Monday, August 10, 2009


Socialist Muslim time travelers determined to destroy America in 2009 traveled back to 1961 to place this announcment in the Honolulu Advertiser.

One of my favorite movies- I watch it almost every time it shows up on television- is the 1997 satirical thriller "Conspiracy Theory," starring Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, and Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of the Star Trek Next Generation series, but this time playing a shady government bad guy). The movie can be watched as a straight thriller, as an inside joke for the cognoscenti who enjoy poking fun at the conspiracy nuts who have permeated American history since the founding fathers were linked to the secret society of Free Masons, or a little bit of both.

There was one moment in the movie- I remember laughing out loud in the theater- when Mel Gibson is in New York City trying to escape from the net of mysterious agents sent to capture him after he compulsively buys a copy of "Catcher in the Rye" (apparently a book beloved by psychotic American assassins), and black helicopters on "silent mode" hover over the streets as dark clothed commandos rappel down ropes. That scene was ripped straight from the lunatic writings of the radical right wingers who fervently believed that there were coded messages on telephone poles in America intended to guide nefarious United Nations black helicopters filled with foreign troops sent to take over our country.

Conspiracies have been blamed for everything from putting flouride in our drinking water (in the 1950's the John Birchers thought it was a Communist plot to control our minds), to the Kennedy assassination (that one at least has rational people making the arguments, based on evidence), to the 9-11 attacks (take your pick- either the Israeli Mossad planted bombs in the twin towers to turn America against the Muslim Middle East, or the Bush Administration did it to obtain dictatorial powers and gin up the war machine).

So the latest craze- an apt term, considering who's behind it- comes from a group called the "birthers" who deny that President Barack Obama is the legitimate president because he wasn't born in America. They claim he wasn't born in Hawaii, and go into a frenzy when sane humans refer to his Hawaiin birth certificate. Never mind the facts- which are never convenient to any conspiracy nut, and can always be explained away using the "my eyes are closed, I can't see you, so you don't exist" theory of logical analysis. It doesn't matter to them that both daily Honolulu newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin, ran a birth announcement of Barack Obama's birth on August 4, 1961.

For those conspiracy theorists who posit that the conspiracy started on that date, I assume that they also believe in time travelers who figured out that this particular baby was going to grow up and be president. Presumably the time travelers headed back to 1961 and posted fake birth announcements to give a chance at the nation's highest office that the Kenyan (or Australian, or Indonesian) born infant would have been denied by the literal words of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution:

"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."

So long as the "birthers" don't bring guns to the argument, they are pretty much harmless. And they are valuable for revealing those holding positions public office or well paid pundits (I'm talking about you, Lou Dobbs) whose brains aren't exactly firing on all cylinders, or who are just plain demagogues willing to use lies to build up their own careers. The one disservice the Birthers have performed is that they have distracted from real and legitimate criticism of policies of the Obama Administration, which include continuation of Bush policies in Iraq, ratcheting up the war in Afghanistan, failing to prosecute war criminals as required by both American law and international treaties, and an ineptly constructed and poorly marketed health care reform bill.

But hey, so long as they provide grist for Jon Stewart's Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher, I'll enjoy the well deserved mocking their lunacy has earned.


Post a Comment

<< Home