Pray hard that your children are never taught by Steven Harlan-Marks of Robbinsdale. All one need do is read his letter to the Star and Sickle to realize he is a raging moron:
I'll bet my ninth-grade English students will recognize this error in logic. Katherine Kersten says now that government has banned smoking, they'll ban eating steak or fast food ("Anti-smoking crusade hits chord in an age of choice," May 17).
Here’s the reference Kersten made to steak and fast food:
If government can prohibit smoking in all restaurants - and provide no smokers-only alternatives - why can't it ban fast food or big juicy steaks?
Stephen is concerned about Kersten’s logic, but I’m more concerned that this ninth grade English teacher is either a liar, or a myopic ideologue who can’t tell the difference between a question and an assertion. Perhaps Stephen received his diploma from one of those unaccredited online universities. No books, no tests, no classes.
Apparently, she has overlooked the fact that some at-risk behaviors affect others as well as those who practice them, while other behaviors do not.
Well, Mr. Logic, Trans fat affects no one other than the individual consuming it. Yet NYC still saw fit to ban it. So, how big a leap is it to assert that fast food and steak are next on the banning list of the Social Fascists?
I'd like to thank the Star Tribune for providing an excellent example of a logical fallacy; they're actually pretty tough for teachers to invent. The kids are preparing for next year's MCA II Reading Test and, Katherine, you're now part of the curriculum.
STEPHEN HARLAN-MARKS, ROBBINSDALE
When this “educator” uses Kersten’s column as an example of “logical fallacy”, he might want to add this one to the mix:
If Stephen Harlan-Marks is your English teacher, you will learn something.