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Jack Cashill’s confirmation bias

In a new article at the American Thinker (it’s just a name), Jack Cashill gives us insight into how his own confirmation bias colors his reasoning. Cashill writes:

I had not seen the letter [by Barack Obama from 1990]  in its entirety before this week.  Not surprisingly, it confirms everything I know about Barack Obama, the writer and thinker.

Cashill then goes to pick on the grammar (e.g. subject-verb agreement) in the letter and to conclude that it confirms “everything.” I don’t consider myself an expert on grammar, but I do wonder if Cashill is being a little too strict. Consider this one:

Another distinctive Obama flaw is to allow a string of words to float in space.  Please note the unanchored phrase in italics [refers to the last phrase in the example paragraph] at the end of this sentence:

"No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind." Huh?

It’s not the best, but if you parse it right, it can make sense. In any case, it is hardly fair to draw conclusions based on one letter.

Cashill goes on to sneer and deride Michelle Obama too, insinuating that she had “given up her law license” because she was in a downward spiral in her legal career. However, there are no facts given that back up the innuendo.

Cashill’s theory that Obama’s critically acclaimed book, Dreams from My Father, 5 years later was written by a ghostwriter has been rejected by all mainstream commentators.

I don’t know where Mr. Cashill studied writing, but in my day we were taught that there was more to writing than the mechanics of grammar. We were taught that objectivity and honesty were key points of expository writing. The techniques of the propagandist: innuendo, ad hominem, poisoning the well, appeal to unqualified or biased authorities and unsupported claims are more than bad writing, they are moral lapses. In my article last March, titled Deconstructing Jack Cashill, I showed just how his writing exhibits such moral defects. Grammar can be taught in school. Integrity, I’m not so sure about.

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207 Responses to Jack Cashill’s confirmation bias

  1. avatar
    Daniel December 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    So a lapse in grammar confirms “everything”? Does that include confirming that Obama was born outside the US? If that’s the case, one must wonder what planet Orly was born on?

  2. avatar
    Paper December 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    in other words:

    End of Year Cashill Article Confirms Inability to Think

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I revised the concluding paragraph of this article and also corrected an error in grammar at the beginning ;)

  4. avatar
    Obsolete December 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Good job, Doc C!
    I would love to see you explore all the ways it is ridiculous to believe that an unknown Obama had a ghost-writer for his first book (starting with why sign an unknown to write a book if they also cannot write well?). I’d like to read interviews with professional in the publishing industry to explain the whole process.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Let’s say for the sake of argument that the President has problems with subject-verb agreement. His editors would have gotten that fixed before the book was published. There is no reason to posit a ghostwriter.

    Obsolete: I’d like to read interviews with professional in the publishing industry to explain the whole process.

  6. avatar
    Lupin December 25, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    Cashill strikes me as a mediocre and embittered man.

  7. avatar
    misha December 25, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Early Obama Letter Confirms Inability to Write, By Jack Cashill

    In the very first sentence Obama leads with his signature failing, one on full display in his earlier published work: his inability to make subject and predicate agree.

    “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” –GW Bush, Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

    “As yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.” – GW Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2007

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on –shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – GW Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

    “My answer is bring them on.” – GW Bush, on Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003

    “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” – GW Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

  8. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    fascinating subject. i’m reading (rereading) fugitive days and dreams right now.

    the association of the bill and bernadine to barack and michelle is really interesting to me, more even, is the way it has been portrayed by the obama campaign.

    i was born and raised in/near chicago (evergreen park, palos park). it’s hard to believe the level of corruption that did, and still does rule the chicago way/illinois style of politics.

    i am interested in vetting that period of the obama’s career, the people around him.

    i’m also reading david remnick’s book for comparison obama provenance. i don’t like the obama wright and rezko associations much, but that’s a subject for later.

    i’m afraid some things might have gotten missed. i don’t really care if obama had a ghost writer, many authors do. i would object if he is lying about it.

    i think it would be impossible to hide. there must have been people involved with the producton of such a major/important american literary work. if it’s true, some editor or secretary might come forward to shed some light.

    i saw dr. cashill’s cspan lecture a few weeks ago, and i have to admit it’s interesting. but it’s an abstract argument at best, unless something tangible came along, like a connection to a ghost writer eg a check stub, emails… (it might not be even be ayers).

    but i do have a video tape of obama saying to a group of teachers, that he wrote them both himself, i’d like to accept that at face value. not my area of expertise. if it was music i could tell you probably for sure. it’s about honor and integrity for the president.

    so the saga continues. the obamas are compelling figures, i want to know everything there is to know about their past public lives.

    i’ve said before, if it was just one or two things, i don’t think there would be as much controversy, but it’s many.

    this board seems like a good place for some of those challenges.

  9. avatar
    misha December 25, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    bernadine ayers: i was born and raised in/near chicago (evergreen park, palos park). it’s hard to believe the level of corruption that did, and still does rule the chicago way/illinois style of politics.

    Forbes named Stockton, CA as America’s most corrupt city.

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/06/most-miserable-cities-business-washington_0206_miserable_cities.html

  10. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    misha: Forbes named Stockton, CA as America’s most corrupt city.

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/06/most-miserable-cities-business-washington_0206_miserable_cities.html

    no offense intended…sorry

  11. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    bernadine ayers: this board seems like a good place for some of those challenges.

    What challenges? The Cashill claims have already been laid to rest…

  12. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    nbc: What challenges? The Cashill claims have already been laid to rest…

    there you go…

  13. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    bernadine ayers: there you go…

    Does the truth give you cause for concern? Why is that? Does it have to do with patience?

  14. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    It occurred to me that you did not see the link I provided earlier.

    It requires some patience to understand the arguments, do you think you could give it a try and let us know what you think?

    After all, you have quite a bit of emotions invested in the Ayers connection it seems, but appear to be rather ill informed about such simple facts as the age of Ayers’ children… Let me help you: When exploring somewhat outrageous claims, it behooves you to first establish the simple facts.

    With similar patience, you may even come to appreciate why people have so much fun with our clueless dentist and ‘lawyer’ friend as she has shown a deep distrust or disregard for issues of law. Weird… Would you not agree?

  15. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    nbc:
    It occurred to me that you did not see the link I provided earlier.

    It requires some patience to understand the arguments, do you think you could give it a try and let us know what you think?

    After all, you have quite a bit of emotions invested in the Ayers connection it seems, but appear to be rather ill informed about such simple facts as the age of Ayers’ children… Let me help you: When exploring somewhat outrageous claims, it behooves you to first establish the simple facts.

    With similar patience, you may even come to appreciate why people have so much fun with our clueless dentist and lawyer’ friend as she has shown a deep distrust or disregard for issues of law. Weird… Would you not agree?

    **********

    i’m being patient with you, that’s for sure.

    do i have quite a bit of emotion invested in the ayers connection. i’m stitting here reading fugitive days. i’m piqued. i guess that’s an emotion. i just thought, after study of both books i will decide yes, no or maybe.

    i think i’ll be writing a lot about the ayers dorhn/obama barack and michelle association in the year to come. i need to study the annenberg foundation and project. i need to do the research. i have friends who went to lake forest, along with their older brothers, (though not all together), i’d like to talk to them.

    i must admit, i’m a little stunned at your dismissal of the axelrod quote. however, it’s just one thing.

    i can tell you if i see the word palimpsest in ” dreams”, i will be highly suspicious. lots of hyphens jump out at me.

    i sure remember that electricity song, i still sing that sometimes.

    i’m not sure he is sincerely resentful or not, he says he’s misquoted, but not by much in my opinion, as he expalins it. he says he killed no one and didn’t harm anyone, i disagree.

    none of that matters obviously, if the obama’s really didn’t know who he (they were) was.

    maybe tucker carlson will ask them at dinner.

    can you make a post without sounding so condescending ? i don’t think you are that smart.

  16. avatar
    Daniel December 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    bernadine ayers: can you make a post without sounding so condescending ? i don’t think you are that smart.

    And the Irony meter goes OFF THE SCALE!!!

    Fail concern troll is fail.

  17. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    btw i did look at your link yesterday. philocomp seems cheezy to me, like an ad for the guy’s signature software. the sunday news links were misleading, i wouldn’t present it in a debate. that’s a newscorp site you know. i think fox is complicit in the american media blackout. i found this:

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.3320/pub_detail.asp

  18. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Daniel: And the Irony meter goes OFF THE SCALE!!!

    Fail concern troll is fail.

    you guys think i’m posing as your ally, to warn you about the government and disrupt your chi– give you advice on how to improve things— and control the dialog ?

    lol– i’m pretty sure i’m the only one here on the government fbi/cia watchlists– please don’t re-port me to attackwatch, that would be bad- for my image as a birther.

  19. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i must admit, i’m a little stunned at your dismissal of the axelrod quote. however, it’s just one thing.

    I am not dismissing it, I am showing it to be misinformed. All it requires is a bit of homework and you too could have avoided the mistake.

    I am glad that you are finally doing some fact finding although I am surprised that you believe it can be found in Cashill’s book.

    It’s a start however, and I am looking forward to the moment where you can present a better informed position.

    As to Orly I do notice that you avoid defending her follies. You are learning quickly.

  20. avatar
    Sef December 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    bernadine ayers: this board seems like a good place for some of those challenges.

    Methinks Doc’s bit bucket is about to overflow.

  21. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    bernadine ayers:
    btw i did look at your link yesterday. philocomp seems cheezy to me, like an ad for the guy’s signature software. the sunday news links were misleading, i wouldn’t present it in a debate.

    I understand that you would not present factual data in a debate, but then again, I do not believe that you would be in any position to actually debate an issue.

    As to the link, if you have any specific questions, please advise me and I can perhaps help you understand these technical matters. I do understand that you lack the patience to inform yourself. No problem, I am a patient person.

    Would you use Cashill’s arguments in a debate? Explain to us why you consider his claims to not be suspicious? Is it that confirmation bias again?

    can you make a post without sounding so condescending ? i don’t think you are that smart.

    Condescending.. Now that is fascinating coming from you but i do understand that you may confuse someone presenting facts and evidence and asking you to do the same, with someone being condescending.

    Keep up the good work my friend, eventually you will be able to not only present a real argument but also defend it. Until then, I appreciate that you have to hide behind others to make your concerns known.

    Looking forward to the moment where your understanding of the facts and evidence allow you to more properly engage yourself in an argument. Until then, Merry Chistmas.

  22. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    As to the link you avoided

    To sum up, I have found no evidence for Cashill’s ghostwriting hypothesis, and rather strong (albeit limited) evidence against. Note, moreover, that the discussion above is all fought on his own chosen ground – analyses and literary patterns that he himself has cited as likely to tell in his favour. It is impossible to know without searching carefully what other evidence against his hypothesis might turn up if one were to look for it. But at least we must judge it as extremely unlikely, and indeed so far unsubstantiated. Moreover given its small initial probability (as a story that was always intrinsically unlikely – it would be very surprising if true), and the evidence already seen, I cannot imagine how the hypothesis could be rendered credible by further examination of the texts. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s impossible (for example if systematic comparative studies using Yavelow’s system were to yield genuinely exceptional results), but I don’t currently believe that anything short of documentary proof of Ayers’s involvement will take the case further.

    Let me know if there are any words or concepts that could benefit from further explanations and we can see if we can help you what a more informed analysis of the book has found.

    I am assuming that you are interested in finding the truth, not just your version of it? Should I revise my position?

  23. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i think fox is complicit in the american media blackout. i found this:

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.3320/pub_detail.asp

    The problem is easily found in the first part of the claim ‘I think’, the second part is you referring to a letter by Hemenway which outlines the usual non-evidence supported claims about our President.

    I encourage you to first educate yourself on these matters rather than cite links which you are unable to defend any further with logic, evidence, reason or an argument. If I am somehow mistaken, then I invite you to explain why you consider Hemenway and the source to be somehow accurate and helpful?

  24. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Sef: Methinks Doc’s bit bucket is about to overflow.

    The board is a great place for challenges, the problem is that I doubt that our friend Bernadine is up to the challenge as she continues to hide behind others, and refuses to defend their position, quickly moving on to more irrelevant ‘concerns’ on her part.

    As with Orly, she does provide us with a lot of entertainment.

  25. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i think it would be impossible to hide. there must have been people involved with the producton of such a major/important american literary work. if it’s true, some editor or secretary might come forward to shed some light.

    So given that Ayers has denied ghost writing it, President Obama has claimed he wrote it, and since Cashill’s analysis has been shown to be flawed, the lack of anyone claiming otherwise should to anyone be sufficient to conclude that there is really no evidence.

    Could you ever allow yourself to make such a concession?

  26. avatar
    Sef December 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    nbc: The board is a great place for challenges, the problem is that I doubt that our friend Bernadine is up to the challenge as she continues to hide behind others, and refuses to defend their position, quickly moving on to more irrelevant concerns’ on her part.

    As with Orly, she does provide us with a lot of entertainment.

    BTW NBC, I like your blog’s new layout.

  27. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    nbc: I am not dismissing it, I am showing it to be misinformed. All it requires is a bit of homework and you too could have avoided the mistake.

    I am glad that you are finally doing some fact finding although I am surprised that you believe it can be found in Cashill’s book.

    It’s a start however, and I am looking forward to the moment where you can present a better informed position.

    As to Orly I do notice that you avoid defending her follies. You are learning quickly.

    wait, you think axlerod is right?, their kids went to school together? you guys talk about orly as if she is mentally ill. she’s doing what she believes. as i’ve said i’m not comfortable discussing the finer points of the law, not being a lawyer, i’m assuming you are. i’ll check your blog. i haven’t read cashill’s book.

    philocomp is fact ? those graphs ??

    i’m not sure whom you think i am hiding behind.

    “friend” may be a bit strong, let’s see what happens.

    i don’t think you guys have any special privilege or access to what truth is.

    *******************************************
    “I am glad that you are finally doing some fact finding”
    “It’s a start however”,
    where “you can present a better informed position”.
    .”You are learning quickly”.
    ****************************************
    this supierior platform suggests to me that you may be a teacher, do you teach law nbc ?

    thanks for your christmas greeting. i think we’re getting along better than yesterday.

  28. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny December 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    The typical birther chant is that absence of evidence is really evidence of absence. So, according to Millican, the author of the very style analysis tool used by Cashill (the same guy who thought all these old photos of Obama were fakes – now that was worth a good laugh), the chance that Ayers wrote Dreams from my Father is virtually nil.

    So what, according to that tool, the clearest difference between two books was found between Dreams and Audacity. Where’s the evidence both were written by the same person?

    Of course, anyone who knows something about style and literature would tell you that there are perfectly good reasons why both books are so different:

    1) one book is an autobiography and relates to the past, the other one is a political treatise and refers to the future

    2) a second book is usually very different from the first one, particularly when the first one has been successful, and the author received a lot of feedback.

  29. avatar
    richCares December 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    “you guys talk about orly as if she is mentally ill.”
    .
    Her emission hose story plus her comments on Supremes with her “dropped” case, her rants on traitors, well yes, very strong indicators of mental illness.

  30. avatar
    John Reilly December 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Ms. Ayers: You failed failed to post any evidence of your claim that the courts are corrupt. Should we assume that you had no basis for that claim?

  31. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    bernadine ayers: wait, you think axlerod is right? , their kids went to school together?

    After presenting the evidence that his kids are way too old? Of course Axelrod was mistaken, the evidence, combined with some logic and reason speaks for itself. Which is why I was somewhat surprised that you so blindly quoted him.

    you guys talk about orly as if she is mentally ill. she’s doing what she believes. as i’ve said i’m not comfortable discussing the finer points of the law, not being a lawyer, i’m assuming you are. i’ll check your blog. i haven’t read cashill’s book.

    I am not qualified to draw a conclusion of mentally illness. What I can observe, as a non-lawyer, is how totally incompetent she has been in her filings, arguments, hearings… You too could quickly familiarize yourself with her follies without the need to learn much about law. It’s the basics that Orly already seems to falter at.

    philocomp is fact ? those graphs ??

    The author uses software he developed, and which WND and Corsi wanted him to apply to the book, to show that Obama was not the author. The author then proceeds to apply the software to show that it does not support Cashill’s position and actually somewhat undermines it.

    i’m not sure whom you think i am hiding behind.

    It’s not whom but what. I see you hiding behind ignorance and the somewhat mindless references to the work of others without being able or willing to defend their claims. I am amazed to hear however that you have not yet read Cashill’s book and yet you appeared to be making some conclusions about Obama. I guess you were just ‘speculating’ and not really providing anything that could be submitted to reason or logic, but rather represents your beliefs, your speculations, your struggles with the evidence?

    Given your name, you appear to have already concluded that there must have been a link between Ayers and Obama… Where you too hasty in your conclusions? Are you now trying to backfill your beliefs with ‘facts’ provided to you by Cashill? Is this why you are not too interested in these ‘graphs’? Do you need any help in understanding the relevance of these graphs?

    Glad to help my friend.

    “friend” may be a bit strong, let’s see what happens.

    Friend is quite neutral and appropriate I believe.

    i don’t think you guys have any special privilege or access to what truth is.

    Again, you are missing the point. Truth is not something that is somehow revealed to a few, it is something that is determined through the application of logic, reason, and the collection of known facts. Based on the evidence, one can arrive at the best explanation. For instance Orly’s SSN has a much better explanation than her ‘fraud’ assertion but she will refuse to accept this as the alternative deprives her of her ‘case’. Of course, totally unable to even make the necessary foundation for claims of fraud, Orly will remain totally ineffective in court. Nothing too surprising here.

  32. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    John Reilly: Ms. Ayers: You failed failed to post any evidence of your claim that the courts are corrupt. Should we assume that you had no basis for that claim?

    Well, it is something she believes. If that’s the case then I doubt that she sees any need to provide any supporting evidence. It just ‘is’…

  33. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Sef: BTW NBC, I like your blog’s new layout.

    It was time for a new layout. I still have not found the ideal layout but hey, it’s free and thus the best no money can buy…

  34. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    The first graph shows the somewhat primitive analysis done by people for Cashill and show the word length distribution. In other words, it counts how many words there are of length 1 etc… The three curves show two books by Obama and one by Ayers. The Ayers’ book appears to be closer to Dreams than Obama’s Audacity book, however, as the Professor shows, Clinton’s book is even closer. Does this mean that Clinton wrote Obama’s book, or does it show that the analysis is not very accurate?

    As the author observes:

    So this sort of analysis can do virtually nothing to support Cashill’s theory, no matter how much it might be developed with complex statistics. If you want such statistics, however, here is the “Multiple Chi-Square Analysis” table produced by Signature 2.0, comparing the four texts:

    And the chi-squared analysis shows how Ayers and Clinton’s book are close but how the two Obama books are actually quite different than Ayers and Clinton’s books.

    Are you with me so far?

    Remember that the author of this posting is the one who developed the software that was ‘used’ to indicate a link between Obama and Ayers’ books… Now we learn that the data show quite a different story.

  35. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    nbc:
    The first graphshows the somewhat primitive analysis done by people for Cashill and show the word length distribution. In other words, it counts how many words there are of length 1 etc… The three curves show two books by Obama and one by Ayers. The Ayers’ book appears to be closer to Dreams than Obama’s Audacity book, however, as the Professor shows, Clinton’s book is even closer. Does this mean that Clinton wrote Obama’s book, or does it show that the analysis is not very accurate?

    As the author observes:

    And the chi-squared analysis shows how Ayers and Clinton’s book are close but how the two Obama books are actually quite different than Ayers and Clinton’s books.

    Are you with me so far?

    Remember that the author of this posting is the one who developed the software that was used’ to indicate a link between Obama and Ayers’ books… Now we learn that the data show quite a different story.

    it’s not science. i’m more interested in tangible provenance than intellectual abstract, that’s what we do here. i’m really looking forward to the woodman debate.

    i don’t have concrete evidence that the courts are corrupt, my believe is based in the some renderings i’ve read. i think lamberth’s rebuke, for instance, was based on technicalities. i hear a lot about lack of standing being a blockade. this administration misled the public about the availability of a long form. and there is the/a service/element of foia conflict, in my opinion

    the president, it was said, got special waiver/ permission for the release of the long form. well that was all a crock, because as it came out after years, anyone can file foia and get their hawaiian long form. that whole story was always a red flag for me. i should dig into the other cases, i might, but i’m not a lwayer, and i don’t have the time or patience to become one for this. i don’t want to, we have plenty of lawyers to figure it out. and they will.

    i am also less interested in anything but the broadest picture of eligibility, i think the supreme courts needs to, and will eventually hear it.

    above all else, i want to know if anything was hidden, changed or covered up by the president or his staff. obama will assert executive privilege, but that’s not avaialbe to his staff. (watergate). i’m looking for abuse of power.

    i don’t think it’s over. i know you guys wish it would end, but it hasn’t so far, and that can’t be because of a handful of crazies in my opinion. we can go round and round on hard evidence. courts can be corrupt too, i have leveled no specific charges, i’ll leave that to dr. taitz, berg, mario and the legal eagles.

    i just discovered the work of stanley kurtz today, that’s all pretty interesting, that’s where i’m focused now.

    just a reminder for those asking me for concrete evidence, we all know where it is.

    i’d like the american people to ask the president to open the vault, before congress does. i want the president to want to open the vault, in the name of transparency. i think were into new territory.

  36. avatar
    Reality Check December 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i’d like the american people to ask the president to open the vault, before congress does. i want the president to want to open the vault, in the name of transparency. i think were into new territory.

    The President doesn’t have a vault. The State of Hawaii owns the records and they are following the law as they understand it.The courts agree. Get over it and stop being an ignorant twit.

  37. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    bernadine ayers: it’s not science. i’m more interested in tangible provenance than intellectual abstract, that’s what we do here. i’m really looking forward to the woodman debate.

    Actually, it is based on mathematics and the scientific method. I am not sure why you believe that this is not science. I guess you will thus ignore Cashill as well as he tried to rely on these arguments to make his case? Come on Bernadine, show us what you believe is wrong with the arguments. Provide us with a rebuttal, or just admit that you lack the patience to educate yourself with the necessary mathematics and understanding.

    i don’t have concrete evidence that the courts are corrupt, my believe is based in the some renderings i’ve read.

