Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BHO Fallacy Bingo Card

I have heard an increasing number of people on Twitter lately exclaim "I just can't stand it" when BHO makes one of his infrequent television appearances (by the way, where are we with the BHO channel, is this not an idea whose time has come?).

As a way of assuaging the pain of those of us who watch such things--either for research purposes or that "I-know-it's-a-traffic-accident-but-I-just-have to-look" compulsion that seizes the best of us from time to time--I have developed a bingo card to help pass the time.

The cells of the card below represent some of the more obvious fallacies BHO commits more or less routinely. There are certainly others--my personal theory is he occasionally trots out some of the more obscure ones just to keep his hand in--but this isn't a bad start. Purists will point out that there are two cells--Outright Lie and Half Truth--that aren't fallacies at all. I recognize that but included them anyway just to keep people occupied when BHO doesn't even bother with verbal slight-of-hand and just goes for a bold-faced whopper.

The beginner level of this game mandates that each cell be ticked off once to win, but this will quickly become boring since in most instances the game will be over in minutes. I would suggest levels of difficulty be ramped up both in terms of number of times a cell needs to be ticked and/or overlap allowed. In the latter instance you can mandate no double-dipping when BHO combines fallacies such as Begging the Question and Appeal to Fear (i.e. "Since the economy will collapse if we don't pass this bill in the next five minutes ...")

Enjoy.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birth Certificate Issue--Threat or Menace?

As I watch an increasing number of tweets and posts related to the BHO Birth Certificate issue it is difficult not to conclude we are either being set up or are walking into a cul-de-sac of our own making. Without prejudice to the validity of the claims being made, a number of fundamental questions need to be asked.
  1. What's the end-game here? If tomorrow morning some court somewhere rules that a proper BC has not been provided, does anyone seriously think BHO will step down or be impeached? The more likely, and highly undesirable, outcome would be an extended, and distracting, court battle, easily outlasting BHO's first term.

  2. Is this the issue we want to pour our blood and treasure into? BHO and the Congress are flooding the zone with new bills, executive orders and appointments. Do we really want to siphon off time and energy that could be spent researching and responding to these in favor of a manifestly unprofitable, and unquestionable divisive, line of attack.

  3. Is this really the way to win friends and influence people? The American people are waking up to the real meaning of BHO's promise to "fundamentally transform America." They don't like it, they are asking questions and looking for alternatives. This is probably the worst time in the world to be presenting ourselves as black helicopter theorists at worst and legalistic opportunists at best.

  4. Who is really served by all this? The BC issue hands BHO two things he likes most: opportunity for misdirection and a caricatured enemy. It shifts focus from the manifest failure of his policies and his true socialist intent to the "crazies, obstructionists and flat-earthers" who are trying to bring him down. This is so clearly to his advantage that I would submit if his operatives aren't making extended efforts to keep this alive they aren't doing their job.
Someone once said it is wise not to interrupt an enemy bent on self-destruction. I see the BC issue as an interruption that he will exploit. As his numbers plummet, Democrat allies reconsider their allegiances based on very real electoral threats and at least a part of the MSM emerges from its anesthesia, this is an inopportune time to be throwing him any life-lines.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Socialists: You should have partied in 1999

I wrote previously of the apparent enormity of the obstacles facing us as we attempt to restore the republic, and tried to offer some realistic comfort regarding our ability to prevail nonetheless. I suggested that people like me (previously politically passive) are now off the couch and learning--often mastering--tools hitherto used most effectively by the left. I hoped as I wrote those words my optimism wasn't running ahead of my discernment.

My experiences of late have convinced me that my assessment may have been, if anything, overly pessimistic. I truly believe the left's attempted takeover of this country will fail, primarily because they waited about a decade too long.

Consider an Obama presidency elected in November 1999. There is no Fox News, no Facebook, no Twitter, no meaningful online social networking. Rush is out there, but he is isolated and easily dealt with with some back-door form of the Fairness Doctrine. There is certainly an Internet but it is neither fast nor particularly interactive. "High-speed" for the vast majority of users is a 56K modem and anything beyond simple forms entry is still in the future. Even e-mail is by no means ubiquitous.

In this context Obama's Blitzkrieg techniques, already formidable, would have been more effective by orders of magnitude. I think the American people would still have responded but the response would have been delayed, communication would have lagged behind events, and, like the French confronting the original Blitzkrieg, effective coordination of response would have been all but impossible. Add to this the wholesale collusion of a near monopolistic mainstream media and it is easy to envision BHO running the table before the rest of us knew we were in a game.

