Thursday, April 26, 2007

Paul Bucher, lawyer for sale

First, let's be clear that Jessica McBride is not responsible for the actions of her husband, Paul Bucher. After all, he's the grownup in the marriage. But she's a lot closer to him than Jim Doyle was to Georgia Thompson.

And, yes, everyone is entitled to a lawyer. But you can't help but wonder about the kinds of cases and clients he's taken on since leaving his job as Waukesha County DA.

First he's representing the people trying to recall Alderman Michael McGee, who won the election by even a bigger margin than J.B. Van Hollen whipped Bucher's butt.

Next he's playing trial lawyer, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a Waukesha couple over the drowning of a 5-year-old boy in their pool in 2004. He probably wishes there weren't a cap on punitive damages as he tries to profit off someone else's misery.

And now he's the lawyer and mouthpiece for a Waukesha County police chief who's been suspended for using inappropriate language about women and minirities. Did he call them thugs, or what?

Fallacies. One of My Favorite Topics!

McBride is a teacher??? At a University??? God help our UWM students...


Al-Qaeda just took responsibility for killing 9 American soldiers in Iraq.

Harry Reid just said we have "lost" to the enemy in Iraq.

So, is Harry Reid saying we've lost to Al-Qaeda?
I suppose he wants to "redeploy" the troops to go looking for

In any good critical reasoning or logic, you must be able to break it down into what amounts to a sound mathmatical formula. First is this inductive or deductive:

Intro to Inductive and Deductive Reasonsing

Many people distinguish between two basic kinds of argument: inductive and deductive. Induction is usually described as moving from the specific to the general, while deduction begins with the general and ends with the specific; arguments based on experience or observation are best expressed inductively, while arguments based on laws, rules, or other widely accepted principles are best expressed deductively.

The strength of such an argument depends in large part on three of its elements:
how accurate and comprehensive the previous observations are;
how strong the causal link seems to be;
how similar the two cases are.

I would say that going from Al-Queda killing 9 people to Harry Reid saying we lost to Al-Queda in three sentences (without him actually saying it) is more likely inductive reasoning. She went from a set of observations, and tried to make a huge generalization about Harry Reid. Although I suppose she is attempting syllogism or a conditional here which is only a deductive argument, so I suppose this is arguable, I don't think she achieved deduction, but I am not willing to quibble the point further.

What she's proposing here is most likely what I would catagorized as an Inductive Emotional Appeal Fallacious Argument with an Appeal to Indirect Consequences. I'll get into this more in a bit, and I'll break down where her so called "deductive logic exercise" is ALL wrong...

Emotional Appeals.

Emotional appeals all have two things in common:

They attempt to elicit an emotional response that will serve as the basis of any decision made, instead of presenting an argument and relying on its soundness.

As a result, they are never acceptable in an argument, though they can be quite
effective in arousing non-rational responses. Fallacious appeals to emotions are effective because it's easier for most people not to think critically, but to rely on their gut reaction; and it's easier for the person making the appeal to excite his listeners' emotions than to construct a persuasive argument. As a result, those who try to persuade us most often--politicians and advertisers-- tend to rely on emotional appeals in order to motivate us to do things that we might not for purely rational reasons.

A very simple example of a deductive syllogism is:

All X are Y
Z is X
Therefore, Z is Y

or should we try a conditional?
If P then Q
Therefore, Q
These are true, logical and non-fallacious.

Here's the best I can do with Jessica's argument:
If A = "Al-Queda" and B = "9 Americans killed in Iraq" and C = "Harry Reid" and D = "losing the war" and E ="the enemy in Iraq"

And if I break it down mathmatically:
A causes B
C blamed E for D
So, C blamed A for D

Her assumptions that are not articlated but that she invites you to deduce are that B=D, A=E and in the conclusion that C wants or supports B and A.

Listen, there is NO way to make the deductions she is proposing. They rely on these assumptions:
1) That the 9 American soldiers killed by Al-Queda are the only soldiers killed and that Al-Queda is the only group killing American soldiers in Iraq.
2) Harry Reid meant that the only enemy in Iraq was Al-Queda.
3) That "losing" in Iraq is solely determined by if Al-Queda is the only group killing Americans in Iraq. (in other words, that not creating a true democracy is not his definition of losing, or that not finding wmd is his definition, or that not winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi's is his definition, trust me, I could go on and on thanks to Bush's long history of changing goals in this war...)
4) It also assumes that Al-Queda being in Iraq is not Harry Reid's immediate definition of losing the war.

What McBride's done here is set up a classic fallacy based on fear (of Al-Queda), spite-hatred-indignation (towards the Democratic leader), anger (that our soldiers were killed). It's really actually a very poor example, because she hasn't thought it through in any meaningful or logical way (I've seen my kids put together a better fallacy than this one...LOL) which is why it falls under the emotional appeal catagory.

