Sunday, August 09, 2009

My Sunday Feeling

President Obama's birthday was earlier in the week. I wish him well and I hope he and his wife had a nice celebration. But as been pointed out in both the New York Times and the Washington Post-and everywhere else on the Internet there still remains a certain segment of society-or at least the segment of society that remains unmedicated-that Mr. Obama is not qualified to be President because he was did not celebate his first birthday on American soil.

Article II, Section 5 of the Constitution states that "No person except a natural born Citizen" is eligible to be President of the United States. While this seems antiquated to me it is still the law. I attended a Naturalization Ceremony last Spring in Judge Holmes' courtroom. After it was over he told the assemblage that they "were as American as me." Except Leon Holmes could run for President and a naturalized citizen cannot.

Which brings us to the current "controversy." The folks-known as "Birthers"- that are convinced that Barack Obama was not really born in the United States are raising hell all over the Internet and the air waves about his ineligibility to hold the office. They believe this despite the copious evidence to the contrary. A true copy of the Certificate of Live Birth showing that little Barack took his first breath in the State of Hawaii does not convince them. They want to see the original document which the State of Hawaii sensibly refuses to produce for inspection. The fact that authenticated documents are admissible as evidence is not sufficient.

But OK. This would have required Obama and his acolytes to pull off a massive conspiracy which involved the local press which published the announcement of his birth. And it would have required everyone in this massive conspiracy to keep quiet about it for all of these years which never happens. Also, it is legally superfluous seeing as how he was born to an American mother. Which makes Barack Obama as much of a "natural born Citizen" as me and Judge Holmes.

Here's a thought. Perhaps the Birthers should also try to prove that Arnold Schwartzenegger was really born in Michigan or something so he can qualify to run for President once he is able to escape the California statehouse. That makes as much sense as trying to prove that Barack Obama is not an American by birth and there's just as much available evidence.

I have always said that you are entitled to your beliefs but that you are not entitled to your own facts. I don't believe that I have ever seen another time in my lifetime where more folks were confusing what they dearly want to believe with what is factual. It is proof positive of the reach and scope of the Internet that so many people are compelled by the deranged thinking it occasionally puts out.

We are told that abortion is murder. Of course this is not true. You may believe that it is morally wrong and you have the right to oppose it. But it is a legal procedure and women have a right to avail themselves of it.

We are told that teachers should be free to "teach the controversy" that allegedly exists between Creation Science and Evolution. Of course this is not true. There is no controversy in modern science about the Theory of Evolution as a means to describe biological change over time. But you have to admit that there is not much of a down side to a pathological hatred of Darwin. If you are gonna diss a scientific theory Evolution's the one. You ignore the theory of gravity at your peril.

And now we are told that the new reforms of Health Insurance will lead to euthanasia and "death panels" that will decide which disabled children will be allowed to receive medical services. Of course, this is not true. Hit the link for an editorial in the Boston Globe about the claims about euthanasia:

Finally, we are told that these reforms will institute rationing of health care. Of course this is not true. Insurance companies ration health care all of the time. And have for years. When I fell and hit my head my insurance company initially refused to pay for an MRI because I had not consulted an Otolaryngologist first. I had a friend who was told he needed a new medicine for a tumor in his brain. The insurance company initially said it wouldn't pay for it. This is rationing of health care pure and simple. It happens every day. The new proposed reforms will not "institute" this practice.

God knows it is a complicated world out there. And people necessarily tend to be wary about things they don't fully understand. Which is why if the proponents of these reforms want the damn thing to pass had better do a better job of explaining them.

Because people are confusing their beliefs or what they are being led to believe with the facts. And it is gumming things up.


SJ said...

Bravo for your post. I have been having the same problem with a friend of late who chooses to stick to an opinion/belief even given the facts that prove her wrong.

Keep those posts coming.

Ramona said...

Good post, Paul. I've just started following your blog, and I particulary like/agree with this one.

Not to split hairs, but because I think it would appeal to the attorney in you. If a person is born outside the U.S. to an American mother, it does not automatically follow that the person would be a "natural born" citizen. It would depend on the year the person was born, whether the mother or father (or both) was the American citizen, and whether the child was born in or out of wedlock. Based on this combination of factors, the parent would then have to meet certain requirements to transmit citizenship. If those transmission requirements were met, then the person would be considered a citizen and issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. At this point, I don't think a court has definitely decided whether a citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen within the meaning of the Constitution, and therefore eligible for the presidency.

That said, again, I only wanted to point this out to appeal to your lawyer's sense! I completely agree with your post.

My husband has gotten me very interested in the "skeptic's" movement, which skoffs at creationism and the Birthers, so I'm with you 100%!