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Our Friend Barry

I’ve not spent much time on the subject of Barack Obama in Hawaii, and that’s my loss. Because of the recent birther flurry over Mia Marie Pope’s interviews, claiming that she met Obama during two or three summers1 when she and her parents stayed in a hotel in Honolulu. She described Obama as a “pathological liar,” a homosexual and a coke head, I’ve spent some time looking back at Obama in Hawaii, and contrary to what Pastor Manning said, there is a wealth of information coming from Obama’s actual classmates.

Photo of Punahou School buildingOne source is the excellent film, “Barack Obama Made in Hawaii.” Another is a book from 2008 titled, Our Friend Barry: Classmates’ Recollections of Barack Obama and Punahou School, edited by Obama classmate Constance F. Ramos. I started going through the book specifically to refute Mia Marie Pope, and I found plenty of source material for that. Clearly the President was known as Barry Obama and not Barry Soetoro as Pope claims. Pope also said that it was impossible to get in Punahou school unless you started there in kindergarten. Most of the classmates in the book started later.

But once I got past the debunking, there were some insights about Obama. Punahou was an elite school, and Obama rubbed shoulders with doctors’ kids and the children of bank presidents. But there were other kids from two-income families and some, like Obama on financial aid. The poorer kids were conscious of their clothes. Most people in Hawaii are mixed race and Obama did not grow up in the atmosphere of racial prejudice that he would have experienced had he been raised on the mainland. In Hawaii, the racial distinction was between Asian and non-Asian.

Some remembered Barry as “genuine and grounded in himself”–others that he was a leader. There’s a neat story about a tuna sandwich.

Somehow these recollections make everything so much more real and human. It’s nice.


1The exact time is fuzzy. Pope always says 1977, but sometimes she says she was aged 13-14 and sometimes 14-15.

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22 Responses to Our Friend Barry

  1. avatar
    Arrogantlyignorant November 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    I agree. I don’t think Obama grew up in an atmosphere of racial prejudice either.
    I grew up around the same time in the same general area (East O’ahu). I never thought in terms of black/white/Asian/other. We were all the same and we treated each other as such. I never really experienced any racial divide until I moved to L.A. for awhile in the 90’s. I think most people from there that have a real connection to it, go through life, living and spreading the “aloha spirit”.
    One of my aunts, who liked to travel told me it’s akin to “southern hospitality”.
    I didn’t go to Punahou, nor do I know Barry personally but this Pope lady is bonkers.

  2. avatar
    Notorial Dissent November 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    What it comes down to, in Pope’s case, is that it is really really hard to keep up internal consistency when you’re whole story is a pack of lies, or full blown delusion, from start to finish.

    In my case, what it comes down to is remembering what it was like to be that age, and unless she had a serious in with that crowd, which I really doubt she did, the likelihood of a non-school mate, out of town, Summer visitor getting included in ANYTHING that crowd was doing, even peripherally, is/was on the order of less than slim and none. High school and Jr high students, particularly those going to private schools are notoriously snobbish about who they hang out with, and some how i just don’t see Mz Mia fitting the bill.

  3. avatar
    alg November 13, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    Birthers are lazy bastards who never take the time and effort to check their facts. It’s too easy to just sit there accepting at face value any and everything somebody makes up on a radio talk show. Yet, even a fleeting examination of the facts can quickly debunk and dismiss the tall tales. But since that won’t reinforce the meme, birthers won’t do it.

  4. avatar
    The Magic M November 13, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    alg: Yet, even a fleeting examination of the facts can quickly debunk and dismiss the tall tales. But since that won’t reinforce the meme, birthers won’t do it.

    I bet Ms. Pope would make an excellent witness for the prosecution in their next Citizen Grand Jury Trial, “no further questions, your Honour!”.

  5. avatar
    JD Reed November 13, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    alg: Birthers are lazy bastards who never take the time and effort to check their facts. It’s too easy to just sit there accepting at face value any and everything somebody makes up on a radio talk show. Yet, even a fleeting examination of the facts can quickly debunk and dismiss the tall tales. But since that won’t reinforce the meme, birthers won’t do it.

