'Birth Of A Notion'

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Post by Loren » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:22 am

Work on my book has progressed in fits and spurts for a while, but in the wake of Abercrombie's goof-up and the announcement of Corsi's book, I figured it couldn't hurt to put part of what I've written online at the website. Both to serve as a public resource, and perhaps also to help secure a book deal. Wishful thinking, I know. I'd previously struggled with what I could put online that wouldn't give up too much research, or without creating more doubt. I think it's perhaps unwise to expose a person to too much denialist rhetoric without upfront breaking down the evidence that all non-denialists accept as sufficient. Given the skepticism that Abercrombie's actions have engendered, the straightforward account of Obama's documentation seemed best. So I put in some time last night, set up the bare bones of the site, and worked on the excerpt page, where I document [/break1]com/home/?page_id=4]the evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. Some of the links are still missing, and I can't get a couple of the images to properly align with the text, but you get the idea.Thoughts and reactions are welcome. If you like it, I would ask that you don't link to it elsewhere until I've polished the site up a little more.Thanks in advance.

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Post by Addie » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:03 am

It's terrific, Loren. I'm really rooting for you with this project. I won't link until you give the word you want it linked. Then I'm going to link the hell out of it. :-bd I wish you so much luck. I have no doubt that you will succeed in finding a publisher.

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Post by Reality Check » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:15 am

LorenThis is great. There were some new items for me like the NYT article I had never seen. Do you want to include the account of Barbara Nelson in this chapter?

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Post by mimi » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:18 am

That's great, Loren. Just that excerpt bats down a multitude of birfisms. Let me know when I can give the link.Is [link]Caroline Kennedy,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/1 ... 58767.html[/link] on the boss's payroll? Maybe she could get you a publisher. :P

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Post by AuBricker » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:32 am

Very well done. I can't wait to read the book.

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Post by Welsh Dragon » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:34 am

Excellent Loren!

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Post by Loren » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:33 am

Thanks everybody. To answer two questions together:Do you want to include the account of Barbara Nelson in this chapter?It's tempting, but probably not. It's an account of a fifty-year-old memory from an unrelated third party. Since I plan to talk about the unreliability of such accounts (read: Race Bannon), I can't very well cite them when they're in my favor, unless they check out.Now if it's somehow confirmed that Dr. West *was* the doctor, then I might include it. But then, if he's confirmed, then I'll probably just cite whatever that source is.Will there be a Vattel chapter?There will be a chapter that includes some talk of the two-citizen-parent argument, but I envision the chapter on the whole being more about pseudolegalism. Since I don't want to actively argue the merits of Vattelism at length, I'd like to get a number of ConLaw professors to simply agree that it's meritless, and I can just cite expert after expert after expert.

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Post by MaineSkeptic » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:30 pm

Loren, it's excellent, and I'm looking forward to the rest.A couple of suggestions:o In the sentence, "When the online scans failed to convince the proto-Birthers who were beginning to coalesce, the nonpartisan website FactCheck.org asked the Obama campaign to visit their headquarters and personally examine the physical document," the construction is not clear. Who asked whom to visit whose headquarters?o You say that "Honolulu is over 10,700 miles from Nairobi, Kenya," and later you say that "the Birthers’ preferred hypothesis is ... that she traveled halfway around the planet to give birth in a third-world city." I think that, for completeness's sake, it would be helpful to say that the third-world city mentioned in this context is most commonly Mombasa, which would also provide an opportunity to tell readers what a Honolulu-Mombasa journey would have entailed in 1961.

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Post by June bug » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:54 pm

Excellent job, Loren. =D> =D> I can't wait for your book to come out. "Birth of a Notion" (great title, BTW) is needed to counteract the proliferation of poop that gets published on this.

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Post by Sequoia32 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:32 pm

Yes, excellent writing!One tiny error, last paragraph:Taken together, all of this pieces form a cohesive, consistent, well-evidenced and long-standing proof that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961.these?

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Post by Piffle » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:35 pm

I'm liking what I'm reading so far, Loren. You write very well.I realize it's a work in progress, but since this is titled "Chapter 4", can you give us an idea of what the first three chapters will cover? I'd like to have some sense of where I'm coming in on the narrative.

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Post by Sterngard Friegen » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:36 pm

Chapter 4? Is it entitled "A New Hope"?

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Post by bob » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:39 pm

Chapter 4? Is it entitled "A New Hope"?Chapter I: The Phantom Menace Chapter II: Attack of the Clones :-k

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Post by Foggy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:52 pm

Way back in May '09, I characterized Birtherstan as [link]a play in three acts,viewtopic.php?p=35123#p35123[/link].'Course, by now, we'd be up to about Act Eleventeen, on that schedule.

... and how does that make you feel?
What is it you are trying to say?

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Post by Loren » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:07 pm

I'm liking what I'm reading so far, Loren. You write very well.Thank you.I realize it's a work in progress, but since this is titled "Chapter 4", can you give us an idea of what the first three chapters will cover? I'd like to have some sense of where I'm coming in on the narrative.Chapter 1 is essentially an introduction. Not only to Birtherism, but to the broad strokes of conspiracism, denialism, and skeptical thinking.Chapter 2 lays out the political and social landscape that set the stage for the questioning of Obama's birth and citizenship. Some on the discussion over John McCain's status, but more on the 'Obama is a secret Muslim' rumors. Who started them and so on.Chapter 3 covers the origin of the central birther rumor of Obama being born in Kenya. Both who originally started it and spread it, and how it took off after the NRO article.Chapter 4 is about denialism. After I lay out the facts showing that Obama *was* born in Hawaii, I then go into the different standard denialist responses to such evidence and how they reject it. Also I discuss anomaly-hunting, and how to distinguish denialism from genuine skepticism.Chapter 5 is about how false rumors are created. I argue that there are three general ways rumors are created (and they do bleed into each other), and I illustrate each with one of the big concrete birther rumors about the Kenyan birth. Namely, 1) that it was in Mombasa (misinterpretation of a fact), 2) that two of his half-siblings confirmed it and/or said they were present (misremembering of a fact), and 3) that it was at Coast Hospital (purely fabricated crap).Beyond that I just have a general map, and haven't written much. I'll talk about the types of conspiracy theories and the relationship between conspiracism and denialism. One chapter will focus on pseudoscience, which Birtherism actually has relatively little of. Pseudolegalism and maybe pseudohistory. Propaganda is the chapter I've given the most thought to. And the epilogue will include the story of Hiram Revels.

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Post by A Legal Lohengrin » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:47 pm

Thanks in advance.I will comment more when I read it all, but I am glad the project is progressing. An interesting book that might be informative as to how to do something like this is a book on the [/break1]archive.org/details/hallcarbineaffai012466mbp]http://www.archive.org/details/hallcarb ... i012466mbp Hall Carbine Affair, a scandal which arose from the sale of various carbines to the U.S. military during the Civil War.Despite having little connection to the affair, Morgan was vilified for decades as having sold defective carbines to the U.S. This was commonly accepted wisdom. The problem was, it appears to have been nearly completely untrue. Despite this, to this day, you will often hear people, mostly leftists, repeat this accusation.This book comprehensively demolishes the tale, with two halves, one devoted to a full analysis of the paper record and other evidence, and a shorter part, which basically hits the high points. The structure might be useful, and it might be a good idea to lead with something like the "highlights reel" before getting deep into the nitty-gritty.That way, people who just want a quick "how do I debunk this birfer who showed up on my forum" tutorial can get that, and people who want to geek out seriously about it can read the whole thing. Apologies if I've suggested something you're already doing.

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