I’ve written before about President Obama’s birth certificate issue, but it’s hit the news again this week when the White House finally released a more detailed certificate. And now that it’s been released, several things struck me.

* I find it strange that the title of the document is “Certificate of Live Birth” instead of the “Birth Certificate” that I have on mine. But apparently that’s a Hawaii thing, based on another certificate signed on the same day as Pres. Obama’s.

* Why release it now? People have called to see the certificate for more than three years, so what is so special about Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, that merits releasing it now? Pres. Obama explained the reason this way:

“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Mr. Obama said. “We’ve got some enormous challenges out there. There are a lot of folks out there still looking for work… We do not have time for this kind of silliness.”

Later that day, Pres. Obama took advantage of having put this kind of silliness behind him and appeared on the Oprah show and attended three fundraisers. Serious presidential stuff, that. I’m glad it’s now behind him.

I can find only one reason why the certificate was released: instead of being a fringe subject for “birthers,” more and more mainstream people have been paying attention to this issue, thanks mostly to the way presidential-hopeful Donald Trump has talked about it. It had gotten to the point that a poll showed only 38% of Americans believed Pres. Obama was definitely born in the U.S. Pres. Obama can lay the the blame for those poor numbers at his own feet. He could have resolved this issue years ago, if he had wanted to.

* Since Pres. Obama only had to ask to get the birth certificate, why release it now when it could have been really useful at Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin’s court martial? When he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, Lakin refused to comply, reasoning that if Pres. Obama were not legally the Commander in Chief due to his citizenship doubts, he couldn’t legally issue orders to the military. Col. Lakin was convicted in his court martial and is currently serving his six month confinement in addition to being dismissed from the U.S. Army. His military career would not be in shambles if Pres. Obama had seen fit to release his birth certificate earlier.

* Why spend over a million dollars to the Perkins Coie law firm to squelch lawsuits asking for Pres. Obama to confirm his natural-born U.S. citizenship status? Why spend gobs of cash to hide something if there is nothing there to hide? Sure, it could be a rope-a-dope to tar people as loonies for bringing up the subject, but is that really worth the money?

* For an administration committed to being “the most open and transparent in history,” the Obama White House has been mighty closed. It took years to get this certificate released; now people will continue to ask about Pres. Obama’s school records and other records that haven’t yet been released to the public. Donald Trump is calling for them, and since he was successful in getting the birth certificate, will he also be successful in freeing up Pres. Obama’s school records from “the most open and transparent” administration in history? Time will tell.

* Will this convince all the people who believe Pres. Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.? Of course not. Some people will never accept any level of proof. Looking at the PDF file the White House released, I have to wonder why they monkeyed with the document before sending it out. The funky green and white background can’t be on the original document. I took the PDF file that the White House released, zoomed in to 600% on the top-left of the document, and added blinking lines to show the way the horizontal lines don’t curve on the image as you’d expect if they were part of the original document.

blinking Obama certificate

So someone edited the document before it was officially posted. I have to wonder why. And others have pointed at oddities of the image, too. Since the White House knew that people would be scrutinizing this document, why has it so obviously been doctored?

What we do have is Pres. Obama telling us that we should trust him. I am left to wonder what it is about Pres. Obama, his current actions, and his past that would engender such trust.

In the Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze,” there is an excellent bit of dialogue between Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gregory of Scotland Yard, beginning with the Inspector:

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

The curious incident of the quiet dog indicated that the mysterious man who stole the prize racehorse, Silver Blaze, was known to the dog, explaining why it didn’t bark.

In other news, I filled up the car and dropped over $50 to do so. As you can see from the photo I took at the time, the price for regular unleaded was just shy of $4 a gallon at the pump. Right now oil is above $110 a barrel. I remember when gas prices last spiked in the summer of 2008, when then-candidate Barack Obama stated that he would have preferred a gradual adjustment to higher gas prices over the quick rise that happened. Here’s a clip of him talking about this in 2008, with some other news commentaries mixed in.

