| We control what |
you think with
“”Common sense is not so common.
|—Voltaire, A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary|
The phrase "stopped clock" (also "broken clock" or "sudden outbreak of common sense") comes from the proverb "even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day", thus implying that even cranks, denialists, or conspiracy theorists can theoretically be correct once in a while, generally by chance alone, and may indicate that a tiny pocket of healthy rebel braincells have yet to succumb to the dementia that has clearly overtaken their siblings. Recovery, however, is not to be expected, particularly since we're in fact the ones who are crazy.
While some stopped clock moments take the form of a crank simply (to all our suprise) endorsing something normal and mainstream, e.g. anti-littering laws, many other stopped clock moments actually take the form of a crank - for once - lending his or her misdirected effort to the rational side by calling out another crank on their obviously cranky ideas - essentially amounting to the pot calling the kettle black. This irony is often lost on them, however, as they clearly consider themselves sane. In yet other cases, it is simply the case of the crank having consistently blamed their bête noire for everything until something stuck. However, since we're not really into ad hominem (just snark), we gladly give them a point on being correct, no matter how dirty their laundry. Even Hitler gets points from us (see list below).
This analogy is one counterpoint to the fallacy fallacy, which is the mistake of assuming that any conclusion derived from fallacious reasoning must be false. To extend the analogy a bit further, a clock stopped at 3:48 will always conclude that the current time is 3:48. Thanks to its faulty premises, though, this conclusion happens to be correct only for a total of two minutes out of any given day, or roughly 0.14% of the time.
 What kind of clock?
This analogous term refers to an analogue clock, with the standard twelve-hour dial face and its own minutehand (unlike a sundial, onto which a minutehand is projected by the sun in the form of a shadow).
"Flip digital" clocks, where the numbers are affixed to small plastic cards that "flip" into position when driven by an electrical clock mechanism, can also be considered to display the correct time twice a day. Regardless of if this type of clock is set to 24-hour time or 12-hour time, it would still be right once a day - and thus works universally for the purposes of this analogy.
Clocks with LED or LCD displays that are stopped normally go blank (or start to show 88:88), which makes them useless for this particular analogy, just like sundials or hourglasses are. Regardless, certain masters of the universe point out regularly that none of these supposed clocks could hold a candle to the brilliance of the Time Cube, anyways.
 Some examples
- Adolf Hitler's promotion of anti-smoking research and strong support for animal rights.
- Alex Jones has criticised David Icke's belief that the world is run by blood-drinking shapeshifting alien lizards numerous times, despite being more than willing to believe all sorts of other conspiratorial bunkum.[citation NOT needed] Jones has referred to Icke's theory as "the turd in the punch bowl" - implying that Icke makes plenty of good points and then ruins it all with the crap about space lizards.
- Al Qaeda, while themselves insanely radical, see Daesh as too extreme even for their tastes, on top of not really wanting to share the salafist sandbox with anyone else, anyway.
- Answers in Genesis, while being vehemently anti-evolution, has articles denouncing some scientific myths, such as the moon landing conspiracy theory, and insists that "Christians should be careful to investigate every claim before jumping to conclusions".
- The anti-vaccination movement, after over a decade of attributing everything even remotely negative to vaccines, ended up being right about atleast one of their (literally thousands of) wild claims - vaccines causing narcolepsy in Scandinavia and the Netherlands (the antigens associated with virus in question, H1N1, appear to cause the narcolepsy), mumps in Suriname (due to improper attenuation), and polio outbreaks in Nigeria (because certain vaccines covered different strains than others). Though, mind you, this was still not because of a secret NWO plot to depopulate the earth via malicious vaccination programs, so this particular turn of events does nothing to support the idea that the anti-vaccination movement at large isn't made up entirely of dangerous ignorance.
- The Amazing Atheist's videos denouncing misogynists such as Todd Akin, Jefferson Bethke, and video denouncing Paul Broun for his views on evolution.
- Bismarck's early version of Universal Health Care for Germans - though his publicly stated reason for doing so was keeping people from voting socialist.
- In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI approved the use of condoms in some circumstances.
