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Off topic

I’ve been moving off topic comments to the Great Mother of all Off Topic Comment Dumps. The reason that I do this is not that it matters what we talk about, but there are certain topics, and tax policy is a big one, that have the potential of attracting a crowd of special interest folks who can monopolize the limited bandwidth we have.

I have also installed a setting today that will cut off discussion on articles after 14 days.

While I totally hate moderating comments and censoring (even it if is only to remove personal attacks), it does seem that the quality of discussion has made a turn for the better.

We blew past the 40,000 comment mark this week amid the flurry of activity perhaps spawned by Lt. Col. Terry Lakin’s appearance on CNN or WorldNetDaily’s latest set of innuendo.

38 Responses to Off topic

  1. avatar
    Walter White May 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Doc,

    There is a link to your site from the Los Angeles Times’ Brand-x Daily.

    It reads as if they think Orly Taitz is posting from your site.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Sven, I didn’t read it that way.

  3. avatar
    US Citizen May 14, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    I don’t know if this is on or off topic, but try looking up Charles Guiteau in Wikipedia.
    It’s certainly interesting and has many parallels with Orly.

  4. avatar
    misha May 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    “has many parallels with Orly”

    Unbalanced.

  5. avatar
    Hawaiiborn May 15, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    Hey Doc, since this is a post on “comments” thought that you may find this in helping with your comment section and the ease of reading. Ran into this while researching something for work and I think it may work.

    http://www.intensedebate.com

    It’s a plugin for WordPress (download, unzip, upload to your plugins folder). You just sign up for the service and it helps you to maintain and run a clean commenting system for your posts/articles and even pages.

    Example:
    http://hijinksensue.com/2010/05/13/you-completely-infuriate-me/#comments

    You may want to look into it.

  6. avatar
    Dave May 15, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Speaking of off-topic, Taitz has just posted a picture at her blog, and let me be the first to predict that it will be an instant web classic. You’re gonna see this picture everywhere. So, if you’re still running Windows, fire up the virus checker and put on your lead underwear, then click here:Today I spoke at a lunch with Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.

  7. avatar
    Keith May 15, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    I didn’t read it that way either, but it wasn’t formatted very clearly.

    I did waste a few minutes of my time to watch the video on that page though. Are the birthers really saying that Social Security cards are issued by the States? I hadn’t noticed that before, and wasn’t aware the the State of Connecticut was suspected of issuing the erroneous card.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 15, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    At one time Social Security cards where issued by Social Security offices located in many medium and large cities. Today over 90 % of parents request cards for their newborns as part of the birth registration process. Those requests are sent electronically from the state vital statistics agency to SSA and the cards are mailed directly to the parents.

  9. avatar
    sarina May 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    There is an interesting article on “The Daily Republic” : an interview to Ms Eleanor Nordyke, she is debunking all the birther’s myth.

    May 15,2010
    “Woman’s hospital memories contradict “birthers”
    U.S. House candidate Chris Nelson earlier this week dismissed “birther” statements attributed to him and said he believes Barack Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen and the legitimately elected president of the United States. So does Eleanor Nordyke — and according to her, she should know.
    It is too long to post here.

  10. avatar
    nemocapn May 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    One of our founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was an alien. James Wilson was born in Scotland. One book I read hinted that the phrase, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution” was added specically so Wilson couldn’t be denied the opportunity to be president.

  11. avatar
    yguy May 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    nemocapn: One of our founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was an alien.James Wilson was born in Scotland.One book I read hinted that the phrase, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution” was added specically so Wilson couldn’t be denied the opportunity to be president.

    You think Washington was a natural born citizen?

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    yguy: You think Washington was a natural born citizen?

    Of course Washington was a natural born citizen. He was born in Virginia. You think that when John Jay wrote to Washington suggesting that only a natural born citizen be commander in chief that he was hinting that Washington should not apply? In 1777 the Continental Congress was considering a resolution requiring ambassadors to be natural born citizens before there even was a Constitution, and none of that grandfather clause stuff. Now where do you think those natural born citizen ambassadors were gonna come in 1777 from if not from native born Virginians, and South Carolinians and New Yorkers? Or do you think they only intended one-year-olds eligible?

    Here are a couple of articles for you.

