Posts Tagged ‘media’
Posted in 2010 elections, Chris Coons, Christine O'Donnell, First Amendment, MSNBC, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Rachel Maddow Show, religion, Rush Limbaugh, U.S. Constitution, tagged First Amendment, media, Politics, religion on October 20, 2010| 1 Comment »
Posted in Custom Fab Inc., Facebook, First Amendment, Florida, founding fathers, Global Exchange, Hijacking Catastrophe, Jim Carey, Justin Kurtz, Kalamazoo, law, Orlando, SLAPP, T & J Towing, T & J Towing v. Kurtz, Thomas Jefferson, Washington D.C., Western Michigan University, tagged Big Dog Towing, civic engagement, Comins v VanVoorhis, First Amendment, Justin Kurtz, law, media, SLAPP, strategic lawsuit against public participation, T & J Towing, T&J Towing on June 6, 2010|
Posted in 2008 elections, journalism, media, Politics, _ELECTIONS, tagged Americans, Barack Obama, birth certicate, birth certificate, Chicago Tribune, citizenship, current events, FightTheSmears, Hawaii, Indonesia, journalism, Kenya, media, news media, Politics, President, President-Elect, Robert L. Schulz, Robert Schulz, Swift Boat, U.S. Constitution, _ELECTIONS on December 2, 2008| 13 Comments »
Tomorrow’s Chicago Tribune will publish “An Open Letter to Barack Obama” by Robert L. Schulz, chairman of the Foundation for Constitutional Education.
For several years, rumors swirled regarding Barack Obama’s birthplace, with partisans and concerned citizens alike contending that he was not really born in the United States, but in Kenya. The Obama campaign tried to squelch these rumors by posting an official copy of official copy of the candidate’s birth certificate online, at FightTheSmears.com. But that only gave conspiracy theorists a concrete document to inspect and discredit, upping the ante for those committed to bringing down Obama’s campaign.
“Where is the embossed seal,” they asked, “and the registrar’s signature?”
Obama’s detractors knew this could be more politically damaging than attending a church with an unpatriotic pastor. With the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate in question, what choice would voters have but to conclude that the black guy was an un-American liar after all? So the silly questions persisted.
“Why is there no crease from being folded and mailed? And what’s up with the ‘07 date stamp bleeding through the ‘08 document?”
Increasingly, the conspiracy theorists weren’t just playing in Tinfoil Hat City. Some of their questions were genuinely intriguing. And we Americans tend to embrace illogical and scandalous explanations when logical and mundane ones aren’t immediately readily available. The observation that Obama’s birth certificate is a bluer shade of green than most Hawaiian birth certificates, for instance, leads many an uncritical thinker to conclude that Obama’s must be a forgery. Never mind that dyed paper fades over time, or that our laptops’ color and brightness settings may cause digital images to look slightly different from how they appeared in the real life light.
As this game went on, it almost looked like another Swift Boat had arrived to taxi all of us out to sea again. But when nonpartisan watchdog organizations launched their own independent investigations, they concluded that the birth certificate was authentic.
Though the elections are long over, this rumor and its adherents evidently will take one last swipe at the President-Elect in tomorrow’s Chicago Tribune.
Dear Mr. Obama:
Representing thousands of responsible American citizens who have also taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, I am duty bound to call on you to remedy an apparent violation of the Constitution.
Compelling evidence supports the claim that you are barred from holding the Office of President by the “natural born citizen” clause of the U.S. Constitution. For instance:
- Legal affidavits state you were born in Kenya.
- Your grandmother is recorded on tape saying she attended your birth in Kenya.
- You have posted on the Internet an unsigned, forged and thoroughly discredited, computer-generated birth form created in 2007, a form that lacks vital information found on any original, hand signed Certificate of Live Birth, such as hospital address, signature of attending physician and age of mother.
- U.S. Law in effect in 1961 denied U.S. citizenship to any child born in Kenya if the father was Kenyan and the mother was not yet 19 years of age.
- In 1965, your mother legally relinquished whatever Kenyan or U.S. citizenship she and you had by marrying an Indonesian and becoming a naturalized Indonesian citizen.
First of all, the last two bullet points are completely superfluous, though I do appreciate the heads up about four-decade-old citizenship clauses in Kenya and Indonesia. How old his mom was at his birth, and what rights she relinquished when he was a toddler is irrelevant. They only remotely apply if you buy into the first three, in which case we’re drawing straws about whether to deport the guy or just impeach him.
