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The Great Debate–kibitzer’s edition Part 4

This is the 4th and final edition of the Great Debate Kibitzer’s Editions. This topic is for discussion of The Great Debate.

As I set forth in the original article, the debate will continue as long as the participants have comments. I intend to make my final comments later this week, and Bob Gard has the option of replying, and then the debate will conclude.

Previous Kibitzer’s Editions:

Note: If you buy Bob Gard’s DVD, I strongly suggest you convert it to PDF. The PDF version is like 45 MB. I used Acrobat Standard and it created a beautiful PDF file that opens in a second, and can even run on a Kindle Fire HD, opening in a couple of seconds. Using Microsoft Word to output the file as a PDF didn’t work well for me.

184 Responses to The Great Debate–kibitzer’s edition Part 4

  1. avatar
    Dave B. February 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Well, I was wondering how this could all be wrapped up, but it looks like you’ve got that covered very well, Doc. My hat’s off to you.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Well, I think someone could clearly extend Vattel’s visit to the coquette to do an analysis of Bob Gard’s thinking. It’s a shame that Vattel didn’t include the conspiracy theorist as part of his voyages.

    Paper To be fair Mr. Gard no doubt is simply voyaging in the microcosm, following that other template Vattel left behind.

    He simply may have become confused amidst and among the “ambulant Worlds,” and may simply have lost track of whose world he was visiting “the last time [his] soul left the body with which it was united.” (Vattel)

  3. avatar
    Reality Check February 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    You know Bob Gard is the poster child (age not withstanding) for the problems with primary research, which was the subject of an article Doc wrote about recently. The article outlined the pitfalls of primary research and why Wikipedia doesn’t permit it to be citied. In Bob’s case it suffers from also being coupled with a bad case of confirmation bias.

    He apparently has spent a lot of time and money on his quest to prove President Obama is not eligible. Despite this folly he may actually be a nice guy. He is probably someone’s husband, father, and maybe grandfather. They no doubt care for him very much. Unfortunately, he has made some fatal errors during his research and publishing his eBook that any scientifically trained person would immediately recognize.

    First, before launching into a 1700 page book he should have read what was available on both sides of the issue. Then he should have tested his theories by doing what he has done here. That is to expose his research to examination in an open forum. In an academic environment papers are peer reviewed before publication. So who did Bob get to review his ideas? Apparently the answer is no one. After completing his book he sent it in DVD form to a number of conservative politicians and media folks. With only a very few exceptions they ignored him. Karl Rove replied via email and basically told him the entire project was a waste of time. I think I can imagine the comments that many of the recipients or their office assistants and wondered why anyone would send them an enormous Word document on a DVD instead of a PDF. So what was Bob’s purpose in sending this work to Karl Rove and a gaggle of conservative commentators and politicians? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Bob was hoping Karl or one of the conservative media would jump at the chance to use this to smear Obama.

    Now months after publishing his DVD on Amazon he came to OCT and is getting his head handed to him. (I am sure Bob will take offense at that assessment but any objective observer would agree. When you have to resort to telling a French attorney that he does understand French believe me the debate is over.) This is the outcome when you set out to work backwards from a conclusion you claim you made in the eighth grade and sift through mounds of sources while tossing out 200 years of history and common sense about the term natural born.

    It will be interesting to see if Bob follows the path of Mario Apuzzo and goes sulking to his corner of the Internet in denial and cursing the “evil obots” who have drunk the Obama Koolade. Just once I would like to meet an honest Birther. I am pretty sure Bob/obobma doesn’t measure up.

  4. avatar
    donna February 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Reality Check: When you have to resort to telling a French attorney that he does understand French believe me the debate is over.

    one would think, in attempting to interpret the french speaking vattel and basing your entire scenario on vattel, you would FIRST confer with a french speaking attorney

    a 1st year french student knows the english translation of the french “parents”

    un proche parent a close relative ou relation
    un lointain parent, un parent éloigné a distant relative ou relation
    un parent du c’té paternel/maternel a relation on the father’s/mother’s side
    nous sommes parents par ma femme we’re related through my wife
    ce sont des parents en ligne directe/par alliance they’re blood relations/related by marriage

  5. avatar
    aesthetocyst February 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Reality Check: It will be interesting to see if Bob follows the path of Mario Apuzzo and goes sulking to his corner of the Internet in denial and cursing the “evil obots” who have drunk the Obama Koolade.

    A salesman must go where the sales are.

    In his case, that’s nowhere, but he’ll have a better chance back in birferstan.

  6. avatar
    Paper February 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Indeed.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Well, I think someone could clearly extend Vattel’s visit to the coquette to do an analysis of Bob Gard’s thinking. It’s a shame that Vattel didn’t include the conspiracy theorist as part of his voyages.

  7. avatar
    Publius February 25, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    This is the 4th and final edition of the Great Debate Kibitzer’s Editions.

    >sniff<

    I just wanna say it’s been so great, and I’ll really miss you all, and…

    [Publius cannot continue by reason of being all choked up.]

  8. avatar
    Publius February 25, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    I intend to publish my review of Bob’s book tomorrow over at Amazon.

    Dr. C has already published a review (I don’t think I saw that mentioned here). I thought it was a well-written and well-considered review.

  9. avatar
    Slartibartfast February 26, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Link please?

    Publius:
    I intend to publish my review of Bob’s book tomorrow over at Amazon.

    Dr. C has already published a review (I don’t think I saw that mentioned here). I thought it was a well-written and well-considered review.

  10. avatar
    John Reilly February 26, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    I’ve watched all this energy spent on Vattel. Let me see if I have Vattel right.

    Vattel said you need to have one or both parents be citzens in order for a child to be a citizen. Whether it is one or both is subject of some debate between Lupin and others, with Lupin saying it can be one parent and Bob says it has to be two. And that’s to be a citizen of Switzerland.

    Vattel then observes that over in England they do it differently. There, you just have to be born there. It doesn’t matter where your parents come from.

    Doesn’t that leave 1699+ blank pages? Really, is there something more to Vattel?

  11. avatar
    aesthetocyst February 26, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    Link please?

    2 stars out of 5 (generous!)
    A good argument against self-publishing
    February 20, 2013
    By Doc Conspiracy

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RRBIOV6PP7CIP/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0093BWGLI&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

  12. avatar
    aesthetocyst February 26, 2013 at 1:26 am #

    In other Amazon news, Tracy Fair is over there posting her latest deconstruction of teh bane of her existence, the Wong Kim Ark decision. She has declared the justices were just making stuff up. I think this nuttiness is original to her …. and that she has been staring at this crap waaayyyyyyy too long!

    http://www.amazon.com/republicans-idiots-racist-horrible-people/forum/Fx3O0GUS5OOQ7GV/Tx3SYV8RONCFJP1/33/ref=cm_cd_et_md_pl?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1936488299&cdMsgID=Mx23JPZ4GOUOFS6&cdMsgNo=801&cdSort=oldest#Mx23JPZ4GOUOFS6

  13. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Slartibartfast: Link please?

    A google search for on gard obama will get you straight to the amazon page for Gard’s book.

  14. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    John Reilly: Doesn’t that leave 1699+ blank pages? Really, is there something more to Vattel?

    A little bit, but not much.

  15. avatar
    gorefan February 26, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Publius: A little bit, but not much.

    So is there anything of note in the 1700+ pages? Didn’t his editor said there was quite a bit of new research material?

  16. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    As far as his main claim goes, I think we’ve hit it pretty well here. I really don’t see any big arguments other than the ones Bob has made. He’s out of ammunition.

    The sad thing is that not only has he failed to carry the day, his thesis has been thoroughly destroyed from just about every angle imaginable, and he still seems to delude himself that he has “proven” his claim “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Sadly, if anything has been “proven” “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it is that his claim has no discernible merit at all, that he wasted a great deal of time, effort and money in making it, and that he, like many other people, was duped by others – whether intentionally or not – in the “birther movement.”

    Aside from the main claim, yes, there are a few things of merit. His collection of dictionary definitions is of some merit; however in terms of the basic thesis it really provides good evidence for the opposite of what he set out to prove. As I noted above, if you accept Publius’ Gard Axiom #1 – which I think is pretty hard to successfully argue against – then I would say the rational conclusion is that Bob’s evidence establishes that citizen parents are NOT required for children born in the USA to be natural born citizens.

    The other thing, which I mentioned already, is that he has some biographies of Framers. I will confess I’ve really just skimmed over these, looking only for what was relevant to the birther claim. But those could potentially be of some value.

  17. avatar
    Lupin February 26, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    Reality Check: Just once I would like to meet an honest Birther. I am pretty sure Bob/obobma doesn’t measure up.

    Another small clue.

    You know how Bob keeps bragging about his collection of Vattel editions?

    But if he really has all these books, and read them, how come he seems unaware of the very important footnote in the second edition [should be 1863 French Edition. Doc.] of DROIT DES GENS, right bang in the middle of the article we’ve been discussing as nauseam (Book I, Chapter 19, art. 212) that says that mothers can transmit citizenship for children born out of wedlock?

    My only point here is: if Bob is so well acquainted with Vattel in all editions and languages, how come that important tidbit escaped his notice?

    Either he didn’t know about it (hugely sloppy & ignorant) or he kept it under wraps (lying & being dishonest).

  18. avatar
    Lupin February 26, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    John Reilly:
    I’ve watched all this energy spent on Vattel.Let me see if I have Vattel right.

    Vattel said you need to have one or both parents be citzens in order for a child to be a citizen.Whether it is one or both is subject of some debate between Lupin and others, with Lupin saying it can be one parent and Bob says it has to be two.And that’s to be a citizen of Switzerland.

    I’m not trying to be arrogant here, but there really is no debate about one or both. It’s a matter of simple syntax. Except for birthers, nobody anywhere has ever argued this in 2-1/2 centuries.

    It’s as if I said, there’s two schools of thought on this issue: mine and the rest of the world’s.

    Where there is an (academic) debate is about the role of the father as the sole or main transmitter of citizenship, and under which circumstances — AT THE TIME.

    But that issue eventually got sorted out later, and has no relevance today, and certainly not to Mr. Obama.

    As Jon Stewart is fond of saying, the only thing Bob Gard should say is: “I’ve got nothing.”

  19. avatar
    The Magic M February 26, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    Publius: The sad thing is that not only has he failed to carry the day, his thesis has been thoroughly destroyed from just about every angle imaginable, and he still seems to delude himself that he has “proven” his claim “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Not that uncommon. When Vinay Deolalikar claimed two years ago to have solved the “P=NP?” problem, his paper was taken apart by experts in the field (Deolalikar isn’t one) – in a friendly way of course because there’s always the possibility that a wrong proof can be corrected. Until today, he maintains his proof is correct and that he has amended it, but so far has refused to show the amended proof to anyone.

    So even the real scientific community suffers from that problem – when you’ve invested a lot of time and brainpower, it’s hard to accept you ended up with zilch, let alone openly admit it. I know a guy who’s been writing on his PhD thesis for more than 10 years now because he believes the great discovery is just around the corner. And of course science needs such people – if Wiles had given up after 5 years, we wouldn’t have Taniyama-Shimura (“Fermat’s Great Theorem” for the masses). On the other hand, once you take such a route, you have to be prepared for having wasted years of your life.

  20. avatar
    The Magic M February 26, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    aesthetocyst: Tracy Fair is over there posting her latest deconstruction of teh bane of her existence, the Wong Kim Ark decision. She has declared the justices were just making stuff up

    That’s the funny thing with birthers. If a SCOTUS decision appears to support them, if only in dicta, it’s “binding precedent”.
    If a SCOTUS decision contradicts them, it’s “wrong decision” and “botched case”.
    Well, Tracy can yammer until the cows come home, WKA is binding precedent until SCOTUS rules otherwise.
    Also, doesn’t Tracy admit, by the efforts she takes into “proving” that WKA was “wrong”, that WKA indeed says that “anchor babies” can be NBC? If it didn’t say that (as many birthers claim), why the need to prove any “botching” of the case?

  21. avatar
    Lupin February 26, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    The Magic M: So even the real scientific community suffers from that problem – when you’ve invested a lot of time and brainpower, it’s hard to accept you ended up with zilch, let alone openly admit it. I know a guy who’s been writing on his PhD thesis for more than 10 years now because he believes the great discovery is just around the corner. And of course science needs such people – if Wiles had given up after 5 years, we wouldn’t have Taniyama-Shimura (“Fermat’s Great Theorem” for the masses). On the other hand, once you take such a route, you have to be prepared for having wasted years of your life.

    I fully agree with the theory, but I find it hard to equate it with Bob Gard’s abysmally stupid effort.

    Since we’ve ascertained that all or nearly all of his theory relies on his interpretation of Vattel, don’t you think that any reasonably normal person would have started his research by either locating or securing the opinion of a French legal expert (and I mean people quantifiably more experienced in these matters than I).

    Reverse our positions and see how absurd it would be if I were to write a fat tome about how Lincoln was secretly a cannibal and I consulted no American historian.

    Bob’s failure to take that very simple step totally disqualifies him from being considered a honest if eccentric researcher IMHO. More like a crank.

  22. avatar
    Northland10 February 26, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Bob from the Great Debate: I reproduced Jay’s letter. I never claimed he used any term except natural born Citizen. With circumstantial evidence, I have proved beyond a reasonable doubt what is definition was.

    Claiming secrecy oaths and surmising conversations with those you claim, without evidence, made a later Vattel translations is not evidence, circumstantial or otherwise. All you are doing are filling in holes with whatever will get you where you want to go.

    Imagine Mr. Gard in the coffee aisle of the store. The Columbian roast appears to be missing. He conducts is “research” finding there is a fellow, who recently went down the aisle. Generally, that fellow prefers free-trade French roast. Bob decides that the Columbian roast was stolen by our free-trade coffee drinker. However, his “research” did not involve moving the breakfast blend out of the way to figure out the Columbian was there all along. Could it be that he had a bias against free-trade and French and that his conclusion was a given (ignoring the oddity that the “stolen” coffee was a Columbian roast)?

  23. avatar
    The Magic M February 26, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Lupin: I fully agree with the theory, but I find it hard to equate it with Bob Gard’s abysmally stupid effort.

    Same here. I was just trying to support the argument that investing a lot of effort in a pet theory can be an additional cause for being unwilling to concede being wrong – it doesn’t necessarily have to be ODS or racism or lunacy.
    Then again, a real scientist would try to adapt his work to the results of peer review, not resort to the old “I’m right and you’re wrong, lalalalalala” stubbornness.

    The likes of Gard and Apuzzo seem to think that quantity wins over quality (in a nutshell, that is simply the MO of birther propagandists who invent 100+ conspiracy theories about Obama hoping that people will go “it can’t be that *so* many claims are wrong, there’s got to be some truth to it”).

    But science and truth isn’t a matter of numbers (something the deniers of relativity theory and evolution claim, that the other side only prevails because its numbers are larger, not because its theories are sounder), it’s a matter of having testable and falsifiable claims. Conspiracy theories don’t go “the other side is wrong because I can prove it” but “the other side is wrong and is covering up all evidence to the contrary so I can’t prove it”.

    Of course Mr. Gard’s ideas about “secret intentions” are the bottom of the barrel – just imagine a Democrat claimed that the Framers secretly intended “Years” to mean “Mars Year” (and tried to prove that with 1700+ pages detailing how the Framers loved the Red Planet) and that therefore Obama’s two terms would not end in January 2017 but in June 2023 (as 8 Mars years are about 15.5 Earth years). I believe Mr. Gard would cry “usurpation, dictatorship!”…

  24. avatar
    Majority Will February 26, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Lupin: I fully agree with the theory, but I find it hard to equate it with Bob Gard’s abysmally stupid effort.

    Since we’ve ascertained that all or nearly all of his theory relies on his interpretation of Vattel, don’t you think that any reasonably normal person would have started his research by either locating or securing the opinion of a French legal expert (and I mean people quantifiably more experienced in these matters than I).

    Reverse our positions and see how absurd it would be if I were to write a fat tome about how Lincoln was secretly a cannibal and I consulted no American historian.

    Bob’s failure to take that very simple step totally disqualifies him from being considered a honest if eccentric researcher IMHO. More like a crank.

    “Reverse our positions and see how absurd it would be if I were to write a fat tome about how Lincoln was secretly a cannibal and I consulted no American historian.”

    And perhaps it’s based on one laughably out of context quote that alleges Lincoln once said, “we’re having people for dinner this evening”.

    That’s how the birthers roll.

  25. avatar
    Lupin February 26, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Majority Will: And perhaps it’s based on one laughably out of context quote that alleges Lincoln once said, “we’re having people for dinner this evening”.

    That’s how the birthers roll.

    This turned out to be an better analogy than I thought! 🙂

  26. avatar
    aarrgghh February 26, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    The Magic M: … in a nutshell, that is simply the MO of birther propagandists who invent 100+ conspiracy theories about Obama hoping that people will go “it can’t be that *so* many claims are wrong, there’s got to be some truth to it” …

    … Conspiracy theories don’t go “the other side is wrong because I can prove it” but “the other side is wrong and is covering up all evidence to the contrary so I can’t prove it”.

    every day in freeper gulch:

    39) 3D-JOY: “… Why would he hide so much information and falsify so much, as well spend all the money to defend his position if all was OK?

