Category Archives: Propaganda

Prop Question of the Day – January


January 20th: Section F

Advertisement from 1800 Presidential race:


Answer: 5, Leading Question

January 18th/19th: Section C/ Section F

Quote from 1980 presidential debate between Carter and Reagan:

Reagan: “Next Tuesday is Election Day.  Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision.  I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?  Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago?  Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago?  Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?  Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as were four years ago?  And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for.  If you don’t agree, if you don’t think that this course that we’ve been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have.”

Answers: 6, Reptition and 6, Complex Question

January 17th: Section C

Quotes from a 2008 presidential debate between McCain and Obama:

McCain: “The USA , Tom, is the greatest force for good, and we must do whatever we can to prevent genocide… That requires a cool hand at the tiller.  That requires a person who understands what the limits of our capability are.”

McCain’s closing argument: “And I’m asking the American people to give me another opportunity and I’ll rest on my record, but I’ll also tell you, when times are tough, we need a steady hand at the tiller and the great honor of my life was to always put my country first.”

Answer: 9, Sophistical Formula

January 16th: Section F

Quotes from 1980 presidential debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan:

Carter: “Governor Reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare.  Now we have an opportunity to move towards national health insurance, with emphasis on the prevention of disease, an emphasis on outpatient care, not inpatient care, an emphasis on hospital cost containment, to hold down the cost of hospital care for those who are ill, an emphasis on catastrophic health insurance, so that if a family is threatened of being wiped out economically because of a very high medical bill, then the insurance would help pay for it.  These are the kind of elements of a national health insurance important to the American people.  Governor Reagan again, typically is against such a proposal.”

Reagan: “There you go again.”

Answer: 3, Ad Hominem

January 15th: Section C

Quote from rock-star Bruce Springsteen at 2012 Obama rally:

“I’m here today because I’m concerned about women’s rights.  I don’t have to tell you the danger to Roe vs. Wade under our opponents’ policies.  But I’m here today because I’m very concerned about the continuing disparity in wealth between our best-off citizens and our everyday citizens.  That’s a disparity that I believe our honorable opponent’s policies will only increase, and that threatens to divides us into two distinct and foreign nations.”

Answer: 5, Status

January 14th: Section B

Quotes from conversation on about the Democratic presidential nomination race:

Micah: All right, so let’s posit that the tightening of the race in Iowa and the nation is real and lasting.  Sanders leads in New Hampshire.  Is Sanders a real threat to win the nomination now?

Nate: Define real.

Micah: Real means >25% chance.

Nate: [No, I think it’s between 5-15%].

Answer: 0, No Technique

January 13th: Section A

Quote from basketball player Isiah Thomas: “Larry Bird is a very very good basketball player; I think he’s an exceptional talent. But… if he was black, he’d be just another good guy.”

Answer: 8, Tabloid Thinking

January 12th: Section F

Conversation from sports forum:

A: The Bulls need to trade Pau Gasol for a small forward.  Nikola Mirotic is not a small forward.

B: Do you know who Jimmy Butler is?

A: Jimmy is a shooting guard who can play as SF.  We need a true small forward so Jimmy can stay at shooting guard.

Answer: 9, Victory by Definition

January 11th: Section C

Answer: 4, Numbers

January 10th: Section B

When asked at a debate about his lack of political experience in the 1992 presidential debates, candidate Ross Perot replied, “I don’t have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don’t have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else.”

Answer: 1, Emotional Terms

January 9th:  Section A

Answer: 8, Tabloid Thinking

January 8th:  Section F

Interview before the Super Bowl:

Deion Sanders: Does it bother you all the attention and they want you to talk when you really don’t?

Marshawn Lynch: I’m just here so I won’t get fined.

Deion Sanders: You’re still here because what?

Marshawn Lynch: So I won’t get fined.  I’m just here so I won’t get fined.

Answer: 1, Diversion

January 7th: Sections A & B: Visual example

FullSizeRender (1)

Answers: 3, Drawing the Line, 8 Shift of Meaning

January 6th: Section C

Jack: Now that we are at Universal Studios we have to go check out the Hulk.  It’s their sickest roller coaster.

Diane: I think i’m just going to check out Harry Potter World and not go on any of the rides.  I heard that on average there are 4.5 amusement park ride-related deaths per year, and I don’t want to be turned into a statistic.

Answer: 4, Numbers

January 5th: Section B

Quote from news article: “Ronald Crump got in an argument with one of the audience members at a campaign stop in Des Moines.  He was upset that racist language was being used.”

Answer: 7, Ambiguity

January 4th: Section A

Parent:  Your homework isn’t going to do itself.  Either you can do your homework tonight or I’m going to delete Candy Crush Saga from your Ipad for a week!

Answer: 3, Drawing the Line

January 3rd: Section F

I can’t believe you’re saying that you’re a better Equations player than me.  The only reason you beat me in the championship is I set a goal with an 8 when Base 8 was called.  In all of the other shakes I had a higher score.

Answer: 4, Appeal to Ignorance

January 2nd: Section C

It stinks that we showed up fifth for the Black Friday deals at Walmart and they only awarded the best deals to the first four in line.  Well every cloud has a silver lining.  Almost every year you hear about someone seriously injured trying to get those deals.

Answer: 9, Sophistical Formula

January 1st: Section B

There’s no way I’m voting for DN for president.  He uses a lot of tough rhetoric but his bark is worse than his bite.  I don’t want to see someone elected who’s going to slobber on everything in the Oval Office.

