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The show will go on

It has been a matter of hours since President Obama made available the birth certificate from Hawaii that establishes, to no surprise, that he is a native-born citizen of the United States.

I haven’t trolled the Net yet, but I am confident that there are already multiple postings “exposing” the birth certificate as a clumsy forgery—or perhaps, giving the president some credit, a clever forgery.

There are two classes of people who will continue with the birther nonsense: the dim and the mendacious. The dim, because they think what they prefer to think and are impervious to rational argument. (After all, as someone commented on Twitter, he’s still black.*) The mendacious, because manipulating the dim is easy, amusing, and profitable.

And the reason that these two classes will likely continue to keep this non-issue alive is that American politics shies away from anything serious. The election of 1840, in which the Whigs landed the aging and ill-fated William Henry Harrison in the White House for a month with the nonsensical log cabin and hard cider campaign, typified what has come since. Two words: Donald Trump.

We, as a people, prefer the sideshow. Resistance to the phenomenon tends not to accomplish anything, so I join with H.L. Mencken in recommending sardonic amusement instead.

 

*If you try to insist that there is no racism behind birtherism, please remember that I am less credulous than birthers.

 

 

Posted by John McIntyre at 11:30 AM | | Comments (21)
        

Comments

when a conspiracy theory is wrong, they release the evidence to prove that the conspiracy theorists are wrong. But when the conspiracy theorists are right, they pretend not to listen to those theorists at all...
Obama is a good man anyways, he seems to be the only president with least number of skeletons in the closet.

Eagle
http://eseaf.com/blog/author/aureagle


Doubting Donald Trump.............you're FIRED!!!!!!!!!

(And that goes for that flouncy, hair 'thingy' over your pouty countenance, as well, trying ever so desperately to impersonate a road-killed alpine marmot............. not to insult the marmots----fine, upstanding specimens of the squirrel family.)

Presidential aspirant Mr. Trump, be sure to pick Sarah "Going Rogue" Palin as your vice- presidential running mate. There's the ticket. HA! (Hmm...... on second thought, this ego-driven, lightweight pol, the Divine Sarah-----Opps! That was Miss Bernhardt)-----wouldn't likely want to play second fiddle to the equally as self-absorbed, calculating, limelight-seeking, 'The Donald" . Cat fight! ----------Never mind.)

ALEX

P.S.: !'m sure my fellow bloggers can't wait to dive into Levi Johnson's (the daddy of Bristol Palin's little lad, and erstwhile "Playgirl" magazine centerfold)), just released tell-all-tome dedicated to "family and country"? .............Oh, and the 'mooses', too.

CNN's Anderson Cooper had a great commentary on his "Anderson Cooper 360" segment , yesterday, re/ this surefire NOT to be a New York Times Top-10. Rarely has his tongue been as firmly planted in his cheek. He's quite the wit, and the son of the famed Gloria Vanderbildt (sp. ?), to boot.

In a recent issue of Time magazine, "the Donald" was referred to as a "tornado-haired reality TV star".

The description still has me chuckling.

"If you try to insist that there is no racism behind birtherism, please remember that I am less credulous than birthers." John, you already had the argument already won on its merits; why play the shopworn race card? It's getting old to say that anyone who questions anything about Obama is a racist . Even when you're talking about truthers.

Besides, given the large plurality of Democrats with a psychotic belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories, may I suggest that those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones?

I do agree that part of the problem is that "American politics shies away from anything serious." But the media is just as culpable.


PCB Rob,

Thanks for that , "tornado-haired reality TV star" citation from Time magazine. Pretty right-on, I'd say.

Hmm.... I could actually see Trump as a more diabolical charlatan-behind-the-curtain, in a possible remake of "The Wizard of OZ", where a mighty tornado of mythic proportion played such a key role in the original iconic film. Perhaps they could get Lady Gaga, or Katy Perry to play Dorothy, ruby slippers and all. HA!

This conversation about outlandish hair-dos got me reminiscing about the late actor Jack Lord (aka Det. Steve McGarrett) of TV's Hawaii Five-O fame. I seem to recall caricaturist-cartoonists of the day would have fun w/ his pronounced, jet-black dropping 'curl' (cowlick?) and befitting the Hawaii-based series would love to depict Lord's sweeping coif as one gigantic, hang-ten surfer's dream wave. All in good fun.

