Main Menu

Just a guy with a blog

I’ve been rather busy of late, but primarily doing things unrelated to the blog. I’m close to finishing my 4th audiobook for LibriVox.org as well as writing some cool software to help with that activity.

One article of interest appeared at the Western Free Press (not to be confused with the birther rag, The Western Center for Journalism). The article was titled: “’Birtherism’ and the Tyranny of Ignorance.” It is another in a long line of “Ted Cruz is eligible to run for President” stories. The author, Greg Conterio, says something I strongly support:

One final observation: when you try to read-up on topics like this, sources do matter.  Some guy with a blog, or some attorney with some bizarre sounding legal theory are NOT authoritative sources. 

The problem is that Mr. Conterio so far as I can tell, is not an authority, nor does he cite authority in his article. For all intents and purposes he is “some guy with a blog.” The end of that cited paragraph says: “When it comes to law, the ONLY valid source is the published local, state or federal code on the topic.” Of course we all know that no statute uses the term “natural born citizen.” So what he does is jump to a conclusion that allows him to substitute “citizen at birth” for “natural born citizen,” saying:

A few points about section 1401 – The term citizen at birth is a synonym for natural born citizen.  They are not two different terms, with different meanings.

The two terms are trivially not the same since a citizen at birth is not necessarily even a citizen today, and I do not think anyone would argue that someone born a US citizen, having renounced his citizenship, is eligible to run for President.

However, I do agree that being a citizen at birth, or as I would prefer to say “a citizen from birth,” is the key to being a natural born citizen. I have written some articles arguing that this is the case. However, I am painfully aware that hardly any authority shares my views on the question of how the term “natural born citizen” gets its definition, most authorities deriving it as a term of art based on English Common Law. Conterio rejects the English Common Law as authority. So while I agree with the conclusion that Ted Cruz is eligible, I consider Conterio’s argument fringe at this point.

I guess that when it comes to guys with blogs, one needs to look at whether one cites sources or just simply asserts condescendingly.

I left some comments on the article.

, ,

78 Responses to Just a guy with a blog

  1. avatar
    john March 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Some Obots insist that Obama is NBC even if he was born in Kenya because his mother is a US Citizen. The problem with this theory is if Obama was born in Kenya to Dunham and Obama Sr., Obama Sr. was a non US citizen subjected to the British Nationality Act and it extended to any children Obama Sr. might have. While Obots insist that US law is soveirgn and British Law can’t trump it, Obama was born in Kenya under British juristiction. I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding (Yes, if he was born in Hawaii but not if he was born in Kenya.)

  2. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG March 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    WRONG!
    You’re just guy with a blog, and a really cool hat.
    That makes all the difference in the world!

  3. avatar
    john March 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Is Obama a Natural Born Citizen?

    If Obama was born in the US than he is a Natural Born Citizen irregardless of the citizenship status of his parents. I am afraid I must agree with that. The argument that Obama must have 2 US citizen parents to be a Natural Born Citizen is been raised REPEATEDLY in court. No less that half dozen different courts have universally accepted that Obama IS a Natural Born Citizen irregardless of the citizenship status of his parents. Birthers have no where to go with this argument.

    While it is a personal belief that Natural Born Citizen means born in the US to 2 US Citizens, a personal belief can’t trump the law.

    However, I am still a birther because I have strong belief that Obama was born in Kenya and if he was, I don’t see how can be an NBC.

    Hawaii says otherwise, but that is contradicted and self-serving because of Arpiao’s investigation into the White House Long Form Birth Certificate where it has been proven to be a forgery. Recall, that Obama and administration claims the WH PDF IS Obama’s birth certificate NOT the original vault copy.

    A a side note, Carl Gallup says the Arpiao’s has kept going and has not stopped. Gallup has said that court certified document examiners have looked and determined that the BC PDF a forgery. This is quite new to me because of the known subjects that Obots cite, they are not certified document examiners. This means new people are involved.

  4. avatar
    donna March 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Andrew Vrba: You’re just guy with a blog, and a really cool hat.
    That makes all the difference in the world!

    and THIS guy with a blog posts credible and verifiable sources …. not just opinions

    he also doesn’t delete every post from commenters who disagree with him

  5. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG March 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    That too!

  6. avatar
    richCares March 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    “a really cool hat.”
    I went out and found one just like Doc’s, whenever I go out with it on, I get asked “Where’s the Temple of Doom” (except for birthers who ask where something else is)

  7. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG March 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    richCares:
    “a really cool hat.”
    I went out and found one just like Doc’s, whenever I go out with it on, I get asked “Where’s the Temple of Doom” (except for birthers who ask where something else is)

    Your XP must not be high enough to rock the hat properly.

  8. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    The best sources are defined as “primary sources.” In my World History class, I had to do a paper comparing two primary sources- the edict of Milan written on papyrus (Constantine’s edict on religious tolerance) and Ashoka’s pillar’s (which are also about religious tolerance, and carved in stone). It was a fascinating study and I recall at least two very interesting facts:

    a. a primary source of stone has a greater chance of longevity than papyrus (though in this case, both exist and can be viewed today).
    b. a primary source carved in stone is far less likely to be altered in subsequent translations and publications of the edict.

    It is always the best, or right thing to do to quote a source, and even more so if the issue is controversial, because:

    a. you are citing a credited back up source for your idea.
    b. you are giving credit for intellectual work where it is due.
    c. certain sources are very well known (such as certain classical literature), and the mere mention of the source’s name can bring with it many who are already familiar with the work and the body of ideas in the work- so it helps the conversation.

    I doubt, in a group of people there is ever a single authority (in fact, the Constitution is designed to remove authority from one single source- the King- and put authority into the hands of many). It is only important to remember that when challenging intellectual ideas, others have an equal right to challenge them, and to cite sources to support those ideas.

    As an aside, the Bible is not a good source to quote, in my view, because it lacks footnotes and other scholarly, historical and scientific support. On the other hand, Machiavelli is known by many at the mere mention of his name, and his works also lack footnotes (though he was a historian).

  9. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    If something is your original idea (always valuable in art), just state that it is your own original idea and let the chips fall where they may.

  10. avatar
    Rickey March 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Not to be argumentative, but the real Indiana Jones hat can be found here:

    http://www.villagehatshop.com/dorfman-pacific-indiana-jones-fur-felt-fedora.html?CAWELAID=240642826&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CIDgz7_amLYCFdGd4AodBlwAAQ

  11. avatar
    G March 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    True. Sadly, proper source citation (or any source citation for that matter) as well as proper research of those sources, is too often lacking on the internet and even what often passes for “professional journalism” these days…

    Deborah: I doubt, in a group of people there is ever a single authority (in fact, the Constitution is designed to remove authority from one single source- the King- and put authority into the hands of many). It is only important to remember that when challenging intellectual ideas, others have an equal right to challenge them, and to cite sources to support those ideas.

  12. avatar
    Keith March 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    richCares:
    “a really cool hat.”
    I went out and found one just like Doc’s, whenever I go out with it on, I get asked “Where’s the Temple of Doom” (except for birthers who ask where something else is)

    I’ve got several ‘really cool hats’. One of them, the one I wear most often as my ‘everyday’ hat, is actually branded “Indiana Jones”. So its official.

    Unlike the Docs (and presumably yours), its medium dark brown.

  13. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Wikipedia, according to my Political Science Professor, “is for kindergarteners.” (Although we generally agree there is at least some common value in it, as well as research leads and links). True scholarly research on the topic at hand will include, amongst other things, the Congressional Research site (which Dr. Conspiracy uses). These reports are special reports done by a government committee under the President to research special topics. These reports are very expensive and time consuming to produce, and the average person is not able to gather that much information.

