mangosteen: (Default)
At first blush, it's a bit hilarious that Gingrich is a "Family Values" candidate, given his questionable personal record on that whole marriage thing. How can someone be such a hypocrite and manage to win the South Carolina GOP primary (which happened about 15 minutes ago, as of this writing)?

The answer? There's no conflict. Take a look at a few of the "Family Values" stances, as typically put forth:
- Opposition to same-sex marriage
- Overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion a state-by-state issue (the second order effects of which work out to "criminalize abortion")
- Abstinence education, to the exclusion of safer-sex education.

All three of those represent an elimination and/or reduction of freedoms. For a Republican candidate to successfully campaign on "Family Values", they have to show that they're willing to remove those particular freedoms from others. If the candidate can execute on that, they can be as bad at practicing what they preach as, well, Gingrich.
mangosteen: (Default)
There are any number of times that people who like to argue (but aren't really into the whole 'informed discussion' thing) roll out the same tired arguments or phrasings when talking about current events. Everyone likes to have something to say, even if they don't have anything to contribute. Ordinarily, I'd just point people at any number of listings of logical fallacies, but sometimes more concrete answers are necessary. As such, I'd like to list several of the more content-free utterances, along with appropriate responses. I invite others to leave additional instances in the comments. So, without further ado....

List: Annoying debate tactics I have known and loathed.

"If you knew what I knew..."
- But I don't, and you haven't given me any reason to believe you. Try again.

"Tell that to $person_something_bad_happened_to, [...]"
- Well it's a good thing that we're not talking about $person, then. Please state your counterexamples in the form of substantiated facts. Thanks.

"All $disadvantaged_minorty has to do is $vague_task."
- Anything is possible for someone who doesn't have to do it, good sir.

"Why are you hiding behind a dictionary? We should use the real meaning."
- Because if we can't agree on a meaning, then spatula egg martian woodchipper, by which I mean "your wankery flusters me".

"We haven't had any $event since $date. Obviously, $policy works."
- Actually, I think it's because I forgot to brush my teeth on $date. Prove me wrong.

"Well I have a cousin who did $thing"
- Well, I have a cousin who didn't do $thing. We're even. Can we get back to the topic?

"$assertion now more than ever."
- Like anyone could know that.

"So you would rather that $bad_thing happened?"
- Nice strawman. Glad you got it out of your system. Try again.

Finally, for one that's specifically on a topic:
"Give me ONE example of how YOUR civil rights have been violated since 9/11."
- They're ALL OF OUR civil rights, so an attack on one person's is an attack on all. If you can't figure that out, Pastor Niemoller has a poem for you. My one example is José Padilla. Next question.

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Elias K. Mangosteen

September 2017

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