Posts Tagged ‘Birthers’

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WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES

August 13, 2009

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Many people prefer staying in their “comfort zones.” They know what they know and live their lives accordingly – even if what they know is false. Challenging their knowledge with new ideas or asking them to re-think existing ones is usually a recipe for disaster. In other words, truth be damned.

Elected officials, both currently serving and retired know exactly how to use this “false knowledge” to fuel fear, hate and anger. They also know how to make a small “public outcry” seem far bigger and more significant than it really is thus assuring attention from the media, which is always looking for the next “hot” story – as opposed to just reporting news.

And so it is with the most recent “public outcry” about healthcare reform. The two previous “outcries” were not about taxes (the Tea Parties) or the validity of our President’s birth certificate (the Birther Movement) and this current wave of discontent is not about healthcare. These people know nothing about any of the drafted legislation. They did no research to see what is being proposed. They are simply resisting change, yelling the “coded rhetoric” that has been fed to them by the fear-mongerers in media who compare President Obama to Adolph Hitler and any proposed healthcare reform to genocide, euthanasia and death panels for citizens who might not be “worth the cost” of keeping alive. The people at these events don’t want the government “invading” their comfort zone – especially if that “invasion” is being lead by their worst nightmare – a black man.

Our country was heading in what most of us described as the wrong direction. So last year, we used one of our rights under the constitution and voted for change, which included electing an extremely intelligent, well-educated, very reasoned and pragmatic President, who happens to be black AND white. Now that change is here, those who did not vote for it or him are frightened, and extremists within the Republican Party are exploiting that fear with hate-filled rhetoric aimed straight at our President, not his policies.

We have voted for change many times in the last 90 years. (Remember, WE are the government.)

We added an amendment to our constitution giving women the right to vote in 1920.

We passed the Social Security Act which was signed into law by FDR in 1935.

We passed the GI Bill – signed into law in 1944.

We signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We passed Medicare in 1965.

We again voted for change last year, and won. The “crazies” within the Republican Party now want to deny us what we earned when we not only elected Barack Obama as our 44th President but also elected many new faces to the House and Senate. Mark my words, we will not be denied.

In 1964, Nelson Rockefeller stood up at the Republican Convention and asked Republicans to repudiate extremism.

After he spoke, Barry Goldwater, the soon-to-become Republican nominee stood up and said, “…extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!”

That single line gave Lyndon Johnson all he needed to defeat Goldwater. The famous “Daisy” ad only aired once – but once was enough.

The leaderless Republicans appear to be once again embracing these tactics. Sen. Jim DeMint believes that if Republicans can “break” the President, it will be his Waterloo.

Radio talk show hosts like Michael Savage are perpetuating the idea that our democratically-elected President is a dictator.

Keeping all of this in context, one must understand that media’s extensive coverage of these events is disproportionate. Pundits and their employers are hoping for good tabloid TV and  radio. Most of the gatherings are much smaller than they appear on TV. Here’s some samples of what’s been happening around the country.

In this first video, the additional captions tell you as much as the video does. Pay close attention to what is NOT being said, but can be clearly seen.

Notice the use of words like “trampling,” “shoving” and “molesting” (a car?). The point trying to be made is that these people aren’t being “heard.” What? That’s ALL you hear!

Imagine if the people not “shoving,” not “trampling” and not “molesting” are people of color. Would this not be a very different story?

This young man is wearing what others are saying. He’s clueless. He knows nothing about Hitler, fascism or the Holocaust. To him, it’s just a T-shirt that someone asked him to wear. When confronted with questions, he turns away.

The man below keeps saying that President Obama is lying, but forgets what he was supposed to say after that. His agenda is to get on TV.

These “healthcare events” are being called “Astroturfing Events” because they are NOT real grassroots efforts. They are being sponsored and promoted by some of the same people that brought us the “Tea Parties” – Dick Army’s Freedom Works and of course, FOX News with its list of Democratic Town Hall Meetings. (I downloaded the list to my personal site because I know after August, the list will be gone from their site.)

Here’s some video from Kelly Denver at The Seminal, a pretty good video blogger. 

This was in Tampa, Florida

The President is to blame for the town hall uprisings. Now THAT is some real spinning of these events.

Did you know that when healthcare reform passes, the government will tell us how to die? Neither did I. 🙂 

And then there’s this clown, who was wearing a sidearm standing outside one of our President’s town hall meetings in New Hampshire, where it’s legal to carry. He knows nothing about healthcare reform. He’s just there in defiance of our President.

All of this is going to backfire on the opposition if they don’t get control of the situation. If people continue to see and hear nothing but these lies as the Republican Party’s message, reasonable Republicans and conservatives will go further into hiding, not wanting to be publically associated with this element. Privately, they obviously think they need these people in order for the party to stay releveant. I coudn’t disagree more. A rational Republican needs to step into a leadership role, quickly.

