Main Menu

Summer rolls around

This is the third Summer of the Obama Conspiracy Theories blog.

My Google alerts are returning almost nothing except the churning from WorldNetDaily and the Canada Free Press. At times like this I scrounge for Quotes of the Day, and take time to trim the weeds (do visual improvements and optimization on the blog). Check out the cool new background image.

The percentage of new vs returning visitors continues to drop (new = 31.5%) with 12,484 unique visitors over the past month. Jerome Corsi’s book dropped out of the top 1,000 at Amazon.com for the second time. It looks like the birther movement has entered the Summer slump.

Hosting your own blog can be an interesting multidisciplinary challenge: researching,Β  writing, updating software, and tinkering with visual elements in HTML and CSS. I finally got the indention on the Recent Articles link right, and replaced the Recent Comments feature with something prettier and faster. If you’re interested in that side of blogging, you can find more on the Change log page. Support for OpenID has been added so that commenters can show ID πŸ˜‰ . I’m always looking for ways to improve the blog without sacrificing performance, ways to interface better with Internet resources such as search engines, and adherence to standards like OpenID and XML sitemaps.

I’ve written some cool desktop tools that interface across the Internet (via ODBC) with the blog’s database to deal with reporting spam, checking users for sock puppets and writing specialized HTML more quickly.

I’ve started a different commenting style, adding my comments ahead of what I’m quoting. This makes what appears under Recent Comments more representative of the comment; otherwise the Recent Comment will show what someone else said next to your name.

My personal focus for the summer is expanding the Understanding the birthers article series. My concern is that the analysis of the birther phenomenon (including my own) is overly simplistic. I’m reading some books, and developing my own ideas by writing, and reading your constructive criticism. I registered DoctorConspiracy.com (felt pretty lucky to get it), so I guess I’d better know what I’m talking about.

I’m on vacation starting July 2. The special Summer edition of the Occasional open thread starts June 26.

, , , , ,

31 Responses to Summer rolls around

  1. avatar
    Joey June 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Hey everybody, Leo’s done gone and found the magic bullet of ineligibility (again) it’s the binding precedent of Minor v Happersett (AGAIN).
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2737918/posts#comment

  2. avatar
    Phil Cave June 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    This was recently posted by Unruh on WND [http://goo.gl/L9WLK ]. Which interestingly had a comment block attached for my FB, and other accounts.
    The use of Minor is misplaced if not disingenuous.

    WND has a quote out of context from Minor.
    QUOTE
    Corsi said during research for his book he found the only U.S. Supreme Court case directly on point is Minor v. Happersett, from 1874, in which the court said, “It was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”
    UNQUOTE.

    The actual issue before the court was:
    The question is presented in this case, whether, since the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, a woman, who is a citizen of the United States and of the State of Missouri, is a voter in that State, notwithstanding the provision of the constitution and laws of the State, which confine the right of suffrage to men alone.

    However, if you read the rest of the paragraph it says the following:
    The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [88 U.S. 162, 168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. Minor v. Happerseett, 88 U.S. at 167-68 (emphasis added.)

    in other words the Supreme Court was specifically saying we are not going to decide the issue that the birthers believe is being decided.

    (Now, the Minor case was arguing against women voting. So to follow Unruh’s rant, no woman who was not born on US soil with both parents being US citizens can vote.)

    By not fully quoting the paragraph the author is being disingenuous by saying the court decided something that it explicitly said it wasn’t.

    Note, even though a “comment” block with my FB avatar is on the comments section, I can say without a doubt that I did not comment and certainly haven’t given it a “Like.”

    I will say I agree with the proposition that Hassan and al-Awlaki are qualified by NBC to be president is correct. Whether they are otherwise eligible is a different question. They were both born on US soil.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I would say that the Court was not going to decide the question of citizenship for the children for resident aliens born in the US. It’s pretty clear to me that they did not conceive of a separate class of “natural born citizens.”

    Phil Cave: in other words the Supreme Court was specifically saying we are not going to decide the issue that the birthers believe is being decided.

  4. avatar
    Tarrant June 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    I find it fascinating that Donofrio is just now quoting Minor. Birthers have been treating that one line from Minor as gospel for a long time (ignoring the very next sentence). In fact I’m fairly sure even Donofrio has used that case before and is simply trying to re-assert his fading relevance.

    Also, what is it with birthers equating mere eligibility for the office with the office itself? Yet seem to take it as an insult that people one would never vote for for President are nonetheless eligible for it. Hundreds of millions of people are “eligible”. The Unabomber was eligible. The people they listed are eligible. Hell in three months I’ll be eligible. That doesn’t mean they’ll get any votes. Who cares if even the late Osama Bin Laden were somehow made eligible – he wouldn’t get elected. To think that the United States would be so fragile a flower that there mere existence of eligible candidates for President that would be otherwise distasteful is enough to bring down the nation.