    I enjoy learning all the theories and hoping I live long enough to learn which are the truth! I expect no change during this term, but I can hope!”

    40) CitizenUSA: “… Let me put it this way. I believe there’s something shady in Obama’s past. He’s hiding something. I don’t know what it is, but I’m pretty sure there’s something there…

  27. avatar
    Paper February 26, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    First, Lincoln = Vampire Hunter. You may have missed the recent documentary?

    But now that I think of it, that doesn’t prove Lincoln wasn’t also a cannibal. Indeed, by hunting vampires he simply was getting rid of his competition.

    I think you may have proven your case, Lupin. I’ll have to check later, but I believe it fits all the relevant axioms.

    Lupin:
    Reverse our positions and see how absurd it would be if I were to write a fat tome about how Lincoln was secretly a cannibal and I consulted no American historian.

  28. avatar
    The Magic M February 26, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    aarrgghh (quoting a Freeper): I expect no change during this term

    That’s their final OMG moment, the hope that after January 2017, people will finally “dare” to go after Obama. Well, they kinda made the same claim before and shortly after the 2010 elections – “with a GOP majority in the House, impeachment trials will start any day now”.

    It still puzzles me how they can reconcile their “everybody is in on it” meme with the “once [event] happens, everybody will turn birther” meme.

    If they were able to take a clue from other conspiracy theories… none of the “conspirators” has yet spilled the beans on the Moon landing or 9/11, but they believe the end of the “Obama conspiracy” is just around the corner. Desperation.

    I forgot if I predicted birtherism would not take a hit from his re-election, but if I did, I was right. 🙂 Only difference is that WND seems to have abandoned the meme (IMO clear proof it was a Swiftboat campaign) in favour of “ebil Muslims everywhere!”.

  29. avatar
    Jim February 26, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    The Magic M: It still puzzles me how they can reconcile their “everybody is in on it” meme with the “once [event] happens, everybody will turn birther” meme.

    “The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech. In American you have a right to be stupid – if you want to be,” Kerry said, prompting laughter. “And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-defends-liberties-says-americans-stupid-141450112.html

    Another dig at the birthers…at least I think so! 😀

  30. avatar
    JD Reed February 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    The Magic M:
    It still puzzles me how they can reconcile their “everybody is in on it” meme with the “once [event] happens, everybody will turn birther” meme.

    They can do it because, with some exceptions, their thinking patterns have little to do with consistency. Many are perfectly capable of holding inescapably contradictory beliefs at the same time. Whatever serves to discredit Obama is the logical choice for them. For instance, I’ve known of people who ridicule the president as too dull to realize that the U.S.does not have 57 states, or he’s at a loss for words without his TelePrompter — yet at the same time he’s the cleverest political manipulator in the history of the world!

  31. avatar
    ballantine February 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    JD Reed: They can do it because, with some exceptions, their thinking patterns have little to do with consistency. Many are perfectly capable of holding inescapably contradictory beliefs at the same time. Whatever serves to discreditObama is the logical choice for them. For instance, I’ve known of people who ridicule the president as too dull to realize that the U.S.does not have 57 states, or he’s at a loss for words without his TelePrompter —yet at the same time he’s the cleverest political manipulator in the history of the world!

    To me, it seems that their minds cannot process information contrary to their near religious beliefs. The relevant provisions of Wong Kim Ark have been cited over and over to birthers and I have yet to see it sink into the mind of a single one. Rather, their minds appear to mutate the language into something they like and they actually think the case supports them.

    Look at Bob. He cites people like McElwee and Rogers Smith and seems blissfully unaware that both men clearly say he is wrong. I still don’t think he does. Such simply doesn’t process. Indeed, Bob seems to base his entire theory on the claim that Sir William Scott translated the 1797 edition because Joseph Chitty said so. However, Chitty never said Scott was a translator. Not even close. In the plainest of English, Chitty said Scott was one of the recent judges who had updated and clarified the Law of Nations, hence the need for a new edition with updated footnotes, i.e., to point out where modern judges like Scott had updated the law since Vattel’s time. There is no way one can read Chitty as saying Scott was the translator of the 1797. Again, it seems that the birther mind looks at text and sees what it wants.

  32. avatar
    Dave B. February 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    I just mandagedd to gett ol the wey thrue 00Bob’s lassed resp–resp–resp big buntch uv werds over their on the grate debait. itt well taik me sum time to recuver. Butt cud I aks wun kweschun? 00Bob ses
    “Axiom 10. At least you got the concept correctly. I reproduced Vattel’s French as is. I don’t see how you can accuse me of choosing “a translation that suits” unless it is in the sole case of parens citoyen. I picked both parents. I did not manipulate the translation because two were valid. I picked the one that fit best. Lupine’s translation causes contradiction and confusion. Violators that manipulated translations were Patsall, Spelman and Eelbeck.”
    Isunt hooever putted “natural born citizens” in thee tranzlayshun a manipulatin violator, too?

  33. avatar
    Dave B. February 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Whew– all it took was reading Doc’s “Place holder” and it was enough to get me over that one. What a relief. May I suggest re-naming this entire enterprise “The Great Debacle”?

  34. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    ballantine: Indeed, Bob seems to base his entire theory on the claim that Sir William Scott translated the 1797 edition because Joseph Chitty said so. However, Chitty never said Scott was a translator. Not even close. In the plainest of English, Chitty said Scott was one of the recent judges who had updated and clarified the Law of Nations, hence the need for a new edition with updated footnotes, i.e., to point out where modern judges like Scott had updated the law since Vattel’s time.

    That in fact is precisely what Chitty says.

    It’s like trying to get a blind person to really understand what seeing is like.

  35. avatar
    ballantine February 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Publius: That in fact is precisely what Chitty says.

    It’s like trying to get a blind person to really understand what seeing is like.

    Does he any other evidence Scott was involved? If not, it appears his entire project is based on a sloppy reading of Chitty. Kind of sad actually.

  36. avatar
    Dave B. February 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    To paraphrase my favorite quote from Solzhenitsyn, how can you expect a man who’s unreasonable to understand those who are rational?

    Publius:

    It’s like trying to get a blind person to really understand what seeing is like.

  37. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund February 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Does he any other evidence Scott was involved?

    I believe he mentioned there being some edits that match the language used in some of Scott’s decisions. Of course, this can be as easily explained by the fact that Scott’s decisions were public and so influential that they were referenced by later editions.

    Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

  38. avatar
    Slartibartfast February 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Maybe this will help Bob with his axiomatic reasoning…

  39. avatar
    gorefan February 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Slartibartfast:
    Maybe this will help Bob with his axiomatic reasoning…

    “•Theorem 1. There exists a lion in the cage.”

    Can we think of the lion as being both alive and dead?

  40. avatar
    Slartibartfast February 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    I believe that would be a variant of #12 (the Schroedinger method).

    gorefan: “•Theorem 1. There exists a lion in the cage.”

    Can we think of the lion as being both alive and dead?

  41. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    My review of Bob’s book is now live on Amazon.com.

    It is a thorough and detailed review.

    Probably the link below will get you to the reviews page. Otherwise, you can do a google search for “gard obama” and get straight to Bob’s book. From there it’s a click to the reviews.

    http://www.amazon.com/UNCONSTITUTIONAL-PRESIDENT-BECAUSE-NATURAL-BORN-REASONABLE/product-reviews/B0093BWGLI/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

    Interested visitors should also check out Dr. Conspiracy’s review, if you haven’t done so already.

  42. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Oh. I also added a comment that addresses a matter we really haven’t talked about here: Bob’s 8th-grade “n+1” logic.

  43. avatar
    Daniel February 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Publius:

    The part of your review with “Mr. Gard summarizes the 9 main points of his book (as well as his “axioms”) at […]. These points fail entirely to carry his argument.” is missing the link.

  44. avatar
    aarrgghh February 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    The Magic M: That’s their final OMG moment, the hope that after January 2017, people will finally “dare” to go after Obama. Well, they kinda made the same claim before and shortly after the 2010 elections – “with a GOP majority in the House, impeachment trials will start any day now”.

    It still puzzles me how they can reconcile their “everybody is in on it” meme with the “once [event] happens, everybody will turn birther” meme.

    … they believe the end of the “Obama conspiracy” is just around the corner. Desperation.

    I forgot if I predicted birtherism would not take a hit from his re-election, but if I did, I was right….

    let’s not forget the awesome power of projection. not that long ago i said: “as with tax protestors and sovereign citizens, one cannot toss a birfer across a citizen grand jury without hitting a convicted fraudster.”

    fraudsters, grifters, pedophiles, etc, etc … the record is clear. as a class birfers seem to attract the morally deficient (as well as the irony deficient). they know none of them would survive the kind of oppo research (much less the smear mongering) unearthed against them in a presidential campaign. arrests, tax evasion, unpaid bills, drunk driving, domestic abuse, infidelities, drug abuse, etc, etc … all those records would come spewing out like ripe garbage. only a fool would believe “the messiah” any different, much less better, than they. it’s their refusal to believe that obama’s not one of them that drives them so crazy.

    one of my revolving email sigs quotes balzac: “behind every great fortune is a crime.” who would argue against it? (anyone seen mitt’s tax returns yet?) certainly not birfers, who remain convinced that a corrupt system allows only the corrupt to succeed. thus they can justify both their petty everyday larcenies and their heroic quest for the magic reset button.

  45. avatar
    Jim February 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Publius:
    Oh. I also added a comment that addresses a matter we really haven’t talked about here: Bob’s 8th-grade “n+1″ logic.

    Enjoyed the comments!

  46. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    One of the frustrating things about this “debate” is that so often it bursts into life just when my work is busiest. So apologies for going way back to tie up a couple of loose ends particularly as I’ll be repeating myself a bit for completeness.

    Bob said:

    “Washington was a strong advocate of linking native-born to loyalty.

    “You are not to enlist any person who is not American born, unless such person has a wife and family, and is a settled resident of this country.”

    “. . . [Cambridge, July 10, 1775 to Horatio Gates, Adj. Gen., George Washington]

    therefore, [Washington] orders for the future no man shall be appointed to these [sentry] stations who is not a native of this country . . .”

    “. . . [March 17, 1778, Washington ordered that one hundred men were to form a guard for the commander-in-chief] “They must be Americans born.”

    In a letter from Gen. Washington to Col. Spotswood, dated in 1777, and to be found in a recent publication entitled “Maxims of Washington,” p. 192, the following passage occurs:—

    “You will therefore send me none but natives, and men of some property, if you have them. I must insist that in making this choice you give no intimation of my preference for natives, as I do not want to create any invidious distinction between them and foreigners.”

    Only a blind man would interpret Washington’s written remarks as coming from a man that trusted foreigners or had a neutral attitude toward them. At the same time, he wanted to keep it a secret that he put all his trust in native-born Americans”

    All three snippets come from series of letters written under the pen name “Madison” (Letter number 6 to be more exact), They were published as a set in 1856 by AAH Stuart (a cousin of Jeb Stuart BTW) who’d been Interior Secretary under Fillmore and may or may not have written them. From their content the letters are clearly written no earlier than 1855 and are clearly partisan tracts supporting the American Party and its Presidential candidate (Fillmore) in the 1856.

    I don’t know if Bob got the quotes from the letters themselves or from another source most likely the “Political Textbook or Encyclopedia” published in 1858 (Other birfers have got them from there):

    http://archive.org/details/politicaltextbook00clus

    I looked at this “Madison” letter no 6 when I first came across it back in September 2009 and it’s clear that the quotations contained in it are a mixture of truth, distortion and downright lies.

    Turning to Bob’s four quotations :

    The first is not a letter from Washington to Gates but an extract from a general order issued by Gates as Adjutant-General :

    http://natedsanders.com/ItemImages/000009/39189_lg.jpeg

    The second is true.

    Jumping to the forth quote, Whatever 4 has already posted the full letter to Col. Spotswood and shown that the extract was taken out of context (context? where have I heard that before?) and Washington was only talking about 4 men for his personal guard. I’ll only add that the “Maxims of Washington” referred to was written in 1854 and published in 1855 by John Frederick Schroeder and identical letters were sent to three other regimental colonels.

    The third quote is very much distorted. Rather than “form a guard” the men were to be a model or demonstration unit to be trained in military manoevres . The histories of the war make several references to such a unit trained by Baron von Steuben. More important is that the original letter makes no reference to “American born”. The full text is:

    “Head Quarters, V. Forge, Tuesday, March 17, 1778.
    Parole Robinson. Countersigns Radnor, Ringwood.
    One hundred chosen men are to be annexed to the Guard of the Commander in Chief for the purpose of forming a Corps to be instructed in the Manoeuvres necessary to be introduced in the Army and serve as a Model for the execution of them. As the General’s guard is composed entirely of Virginians the one hundred draughts are to be taken from the troops of the other States.”

    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field(DOCID+@lit(gw110093))

  47. avatar
    Paper February 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Outstandingly devastating. A good summary of your points and our discussions here.

    Dr. C’s review is spot on, as well.

    Publius:
    My review of Bob’s book is now live on Amazon.com.

  48. avatar
    ballantine February 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund: I believe he mentioned there being some edits that match the language used in some of Scott’s decisions.Of course, this can be as easily explained by the fact that Scott’s decisions were public and so influential that they were referenced by later editions.

    Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

    Oh, so he has nothing at all. I had assumed that Chitty actually said Scott was involved. Without that, all he has is a silly claim that he can identify a translator by looking at his writings. This gets sadder by the minute.

  49. avatar
    ballantine February 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Welsh Dragon:
    One of the frustrating things about this “debate” is that so often it bursts intolife just when my work is busiest. So apologies for going way back to tie up a couple of loose ends particularly as I’ll be repeating myself a bit for completeness.

    Bob said:

    “Washington was a strong advocate of linking native-born to loyalty.

    “You are not to enlist any person who is not American born, unless such person has a wife and family, and is a settled resident of this country.”

    “. . . [Cambridge, July 10, 1775 to Horatio Gates, Adj. Gen., George Washington]

    therefore, [Washington] orders for the future no man shall be appointed to these [sentry] stations who is not a native of this country . . .”

    “. . . [March 17, 1778, Washington ordered that one hundred men were to form a guard for the commander-in-chief] “They must be Americans born.”

    In a letter from Gen. Washington to Col. Spotswood, dated in 1777, and to be found in a recent publication entitled “Maxims of Washington,” p. 192, the following passage occurs:—

    “You will therefore send me none but natives, and men of some property, if you have them. I must insist that in making this choice you give no intimation of my preference for natives, as I do not want to create any invidious distinction between them and foreigners.”

    Only a blind man would interpret Washington’s written remarks as coming from a man that trusted foreigners or had a neutral attitude toward them. At the same time, he wanted to keep it a secret that he put all his trust in native-born Americans”

    Am I missing something. Even if those quotes were accurate, which I doubt, how do they help Bob? We know some people of the framers feared the foreign born from the Convention debates. Would seem to be more evidence to support the English definition.

  50. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Daniel: The part of your review with “Mr. Gard summarizes the 9 main points of his book (as well as his “axioms”) at […]. These points fail entirely to carry his argument.” is missing the link.

    Thanks for telling me about that. I’ve submitted a second try, hopefully it’ll go through.

  51. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Paper:
    Outstandingly devastating.A good summary of your points and our discussions here.

    Dr. C’s review is spot on, as well.

    Thanks!

  52. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    ballantine: Oh, so he has nothing at all.I had assumed that Chitty actually said Scott was involved.Without that, all he has is a silly claim that he can identify a translator by looking at his writings. This gets sadder by the minute.

    There are two big obvious fallacies here, of course.

    The first is to suppose that a person can reliably identify when two writings on the same subject are directly related. If several lawyers were to write, during the same historical era, about natural born citizenship (for example), then certainly you would be able to distinguish between the writing and phrasing and wording styles of some of those, against that of others.

    But you might very well find a couple of lawyers whose writing styles were so similar that you really couldn’t tell them apart. They might even use very similar wording when talking about particular subjects.

    The second fallacy is worse. If Lord Grenville (for example) is an admirer of Sir William Scott, the eminent judge, and has been immersed in the maritime decisions made by said eminent judge, and is editing a book on international law in which he wants to incorporate the advances in the field that have been made as a result of the eminent jurist’s decisions (which, again, he has been reading) –

    What are the odds that he is likely to either unconsciously adopt or deliberately bring over some of the wording of the judge he’s studying?

    It’s pretty darn likely.

    So once again, there’s just nothing there.

  53. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 26, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    ballantine: Am I missing something. Even if those quotes were accurate, which I doubt, how do they help Bob? We know some people of the framers feared the foreign born from the Convention debates. Would seem to be more evidence to support the English definition.

    No you’re not missing anything at all. They help Bob not a jot.

  54. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    And more importantly, whether BOB could tell, given a lack of expertise in the field and a large bias.

