Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What do you mean, “no one knew Obama in school!”

The liars keep lying and spreading their offal around to the naïve, gullible, predisposed suckers who will pay them heed!
by Charlie Leck

This is an Open Letter to my friend and golfing companion who is attracted to idiots like Sarah Palin and the rest of the Tea Party crowd, including the delightfully idiotic Wayne Allyn Root. My friend and his wife continue to be delighted and titillated by these incredible lies that the right keeps spreading around and, without checking if they are true, they continue the chain of deception by sending these lies on in emails to everyone they know or, at least, for whom they have an email address. I not only think this is wrong, I condemn it as immoral. We have a responsibility to the Truth (with a capital ‘T’) and must honor it!.

Dear Fred:

I received your most recent ludicrous charge that was contained in one of the popular emails going around these days to people out on the right. It states that no one knew Obama in school – either while he was a student in Hawaii or while he was at Columbia. Oh my, another of the international intrigue legends about Barack Obama and where he must have come from. Can you imagine? He must have been invented in some laboratory by the far left commies who want to take over America! Or was he raised in the deepest, darkest part of Africa by strange people of a non-Judeo-Christian heritage who want to destroy the great Christian country of the United States? These are conspiritorialists caught up in the whole Manchurian Candidate thing!

Since this is an open letter, Fred, I want to give my readers a little background about your unsophisticated and bogus claim. It’s one that is fostered and caressed and publicized by one of your heroes, Mr. Wayne Allyn Root, who serves on the Libertarian National Committee (an organization for which I have nothing but disdain).

Mr. Root loves to claim loudly that he and Obama were at Columbia at the same time and was, like Obama, a political science major.

“I don’t know a single person at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me! I don’t have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia. Ever! Nobody recalls him. I’m not exaggerating, I’m not kidding… Never met him in my life, don’t know anyone who ever met him.”

“Obama’s photograph does not appear in the school’s yearbook and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia, provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or friends while at Columbia.”

Oh, my gosh, Fred! Can you imagine? This Obama must have been brought in by a bunch of aliens on a spaceship as part of their plot to take over the world. We have an alien President!

In a note to me, Fred, you said that this “Wayne Allyn Root seems honest!”

Yeh, you bet, Fred! For God sake, man, if you send this trash on to other people without checking the facts you are doing something terribly immoral and hurtful. Yes, I said “immoral!” He seems honest, huh? Come on, man!

What is it that Mr. Root is trying to say, Fred? That the stories of Obama’s time at Columbia are lies? That he didn’t really attended Columbia College?

Let’s deal with some facts about the background of our President, Barack Obama. He graduated from high school in 1979 and then attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before he transferred to Columbia College in New York City (it’s a school within Columbia University). He graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

For five years after graduating, he traveled and worked as a community organizer (Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago). Don’t snivel at the occupation, Fred, for I was myself a community organizer for a time and I consider it more of a calling than an occupation. Obama distinguished himself in the work.

It is not true, as Fox News attests, that no one ever came forward to say that they personally knew Barack Obama during his Columbia years. Obama admitted many years ago that he was a loner at Columbia – that he had decided to get serious and work hard.

“I didn’t socialize that much,” said Obama in some of his memoirs. “I was like a monk.”

“For about two years there,” Obama told biographer David Mendell, “I was just painfully alone and really not focused on anything, except maybe I was thinking a lot.”

However, Obama did have some friends at Columbia and some of them have come forward and talked about those years.

Phil Boerner, for example, shared an apartment with Obama at Columbia. He provided his recollections in interviews with the alumni publication, Columbia College Today, and to the New York Times in 2009.

One of his professors, Michael L. Baron, in an NBC interview, talked about a year-long class he taught in American Foreign Policy that Obama easily aced. He gave Obama an A on his senior paper about “nuclear negotiations with the Soviet Union.” Extraordinary and completely false excerpts from that paper have been circulated by the far right liars in America and they absolutely knew they were false when the circulated them. This element preys on people like you, Fred, and knows they can rile you and get you to pass their lies on to others. In fact, no copy of the paper exists anymore and that is not uncommon – I don’t know where any of my college or university or graduate school papers are either (and good riddance).

Another friend and classmate of Obama, Sohale Siddiqi, provided plenty of information about Obama while a student at Columbia in a 2008 interview with U.S.A. Today. You can read the whole story, Fred, but here’s an important part of it for you to drink in…

Together, the recollections of Siddiqi and other friends and acquaintances from Obama's college years paint a portrait of the candidate as a young man.

“They remember a good student with a sharp mind and unshakable integrity, a young man who already had a passion for the underprivileged. Some described the young Obama's personality as confident to the point of arrogance, a criticism that would emerge decades later, during the campaign.

“Not everyone who knew Obama in those years is eager to talk.

“Some explained that they feared inadvertently hurting Obama's campaign. Among his friends were Siddiqi and two other Pakistanis, all of them from Karachi; several of those interviewed said the Pakistanis were reluctant to talk for fear of stoking rumors that Obama is a Muslim.

“‘Obama in the eyes of some right wingers is basically Muslim until proved innocent,’ says Margot Mifflin, a friend from Occidental who is now a journalism professor at New York's Lehman College. ‘It's partly the Muslim factor by association and partly the fear of something being twisted.’

“The young man Mifflin remembers was ‘an unpretentious, down to earth, solidly middle-class guy who seemed somewhat more sophisticated than the average college student. He was slightly reserved and deliberate in a way that I sometimes thought betrayed an uncertainty.’”

What can I say, Fred? Seems there are plenty of old friends who remember him at Columbia. Give me a break, will you! Obama probably just didn’t hang around with head-whacks like Root. You still need more evidence, Fred? Okay!

Here’s an article Obama published in a 1983 edition of the Sundial Magazine, a student publication at Columbia. It’s pretty damned good writing, too, although it wouldn’t be far enough right for you, my friend.

Take a look at the college’s alumni publication of March 1983, Columbia College Today, which profiles Obama’s years while at Columbia.

Here, Fred, is a Columbia press release in 2008 that boasts that Obama is the University’s first alum to be elected to the Presidency.

Fred, think about it! How do you think Obama got into Harvard Law School? Is it part of the plan of the aliens from Mars? You need a pretty good education and damned good grades to get into Harvard Law.

Don’t be such a sucker, Fred. Or is it that you want to believe these things? Think about it Fred.

Please tell dear, dear Mary not to send on all this trash that seems to find its way into her email. To do so is being an accomplice of such dishonesty. It’s easy to check on all these facts. The information I gave you above was detailed, documented and carefully sourced by the good folks at Snopes.

As for Obama’s plan to overwhelm the America economic system and turn the nation into a communist state, according to Mr. Root, developed during his years at Columbia, where he wasn’t supposed to be a student, according to Mr. Root,… well, Fred, I’m getting a headache from it all! Mr. Root may not be lying, but he certainly is a crazy bastard. Don’t buy into it, Fred.

Your damned good friend and faithful buddy,


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1 comment:

  1. Wayne Allyn Root is an embarrassment to the Libertarian Party -- and many LP members are increasingly disgusted by him.

    I've been collecting Root's sleazy antics for years on my blog, if you want to know more about him.

    For instance, did you know that "libertarian" Root defended Egyptian dictator Mubarak when fighting first broke out in Egypt, then did a complete 180 flip-flop less than a week later, when it became apparent that most Libertarians disagreed with him:

    Root has a history of flip-flopping on issues -- and he's shameless about it.