The Eclectic Quill

June 12, 2009

Stating the Obvious on Obama’s Birth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 8:50 am

There’s been a lot of talk about Obama’s birth certificate and whether it really exists or not. Rush Limbaugh yesterday alluded to the irresponsible allegations, but the allegations ignore basic reason. Allow me to state the obvious here, Obama has a passport and that means he has a birth certificate. Here’s the logical proof he was born in America.

  1. Obama has a US Passport. We know this because his files were hacked and it was big news.
  2. To have a US Passport a person must be a US Citizen.
  3. There are two ways to be an American citizen. To obtain a US Passport evidence must be offered for either of the two.
    1. Natural (birth)
    2. Naturalization (immigrant)
  4. Since Obama has a US Passport he is either a natural or naturalized US citizen.
  5. If he were a naturalized citizen then there would be a swearing in as such, and this would be a matter of public record.
  6. Absent evidence of Obama naturalizing, and in light of the fact that he’s actually produced a birth certificate, one must logically conclude that Obama is a natural US citizen.

Obama has shown the same evidence as any US citizen does in retrieving his passport. In his case this evidence must have consisted of producing a birth certificate since he has no naturalization papers to produce. Suggestions that he hasn’t produced a birth certificate belie the fact that he had to produce one, which was inspected by a person with the same training that would inspect yours or mine if we wanted to obtain a passport. Simply put Obama must have a birth certificate because he has a passport.

His father renounced Obama’s citizenship

Here’s the official US policy on renouncing citizenship for minors: “Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.” Ergo, it is impossible for Obama’s father to have legally renounced Obama’s citizenship.

Hawaii wasn’t a state yet:

The state was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959. Obama was born on August 4, 1961. You do the math.

He hasn’t produce the original, only copies.

This is patently false. Fact Check has handled it as have others. Their findings are that it is valid

I’d like to point out also, that this allegation doesn’t actually have its genesis with the right, but rather with the left, and a disgruntled Hillary supporter

The bottom line here is that the only reason to believe Obama wasn’t born in the US is you don’t want to. .

 

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June 2, 2009

Reversing Racism is not Reverse Racism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 4:59 pm

Whenever a justice is nominated for the Supreme Court there’s the inevitable silly little debate that will go on. Pundits will go back and forth about the qualifications of whoever the nominee is, prattling on as though they’ve known all about the nominee and following their career closely, when in point of fact, probably few, if any of them, really even knew that person’s name just a week prior. Some statement gets blown out of proportion and spun out of context to serve as the totality of that person’s belief. Then, depending on what’s gone on behind the scenes politically, and in front of the scenes politically the person either gets approved or doesn’t. It’s all a kind of political game. What’s unique about the Sotomayor nomination though is what is being brought to the forefront and what isn’t, which is to say the matter of racism and reverse racism in light of her comments. Simply put reversing racism is not the same as reverse racism.

To any thinking person there’s a clear context and tone to her answer that is very different from saying that Latinas are better judges than whites, and if you don’t get that you simply aren’t going to. To put it bluntly though, if you think that the traditional elderly white male judge has done an admirable job over the 233 years of our nation’s existence then you’re either ignorant or stupid. To this point 106/110 Supreme Court justices in our nation’s history have been white males. Does anyone really believe that had there been a couple of blacks on the court Dred Scott wouldn’t have turned out differently? Does anyone believe that had there been a more equal representation, women wouldn’t have received the right to vote earlier? Does anyone suggest that Civil Rights would have been more readily enforced were there a more balanced court? It needs to be understood that Sotomayor’s comments were not just reflecting the present state of the court, but the historic nature of the court, and the Supreme Court has historically failed to have empathy for minorities and women. That’s a demonstrable fact. In the flack surrounding the statement though there’s something getting lost—an opportunity for a real conversation about the present state of racism in this country. In fact, in their criticisms of Sotamayor many of the right wing pundits who are calling her racist are donning their own racist tendencies and not getting called on it.