    I don’t like to have to qualify everything I write, but I think it is a reasonable guess that Congressional Research reports are more likely to be used by a U.S. citizen, and less likely to be used by a foreigner. In theory, I could hammer this point by finding a credible source of statistics to support my point, which is this- (pay attention now)-

    Our concern as Unites States citizens is whether or not the issues we resolve are good for the country or bad for the country. Our concern is for the well being of our locals and the nation first and foremost, and foreign relations second. We are NOT slavishly beholden to foreign concepts that govern their country according to, for instance, establishing first class citizen rights for people who marry within their race and second class citizen status for mixed marriage (as Israel does indeed do). Our Christian friends err greatly when they align themselves to Israeli principles which just happen to also exclude those same Christians and would certainly grant them the status of second class citizenship.

    Orly’s case against Obama began with her client Judd, a felon in prison who fantastically wishes he could overthrow the U.S. President and pave the way for himself to move into that office. I am flat out unwilling to participate in this sedition-like effort so felons can obtain voting rights. In a professional sense, that was Orly’s primary objective. The fact that she attempted to draw Israel into the issue causes me to believe she has additional motives besides Judd. This is feeding into the religious fantasies of Christians in America, and it is not good for our country. As for whether citizens born of one or both U.S. parents outside the country- I can only surmise the issue is that we want someone in office who truly knows that the good of our local people comes first, and foreign relations are second.

  14. avatar
    Sef March 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Deborah: True scholarly research on the topic at hand will include, amongst other things, the Congressional Research site (which Dr. Conspiracy uses). These reports are special reports done by a government committee under the President to research special topics.

    Debs, I’m afraid your “research” has failed you this time. The CRS is an arm of the Library of Congress, which is under Congress, not the Executive. Did your PoliSci prof tell you this? Are you attending Liberty U?

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    The Wikipedia is a good way to get a quick summary of something with links to primary sources. Not everybody has the no-cost research tools available to students.

    Deborah: Wikipedia, according to my Political Science Professor, “is for kindergarteners.”

  16. avatar
    dunstvangeet March 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    john:
    Some Obots insist that Obama is NBC even if he was born in Kenya because his mother is a US Citizen.The problem with this theory is if Obama was born in Kenya to Dunham and Obama Sr., Obama Sr. was a non US citizen subjected to the British Nationality Act and it extended to any children Obama Sr. might have.While Obots insist that US law is soveirgn and British Law can’t trump it, Obama was born in Kenya under British juristiction.I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding (Yes, if he was born in Hawaii but not if he was born in Kenya.)

    Because Foreign Law has no jurisdiction over who we can and cannot have as President. Otherwise, it would give every foreign nation a veto over who can be elected President. U.S. Law determines who can and cannot be President, so foreign law does not trump U.S. Law.

    Otherwise, what would determine someone saying, “All people who are born U.S. Citizens are citizens of the country that I rule. Therefore, they have dual loyalties, and therefore cannot be elected President. You have nobody who can be elected President, so your government will crumble.”

  17. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    I found this video yesterday of Obama being born in Africa- it’s a live video of his mom in labor (viewer discretion advised). I posted it on some thread on this site, but here it is to make sure you all see it. Funny. 🙂

    http://www.vice.com/read/is-this-obamas-kenyan-birth-video?fb_action_ids=496269950437633&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

  18. avatar
    justlw March 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The Wikipedia is a good way to get a quick summary of something with links to primary secondary sources.

    FIFY with no irony intended.

    I think what a lot of people misunderstand about Wikipedia is that it is set up to very explicitly not be a research repository. That’s why two of its biggest rules are “use reliable secondary, or in some case tertiary, sources” (WP:PRIMARY) and “no original research” (WP:NOR).

    This makes sense if you think about it. Wikipedia cannot by its nature be impeccably well reviewed. Thus, it really acts as a place to find well-reviewed sources.

    Primary sources are often not well-reviewed; secondary sources are more likely to be.

    An example I once gave. If Neil Armstrong said “I walked on the moon,” that’s a primary source, and we all nod our heads — yep, Neil Armstrong said it; that settles it; so, why not use him as a reference?

    Answer: what if it’s Glenn Beck that said “I walked on the moon” ? Again: primary source. Not so much on the nodding.

    Solution: cite a reliable source that says, “Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.” That’s the Wikipedia model.

    This freaks some people out. Kevin Mitnick, earlier this month, got incredibly huffy when he discovered that he was not considered by Wikipedians to be a reliable source on his own life. (WP:COI) Think about that one and see who you think is right.

  19. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Primary sources are first hand sources, and in history they are frequently artifacts found in museums. Don’t argue with me, Sef, you’ve been wrong before. Regardless, the point here is to exchange useful information for the purposes of edification and enlightenment, although some may enjoy the forum as a game of one-upmanship- that’s ok too. I’m glad to see that John is conceding on some points. He’ll be a convert yet, and will hopefully spread the word.

  20. avatar
    Sef March 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Deborah: Don’t argue with me, Sef, you’ve been wrong before.

    Thus spoke the primary source.

  21. avatar
    SluggoJD March 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Deborah:
    I found this video yesterday of Obama being born in Africa- it’s a live video of his mom in labor (viewer discretion advised). I posted it on some thread on this site, but here it is to make sure you all see it. Funny.

    http://www.vice.com/read/is-this-obamas-kenyan-birth-video?fb_action_ids=496269950437633&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

    Check the history here, Doc was way out in front on this months ago.

  22. avatar
    Bill Withered March 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I don’t like to feed trolls, but something was said that is just so silly that I can’t help it.

    “I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding …”

    Uh John, my friend. US law ALWAYS trumps in America. It is the law we live by in the USA, and no foreign law matters if it conflicts with US law or not.

  23. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Deborah: Don’t argue with me, Sef, you’ve been wrong before.

    Thus spoke the primary source.

    Lol- too cute. Post a pic so I can see if u is just as cute for real. (Actually, I am a published author- but self-published on Amazon so that makes me more like a wannabe, studying European history, so I am kind of an authority and primary source. My book will be an antique one day seeing that books are going obsolete).

    I’ll modify my statement “you’ve been wrong before” to you have been PROVEN wrong before, and not by me. 🙂

    Ok, Sluggo, tx.

  24. avatar
    Rickey March 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    john:
    Recall, that Obama and administration claims the WH PDF IS Obama’s birth certificate NOT the original vault copy.

    Wrong again, John. The White House PDF is a copy of a certified copy of the original vault birth certificate.

    A a side note, Carl Gallup says the Arpiao’s has kept going and has not stopped.Gallup has said that court certified document examiners have looked and determined that the BC PDF a forgery.This is quite new to me because of the known subjects that Obots cite, they are not certified document examiners.This means new charlatans are involved.

    FIFY.

    Carl Gallups is a serial liar who has been claiming “any day now” for as long as I can remember.

    It is impossible for a certified document examiner to conclude that the certified birth certificate which the White House received from Hawaii is a forgery because no certified document examiner has seen it.

    Why won’t Gallups identify his “experts”? Because they are as real as imaginary rabbits, that’s why.

  25. avatar
    G March 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Interesting. What type of books? If it (or they) are on Amazon, are there links you can share?

    Deborah: (Actually, I am a published author- but self-published on Amazon so that makes me more like a wannabe, studying European history, so I am kind of an authority and primary source. My book will be an antique one day seeing that books are going obsolete).

