Need for First Hand Accounts – FT#99

Need for First Hand Accounts – FT#99

Show Notes

The Need for First Hand Accounts Fallacy is committed when someone refuses to accept an argument based on any evidence except personal experience.


We started out by discussing Trumps claim that historians can’t know whether a Civil War battle took place because they weren’t there.

We followed that with this clip of Trump claiming that Maggie Haberman has no way of knowing whether Trump clogged White House toilets with documents:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Sir Robert Goodwill MP’s claim that the fact he hasn’t personally been made aware of a specific person who died because Boris had parties during the lockdown, it’s all fine.

Then we looked at Rachel Johnson’s views on lazy work-from-homers


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Ken Ham’s debate with Bill Nye:

Then we looked at this clip from This is Spinal Tap:

And we finished with this clip of Dana White:

Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game, which featured answers Trump gave Piers Morgan about what a woman is, immigration, and meeting the Queen:

  1. Someone who is biologically a woman. I think most Americans can figure out who’s a woman and who’s a man. The birds and the bees stuff ― it’s been a while, but I think I remember the general gist of the differences. To have a hard time answering that question is kind of odd to me. Someone who can give birth to a child, a mother, is a woman. Someone who has a uterus is a woman. It doesn’t seem that complicated to me. I mean, a woman has a vagina, right?
  2. We have an invasion coming in. This – this is bigger than any army is coming in. And it’s not 2 million people. I believe it’s 10 or 12 million people a year. At the end of Biden’s term I think you’ll have 30 to 40 to 50 million people will have come into our country. Many of these people are not people that would ever qualify for any country. Many are people released from prisons from other countries.
  3. We had a great time and then they honored the United States but they honored me that night which is really the honor of the country, and it was at the top level. And I sat next to her and we talked the whole night. And somebody said, “we’ve never seen her smile so much”. We had a great time. She was laughing and smiling. They said they’ve never seen her have such a good time at a state dinner. You know, normally they’re a little boring. Okay, this wasn’t boring.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it wrong this week, and has dropped back down below 50%


The Ministry of Truth is not a logical fallacy

We talked about Tucker Carlson’s insane, scare-mongering meltdown over the Biden Administration’s plan to crack down on misinformation.


