Friday, April 29, 2011

Obama's Birth Certificate

I can think of no more disgusting act in American political culture of recent times than the President of the United States being pressured into finally showing us all his birth certificate. People say, "Why didn't he just do it years ago and put it to rest?" Here's why: because he owes you nothing. Donald Trump is very proud of himself (his words) for making the President finally put this "controversy" to rest. All Donald Trump has done is help torpedo the standards of American decency, brain capacity, and acceptability to unheard of lows. Congratulations, sheep head. The truth is that nothing could be more undignified, insulting, un-presidential for the office of President, than to pander to these baseless assholes by giving them what they deem necessary. Period.

Of course, considering the true colors of American brain function were being exposed to include much more jello and pig vomit than most people might have thought possible in 2011, Obama's back was obviously to the wall. How are you going to talk about Global Economic issues, unemployment, the difficulties of dealing with oil prices, troubling nations, and radical movements across the world, when over half of your opposing constituency in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina believe that you are a Muslim terrorist, who fought for the rebel army of Kenya in Stalin's Indonesia, in an attempt to free your people from the surrounding rings of Saturn? How are you supposed to talk to these people like an adult? Like all people with an IQ in triple digits, I was looking forward to the day when this controversy would go away. Maybe Barack Obama would use it to his own advantage, avoiding the question while the little puke Trump's campaign (what's with the shape of his mouth when he talks, anyway?) grew to feverish pitches, only for Obama to suddenly unveil the certificate during the 3rd Presidential debate, a pair of spotlights shining down on the 1961 Governor of Hawaii and the delivery doctor, both sitting idly in the front row. Yes, I wanted this to go away, but I had mixed feelings about the president stooping to this unheard of level of moronic tide in order to do it. And now I feel like I need to take a shower. People claim the race card is overused, and often times it certainly is. I am afraid that this has little do do with anything, though, other than race.

For starters, why did Barack Obama have to show us his birth certificate? Clinton didn't have to. Nixon didn't have to. Eisenhower never had to. George Bush wasn't pressed to show us his high school diploma. John McCain was never going to be made to show us his birth certificate - and his birth on US soil involves a much more precarious set of circumstances than Obama's (even while it is clear that he is in fact a naturalized citizen). Now that it's done, for Obama to show us his birth certificate is for the half black guy with a funny name, with a father from a country most of us know little about, being forced to say, "Here is the extra proof you need to know that I am legitimate for this position. So we're cool?". Why didn't he do it before? Jackie Robinson was given a directive to not reply to racists for 2 years when he joined Major League Baseball. In 1947. 64 years later, why is it acceptable for the President of The United States to have to throw a bone to the same segment of society - 2 or 3 generations on - to allow himself the privilege of being allowed to continue to be their elected representative, when there are no credible facts to the contrary? Well it was possible? The best anyone could come up with was that without the long form birth certificate, anything could be possible, so here are some theories. Well gall darn, I suppose so. Half black, Kenya, Hussein, liberal...with Mitt Romney's health care plan, income tax rates 2/3 the level of Reagan's, and with a former radical Christian minister...obviously an illegitimate Muslim socialist.

The whole rumor initially took off with Orly Taitz - a classic certifiable looney ("...Anyone with an average IQ - 60 - could understand what I'm talking about..."). She got busted trying to produce a phoney Kenyan Obama birth certificate, one that actually had the name of the country wrong - woops - and was fined by the US Supreme Court for wasting their time on it. Four of the movement's biggest mainstream propagators have been Glenn Beck - a guy who in an interview bragged about his lack of education, how, "When i was a kid I saw a guy on TV and thought, 'Wouldn't that be cool!'" - Sharron Angle, who told a group of Asian student that hey, sometimes she got mistaken for Asian while growing up, too...

Sharon Angle

...Michelle Bachmann, and of course Rush Limbaugh, whose fat ass was outraged when Michelle Obama tried to promote healthy eating for kids, because, "she doesn't exactly look like a model."

Let's say you hate Barack Obama. Say you hate him because he chooses to spend on more domestic programs than you deem necessary. Say health care just the way it was. Say you think he's annoying, too into himself, not as funny as he thinks he is, that he came into office unproven, that he rode a wave that had more to do with George Bush, and feeling good about ourselves again, than it did about him being a good leader. Say you disagree with both his foreign policy initiatives and the way he reacts to unforseen conflicts in other nations. Say you don't like him, and say you want him to go down in flames in 2012.

I know you. I know these people. I live in Tennessee, and I know I have friends very dear to me who can't stand the man. That's fine, I accept this. I enjoy debate and I enjoy the "clash of ideas" to further deepen one's position. It's necessary, and without it there is no America. I ask why, though, you choose to sell out not your opinions, but your intelligence. Embarrass yourself. Embarrass the country. You can make political arguments. You can vote. You can get your friends to vote. But you can't take back this wave of paranoia and racism you rode on. You can't take it back, and you should be ashamed. No-one should have to prove their legitimacy in the face of such empty allegation, brought on by people who clearly have agendas of their own. Those people know what they are doing. Newt Gingrich - he knows the president is an American. Romney - he knows. John McCain chose not to lower himself to this. Pawlenty, Barbour, maybe even Huckabee - they all know. You were played. You have cheapened America, cheapened the dignity of the office of US President, cheapened the racial progress we so champion, and now we all have to take a shower and move on.