    Publius: The first is to suppose that a person can reliably identify when two writings on the same subject are directly related.

  55. avatar
    gorefan February 26, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    ballantine: Even if those quotes were accurate, which I doubt, how do they help Bob?

    Not only do they not help him, they (especially, the letter to Col. Spotswood) actually show Bob is wrong about native born being different from natural born. If Washington was worried about the allegiance of his body guards, he would have requested natural born individuals.

    Here is the entire letter:

    TO COLONEL ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD.

    Morristown, 30 April, 1777.

    Sir,

    I want to form a company for my guard. In doing this I wish to be extremely cautious, because it is more than probable, that, in the course of the campaign, my baggage, papers, and other matters of great public import, may be committed to the sole care of these men. This being premised, in order to impress you with proper attention in the choice, I have to request, that you will immediately furnish me with four men of your regiment; and, as it is my farther wish that this company should look well and be nearly of a size, I desire that none of the men may exceed in stature five feet ten inches, nor fall short of five feet nine inches, sober, young, active, and well made. When I recommend care in yr. choice, I would be understood to mean men of good character in the regiment, that possess the pride of appearing clean and soldierlike. I am satisfied, there can be no absolute security for the fidelity of this class of people, but yet I think it most likely to be found in those, who have family connexions in the country. You will therefore send me none but natives, and men of some property, if you have them. I must insist, that, in making this choice, you give no intimation of my preference of natives, as I do not want to create any invidious distinction between them and the foreigners. I am, yours, &c.1

    [1 ]The same letter was sent as a circular to Colonels McClanahan, Bowman, and Febiger, commanding Virginia regiments.

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2403&chapter=227222&layout=html&Itemid=27

    The distinction is always between natives/natural born and foreigners.

    BTW, I know you’ve seen this before but FWIW here is another Jay’s letter where he hints about foreigners.

    JOHN JAY TO TIMOTHY PICKERING.

    13th May, 1798.

    DEAR SIR:

    It is said that the Naturalization Act is to be revised and amended. Permit me to suggest an idea which I have for many years deemed important. We doubtless may grant to a foreigner just such a portion of our rights and privileges as we may think proper. In my opinion it would be wise to declare explicitly, that the right and privilege of being elected or appointed to, or of holding and exercising any office or place of trust or power under the United States, or under any of them, shall not hereafter be granted to any foreigner; but that the President of the United States, with the consent of the Senate, be nevertheless at liberty to appoint a foreigner to a military office.

    I am, dear sir,

    Your most obedient servant,

    JOHN JAY

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2330&layout=html#chapter_220718

    Again, to Jay, “foreigner” means foreign born.

  56. avatar
    ballantine February 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Publius: There are two big obvious fallacies here, of course.

    The first is to suppose that a person can reliably identify when two writings on the same subject are directly related. If several lawyers were to write, during the same historical era, about natural born citizenship (for example), then certainly you would be able to distinguish between the writing and phrasing and wording styles of some of those, against that of others.

    But you might very well find a couple of lawyers whose writing styles were so similar that you really couldn’t tell them apart. They might even use very similar wording when talking about particular subjects.

    The second fallacy is worse. If Lord Grenville (for example) is an admirer of Sir William Scott, the eminent judge, and has been immersed in the maritime decisions made by said eminent judge, and is editing a book on international law in which he wants to incorporate the advances in the field that have been made as a result of the eminent jurist’s decisions (which, again, he has been reading) –

    What are the odds that he is likely to either unconsciously adopt or deliberately bring over some of the wording of the judge he’s studying?

    It’s pretty darn likely.

    So once again, there’s just nothing there.

    I think the case is weaker than you say. We are talking about a translation. There is no writing style to a translation. Is he saying a term used in Scott’s cases appeared in the translation? Of course, Scott’s decisions would have been well known by all lawyers of the period. All lawyers repeat the language of seminal case law. It doesn’t mean they wrote it. This claim of Scott authorship is simply not serious. Big surprise.

    I do wonder why our great researcher who is fixated with John Jay, doesn’t talk about John Jay’s proposed amendment to the natural born citizeship clause. Not that he defines the term, but I would have thought Bob would be all over it, reading between the lines, to tell us it reveals the true meaning. Oh wait, the true meaning was a secret. I forgot.

    Another interesting point is Jay in the New York ratification convention put forth a resolution saying that any doubts about any Constitutional provision should be answered in the convention. So, he asked the delegates to ask any questions about the constitution and then, I guess, lied to them as the actual meaning was secret. Sure.

  57. avatar
    Publius February 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    gorefan: Again, to Jay, “foreigner” means foreign born.

    Foreign born? Or foreign born and not yet naturalized?

  58. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Bob also said:

    “Madison wrote that a resolution reported by Jefferson in the Continental Congress of 1777 incorporated natural-born citizen. That turned out false. Jay did not get it from that resolution.”

    Now Bob doesn’t tell us what alleged resolution was but it’s almost certainly this:-

    “The first evidence to which I will refer on
    this point is a resolution reported to the Continental
    Congress in 1777, by a committee, of
    which Thomas Jefferson was chairman, and
    Mr. Sherman, Mr. Gerry, Mr. Read, and Mr.
    Williams were members. It is in these
    words :
    ” Resolved, That it is inconsistent with the
    interests of the United States to appoint any
    person not a natural born citizen thereof to
    the office of minister, charge d’affaires, consul,
    or vice-consul, or to any other civil department
    in a foreign country ; and that a
    copy of this resolve be sent to Messrs. Adams,
    Franklin and Jay, ministers of the said States
    in Europe.”

    Which also appears in the “Madison” Letter no. 6 in 1856. It’s easily debunked (there’s a post here somewhere by me doing that in Sept 2009 ) anyone with any knowledge of the revolutionary war would immediately realize that that Adams and Jay were not ministers in Europe in 1777.

    If my assumption is right then it’s significant to me is that Bob has questioned it and found it false but then gone onto use quotations from the same source without question.

    I’m afraid the reason is fairly obvious – a Jefferson use of NBC in 1777 would undermine his John Jay’s Special Sauce theory and had to be rebutted – the others, in his mind at least, bolster it and should be treated as holy writ. Confirmation bias incarnate.

    In case, anyone’s interested the quotation is almost accurate but –
    1)It was 1784 not 1777;
    2)”Citizen” not “Natural Born Citizen”
    3) Williamson not Williams

  59. avatar
    gorefan February 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Welsh Dragon: In case, anyone’s interested the quotation is almost accurate but –

    Here’s the handwritten document from the National Archives:

    http://fb.fold3.com/image/#400801

  60. avatar
    The Magic M February 27, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    Welsh Dragon: I’m afraid the reason is fairly obvious – a Jefferson use of NBC in 1777 would undermine his John Jay’s Special Sauce theory and had to be rebutted – the others, in his mind at least, bolster it and should be treated as holy writ.

    The irony is that if that quote were correct, it would further undermine the “two citizen parent” theory – if a document from 1777 asked for consuls etc. to be NBC and NBC meant “two citizen parents”, how would the US have been able to fill these positions for another 20 years until the first children born of US citizens reached maturity?

  61. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I have reread Bob’s latest post in the Great Debacle, or perhaps read it thoroughy for the first time.

    It is really about one thing, and one thing only.

    Bob basically says that evidence, like historical quotes, legal opinions throughout history, and even the generally accepted definitions of words, as shown by the way they are explained in dictionaries, do not matter. Because Bob’s personal opinion is more important than anybody else’s, even when that opinion is completely in conflict with all the evidence as to what reality is.

    Bob has “proven” his case “beyond a reasonable doubt” not because his case is in alignment with known history, legal opinion, the writings of experts – because it isn’t – but simply because Bob says he has “proven” his case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    And others should accept this, because BOB says it’s true.

    I’m sorry, Bob, but very few people are going to buy this argument. I don’t say no one will. Those who badly want to believe what your claim and are just looking for any excuse at all to believe it, will certainly jump on board. You might have a few family members who will believe something just because you say it’s true.

    But for the rest of the world, that doesn’t go very far. The rest of the world would like to see that the claims are in line with verifiable history, and with reality.

    And they simply aren’t.

    I would like to return to something I said earlier: You’ve done some research on the lives of the Framers of the Constitution. I think there’s the possibility of a legitimate book in there, if you target it to the right audience (I suggested finding a different audience than the existing similar book on Amazon), if you’ve done enough research to make for interesting mini-biographies, and if you work hard on the writing and editing to make it appealing to your potential audience.

    Something like that, well written and well edited, could be a book that you could be really proud of.

  62. avatar
    ballantine February 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    gorefan:
    BTW, I know you’ve seen this before but FWIW here is another Jay’s letter where he hints about foreigners.

    JOHN JAY TO TIMOTHY PICKERING.

    13th May, 1798.

    DEAR SIR:

    It is said that the Naturalization Act is to be revised and amended. Permit me to suggest an idea which I have for many years deemed important.We doubtless may grant to a foreigner just such a portion of our rights and privileges as we may think proper.In my opinion it would be wise to declare explicitly, that the right and privilege of being elected or appointed to, or of holding and exercising any office or place of trust or power under the United States, or under any of them, shall not hereafter be granted to any foreigner; but that the President of the United States, with the consent of the Senate, be nevertheless at liberty to appoint a foreigner to a military office.

    I am, dear sir,

    Your most obedient servant,

    JOHN JAY

    Again, to Jay, “foreigner” means foreign born.

    I agree. I have never seen “foreigner” used otherwise during this period. The foreign born members in the Convention called themselves “foreigners.”

    That letter is also very similar to Jay’s proposed Constitutional Amendment:

    “That no persons, except natural-born citizens, or such as were citizens on or before the 4th day of July, 1776, or such as held commissions under the United States during the war, and have at any time since the 4th day of July, 1776, become citizens of one or other of the United States, and who shall be freeholders, shall be eligible to the places of President, Vice-President, or members of either house of the Congress of the United States.”

  63. avatar
    ballantine February 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    As an aside, playing around on google for a few minutes leads me to believe that one John Carey is the likely candidate for the secret translator of the 1797 Law of Nations. He was a well-known editor and translator in London at the time, who was educated in France and who edited books for the same publisher as such Vattel edition. From Mr. Carey’s obituary in 1830:

    “As an editor, Dr. Carey’s labours were very voluminous. In 1803, and again in 1819, be edited Dryden’s Virgil, in three volumes octavo; he subsequently accomplished the lengthened task of editing more than fifty volumes of the Regent’s Classics, as well as two editions in quarto of Ainsworth’s Dictionary, five of the Abridgment of the same, the Gradus ad Paruassuro in 1834, the Latin Common Prayer in Bagster’s I’olyglutt edition, the Abridgment of Schleusner’s Greek Lexicon, Ruperti Commentarius in Livium, &c. &e. He translated the following works: The Batavians, from the French of Mons. Nitaube ; The Young Emigrants, from Madame deGenlis ; Letters on Switzerland, from the German of Lehman; a volume of the life of Pope Pius VI.; a volume of Universal History; and revised the old translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations.”

  64. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    ballantine: As an aside, playing around on google for a few minutes leads me to believe that one John Carey is the likely candidate for the secret translator of the 1797 Law of Nations. He was a well-known editor and translator in London at the time, who was educated in France and who edited books for the same publisher as such Vattel edition. From Mr. Carey’s obituary in 1830:

    You have confirmation that he edited books for the same publisher? Link?

    The bit you quoted says he was not known as an author before 1800, but that could be ambiguous. He might have been an editor or translator before that date.

    In 1791 he would’ve been about 34 years old.

    I did some quick searches at the British Library, the LOC and google books. I did not immediately turn up any edition of Vattel’s Law of Nations with Carey’s name associated with it. That lends a bit more credence to this theory.

  65. avatar
    Paper February 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Part of the secret code of the Framers, which Gard may or may not consciously know, but which is implicit, beyond a reasonable doubt, in his theory, is that only *natural born researchers,* such as Gard himself, are eligible to interpret and judge the Constitution, or other such sensitive or important historical documents. I would declare that to be a definitive finding or interpretation concerning the secret code, but I unfortunately am not a natural born researcher. Despite one of my jobs having included “researcher” in its title, I still had to learn in school.

    Publius:
    I have reread Bob’s latest post in the Great Debacle….

    Bob basically says that evidence, like historical quotes, legal opinions throughout history, and even the generally accepted definitions of words, as shown by the way they are explained in dictionaries, do not matter. Because Bob’s personal opinion is more important than anybody else’s, even when that opinion is completely in conflict with all the evidence as to what reality is….

    And others should accept this, because BOB says it’s true.

  66. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund February 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    The passage can be found here

  67. avatar
    Cletus February 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    See, this is the big problem I have, not just with birthers, but with conservatives in general.. They don’t filter for confirmation bias.

    They have a conclusion that fits with their preexisting beliefs, and they run with it till the end, ignoring anything that contradicts those beliefs.

    Let me count the ways.

    The debt (Obama created more debt than all other presidents combined)
    The cause of the housing crisis (a 30 year old liberal law suddenly caused it)
    The Iraq war (The WMD’s were really there)
    Evolution (A 2 thousand year old translated fable explains it all)
    Statistics (Romney was going to win in a landslide?)
    Arithmetic (Spending cuts alone can balance the budget)

    I have confirmation bias as well.. Everybody does. Smart people REALIZE they have it. They “filter”. They are open to changing their conclusions based on inescapable fact. Conservatives don’t tend to filter. I call it “Willing Ignorance”. They don’t want to know truth.

    But, it’s a free country.. They are free to believe as they wish.. Let’s hope they don’t ever have decision making power over everyone else… Faulty conclusions make for really faulty decisions.

  68. avatar
    ballantine February 27, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    This shows how silly such an endeavor is, because one could never prove any of this for sure. There is not much information on Carey but google books has a number of books he edited and translated. The publisher of The Law of Nations was G. G. and J. Robinson. This 1795 book on Washington edited by a John Carey was published by G. G. and J. Robinson.

    http://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22John+Carey%22#hl=en&tbm=bks&sclient=psy-ab&q=inauthor:%22John+Carey%22++G.+G.+and+J.+Robinson&oq=inauthor:%22John+Carey%22++G.+G.+and+J.+Robinson&gs_l=serp.12…254582.256693.0.258046.3.3.0.0.0.0.164.401.1j2.3.0…0.0…1c.1.4.psy-ab.Brup3K6pw3s&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42965579,d.eWU&fp=acb102d4a13eca32&biw=1680&bih=831

    This lists John Carey as the editor also, but the dates of birth and death don’t exactly match.

    http://archive.org/details/officialletters02caregoog

  69. avatar
    ballantine February 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    This has John Carey as editor and is the right John Carey even thought the dates of birth and death seem to be a little off when compared to his obituary.

    http://archive.org/details/worksvirgil00caregoog

    http://archive.org/stream/worksvirgil00caregoog#page/n12/mode/2up

  70. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I’m going out for a few hours so can’t check but my memory is telling me that G.G. & J Robinson also published the 1793 edition.

  71. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Lending further credence to your theory, the work in question – Latin Prosody Made Easy (1800) – was an original work by Carey. He wrote the book.

    It is not unlikely that Carey might have begun his writing career by translating and editing the works of others, before the first publication of a book authored solely by himself.

    Starting out in 1791, without a previous track record, means that he would not have had so much latitude to demand that he be given credit for his work.

    So far, have we found anything at odds with the theory that John Carey edited the 1791 Vattel? The only thing I have as a possibility is the note that he wasn’t known to be an “author” before 1800, but that statement may well be consistent with the theory.

  72. avatar
    ballantine February 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Publius:
    Lending further credence to your theory, the work in question – Latin Prosody Made Easy (1800) – was an original work by Carey. He wrote the book.

    It is not unlikely that Carey might have begun his writing career by translating and editing the works of others, before the first publication of a book authored solely by himself.

    Starting out in 1791, without a previous track record, means that he would not have had so much latitude to demand that he be given credit for his work.

    So far, have we found anything at odds with the theory that John Carey edited the 1791 Vattel? The only thing I have as a possibility is the note that he wasn’t known to be an “author” before 1800, but that statement may well be consistent with the theory.

    I think you mean “1797” rather than “1791.” Here is a list of books edited or written by Carey, most of which are in his obituary. The only book edited before 1800 was the 1795 books on Washington that had the same publisher as Vattel’s 1797 translation. However, Welsh Dragon is right that the 1793 translation also had the same publisher and it is probably just as plausible he edited the 1793 translation, though I thought the 1797 was more of a new translation. There is just no way to know which is why Bob’s whole exercise is a bit silly.

    http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Search/Home?type%5B%5D=author&lookfor%5B%5D=%22Carey%2C%20John%2C%201756-1826.%22&page=2&use_dismax=1&page=1

  73. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    ballantine: I think you mean “1797″ rather than “1791.” Here is a list of books edited or written by Carey, most of which are in his obituary. The only book edited before 1800 was the 1795 books on Washington that had the same publisher as Vattel’s 1797 translation. However, Welsh Dragon is right that the 1793 translation also had the same publisher and it is probably just as plausible he edited the 1793 translation, though I thought the 1797 was more of a new translation. There is just no way to know which is why Bob’s whole exercise is a bit silly.

