Wayne Allyn Root: Bonkers

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I’ve made it clear that I’m no fan of Wayne Allyn Root, the Las Vegas sports handicapper running for chair of the Libertarian Party. Root has also indicated that he plans to run for president in 2012 under the LP banner. I criticized Root last year for boasting about his appearances on Michael Savage’s syndicated radio show. Savage is a bigot, a warmonger, and a culture warrior. Not really the sort of platform libertarians should be seeking out. To put it mildly.

Now, Root has gone off the deep end. Or at least further off the deep end. Here’s a snapshot from his Facebook page:

CM Capture 2

Here’s a description of the “trial” to which Root is referring:

With thousands of spectators expecting to attend, Dr. James Manning’s ‘trial of the century’ of Barack Obama on charges of treason, fraud, and sedition begins tomorrow morning at 9 AM in New York City.

Co-defendants in the trial are Columbia University and the CIA.

In the last days of the run-up to the trial, Manning revealed that he has sources in government that will testify against Obama, Columbia, and the CIA.  He also reported explosive information that Barack Obama has used upwards of 20 different Social Security numbers during his life.

Witnesses are expected to testify at the trial that Barack Obama was never a student at Columbia University, although he received a degree from the school…

Other witnesses are expected to testify that Obama fails the Constitutional test for Presidential eligibility due to the fact that his father was a British subject at the time of his birth and his mother was not old enough to confer citizenship when he was born.

A dramatic new revelation, however, may serve to re-emphasize the importance of the trial.  The state of Hawaii, according to sources, did NOT accept his birth registration that was filed, despite issuing a ‘statement of live birth.’

This could mean that although the state issued a certification of live birth (which is NOT a ‘birth certificate’), the process for filing for an official birth certificate in 1961 was never completed and was thus not accepted by state officials…

Oh, but it gets better. According to a flier for the event, Obama . . .

. . . was a C.I.A. operative who used Columbia University as a cover to go to Pakistan in 1981 when the C.I.A. and the Mujahideen worked together against the Soviet invasion. Obama supplied arms, logistics, and money using his Muslim background.

Root indicates in prior Facebook entries that he doesn’t believe Obama actually attended Columbia University.

I never knew him…never met him…never saw him…never heard of Obama. Neither has anyone [sic] of my classmates. No one I know from Columbia University has ever met or heard of a classmate named Barack Obama or Barry Sotero. Strange, huh?

Root made a similar accusation in an interview with Reason. He was appropriately mocked for it. That Root wouldn’t have run in the same circles as Obama in a school with thousands of undergrads isn’t particularly strange at all.

Look, I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party, though I’ve spoken to several state conventions over the last couple years. I have my problems with the party, but I’d like to see it do well, in part because for better or worse the LP has a significant impact on how people view libertarianism.

So let’s be clear about this: If Wayne Allyn Root becomes the face of the LP, it will be an unmitigated disaster for the party. It will also likely do quite a bit of damage to the public perception of libertarianism as a philosophy.

This is batshit crazy, off-the-charts conspiratorial hogwash. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize Barack Obama. Root has chosen to dip into angry-white-guy, “Obama’s a secret Muslim” absolute and utter lunacy.

Libertarians: The man is a nut. Associate with him at your peril.

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119 Responses to “Wayne Allyn Root: Bonkers”

  1. #1 |  Alex | 

    Wasn’t he the one that said, “my kids know what would happen to them if I ever found them with Marijuana?” There’s nothing libertarian about him. But there’s everything Libertarian about him.

  2. #2 |  Marty | 

    I’m not seeing any reason to change my ‘unaffiliated’ status…

  3. #3 |  Henry Bowman | 

    I think you are the one going off the deep end, Radley. Root has never stated that he does not believe that Obama attended Columbia — he just notes that it is strange that he nor anyone else he knew there ever heard of him. I’ve heard him say that, and I never concluded that Root was stating that Obama did not attend Columbia. Obama could (and likely was) simply associating with a different set of folks.

    I think Root is probably figuring that any publicity is better than none, which is probably why he is choosing to participate in this worse-than-useless Obama Trial. I think that bad publicity, at least in politics, is just that: bad for the politician. But, I could be wrong.

    And, I doubt that Root will be a disaster for the LP — after all, the LP is always characterized as a bunch of nuts, if only for its stated position of the War of Drugs. Given that the percentage of votes it has been getting for the past several elections is unbelievably low, how could he hurt the party? At the moment, the LP is going nowhere, and hasn’t for at least a decade or more.

    Root understands media. And, he may indeed be a disaster for the party, depending on what he actually says, should he become chair. But, the party pretty much has nowhere to go but up. If he can’t instill some life, why bother?

  4. #4 |  Joey Maloney | 

    No such thing as bad publicity? Interesting approach for a party supposedly founded on a philosophy. Unless that is the philosophy.

  5. #5 |  LibertarianBlue | 

    I once supported Root when he entered the LP primary for the 08 election but I ultimately went with Marry Ruwar. I remember fellow Libertarians calling Barr a conservative Trojan horse but his post-presidential work proves that claim wrong. If their is a Trojan among us, its Root. He doesnt argue foreign policy with Conservatives, he just sits and agrees. He is not interested in showing why Libertarianism is the way, he wants his pat on the head from Neoconservatives, Paleoconservatives, and other statist conservatives. If he becomes chair, the party will become even less relevant.

  6. #6 |  pris | 

    Root to instill some life in the Libertarian party? Just the kind of life that drives people away.

  7. #7 |  Saint Zero | 

    Doesn’t every party have this problem? One too many nuts who grab the media spotlight and leave the more sane, calm members having aneurysms in the corner?

  8. #8 |  MattJ | 

    Wasn’t he the one that said, “my kids know what would happen to them if I ever found them with Marijuana?” There’s nothing libertarian about him.

    Does the litmus test to be a real libertarian™ include allowing minor children to partake whatever mood- or mind-altering substances they wish without parental rules or restraint?

    No fan of Root’s or anything, but sheesh…

  9. #9 |  Bob | 

    HOLY SHIT!

    So, I’ve heard of these people that claim Obama wasn’t born in the US or some shit… but I just dismissed them.

    So, I looked at this ‘evidence’ they have.

    These people are raving wack jobs!

    Two possibilities: One, Obama was born in Hawaii. Case closed!

    Two: He developed time travel technology (Probably repurposing a Delorean) and went back to 1961 to plant evidence.

    Wow, I can’t believe how much work went into some of these web sites. They go on for days.

    This is impressive? But they can’t touch this guy:

    http://www.timecube.com/

    Not even this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kL7qDeI05U or this guy: http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/za/index.htm can hold a candle to Time Cube!

    I love the internet! Where else can you go to get free entertainment like this?

  10. #10 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Running a political party is a lot like riding a bike. You must always take care of the nuts.

    There were other nut-related analogies (various sex acts, peanut butter, granola, etc.), but I felt strongest about bikes.

  11. #11 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    This is batshit crazy, off-the-charts conspiratorial hogwash.

    Remembering the times in which we live, I will bet the Libertarian Party membership grows larger than ever now. Doesn’t make it right/good/better, but dagnabit that’s what the mobs are buying today.

  12. #12 |  Steve Horwitz | 

    What Radley said. Period, end of sentence. This man is a nutjob and a disaster.

  13. #13 |  David Chesler | 

    I think Nancy Lord was the last LPUS candidate I actually liked or respected :-(

    Were Root and Obama in the same class at Columbia? If so, they shouldn’t be more than 3 degrees of separation.

    It was probably in the Clinton years when some people (maybe David Brudnoy?) suggested that a third party wouldn’t succeed, and the way to a libertarian party was to take over an existing party, more likely the Republicans. (That’s somewhat the Free State Project’s strategy.) Now it looks like the birthers and such could take over the Libertarian party.

  14. #14 |  Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Wayne Allyn Root Is Poison For The Libertarian Party | 

    […] gambling advocate who served as Bob Barr’s running mate on the Libertarian ticket in 2008, is casting his lot in with the birthers. As Radley Balko reports, Root promotes on his Facebook page his participation in a “trial of […]

  15. #15 |  Meyer | 

    You might be on to something there, David. If the Libertarian party can draw off the nuts and neocons from the Republican party, the Republicans might actually be worth voting for again. It could be our flypaper strategy.

  16. #16 |  Jamie | 

    This is why I think it would be better for liberty minded people if the Libertarian paerty would just die already. It is a wingnut magnet that leaves the rest of us to defend the word from a bad base.

  17. #17 |  J sub D | 

    Libertarians: The man is a nut. Associate with him at your peril.

    Asshole and bigot are also applicable desriptors. Saying “I’m a libertarian but I have nothing to do with the Libertarian Party” is a pain in the ass, reduces my credibilty and is just plain embarrassing. I may have to go with classical liberal label if the LP doesn’t toss this asshat out on his butt.

  18. #18 |  J sub D | 

    Detroit girl, 7, fatally shot by officer during search

    The money quote –

    “We have executed countless high risk warrants where children have been present,” [Assistant Police Chief] Godbee told the Free Press this morning.

  19. #19 |  hamburglar007 | 

    Well, if he is nominated for 2012, may I suggest playing crazy train when introducing him at the podium?

  20. #20 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    God Dammit! Can we have ONE political party worth voting for? Please?

    They don’t even have to win. I just want to be able to vote for something that isn’t full of criminals and crazy people.

  21. #21 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I ultimately went with Marry Ruwart

    Ruwart had her on problems, like the wanting to legalize sex with children thing.

  22. #22 |  Alex | 

    “Does the litmus test to be a real libertarian™ include allowing minor children to partake whatever mood- or mind-altering substances they wish without parental rules or restraint?

    No fan of Root’s or anything, but sheesh…”

    No, that’s not what I meant. It’s the “my kids are my property if they don’t do what I want them to I’ll take them out back and whip ‘em” mentality that comes through that sort of statement that I hate.

  23. #23 |  Rob Power | 

    I’m running for LNC with a slate of people who want to help libertarians stop being embarrassed about being called Libertarians. But it is essential that our candidate for Chair be elected. If the whole slate wins, except Phillies for Chair, then the likely winner will be Root, and that would be a disaster. I have already publicly stated on websites, blogs, podcasts, etc., that if Root wins Chair, I will not accept the nomination for Secretary. And currently I am unopposed for that office.

    So, to Libertarians reading this, go to St. Louis for the convention and vote for Phillies, and to libertarians reading this, if you know any Libertarians, please convince them to go to St. Louis and vote for Phillies. The word Libertarian is too important to be associated with Root.

  24. #24 |  George Phillies | 

    @20 New Path for the LP NewPathForTheLP.org is a team of candidates for the Libertarian National Committee, working to give American libertarians a legitimate political party that they can vote for with pride.

    Your support is most welcome.

    George Phillies
    candidate for National Chair

  25. #25 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Wasn’t he the one that said, “my kids know what would happen to them if I ever found them with Marijuana?” There’s nothing libertarian about him. But there’s everything Libertarian about him.

