A Novus Incipit Annus

Unlike those who refuse to hold the Bush Administration accountable for their many sins and transgressions, I recognize that nothing exists in a bubble; every circumstance we deal with today was affected by previous events in some way.  For whatever failings Obama may possess, he hardly came into his presidency with a clean slate – no one ever does.  A new year does not eliminate the previous year, there is only the changing of numbers.  There are celebrations of hope for the new year and my hope is that we finally get serious about what we, as a nation, are doing.

I had the mixed pleasure of travelling back to my home of origin and spending a few days with my father and stepmother during Christmas vacation.  My father was a biology professor, long retired now, and the opportunities to see him in relatively good health are naturally coming to a close.  We invariably talk politics, he an old George Wallace-democrat, now Republican; I, a left-leaning don’t-bullshit-me anti-Republican.  Our conversations are ofttimes civil, but they can get heated.  What I didn’t expect, on this Christmas holiday, was to be yelling at my father because of obvious Republican chicanery.  Our topic was one I covered over three years ago.  Here’s how it went down:

My father, stepmother, and I were discussing varying aspects of Washington politics and I tried to not let some of the ignorance light a fuse in me because I understand from where that ignorance comes.  My father was born in Mississippi in 1927.  He is Old South.  He thinks derogatory jokes about black people are funny – because they are derogatory, not because they are funny.  My father is rarely funny.  For all his education, my father is a bigot and it serves no purpose to deny  that.  That’s not to say he is a sheet-wearing, cross-burning yahoo, but the racism is there.  He recognizes achievement and little else.  He is not against people of lower economic situations getting opportunities, but he is against affirmative action.  His answer to reconcile this would likely be “work harder”.  Sometimes that works, sometimes not.  I believe the reason for affirmative action to exist at all is that too often working “harder” was not working.  Perhaps you have a clearer picture of him now.

After I had explained my position on the uselessness of term limits in a party-politics system and that the reason the presidential term is limited is because of FDR’s ability to appoint eight of the nine Supreme Court justices before his death, my stepmother went off to do something else.  My father now had his opportunity to set me straight about Obama.  I don’t know why he has an affinity to world almanacs, but he dug one up and turned to the entry for Obama.  He sat on a footrest in front of me and showed me the book and I saw that many things had been underlined.  I heard the quick intake of air and the stern timbre in my father’s voice as he muttered in low tones, “First, he was not born in this country…”

“What!?” I cried.  I was incredulous.  The fuse was lit, but I tried to delay the detonation by calmly replying, “The State of Hawaii would disagree with you.”  I smirked and turned my attention back to the almanac.

My father was halted and sputtered, “He hasn’t proven he was born there.”

“You’re welcome to your opinion, but the State of Hawaii would disagree with you.”

“Well, then, they’re liars!”  This was usual for him when arguing from weakness or simply to hear the sound of his own voice.  But my fuse was short and detonation was imminent. I had had enough of this crap.

“Well, you just go ahead and toss out the facts you don’t like and make up your own and you can live in that little reality – but that’s insane!”  He fell to an uncertain silence, perhaps shocked that I may have been accusing him of being insane.

I stood up.  “I didn’t vote for Obama and don’t particularly like what he’s done, but I’m tired of this nonsense.  Is this about that PDF file of his certificate that people were saying was faked?”  I looked down on him with a nasty jut in my jaw.  “Because if it is, that is BULLSHIT!”

My father’s expression was blank and the fire he had been summoning in his rant was extinguished in meekness.  “I don’t know.”  Not exactly the answer I was expecting.

I began pacing and my father returned to his seat across the room.  “I am tired of reading about this and watching people on television prattle on about this because what they are saying is BULLSHIT!  Is this about that Orly Taitz garbage?”

“I don’t know know who that is.”

“She’s one of ‘em.  Fox News will trot these people out all day long and they are liars and they have agendas!”  Fox News, surprise!, is watched with interest in that household because, as my stepmother says, “They respect the troops.”  Of course they do.

“Who signed his birth certificate?” My father continued.

“I don’t know,” I groaned, “I don’t have the thing with me.”

“I haven’t seen it.”  This may have been my father’s way of trying to turn the conversation back to a “conversation”, but the topic was too far gone and way too stupid by now.