    Yes, one should not believe everything one reads until one has found some supporting evidence.

    i think lamberth’s rebuke, for instance, was based on technicalities. i hear a lot about lack of standing being a blockade. this administration misled the public about the availability of a long form. and there is the/a service/element of foia conflict, in my opinion

    Well, technicalities as you call them are the foundation of our legal system. Without standing there is no controversy and thus no place for the courts to get involved. When did the administration mislead the public about the long form? Are you confused with the DOH of Hawaii which stated, correctly, that it no longer provides certified copies of the long form? What exactly do you mean by the service/element of foia conflict?

    the president, it was said, got special waiver/ permission for the release of the long form. well that was all a crock, because as it came out after years, anyone can file foia and get their hawaiian long form.

    That is not true. People have gotten a non certified printout of their long form which of course would never have been accepted by the birthers as it lacked the requisite seal, signature and security paper.

    that whole story was always a red flag for me. i should dig into the other cases, i might, but i’m not a lwayer, and i don’t have the time or patience to become one for this. i don’t want to, we have plenty of lawyers to figure it out. and they will.

    i am also less interested in anything but the broadest picture of eligibility, i think the supreme courts needs to, and will eventually hear it.

    The broadest picture was outlined by the Court in Ankeny v Daniels which found, quoting US v Wong Kim Ark that President Obama was a natural born citizen.

    above all else, i want to know if anything was hidden, changed or covered up by the president or his staff. obama will assert executive privilege, but that’s not avaialbe to his staff. (watergate). i’m looking for abuse of power.

    Even if there is none?

    i don’t think it’s over. i know you guys wish it would end, but it hasn’t so far, and that can’t be because of a handful of crazies in my opinion. we can go round and round on hard evidence. courts can be corrupt too, i have leveled no specific charges, i’ll leave that to dr. taitz, berg, mario and the legal eagles.

    So basically you have admitted defeat as there is no legal foundation for any of these people’s claims, even if they were to survive standing or political question

    i just discovered the work of stanley kurtz today, that’s all pretty interesting, that’s where i’m focused now.

    So I guess, other than the broad stroke ‘arguments’, you really have nothing to offer other than to hide behind others. Fine with me, if you have no intellectual curiosity to enhance your understanding by applying logic, reason, fact, that is ok with me.

    just a reminder for those asking me for concrete evidence, we all know where it is.

    So in other words you have none.

    i’d like the american people to ask the president to open the vault, before congress does. i want the president to want to open the vault, in the name of transparency. i think were into new territory.

    The President cannot open the vault but he did get a certified copy of the original which shows him born on US soil. Why is that not sufficient for you? You seem to require the littlest of evidence to support your ‘beliefs’ and yet when presented with hard evidence you cringe and run away claiming that it is too hard to comprehend…

    It has become clear to my by now that you have no interest in the truth other than to find ‘evidence’ that supports your preconceived notion that the President must be ineligible.

    A very shallow position, intellectually speaking, which allows you to avoid any real discussion as you hide when asked to provide supporting evidence to support your claims. I find that intellectually speaking, not very satisfying but I am sure that you may believe otherwise.

    You’d rather believe in Corsi than look at the facts of the matter. Fine with me, if that makes you feel happier. But let’s not confuse this with a position based on reason or logic.

    Do you even care to apply logic and reason in your ventures? Or do you rather just hear what others think without trying to establish a foundation for their claims? Have you no intellectual curiosity to venture into these areas deeper than a superficial glance?

    Why do you reject the evidence provided so far? By any legal standard the evidence provided is quite sufficient to establish the location of our President’s birth. The specious claims about ‘two parents citizens’ will never impress any court as the Supreme Court has clearly rejected this premise. Even today’s Supreme Court Justices accept that it is Jus Soli which guides who is and is not a citizen of our Nation, following the common law established in our early colonies, based on English Common Law. Now I understand, these are issues which require some additional reading of material which is unlikely to accuse our President and may thus be less pleasurable but it would provide you with a better understanding of the issues and at least allow you to make up your mind based on something more than a want to believe it.

    I am here to help you. Just tell me what questions you would like to have explained to you in more detail? Do you need more about the linguistic analysis software? Does it not concern you that it fails to support Cashill’s position? Or are your beliefs too strong to be swayed by scientific approaches?

  38. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    with all due respect, i don’t think i will.

  39. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Reality Check: The President doesn’t have a vault. The State of Hawaii owns the records and they are following the law as they understand it.The courts agree. Get over it and stop being an ignorant twit.

    There is nothing wrong with being ignorant, as long as she can accept and admit to this. I find it hard to grasp why a person would appear to be so little interested in understanding the facts, the logic and reason, the legal foundations, the history, the scholarly arguments… I understand that some people have become quite anti-science as it does not tend to support their beliefs but that’s a very poor reason.

  40. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    bernadine ayers:
    with all due respect, i don’t think i will.

    I suspected as much. It does explain a lot but will not prevent me from still attempting to help you shed some of the ignorance. Just trying to be a good neighbor

    Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19-2

    Merry Christmas to all

  41. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    nbc: I suspected as much. It does explain a lot but will not prevent me from still attempting to help you shed some of the ignorance. Just trying to be a good neighbor

    Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19-2

    Merry Christmas to all

    i think you might have a superiority thing.

    let’s see if this polland thing goes anywhere, but that’s more in the science arena. i’ve always been suspect of factcheck, too close to annenberg. the irs is in the executive branch, so i don’t expect much. it’s a refining process, including orly’s work. have another egg nog, i will too.

    all i know is, the more you guys say this story is dead and buried, the more i think it isn’t.

  42. avatar
    Majority Will December 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    nbc: There is nothing wrong with being ignorant, as long as she can accept and admit to this. I find it hard to grasp why a person would appear to be so little interested in understanding the facts, the logic and reason, the legal foundations, the history, the scholarly arguments… I understand that some people have become quite anti-science as it does not tend to support their beliefs but that’s a very poor reason.

    Unless scott is transgender, I’m a little curious how long he’ll keep pretending to be a 69 year old woman. That’s probably more interesting than his strong, willful ignorance and bizarre birther bigotry based on what sounds like paranoid, politically driven innuendo and suspicions.

  43. avatar
    Reality Check December 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    That is the twit part of it.

    nbc: I understand that some people have become quite anti-science as it does not tend to support their beliefs but that’s a very poor reason.

  44. avatar
    Reality Check December 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    So your “believe” the courts are corrupt is based upon looking at bacon drippings?

    bernadine ayers: i don’t have concrete evidence that the courts are corrupt, my believe is based in the some renderings i’ve read.

  45. avatar
    Daniel December 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i know you guys wish it would end,

    Actually I hope it never ends. Birthers are endlessly entertaining, and since they are also entirely ineffectual, I get loads of laughs and no risk of a birther ever winning.

  46. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Majority Will: Unless scott is transgender, I’m a little curious how long he’ll keep pretending to be a 69 year old woman. That’s probably more interesting than his strong, willful ignorance and bizarre birther bigotry based on what sounds like paranoid, politically driven innuendo and suspicions.

    that boat sailed about an hour after i got here three days ago will, i thought you were there.

  47. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i think you might have a superiority thing.

    No really. I just believe that people should inform themselves rather than allow themselves to be manipulated by others.

    let’s see if this polland thing goes anywhere, but that’s more in the science arena. i’ve always been suspect of factcheck, too close to annenberg. the irs is in the executive branch, so i don’t expect much. it’s a refining process, including orly’s work. have another egg nog, i will too.

    Polland has been hilarious from the start. Not much reality but still quite funny. Are you suspect of Corsi and Cashill as well or are you somewhat selective in when to be suspicious?

    all i know is, the more you guys say this story is dead and buried, the more i think it isn’t.

    For any practical purposes its dead and buried but that does not mean that some foolish people will not attempt to revive the dead. If that’s your best hope, then by all means…

    0-84 sounds quite dead to me… And with the 2008/2009 lawsuits, enough precedent exists to reject any 2011/2012 challenges. Now if these birthers had done their homework they would have been prepared but they are already missing the filing deadlines.

    So funny.

  48. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    bernadine ayers: that boat sailed about an hour after i got here three days ago will, i thought you were there.

    Wow, what did I miss… I did read some comments on politicalforums and learned a bit more about our friend. Explains a lot and is helpful for my attempts to reach out with some assistance as to how to inform oneself.

  49. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Daniel: Actually I hope it never ends. Birthers are endlessly entertaining, and since they are also entirely ineffectual, I get loads of laughs and no risk of a birther ever winning.

    Exactly. Orly never stops to be entertaining. Just when you think you have seen it all, she manages to go deeper..

    Unbelievable…

  50. avatar
    Keith December 26, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    bernadine ayers: this administration misled the public about the availability of a long form

    Fail. No administration, Federal or State misled the public about anything. Hawai’ian State law predates by many years Obama’s Senate campaign let alone his Presidential campaign, and is quite clear on the subject. That some folks, like you, will not read that law, will not listen to those who kindly take the time to explain the law to them, ignore, insult, and accuse the officials charged with executing that law of fraud, and ignore, insult and accuse the courts of fraud and treason has nothing to do with any administration, Federal or State.

    Commentators on this and other forums where open discussion is allowed analysed the Hawai’ian State Law and correctly pointed out that the subject of a vital record can ask for a waiver and the State may at its sole discretion honor or deny that request. At no time was that possibility hidden or covered up or lied about.

    You would not have read that analysis, because birther forums, like WND, for example refuse to allow honest, factual analysis to appear.

    bernadine ayers: the president, it was said, got special waiver/ permission for the release of the long form. well that was all a crock, because as it came out after years, anyone can file foia and get their hawaiian long form.

    Fail

    The first birth certificate that Obama published in 2008 or whenever is the Official Hawai’ian birth certificate. The long form is NOT generally available. An individual can request a long form copy from the State, an individual can request a lot of things from the State.The State is NOT obligated to honor that request. They did do as a special favor for the President of the United States; they are under no obligation what-so-ever to honor a similar request from anyone else. This special request did not set a precedent.

    FOIA does not apply to Hawai’ian state vital records. Again, if you would choose to read sources other than the echo chambers, you would know this. It is not a secret, and has been discussed many times here and other places. People can ask for copies of the record they want. The State has no legal obligation to provide the information in any format other than that specified by State standards. They may choose to ‘go the extra nine yards’, but there is no requirement that they do so.

    bernadine ayers: i think you might have a superiority thing.

    Fail You have admitted to having no interest in the facts, only in repeating demonstrable falsehood. ‘We’ are just trying to get you to open your eyes a little bit.

    bernadine ayers: let’s see if this polland thing goes anywhere, but that’s more in the science arena.

    Polland has nothing to do with science and neither does his ‘complaint’. He is just feeling lonely an neglected lately.

    bernadine ayers: all i know is, the more you guys say this story is dead and buried, the more i think it isn’t.

    The charges you repeat endlessly have been disproved fully and completely for years; in that sense it is dead and buried. The little problem of your refusal to understand that is all that is ongoing, nothing more.

  51. avatar
    jayhg December 26, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    bernadine says: “so the saga continues. the obamas are compelling figures, i want to know everything there is to know about their past public lives.”

    Do you know everything there is to know about George Bush’s or any other president’s, say, in the last 3 elections past public lives?” Just asking……

  52. avatar
    Rickey December 26, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    It is amazing how some people willfully wallow in their own ignorance and then accuse other people, people who try to impart some knowledge to them, of having “a superiority thing.”

    I admit to being fairly well-read and fairly well-educated. I know how to capitalize letters. I know that the correct spelling of Ms. Dohrn’s first name is Bernardine, not Bernadine. I know that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born citizen of the United States.

    I also know a twit when I see one.

  53. avatar
    John Reilly December 26, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Ms. Ayers: You have made two claims here recently, one, that the courts are corrupt, and the other that George Soros commissioned an unfavorable portrait of Ms. Taitz. Several of us have asked for your evidence of these assertions and you have not provided any evidence. I note that you have responded by saying that your belief that the courts are corrupt is based upon certain renderings you have seen.

    Please identify the renderings with citation to the source. This site is very forgiving. Most of the folks here accept Wikipedia as a source. On the other hand, most of the folks here will not accept World News Daily, but if that is your source, say so.

    You have not responded at all as to your assertion that Mr. Soros commissioned an unflattering portrait of Dr. Taitz.

  54. avatar
    nbc December 26, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    John Reilly: Please identify the renderings with citation to the source. This site is very forgiving. Most of the folks here accept Wikipedia as a source. On the other hand, most of the folks here will not accept World News Daily, but if that is your source, say so.

    He/She has no sources other than what she has been told. Nothing really… I found so far that trying to encourage Bernadine to provide us with evidence is unlikely to be something she/he would consider. In fact, she/he takes pride in her non-scientific stance.

  55. avatar
    nbc December 26, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    Rickey: I admit to being fairly well-read and fairly well-educated. I know how to capitalize letters. I know that the correct spelling of Ms. Dohrn’s first name is Bernardine, not Bernadine. I know that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born citizen of the United States.

    Tell me it isn’t true… Yep, it is true… How disappointing.

  56. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    bernadine ayers: that boat sailed about an hour after i got here three days ago will, i thought you were there.

    From a previous post of yours: “i’ve always been suspect of factcheck, too close to annenberg.”

    And I would have thought a putative conservative and “googler” like you would be familiar with Walter and Leonore Annenberg and their “political bent”.

    And like other obvious points, you seem to have missed the detail that my post was not meant for your benefit.

  57. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Reality Check: The President doesn’t have a vault. The State of Hawaii owns the records and they are following the law as they understand it.The courts agree. Get over it and stop being an ignorant twit.

    with all due respect, i don’t think i’ll move on. that wasn’t a response to nbc, it was to r.c. (missed it by seconds…)

    i’m doing the best i can to keep up here. please be patient.

    the name calling ? i guess…. if it helps to to argue and makes you feel stronger.

    as i said before, you probably won’t get my goat.

  58. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Keith: Fail. No administration, Federal or State misled the public about anything. Hawai’ian State law predates by many years Obama’s Senate campaign let alone his Presidential campaign, and is quite clear on the subject. That some folks, like you, will not read that law, will not listen to those who kindly take the time to explain the law to them, ignore, insult, and accuse the officials charged with executing that law of fraud, and ignore, insult and accuse the courts of fraud and treason has nothing to do with any administration, Federal or State.

    Commentators on this and other forums where open discussion is allowed analysed the Hawai’ian State Law and correctly pointed out that the subject of a vital record can ask for a waiver and the State may at its sole discretion honor or deny that request. At no time was that possibility hidden or covered up or lied about.

    You would not have read that analysis, because birther forums, like WND, for example refuse to allow honest, factual analysis to appear.

    Fail

    The first birth certificate that Obama published in 2008 or whenever is the Official Hawai’ian birth certificate. The long form is NOT generally available. An individual can request a long form copy from the State, an individual can request a lot of things from the State.The State is NOT obligated to honor that request. They did do as a special favor for the President of the United States; they are under no obligation what-so-ever to honor a similar request from anyone else. This special request did not set a precedent.

    FOIA does not apply to Hawai’ian state vital records. Again, if you would choose to read sources other than the echo chambers, you would know this. It is not a secret, and has been discussed many times here and other places. People can ask for copies of the record they want. The State has no legal obligation to provide the information in any format other than that specified by State standards. They may choose to ‘gothe extra nine yards’, but there is no requirement that they do so.

    Fail You have admitted to having no interest in the facts, only in repeating demonstrable falsehood. ‘We’ are just trying to get you to open your eyes a little bit.

    Polland has nothing to do with science and neither does his complaint’. He is just feeling lonely an neglected lately.

    The charges you repeat endlessly have been disproved fully and completely for years; in that sense it is dead and buried. The little problem of your refusal to understand that is all that is ongoing, nothing more.

    i noticed you said first birth certificate.

    robert gibbs also called the colb a birth certificate, said he put it on line. two years later, the long form was released by special waiver. are they legally the same thing ? are there two versions of the same birth certificate/document?. isn’t this one of the “technical” aspects of the law?.

    are you saying that a hawaiian citizen can’t get their long form ? do they need a special waver like the president?. i’m getting mixed signals about that. i guess what i’m asking, were any other long forms issued in hawaii besides obama’s, say in the last five years. if so under what circumstances. could someone get one today ? has the law changed, since obama became president ?

    .just to be sure, there is no one, under any circumstances, that can view the original or the microfiche ?

    nbc, i’m looking at signature software. if it’s pure science and math, it’s empirical, and should be admissible, pehaps has been used in a courtroom. i look around for a legal precedent.

  59. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 26, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    So you don’t have evidence that the courts are corrupt, so you retreat to a “based on some of the renderings I’ve read.” Only now instead of no evidence, you have substituted a claim with no argument. Exactly what rendering did you read that indicates that the courts are corrupt?

    I frankly doubt that you have an argument based on what the courts have ruled either. It appears that you just make stuff up, as you did when you said “the administration misled the public about the availability of a long form.” In fact, no one in the administration said anything about the availability of a long form as far as I recall, and I’ve pretty much heard all there is on that subject. You’re also apparently unformed on the question. While one can obtain a long form through a UIPA request (not FOIA), one cannot obtain a certified copy such as Obama produced without a waiver of policy from the Health Department. A well-informed poster would have read the letter from Obama’s attorney to the State and the State’s reply before pretending to present informed facts.

    Then you talk about Annenberg and FactCheck, oblivious to the fact that the Annenbergs were good friends of Ronald Reagan, and Mrs. Annenberg contributed to McCain in 2008.

    You can post here, but you need to clean up your act of you want any respect. It is extremely frustrating to try to debate someone who doesn’t check their information before using it in an argument. Frustration leads to insults and the breakdown of the dialog. I’ve seen it here over and over.

    bernadine ayers: i don’t have concrete evidence that the courts are corrupt, my believe is based in the some renderings i’ve read. i think lamberth’s rebuke, for instance, was based on technicalities. i hear a lot about lack of standing being a blockade. this administration misled the public about the availability of a long form. and there is the/a service/element of foia conflict, in my opinion

  60. avatar
    Northland10 December 26, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    It is on posts like this, I miss the “like/thumbs up” feature.

    Dr. Conspiracy: It is extremely frustrating to try to debate someone who doesn’t check their information before using it in an argument. Frustration leads to insults and the breakdown of the dialog. I’ve seen it here over and over.

  61. avatar
    The Magic M December 26, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    bernadine ayers: i don’t have concrete evidence that the courts are corrupt, my believe is based in the some renderings i’ve read.

    If you only read the “renderings” on crank sites, they are usually full of incorrect paraphrasing.

    If you need a comparison outside the birther realm, see the guy who was denied cert by SCOTUS in his divorce case and then published a “press release” headlined “Supreme Court declares Constitution void”. That’s the kind of “renderings” that try to hammer non-facts into people’s minds.
    In fact, WND’s main propaganda instrument are misleading headlines that count on 80% of the people not bothering to read the article.
    “Judge X dismissed the case because it has been twittered” is another example from birther lore.

    bernadine ayers: i think lamberth’s rebuke, for instance, was based on technicalities.

    No, “technicalities” are things like Orly’s constant inability to properly serve defendants, that’s why her “they didn’t reply in time” argument is constantly rejected on that “technicality”.
    Issues like standing are part of the merits, as much as birther would like to paint that as a “technicality”.
    Besides, the appeals court in Ankeny vs. Daniels ruled that Obama is an NBC, something definitely going to the merits, even in birtherspeak. A ruling that, interestingly, was never appealed by the birther plaintiffs. Because that would’ve resulted in SCOTUS effectively affirming the issue by denying cert? Something very damaging to the birther meme of “if only SCOTUS would rule on the merits…”?

  62. avatar
    Reality Check December 26, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    It isn’t name calling when it is accurate. I feel confident in my point of view because I can cite law and facts. Birthers cannot.

    I will paraphrase what Patrick Collianio said on my show the other night: After repeatedly demonstrating to Birthers that they are wrong on every point they still try to argue those same points again and again. One can come to only one conclusion. Birthers are liars.

    bernadine ayers: the name calling ? i guess…. if it helps to to argue and makes you feel stronger.

    as i said before, you probably won’t get my goat.

  63. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Millican took a preliminary look and found the charges “very implausible”. A deal was agreed for more detailed research but when Millican said the results had to be made public, even if no link to Ayers was proved, interest waned. (politico)

    Oxford’s reputation for independent, objective opinion had been
    upheld.

    And it was satisfying to know that we had prevented
    what might have been a significant disruption to the election
    through contentious (and plausibly presented) misinformation.

    Peter Millican’s website provides a full account of his analysis,
    at http://www.philocomp.net, together with links to the two Sunday
    Times articles.
    OUC helps Oxford philosopher in Obama story
    It is not every weekend that Oxford University Consulting gets mentioned in the Sunday Times but on
    2 November 2008, Oxford philosopher Peter Millican described OUC’s role in an extraordinary story

    i’m emailing dr. millican to ask him, if he has used his theory to testify in court. based in math and science doesn’t guarantee “fact” in my mind. this doesn’t seem like hard evidence to me, i still could be wrong. but , i hear “theory” and expressions like “modelling complex phenomena” and “very implausable.

    i did find this: http://csis.pace.edu/~ctappert/srd2010/a3.pdf

    back in the seventies there was an urban legend called the “hit machine” in the music industry. theoretically you could insert a song into the machine and the machine would actually tell you if the song was going to be a top forty hi/song/bullett. this reminds me of that.

  64. avatar
    John Reilly December 26, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Ms. Ayers: We are still waiting for your “evidence” that the courts are corrupt. Now you respond and say you don’t have “concrete” evidence. We will accept and look at any evidence, concrete or not. You do cite to one Judge’s rebuke of Dr. Taitz. How does a rebuke of an attorney constitute corruption? Remember you are accusing a judge appointed by President Reagan of a criminal offense. For someone so easily offended as you, you might want to stop throwing stones aimlessly.

    You’ve provided nothing about the allegation that Mr. Soros commissioned a painting of Dr. Taitz.

    As Dr. C has pointed out, you took a shot at the Annenberg Foundation without citation to evidence despite the fract that the Annenbergs were good social friends of President & Mrs. Reagan.

    Having demanded that the President produce his long form birth certificate, you now cite as evidence of something amiss that the short form birth certificate and the long form birth certificate are different, despite the fact that no one disputes that fact. Do you have any evidence that either of those borth certificates are false or fraudulent? Especially in the face of public statements by the State of Hawaii.

    Before your next posting, why don’t you actually obtain a fact or two to support your argument.

