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Obama conspiracies: a seasonal reflection

The Second Sunday in Lent – 2012

In the Christian liturgical tradition, this is the season of Lent, a time of reflection, repentance and coming to terms with our own mortality. In this reflection, I want to talk about four people who have departed this life, one I knew personally, and three long before my time.

My friend Arthur was an older gentleman that I had the occasion to get to know fairly well. He liked to talk, and I’m a pretty good listener. One day he gave me a book called The Archko Volume (also known as The Archko Library) and said that it was a pretty exciting find. He also gave a copy to the pastor of our church.

Actually, I was familiar with the book. It was published in the 19th century by a Presbyterian minister named Mahan. The book tells a story that Mahan had traveled to the Vatican where he met with the Vatican librarian, Fr. Freelinhusen. and was shown a marvelous collection of ancient manuscript (heretofore unknown and unpublished) documenting the life of Jesus, documents by Pontius Pilate, King Herod, and Jewish high priest Caiaphas. The problem is that Mahan never left the United States, the Vatican librarian he named never existed, the translators never existed, the purported documents have all sorts of historical inconsistencies and some of the “ancient text” was even copied word for word from the novel Ben Hur (later editions of the book omit this section). It’s a pious fraud and roundly condemned in its day. The Rev. Mahan was expelled from his church for writing it.

A professor from the University of Chicago named Edgar J. Goodspeed investigated The Archko Volume and a number of other items of pseudepigrapha in considerable detail, publishing his results in a book titled Modern Apocrypha in 1931. The Archko Volume was thoroughly debunked .

The problem is that The Archko Volume is still in print and available in a dozen editions, and as the book appears today, there is no hint of the context of historical fraud and indeed folks today stumble on this book, as did my friend Arthur, and believe that it provides remarkable historical proof of the Bible. Goodspeed’s book, however,  is not in print and is relatively hard to find. Not only is it not in print, but it is in copyright and so can’t be freely reproduced. (The publisher told me that the copyright reverted to Goodspeed who is deceased. Goodspeed’s attorney’s office is now an apartment house and I believe his son is deceased.) Also, contemporary newspaper stories about Mahan are very hard to obtain today.

People read and believe because they want to believe, and the authentic historical references to Jesus are scarce and problematic, and there’s nothing in the literature today to rebut Archko.

That brings me to reflect on what, in this context, is an ominously titled article from 2008 at Salon.com, “Why the stories about Obama’s birth certificate will never die.” The web sites listed in the Good section of my external links may not be here 50 years from now. Will Jerome Corsi’s Where’s the Birth Certificate? still be in print. Will new birthers appear when I’m long in the ground, from reading Corsi’s book and finding nothing in their contemporary literature to rebut it? Will some future Arthur become a birther?

I wrote in my 2010 article, “Is there anything to be done?”, that the answer may not lie in preserving our arguments, but in working to promote critical thinking among the people as a whole. That would be a more worthy legacy.

I want to close this reflection with a verse from a hymn by Johann Heermann (1585 – 1647) to suggest that sometimes the best of our thought persists:

Keep me from saying words that later need recalling; guard me, lest idle speech may from my lips be falling;but when, within my place, I must and ought to speak, then to my words give grace, lest I offend the weak.

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112 Responses to Obama conspiracies: a seasonal reflection

  1. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter March 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    That was interesting. Kind of like the Desiderata Poem from 1600ish found in Old St. Paul’s Church. Wiki says:

    Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”, plural of desideratum, the supine of desidero) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).[1] Largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in a devotional, after subsequently being found at Adlai Stevenson’s deathbed in 1965, and after spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972.

    Some time around the year 1959, Reverend Frederick Kates, rector of Saint Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland, included Desiderata in a compilation of devotional materials for his congregation. The compilation included the church’s foundation date: “Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore A.D. 1692.” The date of the text’s authorship is widely mistaken as 1692, the year of the church’s foundation.

    When Adlai Stevenson died in 1965, a guest in his home found the Desiderata near his bedside and discovered that Stevenson had planned to use it in his Christmas cards.[1] Subsequently, the poem became widely known as having been found at Saint Paul’s Church of Baltimore – but confusing the date of the church’s foundation as the date of the text’s authorship.[1]

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Yes, Doc, but the original BC will still be in the vault in Hawaii, presumably available in the future to authenticate itself.

    Devout but incurious Christians accept spurious works and objects (like pieces of the True Cross) to bolster their interior faith. But do you really think the Cult of Obama Hatred will survive long enough to support the embrace of heinous drivel like that spewn onto paper by Corsi and his ilk?

    I predict that Birthers will be seen in posterity as just as pitifully deluded as the Heaven’s Gate folks who followed leaders called Bo and Peep over the cliff of madness.

  3. avatar
    donna March 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    “Keep me from saying words that later need recalling; guard me, lest idle speech may from my lips be falling;but when, within my place, I must and ought to speak, then to my words give grace, lest I offend the weak.”

    beautiful words, doc

    grazie mille

  4. avatar
    Linda March 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks for sharing that. I have also wondered what would be the legacy of all this birther nonsense. At first I thought (hoped) it would it be like the the various doomsday cults in that they are around but not paid much attention. Its longevity and tenacity are surprising to me. I had also believed conservative leaders would denounced the foolishness and it would die a natural death for all but the most paranoid of conspiracy theorists who are relegated to the tinfoil hats sector of the world. No such luck.

    Doc, do you know is Jerome Corsi really has a PhD from Harvard or is he just floating that around so it becomes an oft repeated factoid on the internet that he can “gotcha” when non-birthers bring it up?

    I appreciate the work you do here.

  5. avatar
    Joe Acerbic March 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Promoting critical thinking is not enough. Mocking and abusing (verbally, naturally) the lying kooks and cranks with maximum cruelty and ruthlessness needs to be promoted too, to compensate for their unfair advantage.

  6. avatar
    John Woodman March 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Linda: Doc, do you know is Jerome Corsi really has a PhD from Harvard or is he just floating that around so it becomes an oft repeated factoid on the internet that he can “gotcha” when non-birthers bring it up?

    Unbelievably, he does appear to have a legitimate PhD from Harvard. There is record of his PhD dissertation.

    I had thought about contacting Harvard to try and verify his PhD; I abandoned the idea on finding record of the dissertation.

    I suppose it’s possible there could be a dissertation out there without him actually having been awarded the degree, though. Or is that even possible?

  7. avatar
    Linda March 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Thanks, John. When I first saw that Corsi had a PhD from Harvard, I scratched my head and tried to verify it. The school’s site is mum, but I found a document that lists all PhDs awarded for a combined polisci/econ program. It doesn’t list Corsi, but then he could have been in a different program. My husband went to Harvard Law and my sister-in-law and her husband both have PhDs from Harvard. They are all “wicked smart”, but Corsi, even politics aside, doesn’t not strike me as such.

    I just tried to find Corsi’s dissertation and found this. I guess it is true. Who would have thunk it?
    http://harvardmagazine.com/alumni-writers/politicking-crimson-hued

  8. avatar
    misha March 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    John Woodman: I suppose it’s possible there could be a dissertation out there without him actually having been awarded the degree, though. Or is that even possible?

    Corsi bought the dissertation: “Academic writers of CustomWritings.com are doctorate degree holders and masters in nearly all disciplines of education and are certified for their qualified writing in terms of term papers, essays, reports, reviews, speeches, case studies, thesis papers and research papers for sale.” http://www.customwritings.com/

    Mr. Woodman: you objected to paying for something you are morally opposed to, and conservatives believe in personal responsibility. Rush Limbaugh bought so much OxyContin on the black market, he became stone deaf. Did he use insurance to pay for the treatment of his addiction, and did he use insurance for his cochlear implant?

    Limbaugh is obese. I do not want to pay for any treatment because he cannot stop shoveling food and tobacco into his mouth. Oh wait, he can’t keep his mouth shut at any time, especially trashing women. Do you think Limbaugh ties a dog to the roof of his car, so it does a romney?

  9. avatar
    Jean-Alexandre March 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    The Goodspeed book is Strange New Gospels and is online. The part about the Archko Volume is chapter V:
    http://www.tertullian.org/articles/goodspeed_strange_new_gospels.htm#5

    Nice article on the Archko Volume at Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Archko_Volume

  10. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    The Goodspeed book is also available print-on-demand from numerous sources, and ABE.com has five of the 1931 edition listed.

  11. avatar
    misha March 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Thomas Brown: Devout but incurious Christians accept spurious works and objects (like pieces of the True Cross) to bolster their interior faith.

    I bought the True Cross™ at the China Town Dollar store: http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3720620372/china-town-dollar-inc-philadelphia

    It came with a certificate of authenticity, written in Mandarin.

