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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 673, June 3, 2012

"This is the strangest era ever,
in American politics. So far."


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Paper Man

Paper Man
by L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

You may be old enough to remember 1971. Among other things, it was the year that cigarette ads on television and radio were outlawed, in naked, blatant violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the left wing theory (for which read, "excuse") being that there's some meaningful distinction between regular speech and "commercial" speech, the latter of which, it's claimed, is not protected.

Before you right wingers get too smug, you're just as guilty of this kind of sophistry as the left, claiming the First Amendment only protects political speech, and that it's legally acceptable to censor or destroy the one thing holding the economy together, Internet porn.

Probably by coincidence, it was also the year in which one of the men's rooms in the U.S. capitol building was blown up as a rather odd political statement by faux-President Barack Obama's mentor in all things communistical, Billy Ayers and his playmates in the Weather Underground.

1971 also witnessed Apollo 14, the third mission to land on the Moon.

Charles Manson and his little buddies were convicted of the insane and bloody Tate-LaBianca murders in 1971. When they were all sentenced to death (and the human gene-pool breathed a brief but audible sigh of relief), the state of California responded in its typical manner by effectively banning capital punishment, clearly demonstrating that individuals working in the same trade—in this case, looting and slaughter—really are motivated by a professional regard for one another.

In 1971, 12,000 people were arrested in Washington, D.C. antiwar protests.

Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors was found dead in his bathtub.

Ah, but it was a Parisian bathtub.

And the South Tower of New York's World Trade Center was topped out at 1,362 feet, making it the second tallest building on the planet.

Almost certainly more important in the long run than any of that stuff, on July 4, 1971, Michael S. Hart posted the first "e-book"— a copy he had hand-typed himself—of the United States Declaration of Independence, onto the mainframe computer (was there any other variety at the time?) of the University of Illinois' Champaign-Urbana campus. It's a pleasing thought that Jefferson was the first e-book author.

It is probably not a coincidence that 1971 was also the year in which an unusually prophetic motion picture, Paper Man was released. For me, the chief attraction of the made-for-TV movie was that it starred the young and beautiful Stefanie Powers (you may remember her as April Dancer in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., or from Hart to Hart, or Mistral's Daughter; she was John Wayne's kid in McClintock), one of the more decorative items to be found on television at the time.

But the point here, is the story. Remember, "microcomputers"—later known as "desktops" had just been invented. Floppy disks (the forerunner to thumbdrives, for you younger readers) were eight inches in diameter, and there was no Windows, no Apple, no Linux, and no Internet.

Most computers were still huge, room-filling monsters in 1971. Data entry, and a surprising amount of programming, were done with paper punch cards and rolls of paper tape. At night, the first computer geeks pilfered unused mainframe time playing simple games they'd written themselves. I remember the one about Star Trek very well.

Although details are a bit hazy after forty years, in Paper Man, a small handful of college kids gets tired of eating dormitory food and yearns for the finer things in life. They decide they need a credit card, and invent what we would call a virtual person to apply for one. They use the campus mainframe's primitive networking ability to give their creation—they call him "Henry Norman"—credentials: birth certificate, educational background, employment history, banking record, and so on. They receive their credit card and start to enjoy it.

Until they begin to die, one by one, apparently killed by Henry Norman.

This isn't a horror story, but a technological murder mystery, so it all comes out rationally in the end. But as a predictor of things to come, I believe it's unparalleled. Computer networks weren't quite so well organized in 1971 as the movie implies, but soon afterward, they proliferated until—oddly similar to our medieval ancestors who believed in both a physical and a spiritual existence—most of us now live very happily in two parallel worlds at once: "cyberspace" and "meatspace".

So I suppose it's altogether appropriate that Henry Norman has shown up again—as America's first Paper President. Barack "Barry" Hussein Obama—or is it Soetoro?—is an individual whose personal history, from the very moment of his birth, is no more than a collage of contradictory lies and hidden truths that may never end up sorted out.

Where was he born? He and the entire progressive establishment claim it was Hawaii, but name two different hospitals, neither of which has records of it, as the location of the Blessed Event. One of his grandmothers says (or said—I think she's conveniently dead now) that Barry was born in Kenya, and that she was right there when it happened.

Nobody can prove that his mother and his alleged father, a British subject, were ever married (some investigators believe Obama's real father was Frank Marshall Davis, another old commie, who took naked pictures of Barack's mommy), or had anything more, fundamentally, than a one-night stand, although it's claimed that face-saving divorce papers were eventually filed, which Obama Senior ignored—he already had a wife back in the Old Country. We do know that little Barack's step-father signed him into school as an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim.

What do we know about this man who thinks he owns us and that he can kill one of us at any time he likes, for any reason he cares to offer?

We certainly have no idea who he is. His famous birth certificate—legally a matter of public record—has been "sealed" away and may not be inspected or investigated. Even little baby Barack's baptismal record has apparently become a matter of national security. Obama's original signed, embossed paper "Certificate of Live Birth" is also hidden away, and the cybercopy offered in its place so incompetently forged it wouldn't fool a three-year-old. We do know that he isn't a front man for the FBI, the CIA, NSA, or Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Boy Scout Intelligence—their fakes would have passed muster.

We also have no idea what Obama is. Here's an essentially penniless son of a penniless single mother whose mother and father (who raised the boy more than his mom did) didn't have much money, either.

And yet the left wing money machine that I described in my speech "You Can't Fight A Culture War If You Ain't Got Any Culture" somehow came through and sent him to an expensive private school in Hawaii, then to Occidental College—those records are sealed—then to Columbia College—records also sealed along with Barack's Master's thesis—and then to Harvard College where his records are also sealed.

Obama apparently went to college (and paid tuition) as a foreign student, and used a foreign passport to visit Pakistan in 1981. His Selective Service records are sealed. His Social Security number— issued by a state he never lived in and actually belonging to a guy who's dead—reeks of fraud. His medical records are sealed. For ten years he was carried as Kenyan-born by his literary agency. His Illinois State Senate schedule and Illinois State Senate records are sealed, as is his Law practice client list. For some unexplained reason he and his wife Michelle turned in their law licenses in Illinois.

He can't make a coherent speech without a teleprompter.

I can't help thinking of that movie Paper Man and coming to the bizarre but unavoidable conclusion that Obama is just a little nobody that his mentors—his creators—employed as a wire-frame to hang item after item of false credentials on, credentials so incompetently manufactured that they must now be kept hidden away to avoid expert scrutiny.

Now that it's raining, politically speaking, all that paper is melting, washing away, exposing the absolute nothingness that lies underneath.

This is the strangest era ever, in American politics.

So far.


L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis:
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