Broken Window Fallacy – FT#85

Broken Window Fallacy – FT#85

Show Notes

The Broken Window Fallacy is committed when someone tries to claim when a bad thing happens, that good things will result from it, which makes it OK.


We started out with this clip of Trump claiming tariffs, which raise prices for US consumers, will make the US a richer nation:

We followed that with this horrific misogyny from MS Attorney General Lynn Fitch:

And finally in this section we talked about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s claims that abortion bans are great for interstate commerce.

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Boris Johnson’s claim that Brexit means UK exporters will benefit from only having one form to fill in (instead of none for exporting to the EU) – around 26 seconds in the following clip:

Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the wild we looked at this clip from The Fifth Element:

Then we discussed this clip from The Simpsons:


Fake News

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

  1. As everybody here knows, my new slogan was going to be Make America… Remember this, remember? It was supposed to be something a little different than Make America Great. It was supposed to be Keep America Great, but America’s not great right now. So we’re using the same slogan, Make America Great Again. And we may even add to it, but we’ll keep it, Make America Great Again, Again, because we already did it, right? We’re going to make America great again, again.
  2. It was just going to be Keep America Great because we made it great. Our military was rebuilt, our economy was great. Our job numbers were the best. We had the best country we’ve ever had, and in nine months, little more, they’ve destroyed our country. So I can’t say Keep America Great. So I’m back to Make America Great Again dot, slash, comma, Again. Make America Great Again, Again. I don’t know, what do you like better? Really, if you think about it, it’s more accurate.
  3. You see we already made it great the first time, and Keep America Great would have been good but now it has to be Make America Great Again, Again, because we have to fix all the stuff the Democrats are doing now, and get back to where we were, so Make America Great Again, Again. We might need bigger hats, but that’s OK. It’s really, if you think about it, a better slogan. I like it a lot. It’s Make America Great Again, Again.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it right again this week (He’s on a roll), and has now made it to 51%!


Alex Jones is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the delicious news that Alex Jones had lost another Sandy Hook defamation lawsuit.


