Thursday, February 25, 2016

#1605: Bill Fawell

Elect a New Congress is a wingnut super PAC devoted to “restoring liberty” in Congress, with “liberty” understood in a somewhat idiosyncratic way, it seems. It’s founder, Bill Fawell (not “Falwell” – some people apparently miss that), wants to free us not only from the left, but from the Illuminati. And the Illuminati are everywhere. As evidence of their influence, Fawell can point to Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2012, where the singer wore an Egyptian headdress and was surrounded by male dancers who formed a pyramid – a well-known part of secret Illuminati symbolism. But he feared Beyonce’s halftime show in 2013 would be worse:

If you look at some of Beyonce’s performances … it’s like the military industrial police state,” said Fawell, who also pointed out that she has previously performed surrounded by male dancers in protective helmets: “That’s the subliminal message that will be spreading worldwide because everyone watches the Super Bowl.” (Methinks he overestimates the worldwide popularity of American football, but I don’t think that’s the weakest premise in his reasoning.)

His super PAC doesn’t appear to have been particularly successful, but Fawell has tried to run for Congress himself, among other things as a write-in in Illinois’s 17th district in 2014. He initially announced that he’d be running for the Constitution Party, but found the process of collecting signatures to be prohibitive.

At least he has managed to get himself a slot on Coast to Coast AM, the qualification for which is that you’re a blathering lunatic.

Diagnosis: Blathering lunatic.


  1. Not everyone on Coast to Coast is a lunatic. I used to listen for amusement when I worked 3rd shift. Phil Plait was on a few times.

  2. Ah yes, but GD doesn't let a fact get in the way of an illogical ad hominem argument when he doesn't like someone's views and wants to rant. So much for his claim to be a philosophy PhD who favours classical logic.. you know, the one in which ad hominem attacks are a massive no-no. It took him fifteen years (yes, that is 15 years!) of study to fail to learn that one.

    1. You still don't understand what an ad hominem argument is (hint: calling someone an idiot is not an ad hominem argument). Nor do you apparently know what "classical logic" means (it says nothing whatsoever about informal fallacies).

  3. Oh dear. What is so difficult? Once again you are chucking insults at people, attacking the man, rather than logically dismantling his arguments, and what is it called when you attack the man rather than his arguments? Well, lets try a couple of definitions:
    ad hominem
    ad ˈhɒmɪnɛm/
    adverb & adjective
    adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem

    1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
    Or as you are in America what about Merriam-Webster's definition "the most trusted dictionary of American English":
    ad hominem
    1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
    2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made.

    Perhaps you think Merriam-Webster's definition is wrong and that they are also "loons" and "wingnuts"?

    Every one of your attacks that I have read is directed at the person with loads of personal insults such as loon, wingnut, tin-foil hatter, etc. Hardly the language that I would expect from any intelligent person, and certainly not from someone who studied philosophy for fifteen years.

    I have looked through loads of your blog and, so far, haven't found a single one where you use a logical, reasoned series of arguments to dismantle their beliefs.

    In England resorting to personal insults is taken as a sign that someone has lost the argument, and knows they have lost the argument, but they can't accept that they have lost the argument.

    The views of the people you attack should be so easy to dismantle, yet you do not do so. Why not? Despite 15 years of study, do you not know how to do so?

    The impression that I am left with from reading your blog is that of a young schoolchild argument, and I am half expecting you to finish a post with "and my dad's bigger than your dad, nah nah na nah nah!"

    I assume that this blog was started so you could demonstrate your cleverness; unfortunately, by attacking the people with insults, and failing to dismantle their arguments, you come across as rather lacking in intellect.

  4. This is great. Yes, the word "ad hominem" is sometimes used to mean "attack on the person" in general. However, you accused me of fallacious reasoning, and the "ad hominem fallacy" is something more specific: An argument of the form "X says p; X is an idiot; therefore p is wrong".

    You know what's a good example of an ad hominem fallacy? "x resorts to personal insults and is therefore wrong," the argument type you yourself suggest you are sympathetic to.

    The purpose of this blog is not to dismantle silly claims and arguments made by people with no knowledge of the fields they are criticizing and with poor critical thinking skills, or to explain the profound misunderstandings on which their complaints are based (I provide the links for that; if others have done it for me there is no bloody need for me to repeat it). I'm not engaged in "debate" with these loons, and since I am not having an argument with them I cannot be "losing an argument" either. The target audience for the posts don't need to be told why Illuminati conspiracies are stupid or why complaints that Darwin must have been racist based on the title of Origin of Species reveal an abysmal (and probably willful) lack of understanding of the material. The purpose is just to call these loons out and provide a few links if you need further information about the crazy beliefs or specific critical thinking failures in question.

    Or said differently: I *do* dismantle the views, namely by providing you with links that you can follow in case it's not completely obvious to you what is wrong with the views: You just don't bother to read them. Do your homework, Dave. But I'll grant this: If you need to be told *why* Illuminati conspiracies are silly, you have come to the wrong place: This is probably not the blog for you.

  5. "x resorts to personal insults and is therefore wrong," No, I am not saying that your views are wrong, only that your blog does not support your views in an intellectual manner.

    I know why most conspiracy theories are silly, but those who don't know and come to your blog in this internet age of short attention spans, are not going to keep clicking on links to other sites. They will read your site, see that it is full of name-calling, empty of intellectual analysis, and dismiss it.

    The danger then is that they go away thinking "that name calling idiot couldn't put up a sensible argument against these people, so he obviously doesn't know what he is talking about, and therefore the chances are that the people he attacks do know what they are talking about." Which doesn't help the cause.