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/04/george-washinton-natural-born-citizen/
    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/04/was-george-washington-a-natural-born-citizen/

  13. avatar
    US Citizen May 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    I went through a proxy… on a Mac (using Safari) and got this message: “Too many redirects occurred…”
    Then “This might occur if you open a page that is redirected to open another page which then is redirected to open the original page.”
    Umm… I’ll take your word for the madness.

  14. avatar
    nbc May 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    You think Washington was a natural born citizen?

    Was he born in what later became US territory? Then the answer is ‘of course’

  15. avatar
    Scientist May 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    yguy: You think Washington was a natural born citizen?

    He had no birth certificate, no passport and no driver’s license, so who knows what he was? It’s also a well-known fact that he submitted outrageous expense accounts, probably to pay attorneys to help him hide those documents. As far as him being “The Father of Our Country”, I demand to see the results of the DNA test.

  16. avatar
    yguy May 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    nbc:
    Was he born in what later became US territory? Then the answer is of course’

    No, he was not, because the United states did not exist when he was born, wherefore he, like any other Founding Father, could not have been a citizen thereof at birth.

  17. avatar
    Greg May 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Citizen at birth is not the same as natural born citizen. Read Ainslie v. Martin for an example of how the courts thought of citizenship. You can find it in the book and online resource “The Founders’ Constitution.”

    Say it with me – Retroactive!

    To believe otherwise is to believe that Jefferson said we should have NO ambassadors when he said in 1777 that only natural born citizens of the US should be ambassadors. (I assume he didn’t think 1-year-olds were competent ambassadors.)

  18. avatar
    nbc May 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    No, he was not, because the United states did not exist when he was born, wherefore he, like any other Founding Father, could not have been a citizen thereof at birth.

    Ah, but now you forget an important fact: the treaty between England and the US transferred citizenship status.

  19. avatar
    nemocapn May 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Washington certainly wasn’t a naturalized citizen of Virginia, and there was such a thing before the revolution. Philip Mazzei, revolutionary arms dealer and friend of Jefferson, was a naturalized citizen of Virginia. Supposedly Jefferson was inspired by Mazzei when he wrote, “all men are created equal.

    According to one web site I found, we’ve had 5 supreme court justices who were foreign born:

    James Wilson…..1789-1798…….(Scotland)
    James Iredell……1790-1799…….(England)
    William Paterson…1793-1806…….(Ireland)
    David Brewer…..1889-1919……..(Turkey)
    George Sutherland…1922-1938…….(England)
    Felix Frankfurter…1939-1962…….(Austria)

    Brewer was born to American missionaries.

  20. avatar
    yguy May 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Greg: Citizen at birth is not the same as natural born citizen.

    Your point being…?

    Say it with me – Retroactive!

    To believe otherwise is to believe that Jefferson said we should have NO ambassadors when he said in 1777 that only natural born citizens of the US should be ambassadors. (I assume he didn’t think 1-year-olds were competent ambassadors.)

    He may have been thinking down the road. In any case, had the Framers – one of which Jefferson was not – believed natural born citizenship could be conferred retroactively, they would not have bothered with the additional language that made them eligible for the Presidency.

  21. avatar
    nbc May 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Missing the point once again. The additional language was not added for those who by common law already were natural born but rather for those born outside US territory and who had fought the revolutionary war.

    Sigh…

  22. avatar
    nemocapn May 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Oh, no! According to Dr. Stephen L. Schecter, we’re all dual citizens:

    “These ideas took ultimate shape in Section 2 of Article IV of the Constitution: ‘The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of Citizens in the several States.’ This is a fundamental expression of federalism because it means that every American is simultaneously a citizen of the United States and of the state wherein he or she resides….

    “….When Congress was given the power by the Constitution of 1787 to affect individuals directly, the notion of dual citizenship was revolutionized…

    “Without the Articles of Confederation, and thus without dual citizenship, there was no certainty that the United States Constitution would have taken its present form.”

    Charles Kellogg Burdick and Francis Marion Burdick also said dual citizenship comes from the Constitution:
    “§108. Dual Citizenship Recognized by the Constitution. From the outset the Constitution has clearly recognized a dual citizenship, citizenship of the United States and citizenship of a particular State. In the “privileges and immunities” clause state citizenship was recognized, and this was also true in article III, section 2 with regard to the jurisdiction of the federal courts.”

