Only In America

I’m exaggerating. It’d be de rigeur for any dictatorship worthy of the name. But the latest Executive Order of President Barack Hussein Obama, National Defense Resources Preparedness, signed last Friday with virtually no fanfare at all, is gob-smacking in its scope and abandonment of all pretence of congressional democracy. Go have a read.

Here’s a sample:

The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

Under this decree, which revokes similar but weaker executive orders issued by Presidents Reagan (1988) and Clinton (1994), and is a tremendous expansion of the powers granted under the 1950 Defense Production Act—written at a time when the United States was under imminent threat of communist infiltration from within, and nuclear attack from without, and considered excessive even then—Obama can simply bypass Congress, at his whim, to commandeer, as you can see above, pretty much everything in the country; grant power of subpoena to Cabinet Secretaries to afford compulsion of these directives; require contractors to work for the government, without compensation, and then legally bar them from suing for compensation afterwards.

Worse, these provisions can be enacted by the president without a formal congressional Declaration of War; in other words, at any time the president deems, at his sole discretion, the situation to be an emergency. In other words, at whim.

The blogosphere is going nuts, BTW; check out a few reactions here, here, here and even here.

Why now? The United States does not face any imminent prospect of war (beyond the regional skirmishes in which it is currently mired). We know there’s no prospect of imminent economic catastrophe—Obama told us so himself, right? So why, at this time, is he massively beefing up a national security law enacted over sixty years ago, in a time of genuine crisis? What is he anticipating? There is simply no way, at all, that his spin doctors can credibly dismiss this presidential order as a mere updating of an antiquated piece of legislation, or any similar excuse (such as Iran threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz). If such were the case, then why not propose legislation in Congress, in the normal, democratic, American manner? Why by presidential decree? What’s the urgency?

I made the point back here a few months ago; but the current presidential decree appears to be lifted—almost word for word—from a 1957 work of fiction I would have bet my house Obama had never even read. This is martial law, enacted in peacetime. And it holds the government unaccountable, blameless, and above the law:

This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 16, 2012.

Bloody hell.

This entry was posted in United States of America. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Only In America

  1. Kitler says:

    Actually an emergency is coming and it’s going to be a biggie the only thing is all we know it’s going to be in the next few years, our glorious leaders have built underground bunkers to escape it and they are trying to make sure as few us left on the surface can challenge them when they emerge.
    You may think I’m crazy but I wish i knew what it was. It’s why they are trying to ban food hording and trying to stop anyone from preparing for the worst except themselves.

  2. farmerbraun says:

    Well we do have an official denial of an imminent economic catastrophe: never believe anything until it has been officially denied.
    But you’re right Kitler: the only thing that the powers- that- be have to fear is us. I’d be scared too!

  3. Kitler says:

    farmerbraun I scare people all the time even some really very scary people I just look mean but I’m really a big teddy bear at heart except when I get angry, something to do with exposure to gamma rays or was it a TSA scanner.
    Anyhow my guess is they are planning WW3 to eliminate the national debt which makes perfect sense if you are rich and a sociopath like our leaders.

  4. izen says:

    Is it possible this is a preemptive work-around preparing for the possible governance stagnation if Congress and the Senate go completely GOP?

    Who knows? I’ve alerted GE. Whatever the reason is, I have the feeling we’re going to find it out very soon – Oz

  5. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    I’m not sure what to make of all this. Several rather conservative blogs are dismissing it as no big deal. Others are invoking all sorts of nefarious motives and conspiracy theories. The biggest change appears to be that they incorporated the DHS into the plan. But there were some other subtle changes to the wording. The whole thing reeks of unconstitutional application or martial law at the President’s discretion. It’s hard to argue that we should have an emergency preparedness plan. My concern is who defines an emergency and when to institute the plan. Large hurricanes and earthquakes are certainly emergencies, yet we’ve never needed martial law to address them. Detonation of a nuke in a large city would certainly constitute an emergency and may warrant temporary implementation of martial law. But what about civil unrest? Would widespread rioting a month before the election be sufficient excuse to impose martial law? Obama also has a “kill switch” for all radio and TV broadcasts. He wants one for the internet, too…in the event of an “emergency.”

    This is interesting:
    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/white-house-calls-executive-order-standard-and-routine-after-web-eruption

    Well, that goes back to my point: if this is just routine, no big deal, then a) why weren’t existing national emergency provisions sufficient, b) if they were insufficient, then why not just propose legislation in Congress, instead of a presidential decree (which is more open to challenge), and c) why right now? – Oz

  6. A… The captain of the ship is worried about something, and has introduced emergency type measures.
    B…. the captain of the ship has not explained what is worrying him, to the passengers on the ship.
    C….Move casually towards the nearest lifeboat, don’t draw attention to yourself, make sure you have a life vest and anything useful for survival.

  7. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    It gives me pause to consider this when even the Heritage Foundation is basically backing Obama up on this. Apparently the existing national emergency provisions were not adequate as they did not incorporate the Department of Homeland Security. Is SHOULD have been proposed as legislation in Congress but Obama has been on an Executive Order bender lately. He has proudly stated that he intends to push as much of his agenda through independent of Congress as possible. So maybe it’s an ego thing, I don’t know. It certainly seems unnecessary. Perhaps Obama feared that Republicans in the House would want to define “emergency.”

