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This isn’t going away!

No news there. Salon.com told us so, way back in December of 2008, in their article: Why the conspiracy theories about Barack Obama will never die. Birthers commenting here and elsewhere proudly proclaim, “this isn’t going away!” They’ll get no argument from me.

Only now the worm has turned. “This isn’t going away” is no longer a mantra of hope and comfort for a battered minority of conspiracy theorists, no longer is a phrase that makes me turn to the sky and ask “when do I get my life back?” Now that birtherism has gone mainstream with “credible” (and I use the term lightly) Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann raising the birther banner, “this isn’t going away” is no longer a real or imaginary cloud looming over the Obama administration; it has become a sword of Damocles hanging above the Republican party. Karl Rove describes the birth certificate as “Barack Obama’s trap”. It’s like watching the lemmings1 follow each over off the cliff and into the sea if you really don’t like lemmings. Abandon hope, birthers; the world knows about you now and your movement has no clothes. This isn’t going away.


1Lemmings don’t really follow one another off cliffs and into the sea. That’s an urban legend. However, in the very excellent video game Lemmings, they do. Now that’s a great idea for a video game: Lemmings vs Zombies.

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54 Responses to This isn’t going away!

  1. avatar
    DP April 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    It’s not going away because it has nothing to with facts that can be proven or disproven. I mean, come on–COLBs are commonly issued by many states now. There’s nothing mysterious or second class about them. I got my passport with one. Anyone who starts their argument with the idea that a COLB is some freakish thing has left the rationality farm to begin with.

    Birthers are responding to their own internal emotional issues. Obama simply cannot be a legitimate President, and here is a reason why. Hard core birthers will cling to it through thick and thin and make whatever conspiratorial leaps are necessary.

    Why is so important to them deep down inside? I’ll leave that to individual people to guess, but the available candidates for a reason aren’t attractive.

    One hopes it will be a millstone around the Republican Party’s neck. Their craven, disingenuous playing footsie with this utter nonsense has certainly earned it.

  2. avatar
    Suranis April 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    I’ve been feeling sorry for the believing conservative republican for a while now. Watching a party you love transform into this big government, high spending and damn the consequences, love buisness and screw everyone else party has to be a real trauma.

  3. avatar
    Slartibartfast April 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Doc,

    I agree 100% – the birthers are looking more and more like a factor in 2012 – and that’s good news for President Obama.

    Can I be one of the play testers for Zombies vs. Lemmings? And will there be a sequel game with zombie lemmings?

  4. avatar
    Whatever4 April 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I get the impression that many birthers have never held a passport or traveled out of the country when you didn’t need one. Every now and then there are stories in the news about people who are turned back from their dream cruise because that document they are so certain is a Birth Certificate turns out to be the souvenir, or the verification copy, or some other problem. They are always ticked off at everyone but themselves.

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/cruises/royal-caribbean-crui/royal-caribbean-cruise-lines-d-dd32f.htm
    http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/is-this-enough-compensation-a-do-over-for-being-denied-boarding-on-my-cruise/
    http://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/jamaica—birth-certificate-denied-at-airport.cfm

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Slartibartfast: Can I be one of the play testers for Zombies vs. Lemmings? And will there be a sequel game with zombie lemmings?

    I’ll have to pitch the idea to my son, who actually writes video games.

    It’s been a very long time ago, but I can still hear that little lemming at the start sing out: “let’s go!”

  6. avatar
    Slartibartfast April 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I’ll have to pitch the idea to my son, who actually writes video games.

    I’m sure he’ll see the potential in the idea, too… ;-)

  7. avatar
    y_p_w April 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    DP:
    It’s not going away because it has nothing to with facts that can be proven or disproven. I mean, come on–COLBs are commonly issued by many states now. There’s nothing mysterious or second class about them. I got my passport with one. Anyone who starts their argument with the idea that a COLB is some freakish thing has left the rationality farm to begin with.