  23. avatar
    nemocapn May 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    nbc: Missing the point once again. The additional language was not added for those who by common law already were natural born but rather for those born outside US territory and who had fought the revolutionary war.Sigh…

    Exactly. It was for men like James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, and Albert Gallatin; although Gallatin isn’t a good example as he was elected a senator in 1793 but was afterwards removed by a 14-12 Senate vote for not having the constitutionally mandated 9 years residency requirement.

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    yguy: He may have been thinking down the road. In any case, had the Framers – one of which Jefferson was not – believed natural born citizenship could be conferred retroactively, they would not have bothered with the additional language that made them eligible for the Presidency.

    You know, it’s becoming tiresome having to explain everything to you. It’s really bad form to blunder around asserting things based on shallow or no research at all. I can forgive ignorance, but arrogant ignorance is much more difficult to stomach.

    Your comment about “down the road” is nonsense. Jefferson put forth this in a resolution to the Continental Congress that US ambassadors under the Articles of Confederation should be natural born citizens.

    Secondly, the additional language was for those persons who had distinguished themselves during the revolution and in public service that were foreign born but where citizens at the time of ratification. Alexander Hamilton is the most notable among them. If you had bothered to actually read the articles on this web site and the commentary, you would know that the framers considered themselves natural born citizens because the historical record is quite complete.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 15, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    yguy: [George Washington] was not [a natural born citizen], because the United states did not exist when he was born, wherefore he, like any other Founding Father, could not have been a citizen thereof at birth.

    Hint: Virginia existed when Washington was born. He was born into the same civil society that became the State of Virginia of the United States. This concept may seem a little odd to you, but that is how the Founders thought. Look it up.

  26. avatar
    yguy May 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    You know, you are becoming quite tiresome having to have everything explained to you.

    The complaint would have a lot more merit were it not for the fact that 95% of the time, people here are explaining to me how it is that 1 and 1 makes 3.

    You really oughtn’t blunder around making asserting about things you haven’t looked into in any depth.

    I wil admit I’m not thoroughly versed on this particular bit of minutiae. However, I submit that any retroactivity WRT the NBC clause can, in this era, be properly applied, if at all, only to people born in territories subject to US jurisdiction, so that even if the 1986 revision of 8USC1401(g) could make him a “citizen at birth” retroactively if he was foreign born, it could not make him a natural born citizen.

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 15, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    yguy: However, I submit that any retroactivity WRT the NBC clause can, in this era, be properly applied, if at all, only to people born in territories subject to US jurisdiction, so that even if the 1986 revision of 8USC1401(g) could make him a “citizen at birth” retroactively if he was foreign born, it could not make him a natural born citizen.

    While there is legitimate debate on that proposition, I personally tend to agree with you. George Washington is, however, another matter — and his father died a British citizen.

  28. avatar
    nbC May 16, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    The complaint would have a lot more merit were it not for the fact that 95% of the time, people here are explaining to me how it is that 1 and 1 makes 3.

    You are describing yourself here yguy…

  29. avatar
    nemocapn May 16, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    In one of his articles, Apuzzo cited the case BARRY v. MERCEIN, 46 U.S. 103 (1847) as an example where Justice Story decided that the citizenship of a child follows that of its father. I looked at the case, and I’m wondering if he misread it. The father, John A. Barry, was a citizen of Great Britain, and married Eliza Ann Mercein, a US citizen. Here’s the case: http://openjurist.org/46/us/103/john-barry-v-mary-mercein-

    “Mr. Barry, in opposition to the motion, made the following points, which he maintained at great length…..
    “4. The plaintiff in error being of legeance [sic] to the crown of England, his child, though born in the United States during its father’s temporary residence therein,—twenty-two months and twenty days,—notwithstanding its mother be an American citizen, is not a citizen of the United States. It is incapacitated by its infancy from making any present election, follows the legeance [sic]of its father, partus sequitur patrem, and is a British subject….”

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think item #4 was part of the plaintiff Barry’s argument why he should get custody and wasn’t part of the Supreme Court’s decision. Can someone check if my interpretation I correct?

    I noticed that Barry v. Mercein was cited in the 1841 report of the celebrated d’Hauteville case, below the words, “The Common Law of the United States is in favour of the mother’s custody.”

