The Monday Morning Teaser

In addition to teaching the Constitution and the structure of our government, Civics classes ought to teach everybody the basic logical fallacies: ad hominem, straw man, slippery slope, and so on. Because if there’s one thing all citizens ought to know, it’s how to recognize the ways in which hucksters will try to sway their decisions.

This week’s featured post is such a lesson: “Rich Lowry’s False Choice”. Wednesday, Politico had the poor judgment to publish Lowry’s column “#SomeBlackLivesDontMatter“. The black lives that supposedly don’t matter (to the people carrying the “Black Lives Matter” signs) are the victims of black-on-black crime. Because the more police are limited, the more black-on-black victims there will be.

The fallacy — which Lowry presents very artfully, I have to admit — is called “false dilemma“. The choice Lowry offers black communities in places like Baltimore and Ferguson is: continued racist policing or no policing at all. The option of police who enforce the law fairly and don’t abuse their authority has somehow vanished.

The weekly summary will discuss the shot-out-of-the-blue Dennis Hastert scandal, which finally completes the story of Bill Clinton’s impeachment: Literally everybody who went after Clinton was doing the same or worse. Also, Texans are suddenly OK with big government, at least until their disaster-relief checks clear. After intentionally ignoring the Josh Duggar story last week, the steady barrage of links on my Facebook news feed finally wore me down; I’ll pass on what I learned after I filtered the vitriol out of the discussion. And I got to watch the local Fox station make mischief in my back yard, creating a “reverse racism” scandal out of a pretty good piece of student video.

But far and away the most fun thing I got to do this week was go to two talks: I saw Bernie Sanders in Portsmouth Wednesday and Bill McKibben at my church on Sunday. Since I just covered Sanders last week, I won’t go into detail about his message; I’ll focus instead on the crowd enthusiasm and what I think it means. McKibben’s talk might deserve a more detailed discussion in a future week, but today I’ll pass on the gist.

Oh, and there’s a closing: I bet you never wondered who teaches puppies how to act like puppies. New video reveals the answer.

The Lowry article should go up shortly. The weekly summary will take a bit longer.

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