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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,086

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I Beg You: Never, ever use "Begs the Question"

Small pet peeve of mine, but I've just read two OPs in a row that used this phrase, incorrectly.

"Begs the Question" is a logical fallacy. It means to make a statement that relies on the truth of another statement that has not been proven - usually in a circular manner. It is something like "Alaska is the largest US state because it has a bigger land area than the others". Or "George Carlin's stand up is really funny because he uses such humorous voices and turns of phrase". Using a statement like that begs the question of is the conclusion really true - because the premise doesn't prove it.

In any case, Begs the Question has been MIS-USED for so long, that there really are only two ways to use it currently:

1. Use it correctly, and 95% of your audience won't know what the hell you are talking about


2. Use it incorrectly, which is to contribute to problem #1

It's catchy, "begs the question". BUT please use "raises the question" or "it makes me wonder" or "asks the question" or "implies the question" instead. Begs the question has been ruined from misuse, and there is no saving it.


Why Kavanaugh, and why the rush? TRUMP will NEVER go to jail

Everyone needs to see Roland99's post on this: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211170155

Hat tip to Roland99 - this is Trump and all of his criminal cronies' GET OUT OF JAIL strategy

So, why Kavanaugh, and why the rush? This guy is obviously a pig, and has been since the great Clinton Cock Hunt of the late 90s. (he bears a lot of responsibility for the rest of knowing every sordid and sad detail of the Lewinsky saga, rather than just that they had an affair, having written the Starr commission report that was the basis for the impeachment). The Gang Of Predators obviously knew they were going to have big problems with him, leading them to conveniently have letters from women who knew him in high school (he went to an all boys school) just ready to whip out of their pockets at the first sign of trouble.

At first glance, it looks like Trump could just appoint another corporate drone, forget Kavanaugh, and get on with the march to Gilead. There are any number of other horrible monsters who would be happy to ruin the Supreme Court for the rest of my life. But it seems as if Trump is just going to double down, and McConnell is just going to double down, and Kavanaugh is just going to double down. But why? The GOP looks like it may get a shellacking come November, and this will only make it worse. What is so important about getting K. on the court, and so quickly?

Kavanaugh has signaled his fealty to Trump from his opening statement (going on about how "no one" had ever researched a SC candidate so thoroughly - an utterly laughable statement) and many have speculated that Kavanaugh has cut a deal with Trump to vote against his being responsible or indicted as a President. Kavanaugh, in addition to being eminently blackmailable, has also had large debts mysteriously disappear. But here is the real kicker:

In the next Supreme Court session, which starts on the first Monday of October (the 1st, this year) there is a case coming up which is trying to decide whether the "separate sovereigns" exception for double jeopardy should be destroyed. This is the way that people can be charged for federal crimes, and again for state crimes. If this case, Gamble versus the US, ends that exception, that means that Trump can just pardon everyone including himself and never be held accountable at the state level. A lot of people have comforted themselves with the fact that Trump's gang of cronies can still be charged with state level crimes, New York state, for example for his criminal "charity". This case would change all of that. Orrin Hatch has already filed an amicus brief in support of overturning the exception. If I'm right, the GOP is desperate to have this sexual assailant on the court before October 1 so that he can overturn the last path we have of holding the Trump's criminally liable for any of their crimes. THIS is the ultimate get out of jail free strategy that these criminals are counting on, and they know that Kavanaugh - compromised, paid off, GOP apparatchik Kavanaugh - is the one person they can count on to abet their lawless criminality. And, being the GOP, they will probably get away with it. The midterms be damned.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Sep 24, 2018, 07:25 PM (6 replies)

Kavanaugh is the one person who is most responsible for everyone in the country

knowing every last sad, gross detail of Clinton's affair with Lewinsky. He leaked the information to the press. He insisted that Clinton's questions on the stand be the most gross and salacious.

Of course he is a pig. that's been obvious since the great Clinton Cock Hunt of the late 90s.

It's nice to see that actually mattering for once. Thanks, Dr. Ford.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Sep 24, 2018, 09:18 AM (24 replies)

Rational National: Ted Cruz Exaggerates Sister's Death To Score Debate Point

Especially recommended for the points about Portugal's drug policies towards the end

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Sun Sep 23, 2018, 08:06 AM (5 replies)

A couple of thoughts on the Ford accusation

One thing that strikes me about Ford's story is that she says "I thought he might inadvertently kill me." In other words, he had his hand over both her mouth and her nose so that she couldn't breath, and she was worried that in his drunkenness he might suffocate her. No wonder she was so very scared by what he did and traumatized for years afterward. Not only fear of rape, but of death.

