>Western Tribune column July 29, 2009

>My column from the Western Tribune July 29, 2009.

In spite of the controversy last week following the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home and the president’s misstatement afterwards, and in spite of the resurgence of the “birthers,” the radical right wingers who can’t believe that a “certificate of live birth” proves the same thing a “birth certificate” does, the week was refreshing.

Refreshing for at least two reasons. First, it was so nice to listen to a president explain his policies during a press conference and not be embarrassed that he is representing the nation. He spoke in clear, complete sentences, and if a listener did not understand the urgent need for health care reform as presented then the person just wasn’t listening.

Secondly, we now have a president who recognizes when he has made an error. Former president George W. Bush bristled when asked to name a mistake during a debate. President Obama called the man he offended and acknowledged that he could have chosen his words better.

As for the birth certificate issue. While I acknowledge that discussing this is a complete waste of my time for writing it, and yours for reading it, I offer this. At some time in the past, I had to order an Alabama birth certificate. It could have been when I was learning to fly, or when I got a passport, or when I applied for a driver’s license, I don’t remember. But what I do know is the folded pinkish piece of paper with the raised seal that I received is in a secure place, and on it is written “Certificate of Live Birth.”

That is what one receives from the state when one requests a birth certificate.

Likewise, in Hawaii, after such a request a “certificate of live birth” is sent. But the birthers will have none of that. They want the original. Sorry, guys, it just doesn’t work that way.

On Wednesday after the president’s press conference 8 year old Ciana Pelekai appeared on America’s Got Talent and stunned the judges with her rendition of “At Last.” Little Ciana is from Honolulu, Hawaii, or so she says. She could have been born in Kenya, and if so, should be performing on Kenya’s Got Talent. This could just be a conspiracy set in place 8 years ago to assure her the $1,000,000 top prize.

No, she’s like President Obama, born in the USA.

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