Thursday, May 03, 2007

Actually, It's Not Just You...

From the Onion: "Bush Has One of Those Days Where He Feels Like 68% of People Hate Him."

No, Mr. President, it's not just you.

In fact, that's just Americans...


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Hehe. Good one.

BTW, did you read the survey that said the nation that hates the French the most (44%) is France?

4:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...


Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.

61% believe that is or may be a FACT?

Hell, if I believed in such things, I'd hate Bush's guts, too. This explains a lot, and I fear for my country. This is even worse than creationists.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom's right, this is a serious problem, especially when combined with the large percentage of people who believe that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Democracy requires an informed citizenry. We can't have a reasoned debate about policy issues if we can't even work from the same factual view of the world.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

1. I see that, as usual, Tom is unable to allow any criticism--even humorous criticism--of Republicans slide without some kind of response, no matter how irrelevant.

I have to say, man, it gets tedious.


2. The assertion in this case is so striking that I can't resist commenting.

If these results are accurate, then we're in even bigger trouble than I thought. I've met one or two nut cases who claimed to think that Bush knew of the attacks in advance, but it would simply be astounding if half of all Democrats thought that. Wouldn't it mean that half the Democratic party was basically deranged?

3. But it probably isn't true. This is so crazy that the obvious hypothesis is that the question was asked incorrectly, or the sample was bad, or some such thing.

Remember the eruption a couple of years back when it was asserted that some unbelievable percentage of people thought that the Holocaust might not have happened--turned out to be an unclear question.

4. Finally:
Interesting though this is Tom, your not-so-subtle attempt at sliding in a point here isn't going to work.

Crackpot views about 9/11 aren't why people hate Bush. EVERYBODY hates Bush but American Republican dead-enders. Bush has been a disaster. One needn't believe fairy tales about 9/11 to recognize that.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, please, WS. This was about polls, and you only write about polls when they fit your agenda. Which is fine and true of me, too, but let's be honest about it.

And that everybody hates Bush except the dead-enders is pretty much a tautology. Everybody agrees with me except morons.

4:43 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Clearly there is no way anyone could ever be justified in believing that Bush sucks and that the only ones who hate him are dead-enders.

That would require the ability to derive a conclusion from a set of premises. Come on, WS. Be realistic here.

5:23 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...


"The only ones who DON'T hate him are dead-enders."

5:29 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

So, that's your response, is it?

They were both about polls.

Are you going to stick with that response, or should I give you time to think up a better one?

5:49 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I don't think you understand, WS.

Do you not see that you can't derive a correct conclusion about Bush sucking and therefore understand that those who disagree with this correct conclusion are incorrect?

And you said that that was peurile relativism..

Look how wrong you are. See, in peurile relativism, I'd say that you can't come to any correct conclusions. However, here, I am saying that YOU can't come to any, but I clearly can.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

And 'everybody hates Bush but the dead-enders' isn't a tautology, nor is it close to being a tautology.

'Everybody hates Bush but those who don't hate Bush' is a tautology, for example.

But once it's become abundantly clear to basically every even semi-sensible and vaguely well-informed person on the planet that someone is a dunce and a disaster...well, anyone left supporting him at that point can fairly be called a 'dead-ender'.

Calling the insurgents 'dead-enders' wasn't a tautology--in fact, it seems to have been false. Calling the remaining Bush supporters dead-enders isn't a tautology, though it does seem to be true. All tautologies are true, but not all truths are tautologies.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

My poll was a joke, see?

_The Onion_ is a's a phony news source.

You _The National Review_ or Fox News...

I'm outta this thread, too.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I said it was funny.

But once it's become abundantly clear to basically every even semi-sensible and vaguely well-informed person on the planet that someone is a dunce and a disaster...well, anyone left supporting him at that point can fairly be called a 'dead-ender'.

Don't hate Bush = dead-ender.

Tautology. Also "every semi-sensible person agrees with me" is not kosher in making arguments, I think.

First they came for NR and FNC. Then they came for The New Republic. Who's next?

Probably The Onion. I'm out, too. I'm taking a big chance by being here, not being on the Approved List, and all.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

And again one wonders:
what exactly WOULD it take for Tom to admit that Bush is a bad president?

Shooting puppies out of a pumpkin canon on the White House lawn? Global thermonukular war? Blow job?

The world will never know...

