Friday, April 9, 2010

Palin's Time as Alaska Commander in Chief Trumps Time as Actual Commander in Chief?

You just cannot ask for a more. Regulars here will know of my love of fallacies - or rather, my love of pointing them out - and with Sarah Palin at the top of the news, I get to talk about them every day if I want to. In fact, I could start a new blog dedicated to Sarah Palin fallacies. hmmm.... [brackets enclose my comments]

 PHOTO: Credit Balloon Juice

Speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this week, Palin responded to the news of Obama's proposed nuclear arms reduction treaty as a schoolyard fight, saying his agreement was like two kids getting ready to fight and one saying:

"Go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me."
Going on to deride Obama's vast experience as a community organizer [compared to her vast experience as a monitor of Putin's flight path], she goes on to say that:

Asked to respond to her comments, and obviously frustrated to have her remarks given that level of importance, Obama replied in as refreshingly an honest manner as we have seen. My trolls might need a review of the definitions of satire and fallacy, to appreciate the following.

Sadly No writes today of the exchange (via media of course) between President Obama and half-term Governor Palin regarding the recently proposed nuclear arms reduction treaty:

"Obama makes the common fallacious appeal to authority here, while throwing in some ad hominem and the appeal to ridicule:

“I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News."

Hearing from the other side of the aisle, Confederate Yankee, whose blog banner reads "Because liberalism is a persistant vegetative state," we get the insightful comment:

"Palin’s view of nuclear weapons was shaped by her stint as the commander in chief of the Alaskan National Guard, our first line of defense against Soviet nuclear weapons. Obama has held his same views since he was a stoner college student and has showed no signs of maturing."
Sadly No continues his commentary, responding to Confederate by saying:
"Amen, Br’er Owens [Confederate Yankee]. I’ve always said that when it comes to knowing nukes, two-and-a-half years as commander in chief of the Alaskan National Guard trumps one-year-and-change as commander in chief of an actual nuclear arsenal. Because 1) it’s longer and 2) don’t bogart that joint, fella!"

UPDATE: While Bob Owens is busy composing his ode to Sarah Palin’s stalwart defense of Cochinchina in the face of Red Tonkinese aggression, not to mention her leadership role in mediating talks with the Ottomans, we pause to alert you that our uppity POTUS has ’sassed’ the esteemed former part-time Alaska governor."
I would expect that people without much education would lack a basic understanding of logic, reasoning, and fallacies, but mainstream media? I understand bloggers commenting on what Sarah Palin says. I understand Fox News and other right-wing commentators reporting on the conference and her remarks. What I don't understand, is to give important to Palin's remarks about Obama's actions and to ask him, in an on-air interview, to respond. The only purpose served by such a question is to titillate the viewers and, quite frankly, to generate the level of buzz generated by blogs such as this.

As linked on Sadly's blog, The Nizkor Project contains an in-depth review of fallacies as well as a guide to arguments and logic that is well-written and easily understood. As the authors say, "In order to understand what a fallacy is, one must understand what an argument is." If you do not (a premise, maybe two, and a conclusion), then I suggest you follow the link and review. Our "news" is full of distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies. Everyone (including me) has an agenda. In order to wade through the overwhelming amount of information available to us, the commentary thrown at us from all sides (and yes, there are far more than two sides), we all need to hone our critical thinking skills and learn how to listen and to analyze for ourselves what we hear.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

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