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A quarter million comments: who’d a thunk it?

The first comment on the blog is by me on December 17, 2008. The second is by someone named Kevin Smith the next day. He said:

Love the site and you will have to excuse Ted. He puts the very same messages on my blog concerning these issues. I will put a link in for my readers to visit here. Good site.

Early followers of the birther movement may remember someone posting as “Ted” who went all over the Internet spamming blogs with the same comments. I deleted Ted comments because they were spam, so I guess Ted may well have been the first commenter here. Kevin Smith’s own blog isn’t around any more. I preserved one of the Ted comments on my other blog, Blog or Die, from November 11, 2008, touting a YouTube video.

Since the blog’s inception, comments have been a vital part of our mission: to discuss the birthers and bring hard facts and sound argument to bear on these conspiracy theories. I collected a few of many exceptional comments on a Featured Comments page, but that hardly does justice to the full range of exceptional contributions.

Some contributors have been especially prolific and I list some top commenters here from among the 2,939 who have commented:

  • Dr. Conspiracy – 21032
  • misha marinsky – 9697
  • G – 8992
  • NBC – 8,838
  • Majority Will – 7124
  • Rickey – 6306
  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater – 5620
  • Scientist – 5620
  • Keith – 5398
  • The Magic M – 4445
  • CarlOrcas – 4059
  • Lupin – 3961
  • JPotter – 3850
  • Arthur – 3589
  • gorefan – 3499
  • Andrew Vrba, PmG – 3176
  • Slartibartfast – 3171
  • bob – 3062
  • Sef – 2844
  • Black Lion – 2812
  • richCares – 2761
  • Daniel – 2649
  • Greg – 2635
  • Northland10 – 2344
  • donna – 2344
  • SFJeff – 2333
  • Bovril – 2157
  • Reality Check – 1959
  • charo – 1953
  • Dave B. – 1877
  • bgansel9 – 1871
  • Paper – 1801
  • JoZeppy – 1789
  • John – 1688
  • Expelliarmus – 1619
  • justlw – 1589
  • Joey – 1500
  • Jim – 1494
  • RanTalbott – 1471
  • Thrifty – 1431
  • Curious George – 1367
  • ballantine – 1362
  • Dave – 1327
  • Thomas Brown – 1263
  • dunstvangeet – 1258

We’ve also had some notable birther commenters here, the first of which springs to mine is Dr. Ron Polland, and the most recent is Paul Irey. Others include Mario Apuzzo, Miki Booth, Jerry Collette, Tracy Fair, David Farrar, Bob Gard, Mark Gillar, Rick Hyatt,  Sammy Korir, Robert Laity, Ken Olsen, Nancy Owens, Brooke Paige, Garrett Papit, Geir Smith, Lucas Smith, Christopher Strunk, Carl Swensson, Orly Taitz, Douglas Vogt and Cort Wrotnowski.

At its inception, I never expected the blog to be more than a few summary articles debunking birther rumors. My eventual corpus of 3,385 articles and 117 pages is due in no small part to the encouragement of commenters, and in many cases due to their suggestions. So thank you for a big part of my life.

Finally we arrive at the announcement of the 250,000th comment. And the winner is:

Andrew Vrba, PmG
Submitted on 2015/09/01 at 4:42 pm

I refuse to believe that john exists.

Damn, nothing is happening to that effect.
Well john, I think that proves that just because you believe something, that doesn’t make it so.

It’s interesting that we started with a comment about Ted and ended up with a comment about John.

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More Republicans think Ted Cruz was born in the US than Barack Obama

obama_cruz_birthA new Public Policy Polling result was released today, and the results do not bode well for the Republican Party or the country as a whole (assuming that facts and reason are a good thing). The counterfactual belief expressed in my headline is particularly striking with Donald Trump’s supporters:

imageimage66% of Trump’s supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim to just 12% that grant he’s a Christian. 61% think Obama was not born in the United States to only 21% who accept that he was. And 63% want to amend the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, to only 20% who want to keep things the way they are.

But overall Republicans lean the same way: 54% think Obama is a Muslim and only 29% are willing to say that he was born in the USA. Compare that to 40% who say that the admittedly Canadian-born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.

 

Public Policy Polling surveyed 572 usual Republican primary voters and 545 usual Democratic primary voters from August 28th to 30th. The margin of error for the Republicans is +/-4.1% and for the Democrats it’s +/-4.2%. 80% of participants responded via the phone, while 20% of respondents who did not have landlines conducted the survey over the internet.

While only 29% of Republicans overall believe Obama was born in the US, that is not the case among Republicans who support Jeb Bush or Chris Christie (56% and 59% respectively).

No wonder so many Republicans are gravitating towards Donald Trump. They don’t have a clue.

Read more:

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Orly Taitz: Road Trip!

