[WARNING: If you have never argued with a Vattle Birther (My humorous name for the two citizen parent Birthers who believe Emerich de Vattel, of Switzerland, is the source for England and America’s law on natural born citizenship.) then you may think the following is an exaggeration. I assure you that it is not. Arguments actually degenerate to this level.]
Rational Person: That Spot sure is a cute little dog!
Vattle Birther: How do you know that the term Spot refers to a dog? The authors didn’t say Spot, the dog.
Rational Person: Uh, there is a picture of a dog, and he is running. Duh!!!
Vattle Birther: No. You are committing a composition error.
Rational Person: A what???
Vattle Birther: A composition error, you know, a logical fallacy. When somebody infers that something is true of the whole thing from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole thing. Like above, the dog may be running, but how can you just assume the words See Spot run are about the dog??? Maybe the dog is named Fido??? Maybe Spot is a smudge on the girl’s dress. Maybe the little girl is named Spot??? She is running, too!!! Or maybe Spot stands for Spaceship Positioned Over Terra.
Rational Person: Who’s Tara??? I thought the kid was named Jane, or maybe Spot???
Vattle Birther: Idiot! Terra is what the aliens and ET’s call our planet. It’s like Latin or something for “earth.”
Rational Person: So let me get this straight. Here is a picture of a running dog, and a little kid, and the words see Spot run that is obviously on a school bulletin board, and you say it may refer to a spaceship or a smudge. And then, you put the burden on me to prove I am NOT committing a logical composition error.
Vattle Birther: That’s right! The word Spot could mean something else!
Rational Person: And, you don’t think YOU have any burden to show the words might mean the something else you say they could mean. Do you think that just by saying, it could mean something else, that you have proved it does mean something else? Don’t you think you ought to point out a spaceship in the picture, or maybe a bottle of Clorox Bleach??? Is it your idea is that all you have to do is simply list a logical fallacy, and then not provide any application of that rule of logic to the facts at hand, or show how the rule was violated??? That YOU can skip all context, simply burp out a fallacy, without any analysis or proof, and then I have to run around and prove that your squirrely possible interpretation isn’t true.
Vattle Birther: You got it!
Rational Person: Well, aren’t you committing the logical error of asking someone to prove a negative??? To prove that your possible interpretation isn’t the correct one??? While you don’t have to present any information that supports your interpretation???
Vattle Birther: Well, uh, uh. . .
Rational Person: Plus, aren’t you just engaging in sophisms???
Vattle Birther: In WHAT???
Rational Person: You know, sophisms. You don’t think you’re the only person who can google stuff, do you??? A sophism is a derogatory term, and means a specious argument or verbal trick used for deception. It might be crafted to appear logical while actually representing a falsehood, or it might use obscure words and use complicated sentence constructions in order to fool people and misrepresent the truth. And, before you ask, specious means superficially plausible, but actually wrong.
Vattle Birther: You are insulting me!!! I am honestly confused about who or what Spot is in the above picture! There was a Boy named Sue, why couldn’t there be a Girl named Spot???
Rational Person: No you aren’t confused. You know the kid is NOT named Spot. You know there aren’t any spaceships in the picture. You are just engaging in sophisms!!!
Now, this is actually how some debates with Vattle Birthers go. Without putting someone on a lie detector they can argue the equivalent of stuff as stupid as kids named Spot forever. But, if you pay attention, somewhere along the way, the absurdities start to show up. One Vattle Birther claims the 14th Amendment does not apply to people born in America to two citizens, but the rest of the 14th Amendment does apply.
The same one claims that the Ankeny judges never said Obama was eligible from office, even though the decision says children born in the U.S. are natural born citizens regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Oh, I guess McCain’s parent’s weren’t American. Or maybe Obama wasn’t 35 years old in 2008. This is the kind of idiocy you have to deal with when you debate the Vattle Birthers.
Note: The Vattle Birthers think I am being mean to them, so I wanted to do a nice thing to show it isn’t too personal. Sooo, here is a list of 21 other things SPOT could stand for. This should help them in their encounters with Dick and Jane!!!
SPOT Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre (French remote sensing satellite)—[Do they stare at goats???]
SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker—[Ankle monitoring systems???]
SPOT Smart Personal Object Technology (Microsoft)—[They’re into sex toys, now???]
SPOT Single Point of Truth—[When you hit 30, and you aren’t married???]
SPOT Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques—[Trying to not sit next to babies and creeps???]
SPOT Satellite Probatoire d’Observation de la Terre—[Damn! Was he right??? Oh no. It’s French.]
SPOT Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (US Department of Defense program for tracking deployed contractors)—[Making sure there is water, for water boards???]
SPOT Special Purpose Operational Training (airlines)—[Teaching Stewardesses how to fend off Pilots???]
SPOT Sequential Proxy Optimization Technique—[Activating a clone???]
SPOT Signaling Point of Termination —[This sounds ominous. Scheduling a hit man???]
SPOT Secondary-Location Point of Termination- – -[This still sounds ominous. Did the hit man miss the first time???]
SPOT Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Ortopedia y Traumatología—[Too much Living La Vida Loca???]
SPOT Searching Peak of Tension (polygraph testing)—[Run! Vattle Birthers! Run! Run! Run!]
SPOT Stupid Previous Owner Trick (automotive)—[Why can’t you add oil to the radiator overflow thingy???]
SPOT Sensor Placement Orientation Tool—[For when it’s dark, and you don’t have both hands???]
SPOT Simply Protecting Our Tots—[Begin by NOT naming them Spot!]
SPOT Space Station Proximity Operations Trainer—[Maybe they are over Terra after all???]
SPOT Speed Position and Track—[Something to do with intravenous meth use???]
SPOT Sprint Procurement Online Tool—[Finding hookers fast on the Internet???]
SPOT Strategic Programs of Technology (Sprint)—[How to hide fees, really well???]
SPOT Swiss Professional Officer Training Course —[Swiss??? Does this have anything to do with Vattel???]