  65. avatar
    Anonymous December 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    bernadine ayers: nbc, i’m looking at signature software. if it’s pure science and math, it’s empirical, and should be admissible, pehaps has been used in a courtroom. i look around for a legal precedent.

    I guess that you thus accept the findings using the linguistic software that indicates that Ayers did not write the Dream of my Fathers book? It’s pure math and science.

    Good to know.

  66. avatar
    Anonymous December 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    bernadine ayers: robert gibbs also called the colb a birth certificate, said he put it on line. two years later, the long form was released by special waiver. are they legally the same thing ? are there two versions of the same birth certificate/document?.

    A COLB is a legally admissible certification of the birth of a child, the difference with a long form is that the long form contains additional information about who signed the form and is a copy of the actual form as it has been filed. The COLB takes information from the form, which has been entered into a computer, and prints out said information. Both the long form and the COLB are certified through a seal, signature and security paper.

    The State of Hawaii no longer releases certified long form birth certificates as they have moved to a computer based system. Soon there may very well be no long forms anymore as the hospitals are filing their information through computers.

  67. avatar
    Anonymous December 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i’m emailing dr. millican to ask him, if he has used his theory to testify in court. based in math and science doesn’t guarantee “fact” in my mind. this doesn’t seem like hard evidence to me, i still could be wrong. but , i hear “theory” and expressions like “modelling complex phenomena” and “very implausable.

    And yet you believe the musings by Cashill and Corsi.. Now that’s rich… I find it fascinating how poorly you deal with evidence that contradicts your beliefs.

    For that I thank you.

  68. avatar
    Anonymous/NBC December 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    I apologize for the confusion, the last three ‘anonymous’ postings are mine

    NBC

  69. avatar
    Anonymous/NBC December 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    John Reilly: You’ve provided nothing about the allegation that Mr. Soros commissioned a painting of Dr. Taitz.

    Bernardine’s ability to spread rumors has been quite well established, as has her/his inability to support them with any fact, evidence, logic or reason. We have quite a specimen of an actual birther here, fascinating… I had no idea.

  70. avatar
    NBC December 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    back in the seventies there was an urban legend called the “hit machine” in the music industry. theoretically you could insert a song into the machine and the machine would actually tell you if the song was going to be a top forty hi/song/bullett. this reminds me of that.

    Not even close… My goodness sakes… No wonder you are so confused.

  71. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    when you step into the ring, expect to get hit”

    i knew what i was getting into when i came here. i’ve collected some highlites from the last five days since i arrived.

    we’ve got a lot of discussions going here, i’ll do my best to keep up.

    **********
    smelly people in dirty raincoats handing out greasy leaflets outside subway stations
    and starts trying to pull a new Concern Trolling routine…
    dancing career on Broadway
    Have you sworn allegiance to the Reptoids?
    Birthers are a lot like herpes. You can try to treat the symptoms but a disease like birtherism is an annoyance that’s not going away.

    It’s also a hereditary disease. Birther bigots will make sure their offspring are diseased, hate filled bigots before they die.
    sock puppet
    So con artist or crazy…take your pick.
    You’re a concern troll.
    Your claimed interest in the truth is not credible.
    No more lame concern trolling if you wish to participate here. Got it?
    How many boards do you practice trolling on?

    Is this all you do all day?
    sally brown
    The real content is in the archives, and those are hard to find and have incomprehensible navigation. The pages are far too long, and load slowly.

    Finally the “Cheap domain images” link at the bottom suggests to the reader that the web site itself is “cheap.”
    “Yes or no.”
    your question is much too difficult for a birther
    “Dem danjerrus Mooslims”
    I hope you are joking instead of being stupid.
    I talk about/make fun of/ridicule you birthers cause it’s entertaining and I will not just sit by and let them/you spout baseless lie after lie and when someone calls them on it, say “why all of this?” Why is because you’re an idiot and I like pointing that out and I enjoy it when others point it out but make no mistake, it’s NOT cause you’re important.
    I’m impressed. How long can you carry it, and do you ever need Depends?
    Obviously, you never went to college or wrote many papers in school
    Wow…and you wonder why you are treated as a Concern Troll. Fine, I’ll play along with your faux-concern.

    ??? huh ??? *blink* John Kerry??? *blink*

    Are you having a conversation with yourself that we are unaware of?

    Sorry, but John Kerry has no connection to Birthers or any topic here. I’m not sure what you are pissed off about John Kerry, but we could care less as there is nothing relevant to him and anything remotely connected to this topic. Weird, random and irrelevant remarks like this from out of the blue are why you can’t be taken seriously and comes across like you are distracted by talking to other voices in your own head instead of being able to focus and have an adult conversation here.

    Of course if you have no morals, then I won’t expect you to comprehend this or right from wrong and never mind.

    I don’t know, do you? Do you have any proof that he ever did?

    Have you ever plagiarized?

    Have you stopped beating your wife???

    “bernadine ayers” has not denied (s?)he is a reptoid agent, and in fact has offered no proof whatsoever (s)he is not a reptoid. Certainly her command of the English language is a clue to her alien origins.

    To defend her poor behaviors calls your own integrity and sense of values into question. They simply are not justified.

    You don’t know what words mean, do you? Look up the definition of Trolling and Internet Trolling sometime.

    By your own “logic”, I assume that if you were “friends” with Jerry Sandusky or Bernie Madoff or Charles Manson that you’d be just as vociferously defending what they did… hey, they all had families too…

    Talk about Irony. One of bernadine’s “songs” is entitled “silly you”. lol

    I will concede that my comment might have mislead readers. I probably should have said “if she had gone to an ABA accredited law school.” My intent, however, was on target — to suggest that something was missing in her legal education.

    Doc, I believe that saying “never went to law school” is different from saying “never went to law school”.

    hi bernadine:
    i enjoyed listening to “garota de ipanema” on your website
    r u a girl married ?
    ru on matchcom y dont u have picktures of yourself?
    sincerelly,art

    So? I’m a Russian Jew. Checkmate.

    Get over it and stop being an ignorant twit.

    bernadine, or scott, or wash, or whatever your name may be right now,

    time to ignore is here!
    I think you’re right.
    .
    no question about it, it’s a total waste of time!

    Unless scott is transgender. I’m a little curious how long he’ll keep pretending to be a 69 year old woman.

    Can you stop asking loaded, asinine rhetorical or completely nonsensical questions, princess?

    (my personal favorite)

    ************

    …….to this i would add, you guys can’t even agree on what a “concern troll” is.

    lot’s of people, even people here, use screen names. i’ve made no attempts to hide my writing style, or personal identity, the birther community is small, people know who i am. i expected to be “busted” the first day or two and i was. bernadine ayers is a project of mine just started, partly for obama, partly cause they’re not in jail. i decided to have a little fun with you guys, sorry, but as i said before, you’re on the web, that makes you fair game. some of your arguments are pretty good.

    i’ve always been interested in the character study and behaviors of birthers and anti birthers, it’s a story in itself. i think a lot of people sort of visualise themselves as “l.a. law” in these conspiracy theory forums. not a courtroom, i wish.

    there is a lot of information out there, and i don’t think the story or issue of obama’s past has been laid completely to rest, i may be wrong.

    anyway it’s fun hanging out with you guys, who knows what the next five days may bring.

    you guys need more birthers with which to argue. depsite a couple of rude people, i actually like it here, so thanks.

  72. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    It’s difficult to know where to begin criticizing Cashill’s thinking. Quite a few of the respondents, here, have mentioned problems with the man’s logic. As I work in the publishing industry, I’d like to point out a few more problems with Cashill’s thinking.

    First of all, it’s important to remember that Dreams from my Father was not an unusually successful book when it first appeared. According to the NY Times article Cashill cites (in his first effort to show that Ayers wrote Dreams), Dreams from my Father sold some 6 to 8000 copies or so and then WENT OUT OF PRINT. Meritorious books do go out of print, so this is no reflection on the ultimate quality of the book. However, for Cashill’s narrative to make sense, Dreams from my Father needs to be an exceptional book, something a first time author could not accomplish. Cashill insists on his point, trying to make the seem book “unnaturally” well done. And it’s a good book. Putting aside Grant’s Memoirs – the only genuinely great competition it has in the presidential autobiography sweepstakes – it may well be the best book authored by a president. However, that’s not necessarily the highest praise. (Dreams doesn’t touch A Movable Feast or The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas or Pablo Neruda’s Memoirs, to name three classics off the top of my head.) It is a book that is well within the range of a talented, beginning writer.

    Cashill obviously has little to no experience with publishing.
    Again, in his initial essay, he writes of Obama’s first publisher as having dropped the book AS IF this were any indication of Obama’s lack of talent. However – and this is a big however – his initial publisher thought it was getting a book on race relations by an up and coming black lawyer/politician. For a publisher, this is a different proposition from the autobiography of a relative unknown. Cornell West’s Race Matters was published 1994. It was a best seller. Poseidon Press – who first commissioned the book – likely thought they were getting a book that could compete with the West. They would have been disappointed to find they were getting something quite different. Moreover, Poseidon were right. Dreams from my Father was not a bestseller on its initial release. It BECAME a bestseller when it was reprinted AFTER Obama’s successful speech at the DNC in 2004. The cause of its success, then, was less literary than it was the result of massive publicity – and the excitement generated by Obama’s personality.

    Another thing to point out: Obama wrote poetry first. Yes, his poetry was not great, but it was not awful either. “Pop”, for instance, has swerves to it that indicate a mind with a poetic bent. I don’t want to sound like a professor, here, but one of the ways poetry works differently from prose is in its “speed”. A poet can move from place to place, thought to thought, more quickly than a prose writer. (Not all poets take advantage of this “speed”, but it’s part of their arsenal.) One of the ways poets do this is with linked relative clauses … a comma separating sometimes disparate things. When Cashill writes “Another distinct Obama flaw is to allow a string of words to float in space …” he is showing his lack of experience. There is nothing “distinct” about it. Poets (or poetry-minded writers), when they turn to prose, do this often. (I invite you to read the early prose of Michael Ondaatje or Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, both poets who bring some of this “flaw” of poetry to the writing of prose.) If anything, the “floating string of words” could suggest a line from the early poet to the early prose writer.

    Of course, the idea of using an early essay by an author – in effect his juvenilia – to judge his later “failings” is problematic. How one writes as a beginner is, of course, bound to be different from how one writes once one has experience. To say “he was doing this when he started out and so, naturally, he’s still doing it now” isn’t so much nonsense as partial sense. The stylistic elements that persist in a writer’s work tell us something about the writer’s origins and literary obsessions, BUT I can remember few pages from Dreams from my Father that are quite as awkward as the example Cashill uses. AND the use of “floating” relative clauses is not necessarily a “flaw”. Shakespeare does it and at times sounds … over-elaborated:

    “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin?” (from Hamlet’s soliloquy, but there are more “flawed” examples elsewhere in Shakespeare.)

    The most we can say from Cashill’s example is that Obama’s early essay shows a writer who hasn’t yet quite mastered a rhetorical device that he’ll come to handle more expertly later. (And, again, the “rhetorical device” is far, far from unique to Obama.)

    If I were being uncharitable, I would go into Cashill’s cloth ear. He hears similarities between the writing of Ayers and Obama where few sensitive readers would. In his initial essay – not the one Doc is writing about here – Cashill quotes passages from Obama and Ayers to show their similarities, though the passages are, tonally, distinct. Which brings us to another problem with Cashill’s enterprise. Two men with identical – or near identical – vocabularies could, if their works were passed through a word processor like Signature, produce work that APPEARS to have been written by a single author. But there is more to writing than diction – the choice of words. There’s rhythm, personality and context. While I find the science (the empirical data) behind Signature convincing, I’m skeptical about such a program’s ultimate ability to ascribe authorship. (This is something we could of course debate.) In the case of Mr Cashill’s work, what makes my skepticism go off the scale is that the man evidently began with a politically motivated thesis: that two books (one by Obama and one by Ayers) have a common author. He then used the program to shore up his argument NOT to disprove it. If he were being scrupulously fair (and scientific), he would have used other books – as Millican does – as controls, books used to show that the similarity between Dreams from my Father and Fugitive Days are unique (or not unique). As with most birther “proofs” of anything at all, the “science”, here, is put at the service of the irrational. Reading Cashill’s very poor work, I got the impression of someone trying to use a ruler to prove the existence of Satan. Interesting … but really fucking weird.

  73. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    I just re-read my post and saw the inadvertent howler: “If I were being uncharitable, I would go into Cashill’s cloth ear.” … Nice image, “going into the man’s ear”. But I meant that, if one were being uncharitable, one could spend time demonstrating Mr Cashill’s evident lack of literary sensitivity.

  74. avatar
    nbc December 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    bernadine ayers: when you step into the ring, expect to get hit”

    Epecially when you step in the ring totally unprepared and start making outrageous claims.
    Now that we have established that for all practical purposes your appear to be clueless about the facts, and refuse to apply reason and logic, there appears to be but one way to ‘escape': self pity.

    there is a lot of information out there, and i don’t think the story or issue of obama’s past has been laid completely to rest, i may be wrong.

    That, given your history, is quite likely. Certainly the question of our President’s eligibility has been fully laid to rest. Which of course does not mean that some, foolishly believing otherwise, will not attempt legal or other actions. They have the right to have their grievances heard and made fun of.

    Now that your project has back fired, can we continue to expect your presence on this blog or is our information to noise ratio too high for your comfort?

  75. avatar
    sfjeff December 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i noticed you said first birth certificate.robert gibbs also called the colb a birth certificate, said he put it on line. two years later, the long form was released by special waiver. are they legally the same thing ? are there two versions of the same birth certificate/document?. isn’t this one of the “technical” aspects of the law?.are you saying that a hawaiian citizen can’t get their long form ? do they need a special waver like the president?. i’m getting mixed signals about that. i guess what i’m asking, were any other long forms issued in hawaii besides obama’s, say in the last five years. if so under what circumstances. could someone get one today ? has the law changed, since obama became president ?.just to be sure, there is no one, under any circumstances, that can view the original or the microfiche ?nbc, i’m looking at signature software. if it’s pure science and math, it’s empirical, and should be admissible, pehaps has been used in a courtroom. i look around for a legal precedent.

    Wash you are not being entirely honest here.

    This is an issue that was discussed many times over at Politicalforum, so you cannot legitimately claim any ignorance here. You are just looking for the folks here to make a statement that you can argue with.

  76. avatar
    Daniel December 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Gotta work harder to be a faux martyr these days Bernadine, what with all the real heroes giving up their lives, while you drip and moan about a fallacy

  77. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    sfjeff: Wash you are not being entirely honest here.

    This is an issue that was discussed many times over at Politicalforum, so you cannot legitimately claim any ignorance here. You are just looking for the folks here to make a statement that you can argue with.

    hi jeff, starting right out calling me a liar…. how are you?

    are you suggesting i can’t ask the same questions of different folks, in a different arena?, perchance some different opinions?,, that’s orwellian even for you.

    make a statement to argue with? i’ve already offered to leave if these folks just wanted to talk amongst themselves, ostensibly some do.

    why do you go to pf?, and what do you do there?.

    in case you haven’t noticed i went back to say so long, you even acknowledged it, and now you even know why.

    are you saying i should have come here to agree with everyone ?

    i think your strong point is being wong’s sidekick, rahlwong’s sargeant.but

    you may even be the smartest guy in the room here, from what i’ve seen so far. unless frankie fogbow shows up, but you know how he avoids me.

    now i know you visit a least two forums, have you discussed the same topic here as there ? isn’t that hypocritical ? i feign no innocence or ignorance.

    if it’s not a discussion forum i’ll move on. i’ll decide.

  78. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    bernadine ayers: when you step into the ring, expect to get hit”

    That was truly pathetic.

  79. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    nbc: Epecially when you step in the ring totally unprepared and start making outrageous claims.
    Now that we have established that for all practical purposes your appear to be clueless about the facts, and refuse to apply reason and logic, there appears to be but one way to escape’: self pity.

    That, given your history, is quite likely. Certainly the question of our President’s eligibility has been fully laid to rest. Which of course does not mean that some, foolishly believing otherwise, will not attempt legal or other actions. They have the right to have their grievances heard and made fun of.

    Now that your project has back fired, can we continue to expect your presence on this blog or is our information to noise ratio too high for your comfort?

    my dear anonymous… that’s ok… i know who you are by your very distinctive writing style.

    robert gibbs called the colb a birth certificate, did he think they were the same thing ?

    “I guess that you thus accept the findings using the linguistic software that indicates that Ayers did not write the Dream of my Fathers book? It’s pure math and science”.

    no, i don’t.

    physics is pure math and scienc,e thus or otherwise. the philo in philocomp stands for philosophy, which in my mind has always been the nexus of science and religion. i don’t think the guy is a scientist or mathematician…. he does have a strong interest though, i’ll give you that.

    i don’t think what he does is strictly empirical. i do see this as you trying to pass “evidence” from a guy who teaches philosopy, peddling software that comes with a free trial.

    Peter Millican (born March 1, 1958) is Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. His primary interests include the philosophy of David Hume, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, and epistemology. Millican is particularly well known for his work on David Hume, and from 2005 until 2010 was Co-Editor of the journal Hume Studies. He is also an International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster, and has a strong interest in the field of Computing and its links with Philosophy. Recently he has developed a new degree programme at Oxford University, in Computer Science and Philosophy, due to accept its first students in 2012. Millican’s expertise in computational analysis of language was relevant in the Bill Ayers presidential election controversy concerning the authorship of Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father.

    lol … — anonymous, have you declared my project “laid to rest” ?

    the birther issue dead ?

    the iraq war over ?

  80. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    bernadine ayers: hi jeff,starting right out calling me a liar…. how are you?

    are you suggesting i can’t ask the same questions of different folks, in a different arena?, perchance some different opinions?,, that’s orwellian even for you.

    make a statement to argue with? i’ve already offered to leave if these folks just wanted to talk amongst themselves, ostensibly some do.

    why do you go to pf?, and what do you do there?.

    in case youhaven’t noticed i went back to say so long, you even acknowledged it, and now you even know why.

    are you saying i should have come here to agree with everyone ?

    i think your strong point is being wong’s sidekick, rahlwong’s sargeant.but

    you may even be the smartest guy in the room here, from what i’ve seen so far. unless frankie fogbow shows up, but you know how he avoids me.

    now i know you visit a least two forums, have you discussed the same topic here as there ? isn’t that hypocritical ? i feign no innocence or ignorance.

    if it’s not a discussion forum i’ll move on. i’ll decide.

    bernadine ayers December 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm (Quote) #
    are you the hall monitor ?

    (my personal favorite)

  81. avatar
    Northland10 December 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    bernadine ayers:
    sfjeff: Wash you are not being entirely honest here.

    hi jeff,starting right out calling me a liar…. how are you?

    Some time ago, the Doc. had a discussion about the difference between calling somebody a liar, and pointing that their statement is dishonest (i.e. a lie). Calling somebody a liar is to end the conversation and state that you expect nothing truthful to come from that person. However, Sfjeff, was pointing out your statement was not “entirely honest” and followed that up with why he felt it was dishonest.

    If you are just repeating the same questions that have been answered elsewhere (and on this blog, many times) without considering any of the responses you received, it would appear that you are not interested in considering the responses or evidence presented. To some, this behavior might appear to be trolling for an argument instead of discussing the actual facts.

  82. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    John Reilly:
    Ms. Ayers:We are still waiting for your “evidence” that the courts are corrupt.Now you respond and say you don’t have “concrete” evidence.We will accept and look at any evidence, concrete or not.You do cite to one Judge’s rebuke of Dr. Taitz.How does a rebuke of an attorney constitute corruption?Remember you are accusing a judge appointed by President Reagan of a criminal offense.For someone so easily offended as you, you might want to stop throwing stones aimlessly.

    You’ve provided nothing about the allegation that Mr. Soros commissioned a painting of Dr. Taitz.

    As Dr. C has pointed out, you took a shot at the Annenberg Foundation without citation to evidence despite the fract that the Annenbergs were good social friends of President & Mrs. Reagan.

    Having demanded that the President produce his long form birth certificate, you now cite as evidence of something amiss that the short form birth certificate and the long form birth certificate are different, despite the fact that no one disputes that fact.Do you have any evidence that either of those borth certificates are false or fraudulent?Especially in the face of public statements by the State of Hawaii.

    Before your next posting, why don’t you actually obtain a fact or two to support your argument.

    i’m finding out about how obama/ayers annenberg, i don’t think the reagans are culpable.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2008/09/23/barack-obama-bill-ayers-stanley-kurtz-makes-connection

    apparently the uoi library has made the records public again, according to michelle malkin.

    i believe some courts are corrupt, or there are corrupt courts. i’m reading judge clay’s papers, i think there are political overtones. i have made no specific charges against any judge or court. i saw no comment from the supreme court. (i don’t know if that was you).regarding orly, other than the upholding by alito and thomas.

    i can only tell you what orly tells me about the soros intimidation, she has been harrassed for all of this, i can tell you that.

    but i think even lacey admitted that connection (he’s way out there).

    did she save the emails?… of course..

    i don’t like that factcheck has any connection to obama’s past., and is touted as an independent objective service. i don’t know much about the new irs thing.

    this whole story is being packaged up better and better all of the time.

  83. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Northland10: If you are just repeating the same questions that have been answered elsewhere (and on this blog, many times) without considering any of the responses you received, it would appear that you are not interested in considering the responses or evidence presented. To some, this behavior might appear to be trolling for an argument instead of discussing the actual facts.

    That’s usually the conclusion when a birther repeatedly posts loaded, asinine rhetorical or completely nonsensical questions.

    It’s also why you’ll see references here to Monty Python’s The Argument Clinic from time to time.

  84. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i’m finding out about how obama/ayers annenberg, i don’t think the reagans are culpable.

    Nice going missing the point entirely, Sherlock.

  85. avatar
    Northland10 December 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    bernadine ayers:

    Off topic, but, if you want people to read what you say, you need to make it easier on the eyes. Please consider using the Shift key on the beginning of sentences and names (unless all of the angry birthers have used all of the CAPS letters in their all caps posts).

  86. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    bernadine ayers: i’m finding out about how obama/ayers annenberg, i don’t think the reagans are culpable.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2008/09/23/barack-obama-bill-ayers-stanley-kurtz-makes-connection

    Of course you find that newsbusters is a credible source.

    Like WND, it explains how steaming fright wing b.s. becomes birther gospel.