- Barry Goldwater, the anti-government ideologue and godfather of the modern conservative movement, loathed the Religious Right, supported LGBT rights towards the end of his life, was pro-choice, and firmly opposed the very concept of money in politics. Later in his life, he was so ashamed of his party and conservative movement that he practically decoupled himself from the Republican Party.
- Benito Mussolini's opposition to racism and antisemitism for the first decade of his rule.
- Bill O'Reilly giving a huge smackdown to Moon landing hoax proponents and pushers of 9-11 conspiracy theories.
- China's ambitious plans for renewable energy and high speed rail networks. Granted, short of completely dismantling the fossil fuel industry, nothing they ever do will be adequate enough in reducing greenhouse emissions worldwide.
- The Communist Party USA was an early advocate for civil rights for blacks.
- The Confederacy's support for several Native American groups., though this was mostly to get support against the Union from said natives.
- Conservapedia's article on the Westboro Baptist Church is highly critical of said Church, arguing that "true Christians" follow God's example and "love the sinner."
- The Conservative Party of Canada's generally principled stand on apartheid.
- The Constitution Party opposing the War on Drugs and the Iraq War.
- Christian conservatives tend to set up charities, although they often make a point to not donate to LGBT people.
- The Comics Code Authority, in between its ridiculous rules that censored comic books into self-parody in the '50s and '60s, also forbade running ads for quack medicine and similar items. Their rules that female characters must be drawn realistically (without "exaggerated features") may or may not count as a stopped clock moment, depending entirely on what one personally feels about how women are drawn in modern comics.
- Speaking of the Comics Code Authority, Fredric Wertham investigated the effects of school racial segregation on children. This research was used on Brown v. Board of Education, where he testified on behalf of the NAACP. He also opened his own practice on the New York neighbourhood of Harlem, providing mental health care for underprivileged African-Americans.
- Prominent members of the conspiracy community, from Alex Jones and Mark Dice on the right to Peter Joseph and David Icke on the left, have been among the loudest voices in support of civil liberties and denouncing US foreign policy overreach.
- In 2013 the Church of England allowed gay men in civil partnerships to become bishops.
- Dick Cheney's support for same-sex marriage, if only because his daughter is a lesbian.
- David Duke's support for Occupy Wall Street, albeit he predictably blamed it on the Jews.
- David Icke has been highly critical of the Religious Right in general, especially the Tea Party.
- David Cameron for passing same sex marriage for 97% of British citizens, as the Unionists keep blocking it in Northern Ireland.
- The Directorate's abolition of slavery during the Reign of Terror phase of the French Revolution.
- Donald Trump commmunicating a desire to get Karl Rove off of Fox (though the jury is still out on whether he's just mad that Rove endorsed Jeb Bush).
- Franco did not enter World War II on the Axis side. Though he had volunteer regiments fight the Russians, Franco had just won his own war and had little military capacity to aid Hitler with. The bastard also gets partial credit for still being dead.
- Fidel Castro's opposition to apartheid, support for universal health care, and the fact that his rabid anti-Americanism has softened somewhat as his age has advanced.
- Fox News has denounced the Daily Caller for its racism, and will actually offer apologies - on occasion - after fucking up. Much thanks to Shepard Smith, Fox's "voice of reason" straight-man, who is usually the guy who keeps it relatively real and denounces Fox's most ludicrous elements.
- Gary North mocking the concept of "Cultural Marxism" as being a boogeyman among the political right, while even making a good case that it's not actually Marxist.
- Glenn Beck now agreeing with liberals about Iraq, and defending a boy who got bullied for being a brony.
- George W. Bush supported immigration reform and gave funding to AIDS research in Haiti.
- What was the issue that finally caused Geert Wilders to break away from the right-wing coalition that was in power in the Netherlands? He and his party refused to support austerity measures being put into place by the (usually) more reasonable moderate right party. Wilders also generally supports LGBT rights.
- Grigori Rasputin's magical cure for hemophilia? He instructed the emperor and empress to discontinue all medical treatment being received by the Tsarevich. This included aspirin, a drug which definitely does not help hemophilia (it can cause minor stomach bleeding, and in cases of hemophilia, there's no such thing as "minor bleeding"). It's unlikely that Rasputin knew that asprin was worsening the condition, yet his advice probably prolonged Alexei's life. Didn't do him much good in the long run, as hemophilia isn't really a factor when it's communists who cause the bleeding in question.