    I hate to disagree, but I don’t think laziness is the main factor. It’s not that they’re too lazy to check their facts, it’s that they don’t want to. Passionately don’t want to. Many got to far greater effort to invent some reason to deny and dismiss the facts than they would have had to exert in just honestly checking the facts.
    Some, of course, are ignorant and have no clue of how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  6. avatar
    Kiwiwriter November 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    alg:
    Birthers are lazy bastards who never take the time and effort to check their facts.It’s too easy to just sit there accepting at face value any and everything somebody makes up on a radio talk show.Yet, evena fleeting examination of the facts can quickly debunk and dismiss the tall tales.But since that won’t reinforce the meme, birthers won’t do it.

    I think the average birthers are lazy bastards, but the folks like Orly and Zullo who make their alleged livings off of this nonsense do seem to work very hard at their nuttery.

    The people who support Taitz and the rest of these con men ARE lazy. And bigoted. And angry.

  7. avatar
    G November 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Those are excellent resource links. Thanks.

    realist:
    Hawaii – from birth to age 6:http://www.thefogbow.com/special-reports/people-remember-president-obama/friends/#Hawaii%201

    Hawaii – Age 10 through high school:http://www.thefogbow.com/special-reports/people-remember-president-obama/friends/#Hawaii%202

  8. avatar
    realist November 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    G..

    I live to serve. 😉

  9. avatar
    ZixiOfIx November 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Doctor Conspiracy wrote: Pope also said that it was impossible to get in Punahou school unless you started there in kindergarten.

    This stuck with me more than any other comment, because it is patently ridiculous and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    People in the United States move a lot. A whole lot. They always have. Several current estimates peg the number at about 15% of people moving house every year.

    The number of movers in 1966 (when the Punahou class Obama graduated with probably started kindergarten) was closer to 17%, but lets knock it down to a measly 5%, just to be super safe and let’s make the starting class size at Punahou Kindergarten 20 children, which is on the very low side.

    If only 5% of the original class size moved away per year, that is one child leaving every year. In 13 years (K + grades 1-12), the graduating class at Punahou would have held 7 people.

    For Mia Marie Pope to be right (i.e., not lying), the Punahou school would have to see a 2/3 reduction in the number of students from Kindergarten till graduation… and to what end? So that every year the class size would be ever-smaller, and the few remaining students in high school would be that much more expensive to teach?

    You’d still need a full range of math and English teachers, chemistry labs, biology labs, etc. – everything needed to make up a school that promises to be highly competitive, and charges large amounts for the privilege of going there. But you only have one third of the students you started with paying for all this by their senior year, which is ridiculous.

    America: A Nation on the Move, US Census Bureau

  10. avatar
    mimi November 15, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Bob Ross posted an interview Mia Pope did with Jeff Rense. She’s changing her story a bit.

    http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=10326&start=200

  11. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater November 15, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    mimi: Bob Ross posted an interview Mia Pope did with Jeff Rense. She’s changing her story a bit. http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=10326&start=200

    I’m still waiting on Jeff Rense to post part 2 of his interview so I can see what other whoppers she’s telling. I will have to compare her interviews thus far with Manning, Santilli and Rense to see how much she’s changed her story.

  12. avatar
    AGROD November 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Birthers wont read the Obama books because they hate him so much but yet still want us to take them seriously…oh but they will go crazy for crap fest like the movie 2016 where some one else thinks for Obama.

  13. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater November 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    AGROD: Birthers wont read the Obama books because they hate him so much but yet still want us to take them seriously…oh but they will go crazy for crap fest like the movie 2016 where some one else thinks for Obama.

    I always love when birthers make claims about his books and when you ask what page it was on claim they never read it. Like the claim that he admitted in his book he was a marxist. Or that he was adopted or a number of other claims.

  14. avatar
    Whatever4 November 16, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater: I always love when birthers make claims about his books and when you ask what page it was on claim they never read it.Like the claim that he admitted in his book he was a marxist.Or that he was adopted or a number of other claims.

    I’ve recently had someone claim that the original printing of Dreams said born in Kenya, but reprints all have Hawaii.

  15. avatar
    JPotter November 16, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Whatever4: I’ve recently had someone claim that the original printing of Dreams said born in Kenya, but reprints all have Hawaii.

    As it references the bibliophile convention of identifying a particular edition by identifying typos unique to that particular edition, that’s semi-brilliant for a typical, stupid, unsubstantiated claim!

    So much of the book is set in Hawaii, and makes references to Hawaiian places and persons from Hawaii … swapping Hawaii for Kenya would take more than a small bits of correction tape with the word “Hawaii” on them. It’d take a complete rewrite. Even if the claim was merely that O was born in Kenya, then whisked away to Hawaii (our pet favorite bizarro bit of ahistory), it would still imply a significant edit, not just a quick and dirty band-aid.