  12. avatar
    Scientist March 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    John Woodman: I suppose it’s possible there could be a dissertation out there without him actually having been awarded the degree, though. Or is that even possible?

    No. Dissertations are only filed and archived once you have successfully defended it in front of the committee, which is the final step in obtaining the degree.

    As a PhD myself, I am sad to say that it not insurance against scoundrels. One would hope that a Political Science PhD would be able to argue in support or opposition to various candidates based on real issues. The fact that Corsi had to resort to personal attacks against Obama and Kerry speaks well for both of them.

  13. avatar
    Scientist March 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Anything to do with Jesus is obviously relevant to Christians, even after 2000 years. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a hoax that contributed to millions of deaths) is clearly a threat as long as there are both Jews and anti-Semites in the world.

    But, I really don’t see what relevance birthers, per se, can have once Obama is no longer President. It is my contention that birtherism has had no impact whatsoever even while Obama IS President. I still have not found the pro-Obama birther I have been looking for. While not everyone who opposes Obama is a birther, all birthers already opposed Obama before they became birthers and would oppose him even if you convinced them that birtherism was ridiculous. So there has been no impact on Obama’s presidency. Nor will birtherism impact the 2012 election. Obama’s re-election chances have tracked the economy very closely. The European Central Bank has effectively prevented a European meltdown in the next 2-3 years (after that, who knows) and the US economy is highly likely to be strong enough that the President will be re-elected, especially against the underwhelming opposition (hence the 60% on InTrade).

    So, as I see it, birtherism will be lucky to rate even a footnote in the history of the 21st century. That may say the time we spend hhere is wasted, but it’s too much fun to miss.

  14. avatar
    justlw March 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    “(The publisher told me that the copyright reverted to Goodspeed who is deceased. Goodspeed’s attorney’s office is now an apartment house and I believe his son is deceased.) ”

    Right about there, I was waiting for the name “Kermit Shog” to come up…

  15. avatar
    justlw March 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    “The web sites listed in the Good section of my external links may not be here 50 years from now”

    This a very legitimate concern, of course, and one that predates the Web. Decades ago, people were concerned that various digital formats would either deteriorate, or the means for reading them would be difficult or impossible to obtain (something that came to mind during a recent office move, as I threw out my stash of QIC-150 tapes…).

    I mentioned in an earlier post the fascinating (at least to me) story of the company Pixelon, which I had read about not that long ago in a very long and detailed article.

    The problem is that the article had been published in ”The Industry Standard,” a trade rag that went under the next year, and with it their online archives. Its comeback as an online-only InfoWorld brand was not accompanied by the return of their archives.

    (Thank goodness for the Wayback Machine…)

    Now in this case, they actually did exist as a hardcopy publication in 2000, so print copies of this article may still be around. But a serious amount of reporting today is online-only, and I definitely count this site as “reporting.”

    Will the Wayback Machine be around 50 years from now?

    As another example: I find the Deja News archives (still accessible via Google Groups search) to be an invaluable resource for studying the online world of the ’80s and ’90s, and I worry that Google may someday lose their interest in maintaining it, as they have with various projects from time to time.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Yes and that’s a good example of why one should be careful when writing online. I have a ton of writing on USENET from the 80′s and 90′s. Believe it or not, I used to argue about controversial issues ;)

    justlw: As another example: I find the Deja News archives (still accessible via Google Groups search)

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    You’re probably right.

    It might be the same historical curiosity that we find today looking back at Chester A. Arthur, and it could be a focus for racist/nativist conspiracies in the future.

    Scientist: But, I really don’t see what relevance birthers, per se, can have once Obama is no longer President.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Yes, however, the Wayback Machine has its limitations, particularly on some dynamically generated web sites and particularly PHPBB forums. However, it seems to work pretty well here. Here’s how the site originally looked back in January of 2009:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090122020952/http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/

    justlw: (Thank goodness for the Wayback Machine…)

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Yes, I have multiple confirmations of his PhD including my own personal copy of his PhD Thesis on microfilm purchased from the Harvard Library.

    Linda: Doc, do you know is Jerome Corsi really has a PhD from Harvard

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    I don’t know if it’s possible but there is an article in the Harvard Magazine mentioning his degree and year (and Obama’s JD and year).

    John Woodman: I suppose it’s possible there could be a dissertation out there without him actually having been awarded the degree, though. Or is that even possible?

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    COOL! The last time I checked was like a decade ago. I have a copy of the 1931 edition myself.

    Thomas Brown: The Goodspeed book is also available print-on-demand from numerous sources, and ABE.com has five of the 1931 edition listed.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Yes. Apparently the copyright on that was never renewed as I recall and it is now in the public domain. However, as I recall, and this is a long time ago, Modern Apocrypha was better.

    Jean-Alexandre: The Goodspeed book is Strange New Gospels and is online.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    My view is:

    a) Trust, but verify
    b) Verify, then shut up.

  24. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter March 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Well, Dr.C, you inspired me to think of a cure for what ails the Birthers, so I wrote:

    Die Scheisskopfen (A Poem of Healing)

    Die Scheisskopfen
    by Squeeky Fromm,
    Girl Reporter

    How oft I wish when I have heard
    Some Birther wax moronic,
    That for the cranium they made
    A cleansing High Colonic.

    Perhaps some sort of nasal spray,
    With laxative included?
    To rotor-rooter out their brains
    And leave them less deluded.

    Or maybe take a Neti Pot
    With crevice tool extending?
    And they could name it “Nutty Pot”
    And seek the “Patent Pending.”

    There surely has to be a way
    To sanitize gray matter.
    And Minor Happersett flush out
    With other Birther patter.

    The Bi-polars and Borderlines
    We treat throughout the Nation.
    But did we under-rate the risks
    From Mental Constipation?

    And so to those with Poop for Brains,
    Hold on, a cure’s a-borning!
    Or better yet, just let it go.
    But first, give us a warning!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  25. avatar
    Keith March 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Thomas Brown: Devout but incurious Christians accept spurious works and objects (like pieces of the True Cross) to bolster their interior faith.

    My favorite story is that of the Medieval pilgrimage tourist routes where all the Cathedrals and Monasteries were competing with each other for genuine relics (and thus the pilgrims visits, and thus the pilgrims ‘dollar’. Several monasteries claimed to have the ‘true skull of John the Baptist’. One such monastry, when asked about the obvious contradiction of multiple ‘true skulls’, supposedly said that theirs was John’s skull when he was a young boy, the others were grown men.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Not far from here was a niche where they used to preserve a piece of the True Cross, but it is gone, now. This piece of the cross was discovered in the sixteenth century. The Latin priests say it was stolen away, long ago, by priests of another sect. That seems like a hard statement to make, but we know very well that it was stolen, because we have seen it ourselves in several of the cathedrals of Italy and France.

    and

    But isn’t this relic matter a little overdone? We find a piece of the true cross in every old church we go into, and some of the nails that held it together. I would not like to be positive, but I think we have seen as much as a keg of these nails. Then there is the crown of thorns; they have part of one in Sainte Chapelle, in Paris, and part of one also in Notre Dame. And as for bones of St. Denis, I feel certain we have seen enough of them to duplicate him if necessary.

    – Mark Twain
    – Innocents Abroad

    Keith: My favorite story is that of the Medieval pilgrimage tourist routes where all the Cathedrals and Monasteries were competing with each other for genuine relics

  27. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    My view is:

    a) Trust, but verify
    b) Verify, then shut up.

    And there, Doc, is the rub. Step a), paraphrased, is “Yes, OK, you’re probably right, but I’m going to check a couple of things before I agree completely.”

    Almost no hard-core Birther ever did that. That’s why they could never move on to b). When they claim that they are following “trust, but verify” that is just as bogus as their claim to be “defending the Constitution,” “only looking for the truth,” and so on.

    They are in bad faith, wholly without integrity, and would never tolerate their own behavior from anyone else were the tables turned, meaning these ‘good patriotic Americans’ fail the most basic moral test, the Golden Rule.

    Thus I concur with Joe Acerbic: Birthers deserve nothing but derision and contempt.

  28. avatar
    Northland10 March 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Since it is on prior punishment and political dissent, anything interesting in there that might be applicable to their current dissent? Since I do not recall you writing an article on it, I assume the answer would be no.

    WorldCat was my friend today..

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Yes, I have multiple confirmations of his PhD including my own personal copy of his PhD Thesis on microfilm purchased from the Harvard Library.

  29. avatar
    Tonytheplatypus March 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy, I want to respond to a post you made last year, on February 6th. Here is what you wrote:

    “I was intrigued by a comment left at the Illinois State Journal Register by someone under the name GenieMan. What is the citizenship of a baby that just turns up on the hospital steps, whose mother and father is unknown? The answer is determined by federal statute (US Code Title 8 1401). GenieMan invokes this law to counter any uncertainty about Barack Obama’s citizenship. He wrote [excerpt]:

    According to federal law (because the US Constitution does not specifically define it), natural born citizen’ can even mean:

    (f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;’

    It is undeniable that before the age of 5, Barak Obama was living in Hawaii, and before the age of 21, no proof was produced suggesting he was born outside the US – hence, by this provision alone, he is considered a natural born US citizen.”

