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Donofrio’s early views on “natural born citizen”

I’m not breaking any new ground here because I am sure others have noticed this before me; however, I think it should be mentioned because those people who believe that only persons born in the United States to two US citizen parents claim that this view is not novel.

A commenter at Birther Report named “BornTexas” said recently that objections to Obama’s eligibility based on his non-citizen father were made before Barack Obama was nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate in 2008.


I challenged that assertion, and now 4 weeks later there has still been no response.1 It certainly seems that if there were any widespread belief in the two-citizen-parent theory, that someone would have raised the objection the moment Obama announced as a candidate.

In my reply to BornTexas, I noted that Leo C. Donofrio had written on his blog, NaturalBornCitizen, about the two-citizen-parent theory in December of 2008, the month the blog started.

When Donofrio wrote of it on December 19, 2008, he talked about Minor v. Happersett, and said that the Court “punted the issue.” Donofrio wrote:

For the purposes of Minor and Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court didn’t need to reach the “natural born citizen” issue as neither person was running for President, so they rightfully punted by limiting their holdings to the issue of  whether each person was a “citizen”….

Those “doubts” mentioned in Minor needed to be discussed and adjudicated by the current supreme court.

Shortly after, as we know, Donofrio was to assert that the Minor decision definitively defined natural born citizen, and even developed a conspiracy theory surround the first US President with a non-citizen father, Chester A. Arthur.

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Smith not being extradited to Kenya

Atlanta attorney Loren Collins, who had offered to represent Lucas Smith in what Smith claimed was an imminent extradition from the Dominican Republic (where Smith is residing at present) to Kenya, has good news for Smith.

I had previously contacted the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic who checked with Dominican  authorities to learn that there was no pending extradition and published that response in my article “Smith safe!” Now Collins has contacted the DR Supreme Court (who handles extradition cases) to confirm that there is no extradition proceeding.

Collins gave Smith the good news at Smith’s, “Was Obama Born in Kenya” blog. Collins sums it up:

Regardless, no extradition is definitely good news. It means you don’t have to worry about getting sent to Kenya, it means there’s never been any need for my legal help, and it means that Bruce gets his $5,800 back. It was good that he was willing to help out a friend, but luckily we found out that that wasn’t necessary after all. It would’ve been a real shame if someone had abused his generosity. I’m glad I could help out.

Smith benefits from the paucity of birther material to publish, and gets an article here for something that’s just an unimportant novelty.

Anti-birther attorney represents birther?


imageIt appeared in a comment on this blog: Lucas Daniel Smith says that Loren Collins has offered to represent him pro bono in Smith’s defense against extradition from the Dominican Republic to Kenya. I find this a delicious story, full of twists and irony; however, I didn’t want to write an article about it until I had confirmation, and now I have. Collins confirmed to me in an email today that he made the offer of representing Smith, and further that his offer is sincere. (Loren is a straight-up guy as I have known him, and I wouldn’t have expected anything but sincerity from him.)

At this point Smith hasn’t accepted the offer, but said that he would decide by Monday. Since Collins isn’t yet representing Smith, he has no special access to documentation and records; we’re all in the same boat as to our capability of judging whether there is any real Kenyan extradition proceeding in the first place. I wrote about that question in my article: “Why did Bruce Steadman give Lucas Daniel Smith $5,800?

The initial irony would be Smith saying that he rejected representation because he couldn’t trust Collins, and that’s likely as far as it will go.


Lucas Smith, among his plethora of new articles, says he accepts Collin’s offer. I didn’t see that coming (I hasten to add that there’s no written agreement between Collins and Smith yet). It raises new interesting questions like how attorney-client privilege works in a case like this, and would Collins would be muzzled even if he found out that the extradition was a hoax, which I still believe it is? On the positive side, Smith is saying that Bruce Steadman will receive copies of all their correspondence which is important because if there is any victim here, it’s Steadman.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Just when you think there’s nothing new under the birther sun, they come up with something.