The irony in all of this is the very people that healthcare reform would help the most, the low and middle income aging population, are some of the same people at these events screaming “Hitler” and “Fascist.” Many are receiving Medicare, a single-payer healthcare system, or VA healthcare, a governement-run healthcare system, or Social Security, a governement-run benefits program. As hard as it is to believe, these mule-headed fear-followers don’t realize any of this. They foolishly stand in a crowd, screaming statements they did not create and when questioned, don’t know what they’re screaming about. God forgive them, for they know not what they say.

BTW: Barry Goldwater, the “pro-extremist,” lost BIG in the 1964 Presidential Election.

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These tactics didn’t work in 1964 or in last year’s Presidential Election and they won’t work now. The fringe elements of media are speaking to a diminishing audience. These are the waning years of hard bigotry and racism. By the time my 19 year old son reaches my age, these elements of our society will be even less relevant than they are now.

Until then, sadly, there is no reasoning with these people. Facts will not penetrate their thinking. They refuse to listen to anyone, regardless of intelligence, education and expertise. Trying to debate an issue with them is an exercise in futility. So sit back, watch and be amused. The circus is on a television near you.

On a lighter note, allow me to close with some great lines from two well-known “Michaels.”

And from this Michael: “What a fool believes… no wise man has the power to reason away.”

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

PS – Here’s Mr. “Blue-Eyed Soul” in 1992, singing “What A Fool Believes.”

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THIS IS NOT ABOUT A BIRTH CERTIFICATE

July 23, 2009

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Here we go… again.

The people who are creating the story about President Obama’s birth certificate are not telling the truth. They couldn’t care less about his birth certificate. They KNOW he was born in Hawaii. The evidence is overwhelming.

This “Birther Movement” is just the latest in “coded rhetoric” and actions by those who hate our President because he is black. They’ve tried Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Fascist, Baby-killer, Anti-Semite – you name it, and nothing has worked. President Obama still holds high popularity marks – as good as or higher than Clinton or Reagan in their first six months. With everything that needed attention when he came to the Presidency, that’s a remarkable achievement. You have to go back to FDR to find a President who came into the Whitehouse with so many different critical situations on his plate at once – and Roosevelt wasn’t dealing with two wars.

This poorly veiled bigotry will get less traction than the “Tea Parties” from earlier this year. At least the Tea Party Movement sounded rational, even if it wasn’t actually about taxation.

Rep. Campbell wants this bill to go to the President’s desk because it would put Obama on the spot. If he doesn’t sign it, he looks like he’s hiding something. There are currently nine co-sponsors of the bill that was sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL). Not one person of color among them. Interestingly, half are from Texas.

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Facts anyone?

Here are what the top fact-checking websites in the country have written on the subject. Snopes.com  PolitiFact.com  FactCheck.org

What post would be complete without a media morsel (or two) on the “crazies.”

Convicted Watergate felon and well-known crazy radio talk show host, G. Gordon Liddy, looking VERY tired on Hardball, tried to defend the Birther Movement.

No crazy conspiracy theory would be complete without “legal” action so it appears legitimate. Attorney Philip Berg filed a lawsuit that was summarily dismissed by Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the US District Court in PA.

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Berg was also mentioned in a civil action that Air Force Colonel Gregory Hollister brought to the court, stating he would not serve under Obama because Obama wasn’t a citizen and therefore could not be the Commander-in-Chief. This case was also dismissed. The judge called this case “frivolous,” having ruled on two previous interlocutory cases on the same issue. Here’s the date-by-date rulings by the court on Hollister’s Civil action.

FactCheck.org had this to say:

“FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it’s stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs.”

Hawaii has two major newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin. BOTH newspapers include birth announcements (which come from hospitals, not family), and BOTH newspapers record the August 4th, 1961 birth of Barack Obama.

Barbara Nelson, a teacher at the Honolulu prep school attended by Barack Obama recalled discussing his birth with the obstecrician who had delivered him:

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Time for some rational thinking.

“In this day of heightened awareness about terrorists, illegal immigrants, etc. and (Bush Administration) policies hell-bent on invading the privacy of virtually everyone in this country under the guise of protecting us, does anyone really think Barack Hussein Obama would have received the necessary security clearances to be a US Senator and on the Foreign Relations Committee, if he wasn’t a citizen?”

I wrote this during the 2008 campaign in Faith Trumps Fear, when this birth certificate nonsense was first debunked.

I know the Republicans can’t be responsible for the crazies like Lou Dobbs, Liz Cheney, Sean Hannity and Orly Taitz. But they can, and should, reign in their fellow congressmen who are legitimizing this bigotry. Allowing these members to disguise their hatred of our President’s skin color behind proposed birth certificate legislation that will go nowhere, is harmful to the GOP. Media is doing a good job of exposing these clowns for who and what they are. (Of course, this excludes FOX News and the rest of the alarmist talking heads.) If nothing is done by the Republican Leadership to publically oppose this dialogue, then it becomes apparent to many that the fear-and-hate mongers have the support of the entire party.

Are Republicans TRYING to become even MORE insignificant?

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com