    Presidential Executive Orders are interesting things and I believe this was discussed in an article here some time back. The carry the weight of law yet are not actual laws. They can be overturned by Congress and are much easier to challenge in court than an actual law. They can be struck down with the stroke of a pen by a subsequent president or they can be utterly ignored by a sitting president. Let me give two examples. Fifty years ago JFK signed an executive order which allowed government workers to unionize. Even FDR opposed this absurd idea. Nixon should have reversed it but he desperately wanted to be loved by the Democrats and the MSM. Instead he gave them OSHA and the EPA – and the Democrats and the MSM still hated him. Ford, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and G.W. Bush all had the opportunity to rescind JFK’s Executive order but by that time the public sector unions had grown to be a formidable voting bloc invested in their own self-interests. But I can’t think of a better Executive order to rescind. Public sector unions essentially bargain against the interests of the taxpaying pubic…not “management.” This stupid (and it is stupid) Executive order by JFK has survived for half a century.

    Now let’s look at one of Obama’s Executive orders. In the heated fight to squeeze the odious ObamaCare bill through Congress two years ago there was a little cadre of about 13 pro-life Democrats who refused to vote for the bill unless it specifically prohibited the use of federal money to fund abortion. Pelosi never would have been able to get the bill through the House without those 13 votes. Obama cut a deal. He signed an Executive order stating that no federal monies shall be used to fund abortion. This bought the votes necessary to pass the abominable legislation (by a very narrow margin). The Executive order wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. For one thing the ObamaCare bill specifically mandated abortion coverage and once signed into law, an actual law trumps any Executive order. Since March 2010 the Obama administration has simply ignored the Executive order Obama himself signed. The Obama administration continues to pour million sand million of dollars into Planned Parenthood. His most recent decree that private health insurers must provide contraceptives, surgical sterilization and abortifacient drugs free of charge underscores his blatant duplicity.

    As for your question “why now?”…well, that’s the $64,000 question. It certainly is fodder for a host of conspiracy theories and wild speculation. At the same time it may, indeed, be nothing of great consequence. I don’t know.

    Neither do I. Neither does anyone. And the lack of consultation or any public discussion preceding it makes it even more suspicious, whatever the Heritage Foundation might say. IMHO, this is a shockingly anti-Libertarian document, and I would recommend everyone, particularly Americans, to plough through its ponderous legalese and see for themselves exactly what it entails. They may also pause to reflect on Benjamin Franklin’s dictum:

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    It gets even worse. I’m not an American, but I wouldn’t mind betting Dave the Knaves’ Slave over in Britain, and Julia the Red down here, and all their totalitarian minions, are salivating all over themselves as they watch how this plays out with an eager eye. It’s actually more difficult under the Westminster system to implement the sort of thing proposed by Obama – in peacetime anyway, and without a “unity cabinet” that a wartime government entails. But I’ll bet they’d love to give it a try – Oz

  8. izen says:

    Okay, this is totally of topic but has afforded me much pleasure and amusement.
    It looks like a Libertarian type site with similar aims and interests to LG. But the style just propels it into the realms of farce… Nobody but it’s accolites could take it seriously.
    As others here will know I enjoy employing an extreme level of pomposity and pretentiousness, but with snark and irony. Really? Never! – Oz At first I suspected this was a pastiche or parody, but it seems to be genuine, with the Australian climate-sceptic party member Chris Dawson involved.
    However here is writing at a level of polemical fecundity, probably from the mad Monckton, that I can only dream of approaching!
    Nine rhetorical question in one paragraph! Wonderful stuff -grin-

    http://lordmoncktonfoundation.com/vision

    “Is science dead? Must reason fail? Shall objectivity be slaughtered again on the pagan altar of mere ideology? Is life now objectionable, liberty deplorable, the pursuit of happiness a crime? Has the nation had its day? Is the globalization of governance really a public good? Can democracy survive it? Should not the use of the ballot-box be extended? Should not every supranational and global institution of governance be elected? The Foundation exists to illuminate questions such as these, and to inspire devotion to the cause of Western civilization, true reason, sound science, universal liberty and worldwide democracy in the hearts of all men of goodwill. Let freedom ring! ”

    Monckton’s a showman, we all know that. He’s really good value live. Perhaps this Australian website (fan site? I’m not clear) is aiming to replicate something of his style; obviously though, nothing compares to the genuine article.

    Behind the vaudeville and verbiage there’s substance, though. From the same page:

    The Vision below encapsulates a response to the questions:

    How can we ensure our western, rational, scientific and democratic traditions are lovingly and properly nurtured?
    How can we ensure evidence based public public policy is actually practised by the governing classes?
    Education of students and the public, in history and logic, and the application of the scientific method, is a start.

    Not too much wrong with that – Oz

    Incidentally Izen, mucho congratulations on posting LibertyGibbert’s 18,000th comment. And they said it wouldn’t last :lol:

  9. Ozboy says:

    This site and clip discuss it in detail (H/T Webferret)

  10. Amanda says:

    Congratulations, Oz, on keeping up such a wonderful website and community. We all appreciate it.

    You’re one of the reasons it is. Thank you – Oz

  11. Kitler says:

    Maybe this is what they passed the legislation for…

  12. meltemian says:

    Congratulations Oz’, and well timed izen!
    Sorry I’m not around as much as usual at the moment – Spring’s well and truly here and we’re rushing about trying to get everything in order for the start of the holiday season. We’re at the “if it doesn’t move paint it” stage at the moment!! Hacking at the undergrowth comes next, it’s hurling itself out of the ground as fast as we cut it back.
    “Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible” as the BBC would say.

