Thursday, October 20, 2011

Natural Born Idiocy

President Barack Obama and US Senator (FL)  Marco Rubio
(Photo credit: Associate Press)

I live in a municipality in a Miami area for which Marco Rubio used to be my district Representative to the Florida House. He once spoke about his 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future (few of which have come to pass, that's for sure) at one of our Miami Child Advocacy Network meetings, back in the day. I wrote to him on several occasions and before he was Speaker of the House, he sometimes wrote back either handwritten notes or clearly self-written e-mails. In person, he's a really pleasant guy, although clearly pretty conservative. Yeah, I have to say that in recent times, he's not exactly been my cup of tea. *coughgagomqfmarziethatwasbad* Yet, this morning I awoke to such a wad of crap in my Miami Herald that I was shaking my head. Poor Marco. He is just as unnatural as my ineffectual friend Barack is!

It turns out that Marco Rubio, hailed as the poster boy/wunderkind/future presidential candidate of the GOP, is not a natural born American Citizen. Now I know, since he was born in Miami in 1971, that this will shock many of my readers, even the Republican ones, who think the Tea Party is the party of the righteous. But just like Barack, Marco's US birth certificate has grave, grave defects. You see Marco's parents didn't become US Citizens until 1975. They actually came to the US from Cuba in the 1950's but tried and tried to deal with Fidel's Cuba and gave up, moving here permanently in 1961. They applied for and were finally granted US Citizenship in 1975. Four years too late!!!! (Why Marco's situation at birth is even worse than Barack's whose mother was at least a US citizen [praisethequantumfield], but whose father [darklooksabound] was Kenyan.)

Nope, Marco's out of the running say the Birthers. That's because Marco Rubio is not a natural born citizen of the United States of America  and therefore, under Article 2 of the United States Constitution, Marco is not eligible to run for president, anymore than Barack Obama was.

The basis for this determination? In part a phrase from The Law of Nations by the Swiss diplomat and philosopher Emmerich de Vattel (yep, he's a haole, a gaijin, a ferengi... what are they thinking letting him determine US policy about such an important thing, I wonder?) which reads: "The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country of parents who are citizens." And hey, there is a load of historical cred for this view, since de Vattel lived from 1714 to 1767 (in Neuchatel, Switzerland) and so the Founding Fathers clearly had factored in his assessment when they wrote that whole Article 2 thingy back in 1787. Clause 5, the part that is in question, reads:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
I think it's really great that the Birthers are so keen on this idea of natural born citizenry. And that they think they have divined that our Founding Fathers meant that a president wouldn't be American enough unless his or her parents had been American citizens, too. Second generation is the bomb! I'm sure they're onto something there. But, I'm now totally bummed about one of our Founding Fathers. Because just like Barack Obama, he was fraudulently elected! Thomas Jefferson's (in office 1801-1809) mother Jane Randolph wasn't a Native American and she wasn't really American American because she was born in London and like, she was dead by the time America was America. I'm kind of surprised that the other Founding Fathers let this black mark on TJ's heritage slide and still let him be president for a few years. But you know, I guess it was a one-time pass deal and, I mean, he looked American and was so well-spoken and intelligent and educated and all.

Anyway, it's clear, thank goodness, that the standards have improved since then because we can't have any more of that. Except... Hmmm. That Barack guy... Man, he's a bad one. Even has that horrid middle name.

Yeah, there's still a lot of arguing about what the Founding Fathers meant with this whole business of natural born citizen. Frankly, I'm thinking the Birthers haven't taken it far enough. There are entire worlds of natural born standards to explore!

First off, I think we need to look at what we should do if someone was adopted by natural born US citizen parents. This could be tricky, especially if the person was adopted as an infant, you know like from Russia or China or something. They might look like they are American when they're really not, you know? And now they have a birth certificate that says the person is American, but we all really know that geography is thicker than upbringing, culture and documents from the US State Department or any circuit court. Definitely, you're out if you're a foreigner who is adopted. And because of this deep dark concern, I advocate for unsealing all records of any adopted candidates, just to be, you know, on the safe side.

