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A mile wide and an inch deep

I’ll be the first to admit that there are a lot of birthers out there, perhaps millions. However, the evidence from the Terry Lakin trial suggests that there aren’t many serious birthers.  The ease of publishing on the Internet magnifies the reach of birther activists, but when it comes to people willing to travel to support their number one cause, reports put the number at about 25. That’s about the same number that showed up for Phil Berg’s rally in Washington DC, and other birther events that actually required travel. While one person can put up a hundred web sites, that’s not a trick that can be pulled off in person.

There are a lot of birthers, but not many of them seem to take it that seriously.

21 Responses to A mile wide and an inch deep

  1. avatar
    charo December 16, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    The most important position in our country is that of the President. His (or a future her) policy affects everyone in the country, yet we are nowhere near 100% voting of eligible voters in the election of that office. That is a simply a matter of going to a nearby polling station or sending in a ballot.

  2. avatar
    Bovril December 16, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Dr C

    Hopefully come end of January, I shoud have a better number for you than “millions”.

    I am putting together an attempt to enumerate and classify both active and passive birthers based on internet posting numbers, patterns, frequency etc.

    Slatribartfast has graciously agreed to help me tighten up the methodology of gather and analysis and I will spend time gathering the raw info over the New Year and Jan period.

    Based on my first initial “back of the envelope” cut, I feel you have may have probably overestimated the actual numbers by an order of magnitude.

    Is there a core of really loud, really frequent posters….yep
    Are there clouds of semi-passive and passive birthers…yep
    Is the Birfoon “community” as large as they like to trumpet it….not a hope in hell

    What we are seeing is much heat, much noise and little light or signal that IMHO tends to magnify the perceived numbers way beyond it’s reality.

  3. avatar
    bob December 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    Yes.

    There’s a difference of commitment required to answer a pollster’s question, to participate in Internet fora, to go to a local rally with a birther sign, to travel great distances for the cause, and to put your actual ass on the line.

  4. avatar
    HORUS December 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    charo: yet we are nowhere near 100% voting of eligible voters in the election of that office.

    It does not help either when one side is doing everything they can, spending millions of dollars, just to SUPPRESS turnout.

  5. avatar
    Majority Will December 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Bovril: Dr CHopefully come end of January, I shoud have a better number for you than “millions”.I am putting together an attempt to enumerate and classify both active and passive birthers based on internet posting numbers, patterns, frequency etc.Slatribartfast has graciously agreed to help me tighten up the methodology of gather and analysis and I will spend time gathering the raw info over the New Year and Jan period.Based on my first initial “back of the envelope” cut, I feel you have may have probably overestimated the actual numbers by an order of magnitude.Is there a core of really loud, really frequent posters….yep
    Are there clouds of semi-passive and passive birthers…yep
    Is the Birfoon “community” as large as they like to trumpet it….not a hope in hellWhat we are seeing is much heat, much noise and little light or signal that IMHO tends to magnify the perceived numbers way beyond it’s reality.

    That is awesome.

  6. avatar
    Black Lion December 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    United States v. Lakin liveblog V
    By Christopher Mathews, December 16, 2010
    The court-martial of convicted Army doctor LTC Terry Lakin resumes today.

    First off is a session held outside the presence of the members between the judge and counsel for both sides, with the accused in attendance. This proceeding, held pursuant to UCMJ Article 39(a), will likely focus on administrative matters such as the prosecution’s intent to put on evidence in rebuttal and the expected length of the rebuttal case, objections by the defense to the rebuttal case, if any, and so on. If there are any additional motions to find offenses multiplicious for sentencing purposes – thus reducing the maximum sentence in the case — they will be likely be resolved in this session. The instructions to be given the members before they retire to deliberate on a sentence may also be discussed during the Article 39(a) session.

    Rebuttal may consist of any evidence which directly contradicts evidence offered by the defense, or evidence which tends to explain the defense evidence, including statements of fact contained in the accused’s unsworn statement. The prosecution is also entitled to rebut any inference which may be fairly drawn from the defense case, which expands the scope of permissible rebuttal evidence. During my time as a circuit prosecutor, I referred to rebuttal as “the trial counsel’s best friend.” In addition to the substantive information it conveys, a good rebuttal case carries with it the subtext that the defense has attempted to pull a fast one and cannot be trusted.

    Colonel Sullivan is of the opinion that there may be several fruitful avenues for rebuttal in this case. We will have to wait and see what the prosecution plans. If the prosecution offers rebuttal, the defense can offer evidence in surrebutal; otherwise, the case goes directly on to argument by counsel and instructions to the members by the military judge. Ether side may propose a specific sentence; often the defense will decline to do so, arguing instead in general terms for leniency or simply arguing that the sentence proposed by the prosecution is too high.