7:49 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

It will take a 48 comment thread in which you ask him repeatedly to tell you why Bush doesn't suck and he goes


47 comments later, you're still going "Please just tell me why Bush doesn't suck. I'm not talking about anything else here - I'm not endorsing democrats or Clinton, just please..PLEASE tell me why you think Bush doesn't suck"

Then, Winston will come in and say "Yeah, wtf" and Tom will go "Oh, I always thought Bush sucked."

Except, see, you started it so you, being Winston, can't just come in 48 comments later and say "Yeah, wtf", so he'll never admit it in this thread.

At least, that's what I can tell from prior experience.

It might all be because he's taking a huge chance by being here since he's not on the Approved List, which I'm guessing means he runs the risk an internet drive-by..or...uh. Hm. There's no real risk, but it's a huge chance, that's for damn sure.

Huge chance.

8:54 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

And it's common knowledge that a conditional is a tautology.

"If you don't hate Bush, you are a dead-ender".

See, you symbolize that logically by going "H -> D"

That's clearly a tautology.

You teach this stuff, right, WS? Damn. I'd hate to be a student of yours if you can't even recognize a tautology when you see one.



9:01 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

See, some people are going to think you're serious about that.

7:05 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

If anyone thinks that was serious, he or she should take it as a good indicator that he or she needs to read a book on logic. I suggest "Zapp Brannigan's Big Book of Logic" or "See Spot Argue Soundly".

8:41 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

You know, the same books I would recommend you get if you find Tom's posts logical. I'm only expanding on what he's saying, after all.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

The implicit premise is that dead-enders are wrong because they're dead-enders. The premise is the same as the conclusion.

I really don't know how to short-circuit circular reasoning.

9:56 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

OH I get it. Clearly there's no way Winston has any premises other than that one. I see.

He's got you there, Winston. You don't do any research and you don't have any reasons to believe what you say other than what you say.


10:05 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

It's not like WS has a blog filled with posts devoted entirely to laying out clear argumentation for Bush sucking, or anything.

Clearly all he's got is that one premise that dead-enders are wrong because they're dead-enders.

Maybe if he HAD such a blog with these hypothetical posts describing in depth his reasoning for beliving that Bush sucks, maybe then he wouldn't be accused of circular reasoning.

And even if he did have one, he'd still have to go over it all with Tom like, a gazillion times.

I doubt any of that ever happened.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Tom, you are committing a common error here, based on a common confusion about circular reasoning.

I asserted above that everybody hates Bush but the dead-enders. I didn't give any evidence for this, I simply asserted it.

Now, you might reasonably ask for support for that claim, but it isn't circular reasoning.

First, there's no reasoning involved, as there is no premiss and no conclusion--it's just an assertion.

Second, to assert that p without proof is not to assert that "p therefore p." The latter is circular reasoning, but I didn't do that.

Finally, you confuse circular reasoning with tautology. There are structural similarities, so that confusion isn't a big deal.

But, as I noted above, I didn't assert a tautology either. (see above for explanation).

11:56 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

*jeopardy theme plays while Tom contemplates why he's not totally wrong*

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Maybe...maybe a tiny iota of possibility that he can wiggle out of this one..



Could this be the first time in history Tom actually had to admit he was wrong?

3:17 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I just re-read those and it kinda indicates that he has actually verifiably succeeded in wiggling his way out of prior situations, which he has not, and it also appears to indicate that he hasn't been obliged to admit he was clearly wrong in the past, which is also wrong.

Just had to clear that up.

I'll be quiet now and await an actual post of substance.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I'm having trouble seeing how "No rational person can disagree with Proposition X" isn't the snake eating its own tail. But if you say that's not tautological, well, I'll withdraw the remark.

For the record, I do believe rational people can disagree with me. In fact, every single one of them does.


5:40 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I gotta admit - I didn't see any way out of it for Tom. He was against the ropes tryin' his best to dodge, but it just kept comin' and comin'. The ref was surely about to intervene and put an end to it, but then..

The only thing that could save him..

The strategy infamous for its ability to sustain an over-inflated ego filled with elitist falsifications regarding his capability to think rationally or at all..

The stupendous..

Ignore-Everything-The-Other-Person-Just-Said STRATEGY!!!!

The crowd goes wild as Tom demonstrates his capability to completely ignore Winston's previous post in which he clearly explained that, should one claim "x is true", one is not necessarily saying "x is true because x is true", Tom simply restates his previous argument that that IS the case!

He gives no substance, he gives no reason to believe that he ever read this post or can even comprehend written English! It's like talking to a wall! You can't make an impact.