But secondly, I've been giving this whole natural thing a lot of thought. Frankly, I think we should go a few steps further. Now, since I'm a woman and since, you know, women are always obsessed with home and family and children and babies and such, when I think natural, I think natural childbirth. So just to be sure, really sure, that we are dealing with natural born citizens, I propose that a person can only be elected President of the United States of American if they were born by natural childbirth. No caesarian sections, no in vitro fertilizations, no artificial inseminations, no inductions of labor, no pain meds. All of those are un-natural. I am sure that the Founding Fathers would disapprove of their unnatural birth. Gosh knows all that stuff wasn't even really available in 1787 when they came up with the whole Article 2 business. I'm sure they would be appalled to find out that it was possible to be an un-naturally natural born citizen. Yep, taking the strict constructionist view, I think we can say that we had better start perusing those hospital birth records of our candidates. There are going to be a lot of very disappointed people. Sigh. But you know, this stuff is really important. We need to avoid, at all costs, what Alan Keyes describes as: “Now you’ve got Republicans talking about Marco Rubio for president when it’s obviously clear that he does not qualify.  Regardless of party label, they don’t care about Constitution. It’s all just empty, lying lip service.”

Step right up... get your share of natural born idiocy...

© Bright Nepenthe, 2011

99% Palate Cleanser

Les Comtesses Marzie, GlamKitty and Cynical Nymph were in Bryant Park during the early part of the OWS march to Times Square late in the afternoon on Saturday, October 15. Police, with their ample supply of plastic handcuffs, were everywhere. The theater district was eerily devoid of vehicles that evening. The protestors, at least when we saw them, were a well mannered bunch, not obstructing traffic and moving smoothly toward Times Square. They seemed mostly, *gasp*, to want to exercise their First Amendment rights. There's been so much talk about how everyone has a different reason to be marching, protesting, and that there is no unified message with "these people". Funny thing, it really looked and sounded like they were on point, chanting and bearing signs talking about social injustice, corruption and economic struggles. But I dunno... just my 2.

Some of what was seen and heard...

"Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out!"

© Bright Nepenthe, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake? Mais Non.

It's Tumblr Wars! (Formal Bad Language Warning, music possibly NSFW)

Here's your theme music:

Everlast, What It's Like, from Whitey Ford Sings the Blues


I'm trying to envision the scenario in which I, a rather high tax-paying American, living in my very nice home, with my excellent health insurance coverage, my pets living better than many people do around the world, even in the USA, my daughter in an out of state graduate school on my dime and my child in his swanky prep school, turn my back on the 99%ers and say "Shut Up and Stop Complaining" and, by the way, here's some pepper spray and an arrest for [whatever charge], that will make it even harder for you to get your next job, yes, I promise you. You'll probably never work again you pedestrian, lazy-ass squeaky wheel, you.

I'm not there.

Viewpoint 1: 53% View

Hell yeah, 53%ers, you have been so wronged, and you are so very right. America is mired in lazy slackers. All those 99%ers are wimpy babies who don't want to work, who are too picky and don't want to look at their own flaws that got them into their present situation, which really, in the scheme of things, isn't all that bad. Hey, it's better than Bangladesh or Somalia, so we're good! Right? Who the hell cares if you're a child, a veteran, a retiree, a disabled person? That liberal asshole Hubert Humphrey was all wrong about a society being judged on the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. That is so fucking melodramatic and so typical of socialists (disguised as liberals) who don't give a damn about what's really important.

No, you shouldn't feel even an ounce of remorse about treading on uninsured infants, on old people whose social security and medicare doesn't cover their needs and stepping over unwillingly homeless people (who are out of work and foreclosed out of their houses by their own misdeeds), if necessary, in order for your chance to make it to the top of the almighty 1% heap. Those 99%ers are a pack of whining babies and deserve to be billed for the cost of the pepper spray and plastic handcuffs used on them at demonstrations, and for their stays in what ought to be privately run jails (because the State shouldn't be responsible for those either!) HOW DARE THEY? Neither a war initiated on the basis of lies, excuse me, misinformation, nor Wall Street and its corrupt policies have anything to do with our present financial circumstances. Senator Bernie Sanders is a mad man. There's no price fixing, only good business, which we need to make better business, by having fewer rules and fewer people get in the way of business. Less government will assure this. Fewer handouts to the little people. Stratification of society is a good thing. It gives people something to strive for!!! (Dickens was so wrong there. He was another long-winded whiner from, like, centuries ago.) It's like economic natural selection and all those godless liberals should just shut up and enjoy the fact that we've got a living example of some kind of natural selection! May the best capitalist win!!! And listen, our Founding Fathers clearly thought we shouldn't be taxed at all, remember? Oh. Wait a minute there.... there was that one thing about representation, wasn't there? Oh, and personal income tax wasn't even visited upon Americans until 1861 when that damned liberal president, slavery-loathing Abraham... What? Republican? Oh, wait a minute. Hmmm. That was old style Republicanism. Like Reagan or something, right? He's like our St. Christopher- the Patron Saint of Economic Reform, except... Hmmm.