    Birthers are responding to their own internal emotional issues. Obama simply cannot be a legitimate President, and here is a reason why. Hard core birthers will cling to it through thick and thin and make whatever conspiratorial leaps are necessary.

    Why is so important to them deep down inside? I’ll leave that to individual people to guess, but the available candidates for a reason aren’t attractive.

    One hopes it will bea millstone around the Republican Party’s neck. Their craven, disingenuous playing footsie with this utter nonsense has certainly earned it.

    Well – I have noticed that good many of these birthers are absolutely hung up on the particular titles of these documents, insisting that a “Certification of Live Birth” (COLB) is not a “birth certificate”. I would note that “Certificate of Live Birth” is the title of California’s BC, although that’s generally for some sort of photostatic image copy of the original document signed by the attendant. Also – “Certificate of Live Birth” happens to be the title that Hawaii now uses for their computer generated BC.

    If any of these birther bills stands, the irony is that it’s going to create odd situations for many Republican candidates depending on where they were born, what BC forms those states use, and how strict the law is. I’ve noticed that a couple of possible 2012 Republican Presidential candidates are from Pennsylvania, which has perhaps the least information I’ve ever seen on a BC. I’ve seen one version that listed no parents’ names. They only list the county of birth and not the city. That’s not going to meet the definition of “long form” in any of these bills. I’ve seen a few bills that are pretty relaxed, with some only requiring a birth certificate of some sort, or others that ask for a “long form” but either don’t define it or allow for secondary evidence if one can’t be procured. Then there are the ones that require a “long form” in absolute terms, or the state elections officer can’t place the candidate on the ballot. That’s got to fall into a pit where “good faith and credit” falls.

    However – not all birth certifications are the same for various reasons mentioned here. It’s been mentioned that California’s “abstract” form was discontinued years ago. I thought that Dr C mentioned that it might be because of something to do with the 9/11 attacks. I heard that there were some pretty convincing forgeries because the form lacked several security features.

  8. avatar
    Joseph Maine April 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy, if Stanley Ann Dunham gave birth to Obama at Kapi’olani, why is he registered as a birth at his grandparents address? Why wouldn’t be an address of Obama Sr. or S. Ann proper?

    [It's because you are a liar or an idiot.

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/08/birth-announcement-address-confirmed/ Doc.]

  9. avatar
    y_p_w April 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Whatever4:
    I get the impression that many birthers have never held a passport or traveled out of the country when you didn’t need one. Every now and then there are stories in the news about people who are turned back from their dream cruise because that document they are so certain is a Birth Certificate turns out to be the souvenir, or the verification copy, or some other problem. They are always ticked off at everyone but themselves.

    I participated in a discussion on a travel website about birth certificates and “closed loop” cruises. One person brought up Obama and the Hawaii COLB, insisting that it wasn’t a valid document for such cruise travel. I set the record straight, and even called up a cruise line to ask if they would accept it (they would). A little discussion on the Obama situation started too.

    I still don’t quite understand why anyone would want to use a birth certificate as ID unless they really had to (getting a SSA card or a passport, etc). Using one as a travel document (without a photo) seems like a potential to lose it and perhaps end up with some sort of identity theft situation. I also remember childhood friends with green cards that had no photo (if obtained under a certain age), and at the time were valid indefinitely. That also seemed like a huge problem if stolen.

    Don’t use a BC for travel. Get a passport card.

  10. avatar
    G April 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    Slartibartfast: Can I be one of the play testers for Zombies vs. Lemmings? And will there be a sequel game with zombie lemmings?

    Count me in too! Dr C – you really should patent that idea…I think that game or app would rake in a fortune! ;)

  11. avatar
    John Reilly April 2, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    I’m responding to the note about the folks who don’t know they need a passport for a cruise. Carnival (and its soulmates Cunard, Princess, etc.) all seek your passport information within 90 days of the cruise. If you do not provide it, additional e-mails show up. You do not have to go looking anywhere for the information, Carnival asks you for it and pesters you about it. What the articles prove is that some folks simply cannot learn. (The missus and I are taking a cruise.)

