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Illogic is Free (and Plentiful), in The Guardian

“Comment is free, but facts are sacred,” wrote C.P. Scott, legendary editor of The Guardian. But what about logic? The rules of logic need to stand somewhere in the spectrum from the unconditionally free to the inviolably immutable. We can all agree that facts should be fixed, and never tampered with, at least as far as they can be determined. Our freedom lies in the realm of our thoughts, feelings and words. But that does not leave us free to say and believe anything, so long as we cite facts. Beyond the facts, we are also servants of logic. Whilst facts might have been different, logic is permanent and timeless, and to think illogically is not to think at all. A grammatical sentence can still be nonsense, even when referencing facts. The existence of the Queen of England does not imply helium is heavier than hydrogen. Humans have rational minds, but can only boast of this in as far as they choose to act rationally. Even if words appear to make sense on the surface, they are nothing more than bestial moos and neighs, if the words are assembled into illogical arguments. And so we should examine the true nature of Comment is Free, the comment and political opinion site of guardian.com. A read through its endless piffle reveals it is not a bastion of free thought, but of free grunting, unrestrained by any need, or desire, to live within the bounds of logic.

Being a rational, sceptical masochist, I like to read a range of views, to be fully aware of arguments and counter-arguments. But such arguments still need to be logical, in order to be arguments. So when I woke this morning, and started reading Comment is Free, I was forced to conclude that it presented no arguments, and that I was wasting my time. I tried to recover some value from this wasted time, by reading further. This left me even more frustrated. Then I decided to read even more, and to chronicle the fallacies I found, in the hopes of squeezing some modest intellectual profit in exchange for the loss of my time. Many will wish to disagree with me; they may feel The Guardian is worthy, because it says things they like. Others dislike the conclusions reached by The Guardian’s writers, but they should pay attention to the journey, as well as its destination. Either way, please allow me to briefly summarize the illogical nonsense I found, when reading through Comment is Free

Editorial, The Observer view on the Scottish referendum. The union is broken. After Thursday, Britain will never be the same again.

The Scots will soon vote on their independence. Whatever they decide, lots of things must change, all over Britain, not just in Scotland. Luckily, this newspaper knows what is best for everyone. Major constitutional changes are required, if the people are to be empowered. What this democratic campaign has shown is that we must make change, without the hassle of an actual popular vote, if we are going to stop unelected elites having too much power.

Catherine Bennett, It bears repeating: page 3 is still an ugly institution

Businessman Rupert Murdoch contemplates modifying some very soft pornographic content in the hope of increasing sales and thus making more money. Feminists think differently: they just hate the content and want it stopped because it is horrible, horrible, and horrible. Politicians talk about protecting children, but they do not pass necessary laws to protect children from horrible stuff like this. Stuff like this is horrible, horrible, and horrible. The horror. Oh, the horror.

Jimmy Savile gets a mention for no obvious reason. I presume it is because he was latterly found to be horrible.

When Murdoch tweets about whether to show photos of attractive clothed women, his 140-character question is insufficiently precise in defining its terms. Horror. HORROR! The horror of tits!!! Oh horrible, horrible boobs, causing our children to mutate into little Jimmy Saviles. Nobody should see a naked breast, especially not a child. Horrible. Murdoch’s views on women must change, not for business reasons, but because THEY MUST, because they are so horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, and horrible.

Michael Cohen, Obama’s great dilemma: to be or not to be the world’s policeman

Cohen’s piece starts with a false dichotomy, so brazenly flashed in neon during the opening headline that you wonder why anybody continues to read. But I did. Oddly, the article mostly involves picking apart a speech made by a politician: US President Barack Obama. Obama may be US President, but he is still a politician. Cohen struggles to come to terms with the various kinds of illogic that infest this politician’s speech. Clearly this journalist has chosen the wrong line of work.

Ed Miliband, Devolution is for everyone. A no vote will change all of Britain

Scotland leads the way. If lots of Scots want independence, they should have devolution instead. And if they get devolution, so should everyone else in Britain.

This argument about sovereignty and constitutional powers is not about boring stuff like sovereignty and constitutional powers. It is about important and exciting stuff, like economic policy, and whether you get more money.

The mood of the country is that people feel left out of politics, including all those people who currently vote for political things. They feel left out because, even if they do vote, they were never allowed to vote for the economy they actually want. What people want is to vote for an economy that gives them as much money as they really deserve.

The New Old Not-New Labour Party will change all that. By voting against change, and against Scottish independence, Scottish Labour supporters will guarantee change to the British constitution which will, in turn, guarantee that everyone in Britain has their say, and gets the national economy they want and deserve. It must be as simple as that, so it will be as simple as that.

Glen Pole, Why has Kelly Brook got away with punching two men?

Because she is a woman. Also, perhaps it has something to do with the men involved not complaining about being punched. But they should.

Kevin McKenna, Scottish independence: why I have finally decided to vote a proud yes

As a child, McKenna’s dad brainwashed him into loving the Labour Party. It turns out, however, that the Labour Party is nothing more than a political campaigning organization which tries to get its representatives elected to various institutions. McKenna’s dead dad would have been disgusted by the modern Labour Party.

Fortunately, McKenna has seen the light. He makes no apologies for using the language of faith and mumbo-jumbo, when he says he had a conversion on the road to Holyrood. Nationhood and identity are sacred, unlike the scaremongering talk about the economy mouthed by those horrible ‘no’ businessmen and all those politicians in their capitalist pockets.

McKenna will be voting ‘yes’ for independence, because even if it is insanely risky, it is what his dead dad would have wanted. Except Dad always voted the way that Labour told him to vote. But Dad would have been just as angry at Labour as McKenna, if he was still alive. Amen.

Hadley Freeman, Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp’s relationship was far from ‘normal’

The exceptional black female judge presiding over the trial of Oscar Pistorius was wrong not to send Pistorious to prison for murder. She must think it is normal for men to beat women. One ex-girlfriend was so scared of Oscar Pistorious that she once hid his gun. Being scared like that is not normal.

Meanwhile, a man hit his wife so hard in the United States of America, that she was knocked unconscious. Both these cases, the one where Oscar Pistorious shot a gun into a door and said he did not know who was behind it, and the case where some other man hit a woman in the face, shows that women fear men because of their superior physical strength. Obviously we do not take violence against men so seriously, because it is not possible for women to hurt men in the same way men hurt women.

Andrew Rawnsley, Whatever the result of the Scottish referendum, Alex Salmond will be the winner

The exception that proves the rule, Rawnsley’s arguments are all sound. He explains why Alex Salmond and the Scots Nats are doing much better than expected, and will get more of what they want, even if they lose the independence referendum. He accurately describes how people really behave, instead of pontificating about how he would like them to behave. Rawnsley’s thinking is straightforward, whilst his language is eloquent. This begs a question: why are other Guardian writers so incapable of following his example?

My logical conclusion

In a fair economy, Andrew Rawnsley would be cloned and the clones would be employed to write every article in The Guardian. Other journalists would start to receive a fair return for their contribution to society, by being summarily dismissed. A new country would be established, for exiled Guardianistas, where they could enjoy their wealth of words, and poverty of everything else. The state religion would involve praying to their dead dads for advice on how they would brainwash children into making the right political decisions, if they were alive today. Those wanting to be rehabilitated into the unfair society inhabited by the rest of us, would be allowed occasional furloughs to work for Rupert Murdoch. Those lucky few will be paid to deliver short and lively articles for ordinary British people to enjoy after their daily wank.

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