Morton’s Fork – FT#119

Morton’s Fork – FT#119

Show Notes

The Morton’s Fork Fallacy is committed when someone suggests two seemingly different choices actually lead to the same negative result.


We started out by discussing this clip of Trump claiming that both testing and not testing for Covid in the White House will result in him being vilified by the press:

Then we talked about this clip of Mike Lindell explaining that all possible outcomes are due to Democrats cheating:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Rishi Sunak being called weak whether he sacked Nadim Zahawi or not:

He then suggested that the ‘Inflationary Spiral’ theory that we debunked in FT#115 also contains a Morton’s Fork.

And he finished by talking about Francine Lewis’s half hearted defense of Boris Johnson on GB News:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical:

Then we discussed this clip from Monty Python’s Flying Circus:

And we finished with this clip from The Simpsons:


Fake News

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

    1. Biden is a disaster. He’s a disaster for our country and, frankly, for the whole world. Everyone knows it. You take a look at what’s going on in our once beautiful cities. You can’t go outside any more, it’s too dangerous. People are dying in the streets and he’s doing nothing about it. It’s like they don’t care. Well, they don’t. If they cared they would… I don’t know.
    2. We have oil and gas, but we don’t want the oil and gas cars. But we want everything, including electric cars. But we also want gasoline because the cars go longer, and they’re preferred by many people. We don’t like quick drives and a stop for two and a half hours. It’s April Fools’. They want all electric stoves all over the country, but we don’t have the electric power for that.
    3. Think of it, they’re emptying out their prisons, and you’ve heard me say that, but they’re also emptying out their mental institutions and to use a strong couple of words, insane asylum. Insane asylum, that’s where… Anybody see Silence of the Lamb? That’s where they come from. Insane asylum. That’s a stronger word than a mental institution.

Mark got it wrong again this week, and is now below 49%

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the great job Jim Jordan’s committee is doing proving that the Deep State is a real thing and not something Republican’s made up to explain why they can’t get anything done.


