Those crazy “Birthers” are getting an awful lot of ink and air time lately, offering good comedy fodder for late night television while occasionally making regular people turn away in revulsion. Like the “Teabaggers” weren’t hilarious enough to use the name of a sexual weirdness as their moniker, or to publicize their racist rants and ridiculous charges against the President, after being the very same wackos who accused those who questioned any illegal act of the last administration of being traitors.
CNN commentator Roland S. Martin has a piece up today (July 22) entitled, Obama birth issue is nutty that proceeds to make good fun of the wingnuts. But since one of George W. Bush’s first serious actions as President after 9-11 was to arrange the biggest government overhaul since the New Deal – by inventing the so-called “Department of Homeland Security” – there are Americans out in the hinterland who are suddenly quite confused about their legal status. I’m one of them, and so is recent Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. Who, like me, actually wasn’t born in the United States of America.
McCain, like me, was a Navy brat. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, I was born in the Philippines. There used to be a clear law on the books that held the children of American citizens born in a foreign country are indeed ‘natural born’ American citizens, even if they automatically get dual citizenship for the country in which they were born. I had that until I was 18, though after that I would have had to formalize, and I was never very fond of Ferdinand and Imelda “Shoe-Lady” Marcos. So I let it slide. Still, if nobody questioned McCain’s citizenship qualification for POTUS, the fervor with which wingnuttia rants about Obama seems even crazier. I mean, even if Hawaii hadn’t been a state when he was born, did not all Hawaiians receive automatic citizenship when it WAS made a state? It was a territory, after all. Like Puerto Rico. Which apparently some wingnuts in Congress think is a foreign country too, thus Judge Sonia Sotomayor can’t be a citizen either. Weird.
The last day job I held was in the period after 9-11 when DHS became the designated troublemaker for Americans of all kinds. My problems started when Human Resources was informed that my birth certificate didn’t qualify as “proof of citizenship” for me to have gotten the job. So I responded that my state driver’s license and Social Security card should suffice if HR couldn’t manage to read the line that designated US citizenship for both my parents and myself on that Philippine-issued birth certificate. They told me I had to get a birth certificate from a state here in the US. So I asked them which state they’d suggest I pretend to be born in, thinking there must be a racket in California or somewhere that provides fake birth certificates for people like me who weren’t actually born there. They were not amused.
Then they found a “discrepency” on my Social Security card. Seems I had used the name I’ve always gone by in addition to the first name on my birth certificate, when I had the last name changed after I got married back in 1969. I was informed they could no longer make my pay checks out to my legal name (which WAS on the card), and which is the name on my bank account. The bank then proceeded to tell me it couldn’t cash my checks! I was informed I’d have to take unpaid time off work – for which I’d get in trouble because no one would approve it – to stand in line at the SS office to have the name changed again. So I could work. I began to get the very strong feeling they didn’t want me there.
So I wrote a nice missive to HR telling them that I’d been paying taxes for more than 35 years under the NUMBER on my SS card, and that the IRS – a duly authorized agency of the federal government – had never once complained or refused my money. I further wrote that when I got married, I had my named changed to his on that card, and nobody ever asked to see a court order or required me to get one that “legally” changed my last name. In fact, I had dropped my given middle name entirely and used the first initial of my original last name on all legal matters from that time on. Also a CUSTOM, not something for which I ever had to go to court. I further said that if I were to be required per DHS’s audit to legally change my name, they were going to have to go after every single married woman in the country who had ever taken her husband’s name or used their maiden name’s initial for their middle. That’s about 55% of the entire population, not something this nation had the money to accomplish while spending $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I did end up quitting that job just because I know when I’m not wanted. Now write full time freelance, and my boss has never asked me to prove I’m a citizen or argued with me about what name I care to attach. Oh… and he uses direct deposit to pay me, in the account with my terrorist name attached.
I call it my “terrorist” name because DHS was supposed to be chasing terrorists, not messing up the lives and livelihoods of lifelong American citizens and taxpayers in good standing. Thus they must have believed I’m some sort of terrorist. I prefer the title “Terrierist,” since I’m quite fond of small dogs. You’d think these folks would have better things to do in the wake of 9-11, perhaps going after real terrorists or something. Guess that’s what I get for thinking.
I presume these crazy wingnuts would be doing this same weird Dervish Dance if John McCain were President right now. I mean, he absolutely wasn’t born in the United States, while Barack Obama absolutely was. And while they’re at it, they should make a new law that says the wives of military officers stationed overseas are forbidden to visit them or live with them, on the off-chance a baby might be born somewhere outside of Kansas. Sheesh!
Most of these idiots are so dumb and so ill-educated that they can’t even find California on a map, much less Panama or Philippines or Iraq. Why are they being given time and attention in the media? Shouldn’t we be ashamed of the morons among us, the fact that they represent a good 20% of our population? Is that inbreeding, environmental toxins, or just insane?
Whatever it is, I’m glad I’m not one of them. And I think there should be an IQ test administered to all employees of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure we don’t have to actually deal with any of these defectives in our day-to-day lives.