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Framing the question

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I’ve been involved in the Sisyphean quest to talk sense into birthers for about 5 years now. Trying to understand why it hasn’t worked has led me into psychology, political science, neurophysiology, history, sociology, the law, and all sorts of interesting and quirky side studies. Sometimes I frame the question like a theodicy: “If God is omnipotent and just, then why are there birthers?”

Today, instead of mowing grass, I spent the day framing a house for the local Habitat for Humanity, assisted by my trusty Kobalt framing hammer like the one pictured on the right. Even thought the forecast was for 90% rain, it didn’t rain and we had a very good day, the coolest of the summer. Driving home from today’s build, I thought about some emails exchanges I’ve had with birthers, some of whom have a lot of confidence in Mike Zullo. Thinking about those exchanges has helped me to frame the question. In the past I’ve broken down motivations for birthers in a lot of categories, but now I want to focus on just three:

  1. Independents
  2. Cons
  3. Suckers

Independents

The general studies I’ve done about conspiracy theories has best equipped me to deal with this category. Take someone like Paul Irey, or Mara Zebest. These are partisans from the birther movement. They overstepped their expertise, assisted by the Dunning-Kruger effect, and came up with theories about Obama’s birth certificate, theories that I feel rather confidently are sincere, but wrong. The conspiracist literature is replete with such lone researchers who filter evidence in odd ways and come up with things they find significant, and that others do not. Conspiracy theorists have their following—subscribers to their mimeographed newsletter in times past, and many more today on the Internet where anyone can publish to a worldwide audience for free.

Cons

Jim wrote a fine article on confidence schemes and I won’t repeat his description of how scams work. In the classic sense, a con is an attempt to get money from someone by abusing their trust. As I use the term here, I refer to an attempt to get someone’s belief in President Obama’s ineligibility to be President by abusing their trust. I simply don’t know enough to say whether the motivation is money or not.

Much of what we see on the Internet in the way of birther web sites is not, in my opinion, a con. Even someone like Orly Taitz who asks for money quite a bit on her web site does not strike me as a con. Why do I think that? First of all, she has access to a good livelihood as a licensed dentist with a practice in California. I find it improbable that her birtherism is any financial advantage. More importantly for the point I’m trying to make with this article, Orly Taitz doesn’t use trickery to mislead her fans. She says things that are nonsense sometimes, but she doesn’t use the tricks that Jim described.

Jim asked the question: “Is Mike Zullo running a scam on the birthers?” I don’t know enough to answer that question as to a financial scam, but I have no doubt that he is running a confidence scheme as far as the ideas he is selling. To me, it is transparent. The guy does all he can to drum up publicity, holding press conferences streamed live over the Internet, holding a seminar, and regularly appearing on every local radio show he can, but when pressed to deliver, he says that he has to keep keeping his convincing evidence tightly under wraps because it would be inappropriate to talk about it because of an ongoing investigation. Zullo allows inflated titles to be used for him. Most importantly, he cleverly crafts statements in such a way that unsuspecting listeners will be misled, even when he does not literally tell a lie.  Let me give a small example: time and time again birthers will say to me that Verna K. Lee confirmed the list of race codes that Zullo presented in his second press conference. Zullo never said that, but they were led by the context of the presentation to believe that all the information in that part of the presentation was from her. In fact, the only thing Zullo actually attributed to Lee was that records were double checked and didn’t have mistakes in them.

Since the beginning, Zullo has promised that something will result from his Cold Case Posse investigation, but he hasn’t delivered. The results remain only a promise, and a pretty stale one by now.

I don’t think Zullo is the only con game in town. The Daily Pen blog comes to mind first to which I would add Joel Gilbert. I also think that there are sincere birthers who still use confidence tricks to persuade: I think the guy who blogs under the pseudonym P. A. Madison is one, along with Sam Sewell and Mario Apuzzo. I would include the folks at Obama Release Your Records in that group.

Suckers

Now we finally get to one email exchange I had in which was said “Mike Zullo is a good guy.” Lots of people would have said “Bernie Madoff is a good guy.” It is the nature of a confidence man to inspire confidence. I say to a birther, Zullo lied—I can prove it. It makes no difference to them: “I don’t know the whole story”; “he would never lie”; “it was an official police investigation.” I even heard the argument that Zullo couldn’t admit that he used a fake race code table in his presentation because it would give his opponents ammunition to hurt his credibility! Just as you can tell a con by the language he uses, you can tell a sucker by what they say, the lengths of rationalization to which they will go to maintain faith in the con man.

With Madoff, there was a decisive dénouement. He couldn’t repay the money invested with him. He went to jail. I don’t see such a scenario with birther cons, because I can’t envision a decisive event that would topple the sucker’s confidence in them. Obviously, Obama won’t be removed from office for ineligibility, and he’s not going to be convicted of election fraud. So in that sense, the birther cons will not be able to repay the belief and/or money invested with them. But barring some revelation of criminal activity, and I don’t see that happening, birther cons can just say that the Obama Administration was too powerful, and that corrupt officials prevented their success.  The suckers will keep believing.

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57 Responses to Framing the question

  1. avatar
    Jim August 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    I really believe the timing of this was for Sheriff Arpaio’s re-election. He needed something to take their minds off of his office’s missteps and the perfect foil for him was to go after the President. It raised his profile in the minds of the anti-government voters.

    BTW, first line of CON section, Mike is misspelled.

  2. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    I completely agree with this. The government was going after Arpaio (and it seems likely that there were things he had to be worried they might get traction on) so the best strategy was to go after the government in the person of the president. That way it becomes a he said, she said situation and everyone who dislikes President Obama is likely to be biased towards Arpaio. Classic Republican tactic.

    Jim:
    I really believe the timing of this was for Sheriff Arpaio’s re-election.He needed something to take their minds off of his office’s missteps and the perfect foil for him was to go after the President.It raised his profile in the minds of the anti-government voters.

    BTW, first line of CON section, Mike is misspelled.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    My personal opinion is that Arpaio assigned the Cold Case Posse to the case to appease the local Tea Party. Then Arpaio was conned along with the rest.

    Slartibartfast: I completely agree with this. The government was going after Arpaio (and it seems likely that there were things he had to be worried they might get traction on) so the best strategy was to go after the government in the person of the president. That way it becomes a he said, she said situation and everyone who dislikes President Obama is likely to be biased towards Arpaio. Classic Republican tactic.

  4. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Certainly a possibility as we have seen many others flirt with birtherism and then have problems getting the stink of it off…

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    My personal opinion is that Arpaio assigned the Cold Case Posse to the case to appease the local Tea Party. Then Arpaio was conned along with the rest.

  5. avatar
    justlw August 18, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    I freely admit there may be some confirmation bias on my part in this, but it seems to me that Arpaio is pretty much done with the whole thing and in fact kinda wishes he didn’t have to do anything about it any more. He’ll give it lip service, because he knows it would look weird if he just dropped it, but it’s more like “Oh yeah, that thing. Sure, whatever. Mumble mumble forgery.” Zullo is full speed ahead, for whatever his reasons are.

    Because of this I’m inclined to agree with those who point out that this was whomped up and hit its peak at a very convenient time for Arpaio, and has faded into the background, at least from his point of view, now that that time has passed.

    (It was also a very convenient time for Corsi, too, of course; his and Arpaio’s needs happened to run together at that point. “I used him, he used me. But neither one cared. We were gettin’ our share.”)

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 18, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Especially after KPHO asked him on the air why the Cold Case Posse’s finances weren’t public. It was an embarrassing question. Arpaio told the truth there, but it still seemed like he threw Zullo under the bus by not defending him in some way.

    justlw: I freely admit there may be some confirmation bias on my part in this, but it seems to me that Arpaio is pretty much done with the whole thing and in fact kinda wishes he didn’t have to do anything about it any more.

  7. avatar
    US Citizen August 18, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    “If God is omnipotent and just, then why are there birthers?”