Shame on you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why Those Guys?

Here's a thought: imagine if...anyone else in the world...were held to the same standards of behavior, and perceived moral righteousness, as the American professional athlete seems to be. Carpenters, analysts, stockbrokers...anyone. Imagine America as a nation swimming in a sea of people that looked and sounded like Mitt Romney.

Two days ago, Kobe Bryant got in trouble for losing it on a ref, calling him a "fucking faggot". Weak, offensive words on a number of levels, but let's dig deeper. When asked about the incident on a radio show, Kobe said - as one would expect - that he meant no disrespect to gays and lesbians, that in the heat of the moment he lost his cool and just yelled out an angry slur, he regrets it, and that as someone kids look up to, he would never want them to think that this is OK, or the right thing to do. This saying, of course (faggot) being one that in the homophobe worlds of corporate America and jock culture that Kobe Bryant inhabits, is tossed around almost as much as, "just keepin' busy", or "one day at a time". He also said that he planned to meet with gay and lesbian groups personally to atone, that he believed people have the right to be whoever they are and be respected, and that he took no umbrage with the fine levied against him by the NBA as a result. That fine? $100,000.

So this guy didn't blame it on the referee, and seemed to be taking a somewhat - somewhat - adult level of responsibility for his dumbass actions. Go spend 5 minutes listing to corporate US sports media and all you hear is how Kobe never "apologized". That he probably never would. He never said, "I was wrong". No, he didn't say those words, he expanded to the practical level of what those phrases actually entail. "I will atone", "Don't think this is acceptable", "I will pay for my actions". And for this, he's a morally hopeless cause. Sports.

Quite a contrast from, say, the 4 lunkheads - hit songwriters - I mentioned earlier...singing about queers and how, "That shit ain't never been right". Weird! Clearly we know their actual feelings. They're not going to tell you they lost their cool, or that they're meeting with gay and lesbian groups to try and atone for their sins. Question them they'll tell you about free speech, go further and they'll say it's God's rule, not theirs. OK. They have publishers pitching all their songs to every big Montgomery Gentry in the country, Kobe Bryant's getting fined $100 grand. Why? Why are mainstream athletes supposed to be of a higher caliber of human than anyone else? I seriously don't know. I don't know it's origin. Ty Cobb, one of the original 7 baseball hall of famers, was a worthless, full on racist. And Babe Ruth - hookers and partying...during prohibition! Poor Derek Jeter, he could never get away with that if he wanted to.

Also 2 days ago, Barry Bonds was (sort of) found guilty for lying to the grand jury about his steroid use. In the world of sports, you have to take this purity act so seriously that you'll lie all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend it. Steroids aren't even illegal. They're just illegal in baseball. And they weren't even illegal in baseball most of the time he was taking them. So they spent all this taxpayer money proving what they, you, and everybody else already knows - that Barry Bonds was taking steroids. Whoop-de-do.

In the outside world...who the hell cares? In's a big deal. Why? Several years ago, there was a book - an in depth investigation by some reporters into the secret, underground world of athletes procuring performance enhancing drugs. It was called, "Game Of Shadows". Oooooh. Even Bob Costas was saying isn't this book itself basis enough for the league to terminate certain payers, render them ineligible for the Hall of Fame, file motions, etc, etc. Hmmm. Here's another book I just read - "Life", by Keith Richards. There was more drug use in one leg of one Rolling Stones tour than in the entire history of the NFL, baseball, olympics, and world cup combined. And they've been in the rock and roll hall of fame for 22 years. They probably even had their own wing at some point. Who's going to stop listening to Brown Sugar? Here's another book - "You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again", by Julia Phillips, former Hollywood movie executive. It details enough snow in Hollywood to make the back rooms of Warner Brothers look like the surface of the north pole. Drugs, wife swapping, you name it. Yet are they ever going to take Michael Bay or Jack Nicholson's stars off the Hollywood walk of fame? Unlikely. Why - because no one cares. Who's going to stop watching Taxi Driver? Beyond the spectacle, no one cares what people do who they don't know.

Not that I'm bemoaning the unjust prosecution of today's professional athlete for purposes of sympathy. They will be fine. I just don't expect any more out of them than I do anyone else I don't know. It's amusing that they are held to these standards - righteous standards beyond those of even other famous sects of our culture. People lie, cheat on their wives, and take drugs in all walks of life. I'm sure some hockey players are great people, some meglomaniacal pricks, and some a bit of both. Jose Canseco is talked about like a lost soul, like he's beyond hope, like reading his book is like reading Bernie Madoff or something. A look into the way the other side thinks. Yet everyone reads Keith's book like - Rock it! Same people. Cooperstown and Cleveland could have been contracted by the same parent company. When people want to think about having a good time, they live vicariously through rock and rollers. When they feel like they need to be Jesus Christ, for some reason they choose to live vicariously through these guys. No middle.

I'm not saying I feel badly for them, I'm just glad I'm not one of them. Who wouldn't want to be Keith Richards? Who would want to be Barry Bonds?

Or Jimmer Fredette. One day he's going to reveal himself as a flawed human, and all hell's going to break loose. I know The Fleet Foxes don't feel that pressure, or the next guy on the ladder at Ford.

So choose rock and roll.