Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I’m guessing not. It seems to exclude me from that group:
Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, who befriended President Obama’s parents when they were university students here, has been in office for less than three weeks. But he is so incensed over “birthers” — the conspiracy theorists who assert that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and was thus not eligible to become president — that he is seeking ways to change state policy to allow him to release additional proof that the president was born in Honolulu in 1961.
The document I consider definitive, a birth announcement from a Honolulu newspaper in 1961, is not mentioned in this story. To me, this is much more satisfying as “proof” than that certificate-of-live-birth. And so if a “birther” is supposed to “assert that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and was thus not eligible to become president,” then I’m certainly outside of that. That’s a good thing to see.
However, the precedent that was established when Barack Obama was sworn in, without presenting anything more concrete than that pink paper, is awful. It’s simply unacceptable. And now that I’ve been exonerated as a not-a-Birther, I can state for a fact that you’ve got people who are not Birthers, agreeing that this is the case. Regardless of where Barack Obama was born, our nation has started something here that it shouldn’t have.
Furthermore, people-who-are-not-Birthers — me — are rightfully offended, on behalf of those Birthers, by passages like this:
But on the matter of the birthers, Mr. Abercrombie grew serious. “I’m going to take care of that,” he said, though he acknowledged that they would be difficult to convince. [emphasis mine]
As popular of a recurring trope as this is, is there anyone anywhere who is being fooled by it?
In the middle of a presidential campaign in which Barack Obama became a walking pop-culture fad, the hottest out of any since Cabbage Patch Dolls, Hawaii started up the printing presses and churned out a fresh pink document that was supposed to mean something. I’m sorry to whoever is frustrated by those who would like to see more than that, but it’s just a logical request to make. Obama’s refusal to consent is what defies reason.
And, it bears repeating…the question about precedent is an important one. The President’s precedent. What, in this country, do you have to present before you’re sworn in? Is it a sliding scale, that depends on how popular you happen to be? Shouldn’t we all agree that that would be un-American and wrong?
“I certainly hope by the fourth year of our administration that we’ll have dealt with this burgeoning birth controversy,” the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters last year.
[Abercrombie] is angry about legislation in several states that would require presidential candidates to document that they were born in this country. A similar bill died in Congress last year.
“My thought was, ‘Wait a minute, why didn’t you ask me, my friends in the national Congress, the House of Representatives?’ ” he said. “They know me, they know that I was here, but they didn’t even bother to have the courtesy to do that, which is disappointing to me, because it is very difficult for me not to conclude that bills like that are meant as a coded message that he is not really American. My thought is, rather than get into some kind of argument or play into that mentality, why not just simply try to authenticate this and let the facts speak for themselves?”
This story really tells you everything about democrats you need to know. Let me paraphrase:
Here we are in “our fourth year,” we’re always right — at least WE think we are — and oh so popular, at least we used to be. We’ve tried smearing, we’ve tried sneering, we’ve tried bludgeoning and browbeating. And still these crackpots insist we haven’t presented any real proof just because we haven’t! Obviously, they’re never gonna go away no matter what.
So hey, purely as an afterthought…in our fourth year…let’s try maybe arguing the point based on facts. Or, at least, announcing that is what we are going to do.
Meanwhile, here the rest of us sit ready to start 2011. Barack Obama — and this is not the name He has been using for His entire life, for a long time He was Barry Soetoro — is finishing up His second year as our nation’s chief executive. How many reasons are there for us not to be ringing in the new year, staring, whether we like it or not, at the “long form” released by Obama? The one that rolled off the printing presses during some year other than the one in which Barry became a rock star? Why should that paper not be a public record now? How many reasons…none. Not a single one. But anyone who notices that and points it out, must be a loon. Because He Whom Oprah Called Brill-Yunt is so dang popular.
I’ve thought for awhile they need a new word to describe people like me. Like “quasi-Birthers” or “neo-Birthers” or “penumbral Birthers.” I consider the matter to be proven, Obama was born in Honolulu. The time and logistics required to travel to Kenya and back in 1961 — it just doesn’t add up. People would know, and they’d remember. The birth announcement in the newspaper would not exist…
…but when I see stories about how nutty those Birthers are, I end up thinking Obama and His most ardent supporters are the ones laboring under a pathological illness. They’re calling the other side nutty, just because that other side has not awarded them with the benefit of the doubt they think they deserve. Apparently, they aren’t able to cope if the benefit-of-doubt matter is decided any other way; their cogs slip out of the machinery completely.