  26. avatar
    Thinker March 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Mario Apuzzo has posted a response to Mr. Conterio’s blog post. By Mario’s standards, it is surprisingly brief. A mere 2200 words. And it will probably not surprise you to learn Mario thinks Mr. Conterio is completely wrong. http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2013/03/senator-ted-cruz-is-not-natural-born.html

  27. avatar
    Reality Check March 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    While it is true that under the law in effect in 1961 if Obama was born in Kenya (and he was not) then he would not have been a US citizen. However, under current laws he would be a citizen from birth. Patrick Calliano makes a good argument that if this were ever decided in court that the current law would be applied retroactively. In a case called Bradley v Richmond School Board the court ruled that a law in effect at the time of the decision should be applied unless it would create a manifest injustice. I am not as convinced that would be how a the SCOTUS would rule. It is moot in this case however since Obama was born in Hawaii.

    john: Some Obots insist that Obama is NBC even if he was born in Kenya because his mother is a US Citizen. The problem with this theory is if Obama was born in Kenya to Dunham and Obama Sr., Obama Sr. was a non US citizen subjected to the British Nationality Act and it extended to any children Obama Sr. might have. While Obots insist that US law is soveirgn and British Law can’t trump it, Obama was born in Kenya under British juristiction. I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding (Yes, if he was born in Hawaii but not if he was born in Kenya.)

  28. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    G-

    Interesting. What type of books? If it (or they) are on Amazon, are there links you can share?

    Yes, I will post a link, at the risk of being ridiculed by Sef. My one measly book on Amazon, titled Tales From the Enchanted Forest by Deborah Khora and illustrated by Karen Hunziker is an illustrated book of children’s fairy tales with a “moral” at the end of the story. (BUT there is a scholarly introduction on art history). I tried to emulate a pattern for classical children’s literature as “established” by Aesop, which was then emulated many other authors during the Renaissance who were attempting to educate the illiterate, adults and children alike, and lure them away from the blind faith of Catholicism into Protestant public education. At the time, this emulation of Aesop was considered a part of the “neo-platonic” revolution.

    I’m really not here to promote myself or my book. I just wanted to tease Sef and prove that I am an author of sorts, primary source or otherwise. In reality, my book will probably never sell except at local library readings for children on Wednesdays or Renaissance fairs. Here it is, and thanks for noticing.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Tales+From+the+Enchanted+Forest%2C+khora

  29. avatar
    Deborah March 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    See, Sef- I have fans.

  30. avatar
    Paper March 25, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Well, in addition, as we discussed once upon a time, if Ann Dunham’s marriage were considered illegal, given how Barack Obama Sr. was already married in Kenya, then the law, counting her as single, would have made her son a citizen at birth even were he born in Kenya, Brazil or Norway. I mean, if we are going to entertain hypotheticals…

    Reality Check:
    While it is true that under the law in effect in 1961 if Obama was born in Kenya (and he was not) then he would not have been a US citizen. However, under current laws he would be a citizen from birth….

  31. avatar
    Keith March 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    Deborah: Wikipedia, according to my Political Science Professor, “is for kindergarteners.”

    Wikipedia suffers the exact same problem as any encyclopedia: it is a summary. As such it is a good (more or less depending on the encyclopedia and topic) introduction to a topic.

    Wikipedia has many advantages over traditional bound paper encyclopedias: its free, it can be broader and deeper in content, it is, in general, more accurate and up-to-date than a printed encyclopedia and is corrected faster. Errors don’t stay in the document forever, like in a print version of, say Britannica.

    Of course the disadvantage of Wikipedia is that it can be manipulated by unscrupulous (or merely mischievous) editors. But these shenanigans are usually corrected quickly.

    Teachers are not complaining about the Wikipedia in particular, they are complaining about encyclopedias in general. It just so happens that Wikipedia is now the world dominate encyclopedia. They are trying to teach research and reading an encyclopedia is not research, it is taking advantage of someone else’s research.

  32. avatar
    Keith March 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Rickey:
    Not to be argumentative, but the real Indiana Jones hat can be found here:

    http://www.villagehatshop.com/dorfman-pacific-indiana-jones-fur-felt-fedora.html?CAWELAID=240642826&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CIDgz7_amLYCFdGd4AodBlwAAQ

    That’s exactly the one I have! But it didn’t cost me $95. I think it cost me $60AUD. In “The Hattery” in Katoomba, New South Wales.

    Its a great hat.

  33. avatar
    The Magic M March 26, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    john: Recall, that Obama and administration claims the WH PDF IS Obama’s birth certificate NOT the original vault copy.

    No, the birth certificate (meaning the official Hawaiian BC) is the COLB. Not the scan of the COLB, not the PDF representation of the scan of the COLB, not the vault document, not the scan of the vault document, not the PDF representation of the scan of the vault document.

    You are again, birther style, conflating the issue. Of course when the WH says “we have shown the BC”, they are referring to the fact they have shown the PDF of the scan of the COLB (playing word games doesn’t help you here since you can’t “show” the actual COLB on the internet, nor can you “show” the actual COLB to the public other than on the internet – I mean, it’s not like birthers would’ve been satisfied with the paper COLB on display in Hawaii behind security glass, right?).

  34. avatar
    The Magic M March 26, 2013 at 5:10 am #

    john: While Obots insist that US law is soveirgn and British Law can’t trump it, Obama was born in Kenya under British juristiction. I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding

    You keep misunderstanding citizenship.

    Every country is the sole arbiter of who are its citizens. If US law declared everyone born in Kenya a US citizen, no other country, including Kenya, could gainsay that. US law just couldn’t say “everyone born in Kenya is not a Kenyan citizen” or “everyone born in the US is not a Kenyan citizen” because only Kenya decides who are its citizens.

    And for NBC, it only matters that you are a US citizen at birth, not what other countries may also consider you their citizen (at birth or later).
    As was pointed out to you, if such “dual allegiance” disqualified you from being US President, you would effectively cede control over the US presidency to every other country in the world.
    Since you probably don’t want to call the Founders stupid, or claim that this is what they had in mind, the only logical explanation is that only your US citizenship status matters.

    The whole point of “allegiance” is misleading anyway.
    There are two types of allegiance, subjective and objective (and of course birthers conflate the two as well).

    Subjective allegiance means “what country the person feels committed to”. This is irrelevant since this is not governed by your citizenship (much less at birth) but purely within your mind. You can be a natural-born US citizen and yet hate the US with every fiber of your heart and feel a strong attachment to Switzerland instead.

    Objective allegiance means “what country’s laws demand you obey them”. This is also irrelevant, because even if the Turkish laws had required Ronald Reagan to serve in their military, how would Turkey possibly have been able to enforce that against the leader of the free world? Do you think they would’ve dared to arrest him once he set foot in the country, risking a war with the US? Do you think Ronnie would’ve gone “hm, yeah, I’d really like to enact this law, but Turkish law says I may not, so I better won’t, just to make sure”?

    There you go. And historically, it’s clear the NBC requirement wasn’t meant to exclude foreign allegiance (which is impossible for the reasons outlined above) but simply to prevent some foreign royalty from moving over, naturalizing and then taking power.

  35. avatar
    Bovril March 26, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    The Magic M: You can be a natural-born US citizen and yet hate the US with every fiber of your heart and feel a strong attachment to Switzerland instead.

    *cough*….Michele Bachmann….*cough*

  36. avatar
    Northland10 March 26, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Paper: Well, in addition, as we discussed once upon a time, if Ann Dunham’s marriage were considered illegal, given how Barack Obama Sr. was already married in Kenya, then the law, counting her as single, would have made her son a citizen at birth even were he born in Kenya, Brazil or Norway. I mean, if we are going to entertain hypotheticals…

    Good point. I wonder if John can spin his way out of this one.

