Friday, January 27, 2012

Channeling Mo - *Or my "I have finally lost it!" political rant!

All right. For a blog with so much activism going on in it, I rarely really crank up with a political rant or post. Tonight, however...
Meet Mo - pictured here to my left. Mo is the central character in a cartoon series by Alison Bechdel, graphic comic artist and author of the comic series Dykes to Watch Out For (which maybe found here in her Archives. Shameless plug aside ( I really, really LOVE Alison's work, seriously) her character Mo has this habit of going off on political rants in fury at the stupidity of the establishment. And I have been channeling Mo since last night. Settle in for a long post - with fireworks - that goes down several different but inter-connecting paths. Go get your popcorn.
It all started when we were listening to Dreamweaver's favorite alternative radio program Phoenix Rising and he brought up whats going on in the Georgia court system right now. Basically, there have been several attempts via the court system to establish that Barrack Obama is not eligible for re-election for President and to therefore exclude him from the ballot.

(Now. Caveats. Before I go another step with this post. Obama is not perfect. Neither is he Satan incarnate. This is not a blog post about Obama. This is a blog post about some frighteningly scary ignorant politcal maneuvering by persons or people that I am going to *TRY* my best not to use foul language about in the course of this post. I cannot promise to succeed. I have no problems with you, gentle reader if you are not for Obama. But seriously - whats going on here folks is insane. Be forewarned. I will seriously police comments on this post, something I have never done before. All honest opinion welcome, even if it differs from mine. If you're trolling, your comment will be removed - as in take off and nuke it from orbit removed - its the only way to be sure. We now return you to this post. I really am in a mood. Sorry folks.)

So, when I heard about this court case, I went and looked it up, wondering by what technicality they thought they had grounds for this case. OK, yes, I am naive. I'm cute, but naive. In the extreme. Remember - well, its never gone away, but - remember the whole "Birther" movement, wherein President Obama's birth certificate and citizenship came into question?
During the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential primaries, anonymous e-mails from supporters of Hillary Clinton surfaced that questioned Obama's citizenship in an attempt to revive Clinton's faltering primary election campaign. These and numerous other chain e-mails during the subsequent presidential election circulated false rumors about Obama's origin, religion and birth certificate.
Jim Geraghty of the conservative website National Review Online may have sparked further speculation on June 9, 2008, when he asked that Obama release his birth certificate. Geraghty wrote that releasing his birth certificate could debunk several false rumors circulating on the Internet, namely: that his middle name was originally Muhammad rather than Hussein; that his mother had originally named him "Barry" rather than "Barack"; and that Barack Obama, Sr. was not his biological father, as well as the rumor that Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen.
In October 2009, anonymous e-mails circulated claiming that the Associated Press (AP) had reported Obama was "Kenyan-Born". The claims were based on an AP story that had appeared 5 years earlier in a Kenyan publication, The Standard. The rumor-checking website found that the headline and lead-in sentence describing Obama as born in Kenya and misspelling his first name had been added by the Kenyan newspaper; and did not appear in the story issued by the AP or in any other contemporary newspaper that picked up the AP story. And so the snowball rolled until it became an avalanche of rumor, counter rumor, debunking sites, "Birther" sites ("Birther" being the term for those who believe that President Obama was not born in the United States.) and endless conjecture.

Now, we - Dreamweaver and I have done some serious research on this. Every single rumor, photo-shopped foreign "birth certificate", fake news story and claim has been debunked. Over. And over. And over. And still the Birther movement will not die. Its worse than trying to stake vampires! This by the way affects me personally - my beloved Father, whom I have such a loving but tangled relationship with is a Birther. He loathes Obama and believes every negative rumor ever put out there. So this hits me very personally. My dad and I are at the point where we are very careful to talk about the weather and neutral subjects. Or at least I am, and try very hard to keep him off politics. Even he has been proceeding more gently with me on it. I think he knows on a certain level how painful it is for me to hear all this coming out of him, even if he doesn't understand why. And given how hard headed he is, that's saying something!

