What mighty contests rise from trivial things! - Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock
The Internet is rapidly proving itself the best friend of those who seek to be truly informed-not limited by the sorts of things reported in the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.
Two of the front-page stories on the WSJ on December 6 dealt with the consequences of the disastrous downturn of the economy. One was a report that the job losses affecting the country were the worst since 1974. Another described the devastating effects of the job losses and the corporate failures on workers' health insurance coverage. On December 7 the New York Times had a story about families suffering from lack of health insurance. Neither paper so much as mentioned even more important developments that were being covered on the Internet. The first concerns the legitimacy of Barrack Obama's election as president of the United States.
Although the issue was brought up and disproved prior to the election, a few constitutional purists continue to pursue the issue, not out of hatred for President-elect Obama, I am confident, but out of a love for the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution says that only "natural born citizens of the United States" can become president. These constitution protectors are afraid that some day we will learn that Mr. Obama was not a "natural born" citizen. To avoid that dreadful event they want the issue resolved before he becomes president.
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One of the more diligent devotees of the Constitution is Philip J. Berg, a former deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania. He is not a nut, although some may say I am too easy on him. He claims that Mr. Obama's birth certificate is forged and that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and is, therefore, not eligible to be president. Mr. Berg heard a tape recording of someone talking to a woman who said she was Mr. Obama's grandmother. She said Mr. Obama was born in a hospital in Kenya and she was in the delivery room when he was born. (She does not speak English but there was a translator talking to the grandmother.) Mr. Berg says Mr. Obama's claim to be "natural born" is "a real sham he's pulled off for the last 20 months." (Mr. Berg is not a partisan. In 2007 he filed a RICO lawsuit against George Bush and Dick Cheney for the events of 9/11. In a letter reportedly sent to world leaders he wrote: "Bush and his cronies made 9/11 happen or let it happen. And, if they let it happen, then they made it happen. Either way, they are responsible; and more important, they have completely and unequivocally covered-it-up!" Mr. Berg said that world leaders should issue arrest warrants for George Bush and Richard Cheney and try them for the murder of over "2,800 people from more than 80 countries on 9/11/01 and, when found guilty, sentence them appropriately.")
Although not stated, I suspect that the zeal with which Mr. Berg and others pursue this is attributable to their distress at the successful assaults on the constitution made by George Bush. They are ashamed that they were silent while George Bush was using the Constitution to wipe his feet. They are determined to see that that never happens again. (The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear one of the cases involving Mr. Obama's birth certificate.)
As indicated above, it is not only Mr. Berg and his friends who want to make sure that the fact that 553,000 people lost their jobs in November does not overshadow other important things. Ever since Sarah Palin was chosen by John McCain as his running mate, the country has been consumed by the question of whether Baby Trig is her baby or that of her daughter. Those continuing to seek answers about Trig's birth are doing so with the same zeal as those seeking answers about Mr. Obama's birthplace.
On December 3 in a posting on the website of the Atlantic there is a link to Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish. Mr. Sullivan has posted what he calls "A Fourth Picture" of Sarah Palin that Mr. Sullivan says was taken March 26, 2008 or only three weeks before Trig "a full-term, 6 pound baby" was born. A blown up stomach shot shows a flat, unpregnant stomach. For the benefit of those not familiar with the shape of a prospective mother's stomach three weeks before she gives birth to a 6-pound baby, Mr. Sullivan has included a photo of one of Ms. Palin's earlier pregnancies. Another sleuth has posted text accompanied by several pictures of some very attractive and very pregnant women on Audrey's website for comparison purposes.
Just as we are indebted to Mr. Berg for keeping the question of Mr. Obama's birthplace alive, so are we indebted to Mr. Russell and Audrey for keeping the question of Trig's birth mother alive. We will all be relieved when these questions are satisfactorily answered and we can again focus on people without jobs, health insurance or homes.