Tuesday, July 07, 2009

American Hysteria: Righting the Wrongs of Democracy

Intro: I came across a website this morning that inspired me to leave a comment on their site; having written the comment it occurred to me that this was worthy of being posted here as a post of its own, with a brief introduction. While I'd rather not promote the original website, it would hardly be fair to post my reaction to their material without presenting their point of view … so, if you want to see what ‘inspired’ me, click here – the link will open in a new window. In a nutshell (no pun intended – really) the site is called the ‘American Grand Jury’ and aims at the passing of legislation requiring future candidates seeking the office of president to be required to demonstrate their eligibility to seek said office through the presentation of a valid birth certificate proving that they meet the requirements of Section 1, Article II of the U.S. Constitution.

Illustration Copyright by Ben HeineIt is astounding to read the number of invocations calling for the ‘taking back of America’ and how the ‘impostor’ president must be removed. What I must question, however, is the number of others who disagreed with this view and, in November of 2008, decided that Barack Obama was their choice to be the 44th president of the United States.

There are several reasons for which there were hearings regarding the status of John McCain and not Obama - not the least of which being that the powers that be (REPUBLICANS at the time) decided that there was no compelling reason to question the status of Obama’s birth while McCain’s birth in the region of Panama was questionable as Panama was a protectorate, not a state.

This is a situation of pure and simple racism masquerading as political action: people who cannot accept that someone named Barack Hussein Obama can, in fact, be a Christian rather than a Muslim - despite the fact that he attended a school that was Islamic. There is also resistance to the idea that a black man can be qualified to sit in the White House. How dare they pretend to be qualified when there are so many deserving white folk ready to slip into that seat in the Oval Office. Bunk, pure and simple bunk.

The idea of passing legislation to enforce something that is already accounted for in the Constitution is, quite frankly, a waste of the time of the House and Senate - it is a waste of taxpayer’s money to even consider such nonsense. Obama’s BC is on record and was accepted by a right-wing publication before the election - of course, that obviously wasn’t enough for the most ardently right-wing racists who cannot accept that democracy sometimes means the votes of others mean that your opinion is not the prevailing opinion for the next four (or eight) years.

Perhaps you should be looking inward rather than outward to discover why your views have become so anachronistic and ‘out of date’ with the rest of America. How can change come when minds are closed? when spirits are locked in opposition to anything that looks different to what you are familiar with or used to seeing?

Remember, taking care of your fellow man and for the weaker amongst you does not have to be related to communism or socialism, nor does the ’sharing of wealth’ have to be similarly associated: it can be more appropriately related to something called Christianity where we minister to the weak and the sick and the community shares its resources, ensuring that no one goes without anything (Acts).

Obama is not some foreigner trying to make the United States a socialist nation - he is an American Christian who is walking the walk, trying to make the nation move back towards the true vision of Christianity that could be possible if only the people of the nation would wake up, shake of the greed, consumerism, and lust for personal ‘everything’ and be willing to re-evaluate their lives so that all Americans could share in the true American dream: a nation where everyone is guaranteed the opportunity to live without having to mortgage their lives in the event they require health care, an America that does not allow people to die if they have a ‘pre-existing condition’.

Unfortunately, the right-wing would rather eat their young and squabble about meaningless things like birth certificates rather than making the country a better place. No wonder politicians have to keep asking God to bless America - it certainly isn’t something He would do of His own accord.

The above paragraph is where my comment ended: I would add, however, that it seems incongruous to have so many people proclaiming that the United States is a nation founded upon Christian principles, yet it seems completely opposed to living up to the high calling of that label. People do not seem to have any idea as to what it means to be a true Christian, or what Jesus asked His followers to do after He left them, charging them to continue with His ministry. The first Christians did not consider profit to be more important than the life of one of their fellow brothers or sisters in the Lord; they made sacrifices for the ‘body of Christ’ – otherwise known as ‘the Church’. Remember, in the Book of Acts (the ‘Acts of the Apostles’) believers brought wealth to the ‘Church’ and shared their wealth. This was not socialism – it IS Christianity.

