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Conclusion

Barack Obama and I have 8 years to look back on—he looking at the important issues of our time—I looking back on the Birthers. Somehow I think I got the short end of the stick!

Some people have the gift of being gracious. I’m not one of them. If you aren’t lifted to the heights by the remarks that follow, just attribute it to my lack of skill, not a lack of feeling.

I want to thank a vibrant online community who helped make this blog fun, those who put a face on some of those 30,000 monthly visitors at our blog’s peak, who encouraged me, who caught my mistakes, who contributed ideas for stories, who did significant research, and who kept me honest. I won’t mention individuals because there are simply too many of them. Just look around. I consider you all friends.

As for the Birthers, while this blog would be nothing without them, I will not thank them and those who, with whatever motives, incited them. They are a blot on our country’s history and we would all have been better off without their activity. Even so, this blog is its silver lining.

I want to thank several bloggers and to recognize their work. John Woodman did careful and well-documented research both into birther claims about Obama’s birth certificate, but also the legal basis for some of their other ideas. He not only blogged about it, but published a book. Presidential candidate Loren Collins did some fantastic research into lies about the President’s parentage and into the origins of the birthers, making his case like the attorney he is. Loren also has an excellent book entitled Bullspotting: Finding Facts in the Age of Misinformation of considerable value in this age of “fake news.” Reality Check had a wonderful radio show (check out the podcasts) with significant topical guests, and his blog still has interesting new content in these latter days of the Birther Movement. RC’s anonymity  stood as testimony to the incompetence of birther investigation, and he researched and popularized the debunking of the Cold Case Posse using a Xerox machine. I want to recognize and thank Tes for her compilation of birther lawsuits and the evidence in the Melendres case, something I think will continue to be a valuable resource in the future. Tes also wrote some early guest articles here. I value having her as a friend. (There are many more bloggers of note.) The anonymous (but not to me) Jack Ryan created and published a massive and invaluable collection of documents concerning the birther lawsuits that I relied upon every week.

A special shout out goes to Bill Bryan who more than anyone I think, helped to build the anti-birther community. Bill got folks to show up at events, something the Birthers couldn’t do. Bill was a role model of courage in the face of birther threats and his personal story of triumph over adversity is an inspiration. The Fogbow is the place to be when it comes to combatting right-wing nuttery.

I want to acknowledge a few Birthers for being brave enough to put forwards ideas on this blog and say around to defend them the best the could, in particular Jerry Collette, and Bob Gard. I want to acknowledge Bryan Reilly for having the rare gift among Birthers, the ability to look at the facts and change his mind, and it’s certainly a big deal that he chose to publish his articles here.

Last, but hardly least, I want to think my wife Ms. Conspiracy for putting up with all of this. We married a year before the Obama Conspiracy stuff got started.  She has tolerated  me spending long hours at the keyboard, and listened to countless narratives on what the Birthers are up to. She has a good working knowledge of the topic, even though she never reads the blog. [Update: she read its last two entries.]

So ultimately, who won? “Birther” is now a term of derision in the English vocabulary. Barack Obama was elected twice and served two full terms. He was not impeached. There were no Congressional investigations of his identity documents. His approval rating upon leaving office is phenomenal. Birthers lost 226 lawsuits. Still, the country took a turn for the crazy over the last 8 years. A turncoat Birther was even elected president. I think it’s too soon to count winners and losers.

Thomas Jefferson probably did not say “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance,” but it’s a good idea. I challenge each of you, current readers, or those who come after this blog has long closed down to new articles: stay vigilant, check the facts, know your biases, and don’t tell lies. The truth will set you free.


PS: This article is set to auto-publish at noon tomorrow (January 20). At that time I will be presiding over a meeting of my local Civitan club whose motto is “Builders of good citizenship,” where I and our membership will together pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Never let the fake news crowd claim the mantle of patriotism. There is nothing patriotic about smears and character assassination.

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32 Responses to Conclusion

  1. avatar
    Pete January 20, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    From myself, the regular readers and participants of this blog over the past eight years, the honest people of America, and God who honors those who act on behalf of justice and shines his face upon the truth:

    Thank you.

  2. avatar
    Rickey January 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Pete:
    From myself, the regular readers and participants of this blog over the past eight years, the honest people of America, and God who honors those who act on behalf of justice and shines his face upon the truth:

    Thank you.

    Amen.

  3. avatar
    J.D. Sue January 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    Pete: From myself, the regular readers and participants of this blog over the past eight years, the honest people of America, and God who honors those who act on behalf of justice and shines his face upon the truth:

    Thank you.

    Amen.

    כצֶדֶק צֶדֶק תּ’רְדֹּף לְמַעַן תּ’חְיֶה וְיָרַשְׁתָּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ

    Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you.

    Deuteronomy 16:20

  4. avatar
    Crustacean January 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    Kudos to you, Doc! This blog is a tremendous accomplishment, and you should be very proud. I’m going to miss coming here every day. I learned so much from you and other commenters, and I enjoyed sharing many laughs along the way. I hope my inane comments were not too much of an annoyance to you.

    So thank you, Doc, for your tireless devotion to the debunking of nonsense. And thank you, Reality Check, NBC, and many other investigators for the same. Thank you, Andrew Vrba, for being a feisty son-of-a-gun. Thank you Lupin, and Magic M, and others from outside the USA, who provided such a wonderful, worldly perspective. Thank you, justlw, for your sublime sense of humor. Keith, I hope your Wildcats “Bear Down” and win it all this year (I’ll be thinking of you when they do! 🙂 )

    I’ll say goodbye with a parting message that, for once, is not inane, especially given the events of today:

    “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.”
    ~Barack Hussein Obama II

  5. avatar
    Curious George January 21, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Well done, Doc. Thank you!

  6. avatar
    Roadscholar January 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    It is really tough watching lies and insults win elections without wanting to use their playbook too.

    When I try to resist doing so, you are my role model.

  7. avatar
    Lani January 22, 2017 at 12:35 am #

    Thank you, Doc. It’s been a pleasure to visit here over the years.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    Comment from Brian Reilly via email:

    Doc,

    I want to personally thank you for exposing the truth and for also publishing my writings about my experiences with the people connected to the so called birth certificate investigation. It was your website that separated fact from conspiracy fiction. You have an excellent group of intelligent contributors who have defined the issues and exposed the truth to your readers. Many people would have greatly benefited from a thorough review of your website. My belief is that many anti-Obama zealots were not interested in seeking the truth. Their only apparent motivation was promoting a political agenda based on disinformation, bigotry and possibly their desire to achieve notoriety, financial gain or both in the process. Your website provided an invaluable service to those people who sought the truth. Congratulations on a superb effort and a superb website.

    I want to also thank Carl Orcas, Reality Check, Tesibira and Foggy who contributed greatly to your effort to expose the truth.

  9. avatar
    Reality Check January 23, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    You are welcome Brian. I would only disagree to the extent that I would change “many” to “all“. They were all working with “alternative facts”.

    Dr. Conspiracy: My belief is that many anti-Obama zealots were not interested in seeking the truth.

  10. avatar
    Dave B. January 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    I still haven’t broken the habit of checking here for new articles.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 24, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Should there ever be a new article due to some unforeseen turn of events, the best way to find out about it is to follow me on Twitter.

    Dave B.:
    I still haven’t broken the habit of checking here for new articles.

  12. avatar
    Rickey January 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Should there ever be a new article due to some unforeseen turn of events, the best way to find out about it is to follow me on Twitter.

    In the meantime, what we could use is a running clock which shows how many hours have passed since the inauguration with neither Trump nor the Congress calling for an investigation into Obama’s eligibility.

    Right now we’re just about at 98 hours.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    Since fixing all of the 400+ broken hyperlinks, 30 more have appeared.

    A bunch of them seem to be due to a temporary outage at Free Republic, now fixed.

  14. avatar
    Rickey January 25, 2017 at 11:30 am #

    Trump isn’t calling for an investigation into Obama’s eligibility, but he is calling for a “major investigation” into his unsubstantiated claims of massive numbers of illegal voters.

    He seems to have fallen into the same trap as OrlyTaitz, equating outdated voter registration rolls with voter fraud. Plus he is very, very upset that he lost the popular vote.

  15. avatar
    Reality Check January 25, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    FIFY

    Rickey: He seems [to be] as OrlyTaitz [is, a complete idiot]

  16. avatar
    Scientist January 28, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Doc: Thanks for all you did and I’m sure will continue to do. That a birther (even if he was only pretending to be one) won the Presidency is shocking. His behavior in office so far has been even more so, My expectations were extremely low, but he has managed to underperform them. #sad

  17. avatar
    Scientist January 28, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    Rickey: He seems to have fallen into the same trap as OrlyTaitz, equating outdated voter registration rolls with voter fraud. Plus he is very, very upset that he lost the popular vote.

    Apparently Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are both registered in two states. Who when they are moving from one state to another among all the work that entails thinks to cancel their voter registration in their former home? Who when a loved one dies thinks to cancel their voter registration?

  18. avatar
    Rickey January 28, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Scientist: Apparently Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are both registered in two states.Who when they are moving from one state to another among all the workthat entails thinks to cancel their voter registration in their former home?Who when a loved one dies thinks to cancel their voter registration?

    I’ve been registered to vote in five different states, and it never occurred to me to notify my old state that I had moved.

    A year after I moved from Colorado to New York I received a jury summons from Colorado, which indicated that I was still registered to vote there.

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 30, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    I added a thanks to “Jack Ryan” in the article. It was an unfortunate oversight.

  20. avatar
    JD Reed January 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    Rickey: I’ve been registered to vote in five different states, and it never occurred to me to notify my old state that I had moved.

    A year after I moved from Colorado to New York I received a jury summons from Colorado, which indicated that I was still registered to vote there.

    My daughter left her Texas childhood home almost 17 years ago. She has lived in two other states, another Texas county, and now lives in a foreign country but still receives a jury summons here from time to time. I’ve notified the jury service clerk but so far without result..

  21. avatar
    Rickey January 30, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    JD Reed: My daughter left her Texas childhood home almost 17 years ago. She has lived in two other states, another Texas county, and now lives in a foreign country but still receives a jury summons here from time to time. I’ve notified the jury service clerk but so far without result..

    I always assumed that it was like getting a new state’s driver’s license. You apply for a new one, surrender your old one when the new one is issued, and the old state gets notified about the surrender. That doesn’t keep some people from having active driver’s licenses in different states, but it’s pretty rare.

  22. avatar
    Reality Check January 30, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    I have changed states twice and never done anything to notify the former jurisdiction that I moved from the old jurisdiction. I assume I surrendered my old drivers license but don’t specifically recall that I did.

    This claim of widespread vote fraud is a fraud itself. Voter ID laws are targeted racist voter suppression tactics and deep down the Republicans know exactly what they are doing. Look at the figures on who do not have state issued ID’s by race if you want a clue. Getting a state issued ID costs time and money for the people who can least afford both. It is in effect a return of the poll tax.

    When someone comes up with a fix for a problem that doesn’t exist there is usually another motive. That is the case with voter ID laws. The courts are finally waking up to the underlying racist motives.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 31, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    You move, you register and you start voting in the new location. I wouldn’t even know how to notify a state that I’d left. I just stop voting there.

    Reality Check: I have changed states twice and never done anything to notify the former jurisdiction that I moved from the old jurisdiction. I assume I surrendered my old drivers license but don’t specifically recall that I did.

  24. avatar
    Notorial Dissent February 1, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

    In my state, at least, if you don’t vote in either two or three general elections your name automatically gets purged. Changing a registration is a pain in the butt unless you do it during one of the registration drives and then it is fairly simple, you show them your DL and they change the address on the registration and you show up in your putative “new” precinct. On the other hand, our state laws require the county clerks or voter registrars to actually do some work for their titles, and by and large they are all quite honest and diligent.

  25. avatar
    JD Reed February 12, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    Surely there is a way that can be devised to automatically expunge a voter registration in one’s old jurisdiction when one registers in a different jurisdiction. I visualize a new registration application asking the last location where the applicant was registered to vote. Identifying Information including full name, date and place of birth, would be required. Then this information could be uploaded into a central statewide database, and a computer program could be created to automatically inform the election registrar In the applicant’s previous location that the applicant has moved away, enabling the registrar to prune this particular piece of deadwood from the voter rolls. This could work both intrastate and interstate, either by interstate compact or by enacting a federal law applying to the entire country.
    I can’t see how this would be impossible to achieve. The criminal justice system manages to share non-alphanumeric data — DNA profiles and fingerprints — nationwide. I would think sharing alphanumeric data would be much simpler to share.
    As far as deceased voters, I believe a state such as Texas, which requires a death report (distinguished from ta more detailed death certificate which has a later deadline) soon after the death occurs. Again, if those records could be funneled into a central state database, they could be distributed to the relevant local elections registrars.
    Drivers license records could be used as a cross check on voters who move to other locations. A central state database could inform the election registrar in a driver’s former jurisdiction of his move, again paving
    the way for cancellation of an obsolete voter registration.
    In the case of interstate relocations into Texas, driver’s licensing would not always provide quick cancellation, because someone moving into Texas is allowed to drive the state’s roads for up to 90 days before being required to obtain a Texas license.
    Now I don’t believe the above would do much to improve the integrity of elections, because I doubt that very much illegal voting is tied to people being registered in more than one place, or from graveyard voting. But what it could do is significantly enhance the public’s perception of the integrity of elections. And that would be a good thing.