    Yes, I do mean the 1797 edition, sorry.

    And 1797 is clearly at the beginning of John Carey’s literary career, which fits the narrative perfectly. When would Carey have been most likely to do uncredited work? At the beginning of his career.

    We have, what? One work known to have been edited by Carey prior to 1797? For the same publisher as the 1797 Vattel.

    So we have a known prolific translator and editor.

    He is known to have been fluent in French.

    He is known to have begun his career in 1795, doing work for G.G and J Robinson, London.

    Google books also lists the publisher of the 1795 George Washington book as “Robinson.”

    I have a link to information on Carey’s 1800 work:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=5qIvQwAACAAJ&dq=latin+prosody+made+easy+1800&hl=en&sa=X&ei=e5EuUeiqIofHrQGD0IGoAg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA

    And guess who is listed as the publisher?

    So here we have John Carey, known to have been fluent in French, known to have done books published by Robinson (London) in both 1795 and 1800, and KNOWN to have edited a translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations.

    Except no translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations listing John Carey as editor or translator can be found. Or at least, has been so far.

    And yet, we know John Carey did one.

    But which one?

    Perhaps we can consult with Bob, who has many different editions of Vattel, and get a list from him of which editions of Vattel do not have a translator or editor credited.

    Of course the only candidates for the specific edition that Carey edited would be editions translated between about 1775 and 1830.

  74. avatar
    Keith February 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    There might be a good reason to pay attention to Bob, you know. He may well be connected to the dangerous Cult of Bob, also known as the “Church of the sub-Genius”. With its own website (link preceeding), sacred literature and videos, it is threatening the mentally challenged youth everywhere with an evil credo. They even have their own ‘devivals’.

    A major part of their theology includes mainstream concepts such as ‘slacking’. However unlike mainstream religions such as The Church of the Latter Day Dude, Bob’s ‘slacking’ is never defined or perhaps the definition is kept a secret for the unborn generations to come to discover the true meaning.

    If you happen to encounter these dangerous folks in ‘real’ life, there is a deprogramming support site that you can turn to for help.

  75. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Cletus: See, this is the big problem I have, not just with birthers, but with conservatives in general.. They don’t filter for confirmation bias.

    This isn’t just a conservative problem. I’d call it more a people problem. And it tends to show up more among those whose party is not currently in power.

    Having a President you don’t like tends to bring out the silliness and the lunacy.

    It also tends to be perceived among those who are not members of one’s own party. In other words, conservatives tend to perceive lunacy among liberals more readily than among conservatives. Liberals tend to perceive lunacy among conservatives more readily than among liberals.

  76. avatar
    Northland10 February 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Publius: This isn’t just a conservative problem. I’d call it more a people problem. And it tends to show up more among those whose party is not currently in power.

    Having a President you don’t like tends to bring out the silliness and the lunacy.

    It also tends to be perceived among those who are not members of one’s own party. In other words, conservatives tend to perceive lunacy among liberals more readily than among conservatives. Liberals tend to perceive lunacy among conservatives more readily than among liberals.

    I well remember the BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome from some. You could see the inability to even give him credit when he did things that were wanted by liberals. The one difference is the right-wing’s obsession with more “2 amendment style” solutions.

  77. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    I got an email from Bob in regard to something RC had said about the footnote to § 212 about Mothers in later edition of Vattel’s Law of nations. He says that he has never seen such a thing, and requests a reference.

    A little research on my favorite reference web site for Vattel, turned up a link. It’s on page 499-500.

  78. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I got an email from Bob as well. He was appreciative that I granted him two stars instead of one, so I would presume he would feel the same way about the two stars you granted him as well.

    At the same time, he seems to think that the three negative reviews of his book were written by people who had not fully read and understood his book, that the reviews did not do his book justice, and that they were primarily politically motivated.

    Sigh.

  79. avatar
    Dave B. February 27, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    As opposed, of course, to the three perfectly objective positive reviews by people who without doubt read the entire book.
    I don’t know how you and Doc can handle it. What I read of 00Bob here is more than enough for me.

    Publius: At the same time, he seems to think that the three negative reviews of his book were written by people who had not fully read and understood his book, that the reviews did not do his book justice, and that they were primarily politically motivated.

  80. avatar
    Majority Will February 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Publius:
    I got an email from Bob as well. He was appreciative that I granted him two stars instead of one, so I would presume he would feel the same way about the two stars you granted him as well.

    At the same time, he seems to think that the three negative reviews of his book were written by people who had not fully read and understood his book, that the reviews did not do his book justice, and that they were primarily politically motivated.

    Sigh.

    “. . . and that they were primarily politically motivated.”

    Crap. My best irony meter just crumbled in one huge, dramatic spasm. I had never heard one laugh before. It was a crazy, labored guffaw.

  81. avatar
    Slartibartfast February 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Seems like a pretty blatant violation of axiom [sic] 6 to me…

    Publius:
    I got an email from Bob as well. He was appreciative that I granted him two stars instead of one, so I would presume he would feel the same way about the two stars you granted him as well.

    At the same time, he seems to think that the three negative reviews of his book were written by people who had not fully read and understood his book, that the reviews did not do his book justice, and that they were primarily politically motivated.

    Sigh.

  82. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    You want to blow a few more irony meters? I was looking up axiom 6, and just picked up this gem from Bob’s site:

    A man who deliberately inflicts violence on the language will almost certainly inflict violence on human beings if he acquires the power. Those who treasure the meaning of words will treasure truth, and those who bend words to their purposes are very likely in pursuit of anti-social ones. The correct and honorable use of words is the first and natural credential of civilized status.

    Paul Johnson — Enemies of Society

  83. avatar
    Publius February 27, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Axiom 6. Political analysts must apply the same logic to both sides of any political dispute in order to be fair and consistent.

    Axiom 7. Those that accept substantiated correlations to prove conclusions that suit them must accept substantiated correlations to prove conclusions that don’t suit them if they are to retain their integrity and fulfill Axiom 6.

    Unless, of course, they’re Bob. In which case, they can simply deny the “substantiated correlations,” and claim that those who’ve pointed them out are mostly just motivated by politics.

  84. avatar
    JPotter February 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Publius: he seems to think that the three negative reviews of his book were written by people who had not fully read and understood his book

    Well, of course; if you shared Gard’s ‘special’ understanding, you’d naturally be inclined to agree with him. As you don’t agree, you can’t possibly understand what you’re talking about, much less what he’s talking about.

    And thus, your sanity and powers of reason are confirmed. Congratulations on failing to acquire the stupid.

    May you always fail thusly!

  85. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    JPotter: Well, of course; if you shared Gard’s ‘special’ understanding, you’d naturally be inclined to agree with him. As you don’t agree, you can’t possibly understand what you’re talking about, much less what he’s talking about.

    But I understood his book quite well. It’s hogwash.

  86. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    I don’t suppose anyone has a e-copy of the 1793 London Vattel? If so, I’d be interested in seeing it.

    You can get it online, but only if you’re Australian. 🙄

  87. avatar
    The Magic M February 28, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Cletus: Let me count the ways.

    The debt (Obama created more debt than all other presidents combined)
    The cause of the housing crisis (a 30 year old liberal law suddenly caused it)
    The Iraq war (The WMD’s were really there)
    Evolution (A 2 thousand year old translated fable explains it all)
    Statistics (Romney was going to win in a landslide?)

    And if Obama had won the EC but lost the popular vote, we’d have seen cries how unfair and “undemocratic” the EC system is (it is, in my opinion, but I don’t base that on who won and how), despite coming from the god-like Founders.
    (You could see this in action with Donald Trump’s tweets on election night before the California votes came in – Obama had already won the EC, was trailing in the popular vote and Trump went ape-sh*t about how “we’re not a democracy” and violent overthrow of the government and stuff.)

  88. avatar
    Keith February 28, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Publius:
    I don’t suppose anyone has a e-copy of the 1793 London Vattel? If so, I’d be interested in seeing it.

    You can get it online, but only if you’re Australian.

    I’m in Australia… got a link?

  89. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Keith: I’m in Australia… got a link?

    http://bit.ly/ZCVUwp

    Do you have an Australian national library card? If so, it looks like you ought to be able to get in.

  90. avatar
    Lupin February 28, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I got an email from Bob in regard to something RC had said about the footnote to 212 about Mothers in later edition of Vattel’s Law of nations. He says that he has never seen such a thing, and requests a reference.

    A little research on my favorite reference web site for Vattel, turned up a link. It’s on page 499-500.

    I think I was the one who mentioned this important footnote here during the Mario Years. 🙂

    So we now have a self-admission from Bob that despite his treasure chest of Vattel editions, he has done virtually no research on it.

  91. avatar
    Lupin February 28, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    Publius: At the same time, he seems to think that the three negative reviews of his book were written by people who had not fully read and understood his book, that the reviews did not do his book justice, and that they were primarily politically motivated.

    Coming from someone who has not fully read and understood his sources (to say the least), that’s rich.

    “Hogwash” is too kind a label, IMHO.

  92. avatar
    Keith February 28, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Publius: http://bit.ly/ZCVUwp

    Do you have an Australian national library card? If so, it looks like you ought to be able to get in.

    Nope. but I just applied for one. It will take 5 – 10 days to arrive! Sheesh.

    Good excuse to get one though.

    I might be able to access it through the place where I do some volunteer work though. I’ll try to get in there on Monday.

  93. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    But of course it was you.

    In Bob’s defense, that edition was after 1840 which I think is the cutoff for Bob’s research.

    Lupin: I think I was the one who mentioned this important footnote here during the Mario Years. 🙂

    So we now have a self-admission from Bob that despite his treasure chest of Vattel editions, he has done virtually no research on it.

  94. avatar
    Reality Check February 28, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    I was just about to comment that I had no idea what Bob was talking about. I am glad you spoke remembered.

    Lupin: I think I was the one who mentioned this important footnote here during the Mario Years.

    So we now have a self-admission from Bob that despite his treasure chest of Vattel editions, he has done virtually no research on it.

  95. avatar
    Reality Check February 28, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    I obviously meant to type: “I am glad you remembered”

    Reality Check:
    I was just about to comment that I had no idea what Bob was talking about. I am glad you spoke remembered.

  96. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 28, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Just a few thoughts on the possibility of John Carey being the translator of the 1797 edition:

    Since Carey was educated in France from age of 12 and attended a French university we can take it as read that he was fluent in French from an early age. He was also an LL.D. which at that time would have meant that he was trained as an advocate in Public Law (rather than Common Law) and he was at least known to publishers in London at the relevant time. This certainly makes him a plausible candidate.

    However, in the time Carey might have revised the translation of Vattel there are by my count four London editions (1793, 1797, 1811, 1812) and two Dublin (1787, 1792) so there are a number of other possibilities. Although only the 1787 & 1797 editions seem to be significant revisions.

    I doubt if we’ll ever know the answer but he’s certainly more plausible than Scott.

  97. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Closing remarks from myself and Bob have been added to the Great Debate, and I have made it front-page for a while.

  98. avatar
    Lupin February 28, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Closing remarks from myself and Bob have been added to the Great Debate, and I have made it front-page for a while.

    He sounds just as insane, if more, than ever.

    His interpretation of those few sentences of Vattel is just completely off the chart.

  99. avatar
    Majority Will February 28, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    One enormous and glaring sign of his rock solid confirmation bias and all too obvious underlying political agenda and motive aside from his seething hatred and intolerance for anything “liberal” and paranoia about loss of freedom is his abject refusal to recognize that there are contributors here who are conservatives and not supporters of the current President or administration. There were red flags in nearly every post.

    And what was it Karl Rove said to him about his research and theory?

    Oh yes. Here it is:

    Karl Rove was extremely gracious in answering a nobody like me. I still have a great deal of respect for him personally, his overall intelligence, and his knowledge. However, he had many times described birthers publicly on television in pejorative terms like referring to them as the “nutty right,” and referring to birtherism as “silliness.” One time his adjectives were as onerous as the descriptors of wackos and cranks employed by other high-ranking conservatives. Rove called us “cranks and conspiracy nuts.”

    In June of 2011, Mr. Rove read my first email. He responded:
    sorry – no court in the history of America has agreed with your argument

    Mr. Rove and I exchanged several emails until I sent the following paragraph:

    I am truly gratified that you read my email. But what argument do you refer to? You haven’t heard my argument. You will never hear it unless you come to my abode and sign a non-disclosure agreement. Yours is a foolish response. No court in America has ever been presented with the evidence I have. Even if a court were presented with it, activist judges on the bench would likely judge by their agenda and not the facts. I am interested in reaching the American people. You make the same mistake all lawyers have made. You think the proof lies in legal precedent. Lawyers have contributed so much to the downfall of our country by way of their stilted reasoning. The truth of natural-born citizenship is an historical, linguistic, and legal problem, not just a legal problem. When my book comes out, your response will be properly noted as will all the other foolish responses I have received. Obama may be in office and you will look like the fools you are. You, like all those before you, cannot think outside the box. No surprise. You will eat crow. I guarantee it. For now, you can think you are clever. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    Mr. Rove responded:

    Thanks, but again, no U.S. court has every [sic] agreed with your theory that only someone born on American soil of two American citizen parents is a natural born citizen. Never. Ever.
    I’ve seen sections of your email (e.g., Vattel – a Swiss philosopher!) in other birther missives and it is all hogwash. No court has ever held your theory is correct and I don’t need to waste any more time with someone who calls me an idiot. Your future emails will be routed directly to the trash.

    -Karl Rove

    (source: http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2013/02/bob-gard-proof-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt/#comment-245512)

    (emphasis added)

    Any. Day. Now.

  100. avatar
    The Magic M February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Bob Gard:
    The only criticism I have is that almost everyone on this site as well as on many of the conservative sites use pseudonyms to cast aspersions and epithets behind a shield of anonymity.

    What would it help you to know whether my name is Joachim Hinckenbottom-Überborg or Fritz Schmitz-Knitz or Klausihans Schnitzelwiener? What exactly is my pseudonymity shielding me from? Birthers calling my employer to complain about me refuting them? Birthers showing up on my front lawn shaking their fists at me angrily? WND publishing another hit piece? Birthers using info about me on the web for making another childish ad hominem excuse to bail out of a losing argument, something along the lines of “why do you even talk to us, you’re not American / obviously hate dogs / are one of those evil rich guys with two houses and four cars / aren’t even a Christian”?

  101. avatar
    Greenfinches February 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Majority Will quoting Karl Rove : No court has ever held your theory is correct

    OMG! I find something Karl Rove said that I can agree with! Let me sit down, please…..

  102. avatar
    Majority Will February 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    “The only criticism I have is that almost everyone on this site as well as on many of the conservative sites use pseudonyms to cast aspersions and epithets behind a shield of anonymity.”

    Like C. Stanton? (with an AOL email address)

    C. Stanton February 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm #
    gorefan: Do you know what a shill is in a con game?

    “Quite well. And I also know how seriously to take someone who can’t spell.”

    That’s a shame considering Bob’s misspellings.

    What’s it called when you dish it out but can’t take criticism?

    – – – – –

    “You don’t state your name and don’t show your transcripts.”

    Does anyone recall if and where Bob got allegedly got a college degree in political science?
    (Bob Gard holds a degree in Political Science and is an author. After completing college he traveled through 120 countries on a dollar a day and became fluent in three languages. He then began his career in the food industry. – the Terry Lakin site)

  103. avatar
    John Reilly February 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I am not a liberal or progressive, as those on the site know.

    I did not vote for Pres. Obama.

    I have not called Mr. Gard names.

    I use a screen name for security reasons. (Both personal, who needs Dr. Taitz publishing my home address and calling me a traitor) and professional, given the serious work I do.)

    To me,Vattel begins and ends with his observation that in England birth equals citzenship without regard to the citizenship of theparents, whether singular or plural. I’m Irish-American, so its tough to admit the English were right about something, but that is this country’s heritage.

    Mr. Rove is correct. This birther nuttiness is part of the ongoing destruction of the Republican Party. In the words of Pogo (Walt Kelly), “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Birther nuttiness is another facet of climate change denial, creationism, and other craziness.

  104. avatar
    Sudoku February 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    I admit, my legal name is not Sudoku, and I am good with that. I have not read Bob’s book, nor will I. I have read his offerings here, at least most of them, which to me can be summed up as follows:

    1. I am conservative;

    2. I despise and fear liberals and blame them for the failures of the Republican party;

    3. I have always been the smartest person in the room;

    4. I am willing to buy books to prove my point of view and I keep my receipts;

    5. If you don’t agree with my conclusions, you are biased and/or dishonest, ie liberal.

    6. When I said I wanted a critique of my book/theory, I meant praise.

    I must have missed or read over something in Bob’s comments. Why did he provide a link to a French dictionary that shows mother or father for parens? Was he saying he was magnanimous enough to include a footnote of a definition he refutes or does he just have a penchant for shooting himself in the foot?

