Sunday, May 30, 2010

Speak friend and enter

The GOP's latest online trainwreck, America Speaking Out, has been the talk of the left blogosphere. PZ Meyers put it best when he wrote, "Teabaggers are raving, liberal saboteurs are inserting all kinds of crazy suggestions, and you can't tell them apart."

Some choice items from the Health Care category:

Why hasn't anyone followed up on Sarah Palin's idea that we should have Death Panels to decide who gets medical care? I read about her Death Panesl suggestion and thought it was very constructive and would make most of the recent very expensive health care plan unnessicary. The congress ignoring Sarah Palin's Death Panel idea shows that they were not serious about listening to the American People and their Constructive Ideas.

We must institute a health care policy based on the Constitution, as originally intended by the founders. Only those with means to do so should be able to afford leeches to treat their smallpox. Those who can't afford health care should have ten or more children, managing the risk of disease the way God intended.

Soylent green! It will solve both the high cost of health care and create a new food source.

Real Americans pay for their own organ transplants, in cash, and without complaining. Why is it the nanny state government's job to help you when it's YOUR kid who was born with the heart defect?

The government needs to keep it hands off my Medicare and its fingers out of private business. They need to keep their eye on the ball and an ear to the ground. They need to get their head out of the clouds and put their noses to the grindstone. Then, keeping their knees bent and their arms spread. . . gently. . . exhale. . .

All health care laws should be REMOVED from constituton! The goverment should give every U.S citezen a first aid kit and an instruction book on curing diseases. If you get sick it is your responsibilty to cure yourself!

When you buy the boxes of mixed bandaids, they never have enough round bandaids in them. Fix that please.

Now Obama is hot on health care He’s made it his personal affair National Socialist’s the country will be As he goosed-steped all over the Constitution, said he ‘cause you see, the misery I bring, you must all just grin and bare

We should recycle all the corpses of under privelaged children into tires for republican aircraft. Grab your Bags.It's On!

We should just do away with government entirely, that way it is not interfering in ANY of my business. God created us in the "state of nature," where it's every man for himself. We can do without govt.

Bactine. Have you used it? It has lidocaine now. It was great when I was a kid, but now? It's like serious healthcare in a convenient spray bottle.

Kidnap doctors from other countries, classify them as enemy combatants, then force them to work at hospital-prisons (not hospitals in prison, hospitals that are prison) until Americans are immortal, the way God intended.

We should use the elderly as biomass to generate more energy for our military industrial complex. Those smart bombs aren't going to build themselves.

Repeal certain aspects of health care reform, and insert a provision that expands the death panel concept to include other species, and all that. We spend too much money on caring for do-nothing, worthless dogs and cats who want nothing but a free ride.

There is a person from Texas who could really help us out. Her name is Claire Bennet and she has a can heal herself. Like if she gets a cut it just heals right up, lickity split! But the great thing is that if you use her blood in a transfusion the blood will heal other people too! Once, her dad was hit in the face with a bullet and it ended his life. He was a goner, 100% Jesus bound, but she used her blood and his gray and lifeless body became vibrant once more!

Hugs from Xenu and Kitten tears are cures for all flavors of diseases.

The last comment is a relic from a flood of Xenu-related ideas that were posted to the site on Thursday and Friday. Sadly, the site admins recently deleted all ideas that carried the Xenu tag.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The insidious Mr. "Obama"

So, not only did my previous post on the Birthers induce a state of Lovecraftian horror in my friend solnushka, it also managed to attract a comment from an actual (albeit anonymous) Birther.*

Anonymoose (as the other commenters have nicknamed him/her/it) casts doubt on Obama's status as a natural-born citizen thusly:

No where in either newspaper announcement do they mention the name Barack H. Obama Jr. It says Sr. and Mrs. had a baby boy. How do you know for a FACT that the announcement is referring to Obama? You don't.

These are deep waters, my friends. Let us unpack this statement to make explicit the components of Anonymoose's argument.

What Anonymoose is suggesting here is that Mr. and Mrs. Obama might have had two sons, the one mentioned in this birth announcement who was not Barack Hussein Obama II, and a second one, possibly born in Kenya or Indonesia or even Outer Mongolia, whom the world knows today as President Obama.

Now, skeptical persons might ask why we've never heard of a second son. They might even go so far as to ask what has become of this hypothetical elder brother. The answer ought to be obvious. Barack Senior must have sacrificed the older boy in one of his obscene voodoo rites (and don't tell me that it's the Haitians and not the Kenyans who practice voodoo -- let's face it, black people are all pretty much interchangeable), then brought Stanley Ann to Kenya to give birth to a second son in secret to cover up the fact that the first son had been cruelly murdered.

If Anonymoose's theory is correct -- if Barack Hussein Obama II was not the baby born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 that the birth announcements mention -- then the implications are staggering. Not only might President Obama not be a natural-born citizen, he might not even be a Leo! He might be an Aries, or a Capricorn, or even, heaven help us, a Virgo! If Anonymoose is right, then our nation stands on the brink of an astrological catastrophe. Every aspect of American life that depends on the Chief Executive's astrological sign -- from rainfall patterns to our treaty with Zeta Reticuli -- is threatened by Barack Obama's fraudulent signage.

The evidence is all around us -- the volcanic ash, the oil spill, the flooding of the Warwick Mall. If Barack Obama remains president, we can expect total global annihilation to occur within the next two years.

Spread the word! The truth is out there!


