Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Obama Birth Certificate Brouhaha

The Guardian today had an article revealing the controversy in the States over Obama's birth certificate, conducted with typical liberal put-down tongue in cheek, and ending on the note that it has all been inspired by racism. Having done some investigation into this matter, I felt compelled to add my two cents' worth. Not that I hold out much hope that the Guardian will print my letter to their editor. So here it is.

"Dear Editor,

"The president of MSNBC is quoted as saying that the issue about Barack Obama's birth certificate is "racist" (Born-again right puts focus on Obama's birth certificate, 29 July). This is too facile a response. The matter is much more substantial than that.

"The matter first had to be addressed in more detail because it turned out that the document carried on the Obama camp's website was in point of fact not a copy of his original, vault-copy birth certificate - as the McCain camp provided for their candidate - but only a 'Certification of Live Birth' that the state of Hawaii issued for any child whose parents had been resident in the state for a year prior to the birth, regardless of where the child was actually born. This information coincided with reports on YouTube that his paternal grandmother said she was present at his birth in a hospital in Kenya. The Hawaiian state health director then issued a statement that, far from clearing the matter up, was ambiguous, further creating suspicion. This was exacerbated as well by the facts that Obama still refused (a) to let his original, vault-copy bc be released, and (b) to let his college application records be reviewed, as to how he presented himself for enrolment and financial support.

"Obama could have cleared this whole thing up long ago by authorizing release of his original bc. He refused to. This is not a witchhunt. This is a legitimate request for clarity on the matter.

"As for the Hawaiian state health director's recent statement: Many US citizens will no longer accept to buy a pig in a poke, with or without lipstick. It's time for Obama and his advisers to realise that the citizenry deserve total transparency in this matter. Or the poison will undermine his presidency, and his stated desire to bring about real change. Rather, it smacks of politics as usual. Not a good start.

"Yours sincerely," etc.

Perhaps the issue isn't clear enough to non-Americans. The Constitution of the US is very clear on it: that a candidate for the office of the president must be a natural born citizen, ie, of at least one US citizen on US soil. Indeed, Sen. McCain's candidacy was also up for question, because although he was born of two US parents, he was not born in the continental US, or on US soil. His case was that he was born in a US military base in the Panama Canal, and so that counted as at least de facto American soil. However, it turned out that he was not in fact born on the base - even if that argument could have passed constitutional muster - but in a hospital in Panama City. However as well, that issue became moot when he lost the election.

Back to Obama's case. It is a very murky matter. I didn't have space in my letter to mention other aspects: the age (read: underage) of his mother at his birth, with a British-Kenyan citizen for a father; his mother's subsequent marriage to an Indonesian citizen, where dual citizenship is not recognised, thus he must have become a citizen of that country and lost his purported US citizenship; what his passport gave as his citizenship when he traveled to Pakistan; and the fact that two different hospitals in Honolulu have been given as his place of birth, including by his half-sister from his mother's marriage to the Indonesian. What, in short, is going on here?

And incidentally, the first comment by the Hawaiian state health director, which I referred to as "ambiguous", was even more than that. With all the rumours and theories going around at the time, and total transparency being clearly called for, it was just plain outright slippery. She said that she and a colleague had looked at Obama's hospital record, and could verify that the Hawaii State Department of Health "has [his] original birth certificate on record, in accordance with state policies and procedures". Full stop.

Say what? And? And.......??


And American citizens continue to be outraged by all this stonewalling. Citizens, who have to pony up certified copies of their true birth certificates to get a passport and so forth - what makes Obama think that he's any better than anybody else. Etc etc.

It's not only a major public relations disaster on his part. It's quite possibly a cover-up of the real facts. Which won't be known, until he consents to have his original, long-form bc released. If it still exists. Untouched.

There's more, than even most of those who have been following this saga closely know about. It turns out that his background in Illinois, before he started his political rise, has some murky aspects to it as well. To do with his time at a law firm called Sidley Austin. Where he met his subsequent wife. Who has some very murky aspects to her story as well. To do with things like the alternative picture for America of the Weather Underground, and computer technology gaining a cabal of people access to various secure sites, including airplanes engineered into flying bombs, and the capability to issue passports to selected people, like hired assassins, and to intriguing characters like one Barry Soetoro. Who needed help in cleaning up his US passport act....

What a tangled web people weave, when first they think to deceive. Or something like that.....

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Old and The New Paradigms

People have been seeing green shoots lately, here and there, of a return of economic activity in the current paradigm. (Though sometimes one has to look quickly, because they are often overwhelmed by new information and activity.) I have seen some interesting green shoots heralding the new - or at least, the willingness to look at something new.

Item. In the 27 June edition of the Scottish paper we take here at my home base in the international spiritual community where I live (the Findhorn Foundation), there was a Comment column entitled 'The sun is setting on our economic system'. The article, by two academics running a body called the Sustainable Development Commission, dealt insightfully with the idea that: "We need new solutions to the global crisis, ones that will not repeat the errors of the past. Scotland can still flourish," continued the sub-head, "but only if we build a sustainable future." The gist of the article was that there was a need now to redefine 'prosperity' - "in line with evidence about what contributes to people's wellbeing." The article concluded: "The possibility that Scotland can flourish, and at the same time consume less, is an intriguing one. It would be foolish to think that it will be easy to achieve. But it should not be given up lightly. It offers the best prospect we have for lasting prosperity."
Easy for academics to ponder and pontificate on, one might be tempted to respond. But it is very hard to deny their fundamental premise: that "this crisis is a symptom of a more fundamental problem" [than the blind pursuit of economic growth which "has been the single most important policy goal across the world"]. "The solution to the recession, we are told, is taking whatever action is required to get economic growth back into action. Today, however, we face different problems than in past recessions and we need a different solution." There are new things under the sun: "The current global recession, a widening gap between rich and poor, and a growing environmental crisis make this the time to forge a new economic system." Indeed, professors Tim Jackson and Jan Beggington; well articulated, and spotted, and amplified on in a new report from their 'commission' titled Prosperity Without Growth?

