Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama Speech Stage Resembles Ancient Greek Temple

I wrote the following in response to the ABC story about Barack Obama, and his "rock star" acceptance speech, headlined above.

Here are the leading paragraphs to set the stage - so to speak:

DENVER (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

Once Obama speaks, confetti will rain down on him and fireworks will be fired off from locations around the stadium wall.

My reaction:

So this is what it's come to . . . American Idol with the blessing of the Greek gods.

It's degenerated into nothing but show business. Regardless whether he wins or loses, Obama has set a new paradigm for running for President. From now on, GOP or Democrat, it will be all about celebrity and "star power."

How appropriate that this is ushered in at a rock concert spiked with an acceptance speech. The show is all that counts; the sheer uniqueness of the format will create an unheralded buzz for all time.

It is impossible to deny that this is the milestone marking the decline of America. Never in the worst nightmares of the Founding Fathers could they have imagined that their Electoral College, stripped of its independence to find the best of all Americans to execute government, woud be replaced by an electoral collage of instant celebrity, the message of the moment, and strong-arm brigades of First Amendment-stripping bullies who rip through the internet and shut down those voices who dare to challenge their power.

Mark 2008 as the end of America's Golden Era. Great minds have been replaced with great mimes. Substance has collapsed beneath spectacle. Our ideals are replaced with idols; we worship at the altar of popularity and fame, and cast aside the unbeautiful in favor of the unreal images photoshoped into our minds.

Yes, it has come to this. The art of illusion preceding the disillusion that will shatter its lie within our souls. Then, all that is fake will fall apart under the relentless gnawing of speculative bubbles bursting the very foundation of the lies that we chose to believe because the truth has too raw for anyone to handle.

Yes, it has come to this. Tune in America, and witness your demise. The nation is but painted plywood, the playmakers' creation replacing the Founding Father's concrete.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will the real Obama please stand?

Here is a great article by Michael Goodwin of the New Daily News. You may notice by now that you are seeing more and more about Barack Obama and his lack of "core values" and a strong set of moral philosophies.

What surprises me more than anything else about this "revelation" is that anyone who read the Chicago Tribune's article about Barack Obama's autobiography knew then that we are dealing with a pathological liar.

Now on to Mr. Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News and his more diplomatic phrasing:

Will the real Obama please stand?
Saturday, July 12th 2008

The headline in The Washington Post was intriguing: "Obama's Ideology Proving Difficult to Pinpoint." The article turned out to be a charitable discussion of whether the Democratic nominee is moving away from leftist positions he took during the primaries and toward the political center for the general election.

Of course he is. Enough to produce, as someone put it, whiplash. So let's give the topic a headline that directly addresses the doubts: Just who is Barack Obama?
Is he the inspirational juggernaut of the early primaries, the man who promised "change we can believe in" and a new era in American politics? Or is he one more politician whose actions often contradict his words?

Put another way, what does he believe in?

Damned if I know.

Once upon a time, I thought I did. Obama was the graceful rookie from Illinois who came out of nowhere to become the rock star of '08. His biracial heritage, Harvard Law School education and vast ambition created the perfect image of a post-racial, post-ideological agent of change. He would not be tied to the old ideas or the old ways of doing things.

It was a promise, exquisitely delivered, that allowed him to grab an early delegate lead and hold on to narrowly defeat Hillary (The Invincible) Clinton.

But there were hints Obama was not what he claimed.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was a big one. By the end of the primaries, Obama was stumbling and on the defensive. And now he has become yet another candidate altogether in the post-primary period.

On defining issues - security wiretapping, gun control, campaign finance, Iran and Iraq - he has done partial or full about-faces. Hardly a day goes by that he doesn't attack John McCain in typical partisan fashion.

And when he denies with a straight face that he's changing anything, Obama gives new meaning to chutzpah.

The changes have been so dramatic that many liberal activists are expressing buyers' remorse. Some are demanding their contributions back and vow not to support Obama until he adopts his old positions.

For me, a centrist Democrat and a hawk on security, most of his new positions are better than those he abandoned. But they're not believable. They create doubts about whether he has core beliefs.

Someone who can shift positions so quickly on so many important issues that will face the next President comes off as a man who doesn't have fixed convictions. Pragmatism has to be guided by principles. A man who believes in everything believes in nothing, and that's a formula for chaos in the White House.

Yes, I know, McCain has gone back and forth on tax cuts, immigration and some other issues.

But McCain is a known quality. His POW heroics and his long career in Washington are universal fixed points of reference.

Like him or not, we think we know who John McCain is. It's a belief that doesn't depend exclusively on specific positions. As long as his policy shifts are few and explainable, the sense of who he is remains intact. It's something to trust.

Obama, without points of reference and a long career, doesn't have much room to maneuver. He is also limited by his promises of sweeping change in both results and process.

As William Galston of the Brookings Institution told The Post: "Successful campaigns tell stories that provide the framework of meaning and significance for particular policy proposals."

In other words, policies are expressions of the narrative and must be consistent with it. They are the meat on the bones.

That's where Obama has failed. In his rush to appeal to moderate voters, Obama has demolished his narrative. Political expediency is ordinary, and by embracing it, he has proven himself an eloquent but ordinary politician.

That's who Barack Obama is.


After Barack Obama hype, a backlash

Doing my Sunday afternoon catch-up reading and came across another great Barack Obama column, this by Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News.

Who says there's no tension between the Daily News and the NYT?

Read on!

