As an author with a new book on a controversial topic, I’ve suddenly been flooded with a whole series of personal attacks by people who don’t like the results of my 3-month investigation.
First let me comment that I am personally kind of ashamed to have to answer these attacks — ashamed not for myself, but for the fact that people who seem to be mostly conservative are making such attacks on anybody.
I do not feel that such non-fact-based, personal public attacks express conservative values. They don’t express my family’s conservative values, that’s for sure.
To me, being a conservative means, among other things: traditional values of honesty, truth, and kindness whenever possible to other people. And they include not judging until I know the facts.
The latter is part of why it took me 3 months to publish a book on the Obama birth certificate: I wanted to know what I was talking about before I said too much on the matter.
To conservatives who mount personal attacks on others: You are not helping our cause. You are not portraying conservatives in a good light.
Of course, I understand that both sides of the aisle have people who do this.
Would my position that personal attacks are wrong make me a hypocrite if I should end up publicly questioning whether Paul Irey’s qualifications, or Doug Vogt’s, are quite up to the task of the analysis they’ve attempted? No, because such commentary, within reason, is fact-based and directly relevant to the quality of their analysis. And they’re free to question my qualifications as well. But to the best of my ability, I pledge not to engage in the kinds of personal attacks that others have tried to hit me with lately.
Over the last week or two, various people have tried to make all of the following accusations against me… (except for one):
“You’re an ‘Obot’ (short for ‘Obama-bot’) — an Obama supporter just masquerading as a conservative. You’re a Communist. etc.”
Actually, I’m a conservative who supports: the Constitution, clear thinking, reality, and the truth.
And my support of the Constitution and the rule of law was one of the major reasons I undertook the investigation in the first place.
If Barack Obama is truly ineligible to hold the Presidency, then he needs to be removed from that office. It’s as simple as that.
On the other hand, if we have no good evidence that the birth certificate is a forgery, then the Constitution must still be preserved and followed. In that case, the recourse for a misguided President is simply to vote him out.
And either way, given the significant doubts a lot of people had, I regarded the question as an important and interesting one. Since many of the issues regarding the long-form birth certificate were computer-related — and computer technology is my field — I decided to take a look. One thing led to another.
As far as being a conservative goes: The first vote I ever cast was for Ronald Reagan in 1980. And I’ve voted Republican consistently ever since. I believe I cast a vote for a Libertarian recently, but I don’t recall ever voting for a Democrat. I might do so, if I ever found one that truly matched my values better than any of the other candidates and would do a better job. But in the course of 30 years, I haven’t so far.
I also used to be reasonably active in local conservative political circles. I’ve helped campaign a bit. I went over to Strafford to see Matt Blunt announce his run for Governor in 2004. I went to see Sarah Palin when she visited Springfield in 2008.
I had to step back from active participation a few years ago, though, in order to try and better make a living for myself and my family. But there are a few people who still know me from those days. I ran into one of these at Barnes & Noble recently. I mentioned I was writing a book on Obama’s birth certificate. He said, “I hope you can prove it’s a fake.” He didn’t ask me what I had actually found out, so I didn’t foist it on him.
My investigation, in fact, was very possibly one of the better chances that conservatives had of actually finding good evidence of forgery or fraud — if it had been there to find. And if I’d found it, I’d be famous by now, and universally hailed as a hero by some who are accusing me of being an “Obot” right now.
It’s interesting that some of the folks who wanted somebody to seriously look into the birth certificate now seem to be deeply unhappy that someone has.
“You’re ‘in cahoots’ with the Fogbow people (an online community who have as their goal to debunk eligibility skeptics).”
I’ve been in a bit of contact — or at least tried to be — with interested people on all sides of the issue: Jerome Corsi, Joseph Farah, “Foggy” (yes, the proprietor of Fogbow), “Reality Check” of Reality Check Radio, Paul Irey, Douglas Vogt, Karl Denninger, Albert Renshaw, Ivan Zatkovich, Neal Krawetz, “Citizen Wells,” “Dr. Conspiracy,” Dave of thoughtsaloud.com, and others. Most of those are actually on the “birther” side. A couple of these that I tried to contact have never responded to date. I would’ve contacted Mara Zebest as well, but she’s made it very difficult to find her.
I didn’t come from the Fogbow community, generally don’t frequent their forum, and have never posted there at all except in response to comments about my book.
Some of the folks who are happy with what I found in my investigation have been willing to highlight it. The Fogbow people have a thread on my book at their forum, and Reality Check Radio did a nearly two-hour interview with me (whew!). Also, Dr. Conspiracy has featured my book at his site.
It’s only natural that people who like the results would want to make them known — and frankly, I thank them for doing so. So far, the only significant coverage that I’ve received from those who are skeptical of Mr. Obama has been from Dave of www.thoughtsaloud.com and from Citizen Wells of citizenwells.wordpress.com. I very much appreciate the coverage from these guys, too, and I warmly thank them for it — even though I did note some significant disagreements with what Citizen Wells wrote. But I still link to his review whenever there’s a reasonable chance to do so.
“You’re being paid by the government, Obama, a rich Obama supporter, etc.”
