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Why are you here?

Dr. Conspiracy

Back in January of 2009, when the paint on Obama Conspiracy Theories was barely dry, I wrote an article called “The Audacity of Blog” that explained how I got here. I can condense that experience, and my continuing participation here in one simple idea:

Irrational thinking bugs the hell out of me

The blog remains after all this time

  • To entertain a little
  • To inform and debunk
  • To provide a social network for people interested in the topic
  • To provide a crucible where ideas are tested

So that’s why I am here. Why are you here?

98 Responses to Why are you here?

  1. avatar
    DaveH August 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    A year ago at this time, I just got introduced to the birthers. Prior to that, I had no idea they even existed and I probably wouldn’t have learned about them had circumstances been different a year ago. It just happened I had some extra time on my hands and read about Orly Taitz somewhere.

    I’ve had my share of arguing with birthers when commenting on articles at the Washington Independent back when David Weigel was still writing. There’s no point in debunking birthers because they’re going to believe what ever they believe. I prefer to poke fun at them but I do that on YouTube more than anywhere else right now.

    But I’m glad you decided to set up this website and for all of the time you’ve spent in debunking these loons. It is fun to read the comments posted here – especially when the commenters cut birthers off at their knees.

  2. avatar
    FUTTHESHUCKUP August 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    I come here to get the information I need to combat conservative fascists on the internet from denying 64.5 million Americans their Constitutional rights. Although I know none of these cases can ever succeed, there are people out there who use these cases, when they are filed, to spread the most vile propaganda about the president, and the only way to counteract that is to get the truth out there. I believe that birthers also know that none of these cases will succeed, but they use these cases as opportunities to the most vile propaganda about the president, probably in an attempt to influence some loosely-wrapped right wing nutjob to deny the 64.5 million their rights. Unchecked, this kind of propaganda poses a danger to the president, especially when it is in a forum where it escapes the light of truth. I lived through one presidential assassination when I was young, and I don’t want to see another.

  3. avatar
    Scientist August 13, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    What is the evidence that any of us are here?

  4. avatar
    Estiveo August 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    1. I learn stuff. Stuff I can use to fight the stoopit.
    2. A lot of the stuff I learn is presented in a most chucklicious manner.
    3. The comments are educational as well, and often amusing.
    4. The trading stamps and valuable prizes.

  5. avatar
    Majority Will August 13, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Scientist: What is the evidence that any of us are here?

    Oh crap. I just vanished. Stop doing that.

  6. avatar
    Dave August 13, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    I’m a propagandist for the Obot Division of the New World Order.

  7. avatar
    Majority Will August 13, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Scientist: What is the evidence that any of us are here?

    My cat just took a hit out on Schrödinger.

    Stay tuned and untuned.

  8. avatar
    Arthur August 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    Thanks for asking!

    My experience is similar to Dave H’s. I had never heard about the birther movement until last summer, when I was visiting my family and saw Orly Taitz interviewed on MSNBC. I don’t have a TV at home, but my folks were watching the news and I was amazed and appalled by Tatiz’ apparent insanity. I thought to myself, “My God, this woman is unhinged; she’s making this stuff up, isn’t she?” After that bizarre interview, I was determined to find out if there was any truth to Taitz’ wild and whirling words.

    Back home, I began to research the birthers, their claims about Article Two of the Constitution, and their questioning of President Obama’s birth and citizenship. I discovered Scribd, and became engrossed in reading the transcripts of Taitz various court battles. I knew very little about legal procedure, or such things as standing, but it was a fascinating challenge to become marginally familiar with basic legal principles.

    As I studied the issues involved, I grew dumbfounded by brithers’ arrogant dismissal of argument, objective information, legal standards, constitutional history, and basic common sense. As I looked for more information about birther cases, my search engine frequently returned “Obama Conspiracy Theories,” but I resisted entering this site, because I thought it was sponsored by birthers, and I was weary of their ridiculous blather, hate speech, and general lunacy.

    Finally, my curiosity got the better of me, and about eight months ago, I clicked on “Obama Conspiracy Theories.” At the time, Mario Appuzo was waging a massive war of words over someone named Emmerich de Vattel, and his 18th century book, “The Law of Nations.” I can’t remember the names of the posters who challenged Appuzo inaccuracies, but I was amazed by their understanding of the issues involved. For weeks, I followed the ebb and flow of their arguments, and even though they thoroughly bested Appuzo’s claims, he never relented, never admitted he was wrong about anything, and never stopped spouting the same discredited theories and misinformation. It was Orly Taitz all over again, minus the blond fright wig and Russian accent. I will say this about Mario, he always replied to other peoples’ posts and he rarely lost his temper. Although he was absurdly wrong about what it means to be a natural born citizen, I thought I might enjoy talking to him about other issues.

    Thanks to the interesting articles written by Dr. C. and the thoughtful comments made by those who live in the “reality-based community,” I’ve learned a lot about American political and legal history. But I’ve also learned, to my great sadness, that America contains a surprisingly large number of people who are passionately disinterested in objective information, and who are eager to give full voice to unregulated fear and prejudice, all the while draping this viciousness in phony patriotism and a counterfeit adoration for the Constitution.

  9. avatar
    The Sheriff's A Ni- August 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Occasional education and catching up on birther news, but mainly I’m here for the entertainment.

  10. avatar
    Rickey August 13, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    I became aware of the birthers early on, before the election. For a while I was posting about the subject on a blog run by a psychology professor named Warren Throckmorton. Over there I ran into a bunch of birthers whose names show up on birther sites – HighlanderJuan, Crazy Greek, Wild Bill, etc. – and there were only a few reality-based bloggers such as GeorgetownJD (in fact, I just peeked over there and they are still arguing about the passport Obama used to travel to Indonesia). Then, while looking for answers to their claims, I found the What’s Your Evidence? blog, which had begun debunking the allegations made in Berg’s lawsuit. That experience eventually led me here.

