Fallacy of Worse Evil – FT#76

Fallacy of Worse Evil – FT#76

Show Notes

The Fallacy of Worse Evil is committed when someone acts like something is not a problem because worse problems exist or can be imagined.


We started out by talking about this clip of Trump on Coronavirus:

We followed that with this clip of Trump defending Russia:

And then we looked at Louie Gohmert misrepresenting the Jan 6 insurrection:


Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Matt Hancock claiming his team should be thanks because the huge UK COVID death toll isn’t as huge as it could be:

Then we talked about Dave Caesar, Scotland’s Interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer, literally saying things could be worse.

And finally, Mark talked about this clip in which Dominic Cummings tried to claim things could have been worse if Corbyn was in charge:


Fallacy in the Wild

We talked about this clip from 30 Rock:

We followed that up by talking about Tim Minchin’s song Some People Have It Worse Than I:

And we finished by talking about Richard Dawkins’ horrendous response to Rebecca Watson calling out harassment within the atheist community.


Fake News

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

  1. I’ve been looking for Baghdadi since the start of my administration, and today we got him. He died. He’s dead. A lot of the other certain people that were there too are dead, but we didn’t lose a single American life, not even a dog. I got to watch a lot of it from the Situation Room, and I don’t want to go into detail, but it was a beautiful thing to see. He died like a coward. Which is what he was.
  2. Baghdadi and the losers who worked for him — and losers they are — they had no idea what they were getting into. In some cases, they were very frightened puppies. In other cases, they were hardcore killers. But they killed many, many people.
  3. They did a lot of shooting, and they did a lot of blasting, even not going through the front door. You know, you would think you go through the door. If you’re a normal person, you say, “Knock, knock. May I come in?” The fact is that they blasted their way into the house and a very heavy wall, and it took them literally seconds. By the time those things went off, they had a beautiful, big hole, and they ran in and they got everybody by surprise.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it wrong this week, and is currently on 45%


A Grand Jury is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the excellent news that Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance has convened a Special Grand Jury to consider charges against… maybe Trump?