    I promise I WILL get round to looking into this subject when I get a minute – looks dodgy to me.

  13. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    “How can we ensure our western, rational, scientific and democratic traditions are lovingly and properly nurtured?
    How can we ensure evidence based public public policy is actually practised by the governing classes?
    Education of students and the public, in history and logic, and the application of the scientific method, is a start.
    Not too much wrong with that – Oz”

    Nothing wrong at all with the principles expressed. It’s the yawning abyss between the aspiration and the reality that is the problem there.

    Kilter highlights the contradiction with the link/reference to the latest ‘Birther’ nonsense. Education in history and logic would inform any person without some deep dogmatic inability to accept reality to recognise that Obama was born of a resident American citizen and is consequently an American citizen. Quite apart from the farcical idea that a young female student, pregnant from a liaison with a foreign student at a collage in Hawaii, would devise a complex conspiracy to ensure that her child was an American citizen born in Hawaii when there is no credible alternative scenario which would prevent her child being a citizen, or any evidence she traveled outside the US or gave birth elsewhere.
    Logic and evidence based methodology do not seem to be much in evidence in denying the standard narrative.

    Or is there some further conspiracy that has Obama as other than the genetic offspring of Dunham/Obama?
    An illegal alien smuggled in and substituted for the child Ann Dunham/Obama actually gave birth to?!

    As far as I can see Birthers are on a par with 9/11Truthers and the ‘Moon landings were faked’ crowd.
    Logic and scientific method would seem to be observed far more in the breach by such groups. The fact they spout the ‘right’ rhetoric clearly doesn’t mean they follow it! Close association with such fringe idiocy can only reflect badly on others who DO try and follow those principles.

    I suppose it goes without saying…. But I will point it out anyway, Monckton is a Birther….

  14. izen says:

    Sorry, I was referring to KITLER and his link to the sheriff Joe Tons stuff, I will have to find out how to turn off auto-correction on the iPad, it retroactively ‘corrects’ spelling and substitutes alternate words, so now I get no spelling errors… Just the wrong bloody word! -grin-

    I think Izen-spelling is preferable, as it is the invariable accompaniment to Izen-meaning.

    I’m out on the road today, though I may get the chance to stick my head in later; drinks are on the house while I’m gone – Oz

  15. Dr. Dave says:

    izen,

    Sadly it is apparent that even the mighty iPad can’t compensate for misinformed idiocy. I don’t doubt that Obama was almost certainly born somewhere within the US as the likelihood that he was born outside the US is slim to none. That is not the issue. We have three types of citizenship in the US; natural born citizen, native born citizen and naturalized citizen. The Founders specifically noted in the Constitution that only natural born citizens may hold the office of President or Vice President. Unfortunately, they neglected to specifically define “natural born citizen” and probably because they thought it was obvious and based on long established English and French precedent. It is discussed in many of the documents that led to the drafting of the Constitution but not specifically defined in the Constitution itself. A “natural born citizen” is someone born on American soil to two citizen parents. This was actually codified by various Supreme Court rulings in the early to mid 19th century.. A “native born citizen” is someone born on US soil but not necessarily to two US citizen parents. A “naturalized citizen” is a foreign born individual who becomes a US citizen. Kitler, for example, could become a naturalized citizen but could never become President (even if he could pass the punctuation test).

    So here’s the rub. Barack Obama Sr. was (an already married) Kenyan national and therefore a British subject at the time of Obama’s whelping. Obama’s mother was indeed a an American citizen, but at the time of Obama’s birth she was legally a minor and could not legally confer her own citizenship on little Barry even if she didn’t know who the father was (which is entirely likely). So young baby Obama’s “citizenship” was at the time of his birth defined by his father’s citizenship (i.e. British subject). This alone renders him ineligible to hold the office of President. But wait…there’s more. When little Barry was shipped off to Indonesia he was defined as an Indonesian citizen. There is no evidence that he was ever repatriated upon his return to Hawaii.

    There all sorts of other interesting incongruencies. The birth certificate Obama released has been shown to be obviously faked. The same is true for his Selective Service registration. He has a Social Security number issued from Connecticut but there is no evidence that he ever lived in Connecticut. Further, Obama has spent millions keeping all documentation of his past under lock and key. This is utterly unprecedented for modern US Presidents. They have all been “open books” since Eisenhower. We can all (quite accurately) assume that Obama is our first Affirmative Action President, but he’s not our first illegitimate President. President Chester Arthur was not a natural born citizen. Not only was his father an Irish citizen at the time of his birth, but there is reason to believe he was born in Canada just 20 miles north of the US border. In the years following Arthur’s presidency the outrage was not that he may have been born in Canada but rather that his father was not a US citizen, thereby rendering him ineligible.

    I don’t know about the UK but I would be willing to bet that there would be almost no chance of a UK subject ascending to the position of PM if their parents were not both British subjects. I’m astounded by Australia. How can they allow a Welsh born communist to be PM?

    So, izen, the “birthers” are NOT crazy fanatics. They’re constitutionalists and for good reason. They have nothing in common with the odious 9/11 thuthers. What is interesting is how this story has been covered (or rather, not covered) in the American press. It’s really strange. The conservative talking heads virtually ignored the birther story as if it were toxic. The same can be said for Obama’s recent Presidential decree. This has been REALLY strange. Big talkers like Limbaugh and Hannity have utterly ignored Obama’s martial law directive. As far as I know only Mark Levin gave it about 30 minutes of coverage on Monday. Most of the sites I visit daily have acted like it never happened. That doesn’t mean something very bad has already happened. Hell, even Beck shyied away from the birther controversy.