    Would you consider any of this credible as well? (see link below)
    http://tesibria.typepad.com/whats_your_evidence/2008/10/is-factcheckorg.html

  87. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Majority Will: Nice going missing the point entirely, Sherlock.

    you just made the new list francis… {[smilie]

  88. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Northland10: Off topic, but, if you want people to read what you say, you need to make it easier on the eyes.Please consider using the Shift key on the beginning of sentences and names (unless all of the angry birthers have used all of the CAPS letters in their all caps posts).

    thanks… i’ll keep that in mind.

  89. avatar
    John Reilly December 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Ms. Ayers: So as to the corupt courts, your position nis that since you did not call a particular judge corrupt you are off the hook. I’m going to take that as a concession you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your contention the courts are corrupt.

    Your source for Mr. Soros commissiong the unflattering portrait oif Dr. Taitz is Dr. Taitz herself, yet you fail to give any cite to Dr. Taitz’s web site for Dr. Taitz saying that. I’m going to take that as a concession that you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS, once again. (Oh, Dr. Taitz might have said that, but the issue is whether Mr. Soros commissioned the painting, not whether Dr. Taitz said he did.)

    As to the Annenberg Foundatrion, you are still investigating. That did not stop you from making wild assertions about that organization. So, once again, you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your view.

    What we do know is that you are frustrated when some folks here (not me) call you names, in your view. I don’t understand your position on that, because you had no compunction or reluctance to suggest that Judge Lambreth had committed a felony or that the Annenberg Foundation is in on some massive conspiracy.

    If you don’t want to be called names, you might try not calling others names. You are responsible for yourself. Don’t tell us that someone on this site called you a name. Rise above it and stop suggesting that anyone is a criminal or co-conspirator without a citation to the evidence for your argument.

    And I agree with Northland: try writing in standard English with proper punctuation. It’s tough trying to convince someone of your argument when it reads like one of those letters I get from bankers in Nigeria.

  90. avatar
    John Reilly December 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Ms. Ayers: Regarding your response to Northland, apparently you are the twin brother of the ghost of e. e. cummings.

  91. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    bernadine ayers: you just made the new list francis…{[smilie]

    Nice movie reference! Kudos for that.

  92. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    John Reilly:
    Ms. Ayers:So as to the corupt courts, your position nis that since you did not call a particular judge corrupt you are off the hook.I’m going to take that as a concession you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your contention the courts are corrupt.

    Your source for Mr. Soros commissiong the unflattering portrait oif Dr.Taitz is Dr. Taitz herself, yet you fail to give any cite to Dr. Taitz’s web site for Dr. Taitz saying that.I’m going to take that as a concession that you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS, once again.(Oh, Dr. Taitz might have said that, but the issue is whether Mr. Soros commissioned the painting, not whether Dr. Taitz said he did.)

    As to the Annenberg Foundatrion, you are still investigating.That did not stop you from making wild assertions about that organization.So, once again, you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your view.

    What we do know is that you are frustrated when some folks here (not me) call you names, in your view.I don’t understand your position on that, because you had no compunction or reluctance to suggest that Judge Lambreth had committed a felony or that the Annenberg Foundation is in on some massive conspiracy.

    If you don’t want to be called names, you might try not calling others names.You are responsible for yourself.Don’t tell us that someone on this site called you a name.Rise above it and stop suggesting that anyone is a criminal or co-conspirator without a citation to the evidence for your argument.

    And I agree with Northland:try writing in standard English with proper punctuation.It’s tough trying to convince someone of your argument when it reads like one of those letters I get from bankers in Nigeria.

    mr. reilly, if i had hard evidence that a judge was corrupt it would be my duty to present, which is what my friends are doing. i never suggest judge lamberth or land committed a felony. obama on the other hand, has openly admitted to felonious acts.

    orly ? what can i tell you, it’s her life story man. i can’t trump that. i think if you look around on the web you might find a lacey soros connection from the artist himself.

    “you are still investigating.That did not stop you from making wild assertions about that organization” leading the witness counselor… when i say “investigate” i mean look around on the web, i’m not a journalist or p.i. or anything.

    you know, at this point i don’t really mind the abusive epithets, they’re just names, and i certainly did not have to come here, i thought it would be fun and it has been great so far. what i did do was to point out who act crazy or stupid (in some cases racist, not one bit here so far. nor was there ever at pf.) that’s class, i like that.

    i have been posting on forums for a couple of years now, i have never attacked anyone who has not attacked or ganged up on me and attacked first. this is well documented. i take no joy in ridiculing or humiliating people, but i do respond. i should try to rise above it, and i’ll try harder. and your grammer comment is noted, thanks mr. reilly

  93. avatar
    jayhg December 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Northland10: It is on posts like this, I miss the “like/thumbs up” feature.

    Me too, Northland, me too!!!!!!!

  94. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    John Reilly:
    Ms. Ayers:Regarding your response to Northland, apparently you are the twin brother of the ghost of e. e. cummings.

    you’re actually the first to put that together, so that makes me especially glad i came here, because of astute people like you. the size and the shapes of the letters are all in the expression, and are artistic and intrinsic to the nature of the delivery.. punctuation is headroom.

    my own ninety year old mother’s initials are indeed e.e.

  95. avatar
    Northland10 December 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    bernadine ayers: you’re actually the first to put that together, so that makes me especially glad i came here, because of astute people like you.

    Orly was reminded by Judge Land that there is a difference between a legal argument and political grandstanding. This same argument ended up in his decision:

    She has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as President of the United States. Instead, she uses her Complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the President is “an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.” (Compl. 21.)

    In the same way, e.e. cummings writes wonderful poetry, but this is a discussion of various conspiracy issues, especially in terms of presidential eligibility.

  96. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Majority Will: Nice movie reference! Kudos for that.

    so then you agree obama is corrupt.

  97. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    mr reilly i’m having trouble posting, i wrote a response but it didn’t post, i’m not ignoring you, you asked great questions, i will asnswer your 4:24 post

  98. avatar
    Majority Will December 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    bernadine ayers: so then you agree obama is corrupt.

    No, I don’t think the President is corrupt. I support his reelection. I will vote for him again.

    Did you know there are non-birthers here who didn’t vote for him and won’t in the next election?

    Many birthers will come here and, just like an irrational bigot with an aversion for the truth and overwhelming confirmation bias, they will label every poster here as an “Obot” and a political enemy.

    Can you spot the conservatives?

    And like many birther’s coming here, I wouldn’t walk into a stranger’s house, take a crap on the living room rug, laugh about it and then pretend it didn’t happen.

    That’s because I’m not insane or a pathological liar.

  99. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Majority Will: No, I don’t think the President is corrupt. I support his reelection. I will vote for him again.

    Did you know there are non-birthers here who didn’t vote for him and won’t in the next election?

    Many birthers will come here and, just like an irrational bigot with an aversion for the truth and overwhelming confirmation bias, they will label every poster here as an “Obot” and a political enemy.

    Can you spot the conservatives?

    And like many birther’s coming here, I wouldn’t walk into a stranger’s house, take a crap on the living room rug, laugh about it and then pretend it didn’t happen.

    That’s because I’m not insane or a pathological liar.

    i hope you’re right.

  100. avatar
    richCares December 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    bernadine says “i hope you’re right.”
    make sure you watch John Woodman’s debate challenge, he is a converative that thinks birthers are foolish, he wrote a book tearing the birther “fake BC” apart and has hallenged birthers to a debate.
    (liar Corsi won’t debate. surprise)

    http://www.obamabirthbook.com/

  101. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    John Reilly:
    Ms. Ayers:So as to the corupt courts, your position nis that since you did not call a particular judge corrupt you are off the hook.I’m going to take that as a concession you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your contention the courts are corrupt.

    if i had hard evidence like a bribe or an email, it would be my duty to take it to the authority.

    Your source for Mr. Soros commissiong the unflattering portrait oif Dr.Taitz is Dr. Taitz herself, yet you fail to give any cite to Dr. Taitz’s web site for Dr. Taitz saying that.I’m going to take that as a concession that you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS, once again.(Oh, Dr. Taitz might have said that, but the issue is whether Mr. Soros commissioned the painting, not whether Dr. Taitz said he did.)

    what can i say, it’s her life story man… i can’t trump that. but if you look around i think you will see soros metioned by lacey.

    , you are still investigating.That did not stop you from making wild assertions about that organization.

    leading the witness counselor. when i say investigate, i mean looking around on the web or talking to people on the phone. i’m not a journalist or a private eye or anything.

    What we do know is that you are frustrated when some folks here (not me) call you names, in your view.I don’t understand your position on that, because you had no compunction or reluctance to suggest that Judge Lambreth had committed a felony or that the Annenberg Foundation is in on some massive conspiracy.

    i only respond accordingly when attacked first. i’ve been posting in forums for a couple of years. i’ve never attacked first. the name don’t bother me, they’re just names, i use humor when i can. i never suggested lamberth or clay committed a felony. obama however, has openly admitted to committing multtple felonious acts. what’s past is past. i don’t hold that against him.unless it pertains to his presidency or getting elected.

    If you don’t want to be called names, you might try not calling others names.You are responsible for yourself.Don’t tell us that someone on this site called you a name.Rise above it and stop suggesting that anyone is a criminal or co-conspirator without a citation to the evidence for your argument.

    i should endeavor to rise above it, i’ll try harder.

    And I agree with Northland:try writing in standard English with proper punctuation.It’s tough trying to convince someone of your argument when it reads like one of those letters I get from bankers in Nigeria.

    your comment is noted. thanks mr. reilly.

  102. avatar
    G December 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    WELL SAID!!!

    Let me echo you and the rest who have hailed this all important point! It bears both repeating and emphasis.

    It simply cannot be restated here enough, as those who suffer from the bad habit of shooting their mouth off without first thinking or having the capacity to back up their words, endlessly make these same foolish mistakes over and over again.

    When are they going to learn that responses of “fool” or “twit” are not even naming calling. They are simply a legit description that aptly characterizes the self-inflicted impression such careless spouting off engenders.

    Wise reminders to the foolish out there – break your bad habits and learn to do some real homework and think before you speak. If you simply don’t know much about certain matters, than don’t comment on them at all or be sincere in how you ask a question.

    If you *choose* to say something you can’t back up…you come across like a fool and you only have yourself to blame.

    Dr. Conspiracy: You can post here, but you need to clean up your act of you want any respect. It is extremely frustrating to try to debate someone who doesn’t check their information before using it in an argument. Frustration leads to insults and the breakdown of the dialog. I’ve seen it here over and over.

  103. avatar
    Daniel December 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Are you suggesting, G, that birthers should only be able to say what they can substantiate? If that were the case then the silence from the fringe would be deafening.

  104. avatar
    G December 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    BRAVO! Well said! I echo your points and have bolded some of them, as I suspect that addtional repetition and emphasis is needed to hopefully penetrate certain think skulls.

    John Reilly: Ms. Ayers: So as to the corupt courts, your position nis that since you did not call a particular judge corrupt you are off the hook. I’m going to take that as a concession you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your contention the courts are corrupt.

    Your source for Mr. Soros commissiong the unflattering portrait oif Dr. Taitz is Dr. Taitz herself, yet you fail to give any cite to Dr. Taitz’s web site for Dr. Taitz saying that. I’m going to take that as a concession that you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS, once again. (Oh, Dr. Taitz might have said that, but the issue is whether Mr. Soros commissioned the painting, not whether Dr. Taitz said he did.)

    As to the Annenberg Foundatrion, you are still investigating. That did not stop you from making wild assertions about that organization. So, once again, you have ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS supporting your view.

    What we do know is that you are frustrated when some folks here (not me) call you names, in your view. I don’t understand your position on that, because you had no compunction or reluctance to suggest that Judge Lambreth had committed a felony or that the Annenberg Foundation is in on some massive conspiracy.

    If you don’t want to be called names, you might try not calling others names. You are responsible for yourself. Don’t tell us that someone on this site called you a name. Rise above it and stop suggesting that anyone is a criminal or co-conspirator without a citation to the evidence for your argument.

    And I agree with Northland: try writing in standard English with proper punctuation. It’s tough trying to convince someone of your argument when it reads like one of those letters I get from bankers in Nigeria.

  105. avatar
    G December 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    ;)

    Better an environment of peaceful silence than a merely disjointed cacophony of meaningless sound. What is worse, having nothing to say or saying nothing at all, but doing it loudly? Give me a true vaccum over the sounds of one running any day of the week! ;)

    At least the former provides a forum in which one can relax, reflect and medidate. The latter is nothing but an unwelcome migrane headache.

    Daniel: Are you suggesting, G, that birthers should only be able to say what they can substantiate? If that were the case then the silence from the fringe would be deafening.

  106. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    G:
    WELL SAID!!!

    Let me echo you and the rest who have hailed this all important point!It bears both repeating and emphasis.

    It simply cannot be restated here enough, as those who suffer from the bad habit of shooting their mouth off without first thinking or having the capacity to back up their words, endlessly make these same foolish mistakes over and over again.

    When are they going to learn that responses of “fool” or “twit” are not even naming calling.They are simply a legit description that aptly characterizes the self-inflicted impression such careless spouting off engenders.

    Wise reminders to the foolish out there – break your bad habits and learn to do some real homework and think before you speak.If you simply don’t know much about certain matters, than don’t comment on them at all or be sincere in how you ask a question.

    If you *choose* to say something you can’t back up…you come across like a fool and you only have yourself to blame.

    you guys take care, it’s nice meeting you all, i won’t bother you again,

    i’ll see you around the web ! cheers scott e.

  107. avatar
    G December 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I guess it is easier to simply find some other forum where you can be lazy and continue your bad habits instead of actually doing any work to learn from feedback and improve your behavior. The choice and the loss is yours and all on you.

    We will still be here, willing to engage anyone who is capable of at least being open to attempting to learn and better themself.

    bernadine ayers: you guys take care, it’s nice meeting you all, i won’t bother you again,i’ll see you around the web ! cheers scott e.

  108. avatar
    Arthur December 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    you guys take care, it’s nice meeting you all, i won’t bother you again,

    Well . . . thank God, that’s over.

    Reading “that one’s” posts, I was reminded of the harebrained obstinacy of Emperor Joseph II’s response to “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” in the film “Amadeus”:

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

  109. avatar
    G December 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    There you go again, with carelessly spouting off unfounded and outrageous lies.

    This is a perfect example of the utterly baseless and irresponsible statements by you that engender only an utter lack of respect for anything you say.

    Sorry, none of what you said is even remotely close to truth. Obama has neither committed any actual crimes, nor claimed to have.

    You however, display a pathological level of hypocricy. It takes cluelessness and classlessness self-denial to a whole new level to sling such serious character charges and then try to claim in the very next sentence that you “don’t hold that against him”. Wow… just wow!

    bernadine ayers: obama however, has openly admitted to committing multtple felonious acts. what’s past is past. i don’t hold that against him

  110. avatar
    Arthur December 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    G:

    About “that one’s” reference to felonious acts, might this be a reference to Obama acknowleging in “Dreams From My Father” that he had smoked pot and tried cocaine as a teen?

  111. avatar
    e.vattel December 26, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

  112. avatar
    Arthur December 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    You’re right e.vattle! Like you, I’m always amazed at the biased and misleading material birthers use to argue their highly partisan points. I’m glad you see through this ersatz evidence. Welcome to reality and give Comrade Putin my regards.

    e.vattel: Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

  113. avatar
    misha December 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    e.vattel:
    Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

    Славься, Отечество наше свобо´ное,
    ”ружбы наро´ов на´‘жный оплот!
    Партия Ленина — сила наро´ная
    Нас к торжеству коммунизма ве´‘т!

    Long live Lenin!

  114. avatar
    misha December 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    e.vattel:
    Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

    Socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen. – Leon Trotsky

  115. avatar
    G December 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    None of which would rise to the level of any actual felony either. Such possession and use would at most qualify as a misdemeanor crime. Felony drug possession requires much more than that:

    Felony drug possession charges are far more serious with oftentimes very severe penalties included that are mandated by law. Felony possession cases typically involve other charges like intent to distribute or the person charged had a large amount of the illegal substance on his person or care. Someone convicted of felony drug possession may face a lengthy prison sentence as well as large fines, probation, community service, and mandatory drug counseling programs.

    Multiple drug possession offenders are likely to receive longer prison sentences and larger fines. While the typical felony drug possession sentence may be one-to-three years in prison, a multiple offender may receive a prison sentence ranging from five-to-ten years for a second offense and ten-to-twenty-five years or more for a third conviction.

    http://www.lawfirms.com/resources/criminal-defense/drug-possession-an-overview.htm

    Arthur: G: About “that one’s” reference to felonious acts, might this be a reference to Obama acknowleging in “Dreams From My Father” that he had smoked pot and tried cocaine as a teen?

  116. avatar
    Arthur December 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    G:

    Thanks for the information; maybe “that one” is lurking about and might read it. Are you out there Ber—no, don’t answer that. Your silent ignorance is my eternal bliss.

  117. avatar
    John Reilly December 26, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    Ms. Ayers: At the risk that you return, I have read your reply to my lengthy post and reply to it.

    As to your allegation that the courts are corrupt, you admit you have no facts. You go out of your way to say that if you had evidence of bribery or an e-mail you would report it to the proper authorities. I was not aware that the use of e-mail by judges is evidence of corruption. Your hero, Dr. Taitz, has reported every judge before whom she has appeared, often will allegations of bribery, treason and corruption. Dr. Taitz is unable to fathom that every case litigated to its end has a winner and loser, and the record of “birther” losses at 0 for 100 or so should be a cautionary tale.

    Your accusation that our courts are corrupt in the absence of any evidence, and tying that allegation to Judge Lambreth, is despicable.

    You similarly admit you have no facts as to your allegations involving Mr. Soros and your allegation involving the Annenberg Foundation. You apparently have no shame in making baseless allegations and moving on.

    Your use of lower case letters and random punctuation does not change the fact that you accused people of criminal acts, and did so without the slighest evidence. You have now moved to to accusing the President of admitting to several felonies, and, once again, failed to cite to any source. Perhaps you are talking about his admitted drug use in his youth, but the implication from all of your postings is that the felonies the President has committed are of recent vintage; you cite ABSLUTELY NO FACTS.

    Despicable.

    People like you do not help our efforts to elect a different President in 2012. You hold up the Republican Party to ridicule, and achieve exactly the opposite of the goal you state you have.

    And then you are offended when some of the less reticent folks on this site call you names. Try to stop suggesting that the President or various federal judges are criminals.

    Your behavior and comments here are despicable.

    Go vex someone else.

  118. avatar
    jayhg December 27, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    e.vattel: Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

    Hi bushpilot1……do you still say that only white people are meant to be president?

  119. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    bernadine ayers: i noticed you said first birth certificate.

    robert gibbs also called the colb a birth certificate, said he put it on line. two years later, the long form was released by special waiver. are they legally the same thing ?

    Yes. Of course they are.

    A “birth certificate” is a document with information about a birth event that has been “certified” by the legal authority responsible for maintaining that information. Such a document is “certified” by affixing the official seal and signature of the legal authority and probably by printing on security paper. The form of words on the document is irrelevant. If a document carries an official certification, then it is a certificate. If that certified document describes a birth event, then it is a birth certificate. Short form, long form, is irrelevant. It is the information and the certification that makes it a birth certificate.

    are there two versions of the same birth certificate/document?.

    Only in the sense that the format and or layout is different. The vital statistics remain the same, they still carry an official certification, the standard form and the long form describe the same birth event. There may be dozens of ‘versions’ for all I know. Every time the State changes the contract for the supply of security paper, they get a different version of the background pattern, maybe a new font. These changes have exactly the same effect on the description of the birth event as whether or not the document has the doctor’s name on it : exactly zero. I have 4 birth certificates each with different formats. One has been in my mother’s possession since I was born, it is typed and almost unreadable and is in two pieces since it tore along one of the fold lines 30 years ago. The one I used to get my passport is a ‘negative’ print from microfiche or film. The microfiche was taken from the vault original that had handwritten corrections to the spelling of my mother’s name. I have a more recent ‘short form’ copy from the State of Michigan about 10 years ago which looks pretty much identical to Obama’s Hawai’ian form. I also have a ‘long form’ from the County in Michigan from about a year ago, with lots of colors. Quite a work of art.

    They are all the same: Official Birth Certificates. They were each produced according to the standards of the vital statistics authority at the time. Both the standard form that was released in 2008 and the longer form that was released in 2011 carry the sentence “I Certify this is a true copy or abstract of the record on file in the Hawaii State Department of Health” is signed by the authorized State officer and bears the raised seal of the State of Hawaii. Every birth certificate you and I and everyone else holds has equivalent wording, signatures, and seal (but notice that the souvenir ‘certificates’ issued by the hospital are NOT official Birth Certificates and are not “prima Facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding”)

    isn’t this one of the “technical” aspects of the law?.

    No. There is nothing technical about it at all. Nothing. Zero. Nada. It is exactly the opposite of technical. It is trivial, fundamental, given. Official documents are official. Certifications certify.

    Please read the next sentence carefully:

    A Birth Certificate is a document bearing information about a birth event that has been officially certified as being correct.

    There is nothing in that sentence that describes the format of that document, and only the simplest description of the content: a birth event description and a certification.

    State and Federal laws and regulations describe standards for what comprises a sufficient birth event description and the form of the certification so that it can be recognized by other jurisdictions as true. Both Obama forms satisfy all those standards.

    Try asking yourself what is the point of a Birth Certificate? Is it to give you indegestion trying to figure out whether it should be a green background or a blue background or has the right font? Or is it to convey the official birth event details?

  120. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    bernadine ayers: are you saying that a hawaiian citizen can’t get their long form ?

    No. Obama got one didn’t he?

    do they need a special waver like the president?.

    Yes. The standard form is the standard form is the standard form. Standard requests are provided standard responses. If want something different you have to make your case. The State may agree with you and grant your request and waive the rule. That is called “granting a waiver”. On the other hand, the State may disagree with you, and deny your request.

    i’m getting mixed signals about that.

    I’m getting mixed signals about your ability to understand English, does that mean I have the right to demand that you show me your high school English report card?

    i guess what i’m asking, were any other long forms issued in hawaii besides obama’s, say in the last five years. if so under what circumstances.

    I don’t know, and I don’t care. Anyone who was born in Hawai’i can ask for non-standard Birth Certificate in the same way that Obama did. It is up to them to make the case why they want it instead of the standard form, and the State will either agree or disagree.

