Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Cotton Pickin’, Finger Lickin Chicken Plucker

"I want to be a cotton pickin', finger lickin' chicken plucker,
The same as my old man."*

The only time I've ever had a Chick-fil-A sandwich was at the Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center in 2008, where we were assigned interior security. The organizers had arranged to feed us once per shift – and (ironically) the first day provided a cooler full of chicken. They were fine.

I have no dog in the current "fight" with Chick-fil-A, its president or his opinions. I strongly support gay marriage, however, so maybe I'm at odds with the "Eat More Chikin" folks. I wasn't really paying attention to what is an entirely silly, contrived dispute. That is, right up to the point the Mayor of Boston got involved.

"If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies," Menino told the Boston Herald, referring to Chick-fil-A. "Open up their policies" apparently means…. What? Absent any evidence that the company actually engages in discrimination, presumably the company president cannot voice opinions with which the City of Boston officially disagrees. If he does, there is a price to pay.

Shall we fiddle with the facts?

"America's Sheriff" Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has undertaken an investigation into the validity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate. His task force recently reported that the document is "definitely fraudulent." (NOTE: I express no opinion here about the investigation) Assume that Sheriff Arpaio concludes, therefore, that anyone supporting Barack Obama for reelection is encouraging a violation of the US Constitution. Consequently, he orders his deputies to – scrutinize vehicles for "Obama 2012" stickers; stop said vehicles if a valid traffic violation is observed; issue tickets, rather than warnings, to the driver of the vehicle. "Until somebody hands me something valid," Sheriff Joe might observe, "I'm gonna assume anyone who buys his bumper stickers is an accessory to fraud."

A government official targeting people for their opinions is, of course, outrageous. So are the comments of the Mayor of Boston.

*My Old Man, Think Ethnic, The Smother's Brothers, 1964

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