    Probably something similar to what I’d do to my own kids? Look, I’m for “legalize anything that doesn’t harm others” but it doesn’t mean I want to personally do it or let my kids to it. Big difference. Drugs are, in general, a bad idea even if they’re legal. But the state has no business and no moral standing to help me determine what’s “bad” for me – and the concept of “drugs are bad for you so we’ll put you in prison” is simply absurd.

    That said, I do have the moral standing and the responsibility to help my kids make the right decisions in life, at least while they live here. I’m a parent, not a government. Big difference. At least, there should be…

  26. #26 |  Thane Eichenauer | 

    It is an interesting assertion that Balko says that nobody (who years for respectability) should pursue investigations into Obama’s background for fear of being mocked by the orthodoxy. It is an odd mirror of Root’s assertion that nobody (in this case Ernest Hancock) should pursue investigations into the 9/11 WTC collapse (again for fear of being mocked by the orthodoxy).

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/05/brian-holtz-911-truth-becoming-an-issue-in-lnc-chair-race/

    I have a similar disinterest of both investigations but I agree with Ernest Hancock that you can either inspire people with your fearlessness advocacy of freedom and truth or you can be just another run of the mill politician.

  27. #27 |  The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Wayne Allyn Root Is Poison For The Libertarian Party | 

    […] gambling advocate who served as Bob Barr’s running mate on the Libertarian ticket in 2008, is casting his lot in with the birthers. As Radley Balko reports, Root promotes on his Facebook page his participation in a “trial of […]

  28. #28 |  Echoes and Mirrors » Daily Links | 

    […] Reader: Wayne Allyn Root: Bonkers var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="Daily Links"; […]

  29. #29 |  Alex | 

    @25:

    I may be misinterpreting Root (if he did say it in the first place). But that statement to me was not “I’m so invested in my kids and I’m so worried about them screwing their lives over b/c of drugs that I’ll do what I can to stop that from happening, including harsh punishment.” That’s great, there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s unlibertarian is the impression that comes through Root’s statement that he is the God of the household and by virtue of being under 18 and his, he’ll punish the hell out of his kids for doing what he sees as wrong.

    Basically, I imagine him as the kind of parent who whips his kids for saying swear words, and if that’s not unlibertarian then nothing is.

  30. #30 |  PW | 

    The birthers are a strange and paranoid political crowd. That said, there are also some very strange things in Obama’s own past – they just aren’t the conspiracies that the birthers claim.

    I have to admit myself that I’m more than a little unsettled by Obama’s evasive behavior when it comes to releasing documents from his past. His released “birth certificate” is actually a computer-generated printout from the state of Hawaii, similar to what you’d probably get if you wrote their records office and asked for a paper documenting the genealogy of some uncle who had a kid while stationed there in WWII. Now I think the stuff about him being secretly born in Kenya is absurd, but his use of this printout instead of the original does lead me to believe he is concealing the original for another reason.

    My theory is it probably it says something embarrassing about his parents – for example, that he was born out of wedlock, or that his father was separated from his mother at the time for a reason that reflects negatively on their relationship. It is also understandable why Obama would want to conceal this info: (1) despite it being the 21st century, there are still a lot of religious nuts out there who think being a bastard child is a mark against you, and more importantly (2) Obama has staked a huge part of his public image on the racial identity of his father including writing an entire book about it, and it would draw his credibility into doubt if his parents’ relationship at the time of his birth wasn’t what he claims it is.

    The public narrative we’ve gotten is “white American girl meets black Kenyan boy she likes in a college class, gets married in an era not known for its racial progressiveness, has lil’ Barry, but fate determines it’s not to be so daddy goes back to Kenya and Barry grows up on a lifelong quest of racial self-identity in trying to figure out and retrace the steps and, as the title suggests, dreams of his father.”

    I suspect that the actual narrative is something more like this:

    “Freshman teenager goes off to her first semester at college, becomes a wild freshman first semester college student, has a one night stand and gets knocked up by a grad student from Kenya who she barely knows and who is many years her senior, has a baby 9 months later while daddy, who she never married and may not have even had a meaningful relationship with after that one night stand, is never again seen or heard from again until tracking down his son Barry for the first time a decade later.”

    Again, this second narrative would be no fault of his own. But it is understandable why somebody who has staked much of his career on the first narrative would not want any contradicting documentation to get out…hence no original birth certificate.

    I should also note that this trend, and the media’s apparently unquestioning acceptance of it, is especially curious given that they applied a completely different standard to the last several major party candidates for president. Bill Clinton, George Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry, and even John McCain in his earlier bid were scrutinized to the level of the absurd, with original birth certificates being only the tip of the iceburg (recall there was a small rift over McCain in 2000 to get his birth certificate because he was born in the Panama Canal zone where his father, an admiral, was stationed). They also wanted college transcripts, draft registration records, medical records, driving records (anyone remember the Bush DUI thing?) and just about everything else they could get their hands on. In 2004 the media even got itself in trouble while pursuing George W. Bush’s freaking pay stubs from the national guard, and when they didn’t show the scandal the press was hoping for, they bought wholesale into a bunch of forged letters.

    Yet with Obama, all that media scrutiny is out the window. They don’t want any of it. No pay stubs or driving records. No college transcripts. Not even the original birth certificate. Chances are he wasn’t born in Kenya, and none of those documents will ever prove otherwise. But they may tell unflattering things about his past and his parents. So that’s why, even though I think the birthers are completely nuts, they are still the more sympathetic side in the debate than Obama and those who oppose releasing his original birth certificate.

    Oh, and Wayne Allan Root is a fruitloop.

  31. #31 |  Chris Berez | 

    Remember when the LP nominated Michael Badnarik– a man who said in an interview that one of his first acts as POTUS would be to throw IRS employees into prison?

    The LP has been putting the lunatics in charge of the asylum for a while now– which is probably why from now on when I vote in Presidential elections (assuming I decide to actually continue that practice) I’ll probably just write in names. I can’t in good conscience continue voting for LP candidates.

  32. #32 |  Big Chief | 

    Agree with you about Root, Radley. I honestly don’t understand how he ever got any support in the first place.

    I’ve stuck with the Libertarian Party because I think one thing this country desperately needs is the end of the the two party duopoly. Despite the LP having a strong wingnut component, I hold out hope for it. But if Root gets in for chair or as the Presidential or VP candidate (again), I’ll dump them and put my time and effort in elsewhere.

  33. #33 |  tim | 

    “His released “birth certificate” is actually a computer-generated printout from the state of Hawaii, similar to what you’d probably get if you wrote their records office and asked for a paper documenting the genealogy of some uncle who had a kid while stationed there in WWII.”

    No it isn’t. Its what you get when you request a certified copy of your birth certificate. Period. But nice try anyways.

  34. #34 |  Mattocracy | 

    I really wish someone would talk sense to this asshole. He needs to know how embarrassing he is for the LP.

  35. #35 |  Mattocracy | 

    You should check out his facebook page. Three links posted from the agitator.

  36. #36 |  Wayne Nix | 

    Unfortunately, people like this are the majority of people who call themselves libertarians. You may have good intentions and just want less government interference in people’s lives, but these people don’t, and there are millions of them.

    Libertarian is what Authoritarian Christians call themselves now that they have become dissatisfied with the Republican party.

  37. #37 |  CC | 

    (((Balko says that nobody (who years for respectability) should pursue investigations into Obama’s background for fear of being mocked by the orthodoxy.)))

    I don’t think it is the mocking that is the issue–it is that the mockability comes from the fact that they are repeatedly asking questions that have be definitively answered. Obama’s birth certificate has been released and is certified by the State of Hawaii. A certified copy is legal and as good as the original. That, along with plenty of other supporting evidence like a birth announcement in the Honalulu newspaper, indicate that to be constantly raising these questions is either (1) ridiculous (2) an attempt to raise the question over and over so that people will assume there must be something to it if they keep hearing about it.

    The “let’s repeat the same questions that sound plausible to people who don’t understand engineering about 9-11 over and over again” strategy is similar.

    CC

  38. #38 |  Tim Tomato | 

    Who is not against their own kids smoking pot? That kind of logic is what I’ve seen in the comments section of this site about a third of the time. These people are not liberty lovers, they are pot smokers, and their politics derive from that fact and no other.
    I did some looking around, and what I saw about Root is that he said he never saw Obama at Columbia. He’s been asked to testify and he’s going to testify that he never saw him. This court case sounds stupid, but he’s been asked to testify none-the-less.
    Has anyone at this site read a poem written by Obama called “Pop”. That has to be one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever read, and that it comes from our president makes me sick. I think it’s time to start the discussion as to if our president is a homosexual.

  39. #39 |  Kim Scarborough | 

    “. . . was a C.I.A. operative who used Columbia University as a cover to go to Pakistan in 1981 when the C.I.A. and the Mujahideen worked together against the Soviet invasion. Obama supplied arms, logistics, and money using his Muslim background.”

    Wait, this is a *bad* thing? Not that I believe it, but I would think that this would improve his standing among the whackjob crowd. I mean, he was working as an American spy and fighting Communists, all the while posing as an Ivy League bleeding heart pinko. This makes him sound pretty badass, actually.

  40. #40 |  Charles Wilhoit | 

    I am running for LNC At Large Rep. along with Rob Power, George Phillies and the other exceptional candidates who are a part of New Path. I agree totally with Rob about attempting to work with Root. I am a Naval Academy graduate, a Captain USN (Ret). The Navy ordered me to command four ships and a Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center during my 29 year career. I have also been Chair of the Tennessee LP and a candidate for Governor of TN as an Independent. Wayne Allan Root would never have been allowed to proceed past my Quarterdeck Watch. The really good Libertarians I know need to wake up NOW, before the Libertarian Party goes down the drain.

    Charles Wilhoit

  41. #41 |  Chuchundra | 

    The document that Obama presents as his birth certificate, a computer printout with a raised seal, is the exact same thing that I got from NY State when I requested copies of my birth certificate a couple years ago. This document is proof of birth and citizenship for all legal purposes, including getting a passport, a social security card and a drivers license.

    In addition, this document has been certified as legitimate by the Republican Governor of Hawaii and the the Hawaiian Secretary of State.

    I’m not sure what a copy of the original birth certificate would prove, assuming somebody could dig one up. Someone could easily argue that the document was fake or that it had been Photoshopped or whatever. At a certain point, you just have to stop arguing with crazy people.

  42. #42 |  PW | 

    #33 & 44 – note the operative word here: *copy* of your birth certificate. And yes, it is a modern computerized printout that may be perfectly valid for all sorts of legal purposes (hence the silliness of all these state bills to add a birth certificate requirement for presidential candidates).

    But it is still not the original thing that the doctor signed at the hospital when you were delivered. And yes, that piece of paper usually has more detail than the computerized printout – things including the hospital of delivery, the doctor’s name, various vital statistics at the birth…and usually information about the parents.

