3P-067 Rhetorical Devisives or Two Half-Truths Don’t Make a Whole

In Rhetorical Devisives we demonstrate the importance of the Trivium education from ancient Greece: grammar, logic, and rhetoric, to learn how to think rather than what to think. Julian Assange is given as an example of someone who uses classical techniques to identify and rebut Ad Hominem and Lunatic Fringe attacks. We define blood libel from James Carroll’s book on anti-Semiticism in the Church, Constantine’s Sword, which shows how Sarah Palin twisted it into an opposite meaning.

We play an excerpt of Peace Revolution’s first podcast from the Trivium Education website. “Liberal” anti-conspiracist Chip Berlet is identified as a master of the fallacious argument. We show how he used Red Herring and Straw Man techniques to discredit investigations into the Federal Reserve, linking the videos “Zeitgeist” and “Loose Change” to the Tucson shooter.  We reference “Conversational Terrorism” on Sleight of Mind techniques that he uses in a 2002 Democracy Now debate with David Ray Griffin, like Weasel Wording, Moving the Goalpost, Heat-Seeking Question, and the Statistical Non Sequiter. We ask whether he’s single-handedly diverted the liberal press from the two most important questions to US citizens: whether our money supply is loaned to us at interest by private bankers, making them the real government, and whether that government killed 3000 of our citizens to instigate a war.


  • “Let My Country Awake” by Rabindranath Tagore
  • “Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo
  • “To the New Year” by W.S. Merwin

Songs and/or Music Videos:

  • Cinematic Orchestra with “Child’s Song” from the Ma Fleur CD
  • Willie Nelson with “Peace Revolution”
  • Laura Gibson with “Where Have All Your Good Words Gone”

Informational Video:

  • Pop-up Fallacies analyzing Greenpeace ad that blames global warming on parents, not corporations.

Thank you to Patrice Caux for the referrals to sources in this episode. Also please view and comment on my first published article at Foreign Policy in Focus! “Peru Trade Deal Unravels

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