    In the past 18 months or so I have learned a great deal about Wong Kim Ark, the renunciation of citizenship, travel bans, standing, and a host of related topics. It’s been very educational and also very entertaining. It’s also provided some very disturbing and scary insight into the minds of the proponents of sedition who would like to overthrow a lawfully-elected President.

  11. avatar
    G August 14, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Let me start with a few of the reasons already mentioned, which I also share and add a few of my own personal ones:

    1. Irrational thinking bugs the hell out of me.
    2. To inform and debunk.
    3. To counter the lies and nonsense. Sadly, the old adage is true that if a lie is told often enough without being shot down, people start to buy into it. I’m here to help counter those lies with reality.
    4. To monitor and maintain vigilance on the crazy.

    Originally, entertainment at marveling the crazy and just general interest in conspiracy theories were my main interests which got me involved in this. Although there is still some of that more light-hearted feel from time to time, the level of crazy, bigotry and vileness that have gone with it has been so excessive and potentially dangerous that I’m more irritated and disgusted with these birthers than amused by their nonsense at this point.

  12. avatar
    BatGuano August 14, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    as a US born child of resident alien parents the NBC clause was an interest of mine as a kid. that and the fact that my in-laws are casual birther users.

  13. avatar
    Zixi of Ix August 14, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    I’m here for three reasons.

    1). It bothers me tremendously when people on either side of the aisle allow their nasty prejudices, admitted or not, to rule their lives. At some level, this all comes down to the deep-seated belief that a black man couldn’t have beaten a white man in the race without cheating somehow. The level of irrational thinking which has to go into sustaining the birther myth is nothing short of amazing.

    2). I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative libertarian. Sometimes, in the interest of seeing certain ideas advanced, I vote Republican.

    The birther myth is just another thing which has taken hold of the GOP and has nearly driven it into the ground (along with cynical patriotism; pandering to the Religious Right & “social conservatives”; and blaming gay people for everything).

    I think having more than one viable party is critical. The birthers are just another nail in the GOP’s coffin in that regard. Transforming William F Buckley’s thoughtful GOP to the party of raving racist homophobes will not help anyone, Republican or not.

    3. It bothers me to see anyone, even birthers, taken for a ride. The number of shysters and frauds playing the birthers for money and attention is sad.

  14. avatar
    Arthur August 14, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    BatGuano: as a US born child of resident alien parents the NBC clause was an interest of mine as a kid. that and the fact that my in-laws are casual birther users.

    BatGuano:

    Your post reminded me that I was a child when I first heard of the natural born clause. Oddly,I learned about this constitutional provision while reading a comic strip named “Dondi” Perhaps some of you remember him? It ran as a daily strip for about thirty years, ending in 1986. It featured a dark eyed little boy named Dondi. Dondi was orphaned during WWII (although, as the strip aged, the war that orphaned Dondi became Korea, and then Viet Nam) After losing his parents, Dondi was brought to the U.S. and was adopted by an American couple. The only daily panel I clearly remember from the strip is one in which a crestfallen Dondi learns that because he was not born in the U.S. he can never be president. I felt really bad for Dondi,and asked my dad if there really was a law that would prevent good little kids like Dondi from becoming president. He said that yes there was a law, and as he described it, I got my earliest lesson about the Constitution.

  15. avatar
    Arthur August 14, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    Zixi of Ix:
    2). I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative libertarian. Sometimes, in the interest of seeing certain ideas advanced, I vote Republican.
    The birther myth is just another thing which has taken hold of the GOP and has nearly driven it into the ground (along with cynical patriotism; pandering to the Religious Right & “social conservatives”; and blaming gay people for everything).I think having more than one viable party is critical. The birthers are just another nail in the GOP’s coffin in that regard. Transforming William F Buckley’s thoughtful GOP to the party of raving racist homophobes will not help anyone, Republican or not.

    I’m glad you brought up William F. Buckley. When I was growing up, it was always a treat to watch “Firing Line” on PBS. Buckley was the face of intelligent, rational Republicanism. As a teenager interested in classical music, I loved the fact that he choose Bach to open and close his program. Later I learned that was quite an accomplished harpsichordist. I also enjoyed his essays in the National Review and the spy novels he wrote. More recently, I got a kick from reading Christopher Buckley’s memoir of “Mum and Pup.”

  16. avatar
    US Citizen August 14, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    I come here to be reminded that otherwise perfectly functional and literate people can still be completely crazy.

  17. avatar
    Arthur August 14, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    FUTTHESHUCKUP: I believe that birthers also know that none of these cases will succeed, but they use these cases as opportunities to the most vile propaganda about the president, probably in an attempt to influence some loosely-wrapped right wing nutjob to deny the 64.5 million their rights. Unchecked, this kind of propaganda poses a danger to the president, especially when it is in a forum where it escapes the light of truth. I lived through one presidential assassination when I was young, and I don’t want to see another.

    What’s different about the political climate of our day vis-a-vis JFK’s, is that his approval rating was sometimes as high as 80 percent and never dipped below 50%. Moreover, Oswald was not spurred on by a large and vocal minority calling for the president’s expulsion. Likewise, the assassination attempts on Ford and Regan were made by rouge individuals, troubled with mental illness, and motivated by personal demons.

  18. avatar
    misha August 14, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    I come here because this site gives ten S&H Green Stamps™ with each visit.

    I’m saving enough for a Veg-O-Matic, or the collected works of J. Alfred Prufrock.

  19. avatar
    Sean August 14, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    When I was in high school, I was amazed to learn you had to be born in the US to be President. My classmate Naomi told me she was born in Germany, and the fist thing I said was “You can never be President.”