And the second green shoot in this direction sprouted right afterwards, in the national newspaper we take called the Guardian, in a Comment article on 29 June by one of their regular columnists, Madeleine Bunting; that green shoot headed 'Market dogma is exposed as myth. Where is the new vision to unite us?' The sub-head said it succinctly: "With religion outmoded and society fragmented, it will require a different kind of moral narrative to inspire change." I won't go into the article in detail; but I can, and do, recommend it highly. It is a reflection on a recent lecture in the UK by American political philosopher Michael Sandel, who posited that "It's the end of the era of market triumphalism." What is to take its place? Ah, that is the question, that Madeleine mulls magnificently. And to which I contributed a comment, on its online site thread. To wit:

"Interesting subject and thoughts on it, Madeleine; thanks.

"It feels to me as though great Crisis is bringing with it great Opportunity. And let's look at the timing of that latter. It has come at a time of nicely advanced technology, and a sense of our global interdepedence, with "affairs now soul size", as the playwright put it. So let's think big - and to say, global - to move on through this white water stage of those affairs.

"Some such thoughts. (1) The people - with their level of consciousness - who got us into this messy stage of our development on this planet are not the ones to get us out of it. (2) We are currently limited in our responses by our slavish regard for a particular social tool: interest-bearing money. It is not a necessary incentive to activity, when people have another incentive. Another I can think of can be described as 'doing not for the fruit but for the sake' - ie, out of an overriding belief in the communal value of such doing, and the value of living one's life from a place of service to others. Yes, things can be accomplished by a primary attitude of service to self; but that's not the high road on one's spiritual evolution.

"Which takes us to (3) the key to all this. Simply put: The universe has purpose, and that purpose is Good. And once we accept that reality, we can do magnificently, in harmony with our material wherewithal on this plane of existence.

"As to the first part of this proposition: I would consider such proofs as the well-investigated realities of reincarnation, precognition, and out-of-body experiences (OOBEs). All of which lends to the point of plan and purpose. As to the latter part: Not only have we confronted ourselves with ecological Crisis - and so the invocation of Necessity - but we have the technology to surmount the matter. In various forms, including what are called free energy devices, and robotics, and such.

"We have the means to move into the new. All we are lacking is the will. And the imagination, to see it, for what it is. And for what it is not: an Opportunity for a few to rule the many. Well; there is that opportunity. But I have faith in The People to carry this one off. Because we're not talking about human intervention. We're talking about that part of us that will, and is, responding to The Time.

"The People and The Time: a winning combination. And by living our lives from the inside out, we'll make it happen.

"Maybe just barely. But that's where faith comes into this picture, of our current reality on mother Earth."

In concluding her article, Madeleine referred to the "paralyzing" grand narrative facing humanity of environmental catastrophe, and named the "terrifying" spectre "of a world rapidly running out of the natural resources required to sustain extravagant lifestyles and [a] burgeoning population "; a prospect that "disables rather than empowers us to achieve political change". But a couple of points in that legitimate regard. (1) 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' - a restatement of my point above, about how great Crisis presents great Opportunity. Things often have to get really bad before they can get better - and here we are. (2) And here we are with the technology to be able to handle the challenge, with alternatives to nonrenewable resources and such. And, with the basic ability to create enough for all - in a sustainable way, and mindset - the population factor can take care of itself. Families have many children primarily as a reflection of economic insufficiency, including unhealthy standards of living - to ensure enough of their offspring survive to support them in their old age. This is a symptom, that will disappear when the condition disappears. And yes, other families have large families for other reasons, particularly religious ones. But we are talking about, primarily, a post-religious age, and moving into a spiritual age: living our lives in harmony with nature and our essential Nature - in gratitude to our Creator FOR life, and meaningful purpose TO it; as I touched on in my post to Ms Bunting's article.

Which is why people will give of their best, in this post-kindergarten age aborning.

As for the sarcastic, and malcontent, and lazy; I have a message:

Sit back and watch, if you want. The rest of us have work to do. the Great Work, as it were. And is. Now upon us, TO do.

As to the inherent idea in my post to Ms Bunting's article that there is something more than Man and his brain at work - which we can call, for the lack of a better word, Mind - I would draw to the attention of skeptics the work of such as Dr. Harold S. Burr, of Yale Medical School, summarized in his book 'Blueprint for Immortality', wherein he makes an impressive case for an electrodynamic field surrounding all living things - which he called the L-field - and determining what takes place within it; not the other way around. So that we are talking about a case for the proposition that Essence comes before Existence.

But that can be the subject of another blog. For now, let me hark back to the two articles which occasioned this thread of thought of mine; to commend them to your attention, and leave you with an appreciation, hopefully enhanced, of the time in which we live. A First Time, for something new under the sun, of global proportions. Let's catch this wave at its peak. And enjoy the ride.

And I assure you, I'm not talking about the Novus Ordo Seclorum of the New World Order crowd. That is an attempt by Man to place Himself on the throne, of life on Earth. That vision is, simply, an inferior one to the one made in Heaven. For the lack of a better word for what I'm talking about.

It's close enough.