    There are the folks who think that airport screenings are only for Arab-loking people. Surely they should not stand in line and be searched.

    It thus comes as no surprise to them that President Obama lacks a birth certificate or a passport when they hear it from friends. He does not look like them, they did not vote for him, and he has a funny name. They don’t associate with people who look like him.

    I read an article a while back that the true divide in this country was not between blue states and red states, but between those folks who strive for a better life for their kids and those who don’t. The non-strivers tell you its all about the kids. They are pro-life. They want the deficit reduced so their kids and grandkids won’t have to pay a crushing debt. But to them, if their kid graduates from high school and get a 9-5 job in the same town, its a success. They are happy with that status quo. And thus they are not “strivers.” If you want to see “strivers,” go to UC Berkeley and watch the more than 40% of the students who are Asian, whose parents do not have a college degree.

    If we do not, as a society, all strive to be better off than our parents, we will be passed by the Chinese and Indians. And striving to be better requires education, and some critical thinking, because the future demands that workers think, and not just turn a wrench like Dad.

    The folks who don’t strive believe in the lemming story, don’t have the common sense to check it out on a basic a site as Wikipedia, and will doom us all.

  12. avatar
    G April 2, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    John Reilly: If we do not, as a society, all strive to be better off than our parents, we will be passed by the Chinese and Indians. And striving to be better requires education, and some critical thinking, because the future demands that workers think, and not just turn a wrench like Dad.
    The folks who don’t strive believe in the lemming story, don’t have the common sense to check it out on a basic a site as Wikipedia, and will doom us all.

    Well said!!!

  13. avatar
    Sean April 2, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    Doc,

    I agree 100% – the birthers are looking more and more like a factor in 2012 – and that’s good news for President Obama.

    Do you think releasing the long form sometime during the 2012 election would help him? Kind of like a rope-a-dope?

  14. avatar
    Kupuna April 2, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    The Birthers are a gift to President Obama. The more press they get, the more likely that he will be re-elected in 2012. . Karl Rove knows this & it is eating him up. Add on the potential candidacies of Bachman & Caribou Barbie??…LOL

    2012 will be a watershed year for the GOP. Can they learn the realities of America in the 21st century? Or will they die as a remant of the now past 20th century?

  15. avatar
    obsolete April 2, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    Sean: Do you think releasing the long form sometime during the 2012 election would help him? Kind of like a rope-a-dope?

    I have a feeling it will be released around then- then is no upside to releasing it now.

  16. avatar
    obsolete April 2, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    I have a feeling it will be released around then- there is no upside to releasing it now.

  17. avatar
    Scientist April 2, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    obsolete: I have a feeling it will be released around then- there is no upside to releasing it now.

    I doubt anything will be released. The truth is no one cares about birth certificates. Not even Trump (perhaps he cares less than anyone). An incumbent running for re-election is judged on his record not where he was born or where someone thinks he was born. Back when Obama took office, I predicted that if in mid-2012 the unemployment rate is around 8% and headed lower, he would be re-elected. Both appear likely at this time.

  18. avatar
    y_p_w April 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    John Reilly:
    I’m responding to the note about the folks who don’t know they need a passport for a cruise.Carnival (and its soulmates Cunard, Princess, etc.) all seek your passport information within 90 days of the cruise.If you do not provide it, additional e-mails show up.You do not have to go looking anywhere for the information, Carnival asks you for it and pesters you about it.What the articles prove is that some folks simply cannot learn.(The missus and I are taking a cruise.)

    Depends on the cruise. If it’s a Western Hemisphere cruise that starts and ends at the same US port (aka “closed loop”), then a certified copy of a BC from a US state or territory is enough as long as it’s presented with a valid photo ID. I’ve heard of people who arrived at the cruise terminal and found they had packed the wrong document (i.e the dreaded “certified hospital birth certificate”). I would suggest that a passport card is a better document, which would also be valid for travel on a non closed-loop cruise in the Carribean. In addition, passport books are recommended in case there’s an emergency and getting back by air is required.

    http://www.carnival.com/CMS/Static_Templates/EMB_travel_document.aspx

    (I trimmed parts not relevant to the discussion.)

    “U.S. citizens taking “closed-loop” cruises are not required to have a passport, but will need proof of citizenship such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a certificate of naturalization, a passport card, an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) as well as a government-issued photo ID.

    “Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking “closed loop” cruises, we strongly recommend all guests travel with a passport (valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel). Having a passport will enable guests to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event they miss their scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if they need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.

    If a cruise begins and ends in different U.S. ports or begins and ends in a foreign port (such as our Alaska cruises and Hawaii cruises) a valid passport or other recognized WHTI-compliant document is required. A valid passport is required if you are traveling on any of our Europe cruises.”

  19. avatar
    Sef April 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    John Reilly: (The missus and I are taking a cruise.)

    Check out http://www.cruisecritic.com/.

  20. avatar
    James M April 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    y_p_w:

    Don’t use a BC for travel.Get a passport card.

    I suspect that the $140 fee has kept more than a few people inside the country.

  21. avatar
    Fred April 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    John Reilly:
    I’m responding to the note about the folks who don’t know they need a passport for a cruise.Carnival (and its soulmates Cunard, Princess, etc.) all seek your passport information within 90 days of the cruise.If you do not provide it, additional e-mails show up.You do not have to go looking anywhere for the information, Carnival asks you for it and pesters you about it.What the articles prove is that some folks simply cannot learn.(The missus and I are taking a cruise.)

    There are the folks who think that airport screenings are only for Arab-loking people.Surely they should not stand in line and be searched.

    It thus comes as no surprise to them that President Obama lacks a birth certificate or a passport when they hear it from friends.He does not look like them, they did not vote for him, and he has a funny name.They don’t associate with people who look like him.

    I read an article a while back that the true divide in this country was not between blue states and red states, but between those folks who strive for a better life for their kids and those who don’t.The non-strivers tell you its all about the kids.They are pro-life.They want the deficit reduced so their kids and grandkids won’t have to pay a crushing debt.But to them, if their kid graduates from high school and get a 9-5 job in the same town, its a success.They are happy with that status quo.And thus they are not “strivers.”If you want to see “strivers,” go to UC Berkeley and watch the more than 40% of the students who are Asian, whose parents do not have a college degree.

    If we do not, as a society, all strive to be better off than our parents, we will be passed by the Chinese and Indians.And striving to be better requires education, and some critical thinking, because the future demands that workers think, and not just turn a wrench like Dad.

    The folks who don’t strive believe in the lemming story, don’t have the common sense to check it out on a basic a site as Wikipedia, and will doom us all.

    That may be part of it. There are also those who simply fear change. Obama, being the first black president and obviously intellectually qualified is probably the most powerful symbol of that change in the world today. So they fear Obama. That fear manifests itself with these ridiculous justifications about birth certificates and muslim sympathizing but deep down it is just a way to cope with the fear of change.

  22. avatar
    Fred April 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    James M: I suspect that the $140 fee has kept more than a few people inside the country.

    But didn’t stop them from taking a cruise costing much much more than than.

  23. avatar
    Fred April 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Suranis:
    I’ve been feeling sorry for the believing conservative republican for a while now. Watching a party you love transform into this big government, high spending and damn the consequences, love buisness and screw everyone else party has to be a real trauma.

    There is NOTHING that could make me feel sorry for bleeding heart conservatives. NOTHING!

  24. avatar
    Sef April 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Fred: bleeding heart conservatives

    Sort of like military intelligence.