After Barack Obama hype, a backlash
Tuesday, August 19th 2008

The headline conveyed urgency: "Obama Ready to Announce Running Mate" said a breathless New York Times.

In language worthy of a Madison Avenue pitchman, the paper reported Obama had "all but settled" on his choice and would launch "an elaborate rollout plan" of events.

Holy hype, Batman. Another day, another inflated report on the routine doings of The One.

John McCain's mocking nickname for Obama came in an ad comparing Obama's grandiose promises to Moses parting the Red Sea. It was funny, but I'm starting to think it wasn't a joke.
The Obama campaign and its media handmaidens are taking their candidate way too seriously.

So much so that they could be setting up a backlash against the hype. No human being can meet the wildly inflated expectations that accompany the rookie senator's every move. It can't help that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Obama "a leader that God has blessed us with at this time."

That's the kind of remark that can turn voters into problems. Most Americans famously resent being told an election is over months before the polls open or that God is taking sides.

Maybe that's why recent surveys show Obama underperforming. Although Democrats enjoy a 10- to 12-point generic lead over Republicans, Obama and McCain are essentially tied.

The dead heat is a concern to many top Democrats, given the national mood. Although polls at this stage can be notoriously fickle, the anti-Republican sentiment is clear when 81% of voters say the nation is on the wrong track. Such a lopsided finding should be an impossible hurdle for any candidate seeking a party's third consecutive term in the White House, as McCain is.

While McCain has complained about media favoritism toward Obama, most recently about NBC News' tilted coverage, maybe he ought to encourage it. Resentment over the media love affair with Obama might be McCain's most powerful weapon.

The fawning coverage exaggerates even routine Obama events, and when he fails to meet giddy expectations, the excuse machine warps into overtime. That, in turn, creates another unappealing layer of media-imposed conventional wisdom.

Take the results of the weekend faith forum. With most commentators saying McCain did better than Obama in giving straight, clear answers to pastor Rick Warren's questions, the Obama camp suggested McCain knew the questions in advance. The assumption was clear: Obama is so much smarter that McCain couldn't possibly win without cheating.

The selection of running mates is following the same script. McCain's camp said he would make his announcement Aug. 29, and that was matter-of-factly noted. But Obama's choice is being treated like the Second Coming, as though this is the selection of a certain vice president, not merely a running mate.

The Times, which delivers an almost-daily front-page assault on McCain, pumped up the timing as though Obama's musings were news. But with the convention less than a week away, Obama can't wait much longer.

And what does it mean he has "all but settled" on a choice? That's a snake-oil way of saying he hasn't made a final decision. And the "elaborate rollout plan" it touted is a fairly routine schedule of joint appearances.

It's all par for the unfair course. The ombudsman for The Washington Post, Deborah Howell, scolded her paper for running three times as many front page stories on Obama as McCain since June and for publishing about 50% more pictures of Obama. She also cited a wider survey of papers, radio, TV and Web sites that show Obama getting more coverage in eight of the last nine weeks.

So The One has been anointed. If I were running the Obama campaign, I'd be terrified. After all, the last person the media declared inevitable was Hillary Clinton.


Peggy Noonan: Obama's answers seem disturbing

I have to post this from the Wall Street Journal. Peggy Noonan nails Barack Obama.

In my words that I posted some time ago, and now becoming increasingly obvious, "The more you know about Barack Obama, the scarier he gets."


They're Paying Attention Now
August 22, 2008; Page A11

Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.

It's hard for our political class to remember that Mr. Obama has been famous in America only since the winter of '08. America met him barely six months ago! The political class first interviewed him, or read the interview, in 2003 or '04, when he was a rising star. They know him. Everyone else is still absorbing.

This is what they see:

An attractive, intelligent man, interesting, but—he's hard to categorize. Is he Gen. Obama? No, no military background. Brilliant Businessman Obama? No, he never worked in business. Famous Name Obama? No, it's a new name, an unusual one. Longtime Southern Governor Obama? No. He's a community organizer (what's that?), then a lawyer (boo), then a state legislator (so what, so's my cousin), then U.S. senator (less than four years!).

There is no pre-existing category for him.

Add to that the wear and tear of Jeremiah Wright, secret Muslim rumors, media darling and, this week, abortion.

It took a toll, which led to a readjustment. His uniqueness, once his great power, is now his great problem.

And over there is Mr. McCain, and—well, we know him. He's POW/senator/prickly, irritating John McCain.

The Rick Warren debate mattered. Why? It took place at exactly the moment America was starting to pay attention.

This is what it looked like by the end of the night: Mr. McCain, normal. Mr. Obama, not normal.

You've seen this discussed elsewhere. Mr. McCain was direct and clear, Mr. Obama both more careful and more scattered. But on abortion in particular, Mr. McCain seemed old-time conservative, which is something we all understand, whether we like such a stance or not, and Mr. Obama seemed either radical or dodgy. He is "in favor . . . of limits" on late-term abortions, though some would consider those limits "inadequate." (In the past week much legal parsing on emanations of penumbras as to the viability of Roe v. Wade followed.)

As I watched I thought: How about "Let the baby live"? Don't parse it. Just "Let the baby live."

As to the question when human life begins, the answer to which is above Mr. Obama's pay grade, oh, let's go on a little tear. You know why they call it birth control? Because it's meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.

To put it another way, with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?

If you want to argue whether legal abortion is morally defensible, have at it and go to it, but Mr. Obama's answers here seemed to me strange and disturbing.