    (Of course, one should be honest – the real reason they push the eligibility is that despite the birther claims that 75+% of the nation is with them, their real worry is that if he is on the ballot, Obama will win another term. They will claim fraud, but the reality is Congress would confirm such an election just the same.)

  5. avatar
    Joey June 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    I think what Donofrio is claiming is new and exciting about his brilliant finding is that he and only Leo has determined that Minor v Happersett is “stare decisis” in cases involving Article II, Section 1 eligibility.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Sounds more like he is cribbing from Apuzzo.

    Joey:
    I think what Donofrio is claiming is new and exciting about his brilliant finding is that he and only Leo has determined that Minor v Happersett is “stare decisis” in cases involving Article II, Section 1 eligibility.

  7. avatar
    G June 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Well said Tarrant. I agree with your points.

    Tarrant: Also, what is it with birthers equating mere eligibility for the office with the office itself? Yet seem to take it as an insult that people one would never vote for for President are nonetheless eligible for it. Hundreds of millions of people are “eligible”. The Unabomber was eligible. The people they listed are eligible. Hell in three months I’ll be eligible. That doesn’t mean they’ll get any votes. Who cares if even the late Osama Bin Laden were somehow made eligible – he wouldn’t get elected. To think that the United States would be so fragile a flower that there mere existence of eligible candidates for President that would be otherwise distasteful is enough to bring down the nation.
    (Of course, one should be honest – the real reason they push the eligibility is that despite the birther claims that 75+% of the nation is with them, their real worry is that if he is on the ballot, Obama will win another term. They will claim fraud, but the reality is Congress would confirm such an election just the same.)

  8. avatar
    G June 21, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Dr. C – I don’t like the new “Recent Comments” format that just changed today and find it much less helpful and harder to keep up with updates here.

    In the prior format, you could at least see WHICH Blog Posts had an updated comment on them.

    In this new format, it only tells you most recent comments. Therefore, if one particular Blog entry has a ton of activity (which happens a lot), all the other Blog Posts activity can’t be seen at all.

  9. avatar
    G June 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    I have no idea why my last comment, merely giving feedback on the latest blog changes, was put into moderation.

  10. avatar
    Majority Will June 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    G:
    I have no idea why my last comment, merely giving feedback on the latest blog changes, was put into moderation.

    This blog has become self-aware and it really didn’t apprecia . . . ACK!

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Uhhh, I see your comment. It’s not in moderation.

    G: I have no idea why my last comment, merely giving feedback on the latest blog changes, was put into moderation.

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    I will look into this question and see what can be done.

    G: In the prior format, you could at least see WHICH Blog Posts had an updated comment on them.

  13. avatar
    John Potter June 22, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    The security background is brilliant! Next, a black grid, drop the white background, retool the type selection to mimic mid-20th century form design (stamps, scripts, monospaced typing, pre-printed entries), and the blog is a “living” birth certificate forgery.

  14. avatar
    G June 22, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I will look into this question and see what can be done.

    Thanks. I can see the improvement added, where it states which Blog topic a comment refers to.

    I see the value of showing the most recent comments by most recent posting time…but I also still have the concerns (even with the updates) that by using this format, if a single Blog topic get’s heavy comment traffic, then nobody will see the most recent updates to any other blog topic thread at all, as they will have all been pushed out of sight and out of mind.

    That was one of the benefits about the old system – the most recent comment was listed for a number of blog threads… I had found that very valuable in knowing what threads to check to catch up between visits.

  15. avatar
    Keith June 22, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    G: That was one of the benefits about the old system – the most recent comment was listed for a number of blog threads… I had found that very valuable in knowing what threads to check to catch up between visits.

    +1

    (Is an agreeing vote a ‘value added’ post?)

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    Did adding the article title help?

    Keith: +1

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    OK, how about a list of articles that have had recent comments and the name of whomever made the last comment (but not what they said)?

    G: That was one of the benefits about the old system – the most recent comment was listed for a number of blog threads… I had found that very valuable in knowing what threads to check to catch up between visits.

  18. avatar
    G June 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    I think that’s the best combination option. Looks good today, thanks!

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    OK, how about a list of articles that have had recent comments and the name of whomever made the last comment (but not what they said)?

  19. avatar
    chancery June 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    G,

    Thanks for speaking up about the format changes.

    Thanks as well to Doc for responding. The current format is great.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    I changed the background image to be more recognizable.

