six men failed it would mean that much time and money and worry would have been expended by many people to no good purpose. If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous… That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, ‘It cannot be right that these actions should go any further’.”
Finally, we looked at Mark’s tendency in this very podcast to make his ‘Fake News’ choice by relying partly on the fact that he really wants one of the quotes to be true.
If you’d like to win a long sleeved tee from our TeePublic Store, head over to our Facebook Group and tell us who we should have on as a guest, or what your favorite moment on Fallacious Trump was during 2020. But hurry! You’ve only got until midnight on Christmas Eve!
Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:
- Remember we used to say Christmas? Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Then they said “We can’t say Christmas”. But I campaigned on that, and when I got elected I called them up and said “We’re saying Christmas again.” And now,’ can. I did that. And nobody talks about it.
- No oil, no guns, no God. Oh, they won, I don’t think so. Okay, I don’t think so. We knew that a long time ago. They want to take away your jobs, take away your borders, take away your freedom, take away your religion. And they even want to take away your beautiful Christmas that we just got back.
- I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. I know he’s sending out certain messages about Christmas presents, and I hope his Christmas present is a beautiful vase. That’s what I’d like – a vase – as opposed to something else.
Click below for the answer
Our guest host Frank got it wrong this week, so he is currently on 0%
Psychic Nikki is still not a logical fallacy
We talked about whether ‘Psychic to the stars’ Psychic Nikki predicted any of the world shattering events of 2020 (spoiler alert: she didn’t)
The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about
- Some people suggest that Trump has been completely ineffective in the fight against COVID-19 and that he has exhibited a cavalier, even criminal disinterest in reducing the US death toll. I say those people have underestimated Trump. He’s not ignoring the pandemic. In fact, even while attempting to overthrow the democratically elected 46th President, his administration still found time, as recently as last month, to turn down the opportunity to secure more doses of the Pfizer vaccine, ensuring that millions of Americans will have to wait longer to be vaccinated. Not content with that, they’re also fucking up the distribution, with many states getting fewer doses than they were promised. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis blamed production issues and HHS secretary Alex Azar said Pfizer may need help on their manufacturing, but Pfizer weren’t going to take that shit lying down and released a statement saying “This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.”
- After a year of denying a policy of doing-nothing-at-all-about–the China-Virus ‘cept blame it on China and those pesky scientific experts who keep telling me that what I’m doing i.e. nothing, is actually quite dangerous; a slew of emails from Trump-appointee (and therefore not a scientist) Paul Alexander, reveal that’s exactly what was going on. The subcommittee investigating the coronavirus response has had sight of emails from Alexander advocating the oft-denied herd-immunity policies. You can tell he’s a Trump appointee cos a) when schools and campuses were closed he says things like “we essentially took off the battlefield the most potent weapon we had…younger healthy people who we needed to fastly infect themselves” and b) “So the bottom line is if it is more infectiouness now, the issue is who cares?” and that they ‘always knew’ the President’s policies would cause a ‘rise’ in cases, and they plotted to blame the spread of the virus on career scientists. Well you know what Donny when the numbers are against you – votes or deaths eventually people get fed up of taking the fall and will start pointing at patient zero – you!
- Thank goodness there are organizations like the CDC, where doctors, researchers and other scientists can work to combat the virus free of any political interference. Well, that’s the theory, but earlier this month Senior CDC official Charlotte Kent revealed to that House subcommittee that CDC staff were instructed to delete an email from Paul Alexander. That email, sent in August, demanded changes to the CDC’s weekly report to bring it more into line with Trump’s public statements. And then last week, former CDC chief of staff Kyle McGowan and his deputy, Amanda Campbell, went public in a New York Times interview about the massive level of White House interference into their work, with McGowan saying “Every time that the science clashed with the messaging, messaging won.” Well, at least there’s only a few more weeks now until scientists are allowed to science again.
- The home of Kelly Loeffler – Republican candidate in the run-off for the Senate seat in Georgia and seemingly married to Auric Goldfinger – was discovered in an investigation by The Daily Beast to have had their property tax bracket re-assessed in 2016. Having been assessed for tax purposes at the $10.5 million it cost them to buy in 2011, and despite a further million or so spent in architectural improvements, the valuation was dropped to $4 million 4 years ago that’s around 60% – bringing a significant cut in their annual tax bill. Whilst the Beast draws no conclusions it quotes a spokesman for Fulton County where the house is, who says “The employees responsible for these changes, including the appraiser, the Residential Property Manager, the Deputy Chief Appraiser and the Chief Appraiser, are no longer within Fulton County and there is no documentation suggesting the cause of these changes.” Okay, so they either paid waaaay over the odds when they bought it or the assessment system is a mess, or worse someone’s spoken to someone else about something, none of which appears to be substantiatable now. In any case would you want this person being your representative? If you ask Trump of course – which we’re not – she seems just the right kind of honest – after all she was investigated in connection with the 2020 Congressional insider trading scandal after selling stock in companies vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic valued at several million dollars – and thus the kind of down-to-earth, appealing-to-suburban-blue-collar-worker moms, of-the-people person that Trump likes endorsing. Vote wisely Georgia!!