    Federal law definitely does not state that a “foundling” is a NBC. The Code cited states that the “foundling” would be a citizen at birth, it does not specifically state that the child is a NBC. Citizen at birth and NBC are two different things.

    The following is from the U.S. Customs and Immigrations website:

    Interpretation 301.1 United States citizenship.

    “(7) Foundlings . Under the Nationality Act of 1940, a “child” of unknown parentage , if found within the United States after January 12, 1941, and before December 24, 1952, was presumed to be a native-born citizen until shown to have been born outside the United States. 13/ A “person” whose parentage is similarly unknown, if found in the United States after December 23, 1952, while under 5 years of age, is conclusively presumed to be a native-born citizen, unless such person’s birth outside the United States is established before he or she attains majority. 13a/ Prior to Nationality Act of 1940, the statutes contained no provision governing the status of the founding.”

    As you can see, the “foundling” is granted native born status, not natural born status. The foundling’ can’t be a NBC since the nationality of the parents is unknown. This destroys your argument that a “foundling’ is a NBC, and also the argument that the law only recognizes NBCs and Naturalized Citizens. This is another place where a Native Born Citizen was mentioned, in addition to the places you mentioned in an earlier topic. In the code you mentioned (Interpretation 324.2), it dealt with the Reacquisition of citizenship lost by marriage. It specifically mentioned natural-born, native-born, and naturalized.

    Based on the intentions of the Founders to prevent someone with foreign allegiance being President, it is illogical to think that they would consider someone who was a NBC of a foreign country to be President. It is also illogical to think that a child could be a Natural Born Citizen to two different countries. You can’t have allegiance or be under the jurisdiction of two countries at the same time. You can be a dual citizen, but not a NBC in both countries. If location of birth alone was enough to grant NBC status, then the citizenship of the parents alone can’t also grant NBC status. If both can independently grant NBC status, that means a child born in country A to parents that are citizens of country B, would be a NBC in both countries A & B. That isn’t possible.

    Both conditions need to be met to grant NBC status. If you argue that only one can grant NBC status, which one makes more sense? Granting it to a child born to parents serving in the military in a foreign country, or a child born to foreign parents within temporarily in that country?

    Obviously the Founders would think the child born to citizens serving in the military abroad would have more allegiance to the US than a child who might never return to the US. You can’t argue that they would say both are eligible, since that would mean that you get NBC status from both independently, and you would be born with NBC status in the country of birth, and also the country of parental citizenship. That isn’t logically possible.

    A child born on a plane or boat in international waters would be a citizen of their parent’s country of citizenship. The fact that a child will always have the citizenship of their parents, but not always have citizenship in a foreign country in which they are born, shows that there is a stronger case that citizenship is linked to parental citizenship than birth location. 30 of the world’s 194 countries do not grant citizenship to children of foreigners born within their borders.

    If a child is born with citizenship in two countries (dual citizen), but can only gain NBC status in only one country, it means that the child is born a citizen in a country where they are not a NBC. That is proof that you can be a citizen at birth, but not a NBC. That shoots down the argument that everyone born a citizen is automatically a NBC. The only way it doesn’t work is if you say you can be a NBC in two countries, but the concept of NBC means you are under the jurisdiction of only that country. You can’t be only under the jurisdiction of a country, and also only under the jurisdiction of a different country.

  30. avatar
    Linda March 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter:
    Well, Dr.C, you inspired me to think of a cure for what ails the Birthers, so I wrote:

    Die Scheisskopfen (A Poem of Healing)

    Die Scheisskopfen
    by Squeeky Fromm,
    Girl Reporter

    Awesome! Tremendous! Enthusiastic applause!

  31. avatar
    J. Potter March 5, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter: Die Scheisskopfen (A Poem of Healing)

    ***** out of 5! :D

  32. avatar
    red-diaper baby 1942 March 5, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    “indeed folks today stumble on this book, as did my friend Arthur, and believe that it provides remarkable historical proof of the Bible”

    Indeed, this kind of thing apparently happens quite often. A few years ago an acquaintance (not a close friend, but someone I’d known for quite a while and had coffee or lunch with occasionally) came to me in great excitement; he’d just come across, in his words. “a fascinating book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which told the whole truth about the Jews. Of course this guy had no idea I was Jewish myself!

    (I’m an American woman of Jewish ethnicity, but I live in a northern European country where Judaism is more or less invisible, so I’m thought of simply as an American.)

    This was a moderately intelligent and educated guy, but he fell for the book hook line and sinker. I wonder if birtherism, in its more innocent, less rabid and vicious forms, isn’t the same kind of thing: not part of a deliberate conspiracy but a kind of “innocent idiocy.”

  33. avatar
    G March 5, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Bravo! I very much enjoyed all of it… but the last two stanzas were my favorites! :)

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter: The Bi-polars and Borderlines
    We treat throughout the Nation.
    But did we under-rate the risks
    From Mental Constipation?
    And so to those with Poop for Brains,
    Hold on, a cure’s a-borning!
    Or better yet, just let it go.
    But first, give us a warning!

  34. avatar
    G March 5, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Masterfully put! I completely agree as well.

    Thomas Brown: Almost no hard-core Birther ever did that. That’s why they could never move on to b). When they claim that they are following “trust, but verify” that is just as bogus as their claim to be “defending the Constitution,” “only looking for the truth,” and so on.

    They are in bad faith, wholly without integrity, and would never tolerate their own behavior from anyone else were the tables turned, meaning these ‘good patriotic Americans’ fail the most basic moral test, the Golden Rule.

    Thus I concur with Joe Acerbic: Birthers deserve nothing but derision and contempt.

  35. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: As you can see, the “foundling” is granted native born status, not natural born status. The foundling’ can’t be a NBC since the nationality of the parents is unknown.

    Native and natural born are equivalent. Birth on US soil, regardless of the status of the parents is all that matters.

  36. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: Obviously the Founders would think the child born to citizens serving in the military abroad would have more allegiance to the US than a child who might never return to the US.

    And yet, they had to pass a statute to make such children citizens, perhaps naturalized and not natural born…

    It’s undeniable that natural born means: birth on soil, owing allegiance or under full jurisdiction. A foundling born in the US, unless born to invading military or foreign dignitaries falls well within that category

  37. avatar
    Thrifty March 5, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Well I think that unlike other conspiracy theories, Birtherism has a limited shelf life. I can’t see how it can continue once Obama is out of office. Though I do wonder if it will be much different if Obama gets a 2nd term.

  38. avatar
    G March 5, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    I think a good part of it still dies off after his re-election and goes the way of the PUMA movement…

    As I’ve said, the hard-core Birther movement is really comprised of two main factions: the gullible “true believers” and the sh*t peddling propagandists.

    The sh*t peddling propagandists are mainly about trying to foster enough doubt and smears into the public sphere to prevent Obama’s reelection. They are the most similar faction to what the PUMA movement was. Sure, they will linger on bitterly for a good 3-6 months after his re-election. But they are really out of options or purpose at that point. All the court avenues will have been exhausted, with an overwhelming caselaw history built up against them.

    The only thing they will have left is attempts at trying to drum up seccessionist rhetoric and such. Most of the “Birther leaders” are part of the cynical propagandist (and grifter) set, so I think they will lose steam in that timeframe and therefore, the overall movement will begin to fade into well deserved PUMA-level obscurity.

    A few of the grifter set will remain to fleece every last dime out of the gullible “true believer” sect that they can…until the well runs dry there. Without prominent leadership to keep this issue afloat, most of the “true believers” will be left consoling each other in smaller and smaller dusty corners of the Internet, muttering “any day now” to each other. They will still be out there, but will pretty much fade from newsworthy attention, similar to the Truthers, PUMAs, Flat Earthers and Moon Landing Deniers that came before them.

    Thrifty: Well I think that unlike other conspiracy theories, Birtherism has a limited shelf life. I can’t see how it can continue once Obama is out of office. Though I do wonder if it will be much different if Obama gets a 2nd term.

  39. avatar
    Keith March 5, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    G: I think a good part of it still dies off after his re-election and goes the way of the PUMA movement…

    I think it will probably stick around for 2 more years, as a continued irritant before the midterm elections. The right wing is going to have a much harder time in the 2014 midterms than they did in the 2010 and the way they are eating each other they are going to need a much bigger swing to win back the Congress after the 2012 Democratic landslide.

    As I’ve said, the hard-core Birther movement is really comprised of two main factions: the gullible “true believers” and the sh*t peddling propagandists.