@Gary K., as much as many Americans would hate to admit, there is still an underlying undercurrent of fear-of-the-Other, covert racism out there in the heartland---- in this particular case, the half-black President Obama, and the current "birther" imbroglio.

Case in point, the recent tawdry incident of the Orange Country, CA, Republican Party central committee (elected) member, a grandmotherly 76-year-old Mrs. Davenport, e-mailing out a scathing pictorial Photoshopped image of Pres. Obama as a baby chimp to her closest friends and political peers, w/ some tag-line caption highlighting Obama's questionable American birth. IMO, no one w/ a conscience, and any knowledge of the long, and shameful history of xenophobia in America can deny the racist implications here.

Now that 'The Donald' appears to be satisfied w/ today's full public revelation of Obama's actual official American birth certificate, this sideshow obfuscater is now questioning the President's academic record and credentials, w/ the implied notion that somehow he had a leg up on his student peers because of affirmative action for minorities, and that perhaps his vaunted intellect is much overrated. Hmm.......... what next from the 'Biggest Loser'--- 'The Donald?

Some of Obama's most ardent critics are even starting to dis one of his old alma maters, Occidental College, here in L.A., as 'not such a great school'. P-L-E-A-S-E!

Enough sad........... for now.

ALEX

We, as a people, need something to talk about. What's politics without controversy? It's a shame that it has to be attacked straight to the core, but did anyone really think that Congress would have allowed a non-citizen in truthfulness to be our President?

While I didn't doubt Obama's citizenship, the evidence that nailed it for me was the birth listing in the newspaper.

Having participated in conveying birth announcements from hospitals and into print, I just couldn't see how a job that is such an ordinary (and sometimes despised) part of the newsroom work week would be sucked into a conspiracy about the presidency when the child was born.

Of course, typing birth announcements is much more entertaining these days. The name Barack seems pedestrian compared to some I've seen.

//It's getting old to say that anyone who questions anything about Obama is a racist . Even when you're talking about truthers.

Besides, given the large plurality of Democrats with a psychotic belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories, may I suggest that those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones?//

It's always entertaining to see question-begging and the _tu quoque_ fallacy in the same rant. I've never heard anyone -- anyone -- suggest that questioning anything about Obama is per se racist. At this stage, the least the birfer rear guard could do is acknowledge that the openly racist criticism is racist.

And if your implication is that John has beel a closet troofer all these years, you should be grateful he doesn't slap you across the face and suggest pistols at dawn. Because if you guys shoot the way you reason, you'd be in deep sh*t.


Mr. Obama did very well i hope now Donald Trump will calm up i think this matter will ends with this action (Release of Obama's birth certificate).


Prasad,

Respectfully, I believe you meant to type 'clam up' (not "calm up"), re/ Donald Trump and his dogged 'birther' Obama witchhunt? An unwitting typo, I'm sure. No biggie.
(I transpose letters within a word all the time.)

Frankly though, the association of a state of "calm", and Donald Trump almost seem mutually exclusive. This Type-A, bombastic blowhard may, at times, on-camera, appear calm and collected, but I sense an undercurrent of anger, and perpetual avarice$$$ seething just below his seeming placid exterior. That furrowed brow, and constant pout tell me that there's a lot of fretful stewing going on under that road-killed possum-impersonating-a-hair-piece of 'The Donald'. (And don't tell me he doesn't get some sadistic pleasure out of firing people, even if it's just boring "D"-list celebs on his cheesy 'Apprentice' reality show.)

Prasad, as much as you, and most reasonable Americans, would like to just see the pouty plutocrat from Manhattan shut his perpetually flapping 'pie-hole', and get off Obama's back, I'm afraid this on-going charade appears far from over. 'The Donald' is now questioning Obama's past academic performance, and whether he somehow advanced thru academia as a favored-minority black man, and further that just maybe Barack really ain't that smart, after all. When will this petty nonsense ever end?

ALEX

Anyone who doesn't think this issue is rooted in racism should ask themselves why noone ever questioned John McCain's eligibility. He was born in Panama. He attains eligibility because he was born on a US military base, during a time when Panama was under US control. I didn't see any Dems trying to question whether or not that qualified as "born in the USA."