Update 2:

Smith has posted a draft agreement (which appears rather silly in its inclusion of irrelevancies) that he wrote for Collins’ representation of him. It appears that Smith has been cribbing legal advice here and/or at the Fogbow, based on the final sentence:

This transmission [all email communications] to a third party, i.e., BRUCE STEADMAN, shall not defeat the privilege according Attorney-Client communication.

Well good luck with that.

Update 3:

Obama Conspiracy Theories has learned from the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo that Smith is not facing extradition. I guess that means that the Collins offer was for naught. It was all a hoax on the part of Smith.

Sometimes a Zullo is just a Zullo

and other dubious quotations

The title to this article has been lurking for some time looking for a story. I’ve written so much about Cold Case Posse Commander Mike Zullo lately (and the unlicensed practice of psychiatry is against this site’s rules) that I really didn’t want another Zullo article, so this isn’t about him, but it does relate to the oft-cited quotation attributed to Sigmund Freud, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” (and not a phallic symbol).

My researches on that quotation lead me to an interesting web site called Quote Investigator published by Dr. Garson O’Toole. The site is a massive collection of research on quotations and I would now put it at the top of my list for quote attribution checking. I’ll keep you in suspense no longer: O’Toole has been unable to verify the cigar quote as an authentic saying of Freud.

Another quotation of special interest to me is one that it widely cited in books and articles, attributed to George Orwell:

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

While the sentiment might be a good summary for Orwell’s book 1984, the quotation is not from there, nor has it been found anywhere else in Orwell’s writings, despite several peoples’ efforts to find it, reports Quote Investigator. The reason that it is interest to me, of course, is that it appears in the #2 spot on the masthead of Orly Taitz’ web site.


I find it remarkable that all three of the quotations Taitz has at the top of her blog are fake attributions. I concluded that the other two were fake in my article last year, “Apocryphal quotes on Taitz web site,” where I noted Loren Collins’ research on the faux Gandhi quote in his book Bullspotting. I don’t think that it is just a coincidence that Taitz is batting zero both for quotes on her web site, and for her anti-Obama lawsuits. A basic disregard for fact checking underlies them both.

The Many Lies of Joseph Farah

by Loren Collins

I retired my blog, Barackryphal, at the end of 2013 because I was burnt out on Birtherism. After five years, it’s simply become a rehashing of the same tropes, and there’s little new to address.

However, after WorldNetDaily all but gave up on its Birther interests in the fall of 2012, WND President Joseph Farah has recently raised its spectre again, and in doing so yet again demonstrated some abject dishonesty that I felt compelled to address. Others have called him out for his supposed hypocrisy over his reactions to Barack Obama and Ted Cruz.

But I’m not here to call him a hypocrite. I’m here to document that he’s a liar. To wit, in his column of April 23, 2011, Joseph Farah wrote:

“WND never reported that Obama had spent $2 million hiding his birth certificate.”

Whereas five months earlier, on December 9, 2010, Farah said:

“Obama has spent at least $2 million fighting efforts to release his birth certificate.”

And that’s just Farah himself; he claimed that WND had never reported this, when in fact WND reporters had said this dozens of times.

On February 19, 2011, Joseph Farah wrote:

“I don’t know any thinking, rational person who questions the existence of Obama’s birth certificate.”

But what did Farah himself say two years earlier, on Chuck Crismier’s radio show on June 5, 2009?

“There’s a reason that Barack Obama will not show the American people his birth certificate. I believe he doesn’t have one.”

And who else questions the existence of Obama’s birth certificate? Why, none other than WND’s senior reporter, Jerome Corsi. Because Corsi had this to say on The Alex Jones Show on January 20, 2011, just one month before Farah claimed that no “thinking, rational person” would say such a thing:

“The key document that should be produced, if it exists and I don’t believe it does, is the long-form, hospital-generated Hawaiian birth certificate for Barack Obama.”

