Thursday, November 27, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
'Constitutional crisis' looming over Obama's birth location
Alan Keyes lawsuit warns America may see 'usurper' in Oval Office
Posted: November 14, 2008
8:40 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
The California secretary of state should refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until President-elect Barack Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office, alleges a California court petition filed on behalf of former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others.
The legal action today is just the latest is a series of challenges, some of which have gone as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, over the issue of Obama's status as a "natural-born citizen," a requirement set by the U.S. Constitution.
WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi even traveled to Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.
The biggest question is why Obama, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists, simply hasn't ordered it made available to settle the rumors.
The governor's office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?
Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaii hospitals where Obama could have been born, while a video posted on YouTube features Obama's Kenyan grandmother Sarah claiming to have witnessed Obama's birth in Kenya.
The California action was filed by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation on behalf of Alan Keyes, the presidential candidate of the American Independent Party, along with Wiley S. Drake and Markham Robinson, both California electors.
"Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void, Petitioners, as well as other Americans, will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal," the action challenges.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen
The petition is a request for the Superior Court of California in Sacramento County to issue a peremptory writ barring Secretary of State Debra Bowen "from both certifying to the governor the names of the California Electors, and from transmitting to each presidential Elector a Certificate of Election, until such documentary proof is produced and verified showing that Senator Obama is a 'natural born' citizen of the United States and does not hold citizenship of Indonesia, Kenya or Great Britain."
It continues with a request for a writ barring California's electors from signing the Certificate of Vote until documentary proof is produced.
The popular vote Nov. 4 favored Obama over Sen. John McCain by several percentage points. But because of the distribution of the votes, Obama is projected to take the Electoral College vote, when it is held in December, by a 2-to-1 margin.
Named as defendants in the action are Bowen, Obama, vice president elect Joe Biden and the long list of California party electors.
Citing the constitutional requirement that a president be a "natural born" citizen, the case discusses other state and federal court cases regarding "aspects of lost or dual citizenship concerning Senator Obama. Those challenges, in and of themselves, demonstrate Petitioners' argument that reasonable doubt exists as to the eligibility of the Democratic Party’s nominee for President," the case said.
"There is a reasonable and common expectation by the voters that to qualify for the ballot, the individuals running for office must meet minimum qualifications as outlined in the federal and state Constitutions and statutes, and that compliance with those minimum qualifications has been confirmed by the officials overseeing the election process," the complaint said, when in fact the only documentation currently required is a signed statement from the candidate attesting to those qualifications.
"Since [the Secretary of State] has, as its core, the mission of certifying and establishing the validity of the election process, this writ seeks a Court Order barring SOS from certifying the California Electors until documentary proof that Senator Obama is a 'natural born' citizen of the United States of America is received by her," the document said.
"This proof could include items such as his original birth certificate, showing the name of the hospital and the name and the signature of the doctor, all of his passports with immigration stamps, and verification from the governments where the candidate has resided, verifying that he did not, and does not, hold citizenship of these countries, and any other documents that certify an individual’s citizenship and/or qualification for office.
"To this date, in this regard, SOS has not carried out that fundamental duty."
The case said a simple attestation from the candidate or his party isn't sufficient.
"Historically, California Secretaries of State have exercised their due diligence by reviewing necessary background documents, verifying that the candidates that were submitted by the respective political parties as eligible for the ballot were indeed eligible. In 1968, the Peace and Freedom Party submitted the name of Eldridge Cleaver as a qualified candidate for President of the United States. The then SOS, Mr. Frank Jordan, found that, according to Mr. Cleaver's birth certificate, he was only 34 years old, one year shy of the 35 years of age needed to be on the ballot as a candidate for President. Using his administrative powers, Mr. Jordan removed Mr. Cleaver from the ballot. Mr. Cleaver unsuccessfully challenged this decision to the Supreme Court of the State of California, and, later, to the Supreme Court of the United States."
Similarly, in 1984, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate Larry Holmes was removed from the ballot.
The "certificate of live birth" posted by the Obama campaign cannot be viewed as authoritative, the case alleges.
"Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 allows registration of birth in Hawaii for a child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the child’s birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence," the document said. "The only way to know where Senator Obama was actually born is to view Senator Obama's original birth certificate from 1961 that shows the name of the hospital and the name and signature of the doctor that delivered him."
The case also raises the circumstances of Obama's time during his youth in Indonesia, where he was listed as having Indonesian citizenship. Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship, raising the possibility of Obama's mother having given up his U.S. citizenship.
Any subsequent U.S. citizenship then, the case claims, would be "naturalized," not "natural-born."
"Based on all of the above, it is the duty of the SOS to obtain proper documentation of Senator Obama's citizenship to confirm his eligibility for the office or the President of the United States," the case said.
Just this week, WND has reported on more than half a dozen other legal challenges have been filed in federal and state courts demanding Obama's decertification from ballots or seeking to halt elector meetings, claiming he has failed to prove his U.S. citizenship status.
Among the states where cases are being tracked are Ohio, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Hawaii, and there were reports of other cases being developed in Utah, Wyoming, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Texas, California and Virginia.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By Douglas Hamilton
RAMON AIR BASE, Israel (Reuters) - Israel on Wednesday displayed air power it could use to attack Iran's suspected nuclear weapons project if diplomacy fails to persuade the Islamic Republic to halt uranium enrichment.
Foreign news crews invited on a rare visit to the sprawling Ramon air base could not draw the pilots of specially adapted, long-range F-16I jets into naming Iran as their potential target -- but neither they nor those managing the military's media message made any effort to quash the repeated suggestion.
"We are prepared and ready to do whatever Israel needs us to do and if this is the mission we're given then we are ready," said Colonel Amon, who commands the Negev Squadron of F-16I "Sufas" -- multi-role strike aircraft designed to both bomb and fight other air forces over long periods and distances.
"Air power has been a major player in every war we've fought since 1948," the colonel, who in line with Israeli military rules did not give his surname, told reporters during the unusual opening of the desert base to the foreign media.
While Israel has fought all its immediate Arab neighbors, its pilots have had limited capabilities to carry out missions as far away as Iran. A strike on Iraq's sole nuclear reactor in 1981 was an extraordinary exception at the time but analysts say the F-16I has made long-distance strikes more possible.
"This is the most capable aircraft in the Middle East," said Captain Grisha, a fighter pilot in his early 20s.
The Jewish state, widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, has said it will not tolerate an Iranian nuclear bomb and has refused to rule out a military option.
Speculation of a U.S.-approved Israeli strike on Iran, fueled by an Israeli attack in Syria last year and by reports of long-range bombing exercises this summer, has faded as the Bush administration prepares to take its leave in Washington.
Israeli leaders, preparing to fight their own election in February, are nonetheless anxious to keep their U.S. and other allies alert to what Israel perceives as the nuclear threat from Iran. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will spend next week in Washington. U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will be left in no doubt about Israel's concerns over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran, which has called for Israel's destruction, said on Tuesday it aimed to commission its first nuclear power plant in 2009. Tehran insists the program has only civilian aims.
The F-16I is the latest version of the U.S.-built fighter Israel has used since 1980. Its range has been extended by the addition of two fuel tanks which look like hamster pouches along the fuselage. Military analysts say Israel acquired the F-16I, and added modifications of its own, to give itself the capability to attack far-off targets in countries such as Iran.
