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American Sicko – Michael Moore Needs Education on US Murder Rates

Begging the Question When Not Begging for Attention

Not good.  Not The Worst In The World.

Not good. Not The Worst In The World.

“I think the NRA, they’ve got it half right when they say ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people,’” he told the TMZ cameraman. “I change it to ‘guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people.’ Because we’re really the only ones that do it on this level, on this scale. Why?”

(Fox News)

Brett Stevens of Amerika.org made the rather bold claim that many arguments in support of Liberalism are based on a logical fallacy. This fallacy involves the old chestnut known as “begging the question.” A website on rhetoric at Perdue University offers us the following definition of begging the question (or claim).

Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. But the very conclusion that should be proved, that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use, is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as “filthy and polluting.”

The only thing missing from this nice, learned explanation was a picture of Michael Moore as a graphic example. Let us reexamine the question being begged by our intrepid filmmaker. “Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people.” Potentially valid so far – if he were also willing to acknowledge that Congolese, Syrians, Ukranians and Jamaicans also kill people.

But it’s then that Michael Moore proves Ronald Reagan right about Liberal Intellectualism. He simply knows a fact that does not exist. Because we’re really the only ones that do it on this level, on this scale. Why? Our friends at Wikipedia offer us some context in which to evaluate this situation. Out of sixty-two countries reporting homicide rates per 100K in 2010, the United States was 34th.

Hondurans murdered 78 per 100,000 citizens. The US had a rate of 4.8. With about 320 million Americans, that’s a big, tragic pile of bodies. If Honduras had 320 million inhabitants…..I won’t dishonor the dead by extrapolating.

The point here isn’t entirely just that Michael Moore is wrong by two or three zip codes. It’s that he assumes a “known fact™” that is no way supported by the actual reality on the ground and then gets away with basing his argument thereupon. With the employment rate of the working age population permanently glued to fewer than 65%, fact-checking this guy could be a form of Keynesian Stimulus. It could rank up there with declaring the Augean Stables an EPA Superfund site.

When Karl Denninger attacked this argument from the Right, he ate the poison pill known facts without even stopping and thinking. First he argues that illegitimacy and welfare dependency create a moral atmosphere that makes people more savage. I agree, but…..

You create monstrous incentives for “Baby Mama” crap and go from about 7% of children born out of wedlock (when the “war on poverty” began) to 40% today. This, in turn, means that for virtually all of those children there is no parent at home who has a decent worth ethic to raise them. Either their “Baby Mama” sits around on welfare all day or the kid is effectively raised in what amounts to an animal pen for the first several years of his or her life (it’s called “daycare”.) Are you surprised that they turn out like animals when the first and highest job in such a place is keeping the 20 kids in there from braining each other with toy dinosaurs?

And then he argues these welfare programs have had a particularly pernicious effect upon minorities. Again, I agree, but wait…

In other words it is the direct and proximate consequence of government programs that were all claimed to “help” these population subsets that have in fact destroyed them. Now square this with the fact that six times as many black people commit homicide and are victims of it as are whites. But blacks are ~17% of the population so you’re more than 10 times as likely to either commit murder or be murdered if you’re black on a population-adjusted basis.

And finally, he concludes that Michael Moore is Hollywood’s Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder when it comes to false affinity towards African Americans. Again, I wouldn’t be shocked if Denninger wins the Kupie Doll, But, but, But!

Get up and look in the ****ing mirror, Michael, and you will find one of the biggest cheerleaders for the destruction of Black Americans.

I’m in about 90% sympathy with all the mean and cruel things Denninger said about Michael Moore. The man disgusts me as well. But Denninger fell right into Moore’s rhetorical trap. He never checked out whether Americans really were “the only ones that do it on this level, on this scale.” We’re not.

Michael Moore is either mendacious or abysmally misinformed. I don’t know which. I can’t read Moore’s mind. I’m not into pornography or low-grade pulp fiction. But Moore is more intelligent than he acts. He could have been trying to slide one on us there. If he was, than yes, much of what liberals try to foist on us is based upon known facts such as “If you like your coverage, you’ll get to keep it.” It’s something you need to keep in mind every time a Liberal politician or celebrity opines on the issue of the day.

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