Sunday, December 25, 2011

"WHO AM I?" (Another Retard Birther!)

Many people have received a chain-email recently, titled "Who Am I", that starts out with an interesting biography, which many Tea Party and Birther types would presume to be that of Barack Obama. Of course, at the end, it says that it's actually "Adolph Hitler". Of course, that should have sent red flags up immediately, that this was anti-Obama propaganda, written by an history-illiterate who got his hands on a computer.

Let's see how many actual facts he got correct.

* I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another country.

This assumes that Barack Obama was not born a US citizen, which is a myth that has already been thoroughly dispelled. Though Obama's father was Kenyan, Hitler's father was not "born in another country".

In 1867, while Hitler's Austrian-born father was living, Austria, parts of what later became modern day Germany along with parts of what would later become the nations of Hungary, Bosnia, The Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and other nations became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In 1871, Austria and Germany unified into a new country, called The German Empire, or the second reich, under Kaiser Wilhelm.

Following the first world war, the Empire was re-partitioned, so that a new territory, called German Austria was "a component of the German Republic", also known as the Weimar Republic. Alois Hitler, along with millions of others living in Europe, had his nationality changed on him, as wars changed borders from the 19th century to what became pre-World War 2 Europe. Though the family never moved more than 20 miles away from the cities they were born in, they became German citizens by default, new nations were formed. Saying that he was "born in a foreign country" would be like saying that anyone born in North Dakota before it was incorporated into the USA was born in a foreign country -- in other words, it's preposterous to claim that Hitler's family was foreign to Germany, or were immigrants.

I was not his only child. He fathered several children
with numerous women.

Alois Hitler had children by 2 women, not "numerous" ones. His first wife died, presumably of tuberculosis, and he stayed faithful to his second wife until his death in 1903. This is quite different from Obama's father, who had children with at least 4 different women, both in and out of wedlock.

* I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me. My mother died at an early age from cancer.

* Later in life, questions arose over my real name.

* My birth records were sketchy and no one was able to produce a
legitimate, reliable birth certificate.

To say that Hitler's father showed no interest in him is preposterous. Hitler's father was well known for being a disceplinarian, and was known to be concerned about Adolf's rebellious nature, making him work on a farm, and later putting him in a Catholic school for boys. Barack Obama's father was not involved much in his son's life, which is correct, but again, to compare this to the strict upbringing of Adolf Hitler, where his father stayed home with the family, does not compare.

Questions arose about Hitler's name -- Alois Schicklgruber changed his last name to Heidler, because his mother married Johann Heidler. Later, Official spellings of surnames were standardized by the Weimar government, and the Hiedler family's name was now officially spelled "Hitler". There was no question about Adolf Hitler's name, nor his country of origin. Only his father's name was questioned.

Hitler's German citizenship was never questioned. Good luck trying to find any literature that parallels that of Barack Obama, whose US Citizenship was questioned mainly by people who refused to accept the documentation that the State Department gathered before allowing him to run for public office.

* I grew up practicing one faith but converted to Christianity, as it
was widely accepted in my country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs
& didn't follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny.

This flies in the fact of what we have on record for both Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. Hitler was born a Roman Catholic, and remained a Roman Catholic. Barack Obama's Mother and family were "non practicing" Methodists and Baptists. Obama was raised in the faith, and grew into it as he became an adult. This whole section revolves around the easily disproven myth that Obama secretly practices the Muslim faith.

* I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult,
disguising myself as someone who really cared about them.

* That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life
and I embarked on a new career.

These factoids are nonsense. It assumes that Obama doesn't really care about the people that he organized in Chicago. It presumes that Hitler didn't care about the people he worked with.

* I wrote a book about my struggles growing up. It was clear to those
who read my memoirs that I had difficulties accepting that my father
abandoned me as a child.

The one thing that is never mentioned in Mein Kampf, was that his father abandoned the family, because it never happened. Hitler's father remained with the family until he died, and though he had issues with his father, they were not about abandonment at all. Hitler's issues were with his father's strictness.

Again, no comparison with the life of Barack Obama.

* I became active in local politics in my 30's then with help behind
the scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national
office in my 40s. They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone
into anything. That reinforced my conceit.

* I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history, and no
experience in leading a single organization. Yet I was a powerful speaker
and citizens were drawn to me as though I were a magnet and they were
small roofing tacks.

* I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances. This
bolstered my ego.