Israeli pilots declined to comment on reports earlier this year that they had already conducted a training mission to practice for a strike at Iranian nuclear facilities: "We are always training for the whole range of missions," said Grisha.
(Editing by Andrew Roche
I'm not the only person who expects the Israelis to strike before Inauguration Day.This was published on the London Daily Telegraph site in June.
Bolton: 'the argument for military action is sooner rather than later' Photo: PA
Israel 'will attack Iran' before new US president sworn in, John Bolton predicts
John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the United Nations, has predicted that Israel could attack Iran after the November presidential election but before George W Bush's successor is sworn in.
By Toby Harnden in Washington
Last Updated: 9:50AM BST 24 Jun 2008
The Arab world would be "pleased" by Israeli strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
"It [the reaction] will be positive privately. I think there'll be public denunciations but no action," he said.
Mr Bolton, an unflinching hawk who proposes military action to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons, bemoaned what he sees as a lack of will by the Bush administration to itself contemplate military strikes.
"It's clear that the administration has essentially given up that possibility," he said. "I don't think it's serious any more. If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I thought it was a real possibility. I just don't think it's in the cards."
Israel, however, still had a determination to prevent a nuclear Iran, he argued. The "optimal window" for strikes would be between the November 4 election and the inauguration on January 20, 2009.
"The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and to do things like increase their defences by buying new Russian anti-aircraft systems and further harden the nuclear installations .
"They're also obviously looking at the American election calendar. My judgement is they would not want to do anything before our election because there's no telling what impact it could have on the election."
But waiting for either Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, or his Republican opponent John McCain to be installed in the White House could preclude military action happening for the next four years or at least delay it.
"An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to foreign policy," said Mr Bolton, who was Mr Bush's ambassador to the UN from 2005 to 2006.
"With McCain they might still be looking at a delay. Given that time is on Iran's side, I think the argument for military action is sooner rather than later absent some other development."
The Iran policy of Mr McCain, whom Mr Bolton supports, was "much more realistic than the Bush administration's stance".
Mr Obama has said he will open high-level talks with Iran "without preconditions" while Mr McCain views attacking Iran as a lesser evil than allowing Iran to become a nuclear power.
William Kristol, a prominent neo-conservative, told Fox News on Sunday that an Obama victory could prompt Mr Bush to launch attacks against Iran. "If the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out," he said.
Last week, Israeli jets carried out a long-range exercise over the Mediterranean that American intelligence officials concluded was practice for air strikes against Iran. Mohammad Ali Hosseini, spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, said this was an act of "psychological warfare" that would be futile.
"They do not have the capacity to threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran. They [Israel] have a number of domestic crises and they want to extrapolate it to cover others. Sometimes they come up with these empty slogans."
He added that Tehran would deliver a "devastating" response to any attack.
On Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, said military action against Iran would turn the Middle East into a "fireball" and accelerate Iran's nuclear programme.
Mr Bolton, however, dismissed such sentiments as scaremongering. "The key point would be for the Israelis to break Iran's control over the nuclear fuel cycle and that could be accomplished for example by destroying the uranium conversion facility at Esfahan or the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.
"That doesn't end the problem but it buys time during which a more permanent solution might be found.... How long? That would be hard to say. Depends on the extent of the destruction."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Posted today at FrontpageMag.com. It reminds me of similar excesses by people who presumed to be Obama supporters near the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro:
Evil on a Minneapolis Campus
By Gary Larson
American Thinker | 11/17/2008
Years ago youthful thugs murdered a young man for his high-priced sneakers. Decent, law-abiding folks wondered again What Is This Country Coming To? In another case, not long ago in Minneapolis, a youthful thug was murdered for his designer sports jersey. Evil happens, its very banality -- as political philosopher Hanna Arendt wrote in 1963, coining the phrase "the banality of evil" -- is taking on the mantle of practically normalizing once unthinkable events in a civilized American society.
On election night in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a blue state, comes a criminal horror story short of murder, but no less disturbing. It happened at Augsburg college, a private liberal arts school named after a place in Germany the reformer monk Martin Luther served in the 1500s.
After taunting 18-year old freshman Annie Grossmann for wearing her McCain-Palin campaign button at an election night get-together, and "getting in her face," four women beat her for political views which, obviously, they did not share. Grossmann took verbal abuse at the party, then left for her dorm after it was clear, about 10 p.m., that her candidates had lost. She was followed by the four women into the shadows of a nearby skyway.
There she was beaten. The four women, all black, called Grossmann a "racist." She knew none of them. Nor did they know her, to her knowledge. It was that damn campaign button that evidently caused their frenzy. Their earlier taunts proved that. They were, Grossmann said, "rubbing her face in Obama's win."
"Why do you call me a racist when you don't even know me?" she screamed. Made no difference. Grossmann was felled by the largest of the four. She hit her head on the brick wall, and staggered back to her dorm. The other three black women at the beating chucked at this dark manifestation of partisan evil. They walked away laughing, offering no help to their victim. The banality of evil had asserted itself. And at four-to-one, it was also a cowardly act of mindless violence which, presumably, the four thought "normal."
Right here, right here in these United States, it happened, in my home state. A cruel re-awakening to the excesses of partisanship, in this case mixed with racism. That it happened on a college campus is hardly surprising. Not today. Campuses ooze with crazed partisan intolerance, places mostly where left-wing academia hold forth, along with politically correct staff, inculcating students with staunch, impenetrable biases, often leading to violent confrontation.
(Not surprising at all, at another private "liberal arts" campus in Minnesota, a professor was recently dismissed for stealing McCain-Palin lawn signs and delighting in his crime online. Such is the hubris of the clueless left, maybe beyond redemption.)
Freshman Grossmann had been booed roundly at a freshman "mixer" when she identified herself (gasp!) as a Republican. She is from Delta Junction, Alaska, you see, where her mom is a Republican Party leader, a big fan of Gov. Palin. Annie considers her governor to be a role model, something the ardent left must deplore as part of their article-of-faith, damn-conservatives mind-set. Annie's mom, Dawn Grossmann, had sent her daughter a McCain-Palin sweatshirt. Just think: Imagine the consequences if she had worn that on campus, instead of just a McCain-Palin campaign pin.
Newspaper reports say the four attackers might not have been Augsburg students. Somehow that makes a difference. Well, to the college, perhaps, concerned with its image. But what were the four thugs doing hanging out at a campus election-night party taunting anyone disagreeing with their choice of Obama? Who stood up for Annie? For principle?
She is a member of the college's ladies' hockey team, a hockey player in her native Alaska. She was excused temporarily from practice after suffering a concussion and blurred vision from the attack. Thankfully her injuries are not thought permanent. Psychic scars will remain, though, along with a lesson in intolerance, at the clubbing hands of her hyena-like laughing attackers.
This is not the first time Grossman met political hostility in the land of Minnesota Nice. Even her bear-hunting in Alaska proved a sticking point. As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a story careful to label the attacks "according to the victim," we find these clarifying paragraphs:
Grossmann's parents, Bruce and Dawn, said that in the weeks leading up to the presidential election, Annie had trouble on campus because of her political leanings and for being a hunter.
