The Straw Man’s Argument.

oz9.jpg

Dorothy: If you don’t have a brain, how can you talk?

Scarecrow: I don’t know, but it seems that people without brains do an awful lot of talking!

BTW: While searching for this pic, I found a Wizard of Oz “fact and trivia” site. I found their cast/character list fascinating, and I think you will too!

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MORE crap I’m sick of hearing.

1 – Bush = Hitler

Oh come now, he does not. Hitler was way more evil. Now, I do believe that Bush is evil, and I also believe that when he talks to God, God throws up in his mouth just that little bit, but Bush is nowhere near being in Hitler’s league. Besides that, Hitler chose far more competent people to fill his cabinet, was able to give the entire world a run for its money while Bush has had his hands more than full with Iraq, and the biggest difference – HITLER HAD A PLAN. An entirely vile, evil, and downright naughty plan indeed, but a plan nonetheless.  We’ve got nothing.

2-  “It’s that liberal media.”

Stop whining already! If you aren’t hearing what you want to hear about the war, about the President, about what- ever, here’s a radical thought; Maybe what you want to hear isn’t happening!!! Stop pretending that they didn’t help you circle Bill Clinton like vultures for eight fucking years. Stop pretending that the media didn’t help you start this war.

It’s especially pathetic when I hear someone single out CNN, then turn on CNN to hear Glenn Beck ranting about “liberal hippie communists” or hear the panel of experts predicting doom if we leave Iraq. How is this pushing the “liberal agenda?”

3-  “And this is what happened last night on American Idol.”

You know, if  gave a fuck, I would have watched the goddam thing. I don’t, so I didn’t. If someone missed it and didn’t Tivo it, their loss. Why would you even think for one second that it’s news? Happy Days used to be immensely popular, too, but the AP didn’t recap it the next morning for the benefit of those who missed it. Why do so for this musical crapfest?

4- Hyperbole

If someone says “I think Israel did this one thing wrongly”, that is NOT the same as “Hitler was right!” “I think Bush is a lousy President” does not equal “Clinton was the best President in history!” And being critical of America’s policies is nowhere near “I want America to lose this war!” If you cannot argue against what is actually being said, you might consider the idea that there is no valid argument against what is actually said, or that you simply don’t know what that answer is. Changing someone’s argument to suit what you want to argue against only shows that you have limitations to both your intellect and your honesty. And it’s rude, too.

5- “THOSE (Republicans/Democrats and/or conservatives/liberals)!!!”

Has America been this divided since the Civil War? Possibly, I don’t know. I do know that vilification of those people has replaced actual thought in America. And the assumption that EVERYONE is like that just slays me. I’ll say certain things about Bush, or about our current administration, and some people think they’re going to get my goat by bashing Clinton. Well, I never voted for Clinton, and I’m not a democrat, so that “You Democrats yadayadayada” crap falls limply at my feet. Then again, there’s those who brand me a neocon immediately because I don’t jump on the gun ban bandwagon, or because I suggest that we might want to watch that southern border. Once again, people don’t have the facts it takes to build a cogent argument, so they simply attack anything they can assume about the speaker.

Look, we’re all Americans, we all pay taxes, and we all live in the same country with the same problems. Maybe – just maybe– some of those problems could be solved, or at least lessened, if we spent as much effort working together and talking to each other as we do vilifying and slandering each other. America is supposed to be about freedom of thought, not the freedom to conform.

6- “They do it, too!”

Okay, suppose you have a 6 year old who is caught stealing candy. Knowing that he’s caught, he looks at you and says “Johnny and April stole candy, too!” Are you going to tell this child it’s okay, then, as long as he wasn’t the only one?

I didn’t think so. So why do adults do it every day?

These Republicans in the administration have told a lot of lies.” “Well, Demcrats lie, too!”

So that makes it okay?

“Those liberals are just hounding Bush because they hate him and want him out of office.” “And that’s exactly what the Republicans did to Clinton!!”