    Comparable Hawaiian birth certificate originals from around the time Obama was born do exist, and they do show more information than the exceedingly sparse name, date, time, gender, parents’ name, and race that appear on the computer printout copy. We also know that Obama’s original exists in state records, as the governor and the head of the health department have both stated they have seen it. The fact that he will only release the computer copy strongly suggests that there’s something on the original that may embarrass him.

    It isn’t “proof” he was secretly born in Kenya, but it clearly is something lesser he doesn’t want out there. Again, my suspicion is it shows something about the nature of his parents’ relationship that contradicts his long-stated and elaborated public narrative of their story. If so it wouldn’t make him a non-citizen, but it would show him to be a liar.

  43. #43 |  PW | 

    Or to put it all another way, I think the people who have conspiracy theories about a secret birth certificate from Kenya are silly.

    But I also think Obama’s evasiveness in not releasing the ORIGINAL copy of his birth certificate is even sillier.

    Every other candidate for president since Clinton has been subjected to public scrutiny of their basic public records, including their birth certificate. Right or wrong, it simply goes with the territory of running for president. Then along came Obama, and the very same media that was clamoring for obscure pay stubs from Bush’s national guard service went silent. For him to expect that a computerized printout copy will suffice when every single other candidate in the last two decades has been expected to provide the original (and mountains of other original personal, education, and medical records from their past that Obama has not) speaks to his arrogance, and only feeds the conspiracy wackos. I therefore have no sympathy for him in this regard.

  44. #44 |  robertkat | 

    Maybe it’s just me, but that web page for the trial advert looks more like something for one of those fly by night motivational speakers. How can people take this seriously? Since when did an actual trial in a court of law have “Special guests” and an advertising kit? That Root is part of it pretty much says he’s a complete wacko, and yet I’m not surprised he’s associated with it. That it’s being put on by ATLAH should be enough to question any validity. They already seem to make it clean that there will be a “verdict” in their favour.

  45. #45 |  Greg N. | 

    If the LP can make a bad decision, it will. These are the people wearing Guy Fawkes masks at their national convention, which usually looks like it takes place in some guy’s seedy bedroom. The degree to which libertarianism hitches itself to the LP is the degree to which it will fail.

    It’s better, probably, just to ignore them altogether and hope they go away.

  46. #46 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #29 Alex: “What’s unlibertarian is the impression that comes through Root’s statement that he is the God of the household and by virtue of being under 18 and his, he’ll punish the hell out of his kids for doing what he sees as wrong.”

    Interesting point. Statements like this help to support the theory that there are indeed Right and Left-Wing variations of Libertarianism.

    In my view, right-wing libertarians have a tendency to focus entirely on the power of the state and state abuses, while turning a blind eye to opressive environments in the home or in the workplace.

    Left-leaning libertarians are certainly concerned with the power of the state, but also acknowlege how private entities (churches, the family unit, and employers, particularly large corporate employers). For instance, when you are hired for a job, you may have signed a contract, but the balance of power is still heavily tilted towards the employer. The employer may hold things like unemployment, homelessness and deprivation of other necessities over your head if you do not submit to their will. This may not be equal to the power government has over you, but I would argue it is pretty damn close.

    Anyway, hopefully there can be more discussion on this. I lean towards libertarianism in so many ways, but, as you can tell, I have reservations. What do you guys think?

  47. #47 |  MattJ | 

    Basically, I imagine him as the kind of parent who whips his kids for saying swear words, and if that’s not unlibertarian then nothing is.

    It’s hard to respond politely to stuff like this, but I’ll do my best: Judge the man (by all means harshly, he’s political poison, IMO) by his actions and his actual beliefs, not by what kind of father you imagine he is based on his use of fairly common daddy-posturing language.

    Do you really think it’s reasonable to take a quote like this, imagine the worst possible thing from it, and then judge a person based on the icky feeling you get because of what you dreamed up?

    It seems like you know that it’s not reasonable – you qualify your speculations “I may be misinterpreting Root (if he did say it in the first place)” I think that is where one should see the wisdom in going no further.

  48. #48 |  Bob Weber | 

    It’s one thing to go before a non-libertarian group to present the libertarian message. It’s O.K. Even if the group has a fringe reputation.

    It’s quite another thing to go before a non-libertarian group putting on a crackpot “trial” and give support to their crank fantasies. This is what Root is doing. Google “Pastor James Manning” and you will find he is a complete kook.

  49. #49 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW @ #30, #42, & #43:

    You can see a contemporary “long form” Hawaiian BC here:

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/dailypix/2009/Jul/28/M1139416728.GIF

    See any field for marital status of mother? I don’t.

    Maybe the deep, dark secret is “is residence on a farm or plantation?”

    Or maybe this is typical fact-free crank speculation.

    BTW, no presidential candidate, other than Obama, has ever publicly shown his BC.

  50. #50 |  Tim | 

    #46: for what it’s worth, I’m more left than I am libertarian and that sentence of Root’s is totally inoffensive to me. (it’s about the only thing that is)

    The problem I have with libertarianism is basically that its believers anticipate a magical gloss of perfect fluidity and freedom with no nuanced understanding of the issues you raise. We have already seen that libertarians have absolutely no agreement on what amounts to a legally punishable negative externality or fraud, yet they all believe in a mythical image of a system where such things are resolved by a perfect limited government. It’s as though they believe that by curtailing government to a core set of functions, those functions will be then somehow be executed without corruption. This doesn’t follow either a priori or from the evidence. (tangentially, note that Radley’s most “powerful” stories generally involve corruption/abuse in law enforcement and military, two endeavors of state which are pretty much accepted by the mainstream libertarian)

  51. #51 |  ClassAction | 

    #38

    If you think “Pop” is one of the most disturbing poems you’ve ever read, you clearly haven’t read much poetry.

  52. #52 |  Alex | 

    47
    I’m sorry it’s hard for you, must be tough to respond to arguments you don’t like on the comments page of a blog.

    My last sentence wasn’t the most cogent, I guess. I don’t mean that I think he might whip his kids for saying swear words, I meant that the same mentality of superiority that that sort of parent has is the mentality that seems to be Root’s: thus, his coziness with conservatives about foreign policy, thus his absurd interview with Reason, thus the threatening of his kids, thus his views on religion, thus his anti-affirmative-action rants, thus his dismissal of basically every social issue as a states’ rights issue.

    Replace “I” with “the government” and “my kids” with “citizens,” and libertarians rant against invasion of privacy and abuse of power and the arrogance of government officials. Root is the government official, in the position of power, with no respect for the ruled, he just happens to be at home.

    And again, I’m not saying libertarians should be fine with their kids smoking pot. That doesn’t mean they should go in public and threaten their children so that they can appeal to conservatives by appearing tough on drugs.

  53. #53 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #50 Tim: “The problem I have with libertarianism is basically that its believers anticipate a magical gloss of perfect fluidity and freedom with no nuanced understanding of the issues you raise.”

    Indeed. Perhaps that’s why they already gave me a -2 Karma Rating. Not totally suprising, but I’m still a little disappointed. When I am condemning police abuse or nanny statism on this site, things are cool. But when I question the power dynamics between the employer and employee, suddenly I’m Karl Freakin’ Marx.

    I was attempting to start a discussion, but, to my suprise, it seems that some topics are off limits in the estimation of some commenters on The Agitator.

  54. #54 |  Wayne Root’s vow to testify at Rev. Manning’s Obama Birther ‘trial’ draws catcalls from Balko, Mataconis, others | Independent Political Report | 

    […] Radley Balko writes at The Agitator, […]

  55. #55 |  qwints | 

    @Helmut O’Hooligan,

    I think your post highlights some of my reservations about libertarianism. I believe in maximizing personal autonomy, and I also believe in an individual moral duty to help those less privileged than ourselves. When governmental actions impinge on the powerful’s personal autonomy in order to prevent their violating other’s autonomy (preventing crime or slavery) I approve, when government attempts to redistribute wealth out of a perceived collective moral duty, I don’t approve.

    Thus I disagree with many libertarians about such things as Lochner and freedom of contract. I also disagree with those who oppose civil rights laws and affirmative action. But I’m with them when they oppose confiscatory taxes.

  56. #56 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #55 Qwints:
    Thank you. That’s the kind of discussion I was talking about.

  57. #57 |  Marcus | 

    New Path? That’s great, anyone ever read or see Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly?

    Obama’s first job out of college was working for a company that had previously been named as a CIA front company by the NYT.

    The CIA had either their former director or his son in or close to the WH for 20 out of the past 30 years. I don’t think it’s hard to believe they have other assets in high up in politics.

    But whether or not Obama worked for the CIA in college, he’s surely doing their bidding now with his many wars and massive war budget.

  58. #58 |  David Chesler | 

    I can’t believe that Obama’s grandmother said “One day my daughter’s half-black son could grow up to be president, so I’d better put an announcement in the paper to counter the fact that he was born in Kenya.”
    I don’t believe “I’m running for Senator so it doesn’t matter” or an oblique claim is proof that he wasn’t born in the US.
    A few months ago I read through Ark and a bunch of cases and I can’t find any indication that there is a difference between “Native born” and “Natural Born”, or any requirement that the president’s father can’t be a subject of anyplace else.
    I’m not a birther.
    (And, while it hasn’t come up here, the fact that I dislike Obama has nothing to do with his skin color and everything to do with his politics.)
    Nevertheless, I agree with PW and others that there’s more to it than what’s on the short form. I’ve seen a recent NYC official birth certificate of someone born in the 1920s, and it looks like that short form; but I’ve also seen the original that my mother kept from my birth in 1962, and it looks a lot more like that image to which Bob Weber points, a white-on-black photostat with a few more fields. I’m sure there is a copy of a document like that somewhere under Obama’s control.

  59. #59 |  tom bailey | 

    I don’t care where he was born the govt demands all kinds of proof from us all the time. Arizona is now practically requiring everyone to carry a photo ID and a copy of their birth cerificate before the dare appear in public. So yeah I think it very appropriate that Obama get a taste of the same medicine.

  60. #60 |  CC | 

    ((((I’m sure there is a copy of a document like that somewhere under Obama’s control.)))

    Really? My mom lost mine so the copy version is all I have. Is it so impossible that Obama’s mom was a little flaky?

  61. #61 |  Steve LaBianca | 

    #21 – Stormy Dragon

    “Ruwart had her on problems, like the wanting to legalize sex with children thing”

    YOUR STATEMENT IS TOTAL BS Stormy! There are a lot of things which are half truths which pass as truth, but THAT statement is not only a complete mis-characterization of Mary Ruwart’s positions, but a total falsehood as well.

  62. #62 |  PW | 

    “BTW, no presidential candidate, other than Obama, has ever publicly shown his BC.”

    Oh really? I wonder where this came from then. You’ll notice it’s not a computer printout copy…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/McCain_Certificate_of_Birth.jpg

  63. #63 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Mary Ruwart in her book, Short Answers to the Tough Questions:

    Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess. When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.

    As reported by Mr. Balko’s current employer Reason Magazine, I might add.

  64. #64 |  BamBam | 

    #30, your 2nd narrative still means that Obama is not eligible to be President.