    I understand that a year or so ago someone had herself filmed pestering a clerk and demanding a long form birth certificate, giving an false reason for it necessity (I don’t care about that, I’m just reporting the circumstances). The frustrated clerk, chose to give in a little because the queue was getting restless behind the customer. The customer was, in the end, able to brow beat the clerk into giving her an uncertified computer listing of the supposed ‘long form information’. This printout is not a Birth Certificate in any way, legally or practically.

    could someone get one today ?

    You ask the same question twice. So I’ll give the same answer: Anyone who was born in Hawai’i can ask for non-standard Birth Certificate in the same way that Obama did. It is up to them to make the case why they want it instead of the standard form, and the State will either agree or disagree.

    has the law changed, since obama became president ?

    Not to my knowledge. I believe that Hawai’i made a minor change to the wording on the standard form a couple of years ago. That is not a change to the law, nor the regulations that declare what information is printed on the standard form.

  121. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    bernadine ayers: .just to be sure, there is no one, under any circumstances, that can view the original or the microfiche

    Negatory.

    Hawai’i State law allows authorized state officers to view the archive document to accomplish the duties they are required to carry out. Clearly, someone had to view that original document to record its information when it was microfiched (if it was) and when it was transcribed to the computer. Furthermore, just as clearly the officials that photocopied the archive document to produce Obama’s ‘long form’ had to view to accomplish that task.

    There is honest difference of opinion whether or not the DoH can allow Obama to personally view the archived document. There is no honest difference of opinion whether or not the DoH can allow anyone else to view the archived document: that is an emphatic NO.

    An before you object further, yes is extremely remotely possible that a court could demand to see an archived original if there was found to be some extraordinary weird circumstance. It is also possible that the Sun will rise in the west tomorrow. No court would embarrass itself by refusing to accept the sworn testimony of the official State archivists.

  122. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    bernadine ayers: you’re actually the first to put that together, so that makes me especially glad i came here, because of astute people like you. the size and the shapes of the letters are all in the expression, and are artistic and intrinsic to the nature of the delivery.. punctuation is headroom.

    my own ninety year old mother’s initials are indeed e.e.

    On the other hand, the point of writing for other to read is to communicate. You and e.e. cummings are trying to communicate different things and in consequence your chosen style needs to be appropriate to the information you are trying to communicate.

  123. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    bernadine ayers: you guys take care, it’s nice meeting you all, i won’t bother you again,

    Hey, I tried really really hard to honor you with extended answers and you reward me by running away?

    You don’t even have the courage to say I’ve got a good point here, or a bad point there, yet you will condescend to acknowledging others complaints of your writing style? What about my critique of your style? Am I chopped liver or something?

  124. avatar
    Majority Will December 27, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    e.vattel:
    Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

    And like the severely mentally challenged, sociopathic and prolific racist freeper with more spare time than common sense known as “bushpilot”, I wouldn’t walk into a stranger’s house, take a crap on the living room rug, laugh about it and then pretend it didn’t happen.

  125. avatar
    Rickey December 27, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Keith: On the other hand, the point of writing for other to read is to communicate. You and e.e. cummings are trying to communicate different things and in consequence your chosen style needs to be appropriate to the information you are trying to communicate.

    In addition, “Bernadine” seems to be unaware of the fact that Cummings used capitalization in his prose and in his letters.

  126. avatar
    Majority Will December 27, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Arthur:
    G:

    Thanks for the information; maybe “that one” is lurking about and might read it. Are you out there Ber—no, don’t answer that. Your silent ignorance is my eternal bliss.

    One glance at his website and you can see how deeply entrenched this birther is with his own confirmation bias and a multitude of debunked and idiotic myths, outright lies and political propaganda.

    This isn’t someone “looking for answers” but rather like many hardcore birthers, more steaming birther b.s. to shovel over and hide the truth.

    He would be much more comfortable in one of the heavily censored birther echo chambers like FR, WND or the P & E.

    Truly pathetic.

  127. avatar
    BatGuano December 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    from bernadine ayers:

    “but if you look around i think you will see soros metioned by lacey.”

    not that i can find. i do see orly assuming the connection tho:

    “Lacey refused to provide the reporter Stephanie Mencimer with the name of the person who hired him, who paid him, however during the depositions and upon subpoena this information will be available and will be provided to [the] court. At this time Taitz cannot state with certainty who paid Dan Lacey, however it is common knowledge, that Billionaire George Soros, one of the biggest backers of Obama, through his organization Moveon.org, has commissioned numerous artists to promote Obama and denigrate his opponents and critics.””

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/06/orly-taitz-subpoena-pancake-painter

  128. avatar
    nbc December 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    e.vattel:
    Putin should visit this site to study propaganda in its purest form.

    e.vattel hates to be shown to be wrong so often… And thus he calls it propaganda… He is not taking his continued mistakes very well…

  129. avatar
    nbc December 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    BatGuano: At this time Taitz cannot state with certainty who paid Dan Lacey, however it is common knowledge, that Billionaire George Soros, one of the biggest backers of Obama, through his organization Moveon.org, has commissioned numerous artists to promote Obama and denigrate his opponents and critics.””

    Is Bernadine relying, once again on speculation on Orly’s part. Bernadine (sic) should know better than that. Why did she/he not do her/his own research…

    Unbelievable…

  130. avatar
    nbc December 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    bernadine ayers: you guys take care, it’s nice meeting you all, i won’t bother you again,

    Haha… another experiment gone wrong Scott? Fascinating… Nothing scares a birther more than being confronted with facts, logic and reason… They are ill equipped to defend themselves against such an onslaught….

    Rumors and innuendo is what typically feeds the birther mind…

  131. avatar
    sfjeff December 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    bernadine ayers: hi jeff, starting right out calling me a liar…. how are you?are you suggesting i can’t ask the same questions of different folks, in a different arena?, perchance some different opinions?,, that’s orwellian even for you. make a statement to argue with? i’ve already offered to leave if these folks just wanted to talk amongst themselves, ostensibly some do.why do you go to pf?, and what do you do there?.in case you haven’t noticed i went back to say so long, you even acknowledged it, and now you even know why. are you saying i should have come here to agree with everyone ?i think your strong point is being wong’s sidekick, rahlwong’s sargeant.butyou may even be the smartest guy in the room here, from what i’ve seen so far. unless frankie fogbow shows up, but you know how he avoids me.now i know you visit a least two forums, have you discussed the same topic here as there ? isn’t that hypocritical ? i feign no innocence or ignorance.if it’s not a discussion forum i’ll move on. i’ll decide.

    Wash- dissemble all you want- but you were not being honest in your ‘questions’ that you already believe you have the answers to.

    Like I said in the beginning- post your questions if you have questions, but when you have opinions- post your opinions and back them up with evidence.

    You have once again refused to do it. Its sad really, because at times you come off as a normal guy, but when you engage in these false questions meant to lead the conversation into Birther conspiracy land, rather than an honest discussion of your opinions- and why you have such an opinion.

    You said you were out of here- we will see if that is true or not.

  132. avatar
    Majority Will December 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    nbc: Is Bernadine relying, once again on speculation on Orly’s part. Bernadine (sic) should know better than that. Why did she/he not do her/his own research…

    Unbelievable…

    Willful ignorance is integral to being a birther.

  133. avatar
    Reality Check December 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    I just checked out bernadine/scott/washingtonamerica’s blog. Wow, I haven’t seen anything that awful since Ed Hale’s Plains Radio blog. I saw many better sites on tripod in 1996.

  134. avatar
    Rickey December 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Reality Check:
    I just checked out bernadine/scott/washingtonamerica’s blog. Wow, I haven’t seen anything that awful since Ed Hale’s Plains Radio blog. I saw many better sites on tripod in 1996.

    Fake Bernadine is a man, and his name really is Scott. I know his full name, but we’re not supposed to out people here so I’ll just say that he is a white male in his early fifties and he lives in New England. He also may be the only person on the planet who thinks that “Atlas Shrugged” is a good movie.

  135. avatar
    Joey December 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    White man? In his 50’s? New England? Scott? “Thinks Atlas Shrugged was a good movie?”
    Is the last name “BROWN?” :-)

  136. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Well think about it a minute.

    There seems to be a rough consensus among commenters here that visiting birthers should check their facts, argue fairly, answer hard questions and be willing to admit when they are wrong. Is that a reasonable expectation? I say not. Someone that acted like that wouldn’t be a birther in the first place. To have such expectations is to invite disappointment and irritation. Indeed, I see exactly such disappointment and irritation in recent comments.

    I would wish some modicum of of serenity accepting people for what they are and not expecting miracles.

    Majority Will: Willful ignorance is integral to being a birther.

  137. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Well think about it a minute.

    There seems to be a rough consensus among commenters here that visiting birthers should check their facts, argue fairly, answer hard questions and be willing to admit when they are wrong. Is that a reasonable expectation? I say not. Someone that acted like that wouldn’t be a birther in the first place. To have such expectations is to invite disappointment and irritation. Indeed, I see exactly such disappointment and irritation in recent comments.

    I would wish some modicum of of serenity accepting people for what they are and not expecting miracles.

    In general, I agree. But I got a slightly different impression from the “Bernadine episode”. The line that is pushed is too pat, too repetitive, too unrelenting, too bereft of reason and acknowledgment.

    A couple of us here, at least, are familiar with the writings of Robert Anton Wilson. One of RAW’s most interesting constructs (or perhaps it was a documentary report disguised as a literary construct in a book :-) ) is the idea of a group (though calling them a group is perhaps too formal) of people who spend their time building elaborate jokes to play on the world in general and stuffed shirts in particular. The group calls themselves “Discordians” and many of the jokes are one upmanship against the others, They ‘worship’ the Greek god of discord, ‘Eris’, the central story of whom is the Golden Apple.

    From Wikipedia:

    The most famous tale of Eris recounts her initiating the Trojan War. The goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite had been invited along with the rest of Olympus to the forced wedding of Peleus and Thetis, who would become the parents of Achilles, but Eris had been snubbed because of her troublemaking inclinations.

    She therefore (in a fragment from the Kypria as part of a plan hatched by Zeus and Themis) tossed into the party the Apple of Discord, a golden apple inscribed Kallisti – “For the most beautiful one”, or “To the Fairest One” – provoking the goddesses to begin quarreling about the appropriate recipient. The hapless Paris, Prince of Troy, was appointed to select the most beautiful by Zeus. Each of the three goddesses immediately attempted to bribe Paris to choose her. Hera offered political power; Athena promised skill in battle; and Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. While Greek culture placed a greater emphasis on prowess and power, Paris chose to award the apple to Aphrodite, thereby dooming his city, which was destroyed in the war that ensued.

    I see Bernie episode, and others like it, as a Discordian operation. They are just stirring for the sake of stirring, for fun. Just as we claim a major reason for being here is entertainment, so they come here for the same reason. I don’t believe that they believe what they are saying, they are merely pushing the buttons that they know will get a response. I think that they do check their facts (or have learned them through many episodes of this type) and don’t care. They are not here to argue fairly, answer questions, nor to admit to being wrong. They are here to stir up a hornets nest, and when the hornets are sufficiently stirred up, they do what any hornets nest stirrer should do – they run away.

    I freely admit that sometimes, when I recognize of these episodes, I start thinking about using them as a tool to practice my “putting my thoughts onto paper” process because I’m not so very good at it and I don’t really have the patience to write a blog (I started one a couple of years ago, it still has the three entries I started with and nothing more). Unfortunately its usually a midnight for me and I don’t have the time or the clarity of mind to do it properly. Ah well.

  138. avatar
    G December 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I agree with you on your first point – that “Someone that acted like that wouldn’t be a birther in the first place.”

    In regards to the rest, I dispute your remaining premise, which you sum up at the end with “wish some modicum of of serenity accepting people for what they are and not expecting miracles.”

    First of all, there is a big difference between simply giving someone an “out” and a chance to behave better and actually having an expectation that they will take you up on it. As I said in a previous post somewhere on this blog, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink”. I still find it a matter of personal responsibility and importance to lead them to water in the first place, regardless of whether I have any confidence in their willingness to drink or die of thirst afterwords.

    Merely showing them the path from the desert to the oasis is something that I can do and therefore, I feel irresponsibly remiss if I just left them out there without at least pointing the way. At that point, it is solely on them and my conscious is clear. They can be as stubborn as they like and die of thirst and it is 100% on them at that point.

    Bottom line, this forum and its contributors have every right to expect a certain level of behavior and quality of dialogue. Those that come here with ill intent are deservedly outed in their motives and if they can’t stand the heat of being challenged to interact under the terms of dialogue that the rest of us follow, then they earn the emnity and mocking they receive and are free to scamper away in defeat at any time.

    As the old saying goes, if they can’t handle the heat here, they need to get out of the kitchen.

    Dr. Conspiracy: Well think about it a minute.There seems to be a rough consensus among commenters here that visiting birthers should check their facts, argue fairly, answer hard questions and be willing to admit when they are wrong. Is that a reasonable expectation? I say not. Someone that acted like that wouldn’t be a birther in the first place. To have such expectations is to invite disappointment and irritation. Indeed, I see exactly such disappointment and irritation in recent comments.I would wish some modicum of of serenity accepting people for what they are and not expecting miracles.

  139. avatar
    G December 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Well said! I agree!

    The behavior you described is the very definition of what an internet Troll is. That is why the charges of Troll and Concern Troll have been appropriate and apt in these situations. We simply see through their disingenuous motives fairly quickly.

    However, I would argue that their real agenda is often more than simple Trolling. Their intent is really to try to sow doubt in order to spread their propaganda. They only leave once they realize that this forum is too smart to fall for any of their BS and that their every attempt at injecting nonsense is shredded and rejected.

    They are simply used to pulling their cheap con games within forums that either nothing but a bubble of controlled reinforcment (preaching to the converted) or are on such open news topics beyond birtherism, that they only face a mixed-bag of quality counter arguments, as many of the responders there are simply not versed in the topic and their tricks.

    They simply miscalculate and make a foolhardy mistake in trying to sell their snake oil in actual forums like this, where pretty much everyone else posting is very educated on these issues.

    Keith: I see Bernie episode, and others like it, as a Discordian operation. They are just stirring for the sake of stirring, for fun. Just as we claim a major reason for being here is entertainment, so they come here for the same reason. I don’t believe that they believe what they are saying, they are merely pushing the buttons that they know will get a response. I think that they do check their facts (or have learned them through many episodes of this type) and don’t care. They are not here to argue fairly, answer questions, nor to admit to being wrong. They are here to stir up a hornets nest, and when the hornets are sufficiently stirred up, they do what any hornets nest stirrer should do – they run away.

  140. avatar
    Keith December 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I just wanted to add that not all Discordians are “in it” for innocent fun.

    I think the preeminent Discordian ‘group’ known to the world at the moment is Anonymous. Operations by Anonymous have a definite political point and are done not for amusement but to attack complacency and to draw attention to what they perceive as injustices of one form or another.

    Birthers on the other hand just want to practice their FUD spreading skills.

  141. avatar
    JPotter December 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: There seems to be a rough consensus among commenters here that visiting birthers should check their facts, argue fairly, answer hard questions and be willing to admit when they are wrong. Is that a reasonable expectation? I say not. Someone that acted like that wouldn’t be a birther in the first place. To have such expectations is to invite disappointment and irritation. Indeed, I see exactly such disappointment and irritation in recent comments.

    I would wish some modicum of of serenity accepting people for what they are and not expecting miracles.

    Branching off from this observation, when the OCT files are closed, can we expect a summation? A statement of findings of sorts? Or will the collected material be left to stand on its own? A fading away, a sudden close, or a passing of the torch? Or perhaps branching out into larger study of conspiracy?

  142. avatar
    Rickey December 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Well think about it a minute.

    There seems to be a rough consensus among commenters here that visiting birthers should check their facts, argue fairly, answer hard questions and be willing to admit when they are wrong. Is that a reasonable expectation? I say not. Someone that acted like that wouldn’t be a birther in the first place. To have such expectations is to invite disappointment and irritation. Indeed, I see exactly such disappointment and irritation in recent comments.

    I would wish some modicum of of serenity accepting people for what they are and not expecting miracles.

    I don’t believe that anyone here was expecting a miracle regarding Scott/Bernadine, but I also don’t believe that it is unreasonable to expect some engagement on the issues which any visiting birther raises.

    The discussion regarding the Ayers children is instructive. Scott/Bernadine claimed that the Ayers children and the Obama children have attended school together. It was proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that not only is not true, it is impossible. Bernardine Dohrn is 22 years older than Michelle Obama. Her youngest child apparently was a senior in high school the year that the oldest Obama girl was born. When faced with these inconvenient facts, Scott/Bernadine refused to address them or even acknowledge them.

    While in elementary school, I had a teacher who told the class that the Grand Canyon is in Colorado. I raised my hand and told her that it is in Arizona. She said that I was wrong (she probably was confused because the Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon). The next day I brought in a map which, of course, showed the Grand Canyon is in Arizona. Her response: “The map is wrong.”

    It is difficult to remain serene in the face of such obstinacy.

  143. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    Good analogy & well said!

    Rickey: The discussion regarding the Ayers children is instructive. Scott/Bernadine claimed that the Ayers children and the Obama children have attended school together. It was proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that not only is not true, it is impossible. Bernardine Dohrn is 22 years older than Michelle Obama. Her youngest child apparently was a senior in high school the year that the oldest Obama girl was born. When faced with these inconvenient facts, Scott/Bernadine refused to address them or even acknowledge them.
    While in elementary school, I had a teacher who told the class that the Grand Canyon is in Colorado. I raised my hand and told her that it is in Arizona. She said that I was wrong (she probably was confused because the Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon). The next day I brought in a map which, of course, showed the Grand Canyon is in Arizona. Her response: “The map is wrong.”
    It is difficult to remain serene in the face of such obstinacy.

  144. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    That’s a great story, Rickey, and I think it gets at the heart of why Doc’s point is so important. One of the greatest fictions of intellectual life is “the truth shall set you free”. It’s the foundation of Freudian psychology, for instance, and it just doesn’t deal with the “organic” nature of human knowledge/world building. We don’t quite inherit a world, we build it. Our parents, friends, schooling, etc all contribute to the building of our world. We also, naturally, associate with those whose pictures of the word are close to or resembles ours. When a bit of information – a “fact”, if you like – enters our thinking, it is problematic if it contradicts our personal view of the world or, just as importantly, makes our association with our community more difficult. It’s obviously POSSIBLE to change one’s mind about something and it’s just as possible, once one has changed his/her mind to separate ourselves from the community of those who believe what we used to believe. But this changing of the mind comes at price, a price some find it difficult to pay. If I’m a birther and all my friends/family/associates are birthers, it would feel disloyal to betray their beliefs. Worse: I now have to live in a world run by a different logic, a logic I’m not familiar with and I haven’t yet learned to trust. For “true believers” of birtherism, it’s a painful and difficult choice.

    Your teacher, Rickey, is a classic example of misplaced priorities. I’m guessing she believed that her authority was more important, in the situation, than truth itself. And in the end, I think we all have moments when things like “authority” or “community” or “loyalty” supersede “truth”. We know that, in principle, “truth” is primal and necessary, but …

    I’m guessing there are some birthers who would visit this site, read the articles closely and be persuaded that birtherism doesn’t make sense. But those would be birthers who have less invested in the whole birtherism deal, birthers who haven’t wandered all that far down birther alley. Bernadine Ayers? Well, he/she runs a site devoted to birtherism, probably hangs out with other birthers, has a great deal of time invested in birtherism. Asking him/her to respect the facts and deal with the truth is akin to asking him her to voluntarily suffer a psychotic episode which would leave him/her adrift in a world he/she isn’t familiar with, one which would alienate him/her from a community that provides a sense of self-worth, a sense of place, and the kind of solidity one likes to have when building a political picture of the world.

    In a sense, we’re lucky that birtherism is (so far) a politically trivial thing, one that will go away when Barack Obama does. If it were something like Neo-National Socialism or Neo-Stalinism, we would not only have to insist on the “truth” but also militate against falsehood. I’m a Canadian, but my sense is that birtherism (like trutherism) isn’t that dangerous and, so, we can study its twists and turns and learn something useful for when a deeply toxic refusal to accept truth makes its (inevitable?) appearance.

    (You guys who have your finger on the pulse in the US should – please – correct me if I’m wrong about the dangers of birtherism.)

    Rickey: I don’t believe that anyone here was expecting a miracle regarding Scott/Bernadine, but I also don’t believe that it is unreasonable to expect some engagement on the issues which any visiting birther raises.

    The discussion regarding the Ayers children is instructive. Scott/Bernadine claimed that the Ayers children and the Obama children have attended school together. It was proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that not only is not true, it is impossible. Bernardine Dohrn is 22 years older than Michelle Obama. Her youngest child apparently was a senior in high school the year that the oldest Obama girl was born. When faced with these inconvenient facts, Scott/Bernadine refused to address them or even acknowledge them.

    While in elementary school, I had a teacher who told the class that the Grand Canyon is in Colorado. I raised my hand and told her that it is in Arizona. She said that I was wrong (she probably was confused because the Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon). The next day I brought in a map which, of course, showed the Grand Canyon is in Arizona. Her response: “The map is wrong.”

    It is difficult to remain serene in the face of such obstinacy.

  145. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Fazil, as always, I gain a lot from reading your posts & enjoyed this one in its entirety as well. Your point at the end is what I want to respond to and answer.

    Birtherism is only a trivial thing in terms of being an entirely inept and annoying movement with little “true” support and no basis in reality or law. So yes, by those terms, it is not much of a threat.

    However, the manifestation of Birtherism is part of a larger epidemic of intolerant and paranoid behaviors that is definitely part and parcel of the other types of totalitarian cancers you mentioned. If you read the Birther posts & those of other radicalized right wing sites and related movements (such as the Tea Party, etc.) you quickly see a disturbing trend in the reactionary words they use.

    They are too quick to call others “traitors” and talk about shooting or hanging people they simply disagree with. More and more they talk about actions which are really calls for a second civil war…or at least the type of coup you only find in third-world banana republic dictatorships. Many of their words are dangerous and appear to be (intentionally or not) geared towards inciting the unhinged “lone wolfs” (or even small like minded groups) towards taking very dangerous actions towards the government or innocent individuals.