Bruce Grossmann said a "PETA person" had to be removed from her dorm room because he was upset by a photo of her with a black bear she had shot. Also, he said, she attended an icebreaker on campus and was booed when she identified herself as a Republican.
"I don't think she was prepared for the close-mindedness," he said. "I told her she needs to take a lower profile [for the sake of] her academic and her sports careers."
Intolerance on modern college (and even high school and junior high) campuses is not new, it is plainly clear, in these supposed bastions of free inquiry. They've become politicized to the core. Free speech itself is imperiled by their codes. Professors rule. Conservatives are muzzled. It runs one-way on most campuses, fiercely anti-Republican and, in general if not more so, wildly against all conservatives. What happened to 18-year old Annie Grossmann was perhaps a double whammy, of racism and ideological hate. Either way, or both, it's reprehensible to its heart-of-darkness core, banality of evil to be deplored by all right-thinking Americans.
Gary Larson is a retired former newspaper editor in Minnesota now residing in Arkansas. He is not the cartoonist of the same name.
My Indiana concealed carry permit has expired and I haven't gotten around to getting an Arkansas permit. That's something that needs to be remedied before inauguration day.
I discovered this morning that more states have permit reciprocity with Arkansas than with Indiana, according to this map from www.handgunlaw.us. In this case, being a blue state is a good thing.
Check the website to see how your state relates to the others in terms of concealed carry permit reciprocity.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
by Phyllis Schlafly November 14, 2008
Do you wonder why 2008 election data show that the majority of Catholics voted for Barack Obama even though his record as Illinois State Senator proves him the most pro-abortion candidate who ever ran for President?
Perhaps one answer is that on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, millions of Catholics will again be putting in their church's collection plate their annual donation to what the pre-printed envelope calls "Campaign for Human Development: The Catholic Church working to end poverty and injustice in America; We'll turn your dollars into hope for the poor of our nation."
The generous Catholics who respond to that well-phrased appeal probably think they are making a Good Samaritan gift to provide necessaries to the down-and-out. Most would probably be shocked to learn that the money donated to the Campaign for Human Development (CHD) does not go for charity but for radical Obama-style community organizing.
Over the last ten years, CHD has given $7.3 million of Catholic-donated dollars to the Saul Alinsky-style group called ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). When in 1998 some Catholics complained that CHD grants were not used for Catholic charity but were actually funding groups opposed to church teachings, CHD changed its name to Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
The name change did not redirect the flow of money. In 2007 alone, CCHD increased its support of ACORN, giving ACORN 37 grants totaling $1,037,000.
During 2007 and 2008, ACORN and its affiliated organizations were aggressively registering what they claimed were 1.3 million poor people. ACORN focused on new registrations in the key toss-up states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.
You can listen on YouTube to clips from ACORN's national convention and decide for yourself how partisan it is.
CCHD knew how ACORN spent its money. CCHD's executive director, Ralph McCloud, admitted to Catholic News Service that "some of the funds that the Catholic Campaign contributed to ACORN in the past undoubtedly were used for voter registration drives."
Even though the pro-Obama political activity of ACORN had been widely reported, and employees of ACORN and affiliated organizations like Project Vote have been either indicted or convicted of submitting false voter registration forms in 14 states, in June 2008 CCHD approved grants of $1.13 million to 40 local ACORN affiliates for the cycle beginning July 1, 2008. Those grants were ratified by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at its June 2008 meeting.
The CCHD-ACORN relationship suddenly became too embarrassing to ignore, and CCHD announced it was suspending (not canceling) the 2008 grants. But the reason given for suspension was not ACORN's partisan political activity or registration frauds; it was because Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from the organization and its affiliates back in 1999 and 2000.
CCHD also announced that it has formed a task force to ensure that Church funds are spent according to the guidelines of the Bishops' poverty-fighting program. Presumably, the previous millions of dollars given to ACORN were within the Bishops' guidelines.
Barack Obama knows the political value of ACORN. He gave $800,000 in campaign payments disguised as payments for "advance work" to an Alinsky front group called Citizen Services Inc.
Obama admits he got his start as a community organizer in Chicago, saying it was "the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School." He tries to downplay his connection with ACORN, claiming he worked for churches, but he was trained by Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation and then spent years in the 1980s teaching the Alinsky method to others through several Alinsky offshoots such as Project Vote and Developing Communities Project in Chicago.
Saul Alinsky's son Lee David Alinsky felt compelled to remedy Obama's failure to give proper credit. In a letter to the Boston Globe in August after Obama's open-stadium rally in Denver, the younger Alinsky wrote: "Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday."
Saul Alinsky explained his community organizing tactics in his book "Rules for Radicals." His game plan was to divide the community into the Haves and the Have Nots, make the Have Nots believe they are unjustly treated by the Haves, build resentment against the American social and economic system, use church congregations to mobilize street agitators, and lobby government for higher taxes and big-spending welfare programs in order to confiscate the wealth and power of the Haves and turn it over to the Have Nots.
Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer, "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom."
Another Alinsky quote seems remarkably prophetic: "Ego must be so all-pervading that the personality of the organizer is contagious, that it converts the people from despair to defiance, creating a mass ego."
This is the most articulate overview of the Obama citizenship controversy I've seen. It was written by attorney Raymond S. Kraft and published over at Snake Hunters.
OBAMA: THE ILLEGAL ALIEN
I have become 100% convinced, to a moral certainty, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Barack Obama is not only not a "natural born citizen" as required by the US Constitution to be president, but that he was not even born in the USA, not born in Hawaii, probably in Kenya, never naturalized. If he is elected, he will be the UnConstitutional President from the moment he takes the oath of office, the first president who is not a citizen of the United States. He may even be an illegal alien, if he was born in Kenya and has never become a naturalized citizen.
My opinion. Why I am so sure?
I was not convinced by the lawsuits filed by Philip Berg, Andy Martin, Jerome Corsi, and others seeking disclosure of Obama's birth certificate. I was not convinced by the books and articles that now abound contesting Obama's origins. I am convinced by the behavior of Barack Obama who, according to Jerome Corsi writing in World Net Daily, Obama's Birth Certificate Sealed by Hawaii Governor on October 26, 2008, has had the governor of Hawaii seal Obama's birth certificate so it could not be seen, by anyone. So far, he has refused to prove his qualification to be president. And by the behavior of Barack Obama, having his records sealed at Columbia University and Harvard Law. Barack Obama is hiding himself from America. And he wants to be POTUS, and Commander in Chief.
In the litigation business, one quickly learns that if somebody has a document that will be good for them, they can't wait to give it to you. And if somebody has a document that will hurt them, they'll be tap dancing faster than Richard Gere in Chicago to keep you from getting it.
Obama is tap dancing.
If I were Obama's lawyers, and if there was a good, authentic, birth certificate that proved Barack Obama's birth in Hawaii, I would tell him to instruct the Hawaiian Department of Health to provide a certified copy to every journalist who asked about it, to the Courts and plaintiffs in all the lawsuits, and to make the original available for inspection by any expert forensic document examiner any litigant or news agency engaged to examine the birth certificate for authenticity . I would tell him to come clean, and end the speculation. And I would tell him that the speculation could cost him the election.
But that's not what Obama and his lawyers are doing, they're filling motions for summary judgment, not on the merits of the case, but on "technicalities," at least in the Berg case, arguing that Citizens, voters, do not have standing to enforce the United States Constitution, and at least one judge, Richard Barclay Surrick, has agreed.
