Monday, August 17, 2015

Do you truly believe in the constitution?

Disclaimer: this is not about politics or religion, this is simple right and wrong, the wrong being "creative interpretations" of things when it suits yourself.

I am not a constitutional scholar nor do I claim to be an expert on the constitution. Nevertheless, I am an educator and I have read the constitution (have you?).

Just because I do not agree with your points of views,  it does not make me less of an American, it also does not mean I still do not like you as a person. We are not always going to agree with our friends and relatives all the time and educated debate can be good for progress.

However, please understand that the true beauty and strength of the United States of America, is that I do have the right to disagree with you within the boundaries of the law because just like you I too have the same  constitutional rights.

The constitution does not use a George Orwell Animal Farm approach such: "everyone is equal but some are more equal then others". It gives us all equal rights, equal protection under the law, including the right to do things you personally might find abhorrent and/or morally wrong. Blood was shed to protect all our rights, and some of it was shed by the very people you might despise.

So, I ask you: do you believe in the constitution you so espouse? If so, believe in all of it, not just some of it, otherwise you really do not believe in it all.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to run a Presidential campaign in 2015, I am not kidding

As I listen to the latest asinine, irrelevant, horse manure, “political scandal”, I feel I must educate on some very important issues about campaigns nowadays. They are full of Fallacies!
Rhetorical Fallacies
ž  Rhetorical fallacies, or fallacies of argument, don’t allow for the open, two-way exchange of ideas upon which meaningful conversations depend. Instead, they distract the reader with various appeals instead of using sound reasoning. They can be divided into three categories:
      1. Emotional fallacies unfairly appeal to the audience’s emotions.
      2. Ethical fallacies unreasonably advance the writer’s own authority or character.
      3. Logical fallacies depend upon faulty logic.
ž  Rhetorical fallacies often overlap.
Emotional Fallacies
ž  Sentimental Appeals use emotion to distract the audience from the facts.
      Example: The thousands of baby seals killed in the Exxon Valdez oil spill have shown us that oil is not a reliable energy source.
ž  Red Herrings use misleading or unrelated evidence to support a conclusion.
      Example: That painting is worthless because I don’t recognize the artist.
ž  Scare Tactics try to frighten people into agreeing with the arguer by threatening them or predicting
                Unrealistically dire consequences
      Example: If you don’t support the party’s tax plan, you and your family will be reduced to poverty.
ž  Bandwagon Appeals encourage an audience to agree with the writer because everyone else is doing so.
      Example: Paris Hilton carries a small dog in her purse, so you should buy a hairless Chihuahua and put it in your Louis Vuitton.
ž  Slippery Slope arguments suggest that one thing will lead to another, oftentimes with disastrous results.
      Example: If you get a B in high school, you won’t get into the college of your choice, and therefore will never have a meaningful career.
ž  Either/Or Choices reduce complicated issues to only two possible courses of action.
      Example: The patent office can either approve my generator design immediately or say goodbye forever to affordable energy.
ž  False Need arguments create an unnecessary desire for things.
      Example: You need an expensive car or people won’t think you’re cool.
Ethical Fallacies
ž  False Authority asks audiences to agree with the assertion of a writer based simply on his or her character or the authority of another person or institution who may not be fully qualified to offer that assertion.
      Example: My high school teacher said it, so it must be true.
ž  Using Authority Instead of Evidence occurs when someone offers personal authority as proof.
      Example: Trust me – my best friend wouldn’t do that.
ž  Guilt by Association calls someone’s character into question by examining the character of that person’s associates.
      Example: Sara’s friend Amy robbed a bank; therefore, Sara is a delinquent.
ž  Dogmatism shuts down discussion by asserting that the writer’s beliefs are the only acceptable ones.
Example: I’m sorry, but I think penguins are sea creatures and that’s that
ž  Moral Equivalence compares minor problems with much more serious crimes (or vice versa).
      Example: These mandatory seatbelt laws are fascist.
ž  Ad Hominem arguments attack a person’s character rather than that person’s reasoning.
      Example: Why should we think a candidate who recently divorced will keep her campaign promises?
ž  Straw man arguments set up and often dismantle easily refutable arguments in order to misrepresent an opponent’s argument in order to defeat him or her
      Example: A: We need to regulate access to handguns.
      B: My opponent believes that we should ignore the rights guaranteed to us as citizens of the United States by the Constitution. Unlike my opponent, I am a firm believer in the Constitution, and a proponent of freedom.
Logical Fallacies
ž  A Hasty Generalization draws conclusions from scanty evidence.
      Example: I wouldn’t eat at that restaurant—the only time I ate there, my entree was undercooked.
ž  Faulty Causality (or Post Hoc) arguments confuse chronology with causation: one event can occur after another without being caused by it.
      Example: A year after the release of the violent shoot-’em-up video game Annihilator, incidents of school violence tripled—surely not a coincidence.
ž  A Non Sequitur (Latin for “It doesn’t follow”) is a statement that does not logically relate to what comes before it. An important logical step may be missing in such a claim.
      Example: If those protesters really loved their country, they wouldn’t question the government.
ž  An Equivocation is a half-truth, or a statement that is partially correct but that purposefully obscures the entire truth.
      Example: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” – President Bill Clinton
ž  Begging the Question occurs when a writer simply restates the claim in a different way; such an argument is circular.
      Example: His lies are evident from the untruthful nature of his statements.
ž  A Faulty Analogy is an inaccurate, inappropriate, or misleading comparison between two things.
      Example: Letting prisoners out on early release is like absolving them of their crimes.
ž  Stacked Evidence represents only one side of the issue, thus distorting the issue.
      Example: Cats are superior to dogs because they are cleaner, cuter, and more independent.
We teach children in school and college that this is an improper way to debate. However, it seems that true facts and figures, evidence or even relevance is needed anymore; this also seems to be the problem with the news media as well by the way.
I do not care what your political affiliation is because that is not the point. The point is the election process is essentially a sham, a smoke screen, a dog and pony show, and we are all buying tickets the show.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Please compete for my vote

The Presidential election season has already started, and it looks to be a season based upon sound bites, ad hominin fallacies, and a lot of assumptions; not to mention a very expensive election.
The candidates will be after your vote, or in some cases depending on the color of your skin, age, state, or how you label yourself; they will simply be expecting you to vote for them.
We have very little true choice with our current presidential election process, usually it is the lesser of two evils, and that is scary. The Republican Party of today is more like the Democratic Party of yesterday (study your history, the party of Lincoln is gone); and the Democratic Party does not truly know where it stands except they feel entitled to and are expecting the vote of people of color. These are not assumptions, there are enough facts if you do the research yourself, and I am about to make a point.
Candidates on both sides do not clearly discuss and define issues because they think we are stupid, instead what they try and do is simply woo you into voting for them without giving any substance. Some candidates feel that if they insult you enough you will vote for them out of sheer fear, some candidates think that because they never had to work for your vote before than they do not have to now.
News flash, the people are not stupid, we see through the lies and deceptions, and I would like it to be known that you still have to earn our votes. Do not assume that because someone is labeled “conservative” they will vote for a Republican, especially if you are spewing hate and bigotry in this increasingly diverse world (you do not know their life’s story). Do not assume that because someone is labeled “liberal” or because they are African-American, they will vote for a democrat; you still need to campaign in those neighborhoods and convince them.
So as the political circus begins, politicians, here the words of this educator: YOU NEED TO EARN OUR VOTES!
Good luck and may common sense be with you.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam