Mayor defends YouTube comments; county board member calls for resignation

Mayor defends YouTube comments; county board member calls for resignation

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign County board member said he was “flabbergasted” and is calling for Mayor Jerry Schweighart’s resignation after seeing a YouTube video in which Schweighart makes controversial comments about President Obama’s U.S. citizenship.

County board member Al Kurtz is denouncing Schweighart after the mayor was recorded questioning Obama’s birthplace and saying, “I don’t think he’s American, personally.”

“I think his willful ignorance of the facts and his bias against the president of the United States makes him unable to run the city of Champaign,” Kurtz said Friday.

Schweighart on Friday stood by the comments he made in the YouTube video, which circulated widely on Facebook and Twitter.

“I was asked my opinion, I gave my opinion, I could have lied about my opinion,” Schweighart said.

Asked about his reaction to Kurtz’s call for his resignation, Schweighart gave no indication that he would respond to Kurtz.

“That’s his (Kurtz’s) opinion,” Schweighart said. “He’s got a right to state his opinion, and I’ve got a right to state mine.”

The video was recorded Thursday during a West Side Park rally organized by the Tea Party, a conservative anti-tax political group.

“He now has polarized the city of Champaign and this county because of these rash statements that have no basis in fact,” Kurtz said.

In the video, Schweighart suggests Obama is hiding his history.

“You know, if you’re not willing to produce an original certificate, a birth certificate, then you’ve got something to hide,” Schweighart says in the YouTube video. “If he (Obama) doesn’t have something to hide, produce it.”

Schweighart clarified one of his YouTube statements, in which he said he questioned Obama’s status as an American. Schweighart said he does not question Obama’s current citizenship, but whether or not he was born in the country is up for debate.

Obama “can clear that up very easily” if he makes public his school or birth records, Schweighart said.

Kurtz said he had not contacted the mayor personally, but he is going to consult with the county board chairman to see if he can bring forward some kind of resolution requesting Schweighart’s resignation.

“It’s just unbelievable to me,” Kurtz said. “It boggles the mind that our mayor would think this way.”

Schweighart said media coverage of his YouTube comments has been overblown.

“I may be mayor, but I’m still a citizen,” he said.

More in Saturday's News-Gazette, including the person who shot the video and reaction from some council members.

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Amanda Baker wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm
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Stating that Obama is or is not a citizen is not an opinion, it's a statement of fact. Schweighart is stating that Obama is not a citizen which he is stating as a fact, not an opinion.

It's like stating: In my opinion, Schweighart is the Major of Urbana, not Champaign.

How could anyone say that it is an opinion, then stand by it?

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

It's amazing that we live in a world where just questioning anything about the President can get people rallying behind firing you. I hope all of the people driving around town with the bumper stickers that bash Bush get to keep their jobs or we'll really start to see unemployment numbers climb. Obama's not the second coming of Christ. He's a politician. We're all American here. The fact that Al Kurtz is calling for someone's resignation solely based on that person exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech should be grounds for Al Kurtz to be ousted. It's one thing to talk negatively about someone...It's a whole other ball game to try to oppress free speech.

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

He didn't state that Obama was not a citizen. He said, "I don't think he's an American, personally". That is his opinion not fact. If he had documents in his hand proving one way or the other and said, "Obama is not an American" then that would be fact. Get your facts straight before you post your opinion. P.S. An opinion can be based in fact.

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

“I was asked my opinion, I gave my opinion, I could have lied about my opinion,” Schweighart said.

The problem isn't that you didn't lie about your opinion, Mayor, the problem is that your opinion is stupid and ill-informed.

Amanda Baker wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm
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Ok. you got me.

I don't think you're awilson, personally.

In my opinion, the world is not round.

Personally, I don't think this is the News-Gazette's website.

You're totally right, in my opinion. But that's just my opinion.

peabody wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I don't like the mayor but I have to say that Al Kurtz is going a little overboard here. Frankly it doesn't surprise me that the mayor a birther, but I fail to see how it affects his performance in city hall. The reason I'm not voting for Schweighart is because he stopped salting my street and my wife crashed on the ice and did $1500 in damage to the car. As far as I can tell that had nothing to do with his opinion on Obama.

dw wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

But you see, making claims against his birth certificate IS a political attack. The correct answer is nobody knows until the birth certificate is produced. Saying whether he is, or he isn't prior to this happening is irresponsible, whether personal opinion or no...

I think this, and the smoking ban controversy and olympian drive shows just how wacko our current mayors are... I yearn for the day when the mayors of our fair cities would compete with each other in the biathlon. I doubt either of our current mayors could do it, or bring themselves to concede that much to each other.

It's why I support the re-legalization of political dueling: put up or shut up (and apologize) will cure a lot of this foolish talk. Along with more civil discourse, it will make for trimmer and fitter politicians!

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

#2
ahartman wrote 7 min 48 sec ago

Ok. you got me.

I don't think you're awilson, personally.

In my opinion, the world is not round.

Personally, I don't think this is the News-Gazette's website.

You're totally right, in my opinion. But that's just my opinion.

Great job, ahartman. You've figured out that an opinion is just that. An opinion. DOesn't mean it's correct, doesn't mean it's fact, doesn't even mean your intelligent for having it. It does mean that we live in a country where we have rights given to us by our Constitution. If you don't like his opinion, tell us your opinion. Just hope someone doesn't call for your resignation for doing so.

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

dw wrote 2 min 31 sec ago

But you see, making claims against his birth certificate IS a political attack. The correct answer is nobody knows until the birth certificate is produced. Saying whether he is, or he isn't prior to this happening is irresponsible, whether personal opinion or no...

I think this, and the smoking ban controversy and olympian drive shows just how wacko our current mayors are... I yearn for the day when the mayors of our fair cities would compete with each other in the biathlon. I doubt either of our current mayors could do it, or bring themselves to concede that much to each other.

It's why I support the re-legalization of political dueling: put up or shut up (and apologize) will cure a lot of this foolish talk. Along with more civil discourse, it will make for trimmer and fitter politicians!

Irresponsible? Are you kidding? If there is even a remote possibility that our President is sitting in office illegally due to being a naturalized citizen, then it is our RESPONSIBILITY as citizens to question that and find out the facts. Questioning that doesn't make you irresponsible, un-American or any other bashing terms you'd like to use. It makes you a responsible citizen that is interested in guarding the sanctity of that office. Did Obama not bash President Bush on a regular basis? Should we call for his resignation for doing so? Rights my friend....Rights. Funny to me that the same people that worship the ACLU will try to oppress freedom of speech in this town.

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

dw wrote 2 min 31 sec ago

But you see, making claims against his birth certificate IS a political attack. The correct answer is nobody knows until the birth certificate is produced. Saying whether he is, or he isn't prior to this happening is irresponsible, whether personal opinion or no...

I think this, and the smoking ban controversy and olympian drive shows just how wacko our current mayors are... I yearn for the day when the mayors of our fair cities would compete with each other in the biathlon. I doubt either of our current mayors could do it, or bring themselves to concede that much to each other.

It's why I support the re-legalization of political dueling: put up or shut up (and apologize) will cure a lot of this foolish talk. Along with more civil discourse, it will make for trimmer and fitter politicians!

Irresponsible? Are you kidding? If there is even a remote possibility that our President is sitting in office illegally due to being a naturalized citizen, then it is our RESPONSIBILITY as citizens to question that and find out the facts. Questioning that doesn't make you irresponsible, un-American or any other bashing terms you'd like to use. It makes you a responsible citizen that is interested in guarding the sanctity of that office. Did Obama not bash President Bush on a regular basis? Should we call for his resignation for doing so? Rights my friend....Rights. Funny to me that the same people that worship the ACLU will try to oppress freedom of speech in this town.

peaches wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Seriously!?!?!?! Again with the "off with their heads" mentality because he DARES to have an opinion!?!?!?! Good grief folks - get over yourselves. Day after day I'm appalled at the ridiculous sensitivities we have to endure. Everyone...let me repeat...EVERYONE has the right to their opinion in the United States of America. Christians cannot publicly proclaim Jesus because someone may be offended. I am a Christian - and believe me - I am NOT offended because another person wants to worship as a Muslim. Nor am I offended because someone might choose to NOT believe what I believe. What I AM offended by, are these "nosy-rosies" that seem to be everywhere just looking for things to be offended by! Head outside and pick up garbage that someone chose to throw out their window instead of finding a trashcan. There's plenty of work for you to do so you won't be so intently looking at other people so critically. I'm not even a Schweighart fan (if there is such a thing), but I defend his right to have his opinion! So Mr. Kurtz, find something productive to do - volunteer to read to a dying patient or something.

shurstrike wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Of course this begs the question to Mr. Kurtz, who honestly believes that Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii - can you please show us the evidence and just shut all of the birthers up? Pretty please? Certainly you don't believe it "just because he said so", do you? If that's the case, I've got a bridge.......well, you know the rest.

Oh, and while you're at it, you may want to tell James Orengo that Obama was a natural born citizen. And how I would love to be the proverbial fly on the wall:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=139481

"Orengo held up the U.S. as a country no longer 'living in the past,' since Americans elected a Kenyan-born president without regard to "ethnic consideration and objectives.' ".....and if found to be true, without regard for the U.S. Constitution.

kiel wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I think Schweighart uses salad forks to torture puppies. Of course, that's just my opinion.

jthartke wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

The point is that the facts are quite clear that President Obama was born in Hawaii. The birth certificate has been produced dozens of times, so many times in fact that Hawaii is considering legislation to penalize fraudulent requests.

What the mayor shows is how out of touch with facts and reality he happens to be, as do the rest of your birthers. The Mayor is allowed his opinion, but he is not free from criticism because of how stupid or ill-informed that opinion is.

I mean, how bad are his other ideas and opinions? How uninformed is the rest of his governance?

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

kiel wrote 52 sec ago

I think Schweighart uses salad forks to torture puppies. Of course, that's just my opinion.

That's a personal attack(using your opinion) on someone's character. Potentially voicing an opinion like that could be construed as slander.

I don't believe(correct me if I'm wrong, but don't call for my resignation) that the Mayor attacked Obama's character. I believe(please don't call for my resignation) that he questioned whether or not the President was born in the United States. If you believe that is an attack on his character than you mus also believe that being born outside of this country is a negative character trait. I, however, believe(please don't call for my resignation) that you can come from any country in the world and have great character traits. However, our laws call for you to be born on US soil to serve as President.

ctharp569 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

The fact that an elected official showed such ignorance in making a statement like this is startling. Do Mayor Schweighart and those who agree with him really believe there is some vast conspiracy to elect a non-US citizen to become President of the United States? For what prurpose? Who is funding this conspiracy? Of course he was born in the US. And there is ample proof of that. (one example: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100317/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_birth_certificate). But, to those who prefer to hide behind Glenn Beck and WND, proof is uneccessary. Speculation, hoopla, thinly-veiled racism, and pure unadultrated ignorance are all that is needed in thier minds. Americans with this "us vs. them" mentality are the only people doing harm to this country.

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

jthartke wrote 40 sec ago

The point is that the facts are quite clear that President Obama was born in Hawaii. The birth certificate has been produced dozens of times, so many times in fact that Hawaii is considering legislation to penalize fraudulent requests.

What the mayor shows is how out of touch with facts and reality he happens to be, as do the rest of your birthers. The Mayor is allowed his opinion, but he is not free from criticism because of how stupid or ill-informed that opinion is.

I mean, how bad are his other ideas and opinions? How uninformed is the rest of his governance?

The fact is that Obama could not produce an original borth certificate at all and only produced a copy after visiting the Democratic Governor of Hawaii. There is a possibility(politicians aren't the most pristine people on the planet) that it could have been forged. I don't believe that is the case, but there is that possibility and people that believe it could be so are entitled to their opinion. Does this leave them free from public scrutiny? Of course not. They're not free from public scrutiny whether they voice their opinion or not. However, for another public official to call for their resignation when all they've done is exercised their right to free speech is a bit too far. This calls into question the character of Kurtz himself. We should all call for the resignation of any public official that wishes to censor others. Last I heard doing so would be a violation of Schweighart's civil rights. Tell me what law was broken by Schweighart? I'm not a supporter of the guy either, but put your political beliefs aside long enough to see that once we stop allowing people to express their opinion, it becomes a very slippery slope....Next thing you know we'll let the government take over health care or something crazy like that. We might even end up living in a Socialist country.

citizen 78 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Ok, here it is: http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate

Now are you going to say it's a forgery? Are you going to say its a vast liberal conspiracy to fool the good American people into electing a socialist/foreign/muslim/antichrist? Republicans have reached new heights of lies and deception. They'll literally say 2 + 2 is 3 to serve their political purposes. No belief in truth or decency. How Orwellian.

cogitoergosum wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Mayor Schweighart is a citizen (although I haven't seen HIS birth certificate...). And he has every right to state his opinion - it's why we have a 1st amendment. However, it is my opinion that he is an ignorant wingnut.

For all you mayoral supporters, you might want to take a look at the following entry on the website Snopes.com before you rush to defend your favorite Tea Party celebrity:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

awilson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

ctharp569 wrote 2 min 58 sec ag

Americans with this "us vs. them" mentality are the only people doing harm to this country.

I know your pain. Try being a Republican in a University town. Good thing we elected a President that was going to bring us all together. I couldn't stand bush, but I assure you. There wasn't this much hatred from "Liberals" in this town before the last Presidential race.

stupid_is wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

It's my opinion that Mr. Kurtz's opinion is compeltely off base and quite frankly I believe it's a racial and politcal attack on the Mayor. Of course this is just my opinion. WTF does it matter what the Mayor says as long as he is running our city, so that it the benefits the community? Seriously go change your tampon and grow up for Christ's sake Mr Kutz!

dcaric692 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Everyone has an opinion and our Mayor expressed his. So what? Don't like it - ignore it.

Our mayor has been a public servant for the City of Champaign for a very long time. He has worked most of his life to make our city better. So, he said something without thinking it through - haven't you done that before? I think that we all have.

This should be a non-issue, not someone trying to get him to resign. LET IT GO!!!

jthartke wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

awilson opined: "I'm not a supporter of the guy either, but put your political beliefs aside long enough to see that once we stop allowing people to express their opinion, it becomes a very slippery slope....Next thing you know we'll let the government take over health care or something crazy like that. We might even end up living in a Socialist country."

Do you think that the first band of cave men who hunted a mammoth together and brought back meat for the old and sick people in the tribe considered themselves "socialists"?

Al Kurtz is just as free to his opinion that the Mayor should resign as the Mayor is free to his opinion that Obama was not born here. Only one of these two "opinions" can be factually proven to be wrong.

Of course, I could hand you the triple signed original piece of paper that is is his birth certificate and you would find something wrong with it. This is the first about a visit to the Governor of Hawaii I've heard. That is a new one.

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Christians cannot publicly proclaim Jesus because someone may be offended.

Oh, for crying out loud. I must have hallucinated all the Christian churches, billboards, bumper stickers, radio and TV preachers, Web sites, and political organizations out there. Not to mention the fact that in much of the country, politicians have to wear their religion on their sleeve to get elected.

citizen 78 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

This mayor proved yesterday that he, as County Board Member Kurtz says, is so biased to be unable to effectively run the city of Champaign. Having a republican or democrat as Mayor is just fine to the majority of people in this city, but we don't need some extremist radical running our lives. If you agree, sign this petition asking Mayor Schweighart to step down.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/schweighartresign/

jthartke wrote on April 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Also it is really sad to see how little people understand the difference between fact and opinion. When you are wrong on the facts you can't just call them opinions and leave them at that.

The Mayor should resign is an opinion. Anyone is entitled to opinion, and pros and cons can be found for each side.

The President was born in Hawaii is fact. There is no spin or argument. It has been proven, multiple times, and it is fact. There is a difference.

When one shows a sorrily poor understanding of facts, their opinions might just need to be questioned as well.

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I do wish this article had pointed out that Obama has produced a birth certificate, one that was good enough for the State Department. (But of course, our birther friends have so much more expertise in these matters than State.)

Amanda Baker wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm
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Well said jthartke! Just because he cloaked his statement in words that make it sound like a opinion, does not make it a opinion. He simply hid behind his ignorance with his "opinion."

cats kradle wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Who posted the video on YouTube? Why are they allowed to remain anonymous without the newspaper even addressing the question of their identity? Are we so far gone that we don't ask questions when some disembodied voice tells us what to think about?

shelleyfried wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Way to go Schweighart! I'm glad someone has actually spoken their mind around here. Anyone who takes months to reveal his "certificate of live birth" has something to hide.

peabody wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

"shelleyfried," I have doubts about your citizenship. Please obtain a copy of your birth certificate and present it on the internet so clearly and unambiguously that even the wildest anonymous conspiracy theorist can't doubt its veracity. It's also your responsibility to find me and guide me to the correct web link. I'm waiting. If there's any delay it will be considered proof that you're Muslim. On your mark. Get set. Go.

citizen 78 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I know catscradle! I bet that voice was one of those black ops people who faked the non-existant birth certificate in the first place. And they probably spliced together Schweighart's words from previous speeches to make him sound insane when he really said something reasonable and patriotic. Or maybe they had a gun to his head. I don't believe video evidence either.

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Also, citizen 78, the fact that Schweighart confirmed that he made those comments doesn't mean that somebody didn't fabricate the video. Personally, I suspect ACORN.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Mayor Schweigharts term comes up in 2011 and I would suggest to Mr. Kurtz to let the people decide whether or not he stays in office. In my opinion what the mayor said was both ignorant and stupid, yet it's still should be up to the people to decide what his fate is. Now if the major had done something blatantly unethical or illegal then other elected officials would have just cause for calling for his resignation.

vette427 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Peabody brings up a very good point. I have yet to see any evidence that shelleyfried is an American citizen, and it's almost been 15 minutes.

Strange1 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Read this and weep, you local terrorists..........http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

Strange1 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Read this (if you can). yep could be forgery. So could George Bush's High School diploma. But I don't either are. http://static.politifact.com.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/birthCertObama.jpg

shoez1995 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Any one heard of free speech? Just because you do not agree with what a person says, do not mean he isn't allowed to say it! He should lose his job because he has an opinion, but our VICE PRESIDENT can use foul/offensive language on national television and that's okay?! Get a grip people!

