A friend of mine with whom I have had several gun control discussions recently (she is anti-gun control, for reasons having to do with her personal history) sent me a video titled "Obama to Top Brass: Will you fire on American Citizens?" warning that President Obama has a "litmus test" which he is applying to prepare the military to fire on American civilians. She asked my opinion.
If anybody else runs across this, perhaps this takedown that I replied with will be useful.
OK, let's take this apart. We have one guy, a Jim Garrow, relaying hot-button information from an anonymous source.
First things first, who's Jim Garrow? I am made suspicious by how much time and effort he spends to establish his credentials -- not a habit of people who actually have credentials. It took a while to run him down since the first two and a half pages of Google results are all about this story, but finally there's this: http://poundpuplegacy.org/...
His biography is littered with contradictions. His title of "Doctor" is an honorary degree in theology from an unaccredited school. (http://www.back2college.com/... vs. http://www.ncctonline.com/...). He claims he completed the coursework but that the degree was honorary -- huh?
The interviewer makes a big deal of the assertion that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Whoopee. Any college professor could submit a nomination for their cat for the NPP and it would be a valid nomination. (http://www.nobelprize.org/...) [Actually, that'd be pretty cool. :D ] In addition, nominations are held in secret, so the claim is pretty safe to make.
The Pre-Bethune businesses he tried to run were uniformly shady. The censored internet service he tried to start never actually delivered any service, to the financial loss of other investors, and when a newspaper published an article about it he sued the newspaper. His teaching certificate was suspended and he was fined for his behavior toward his students. He started a flight school and didn't bother to register or insure the airplane, which is kind of an entertaining story to read about 'cause it gets better, but you get the idea.
The Pink Pagoda operation, while it sounds really, really wonderful in ideal terms also has its share of contradictions. He puts up information on his website about an alliance with a Chinese lawyer who, when contacted, says he never heard of Garrow. He claims to never have requested charitable contributions but his website included until recently a section reading "Should you choose to donate, please use our PayPal donation button" which he now claims was for the purchase of merchandise. He cites his reputation in China as being recognized and appreciated by people walking by on the street, yet says he's not surprised people there don't know of his work because he tries to keep a low profile. There are ethical questions raised by his work which I didn't bother to delve into at this point.
All right. So this flim-flam artist -- excuse me, this patriotic paragon -- a Canadian, mind you -- is picked to be approached by some superpatriot, a "legend in the U.S. military", to reveal a horrible antipatriotic secret that just randomly happens to hit the hottest of hot buttons in the public mind today. He claims a widespread "purge" of the military based on this "litmus test." If this is true, why aren't there dozens, hundreds, thousands of displaced military personnel all telling the same story? A handful. Two, even. Give me two.
If the source is identified, we'll look at the source, but for right now it's bogus. Mr. Garrow is looking for his fifteen minutes of fame.