(For some reason I can’t figure out, the following has many links in it that I did not intend to include and cannot figure out how to remove. Still, too much work in this NOT to post it. I apologize hope you can somehow manage to muddle through.)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am professor B3A, and I will be your logic professor for the remainder of this post. I have summoned you because of some fallacious arguments, unsupported assertions and irrational conclusions which have been made in the RNL classroom. This will not be tolerated, and this practice will be corrected forth with. For the purposes of this lesson, we will be referring to the following post and commentaries which follow it:
Stop It! Just Stop It Right Now!
First, the author makes this assertion:
Obama does not do any off the following:
1)Apologize for America
So we start by checking the definition of apologize:
Definition of APOLOGY
1a : a formal justification : defense b : excuse 2a
2: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret
Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower
1. Apology to France and Europe (“America Has Shown Arrogance”)
Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.
2. Apology to the Muslim World (“We Have Not Been Perfect”)
President Obama, interview with Al Arabiya, January 27, 2009.
3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas (“At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms”)
President Obama, address to the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009.
4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders (“Some Restoration of America’s Standing in the World”)
News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009.
5. Apology for the War on Terror (“We Went off Course”)
President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
6. Apology for Guantanamo in France (“Sacrificing Your Values”)
Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009
7. Apology before the Turkish Parliament (“Our Own Darker Periods in Our History”)
Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.
8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas (“The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors”)
Opinion editorial by President Obama: “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16, 2009
9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA (“Potentially We’ve Made Some Mistakes”)
Remarks by the President to CIA employees, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia, April 20, 2009. The remarks followed the controversial decision to release Office of Legal Counsel memoranda detailing CIA enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects.
10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington (“A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies”)
President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009
This is a simple, deductive conclusion of fact established by definition and the presentation of actual, historical occurrence. Conclusion: the author’s claim in #1 is an unsupported assertion that is clearly and unequivocally wrong!
Now, admittedly, absent a clear, declaratory statement one way or the other, this claim is impossible to “prove” or “disprove” because, without said declaration, it is – by definition – an opinion. HOWEVER, we do have some evidence of Obama’s true opinion of this nation.
Definition of FUNDAMENTAL
1a : serving as an original or generating source : primary b : serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function : basic
2a : of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts : radical ; also : of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application
Definition of CHANGE
1a : to make different in some particular : alter b : to make radically different : transform c : to give a different position, course, or direction to
2a : to replace with another b : to make a shift from one to another : switch
Now, taking these definitions and Obama’s own words in his “fundamental change” comment and his “negative liberties” statement, we CAN conclude that Obama does NOT agree with the founders’ establishment of America on the Lockian principles of individual natural rights and liberty and that he wants to change this nation to a Hobbsian and UNAMERICAN orientation. Whether or not he “hates” the nation is open to debate, but this IS sufficient evidence to conclude that Obama does not like or agree with the founding ideals and principles of this nation. Furthermore, it cannot be disputed because it rests on the plain language of Obama’s own words and the common definition of those words.
Once more, we are dealing with the author’s opinion, so we cannot prove or disprove it without a clear declaration from Obama. But here again, we do have Obama’s own words to offer us some insight into what he thinks of whites:
We are left to draw our own opinion of what this means, but one must ask himself: had Rush Limbaugh said this exact same thing in relation to a stereotype of a black person, would THAT have been considered a racist remark? If the answer is yes, then we would be justified in holding the opinion that Obama does have some animosity toward whites.
Assertions #4 and #5 are more opinions asserted without any support in fact. As such, we cannot evaluate them as we have nothing but circumstantial evidence that is, itself, open to interpretation of opinion. But moving on, the author later says:
“So Welch and his ilk at the John Birch Society were the Glenn Becks of their time. Glenn has accused Obama’s Grandmother of being a communist, because of where she attended church. He accused a rapper of being a cop-hater. Why? Apparently because he was a rapper, no other reason, as Beck later admitted that he had never read nor heard any of the artist’s lyrics. Oh, there was another reason; Common, the rapper, had been invited to the White House for something or other, and Beck is not one to miss a chance to smear the character of anyone associated with President Obama.”