Lucy wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

While I don't consider myself a "birther," I do have a healthy skepticism on the birth certificate issue for many reasons. First of all the "Certificate" on Snopes and other sites isn't his birth certificate--it's just a computer-generated document stating that he was born. His actual birth certificate would be a certified copy of the original birth certificate that was created at the time of his birth (before computers) and would include the name of the hospital where he was born, the names and signatures of witnesses (usually physicians) to his birth, and would be signed by an official confirming that it is true and accurate. Additionally, at one time or another Obama and family members have named three different hospitals as his place of birth. All three of those hospitals eventually stated they had no record he was born there. He's running out of hospitals. Third, and most troubling of all, is the fact that the "transparent" President has paid between $1.5-$2mil in legal fees to date to fight lawsuits brought to force him to produce the Certificate. Legal fees incurred prior to his election were paid for with campaign funds and those incurred after he became President have been paid for with taxpayer dollars because he used government lawyers. The judges ruled against the plaintiffs in all the suits, though in no case was the ruling based on the merits of the argument, in each case it was based on a decision that the plaintiffs didn't have "standing" to bring the lawsuit. A reasonable person would ask why anyone would go to such great lengths to avoid producing something as simple as their birth certificate if they have one. Those who blindly support Obama say he's doing it to make the "birther's" look bad, but the fact is, this issue has been consistently gaining steam and will definitely be a big issue if he runs for re-election. Who really will be looking "crazy" if at that point he suddenly produces the birth certificate and everyone sees that he has spent great sums of taxpayer time and money just to be able to say "gotcha" to his opponents. There are lots of people at all points on the political spectrum who admit these days that they believe Obama is hiding something, and we have a right to know what it is--it's not just a few extremist "wackos" anymore.

vanessa wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I am flabbergasted that Mr. Kurtz has taken issue with the Mayor exercising his right to free speech. I do not find the Mayor's comments neither ignorant or stupid. It is a legitimate question, one which has been swirling around this President since before his election to the office. I think the real question is why has he not produced the birth certificate and put an end once and for all to the controversy? Seems he could make the group referred to as the birthers, which his adminstration has maligned and mocked, look like fools if he just produced the document. It is something every other President has had to do, why not he? I also would like to remind Mr. Kurtz that the right to free speech applies to everyone, not just those you agree with. Since he has such disdain for a fundamental constitutional right, perhaps he is the one who should resign. If he cannot deal with differences of opinion without immediately calling for someone's resignation, perhaps he is a little too petulant and intolerant to be in any position of power. I call for his resignation. The last time I looked, we are still free as Americans to question the President or any elected official. We certainly don't need to remind ourselves of the constant assault of President Bush, so I say question away Mayor, while you are still free to do it.

Sandy wrote on April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Schweighart's "opnion" is that he doesn't care to address the facts. The facts are that the birth certificate Obama made available is a legal document that proves citizenship -- for anyone except, apparently, Obama. His birth information is confirmed in local papers (the papers still exist, it's not just a computer-generated image). Any rational person not consumed with discrediting someone would be satisfied with either bit of information.

The claim that he's not a citizen is a great example of the Republican tactic of telling a whopper, then forcing the opposition to disprove it, the equivalent of the old "have you stopped beating your wife?" tactic. What's so disturbing is how many people have bought into this lie, and who persist in describing it as "just their opinion."

jthartke wrote on April 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

What will it take to prove it to you people? Have you ever gone to get a copy of your own birth certificate? They do not give you the original document.

Can we just all fly to Hawaii and check it out?

lilbear70 wrote on April 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I have to agree with Mayor Jerry, if you have nothing to hide then just produce the information requested by the US citizens. It really shouldn't be that hard!!! I don't think you should ask for his resignation as that is immoral and he "as he has stated" is a citizen first and foremost. As some may be offended by his statement there is no reason at all for his resignation. He only want's the facts and any AMERICAN would agree to that.....

cu2rhody wrote on April 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

It saddens me that the citizens of Champaign elected a man who opines about matters without knowing the facts. Does Mayor Schweighart read? Is he anti-government? Does he not respect the State of Hawaii Department of Health and other elected officials in Hawaii? He has every right to voice his opinion. However, he should remember he represents the government of Champaign, Illinois and that the world may view his opinions as the views of the citizens of Champaign.

silenceisgolden wrote on April 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I find it very interesting about free speech.We can have a porn star speak at the U of I and that is
free speech.The westboro baptist bunch can protest with awefull signs at our fallen soldiers funerals and that is proteted as free speech.But how dare we question the president?
Come on liberals,lighten up,you said by far worse thing about GW Bush.
You even paraded them on the back of your car, remember?

Thomas L. Phillips wrote on April 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

The Mayor is out of his area of competence. .the problem is he doesn't realize he is out of his competence in a number of areas. I accept he is a citizen, reluctantly.

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

if you have nothing to hide then just produce the information requested by the US citizens.

He did. He produced legally valid proof that he was born in Hawaii. That some of you can't accept that isn't his problem, it's yours.

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I do agree, though, that if Schweighart is to lose his job over this, it should be the old-fashioned way -- being voted out of office by an electorate that wants somebody less ridiculous to be their mayor.

Amanda Baker wrote on April 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm
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His "opinion" is not protected under the law. He committed libel according to the Supreme Court case New York Time Co. v. Sullivan.

"One of the major tests to distinguish whether a statement is fact or opinion is whether the statement can be proved true or false in a court of law."

"New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) established that for a public official (or other legitimate public figure) to win a libel case, the statement must have been published knowing it to be false or with reckless disregard to its truth, (also known as actual malice)."

Quoting from wiki, of course, so discredit it all you want. But please know that this is actually the law, and his "opinion" is not protected speech.

Now, I love the First Amendment as much as the next guy, but I'm just saying.

Discuss on!

kiel wrote on April 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Someone or other wrote:
"That's a personal attack(using your opinion) on someone's character. Potentially voicing an opinion like that could be construed as slander."

Nope--it was an opinion that someone may have acted illegally. It is illegal for someone to be president if they are not a citizen. Same thing. Both are baseless. That was the point.

PatriotDude wrote on April 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm

The next step is clear: Jerry Schweighart must produce his *original* birth certificate immediately, or concede that he is not an American and accept swift deportation to whatever country he was really born in.

kiel wrote on April 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Someone or other also wrote:
"I don't believe(correct me if I'm wrong, but don't call for my resignation) that the Mayor attacked Obama's character."