  16. izen says:

    Birthers are not toxic, just stupid. It’s a non-issue WHATEVER the ‘truth’ of the matter.
    It is as much a bit of irrelevant partisan, crank sniping as it was for Chester A Arthur.

    Executive orders look like a basic loophole system to enable stuff to be done without strict governmental legitimation – only when circumstances makes it unavoidable of course!!!
    Unions for public workers is bowing to inevitable.
    Interning the Japanese during WWII was bowing to … Patriotic bigotry?
    Not sure what forces of inevitability or public opinion could trigger the recent executive order to enable its application in a socially toxic manner.

  17. Dr. Dave says:

    The “birther” argument (“birther being a rather obtuse pejorative) is not “stupid” but given that you are a European socialist whose country has ceded its national sovereignty to a bunch of unelected bureaucrat collectivists in Brussels, I suppose you can be forgiven for harboring such wildly inaccurate perceptions. Oddly, with the exception of the far political left (i.e. Obama supporters), most Americans take the Constitution seriously. Legal eligibility for office is one of those issues. I remained totally oblivious to this issue in 2008. I was either totally involved in work or was sick (and subsequently hospitalized). I was unaware of the controversy until after Obama was elected and I was home recuperating and spending time reading blogs. The MSM completely blacked out any coverage of the issue. The question of eligibility was a very real and valid concern but it was utterly buried or marginalized by a complicit left-wing media. By the time Obama was elected the issue was deemed “stupid” and “irrelevant” by the MSM. Shut up, move along, nothing to see here. The thing is…this issue is NOT irrelevant. Obama is the most non-American American President this country has ever had.

    Please don’t throw up our treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII. By the way, Canada did the same thing…another country under the British crown. Don’t believe me? Ask David Suzuki. Hell, he is STILL pissed about it! This all happened before either of us were even born. I’m more concerned with the here and now…and tomorrow. I sincerely don’t want my country to turn into the feckless EU. Fine for you, perhaps – but not for me.

  18. Kitler says:

    Dr Dave who needs to President when they will make me Emperor of the USA, as for PM’s remember they are not the head of state they are merely the leader of the party in power at the time and have to be a sitting MP the equivalent of a Congressman. Merely the first among equals they report nominally to a Monarch or President. In the case of the UK we have Dave “honest he’s not gay” Cameron and the only caveat is he can not be a Catholic nor can the Monarch be for sound historical reasons.
    The colony of Maryland was formed for the settlement by catholic subjects of the monarch who wished to get away from oppression back in the UK but not have to associate with damnable religious nutters the puritans.

    Interestingly, Tony Blair converted to Catholicism just a few weeks after he left office. I’m sure there’s some conspiracy wrapped up in that somewhere, in a dungeon with chains and rats and stuff – Oz :-D

  19. Dr. Dave says:

    Kitler,

    If they ever name you Emperor of the US, please throw me a bone and name me a Tribune or something. You know, just a position where I would have enough political power to negate the actions of lesser functionaries and make their lives miserable.

    I had forgotten all about the anti-Catholic thing in UK politics. This should be interesting in the upcoming election here in the US. Santorum and Gingrich are both Catholic and Romney is a Morman. Obama is about half Muslim and half Black Liberation Theology. Even our Supreme Court has an interesting make up – 3 Jews and 6 Catholics. Interesting times in the months ahead. The SCOTUS starts hearing the case against ObamaCare this month.

  20. Kitler says:

    Dr Dave you shall be tribune in charge of making lesser functionaries miserable and in charge of punctuation.
    Actually I find hose numbers odd for the SCOTUS have they not heard of affirmative action? Definitely a court challenge there. Oh and according to Muslim belief Obummer is ALL Muslim or he’s in serious trouble (their rules not mine).
    One thing I did find out is that someone is predicting recession pt2 which will last 7 years better hunker down. Now here’s what I got sent so view and form your own opinion…
    http://www.lombardidigital.com/lcpa-sept26/index_ca.php?sb=TPN&sdate=03222012&utm_source=Lombardi%20-%201&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2767
    I don’t know but it makes sense.

  21. Kitler says:

    Oh ignore the sales pitch towards the end it’s recession part 2 that is the issue.

    He lost me at the hard sell: “yours free… yours free… yours free… if you’ll just let me e-mail you for 200 bucks a year” – Oz

  22. izen says:

    Dr Dave
    I know many Americans take the constitution seriously and give it the respect it deserves as one of the best human expositions of a methodology of governance. Some go further and ascribe to it the same sort of absolute textual infallibility that Biblical literalists and the Islamic faith grant to their sacred writings.
    It did not stop the US from having governance by a form of feudal patronage rather than a democratic metritocracy for a long time in many areas. The political machine in Chicago lasted until the 60s I think.

    If there had been any valid doubt about the American-ness or eligibility for public office it would have gained enough traction to obstruct Obama long BEFORE he got to be elected POTUS. The objection comes down to quibbles over whether a woman who is old enough to go to University, marry and have a child is old enough to confer her national citizenship on her child. It is a highly ambiguous issue that in reality had been effectively decided long before he stood for President, and is definitively decided by the fact he won.
    Raising the issue AFTER the fact reveals an inability to accept reality just because it contradicts ones personal preferences. As with the Biblical literalists and the Quoranic fundamentalists the TEXT is scoured and interpreted with the filter of confirmation bias turned up high.
    And that is why it is stupid.

