The Obama birthplace questions remain
David Weigel of Reason stews over the latest on the Baby Barack birth certificate mystery - apparently someone has dredged up a contemporaneous birth announcement in Hawaii, which certainly is consistent with the notion that he was born there, rather than borne there. Yet questions remain! And Mr. Weigel mocks those questions thusly:
The idea of Obama's family collaborating to create a false biography for him is, in itself, hilarious. How did those 1961 dinner table conversations go, do they think? "If we don't create a false story, and fast, our half-African son of an 18-year old mother will have no chance at becoming president!"
Har de har. But seriously, folks - I can think of three reasons in five seconds, all of which would have been perfectly likely to have occurred to Obama's proud mama back in 1961:
1. Simple patriotism/nationalism - Obama's mom wanted her son to be an American like her.
2. Common sense - US citizenship was highly likely to be more valuable than Kenyan citizenship.
3. Legal protection in the possibly-foreseeable event of a custody dispute. Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, may have contemplated the following rather ghastly scenario: Suppose Mr. Obama took his black son, a native of Kenya, back to Kenya to be raised by his family. Suppose it became clear in court that the child's parents were not in fact married. How much success might Ms. Dunham anticipate in battling in the Kenyan courts for the right to take a Kenyan citizen back to America to be raised by white folks? Isn't it dimly possible that Ms. Dunham wanted to secure her custody of the child by assuring his US citizenship? Or is that just ha-ha ridiculous? Mr. Obama did in fact leave for Harvard a couple of years later, so it is not impossible that Ms. Dunham sensed she was not in a solid long-term relationship.
I am not advocating for any of the outre birth certificate scenarios. But I am advocating for better rebuttals. HMMM: OK, here is Captain Ed:
Unless someone wants to argue that the Advertiser decided to participate in a conspiracy at Obama's birth in 1961 to provide false citizenship on the off-chance that an infant from a union of a Kenyan father and a teenage mother would run for President, then I'd say the "mystery" is over.
See above - the teenage mom may have had plenty of timely reasons to promote the notion of her child's eligibility for US citizenship having nothing to do with her son's Presidential prospects. That said, the idea that a bum birth certificate is going to swing this election is, well, interesting in an "out there" way.
Tired Old Lying Obama - Claims to be member of Senate Banking Committee when he's not
Yet another gaffe (I've lost count). This time the Light Being claims to be places in the Senate he has never been! CNN calls it an "incorrect statement". Come on! If I tell someone I'm George Clooney I'm either a nut or a liar. Take your pick!
"Responding to an Israeli reporter's question Wednesday on his commitment to protect the Jewish state, Barack Obama pointed to a bill "we passed" in the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that tightens sanctions and authorizes divestment from Iran. "My committee," he called it.
Except that he isn't a member of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
"Just this past week, we passed out of the out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee - which is my committee - a bill to call for divestment from Iran as way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon," Obama said at a press conference in Sderot, Israel."
OBAMA KEEPS ARABS BEHIND VEIL
There is something that Barack Obama's campaign doesn't want you to see: The candidate among the Arabs. In his whirlwind tour, the candidate sped through this city where he is held in joyous high regard both for his Muslim roots and the perception, rightly or wrongly, that he might pursue a more "even-handed" Middle East policy (read: more pro-Arab, less pro-Israel).
If Obama had chosen to linger in Jordan more than just eight hours yesterday, he could have headlined a rally here that would have drawn enough jubilant Muslim supporters to fill the Dead Sea.
But the last thing Obama's campaign - which brilliantly choreographs every event - wants are pictures of him before a multitude of ecstatic Arabs. Such images would terrify American voters already wary of the guy with the funny-sounding name, and only serve to reinforce the widespread myth that Obama is a Muslim. Instead, the campaign will let you see a mass rally in Berlin, with thousands of supporters - possibly 100,000 or more - cheering and fainting and crying.
The campaign also will let you see Obama in Jerusalem thronged by Jews, possibly even visiting the Western Wall, and mingling in solidarity with Israelis in the embattled town of Sderot, the favored target for Palestinian rocket attacks.
But no Arabs. They've been pushed out of the picture just like those two veiled Muslim-American girls who attended an Obama rally in Detroit not long ago. Instead of holding a public event here - say, a visit to a Jordanian school, a small business or a health-care center - Obama chose only to answer questions from reporters at a press conference and dine privately with King Abdullah.
"People on the street don't even know that he is here," explained one veteran Jordanian journalist here. "Everyone would like to come out and cheer him, but I know that would probably hurt him in America."
Barack Obama vows to strengthen Israel ties
COMMITTING the US to even closer ties to Israel, Barack Obama yesterday wrapped up a campaign-style sweep through the Jewish state and the West Bank in one of the most politically high-risk stops of his run for the White House. The Democratic nominee followed a path well worn by high-profile visitors - including his Republican rival John McCain - going first to the Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, then the battered Israeli border town of Sderot.