Here is where the author starts to get way off track. First, by dragging Glenn Beck into an argument about what Obama is or isn’t, the author has committed the fallacy of red herring. Beck has nothing to do with what Obama is or isn’t, and maligning Beck before addressing any charge Beck has made is the fallacy of ad hominem.
The author then goes on to claim that Beck claims Obama is communist simply because his grandmother attended a church. The author does not tell his reader that this was “the little red church on the hill,” with a known congregation of communists, socialists and anti-establishment individuals. This is known as the cherry picking fallacy, where you do not tell your audience everything they need to know to draw a correct conclusion about your assertion(s). Evidence such as Obama admitting he picked communist and Marxist friends in college on purpose, so he wouldn’t be seen as a “sell out.” Or his Marxist mentor, or his Marxist comment to Joe the plumber about wanting to “spread the wealth.” If a person’s actions can be said to define him, then Obama’s words and actions have given sound reason to conclude that he is a Marxist.
The author commits the fallacy of cherry picking or suppressing the evidence yet again by referring to this story and then claiming that Beck had nothing to support his claim that Obama is anti-cop. Unfortunately, the author leaves out the details where Beck cites the anti-cop lyrics of this rapper and the full details covered in the story posted on The Blaze , Beck’s news oriented web site. Nor did the author remind his audience that Obama once “convicted” the police of acting wrongly in the case of his friend after admitting he had not heard the evidence.
Conclusion: the author’s use of and incomplete presentation of what Glenn Beck has actually said and the evidence he has presented to support his accusations is nothing but fallacy filled opinion which the author presents as fact but, in truth, has not been supported.
“How many readers would excuse Beck’s cozy relationship with Goldline, the precious-metals company he shills for? Their executives have been indicted for ‘bait and switching” and elderly abuse. Wouldn’t y’all point out the fact that Beck didn’t predict gold prices would rise so much as manipulate the price with his Other predictions and his incessant fear-mongering? The dollar failing, hyperinflation, and the most sleazy of all, bringing up FDR’s 1933 executive order that allowed the government to look in your safety deposit boxes for hoarded gold, but not, co-incisdentally, the semi-precious gold coins that Goldline sells.”
Again, Beck and gold have nothing to do with Obama, so this is nothing but more ad hominem attacks against Beck. But ignoring this and looking at the charge that Beck manipulated the market, we see would find that the market is too large and Beck’s audience too small to have sufficient influence to do so. However, if we were to look closer, we would find that George Soros, the man who funds the source for much of the author’s “evidence” against Beck and who has directed the sites our author has been quoting to “destroy” Beck does have the ability to do so and has been buying gold – by the ton. So has China.
The author then goes on to make a totally irrelevant attack relating to FDR’s confiscation of gold – another fallacy. And even states that he hasn’t listened to Glenn but still feels confident to make a claim about what Beck has or hasn’t said:
“I don’t watch the show, so I don’t know if Beck has mentioned that President Ford signed a law repealing those provisions or not. My guess? He hasn’t, why mess with the golden goose? In other words, Beck is profiting from fear.”
This is an admission of ignorance, which – by definition – means anything that follows is an assumption. This is fallacious reasoning. Furthermore, Beck may have profited from buying gold, but had an individual followed his advice and bought gold when Beck first started telling people to buy when it was below $700/oz, they would have profited as well. And as for the idea that Beck is profiting off of fear, he has not been trying to scare people as much as warn them – as anyone who bothers to follow the man and the evidence he presents would know. Incidentally, the hyperinflation he has been warning about has already started to hit the grocery stores and, if you are paying attention, you will see otherwise respected people warning that is will be coming. By this measure, Beck is actually serving to warn people so they can prepare, which – in a former era – would have been considered a service to America. (By the way, and for the record, Beck has explained that he buys gold coins as a precaution driven by FDR’s precedent and he thoroughly explains to his audience that they should carefully research gold and pray on any move they make before they make a decision about buying gold. He openly says it might not be right for everyone.)
