Scott Sommers’ Taiwan Blog

Republicans Who Are Birthers

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Sommers on December 30, 2012

I have been repeatedly asked to explain why I say the Republicans are political allies of conspiracy theory. My point is not that electoral voters for the Democrats do not endorse conspiracy theories. Rather, my point is that the Republicans have an institutional bond with conspiracy theory. It is so deeply ingrained in the party that publicly supporting a conspiracy theory is not only not stigmatizing for a candidate, it may even, in some cases, be necessary to get as many Republican votes as possible.

Below is a partial list of Republican candidates and representatives who at some point referred to so-called Obama Birther conspiracy theories as part of their political life. It is not complete and anyone able to supply me with more names and references is invited to contact me. I have no doubt that some of those named, like my Facebook friend Mike Huckabee, are not real Birthers. But that’s my point. In some cases, even candidates or major figures who are not real Birthers need to at least pay lip service to the idea.

In contrast, the only significant Democrats I am aware of who have publicly endorsed a 9/11 conspiracy theory are Cynthia McKinney, who served six terms in the United States House of Representatives for the Democrats, and Van Jones, who was Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. McKinney is now completely ostracized from the Democrats and has recently appeared on stage endorsing an American patriot group that promotes chemtrails and global weather engineering. Jones was fired from his position after it was disclosed that in 2004, he had signed a 911Truth.org petition calling for a new 9/11 investigation.

In fact, the most prominent politician that I know who has recently publicly endorsed a 9/11 conspiracy is Debra Medina, who was candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/texas-legislature/headlines/20100211-Debra-Medina-s-9-11-remark-7131.ece
In the Republican primary on March 2, 2010, Medina finished with 18.6% of the vote, behind Perry (51.1%) and Hutchison (30.3%). Rick Perry is also on my list of Obama Birthers – so that’s 2 out of 3 for Texas.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20124604-503544/is-rick-perry-a-birther/
Scott Keadle, who is running for the Republican nomination for the state’s 8th Congressional District
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/scott-keadle-nc-birther-_n_1517464.html
GOP congressional candidate Jim Pendergraph
http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/05/04/477958/jim-pendergraph-birther/
NC-8 candidate Richard Hudson
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/04/19/467914/richard-hudson-birther/
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who is running for Senate
http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/05/senate-candidate-hoekstra-establish-a-national-birther-office.php
Republican candidate for senate Tommy Thompson
http://gawker.com/5951785/wisc-senate-candidates-son-goes-birther-we-have-the-opportunity-to-send-obama-back-to-kenya
Iowa’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives
http://www.blogforiowa.com/2012/10/22/des-moines-register-endorses-christie-vilsack-over-birther-candidate/
GOP nomination in North Carolina’s 8th congressional district, Richard Hudson
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/04/19/467914/richard-hudson-birther/?mobile=nc
Former Michigan congressional representative and current Republican candidate for Senate, Pete Hoekstra
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/michigan-gop-senate-candidate-in-on-air-battle-with-cnns-brooke-baldwin-over-birther-issue/
James Grinols, one of 10 presidential electors chosen by the Republican Party of Minnesota
http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/eligibility-challenge-arises-in-electoral-college/
Leo Berman, Texas State Legislator
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/18/leo-berman-texas-birther-bill_n_784914.html
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Missouri and Republican candidate for President
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20037877-503544.html
Republican congressional candidate William Hudak
http://dankennedy.net/2010/01/22/hudak-used-birther-code-name-for-obama/
John Sampson, Republican candidate for Colorado State Senate – District 25
http://www.squarestate.net/diary/2472/birther-meets-purger
U.S. Representative for Florida’s 15th congressional district
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Posey#Tenure
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey,
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/32409.html
Wil Cardon, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/wil-cardon-arizona-obama-birther_n_1445424.html
Larry Klayman, former Sen. candidate & Judicial Watch founder
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/03/larry-klayman-former-sen-candidate-judicial-watch-founder-goes-birther-in-florida.html
Nathan Deal, Republican governor of Georgia
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/13/nathan-deal-birther-lette_n_422171.html
Even Romney had to pay lip service to the idea.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19372536