  65. #65 |  Obama is Cthulhu | 

    Can’t this man just be a tea bagger and leave libertarians alone? It’s like calling Glen Beck a libertarian…

  66. #66 |  Loren | 

    “Oh really? I wonder where this came from then. You’ll notice it’s not a computer printout copy…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/McCain_Certificate_of_Birth.jpg

    No, it’s not a computer printout, but it is a total fake:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/04/john-mccains-fake-birth-certificate/

    So you’re skeptical over Obama’s certified birth certificate, but you accepted a blatant fraud for McCain?

  67. #67 |  CC | 

    ((((your 2nd narrative still means that Obama is not eligible to be President.)))

    Why would that be? Doesn’t the second narrative have him born to an American on American soil?

    CC

  68. #68 |  PW | 

    #66 – You do realize your “evidence” of the McCain certificate being fake is from a website that aggregates birther conspiracy theory news. Of course there’s also the little complication added by the fact that the McCain campaign also provided a copy of his certificate to the Washington Post last year when some Democrat birther tried to challenge his eligibility in federal court on account of the claim that the canal zone was not part of the U.S.

  69. #69 |  PW | 

    Also, the McCain certificate image was apparently obtained through some sort of record request from the Panamanian government.

    http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/documents/McCain-SurreplyEx-7-21-08.pdf

    As to your claim that I’m “skeptical” of Obama’s certified computer printout, I’ve certainly not expressed any skepticism here as to its authenticity and defy you to demonstrate otherwise. The evidence is sufficient to show that it’s real. What I’m skeptical about is why we’ve only been given that computer printout, and not the longer, more detailed original from the hospital, which I believe to show something about Obama’s parents that contradicts the public narrative he has staked much of his career around.

  70. #70 |  TDR | 

    1. I have no patience with people who want to dole out “libertarian” parenting advice — first, because libertarianism is a political philosophy, not a moral system, and secondly, because I’m sick of “libertarians” who want to set the standard for behavior, speech, beliefs, and family life for all others.

    2. Anyone who thinks Phillies is the answer to the LP’s credibility problems is as crazy as Root.

  71. #71 |  PW | 

    “Really? My mom lost mine so the copy version is all I have. Is it so impossible that Obama’s mom was a little flaky?”

    Everything we know about Obama’s mom suggests she was more than a little flaky. The phrase “new age hippie free love communist unitarian moonbat” is pretty close to summing it up.

    -BUT-

    We also know that the original still exists in state records because the Governor and head of the Health Department have both released statements claiming that they have inspected it, and the Health Department has refused thousands of public records requests for it on the grounds that since Obama is still living his permission would be required (the Hawaii legislature even passed a new state law allowing the department to ignore future requests for it since the postage was costing them so much). Something else clearly exists, and only one man has the keys to it. It just doesn’t contain some smoking gun about a secret Kenyan conspiracy that the birthers want it to contain.

    It could very feasibly have a giant empty space next to “father’s name” though, or different mailing addresses for mother and father. Either would be possible if Barack Sr. and Mama Moonbat were already split up when Jr. popped out, and the circumstantial evidence for that is actually pretty strong. Specifically – the mother and baby Barack relocated to Seattle and she transferred to the University of Washington only a month after he was born, even though daddy stayed behind at the University of Hawaii. Clearly something wasn’t going well in the Obama family household from practically the moment of his birth if not before. Again – it’s no fault of his own and no mark against him in itself, but it does conflict with his very public narrative of his family.

    Keep in mind – we’re talking about a guy who has staked his ENTIRE political career and even his primary “qualification” for being president on some goofy feel-good concept of racial self-identity that he developed through the fact that his father happened to be from Africa. Yes, it’s just speculation. But it’s a lot more realistic a possibility than some secret birth in Kenya conspiracy, and it is pretty obvious why Obama may not want details of his parents’ shadowy relationship to be known.

  72. #72 |  PW | 

    Another thought on McCain’s certificate – being born on a military base abroad in the 30’s, he very likely has more than one. The first would probably be a medical record of some sort filled out by the military doctor at his actual time of birth listing time, weight, length and that sort of thing. Then there would probably be a second, registering a “civilian” birth with the Canal Zone’s governing authorities a day or two later.

    Should he request it, he could also probably get a third modern computer printed copy of the record from the Navy. None of these documents would look alike, and all would contain different types and levels of detail.

  73. #73 |  Jim Davidson | 

    Well, now we have another problem. You see, I met Wayne Root in Topeka, Kansas (at the zoo) for the Kansas state Libertarian Party convention. And I informed him that I met Barack Obama at Columbia University when we were both students there in Spring 1983. So Wayne is lying when he asserts, “No one I know from Columbia University has ever met or heard of a classmate named Barack Obama or Barry Sotero.”

    He’s lying because he knows that I met Barack Obama and he’s lying because I told Wayne about it. Since May 2008 Wayne has also known that I was a student at Columbia University 1981-1985.

    Not only did I meet and talk with Barack Obama at some length, he wrote an essay that was published in The Sundial magazine on campus in 1983. Over the byline “Barack Obama” is a discussion of the anti-war groups on campus, including Students Against Militarism, a group I was a member of. (I was also a member of Young Americans for Freedom.)

    The article was published in March 1983, and there is ample evidence of its existence on the web. Simply search using your favourite search utility using this set of terms:
    sundial magazine columbia barack obama
    and you should find the article.

    So, in summary, I was a student at Columbia, I met Barack Obama, I knew he was a student, and he and I talked, among other things, about my involvement in Students Against Militarism, my discomfort with its connection to Maoists and Stalinists on campus, and my favourite hat with political buttons all over it.

    If Wayne Root is willing to lie about something as mundane as whether he ever met someone from Columbia who met Barack, what else is he willing to lie about?

  74. #74 |  Ayn R. Key | 

    This is really getting out of hand. The more I read, the more I suspect Root has the objective of destroying the LP. That would explain why Dumbdero loves him so much.

  75. #75 |  Bob Weber | 

    “#66 – You do realize your “evidence” of the McCain certificate being fake is from a website that aggregates birther conspiracy theory news.”

    Yes, the site, http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/04/john-mccains-fake-birth-certificate/ aggregates and debunks birther conspiracy theories. The fake McCain BC you linked to was not submitted by John McCain, but was submitted by the plaintiff in the crackpot lawsuit Hollander vs. McCain. McCain disavows it, and it is not merely a fake, but an obvious fake. No need for dozens of pages of analysis to see that.

    Not that it’s really important, an aide to John McCain showed McCain’s actual BC to Michael Dobbs of WaPo. But McCain has never publicly displayed it.

    “It could very feasibly have a giant empty space next to “father’s name” though, or different mailing addresses for mother and father. Either would be possible if Barack Sr. and Mama Moonbat were already split up when Jr. popped out, and the circumstantial evidence for that is actually pretty strong.”

    Amazing how people can speculate boundlessly based on zero information. And defame people long dead. Go back to the contemporary long form BC:

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/dailypix/2009/Jul/28/M1139416728.GIF

    Do you see anywhere a field for “address of father” apart from “address of mother”? BC’s generally don’t ask it. My 1950’s California BC has no space for such. And BC’s don’t ask for the marital status of the mother and father. They just list the father, father’s place of birth, etc. Based on the fact that the COLB says “Barack Hussein Obama” as the father, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s what the original says.

  76. #76 |  Jim Davidson: I met Obama at Columbia and told Wayne Root about it | Independent Political Report | 

    […] The Agitator, Jim Davidson rebuts in the comments: Well, now we have another problem. You see, I met Wayne Root […]

  77. #77 |  PW | 

    #76 – Curious. I see little in the analysis of that birther conspiracy “debunking” blog that is all that different from the type of “analysis” provided by the very same blogs it purports to debunk, to wit: other blog sites that take low-quality scans of Obama’s modern birth certificate copy, play around with it on photoshop purporting to look for “discrepancies” that are in fact too difficult to isolate on such a low quality scan, and declaring it all a “forgery” when their speculative and amateur digital forensic standards are, obviously, not met.

    Now does that mean the McCain thing isn’t a forgery? No. But (1) it’s not a very authoritative source, and (2) it’s author is overstating the weight of his own amateur analysis, as is also evidenced in the comments section where he basically flames and name-calls anyone who raises some pretty glaring problems with his claims, namely how he can even purport to undertake such an analysis based on nothing more than an extremely low quality scan.

    That said, it is also the case that arguing over that document is a moot point anyway – First, because McCain’s campaign indisputably showed the original for inspection to several reporters (thus contradicting your claim that no candidate other than Obama has ever shown his birth certificate). Second, because nobody really disputes that McCain was born in Panama where his dad was stationed. And third, because even if that image were 100% authentic, the absolute most it would do is establish what everyone already concedes to be true – that McCain was born in Panama (which also raises the question: why forge that which only says what is openly conceded?). The issue with McCain was over whether he qualified as a natural born citizen by being physically born outside of the US borders – a point the courts found frivolous since citizenship came by birth from his parents. Nobody ever disputed though that he was born outside the borders, so forging a document to “prove” that would be wholly inconsequential.

  78. #78 |  PW | 

    “Based on the fact that the COLB says “Barack Hussein Obama” as the father, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s what the original says.”

    It’s certainly possible. But it’s also possible to update birth records at a later point if a previously ambiguous issue of paternity is determined. It actually happens all the time for some very routine reasons when the courts are trying to figure out wills, inheritance claims, and the sort.

    What’s clear though is that Obama chose, for some reason, to show the less detailed modern computer printout instead of the original, despite the existence of the original being verified by the state (even McCain showed his original when reporters asked him). Obama has also gone to great lengths both in and out of court not to show that original, even though it would significantly quash some pretty far fetched birther conspiracy nonsense about secretly being born in Kenya.

    That suggests he doesn’t want it out there for a reason he is not stating. And seeing as we live in an age where it is an expected part of the political discourse for the media to demand the unconditional release of everything from John Kerry’s college transcripts to George W. Bush’s national guard pay stubs, Obama’s reasons, be they stated or unstated, for not releasing his original strike me as pretty lame and unsympathetic.

  79. #79 |  PW | 

    And come to think of it, considering what the media demanded from George W. Bush, John Kerry, and Al Gore, why can’t we see Obama’s college transcripts?

    Could it be that they show he was a C-student who took a bunch of worthless electives in “ethnic studies” and other leftist marxian crap? Would they show that he’s not the Ivy League caliber “genius” we’ve all been told about, but rather a typical screw-up college kid who partied his way through undergrad and barely scraped by with the minimal standards for a degree?

    It’s not hard to discern from simply listening to the guy that Obama’s intellect falls far short of its reputation. Yet unlike with Bush, Kerry etc. nobody in the press is clamoring for evidence from his college transcripts.

  80. #80 |  buzz | 

    Not sure about angry white guy as much as angry crazy guy.

  81. #81 |  Loren | 

    “And come to think of it, considering what the media demanded from George W. Bush, John Kerry, and Al Gore, why can’t we see Obama’s college transcripts?”