    I was using the Japanese internment as ana example of what is possible with executive orders when circumstances and public opinion conspire to undermine traditional checks and balances on political power. The same sort of excesses were committed by the British, with similar self-damage. European refugees were interned by suspicious British authorities that were actually, and subsequently, very useful allies against the third reich. Emergency special orders and powers were ‘granted’ without any parliamentary authority.

    Your fears that the US could turn into a version of the EU are groundless. The historical background and traditions are very different. The EU is an attempt to manage the inevitable as the continent, despite its distinct states and languages, becomes a single trading system. The political unification is being dragged {kicking and screaming in the case of the UK!} behind this business integration. The pattern of social, political and economic unification of America has been very different. There is no danger it can backtrack in some areas of politics where it is ahead of the EU.

    What is inevitable is that as the interaction of all the various industrial and political power blocks globally increases, the common aspects of their individual institutions and laws will converge and increase. Capitalism favours the evolution of efficient mutual interaction. Business globalisation imposes common methodologies on commerce, political commonalities are dragged along in the wake of that.

  23. Kitler says:

    Ozboy that’s how they get you in the USA they will offer something free like guest speakers thats how I saw Jerry Lewis (comedian) and Rudy Giuliani (ex mayor of NYC so possibly also a comedian) on the same bill together then after all the good speakers we go the sales pitch. However they do have a curious definition of the word free here. It’s the coming financial meltdown which is a big possibility, personally invest in guns, ammo and horde supplies, toilet paper could be worth more than it’s weight in gold.

    Oh, I don’t disagree with his thesis at all. In fact, it’s pretty bleeding obvious, though it’s a bit rich for him to suggest he’s the only one who saw it coming – Oz

  24. Ozboy says:

    Should I weigh in on this “birther” issue? Probably not. But my two cents’ worth anyway:

    I don’t understand why Americans in 2012 are so hung up on this “natural-born citizen” business when it comes to being President, yet it’s perfectly OK to be born elsewhere for eligibility to just about any other office in the land. I mean, to take an obvious example, what about the warrant officer who reputedly tags along behind the President everywhere he goes 24/7, carrying the briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes? Just about the most crucial job there is, yet there’s no requirement that he is a natural-born citizen. Look at people like Arnie the Governator – a prouder American you won’t find. I doubt even his biggest critics would accuse him of being an Austrian spy (though a healthy dose of Austrian economics might have spared California from becoming the basket case it is today). I can see (kind of) why it made sense in 1776; but today? Perhaps Dave could elaborate.

    It’s not such a big deal elsewhere in the West; Julia the Red has many faults, but her being a Ten Pound Pom isn’t one of them. Tony Abbott was born in London to two expat Australian parents, returning Down Under when he was three years old. Should his place of birth exclude him from the highest elected office in the land? I think all sides of politics down here would at least agree on that point.

    So what about Obama? It’s almost certain he was born in Hawaii in 1961, two years after it was admitted as the 50th State of the Union. It’s equally certain his father (or at any rate, the man listed as such on his birth certificate and who bequeathed him his name) was a British subject at the time, as well as being simultaneously married to another woman in Africa, and his mother was legally a minor, as well as having a most curious career for a mother of a future American president. Both parents were active socialists. As Dave notes above, the status of his parents effectively means he is not a “natural-born citizen”, irrespective of the whole birth certificate issue. However, none of this is Obama’s fault, and it would be wise to remember that we don’t choose our parents, nor the circumstances of our birth. It would have been better if he had come clean about all this right from the start; had he done so, the most conservative voter could hardly have held it against him, though it may have barred him from running for president. Was being a state senator, federal senator or perhaps Governor of Illinois, not a sufficiently lofty ambition? Apparently.

    IMHO, far more concerning than the whole birth issue is the mystery shrouding his early adult life – something he could control. The fact that he doesn’t appear in the Columbia University 1983 yearbook, that none of that graduating year can remember him and his academic records – or lack thereof – are sealed tighter than Fort Knox. The exhaustive Wiki article on his early life compresses these years into just two terse sentences. From there, he was recruited directly into Business International Corporation (well-known as a CIA front company), where he spent a year of his life, similarly ill-documented. Then there is the small matter of a certain Harrison J. Bounel, who by a bizarre coincidence shared not only Obama’s Chicago residential address, but also his Social Security number. This man appears to possess the ghostly ability to disappear from public databases at a whim. Compared to all that, the circumstances of his birth, from this side of the world at least, appear small beer indeed.

  25. Ozboy says:

    And that reminds me: speaking of not being able to choose the circumstances of your birth, Friday (23rd) marked what would have been the one hundredth birthday of a man without whom the world today would have been a very different place: Wernher von Braun. A giant, not so much of science but of engineering, who had the misfortune of being born at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Without his genius in rocketry—the terrible V2 rockets in the last months of WWII, ICBMs or the Saturn V which propelled man to the moon—how would the last seventy years have been different?

    On such small moments does human history turn.

  26. Kitler says:

    Ozboy what birth certificate we have yet to see the bl**dy thing, why hide something so innocuous unless there are doubts about his parentage, where he was born. It would be a none issue to everyone if he did release it and it would shut everyone up. Only an idiot would hide something like that or a man who has eligibility issues.

