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What is your favorite downtown restaurant?

I really don't know what the appeal of La Parilla is. Its really not that good. Better than Carlos O'Kelly's perhaps, but certainly nothing to brag about in my opinion. But I've met people who really like it. It remains a mystery to me.

February 9, 2011 at 12:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What is your favorite downtown restaurant?

Alladin Cafe, hands down. Tellers is a distant second with Mad Greek being an even further distant third.

February 9, 2011 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lousiana senator supports birther lawsuits

Funny how merely questioning something, without even making a final judgment on it, gets you branded as something on the order of a "Holocaust denier". But despite the rhetoric of the resident thought police, I think there are a number of legitimate questions about the legitimacy of Obama's presidential eligibility. And despite my omission of this in my previous posts, I have actually entertained the other side too, and am aware of the birth announcement, etc. But while that evidence is strong, it is not compelling enough to decide the question for me. So for the time being, I am not willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt.

I will pose a few questions for your consideration. And once again, please don't make the mistake of assuming, as have some, that this is constitutes some kind of indictment that should be met with vehement [internet] hostility. When I say the jury is still out on this, I count myself as a member of that jury.

1. Why have so many Kenyans, including government officials and the president's own step-grandmother, claimed that Obama was born in Kenya if he was not?

2. Why do neither of the Hawaii hospitals in which Obama was supposedly born have no records that he or his mother were ever there at the time of his birth?

3. Why have the media and Obama supporters consistently conflated the issue by insisting that the Hawaiian Certificate of Live Birth is the same as a copy of the original birth certificate, when they are entirely different documents and the document in question does not even certify the place of birth?

4.Why has Obama refused to disclose the vault copy of his Hawaiian birth certificate?

5. Why was sealing his records the first order of business for the new president?

These are merely questions - questions that I think deserve answers. And as long as they remain unanswered, despite the fact that a whole segment of the population will dismiss them as "fringe", they are still legitimate. Because as a candidate for President of the United States, the burden of proof is on the one who would assume the office. A candidate must prove his eligibility. And if you can't prove you are at least 35 and were born here, you are not eligible (that goes for you too, Schwarzenegger).

Agnostick, I'm sure you're a good guy, but I'm sort of wondering if you could tone down on the logical fallacies just a bit. You make some valid points, but they get lost in your name-calling and whatnot. That might make you popular with some folks, but sooner or later you might want to be known as a person of integrity.


July 13, 2010 at 1:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

‘No’ to taxes

Right on, Ken.

July 13, 2010 at 10:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lousiana senator supports birther lawsuits

merrill, I know a little about the problems Berg has encountered. None of that means anything to me. In my opinion, this is something best tried in the court of public opinion. No judge wants to touch this, and no judge will until and unless they absolutely have to. Bottom line is whether the claims are without merit remains to be seen. There is no Hawaiian birth certificate and the Obama campaign digitally altered the Certificate of Live Birth posted on their web site; and Obama's first act as president was to seal his records by executive order.

People can call me a "birther", a "right-wing nut" or whatever, but I think this is far from being settled. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never intimidate me. I'm not saying Obama is definitely not a natural-born citizen, but I am saying I remain unconvinced by the actual evidence, and there are multiple things that I find unsettling about how the administration has handled this. And I have yet to read a single mainstream article about this where half of the facts of the legal arguments were discussed. All of them have a dismissive tone.

I know some of these people have an agenda that I don't go along with, but for me, the question simply is whether Obama was born in the United States and whether that can be proven. And I don't think its too much to ask that the president prove his constitutional eligibility for the nation's highest office.

July 13, 2010 at 9:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lousiana senator supports birther lawsuits

Several problems with this article.

First of all, this trend of introducing terms to pigeonhole and abbreviate political ideas that are effectively slurs. You think the president should provide a birth certificate proving he is a natural born citizen, you are a "birther". You protest the unconstitutional practice of taxing labor to pay the interest on the fiat currency debt issued by the Federal Reserve, that makes you a "teabagger", which also has a negative sexual connotation for those of you who don't know.

Secondly, this quote:

"Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana says he supports conservative organizations challenging President Barack Obama’s citizenship in court."

This suggests that only "conservative organizations" are challenging Obama's presidential eligibility based on his country of origin. This is just not true. Phil Berg, a lifelong Democrat, is heading up one of these lawsuits. In fact, I believe he was the first one to do so. The AP doesn't get it wrong here, but they, like Vitter himself, are playing up the whole left/right angle rather than making this an issue of constitutionality.

Then this quote:

"...on Sunday when a constituent asked what he would do about what the questioner said was Obama’s “refusal to produce a valid birth certificate. Such claims about Obama’s birth certificate have been discredited."

Discredited by whom? Since when is the media supposed to tell us that a matter is settled when it is still being litigated? Merely saying something is settled doesn't make it so. Contrary to popular [media] belief, there has been no birth certificate provided by the president. If there was, this would indeed be an open and shut case. A Certificate of Live Birth and a birth certificate, although they sound very much alike, are not the same thing.

