April 27th, 2011

storming the castle

A short, obligatory post on the News of the Day

So, Obama finally released his long-form birth certificate. That should finally put the quietus to the birthers. But all this is way past due. Obama managed to turn a simple problem that could have been solved two years ago with a "here, choke on it" into a long, drawn-out slow-bleed thing. Most of the Democrat elites (think Kennedys, inter alii) would have managed to face it down. It would never have gone away, but they would never have responded. But Obama finally did. One assumes this is because the question was finally being taken up by people who had the ear of The People. Which means that all of Obama's brushing off, the smirks and snide asides, and the bluster didn't work. Which hints that, just maybe, most people aren't buying the act any more. Obama is getting rid of this issue ahead of the election precisely because it was becoming an actual issue. And he has no one to blame but himself for his incompetent handling of it. So much for President Smarter-than-you; in the end, all he's managed to prove is that he's a natural-born American hack.

Politics 101

For the record, we've had two guys run for President I know of who were not born in the US. George Romney (ran in Republican primaries in 1968) was born in a Mormon colony in Mexico. At the time he ran, people questioned his standing as native-born and it was affirmed that his birth was registered with the US consul in Mexico and that there was no bar to his running for President. John McCain (remember him?) was born in the Canal Zone on a US Navy base, and no one ever questioned his status as a native-born citizen. If Barack Obama had been born somewhere other than Hawaii, his birth could have been regularized at the time, and this whole "alien Prez" meme would have been pointless.

But when the issue was raised back in the last Presidential election cycle, Obama was trading on his "otherness." He was saying things like, You've never had someone like me run before. I guess he thought it was cool. So, rather than doing the politically smart thing and producing the long-form birth certificate, he tried (like John Kerry with his Navy records) to bluff his way through. The birth certificate thus joined his missing academic records and what-all to form the basis for continued questioning. It may have been silly of the birthers to keep it up, but it was far sillier of BHO to wave it off.

He could have killed the issue stone dead two years ago and made his opponents look stupid. By waiting until now -- and then yielding under pressure from the gaseous Donald Trump! -- he merely looks weak. And petulant. So, he's messed up on the issue twice. Making this point, however, earns one the scorn of the Obamanauts. Their willful blindness to Obama's mishandling of this issue is as crazy as the birthers' conspiracy theories on it.

From a non-partisan point of view -- that is, from the position of someone just handicapping the race -- it was utterly dumb politics on Obama's part. This does not bode well for his re-election chances; after all, he won't be "new" next time. He has a record to run on (or away from). And his handling of the birther issue says more about his inability to handle criticism and to manage issues than it does about the people who doubt his citizenship.

It's a Far Northland That's a-Callin' me Away

Well, things have finally advanced to the point where I can make reservations for our summer trek with confidence. I have reserved ten ferry tickets on the Isle Royale Queen IV from Copper Harbor, Michigan, for Monday, June 13, with return on Friday, June 17.

I have also submitted our request for a backcountry permit to camp on Isle Royale. Our proposed itinerary is thus (any problems with the itinerary and they'll call me to adjust it).
Monday, June 13, depart Copper Harbor 8:00 a.m., arrive Rock Harbor on I.R., hike to Daisy Farm and camp.

June 14, hike to Lake Richie and camp.

June 15, hike to Chickenbone Lake East and camp.

June 16, hike the Greenstone Ridge to Threemile and camp.

June 17, hike back into Rock Harbor, shower, lunch, and catch the 2:45 ferry back to the mainland.

Now, I need to secure our first night's camping reservation in Wisconsin (probably Sheboygan State Park) and two nights at Fort Wilkins State Park in the U.P. (coming and going). Our last night on the road will be at one of our leader's cabin near Ludington, Michigan. And, I need to file the tour permit for all this.

It's coming along, though. Everybody pray for a good trek!
camp cook


A parishioner brought by a large mess of wild morels today. We are having them for supper with some scrambled eggs. Oh, rapture! Now I know for sure we're loved.