City Redux,

Hey, you made your point the first time!

(Just pulling your chain. HA! I've pulled the multiple posting faux pas on more than a few occasions, as have most bloggers, I would venture to say. No big deal.)

But seriously, you make a great point re/ the dearth of push back from Dems quarters during the run-up to the 2008 general election, regarding presidential candidate John McCain's 'foreign' birth.

This current 'Donny (Trump) come-lately' birther fiasco just shows America how desperate, and picayune the Republican political opposition has become, trying any obfuscating ruse, or tactical political diversion from the real burning nuts-and-blots issues of the day, to denigrate and personally diminish the stature, integrity, and character of the President.

The GOP, IMHO, continues to shoot itself in the foot, as it scrambles in search of viable candidates to run for the highest political office in the land, still considering retreads like the never-say-die Mitt Romney, and the former pastor, Huckabee, while the shoot-from-the-hip Tea-Party darling, Michele Bachman, the shoot-from-the lip, Sarah Palin, and the pouty carnival real-estate magnate-cum-carnival barker, 'The Donald', are all still non-committal, but still threatening to enter the fray as presidential hopefuls. Frankly i hope they all run in the primaries, and we'll get to see their true mettle. Oh the humanity!

ALEX


sorry, Alex. Captcha kept telling me that it had not gone through, and now there is no way to delete the spares. (although if Mr. McIntyre would do me the favor of tossing two of them, the last one is better edited than the first two)


City Redux,

Hey, no real need for any apology. I kinda figured your earlier duplicated posts involved some snafu w/ that crazy Captcha 'app', that seems to almost have a whole life of its own.

I can't fathom some of the almost undecipherable, funky, distorted Captcha words this site manages to give us, even going to the extent of adding "umlats', "circumflexes", accent "graves", and "aigues", to name just a few anomalies. Many of the spam-buster words make no real sense, or seem totally meaningless.

Other blogs I've frequented have very straightforward, simple words for their security verification, but here at The Sun interactive sites we tend to get some pretty confounding brain-busters. Oh well.

While I'm on a kvetching roll, I noticed a few rather questionable, alien posts showing up on "You Don't Say", of late. (No, not UFO aliens, or illegals.)

One post in particular that I believe has since been flagged, and summarily removed, looked innocent and innocuous enough at first blush, but when you clicked-to-open, it turned out to be a London-based high-end swanky female escort service, w/ pics of the scantily-clad 'escorts', and listed prices-for-services-rendered included.

I'm sure our ever-vigilant Picky checked this 'rogue' post out........... merely for research purposes, of course. HA!

Well enough grousing for tonight. Hate to come off as an old curmudgeon.

Alas, the Royal Nuptials draw neigh.

Ta! Ta!

ALEX

I suspect our

And now for something important: I would draw your attention to "The Case for Cursive" on the NY Times site. It seems that certain schools - Richmond, Va for one - has ceased to teach children handwriting - they claim the haven't time. Evidently no one has time to teach them to read, write, speak or otherwise understand standard English, either. What DO they do with their tenured time? Anyway, have a look. It seems exactly the topic for this group. I must now away and get settle for the wedding - my VCR is set and so am I.

Yes, I read that. ... Thoughts?

P the T--I see no need for cursive in the 21st century. I always thought handwriting instructors enjoyed torturing small children, personally.

Teachers always blame someone else for the gaps in their pupils' knowledge, of course, otherwise they might find their privileges under threat.

Losing what we called in my youth "real writing" would be a horrid thing, but let our teachers take the opportunity all this keyboard stuff offers: teach the kids something about the beauty of typography, and the uses and strengths of different fonts. Open their eyes to a world that extends beyond Arial and Times NR and Comic Sans.


Picky,

"The beauty of typography", indeed.

Couldn't agree w/ you more on that score. Sadly, the fast dwindling number of advocates for sustaining "cursive", hand-penned, as you put it, "real writing", (and by association, the art of calligraphy,) may be fighting a losing battle against the the growing tide of new technology so heartily embraced by our 'now' generation-----the wave of digital communication via the mechanical keyboard running totally roughshod over the old traditionalist, now fading pen-or-pencil-to-paper generation.

