Reification – FT#94

Reification – FT#94

Show Notes

The Reification Fallacy is committed when someone suggests an abstract concept is real and has intent or agency.


We started out with this clip of Trump on Antifa:

We followed that with this clip of Trump claiming ‘science’ doesn’t know what he knows:

And finally we looked at this failed attempt by Thomas Massie to quote Voltaire:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about the unelectability of Jeremy Corbyn, as satirically commented upon by Jonathan Pie:

And followed that up with a montage of Boris claiming various nebulous benefits of Brexit, such as ‘control’.


Fallacy in the Wild

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

Then we looked at this clip from Leviathan:

And we finished with this wonderful Steven Wright joke:

Fake News

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

  1. Everyone knows it’s not possible that Joe Biden – sleepy Joe – got that many votes. I had more votes than any other President ever, not even close. They said I needed 65 million. Very respected poll guy said I needed 65 million and I couldn’t lose, I got 74 million, and really I got a lot more than that. You just have to look at the crowds, the enthusiasm, we had crowds like nobody’s ever seen, going right back to the inauguration.
  2. We were three weeks away from finishing the wall after going through two and a half years of lawsuits with the Democrats and winning them all. We were two and a half, three weeks away from – think of it – finishing the wall, which is largely, frankly, finished anyway. It’s a tremendous help. We had the best numbers in the history of our country on the southern border, very little was coming in, very few people were coming in, other than coming in legally.
  3. They view it as a romantic period I think, and I think that’s really why it’s doing so well, because there is a lot of romance to the book. Despite all of the vicious hoaxes and scams that they pulled and made-up stories like Russia, Russia, Russia — you know, you had the Mueller, you had impeachment hoax number 1, impeachment hoax number 2, despite all of that, they view it as a very glamorous time because our country was doing so well

Click below for the answer

Mark got it wrong this week, and is now back down at 50%


Spying is not a logical fallacy

We talked about insane overblown claims that Hillary spied on Trump that the right wing invented based on a nothingburger motion from John Durham.


