Sunday, August 30, 2009

Miami Pop 1968: Best Festival Ever

When my friend Malcolm Levi called me in late August of 1969, he was ready for a vacation. Malcolm co-owned The Electric Outlet, Memphis' first hippie clothing store located at Poplar and Evergreen, and he invited me to join him and some friends for a trip to upstate New York to the Woodstock Music Festival and Aquarian Exposition. Rather than visions of Jimi Hendrix, all I could see was twelve or so hours locked in a cramped hippie bus with acquaintances known for erratic behavior, and so I declined. Besides, nothing could ever top the festival Malcolm and I had attended only eight months previous, which turned out to be promoter Michael Lang's trial run for Woodstock; the incredible three day festival held over the New Year's weekend of 1968-69, at Miami's Gulfstream Park thoroughbred racing track.

After the "big bang" of the Monterrey Pop Festival of 1967, this was the first attempt at such a gathering on this side of the continent and the promoters saturated radio stations in college towns all over the southeast. Since my musical passions were the new, psychedelic music as well as the classic soul sounds of the sixties, I could barely believe I was going to get to hear Procol Harum and Marvin Gaye on the same day. Soul music was still huge in the south and the promoters wisely included such artists like Joe Tex, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, and Chuck Berry to lure the college kids, and Iron Butterfly, The Grateful Dead, and Fleetwood Mac to attract the freaks. Featured for the folkies were Jose Feliciano and a new artist named Joni Mitchell. A gang of Memphis pals piled into cars and headed south and when we reached the bucolic, green racing grounds, graced by flocks of pink flamingos, we were astonished at the sight. In our separate southern locales, the hippies were cautious and few, but together in Miami, we were many and mighty; colorfully dressed and long-tressed, we stared at each other for a full day before we could believe it.

The grounds were separated into two stages, giving the manageable crowd of thirty to sixty thousand room to wander between competing acts, while free-standing, whimsical sculptures in the walkways in between offered shade and wonder. Our Memphis group staked out a small, secluded spot under a tree by the entrance as a meeting place. If anyone were feeling distressed or confused, a few minutes under the tree would bring another friendly face from home. I had just witnessed such familiarity in the faces of Booker T. & the MGs and had made my way back to the side of the mainstage when I saw my boys; the band formerly known as Ronnie & the DeVilles had hired a new lead singer named Alex Chilton and had changed their name to the Box Tops. Alex was in the process of telling a huge audience that he didn't know what they were doing there, as if their hits weren't hip enough, but I managed to get close enough to shout at Thomas Boggs on the drums, who also seemed delighted to see another face from home.

As the days grew in number, so did the extraordinary kindnessness shown between strangers. There was a permanent smile on the face of the entire festival, and even those who never tampered with the locks on the "Doors of Perception," could feel it. Our little group had kicked in the doors and were probing around in the ethers looking for cosmic clues when a helmeted, motorcycle policeman roared a Harley onto the mainstage and stomped down a kickstand with a heavy black boot. I was searching for the exits when the menacing cop grabbed the micropohone and growled, "Got your motor runnin'," and John Kay and Steppenwolf exploded into "Born to be Wild." After sitting through the entirety of Iron Butterfly's "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida" drum solo and the debut performance of Three Dog Night, big Bob "The Bear" Hite and Canned Heat took the stage. When they locked into that John Lee Hooker groove it was like an electric current went through the crowd. I felt myself propelled toward the front until I stood with a large, writhing group beside the stage, and while normally reserved at such events, I became somehow transformed into a Native-American warrior under the relentless beat until song's end found me shirtless but for a sheepskin vest, in bellbottoms and moccasins. To celebrate my conversion, we all travelled to the large campgrounds set up for visitors at the nearby Seminole Indian Reservation, where we sat around fires and smoked the pipes of peace well into the next morning.

I left Miami believing that I had witnessed the dawn of an age of gentler people who retained the capacity to love and treat one another with more compassion than previous generations, and it would only spread until we ended the war and changed the world. That euphoric naivete lasted about three weeks until Richard Nixon's inauguration, the demonizing of war protesters as "bums," the bombing of Cambodia, and student strikes ending in the blood of Kent State and Jackson State. But for one golden weekend, I saw it. I saw that by surrendering exclusivity, the worth of all people can be revealed, and that everyone has something to offer if only you are receptive. I witnessed that love is better than hate and kindness is superior to indifference. But that was a long time ago, and, like other flights of fancy, I haven't seen it much since.

