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Don’t stand your middle ground

Don’t stand your middle ground

A reader sent me the following in response to my post about that thing that doesn’t matter in the least to me:

Over the past year, I’ve moved your bookmark steadily up & to the left.

Since last fall it’s been among the 18-20 that my screen width can hold in the bookmarks bar. It looks like my intuitive order roughly parallels the sitemeter totals you cited.

My bookmarks L->R: aggregators Drudge; Insty; Lucianne; Hot Air; Ross; Slashdot; Vanderleun (not really an aggregator but front & center for his all-around brilliant writing & eclectic range)…then legals Althouse; LI; Maguire, Volokh.

Specifically…what’s promted me to go to LI with increasing frequency has been your willingness to tackle difficult topics, your measured pace & the way your posts are driven by logical arguments more than ideological positions.

I recently came across the website Your Logical Fallacy Is…(, an excellent summary of 25 “tests” one can apply to arguments. I’ve been doing this intuitively and your posts repeatedly measure up. Perhaps these fallacy labels can be useful when you need to call “Bull—t!” on politicians, MSM journolists & other noisy demagogues.

The noticeable way you’ve expanded the topical range you cover is also welcome.

Keep on keepin on!

The Your Logical Fallacy Is website is really interesting.  The “Middle Ground” fallacy seems particularly appropriate:

You claimed that a compromise, or middle point, between two extremes must be the truth.

Much of the time the truth does indeed lie between two extreme points, but this can bias our thinking: sometimes a thing is simply untrue and a compromise of it is also untrue. Half way between truth and a lie, is still a lie.

Seems like it applies to so much of our politics.

But then again, politics isn’t necessarily logical.


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Our weakness in the West is born of the fact of so-called “objectivity.” Objectivity does not exist. The word is a hypocrisy which is sustained by the lie that the truth stays in the middle. No, sir: Sometimes truth stays on one side only.

“The Rage of Oriana Fallaci”, in The New York Observer (27 January 2003)

See Federal limited government v. unlimited power

See also controlled borders v. uncontrolled borders

See further election integrity v. election fraud

Here is an example of how “compromise” leads to a lie.

In the 1990s, Republicans fought Democrats hammer-and-tong to bring Fannie and Freddie under control. The Democrats were not interested. The Democrats, on the other hand, fought the Republicans over repealing the Glass Steagall Act. So they compromised. The Republicans caved on Fannie/Freddie in exchange for the Democrats caving on repealing Glass Steagall. That’s how politics works.

    Ragspierre in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    OK. I see the compromise. Reagan made those, too, when he thought it worth the truck.

    I don’t see a “lie”.

      You don’t see a lie because you are a big government Republican. You love the “too big to fail” banks that repealing Glass-Steagall created.

        Ragspierre in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

        Now, see, THOSE are lies. And you are a liar.

        Like pretending to be a TEA Party conservative…while writing TEA parties are just like OWS.

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm

          Rags -just because Phil beat you in the Texas Line Dancin Championships of 1987 -try to let it go.

          A loss is tough but there you go. Don’t dwell on it.

    Kerrvillian in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Nice observation. The Republicans caved on Fannie/Freddie which were a direct cause of the housing market bubble and ensuing crisis. The Dems caved on Glass Steagall which helped exacerbate the housing market bubble and ensuing crisis and gave Elizabeth Warren and company yet another dart to toss at the Republicans for “causing” the problem caused by the Community Reinvestment Act and easy mortgages sought by Dems.

    A compromise that left the Republicans holding the short end of a very, very dirty stick.

      Ragspierre in reply to Kerrvillian. | April 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Dunno where you get your history and economics, but Glass-Steagall was a happy, happy FDR New Deal monstrosity.

      It had NOTHING to do with commercial banks NOT under FDIC insurance, and was part of Bill Clinton’s deregulation program. Removing it removed ANOTHER HUGE market distortion from the New Deal.

      Meaning, it had virtually NOTHING to do with the financial collapse.

      Note the 485 footnotes, making that rather well supported Wiki entry.

    Ragspierre in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 27, 2012 at 8:25 am

    “When we recall that stand-alone institutions, both commercial and investment, also failed during the crisis, and that all of them acquired mortgage-backed securities (which they had always been allowed to do, by the way), the Glass-Steagall “repeal” looks more and more like a red herring that appeals to people whose belief system requires them to find some way a Fed-fueled bubble could have been stopped had the right regulatory structure been in place.