    So yes, the cancer of their ideas and words does carry with it an inherent danger that bears serious monitoring and also vigourous efforts to stamp out. Dismissing radical crazies simply because their charges are baseless and their activities are both incompetent and ineffective is a risky and unwise complacency. Yes, their inane bumbling is endlessly entertaining…but it also is the slow steady drip of how more dangerous radical movements gain a foothold and manifest into bigger systemic problems, without people realizing their dangers until it is too late…

    Fazil Iskander: In a sense, we’re lucky that birtherism is (so far) a politically trivial thing, one that will go away when Barack Obama does. If it were something like Neo-National Socialism or Neo-Stalinism, we would not only have to insist on the “truth” but also militate against falsehood. I’m a Canadian, but my sense is that birtherism (like trutherism) isn’t that dangerous and, so, we can study its twists and turns and learn something useful for when a deeply toxic refusal to accept truth makes its (inevitable?) appearance.
    (You guys who have your finger on the pulse in the US should – please – correct me if I’m wrong about the dangers of birtherism.)

  146. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Thanks G. Great reply.

    I wonder if you can tell me – I know it’s a big topic, sorry – if you think the tone of political discussion has RECENTLY devolved in the US? When I think back on dangerous US political rhetoric in my lifetime, I think first of McCarthyism. That was a particularly poisonous moment, I know. Is the present political scene as partisan and divided do you think?

    Birtherism as the manifestation of a deeper political unrest makes sense to me but because I don’t live in the US, I can’t tell if the political situation in the USA is similar to the kind of polarization that existed in the 50s. (For one thing, I’ve always thought Anne Coulter was a joke. Isn’t she? Or are her pronouncements taken a face value?)

    The other thing that interests me is the rise of “stupid” on the US political scene. GW Bush wasn’t the first to make use of “aw shucks” as a political stance. But he seemed to push “aw shucks-ism” to a new height. Obama – following GW’s example – had to hide his intelligence – change his way of speaking – in the last election. Could birtherism – and its refusal to accept that intellectual rigor/truth is a virtue – be the manifestation of the same turn away from “smart” as a virtue (as opposed to a sign of “elitism”)?

  147. avatar
    John Reilly December 28, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    Doc, I disagree. What most of us asked was for Scott/Bernadine to simply set forth the basis for his/her positions. It’s OK if he/she said that that the Grand Canyon was in Colorado because his teacher said so. But Scott/Bernadine resisted that. Despite coming here and asking questions, he/she ignored questions we asked. And when I pressed and pressed for the facts on three assertions, we found out he had no facts. Heck, I made it easy. I said I would accept Wikipedia or WND. Nothing.

    Scott/Bernadine came here to be annoying.

    To Fazil: These people are dangerous. They will move from one paranoid belief to another in a society increasingly bereft of civics knowledge. How many Supreme Court justices are there? Is it 8 or 9? Folks who would not board an airplane without the belief that an experienced pilot was at the stick are willing to vote for someone as President who apparently slept through 8th grade civics. To me, those folks are dangerous.

  148. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    Fazil, I am 40, so I didn’t experience the era of McCarthyism. I can only surmise a comparison to prior time periods based on doing my best to study up on history and those issues.

    Back in those days, you had not just McCarthyism but also the John Birch Society (JBS) as the crazy overreactionary elements susceptible to irrational fear and paranoia. Make no mistake, the JBS is back. Pretty much the entire Glen Beck schtick is a form of it and since Obama’s election, they have even been granted tables again at various key conservative forums that nearly all prominent GOP politicians support and attend.

    From my perspective, it is most certainly the craziest things have ever been in my entire lifetime…and I would argue that it is even more of a present danger than the era of JBS & McCarthysism due to a few factors I’ll get to in a moment. The other US historical comparison that comes to mind is the various irrational fervors that were ramping up in the 1840’s & 1850’s, culminating in what led to the US Civil War in the 1860’s.

    What makes things different and more dangerous (and allows craziness to spread quicker) these days is thepervasive dominance of RW propaganda media in the US. The worn out “liberal media” meme you here is a fallacy. Because you live in Canada, you probably have no real grasp of what Fox News Channel is or how pervasive its impact is here. From what I’ve been told, it is not allowed to show in Canada, because your smart rules prevent “false advertizing” and therefore, will not allow FNC, which masquerades as news but is mainly only blatant RW propaganda and their ginned up fear mongering and manufacturing of controversies where there are none.

    FNC is the most watched news network here in the States. It is everywhere and pretty much the only tv news that many conservatives watch…and they watch it religiously and many have that channel on all the time. Many bars, doctors offices, work out centers, etc. often have it playing as well…so it is almost inescapable. The talk radio channels here are utterly dominated by RW radio too…also rabidly drumming ever more extremist views and RW memes repeatedly.

    In other words, it is about as close as you can get to the brainwashing techniques described in George Orwell’s prescient dystopian tale, “1984”. Survey after survey has shown that these FNC viewers tend to spend more hours than average watching their “news”…yet also keep getting the worst scores on knowing what is actually going on here and in the world. So I ask you, how can one spend a greater amount of time listening to “news” and still consistently rank as amongst the “least informed”?

    There is also a strong undercurrent of “anti-education” sentiment on the right. Although often couched in the language of being “anti-elitism”, this anti-intellectualism seems to be more driven by both establishment powers on the right that prefer a dumbed-down and therefore more easily manipulated populace as well as driven by an overly powerful evangelical segment that is threatened by science and education.

    So yes, I would say that those two factors of increased irrationalism / extremism and the dumbing down / “anti-intellectualism” aspects go hand-in-hand here and their relationship is intentionally intertwined and a direct result of the mass brainwashing propaganda tactics at play.

    In answer to your Ann Coulter question, she’s taken very seriously by most of the right and is often a commentator on FNC and various RW radio shows, as well as very popular on the RW talk circuit, events and book sales. So yes, that significant segment of our population here generally takes her as one of their “serious” voices.

    This crazy trend on the right and giving voice to the more extreme and intolerant viewpoints in society has roots that go all the way back to the late 60’s and Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”, but really gained legitmacy with Reagan’s open embracing of the “Christian Coalition”, leading to his election in the 1980’s. From there, the right has spent a concentrated effort and funding on creating tons of “Conservative Think Tanks”, which are really just engines to foster and spread their propaganda. Newt Gingrich can be credited by increasing the hard right shift in the 1994 mid-term elections and opening the door for more hard-line views to obtain high office. Things really seem to have gone off the rails during the GOP dominated GWB years of the past decade, so I’d say that their party transitioned to becoming one bankrupt of new ideas during his terms and that the flight or expulsion of moderate voices on the right was really taking place during those years too. The 2008 election of Obama seems to have really caused the collective psyche on the right to have snapped…to where the immediate irrational rise of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) seems to have unmasked the crazy that was already growing and seething under the surface to where it more and more operates out in the open and with impunity.

    Unfortunately, too many good and rational people have difficulty accepting the serious and concerning level of crazy that we are now faced with and just how prevalent and pervasive it has become and prefer to naively pretend it is just a small band of noisy malcontents instead of a more systemic cancer that has crossed the threshold of having too much sway and power in the body politic.

    Fazil Iskander: Thanks G. Great reply. I wonder if you can tell me – I know it’s a big topic, sorry – if you think the tone of political discussion has RECENTLY devolved in the US? When I think back on dangerous US political rhetoric in my lifetime, I think first of McCarthyism. That was a particularly poisonous moment, I know. Is the present political scene as partisan and divided do you think?Birtherism as the manifestation of a deeper political unrest makes sense to me but because I don’t live in the US, I can’t tell if the political situation in the USA is similar to the kind of polarization that existed in the 50s. (For one thing, I’ve always thought Anne Coulter was a joke. Isn’t she? Or are her pronouncements taken a face value?)The other thing that interests me is the rise of “stupid” on the US political scene. GW Bush wasn’t the first to make use of “aw shucks” as a political stance. But he seemed to push “aw shucks-ism” to a new height. Obama – following GW’s example – had to hide his intelligence – change his way of speaking – in the last election. Could birtherism – and its refusal to accept that intellectual rigor/truth is a virtue – be the manifestation of the same turn away from “smart” as a virtue (as opposed to a sign of “elitism”)?

  149. avatar
    Judge Mental December 28, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    I’m no right wing bug-eyed communist hunter but, as an only partially interested foreigner, I seem to remember that quite a lot of the underlying thrust and foundations of McCarthy’s claims were many years later established to be pretty much correct. Is my memory deceiving me or was it in fact duly discovered much later that there had indeed been lots of surreptious infiltrations by communists which were undiscovered at the time?

  150. avatar
    Keith December 28, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Judge Mental:
    I’m no right wing bug-eyed communist hunter but, as an only partially interested foreigner, I seem to remember that quite a lot of the underlying thrust and foundations of McCarthy’s claims were many years later established to be pretty much correct. Is my memory deceiving me or was it in fact duly discovered much later that there had indeed been lots of surreptious infiltrations by communists which were undiscovered at the time?

    I don’t remember finding anything that supported McCarthy’s insane claims in any way.

    There were probably “lefties” in lots of places, but agents of the “international commie conspiracy” explicitly trying to turn the USA into the USSSA? Nonsense.

    Pentagon janitors bringing down Capitalism? Nonsense. Films with a ‘liberal’ bent, like The Oxbow Incident or Twelve Angry Men or The Grapes of Wrath are going to cause rioting in the streets in support of collectivising farms and factories? Nonsense.

    Even in the film industry, a institution with a theoretically liberal bent there were also hard core “righties”. The Grapes of Wrath may have exposed the hardship caused by the selfishness of the power elite, but The Fountainhead glorified that selfishness.

    I notice that Wikipedia includes one of my favorite quotes from The Grapes of Wrath

    This is the beginning—from “I” to “we”. If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into “I”, and cuts you off forever from the “we”.

  151. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Judge Mental: I seem to remember that quite a lot of the underlying thrust and foundations of McCarthy’s claims were many years later established to be pretty much correct.

    LBJ: “Joe McCarthy’s just a loudmouthed drunk. Hell, he’s the sorriest senator up here. Can’t tie his goddamn shoes. But he’s riding high now, he’s got people scared to death some Communist will strangle ‘em in their sleep, and anybody who takes him on before the fevers cool – well, you don’t get in a pissin’ contest with a polecat.”

    60 Minutes: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/12/05/60II/main320170.shtml

    Andy Rooney: To paraphrase Rooney on 60 Minutes – ‘Roy Cohn made a career out of destroying the careers of others. He will not be missed.’

    Read on: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=110&dat=19860915&id=SZtQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=01UDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2214,1090215

  152. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    There was never any danger of the US turning into a communist regime. And, as Keith points out, some of the McCarthyist claims were, in retrospect, as loony as some of Orly Taitz’ ideas. (Despite myself, I find Taitz’ image of thousands of US citizens in FEMA camps learning the Koran … very amusing. What? Overnight the country, its military and judiciary become entirely Muslim? Even Osama bin Laden might have been forgiven for thinking it would take more than one man (Barack Obama) to forcibly convert a nation of 300 million to the koran in 4 years time. It’s always striking to see proof that fanatics of ANY stripe have in common the idea that wholesale ideological change can be instantaneously accomplished.) But … and this is a question for G …

    G. (thanks for the thoughtful answer. Very interesting and it makes sense of the current crop of Republican hopefuls who are a very odd lot indeed. The idea that the US could elect Rick Perry to anything above Dog Catcher is … disconcerting. But Newt Gingrich? A guy who has to publicly promise not to fool around on his wife? One who suggests trials for justices whose rulings don’t conform to “majority” will? I mean, I think some of our politicians are nuts but, frankly, we can’t compete! We do get Fox News in Canada. You can get it on cable. But I watched FNC while I was in Trinidad, recently. It was kind of a relief whenever Shep Smith came on. But Glen Beck – who was still on at the time – was actually … kind of fascinating. Like watching a cow stand up to pee. Unexpected and weird.)

    But Judge Mental’s post brought up a question at the back of my mind. Usually, when the the right wing is militant, you can expect a left wing militancy in response. I get inklings of “left wing militancy” when I watch the films of Michael Moore. (The sequence with an ailing/Alzheimer’s suffering Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine was particularly disturbing to me.) But I wonder if the left wing in the US is as strange, these days, as the right? Not around the idea of birtherism. Though I occasionally read commentators who insist birtherism began on the left, birtherist fanaticism seems uniquely right wing. I suppose you could say “trutherism” was a left wing phenom (am I right, here?), but I wonder if, these days, the liberal side of the spectrum has its fanatics? Just to be clear: I’m not a concern troll. I’m liberal myself. But one of the things you really don’t get when you don’t live in a country, is the political balance of a place. An example: it seems to me that Obama’s centrism, his efforts to include the right in his policy making – at least, his refusal to use his house and senate majorities to force through a liberal agenda – can be seen as “change”. (You certainly can’t imagine GWB refusing to use his power in that way.) And yet, some on the let have been critical of Obama for not operating in the old way. So … is there a corresponding leftist “derangement” in the US these days?

    Judge Mental:
    I’m no right wing bug-eyed communist hunter but, as an only partially interested foreigner, I seem to remember that quite a lot of the underlying thrust and foundations of McCarthy’s claims were many years later established to be pretty much correct. Is my memory deceiving me or was it in fact duly discovered much later that there had indeed been lots of surreptious infiltrations by communists which were undiscovered at the time?

  153. avatar
    bovril December 28, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Fazil,

    IMHO, worth every penny paid for it on the Internet, is there is one fundamental difference between the idealogues of the Right and the (more) Left.

    Even during the height of the “truther” insanity or the rest of the Shrubs’ reign, the “Left” may have called the government all sorts of nasty names etc but their methodology for redress was by calling for LEGAL retribution.

    No one called Bush or Cheney unpatriotic or traitors to the Constitution and for someone/everyone to hang/shoot all Republicans, the calls were for Impeachment, legal actions, voting out the scoundrels etc.

    The current crop of RWNJ’s and that is precisely what they are, are fundamentally anti democratic, totalitarian, bigotted, exclusionary and scream for illegal methods of redress.

    YMMV

  154. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 28, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    I don’t think the quality of political debate has recently devolved. It was never that good (even going back as far as the George Washington administration). What I have seen over the last few decades and especially with the advent of the Tea Party is an unwillingness to compromise.

    Fazil Iskander: I wonder if you can tell me – I know it’s a big topic, sorry – if you think the tone of political discussion has RECENTLY devolved in the US?

  155. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 28, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Those are all good questions and ones that I don’t have answers for yet.

    My current thinking is that I’ll find a way to convert the dynamic pages on the site in to static HTML pages and then just let it sit on the web. I don’t think there will be any grand summary beyond an updated Debunker’s Guide.

    I’ve talked to my wife, who was a librarian, on occasion about the whole question of persistence of information in the digital age. There is a tension between persisting and letting go. I don’t know exactly where I am on that.

    As one point I looked into expanding into the larger study of conspiracy with the launching of DoctorConspiracy.com. However, that’s not going to happen so long as Obama conspiracies take so much time, and it may not happen ever.

    JPotter: Branching off from this observation, when the OCT files are closed, can we expect a summation? A statement of findings of sorts? Or will the collected material be left to stand on its own? A fading away, a sudden close, or a passing of the torch? Or perhaps branching out into larger study of conspiracy?

  156. avatar
    Reality Check December 28, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    I think the right wing media is most culpable in the current state of political discord and intransigence in government. I am talking about both right wing dominated talk radio and Fox News in particular. We have the situation where conservative politicians have changed or formed positions based on how the likes of Rush Limbaugh has come down on issues.

    A large fraction (30% or so) gets their news almost elusively from these biased and highly manipulated sources. They have pushed the anti-science, anti-intellectual, pro Judea-Christian domination agenda for over 20 years and the effect on the political discourse is devastating. Conservative politicians are kowtowed into line and dare not reach across the line to work with the President. I find the current situation quite depressing.

  157. avatar
    El Diablo Negro December 28, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    You made me spit my coffee, never heard the standing cow pissing before. Very funny.

    Fazil Iskander: But Glen Beck – who was still on at the time – was actually … kind of fascinating. Like watching a cow stand up to pee. Unexpected and weird.)

  158. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    The quality of political debate is (consciously or not) pitched to the audience for the political debate. It makes no sense quoting Hegel and Kant when you need to convince an audience whose ideas and attitude come from The Daily Show . And this has been a problem from the ancient Greeks on.

    The death sentence given to Socrates was the result of an prosecutor playing on the fears of Athens’ citizenry. And, in a sense, there is something slightly pathetic – in the true sense of the word – to Plato’s Apology . The philosopher, Plato, shows the superiority of Socrates’ thinking while ignoring that thinking/logic is only one element in public discourse and not necessarily the most effective or useful. The Athenians were afraid of the Spartans. Socrates’ defense of Sparta while grounded in logic was out of place in Athens.

    I wonder if, after 9/11, the possibility of compromise was itself compromised? I mean, once the US had been attacked, not only did “irony” die – at least, temporarily – but nuances on the political spectrum were wiped out. How subtle can public discourse be, in the face of the destruction of the polis? (Anne Coulter’s first big book, Slander came in 2002, after all.)

    It makes one think that birtherism – like trutherism before it, I guess – are by-products not just of fear ( Bowling for Columbine ‘s thesis is that fear has ruled public discourse in the US since the end of the second world war) but of the failure of reasonable discourse to provide civic safety. After all, if one can be “reasonable” and be attacked as the US was in 2001, isn’t the question now “what good is reason?”. As compromise needs reason in order to exist, one would expect compromise to suffer in periods when the usefulness of reason is under consideration …

    So the challenge is how to get back to a place where reason and truth are generally understood t be the best hope for going forward.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I don’t think the quality of political debate has recently devolved. It was never that good (even going back as far as the George Washington administration). What I have seen over the last few decades and especially with the advent of the Tea Party is an unwillingness to compromise.

  159. avatar
    Majority Will December 28, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Fazil Iskander: But Glen Beck – who was still on at the time – was actually … kind of fascinating. Like watching a cow stand up to pee. Unexpected and weird.

    Funniest thing I have read in quite awhile. And apt. Thank you.

  160. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    There always has been an anti-science, anti-intellect, anti-progress undercurrent in the States:

    JEFFERSON, S.C. — It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled that officially sponsored prayer in public schools violated the separation of church and state.

    But battles over the place of religion in schools continue. This month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit demanding that the Chesterfield County, S.C., school district end what the suit describes as the continuing promotion of religion in several of its schools, including the middle school that held the prayer rally. The A.C.L.U. brought the suit on behalf of a seventh grader who said he was subjected to unwanted proselytizing and has been harassed for his avowals of atheism.

    Read on:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/us/battling-anew-over-the-place-of-religion-in-public-schools.html

  161. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Jewish family flees Delaware school district’s aggressive Christianity

    A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit.

    Among numerous specific examples in the complaint was what happened at plaintiff Samantha Dobrich’s graduation in 2004 from the district’s high school. She was the only Jewish student in her graduating class. The complaint relates that local pastor, Jerry Fike, in his invocation, followed requests for “our heavenly Father’s” guidance for the graduates with:

    I also pray for one specific student, that You be with her and guide her in the path that You have for her. And we ask all these things in Jesus’ name.

    An early comment to today’s News Journal/DelawareOnline report is typical of sentiment expressed to local media and reported in the Dobrich-Doe lawsuit as coming from the local talk radio station and elected representatives. The early morning poster wrote:

    If that so called family doesn’t like our CHRISTMAS BREAK mentioned then they should just go BACK to where they came from,, i REALLY wish i lived next too the morons,, i would erect a CHRISTMAS sign & face it right toward their house to read each & everyday,, GO BACK TO WHERE EVER YOU CAME FROM LOSERS. NOW I WILL SUE YOU FOR BEING MORONS Just who do these whatever they are,, THINK they are ???

    Read on: http://www.jewsonfirst.org/06b/indianriver.html

  162. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: What I have seen over the last few decades and especially with the advent of the Tea Party is an unwillingness to compromise.

    The Tea Party Is a Religious Movement:

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/scott-galupo/2011/08/17/the-tea-party-is-a-religious-movement

  163. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: What I have seen over the last few decades and especially with the advent of the Tea Party is an unwillingness to compromise.

    Tea Party’s War on America:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/opinion/the-tea-partys-war-on-america.html

  164. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: What I have seen over the last few decades and especially with the advent of the Tea Party is an unwillingness to compromise.

    Proposed Amendment Would Enable States to Repeal Federal Law

    Virginia was a particularly ripe place to start the argument. The attorney general, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, was among the first attorneys general to try to overturn the federal health care law…

    Mr. Cuccinelli argued that the federal provision establishing a health insurance mandate was against a law the legislature had recently passed decreeing that no resident could be required to have health insurance.

    Read on: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/us/politics/20states.html

  165. avatar
    Rickey December 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Fazil Iskander:
    The quality of political debate is (consciously or not) pitched to the audience for the political debate. It makes no sense quoting Hegel and Kant when you need to convince an audience whose ideas and attitude come from The Daily Show . And this has been a problem from the ancient Greeks on.

    Actually, viewers of The Daily Show are more likely to know about Hegel and Kant than the typical Fox News viewer.

    The birther movement is a fringe movement and birherism per se is unlikely to have any measurable effect upon anything. However, within the birther movement are more than a few crazy people who pose no threat politically but who do potentially pose a physical threat to the President. Patrick at the Bad Fiction blog keeps track of those nutjobs.

    In addition to right-wing talk radio and Fox News, there is the Internet. Just today a person I know posted a long rant on Facebook, complaining that nobody who went to Columbia University remembers Obama being a student there. The Internet allows lies such as this to be endlessly recycled no matter how many times they are debunked.

  166. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Viewers of the The Daily Show are better informed than those of Fox News, I understand, but the level of political commentary on The Daily Show isn’t deep. It isn’t meant to be. It’s chief means of political commentary are ridicule and humour. Perfectly appropriate for a comedy show but, as John Stewart himself has pointed out, it’s not the place you’d want people getting their political information because, well, it’s first job is to make its viewers laugh, not think. The Daily show doesn’t have the time it needs to do anything in depth. If it’s important to find some way to revitalize “reason” and depth of thought for an electorate, The Daily Show is probably not the best way to go about it. (In an ideal world, with an informed electorate, the show would be valued for what it is, a really good comedy show.)

