I’m proud to announce a major new initiative here at Obama Conspiracy Theories: The Debunker’s Guide to Obama Conspiracy Theories.
In recognition of the fact that over half the visitors here are new, or have arrived via search engine, I am making the content more accessible to the first-time visitor looking for some facts about a particular myth they’ve heard. This comprehensive debunking project is ongoing and will be added to as new debunking is done. A link to the project appears prominently on the right sidebar, and appears under the Features menu.
This is completely awesome! Thanks Doc! 😀
Mega Kudos! 🙂
“Quaeras De Dubiis Legem Bene Discere Si Vis”
(Inquire into them to know what things are true)
Awesome. Between the Fogbow home page, the Obama Wiki, Mimi’s gator thing, NBC back, ant this — there’s a huge amount of debunking resources! Too bad it won’t make a dent…. 😉
“Obama’s Social Selective Service registration”
Section title sounds wrong to me; I’d drop the “Social”.
Maybe I’m missing something but if you Google “Social Selective Service”, independent “Selective Service” and “Social Security” links come up but no links combining Social+Selective Service.
Oh – I will be using this.
And I would add to that Tes’ What’s your evidence? site.
Long term, I hope the Wiki finally takes off. One of the reasons I put the effort into this page is to be an exercise in organization for the Wiki.
I disagree – this makes a huge difference. Trolling is a form of asymmetric warfare – it takes much less time for someone to drop a link or state a lie than it does for someone else to completely and accurately debunk that lie. If debunkers could cut and paste tailored arguments almost immediately, it would severely limit the influence of the birthers. Look at it this way – how does a birther meme propagate? Outside of the birther echo chamber (their own blogs which are protected from inoculation by heavy-handed censorship), a birhter’s comments are most likely to be persuasive when they are first posted – after which their effectiveness declines as more and better debunking comments are posted in response (a skilled birther can slow this process with their own comments, but the inherent incorrectness of their position ultimately makes this a futile exercise). If we define p(t) as the probability of a birther argument convincing an uninformed, undecided (or weakly decided) observer, we can approximate it by:
where p0 is the chance that a UUO reading the initial comment (and nothing else) would be convinced by it and d(t-t0) is the debunking function for the argument (I imagine this would typically be something of a hill function [slow at first and then with increasing speed until saturation occurs]) where d=0 would indicate no debunking had occurred and d=1 would indicate the argument was completely debunked – i.e. it had no chance of convincing a UUO (I estimate the recent debunking of MichaelN [by everyone] to be on the order of d=10^12…). We could use this framework (and Doc’s site statistics) to estimate the effectiveness of debunking – and how that effectiveness changes if the debunking delay is decreased. I suspect that the difference would be substantial. Furthermore, you could look at the whole birther phenomenon as an immunology problem (the birhters are a disease and sites like this are a kind of immunization [and, to a limited extent, medicine] against them [Scientist, what do you think?]).
I’m curious as to what such a model of the birthers would tell us…
Yeah, tell me about it. I got into a disagreement with a fellow on a Bangor Maine newspaper site this week, but the site closed comments before I could get in the last word, leaving an unrefuted whopper on there.
What I would like to see eventually is something where people could cut and paste high-quality replies to birthers on neutral sites. I think it needs to be in the form a a wiki where we wouldn’t have to rely on any one person’s free time and energy. BTW, the wiki is http://wiki.obamafringe.com.
I agree wholeheartedly (I already added an outline of Indonesian citizenship to the wiki… ;-)). I have some additional thoughts on this topic in regard to a data mining project I’m currently working on, but I’ll wait on that until I have some information to show you.
I think you need to add the fantasy trip from Hawaii to Kenya- Misha’s analysis or anothers
Great job…Hopefully it makes a difference…
I agree. It’s great to have a one-stop link for those of us who want to show how unlikely it is that a pregnant 18 year old would fly ten thousand miles to give birth, then fly back home with a newborn baby in tow only a few days later.
Thanks to Doc C and all the Obots who have contributed info over time.
“with a newborn baby in tow only a few days later”
smuggled in the luggage to escape detection by immigration, oh wait, that would mean a dead baby!
Excellent, but shouldn’t you include a section on the debunked Pakistan travel ban? I still see birthers bringing that up. Perhaps it belongs in the Higher Education Myths section.
