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Obama conspiracy theories in the media

The woman who saw Obama in the hospital

It was 2011 when CNN went to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth certificate. The esteemed commenter on this blog Whatever4 left a comment and  link to the video below. I never wrote about it, but it’s just this great historical piece that shows that the Media wasn’t ignoring the birth certificate question; they were investigating and reporting on it.

It’s well worth taking the time to watch.

Update:

Hawaii did not have a separate tabulation for black people in 1961. The smallest category separately tabulated was Korean, with 149 Korean fathers and 169 Korean mothers (with 44 of those births to 2 Korean parents). Taking the smaller of those two numbers (minus 1) as a possible number of black parents, we would get 296 total black-appearing babies born that year. On most days, a Hawaiian hospital, even the busiest one, would not have a black child.

56

The Fascist Socialist Kenyan Muslim Libtard President

That’s the title of an article by journalist and author Walter Brasch in Op Ed News that highlights the extreme comments made by some against Barack Obama beginning with the infamous tweet by Rep. Weber (R-TX):

Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for the right reasons.

Oh, and he mentions birthers too. He’s speaking my language when he says:

When not attacking the President, the right-wing attacks liberals, who are believed to be the earthly incarnation of the Devil. To the extreme right-wing, liberals are DemocRATS, DIMocrats, and libtards. The left-wing merely shakes their heads at such juvenile terminology.

Give it a look.

Birther Erik Rush to host Volin show tonight

Erik Rush joined the list of Birthers from A to Z at spot 359 today. Rush is an African-American writer and columnist for WorldNetDaily, who also hosts a streaming radio program, Erik Rush: Full Contact, from his web site. He does not like Barack Obama.

Rush guest-hosted Mike Volin’s Where’s Obama’s Birth Certificate show a year ago. On that show Rush questioned the use of the term “birther” to apply to a wide range of people, only some of whom believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Rush operates in the ambiguous area of the doubter, who would discount the official statements of the State of Hawaii that state unambiguously that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and say that they don’t know where he was born. That’s another way of saying something that I am sure Rush would not mind me putting in his mouth: Obama’s birth narrative is dubious.

I personally have no respect for someone who hides behind doubt language in order to cover up something darker, and we know that Rush is in dark territory based on what he said on that December 14, 2013, broadcast:

We have a birth certificate that was obviously forged.

That makes him a birther by any reasonable definition.

In any case, Rush will be hosting the Volin show again tonight, January 9, 2014, at 8 PM US Eastern Time. There is supposed to be an update on the mailing of Sheriff’s Kits.

Read more:

  • Erik Rush – Encyclopedia of American Loons

Troll hunter

imageThere is an interesting-sounding Swedish TV series called “Toll Hunter.” The show tracks down Internet trolls and confronts them on camera. Now that’s my kind of reality TV.

A new story in the MIT Technology Review by Adrian Chen talks about the show and also journalistic efforts to expose racists in high places through their anonymous Internet comments. It talks about the tension this creates between free speech and privacy.

It is generally no longer acceptable in public life to hurl slurs at women or minorities, to rally around the idea that some humans are inherently worth less than others, or to terrorize vulnerable people. But old-school hate is having a sort of renaissance online, and in the countries thought to be furthest beyond it. The anonymity provided by the Internet fosters communities where people can feed on each other’s hate without consequence. They can easily form into mobs and terrify victims. Individual trolls can hide behind dozens of screen names to multiply their effect.

The story of how the Discus commenting system was reverse-engineered to disclose real email addresses was particularly interesting.1

I’m interested in what readers here think about the ethics of private citizens or journalists using legal technical means to determine the identities of anonymous posters on the Internet, and then publishing the results. What if we were talking about birthers at Birther Report, or commenters here?

I recommend the article.


1Disqus was including an MD5 hash of the real email address a part of the information provided by its public API (intended for use by Gravatar). All one had to do was to take a known email address (and lots of email addresses are known), and compare their MD5 hash to the one reported by Disqus. According to Disqus, the MD5 hash is no longer provided by the API.

“The Joe Show” airs

imageI just finished watching Randy Murray’s documentary, The Joe Show, on the Investigation Discovery cable channel. This edited version contained most of the “birther thing” clip, plus two clips from Arpaio’s birther news conferences and one from a Tea Party meeting. We get to see Mike Zullo twice (unnamed). Arpaio’s campaign manager says the birther investigation brought in millions.

What I found most compelling in the entire piece was the deaths in the jail and the cruelty there. The section on the false arrest of political enemies was, in my opinion, bungled because it never said that the County had paid out millions to settle those lawsuits. That weakness may be the result of editing for television.

Many things that Arpaio and his people said seemed bizarre to me and I hope they will seem bizarre to the folks in Maricopa County.

If you missed the broadcast and still want to see it, The Joe Show is expected to be available through iTunes on December 16.