Mr. Obama's upcoming convention speech will be good. All Obama speeches are good. Not as interesting as he is—he is more compelling as a person than his words tend to be in text. But the speech will be good, and just in case it isn't good, people will still come away with an impression that it must have been, because the media is going to say it was, because they expect it to be, and what they expect is what most of them will see.

Will Mr. Obama dig deep as to meaning? As to political predicates? During the primary campaigns Republicans were always saying, "This is what I'll do." Mr. Obama has a greater tendency to say, "This is how we'll feel." Republicans talk to their base with, "If we pass this bill, which the Democrats irresponsibly oppose, we'll solve this problem." Democrats are more inclined toward, "If we bring a new attitude of hopefulness and respect for the world, we'll make the seas higher and the fish more numerous." Will Mr. Obama be, in terms of programs and plans, specific? And will his specifics be grounded in something that appears to amount to a political philosophy?

I suspect everyone has the convention speeches wrong. Everyone expects Mr. Obama to rouse, but the speech I'd watch is Mr. McCain's.

He's the one with the real opportunity, because no one expects anything. He's never been especially good at making speeches. (The number of men who've made it to the top of the GOP who don't particularly like making speeches, both Bushes and Mr. McCain, is astonishing, and at odds with the presumed requirements of the media age. The first Bush saw speeches as show biz, part of the weary requirement of leadership, and the second's approach reflects a sense that words, though interesting, were not his friend.)

But Mr. McCain provided, in 2004, one of the most exciting and certainly the most charged moment of the Republican Convention, when he looked up at Michael Moore in the press stands and said, "Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war, it was between war and a greater threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. . . . And certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace."

It blew the roof off.

And the smile he gave Mr. Moore was one of pure, delighted malice. When Mr. McCain comes to play, he comes to play.

Look for a certain populist stance. He signaled it this week in Politico. He called lobbyists "birds of prey" in pursuit of "their share of the spoils." Great stuff. (Boy, will he have trouble staffing his White House.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Federal Lawsuit Questions Obama's Citizenship

How could I not post this? The big suspicion is that Mr. Obama is not an American citizen because he was born outside the country. My personal feeling is that he is illegitimate - his mother knew his father was married in Kenya and therefore the "marriage" was a sham to keep Mr. Obama the elder in the US to go to school.

Anyway, you really have to ask, "What's the big deal about a birth certificate that Sen. Obama won't show us his?"

And in all of this, I also feel there are those who know the truth, and thus the relentless harping from them about John McCain's citizenship.

Stay tuned, this federal court case filed by a legitimate political player is going to get very interesting:

Obama Sued in Philadelphia Federal Court on Grounds he is Constitutionally Ineligible
by Jeff Schreiber, America’s Right.com

A prominent Philadelphia attorney and Hillary Clinton supporter filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. The action seeks an injunction preventing the senator from continuing his candidacy and a court order enjoining the DNC from nominating him next week, all on grounds that Sen. Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for and hold the office of President of the United States.

Phillip Berg, the filing attorney, is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, former chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery (PA) County, former member of the Democratic State Committee, and former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania. According to Berg, he filed the suit–just days before the DNC is to hold its nominating convention in Denver–for the health of the Democratic Party.“I filed this action at this time,” Berg stated, “to avoid the obvious problems that will occur when the Republican Party raises these issues after Obama is nominated.”.

Berg cited a number of unanswered questions regarding the Illinois senator’s background, and in today’s lawsuit maintained that Sen. Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen or that, if he ever was, he lost his citizenship when he was adopted in Indonesia. Berg also cites what he calls “dual loyalties” due to his citizenship and ties with Kenya and Indonesia.

Even if Sen. Obama can prove his U.S. citizenship, Berg stated, citing the senator’s use of a birth certificate from the state of Hawaii verified as a forgery by three independent document forensic experts, the issue of “multi-citizenship with responsibilities owed to and allegiance to other countries” remains on the table.

In the lawsuit, Berg states that Sen. Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as the senator maintains. Before giving birth, according to the lawsuit, Obama’s mother traveled to Kenya with his father but was prevented from flying back to Hawaii because of the late stage of her pregnancy, “apparently a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight.” As Sen. Obama’s own paternal grandmother, half-brother and half-sister have also claimed, Berg maintains that Stanley Ann Dunham–Obama’s mother–gave birth to little Barack in Kenya and subsequently flew to Hawaii to register the birth.

Berg cites inconsistent accounts of Sen. Obama’s birth, including reports that he was born at two separate hospitals–Kapiolani Hospital and Queens Hospital–in Honolulu, as well a profound lack of birthing records for Stanley Ann Dunham, though simple “registry of birth” records for Barack Obama are available in a Hawaiian public records office.

Should Sen. Obama truly have been born in Kenya, Berg writes, the laws on the books at the time of his birth hold that U.S. citizenship may only pass to a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent and non-citizen parent if the former was at least 19 years of age. Sen. Obama’s mother was only 18 at the time.

Therefore, because U.S. citizenship could not legally be passed on to him, Obama could not be registered as a “natural born” citizen and would therefore be ineligible to seek the presidency pursuant to Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

Moreover, even if Sen. Obama could have somehow been deemed “natural born,” that citizenship was lost in or around 1967 when he and his mother took up residency in Indonesia, where Stanley Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen. Berg also states that he possesses copies of Sen. Obama’s registration to Fransiskus Assisi School In Jakarta, Indonesia which clearly show that he was registered under the name “Barry Soetoro” and his citizenship listed as Indonesian.