Scanned image of Barack Obama's
birth certificate released by
his presidential campaign in June 2008.
What this all leads up to is...when I checked on the news story about the court case in Georgia subpoenaing Obama regarding possible ineligibility, I - naively - was looking for something new, given that the Birther   stuff has been so incredibly discredited. I mean - President Obama released his birth certificate on June 12, 2008, responding to the rumors by posting  an image of Obama's birth certificate. As if it hadn't already been settled at the very beginning before any of this started by the rigorous back ground checks that occur when one seeks the office of President. Gah! So...what do I find when I go to check on the Georgia court case????

Oh yes...the Birthers are at it again. Did I mention I am naive? My jaw dropped. Here's the story -  a Georgia resident made the complaint, which is intended to keep Obama’s name off the state’s ballot in the March presidential primary. The reason - oh yes - the tired old thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory of President Obama not being a US citizen.  The kicker is the lawyer they retained to represent them...Orly Taitz. Oh. My. God. Orly Taitz is a Moldavian emigrant to the US who became a naturalized citizen in 1992. She has a law degree from Taft, and was admitted to practice law in California in December 2002. She also speaks five languages: English, Hebrew, Romanian, Russian and Spanish, as well has having a dental practice. So she obviously is intelligent. She also claims that she lost relatives in the Holocaust and that her grandmother witnessed the Kishinev pogrom.

None of which prevents her from being, insofar as I can tell, crazier than a bedbug, evidently.

Along with spear heading and leading the Birther movement, and claiming that President Obama is not a US citizen and a Radical Muslim (which is he is not - he is a Christian, albeit progressive and pluralist) she also claims such things as a number of homosexuals from Obama's former church have died mysteriously (which has what to do with what???), that a person who was cooperating with the FBI in connection with Obama's passport died mysteriously, "shot in the head" (didn't happen); that a Kenyan birth certificate with the name "Barack Obama" is authentic (and we're coming back to that one, in a moment folks!), that her life and
Orly Taitz
property has been threatened and vandalized by the government, that internment and labor camps are being built for "anti-Obama Dissidents" - they're not - and that Osama bin Laden was killed years ago, with his body kept on ice, and the announcement of his death was timed to divert attention from an upcoming court case she is litigating challenging Obama's citizenship - oh my aching head. Really? Seriously? She also has other theories such as a strain of bird flu deliberately developed to kill people, PayPal attacks, the deletion of her Wikipedia entry (which was right there when I went to look for it) , and Google's flagging her webpage as an attack site and suppressing search results for her name - which is a joke because she's all over the damn internet in all in, oh, about 713,000 results when I last checked. Its called a persecution complex at the least. And by all means - go look at her suppressed, flagged, non-existent Website, please. 

Anyway, she's the lawyer representing the case in Georgia. She's already tried this in Alabama, New Hampshire - both of which were thrown out by the way - as well as litigation for military personal who challenged orders implementing his voluntary deployment to Afghanistan because of his claim that Obama is not a legitimate president and thereby could not order his deployment. She has numerous other cases - all of which have been dismissed and thrown out, and she has been sanctioned and fined 20,000.00 dollars for for deliberate misconduct in court. 
Now, remember the "Kenyan Birth Certificate" I said we'd get back to? Here's the icing on the cake. In 2009 Orly presented a photograph of Barrack Obama's Kenyan Birth Certificate.


This turned out to be a proven forgery of an Australian man's certificate of birth posted on an ancestry research site that was lifted and photo-shopped. It had so many glaring errors on it that it boggles the mind that anyone could take it seriously or think they could prove it genuine - errors such as incorrect ages, questionable birth locale, and unbelievably and most glaringly, the use of the term "Republic of Kenya", when actually at the alleged date of issue on this document, it was actually known as the "Dominion of Kenya" on official documents. Orly Taitz is too smart - one would think - to weaken her position as champion of the Birthers by attempting to present such a weak forgery, particularly when a few minutes of research would have turned up the discrepancies before attempting to go public with it. Evidently intelligence was not enough to prevent out right idiocy on this one. 

Now, having pretty much - I sincerely hope - proven my point on Ms. Taitz, which is that she's approaching delusional in this mess and should not be taken seriously....