And of course there is Donald Trump
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/donald-trump-birther-obama-birth-certificate_n_1749257.html

You may not be aware of this, but all over the USA, Republican legislatures have been introducing bills inspired by the challenges of the Obama Birther conspiracy. You can read about these on the Fogbow ‘Birther Legislation’ forum
http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=59
However, the lay news is full of information about this,
Missouri Birther Bill Gets Preliminary Approval From Lawmakers
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/missouri-birther-bill-lawmakers-preliminary-passage_n_1385575.html”Birther” bill passes in Arizona legislature
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20054236-503544.html
Kansas committee approves Birther Bill
http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/02/kansas-committee-approves-birther-bill/

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The Biggest Spider I’ve Ever Seen

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Sommers on December 26, 2012

I originally posted this in 2006, but have resurrected it for Dale.

When I was young, I really liked spiders. I used to let them walk all over me; up and down my arms and hands…all kinds of spiders. I lived in a place with a lot of spiders; big ones, small ones, ugly ones, and beautiful ones. And none of them ever bothered me.

But then something happened. It was a switch in my mind. Suddenly, they scared the Bejesus out of me. I couldn’t go anywhere near them. And then I was in Taiwan, in a room with the biggest spider I had ever seen.

I was upstairs and heard a noise in the back room on the first floor. I couldn’t have really heard anything, because when I went down there, all that was down there was a huge spider. That room has a back door that leads outside, so I had thought maybe some kids had got in. I put on my hiking books and went downstairs to see. I opened the door and there it was, as big as a grown man’s hand, right in the middle of the room.

I have lived among the Buddhists for a long time, and their ethos does brush off on you. Besides, I’ve never much liked killing things. I went and got a broom, opened the back door, and sweep it outside.

Then I got an idea; we had a cockroach problem in the house. If I killed some of the roaches and left their carcasses in the room, the spiders would come back and wipe out all the roaches in the house. So I did it. And one day, I looked in the room and the roach bodies were all gone.

Bad move. At least it was only roaches. Now there were man-sized spiders in the house. I had to tell my roommates, but first I had to go to work. I came home and found Ann to warn her about the spiders.

“It’s too late,” she said. “We already found them.” And this is the story she told me.

She had come home, and there it was, the biggest spider she had ever seen on the living room wall. She called Ray, our gigantic Mexican-American roommate, to kill it. I guess they don’t have spiders like that in LA because Ray tried to kill it with a broom. He whacked the thing. But instead of dying, when it hit the floor out popped a small ball made of something that looked like tape. Thousands of baby spiders poured out of the thing, all over the floor.

They were everywhere. And the mama spider was still alive. On she crawled. On toward Ray. He turned and tried to climb the stairs. That’s when the web wrapped around him like something from a horror movie. And on the mama spider crawled.

Really, his life was never in the danger that he feared, but he sure was scared. He ran to the kitchen, grabbed the Raid, and started spraying for all he was worth.

But the mama spider crawled on, refusing to die. On she crawled. Pulling herself through the lake of poison. Fighting for the lives of her babies; for the future of her species. But finally, this was too much even for the biggest spider in the world, and she died.

There are no movie spiders as big as a house, with the power to destroy a truck. The biggest spiders in the world aren’t much bigger than your hand. For all I know, that was the biggest spider in the world, or the biggest spider of its kind. And so, Ray may have slain the biggest spider in the world on that day. No one will ever know the truth of that gargantuan battle fought in the heart of Yung-ho. It wasn’t recorded by a movie or by a book. There was just death and then it was forgotten.

And while movies end neatly with a conclusion that finishes the danger or sets the story up for a squeal, reality is never so neatly organized. Mama spider, baby spiders, what’s missing? We searched the house for days looking for the daddy spider. Finally we found him, and we found him much as you’d expect, dead for ages, sucked dry like an old sponge. A sorry end to this story of mythical battle for survival.