OK--you're wrong. Again, one cannot legally be president if not a natural born citizen. And knowlingly running for and accepting office under that circumstance would belie a very serious character flaw. However, since the State Department and the state of Hawaii have documented the President's US birth, it's a moot point. The purpose of my "opinion" was to underscore the point that people can't go around spouting every dumba$$ thing they think they may have heard something about once from their cousin's friend's crazy neighbor and not be held responsible simply because it is their "opinion."

awilson wrote on April 17, 2010 at 12:04 am

ahartman:

No need to discuss further. By definition libel is printed. Pretty simple.

William_D wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 am

Schweighart is an oaf. He and the tea-baggers are the last people I want determining who is and isn't American. They wouldn't know the truth if it came up and bit them on the...

citizen 78 wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 am

If you think the mayor has shown he isn't qualified to govern and should step down, please sign our petition.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/schweighartresign/signatures?page=2

bigdog27 wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 am

Where was all this outrage when liberals were saying anything they wanted to about President Bush. Oh I forgot liberals think they can say whatever they want and its ok. GOD forbid someone speak out about one of them. We should all be thankful for the far left. NOT!!!! Go Mayor S.

shelleyfried wrote on April 17, 2010 at 10:04 am

"shelleyfried," I have doubts about your citizenship. Please obtain a copy of your birth certificate and present it on the internet so clearly and unambiguously that even the wildest anonymous conspiracy theorist can't doubt its veracity. It's also your responsibility to find me and guide me to the correct web link. I'm waiting. If there's any delay it will be considered proof that you're Muslim. On your mark. Get set. Go.

I'm not the president of the United States...

whatsinitforme wrote on April 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

A certified copy should be full proof of citizenship. Birthers rant because the government moved from being an entity that mainly allows wealthy to accumulate and hold onto wealth to an entity that can help all citizens, even the non wealthy. They decry big government, but that big government keeps their wealth safe from anarchy.

medic38 wrote on April 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Alot of you have many valid points, and some do not. The problem is that if anyone else (except a politician) would have made these statements, it would not have been an issue. Or, atleast, not that big of an issue. And if it would have been made into a big deal, the first thing that would have been mentioned would have been the "Freedom of Speech". Everyone else would have blurted out that it is a "Constitutional Right" to voice their opinion (with a few legal exceptions, i.e. threats against the President).

I understand that politicians are held to a slightly higher standard, but I'm positive that the Constitution still protects their rights also. Al Kurtz can not seriously expect the resignation of Mayor Schweighart because he gave his "opinion" to someone with a video camera. If that were the case, then all of the politicians in this country would have to resign. I mean, most of them push the boundries of liable and slander in order to win their respected campaigns in the first place. And it is not like Mayor Scheighart did something utterly immoral, such as commit adultery (former President Clinton), reallocation (theft) of taxpayer's money for personal benefits (multiple former Illinois Governors), etc. He just made a statement that many people, including President Obama's campaign opponent Senator John McCain, have already made in the past.

The reason that Mr. Kurtz is making an extremely absurd ordeal about this, is that he stands behind President Obama 100% and does not what anyone to oppose one of his idols. He has even been pictured with President Obama, to which most of us can not say the same. If the situation was reversed, would Mr. Al Kurtz turn in his resignation or quote the "Freedom of Speech" act? I am sure that it would be safe to say, that Mr. Kurtz would choose the latter of the two. We couldn't even get a politician impeached for adultery, and Mr. Kurtz honestly wants to go on with this?

So, if we're going to ask a political figure for their resignation, why don't we find something that is just alittle more worthwhile than an opinion. Considering that "Freedom of Speech" is protected by the United States Constitution.

medic38 wrote on April 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Sorry, please excuse the incorrect spelling of libel (not liable) in my previous post.

medic38 wrote on April 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Just one more quick note after reading a few of the other posts. This is for those of you that do not understand the difference between libel and slander. Libel is a printed (or written) statement that is false and malicious. Slander is a spoken statement that is false and malicious. So, before you start typing comments, maybe you should understand what it is that you're writing. It does not make you appear intelligent, and furthermore, discredits your opinion(s) and views.

Mayor Scheighart did not make a libel statement. And until proven otherwise by a court of law, he has not made a slanderous statement either.

usaman wrote on April 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Obama should be the one to resign he is totally screwing up our country.

silenceisgolden wrote on April 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Thankyou for calling us teabaggers.Some thin skinned liberals can be offensive.
Your feelings get easily hurt. Your president is an embarassment,He is fiscally iresponsible and an actor.He potrayed himself as a moderate when in fact is a RADICAL liberal who cares only for the ideology he has been fed and spits back out in polished speeches.
Your speaker of the house is an embabaressment! The liberal touchy feely bipolar dem goverment is a joke.Stop violating conservatism just because it doesnt line up with your awefull habit of rewarding
bad descions and behavior and punishing acheivment and hard work.
Well ,no war protest because your guy is in the white house, huh?
It was ok to have very degrading bumper stickers then?But dont question the current administration. Your duplicity is unreal and phoney!Furthermore i will say to your face what i think and type,you
moan and whine behind a keyboard
So call me a vile homosexual reference as your argument!
Take it out on leaders who dont line up with your ideology.
Act offended with fake outrage.
I dont care what you feel or say but this is one conservative who wont bend to you
and your phoney political correct double standard!

PatriotDude wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

medic38, it's very difficult to parse your comments due to your inability to write above a 4th grade level. If you wish others to take what you have to say seriously, you may want to work on that.

kaela wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

How about Jerry Schweighart produces his birth certificate? Practice what you preach, sir. As far as expressing ones opinion, I'd like to know if everyone would be so quick to defend an opinion such as "Well, I don't think that interracial relationships should be legal. Miscegenation is against biblical doctrine, and quite frankly I think its repulsive". Opinions are what get people elected or not elected, and Schweighart is an idiot if he thinks anything different.

It's good to know so many of CU's conservative residents are "well informed". Obama is not a radical liberal, if he were, Guantanamo bay would actually be closed, we wouldn't have just sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would have been suspended by an executive order and Obama would not have signed a healthcare bill that did not include a Public Option and adequate protection for Women's abortion rights. These are the things that radical liberals (Like myself!) want, and this is not what Obama has been delivering.