    Yup. With the proviso that a third of the SPP’s are con artists running a Paypal scheme, a third are just flat bigoted amateur con artists, and then there are the back room enablers with ‘plausible deniability”.

  40. avatar
    John Woodman March 5, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    G: Moon Landing Deniers

    Now that part about the MOON LANDINGS being fake is absolutely TRUE. I used to live out near the secret facility where they faked all those landings and took the photographs.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    JUST KIDDING!! :-)

  41. avatar
    G March 5, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Obviously, any time we try to predict future events, we are each just speculating in a harmless way (at least from our side of things).

    I’m not sure how much impact ODS Birtherism could make to influence or affect a mid-term in 2014… but then again, we’re dealing with an entirely irrational movement in the first place. Plus who knows what new conspiracy directions it will metastasize into after Obama is re-elected…so, if there is some sort of Birther type argument still trying to crawl forward for those mid-terms, I would expect they will have come up with a whole new set of myths by then to justify it and try to make it relevant…

    Keith: I think it will probably stick around for 2 more years, as a continued irritant before the midterm elections. The right wing is going to have a much harder time in the 2014 midterms than they did in the 2010 and the way they are eating each other they are going to need a much bigger swing to win back the Congress after the 2012 Democratic landslide.

    That sounds like a fairly good further breakdown of the SPP contingent to me. It is that back room enabler faction that really keeps this zombie alive…

    Keith: and the sh*t peddling propagandists.
    Yup. With the proviso that a third of the SPP’s are con artists running a Paypal scheme, a third are just flat bigoted amateur con artists, and then there are the back room enablers with plausible deniability”.

  42. avatar
    Lupin March 5, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    I wasn’t sure where to post this:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40015_Everything_Is_Different_Now_-_the_Breitbartocalypse_Is_Upon_Us

    Apparently Evil Obama has just been thwarted again: the reason why he personally strangled Breitbart with his bare hands has just been exposed by the Fearless Obama Hunters:

    (insert clash of cymbals here)

    14 years ago he attended a play about Saul Alinsky.

    There may have been a Frenchman in the theater too.

    Say no more.

  43. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 5, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: Obviously the Founders would think the child born to citizens serving in the military abroad would have more allegiance to the US than a child who might never return to the US. You can’t argue that they would say both are eligible, since that would mean that you get NBC status from both independently, and you would be born with NBC status in the country of birth, and also the country of parental citizenship. That isn’t logically possible.

    You’re 100% wrong on military abroad. Because the Founders did not believe in a standing army, and never even contemplated the possibility of American soldiers being stationed almost permanently abroad. Enough of this feeling was left in the 1930s to convince Congress to grant NBC status to people born in the Panama Canal Zone, even retroactively.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that Nicole Kidman could run both for President of the USA and for Australian Prime Minister – the legal point here is that Australian NBCs need not abjure any other foreign citizenship to sit in the Australian Parliament, but naturalized Australians need to do so.

    She probably could not do both jobs simultaneously. Though she could try and run and we could all watch birthers’ brains (if they have any) explode when the courts tell the protesters that they have no standing and it is up to the Electoral College and Congress to decide.

    I also believe that many of the people who have a problem with Obama would have no problem at all with Mrs Kidman. And we all know why of course (hint: it is NOT because she is prettier).

  44. avatar
    Lupin March 5, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    Lupin: 14 years ago he attended a play about Saul Alinsky.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I once watched the MUPPET movies, so I may be made of felt.

  45. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 5, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    Lupin: I wasn’t sure where to post this:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40015_Everything_Is_Different_Now_-_the_Breitbartocalypse_Is_Upon_Us

    That web site has the funniest comments.

    Some favorites:

    * OK. I fess up. I once saw a movie with Sean Penn. My political career is ruined.

    *It makes me wonder if Breitbart didn’t actually die of embarrassment.

    * Let’s just thank the good Lord that Obama didn’t act in a community theater production of “The Producers”.

    * Can’t wait to hear the whining when the mainstream media ignores this.

  46. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 5, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    nbc: Native and natural born are equivalent. Birth on US soil, regardless of the status of the parents is all that matters.

    Besides… and pay attention now ,Tony… Tom Vilsack was exactly such a foundling. All we know about him is WHERE he was born, being abandoned shortly after birth in Philadelphia. We know NOTHING about his parents. AND YET he is currently included in the line of succession to the Presidency, meaning it is assumed he is a NBC.

    Haven’t you gotten the message? YOU may think that there are distinct categories “native born” and “natural born,” BUT THERE AREN’T. Not in the opinion of Congress, the Courts, or 99.999% of Constitutional scholars.

    THEIR opinions count. YOURS don’t. You are welcome to them, of course, but so what? All that two-citizen-parents-required or no-dual-nationality-at-birth crap will continue to be laughed out of every court in the land until the Birthers give up or their heads explode.

    I’m rooting for the latter, obviously.

  47. avatar
    Linda March 5, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    @tonytheplatypus First, I am sure Doc can educate you much better than I can.

    Second, it is discouraging that people who at least pretend to care know so little about the laws of our country. Natural born citizen simply means a citizen at birth, versus one who is naturalized. That is why natural born and native born are synonyms, often used within the same court decisions interchangeably. The Courts have held that there are only two ways to acquire citizenship in the US, either by birth or by naturalization. Learn it, remember it, deal with it.

    Third, US law governs the US, other countries rule themselves. If you are a NBC in the US, it does not matter what your citizenship is in any other country. It can only be that way. Think that one through. What if England passed a law that all citizens born in the US are also British NBCs for the sake of their elections. Would no one in the US be eligible to be president? Of course not, because their laws do not control.

  48. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Linda:
    @tonytheplatypus First, I am sure Doc can educate you much better than I can.

    Second, it is discouraging that people who at least pretend to care know so little about the laws of our country.Natural born citizen simply means a citizen at birth, versus one who is naturalized.That is why natural born and native born are synonyms, often used within the same court decisions interchangeably. The Courts have held that there are only two ways to acquire citizenship in the US, either by birth or by naturalization.Learn it, remember it, deal with it.

    Third, US law governs the US, other countries rule themselves.If you are a NBC in the US, it does not matter what your citizenship is in any other country.It can only be that way.Think that one through.What if England passed a law that all citizens born in the US are also British NBCs for the sake of their elections. Would no one in the US be eligible to be president?Of course not, because their laws do not control.

    Well put, Linda. Terse, accurate, and coherent. And you can tell Birfers everything you just said over and over again until your keyboard explodes, and it wouldn’t make a dent.

    They are not really interested in the truth (99% of them). They are just desperate for anything… ANYTHING… that will ‘prove’ BHO is ineligible for the office, no matter how far-fetched, self-contradictory, or just plain incorrect.

  49. avatar
    justlw March 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Expelliarmus: Some favorites:

    Oh my. They’re great. For some reason

    “WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?!?!?!?!”

    tickled me.

  50. avatar
    Scientist March 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    The birthers haven’t changed the fact that Hawaii is still the happiest state

    http://www.livescience.com/15675-happiest-states-2011-list.html

  51. avatar
    Tonytheplatypus March 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    nbc: that natural

    “Tonytheplatypus: Obviously the Founders would think the child born to citizens serving in the military abroad would have more allegiance to the US than a child who might never return to the US.

    And yet, they had to pass a statute to make such children citizens, perhaps naturalized and not natural born…

    It’s undeniable that natural born means: birth on soil, owing allegiance or under full jurisdiction. A foundling born in the US, unless born to invading military or foreign dignitaries falls well within that category”

    If a NBC is born on soil, owing allegiance or under full jurisdiction, then it is impossible to be a NBC of two different countries. You can’t be under full jurisdiction of two countries. If a child is born in the US to two foreign citizens and they all return home, the US can’t draft that person. That person is under the jurisdiction of their home country. The US has no jurisdiction over them. If the US also had jurisdiction over that person, it would mean both countries had jurisdiction, so neither had full jurisdiction. If you are born subject to any foreign country’s jurisdiction, you can’t be a NBC. Same thing with allegiance.

  52. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    And yet, they had to pass a statute to make such children citizens, perhaps naturalized and not natural born…

    Well, they passed a statute but that does not mean that they had to. For a case where they had to pass a statute, see children born to US citizens, while abroad.

    Birth on soil is sufficient. The problem with foundlings is that it may not always be clear to establish if they were truly born on our soil.

    If a NBC is born on soil, owing allegiance or under full jurisdiction, then it is impossible to be a NBC of two different countries.

    Not really. Under English Statute, children born abroad to its citizens are also natural born. It’s just that different countries may have different statutes and laws.

    If a child is born in the US to two foreign citizens and they all return home, the US can’t draft that person. That person is under the jurisdiction of their home country.