  21. avatar
    Nathanael June 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Joey:
    Hey everybody, Leo’s done gone and found the magic bullet of ineligibility (again) it’s the binding precedent of Minor v Happersett (AGAIN).

    Every birther argument I’ve seen, including Donofrio, makes exactly the same fatal mistake. Donofrio puts a lot of effort into deconstructing WKA and critiquing Alkeny predicated on his assumption of a two-tiered citizenship, an assumption which depends heavily on MvH. Unfortunately, when it comes to the critical assumption in his reading of MvH, he just glosses over it without offering so much as a cursory argument.

    What, in the MvH passage, is the antecedent to “class”? Donofrio — birthers in general — assumes it’s “citizen”, and builds his entire two-class theory on that point. But even a cursory examination of the preceding sentence, “Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born…” must conclude the antecedent is “children”. MvH is not here talking about two classes of citizens, but two classes of children: the first class of children is those born jus solis and jus sanguinis, the second class of children is those born jus solis alone.

    And the whole birther house of cards collapses on this one, unproven, point. If MvH is not talking about classes of citizenship, there goes the birther two-class theory, down comes all Donofrio’s deconstructions of WKA and his criticisms of Alkeny, and out go the accusations that Obama is not an NBC.

    There are problems aplenty with the birther reading of MvH — such as What could the SC possibly mean by “as to this class of citizens there has been doubt”? or how to make sense of the words “go further” and “include” if we posit NBC and citizen as separate categories. But it’s really not necessary to discuss any of these because MvH is not talking about classes of citizen at all — it’s talking about classes of children.

    –Nathanael

  22. avatar
    Nathanael June 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Nathanael: Every birther argument I’ve seen, including Donofrio, makes exactly the same fatal mistake.

    It occurs to me I should qualify myself, lest all the real lawyers here gang up on me for trying to practice law without a license.

    I am, to state the obvious, not a lawyer (as if anyone were in doubt on that point), and would dream of attempting a legal review of Donofrio. I’m simply trying to look at the passage from a linguistic perspective to see what turns up.

    Am I forgiven? πŸ™‚

  23. avatar
    myson June 23, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Yes Nat you’re forgiven but your Soro’s cheque will be delayed another 2 weeks for over stepping your “occupation”

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 23, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I updated the article to say: “My Google alerts are returning almost nothing except the churning from WorldNetDaily and the Canada Free Press.” I had omitted the Canada Free Press in the original, and they are a significant source of birther Google News alerts.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 23, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Your analysis is most welcome.

    Nathanael: I’m simply trying to look at the passage from a linguistic perspective to see what turns up.

  26. avatar
    LM June 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Nathanael: It occurs to me I should qualify myself, lest all the real lawyers here gang up on me for trying to practice law without a license.

    I am, to state the obvious, not a lawyer (as if anyone were in doubt on that point), and would dream of attempting a legal review of Donofrio. I’m simply trying to look at the passage from a linguistic perspective to see what turns up.

    Am I forgiven?

    You know, Nathanael, IANAL either, but from what I’ve seen of legal analysis, here and elsewhere, it seems to me that a lot of it boils down to that kind of linguistic analysis. So I think you’re okay.

  27. avatar
    G June 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    Dr. C – There is some really good scholarship being done by Loren on the origins and history of the Birther rumours. That is definitely worthy of an article or several from you.

    Here are a few good sites talking about it today:

    http://badfiction.typepad.com/badfiction/2011/06/dispatches-from-birtherstan-for-22-23-june-2011.html#more

    http://ohforgoodnesssake.com/?p=18245

    And the original article:

    http://barackryphal.blogspot.com/2011/06/secret-origin-of-birthers.html

  28. avatar
    Keith June 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Did adding the article title help?

    Yes 😎

  29. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 24, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    I’m aware of his work. I thought he might be writing a book, so I didn’t publish any of it. I guess it’s public now.

    Thanks.

    G: Dr. C – There is some really good scholarship being done by Loren on the origins and history of the Birther rumours. That is definitely worthy of an article or several from you.

  30. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Continuing on the blog tinkering theme, I’ve changed the appearance of blockquotes within comments. They are no longer italic, but smaller.

    Two reasons: First, it reduces the amount of vertical space taken by folks who quote huge blocks of previous comments. Second, it makes it possible to discern text that should be italicized in quoted text.

  31. avatar
    Sef June 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Continuing on the blog tinkering theme, I’ve changed the appearance of blockquotes within comments. They are no longer italic, but smaller.

    Two reasons: First, it reduces the amount of vertical space taken by folks who quote huge blocks of previous comments. Second, it makes it possible to discern text that should be italicized in quoted text.

    I like it! It also serves to distinguish the sections for those who choose to top quote.