    There’s a circular logic problem above.
    Both God (religion) and birtherism are beliefs based on no evidence.

    The question reads to me like “If my own imaginary belief with no proof is good, why are there other imaginary beliefs with no proof that are bad?”

    Sorry, but in my book, religion is exactly the same as birtherism.
    Evidence, beliefs, emotions, the need to convince others of “the truth”…. all the same.

  8. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 18, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: My personal opinion is that Arpaio assigned the Cold Case Posse to the case to appease the local Tea Party. Then Arpaio was conned along with the rest.

    I think you’re right.

  9. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: My personal opinion is that Arpaio assigned the Cold Case Posse to the case to appease the local Tea Party. Then Arpaio was conned along with the rest.

    To appease and use the TP. He doesn’t care about the “issue”, only its usefulness in firing up indignation of The Faithful and in promoting himself. Using Zullo and the CCCP allows him to keep distant.

    Has he birf’d, or even commented on anything birfer-related, since his election? I mean, beyond deferring to Zullo any PITA reporters crude enough to broach the subject post-election?

  10. avatar
    Curious George August 18, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Dr C,

    “I say to a birther, Zullo lied—I can prove it. It makes no difference to them: “I don’t know the whole story”; “he would never lie”; “it was an official police investigation.” I even heard the argument that Zullo couldn’t admit that he used a fake race code table in his presentation because it would give his opponents ammunition to hurt his credibility!”

    Gallups’ Freedom Friday August 16, 2013. Commodore Zullo spoke about the concept of “HONOR” as he thought it should relate to the behavior of the Congressman who brushed off Zullo’s and Gallups’ planned pow-wow. Honor? Commandant Zullo should tell the truth about the fake race codes that he used to hoodwink the public on July 17, 2012. That would be honorable.

  11. avatar
    Publius August 18, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Curious George: Gallups’ Freedom Friday August 16, 2013. Commodore Zullo spoke about the concept of “HONOR” as he thought it should relate to the behavior of the Congressman who brushed off Zullo’s and Gallups’ planned pow-wow. Honor? Commandant Zullo should tell the truth about the fake race codes that he used to hoodwink the public on July 17, 2012. That would be honorable.

    Well said.

  12. avatar
    Curious George August 18, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Publius: Well said.

    Thanks. The dishonesty is unsettling.

  13. avatar
    Bob August 18, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    That Mara Zebest posts articles on Gatewaypundit but she’s apparently not allowed to go full-on-Birther there. Today she had an article about Mark Levin and I made the comment “Mara Zebest is a Birther” and got permanently banned.

  14. avatar
    Curious George August 18, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Especially after KPHO asked him on the air why the Cold Case Posse’s finances weren’t public. It was an embarrassing question. Arpaio told the truth there, but it still seemed like he threw Zullo under the bus by not defending him in some way.

    He really was holding Z at arms length during that interview. It was almost like he was saying “Zullo who?” I’ll bet Z has Greyhound paw prints all over him.

  15. avatar
    Curious George August 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Justlw,

    “I freely admit there may be some confirmation bias on my part in this, but it seems to me that Arpaio is pretty much done with the whole thing and in fact kinda wishes he didn’t have to do anything about it any more.”

    The MCSO Press Release page shows the last CCP information listed as July 17, 2012. Nothing since. A month after the press release the DoJ dropped charges against Arpaio. Arpaio is being somewhat reserved while letting Z have at it.

  16. avatar
    justlw August 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Curious George: The MCSO Press Release page shows the last CCP information listed as July 17, 2012

    Hmm. I recently caught myself up with the McInnish appeal in Alabama, and I coulda sworn from the chatter that both Arpaio and Zullo had filed affidavit-like substances. Nope, just Commodore Z.

    “Let him twist slowly, twist slowly in the wind.”
    — John Ehrlichman, presaging Sheriff Joe

  17. avatar
    Publius August 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Bob: Gatewaypundit

    I posted a comment there. We’ll see whether it stays, or whether I get permanently banned.

    Free speech! Except when you say something uncomplimentary of a birther, of course.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    The difference is that religion considers faith a virtue; the birthers deny that faith is involved.

    US Citizen: Sorry, but in my book, religion is exactly the same as birtherism.

  19. avatar
    J.D. Sue August 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The difference is that religion considers faith a virtue; the birthers deny that faith is involved.

    US Citizen: Sorry, but in my book, religion is exactly the same as birtherism.


    I agree, Doc. And religion considers false witness and foolish gossip as unethical or prohibited; birtherism wholly (unholy) embraces and relies upon false witness and foolish gossip.

  20. avatar
    US Citizen August 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I appreciate your replies, but I disagree.

    There are birthers who believe they’re great patriots and bringers of truth.
    There are also plenty of non-virtuous Christians, we must agree.
    Of course most Christians believes they’re being virtuous, but whether something is truly virtuous or not is just a matter of opinion.

    For example, atheists generally find no virtue at all in Christianity.
    They attribute many wars and much suffering to the “virtue” of Christianity.
    Equally, obots generally find no virtue in birtherism either.
    …except for comedy.
    So only for laughs would I ever consider birtherism virtuous.
    But for equal time, there have been many Christians who have brought many tears and no such laughs.
    Ask most Iraqi families how virtuous the (Christian) Bushes were.

    So again, whether something has virtue or not is left up to what someone defines virtue as in the first place.
    A highway running through a farm could be considered virtuous for drivers or commerce, but farmers and animals might not see things that way.

    Virtue is just an opinion from one point of view with no absolutes.
    Every action has an equal but opposite reaction? 🙂

  21. avatar
    US Citizen August 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    J.D. Sue: I agree, Doc. And religion considers false witness and foolish gossip as unethical or prohibited; birtherism wholly (unholy) embraces and relies upon false witness and foolish gossip.

    One man’s foolish gossip is another man’s bible.

  22. avatar
    Publius August 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Mankind has pretty well always had a religion of some sort.

    Where classical religions fail to hold the philosophical arena, secular or state religions or world views, of one type or another, have tended to fill the void. The results have seldom been that good.

    The Christian faith has produced a few witch trials and the rare Inquisition. It has also, by and large, built the schools and hospitals of the world.

  23. avatar
    US Citizen August 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    As a final example, let me ask any of you if dropping the A-bombs on Japan was a virtuous act.

    Many Americans will probably say yes- it stopped the war and saved lives.
    Many Japanese will probably say no- it destroyed their homes and family.

    Virtue is just an opinion.

  24. avatar
    Publius August 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    US Citizen: Virtue is just an opinion.

    Sometimes it is. But I disagree that virtue is always “just an opinion.”

    Or, to put it another way: There are certainly opinions. But some opinions are right, and some opinions are wrong. Not all opinions are equal.

    The opinions of birthers, first that President Obama’s birth certificate is forged, and second that President Obama is Constitutionally ineligible even if born in Hawaii, are wrong opinions. In many instances, they may be as sincerely held as those of persons who don’t believe the birther narrative. But they are wrong.

    Sometimes there is a legitimate difference of opinion on whether a particular act is virtuous or not.

    On the other hand, I think we can get close to universal human agreement on the following two propositions.

    1. People who, for the sake of some form of self-gratification, go out and commit the more heinous crimes known to mankind are not only NOT acting in a virtuous way, they are acting in ways that are downright morally wrong and evil.

    2. Tenderly taking care of your dying grandmother, at the expense of your own inconvenience, and at no profit to yourself, rather than allowing her to be placed in a nursing home where the residents are not well cared for, on the other hand, is a virtuous act.

  25. avatar
    Suranis August 18, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    And the Roman Inquisition was the blueprint for the entire legal system we have today. It rarely used torture as it was figured out pretty rapidly as confessions gotten by torture were totally unreliable. It also dismissed accusations of witchcraft out of hand as it found that they were almost always the result of personal vendettas, and such accusations were certainly not worth wasting time on

    By contrast, the Spanish Inquisition was started and run by the Spanish state and largely worked to find traitors to the state and to rule by terror. It used torture routinely and used “witches” as firewood.

    And without the religious orders we would not have had the mathematics, the sciences and a hell of a lot of inventions. Plus a hell of a lot of learning would have been lost. If you look up which of the great scientists were clergymen you have an embarrassing number. Copernicus was a monk, as was the man who invented the science of genetics, for example.

    Publius:
    The Christian faith has produced a few witch trials and the rare Inquisition. It has also, by and large, built the schools and hospitals of the world.

  26. avatar
    Curious George August 19, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    Justlw,

    “Hmm. I recently caught myself up with the McInnish appeal in Alabama, and I coulda sworn from the chatter that both Arpaio and Zullo had filed affidavit-like substances. Nope, just Commodore Z.”

    I haven’t found links but I think in mid 2012 both Commissioner Z and Arpaio did affidavits for Klayman’s Florida case. Haven’t heard much about this.

  27. avatar
    Publius August 19, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Don’t you mean Admiral Zullo?

  28. avatar
    Keith August 19, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Suranis:
    By contrast, the Spanish Inquisition was started and run by the Spanish state

    The inquisition was mandated by the roman pope. It operated in most countries, notably notably excepting Scotland IIRC. I think Portugal resisted for a while too. SPain is just the most well known.

    And without the religious orders we would not have had the mathematics, the sciences and a hell of a lot of inventions. Plus a hell of a lot of learning would have been lost. If you look up which of the great scientists were clergymen you have an embarrassing number. Copernicus was a monk, as was the man who invented the science of genetics, for example.

    Mathematics was passed down to Europe from the Greek masters via the Arabic scholars who also vastly improved medical science. The Roman Church did not encourage the sciences.

    The ‘great scientists’ of the renaissance were clergy because clergy were the only educated people.

  29. avatar
    Keith August 19, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    Publius:
    Mankind has pretty well always had a religion of some sort.

    Not really. Imitative magic, like pretending you are a deer to attract deer close is not religion. Nor is trusting the local shaman to do the right ritual in order to bring the rain at the right time.

    Only after you kill a couple of shamen that failed in their rainmaking duties does the penny drop and they start figuring out ways to blame the people for the failure. Then you have the start of the priestly class, and a deity that needs to be appeased, and a religion.

    The Christian faith has produced a few witch trials and the rare Inquisition. It has also, by and large, built the schools and hospitals of the world.

    King Jayavarman VII built over 200 hospitals in Cambodia between 1182 and 1200 in addition to building the most ambitious temple complex in the world (Angkor Thom mountain temple and several flat temples), though Angkor Wat is older and physically larger. This is architectural grandeur not approached in Europe for more than 600 years, if ever (Cuesceau’s Romania maybe?)

  30. avatar
    The Magic M August 19, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    US Citizen: Virtue is just an opinion.

    “Any sufficiently advanced benevolence may be indistinguishable from malevolence.” (Charles T. Rubin, referring to highly advanced artificial intelligence)

  31. avatar
    Curious George August 19, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Publius:
    Don’t you mean Admiral Zullo?

    Rear Admiral and Grand Poobah Zullo.

  32. avatar
    Joey August 19, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    US Citizen:
    “If God is omnipotent and just, then why are there birthers?”

    There’s a circular logic problem above.
    Both God (religion) and birtherism are beliefs based on no evidence.

    The question reads to me like “If my own imaginary belief with no proof is good, why are there other imaginary beliefs with no proof that are bad?”

    Sorry, but in my book, religion is exactly the same as birtherism.
    Evidence, beliefs, emotions, the need to convince others of “the truth”…. all the same.

    Arpaio is the father. Zullo is the son. Taitz is the Holy Ghost. Apuzzo is the archangel.
    Klayman is an apostle. Tracy Fair is Mary Magdalene.

  33. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 19, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    How could you forget Leo the Parakeet… er… Paraclete?

    Joey: Arpaio is the father. Zullo is the son. Taitz is the Holy Ghost. Apuzzo is the archangel.
    Klayman is an apostle. Tracy Fair is Mary Magdalene.

  34. avatar
    Publius August 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Well, I for one have never seen a copy of Chief Inspector Zullo’s bearth certificate.

  35. avatar
    helen August 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    US Citizen: As a final example, let me ask any of you if dropping the A-bombs on Japan was a virtuous act.Many Americans will probably say yes- it stopped the war and saved lives.Many Japanese will probably say no- it destroyed their homes and family.Virtue is just an opinion.

    it was neither good or bad, it was an act of war, wherein almost everything that happens causes pain to people.

    there is no difference in dying from an Atom Bomb then dying from a drone strike , you are dead both ways.

    Forget this good or bad stuff in war.

  36. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Wow, a rare honest comment from Helen.

    I would argue that there are things considered “bad” in war (i.e. warcrimes) and that wars themselves can be considered “good” (or at least justified) or “bad” (i.e. wars of aggression or wars of choice rather than wars of defense or rebellion against oppression). Is there any question that fighting WWII was just or that fighting Gulf War II was unjust? Or that water boarding by the Japanese was a war crime? (for which people were executed, by the way) Do you think that water boarding under the Bush administration was okay because we were at war? (the Japanese were in a war of choice as well, after all) Or was it immoral, illegal, and just plain stupid?

    Once you sever the ability to judge acts as right or wrong you pave the way for atrocities. Like the crimes of the Bush administration (some of which have been continued in the Obama administration, by the way).

    helen: it was neither good or bad, it was an act of war, wherein almost everything that happens causes pain to people.

    there is no difference in dying from an Atom Bomb then dying from a drone strike , you are dead both ways.

    Forget this good or bad stuff in war.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    And more to the point, I have never seen a copy of his Lieutenant’s Certificate.

    Publius: Well, I for one have never seen a copy of Chief Inspector Zullo’s bearth certificate.

  38. avatar
    Monkey Boy August 20, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    helen: there is no difference in dying from an Atom Bomb then dying from a drone strike , you are dead both ways

    The blind pig (metaphorical, of course), Helen, has found an acorn.

  39. avatar
    RanTalbott August 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    helen:

    it was neither good or bad, it was an act of war, wherein almost everything that happens causes pain to people.

    there is no difference in dying from an Atom Bomb then dying from a drone strike , you are dead both ways.

    I’m with Slartibartfast on this one. There IS a difference between choosing to work in a munitions factory in wartime, and being a child who has the misfortune to live in the city where they built it when your enemy has a “city-busting” bomb.

    Similarly, there’s a difference between _choosing_ to hang out with an al Awlaki, and merely being unlucky enough to be in the vicinity when we decide it’s opportune to blow him up.

    And there’s a HUGE difference between being a citizen of a nation involved in an all-out war, and a citizen of a nation where criminal killers are hiding out without your consent.

    It’s entirely appropriate, and even essential to being a “moral” society, to debate whether we really needed the mass civilian casuaties of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and whether a lower-death-toll demonstration would have been as effective. Every person making those decisions in wartime should expect that they’ll be scrutinized later (hopefully in a way that’s fair, and understands the uncertainties they had to cope with).

    Similarly, we should be having a serious national debate about the moral implications of the way we’re conducting “the drone war”, and the innocent “collateral damage” victims (and those who could be) are quite right to be angry at our appearent indifference to them in not having that debate.

  40. avatar
    Larry Sinclair August 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    This site and article were brought to my attention via email today. While I find your article interesting to say the least, I find it more interesting to see you have somehow decided I am some part of a “Birther con.” I am very easy to reach by email, by phone or by text message so when you feel the need to make statements where you refer to me as being a con artists perhaps you might contact me directly with your allegations and evidence.

    I am not now nor have I ever been a “Birther” and if you had done your homework you would have found that from the very beginning I have always said any challenged to Obama’s eligibility to hold office would only be possible if in fact he had been legally adopted by his step-father.