The other thing is that Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's wingman and drinking buddy, is kind of a (very minor) hero of the story. Though Judge is also drunk, it is Kavanaugh that pushes her into the room. Judge's comments range from "go for it" to "stop", which at least indicates he might have had a moment of humanity. And it is Judge who barrels into Kavanaugh in the middle of the assault, knocking him off of Ford, and giving her time to get out of the room. And, years later when he sees her again, he is apparently ashamed and uncomfortable. As much of an asshole he seems to have been, at least his actions led to the end of the assault.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Sat Sep 22, 2018, 03:34 PM (16 replies)

I don't think the democrats have their heads in the game

I keep thinking about that announcement that Claire McCaskill made earlier about not voting for Kavanaugh. To which I have to say - duh.

The president is a Russian asset and a criminal. The GOP senators she works with are all either compromised tools of Putin or at the very least are fine with letting Putin's agents run our government.

the DEFAULT position for Democratic senators should be "of course we are not going to vote for this fruit of a poisoned tree. convince me otherwise"

I mean, come on. They seem to think we are still living in congenial world, meanwhile they are going to get rolled. To think that a Democratic senator would have to announce - announce! - that she wasn't voting for an unindicted co-conspirator to this cabal of Russian puppets indicates to me that it took her some time to work that decision out. It should take about ten seconds to decide that Trump has no business re-making the court at this point. He's about to be indicted for numerous crimes. You can't let a criminal like that appoint his own judges.

I feel like we are trying to fight these fascists with a limp noodle.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 21, 2018, 03:09 PM (16 replies)

separated at birth: Kavanaugh, Dave Thomas

One can only hope the nominee will get involved with some hijinx at the Elsinor brewery and leave the rest of us alone

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Sep 17, 2018, 01:42 PM (6 replies)

Bribing our politicians to help us

I love the idea that Rep. Jayapal's Medicare for All PAC may help to push the US into finally adopting a sane health care system.


But what an indictment of our viciously corrupt system it is that we have to bribe our politicians to give us humane, inexpensive, and smart policy that a huge majority of our citizens want.

So now, we have to pay taxes that should fund better things for our lives, and then further pay to bribe our politicians to actually give us those things. (and of course, we have to fight the bribes they are receiving from forces that want to create worse lives for us).

What a great system of governance by money the supreme court has given us.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 14, 2018, 08:13 AM (5 replies)

If America is to be saved from Feudalism/Fascism,

some brave politician with power is going to eventually have to stand up to the banks and be extremely tough with them. Who/Where is that politician going to be/come from?

Many of us hoped it would be Bill Clinton. And while Clinton was a good manager, he gave the banks almost everything they could have hoped for in the last year or two of his presidency - especially the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

Many of us hoped it would be Barack Obama. And while Obama was a good manager, he let the banks majorly off the hook for the financial crisis, with hardly any criminal prosecution for the massive fraud committed, and no break ups of too-large-to-fail institutions. The recovery from the financial crash due to mortgage-backed securities was mostly one of protecting the banks, not the citizens and victims.

Not many of us hoped it would be Hillary Clinton. It was not a major part of her message, and a large part of the Clintons' modus operandi was working within the structures of American power. Which is a smart way to gain political power, but it certainly doesn't threaten the control the banks now have over government.

Elizabeth Warren has a record of being extremely tough on bankers, having studied their weasel words and fraud for decades. If she ran, I would again hope that the banks might finally be frustrated in getting so much of their way.

Salvation for us as a culture and as an economy lies only in frustrating the bottomless greed and rapaciousness of the banker class and the fraud and lawlessness of high finance. It won't come from the GOP, that much is blindingly obvious. Will it arise from the Democratic party? That seems to be our only hope, but I don't hear much of it in our messaging. Hardly any politician (outside of Warren) even talks about it much as a problem.

My support has to go to any politician who can talk about the problems of unchecked financial/banking power, the revolving door, and goals and plans to check that power. I really hope it comes out of the next set of Democratic candidates. We may not have much more time to wait.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Thu Sep 13, 2018, 09:17 AM (18 replies)

Bernie Sanders is doing exactly what he should be doing. Let's all do it

Sanders has had some powerful videos and popular pieces in the last few years calling Trump out on his lies, the GOP on their attack against Social Security and Medicare, and trickle down economics in general.

When I see one, I post it or kick and recommend the thread where someone else has posted it.

"Sanders isn't a Democrat" "Democratic politicians have been saying this too", etc., almost always follow that.

But Sanders is doing exactly what he, and every other American politician, should be doing: calling out lies and protecting the American public.

If it pains you to see something posted favorably about Sanders, then post some excellent messages from politicians you like even more! I will kick and recommend those, too, especially if they are smart in their messaging and progressive in their approach.

In fact, let's all compete to see who can post and kick up the most Trump-hostile and citizen-friendly messages we can find, from the politicians who we like the best. Politicians who make those statements and messages are on our side. I read a lot about how much better Democratic politicians are than Sanders. I'm open to it. Bring their messages here, loudly and proudly, and let's all work on getting rid of Trump and the corrupt GOP congress! But don't dump on Sanders for doing the right thing - all of us should be doing the right things, and I'm happy to have him fighting the good fight along with my party.
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