Archive for the ‘Famous people’ Category

The Errors of Sean Hannity, 6 Aug 2020

ErrorsOfSeanHannity_20200806   <– PDF

Mr. Sean Hannity, nationally syndicated talk show on the Fox Network, continued his usual tactic of making fundamental errors of logic today. In his introductory monologue, Mr. Hannity described former Vice President and prospective 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has having poor cognitive abilities, and asserted that those “will be on the ballot in November”.  Mr. Hannity also downplayed Mr. Biden’s ability to engage in debates with President Trump.

Mr. Hannity is incorrect on both counts. Let’s first consider the debate issue.  There will not be any in-person debates this year, since the Democrats can claim that doing so would be dangerous to the health of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden as well as the Democratic Party moderators, owing to the Wuhan virus.  So, the Democratic Party is likely to demand that the debates be held by video.  Here are the rules that the Democratic Party will insist upon:

  1. Mr. Trump will be standing in the Oval Office, photographed from high above, at a distance to make him look small, and permit the audience to verify that he has no notes or assistants.
  2. Mr. Biden will be at his home in Delaware, seated behind a podium, photographed close-in so that the audience cannot see the teleprompter, his notes, or his assistants.
  3. Mr. Biden will be asked only easy questions (“Are you opposed to racism?”).
  4. Mr. Trump will be asked difficult ones (“Why haven’t you achieved peace in the Middle East?”).
  5. The usual 60 second response time will be changed to 30 seconds, since Mr. Biden’s attention span and coherence length seem to be limited to about 35 or 40 seconds (based on recent appearances).
  6. Mr. Biden will be provided with the questions two weeks in advance, and will also be provided with the focus-group approved answers; all he has to do is read them from the teleprompter. (His assistants will make sure he matches up the question with the answer in the correct order.)
  7. Mr. Trump will have no knowledge of the questions he will be asked by the Democratic Party moderators.

Should Mr. Trump reject any of these demands, the Democratic Party will cancel the debates on the grounds that (obviously) Mr. Trump is trying to steal the election by reverting to the traditional racist and/or fascist methods of conducting Presidential debates. But note that these debate demands will apply no matter who the Democratic nominee is, not just for Mr. Biden.

Regarding the Democratic ticket, let’s not forget that the Democrats only want power. But they are smart enough to know that Biden can get elected only if he is successful in the debates.  Even with these rules, it does not seem likely that Mr. Biden can get through the first one unscathed.  So, the Democratic Party has a choice to make: replace Biden either before or after the first debate.   There are two options.  First, they could break their own internal electoral rules (not a problem), open the (remote-controlled) convention, and select a new slate altogether.  The second is to let Mr. Biden fail in the first debate, allow him to be a sacrificial lamb, and use that to justify removing him from the slate. The next step would then be to elevate his running mate to be the nominee with a new person selected as the running mate.  In either case, Mr. Biden will not be on the ballot in November, except to the extent that some states will not have time to re-print the ballots.

Who will end up on the Democratic Party ticket? Keep in mind that Mr. Biden has adopted most of Senator Bernie Sanders’ platform.  A logical choice would be Bernie Sanders (voter energy) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (plenty of cash).  A second choice would be Senator Sanders (voter energy) and former First Lady Michelle Obama (personal popularity).  I do not think Senator Kamala Harris is relevant since she is known only in California, which is going to vote Democratic anyway.

Tags: ,
Posted in elections, Famous people, progressive | No Comments »

Real World Graduation, #93: Actors and Dictators

RealWorldGraduation_Question_93_Actors_and_Dictators   <– PDF

A wealthy American-born celebrity Hollywood actor routinely visits a nation that is ruled by a ruthless dictator.  Although the dictator uses populist rhetoric, the economy and political system is actually run as a closely-held corrupt oligarchy, and the poor continue to be worse off each year.  Also, the people have no civil liberties to speak of (and in fact are prohibited from immigrating out of the nation).  However, the actor consistently praises the dictator as a man of the people, a champion of the poor, a defender of the rights of the common man, and as a model of what every government leader should be.  The actor and dictator are not related by blood or marriage, nor does the actor have business or family ties to this nation.  Why would a famous American actor bother to make any comments about the internal politics and economics of a nation run by a dictator?

a) The actor recognizes that poverty can only be alleviated if the government steps in and guides each persons work, ensuring that each person is assigned the work for which he is best suited.

b) The actor thinks it important to give dictators some positive publicity in the interest of fairness; the actor knows how it feels to be rejected since he had many unsuccessful auditions early in his career

c) The actor wants to help the poor people of the foreign nation by giving the dictator sufficient publicity so that the people can understand why the dictator’s programs are good for them

d) The actor admires the orderliness of the dictator’s nation, in contrast to the usual chaos on a movie set

e) Some combination of the above

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

Tags:
Posted in critical thinking, Famous people, progressive, Real World Graduation | No Comments »

RealWorldGraduation_Question_70_CharitableFoundations   <– PDF

A famous person decides to set up a tax-exempt Foundation. He names the Foundation after himself (like the Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations), files all the necessary paperwork, and begins to solicit tax-deductible contributions from the public.  Although the Foundation has zero assets at the beginning, the Foundation receives a great deal of money from the public owing to the founder’s personal popularity.  After withholding a small percentage for administrative costs, he bundles all the contributions received from the public into large amounts and gives the money away to various causes, such as AIDS research, literacy, etc.  All of the donations are made in the name of the Foundation.  What is the main benefit of this arrangement?

a) People get to take a tax deduction for their contributions.

b) The money contributed, except for administrative costs, goes to good causes that help the less fortunate.

c) Enough money can be concentrated in each of the charitable areas to make a real difference.

d) People feel better about themselves by helping others.

e) All of the above.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

Tags:
Posted in critical thinking, Famous people, Real World Graduation | No Comments »

Real World Graduation, Question 67: Actors’ Causes

RealWorldGraduation_Question_67_ActorsCauses   <– PDF

An actor is anyone who pretends to be someone they’re not. If an actor works hard and persistently studies to become skillful at his profession, he can sometimes achieve great fame and earn a lot of money (that is, he becomes a celebrity, which is defined as being someone who is famous for being famous).  When such an actor subsequently endorses a political proposition or supports some cause, he is often able to persuade many other people to adopt his views.  Why are actors so successful in political causes?

a) Acting skill is extremely rare, and those who have been blessed with it generally have a higher intellectual capacity. The general public is smart enough to recognize superior intellect, and is therefore inclined to trust the opinions of actors.

b) Acting skill requires an unusual amount of insight into the character of people, which enables the actor to acquire a very keen sense of morality. The general public is smart enough to recognize superior moral perception, and is therefore inclined to imitate the actor and adopt his views.

c) Achieving success as an actor requires an inordinate amount of hard work that most people cannot even imagine. Those who have put in this kind of effort demonstrate their total commitment to something; therefore, their endorsement of a political cause indicates a true level of commitment not observed among ordinary people.  The general public is smart enough to recognize the virtue of sincere commitment, and is therefore inclined to imitate the actor.

d) Being a famous and wealthy actor affords him the luxury of leisure time which he can use to increase his knowledge on subjects of interest to society. This is aided by his access to people of greater knowledge and he is then able to acquire true wisdom on issues important to society.  The general public is smart enough to recognize true wisdom, and is therefore inclined to defer to the actor for guidance.

e) Is generally one of the above, although it may vary from person to person and may be dependent on the importance of the political cause.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

Tags:
Posted in critical thinking, Famous people, Real World Graduation | No Comments »