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Archive | August, 2009

2nd salvo from the Wall Street Journal

After an excellent article on Obama eligibility in the Wall Street Journal, a followup on Friday takes the major birther fallacies head on. This is a “must read” for the complete conspiracy theorist. Topics include:

  • A child is not a natural-born citizen unless both parents are U.S. citizens.
  • Obama might be a citizen of Indonesia, not the U.S.
  • Obama might have been an illegitimate child.
  • Why has Obama spent X dollars defending himself against lawsuits when he could just produce the original birth certificate and make the whole thing go away?
  • The serial number of Obama’s birth certificate is fishy.

The conspiracy theory stuff is way down the page, so don’t think you have the wrong article.

Some birthers imagine that there is a difference between being a “citizen by birth” or a “native citizen” on the one hand and a “natural born” citizen on the other. “Eccentric” is too kind a word for this notion, which is either daft or dishonest.

If only…

In an article last Thursday, the Kentucky Post quoting Ben Boychuck condemned this blog by saying:

Every calorie burned and every neuron fired on the subject of President Obama’s birthplace — yes, contrary to what you might have heard Alan Keyes say, he is president — is energy better spent elsewhere.

I’m crushed.

I have heard over and over again that “if only Obama would show his birth certificate, then this would all go away.” That’s an obvious fallacy. If the first birth certificate was not respected, then neither would the second, and the “natural born citizen” redefinition would carry on full stream. However, Boychuck, a Conservative speaking to Conservatives presented a different “if only” fallacy.

Why? Because of the fallacy of “if only.” If only we can show that Obama is constitutionally unqualified to be president, it would all just go away — the crazy socialized medicine schemes, the cap and tax energy legislation, the suicidal debt increases, the ridiculous posturing to Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, all of it.

If only politics were that simple…..

This news story is just one of many linked to by the Obama Conspiracy Theories Media Project. It’s a real calorie burner.

Vital Statistics

I was explaining to Ms. Conspiracy about “African” on the President’s birth certificate, and thought a short article would be helpful for my readers.

In a birth registration, the record is in two parts: the legal portion and the statistical portion. They have different purposes and are treated differently.

The legal portion is governed by law. It contains the facts of birth for legal purposes. It is prima facie evidence of the facts it contains. There are strict laws and regulations about what can change and how it can change (legal name changes, adoptions, paternity, etc.)

The Statistical portion (which is rarely disclosed to the public) contains medical information about the birth: complications of pregnancy, method of delivery, risk factors, congenital abnormalities, etc. The statistical record does not have the same legal constraints on how it can be changed. It includes “coded” information. Coded information is information where text is quantified: an example is a “place code”. Continue Reading →