20130126

FLY GUY

The Latest in the Obama Vs. Fly Saga: Large Fly Lands Defiantly on President's Forehead

During a Thursday event where President Barack Obama announced he was nominating former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, a rather large house fly annoyed the president by buzzing around his head and then landing on the middle of his forehead.

Reuters photographer Larry Downing snapped the photo that is now quickly spreading across the Internet.

Large Fly Lands Defiantly on Obamas Forehead

REUTERS/Larry Downing

Large Fly Lands Defiantly on Obamas Forehead

President Barack Obama tries to wave away a fly buzzing around his head as he announces in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, that he will nominate Mary Joe White to lead the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and re-nominate Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a role that he has held for the last year under a recess appointment.Credit: AP

Unfortunately for Obama, it's not his first run-in with these insects — and several have been captured on camera.

The Daily Rushbo has created an entertaining compilation video of the commander-in-chief's history with flies. Watch:

Additionally, this AP photo was captured as Obama was speaking about health care reform in 2010:

Large Fly Lands Defiantly on Obamas Forehead

A fly lands on President Barack Obama's face as he speaks about the new patient bill of rights and the health care reform act in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Glenn Beck and his radio crew have also jokingly noticed how "flying insects" like flies and bees are seemingly infatuated with Obama for some reason. The concept actually led to the "The Bees Know" Glenn Beck T-shirt.

Here's Beck back in 2010 chronicling Obama's various interactions with winged creatures:

"What is it with Obama and flying insects? During the 2008 campaign, an LA Times reporter assigned to follow Obama described the following scene. On one hot summer afternoon in Iowa — this is LA Times from the campaign: Obama was flipping burgers at a backyard barbecue in what the campaign hoped would be an exquisite photo opportunity. A fly began circling his head and then more flies. Pretty soon flies were swarming him. It was awful to watch."

[...]

"Then on June 16th, 2009, Obama was being interviewed in the White House. A fly kept buzzing around his head. How does a fly get in the White House? What are you talking about? Through the door or the windows. Well, they're secret commando flies. What a ridiculous thing, without a moment's hesitation, Obama killed the fly with his hand."

"I have to tell you, I've never seen anybody do that. Oh, boy. They go into how it's Lord of the Flies, he may be the Lord of the Flies, [Beck joked]."

Drudge Report also had some fun with the fly photos today, dubbing the president, "fly guy."

Large Fly Lands Defiantly on Obamas Forehead

Drudge Report

20130122

Can You Guess How Many Straw Man Arguments Were in Obama's Speech?

Jan. 21, 2013 5:20pm Mytheos Holt

President Obama has an, at times, well-deserved reputation for delivering his speeches well. Certainly, the president made an impression today when he delivered his second inaugural address calling for a bolder, more expansive government that would be committed increasingly to the principles of liberalism, with characteristic soaring rhetoric.

Unfortunately, another characteristic was also in evidence in Obama's speech: namely, his tendency to argue against positions that nobody holds (and by extension, to mischaracterize his opponents' views so as to make them easier to argue against). In logic, this unfortunate tendency is referred to as a "straw man fallacy" and it was well-worn in President Obama's speech today – so well-worn that at times, he seemed to cough up a new straw man fallacy with every sentence. How many of these arguments in bad faith did the President use? Read on as we list each one and explain their fallacious nature.

Straw Man #1:

"For the American people can no more meet the demands of today's world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias."

The President's line about muskets and militias is a rhetorical flourish more than an argument, but the first part of this line is an obvious straw man. No one in the current political climate is arguing for a complete dissolution of government power such that only the American people as a collective would be responsible for defending the country or performing any other task. Rather, the question is how much responsibility should be left to private citizens. Saying "private citizens cannot handle all responsibilities" is not the same as saying "private citizens cannot handle any responsibility at all."

Straw Man #2: 

"No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores."