One wonders at this point, what is the goal? Even if Obama’s birthplace can neither be confirmed nor invalidated, the most they can hope to prove is that Hawaii is as bush league as Alaska. As of Obama’s birth in August of 1961, Hawai’i had been a state for less than two years. Perhaps the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children had taken its time adopting the standard bureaucratic formats of American bureaucratic forms. Do the birth certificates of other babies who were born at Kapi’olani in ’61 include their moms’ ages and the hospital’s address; and if not, shall we revoke their citizenships, too? Or perhaps our rule of thumb will be to take everyone at their word as long as they’re less than 49% black.
Regarding the Kenyan affidavits, I’m assuming they contain the “vital information” that Obama’s birth certificate lacks, such as the “hospital address, signature of attending physician and age of mother.” It would be logically inconsistent to offer the former as evidence after calling the latter inadmissible for similar omissions. As Christopher Hitchens once wrote, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
All of that aside, the tape-recording of old lady hearsay does sound “compelling.”
Posted in 2008 elections, 9/11, Americans, citizenship, civil liberties, democracy, freedom, media, news media, politicians, Politics, September 11th, terrorism, terrorists, United States, tagged Americans, citizenship, civil liberties, democracy, freedom, liberty, media, news media, Politics, presidential elections, September 11th, terrorism, USA on September 11, 2008| 2 Comments »
Countless times we’ve been reminded that “the world changed on 9/11.”
In both parties’ National Conventions, we heard it again.
This durable one-liner isn’t just a limp platitude anymore. Nowadays, it’s the alibi when politicians tinker with democracy, and the rationale when citizens lower their standards of what it means to be American and Free.
Tragedy and fear have ushered in a new politics—a blueprint for how to be corrupt without appearing evil. Usually “the change” is mentioned in order to legitimize some aspect of the shady shift that’s now occurring—whether in business, politics, ideology, world policy, military strategy, civil liberties, or the advent of barefaced media propaganda.
Everything changed; thus, we govern in a new way now—for your safety.
With crooked leaders come docile followers who believe it’s patriotic to be scared and vulnerable but not to participate in democracy. In time new catchphrases emerge, and are even more effective.
The Republicans put “Country First.”
The Democrats are all about “Securing America’s Future.”
A population trusts and complies, convinced that things have fundamentally changed and must change again, ASAP.
While surface references to things changing are ample, clarity about what exactly changed (and why it had to) is hard to pin down.
Concretely, many things did change on September 11th, 2001. Jumbo jets disappeared into towers; towers toppled like tiny wooden blocks in a “Jenga” game. Thousands of Americans never came home, and thousands more will never come home the same.
But while airplanes vaporize on impact, empires disintegrate gradually, over time. The lasting casualty of that fateful morning may be the loss of a great nation, one that remains unable to function as it did in its glory. Great nations do not collapse violently, as do great buildings made of steel, but softly, a little more each day, one parcel at time.
Nations die lingering deaths.
If ours crumbles, it will do so in slow-motion, with no loud explosions to mark the moment when at last we finish our fall. This second, slower death will be the enduring legacy of 9/11, the important ending heard not with the bang but only inside the relative whimper that follows.
The changes history shall remember aren’t necessarily about the people who died on 9/11. It may be that our most profound changes have yet to occur.
This newly updated, wounded America is one the victims never knew. It belongs now to the three-hundred-million of us who weren’t murdered that morning–Americans from other regions of the country; New Yorkers who worked in other parts of Manhattan; WTC employees who called in sick or were running late that morning; those who raced out of the buildings moments before they fell.
We are the survivors, and 9/11’s ramifications matter to us.
Yes, our hearts are with the victims. But must our minds fixate solely on the dead as we ask what should come next in life?
“Everything changed” is one version of 9/11, the favored myth in our national monologue and, for some, a therapeutic way to cope with loss. But change is not fait accompli; it is just one possibility among many from which to choose. That is a choice that we as citizens were never given, and one that’s still rightfully ours to make, together.
It’s increasingly hard to find objective info these days. Everyone wants to spoon-feed you their own agenda, some unreal version of reality. Too often propaganda adorns itself in the deceptive garb of neutrality and sincerity. Like the lies it sells us, propaganda is an optical illusion, a beautiful lie.
If you think I devote a good deal of my time to bitching about ideologues, cowboys, pseudo-patriots, and religious nut jobs, you should hear the way liberal professors misrepresent the Right. As Bill O’Reilly rightfully points out, college kids deserve to be given equal exposure to both sides of any given political debate. Conservatives may dominate the radio, but the opposite is true of academia.
Individuals form their opinions based on the information they have access to. So people who get their info from TV and radio tend to be more conservative; those who read books more likely lean to the left. When you only tell one side of a given story, you deprive citizens of their right to reach their own conclusions. It seems our left-wing academics and right-wing media are racing to see who can brainwash our youth first. Neither reporting the news nor educating our youth should be a “capitalist” endeavor where the guy holding the microphone caters to market demands.