But what Obama and his lawyers and the Democrat National Commitee (DNC) are not doing is being open and honest with America. So we are forced to this conclusion as a matter of logical necessity:
1. If Barack Obama could produce a good birth certificate that would verify his status as a "natural born citizen," he would. Failing to do so can only hurt him. Failing to do so can cost him the election.
2. He hasn't, and it looks like he won't.
3. Therefore, we can only conclude that he can't, and that his birth certificate, if it exists at all, is either altered, forged, or shows him born outside the US. We have to conclude that producing his birth certificate, if he can, will prove he is not eligible to be president, not a natural born citizen, or not a citizen at all. We can only conclude that Obama knows that producing his birth records will hurt him even more than not producing them.
Now, I could be wrong. Barack Obama can prove me wrong by producing a good birth certificate. But he hasn't. Will he? Can he?
NO "STANDING" TO SUE?
In the case of Berg v. Obama, US Federal Judge Richard Barclay Surrick agreed with Obama's lawyers and ruled that Berg, as a citizen, as a voter, has no "standing" to enforce the United States Constitution. I have read that other agencies have asserted that only another presidential candidate has standing to sue respecting the qualifications of a candidate, presumably because, arguendo, only another presidential candidate could be injured (lose an election) as a result of a non-qualified candidate on the ballot.
This may be the most patently absurd, illogical, incomprehensible, astonishing, mind-boggling, and utterly stupid argument I have ever heard in my life. And from a Federal Judge, at that. And if I didn't make myself perfectly clear, let me know and I'll try again.
Let's do the analysis.
1. The US Constitution is a CONTRACT between The People, The States, and The United States, that defines and limits the role of the federal government, and the rights of the States and The People, and, among other things, defines and limits the qualifications for president, i.e., that the president must be over the age of 35 years, and must be a natural born citizen.
2. Any party to a CONTRACT has standing to enforce it. This is as basic as it gets. Contract Law 101. First week of law school stuff. And it seems that lawyers and judges all over the country have forgotten all about it. Also, the Constitution was intended to benefit all American citizens, We, The People, and in basic contract law the intended beneficiaries of a CONTRACT, i.e., us, also have standing to enforce it.
3. If We, The People, do not have standing to enforce the CONTRACT, the US Constitution, then it is unenforceable, and if it is unenforceable it is just a historic curiosity that means nothing. Just an old piece of parchment. But that was not the intent, and to give intent to the CONTRACT it must be enforceable by its parties and beneficiares.
4. We, The People, have standing under the First Amendment "to petition the government for redress of grievances." If we have a grievance, that a non-citizen, possibly an illegal alien, is running for president, I think the First Amendment unequivocally gives every American citizen standing to sue the government to redress that grievance and enforce the Constitution.
I think Judge Richard Barclay Surrick is dead wrong, illogically wrong, irrationally wrong, legally wrong, I think his legal analysis of this issue, in legalese, stinks.
THE DUTY OF CONGRESS
Article II, Section 1, requires that upon taking office the President of the United States shall take the following oath:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Article VI, Clause 3, requires that Senators and Representatives requires:
"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution . . ."
Members of Congress take this oath:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
Having taken this oath, Senator Barack Obama has violated his oath of office if he is refusing to disclose a birth certificate that proves his candidacy for president is unconstitutional, and I believe this is a mandatory basis for his impeachment.
Having taken these oaths, the President, the Vice President (an executive officer of the United States), every member of the Senate and House, every member of every State legislature, and every executive and judicial officers of the United States and of each State, has a mandatory duty per Article VI Clause 3 of the US Constitution to "support and defend" the Constitution, and that would necessarily include taking whatever action is necessary to assure that no person who does not meet the Constitutional requirement of "natural born citizen" ever becomes President.
And every Federal Judge, and every Justice of the Supreme Court, having taken this oath, also have a mandatory duty to "protect and defend" the Constitution by doing whatever is necessary to assure that no person who does not meet the Constitutional requirement of "natural born citizen" ever becomes President. Indeed, I believe that the Supreme Court has a sua sponte duty to resolve this dispute by ordering, on its own initiative, the immediate production of all of Obama's birth records in order to confirm his place of birth, and prevent the election of an UnConstitutional President. So far, all Justices of the Supreme Court have failed this mandatory duty.
So far, the President, the Vice President, every member of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, ever Federal Judge and Justice, every member of every State legislature, and every governor, have failed in this duty. They have all failed to fulfill their oaths of office. Every one. They must all demand that Senator Barack Obama either (a) produce a good birth certificate proving his status as a "natural born citizen," or (b) withdraw his candidacy before November 4.
All those who do not should be impeached for having failed their oath of office.
THE GREATEST SWINDLE IN HISTORY
If Senator Barack Hussein Obama cannot prove that he is a "natural born citizen," then Obama, the Democrat National Committee, the Democrats in the Senate and House who support him, and others such as former president Bill Clinton who openly support him, have perpetrated the greatest swindle in history by falsely and fraudulentaly misrepresenting Obama as Constitutionally eligible to be president, concealing the truth about his place of birth, thereby inducing millions of Democrats by the fraud of concealment, by the lie of non-disclosure, by "trick and device," to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the Barack Obama presidential campaign to elect an UnConstitutional President.
Note, this is a fraud perpetrated by Senator Barack Obama, the DNC, and hundreds of Democrats in Congress, on their own constituency, the Democrat voters of America. It is a fraud of the Democrats, by the Democrats, and perpetrated on the Democrats. And it has defrauded Democrats out of more than $600 million.
According to their oaths of office, every Democrat member of Congress has an affirmative duty to assure that their presidential candidate is Constitutionally qualified. As soon as questions about Obama's birth arose, every Democrat in Congress had a mandatory duty to confirm his eligibility by demanding release of his birth records. But, they have not. Not to my knowledge. Instead, every Democrat in Congress is complicit in the cover up - the cover up - of Obama's birth certificate, by failing to demand full disclosure to confirm his place of birth.
In my opinion, unless Obama can produce a good birth certificate proving that he is a "natural born citizen," then every Democrat member of Congress, every person managing Obama's campaign, every officer and director of the Democrat National Commitee, and every person who has ever taken an oath fo "support and defend" the Constitution and is now supporting an UnConstitutional candidate for president, has participated in a vast left-wing conspiracy to defraud millions of Democrats out of hundreds of millions of dollars to elect an UnConstitutional President.
In my opinion, every one of these people, hundreds of them, should be prosecuted for fraud under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), for if Obama is not a "natural born citizen," that is what the Democrat National Committee (DNC) has become. And every one of them should be tried, convicted, and sent to prison for decades, for this is a $600 billion swindle of America's Democrats, a swindle perpetrated by the DNC and Barack Obama.
Now, I could be wrong. I could be wrong about every opinion I have expressed here.
Senator Barack Hussein Obama can prove me wrong, quickly, simply, easily, by opening the doors of the hospitals and the Hawaiian Department of Health and showing us, showing America, showing the Democrats, all of his birth records.
Unless and until he does, I will remain convinced that Barack Hussein Obama is not an American citizen.