  25. avatar
    richCares April 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    “Fred: bleeding heart conservatives”
    Conservative states less well-educated than liberal ones
    States with more conservatives are less diverse.
    Conservative states are more blue-collar.
    States with more conservatives are considerably poorer
    .
    full details:
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2011/04/where_conservatives_come_from.php

  26. avatar
    Tarrant April 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Frankly, as someone who, as a teenager before getting a driver’s license went on a spring break trip to Mexico arranged by my school (without parents) and had trouble getting back into the US because I only brought the hospital birth certificate with me (my parents never got any other document, although it was of course registered with the state) I feel like hospitals should stop giving those things out (unlikely), or at least not call them birth certificates (mine said “Birth Certificate” in big letters right on it). There should also be requirements that it say in large print that the document is NOT official and CANNOT be used for identification.

    I got back into the US primarily because I’m as white as white can be, and the agents at the border looked at me and the unofficial BC and figured I couldn’t possibly be illegal, and they waved me through.

    I don’t know if said laws are in place – they might be already, but from documents people have shown at various times (including Trump’s), as well as birthers claiming that it’s actually the hospital document that is official, and not the state’s, it’s clear that otherwise well-intentioned people have very little clue on this. My guess is there are a lot of people out there for which the hospital certificate is the only one they’ve ever seen (it got me a driver’s license despite being unofficial, for example, and many people claim to have done the same). As such a birther’s cry to “Release the hospital certificate!” might resonate with those people, who don’t realize such a certificate is nothing but decorative.

  27. avatar
    Mary Brown April 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Your strivers comments reek with bigotry. I live in a red state with folks who do not like the President. There are many and varied reasons for that. Race is one and the fear of a changing demographic is another. But the idea that they do not want an education for their children or just want their children to work in a 9 to 5 job in their town and call it success is not the reality I encounter. Remember that it was the Germans who voted for the Nazis in a time of stress. And really that is what we are encountering. Bigoted judgements based on an article are just as invalid coming from you as they are coming from a birther. I could go into more detail but my experience tells me that you will stick to your opinion just as birthers stick to theirs.

  28. avatar
    Greg April 2, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    What are you talking about? I don’t see anything about conservatives not wanting an education for their kids – I see someone pointing to the FACT that states that are more conservative have lower rates of education.

  29. avatar
    Black Lion April 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Joseph Maine: Dr. Conspiracy, if Stanley Ann Dunham gave birth to Obama at Kapi’olani, why is he registered as a birth at his grandparents address? Why wouldn’t be an address of Obama Sr. or S. Ann proper?…[It's because you are a liar or an idiot.http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/08/birth-announcement-address-confirmed/ Doc.]

    Doc, Joseph Maine is both…As a hardcore birther and original victim of Obama derangement Syndrome, all you can expect from him is the same debunked nonsense….I am surprised that he would leave the other lemmings over at the Post and Fail and actually attempt to post at an unmoderated site….

  30. avatar
    Passerby April 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Greg:
    What are you talking about? I don’t see anything about conservatives not wanting an education for their kids – I see someone pointing to the FACT that states that are more conservative have lower rates of education.

    I’m pretty sure Mary Brown is reacting to this, from John Reilly above:

    I read an article a while back that the true divide in this country was not between blue states and red states, but between those folks who strive for a better life for their kids and those who don’t. The non-strivers tell you its all about the kids. They are pro-life. They want the deficit reduced so their kids and grandkids won’t have to pay a crushing debt. But to them, if their kid graduates from high school and get a 9-5 job in the same town, its a success. They are happy with that status quo. And thus they are not “strivers.” If you want to see “strivers,” go to UC Berkeley and watch the more than 40% of the students who are Asian, whose parents do not have a college degree.

    It rubbed me the wrong way as well. I’m not sure if it was the intention, but it certainly comes across as stereotyping people from conservative red states as, well, lazy and unmotivated and uncaring about their kids’ education, whereas those from blue states are the “strivers”. That’s pretty unfair.