This is astounding indeed. Never before have I seen a man with such a wild variety of irrational behaviors at his disposal for argumentation. As an added bonus to all of this, Tom adds into his reposting of the assertion that WS showed with the utmost clarity to be false a strange, ambiguous statement..

Is it an apparent admission of the fact that all rational people disagree with him? Is it some strange endorsement of a belief system that incorporates some aspect of anti-rationalism or some sort of anti-logical beliefs?

Or is it all just another arrogant, uber-elitist joke?

The answer may be on the way, folks. All I can say is - stay tuned, this guy is CRAZY! He's like a demented squirrel in the road. You think you're about to pass him BUT THEN HE RUNS UNDER YOUR CAR! But then you see that he's emerged unscathed somehow, BUT THEN HE'S BACK! Now he's safely away from the vehicle, BUT NOW HE'S ROLLING IN A POOL OF OIL AND GASOLINE! There's a match dangerously close..

Stay tuned. You never know what's going to happen next!

6:45 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, though I think you may be overdoing the ridicule here M, it IS fairly frustrating.

Let me try to make Tom's point in a way that avoids the relevant errors:

What I said wasn't circular and it wasn't tautological. Tom was just wrong about that. (He'd be better off just admitting that, but it doesn't matter whether he admits it or not--he was wrong.)

But there's still a reasonable objection in the vicinity.

Goes like this:

"Look, WS, isn't there something fishy about asserting that p and then asserting that no rational, well-informed person can disagree with p?

Doesn't that put your opponents in a kind of unfair position?"

I think *that's* what Tom should have said.

My response:
Yeah, that's not the kind of thing you shoud go about saying lightly. But sometimes it's true.

And it's true in this case.

Anybody who's still trying to defend the claim that Bush is a good president has his head up his ass.

He may not be the absolute worst president, but he's not a good one.

That conclusion is as clear as any ever gets in this murky area of human inquiry.

4:21 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Hm, given all of the unreasonable, completely unprovoked ridicule based largely on fabrications that I have faced from him...

I stand by what I said.

'sides, I'm not making anything up. He does actually seem to be doing what I'm claiming he's doing, and it's really annoying to be talked down to by someone who is a human parade of fallacies.

Guess I should've stayed on the high road, but this was fun. I suppose I can return to the high road. I probably just needed to vent after facing his irrationality all by my lonesome for so long as he constantly arrogantly insulted me.

I can be done now.

So yes, that is basically a good point summed up in your post, WS.

That's all there seems to be to it. And Tom, you've already said that you thought Bush was a crappy president, so wtf? Did you already forget?

5:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

WS, thanks for the apology on my behalf, and it could be that I require it. The tautology thing is a matter of sophistic perfection, and perhaps I've fallen short of it.

But to the meat: You continue to insist that Jimmy Carter was a good president, even though the second draft of history still concludes he was not.

But I don't ridicule your view, and neither have I closed my mind to the possibility you're right.

Everybody knows Jimmy Carter was a crappy president, perhaps the crappiest of all time. But either out of friendship or out of the philosphical commitment to keep my mind open about the realm of human events, I continue to read and research his presidency, and don't believe I've ever accused your view of being irrational.

In fact my underlying point through all this has been that the presidency is a damn tough job, and sitting on the sidelines condemning is largely worthless. They're all crappy. Lincoln suspended habeus corpus. FDR helped Stalin. Reagan had Iran-Contra.

Mr. Mystic, I expended a lot of time on you. Good will, some call it. You're disinterested in locating my truths, you seek only to ferret out my errors.

That's not friendship, nor is it the soul of philosophy. I gave you my best, both hard and soft, but you threw it all in the gutter. I won't pretend that didn't hurt. It did. I'm not an animal, I'm a human being.

3:02 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

No no, I am not "throwing it in the gutter". Don't get all "I'm just a victim" on me. Every point that either WS or I, and many of those that LL, Anonymous, etc. bring up are very valid, and you refuse to acknowledge them.

If you had taken the same tone you're taking right now with WS with me or with them, the whole thing would've played out very differently.

If you go back and read how those conversations went, I think you'll find that you owe some people an apology for how you acted towards them. That may be driving your feeling like a victim - people aren't going to be nice to you if you are exceedingly rude to them, which you have definitely been.

Sorry if you feel victimized and if that was what was driving your rudeness.

