Straw Man

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Straw Man

An individual who acts as a front for others who actually incur the expense and obtain the profit of a transaction.

In the terminology employed by real estate dealers, a straw man is an individual who acts as a conduit for convenience in holding and transferring title to the property involved. For example, such a person might act as an agent for another in order to take title to real property and execute whatever documents and instruments the principal directs with respect to the transaction.

straw man

n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a business interest is transferred for the sole purpose of concealing the true owner and/or the business machinations of the parties. Thus, the straw man has no real interest or participation but is merely a passive stand-in for a real participant who secretly controls activities. Sometimes a straw man is involved when the actual owner is not permitted to act, such as a person with a criminal record holding a liquor license. 2) an argument which is intended to distract the other side from the real issues or waste the opponent's time and effort, sometimes called a "red herring" (for the belief that drawing a fish across a trail will mislead hunting dogs).

References in periodicals archive ?
But that's grasping at straws. Allen's Mike saunters through the wispy pilot (something about an errant blind date he arranges involving his daughters) spouting laugh lines like, "It smells like balls in here," which is truer than intended.
I was grasping at straws." After three days she sought the advice of Jim Odell and within an hour her headache had gone.
If people are calling out for Anthony, he might not know that you mean him, so be looking for Tony." There was something so heartbreaking to me about the desperation and the grasping at straws to find lost loved ones.
David Cameron and his pals are left grasping at straws and the last piece of our silver, our NHS, is in danger of being made available to private companies.
Abdo said that 'Netanyahu is clearly grasping at straws as he tries to defend what eventhe normally neutral International Committee of the Red Cross has recognized as a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention: Israel's illegal collective punishment of the residents of Gaza.'
As a Nevado Washoe Indian told Harrison: "The way I see language now is that we're kind of grasping at straws, trying to save what we can."
Their spin doctors must be grasping at straws if they think this wedding will distract the public from the fear of austere times ahead.
As a result, we appear to be grasping at straws to 'do something' while our national security increasingly hangs in the balance." (8) He introduced S.Res.
"But we are grasping at straws if we complain about that."
Hindered by a lack of clues, the lack of cooperation by his superior, and other obstacles, Diamond has to claw forward, grasping at straws to reach a plausible conclusion.
Summary: Liverpool were left grasping at straws last night as their disastrous Champions League campaign ended with another defeat.
But that doesn't give them permission to keep grasping at straws, all the while insisting that this is the very last straw, the straw that takes care of the problem.