Must Read: “Room for Debate: The Psychology of the Birther Myth”
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/04/21/barack-obama-and-the-psychology-of-the-birther-myth
Racial Resentment at Its Root – David O. Sears
No Winning This Argument – James T. LaPlant
A Matter of Motivated ‘Reasoning’ – David P. Redlawsk
Our Populist Birthright – Mark Fenster
The Echo-Chamber Effect – Nicholas DiFonzo
Echoes of McCarthy – Jerrold M. Post
Conspiracy Theories in Politics – Michael Barkun
I remember Michael Barkun from his book, Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement. Fascinating stuff.
I know it’s small potatoes, but I found the answer to another oft -stated birther claim, that President Bush released his Yale grades, so why doesn’t Obama release all his undergraduate grades, plus law school grades for good measure?.
In a Time Magasine article in 2001, I found this:
“He Bush) said the university president, Richard Levin, had called him when The New Yorker magazine got hold of his college transcript. Levin promised that no one from Yale’s administration had released it. I could tell the exposing of his transcript bothered Bush. But I also could tell that he appreciated the way Levin was handling it.”
from George W’s Love-Hate Affair with Yale
By James Carney Wednesday, May. 23, 2001
Does this sound like the former president voluntrarily made public his grades?
When Corsi’s birther book comes out next month, the media is going to be chock full of debunked myths and recycled rubbish.
I’m sure this debunker guide is going to get a LOT of use as confused people scan the internet trying to make sense of what Corsi is claiming.
Thanks Dr. C for being one of the few people on the internet to take the time to methodically challenge the unending dreck from the birthers. I get into regular debates with them, but it gets exhausting having to debunk every “fact” they pull out of their a*$e on the spot. You’ve got a lot of patience, my friend.
The web site was created so I had a place to put stuff so I wouldn’t have to start over with each new birther that came along — it does get exhausting. However, there ended up being so much information that it was hard to find that basic stuff the site was created for. Hence the Debunking Guide, which is really just an index to the debunking articles already on the site (plus a few outside links that were better).
I still wish I could find that post where I did a minute translation of Vattel with footnotes about the meaning of “patrie” for example; I think it would be a good addition my earlier post you quoted.
This segues into noting that the term “patrie” (as you may remember from the Marseillaise: “Allons enfants de la patrie……”) obviously comes from “paper” = father. It is the equivalent of your “fatherland”. But we have no word “matrie” (“Motherland”) in French. (Sexist people that we are.) Should one draw the conclusions that only makes belong to the country? Of course not. The birthers make the same mistake when they segue from “parens” to “pères”.
Is this it? http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/02/the-occasional-open-thread-mark-ii-turbocharged-special-edition/#comment-93054
Amazing and excellent!
One suggestion: a shorter URL somehow.
If this is to be pasted elsewhere, it’s just too long and hard to remember, type, etc.
Make it short and sweet and it might become THE site for setting things straight throughout the MSM.
Great work tho!
Nicely done, Doc. As always, you impress.
Filed Not Accepted
Like Whac-A-Mole they just keep popping up. The latest one I have heard is Obama’s BC was not “accepted” it was “filed” which, according to this latest birther OMG, have totally different meanings. My Alaskan CoB states “filed” and I just looked at (and held in my hands) a California (photocopy on security paper) and it states “DATE RECEIVED BY LOCAL REGISTAR” which I think are legally equivalent but as usual the brithers are hinging their hopes on sematic differences.
Here’s a link to a comment echoing this latest birther revelation:
[from the link]
“If the Certificate of Live Birth released by Mr Obama was in fact a true Birth Certificate it would say Accepted by the State Registrar’ right above the date on the document, in August 1961, meaning that someone filed a statement that Obama was born in Hawaii on a certain date, and that the evidence provided was sufficient to verify the statement, such that the registrar Accepted’ the accuracy of the filing and registered the Birth.
In the case of Mr Obama’s Certificate’, it says it was Filed’ with the Registrar, but does not say that it was ever Accepted’, meaning that when the statement was made concerning the Birth, which automatically triggered the newspaper announcements, there was less than the minimum required verification submitted with the statement. The Registrar could not verify the accuracy so he Filed’ the statement but did not Accept’ it.
BY issa734 on 04/22/2011 at 11:53”
Doc — that might be worth adding to your database.
Yes, it now has its own page:
It is linked under the Features | Comments menu, and it is one of the links used in the Debunker’s guide. I had previously used a different comment from you, similar but shorter, for these links, but now replaced.
