Appeal to Nature – FT#82

Appeal to Nature – FT#82

Show Notes

The Appeal to Nature is committed when someone assumes that something that is natural is therefore good, or something that is unnatural or artificial is therefore bad.


We started out with Trump complaining about artificial lights:

We followed that with this 2001 Op Ed from Mike Pence:

Then we looked at this tweet from Rand Paul:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Boris Johnson and the UK government’s early ideas about relying on good old natural herd immunity:

Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the wild we looked at a clip of this sketch from Monty Python:

Then we discussed this clip from Jurassic Park:

And we finished by talking about these two clips from Parks & Recreation:


Fake News

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

  1. They said my poll numbers are very bad in Europe. I said, They should be. No, seriously. They said, When he started off, he had 87 percent. That means you could be the king of any country. Now, they… because I’m representing our country; I’m not representing those countries – you know, one of those things. True. It’s true. They said, His poll numbers have tanked. And I said, “Oh, damn it. What’s going on? Damn it”. And then I said, “Oh, it’s in Europe. That’s OK”.
  2. They show me this graph and everything’s looking beautiful, and then there’s this spike. This big spike, like right out of nowhere, and I say “What’s going on?” And by the way, this is right in the middle of – we’ve got the biggest economy in the history of the world, right? And black unemployment is doing terrifically, and we’ve got this spike. And it’s the testing. There’s the thing in Denver, and we’re looking at that very strongly, but really it’s the testing.
  3. I noticed things happening when I put out something, a good one that people like. Right? A good tweet, it goes up. It used to go up, it would say 7000, 7008, 7017, 7024, 7032, 7044, right? Now it goes 7000, 7008, 6998. Then they go 7009, 6074. I say, “What is going on? It never did that before.” It goes up and then they take it down, then it goes up. I had never had that. Does anyone know what I’m talking about with this?

Click below for the answer

Mark got it right again this week, and is currently on 49%


Reproductive Rights are not a logical fallacy

We talked about the fucking depressing unconstitutional Texas abortion law SB8 and the Supreme Court’s flagrant failure to enjoin it.