But it really looks like you like to play a lot of games. For instance:

"don't believe I've ever accused your view of being irrational"

Well, you called his view regarding Bush and his supporters irrational. You accused it of being circular reasoning, which is irrational. So don't act like you don't call him irrational.

Also, there's "Mr. Mystic, I expended a lot of time on you. Good will, some call it. You're disinterested in locating my truths, you seek only to ferret out my errors."

These games get really tiring - you didn't show any "good will" towards me - you constantly belittled me and arrogantly condescended to me. Also, questioning your assertions that are most likely false does not mean I'm only interested in ferreting out your errors. It means I don't want to accept what you say when I think there are glaring errors in it. That's reasonable. You do the same to everyone else. You just tend to do it with a mixture of insults, games where you insert your views on other topics into a conversation that doesn't even include them, and a whole load of red herrings.

We're talking about Bush, not other presidents. I don't know how often you are going to hear that before you decide not to keep doing what you're doing right now. You consistently bring up other presidents and other subjects all of which have nothing to do with Bush and the current points being made.

I think it makes a lot of people frustrated. Like when you say "Lincoln suspended habeus corpus" when people say Bush sucks. That has nothing to do with whether or not Bush sucks.

It really seems like you hold the position that we are wrong, and then when you face argumentation regarding that position, you revert to some sort of "Well, everything sucks, so you can't really say he sucks more than any of the other presidents.." in order to defend your belief that we are wrong.

So with insults, some sort of relativistic standpoint on asserting that something has or doesn't have value, and red herrings everywhere, that is kinda frustrating. Don't you see how that could be?

I don't want you to feel victimized, I just want you to see that maybe insulting people isn't the right way to go about talking to them. I guess I made my point.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Actually, I sent you something on the nonduality of good, something you seem to believe in but I don't. That was the truth-seeking thing.

You speak of errors, but there was only one, and only perhaps. Your mission has been bald, to prove me wrong about something---anything, no matter how inconsequential, like the definition of tautology---so you can discredit everything else I say by referring to my errorS and fabricationS.

As for ignoring things, you skip over most everything I say, looking for your aha! moment. Your purpose is not to contribute, it's to get me.

The subject was that Democrats seem to be going nuts. They are.

(BTW, you'd have no way of knowing this, but I've been traditionally easy on Clinton, too. It's a tough job. Perhaps you mistake my understanding for partisanship.)

5:39 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Oh jebus. I just don't have time for this.

1) You accused me of starting a gay joke, which I did not.

2) You accused me of calling Fulton Sheen insane, and I did not.

3) You accused me of having a definition of "normal" that was "largely solipsistic" when I never gave a definition.

4) You thought circular reasoning was a tautology.

5) You cannot seem to stop throwing out red herrings like "Clinton lies too" when people charge that Bush lies.

6) You accused me of calling anyone who believes in God insane, when I did not do this either.

7) You accused me of saying that believing in metaphysics is insane, when I did not say that.

8) You accused me of saying that believing in miracles is insane, when I did not say that.

I mean, really, the list goes on and on and on and on. That's eight straight off of the top of my head in less than a minute, all of which can be verified on this blog if people need them to be. I'm not making anything up.

If you want to be delusional and think you've only made one error in talking to me, ugh, whatever.

I hate to see such unchecked, unmitigated BS thrown around, which is why I keep responding to you, but I think I've become too involved in this and just need to quit.

Almost every post of yours (like this one) just shows it's a waste of time.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, yes. I'd forgotten. I posted an innocuous quote from Fulton Sheen on abnormal psychology and you decided to jump in with your derision of him and the Eucharist. It was ignorant and mean-spirited, and deserved far worse than condescension.

9:19 PM  
Blogger tehr0x0r said...

Ok I hate to jump in and have my first comment on this blog be in the middle of a huge mess of shit but I feel that some outside perspective from someone who hasn't been arguing for what would appear to be a long time is needed.

So here we go...

Tom- To start with the arguments made on this specific topic, you spend the first several posts arguing that WS used circular logic and that it was tautological. Then when it was pointed out by two people that you were wrong and there was no way you could be right your response was well I don't know I don't think you are right but I have no proof so I will simply ignore this part of the conversation.

I have also gone back to check other posts to see what Mystic is saying about you attacking him and I must say it is accurate. You seem to constantly assume what he does not say and makeup premises and then attribute them to him. Again when this is pointed out you say that it was justified and you should have been worse...