The Hawaiian birth certificate, Berg says, is a forgery. In the suit, the attorney states that the birth certificate on record is a forgery, has been identified as such by three independent document forensic experts, and actually belonged to Maya Kasandra Soetoro, Sen. Obama’s half-sister.

“Voters donated money, goods and services to elect a nominee and were defrauded by Sen. Obama’s lies and obfuscations,” Berg stated. “If the DNC officers … had performed one ounce of due diligence we would not find ourselves in this emergency predicament, one week away from making a person the nominee who has lost their citizenship as a child and failed to even perform the basic steps of regaining citizenship as prescribed by constitutional laws.”

“It is unfair to the country,” he continued, “for candidates of either party to become the nominee when there is any question of the ability to serve if elected.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Are you disappointed in your congressman too?

I've spent some time on a news-interview program I host expressing myself about the quality of representation my US House district, FL - 1, covering the western quarter of the Florida panhandle and marked specifically by Pensacola, gets from its incumbent, Jeff Miller (R).

Today, I got an email from a listener and I responded. I'm sharing this not because everything in it is of national importance in and of itself, but rather to express that what we get from Congress is the result of all the individual House districts having incumbents who are . . . disappointing.

You may well be disappointed in your congressman, or some other public figure that impacts your life. Take this exchange as a clarion call to yourself to pen a letter - or email, these days - to express that disappointment. If enough of us do, maybe it will awaken congressional members to understanding why they rate so far down the ladder in America's hierarchy of trust, and confidence.

In reply to your message:

-----Original message-----
From: "kathy" XXXXX@cox.net
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 16:29:05 -0500
To: kenneth@kennethelamb.com
Subject: Jeff Miller

> Ken, why do you have such "hard" feelings for him?????

> > > > Cutie Pie>

Kenneth E. Lamb writes:

It is so strange that I answer your email about Jeff today. Just this afternoon, I had a man come into my store and thank me because "you are doing your job" putting Jeff - and a number of other officeholders - in the spotlight for their conduct.

Now about me and my attitude about Jeff Miller (FL Dist 1 - R).

Jeff is a brilliant, articulate, hard-working person. I don't have "hard" feelings about him; I am disappointed in him. And I express that disappointment regularly because new things keep coming up that involve him that further disappoint me in him.

Jeff cut his political teeth at the University of Florida (UF), and did so well he got tapped into Florida Blue Key - you can Google it. It is an honorary for aspiring political types. I attended UF, wrote for the Florida Alligator, and got a number of awards from the university for my work and leadership on behalf of bettering the university. I know Florida Blue Key.

One of its cardinal principles is that you shut up, keep your head down, and do what you are told by those above you.

In the FL House, Jeff excelled. By following the Blue Key model, he rose quickly. That was the right way to move up the ladder. Of course, it also explains why the Florida Legislature is such a mess. I have no qualms with how he played the legislative game; term limits meant that in 4 years he would be one of those with an additional 4 years left before hitting his term limits who would be in charge of the House. He was a whip in first term - that is, sincerely, very impressive.

But now Jeff is in the US House. I know that the adage is that to "get along you go along."

However, that adage fails to incorporate the reality that Jeff will be a member of the US House for as long as he wants to be a member. I believe the House re-election rate for incumbents is about 97%.

Jeff, for the first time in his political life, now has the freedom to do what he wants vis a vis being able to "rock the boat." As I once told his Chief of Staff, "The Bushes need Jeff more than Jeff needs the Bushes."

What that means is that he doesn't have to shut up, keep his head down, and do what he is told.

But regardless of that reality, he does it anyway.

Besides squandering his freedom, and his intellect, I am extremely disappointed in the way he's handled his Armed Forces committee assignment. For example, his public remark when the Walter Reed controversy about conditions there became a national story of disgrace was, "I didn't know anything about it."

Uh, excuse me congressman, it's your job to know about it. Are you so disconnected from your committee assignment that with veterans coming through your district office no one on your staff ever once heard any of them talk about Walter Reed?

Kathy, there is no way on the face of this planet he didn't hear about it. But he shut up, kept his head down, and did what he was told - implicitly told even if not explicitly told.

Well, I consider that to be an absolute crime against those who passed through the hospital - people who put their life on the line for this country - and Jeff moves it down the ladder of his priorities to place it below protecting the then-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, and of course, his BFF, George Bush. That's disgusting, Kathy.

Or take his trips to Iraq. Here we have a situation of national visibility that our service members were under-armored, both in the equipment they used, and in their own body armor. How many stories did you read about families in the US sending Kevlar jackets, and scrap metal to Iraq to try to protect their loved ones?

So where was Jeff? I guess at The Fish House, hanging out with his homies, or lushing it up on the cocktail circuit. While people are dying - and while Jeff has the intelligence to know it - he doesn't say a word. He lets them die because he keeps his mouth shut, his head down, and does what he is told by those he considers to be over him. I really don't see how he faces himself in the mirror - any normal person would be dying of guilt for selling out those service members the way Jeff did.

How much blood is on his hands through his selling his soul to his political ladder-climbing?

If Jeff thinks I'm wrong, and that the members were properly protected - then I'd love to see Jeff spend 30 days in the field with them in Sadr City, or the Sunni Triangle. Let's see what great things he has to say when it's his life on the line.