    For more than five years now people like you continue to spew your claims without ever once being able to support them. For more than five years despite the massive efforts to destroy me personally and anyone related to or believed related to me, I still stand today.

    You are as are those who comment here entitled to your beliefs and opinions and I would be the last person to ever try and deny you that right, but perhaps next time you want to post something and make an allegation you at least pick up the phone or send me an email.

    One last thought. I see you seem to have also made some claims about me referring to Wikipedia and/or Metapedia. Allow me to clear up your confusion. Wikipedia is nothing more than an online source where you and/or anyone else can publish things about another individual. In 2008 the Obama campaign was exposed for establishing a wiki page which Wikipedia removed because they made the determination that the page was an “attack” page. As for Metapedia you might want to read the disclaimers that the owners of Metapedia published at my request because people were wrongly claiming I had something to do with the page and with the use of illustrations being portrayed as actual photographs. I have no need nor do I have any desire to be involved in the publishing of false and/or misleading information nor the use of any photo shopped illustrations or photos.

    Thank you for your time in this matter and feel free to contact me next time you feel the need to put my name in any of your articles.

    Larry Sinclair
    editor@lsnewsgroup.com
    386-492-6634
    386-290-5851 Cell

  41. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks for your comment.

    While the article doesn’t actually say that you are a birther, one might reasonably get that impression from the context, and I apologize for some sloppy wording. I don’t think you are a birther. On the other hand, I don’t believe your stories about Obama either.

    I did not consult the Wikipedia in writing this article. I would say, though, that even though any fool can change the Wikipedia, Wikipedia articles should be sourced and when they are one can follow links to edited news articles and references. Broadly speaking, I think Wikipedia articles are reliable, although caution is advised.

    Probably the best way to clarify this story is just to take your name off, since there is really no development of your involvement in Obama conspiracies, and little treatment of them elsewhere on the site.

    Larry Sinclair: I am not now nor have I ever been a “Birther” and if you had done your homework you would have found that from the very beginning I have always said any challenged to Obama’s eligibility to hold office would only be possible if in fact he had been legally adopted by his step-father.

  42. avatar
    JPotter August 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    That’s an awful lot of protest. Too much. And my, the hairs he doth split.

  43. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Larry Sinclair: I am not now nor have I ever been a “Birther” and if you had done your homework you would have found that from the very beginning I have always said any challenged to Obama’s eligibility to hold office would only be possible if in fact he had been legally adopted by his step-father.

    That is a birther meme which is completely unfounded in law. First off, President Obama would have needed to appear in front of an Indonesian official with his stepfather before he turned five years old in order to be adopted (and gain Indonesian citizenship) under Indonesian law and secondly there are no circumstances under which a minor child can forfeit their citizenship nor can anyone else do it for them. You can find references to the appropriate US and Indonesian laws here. Do you have the integrity to admit that you were wrong about this? If so, I will agree that you are not a birther, if not, then if the shoe fits…

    For more than five years now people like you continue to spew your claims without ever once being able to support them.

    Exactly what unsupported claims are you talking about? All of the anti-birther claims have been extensively supported in fact, law, science, and the writings of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people with relevant expertise.

    For more than five years despite the massive efforts to destroy me personally and anyone related to or believed related to me, I still stand today.

    Your claims regarding the president are simply not credible. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Your unsupported word does not even come close.

  44. avatar
    Majority Will August 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Well, there’s certainly no arguing with anyone who appears to be seriously mentally ill.

  45. avatar
    Publius August 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Majority Will:
    Well, there’s certainly no arguing with anyone who appears to be seriously mentally ill.

    You can, but it’s sort of like fighting a pop-up boxing dummy.

    You can knock ’em down every time, but they just pop back up, and never acknowledge defeat.

  46. avatar
    Majority Will August 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Publius: You can, but it’s sort of like fighting a pop-up boxing dummy.

    You can knock ‘em down every time, but they just pop back up, and never acknowledge defeat.