This is occurring on three levels. First, in their blatant and open attacks on her for her race they are racist. Second, in their mock shock over her statement they are racist. And third, and most subtly in their opposition to affirmative action they are racist. In order to understand the present situation, and why I make this claim, we need to see what racism actually is. From dictionary.com:

1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2.a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Do Sotomayor’s comments suggest a belief that her race (and gender) are superior and give her the right to rule others? Actually no they don’t. They, at most, suggest that the experiences she has that typically go along with her race and gender might give her the ability to make better judgments, particularly in instances where the factors of race and gender might come into play. Secondly, there’s nothing to suggest from that comment that there’s a whole scale philosophy built around the notion of building a system of government based on fostering that doctrine. There’s also nothing in her legal history which suggests that. And truth be told, any intellectually honest look at her statement shows that things are being blown out of proportion. So why all the hullabaloo? Because beneath all the verbiage in this debate is a coded message about affirmative action. She’s even been called the “affirmative action pick” and the same diatribes usually end up with her being a “reverse racist.” The liberal punditry points to the diatribes as examples of how far right the far right have gone, but even they don’t really offer much up in the way of the discussion which really needs to be had here on the nature and need of affirmative action. You see, while Sotamayor isn’t a racist, racism does still exist in this country.

Here’s a table that shows what the facts are according to the Census Bureau.

Race 

1st Quintile

2nd Quintile

3rd Quintile

4th Quintile

Lower Limit of top 5 Percent

White (Non-Hispanic) 

$23,075 

$43,002 

$68,051 

$106,406 

$189,198 

Hispanic 

$17,500 

$30,288 

$48,000 

$75,000 

$130,600 

Black 

$12,524 

$26,000 

$43,005 

$71,000 

$126,400 

 

Succinctly put, Whites, across the board, make significantly more money than Blacks or Hispanics, and a lot more at that. They make especially more than Blacks and they do so especially at the bottom. The bottom quintile White, non-Hispanics make nearly twice as much as Blacks. There is severe income disparity in this country, and there’s really no argument to be made about it. There being income disparity the next question is why. There can only be two reasons why, it is either inherent, meaning that one race actually is better than the others and that’s the reason they are across the board more successful, or else it is systematic, meaning that there’s no genetic advantage but that there’s something that exists within our present socio-economic system which provides more benefit to one race than the others. There is no third alternative. If one contends that the reason is inherent then they are racist based on the first definition, if they say that is systematic, yet oppose changes to the system, then they are racist based on the second definition.

In our society, and by “our” I mean the white society, we’ve come to the conclusion that racism is a thing of the past in this country. We view racism as lynching the black guy for sleeping with the white girl and deem that we are past that now. Racism isn’t just hating a person because of their race, it’s not being against separate but equal, it’s favoring a system which gives an advantage to one race over all others, and clearly our system does that. It needs to be fixed. To deny this problem is to perpetuate this problem. Look at the numbers. Can anyone really deny that there is a problem? There’s another, much subtler form of racism which exists in tacitly agreeing that there is a problem but at the same time being against surrendering advantages we receive based on our race and/or gender.

If we acknowledge there is a problem then we should be for a solution. If we see racism happening and are against reversing racism we are in fact racist. What things like affirmative action try to accomplish is not a kind of system where the minorities are given special advantages but it is a system where they are given an equal opportunity, and that is a very big difference. Again, look at the numbers. In 2007, 29.1 percent of Whites had at least a college education compared to 18.5 percent of Blacks and 12. 7 percent of Hispanics. This doesn’t mean that there’s deliberate discrimination in the acceptance cycle; it means that there’s something inherently flawed in our system. We fundamentally remain a racist country in the sense that we still are a country where there is a race that has an unfair advantage. That, by definition is racism. However, we as individual people are only racist if we willfully perpetuate the existing situation.

But the subtler message, that she can’t be trusted to strike down affirmative action because she is a reverse racist is wrong. In actuality she has shown that 80 percent of the time she doesn’t uphold discrimination. It’s precisely because of her experiences as a Latina woman that she can be trusted. Excuse me for stating the obvious, but actually experiencing discrimination probably qualifies you to know what is and what isn’t discrimination more than if you have never experienced it. All these right wing, talking head dolts assume that when she says “better” judgment that means she is more inclined to uphold discrimination cases. She didn’t say that, she said better. Maybe sometimes the better decision is to say it’s not discrimination. Maybe sometimes it’s not just the verdict itself, but the reasoning behind the verdict. Having the experiences she has had she is more qualified to understand those kinds of experiences.