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“Life is difficult.”

I hope you don’t do what I did after reading those words from M. Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled: I stopped reading. The opening sentence of Chapter 1 struck me as so profound at the time that I paused to contemplate it for 30 years, and never got back to the rest of the book, which sits on the shelf unread to this day.

imageSavvy readers might infer from my philosophical tone that I have been mowing grass again, and they would be right. As I mowed, I contemplated something else that I read, just last night, from Loren Collins’ new book, Bullspotting. Loren was commenting on how 9/11 conspiracy theorists frame arguments and said in a section titled Anomaly Hunting:

What Truthers do instead [of providing concrete evidence], and what they do a lot , is try to “poke holes” in the accepted version of the events of 9/11.  This often involves a lot of open-ended questions…

I understand Loren’s point, but it caused me some disquiet because “poking holes” is what I do a lot too. So this article tries to make some distinctions between anomaly hunting the way I do it and the way some birthers do it.

Loren makes one important point about “debunking” and that is the debunker usually approaches questions with his mind made up, and is just trying to prove something he already believes to be bunk actually is. Obviously after 4 years of arguing about Obama’s birthplace, I have made up my mind about where Barack Obama was born, and I do approach every new argument to the contrary with the view that it is bunk. I think, however, with basic integrity and commitment to honesty, plus the methodology of proof I learned as a math student, that honest investigation can be done even by someone somewhat biased. Knowing you’re biased at the start helps compensate. So one difference is that when I make an anomaly argument I take my own admitted bias into consideration.

I’d like to compare and contrast two particular debunking efforts. One deals with my treatment of the fake birth certificate, the so-called Bomford certificate (named from the person named on the source document from which the fake was made). The second deals a popular birther debunking of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the presence of the word “African.”

When I looked at the Bomford certificate, I noticed that the price listed on the 1964 document form was shown in shillings and pence. That is an anomaly because Kenya used cents and not pence in 1964 (and before and after). The debunking argument goes: “since Kenya used money denominated in cents in 1964, any purported official Kenyan document denominated in pence is a fake.” Government agencies use official currency in their transactions and no objection to this argument has been put forward. The Bomford certificate is a fake. QED.

Many birthers looking at Obama’s birth certificate made an argument: “No official document in 1961 would have used the term ‘African’ as a race, so any purported official document using that term is a fake.” The argument form is the same as mine. The difference is that the premise is false. It was possible to establish from other contemporary birth certificates and a vital statistics data entry manual that national and regional groups could appear on birth certificates, and that black Kenyans considered their race as “African.” Not only is the “official version” plausible, it is exactly what it should be based on this evidence. The difference is that the anomaly in the Bomford Certificate proved decisive based on well-sourced fact, while the alleged anomaly in the Obama certificate didn’t hold up against the facts.

Whenever some new Obama Conspiracy evidence comes forward there is a flurry of activity on the Internet with various people on the “other side” trying to find anomalies, to poke holes in the evidence. We had a world of fun poking holes in the Lucas Smith’s POSFKBC for a year. Most recently, we’ve seen a flurry of anomalies directed at the Peter Rehnquist Obama birth video: Why does the baby have teeth? Why is there so little blood; Why is the flag wrong? [Update: Why is there a 2013 calendar picture on the wall :shock” ?]

What happens over time is that crowd-sourced research on the Internet sorts through the anomalies, separating the plausible from the implausible, from the impossible. New information is found, corner cases are located, and the arguments are tested. In the case of the birth video, that process resulted in an “impossible” verdict quite quickly. It goes: “An image appears in the video that was created in 2005; therefore, any video that claims to be from 1961 with that image is a fake.” QED

As far as I know, the Obama birth video has so many problems that no one except Peter Rehnquist defends it. However, with other evidence regarding Obama’s long-form birth certificate, the birthers have refused to join the consensus, preferring to rely on themselves as sources. There’s no help for that. They don’t admit that they are biased.