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January 11, 2008


I think we should give MIMS the benefit of the doubt here. He may have meant:

You ain't [fly] 'cause you're not [hot]

fly->hot does dictate that ~hot->~fly.

Great Reasoning, Brendan.

The problem about reason, however, is that both MIMS and Huckabee have not really been exposed to it. With MIMS, you can put it down to culture and lack of education. With Huckabee, you have to put down to the result of "faith." Charles Freeman wrote a wonderful book about 5 years ago titled: "The Closing of the Western Mind - The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason." In the 4th century, religion dropped reason like some fragile glass vase, and ever since Thomas Acquinas discovered Aristotle, Western Civilization has been trying to glue the pieces back together. Fundamentalists, however, try their damnest to keep the vase in pieces (or hold up the cracked vase as "perfect.").

Hence, Huckabee smiles at canundrums and chalks them up to "faith."

It's both sad...and scary.

As this pie chart demonstrates MIMS is hot for many other reasons then being fly. But "you[r]" lack of flyness disqualifies your hotness.

Huckabee's comment might not have gotten him an A on the logic final. But everyone knows what he meant. The Air Force slogan really means to say, "You only catch flak when you're over the target." And yes, some logic or grammar nitpicker is going to say that the "only" in that sentence is out of place. But as with Huckabee's comment, everyone knows what the meaning of the sentence is.

Even Mankiw must have known what Huckabee meant: if they're gunning for me, I must be hitting the target. But instead of dealing with the substance of Huckabee's claim, Mankiw chose to be a smartass about the logic.

I wonder if Mankiw, when he was chair of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, applied a similar logical rigor to the statements of the guy he was working for. Or did he instead pay attention to what it seemed Bush actually meant?

Actually, you do not have to be over target to "catch flak," you can be way off course and still "catch" flak. ANY enemy city would be shooting at your plane as they would be defending what they view as an incoming attack. After all, they do not know you are off course.
Since "over target" suggests that you are in the right place and we know you can catch flak whether you are in the right place or not, Huckabee's statement is illogical.

"I think I am over target because..." would have been much better.

Am I nitpicking? That depends on your view of logic and the role it should or should not play in debating.
I DO think that someone who wants to be President should be a bit more rational and think better under pressure than this though ;)

Yes, a president who thinks and speaks rationally would be a welcome change. But just as I am far less concerned with Bush's verbal gaffes than with his policies, I am also far less concerned with the formal logic of analogies about aircraft and flak than I am about statements that tax cuts increase revenue or that evolution is a crock or that the war in a Iraq was a really nifty idea and that victory is just around the corner or any of several other ideas offered by the candidates.

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