Now here I want to point out what I mean in saying that there is a difference between reverse discrimination and reversing discrimination. Imagine that there are 25 people in a room. 15 are green, 5 are blue and 5 are red. There are 15 jobs available and there is training required to get those jobs. The “greens” band together and get the training to get the jobs, and then they get the jobs. This goes on for a year and the blues and reds say, hey this isn’t fair. At this point the greens say, what do you mean it’s not fair, we have the training! We are the most qualified to get the jobs. Is it fair to the least qualified green that he has to surrender his job to the most qualified blue? Perhaps not if you look at the snapshot, but it is if you look at the big picture. There’s already a discriminatory system in place at that juncture and the only way to reverse that discrimination is to allow less qualified blues to become qualified is to allow them an opportunity to train. This is the idea of affirmative action, “reverse” discrimination or racism. The right wing punditry wants you to believe that the 5 reds and the 5 blues come in and kick 10 greens out of a job and now the reds and blues have a 100 percent employment rate while the poor greens only have 33 percent and now the minority is benefitting from a racist system. That’s not reverse racism, it’s racism, and it’s so far from being a problem in this country it’s just plain irresponsible or even flat out lying to suggest it is. The reality is they know a racist system exists and they are trying to perpetuate it. That’s being a racist on the second definition.

In all their reaction to the Hispanic nominee the right-wing punditry reveal their true colors, pun intended. First, it’s obvious in their word choice and reaction that they are actually really bothered by her race. They keep asking would she be a nominee if she were a white guy and had the same qualifications. My response is that if she were a white guy with the same qualifications they wouldn’t be asking if she were qualified. She is supremely qualified, and is as or more qualified that virtually anyone on the court. No presently sitting justice had as much as experience as she has had sitting a Federal Court. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton. She went to both Princeton and Yale on full scholarship. Of her 3000+ decisions 99.8 percent were never overturned. If any white man had those qualifications there wouldn’t be questions about being qualified. I know because less qualified white men got nominated and weren’t questioned by these same clowns about whether they were qualified. In fact some of the less qualified present justices were lauded by both parties as being extremely qualified. There question belies their true intent. They just simply can’t accept that no matter how qualified she is that she is qualified enough. That’s being racist based on the third definition.

These self-righteous mealy mouths are nothing more than racists. From David Duke to Bill O’Reilly to Rush Limbaugh they are racist one and all. They might not think they are (or they might) and they might not even know they are, but they are. The problem is that there’s probably a whole lot of White Americans who also are without knowing they are too. It’s time America takes another good hard look at herself and acknowledges her flaws. When we are in a crisis like this our greatest recourse is our people—all of them. If we perpetuate a system where we only utilize 60-70 percent of our greatest recourse, we only become 60-70 percent of what we can. It’s time the media stopped letting “Affirmative Action” sound like a dirty word and started pointing to some hard facts again. Only then will the Duke’s and Limbaugh’s be exposed for what they are.

 

 

June 1, 2009

O'Reilly on Tiller Terrrorist Attack

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 9:01 pm

O’Reilly says that everything he said was true and was fact. That’s not exactly true, unless you don’t account the vast majority of what he said about Tiller. He said that Tiller was murdering babys. Not true, he provided legal abortions. He siad that Tiller would perform illegal abortions. Not true. Every abortion he perfromed was apparenlty legal, which is why it got thrown out of court. He said that Tiller was able to perfrom "On Demand" abortions. He didn’t. All the late term abortions were signed by another Doctor.

Finally I’d like to point out that the guest attorney there is obfuscating the truth. He talks about the legal system and being aquitted not meaning you haven’t done anything wrong. While that’s true generally, it’s not applicable here. (It doesn’t mean you did do something wrong either, a fact which should be pointed out.) The reason it’s not applicable here is that it was a Grand Jury, which means they didn’t find enough evidence that a crime was committed. What happened was he was brought up on trumped up charges and the Grand Jury didn’t feel there was a crime committed, which legally speaking means you didn’t do anything wrong.