    George W. Bush didn’t voluntarily release his college transcripts until 2004; the New Yorker obtained a copy without his authorization in 1999.

    John Kerry didn’t release his college transcripts during the campaign; they just happened to be included in Navy records that were only released AFTER the election.

    Al Gore didn’t release his college transcripts; they were obtained through alternate channels by the Washington Post.

    So despite your claim to the contrary, Obama has not been any more secretive with his college transcripts than any of the other guys you named.

  82. #82 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW@ #77 & #78:

    “#76 – Curious. I see little in the analysis of that birther conspiracy “debunking” blog that is all that different from the type of “analysis” provided by the very same blogs it purports to debunk, to wit: other blog sites that take low-quality scans of Obama’s modern birth certificate copy, play around with it on photoshop purporting to look for “discrepancies” that are in fact too difficult to isolate on such a low quality scan, and declaring it all a “forgery” when their speculative and amateur digital forensic standards are, obviously, not met.”

    You don’t need hi-res scans to see that the Fake BC’s information specifically related to McCain is in a different font from what was typed in elsewhere, and is much sharper and cleaner. Obviously, the forger took a real Panama BC and added the phony McCain data. I can’t blame “Dr. Conspiracy” for getting exasperated at nitwits who refuse to accept the evidence of their own eyes.

    “ ‘Based on the fact that the COLB says “Barack Hussein Obama” as the father, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s what the original says.’

    “It’s certainly possible. But it’s also possible to update birth records at a later point if a previously ambiguous issue of paternity is determined. It actually happens all the time for some very routine reasons when the courts are trying to figure out wills, inheritance claims, and the sort.”

    So how did Obama’s birth to “Mr. & Mrs. Barack Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy.” wind up in the Hawaii Health Dept. vital statistics listings published in both Honolulu papers, published Aug. 13, 1961? Did Obama use the DeLorean time machine and go back and bribe officials to place the listing?

    “That said, it is also the case that arguing over that document is a moot point anyway – First, because McCain’s campaign indisputably showed the original for inspection to several reporters (thus contradicting your claim that no candidate other than Obama has ever shown his birth certificate).”

    You are misrepresenting what I wrote. You correctly quoted me earlier: “BTW, no presidential candidate, other than Obama, has ever PUBLICLY shown his BC.” Unless you’re going to tell us that privately showing his BC to a reporter, not for reproduction, is a “public display”.

    “Second, because nobody really disputes that McCain was born in Panama where his dad was stationed. And third, because even if that image were 100% authentic, the absolute most it would do is establish what everyone already concedes to be true – that McCain was born in Panama (which also raises the question: why forge that which only says what is openly conceded?).”

    McCain’s real BC, backed by a contemporaneous notice in the Canal Zone newspaper and the testimony of his mother, shows him being born at the base hospital at Coco Solo in the Zone. The fake BC which Hollander produced for his lawsuit shows birth in Colon, Panama-proper. I’m guessing that Hollander, like many Americans, incorrectly thinks that the Canal Zone and U.S. embassies and military bases were/are considered to be U.S. territory, which in his mind would have made a difference in his crackpot lawsuit. McCain is a U.S. citizen by statute law based on his parents being U.S. citizens, even though he was not born in the U.S. Not quite as rock-solid as Obama being a U.S. citizen by common law and the 14th amendment, from his birth in Hawaii, but the McCain eligibility lawsuits were dismissed just as all the Obama lawsuits have been.

  83. #83 |  PW | 

    #82 –

    1. Different typescript fonts on pre-computer age documents is not uncommon, particularly those that used a time clock machine separate from a typewriter. If you doubt this I suggest you reexamine your own link to the honolulu advertiser website where you will find that the “AUG 11 1961″ is in a completely different font than the rest of the document. Compare the A’s with that of the father’s middle name and the 9’s in the date there to those at the top slot for date of birth (they exhibit the exact same distinction as the 6’s on the alleged McCain one – a straight vs. a curled tail). Curiously, I don’t see you suggesting that either of those are fakes. As to the McCain one, the things you and that conspiracy website kook present as conclusive simply aren’t so…or at least not with something with that poor resolution.

    2. How did the August 13 newspaper announcement get there? My guess is grandma put it there, as is usually the case with those types of things. And in 1961 society, the stigma of having a 17 year old teenage daughter who got knocked up as a college freshman was probably enough of a reason to list a father.

    3. Since when is showing something to reporters for inspection not making it public, considering that reporters directly publish what they see to the public?

    4. The alleged McCain certificate most certainly does not say “Panama proper” – in fact it says the “Panama Canal Health Department” (as in the Panama Canal zone) and is entirely in English – both very unlikely if it was a Panamanian document. You’ll also notice that the alleged certificate was issued the day after his birth, suggesting that – if authentic – it was a civilian registration of the birth, and explaining why another certificate would exist from the military hospital.

  84. #84 |  PW | 

    81 – And yet the college transcripts of Gore, Kerry, and Bush were all nevertheless released. Obama’s have not been, and the media, which was foaming at the mouth for those other three, seems to have no particular interest in Big O’s suspected less-than-stellar college career.

  85. #85 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW@ #83:

    This is getting ridiculous.

    “1. Different typescript fonts on pre-computer age documents is not uncommon, particularly those that used a time clock machine separate from a typewriter. If you doubt this I suggest you reexamine your own link to the honolulu advertiser website where you will find that the “AUG 11 1961″ is in a completely different font than the rest of the document.”

    WOW! Newspapers have always used various fonts! Who knew?

    Are you saying that the “29” and “36” in the date of Hollander’s McCain BC was entered with a time stamp? Amazing how they got it perfectly placed on the document! Funny that the “August” part of the doc is in the same smudgy typewritten text as the rest of the non-McCain-specific data. Why would they type in “August” but enter “29” and “36” with the miracle time stamp? Did you also notice the difference in the font for McCain’s mom’s maiden name of “Wright”, her race as “white”, and the font for the hospital and doctor? Was that stamped in, also?

    “2. How did the August 13 newspaper announcement get there? My guess is grandma put it there, as is usually the case with those types of things. And in 1961 society, the stigma of having a 17 year old teenage daughter who got knocked up as a college freshman was probably enough of a reason to list a father.”

    From (1) you obviously looked at the newspaper clipping. Did you also see the “Health Bureau Statistics” heading? Does “Health Bureau Statistics” really mean “this could have come from anywhere”?

    “3. Since when is showing something to reporters for inspection not making it public, considering that reporters directly publish what they see to the public?”

    When it’s shown to a single reporter, not reproduced anywhere, and we have to rely on the word of that single reporter. (BTW, I do.)

    “4. The alleged McCain certificate most certainly does not say “Panama proper” – in fact it says the “Panama Canal Health Department” ”

    That’s the Hollander fake BC. McCain says it’s a fake. It says he was born in Colon, which was part of Panama-proper, not the Zone. It contradicts what Michael Dobbs, the WaPo reporter in (3) says, which is Coco Solo, Canal Zone. This is also what McCain, his mother, and the notice in the contemporaneous notice in the Zone newspaper say. Either the Hollander BC is fake, or Dobbs, McCain, and his mother are all lying, and the 1936 newspaper listing was done as part of a Vast Conspiracy.

  86. #86 |  R. Lee Wrights | 

    What is a Reagan Libertarian?

    http://www.libertyforall.net/?p=4319

  87. #87 |  BSK | 

    What I found most ironic about the whole “birthers” movement is that they called into question the candidate born in America (Obama) and not the one born in Panama (McCain).

  88. #88 |  BSK | 

    FWIW, I’m not arguing that McCain wasn’t a citizen. That much is clear. Rather, it just stood out that the person with the birth certificate from an American state was accused of being born in a continent 12000 miles away and the person who was known to have been born on a Naval Base in another country was never second-guessed.

  89. #89 |  PW | 

    The only thing ridiculous, Bob, is the double standard of evidence you are applying. You posted some crank “refutation” of the alleged McCain cert from a birther conspiracy blogger, asserted it was authoritative when it plainly is not, and got angry (much as that same blogger did) when the arguments were deemed unconvincing.

    I honestly don’t know what was used to type the 29 or 36 on the alleged McCain cert, nor do I think you could ever know for certain without a better copy in higher resolution. It could potentially be typewriters, timestamp machines, any variety of rubber hand stamps (including the type with a rotating date), or even somebody pre-stamping a bunch of blank forms at once – all would produce different fonts. So would forging the thing. But it’s simply too poor of a copy to tell with any degree of certainty.

    What we do know about it though is this: 1. The dates are correct. 2. The placement in the canal zone is accurate and undisputed by McCain. 3. The claim that it incorrectly places him in Colon is based solely on some rather heavy and factually inaccurate interpretations that you yourself are certainly making, but that do not in fact appear on the document itself.

    How so? Because Coco Solo was the name of the US naval base at the Colon entrance to the canal! It was literally adjacent to and contiguous with the municipality of Colon proper and sat in the Colon district of Panama of which Colon was the capital. Simply saying “Colon Hospital” could literally mean any hospital in Colon, including the naval hospital on the Coco Solo base.

    Furthermore, there are several elements of the document that conclusively indicate, even if you assume it’s a forgery, that it is NOT from some generic Panamanian civilian hospital.

    1. It is in English. A generic civilian hospital in Colon would be in Spanish.
    2. It’s title says “Panama Canal Health Department” indicating it is issued from a Canal Zone facility. A generic civilian hospital in Colon would say the Health Department of the Republic of Panama, and would be in Spanish.
    3. The notarization on the side is an English language stamp also from the Canal Zone. generic civilian hospital in Colon would say Colon Province, Republic of Panama, and would be in Spanish.

    Again, I’ll openly concede that none of this proves it’s authentic (and your link doesn’t contain any evidence of the McCain campaign denying its authenticity, despite you claiming that twice now). But your case that it’s a forgery is a weak one that makes a lot of unsupported assumptions about something that probably can’t be conclusively proven either way due to the poor quality of the image. As such, your “Dr. Conspiracy” buddy is also guilty of some of the very same things he accuses others of doing with regard to the Obama printout certificate, which other blogs dismiss as a “forgery” based on similarly specious photoshop pretend detective work in photoshop.

  90. #90 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW@88:

    “What we do know about it though is this: 1. The dates are correct. 2. The placement in the canal zone is accurate and undisputed by McCain. 3. The claim that it incorrectly places him in Colon is based solely on some rather heavy and factually inaccurate interpretations that you yourself are certainly making, but that do not in fact appear on the document itself.”

    (Deep sigh.) “rather heavy and factually inaccurate interpretations???? Look once again at the Hollander fake McCain BC. Read the top. “Place of birth”
    City: “Colon, R.P.” “Colon Hospital”. My “heavy and factually inaccurate interpretation”, based on what actually appears on the document – “Colon, R.P.” “Colon Hospital” – is that the fake BC is saying that McCain was born in Colon, Republic of Panama. Perhaps you have a different interpretation of what “Colon, R.P.” could possibly mean. To me, “Colon Hospital” means “Colon Hospital”, not “Coco Solo Base Hospital.” They are two different places! Colon, Panama was not in the Canal Zone, but was in Panama-proper. (After the Zone was ceded to Panamanian jurisdiction, Coco Solo was annexed to Colon city.)