  27. Kitler says:

    As for Verner von Braun it has been said his prediliction for large chemical fueled rockets may have actually held us back from truly exploiting space any how a more important anniversary was the death of H P Lovecraft on Mar 15th 1937 it’s been 75 years since he had his soul eaten by Cthulhu in R’lyeh.

  28. meltemian says:

    OK Kitler – I counter H P Lovecraft with Jules Verne who died on this day,March 24th 1905. I’m sure he was equally important, although I don’t think he had his soul eaten?? I reckon his writings were the start of the whole science-fiction scene.
    I’m inclined to agree that the circumstances of Obama’s birth, while confusing, do not preclude his being POTUS, but the whole cover-up seems to have been handled in such a way to arouse suspicions that there IS a problem. There is certainly something amiss, how could people not remember someone who apparently had the potential to become president?
    At least a president is only in office for a term, a king is there for life!

  29. Kitler says:

    meltemian…At least a president is only in office for a term, a king is there for life!

    We hope that is going to be true but since he is accumulating powers to his presidency, I worry some times that we may be stuck with him.

  30. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    I have a more lengthy response to izen that I saved last night and will post later. It has to do with what is Constitutional vs. “getting away with” what is not.

    I actually agree with you about not being able to select one’s parents (had I had that choice I would have selected far wealthier parents) nor the circumstances of one’s birth. I’ve even made the same arguments.

    The Founders felt very strongly about the “natural born’ citizen provision for those holding the office of President or Vice President. So much so they specifically included it in the Constitution. There really are only 3 requirements; natural born citizenship, age of at least 35 and residency. They greatly feared outside foreign influence on the nation’s leader. You can imagine all sorts of scenarios where this would be potentially problematic as well as many where it just seems ridiculous. But the Founders decided that rather to address every possible contingency they would simply insist that for the two top offices only natural born citizens would be eligible. I believe even naturalized citizens with Dual citizenship who run for seats in Congress must renounce their foreign citizenship before being eligible to run. Essentially the Founders demanded that only individuals with no possible outside allegiances (e.g. “my Daddy was a Kenyan who hated the British”) and were culturally “American” could serve as President ot Vice President.

    So why is it such a big deal to so many Americans? Well, it is clearly spelled out in the Constitution. Many feel very strongly that you either obey the Constitution or you amend it if necessary. You don’t ignore it at your convenience or for political expediency.. So if these notions of eligibility are now viewed as archaic and counter-productive, amend the Constitution. Good luck with that! The resulting shitstorm would be unbelievable.

    A couple of interesting things happened in 2008. There were questions regarding Sen McCain’s eligibility as he was born on a US military base in Panama to two Americans (his father and grandfather both 4-star Admirals). So the Senate convened a special little committee and decided McCain was OK to run (then Sen. Obama even signed off on it). The thing is, the Senate had no such authority. Eligibility is defined in the Constitution and the Senate has authority to interpret the Constitution, that’s a job for the courts. It was just a bit of political theater. Interestingly, a similar Senate special committee never considered Obama’s eligibility.

    In 2008 what was dismissed as wild Republican conspiracy theories are today, nearly 4 years later, simply accepted as fact. The DNC had two pretty strong and nearly ideologically identical left-wing candidates in Hillary and Obama. Trouble is Hillary came with more baggage. She was already despised by a significant proportion of the electorate.and, in the view of the DNC, would probably be easier to defeat. Obama, on the other hand, was a virtual unknown – a young, apparently articulate half-Negro. His race alone could secure many votes (particualrly among white liberals). So they “selected” Obama in much the same way our Republican establishment has “selected” Romney today. The people don’t choose their candidates so much as the parties do.

    But the DNC knew they had a potential eligibility problem with Obama. They very quickly sealed all his records. We’re not just talking birth certificate here. We’re talking all college transcripts, financial records, passport data, LSATs, etc. Somewhere in that pile of stuff is some damning information or there would be no reason to hide it from public view. The DNC and the media a launched a campaign to mock and marginalize any who dared to question Obama’s eligibility (to great effect I might add). But even sticking to Obama’s birth narrative the probalem of “natural born” status was not going to go away. So they set about conflating “natural born” with “native born” with the quiet assuance that most of the American public doesn’t know the difference. What they pulled off was unconstitutional…but they got away with it. We have learned an important lesson. If you ingore the Constitution and the Founders’ intent, you’re apt to end up with a Barack Obama as President.

  31. Dr. Dave says:

    I neglected to mention one of the best arguments I have ever heard against the “birther” issue. That it, had there been anything to it Hillary would have been all over it. But this is not necessarily so. All that would be required is for the DNC to declare the issue taboo. Then send a couple of DNC big wigs to visit Hillary and assure her that if she pursues the issue she’ll never see another dime or any other support. Further, she would then become a political pariah.

    Let me leave you with fun little article from yesterday’s American Thinker:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/birthermania.html

    A couple of sentences from that article stand out:

    …the reason for the media blackout is fear — fear of a constitutional crisis. If Obama attained the high office through deception, then everything (he) has done as president would be subject to annulment.