Did you catch the female reporter around 10 seconds in, stating that the Energy Department was forecasting $4/gallon gas prices for the rest of 2008 and into 2009? Do you remember paying that much? I don’t. I remember oil prices dropping like a stone about a month after this video was posted.

The graph on the top right was generated at metalprices.com showing the price of crude oil for the past five years. See that monster spike in the middle? That’s the same 2008 oil spike that drove up gas prices. Do you see how the price quickly dropped, ending up even lower than the previous low point on the chart? Just what could have caused that drop? Oil hit its highest price on July 14, 2008, the very same day that President Bush announced that he would, by executive order, lift the ban on offshore oil drilling. Beginning the very next day, oil prices began to drop and continued to do so for several months as the market reacted to the news of increased future oil supplies.

Now look at the graph on the bottom right, listing the crude oil prices since President Obama took office. Notice a trend? This is what the market looks like when the President reimposes a ban on offshore oil drilling less than a month after taking office, then places a moratorium on all oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The market reacted to the news of decreased future oil supplies by raising the price of crude oil.

Certainly there are other factors that also play into the rising oil prices, the biggest among them being the increased instability in the Middle East and the increasingly weak U.S. dollar in international markets. There’s no need to blame Pres. Obama for political instability in the Middle East (although others have done so), but I will lay the blame for a weakening dollar solidly at his feet. Pres. Obama and his fellow travelers on the political left have trashed the foundation of our currency with their prolific spending and inability to seriously handle the rising deficit.

As long as our dollar continues to weaken because of shortsighted policies made by liberals in government, and as long as Pres. Obama prevents us from accessing our own energy supplies, the price of crude oil and gas will continue to go up and up and up. In 2008, and in the previous years when gas prices soared, there were multiple news stories each day about rising gas prices and the people affected by them. But this year the same news stories have been few and far between. So what is the difference this time? Why the strange silence from the barking dogs of the news media?

It’s simple. The media is too busy wagging its collective tail at its master, Pres. Obama, to bark at him. And when you understand that, the silence is far from curious.

Aren’t you glad that today is April 15th? Have you paid your taxes yet? The answer to that is yes, you have paid your taxes. Every time you got your paycheck, you were also paying your taxes since they were withheld from you automatically. But have you filed your tax return yet? The good news is that the due date for tax filing this year is April 18th. TGIF!

For your entertainment, here are two videos. The first comes from ReasonTV about why you should pay your taxes.

Failure to pay taxes leads to Obama!

The next comes from Disney Studios as part of the war effort. Can you spot what really dates this cartoon? Hint: it’s not the anti-German or anti-Japanese stand.

What dates this cartoon is the discussion of saving money so taxes can be paid four times a year: March 15th, June 15th, September 15th, and December 15th. Because of the need for ready cash, tax collection was changed during World War II from quarterly payments to automatic deductions from the people’s paychecks. There is an unfortunate side effect of automatic payroll deductions, as explained by a government article:

Another important feature of the income tax that changed was the return to income tax withholding as had been done during the Civil War. This greatly eased the collection of the tax for both the taxpayer and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. However, it also greatly reduced the taxpayer’s awareness of the amount of tax being collected, i.e. it reduced the transparency of the tax, which made it easier to raise taxes in the future.

The top income tax rate rose from 68% in 1940 to 88% in 1942 to an astounding 94% in 1944. What sort of incentive does a hard-working business owner have to spend more time in the office or expand his business if his reward is the joy of being allowed to keep a mere six cents out of every dollar he earns? “But the rich should pay more than they already do! After all, they can afford it!” Yes, I have heard this cry from liberals. And most of the time they demand that “the rich” should pay more taxes. Rarely do liberals call for their own taxes to go up, but sometimes it happens. Author Stephen King asked a rally in Florida, “As a rich person, I pay 28 percent tax… what I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?”

That’s a good question. Why isn’t he paying more? If he really wants to pay more in taxes, nothing’s stopping him from voluntarily giving more money to the government. Does he need the heavy hand of government to force him (and everyone else, regardless of their personal inclinations) to pay more taxes?

Based on his own words, I guess he does. But he certainly doesn’t speak for me.