- Hamas's support of a unity government with their main Palestinian political opposition, Fatah, and funding of social programs and public works within Gaza.
- Hezbollah has organized a range of social service programmes including hospitals, news services, and educational institutions which cost hundreds of millions of dollars per year. It also runs a so-called "Martyr's Institute" which provides basic living expenses to the families of fallen fighters.
- Hugo Black's support of a 30 hour work week.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the few nations that covers transgender reassignment surgery in their national healthcare plan (though whether this is for homophobic or genuinely humanistic reasons is very much up for debate).
- Jonah Goldberg was one of the first to call bullshit on the gross lack of journalistic integrity that went into producing A Rape on Campus. He has also taken a hard stand against Donald Trump supporters within the Republican party.
- Hard-right blogger John Hawkins exposing several right-wing mail order scams.
- John Howard forcing through strong gun control in the face of his own wingnut base.
- Imperial Japan's harboring of Jewish Holocaust refugees during World War II.
- Jim Jones's outspoken support for racial equality, pacifism, and a comprehensive social safety net.
- Joseph Stalin's staunch opposition to colonialism and his support for feminism, primarily by letting Russian women serve in the army (though the latter was, admittedly, little more than war pragmatism as he put all of Eastern Europe under the Red Army's iron heel).
- John Stossel debunking both New Age nuttery and "supernatural" claims.
- In 1952, the Jehovah's Witnesses stopped teaching that vaccines are immoral.
- Ayatollah Khomeini for his fatwas which legalized transgender reassignment surgery  as well as on chemical and nuclear weapons 
- King George III for allowing Parliament to ban the slave trade, albeit he had little power (and had gone mad) by the time it happened.
- The Kardashians for promoting Transgender rights.
- Wingnut pundit Laura Ingraham denouncing Louis Farrakhan's extreme homophobia. And please note that Ingraham isn't exactly the image of humanity when it comes to homosexuals.
- Malcolm X was rather virulently in support of "eye for an eye", providing a perfect foil for MLK's pacifism. While he was quite inflammatory for much of his public life, after visiting Mecca he rightly renounced the crackpot Nation of Islam in favor of mainstream Sunni Islam and seemed to move more towards civil disobedience later in life.
- Mao, for some relatively feminist views (even if he didn't live up to them whatsoever in his personal life) and for
unifyingoccupying China, forming it into a cohesive entity for the first time in decades.
- Michael Medved vocally denouncing both Birtherism and the GOP for the fiscal cliff crisis.
- Mississippi has a high vaccination rate, and produces many of America's best known singers and musicians.
- MRAs often support free internet access and oppose censorship, albeit their overall motives are generally poor.
- Megyn Kelly has been critical of anti-vaxxers and the sexism of her Fox News' colleagues Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.
- Mitt Romney, for passing Romneycare and allowing gay marriage as governor. He was also, originally, pro-choice.
- Muammar Gaddafi was a vocal opponent of apartheid in South Africa, he pursued a (very) relative redistribution of his wealth while supporting universal healthcare and education in Libya.
- Margaret Thatcher voting to decriminalize homosexuality and acknowledging the threat of climate change in 1990, making her the first leader of a major country to do so.
- Marsha West is best-known as the Jesus freak RenewAmerica columnist who denounced yoga as "mystical" and "evil." However, West has also been quite vocal in her criticism of Christian Dominionism, seeing it as too extreme even for her.
- The Mormons ended a racist ban on black priests in 1978.
- Napoleon Bonaparte's emancipation of French Jews, the promotion of the metric system and legally introducing surnames in most of Europe.
- The Northern Irish Unionists accepted most British reforms passed by Attlee.
- North Korea legalizing marijuana for recreational use (being one of the few places in the world to do so) and its unlikely alliance with the US against Somali Pirates.
- Newt Gingrich strongly condemning American conservatives for failing to support Nelson Mandela during apartheid.