  105. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I didn’t read the whole book, not all 1721 pages of it. I looked for important arguments and I sampled the citations at random. Based on this, I found specific fallacies, and errors so as to lead me to characterize the book as a whole as containing fallacies and errors. I never said that the whole book was worthless. What I said was that at key points that I did read, the argument broke down, irreparably so.

    Bob’s book is over 700,000 words! at 10,000 words per hour, it would take 70 hours to read the thing, and that’s not including looking up references and taking notes. I’m not going to spend 70 hours reading something which went off the rails in the first few minutes, and which spot checking showed no improvement. I simply reject the claim that no one can argue against Bob’s book until they invest 70 hours in reading the whole thing. One has to earn that kind of investment, and the parts I did read did not justify reading it all.

    Neither in the debate, nor in the the review did I cite the misunderstanding of McElwee’s essay, but I did, in the review, mention it to show that you used one bit from what he said, but discarded his conclusions; i.e., cherry picked his quotes. And I didn’t even bother to take you to task for rejecting all more recent authorities, but then citing them anyway when it suited you.

    And in any case, a book review is not a debate.

    Bob Gard:
    Thanks for the review. It was nicer than I thought it would be. Thanks for the two stars. They were a surprise. I know you didn’t read the entire eBook. Why didn’t you confess that? Why didn’t the others. All of you started out on a false premise of having read the eBook.

    I think some of the public may understand that the three negative responses were entirely political and that none of you really read the eBook. In fact, the negative rigor with which you reviewed the book was tell-tale. Thank you.

  106. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Or in my case someone claiming to have defecated the lawn of someone with the same name as me, thinking it was me.

    The Magic M: Birthers calling my employer to complain about me refuting them?

  107. avatar
    Paper February 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Mr. Gard, besides your self-imploding theory on the secrecy of the Framers, my biggest issue has been simple: your reading and research skills do not pass the grade. Forget your 1700+ pages. You cannot even get Lupin’s name right even after he told everyone here and posted a link to his wikipedia page!

    Forgive my expression of surprise. We all indeed make mistakes. But we do not all hold onto mistakes with such fervent, self-defeating persistence. Moreover, your mistake here regarding Lupin seems very representative of your research style, and does not instill confidence in your abilities.

    I understand your error. You latched onto one piece of information and didn’t follow through with the rest of the information supplied you, left lying in plain sight throughout this site, and did not notice the conflicting pieces of information that would have ruled out Lupin being Stableford. I discovered who Lupin is before he told us, which does not matter (I certainly wasn’t going to reveal what I knew), except as a result I see how you might think he was Stableford, *if* you didn’t pay attention to conflicting information staring you in the face.

    I’ll give you one piece to chew on: Stableford did not go to the Sorbonne! Bonus detail: Stableford is British!

    Finally, Lupin outright tells us who he is. It’s there, if you care to make the effort to do the research, or just read. (I feel uncomfortable even discussing someone’s identity, but he has told us, and I think it acts as an example of your researching limitations.)

    I can understand you not wanting to read through all these posts, but a) you’re the one who came here, b) you’re the one who published over 1700 pages and who complains that people want everything in one paragraph, and c) you make blanket statements about “all” of the people here that do not hold muster. Some people have defended you (not your work, but you), or at least tried to understand where you might be coming from. Some people here are conservative, and do not agree with current policies.

    If you are going to do that kind of thing, you need to actually read what you are talking about. Is not such sloppiness also a sign of disrespect or incivility?

    Bob Gard: I saw that Lupin … had identified himself as Brian M. Stableford. He has an impressive resume …

  108. avatar
    ballantine February 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    It really is hard for me to understand people like Bob who have no training in a field but are utterly convinced they know more than all the experts, scholars, judges etc. Who thinks like that? I suppose it is the only type of mindset that can maintain theories rejected by every expert in history since, I guess, none of them figured out that the Constitution should be interpreted by finding out the secret code of the framers which only people like Bob can crack. Imagine all thoese stupid judges who that it was what the people ratified that counted, Idiots.

    “I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and
    stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers.” James Madison, July, 25, 1824.

    Another idiot, apparently. I kind of felt bad for Bob when I realized his whole project was based upon a sloppy reading of Chitty who clearly never said William Scott was involved with translating Vattel. Of course, Bob has no evidence Scott talked to Jay on the issue or that Jay defined the term to anyone in the United States, but the failure to have any actual evidence that Scott was involved in the translation, the first step upon which his whole project rests, is quite sad. What is sadder is that Bob apparently plans to waste more time with a “part II” which I am sure will misrepresent what every scholar and court has said just as he had already misrepresented what Chitty, McElwee, Rogers Smith, Madison, Seybert and pretty much everyone else he has cited said. Someone clearly has a lot of time on their hands.

  109. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I think that for Bob, a dictionary defining parents as father, mother, blood relative, ancestor proves his point because it says father and mother. The rest of the definition, which actually destroys his thesis, is simply discarded as irrelevant after having found the “father, mother” that he needed.

    Sudoku: I must have missed or read over something in Bob’s comments. Why did he provide a link to a French dictionary that shows mother or father for parens? Was he saying he was magnanimous enough to include a footnote of a definition he refutes or does he just have a penchant for shooting himself in the foot?

  110. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Dunning-Kruger.

    ballantine: It really is hard for me to understand people like Bob who have no training in a field but are utterly convinced they know more than all the experts, scholars, judges etc. Who thinks like that?

  111. avatar
    Jim February 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Bob Gard: “The only criticism I have is that almost everyone on this site as well as on many of the conservative sites use pseudonyms to cast aspersions and epithets behind a shield of anonymity.”

    Hi Bob, I’m Jim. That’s my real name. I don’t use my last name for the simple reason that there are more than 20 people in the US with my name…5 that have the same middle name. As we can see from your “research”, birthers have proven over the last 5 years to not really care if they have the right person, just a like name will have them attacking. So I do it this way, not for me but for the innocent people who would be put upon by the hate-mongers of the birther movement.

  112. avatar
    Paper February 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Even without the Dunning-Kruger effect, I understand it, and even appreciate it to a degree.

    We need independence of thought. Authority can be stifling, not just argument from authority, but over-reliance upon experts. In other words, I believe in people thinking for themselves. But there is a difference between thinking for oneself, and thinking one is better than everyone else, or believing everyone else can’t think. My perception is that Gard, and some other birthers of note, take a valid observation like this about thinking for oneself, and ride it into the ground, turning it into something it is not.

    Rejecting authority to make yourself the authority, or to merely prove your authority (you’re right, they’re wrong), is not exactly thinking for oneself, either, because that is about authority, not thinking. Mr. Gard (to my perspective) has authority issues. It’s not about his thinking; it’s about his inability to deal with authority. Or perhaps his defensiveness about his own authority.

    Indeed, what are we talking about here but authority? Who said what when. Who gets to say what now. My perception is that Gard’s greatest failures here are his failures in understanding or grappling with authority, where it has a place and where it does not, where independent thinking makes a difference and where it is just ego–in terms of his researching skills, his views concerning the founding of this country, and in terms of his notions of how government works.

    ballantine:
    It really is hard for me to understand people like Bob who have no training in a field but are utterly convinced they know more than all the experts, scholars, judges etc.Who thinks like that?I suppose it is the only type of mindset that can maintain theories rejected by every expert in history since, I guess, none of them figured out that the Constitution should be interpreted by finding out the secret code of the framers which only people like Bob can crack.Imagine all thoese stupid judges who that it was what the people ratified that counted,Idiots.

  113. avatar
    gorefan February 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Bob Gard:

    “Most of the points you bring up are points that I had planned to cover in Part II anyway, such as Rawle, Kent and others as sources. I won’t be interested in extensively clarifying my position on these sources until I write Part II. “

    “Washington had granted his friend John Jay the first pick of any office under his administration that he wanted. How can you intimate that Rawle maintained a friendship with Washington similar to Jay’s?”

    Bob, I hope when you get around to Part II, you will recognize the special relationship that existed between John Jay and James Kent.

  114. avatar
    Scientist February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Paper: Indeed, what are we talking about here but authority?

    Bob makes Vattel, or more precisely, his reading of Vattel, the sole authority. I have made arguments without reference to authority, based on the simple plain English meaning of the word natural born citizen. I’m not even consulting dictionaries, but simply taking the word as I hear and read it used in everyday life. If the law says “Dogs must be leashed”, do we really need to cite authorities as to what a dog is? To my mind, the plain meaning should control how a word is interpreted unless there is strong, specific evidence to the contrary. In the case of natural born citizen, all the evidence all supports the plain English meaning, rather than contradicting it.

    I don’t necessarily accept all the arguments of the other side either. To my mind, Publius, ballantine, et al. are mistaken in placing too much emphasis on what the term meant in 1788. They are too wedded to originalism, which is, after all, simply one legal doctrine among a great many, and I am far from convinced it has any greater merit than the others. Its chief proponent, Scalia, seems anything but thoughtful in recent years. My concern is if we obsess over “What did the framers or the ratifiers mean?” the most likely answer is that they meant for the society to be ruled by Anglican or Presbyterian male property owners of Northwestern European descent. So, I think it’s fine to understand the original intent, but we can’t freeze time in 1788. We must account for all the changes that have occurred since then.

  115. avatar
    Benji Franklin February 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    ballantine: It really is hard for me to understand people like Bob who have no training in a field but are utterly convinced they know more than all the experts, scholars, judges etc. Who thinks like that?

    Who thinks like that? Poorly parented children and adult lunatics. I don’t think many of the Birthers believe their own absurd premises – they just have no winning rational case with which to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Obama’s Presidency, and so they opt to carpet bomb, with specious arguments, civilization’s always fragile arena of civil discourse, in this case, on the Presidential eligibility.

    Such a strategy gives them a feeling of power, perhaps by seeing the concerned responses of those of us who know their arguments lack substance, but seriously see any willful irrationality as a menace to society.

    Do they really think legal proof is anything Tim Adams claims that “everybody knew”?

    Does Orly Taitz really believe that first you crash and burn, and then you’re cremated and then you spend Eternity in Hell, and then YOU WIN?

    Isn’t the Birthers’ shouted refusal to accept the verdict of the courts over and over again really no different than a prolonged childish tantrum?

    And don’t they have to basically be anti-social to argumentatively trade any hope of retaining peer respect, for whatever buzz they get out of deliberately cloaking themselves with the power of a lunatic?

  116. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    John Reilly: I am not a liberal or progressive, as those on the site know.

    I did not vote for Pres. Obama.

    I have not called Mr. Gard names.

    I use a screen name for security reasons. (Both personal, who needs Dr. Taitz publishing my home address and calling me a traitor) and professional, given the serious work I do.)

    I am not a liberal or progressive.

    I did not vote for President Obama.

    I’ve certainly done my best not to call names. I do think Mr. Gard is rather self-deceived, in denial, and that he might pretty accurately be described as “delusional” in regard to his evidence. Hopefully, that’s not calling names.

  117. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    gorefan: Bob, I hope when you get around to Part II, you will recognize the special relationship that existed between John Jay and James Kent.

    I have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that John Jay and William Rawle were best friends.

    I even have a 418-page book full of evidence that proves this very special relationship between Jay and Rawle:

    http://www.vanderbilt.edu/catalogs/undergrad/UGAD.pdf

  118. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Bob said:

    Thanks for the review. It was nicer than I thought it would be. Thanks for the two stars. They were a surprise. I know you didn’t read the entire eBook. Why didn’t you confess that? Why didn’t the others. All of you started out on a false premise of having read the eBook.

    I think some of the public may understand that the three negative responses were entirely political and that none of you really read the eBook. In fact, the negative rigor with which you reviewed the book was tell-tale. Thank you.

    Here was my reply to him:

    Dear Bob,

    I went through every single page of your book. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Page by page. And while I may not have read every single last word on each of those 1,722 pages, I did my very best to at least understand the content that was on every single page and whether it was at all relevant to the major claims you made. And I did my best to FULLY read and understand every passage I could find that might have any actual relevance at all to your specific claims.

    And if you think for one moment that my review was in ANY way “political,” then you are completely and absolutely, 100%, delusional.

    The “negative rigor” with which I reviewed the book was my attempt to give you every possible chance to make a case for your claim. I cannot tell you how abysmally and thoroughly your claim has failed when weighed against the actual evidence.

    To some degree it astonishes me that you continue to make it. Personally speaking, if I had made anything even remotely approaching as ill-founded a claim as those that you have made, I would have retracted those claims and CHANGED COURSE long ago.

    Do you not understand that every single significant point you have made in the entire book has been shot down? Not just one. Or two, or three.

    EVERY SINGLE SIGNIFICANT POINT.

    At this very moment, it seems that ballantine has quite likely cracked the mystery of who the anonymous editor of the 1797 edition of Vattel was.

    We have a man KNOWN to have begun his editing, translating and writing career in 1795, for the exact same publisher as that of the 1797 Vattel.

    He is KNOWN to have gotten his entire education in France, and therefore to have been fluent in French.

    He is KNOWN to have done a 1795 book published by Robinson, the same publisher as that of the 1797 Vattel.

    He is KNOWN to have done an 1800 book published by Robinson, the same publisher as that of the 1797 Vattel.

    By the way, do you notice that 1797 is halfway between [1795] and 1800?

    He is KNOWN to have been responsible for a version of Vattel’s Law of Nations.

    And yet, as far as I can tell, no known edition of Vattel’s Law of Nations appears with his name on it.

    So exactly which edition was he responsible for? Maybe you can tell us.

    Exactly which editions of Vattel’s Law of Nations do not list a translator or editor, of the editions published between 1775 and 1830?

    Because unless you can find an edition with his name on it, John Carey has to have been responsible for one of those.

    Bob, my review was absolutely sincere and about as charitable to you as I could possibly make it. Whether you can bring yourself to face it or not, your thesis is a complete and utter failure.

    When outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by law enforcement officers in 1934, there was no point in asking which were the two fatal bullets. Both of them were shot so full of holes that any number of bullets could have been fatal.

    It is the same way with your thesis. I counted at least six different pathways by which it collapses completely.

    The thing you do not seem to understand is that I am not your enemy. I am not even liberal or pro-Obama.

    Neither is Kevin Davidson your enemy, although he is politically a Democrat and would probably find it at least a little bit painful if Mr. Obama were not qualified to be President. But from everything I know of Mr. Davidson, he is quite honest enough to admit and acknowledge reality when it is against him.

    Which is not something that I have seen from you.

    It is not I who have shot your theory full of holes. It is HISTORY. It is the FACTS. It is REALITY.

    I would just as gladly, just as cheerfully have said, “Bob Gard makes a very strong case that, blah, blah, blah…”

    IF that had been the case.

    But it wasn’t. Not by a long shot.

    You simply have no case.

    No historical case.
    No linguistic case.
    No case in terms of evidence.
    No case in terms of law or legal meaning.
    No case in terms of any legal precedent.

    Believe me, if you had a case, I would tell you.

    If you had even HALF a case, I would tell you. I would CHEERFULLY tell you. I would call you on the phone and congratulate you and celebrate with you.

    If you had even the slightest smidgen of a hope of a case. But you don’t.

    I don’t know how I can make it any clearer.

    Not having a case doesn’t make you a bad person. And as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t even make you unintelligent.

    It just means that you don’t have a case.

    In any event, I wish you well.

    Publius

  119. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Hmmm. I have a comment in moderation. Not sure why.

    On the John Carey thing:

    Carey certainly looks like a pretty good candidate for editor of the 1797 edition.

    From Bob’s book, I count a total of 14 English-language editions of Vattel’s Law of Nations known to have been published between 1775 and 1830. Many of these are going to be identical – almost to the page – to previous editions. For example, both the 1787 New York edition and the 1792 Dublin edition are 728 pages in length and 22 cm in size. Although the New York edition has 74 introductory pages and the Dublin one only 72, all of this strongly suggests they are simply printings of the same thing with very minor difference.

    Even many that have differing page lengths are likely to be the same wording, the same translation into English.

    We are told that John Carey “revised the old translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations.” So he made actual changes in the text.

    The two editions that stand out are the 1793 (described as “a new edition”) and the 1797, both published in London, where John Carey lived, and by Robinson, the publisher that John Carey is known to have done work for both before (1795) and after (1800) the 1797 edition was published.

    Do we actually know the wording of the 1793 edition? This is one reason I am looking for a copy. I have discovered that if I were student or faculty at certain universities here in the US (not major ones, either) I would be able to get access that way. Alas, I am not.

  120. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    By the way, I would like to congratulate Dr. Conspiracy on a summing-up that is thoughtful, well-analyzed, coherent, insightful, balanced, polite, and yet politely devastating in its truth-filled sweeping overview of the complete failure of Mr. Gard’s claims.

    Well done, sir.

  121. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    It was caught by the super-advanced AI fumble-fingered detection engine. You typed 1787 when you meant 1785. I fixed it for you, and it automatically approved. 🙄 Yeah, that’s what happened.

    Publius: Hmmm. I have a comment in moderation. Not sure why.

