Trump and Scott Adams

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Trump and Scott Adams

Postby Ddrak » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:12 am

I was liking Scott Adams' posts about Trump for a while (http://blog.dilbert.com) but this last one got me all buttsore. I'm pretty sure he's trolling, but here's what I had to say about it:

This post from Scott is a remarkable piece of pro-Trump propaganda. The fallacies are subtle but rife throughout the entire piece. Let's look at the points:

The reader's abysmal track record - complete piece of strawman bashing combined with a false dichotomy. Set up a fairly easy target to shoot down (someone's ability to predict an 8 year span of a President's power, through the various changes under them, and force to distil to "yes" or "no"). No President is "good" or "bad" but shades between and different on every issue. The issue isn't whether Trump will be good or bad, but whether he's better or worse than presented alternatives given what we know now, and that's something we *can* analyse.

The "FBI Profiler Approach" - this is a fairly bogus call to authority. Looking at the past is one part of what they do, but they also look at a suspects current actions and what their statements are hinting at. They'll look at the whole makeup of the person. Scott then goes ahead to make some pretty bold claims about "no violent acts whatsoever" (Ivana certainly would disagree), and I've seen plenty of CEOs in my time that don't throw tantrums the way Trump does.

Trump amassed a lot of wealth in his early career, but has consistently lost value over the last 30+ years when benchmarked against inflation. His kids aren't that great and he has a strong reputation for being extremely callous and uncaring to his employees to further his own interests. That's the essence of "scary and dangerous" as a leader.

The "Scary Talk" - This seems to say you can't trust what he says. That, uh, doesn't bode well for a future President that's actually selling himself on the stuff he says. I'm not sure why Scott's painting this as a virtue?

"Chemical Cyborgs" - This one is pretty amazingly wrong and pretty clueless about anti-depressants. Look at what Scott says. "Trump doesn't take illegal drugs". That's different to "Trump doesn't take any drugs". As far as we know, he could be on a well managed course of Statins, possibly some SSRIs and who knows what else. He has no duty to disclose, and Scott's already pointed out we can't believe anything he says anyway. He then goes on to equate "illegal drugs" with "big pharma". That's a non-sequiteur. What's worse is the personality argument doesn't even make sense - do you make the same decisions when angry/tired/hurt? NO. But Trump apparently doesn't take medications to limit those influences which would therefore make him MORE susceptible to poor decision making! Scott's argument just falls into a circle of nonsense. Doctors prescribe meds to balance out the individual, not to sent them wildly lurching through different personalities. If Trump is avoiding prescription medication then he's damn dangerous - far more than someone who actually follows what an expert in medications advises!

"Scaring Foreign Leaders" - Scott assumes international negotiation is a zero sum game (good for the US = bad for others). This is demonstrably false. Most negotiation is more a prisoner's dilemma situation where you have to trust the other side to no screw you over for both to get the optimal outcome. Trump is indicating he won't play that game, and THAT'S what scares the leaders. They are also scared of the fact he's not really a great businessman (see the past 30 years going backwards) - that presents a massive risk to the world economy.

"Racism" - This is cherrypicking. Trump has shown a clear pattern of racism in his stance and has absolutely shown that he doesn't like people with Mexican sounding names. It's not just his Mexicans-are-rapists meme, but his use of the term "Mexican" as a slur on (for example) governers and judges who are very much US citizens that he doesn't particularly like. That is flat out racist (or you can't believe anything he says, which is actually more dangerous). He might say he "loves legal Americans", but his actions speak the opposite.

"Religious Discrimination" - Sharia is no more compatible with the US Constitution than the Old Testament law is, unless you're all up for stoning people now and then. Saying that because Muslim nations have different constitutions means Muslims can't live and abide by US laws is, well, wrong. The overwhelming majority of Muslims fit very well into a western system of laws, and the ones already in place continue to fit in well. Suggesting otherwise doesn't fit the profile (risk of lawbreaking is vastly more correlated to socio-economic status than religious status). Also note that the government can't do a bunch of things Scott's suggested BECAUSE of the constitution that actually prevents them from reacting to risks presented by things like race, religion etc. The USSC has come down hard on that more than a few times. Don't like it? Change the constitution first, but don't pretend "they can already use it".