    According to WaPo reporter Michael Dobbs, the BC that McCain’s aide showed him was signed by Capt. William Irvine, Medical Director, Coco Solo Submarine Base, Canal Zone:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/05/john_mccains_birthplace.html

    William Lorne Irvine is listed as Medical Director here:

    http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/mccain_irvine_2.pdf

    The Hollander fake BC is signed by “R.F. Annis, Physician, Colon Hospital.”

    So unless Capt. Irvine was moonlighting under the name of “R.F. Annis”, and the Coco Solo base hospital was operating in Colon, Republic of Panama under the assumed name of “Colon Hospital”, then either the Hollander BC is fake, or John McCain, his mother, and Michael Dobbs are lying, and for no reason at all. I don’t now what Hollander’s motivation is for the fake BC, or even if he produced it, but it’s quite possible he believes that the Canal Zone was considered to be U.S. territory, hence the need to show McCain was born outside the Zone, in Colon, Republic of Panama. Or maybe Hollander is just a crank like, (ahem!) the rest of the birthers.

  91. #91 |  Black Lion | 

    Well there are other students and proof that Obama attended Columbia even if for some reason Root has decided to claim that he did not got here…Besides Jum Davidson’s comment on #73….

    Note the archived Columbia Sundial student paper, dated March 10, 1983. Right there on page #2, “Breaking the War Mentality”, note the author of the article.

    http://www.politico.com/static/PPM116_obamaessay.html

    “I was Barack Obama ’83’s roommate at Columbia College in fall 1981. I met him in 1979, when we were freshmen at Occidental College (Oxy) in Los Angeles and our dorm rooms were directly opposite each other.” – Phil Boerner

    “One person who did remember Mr. Obama was Michael L. Baron, who taught a senior seminar on international politics and American policy. Mr. Baron, now president of an electronics company in Florida, said he was Mr. Obama’s adviser on the senior thesis for that course. Mr. Baron, who later wrote Mr. Obama a recommendation for Harvard Law School, gave him an A in the course.”

    “Michael J. Wolf, who took the seminar with him and went on to become president of MTV Networks, said: “He was very smart. He had a broad sense of international politics and international relations. It was a class with a lot of debate. He was a very, very active participant. I think he was truly distinctive from the other people in that class. He stood out.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/us/politics/30obama.html?_r=1

    “NEW YORK — The way Sohale Siddiqi remembers it, he and his old roommate were walking his pug Charlie on Broadway when a large, scary bum approached them, stomping on the ground near the dog’s head. Until his skinny, Ivy League-educated friend — Barack Obama — intervened.

    Obama spent the six years between 1979 and 1985 at Occidental College in Los Angeles and then in New York at Columbia University and in the workplace. His memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” talks about this time, but not in great detail; Siddiqi, for example, is identified only as “Sadik” — “a short, well-built Pakistani” who smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine and liked to party.

    Obama’s campaign wouldn’t identify “Sadik,” but The Associated Press located him in Seattle, where he raises money for a community theater.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2008-05-15-3144401415_x.htm

  92. #92 |  PW | 

    Now you’re just being intentionally dense, Bob. The canal zone was a U.S. administered jurisdictional zone within the Republic of Panama established by treaty in 1903 to provide for the construction of the canal. It was literally contiguous with the country of Panama, and could be entered freely by Panamanians just like you were crossing the street in all areas save a handful of secure military installations. If a soldier said “I’m stationed in Colon” everyone knew what he meant – he was stationed in the US-controlled Canal Zone at the Colon entrance to the canal. And in 1936 that meant one of two places – the Coco Solo naval station base or the Navy-controlled civilian Canal Zone administrative offices, located immediately contiguous to Coco Solo on Canal Zone tracts known as New Cristobal, Playa de Colon, and Fort DeLesseps.

    As to the specifics of your alleged contradictions, the following should be noted.

    1. I notice that you continue to avoid the three pieces of evidence that strongly contradict your assertion that it is from a random civilian hospital in Colon: the fact that it is in English, the fact that it’s title specifically says it’s a Panama Canal (as in Canal Zone) document, and the fact that the notarization is a Canal Zone stamp. Seeing as you continue to ignore these despite it being raised several times, I will interpret it as willful ignorance premised upon their inconvenience to your case and again reiterate them.

    2. William L. Irvine is identified as the DIRECTOR of the medical facility. To confuse him with the attending physician who reportedly performed the delivery, and cite that confusion as evidence of your case, borders on outright dishonesty.

    3. Exactly what the term “Colon Hospital” is not by any means clear on the certificate despite your repeated and unsupported assertions otherwise. It is highly dubious that this referred to a civilian hospital in the city of Colon for the reasons mentioned above (it is in English and bears multiple indicators of being a Canal Zone-generated document). There was an old French and American medical clinic dating to the railroad days that was referred to colloquially as the “Colon Hospital” or the “Canal Hospital.” It was located on an artificial waterfront piling in the New Cristobal section of the city around the time of the canal construction, but it was taken over in 1904 by – you guessed it – the U.S. Navy. The New Cristobal section that it sat in was then placed inside the Canal Zone, where it became the civilian administrative center of the Atlantic canal entrance. New Cristobal remained inside the Canal Zone from its creation until the Remon-Eisenhower Treaty of 1955, when it was handed over to the city of Colon (along with Playa de Colon and Fort DeLesseps) and the remaining civilian administrative offices were moved over to the Coco Solo base. If this is the “Colon Hospital” referred to on the certificate, then it definitely would have been inside the canal zone in 1936 and would have been a Navy-administered facility at the time, rendering your case for the alleged purpose of a forgery completely moot.

  93. #93 |  Jason Pye, Doug Mataconis react Wayne Root pulling out of Rev. Manning’s Obama Birther ‘trial’ | Independent Political Report | 

    […] original story was reported at The Agitator, and was picked up by Below The Beltway, The Liberty Papers, Jason Pye, and […]

  94. #94 |  PW | 

    A little further surfing on google reveals a handful of blog sites identifying (though on an apparently speculative basis) the “Colon Hospital” with a structure that was reportedly located on the corner of Melendez and 2nd Street. I can’t find anything to vouch for the authenticity of that address, but it does fall within the New Cristobal area of the Canal Zone, which extended south to 3rd Street prior to the 1955 treaty cession.

  95. #95 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW @ #92 & #94:

    (Deep, deep sigh.)

    Again, until you can show how “Colon, R.P.” could mean anything other than “Colon, Republic of Panama”, which was not part of the Canal Zone, either McCain, WaPo reporter Michael Dobbs, and McCain’s mom are lying, or the Hollander BC is a fake. Likewise, show us all how “Colon Hospital” could possibly mean “Coco Solo Submarine Base Hospital.”

    Again, according to M.Dobbs, the McCain BC he saw was signed by Capt. Irvine. Capt. Irvine’s signature is not on the Hollander fake BC. It is signed by a “R.F. Annis”. Perhaps you could tell us how Dobbs could misread “R.F. Annis” as “William Lorne Irvine”.

    Watch the video with John McCain and his mother where she remembers hearing the cheers at the base officer’s club across the way from the hospital when John’s birth was announced. Was the base officer’s club located outside the Zone, in Colon, Panamanian territory?

    The last straw for the Hollander fake BC is that Hollander cannot account for its provenance. Where did he get it? It was submitted by Hollander in his lawsuit against McCain, not by McCain himself. The fact that there is no hi-res online scan is entirely the responsibility of Hollander. If you want to pursue this, contact Hollander! But even the low-res scan shows how much sharper the text pertaining specifically to McCain is compared to the smudgy text which could apply to anyone and was typed in at the same time. A higher-res scan would surely make this even clearer. Inescapably, the Hollander BC is a fake.

    So again, there is only one possible conclusion. Either McCain, his mother, and M.Dobbs are lying, or the Hollander BC is a fake, and you simply can’t admit you’re wrong. Adios, muchacho.

  96. #96 |  PW | 

    You are straining at gnats, Bob, and becoming increasingly dishonest in the process.

    Are you familiar at all with the geography of the Canal Zone as it was set up in the early 1900’s? Colon itself was an old American-built town that used to be called Aspinwall after the president of the railroad baron who funded it. The New Cristobal district is smack in the middle of downtown Colon. It was the old Aspinwall railroad head and docking site, founded in the 1800’s as the Atlantic port of the isthmus crossing. When the American canal crew went down there in the early 1900’s it is the place they set up headquarters. They later expanded into nearby areas including Coco Solo, but New Cristobal was where it all started and it was part of the Canal Zone from Day 1. New Cristobal is also LITERALLY separated from what was then the municipality of Colon by crossing a busy street in an urban center. It was in Colon, Republic of Panama in the same sense that the British Embassy today is in Washington, District of Columbia, USA – except it was even more accessible than that, because citizens could pretty much freely cross the street and be inside the zone. That a birth certificate from there would therefore list Colon is not at all improbable.

    As to the rest of your comments:

    1. I notice you are STILL avoiding the English language issue and the multiple Canal Zone government marks on the alleged certificate. It has been raised enough times now that this avoidance cannot be attributed to simple oversight, but rather extends over into willful dishonesty.

    2. Now you are using a strawman argument over Irvine to misrepresent my claims (another act of willful dishonesty). Irvine was the directing officer, not the doctor who delivered the baby. This was pointed out to you previously. As to why Irvine’s signature is not on there, have you even bothered to consider that there may be multiple pieces of documentation of McCain’s birth and that this particular one is – just like it says – a birth registration that was filed on record with the “Panama Canal Health Department” (meaning the civilian side of the Canal Zone government) the day AFTER the actual birth itself? As such, it would not likely have a signature of the Coco Solo navy base health director on it.

    3. If indeed the “Colon Hospital” referred to on the form was the medical building in New Cristobal colloquially referred to as the “Colon Hospital” and allegedly located at the corner of 2nd Street and Melendez, then it most assuredly WAS inside the Canal Zone in 1936. That portion of the Canal Zone was not ceded to Panama until 1955 as per the Remon-Eisenhower Treaty.

    4. Seeing as your representation of McCain’s mother, the WaPo reporter et al is contingent upon false assumptions that are contradicted by the above, to continue stating that they are at odds with the “Hollander certificate” is also a falsehood that you are perpetrating. Your “one possible conclusion” that they necessarily conflict is not a sound conclusion at all, particularly since it has now been demonstrated that a likely candidate for the “Colon Hospital” was in fact the Navy-administered civilian hospital building reportedly located on 2nd street in the New Cristobal district, Panama Canal Zone, downtown Colon, Republic of Panama.