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

  • In today’s Republican party, being a liar is not just acceptable, it’s a requirement for the job, But if you want to be a top Republican like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, just lying isn’t enough.  At McCarthy’s elite level, you have to also lie about the lies you tell, and then if possible lie about the fact that you lied about that.  New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin revealed last month that they have a book coming out and therefore have information that is vital for everyone to know, now that it might benefit them financially. That information included the claim that McCarthy told other Republican leaders after January 6th that he would be pushing Trump to resign. Realizing that that made him sound like he valued democracy more than the opinion of a whiny loser, McCarthy couldn’t let the allegation stand and immediately issued a statement, saying “The New York Times’ reporting on me is totally false and wrong. It comes as no surprise that the corporate media is obsessed with doing everything it can to further a liberal agenda.” Which was undermined a little bit when the audio of the conversation was released, in which he said “The only discussion I would have with him is that I think it will pass, and it would be my recommendation you resign. That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it.”. But McCarthy expertly pivoted to lying about the lie he told, claiming that it wasn’t a lie, because he didn’t actually talk to Trump about it, which coincidentally proves that what he said on the phone to Liz Cheney was also a lie. Tucker Carlson briefly noticed that at some level of the Inception based lying system McCarthy was less than 100% in Trump’s pocket, and called him a Dem puppet, but otherwise it doesn’t seem to have harmed his standing in the GOP.
  • Convicted criminal permanently wearing a rubber mask of Stan Laurel; Roger Stone and fat pillow-flogging Rupert Pupkin tribute act; Mike Lindell both made triumphant returns to Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk possibly is he, will he, really? buying it. In the name of free speech Stone announced “I’m back bitches” and Lindell said all those fake accounts in my name they’re fake, this is the real one and “I’m back”. Making a permanent stand for freedom of speech in the wake of their being booted off for spreading mis and disinformation about the 2020 election and viciously attacking the press for reporting Russian involvement in the 2016 election, the pair of them lasted barely half a day before they got suspended again, for breaking the “making a new account in your own name after having been banned previously for being the very person you are” rule. Of course they got all huffy but we didn’t really hear about it cos they’re hahaha not on Twitter though Lindell is on his own platform Frank Social which appears to be as inaccurately titled as Trump’s Truth Social. I hope Elon keeps the Twitter brand name, somehow Musk Social sounds like it’d stink!
  • In today’s Republican party, the one place where lying seems to be a bit less acceptable is when you’re under oath, which is presumably why Marjorie Taylor Greene kept it simple during the recent hearing about whether she should be allowed to run for re-election given her support for overthrowing the democratically elected government.  It’s not that she didn’t lie, don’t be so ridiculous – it’s just that she claimed she didn’t remember basically anything about anything she did around the beginning of January 2021. For example, while she apparently remembers that nobody in her office provided tours of the Capitol to insurrectionists in the days before January 6th, she’s a little hazier on whether she texted Mark Meadows to suggest Trump declare martial law.  While that seems like the kind of thing that would stick in your mind, you have to remember that this is a woman who spells martial law m-a-r-s-h-a-l-l, so she’s not exactly the smartest insurrectionist in the box.  We know she spells it that way because we have the text messages that she claims not to remember sending, which is a bit inconvenient for her, but probably won’t matter because nothing seems to, any more.
  • There’s that scene in Idiocracy where the future parliament rules on some life-threatening decision or other in the only way they know ‘Mericans can: Monster Trucks! Of course the everyman from our time is left dumbstruck at the inanity of what’s become of God’s chosen country. Well it walks among us now; reports that this weekend’s Stronger Men Conference in Springfield Missouri “exists to empower and motivate men to live out God’s view of manhood and be the best husbands, fathers, and leaders God has called them to be.” Among the frequently asked questions on the conference website are: “Can my son come with me?” and “Can I gather a group of men at my house to watch the conference with me?” As Jezebel reporter Laura Bassett points out “men: If you have to go to the Stronger Men’s Conference website to ask whether you are allowed to have friends over at your home to watch it together, I am concerned that you have some emotional problems that can’t be solved by monster trucks and pyrotechnics.” At $119 a ticket that’s what you get, a peculiar gospel-powered spectacle of electric guitarist slung atop a scaffold tower à la Max Max Fury Road, shrieking “here we go” as a monster truck lamely drives off the end of a ramp onto some cars whilst flames go up in the air. If Christianity and masculinity need the adhesive power of expensively wrought sooty nasal boogers then yep I too am worried about who men really are!