The Illinois senator also met almost a full house of Israeli politicians, many of whom were sceptical about his positions on sensitive issues, such as the future of Jerusalem and his attitude to the Palestinian Authority.
Senator Obama started his tour at his Jerusalem hotel, only 200m from the scene of a bulldozer rampage on Tuesday, meeting first Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
He later visited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, something Senator McCain did not do during his visit in March. His courtesy call at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah went some way to offsetting Palestinian resentment at a comment Senator Obama made during his Democratic campaign, in which he said Jerusalem should remain undivided.
[Note background. Sure to impress Israel supporters]
The Holy City is split into Arab and Jewish sectors and Palestinians saw the remarks as a prejudgment on final-status talks in which Arab East Jerusalem is enshrined as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Israeli politicians also turned up the heat on their most sensitive foreign policy issue, Iran, forcing Senator Obama to again declare his hand on his stance towards the hardline state if he won the presidency. "I want input and insight from Israeli leaders about how they see the current situation," he said. "I will share some of my ideas. The most important thing for me to share is the historic and special relationship between the United States and Israel, one that cannot be broken. One that I have affirmed throughout my career and one that I will intend to not only continue but strengthen in an Obama administration."
As Senator Obama took to the streets, Senator McCain hit the airwaves, trying to deny his rival political mileage, while attempting to assert himself as a stronger candidate on national security and foreign policy.
Jordan's King Abdullah told Senator Obama that ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and achieving a just settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict "tops the priorities of the people of the Middle East" and would bolster US credibility.
In an interview with a US television network, Senator Obama supported a pre-emptive Israeli airstrike on an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor last September, claiming Israel was often forced to make difficult judgments. "The Israelis live in a very tough neighbourhood where a lot of folks publicly proclaim Israel as an enemy and then act on those proclamations," he said. "I think that there was sufficient evidence that they were developing a site using a nuclear ... or using a blueprint that was similar to the North Korean model."
Eight hours before he landed in his presidential campaign jet, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem commandeered a bulldozer, which he used to attack cars and buses in a 200m rampage. Up to 16 people were wounded, but no one was killed in the second such attack in three weeks. Senator Obama said the attack was "a reminder of what Israelis have had to courageously live with on a daily basis for far too long".
He pledged to use his administration - if elected - to reinvigorate the moribund peace process. However, he took a cautionary tone, saying: "I think it's unrealistic to expect that a US president alone can suddenly snap his fingers and bring about peace in this region."
Obama supports Indentured Servitude
On several occasions I have have lamented the declining standard of activism:
Activist: A person who believes so strongly that a problem needs to be remedied that she dedicates substantial time to ... getting other people to fix the problem. It used to be that activists sought voluntary help for their pet problem, and thus retained some semblance of honor. However, our self-styled elite became frustrated at some point in the past that despite their Ivy League masters degrees in sociology, other people did not seem to respect their ideas nor were they particularly interested in the activist's pet issues. So activists sought out the double shortcut of spending their time not solving the problem themselves, and not convincing other people to help, but convincing the government it should compel others to fix the supposed problem. This fascism of good intentions usually consists of government taking money from the populace to throw at the activist's issue, but can also take the form of government-compelled labor and/or government limitations on choice.
It seems that there is a surprisingly large coalition ready to take this to its logical extreme: A group called Service Nation is set to spend a ton of money lobbying the government to create a program to force every young person into servitude by 2020.
Not satisfied with taking 20-40% of our income to spend as they see fit, the government hopes also to be able to order around the labor of millions of young adults. I feel like I am reading some bizarre historical re-enactment of the Soviet or Chinese youth programs. This whole program, which I am tentatively going to label "happy face fascism," makes me so sick I can't even address it further tonight. More later.
PS: This is, not coincidentally, exactly the idea Obama has been pushing (here and here). I say not coincidentally, because this is how one skirts stupid campaign finance laws - you get your supporters to take your top campaign planks and run with them as "independent" efforts that are not subject to campaign finance restrictions.
PPS: Just to head off an argument that came up last time in the comments, I have been a consistent opponent of the military draft as well.
Update: I know the allusion is over-used, but we are in 1984-land when people keep using the term "voluntary universal national service" as do the leaders of this effort. By universal, they mean that everyone has to do it. So they are calling for "national service that everyone is required by law to perform but is voluntary." I do not think that word means what you think it means.
The solution is to develop a system of voluntary universal national service for our country and for the world. To call upon all young adults to take at least one year to learn the hard and rugged skills of practicing idealism.
Yes, lets teach them the "hard and rugged skills" of being forced to do labor that no one is willing to pay for voluntarily, so must be performed by slaves instead.