I personally don't know where Obama was born, but when Kenya's Minister of Lands, James Orengo says Obama was born in Kenya, and when a Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams says that a birth certificate does not exist, it definitely raises what I believe to be legitimate questions. I'm not saying this as a Republican or an Democrat because I am neither. And I didn't support McCain, who is not a natural-born citizen himself. So when the media tries to insult my intelligence by dumbing down the issue and making it a partisan question, of course I'm going to cry foul.

July 13, 2010 at 8:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

President’s ‘modesty’ is selective

"I don't think we'll know for a long time which of his campaign promises were conscious lies, and which were just naive wishful thinking that haven't survived the realities of inside-the-beltway power politics."

Call me a pessimist, but I don't think there is any such thing as "naive wishful thinking" in the American political establishment of which Obama is a part. He may have played the part of the fresh-faced kid, the outsider or whatever, but he was never naive as a presidential candidate. You're not that naive. I'm not that naive, and neither was the first term senator.

Technically you're right in saying that we don't really know what was a conscious lie and what was not, but it really doesn't matter. Because if the lies were not "conscious", they were pathological - the result of a man regurgitating propaganda so long that he brainwashed himself out of reality.

"...I'm fairly pessimistic that anyone can get one of the major party nominations without having already sold their souls to the political and economic status quo."

On this we are in absolute agreement. I do believe in miracles, but that is what it would take - divine intervention.

July 9, 2010 at 9:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

In K.C., Obama draws political line

I can't speak for Mr. Shewmon, and I will grant that the term "socialist" has been thrown around quite liberally in the past year or so, but no one can deny Obama's socialist leanings. All you have to do is listen to what he says. A lot of people have socialist ideas, whether they use the term to describe themselves or not.

First, the definition:

so·cial·ism
   /ˈsoʊʃəˌlɪzəm/ [soh-shuh-liz-uhm]
–noun
1.
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Now a few quotes:

"We've got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?"

"What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all. This is the government's obligation."

"This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably."

"I think when you spread the wealth around its good for everybody."

A philosophy that views wealth distribution as a function of government is, by definition, socialist. I mean, this isn't just someone's opinion. It is a fact.

July 9, 2010 at 12:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

President’s ‘modesty’ is selective

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus said:

"His campaign rhetoric was just that. Politicians often make high-minded promises in the election, only to find out that the inertia of the political status quo is too great for even presidents to budge very far in one direction or another."

I see quite a few problems with this logic. First, he never even attempted to do many of the things he promised, and if anybody was able to energize the [Democratic] status quo, it was this guy. He had an overwhelming victory and overwhelming support from his party, who just happened to have a lot of power when he was elected. With respect to his [ever-changing] promises on Iraq and the tax increases you might have a case, but you can be sure that there was no political "inertia" that prevented him from displaying the contents of the bills he would sign. We have to view this particular promise in the context of the campaign rhetoric, which emphasized empowering the American people and giving them a say in the governing of their nation. So although this is a singular promise, it represented the fresh new approach to citizen empowerment that helped Obama win the presidency. It was part of the mantra, "Yes, [we] can" - the "we" being the American people, as if he was one of us.

And in the case of the signing statements, there is no political pressure to keep doing that. All he has to do is stop! Its so easy even a "constitutional scholar" like the president can figure that out. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans would fight him on that.

The fact of the matter is that he sold himself as the agent of change, and he has proven himself to be the polar opposite of that. I know it is customary to give politicians a pass when they deceive people, but I don't see it that way. And if we are ever going to oppose the status quo, then we must erect a higher standard of political accountability. A lie is a lie is a lie.

July 9, 2010 at 10:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

President’s ‘modesty’ is selective

I don't know what to make of Obama half the time. I think he mostly says and does things off-the-cuff. Its like he's always winging it as if he really doesn't know what to do or how to behave, sort of like his predecessor, only smoother and more articulate. I really think he is so used to trying to tell people what they want to hear that he has a hard time understanding who the President of the United States really is. I'm not saying this as an insult. This is just my observation. When he goes around the world bowing to everyone, I get the impression that he wants to appear charming and respectful, but he has difficulty with reconciling that with the respect his own position commands.

Mr. Shewmon has said the president is a fraud. That's a harsh accusation, and one I would not use too lightly, but in reality that's been my impression of him since the beginning of his presidential bid. And I might not be so forward in saying so if I had not predicted exactly which "campaign promises" were obviously lies. Of course his defenders would say he tried to do the things he promised, but was deterred. That's what they always say, but in this case it totally wasn't like that. He said he was going to halt taxes on those making under $250,000 per year, he was going to allow the public to view all the bills on the internet for a period of days before he signed them, he was going to stop the unconstitutional practice of signing statements, and he has changed his tune a number of times on Iraq. I watched as people worked themselves up in a frenzy over this man, elevating him to cult status, but all the while I was telling them, "He's lying to you."

July 9, 2010 at 8:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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