Either the folks at PETA are marketing geniuses (which I know they are most of the time) or they are complete idiots (which I additionally know they are most of the time). There have been 2 occasions this past week that have made me say “WHAT?!?!” out-loud as I was reading the news:
- PETA goes after Veterinary Association for Promoting Fish Abuse
The AVMA (an entity of which I am a member) National Convention is in Seattle next month. Part of the convention includes a demonstration from the folks at the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. It seems PETA is concerned that the throwing of dead fish is inhumane and would like for the AVMA to cancel the demo.
The AVMA response was appropriate and swift: Shut up PETA, we are having the Pike Place Fishmongers program.
- PETA wishes Obama hadn’t swatted that Fly
Note to Ms. Newkirk-Flies are insects, not animals.
Note to self-Never eat at a PETA member’s fly-infested home.
I think the Onion might have some insight in helping me understand the mind of a PETA member with this “article”, Heroic PETA Commandos Kill 49, Save Rabbit.
Hasn’t anyone in the White House heard of PhotoShop?
NEW YORK (AP) — One of the president’s official planes and a supersonic fighter jet zoomed past the lower Manhattan skyline in a flash just as the work day was beginning Monday. Within minutes, startled financial workers streamed out of their offices, fearing a nightmarish replay of Sept. 11.
For a half-hour, the Boeing 747 and F-16 jet circled the Statue of Liberty and the lower Manhattan skyline near the World Trade Center site. Offices evacuated. Dispatchers were inundated with calls. Witnesses thought the planes were flying dangerously low.
But the flyover was nothing but a photo op, apparently one of a series of flights to get pictures of the president’s airliner in front of national landmarks.
Columbia News Tribune
April 17, 2008
Conflict of interest?
Is it wrong for a newspaper publisher to actively work privately and publicly for community projects while also writing editorials on those subjects?
My own efforts in behalf of a new building for the State Historical Society of Missouri recently have been questioned in this way. As a member of the society board of trustees, I have worked hard to gain favor for this very important project, including comment in this column. I have disclosed my position on the society board. All activities and communications subject to the state Sunshine Law have been open.
I have a confluence of interests, not a conflict. I plan to keep working hard with all the resources I can muster for the betterment of the community as I see it. I hope I can do some good, but sometimes I will be a target for critics. Fair enough.
Interesting twist on words used by Mr. Waters.
What exactly is a “Confluence of interests”? I took some time to research the term and found the following in Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology by Charles Crawford and Dennis Krebs. The authors cite that long-term (mate retention) relationships cause a confluence of interest; the welfare of one individual is in the best interest of the other. The authors go further to cite that the single strongest case of a confluence of interest is created by the existence of shared children. If a couple have children together, they both have a shared interest in the child doing well, and have an interest in each other doing well for the welfare of the child (the common interest).
Now let’s look at “conflict of interest”. Webster’s New World Law Dictionary defines it as “the real or apparent conflict between one’s personal interest in a matter and one’s duty to another or to the public in general regarding the same matter.”
So what is the “confluence” here? Mr. Waters has a financial stake in the success of the Columbia Daily Tribune. He has a personal stake in pursuing his vision of success for the Historical Society. The Columbia Daily Tribune has no stake in the Historical Society nor does the Historical Society have a stake in the Tribune. The only thing the entities have in common is the interest of Mr. Waters.
The Tribune and Mr. Waters have a responsibility to the community to accurately report the news. While Mr. Waters’ daily commentary appears in the “opinion” section and Mr. Waters does have the freedom to share his opinions, thoughts and beliefs in his paper such actions beg the question: What (if anything) has Mr. Waters pulled from print in support of his efforts “to keep working hard with all the resources I can muster for the betterment of the community as I see it”? Therein lies the conflict….
From the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) document titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”
“Rightwing extremism,” the report said in a footnote on Page 2, goes beyond religious and racial hate groups and extends to “those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”
“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” said the report, which also listed gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as potential risks.
Documents Disclose Land Grab Scheme, Part 1
COLUMBIA, 4/13/09 (Beat Byte) –A public information request from Columbia Citizens listserv founder Traci Wilson-Kleekamp has unearthed a motherlode of documents implicating a behind-the-scenes group of city leaders in a now-defunct scheme to take private downtown land using City Hall, eminent domain, and an ugly specter from Columbia’s racially-troubled past — a Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority.
Proposed for construction of a State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSM) museum, the downtown land included Bengals Grill, U.S. Cleaners, and a rental house owned by the proprietors of Addison’s Restaurant.
Primarily orchestrated by Columbia Daily Tribune publisher Henry J. “Hank” Waters, the scheme shows up in email conversations as early as May of last year. It culminates in a November 12, 2008 letter from SHSM director Gary R. Kremer to Columbia City Manager William H. “Bill” Watkins, with details Kremer would later deny.
The article goes on to describe how Hank Waters timed editorials in accordance with the dealings of the Historical Society Board activities.
If this is true, it is an example of the insider overuse of political influence that makes most people distrust their government (and media), and rightfully so! The community discussion of this issue all but died a couple of weeks ago when the Historical Society decided to put the building in an MU parking lot rather than trying to “buy” the privately owned properties. I have a feeling there will be more community discussion before this is over.
“Feinstein seeks block solar power from desert land” is the title of an AP story that is running on the Columbia Daily Tribune site today. Since the article does not recognize Sen. Diane Feinstein as the Democrat Senator from California, I will.
All I can say is, “What?!?”
There are many things one can say both for and against the Governor of California, but the comment attributed to Arnold Schwarzenegger makes me appreciate his common sense. He is quoted as saying the following;
“If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don’t know where the hell we can put it.”
My thoughts exactly! If we cannot put alternative energy plants where the alternative energy sources exist in quantities that make the capture and conversion at least partially efficient, what’s the point in pushing alternative energy? Maybe I am just too simple.