A conservative and pro-U.S. Arab explains why President Obama will be a great disappointment
If you ask any Obama supporter, they will tell you that they are supporting the man because he gives them hope. Now, Oscar Wilde once said that the basis of all hope is fear, and I intend to agree with Wilde on that one. So what exactly are the Obama supporters afraid of? Well, it's really simple, after 8 years of Bush, and of having the government repeatedly inform them that they are living in a threatening world that doesn't like them (which, by the way, is true, and it disliked them during Clinton's presidency too I may add) and that they are going to have to hunker down, get though and prepare to fight this for the long haul, they are afraid that this is really the way the world is. Enter Obama, who tells them in all kinds of inspiring fashion that this isn't necessarily true, that the world isn't really dangerous and that all we need to do is to talk to one another, and then all will be well in the world and we will all sing Kumbaya together. So, desperate and clinging to anything, they believe him, because the alternative is so scary, so stressful and depressing, that they may have to up their Zoloft dosage , and anti-depressants are really expensive nowadays.
Not to mention, Americans really want the world to like them, which is a silly desire shared by no other nation on earth. You don't see the Russians worrying about the world liking them, or the Chinese. Ok, you want a democracy? How about the French? Do you see the French worrying about whether or not the world likes them? Do you know of any other nation in the world who actually has this stupid girl-with-low-self-esteem-in- junior-high fixation? Hell, even the Israelis, arguably the current most hated country in the world (and who would like a nation of militaristic Jews who refuse to be wiped out? Those Damn Jooz!), are not as fixated on getting the world to like them the way the Americans do, because most of them have resigned themselves that the world really never will like them. So yeah, the Americans stand alone when it comes to that silly desire, and they have constructed a notion why the world dislikes them: It's because the world thinks that they are a racist nation that is also prejudiced against Islam. So, in order to remedy that, they vote and nominate a Black man with an arab middle-name who comes from a Muslim Background, as if saying, "Here! This is how far we all willing to go. Do you like us now?" And the world will answer: Ehh, no, not really!
There are those who will argue with this, citing great support for Obama all over Europe and the world. True, but that's because he is the Anti-Bush, an articulate black man who says he doesn't want war. The world would love fuckin Gary Coleman if he was the person who said this after 8 years of Bush. Plus, the world is excited for the Obama presidency because they view it as some sort of novelty, the black man who became President after all of the country's history of slavery. Americans forget that thanks to their endless stream of movies and TV shows that have addressed the history and extent of racism in the US, we all know the backstory and the struggles and Rosa Parks and Malcom X and MLK and all of this fun stuff. So, really, it's like watching a 250 year old movie where one character keeps getting screwed over and finally, through a lot of fighting, becomes President. Oh Happy Ending. We love Happy endings. What we didn't wrap our head around yet is that this isn't a movie. There is no Fade to Black after Obama takes office. He actually becomes the President and executer of policies. He will become a symbol of the country people love to hate, and this won't exactly end because he is a smooth talking good looking black guy. It's a ncie fantasy, but let's get real here. There are too many people who have vested interest in hating the US and always will hate it, no matter who the f*ck runs it. Now let's examine this notion a little.
Unarguably , Obama's number one foreign policy objective is to get things right with the arab and muslim world. And that's when you are going to watch the best circus in the world, because no a single leader, in the arab or the muslim world, really wants to get right with the US. Hell, our rulers have justified their entire existence in power by positioning themselves as opposed to America . They continue , in their state-sponsored media, to point fingers at the US and go " See, those bloodthirsty Americans. They will kill you all, rape all of your women and drink the blood of your babies, if we are not here to protect you. So eat shit and shut up!", and If you think I am exaggerating please check Egypt, Syria, Iran, Yemen, etc.. etc.. Those people have built their entire rule on that whole notion, you think they are going to give that up because the silly Americans voted for a 40-something inexperienced Black dude? Get real! And in terms of the arab and muslim street, let's not forget that their number one issue has always been Israel. Now, do you think Obama will go against Israel, after watching him kissing for hours AIPAC ass? Ha. So yeah, that will be a disappointment also. Not to mention that Obama won't withdraw from Iraq. He won't. He can't. At best he will do a partial withdrawal, while leaving a good chunk of US soldiers there. But bring all the troops home? Not gonna happen. And that's what the arab and muslim street wants, no? Let's not even contemplate the notion for a second that he is serious about going after Pakistan, like he said over and over again. Yeah, the Obama foreign policy will be- in the words of the great Borat- GREAT SUCCESS! I am sure.