    The same applies to children born on US soil to US citizens who hides abroad to avoid draft. He is under the jurisdiction of the country in which he resides.

    If the US also had jurisdiction over that person, it would mean both countries had jurisdiction, so neither had full jurisdiction.

    Jurisdiction is territorial

  53. avatar
    Tonytheplatypus March 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Linda: Third, US law governs the US, other countries rule themselves. If you are a NBC in the US, it does not matter what your citizenship is in any other country. It can only be that way. Think that one through. What if England passed a law that all citizens born in the US are also British NBCs for the sake of their elections. Would no one in the US be eligible to be president? Of course not, because their laws do not control.

    Linda, I thought it through, and your point makes no sense. The UK has no jurisdiction over US citizens with no ties to the UK. Of course we wouldn’t be affected by that law. If a US NBC returns to the UK with their UK citizen parents, then yes, that child is subject to whatever laws exist in the UK. Since that child is born under UK jurisdiction, they can’t also be a NBC in the US.

  54. avatar
    Scientist March 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: If a US NBC returns to the UK with their UK citizen parents, then yes, that child is subject to whatever laws exist in the UK

    I have news for you pal, ANYONE who sets foot in the UK is subject to UK laws. Just go over there and try breaking the law and see what happens…Ask Amanda Knox if she was subject to Italian law as a US citizen.

  55. avatar
    Majority Will March 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Scientist: I have news for you pal, ANYONE who sets foot in the UK is subject to UK laws.Just go over there and try breaking the law and see what happens…Ask Amanda Knox if she was subject to Italian law as a US citizen.

    And Joran van der Sloot can leave Peru now and go back to the Netherlands?

  56. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: The UK has no jurisdiction over US citizens with no ties to the UK.

    When in the UK they do…

  57. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: If a US NBC returns to the UK with their UK citizen parents, then yes, that child is subject to whatever laws exist in the UK. Since that child is born under UK jurisdiction, they can’t also be a NBC in the US.

    Well, yes they can because different countries have different definitions. In the US, it is defined by Common Law, in the UK by Common Law AND Statute.

    The UK allows child born to a UK citizen parent to be natural born even if born abroad, thus creating a dual allegiance.

    In other countries, natural born is defined to be limited to birth to parents, or jus sanguini. Again, creating possibilities of dual allegiance.

  58. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    Yo Tony: Doesn’t it hurt tying your brain into a pretzel like that, trying to figure out how to make BHO ineligible without also disqualifying all the Republicans with only one citizen parent (or none) and /or dual citizenship at birth?

  59. avatar
    Tonytheplatypus March 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    nbc: Well, they passed a statute but that does not mean that they had to. For a case where they had to pass a statute, see children born to US citizens, while abroad.

    Birth on soil is sufficient. The problem with foundlings is that it may not always be clear to establish if they were truly born on our soil.

    Not really. Under English Statute, children born abroad to its citizens are also natural born. It’s just that different countries may have different statutes and laws.

    The same applies to children born on US soil to US citizens who hides abroad to avoid draft. He is under the jurisdiction of the country in which he resides.

    Jurisdiction is territorial

    It is inconsistant to say that a child born to foreigners is a naturalborn citizen if born in country A, where another child born to foreigners in country B is not a natural born citizen. If by the nature of being born in a country automatically grants citizenship, then it wouldn’t matter where the foreign birth took place. The fact that some countries have a law stating that anyone born in the country is a citizen proves that citizenship at birth is not automatic, but a law is needed. If a child was a citizen by birth alone, no law would be necessary. No matter where a child is born, they have the citizenship of their parents. Citizen parents can’t give foreign citizenship to their children.

  60. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Then why are there laws in the United States that say that the children of US Citizens born abroad are citizens, but there is no US law that says someone born in the United States is a citizen?

    I would seem that the laws of the United States do not fit very well with your conclusions.

    Tonytheplatypus: The fact that some countries have a law stating that anyone born in the country is a citizen proves that citizenship at birth is not automatic, but a law is needed. If a child was a citizen by birth alone, no law would be necessary.

  61. avatar
    Scientist March 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: No matter where a child is born, they have the citizenship of their parents.

    That isn’t always true. There are countries such as Brazil that until recently did not grant citizenship to children born outside Brazil. So, if 2 Brazilians had a child in Japan, that chiild would have been stateless.

    It would help your standing if before you typed your opinions and embarassed yourself, you actually took some time to learnn.

  62. avatar
    izzybella March 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: No matter where a child is born, they have the citizenship of their parents.

    So, what about the child of a woman who is raped and the rapist is never found?

  63. avatar
    Paper March 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus demonstrates a common issue, common to many beyond birthers but exacerbated by birther fixations: thinking something is so just because you think it is.

    Just because you think something doesn’t mean that is how it works. Just because you have a notion of what makes sense doesn’t mean it does.

  64. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus:

    It is inconsistant to say that a child born to foreigners is a naturalborn citizen if born in country A, where another child born to foreigners in country B is not a natural born citizen.

    No it is not. The term natural born is defined by the country not some ‘higher entity’.

    Citizen parents can’t give foreign citizenship to their children.

    True but children can gain foreign citizenship from their parents by virtue of birth.

    Not a very complex thing to understand.

    In the UK and US no laws are needed to define children born on soil to be natural born. Citizenship is an ‘invention’ of a country and they can do whatever they want.

  65. avatar
    Linda March 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Then why are there laws in the United States that say that the children of US Citizens born abroad are citizens, but there is no US law that says someone born in the United States is a citizen?

    Title 8 covers citizenship at birth (natural born citizens) and includes those born int he US.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1401

  66. avatar
    Linda March 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: Linda, I thought it through, and your point makes no sense.The UK has no jurisdiction over US citizens with no ties to the UK.Of course we wouldn’t be affected by that law.If a US NBC returns to the UK with their UK citizen parents, then yes, that child is subject to whatever laws exist in the UK.Since that child is born under UK jurisdiction, they can’t also be a NBC in the US.

    You missed what I thought was an excellent explanation. In your lengthy post, you said “Based on the intentions of the Founders to prevent someone with foreign allegiance being President, it is illogical to think that they would consider someone who was a NBC of a foreign country to be President. ” My point is that US law does not govern who is or isn’t an NBC in another country and visa versa. Any country can makes laws about who is the equivalent of an NBC for their own purposes. It does not, can not, make a difference in who is a NBC here.

    The courts have ruled that there are two and only two forms of citizenship in the US, one acquired at birth, a natural-born citizen, or through naturalization. Take a peek at the law to see who qualifies.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1401

  67. avatar
    nbc March 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Linda: My point is that US law does not govern who is or isn’t an NBC in another country and visa versa. Any country can makes laws about who is the equivalent of an NBC for their own purposes

    Even Vattel accepts this simple fact. After all, countries cannot let others determine who are their own citizens. The US and our founders would never have stood for that. It’s a fundamental part of being an independent nation.

  68. avatar
    Linda March 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus:
    If a NBC is born on soil, owing allegiance or under full jurisdiction, then it is impossible to be a NBC of two different countries.You can’t be under full jurisdiction of two countries.If a child is born in the US to two foreign citizens and they all return home, the US can’t draft that person.

    You are getting confused. NBC in the US is citizen at birth, born on US soil and rules for others born to citizen parent elsewhere. Other countries may not have the same definition, or any definition at all.

    Lets say US citizens are vacationing in a country that does not grant NBC to children of non-citizens. The child would still be a NBC in the US, but not in the visiting country. (Understand, US rules for US citizens, other country’s rules for their citizens.)

    Now, lets say US citizens have a child while in a country that grants NBC to children of visiting non-citizens. Child is US NBC and a NBC in the foreign country. Understand?

    Again, different countries have different rules. My cousin was born in Greece while my uncle was stationed there. Cousin is an NBC of both US and Greece. He thought it was cool to have dual citizenship. That is until he got his draft notice, 18 years after his family left Greece. In order to maintain his Greek citizenship, he would have to fulfill the mandatory service or he would have to renounce his citizenship. He went renunciation route.

    If Greece could draft my cousin, I am sure the US could draft their dual citizens, too.

  69. avatar
    JoZeppy March 8, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: If a NBC is born on soil, owing allegiance or under full jurisdiction, then it is impossible to be a NBC of two different countries. You can’t be under full jurisdiction of two countries. If a child is born in the US to two foreign citizens and they all return home, the US can’t draft that person. That person is under the jurisdiction of their home country. The US has no jurisdiction over them. If the US also had jurisdiction over that person, it would mean both countries had jurisdiction, so neither had full jurisdiction. If you are born subject to any foreign country’s jurisdiction, you can’t be a NBC. Same thing with allegiance.