    While he is at it, maybe John can give some sort of usable evidence that the President was born elsewhere, such as a Birth Certificate from a government agency, or a newspaper article from the period. An alleged BC from a convicted forger who has never provided proof he was ever in Kenya is not sufficient.

  37. avatar
    The Magic M March 26, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Northland10: I wonder if John can spin his way out of this one.

    John’s problem is that he needs to stick to a theory that makes Obama ineligible.

    The pre-election birther propaganda only cared about inventing enough stories to cover all bases w.r.t. making people not vote for Obama (or vote for Romney) – in that context, “ineligible b/c born in Kenya”, “ineligible because foreign father”, “son of Marxist Frank Marshall Davis”, “son of radical black Muslim Malcolm X”, “bastard son of a black man and a white wh*re”, “forger of documents” etc. all had the same significance – anything as long as it’s slinging mud.

    Past-election birtherism necessarily must concentrate on the eligibility issues only, and that’s where the law and the courts stop them cold.

    While I expect that the widespread approach may return as the next elections draw nearer, it will have less impact (because non-presidential elections rarely focus on the person or the performance of the President) – it might however end up having a positive impact on Democrats’ chances.

    Bovril: *cough*….Michele Bachmann….*cough*

    That was a lucky shot, I just picked the first country that came to mind. 🙂

  38. avatar
    American Mzungu March 26, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Northland10: While he is at it, maybe John can give some sort of usable evidence that the President was born elsewhere, such as a Birth Certificate from a government agency, or a newspaper article from the period. An alleged BC from a convicted forger who has never provided proof he was ever in Kenya is not sufficient.

    But Johns said he was a birther because he had a STRONG BELIEF that Obama was born in Kenya. Maybe John thinks if you have a STRONG BELIEF, you don’t need STRONG EVIDENCE.

  39. avatar
    G March 26, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Agreed. My wife is back in college now and that is exactly the issue they have with sites like Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a good source for information, just not one to use for proper citation research.

    Keith: Teachers are not complaining about the Wikipedia in particular, they are complaining about encyclopedias in general. It just so happens that Wikipedia is now the world dominate encyclopedia. They are trying to teach research and reading an encyclopedia is not research, it is taking advantage of someone else’s research.

  40. avatar
    Northland10 March 26, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    G:
    Agreed. My wife is back in college now and that is exactly the issue they have with sites like Wikipedia.Wikipedia is a good source for information, just not one to use for proper citation research.

    Backtracking citations from Wikipedia and encyclopedias can be a helpful resource in finding sources to research. It is only one resource and still requires research on the sources of the source.

  41. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 26, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I’m embarrassed for writing what I did without my brain engaged. As you say, the Wikipedia generally relies on secondary sources.

    For my purposes, much of the material of interest is news stories and the news report linked from the Wikipedia is the best source, and sometimes a video or a transcript or an eyewitness report. Also, while Wikipedia material is sourced from secondary sources, it is not unusual for References to be added to an article that are primary.

    justlw: I think what a lot of people misunderstand about Wikipedia is that it is set up to very explicitly not be a research repository. That’s why two of its biggest rules are “use reliable secondary, or in some case tertiary, sources” (WP:PRIMARY) and “no original research” (WP:NOR).

  42. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 26, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Actually, Obama’s attorney showed the original certified paper long-form birth certificate to a press briefing before the President’s press conference announcing its release. So the White House showed the birth certificate to the press and released a copy on the Internet.

    The Magic M: You are again, birther style, conflating the issue. Of course when the WH says “we have shown the BC”, they are referring to the fact they have shown the PDF of the scan of the COLB (playing word games doesn’t help you here since you can’t “show” the actual COLB on the internet, nor can you “show” the actual COLB to the public other than on the internet – I mean, it’s not like birthers would’ve been satisfied with the paper COLB on display in Hawaii behind security glass, right?).

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Coincidentally, my next audiobook release will be a collection of Russian fables by Ivan Krilov, a few borrowed from La Fontaine (who translated Aesop).

    Deborah: Yes, I will post a link, at the risk of being ridiculed by Sef. My one measly book on Amazon, titled Tales From the Enchanted Forest by Deborah Khora and illustrated by Karen Hunziker is an illustrated book of children’s fairy tales with a “moral” at the end of the story. (BUT there is a scholarly introduction on art history). I tried to emulate a pattern for classical children’s literature as “established” by Aesop, which was then emulated many other authors during the Renaissance who were attempting to educate the illiterate, adults and children alike, and lure them away from the blind faith of Catholicism into Protestant public education. At the time, this emulation of Aesop was considered a part of the “neo-platonic” revolution.

  44. avatar
    ellen March 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    John says: “However, I am still a birther because I have strong belief that Obama was born in Kenya…”

    The “born in Kenya” story is the height of the loony side of the birther movement. It is based on forgeries like that of Lucas D. Smith, and falsifications–such as the claim that Obama’s Kenyan grandmother said that he was born in Kenya—when she actually said right on the same tape that he was born IN HAWAII, and she said in another interview that the first that her family in Kenya had heard of Obama’s birth was in a letter FROM HAWAII.

    Lucas D. Smith, a convicted felon, claimed that he went to Kenya and got Obama’s birth certificate at a hospital in Mombasa. But Lucas D. Smith has constantly refused to show proof that he, Smith, had ever gone to Kenya. All that he would have to do would be to show a Kenya stamp on a page of a passport, but Lucas D. Smith has refused to do that, constantly, and he has also constantly refused to say why he will not show that proof. (Moreover, his “birth certificate” uses US date formats [month/day/year] and not the day/month/year format used in Kenya.)

    Laying aside for a moment the overwhelming proof that Obama was born in Hawaii, the evidence that Obama was NOT born in Kenya is also very strong. There were a grand total of 21 people who came to the USA from Kenya in 1961. Of these only seven were US citizens. And the birther myth has always been that Obama’s parents went there and returned by plane, but only one person came to the USA from Kenya in 1961 by plane and that person was, wait for it, NOT a US citizen. And Obama’s father did not go to Kenya in 1961 either (making it unlikely that his mother did, since travel late in pregnancy was rare, and even more rare without the husband going along). WND has proved with a FOI Act request that Obama senior stayed in Hawaii throughout 1961.

    And the Kenyan government investigated the “born in Kenya” story, and found that it was not true.

    “Jon Chessoni, a first secretary at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, can’t understand why his office gets so many baseless questions about whether Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

    “It’s madness,” said Chessoni on Monday.“His father, in 1961, would not even have been in Kenya. When this matter first came up, the Kenyan government did its research and confirmed that these are all baseless claims.””

    http://washingtonindependent.com/53654/forged

    Obama has a Hawaii birth certificate that says that he was born in Hawaii, in Kapiolani Hospital, and the officials of both parties in Hawaii have confirmed that fact. It is also confirmed by the birth announcement in the Hawaii newspapers in 1961, which were sent to the papers only by the DOH of Hawaii.

    Obama’s birth announcement appeared in a section of the newspapers called Health Bureau Statistics. As the name indicates, and as the papers and the DOH also say, ONLY the DOH of Hawaii could send birth notices to the Health Bureau Statistics section of the paper. And the DOH only sent out those notices for children that it had issued birth certificates for, and in 1961 the DOH was not allowed to register the births of children who were not born in Hawaii.

    Oh, and there is this:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/04/kapiol

    Is that all? NO there is more.