    That stuck with me. When Obama was running for President, it was made clear he was born in Hawaii and his Dad was born in Kenya. It didn’t surprise me very much when opponents tried to merge those facts into one big lie. It was the propaganda that attracted me to the issue. I write humor professionally and part of the writing process is twisting words or simply being outrageous. Listening to creationists and Fox News are two good sources of this. It’s this frame of mind that inspires me to write.

    I love throwing facts into the mix that make their arguments shatter. YouTube comments section is great. I consider it an honor to get my comments blocked, or reduce the birther to reveal their true racist feelings. Sometimes they get so frustrated they say they’re not going to argue anymore. I simply reply “Checkmate.”

    I go to this website to see the new crazy stories and get more ammunition. Birther and creationist drama are my guilty pleasures.

  20. avatar
    Sean August 14, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    G:
    3.To counter the lies and nonsense. Sadly, the old adage is true that if a lie is told often enough without being shot down, people start to buy into it.I’m here to help counter those lies with reality.

    This is true. Check out the book “Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism” by W. Joseph Campbell

    It talks about 10 of the biggest myths in the media including bra burning and crack babies.

  21. avatar
    misha August 14, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Sean: My classmate Naomi told me she was born in Germany, and the fist thing I said was “You can never be President.”<

    She can become Chancellor.

  22. avatar
    sfjeff August 14, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    One day on the way into work- soon after Obama was sworn in- I heard a discussion about people claiming Obama wasn’t actually eligible- probably on NPR. I did some searching on the Internet to find an intelligent conversation about the subject and ended up here.

    I never doubted his eligibility, but was curious what kind of people where fomenting this idea. I found out about Mario and Orly and the rest of the rabid pack. I stayed because I like having a place to confront those who advocate lies about the President.

    Oh and I am a social liberal, mostly fiscal conservative that votes Democrat mostly because I usually disagree most with Republicans. If I had been given a choice of McCain or Kerry, I would have chosen the pre-2008 McCain.

  23. avatar
    Mary Brown August 14, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    I am a political independent, sort of liberal, and theologically conservative Lutheran. I come here because most people appear to be sane. I also hate to see my religion used by those who profess hatred. I hate to see liars manipulate people for money. I abhor the whines of white males who seem to think they have inherited the right to absolute power. No, I do not hate white males. I am married to one, have three great white male sons, and two white male grandsons I adore.

  24. avatar
    Truth Matters August 14, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    So, we’ve noticed conservatives on blogs sounding more and more extreme as time goes on. Many make suggestions of armed revolt. Some make veiled and some even direct threats toward Obama voters whom they despise. So , guys — Why are we herw? We’ve been paying attention. Do you guys really think these nutcases will snap and try to destroy our country with a violent movement? Will you guys sit back in the relative safety of your homes or just flee or will you ready yourselves too to fight back against these hate monger bastards if they make that type of move?

  25. avatar
    G August 14, 2010 at 3:54 am #

    Truth Matters: So, we’ve noticed conservatives on blogs sounding more and more extreme as time goes on. Many make suggestions of armed revolt. Some make veiled and some even direct threats toward Obama voters whom they despise. So , guys — Why are we herw? We’ve been paying attention. Do you guys really think these nutcases will snap and try to destroy our country with a violent movement? Will you guys sit back in the relative safety of your homes or just flee or will you ready yourselves too to fight back against these hate monger bastards if they make that type of move?

    Some of these folks already have snapped. The news stories of acts of domestic violence, mostly coming from the right and anti-government types, has been in a sharp uptick since the summer of 2008.

    I have no doubts that trend will unfortunately continue and will definitely worsen after the 2010 election cycle. I intend to continue to monitor it and legally counter it in what ways that I can.

    However, regardless of how “widespread” this RW extremist animus is, I do not see it being able to produce anything more than isolated acts of individuals or relatively small groups causing harm.

    Quite simply put, their arguments and points of contention are mainly not based in “reality” and more importantly, almost always run contrary to this nation’s laws.

    So, while I am definitely concerned that we may see one or more Timothy McVeigh or Waco type scenarios take place or even situations of out-of-hand mob violence break out…

    Those are all situations that clearly fall within the jurisdiction and capacity for our trained responders (police, FBI, Secret Service, etc…) to handle as criminal acts or domestic terrorism.

    At this point, I do not see a realistic scenario for overwhelming societal breakdown that requires individual citizens to “rise up” and defend themselves. Nor do I think that the secessionist a-holes could pull off a 2nd Civil War, without being quickly discovered and shut-down by our existing legal enforcers. It would be very difficult for such a situation to rise to requiring military response, but even in the unlikely event that things swung that far out of hand, then I still see the situation becoming at least contained very quickly as the military has extremely vast and powerful resources and technology at its command that insurrectionists simply could not match and it is simply highly implausible that enough military would ever “defect” to turning against their oath to this country, despite all the RW fantasies out there.

    But, in the implausible event that somehow civilization came to an end or that I was faced in a direct situation of being assaulted by these types… then my first instinct would be to forcibly fight back and defend myself, if that was realistic. If that scenario appeared un-winnable (outnumbered, overpowered), then I would consider going into hiding in order to survive and fight back another day.

  26. avatar
    obsolete August 14, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    I am here to:
    1- collect my George Soros paycheck.
    2- Identify birthers for the FEMA camp enforcers to help streamline the roundup.

  27. avatar
    Jules August 14, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    I read the blog posts here for:
    a. a summary about what an element of the extreme right wing of the USA is saying; and
    b. interesting facts that one can learn about random topics on which Dr C does some research.

    I have participated in the dialogue that occurs in the comments portion, but I have scaled back upon realising that responding to the birthers meant compulsively correcting people who are wrong on the Internet.