You may recall when Sec. Rumsfield made his most arrogant, and disgusting remark, essentially along the lines of, "You go to war with the Army you've got."

That from a guy who spent his service time flying jets over NY City, serving a president who went AWOL from his reserve unit, with a VP standing only a heartbeat away from the presidency that believed he "had more important priorities" than ever serving in the military.

Kathy, it's pretty easy to not worry about combat deaths if you've never been in the thick of them.

But Jeff - all he did was quack the same old Bush support - and I find that immoral. It's not political - it's life and death. It's not GOP or Democrat - it's life or death. It's not conservative or liberal - it's life or death. And Jeff let death win - because he shut up, kept his head down, and did what he was told.

Finally, I have a real problem with someone whose family is getting corporate welfare - in his case, farm subsidies. Jeff voted against helping the elderly pay for their prescriptions, and against raising the minimum wage. Both were programs that involved earned money.

But when it comes to his family, well, he has no problem with getting "money for nothing." Welfare, Kathy, is welfare. And hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

I could go on, but my point is ultimately that I don't have any "hard feelings" for Jeff - I have extreme disappointment. I am vocalizing that disappointment in what has proven so far to be a vain attempt to get through to him: "Jeff, you can be yourself now - the only people that matter will send you to Congress forever - so why don't you live up to your potential?!"

Allow me to share one other point: I've been following the congressman in the New York Times and the Washington Post - well, actually, I've been waiting to see him quoted in a significant manner on some national issue.

So when does Jeff finally end up at the top of the story? When he was quoted coming out of Washington's Mayflower Hotel following a Fred Thompson rally. Great - he sure knows how to pick them.

And speaking of his support for Fred, did you know his local district office actively participated in arranging a campaign appearance for the former senator on a visit to Pensacola? Did you know that is highly illegal? And did you know it is so illegal everyone knows it's illegal? And did you also know that no one in a position to do so said a word about it?

Yes, Kathy, this area is corrupt.

I want to add this last item in answer to your question:

I was first introduced to Jeff by the former Escambia County attorney, David Tucker, when Jeff was getting ready to run for the FL House. He was "Jeff who?" running against an incumbent.

Rule One: Never bet against an unindicted incumbent's re-election. So putting my name with his was the height of political folly.

But I was so impressed with him that when I was invited to attend Jeff's campaign kick-off rally at the Santa Rosa Community Center in Pace, I jumped when asked to give the rally's "make the crowd come alive" speech immediately before he gave his speech.

I did it because I truly believed he would be different. I truly believed he would throw off the yoke of politics as usual and actually make a difference.

I am so very, very, disappointed . . . that I was so very, very, wrong.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama's - and everybody else's - ethnic ID

This post updates the change in the method used by the federal government to define racial classifications. It comes from the post in the Federal Register by the US Census Bureau. You don't want to miss this . . . it's America's next BIG story about affirmative action.

Kenneth E. Lamb


As a matter of integrity, I must update my findings by telling you that the US Census Bureau changed the definition of "race" for classification purposes. You'll find it in the Federal Register. The quotes following are from them:

Race is no longer defined by "genealogical or anthropological" characteristics as illustrated in my article. Race is now a matter of "sociopolitical self-identification." The Bureau now allows an individual to classify him- or her- self by as many, and whatever, "sociopolitical self-identification" classification(s) appeals to the individual. You can be African-American today, change your mind and be Native-American tomorrow, add Asian the day following, and toss them all out the next day and classify yourself whatever you please the day after that.

So as it stands now with this change in the law, Sen. Obama is legally anything he wants to be. Any of us are; more on that in a moment.

The effect of this was meant to give minority-gerrymandered districts more foundation by removing requirements that challenges to them rest upon the ability of district residents to "prove their lineage" and thus validate their minority status. In sympathy to the Bureau, it's reasonable to believe that coming up with birth records from say, the former South Viet Nam, or Myanmar, to prove Asian minority status, might prove daunting.

The same is true for America's African-American population. I won't go into it too deeply now, but here is a short explanation how it affects that particular segment of American society:

While there may be some states that do not do what follows, I am not aware of any:

States do not allow the mother of a child to claim a father's name on the birth certificate unless the father acknowledges paternity, either by being married at the time of birth, voluntarily admitting paternity, or through a court order assigning paternity.

The most recent figure on black illegitimacy that I am aware of is about 70%. You can figure this out for yourself; if your lineage is from a series of illegitimate births, as we now have with our multi-generational welfare underclass, with no father named on the certificate, how do you prove your "genealogical or anthropological" characteristics if the father is not listed through multiple generations of birth certificates?

Birth certificates lacking a father at high rates also apply to Hispanics as well, although not yet to that level. The reasoning is not only illegitimacy per se, but also the institution of some immigrants seeking to stay in America by having a child on US soil, thus creating an American citizen through that birth.

Either way, how do you prove your minority status if half your lineage through multiple generations doesn't exist on paper?

Please note especially that this is a "change" in the method of defining racial classification. My research was based on the rules before the Census Bureau changed the rules. For those defiling my work, go research for yourself what was the method the Bureau used before it made its "change" in classification methodology.

As the ignorance of the Obama apologists in this blog and other forums demonstrate, America is now to the point that the truth doesn't matter anymore. Just look at the referenced Chicago Tribune article about Mr. Obama's autobiography, and you see for yourself that "An Inconvenient Truth" is not the sole domain of any one political brand.