    Birthers allege that the Kenyan government has hidden all documents that prove that Obama’s mother went to Kenya. Well, that is possible, but not likely—such things tend to leak. But what about the US government? Did it hide its records too?

    That is because, obviously, if a child were born in Kenya she or he would need a US travel document to get to the USA. We simply do not allow a child to be carried into the USA without some form of official document. (Except some are smuggled across the Mexican and Canadian borders, but Kenya does not have a land border with the USA.) And a US travel document, such as having Obama added to his mother’s US passport would have required an application for that document in the US consulate in Nairobi Kenya.

    That application would have been filed in multiple files, and there would have been communication about it with Washington, so it would be difficult to be lost or scrapped. And the Bush Administration was in charge of the US State Department for eight years until early 2009, so they could have found it, and if they did they would surely have shown it, and they didn’t.

    So, for the “born in Kenya” story to be true, both Kenya and the Bush Administration must be part of a plot. Hawaii too, of course, and that would include the former Republican governor of Hawaii, now running for the US Senate. And the birth notices in the Hawaii newspapers that were placed by the DOH in the Hawaii newspapers (and only the DOH could put notices into the Health Bureau Statistics section of the papers) in 1961 would have to be fraudulent too.

    And, heck, Kenya is about ten thousand miles from Hawaii, and the idea that Obama’s parents had that kind of money or would spend it on a trip while Obama’s mother was late in pregnancy (which was very rare in those days) and take the risk of stillbirth and Yellow Fever (which was endemic in Kenya, and a Yellow Fever shot is bad during pregnancy) is nutty in the extreme.

    The bottom line: There is no proof that Obama’s mother went to Kenya and it is highly unlikely that she did. The Kenyan government and Obama’s relatives both say that he was not born there. If he were born in Kenya there would have to be US government documents saying that his family applied for a passport or a visa, and there isn’t any. There is no INS check in for Obama or his mother (which would normally have taken place in New York, since there were no direct flights, and those files are not missing), and the birth certificate and the confirmation of the officials of both parties and the Index Data and the birth notices in the Hawaii newspapers all show that he was born in Hawaii.

  45. avatar
    Deborah March 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Very interesting, Dr. C. I’ll be checking that out. I studied a little bit of Russian folklore with regard to the artist (literary or otherwise) as hero and “peasant mentalitie” (spelling of mentalitie is as is from a journal). The illustrator of my book, Karen, specializes in Russian art.

    Alas, although it was a very fun project, there is no money in it, unless you make it big like J.K. Rowlings.

  46. avatar
    misha marinsky March 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    john: I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding (Yes, if he was born in Hawaii but not if he was born in Kenya.)

    Does it keep you up at night? Good.

  47. avatar
    TheEuropean March 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Paper:

    “Illegal” or “null and void” ? These two are not the same and have not the same consequences …

  48. avatar
    G March 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Thank you for sharing that! I looked at the listing and the preview (The Shoeshine Boy fable, plus symbols, glossary and citations were offered). I always liked medieval style fables and they are good for teaching children lessons about life. My nieces & nephews are not currently in the age range, so I’ve bookmarked the page for now. I like buying them something different and new, which can’t be found at any old store…so you never know, you may very well see a sale from this in a few years. That is the great thing about Amazon listings. 😉

    Deborah:
    G-

    Interesting. What type of books? If it (or they) are on Amazon, are there links you can share?

    Yes, I will post a link, at the risk of being ridiculed by Sef. My one measly book on Amazon, titled Tales From the Enchanted Forest by Deborah Khora and illustrated by Karen Hunziker is an illustrated book of children’s fairy tales with a “moral” at the end of the story. (BUT there is a scholarly introduction on art history). I tried to emulate a pattern for classical children’s literature as “established” by Aesop, which was then emulated many other authors during the Renaissance who were attempting to educate the illiterate, adults and children alike, and lure them away from the blind faith of Catholicism into Protestant public education. At the time, this emulation of Aesop was considered a part of the “neo-platonic” revolution.

    I’m really not here to promote myself or my book. I just wanted to tease Sef and prove that I am an author of sorts, primary source or otherwise. In reality, my book will probably never sell except at local library readings for children on Wednesdays or Renaissance fairs. Here it is, and thanks for noticing.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Tales+From+the+Enchanted+Forest%2C+khora

  49. avatar
    G March 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    You are right. Very good point.

    Northland10: Backtracking citations from Wikipedia and encyclopedias can be a helpful resource in finding sources to research.It is only one resource and still requires research on the sources of the source.

  50. avatar
    American Mzungu March 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Northland10: Backtracking citations from Wikipedia and encyclopedias can be a helpful resource in finding sources to research. It is only one resource and still requires research on the sources of the source.

    I went to Wikipedia to see what they said about Obama’s birthplace and the sources they referenced.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama

    “Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii,[2][5][6] and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii.[7]”

    1.
    2.^ a b “Certificate of Live Birth: Barack Hussein Obama II, August 4, 1961, 7:24 pm, Honolulu”. Department of Health, State of Hawaii (The White House). April 27, 2011. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
    3.
    4.
    5.^ Maraniss, David (August 24, 2008). “Though Obama had to leave to find himself, it is Hawaii that made his rise possible”. The Washington Post. p. A22. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
    6.^ Nakaso, Dan (December 22, 2008). “Twin sisters, Obama on parallel paths for years”. The Honolulu Advertiser. p. B1. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
    7.^ Rudin, Ken (December 23, 2009). “Today’s Junkie segment On TOTN: a political review Of 2009”. Talk of the Nation (Political Junkie blog) (NPR). Retrieved April 18, 2010. “We began with the historic inauguration on January 20—yes, the first president ever born in Hawaii”

    I checked to see what Conservapedia had to say on the matter.

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Birthplace_of_Barack_Obama

    “Barack Obama claims to have been born at the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu, Hawaii,[1] to Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya, and Ann Dunham, a US citizen [2] of mainly English, Irish and smaller amounts of German descent.[3][4][5] However, there have been solid indicators that show Barack was born in Kenya[6], not Hawaii as been has reported. He would be considered a British subject because of his father’s residency in what then was a British protectorate that later became Kenya, and that the “Certificate of Live Birth” posted on his website simply shows his mother registered his birth in Hawaii after he was born. Requests, including lawsuits, asking he make his official birth certificate public have gone unanswered.”

    1.Maraniss, David. “Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible”, The Washington Post, 2008-08-22. Retrieved on 2008-10-27.
    2. Born in the U.S.A.. FactCheck (August 21, 2008). Retrieved on October 24, 2008.
    3.”FOXNews.com – Report: Obama’s Irish Roots Unearthed – Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum”, Foxnews.com, May 3, 2007. Retrieved on 2008-11-08.
    4.Barack Obama’s Irish Heritage – John A. Farrell (usnews.com). Usnews.com. Retrieved on 2008-11-08.
    5.Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own – washingtonpost.com. Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2008-11-08.
    6.THE VETTING – EXCLUSIVE – OBAMA’S LITERARY AGENT IN 1991 BOOKLET: ‘BORN IN KENYA AND RAISED IN INDONESIA AND HAWAII’, May 17, 2012
    ————————————–
    I prefer Doc C’s blog and its sources as a starting point for figuring out where Obama was born.

  51. avatar
    Deborah March 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    There is the Google Scholar search engine, for those who want to pay for scholarly articles. There are sites such as JStor and Muse, which are also paid sites unless you are a student. I have found sufficient online free scholarly journal magazines, though, usually by luck. In the backs of many scholarly books, which can often be previewed on Amazon, the references cite good reading material, and many times the references they cite are available in PDF files online. I get a lot of good material just by typing PDF at the end of a Google Search- “family court corruption, PDF” for instance. There is a ton of self-publishing going on nowadays, and many of the authors upload to Scribd for various reasons, and can be read for free on Scribd. As long as one has the internet, one has access to much greater research material than the old-fashioned library.