Friday, May 14, 2010

On political horribleness

When your friend solnushka practically dares you to top the British National Party in terms of sheer awfulness, then follows that up by asking what the Birthers are, you realize that responding with a follow-up comment won't suffice -- you need another blog post to give the topic full expression.

What could be worse than the BNP? Well, you tell your British friend, imagine that there is no BNP -- because its potential members are instead all members in good standing of the Conservative Party, including several prominent MPs and a couple of newly-minted Conservative cabinet ministers. If that were the case, then your British friend would understand what the Republican Party is like in the USA.

Surely, your British friend might respond, the Republicans can't be that awful.

Oh yes they can, you reply, and don't call me Shirley. And this brings you naturally to the topic of the Birthers.

Simply put, the Birthers are people who believe that President Obama is lying when he says he was born in Honolulu, capital of the State of Hawaii. This is significant because the US Constitution restricts the presidency to natural-born citizens, ie people who were born citizens because they were born on US soil, or because at least one of their parents was a citizen. Even though President Obama is a natural-born citizen on both counts, the Birthers believe that if they can prove that Obama was actually born in Kenya, that will disqualify him for the presidency, and he'll have to step down.

All of the actual evidence shows that Obama was indeed born in Honolulu. His parents were living there at the time of his birth, his birth certificate shows that he was born in Honolulu, and two Honolulu newspapers mentioned Obama in their birth announcements for the week. The Birthers, though, fueled by a toxic mix of racism and wishful thinking, insist that the birth certificate is a forgery, that the birth announcements are hoaxes, that Obama's family has been lying all along about his true birthplace, and that all the government officials in the State of Hawaii who vouch for the authenticity of the birth certificate are In On The Conspiracy. That was the point of the Wagner for President post, a thought experiment to show just how impossible it would be for a foreign-born politician to do what the Birthers say Obama has done. (In real life, Wagner never even considered running for president for that very reason.)

So, the Birthers are complete nutters, right? Right. And they're nothing more than a lunatic fringe, right?

Wrong. Polls consistently show that a majority of Republicans don't believe that Obama was born in the United States. Republican legislators in Arizona, Georgia, and the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced bills requiring that presidential candidates provide proof that they are natural-born citizens. Only a handful of Republicans in the US Congress were willing to go on the record stating that Obama was born in the United States.

The Birthers are completely nuts, and they are legion.

Top that.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A brief history of the Wagner for President campaign

In 1931, Robert Ferdinand Wagner was the junior United States Senator from the State of New York. As the Great Depression entered its third year, and the administration of President Herbert Hoover proved unequal to the task of coping with it, it seemed clear that the time was ripe for a liberal Democrat like Wagner to defeat Hoover in the upcoming presidential election of 1932. There was only one problem: Wagner had been born in Germany fifty-four years earlier, and so was ineligible to serve as President of the United States.

Wagner was undeterred. He had been bitten by the presidential bug, and bitten hard, and he was determined to let nothing stand in his way. Arranging for a forged birth certificate to be deposited within the New York State archives in Albany was simple enough; a United States Senator, after all, can pull a lot of strings to get what he wants. A more difficult task was gaining the silence of the thousands of people in New York and Washington who knew of Wagner's foreign birth, particularly his fellow senators. In the end, a combination of bribes, threats, and a few quiet assassinations enabled Wagner to win the silence of those who knew his secret.

Most difficult of all, though, was the task of destroying the myriad printed records mentioning his German birth. The problem, of course, was that up until his decision to run for president, Wagner had had no reason to try to hide his foreign birth, and consequently had not done so. As a result, every campaign biography, every magazine article, and every newspaper story that mentioned Wagner's German origins had to be tracked down, located, and destroyed. Furthermore, every copy of Who's Who in every library in the country had to be stolen from tens of thousands of reference sections.

And so, on the evening of Saturday, January 16, 1932, a vast army of paid operatives fanned out across the United States with orders to secure every copy of Who's Who in the country, along with countless other books, magazines, and newspapers. The written records were gathered together in Hammond, Indiana, where for three days, from January 23 to 26, they were used to fuel Samuel Insull's State Line Generating Plant in place of the usual coal.

The following Monday, February 1, 1932, having been assured that no written records of his foreign birth remained in existence, Senator Wagner formally launched his presidential campaign. For the next five months, Wagner campaigned across the country, winning the support of delegates to the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Wagner seemed unstoppable until fate intervened. On Saturday, June 25, two days before the opening of the convention, Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Wagner's chief rival, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, happened to be browsing through a used book store in Yonkers, New York, when she came across a copy of the 1929 edition of Who's Who. Idly turning to the entry on Wagner, she was shocked to discover that his birthplace was given as Nast├Ątten, Germany. Immediately realizing the significance of the information for the presidential race, Mrs. Roosevelt quickly purchased the book and brought it to her husband at his home in Hyde Park.

After the convention opened in Chicago on Monday, Governor Roosevelt sent his campaign manager, James Farley, to Wagner with a photograph of the incriminating Who's Who entry. Farley told Wagner that copies of the photograph would be going out to the convention's delegates unless Wagner agreed to drop out of the race and endorse Roosevelt. His plans in ruins, Wagner finally agreed to do so. Roosevelt went on to win the Democratic nomination, and the presidency, while Wagner ran for and won a second term in the Senate. He devoted his legislative career to sponsoring labor legislation, most notably the 1935 Wagner Act creating the National Labor Relations Board.

Wagner resigned from the Senate in 1949 due to ill health, and died in 1953, his dreams of the presidency unfulfilled.