My greatest failing: I cannot ignore a set-up for a cheap, cruel joke. Even when I write the set-up myself.
Who couldn’t guess that they’d find a coded way to link “Black President” with “Shiftless and Lazy”…? And that they’d do it even if they had to literally turn the truth upside down to manage it?
Keystone Progress Daily Funnies .: Lalo Alcaraz, August 28, 2014
If you’re not laughing, you’re not paying attention. Every day, we search for the funniest comics and videos on the issues of the…
It’s quite astonishing how much faster I can write if I have a working idea before I start about what I’m going to be writing — a few scenes, some bits, the characters, some kind of imagined end-point. Then everything else seems to fall into place quite easily. But when I have to force it, when I don’t don’t know, or don’t feel comfortable with what I have ready, it turns into hard, hard work. Doesn’t read all that great, either.
All this to say I remain a committed think-first, then-write sort of guy.
Okay, I have officially spent too much time faffing around. Work, boy, work!
You mean two six packs of beer doesn’t count as dinner, Tom? Wow, aren’t you Mr. Hoity-Toity!
Gov. Corbett: Reform Liquor Laws So It’s Easier For Women To Make Dinner
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) thinks his state should reform its liquor laws. That way, he argued, women would have an…
By the way, just a reminder: I hope all you folks who participated in the ice bucket challenges in one way or another remembered to send your donations to ALS. Otherwise, it’s just an amusement. If you forgot, here’s the URL:
Homepage – ALS Association
The ALS Association encourages scientific research to find a cure for ALS, heightens awareness of the nature of the disease, stimulates volunteerism and activism, and increases awareness of government leaders to encourage support of research and…
The Telegraph breaks another important story — giant pandas may be faking pregnancy for treats.
My conclusion: Pat Robertson was right. Feminism destroys everything!
Giant panda ‘faked pregnancy for extra treats and nicer accommodation’ – Telegraph
Giant panda Ai Hin may have faked her pregnancy for a ‘better quality of life’
My wife, to our large young dog: “Johnny! Cats are people, too!”
Johnny doesn’t believe her, by the way. His only flaw. He thinks cats are, well, dinner.
I haven’t been able to read the entire article, but since I still see this piece of nonsense (fractured cop) circling around the internet, I thought I’d share it on trust, just to put this side of it on the record.
Anatomy of a Fox News smear: Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge and the “dumbest person on the Internet”
How did Fox News run a totally bogus Ferguson story? Welcome to the truly slimy side of the right-wing hit machine
LONG POST WARNING: I don’t care if people argue with me, or even if they think they’ve out-argued me, but when someone thinks I don’t know the meaning of common words and phrases, well, they’ve just made it PERSONAL.
Thus: A Brief Exposition on the Theme of Straw Man Arguments.
Michael Z. Williamson, a pro-gun Facebook friend, posted the meme seen at the bottom of this page. I said something to the effect of, “Way to chase those straw men!”
Michael tagged a query to me asking how I could defend “Don’t Bring Your Gun Here” signs, which the meme was addressing. That showed up on my wall this morning.
I said, in response to being tagged and questioned, “Not defending any signs, that’s up to individual businesses, just pointing out straw men.”
I then had dozens of comments from various of (I presume) Mike’s pro-gun friends about why I was avoiding the issue (of defending Mike’s straw man) and then several other replies to my comments that suggested I didn’t understand what a straw man argument is.
Like I said: personal. Okay. Here we go.
First: Mike’s meme IS a straw man. You may find our own definition. Here’s one found close to hand (on RationalWiki or something) which seems reasonable:
“The title of the argument comes from the art of practising fighting techniques against men made of straw: which is a problem in that straw men don’t fight back, don’t wear armor, don’t bleed and generally aren’t anything like the sort of thing you would actually encounter in a battle. Therefore someone arguing against a straw man is just arguing against an idealised opponent that only exists in that person’s own head.
Straw men are notoriously easy to construct, and require little more than extending the opponent’s arguments beyond their original point until their stance appears ridiculous-appearing like the fallacious use of reductio ad absurdum. Once the opponent has accepted (or failed to refute) such a set-up, one can simply attack the straw man position instead of the opponent’s actual points, and claim any subsequent attempt to correct the situation as conceding the argument.”
Mike’s meme fits this definition because it’s inventing an imaginary liberal who’s so stupid that he or she think deranged killers are going to be deterred by pointing fingers. That’s a straw man because, a) virtually nobody thinks that, liberals included, b) it presupposes there are no other social solutions for the problem (like armed police), and c) that the people who post signs against guns in their establishment are only trying to prevent deranged murderers, when what they’re actually saying is that they don’t want the added risk and customer discomfort of having guns in their place of business.
So: straw man.
The initial point I was making seemed to elude Mike and everyone else. No matter how many times I tried to make it clear, some couldn’t understand that I was not “supporting” anti-gun signs.
Then someone else (not me) made a gun-related remark about the Old West, and about the idea that taking away guns in bars and whatnot might have made things safer. One of the commenters took umbrage to that, saying basically, “Liberals, first you say you’re trying to prevent the Wild West, then you say it’s a good thing”.
I said, “Another straw man”.
The commenter proceeded to come up with many examples of (presumably liberal — I didn’t bother to check because it was a waste of energy) people using the “Wild West” analogy in gun-control discussions.
When I said, “You don’t understand what I’m saying”, I was told over and over again that I wasn’t acknowledging that I had “lost” the argument (over the Wild West) because I couldn’t “back up” what I said.
Wrong. Straw man arguments are straw man arguments. Various terms like “Wild West”, “witch hunt”, and “freak show” are used in political discussions all the time. That doesn’t make any of them a serious policy argument which can then be demolished by the proof that the analogy has been used by your opponents.
No serious gun control law or suggested law in the modern age, I’m pretty certain, has ever used the “Wild West” as its basis in fact or its reason for existing. Therefore, trying to turn a conversation about signs and gun control (and, more importantly, whether the original meme was a straw man argument) into a discussion of whether or not someone has ever likened contemporary gun ownership to the Wild West is an entertaining but utterly pointless argument. It is another type of straw man, because IT DOESN’T MATTER, and nobody ever said it mattered except the commenter determined to prove me “wrong”. I’m not even sure if the guy who posted brought up the Wild West in the first place IS a liberal, but I don’t care anyway. It adds nothing to the original conversation, about which every one arguing with me was still dead wrong, and instead many pro-gun commenters were demanding I defend something indefensible and pointless, which was some commenter’s certainty that something about the “Wild West” was germane to my, or at least liberals’, position on gun control, signs, and straw men arguments.
Honestly, guys, I welcome intelligent conversation, and I think we could actually have one. But let’s talk about things that matter, not try to play “ZING!” with arguments that some of you don’t seem to be seeing in their entirety, or if you are seeing, aren’t entirely grasping.
The original fact is that I suggested Mike’s meme (yes, the one below) was a straw man. Everything that followed from that seems to ignore the fact that I was right, by any normal definition of a straw man argument — if no liberal said it, if no liberal believes it, then it’s not a liberal argument. It’s a straw man for those who don’t like liberals or any suggestion of gun regulation. They made it, then they knock it down. That’s what the term means.
Everything we know, everything we believe — it all totters on the brink.
Sanrio’s Shocking Reveal: Hello Kitty Is NOT A Cat
This news is so shocking that it may even make us question our own existence.