Archive | April, 2011

The Birth Certificate Distraction

28 Apr

Preface: I do not like and often strongly disagree with President Obama. Most of you know this, and I know I have an equal amount of acquaintances who love him and revile him. This is mostly written to those who do not agree with his principles and policies and are “interested” in the recent questions surrounding his release of the long form birth certificate that has been requested since 2007.

Normally, I don’t spend much time writing on political topics here, but this has been so frustrating to me the past two days that I felt it necessary two write this.

Until recently, “Birthers” have been relegated to conspiracy theorists, where they rightfully belong. Thanks in part to Donald Trump (who seems to be competing with Sarah Palin for the presidential nomination of the Idiot’s Club), the question of Obama’s nationality has resurfaced in popular discourse. In response, Obama released the long form of his birth certificate, hoping to quell these rumors once and for all.

However, conspiracy theorists will always find an exception, even when you show them exactly what they are clamoring to see. It’s a fruitless exercise to try and appease them.

True to fashion, they are now up in arms about supposed layering one can see if the originally released document is opened in certain programs. (The document has now been updated so that these layers are flattened, prompting even more wailing). This has many people – including some I regard as fairly intelligent and reasonably grounded – wondering if maybe there was some tampering with the document. Even if they concede to not knowing the answer to this, they then raise the question of “Why release it now?”

I don’t presume to know the president’s mind – nor would I really want to. However, the simple explanation is most likely, and that is: everyone is talking about it again, and he hoped this would close the case. After all, he’s giving them exactly what they asked for.

In any event, all of this speculation is utterly irrelevant, and I am baffled as to why anyone thinks this issue is worth pursuing.

I think it is damn near impossible anyone will come forward with any significant proof that Obama is not an American. If this were the case, I really believe it would have been found by now. So it is not likely that any of this information can be used to oust the President or reverse his policies.

While we all squabble away over Illustrator, layers, flashes of green backgrounds behind some text in the document, and the timing of this document release two things happen:

  • We come across as conspiracy theorists and seriously jeopardize any credibility we may have.
  • Obama’s principles and policies continue to make headway.

I see it as a much more valuable use of everyone’s time if we keep to opposing Obama on his ideas, as that is where any real headway is going to be made. Even if he were ousted on account of faulty documentation, it is just as likely that he would become a martyr as a disgrace. I can hear his supporters now: “It shouldn’t matter where he was born – his ideas were good!”

That is what we need to fight. Obama is a man, and men come and go. Proving that this president is not an American citizen absolutely will not disprove his ideology and will not stop the policies derived from it from continuing to erode our freedoms. Getting distracted over petty bureaucratic “what if’s” only wastes the time, energy, and resources that are sorely needed to fight the real threats to our individual rights.


Joss Whedon

8 Apr


I enjoyed Firefly. Buffy and Dr. Horrible were mostly fun. Dollhouse sucked. I refuse to watch Angel after having been told how it ends.

Generally speaking, I enjoy Joss Whedon’s shows. He is a talented writer, but he can also be brutal.

I wanted to write a full post about this, but then I saw this comment posted by my husband on Facebook, as realized it says all I really wanted to:

“Joss Whedon is masterful at creating characters you care about; I don’t know if any do it better. He also believes that truly awful things will randomly happen to people [malevolent universe premise] and always does that to the characters that he expertly made you care about. Firefly’s the best because it was stopped before he could do that [notice that he did do it in the movie Serenity]. I don’t plan on watching anything else he writes because I don’t care to be made to care for characters and watch them have awful, undeserved things happen to them.

“Dollhouse was awful because the lead actress was not up to the acting required to make you care about a character that had no personality to care about [the premise made this a very difficult thing to pull off for anyone], and then, when the show finally started showing who “Echo” was before her personality was wiped out, she was extremely unlikable.

“Dr. Horrible was pretty enjoyable, but was marred by Penny [?] being a complete non-person; the only reason you care about her is because Dr. Horrible does. NPH was very good in it, and I think Felicia Day did a good attempt at a character who seemed to be written as “she is selfless, pretty and Dr. Horrible likes her”, but had nothing to work with.”

That said, I still love Firefly – enough to make the lovely needlepoint pictured above.