    Is this correct? There’s also a link to a CBS news article:

    Sounds as though, one way or the other, the birth issue is going to re-surface big time before November. I still say you need a Constitutional amendment: rules are rules, but this one’s a complete anachronism – Oz

  32. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    A couple of comments. For one thing the potential for a constitutional crisis is very real, but I doubt it will ever happen. The problem is that the issue would have to be resolved in the Supreme Court and the SCOTUS is loathe to even entertain such cases. Dozens of lawsuits have been brought before the court regarding Obama’s eligibility. They have refused to hear any of them for “lack of standing.” That is, ordinary citizens have no standing because they do not elect the President. Presidents are not elected by popular vote but rather by the Electoral College. A suit would have to be filed by one or more of the Electors and they would have to prove harm. Essentially the SCOTUS has set the legal bar impossibly high and mostly (as many believe) to avoid a constitutional crisis. And indeed, if it were found based on a careful interpretation of the Constitution, the Federalist papers and 19th century Supreme Court precedent that Obama was NOT eligible to hold the office of President, every law he signed and every appointment he has made could be rendered null and void. The prospect of this scares the living dogshit out of the MSM (an arm of the Democrat party), the Democrats and even the Republicans. Except in far right-wing fantasy land, there ain’t no happy endings should this occur. The scope of such a ruling is almost impossible to comprehend. Widespread rioting in the big cities would be the least of our problems.

    So I don’t really think this issue will gain much traction leading up to the November elections. It certainly won’t if Romney is the GOP’ nominee. In 1980, just weeks before his landslide victory, Ronald Reagan was way behind in the polls. Polls showed Carter with a double digit lead. Undeterred, Reagan unabashedly attacked Carter…and it worked. The milquetoast RINOs that the GOP establishment seems dead set on nominating today refuse to play political hardball. Romney has stated that he will not make outlandish claims about Omaba (like truthfully calling him a Marxist and a socialist). That kind of gentlemanly timidity does not win votes. The Democrats fight dirty and lie with impunity. The Republicans seem to act with all the civility and decorum of a high school debate team. The lies that Obama has been spewing lately nearly make my head spin! But with the aid of a complicit media he is never challenged.

    You mentioned that ONLY the US of all the “civilized” western nations has built a specific citizenship requirement into their leaders’ eligibility. I think this is bullshit. Harper is a born and raised Canadian, Merkel is German, Sarkozy is French, Cameron is British and Calderon is Mexican (we could go on and on with this). There might not be an explicit definition of eligibility in these countries but there is certainly a tacit understanding. OZ may be a one-off exception. Again, we got a Barack Obama…you got a Julia Gillard. I’m quite sure Angela Merkel is German right down to her toenails. I’m sure Sarkozy is so French that he’d surrender if someone offered to light a cigar for him. Cameron is so British I’m sure he still wears his mum’s knickers. So tacit understanding of natural born nationality exists even if it is not codified. It is impossible to find a more racially, ethnically or culturally diverse huge nation like the US. Our founders had the wisdom of foresight to assure only natural born, culturally “American” citizens ever rose to the office of President.

    Is this anachronistic? I think not. I think it is sensible. Once a country loses their cultural identity they have lost their country. Just look at the UK. Before too long half the country will be sniffing filthy rugs with their butts in the air 5 times a day.

  33. Ozboy says:

    Erm, Dave: I accept that there are valid arguments for wanting a natural-born president, though as I say I personally regard it as an an anachronism. But the United States is the only Western nation (of which I am aware) that has this requirement, tacit or otherwise; this is not bullshit.

    Don’t believe me? I’ve compiled a short list:

    British PM: Andrew Bonar Law (born New Brunswick, Canada);
    Canadian PM: John A. McDonald (born Glasgow, Scotland); Alexander Mackenzie (born Perth, Scotland); Mackenzie Bowell (born Suffolk, England); John Turner (born Surrey England)
    Irish President: Éamon de Valera (born New York, USA)
    Australian PM: Chris Watson (born Valparaíso, Chile); George Reid (born Renfrewshire, Scotland); Andrew Fisher (born East Ayrshire, Scotland); Joe Cook (born Staffordshire, England); Billy Hughes (born London, England); Julia Gillard (born Barry, Wales). The last NSW Premier, Kristina Kenneally, came from Ohio and speaks with a pronounced midwestern accent. We have American-born politicians today in the federal and several state parliaments.
    New Zealand PM: Henry Sewell (born Isle of Wight, England); Edward Stafford (born Edinburgh, Scotland); Alfred Domett (born Surrey, England); Frederick Weld (born Dorset, England); George Waterhouse (born Cornwall, England); William Fox (born South Shields, England); Julius Vogel (born London, England); George Grey (born Lisbon, Portugal); John Hall (born Kingston-upon-Hull, England); Frederick Whitaker (born Oxfordshire, England); Robert Stout (born Shetland Islands, Scotland); Harry Atkinson (born Cheshire, England); John Ballance (born County Antrim, Ireland); Richard Seddon (born Lancashire, England); William Hall-Jones (born in Kent, England); Thomas Mackenzie (born Edinburgh, Scotland); William Massey (born County Londonderry, Ireland); Peter Fraser (born Easter Ross, Scotland); Joseph Ward, Michael Savage, Hugh Watt (all born in Australia); in other words, about half of all Kiwi PMs were immigrants.

    Of course, no-one’s going to vote for you unless you can demonstrate a commitment to the country of your adoption. I’m sure you could name many foreign-born Americans you would otherwise prefer to see in the White House, to the incumbent of indeterminate background. Which is why I believe this aspect of the U.S. Constitution, while it served its purpose well for the age in which it was written, is now obsolete and should be amended.