Some Obama birth records made public for years
HONOLULU (AP) — Lost in the renewed scrutiny into President Barack Obama’s birth records is the fact that anyone can walk into a Hawaii vital records office, wait in line behind couples getting marriage licenses and open a baby-blue government binder containing basic information about his birth.
Highlighted in yellow on page 1,218 of the thick binder is the computer-generated listing for a boy named Barack Hussein Obama II born in Hawaii, surrounded by the alphabetized last names of all other children born in-state between 1960 and 1964. This is the only government birth information, called “index data,” available to the public.
So far this month, only The Associated Press and one other person had looked at the binder, according to a sign-in sheet viewed Wednesday in the state Department of Health building. The sheet showed about 25 names of people who have seen the document since March 2010, when the sign-in sheet begins.
Those documents complement newspaper birth announcements published soon after Obama’s Aug. 4, 1961 birth and a “certification of live birth” released by the Obama campaign three years ago, the only type of birth certificate the state issues.
So-called “birthers” claim there’s no proof Obama was born in the United States, and he is therefore ineligible to be president. Many of the skeptics suggest he was actually born in Kenya, his father’s home country, or Indonesia where he spent a few years of his childhood.
Possible Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly stoked the birther fires recently, and last month called on Obama to “show his birth certificate.” Trump said he has investigators in Hawaii searching for more information.
“Nobody has come in and said they’re investigating for Donald Trump,” said Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo, who acknowledged they could’ve come in without identifying themselves as representing Trump.
What the would-be sleuths won’t find is Obama’s “long-form birth certificate,” a confidential one-page document containing his original birth records kept on file in the first floor of the Department of Health.
Those original birth records typically include additional birth details, such as the hospital and delivering doctor, said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the state’s former health director who twice looked at and publicly confirmed Obama’s original long-form birth records.
But those documents are state government property that can’t be released to anyone, even the president himself, said Joshua Wisch, special assistant to the state attorney general. Obama would be able to inspect his birth records if he visited the Health Department in person, but original records of live birth are never released, he said.
Fukino, who served as the state’s health director until late last year under former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, said in an interview with The Associated Press she’s convinced the long-form document is authentic. She issued public statements in 2008 and 2009 saying she had seen the original records.
“It is absolutely clear to me that he was born here in Hawaii,” Fukino told the AP. “It should not be an issue, and I think people need to focus on the other bad things going on in our country and in our state and figure out what we’re going to do about those things.”
Before Obama’s campaign released his certification of live birth in 2008, he or someone with a tangible interest had to make a written request and pay a $10 fee to receive it, Okubo said. Wisch also said Obama obtained a copy of his own certification of live birth and publicly released it.
State privacy laws prevent a certification of live birth from being released to anyone except those with a tangible interest, such as the person named by the birth record or a close family member.
The document is generated by computer, based on original birth records on file with the state, Fukino said.
New Health Director Loretta Fuddy, a Democratic appointee, declined to comment.
Last week, Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have required presidential candidates to prove their U.S. citizenship before their names could appear on the state’s ballot — which was widely viewed as targeting Obama — calling it a “bridge too far.”
But the birther conspiracy theory refuses to go away. The latest New York Times-CBS News poll found that 45 percent of adult Republicans said they believe Obama was born in another country, and 22 percent said they don’t know. Only one-third of Republicans said they believe the president is native born. The same poll a year ago found that a plurality of Republicans believed the president was born in the U.S.
Obama said in an interview with ABC News this month that Republicans sowing doubts about whether he’s American-born may gain politically in the short term by playing to their constituencies, but will have trouble when the general election rolls around.
“Just want to be clear — I was born in Hawaii,” the president said at a fundraiser in his hometown of Chicago.
Newspaper birth announcements appeared in both The Honolulu Advertiser and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin in the weeks after he was born.
The Aug. 13, 1961 announcement in the Advertiser appears on page B-6 of the Sunday edition, next to classified ads for carpentry work and house repair.
It says, “Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy., son, Aug. 4.” The address belonged to the parents of Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother.
A similar announcement appeared the following day on page 24 of the Star-Bulletin.
I think it would help to add in when and where, and by whom the original claims were made by. It would be good to see how long those claims have been in “existence” and who exactly made them in the first place, and which ones are still persistent to this day.
I gather you are from Hawaii. I wanted to have someone from Hawaii perform an experiment. I called the Hawaii health department and was told you can get an original long form birth certificate with an ‘apostille’ certification to be used internationally.
