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Persona non grata at WND

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I went back over my Disqus profile to see what might have triggered WND’s ban.

Here are the last few with the most recent first.

a day ago: Removed

The information about Washington came from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register – January 1857 No. 1. and Notes and Queries, 1857. And yes, I found the images of those works on the Internet.

When researching "on the Internet" it’s important to consider the authority of the source, in this case it was historical documentation scanned by Google Books.

a day ago: Removed

There is nothing "Christian" about the birther movement. It is based on racism, bigotry, political smears and mental defects (different strokes for different folks). What ever your particular defect, birtherism is founded on lies and character assassination (as you just did for the 6 experts, 3 of whom were hired by WND).

We could add a less credentialed expert, John Woodman, who is a Tea Party Republican, but with integrity. He wrote a book, showing the forgery claims were bunk.

a day ago: Removed

Dreams from My Father sold 4,650,000 copies.

a day ago: Removed

Dual citizenship is not unusual for US Presidents. Some countries grant citizenship to the grandchildren of their citizens. I am really not concerned by whatever quirks there are in the laws of some other country. They shouldn’t be able to restrict who we can elect as our president.

James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, was a dual citizen of France, actually accepting the honor before he became president. Washington was also a dual citizen of France. Eisenhower could have been claimed by Germany until he took up arms against them. Of course, Chester A. Arthur’s father was an Irish subject when the President was born.

Teddy Roosevelt wrote a book in which he mentioned the "dual citizenship" of several historical figures, including President Arthur, in an essay rejecting the notion that the United States should recognize such a thing as dual citizenship. He said we should totally reject such foreign claims on our citizens. The book is "Fear God and Take Your Own Part."

2 days ago: Removed

I’ve never known birthers to raise a crowd big enough to make it worth my while to drive to Atlanta. How about as an alternative we debate live on Internet Radio. I’m sure one of the shows would host it.

But I warn you, you would end up looking very foolish.

2 days ago: Removed

Barry Soetoro. Barry is a nickname, like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Ike Eisenhower. Soetoro was his stepfather’s name, and he went by it for a few years when he lived in Indonesia with him.

2 days ago: Removed

Barack Obama published Dreams from My Father in 1995. The nationality of Obama’s father was in a best-selling book–hardly a secret.

2 days ago: Removed

You know, there was a rumor going around after his death that George Washington had been born in England. It was in the papers. The story was that Martha Washington birthed him in England and then rushed back to the United States to register his birth in Virginia.

I didn’t believe it until I looked it up.

2 days ago: Removed

The Obama Foreign Exchange Student story was an April Fools Joke, April 1, 2009. There has never been ANYTHING to indicate Obama was ever a foreign exchange student anywhere.

2 days ago: Removed

Well, you came up with nothing, but just to show you what a good sport I am:

Ivan Zatkovich – Professional electronic document, has testified in multiple court cases.

Dr. Ricardo de Queiroz of the University of Brazil – former research scientist for Xerox and the holder of patents on document compression.

Dr. Neal Krawetz – security expert and expert in electronic document alteration detection. Has authored software to detect alteration.

The other three are Pex. Broyhill, and Coburn. All three run data analysis companies and are considered experts in the field.

WND writer Aaron Klein, read the reports of Pex, Broyhill and Zatkovich, and concluded, speaking on his WABC radio show May 1, 2011:

"But let’s put that aside.[22:03] It would have to be a massive conspiracy, and I don’t want to get into that, that the State of Hawaii was involved in, in order to fake this document. I believe that this document is absolutely real. There is no evidence that it is not. And there would have to be a grand, crazy conspiracy for the State of Hawaii to be involved in faking a birth certificate. I don’t want to even get into that on this program."

So you see, this whole forgery thing is just the blind leading the blind.

I think what they were not ready to allow was my comment about Aaron Klein and the document experts he and WND hired. I get the impression that anything with the string “WND” in it goes into automatic moderation. I have never published the extended transcript of Klein’s WABC radio program on May 1, 2011 up until now where Klein basically says that the experts find no smoking gun of forgery in the President’s birth certificate PDF. That transcript has also been added to the menus under Bookmarks | Transcripts.

WND, you can’t handle the truth.

10

Lowering expectations

This is one of those pure blog posts, rather than an article on something. I write it to chide myself for some silly thinking.

As I mentioned a few times, I have been spending an unusual amount of time this month disputing with birthers at Birther Report and WorldNetDaily. In all of that time, I ran across a total of one person from the “other side” that I was able to exchange information with.  Here’s an example of a failure to communicate where I had listed the 6 experts who looked at Obama’s birth certificate and didn’t find it was a forgery: Pex, Broyhill, de Queiroz, Coburn, Zatkovich and Krawetz. This is the reply I got:

I got your so called experts and found that they are Marxist/socialist/demonrats, like you.

I hadn’t even given first names for some of them!

My silly thinking is to expect that when I present a good argument, a well-documented fact, or expose a formal fallacy, that I would at least get some indication that the person on the other side understood what I said, but that’s rarely the case. Generally, the commenters I engage at WND and Birther Report are the bottom of the barrel so far as birthers go. I mean, those folks at WND are still reciting the April Fools “Obama was a Foreign Student at Occidental” joke, and believe it with an unshakable passion! It doesn’t bother these folks for a moment that they cannot articulate any reason for why they believe that. Some folks at Birther Report are saying that the Naturalization Act of 1790 proves that the children of aliens born in the United States were not citizens.

