Logical fallacies examples

Robert Knight: Keeping elections honest – “What is “reasonable” when preventing vote fraud?

At issue in the American Civil Rights Union’s lawsuit against Broward County, Florida, whose weeklong trial ended last Wednesday, is what constitutes “reasonable” measures that must be taken to ensure accurate and up-to-date voter lists.

When the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), better known as Motor Voter, was enacted in 1993, it had two major parts. The first, pushed by Democrats, allowed for easy registration at various government agencies, such as the DMV and welfare offices. The second part, promoted by Republicans, required states and localities to use “reasonable” methods to ensure that only qualified voters are registered.

But in the past 24 years, no court has ever ruled on what is “reasonable,” and recent studies show that many jurisdictions are ignoring the requirement.

The trial is exposing a number of ‘problems’ with voting in Broward county as well as the Left’s entrenched position that there’s nothing to see.

Rowan Scarborough: Trump’s deals in Russia once encouraged even by Clintons now under scrutiny – “During the 2000s and early 2010s, Washington and its liberal press corps seemed to bless everything Russia.” But not now… “Any Trump associate who ever talked to a Russian is in danger of being subjected to an FBI interview.”

A trip that would have been normal Russian-American interaction, the type encouraged by Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state, became Mr. Carter’s nightmare.

“People are still missing the big factor,” Mr. Carter told The Times. “This is regarding their complete foreign policy and domestic policy failures that precipitated last year’s events and, secondly, the arrogant, unconstitutional moves made by Clinton-Obama-[former FBI Director James B.] Comey operatives despite the fact that they were unsuccessful as usual. This represented the real illegal influence on the 2016 election.”

Valerie Richardson: With Republican turnaround, state legislatures now foil liberal ballot measures – “Liberal activists are furious after spending millions of dollars to pass left-wing ballot initiatives in November in states such as Oklahoma, Maine and South Dakota, only to see Republican lawmakers use their legislative muscle to gut, modify or outright repeal them this year.” The article is a ‘what goes around comes around,’ quid pro quo, goose gander approach. It does raise the issues involved in democracy via plebiscite versus representative governance and the problems with the wisdom of the people in the heat of a propaganda flame war.

In other words, the left now is learning the hard way what the right has long known: Just because the voters pass a ballot proposal doesn’t mean the state legislature won’t fight it.

“Generally speaking, it’s true that if the legislature thought it was a good idea, they would have done it already,” said Craig Burnett, Hofstra University political science professor. “Almost every policy proposed by initiative is almost by construction out of sync with what the legislature wants. If they really wanted it, they could have done it already.”

“It all goes back to [Thomas] Jefferson saying the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. That’s what this is,” he said. “It’s not a victory until you secure and defend it year after year. Because they will find a way.”

Jazz Shaw gets into the ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ aspects of the Russian Collusion Conspiracy Investigation: Video: AG office reining in a Mueller fishing expedition? – “More than a few observers have been wondering if this entire Grand Jury excursion is turning into something of a fishing expedition and whether or not it might wind up being a huge bag of feed for the media circus even if nothing of substance comes of it.”

we’ve lived to see interesting times where most of the traditional rules don’t apply. If Mueller gets “pulled” off of some line of investigation not directly related to the Russiagate activities, every Democrat on the Hill and all of their media allies will immediately be talking about yet another round of “obstruction of justice” and Maxine Waters will have to cancel everything on her calendar for another round of CNN and MSNBC appearances to once again call for Trump’s impeachment.

The actual findings of the investigation in this wild ride may not wind up being what matters. Even if no charges can be filed, this could turn out to be a complete treasure trove for Trump’s opponents. And if the investigation is steered away from any non-Russia material and back to the original charter, it’s a cover-up in the minds of those who want to find one. Ditto if Mueller winds up being fired. It’s pretty much a win-win for the Democrats at this point, so kudos to them for setting the trap this well.

Luboš Motl thinks James Damore deserves $1 million in bonuses from Google – That’s the senior software engineer behind the Google diversity memo/manifesto/screed. Motl opines based on his personal experience at Harvard, where Damore studied for a PhD in systems biology, and the Larry Summers diversity brouhaha.

Instapundit Charles Glasser picks up on a Time slime of Charles Koch – another blatant case of distorted misperception fitting a standard irrational bias.

Time later changed the headline to say “Charles Koch Mocks Common Measure of Prosperity.” Reason points out that the URL still has the telling phrase “charles-koch-bomb-economy/” and goes on to take apart the reporters’ woefully inadequate understanding of basic economics. This is a classic case of a form of libel (privacy, actually) called “false light”, generally wherein untrue implications, rather than directly false statements are made. For instance, an article about sex offenders illustrated with a stock photograph of an individual who is not, in fact, a sex offender could give rise to a false light claim, even if the article and photo caption never make the explicit false statement.

If legacy media had spent the last 10 years practicing responsible journalism and less time being party apparatchiks, they might not be in the trouble they’re in.

What’s wrong with this picture? Don’t listen to the rich—inequality is bad for everyone – “A world where a few people have most of the wealth motivates others who are poor to strive to earn more. And when they do, they’ll invest in businesses and other areas of the economy. That’s the argument for inequality. But it’s wrong.” Granted, it’s just the tagline but consider its problems. First is the idea that there is a debate about inequality as if it were a matter of opinion and policy rather than an observation of the human condition. Second is the straw man of creating a position that can be impugned. Third is casting judgment rather than expressing solidly based opinion. The article itself takes off from there with questionable presumptions and confusions about the actual nature of the issue.

Connie Loizos provides another example of confused thinking On managing outrage in Silicon Valley – “I hate sexism; it can’t be eradicated fast enough. I’m frustrated that there’s still far too little diversity in Silicon Valley.” The basic problem is confusing existing reality with an improper bias in action and in denial of reality that differences do exist and are expressed in many ways that are not insidious or improper. 

Yet a newer form of discrimination is starting to greatly alarm me, and that’s discrimination against anyone with a point of view that’s deemed offensive to the tech majority.

people are angry about a Google engineer who wrote an overly long memo, arguing that the fact that there are fewer women engineers than men is a natural state.

I’ll note that like the vast majority of people who have read this memo — and that’s now roughly one million people, including Google employees — I strongly disagree with this person’s views about gender and race.

Quartz wrote a smart piece earlier, saying that the real problem with this person’s viral anti-diversity memo “is bigger than Silicon Valley,” and it tied this engineer’s leanings to Trumpism, which has emboldened a subset of Trump supporters to be more public about their repulsive views.

Consider the alarm about bullying reasonable speech with the “overly long” judgment and the total lack of addressing the basis for the memo arguments. From Motl’s item above, you can see that actual polls refute the “vast majority” assertion. Then the gender pay gap and “Trumpism” are brought in and both are well known ‘straw man’ fallacies.

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