Bill O’Reilly is gong to have to meet his maker too. A fact he might want to remember.

The Coleman v. Franken Primer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 6:25 pm

If you start looking at all the mainstream media’s reports of Coleman v. Franken’s appearance before the Minnesota Supreme court today you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of the “liberal media.” It seems the vast majority have two things in common. First they present what Coleman’s complaint is, that there’s inequity in how the votes were counted in Republican counties versus Democratic counties, and second, that the Supreme Court is going to decide in favor of Franken. What you won’t find is much of a discussion about why the consensus is why Coleman has no chance of winning, which is that he has no actual case. As a result of this type of coverage there are a lot of misperceptions about what the case is here and I want to present those, and the answers to them here.

First, let’s consider what Coleman’s case comes down to. There are four legal reasons you not only can, but must refuse a Minnesota absentee ballot. These are an unsigned ballot, the ballot is cast by an unregistered voter, a voter has moved, and the voter has voted more than once. Of these two particularly can be judgment calls, although on its surface it might not seem that way. Number one, a person might not be able to sign their name but sign with an X. They could be blind, they could be in traction, they could have some mitigating factor which didn’t allow them to cast the vote. In such cases does an “X” count as a signature, and what qualifies as an “X”. Or, perhaps the person had an eyewitness sign the ballot. You could have cases where “unsigned” ballots are counted and other cases where they are not. These are questions left to the ballot counter to decide. The second reason would be if someone, for instance, lived on “Main Street” but the ballot was mailed to “Main Avenue” in a town where there is no “Main Avenue.” The poll worker can ascertain that Main Street is Main Avenue and understand that it is the same address. However in a larger city perhaps there is both a Main Street and a Main Avenue that are on in separate precincts. In that case the worker can determine that the voter has moved and therefore, should not be counted. In other words you can have very similar circumstances but where in one case the vote doesn’t count and in the other case it does. Essentially Coleman is saying that the process was unfair because the Democratic precincts counted votes but the Republican precincts didn’t.

When that’s all you know it sounds like a pretty good argument for Coleman. Why should a vote count in one precinct but not another? He has pulled out 4000 ballots form Republican counties to prove his point. He didn’t pull out an even sampling form both Democratic and Republican counties, both counted and then demonstrate that there was an unduly higher percentage of votes disqualified in Republican counties. He pulled out only the rejected ballots in only the Republican counties. Imagine both you and I both have a bag of M&Ms. You pull out all the green ones out of your bag, and then you select all the red ones out of my bag and then you present just those as “proof” that Mars has favored me in giving me more red ones while it has disfavored you in giving you more green ones. It would of course be a ridiculous argument because you would only be presenting certain M&Ms as your case. In a nutshell this is what Coleman is doing. He has selected only the judgment calls which don’t favor him, and only the judgment calls which actually favor Franken. Obviously, there’s a problem here.

Now of course you might ask, why not just go through all the votes and count all of them? Well that’s what the six months put to now was all about. Every single vote was reviewed, standards were applied and both sides had representatives look at every single ballot. There was a big legal proceeding where they determined which votes should and shouldn’t be counted. The review board looked at literally thousands of ballots and heard 145 different witnesses. After all was said and done, out of millions of votes cast, there was a relatively tiny stack of 11,000 votes which were not counted because they were deemed to be not legally cast. Now Coleman has sorted through all of them and pulled out only those which were cast in Republican counties (no one knows who the votes were actually for) and says, “We need to count these.” The 7,000 cast in Democratic counties he leaves in the pile and says that those shouldn’t count. This is Coleman’s version of an even standard, applying a standard to Coleman that is more permissible than the one applied to Franken.

The other part of this is that it’s possible (though not likely) that there was more judgment calls that favored Franken than Coleman or even more likely to favor Franken than Coleman. One poll worker might be a little stricter than the next and so it’s possible, though again, not likely. The Coleman spin that the Republicans followed the rules while the Democrats didn’t is completely unqualified. Even if that’s the case Coleman would have to make the legal case, with corroborating evidence, that it was systematic, meaning that there was an official policy in place that made it inevitable for the Democratic counties to allow for looser standards. This is very difficult, if not impossible to do because every single worker was shown the exact same video prior to the election. In other words, every single worker got the exact same instructions. Secondly, the chief election official is the governor, who happens to be a Republican. In essence we’d have to accept that there was second, secret set of instructions issued in Democratic counties. This would imply some sort of large and complex conspiracy, organized by who—Al Franken?