- When Texas attorney general Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court attempting to get the election results of four other states thrown out (coincidentally, all states won by Biden), it seemed like just the latest in a long line of batshit crazy, incoherent and unwinnable lawsuits. It also seemed like it was a blatant attempt from Paxton to secure a Christmas pardon from Trump, since he’s currently under indictment for securities fraud and being investigated by the FBI for illegal abuse of political power to benefit a donor. However, the fact that it was one of the last batshit unwinnable lawsuits seemed to turn it into a cause celebre of any Republicans desperate to display their devotion to Dear Leader. 17 other GOP Attorneys General and 126 House Republicans signed on to an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit, and even the totally real states of New Nevada and New California got on board, and I am not making that up. In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court declined to hear the bullshit lawsuit, with Alito and Thomas releasing a statement – NOT a dissent, saying that Paxton should be allowed to file the lawsuit, but that they definitely wouldn’t rule in his favor.
- Any self-aware, community-focussed person would rightly or wrongly ponder how much your neighbours would want you in their neighbourhood if they and their lawyers are paying so much attention to the small print in your property deeds. When Trump bought Mar-a-Lago, a residential home, and turned it into a business resort – you may recall him playing golf there once, twice or 300 times in the last 4 years – one of the stipulations for planning permission was that it was no longer a residence. Fine until, you know, you become the ex-president and a tan-faced retiree all at the same time and need a place in the sun to preserve the pleather of your external hide. Mar a Lago’s neighbours are keen to point out that very clause in order to stop the whippy-haired killer-clown from bringing his circus to town permanently, having complained about the noise, parking and security restrictions that befell them every one of the 300 or so times he chose to “work-from-home” on the putting green! Comes to something when even slowly-basting right-wing Republican-voting geezers in mobility scooters don’t want their own kind soiling the lawns next door. Well Donny, Paraguay or Brazil were always favourite destinations for disgraced despots in the late forties – could still work?
- Trump son in law and creepy Victorian waxwork Jared Kushner reportedly set up a shell company that spent over half a billion dollars of Trump 2020 campaign funds in consulting fees, much of which appears to have secretly gone to Trump family members and top advisors. Some have accused former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale of mismanaging the money, but campaign finance records show that $415 million was spent after Parscale was fired back in July. But sure, let’s talk about Hunter Biden instead. He probably did much worse stuff,
- It can be a bit of a chore at Christmas hey, the prospect of travelling for hours, meeting relatives, talking to people you’ve really nothing in common with, playing ridiculous games with people who think you’re not worth their time? Well thanks to Boris Grinchmas and his troupe of sorry elves all that’s been taken care of this year. Build up your relatives hopes and then “oh dear nightmare, some sort of bug has broken out”, “what’s it like?”, “oh, no worse than the previous one, it’s just we think little Priti may get it quicker than other people have before, so actually we can’t go outside at all”. “What not even to visit Gran you know how she loves you so?”, “oh no especially not her!” And this way, you see, you don’t even have to speak to those Europeans who always seem so much more gown up and concerned for other people and make you feel small and selfish and stupid. And your chum who pretends he’s Lord Snooty in his grandad’s trousers Old Wee-Smugg, well he can complain about those bloody do-gooders who always send you a charity card each year, and for the first time this year are bringing your attention to the plight of the poor in this country like they’re bloody Unicef or something! They always make you feel so small, selfish and stupid too, as if it’s your fault!! Well none of that either hahaha! And this year they;ve put a stop those big boys from the other side of the river coming over here in their boats and taking our sticklebacks, which admittedly up til now we’ve had no interest in, but if it stops them making us admit we’re completely stupid and self-centered xenophobes again then good thing too ner-ner-ner-ner-ner! For Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot? my arse – there is no acquaintance, you can’t even get into or out of Scotland or Wales anyway and those bloody Europeans are good chums with the Irish. Huzzah for Little England – we got our sovereignty back – there it is in a great big box… no wait… hang on there’s nothing in here – waaaah Carrie Dom it’s not fair!!!
That’s all for this year, thanks for listening, thanks to all our guests, and special thanks to all our lovely Patrons! Have a great Christmas and we’ll see you in 2021.