    It is not impossible. Jurisdiction involves an individuals present location. Are you implying that a person, born to two US Citizen parents, who travels to a foreign country, is under the full jurisdiction of the US? How about all those Americans that traveled to Canada to avoid the draft in the 1960s? Conversely, a natural born citizen who travels to a foreign country fall under the jursidiction of the country they are visiting (again, thus no longer under the full jursidiction of the US). Does a person stop being a natural born citizen if they leave the country? Quite simply you can be a dual citizen and a Natural Born Citizen of the US (I won’t use the term NBC for both countries, because that is a term that is only used by countries with the common law tradition as far as I know). While in the country of one citizenship, they are considered full citizens of that country, fully under the law as any other citizen. When visiting the other country, they are considered solely citizens of that country. Rather simple. There is nothing in our legal history that implies dual citizenship has any impact on your US citizenship while you are in the United States.

  70. avatar
    JoZeppy March 8, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: It is inconsistant to say that a child born to foreigners is a naturalborn citizen if born in country A, where another child born to foreigners in country B is not a natural born citizen.

    That’s because laws establishing citizenship are not consistent around the globe.

    Tonytheplatypus: If by the nature of being born in a country automatically grants citizenship, then it wouldn’t matter where the foreign birth took place.

    I suppose if all countries had the same laws, that would be the case, but all countries don’t have the same laws. That is why we have two terms for how citizenship is granted. Jus soli and jus sanguinis. Because different countries do things differently. That’s the beauty of being an independant country. You get to decide things for your self.

    Tonytheplatypus: The fact that some countries have a law stating that anyone born in the country is a citizen proves that citizenship at birth is not automatic, but a law is needed.

    Citizenship is determined by each country individually. You are correct in saying it is not automatic. But using your agrument. All countries that grant citizenship based on blood also have laws defining that grant of citizenship. Therefore it is not automatic either. So that should tell you there is no automatic international standard for citizenship. And guess what, here in the US, we have gone by the English common law throughout our history, which is defined in Wong Kim Ark as being jus soli.

    Tonytheplatypus: If a child was a citizen by birth alone, no law would be necessary.

    Depends on the country, and their legal traditions.

    Tonytheplatypus: No matter where a child is born, they have the citizenship of their parents.

    That is a rather broad statement, that is not necessarily true. People born in the Baltic states of Russian heritage were stateless, claimed neither by Russian or the Baltic state. I have yet to check the status of every jus soli nation, and whether they grant citizenship to the children of their citizens born abroad, but again, you’ll note that these countries also require specific statutes giving citizenship to those children, so that certainly is not automatic.

    Tonytheplatypus: Citizen parents can’t give foreign citizenship to their children.

    Parents don’t “give” citizenship. Countries do.

  71. avatar
    Sef March 8, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    nbc: The US and our founders would never have stood for that

    War of 1812.

  72. avatar
    Sef March 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    nbc: In the UK and US no laws are needed to define children born on soil to be natural born. Citizenship is an invention’ of a country and they can do whatever they want.

    As proof of this witness the fact that prior to the 14th Amendment the only method mentioned in the Constutution to obtain citizenship was through naturalization acts. Once there were no more grandfather-clause citizens to become President, if NBC had not been defined by common law, we could not have had a President.

  73. avatar
    nbc March 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Tony the marsupial has strangely gone missing from this thread…

  74. avatar
    John Woodman March 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    nbc:
    Tony the marsupial has strangely gone missing from this thread…

    The only three alternatives for birthers, once their nonsense has been debunked, are:

    1) Stop birthing — which hardly ever happens,

    2) Quietly disappear.

    3) Deny, deny, deny, and keep repeating debunked claims.

    Believe me, 2 is better than 3.

  75. avatar
    sfjeff March 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I am kind of sad though…Tony the platypus was my favorite poster name ever.

  76. avatar
    Scientist March 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    nbc: Tony the marsupial has strangely gone missing from this thread…

    The platypus is a monotreme (egg-laying mammal), not a marsupial….

  77. avatar
    G March 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Obviously 1 is the best choice and 2 is still a good outcome.

    However, sadly, I’m pretty sure we’ll see #3 as their main choice for about another year…

    John Woodman: The only three alternatives for birthers, once their nonsense has been debunked, are:1) Stop birthing — which hardly ever happens,2) Quietly disappear.3) Deny, deny, deny, and keep repeating debunked claims.Believe me, 2 is better than 3.

  78. avatar
    Tonytheplatypus March 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Most of the points I made that were countered are points we won’t change each other’s mind on, so I won’t keep addressing the same arguments. I will shift the discussion to a different point.

    The US was a lot different in 1787 than it is now. Slavery was acceptable. What does that have to do with the NBC clause?

    When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he wrote the word “Subjects”, and crossed it out and replaced it with the word “Citizen”. He clearly saw a meaningful difference between the two words.

    When the NBC clause was written into the Constitution, the term “Natural Born Citizen” was used instead of “Natural Born Subject” for more than the obvious reason that they were citizens and had rights, as opposed to being a subject, who owed allegiance to, and was under the protection of a monarch. The word “Subject” was very inclusive, as it included anyone born on sovereign soil, and under the protection of the King. This included Native Americans, freed slaves, and arguably slaves.

    By making the word citizen instead of subject, it excluded a lot of people that would have been otherwise eligible. These were people that the Founders would have wanted to keep from becoming the President.

    In a letter written in 1817, Andrew Jackson wrote that he considered the Indians to be Subjects of the US. The Attorney General of the United States. In 1856, the Attorney General of the United States gave the opinion that “while Indians were subjects of the United States they could not become naturalized citizens because this was an option available only to foreigners.”

    Even on Indian Treaties, some of them mentioned the term “citizens or subjects of the United States”. Obviously it has been recognized that there is a difference between what a citizen and what a subject is. They would have written it “citizens, (or subjects)” if they were meant to mean the same thing.

    The 14th Amendment has erroneously granted citizenship to foreigners born on US soil because the term “jurisdiction has been misinterpreted”. Why do I say this? American Indians were under federal jurisdiction. The vast majority of Indian treaties had the tribe agreeing to be under the protection of the United States. They agreed that the US federal government had the sole right to negotiate trade with the Indians, and the Indians were not allowed to make international treaties on their own behalf.

    The tribes could self govern, but if an Indian committed a crime against a US citizen or subject, the Indian was under US federal law. If a US subject committed a crime against an Indian on Indian land, that person was also under US federal jurisdiction.

    In 1849, the Utah Indians signed a treaty with the US government. Article 1 of the treaty states: “The Utah tribe of Indians do hereby acknowledge and declare they are lawfully and exclusively under the jurisdiction of the Government of said States: and to its power and authority they now unconditionally submit.”

    Why is this important? Effective 1849, those Indians were on US soil and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the US. The 14th Amendment was signed 19 years later in 1868. The Indians who were born on US soil and under US jurisdiction should have been US citizens according to the 14th Amendment. The fact that they weren’t, and the fact that the Indians born within the jurisdiction of one of the other states, is proof that just being born on US soil doesn’t make you under the jurisdiction of the US, and eligible for citizenship at birth.

    For the record, Marco Rubio was someone I would have considered voting for President, but since his parents weren’t US citizens at the time of his birth, I don’t consider him eligible. Same thing with Romney. If his dad wasn’t a US citizen at the time of his birth, he also shouldn’t be eligible.

  79. avatar
    nbc March 9, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: Most of the points I made that were countered are points we won’t change each other’s mind on, so I won’t keep addressing the same arguments. I will shift the discussion to a different point.

    You were rebutted, now you want to move the goalposts. Come on marsupial… At least admit you were wrong… Or debate… Stop running…

    The Indians who were born on US soil and under US jurisdiction should have been US citizens according to the 14th Amendment.

    So the Indians were deprived of their rights. Big deal..

    Enjoy the latest ruling in Arizona that considers Obama NBC because of his birth on soil and rejects Minor.

    Oh the follies… And if you have followed the 14th Amendment discussion in Congress you would have known that they agreed that children born on soil to foreigners, were in fact citizens.

    Such follies

  80. avatar
    G March 9, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    You are desperately trying to twist the words to be more complex than they are.

    Citizen is simply the applicable term for the form of government we have – a democratic republic and not a monarchy. Without a monarch, there are no “subjects”.

    Your whole issue on the Native Americans goes more to the nature of how they were viewed, as we were invaders taking land and territory from them. That is why their status was viewed as outside the citizenry and populace of the US as a nation. Hence why we had various treaties with them as we slowly took nearly all their land.

    Born on US Soil = NBC. That is the most common type of NBC. Hence why NO born citizens have “citizenship papers”. None are needed. We have also historically treated those children born to our citizens when they are abroad to also be NBC. There is NO difference between “born citizen” and “natural born citizen”. The only other type of citizenship we have, other than by birth, is acquired citizenship, aka “naturalization”.

    It really is that simple. You only try to make it more complex and difficult, because you are unhappy with our rules, for whatever reason, and don’t like the real implications of our laws.

