Barack Obama

Obama not the wolf in sheep’s clothing here

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Some “conservatives” are circulating a heavily edited video excerpt of a speech by President Obama. In it, he contrasts the “ideas eventually inspired a band of colonialists across an ocean, and [written] into the founding documents that still guide America today, including the simple truth that all men, and women, are created equal” with another set of ideals. The video has been edited to have him saying that those other ideals, and not the American ones, are the basis of an “international order that we have worked for generations to build.” The full text and full video are readily available. I am no fan of Mr. Obama, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize him without painting a deliberately false picture, and doing so only undermines legitimate, appropriate criticism. (Perhaps the people who put the short video together didn’t understand the speech and actually thought he was espousing the bit they posted, not opposing it. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse and the choice of what they cut argues that they knew exactly what they were doing.) Here is a bit of what he actually espoused in the speech:

“I believe that over the long haul as nations that are free, as free people, the future is ours. I believe this not because I’m naive. And I believe this not because of the strength of our arms or the size of our economies. I believe this because these ideals that we affirm are true. These ideals are universal.

Yes, we believe in democracy, with elections that are free and fair, and independent judiciaries and opposition parties, civil society and uncensored information so that individuals can make their own choices. Yes, we believe in open economies based on free markets and innovation and individual initiative and entrepreneurship and trade and investment that creates a broader prosperity.

And yes, we believe in human dignity, that every person is created equal — no matter who you are or what you look like or who you love or where you come from. That is what we believe. That’s what makes us strong. And our enduring strength is also reflected in our respect for an international system that protects the rights of both nations and people — a United Nations and a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law and the means to enforce those laws.”

The edited version has him saying “the international order that we have worked for generations to build. [… this is where two paragraphs are cut]

ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs, that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign.”

Sounds awful and un-American. And, that was actually the President’s point.

Full text of speech

Tim Horton's

If you oppose the BK-Tim Hortons merger, you hate teachers and the children

Tim Horton's

Tim Horton’s

America’s current and retired public school teachers are the second largest institutional owner of Burger King.

TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC, – Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA–CREF) – owns 1.17% of Burger King.

Teachers Advisors, Inc.- another TIAA-CREF affiliate – owns another 0.43%.

This makes America’s teachers the second largest institutional owner of Burger King.

Yahoo Finance as of June 30, 2014.

Bottom line: If you oppose this merger, you clearly hate teachers and the children.

First they came for the chickens (with apologies to Martin Niemöller)

In a particularly cruel violation of the 5th and 14th Amendment’s protections against deprivation of property without due process of law, a Minnesota Police Chief has made himself judge, jury and executioner in the case of a 5-year old boy’s pet chicken. He claims that the animal violates a city ordinance against “fowls”. Aside from the patently ridiculous and utterly unenforceable nature of an ordinance against birds, which has to be laid at the feet of the local town council, the Chief’s behavior goes beyond the norm for enforcing a minor city ordinance. At most, he would be reasonably empowered to impound, and preserve, the property in question pending a hearing. That the property happens to be a living thing and that he dispatched it in a manner cruel to both the animal and the owner calls into question not only his regard for the rule of law, but his fitness to serve on a psychological basis.

The poor mother, unfortunately, is deluded: “The chicken was like a puppy dog to my son. You wouldn’t do that to a puppy.” To be clear, she is not deluded in thinking the chicken was like a puppy dog to her son, she was deluded in thinking that the police wouldn’t do the same thing to a puppy.

It’s easy enough to write this off as merely a callous way of handling a mere chicken or even the occasional overreaction to a barking dog. The problem, as educated police law enforcement officials would readily agree, is that cruelty to animals is linked to cruelty to humans. The the triad of sociopathy as extensively studied by FBI profiler John Douglas is commonly considered an indicator of future potential for violence, particularly serial violence. The triad is fire setting, cruelty to animals and persistent childhood bedwetting beyond a certain age. It shouldn’t be necessary to ask questions about bedwetting. When public servants display one aspect of the triad, it should be sufficient to disqualify them for a job with the power entrusted to police.

The wanton disregard of the rule of law in violating property rights without due process is egregious enough to call into question this Chief’s fitness to serve. His cruelty to both an animal and that animal’s five year old owner settles the question. First, he came for the chickens…


Police chief decapitates boy’s pet chicken