  28. avatar
    ellid August 14, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    G: Let me start with a few of the reasons already mentioned, which I also share and add a few of my own personal ones:1.Irrational thinking bugs the hell out of me.
    2. To inform and debunk.
    3.To counter the lies and nonsense. Sadly, the old adage is true that if a lie is told often enough without being shot down, people start to buy into it.I’m here to help counter those lies with reality.
    4. To monitor and maintain vigilance on the crazy.Originally, entertainment at marveling the crazy and just general interest in conspiracy theories were my main interests which got me involved in this.Although there is still some of that more light-hearted feel from time to time, the level of crazy, bigotry and vileness that have gone with it has been so excessive and potentially dangerous that I’m more irritated and disgusted with these birthers than amused by their nonsense at this point.

    This is basically why I’m here. I hate lies and smear sites, and am appalled by the thinly veiled racism of the birthers. This is a great place to keep track of what they’re doing and to counter their lies and misinterpretations.

  29. avatar
    ellid August 14, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    misha: I come here because this site gives ten S&H Green Stamps™ with each visit.I’m saving enough for a Veg-O-Matic, or the collected works of J. Alfred Prufrock.

    I think you should out for the Pocket Fisherman, or the handy little device that will scramble an egg while it’s still inside the shell.

    Call our toll-number!
    We’ll make you such a deal.
    Help me!
    Mr. Popeil!

    Weird Al Yankovic.

  30. avatar
    SluggoJD August 14, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    I’m here right now because I can’t sleep.

    Normally though, depending on my mood, I’m either here to enjoy the comedy provided free of charge by various drive-by birther nutcases, or to help combat their lies and deception.

  31. avatar
    Bovril August 14, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    I’m here to indulge my hobby of poking zombie birfers with a pointy verbal stick, giggling like a 5 year old then doing it again…….

  32. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    obsolete: I am here to:
    1- collect my George Soros paycheck.
    2- Identify birthers for the FEMA camp enforcers to help streamline the roundup.

    I’m watching you. Hey, nice butt, You work out?

  33. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Bovril: I’m here to indulge my hobby of poking zombie birfers with a pointy verbal stick, giggling like a 5 year old then doing it again…….

    You said “stick.” Hehe HeHe Hehe.

  34. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    ellid:
    This is basically why I’m here.I hate lies and smear sites, and am appalled by the thinly veiled racism of the birthers.This is a great place to keep track of what they’re doing and to counter their lies and misinterpretations.

    You are awesome.

  35. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett August 14, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    FOR THE ENERGY!

    and because this site rocks.

  36. avatar
    milspec August 14, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    It an addiction.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 14, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Arthur: As I looked for more information about birther cases, my search engine frequently returned “Obama Conspiracy Theories,” but I resisted entering this site, because I thought it was sponsored by birthers, and I was weary of their ridiculous blather, hate speech, and general lunacy.

    I’d never thought of that possibility. This site does come up on Google’s first page on many Obama Conspiracy related topics, and the site logs show that referrals from Google (about 46%) are the number one source of click-through referrals. When I started the site in December of 2008 I did intentionally start out to look a little like a birther site with articles such as:

    Barack Obama was Born in Canada

    Barack Obama Committed Perjury on his Illinois Bar Application

    Jay McKinnon admits to forging Obama COLB

    Barack Obama traveled to Pakistan on an Indonesian passport

    Obama’s Forged Selective Service Registration

    CIA DNA Test Reveals Barack Obama was ADOPTED

    Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate is a Forgery – Part 1 2 and3

    I guess I was trying to sucker in the birthers so they would read factual material. I didn’t see the other side, that it might put off regular folks. I think the idea of a web site to cure birthers was in retrospect naive.

  38. avatar
    Bovril August 14, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Majority Will: Bovril: I’m here to indulge my hobby of poking zombie birfers with a pointy verbal stick, giggling like a 5 year old then doing it again…….
    You said “stick.” Hehe HeHe Hehe.

    Stick…Schtick…..>8-)

  39. avatar
    Lupin August 14, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    What you all said. G in particular echoed my own thoughts perfectly.

    I used to a patron of Billmon’s late, lamented Whiskey Bar and have posted on dKos since 2003; I’m also a regular on John Cole’s Balloon Juice.

  40. avatar
    ellid August 14, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Majority Will:
    You are awesome.

    Just a quilt historian from Massachusetts, sir…:)

  41. avatar
    DaveH August 14, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    milspec: It an addiction.

    That’s probably another reason I come here to read the comments. It is an addition and there are times that I wish I had never heard about Orly Taitz and the birthers because it became a HUGE disruption to my life. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I don’t even care about sex any more. Everyday it is the same thing for me. Wait for the next batsh*t crazy thing that Orly will do.

    Someday, this is all going to end…. 🙁

  42. avatar
    DaveH August 14, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Ooop! Mean an addiction above. That’s what I get from typing too fast…

  43. avatar
    Phil Cave August 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Thanks for your service.

  44. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    ellid:
    Just a quilt historian from Massachusetts, sir…:)

    And still quite awesome. I peruse birther related threads and when I see “Ellid” I always think, OH YEAH! ELLID ROCKS ! !

    You never disappoint.

  45. avatar
    fava August 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Why am I here?

    I have always found conspiracy theories fascinating, in a train wreck sort of way.

    Here I get to watch the wreck evolve in real time. The colourful cast of characters, the desperation, the lunacy and the will full ignorance, its all here and its all fascinating.

    I just can’t look away.

  46. avatar
    BatGuano August 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    fava: Why am I here?I have always found conspiracy theories fascinating, in a train wreck sort of way.Here I get to watch the wreck evolve in real time.The colourful cast of characters, the desperation, the lunacy and the will full ignorance, its all here and its all fascinating.I just can’t look away.

    exactly. same here.

    my unhealthy fascination began when i attended earl warren jr high and now, as you’ve said, we get to watch a conspiracy theory blossom and mature right in front of our eyes.

