Tautological Templar – FT#125

Tautological Templar – FT#125

Show Notes

The Tautological Templar Fallacy involves a person claiming their actions are good or right because they are a good person who only does good things.


We started out by discussing this clip of Alan Dershowitz explaining why Trump should get away with pressuring a foreign government to investigate his opponent:

Then we talked about this clip of Kellyanne Conway saying anything Trump does is, by definition, Presidential:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Nadine Dorries claiming, incredibly, that Boris Johnson tells the truth:

He then looked at this video of Nadine and argued that her stance suggested that people in a position of privilege are entitled to act in a privileged way:

And he presented this clip as further evidence:

Fallacy in the Wild

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

Then we discussed this clip from Taxi:

We followed that up with this clip from The Good Place:

And we finished by talking about this clip from Peacemaker:


Fake News

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

  1. We really need to get tough on dealers, that’s the mistake we’re making. Dealers get a slap on the wrist, maybe a week or two in a resort prison, and you know each one, on average, kills twenty people. Each dealer. Think of it. That’s like a serial killer, is what that is. You think a serial killer would get a week or two in prison? It’s crazy.
  2. If somebody’s selling drugs they have a quick trial and they execute the people and it’s a terrible thing when you think about it, but when you really think about it, the average drug dealer – I just saw a statistic. The average drug dealer in this country kills five hundred people over a lifetime. Five hundred people! So when you look at that – and China has no problem.
  3. Our children are being decimated. You know one drug dealer can kill thousands of people. One drug dealer – if you ever did an average. Nobody’s ever seen this, you’ve probably never heard this before, but if you ever did an average, a drug dealer will kill thousands of people and we don’t even come down on these people. So it’s time to start, and that time is now right now.

Mark got it wrong this week, and is now on 47%


Classified documents are not a logical fallacy

We talked about the incriminating audio recording of Trump that Federal prosecutors have in their possession.