It also can be subtitled as a loose Appeal to Indirect Consequences. This is also known as slippery slope. It's a bit tentative that she's using this, but as it's the most common of the fallacies, it's generally applied in these cases because so many humans are vulnerable to it. My reasoning for deciding that she's also using the slippery slope fallacy are that she makes huge jumps in reasoning from one statement to another that would require numerous other facts and causations to be true.

Not sure if I made my point yet, but it's really clear that this woman has no business claiming to know anything about deductive reasoning and logic. She does this really frequently in her posts and it's about time we start to point out that just being able to say you're a journalism professor doesn't mean you have any idea how to frame an argument (that would be another fallacy).

;) Rae

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

McBride, Again

Jessica McBride wants us to look at this paragraph.

MADISON, Wis. Republican legislative leaders asked Attorney General J-B Van Hollen today for his opinion on how a U-S Supreme Court decision might affect the state's ban on a procedure critics call partial-birth abortion.

She has this to say about that paragraph.

Let's see. Babies are partially born before they are killed in the procedure. Sounds like a factually-based description to me.

For our factually challenged quasi-journalist let’s clear this up: The actual name for the procedure is “intact dilation and evacuation.” The paragraph clearly states that critics, that is anti-abortion supporters, call the procedure partial birth abortion. News organizations are under no obligation to use the intentionally-created term designed to fool the foolish into voting against this medically sound and rarely used procedure, regardless of how the Supreme Court ruled.

Go get a doggy bag and pick up your crap, Ms McBride.

The audacity of McBride

It is pretty safe to say that Dave Diamond has not joined the Jessica McBride Fan Club, based on this post.

McBride's trashing of Barack Obama's recent Milwaukee speech is what set him off. The difference between his view and hers is that he actually heard the speech.

Warning: Adult language.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A pro-war ticket; that's what we need

Sometimes Jessica is just to much to believe.

She has a sure-fire idea for those dumb Democrats -- nominate a presidential candidate who supports the war in Iraq. That might be the only way the Democrats could manage to lose in 08.

One would assume she's backing McCain for the GOP nomination, no?

'Congress convicted Georgia Thompson'

McBride has a new theory on who railroaded an innocent Georgia Thompson into prison: It wasn't US Attorney Steven Biskupic, it was the Congress.

She also laments that the world will never know what political reasons Thompson may have had for preferring the Wisconsin bidder -- the one with the low bid -- to be awarded the travel contract. Doesn't matter. The court said it was not a crime.

And she cites a Richmond law professor who says, "The court seems to be saying reasonable people differ about whether this is a crime."

Actually, and we'll do it slowly this time, so maybe McBride can grasp it. The court said it was Not. A. Crime.

If McBride is truly looking for someone besides Biskupic to blame, she might look in the direction of Judge Rudolph Randa, an appointee of Bush I, who presided at the trial. He's the one who controlled what the jury heard and told the jury what the law was and how to determine guilt. Randa's responsibility was to determine that the prosecution had not made its case and dismiss the case, rather than allowing it to go to the jury.

Why? Because it was Not. A. Crime.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Move over, Jack Bauer

Jessica, who has a thing for tough prosecutors, is ready to throw AG Alberto Gonzales under the bus. His sin? Not sticking up for US Attorney Steven Biskupic, Jessica's latest hero (replacing Jack Bauer.)

And how dare Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold question why Biskupic sent an innocent woman to prison in a politically-charged case? Who do they think they are, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee or something? Read it and weep.

Whallah! Wear it in style

Blogger Tim Rock is offering Whallah! T-shirts, just in time for the second WisPolitics bloggers event. Details here.

Folkbum says the shirt includes the artwork in the right hand column of this blog, stolen from Rock's "Other Side of My Mouth" blog.

Here's a collection of Rock's posts on our favorite conservative ditz.

More guns, that's the ticket

Ah, if only the students and faculty at Virginia Tech had all packed weapons, says Jessica the gun nut.

Or maybe, if it wasn't so easy for someone with as history of mental health problems to buy those weapons through the mail ...

And if Lee Holloway only knew about the Virginia Tech shootings, McBrat says, he'd be all for handcuffing students. Huh?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The thug vote

Why did Alderman Michael McGee Jr. win a recall election with 64% of the vote?

That's easy. He got the thug vote. He's one himself, and so are his constituents. Who says so? Jessica McBride.

Brew City Brawler finds that opinion more than a bit bigoted. But, hey, it's WTMJ radio's blog, not CBS radio, so who cares?

The Brawler frequently asks the question: Why is this woman teaching journalism?

Here's the Best of the Brawler on McBride.