Raymond S Kraft is a retired attorney in Northern California. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Yes, this post from Jeff Goldstein over at Protein Wisdom is long, but it's a cogent observation on supremely important issue - the Obama proposal for compulsory civil service. I strongly encourage you to take the time to read it all.
No worries on Compulsory Civil Service, folks: “Obama’s Call for Community Service Is Not Marxism”
Michelle Catalano, writing for Pajamas Media, explains:
Is community service synonymous with slavery? Whether that service is mandated or suggested, could it in any way be construed as enslaving citizens? This week, an acquaintance noted the “irony” that college students would be required by a black president to do community service. She then pointed out the 13th Amendment.
There were two things wrong with this statement. First, by the time she wrote it, it was already old news that Obama had backtracked on his mandatory community service requirement for students. The newer wording on the change.gov website:
The Obama administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
The other thing wrong with the woman’s quote — and the contention of some bloggers — is the equivalence of community service to slavery. One of these things is not like the other.
True. Jumping jacks would take the place of whips; and the barracks would be nicely appointed.
Apples and oranges!
There are thousands upon thousands of high school and college students, as well as adults, doing some form of community service right now. Service to your community is an altruistic thing; it is a way of perhaps giving back to a community that has given to you. It is a way to reach out to a community, to help others who may not be as fortunate as you, to teach young adults about sharing, caring, and helping others, to do something out of the goodness of your heart that will benefit your community. This is not slavery. This is not forced labor. This is outreach. It represents values. Slavery is an act that benefits no one but the person who owns the slave; community service benefits both the giver and receiver and helps make the world a better place and leaves a general good feeling for everyone involved. It is not comparable to slavery.
Question: if, as Catalano points out, there are already ” thousands upon thousands of high school and college students, as well as adults, doing some form of community service right now,” why the need to organize it into a state bureaucracy?
Why the need to enforce, either by making it compulsory or by making those less fortunate who cannot afford college tuition take up the mantle of mandated charity that the more fortunate can eschew, “altruism”? And, if it is coerced, how does it come to count as altruism in the first place?
More, by what scientific measure, other than a steady diet of Oprah and new age bargain books from Borders, can Catalano prove that “community service benefits both the giver and receiver and helps make the world a better place and leaves a general good feeling for everyone involved”? Are those who it doesn’t benefit, or whom it makes miserable, somehow defectives? Should something be done to “fix” them — until they get the “proper” fillip of joy from cleaning up the garbage at parks that, once it becomes clear that we have a civilian force to do such things, will make it more likely that people just dump shit wherever they please?
Catalano’s entire argument, in fact, is built on a foundation of the most low-grade straw: the question here is not whether community service is admirable or useful (it can be, but it need not necessarily be so, from the perspective of motive); the question is, why should someone be compelled to engage in tasks that people like Catalano and Obama have determined are admirable or useful — and does not that compulsion remove the the charitable impulse that makes those kinds of sacrifices to the community admirable and useful, from a “values” standpoint, in the first place?
I said it earlier and I’ll repeat it here: confiscating liberty in the name of teaching people “what it means to be an American” is Orwellian in spirit, in that it essentially argues that in order to celebrate liberty and freedom, we must be willing to surrender liberty and freedom.
There are already many high schools in the United States which require community service credit for graduation. Some schools require seniors to complete a project that includes some form of community outreach
— she says that as if it’s a good thing —
Obama would encourage a goal of 50 hours of community service for high school students. That’s 50 hours over the course of a year, hours that could be spent cleaning up a park, reading to the elderly, working in a soup kitchen, assisting developmentally disabled children, delivering meals, collecting clothing for shelters, or working with local community programs like Kiwanis. There are myriad ways in which the youth of America can get involved with their surrounding communities, providing a give and take that benefits both the student and the community at large.
Or, more likely, it will create a vast new bureaucracy whose job it is to watch over these 25 million or so new community “volunteers” — and 20 million or so rebels who will do whatever they can to undermine what they will rightly see as an infringement on their liberties, and a way to force someone else’s value system on them at the expense of their time and choices.
The upshot will of course be revolt, and so the end result will that those who embrace the program will spend time cleaning up after those who try to undermine it from within.
The great irony here is that the very same people who have for years mocked the religious community — those who provide the bulk of real charitable work — for their supposed desire to force their morals on us, see nothing at all similar in their plan to engineer a society in which everyone (well, except for the sons and daughters of the rich, who’ll get a deferment, should they so desire — or, more likely, assume a “leadership role” in the Obama Youth Corp) is compelled by circumstance to be “altruistic.”
Or rather, to perform the function of altruism — even if their hearts are filled with resentment at their own dreams deferred.
On the college level, Obama’s plan would ensure a $4,000 tuition credit to students who complete 100 hours of community service a year. With the cost of college education soaring, that $4,000 is like a windfall to a college student. The student would be rewarded monetarily, but the reward of completing service toward the community is something that will stay with them, as well as the community, forever. Service to others is a lasting gift.
Says Obama. And Michele Catalano.
And perhaps it will “stay with them.” But in what capacity? And at what expense?
No, the real question that needs answering here is who died and made Obama or Michele Catalano arbiter of what constitutes a “lasting gift”? Why does Michele Catalano presume to speak for those who have every right to run their lives as they see fit — not in the way some preening secular moralists dictate they must?
And what of all those students who already engage in charitable work, through churches, or other organizations? Are they to surrender that time in order to oblige the state? And if so, is not the state by force adopting charity as its own function?
Further, why is cleaning a park, or teaching someone to read, eg., more “valuable” than, say, entrepreneurship that leads to the creation of jobs? Or the pursuit of art? Or the desire to begin a family?
And why on earth would Michele Catalano presume to make that determination?
It’s interesting how many right-leaning blogs are frowning upon the community service idea, though some are being thoughtful about it. Generally, people on the political right tend to belong to churches, and churches are big proponents of community service. So why the negativity? Many blogs are also equating Obama’s community service pitch with Rahm Emanuel’s:
When you choose to serve — whether it’s your nation, your community, or simply your neighborhood — you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream.
This is not socialism. This is not Marxism. This is the mark of a country that knows it needs to rely on those who can to help those who can’t. It’s the mark of a country that knows it needs to depend on its citizens to make their communities flourish. It’s taking the “ask not what your country can do for you” attitude and transforming it into smaller clusters, where we ask what we can do for those we live with and around, instead of waiting for people to do for us. It’s how communities become stronger, how they grow, and how a strong, giving community makes for a strong, giving nation.
And if you don’t happen to agree with such sentiments — or believe you have your own ways of expressing them and “giving back” — why, then you are a bad person, I guess. Or at the very least, someone who stands opposed to the “American Dream” as it has been resignified by an Alinsky disciple and one-time member of the New Left.
Similarly, if the kind of community service being alluded to were met with a commensurate and aggressive pruning of federal programs already designed to meet such needs — programs already funded by our tax money, and so our labor — and what we’re talking about was an actual return to tight-knit communities who could engage in their own kinds of consensual self-determination, the points Catalano makes might ring less hollow.
As it stands, though, what is on offer here is a lot of lofty rhetoric in the service of a rather baldfaced attempt to shame (note who gets labeled “thoughtful” by Catalano) — which is fine, so long as the power of the state doesn’t stand behind such a campaign to bully people into buying into its idea of what is “proper” for members of a given community.