My buddy Malcolm told me Woodstock was a bonding experience because so many had to endure so much, but when he described a half million hippies slopping around in the mud, I was glad I didn't go. I went to a few big festivals after Miami, but they only grew more commercial, with massive crowds herded into the infields of auto raceways surrounded by asphalt and inadequate facilities. The promoters of Miami Pop were emboldened to go on to Woodstock, but rather than obtain the cooperation of a friendly community and even an official welcome from the Governor, as in Florida, local officials in New York state gave them nothing but resistance and Governor Nelson Rockefeller threatened them with the National Guard. It is a great achievement of the hippie experience that showed the world that determined people can live without violence. Unfortunately, there are far too many others with no such determination. I can still recall that pop group from Memphis, though, among all the "heavy" acts at the Miami Pop Festival, that sang, "Love is a river running, Soul Deep."

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Hitler Offensive

After watching more incomprehensible town hall hijinks, I began to wonder how so many thirtysomething, ditsy, housewives became such experts on Hitler and Nazism. I realize that the usual suspects; Limbaugh, Beck, and other dim bulbs with red faces, have been working the Nazi angle for weeks, but they're not the ones furnishing the "Obama as Hitler" posters appearing at an event near you. That distinction belongs to Lyndon LaRouche, the perennial candidate for president on the Democratic side, although LaRouche is a Democrat in the same way as say, Leon Trotsky. He's been called a philosopher and visionary economist, but also a cult leader who uses his young followers, an anti-Semite, a fascist, and a convicted felon and ex-convict, the last two being non-subjective. His twisted message is all here. It's been confirmed that the woman who asked Rep. Barney Frank "why he supports a Nazi policy?" is a LaRouche devotee. How damaged must your reasoning be to accuse a gay, Jewish congressman of supporting the Nazis? It shows zero knowledge of history and is painful and offensive, not only to the memory of the victims of Hitler's genocidal regime, but to the sacrifice of almost a half-million American servicemen who died to rid the world of this demented demon of the twentieth century.

I know the argument; "this sort of extremism happens on both sides," but it seems to have broken out like poison sumac on the populace over the summer. As much as I despised the philosophy and actions of the Bush government, you would be hard-pressed to find any comparisons to Hitler in four years of these posts. Know why? Because I fucking know better. It's the cheapest, meanest, and dumbest sort of protest there is. Don't like Obama's health care initiative? Compare him to Hitler. It would be ridiculous on its face were it not for the fact that so many impressionable and angry people, especially in the South, have embraced this as a good idea. So, as long as any geek with a grudge feels entitled to discuss the Nazis, I'll break precedent and give it a stab. Which leader is more Hitleresque? One who wishes to make decent health care accessible to all citizens, or one who invades a sovereign nation without provocation and sets up a systematic, worldwide, torture ring? I report, you decide.

The handsome people in the above photograph are my great grandmother, Sala Haspel, with my two great uncles, Josef and Pavel, and Aunt Frania. The picture was taken in Warsaw and sent to her third son in Memphis, my grandfather, who was the only member of his family to escape Europe alive. See, all these people were murdered by the Nazis, and as meticulous as the Gestapo was known for their record keeping, there is no trace of them anywhere. Their names are not listed in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, nor in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. They simply vanished from the earth. I had always known this, but some years ago, I came into possession of my grandfather's papers, and after seeing their faces and learning their names, it became far more personal. I read his anguished letters to foreign ambassadors and government officials about learning the fate of his "dear ones," without result. This is the dismay that all the Hitler comparisons evoke in millions of people like me, and provokes the contempt I feel for those who use them. And all over health care? There is something deeper and more disturbing here that must be faced.

The past eight years have caused me to surrender my pacifism. I had the notion that the Republicans lost the last election and we might try something new. But after witnessing the disruption, uncivic behavior, and general obnoxiousness at Rep. Steve Cohen's town hall meeting in Memphis, I think the only way to effectively communicate with some of these goons is with a left hook. Please forgive my passion on the subject, but there is free speech, and then there is hate speech. I'm neither young nor strong anymore, and perhaps I lived so long under the protection of the late Sputnik Monroe that I feel emboldened, but should anyone ever approach me with that Hitler stuff at a public event, I will do my dead-level best to fuck you up. Either that, or I hope I'm on your "death panel." Oh, I'm sorry. Should I have said, "Mister?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thoughts on Jim Dickinson

It was in the early seventies when we used to hang out at Phillips Recording Service on Madison when Jim Dickinson told me the secret to prominence in music. "The best way to make it in the music business," he said, "is to start a good rumor about yourself." That's why I took such delight in watching him work his theory and create the "East Memphis Slim" persona he continued to develop. He became the authentic, white boy with the blues, possessing a sardonic sense of humor and the willingness to step out on a limb for his art. Yet, he still had the intellectual honesty to once tell an interviewer, "We all learned it from the yard man." However, sometime after his work with various Memphis bands and his stint as house keyboardist for Atlantic Records at Criteria Studios in Miami, Jim's ever-expanding credits as a producer became so impressive, and his expertise and keen ear so desired by a new generation of musicians, that the reality simply overran the rumor.

Dickinson based his "good rumor" theory on Mac Rebennack, a New Orleans keyboardist he greatly admired, who labored for years in anonymity before creating the Voodoo High Priest, Dr. John the Night Tripper, and then rocketed to recording stardom. Jim turned me on to that particular record in 1967, and when the opening notes of the title track began, Dickinson said excitedly, "Listen to that. That's a cane flute," displaying his fondness for esoteric instruments. That was the year I worked with him on our single recording project at the old Ardent Studio in John Fry's garage on National. Before Led Zeppelin, before Cream, even before Moloch, Dickinson had the idea to record some white-boy, electric blues to stand in contrast with the usual pop fare of the day. He recruited Sam the Sham's drummer, Jerry Patterson, Fred Hester played stand-up bass, Lee Baker played lead, and Dickinson produced and played piano. Even though I was away at college and had been absent from the Memphis scene for a year, I was honored that Jim chose me to sing. I was afraid that, even after a short time away, I would have been forgotten, but Dickinson didn't forget me. That was one of those sessions that was deferred then abandoned for one reason or another. I bugged Jim about it for a year or so, but recording tape was then too expensive to save something that you weren't going to use.

Because of Dickinson's session work in the sixties, he finally crossed paths with Sam Phillips and took his words; "If you're not doing something different, then you're not doing anything," to heart. As a record producer, Jim became the true disciple of Phillips, both in his approach to recording, and the talent he chose to work with. Someone more capable than I can surely enumerate the records he produced and the influence they had on their audiences, but Dickinson, always prepared with a quote, wisely said, "The best songs don't get recorded; the best recordings don't get released; and the best releases don't get played." For his own production career, Jim adopted the "crazy is often good," credo of Sam Phillips. Dickinson's keyboard and vocal work for Sun with sixties garage band, the Jesters, has just been released internationally by Ace/Big Beat Records. The same company is also in the process of assembling a box set by Memphis legends, Big Star, who benefited from Jim's production.

I'm dating myself, but it seems like yesterday when Jim and Mary Lindsay Dickinson lived over off of White Station Road, and entertained a group of Bohemians, hipsters, bluesmen, musicians, and magicians in their living room nightly, and those now famous young men were still little boys. There was very little recording going on in Memphis once the famous labels closed, but the camaraderie among artists was such that it's strange how some of your fondest memories arise from times when you believed you were suffering the most. Though our mutual recording attempt was in the past, I valued Jim's opinion so much that, like a big brother, I still sought his approval for whatever I was doing musically. The whole truth be told, I never much cared for Mudboy and the Neutrons because I disagreed with Dickinson's philosophy that the less rehearsal the better. Actually, I believe there was a whole Andy Kaufmanesque quality to Mudboy, and those who said they sat down and actually enjoyed them were missing the point. Still, anyone like Jim who wears a wrestling mask on stage automatically commands my respect.