    During sentencing deliberations, the members may each propose a sentence. Sentences represent a single punishment for all the offenses, rather than for each specification; members are not told what maximum penalty each specification carries, only the maximum for the whole as an aggregate. The sentences are then voted on in ascending order – i.e., from the most lenient to the most severe. Once a proposed sentence receives at least a 2/3-rds vote, that becomes the sentence of the court. Because there are eight members of the court-martial, it requires the vote of six members to reach the two-thirds threshold. Put another way, any three members can scuttle a proposed sentence, requiring consideration of the next most severe option. Prosecutors often urge the members, during argument, to ”just say no” to any sentence that seems too lenient or insufficiently weighty to address the crimes of the accused.

    Updates will be posted here as events warrant.

    If you missed last night’s interview with Colonel Sullivan, retired CDR Phil Cave, and Fogbow blogger Mata Mari, you can still find it online here: blogtalkradio.

    1057: The members are now deliberating on sentence.

    The prosecution presented excerpts from LTC Lakin’s Care inquiry in which he admitted under oath that his former attorney, Paul Jensen, expressly told the accused that the orders he’d received were lawful, and that as an attorney, Mr. Jensen said he could not ethically advise the accused to disobey them. There was no surrebuttal.

    The defense asked the military judge to find Specifications 1 and 2 of Charge II, which address LTC Lakin’s violation of two separate orders to report to the brigade commander on 31 March, multiplicious for sentencing purposes. She granted the motion, and in so doing reduced the maximum sentence to confinement from 42 months to three years.

    The prosecution asked for dismissal, confinement for 24 months, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. The trial counsel who argued noted that in LTC Lakin’s unsworn statement, his focus was always on himself: how he was concerned about the President’s eligibility, how he felt his concerns needed to be addressed, and so on, until the moment came to accept responsibility — at which point the accused focused on other people and how they let him down or supposedly misled him. The prosecutor also noted that at no point during LTC Lakin’s tearful discussion of his family or during his apologia to the commander did LTC Lakin see fit to mention MAJ Dobson or the hardships endured by anyone else as a result of LTC Lakin’s actions. Trial counsel tied the request for 24 months to the period of time the accused should have been in theatre: 2 days for every day he was not with the 1-32 Cav overseas.

    The defense asked for a reprimand, “some” forfeiture of pay, and restriction to geographical limits (generally, such limits are to the limits of the base, or of some other geographical area, in the discretion of the convening authority). He argued for no dismissal and no confinement. The defense’s parting words to the members: “Merry Christmas.”

    We will post the sentence when the members return.

    It’s 22 degrees at Fort Meade and snowing heavily (for those who find the weather reports fascinating). According to Colonel Sullivan, the birther faithful have thinned out somewhat, as has the media contingent.

    http://www.caaflog.com/2010/12/16/united-states-v-lakin-liveblog-v/

  7. avatar
    BatGuano December 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    i see the vast majority of birthers like my in-laws. nice enough people but very deeply rooted in partisanship. i’m sure they have visited one or more birther websites, unlikely to have posted a comment, seriously doubt they’ve donated any money and i’m positive they would never travel for a rally/event. i like to think of them as casual-use birthers.

    their big thing is ” i don’t know if he is or isn’t……. i just think it’s strange there are so many questions”. so, being as polite as could possibly be ( so my wife wouldn’t take a baseball bat to the back of my head ), we went down the laundry list of “questions”. pakistan ban, indo citizenship, etc. the ones that had a big impact on them were when they related to my daughter, their granddaughter:
    “you can’t get a passport with a COLB”. i informed them we had gotten a passport for my daughter with a COLB. no doctor signature or hospital listed.
    ” he had dual loyalties”. i explained that as a dual-citizen myself that my daughter was also eligible for british citizenship.
    ” his sister said he was born in a different hospital. family knows what hospital you were born in”. i asked them which hospital my daughter was born in. they both got it wrong ( in their defense we live just a mile down the road from a major hospital, the one they guessed, so it wasn’t a bad assumption).
    after going thru the list they just sighed and said ” see…… there are so many questions that something has to be fishy”.

  8. avatar
    BatGuano December 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    HORUS:
    It does not help either when one side is doing everything they can, spending millions of dollars, just to SUPPRESS turnout.

    it cost millions for the two wanna-be black panther guys in one location ???