- NRA's opposition to open carry and training people to actually hunt.
- Lady Nancy Astor was a British politician so far to the right she openly embraced every anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic conspiracy theory under the sun and she was sympathetic to fascism, but she was amazingly ahead of her time on women's rights and homosexuality (if only because her favorite son turned out to be gay).
- Oliver Cromwell, for letting Jews into England again.
- Orson Scott Card's antipathy against the Vietnam War.
- The Orange Order, for being open to people of other races.
- Omar Torrijos, dictator of Panama from 1968-1981, for signing the Panama Canal Treaty with Carter.
- The porn industry generally backs LGBT rights and on occasion, individual performers will write about safe sex.
- PETA supports LGBT rights and saved a gay man in India from an arranged marriage 
- Putin's policies on economic growth in Russia early in his reign, especially after the collapse of the Russian economy during the 1990's. He has also not appeared to be especially anti-Semitic and has also warned the U.S. on intervening in the Middle East.
- Pat Robertson has been very critical of Ken Ham and Young Earth Creationism in general, and believes marijuana should be legal.
- Petr Beckmann was a believer in crank ideas about physics and engineering. However, despite this, he held no tolerance for those who tried to square the circle, and wrote a whole book about the foolishness of the idea.
- Rachel Dolezal, despite her obviously false claims of being black, has actually fought on the right side of legitimate issues. She is also pro LGBT and identifies as bisexual.
- Richard Nixon ending the Bretton Woods system, passing the EPA act, passing OSHA, removing lead from gas stations (and decreasing violent crimes as a result), and re-establishing relations with mainland China (but lead the way to the de-recognition of Taiwan).
- The reason Ron Paul initially attracts so many young people is because he wants to decriminalize drugs and has been consistent in criticizing gunboat diplomacy.
- Republicans have voted very often against war when a Democrat is in office, although this may also be an instance of garbage in garbage out, given that it's ultimately derived from political point-scoring.
- Ronald Reagan was for gun control as Governor of California (albeit, in gun control, only to deal with the militant wing of the Black Panthers). He also established the California Air Resources Board[wp] as governor, passed health care reform which helped the poor and impoverished with federal aid money and health benefits, formally apologized for the internment camps in World War II, raised taxes eleven times after initially cutting taxes, and improved immigration laws as President. Reagan also signed Martin Luther King Day (or "Hate Whitey Day", according to Ron Paul, who voted against the holiday) into law in 1983, and it was observed three years later.
- Rafael Trujillo let Jewish refugees into the Dominican Republic during the 1930's.
- Despite not being able to name three government agencies, having a tendency to use Schlafly statistics and earnestly comparing being gay to alcoholism, even Rick Perry believes weed should be decriminalized. He also had a moderate stance on immigration early on and briefly defended HPV vaccines.
- Santa Anna opposed slavery; which is especially notable when it takes into effect that Texas seceded fought to defend slavery, twice. This is because Texas later joined the Confederate States of America.
- Scott Walker signed into law a ban on "revenge porn." 
- South Africa's plan under apartheid to save rhinos and - at least officially - banning the use of the word "kaffir[wp]", which was and is the South African equivalent of the American English word "nigger".
- The Southern Baptist Convention for allowing pastors to be married, and for apologizing for slavery and segregation.
- The Soviet Union fiercely opposed apartheid from the 1960s onward, had universal health care (resulting in a higher life expectancy than the United States), had a cheap and efficient space program, and produced many excellent anthropologists and historians.
- Sean Hannity calling the Westboro Baptist Church "religious nut(s)" and encouraging the Catholic Church to tone down their opposition to birth control.
- The Taliban criminalizing the practice of having male child sex slaves in Afghanistan, albeit really due to homophobic reasons rather than humanitarian ones. Like Al Qaeda, they see Daesh as an enemy. 
- Tony Abbott introducing a cap on healthcare costs as Health Minister and opposing Howard's anti-worker rights Work Choices bill; both before he became Prime Minister. He also has taken a stand against anti-Vaxxers.
- The Vatican's general support for Harry Potter and yoga.