To say that Barack Obama "burst onto the scene" out of nowhere is a myth. His legislative career spans over 11 years, and was preceeded by another 10 years of working as a lawyer, and a community organizer.

* At first, my political campaign focused on my country's foreign
policy. I was very critical of my country in the last war and seized
every opportunity to bash my country.

* But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on
the country's economy. I pretended to have a really good plan on how we
could do better and every poor person would be fed & housed for free.

* I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess.
It was the free market, banks & corporations. I decided to start making
citizens hate them and if they were envious of others who did well, the
plan was clinched tight.

* I called mine "A People's Campaign" and that sounded good to all

This doesn't describe Hitler's political career at all, nor does it describe Obama's. Hitler crusaded AGAINST Marxism and socialism, and blamed liberal groups in the Weimar Republic for corrupting Germany and creating a financial crisis. Jazz musicians, artists, Jews, of course, and people with loose morals were to blame, according to what he wrote, himself. He did not blame business, but rather blamed Jewish Bankers. Hitler did not criticize Germany for World War 1 -- he criticized what the allies did to Germany following the war, in the Treaty Of Versailles.

Barack Obama did not criticize the government for the Iraq war, during his presidential campaign. He merely said that it should be ended soon.

These attempts at parallels don't work, because they are basically assumptions about typical liberal politics that are blindly applied to Obama, without citing any sources. Typical right wing rhetoric loves to claim that liberals only talk about taxing and spending, and that they increase the size of government. Reality, of course, does not support even this description of liberal politicians.

* I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the
traditional path of politics & was able to gain widespread popular

Again, this does not describe Hitler or Obama. Obama got into politics through all of the traditional channels, not from outside. Likewise, Hitler's rise to power was totally typical for the time and place. He, along with people from the military that fought in World War 1 with him, formed a political party and ran their campaigns in very typical ways. To say that Hitler or Obama were political outsiders is preposterous.

* I knew that, if I merely offered the people 'hope' , together we
could change our country and the world.

* So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of
the downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include "persecuted minorities" . My
true views were not widely known & I needed to keep them unknown, until
after I became my nation's leader.

* I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found
out what I really believed, if they had simply read my writings and
examined those people I associated with.

* I'm glad they didn't. Then I became the most powerful man in the
world. And the world learned the truth.

*Who am I? *


Scary isn't it?

Again, this is made up nonsense, just speculation on what Obama, the scary black man, thinks. It isn't based on anything that Obama or Hitler wrote, and it's merely the projection of the author's deep suspicion of Obama as a "stealth" candidate.

The anti-Obama rhetoric of people like the one who wrote this chain-letter, is a series of fear-based assertions that are strongly held, but nonetheless, mere assertions.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eight Rules for Effective Protesting

Americans have forgotten how to protest properly. We think that going outside, playing drums, bashing trash can lids, and shouting slogans in unison is how it's done, and the result is always the same -- the public get sick of them, and doesn't seem to care when police use their military-surplus toys to bust them up.

30 or 40 years ago, protests were more effective, more lawful, and actually inspiring. There are some significant differences between the protests of the 60's and modern protests that people need to know, and some things that should be taken to heart.

(1) Reclaim the American Flag
40 years of right-wing shenanigans, pundits, Jesse Helms, and rednecks all waving flags in solidarity of genuinely hideous principles, has made most liberal protestors regard the flag as the symbol of conservative hatred and bigotry. Even I must confess that seeing Tea-Party protestors, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-science, and anti-bill-of-rights, right-wing activism, all accompanied by fierce flag-waiving, as if to say that everyone who isn't a bigot is un-American, has made me think of the American Flag in a negative way. If you look at left-wing protests in other countries, this is not the case. Left wing protestors in France, Russia, and other countries all wave their national flags around with pride. In America, left-wing protestors can't seem to do this, without holding the flag upside down, if at all.

The American flag is not the exclusive property of half-retarded, brain-dead racists, fascist, and neo-cons. It belongs to everyone, whether you are right-wing, left wing or in-between. Liberal protestors need to stop thinking of flag-waiving as an activity performed by the Neanderthal, thug-like, and the mentally-retarded, redneck right wing. We need to reclaim the flag as everyone's flag, and it needs to be as prominent as the protest signs.