    I no longer live in the very red state I grew up in, but I still know people there and get back there pretty often, and stuff like this bothers me. It bothers me, in fact, just as much as the implication that, because I don’t live in that red state any more, I’m not a real American (the other side of that coin.) I really hate to see that sort of comment, from either direction.

  31. avatar
    Passerby April 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    But back to the birth certificate thing ….

    Whatever4:
    I get the impression that many birthers have never held a passport or traveled out of the country when you didn’t need one. Every now and then there are stories in the news about people who are turned back from their dream cruise because that document they are so certain is a Birth Certificate turns out to be the souvenir, or the verification copy, or some other problem. They are always ticked off at everyone but themselves.

    You know, I’ve been befuddled for years now (and I just realized it has been literally years) about why anyone is expecting hospital information to be on a birth certificate! I keep thinking “but why would a birth certificate say anything about the hospital or the doctor anyway?” But people (well, birthers) keep insisting it should be there. You may just have come up with the explanation for it. So thanks.

    The only birth certificates I’ve ever had have been from the state or county records department, and even the old one I have from back in the ’80′s is a sort of a proto-COLB. It’s a pre-printed certificate with blanks for the child’s name, parents’ names, date of birth and “file record number”, which are filled in with a manual typewriter. I’ve never expected a BC to have any hospital or doctor stuff, which is why when I looked at Obama’s COLB, my only reaction was, “Yup. Looks like a birth certificate. Honolulu, huh?” I never understood the deal about it not being a real certificate.

  32. avatar
    Greg April 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Thank you Passerby, these are the dangers of reading on an iPhone – posts that don’t link back to their source or follow immediately after their source often lose something for me.

  33. avatar
    James M April 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Passerby: I never understood the deal about it not being a real certificate.

    That’s because there never was “a deal.” The whole “issue”, in its entirety, is invented from whole cloth to begin with. There have been some interesting ideas that came up as a result of the birther movement, but none of them have anything at all to do with the birth certificate or the birthplace.

    One conjecture that interests me a little bit is that a child born abroad to an 18 year old woman married to a foreigner in 1961 is not a natural born citizen.

    Other arguments were interesting despite them having no merits. I was enlightened to learn about De Vattel for instance, and I never before heard any in-depth discussion of Wong Kim Ark.

    Other than that, though, there really isn’t “a deal”, and never was one. A few people who never supported President Obama, who never will support him, who do not believe there is anything that President Obama can do or not do that will ever meet with his approval, have a set of theories based on demonstrably false premises which affirm their position against him.

    Needless to say, none of this has any impact on President Obama, or on any actual political status quo.

  34. avatar
    James M April 3, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Greg:

    What are you talking about? I don’t see anything about conservatives not wanting an education for their kids – I see someone pointing to the FACT that states that are more conservative have lower rates of education.

    But the discussion does cross the line into territory that certain classes actually embrace ignorance as a desirable thing. On one hand, I have encountered this attitude, but on the other hand I do not believe it is all that common that “red state” people actually choose, or choose on their children’s behalf, not to be educated, even when opportunities present themselves.

    There are far too many social, ethnic, geographic, and economic issues at work here that it is not realistic to make these kinds of generalizations.

  35. avatar
    AnotherBird April 3, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    The reason that isn’t going away is because people looking for anything to support their beliefs. Any small detail will matter that help them cling to it is sufficient. It is always amusing read birthers latest “find” without taking time to honest think about it before typing in into a computer.

  36. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 3, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    Slartibartfast: I’m sure he’ll see the potential in the idea, too

    He does but he also sees problems with intellectual property rights.

  37. avatar
    Slartibartfast April 3, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: He does but he also sees problems with intellectual propertyrights.

    Someone already owns Zombies vs. Lemmings?

  38. avatar
    misha April 3, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Kupuna: Or will they die as a remant of the now past 20th century?

    Yes.

  39. avatar
    Lupin April 3, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Kupuna: Or will they die as a remant of the now past 20th century?