Answer: 2, Metaphor and Simile

Prop Question of the Day – December


Hey what’s up?  I am going to post prop questions here from this year’s sections to help everyone get ready for this year’s competitions.  Look for notifications on Twitter when a new question is posted.

December 31st: Section A

This Presidents clue could be about Thomas Jefferson or John Adams based on the fact that they were both on the Committee of Five.  Since I don’t know which one it is, I’ll just wait until the four point clue.

Answer: 0, No Technique

December 30th: Section F

Mother:  I can’t believe you want to go to the Justin Bieber concert; he makes the worst music in human history!

Son:  I know you grew up listening to Mozart perform live but I don’t think you could tell the difference between Justin Bieber and One Direction these days.

Answer: 3, Ad Hominem

December 29th: Section C

Sales representative at meat counter in grocery store:  “It sounds like you’re trying to decide between the rib-eye and sirloin steaks.  Our rib-eye cut looks especially juicy today, so I’m guessing it would be the more flavorful choice.  The sirloin is looking a little bit darker than usual which means that it will be a bit tougher, but it also is at a lower price.  Which do you want to go with?”

Answer: 0, No technique

December 28th: Section B

Graduation speech by McDonalds CEO: “Four score and seven lattes ago, I had the idea that everyone should be able to get coffee quickly and for an affordable price at McDonalds restaurants.”

Answer: 4, Quotation Out of Context

December 27th: Section A

President of the US: “The House Democrats want the budget for NASA to be $25 billion dollars in 2016, and the House Republicans want it to be $15 billion.  Unless we can reach a consensus, we will never be able to pass a budget bill.  I propose that we make NASA’s budget for 2016 $20 billion dollars.”

Answer: 0, No technique

December 26th: Section F

Question during Stanford interview of college applicant: “I see that you visited our campus last April.  What do you like about Stanford?”

Answer: 5, Leading Question

December 25th: Section C

Song lyrics from campaign to raise money for the 1984 famine in Ethiopia: “There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime… Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?  Feed the world; let them know it’s Christmastime.”

Answer: 7, Slogans

December 24th: Section C

Starbucks corporate memo sent to stores: Around 10% of our customers don’t celebrate Christmas; therefore, our store employees should say “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Answer: 0, No Technique

December 23rd: Section B

Quote from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: “Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little, by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy?  No, I don’t.  I believe in a society where all people do well, not just a handful of billionaires.”

Answer: 1, Emotional Terms

December 22nd: Section A

Conversation between two people at the gym: Bob: Alright we’re almost finished with our 30 minute run, let’s hit the showers.

Jillian: Hold on, let’s go an extra five minutes.  If we work out for a longer duration, the workout will have a greater impact on our fitness level.

Answer: 4, Not Drawing the Line

December 21st: Section F

Interview with CEO Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals after they raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750:

Interviewer: You’re in favor of free markets, I assume.

Shkreli: Sure.

Interviewer: Why do you think the drug was priced at $13.50 before.  Somebody thought that was the right price for this drug.

Shkreli: Yea, if you look at drugs like Sovaldi, for instance, Daraprim is less expensive than Sovaldi, despite the fact that it treats a disease that’s far more severe and far less common.  So if you think about free markets and fair price, it’s pretty clear that Daraprim was not priced appropriately.

Answer: 7, Inconsequent Argument

December 20th: Section C

Ad in Google store: The Soul Reader poker app on Google Glass will point out the smallest twitches that your opponent makes and help you determine if they’re tells.  When your opponent check-raises all-in on the river now you’ll be able to tell if they have the nuts or if they’re just plain nuts.  Your adversaries better bring their sunglasses.

Answer: 8, Technical Jargon

December 19thSection B

Ad: Vote for Kanye West; he puts the party back into Democratic Party.

Answer: 8, Shift of meaning

December 18th: Section A

Quote from presidential candidate Carly Fiorina at the December 15th Republican Party debate, regarding terrorist attacks: “We have a lot of argument about laws but none of it solves the problem.  Let’s examine what happened, why did we miss the Tsarnaev brothers?  Why did we miss the San Bernardino couple?  It wasn’t because we had stopped collecting metadata — it was because, I think, as someone who comes from the technology world, we were using the wrong algorithms.”

Answer: 9, Causal oversimplification

December 17th: Section F

In a press conference after the Detroit Pistons beat the Philadelphia 76’ers by 10 points, coach Stan Van Gundy answered questions:

Stan: I was very proud of how our starters played tonight.  Our starters did a great job putting more points on the board than the other team when they were on the floor.

Rod: So you weren’t happy with how your backups performed tonight?

Answer: 8, Attacking a straw man

December 16th: Section C

In a game of football, Ryan sat on the sidelines pouting while he was replaced by Brian, who led the team to victory.  Our corporate policy is that you always support your team, no matter what.  I don’t think we should hire Ryan for a management position at State Farm; he is too unlikely to be a team player at our firm.

Answer: 2, Manner

December 15th: Section B

Teacher: Please take out To Kill a Mockingbird.  Stu, I trust that you read To Kill a Mockingbird as you were supposed to over Winter Break.

Stu: Yes sir, I sure did.

Teacher: What character or characters is the title referring to?

Stu: I have no idea.

Teacher: I thought you said you read the book.

Stu: You told us to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” over break, and I did.  *Points at book cover* See, I just read it again!

Answer: 3, Emphasis