    On the other hand, maybe you’re right. I mean, maybe The Daily Show is an important part of making respect for facts and for logical consistency a part of public discourse. If being laughed at is a deterrent to stupidity, then The Daily Show is valuable. But the fact that John Stewart now pals around with Bill O’Reilly makes me think where The Daily Show leads is to “ridicule” as an absolute value: all for ridicule, anything for laughs and ratings. I mean, in a world in which humour and ratings are the sine qua non, it makes sense for Stewart and O’Reilly to be friends. They’re doing the same job, in the end. (That’s not a bad thing, exactly, it just makes me go “hmmm” when I think of what I’m laughing at when I watch The Daily Show – something I do whenever I can …)

    I realize I’m out on a limb, here, but I take John Stewart at his word. The Daily Show may not be the best place for an electorate to get its information.

    Rickey: Actually, viewers of The Daily Show are more likely to know about Hegel and Kant than the typical Fox News viewer.

  167. avatar
    jayhg December 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    YOU SAID: “Obama – following GW’s example – had to hide his intelligence – change his way of speaking – in the last election. Could birtherism – and its refusal to accept that intellectual rigor/truth is a virtue – be the manifestation of the same turn away from “smart” as a virtue (as opposed to a sign of “elitism”)?”

    How so? I don’t recall President Obama hiding his intelligence – exactly the opposite, actually.

    One Sarah Palin showed up, the republican rank and file seemed to mock intelligence and use the word “elite” a lot, but while Bush (the son) was not very smart, or thought to not be very smart – the president who you’d want to have a beer with, as it were – President Obama has never been thought of that way.

  168. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    As you were there, I’d trust your memory of the 2008 presidential campaign well above mine. I remembered reading – in the Times – that Obama’s handlers were wary of his being thought “elitist” and so asked him to change the way he spoke. GWB wasn’t, I thought, “stupid”. From here, he looked like a man who knew what his electorate wanted, ie. one of their own, not an elitist though, of course, GWB was in fact a member of the elite, while Obama was not.

    Here’s a reference to the NY Times article I remembered reading. The headline was “Tagged as Elitist, Obama Shifts Campaign From High-Flown to Folksy: :

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/politics/06obama.html?scp=3&sq=obama%20elitist&st=cse

    Admittedly, Obama was not entirely successful at hiding his intelligence. Here’s another Times article on the matter. It’s headline? “Elitism: the Charge Obama Can’t Shake”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/weekinreview/31baker.html?scp=1&sq=obama%20elitist&st=cse&pagewanted=2

    My point was that he tried to shake it, that his handlers wouldn’t let him present himself as what he was: university educated, a lecturer on the constitution, etc. It seems logical to me to suppose that he made the effort to hide his intelligence because he was facing an electorate that is wary of intelligence. I may be wrong, though.

    jayhg:
    YOU SAID:“Obama – following GW’s example – had to hide his intelligence – change his way of speaking – in the last election. Could birtherism – and its refusal to accept that intellectual rigor/truth is a virtue – be the manifestation of the same turn away from “smart” as a virtue (as opposed to a sign of “elitism”)?”

    How so?I don’t recall President Obama hiding his intelligence – exactly the opposite, actually.

    One Sarah Palin showed up, the republican rank and file seemed to mock intelligence and use the word “elite” a lot, but while Bush (the son) was not very smart, or thought to not be very smart – the president who you’d want to have a beer with, as it were – President Obama has never been thought of that way.

  169. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    I agree completely.

    Reality Check: I think the right wing media is most culpable in the current state of political discord and intransigence in government. I am talking about both right wing dominated talk radio and Fox News in particular. We have the situation where conservative politicians have changed or formed positions based on how the likes of Rush Limbaugh has come down on issues. A large fraction (30% or so) gets their news almost elusively from these biased and highly manipulated sources. They have pushed the anti-science, anti-intellectual, pro Judea-Christian domination agenda for over 20 years and the effect on the political discourse is devastating. Conservative politicians are kowtowed into line and dare not reach across the line to work with the President. I find the current situation quite depressing.

  170. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    While I understand where you are going with that, I feel such is a false argument, as it mistakingly equates “reason” with the ability to be attacked. In fact, there simply is no direct correlation between the two, even though a panicked fearful mind might jump to such ill thought out conclusions.

    Substitute terrorism that argument for some sort of natural disaster, over which one also has no control and you can quickly see how the entire premise of the argument is absurd to the point of simply justifying lazy thinking and behavior. It is an excuse for irrationalsim and nothing more.

    What it really comes down to is stability in society and civilization as a whole. The greater the stability and fairness of a system (perceived or real), the more secure its citizenry can feel and be expected to behave rationaly.

    In the US, we’ve had several decades of eroded faith by the populace in our elected officials and the self-inflicted mechanisms of corruption and bureaucratic incompetence that have been allowed to gum up the process. When people lose faith and trust in their very own institutions of protection, yet nothing is done to address the underlying problems, the situation continues to degrade and become more absurd and ineffective with time. Feelings of security in the social contract also erode as a result and the doorway opens ever wider to irrational fears and erratic behaviors.

    9/11 was definitely a scar on our national psyche. Any event of such magnitude will cause an understandable emotional response of palpable fear in the populace… but such intense emotional fears should appropriately subside with the passage of time, unless there is a continuous string of similar events to extend the heightened sense of insecurity. When it comes right down to it, life has continued on pretty much unscathed since that time and other than some minor incidents and failed attempts that have been twarted in advance, there hasn’t been another event since then to warrant people here living in fear of expecting bombs to go off at any time.

    We’ve got it pretty good here in the US and are fairly well protected with two great oceans on either side and only two nations bordering us and a vast, vast space inbetween. Imagine what life is like for people in Israel, Iraq or Afghanistan, where the civilian populace has a real reason to fear that bombs or weapons can go off at anytime and anywhere. For those folks, such concerns are a real and daily part of life. Here they are just hysteric paranoia in fevered minds. Someone living in the US is in more danger of being randomly struck by lightening then being a victim of a terrorist attack.

    9/11 is simply not a sufficient justification to excuse rejections of reason or willingness to compromise over a decade later…

    Fazil Iskander: After all, if one can be “reasonable” and be attacked as the US was in 2001, isn’t the question now “what good is reason?” . As compromise needs reason in order to exist, one would expect compromise to suffer in periods when the usefulness of reason is under consideration …

  171. avatar
    Keith December 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    bovril: No one called Bush or Cheney unpatriotic or traitors to the Constitution

    Speaking for yourself, of course.

    The (un)Patriot Act is by far the biggest attack on the Constitution in my lifetime. Bush was perhaps a just a stooge, but Cheney’s manipulations and baldfaced unilateral disregard for the Constitution certainly bordered on being ‘traitorous to the Constitution’. I could go on, but my rant would just get more crazy and spittle would start clogging the keyboard.

  172. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Misha makes several very important points here.

    First of all, he is absolutely correct that such types of movements have always been part of the undercurrent of the US.

    Second, he points out an important connection to the zealous and fundamentalist forms of religion that pervade our culture here. Their connection to the types of irrational anti-(fill in the blank) attitudes and movements in the U.S. cannot be understated. One cannot truly understand the zeitgeist of the U.S. without examining the role that religion plays in influencing that dynamic…

    misha: There always has been an anti-science, anti-intellect, anti-progress undercurrent in the States:JEFFERSON, S.C. — It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled that officially sponsored prayer in public schools violated the separation of church and state. But battles over the place of religion in schools continue. This month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit demanding that the Chesterfield County, S.C., school district end what the suit describes as the continuing promotion of religion in several of its schools, including the middle school that held the prayer rally. The A.C.L.U. brought the suit on behalf of a seventh grader who said he was subjected to unwanted proselytizing and has been harassed for his avowals of atheism. Read on:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/us/battling-anew-over-the-place-of-religion-in-public-schools.html

  173. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    For the most part, I agree.

    In simplistic terms, it breaks down to being comprised of two main factions – primarily conservative libertarian / anti-government types and very far-right religious right types. But certainly, evangelical and fundamentalist religious views are one of the strongest true motivators pervasive amongst the Tea Party set.

    The former groups are those likely to flock to Ron Paul and the latter types are the ones desperately trying to decide between Bachmann, Santorum and Perry…and to a lesser extent, whether they just want to cynically place their bet on Newt (because they either view him as a stronger opponent to Obama or just like his ability to be a nasty “bomb thrower”).

    misha: The Tea Party Is a Religious Movement:http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/scott-galupo/2011/08/17/the-tea-party-is-a-religious-movement

  174. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    In other words, just another sly attempt by Southern States to try to re-litigate the Civil War and reintroduce the failed concept of Nullification.

    misha: Proposed Amendment Would Enable States to Repeal Federal LawVirginia was a particularly ripe place to start the argument. The attorney general, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, was among the first attorneys general to try to overturn the federal health care law…Mr. Cuccinelli argued that the federal provision establishing a health insurance mandate was against a law the legislature had recently passed decreeing that no resident could be required to have health insurance.Read on: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/us/politics/20states.html

  175. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    True. Although I agree that comedy has always had its place as an important art form for social and political commentary. But yes, it is definitely a sad state of affairs when some of the best critical and fact-checking news sources in the U.S. are comedy shows on a cable tv comedy channel. That says more about the collapse of serious journalistic integrity in US media than anything else. That being said, both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report rightly deserve the attention, awards and accolades that they regularly receive!

    On a side note – I don’t quite understand your criticisms on Stewart & O’Reilly’s interactions and feel that you’ve mischaracterized what they really are.

    Just because they try to give each other some professional respect and courtesy in their interactions does not make them “pals” or even on the same page. A lot can be said for attempting to maintain a veneer of professional and respectful dialogue with your adversaries and I view that as a good thing and a mature way to deal with conflict.

    Fazil Iskander: I realize I’m out on a limb, here, but I take John Stewart at his word. The Daily Show may not be the best place for an electorate to get its information.

  176. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Of course there are always fanatics at the extreme edge margins of all ideological positions.

    On the left, there are definitely some fringe elements, such as Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink and certain extremist environmentalist and anti-globalist groups. Heck, I’d even throw PETA in that mix.

    There is a HUGE difference however – one that cannot be understated or said enough in order to counter the common meme of false equivalency that too often happens in merely pointing out that these groups exist:

    The LEFT does not tolerate their “kooks” and appropriately relegates them to the fringe. They are not given voices nor positions of power and are fairly soundly denounced.

    The RIGHT however seems to coddle and encourage its “kooks” to the point where it not only panders them, but shifts its platforms and arguments towards appeasing their extreme views. On the RIGHT, the extremes and the crazies are not just tolerated, but often defended. They are fed their “red meat” regularly. And lately, they are able to obtain office and positions of power.

    The whole 9/11 Truther nonsense is a more complicated issue and I dispute the false “meme” of classifying it as a movement of the “left”. I think there is a lot of confusion between linking actual “Truthers” to those on the left who merely rightly point to the GWB’s Administration’s failure to do enough to act upon the advanced intelligence reports, such as those listed in the August 2001 NIE report, which specifically warned that Al-Qaeda was planning an major imminent attack on US soil.

    That is a very different criticism than the cr*p kooky claims of actual “9/11 Truthers”. Those nuts have all sorts of conspiracy claims, spanning from someone other than Al-Qaeda being “behind” the attacks in the first place to bizarre accusations that the planes didn’t actually fly into those buildings and cause them to fall or that the falling of the building was some sort of “controlled demolition”. All that stuff is of course a bunch of uttery crockery and has long been extensively debunked.

    In terms of those actual kooky “Truther” conspiracies, there seems to be a mix of folks who’ve bought into that schlock. Most of the one’s I’ve come across turn out to be simply your typical “anti-government” nuts. You know, the same types that are likely to believe in FEMA camps and “black helicopters” and secret NWO type cabals ruling the world… These folks seem to make these claims regardless of what party is in power. While some of them may be otherwise on the “left” of the political spectrum, some are also actually from the “right”. Quite a few are “libertarian” actually. And quite a few of them are just the types of anti-government paranoids that never vote at all…or vote for really minor 3rd parties.

    So in summary, I continue to strongly disagree that Truthers should be classified as a crazy movement from “the left” at all. I think they are can only be properly classified as anti-government conspiracy paranoids – period. I think the false connection sprang up by simply mistakingly conflating and erroneously equating a more general anti-war sentiment on the left, along with legitimate criticism of the GWB Administration’s failures, with the actual crazy beliefs of Trutherism.

    Fazil Iskander: But Judge Mental’s post brought up a question at the back of my mind. Usually, when the the right wing is militant, you can expect a left wing militancy in response. I get inklings of “left wing militancy” when I watch the films of Michael Moore. (The sequence with an ailing/Alzheimer’s suffering Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine was particularly disturbing to me.) But I wonder if the left wing in the US is as strange, these days, as the right? Not around the idea of birtherism. Though I occasionally read commentators who insist birtherism began on the left, birtherist fanaticism seems uniquely right wing. I suppose you could say “trutherism” was a left wing phenom (am I right, here?), but I wonder if, these days, the liberal side of the spectrum has its fanatics? Just to be clear: I’m not a concern troll. I’m liberal myself. But one of the things you really don’t get when you don’t live in a country, is the political balance of a place. An example: it seems to me that Obama’s centrism, his efforts to include the right in his policy making – at least, his refusal to use his house and senate majorities to force through a liberal agenda – can be seen as “change”. (You certainly can’t imagine GWB refusing to use his power in that way.) And yet, some on the let have been critical of Obama for not operating in the old way. So … is there a corresponding leftist “derangement” in the US these days?

  177. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Yeah, the batch of clowns competing for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination is the weakest and craziest bunch I’ve seen in my lifetime. I am also simply unaware of any historical U.S. comparison to a major political party fielding such an entirely weak and damaged field of contenders as this.

    You’ve also reminded me that I’ve got to find some time to get back to posting the rest of my analysis of the 2012 GOP Primary under the “New poll results: most Iowa Republicans are idiots” thread. I’ll see if I can find some time to tackle that later tonight.

    Fazil Iskander: G. (thanks for the thoughtful answer. Very interesting and it makes sense of the current crop of Republican hopefuls who are a very odd lot indeed. The idea that the US could elect Rick Perry to anything above Dog Catcher is … disconcerting. But Newt Gingrich? A guy who has to publicly promise not to fool around on his wife? One who suggests trials for justices whose rulings don’t conform to “majority” will? I mean, I think some of our politicians are nuts but, frankly, we can’t compete!

  178. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    G: The LEFT does not tolerate their “kooks” and appropriately relegates them to the fringe. They are not given voices nor positions of power and are fairly soundly denounced.

    Buckley once said he spent a lifetime getting rid of the kooks. Well, when he died, the kooks came back and are here to stay.

    If anything, the kooks are regularly thrown red meat.

  179. avatar
    Keith December 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    misha: Proposed Amendment Would Enable States to Repeal Federal Law

    Virginia was a particularly ripe place to start the argument.

    And Rick Perry is trying to get onto the Virginia primary ballot by espousing the supremacy of Federal law!

    source

    Gingrich isn’t the only candidate struggling to explain why he is not on Virginia’s primary ballot. On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who also failed to amass the required 10,000 signatures, filed a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Virginia, claiming that precedents set in federal courts should override Virginia’s laws.

    The conservative mind is a wondrous maze!

  180. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    G: Yeah, the batch of clowns competing for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination is the weakest and craziest bunch I’ve seen in my lifetime.

    I did not think the GOP could sink any lower than Sarah Palin. They managed the impossible: Michele Bachmann. Kudos!

  181. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    G: I think you’re likely right. But I want to think about it a little. I remember reading that, at the end of the second world war, Japan’s attitude to the US changed because the US was the country responsible for Japanese surrender. Nagasaki and Hiroshima brought about the greatest humiliation for the Japanese in modern times. Instead of turning against the US, Japan began to model itself on certain aspects of the US. According to the writer – I think it may have been Ian Buruma’s Japanese Mirror , but I’m not sure – the post-war Japanese aping of US fashion, music, and culture was a collective “bow” of subservience to the US. (The point wasn’t made as unsubtly as that, but that idea is what I took away from the argument.)

    My point is, a society reacts to trauma in unexpected ways, but still within the logic of its cultural identity. If the US has been led by fear-mongerers since the second world war, what might its reaction be to the fulfilling of paranoid predictions about its safety? I mean, once the horrible thing actually comes to pass – you are attacked – what is the country’s response likely to be? We don’t really have to guess. We know what happened: the US sought out its enemies and spent the next 10 years chasing them down and eliminating them, or trying to. Internally there was a change, too. It started with all the talk about the death of “irony”. But the change was deeper: self-censorship, anger, rabid patriotism, the public justification of some forms of torture, etc. “Reason” went underground and changed. The country that I grew up beside changed. Has it turned back into the country it had been before the calamity? Not from the outside, it hasn’t. From the inside? You’d have to tell me. But “trutherism” and “birtherism” seem a product of the change. They don’t seem divorced from 9/11.

    I grew up on the other side of the lake from Detroit. I watched Sir Graves Ghastly, the Ghoul, PBS when it used to show great European movies. I listened to Motown on CKLW. I can’t quite connect that US to the one I read about and listen to now. In searching for a kind of reason for the change, 9/11 is pretty obvious. Maybe, as you say, it’s too obvious. And it’s been 10 years since 9/11. The public discourse should have changed. But has it? Is the current mood entirely distinct from the mood imediately post-9/11?

    (What got me thinking this way is Doc pointing to the Tea Party as being one of the harbingers of the death of compromise. The Tea Party is – to my foreigner’s mind – such a product of the post 9/11 US, the equation of the two – Tea Party and 9/11 – is probably deceptively easy.)

    I’m not at all saying that 9/11 justifies or is an excuse for “irrationalism”. As you point out, if you substituted a natural disaster for 9/11, it becomes an absurd argument. But then again, we don’t – since the 18th century and the earthquake in Lisbon – deal with natural and man-made traumas in the same way. And I’m suggesting that, whereas, pre-9/11 the US was still guided by the public acceptance of rational argument in public life (or at least the pretense of rational argument), post-9/11 it’s not. The ways of thinking in US public life have changed. And what you’re dealing with when you’re dealing with ODS is on this side of the boundary.

    It isn’t about continued fear. I accept what you say when you say that

    When it comes right down to it, life has continued on pretty much unscathed since that time and other than some minor incidents and failed attempts that have been twarted in advance, there hasn’t been another event since then to warrant people here living in fear of expecting bombs to go off at any time.

    But it’s about the legacy of fear: the change in tone, the desperation for certainty, the refusal of compromise.

    I suppose, in the US, you have a kind of test for this. You had the political change that took place after Pearl Harbour. I imagine public discourse changed radically after the Japanese attack, too. I have absolutely no idea if this is true or how it might be. But, if anyone knows, I’d be curious about it. If public discourse did change after Pearl Harbour, how long was it before it changed back? Did it ever change back? Or did it take another disaster 60 something years later for public discourse to change into what it is now? And what will it take before there is change from the current lack of compromise, desperation for certainty at the expense of truth?

    Sorry to be so vague and unsure. I have more questions than anything else. And I’m not at all sure about the directions my thoughts take, but I’m trying to figure this stuff out for myself because, being Canadian, I’m almost certain to have to face a version what you guys are facing now. US public discourse has a huge influence on Canadian trends.

    G:
    While I understand where you are going with that, I feel such is a false argument, as it mistakingly equates “reason” with the ability to be attacked.In fact, there simply is no direct correlation between the two, even though a panicked fearful mind might jump to such ill thought out conclusions.

    Substitute terrorism that argument for some sort of natural disaster, over which one also has no control and you can quickly see how the entire premise of the argument is absurd to the point of simply justifying lazy thinking and behavior.It is an excuse for irrationalsim and nothing more.

  182. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    You are absolutely right about both of those points!

    misha: Buckley once said he spent a lifetime getting rid of the kooks. Well, when he died, the kooks came back and are here to stay.If anything, the kooks are regularly thrown red meat.

  183. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Good point and very true.

    On a side note – I don’t quite understand your criticisms on Stewart & O’Reilly’s interactions and feel that you’ve mischaracterized what they really are.

    Just because they try to give each other some professional respect and courtesy in their interactions does not make them “pals” or even on the same page.A lot can be said for attempting to maintain a veneer of professional and respectful dialogue with your adversaries and I view that as a good thing and a mature way to deal with conflict.

  184. avatar
    misha December 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Keith: And Rick Perry is trying to get onto the Virginia primary ballot by espousing the supremacy of Federal law!

    Immediately after his threats to secede.

    Whew, I’m back. I was laughing so hard, I slid off my chair.

  185. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    The crazy thing is that Bachmann appears to be resurging in Iowa and could end up doing well there and then go onto again become the “Deep Red” alternative Anti-Romney choice. She might have the 2nd strongest all-important “ground-game” in place there; next to Ron Paul.

    If she can get 4th or better in Iowa, she could do really well in South Carolina and be back in this game…

    …scary, isn’t it…

    misha: I did not think the GOP could sink any lower than Sarah Palin. They managed the impossible: Michele Bachmann. Kudos!

  186. avatar
    Keith December 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    G: So in summary, I continue to strongly disagree that Truthers should be classified as a crazy movement from “the left” at all.

    At the risk of wasting a post by not adding anything of any value to the discussion, I could not agree more.

    “Trutherism” is a politically neutral anti-establishment conspiracy theory in the sense that so many people are involved in the false flag operation and its ongoing cover-up. It has to stay air tight for at least 4 generations in dozens of countries. There is no way that the conspirators political leanings or religion can have any meaning.

  187. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Well, I guess it could be more accurately stated that merely in general, a good portion of the nation has moved on.

    You do make a point. 9/11 has definitely caused a certain type of xenophobia to become embedded. Really, most of the irrational Islamophobia that is rampant (mostly on the right) is a direct result of that. All this irrational fear of “Sharia Law” too. I suspect that a good portion of Birtherim & Tea Party sentiment stems from this, as too many of them incorrectly assume Obama is a “secret Muslim”. It started during the 2008 Presidential Campaign and has persisted in those circles. For those folks, their ODS seems to be more a bigotry associated with the sound of his name and background of his father and his brief time as a youth spent in Indonesia; instead of about the color of his skin.

    I think you are right about the view of “torture” being linked to that too…

    But then again, the picture isn’t quite that simple upon deeper analysis either. A lot of the current xenophobia here originates outside of 9/11, and more has to do with problems of illegal immigration situation on our Mexican border and the unstable violent drug war situation in that country that spills over into ours. A lot also has to do with the affects of globalization and outsourcing as well.