So as you pointed out, maybe there is a possible sliver of a silver lining in this novel quantum shift in how we humans 'literally', non-face-to-face, communicate-----a golden opportunity to educate our young people about the intrinsic beautiful design elements inherent in the myriad wonderful, and varied type faces out there, and further the plethora of exciting choices we really do literally have at our very fingertips w/ today's cool computer font offerings.

Picky, as a sculptor (apart from my decades-long career foray into designing for TV animation), I've always been a huge admirer of your fine Brit sculptor, the Brighton/ Sussex-born (1882-1940), Eric Gill, who interestingly has gained enduring fame, ( but perhaps less known) as a formidable type face designer, aside from his litany of parallel careers as a sculptor, stone mason, printmaker (wood cuts), book illustrator, watercolorist, and fine draughtsman.

In his day, he was really a true neo-renaissance man, w/ fervent Utopian community aspirations informed by his abiding, though often tested, Christian faith, coupled w/ a firm belief in the popular Arts & Crafts creative ethos.

To this very day his most famous type fonts---"Perpetua", "Gill Sans", "Joanna"--- have stood the test of time. "Aries", "Bunyan", "Pilgrim", "Jubilee", and "Floriated Caps" are other significant fonts created by Gill that perhaps have gained less currency than the aforementioned 'big three'.

For me Gill was such an intriguing and complicated, almost bigger-than-life character------ an, at times, morally flawed, yet abidingly compassionate human being. Although steeped in the orthodoxy of his Roman Catholic faith, and channeling that enduring faith and devotion to the Lord into many of his most notable artistic endeavors, he found himself constantly wrestling w/ his baser, sexual instincts, and had, many Gill scholars would argue, a rather over-zealous preoccupation w/ the erotic aspects of his nature, almost to the extreme of what most would deem as 'normal'. He was definitely considered one of the great 'controversialists' of his era.

(We don't have to elaborate on that aberrant aspect of Gill's character, but just let's say he pushed the boundaries of sexual exploration, while often being racked w/ residual guilt and shame for his straying from God's prescribed, and righteous path. But that's another tale, for yet another time and venue, perhaps. In reading about Gill's struggles w/ the religious and profane aspects of his personality, i couldn't help hearkening back to my reading of St. Augustine, and his seminal "City of God", where he too fights his basal urges, and struggles to reconcile his early wonton ways w/ a future life devoted solely to God.)

Biographers of Gill have pointed out that he would rarely wear underwear under his rather monastic, mid-calf-length sack-cloth working cloak, while perched up on the raised scaffolding carving away w/ hammer-and-chisel on some outdoor public commissioned high-relief limestone masterwork. There was definitely a bit of the provocateur and exhibitionist in good old Eric. Yet his devotion to his Maker was steadfast, and strong. As well, he was a committed family man w/ a loving spouse and two adoring daughters. in fact the "Joanna" font was named after his daughter Joanna.

Picky, I believe most of us mere 'plebs' take type styles and fonts totally for granted, as if they just magically appeared fully resolved out of the ether. But clearly, behind each-and-every recognizable font, elegant, or otherwise, there is a flesh-and-blood, true craftsman/ designer, w/ likely an intriguing life-story behind each one. The libertine, yet ironically, devoutly religious Eric Gill, a man of seemingly countless contradictions, is just a singular case in point.

For all his human failings, Gill's huge creative talents, and his enormous legacy can not be denied. One of so many U.K creative national treasures.

ALEX

P.S.: (I just made this one up. ---What did one font say to the other font?--------"You're not my type." (Groan.)

Picky, just heard over 'the tele' that your great English pugilist, Henry Cooper, passed away today. My condolences to his family, close friends, and all those many veteran Brit boxing fans who rooted for this gutty fighter thru the years, and always had a special space in their hearts for their spunky native son.

Morally flawed? Glll? Good lord, he was horrible! But frighteningly talented. And Gill Sans seems to have made something of a comeback recently.

Our 'Enry was a good bloke, though. But for all his successes, perhaps we remember him best for dumping Muhammad Ali on the canvas.