2:44 ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (45) and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, as every man had need. (46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, ate their food with gladness and singleness of heart, (47) Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:44-47, emphasis added)

For the first time in recent history the people of the United States have elected a man to the office of president who actually seems to believe what the founding fathers promised with their fancy words so long ago. Of course, when the Constitution was written, this same man would have likely been consigned to the roll of a slave, not permitted to even learn to read; a true expression of the Christian ethic that the founding fathers embraced. It is time to allow the president to do his job; criticize him for not acting fast enough or for not fulfilling all of his campaign promises, but when it comes to hysterical claims that are as fallacious as the Nigerian e-mail scams, it’s time to put them to rest.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


The recent announcement by Governor Sarah Palin that she is going to step down from office in a few weeks has come as a complete surprise to everyone, especially those in the Republican party who were likely looking for an impending resignation from a governor from a state a bit more to the south and to the east of Alaska. While the trials and tribulations of Gov. Sanford were only pushed from the headlines by the sudden deaths of Farrah Fawcet and Michael Jackson (remember Farrah?), he still managed to galvanize the political pundits with his antics and talk of ‘soul mates’ … and then there’s Sarah.

That seems to be the entire summation of Sarah Palin’s political career: and then, there’s Sarah. One begins to wonder why someone would decide to even enter the political scene in the United States, knowing that it means every aspect of your life becomes fodder for the media, when you want to be a ‘private’ individual. The fact that Governor Palin wrote e-mails that vehemently defended her husband’s non-membership in a political party that advocates secession from the Union, for example, demonstrates the lack of connection that she has with that precious thing we call reality. Todd Palin is actually on record as being a member of the AIP for seven years – that is something quite a bit different from accidentally checking the ‘independent’ box on their voter registration forms. Fine, I can understand missing mixing up ‘Independent’ for ‘Alaskan Independent’, but, as this article shows, the registration forms actually say ‘Alaskan Independence Party’, not ‘Alaska Independent’. One must wonder about the level of literacy if this is the excuse that the candidate for VP really wanted people to accept (yes, my husband is an idiot, but I love him).

From the moment Sarah Palin was picked by Senator John McCain to be his running mate for the 2008 presidential election I watched very carefully. While I am not an American citizen it is of great interest to me as a Canadian how the American political system plays out for the simple reason that the American system has a massive influence on our Canadian system, as demonstrated by the recent economic moves made as a coordinated effort by both of our governments. In that light I have taken more than a small interest in the political races, particularly the presidential races, and watch with no small amount of concern as candidates try to convince the most amount of people that they should be entrusted with the running of the nation.

From the first time I heard her speak I was convinced that there was a serious problem with Sarah Palin: it was as though I was listening to someone who had read the dust jacket of a book but had not bothered reading the actual book itself. Her comments were a combination of slogans and platitudes, cheers spoken slowly – hardly anything with any sort of well reasoned political insight. Not to mention the fact that there was hardly ever an issue that was broached – both she and McCain preferred to attack their opposition rather than propose any substantive alternative platform to that offered by Obama – they only wanted to attack, offer connections to ‘terrorists’ and pray that they could cause enough ‘level headed’ people to fear the ramifications of voting in a Democrat after eight years of the ‘safety’ provided by the Republican … well, seven years – there was that unfortunate incident on 9/11 after all. But, fear mongering failed and the people of America saw through the lies of the Republicans, and Sarah Palin.

The Governor that had the highest approval rating suddenly saw things going terribly wrong: she was found guilty of abusing her power, her daughter’s ‘beau’ dumped her – and there were drug charges filed against the mother of said beau … and, on top of that, Governor Palin could not resist the temptation of continuing to talk to the press … something that had never really worked out all that well for her during the campaign (unless it was an ‘interview’ on Fixed News or Fox Noise – one of the ‘friendly’ channels).

Perhaps, then, it is true that Governor Palin has decided to leave the office of Governor simply because she feels there is more that she can do to effect change outside of the constraints of the political office to which she is currently tied. With 18 months remaining in her term, however, it seems odd that she would leave her office and expect to land as the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election. After all, the last election campaign was about as long as one could imagine – and as a sitting president it is not likely that President Obama is going to begin his re-election in 2010, the job is simply too demanding (though, as I understand it, the process for re-election never really ends once elected – but the candidate himself doesn’t exactly get too invested in the process while in office).

What Palin’s plans are is anyone’s guess: there were even whisperings to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that this announcement from Governor Palin marked her permanent departure from politics. If that is the case perhaps there is probably much more to this story than we have been given, more that will be revealed over the next few days, weeks and even months. Investigations, after all, continue whether or not that individual remains in office. If there have been any wrong doings by the Governor that need to be addressed, perhaps this resignation came as a ‘pre-emptive’ act in the hopes of mitigating any potential future acts.

We will have to await the results of the autopsy.

Happy Independence Day … and a belated Happy Canada Day!