    Even attitudes on torture and war have broader cultural influences behind them here – such as from the popular and long running “24 series” we had on TV and much of the “Rambo” action hero culture that arose in the 1980’s (and to an extent, even the John Wayne / Chuck Norris / Clint Eastwood “westerns” and similar action movie imagery from the decades prior to that).

    Also, in terms of Iraq, there is a lot of evidence that the neo-cons (such as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfield, etc.) were going to look for any excuse to take out Saddam Hussein, regardless, when GWB got elected. For them, it was partially part of their ideological “world politik” views of controlling access to oil and partially a desire to address what they felt Desert Storm left “unfinished”. 9/11 just became a convenient cover excuse for them to pursue their agenda of what is essentially a policy of American Imperialism. You see the same rumblings now from the neo-cons and (most) of the GOP candidates in trying to stoke excuses to go to war with Iran.

    However, it should be pointed out that these are all viewpoints and positions that mainly exist on the Right and don’t have that much support in the rest of our population. They may be loud positions, but they are still minority views. However, some of the Islamaphobia and xenophobia are certainly more widespread than that, particularly in portions of the blue collar middle class. A bad economy always contributes to general senses of disenfranchisement and “tribalistic” retrenchment, so that is definitely a compounding factor at play. But overall, I’d say that the broader xenophobia is a complex problem, with many factors behind it. Only the segment of that which is Islamaphobia can probably be attributed as a long-standing carry-over from 9/11.

    Fazil Iskander: I’m not at all saying that 9/11 justifies or is an excuse for “irrationalism”. As you point out, if you substituted a natural disaster for 9/11, it becomes an absurd argument. But then again, we don’t – since the 18th century and the earthquake in Lisbon – deal with natural and man-made traumas in the same way. And I’m suggesting that, whereas, pre-9/11 the US was still guided by the public acceptance of rational argument in public life (or at least the pretense of rational argument), post-9/11 it’s not. The ways of thinking in US public life have changed. And what you’re dealing with when you’re dealing with ODS is on this side of the boundary.

  188. avatar
    G December 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    There were various fear-based over-reactions that happened during that time period. Many Japanense Americans were rounded up and forced to live in camps and treated suspiciously. I have an older friend who’s family was in one of those camps and before his passing, his much older brother, was quite open with talking about his experience in those camps with me.

    German American’s faced prejudice and suspicion and a lesser extent of internment as well.

    With the end of the war, many of those fears eventually subsided…although some prejudices lingered in the generations that lived through that experience. My Polish grandfather on my mother’s side refused to attend his own daughter’s wedding, simply because my dad was of German descent; despite the fact that both families were devoutly Roman Catholic and that both of my grandfathers fought in the US forces during World War II and that both ethnic families had been Americans for at least 2 generations before that!

    But my parent’s generation didn’t hold those same views…so it really only stuck with the Generation that fought that war and didn’t really take root in being passed on to later generations. Therefore, I’d say that the public discourse just gradually moved on.

    If anything, this country’s politics are have been mainly mired in the arguments and alignments forged during the Civil Rights movement and the “modern” political landscape is often seen to have started during that time (late 60’s) and in many ways has been dominated by the concerns and values of the Baby Boomers, as their large block of our population has dominated the cultural picture. I’d put Obama as really the first President really trying to move beyond that alignment.

    However, I contend that the realities of demographic change are inevitable and coupled with the vast technological pace of change in the world, we are past due for a vast sea-change in political re-alignment and priorities anyways.

    Fazil Iskander: I suppose, in the US, you have a kind of test for this. You had the political change that took place after Pearl Harbour. I imagine public discourse changed radically after the Japanese attack, too. I have absolutely no idea if this is true or how it might be. But, if anyone knows, I’d be curious about it. If public discourse did change after Pearl Harbour, how long was it before it changed back? Did it ever change back? Or did it take another disaster 60 something years later for public discourse to change into what it is now? And what will it take before there is change from the current lack of compromise, desperation for certainty at the expense of truth?

  189. avatar
    John Reilly December 29, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    There’s a professor, Hofstader, I think, who has written of the “paranoid” style in American politics. In the circles I travel in socially (Republican, military, small town) I don’t often speak with “left-wing” people, although in my work (again, military and engineering) I meet some more liberal folks. I have to say that there is a fair amount of paranoia and ignorance running around, and I’m fascinated that Justice O’Connor attributes some of this to a lack of civics education, where one would learn, for example, that there are currently nine Supreme Court justices (although whether one is alive can only be determined by visiting Wal-Mart parking lots).

    After President Bush was elected in 2000, in the military circles in which I traveled, there was some discussion of whether he really won or whether he was selected by the Supreme Court. There was even the odd person or two, who had paid attention in class, who noted that Texas electors should not be able to vote both for President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. However, certainly after 9/11, there was no further discussion of these issues. In 2004, some folks were concerned about whether the election was rigged in Ohio. Again, that talk faded away. However, after President Obama was elected, the hostility started from some quarters and has not left. I see folks regularly who disparage the President in the worst way, and assume that because I am a Republican and retired officer that I share their views. My few Democratic friends might disparage President Bush as slow or stupid, or castigate Vice-President Cheney as evil, but that does not come close to the vile names I hear used with President Obama. People are sometimes shocked when I say, “We don’t use those words in this house/office/etc.” I try explaining that we had an election, our side lost, and we simple have to try harder next time. They are surprised that I think President Obama is a good, honest and decent man, but woefully inexperienced and not getting better.

  190. avatar
    G December 29, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    John, you are always so well spoken. Thank you always for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. I always gain insight from your words.

    I truly hope that our broken political system will right itself one day and that most of the insanity will be cast out so that there is once again a party worthy of the respect and values that you and millions of honorable and reasonable Americans share.

    John Reilly: There’s a professor, Hofstader, I think, who has written of the “paranoid” style in American politics. In the circles I travel in socially (Republican, military, small town) I don’t often speak with “left-wing” people, although in my work (again, military and engineering) I meet some more liberal folks. I have to say that there is a fair amount of paranoia and ignorance running around, and I’m fascinated that Justice O’Connor attributes some of this to a lack of civics education, where one would learn, for example, that there are currently nine Supreme Court justices (although whether one is alive can only be determined by visiting Wal-Mart parking lots).After President Bush was elected in 2000, in the military circles in which I traveled, there was some discussion of whether he really won or whether he was selected by the Supreme Court. There was even the odd person or two, who had paid attention in class, who noted that Texas electors should not be able to vote both for President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. However, certainly after 9/11, there was no further discussion of these issues. In 2004, some folks were concerned about whether the election was rigged in Ohio. Again, that talk faded away. However, after President Obama was elected, the hostility started from some quarters and has not left. I see folks regularly who disparage the President in the worst way, and assume that because I am a Republican and retired officer that I share their views. My few Democratic friends might disparage President Bush as slow or stupid, or castigate Vice-President Cheney as evil, but that does not come close to the vile names I hear used with President Obama. People are sometimes shocked when I say, “We don’t use those words in this house/office/etc.” I try explaining that we had an election, our side lost, and we simple have to try harder next time. They are surprised that I think President Obama is a good, honest and decent man, but woefully inexperienced and not getting better.

  191. avatar
    J. Potter December 29, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    John Reilly: There’s a professor, Hofstader, I think, who has written of the “paranoid” style in American politics.

    It is indeed a must-read classic essay! See:

    Text of essay from Harper’s Nov ’64:
    http://karws.gso.uri.edu/jfk/conspiracy_theory/the_paranoid_mentality/the_paranoid_style.html

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

  192. avatar
    jayhg December 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Fazil Iskander: As you were there, I’d trust your memory of the 2008 presidential campaign well above mine. I remembered reading – in the Times – that Obama’s handlers were wary of his being thought “elitist” and so asked him to change the way he spoke. GWB wasn’t, I thought, “stupid”. From here, he looked like a man who knew what his electorate wanted, ie. one of their own, not an elitist though, of course, GWB was in fact a member of the elite, while Obama was not.Here’s a reference to the NY Times article I remembered reading. The headline was “Tagged as Elitist, Obama Shifts Campaign From High-Flown to Folksy: :http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/politics/06obama.html?scp=3&sq=obama%20elitist&st=cseAdmittedly, Obama was not entirely successful at hiding his intelligence. Here’s another Times article on the matter. It’s headline? “Elitism: the Charge Obama Can’t Shake”:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/weekinreview/31baker.html?scp=1&sq=obama%20elitist&st=cse&pagewanted=2My point was that he tried to shake it, that his handlers wouldn’t let him present himself as what he was: university educated, a lecturer on the constitution, etc. It seems logical to me to suppose that he made the effort to hide his intelligence because he was facing an electorate that is wary of intelligence. I may be wrong, though.

    You are wrong. President Obama was never asked by his “handlers” to change how he spoke (WHAT!!) and hide the fact that he is a very smart man. Never happened.

    That elitist bs was thrown around by republicans thinking that they could paint President Obama and even the Democratic Party as not being down with the every day people, while Palin and McCain were all for regular Aemrica. They tried to act as if being smart was a bad thing…….didn’t work.

  193. avatar
    jayhg December 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    G SAID: “There is a HUGE difference however – one that cannot be understated or said enough in order to counter the common meme of false equivalency that too often happens in merely pointing out that these groups exist:

    The LEFT does not tolerate their “kooks” and appropriately relegates them to the fringe. They are not given voices nor positions of power and are fairly soundly denounced.

    The RIGHT however seems to coddle and encourage its “kooks” to the point where it not only panders them, but shifts its platforms and arguments towards appeasing their extreme views. On the RIGHT, the extremes and the crazies are not just tolerated, but often defended. They are fed their “red meat” regularly. And lately, they are able to obtain office and positions of power. ”

    THANK YOU G!!!!!!! This is exactly right, in my opinion, when their crazies take over, they are desparate to point out similar crazies among liberals/democrats. We have our crazies, but we relegate them to exactly what they are………the fringe.

  194. avatar
    Rickey December 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Fazil Iskander:
    Viewers of the The Daily Show are better informed than those of Fox News, I understand, but the level of political commentary on The Daily Show isn’t deep. It isn’t meant to be. It’s chief means of political commentary are ridicule and humour. Perfectly appropriate for a comedy show but, as John Stewart himself has pointed out, it’s not the place you’d want people getting their political information because, well, it’s first job is to make its viewers laugh, not think.

    One of the right’s criticisms of viewers of The Daily Show is – without any evidence, of course – that they get all their news there. The reality is that you have to be well-informed on current events in order to get half of the jokes on The Daily Show. And I wish that the hosts on the Sunday morning talk shows were as effective at interviewing political figures as Stewart is.

  195. avatar
    G December 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Well said! The whole reason that Fox News is #1 is that nearly all of the audience pre-dispositioned to what it is selling watches it. For many, it is the only tv news they watch (other than maybe some local coverage).

    The rest of the ideological spectrum’s viewing habits are fragmented across the rest of the tv news options, including those that also watch FNC just to monitor it. The studies and polling done on the subject matter shows that these other folks tend to frequently cite *multiple* news sources towards informing themselves.

    Rickey: One of the right’s criticisms of viewers of The Daily Show is – without any evidence, of course – that they get all their news there. The reality is that you have to be well-informed on current events in order to get half of the jokes on The Daily Show. And I wish that the hosts on the Sunday morning talk shows were as effective at interviewing political figures as Stewart is.

  196. avatar
    Expelliarmus December 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Rickey: One of the right’s criticisms of viewers of The Daily Show is – without any evidence, of course – that they get all their news there. The reality is that you have to be well-informed on current events in order to get half of the jokes on The Daily Show.

    Actually, I think the strength of The Daily Show as a news source lies in the fact that the “joke” usually is a juxtaposition of contradictory statements. Typically there will be a series of film clips showing a politician or news commentator making a particular assertion — followed immediately by clips which show just the opposite. Whether you are informed from other sources or not, The Daily Show has just given you both sides of any issue. It’s funny because it is fast; and it resonates (is remembered) because it is funny.

    So even though it is a comedy show with a clear liberal bent, it probably is one of the most “objective” news sources out there. They don’t spare Obama or the Democrats if & when they provide good fodder for comedy — its just that with Fox News and the GOP the contradictions are often much more stark and easy pickings for humor. But when the Obama administration fumbles, I’m much more likely to get a complete picture from Jon Stewart than from MSNBC.

    The other nice thing is that The Daily Show is fast. Basically you’ve got the key headlines along with an “anaylsis” that cuts right to the heart within the first 5 minutes of the show. That cuts through a lot of the noise…..

  197. avatar
    G December 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    I agree on all of those points. I also think it can’t be emphasized enough that The Daily Show & The Colbert Report will go after ANYONE of ANY political bent.

    There simply happens to be, as you aptly pointed out, more stark fodder for comedy coming from the right these days than from the left.

    Expelliarmus: Actually, I think the strength of The Daily Show as a news source lies in the fact that the “joke” usually is a juxtaposition of contradictory statements. Typically there will be a series of film clips showing a politician or news commentator making a particular assertion — followed immediately by clips which show just the opposite. Whether you are informed from other sources or not, The Daily Show has just given you both sides of any issue. It’s funny because it is fast; and it resonates (is remembered) because it is funny. So even though it is a comedy show with a clear liberal bent, it probably is one of the most “objective” news sources out there. They don’t spare Obama or the Democrats if & when they provide good fodder for comedy — its just that with Fox News and the GOP the contradictions are often much more stark and easy pickings for humor. But when the Obama administration fumbles, I’m much more likely to get a complete picture from Jon Stewart than from MSNBC. The other nice thing is that The Daily Show is fast. Basically you’ve got the key headlines along with an “anaylsis” that cuts right to the heart within the first 5 minutes of the show. That cuts through a lot of the noise…..

  198. avatar
    Fazil Iskander December 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Uhmm … jayhg, I’m taking it that saying “You are wrong.” is a rhetorical choice filled with humour and good intent. I posted links to the NY times article wherein Times reporters suggested Obama moved from one style of address to another. Here is Camille Paglia on the same issue:

    A major gaffe this summer has been that, in trying to act more casual and folksy to appeal to working-class white voters, Obama has resorted to a cringe-making use of inner-city black intonations and jokey phrasings — exactly the wrong tactic.

    You can find her full essay here

    http://www.salon.com/2008/08/13/mercury_2/

    Note: Camille Paglia may be wrong. I’m simply bemused.

    jayhg: You are wrong.President Obama was never asked by his “handlers” to change how he spoke (WHAT!!) and hide the fact that he is a very smart man.Never happened.

    That elitist bs was thrown around by republicans thinking that they could paint President Obama and even the Democratic Party as not being down with the every day people, while Palin and McCain were all for regular Aemrica.They tried to act as if being smart was a bad thing…….didn’t work.

  199. avatar
    Sef December 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    G: The whole reason that Fox News is #1 is that nearly all of the audience pre-dispositioned to what it is selling watches it. For many, it is the only tv news they watch (other than maybe some local coverage).

    In addition, FNC is one of the standard-issue cable channels. People need to pay extra to watch channels like MSNBC, etc.

  200. avatar
    Sef December 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    jayhg: They tried to act as if being smart was a bad thing…….didn’t work.

    If the current crop of GOP hopefuls need to act smart they are SOL.

  201. avatar
    misha December 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    G: Second, he points out an important connection to the zealous and fundamentalist forms of religion that pervade our culture here.

    The Best Book of 2011: Why Science Emerged in the West

    And in the West, from the start, many religious authorities were hostile to science in too many cases to count (down to the present day).

    Read on:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfarrell/2011/12/29/the-best-book-of-2011-why-science-emerged-in-the-west/

  202. avatar
    Lupin December 30, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    THE DAILY SHOW (and THE ONION) are National Treasures. We don’t have anything like it here in France — I’m not sure why — and we sorely need some.

    We had / still have / a puppet show called LES GUIGNOLS DE L’INFO which is very much like the British SPITTING IMAGE and they used to be very influential (like THE DAILY SHOW) in the 80s and 90s, but they totally lost their edge.

    (Some folks argued that Jacques Chirac got elected because people voted for his “puppet version” which was rather likeable as opposed to the real Chirac.)

    I don’t think the fact that the DS pilories the GOP more often than the Democrats has anything to do with their political bent; I think it’s because the GOP says far more ridiculous and contradictory things than the Democrats, that’s all.

    My only complain with Jon Stewart (and it’s a tiny one) is that he doesn’t seem to understand science (which is OK) but then poo-poos it (which is not). I recall a few monologues about the space program or medical research that made me wince. But it’s a tiny, tiny complaint.

  203. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Loved Spitting Image! It was able to permeate and still have a cultural impact over on this side of the Pond too. I give Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video a lot of credit for that. Still a classic!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pkVLqSaahk

    The US analogy at the time wasn’t puppets, but more of a Max Headroom version of Reagan. It was quite funny, but not the same level of political and social commentary as the brilliant Spitting Image.

    Lupin: We had / still have / a puppet show called LES GUIGNOLS DE L’INFO which is very much like the British SPITTING IMAGE and they used to be very influential (like THE DAILY SHOW) in the 80s and 90s, but they totally lost their edge.

  204. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    Wow…watching that again really brought me back! It truly was a brilliant send-up of the 80’s that dominated my youth. Genesis was an amazing band and they were great at being able to pull of very slick social commentary. I was lucky enough to see them in concert twice.

    Another one of their brilliant send-ups exposed Televangelism for what it is. I think it succeeded so well because the point of the song totally went over the “faithful”‘s heads and everyone else “got it”. Misha will really love this one too:

    “Jesus He Knows Me” by Genesis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnpB8b-DfL0

    Highly recommended to all, as I feel it is still (and arguably even *more so*) relevant today!

    G: Loved Spitting Image! It was able to permeate and still have a cultural impact over on this side of the Pond too. I give Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video a lot of credit for that. Still a classic!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pkVLqSaahkThe US analogy at the time wasn’t puppets, but more of a Max Headroom version of Reagan. It was quite funny, but not the same level of political and social commentary as the brilliant Spitting Image.

  205. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    A little known piece of trivia about the song – Joe Biden used it as one of his campaign songs during in 1987, when he tried to run for President then.

    The lyrics & the imagery are just so great and it really is a song that deserves another remake and fitted to today’s social-political dynamic.

    In 2006, the band Disturbed did a pretty good remake that got quite a bit of play and popularity. Their take on the song was also biting social/political satire – a scathing condemnation of globalism and the Iraq war…in fact on the whole concept of a money driven industrial-military power complex bent on pursuing endless war for profit. I think they did a really good job with it overall, but such a hyperbolic level of satire sometimes feeds the NWO crazies out there, who take it too literally and not as the powerful metaphor it is intended to be.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV4oYkIeGJc

    G: Loved Spitting Image! It was able to permeate and still have a cultural impact over on this side of the Pond too. I give Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video a lot of credit for that. Still a classic!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pkVLqSaahkThe US analogy at the time wasn’t puppets, but more of a Max Headroom version of Reagan. It was quite funny, but not the same level of political and social commentary as the brilliant Spitting Image.

  206. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Sorry to have gone off on a tangent here, but this conversation has really got me thinking. As we’ve discussed, comedy has always been an important art form for satire and social / political commentary. But so has song.

    We had so many great and bold songs in past decades – particularly in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and even during parts of the ’90’s, when bands such as Rage Against the Machine spoke to a sense of discontent and cynicicsm embedded in my generation.

    Since that time, where have all our bold artists gone? I feel such songs are an important emotional way to connect and reflect on the problems of our time…and to inspire some to action to do something about it.

    So I ask, in this time of extreme US and global strain…

    Where Have All the Good Songs Gone?

    Sure, you’ve had artists come together for various global causes and disaster relief. So in one respect, the great tradition that began with “We Are the World” and Band-Aid and Farm Aid has lived on in various songs for Haiti Relief and K’Nann’s Waving Flag (in many versions) and even broke through the commercialism of the recent World Cup set in Afrika via the message contained in the Waka Waka song and similar efforts.

    Sure, Will.i.am, (who’se Black Eyed Peas came to national prominence with powerful social commentary in “Where is The Love”) did some inspiring work, based off of Obama’s campaign speeches and election, but that is about it.

    So I ask, in serious concern, why have there been so few bold social & political commentary songs in this post 9/11 world? A few patriotic country songs after 9/11, but that was about it.

    Where are the US artists or other world artists in tackling these serious and grim issues we face today? The deep feeling of angst is certainly there and palpable… so why has such an important release value remained silent? Have things become so polarized in the US that artists are too afraid of backlash for speaking their hearts and minds?

    So I ask again… Where Have All The Good Songs Gone…?

    PS – For reference from above, here’s just one of the great versions of K’nann’s Waving Flag, that I recommend. For those who enjoy its inspiration, I encourage you to google or YouTube search his many other versions, each with their own national flavor. (Note: he even did a powerful version with Will.i.am for US audiences)

    Young Artists For Haiti (Canada) – Wavin’ Flag

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB7L1BIDELc&ob=av2e

    I’ll also leave you with Black Eyed Peas – Where Is the Love:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc&ob=av2e

    G: Loved Spitting Image! It was able to permeate and still have a cultural impact over on this side of the Pond too. I give Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video a lot of credit for that. Still a classic!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pkVLqSaahkThe US analogy at the time wasn’t puppets, but more of a Max Headroom version of Reagan. It was quite funny, but not the same level of political and social commentary as the brilliant Spitting Image.

  207. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Well, I don’t know how Green Day’s album, “American Idiot” slipped my mind. The entire album was briliant social commentary, particularly in the signature title song. The album and its songs dominated the charts in late 2004 and througout 2005…so they definitely impacted a mass audience at the time. That CD is probably my favorite “modern” CD of the 21st century so far. But 2005 seems so long ago now, that I can see how it slipped my mind.

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

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

    With just a little bit of research, I found some pretty good compilations of social commentary songs that are worth sharing:

    http://kristinhall.org/songbook/ProtestPoliticalSocial.html

    http://musictodiefor.wordpress.com/50-greatest-protest-songs/

    http://www.greatprotestsongs.com/

    But that’s about it. In looking, so far I haven’t really come across anything of big impact that has been made or come out, post 2007 economic collapse and dealing with the frustrations we are facing here in the early years of the second decade of the 21st Century…

    So I’m still left puzzled and saddened that no artist has boldly come forth yet to tackle these issues…. and can only repeat the haunting question… Where Have All the Good Songs Gone…?

    G: So I ask, in this time of extreme US and global strain…
    Where Have All the Good Songs Gone?