Dickinson was a man who would always tell you what he thought and not one to hand out compliments idly. That's why receiving one from him meant so much. I participated in a garage band reunion a couple of years ago, mainly because of my admiration for Larry Raspberry, who also recruited Dickinson to play in an assemblage of Gentrys. I did some shtick that was a throwback to the old soul revues when the singer would chime, "I once heard a friend of mine say," and then sing snippets of various artists' songs. On the changeover, I was walking offstage and Jim was stepping up when he said, "Hey man, that was great." Those few words were sufficient to make my night. Some time later, I got a call from David Less, whose label releases Dickinson's albums. Jim wanted to know if I'd be interested in coming down to Mississippi and singing some backup on his latest solo effort. I sang harmony vocals on one song and when I was done, Jim wrote me a check. "What's this?" I asked. "You're actually going to pay me?" Dickinson just laughed and said, "That's the way we do it these days." I reminded him of our 1967 recordings and told him how pleased I was that it only took him forty years to call me back. But I really would have done it for free.

I can see by the way the North Mississippi Allstars have conducted their careers thus far, that their parents have taught them well. Aside from his extraordinary talent, the other quality Jim Dickinson had in abundance was integrity. He leaves a void in the vanguard of contemporary music production that is impossible to fill. Even after I heard he was in ill health and had bypass surgery, I just assumed if anyone could kick a heart attack's ass, it would be Dickinson. The man just had an air of invincibility about him, and he seemed only in the middle of a saga that had so much more to go. His "East Memphis Slim" creation had come full circle and he was gaining the respect he desired as a producer with every passing day. It was as if he was almost where he wanted to be. Not quite, but almost. A whole generation now, raised on the fifties music played by Dewey Phillips and Rufus Thomas, and with an appreciation for the absurd and the eccentric, is beginning to fade from view. Jim has already achieved legendary status with a generation of musicians inspired by his adventurous productions. For many more that knew him well, or those that only knew him by reputation, the loss of James Luther Dickinson is like losing a part of Memphis itself.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Uppity White People

So I went to Congressman Steve Cohen's town hall meeting and a Jerry Springer Show broke out. I haven't seen that many white people downtown since "Cats" played the Orpheum, and it became quickly obvious by the heavy use of madras and pastels, that most were not residents of the 9th District. I half imagined that the conservative suburban white folks wouldn't flock to a Democratic town hall meeting in the heart of a black district, yet here they were, nattily dressed and tan with nice cars and looking in reasonably good health to me, as in, people who already have health insurance. I wore my T-shirt reading, "I'm one of the 45 million Americans without health insurance," and got my picture taken alot. I guess some people had never seen one before. I attended with my wife and brother-in-law, Melody and Billy, in that order, and although we got there early, the line for admittance stretched around the block and all the seats were taken by the time we entered the cavernous building.

We stood on the side with a large group of anti-whatevers while Cohen's security chief announced that three armed, carry-permit holders had entered the arena and requested for anyone else packing to please identify themselves to the local police. There were a mixture of boos and applause while the preppy beside me shouted, "That's against the law." Now I knew why the white people weren't reluctant to attend, but this was, after all, a community center. Steve Cohen was finally introduced to the cheers and jeers from his constituents and carpetbaggers respectively, but I knew we were in in for a long day when he read the headline from the morning's paper that said "U.S. Economy Shows Life," and a cascade of boos gushed forth from the hostile crowd. When Cohen told the crowd that under the pending House bill, "If you like your current health insurance, you can keep it," it sounded like the referee just made a bad call at a Tiger home basketball game. Then the chants began; "Read the Bill," and "Tell the truth." If Cohen had announced free beer and Bar-B-Que, this crowd would have still booed.

A parade of doctors on both sides of the issue stoked the fires, with the crowd cheering wildly for those condemning health care reform as governmental intrusion into the free market, and shouting at others who stated that the poor deserved health care too. See, these assembly-line doctors who get paid per procedure don't want anything to change because, like street Mafiosi, they're in on the skim. Another jock doc sent the crowd-turned-mob into a frenzy by blaming all the problems of the health industry on the high cost of malpractice insurance. With two wars, an economy on the brink, and unprecedented collapses in the home, banking, and auto industries, you don't know what surreal really means until you stand in the middle of a crowd of angry, red-faced, rich white people chanting, "Tort Reform!" A thunderclap of boos erupted when Dr. Neal Beckford said, "There are fifty million uninsured Americans," as if railing against the facts would change them, but the largest display of hostility was reserved for the doctor who announced that he had read the House bill and, "There was nothing in it about euthanizing Granny."

Boisterous crowds had gathered around us when suddenly a dispute about free speech broke out right next to me. Linda Moore reported in the Commercial Appeal:
Within 15 minutes of the start of the event, a nearly nose-to-nose confrontation between individuals with opposing views became so heated they had to be separated as Shelby County sheriff's deputies and Memphis police officers called for reinforcements. No arrests were made.
OK, so that was me. A knuckle-dragging, Fox News talking-points spouting heckler believed he had the freedom of speech to come into my district and prevent me from hearing my Representative, bellowing, "Stop Lying" in my ear the entire time, and I felt I had the freedom of speech to tell him to be quiet. I might also have thrown an epithet or descriptive adjective in there somewhere. Of course, I said "Shut up," and he thought I said "Stand up," so there was a brief flare-up and exchange of words that was followed by some macho posturing until I felt hands on my shoulders and arms, one of which belonged to brother Billy who was telling a muscled loudmouth with a salon cut to get his finger out of his face. Security immediately stepped in and the meeting continued. The burly heckler looked hard at me a few times, but there was a Sheriff's Deputy standing between us now and, you know what? He wasn't so eager to act-out after he was challenged.

What I want to know is, where were you? I scanned the crowd and you weren't there. The news has been filled with clips of town hall meetings across the country erupting into organized chaos and there was a good chance it was going to happen here. So, why did you allow an enraged mob of former Bush voters to hijack an important democratic function and throw your elected Congressman to the wolves? Where were Steve Cohen's friends and loyal supporters when the modern equivalent of a torch-bearing, superstitious mob of townspeople descended on his meeting with his constituents? Where were the self-congratulatory whites to defend him, who thought Cohen's election signaled the start of a post-racial paradise, and the patriots and champions of freedom who permitted this assault on democracy to go on unremarked? And where in this crowd of 1000, were the black people? I saw, aside from members of Cohen's staff, maybe a dozen African-Americans in the hall. Your congressman was speaking on your behalf today too, and that you weren't there to hear the message makes me wonder if its apathy, or an early indicator of support for Cohen's foe for re-election, former Mayor Willie Herenton.

The last time I saw passions run this high was forty years ago over the war in Vietnam, so something deeper than health care reform must be driving this anger. In 1970, I participated in a Knoxville protest of Richard Nixon's use of a Billy Graham Crusade in the University's stadium to show he was still able to speak on a college campus after his announced invasion of Cambodia. My assignment was to stand at the main intersection and hand out leaflets explaining that our protest had nothing to do with Reverend Graham, but the angry Christians pouring in by the thousands were outraged by these alien, shaggy-haired weirdos that had taken over the college without ever realizing that they were their own children. I had never felt so detached from the society's mainstream as then, but now I know why. The mainstream is sometimes polluted. The angry protesters at today's town hall meeting are like the fabled "Silent Majority" of the Nixon years. They are confused and afraid that there are things beyond their control, even sinister forces, that mean to alter their way of life, because the era of white entitlement is fading away. Another of the doctors speaking today was roundly booed for reminding the mob that fear and lies, repeated over and over again, will always trump the truth.

I regret that because of recent spammers, your comment may not immediately appear, but I will try to post all legitimate comments as soon as possible. RJH

To vote for Born-Again Hippies in the Memphis Flyer's "Best of the City" reader's poll, please click here. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 10, thanks.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bad Health Nuts

Didja hear? Obama is coming to kill Grammaw. I'm a great believer in questioning authority. In fact, I'm told my first words were addressed to the obstetrician when I asked him, "Was it necessary to slap me like that?" But these damn fools that are disrupting town meetings about health care reform on the instigation of the Republican Party and their lobbyists aren't quite sure what they are questioning. They just know that they are beside themselves with visions of Communism and Socialism and fear that the totalitarian gub'ment will tell them which abortionist they must register their daughter with. The current Unsilent Minority, formerly the "Teabaggers," can't decide whether to protest against phantom taxes, or health care, or the president's birth certificate. All they know is that they look at Washington and see a president named Obama with an assistant named Rahm Emmanuel and a future Supreme Court Justice named Sonia Sotomayor (it's pronounced Soto-maYOR', not like Golda Meir), and they see the lily-white, Christian America of their patriotic fantasies slipping away. That frustration and rage you are now feeling is probably very much like what reasonable people around the world have felt for the past eight years.

