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Where in the world is Dr. Conspiracy?

Last year I published a photo of myself standing next to a truck in the article, “Anti-birther partisans flee country.” Looking back on that article, I found this quote from Gerbil Report™ by commenter “Joe Mannix,” whom I believe is likely to be Mike Zullo:

Dr. Conspiracy/Kevin Davidson is a person of interest in the birth certificate forgery. His background into working with birth certificates and vital statistics is key. You are being looked at Mr. Davidson.

Whether Mannix is Zullo or not, I recently learned that I was indeed investigated by the Cold Case Posse early on (to the extent that they really investigated anything—they looked on the Internet). Zullo thought I was a suspicious character because, believe it or not, my blog has a security paper background.

That tidbit aside, there is new photo of me standing next to a meat truck for your puzzling pleasure. The project that took up so much time of late was a vacation.

truck

18

6 years

It was six years ago today that the obamaconsipracy.org domain was registered and  the first article, “Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate is a Forgery – Part 1,” was published. Could it have been so long ago?

I’ve written enough retrospective articles already, so I won’t plow the same ground again, except to say that when I started the blog, I thought I would be done once President Obama was inaugurated in January, 2009. I was no better at predicting the demise of the birther movement than they were in predicting the demise of the Obama administration.

26

Thank you for your service

It is the custom around here that any time someone is identified as a veteran of the armed forces, people say “thank you for your service” to them. There was a time when veterans were sometimes treated with disrespect—after the Vietnam war, for example. On a day like to day set aside as a national holiday for veterans, going out of one’s way to thank them seems appropriate. On other days it seems a little odd to put “thank you for your service” in the same socially required position as “how are you?” and equally meaningless.

Serving in the armed forces is a difficult and demanding job, sometimes requiring great sacrifice, sacrifice that can extend long after leaving the service. I also keep in mind the families of veterans for their sacrifice too, and firefighters, police, social workers, nurses, pastors, school teachers, paramedics and a host of others who work hard for the good of others, often at great personal sacrifice.

So to our veterans and all these others, “thank you for your service.”

Opening the open thread

I’m going to write this article and see if I still agree with it at the end.

The entire issue of free speech vs. good order involves trade-offs. This blog ran for a long time without any bans. Anybody could say anything. But there came a time when some commenters appeared who had the ability to hijack discussions, get everybody angry, and generally make it impossible for the commenting community to function. I banned some people, and in fact I banned quite a few people, and sometimes I banned one person under a host of names.

I tend to ban people who use sock puppets, and people I think are here only to provoke conflict. Whatever the reasons for a ban, they are subjective and of necessity applied in the context of my own biases.

The way a ban works now is that any comment from a banned individual is placed in moderation, not automatically deleted. I see them even though you may not. I generally delete them.

I tried something before called the off-topic dump where banned comments could be moved. The dump was time-consuming to maintain, and it didn’t allow responses. That project was discontinued.

So I’m going to try something else, using the open thread to allow uncensored speech (with the exception that copyrighted material, personal attacks and personal information on non-public figures is not allowed there or anywhere). Under this new policy, folks will still be in moderation, but posts on the Open Thread will be generally approved. Folks in moderation who post in other areas may be approved provided they are polite and not provoking a flame war, or the comment may be moved to the Open Thread when off-topic, or it may just be deleted.

Vote!

VoteHereTomorrow is election day in the United States for federal offices and for many state and local ones. I’ll be working as a poll manger myself, and so I have already voted absentee. I encourage everyone eligible to vote. Turnout matters. I expect pretty much every candidate I voted for to lose. Still, voting is my right, and I will be counted.

While working tomorrow, I will take off my partisan hat and park the bumper-stickered Obotmobile more than 200 feet from the entrance to the precinct voting place. Voting is a right; voting is a civic duty; voting is a celebration of American freedom.

Still not my problem

I’ve been over at WorldNetDaily commenting on their article “Media star jumps into Obama Eligibility Debate.” Birther commenters are arrogantly spouting total counterfactual nonsense, and I am shooting them down, at least a few—there are so many (“African,” “40 experts say it’s a fake,” “no one has seen the certified copy” …).

My original “Not my problem” essay was from April of 2013, and in it I give a corollary to my life principle that “Some things are my problem, and some things are not my problem, ” namely, “Your being a birther is not my problem.”

This web site grew out of a desire to put some material up in an accessible form so I wouldn’t have to waste time arguing with innumerable individuals one on one, and I don’t spend a lot of time doing that. The site was not created with the expectation that it was needed to accomplish some grand purpose, or to influence the 2008 election (which had already happened). It was not created to keep the country from tipping into absolute crazy. It’s just here to provide information to those who are interested.

imageFrom time to time, a birther story leads me to read about other conspiracy theories, the most recent a variety of stories that Obama will declare “marshal law” and cancel the 2016 elections. I am reminded that the conspiracist domain is vast, and I must remind myself that it is not my problem.

Something not being my problem seems to me analogous to the legal concept of standing. My harm from conspiracy nuts is not particular and individual. I don’t suffer more from them than the general public. Any attempt to particularize the damage is speculative and hypothetical. Nobody elected me prosecutor or juror on a conspiracy theorist case. Birthers and other conspiracy theorists may be my hobby, but they are not my problem.