Brandon's Notepad

October 13, 2016

Obama Controversies

Filed under: List — Brandon @ 9:18 pm
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Love him or hate him, it cannot be denied that Barack Obama is one of the most controversial Presidents the United States has ever had. I started this list some time ago and wanted to write a more thorough treatment of each, but I have far too many other things to do for that. Some are true, most are reportedly bogus, and all can be found easily on the Internet.


  • First African-American President
  • Citizenship / birth certificate / birther theory
  • Campaign rally fainting incidents
  • 57 States (c.f. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation)
  • Bible irrelevancy (c.f. Call to Renewal speech, Dobson)
  • Sworn in with no Bible / with hand on Quran
  • Jeremiah Wright (c.f. Liberation Theology, Black Lib Theology, James Cone)
  • American flag lapel pin
  • Socialism / Communism
  • Hand over heart during National Anthem / Pledge of Allegiance
  • Michelle’s “All this for a **** flag” comment
  • Negotiating with terrorists
  • USA “no longer a Christian nation”
  • National Day of Prayer cancellation (so not to offend people)
  • Muslim Day of Prayer upheld (so as not to offend Muslims)
  • Bows to Saudi King
  • Michelle hugs the Queen of England
  • Is a demon, smells of sulfur (c.f. Alex Jones)


May 27, 2014

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

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The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
This is a short review of The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, written by David Remnick, narrated by Mark Deakins.

The Bridge is a thorough examination of the early life and career of President Obama. It is a story of a man raised in culturally diverse Hawaii who has a deep desire to help the oppressed, but who must first learn how to identify with those he strives to serve by redefining himself. Metaphorically referring to Obama as a bridge, the image is used in varied and sometimes-subtle ways. For example, as part of the Joshua Generation he connects the old ways of the Moses Generation (the Civil Rights Movement) to the Promised Land (a new future of real freedom in America). As such, he acts like a bridge over the waters of the River Jordan. Also, early in the book, the conflict at the Edmund Pettus Bridge is recounted, the crossing of which is finally upon us with the election of the first United States President who happens to also be black (you’re welcome, Gen. Powell).

While I cannot say that it is an unbiased work, I do believe that the author remained fairly objective and faithful to his sources. [Of course, as with any piece on history, the degree to which it accurately represents the absolute truth in all matters may never be known.] It certainly paints a rosy portrait of Obama, which actually fits my needs well. It built upon what I had already learned about his ancestry and my basic knowledge of his candidacy and tenure, and it will provide a good mental backdrop for when I read the more critical assessments written by his opponents. Also, many details that previously drew my attention only as news bites were adequately connected and explained by the narrative.

As usual, I listened to the audiobook version. The narration by Mark Deakins is excellent. He varies his voice when reading quotes and has a distinct sound when quoting Obama himself, making it very easy to visualize the text and prevent the user from getting lost in a sea of words.

May 8, 2014

The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family

Filed under: Book Reviews — Brandon @ 5:50 pm
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The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family
This is a short review of The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family, written by Peter Firstbrook.

This story is not about President Barack Obama, so much as it is about the twenty generations of his father’s family that preceded him. It covers Kenyan history beginning with the migration of the Luo tribe from Sudan four centuries ago to British colonial rule in the early Twentieth Century and the politics of Barack Senior’s generation. It certainly attempts to settle some of the controversies surrounding the President, namely the “birther theories” that he was born in Kenya and not in Hawaii (thereby making him ineligible to hold the office of President), as well as the claim that he professes the Christian faith publicly but is actually a Muslim (and therefore sympathetic to anti-American regimes and organizations). The author, an Englishman, begins the book by noting how foreigners often watch the workings of American politics with an acute understanding that the results of our elections have global impact, something that United States citizens take for granted. He ends with commentary on the difficulties one encounters when gathering family history data, especially a history that has been passed down orally for many generations. It is a very interesting story and well worth the read!

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