And that is your argument? I think there are more compelling reasons for wanting Bush out than that, but I digress. The simple fact is that just because someone else did something wrong, that doesn’t make it right for someone else to do it, too. I mean, if we elect a Democrat to the White House, and he (or she) tells a pile of whoppers to get us into a war, are we going to say that it’s all good because Bush did it, too?

As a rule of thumb, if you won’t accept a given argument from a 6 year old, you will sound no more mature or intelligent than that same child when you use the same type of argument, and you should be treated as such. Your kids should also see you as a hypocrite, and smother you in your sleep. So there.

7- “Democrats don’t believe in Jesus.”

This usually comes from people who think that Jesus likes war and wants homosexuals executed. This usually comes from people who think that Jesus will reward you for stockpiling as much cash as you can, and doesn’t like those Mexican kids getting free healthcare at our expense. In other words, people who have created Jesus in their own selfish, intolerant and unsympathetic image.

Fuck those people. I don’t speak for Jesus (boy, it would be refreshing to hear one of those jerks say that!) but if anything in that book about him is true, he’ll flush these people down like yesterday’s Raisin Bran. When I went to church, Jesus was about loving and helping people, not about hating foreigners and keeping taxes low.

8- “You’re giving aid and comfort to the enemy!”

No, blankets and muffins are aid and comfort. Debate and dissention is as American as hot dogs and apple pie.

Have you come up with any new ones?

(BTW, folks, if you haven’t voted for the American Asshole: April, scroll down and do so. For every person who doesn’t vote, Bill O’Reilly get another year on his contract!)

There’s nothing wrong here that panic can’t solve…….

I don’t know what alarmed the people at this school, but they ended up calling the bomb squad because of a “mysterious package.”

It turns out that a box suspected of being an explosive device was actually something design to contain up to 500 explosions!

Cosidering the atmosphere in schools these days, however, they’d have probably preferred the bomb…………………………………………….

The dipshittery never stops.

I found this while perusin’ the news this morning:

Sorrell, who had been an English and journalism instructor at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School, was placed on paid leave March 19, two months after an editorial advocating tolerance of homosexuals ran in Woodlan’s student newspaper, The Tomahawk. Sorrell had been the newspaper’s adviser.

School officials in the conservative northern Indiana community about 10 miles east of Fort Wayne said Sorrell did not comply with an agreement to alert the principal about controversial articles.

The agreement she signed includes a written reprimand that says she neglected her duties as a teacher and was insubordinate in refusing to obey school officials’ orders

I see two things as being wrong here, big time. First of all, how was this editorial “controversial?” America has been on a gay rights kick for a while now. If you’re an actor, and you say “faggot” in a private conversation with no microphones around, you have to go to therapy. If you are a moron, like Tim whatziznutz, and say “I hate gay people” INTO a microphone, you’re persona non grata for quite a spell. Yet a teacher faces dismission because one of her journalism students writes an editorial about not being bigoted against gays? How is being against bigotry “controversial” in the 21st century? Or even the last three decades of the 20th? I know this is Indiana, but what century are these people in, anyway?

The other thing that’s wrong is, obviously, the school’s concept of teaching journalism. I know that children aren’t always allotted the same constitutional rights as adults, and that one of the most frequntly denied rights is the right of free speech.  However, just how do you teach journalism without the 1st Amendment? That’s like teaching urology on a “Ken” doll.

If the principal in question truly feels that this message of tolerance and acceptance is controversial, then this principal is obviously a bigot and a homophobe, and possibly a bedwetter as well, I don’t know.  I do know that this principal is nowhere near what I would consider a role model, or an educator. I think the wrong person is leaving this school, and whatever “journalism” program this “school” has will no doubt suffer for it.

The Predictable Happens.

As always, it didn’t take long for the purveyors of higher education to decide, once again, that the 1st Amendment is America’s true enemy. As I’ve always said, there is nothing the average American believes in more than FREEDOM……… as long as no one else tries to use some.

“A classroom is supposed to be a place for academic exploration,” Winset, who taught financial accounting, told the Boston Herald.

He said administrators had asked the faculty to engage students on the issue. But on Friday, he got a letter saying he was fired and ordering him to stay off campus.