Picky,

Frankly, old boy, I choose "morally flawed" re/ Gill's baser, at times clearly, depraved 'extracurricular' behavior as perhaps a kind of sanitized reproach, but indeed, many of his 'deviations' did border on, as you opined, the "horrible".

Yet, his seemingly boundless creative talents, despite his admitted extreme personal quirks, and alleged perversions, were still formidable, and his lasting contribution to the arts in the U.K., and for that matter the world, is profound and far-reaching. (As you say, his font, Gill Sans, appears to be resurfacing in many literary quarters these days.)

As regards to your recently deceased, former heavyweight champion boxer, Henry Cooper, (not to denigrate him, or his reputation, in any way), he was criticized, back in the day, by many a Canadian boxing aficionado for regularly avoiding a British Empire heavyweight championship bout w/ Canada's perennial championship contender for the Commonwealth crown, namely the granite-jawed, gutsy Croatian-Canadian boxer , George Chuvalo. These two fine fighters never did contest for that prestigious title-----never during the span of their individual careers having meet in the 'squared circle'......... neither a singular title, or regular bout. A bit of a shame, really.

Of course we Canucks, to this day, are still very proud of the Toronto-based Chuvalo's amazing feat of never having being knocked to the canvas during the entire span of his professional career. (1956-1979).

Chuvalo fought "The Greatest", Mohammed Ali, on two occasions----1966 and 1972-----both non-title bouts, and both loses, by-a-decision, for the hulking Canuck. I believe Ali was still going by his given name, Cassius Clay, when he fought in the initial match-up.

Only the heavy-hitting Americans, Smokin' Joe Frazier, and George "The Grill-man" Foreman managed to fight Chuvalo to TKO victories, while with Chuvalo's 73 career wins he amassed a total of 64 KOs, or TKOs combined wins, and only suffered 18 defeats-----16 on straight out-pointed decisions.

Picky, interestingly, as a young lad I used to religiously watch the Friday Night Fights on our first little B&W 'tele' w/ my boxing-fanatic late dad, but over the ensuing decades my early fascination and fervor for boxing has markedly waned, to the point where today I would be hard-pressed to name even a handful of the current division champs....... or chumps. HA!

I still vividly recall watching the Mar., '62 NBC telecast from famed Madison Square Garden of that ill-fated welterweight title bout between the then champ, Cuban, Benny "Kid" Paret, and his worthy challenger, U.S. Virgin Islander, the adonis-like, Emile Griffith.

Sadly, Paret was ultimately knocked to the mat, unconscious, having sustained a late-round, sustained pummeling by Griffith (who many felt should have been called off by the ref, Ruby Goldstein), and later died in a NYC hospital ER ward from irreparable brain damage. He never regained consciousness from the moment he last hit the canvas.

At that time I was in my early teens. I can recall being really saddened by Paret's untimely passing, and even felt badly for the victor, Griffith. At that point I really questioned the efficacy of boxing as a legitimate sport. I can remember thinking that sportsmen shouldn't be dying, or permanently maimed in the ring. Period.

Clearly, boxing is a brutal business. As we've witnessed over time, w/ countless veterans of 'the game', the sustained bodily punishment over the span of a lengthly career can leave lasting residual scars-----mental, emotional, and physical.

Mohammed Ali, arguably the greatest, most exciting heavyweight boxer of the modern era, is a prime exemplar of the travails of the inside-the-ropes mayhem. Thankfully, he's been surrounded by very empathetic, loving, and supportive family and friends, and remarkably still retains his native wit and intelligence, but perhaps just takes a tad longer to express himself to others, than most.

Shifting gears a tad------Of course, the news today is wall-to-wall Bin Laden's demise palaver. From the recent incessant media buzz of the Royal Nuptials just a few days ago, to the equally incessant buzz over the U.S. special forces finally tracking down the most wanted man on the planet, finally dispatching him, and quickly burying his mortal remains in the Arabian Sea--------it's an increasingly crazy world out there, ain't it?

I ask, is the martyred Osama, as we speak, getting to know those countless promised celestial virgins, about now? Seems like when he was still very much alive, he had his share of real-life virgins---his litany of multiple wives. Son like father i guess. Enough said.

Well, I'm off.

Ta! Ta!



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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at john.mcintyre@baltsun.com.
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