Well, back to my point:

Those 99%ers are a pack of whining babies. Just stay focused on that. Here, look at some pictures that you don't really grasp from the first viewing. Let me set you straight:

This guy is a mess. What is his fucking problem? Why does he think he is punished? He just isn't as deserving as others. He needs to suck it up and work harder and maybe take out more loans and get a PhD or something. Moar debt! Just borrow more money! The interest he'll owe helps our country stay afloat!!!

Get this guy out of here! He is so messed up. Dude, you're a success story! Stop the altruistic crap already!

Without Fear of Violence? WTF? Here's another one of those bloody liberals that thinks they understood the right to dissent and that stoopid freedom of speech thingy in the Bill of Rights. A better life for all? LOSER!!!!!

So Grandma thought they were working for something? Like the American Dream? That's for special people, hon. Not you! Gosh! Get with it already! And I hope you are paying your taxes, including the property tax on that house you shouldn't have thought you could buy.

Cry me a river... What, you wanted to live in Scandinavia or something? You should get married and stop trying to make it on your own, sweetheart! Geeezus! Find a man with a good job and use his insurance!!!! You wanted to be an unhealthy, independent and educated woman in America? Really? How dare you! And WTF? Listen, without the 99%, the 1% wouldn't be so dragged down! There would be no one standing in the way of their massive corporate prowess! They would sell their goods and services to the Third World and dominate the entire frakking Milky Way galaxy!

OMG! What is WRONG with you people? Safety net schmafety net!!!!

Viewpoint 2: De Facto 47%ers, or maybe 99%ers with identity crises.

In all honesty, I am really puzzled by some of the 53%ers tumblr pages. (They have 10 pages, versus the 84 pages of the 99%ers, btw) But I am sure they are the majority of Americans (53%, after all), and especially they are Americans who pay taxes and are living perfectly wonderful lives. They are treated justly, and they instinctively realize the social equity of their situation.

This young lady is a poster girl for the American Dream. Her father moved here from Croatia. He is a thyroid cancer patient, and is working 72 hours a week in a manual labor job. She's not complaining. Croatia and the war in the former Yugoslavia clearly taught that worse could be had and what to be grateful for here, in her cushy American life provided for her by her cancer-ridden, hard-working father. (She's not being shot at, raped, mutilated or killed, or having to watch that happen to anyone she knows or cares about.) Life is good! To quote her: "That is the American Dream", circa 2011. (That liberal use of WE on her part is so irksome I don't know how to deal with it.... How many hours have you been working to help your dad?)

This gentleman is awesome. He is evidently in the 1%! (But also the 53%?) He is happy continuing to pay (NOT LESS THAN) 50% of his income to taxes while corporations like Exxon pay NO taxes and people like Warren Buffet, who would pay more taxes if asked, pay less or what this gentleman pays. Yep. Makes sense to me. Glad it does to him. What a trooper!!! :)

The firm opinion of one not yet in the job market is truly wonderful! While no one owes her anything, her government loaned her money. What if the value of her degree turns out to be more than her worth (salary) on a only bachelor's degree? Not that there's much of that going around...

Wake up people. Wake up.

We now return to our evenings of exciting cable TV, reality TV, football, the NBA strike, Call of Duty, Halo 3, or whatever it is that we use, ostrich-like, to avoid looking at what's going on around here.

© Bright Nepenthe, 2011

Palate Cleanser #159: Dizzy Edition

Yeah. This. It's all a blur lately...

OCTOBER 10, 2011

Ferris Wheel, Kansas

Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic
This Month in Photo of the Day: Photos From New National Geographic Books
The Ferris wheel at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson mimics a giant Lite-Brite toy. Long lines can form at popular midway rides, but in this long exposure all the stress melts away.
(From the upcoming National Geographic book Visions of Earth)

visual palate cleanser concept © Bright Nepenthe, 2011