Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A fun game for everyone to play

I call this game "Spot the Fallacies"

Back in November; I did a post discussing commonly used fallacies which I copied from this web page. I commonly see news reports that contain many of these fallacies.

Earlier this week, we learned that Senator Russ Feingold was going to propose a resolution that would censure President Bush because of his illegal wiretapping policies.

So here is the game. Read the following article on CNN's website, and then post any fallacies that you spot along with the type of fallacy in the comments section. The winner receives absolutely nothing but an official "Congratulations!" from me.

CNN Article

Here is an example:

Cheney stated "Do they support the extreme and counterproductive antics of a few, or do they support a lawful program vital to the security of this nation?"

That is the classic Either/Or Fallacy.

Update: to make the game more interesting, you may use any article (including blog posts), but make sure you include a link to that article.


Anonymous said...

America lags behind other countries that have universal broadband deployment, Pelosi said; but the Democrats' agenda "guarantees" that every American will have affordable access to broadband within five years.

In a speech to the Communications Workers of America on Tuesday, Pelosi mentioned Democrats' opposition to outsourcing. She said Democrats will end tax subsidies for companies that send jobs overseas.

"Democrats stand for "real security," Pelosi said, including port security. "We must have 100 percent screening of our containers that come into our ports," she said.

Fallacy - Fallacy - Fallacy\Politics\archive\200603\POL20060315b.html

BigNewsDay said...

What type of fallacy is that? I agree that the statement "Democrats stand for 'real Security'" statement can be consdered a fallacy, but don't call it a fallacy just because it is a statement that you don't agree with.

Anonymous said...

Get real

"We must have 100 percent screening of our containers that come into our ports,"

If you say thet will happen the gues what


BigNewsDay said...

You are missing my point. I've provided a link that lists many types of fallacies. What type of fallacy are you claiming that this statement is?

Anonymous said...

A BIG one

BigNewsDay said...

And you're telling me to get real? You need to get educated.

Anonymous said...

"We must have 100 percent screening of our containers that come into our ports,"


1. A false notion.

2. A statement or an argument based on a false or invalid inference.

3. Incorrectness of reasoning or belief; erroneousness.

4. The quality of being deceptive.

This is 1 thru 4

BigNewsDay said...

You are pulling a definition of a word out of the dictionary. That is not what I'm talking about.

But while we are on the subject, it is possible to check all storage containers coming in to our ports. I watched a special on the news the other day that showed how that state-run business from UAE checks every container coming into their country, and noted that the would have used the same drive-through screening devices at the American ports.

We currently screen everyone before boarding an airplane, which is doing no good if we are not screening ports.

Please read the article about the types of fallacies that I am referring to.

BlackLabelAxe said...

The cost to screen every single container would have to turn into a box-by-box breakdown and re-package to have any merit whatsoever. That would be so labor-intensive and cause so many delays that you could probably go ahead and add at least a dollar to the cost of almost every single retail item that comes through a port.

The only thing we need to screen packages for is radioactive material, which doesn't require the breakdown of every singe package, or even opening the door to it, actually. If there's Uranium, Neptunium or Plutonium in the container, you can and will find it. Fortunately, significant quantities of that material are easily detected, and cannot be completely "hidden" even with large amounts of lead shielding. Some remnants will always be detectable.

By the way, Nancy Pelosi is the one who needs to "get real" about this. Just because container screening would add thousands of low-paying jobs to your voting base doesn't make it the right thing to do.

BigNewsDay said...

I disagree with you here, Axe. They have devices similar to metal detectors/bomb detectors at the airports that are large enough for the whole container to pass through.

These detectors can find guns, explosives, radioactive materials, and chemical/biological weapons. The containers can searched without even opening them. The truck that is transporting the containers would just need to drive through the detector.

This would cost a great deal of money and provide many jobs, but I strongly believe that this will make us more secure than the bullshit at the airports, or a fucked up war in Iraq.

BlackLabelAxe said...

I don't really think we disagree here, I think you know more about the type of equipment we have available to us than I do. If we use something like the X-ray you're talking about, that would barely slow anybody down. The equipment would be expensive, but if it works then I agree it would be worthwhile. More worthwhile, in fact, than armored Humvees and 150,000 US soldiers, to be sure (cost-effectively speaking, of course). We've created thousands of pointless jobs and wasted millions of dollars patting down grandmothers and little kids at the airport, it would be a shame if we didn't find a better way to screen our seaports.

My most important concern is that we don't turn our sea ports into the unholy boondoggle that our airports have become. Most people don't even understand the consequences this would have on our everyday life.

Radioactive material would still be the most important thing to screen for. There's no point in checking for small arms, because those are legal to own and operate here anyways. A large shipment of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles might be a different story. This would, of course, still be a waste of time if we can't secure our land borders with Mexico and Canada. If you wanted to get a nuke here from abroad, all you'd have to do is truck it right across the border with Mexico and you're home free. Then all that money we spent on all the port and airport security would have been a waste.

I don't really know what kind of technology is available to us and at what price. Drive-through x-rays seem like a great tool, but I don't know what else we could do. It seems like the government needs to solicit some bids from US Security contractors so we can figure out if we can afford all of this. Do that, and pass the Fair Tax so we can actually rebuild our industrial sector to finance these monstrous expenses.

BigNewsDay said...

Axe, I watched a special on CNN over the weekend, and they were in UAE discussing the port deal. Every container that enters the ports in the UAE must go through these devices. I was actually very impressed.

We could throw a bone to the UAE and purchase all of the equipment from them. "Sorry the port deal didn't go well for you, but here's a couple billion for that snazzy port security equipment you got."

BlackLabelAxe said...

BND, I think you've bridged the gap with that brilliant idea:

Those who agreed with the President are happy because we're still doing business with the U.A.E.

The rest of us are happy because we get border security.

B.L. Sabob: now "completely heterosexual" said...

Trying to stop a terrorist attack by focusing in on the potential targets and the perpetrators is like trying to wage a war on drugs by putting casual users and their dealers in jail.

America can NEVER examine every person and every package that enters the country. Nor should it. That would equal a POLICE STATE.

Instead of worrying about every fucking box in the world and every dipshit with a box cutter, we should be trying to figure out what we are doing around the planet to make so many people fucking hate us enough to kill themselves just to take a few of us out.

Oh I know, I know... "They hate us for our FREE DUMB!!"


BlackLabelAxe said...

^You know, B.L.Sabob, that thought frequently comes to mind (that we can't check EVERY package, etc.). This is why our port security measures must be cost-effective, because I beleieve that we can cost-effectively catch the obvious perpetrators enough to discourage others from trying. From my engineering profession I can share with you that you can't design for the worst possible scenario, because you'd end up with something that costs far more than it's worth. You have to find a compromise of liklihood vs. outcome. If you walk that line correctly in the field of anti-terrorism, you'll discourage most of the attacks from even being planned. If others are discouraged out of trying, then we've done the very best mitigation possible.

Nomatter how hard we try, there will always be a way around our security measures, but we still have to do something.

To apply the same logic to combating the source of our enemies would be to know that the hatred for America will always be there. Maybe we can make hating us less popular by NOT occupying foreign countries for years and years, but somebody, somewhere will always hate us and want to kill as many of us as possible. Even if we did like Ann Coulter says and kill or convert every Muslim on earth, there would still be terrorism. Terrorism isn't a place, government, or religion, it's an idea.

BigNewsDay said...

Very well stated Axe!