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

  • We try to avoid committing fallacies ourselves on the podcast, but one of the hardest to avoid is the Reductio ad Hitlerum, because Republicans will keep being all, well, Hitlery.  The latest example comes from a school administrator in Southlake, Texas, who was trying to help teachers navigate new guidelines about what books to allow in their classrooms.  The guidelines had to be changed thanks to HB3979, a Texas law designed to combat the evils of Critical Race Theory by not allowing teachers to choose a side on controversial issues like ‘is there racism’? The administrator therefore told the assembled teachers to “make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has opposing… perspectives”. The school district has since apologised and acknowledged that the Holocaust is not a two-sides kind of issue, but the fact you can see why they thought this was what the legislature was going for is pretty fucking horrifying. Meanwhile, GOP Georgia Senate candidate and former NFL player Herschel Walker has cancelled a fundraiser after someone pointed out that the event’s host was using a literal swastika as their social media avatar, but not before his spokesperson tried to defend it by pointing out the swastika was made up of syringes and said “This is clearly an anti-mandatory vaccination graphic”. Oh, so they’re a Nazi and and anti-vaxxer, oh well that’s much fucking better then.
  • Just when you thought that the republicans have enough problems dealing with the real world Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted in a don’t-bother- doing-any-research-knee-jerky-coffee-through-the-nose-spluttering kinda way as DC Comics timed a revelation on National Coming Out Day that “Superman loves Louis Lane. Period. Hollywood is trying to make Superman gay and he is not.” Not unusually wrong on many levels Wendy a) confused Hollywood with a comic book publishing company, 2) Clark Kent with his son Jon Kent – formerly Superboy now grown up, and also c) that Louis Lane was actually a woman called Lois Lane! Wendy’s apparently joining in with other outings greater than those of DC’s intention! Super fans were also a bit confused cos they all knew that actually Kon-El (aka Connor Kent) the cloned offspring of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor is the gay one – as goblin boy says on twitter: “Kon El did not wear that leather jacket and the gay earring to the young justice just for Tom Taylor to say that someone else is gonna be the first gay in superman. Don’t worry Mr. Kon El, I saw your gay earring.” So perhaps Wendy Rogers is just one of the many fans pointing out that DC chose the wrong Superboy to come out as bisexual. Not in the sense that Jon Kent is necessarily a bad choice, but it’s an amusing decision in context. Kon-El is widely interpreted as a queer-coded character, whereas Jon Kent, well… isn’t.
  • Republicans will go to great lengths to claim climate change is either not happening, not caused by people, or not a big deal, like Trump supporting State legislative candidate for Virginia, Scott Pio, who recently tweeted “I’m curious, Do you think the sea level would lower, if we just took all the boats out of the water?” When Democratic group Blue Virginia pointed out that this was the stupidest fucking thing they’d heard all year, he doubled down, saying “When you take things out of bath water, the bath water decreases, does it not? Got a lot of hate from your group for asking a question about taking things out of the water. Curious when you stopped believing in pure physics? I guess you don’t believe in science experiments?” It’s kind of hard to know where to start. I mean, even if it helped, what the fuck would you do with all the boats, and how would we do all the stuff we usually use boat for? And does Scott think the sea is as full of boats as his bath is full of bath toys and stupid Republicans?  Fortunately, I don’t have to do the math, since nerd guru Randall Munroe has already figured it out, and shown his working. It turns out that if you took all the boats in the world out of the water at once, the sea level would drop by 6 microns. That’s the width of a single strand of spider web. And since the sea levels are rising 3.3mm per year due to climate change, it would be back up to its original level 16 hours later. So we probably shouldn’t bother.
  • Kung fu Opera singer, son of a pig farmer, former admin of 4chan and 8chan and definitely not Q, no, never heard of him, honestly, forget I even mentioned it; Ron Watkins, yes him, is running for Senator in the self-same crazy state of Arizona – you know the one where Biden just won again with an increased majority after the third count. I suspect that Ron is a little miffed that his immense following when he was, definitely not, no, not me, anonymously posting as Q, disappeared when he started peddling the same whack-job conspiracy theories as just plain old Ron. So he’s having a go in the only place that apparently will take him seriously, and yet he appears to have gone all mainstream posting a video taped outside the offices of Arizona Attorney General saying “We must now take this fight to Washington, D.C., and vote out all the dirty Democrats who have stolen our republic. We must fix our elections from inside the machine.” Ironic given that the machines that registered Biden’s win were all completely broken by the right investigating the election. Hey with radically ordinary democracy-based ideas like that Ron you might just stand…. no chance whatsoever!! 
  • The Senate finally reached enough of an agreement to raise the debt ceiling for another six weeks, allowing the government to keep functioning and America to avoid defaulting on its loans. Only 11 Republicans were in favour of that, with the rest hoping Democrats would be forced to do it themselves through reconciliation, so that the GOP could point at them and say they were to blame for the massive deficits that are largely due to Trump’s tax cuts.  One Republican who was particularly upset that his party leaders caved was Ted Cruz, who made an impassioned speech in which, within just a few minutes, he likened the negotiation to a staring contest, a poker hand, and a game of chicken, the result of which he described like this: “In the game of chicken, Chuck Schumer won this game of chicken. As two trucks drove towards each other on a country road, one or the other was going to turn or you were going to have a lot of dead chickens.” How the fuck does Ted Cruz think you play chicken?
  • Rather predictably this week the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform said that documents provided by the General Services Administration (GSA) – which oversees federal spending – showed that Mr Trump had “grossly exaggerated the financial health” of the The Trump International Hotel, you know, the one he opened down the road from the White House a few weeks after getting the nomination from the Republican Party. Hoping to cash in no doubt, it turns out the hotel lost $70m during his term in office and not the $150m profit he’d declared!. Shouldn’t bother Trump of course being the legit president he was, he gave up all controlling interests in it. Yeah but it appears the hotel also received some $3.7m from foreign governments – that’s enough for 20 years worth of room bookings and “significant financial benefit” from Deutsche Bank which the report says allowed Trump to delay making payments on a $170m loan for six years, and which benefit from a foreign bank he did not publicly disclose while president natch’! And that the plan to put it in trust to the Trump boys didn’t “meet the standards” of former presidents. Predictably too, the Trump Organization called the report “intentionally misleading, irresponsible and unequivocally false” and described it as “political harassment”. No doubt they can’t wait to get shot of the albatross of a hotel but no-one’s interested despite it being on sale since 2019… haunted poison chalice Overlook Hotel anyone?
  • Southwest Airlines had some trouble last weekend, and ended up having to cancel over 2000 flights, but there’s some disagreement on why. Southwest themselves say it was a combination of weather and air traffic control issues, but Don Jr, Ted Cruz, Tucker Carlson and others are confident that the cancellations were due to thousands of Southwest pilots going on strike to protest against vaccine mandates.  The lack of any evidence for this made about as much difference as you might expect, as did the head of the pilots union repeatedly refuting it on every channel, including Fox News. If there was still any doubt, how about the fact that things at Southwest are largely back to normal despite the airline officially telling Governor Greg Abbot where to shove his ban on private companies in Texas from mandating vaccination for employees? Trump senior, meanwhile, had another theory on the cancelled flights. He’s pretty sure it’s to do with him. He told radio host Howie Carr “I think it has a lot to do with a lot of things. I think it has something to do with the election that was rigged. I think these are big fans of your favorite president, Howie, I think that this has something to do with that”. Christ, what a narcissistic asshole.
  • In British politics this week Brexit minister David Frost is still playing hard ball with the EU demanding that they are a bit more flexible with the notion that they entirely rewrite the terms of the agreement with the UK which he wrote and then got them to agree with in 2019. Naturally they are a bit confused. As were the UN when they appointed Matt Hancock as an envoy to help Africa’s economy recover from Covid. Amply qualified in helping friends of his recover economically from COVID he thought he was a shoe-in, despite the absolutely incandescent backlash from every sentient being on Earth. The news of his appointment broke on the same day a scathing report into how the government made a complete balls up of responding to the pandemic which lead to thousands of lives being lost, and now it turns out the UN appointment is not being taken forward. This is all cos of some rule Hancock now says has come to light that prevents him from taking the job while an MP. I don’t know what I find more incredulous, that we have no idea what the rule is other than the rule not to give a fucking murderous incompetent money-and-assistant grabbing narcissist a second chance or that he’s apparently taking notice of an unannounced rule when he couldn’t give a flying fuck about following any rules hitherto!

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

Jim Cliff

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