An apostille is an additional level of certification to be recognized by foreign governments. For certain international uses such as applying for dual citizenship you have to use the long form for the additional information it contains.
You’ll need to give the name of the country this will be used for and specify that it has to be the original long form birth certificate not the usual short form that is currently given out.
No you don’t. No hospital or doctor’s signature is required and computer-printed forms are perfectly acceptable as long as they contain the registrar’s signature and seal. nor are apostilles necessarily required I know this for an absolute 24K gold personally-verified fact. The only thing required is that the form show parents’ place of birth, since the dual citiizenship is granted based on one or more parent’s birth in the country of interest.
You are spreading lies and don’t know your ass from your elbow. That is not rudeness, simply a statement of fact
Several people who have actually done things like live in a foreign country, get married there or apply for citizenship for themsleves or a family member have told you are wrong, yet you persist in pretending that something you got off a web site makes you an expert. What is wrong with you?
I cant speak for anywhere else 100%, but in Ireland the COLB would be more than sufficient.
Forgot to give that link with the phone numbers to obtaining the Hawaii birth certificates with apostille:
As I mentioned before I am only going to have discussions on this forum if they are conducted in a civil fashion.
Whatever4, someone on this forum who shall remain nameless has questioned my claim that if you specify a copy of the original long form and give a sufficient reason you can get a copy of the original birth certificate filed at birth.
You said in a prior post that in Pennsylvania if you quote the appropriate “magic words” than you can get a copy of the original birth certificate, though it will take 6 to 8 weeks, much longer than for the usual computer-generated forms.
Can you tell us what were the “magic words”?
I accidentally included Suranis’ post in that last post when responding to Whatever4.
I was not referring to Suranis in that last post.
Plugh and XYZZY.
Interesting you should say that; for all your shallow commitment to surface civility, I think it’s far worse to constantly push lies and waste people’s time than to let go the occasional swear word.
I’ve participated in many online discussion forums over the years. It’s been my experience that when the discussion devolves into hurling insults then what becomes more important is hurling insults at the other person rather than discussing the merits of the other persons points.
Well, we have established that your points have no merit so…
I’ve been civil to you, Bob, and you ignore my questions. Hillary Clinton is the granddaughter of a British born citizen. It’s rumored that she is disqualified from the presidency because she ‘s a dual citizen–same as Obama. Why aren’t you asking Hillary to come clean about her alleged Irish passport?
I don’t agree with the idea that someone is automatically disqualified by having dual citizenship. For instance for Italy you can have dual citizenship if a forebear down to your great-grandfather was from Italy and he never renounced his Italian citizenship.
I think any presidential candidate should offer their original long form birth certificate if requested.
Other than Obama’s, which ones have you and your coterie, publically requested, or demanded?
If Hillary had requested her birth certificate from Illinois, they would’ve sent a COLB similar in appearance to Obama’s. There would’ve been the same hue and cry. Where’s the long form? Fortunately for Hillary Illinois will provide one, but that’s not true in every state. And maybe Hillary wouldn’t provide a long form either because she doesn’t have to.
It’s obvious to me that the dual citizenship and socialist smears used against Obama would’ve been used against Hillary if she had won the nomination. Most likely, you would’ve been defending her, but you’re not defending Obama. Why?
On this issue, my own view is non-partisan. I believe that McCain, Clinton, and Obama are all natural born citizens. Republican birthers or Democratic birthers are all the same to me–irrationally suspicious.
The whole apostille thing is a distraction. Apostilles are typically put onto certified documents. all sorts of certified documents, and only certified documents. I know from experience that a State should never put its apostille onto a photocopy of a “document” even if that document by its very nature cannot have a certified copy, like a passport or a Belgian marriage booklet. Even though another State may ask for it. Usually, the way around it is contacting a notary, who can draw up a document saying he has seen the passport, that it is not a falsification (good notaries should have access to national population registers that can verify that) and that it mentions the data the other state will be interested in. In some countries, passports are coded with a chip that can be used at town hall to print out this relevant information. Such a print out can be certified and apostilled.
I have no idea whether that New York City notary in 2007 was “on the level” – but if he was, the problem with the New York City short form was completeness: the fact that it did not mention information needed by French authorities. Judging from other BC short forms, it looks like the NYS BC SF may not have mentioned the full names of the parents. States would normally require the full names and consider the initial of the second name insufficient, because what one administration in country A considers a second Christian name, may be revealed in country B (Iceland or Russia) to be a patronymic, or in country C (Spain, Portugal, Argentina) to be the father’s or mother’s family name.
