Category Archive: Politics

/ / /

Watch a Compilation of Fallacies From the 10/13 Democratic Debate

Check out Democratic Presidential candidates’ most memorable fallacious statements from October 13th’s Democratic Debate on CNN. Just so you know — These videos a part of our continuous series where we will analyze fallacies in both Republican and Democratic debates. For a detailed explanation about our methodologies, thought process, and fallacy definitions check out our

BPPfeatured_infographic
/ / /

Fallacy Watch: Democratic Debate 10/13

As you probably know, since we prepare people to take the LSAT, identifying invalid arguments is something of a professional occupation for us. When particularly egregious arguments seep into our social discourse unimpeded, we at Blueprint believe it’s our duty to point our their illogic. It’s kind of like our version of picking up trash on the street when we see it drifting by.

BPPyuko-lsat-blog-election-flaws
/ /

Logical Fallacies to Look Out For This Election Season

We’re already being forced to deal with election season nonsense. Instead of catching up on the latest Donald Trump fluff in the news, we’re going to look at some common logical fallacies used and abused by politicians.

Causal Flaws

Causal flaws abound in political reasoning. For example, a state will pass some expensive piece of tough-on-crime legislation, and then point to the fact that crime rates went down in the following years as justification.

However, just because Thing One happened before Thing Two, it doesn’t mean that Thing One caused Thing Two. Thing Two might have happened anyway. Crime rates may be plummeting in many similar states that have no analogous tough-on-crime legislation. That’s an instance of the effect without the purported cause.

BPPyuko-lsat-blog-which-us-presidents-would-earn-174-lsat-score
/ / / / / / /

Which U.S. Presidents Would’ve Earned a 174+ LSAT Score?

I have a carny’s talent: I can predict a person’s LSAT score after the briefest of encounters. I once saw the Baldwin brothers at an In-N-Out Burger. Alec Baldwin is a 170, and Stephen is a 126.

So, in honor of Presidents’ Day—that great American holiday designed to keep us from taking a day off for each of our great presidents—I bring you my rundown of the top presidential LSAT scores.

The Presidential 174+ LSAT Score Club

A 174 LSAT score puts you above the median at every law school. It’s the stuff of dreams, and nightmares. Here are the presidents who would have made it into this exclusive club:

BPPyuko-lsat-blog-piece-together-sotu-lsat-logic-game
/ /

See If You Can Piece Together This SOTU LSAT Logic Game

Today is National Puzzle Day! So the LSAT blog is giving you the chance to celebrate in the true spirit of this nerdy day. That’s right: we’ve got an original LSAT Logic Game for you to piece together.

If you’re nursing a hangover from last night’s State of the Union drinking game (I did a shot every time Obama said “wage”), give yourself three bonus points. Here we go:

Nine bills, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I, were negotiated during a secret meeting of congressional leaders. The following details about the negotiations have been leaked:

BPPaaron-lsat-blog-government-shutdown-lsat-flaws
/ / /

Looking Back at the Government Shutdown’s LSAT Flaws

Last week, the United States House and Senate finally managed to get past their differences and reopen the federal government just before things would have become a bit hairy with the debt limit. All told, the shutdown went on for 17 days, and involved lots of frustration, brinksmanship, and flawed logic. Since this is an LSAT blog, the last part is what we’ll focus on here.

Government Shutdown Flaw I:

“Since the government was shut down, and running the government costs money, we must have at least saved money in this whole affair.”

This is what I think calling the shutdown a “slimdown” is intended to imply.

BPPaaron-lsat-blog-lsat-propositions-ballot
/ / /

LSAT Propositions We Wish Were on This Year’s Ballot

It’s Election Day! As you read this, voters across the United States are casting their ballots for president, their congressional representatives, and various local races. Here in California, we also have various ballot propositions covering topics ranging from GMO foods to taxes to the death penalty. Voters in Washington and Colorado will decide whether to legalize marijuana; Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota will vote on gay marriage.

As an LSAT test taker, wouldn’t it be nice if you could vote on policies related to the LSAT? With that in mind I propose the following LSAT propositions:

LSAT Proposition 23: The Bubbling Grace Period Act

Proposition 23 will affect the proctoring procedure at the end of each LSAT section.

BPPaaron-lsat-blog-lsat-prep-like-presidential-debate-prep
/ / / /

How LSAT Prep is a Lot Like Presidential Debate Prep

Tonight, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will square off in their third and final presidential debate. Each has spent time secreted in some remote location for arduous and intense debate preparation. The LSAT requires serious prep too, but the similarities don’t stop there.

With both presidential debates and LSAT administrations, you know what’s coming (more or less). Presidential candidates know what topics are likely to come up in the debates, whether in the questions or in their opponent’s responses: taxes, spending, health care, recent events in Libya, comments about the 47%, etc. Likewise, on the LSAT you know there’s going to be an ordering game. It’s very likely that you’ll have to apply your conditional logic skills to a sufficient assumption logical reasoning question. You’re near certain that at least one LSAT reading comp question will ask, “Which of the following can most reasonably be inferred from the passage?”

BPPben-lsat-blog-lsat-logical-fallacies-vp-debate
/ / /

LSAT Logical Fallacies From Last Night’s VP Debate

The current presidential campaign has been rife with material for fact-checkers, comedians, and informal logicians, and last night’s vice presidential debate was no exception. Congressman Paul Ryan prepared for the debate by getting jacked, while Vice President Joe Biden underwent emergency surgery to make his smile even bigger. While pundits on the left argue that Biden clearly won on the issues, the right claims that his demeanor was rude and condescending, which voters will hold against him and President Obama.

Rather than focus on who actually won the debate (who cares?!) we should instead be discussing all of the awesome and ridiculous statements made by each candidate. While the debate was full of non-logical fallacies, such as extreme hyperbole (Congressman Ryan claiming that we are “watching on our TV screens…the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy”) and just plain falsehood (VP Biden stating that the intelligence community “had no knowledge” that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi had not requested additional security), there were also plenty of logical fallacies.

BPPben-lsat-blog-republican-national-convention-like-lsat-prep
/ / / / /

5 Ways the Republican National Convention is Like LSAT Prep

The 2012 Republican National Convention got off to a rip-roarin’ start last night in Tampa. There are still a couple days left, of course, but for LSAT prep students there’s already plenty to take away.

Here are five ways the Republican National Convention is like LSAT prep:

How the RNC is like LSAT Prep #1: Sometimes it seems awfully confusing.

Is Mitt Romney pro-choice, or anti-choice? Does he actually like lakes as much as he says he does? Who made the decision to play “My Girl” by The Temptations when Mr. Romney appeared on stage last night? Questions such as these boggle the mind.