22 June, 2017

VIDEO: The Truth About Travis Allen

13 June, 2017

Why Millennials Should Support Economic Nationalism

My generation has definitely been given a reputation, that's for sure. It's a reputation derived mainly from the "safe spaces" on college campuses, and it's definitely a negative one. Fellow millennials, *especially* left-wing ones, have been given a reputation as a bunch of entitled, spoiled brats who let their sensitivity control them. How did this happen? There are a myriad of factors, but one of them is the economy, which helped get Obama elected.

I was 14 in 2007, when the recession began, and 15 in June 2008 when my parents lost their house to it. Why did they? Because five years earlier, in 2003, my parents were victims of globalism. The people whom they were bosses of had their jobs offshored, and they themselves had their jobs outsourced to other states. Globalism is all about greed. Globalist trade policies create an environment in which businesses exploit the low minimum wages of foreign markets in order to amass more wealth for themselves while giving employees less.

This offshoring bubble was compounded by Bush era foreign policy. While the war in Afghanistan was certainly justified as a reaction to 9/11, the war in Iraq was a completely pointless one. Whenever a secular leader, like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, or Bashar al-Assad has his political power weakened, it provides an opportunity for jihadis 10 times more bloodthirsty than they are to fill the void. When Iraq was invaded by Bush and then abandoned by Obama, ISIS filled the void. The result? A humanitarian crisis 10 times worse than the one we started with. Meanwhile, how expensive was that war? Extremely. It created a defense deficit in the trillions of dollars.

So, what's the solution to this one-way cashflow? Enter economic nationalism. That means manufacturing and selling more American product to other countries than what we import. It means selectively tariffing popular outsourcing destinations like China and Mexico far more than less popular outsourcing destinations. It means only taking those tariffs down when the other countries take theirs down. It also means not only reducing unchecked illegal immigration but also reducing the minimum age to work in lieu of that, in order to make sure that it is our youth, and not illegal immigrants, who get to have those unskilled jobs as they work to be able to afford college and, hopefully after that, a better job. Guess what? These are all positions that the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, repeatedly asserts about possessing, and some of those promises, particularly those about repatriation, are ones that he is already delivering on.

People may try to cop out of this by using the tu quoque fallacy, by claiming that his own business represents a conflict of interest, but it's not that simple. For starters, memorabilia like the MAGA hat (which in itself is in fact made in the United States — well, the one I bought online via his campaign website is anyway) only account for about 5% of Trump's wealth. What accounts for the majority of his wealth? Buying and selling American real estate, and employing Americans off the street to work in the construction industry. While he has bought and sold real estate in other countries, the profits from those dealings went straight into his pocket, which is on American soil. Did he have any foreign bank accounts? No, because he has always been against giving money to other countries. Tu quoque is just as much of a fallacy as ad hominem is.

I'm saying this from one child of the recession to another: Let President Trump do his job. The benefits far outweigh the risks, and I fortunately knew this before I voted in November. Sadly, the left and the media have instilled so much hatred in the public that his name has been tarnished for no good reason, but I was smart enough to see right through those attacks and vote based on what he was running on.

08 June, 2017

Mainstream Media and the Law of Noncontradiction: Is Criticism Constitutional?

One of the major differences between Trump and all other Presidents before him is his open criticism of the mainstream press, both as a candidate and as President of the United States. His supporters will then often chime in with the infamous "CNN Sucks! CNN Sucks!" chant, and while I haven't been to his rallies, I too have said a lot of negative things about the mainstream media in the past. The mainstream press, however, took those comments as a threat. They accused Trump, both before his presidency and during it, of posing an unconstitutional threat to press freedom by criticizing the press. Did he? In order to find out, we must use the second fundamental law of logic, known as the law of noncontradiction, which states that A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time.

Although the right to press freedom is indeed coded into the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the right to criticize (even bluntly) is freedom of speech — also a First Amendment right. So, if criticism of the media was unconstitutional as the mainstream press outlets love to claim, then the freedoms of speech and of the press would contradict each other. If freedom of speech and freedom of the press contradict each other, therefore, then the entire First Amendment itself violates the law of noncontradiction. If the First Amendment violates the law of noncontradiction, then it is logically false.

Now, suppose it is fully constitutional to use free speech against the media and/or press. Again, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are both First Amendment rights, but here they do not contradict each other in any way. If speech freedom and press freedom do not contradict each other, then they can both be true at the same time and be guaranteed alongside each other while at the same time keeping each other checked and balanced. If there is no contradiction in the First Amendment, therefore, then the First Amendment is logically true. In order for the First Amendment to be logically true, however, it must be fully constitutional to use free speech against the press.

So, to recap: Either use of free speech to criticize the media is unconstitutional and the First Amendment is logically false, or use of freedom of speech to criticize the media is fully constitutional and the First Amendment is logically true. Under no circumstances, however, can the First Amendment be logically true and criticism of the media be unconstitutional at the same time. When the media makes this claim, they are actually showing themselves off as living proof of their own bias. The Founding Fathers definitely weren't stupid enough to write contradictory statements into the Constitution, so anyone who spins the First Amendment in this way is also insulting the intelligence of the people who wrote the Constitution and founded this great nation by doing so.