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

  • Facebook have announced that Trump’s ban will last at least two years, at which point they’ll check whether he’s still a shitty white supremacist who casually commits stochastic terrorism before probably letting him back on. In the meantime, he can’t even talk to his followers through his blog, because that didn’t even last three Scaramuccis before he shut it down because nobody read it and people were laughing at him. If only Frank Speech was up and running, you know, the new social network from lumpy pillow huckster (and no, I will NOT be clarifying that modifier), Mike Lindell, a man who looks like Hitler really let himself go. To be fair, Lindell has other things to think about right now. His lawyer, Alec Beck, just filed a lawsuit against voting machine companies Dominion and Smartmatic, at which point Beck’s law firm immediately fired him for, you know, filing a bullshit lawsuit on behalf of a crazy person. Meanwhile, said crazy person, who looks like Ned Flanders was turned into a real person by a witch’s curse – but, like an incompetent witch – has convinced himself that not only does he have cast iron proof that the election was rigged, but that it’s so compelling, the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case sometime in July and immediately vote unanimously to reinstate Trump as the true President.  I’m guessing nobody’s told Mikey that the Supreme Court are on hiatus from the end of June until October, not to mention that’s not how the fucking Supreme Court works.
  • As per bloody usual Droopy the Dog in sheep’s clothing Mitch McConnell goes along with governmental procedure to soak up all the praise cos he’s wise and bi-partisan and fair and all that and then at the last minute reveals himself to be an actual hound of the Baskervilles. A vote to set up an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot received 54 yeas and 35 nays. Although he had previously been open to the idea of a commission, Droo-paskerville had a change of heart. At first he raised some concerns about the commission—which would have been split, 5–5, between Republican and Democratic appointees, with shared subpoena power, then, despite an amendment to address that, he just dropped the pretext and said that the commission, and what it might uncover, would be bad politics for Republicans heading into the midterms. Despite this being a moment of unshielded honesty he had to work pretty hard to whip fellow Republicans into making sure there were not enough votes to reach the 60 to end the debate – despite the 19 yea lead! Majority Leader Chuck Shumer, hinting he might bring the commission up again, said “this vote has made it official: Donald Trump’s big lie has now fully enveloped the Republican Party.” There you have it folks democracy in action – no sorry that’s one word there democracy “inaction”.
  • We have a new contender for stupidest Member of Congress, and it’s already a packed field, so anyone hoping to compete with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Louie Gohmert really has their work cut out. So up steps Mo Brooks, the GOP Congressman from Alabama, who looks like a less charismatic Mike Pence. Mo was one of the assholes who helped incite the January 6 insurrection, and for the past couple of months has been trying to avoid getting served with a lawsuit by Eric Swalwell. The Private Investigator Swalwell hired finally handed the papers to Mo’s wife at their home, and Mo decided to claim on Twitter that Swalwell’s team illegally trespassed on his property, which is weird, since he really didn’t seem to have a problem with trespass just a few months ago.  Anyway, to really drive his point home, Mo included a image of the section of the Alabama penal code concerning trespass, but rather than take a screenshot like anyone who isn’t 75, he took a photo of his laptop screen like a fucking maniac, and posted that, along with a clear image of his Gmail password which he keeps taped under the screen. Mo, it should be noted, sits on the House’s Cyber, Innovative Technologies and Informations Systems Subcommittee.
  • Rabid Florida Republican Ron De Santis has signed a law which insists that social media companies give an equal platform to everyone; racists, hate-speech shouters, riot-inciters, child-pornographers, ex-presidents or all of the above, or face fines of a quarter of a million dollars a day. Also they can’t refuse to run a story on the basis that it is fake news if it comes from a broadcast network news source; like Fox News or OAN. This is, of course, because Republicans feel right-wing voices have been censored on social media – no –  it’s just that a lot of unpalatable ring-wing voices are racists, hate-speech, riot-inciting child-pornographers etc – and De Santis adds “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela” Thus neatly playing the communist card too, whilst skipping over the usual immigration card. Oddly an exception written into the law means it doesn’t apply if the company runs a theme park – no me neither! Are they perceived in De Santis’ 1950’s sun-addled brain as ancient Disneyfied bastions of free speech? Zuckerland here we come? Plummet down the “Like Flume”, ride the Big Blue Bird at Twitterworld, fight the Youtubers in a showdown at Copyright Strike Saloon? As always simply follow the money – and you’ll find it’s so that the right-wing online media organisations can, of course, censor anyone they deem to be left leaning/disagree with them, cos somewhere in their portfolio they’ve links to companies that sell cotton candy at a daily Main Street parade in real life – or what passes for real life in theme park America!