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

  • You’re not gonna believe this, but we’ve just had it confirmed that there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election in Arizona. I’m not talking about the $6 million audit completed by Cyber Ninjas, paid for by Republicans, which included a hand recount which found 360 more votes for Biden. And I’m not talking about the investigation Trump hired the Berkeley Research Group to undertake, whose results weren’t released because they didn’t find any results. No, this is a whole new story about an investigation launched by then Arizona AG Mark Brnovitch, which concluded in March 2022 having found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. What’s that? Yes, March 2022 was a year ago, why do you ask? Oh, because the report which showed Trump lost was never released. Instead, the following month, Brnovitch released an ‘interim report’ claiming his office had found ‘serious vulnerabilities’ in the state’s voting system that ‘raises questions about the 2020 election in Arizona’. Yes, that was a lie. In September, Brnovitch’s office produced an ‘Election Review Summary’ which made it clear that any claims of fraud were not supported by evidence, but they didn’t release that report. In fact the only reason we know about it now is that Brnovitch left the AG job in January and was replaced by Kris Mayes, a Democrat. So I make that four times Biden has won the 2020 election in Arizona. That’s got to be a record.
  • In a Charlie Brooker-esque Black Mirror parody of the Sex Pistols’ courting infamy and attention when in 1978 they recorded a song with notorious Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, Trump has released a track featuring him reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over an ambient backing, interspersed with a male voice choir singing The Star-Spangled Banner. The choir are none other than those being held in a Washington DC prison for their parts in the deadly January 6 insurrection he incited. And they are grandly named for this single as the J6 Prison Choir. Robert Maguire, research director for the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said: “I have never been more repulsed by the mere existence of a song than one sung by a president who tried to do a coup and a literal ‘choir’ of insurrectionists who tried to help him.” (And that in a world where Justin Bieber exists!)
    Apparently it was, quote, “produced by a major recording artist who was not identified” I’m not surprised he’s remained anonymous it’s awful, basically a Tucker Carlson documentary squeezed into 2mins 30 secs through the worst Zoom connection ever! Say what you like about the Sex Pistols, at least their stuff sounded well-produced, and at least Johnny Rotten didn’t pretend he meant it when he started advertising butter. I expect even Rotten would baulk at the fact that the song is “intended to raise money for the families of those imprisoned.” Trying to have it all ways? That’s not punk, that’s just self-obsessed panhandling of egotism in search of high office – oh yeah …d’uh! Trump!
  • George Santos has had plenty of publicity, including from this podcast for all the many lies he has told, but I’m starting to think we’ve treated him unfairly. We’ve singled him out for ridicule when in fact there are plenty of other Republicans who have also lied about their backgrounds. I’m not talking about the many many lies of failed Georgia Senatorial candidate Herschel Walker, or even the ever-shifting heritage of Florida Republican Anna Paulina Luna, who, like George Santos, has claimed to be Jewish despite her whole family saying she’s Catholic and her grandfather serving in the Nazi military. No, I’m talking about Tennessee Congressman Andy Ogles, who seems to start every question he’s ever asked by saying this: [clips of Ogles saying “I’m an economist”]. Now, if you’re a sweet summer child who takes Republicans at their word, you might think Ogles is an economist, but if you’re Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 you might look into it and discover that, well, he isn’t. Sure, his congressional bio says he graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, “where he studied policy and economics”, but when NewsChannel 5 tried to check they found that he had blocked release of his college transcripts, a totally normal thing to do, which he later claimed was due to fear of identity theft. Undaunted, NewsChannel 5 found an old resume from 2009 in which he claimed his degree was in International Relations, with minors in Psychology and English. But let’s be fair, maybe there’s a lot of economics in the International Relations course at Middle Tennessee State University. Well, maybe, but NewsChannel 5 eventually got hold of his transcripts and found out that even that resume was a lie and he actually has a degree in Liberal Studies. He did once do a semester of Principles of Economics at a community college, and he got a C. Incidentally, NewsChannel 5 also looked into Ogles claims that he had worked in law enforcement and was “heavily involved in the fight against human trafficking” and they found that he was a volunteer reserve deputy with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office for two years until he was canned “for not meeting minimum standards, making no progress in field training and failure to attend required meetings”. Good work NewsChannel 5. Now do you think you could look into these people before they get elected next time?
  • The Right is all about freedom of speech and that they’re being denied it across the entire media landscape, which they never tire of telling us on their YouTube, podcast and Fox News shows with their tie-in books available on Amazon. Ron DeSantis is one of them, complaining about being cancelled from his platform as Governor of Florida and runner for President. But don’t forget that the Right, whilst being mindful of everyone’s right to be able to say what they like, are also terribly sensitive, wincing, tiny delicate beings, almost like an individual ice structure that en masse forms snow, who really don’t like critical things being said about them. No surprise then that Florida State Senator Jason Brodeur introduced Senate Bill 1316 this week, which would mandate that any blogger writing about government officials — including the governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet officers and any member of the state legislature or executive branch — has to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics every time they post a blog and be subject to daily fines if they fail to do so. Apparently this is cos, as Brodeur told the website Florida Politics, “paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk. They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?” Ron Kuby, someone who isn’t just called a lawmaker like Brodeur is, but is an actual First Amendment lawyer in New York said “It’s hard to imagine a proposal that would be more violative of the First Amendment,” He equates bloggers to non-political people, not subject to lobbying rules, basically like all other commentators that write – “We don’t register journalists. People who write cannot be forced to register.” It’s gonna fail when brought to court Jason, so I suggest you perhaps go after those actual paid lobbyists who spout partisan nonsense against political leaders whilst pretending to be journalists on TV, oh er wait a minute that’d apply to Fox News of course wouldn’t it!
