Hot Hand Fallacy – FT#112

Hot Hand Fallacy – FT#112

Show Notes

The Hot Hand Fallacy is committed when someone confuses dependent and independent events and claims that because particular outcome has been happening recently, it will continue to happen.


We started out by discussing this clip of Trump talking about Obamacare:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about John Major claiming in 1997 that the Conservatives 18 year record of success would continue:

and Peter Mandelson giving the Labour Party’s view on it:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Bewitched:

Then we discussed this clip from South Park:

And we finished with this clip from The Big Short


Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:

  1. We don’t have freedom of the press in this country. What we have, is they’re allowed to write whatever they want and much of it – I don’t say all, because there are some good ones like you, but much of it is fake. They claim they have sources and when you ask them who they are they say they can’t tell you. Which, let’s be honest here, which means they don’t exist.
  2. You take the writer and/or the publisher of the paper, a certain paper that you know, and you say, “Who is the leaker? National security”, and they say, “We’re not gonna tell you.” You say, “That’s OK. You’re going to jail.” And when this person realizes that he is going to be the bride of another prisoner very shortly, he will say, “I’d very much like to tell you exactly who that leaker is.”
  3. They spent one year going through tapes, government tapes, all government cameras, going through videos. One year. And they found thousands, tens of thousands of stuffed ballots. They have the tapes. You know what they did? They put them in jail two days ago. These people are evil and they’re crazy and I don’t think our country’s gonna stand for it.

Mark got it right this week, and is on 48%


A hammer is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul and the right-wing rumors and misinformation surrounding the story

