Is President Obama Muslim?

January 25, 2014

A friend, who happens to be a Muslim and politically active, sent me this:

Next time one of your RWNJ friends or relatives claims President Obama is a “closet Muslim” who is trying to spread Islamic law throughout the U.S., remind them of this:

In Muslim countries there are certain tendencies. Among them:

  • They are anti-abortion.
  • They are supportive of the death penalty.
  • They are anti-gun control.
  • They are anti-separation of church and state.
  • They are supportive of teaching religious indoctrination in school.
  • They believe women should have less rights than men.
  • They oppose “multiculturalism.”
  • They believe homosexuality is “evil” and do not allow same-sex marriage.

SO, if President Obama were REALLY trying to spread Islamic law in the U.S., he’d be a REPLUBLICAN!!

Most of the people who complain about Shariah law in the U.S. don’t know what it is, and also don’t know what is in the Republican platforms in the states and national party.

Then, sorta to drill it home, another friend commented:

http://i.qkme.me/3qatww.jpg

http://rollingout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/obama_in_israel_pic_3.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSQSOXrcAq2V_q-sRcx7zW_mRrW68bHglAOkFfc4VvxASqU0i52

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U5ug6oq0YEI/T6A2wvROiDI/AAAAAAAAAsA/ApHANGIbdjY/s1600/Obama+Bin+Laden+killing.jpg#obama%20killed%20Osama%20Bin%20Laden%20550x440

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/07/05/amd_obama-hotdog.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSNRqZ2_AkVhn-0zB8vjncxXRvvZV1Zu9klSZB1CEf2ndH5rhuPhttp://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_large/hash/52/29/52290a70c1b5478b5f29057e6b5082ce.jpg?itok=p0p342pU

http://www.bartcop.com/worst-muslin.jpg

Please don’t bother me with your bizarre claims that Barack Obama is Muslim. It immediately brands you, in my admittedly jaundiced eye, as one who either cannot tell nonsense from the truth, or one who is intent on spreading mistruths for nefarious, skullduggerous reasons.

[I apologize; the missive that came to me did not bear credit for the photographs; if you know who deserves credit for any or all of them, please tell us in comments.]

Tip of the old scrub brush to Eric and Jim.  They know who they are.


Fly your flag at half-staff today, honoring President John F. Kennedy

November 22, 2013

U.S. flags at the Washington Monument fly at half-staff, with the dome of the U.S. Capitol in the background.  Image captured from U.S. Flags.com

U.S. flags at the Washington Monument fly at half-staff, with the dome of the U.S. Capitol in the background. Image captured from U.S. Flags.com

November 22, 2013:  A proclamation from President Barack Obama:

Obama Proclamation on Day of Remembrance for President Kennedy

21 November 2013

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
November 21, 2013

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

A half century ago, America mourned the loss of an extraordinary public servant. With broad vision and soaring but sober idealism, President John F. Kennedy had called a generation to service and summoned a Nation to greatness. Today, we honor his memory and celebrate his enduring imprint on American history.

In his 3 years as President of the United States, John F. Kennedy weathered some of the most perilous tests of the Cold War and led America to the cusp of a bright new age. His leadership through the Cuban Missile Crisis remains the standard for American diplomacy at its finest. In a divided Berlin, he delivered a stirring defense of freedom that would echo through the ages, yet he also knew that we must advance human rights here at home. During his final year in office, he proposed a civil rights bill that called for an end to segregation in America. And recognizing women’s basic right to earn a living equal to their efforts, he signed the Equal Pay Act into law.

While President Kennedy’s life was tragically cut short, his vision lives on in the generations he inspired — volunteers who serve as ambassadors for peace in distant corners of the globe, scientists and engineers who reach for new heights in the face of impossible odds, innovators who set their sights on the new frontiers of our time. Today and in the decades to come, let us carry his legacy forward. Let us face today’s tests by beckoning the spirit he embodied — that fearless, resilient, uniquely American character that has always driven our Nation to defy the odds, write our own destiny, and make the world anew.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 22, 2013, as a Day of Remembrance for President John F. Kennedy. I call upon all Americans to honor his life and legacy with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. I also call upon Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on the Day of Remembrance for President John F. Kennedy. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

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White House photo:  Presidents and First Ladies, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, post a wreath and salute President John F. Kennedy at Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery, November 20, 2013

White House photo: Presidents and First Ladies, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, post a wreath and salute President John F. Kennedy at Kennedy’s gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery, November 20, 2013


Two presidents, a study in blue

September 27, 2013

Pete Souza photo - Pres Obama talks backstage with Pres Clinton as Hillary Clinton waits to be introduced at CGI event 9-24-2013

White House photographer Pete Souza: ‏@petesouza 24 Sep Pres Obama talks backstage with Pres Clinton as Hillary Clinton waits to be introduced at CGI [Clinton Global Initiative] event today [September 24, 2013] pic.twitter.com/TCYqyxMZa8

Pete Souza’s work as White House photographer continues to fascinate me.  He’s got more opportunity than most of us have to get great shots — but he’s also got a keen eye for a good story-telling photo, and a good eye for great photo composition on the fly.

