DISCLAIMER: The opinions and choice of language used in this article are not necessarily those of No Quarter USA, its owner, editor, or other writers. They may not even be the opinions of the author. They are, after all, offered with snarky humor. Any offense taken from this piece is not intended for you, and should be returned immediately to its rightful owner.
And a major hat tip to American Girl in Italy for bringing these pictures to the attention of the NQ writers.
How did we miss this before?
This picture and the accompanying story ran in a NY Times blog back on January 20, 2009, the week before the inauguration of Barack Obama. The pictures are puzzling and a bit amusing, the story is kind of interesting (in a yadayadayada kind of way), and the public comments are nauseating. I’ll try to summarize each of these elements, but I fear if I have to read some of those comments more than twice, I’ll likely be too queasy to finish.
Here we see our current president in a picture from his college days, sitting next to his self-professed best friend and roommate, Sohale Siddiqi. These photos were taken in 1981, according to the NYT article. And by the way, isn’t that sofa upholstery the same material as Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Day outfit?
And who took the picture? Obama’s other roommate, Phil Boerner, who was the voluntary source of these pictures and was interviewed for the blog article in NYT from January. His picture is below, but please don’t peek ahead!
Here is a quote from that blog:
Mr. Boerner, who lives in California and is a registered Democrat, said he had kept his recollections to himself during the campaign, but thought he would share them now as his friend makes history.
Who are these people? Where have they been? And where are they now? And more importantly, what did they have to hide during the campaigns?
Is either of them married? Are they normal family men now, successful in their careers? Can they pass a UA?
Why were they silent and unknown during the election? Did someone “ask” them to hide in spider holes until after the election? Was a hint of cement shoes involved?
Is it just me, or does this seem kind of hinky? We’ve been asking each other and the world for the last year, “Where are Obama’s friends from his youth?” And, like our questions about his school records and other documentation from his adult past, those questions go unanswered. Even the crickets are mum.
Why the HELL didn’t the NYT, or any mainstream media, find and interview these guys and other people from Obama’s life when it counted most!?! During the election!
Why are we just now seeing this and hearing about his college roommates? The NYT buries it in a blog, and no other major media has done stories on Obama roommates and friends from his past. Why the hell not?
The answer is obvious. The MSM was protecting Obama.
We count on the media to investigate politicians. What they did to Sarah Palin was not that unusual for yellow journalism. However, there was a complete breach of faith and goodwill from the vast majority of major media; they made no attempt to vet Barack Obama. Instead, they became part of his team, labeling all the vetting questions as racist, right wing, and/or lunatic fringe. Meanwhile, they pass off their partisan opinions as neutral news.
And out of Obama’s whole academic and young adult life, not one single friend came forward at any of his campaign appearances, that I know of. Were these guys, or any other old friends from his youth, invited to the Inauguration? Or were they told to STFU?
Was Obama invisible for ten years? Didn’t he have any friends besides these two? Was he the original model for “The 40-year-old Virgin?”
So far, we still don’t know.
If I won the lottery or got famous, I’m absolutely confident that I’d be hearing from dozens of old friends from school days and beyond. Whether to ask for money or simply to share the spotlight, I know they’d be showing up. But not for the most popular president in history! Apparently he only knew these two guys.
Obama included Siddiqi in his book “Dreams of My Father,” referring to him as Sadik. Several sources I found used this description, or similar words:
Obama describes Saddiqi as “a short, well-built Pakistani” who smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine. Siddiqi was from Karachi, Pakistan and came to America from London on a tourist visa. He overstayed his visa, becoming an illegal alien.
Well-built? This is what Obama considers buff? He looks a bit, you know, frail to me. But then I wasn’t his roomie. Perhaps he was referring to a part of his anatomy not visible in this photo.
OK, that was a low blow. But speaking strictly for myself, if I was one of the guys on that sofa, there’d be some space between us. Pose or no pose.
This Sadik guy is worth a little research. I offer this link only as a suggestion for further reading about him, not as an endorsement of the sources. But I do advise you read up on him to help put their relationship into perspective.
Now it’s time to check out the picture of his other former roommate, Phil Boerner. He looks like he has Asperger’s Syndrome, like Jerry “Hands” Espenson, a character on Boston Legal (damn, I miss that show!). If you’re not familiar with Jerry, he keeps his hands clasped to the tops of his thighs most of the time, even while walking. It’s part of his Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if the roomie pictured here has the syndrome, but his posture looks a bit odd to me. Maybe he’s just a dweeb. Or possibly a dork.
OK, that’s enough of the photos. Let’s review the article they came from. And then we’ll deal with some of the comments posted when the article ran in January, if I don’t upchuck on my keyboard first.
This article, based on Boerner’s recollections, does not say that Sohale Siddiqi was a roommate of Obama and Boerner, but nearly every source I could find stated that Obama and Sohale Siddiqi were roommates while Obama attended Columbia University in NYC, at the time these photos were taken.
Anyway, this article doesn’t even mention “Sadik,” but focuses instead on Phil Boerner, who stated that Obama was his roommate “for a semester.” I suppose there could easily have been three of them living together, but then this article states:
Though the two men stayed in touch, the housing arrangement ended that winter. Mr. Boerner thinks the leaseholder took the apartment back. Mr. Obama recalled in his memoir giving up the place “for lack of heat.”
Or maybe they were kicked out for other reasons. Mr. Boerner doesn’t seem to recall. Could it have been drug use? The illegal alien? Jealousy? I’m just asking myself these questions, not insinuating anything, mind you.
Boerner also recalls “Museums. Jogging in the park. Breakfasts at Tom’s on Broadway, not yet the celebrated hangout of Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza.” Hey, what about Elaine and Kramer? You can’t break up a set!
And “They listened to reggae. Bob Marley. Peter Tosh.” Gee, I used to love Bob Marley, too. I remember those pictures of him smoking those huge “spliffs,” or cigar-sized marijuana joints. And those lovely Bob Marley lyrics, like this line from Talking Blues, “And I feel like bombing a church, now that I know that the preacher is lying.” That’s a real quote, folks, just so you know.
And Boerner also recalled, “Some nights Mr. Obama would whip up some chicken curry, a dish he learned from a Pakistani friend. Other meals were at Tom’s.” Hmmm. A Pakistani friend? I wonder who that would be. Oh, I know! It must have been Babu!!
OK, let’s move on to the comments. Seriously, I’m provoking my own gag reflex here, so I hope it’s not contagious! Please, don’t read any further if you have a full stomach or are eating. Especially if it’s curry!
I have already given a citation for the original article, so you can read them all there, if you are inclined. And since I have cited the original, I don’t feel obliged to give “credit” or blame, in the way of giving the names of commenters quoted here. And I don’t mean to be overly dramatic about it. These comments are probably no worse than others you’ve seen in the last few months, but I was just so stunned seeing them with barely any rebuttal from sane people. So here are a few samples:
We have a President who befriended white guys from the Catskills and shared smokes with Pakistani students as a college student. That is severely cool.
Oh, yes! Severely, if not catastrophically!
Obama has the psychological make-up of major world leader, let’s hope it’s for the good.
You can tell by the way he snuggles up to Pakistanis.
What humility, what heart, what a mind. I am in awe that we, the American people, finally picked a good one. Tears well in my eyes every time I look at him and his beautiful family. Let’s really get behind him and do what’s right.
Where’s my Mylanta?
He will be THE BEST, he is a true human being.
Oh, jeez, I hope I can make it to the bathroom!