  • Republicans are experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance at the moment.  Actually, for at least the last 5 years. You see, 600,000 Americans have died from a disease they’re pretty sure either doesn’t exist or was created in a lab by the Chinese, or both. Trump was President for most of that, but he’s always right and good and strong, so it must have been Anthony Fauci who’s to blame.  A bunch of Dr Fauci’s emails from 2020 were released following a FOIA request, and they are apparently all smoking guns that prove Fauci basically killed all those people himself, despite the fact that what they actually show is that Fauci was saying the same things in private that he was saying in public at the time. There are three main emails that nutters have seized on: one from February 2020 has Fauci telling a former HHS official that masks weren’t recommended unless you’re sick, which was what scientists thought at the time, before they learned more stuff. The second was one endorsing the general idea that it would be good if Facebook did something about all the misinformation going around, which… I actually can’t even figure out what’s wrong with that. And finally, an email where Fauci was made aware of the slight possibility that if you squint, in just the right light, it looked like COVID might look a bit man-made – a theory which was conclusively disproved less than a month later.  The fact Fauci didn’t publicly announce it’s a bioweapon somehow proves he was covering for his Chinese overlords.  Or employees, depending on which conspiracy you believe.  My favorite is his April 8th reply to a Chinese health official who expressed concern for Fauci, who had been getting death threats from Trump supporters.  He simply replied ‘All is well, despite some crazy people in this world’.
  • In March 1966 John Lennon stated that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, quite accurately observed among the young people of Britain as it turned out – but, not shy of turning to violence to protect the Saviour, former Beatle fans in the US greeted their tour that summer with death threats, merch burnings and torchlit protests by strangely pointy-hooded moderate white Protestant God-fearing folk. Fast forward 55 years and a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core finds those who believe in the principles of QAnon; i.e. that the levers of power are controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping paedophiles, and that it’s true that “American patriots may have to resort to violence” to depose said paedophiles and restore the country’s rightful order, now top around 30 million souls. Robby Jones, the Research Institute’s founder, pointed out ”if it were a religion, it would be as big as all white evangelical Protestants, or all white mainline Protestants. So it lines up there with a major religious group.” Of course Robby’s been shot down as a freak across all the right wing press, stacks of QAnon flags, t-shirts and banners are burning in the streets – the Horned Shaman has been denounced as an insurrectionist, and the whole movement has been deemed dangerous both to the young and to the very foundations of US society.
    No, no it hasn’t. Weirdly OAN, Fox News, Newsmax and actual elected members of the Republican party all have an audience willing to pay their wages so no-one’s going to let something irritating like a moral compass get in the way of that!
  • Thousands of QAnon supporters got together in Dallas at the end of May for a three day event called “For God and Country: Patriot Roundup” The organiser of the event, John Sabal, known online as QAnon John, claimed it wasn’t a QAnon event, but he must have forgotten to tell the design team, since the event logo that was on screen basically the who time, included the Where We Go One We Go All slogan. Speakers included pointy traitor Michael Flynn, who was asked by a member of the audience why what happened in Myanmar couldn’t happen in the US. At which point, the former US Army Lieutenant General called for a coup against his own government, saying ‘No reason. It should happen here’. Which went down pretty well with the patriots in the audience. Also appearing was Trump’s former lawyer Sidney Powell, whose existence only really makes sense if she’s actually two kids in a trenchcoat pretending to be a lawyer.  She claimed that Trump can simply be reinstated, but was careful to warn the drooling goons that he wouldn’t get credit for time lost, but he’d definitely get the remainder of his term. Which is weird – if you’re just making shit up, why not say he’ll get the full four years? I don’t know if he’s been convinced by Sidney or Mike Lindell, but Trump has been telling people around him that he expects to be reinstated by August. Of course, it’s possible that he’s just mixed up ‘reinstated’ and ‘indicted’.
  • Over here in the sunny uplands of Albion it’s been a month when numbers of deaths cos of Covid weren’t collated one day cos of a public holiday, and there was much trumpeting in the media of the fact that zero deaths were reported that day; no trumpeting of the fact that next day there were 12 and then 18 and then 11 and then 13. Worried we might have forgotten all about him, Machiavellian former adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings agreed to be scrutinised/televised for 7 hours by a government investigative committee, a thing he’d hitherto said was pointless, and told opaquely rambling lies about the liars running the country. He’d hitherto been right; it was pointless; we didn’t believe anything he said, these were lies about liars we already knew, and yet as a nation we have been complicit in doing nothing about, except for voting them liars in some more. In order to distract from the constantly lying liars, the real Prime Minister got secretly married to her liar boyfriend Boris Johnson. Not so very secret as pictures of the bankrupt-gold-digger Carrie marrying living-off-the-state-Turkish-immigrant-stock Boris looking like Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally made all the media outlets. Matt Hancock went on TV and promised things based on no medical evidence, got called out for doing so a day later, and then retracted everything a few days after that, reports of which were buried under the next set of promises and u-turns. That’s not particularly this week, that’s the shape of every week. Oh and since we’ve sent all our holiday-makers to Portugal as the one destination from which they didn’t have to quarantine on returning, it’s now no longer on the green list so they’ll have to quarantine cos we don’t want the delta virus variant they took out there to come back in here. How did it get here in the first place for them to take, when we have taken back control of our borders you say? Like Batman in that meme I simply slap your face in reply!

Welcome new Patrons – Max Beaver, Lochiel Kay, Mark Bedillion, and Kelly Barrera, and welcome back to our top Patron, Loren!

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

Jim Cliff

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