The reason there were definite standards defining racial classification was to keep the use of affirmative action programs, set-asides, and racial quotas enforceable by keeping out whites who tried to claim minority status. If you take people to court to deny them a seat in the classroom, you must have a defined set of characteristics in law to explain why those people do not qualify for the set-aside. It's too bad so many of America's so-called "intelligentsia" are too dense to get past that rather obvious legal construct.

If all it takes is a claim of, as one recently said, "a single drop of blood," then you have just set up a legal definition of what it takes to qualify as a member of the minority group.

In my own experience with my research, one after another Obama supporter attacked my work because they didn't like the criteria I cited; too bad, take it up with the courts. How do you think they kept whites out of Harvard who claimed to be blacks? They did it by saying the whites didn't have any black in their lineage. That then raises the question of how much black they needed to be classified as blacks. That is where the 1/8 (12.5%) rule of law came from. And it is that 1/8 rule that the Census Bureau tossed out the window in its "change."

Now the rule of law is "sociopolitical self-identification."

It escapes many Obama supporters that you must have a legal definition if you plan to enforce a law. Apparently, the Obama supporters ranting against my article missed the concept that the law is not allowed to be "arbitrary and capricious" - it must be defined, clearly, so that everyone knows when it does, and when it does not, apply.

It's truly scary to read these people and see they completely fail to grasp the idea that the law consists of definitions, or else you can't enforce the law. How else do you think you determine if an applicant for a set-aside qualifies if you don't have a legal definition of what it takes to meet the set-aside criteria? Yes, they are truly scary spouting off their brain-dead, hate-filled bigotries.

Unfortunately, this new twist to defining race is about to prove a major problem for many sectors of society. Let's start with Federal set-aside programs.

Now that anyone is able to classify him-or her- self by their own, private, "sociopolitical self-identification," anyone can legally cash in on these minority-directed programs. If there is a set-aside for African-Americans, just check the box because you feel that your "sociopolitical self-identification" is African-American that day. It's now all perfectly legal.

Couldn't get into the college of your choice because you didn't get past the minority set-aside hurdle? No problem; if you feel that your personal, private, "sociopolitical self-identification" is one of the targeted minority groups, well, go ahead and check the box. With the legal criteria now "sociopolitical self-identification," the days of Harvard, and the University of Michigan, or any of the other hundreds of institutions of higher education throwing you out when you show up white to fill one of their black set-asides is over. You met the legal definition. What are they going to argue in court now that your "genealogical or anthropological" characteristics aren't legal standards for defining racial classification?

I'll let the brains of America's shrinking cadre of affirmative action advocates work on that for a while. It will be breaking nationally soon enough.

Now a couple of very quick responses:

1) I have to admit I'm amazed at the circulation my research got. However, I often see it with a headline authored by someone other than me, and this causes problems because people reading the picked up article think I wrote the inflammatory headline.

My headline is: "Barack Obama: Washington Post, Chicago Tribune investigations confirm autobiography lies; now asking: Is "African-American" a lie too?" ( http://kennethelamb.blogspot.com/2008/02/barak-obama-questions-about-ethnic.html )

I note that particularly for those posters who did not comprehend that those first-tier news organizations are the source for much of the article. That's why I included their links. Too bad those of you trashing it didn't pick up on that validation of the article's contents. Perhaps you find reading articles that make your prejudices into lies too disconcerting. For you, it's just easier to hate, and run.

2) Many, many, people need a course in African culture before commenting on my work. For example, one poster named Kent Paul Dolan (you can Google him and find out he is a newspaper comics freak) is typical. He, and so many like him need a course in the realities of racial and ethnic segregation as practiced in Africa. Have you yet noticed the fierce tribal identities that cause the bloodbath in Darfur? Perhaps you missed the slaughter along tribal lines in Rwanda? Or the Congo? Or the Ivory Coast?

To Mr. Dolan, and others like him, Arabs do not intermarry with African Negroes in Kenya, or anywhere else in Africa. And neither do African Negroes intermarry with Arabs. Your ignorance of the realities of the African continent is appalling.

Which brings up the New York Times-created legend of Barack Obama's great grandmother. The "black" Obama "great-grandmother" trotted out by the NY Times is his "step" great grandparent. She is therefore not in his bloodline. It's a point the Times didn't dwell upon, just as they didn't bother to go to his father's relatives in the capital and show off their Arab characteristics and family photos.

This brings up another point about the senator’s father. Please note that the Times ran into a serious problem describing his father's relationship with a woman in Kenya that existed when he married "Barry's" mother in Hawaii. It turns out that Mr. Obama was already married to the Kenyan (who was not African Negro either.). That makes Senator Obama the product of a bigamous marriage. And we all know what that means as far as the legality of the marriage and the legitimacy of the marriage's offspring.

I had to laugh watching them wordsmith the relationship with the Kenyan woman as "unclear" and end up calling her his "consort."

And what is the definition of a "consort?" According to the dictionary, it is a spouse. Leave it to the NY Times to be so conflicted about telling the truth about Sen. Obama's situation, that they resort to using their own "unclear" description to paper over it.


Barack Obama - Late Night Talk Show Host?

I wrote this for Salon in response to Paglia's article on Obama, and thought I'd share it with you, my enlightened readers . . .

Barack Obama, a candidate for replacing Jay Leno on the late night talk show circuit, or just another contestant in the American Idol franchise? Take your pick; either way you can be a winner.

What Ms. Paglia is discovering is that Barack is entertaining. Have you noticed the body language on stage? Conan O'Brien could be his mentor.