07 June, 2017

Ten Common Self-Refuting Statements to Avoid

Some visitors to my blog have noticed my references to self-refuting ideas in the past, but what exactly are they? Simply put, a self-refuting claim is a claim that contradicts the idea that it is supposed to advance. A self-refuting statement sounds reasonable on the surface, but as soon as you apply the claim to itself, it collapses under its own weight. My infamous "Fallacious Politics" post has thus far received a lot of positive responses, and just as fallacies have political implications, so too do self-refuting statements… and just like fallacies, self-refuting statements in politics are almost exclusively left-wing.

1. "There is no truth"

You might think that leftists care a lot about truth — or at least they claim to. I mean, they're marching for it all the time. But do they? Some leftists, especially left-wing hypersecular atheists like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins, will often attempt to cop out of debates with Christian apologists like Frank Turek, Sean McDowell, J. Warner Wallace, and myself by making this statement. So, how is this statement self-refuting? You can find out by simply asking "Is that true?" If the person says "yes" then at least one truth exists and therefore the claim is false. If the person answers "no" then they admit that their claim is false. Either way, it is false.

2. "Truth is subjective"

Another claim that is almost exclusive to left-wing ideologies like those of Dawkins and Maher is this one. The claim that truth is subjective actually has its roots in Marxism and other forms of Communism — that's why the official newspaper for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was called "Правда", the Russian word for "truth": they believed the ultimate source of truth to be the Communist Party, not objective reality. So, how is this claim self-refuting? Simply ask someone who makes it the question "Is that truth subjective?" If the person answers "yes" then the claim that truth is subjective is itself subjective; if so, then why should the recipient believe it? If the person answers "no" then there is one objective truth out there — namely, the claim that truth is subjective — and thus, the claim that truth is subjective is false.

Trying to cop out of this claim by tacking "and that's the only truth" onto the end of it only makes the self-refuting nature of this claim more obvious. How? Because that addition is an assertion that "truth is subjective" is an objective truth. Truth cannot be both subjective and objective at the same time, yet that's exactly what people assume to be the case by making the "truth is subjective and that's the only truth" claim. I had to block someone who messaged this to me on Twitter because I have absolutely no time for this stupidity.

3. "That's true for you but not for me"

Is that claim also true for the claimant but not for the recipient? If so, then it's false for the recipient; if not, then it's false, period. Either way, it is false. But wait, doesn't the Bible claim that something can be true for the believer but not for the skeptic in Romans 14:22? I recently got into an argument on Twitter about this, but the answer, if examined closely, is no. Anyone who makes this claim commits the quote mining fallacy. The words "these things" in that verse are a reference to Romans 14:20-21, in which Paul makes a reference to Jewish dietary laws. Romans 14:22 is about food, not belief.

4. "It depends on perspective"

Does that depend on your perspective? If it does, then isn't it false for everyone but you? If it doesn't, then it violates the law of noncontradiction, which states that A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time, and is therefore false. Either way, it is false.

5. Any variant of "truth is unknowable"

Is that truth unknowable? Can you know that truth? Do you have that truth? If these statements are what they are, then the person who makes them cannot know that the statements in question are true and therefore does not have grounds to make them. If the person on the other hand answers in the negative, then they again violate the law of noncontradiction and therefore this is a false statement to make. Either way, the claimant is stuck.

6. "Only true if I believe it"

Is that claim only true if I believe it? If the person answers "yes" then the recipient can choose not to believe that claim. If the person answers "no" then they violate the law of noncontradiction. Again, the claimant is in a dilemma.

7. "Only science can yield truth"

Can you test the claim that only science can yield truth using the scientific method? No. The claim that only science can yield truth is philosophical and not scientific in nature. If only science can yield truth, therefore, then the assumption that only science can yield truth would be false because it's philosophical, and if science is not the only thing that can yield truth, then this claim is also false. Either way, it is false.

8. "Don't judge"

Isn't that a judgment? Why are you judging me for judging? Any statement that attempts to convict someone of some perceived injustice is a judgment, and the judgment to not judge falls into that category. Alas, just as Romans 14:22 is often mined out of the context that the previous two verses place it in, so too is Matthew 7:1 mined out of the context that the following 4 verses place it in. The commandment by Jesus to "not judge lest you be judged" is, per Verses 3-5, about hypocrisy, not about judgments in general.

9. "The real world cannot be known"

If you cannot know the real world, then you cannot know that the claim that you cannot know the real world is true either. How can you? Again, this claim violates the law of noncontradiction, and any claim that violates the law of noncontradiction is false for everyone.

10. "You're just playing word games"

Is that a word game that the claimant is playing with the recipient? If the claimant answers in the affirmative, then he or she just implicated not only the recipient but also himself or herself. If the claimant answers in the negative, then the claim itself is falsified and therefore no one is playing any word games.

People who make claims like these almost invariably make them because they would rather react than think critically. What they don't realize is that by being as defensive as they are, they are only showing off the very stupidity that they constantly project onto us. Hopefully this cheat sheet will make it much easier to expose this attitude for the folly that it is.