I haven’t been on anybody’s payroll for years. In my work as an independent computer professional, I do work for businesses and individuals, produce genuine value, and get paid in return.
The Obama birth certificate book project has been entirely self-financed, from the moment I said to myself, “I know enough about this to write a book.” No one other than myself contributed a single penny to its development.
In fact, if you want a confession, this has been a genuine David-and-Goliath project from the very beginning, done on an astonishingly cheap budget.
How cheap? Aside from the cost of a few books, the major expenses have been 10 ISBNs ($250), a dba certificate from the state ($7), two domain names ($20), some hosting expenses ($50), and a press release ($290). That adds up to around $620 total that I invested in setting up my own publishing sideline and promoting the first book, and almost all of that went into setup and marketing.
Yes, this book is indie-published! I could’ve tried sending it off to a bunch of agents and editors, but even if I’d been successful in finding a big publisher, it most likely would’ve taken at least a year and a half to get it out. By that time, we may well have a new President.
So indie-publishing the book was really the only option.
The $620 or so that I invested in setting up my own small publishing operation doesn’t count the 4 months (so far) of really hard sweat equity I’ve put in as well. I’ve done virtually everything myself — including all of the research (and that has been very substantial), the writing, illustration, typesetting, cover design, graphics, barcode, logo, editing, publishing business setup, publishing, ebook conversion and publishing, web site design and construction, marketing, shipping, and customer service.
In fact, there are only three things that I haven’t done. I received a bit of additional editorial input, gratis, from several people including my wife. I recruited a bit of help at the local university with the library data in the inside cover. And my wife helps out with customer service & shipping on the autographed copies.
And that’s how I’ve attempted to put forth a significant book that makes a major contribution to a national controversy: on a few hundred bucks and a heck of a lot of sweat equity. Why did I take that approach? Because I’m not backed by any organization, and it’s the only approach I had available.
So am I crazy for investing 4 months of my life (so far) into this project? Maybe.
On the other hand, you can’t do anything significant in life if you don’t take a risk. And I’m now a published author — with a book that I’m frankly very proud of. Because I know the quality of the research and the conclusions. Because — even though it may not win a Nobel Prize for Literature — I’m satisfied with the writing. And because it tells the truth, reveals a lot of new information, and really and truly contributes to our knowledge of an important national issue in a meaningful way.
When you buy a book and/ or promote the project to others, you’re supporting honest reporting of the facts. You’re also promoting both the truth and an entrepreneurial, all-American, two-parent family, married 21 years through thick and thin and with 6 kids, who are (frankly) trying to show that it’s still possible in America to make a really honest buck by being bold enough to publish… the absolute truth.
Well.. of course I am. And so, to some degree, is every other human being on the planet… including you. I don’t think anybody is perfectly objective. And I don’t claim to be. Nonetheless, I believe I’ve managed to give the issues a pretty fair hearing. I’ve certainly tried my best to do so. And again, I think I’ve done fairly well in that regard. If you disagree, that’s fine. Feel free to do so.
But I notice that every single person who makes this charge has a particular outcome that they would very much like to be different from what I found, and how I saw it. In other words, it seems to me that every single person who makes the charge is guilty of what they’re accusing me of — and usually, pretty strongly!
Actually, I started my investigation tending to believe that Barack Obama was probably born somewhere other than the United States.
As a result of 3 months of testing the fraud theories and thinking long and hard about the evidence, I now tend to believe he was born in Honolulu, just as the Hawaii Department of Health has been telling us. That still doesn’t make him a decent President — but at least it reassures me that our American system hasn’t failed us quite as badly as a lot of people seem to think it has.
“You’re a liar.”
This is an inevitable charge from uncivil people who simply don’t like the results. Quite frankly, if I were a liar, I would be selling a much more popular, easy-to-sell book.
“You’re a hypocrite.”
Somebody charged me with this simply because they thought I hadn’t been quite even in what I’d said about two different people.
Like the major cell phone carriers, I don’t claim evenly-distributed universal coverage across 100% of the territory. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite, though. It only makes me a human being.
“You’re an arrogant know-it-all. There’s nothing you can tell without seeing the original and submitting it to a full forensic analysis.”
This point was made, interestingly, by someone who apparently hadn’t read any of what I wrote in the book.
“You’re just another book-selling whore.”
Yes, somebody actually used that phrase. Unfortunately for the accuser, it simply doesn’t fit.
It’s now two weeks after the announcement of my book’s official release, and to this point, I still haven’t cleared one single penny from my months of hard work. If I had really just wanted to make money selling books, I could’ve done so very easily.
All I needed to do was write a book listing all of the forgery theories, add a couple of original twists of my own, and then claim that it all added up to irrefutable proof that the birth certificate was a forgery. It seems quite clear to me from the wide coverage given to Paul Irey, Mara Zebest and Doug Vogt that WorldNetDaily would’ve been happy to promote such a book — and these are folks who have sold literally millions of books. Millions.
The fact that I chose to write my understanding of the truth instead demonstrates quite clearly that I’m pretty much the exact opposite of a “book-selling whore.”
“Your analysis is incorrect — and here’s why.”
Oddly enough, two weeks after publishing the book, that’s the one accusation in this entire list that I haven’t heard so far.