I think that conservatives (like many of you commenting) should stop letting FOX news and Glenn Beck pollute your mind with indescriminate bias against President Obama and the actions of his administration and actually look at what he's done, which isn't much. Obama isn't even doing most of what he is being accused of by the far right, because if he were I'd be a much happier liberal! I'm not afraid to criticize Obama, but I criticize his actions for what they are, not for what they are not. Educate yourselves, people. Most of your tea-party friends are either willfully ignorant of facts or choose to ignore them because it is more convenient to their agenda to believe that the President is a Kenyan radical liberal muslim who is coming for their guns and unborn children, none of which facts and real actions have shown to be even slightly true.

Arguments are good. Debate is good, and criticism is good. It is what keeps politicians accountable for their actions and their opinions. But seriously, debate facts, not myths. If you believe that the government has so much power that they are taking away your rights one after another, then give them some credit and have faith that existing election comissions (that were not appointed by Obama, btw) made sure he was constitutionally allowed to be our President.

silenceisgolden wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

What color is the sky in your world??Your president is a blatant radical liberal!
Allows muslims to have prayer, but denies a national of prayer!
Defended and voted for partial birth abortion in his 144 days as a senator!
Is ashamed of America as a super power!
Appoligizes to everyone for his homecountry!
Has many people with very dubious past on his cabinet!
Is making poor choices for finacial fiture of this land!
Completly lied about process and viewing of health care!
Do i need to go on? If you wish to believe other wise go ahead,just please display your
leftwing liberal values to someone who believes it.

silenceisgolden wrote on April 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

And i enjoy your factless assumption that i am a fox news,glenn beck zombie.Nothing could be further from the truth.Thankyou for trying to paint conservatives as dull,pathetic creatures who receive
our marching orders from the television.
Thankyou for your pridefull, arrogant closeminded conclussion !
I have acessed arguing with a liberal is an ill use of time as flirting with a pole dancer.
Goodnight and take care!

WiltonDiary wrote on April 18, 2010 at 12:04 am

Two provisions in the Constitution give Congress broad powers to regulate economic activity — the power to impose taxes for the general welfare and the power to regulate interstate commerce.

The new law has been framed to fall within both of those provisions. The penalties for not buying insurance have been structured as a tax, to be collected by the Internal Revenue Service. And the law’s text includes a series of Congressional findings: that health insurance and health care comprise a significant part of the economy, that most policies are sold and claims paid through interstate commerce, and that the mandate is essential to achieving the goals of creating effective health insurance markets and achieving near-universal coverage.

WiltonDiary wrote on April 18, 2010 at 1:04 am

1) This discussion is not about President Obama being a US citizen. The fact is he is, and everyone knows that is a fact. US Presidential elections can not be certified without proof of being born a natural US citizen. OUR President was elected by a landslide with a mandate for change, maybe not the change the Palinban's, Teahatists, baggers, beggar's, flat earthers, and anti-Americans want, but change! He is one of that first politicians in recent history to deliver on his promises. (Btw: How is that Gay Marriage amendment and overturning Roe V Wade working out for you Republicans?)

2) If everyone on here that is always screaming about the Constitution would actually read it they would be embarrassed and realize this also about illiteracy.

3) These same writers hate entitlements, except Social Security, Medicare, Higher Education Grants for the UI and Farm Subsidies for Illinois farmers. T-baggers, flat earthers, birthers and all nuts hate anyone that isn't angry and white like them, or gets something they can't have!

4) The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.

5) Where was all this manufactured outrage when Reagan doubled the national debt, bailed out Chrysler, granted amnesty to over 2,000,000 illegal aliens then cut and run from Beirut after 250 US Marines were killed?

If nothing else, one cannot deny that President Obama has kept us safe longer than George W Bush! Taxes in the United States of America have not increased in over 16 years, and President Obama saved us all from an international depression.

As for Socialism, The News Gazette, Fox News and the other corporate media's have thrown the scale so far to the right, that most people don't have a clue what a socialist is. The left wing throughout the rest of the world have a great laugh when the Democrats are called socialists or even liberals.

The majority of the Democrats, including Obama, are center-right corporatists. They support most of the same wars, defense spending, corporate welfare and free trade that Bush supported. The majority of the Republican Party are extreme right wingers, supporting perpetual wars, religious extremism, big corporate interests, hate, slime and lies

If President Obama is a Socialist, then Warren Buffet is Karl Marx.

As far as real Socialists, there's one Bernie Sanders....and he's looking more like the most honest politician in Washington every minute.

Amanda Baker wrote on April 18, 2010 at 2:04 am
Profile Picture

Yup, libel is printed. Com Law was a while ago, and I got a little comment-happy. Sorry for the error.

Let's hope that our Mayor and every other "birthers' can also admit to their errors and not hide their ignorance behind their opinions.

Moruitelda wrote on April 18, 2010 at 2:04 am

silenceisgolden - until you have a grasp of the concepts you're discussing, you should take your own username's advice.

President Obama did not cancel the National Day of Prayer. He suspended a celebration of it at the White House after a Federal Judge ruled that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional (it is). He's appealing the ruling, and plans on observing it still.

The Muslims that were allowed to pray in the Capitol were granted a permit by Capitol Police and NOT sanctioned, solicited, or otherwise favored by President Obama. Granting them the permit was both constitutional and proper.

(1) It's unconstitutional to have a National Day of Prayer because it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
(2) It's constitutional to grant a permit for a private group to pray since you're not establishing any religious law, but you're recognizing rights in-so-doing that are enshrined in the free exercise clause and free association clauses of the First Amendment.

The poster below is correct that President Obama's election could not have been validated - and he could not have been sworn in, without providing suitable proof of his birth. He's not a Muslim, and I'm tired of hearing allegations and implications to that effect (such as, "He's not an American."). Not because it's a negative characteristics; quite to the contrary, there's no more reason for us to distrust a Muslim than a Christian than Jew or a person of any other faith. A Muslim is entitled to hold the Office of the President under our SECULAR Constitution, which was drafted consciously and intentionally to keep our religion out of our government and our government out of our religion.

