Argumentum ad Fastidium – FT#123

Argumentum ad Fastidium – FT#123

Show Notes

The Argumentum ad Fastidium, or Argument from Disgust, occurs when someone claims that because they find something unpleasant that means it is morally or factually wrong.


We started out by discussing this clip of Trump being wrong about kobe beef:

Then we talked about this clip of Trump being wrong about violent movies:

And we finished with this clip of Trump objecting to being asked about racism:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Angela Rayner’s response to Rishi Sunak’s response to Dominic Raab’s resignation:

He then looked at Rayner again, this time defending attack ads that others found disgusting:

And finally he talked about Jacob Rees Mogg and his dislike for the nations favorite baked beans:


Fallacy in the Wild

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

Then we discussed this clip from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

And we finished by talking about this clip from The Imitation Game:

We also briefly talked about studies linking sensitivity to disgusting stimuli with conservative politics and disapproval of homosexuality.


Fake News

In this week’s Fake News game, Mark had to figure out which three of the following images Jim created. The other six are genuinely from Trump’s latest set of NFT digital trading cards which he’s selling to idiots for $99 each:

Mark didn’t get any points this week, and is back below 48%


Fox News is not a logical fallacy

We talked about The Fox News/Dominion settlement, and Tucker Carlson getting fired!


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

  • Fox News paying over three quarters of a billion dollars for lying was awesome, but it wasn’t even the only time that week that terrible people had to pay large amounts of money for lying about the 2020 election. You might remember back in August of 2021 we talked about the ‘cyber symposium‘ run by shouty pillow man Mike Lindell, in which he claimed he would provide “packet captures” which comprised absolute proof that China interfered with the election. So confident, in fact, was Evil Ted Lasso, that he offered $5 million dollars to anyone who could prove him wrong. First of all, though, he set the bar ridiculously low for himself, ignoring the China angle and requiring challengers to show that the data he provided “unequivocally does NOT reflect information related to the November 2020 election.” Then he immediately tripped over the bar he’d laid on the floor, fell down, broke his nose and shat himself when Robert Zeidman, one of the cyber experts that attended the symposium put together a 15 page report proving that not only did the data, which Lindell undoubtedly paid through the nose for, contain no packet captures at all, it contained “no recognizable data in any known data format.” Naturally Lindell refused to pay Zeidman the money, so the case went to arbitration, and last month the arbitration panel said Zeidman had proved his case and ordered Lindell to pay the $5 million. Give it up Mike, even Dinesh D’Souza doesn’t think you’re credible, and he believes anything!
  • In a statement to Missouri’s Riverfront Times this week a spokesperson for Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office said their “illegal or abusive behaviour” reporting online portal was “temporarily down” as the office investigates a potential “hack” into its system. Which is GOP-speak for “dur why didn’t we see that coming?”. Cos you don’t do humour you dullard skanks over there on the right – remember? The online portal in question was set up following a former case manager at the Washington University’s Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital alleging that health care providers there recklessly provided gender-affirming care to minor patients. Bailey’s office later launched an investigation into the centre – I wonder if that investigation included such questions as why is this person with a status as ‘former’ so aggrieved? I suspect not, cos last week Bailey issued an emergency rule that will remove most Missourians’ access to gender-affirming care starting next Thursday. The online portal was taken down after detractors flooded the tip line with false and hilarious and thus completely over the heads/low brows of Bailey’s office/the whole frickin’ GOP. Such excellent gems as Twitter user Goblin Riley’s writing under the name “Leroy Jenkins “I was walking down the street and accidentally called someone ‘them” and “a tractor beam picked me RIGHT UP off the sidewalk and ‘trans’ported me to Planned Parenthood where they STOLE MY SKIN to give it to a trans person. I mean literally the audacity.” and Twitter user Chris Graham wrote “Just reported my dog for being unladylike”. The article in the Riverfront Times has a comments section below it and the “letting people marry dogs slippery slope” appears around about comment no 2 and the inevitable reductio ad Hitlerum that appears about a third the way down ANY comments list inevitably appears about a third the way down. It’s good to see that the sinister machinations of the inflexible right can be so swiftly undermined by the rapier wit of hey well er literally everyone else! And to sustain humour and grace in the face of body/gender fascism is truly something to celebrate!