The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about

  • One of the pesky things about the law is that even when something is so obvious that everyone knows it’s true, they still make you prove it with evidence and shit. For example, there’s a great deal of evidence that Trump pushed election fraud claims that were demonstrably false, both to the public and, through his lawyers, in court. He did it pretty much immediately following the election and hasn’t really stopped since, and thanks to testimony and documents we know the extent to which it led to the January 6 insurrection. However, until recently, his legal team have been able to make the argument that there was no corrupt intent behind his clearly false claims, because he’s really really stupid. Much like Don Jr avoided prosecution through being too stupid to understand that he wasn’t allowed to make deals with hostile foreign governments, Don Sr was so stupid, narcissistic and gullible that he really believed he did win the 2020 election and more than 10,000 dead people voted in Fulton County.  I say ‘until recently’ because US District Court Judge David Carter has finally got around to looking at the less urgent emails from Trump lawyer John Eastman to check if they were really privileged as Eastman claims, and ordered 8 more to be released to the January 6th Committee – four of which lose the privilege due to the crime-fraud exception. Judge Carter took the unusual step of quoting one of the as yet unreleased emails in his ruling, and it turns out Eastman put in writing in December 2020 that Trump had been made aware of the inaccuracy of several specific claims, and if he signed any legal documents saying they were true, he could get in trouble. You’ll be shocked to hear that Trump did indeed subsequently do exactly that, and continued to push those numbers in public too. 
  • So what do you do when you’re trailing in the gubernatorial race in Michigan against the incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer? Well if you’re former TV “news” anchor Tudor Dixon what you do is ignore history and then not ignore some other history to support your campaign. Being a TV person in recent history say June 2020 you can be pretty sure that recordings exist, for instance, of you saying, in a 6-minute monologue at the head of the far right Real America’s Voice show that “The country today is divided, and this was the plan. It’s been in the works for years. The idea that you can topple the greatest country in the world. But to topple a country like the United States of America, you must be planning this for decades. Why wouldn’t that come from the party that lost the Civil War? The party that wanted to own people because they viewed them as less than human? Do you think that the Democrats are over losing to the North?” Yep, me too; sitting here wide-eyed and scratching my head mouthing “whaaaat? But… the south and democrats defecting to the republican party cos slavery, and, like, Lincoln and end of slavery and Gettysburg and …what are they teaching in schools over there?” Well of course if Dixon got her way they’d not be teaching CRT for sure which this actually is, isn’t it?. Unlike Lincoln who said “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here” and was oh so very wrong, Dixon’s campaign, when asked about the content of this speech rolling all of the responses to George Floyd and the pandemic into a theory that the Dems want to divide the country and feed White people “white guilt” so they can assume power and “gladly own” and enslave people of all colors “again”, ignored that bit of history and failed to answer CNN’s queries. Rather they claimed “CNN is rushing to the aid of their favored candidate, Gretchen Whitmer.” There ya go folks Tudor Dixon the human food blender mashing up the nation’s history into her own private Michigan to make things easier to swallow. Don’t forget to vote!
  • Finding out where the line is for different groups can be interesting. You know, the line that is crossed when someone goes too far. More and more frequently in the nightmare hellscape we call politics, just finding out there is indeed a line is nice, but conservative journalist Lara Logan seems so intent on finding that line I assume she must be writing a book on it or something. Lara used to work for CBS News as their Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent. She found their line in 2013 when she was fired for an inaccurate and poorly sourced report on the Benghazi attack. Then she went to Fox News, who had no problem with her falling for and reporting multiple obvious hoaxes about antifa, but somewhat surprisingly, balked at her calling Anthony Fauci a Nazi. Lara found a new home at Newsmax, who were apparently unfazed by the Reductio ad Hitlerum, and ambivalent about her spouting pro-Kremlin propaganda about Ukraine and her claim that Darwin was paid by the Rothschilds to come up with the Theory of Evolution. But Lara was undaunted. Determined to find Newsmax’s line, she claimed on air last week that people at the World Economic Forum “want us eating insects, cockroaches, and that, while they dine on the blood of children”, which kind of sounds like she thinks it’s unfair she never gets to dine on the blood of children. She also said “God believes in sovereignty and national identity and the sanctity of family, and all the things that we’ve lived with from the beginning of time. And he knows that the open border is Satan’s way of taking control of the world” So, having finally proved that it’s possible for someone to be too crazy for Newsmax, without even the threat of a multi-million dollar lawsuit from Dominion, Newsmax released a statement condemning her reprehensible statements in the strongest possible terms and promising never to interview her again.
  • And now news of the right-wing superhero movie “Rebel’s Run”, which featured the character Rebel fighting a global police force hunting down freethinking conservatives. Yeah perhaps a somewhat niche-r-er movie than the Marvel Universe, but one for which Theodore Beale, a far-right blogger known as “Vox Day,” managed to sufficiently inspire his followers – the “Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil”’s “minions” – to raise over a million dollars. Link to the trailer though and you’ll find Vimeo’s page stating “VimeUhOh – Something once lived here but it has been deleted”, why is that? Well, when you’re in the right-wing world of funding the unfundable to say the unsayable, you’re going to have to keep your money safe with those who bank the unbankable – James Wolfgramm’s Utah-based Ohana Capital Financial for example. A self-described cryptocurrency billionaire (yeah you can hear the alarm bells too hey?) – according to a federal indictment filed last month – Wolfgramm’s wealth was a sham; the sports car pictures posted on his social media for example, were pulled from other websites. He also sold crypto-mining rigs, which not unlike the screens we saw in 2000 Mules, were fake, and simply ran a loop of mining activity like a mashup of Manic Miner on the Sinclair Spectrum and that bit from Speed. Not surprisingly Wolfgramm was indebted to other clients and, in an echo perhaps of Trump, used the money from one grift to pay off the debts on another grift to do with fake PPE supply. Despite their supposed outsider status Beale and his collaborators called the mainstream law enforcers – the FBI. Later composing himself Beale declared “I strongly suspect that this whole thing was a targeted operation intended to break our community.” Errr no looks like you’re able to do that all on your own. Pitch it as a documentary and Dinesh D’Souza will fund it I’m sure!