Here's where my jaw hit the floor last night and put me into a serious rage. So, we were listening to the radio show last night, found out that Orly Taitz is at it again in Georgia...attempting to legally keep President Obama off the ballot for re-election, and attempts to subpoena him...AND THE JUDGE UPHELD THE SUBPOENA AND ENFORCED IT. 
A lawyer representing President Obama's interests submitted a letter - they probably have a form letter file a mile long by now to deal with Orly - stating that Obama's legitimacy has been clearly proven legally at the highest level, and they would not be responding to this nuisance case, etc. And the Judge upheld the subpoena ruling anyway and filed for Taitz and crew! 

What. The. Hell?!?!

Phoenix, our radio dude went on to point out to his listeners that this could seriously become major trouble, because just as obviously as the President cannot respond to nuisance lawsuits, particularly ones that have about as much legal precedence as a snowball in hell, if the judge upheld the plaintiffs side, it becomes a Civil Rights/States Rights issue and the rallying cry from that could become very ugly indeed. At the very least, if it truly carried all the way through, it would set a precedence of excluding President Obama from the ballot which would spread from state to state in the Deep South and that could result in the government stepping in, civil unrest and possible riot and mayhem. 

Pepper spray during Occupy Protest
Still with me here? Because we're about to take another turn down how my night went last night. Having heard the above, I became sincerely upset. Um...actually, in a furious rage to be honest. How dare such idiots play this kind of game with political due process in such a serious situation! You think I'm exaggerating? You think Phoenix is exaggerating? Remember, we've just seen the Occupy Movement get gassed, discredited and smashed into the bedrock by what amounts to brownshirt goons - you really think this could be an exaggeration? Let me go one step further. 

I was very upset last night about this whole thing. Sleep kind of went out the window, and I was sort of compulsively patrolling the internet chasing random searches on all this mess. So having thought about the States Rights thing, and gone chasing down several related posts to those things, I went and looked at THE main back history to the whole idea of States rights in America - The American Civil War of 1861–1865. Or as I grew up hearing it referred to - and I am NOT kidding - The War of Northern Aggression. 

Confederate Flag on t
he Capitol Grounds. 
I was raised in the deep South. I am by birth South Carolinian. I grew up with Rebel Battle Flags EVERYWHERE...including the one still flying on the capitol grounds today. I was taught that the Civil War was about STATES RIGHTS...that the Federal Government wanted to take away our freedoms, that slavery was not nearly as bad as it is fictionally portrayed (Really. I was taught that.), that freeing the slaves actually did them harm and that the war was never about slavery - that was just an issue introduced half way through as an emotional rallying cry. The phrase "The south will rise again" was not uncommon, Sherman's name is still hated here, and the phrase "damnyankee" was one word. And the Klu Klux Klan was just there to protect the women and children. All the classic cliches that you think could not be true about Southerners....well. They are. They were. That's what I grew up in and around the first half of my life. How in God's name I escaped being an emotionally blind bigoted bastard I will never know, but thanks be to God - and I MEAN that - somehow I did. I was taught to be proud my state fired the first shot that started the whole freaking blood bath. And it was a blood bath - that war produced about 1,030,000 casualties (3% of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease. It accounted for roughly as many American deaths as all American deaths in other U.S. wars combined. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males in the United States aged 13 to 43 died in the Civil War, including 6% in the North and 18% in the South. (Don't know what the figures would be if other races and women and children were included in that.) 

Its funny how when you're sure of what you think you know, you never really dig in and look at it until something else knocks the blinders off. Now, I was already totally disgusted with the whole "slavery wasn't all that bad, and emancipation actually harmed the slaves" thing...Naive I may be - Stupid I am not. But I did believe that the Civil war was about States Rights, and the evils of the Federal Government.  Its what I was taught in school and at home and at church and rubbed off on me at social gatherings. What else was I to know, when that was all I had ever been taught. Until last night, sore and angry and worried about my country's troubles at the hands of some crack pots and conspiracy theorists, I turned and did some true unbiased digging for the first time ever about the whole States Rights "movement" that arose out of the Civil War.
Rare 1863
photograph of a slave 
Oh, yes, it was about States Rights alright. The right to own slaves and continue the furtherance of slave ownership into newly opened territories of America after slavery had already been declared illegal everywhere except the specific slave states and the actual slave trade coming over seas had been criminalized. And for THIS my ancestors rose and fought one of the bitterest, most brutal wars ever, brother against brother, that generated the hatred, prejudices and resentments that still burn today in the deep south...for the right to own and enslave their fellow human beings. And because of this cultural myth that still is alive and well today - that the Federal Government is out to "get us" Southerners - we're primed for it already. Armed conflict and rebellion is romanticized in the name of that lie still. And when this legal circus that is being driven by the Birther's disproven fraudulent claims  to exclude Obama from the Presidential ballot in the states gets tossed out and quashed like it should be...its not impossible that civil unrest and blood could erupt in the streets.