    (The problem with those who point to Glass-Steagall is not that they’re radical. It’s that they’re not nearly radical enough. They think the system as is, shot through with moral hazard at every level, and presided over by a market-defying central bank, is of its nature stable and without fault; we just need a few regulations.)”

    Which very nicely describes the crypto-Collectivist Fillie, who we know…

    1. is a believer in the OWS 1% canard
    2. HATES and distrusts market economics
    3. wants “new laws” to make wealth distribution more “sustainable” (like in Monopoly…the game…seriously)
    4. was an early Trump-ette blower (Trump LIKES limiting free trade, as does Fillie)
    5. constantly gets history, economics, and basic civics WRONG (objectively WRONG, not just in my opinion)
    6. and NEVER stands his ground after throwing LYING ad hominem over his shoulder as he runs for the tall grass if politely challenged on any of his BULLSPIT

Those who intend to use the Middle Ground fallacy to support an extreme position will posit a position even more extreme than their own.

Some folks say blah blah blah. Others say blah blah blah. But I say blah blah blah!

Where have I heard that?

A middle ground position that is somewhere between two extremes has nothing to do with truth. Obama pushed that a few weeks back.
A middle ground is a political objective perhaps but lets not confuse that with truth.

StrangernFiction | April 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

The truth can be on the far right of the political spectrum if the political spectrum gets shifted far enough left. I would argue this is the case.

The truth is the truth.

Politics is the spin you attach to it.

There’s a distinction between “Truth” and “the truth about…”.

PS: I know where the truth lives… 🙂

I’ve noticed one that pops up a bit but I don’t see on there. I guess you could call it “simplification.” It’s really an amalgamation of some of the others. Basically, a complex topic or process is broken down and simplified and then unproven conclusions are drawn from the simplistic analysis. It rears its head in the global warming debate fairly often. “The sun heats the earth, and carbon dioxide traps heat, therefore the more carbon dioxide means more heat, and therefore since humans are producing more CO2 that means the Earth will continue to get hotter.” Sure, the cherry picking one is in there and false cause and begging the question, but some of the others overlap too. And this is used enough that it deserves its own special place.

I have LI between Iowahawk and the NYPost.

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | April 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I remember what this Judge once said about deciding what was pornography- He said, “I may not be able to descibe it, but I know it when I see it”, defines very much what the lies are, and what the truth is.

In other words, making the so called middle ground compromise position as your default point of reference for getting at the truth, is wrong, as you Mr Jacobson have pointed out to this person.

The Truth is the Truth, and no amount of political compromise for compromise sake will ever change that.

Of course, when one is as liberal progressive policy minded as the Romney-ite loyalists are, let alone the Independents, whom all believe that compromise and appeasement is the best way to deal with the radical hard left, the facts and truth remains that compromise in of itself is not the truth finder, but only a temporary political solution to a political conflict, that will inevitably lead to one day an ominous implosive conclusion of “either or”.. Just like Slavery issue before the Civil War. 

So it doesn’t surprise me when one someone starts their view point from the so called moderate progressive liberal position, instead of the US Constitutional position, naturally thinks that compromise and appeasement, thus the middle ground is always the way to find the truth, which is inherently wrong.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Sometimes it takes a long time to see the truth.More than is admitted we only see it in far retrospect.

If we were honest we could say of many things . “At the time I thought it was the truth. Now I do not believe it was.”

There will always be equivocal people . Others take a stand. At best we can do what we think will lead to the truth if we don’t know what it is.

Much like Dr Zhivago on the train out through the countryside .

“Perhaps these fallacy labels can be useful when you need to call “Bull—t!” on politicians, MSM journolists & other noisy demagogues.”

First, its a good idea to study general rules of debate which will hopefully help in achieving more vigorous, enlightening and healthy arguments.
Become a student of liberal media bias through sites like Newbusters
, Sweetness & Light and be aware of and knowledgeable the foundational corrosiveness of liberal progressive ideology .

Also be sure to pay attention to you’re uhm err ah .. your spelling and grammar, ie “journolists” and liberal nutbags will often attack the messenger instead of the message and use moonbat tactics such as engagong in copious amounts of bloviation in an effort to muddy the water and to effect the tenor and direction of debate.