  26. avatar
    Sef February 12, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

    JD Reed: Surely there is a way that can be devised to automatically expunge a voter registration

    In NYS there is no reason to expunge the voter record. In fact, DBAs specifically have taken this situation into account. All that is necessary is to update the “Active” field, or whatever it is called locally. Only voters who are “Active” or have a court order are allowed to vote on the machines. Others must use affidavit ballots which are checked by the BOE personnel. Most of this fraudulent voter discussion is by people who have very little knowledge of database procedures. Dead people don’t vote in NYS.

    In NYS voter confirmation cards are mailed to the registered voter’s address yearly. If the mail cannot be delivered the BOE then flags the voter accordingly and he cannot vote. Also, motor voter doesn’t work.

  27. avatar
    Northland10 February 13, 2017 at 7:32 am #

    JD Reed: Surely there is a way that can be devised to automatically expunge a voter registration in one’s old jurisdiction when one registers in a different jurisdiction.

    Those politicians screaming about voter fraud wouldn’t make a simple logical fix to the eligible voter rolls, if one was needed. They are more interested in using the impression of illegal voting as a campaign tool. Their base does not concern themselves with actual useful fixes but only being outraged.

  28. avatar
    JD Reed February 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    Yes, ballot box integrity has long been a political football. And the cynical part of me is afraid it will be ever thus. But still I fantasize that a common sense fix that would make elections so transparently honest that those who would oppose would be exposed as the hyper partisan pretenders if they continued to play their games. If only …

  29. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund February 16, 2017 at 8:08 am #

    Today is the first full day of my fifth decade. I have spent the past 15 years engaging in online debunking, starting with the Politics thread at te defunct Readerville, shifting over to the Detroit newspapers to engage the likes of Pam Gellar and Debbie Schlusser (sp?) on topics such as LGBT rights and religious freedom, then on to the Panda’s Thumb and ScienceBlogs for science related issues. While guestblogging on ScienceBlogs, I was (near as I am able to determine) the blogger to break the news that Berg had lost his birther case at the Supreme Court. Eventually, I ended up here and similar sites debunking the birther conspiracy theories. I want to thank Doc and Foggy for all the time and effort maintaining these fora for our entertainment, and I would like to thank RC and NBC for the great fun we had investigating the Xerox. And a very special* thanks to Henry ‘Hermitian” Blake for providing the impetus for us to dig as deep as we did.

    But after 15 years, I grow weary. While I could take on Trump’s lies, I have a hobby that I’ve been neglecting. So it’s time for me to sign off and resume researching 8th-12th century Japanese poetry, laws, and astronomy.

    THANK YOU ALL!!! (but I probably won’t see any of you again)

    *in the Firefly sense of special

  30. avatar
    Joey February 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund:
    Today is the first full day of my fifth decade.I ave spent the past 15 years engaging in online debunking, starting with the Politics thread at te defunct Readerville, shifting over to the Detroit newspapers to engage the likes of Pam Gellar and Debbie Schlusser (sp?) on topics such as LGBT rights and religious freedom, then on to the Panda’s Thumb and ScienceBlogs for science related issues.While guestblogging on ScienceBlogs, I was (near as I am able to determine) the blogger to break the news that Berg had lost his birther case at the Supreme Court.Eventually, I ended up here and similar sites debunking the birther conspiracy theories.I want to thank Doc and Foggy for all the time and effort maintaining these fora for our entertainment, and I would like to thank RC and NBC for the great fun we had investigating the Xerox.And a very special* thanks to Henry ‘Hermitian” Blake for providing the impetus for us to dig as deep as we did.

    But after 15 years, I grow weary.While I could take on Trump’s lies, I have a hobby that I’ve been neglecting.So it’s time for me to sign off and resume researching 8th-12th century Japanese poetry, laws, and astronomy.

    THANK YOU ALL!!! (but I probably won’t see any of you again)

    *in the Firefly sense of special

    You will be missed! I always looked forward to your contributions here and also at the amazon.com book discussion forum on “Where’s the Birth Certificate” by Jerome Corsi.
    Happy trails to you, till we meet again.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank you for your service.

    W. Kevin Vicklund: But after 15 years, I grow weary. While I could take on Trump’s lies, I have a hobby that I’ve been neglecting.

  32. avatar
    Pete February 17, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Yes, thank you, W. Kevin Vicklund.

    And, also, thanks again, to Kevin Davidson, aka Dr. Conspiracy.

    The closing of this blog is, in its way, the end of an 8-year era. You’ve done a fine work of public service here, by publishing the truth, while always giving room for free and open discussion.

    You are a Patriot, a scholar, and a gentleman. I (along with, I’m sure, everyone else) wish you happy trails.