  • Patrons will know that we spent a considerable amount of time and effort debunking 2000 Mules, Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary claiming that people committed massive voter fraud using absentee ballots in an attempt to sway the election. We dismissed his claims as the paranoid delusions of a convicted fraudster cynically milking the gullible MAGA voter base to make a quick buck, but I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong. A wide ranging, 17 month long investigation in Rensselaer County, New York has led to multiple arrests for exactly that type of behavior. Back in November of 2021, following a local election, several citizens reported that absentee ballots had been applied for in their name by persons unknown and by February of last year the FBI, the state police and a federal grand jury had got involved in the case. In June, City Councilmember Kimberly Ashe-McPherson pleaded guilty to fraudulently submitting absentee ballots which she’d requested via the state elections portal using voters names and dates of birth. This January Rensselaer County Board of Elections commissioner, Jason Schofield, pleaded guilty to fraudulently filing absentee ballots in 2021 using the personal information of at least eight voters without their permission. And just last week, three more Rensselaer County government officials were indicted on conspiracy charges, accused of using their official positions to violate the constitutional rights of subordinate county employees to intimidate them into requesting and filing absentee ballots. So Dinesh was right after all. Except of course that even this small amount of fraud in a local election was quickly uncovered. And the fact that there were no mules involved. And no drop boxes, or non-profit organizations. And no Democrats either, since everyone involved was a Republican. Other than that, good job Dinesh!
  • Whilst we’re exploring the insanity behind the GOPs war on gender, a Mr Stuart Long, who the chair of the Ohio House Public Health Policy Committee emphasised afterwards was not part of the formal proceedings, was nonetheless allowed to speak at the meeting on House Bill 68. A bill which would ban transgender minors from accessing hormone therapy and puberty blockers. Long stood up and straight-faced and in all seriousness said; “The only thing that makes sense is demons are influencing people, allowing their bodies to be possessed to run satanic agendas …,” (well not the only  thing surely?) “And if you can’t say Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, your body is possessed, most likely, by demons, or you haven’t invited him in.” So if I understand it right you are possessed if you agree with the right to be able to assist young people with all the care they need to navigate puberty and their self-image and their struggles with both. Somewhat taken aback, sufficient not to remember his name, Democrat Representative Beth Liston also asked whether “our Hindu, Muslim and Jewish members are demons?” Long said no, but if a person didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their saviour, they opened themselves up to demonic forces. “If you’re not down with that, so to speak, if you’re of another religion that’s not of that, you’ve given access to non-godly entities to make your decisions.” Even Republican Representative Gary Click, the bill’s sponsor, said he didn’t agree with Long and “put that in ALL CAPS”. Click wanted the testimony in support of HB 68 to focus on “science and facts and lived experiences” and was “devastated” that those people he invited to speak were overshadowed by Long. “That was just an ignorant statement…I cannot emphasise enough how much I don’t support those statements.” Although Ohio’s House Democrats spokesman David Meyers did point out that “When you promote extremist legislation, this is the extremist proponent testimony you’re going to get.” Which is a kind of “you employ monkeys? you get nuts!” metaphor if it wasn’t so troublingly evolutionist!!  
  • There’s been a turn in one of the legal cases involving Donald Trump. Admittedly, that doesn’t narrow it down much, some of them have more turns than objectively the worst Fast and Furious movie, Tokyo Drift. But I’m not talking about the fact that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg sought this week to limit Trump’s access to material in the case against him in New York, citing the clear evidence that he can’t be trusted with sensitive documents, or the fact that Mike Pence spent five hours on Thursday testifying in front of Jack Smith’s Grand Jury, or even the fact that in a civil case against him in New York, E Jean Carroll just testified under oath that Trump raped her in 1996. No, I’m talking about the Georgia investigation by Fulton County DA Fani Willis, which started when Trump tried to pressure Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find 11,780 votes, but has since expanded in scope. One of the areas it has expanded into is Trump’s part in the fake elector scheme where 16 unelected randos signed a certificate claiming Trump had won Georgia, and actually thought anyone might take them seriously. 10 of said randos are being represented by the same lawyer, which is a bit of a conflict of interest, given that some of them have accused others of committing various crimes. Their lawyer, Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow, is being paid by the Georgia Republican Party, whose chair, David Shafer, is also one of the fake electors, although she isn’t representing him. Anyway, it turns out that a lawyer who plays this fast and furious with ethics rules might not be super trustworthy, and her clients have just found out that they were offered immunity by the DA last year in exchange for their testimony.  The fact that she didn’t tell them at the time is definitely malpractice and probably criminal obstruction of justice, and I think a few of them might be telling Fani Willis everything they know pretty soon.
