Stopped clock

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Not to be confused with an Inverse stopped clock moment.
Common sense is not so common.
Voltaire, A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary

The phrase "stopped clock" (also "broken clock" or "sudden outbreak of common sense"[1]) 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.


[edit] 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).[2]

"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.

[edit] Some examples

Warning icon orange.svg This page contains too many unsourced statements, and needs to be improved.

Stopped clock could use some help. Please research the article's assertions. Whatever is credible should be sourced, and what is not should be removed.

[edit] A

  • Adolf Hitler's promotion of anti-smoking research and strong support for animal rights, though the latter was mostly a vehicle for his virulent anti-Semitism.[3][4]
  • Alex Jones has criticised David Icke's belief that the world is run by blood-drinking shapeshifting alien lizards numerous times,[citation needed] 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"[citation needed] - implying that Icke makes plenty of good points and then ruins it all with the crap about space lizards. More credit where it's due: He has also denounced the pseudolegal woo of the Freeman on the land/Sovereign citizen crowd.
  • Al Qaeda, while themselves insanely radical, see Daesh as unnecessarily brutal even for their tastes,[5] 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".[6][7] AiG also supports protecting the environment (although they are very careful to stress that macroevolution has no part in it).[8]
  • The anti-vaccination movement, after over a decade of attributing everything even remotely negative to vaccines, ended up being right about at least one of their (literally thousands of) wild claims - vaccines causing narcolepsy in Scandinavia and the Netherlands[9] (the antigens associated with virus in question, H1N1, appear to cause the narcolepsy),[10] mumps in Suriname (due to improper attenuation),[11] and polio outbreaks in Nigeria (because certain vaccines covered different strains than others).[12] 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.
  • Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissents in both Lawrence v. Texas (striking down anti-sodomy laws) and United States v. Windsor (overturning the Defense of Marriage Act), that the Court's rulings would inevitably lead to gay marriage. Although the majority disagreed with him both times, he was later proven right (from a legal perspective, though perhaps not a moral one) when the Court cited both cases in Obergefell v. Hodges and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
  • The Amazing Atheist's videos denouncing misogynists such as Todd Akin, Jefferson Bethke, and video denouncing Paul Broun for his views on evolution.[13]

[edit] B

  • Bismarck's[wp] 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.[14]
  • Bashar al-Assad for a higher degree of women's rights in Syria compared to other middle eastern nations[15], as well as recognizing the Armenian Genocide[16] (Although the latter was probably mostly to get back at Turkey for supporting the rebels)
  • 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,[citation needed] 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.
  • Ben Carson opposing anti-vaxxers during the 2016 Republican Presidential debates, insisting that vaccines are necessary and save lives.
  • Ben Shapiro quitting his position as editor-at-large for when the site failed to defend their own reporter, Michelle Fields, after she was assaulted by Donald Trump's campaign manager. He called "Trump's Pravda".[17]
  • Ben Stein's pronouncement that Donald Trump is hideously misinformed when it comes to economic policy, his criticism of cutting taxes as a means of lowering the national debt, among other things.[18]
  • Benito Mussolini's opposition to racism and anti-Semitism for the first decade of his rule.[19]
  • Bill O'Reilly giving a huge smackdown to Moon landing hoax proponents and pushers of 9-11 conspiracy theories.[citation needed] Billo the Clown is also against the death penalty, for gay civil unions and adoption and acknowledges climate change as real.[20]
  • The British Fascisti, the first British fascist organisation, was quite strongly feminist: it had many women in positions of authority and supported universal suffrage for both sexes.[21]

[edit] C

[edit] D

[edit] F

  • Fidel Castro's opposition to apartheid in which he aided Angola when they were being invaded by South Africa[35], not to mention the fact that Cuba's universal healthcare plan has been lauded by the UN's World Health Organization (WHO)[36]
  • Fox News has denounced the Daily Caller for its racism,[citation needed] 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.
  • Franco did not enter World War II on the Axis side. Though he had volunteer regiments fight the Russians,[wp] 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.
  • Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist Church infamy, was actually an ally and supporter (through pro bono legal assistance) of the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Needless to say, he subsequently became nuttier than a PayDay bar.[37]

