Monday, August 27, 2007

Logic is Logic

A recent critic of mine asks "Would you sacrifice YOUR son or daughter to ensure that nine 'bad guys' [in Iraq] were eliminated?" This is pretty much the same question that Michael Moore sprung on unsuspecting conservative politicians in his movie “Fahrenheit 911”. The problem is – this is a false premise. This premise should be stated: “Would you discourage your child from joining the Army (it is all-volunteer, after all) out of patriotism/career choice, when you knew that there was about a 50/50 chance (or a lower probability if he/she were to join another branch of the armed forces) that he/she would be sent to Iraq and, if that happened, there would be about a 1% chance that he/she would be killed?” This is a far different query from the false premises used by both the above mentioned fuzzy thinkers.

And yet Michael Moore was generally hailed for his perspicacity and my blog critic may be hoping that he, too, gets an Oscar. This example of lazy syllogism in our society probably stems from the fact that Logic is seldom taught in our schools anymore. Terms like “ipse dixit,” “tautology,” “ad hominem,” “ad populum,” “equivocation,” “syllogism,” “reductio ad absurdum,” “petitio principii,” “false premise,” and “apiorism” are often responded to with blank stares. Wouldn’t it be nice if our educational system did a U-turn and began teaching our children more how to think and less how to “feel?” If you want more insight into the logical process, visit:

and others:


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Body Count Calculus

On the Howie Carr radio show today (8/22/07), Col. David Hunt, his substitute host, said that he had it on good (inside) authority that we were currently killing about 250 “bad guys” in Iraq every day. (This would translate into about 90,000 “bad guys” per year if we continue these favorable “surge” statistics.) And, the way I calculate it, we are losing, on average, about three American soldiers ever day in Iraq … or about 1,000 per year. This means that, if Col. Hunt’s “inside info” is accurate, the ratio of American soldier losses to bad guy losses is 90 to 1. Now we also know that enemy body count statistics are always overblown, so, to be more realistic, let us assume that we are killing terrorists, Baathists, enemy militias, and opportunistic criminals at the rate of about 60,000 per year. Since the American surge has been going on fully for only about two months, this suggests that we have recently killed about 10,000 bad guys. From this, one can suddenly understand why so many in this country are now saying that the surge is “working.” And, if we were to continue this surge for six more months (until next spring), we should punish our collective enemies in Iraq to the tune of 30,000 additional deaths. This is a non-trivial cost for these corrosive Iraqi elements to suffer … one that hopefully might not be tolerable. Admittedly, our cost would be something like an additional 500 American soldier deaths and maybe ten times that number wounded.

The question for every American then becomes, “Would it be worth it?” I understand that there are many Americans that righteously say, “Not one more American death!” But then I also understand that we have already sacrificed almost 4,000 military men and women to this effort in Iraq … with many, many more wounded. Shall we just write these deaths and injuries off to our collective misjudgment? (Remember, most of us thought that going into Iraq was a good idea and we cannot deny or wish away our resultant responsibility.) I think I know what President Bush would and will say … and this is why having his job is not to be envied.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elite Effete Snobs

Karl Rove went on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program yesterday and called liberals “elite, effete snobs.” This, predictably, has caused many liberals paroxysms of elite effete snobbery.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More for Moyers

Next time you are tempted to respond to PBS’s constant on-air begging (in between their ever-lengthening corporate commercials, their thanks to the many foundations who lavish them with pelf, and their Scrooge McDuck nod to the National Endowment for the Arts), be aware that Bill Moyers, that icon of the left wing of the George Soros left wing, receives over $6 million a year from the coffers of this high-minded institution to peddle his hate-America-first polemic.