    The d’Hauteville case had similar citizenship issues compared to Barry v. Mercein. Paul Daniel Gonsalve Grand d’Hauteville of Switzerland married Ellen Sears, a citizen of New York and later a resident of Rhode Island. She gave birth to Frederic Sears Grand d’Hauteville in Massachusetts and then separated from her husband. He tried to get custody of Frederic but failed. Although I didn’t find mention of “natural born citizenship” in the court ruling giving custody of Frederic to Ellen, I did find a mention in the Rhode Island General Assembly debates. Mr. Jackson, arguing in favor of Ellen, was paraphrased as saying, “The claim which he [Paul d’Hauteville] sets up here is that he may take and carry off a natural born citizen of this country without the interposition of law. For this child is a native of this country, and is not a citizen of Rhode-Island. He would make him a Swiss subject instead of a citizen of America–he would expatriate him, and annihilate his allegiance to the United States. Is not the child, as an American citizen, entitled to protection and shelter in his native land till he be of age to choose a residence for himself? No man who heard the sound of his voice would support a claim that would expatriate a citizen, or say that he would wish to owe allegiance to any other power on earth than the United States of America.”

    A Mr. Clarke disagreed with Jackson on citizenship, but Jackson countered that, “The whole current of decisions, both in this country and in England, was in favor of his interpretation of the law.”

    In the end, the citizenship of Frederic d’Hauteville wasn’t decided in the court case, most likely because they believed he would choose between Swiss and US citizenship in adulthood. In the end, it look like he picked the US as his residence. He died in New York and his will was probated there.

  30. avatar
    Keith May 16, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Thanks, I understand.

    But it isn’t the State that is doing the issuing unless I’m missing something. I was under the impression that it was the Social Security Administration, a federal agency, that issued the SSN’s.

    Of course they are going to have offices all over the country, but they aren’t contracting the job to the States now are they?

  31. avatar
    Keith May 16, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    nemocapn:
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think item #4 was part of the plaintiff Barry’s argument why he should get custody and wasn’t part of the Supreme Court’s decision.

    I haven’t checked out this example, but it is a common tactic for birthers, sovereignists, and like minded conspiracy frauds to cite the summary of argument as if it is the actual finding and then they consistently ignore the actual finding as if it is a fnord.

  32. avatar
    NbC May 16, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Yes it was the arguments made by the plaintiff. The case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction so the court did not really address any of the claims made.

  33. avatar
    Scientist May 16, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    yguy is John Cleese. Enjoy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM

  34. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 16, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Keith: but they [SSA] aren’t contracting the job to the States now are they?

    SSA still has local offices. The vast majority of Social Security cards are issued by mail to newborns from a central facility. However, others still bring documentation to a local office to get a card.

    I hate to mention this, but one does not have to be a citizen to get a Social Security card and it is not proof of citizenship.

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 16, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    I have purchased a new theme for this web site. It’s simple, and more readable. It looks like I’ll be around for the long haul so it makes sense to invest a few bucks for a professional theme.

    The new theme’s rather complex to configure, so it may be a while before you see it. It will be wider than this one so the comments will not appear so vertical.

    The new site will be gravatar enabled, so if you want a personalized picture attached to your posts, visit http://www.gravatar.com to upload a picture. I know some of you already have gravatars that show up on the mobile device version of the site.

    I also intend to turn of comment nesting. Using the “Quote” feature, as many of you are now, will be superior to nesting.

  36. avatar
    Greg May 16, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    It was retroactive one time – at the founding of the nation. It applied to those who were born in the colonies and remained loyal to the cause.

    The grandfather clause makes those born abroad but who were citizens at the time of the founding eligible. That is how it has always been understood.

    Unlike you, I’m not pulling my interpretation out of my nether regions. There were actual controversies whose outcome depended on whether someone was a citizen of the United States from before it was founded or not. I’ve shown you where to find them. Dr. C highlighted one of the controversies decided in Congress.

  37. avatar
    Hawaiiborn May 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    SSA still has local offices…I hate to mention this, but one does not have to be a citizen to get a Social Security card and it is not proof of citizenship.

    Correct. Before I moved to the mainland, I had to go get copy of my SS Card. You have to go to a local office to do so (and guess what you have to bring with you?). Also, you can only request a duplicate 3 times a year and 10 times in your lifetime.

    http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10002.html#lost

  38. avatar
    misha May 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    My all time favorite Monty Python skit.