(2) Dress for the occasion
Even I get sick of seeing throngs of dread-locked, tie-dye festooned, pot-smoking hippies. That's what I see at every left-wing protest event. I can't begin to tell you how much the image of these people turns me off, as well as it turns off moderate and right-wing people. Now I am as liberal as the next one of you, but really, the style of dress, and the behavior that involves banging djembes, dancing, and smoking pot, makes people, including yours truly, think these people are just dirty.

I think that protestors would be taken much more seriously if they simply dressed as though it were a special occasion. Don't go in blue-jeans and t-shirts like those Tea-Party tards -- wear your interview suit, your Sunday best, and your office-attire. LOOK RESPECTABLE. Nobody looks at filthy hippies with respect, especially when they are banging their obnoxious drums and chanting John Lennon lyrics. Dressed like slobs, you are a mob. Dressed respectably, you are an assembly.

(3) Quiet down
Hearing drums pounding hour after hour, people screaming, and out-of-key renditions of Lennon and Dylan songs is ANNOYING to listen to. It annoys the other protestors, as well as people who may otherwise be sympathetic to your cause. In fact, people are more willing to listen to you if you are quiet, believe it or not.

I learned this in parochial school when Sister Jane was trying to explain a lesson to a noisy classroom. She kept getting louder and louder until she suddenly switched to a softer and softer voice. The rest of us instinctively got quiet, until we heard what she was saying. She whispered "If I speak quietly enough, you will listen to what I am saying." One of my College professors, in a history class, applied the same method when the class was loud with talking students. It's true -- the quieter your message, the more attentively people will listen to you. People will have far more respect for a protest that doesn't leave their eardrums vibrating.

(4) Be Less accepting of variations in the message
One of the big problems with both the Tea Party Protestors and the Occupy movements, is that they seem to allow anyone to show up and protest with them, even if they are not protesting the same thing. When Racists showed up at Tea Party events, the news media singled them out, and it seemed as though the movement actually welcomed them and their racist message. Likewise, all of the pot-smoking kids who use the opportunity of a protest to play rave music and dance, all of the conspiracy mongers, and all the people with bizarre messages to add to the protest, can reflect badly on your protest. 911-truthers, Vegetarians, Communists, Pot-legalization proponents, and other kooks and weirdoes, are just there to hijack your protest, and are trying to push their own agenda, using your steam.

Protestors are too permissive, and too overly-polite. You really need to get rid of people that show up at the protest, whose messages are not properly aligned with the movement. When crazy people show up, you need to inform them that they are only welcome if their message is aligned with the rest of the group, and that they should either get with the program, or stay away. This sounds harsh, but all it takes is one news-crew with a camera to see one inappropriate sign, or interview one kook who has nothing to do with the protest, or who is inarticulate and the whole country will see that person as representative of your movement. This is especially true if Fox News is sending its crews around for "gotcha" interviews, which are designed to defame your movement.

(5) Take control of your message
The people who organize liberal protests need to make sure that everyone participating goes through an orientation, and follows rules. They need to have internal policing of protestors to enforce rules of conduct. The rules of conduct should be simple and straightforward -- Don't act like idiots, don't be rowdy, be polite, no fighting, no yelling, No boom boxes playing loud music, no drums, be clean, be on your best behavior.

Protests need to have designated speakers to whom the media can be directed. Participants need to be told that they should not speak to the media unless they are designated speakers. Everyone needs to have hand-outs that explain the points of the protest, and everyone needs to be told that they should refrain from pushing a message that is not listed in the hand-outs. When asked by media for an interview, people need to be aware that it's best to redirect the media to the designated speakers. Not everyone is good on camera, or is articulate enough to express the movement's goals. Also, not everyone is skilled enough to know when they are being set up by a hostile interviewer. Interviewers need to be routed to experts who can handle expressing the goals of the protest without looking like a fool.

Organizers need to control the signage. When people show up with poorly-made signs, which are misspelled, or have inappropriate messages, they need to be told to trade in their sign for a more official one. Organizers need to have a bunch of more-or-less professionally-made signs to give people whose signs are not appropriate. They must be honestly told the reason for switching their signs, and that they should leave if they refuse. I know it sounds tough, but as I said, if you allow signs with poor spelling and grammar, inappropriate language, or inappropriate messages, the public may see these people as representative of you.

To properly control the message, you need to have some trained security people who can spread out in the crowd, and respond wherever rules are being broken. People who show up with inappropriate signs or those who do not behave, should be given a written page of the rules, and be asked to attend an orientation. If they refuse, or they have to be given a warning more than 3 times, they need to be removed. The security people need to be swift and as non-violent as possible. This sounds harsh, but it can make the difference between a truly unified protest, and a random mob of mixed messages.