Some people want to retire alone and tend their gardens. That is their right. Or at least, it is supposed to be.
Instead, the new moral majority has come along to tell us how we need to serve our communities, and will even provide the bureaucracy to ensure that it is done.
For our own good.
That’s not how a country built around the idea of individual freedom and choice is built to operate. In fact, the old line, “the only thing I have to do is live, die, and pay taxes,” should be recycled as the new outlaw motto — with the bit about taxes amended to include something about those taxes being both fair and not punitive.
Community service is not a dirty word; nor is it an idea to be tossed aside because you don’t like who is delivering the message about it. Encouraging our youth to take part in something selfless is encouraging them to be better human beings. What could be better for this country?
Howsabout choice. Freedom. Self-determination. The ability to resist what the government thinks is in our “best interests” in terms of shaping our “values.”
And a vast public uprising that lets Obama, and Rahm, Catalano, and those like her know that, as Americans, we can decide for ourselves when and how it is appropriate — if ever — to “give back to the community.”
Because frankly, it ain’t their call, and it never should be.
Protein Wisdom is one of my favorite blogs. Author Jeff Goldstein is insightful, articulate, and outrageously funny. I suggest you check it out and bookmark it for regular visits. Here's an entry that caught my eye this morning:
“Secret ballots for We, but not for Thee”
Amanda Carpenter, Townhall:
We all know the Democrats are frothing at the mouth at the chance to pass the Orwellien Employee Free Choice Act, a bill to eliminate the secret ballot process required to unionize workplaces. So, this little bit of information should be thrown in their faces over and over again.
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) has intervened in the fight between Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), hoping to resolve their battle over the chairmanship of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, one senior Democratic aide confirmed on Wednesday. But neither combatant has agreed to a deal and the dispute may still be resolved by a secret ballot next week.
Wait, what is that? A SECRET BALLOT? I thought those weren’t “fair” and were forms of “intimidation” in the workplace, according to the Democratic Party’s agenda.
Of course they want a secret ballot! Who wouldn’t? Everyone is afraid of alienating the wrong guy! And that’s exactly why the secret ballot process should be preserved — in EVERYONE’s workplace, not just in Washington.
Oh, come now, Amanda. Don’t be coy. And please, knock off this populist crap.
Established pundits and the right kinds of people — from Hollywood starlets to coastal columnists whose road to Beltway acceptance was paved with important stories of Congressional aides ass fucking — have made it clear that career politicians of a certain pedigree are our betters, and that moose-hunting breeders like Sarah Palin are not only not to be invited into the club, but that their very presence in the same fraternity is an embarrassment. Should these frontier outliers find their way into the national spotlight, therefore, they must be forcefully reminded of just how unrefined and unworthy of serious consideration they are. By pundits. And people who memorize dialogue written for them by others.
Which is why secret ballots for Congress — much like their own special healthcare plans that will fall outside the “universal healthcare plans” our progressive overlords will grant us — are something quite different from secret ballots for unionizing.
Its the quality of the people involved, dear.
Pragmatism, you see. After all, egalitarianism requires a ruling class to make sure that everyone is being treated equally…
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Posted today at worldnetdaily.com
WASHINGTON – Because it has abandoned moral absolutes and its historic Christian faith, the U.S. is moving closer to a Nazi-style totalitarianism, warns a former German member of the Hitler Youth in a new book.
"Every day brings this nation closer to a Nazi-style totalitarian abyss," writes Hilmar von Campe, now a U.S. citizen, and author of "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America."
Von Campe has founded the national Institute for Truth and Freedom to fight for a return to constitutional government in the U.S. – a key, he believes, to keeping America free.
"I lived the Nazi nightmare, and, as the old saying goes, 'A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument,'" writes von Campe. "Everything I write is based on my personal experience in Nazi Germany. There is nothing theoretical about my description of what happens when a nation throws God out of government and society, and Christians become religious bystanders. I don't want to see a repetition. The role of God in human society is the decisive issue for this generation. My writing is part of my life of restitution for the crimes of a godless government, of the evil of which I was a part."
"It took me a long time to understand and define the nature of National Socialism," says von Campe. "And, unfortunately, their philosophy continues to flourish under different labels remaining a menace to America and free human society."
He writes: "The most painful part of defining National Socialism was to recognize my own moral responsibility for the Nazi disaster and their crimes against humanity. It boiled down to accepting the truth that 'as I am, so is my nation,' and realizing that if every German was like me, it was no wonder that the nation became a cesspool of gangsters. This realization is as valid today for any person in any nation as it was then, and it is true for America and every American now."
Von Campe's message is that political freedom and democratic rules alone are not sufficient to govern humanity justly.
"Democratic procedures can be subverted and dishonest politicians are like sand in the gearbox, abundant, everywhere and destructive," he writes. "What I see in America today is people painting their cabins while the ship goes down. Today in America we are witnessing a repeat performance of the tragedy of 1933 when an entire nation let itself be led like a lamb to the Socialist slaughterhouse. This time, the end of freedom is inevitable unless America rises to her mission and destiny."
Von Campe says he sees spiritual parallels among Americans and his childhood Germany.
"The silence from our pulpits regarding the moral collapse of American society from within is not very different from the silence that echoed from the pulpits in Germany toward Nazi policies," he explains. "Our family lived through the Nazi years in Germany, an experience typical of millions of Europeans regardless of what side they were on. We paid a high price for the moral perversions of a German government, which excluded God and His Commandments from their policies. America must not continue following the same path to destruction, but instead heed the lessons of history and the warning I am giving."
Specifically, von Campe warns Americans their political leaders are on the wrong footing, "denying our cultural and traditional roots based on our unique Constitution and Christian orientation as a nation. Christians don't understand their mission."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Back on Oct. 27, I posted on my regular blog a column by ABC News tech columnist Michael S. Malone about how hideously biased the mainstream media had become in covering the presidential election campaign. I didn't know it at the time, but I was participating in a spontaneous movement to circulate Malone's thoughts and amplify his message that the mainstream broadcast and print media had become ex officio mouthpieces for Barack Obama.
Here's what Malone has to say about that column and its aftermath.
By Michael S. Malone
There’s nothing like writing the (momentarily) hottest column in the country to get a sense of the changing balance of power between the traditional and the new media.
Two weeks ago, in my ABCNews.com column, I took off on a brief tangent from my usual technology and business orientation to instead discuss what I saw as shocking bias by the mainstream media - in particular, television network news, newspapers and newsmagazines - in its coverage of the Presidential campaign.
What happened next is, I think, an interesting glimpse into the dynamics of the traditional and digital media now, nearly a decade into the new century, and a dozen years after the widespread cultural adoption of the Internet.
I began writing my ABCNews.com column during the Dot-com Bubble of 1999. And I’ve been writing it, week in and week out, in good times and bad, for nearly a decade now. Hundreds of columns, in fact - by a factor of about three the longest single writing gig of my professional career. And over that time I’ve learned a lot about both column writing and the new media world. I’ve learned that you can carefully craft a thoughtful column . . .and have nobody read it. And you can dash out a column just to meet your deadline . . . and set the world on fire. I’ve learned how to momentarily goose one’s readership (slam Apple Computer) and how to lose it (write about semiconductors). And I’ve learned that sometimes that one solitary reader out there who understands what you’ve tried to say is worth hundreds who don’t.