    And then there is this gem:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKf1IdlDErc

  47. avatar
    Monkey Boy August 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Larry Sinclair: For more than five years now people like you continue to spew your claims without ever once being able to support them. For more than five years despite the massive efforts to destroy me personally and anyone related to or believed related to me, I still stand today.

    A contraire, people like me, and others, have made the claim that you are a most foul liar, conman, thief, bad-check passer and grifter, which we have documented and supported. This is not the forum for discussing it since the operator has dedicated this site for another purpose, so if you insist that your sorry leeching hindparts be exposed, meet me at http://www.theregulatortoo.wordpress.com or http://sinclairwatch.wordpress.com/ which are dedicated to exposing your lies about the President.

    As for still standing, the President was re-elected and you have sunk back into a septic tank as you funders have left you to your own devices. A far cry from the heady days of 2008 when scoundrels were urging you shout your lies in the hopes of “bringing Obama to his knees.” A rather ironic claim considering your predilection of dropping after a 20 minute acquaintance.

  48. avatar
    Majority Will August 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Monkey Boy: A rather ironic claim considering your predilection of dropping after a 20 minute acquaintance.

    What kind of crack is that? Yes, exactly.

  49. avatar
    Suranis August 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I’m sorry that your attempt failed, twice, to make people not vote for Senator Obama, by telling them that the Senator had the INCREDIBLY bad taste to (eww) actually sleep with you.

    Seriously. at least make your lie believable.

    Larry Sinclair: Stuff/blockquote>

  50. avatar
    justlw August 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Larry Sinclair: In 2008 the Obama campaign was exposed for establishing a wiki page which Wikipedia removed because they made the determination that the page was an “attack” page.

    Or, “some guy, not really associated with the Obama campaign other than writing stuff on a blog, made a WP page, and some other guy deleted it.” This is the quintessential “dog bites man” narrative of Wikipediadom.

    The page he created was preserved (by an anti-Obama site; thanks for making me wade through the anti-Semitic filth there to get to it). What parts of it do you find to be an “attack”? Rather than a faithful reporting of what you said in public?

    As Pat Paulsen once said, “Terrible, vicious rumors; rumors of the worst kind: true rumors.”

  51. avatar
    US Citizen August 20, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    I watched that video above of Larry.
    Pretty funny.

    Most men just buy a sports car when they feel insecure and have an innate need to advertise.

    The kilt thing is a unique approach, but like his other claims is probably the exact opposite.
    That or he needs to quit buying boys undergarments and pants.
    I also think his ex-wife would be suing for assault and not just her child support payments.
    Poor guy can plant ’em, but can’t tend ’em.

    This is one of the reasons I wish I was silly-rich.
    Every man has his price and Larry’s no exception.
    At what price does he allow independent verification and advertisement of the results? 😉

  52. avatar
    justlw August 21, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    US Citizen: I watched that video above of Larry.

    To be fair, the video isn’t of Larry; it’s his lawyer and kilt model/spokesperson Montgomery Blair Sibley.

    EDIT: disbarred

  53. avatar
    Monkey Boy August 21, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Majority Will: What kind of crack is that? Yes, exactly.

    It wasn’t a crack exactly, but his own description of his typical behaviour.

  54. avatar
    Majority Will August 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Monkey Boy: It wasn’t a crack exactly, but his own description of his typical behaviour.

    Sorry. I was trying to make a drug reference joke and it didn’t quite work. 😛

  55. avatar
    Monkey Boy August 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Majority Will: Sorry. I was trying to make a drug reference joke and it didn’t quite work.
    No need to apologize for MY denseness in not getting the reference.

  56. avatar
    Majority Will August 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Monkey Boy:

    😀

  57. avatar
    US Citizen August 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    justlw: To be fair, the video isn’t of Larry; it’s his lawyer and kilt model/spokesperson Montgomery Blair Sibley.

    My mistake. Thanks.
    Larry still gets father of the year award.

    Disbarment is not the worst thing.
    Now Craig can wear those lighter chiffon nite gowns normally inappropriate for court.