MortonMark wrote on April 18, 2010 at 9:04 am
Profile Picture

Of Course Obama was born in Africa. But his mother was a genius and KNEW in 1964, a pregnant white woman in Africa, that her son would one day run for US president. A lot of Africans had been running for president of USA and she figured her child would too.

So she cleverly got a newspaper article printed in Hawaii, on that same day! I guess she called up from Africa that day, despite giving birth. Luckily, the telephone was working.

Plus, she got Obama's birth registered in official Hawaii offices, just in case the newspapers accounts didnt fool enough people.

I want our country to be run by a child of a woman this smart. Einstien was a dunce compared to this woman.

silenceisgolden wrote on April 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

Ahh yes the you cant grasp the argument because your not smart like us on the left!
Your president is a flamming,pridefull liberal,if you cant grasp that i sorry for you.
Just like your argument bho is not center or progressive.
You and bho are immersed and indotrinated in an ideology.
Your president would not speak with a cross behind him at a major university.
Your president is ashamed of his super power country.
He supports partial birth abortion.
The silence remark is pointed at people who are narrow and have double standards
accoring to ideology.
I enjoy how you can not start or hold a discussion,but an argument,with a smug insult.
Im glad this is on display for all the readers to get an education about the left.
Have an nice sunday and God bless America!!!!!!!!!!!

Moruitelda wrote on April 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

silenceisgolden - I'm not telling you to keep quiet because you disagree with me. I'm telling you to keep silent because you show absolutely no comprehension of the constitutional framework of the issues you're bringing up. You cleverly failed to address the substance of my post in your response, instead focusing on the one sentence lead-in.

This might come as a shock to you, but I don't agree with President Obama on everything. Liberals, like conservatives, are not a monolithic voting bloc. But you're throwing things at his feet that he has little or no control over because of the way our constitutional system operates, and you're ignoring that framework completely so that you can make your conspiracy theory allegations. It's shameful.

And again, President Obama is not a "flaming" liberal, an "extreme" liberal, a socialist, or anything else. As has already been mentioned, the Democratic party in America is fairly moderate. The Republican party is very conservative. I can't imagine your furor if you were exposed to the German Democratic-Socialists or the English Labor Party. There are a lot of governments out there, in a lot of countries, that are operated safely, securely, and with a great deal of liberty, by far more liberal leadership than we have in America, even now. Step aside from your ideology for a moment, and realize that how the government actually functions is much, much more important than its ideology. Systemic efficiency is key. Even if Obama WERE as liberal as you're characterizing him to be (he's not, even though Fox News claims he is), there's STILL nothing in the Declaration of Independence where we held these truths to be self-evident that America is a conservative Christian country. There's nothing in the Constitution that grants the President or Congress power, except if they're going to exercise it in a flaming liberal socialist way. You're perfectly entitled to your perspective and opinion, but the simple fact that it's YOUR opinion doesn't make it the CORRECT opinion.

For someone who bristled when someone else alleged that you get your talking points from Fox News and Glenn Beck, you're certainly reciting those talking points almost verbatim, without actually explaining WHY we should care about them. "Obama's a liberal." ...and...?

Moruitelda wrote on April 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

And another thing...

  • I don't care if he wouldn't speak with a cross behind him. America is not a Christian nation. I would not want to speak in front of a cross as a politician either.
  • I think that we should be apologetic to the world. George W. Bush's Presidency, while not as catastrophic as some in my party make it out to be, greatly hurt our image abroad. We unilaterally declared war without cause against two foreign governments, and without consulting our allies. The war in Afghanistan turned out to be justified, but the war in Iraq did not. The money that Obama is "wasting" on social problems (like making sure that the poor are insured so they don't get extremely ill, get expensive care from a hospital, which then gets passed on to the tax payer anyway), President Bush wasted on a pointless war in Iraq that rightly hurt our reputation abroad.
  • You're accusing me of indoctrination, but you're the one making emotional arguments about everything in this comment thread. You're not addressing the constitutional, diplomatic, or governmental issues, you're talking in platitudes about the evils of liberalism and this President, and quoting blatant misinformation that's been debunked numerous times by independent moderate sources. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I fully expect you to ignore the substance of my last two posts and continue your rant by complaining about me calling YOU the indoctrinated one. At least I'm backing my allegation up with some REASON.

Moruitelda wrote on April 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Anyway, silenceisgolden, I'd appreciate it if, instead of focusing on me being an arrogant liberal because I raised the point that you don't know what you're talking about, you would address the substance of my post. Where is my analysis incorrect? On the meaning of the establishment clause? The free exercise clause? The free association clause? The holding of District Judge Barbara Crabb regarding the National Day of Prayer? The circumstances regarding Obama's cancellation of some of the festivities at the White House as a result of that ruling? His plans to appeal it? The circumstances surrounding Capitol Police granting a permit to Muslims to pray at the Capitol? The complete lack of relationship between that act and an act of President Obama?

I raised a lot of points, and you don't get to just ignore them because I called you ignorant. Prove me wrong, and make a rational argument.

OpinionsRjustthat wrote on April 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm

This article is not about President Obama nor his ability or inability to run this country but about the ignorance of our mayor although Mouritelda (hope I spelled that right) makes some very valid points and also states facts to support his/her statements. I think that it has been time for this mayor to resign or be kicked down or what ever it is they do with them. His comments, (this one and others that he made prviously) in my opinion, proves his ignorance and we as a city need to get rid of him.

silenceisgolden wrote on April 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

So is it okay for a man who cant stop smoking to dictate health care?
Is it okay to disagree with a leader who lied and violated his campaign promises?

This is about free speech,if the mayor questions your liberal leader get over it!
You can tell michelle obama ive always been proud of my country!

WiltonDiary wrote on April 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Contrary to what the News Gazette writes and FOX News broadcast, President Obama is not dictating Health Care, nor is it a US Government takeover; in the real world it is called regulation.

President Obama was elected by the majority of the US citizens on a mandate to change health care in addition to several other initiatives. President Obama is keeping his campaign promises. In a Democracy the majority rules; even when the Republicans are not in office.

Nowhere anywhere can anyone prove that Michelle Obama ever said she didn't love, respect or approve of her country. Those tired worn talking points didn't work in 2008 and they don't work now.