[edit] G

  • 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. He has also consistently opposed Trump's campaign for the White House (if for typically Beck-esque reasons).
  • George W. Bush supported immigration reform and gave funding to AIDS research in Haiti and Africa.
  • What was the issue that finally caused Geert Wilders to withdraw his support for 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.[citation needed] 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.[38] 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.
  • George Wallace apologized later in life for his racial views and backed the New Deal. [39]

[edit] H

  • Nikki Haley for ordering the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina state house grounds.[40]
  • Hamas's support of a unity government with their main Palestinian political opposition, Fatah,[41] and funding of social programs and public works within Gaza.[42]
  • 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.[43] It also runs a so-called "Martyr's Institute" which provides basic living expenses to the families of fallen fighters.[44]
  • Hugo Black's support of a 30 hour work week.[45]

[edit] I

  • The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the few nations to cover transgender reassignment surgery in their national healthcare plan (though it is also implemented for homophobic reasons so as to "give" homosexuals the "choice" of castration or imprisonment / death).[46] Also gets credit for having a relatively complex science infrastructure despite sanctions,[47] and the government does seem to be compliant with the terms of the IAEA despite what most media pundits will tell you...[48]
  • ISIS / Daesh for.... sorry, we got nothing.[49]
  • The reason Indira Gandhi is still revered by some Indians and many Bengalis is due to the successful liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan, in which the latter was committing genocide against Bengalis.[50]

[edit] J

  • 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.[51] He has also taken a hard stand against Donald Trump supporters within the Republican party.[52]
  • Hard-right blogger John Hawkins exposing several right-wing mail order scams.[53]
  • 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.[54]
  • Jim Jones's outspoken support for civil and human rights, pacifism, and efforts to relieve poverty.
  • Joseph Stalin's staunch opposition to colonialism[citation needed] and his support for feminism,[citation needed] 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.[55] They have also been at the forefront of legal battles for free speech, freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state.[56] More than half of German Jehovah's Witnesses were imprisoned and thousands died because they refused to declare allegiance to the Nazi Party.[57]

[edit] K

[edit] L

  • Wingnut pundit Laura Ingraham denouncing Louis Farrakhan's extreme homophobia. Note that Ingraham isn't exactly the image of humanity when it comes to homosexuals, and she seems to only be keen on denouncing black Muslim (albeit a particularly crazy form of Yakub Islam in this case) homophobes. Those same denunciations don't appear to extend to good, white Christian homophobes like Tony Perkins or Mike Huckabee. She also seemed to tone down her homophobia and anti-gay rhetoric after her brother (who is gay) contracted the AIDS virus...
  • Larry Craig supporting immigration reform. [63]

[edit] M

  • 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 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[citation needed] (even if he didn't live up to them whatsoever in his personal life) and for unifying occupying China, forming it into a cohesive entity for the first time in decades.
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to his credit, did create growth for Iran's economy and shrunk the unemployment rate. [64] He also attempted to make housing in Iran more affordable[65]
  • John McCain gets some kudos for defending Barack Obama from the baseless allegations of the birther movement.[66] He also appears to be against the tea party[67]
  • 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,[citation needed] albeit their overall motives are generally poor.
  • Megyn Kelly has been critical of anti-vaxxers[citation needed] and the sexism of her Fox News' colleagues Karl Rove[citation needed] and Dick Cheney.[citation needed]
  • Mitt Romney, for passing Romneycare and allowing gay marriage as governor.[citation needed] He was also, originally, pro-choice.
  • Muammar Gaddafi was a vocal opponent of apartheid in South Africa,[68] he pursued a (very) relative redistribution of his wealth while supporting universal healthcare and education in Libya.[69]
  • Margaret Thatcher voting to decriminalize homosexuality (although she did introduce the homophobic Section 28[wp]) 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.[70]
  • The Mormons ended a racist ban on black priests in 1978.[71]