  47. avatar
    AnotherBird August 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    “Obama Conspiracy Theories is your one-stop destination for conspiracy theories and fringe views about Barack Obama.” — That says it.

  48. avatar
    euphgeek August 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    I’m here because I love facts. If someone says something contrary to the facts, I point them to the facts. If they refuse to acknowledge the facts and instead insist on trying to get people to believe their fantasies I turn to sarcasm. Sometimes I even start out with the sarcasm or openly laugh at their stupidity. My favorite thing to do is compare birthers to 9/11 truthers and watch as they fail to point out any differences between adherents to the two conspiracy theories, especially since Phillip Berg is both.

  49. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    euphgeek: I’m here because I love facts.If someone says something contrary to the facts, I point them to the facts.If they refuse to acknowledge the facts and instead insist on trying to get people to believe their fantasies I turn to sarcasm.Sometimes I even start out with the sarcasm or openly laugh at their stupidity.My favorite thing to do is compare birthers to 9/11 truthers and watch as they fail to point out any differences between adherents to the two conspiracy theories, especially since Phillip Berg is both.

    What good is sarcasm? [rolls eyes] 😉

    I prefer self-referential contradictions and Easter eggs.

  50. avatar
    US Citizen August 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    I live in a small town and there’s a fellow who constantly talks up the “new civil war” idea. I recently encountered him and asked how he’d know if one had started.
    You know, was he expecting an email or phone call to say “it’s on”?
    He mumbled that it could happen and he’d be there armed and ready when it does.
    So I asked “What about the Apaches?”
    He said “What? Indians?”
    I said “No, the copters that are going to mow you guys down holding peashooters.”
    He grumbled away saying something about Pelosi….
    When I saw him last I said “how’s that civil war going?”
    He didn’t say a thing.

    Just sore losers.
    No organization, no ideas and a few loose cannons, but all in all, just sore losers.

  51. avatar
    Expelliarmus August 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    I’ve actually been following birthers from the summer of 2008, when the rumors first started circulating that Obama’s birth certificate would show that his middle name was really Mohammed and/or that his true name was really Barry and he just adopted Barack as some sort of affectation. It’s been utterly fascinating and often amusing to watch the goal posts and argument shift at every stage, with the birther claims becoming more stupid and inane at every juncture.

  52. avatar
    Daniel August 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    I’m here because the stupidity of birthers provides a never ending source of amusement.

  53. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 14, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Scientist: What is the evidence that any of us are here?

    Wherever you are, that’s where you’ll be. Wherever I am, I’m there because conspiracy theories (and theorists) fascinate me.

  54. avatar
    Arthur August 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    Slatribartfast,

    Your moniker is a real tongue-twister. Whenever I type it, I’m sure I’ve misspelled it, and when I say it to myself, I think I’m swearing!

  55. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Arthur: Slatribartfast,
    Your moniker is a real tongue-twister. Whenever I type it, I’m sure I’ve misspelled it, and when I say it to myself, I think I’m swearing!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slartibartfast

  56. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    I’m here because I know I’m right.

    And that’s how this country was founded.

  57. avatar
    Sef August 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Majority Will:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slartibartfast

    The more who can gain an exposure to DNA the better.

  58. avatar
    Majority Will August 14, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Sef:
    The more who can gain an exposure to DNA the better.

    My double helix put me under the ice.

  59. avatar
    Kevin Bell August 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I blame CNN for my interests in birtherism. They interviewed a former Hillary Clinton supporter named Ed Hale about his neon colored website . I stayed at his hcsfjm.com simply because the guy was a running laugh track. From this point I sunked to deep to pull back.

    God! I never laugh so much at Ed as I did from 2008 to 2009.

  60. avatar
    DaveH August 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    The question I have for everyone here is how many people do you know that know about the birthers? Birthers have massive igos – like Orly Taitz – and think that EVERYONE is following them with the exception of a few ‘obots’ that are against them. But from where I sit and from the people I know, if I bring up the subject of birthers or Orly Taitz, no one knows what I’m talking about. For the most part, they’re too busy with their every day lives’ to care. Which makes me wonder why I am so frick’n addicted to reading about them and keeping up with what they’re doing. No doubt, it is entertaining for me. So, I have to sometimes wonder if there’s something wrong with me that I would have let myself get so obsessed with something. Maybe it’s kind of a soap opera type thing…

  61. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Arthur: Slatribartfast,
    Your moniker is a real tongue-twister. Whenever I type it, I’m sure I’ve misspelled it, and when I say it to myself, I think I’m swearing!

    As my namesake says, ‘It’s not important.’

  62. avatar
    Arthur August 14, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    DaveH: The question I have for everyone here is how many people do you know that know about the birthers? Birthers have massive igos – like Orly Taitz – and think that EVERYONE is following them with the exception of a few obots’ that are against them. But from where I sit and from the people I know, if I bring up the subject of birthers or Orly Taitz, no one knows what I’m talking about.

    The same is true of the faculty and students at my college. None of the students in my classes have heard of the birther movement–which is not necessarily surprising. But I was surprised when I was lunching with members of the humanities division, and about 80% of them had not heard of the challenges against President Obama’s citizenship.

  63. avatar
    Arthur August 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Majority Will:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slartibartfast

    Thanks for the link! While I’ve not read “Hitchhiker’s Guide,” many years ago I listened to a radio serialization of Adams’ novel and enjoyed it; however, I must not have been paying close attention to the characters’ names.

  64. avatar
    Sef August 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Arthur:
    Thanks for the link! While I’ve not read “Hitchhiker’s Guide,” many years ago I listened to a radio serialization of Adams’ novel and enjoyed it; however, I must not have been paying close attention to the characters’ names.

