Argument from Silence – FT#90

Argument from Silence – FT#90

Show Notes

The Argument from Silence Fallacy is committed when someone assumes that no response from their opponent is is proof that they are right.


We started out with this this quote from Trump’s book “How to Get Rich”

“All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

We followed that with this clip of Trump talking about taking the fifth:

And finally we talked about this clip of Marjorie Taylor Greene harassing school shooting survivor David Hogg:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about the following clips of Simon Case not answering questions about Boris’s extravagant interior design:

And he finished with this clip of Boris telling a reporter off for asking the wrong kind of question:


Fallacy in the Wild

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

Then we discussed this clip from Catch-22.

And finally, we talked about the book “Did Marco Polo Go To China?

Fake News

In this week’s Fake News game, we played a special Christmas edition where Mark had to guess which five of the following music artists (or their estates) who have threatened legal action to get Trump to stop playing their music at his rallies:

  1. Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  2. The Backstreet Boys
  3. Celine Dion
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  5. Frank Sinatra
  6. Neil Young
  7. R.E.M.
  8. Tom Petty
  9. The Village People
  10. The Who

Click below for the answer

Mark only got 2 out of 5 right this week, so he is now back down to 51%


The grift that keeps on grifting is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the huge amount of money Trump takes in by hosting GOP fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago, and Melania’s attempt at selling an NFT.