    Tonytheplatypus: When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he wrote the word “Subjects”, and crossed it out and replaced it with the word “Citizen”. He clearly saw a meaningful difference between the two words.
    When the NBC clause was written into the Constitution, the term “Natural Born Citizen” was used instead of “Natural Born Subject” for more than the obvious reason that they were citizens and had rights, as opposed to being a subject, who owed allegiance to, and was under the protection of a monarch. The word “Subject” was very inclusive, as it included anyone born on sovereign soil, and under the protection of the King. This included Native Americans, freed slaves, and arguably slaves.

  81. avatar
    nbc March 9, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    Tony may want to read US v Wong Kim Ark which should lay to rest most of his concerns and confusions.

    The seminal precedent for birthright citizenship and he appears to be somewhat clueless.

  82. avatar
    misha March 9, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Tonytheplatypus: For the record, Marco Rubio was someone I would have considered voting for President, but since his parents weren’t US citizens at the time of his birth, I don’t consider him eligible. Same thing with Romney. If his dad wasn’t a US citizen at the time of his birth, he also shouldn’t be eligible.

    There is a question if Willard Mitt Romney’s father was actually a citizen when he was born. The only thing we know for sure about Willard, is that he tied his dog to the roof of his car, for 12 hours, causing the dog to do a Romney.

    I think you should stick to your principles, and not vote for either.

    Since you are so concerned about the Constitution, I’d like to quote from Nikki Haley’s website:

    “Is Nikki a Christian?” – http://www.nikkihaley.com/truthinfacts/question-is-nikki-a-christian

    “In Nikki’s words: “My faith in Christ has a profound impact on my daily life and I look to Him for guidance with every decision I make. God has blessed my family in so many ways and my faith in the Lord gives me great strength on a daily basis. Being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day.”

    US Constitution, Article VI, paragraph 3: “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Apparently, the Constitution has been amended, and I missed it happening. Note to Ms. Haley: I live for the Flying Spaghetti Monster every day.

  83. avatar
    Tonytheplatypus March 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    nbc: You were rebutted, now you want to move the goalposts. Come on marsupial… At least admit you were wrong… Or debate… Stop running…

    So the Indians were deprived of their rights. Big deal..

    Enjoy the latest ruling in Arizona that considers Obama NBC because of his birth on soil and rejects Minor.

    Oh the follies… And if you have followed the 14th Amendment discussion in Congress you would have known that they agreed that children born on soil to foreigners, were in fact citizens.

    Such follies

    The 14th Amendment was applied incorrectly in the Kim Wong Ark case. British Subject was closer in meaning to our current description of a US National. All US Citizens are Nationals, but not all Nationals are Citizens. According to the British common law, anyone born on Sovereign territory was a subject of the king. US Nationals born on US territory are not citizens, only Nationals. The terms National and Citizen are not interchangeable, as the terms Citizen and Subject were also not interchangeable. The colonists were Subjects of England, but had no right to vote for representation in the English government. It is the same thing with our Nationals of today. If the definition of what a Common Law Subject was used to day, we would have no US Nationals, they would all be US citizens.

    Not all British Subjects were created equal. Colonial Subjects had no right to vote. Even in England, the right to vote was limited to a very small percentage of British Subjects, limited mostly to large landowners. While the right to vote was limited early on in the US to mostly tax paying Citizens, citizens didn’t lose their right to vote just because of which state they were born, unlike Subjects born in British colonies.

    The Court was wrong in the Kim Wong Ark case. They erroneously equated Subject and Citizen, and went with the principle of jos soli for citizenship, instead of jus sanguinis, which granted citizenship based on being born on US soil, instead of by blood, or from their parents. A subject is no more a citizen than a national is.

    It makes no sense that Indians born on US territory were excluded from citizenship under the 14th Amendment. They said that Indians were considered not to be under the jurisdiction of the US since they were under foreign allegiance. There is no logical way to explain how an Indian child born on US soil is a foreigner and not under US jurisdiction, yet a child born on US soil to parents who are German citizens is under US jurisdiction. While the ruling may currently be the law of the land, it doesn’t mean they got it right.

  84. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I guess the essential problem with this is that while you claim the Court was wrong, you provide no argument to support your contention that British Subjects are not analogous to US Citizens (despite the Supreme Court citing authorities to the contrary).

    To apply current US Nationality to the question is invalid because the status of those persons is determined by Statute, not the Common Law. To say “if we apply the common law” is a false premise, since the common law doesn’t apply.

    Tonytheplatypus: The 14th Amendment was applied incorrectly in the Kim Wong Ark case. British Subject was closer in meaning to our current description of a US National. All US Citizens are Nationals, but not all Nationals are Citizens. According to the British common law, anyone born on Sovereign territory was a subject of the king. US Nationals born on US territory are not citizens, only Nationals. The terms National and Citizen are not interchangeable, as the terms Citizen and Subject were also not interchangeable. The colonists were Subjects of England, but had no right to vote for representation in the English government. It is the same thing with our Nationals of today. If the definition of what a Common Law Subject was used to day, we would have no US Nationals, they would all be US citizens.

  85. avatar
    Arthur March 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: The 14th Amendment was applied incorrectly in the Kim Wong Ark case.

    Thank you, Justice Platypus. When next the Supreme Court requires the expertise of an egg-laying mammal to rectify their errors in judgment, I’ll send them your way. In exactly which mental ward did you say you currently reside?

  86. avatar
    JoZeppy March 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: The 14th Amendment was applied incorrectly in the Kim Wong Ark case

    I love how internet crack pots with no legal training assume to know

    Tonytheplatypus: The Court was wrong in the Kim Wong Ark case.

    Sure it was. And so has every Court that not overturned WKA in the 100 plus years since then. And of course every lower court judge that contines to cite WKA as good law is wrong too. As is every lawyer that also accepts WKA as firmly established law, that was correct from day one. It is amazing how someone with your legal brilliance has not been nominated for the Supreme Court, as you are clearly more knowledgible then anyone currently practing law, with the exception of Orly Taitz, Donfrio, and Apuzzo.

    Tonytheplatypus: The Court was wrong in the Kim Wong Ark case. They erroneously equated Subject and Citizen, and went with the principle of jos soli for citizenship, instead of jus sanguinis, which granted citizenship based on being born on US soil, instead of by blood, or from their parents. A subject is no more a citizen than a national is.

    And why would it be jus sanguinis? There no evidence anywhere in our history to imply that citizenship was given on the basis of jus sanguinis. The fact that statutes were passed to expand citizenship on the basis of parentage is a clear indication that we are not fundamentally jus sanguinis. Otherwise, there would be no need for it.

    Tonytheplatypus: It makes no sense that Indians born on US territory were excluded from citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

    Only because you don’t know either the law or US History. For those of who have studied both, it makes perfectg sense.

    Tonytheplatypus: They said that Indians were considered not to be under the jurisdiction of the US since they were under foreign allegiance. There is no logical way to explain how an Indian child born on US soil is a foreigner and not under US jurisdiction, yet a child born on US soil to parents who are German citizens is under US jurisdiction.

    No, because they weren’t considered born on US soil. Born on the resevation, it was as if they were born on foreign soil. Native Americans on the reservations were not on US soil. That is the distinction. They were not subject to the laws the same way a German immigrant in NYC would be.

    Tonytheplatypus: While the ruling may currently be the law of the land, it doesn’t mean they got it right.

    It doesn’t….but in this case, no one who actually knows what they are talking about doubts that they got it right.

  87. avatar
    Scientist March 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: They erroneously equated Subject and Citizen, and went with the principle of jos soli for citizenship, instead of jus sanguinis

    jus soli had always been the case in British North America (it is the case in Canada, even without a 14th amendment or Wong Kim Ark case) for those not racially barred from citizenship (slaves before the Civil War and Chinese after the Exclusion Acts). If pregnant Mary O’Callaghan and her husband Patrick arrived in New York and she dropped a baby on the dock, that child was a citizen, whether before the Revolution or after. It didn’t matter that the parents were non-citizens who had arrived 10 minutes before. If that were not the case, someone would be able to find a whole slew of US-born naturalized citizens. No one has.

    The Wong case wouldn’t have existed, but for the anti-Chinese racist laws, because without those laws no one would have ever considered him to be anything other than a US citizen.

    So, please explain:
    1. Why no naturalized citizens born in the US?
    2. Why does Canada have jus soli even without a 14th amendment or Wong case? (hint: think of the common origin of the US and Canada as British colonies, remembering that France lost control of Canada in 1759)

  88. avatar
    nbc March 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: The 14th Amendment was applied incorrectly in the Kim Wong Ark case. British Subject was closer in meaning to our current description of a US National. All US Citizens are Nationals, but not all Nationals are Citizens. According to the British common law, anyone born on Sovereign territory was a subject of the king. US Nationals born on US territory are not citizens, only Nationals.