Oh yes. If this Birther movement to exclude Obama from the ballot continues, with the Occupy debacle behind us - and the Occupy movement will be cranking back up when warm weather gets here, is my bet - it could well explode. I am not being paranoid. You saw the news this summer with the Occupiers being beaten, dragged off, pepper sprayed and gassed. We're poised over the edge. And the Deep South is where this will erupt if it does and we're living smack in the middle of it. God help us.

I guess the final reason for my severe rage was that every single conspiracy theory, crack pot claim, and bitter foul lie about President Obama that Orly Taitz is pushing or has created, I've heard from my father's lips as gospel truth. And he knows, despite my care not to start anything or even get involved in any political discussion with him, he knows that I disagree with him on this subject. And he thinks I am blind to reality and that he knows it all. It hurts. Orly Taitz's single handed insanity has brainwashed my dad into twisted knots of conspiracy theories and hatred and there is nothing I can do about it. Not one thing. I asked my dad what he thought, the day President Obama's birth certificate was released, and he said as far as he was concerned it was a fake, the man was no US citizen, but a Kenyan born Muslim who should be run out of the country and that even if he held Obama's birth certificate in his hand, he still wouldn't believe it, period. And this is why, perhaps I am so blazing mad. These lies have come close to destroying my relationship with my father, and have twisted what should be golden years for him into something filled with fear and hate because he is afraid of change and its easier to hate than think. It breaks my heart and has made me angrier than anything has in a long time. I am trying not to misuse that anger and succumb to hate myself. So I'm venting about it, and trying to wrestle with it and win through to being better than this.

Two final points. Orly Taitz is working on running for Senator for the state of California. Oh no. Hell no! Please God, no. She has to be un-electable. Unfortunately, her being born somewhere other than the USA doesn't preclude her from holding any office except the presidency. How ironic.

Secondly, today in court instead of tossing out the case in Georgia, the court stunningly refused to rule, meaning he did not toss them out on their asses - yet. Instead,they are to present their evidence, and he will make a ruling by February 5th, and where this will lead next, who knows. Hopefully he will toss it out. We'll see. I can't imagine he wouldn't. Here's hoping.

These are my honest thoughts. Perhaps venting here will give me the ability to see clearly and not be so blind furious. Perhaps the future will be better than my fears, will instead, be the future of my hopes. Such are my prayers this night.
May God give us grace. All of us.


  1. Whatever decisions that judge makes are subject to appeal. He will not have the final word. I doubt that this crazy case will ultimately get any traction in the courts.

    I think the only way to deal with insane conspiracy theories like this is to laugh at them as the crazy bullshit they are. Don't underestimate the power of satire and ridicule as political weapons. Look at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert -- no one rips the right apart as effectively as they do.

  2. Oh, you are so right, Debra! I think the main reason I was so furious was quite possibly the damage all this has done to mine and my Father's relationship. That's personal. Its really changed him...he's always been conservative for want of a better word, in difficult ways I only understood later, but this level of bitter paranoia is new. And it really got rolling with the Birthers. *sigh*

  3. I share your fury, beloved. My father has also embraced the birthers. My father is an ex-cop, retired minister, retired school teacher with a ton of education and an equal amount of suspicion for all things Democratic. At least we can usually negotiate such conversations without too many repetitiousness reprisals.

    Like you, I support my president. I am horrified that this kind of BS has shaken you so deeply. But then, who I am I to talk after the fit I threw a few moments ago about SC still flying the confederate flag at the court house. What do you mean they only took if off the capital building??? I never dreamed that just meant that planting in front.

    And that's why I am ready to leave the south. I've lived in the south, three states, the Midwest, four states, and never found home. I'm too damn liberal, I guess. Let's try the Pacific Northwest, shall we? At least if it all goes up in smoke, we'll have a volcano between us and the south!