What I would like to know is, where were all these outraged citizens who resent government intrusion in their lives when their children were being sent off to fight and die in a political war of choice? Isn't that the ultimate government interference? Where was the righteous indignation of the right when we learned that foreign civilians of questionable guilt were being tortured in secret prisons around the world in the name of the United States? There were no objections from the conservatives over the war in Iraq because it was planned and executed by their faith-based president and his corporate pals. In eight years, Bush never faced a heckler. All this current discord and hysteria by the "birthers," and the xenophobes is driven by a single overriding theme; fear of a black president. There is an undercurrent of white denial that rejects the notion of an erudite African-American as Chief Executive, so they go in search of any scrap of evidence that sinister forces must surely have been involved in his election. Obama's DNA on a 1961 Hawaiian-made pacifier wouldn't convince them otherwise. I'm reminded of Marlon Brando in "The Wild One," when asked what he was rebelling against, answered, "I dunno, whaddaya got?"

And the groups that turn out the mobs of angry whites in Bermuda shorts and ball caps always have such patriotic sounding names like Freedom Works and Liberty Council, as if their scripted disruptions had anything vaguely to do with freedom. This is what passes for a senior "flashmob;" people motivated by disinformation and fear who would rather shout down and close a public meeting than allow civil discourse on the subject of real health care reform. It appeared to me that the protesters were reasonably healthy looking, middle-aged white people, so I can assume they must already be insured. I am not, and readers of these posts know that I have endured a decade of retail, substandard, medical care that has affected me like a tire with a slow leak. I am counting on Obama's reforms, as are fifty million others that are one medical catastrophe from a financial dilemma. It's a great racket to pay premiums to an insurance company, have your health needs met and be obligated for only a fraction of the astronomical costs of advanced medical procedures. And the more procedures ordered, the more your doctor gets paid, or "reimbursed." It's a sweet tax right-off for your employer too, but it's done on the backs of the uninsured and the underinsured who are denied critical medical services every day. People are concerned about health care rationing? I can show you fifty million more uninsured like me, who would be happy with anything.

As far as the "public option" that the insurance companies, in collusion with assembly-line, procedure-mill doctors, are spending so much money trying to kill; I trust my government to look after me far better than any HMO or insurance company you could name. Private insurers have treated me like an untouchable; why would I ever consider giving them my business now? For those who scream "Socialism," with visions of Mr. and Mrs. Mussolini hanging upside-down in the town square, "socialism" can also mean that which is done for the common good. The concept of law is a socialistic idea, so if you intend to shun such radical thought, you should hire your own private security force. And when you drive, stick to city streets since you are not entitled to abuse the Eisenhower interstate system. If you get shot over a parking spot by another law-abiding citizen with a carry permit, don't dare dial 911. Drive yourself in your unregistered car to your personal physician as best you can with your illegal driver's license. But then, they'd only ask for a Social Security number.

Still, the Republicans will tell you that we have the finest health care system in the world and if the government becomes involved you will have to wait in line, like those wretched Canadians, to have your broken arm set.It is past time for someone to say it plainly; The Republicans are lying to you. They have always lied to you because that is what they are paid to do. By telling you that government is bad, and regulations are useless, they persuaded a great part of the electorate to vote about abortion pills and gay marriage while the country's economy flirted with total collapse. And look what it's gotten them. Abortion is still legal and the bans against same-sex marriage are falling in state after state. All that's left is for them to demonize the president and tell elderly people that the evil Obama wants them to hurry up and die. Their protestations over health care reform are not about the people's welfare, but because they wish to, in the words of S.C. Senator Jim DeMint, "Break the president."

I know which way my Congressman will vote on this issue, so I wasn't planning on attending his forthcoming town meeting. Now, I may have to go just for the circus. I live in a predominantly black district and since almost all the recruited phony protesters are white, I'd like to suggest a program change for my Representative. Before discussing health care reform, as a treat to the community, stage a brief concert/revue of some of Memphis' most promising rappers. Then we'll see how much conviction these outraged wingnuts have. And if they persist on pursuing this nonsense about Obama being a foreign-born, Constitutionally ineligible, illegitimate president, I will begin circulating petitions demanding that the Supreme Court re-examine and overturn their decision in the case of Bush v. Gore; Dec. 12, 2000. Then it will all have been just a bad dream. I can't wait until a "Wise Latina" gets ahold of that one.