Incomplete Comparison – FT#93

Incomplete Comparison – FT#93

Show Notes

The Incomplete Comparison fallacy is committed when someone suggests a thing is better or worse, without specifying what it is better or worse than.


We started out with this clip of Trump on the cost of the Paris Climate Accord:

We followed that with this clip of Trump describing Boris Johnson as ‘superior’:

And finally we talked about this amazingly wrong segment from Dan Bongino’s Fox show:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about this clip of Boris’s version of Build Back Better:

And finished with this clip of Boris claiming a plan which is faster and more efficient than no plan at all:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Me You Madness:

Then we discussed this collection of TV ads through the decades:

And we finished with this excellent parody of soccer pundits from Michael Spicer:

Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game which, for a change, featured quotes from Tucker Carlson:

  1. The green M&M, you will notice, is no longer wearing sexy boots. Now she’s wearing sensible sneakers. Why the change? Well, according to M&Ms, quote, “We all win when we see more women in leading roles.” Because leading women do not wear sexy boots, leading women wear frumpy shoes, the frumpier the better. That’s the rule.
  2. Unbelievably, they’ve also changed the brown M&M’s footwear. You probably remember, she used to wear stiletto heels, but now she’s wearing these lower block heels – again, much less sexy. My question is this: why are they taking this away from us? I won’t stand for it, and you shouldn’t either.
  3. M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity. They’ve won.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it wrong this week, and remains at 51%


The next Supreme Court Justice is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the right wing freak-out about Biden’s pledge to replace Stephen Breyer with a black woman.