  52. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    ellen: (Moreover, his “birth certificate” uses US date formats [month/day/year] and not the day/month/year format used in Kenya.)

    Kenyatta, the first president of independent Kenya changed a few things when he took over. The name of the administrative subdivisions of Kenya, the date format and … the pronunciation of the country’s name (from keen-ya to kennya). Kenyans have since reverted, except on the pronunciation. Both the date format and the subdivison point to the BC being from 1970-1978 and not from 1961, which looks strange, because He, Lucas Smith did not get it during the seventies.(not saying that he ever got it, of course).

    All that is of course nothing compared to the fact that He, Lucas Smith, got the name of the hospital’s administrator wrong. He even misspelled the name of the one whom he thought was the administrator. Now that is far more damning than the date format.

  53. avatar
    Deborah March 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Here is one free PDF book that is on Dr. C’s recommended reading list- A Culture of Conspiracy, Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America by Michael Barkun, UC California, Berkeley.

    http://www.nazarenemedia.net/uploads/8/1/0/5/8105580/barkun_michael_-_a_culture_of_conspiracy.pdf

  54. avatar
    Monkey Boy March 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Reality Check:
    While it is true that under the law in effect in 1961 if Obama was born in Kenya (and he was not) then he would not have been a US citizen. However, under current laws he would be a citizen from birth. Patrick Calliano makes a good argument that if this were ever decided in court that the current law would be applied retroactively. In a case called Bradley v Richmond School Board the court ruled that a law in effect at the time of the decision should be applied unless it would create a manifest injustice. I am not as convinced that would be how a the SCOTUS would rule. It is moot in this case however since Obama was born in Hawaii.

    8 U.S.C 1401, Sec 301:
    (g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions oparents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: ….
    …..
    This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form
    on that date;

  55. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Reality Check: However, under current laws he would be a citizen from birth.

    RC, under current law, the requirement in effect at the time of birth IS the applicable requirement. The USCIS and the State Department apply the former requirements all the time. In fact, they still apply the even stricter requirements of Section 201 of the Nationality Act of 1940 for persons born when they were in effect. Here are a couple of cases from 2011 illustrating that point:
    http://www.uscis.gov/err/E2%20-%20Applications%20for%20Certification%20of%20Citizenship/Decisions_Issued_in_2011/Jan132011_01E2309.pdf
    “The record reflects that the applicant was born on August 26, 1944 in Poland. The applicant’s father, (redacted), was born in South Bend, Indiana on April 18, 1914. The applicant’s mother became a U.S. citizen upon her naturalization on September 6, 1960. The applicant’s parents were married in Poland in 1936. The applicant was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 2009. The applicant seeks a certificate of citizenship claiming that he acquired U.S. citizenship through his father…
    The AAO notes that “[t]he applicable law for transmitting citizenship to a child born abroad when one parent is a U.S. citizen is the statute that was in effect at the time of the child’s birth.” See Chau v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 247 F.3d 1026, 1028 n.3 (9th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). The applicant was born in 1944. Section 201 of the Nationality Act is therefore applicable to this case.”

    http://www.uscis.gov/err/E2%20-%20Applications%20for%20Certification%20of%20Citizenship/Decisions_Issued_in_2011/Jan142011_01E2309.pdf
    “The applicant was born in Canada and seeks a certificate of citizenship based on his claim that he acquired U.S. citizenship at birth through his father, who was born in the United States. In our September 8, 2010 decision dismissing the applicant’s appeal. we explained that the record failed to establish that the applicant’s father resided in the United States for at least 10 years prior to the applicant’s birth in 1943. as is required for the applicant to acquire citizenship through his father under the applicable law, section 201(g) of the Nationality Act of 1940. 8U.S.C.~601(g) (1940).”

    And here are a couple of cases, also from 2011, in which the former requirements of Sec. 301(a)(7) (the requirement in effect when President Obama was born) were applied:
    http://www.uscis.gov/err/E2%20-%20Applications%20for%20Certification%20of%20Citizenship/Decisions_Issued_in_2011/Jan052011_06E2309.pdf
    for a person born in 1965; and

    http://www.uscis.gov/err/E2%20-%20Applications%20for%20Certification%20of%20Citizenship/Decisions_Issued_in_2011/Jan052011_07E2309.pdf
    for a person born in 1972.

    I’d also direct your attention to the recent case of Ruben Flores-Villar. Ruben Flores-Villar was born out of wedlock in Mexico in 1974 to a U.S. citizen father and a Mexican mother. He was brought to the United States as an infant by his father (who had also been born in Mexico out of wedlock, to a U.S. citizen mother) for medical treatment and remained in the United States. Ruben’s father had been physically present in the United States for sufficient periods of time to have satisfied the requirements currently in effect, but not the requirements in effect when Ruben was born (the same requirement in effect when President Obama was born). In 2010 the Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit’s 2008 ruling that Ruben Flores-Villar was not a U.S. citizen. From Judge Pamela Ann Rymer’s opinion for the Ninth Circuit:
    “…if a United States citizen father had a child out of wedlock abroad, with a non-United States citizen mother, the father must have resided in the United States for at least five years after his fourteenth birthday to confer citizenship on his child.”
    http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2008/08/06/0750445.pdf
    (Note that the law applies the same requirement to fathers of children born abroad out of wedlock with one citizen and one alien parent that it applies to the citizen parents, whether fathers or mothers, of children born abroad in wedlock with one citizen and one alien parent.)

    Finally, I’d direct your attention to Montana v. Kennedy, in which the Supreme Court ruled in 1961 that Mauro John Montana was not a United States citizen. From Justice John Marshall Harlan’s opinion:
    “Petitioner, whose mother is a native-born United States citizen and whose father is a citizen of Italy (their marriage having been in the United States), was born in Italy in 1906 while his parents were temporarily residing there, and entered the United States with his mother later the same year. He has continuously resided in the United States since that time and has never been naturalized. His claim of United States citizenship is based primarily upon two statutes: (1) Section 2172 of the Revised Statutes (1878 ed.);1 and (2) Section 5 of an Act of 1907.2 The Court of Appeals found that neither statute obtained as to one in the circumstances of this petitioner, 278 F.2d 68.”
    http://openjurist.org/366/us/308/montana-v-f-kennedy

    By the way, Charles Gordon, who wrote the authoritative 1968 article “Who Can be President of the United States: The Unresolved Enigma” was counsel for the government in that case.
    At the time, and for thirty-three years subsequent to the ruling, children born abroad, before May 24, 1934, in wedlock with U.S. citizen mothers and alien fathers hadn’t acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. Mauro John Montana had been living in the United States for over half a century when the Supreme Court applied the former statute which denied him his citizenship, and not the current one which would have affirmed it. Now I don’t know what became of Mr. Montana, and there were remedies available to him to adjust his status as a legal resident of the United States, but do you think that application of the previous statute’s requirements could aptly be described as a “manifest injustice”?

  56. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Monkey Boy: This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form
    on that date;

    Oh boy. The proviso is the part following “provided”:

    “Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person
    (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
    (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date;”

    not the part preceding it, which you cited. The existing proviso amended the original proviso in 1966. That’s when the language making the amended proviso retroactive to December 24, 1952, was enacted. The requirement of prior physical presence wasn’t amended until twenty years later, and Congress has specified the effective date of that amendment as November 14, 1986.