The 2012 election lawsuit, Grinols v. Electoral College, is now before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court granted the request of Taitz to file an oversized reply brief of 7,697 words. and now the oral arguments are scheduled for October 20.

Taitz is asking for her supporters to show up: “Please, come to the October 20 hearing in San Francisco, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to show us support. It is extremely hard to stand and fight the ruling mafia.” There is some speculation that the oral arguments will not actually take place, so keep that in mind when booking non-refundable accommodations. I dearly love San Francisco, but October is a busy month for me, and I will not be attending.

I don’t see the Taitz’ Reply in the Court’s electronic system, except for a note that it was filed last April; however, there is a document at Scribd that looks like part of it. Taitz doesn’t seem to understand this appeals thing, since she has piled on all of her allegations and evidence, accreted since the beginning of time, which will not be addressed by the Court.

For reference:

Court of Appeals Docket #: 13-16359
Docketed: 07/03/2013

Nature of Suit: 2441 Civil Rights Voting

James Grinols, et al v. Electoral College, et al

Appeal From: U.S. District Court for Eastern California, Sacramento

Read more:

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Discussing birthright citizenship objectively

A new article has been published at The American Thinker titled, “An Objective Guide to Birthright Citizenship.” The article is by Rob Natelson, described as:

senior fellow in constitutional jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Denver and author of The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant.  His research is cited frequently in Supreme Court opinions and arguments.

The American Thinker has no discussion forum, and that is why I have opened up a place to discuss the article, should anyone want to.

After reading the title, and considering the publication where it appears, I expected to see nothing even remotely approaching objectivity in the article. I didn’t find what I expected. There is bias, but it is subtle.

The question discussed in the article is whether children born to persons without legal residence in the United States become citizens. Under current policy, they are citizens and [spoiler alert] the article says that should the Supreme Court address the question of the children of non-legal residents, it would decide that they are citizens.

I have some issues with the objectivity of the article as it seems to warm up to some ideas and brush off others, for example, saying that a footnote in Plyler v. Doe (1982) was inserted by the “liberal majority” and had “little or no persuasive power.”

Probably the one thing I might take issue with is the following statement regarding why the 14th Amendment is endless fodder for discussion.

This is partly because we know less than we should about the amendment’s ratification by the state legislatures.  It is partly because the amendment’s congressional drafters were not very competent.  They sometimes were ignorant of existing constitutional law.  They invented terms without defining them.  And they ascribed meanings to terms different from established legal meanings.  The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction" is a good example.  We have only a few clues as to its intended meaning.

Additionally, none of the proposers discussed how the amendment would impact the children of illegal aliens – even though (contrary to modern assertion) everyone knew that such children were in the country.  They were the offspring of Africans illegally imported as slaves after the ban on the slave trade (1808) and before the end of slavery (1866).

The negative assertions about the framers of the 14th Amendment are not supported by examples. My main problem is calling these illegally imported slaves “illegal aliens” because an “illegal alien” is someone who is not a legal resident of the country, and I know of no statute that prevented those slaves from residing in the country, however they got here. There were no immigration statutes in existence prior to 1866 and the situation of those slaves is not analogous to today’s non-legal residents.

The article slips in some rather subtle manipulation of opinion, but it makes some attempt to represent both sides of the discussion and in that it’s far above the usual birther nonsense.

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The Irey letters

Irey says that he’s caring for a sick person, and only has access to email. So here is his latest missive (grammar errors in the original) with my replies in hyperlinked footnotes:

One thing I forgot to mention.

I never ever said or even implied that I was an expert in anything.1

You could compare me to a garage mechanic that knows you can’t put a Mercedes carborator into a ford. 2

That is what my evidence is all about.

Just common sense things.

Show me where I ever implied that I was an expert.

In Indiana I was accepted simply because I explained that I had 52 years experience in graphics and I typed for the Air Force for 4 years.

Just common experience … enough to know for example that all the letters on a typewriter match in size … etc.3

The Obama birth certificate is so bad that it does not take an expert to see that it was done in Adobe Photoshop and it was done badly.4

My understanding is that the majority of Photoshop users would see what I saw and not claim that they are experts.

They all know “unsharp mask” when they see it.

No two birth certificates should have the similarities that the forgers and Obama’s have.7

I hope to get the forger arrested to save her life.  Her testimony to reduce her own sentance would be the end for Obama … and I doubt she will live to tell it as Doug and I worried could happen to Fuddy if he revealed his financial evidence that she provided herself. 8

Remember Fuddy was also in a bad situation with excess … unexplainable income for the year she officiated the bc.5

Everybody lived in that plane accident but her … but it’s still possible that her death was faked … when they failed to kill her and they pulled her out of the water alive and made a deal … or are you certain she is dead?

She reported she paid off her mortgage that year.6

Isn’t that the first thing anyone would do if they had a windfall?

