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Tweet spam

You may have noticed something like this in my site’s Twitter feed (right sidebar):


It’s there because a spammer used the #birther hash tag. What I do when I see one of those is to click on the time link (“about 2 hours ago” in the sample) and then click the “… More” link on the page that appears. I select “Block or Report” and mark it as spam. I suppose you have to have a Twitter account to do that.

Behaviors that constitute "spamming" on Twitter will continue to evolve.

– Twitter Help Center

Also, I’ve started getting a wave of spam user registrations. As far as I can tell, they are just trying to get me to click on the links of these folks from the registration, because they never actually try to post any messages. Spam is such a royal pain.


I failed to note two important anniversaries yesterday. I was reminded of the first by Bill Bryan via Twitter. It was the 6th anniversary of the first birther Obama eligibility lawsuit, Berg v. Obama, filed August 21, 2008.

The second is the 55th anniversary of statehood for Hawaii, admitted to the union August 21, 1959. I remember the year well because as a child I had a phonograph record titled “59 Anthology” from the Longines-Wittnauer company. Alaska became a state that year too. It was also the year the Russians crashed a rocket on the Moon, and when the Dali Lama fled Tibet.

Negativity merchants

I just saw this in our Twitter feed:


This comes on the heels of a hilarious August 7 segment on Colbert Nation on the Ebola panic that makes the serious point that an Ebola outbreak is something we’re being told to be afraid of, even though no one has come down with Ebola in the United States yet.


All of this gives some context for a new university study published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences that says that conservatives tend to be more responsive to negative news than liberals. refers to the study in their July 29 article, “Secrets of the right-wing brain: New study proves it—conservatives see a different, hostile world.

The more nuanced journal article (which unlike Salon doesn’t mention birthers) says:

…A rapidly growing body of empirical evidence documents a multitude of ways in which liberals and conservatives differ from each other in purviews of life with little direct connection to politics, from tastes in art to desire for closure and from disgust sensitivity to the tendency to pursue new information, but the central theme of the differences is a matter of debate. In this article, we argue that one organizing element of the many differences between liberals and conservatives is the nature of their physiological and psychological responses to features of the environment that are negative. Compared with liberals, conservatives tend to register greater physiological responses to such stimuli and also to devote more psychological resources to them.

Obama gives graduation address: confronted by a sea of protesters numbering in the dozens

I’ve seen quite a few references to mass protests called for on the occasion of President Obama’s commencement address at UC Irvine today. Just now on our Twitter feed:

Reformation of America RT @Birther)Watch: MT @wingate_david: Impeach #birther Obama Protest set for UC Irvine Graduation(June 14th)

Here is the birther nonsense protester graphic:

The President spoke, and there were protests. The Los Angeles Times covered the story, saying:

Outside Angel Stadium, a few dozen protesters lined the streets to voice opposition to the administration’s policies on deportation and drone strikes in the Middle East. One group was draped in all black with their faces covered chanting "No border. No nation. No more deportation."

Inside the stadium the mood was more jovial, with parents flocking to souvenir stands to buy $5 copies of graduation programs emblazoned with the president’s picture.

Orly Taitz Super PAC responds

I just saw this in the Twitter feed.

Readers may recall that Orly Taitz in her most recent two filings in Mississippi raised the issue of the Orly Taitz Super PAC, alleging that it was stealing money from her campaign. Now the Orly Taitz Super PAC has responded with an article sympathetic to Taitz, and this pledge:

We give our solemn assurance that every penny raised by the Orly Taitz Super PAC is used to promote Orly Taitz’ candidacy for Attorney General.


This article has been updated to show the spiffy new graphic for the Orly Taitz Super PAC. According to the Volunteer page, it was donated by someone with the initials PA.

Silly story of Hillary, the birther

I don’t know why, but one of the very frequent tweets tagged #birther says in various forms that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement.

One Twitter message had this picture attached:


Obama Conspiracy Theories, after extensive research, has gotten to the root of the phenomenon, and here are the graphic results:


I think these tweets are indeed the result of the principle, “monkey see, monkey do.” One of the promoters of this “monkey business” threw some Monkey Chow™ to the birthers last April. Jerome Corsi at WND wrote an article titled “Sheriff Joe Expands Obama Probe to Hillary Supporters,” by which he means that (according to Corsi) Sheriff Arpaio is going to find out what Clinton supporters in 2008 knew about Obama’s eligibility. Corsi gets in the monkey swing of things by saying that there are “dozens” of unnamed Clinton supporters ready to come up with evidence and affidavits. Corsi makes his story more attractive by putting lipstick (Arpaio) on it.

“Oh, any day now! Any day now! Oh please, I want it to be true! Zullo and Arpaio will save us from shame. We will be vindicated and all the Obots will go to jail. We birthers will rise from the nut heap of history, and become the patriotic saviors of America.” Not.

This is a story that I have generally ignored. I ignored it because there’s no evidence to sift, no logic to analyze. The claim originally came allegedly from a Hollywood film producer Bettina Viviano1 who said (and that is all there is) that she heard Bill Clinton say Obama is not eligible. To explain why Clinton never raised the issue in the campaign, they say Obama threatened to kill Chelsea Clinton. That’s silly. Rather than allow his daughter to be threatened, Bill Clinton (as every good “Clinton Body Count” conspiracy theorist knows) would just have had Obama killed.

The Clinton’s were never birthers, because neither of them is stupid enough to believe that garbage. If you really want to know where the birthers started, read Loren’s article, “The Secret Origins of the Birthers.”

1The Internet Movie Database credits Viviano with 9 films.