(6) Don't camp. There is no reason for it.

The biggest weakness of the Occupy movement is the unnecessary and disruptive practice of camping out in public spaces. Other protest movements from around the world do not camp in public places. They simply assemble every day, and leave when it's time to go home. I know that it's hard to keep thousands of people fed, hydrated, informed, policed, and have adequate sanitary facilities. Having a permanent camp may be convenient, but it's definitely not the best way to do it. If the structures were torn down and set up at regular times every day, and not left overnight, it would give fewer excuses for authorities to tear them down. It would also give less opportunities for Homeless people and petty criminals to take advantage of people who are sleeping.

(7) Learn what non-violent civil disobedience is supposed to be
American protestors have forgotten what civil disobedience is, and how to conduct it. Some protestors, such as the idiots at UC Davis, make bad situations worse. The Protestors at UC Davis blockaded police, and entrapped a small group of University police that were actually trying to leave, making a bad situation even worse. They got maced, and they asked for it. Let's get one thing clear. Non-violent, Civil disobedience is NOT about confronting cops and intimidating them back. Traditionally, successful civil disobedience is when you walk up to the cops, and offer to let them arrest you. Civil disobedience is NOT resisting arrest, and NOT fighting with police.

If you actually believed in your protest, you should be willing to offer yourself up for being arrested for protesting.

Shouting slogans angrily at cops only does one thing. It scares the crap out of them, because it's only one small step from shouting slogans to having a peaceful mob turn into a riot. When the cops arrive, you need to be calm, intelligent, and KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Many cops don't even know what your rights are, and will try to tell you what they are, incorrectly. You need to ask why you are being asked to leave, and most importantly, "what law am I violating", and "Are you arresting me, and if so, what will I be charged with?"

Too many protests involve acting tough and openly intimidating cops, shouting angry slogans at them, and improvising weapons as though you plan on fighting them. This is the wrong way. Martin Luther King and Ghandi did not resist arrests, or intimidate cops. When the cops attacked, they looked like fascists, because they were using violence against un-armed peaceful protestors. When you shout at cops, chant slogans, threaten to rise up, or otherwise resist them, you are inviting them to behave badly.

When they arrest you, you have to go willingly, and you cannot shout or scream. Just go peacefully, and cooperate. Most of the time, you will not get hurt (though it can happen), and most importantly, when the cameras are on you, you will look like someone who is willing to get arrested for their cause. In most cases, if you have truly not broken any laws, charges will be dropped. Many protestors get arrested multiple times at different protests without getting hurt, and without being charged. Sure, some people did get charged, and paid fines or served jail time, but the point is that public sympathy is increased by observing protestors that aren't acting rowdy.

(8) Realize that we're not living in a dictatorship.

Too many protestors are looking to start a violent revolution. Many people, particularly anarchists and communists, have wet dreams of fighting police in the streets, throwing Molotov cocktails, and chasing frightened cops through the streets as smoke and bullets fly. These people should be weeded out and effectively banned from the group as soon as they are discovered. They often have the ability to incite the crowd, as they did at UC Davis. These people are not about non-violent, civil disobedience. These people are about violent clashes with authority.

In a dictatorship, police do not have to follow rules of conduct, and are known for getting away with atrocities. America is nowhere near being a Dictatorship. Cops have to follow strict rules of engagement, and can be publicly punished for violating rules and laws. Though lots of people keep claiming that we're turning into a fascist police state, the fact is that we haven't nearly gotten to that point at all yet. Cops can still be tried and imprisoned for their behavior, and regularly do. If we were a fascist dictatorship, cops would rarely be tried for crimes committed while wearing their badges. Yet we see it every day -- cops get reprimanded sent to prison for bad behavior, criminal activity, and violating the rights of those whom they arrest.

Now go out there and protest like civilized people.
Using these rules will not guaranty a perfect protest, but it will get you closer to being effective at spreading your message and garnering the sentiment of the public. There will always be those who will pooh-pooh your movement. There will never be 100%public support for your movement; no movements are accepted by 100% of any population. What is important is that your message be clear, be consistent, and be rational. Protestors need to be wrangled effectively to ensure uniformity of goals. Laws need to be obeyed, officers respected, and you have to be willing to get arrested for your cause, if it comes to that. To be effective at protesting, you have to be respectable, rational, and realistic.