And you have to admit … Savanna Guthrie shot to a big job very soon after her pic of the bc and her claim that she felt the raised seal.

The CEO of GE owned NBC and he was also doing something with Obama who got his company off some big debt … I understand.

I could go on all day.9

I think your little soldiers all go overboard with the insults … and I see collusion in that.

Paul Irey


Notes:

1OK, then, we are all in agreement. Indeed you repeated Orly’s theme in your comments: “you don’t have to be an expert” to agree with my evidence. But there you are wrong. The kind of argument you make is an expert’s argument. It basically says that “a legitimate document would look this way, but Obama’s is different.” In order to say that, you have to be an expert on all the different ways that legitimate documents look and you don’t come close, nor does anyone on the birther side. “Common sense”  is another label  for “typical ignorance,” and in your case and you are completely inexperienced in the wide range of what normal documents look like.  You know about “unsharp mask” but you DON’T know about MRC compression which does the same thing. Your lack of expertise led to a mistake.

2 You are more like the guy who works on his own car and thinks he knows about all cars. Did you read this article: “Mercedes-Benz Turns to Ford for Help on Three-Cylinder Engine”? Mercedes uses a Mitsubishi engine in its Smart. Mercedes supplied engines for Chrysler in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. You, however, can’t even spell carburetor.

3But you weren’t allowed to testify about electronic documents because you don’t have a clue what scanners and compression algorithms do. You didn’t approach the problem objectively and scientifically comparing results on the Obama document with results with unquestioned documents. Your biggest problem in 2011-2012 is that you had no clue what process made the Obama certificate, so you couldn’t say what was normal, without knowing all possible versions of normal from different hardware and software combinations. You just relied on common sense (i.e. ignorance) and let your bias make the conclusions.

4But it really challenges credulity to say that the President of the United States (where the CIA, the Secret Service, the Courts and the media are ALL in on the conspiracy) would release a badly done Photoshop birth certificate. If you weren’t so biased you would see how crazy that sounds. Birthers fantasize scenarios to explain that absurd idea; however, what we see in the White House PDF is precisely what one gets by scanning a real document to PDF, rotating it in Mac Preview and saving. All of those “common sense” things that to you say Photoshop (that really make no sense in Photoshop—no birther has ever been able to make a credible Obama PDF using Photoshop or explain why someone would past individual letters instead of words or phrases, or even use the unsharp mask in the first place) are exactly what is normal in a Xerox scan. The publicly available Xerox results demolish your early results, and prove that “common sense” leads to the wrong answer.

5The facts in Fuddy’s financial disclosure statement show no inconsistencies, and no unexplained income. All it shows is that her property increased in value over several years, and that she refinanced it. In this case, even “common sense” is thrown aside to make the absurd claim that she had unexplained income. I have an article on this (read the Update at the end).

And yes, I an certain that Fuddy is dead. There was a autopsy!

6You’re spreading false rumors. There was no windfall and she didn’t pay off her mortgage. She had two mortgages, one of which she refinanced. She used her Home Equity Line of Credit to pay off credit card debt, thereby increasing her HELOC balance by the same amount. Now, are you going to keep repeating this lie now that it has been explained to you?

7You know about “unsharp mask” but you DON’T know about MRC compression which does the same thing. Your ignorance led to a mistake. You’re making arguments that say “two certificates are different” therefore one is a forgery; and at the same time you are arguing “two certificates are the same” therefore both are forgeries. Both statements require expert skill to make, and you admit that you are not an expert. The fact that you’re taking contradictory positions doesn’t phase you.

8I forgot to mention that your conspiracy world includes the “Birther Princess.” You are so consumed with conspiracy theories that EVERYBODY pretty much is in on it. That’s an insane way to look at the world. The paranoid thinks the whole world is out to get them; the paranoid style conspiracy theorist believes the whole world is in on the conspiracy.

You believe you have iron-clad evidence that Obama is a usurper. Why are you still alive? You can’t explain that, can you? You’re an old guy. Old guys die all the time. Yet you seem to be just fine.

9 And you would be wrong all day.

59

Mystery black man invades photos

You saw it first in Hawaii. A mysterious black man, apparently invisible except for his hand, invaded a family photo of Ann Dunham and her son Barack Obama. You’ve seen it before:

Now he’s back, only with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush in this official campaign photo!

image

For the benefit of posterity, I ought to explain why this tongue-in-cheek article was written. Birthers pick up anything about Obama that seems odd to them, and jump to the conclusions that it’s a fake, eventually concluding that everything about Obama’s life is fake. That’s the case with the photo of Obama and his mother above; birthers say it’s a fake (and that the black hand belongs to Frank Marshall Davis, a black man who also knuckles). The second image just goes to show that the results of photography aren’t always intuitive, and that inexpert observers can easily misunderstand what they see.

H/t to gorefan.

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