    If you heard the original BBC radio programs, they preceded the books.

  65. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 14, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Sef:
    If you heard the original BBC radio programs, they preceded the books.

    All of the different incarnations (books, radio, TV, play, movie, computer game…) of the Hitchhiker’s Guide are different from each other in some way.

  66. avatar
    red-diaper baby 1942 August 15, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Reading about these ideas and theories is a bit like political porn: as BatGuano says, you’re horrified but you can’t turn away. And it isn’t just the birthers: It seems as though there’s no idea that’s too far out for the radical right. They apparently want to reverse the last century and a half of American history.
    Sometimes I take a look directly at one of their websites. (Note that I would never register or post a comment: I’d be afraid they’d be able to trace my home address.) But after spending even a bit of time on one of them, I feel dirty (just like after watching ordinary porn) , and need to cleanse my mind by going back to ThinkProgress/The Wonk Room (probably the best of the liberal websites).

  67. avatar
    misha August 15, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    red-diaper baby 1942: ThinkProgress/The Wonk Room (probably the best of the liberal websites).

    see:
    http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2010/02/forward.html
    and
    http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2010/05/together-we-can.html

  68. avatar
    Kupuna August 15, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Sept ’08 was when I first learned about Birthers. Conspiracists always interested me, from the days I listened to Art Bell in the 90’s. But this conspiracy really hit home for us in Hawaii & for me especially, because I’ve worked in multiple roles as an RN in Hawaii since the 70’s, including jobs in Kapiolani’s Labor & Delivery department & with the state DOH. Initially, I’d hoped that Kapiolani could brag about being a Presidential birthplace. I also hoped to learn if some former MD & RN colleague that I’d worked with years ago, might have been the first folks to hold this future President. It’s a sentimental thing for most folks working in obstetrics, to wonder how the babies we care for, might go on to make contributions in the future. At birth, the possibilities are still endless, & this unlikely President proved that. Now in 2010, I’m more concerned about how that Doctor’s family might get harassed if/when, the name is known. HIPAA laws are relatively new re Presidential history, but I predict that KMCWC will eventually get Obama’s permission to erect some type of memorial. Until then, the folks at Kapiolani & the Hawaii DOH remain the professionals I admire, & brush off the birthers. Which drives them NUTS!

    Mahalo Doc, for your calm, rational & research-based responses to conspriacy theorists. I expect we’ll still be coming to read the latest here until January 2017.

  69. avatar
    misha August 15, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Kupuna: I expect we’ll still be coming to read the latest here until January 2017.

    It will be beyond. Birthers will hound Obama with lawsuits for years, figuring as a private citizen, he won’t have the finances to fend them off.

    And I doubt his children will be able to live quiet lives, like Nixon’s daughters. They’ll have Secret Service protection, as will Obama, for years to come. One black man I was talking to here in Philly, said Obama and his children should live in New Zealand after he leaves office.

  70. avatar
    Sean August 15, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    red-diaper baby 1942: Reading about these ideas and theories is a bit like political porn: as BatGuano says, you’re horrified but you can’t turn away. And it isn’t just the birthers: It seems as though there’s no idea that’s too far out for the radical right. They apparently want to reverse the last century and a half of American history.

    One Birther, annoyed that I kept correcting his posts with facts asked me why I kept returning to keep the argument going.

    “I get off on it,” I told him, “Literally…….. semen shoots from my urethra.”

  71. avatar
    Lupin August 15, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    I am here to share with this enlightened socierty these gems of Amerikana:

    http://leanleft.com/2010/08/14/objectivist-tool-goes-on-worlds-dumbest-roadtrip/

    and my favorite:

    http://rightwingnews.com/2010/08/conservative-bloggers-select-the-25-worst-figures-in-american-history/

    It’s cheaper than going to the zoo to watch the monkeys hurl feces.

  72. avatar
    mrheuss August 15, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Cause it is one of the few sites the judge didn’t include in the restraining order.

    Still hoping you are going to put up more britney spears and lindsay lohan related stories. What gives?

    No – I am here because I am fascinated with the republican fringe in general, and birthers specifically.

  73. avatar
    ellid August 15, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Lupin: I am here to share with this enlightened socierty these gems of Amerikana:http://leanleft.com/2010/08/14/objectivist-tool-goes-on-worlds-dumbest-roadtrip/

    Oh, for crying out loud…she was a TERRIBLE writer! What is the big deal? If you’re going to read libertarian fiction, at least read Heinlein!

    *weeps*

  74. avatar
    Majority Will August 15, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Sean:
    One Birther, annoyed that I kept correcting his posts with facts asked me why I kept returning to keep the argument going.“I get off on it,” I told him, “Literally…….. semen shoots from my urethra.”

    Crass but very funny!

  75. avatar
    Lupin August 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    ellid: Oh, for crying out loud…she was a TERRIBLE writer! What is the big deal? If you’re going to read libertarian fiction, at least read Heinlein!

    *weeps*

    I SO agree with you!!!!

  76. avatar
    Arthur August 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    ellid:
    Oh, for crying out loud…she was a TERRIBLE writer!

    You’re absolutely right. I couldn’t tolerate her old-fashioned, melodramatic, infuriatingly self-conscious style, to say nothing of her politics.

  77. avatar
    G August 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    DaveH: The question I have for everyone here is how many people do you know that know about the birthers? Birthers have massive igos – like Orly Taitz – and think that EVERYONE is following them with the exception of a few obots’ that are against them. But from where I sit and from the people I know, if I bring up the subject of birthers or Orly Taitz, no one knows what I’m talking about. For the most part, they’re too busy with their every day lives’ to care. Which makes me wonder why I am so frick’n addicted to reading about them and keeping up with what they’re doing. No doubt, it is entertaining for me. So, I have to sometimes wonder if there’s something wrong with me that I would have let myself get so obsessed with something. Maybe it’s kind of a soap opera type thing…

    Not many people I encounter pay attention to them. Quite a few still have no idea who or what birthers are. Even a good portion of the local 9/12 and TeaParty folks that I run into don’t buy into birther stuff (they’ve got a significant presence in my county & town…including starting to disrupt local city council meetings – maybe I’ll comment more on that at some other time as its really starting to piss me off) – but sadly, I’d say that maybe half of them do.