  16. avatar
    Rickey November 16, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    ZixiOfIx:

    For Mia Marie Pope to be right (i.e., not lying), the Punahou school would have to see a 2/3 reduction in the number of students from Kindergarten till graduation… and to what end? So that every year the class size would be ever-smaller, and the few remaining students in high school would be that much more expensive to teach?

    You’d still need a full range of math and English teachers, chemistry labs, biology labs, etc. – everything needed to make up a school that promises to be highly competitive, and charges large amounts for the privilege of going there. But you only have one third of the students you started with paying for all this by their senior year, which is ridiculous.

    Excellent points. A private school has to fill its vacancies left by students who move away or flunk out (or transfer to public school for financial reasons) because it needs the tuition payments to survive.

    I attended the same private elementary school from first grade to eighth grade, but only about half of my graduating class could say the same. Just about every year we had new students in the class.

  17. avatar
    Rickey November 16, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Whatever4: I’ve recently had someone claim that the original printing of Dreams said born in Kenya, but reprints all have Hawaii.

    And that “original printing” is so elusive that not a single birther has been able to produce a copy, just as they have never been able to produce a textbook which talks about the “two citizen parent” requirement.

  18. avatar
    The Magic M November 16, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Rickey: just as they have never been able to produce a textbook which talks about the “two citizen parent” requirement

    Or the “Whitey tape”, or the Hawaiian newspapers without Obama’s birth announcements, or whatever else they were looking for.

    I’ve seen this delusion quite a few times; e.g. one of our local right-wing cranks once claimed he saw an interview with a high-ranking German politician on TV at 4 a.m. where the politician allegedly “admitted the German state is illegal and not sovereign”. Of course this was “scrubbed from the re-runs”.

    I also remember birthers claiming to have seen a YouTube video where Obama “admits he’s not an NBC” (referring to the alleged exchange with Keyes during Obama’s senator years), or other things.
    It’s their way of reinforcing the beliefs of their fellow birthers (and possibly themselves) – “if there’s a video of it, it must be true!”

  19. avatar
    Whatever4 November 16, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    The Magic M:
    I also remember birthers claiming to have seen a YouTube video where Obama “admits he’s not an NBC” (referring to the alleged exchange with Keyes during Obama’s senator years), or other things.
    It’s their way of reinforcing the beliefs of their fellow birthers (and possibly themselves) – “if there’s a video of it, it must be true!”

    This is one of my favorites as I listened to several boring debates. Short debunking: a tiny grain of truth. In the 2004 IL Senate race debate, the following exchange took place.

    OBAMA: I don’t need Mr. Keyes lecturing me about Christianity. That’s why I have a pastor. That’s why I have my Bible. That’s why I have my own prayer. And I don’t think that any of you are particularly interested in having Mr. Keyes lecture you about your faith.

    What you’re interested in is solving problems like jobs, and health care, and education. I’m not running to be the minister of Illinois. I’m running to be its United States Senator.

    Detailed debunking: http://www.thefogbow.com/birther-claims-debunked1/other-stuff/#Keyes

  20. avatar
    Keith November 16, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    Rickey: And that “original printing” is so elusive that not a single birther has been able to produce a copy, just as they have never been able to produce a textbook which talks about the “two citizen parent” requirement.

    Extremely telling point. If this first printing exists, and someone was able to compare it with a second printing, then there must be more than one copy of it sitting around on somebody’s dusty shelves somewhere. How else could they ‘know’ that the second printing had been ‘fixed’.

    If such a book existed, somebody, somewhere, sometime would have cashed in on it. Nobody sleeps on a that kind of money when they know that they can’t possibly be the only one holding a copy of the damning evidence.

    This has got to rank up there with the stupidest birther lies ever told. It has got to be a Guinness Book of Records candidate, am I right?

  21. avatar
    donna November 16, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    11/5/2013 Just Released Interview: Childhood Friend & Classmate Of Barack Obama Speaks Out! Video

    http://beforeitsnews.com/obama/2013/11/just-released-interview-childhood-friend-classmate-of-barack-obama-speaks-out-video-2457460.html

    my fave interview (by fox): Obama Classmate Dishes to Fox News

    http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2013/01/04/obama-classmate-dishes-fox-news