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

  • OK, I’ve been putting off doing a story on the debt ceiling debate for what feels like months now, because it’s an incredibly boring topic and not at all funny, but now McCarthy and Biden have both conceded some stuff they said they definitely wouldn’t concede, and the Fiscal Responsibility Act has passed, so I guess I have to talk about it. Just don’t expect me to make it funny or interesting. Basically, The Republicans threatened to trigger a global financial crisis if Democrats insisted on helping poor people, and the media asked why both sides were being so stubborn about it. Biden managed to keep all the funding for Social Security and Medicare, as well as his student loan forgiveness programme, and McCarthy secured an easier route to securing permits for new fossil fuel pipelines and imposing work requirements on some low income SNAP recipients. Like all good compromises nobody was really happy, but the good news is that the unhappy people included far right lunatics like Lauren Boebert, who campaigned against the bill and then didn’t even show up to vote against it. She claimed later that this was a protest of sorts, saying “I certainly let all of my colleagues and the country know I was against this garbage of a bill, and against bypassing the voice of each representative”. Of course, the traditional way for a Congressperson to let everyone know they’re against a bill is to, you know, vote against it. But thanks to a video that emerged on social media today we know that actually she didn’t deliberately protest the vote, she’s just so bad at her job that she arrived late and missed it. 
  • Jackson Lahmeyer Pastors for Trump group leader said “Satan, right now has an entire political party in this nation doing his bidding — for free,” referring, I’m guessing, to the Democratic party, whose president, in truth, is an observant Catholic. He said this at an event held in Trump’s name and in his Doral Florida property. Despite their devotion to the Orange Self-deity, Pastor Craig Hagin wanted to go on the record that “at Pastors for Trump, we do not worship Donald Trump,” he said. “We only worship Jesus Christ.” then going on to talk about Trump’s second coming. This gathering was followed by another; the ReAwaken America Convention, yes you’re right to notice the Great Awakening QAnon-type reference cos it was filled with just those kind of MAGA types who revere t​he presidentially-pardoned convicted criminal Michael Flynn, who stood and gave a speech that mostly consisted of playing in a phone call from Trump that told them all how marvellous his hotel was and told him stay “wealthy, healthy and well cos we’re gonna bring you back”. By this point Pastor Mark Burns must’ve been fired up by the presence of “America’s General” that he was no longer advocating good Christian folk to turn the other cheek but prepare to “smack them back two times harder. The bible says we take it by force.” Amanda Grace, another QMaga prophet agreed that “We have to understand the rules of engagement in spiritual warfare” and warned against seducing spirits which are apparently mermaids; “I have never seen more images of more mermaids and water people in my life,” Grace told the crowd. Obviously unaware of the popularity of Avatar 2, and the live action Little Mermaid. The thing is, as we often remind you, it’s funny but the right don’t do funny, they think it’s real and they have the vote. Let’s hope prophet Mike Flynn’s prophecy that he and Navarro will be up in front of the firing squad is the only one that comes true!
  • This will shock you, but it turns out former Trump lawyer and Four Seasons Landscaping press conference host Rudolph Giuliani may not be a great guy. In a story that broke on my birthday (thank you Universe, how did you know?), a former aide of Rudy’s is suing him for “unlawful abuses of power, wide-ranging sexual assault and harassment, wage theft, and other misconduct” committed while she worked for him in 2019 and 2020. She alleges, among other things, that he started making sexual advances to her on her first day in the job and continually pressured her into having sex with him. She claims to have numerous audio recordings of Giuliani making sexual comments, demanding sex and making sexist, racist, and antisemitic remarks. And finally, Rudy is said to have asked her “if she knew anyone in need of a pardon” because “he was selling pardons for $2m, which he and president Trump would split”. I don’t know how much he made selling pardons, but I think a lot of it might be spent on legal fees pretty soon.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s professional defamation lawsuit settlers, oh and news-shaped-legally-described-as-entertainment-value-only TV station Fox News grabbed some viewers this week by perpetuating a lie published by Murdoch’s New York Post that veterans had been kicked out of the Crossroads Hotel in New York to make way for migrants. The perfect rage-bait headlines. This led in real life to a 911 call being made by the proprietors of the hotel to come and take away someone who was making actual threats of physical harm to the staff as a result. In the same way that pizza parlour didn’t have a cellar much less any kids. The hotel did not have any veterans staying there, nor any migrants who came to displace them. The veterans were no such thing, they were guests of a homeless shelter in Poughkeepsie recruited with an all you can eat meal by Sharon Toney-Finch, CEO of the nonprofit YIT Foundation, to say, if asked, that they had been kicked out of the hotel. None of which the “journalists” at Fox investigated, they were too busy shouting about it across their News and Business output for a week. It took the Mid Hudson news debunking the story (twice!) for Fox to stop promoting the hoax as real. A week after they began, and a day after Mid Hudson published their first piece, Fox began to admit that the story it promoted was fake. Correspondent Nate Foy, who previously claimed to have “confirmed” the story, offered what he described as a “quick update,” stating: “We’re now looking into new reports that a veterans advocate misled lawmakers, and media outlets, about a story that some homeless men may have been hired to pose as veterans.” Anchor John Roberts responded: “There’s enough chaos without potentially false stories running around out there.” Indeed. Even the experience of millions of dollars of lawsuit settlement just can’t stop ‘em hey! It’s like the UK’s private sewage companies flooding the rivers cos it’s cheaper to pay the fines than piss off the shareholders.