The author now says:
“I don’t read the HuffPo anymore, because I, with the help of you good people, saw that their reporting was slanted to an extreme degree. Thank you, now it’s my turn to suggest that your back (or Beck) yard needs some clearing.”
The problem with the author’s assertion that Beck should be purged from his audience’s source of information is flawed because it is based on fallacious assertions. However, later, in the comment section of his post, he claims Beck has been “proven” a liar by referring to a source he just said is untrustworthy (the HufPo):
“As far as Beck lying, I will say this for the man. When he got caught, he did weasel. he admitted it, and explained why he lied. No weinerisms, no Craig wide-stance excuses, no Appalachian hiking trips a la Mark Sanford, he manned up, got it out there, and moved on.”
What’s more, he goes on to say:
“You tell me the source of the truth does not matter when i chide you for relying on FOX, Blaze, and GBTV, then turn around and do the exact same thing.”
The author has two problems. First, he is pleading special case – a fallacy. Second, at this point, the author has presented nothing to discredit Glenn Beck. In other words, his assertions against Beck are unsupported and his argument has not been made, yet he is demanding his reader accept his fallacious case based on their correct assertions that truth is where it is found, a case he admits to and even thanks his reader for, himself.
Then our author turns back to the Birch Society, another red herring introduced for the purpose of ad hominem diversion:
“The John Birch Society had some good ideas, enough that Ron Paul has praised them for their stances on taxes and personal rights, but their ridiculous claims and strident language marginalized them, and even the good ideas became associated with kooks.”
Again, and this time the author even admits, the source does not reflect on the truth or validity of a claim or conclusion. What the author fails to understand is, neither does the delivery. In fact, by mentioning that a source can be discredited by painting it as a “kook,” the author actually dams much of his own argument by pointing to the very technique he has been attempting to employ against Beck in his original defense of Obama.
Finally, after asserting unsupported opinion as fact and then furthering fallacious conclusions as fact, he tries to make himself appear reasonable by claiming “good intentions:”
“That’s what I don’t want to see happen in here, There have been some fine ideas batted around on the RNL, some vigorous debate, and I am impressed, no, daunted, by the intellectual level of most discourse here and on our friends’ sites. Don’t let yourselves be marginalized, discard the paranoia profiteers, and more people will see the real message, the message that NEEDS to be heard, that we have for the US of A.
Without going in to the veracity of the author’s intentions, what we can and should take from this is not that we should stop listening to Glenn Beck – by his own example, Beck is likely the victim of others’ attempts to repeat the author’s very attempt to villainize him – but rather, we should look to see through such fallacious attacks and unsupported assertions. Rather than discard any source of information, we should learn the rules of basic logic and sound reasoning so we can sift through what is presented and determine for ourselves what is or isn’t true. But, for now, the author’s claim to be using logic should be dismissed, as should his attacks on those who disagree with him based on what I have just shown are sound principles of logic. In this case, were it not for the work of Glenn Beck, it is unlikely that this nation would understand the role Progressivism has played in destroying our culture and our government, we would not be aware of just how involved George Soros is in causing social unrest, about how bad things are on the borders or any of a number of things the govt. controlled media will no longer report. And, even if a person is found to get something wrong from time to time, it is not the mistake that matters to their credibility, but how they handle it. In this case, Beck has always admitted to his mistakes and, most times, apologized for them and done what he could to set them right.
Sadly, the piece we have examined today represents little more than an attempt to ignore the best information available to us and to deflect the attacks on Obama by diverting them toward one of his most effective critics: Glenn Beck.