  57. avatar
    Paper March 27, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Do you know any precedents involving bigamy?

    Dave B.: Here are a couple of cases from 2011 illustrating that point:…

  58. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Paper: Do you know any precedents involving bigamy?

    Well, I didn’t want to kick that one over just yet, but I might as well. I don’t know of any USCIS Administrative Appeals Office decisions relating to it. They’re some fascinating reading, by the way; the ones regarding applications for Certification of Citizenship can be accessed from here:
    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.2540a6fdd667d1d1c2e21e10569391a0/?vgnextoid=0609b8a04e812210VgnVCM1000006539190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=0609b8a04e812210VgnVCM1000006539190aRCRD&path=%2FE2+-+Applications+for+Certification+of+Citizenship

    Now, turning to the State Department, in their Foreign Affairs Manual 7FAM1130, “Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent,” you’ll find

    (b) Voidable and Void Marriages
    (i) A marriage that did not conform to the laws of the country or state in which it was performed may be a void marriage, but only after declared so by an appropriate authority, usually a court in the jurisdiction where the marriage occurred. Prior to such judicial declaration, the marriage may be considered voidable. A voidable marriage is considered valid for all purposes unless and until annulled or voided by the court. Even after a marriage is voided, there is every likelihood that the children’s status will not be affected. Every state in the United States, for example, considers children of a void marriage to be legitimate (see 7 FAM 1133 EXHIBIT 1133.4-2(A), Part II).”
    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86757.pdf (page 33)

    I’d emphasize that “only after declared so by an appropriate authority”.
    Now, turning to the State of Hawaii, in the Hawaii Revised Statutes we have:
    “580-21 Grounds for annulment. The family court, by a decree of nullity, may declare void the marriage contract for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
    …(3) That the husband had an undivorced wife living, or the wife had an undivorced husband living;
    and
    580-23 Former husband or wife living. A marriage may be declared null on the ground that one of the parties has an undivorced husband or wife living, on the application of either of the parties during the lifetime of the other, or on the application of the former husband or wife.
    and
    580-27 Legitimacy in case of annulment. Upon the annulment of a marriage on account of nonage, lack of mental capacity of either party to consent to the marriage, or of a marriage that is prohibited on account of consanguinity between the parties, or for any other ground specified in section 580-21, the issue of the marriage shall be legitimate.”

    For a bit of interpretative commentary, which I won’t even attempt to distill into a citation, there’s this:

    https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/1505305014

    I’d like to point out that neither party to the marriage is living; that the marriage ended in divorce decades ago, and that Grace Kezia Obama, Barack Obama Sr.’s first Kenyan wife, never contested the marriage; I know of no legal challenge to the marriage’s validity on the grounds of bigamy. I’d also like to point out that Barack Obama married Ruth Baker in Kenya, soon after his return to that country in 1964; and that in 1989, in the middle of the battle over Barack Obama, Sr.’s estate, Nairobi High Court Judge J.F. Shields ruled that Grace and Barack Sr. had indeed been divorced.
    So there’s the information I have– make of it what you will. It sure seems a lot simpler to me to just say “No, he wasn’t born in Kenya.”

  59. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    Dave B.: Well, I didn’t want to kick that one over just yet, but I might as well.

    Here are the sections of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to which I referred:
    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0580/HRS_0580-0021.htm
    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0580/HRS_0580-0023.htm
    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0580/HRS_0580-0027.htm

  60. avatar
    jtmunkus March 27, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    Damned Kenyans. I knew they’d eventually take over.

    And here we were, fixated on the USSR and China, not keeping our eye on the ball.

  61. avatar
    Monkey Boy March 27, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    Dave B.: Oh boy.The proviso is the part following “provided”:

    “Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person
    (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
    (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date;”

    not the part preceding it, which you cited.The existing proviso amended the original proviso in 1966.That’s when the language making the amended proviso retroactive to December 24, 1952, was enacted.The requirement of prior physical presence wasn’t amended until twenty years later, and Congress has specified the effective date of that amendment as November 14, 1986.

    My Bad, Careless reading–confirmation bias, no doubt.

  62. avatar
    The Magic M March 27, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: So the White House showed the birth certificate to the press and released a copy on the Internet.

    Yes, I was however referring to john’s misleading statement that “the WH said the PDF is the BC”.
    As I’ve said multiple times, birther versions of events sound like they’ve come straight from Stalinist propaganda school.
    It’s almost on par with the loon who wrote an article “SCOTUS declares Constitution void” after they denied him cert in his divorce case.
    Birthers love misattribution, as in “Obama said he was born in two different hospitals” or “Obama said his delivering doctor was …” or “Obama said his BC doesn’t prove who his father was” or “Obama told his publisher he was born in Kenya”.

  63. avatar
    Paper March 27, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I agree with you. But we spend time here discussing hypotheticals and different scenarios. That is one of the fringe benefits, learning about areas of law one wouldn’t normally venture.

    So if we were going to talk about something that didn’t happen, such as the President’s Kenyan birth, we also can discuss one thing else that didn’t happen, such as Ann Dunham getting her marriage annulled and declared illegitimate (say, before the birth of her son) because perhaps she found a letter from his other wife. Once we entertain the notion of what it would mean if the President had been born in Kenya, we then open the door to considering the impact of other things that didn’t happen upon that imaginary scenario.

    But this is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. We had discussed this scenario awhile ago, but let it go without achieving clarity on what the other marriage might have meant in such a scenario.

    I mean, reading that letter and needing to confront the writer of it is the real reason she immediately set off for Kenya, despite her pregnancy (NOT).

    At any rate, if the President had been born in Kenya, no doubt his mother also would have annulled her marriage before her son was born — as clearly manifest by the Universal Law of Tongue-in-Cheek.

    Dave B.:
    I’d like to point out that neither party to the marriage is living; that the marriage ended in divorce decades ago, and that Grace Kezia Obama, Barack Obama Sr.’s first Kenyan wife, never contested the marriage; I know of no legal challenge to the marriage’s validity on the grounds of bigamy.I’d also like to point out that Barack Obama married Ruth Baker in Kenya, soon after his return to that country in 1964; and that in 1989, in the middle of the battle over Barack Obama, Sr.’s estate, Nairobi High Court Judge J.F. Shields ruled that Grace and Barack Sr. had indeed been divorced.
    So there’s the information I have– make of it what you will.It sure seems a lot simpler to me to just say “No, he wasn’t born in Kenya.”

  64. avatar
    Paper March 27, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Looking through these and the state department link, I wonder what the law was in 1961? Particularly in reference to the child’s status. As these are current, revised statutes, and a lot of changes in appreciation of such situations occurred in those decades.

    Dave B.: Here are the sections of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to which I referred:
    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0580/HRS_0580-0021.htm
    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0580/HRS_0580-0023.htm
    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0580/HRS_0580-0027.htm

  65. avatar
    Paper March 27, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Well, this bit gives a broader Hawaiian context that is quite interesting, and also involves earlier times. One would gather from this information that the legal status of a child born in such a situation would not be born out of wedlock, but do you know any citations of the law then regarding the child, if the marriage had been voided?

    Dave B.:

    For a bit of interpretative commentary, which I won’t even attempt to distill into a citation, there’s this:

    https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/1505305014

  66. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Monkey Boy: My Bad, Careless reading–confirmation bias, no doubt.

    You ain’t the first one that got caught on that one. I don’t think I was, either, but it sure did get me when I first read it. I had somebody arguing with me the other day that because of that proviso, subsection (g) in its entirety applied ONLY in cases where the citizen parent was serving the United States abroad in some capacity covered by the law, and not at all to any other persons. I thought that was a little harsh.