    If anything, Bob, this whole exercise has proven that you have quite a bit in common with the birthers themselves, including Hollander. Hollander’s main mistake, it now appears, was this: he erroneously concluded that a document that appears to be from the civilian Canal Zone authorities in the Canal Zone district of New Cristobal had in fact come from an unidentified Panamanian source outside of the Canal Zone. Not that it would matter given McCain’s parents were both citizens, but even this basic assertion on which we think Hollander based his case is faulty for the reasons I have just shown. And yet here you are, still buying into the same mistakes as Hollander and still arguing against the factually contradicted strawman position that the “Hollander certificate” purports to show a birth outside of the canal zone. Adding to that absurdity, you next turn to the exact same type of amateur digital forensics work employed by the birthers against Obama to deem the poor-resolution scan a “forgery” because you examined it under photoshop and its badly blurred text didn’t “look right” to you. True to birther behavior, you now become incorrigible in your position despite new evidence that doesn’t only challenge it – it flat out contradicts you. So you do what birthers tend to do next: you lie about it, call names, and gratuitously dismiss and ignore every piece of truth that proves you wrong in your original assertion.

  97. #97 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW:

    Again, I have addressed every important fact and you are going through ever more ridiculous contortions to avoid the obvious conclusion. The Argument From Verbosity won’t help you.

    1. “Colon, R.P.” means “Colon, Republic of Panama”, not the Canal Zone.

    2. Dobbs says the McCain BC was signed by Capt. Irvine, not “R.F. Annis”.

    3. The Coco Solo Submarine Base was in the Zone, not the Republic of Panama, as was the Officer’s Club and the hospital mentioned by Mrs. McCain.

    4. There is nothing “digital” about pointing out the discrepancies between the fonts of the entries on the Hollander BC. They are obvious to the eye without any magnification.

    5. As to why the Hollander BC is in English, it is a reasonable hypothesis that the original was issued by the Panama Canal Health Dept. to a civilian working and residing in the Zone, based on a birth in Colon Hospital, Panama, just across the water from the Zone. This was altered by the forger to show a birth for John McCain, with the original relevant entries crudely altered. Again, Hollander cannot give any account for the origins of his document. Adios, muchacho.

  98. #98 |  Bob Weber | 

    One last comment. What started this ridiculous discussion was my assertion at comment #49 that McCain had never publicly displayed his BC. Unless you can show that Hollander got it from a McCain website or from a publication, then my initial comment stands. Then you have to explain why the Hollander BC contradicts what McCain and his mother have said about his birth, and what M.Dobbs has written.

  99. #99 |  David Chesler | 

    Bob, PW: I’ve lost my program. May I have pointers to the two McCain documents in question?

    (Not sure what it matters. Even if McCain had been born in completely foreign territory, even one which jus solis made him a citizen or subject of that territory, his parents were old enough etc. to confer US citizenship on him at the time of his birth. [See Steinkauler’s case, quoted in Perkins v. Elg] And he didn’t win and I don’t think he’s going to run again. )

  100. #100 |  PW | 

    Bob – Simply repeating your bad information and bad arguments from earlier doesn’t make them any less false. But instead of continuing your silliness, why don’t you just look at this picture:

    http://www.panamarailroad.org/colon/colonhospital.jpg

    It is a photo of the old colloquially designated “Colon Hospital” that existed on a site in New Cristobal until 1954, when it was closed to move its staff over to a new site on the navy base. It was a United States government facility, the second such at the same site since the Navy came in and took over its operations from an earlier French & American hospital there in 1904. It was constructed by the United States government on that site in 1914. You can easily find records of its budget and the sort online by searching for the annual reports to Congress on the Canal Zone.

    Now look at this map:

    http://tinyurl.com/28u48nt

    It is a modern satellite image of downtown Colon, Panama. Do you see the Hotel Washington? It is the site of where the original Panama Railroad headquarters used to be, and later a luxury hotel built shortly after the canal opened. Do you see the area to its immediate southwest where the peninsula bends? That’s the main battery of Fort DeLesseps, a WWI era installation that guarded the canal’s Atlantic entrance. Now follow the coast to the east from the Washington hotel towards the the Jose Guardia Vega school – that is the old Cristobal High School for the children of Americans in the canal zone. ALL of that area between those points and bordered to the south by 3rd Street was in the Canal Zone from its creation until 1955, when President Eisenhower transferred control to the government of Panama. It was known as the New Cristobal district.

    Why do I bring this up? Because the “Colon Hospital” – the U.S. government funded and Navy operated facility in the picture above – was also located within New Cristobal to the northwest of the high school, near the intersection of Melendez and 2nd Street. This is the facility that is usually identified with the Hollander lawsuit McCain birth certificate. It was most definitely a US government facility located INSIDE the Canal Zone in 1936. And NOTHING about it’s placement there contradicts what McCain’s mother said, or supports the absurd contention forwarded by both you and Hollander that the document is from a hospital outside of the canal zone.

  101. #101 |  PW | 

    David – See post 69 for a link. It contains an alleged McCain birth certificate that was filed in a lawsuit challenging his natural born status since he was born in Panama where his parents were stationed. It is a very poor quality scan, but also contains an affidavit from a lawyer in Panama stating he obtained it from records located there.

    This lawsuit is basically a McCain version of the Birther suits. The plaintiff in that suit, and Bob here, both contend that the document shows McCain being born in a civilian hospital somewhere in the city of Colon. The plaintiff said that proved McCain was born outside of the US-administered Panama Canal Zone, and Bob says it proves the document is a forgery since it is generally known that McCain was born inside the Canal Zone at a U.S. government hospital.

    I maintain that both of them are wrong, and that the certificate in the scan appears to be from a US hospital in the New Cristobal district of Colon City. New Cristobal was a small tract of a couple blocks along the oceanfront in downtown Colon that was an original part of the U.S. Canal Zone until we transferred it to Panama in 1955. It housed the civilian administrative offices of the Canal Zone government, including that hospital (which closed after the 1955 transfer). If McCain was born in that hospital in 1936, he definitely would have been born in the canal zone making both the lawsuit’s claim and Bob’s argument moot.

  102. #102 |  CC | 

    ((((Could it be that they show he was a C-student who took a bunch of worthless electives in “ethnic studies” and other leftist marxian crap? Would they show that he’s not the Ivy League caliber “genius” we’ve all been told about, but rather a typical screw-up college kid who partied his way through undergrad and barely scraped by with the minimal standards for a degree? )))

    Given Harvard Law’s admissions standards and how well he did there, that’s highly unlikely.

    CC

  103. #103 |  Special Agent Wilson Blair | 

    I like Wayne. Wayne told me how amazing and excellent he thought that Radley’s testimony before congress was on the subject of online gambling. He watched the video, and his remark was “…this is excellent. I had not seen it. Thanks.” Does Wayne have more to learn about libertarianism before he’s at Radley’s philosophical level? Maybe.

    But is he making a good faith attempt to do so, while reaching out to the demographic he understands? I think he is.

    Yes, he comes from the right, and is not naturally aware of how to reach out to the left and plumbline independents. But he is always in the media, and always representing libertarian ideas. Sometimes he screws up. Sometimes, he shines.

    He is on a path of increasing understanding, but he defends the territory he has won. This is politics. You might not like all of it, but given limited human intellect, time, and resources, you take the guy who moves the ball down the field. That’s Root.

    I love Radley Balko. His commentary is the best in the Nation. He represents the libertarian ideology perfectly. I have no complaints.

    I have a few complaints about Root. I take umbrage with the term “Reagan Libertarian”. (Reagan =/= libertarian.) I would prefer a greater depth of understanding on social issues.

    But he’s also not a backstabber. He also honors his word. In that regard, he’s not like the Libertarian Parties in many states, and not like the National LP in 2008.

    Also, he gets up early and tries hard. He self-corrects over time. Harry Browne might have had a better, more consistent message on all issues, but he only reached a fraction of the people Root can reach.

    Root is a fan of yours, Radley. Why not educate him, as opposed to belittle him? You catch more flies with honey than you do piss and vinegar… Please, save your ire for the Lee Paiges of this world!

    Thanks.

  104. #104 |  PW | 

    #102 – Except…

    1) there are plenty of idiots, including presidential idiots, with degrees from Harvard to attest that their standards are not as vaunted as they claim.

    2) we don’t really know exactly how well Obama did there, because he hasn’t released those grades either, and

    3) the one thing we do know he did there – law review – is highly unusual itself, as Obama’s tenure had the practically unprecedented characteristic of not publishing a single article under his own name.

    I honestly think Barack Obama is a man of slightly above average intelligence, combined with a knack for being personally likable to people with below average intelligence. I also believe that he has advanced in life to positions well beyond that which his own personal merits have earned and justified, and that he has done so by using a combination of his personal likability in a culture that celebrates popularity contests, his race in a school and work environment that practices both explicit and implied affirmative action racial preferences to certain protected minority groups, and his politics in an academic profession that tends to reward left wing crap at levels well beyond its own intellectual merit. But there’s certainly nothing about the guy that screams “genius,” and quite a bit that strongly suggests the opposite.

  105. #105 |  CC | 

    Most law reviews chose on the basis of either grades, writing ability or both. I really think a person of “slightly above average intelligence” would have trouble getting on law review, or into Harvard Law in the first place, to say nothing of getting elected to head the Harvard law review. (Unless you’re considering the law review members who voted him in to be among those of below average intelligence that like him so much.)

    George W. Bush, who was very well connected in a way Obama wasn’t, did go to Harvard’s business school, but other than that, Harvard’s presidents have been pretty sharp, if not generally libertarian-friendly: JFK, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Hayes, John Quincy Adams and John Adams.

    At my law school (where I didn’t make law review) it is nice when a law review member’s work is published, but by no means standard. Indeed, we have one journal where everyone who works on it is guaranteed a published note and they’re the exception, not the rule.

    CC

  106. #106 |  PW | 

    “Most law reviews chose on the basis of either grades, writing ability or both.”

    …unless they are looking to make a splashy news story about themselves, such as would happen in our race political correctness-obsessed society if Harvard appointed its first black editor. Go back and look at all the news stories and press released that went out when Obama was chosen. It is very clear that Harvard was making a statement about his race and milking it for every last ounce of political capital they could get.

    Again, as a rule of thumb Harvard does indeed admit smart people, and tends to admit more smart people than most colleges. But “Harvard admits smart people” does NOT equal “Everyone who gets admitted to Harvard is smart.” I also find it highly probable that Obama’s admission to Harvard had an affirmative action component to it, seeing as it occurred in the late 80’s when institutionalized and heavy-handed quota-style affirmative action was at its heyday.

    In Obama’s case we’ve been told for years how smart he supposedly is. Yet I find the evidence of it sorely lacking. I also find the only metrics offered of it (Harvard admission and the Law Review) unconvincing for the reasons stated above. He certainly hasn’t conveyed any vast intelligence in the neverending telaprompter-a-thon that constitutes his political career. When you look to other metrics of an intellectual career, they aren’t there either. He spent a good chunk of his early career as a lecturer at the University of Chicago – a top tier law school.

    And yet how many peer reviewed articles does he have? Zero.

    How many scholarly publications to his name? Zero.

