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Conspiracy Theory Media Watch: Birthers v. Truthers

Read about it here.

Comments (15)

I thought it was customary for one to disclose a connection to authors whose stories one appears to be randomly plugging.

You got me there, Gadfly. I met and spoke to David Freddoso once in my life. It was in September 2008 at a Notre Dame tailgate party while I was on the faculty there last year. And while I'm confessing....

I also helped Johnny Lee out to his car in 1981 while I was working at my parents' candy store in the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas. And I also once danced with Ann-Margaret when I was a senior in high school. And, how can I forget the one time I shook hands with Margaret Thatcher in 1994. (And I have the picture to prove it!).

And my wife once kissed Eric Clapton.

Gadfly, you're not just good, you're very good.

A simple "son of department colleague" would have sufficed.

Are you suggesting that someone in Baylor's philosophy department sired David Freddoso? That's quite a charge.

Indeed. So why would you make it?

I think I need a Gadflyswatter. :-)

Full Disclosure:

I have been to Las Vegas and stayed at a hotel that is located in the same city that Francis Beckwith went to school at. I feel so much better now.

I for one want to hear more about the Ann Margaret story.

Here's the story:

It was Spring 1978 (I was 17) and my brother Jim (16 at the time) and I were asked by our parents to escort our two female cousins to a Vegas show while they were visiting from New York City. Our father was able to comp us to see Ann-Margaret at Caesar's Palace.

We were sitting in the third row in one of those cool old-time Vegas booths. In the middle of the show, Ann-Margaret walks through the audience asking people questions. She comes up to me, and in that smokey voice whispers into the microphone, leaning over to me, "What's your name, young man?" I just about passed out. I replied, gingerly, "Frank." She then said, "Well, Frank, would you like to dance with me?" She then extendws her hand, I took it, and she escorted me on stage. We did a little twist, not unlike what she did with Elvis in Viva Las Vegas. She then kissed me on the cheek, and I left the stage to return to my seat. I remain smitten by the wonderful Ann-Margaret.

That's my story.

From what I have been able to cobble together from the information put forth by both sides, the actual birth certificate has not been shown. Rather, a certification of live birth is what has been shown. Apparently, the relationship between the two in Hawaii is that the latter is a derivative of the former. Thus, technically it is not the same as showing an actual legal, sealed birth certificate. Basing things off of that then seems like judging the validity of a document based on a summary of it, rather than examining the document itself.

I am not going to hold my breath on the matter, but I would be laughing for a week if it turned out that Obama is actually a naturalized citizen and thus ineligible to serve.

Bring on Biden. It's time that Mencken gets the last laugh.

I live in one of the states of the U.S.A. When I applied to get a passport, I had to abide by the following rules:

STEP 2: Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
check box Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship

*A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

NOTE: If you do not have primary evidence of U.S. citizenship or your U.S. birth certificate does not meet the requirements, please see Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship.

Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

If you cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you must submit secondary evidence of U.S. citizenship. Determine what form of secondary evidence is most appropriate for your situation based on the descriptions below. Each application is handled on a case-by-case basis. The scenarios below are intended as general guidance.

Early Public Records

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may submit a combination of early public records as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Early public records must be submitted together with a birth record or Letter of No Record (see below). Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:

* Baptismal certificate
* Hospital birth certificate
* Census record
* Early school record
* Family bible record
* Doctor's record of post-natal care

Early Public Records are not acceptable when presented alone.

Delayed Birth Certificate

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship because your U.S. Birth Certificate was not filed within the first year of your birth, you may submit a Delayed U.S. Birth Certificate. A Delayed U.S. Birth Certificate filed more than one year after your birth may be acceptable if:

check image It lists the documentation used to create it (preferably early public records) and
check image It is signed by the birth attendant or lists an affidavit signed by the parents

If your Delayed U.S. Birth Certificate does not include these items, it should be submitted together with Early Public Records (see above).

Letter of No Record

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship because you do not have a previous U.S. passport or a certified U.S. birth certificate of any kind, you must present a state-issued Letter of No Record showing:

check image Your name
check image Your date of birth
check image The years for which a birth record was searched
check image Acknowledgement that no birth certificate was found on file

A Letter of No Record must be submitted together with Early Public Records (see above).

Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may submit Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit as additional evidence of your U.S. citizenship. You may be requested to submit Early Public Records when submitting Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit. The birth affidavit:

check image Must be notarized
check image Must be submitted in person with Form DS-11
check image Must be submitted together with early public records
check image Must be completed by an affiant who has personal knowledge of birth in the U.S.
check image Must state briefly how the affiant's knowledge was acquired
check image Should be completed by an older blood relative

NOTE: If no older blood relative is available, the affiant may be the attending physician or any other person who has personal knowledge of the birth

Foreign Birth Documents + Parent(s) Citizenship Evidence
If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s), but cannot submit a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, you must submit all of the following:

check image Your foreign birth certificate
check image Evidence of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent
check image Parents' marriage certificate
check image An affidavit of your U.S. citizen parent showing all periods and places of residence or physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth



It is screamingly reasonable to assume that the process of becoming President of the U.S.A. should have more stringent rules **even ** than the process of an ordinary citizen applying for a friggin' passport for crying out loud, praise Allah.

Oh man, if this turns out to be true, the last 6 months of Obama will have been worth it to see the wailing and gnashing of teeth as Obama is escorted out of the White House by the Secret Service and Biden is sworn in...

It's usually best to sit on the fence on any remotely plausible conspiracy theory. The European Union celebrated its "50th anniversary" a few years ago, despite having officially existed for only about 14 years at the time. One might look at that and conclude that the EU was the plan all along among those who created its preceding organizations. Likewise, one must also remember that the US Constitution itself was a product of a conspiracy.

Really, people, the president (Senator McCain, too) was born to a U.S. citizen. That means that he is a U.S. citizen. End of story, as the Supreme Court has held since what, 1800? Or are you going to claim that his mother was not born in Kansas?

I get similar ignoramus comments when people don't want to accept my daughter's consular report of birth as proof of U.S. citizenship.

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