    Once I get outside the 9/12 & TeaParty folks, not a single person I’ve encountered who is aware of birthers takes them seriously and if the word comes up, it gets a laugh and seems to simply represent crazy racists in most people’s minds. Outside of hearing them mentioned (usually Orly or at TeaParty incidents) in papers or the news, most people do not follow or care about the birther movement. Quite a few people I’ve encountered have trouble believing that there “movement” is even still around.

    So in summary, very few pay attention to them, even less take them seriously or agree with them and the only folks that seem to support or spout birther stuff are also what I refer to the Teabagger wing of the Tea Party movement, which includes the 9/12 folks.

  78. avatar
    G August 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Kupuna: Sept ’08 was when I first learned about Birthers. Conspiracists always interested me, from the days I listened to Art Bell in the 90′s. But this conspiracy really hit home for us in Hawaii & for me especially, because I’ve worked in multiple roles as an RN in Hawaii since the 70′s, including jobs in Kapiolani’s Labor & Delivery department &with the state DOH. Initially, I’d hoped that Kapiolani could brag about being a Presidential birthplace. I also hoped to learn if some former MD & RN colleague that I’d worked with years ago, might have been the first folks to hold this future President. It’s a sentimental thing for most folks working in obstetrics, to wonder how the babies we care for, might go on to make contributions in the future. At birth, the possibilities are still endless, & this unlikely President proved that.Now in 2010, I’m more concerned about how that Doctor’s family might get harassed if/when, the name is known. HIPAA laws are relatively new re Presidential history,but I predict that KMCWC will eventually get Obama’s permission to erect some type of memorial. Until then, the folks at Kapiolani & the Hawaii DOH remain the professionals I admire, & brush off the birthers. Which drives them NUTS!Mahalo Doc, for your calm, rational & research-based responses to conspriacy theorists. I expect we’ll still be coming to read the latest here until January 2017.

    Thank you for coming here and sharing your experience and perspective as a medical professional from HI. I enjoyed your post and found it very informative.

  79. avatar
    Keith August 15, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    I am here because when I was in the USA for my brother’s funeral last year there were two things that stood out that showed that America is no longer the America I grew up in.

    I know the saying “you can never go home” because the inevitable changes simply make it different from your mental picture of home. Never the less, until last year, home has always been recognizable. On past trips the most problematic change was the outdoor restaurants in Tucson using ‘misters’ to cool the air. When I was ‘home’, this desert community wouldn’t dream of wasting water like that.

    But on this trip there were two much bigger things.

    1) My brothers funeral was at the Fort Huachuca Veterans Cemetery. It is a new facility, and is beautiful. The outdoor chapel looks south over valley and is only a few miles from the Mexican border. The problem is that directly over the speakers podium there is a barrage balloon, or blimp, or what ever the he11 you want to call it, dominating the skyline and completely obliterating any chance of paying attention to the speakers or maintaining the peaceful mindset that is called for at a funeral. I can’t tell you how extremely angry I am at this un-American ugliness. When I was ‘home’ Americans were proud that the borders with Canada and Mexico were two of the longest unfortified borders in the world.

    2) I was constantly astonished that every talking head on Faux News was apoplectic and foaming at the mouth for two weeks because the President of the United States wanted to broadcast a message to American school children to work hard and stay in school. Some parents were running around like chickens with their heads cut off as if the message from the President of the United States was going to have some subliminal hypnotic power that was going to turn the country into “The Village of the Damned” or something. It was incredible! School board meetings were shouted at, schools were picketed, and threatened with lawsuits, kids were kept home from school on the day.When I was ‘home’ Parents, Teachers, Schools, and yes, even News outlets would be singing the praises of the President for doing such a thing. I vaguely recall Johnson doing a short film that got sent around to schools for much the same purpose (but I could be wrong), and I think Reagan did it too.

    These two things caused me to take a little more interest in what was going on in the country when I returned. Since Australian media pretty much focuses on the American Political scene that some sense of ‘sanity’ while avoiding the trivial and the insane except for the ‘Only in America’ kind of amusing filler, I started digging on the internet a bit and reintroduced my self to “Above Top Secret” which had an active trainwreck series of threads on the birth certificate ‘controversy’. But the problem there is 99% of the respondents seem to be 12yo’s looking to tweak the nose of the grown-ups, not to engage in adult conversation. Satisfactory discussions are few and far between on ATS, you really have to sort through a lot of noise.

    Some months before, around inauguration day, I think, I came across some CINO psuedo-Christian heretic outfit that was praying that ‘Obama would fail’, and really getting nasty, seriously nasty. They clearly didn’t want to enter into discussions.

    I don’t know how I found the Doc’s blog. Probably a Google search on ‘Obama’ and ‘Conspiracy’ put it near the top and the tag line made it appear entertaining and hinted that it might actually have an honest outlook. It has proven both of those attributes over and over again.

    I tip my hat to the man in the hat.

  80. avatar
    Keith August 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Slartibartfast:
    All of the different incarnations (books, radio, TV, play, movie, computer game…) of the Hitchhiker’s Guide are different from each other in some way.

    I appreciate the references to the Hitchhiker’s Guide too.

    Even more interestingly someone made a drive by reference to Vonnegut a while back, mentioning to Tralfamadorians in some post or other.