  • Not satisfied with banning books about babies not being racist, and unicorns pretending to be horses, Florida’s answer to “What if mediocre white male fragility was a person”, Ron DeSantis, is targeting maths. Or, since you Americans only have one of them, math. Florida’s State Board of Education rejected 54 of the 132 math textbooks submitted for consideration because they contained references to Critical Race Theory or included Social Emotional Learning. Various news outlets including the Tampa Bay Times and the New York Times scoured the textbooks for problematic material and, hard as this may be to believe, were unable to find any references in the largely elementary and high-school textbooks to the academic framework taught in law-school about systemic racism.  Some of the books did acknowledge that people from Vietnam or Africa exist. One suggested learning about polynomials using a dataset of responses to Harvard’s Implicit Association test, which looks at hidden biases including racism. Most of the other books appear to have been banned for including Social Emotional Learning, which is the frightening and dangerous concept that fostering empathy and compassion helps people learn. It seems to have been targeted because it has been shown to be particularly effective in schools with a diverse population, and if there’s one thing Ron DeSantis doesn’t want to be accused of, it’s helping minorities.
  • The results of a The Economist/YouGov poll this week found the following to actually be held true by the US voting public – Top Democrats are involved in elite child sex-trafficking rings. When asked, among Republican respondents, 52 percent said it’s either “Definitely true” (20%) or “Probably true” (32%). Even though the Mediaite report says “while most Americans don’t believe that statement to be true” alarmingly among Democratic voters, 13 percent said it’s either “Definitely true” (5%) or “Probably true” (8%), and among independent voters, 30 percent said it’s either “Definitely true” (10%) or “Probably true” (20%). An even greater percentage of Republicans believe that “Regardless of who is officially in charge of the government and other organizations, there is a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together.” Among Republican respondents, 54 percent said it’s either “Definitely true” (16%) or “Probably true” (38%) Among Democratic voters, 28 percent said it’s either “Definitely true” (9%) or “Probably true” (19%), and among independent voters, 40 percent said it’s either “Definitely true” (10%) or “Probably true” (30%). The report doesn’t say how many respondents there were to the poll nor whether they were all inmates of Arkham Asylum, but one can only hope that the QAnonsensical schizophrenic narcissistic idiots they questioned are chained up good and proper and not running for office….hmmm some hope!
  • Back in 2016 Republican Senate candidate for Ohio, JD Vance called himself a Never Trumper, and said he thought Trump might be America’s Hitler. But that was before he saw Trump completely fail to revoke Obamacare, fumble a pandemic response resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, lose humiliatingly and foment an insurrection, so now he’s fully on board. And since Trump doesn’t have sufficient brain capacity to retain the memories required to hold a grudge, he’s endorsing Vance in his Senate run against Josh Mandel.  In fact Trump travelled to Ohio at the weekend specifically to hold a rally about how very much he endorses JD Vance, and definitely not Josh Mandel, who you shouldn’t vote for if you like Trump. And I don’t think he could have been any clearer about that: “You know, we’ve endorsed Dr. Oz. We’ve endorsed—J.P., right? JD Mandel, and he’s doing great. They’re all doing good.” So, if you’re a Trump voter in Ohio, remember, ignore the bits where it says JD Vance and Josh Mandel and write in JD Mandel. Or JP.  Whatever. If the former President can’t be bothered to check who he’s endorsing before he does it, why bother to check who you’re voting for?
  • Just when you thought the Tory party couldn’t get any weirder Tory MP Neil Parish resigned this week for looking at porn on his phone whilst at work – eventually, in true Boris-fashion he was going to wait for the investigation to complete. He finally said: “The situation was that, funnily enough, it was tractors I was looking at. I did get into another website that had a very similar name and I watched it for a bit, which I shouldn’t have done. But my crime – biggest crime – is that on another occasion I went in a second time.”  In the actual House of Commons, during the day, with people there, but it was alright he wasn’t doing so in such a way that other people could see, he does have some sense of decency as he says “I mean I have 12 years in Parliament and probably got one of the best reputations ever – or did have.” Well quite! Similarly whilst thinking there’s nothing wrong with fucking us all over at his workplace, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has signalled support for a windfall tax on energy firms if they fail to use their profits – hugely inflated by the high price of oil and gas – for the benefit of the UK. “If companies aren’t going to make investments in our energy security, of course that’s something I’d look at,” he told the Mumsnet website. Might work, look how successful trickle-down quantitative easing was in convincing us poor saps that big business was actually doing something about levelling up and closing the gap between rich and poor after the last crisis and not just lining their offshore accounts! And ahead of certain defeat in local elections this Thursday May 5th – our midterms in a way – Tory party Culture Secretary and actual cabinet minister in actual charge of tackling misinformation Nadine Dorries, tried the distraction game by tweeting a picture of Keir Starmer eating curry alongside other Labour party members during lockdown and boiling with rage that all the focus has been on Good Boy Boris. Problem is Keir is pictured sitting next to Frank Dobson, who died in 2019. Yep a well-educated, highly-qualified class act our government!

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

Jim Cliff

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