In this photo, Souza captures two presidents lost in conversation, bathed in blue stage lights, awaiting their time on the stage; but next up is Hillary Clinton, who will introduce them.  Mrs. Clinton awaits her cue.  The presidents met at the annual meetings for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Hold on to this photo; depending on events of 2016, it may yet have many more stories to tell.


President Obama, a man of grace and encouragement

May 27, 2013

Consoler and Encourager in Chief:

Note President Obama left at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Oklahoma

Caption from Pete Souza‘s slide show: A message from President Barack Obama is seen on a Plaza Towers Elementary School sign, at Moore Fire Department Station #1 in Moore, Okla., May 26, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Pete Souza‘s work as White House photographer will ultimately make historians’ work much richer.  He’s got a great eye for a shot that needs to be snapped, and a great sense of art on the fly.  If you’re not a regular watcher of Souza’s work, you probably should be, especially if you’re teaching history.

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Presidents and umbrellas

May 19, 2013

A few photos from history:

President Dwight D. Eisenhower:

President Dwight D. Eisenhower with Indian President Rajendra Prasad, in India

Two Countries, One Umbrella – President Dwight D. Eisenhower with Indian President Rajendra Prasad, in India, December 11, 1959 (anyone have the year?) 

President John F. Kennedy

Aide holds umbrella for First Lady Jacqueline and President John F. Kennedy, inaugural night, 1961.

Aide holds umbrella for First Lady Jacqueline and President John F. Kennedy, inaugural night, 1961.

President Lyndon B. Johnson

Johnson in Honololulu 1966, with umbrella

President Lyndon B. Johnson arrives for church services in Honolulu, February 6, 1966, during Vietnam negotiations. To Johnson’s immediate right, Rep. Spark Matsunaga; on Johnson’s left, a Secret Service agent. National Archives photo

President Richard M. Nixon

Nixon campaigning in the rain in Hawaii, 1960

Caption from The AtlanticWire: In 1960, Richard Nixon pledged to campaign in all 50 states. He was not even rewarded for this foolishness with nice weather in Hawaii.

My memory is that no other presidential candidate has campaigned in Hawaii since then.  Has any other candidate campaigned in Alaska?

NASA Administrator Dr. Thomas Paine holding umbrella for Nixon

Collection: NASA Great Images in Nasa Collection Title: Nixon and Paine at Apollo 12 Launch Full Description: Dr. Thomas Paine, NASA Administrator, shields First Lady, Mrs. Richard M. Nixon, from rain while the President and daughter Tricia, foreground, watch Apollo 12 prelaunch activities at the Kennedy Space Center viewing area. Following the successful liftoff, the President congratulated the launch crew from within the control center. Date: 11/14/1969 NASA photo, on Flickr

The image of Nixon in the rain was captured several times.

Nixon, staff and security, in the rain

From the AtlanticWire: Even amid his staff and security, Nixon looks like a lonely man helpless against the elements. (AP photo?)

President Gerald R. Ford

Gerald Ford in the rain

Wally McNamee photo, University of Texas Center for American History.  UPI caption for their photos:  As Betty Ford holds the umbrella, a military aide rushes forward to assist President Ford as he trips and falls on the lower steps of the plane ramp following his arrival in Salzburg, Austria on June 1, 1975. (UPI Photo/Files)

President Ronald Reagan:

President Reagan in the rain

Undated photo of First Lady Nancy and President Ronald Reagan being sheltered on an airport in an unnamed place. Image from BigotBasher.

Reagan at the White House, in the rain:

White House staff shelter President Reagan's waving.  Freakout Nation image

White House staff shelter President Reagan’s waving. Freakout Nation image

President George H. W. Bush:

G H W Bush in the rain July 1989, AtlanticWire

Barbara Bush held the umbrella for President George H. W. Bush in July 1989 (in Italy?). From The AtlanticWire.

G H W Bush in the rain, late 1989

President George H. W. Bush found himself in the rain again, in late 1989. AtlanticWire image

President Barack Obama:

Obama at Lincoln National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2010

President Barack Obama took the stage amidst a downpour at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois, on Memorial Day. He announced that the event was being canceled because of the severe weather, and he told the crowd to seek shelter, May 31, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Here’s the photo of Obama the GOP hope Americans never see

May 17, 2013

It’s a prize-winning photograph by “Scout Tufankjian, an independent photographer whose portfolio includes a book of photographs from Obama’s first run for the White House.”