  34. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    I fear you have failed to make a valid case for your position. You provided me with MANY examples and but for the possible exception of Ireland, they were ALL colonies of the British crown. Culturally they are all pretty much the same. You may bristle at this assertion, but let’s face it, Canada and Australia are far more alike than Canada and the US in terms of government and politics. If you want to impress me give me examples from China, Russia, Japan, Germany (Hitler doesn’t count), France, Sweden, Norway or Italy. You might be able to scare up some examples from some South American countries but I’d bet you’d be hard pressed to do so. The little UK satellites hardly count as comparators to countries like China, Indonesia, the US, Russia, India, Japan or even Pakistan where most of the world’s population reside. I believe you will find that all of these countries are rather fussy about where their leaders were born and raised and who their parents were and where they were from. There is most definitely a tacit if not explicit understanding of what constitutes eligibility in these countries.

  35. Ozboy says:

    Well, seeing as you ask…

    Alberto Fujimori, former President of Peru, is of pure Japanese descent and holds dual Peruvian and Japanese citizenship. Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (born Pau, France, of French descent) became King Charles XIV John of Sweden. Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was born in Pomerania (then part of the Holy Roman Empire). Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel, of Danish birth and descent, became Haakon VII of Norway. Iskandar Mirza, first President of Pakistan, was born in West Bengal (then a province of the British Raj, now part of modern-day India). Muhammed Zia-ul-Huq, the sixth President, was also born in India (Jalandhar, Punjab, as was the interregnum president, Wasim Sajjad). Pervez Musharraf was born in Delhi. Hitler was born in Austria (and counted to the tens of millions of Germans who knew about his birthplace but voted for him anyway). The whole British Royal Family are a bunch of Germans (notable exceptions include the Queen Mother, who was Scottish, and the Duke of Edinburgh, who is Greek-Danish-Russian and born on a kitchen table in Corfu). Phil the Greek, as we call him down here, is father to the next King, formally named Charles Arthur Phillip George Mountbatten Windsor Saxe-Coburg-Gotha…

    I could go on. The Chinese and Japanese monarchies were (and are, respectively) very picky about the provenance of their rulers, but they are hardly exemplars for a country like yours, which from the outset distanced itself from any hereditary aristocracy or bloodline chauvinism. I wonder if you are, to some extent at least, conflating your current POTUS’s evident socialism, doubtless inherited from his mother, with the issue of natural-born citizenship more generally.

  36. Kitler says:

    Dr Dave your original Presidents were not natural born Americans either the country did not exist they were born in British colonies. Washington can be said to have been born in a country called Virginia. Also Romney has eligibility issues as well his parents were born in Mexico I’ve not had a chance to double check that one though so it’s in the rumour mill category.

  37. Dr. Dave says:

    Bravo, Ozboy. Peru was the South American Country I was thinking of. I actually had an old high school girlfriend who married a Japanese guy born and raised in Peru (by the way, Chile is another good target). It would have been enlightening had you provided dates for all the inbred European aristocracy. But no matter. This provision in the US Constitution is a uniquely “American” thing. It has nothing to do with “hereditary aristocracy or bloodline chauvinism.” It has to do with culture. I hate to think of the time you squandered coming up with your (mostly) European examples, but they have no relevance to the USA.

    Let me provide you with just two examples from the State of Michigan. Jennifer Granholm was born in 1959 in Vancouver, B.C. to basically socialist parents. She was educated at UC Berkley and eventually became a two term Governor of Michigan. She drove the state into the ground but she was the cute darling of the political left. Then there is Pete Hoekstra. He was born in the Netherlands in 1953 and moved to the US when he was three years old. He was a House Representative from Michigan until he ran for Governor and lost to Rick Snyder. But the political right was very fond of him. He still may have a political future and the same is true of Granholm. But under our Constitution neither are eligible to be President or Vice President by virtue of foreign birth. Granholm could, however, be nominated as a Supreme Court Justice.

    In my mind, even though Hoekstra came to the US before he could even speak Dutch, he should be given a free pass to run for the Presidency. On the other hand, Grandholm spent all of her formative years in B.C. in a socialist household and should be denied the privilege to run for the highest offices in the land. The easiest answer is to simply deny the opportunity to both of them.

    It’s an American thing….I really don’t expect you to understand it any more than I understand your convoluted Westminster system of government. When you look at it objectively we are really only denying access to a scant few individuals. Better to be safe than sorry.

  38. Ozboy says:

    Obama tells Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev he will deal with Putin on missile defence and other issues, but only after November when he no longer has to worry about American public opinion.

    “On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this can be solved,” Mr Obama said. “But it’s important for him to give me space.
    “This is my last election,” Mr Obama went on. “After my election I have more flexibility.”
    “I understand,” Mr Medvedev responded. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

    Only, he should have remembered he was wearing a mike:

    So who’s he working for, then?

  39. Luton Ian says:

    Dev’s birth, or rather his parentage, is an interesting one.

    His mother was housemaid for a C of I vicar in County Cork. Official story is that his father was a sailor…

    The IRA arrived at a certain C of I Church, in County Cork, one Sunday morning and removed the parish records.

    One of Ireland’s lesser known mysteries;

    Why?

  40. DirkH says:

    I agree with “izen” that the US will not turn into an EU.

    It will turn into a Venezuela.

    You’re nearly there.

Comments are closed.