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

  • We’ve talked before about Trump’s compulsive need to tear up documents he’s finished with like any good mob boss determined not to leave a paper trail. Since this was in direct violation of the Presidential Records Act that was brought in after that whole Nixon thing, White House aides had to collect all the bits of shredded paper and tape them back together. Spare a thought for the staffers who had to work on Trump’s handwritten memos and figure out what order the words were in before he tore them up. Anyway, according to the January 6th Committee, this practice continued right up until the end of his Presidency, some of the documents provided to them by the National Archives had been taped together by White House staff, while others had been left for the Archivists themselves to sort out. But lest you think destroying documents was the only way Trump broke that particular law, we learned this week that the National Archives went down to Mar-a-Lago to recover 15 boxes of official documents, letters and mementoes that Trump had improperly taken with him when he reluctantly left the White House. Included in the collection of things Trump couldn’t bear to part with were the love letters he received from Kim Jong-un, and the map of Hurricane Dorian that he changed with a Sharpie, which will now be preserved by the National Archives for the future when we need to prove to disbelieving young people that all this shit really happened.
  • Worried that your youngster should be spending less time online and more time engaging with school? – specifically telling Gov. Glenn Youngkin which Virginia schools are going so far as to actually teach race theory? – (spoiler alert – they’re not)  Youngkin set up an email address where “concerned citizens – Karens, can snitch in true Big Brother style, and Tiktokers have invaded cyberspace to play Glenn at his own game. One Gen Z-er posted a Tik Tok to share that she’d set up a website which will generate an email about a random Virgina school, pull in random lyrics from songs and snitch all that to Youngkin’s tip line email address. So far 37,000 views of the vid on TikTok has generated emails accusing randomly name-generated teachers of teaching great tracts of theory drawn from “Hey Ya” by Outkast, “Material Girl” by Saucy Santana, and “Bonfire” by Childish Gambino. Olivia Julianna, a 19-year-old from Houston and part of “Gen-Z for Change”, published similar posts last September calling on people to flood a tip line set up by Texas Right to Life to report abortions after the state passed a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. They crashed the tip line website, which was taken down shortly after and hasn’t gone back up. As she says “Gen Z digital organizers consistently outperform these older politicians in using social media as a tool, and I would highly recommend they stop trying to beat us at our own game because it has consistently become a source of embarrassment for them.” Basically, and thankfully, Glenn, you and you’re fellow snitchers are too old maaaan, give it up dude! 
  • Seemingly determined to prove in an ouroboros fashion that people who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, McMinn County Tennessee school board members who presumably never learned about Nazi book bans banned a Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust called Maus. They were also seemingly unaware of the Streisand effect, with the ban resulting in online sales of Maus skyrocketing, a local Comic Store offering free loans to any student, and a North Carolina professor offering a free online class on Maus to any McMinn county high-schoolers. The irony is that these people really need to learn about the Holocaust, because it might stop them comparing mask mandates to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, down the road in Mt. Juliet Tennessee, right wing Pastor and Trump supporter Greg Locke organised a literal book burning to get rid of Harry Potter books, Twilight books, tarot cards and Oujia boards because he believes witchcraft is real and apparently he’s not sure the God he believes in is strong enough to cope with that on his own.
  • Florida Man with Lego Hair Ron de Santis did his “being sufficiently Trump enough to appeal to a voter base for his much-vaunted potential run for president in 2024 act” over the weekend – or rather he kinda didn’t. Whilst some 20 white nationalist assembled in the Orlando area on Saturday, saluted Hitler, waved Nazi insignia, and yelled anti-Semitic slurs at passers-by and again on the following day, old Ronald NotDonald did nothing and stayed silent until Monday when he broke his silence only to hector those who had said ‘Oi Ron it’s not hard – condemn the Nazis’ as trying to “smear me as if I had something to do with it.” Well, if you knew your Desmond Tutu Ron you’d know that all a man has to do is stand idly by to be inculcated with the wrong side – as the Archbishop said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Finally concurring that some “jackasses” and “malcontents” would be held accountable for “doing stuff on the overpass.” – hanging signs on overpasses is a violation of Florida law, DeSantis went on to make it even more about him, bigging up his history of supporting Jewish people through “record funding” for Jewish day schools. Hmm that’s a very tricky balance to strike there Ron – keeping the Nazis and the Jewish community both on side. Though noisy about this he’s kept quiet about whether or not he’s had the Covid vaccine in case that turns other voters against him. I shouldn’t worry Ron you’ve turned more than enough against you already – you’re a shoe-in for that GOP nomination fer sure!! 
  • There was controversy on the set of Fox’s The Masked Singer last week. No, it wasn’t host Nick Cannon making even more anti-Semitic remarks. It wasn’t judge Robin Thicke plagiarising someone else’s work, sexually assaulting a dancer or being a generally misogynistic asshole. And it wasn’t other host Jenny McCarthy giving life threatening medical advice about not vaccinating your child because her child totally got autism because of the MMR vaccination but that she cured him with a gluten free diet, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, chelation therapy, B-12 shots, electromagnetism, aromatherapy, multivitamin therapy, various prescription drugs and rubbing fucking spoons on his body. No, it was none of these things. The controversy was that Fox, who are usually so careful not to give a platform to any polarizing figures, chose leaky lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a contestant. When his mask was removed, Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke were so upset that they left the studio in protest. Think about that. There’s someone that even Robin Thicke is too disgusted to share a stage with.
  • To be filed under both “They’re taking Christmas away from us again theories” and “ Well that escalated quickly” At an online posting of a video taken at a school meeting in Detroit a member of the public Lisa Hansen, says that she was informed by someone the day before the meeting that litter boxes had been added to the “unisex bathrooms” for students who “identify as cats.”. As a right-minded critical thinker Ms Hansen dismisses the claim as nonsense stoked by right-wingers with an agenda and questions the true source of the story and then asks the school if they would be so kind as to ask if any schools do such a thing. No, no she didn’t; she says she’s stunned, furious, that this is an agenda being pushed through and it’s a nationwide issue that she has a problem with. All of which accelerated truth gained some more mileage per hour when Meshawn Maddock, a chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, shared the video and announced, I’m guessing also without doing any actual checking, “Kids who identify as ‘furries’ get a litter box in the school bathroom. Parent heroes will take back our schools”. Lisa Hansen of course failed to ask Meshawn what her agenda was. Wearily, superintendent of Midland Public Schools, and educated-adult-enough-for-everyone, Michael Sharrow announced that there was of course no truth in this statement/accusation! – calling it out for what it is. “It is such a source of disappointment that I felt the necessity to communicate this message to you,” he wrote. Nothing worse than when your teacher tells you he’s disappointed in you hey. Meanwhile Hansen and Maddock are having their noses rubbed in it and are thrown out of the house into the yard, their shits thrown after them!!
  • The RNC officially called the January 6th insurrection “Legitimate political discourse” last week, and voted to censure Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for “utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purposes”. It’s a bold statement. No, wait, I don’t mean bold, what’s the word? Bullshit. That’s what I meant, bullshit, cowardly and demonstrably false. Even Mitch McConnell couldn’t bring himself to agree, telling reporters this week that it was “a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power” and that the RNC shouldn’t be in the business of choosing which Republicans to support. Meanwhile, the AP have reported that not only did Trump gleefully watch the legitimate political discourse, occasionally rewinding and  saying things like “Look at all the people fighting for me”, but that he was confused that White House staffers weren’t as excited as he was to see the seat of American democracy being defiled. You know the more I hear about this guy, the more I think maybe he just wasn’t the right person for that job.
  • After what started as an apology about the findings of the Sue Gray report when Boris was contrite for about 30 seconds last Monday, Trumpist stirring of right wing conspiracy theories came to Britpol. Rattled and shown as the charlatan and piss-taker he is by Starmer’s identifying the lack of moral compass at the helm of British government, Boris casually accused Starmer of not prosecuting notorious serial paedophile Jimmy Savile when Starmer was head of the prosecution service. This is a constantly debunked right-wing conspiracy theory usually residing on the wilder edges of QAnon style chatrooms – Starmer wasn’t in charge at the time and the details of the case were never brought before him. Instead of calling for his party’s leader to apologise and retract the untrue statement Keith Girling, the Conservative deputy leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council in Nottingham posted a photoshopped image of Savile lounging on Keir Starmer in the House of Commons saying “of course he’s responsible; as head of the organisation the buck stops with him.” Though of course Johnson as head of the organisation that is the Tory Party is not responsible for the slur that brought about subsequent harassment of Starmer with protestors on the street shouting “Jimmy Savile” – oh no, the thugs are, Boris isn’t. Thankfully not everyone agreed and 5 of Johnson’s inner circle, communications team, chief of staff and MPs resigned. Not a bright week then for Boris nor his supporters who got lumbered with having to defend scurrilous slurs and do all the jobs being vacated at the top and then spin that that had been the plan all along! And yet with kids going viral calling Boris naughty, it seems the next generation might be in good hands, especially now education minister Nadhim Zahawi says pupils should not be criticising Boris Johnson as part of their coursework, as he jumps on the angerwagon after it apparently emerged that children at a school in Nottingham had been writing letters critical of the PM’s behaviour as part of an exercise. Yes that’s right Nottingham, distractingly the same part of England where the Tory councillor posted the meme of Savile and Starmer – as QAnoners always ask – coincidence?

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

Jim Cliff

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