  122. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Yes, here it is:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/lon1793.gif

    The wording is the same as earlier editions.

    Publius: Do we actually know the wording of the 1793 edition? This is one reason I am looking for a copy. I have discovered that if I were student or faculty at certain universities here in the US (not major ones, either) I would be able to get access that way. Alas, I am not.

  123. avatar
    gorefan February 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Publius: John Carey has to have been responsible for one of those.

    But did he ever have dinner with John Jay?

    I believe the answer is yes. As proof, I offer this announcement by John Jay. Note the french translation in the first line.

    http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/How_To_RSVP.pdf

    BTW, I found your Vanderbilt guide while not a smoking gun, to be strong collaborative, circumstantial evidence of the special friendship between Jay and Rawle. Using Axiom 6, I believe it must be given the same weight and validity as all of Bob’s musings.

  124. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Before putting this topic to bed, I would like to remind readers that Bob Gard is not the first person to dig into old editions of Vattel’s Law of Nations, and to hie back to Roman law for the definition of natural born citizen, arguing for citizen parents.

    A fellow named John Greschak published a paper entitled “What is a Natural Born Citizen of the United States?” back in 2008, and updated it several times. Greschak made a a fairly sophisticated argument as I remember, and included photocopies of several editions of Vattel.

    Greschak found the phrase “natural born citizen” in one of the naturalization acts of Massachusetts from 1785, a year before the Walsh example we’ve been using, and provides a table of the language used in the Massachusetts acts.

    Since that time Greschak removed the paper from his web site, although a copy remains on the Internet Archives Wayback Machine. Here is one from 4 years ago this month.

  125. avatar
    Majority Will February 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Publius:
    Bob said: (edited out for thread brevity)

    Here was my reply to him: (ditto – see above)

    Well said. Thank you.

  126. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    gorefan: BTW, I found your Vanderbilt guide while not a smoking gun, to be strong collaborative, circumstantial evidence of the special friendship between Jay and Rawle.

    Yes, and it has the highly prestigious name “Vanderbilt” indelibly attached to it, which only further enhances its credibility.

  127. avatar
    gorefan February 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: A fellow named John Greschak published a paper entitled “What is a Natural Born Citizen of the United States?”

    He was one of the first to publish the Massachusett’s Acts of Naturalization but I don’t think he realized their implication. If he did he never mentions it.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090925120108/http://www.greschak.com/articles/natactma/index.htm

    [edit – I jumped the gun at the name Greschak and should have read the rest of your comment.]

    [I added that part to my comment after it was originally posted. Doc.]

  128. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Well, I AM a liberal and I DID vote for Pres. Obama. And at least in an email, I called Bob a “crank” although I thought “bless his heart” when I wrote it.

    Publius: John Reilly: I am not a liberal or progressive, as those on the site know.

    I did not vote for Pres. Obama.

    I have not called Mr. Gard names.

    I use a screen name for security reasons. (Both personal, who needs Dr. Taitz publishing my home address and calling me a traitor) and professional, given the serious work I do.)

    I am not a liberal or progressive.

    I did not vote for President Obama.

    I’ve certainly done my best not to call names. I do think Mr. Gard is rather self-deceived, in denial, and that he might pretty accurately be described as “delusional” in regard to his evidence. Hopefully, that’s not calling names.

  129. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Publius:
    Hmmm. I have a comment in moderation. Not sure why.

    On the John Carey thing:

    Carey certainly looks like a pretty good candidate for editor of the 1797 edition.

    From Bob’s book, I count a total of 14 English-language editions of Vattel’s Law of Nations known to have been published between 1775 and 1830. Many of these are going to be identical – almost to the page – to previous editions. For example, both the 1787 New York edition and the 1792 Dublin edition are 728 pages in length and 22 cm in size. Although the New York edition has 74 introductory pages and the Dublin one only 72, all of this strongly suggests they are simply printings of the same thing with very minor difference.

    Even many that have differing page lengths are likely to be the same wording, the same translation into English.

    We are told that John Carey “revised the old translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations.” So he made actual changes in the text.

    The two editions that stand out are the 1793 (described as “a new edition”) and the 1797, both published in London, where John Carey lived, and by Robinson, the publisher that John Carey is known to have done work for both before (1795) and after (1800) the 1797 edition was published.

    Do we actually know the wording of the 1793 edition? This is one reason I am looking for a copy. I have discovered that if I were student or faculty at certain universities here in the US (not major ones, either) I would be able to get access that way. Alas, I am not.

    Funny I only have 12 in my list :

    1787 Dublin
    1787 New York
    1792 Dublin
    1793 London
    1796 New York
    1797 London
    1805 Northampton (MA)
    1811 London
    1812 London
    1817 Philadelphia
    1820 Northampton (MA)
    1829 Philadelphia

    I wonder what I’m missing ? Extra US editions in 1787 & 1805? I’ve seen hints of those but never been able to nail them down.

    And don’t discount the Dublin editions – Carey was Irish.

  130. avatar
    gorefan February 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Bob Gard, consider this,

    “…we are guided by the principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.” United States v. Sprague, 282 U. S. 716, 731 (1931) ; see also Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 188 (1824). Normal meaning may of course include an idiomatic meaning, but it excludes secret or technical meanings that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the founding generation. Justice Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller, (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370

    You should send him a copy of your book.

  131. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Ballantine’s suggestion of John Carey as the translator of the 1797 is really intriguing me. It seems there was quite a connection with the US. According a biography of him reproduced in “The spurious letters attributed to Washington” he spent some time in the US in 1789 and the same volume includes correspondence with Jefferson that show he was in the US from at least July 1792 to April 1793.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=EUYFAAAAYAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s

    He’s also the older brother of Mathew Carey a printer, publisher and writer who worked for Benjamin Franklin for a while in Paris and later emigrated to the US where he established a successful business helped by a loan from M. de Lafayette.

  132. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Welsh Dragon: I wonder what I’m missing ?

    There seems to have been a 1782 Dublin edition, and appears to have been a second 1829 Philadelphia one.

  133. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Welsh Dragon: Ballantine’s suggestion of John Carey as the translator of the 1797 is really intriguing me

    It seems to me that we may be closing in on being able to confirm that John Carey was the anonymous editor of the 1797 edition.

    We have a list of known editions of Vattel’s book published between 1775 and 1830. Of course it’s always possible we might have missed something. Minor editions are the biggest possibility. For example, I have listing of an 1811 London edition by Clarke that says 4th ed., and an 1812 London edition by Clarke that says 8th ed.

    Aside from possible gaps in a few minor editions (what we might even call printings), the list looks like it ought to be pretty complete. 14 editions in 55 years. About 1 every 4 years.

    It’s pretty clear that many of these are the same thing, or nearly so. We’ve already noted that the 1787 New York edition and the 1792 Dublin one seem to be almost exactly the same. Same size, and beyond the introductory pages (which are 74 and 72 pages respectively), they are both 728 pages in length.

    As well, the 1820 and 1829 editions, published by Butler in Massachusetts and Nicklin & Johnson in Philadelphia, both say “idigenes” [sic] in the Vattel passage – an obvious error that highlights their close relationship.

    We know that John Carey was from Dublin, but that he went to France at age 12, and that he spent some time in the US in 1789 and probably also at least July 1792 to April 1793. We know that leading up to 1795 – it takes time to publish a book – he did work for Robinson in London, and more work under the same publisher, for a book published in 1800.

    We know that he “revised the old translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations,” which indicates actual changes in the text.

    So it seems to me that if we had the various editions in front of us, including a few from before 1775, we could tell pretty easily which few editions would qualify as the kind of “revision” of “the old translation” that was talked about in Carey’s obituary. Just from the readily-available info, the only ones that I see billed as “new editions” were the 1793 and 1797 editions by Robinson. Since Carey was in the United States at least from July 1792 to April 1793, his participation in the 1793 edition looks doubtful to me.

    So far, pretty much everything I see seems to hint that John Carey was the editor of the 1797 Vattel.

  134. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Publius: There seems to have been a 1782 Dublin edition, and appears to have been a second 1829 Philadelphia one.

    Thanks this isn’t the first time an unknown edition has leapt out of the woodwork.

  135. avatar
    Northland10 February 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    gorefan:
    Bob Gard, consider this,

    “…we are guided by the principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.” United States v. Sprague, 282 U. S. 716, 731 (1931) ; see also Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 188 (1824). Normal meaning may of course include an idiomatic meaning, but it excludes secret or technical meanings that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the founding generation. Justice Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller, (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370

    You should send him a copy of your book.

    Does this make Scalia a liberal, also?

  136. avatar
    Dave B. February 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Well, I’ve just managed to get all the way through 00Bob’s latest at the real Great Debacle. About all I have to say while my brain recovers is that that’s the deadliest case of letting somebody have the last word I’ve ever seen.

  137. avatar
    Paper February 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    An authority, as such, from whom I gain insight is Akhil Amar. I appreciate the balance he brings to the question of written and unwritten constitution, as he portrays the distinction, that the Constitution cannot just mean anything anyone wants it to mean, but that it cannot exist or be useful without reference beyond itself.

    I like his example of how the Constitution as written says nothing about women being eligible for the presidency (Article II Section I even states “He shall hold his Office…” – my emphasis), but that the Nineteenth Amendment must include the unwritten meaning that women are eligible even though it doesn’t explicitly say so. I think you, Scientist, might also point to the 12th and 22nd amendments, which use the word “person” in reference to the President.

    I also like how Amar points out that the Ninth Amendment explicitly refers to rights not listed (unwritten) in the Constitution.

    Ultimately, in other words, I think the Framers, or at least the best of them, wanted to create a country that had the potential to go beyond anything they could expect, even beyond what they could handle at the time. As such, we shouldn’t forget, and I think someone like Gard may forget, or actually I suspect from what I’ve read that he rejects the fact that the Civil War changed this country for the better (not just abolishing the glaring flaw of slavery, but also structurally strengthening our country), and that we are not going back.

    Scientist: Bob makes Vattel, or more precisely, his reading of Vattel, the sole authority.I have made arguments without reference to authority, based on the simple plain English meaning of the word natural born citizen….

    I don’t necessarily accept all the arguments of the other side either…. My concern is if we obsess over “What did the framers or the ratifiers mean?” the most likely answer is that they meant for the society to be ruled by Anglican or Presbyterian male property owners of Northwestern European descent.So, I think it’s fine to understand the original intent, but we can’t freeze time in 1788.We must account for all the changes that have occurred since then.

  138. avatar
    Welsh Dragon February 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Publius: It seems to me that we may be closing in on being able to confirm that John Carey was the anonymous editor of the 1797 edition

    Not so sure myself, I’m conscious that Carey seems to have returned from USA in the 1793 to Dublin which suggests he was based there at least in time for the 1792 Dublin and maybe the 1787 and 1782 editions. Although there’s inconsistent reporting of his birth and death years the most frequent birth year is 1756 which would make him 26 in 1782, 31 in 1787, and 36 in 1792. So he’s a plausible candidate for involvement in one or other of these.

    Against this his translating heyday is not until the 1800’s and then mainly from Latin

    BTW the 1817 Philadelphia edition was based on one of the London editions and was the first US edition to include the term “natural born citizen”

  139. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund February 28, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Carey was based in London by 1795. Furthermore, he was, by his own admission, quite fascinated by the War of Independence, this being the reason he endeavored to publish Washington’s correspondence from such time. [Can you tell I’ve been reading the letters?]

    If Carey was indeed the 1797 edition editor, this interest in the formation of the US may explain the introduction of the phrase natural born citizen, not found in the 1793 edition.

  140. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Welsh Dragon: Not so sure myself, I’m conscious that Carey seems to have returned from USA in the 1793 to Dublin which suggests he was based there at least in time for the 1792 Dublin and maybe the 1787 and 1782 editions.

    But did any of these editions involve changes in language from previously published editions?

    Carey “revised the old translation.”

    So if we had the various editions in front of us, we could go through them and see which ones involved the introduction of new language that was not used in any previous edition.

    We could also eliminate all reprints of those.

    What we will end up with is a very, very few out of those 14 editions. The 1793 was billed as being “A NEW EDITION, CORRECTED.”

    But note it says “CORRECTED.” It says nothing about revision.

    By contrast, the 1797 version says it’s:

    “A new edition, revised, corrected and enriched with many valuable notes never before translated into English.”

    Another candidate is the 1796 New York edition, which says:

    “Corrected and revised from the latest London edition.”

    I actually think we could reasonably eliminate some of these, based simply on their descriptions. If they had been revised editions rather than the same old same old, it’s a pretty safe bet that the publisher would have included that information as a selling point.

    Bob could probably help us out here, but I doubt he will be eager to do so.

  141. avatar
    Dave B. February 28, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Hey Doc, remember when you thought we were going to run out of things to talk about?

  142. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Examining the information I have (including images of the front pages of several of these editions which Bob shows in his book), and making the (I think reasonable) assumption that any edition which was corrected or revised would have advertised itself as being so, I think we can reasonably eliminate 8 of the 14 editions published during the time period in which John Carey might have done his revision.

    This leaves us with six editions:

    * 1782, printed for Luke White, Dublin.

    * 1787, Berry & Rogers, New York, ixxiv (i.e. lxxiv), 728 p. ; 22 cm. (8vo)

    * 1793, London, Robinson, “a new edition,” “lvi, 444 [i.e. 454] p. 24 cm.”
    “A NEW EDITION, CORRECTED.”

    * 1796, New York
    “Corrected and revised from the latest London edition.”

    * 1797, London, Robinson, “a new edition.” 2 p.l., [iii]-lxvi, 500 p. 25 cm.
    “A new edition, revised, corrected and enriched with many valuable notes never before translated into English.”

    * And finally, 1829, T & JW Johnson, Philadelphia.

    I think the 1829 edition can almost certainly be eliminated as well, being some variation of another 1829 Philadelphia edition that was published by a Mr. Nicklin and T Johnson. Or quite possibly the exact same edition, reported a bit differently. The Nicklin & Johnson one can be eliminated because it is an obvious reprint of the 1820 (with “idigenes”), and because Bob shows the front page which has nothing about correction or revision on it.

    Still, I’m going to leave the 1829 T & JW Johnson one in for now.

    So we have six editions. The ones that leap out are the 1796 and the 1797. The 1793, not so much, because it says “corrected.”

    “Corrected” does not seem to me to be the same thing as “revised.” In fact, the 1796 and 1797 use both words: “corrected,” and “revised.”

    We have a couple of pages of text from the 1793 edition to give us at least a bit of idea of what it was like. Dr. Conspiracy has provided an image with a passage. And Bob provides another one in his book. We have the full text of the 1797, and could compare texts.

  143. avatar
    Publius February 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Let me clarify the principles on which I eliminated 8 of the 14 editions:

    1. As far as I’ve seen, all of the English-language Vattel editions say “Translated from the French” on their title page. Any edition which fails to make any statement on its title page that it has been corrected, revised, or otherwise edited can (I believe) be eliminated from consideration for the edition that John Carey revised.

    2. Any edition which is a reprint of another edition can be eliminated from consideration.

    3. I take an identical number of page numbers in the main text, and at least a similar number of introductory pages, and a very close physical size, as sufficient evidence that an edition is a reprint of another edition. I also take the obvious duplicated presence of a particular misspelled word (e.g., “idigenes” for “indigenes”) as sufficient evidence that the later edition is a reprint of the earlier one.

    The front page information from the 1790s editions is known. The front page information from the 1782 Dublin, 1787 New York, and 1829 T & JW Johnson Philadelphia edition are unknown.

  144. avatar
    JRC March 1, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    Wow, Bob is a nutcase, but I spent the evening with my mom who is about as delusional. She was saying that Obama can’t be impeached because he isn’t legally the President. I asked her where she heard that. She is nucking futs. She brought up Monroe. She starts reading something Monroe wrote about usurpers (nothing about natural born citizen), and somehow connects it with Obama. Love her, but she’s a useless (edited) fool for these evil people. I say useless because there is no basis, and never will be a basis for their theories. I knew she wasn’t intelligent growing up, but thought she was somewhat opened minded and able to weigh evidence. Kind of scares me that my genetics are tainted with craziness like birtherism. 🙁

  145. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    A bit more information:

    1. It appears the 1782 Dublin edition may not exist. A bookseller with the 1787 edition describes it as the first Dublin edition. Since the 1782 edition was supposed to be from the same publisher, this seems like it may be good information. It is easy to mistake a handwritten 7 for a 2.

    2. The 1787 New York edition appears to be identical to the 1787 and 1792 Dublin editions. All are the exact same size, appear to have the exact same number of introductory pages (74), and have the exact same number of pages (728). Neither of these Dublin editions says anything about correction or revision. I think we can rule the 1787 New York edition out.

    3. The 1796 New York edition appears identical (or virtually so) to the 1805. This illustrates that what we are doing (while based on far more evidence than any of Bob’s conjectures) is an inexact science. I eliminated the 1805 from consideration because it made no mention of correction or revision. Yet that seems nearly identical to the 1796 New York, which does.