What I should do, and it will be difficult, is to reset my expectations when commenting on birther sites. I have to keep in mind that if the birthers were reasonable, they wouldn’t still be birthers. I am not sure though how to dumb down the conversation enough. It may be impossible.

I suppose this article might come across as haughty and condescending. It is.

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Leo Donofrio: Natural born conspiracy theorist

I came across Leo C. Donofrio first in connection with his Obama and McCain eligibility lawsuit in New Jersey, Donofrio v. Wells. My short biographical page on him was published in December of 2008; there would be many more articles to follow. Donofrio is known famously, or perhaps infamously, as the inventor of a new meaning for the constitutional term “natural born citizen,” the proposition that US Presidents must be born in the country to two citizen parents.

Donofrio showed a conspiracist bent right from the first with his novel claim that US President Chester A. Arthur conspired to keep his father’s naturalization status  (Irish) a secret by lying about his age and burning his papers just before he died. In truth, his father’s nationality was known, but not widely discussed because that was before Donofrio came up with a theory where it mattered.

photo at right by Carlos De Deios © Filminco Productions 2011.) In addition to being a lawyer, a professional poker player and rock musician, Donofrio is also a filmmaker working under the pseudonym Jet Wintzer. To his credit is a film titled Towers, about a post apocalyptic world where most people have been destroyed by radiation from cell phone towers. Donofrio plays a survivor named “DJSpectacle” (photo at right by Carlos De Deios © Filminco Productions 2011). Donofrio’s other film credits include Colourfly (2012) and The Art of Forced Collaboration (2013).

Donofrio’s new film,  NASA NOT SOUND, according to its YouTube trailer, promotes the claim that Moon landing video footage from NASA is fake because one can hear sounds allegedly transmitted through the vacuum.

I have never decided in my own mind whether Donofrio believes any of the stuff, or if he is just trying to prove how smart he is by fooling other people.

Read more:

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Johnson’s Dictionary on native and natural

Samuel Johnson wrote a famous English dictionary published in 1755. Below is a transcription I made of the words “native” and “natural,” omitting the usage examples. You can view the text here.

NATIVE. adj. [nativus, Latin; natif-ve, Fr.]

[1.] Produced by nature; natural, not artificial.

2. Natural; such as is according to nature.

3. Conferred by birth.

4. Relating to birth, pertaining to the time or place of birth.

5. Original; natural.

NATIVE. n. s.

1. One born in any place; original inhabitant.

2. Offspring.

NATURAL. adj. [naturel, French, from nature.]

1. Produced or effected by nature.

2. Illegitimate

3. Bestowed by nature.

4. Not forced; not farfetched; dictated by nature.

5. Consonant to natural notions.

6. Tender; affectionate by nature.

7. Unaffected; according to truth and reality.

8. Opposed to violent; as a natural death.

NATURAL n.s. [from nature.]

1. An idiot; one whom nature debars for understanding; a fool.

2. Native; original inhabitant.

3. Gift of nature; nature ; quality.


I note that some of the definitions are shared between the two words.

21

The apotheosis of the birthers

“Apotheosis” is one of a handful of words that I’ve always wanted to use in a sentence. One definition of apotheosis is:

the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax

I got to use it at Birther Report yesterday. Here’s a bit of the exchange:

VeniVidiVici4U: kevin,  your false sense of security is about to come face to face with a serious case of asswhooping reality.

Dr. Conspiracy: You seem to think that as the days pass, you are getting closer to the apotheosis of the birthers. But you’re doing nothing more than going around in circles chanting the same mantra of forgery this and fraud that (and telling yourselves that Zullo will save you).

I used it to describe the mythical transformation of birthers from a bunch of Internet Yahoos to the heroic removers of the usurper president, who saved the Republic from destruction, and are forever enshrined in the pantheon of true patriots™.

What strikes me about the discussion at BR is the earnestness and consistency of the belief. I suppose I could paste a compilation of similar statements, but that would be tedious and not particularly informative. Suffice it say that there are many, and I’ll leave with two examples:

BornTexas: It’s not impeachment that will end the usurpation, it will be the mountain of lies and fraud revealed for all to see. Once released, the feeding frenzy will be epic. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. The Dems will eat their own to avoid the gallows. Soetoro and his enabling minions will suffer the brunt of the onslaught.

William: I don’t get it. You are going to lose. How you deal with that fact is concerning.

I’m just not seeing this.

48

Legal expert Donald Trump says Canadian birth may be problem for Ted Cruz

Speaking to reporters in West Des Moines, Iowa, Trump addressed the issue head on, reports the Dallas Morning News.

“He’s going to have to solve that problem. It could end up in litigation. It could take a long period of time.… It’s certainly a stumbling block that he has that other people don’t have,” Trump said, suggesting that Cruz might only be able to put any doubts to rest by going to court.

“Perhaps he’s going to have to go in for declaratory judgments. Perhaps he’s going to get rulings from some group of electioneers. He’s going to have to do something. Because it is a problem that a lot of people have been mentioning,” Trump said. “He’s going to have to get it resolved one way or the other. And I hope he gets it resolved in a positive way because I think he’ll add a lot.”

“Electioneers”? I thought he said “Mouseketeers.” Sorry about that.

Birther litigant David Farrar is all over the comments on this story, as he is pretty much any time the topic appears above a comment box. I left this reply:

Farrar can go all day like a lumberjack, but in the end he lost his case in Georgia, and so has every other person who made a similar argument.

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