    How many publications of any type? An autobiography (written in his 30’s before he had even accomplished jack squat in his career other than being the “first black Harvard Law Review editor,” no less – who but an extreme narcissist writes an autobiography when they’re still fresh out of college and without any significant career accomplishments?) and a political puff piece crafted specifically for his election candidacy.

    Obama has gotten a long way in his career on something. But it sure isn’t intellectual merit.

  107. #107 |  langa | 

    #52:

    Your implication that the parent/child relationship and the state/citizen relationship are in any way analogous or comparable is far more “unlibertarian” than Root’s original comment that got you so bent out of shape.

    For the record, I don’t like Root and I don’t think it’s good for the LP to be represented by him. That said, the comment about his kids smoking weed was basically innocuous. The idea that he was “threatening” to beat them in order to flaunt his power over them strikes me as nothing more than a figment of your imagination, perhaps stemming from some unresolved issues from your own childhood.

    Unfortunately, however, the paternalistic belief that the state should treat its citizens like children has become sadly pervasive in modern political discourse. It’s a notion that libertarians should be trying to dispel. Arguments like yours, however, do just the opposite.

  108. #108 |  wolfefan | 

    Hi PW –

    Lots of conservative scholars have spoken admiringly of Obama’s intelligence and scholarship. Randy Barnett, Jim Lindgren, David Bernstein – all either conservative or libertarian, all opposed to most of Obama’s policies, all on record. I’m at work so can’t do the work, but check them out at http://www.volokh.com.

    And I’m sure you know that Hawaii doesn’t release copies of long-form birth certificates, right? You send in your request and your money and you get what Obama has posted. I don’t have my original birth certificate, nor does my wife. The certified copy provided by Indiana was fine to prove citizenship at the DMV the other day.

    For me, the request for one’s “original” birth certificate would be like a request for my “original” driver’s license. The only drivers test I ever took was back in 1975 – every license I’ve had since then, across 24 years and a half dozen states, has been based on material contained in and extracted from a database in Ohio. Can I provide a copy of the “original” license? Can I really prove that I actually passed the written exam and the driver’s test? No, but Ohio will certify that I did so, just as Hawaii has done for Obama’s birth. Not a perfect analogy, I admit…

  109. #109 |  Bob Weber | 

    David Chesler @ #99:

    The dispute here is essentially as to whether or not John McCain has ever publicly displayed his birth certiificate. He hasn’t, but according to WaPo reporter Michael Dobbs, a McCain aide did show Dobbs Sen. McCain’s BC, showing he was born at Coco Solo base hospital, Panama Canal Zone.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/05/john_mccains_birthplace.html

    However, in a pro se lawsuit filed by a Mr. Hollander, trying to have McCain disqualified from the presidential ballot, but quickly dismissed by the court, , Hollander contended that McCain was actually born at Colon Hospital, outside of the Canal Zone, in the Republic of Panama, and offered this unattested document as evidence:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/McCain_Certificate_of_Birth.jpg

    Under actual U.S. law, it’s irrelevant as to whether or not McCain was born in the Canal Zone, or Panama; the Canal Zone was never considered to be U.S. territory, though it was under U.S. jurisdiction. However, McCain is under U.S. statute law a citizen-at-birth of the U.S. by virtue of both his parents being U.S. citizens. It is not altogether clear that he is a “natural-born citizen” for purposes of presidential eligibility, but the consensus of legal opinion is that he is. But it seems that Hollander, like many people, thought that the Canal Zone was considered as U.S. territory, hence if McCain were born in the Zone he would be undeniably eligible for the presidency. If, however, he were born in Panama, it would weaken his claim to be a “natural born” U.S. citizen for purposes of presidential eligibility. That’s why Hollander tried to introduce into evidence the phony BC:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/McCain_Certificate_of_Birth.jpg

  110. #110 |  Bob Weber | 

    PW:

    My, my, my, still trying to Defend the Undefendable, are we? (Apologies to Dr. Block.)

    Your peculiar obsession with the fact that the Hollander McCain BC is written in English amazes me; if it’s significant at all, it actually impeaches Hollander’s phony document.

    Consider this map, showing Colon and the Zone when the Zone was under U.S. jurisdiction:

    http://www.czbrats.com/Maps/CZaColon.jpg

    Now, I realize that you don’t see very well, since you can’t perceive the obvious discrepancies and sharpness of the fonts and entries in the Hollander fake McCain BC, so I’ll describe them for you:

    Look at the top of the land area of the map, and you’ll see “Colon Hospital” written in rather small print.

    You’ll also see a line of alternating dots and dashes. Follow me SLOWWWLY and I’ll explain what it means. This is a convention on maps to show political boundaries. Got me so far? Let’s go further:

    Above the line you’ll see “Canal Zone”. This means that everything above the line is the Canal Zone, under U.S. jurisdiction. Got that?

    Below the line, you’ll see “Panama”, also “Provincia de Colon”. This means that the area enclosed is part of the Republic of Panama, AKA, “R.P.” Got it?

    “Colon Hospital” is within the area enclosed by “Panama” and “Provincia de Colon”, hence it is not within the Panama Canal Zone. With me so far?

    Now, either the Panama Canal Health Dept. issued BC’s to people born outside the Zone, or it didn’t. Language is irrelevant. Got it?

    If it didn’t, the Hollander McCain BC is, on its face, a forgery, since it purports to describe his birth being at “Colon Hospital, Colon R.P.” which was outside the Zone.

    If the Panama Canal Health Dept. did issue BC’s to people born outside the Zone, inside Panama, then it’s completely irrelevant whether the document is in English, Spanish, ancient Sumerian, or whatever.

    So, now let’s consider the BC which M.Dobbs describes. According to M.Dobbs, the BC he saw showed that McCain was born at Coco Solo base hospital, Canal Zone. Look again at the map:

    http://www.czbrats.com/Maps/CZaColon.jpg

    Can you see that Coco Solo is outside Panama, inside the Canal Zone? Good.
    Since the BC that Dobbs is describing gives a location completely incompatible with being within the Canal Zone, it can’t possibly be the Hollander BC. Got it?

    Dobbs says the BC he saw was signed by Capt. William Irvine. It’s completely irrelevant whether he signed it as Medical Director, attendant physician, or mere witness. The point is, according to Dobbs, it was signed by Capt. Irvine.

    Nowhere on the Hollander McCain BC can I find a signature of Capt. Irvine:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/McCain_Certificate_of_Birth.jpg

    (Unless possibly PW’s vision has become so amazingly acute that he can see it, and no one else can.)

    This means that the document that Dobbs is describing can’t possibly be the Hollander McCain BC.

    Conclusion:

    (1) Either the Hollander BC is real, and Dobbs, McCain, and his mother are lying, for completely unknown and indecipherable reasons

    OR

    (2) McCain, his mother, and Dobbs are telling the truth, and the Hollander BC is a fake, and PW is a horse’s ass.

    QED. Adios, muchacho.

  111. #111 |  Bob Weber | 

    Correction to previous post:

    “Since the BC that Dobbs is describing gives a location completely incompatible with being OUTSIDE the Canal Zone, WITHIN PANAMA, ………”

  112. #112 |  PW | 

    “Lots of conservative scholars have spoken admiringly of Obama’s intelligence and scholarship.”

    Intelligence, perhaps. But that’s a personal judgment, and I’ve yet to see anything that would justify me sharing it. Scholarship on the other hand…to that I say “what scholarship?” because the guy simply doesn’t have any. That isn’t a matter of opinion either. It’s a simple matter of his academic resume:

    Zero peer reviewed articles.
    Zero other academic publications or scholarly books.
    Zero scholarly conference presentations.
    One extremely narcissistic autobiography written in his mid 30’s when he was fresh out of law school and hadn’t done jack squat.
    One political campaign book prepared for an election.

    “And I’m sure you know that Hawaii doesn’t release copies of long-form birth certificates, right?”

    That actually doesn’t seem to be the case at all. According to this article, “By Hawaiian law, birth records can be released only to people with “a direct and tangible” interest in them,” suggesting Obama could obtain the original if he wanted to. The state of hawaii even had to pass a law so state workers would no longer be required to answer open records requests for the long form. They were apparently spending thousands on postage to send out letters that basically said “only Obama can ask for that.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/politics/14hawaii.html

  113. #113 |  PW | 

    #101 – Not that this will matter any since you seem to be an obsessed anti-birther conspiracy theorist, but the map you linked to is a POST-1955 document, and therefore would not show the Pre-1955 Canal Zone boundaries that included New Cristobal and a large chunk of downtown Colon prior to the transfer.

    How do we know this? Because it shows Cristobal High School as being located in Coco Solo. Cristobal High did not move to Coco Solo until the Remon-Eisenhower Treaty of 1955 ceded the New Cristobal district to Panama.

    Post-1955 Cristobal High School in Coco Solo:

    http://www.czbrats.com/Photos/chsfiori.jpg

    Pre-1955 Cristobal High School in New Cristobal, downtown Colon (currently the Jose Guardia Vega school on the google map):

    http://www.czbrats.com/Photos/oldchs.jpg

    See the clear difference between the two buildings? Probably not, since you’re a apparently blinded by your stubbornness. Or just not very smart. Or both.

    But it’s definitely there, and it’s central to this discussion (well, at least I’m discussing and attempting to provide honest analysis. You, on the other hand, are just repeating the talking points you made up, most of them long ago refuted) because the old Cristobal High School in the U.S. Canal Zone section of downtown Colon was about a block away from the old “Colon Hospital.” Since the year 1936 predates the year 1955 in time, that old hospital was also inside the Canal Zone in 1936. Q.E.D. and so forth.

  114. #114 |  PW | 

    Here’s a map from the early 1910’s showing the entire city of Colon INSIDE of the Canal Zone.

    http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/slatta/hi216/maps/pancanal3.jpg

  115. #115 |  SJ | 

    “Barack Obama has used upwards of 20 different Social Security numbers” Awesome! maybe Obama is not so bad after all?

  116. #116 |  Needles929 | 

    Wayne Allen Root 2-0 to start the college football season…he has my vote.

    Iowa St -5
    Hawaii +21

  117. #117 |  The Real Deal | 

    Used to work for this guy……..He is the king of scam’s & bullSh*t!….Do not Trust this guy!

  118. #118 |  A Former Classmate Of Barack Obama Speaks Out - Page 14 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum | 

    […] is Wayne Allyn Root? EarthLink Search: "Wayne Allyn Root wiki" Wayne Allyn Root: Bonkers | The Agitator Libertarian Peacenik: LNC Should Disassociate LP from Wayne Allyn Root's Obama Birther Conspiracy […]

  119. #119 |  spikey27 | 

    Root is bat-shit crazy and a liar.

    When I graduated from college, I probably knew at most 100 students; the vast majority of those were fellow classmates out of at least a thousand in engineering.

    That was only a small percentage of the 25000 or so total student body.

    To say it was unusual that I didn’t know (any student outside of the aforementioned 100) is plain ludicrous.

    I seriously doubt Root could tell anyone anything about 99% of the student body, even those in his own discipline.

    Personally, I think Root is a damn liar.

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