Imagine what it is like to go through life with this expectation you place on other people to believe whatever you have to say about anything…whether you know what you’re talking about, or not…just sort of automatically dismissing whoever so much as harbors a residual question about what you have to say. Imagine that. Let’s subject this one to the “Freeberg house sitting test” shall we? Who do you want taking care of your house while you’re on vacation for a week. Some spoiled brat who works for Obama, and was able to fool his mother into think he was putting the cookie back in the jar — and demands that intellectual deference out of anybody & everybody he meets since then, and from here on? Or, one of those whack-job Birthers who thinks Obama was born in Kenya because Obama hasn’t released the long form?
Considering the low magnitude of effort Obama would have to put out to release the form, I’d opt for the Birther. I’d even let him duplicate the key. And I’d sleep like a baby, unless you’ve got something else on him. The slobbering Obama fan who can’t handle anybody questioning him about anything, I don’t think I’d even want that guy to know what zip code I’m in.
How about these other people? Have you seen a picture of Neil Abercrombe, this beacon of sanity? Yeesh. New York Times columnists who talk about “the Birthers” with descriptions that could fairly fit a single individual person, but dissolve into puddles of illogical silliness when you describe a faction of people unified by a single idea…like…”they’ll never be convinced no matter what.” How about politicians who talk endlessly about meeting the challenge of diversity, overcoming our divisions, unifying ourselves, and then seeking to marginalize anybody who doesn’t think the way they do? How about slobbering Obama fans who say they’ll be on easy street now because Holy Man is going to pay their mortgage and put gas in their car?
If any of those people found out where I live, I think I’d move.
But the birther-apologists interest me the most. To them, you’re a nut if you don’t believe every single thing they say. Even if they know nothing of the subject matter they seek to discuss. Robert Gibbs, for example, seems older than he really is because he brandishes an ability to equivocate and lie that is typically not mastered until the passionate liar reaches his early fifties. He’s a full decade younger than Obama. And here he is derogating the competence of people who doubt what they’re told about his boss’ birth, as if he was there! He’s given a story to pass on…he passes it on…gets some resistance, and he can’t handle it.
These are the people who are going to stop wars from happening, and keep the missiles in their silos, with their refined diplomatic skills?
This is their negotiating tactic. The other guy does what you want, says what you want him to say, thinks what you want him to think, or else you call him crazy. It would appear they have none other.
Just ponder the ramifications of that for awhile. And Happy 2011, everybody.
Hat tip to Memeorandum.
Update: You know, it occurs to me: Barack Obama is a skillful, practiced speaker and in a certain way, He is a positive role model for young men wondering how to cope with life, who might be lacking in any other lodestar they could follow. Other than those two things…everything I “know” about President Obama, is something I don’t really know. Except for the unflattering stuff (those items, for the most part, there is substantial evidence to back them up here & there).
I “know” He was born in Honolulu, not Kenya, because swarms of angry Obama zealots and New York Times columnists are ready to send some ridicule in the direction of anybody who offers something else.
He has said “I just think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody” and “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” But don’t worry, He’s not a socialist…I “know” that He isn’t a socialist…because someone is ready to make fun of me if I think He is one. I don’t really have any other way of knowing He isn’t a socialist.
He’s just ramrodded through a START II treaty that has Russia’s best interests at heart but not America’s. But again, I “know” He is loyal to America…not because of any hard evidence that tells me so…but because someone is ready to call me a whackadoodle and a kookburger if I believe that He is not.
He is a Christian and not a Muslim. Now, I really don’t care about this one way or the other. But how do I know He’s a Christian? Because He went to Jeremiah Wright’s church, of course! But of course that would mean He’s also an anti-white bigot. But no. He went to Jeremiah Wright’s church for twenty years to listen to all the Christian-ish sermons…but was snoozing through all the America-bashing sermons. Yes to Christianity, no to America-hating, because Obama was coincidentally tuning out at all the right times. Again, how do I “know” this? Because someone’s ready to ridicule me if I believe anything different. I don’t have any other reason to “know” such a thing. None.
This seems to be the situation with every little thing I “know” about Barack Obama. At least, the positive stuff. There’s no time to get to the evidence, because the people who stopped learning to do critical thinking while they were still in middle school, or the hippie zealots like Abercrombie, leap in to press the peer-pressure smackdown and hurl their invective about how offended they are, and contaminate the debate before we get to evaluate the hard facts. And so the facts get walled off and sealed out, because the Obamapologists have to have the first word as well as the last one.
And it’s the other guys who are fanatical.
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