    In this case, the mention of correction and revision seems to have been dropped when the subsequent publisher put in his own title page. Since the original of this version mentioned the correction/ revision, I think we’re still on reasonably solid ground in spite of the discrepancy.

    Incidentally, the 1796 New York edition claimed to be the first American edition (it wasn’t), and also claimed it was based on “the latest London edition.” It appears that that may not have been true either, as a seller states it was based on the London 1760 edition. But the seller might not know for sure.

    All of this should give us:

    * 1782, printed for Luke White, Dublin – doubtful that it exists.

    * 1793, London, Robinson, “a new edition,” “lvi, 444 [i.e. 454] p. 24 cm.”
    “A NEW EDITION, CORRECTED.”

    * 1796, New York
    “Corrected and revised from the latest London edition.”

    * 1797, London, Robinson, “a new edition.” 2 p.l., [iii]-lxvi, 500 p. 25 cm.
    “A new edition, revised, corrected and enriched with many valuable notes never before translated into English.”

    * 1829, T & JW Johnson, Philadelphia – can almost certainly be eliminated as a variant of the “other” 1829 Philadelphia edition from pretty much same publisher.

    This makes the most likely candidates for Carey’s work the 1793, 1796, and 1797 editions.

    Again, we should be able to examine the 1793 against earlier editions and see whether any significant revision at all was done.

    My gut feeling is that with more information we may well be able to eliminate all but the 1796 New York and 1797 London editions. Neither of the other 3 look likely. The 1793 looks unlikely to me because it only says “corrected,” not “corrected and revised.”

    We may never get to a real certainty on which edition John Carey revised. But if it comes down to the 1796 New York and the 1797 London edition by Robinson, then given that Carey did books for the London Robinson company in 1795 and 1800, that’s the edition I would bet on.

  146. avatar
    Lupin March 1, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Publius: The thing you do not seem to understand is that I am not your enemy. I am not even liberal or pro-Obama.

    Neither is Kevin Davidson your enemy, although he is politically a Democrat and would probably find it at least a little bit painful if Mr. Obama were not qualified to be President. But from everything I know of Mr. Davidson, he is quite honest enough to admit and acknowledge reality when it is against him.

    Which is not something that I have seen from you.

    May I add to this that people like I or Paul Pieznezny don’t have a dog in that fight, as it were. I couldn’t care less whether Obama is illegitimate or not.

    I do care about Bob )& others like him) making up crazy stuff about what Vattel actually wrote, but that’s where my concern stops.

    As I wrote before, Bob is that deadly combination of of arrogance and ignorance.

  147. avatar
    The Magic M March 1, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    JRC: I knew she wasn’t intelligent growing up, but thought she was somewhat opened minded and able to weigh evidence. Kind of scares me that my genetics are tainted with craziness like birtherism.

    One evening, my girlfriend confronted me with the Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy theory, believing it to be real (i.e. the moon landing to be fake) after she had read several websites about it. I told her to stop being online all day long. People with too much time on their hands tend to get lost in the depths and become increasingly unable to tell fact from fiction.
    For the same reason, I’m glad my dad doesn’t consider it worth the hassle to go online (he has a laptop but only uses it to watch DVD’s). He would fall right into those traps, given he has a basic anti-Semitic conspiracist world view to begin with.

  148. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 1, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    OK, all this IS fascinating to some degree, as it seems to establish the author of the English phrase is not who Gard supposed it to be.

    However, there is the linguistic status of the word “parents” – apart from the grammatical plural, that had its bearing on the note that Lupin found, the question is whether the meaning was translated correctly. I have already alluded to the fact that Vattel used the word “parens” elsewhere in this book and that on one occasion he used it in a meaning that MUST CLEARLY have included “relatives”:

    “A Athènes, la Loi permettoit aux parens de celui qui avoit été assassiné dans un pays étranger, de saisir jusqu’ trois personnes de ce pays-I, & de les détenir, jusqu’.ce que le meurtrier eut été puni ou livré (4).”

    “Ïn Athens, the law allowed the relatives of someone murdered abroad to seize up to three persons of the country concerned, and to keep them under arrest until the murderer had been punished or extradited.” That is L 1 V. Il. CHA P. X VIII. page 537. Obviously, this refers to relatives – since interpreting it as “mother and father only” would mean that an orphan (of whatever age) can be murdered without fear of punishment. Athenians did not believe that.

    Although this clarifies that in Vattel you cannot simply interpret “parens” as parents, it would be rather funny if any English translation of Vattel used the word “parents” in this passage also.

    Any searchable English versions?

  149. avatar
    Lupin March 1, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    Paul Pieniezny:
    OK, all this IS fascinating to some degree, as it seems to establish the author of the English phrase is not who Gard supposed it to be.

    However, there is the linguistic status of the word “parents” – apart from the grammatical plural, that had its bearing on the note that Lupin found, the question is whether the meaning was translated correctly. I have already alluded to the fact that Vattel used the word “parens” elsewhere in this book and that on one occasion he used it in a meaning that MUST CLEARLY have included “relatives”:

    “A Athènes, la Loi permettoit aux parens de celui qui avoit été assassiné dans un pays étranger, de saisir jusqu’ trois personnes de ce pays-I, & de les détenir, jusqu’.ce que le meurtrier eut été puni ou livré (4).”

    “Ïn Athens, the law allowed the relatives of someone murdered abroad to seize up to three persons of the country concerned, and to keep them under arrest until the murderer had been punished or extradited.” That is L 1 V. Il. CHA P. X VIII. page 537. Obviously, this refers to relatives – since interpreting it as “mother and father only” would mean that an orphan (of whatever age) can be murdered without fear of punishment. Athenians did not believe that.

    Although this clarifies that in Vattel you cannot simply interpret “parens” as parents, it would be rather funny if any English translation of Vattel used the word “parents” in this passage also.

    Any searchable English versions?

    Great minds, etc. I had mentioned this earlier in Thread #3 here:
    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2013/02/the-great-debatekibitzers-edition-part-3/#comment-250985

    Forget the legal issues: I’m still stunned that a willful misunderstanding of a basic use of plural — one that has never raised any doubts whatsoever as to its plain meaning before — could lead a person like Bob Gard to build such a delusional theory.

    His argument that the (correct) “either parent” interpretation (as opposed to the incorrect “both”) would lead or have led to confusion, esp. in light of the subsequent hair-splitting in the same paragraph about fathers and mothers, is simply crazy.

    We’re not talking the legal equivalent of rocket science here; it’s Bob on one side, and the rest of the word (for two centuries) on the other.

  150. avatar
    The Magic M March 1, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Lupin: I’m still stunned that a willful misunderstanding of a basic use of plural — one that has never raised any doubts whatsoever as to its plain meaning before — could lead a person like Bob Gard to build such a delusional theory.

    Cranks read what they want to read. I can’t count the ways in which I’ve seen them build decades (!) of quixotic endeavours on a simple and idiotic misreading of a law, or a contract clause, or a substitution of “what it really says” with “what I would like it to say”.
    Sometimes it’s deliberate (taking stuff out of context to mislead others), sometimes it’s actual derangement.

    Lupin: and the rest of the word (for two centuries) on the other

    The idea that “everyone has always been wrong about it and only am right” is not uncommon among cranks, almost always tied to the claim that the “everyone has always been wrong” isn’t due to simple stupidity but wilfull deception on “everyone”‘s part.

    For example, a recent pet theory in my country was “When the introductory act to a law is repealed (decades after), the law itself becomes invalid on the spot” after people had noticed that several such introductory acts had been repealed (due to not being needed anymore, obviously) two decades ago. Of course a sane person would conclude it’s rather unlikely that all courts don’t know that and not one lawyer has successfully argued that in court if it were correct.
    This inevitably started another conspiracy theory as to the “why” – as in “why would the government deliberately void all laws, yet not tell anyone about it?”. The ensuing madness was another train wreck. As I said, birtherism is so much more entertaining…

  151. avatar
    Welsh Dragon March 1, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Publius: A bit more information:
    1. It appears the 1782 Dublin edition may not exist. A bookseller with the 1787 edition describes it as the first Dublin edition. Since the 1782 edition was supposed to be from the same publisher, this seems like it may be good information. It is easy to mistake a handwritten 7 for a 2.
    2. The 1787 New York edition appears to be identical to the 1787 and 1792 Dublin editions. All are the exact same size, appear to have the exact same number of introductory pages (74), and have the exact same number of pages (728). Neither of these Dublin editions says anything about correction or revision. I think we can rule the 1787 New York edition out

    Whoa there. I’ve seen the same bookseller you have and agree that the 1782 Dublin edition may not exist. As well as the possibility of a 7 being mistaken for a 2 it would also be a year earlier than anything else that I found published by Luke Wright. Although, in fairness he was selling books in Dublin from 1779.

    However, the editors of the Online Library of Liberty’s edition of the “Law of Nations” have this to say about the 1787 Dublin edition:

    “Vattel’s Law of Nations was translated anonymously into English several times in the eighteenth century. The first edition of 1760 was based on the French original Droit des gens of 1758. A Dublin translation of 1787 is remarkably fluent and elegant…”

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2246&chapter=212414&layout=html&Itemid=27

    This strongly suggests that it was either a reprinting of an earlier unidentified edition (maybe Dublin 1782) or was itself a major revision. If the latter then that seriously weakens the criteria you used to eliminate some of the other editions.

  152. avatar
    Welsh Dragon March 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    More info on John Carey’s translation activities.

    His obituary mentioned two works that he translated from French – “The Batavians” and “The Young Emigrants” . These were a bit difficult to track down but I can now pin down their publication date to 1799 . The former was published by the Robinsons and the latter by the Wright. (Note the correct title is “The Young Exiles, or, Correspondence of some Juvenile Emigrants”).

    Both were reviewed in The Monthly Review Vol. XXXIII September to December 1800

    http://books.google.com/books?id=OA8oAAAAYAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s

    No mention of the identity of the translator but it looks highly likely it’s Carey.

    BTW it’s pure fluke I found “The Young Exiles” – there’s a fault in the index on google books – I clicked on “Batavians” and it took me to “The Young Exiles” even though they are about 100 pages apart. – I think I’ll go out and buy a lottery ticket.

  153. avatar
    ballantine March 1, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I think this just goes to show how difficult it would be to ever actual prove who the editor was in a legal sense no matter how much circumstantial evidence one collects on this. And how it probably never could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a concept Bob clearly doesn’t understand. Such point will never get through to Bob as he is too convinced he knows everything to ever learn anything.

    As an aside, the only other candidate I came across as the secret translator is William Cobbett, the man who translated the first English edition of Marten’s Law of Nations treatise. However, no reason was given for the speculation that Cobbett was involved and Cobbett wasn’t likely the editor of the 1797 London edition as he was out of England from 1792 to 1800. In fact, he was in Philadelphia engaged in a nasty newspaper battle with Mathew Carey, John Carey’s brother. There really are coincidences in life. Anyway, perhaps Cobbett was responsible for one of the other editions you have been talking about.

    https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/223-vattelgreatjuristspdf

  154. avatar
    Welsh Dragon March 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Cobbett’s worth a closer look but I’m skeptical – apart from not being in London at the time, on at least one occasion after 1797(1801) he quotes Vattel but seems to be using an earlier edition. When I’ve got time I’ll probably do a fuller analysis .

    :

  155. avatar
    Ballantine March 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    I agree. I thought maybe he did the 1793 translation before he left or perhaps one of the American editions. Doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support it. He was pretty famous and one of biographers would have mentioned it.

  156. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I am certainly willing to add the 1787 Dublin and New York editions back in, although I think they are both doubtful candidates, for the reasons stated. It may be that they are a different translation from the 1760, but they certainly seem to be the same as each other and as the 1792 Dublin.

    ballantine: I think this just goes to show how difficult it would be to ever actual prove who the editor was in a legal sense no matter how much circumstantial evidence one collects on this. And how it probably never could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a concept Bob clearly doesn’t understand.

    I was thinking about this this morning.

    Basically, I was thinking first that I was getting pretty close to exhausting the limits of reasonable suppositions on this;

    Secondly, that I didn’t want to be guilty of succumbing to confirmation bias;

    Third, that I was going to mention that I was getting to the limits of reasonable suppositions;

    And fourth, that the entire exercise is a useful contrast between the research methods of birthers and those of normal, sane people.

    At this point, I think we have quite a bit here that points toward John Carey having done the revision of either the 1796 New York edition or the 1797 London edition, with the London edition being, probably by far, the more likely of the two.

    However, I would agree with ballantine that what we have does not constitute evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

    So here we have Bob, and we have a group of more careful researchers. Bob has literally virtually no evidence at all to support the idea that Sir William Scott was the editor of the 1797 Vattel. It is clear from a plain reading of Chitty’s passage in the later Vattel that he was in no way saying that Scott had any involvement whatsoever in editing the 1797 Vattel.

    Still, on that entirely nonexistent basis, Bob proclaims he has “proven” that Scott edited the 1797, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Others have far, far more evidence in regard to John Carey quite possibly having edited that exact edition. I won’t rehash that evidence, it is in the thread above. I think it can be very safely said that Carey appears far, far, FAR more likely to have been the editor of the 1797 edition than Scott.

    And yet neither I, nor ballantine, nor probably anyone else in this thread who has critiqued Bob’s work, is prepared to say that we have “proven” Carey was the editor “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    So what we have, in the end, is a contrast.

    This is how birthers research and announce conclusions.

    And this is how sane, careful researchers research and announce conclusions.

  157. avatar
    Welsh Dragon March 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Back to John Carey.

    His obituary mentions a volume of the life of Pope Pius VI and a volume of universal history.

    A two volume “Memoirs of Pius VI” “Translated from the French” was published by the Robinsons in London 1799/1800 and by a publishing house in Dublin 1800

    A nine volume “Summary of Universal History” was published by the Robinsons in 1800. The original work was in French and this seems to be a translation but I haven’t been able to confirm that 100%

    These look like the most likely suspects in a sweep from 1790 to 1818.

  158. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I think I’m about at the end of what I’m likely to do with this. I could go through the 1793 and my gut feeling is that I might well be able to pretty well rule that one out.

    I think that when they said “corrected,” that probably had to do either with correcting things like spelling and punctuation, or some other obvious errors that people had agreed on over time. I don’t know that the 1793 edition will likely turn out to be what people would call “revised.” Well, in fact, they didn’t call it “revised.” Just “corrected.”

    One point to note is that even if Carey had done the corrections on the 1793 edition, that certainly does not rule out that he might have done the revision to the 1797 edition as well.

  159. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Welsh Dragon: Back to John Carey.

    His obituary mentions a volume of the life of Pope Pius VI and a volume of universal history.

    All of that to me might make it a bit less likely that he had done the 1797 Vattel, simply because all of that seems like quite a bit of work.

    On the other hand… he could certainly have been working on multiple projects at once, and at that time he was a young man who probably would have had plenty of energy for putting in long hours.

    No… on second thought, I don’t think it would have been too much work for him.

    It certainly appears that he was very active in translation work for the Robinson publishing company.

  160. avatar
    ballantine March 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    What is the argument that Carey did the 1793 revisions? He went to the United States in 1789 and can be proven to be there in 1792 and 1793 returning to England in May of 1793 in the middle of a huge project on Washington. And it appears he would have went to London as Jefferson sent our Ambassador a pile of American State Papers to give to Carey to finish his project. So the theory is that sometime between 1789 and 1792 he went back to England and with no experience got a new translation of Vattel to a publisher that they would wait a year to publish? Seems pretty implausible particularly when there isn’t evidence he went back to England. Rather, it would seem he got his start in publishing when he showed up at a publisher with a pile of American State Papers no one else in the world had.

    I wonder if Bob is paying attention. Mr. Carey was actually given access to a mountain of classified papers with Jefferson and Washington telling him what secrets he could and could not publish. Carey had about 100 time more access to the framers than William Scott ever had and actually was shown secret papers. My god, he might have been shown the secret code itself? I don’t know but we may have given Bob a whole new volume.

  161. avatar
    JRC March 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I would like to hear from Mr. Gard on the footnote. My french is a bit rusty, so I threw it into a french-english translator.

    ‘En règle générale, l’enfant fait partie de la nation laquelle appartient son père, s’il est né en légitime mariage, ou de la nation de sa mère, si celle-ci n’est pas mariée, moins que, dans la même hypothèse, l’enfant ait été reconnu par le père appartenant une autre nation, auquel cas il fait partie de la nation du père (C. Nap., art. 10; argument tiré des art. 148 et 158, C. Nap.}. Cette règle a été admise dans presque toutes les législations de l’Europe.

    ‘In general, the child belongs to the nation to which his/her father belongs, if it were born in legitimate marriage, or from the nation of his mother, if this one is not married, unless, on the same assumption, the child was recognized by the father pertaining to another nation, in which case it belongs to the nation of the father (C. Nap., Article 10; argument drawn from Article 148 and 158, C. Nap.}. This rule was allowed in almost all the legislations of Europe.

