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Burning the Constitution

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

A Google alert brought me to the article, “Impeach Obama? 2014 Impeachment Starts Operation American Spring,” at The article is headed by this Jon McNaughton portrait of a stern-faced Obama burning the US Constitution.


Interested readers can look at the specific items that article suggests might be impeachable offenses, but I found nothing especially egregious or out of line with things done by other US presidents who were not impeached, and certainly nothing reaching the lawlessness of Watergate or Iran-Contra. Nor is there anything new about an image of a president burning the Constitution:


The preceding cartoon1 depicts the United States as symbolized by the eagle rescuing the Constitution from being burned by Thomas Jefferson. It literally refers to the defeat of Jefferson by Adams in the 1796 presidential election.

1A version of this image (with a less clear face) was incorrectly labeled as George Washington in a prior article on this blog. That has been corrected.

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.

Monsieur le Président

We have had at least two US Presidents who were citizens of France.  George Washington was in office in 1792 when he received French citizenship. There are sources that say that Thomas Jefferson was also a French citizen, although this is not confirmed so far.

Today I was reading the book James Madison by Richard Brookhiser and learned:

These events [the French Revolution] thrilled Madison, as a Francophile, and a republican. In April 1793 he learned that he had been made an honorary French citizen. His reply to Jean-Marie Roland, minister of the interior, shows the tone of his thought. The “artificial boundaries of nations,” he wrote, could not divide the “great family” of mankind.” … Madison accepted French citizenship.… pp. 112-3.

You may also read about the decree conferring citizenship on Washington and Madison in the French Archives.

You can’t tell a book…

This blog is about Obama Conspiracy Theories–but you knew that. With some web sites, it’s not so obvious. For example:

The Federalist Blog

The Federalists were founders of our country like George Washington, and John Marshall. The were in favor of a larger role for the federal government compared to the Republicans (or Democrat-Republicans) such as Thomas Jefferson who was an ardent supporter of states rights. However, The Federalist Blog is anything but Federalist, arguing for example that the Federal government lacks the power of eminent domain within a state. I mention this blog  because it’s principal author (and I guess owner) P. A. Madison (not his real name) argues against natural born citizenship for the children of non-citizen immigrants like President Obama.

A Place to Ask Questions To Get the Right Answers

One might think this was a web site akin to Yahoo Answers, or But it is actually a web site devoted publicizing the views of the Kerchner v. Obama lawsuit. While opinion may vary, I think this is not the place to get the right answers on the topics it covers.

Defend Our Freedoms Community

Rather than being related to defense of freedom, this web site collects and publishes articles critical of President Obama.

American Grand Jury

This web site is not really the web site of a grand jury, but another birther site.

Family Security Matters

One might think this related to personal and family security, how to keep burglars out of your house. It’s not. It is a right-wing web site that  publishes birther information. It’s more about linking Obama to Bill Ayers than anything to do with security.

God Save America

More accurately, this might be God Save America from President Obama. It’s a front for the “citizen grand jury movement”.

I contrast these web sites with ones whose titles leave no question as to their content: Obama Crimes, Stop-Obama, Obama Waffles,  and Nigger Obama. Links to these web sites on my bookmarks page.

Thomas Jefferson on “Natural Born”



Thomas Jefferson in December, 1783, wrote these notes to Congress [emphasis in the original]:

Qu. 1. Can an American citizen, adult, now inherit lands in England?
Natural subjects can inherit–Aliens cannot.
There is no middle character–every man must be the one or the other of these.
A Natural subject is one born within the king’s allegiance & still owing allegiance. No instance can be produced in the English law, nor can it admit the idea of a person’s being a natural subject and yet not owing allegiance.
An alien is the subject or citizen of a foreign power.
The treaty of peace acknowleges we are no longer to owe allegiance to the king of G.B. It acknowleges us no longer as Natural subjects then.
It makes us citizens of independent states; it makes us aliens then.
A treaty with a foreign nation where the king’s powers are competent to it as in this which is a case of peace & war, supersedes all law.
If the king’s powers were not competent before, the act of parliament of 1782 has made them so. An American citizen adult cannot inherit then.

Qu.2. The father a British subject; the son in America, adult, and within the description of an American citizen, according to their laws. Can the son inherit?
He owes no allegiance to Great B. The treaty acknowleges he does not. But allegiance is the test of a natural subject. Were he to do an act here which would be treason in a British subject he could not be punished should he happen to go there. Continue Reading →