  67. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Paper: Looking through these and the state department link, I wonder what the law was in 1961?

    See why I didn’t want to kick it over? Just kidding. Here’s a page on “Hawai‘i Legislative History and Intent” with a partial explanation of the terms used in the legislative history provided for each section of statute:

    http://www.state.hi.us/jud/library/leghist.htm

    And on page 80 here (page83 of the pdf):

    http://www.state.hi.us/lrb/how2/how2.pdf

    you will find a comprehensive list of the abbreviations and symbols used. There are amendments to 580-21 as recent as 1997 and to 580-27 as recent as 1980. I don’t know what they are or how relevant they might be to this hypothetical. And that pretty much exhausts, for the time being, my interest in the topic. Some additional information may be accessible from here:

    http://hawaii.gov/lrb/

  68. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Paper:
    Well, this bit gives a broader Hawaiian context that is quite interesting, and also involves earlier times.One would gather from this information that the legal status of a child born in such a situation would not be born out of wedlock, but do you know any citations of the law then regarding the child, if the marriage had been voided?

    No.

  69. avatar
    Dave B. March 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    See, I CAN be brief and to the point.

    Dave B.: No.

  70. avatar
    Jim F March 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    It is good to see that John has accepted that the NBC arguements are not valid. Unfortunately, he is still infected with the Keynan birth idea so I thought that it might be no harm to give him a chance to show the non-birthers how they could be wrong.

    John, you must start with the premise that Ann Dunham is pregnant and that Barack Obama (sn) is the father to be and that she is living in Hi. I think that that is a reasonable and mostly undisputed situation.
    For whatever reason she decides very late in her pregnancy to visit Kenya without Barack (Sn). Now fill in the gaps until Ann Dunham is safely back in Hi with her new born baby. We do not want any “I believes” unless those beliefs are backed with evidence or at the very least by good solid reasoning.

    In the preparation of your saga you must include the following, at least.

    How did she get to Kenya
    Why would she have thought that it was a good idea to travel 10,000 miles on a number of planes so late in her pregnancy.
    Who paid for it? Bear in mind that compared with today the costs of international plane travel was really expensive in 1961.
    How long did she stay in Kenya
    How did she get home without going through immigration at an east coast airport (probably New York)
    How did she smuggle a new born baby into the usa without documentation.
    If she had documentation where is it now
    How did she get to Hi.
    Explanations that she swam all the way are not acceptable or that she was beamed there and back by Scotty’s transportation machine. Star Trek did not make an appearance until after 1961.

    Having answered all of the above you may now end up the saga with the following
    ” …and so Ann and her baby, little Barack, settled down to enjoy each others company in the beautiful state of Hi. confident that she had paved the way for her son to become …” well you can add the rest yourself.

    I,m looking forward to John’s reply.

  71. avatar
    Reality Check March 29, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Dave B

    Thanks for the reply and the case citations. As I said I found Patrick’s argument interesting but not entirely convincing. It sounds as if the question of retroactive application of citizenship laws is settled. A huge difference between us and the Birthers. We follow the facts where they take us instead of pretending they lead us to where we want to be. Cough, cough ….. John

    Dave B.: RC, under current law, the requirement in effect at the time of birth IS the applicable requirement. The USCIS and the State Department apply the former requirements all the time. In fact, they still apply the even stricter requirements of Section 201 of the Nationality Act of 1940 for persons born when they were in effect. Here are a couple of cases from 2011 illustrating that point:

  72. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 29, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    It’s settled in the situation where the law is not written to be retroactive. In other instances the law is written to be retroactive, such as the law which made John McCain a citizen at birth. The judge in Robinson said that a retroactive citizenship at birth probably made McCain eligible.

    Reality Check: Thanks for the reply and the case citations. As I said I found Patrick’s argument interesting but not entirely convincing. It sounds as if the question of retroactive application of citizenship laws is settled.

  73. avatar
    Dave B. March 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    I’ve said almost exactly the same thing before!
    One mechanism I use to deal with confirmation bias is to first try to disprove the things I’m inclined to believe before asserting them. It’s obvious that birthers don’t do that. Corsi’s Cold Case Posse sure provides a big fat example of that.

    Reality Check: A huge difference between us and the Birthers. We follow the facts where they take us instead of pretending they lead us to where we want to be.

  74. avatar
    Reality Check March 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Yes, I agree.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    It’s settled in the situation where the law is not written to be retroactive. In other instances the law is written to be retroactive, such as the law which made John McCain a citizen at birth. The judge in Robinson said that a retroactive citizenship at birth probably made McCain eligible.

  75. avatar
    Dave B. March 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Doc, a tiny point about Robinson– didn’t Judge Alsup say that Senator McCain was already a citizen at birth under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the phrase “out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States”, and that the 1937 statute served “to remove any doubt as to persons in Senator McCain’s circumstances in the Canal Zone”?

    Dr. Conspiracy: The judge in Robinson said that a retroactive citizenship at birth probably made McCain eligible.

  76. avatar
    Paper March 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I’m not sure. I think they all started out believing 100% that Obama is natural born, legitimate and a great president to boot! But then they said to themselves, better try to falsify my belief per best practices, have to test out our assumptions, and only then after kicking and clawing their way against it did they finally accept the truth that the President is not natural born. One of the great ironies, if not tragedy, is how maligned birthers are for just having refuted their own confirmation bias.

    Here is the proof, whereby Corsi and Taitz and all the top birthers demonstrated how hard they fought against the inevitable realization that the President was illegitimate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

    Dave B.:
    I’ve said almost exactly the same thing before!
    One mechanism I use to deal with confirmation bias is to first try to disprove the things I’m inclined to believe before asserting them.It’s obvious thatbirthers don’t do that.Corsi’s Cold Case Posse sure provides a big fat example of that.

  77. avatar
    Dave B. March 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Well, you know it did take what, eighteen hours sitting across from the Human Eggplant to break Zullo’s resistance.

    Paper: Here is the proof, whereby Corsi and Taitz and all the top birthers demonstrated how hard they fought against the inevitable realization that the President was illegitimate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

  78. avatar
    JD Reed March 31, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    john:
    Some Obots insist that Obama is NBC even if he was born in Kenya because his mother is a US Citizen.The problem with this theory is if Obama was born in Kenya to Dunham and Obama Sr., Obama Sr. was a non US citizen subjected to the British Nationality Act and it extended to any children Obama Sr. might have.While Obots insist that US law is soveirgn and British Law can’t trump it, Obama was born in Kenya under British juristiction.I don’t see how US law could trump this not withstanding (Yes, if he was born in Hawaii but not if he was born in Kenya.)
    Britain could claim Mr. Obama as a subject/citizen if he was born in Kenya, but it has utterly no say on whether the United States also claims him as a citizen.People here have preached until blue in the face that each country is totally sovereign. and needs not the permission of any other country on earth. in regards to determing who may be its citizens, so I’m surprised (maybe not really) that you missed this.
    How could the U.S. accept Mr. Obama’s citizenship even if he was born in Kenya? Simple. Congress could determine that the senior BHO was not legally married to Ann Dunham because he had an existing marriage in Kenya which he had not legally dissolved. In that case, an unmarried American woman’s child would inherit her citizenship regardless of place of birth.
    That would be an eminently sensible solution in the event a Kenyan birth were proved (and nothing remotely of this nature has surfaced) — while no evidence exists that Obama Sr. had timely received a divorce . Only someone less than patriotic would wish to put this country through the hell of unseating a president twice elected decisively on such doubtful grounds.