  • If you live in a Republican Congressional district, or a red state, or if you have ears and pay attention, you already know that Republican politicians are hateful, despicable people worthy of our disdain, but you might be wondering “who’s the worst one”? Well, it’s a closely fought contest with a lot of great candidates, and I’m not saying this is going to be a recurring segment, but I’m also not NOT saying that. This week, I’d like to make a case for Alaska State Representative David Eastman, who took part in a Judiciary Committee hearing last week about the impacts of children growing up in violent or abusive households, and he asked the head of a children’s charity this question: “How would you respond to the argument that I’ve heard on occasion, where in the case where child abuse is fatal, obviously it’s not good for the child, but it’s actually a benefit to society because there aren’t needs for government services and whatnot over the whole course of that child’s life?” End actual motherfucking quote from an elected representative. Holy fucking shit! Even if that was an ok thing to think, let alone say out loud, what response did he think he was going to get from the guy who’s entire job is to help abused children? Good fucking point? If they’re going to die they’d better do it and reduce the surplus population? The Alaska House censured Eastman for the question, making him the only Alaska lawmaker to have been censured twice. The first was back in 2017 when he suggested rural Alaskan women try to get pregnant so they can get a free trip to the city to get an abortion.
  • They can call me whatever they want, they can blame whatever they want on me, but I’m not going to stop doing this work.” A noble sentiment from a righteously-motivated inclusive activist who’s yet again being shut down by the oppressors? No, it’s America, so of course what we have is another right-wing self-appointed education-expert like Steven Crowder and Matt Walsh who is so aggrieved by the fact that they can’t make enough money from their outrage channels alone, that they are going after the children! The quote is from 28 year-old Chaya Raichik who is adding author to her list of self-described accomplishments which also includes real estate agent,  and full-time internet troll, though neither journalist nor expert in child pedagogy make the list. Despite that, she is certain that the left wants to indoctrinate schoolchildren and so has written a book that “has really important messages for some of these things that we’re seeing in our culture where they’re really targeting children and going after kids.” (no, no we’re not seeing that Chaya, you are, …for money.) To combat “These far-left activists in our schools, who want to tear down childhood innocence” she created a book that is “really not political, It just has a message for parents and children across America.No More Secrets: The Candy Cavern tells the story of Rose, a second-grade lamb whose new teacher, Mr. Woolly, is more interested in giving her sweets than teaching her how to count and read. Whilst the parallel Raichik is drawing with this tale is unclear, I suspect she knows that her hate-activism followers will do all the work she’s not done in making the allegory clear in their red-mist-descended heads. Normally people would throw this stuff away as the insane ramblings of an AI sentence-creator learning how language works, so fair play to Chaya for monetising her trash can, which actually is exactly what her online presence has done thus far. How many left-leaning constituents have to die as a result of the threats of violence and harassment that the likes of Chaya attract against their subjects – including actual bomb threats to children’s hospitals that she has targeted? – How many before the right can ease off secure in the knowledge that no one remains to vote against them? – oh that’s right never – it’s a never-ending war against reasonableness and a sense of supportive community.
  • When I read about Republicans like Lauren Boebert and Thomas Massie trying to abolish the Department of Education my first thought is that they just don’t value people knowing stuff, which is true, but then there’s also the fact that the stuff people learn in school tends to be largely reality based, and reality directly contradicts most conservatives’ world view. Then of course there’s the potential to make money by turning all schools into private enterprises, we know they love that. But then occasionally I’ll read a story that makes me go “oh, yeah, this is also probably part of it”. The story I’m referring to is the story of Ohio couple Logan and Katja Lawrence, the founders of a pro-Hitler home-schooling network that provides lesson plans to over 2500 home-schooling parents. On MLK day they told their followers “It is up to us to ensure our children know him for the deceitful, dishonest, riot-inciting negro he actually was”. And in case you think that the reports calling them Nazi’s are Godwinesque, they proudly embrace it. Katja, who goes by the rather on-the-nose pseudonym Mrs Saxon, told the Neo-Nazi podcast ‘Achtung! Amerikaner’ that the reason she set up the group was “I was having a rough time finding Nazi-approved school material for my home-school children” Since receiving some less than entirely positive coverage in the mainstream media, the Lawrences have protested that people are “cherry-picking” the neo-Nazi aspects of their lesson plans, claiming that these were “just fun extras” , and complaining “We were deliberately made to look very unappealing.” They also claim that antifa is to blame for the negative coverage, and this might in fact be the first time that’s true.  
  • Meanwhile on this Sceptic Isle, this small-minded world, this faecal stone set in its selfish sea, little Rishi got his deal on the EU border vs the Northern Ireland Peace Accord Non-border announced. And he consequently hailed Northern Ireland as the prime investment environment for businesses and a fantastic place to live for residents because it had access to the UK market and the EU and that it’s unique in that; “no-one else has that except you guys” Except that we all of us had all of that in the UK until his party took it all away thanks to Funakking Brexit! Whether this was a slip of the tongue, utter ignorance or a way to usher in a better trading arrangement with the EU without the ERG and other right-wing Tory-Party fumin’-gammon-faced xenophobes noticing remains to be seen. It’s a bit of a Morton’s fork cos if Rishi’s deal goes through the DUP probably won’t rejoin the Stormont power-sharing assembly in Northern Ireland and if it doesn’t go through then Sinn Fein probably won’t join the Stormont power-sharing assembly in Northern Ireland and thus Northern Ireland won’t be self-governing which is also in the Northern Ireland Peace Accord. Elsewhere bits of Sue Gray’s report into whether or not Boris Johnson and his oiks broke the ministerial code by having illegal parties during lockdown have leaked out. Whatsapp exchanges reveal Matt Hancock as the bitter twisted toadying power-mad idiot that we all knew him to be. He swiftly fingered the leaker as a betrayer of work confidences, much like he betrayed the confidences in his marriage vows when fingering his secretary at work! Post-report, Sue Gray has finished her job as a civil servant and has been invited to join the Labour Party to be Starmer’s chief of staff. The right are in meltdown cos whilst they were vehement that Sue would be so impartial in the role that’s why she was appointed, now she’s going to Labour she’s obviously a stooge of the left and turns out not to have been their kind of impartial at all! Fruit and veg remains unavailable and Secretary of State for Food Thérèse Coffey advises that we should embrace the turnip in a parochial England twist on Marie Antoinette’s cake. She also suggests that people work more hours to be able to afford what little food there is, this from a woman who earns £155,000 a year and claims for her groceries and energy bills from the taxpayer on top of her salary. Yep Engerland’s the place to come to boost our technology AI superpower, just as soon as ChatGPT can work out the visa situation and Midjourney can conjure up enough to eat – Earl Grey tea – Hot – Make it so.

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

Jim Cliff

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