So, the way he explains it, the administration told him to discuss this topic, then fired him for doing it in a way they disapproved of. There is no mention of the administration giving specific instructions as to how the topic was to be handled.

Of course, this is nothing new. There have been teachers fired just about every time something like the VT massacre has happened. There were teachers fired after 9-11. An elementary school teacher was fired after the Iraq war began because he presented both sides of the Iraq war argument and allowed the students to – gasp! – make up their own minds about the war! I found it ironic that the conservatives that wanted him fired are the same folks who frequently trumpet to the heavens that they want teachers to educate, not indoctrinate. Of course, they’re talking about that liberal homosexual agenda, not our righteous war.It seems to me that presenting all the facts and letting people, even SMALL people, make their own judgements is education. Just telling them to support the war would seem to be the indoctrination, wouldn’t it?

So educators want the massacre at VT discussed. How do you do that without covering some extremely uncomfortable ground? How do you discuss a situation like this in an educational setting without taking the chance on offending someone, even if that offense is just some hypersensitive batshit from someone who simply wants attention? How do you decide that a line has been crossed when the students that were in the room during the discussion don’t seem to think so? I have no doubt that the “shooting the students with an eraser” thing was simply an attempt to help the students feel the situation the VT students were in – caught by surprise, with no time to move and nowhere to move to, getting shot at close range. I would think that this understanding would be key to having an inteligent discussion of this issue.

It points to the fallacy that Americans have a right to traipse through life unoffended, and that anyone who uses their right to free speech in any way that offends anyone else is using it maliciously and wrongly. It also points to the fallacy that we want to solve any of our problems.

I mean, how do we arrive at a useful solution to the violence in our schools and workplaces if we can’t have a frank and honest discussion about it? How can we solve out security and immigration challenges if we’re hobbled by accusations of racism and intolerance every time someone suggests securing our borders? How can we arrive at any solution to anything – education, health care, abortion rights – ANYTHING – without the ability to speak freely about it? We’re quick to address a problem by declaring war upon it – War on Poverty, War on Drugs, War on Terror – yet those problems persist, especially when they are abstracts like poverty and terror that can’t be shot at. We are happy to declare War on Terror, but treat as unwelcome any discussion of what the government does or doesn’t do in furtherance of that “war”.

So, in general, we can’t seem to discuss our problems as a country, but we can declare WAR on them, whether that makes sense or not.

I wonder if the root of our violence problem isn’t more obvious than we’ve been thinking.

3 things that bug me because they’re bull.

1.  “We have 5 technicians with 100 years combined experience!”

No, you don’t. You might have 5 technicians with 20 years of experince apiece, but that’s not the same thing. Did they all learn COMPLETELY different things in their careers? If so, then maybe. However, if you have 5 technicians (doctors, lawyers, astronauts, car washers, whatever) that have 20 years of experience each and they learned the SAME THINGS in that time, then you have 5 guys who each have 20 years of experience, NOT 100 years of experience because there is 5 of them.

2. This is a 200 watt amplifier because it has two channels with 100 watts/channel.

Save it for the rubes. 100 watts per channel is a 100 watt amp. Look at it this way. You have a garden hose. It has water coming out of it, and that water has a temperature of 50 degrees. Now suppose you turn on another, and it also has 50 degree water flowing through it. Now, if they run at the same time, does that make the water 100 degrees? NO. I won’t buy stereo equipment from someone who says this, because they are either trying to trick me into thinking that the equipment is more powerful than it is, or they are just too ill informed to make that distinction. Either way, they lose a sale.

3. You’re pre-approved!!!

I pre-don’t give a fuck!

Enter your own in the comments.

Weak argument hall of famer!

This guy just got life for being a serial killer. Here’s a quote:

Much of the testimony at his trial dealt with DNA evidence. Prosecutors said Gilyard’s semen was found on six of the women. The defense contended the evidence merely proved Gilyard had sex with the women, most of whom were prostitutes _ not that he killed them.

Okaaaaaaaay….. so evidently, someone is following this guy around and killing every hooker he spooges on. How crafty.

I wonder how some people manage to sleep at night.

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