Or the joke-laced monologues now flowing as "campaign speeches?" From the day he blew his nose and the house erupted in applause, mavens of modern politics knew that America threw out info, and settled for tainment. It's fun to go to Barack's shows; J. I. Packer's Hot Tub Religion is now playing as Hot Tub Politics. It feeeels sooo goood to soak in the warmth.

Why does this surprise anyone? The Republican problem isn't a lack of leaders, it's a lack of entertaining lead players who can wow a crowd and leave them in stitches. When America's voters know more about Brittney's lack of undies than they do about Putin's lack of morals, when they know more about a no-talent singer with a frumped-up hairdo than they know about the frumped-up balance sheet at the Fed, when they know more about Desperate Housewives than they know about desperate homeowners, why is anyone surprised that the criteria for proclaiming the next president is not substance, but sizzle?

Barack Obama: late night talk show host, American Idol, or POTUS; in 2008 all that matters is that you leave them laughing . . . all the way to the Inauguration. He's just sooo entertaining.

In reviewing my other posts, I came across this post that goes far deeper into the phenomena of Barack Obama's celebrity rise; it's by Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writer's Group, an MSM syndicate if ever there was one. Take time to read what she wrote in February, and see how precise was her interpretation of the Obama Effect:

Barack Hussein Obama becomes our political messiah


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How long until the bloodbath?

I found this on the Washington Times site today. The headline question above that it inspires should be a "must answer" question for the presidential candidates, and every member of Congress:

Border patrol agent held at gunpoint
Officers fear Mexican military encounters will turn violent
* Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was held at gunpoint Sunday night by members of the Mexican military who had crossed the border into Arizona, but the soldiers returned to Mexico without incident when backup agents responded to assist.

Agents assigned to the Border Patrol station at Ajo, Ariz., said the Mexican soldiers crossed the international border in an isolated area about 100 miles southwest of Tucson and pointed rifles at the agent, who was not identified.

It was unclear what the soldiers were doing in the United States, but U.S. law enforcement authorities have long said that current and former Mexican military personnel have been hired to protect drug and migrant smugglers.

"Unfortunately, this sort of behavior by Mexican military personnel has been going on for years," union Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) said on its Web page.

"They are never held accountable, and the United States government will undoubtedly brush this off as another case of 'Oh well, they didn't know they were in the United States.'

"It is fortunate that this incident didn't end in a very ugly gunfight," said the local's posting.

The NBPC represents all nonsupervisory personnel among the agency's 16,000 agents.
Border Patrol spokesman Michael Friel did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson said Tuesday that the department had no information on the incident, and referred further questions to the Border Patrol. "It is not an incident that we are aware of," she said.

Ricardo Alday, spokesman at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, said Tuesday that Mexico and the United States are engaged in "an all-out struggle to deter criminal organizations from operating on both sides of our common border."

"Law enforcement operations have led, from time to time, to innocent incursions by both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement personnel and military units into the territory of both nations, and in particular along non-demarcated areas of our border," he said.

"We always try to solve these incidents in a cooperative fashion, and as acknowledged by the Border Patrol, this was the case in the episode at Ajo," he said.

Since 1996, there have been more than 200 confirmed incursions by the Mexican military into the United States.

Local 2544, the largest in the NBPC, is headed by veteran Border Patrol agent Edward "Bud" Tuffly II. He noted on the Web page that the local's leadership would "withhold further comment on this incident until we see how our leaders handle it."

"We don't have much confidence in most of them," the local's posting said.
Sunday night's incident bears similarities to other incursions by armed men in Mexican military gear in recent years:

* The incident occurred in the same area where heavily armed Mexican soldiers riding in a Humvee shot at a Border Patrol agent in 2002. A .50-caliber bullet ripped through the agent's rear window as he sped away.
Mexican officials denied at the time that the shooters were Mexican soldiers, saying they were criminals using military uniforms. It is a position they steadfastly have maintained.

But the agent who reported encountering the gunfire was certain he saw soldiers, said Mr. Tuffly. He said at the time that the agent was able to identify their attire "down to a T, and it matched exactly what they [Mexican soldiers] wear."

That purported incursion began after a Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation police ranger reported being chased by men in a Humvee.

* A year ago, U.S. law enforcement authorities were confronted by gunfire from automatic weapons as they chased and caught a drug-smuggling suspect in Texas trying to flee back into Mexico, the Hudspeth County (Texas) Sheriff's Office said.

No one was hurt in that incident, and the gunmen were not identified, although the area has been the scene of similar incidents over several months, including a confrontation in January 2007, when heavily armed men in Mexican military uniforms fired on Texas officers with a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on a camouflaged Humvee.

The men were identified at the time by Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West as "soldiers."

In that incident, Hudspeth County deputies pursued three sport utility vehicles back to Mexico after spotting them driving north from the Rio Grande. The pursuit ended on the U.S. side of the border when the deputies encountered 10 heavily armed men in what they described as battle-dress uniforms.

At that time, deputies found 1,400 pounds of marijuana in one of the vehicles abandoned after it blew a tire early in the pursuit. Another made it into Mexico and a third got stuck in the Rio Grande and was burned by the "soldiers" after it was unloaded.

* In November 2007, the Border Patrol chased a dump truck full of marijuana in the same area when it also got stuck in the river while trying to return to Mexico. While agents sought to unload 3 tons of marijuana, the driver - who had fled - returned with a heavily armed group of men wearing Mexican military uniforms and carrying military-style weapons.