  • A really cool thing about a young democracy like the one in the US – no don’t choke on your coffee, bear with me – it is young and it is based upon the ideal of power to the demos – the people – from that political system developed by the ancient Greeks – the idea is not new is what I’m saying (except in relatively new countries like say Sudan and America (well not so much Sudan at the moment!)) Anyway the cool thing is that the US has the ballot initiative –  a means through which any citizen or organisation may gather a predetermined number of signatures to qualify a measure to be placed on a ballot, and to be voted upon in a future election. Basically the direct ability of the people to influence the legislature. Recently voters in California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky and Montana decided on abortion-related ballot measures and came down decisively in favour of abortion rights and access. Our two States de jour – Ohio and Missouri also have ground swell initiatives to create binding state laws that would effectively counter the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. But of course knowing that they’d lose the vote cos the majority of voters in Ohio and Missouri – despite what their GOP legislators think – actually think that access to abortion should be enshrined in law. So to get round that the GOP there are proposing that the simple majority needed for an amendment to make the ballot will need rather to be a super-majority of more than 60% in the future before it will even make it to the voting-on-it stage. Yeah, not content with restricting who of the voting public can vote, they are upping the limit for how much the voting public votes actually count. This requirement for a super-majority would of course only require a simple majority for it to pass into law and with the on-paper-at-least opposing backers the Buckeye Firearm Association and Ohio Right to Life for instance, yeah it’s gonna happen. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio neatly sums it up “Republican lawmakers pushing these efforts want 41% of voters to block ballot initiatives that 59% of voters support, this is not democracy.” Yeah, you know what, I think Stuart Long and his demonic possession of the Ohioan lawmakers argument might just be gaining some traction!
  • You may remember that when Brett Kavanaugh was being considered for a seat on the Supreme Court some people accused him of sexual assault and other extremely shitty behavior, but the Republican Senate Judiciary Committee did a quick investigation and discovered he was a top bloke actually and anyone who said different was just jealous of how awesome he is. Shockingly, the Guardian have now revealed that the Senate investigation was not totally thorough. For example, Kavanaugh’s fellow Yale student Deborah Ramirez accused him of exposing himself to her at a party, and the Senate report said that she likely confused him for someone else, because there was another guy in his fraternity who did that kind of thing all the time. That guy was called Jack Maxey, and the Guardian was able to uncover the fact that Maxey wasn’t actually at Yale at the time, since he was still at High School. To be fair to the Senate investigators, they couldn’t be expected to go to the same lengths of intensive and dedicated investigation that the Guardian did to find this out, by actually going to the trouble of contacting Maxey and asking him. Kavanaugh’s behavior at Yale was described as like a ‘choir boy’ by Maxey, who lest we forget, was well known for repeatedly exposing himself to women at parties. 
  • I am currently in France enjoying a break away from the divisiveness of British politics and I have been sitting in sunny 21 degrees drinking beer with a Californian who has moved permanently to France to avoid the divisiveness of US politics. We then talked vehemently about the divisiveness of Anglo-American politics for about half an hour as if we’ve never left, to the amusement of our French neighbours who are just as vehement about the divisiveness of French politics. “Tout est dans le contexte” as the French probably never say. Anyway the moment my back’s turned on the white cliffs of Dover Raab goes, saying it’s all a conspiracy by the lily-livered to oust strong-minded thinkers, Andrew Bridgen, who likened the vaccine rollout to the Holocaust, gets expelled from the Tory Party saying it’s all a conspiracy to silence the list of MPs who voted against…oh I don’t know … Boris being able to eat cake with 75 other people indoors on the day of the Queen’s husband’s funeral or something, oh yeah and Bill Gates got a mention…and Richard Sharp resigns from his role as chairman of the independent public service broadcaster the BBC. Sharp was nominated/forwarded/recommended/vetted for the post by the Tory government, and failed to declare his part in the arrangement of a loan for £800,000 for Boris Johnson the then Tory Leader and Prime Minister. This was something that was raised by the twittersphere during the “stepping back” of Gary Lineker for tweeting that the Home Office was using language of 1930s Germany. Whilst it took the corporation about a day to do that to Lineker – it’s been two episodes since for Sharp to go. Sunak has stood behind his “when complaints are made it’s right they are investigated and due process is followed” line. Wee-ell let’s hope a) that he’s just as amenable when the investigations into whether his pre-school children care provision bill was in conflict with an undeclared interest his wife has in running a national pre-school childcare provider service, and 2) that he doesn’t feel the need to get involved in appointing the next chairman of an independent national broadcaster. Ahh well – vive la différence… et aussi la même-chose bien sûr!

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

Jim Cliff

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