  • In one of the many GOP voter suppression efforts I could have chosen to talk about this week, Texas Republicans have passed a couple of bills recently which take election oversight away from County election administrators and give it to the Secretary of State under certain circumstances. But don’t worry, these laws aren’t being applied to all of Texas, that would be crazy – the Secretary of State doesn’t have time to oversee all 254 counties in Texas! So they’ve made the job manageable by setting a very sensible threshold which means that this will only affect counties with a population of over 3.5 million people. Admittedly, that does mean that only Harris County, the largest and bluest county in Texas will now be subject to arbitrary Republican oversight, but I’m sure that’s fine. I mean, it’s not like the last Texas Secretary of State filed a lawsuit to try to get Pennsylvania’s election result overturned just to help Trump pretend he won or anything. Oh it is like that? Oh fuck.
  • Increasingly-unpopular-populist Tech King Elon Musk and Increasingly-unlikely-successful-candidate-for-presidential-nomination Ron DeSantis teamed up on Twitter this week to stick it to the TV man cos Twitter is a place “where all voices are heard”. Unless you’re Ron DeSantis announcing his running for president in which case the audio starts glitching and then echoing like some kind of early 2020 zoom conference call before we got adolescents to instruct us how to do speaking and moving pictures on our computers. After 20 mins or so of glitching and host David Sacks saying “We got so many people here that we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign,” the thing crashed with the message “This space has ended”. Fully 25 minutes after the start time it got underway with under 40,000 viewers, fewer than the 50,000 per minute trying to log on to join the original 600,000. So yeah a great launch Ron, let’s not draw any grimly portentous conclusions from this massive overpriced folly attempting to bring the notion of freedom of speech from inside a right-wing oppressive and physically collapsing infrastructure – and Twitter’s just as bad!
  • I’m loving the fact that Maga snowflakes who claim cancel culture is a ridiculous tool of marxist oppression immediately boycott any company that isn’t as hateful and bigoted as they are, and the thing I like most about it is that since no companies are as hateful and bigoted as they are (well, except maybe Hobby Lobby), they are eventually going to have to boycott every single store and they’ll have to sit on the floor in their houses watching Newsmax and eating prepper food like Jim Bakker’s apocalypse buckets. It’s pride month of course, or “harvest time for the LGBTQ boycotters”, and the latest company to come under fire is, improbably, Chick-Fil-A. The conspicuously Christian-owned chicken chain, which liberals already avoid due to their history of donating to anti-LGBTQ groups didn’t start selling burgers in rainbow wrappers, like Burger King did back in 2014, earning the performative ire of American Family Association Director Bryan Fischer, who I regret to inform you is still alive. In fact, Chick-Fil-A didn’t really do anything to piss bigots off except hiring a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion over a year and a half ago. He’s been on their website the whole time, but who the fuck reads the management pages of a fast food website, so the chicken-loving bigots have only just noticed he exists, and are super pissed off that the chicken company they thought they could count on to be homophobic, transphobic and probably pretty racist might not be everything they hoped for. Some anti-woke folk immediately said they would go elsewhere for their chickeny goodness from now on, and a team of righteous liberal Twitter warriors delighted in pointing those people to the pro-LGBTQ stances of every single other restaurant chain they mentioned! 
  • Right then what’s been happening, Suella DeVille Braverman, probably was in clear breach of the ministerial code when she used her high office to try to persuade her staff to find a way of getting her out of having to attend a speed-awareness course with the general public after having been fined for speeding. But Sunak has his people investigate it and its fine apparently cos she paid the fine and took the penalty points on her licence, realised she shouldn’t have abused her position of power to try not to have to do that and then try to cover up trying to do that, apologised said in hindsight she should’ve just paid up all along, blamed her inexperience (despite having been in post before she resigned from Liz Trusses government for breaching the ministerial code and being reappointed to the same post 6 days later by Sunak. Sunak, who looks increasingly like an accountancy undergraduate doing a work placement as part of his college course, decisively decided that he couldn’t decide anything and kinda said fair enough and now let’s get on with what the British people want; institutional racism and systemic health service dismantling dressed up as government policy. Nigel “I’m going to keep creating political parties and failing to get elected with any of them” Farage – King of Brexit has himself said that Brexit has Failed. Everyone has said Brexit has failed, everyone except Keir Starmer, who is concentrating on appealing to as broad a base of voters as possible to ensure a majority victory greater than the predicted 1 seat. Starmer is working on the basis that if Leave the EU wasn’t the answer to all the problems quoted by Leave voters, then Rejoin the EU isn’t the answer to all the problems caused by Brexit. Except they are problems that didn’t exist before Brexit, and really we had had most of the problems with belonging to the EU ironed out by Thatcher and Major years ago, apart from the problem of there being euroskeptics in the Tory party – which incidentally hasn’t been fixed by Brexit cos they are still finding ways to blame the EU for the fact that Brexit has Failed. Meanwhile the Lib Dems who are probably in with a shout of a coalition government in the next general election ought to be trumpeting that the King of Failures Farage is calling it a failure, just like the Lib Dems had always said – vote for us and we’ll go back in, but despite the polls showing 57% vs 43% in favour of rejoining much higher than the 52-48 split to leave, they’re not saying a word cos they’re in shouting distance of a coalition government in 2024. Where but in Britain does Inegalité and non-fraternité equal liberté?

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

Jim Cliff

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