The genesis of my media bias column began with a conversation. Last summer, with two other Valley veterans, I started an on-line tech-business newspaper called Edgelings.com. This being a virtual enterprise, each morning the three of us hold an editorial meeting over the phone. Needless to say, it being election season, the conversation often turned to politics - a touchy subject, as one of my partners was an Obama supporter, the other was for McCain. For my part, I try not to talk about politics.
But one morning I found myself interjecting, “Well, one thing we can agree on is that the mainstream media is more one-sided and biased than we’ve ever seen it. I’m ashamed of my profession right now.”
I had never really verbalized that before, but it had certainly been on my mind, especially after perusing the most recent issue of Newsweek, a magazine I’d read since childhood, but which was now so obviously in the tank for Sen. Obama that I swore, on ethical reasons alone, to never read it again.
At midnight a few days later, once again as always up on deadline, after seeing the kids and the pets to bed and saying goodnight to my wife, I sat at the computer in my home office, wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and wrote my column on media bias. The words, as they sometimes do (in good columns and bad) poured out, suggesting that I had already been composing the piece in my unconscious. I tried to write from the heart, and at the same time not come down politically on one side or the other - but just to call for balanced, unbiased reporting from my peers.
I finished at 1:15 a.m., filed the piece and went to bed. At the time I had only two concerns: that there wasn’t enough tech in the column, and that it was about 200 words too long. In the morning, once I was sure it was up on ABCNews.com, I also posted it on Edgelings, and scheduled it to also be carried on our media partner, Pajamas Media. And that was that. When I checked in at noon, there were about thirty reader comments on ABC and about the same number on Edgelings. I had no emails from friends about it - which most often happens when I write an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. So, I basically shrugged, filed the column away in my mind as a moderate success, and then went about my day.
Then all hell broke loose.
What happened next is a lesson not only in the growing power of certain key nodes in the blogosphere, but also the surprisingly enduring cultural strength of the traditional media.
The column seemed to strike a chord in readers, particularly Republicans, for whom the obvious bias of media coverage of the campaign was a growing source of anger. The first major site to pick up the story was Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs. Because I could track link-backs through Edgelings, I spotted the story on LGF within minutes of its appearance . . .and watched in amazement as the number of comments quickly grew into the hundreds - the fastest reader response cycle I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, the number of comments on Edgelings, no doubt powered by LGF, blew past 100 faster than any story we’d ever written. Then, just as the attention began to level off, the most powerful one-man blogger on the planet, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, linked to the story. Glenn has often linked to my column . . . and each time produced what blogospheres call an ‘instalanche” - a sudden and massive spike of traffic. ABC loves them, as do I. But this time, Reynolds linked to the Edgelings version, and now the comments there blew past three hundred and climbing (it would finish at 450), while traffic skyrocketed.
While all of this was going on, the blogosphere was lighting up as well. Scores of blogs, some of them in other countries, now began to comment on my column, many drawing their own collections of comments and reader debates. But now, for the first time, I also began to see the power of the traditional media when it came to conferring credibility. As much as what I actually said, what seemed to matter most to many of these bloggers was who I was when I said it: Mike Malone, of that embodiment of the traditional media, ABC. I was variously described as a ‘liberal reporter’ who had seen the light, and (briefly on my Wikipedia page) a “right wing journalist”. I suspect that most of these writers visualized me sitting in some newsroom at ABC headquarters in New York, heroically taking on the media overlords around me - not a middle-aged guy sitting in his den in California.
Many noted the disclaimer at the end of my column (”This is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News”) and assumed it had just been put there by ABC to distance itself from my apostasy - and that, once the hullabaloo I had created died down I would be summarily fired and driven off into oblivion. In fact, the disclaimer was put there years ago (after I called for Dan Rather to be fired in the National Guard letter case) and, though the powers that be at ABCNews.com were a bit stunned by the huge response, in point of fact my editor had merely cleaned up my copy a little and posted the piece. He knew it was controversial, but he also knew that was my right as a columnist. Any credit for courage goes to him.
By Friday afternoon, the requests for media interviews began - and that’s when I knew I had touched a nerve. What is interesting to note here is that none of the requests came in through Edgelings, but rather through ABC or, incredibly, the publisher of my last book. Apparently, that remains the sole province of the traditional media.
In the end, I only did two radio interviews: one with a Denver station, the other with Lou Dobbs. The latter was especially fun, because Dobbs was even more incensed about the subject than I was and we chatted like two old newsies sitting in a bar swapping horror stories. But after that, I realized that I risked becoming Joe the Journalist, and not wanting my life vivisected by vengeful bureaucrats and fellow reporters, I stopped all interviews.
I’ve been around enough news cycles to sense when a story is winding down, and by Sunday morning I thought it was about done. Both ABC and Edgelings had a couple hundred comments, I’d probably reached two or three million readers and listeners, and it was time to start thinking about next week’s column.
Then came Matt Drudge - the single most influential journalist in America.
On Sunday afternoon, when I spotted a mention of my column on the Drudge Report, my jaw dropped. I knew what was coming. Nobody on the planet, perhaps nobody in history, can move as many readers as Drudge can with a single sentence. Whatever readership I had before now probably increased ten-fold. So did the comments. Because Drudge linked to the ABC version of the column, by Monday morning the number of comments about my column on ABCNews.com had jumped to two thousand. I was now, despite having gone to ground, officially a news phenomenon. The next day, after a friend called, I turned on Fox News to watch as Britt Hume, under a photo of me and above a news scroll carrying my name, read from my column to set up a debate with his panel on media bias. Sean Hannity read a lengthy passage from my column on his radio show.
It couldn’t get much crazier than that - and it didn’t. In the end, the meme I created took on a life of its own and left me, happily, far behind. My column had, unexpectedly, accomplished what we columnists dream of happening just once in our careers: it set off a national debate, and freed people to talk about a topic that had been gnawing away inside their hearts. Within days, other, more famous journalists came forward to agree with what I said. Pew and the Media Research Center released surveys that seemed to confirm widespread and egregious media bias - a belief underscored by multiple polls of the general public. And I noted, with great satisfaction, that in the last twenty four hours of the campaign, the media - embarrassed at last - seemed to try a little harder to balance its reporting . . . only to backslide (as noted even by Tom Shales) on election night.
So, what did I learn from this experience? That it is possible in this new cyber-world to be a lone writer sitting at his laptop in suburbia and write something that actually changes the course of events and, momentary at least, sets the national debate. I also learned that the raw power -and the ability to mobilize people — of the Web and the blogosphere is both immense and growing fast. But legitimacy is still conferred by the traditional media - which makes their duty to be fair and unbiased even greater.
Finally, I also learned that, while it is unsettling to be a momentary media star, it is also depressing afterwards to go back to writing about semiconductors and the Microsoft-Yahoo deal. . .
Shame on The New Yorker and its editor David Remnick for playing a role in the attempt of Bill Ayers and his publisher to resurrect both Ayers’ book and his reputation. Beacon Press has announced that they are releasing an updated version of Ayers’ 2001 book Fugitive Days on November 12th, a publication date purposely held until after the election. As most everyone knows, the original edition had the misfortune of being published on 9/11/2001, a date that led to cancellation of Ayers’ book tour, and to reams of negative publicity. The last thing the American public wanted to hear about was the glamorization of a 1960’s terrorist.