  9. avatar
    charo December 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    BatGuano: i see the vast majority of birthers like my in-laws. nice enough people but very deeply rooted in partisanship. i’m sure they have visited one or more birther websites, unlikely to have posted a comment, seriously doubt they’ve donated any money and i’m positive they would never travel for a rally/event. i like to think of them as casual-use birthers.

    I think that is where Doc is coming from for his potential millions estimation.

  10. avatar
    Dave December 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    The biggest problem with counting the birthers is defining them. If you count people who are willing to say there are a lot of unanswered questions, then I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in the millions. But if you ask a question like “Do you think the President is Consitutionally ineligible for his position, and should be removed?” and count the number of people who will say “yes, definitely” I seriously doubt you could find more than a few tens of thousands.

  11. avatar
    Bovril December 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Dave,

    Link below to my initial post and methodology, it’s still a work in progress before I start the data gather

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/12/diluted-title/#comment-81388

  12. avatar
    sponson December 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    It appears he got six months, if this has not been commented on before.

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/12/army_doctor_who_refused_to_deploy_gets_6_months.php

  13. avatar
    BatGuano December 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    sponson: It appears he got six months, if this has not been commented on before.http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/12/army_doctor_who_refused_to_deploy_gets_6_months.php

    sad but….. i think appropriate.

  14. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Dave: The biggest problem with counting the birthers is defining them. If you count people who are willing to say there are a lot of unanswered questions, then I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in the millions. But if you ask a question like “Do you think the President is Consitutionally ineligible for his position, and should be removed?” and count the number of people who will say “yes, definitely” I seriously doubt you could find more than a few tens of thousands.

    Or at least a few tens…

  15. avatar
    misha December 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    sponson: It appears he got six months, if this has not been commented on before.

    No white man ever had to show his birth certificate.

  16. avatar
    FUTTHESHUCKUP December 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Just wanted to share some of my empirical experience about this issue. I was going to a, now defunct, FOX News forum for more than three years. I was there daily when this whole issue came to light and was there until it was shut down. When I started there, and this issue broke, I was basically the only one refuting them on this issue; in the beginning, I had to respond to at least a dozen birthers at one time. Over the three years there, I noticed 4 things as time went on:

    1. Some who believed it in the beginning stopped believing in it altogether.
    2. Some who believed it in the beginning ended up rarely discussing it.
    3. There were fewer and fewer additions to the number of birthers there as time went on.
    4. Only a core of about 3 or 4 birthers remained but most wouldn’t show up on a regular basis.

    I don’t know how many birthers there are, and I don’t know how many birthers birthers wish there were, but in my empirical experience, their numbers have increasingly dropped off over the years and will likely continue to do so. They can try to exaggerate their numbers all they want, but they cannot claim that there are more of them now than there were two and a half years ago when this whole thing started.

    In my observation, this started to occur right after the Santa Ana case was tossed. Many of the birthers said that this was the case to succeed because the judge was an ex-Marine and one of the plaintiffs was Alan Keyes. From there, it was all downhill for the birthers, and every defeat since then has lessened their number of subscribers on several levels.

  17. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    FUTTHESHUCKUP: Just wanted to share some of my empirical experience about this issue. I was going to a, now defunct, FOX News forum for more than three years. I was there daily when this whole issue came to light and was there until it was shut down. When I started there, and this issue broke, I was basically the only one refuting them on this issue; in the beginning, I had to respond to at least a dozen birthers at one time. Over the three years there, I noticed 4 things as time went on:1. Some who believed it in the beginning stopped believing in it altogether.
    2. Some who believed it in the beginning ended up rarely discussing it.
    3. There were fewer and fewer additions to the number of birthers there as time went on.
    4. Only a core of about 3 or 4 birthers remained but most wouldn’t show up on a regular basis.I don’t know how many birthers there are, and I don’t know how many birthers birthers wish there were, but in my empirical experience, their numbers have increasingly dropped off over the years and will likely continue to do so. They can try to exaggerate their numbers all they want, but they cannot claim that there are more of them now than there were two and a half years ago when this whole thing started.In my observation, this started to occur right after the Santa Ana case was tossed. Many of the birthers said that this was the case to succeed because the judge was an ex-Marine and one of the plaintiffs was Alan Keyes. From there, it was all downhill for the birthers, and every defeat since then has lessened their number of subscribers on several levels.

    Thanks for your insight.