"War Crimes" - It's very well known that threats to familys don't prevent terrorism, in fact they make it worse because the recruiters have an easier time painting the US as the bad guys. "We'll fight for your beliefs and protect your family, but that US President will kill them all even if they're innocent." You can't combat terrorism without taking the high road, or you become one of them. Ask anyone who's served if killing innocent women and children is what they signed up for and how they'd take an order to do that. Trump has said these things. If they are for effect, then they've also ALREADY made America a less safe place.

"Business as Usual" - Trump won't be business as usual, but Scott's fairly naive to suggest Trump won't do business with the defence industry if it suits him. Scott's already pointed out he's a businessman, and defence is the biggest business in town when you're in charge of the budget. Suggesting people who oppose Trump are doing it because they are in the pockets of defence is, uh, Ad Homeniem I believe. Offering no proof but shooting the messenger with made up stuff. Something Trump certainly excels at.

"Risk" - Trump presents more risk. No question. Clinton is also very likely to present a status-quo Presidency. So, what that means is absolutely an excellent question, but I find the analysis Scott presents of why Trump is just peachy as "so far flawed, he damn well knows what he's doing and playing with pursuasion rather than putting real thoughts down".

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Re: Trump and Scott Adams

Postby Torakus » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:25 am

Ddrak wrote:"War Crimes" - It's very well known that threats to familys don't prevent terrorism, in fact they make it worse because the recruiters have an easier time painting the US as the bad guys. "We'll fight for your beliefs and protect your family, but that US President will kill them all even if they're innocent." You can't combat terrorism without taking the high road, or you become one of them. Ask anyone who's served if killing innocent women and children is what they signed up for and how they'd take an order to do that. Trump has said these things. If they are for effect, then they've also ALREADY made America a less safe place.


Actually the scary part is that many who have served and are serving seem to be fine with it. I am a member of a closed FB group of about 20,000 active and retired Navy senior enlisted personnel, and I am in the small minority who oppose Trump. There is a large vocal majority who both support Trump and support his idea that the families of terrorists know that their family member is a terrorist and are therefore guilty. I get called a liberal on that page fairly often, so yeah.


Ddrak wrote:"Business as Usual" - Trump won't be business as usual, but Scott's fairly naive to suggest Trump won't do business with the defence industry if it suits him. Scott's already pointed out he's a businessman, and defence is the biggest business in town when you're in charge of the budget. Suggesting people who oppose Trump are doing it because they are in the pockets of defence is, uh, Ad Homeniem I believe. Offering no proof but shooting the messenger with made up stuff. Something Trump certainly excels at.
Dd


Scott is wrong. The defense industry does equally well with or without war. What they need is the potential, not the existence. In fact when we go to war we find out that a great deal of the garbage we are buying has limited utility and we would stop buying it if Congress would allow it. With that in mind just circle back to the "Scaring Foreign Leaders" for the reason why the defense industry actually relishes the idea of President Trump. Frankly the POTUS doesn't play a very big role in defense spending anyway for the first 3 years of his administration the procurement requests have already been approved and set asides made for most of what is being purchased. And if Trump thinks he knows litigation, he will shit his pants when he tries to cancel a contract with a Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics without good cause and sees the legal shit storm that comes his way. These companies have legal staffs that make Trump LLC look like a corner hamburger shop.


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Re: Trump and Scott Adams

Postby Ddrak » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:25 am

I agree on both counts there, and sorry to hear about being called a liberal. ;) I suspect (hope?) the enlisted folks may think differently if the actual situation came up, rather than just tough talk. I do still believe!

Once again, this election seemed to turn into a race to the bottom. Sad fact is, over here in Oz the election choices aren't really any better but we have "frightfully boring" instead of "terrifyingly entertaining".

I notice Scott Adams has turned comments off on his blog. Guess he got all butthurt by people calling him an idiot. He's gone completely over the top with "I AM TEH PUPPETMASTAH" bullshit now. It's kinda cringeworthy.

Trump's fundraising (or lack thereof) and completel failure to build a campaign staff make his electability fairly difficult from here. I actually still wonder if he'll say "screw you guys" and pack it in before the election if polls continue to go south. I can't see his ego dealing well with Hillary polling well.

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