    I am considering adopting Vonnegut reference handles in future forums I might join. “Arizona Wildhack’ sounds like a nice twist on “Montana Wildhack”. Or maybe the more subtle “Billy Pilgrim” or of course “Tralfamadorian”. We’ll see.

  81. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Slartibartfast: All of the different incarnations (books, radio, TV, play, movie, computer game…) of the Hitchhiker’s Guide are different from each other in some way.

    I got the babelfish.

  82. avatar
    Majority Will August 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Keith:
    I appreciate the references to the Hitchhiker’s Guide too.Even more interestingly someone made a drive by reference to Vonnegut a while back, mentioning to Tralfamadorians in some post or other.I am considering adopting Vonnegut reference handles in future forums I might join. “Arizona Wildhack’ sounds like a nice twist on “Montana Wildhack”. Or maybe the more subtle “Billy Pilgrim” or of course “Tralfamadorian”. We’ll see.

    “What is the purpose of life?”

    “To be
    the eyes
    and ears
    and conscience
    of the Creator of the Universe,
    you fool.”

    – Kilgore Trout

  83. avatar
    ellid August 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Arthur:
    You’re absolutely right. I couldn’t tolerate her old-fashioned, melodramatic, infuriatingly self-conscious style, to say nothing of her politics.

    Here’s the best comment on Ayn Rand I’ve ever seen, from the incomparable John Scalzi:

    Ayn Rand – Mom!

  84. avatar
    Rickey August 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    ellid:
    Here’s the best comment on Ayn Rand I’ve ever seen, from the incomparable John Scalzi:Ayn Rand – Mom!

    Oh, that’s good! I particularly like this one:

    Pushing you to date her young male followers after she’s “vetted” them is really kind of creepy.

  85. avatar
    Ellid August 16, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Rickey:
    Oh, that’s good! I particularly like this one:Pushing you to date her young male followers after she’s “vetted” them is really kind of creepy.

    I’m very fond of the Lil’ Smelter toy, even if the idea of Alan Greenspan as one’s babysitter is COSMIC HORROR.

  86. avatar
    Howard D Doyle August 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m here for the chicks…and frankly it’s been very disappointing.

  87. avatar
    Majority Will August 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Howard D Doyle: I’m here for the chicks…and frankly it’s been very disappointing.

    I know what you mean. The problem is communicating. This chick was cute enough but when I asked her opinion of current U.S. politics – not a peep. I think she might be a little scrambled.

  88. avatar
    misha August 18, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Majority Will: when I asked her opinion of current U.S. politics – not a peep

    Same here. All she did was cluck and strut around.Talk about self-centered.

  89. avatar
    Majority Will August 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    misha:
    Same here. All she did was cluck and strut around.Talk about self-centered.

    Warm and fuzzy is nice but . . .

    I thought she would have at least have heard of Orrin Hatch.

  90. avatar
    misha August 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Majority Will: I thought she would have at least have heard of Orrin Hatch.

    He changed his name. He was born Orrin Hatchling.

  91. avatar
    Majority Will August 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    misha:
    He changed his name. He was born Orrin Hatchling.

    He’ll never win the Pullet-zer prize.

  92. avatar
    misha August 19, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Majority Will: He’ll never win the Pullet-zer prize.

    Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

  93. avatar
    Kupuna August 24, 2010 at 3:54 am #

    misha: It will be beyond. Birthers will hound Obama with lawsuits for years, figuring as a private citizen, he won’t have the finances to fend them off.And I doubt his children will be able to live quiet lives, like Nixon’s daughters. They’ll have Secret Service protection, as will Obama, for years to come. One black man I was talking to here in Philly, said Obama and his children should live in New Zealand after he leaves office.

    The Obama family will never need to go to New Zealand for a peaceful life after his Presidency. They will do what they wish. But, they will always be welcomed & protected here in Hawaii, where the President was born. The 2,500 miles of Pacific Ocean between the crazy racists & Birthers in the Mainland USA, protects the First Family.

  94. avatar
    Hello_Reality August 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1995421,00.html

    OH Shucks, there’s that batsh17 crazy lady doing it again. And just when the Lefts Media was reporting her popularity had faded. Damn her for continuing to work when our idiot cameras weren’t following her around.

    How’s that change working for you all? Have to laugh at Biden reporting how the economy is on the rise all due to the stimulus. What a Putz he is. Just another sorry politician who took a puppet position for a fat paycheck.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/244724/joe-biden-has-no-idea-about-whats-going-economy-perhaps-literally

  95. avatar
    sfjeff August 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Oh hi Hello Reality- we missed you after you ran away from the last discussion- how have you been?

    I am just glad that Palin has found something more suited for her talent than the Alaska governors position that she bailed on.

    And I am much happier about the economy than i was on January 15, 2009.

  96. avatar
    Majority Will August 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    sfjeff: Oh hi Hello Reality- we missed you after you ran away from the last discussion- how have you been?I am just glad that Palin has found something more suited for her talent than the Alaska governors position that she bailed on.
    And I am much happier about the economy than i was on January 15, 2009.

    But Bush said he fixed everything on the 12th. 😉

    “One of the very difficult parts of the decision I made on the financial crisis was to use hardworking people’s money to help prevent there to be a crisis.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009

  97. avatar
    misha August 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Hello_Reality: What a Putz he is.

    1 – “putz” is not capitalized
    2 – do you know the rules when to use ‘putz,’ and when to use ‘schmuck’?
    3 – do you know any other Yiddish words?

    Here, I’ll get you started: Zol ze vaksen ze ve a tsibble mit de kopin dreid.

  98. avatar
    Randy August 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    I am here because of Crazy Ted. In December of ’08 he was all over the internet with his check and mate. I thought there were millions of Birthers. Turns out Ted was a pretty good echo chamber. Found your site and stil lurk.