  18. avatar
    Black Lion December 20, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    You also have old school original birthers like “Steve Cee”, aka Steve Craig that have changed internet handles but spout the same nonsense….

    slcraig
    December 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm
    I have set aside all referrences to authorities not expressed in the Founding Documents and now have found a vindication of that approach that may have been a seed that flourished from a prior reading;

    “[I]t is true, every person, and every class and description of persons who were, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, recognized as citizens in the several States became also citizens of this new political body, but none other; it was formed by them, and for them and their posterity, but for no one else. And the personal rights and privileges guarantied to citizens of this new sovereignty were intended to embrace those only who were then members of the several State communities, or who should afterwards by birthright or otherwise become members according to the provisions of the Constitution and the principles on which it was founded. It was the union of those who were at that time members of distinct and separate political communities into one political family, whose power, for certain specified purposes, was to extend over the whole territory of the United States. And it gave to each citizen rights and privileges outside of his State [p407] which he did not before possess, and placed him in every other State upon a perfect equality with its own citizens as to rights of person and rights of property; it made him a citizen of the United States.

    It becomes necessary, therefore, to determine who were citizens of the several States when the Constitution was adopted. And in order to do this, we must recur to the Governments and institutions of the thirteen colonies when they separated from Great Britain and formed new sovereignties, and took their places in the family of independent nations. We must inquire who, at that time, were recognised as the people or citizens of a State whose rights and liberties had been outraged by the English Government, and who declared their independence and assumed the powers of Government to defend their rights by force of arms…”

    [u]Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)[/u]

    drkate
    December 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm
    First, “citizen of the United States” is not the same as natural born citizen’.

    Second, you cannot view this independently of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

    slcraig
    December 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    I’m not sure what you are saying.

    I view the usage and construction of natural born Citizen’ as found in the Constitution as an idiom’ imbued with meaning beyond the the definition of the juxtaposition of the individual words.

    Beyond the inclusion of the doctrine of consent’ coupled with the suggestion’ of John Jay’s expressions of National Security concerns and being given a starting point’ of the adoption’ of the Constitution with the explicit tempering by the Grandfather Clause it begins to come clear that it is indeed a stand-alone Constitutional idiom that can not be confused by any prior usages of the juxtaposition of the words, albeit history and writers of history well informed of its usefulness.

    I have found that in studying the Constitutions of the various States as written during the years of conflict after the Declaration of Independence and in the union of the Articles of Confederation it is plain that NO Jus Soli grant of Citizenship made it way to Statutes but those that were native born’ were always welcomed to apply, qualify and be granted citizenship, (freeman/elector’), status, all other requirements being met. Jus Soli citizenship was reserved as the birth-right’ possessed by the citizen parents and passed to their children, all wives being of the citizenship of her husband.

    The ’0bots’ that cling to un-parented jus soli births’ are obviously products of a Bill Ayres education.

    http://drkatesview.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/the-navy-commander-versus-col-obot/

  19. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) December 20, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    BatGuano: it cost millions for the two wanna-be black panther guys in one location ???

    The right often accusses the left of what they are guilty of. For years they have supressed the minority vote through voter caging, robo calls, phone jamming, telling older folks to vote on November 3rd if they’re democrats, flawed felon lists. Yet they go on and on about two guys who showed up at a predominantly democratic precinct and did not intimidate anyone.

  20. avatar
    Black Lion December 20, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    More of the Post & Fail’s attempt to rehab Fitzy the felon….He now claims that the documents with his signature are a forgery….He can’t accept the fact that he ruined his Naval career….

    “LCDR Fitzpatrick was court-martialed in 1989-1990 and maintains his innocence of the charges to this day. He has previously discussed “ghost witnesses,” how four people decided his fate before any hearing was held, and his belief that the same thing was being done to Lt. Col. Lakin who was, in fact, court-martialed earlier this week and sentenced to six months in prison, cessation of pay, and dismissal from the Army without further benefits after 18 years of service.

    Fitzpatrick has stated that the U.S. Navy continues to maintain a document with his forged signature as authentic to the present time, and that the corruption within the military reaches up to and includes Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    The Post & Email contacted and has spoken with two of the four named accusers in Fitzpatrick’s court-martial, and neither one would consent to going on the record. Fitzpatrick has named Lt. Tim Zeller, Capt. Kevin Anderson, Admiral John Bitoff and Capt. Paul Romanski as having conspired against him and pronounced him guilty before his trial even began, stating, “These men were working with specific, purposeful, criminal intent from the very beginning.”

    http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/12/18/lies-forgery-court-martial-and-another-illegitimate-court-martial/

  21. avatar
    Daniel December 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Is it just me or does “Birther” and “Paranoid Delusional” kind of mean the same thing?