“Well, I have a copy of it and I know more about how that file works than any of those clowns!  And Donald Trump said he had guys over there and he was going to show evidence.  Well, he never did!  You know, why?  Because it was bullshit!  There was nothing to show!”

I couldn’t let it go without one more point to make:  “These are the same people who accuse Obama of being a Muslim without acknowledging that a Muslim can be president.”

“I know they can be,” was his subdued reply.

My father really had little else to say for the rest of the night.  Whatever other tripe had been force-fed into his brain by the Fox propaganda machine would be internalized until it was safe to spew again, out of my presence.  I am under no illusions that I can change his mind, but he raised us to educate ourselves about things and that is what bothers me the most about this conversation.  My father is a man of science, an educator and PHd, and he allows his own bigotry to take for truth the lies that are part of the Obama smear campaign.  He demanded no proof, no evidence, and didn’t even think to research the topic for himself to be better informed.  I am seriously disappointed in him.  Above all, I trusted he valued knowledge over all else.  He failed that trust on a Christmas holiday.

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Ruminations of a Right-Wing Recidivist Reactionary – An Ode to Idiots

I wonder what they’re eating in Somalia
I wonder if they pick the sand out of their food
I wonder if they would mind if we crash the party
I wonder if they would think we’re being rude.

I hear the bullets are flying in Somalia
I hear there are a lot of pirates, too
I think it’s time we moved to Somalia
I think it’s time to show them what we can do

‘Cause they reelected a commie in America
And he’s a Muslim and a socialist, too
And he’s gonna drive this country to ruin
All the while still blaming you-know-who

Some call for secession here in America
Some call for a recount for voter fraud
Some call to reclaim our country
In the name of the Christian God

They want to take our religion in America
They want to take all of our guns, too
Well, I’m gonna take my guns to Somalia
And we’re gonna make that country new.

‘Cause the people have spoken here in America
They can’t see the upcoming demise, I fear
So I’m gonna make a new life in Somalia
Before they turn it into Somalia here

©2012 James Montgomery

For The “Birthers”: The Asylum Awaits

The ya-ya over Barack Obama’s birth certificate is still on-going.  The only thing I don’t believe about it is that this ridiculous farce is still on-going!  The people who continue to pursue this nonsense are brain-addled, pure and simple, and whether that ailment stems from racism or just not wanting to accept that they are wrong is a case-by-case basis.

I am one year older than President Obama, born in Alabama.  I have had not one, but two, different versions of my birth certificate.  And for what Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate has in neatness and clarity, my Alabama birth certificate more than makes up for in chicken-scratch scribbling.  My birth certificate is a photo-stat of a photo-stat with a raised seal!  That’s it!  There are no baby footprints or anything else that people were trying to use as “evidence” of Obama’s forgery.  I have no more power over what my birth certificate looks like than I have over my DNA.  I know what my birth certificate looks like from 1960 and I know what Obama’s looks like from 1961 and in the other forty-eight states, there were probably forty-eight variations of what constituted a birth certificate at that time.  Actually, that more than likely still holds true today.

But the bottom line is simply this: whether these people want to believe it or not, the State of Hawaii says that what they have issued as Barack Obama’s birth certificate is “official.”  If the State of Hawaii says he is who he is and was born where they say he was born, then that is the way it is…period!  No more debate, this issue is and has been settled!  And for those of you who may think there is some hanky-panky going on with the Hawaiian registrars in conspiring to foment this fraud, well good luck finding that evidence.  That is really the very last straw for a very desperate person to grasp to sate their mental affliction.

There are too many important things in the world to worry about and this stupidity needs to be put to an end.  Those who continue to chase this wisp are deranged fools.  If you happen across one of those people in your daily travels, remind them of that for me, won’t you?

*And for you mental midgets who think that pdf file released by the White House proves the certificate is forged, I’ll put this simply: you’re wrong!  That pdf is a scan of the certificate, not the actual document.  That pdf could have one layer in it or ten layers, it doesn’t matter; it is a scan, not the actual document!  If you still have problems processing that, go to the store and buy yourself a clue.  Perhaps eBay has a brain for sale.  Better yet, throw your computer away – you don’t need to be online!