The soldiers backed the agents away and bulldozed the truck back into Mexico.

"Nothing was ever done," Local 2544 said. "Nobody was ever held accountable. Particularly galling is the fact that the Mexican military often pulls these stunts in Humvees donated to them by the American taxpayers. We note that Border Patrol agents have historically driven worn-out, junk vehicles."

A coalition of Texas border sheriffs has demanded that the U.S. and Mexican governments investigate incursions into the United States by heavily armed drug escorts dressed in Mexican military uniforms "before someone gets killed."

Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. of Zapata County, Texas, who founded the coalition, said a growing number of suspected incursions and violence aimed at the area's law enforcement officers is making the border "a pretty dangerous place."

Sheriff Gonzalez said three of his deputies in 2006 spotted 25 men dressed in military uniforms in the U.S. during a late-night patrol. He said the men marched two abreast and carried duffel bags and automatic weapons, and that his "outmanned and outgunned deputies" were forced to retreat.

"The only thing you can do in that kind of situation is seek cover," Sheriff Gonzalez said. "I'm not going to lose someone in an unfair fight."

The State Department on Tuesday also confirmed a separate case in which two California police officers were arrested at the border Friday on charges of attempting to smuggle guns, ammunition and training materials into Mexico.

A Mexican court is expected to decide Wednesday whether the two Monterey County officers will remain in jail or be released on bail.

The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana said Mexico holds the largest population of U.S. prisoners outside the United States.

* David R. Sands contributed to this report.

It should be obvious that our Border Patrol agents are being sold down the river (the Rio Grande in this case) by our government. How long do you expect it to take for them to be completely demoralized and just quit putting their life on the line for a government that isn't going to back them?

Ask your congress member. In person. At a public function.

When the member weasels, tell the member that he or she is weaseling, and that being a weasel is unsatisfactory.

Then ask, "When are you going to quit being a weasel?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Obama's Authoritarians Shut Down This Blog

Add this blog, Reading Between the Lines, to the list of blogs shut down by Mr. Obama's authoritarian foot-soldiers.

I had posted a number of articles about Mr. Obama's ethnic make-up. It is nothing that his camp wants to discuss. So apparently, the fastest way for the Obama "true believers" to act out their rage is to flag blogs hosted by Blogspot, a division of the so-called "Do No Harm" Google monolith, and have them frozen as "spam blogs."

I hadn't thought of that at first when, about 2 weeks ago, I went to post an update about Mr. Obama and found I was blocked out as a "spam blog." OK, so I innocently clicked the email button to get a human from Google to check the blog and get it freed.

Well, that didn't work in a 48-hour period, and so I did it again. I did it a total of 4 times over 14 days.

About 3 or 4 days ago it dawned on me that Google was playing footsie with the Obama campaign and blocking out blogs that the authoritarians running his campaign wanted silenced.

As you can see for yourself, the blog is now open. But here is what else showed up today; an article by Anna Phillips of the NY Sun:

Anti-Obama Bloggers Say They Were Silenced

Web loggers who are campaigning against Senator Obama's presidential run are accusing Google and Obama supporters of silencing them after their Web logs were marked as spam and their accounts temporarily frozen.

On Thursday, hours after publishing a post about an online petition demanding that Mr. Obama publicly produce his birth certificate, an associate professor of business administration at Brooklyn College, Mitchell Langbert, found that he could no longer access his Web log.
Google's Blogger hosting service had suspended "Mitchell Langbert's Blog," which Mr. Langbert describes as "two-thirds academic stuff I'm working on and one-third politics," until it could verify the Web log was not a "spam blog," or a site designed solely to increase the page views of associated Web sites.

A day later Google lifted the block on the account, but the incident and earlier Web log freezes in late June have led Mr. Langbert and other anti-Obama bloggers to accuse the Illinois senator's supporters of intentionally identifying their blog addresses to Google as spam blogs. They also say the company has reflexively suspended the sites.

"These tech-savvy smart alecks have figured out that if you report a blog you don't like, you can do some damage to a person," Mr. Langbert said.

A spokesman for Google, Adam Kovacevich, said in a statement that an overzealous antispam filter was responsible for the blocks.

"We believe this was caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the 'Just Say No Deal' network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam," he said. "We have restored posting rights to the affected blogs, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression."

Several of the blogs that were blocked, including hillaryorbust.com and comealongway.blogspot.com, are part of the "Just Say No Deal" network of anti-Obama blogs.

But Mr. Langbert's blog is not, leading him to conclude that Obama supporters had targeted him.

On her right-leaning blog "Atlas Shrugs," Pamela Geller keeps a list of blogs that Google has temporarily blocked. "The blockings do come in waves," she said. "The last wave was this past week, and now it got very quiet."

Some writers have had their blogs unblocked, while others have moved them to WordPress, a rival blog host.

"I don't think" Google has "malicious intentions at all, it's just that spammers can literally overrun a service if you're not careful, so their defenses have become overzealous," a spokesman for WordPress, Matthew Mullenweg, said in an e-mail.

"We always have human review before turning off an active blog," he said. "People invest so much time into their blogs, to treat it with anything less than the utmost respect is criminal."

Well, there you have it. I have to ask, "Are you ready for the type of people who will shut down the First Amendment as soon as look at you running the government?"

And for journalists, what does this tell you?

I am amazed that Mr. Obama's campaign would be so amoral, but then what do you expect from him? The more you know, the scarier he is.