Republicans are becoming irreverent and they wonder why! They are old, tired, have no new ideas and are very angry that they lost the 2008 election to a black president. For no reason Republicans hate the female speaker of the house and the recently appointed Hispanic on the Supreme Court.

WiltonDiary wrote on April 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

The News Gazette a knock-off of FOX News is best at whipping up the uninformed, the under-informed and those who are incapable of altering their mindset on any substantive issue is of no benefit to the nation.

Read, learn or get out of the way. Republicans only love America when they are bankrupting the country to taking us to war.

Stop living on an intellectual diet limited to catchy sound bytes and jingoism. Stop hijacking elections with anachronistic social issues that most Americans don't feel passionate about any longer.

Stop pretending that the Republican Party, once elected , will somehow mastermind the reversal of Roe v. Wade. After 35 years of hearing that promise you'd like to think that some of these zealots would wise up and realize that they have been dragging themselves out to polling places for decades on a totally lame promise that the Republican Party can't or won't deliver on and that is the same for gay civil rights and anti-gay marriage amendments.

Maybe then we could start focusing on the stuff that matters. Jobs, healthcare reform, the national debt, corporatism in politics. It's a long list.

Republicans have no solutions or new ideas, their answer to everything is the President is a Socialist (all while collecting their Social Security checks, using Medicare, TriCare, VA coverage; accepting farm subsidies and praising multi-million dollar UI grants). The President is no Socialist and taxes are lower than they have been in 16 years.

So, other than that fact "OUR" President is black, what is it the Republicans and T-baggers really hate?

Moruitelda wrote on April 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

silenceisgolden - It's tough to stop smoking. He should try. But what do his smoking habits have to do with health care reform?

What lies did he tell? What campaign promises did he violate? I don't doubt that they're there, but I doubt that they're any more considerable than the lies and broken promises of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, or anybody else who has ever held the office.

I don't debate that Mayor Schweighart was perfectly privileged to say what he did. I don't think he slandered President Obama, and I don't think that he should be forced from office. I DO however think that he's incredibly and willfully ignorant. There's ample evidence that's easy to come by to prove that President Obama WAS born in the United States, IS a United States citizen, and IS privileged to hold the Office of the President. I think that it's a shame for our city to be represented by an ignorant man, and I think he should resign for the city's sake. If he chooses not to, I think that the local Democratic Party should run a strong, educated candidate to replace him, because this situation is embarrassing and makes our entire city look ignorant and backwards. Not a good thing for a preeminent college town.

I think most Americans are proud of their country, but we shouldn't be proud without reason. When my fellow countrymen subjugate minorities (blacks, women, gays, non-English speakers) because of tradition, religion, or pure ignorance, I am not proud. When my fellow countrymen are incapable of conducting a rational and dispassionate discussion about politics (health care, military policy, foreign policy) because they identify with partisan labels rather than holding well-reasoned positions for themselves, I am not proud. When my fellow countrymen insist that our country was founded on Christian values, and attempt to use our secular government to further their religious agenda in violation of our Constitution and our founding values, I am not proud.

I'm proud of America, but, all too often, I am ashamed of a great many Americans.

shelleyfried wrote on April 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Progressive liberals are doing everything in their power to kill this country. They have no principles or sense of personal responsibility. These posts are laughable, but at the same time scary. I can't believe there are so many people that have allowed themselves to believe such nonsense put forth and to vote for these idiot politicians to get their "free" social programs and entitlements. The government wasn't intended to "help" you. It was intended that you have the freedom to help yourself.

William_D wrote on April 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

Shelly, first of all, don't pick a team. You cannot lump our collective problems onto the backs of liberals, progressives, conservatives, or any other group. You can, however, trace most failed policy to the effects of money in politics. We are a nation controlled by two parties who are in turn controlled by money disguised as political speech (it's actually legalized bribery). The mass media in this country is controlled by a handful of media conglomerates which in turn are run by guys and gals who serve on each others' boards and hang out in the same circles (not with the common folk — like us). Therefore the messages you and I get saturated with each day are aimed at dividing this nation. Apparently it's working — not only on you and me but on our elected officials like Jerry.

Jerry has bought the whole Obama story line from the swiftboat crowd. Apparently you have too. Look around, vary your sources of news, look outside the FoxNews/Republican party talking points and arrive at an informed opinion. Willful ignorance is what this string of comments is about. Please, for the sake of fixing our problems, don't pick a side.

Moruitelda wrote on April 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

Shelly - as a liberal, I was unaware that we were secretly or overtly trying to destroy America. The simple fact that Democrats have a different vision for America does not mean that they are trying to destroy it.

You argue that institution of social safety net programs to increase systemic efficiency and preserve a minimum quality of life for citizens of our great and affluent country is an indication of our nefarious intent. I could (and many in my party do) argue that the Republicans are trying to destroy America by eroding our civil liberties (supporting the politicians that passed the Patriot Act, using the government to impose religious law in violation of our founding principles, etc.). That's not your intent, of course. I trend libertarian in my own beliefs, so I sympathize with your concern about government spending. However, I am a registered Democrat because it's my opinion that the Democrats' spending is doing much LESS to destroy America than the Republicans' "moral" and "security" governance.

Isn't enough to say you disagree with it? To say you disagree with it strongly? Democrats are concerned with making sure that children don't suffer for the failings of their parents, by being excluded from health care, education, and healthy food. Surely some of those programs are in keeping with a system concerned with raising up the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free?

And the government wasn't intended to do very many things in particular. It was meant to be adaptable to the needs and wants of our society which is in continual moral and economic evolution. The Framers' intent is important, but don't pay attention to it to the exclusion of everything else.

You want to talk about what's closest to destroying America? Local politicians spouting off borderline-seditious bull****.

Moruitelda wrote on April 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

Also, here's a digital copy of Obama's official birth certificate: Birth Certificate

khbdab wrote on April 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Mayor Schweighart has the absolute right to state his personal opinion. For ANYONE to state that he should be forced to resign because of stating that opinion, is attempting to deny him his constitutional rights. People in this city are constantly screaming about this right being denied except when they disagree with what is being said. Yes, he is the Mayor but, he is also a citizen of the United States of America. THere are thousands of people that actually agree with his statement. All of this could have and should have been cleared up a long time ago and would have been had Obama been more transparent with EVERYTHING.