    Elle a été notamment sanctionnée dans les traités conclus par la Prusse avec Saxe-Weimar (1824). Saxe-Altembourg (1832), Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha (1833), Reuss-Plauen (1834), le royaume de Saxe (1839), Schwarzbourg-Rudolstadt (1840), Anhalt-Bernbourg (1840), le Brunswick (1841). En Angleterre, cependant, on regarde comme faisant partie de la nation, tout individu né sur le sol anglais, même de parents étrangers. Voir Foelix, Traité de droit international privé, 3″ éd., revue et augmentée par Ch. Démangeat, t. I, p. 53 et 54. — P. P F.

    It was in particular sanctioned in the treaties concluded by Prussia with Saxony-Weimar (1824). Saxony-Altembourg (1832), Saxony-Cobourg-Gotha (1833), Reuss-Plauen (1834), the kingdom of Saxony (1839), Schwarzbourg-Rudolstadt (1840), Anhalt-Bernbourg (1840), Brunswick (1841). In England, however, one looks like belonging to the nation, any individual born on the English ground, even of foreign parents. See Foelix, Treaty of private international law, 3” éd., re-examined and increased by CH. Démangeat, T. I, p. 53 et 54. — P. P F.

    Think the translator did a pretty good job, but wouldn’t mind hearing from those more fluent in the language. (Lupin)

    I can already feel the twisted birther logic at work.

  162. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    rotfl.

    So it appears we might have found a way to give Bob a new theory to replace the one we’ve shot down.

    I agree that it does sound highly likely that Carey’s career began when he showed up in London with a stack of papers from the Americans that no one else had. And it appears likely to me that he was not involved with the 1793 edition, and likely as well that he probably was not involved with the 1796 New York one, but did do the 1797 for Robinson.

    As Ballantine notes, he seems to have had contact with the Americans, so there is room for Bob to argue that he was gifted with the secret meaning of “natural born citizen.” Any theory built on this is still going to be rubbish, for several reasons:

    1) There is still no reason at all for Carey to have put an American legal term into an edition that was published in London and intended primarily for an English audience.

    2) The more plausible explanation for inclusion of the term “natural born citizens,” by far, is the one that I outlined earlier. It is the exact same pattern that was followed by three previous English translators who might have used “natural born subject,” but who substituted “citizen” because that’s the term that was used in the original text they were translating.

    3) There are far more people, and of far greater authority, than Carey, who had access to the Framers and other members of the American founding fathers and founding generation, who have both used the term “native” and “natural born subject” as virtual synonyms for “natural born citizen,” and/ or who have said (especially in the case of Rawle) that children born on US soil are specifically counted as natural born citizens.

    Note that there is no record that anybody, anywhere, EVER objected to Rawle’s definition. On the contrary, it is affirmed by other legal scholars. And nobody EVER said that citizen parents were required.

    I think somewhere near the beginning of this discussion we mentioned the 1856 Presidential candidacy of John Fremont, who campaigned quite openly as the son of a Frenchman who had never become a US citizen and never intended to. No one seems to have contested his candidacy, nor does there seem to have ever been the slightest bit of concern that anybody ever would.

    Oh, well. The bottom line is that birthers will be birthers. Bob shows no signs of actually basing his claims on reality or sound research. I suppose it doesn’t matter whether we give him an excuse to claim the secret meaning of nbc or not. He’s going to make the claim anyway, and insist that he’s “proven” it “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Whether there is any remotely plausible scenario or not really doesn’t matter.

    And whoever wants to believe it takes two citizen parents is going to believe that. It’s really not a matter of evidence, because for anyone who isn’t a birther, or who doesn’t desperately want to be, the sum total of all the evidence is pretty clear.

  163. avatar
    Dave B. March 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Well that’s bound to get you on his Christmas card list.

    Publius: So it appears we might have found a way to give Bob a new theory to replace the one we’ve shot down.

  164. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I doubt he will go with it. For one thing, it’s not likely to convince anyone who won’t be convinced by his William Scott theory. For another, it would mean admitting his William Scott theory was wrong.

    There are two kinds of people in the world. Birthers, and sane, rational, reasonable people. Sane, reasonable birthers are a rare and dying breed. They just don’t last long.

    Sane, reasonable birthers are about as rare in the ecosystem as gazelles born with three legs. And they last just about as long. Sane, rational, reasonable birther does some research and reading… bingo, he’s no longer a birther.

    Of course at this point, there are almost no sane, reasonable people left who are giving any credence to the birthers at all. So most people who become birthers are those who aren’t going by any real evidence in the first place. And we have almost no new birthers these days. Birthers are a dying breed.

    In any event, I doubt Bob will go with the new theory. Lupin advised him with a better argument on Vattel than the one he has, and he didn’t go for it. And in the final analysis, it really doesn’t matter anyway. A better theory won’t convince his audience any better than his current one. So Bob has no compelling reason to admit that his current theory is wrong.

  165. avatar
    JPotter March 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Publius: I doubt he will go with it.

    Accepting outside input, particularly from ‘the enemy’, would be a rare sight indeed. Cranks like to thank their sekrit gnawlidje was their own special insight.

    Maybe if you slip this newfound meme into his coffee…

  166. avatar
    Publius March 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure that Bob didn’t come up with the Vattel meme himself. It’s been going around for a few years now.

    So someone hears some stupid claim (hey, we got our idea of natural born citizen from this Swiss philosopher Vattel, and it takes two citizen parents), and then goes out to “prove” it.

    And the claim itself has almost no basis at all in reality. It’s like someone saying that George Washington was actually an alien, or that Abraham Lincoln really and truly led a secret war against vampires.

    But that doesn’t matter, because now it’s a meme. So-and-so said that we got our idea of natural born citizen from this Swiss philosopher. And it takes citizen parents. So people jump on the band wagon and try again and again and again to prove it.

    And if anyone points out what nonsense it is, that person is either an enemy or a member of the conspiracy.

  167. avatar
    aesthetocyst March 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Publius: The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure that Bob didn’t come up with the Vattel meme himself. It’s been going around for a few years now.

    Of course he didn’t invent the Vattel meme, its citation by those opposing birthright citizenship goes waaaaaayyyyyyy back. I came across some cites of it from the late-19th century. The birfer legal brain trust dusted it off and applied it specifically to the Presidency.

    Bob’s sekrit was the crazy explanations of the translation and the Framer’s sekrit ‘understanding’ of it.

    Over at Amazon, birfer books continue to get generic, 5-star reviews. The active period has passed, now the detritus will linger on, ensnaring the uninformed.

  168. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    I think it’s pretty clear where the first birther found the Vattel meme—consider that the same passage in the same translation is cited to the same end in the Dred Scott decision. Whether birthers are too ignorant to know or don’t have enough integrity to care that they are parroting racist arguments, I can’t imagine one of their “scholars” being able to find a particular quote in a particular translation of philosophical treatise written in French by a Swiss writer without having cribbed it from the worst SCOTUS decision ever.

    Publius: The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure that Bob didn’t come up with the Vattel meme himself. It’s been going around for a few years now.

  169. avatar
    Keith March 2, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    Publius: The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure that Bob didn’t come up with the Vattel meme himself. It’s been going around for a few years now.

    What aesthetocyst said. And not only but also…

    What I find odd, is that Bob didn’t pick up on the whole ‘the Revolution was planned in Masonic Lodges and all the important players were Freemasons’ theme to punctuate his secret hidden Constitution theme.

    It is a natural fit for a secret conspiracy after all.

    Or did I miss that part because I didn’t buy the book?

  170. avatar
    Lupin March 2, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    JRC: Think the translator did a pretty good job, but wouldn’t mind hearing from those more fluent in the language. (Lupin)

    I think you did a perfectly adequate job. As I noted above (in Thread 3) this was the system followed in France (see my remarks regarding Emile Zola), until it was eventually changed.

    This is why at first I thought the birthers like Apuzzo would focus on the father angle since the two parents (plural) was never ever in play. (It takes someone like Bob Gard to think it was or is.)

    Between two arguments, a totally idiotic one and a legal if outdated one, trust the birthers to pick the idiotioc one!

  171. avatar
    Publius March 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    I think my final conclusion on the John Carey matter is going to be that I personally suspect that Carey was the editor of the 1797 Vattel. We know that he revised some edition of the Law of Nations, and of all that were published during his era, that is the one that looks most likely. We know that he worked with Robinson both before and after that edition was published by them.

    I wouldn’t say that it’s been “proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” but I think the sum total of the evidence – including what we know of Carey’s background, his movements, his working calendar, his professional relationships, and the editions themselves – is certainly suggestive.

    As for Bob’s book, as I indicated in the email to him, I think he and his arguments have been given a fair hearing. No, I didn’t read every single word on every page. But I did my best to read every word I could find that was actually relevant to his arguments. As I said in my Amazon review, a great deal of the book is not directly relevant. Oddly enough, in some cases it is those bits – such as the biographies of Framers – that may be more worth publishing.

    And Bob has had complete latitude, for 4 weeks, to make his arguments here. Those arguments simply have no merit. Bob seems to think that he has 1700 pages of “evidence.” He doesn’t. He has 1700 pages of writing, the vast majority of which really isn’t even about the thrust of his claims, which was my whole tongue-in-cheek point with the Vanderbilt catalog above.

    Still, Bob seems a decent enough type, and I wish him well in his publishing. Personally, I’d like to see him run with the biographies of the Framers idea, find a new twist on it, such as writing for a different audience, and sell a few books.

    Dr. Conspiracy has a new article in which he says that the birther era is over. I would have to agree. Bob’s book was the one new idea. Birther Report, Orly Taitz and Mario Apuzzo seem to be the last lingerers, reluctant to turn out the lights on the party and go home. Apuzzo seems to have nothing new to say, for months now, so he just keeps repeating the same tired stuff. In the latest comment on his blog, to a summing-up article he wrote back in January, he writes, “Perhaps I too am wasting my time, as family and friends occasionally remark. It’s a hobby.”

    We might start taking bets on exactly when BR, Orly and Mario will close up their birther shops, and on who will be the last person to turn out the lights.

  172. avatar
    G March 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    I think that is a great idea for an upcoming blog post. We haven’t had a good poll question post in awhile…

    Publius: We might start taking bets on exactly when BR, Orly and Mario will close up their birther shops, and on who will be the last person to turn out the lights.

  173. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    The important point, to me, is that the possibility (and the plausibility) of Carey being the translator of the 1797 edition completely destroys Bob’s claim that he has proven Scott to be the translator beyond a reasonable doubt. Not only does reasonable doubt clearly exist, but, given the evidence, Carey seems a much more probable candidate than Scott. The fact that commenters here were able to come up with all of this in the space of a couple weeks provides a stark contrast to Bob’s skills as a “natural born researcher”.

    Publius: I wouldn’t say that it’s been “proven beyond a reasonable doubt,”

  174. avatar
    Publius March 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    In reality, that was already destroyed by the complete lack of evidence (Bob’s misreading of Chitty’s comments clearly didn’t constitute real evidence of any kind) and the sheer improbability of the claim.

    But yes. Though the claim may well have been dead and in the coffin, the Carey information has shoveled about 6 or 8 feet of dirt on top of it.

  175. avatar
    Northland10 March 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Lupin: This is why at first I thought the birthers like Apuzzo would focus on the father angle since the two parents (plural) was never ever in play. (It takes someone like Bob Gard to think it was or is.)

    Between two arguments, a totally idiotic one and a legal if outdated one, trust the birthers to pick the idiotioc one!

    There are too many female birthers who might actually take some offense at a sexist interpretation of Natural Born Citizen (also remember some early birthers were PUMAs). I would imagine Donofrio and Apuzzo are smart enough to remember that, unlike, not ready for Padawan Pauly.

    In the birther world, you can hate uppidty blacks, immigrants, foreigners, Muslims (and muslin), liberals, socialists, communists, fascists, intellectuals, and uppidty wives of uppidty black immigrant Muslim (and muslin) liberal socialist communist fascists intellectual but you cannot hate women, unless they are married to uppidty black immigrant Muslim (and muslin) liberal socialist communist fascists intellectuals. Now, if you are a dominate white female, that is quite enjoyed by the male birthers (unless you are the strong-willed white female mother of an uppidty black immigrant Muslim, and muslin, liberal socialist communist fascists intellectual).

  176. avatar
    aarrgghh March 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Northland10: … but you cannot hate women, unless they are married to uppidty black immigrant Muslim (and muslin) liberal socialist communist fascists intellectuals.

    … or are pro-choice. or lesbian.

  177. avatar
    The Magic M March 3, 2013 at 5:43 am #

    Northland10: There are too many female birthers who might actually take some offense at a sexist interpretation of Natural Born Citizen

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Many wingnuts have no problem believing in self-denigrating viewpoints, either because they don’t realize it or because “the cause” is worth more to them than their own rights. Just remember how many women are Bible thumpers although their belief actually boils down to “women are inferior to men”.

    And that doesn’t just apply to wingnuts. How many Catholic women are concerned because they can’t be Pope? So it’s not a stretch that most female birthers would have no problem with a theory that doesn’t allow a woman to be President.

  178. avatar
    Lupin March 3, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    Northland10: There are too many female birthers who might actually take some offense at a sexist interpretation of Natural Born Citizen (also remember some early birthers were PUMAs). I would imagine Donofrio and Apuzzo are smart enough to remember that, unlike, not ready for Padawan Pauly.

    Considrring the (so-called) “War on Women” going on, I’m not so sure, but the point would remain that if you favored Vattel’s definition (and you assumed it carried any weight at all), then you could argue that Obama would have been born a Kenyan citizen because of his father.

    Of course, still following Vattel, he could have become a US citizen because of his mother & relatives by merely applying for it, but that would have involved a process of “naturalization” which would disqualify him, this time not per Vattel but per your Constitution.

    Of course, this is a lunatic argument, because: (a) it combines Vattel’s definitions and your Constitutional ones in their most restrictive aspects; (b) Vattel’s definitions arte probably in conflict with yoir Constitution’s anyway; (c) the whole system got overhauled anyway, a century ago, so it wouldn’t apply anywhere anyway; and (d) as demonstrated here a zillion times, Vattel really has no bearings on the matter.

    Still, it’s a half-*ssed way of looking the issue as opposed to the two citizen parents which is a 100%-*ssed way.

  179. avatar
    G March 3, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    So sad but true….

    I just don’t understand what makes such people tick…

    The Magic M: I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Many wingnuts have no problem believing in self-denigrating viewpoints, either because they don’t realize it or because “the cause” is worth more to them than their own rights. Just remember how many women are Bible thumpers although their belief actually boils down to “women are inferior to men”.

    And that doesn’t just apply to wingnuts. How many Catholic women are concerned because they can’t be Pope? So it’s not a stretch that most female birthers would have no problem with a theory that doesn’t allow a woman to be President.

  180. avatar
    Publius March 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Lupin: (d) as demonstrated here a zillion times, Vattel really has no bearings on the matter.

    There is nothing to tie our phrase “natural born citizen” to Vattel. Nothing.

    As in: Truly nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not anything.

    In fact, Bob’s book is a pretty clear illustration of how thoroughly disconnected “natural born citizen” is from Vattel. Bob spent two years, 1,722 pages, and (by his account) $40,000 trying to prove there was some connection. And the best he was able to come up with was some fantasy that John Jay, who wasn’t even at the Constitutional Convention, had some secret definition of “natural born citizen,” that is not recorded or alluded to ANYWHERE, that he somehow transmitted that secret definition to those who were actually AT the Constitutional Convention (again, without leaving any record of it at all), that the delegates at this Constitutional Convention accepted this completely counter-intuitive definition (again, with no recorded discussion or leaving any record of what would certainly have been a lively debate), and that they put one over on all those who ratified the document they wrote.

    And that was the BEST he could come up with.

    Essentially, Bob has managed to disprove birtherism.

  181. avatar
    Paper March 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Now, now, there is more to birtherism than two citizen parents. Forget Gard. Everybody knows the President was born in Kenya.

    Well, why not? The Bushes, father and son, both were born in Saudi Arabia. Clinton was born in Venezuela. Reagan was born in South Africa. Carter, Turkey. Ford, Liechtenstein. Nixon, the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. JFK was the last president born in this country.

    Everybody knows this. So Gard’s failure changes nothing. ;-}

    Publius:

    Essentially, Bob has managed to disprove birtherism.

  182. avatar
    Dave B. March 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    One last kick at this dead horse– I’ve just taken a look over at The Constitutionist and there’s no sign that The Great Debacle ever even happened.

  183. avatar
    Plantmaster March 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I’ve come to the following conclusion: Bob Gard/Obobma needs to change his handle to “Oh-Bore-Me.”

  184. avatar
    J.D. Sue March 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Publius: Lupin: (d) as demonstrated here a zillion times, Vattel really has no bearings on the matter.
    There is nothing to tie our phrase “natural born citizen” to Vattel. Nothing.
    As in: Truly nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not anything.

    —-

    I think Slartibartfast had it right when he said:

    Slartibartfast: I think it’s pretty clear where the first birther found the Vattel meme—consider that the same passage in the same translation is cited to the same end in the Dred Scott decision.