    A very confusing argument, lacking in any supporting evidence. Sufficiently to point out that the Court considered the term citizen and subject equivalent, one referring to a Republic, the other to a monarchy.

    Contrary to your claims, people born on US territory, regardless of their status become natural born citizens, with only minor exceptions.

    You must have read Wong Kim Ark a bit too quickly. Note for instance that the dissenting Judge laments how it is unfair that WKA can run for president but a child born abroad to US citizens can not? Did you know that the government raised the issue to the Supreme Court as: Did the lower court err in pronouncing WKA to be natural born (I paraphrase).

    US Nationals is a term reserved for those not born on US soil but rather in an outlying possession of the United States which only include American Samoa and Swains Island.

    Sorry but you are wrong again my fuzzy marsupial

  89. avatar
    nbc March 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: Not all British Subjects were created equal. Colonial Subjects had no right to vote.

    Again irrelevant, women were natural born and yet did not have voting rights.

    Next… Goodness sake… Do you even apply common sense when you write this?

  90. avatar
    nbc March 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: The Court was wrong in the Kim Wong Ark case. They erroneously equated Subject and Citizen, and went with the principle of jos soli for citizenship, instead of jus sanguinis, which granted citizenship based on being born on US soil, instead of by blood, or from their parents. A subject is no more a citizen than a national is.

    Well, you may believe that the Court was wrong, no real arguments are given as to how you reached this conclusion. The problem is that the Court has set a precedent which has stood solidly and has been cited in hundreds or more court cases. Now we see how the Courts have taken notice once again of US v WKA to declare President Obama to be natural born.

    Bummer when the courts so clearly disagree with you and all you can say is that they are wrong… Somehow Marsupial precedent is not part of our legal system

  91. avatar
    nbc March 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: It makes no sense that Indians born on US territory were excluded from citizenship under the 14th Amendment. They said that Indians were considered not to be under the jurisdiction of the US since they were under foreign allegiance. There is no logical way to explain how an Indian child born on US soil is a foreigner and not under US jurisdiction, yet a child born on US soil to parents who are German citizens is under US jurisdiction

    It’s simple, the territory of the Indian overlaps with US soil, the territory of a child born to English children on US soil does not overlap with English territory.

    It’s so trivial… Indians were not completely under our Jurisdiction. Did you even read the Congressional discussions surrounding this topic? You could learn a lot.

  92. avatar
    nbc March 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Well, that was fun and so simple…

  93. avatar
    Scientist March 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    nbc: Sorry but you are wrong again my fuzzy marsupial

    The platypus is NOT a marsupial, it is a monotreme. Accuracy, please…

  94. avatar
    Scientist March 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Can courts be wrong? Generally the most common place that argument is made is in the penitentiary, where 99% or so of the inmates claim that the courts were wrong.

  95. avatar
    Majority Will March 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Scientist: The platypus is NOT a marsupial, it is a monotreme. Accuracy, please…

    Even the kids know that!

    http://phineasandferb.wikia.com/wiki/Perry_the_Platypus

  96. avatar
    John Woodman March 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I guess the essential problem with this is that while you claim the Court was wrong, you provide no argument to support your contention that British Subjects are not analogous to US Citizens (despite the Supreme Court citing authorities to the contrary).

    The word “subject” was used pretty much synonymously with “citizen” in at least some states of the early United States. We have documentary evidence of this.

  97. avatar
    nbc March 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Scientist: The platypus is NOT a marsupial, it is a monotreme. Accuracy, please…

    Damn you surely… Don’t call me Shirley…

    You’re right and I bow my head in shame…

    PS: Do their eggs taste just like chicken’s?

  98. avatar
    John Woodman March 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Scientist: If pregnant Mary O’Callaghan and her husband Patrick arrived in New York and she dropped a baby on the dock, that child was a citizen, whether before the Revolution or after.

    And not just a citizen, but a natural born citizen.

  99. avatar
    John Woodman March 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Except that before the revolution, such people were called “subjects.” After the revolution, the main term was “citizen,” but “subject” seems to have been still used interchangeably for a while.

  100. avatar
    John Woodman March 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    I said “after the revolution,” but I’m not certain offhand exactly when “citizen” was decided upon instead of “subject.” It may not have been quite immediately after the revolution. It may have been with the drafting of the Constitution.

  101. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Sorry but you are wrong again my fuzzy marsupial

    Actually, monotreme.

  102. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Both subject and citizen were used in state legislation before and after the Constitution was ratified.

    The Supreme Court in US v. Wong cited American jurist and legal scholar James Kent saying:

    “Subject’ and citizen’ are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives; and though the term citizen’ seems to be appropriate to republican freemen, yet we are, equally with the inhabitants of all other countries, ’subjects,’ for we are equally bound by allegiance and subjection to the government and law of the land.’

    John Woodman: I said “after the revolution,” but I’m not certain offhand exactly when “citizen” was decided upon instead of “subject.” It may not have been quite immediately after the revolution. It may have been with the drafting of the Constitution.

  103. avatar
    misha March 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Tonytheplatypus: The 14th Amendment was applied incorrectly in the Kim Wong Ark case.

    JoZeppy: It is amazing how someone with your legal brilliance has not been nominated for the Supreme Court, as you are clearly more knowledgible then anyone currently practing law, with the exception of Orly Taitz, Donfrio, and Apuzzo.

    Tony the platypus goes to the same law firm as Sarah Palin – Dewey, Cheatum and Howe
    Tony: my BC is written in Yiddish. Is that kosher? [bada-bing]

    Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  104. avatar
    sfjeff March 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Tony- I get your confusion. I really do.

    I think the Supreme Court got “Citizen’s United” wrong. Now I am no legal scholar, but it just feels wrong.

    The difference between you and I is that I recognize that even if the Supreme Court(in my opinion) is wrong about Citizen’s United, the law requires we follow the Supreme Court’s decision.

    I know that it would take Congress changing the laws or maybe the Constitution to change this.

    You (I suspect) think that even though the Supreme Court says otherwise that we should all just listen to you.

    And thats not going to happen.

  105. avatar
    sfjeff March 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Speaking of Citizens United.

    Lawyers out there:

    Since Corporations are not defined in the Constitution- couldn’t Congress(if they had the wil power- hah) change the interpretation of Corporations so that they are not considered ‘persons’ in regards to the Constitutional protections- or specifically exclude them from the right to ‘free speech’?

  106. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 10, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    Somehow that reminded me:

    Arctic expedition leader: Doctor, are there any cases of frozen feet?
    Doctor: You didn’t order any cases of frozen feet.

    I wanted to construct one of those really long titles, like the Car Talk guys use in the closing credits for Douglas Berman for the Cold Case Posse. Part of it was the Cold Case of Frozen Feet Posse.

    misha: Dewey, Cheatum and Howe

  107. avatar
    misha March 11, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    sfjeff: You (I suspect) think that even though the Supreme Court says otherwise that we should all just listen to you.

    Tony the tiger platypus got the idea from Newt McPherson Gingrich –
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_12/quote_of_the_day_28034177.php

    Gingrich hosted a conference call with reporters and went even further, sketching out his vision for policymakers literally ignoring federal court rulings. Gingrich went on to describe “the rule of two of three” — a made-up rule with no foundation in American law — in which two branches of government could out-vote the other one. He wasn’t kidding, by the way.

    SCHIEFFER: One of the things you say is that if you don’t like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before Congress and hold a congressional hearing … how would you enforce that? Would you send the Capitol Police down to arrest him?

    GINGRICH: Sure. If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshal.

    Just so we’re clear, this week, a leading presidential candidate articulated his belief that, if elected, he might (1) eliminate courts he doesn’t like; (2) ignore court rulings he doesn’t like; and (3) take judges into custody if he disapproves of their legal analyses.

  108. avatar
    nbc March 11, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    Thomas Brown: Actually, monotreme.

    Yes, keep rubbing it in. Can I have some salt with that :-)

  109. avatar
    J. Potter March 11, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    misha: Just so we’re clear, this week, a leading presidential candidate articulated his belief that, if elected, he might (1) eliminate courts he doesn’t like; (2) ignore court rulings he doesn’t like; and (3) take judges into custody if he disapproves of their legal analyses.

    And to quote a little more of the article:

    I hope it’s unnecessary to note that Gingrich’s vision is stark raving mad.

    I’ll just conclude with this observation: Newt Gingrich believes Barack Obama is a wild-eyed fanatic, guided by an extremist ideology, hell bent on overseeing a radical overhaul of the American system of government.

    The irony is rich.

    Thanks, Misha! Newt’s December appearance on Meet the Press is legendary, have posted about it here before, but I hadn’t seen that spot-on commentary before!

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