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

  • Back in our very first Christmas episode we talked about the War on Christmas, which we discovered is very much a war that is being fought by one side, who are desperately roaming the snowy battlefields looking for an enemy to come and attack them.  Trump is pretty sure he single-handedly won that war, recently repeating the claim that nobody was saying Merry Christmas until he brought it back. He’s clearly been watching Fox’s coverage of their Christmas Tree fire, because he said “Whether you’re Muslim, whether you’re Christian, whether you’re Jewish, everyone loves Christmas.” This was part of an interview with Mike Huckabee on Newsmax which looked like it was made specifically for an online course on propaganda. The music swelled and we were assaulted by images of white Christian families around Christmas trees – who knows, maybe some white Jewish and white Muslim families too, it’s hard to tell – as they desperately tried to sell Trump as the saviour of Christmas. But it seems his followers are less sure that the victory was convincing. A recent poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey found that 37% of Americans still believe there is a War on Christmas, which is up from 29% in 2013. And the single biggest predictor of how people voted in this poll, is whether they voted for Trump in 2020.  71% of Trump voters are convinced we’re coming for their sugar plums, compared to only 14% of Biden voters.
  • The Florida Dept of Health are now officially hamstrung – not cos they’re underfunded, lacking in supplies of medicine or a desire to keep Floridians healthy – nah they’ve got “62,000-dead-is-just-not-enough-for-me” Governor Ron DeSantis breathing possibly unwanted viruses down their necks. Pro-vaccine TV ads were pulled recently with the remaining money spent on anti-smoking ads – where’s Marlboro man shouting on the airwaves against that? – oh yeah can’t hear him cos of his voicebox-ectomy over the hum of his lung-supporting ventilator! New ads have been made that have footage of vaccines going in arms via syringes but the word itself is not uttered. Hmm ya think it might just be freedom of speech/public health responsibility versus strong-arming the medical sector cos it’s quite popular with people who don’t want to get vaccinated and have deserted Trump since he got a booster shot – yeah vaccine number 3 – yeah ya think? And of course DeSantis maybe just maybe has his eye on the White House if not re-election next year? Not so much on the shoulders of giants Ron as on the bodies of thousands hey – wake up people 2022 is very close and he IS literally Florida Man FerPfizerssakes!
  • We know by now that vaccine mandates work, but when the US Air Force dismissed 27 active duty airmen for refusing to get vaccinated against coronavirus, it’s hard to argue when people like small faced right-wing  bobble-head Charlie Kirk say things like “America is being actively weakened by The Regime.” I mean it’s hard until you think about it for like two seconds and realise that 27 airmen represent 0.008% of the active duty US Air Force, and that the country is actually strengthened by losing military personnel who not only defied a direct order by their superiors but are apparently unwilling to make the sacrifice of taking a safe, effective vaccine to protect others.  If you factor in the little detail that 148 Air Force personnel have died of COVID so far, I think we can all figure out which side is actively weakening America.  The number goes up for the Marine Corps, with 103 Marines being discharged, representing a scarily huge 0.05% of the entire Corps. It’s odd, because I’ve seen A Few Good Men, and I remember Lance Corporal Harold Dawson telling Tom Cruise that Marines lived by a code of Unit, Corps, God, Country.  He didn’t mention self in there at all. 
  • I’m sure even we toyed with this somewhat stupefying conclusion when we were reading about Mueller’s realisation that it was probably true, and now boy-genius Eric Trump has confirmed it: in a recent interview with Jay Cutler for Cutler’s podcast “Uncut”, Eric laughed that they were indeed “too dumb to collude” . After admitting that none of the Trump’s had any knowledge of how to do politicky stuff when Donald joined the race in 2014 he added “We weren’t smart enough to collude with Russia,” “We didn’t know what the hell we were doing. We didn’t know what a delegate was.” As many commentators responded online; you might have been dumb but you were stupid enough to try. And actually he really is dumb enough to try it on; just plain ignorant of ignorance being no defense in the eyes of the law. Just because you were stupid doesn’t mean you didn’t do it ya idiot! When the stupidest people fall back on the public’s perception of their stupidity as a defense that’s either very smart or we’re actually watching reruns of Goofy – guh–huh! 
  • Over here in the UK, it’s pretty well known that the Daily Mail is not to be trusted. It is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike actual journalism. So when misshapen pillow huckster Mike Lindell sued them for defamation earlier this year, I really wasn’t sure who to root for.  I mean sure, whatever they said about him was probably not true, but what could they possibly have alleged that would potentially ruin Mike Lindell’s reputation? Well apparently, the thing which pushed him over the edge, the thing which he found so offensive, was that a group of middle class middle Englanders might believe that he secretly dated attractive Broadway and 30 Rock star Jane Krakowski. Lindell’s lawsuit claimed that “caused tremendous harm to his personal and professional reputation and prospective economic opportunities, as well as causing him significant humiliation and emotional distress”. Christ, if that’s what it did to him, imagine how Jane must have felt to have one single person believe she might even have considered being romantically involved off-brand Dick Butkus. The judge in the case ruled that whether it was true or not, no defamation had taken place, saying “Dating an actress-secret or not-would not cause ‘public hatred, ‘shame,’ ‘ridicule,’ or any similar feeling towards Lindell”. Weirdly, he did not add “besides, everyone already hates you and thinks you’re ridiculous and shameful, so what’s the big deal?”
  • I once read one of those enormous sci-fi tomes like Dune or Foundation and all I can remember about it is there was a timeline chart in the foreword to give the context of when the story was set, and it included great swathes of time not far hence where science fell and faith in Magic arose once again in its place in the New Dark Ages. Senator Ron Johnson, yes Wisconsin, yes Republican, yes antivaxxer, yes the perfect populist mashup name courtesy of De Santis and Boris even, seems to be the high priest of the new epoch of anti-science. Not happy with having been Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in December 2020 and gathering vaccine skeptics, critics of masking and social distancing, and several ivermectin peddlers around his cauldron, he’s now adding mouthwash to the mix. Alleging, between incantations of “boil, boil, toil and trouble” that “Standard gargle mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus. If you get it, you may reduce viral replication. Why not try all these things?” Despite an entire page of Listerine’s website attesting to the FACT that it is NOT in any way effective against COVID, Johnson continues to spew evil-breathed lie., going so far as to dismiss Fauci as “overhyping Covid like he did AIDS” – hmmm with over 700,000 people having died of AIDS in the U.S. alone, and 37.7 million people worldwide and COVID currently killing 800,000 people in the U.S alone, with more than 5.3 million around the globe – and it’s not done yet, its possibly time for a witchfinder general to return and rout this wyrd sister from his eye-of-newt-on-the-midterms coven – Expelliarmus! 
  • The Republican death cult has tried everything it can think of to throw their supporters directly into the path of a deadly pandemic to own the libs, but now they’re getting desperate, and they’ve got one last trick up their sleeves. It’s time to try… socialism! Four GOP led states, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee, have changed their rules on Unemployment Insurance, so that workers who either quit their jobs or are fired due to vaccine mandates, will be eligible for payouts. While some Republicans argued against continued or expanded unemployment benefits during the worse parts of the pandemic when many people were losing jobs they desperately needed, claiming it would increase inflation and unemployment, and destroy the economy, it’s OK in this instance because these people have actively decided their right to risk the health of their coworkers and customers is more important than their job so they should obviously be rewarded for that!
  • Well despite Boris’ earlier protestations to the contrary, he has been directly responsible for a series of even more unfortunate events since we last spoke: the Tories lost the by-election in Shropshire North for the first time since the constituency was invented in 1974 with the Lib Dems gaining a 27,000 majority, Cabinet Secretary and investigator of possible despicable things, Simon Case, resigned for having done despicable things, and Lord David Frost the Brexit minister nicknamed “Frosty the No-Man” resigned cos of the new Covid restrictions – yeah right – we all know its cos he wanted to spend more time alone shouting about how terrible the withdrawal agreement that he himself wrote is. Yet more blatant Tory rule-flouting surfaced when 15 or so people were pictured gathered around tables of cheese and wine in the garden of number 10 during lockdown, which was clearly a business meeting as defined by Dominic Raab cos they were wearing suits, like you would if you had a drinks gathering immediately after work, and didn’t happen to keep 15 or so changes of clothing at the bosses house. One does wonder though who is leaking this stuff to a gleeful press and why now? Could it be the far right within the party, sorry Business Meeting? Cos Boris isn’t being far right enough? And whilst Omicron rages sufficiently for the rest of Europe to lock down and not allow any Brits in, Boris is unable to cancel Christmas this year cos let’s face it no one would listen anyway, and cos he fears for his existence since like all of his predecessors after Thatcher he’s being held hostage by the far right within the party sorry Business Meeting! We are assured however that the Conservative Party sorry Business Meeting will not be holding a Christmas Party sorry… Business Meeting this year nor will they be playing All Tomorrow’s Business Meetings by the Velvet Underground at it!

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

Jim Cliff

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