Mystic- Your arguments are sound but I must say at times it does come off a bit condescending and while this can at time be humorous it is also a bit trying sometimes. Two specific instances would be earlier in this topic where you equate Toms arguments to a squirrel running in the road. Yes it actually was a fairly accurate way of describing what was going on and yes it was rather funny, but it was very condescending and ultimately only served to provoke Tom. To reference another topic in this post your criticisms of Fulton Sheen, you say "I think the problem is evident in your post - do you want Fulton Sheen defining "normal"?

jebus. I shudder to think what would be taught."

This implication here is that Fulton's definition of normal is not just wrong, but so wrong that it could never be even close to accurate for anyone. That said you do take one of his primary lessons and poke some strong holes in it. He did in fact believe that the Eucharist became actual flesh and blood. Now anyone with a basic degree in biology (or hell in most cases even a basic high school degree) can tell you that this simply doesn't happen. Here you do point out a logical inconsistency with what he taught as normal. However once again the way in which you did it was a bit over the top and could be taken as an attack. I would get more into the argument about the Eucharist and the more accepted Catholic belief system but it doesn't seem that relevant to this argument and I feel like this post is getting a bit long so I will save that for some other time.

In summation....

Tom- You are wrong.
Mystic- You are right but are being a bit of an ass about pointing it out.

10:11 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Well if we take into account the fact that Tom's been an arrogant ass to everyone and that I was simply being an ass as some form of juvenile retaliation, I can agree with what you said for the most part.

So long as the record's straight. I'm tired of people apparently forgetting what happened just four or five threads ago.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

The Bible is true because it says it's true.

Every rational person knows that Jimmy Carter was a horrible president.

In my view, those statements are tautological: they use themselves to prove themselves, and tell us nothing about the Bible or Jimmy Carter. Do I use "tautology" too liberally? Perhaps. I am not a literalist.

Most importantly, are either a form of valid argument? A question left unadressed, since it's me with the bullseye on his back. If you say they are, OK. It'll make my job easier around here.

To the ad hominem on Bishop Sheen, his belief in the Eucharist is irrelevant to the truth of his statement, and was a gratuitous attack on both him and his faith. (The Eucharist is viewed as a miraculous-metaphysical phenomenon, not a physical one.)

But I should have conformed to the language of the rudeness, and used "abnormal" in place of "insane." I took a hyperbolic liberty, one which I don't take at my own blog, which the denizens hereabouts call "boring."

Since the comments sections are largely dead around here unless I comment, I thought I'd liven things up a little with an reductio ad absurdum and not a little bit of the shorthand that comments sections require.

You want to parse me? Go to my blog, where I endeavor to make my language sophist-proof.

There are many rhetorical inaccuracies here on this blog, but I let the occasion pass to take advantage of them, since winning a debate on those grounds is a hollow victory. The author knows what he's saying, and most of the time I do, too, because I'm more motivated to understand him than misunderstand him.

My record is not 100% on that: we all get thymotic and our comprehension is decreased as a result. In fact, that explains quite a bit how exaggeration turns into lies turns into permitting (if not committing) the murder of your own people.

And so, sirs, thank you for your input, and will be more cautious in the future since that's what you require of the guy with the bullseye on his back. I do so hate of being accused of arguing dishonestly, and think the appearance of that is largely a product of my own thumos and the shorthand that comments sections oblige one to.

Neither do I doubt that occasionally, I do argue dishonestly. We're all sinners, after all.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I went to TVD's blog and found it pretty incestuous (no, please, not literally). If I said 'circle jerk', I wouldn't mean that literally either. No doubt he would say, tu quoque. Whatever.

I can't tell from his behavior whether he's here trolling. Sorry, trolling is loaded; I should have said blog-whoring, which is merely self-deprecating. The problem there is that most uses of blog-whoring are sincerely self-deprecating, and I have yet to see the first self-deprecation from TVD that is not a transparent attempt to hide his ego. (Sure, fine, TVD, tell me I don't even bother with the attempt. Whatever.) But I digress - from my digression.

Is TVD looking for the liberal characters hereabouts to drive by his blog, where a peaceful dullness pervades, or does he comes here to fight overseas and not at home?

Or, if I might be more direct and colloquial about TVD's last comment, I'll just quote Vincent LaGuardia Gambini, "Everyt'ing that guy just said was bullshit."

The great thing about TVD's dishonesty, in his eyes I guess, is that he does such a good job of it that he can't even tell when he does it.

12:27 AM  

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