This problem with short forms in New York State is irrelevant for Hawaii BCs/COLBs, because Hawaii mentions the full names. Oh, and it seems that State Department is going to stop delivering passport on the basis of BCs that do not mention the full names of the parents, so this problem should disappear in the next few years as all states will have to make their short forms at least as long as Hawaii’s.
The LONG form from Hawaii would yield exactly the same information as the COLB to French authorities and judging from the Danae episode would be an uncertified
photocopy that therefore cannot be apostilled.
A different question is why birfers want to see the long form. The answer being that they hope it will yield something embarrassing to the President, even though everything that they need to know legally, is on the COLB already.
And when it turns out that there is nothing embarrassing there, they will contend that the original is a forgery and needs to be carbon dated (er, we all know carbon dating destroys the document, don’t we?).
The saner birfer version has long ago (ever since the birth announcements were discovered) gone for Vattel. Even though Vattel does not say what they think.
Do you think that dishonesty, disrespect, and bigotry are parts of a civil discussion? Because you’ve brought all of those things here. If you were truly as concerned about civility as you claimed, you would be ashamed of yourself.
I have a few notes:
2) naturels. The problem is that Vattel is putting up a word here that later in French for some time became a term of art, but later was replaced as term of art by “francais de naissance”. The Royal Decree of December 1790 seems to use “naturels francais” in the meaning “native born”. Personally, as a translator, I think my choice would be between “naturals” (do not forget that before Vattel “naturels” did not mean much) and ” native born” – I know that invokes citizenship, which is not really in the text. Since 1790 is AFTER the writing of the constitution, I tend towards “naturals”. Some translators argue that you should not choose on historical relevance. E.g. Shakespeare probably never though of all the meanings philosophers (particularly existentialists) were to attach to his words “To be or not to be” – but that is usually not deemed a reason to change traditional
translations of the soliloquy because everybody now thinks of Camus when reading it. Well, of course, birfers do not read Camus.
(3) correct, “parens” definitely did not mean the same as present-day English parents. Unfortunately, the translated text as it is does not reflect that “parens” is a grammatical, and not necessarily semantical plural. In other words, ONE uncle would be enough. May be too difficult to fix though.
(7) and (10) no problem on the first level here. On the meta level, you miss the opportunity to point out that Vattel himself may have considered himself a son of Switzerland, though Prussia was the state he was born (and died) a subject of. Not sure of the patrie-pays relationship there. “J’irai voir ma Normandie …”
Your notes are now added to the Vattel translation page. I am truly fortunate to have such talented contributors on my site.
This reminds me to underscore the fact that states issue birth certificates as a service to their population, and that they design their certificates to meet the specific requirements for which the documents will be used. This is why common sense should tell us that a Hawaiian birth certificate should be valid for a range of uses, including one of the most common — getting a passport.
The problem is that you LIE. You made a claim, that long forms with a hospital and doctor’s signature are needed to apply for citizenship in other countries. I know for an absolute fact they are not. Normally, when someone is caught in a lie they either apologize or slink away.
Since you have done neither you deserve only condemnation and aprobation. When you earn civility by apologizing for lying, I will be happy to give it to you.
I couldn’t agree more.
Apologize for your lies, slink away, or get treated like the diseased cur that you have shown yourself to be. Those are your only options.
Just to steer this ship back on subject a bit, this debunkers guide is a great resource, but the URL has a whopping 118 characters to it.
This will prohibit quick re-posting and memorization, increase truncation probabilities and limit promotion to a great degree.
I guess it’s easier to remember “Bob Clark?” 😉
I know your question isn’t to me but you mentioned my name and I don’t fully understand what you’re asking about. I understand the part about a long URL but the rest is mysterious.
But you’re making a statement on the format and I had some suggestions as well. Frequently you want to make a response to someone but his comment has scrolled off that short list of recent comments on the home page and you can’t find it. Would it be possible to have a button at the bottom of that list that allows you to scroll further back?
Barring that could the search box allow you to search through the comments as well?
Use google adding “site:obamaconspiracy.org” to search. I’m aware that the blog metaphor leaves much to be desired as a forum. If someone knows a wordpress plug-in with a better way to manage comments, let me know.
Oh, well there is the “short form.”
Minor suggestion: you could add a link to your reconstruction of the long form in the debunkers guide.
Well stated. Thank you.