    More like the 19th century, I’d say. :-)

    Let me quote the famous “Cornerstone speech” of 1861 that was the ideological foundation of the Confederacy:

    “They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the ‘storm came and the wind blew.’ Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth….”

    source:http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=76

    To which the New York Times then replied:

    “It would indeed be impossible to manifest more palpably the utter impotence and suicidal character of this movement than is done by the spirit of the articles of faith with which this ‘model nation of history’ comes before the world.”

    …”the utter impotence and suicidal character…” I couldn’t have found better words to describe the birthers.

  40. avatar
    misha April 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Lupin: source:http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=76

    Lupin: merci, for finding this.

  41. avatar
    misha April 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    John Reilly: I read an article a while back that the true divide in this country was not between blue states and red states, but between those folks who strive for a better life for their kids and those who don’t.

    Not to argue, but I think the real divide is the digital divide.

    I lived for awhile in Taiwan. In Chinese society, a teacher is revered the way we revere clergymen.

    That’s the exact opposite of the States. Here, we revere clergymen, and heap ridicule on teachers and public schools. When Rand Paul was on Letterman, one thing he said was trashing school teachers.

    That’s why, in 50 years, China will simply buy us at a fire sale price.

    Whenever my wife introduced me in Taiwan, or here in Chinatown, she says “my husband is Jewish, and has a degree in English.”

    When I worked at Sears while in college, a co-worker told me before the company Christmas party, “don’t tell my husband you are Jewish. He hates Jews.” My primary care physician is from China. During an exam, he put down his pen and asked, “why do Christians persecute Jewish people?”

  42. avatar
    y_p_w April 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    James M: I suspect that the $140 fee has kept more than a few people inside the country.

    Well – $55 ($30 for the card and $25 execution fee) if all one needs is a first-time passport card. It’s only $30 if one already has a passport.

    I think it’s a reasonable expense to get a full passport and card.

  43. avatar
    Tarrant April 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    misha: Not to argue, but I think the real divide is the digital divide.

    I lived for awhile in Taiwan. In Chinese society, a teacher is revered the way we revere clergymen.

    That’s the exact opposite of the States. Here, we revere clergymen, and heap ridicule on teachers and public schools. When Rand Paul was on Letterman, one thing he said was trashing school teachers.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with the digital divide, but yes, this is a key symptom of what’s wrong in parts of our culture – and it’s not a red vs. blue issue necessarily.

    An amusing anecdote – when I was getting my Ph.D., my advisor pointed out that he ran an experiment for a number of years when traveling (which he did frequently, and all over the world, and still does to this day, although I don’t know if he’s still doing the experiment). If he was going someplace multiple times, sometimes he would book himself as “Doctor” Soandso, and other times, “Professor Soandso”, or “Soandso, Ph.D.” and see the reaction.

    Almost everywhere in the US (save very blue areas or college towns) and generally within the the Middle East, “Doctor” often gave him extra perks at hotels, restaurants, etc. They assumed he was a medical doctor, but he never let on either way. In many parts of the US in particular, he was treated worse when it was clear he had an academic doctorate, as if such advanced education was pointless (even when he let it be known it was in electrical engineering, a fairly practical field).

    In much of Europe and almost everywhere in Asia, especially China and Japan, “Professor” or “Ph.D.” generally got him greater accord than “Doctor” – that is, the academic degree was given a level of respect that the medical one was not (although it was much closer, and there was no time when the assumption of being an MD was shunned or otherwise not given the respect such a degree would merit). He would often get upgrades at hotels simply by noting he was a professor at a research institution, and in China even people he had just been introduced to simply afforded him respect for having earned the Ph.D. degree that he didn’t get when they assumed he had an MD.

    It’s all anecdotal, of course, and things could be very different now. I work in engineering R&D, so I work with a lot of “Doctor”‘s, for which everyone knows means a Ph.D., but I often wonder what would happen if, when traveling, I tried the same. I just get the feeling that there are a number of sub-cultures in the US for which education is simply not a priority, nor are those that strive for it accorded much in the way of respect.