[edit] N

[edit] O

[edit] P

[edit] R

  • Rachel Dolezal, despite her obviously false claims of being black, has actually fought on the right side of legitimate issues.[83] She is also pro LGBT and identifies as bisexual.[84]
  • The Reformed Political Party, generally a fundamentalist Christian group of wingnuts in the Dutch parliament, for absolutely destroying the Party for Freedom's proposal that was supposed to regulate the looks of Zwarte Piet by law.[85]
  • Richard Nixon ending the Bretton Woods system, passing the EPA act, passing OSHA, 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. Ron Paul giving a speech is like a roller coaster of emotion. "The war on drugs is a sham!" Holy shit! This guy gets it! "Dismantle the Department of Education!" YEA—! ...wait, what the fuck?
  • 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. A few Republicans, including Ted Cruz, oppose the idea for the Iraq War in hindsight. [86]
  • 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).[citation needed] 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,[87] formally apologized for the internment camps in World War II,[88] raised taxes eleven times after initially cutting taxes,[89] and improved immigration laws as President.[90] Reagan also signed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day[wp] (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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]

[edit] S

  • Santa Anna (arguably the most incompetent dictator/president/general Mexico ever had) opposed slavery; which is especially notable when it takes into account that Texas seceded and fought to defend slavery, twice. This is because Texas later joined the Confederate States of America.[91]
  • Scott Walker signed into law a ban on "revenge porn." [92]
  • South Africa's plan under apartheid to save rhinos[citation needed] 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".
  • Shakers for being pacifists, letting women preach and for relative racial equality by 19th century standards.[93]
  • Shermon Burgess aka The Great Aussie Patriot, long before his wingnut persona took hold, was active on atheist forums and openly denounced the Bible claiming it was bullshit. He also regarded Christian homophobia as hypocritical and argued that Jesus was most likely gay. He also supports increasing drought assistance to struggling drought-affected farmers - though his opposition to Halal-certification negates this considering farmers and food producers rely on halal certification to be able to sell into Muslim majority markets, such as Indonesia.
  • The Southern Baptist Convention 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,[citation needed] and produced many excellent anthropologists and historians.[citation needed]
  • Sean Hannity calling the Westboro Baptist Church "religious nut(s)".[94] and encouraging the Catholic Church to tone down their opposition to birth control.[95]
  • Saudi Arabia has as of 1976 a decree that enforces that oil by-products have to be made into chemicals. [96] On 12 December 2015 it also organized elections where women could vote (albeit mainly because other people are doing it). [97] In addition to that it also managed to have a 51 on the corruption perceptions index [98], being only outclassed by Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates in the Arab world. To give a good degree of comparison, Italy has a score of 44 and France has a score of 70.

[edit] T

  • The Taliban criminalizing the practice of Baacha Bazi (having male child sex slaves) in Afghanistan,[99] albeit really due to homophobic reasons rather than humanitarian ones. Like Al Qaeda, they see Daesh as an enemy.[100]
  • Ted Cruz, for all his faults, does see the benefits and scientific rigor behind GMO foods, and have called the campaign against them "anti-science zealotry.[101]
  • Tony Abbott introducing a cap on healthcare costs as Health Minister[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]
  • Thunderf00t's early videos on creationism, which are generally well-crafted and accessible takedowns of right-wing woo tactics.
  • The Tokugawa shogunate[wp] for allowing trade with the Dutch and for presiding over many of Japan's greatest literary works.[citation needed]
  • A "traditionalist" group that does not recognize Vatican II excommunicated a British bishop who denied the Holocaust, albeit for reasons of not being subordinate. [102]
  • Turkey's decriminalization of homosexuality[103] and recognition of Israel.[104]

[edit] U

  • United Patriots Front support taxation reform and wealth redistribution and favour taxing big corporations adequately rather than the working class. They also oppose subsidising big energy, mining and banking, and seem to be opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and free trade agreements that don't benefit Australia.[105] They also didn't support Shermon Burgess' (The Great Aussie Patriot) idea to hold a 'memorial' rally commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla Riots.