Oh, and I am sure that once he gets elected that the Islamists will warm up to him immediately. You know, because there is nothing that Islamists like more than a former born- muslim who chose, by his own accord, to become a Christian and an active one at that. Yeah, I am sure they will be very impressed, and quit fighting the US immediately. After all, he said that he intends to deliver a speech from a muslim nation in his first 100 days of office. Yeah, that kind of pandering really calms islamists down, especially coming from apostates. And they will surely respect him if he withdraws partially from Iraq, and not mistake it as a sign of weakness or that they are winning or anything. And since we are on the topic, can you imagine what will happen if a terrorist attack took place during the Obama Presidency, after he does all of this? Can you imagine how America will feel, when they realize that even after they voted for the Blackman with Arab middle name and Muslim background who gave a speech during his first 100 days in a muslim nation, that the world still hates them and that Islamists still want to kill them? Talk about a rude awakening. And can you imagine if they do demand a response from Obama, and Obama decides to take off the Dove hat and put the Hawk one on? Do I have to remind you how things went the last time a Dove tried to be a Hawk? Olmert and Peretz (who both, may I remind you , ran on the platform of withdrawing from the Westbank) during the Lebanon war, anyone? Ok, how about Carter and the rescue mission in Iran? How about Clinton in Somalia? We getting the picture? Should be a fantastic fun time for everyone involved.
But let's say you are the kind of American who doesn't care about all that, like this silly American chick I met here a week ago, who told me that "the basis of hope is hope" and "I really don't care if your people like us, I just want to be proud of my country again!". Ok, fair enough. So one would assume you are supporting Obama for domestic policy reasons. That you believe that he will clean Washington from the Special Interests and the lobbying and all that Jazz he has been talking about, and implements his "Socialism is fun" electoral program, aided surely, by the fact that the House and the Senate looks like it will tilt in favor of the democrats again this year, finally giving them full majority in both the house and Senate. I am sure he will be able to cut out the special interests and implement his policies in a Jiffy, right?
Ehh, nope. Because even if he is not beholden to special interests- which I am not sure is exactly true-every single politician in the House and the Senate is, and they kinda like their seats. Not to mention, about half of the democrats who won in 2006 were Pro-War, Pro-Guns, Anti-Abortion democrats- i.e. confused republicans- who will undoubtedly, given how they are now fully in power, start fighting amongst themselves in earnest, the way the democrats always do. And if you don't believe me, check 1992, the first Clinton Presidential term. It's the Same shit. Charismatic unlikely democrat in the white house after 12 years of republican rule, bridled with unrealistic expectations of a starved political base who somehow expected him to miraculously solve all of their problems in the first 100 days, and had the majorities in the House and the Senate to pull it off. But he didn't. He couldn't. The Democrats were too busy fighting amongst themselves, and he was too busy trying to be a centrist and work with an institution that wouldn't work and all the hopes, dreams and expectations evaporated by the end of his first year in office. But yeah, I am sure the Obama first term will be different, because, like, he is Black. Oh, and a Washington outsider. Yes, that's the kind of person who can get things done in Congress, no doubt! But I digress, when I think of Obama, I don't think of Clinton. At the end of the day, everyone knew that Clinton would play Ball and isn't exactly driven by his own ideological view and belief in his own goodness. Nahh, when I think Obama, one name really comes to mind: Carter!
Obama is the second coming of Carter, there is no doubt about it. From the way he took over the party, to the election against an uncharismatic standard-bearer opponent in the elections, to his belief that America is bad, and it's all America's fault anyway, and that all that is necessary to make everything work is appeasement and humility, and oh, let's try to fix are suffering economy by implementing socialist ideas. So yeah, if you are reading this and you remember those days, then please brace yourself, because it's gonna suck again for the next four years. But don't fret, there is a bright side to this, because remember, after Carter came Reagan. And maybe that's what America needs right now. To experiment with Obama to see if there is any truth to his fiction. If there is, sweet, I am not gonna hate, but there likely isn't, and that will be the necessary wake-up call that half of the US have been needing for the past 4 years. That's what it's gonna take: a colossal presidential failure of the size of Carter (whose approval ratings, by the way, make Bush's look really high, believe it or not), to get the US back into thinking about how to deal with their problems, instead of pretending they don't exist.
That being said, I will feel bad for Obama when this eventually happens though, because unlike every other President before him, Obama isn't just running as himself, he is running as the Black Candidate, so when he fails, it's not just him that will be looked upon as a failure, but his race with him. The nice white people of America will congratulate themselves when he is elected for no longer being a racist nation (they did elect a black man after all) and when he fails they probably wouldn't run another Black candidate for President for another 30 years or so. Not to mention, after Obama, being a black candidate won't be a big deal anymore. The novelty would've worn off, and the candidates will be assessed based on their experience and their plans, instead of just being an inspiring notion whose time has come as a Black Man for President of the USA. I hope this wouldn't be the case, but, ehh, I doubt it!
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