by Guest Writers on May 29, 2012
Let’s Get Logical
[RE: “Nothing Accidental About History,” Posts, May 23]: Ad hominem attack? Supporters of Thrive may wish to look this particular logical fallacy up before they ignorantly regurgitate it any chance they get. Most attacks on Thrive have focused around the movie’s amazingly unsupported claims and conclusions—many of which have already been discredited for decades. Pointing out that zero point energy is unproven and unlikely based on the known laws of physics and thermodynamics is NOT an ad hominem attack. Pointing out that the alleged shadowy cabal that controls our lives is not nearly as simple, shadowy, powerful or organized as is claimed is NOT an ad hominem attack. Pointing to the fact that taxes are essential to social services and public infrastructure is NOT an ad hominem attack. If we are to delve into the world of logic, we should do it logically, and bring to light some of the fallacies Thrive commits: Arguments from Ignorance; Special Pleading; Anecdotal Evidence; Hasty and Sweeping Generalizations; etc. Edgar shows us his slippery command of logic when he Appeals to the Authority of FDR and his quote, “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens you can bet it was planned that way.” He implies that this quote must prove that the claims in Thrive are real. But Edgar just heaps his own logical fallacies on top of FDR’s. Many things happen by accident in government and not everything in politics goes according to plan; otherwise, according to Gamble, et al., we’d all be slaves by now.
The most disturbing issue with Thrive and people like Foster Gamble and Edgar Darwin is that they detract from the actual issues and the most realistic solutions. Of course corporations and rich families and global banks are far too powerful and culpable for social ills, and they need to be held accountable and diminished. But approaching it an illogical and “mystical” way only weakens the real argument and works against itself, just as not paying taxes would likely decrease our freedoms rather than increase them as we are urged to believe. Now, can we please stop talking about Thrive? It’s become an Argumentum ad Nauseam.
One for Fultz
Last year, the Weekly published a series of letters both in opposition to and in support of the La Bahia Hotel proposal, which went through a seven-year public process and had the support of thousands of local residents and those we elect to represent us. The Coastal Commission's own staff report stated that there were no significant environmental issues, since the site is surrounded by pavement on all sides. The Commission's own staff concluded that public views “will not be substantially adversely impacted.” Commissioner Mark Stone ignored not only the staff report but also the environmentally conscious majority in the city of Santa Cruz who worked hard to ensure that the project was appropriate for Beach Street. City government and locally owned businesses would have benefited hugely from this worthy project. Now Mr. Stone is running for state Assembly on a platform of respect for the decisions of local government, at which he thumbed his nose in 2011. As a lifelong registered Democrat, I cannot support Stone's hypocrisy and will cast my vote in the primary election for Bob Fultz, who respects the right of small communities such as ours to determine our future.
Robert de Freitas