[edit] V

  • Vladimir Lenin's plan to move Russia's calendar in line with the rest of the world, opposing antisemitism, and legalizing homosexuality (re-criminalized under Stalin).[106]

[edit] W

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Slashdot stories tagged with "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense"
  2. Look outside, dummy.
  5. "David Gregory: Al-Qaida cast off ISIS as 'too extreme' - Mostly True", Politifact
  6. "Did we Really Land on the Moon?", Answers in Genesis
  7. "Far Out Claims About Astronomy", Answers in Genesis
  8. "Evolution might save coral reefs", Answers in Genesis
  14. Politics Daily - Pope OKs Condoms in Some Cases, Such as Prostitutes Avoiding HIV
  15. [1]
  16. [2]
  17. Politico Michelle Fields, Ben Shapiro resign from Breitbart
  18. "Trumponomics -- Is There Such a Thing?", American Spectator
  21. Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain's Fascist Movement, 1923-45, Julie V. Gottlieb
  23. [3]
  28. Full text of the original 1954 Comics Code
  29. Heer, Wert. "The Caped Crusader: Frederic Wertham and the campaign against comic books." Slate, 4 April 2008 (recovered 11 December 2015).
  30. BBC News - Church of England drops gay bishop opposition
  31. Fang, Maria, Dick Cheney: Trump's Anti-Muslim Plan 'Goes Against Everything We Stand For', The Huffington Post, November 7, 2015
  34. Schultheis, Emily, GOP debate: Donald Trump defends Planned Parenthood a second time, CBS News, February 28, 2016
  35. Fidel Castro and Apartheid
  36. Cuba’s Health Care System: a Model for the World
  37. 'Most-hated,' anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights
  38. Focus: Aspirin - The secret history of a wonder drug, The Independent
  41. Palestinian unity government of 2014[wp]
  42. [4]
  43. The many hands and faces of Hezbollah
  44. 'The Best Guerrilla Force in the World'
  46. Iran Sex-Change Operations Provided at Nearly Free Cost, "Huffington Post"
  47. [5]
  48. IAEA and Iran infographic
  49. Well, being Islamists, they're opposed to alcohol and tobacco-smoking, at least implying and acknowledging they're bad for your health, but being terrorists, they're rather extreme about it.
  50. Bangladesh Salutes Indira Gandhi
  53. No really
  55. - Jehovah's Witnesses' past opposition to vaccination
  56. [6]
  57. [7]
  58. "A fatwa for transsexuals"
  59. "An Iran option the US prefers to ignore"
  60. "Did Iran's Supreme Leader Issue a Fatwa Against the Development of Nuclear Weapons?"
  61. "Iran's Khamenei tweets his views on US police brutality"
  64. "Iran's unemployment falls to 10.3 pct -minister"
  65. [8]
  68. "Mandela and Gaddafi: The Myth of the Saint and the Mad Dog"
  69. CNN: "Facts about Libya under Gaddafi that you probably did not know about!"
  70. "Dominionists are on the Move, and They Mean Business"
  72. [9]
  73. ""
  74. Gingrich vs. the Right on Apartheid: 'What Would You Have Done?', The Atlantic
  75. "[10] "
  77. [11]
  78. Readmission of Jews to Britain in 1656, BBC Religions, 2011
  80. [12]
  81. Pat Robertson begs Ken Ham to shut up Salon
  82. Beckmann, P.: Einstein plus two
  85. "Zwarte Piet-wet van PVV weggehoond met grappen op rijm". De Volkskrant. 2 March 2016. 
  86. [13]
  87. [14]
  88. (see Civil Liberties Act of 1988[wp])
  89. [15]
  90. (see Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986[wp])
  94. Radical Westboro Baptist Church Claims Amish Community Was Punished by an Angry God, Fox News, 5 October 2006
  96. See the Wikipedia article on SABIC.
  103. See the Wikipedia article on LGBT rights in Turkey.
  104. See the Wikipedia article on Israel–Turkey relations.
  106. See the Wikipedia article on LGBT history in Russia.
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