Essentially the reason that Coleman doesn’t have a chance of winning is that he doesn’t have a case. There’s a reason both the election board and a lower court ruling have gone in Franken’s favor, and without much doubt as to what the outcome would be. Legally speaking, there’s no question. The only question is when will Coleman let it go and let Minnesota have their second Senator? In addition to this blog entry below there are some bullets of some of the various comments I’ve read on conservative blogs and the response to the arguments.

  • If the courts decide that a heavily Democrat election machine can count Republican districts using one criteria, and Democratic districts using a different criteria, then what little hope is left for this country disappears. Well, first, it’s probably news to most of Minnesota that they have a “Democratic Election Machine” especially Republican governor Tim Pawlenty. Second, and more importantly, the ruling would be the exact opposite, that there was no evidence of different standards being applied in different counties.
  • If you can litigate the election for president, what’s the big deal about senator? Al Gore changed the world in 2000, and not in a good way. Ever wonder why it’s called Bush v. Gore and not Gore v. Bush? For the same reason it’s Coleman v. Franken. In both cases the litigator was the Republican.
  • We lost by magical ballots found in back seats of cars, or magical recounts that always went in the democrats favor. There was nothing magical about any of it. Ballots were known to be misplaced. Ballots need to be transferred from the precinct to another place. Should those legally cast ballots not be counted because they were left, for short period of time, not be counted. In other words, should those voters be disenfranchised because of something that occurred after they voted?
  • For this to give the democrats a 60 vote majority and uncontested rule means that 60 minds of one party have to be thinking the same way to be reality. Does this indicate that the political parties put their party ahead of the best interests of our nation? When politicians become this self centered, a democracy cannot exist. While the verbiage makes the argument confusing, it appears that the person is arguing that if these elected officials vote the way they were elected to vote it’s being self-centered and is undemocratic. Anyone else see the problem with this?
  • The Dems have the “All votes must be counted… until we’re ahead” thing down, and the MSM goes right along like the trained lapdogs they are. Actually Franken never changed positions at all, his position has always been count every legal vote. Coleman was saying, don’t count legally cast votes, and now he is literally arguing that illegal votes should be counted. Franken’s position relative to Coleman may have changed, but only because Coleman has changed. If I stand on your right and then walk to your left, our relative positions might change, but you haven’t moved. That’s precisely what has occurred here.
  • I hope Coleman fights all the way to SCOTUS if necessary, and maybe they will admonish the way this election was railroaded. If SCOTUS can make a precedent here, maybe it could actually STOP the Democrats from stealing election like this one. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony? The party that is always prattling on about state’s rights and the 10th amendment appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn a matter of what is without question, a matter for the state court to decide?
  • Coleman had originally won when Franken and Democrats called for a recount and mysteriously Franken now wins!!! People, take your blinders off—no equality here, just politicians making biased decisions. Our country should be ashamed. Actually Coleman never “won.” He was ahead, in a matter of speaking, on election night. However Franken didn’t get any more votes cast for him after that. After the constitutionally required (not requested by the Democrats) hand recount was completed, Franken was the declared the winner by the election board. He is the only person who has actually been declared a winner by the election board, and there’s nothing “mysterious” about it.
  • Hold the election again, Franken would lose in a landslide. There’s been a number of conservatives that have been throwing out this whole “re-vote” idea. First, in order to do such a thing would require the single most significant act of judicial activism in the history of the country. Second, it’s doubtful that Coleman would win a run-off anyway. For starters even half the people who voted for him are fed up with him as shown by the fact that 2/3 of Minnesota voters want him to let it go (meaning half of Coleman voters are telling him to quit). Second, in the initial election there was a third party, the Independence Party, represented by Dean Barkley, who received about 15 percent of the vote. Polling prior to the election showed that he was taking about twice as many votes from Franken as he was from Coleman. In a two party run-off, even if the state wasn’t already pissed off at Coleman it’s not likely he would win.

 

 

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