Scout Tufankjian's award-nominated photograph of Barack and Michelle Obama in East Davenport, Iowa, in 2012.

Barack and Michelle Obama in Booth No. 3 at Lagomarcino’s in the Village of East Davenport, Iowa, during the 2012 election campaign

Photographs sometimes reveal truths, and sometimes those truths are wonderful, and smile-making.

Bill Wundram’s column discusses the photo, in the Quad-City Times (it’s worth the click to read it).

THE QUIETUDE of the soda fountain booth was a marked difference from a rousing Obama appearance a half-hour earlier at a curb-to-curb outdoor rally.

After the speech, the Obamas adjourned to the cool of Lago’s. Tom had  prepared for them to be seated in Booth No. 3.

“The Obamas were shaking so many hands before coming into our soda shop that I had to make three different chocolate sundaes for them.” Tom says. “They kept melting.”

You can see all the photos in this Sony contest in a slide show, here.

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Fly flags at half-staff today, May 15, for National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

May 15, 2013

Missed this earlier.

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation urging Americans to fly flags at half-staff on May 15, 2013, in honor of peace officers who fell in the line of duty, National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Flag at half-staff in Newtown, Connecticut; from the Newtown, Bee

Flag at half-staff in Newtown, Connecticut; from the Newtown, Bee: Newtown Hook & Ladder Fire Co. #1 has the duty of raising amd lowering the American flag on the Main Street flagpole. Governor Malloy has ordered all flags to be lowered on Wednesday, May 15, in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

For Immediate Release

May 10, 2013

Presidential Proclamations — Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, 2013

PEACE OFFICERS MEMORIAL DAY AND POLICE WEEK, 2013

- – – – – – -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Day after day, police officers in every corner of America suit up, put on the badge, and carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve. They step out the door every morning without considering bravery or heroics. They stay focused on meeting their responsibilities. They concentrate on keeping their neighborhoods safe and doing right by their fellow officers. And with quiet courage, they help fulfill the demanding yet vital task of shielding our people from harm. It is work that deserves our deepest respect — because when darkness and danger would threaten the peace, our police officers are there to step in, ready to lay down their lives to protect our own.

This week, we pay solemn tribute to men and women who did. Setting aside fear and doubt, these officers made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the rule of law and the communities they loved. They heard the call to serve and answered it; braved the line of fire; charged toward the danger. Our hearts are heavy with their loss, and on Peace Officers Memorial Day, our Nation comes together to reflect on the legacy they left us.

As we mark this occasion, let us remember that we can do no greater service to those who perished than by upholding what they fought to protect. That means doing everything we can to make our communities safer. It means putting cops back on the beat and supporting them with the tools and training they need. It means getting weapons of war off our streets and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals — common-sense measures that would reduce gun violence and help officers do their job safely and effectively.

Together, we can accomplish those goals. So as we take this time to honor law enforcement in big cities and small towns all across our country, let us join them in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow. Our police officers serve and sacrifice on our behalf every day, and as citizens, we owe them nothing less than our full and lasting support.

By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as “Peace Officers Memorial Day” and the week in which it falls as “Police Week.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2013, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 12 through May 18, 2013, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

President Barack Obama stands for a photo with 2013 National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS award winners during a ceremony in East Room of the White House on May 11.

President Barack Obama stands for a photo with 2013 National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS award winners during a ceremony in East Room of the White House on May 11.

Ceremonies honoring policemen and other peace officers have been carried on all week in Washington, and across the country.  President Obama met with honored officers last Saturday in the White house.  President Obama also had comments today at a ceremony honoring peace officers, in the Capitol.

BARACK OBAMA

For Immediate Release

Remarks by the President at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service

U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.

11:20 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat.  Thank you, Chuck, for that introduction and more importantly for your leadership as National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.  I want to recognize the entire Order and all its leaders, including Jim Pasco, for everything that you do on behalf of the fine officers who walk the beat, or answer the call, and do the difficult work of keeping our communities safe all across the country.

I want to also acknowledge FOP Auxiliary President Linda Hennie for the good work that she and all her members do to support the families of police officers.  We are very grateful to you, to Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, members of Congress, members of my administration who are here, to all the law enforcement officials who are and, most of all, to the survivor families.

Scripture tells us, “None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”  The brave officers we gather to remember today devoted themselves so fully to others — to serve and to protect others — that in the process they were willing to give their lives.

And so, today, let us not remember them just for how they died, but also for how they lived.