  • Trump is the best at losing in court, everybody says so. Nobody has ever lost like him, but losing by simply failing to prove your case, having your own lawyers disbarred, or having summary judgments against you for failing to produce evidence probably gets pretty boring when you’ve done it as many times as Trump. We all need a bit of variety to keep things interesting, and while Trump’s lawyer’s didn’t exactly find a new way to lose in New York last week, they may have found a new reason to settle a lawsuit. A group who claim Trump’s security guards beat them up for protesting outside Trump Tower back in 2015 filed a lawsuit which Trump was apparently willing to fight in court until his lawyers started interviewing potential jurors in the case. According to the Daily Beast, they had trouble finding potential jurors who weren’t openly hostile towards Trump and his politics and decided it would be better for everyone if they just came to a last minute settlement agreement with the plaintiffs. 
  • You know what? Reading Wolfgramm’s name reminded me of someone and then our most favourite hamfisted fuckwits since the Three Stooges; Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman show up again. This time pleading guilty on Oct 24th in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland to telecommunications fraud in relation to a harebrained scheme to depress Black turnout by dint of robocalls dispensing misinformation about the 2020 election. Burkman initially claimed that his number had been spoofed when the account responsible for paying for the calls was immediately traced to his cellphone. “No one in their right mind would put their own cell on a robocall” I suspect he then realised what he’d said and nodded in surrender a bit like Al from the Diner in Happy Days – yep yep yep! Whilst Attorneys General in Michigan and New York moved against Wohl and Burkman over the calls, the FEC assessed a $5.1 million fine, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation sued them for violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, prosecutors in Ohio have secured the first guilty plea, knocking an original tally of 8 counts of telecommunications fraud and 7 bribery charges down to one charge of fraud and a $2,500 fine. It’s not clear what sentence the pair will receive, but Law & Crime reports that they may actually serve time. Whilst we cheer in momentary celebration, for Burkman and Wohl, who face up to 24 years in prison if convicted in their upcoming face off with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the fun is just beginning.
  • With Elon’s takeover of Twitter complete, Trump’s Truth Social is no longer the only social network that looks exactly like Twitter but with open white supremacy and no hope of ever turning a profit. Trump is still there, though, and last week he ‘Truthed’ this gem: “So the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just ruled, in effect, that the 2020 Presidential Election was Rigged, but they’ll let that result stand, however, in future Elections, you are no longer allowed to do what was done in the 2020 Election. Is that fair, or even legal. This decision represents far more votes than would have been needed to win Pennsylvania. What a SCAM!” As with all Trump’s public pronouncements, this is totally accurate and needs no further context or explanation, but for those of you who remain skeptical, the fat liar is referring to a ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that any mail in ballots received for the midterms in outer envelopes that are either undated or with an incorrect date should not be counted. The ruling comes following a challenge from Republicans, the sole purpose of which seems to be to reduce the total number of mail in votes counted. After all, this has nothing to do with whether the ballots are received on time – PA requires voters to hand write a date on the envelope. In past elections, nobody cared what date that was – it could be in the future if you like. And since the envelope being dated or not had no real bearing on anything, undated envelopes were generally accepted, especially since the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to throw out ballots for minor reasons. In fact the court was split three all on whether prohibiting the counting of these votes violated the Civil Rights Act. It’s not about fraud, of course, because there’s no reason whatsoever to assume that people voting illegally would be less likely to date their outer envelope than legal voters. Ultimately, what the Courts and the Republicans have done here is ensured that fraudsters with good admin skills are more likely to get their votes counted than the around 8000 Pennsylvanians who generally miss that part of the instructions each election. And of course, it does not mean, as Trump claimed, that the court ruled the 2020 election was rigged. All it means is that Democracy has been chipped away at again and we’ll need to fight a little harder to get it back. In another up and down, gone and back few days in the home of the sick man of Europe/laughing stock of the civilised world – Britain; the interest rates are up again, as are BP and Shell’s profits, new PM Rishi has performed more u-turns than Truss, having u-turned on all his leadership contest promises and also the specific promises of the Tory manifesto that for a brief moment Boris had a chance of a comeback on as the mandate he was voted in on in 2019. Suella Braverman is back from the dead after 6 days cos she apologised for breaking the ministerial code of conduct, so that’s alright then, and Andrew Bridgen MP has been suspended for 5 days for breaching – checks notes – the code of conduct and because he displayed a “cavalier” attitude to the rules having accepted large sums of money from firms he lobbied on behalf of, then offered no apology but rather insinuated that the Standards Commissioner was only finding him guilty cos she’d been promised a peerage on retirement. Any advance on 5? 3 days has already been taken as the fastest resurrection time so far but perhaps in a peculiar mashup of the Bible and the Guinness book of records somebody may be in line to beat that. Not Matt Hancock though, who not only was deliciously blanked by Rishi Sunak when going into Number 10 glad-handing every single colleague except Hancock on the way, but, as the surprise “resurrect my career” candidate in the new series of ‘I’m a Celebrity get me out of here’ he will get voted to stay in every single bloody week for certain by the viewers’ phone-in vote so we make sure he gets to eat anuses, be bathed in cockroaches in a subterranean glass box and subjected to all the other televised tortures that ITV’s advertising budget can muster to pay him back for being such a naive, vacuous, malevolent, negligent COVID killer of the elderly in care homes, entitled, senseless waste of human flesh. It’s an episode of Black Mirror that Charlie Brooker will not have to write after all.

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening!

Jim Cliff

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