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

  • Well, we finally know why Trump thinks you need to flush a toilet so many times to get it to work, and it’s because he’s been shoving evidence down there. According to a new book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, White House staff periodically found Trump’s toilet clogged with bits of torn up paper. Trump has of course denied the allegation, going with the totally plausible “There would be no way of her knowing if it were the fact. There would be no way of her understanding that or knowing it.” To be honest, I think he’s missed a trick here. If he claimed  that Steve Bannon told him that was the best way to send his documents to the National Archives to comply with the Presidential Records Act, I think everyone would believe that he’s stupid enough to fall for that. After all, he was stupid enough to take 15 boxes of documents back to Mar A Lago, and we’ve now learned that some of those were clearly marked as classified, and even top secret. But you know, at least you guys didn’t elect a President who had used their own private email server for some work emails.
  • Trump’s all set to make America Great Again Again by making Americans even more Broke Again. Doubtless ringing to the tune of “Let’s Grift again like we did last summer” Trump’s Make America Great Again PAC cash registers have been helpfully spending $37,541.67 in each of 10 months last year renting office space at Trump Tower. “Yeah but he needs office space to run his possible new campaign and the support of candidates from, right?” Right but that’s all done in Florida – the so-called office space in Trump Tower is empty – he’s paying himself people! And the total $375,417 is more than the $350,500 that his Save America committee donated last year to Republican candidates running for office, you know the reason that the fundraising arms of Save America and Make American Great were set up.
    Not being campaign funds they of course have no rules on how the money is spent, so that’s fine by Trump; “There’s no signs up anywhere!” being his justification for doing what the fuck he likes with it. And yes of course he’s still one of you blue collar workers, has only you in his thoughts and heart, and of course he’s not just bleeding you dry to ward off his latest in a line of fiscal meltdowns, which of course thankfully are lining up to be seen in court!  Noah Bookbinder, the president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said that although Trump is still using his position to funnel donors’ money to himself. “There’s no law that says you can’t use this as a scam to enrich yourself. He’s allowed to do this. It’s sleazy, but it’s legal.” Now there’s a campaign slogan!
  • Valentine’s Day can be a tough holiday for some, and there tends to be a bit of a bump in breakups around that time, maybe because people feel that they’re faking the romance, or decide they want something more. This year, Trump’s accountancy firm Mazars announced they were splitting up with Trump, and that the Trump Organization should inform their lenders and insurers that they should no longer rely on the last ten years of financial statements pertaining to Trump Org. Part of the reason for the split, according to the Mazars letter, was the January 18th filing by New York Attorney General Letitia James, detailing Trump’s inconsistent valuations of various assets.  While Trump was having a bad week, Letitia James was having a very good week, and on Thursday a judge ruled that she would be able to depose Trump, Don Jr and Ivanka under oath in her civil investigation of the Trump Organization. And here’s the really fun part: In a civil case, pleading the fifth can be used against you in court.
  • In a demonstration of how the Republicans are gentle, low key, sensitive folk Arizona Republican Senate candidate Jim Lamon’s latest campaign ad is both, er no I mean neither nuanced and aware. The ad *ahem* “quietly” ran at the Super Bowl and featured good ol’ Sheriff Jim squaring up against the incoming posse of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Mark Kelly in an old-fashioned gunfight in an appeal no doubt to the gun-totin’ western-lovin’ voting base. While Jim doesn’t really cut a John Wayne figure nor Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles even, his playing at cowboys shows yet again the right can’t do humour. Mark Kelly’s wife former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was actually shot in the actual head and critically injured in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, yep the self same state, that also killed six people and injured many others. Of course it’s a dead cat tactic on the part of the Republican candidate who can then bleat about snowflakes and wokes objecting on the basis that “Left wing snowflakes can’t stand the fact that, for once, AZ will have a Senator who will shoot straight with them & stop cowering to Biden.” Hmm two things a) is anyone actually cowering to Joe? And b) if he’s taking out ads at the Super Bowl and his campaign has raised just $600,000 from individual donors, he’s gonna run out of money isn’t he? Whilst the right will love him for his “uncompromising” – read inhumane – stance no amount of dressing up as Woody is gonna make him our favourite deputy!
  • The LA Rams won a close victory in Super Bowl 56, and the game, the ads, and the halftime show were all just as much fun as usual. Unless, of course, you’re a Republican. In which case, the fact that the performers in the halftime show were Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige, Eminem, 50 Cent, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg was a racist, amoral display of criminals, and it’s all just noise, you can’t even tell what they’re saying or something like that. Massive headed 27 year old senior citizen Charlie Kirk tweeted “The NFL is now the league of sexual anarchy” which, if you’re going to join a league, sounds like a pretty cool one. Honestly, it made no sense. I watched the half-time show twice, specifically looking for some sexual anarchy and I couldn’t find any.  Presumably Charlie Kirk prefers celibate authoritarianism. I say ‘presumably’ – he definitely would. No question. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani had a problem with Eminem taking a knee at the end of “Lose Yourself”, and many other right wing commentators forgot Eminem was there at all, since they tweeted that it was racist to have a halftime show without a single white person in it. Finally, after The New York Post published a picture of Snoop Dogg smoking weed before going on stage, everyone had to do their best Claude Rains impression and insist they were shocked! Shocked, that of all people, Snoop Dogg would smoke weed!
  • Well we at Fallacious Towers can’t wait to get on Truth Social – Trump’s Twitter knock-off but it looks like we might have to, like us, the Daily Beast can’t wait but have got to – on launch night – yesterday – the app download kept giving them “Something went wrong. Please try again.” messages and then cos the app was simply so popular “Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist.” at one point Daily Beast reported that they were 96,427th place in line on Monday morning. Other users reported queue positions as high as 160,000. Now that’s some customer services hassle right there. On Sunday, Devin Nunes, the former Republican congressman-turned-CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, said that he hopes the new app will be fully operational by the end of March. Which might give them time to find a new logo – many people on actual Twitter having pointed that the Truth Social T-logo is exactly the same as UK transport firm Trailar’s T-Logo, they are consulting lawyers about the truth involved in Intellectual Property rights. And how much truth can Trump’s system actually handle? Despite being billed as a venture to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump’s new platform will utilize AI censors to police its content. The Fox Business Network no less, reported in January that Truth had enlisted “a San Francisco-based Series D start-up that provides automated solutions through cloud-based artificial intelligence for understanding images, videos, and text content.” Just in case people put unflattering pictures of Donny up there praps? Not that that’s our intention of course…
  • You’ve probably heard that a bunch of anti-vax truck drivers have been blocking roads in Ottawa for a couple of weeks now, and since they are science-deniers and massive assholes they have the full support of the American right wing. Foghorn with a mustache Mike Lindell announced that as a show of support he would ship 12,000 MyPillows to the truckers, which seems a bit cruel to me, as they’re probably already uncomfortable enough in their trucks without having to sleep on a MyPillow. Luckily for them, the shipment has been indefinitely delayed due to the fact that Lindell was turned back at the Canadian border because he is unvaccinated. Lindell told the Daily Beast that he would get around this by using a helicopter to air drop the pillows with little parachutes into the protest zone, but has since claimed that was a joke, probably because someone told him what happens when aircraft fly over international borders without authorization.
  • Well, it’s kind of a half-term holiday for the British Government in that they don’t have to come into the House and are supposed to be spending time in their constituencies, so that’s a bit less troubling on the eyes, ears and psyche, you’d think! But no, determined to prove how popular he is and how right he is to be the one entrusted with getting things done for the country Boris has distracted us from the fact that he is under investigation by the actual police because Partygate, by ending all restrictions for COVID. Including isolating if positive and even bothering to have to test at all, yippee now we won’t know if any new variant arrives, so we’ll be just as u prepared as we were in March 2020. Oh and if that’s not enough he’s been upping the war-mongering rhetoric vis-a-vis Putin and Ukraine, with the defence secretary saying “well you can’t trust anything their defence department  says” yep takes one to know one. The foreign secretary Liz Truss has been bolstering her gravita*hahaha*s as a likely Tory Leader by dressing up as a Russian and pretending to be Margaret Thatcher. Not to be out done by Liz riding a tank, an RAF fighter jet was flown 330 miles just so Boris could sit it in and make brum-brum noises. When your country is being run by cosplay politicians is it any wonder we’re not allowed to be amongst the grownups in Europe or the World Health Organisation. But don’t worry populism will defeat the enemies of Russia and COVID, I mean just look at Trump! Oh!

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

Jim Cliff

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