- Thunderf00t's early videos on creationism, which are generally well-crafted and accessible takedowns of right-wing woo tactics.
- The Tokugawa Shogunate for allowing trade with the Dutch and for presiding over many of Japan's greatest literary works.
- Turkey's decriminalization of homosexuality and recognition of Israel.
- Vladimir Lenin's plan to move Russia's calendar in line with the rest of the world and legalizing homosexuality (re-criminalized under Stalin).
- The Westboro Baptist Church has criticized the Ku Klux Klan for their racism, pointing out The Bible doesn't say it's a sin to be born a certain race. For their part, the KKK has denounced the WBC for being "hatemongers. They also opposed Kim Davis, albeit for her divorces rather than humanitarian concern.
- William Howard Taft's support for three month paid vacation.
 See also
- ↑ Slashdot stories tagged with "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense"
- ↑ Look outside, dummy.
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tobacco_movement_in_Nazi_Germany#Hitler.27s_attitude_towards_smoking
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_welfare_in_Nazi_Germany
- ↑ "Did we Really Land on the Moon?", Answers in Genesis
- ↑ "Far Out Claims About Astronomy", Answers in Genesis
- ↑ http://www.lareb.nl/getdoc/680cdba8-809b-497a-a11e-05d9b8e2ead5/KWB_2014_1_pande
- ↑ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0114361
- ↑ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094818/
- ↑ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21402542
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwN8oLsEZKg
- ↑ Politics Daily - Pope OKs Condoms in Some Cases, Such as Prostitutes Avoiding HIV
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini#Mussolini_and_the_Holocaust
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://www.conservapedia.com/Westboro_Baptist_Church
- ↑ BBC News - Church of England drops gay bishop opposition
- ↑ https://www.yahoo.com/tv/s/donald-trump-tells-fox-news-stop-booking-clown-200333559.html
- ↑ Focus: Aspirin - The secret history of a wonder drug, The Independent
- ↑ Palestinian unity government of 2014[wp]
- ↑ 
- ↑ The many hands and faces of Hezbollah
- ↑ 'The Best Guerrilla Force in the World'
- ↑ http://www.alternet.org/labor/when-america-came-close-establishing-30-hour-workweek
- ↑ Iran Sex-Change Operations Provided at Nearly Free Cost, "Huffington Post"
- ↑ http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393824/story-too-useful-verify-jonah-goldberg
- ↑ http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423607/donald-trump-conservative-movement-jonah-goldberg
- ↑ No really
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_settlement_in_the_Japanese_Empire
- ↑ religioustolerance.org - Jehovah's Witnesses' past opposition to vaccination
- ↑ "A fatwa for transsexuals"
- ↑ "An Iran option the US prefers to ignore"
- ↑ http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/06/caitlyn-jenner-bruce-cover-annie-leibovitz
- ↑ "Mandela and Gaddafi: The Myth of the Saint and the Mad Dog"
- ↑ CNN: "Facts about Libya under Gaddafi that you probably did not know about!"
- ↑ "Dominionists are on the Move, and They Mean Business"
- ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/mormon-church-black-racism-_n_4418703.html
- ↑ Gingrich vs. the Right on Apartheid: 'What Would You Have Done?', The Atlantic
- ↑ 
- ↑ Pat Robertson begs Ken Ham to shut up Salon
- ↑ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/rachel-dolezal-boycotted-exodus-gods-and-kings-because-it-cast-white-actors-as-africans-10325373.html.
- ↑ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/rachel-dolezal-boycotted-exodus-gods-and-kings-because-it-cast-white-actors-as-africans-10325373.html.
- ↑ 
- ↑ (see Civil Liberties Act of 1988[wp])
- ↑ 
- ↑ (see Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986[wp])
- ↑ http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtid=3&psid=3657
- ↑ http://www.dailydot.com/politics/wisconsin-revenge-porn-law-scott-walker/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UMP3AK5jwo
- ↑ http://www.unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/29091-the-dancing-boys-of-afghanistan
- ↑ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-12/afghan-taliban-denounce-is-execution-video/6692862
- ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kim-davis-westboro-baptist-church_55eef2c2e4b002d5c0769a82
- ↑ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34123906