Logical Fallacy

In a review of a movie trailer (and a forties movie reviewer) by Lileks:

Let me just go on record as believing that it is not a good or necessary thing to make comedic action movies about 12-year-old girls who shoot people in the head. Because this is what I think of when I read a quote about the loss of dignity and importance – the way a culture, not individuals, loses its sense of dignity and importance by finding opportunities to leach the innocence from anything previously regarded as sacrosanct.

The comments on the HotAir thread are full of the usual scoff-talk – why, comics were once considered corrupting to children! Elvis was forbidden to be seen from the waist down! Piano legs were covered by Victorians! Christians chopped peeners off Roman statues! and so on. If there was once a standard now seen as silly and puritanical, it must mean our current standards are the same.

This is the same fallacy as that engaged by someone who, in response to a critique of his loony ideas cries, “They laughed at Einstein, too!” To which the rational rejoinder is, “They also laughed at Soupy Sales.” It’s an unjustified extrapolation, and a more robust defense is required.

Diversity-Driven Disasters

I blame that progressive, George Bush.

Really. I think that the Mineta nomination and retention was one of the stupidest (among many) things that he did.

The problem is, of course, that the alternatives (Gore or Kerry) would have been even worse. And at least he tried to rein in Fannie and Freddie, against the successful opposition of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

Double Standard Alert

He’s right:

If Romney had used the phrases “light-skinned” and “Negro dialect” his religion and his religion’s history in this matter would have been noted high up in every story.

But Romney is a Republican. It’s only Republican Mormons who are evil.

Really, Reid and Pelosi are embarrassments. I’m glad that they’ve become the public face of the Dems in Congress. Long may they reign, until November. Hang in there, Harry.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Gee, the Black Congressional Caucus is totally down with the “light-skinned Negro” thing. Who would have thought?

[Evening update]

Here’s a handy flow chart to parse and analyze pseudo-offensive racial (and sexual, and gender) statements.

[Monday morning update]

Can someone please explain to me exactly what it was that was so offensive about what Harry Reid said? At least to Barack Obama? Because I’m not getting it. If he owes anyone an apology, it’s the American voters that he slandered and implied were racists. Forgiveness from the president is meaningless.

[Update a few minutes later]

I agree with Roger Simon. Reid isn’t a racist — he’s a hack. And a fool.

Only Seven Shopping Days Left

…for a non-lunatic Massachusetts Senator. Send whatever you can afford to break the back of the wreckers in DC.

Incidentally, I would note that Jack Kennedy would probably feel a lot more political affinity to the Republican than the Democrat in that race. I doubt if he’d even recognize his party today.

[Update a few minutes later]

Even in Massachusetts, support is weak for health-care deform.

…just 43 percent of Massachusetts voters support the Democratic national health care plan now making its way through Congress, versus 36 percent who oppose. In one of the bluest states in the country — and one with up-close experience with a state health care regime that resembles the plan under consideration for the nation as a whole — that is strikingly weak support. And that support is pretty much limited to Democrats; independents and Republicans are opposed.

And there are a lot of independents in MA.

If Brown pulls this off, it will be the sweetest political victory for the American people in a long time. It might break the back of the so-called “progressives.”

Popping More Corn

I don’t want Harry Reid to resign. I want the corrupt moron to continue, in partnership with the Speaker, to drive his party over a cliff for the next ten months, right up until his sorry patoot is tossed back to Searchlight by the good people of Nevada. What strikes me about this is not the archaic racist (or at least uncomfortable-with-race) language, but the admission that the man is a fraud, who is capable (both linguistically and ethically) of using whatever dialect he needs to woo audience.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!