But in our celebrity driven culture, the attention to Ayers in the election campaign has made him a hot number, and he has decided to make his views known in a new afterword that appears at the end of the book.
And now the current edition of the elite Manhattan weekly has helped Ayers in his new campaign, with a fawning “Talk of the Town” article. That the piece is written by its editor-in-chief David Remnick, a first rate writer and a very smart man, makes it even more inexcusable.
Remnick lets Ayers get away with almost every point about his time in The Weather Underground. Attacks on him were all “guilt by association; ” he was made a “cartoon character.” Ayers expresses sympathy with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who also was, Ayers told Remnick, “treated grotesquely and unfairly.” Evidently listening to, watching and reading Wright’s actual sermons is not enough for one to be allowed to render judgment.
Most egregious is that Remnick also lets Ayers get away with his excuse that he never meant to imply in the 2001 Times article about him that he wished they had engaged in more violence and bombings. When he told them “I wish I had done more,” Ayers claims, “it doesn’t mean I wish we’d bombed more shit.” He never had been responsible for violence against other people, he said. He was only acting politically to end the war in Vietnam. His only sin was to use juvenile rhetoric, and he says that he only engaged in “extreme radicalism against property.”
Ayers and Remnick must think people cannot read for themselves. Ayers actually said: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Asked whether he would advocate bombing again, he answered: “I don’t want to discount the possibility.” Or as he writes in his memoir: “I can’t imagine entirely dismissing the possibility.”
By repeating Ayers’ false excuses, and without challenging or correcting him, Remnick allows his publication’s readers to conclude that Ayers is, not as his enemies have claimed, an unrepentant advocate of terrorism, but a wise 1960’s activist, who has learned bitter lessons and who is now much wiser. I assume Remnick has not read Ayers two year old interview in Revolution and his speech in Venezuela standing next to Hugo Chavez, two examples which alone would quickly disabuse anyone of Ayers’ having learned anything in the past decades.
Most outrageous is letting Ayers get away with his claim that he and his comrades only bombed property and harmed no one. Remnick does not ask him about their planned bombing of Fort Dix in New Jersey. The explosion there would have occurred had the bombmakers not prematurely exploded their homemade device while putting it together on March 6, 1970, killing themselves and destroying the Greenwich Village town house in which they were making the explosives. The bomb was an antipersonnel bomb meant to be placed at a dance for new soldiers and their dates at the fort clubhouse. Had it gone off, thousands would have been murdered. The bomb was an explosive wrapped in nails, meant to maim and cause severe pain as well as death. Had it been set off, historian Jeremy Varon writes, “it is possible that Americans would now speak of the 1970’s ‘as a decade of terrorism.’” The New York Times was correct when it editorially commented that the Weather Underground were “criminals, not idealists.”
The basic text that presents the truth about the group is the book by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Destructive Generation:Second Thoughts About the Sixties. The authors spent thirty hours interviewing all the factions of the Weather Underground, and ten hours alone interviewing Bill Ayers. It is to them that Ayers first uttered the words he used at the end of his own memoir, “Free as a bird-guilty as sin. America is a great country.” Perhaps Mr. Remnick should have read the Collier-Horowitz book before setting forth to speak to Ayers. Clearly, the life and times of Ayers’ terrorist comrades is not anything he has any real familiarity with.
It is apparent from reading David Remnick’s words that in fact, he has not even read Fugitive Days. Even a cursory reading of the book reveals clearly that Bill Ayers is lying through his teeth in The New Yorker interview. At the end of this blog, I am posting my own detailed review of Ayers’ book, which appeared soon after 9/11 in the pages of The Weekly Standard. I dissect the book and what Ayers actually writes about his experiences and his view of bombing American targets. What he says disproves virtually all the claims he makes about himself to David Remnick. Or does Remnick really believe, As Ayers writes, that his actions were not terrorist, since they “intimidate, while we aimed only to educate?” Ayers also tells Remnick “I wish I had been wiser.” If this is true, how come he writes in his memoir that when people tell him the United States is a great country, he answers “It makes me want to puke?”
I ask readers one thing only. Please circulate and pass on my review. The new Ayers release will get much media attention. And I believe my critique will be effective in countering it. Let’s do what we can to foil Beacon Press’ campaign to sell his autobiography anew, and let them and Bill Ayers know that the American public may have elected Barack Obama President, but they have not changed their mind about the sordid role of Ayers and the Weather Underground in our country’s past.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I got this email from him on the eve of the election:
From: David Byrne
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 6:26 PM
Subject: I Can't, But You Can
Pardon the bulk mailing. I Can't Vote. I am an immigrant with a Green Card and, therefore, I am not eligible to vote in a federal election. FYI - I can get drafted (luckily, Daniel Berrigan burned my draft board's records) and I pay taxes, yet I cannot vote for President. On Election Day, I see my neighbors heading to the nearby elementary school to cast their ballots. The voting booth joint is a great leveler; the whole neighborhood - rich, poor, old, young, decrepit and spunky - they all turn out in one day.
But most of you can vote. What can I say? The Republicans have made us less safe than before 9/11, bankrupted this economy, started an illegal war they can't - and don't intend to - finish, removed what sympathy (after 9/11) and respect the world had for the US, and have robbed US citizens of many of their basic rights. Global warming? What's that? Science and education? Investment in our future? No, thanks - we'll stick with a good 'ole hockey mom. Ignorant, and fucking proud of it, as is always the case.
Although it looks like a shoo-in, it ain't over 'til Florida. And there are plenty of racists in this country who will vote against their own best interests. So please, get to your local elementary school, post office, town hall, or whatever, and cast your vote and make this a country we can all be proud of. We can get out of this mess, and life can be better than it is.
1. Take me off of your email list
2. Go fuck yourself
This is perhaps a bit overstated. The cops doubtless saw the McCain-Palin supporter as a provocateur and removed him from the scene (a) to keep him from getting killed and (b) to keep the crowd from getting completely out of control.
Even so, the guy's First Amendment rights were clearly compromised in the face of mob rule.
This is one chapter from a video you can view on the Crimson Trace Lasergrip website.
TOM BROKAW: We don't know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.
CHARLIE ROSE: I don't really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?
BROKAW: You know that's an interesting question.
ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through
very aspirational (sic) speeches, two of them.
BROKAW: I don't know what books he's read.
ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?
BROKAW: There's a lot about him we don't know.
NEWSWEEK REPORTER JON MEACHAM: He's very elusive, Obama, which is fascinating for a man who's written two memoirs. At Grant Park he walks out with the family, and then they go away.
CHARLIE ROSE: Mmm. Mmm-hmm.
MEACHAM: Biden's back, you know, locked in the bar or something.
ROSE: (haughty chuckle)
MEACHAM: You know, they don't let him out. And have you ever seen a victory speech where there was no one else on stage?
MEACHAM: No adoring wife, no cute kid. He is the messenger.
NEWSWEEK REPORTER EVAN THOMAS: There is a slightly creepy cult of personality about all this. I mean, he's such an admirable --
ROSE: Slightly. Creepy. Cult of personality.
ROSE: What's slightly creepy about it?
THOMAS: It -- it -- it just makes me a little uneasy that he's so
singular. He's clearly managing his own spectacle. He's a deeply