Like the first straw man, this one argues against something which is obviously false, and which no one believes. A single, individual person obviously cannot do all of this alone, but again, that does not imply that if someone cannot do something alone, the government must step in and do it for them. For instance, an architect cannot build a skyscraper alone. He needs laborers, engineers, and other people. But saying he can't do this alone is not the same thing as saying that private citizens cannot cooperatively agree to do this without help from the government.

Straw Man #3: 

"We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn."

No one is proposing completely giving up caring for older generations, nor is anyone proposing completely ignoring young people's needs. The question is how much government can afford to spend on each. More to the point, no one on either side is proposing complete abolition of programs that help the elderly or the disabled.

Straw Man #4:

"We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few."

This particular straw man presumably is meant to apply to income inequality. At least, that's the only public policy issue that this author can see it relating to. However, as with the others, it is a misreading of people who argue against greater income equality. For one thing, freedom and happiness are not necessarily the same as money, and luck is not the only thing that makes a person wealthy. Moreover, people who argue that income inequality is not necessarily a problem are not defending the idea that only a few can be wealthy, which is a question of income mobility, not equality.

Straw Man #5: 

"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms."

This straw man, which deals with global warming, is actually two fallacies in one. It is a straw man because no one believes they can avoid the impact of natural disasters completely, and it also begs the question by assuming that solving global warming will solve the problem of fires, drought and storms, while simultaneously trying to prove that by solving global warming, natural disasters will be lessened.

Straw Man #6:

"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

The President's critics on national security do not believe in perpetual war. They may believe in seeing some wars through to their conclusion, or starting other wars out of necessity, but none of them believes in perpetual war for its own sake.

Straw Man #7:

"For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts."

People arguing against bills such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which claim to be devoted to ensuring equal pay for women, often do so because they are concerned that these laws give trial lawyers too much of an excuse to sue, not because they believe women should be underpaid.

Straw Man #8:

"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

Again, there are no mainstream political figures who believe that gays should be unequal before the law. In fact, gays enjoy all the same constitutional protections as straight people. The question of whether the right to marriage is one of those constitutional protections, however, is an unresolved question, though the Supreme Court may resolve it later this year. This straw man also assumes that the only function of marriage is to facilitate love. That is certainly one view, but it is not one that all critics of gay marriage subscribe to, and thus assuming that they oppose gay marriage out of opposition to love is a straw man.

Straw Man #9:

"Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity."

Shutting off immigration completely is not a policy proposal being offered. What is being argued about is the question of what to do with people who immigrated to the US in contradiction to its laws.

Straw Man #10:

"Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness."

This is obviously true, but is also a straw man because no one believes that following a blueprint for governance requires the people following that blueprint to make all the same lifestyle choices. This is not even an argument that constitutional originalists on the Supreme Court advance. The President is arguing against a position that is not held by his critics.

That's ten straw men in slightly under 20 minutes. In other words, one logical fallacy every 2 minutes, on average.

20130120

Disarming Citizens:
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door. Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way.

With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it... In the darkness, you make out two shadows.

 One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside.

As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble. In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless.. Yours was never registered.. Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.

When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter. "What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask. "Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing.

"Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven." The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper. Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them.. Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times.

But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die." The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters..

As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media.

The surviving burglar has become a folk hero. Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win. The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time.

The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars. A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you.. Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man.

It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges. The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened.

On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth,Norfolk , England, killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.. How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire  ? It started with the Pistols Act of 1903.

This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns..

Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns. Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987.

Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the street shooting everyone he saw.

When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead. The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)

Nine years later, at Dunblane, Scotland, Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals.

Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns.

The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the few sidearm's still owned by private citizens.

During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism.

Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.

Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."

All of Tony Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences.

Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars. When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law.

The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply. Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens. How did the authorities know who had handguns?

The guns had been registered and licensed.

Kind of like cars. Sound familiar? WAKE UP AMERICA; THIS IS WHY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS PUT THE SECOND AMENDMENT IN OUR CONSTITUTION. "...It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."

--Samuel Adams If you think this is important, please forward to everyone you know..

You had better wake up, because Obama is doing this very same thing, over here, if he can get it done. And there are stupid people in congress and on the street that will go right along with him.