Former education secretary Bill Bennett, on his radio show "Morning in America," Sept. 28:

"If you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky."

Bill Bennett, in a posting on his Web site, Sept. 30:

"A thought experiment about public policy, on national

radio, should not have received the condemnations it has."

For the Sake of (Circular) Argument

If: Talk show hosts never made outlandish arguments

Then: Fewer people would listen to radio

If: Fewer people listen to the radio

Then: Drivers will be less distracted

If: Drivers are less distracted

Then: Car accidents will decline

If: Car accidents decline

Then: Sales of SUVs will drop

If: Sales of SUVs drop

Then: Global warming will slow

If: Global warming slows

Then: Antarctic ecosystems will remain intact

If: Antarctic ecosystems remain intact

Then: More delightful French documentaries like "March of the

Penguins" would be adapted into English

If: More delightful French documentaries like "March of the

Penguins" are adapted into English

Then: American culture will be corrupted

If: American culture is corrupted

Then: Pundits will grow increasingly perturbed

If: Pundits grow increasingly perturbed

Then: Talk show hosts will make outlandish arguments

Josh Greenman, who usually takes everything too seriously, writes humor in New York. He majored in philosophy but struggled in Introduction to Logic.