Officer Bruce St. Laurent of the Jupiter, Florida Police Department was, according to a friend, “just what a cop should be:  tough, compassionate, caring, and brave.”  But to his community, he was more than a cop.  He was a cancer survivor.  He was a guest teacher at Jupiter High School who used the laws of traffic to help kids learn physics.  He was an amateur snake charmer of sorts, eagerly taking panicked calls about snakes on the loose.  And at Christmas time, he loved being Santa Claus for the kids in the local Head Start program.

I have the privilege of working with some of the nation’s finest law enforcement officers and professionals every day.  And I’m perpetually mindful of the sacrifices they make for me and for my family, and for other leaders and visiting dignitaries, but never more so than when I was told that Officer St. Laurent was struck and killed by another vehicle while driving his motorcycle as part of my motorcade.

Bruce was a loving husband to Brenda, a doting father to Larry, and Albert, and Lenny, and Chartelle.  And he will be missed so deeply by his family at home and by his family in the force.  And the police officers who came from all over the country to attend Bruce’s funeral, some bringing their motorcycles as far away as California, they’re a testimony to how much he’ll be missed.

Like Bruce, Deputy Sheriff Barbara Ann Pill of Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in Florida was a force for good in her community — remembered as a “behind-the-scenes hero” by those who knew her.  Because for Barbara, helping others was never a question.  Before joining the force, she counseled abused children and helped families struggling with domestic abuse.  That passion served her and led her to a career in law enforcement, and inspired her two sons to follow.  So when Barbara was shot while investigating a suspicious vehicle last spring, not only did her husband, Steve, lose his partner of more than 30 years, the town of Melbourne, and the nation itself, lost one of its most dedicated citizens.

All of you in law enforcement, you devote your lives to serving and protecting your communities.  Many of you have done it for your country as well.  After serving two tours in Iraq as a Marine, Bradley Michael Fox retired with honor and followed his dream to becoming a police officer.  He had been with the Plymouth Township Police Department in Pennsylvania for five years when he was shot and killed pursuing a suspect last September.  It was the day before his 35th birthday, and six months before the birth of his son.

Nothing will replace the enthusiasm that he brought to his job, or the tremendous pride he had in his family.  But today, Brad’s wife, Lynsay, and daughter, Kadence, and baby, Brad Jr., have a living reminder of their fallen hero — that’s Brad’s K9 partner, a trusty shepherd named Nick, who Lynsay adopted into the family when he retired from the force last fall.

Deputy Sheriff Scott Ward also defined service.  He was a former officer in the Air Force, a deputy in the Baldwin County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office for 15 years, and finished a tour in Afghanistan last year as a reservist in the Coast Guard.

Last November, Deputy Sheriff Ward was shot and killed in the line of duty while trying to settle a domestic dispute.  And he died as he lived — serving his community and his country.  And the fact that his funeral procession stretched for miles demonstrated the thanks of a grateful nation to Scott’s wife, Andrea, and his family.

At Scott’s funeral, Baldwin Country Sheriff Huey Mack said, “Tomorrow we will continue to grieve Scott, but we will have to move on.  That’s what Scott would want us to do because our mission does not stop.”

That message I think rings true in every police department across the country.  As difficult as times may be, as tough as the losses may be, your mission does not stop.  You never let down your guard.  And those of us who you protect should never let slide our gratitude either.  We should not pause and remember to thank first responders and police officers only in the wake of tragedy.  We should do it every day.  And those of us who have the privilege to lead should all strive to support you better — whether it’s making sure police departments and first responders have the resources they need to do their jobs, or the reforms that are required to protect more of our officers and their families from the senseless epidemics of violence that all too often wrack our cities and haunt our neighborhoods.

And Bobby Kennedy once said that the fight against crime “is a fight to preserve that quality of community which is at the root of our greatness.”

The 143 fallen officers we honor today put themselves on the front lines of that fight, to preserve that quality of community, and to protect the roots of our greatness.  They exemplified the very idea of citizenship — that with our God-given rights come responsibilities and obligations to ourselves and to others.  They embodied that idea.  That’s the way they died.  That’s how we must remember them.  And that’s how we must live.

We can never repay our debt to these officers and their families, but we must do what we can, with all that we have, to live our lives in a way that pays tribute to their memory.  That begins, but does not end, by gathering here — with heavy hearts, to carve their names in stone, so that all will know them, and that their legacy will endure.  We are grateful to them and we are grateful to you.

May God bless the memory of those we lost, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
11:29 A.M. EDT

President Barack Obama, with Chuck Canterbury, president, Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, arrives at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service

White House caption: President Barack Obama, with Chuck Canterbury, president, Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, arrives at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the previous year, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. May 15, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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