Posts tagged ‘strawmen’

Straw Men and Mad Dogs

Straw men are usually figuratively meant to assign a false argument or proposition to your opponent and then attack them for it.  But here the straw man I am talking about is just a false premise to begin with. The mental picture here and the analogy are just too rich. President DFF tells us that we are going to deploy the military to the border, you know those masses of immigrants coming to ruin our country. Except that is the straw man. We have the lowest level of illegal immigration since 1971. So the argument for the army is that the Democrats, oh those evil, vile Democrats, have been so lax that we are swimming in illegal immigrants eating up all our food, taking our jobs, and swamping our welfare rolls, except it is all a lie. There is no data or even anecdotal evidence of this. So where do the wild dogs come in? That would be the base that President DFF, the Right wing media, and Fox News plies with these lies. So for them it is true. And like rabid animals attack wildly.

But you want to know the best part of this nonsense? Visualize the mad dogs attacking the straw man and ripping it apart. Frenzied dogs ripping and tearing with straw flying everywhere. But the straw man is not real and they have exhausted themselves tearing apart a fantasy of a real man, or in this case issue. And they might have bitten a few bystanders in their frenzy. That is what is going on today.

There is no illegal immigration problem. We do have a drug problem, demand. We do have a shortage of field labor. We do have jobs that go wanting, but the only immigration problem is that we don’t recognize how badly we need them, or our roots themselves and how we were they not so many years ago, looking for a fair chance at life for ourselves and our children. Now we just turn our backs and send them home.

Tariffs and trade is another straw man. Sure there are problems and unfairness in the system. But we also need that trade to spur our own industries. Job loss in Middle America was not caused by unfair trade, but by globalization and the very nature of the almighty gods of Republicans, Capitalism and profits. The money/jobs went were the most profits could be made, be that overseas or to automation. Those that adapted well and found good jobs were the well educated and those who were not well educated suffered. But the straw man is Tariffs and unfair trade so attack it mad dogs. Rip it to shreds. Straw everywhere, but nothing is changed. Oh, wait, things are getting worse because friends of that straw man are cutting off our supply of straw. Hmm. Oh, and just as an aside, think about the well educated. Which states again are gutting their education systems to afford tax cuts so they will be in a worse position as the global economy evolves? They are circling the drain.

Attacks on Amazon are another straw man. Do we really think that retail was not in trouble before Amazon came along? What about Wallmart or Costco? Are they next? What we have found as shoppers is we can find what we want in our size on line. Capitalism is supposed to be about the better mouse trap and the wonderful ability of the Wall Street to find and provide the capital for these new ideas. Well, it worked and you don’t like it? Oh, and lets not forget the lie about the Post Office.  They, already make a profit, not a loss from this business and sure they can raise their rates, at which time Amazon is free to move all its shipping to cheaper private shippers.  But let’s attack Amazon for beating up on the Post Office which of course they did not.

Then there is the straw man about the wall and drugs. Add to that the Senate getting rid of the filibuster so legislation could be passed (I am actually all for that). The trouble is the majority drugs are not coming in via mules of illegal aliens. “The majority of the illicit drugs enter the United States through legal ports of entry, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Traffickers conceal the drugs in hidden compartments within passenger cars or hide them alongside other legal cargo in tractor-trailers and drive the illicit substances right into the United States. Increasingly, traffickers are using more sophisticated methods such as dissolving methamphetamine and cocaine into innocuous liquids.” So what good is a wall? Oh, and Republicans cannot pass the wall vote on a simple majority vote. The filibuster argument is once again another straw man. Rip it apart mad dogs. It will change nothing.

The last example I will leave you with is the Sinclair News fiasco. Another straw man from the conservatives, fake news. News, like capitalism, only works well if there is competition to counter group think. So along comes Sinclair New that may own almost 40% of the TV news affiliates in the country with a message on beware fake news. Okay, I can buy that except it is setting itself up to be the only mediator of what is fake and what is not. The straw man is that CNN, NBC, CBS, and other networks are not the purveyor of fake news, they are the guard against it. The Sinclair group is in fake the wolf in sheep’s clothing. So attack the mainstream news media mad dogs and when you get done, straw everywhere, all you have left is fake news.

That is where we are right now with an ignorant and dangerously narcissistic man in charge of the country, the swamp (see Pruitt) rapidly expanding, and the mad dogs attacking everything that might help. But what might give us hope is that maybe we are not seeing the forest for the trees. There just may be a giant, but unspoken, rebellion against the mad dogs. November will tell. Otherwise we will continue to trash ourselves as a nation.

Lies and Dam Lies

Ad showing in California put on by the NRA: 

Talking head woman speaking into the camera:  A man attacked me in a parking garage.  Tried to stab me with an 8″ knife, but I carry a pistol and I fought back*.  That is why I am still here.  Every woman has a right to defend herself with a gun if she chooses.  Hillary Clinton disagrees with that.  Don’t let politicians take away your right to own a gun.  Donald Trump supports my right to own a gun.”  

Voice over: Defend your rights, vote Donald Trump for President.