Happily for us--unhappily for the left--non-ideologues know how to use computers too, and have quickly turned their own weapons against them. If we are willing to pay attention, and do the work, we can use the technology to stay informed, organize and respond, as fast as they choose to try to overwhelm us.

My only caveat is the importance of the Internet is not lost on the left, and the appointment of an Internet Czar should be seen as nothing but ominous. It is altogether likely that in the name of "security" (the seeds of which have already been planted through the MSM) this administration will seek to control key elements of the IS infrastructure such as the DNS super-servers or regulate bandwidth and/or downloads. Again, I think they are too late and any such measure would meet with the fiercest resistance but that doesn't mean we don't need to be vigilant.

For now, however, I think we can all be grateful Al Gore didn't invent the Internet ten years later.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Am Everyman Hear Me Roar

There is a fear that dares not speak its name in the the bosom of some of my confreres. It comes out in little ways, like facial ticks and high-pitched laughter whenever President Obama's approval rating is mentioned, or any time "hope" and "change" are used in the same sentence. Like the Herbert Lom character in the Pink Panther movies, my friends are vulnerable to the quiet dread that comes with knowing not only that you are the only person in the room who gets what a fool Clouseau is, but you may be the only person who gets that for a long time.

(Note: To the extent that people are reading this at all, it might be inferred by some that I am implying that President Obama is something less than the walking cerebral cortex he has been portrayed to be. Notwithstanding his tendency to blue-screen every time his teleprompter fails, I am suggesting no such thing. Foolishness, popular misconception aside, has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with pride. That's what makes comedies comic and, unfortunately, tragedies tragic.)

The latest manifestation is the possibility that the much anticipated groundswell in 2010--the one that will decimate the Democratic Congress and leave President Obama peering down from his lonely tower like Saruman--might not materialize. On its face, there isn't a whole lot to recommend optimism there: the Republicans are firing all their guns at once, mostly at each other, the Democrats are taking over everything that isn't nailed down (until of course they get around to nationalizing nails) and the mainstream media is pretty much perpetually torn between trying to prove that Obama invented penicillin and Rush Limbaugh invented syphilis. Against this backdrop, the reactions of the American people--if polls and the aforementioned MSM are to be believed--run the gamut from "woo-hoo" to "I can't believe the other guy didn't win American Idol".

Against such things one wants to offer a ray of hope. At the same time one does not want to sound crazy-desperate like whatshisname in the fuhrer-bunker, commanding armies that no longer existed to fend off hoards of Russians who very much did.

That said, I still think my friends overlook an obvious point.

It's all about me.

Okay, not me exactly. I don't work alone, and besides there are enough self-proclaimed Messiah's setting up shop as it is without my adding to the congestion.

It's all about me, as a sort of unofficial and imperfect poster-child for the kinds of people who are now getting into this game.

Like many of my ilk, I coasted into middle age with no particular involvement in politics. I have been blessed with interesting and profitable work, a family of whom I am entirely unworthy, and all sorts of diverting activities and hobbies. (If this sounds like a segue into " ... and I enjoy long walks on the beach," take heart, I am moving on.) On the odd occasion news of some obvious injustice has crossed my transom, I have always reserved the right to grumble about it, then vaguely assume that someone in government, the loyal opposition or the media would get around to fixing it eventually.

Accordingly, in default mode, I don't do protests, especially in the middle of a work-week, or phone, write or otherwise harass my elected representatives. I don't spend hours blogging and developing social networks, and I certainly don't eschew my must-read copy of "Mastering Data Warehouse Aggregates" so I can dig into "American Progressivism."

The thing is, I am now doing all these things and more, and inasmuch as I am demonstrably not alone, this may represent more of a problem than the Masters of the Universe would like to acknowledge.

My personal, and admittedly unscientific, opinion is there is a growing body of people just like me who have gone through or are about the go through, a similar epiphany. They are smart, accomplished and come with a work-ethic already installed. What they don't know about history, government, strategy and tactics they are learning very quickly. The Tea Parties were basically a shakedown cruise; we got some things right, we got some things wrong, but everybody took notes.

I don't honestly know how 2009 is going to work out, much less 2010. I do know that for many of us the toughest step, that creaky sort of lurch out of inertia, has already been taken.

The message of the Tea Parties, completely lost on the mainstream media, is that the couch potatoes have left the couch. And you will be truly astounded where they start popping up.