Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Red Herrings under the Bus

I know, strange title. I teach public speaking and we have been at the point in the semester this week where we examine proper and fallacious reasoning. I get the feeling from my colleagues that fallacies of reasoning are not high on their priority list. I can't say that for certain. I don't hear their lectures. I enjoy covering fallacies of reasoning. I think it's important. And once I teach them, my students start to realize how much of the news/opinion/infotainment they consume is based on fallacious reasoning.

The red herring is a fallacy that distracts from the main argument by focusing on something flashy and inconsequential. Throwing someone under the bus is a falacy of claims that places all of the blame on someone not directly or totally responsible for the problem.

When you combine the two, you have conspiracy of some significance. One person is so powerful and their actions are so influential that he or she must be responsible for some really inconsequential evil that they will be thrown under the bus on video repeatedly. By repeatedly, I mean so often that you have memorized the clip. You can act out the scene with your toddlers to entertain the grandparents. Remember, this person, while under the bus,  is doing something insignificant that distracts from real issues. (While it may be significant to a few close family members, it isn't really significant in the impact it has on the rest of the world.) Think Tiger Woods. Think O.J. Simpson. Think Eric Massa. Think Joe Biden. Valerie Plame. Scooter Libby.

The people who should be thrown under the bus rarely are squished. Read this from American Thinker:

Return to the Article
April 13, 2010

Obama Attends Non-Existent Soccer Game?

By Cat Corben
Reading the story about President Obama breaking tradition and ditching the presidential press pool over the weekend to watch one of his daughter's soccer games, it appears harmless, right? Not so. It is rather disturbing when you dissect it. So let's do just that. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the press pool was to assemble at 11:30AM.
However, Time reported:
The president left the White House at approximately 9:20 to attend one of his daughter's soccer games at 40th and Chesapeake NW. A pool was hastily called at around 9:35 and drove north at 9:43 to catch the president before the game ended. We didn't make it. The President returned to the White House at 10:17. The pool returned at 10:30. We now return you to your regularly scheduled pool call time.
Seems simple enough. But the story has several problems. The first one is a biggie in that there were no scheduled soccer games for Sidwell Friends April 10, as evidenced here. The second is that the area reported that the game was played at appears to be one of high crime, as documented here and here. Additionally, this is a picture of the field via Google Maps, where Obama went to watch the game.
Another problem is that when the press pool got close to the reported location, they were told that Obama was leaving and to turn around. The press pool complied, but why? Wouldn't they have wanted a photo of him, even leaving the event, to formally document his whereabouts? What's also suspect is the very casual, nothing-to-see-here tone of the Time article.
Something is most definitely wrong. The President of the United States venturing out to a soccer game that didn't exist in a high-crime area. The Politico is also reporting that Obama acknowledged the problem with his actions:
Prior to Obama's bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Obama told his colleague, "Apparently I caused quite a problem," adding something about his secretary not telling the Secret Service, according to, ironically enough, the pool report.
What's more concerning is that no one can confirm if the Secret Service even accompanied Obama on his adventure. Furthermore, let's look at the elapsed time. If the president left the White House at 9:20AM as reported, according to Mapquest, it takes about sixteen minutes to get from the White House to 40th and Chesapeake NW, bringing his arrival time to the field at 9:36AM or so. But then he would have had to leave the field at the latest at 10:00AM to return to the White House at the documented time of 10:17AM. So he spent about twenty minutes at the game? When did the game end? That time is vague as well.
With all of the technology that people have -- iPhones, Blackberries -- not one person took a photo of Obama? And the press didn't get a shot of him getting into his vehicle? Obama loves the cameras, and this is what he looks like at his daughter's soccer game.
Even three days later, there are still no pictures of the president from Saturday's game. The USA just disarmed to Russia, Poland's president and 95 others were killed hours before, and there were many international leaders in Washington, D.C. for the nuclear summit set to begin on Monday, April 12. And we shouldn't raise even more questions on his whereabouts? According to the MSM, the answer is yes.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/obama_attends_nonexistent_socc.html at April 13, 2010 - 02:24:07 PM CDT

Something is happening here. The Obama administration has become so accustomed to having their Red Herrings be effective, that they are getting shoddy about their construction. Where was he? What did he do? Who did he see?

He's not shy about spending tax payer money for scary photo-ops of air force one over NYC. He's not afraid to spend tax payer money to see a Broadway show on date night. So what did he do that needed to be so unseen? Who came or went from the White House while the press corps was chasing him? Did he leave? Did he have secret service?

The problem in asking these questions is that the Obamas are very good at Red Herrings when they want to be. He must have known it was possible that this would raise eyebrows. But he didn't care. His arrogance is so pathological that he figures, and to some extent rightly so, that he can get away with anything.

At the same time, the very media that ignore his actions, make up stories about the Catholic Church and our beloved Pope Benedict XVI. Red Herrings. "Look at the pretty fish, not at me. Let's throw some Catholics under the bus and hire a homosexual pedophile promoter, Kevin Jennings, as our SAFE school czar, " say Obama and friends.

I'm taking a break now to scream.

I'm just a home school mom in fly-over country. I don't have enough information about international or national government to KNOW anything for certain. But where there's smoke, there usually is fire. When people point a finger there are four more fingers pointing back at themselves. When you assume, you make an ass of you and me. All of these old cliches could be applied to either side in this argument. But it just smells fishy. A little like herring, pickled red.
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