Now when has Hillary Clinton every disagree with your right to own a gun?  Oh wait, if you are on a terrorist watch list she does.  And there is that no-fly list thing.  And if your idea of a gun is an AK-47 (assault rifle) she might favor much tighter controls, but neither she nor Barack Obama have ever proposed that this woman’s right to own a fire arm be abridged, just regulated for safety.  Why do we put up with this lying shit?  It just encourages more lying shit and an alternate reality that Trump supporters live in.

*There were 258 justifiable homicides involving civilians using firearms in 2012, compared with 8,342 murders by gun. Even if a criminal isn’t shot down, the study found that civilians rarely use guns to protect themselves. “Intended victims of property crimes engaged in self-protective behavior with a firearm” only 0.1 percent of the times they were targeted by a crook. In addition to the thousands of annual murders, roughly 22,000 people die accidentally from a gun or use one to commit suicide.  But nobody is even suggesting taking away your right to a fire arm, just control it to make it safer for all of us.  Why oh why does the NRA still try to prevent smart guns that can only be fired by their owner?

Have You Noticed that All the Republican Issues are Strawmen and Their Solutions are From Fantasy Land?

I got to thinking about this as I saw the Donald go after the war on Christmas that supposedly politically correct Americans are waging against the true believers and good people of this nation.  Except there is no war on Christmas.  Google Federal holidays.  It is still Christmas Day.  It is a made up issue to make the religious right feel picked on, persecuted, and join the righteous Donald in fighting them.

Then of course there is immigration.  What exactly is the problem again?  No, they are not flowing over our borders and the net flow is negative.  Those who have come over we can easily absorb and in many cases are critical to our economy. They pay taxes for benefits they will never collect, and anchor babies are a myth.  A kid can’t sponsor a parent until they are 21 and there is a limited number with an extensive waiting  period.

When was a terrorist ever caught coming over the southern border?  They have crossed the northern one.  What does a wall accomplish given the tunneling capabilities of the bad guys, and remember the fence program we had under George and it got too expensive? All those drugs coming over are because we will buy them.  But the Donald and the rest of the boys and girl see barbarians at the gate, which is another form of be afraid which has worked so well for them.  They are stealing the jobs we won’t do. We actually had a fix, but the House would not vote on it because it would grant a path, albeit a tough one, to citizenship.

Oh, and we are going to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood.  And why is that?  Because the part they don’t like, providing abortions, which is not funded by the government upsets their evangelistic sensibilities.  So what good does defunding them do except defund all the things that they do provide for reproductive health that cannot be provided elsewhere as cheaply?  Oh, and did I mention that everything they do is legal, even the harvesting of stem cells for research, which even Republicans voted for.  But we are going to shut down the government because … ?

Let’s not forget Obamacare which was going to kill jobs and drive costs out of sight, except it didn’t.  But that doesn’t matter because Obamacare is ruining the country … Repealing Obamacare will cost the government billions, increase the deficit they say they are worried about, and there is no answer for what to replace it with other than some fantasy Republican plan that does not exist, but would be “better”.  No word on what to do with the millions who will be thrown off medical plans.  But it is evil and is killing grandma.  Are you sensing a trend here?

Then there is big bad China who according to the Donald is causing all our market problems.  Well they might be causing some of them, but it is because, well, we live in a world economy and when a big economy like China slows down, we can expect it to impact market expectations.  Probably won’t affect our economy at all.  Meanwhile, Chris Christie, tells us that it is the U.S. debt that China is holding that is driving our markets down.  The trouble is that makes no sense whatsoever and I listened to Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz point out the stupidity of that argument.  But China is a big bad country, so be afraid and vote for us Republicans because … ?

Then there is the “debt problem”.  Except what problem?  What or how is the debt restraining us or hurting our economy?  Inflation is too low and interest rates are at zero.  Borrow away because there is plenty of very low interest rate money available.  The real debt problem is not the debt, but fear of the debt that has kept us from borrowing at these amazingly low interest rates and start repairing our country.  BUT NO!  Be afraid of the debt!  Soon China will own us! Except that we have been printing money and buying back our debt and Japan holds more debt than China.  What exactly is the problem with the debt again?  Well there is the confidence fairy thing.  You do get that a fairy is a fictitious thing right?

Finally there is the Middle East, which I will grant you is a problem, but the Republican solution is to get tough or redo our invasion of Iraq.  Really?  Huffing and puffing about how much tougher you will be means what exactly?  Oh, I see.  They will see we are tough and roll over.  What part of sectarian, religious wars do you not understand?  And they are all against the Iran Treaty because what we have now will be better.  Problem with that is the international sanctions go away.  Did you see Britain open up their embassy  in Iran and bring with them one of the presidents of Shell Oil?  Like the confidence fairy, believing the sanctions will hold is another fantasy.

Finally there is global warming that any sane person now recognizes and knows we need to do something about.  But they are hanging on to it doesn’t exist or, it does, but there is nothing we can do about it.  Hmm.  One would think at the least we could recognize the rising sea levels and start protecting low land cities.  Actually the Obama administration has already started that action in Alaska.  My guess is when Miami residents are up to their asses in water they might want to ask why again can’t we do anything about it?

This is the craziest time I have ever experienced.  One party is living in a total fantasy land with either strawman problems or real problems with fantasy solutions.  Our media and pundits pretend they are serious and don’t call them on their lunacy.  Can you guess which party that is?