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

  • Well, the Arizona election audit is finally done, and the GOP led Arizona Senate has hired someone to verify the results. Naturally, to avoid the appearance of impropriety, they looked for someone truly bipartisan, respected on both sides of the political spectrum, with an unimpeachable record of honesty and integrity. And that went about as well as the search for a new host of Jeopardy. Apparently the best man for the job is Dr Shiva Ayyadurai, or to give him his full medical title, Shiva Ayyadurai. He’s an antivaxx, election fraud conspiracy theorist, two time Senate race loser (who claims he lost one of those due to Massachusetts destroying a million ballots voting for him), who called Anthony Fauci a deep state operative, claimed that Vitamin C cures Covid, and claims he invented email in 1979, which probably came as quite a shock to Ray Tomlinson, who sent the first email eight years earlier in 1971.  Local Republican data analyst Benny White said “I don’t know why it is that Senator Fann goes out of her way to find unqualified people to do this work. It might be that she is looking for a particular result.” Yeah, could be!
  • We’ve often said that the right find it hard doing humour – and equally impossible to spot irony even when legally-bound-to-not-believe-a-word-he- says Tucker Carlson is flattening your face with it turned up to maximum heat.
    Not satisfied with fully backing the state-sanctioned interference in Texan women’s rights over their own bodies on his Fox News show, in the very next breath he decried the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s announcement that charges were being brought against 15 people over a conspiracy to forge COVID-19 vaccine cards and fraudulently enter unvaccinated people into New York’s vaccination database. According to the DA’s office thirteen of the people charged for buying the bogus cards are “believed to work in frontline and essential-employee settings, including hospitals and nursing homes,” – Yeah let’s put others’ health first hey guys?! Carlson, who, remember, told you to call the cops on parents making their kids wear masks, spluttered that this is not a serious crime – “In good conscience, they’ve risked their careers to preserve their right to bodily autonomy and now they’re in jail for that,” Er, yeah he did say that, again, no hint of irony from the safety of a show you are legally bound to not believe a word of, as well as from inside the safety of a healthy, wealthy, privileged, white, male body. Oh yeah self-awareness? the other thing the right doesn’t do.
  • The House panel investigating the January 6th insurrection have sent a request to telecommunications companies to preserve records from January 6th, related to certain redacted individuals.  Certain Republican individuals have reacted like totally innocent people with nothing to hide, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who lied on Twitter that handing over such information would violate a federal law he totally could name if he wanted, he was just choosing not to, and that should they do so, “A Republican majority will not forget”. Meanwhile, screeching racist Marjorie Taylor Greene screeched at Tucker “Entertainment purposes only” Carlson that if the telecommunications companies go along with it “They will be shut down, and that’s a promise” It’s a threat that’s hard to take seriously, given MTG has just about the least power of any congressperson, seeing as how her inability to go two days without screeching some bigoted, batshit conspiracy meant that she had all her committee assignments taken away within a month of taking office. Finally, we have Mo Brooks, who tweeted “Why not subpoena Socialists who support BLM & ANTIFA?”  You’ve got to hand it to Mo, it’s pretty hard to sound both panicky and desperate in a tweet while also missing the point by that much.
  • Ivermectin is really difficult to get these days, like hydroxychloroquine before it crikey if you don’t actually need it…it’s getting pricey! Bleach not so much admittedly, but sheep paste? Jeepers where will anti-vaxxers get their hands on enough to pay for that! Never fear the creative, if a little foggy and fucked-up, minds of “big pharma bad” conspiratorialists have found a way, sperm will be the new gold! Or if that’s not valuable enough the new bitcoin. Yep convinced that the combined efforts of Bill Gates, George Soros and Hugo Chavez’s magnetic 5G vaccine will alter your actual DNA (it won’t), pure unadulterated semen is going to be worth a fortune (it isn’t), well at least amongst the wankers who believe this stuff (no even then…no). Overjoyed at the prospect of fistfuls of the white stuff coming on stream, one poster to the now quarantined subreddit post NoNewNormal wrote “I’m going to retire as a cum cow” *tiny cow emoji* Okay, not satisfied with confusing how his own DNA works, he doesn’t even know how bovine-DNA-owning cattle…. work; vis-a-vis bulls and heifers and, like; cows and shit. Apart from an unhealthy concentration on the value of his own ejaculate, that’s the other thing that tells me he doesn’t get out much.
  • The FDA has finally fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, thereby removing one more excuse for anti-vaxxers who pretend their objection is science based. Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for example, whose July executive order said  “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization”. So, now that it’s fully approved, we’re cool, right Greg?  No, he immediately signed a new order which removed the emergency use bit, leading cynical old me to think maybe it was never about the vaccine’s FDA status.  Meanwhile, companies around the US are taking the opportunity to mandate vaccines for their employees, but Delta Airlines have gone a different route, instead requiring unvaccinated employees to pay $200 a month for additional health insurance.  CEO Ed Bastian pointed out that the average COVID related hospital stay costs $50,000 and that “since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated”. That’s weird, I wonder why he didn’t just call it the Delta variant like everyone else? Oh yeah. I see it now.
  • We covered the marvellous Judge Linda Parker – in a previous ‘Is not a logical fallacy…’ when she handled the so-called Kraken Lawsuits – I say marvellous cos Honourable just doesn’t seem enough of an honorific. As we suspected judgement has been passed on the frankly shite lawyering carried out by the 9 “never-mind-asking-questions-or-like-legal-checking-and-that, just look how many lawsuits there are – cos oooh no smoke without fire” legal eagles slash unabashed Trump allies. They have been ordered between them to stump up for the entire hearing costs incurred by the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit and also literally told to go back to school – each of them ordered to receive 12 hours of legal education, six of which will focus specifically on election law. They could also face possible further action in the individual states in which they practice. It’s like the moment at the end of any legal drama when you leap to your feet a-whooping and a-hollering cos the good guys won, ground the opposition into the dirt and upheld the rule of law and the truth. I suspect David Fink, a lawyer for the city of Detroit, was similarly-whooping when he told NPR, “In 43 years of practice, I have never seen a group of attorneys sanctioned so severely, but I’ve also never seen a group of attorneys who deserved to be sanctioned as much as these lawyers deserved it,” adding “This decision sends a message to attorneys all around the country that the rules matter and the truth matters and there are consequences for bad behavior.” You listening Rudy?
  • It’s time to get the tiny violins out for America’s most punchable neo-Nazi (and that’s a competitive category), Richard Spencer.  According to the New York Times, Spencer, who is facing a trial next month for his role in the 2017 Charlottesville march that led to the death of Heather Heyer, is not doing so great. His wife has divorced him, his organisation has dissolved, he’s been very effectively shunned by the Rocky Mountain community where he was living – well done Whitefish, Montana – and he’s broke, leading his lawyer to drop him as a client just before his trial, where he will now be representing himself.  We did the Just World Fallacy a couple of weeks ago, and we already know that bad things don’t always happen to bad people – I mean, look at Trump –  but it’s nice to know that sometimes, life takes a giant shit on the worst asshole around.
  • When you spend a fortnight editing films about the surprising human rights breakthroughs being made in the Pacific Rim and it makes you think ‘ooh praps living in the Philippines might be nice, looks quite equitable, fair and just’ you know something’s gone wrong in England’s green and pleasant lands. Boris today, when asked by Keir Starmer, not unreasonably, if a little cheekily prefaced, “given that we have turned our back on Europe and had the US turn their back on us” he might have added “withdrawn millions of funding to the poorest in the global south as well as reneging on 20 years of peace, stability and rights-building in Afghanistan”, given all that, he continued “can the PM give me one example of where in the world we have extended our influence” he didn’t need to add “much-vaunted in the sunny post-brexit uplands of Albion?” To which Boris replied very specifically “oh all over the place” or something like it cos it was hard to catch amidst the gales of laughter at his expense. Elsewhere arch-Brexiteer and electrified-meat-scarecrow; Wetherspoons pub chain owner Tim Martin blamed the lack of beer in all his pubs variously on a delivery truck drivers’ strike that didn’t actually happen and a weirdly unforeseen shortage of European workers and increased border bureaucracy. He, like all right-wingers, conspiracy theorists and leave-voters, can’t wait for gyms to fully re-open in order to perfect the punishingly torturous mental gymnastics they go through to avoid seeing the catastrophic 7-billion-pound-sterling-disaster they so xenophobically shot into their own foot. That Rodrigo Duerte suddenly seems such a reasonable chap!

That’s all for this week, thanks to out newest Patrons, Tash Pyne and Amar Subramanian, and thanks to you all for listening!

Jim Cliff

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