  44. avatar
    misha April 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Several times here in the States, people have ridiculed college and education, to my face.

    One time I was in Alleghany State Park. Some hunters had shot a deer, and were butchering it. I looked, and stopped to watch. One started to walk toward me, with a knife. “You go to college?” he asked. I quickly said “no,” and almost ran away.

    Same thing in Buffalo. I was stopped for a routine check. While looking at what I handed the officer, he asked “you go to college?” I said yes, and the school. He snickered.

    The ghost of Max Rafferty lives on.
    http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/MSC/ToMsc250/MsC214/MsC214_rafferty.html

  45. avatar
    misha April 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Tarrant: I just get the feeling that there are a number of sub-cultures in the US for which education is simply not a priority, nor are those that strive for it accorded much in the way of respect.

    You would be correct.

    “Eight years ago, Rafferty swept the nonpartisan race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction by denouncing “permissive, pragmatic progressivism.” He lost a loud bid for the Senate two years ago, but has since delighted his admirers by advocating mass searches for drugs in student lockers, by presenting guidelines for “moral instruction” that criticized pacifism, and by urging science teachers to give “equal time” to the Adam and Eve account of creation.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909699,00.html

  46. avatar
    misha April 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    misha: One started to walk toward me, with a knife. “You go to college?” he asked. I quickly said “no,” and almost ran away.

    I forgot to add: as I quickly walked away, he said “college students are talkin’ outta their ass.”

    Another time at work, a co-worker who apprenticed said to me “you go to college, and you think you know everything. Well, I was working when you were in school.”

  47. avatar
    Judge Mental April 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Black Lion: Doc, Joseph Maine is both…As a hardcore birther and original victim of Obama derangement Syndrome, all you can expect from him is the same debunked nonsense….I am surprised that he would leave the other lemmings over at the Post and Fail and actually attempt to post at an unmoderated site….

    Looks from his post a bit like like Joseph Maine actually thinks that all the newspaper announcements refer to births which took place at the respective addresses listed for each announcement.

    If so he must presumably also think either that all the hospital births are announced in the newspapers in some other way or perhaps that they are not announced in the newspapers at all.

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Black Lion: Doc, Joseph Maine is both…As a hardcore birther and original victim of Obama derangement Syndrome, all you can expect from him is the same debunked nonsense….I am surprised that he would leave the other lemmings over at the Post and Fail and actually attempt to post at an unmoderated site….

    As far as JM is concerned this is a moderated site, and he’s banned. I just let that one through for batting practice.

  49. avatar
    Black Lion April 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: As far as JM is concerned this is a moderated site, and he’s banned. I just let that one through for batting practice.

    That’s funny Doc….Sometimes the birther mind or lack thereof amazes me…

  50. avatar
    lest April 4, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I’m sure the Doctor knows the real story about lemmings…http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp

  51. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 4, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    lest: I’m sure the Doctor knows the real story about lemmings…http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp

    Yes, of course. It’s footnoted at the end of the article.

  52. avatar
    misha April 4, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    lest: I’m sure the Doctor knows the real story about lemmings

    Here’s the real story of lemmings in Iraq:

    http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s2i10066

  53. avatar
    Sef April 4, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    misha: Here’s the real story of lemmings in Iraq:

    http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s2i10066

    It’s a sad day when a site feels it is necessary to add the words “The story above is a satire or parody.” to a story so obviously satirical. Where have we gone astray???

  54. avatar
    Bob Weber April 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Wow, Misha! You remember Max Rafferty! And I thought I was the only one. Us old farts remember stuff like that. You forgot ol’ Max’s 1968 U.S. Senate run. The California GOP, ever intent on collective suicide, ousted incumbent GOP Sen. Tom Kuchel in the primary election in favor of Crazy Max, who went on to lose in the general election, even as Nixon was carrying California.